Page 1

Inside this week’s Sport: Intra Mural update and October’s much anticipated Player of the Month pages 40-43 >>

C OURIER THE

The Independent Voice Of Newcastle Students

thecourieronline.co.uk · Issue 1237 Monday November 06 2011

5 reasons why... Tom Nicholson on the Stone Roses reunion music, page 26

This week I’ve learnt...

Tashin’ on in the Toon

comment, page 11

lifestyle, page 17

Becky Orwin takes a bath

Victoria Mole

New policies to impact popular student areas Newcastle strictest on noise complaints

Wills Robinson and Helen Lam News Editor and Online News Editor The strained relationship between some students and some local residents of Newcastle’s student-concentrated communities could be subject to change with the implementation of new policies from the city council. The proposals aim to control excessive noise levels and anti-social behaviour in addition to placing new restrictions on housing provisions. In a study earlier this year by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Newcastle was highlighted as having some of the strictest guidelines when it comes to disciplining students for noise complaints. This September, 139 students were warned of excessive noise in North Jesmond alone, leading Northumbria police to implement a series of initiatives to crack down on anti-social be-

139

haviour and other disturbances. Noise complaints and anti-social behaviour have lead to a continual strain within local communities. Last year, the heavily student populated North Jesmond was found to have the highest number of noise complaints in Newcastle with 796 reports. South Heaton received 614, and there were 462 in South Jesmond. Throughout Newcastle as a whole the city last year had 7,648 noise complaints, an increase from 6,318 the

University opens campus in Malaysia

George Sandeman News Editor

Students could be pushed out of Jesmond

students were warned of excessive noise in North Jesmond alone this September

Est 1948

Estate agent signs could be a thing of the past with new council proposals Photography: Susie May-Beever

previous year. With a bad history of noise complaints, especially in Jesmond, Northumbria Police have laid down new ploys to reduce such disturbances. Operation Oak provides a mid-week police patrol during ‘prime times’ (11pm-4am) in the ‘trouble spots’ of South and West Jesmond. This has increased the visible presence of police in the area. Inspector Louise Cass-Williams has applauded the new strategy saying, “The scheme, which has been really well received by residents – including

students – and has helped to reduce disorder in Jesmond”. There are tens of thousands of students residing in Newcastle at any one time and only a “small number ever comes to our attention.” “In the vast majority of cases once people have been spoken to once, they don’t come to our attention again.” These proposals could have an impact on the links between students and local residents, and could even result in a decline of students choosing to live areas such as Jesmond and Heaton, the most popular student ar-

eas. Along with the Environmental Health Agency, Northumbria police have also highlighted certain premises across Jesmond that have been connected with anti-social behaviour and are keeping them under closer surveillance. The Council has also opened up consultation with residents in areas such as Jesmond and Heaton based on the number of student dominated Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s). Continued on page 5

Newcastle University have opened a new medical facility in Malaysia. 80 undergraduates will be enrolled to train as doctors in the purpose-built Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed). The campus opened on November 1 and is based in EduCity in Johor, South Malaysia. Newcastle is the UK’s �irst university to establish an overseas arm offering fully UK accredited medical degrees taught in country. It is hoped the brand new facility will equip both local and international students with the skills to support Malaysia’s health service. The Duke of York performed the opening ceremony along with Newcastle University Chancellor, Sir Liam Donaldson, and Chris Brink, the University’s Vice-Chancellor. Sir Liam, who also happens to be the former Chief Medical Of�icer for England, said: “The establishment of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia will provide transnational access to a world-class UK medical education for a broad range of Malaysian and international students for whom this opportunity may have otherwise been denied by geographical or �inancial circumstances. In the longer term we hope very much to contribute, not only to meeting Malaysia’s human capital needs, but also improving medical services in the region and the care patients receive.” The development of NUMed began in 2008 and now has state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities. On campus the new intake of students will be trained by seven Newcastle University medics alongside 50 Malaysian and international staff. The awarded degree will be a Newcastle University MBBS (Bachelor of Medical Sciences) with this NUMed MBBS coming under the UK’s General Medical Council’s (GMC) robust apContinued on page 4


News

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

2

News Editors Wills Robinson and George Sandeman Online News Editor Helen Lam courier.news@ncl.ac.uk

thecourieronline.co.uk/news

Contents Daily dose of aspirin News NUMed campus

4

Uni under �ire

6

University opens stateof-the-art medical school in south Malaysia

New College of the Humanities criticised over pro�it-making ethos

reduces risk of bowel cancer

Comment

UCA$H

Do applicants from wealthier backgrounds have an advantage?

The debate

9

10

Even with Kate & Wills does the monarchy actually matter to us?

Sport

F1 rivals clash

Is Massa vs Hamilton becoming the new Prost vs Senna?

Let Savitt

A simple daily medicine is found to have the potential of reducing 10,000 cancer cases a year Photography: Jelly Watson

39 48

Newcastle football win bragging rights with double hat-trick delight

Newcastle break through could save lives Ralph Blackburn A research project, led by Professor John Burn of Newcastle University, into the effects of aspirin on those with a higher risk of bowel cancer has found that a daily dose of the drug could reduce the chances of developing bowel cancer by 63%. The discovery was based on a study of 861 people, all of whom have Lynch syndrome, which is a genetic mutation which drastically increases the chances of bowel cancer and occurs in around 30,000 people in the United Kingdom. By the age of 70, 90% of males and 70% of females with Lynch syndrome will have developed bowel cancer. The �indings from Professor Burn and his colleagues could aid the sufferers hugely. The patients in the trial were administered with 600mg of aspirin every day for two years, which, on average, reduced the amount of tumours among the group from 34 to 19. Professor Burn estimated that if everybody with Lynch syndrome took aspirin daily, around 10,000 cases The Courier Editorial Team is:

NUSU, King’s Walk, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QB. Tel: 0191 239 3940

The Courier is a weekly newspaper produced by students, for students. It’s never too late to get involved in the paper, whether you’re a writer, illustrator or photographer. Just visit thecourieronline.co.uk/getinvolved for more information.

could be prevented, saving roughly 1,000 lives. This follows on from research in 2010 by Professor Peter Rothwell of Oxford University, which found that patients given aspirin had a 25% lower risk of death. The recent research from Professor Burn, however, is the �irst to �ind a clear causation pattern linking taking aspirin to preventing cancer. There are, however, questions surrounding the treatment; and whether it would be advisable for the general public, or just people with Lynch syndrome. Professor Burn responded that the “evidence was incredibly strong regarding Lynch Syndrome, taking two Aspirin daily had overwhelmingly good results, as for the general public, if you have a family history of bowel cancer, it would be highly advisable.” Most people will not know whether they have Lynch syndrome, however, checking family history is a good place to start. “If you have three people in two generations with bowel cancer, it is likely you may have it”. Professor Burn himself has been taking aspirin daily for two years; how-

Editor: Kat Bannon Deputy Editor: Elliot Bentley News Editors: Wills Robinson and George Sandeman Online News Editor: Helen Lam Politics Editor: Bethany Staunton Comment Editors: Sophie McCoid and Susie May Beever Online Comment Editor: Jack Torrance C2 Editor: Aimee Philipson Lifestyle Editors: Olivia Mason and Ben Parkin Online Lifestyle Editor: Emma Balter Fashion Editor: Victoria Mole Online Fashion Editor: Rosanna Sopp

ever, he stated that “it is very dif�icult to recommend to the general public as a whole, as all the side effects are unknown; it’s really a matter of personal choice”. Side effects are the major aspect likely to put people off undergoing the experiment, and Professor Burn took time to outline those which were most common: “With aspirin it is possible to get ulcers, so if you have a family history of this check with your doctor, and also get them to check your blood count. “The major anxiety many people have with this is it increases the chances of hemorrhaging, but this only happens on average to one in every 10,000 people.” One question that has been asked throughout the scienti�ic community regarding the research is how exactly the aspirin works. Professor Burn explained: “It’s not really understood; we think it possibly has an in�lammatory effect on the cells, There are a number of different theories; the one I think most likely is that the aspirin alters the program cell depth and depletes abnormal cells. What is clear is that it has most effect on the cells that

Arts Editor: Sally Priddle Online Arts Editor: Lisa Bernhardt Film Editor: Chris Binding Online Film Editor: Hayley Hamilton Music Editors: Ben Travis, Chris Scott Online Music Editors: Graham Matthews Sports Editors: Colin Henrys, Harry Slavin and Rory Brigstock-Baron Online Sports Editor: Grace Harvey Design Editors: Gabe Mason and Tom O’Boyle

Copy Editors: Alice Sewell, Adam Rummens, Rachael Day, Charley Monteith, Dave Dodds, Sarah Collings, Marleen van Os, Emily Wheeler, Rachael Moon, Rebecca Markham, Grace Marconi

are going to develop to be cancerous, not on the ones that are already cancerous”. It is clear that the treatment is best used as a preventative measure. Regarding how much to take, Professor Burn stated: “It is a sliding scale; the more you take, the higher the chance of prevention is. However, there is also an increased chance of side effects. I personally take 75mg of mini aspirin every day.” In order to combat these queries, Professor Burn is embarking on a new project. “The CAPP3 project is looking at the differing effects of aspirin doses long term. We will also be studying the different genetic responses to aspirin and trying to develop a quick test to personalise aspirin for patients.” If that project is successful, it will clarify whether it will be advisable for the general public to take aspirin on a regular basis. Whatever the outcome of that project, the recent discovery could have excellent consequences for people with Lynch syndrome; simply taking an aspirin daily could save lives and prevent cancer.

The Courier is printed by: Harmsworth Printing Limited, Northcliffe House, Meadow Road, Derby, DE1 2DW. Tel: 01332 253013.

Established in 1948, The Courier is the fully independent student newspaper of the Students’ Union at Newcastle University. The Courier is published weekly during term time, and is free of charge.

The design, text, photographs and graphics are copyright of The Courier and its individual contributors. No parts of this newspaper may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Editor. Any views expressed in this newspaper’s opinion pieces are those of the individual writing, and not of The Courier, the Union Society or Newcastle University.


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

3

news

Ready, steady, parlez-vous français?

Kitchen developed at Newcastle talks in French to you whilst you cook Morgan Ayre

In the basement of the King George building, language and computer science experts at Newcastle University have teamed up to develop a kitchen with a difference. The French digital kitchen is aimed to promote language learning through new innovative technology. The kitchen uses motion sensors similar to those of a Nintendo Wii, which are attached to appliances and also found specially embedded into utensils such as spoons, potato peelers and knives. The job of these sensors is to detect whether or not the instructions given in French have been completed accurately. The beauty of the scheme as Dr Anne Preston, a research associate for the project, puts it, is that “ it is not like listening to a tape recording, it responds to you”. The digital kitchen has been designed in such a way that it can detect various types of movement from scooping to stirring and give corrections if necessary. This remarkable technology comes from an idea in the Culture Lab at Newcastle University, led by Professor Patrick Olivier who created a similar kitchen to aid older people with dementia. Professor Paul Seedhouse, who is involved in the language side of the kitchen, saw the potential in such a kitchen for language use and came together with Professor Olivier to create the final product. The popularity of learning a modern language like French in Britain has diminished in recent years. According to statistics from the Joint Council for Qualifications, which represents the major exam bodies that serve England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the number of students studying French has significantly dropped in recent years. In 2008 there were 202,136 pupils taking GCSE French; by 2011 this had fallen to 154,221 pupils. The same can be said for A-level French with 13,850 students in 2010 falling to 13,196 in 2011. The kitchen is an attempt to combine learning, technology and lifestyle and to rekindle the love of language. The language aspect is equally as impressive as the technology side. The directors and creators of the kitchen hope that by taking a handson approach in a very practical area such as cooking, people will benefit from it. The kitchen is based on the concept of Task Based Language Learning (TBLL). TBLL is a teaching method, which discovered that by doing a meaningful task or a task related to life situations, language learners become more confident and can develop a better fluency. The digital kitchen contains four large computer screens on which users can watch tutorial videos with or without subtitles and look up vocabulary. English translations are also available if the user needs it by pressing a touch screen. In order to build upon what the user has learnt throughout the session, there is a

short test available at the end. The project is clearly deemed a very worthy cause and extremely useful, as it received total funding of nearly £163,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Despite the EU’s own financial difficulties, the team managed to get an EU grant of €400,000 from the Lifelong Learning Programme to develop the project and are now able to continue development for another three years. This month sees the end of the French kitchen and from December 1 onwards other languages such as German, Spanish and even Finnish will begin. These ideas are still a bit away from completion as researchers say there are still improvements to be made, as this year was simply a trial. So far at Newcastle University 20 people have tried the kitchen out and around 40 hours of data have been collected. While the digital kitchen is not yet commercial or mainstream a portable kitchen made up of a touchscreen with the appropriate software and some of the utensils is available Professor Seedhouse also added that he encourages any PhD students interested in the project or the other areas to get involved with the concept of the portable kitchen.

The French kitchen in the basement of the King George Building can open up new ways of learning languages Photography: Anne Paterson


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

4

news

North J

South J Elswick

Local residents believe that the nature of Jesmond is being worsened because of the increase in HMOs Photography: Joe Lodge (Flickr)

390 River Tyne

Graphics: Gabe Mason

“I understand where some residents are coming from” Elliot Bentley Deputy Editor Commentary Surprisingly, this entire situation is best summed up by one of those awful police posters on bus stops around town. On it, a student says: “It’s just a little party, I’m sure the neighbours won’t mind”, whilst a middle-aged man says: “I’m on early shift tomorrow. I wish the neighbours would shut up!” Continued from front page proval and quality assurance framework. An initial forecast for NUMed suggests that 900 students will be enrolled by 2017. Vice-Chancellor Brink added: “Newcastle University has a proud history as a medical school with its origins dating back to 1834. Our expansion into Malaysia provides us with a real opportunity to export our expertise which will not only benefit our Newcastle base but also Malaysia as we equip some of the world’s best trained physicians and medical professionals to support the country’s health service. The opening of NUMed epitomises our vision of Newcastle as a civic university with a global reputation for academic excellence.” To begin with, NUMed will offer degrees in medicine but by 2013 will expand to offer courses in biomedical sciences as well as a variety of Masters degrees. Chief Executive Officer of NUMed,

The tagline beneath, reads: “Respect. It’s a two way street.” And as simplistic and condescending as it is, the poster has a point. It’s easy for us argue that we have the right to behave as we like in properties we’re paying good money to rent. And ghettoising students in specialised accommodation would be awful, not to mention breaking basic human rights. Yet I understand where some residents are coming from when they grumble about “those bloody students”. Walk through Jesmond at 11pm on any night of the week, and you’ll hear loud music from almost every other house you pass, drunks shouting at each other in the street, and rivers of taxis impatiently wait-

Professor Reg Jordan, commented: “The opening of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia is the latest milestone in meeting the University’s global ambitions and represents the beginning of a long-term partnership with the people of Malaysia. It marks the culmination of seven years of work by ourselves and key partners in Iskandar Malaysia, the Ministries of Higher Education and Health Malaysia and our development partners, Iskandar Investment Berhad.” Zulhilmi Ibrahim is one of the first undergraduates to enrol at NUMed and he said: “I am delighted to be studying at NUMed. The new campus is fantastic and the facilities here are far beyond my expectations. It’s good to see some of the UK lecturers here too. I believe that it’s really beneficial for Malaysian medical students to have their clinical attachments here in Malaysia and the teaching in the clinical facilities in Johor has been excellent. I am thoroughly enjoying studying for the Newcastle University UK MBBS degree here in Malaysia.”

ing on their inebriated passengers. Then from midnight onwards, they all return, often making as much noise as when they left. There are other areas with large student populations too, but Jesmond is particularly notable since it’s only in the past few years that the majority, and not just the ‘well-off’, of students have moved in. A couple of weeks ago I was woken up by a couple knocking on a house near mine at three in the morning, shouting for “Liam” to let them in. Unbelievably, they continued to scream at the door until half six in the morning (presumably too drunk to consider finding somewhere else to go). The above (taking place in Fenham,

I should add) may be an isolated event, but I know that I and all of my friends are hardly innocent of shouting at one another in the early hours of the morning. It’s not an intentional thing of course – we’re often too drunk to realise the volume we’re shouting at – but it hardly makes it excusable. It’s not just noise at night - the mere presence of students in an area will see it slowly transform. With students generally staying in a house for only a year, they have no reason to worry about its external appearance. And neither do the landlords, who know that demand for houses is so high that they can let it fall into disrepair and still find tenants with ease. Independent shops,

meanwhile, find themselves muscled out by big brands (Tesco, Starbucks, and other student favourites) and cheap fast food places. I think it’s fair to say that the student lifestyle is unlikely to change within the near future, in which case the only solution to residents’ problems is to simply stop us from living near them. It’s a drastic decision – in terms of both violating the rights of students and the damage it’s likely to do to Jesmond’s economy. But at the same time, if you were working nine to five and raising a family, wouldn’t you be cheering at the news that “those bloody students” may finally be driven out?

Private schools have an

Miranda Dobson

UCAS have admitted that the university applications system favours richer students after a scathing internal review. Their discoveries have prompted proposals to reform the process which handles hundreds of thousands of higher education applications. UCAS have said students from private schools often have an advantage because they are encouraged to apply well before university deadlines. Teachers at private schools have been found to often push students to get their applications in ahead of time and, for some courses, this gives them a better chance of being offered a place. UCAS have admitted that this gives

preference to these richer students from private schools because they are more likely to receive a conditional offer from an institution if they apply early. Such private schools alledgedly have better resources and familiarity with the system and are seemingly more adept at winning place for their students at top universities. This puts students from poorer backgrounds at a disadvantage if their schools do not have systemsavvy advisors and Oxbridge tutors which private school pupils often benefit from. The review also discloses that students from families with previous experience of the university application process will have an advantage over those applying for the first time. A spokesperson from Newcastle University told The Courier: “New-

castle University’s Admissions Policy makes an explicit commitment to fair and equal consideration of all applications. In a number of subject areas, where there are many more applications than places, admissions tutors […] wait until after the UCAS deadline before deciding which students will receive an offer, in order to be fair to everyone who has applied on time.” With UCAS admitting how they have failed poorer students in the past, they are now suggesting a change to the process to level the playing field. The proposals include moving the time pupils will apply to after they receive their A-level results. This would significantly reduce the time period students have to choose and apply to universities and perhaps affect the exams process as well. Mary Curnock Cook, chief execu-


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

5

news

Jesmond

796

Noise complaints by area South Heaton

462

Jesmond

548

510

complaints 2010-2011

614 487

Ouseburn

7,648

Byker

Westgate

6,318

complaints 2009-2010

21% increase

“The University needs to bring in safeguards” Rachael Moon Commentary Where as previously, drunken behaviour and the occasional loud late-night party in student halls would have resulted in a stern word from the campus security. Now, students are faced with police visits and formal complaints on their records as they’re confronted with the responsibility of private housing. Understandably, the University is required to act when student parties disturb local residents and it is important that action is taken against those who take it too far. However, for everybody else small

grievances to irate neighbours should not constitute anti-social behaviour. In the student areas around Newcastle, where housing is not entirely soundproofed, a certain amount of patience is required from both residents and students when issues arise. One student was subjected to a lecture from a disgruntled neighbour, and an of�icial complaint on her record for “walking around her room.” She told The Courier: “It’s unlikely I’ll appeal this, the University has to please the resident over me. There wasn’t a way I could prove I hadn’t been excessively loud.” In their mission to keep the relationship between students and residents peaceful, the University needs to bring in safeguards to ensure unreasonable neighbours aren’t merely punishing students.

edge, say UCAS

tive of UCAS, said this change would make the system “simpler and fairer.” Curnock-Cook commented on BBC radio 4 that only 10% of pupils achieve all three of their predicted grades, so a system based on grades that have already been achieved will be much more effective. However, Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of Russell Group, expressed her concerns of the effect this could have. She said: “We are worried that this new system won’t give time for a fair and thorough assessment of candidates and equally won’t allow enough time for students to make fully informed decisions about their course and institutions.” Dr Piatt also expressed Russell Group’s concerns that the new proposals would “hamper rather than help disadvantaged students.” She

said: “I am particularly worried about disadvantaged students who may not have access to the right info and guidance.” Newcastle University said it was “too early” to say how the proposed changes will affect its procedures.” However, a university spokesperson did comment that: “One of our key considerations will be to ensure that our commitment to fairness is preserved.” The suggested changes will not come into effect until 2016 if UCAS decide to go ahead with the proposed reforms to the system.

Continued from front page Residents alongside local politicians have also brought forward the issue of the plethora of ‘To Let’ signs that are scattered along house fronts. The opinion of the Council is that ‘To Let’ signs are an “unattractive eyesore […] particularly in neighbourhoods containing many private rental properties, mostly catering for the student market. “They can put off potential family buyers and renters and act as an advertisement to would be burglars”. Local politicians are asking central government to remove the right for agents to freely put up ‘To-Let’ signs in selected areas – such as Jesmond and Heaton. These restrictions will also include the font sizes, colour and will place limitations on when and where the boards can be displayed. A legal order regarding HMO’s also came into force in November, making it more dif�icult to convert a family home into a property that can be let out to multiple residents. Over time, this could lead to the gradual decline of the rental market in these areas, and thus a potential decline in student tenants. The North Jesmond Focus newsletter, stated “We all know that the character of North Jesmond has been radically altered – often for the worse – by the huge increase in the number of HMO’s over the last decade. “Your councillors agree with many, many residents who think that there should be a stringent controls on any increase in the number of HMO’s in this area”.


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

6

news

New private university comes under �ire due to ‘for-pro�it’ aims Beth Staunton Politics Editor There’s a new university on the scene. So new in everything, from its teaching styles to its fees to its ethos, that it has been aptly christened the New College of the Humanities. This addition to the umbrella institution of the University of London is the creation of philosopher A.C. Grayling, previously a professor at Birkbeck College. It is, as its name also suggests, a college dedicated solely to the humanities subjects of law, philosophy, English, economics and history. The appearance of a new university isn’t usually a topic for widespread national debate, but controversy and, in many cases, absolute hostility, have stalked New College since its inception. While London mayor Boris Jonson called it a “brilliant idea”, academic Terry Eagleton branded it “odious” in every way. When A.C. Grayling was taking part in a public debate about arts funding, a smoke bomb was let off in protest. The foremost reason for this explosion of debate is that New College is a private university. No public funding has contributed to its creation. Money has come instead from a variety of private sourc-

es, including several British and Swiss businessmen and a Conservative Party donor. A.C. Grayling and several of the academics employed to teach at the university next year are also shareholders in the institution. New College is not a charity but a ‘for-profit’ enterprise. Addressing protests about what many view as an unholy alliance between business and education, Grayling said that it would have taken too long to set up and raise the money if they had made it a charity. The New College of the Humanities has kept itself in the public eye because it has attracted many well-known academics to its lecture theatres, including scientist Richard Dawkins and historian Niall Ferguson. Although it seems the 14 ‘worldrenowned’ academics that make up the ‘Professoriate’ at New College won’t be full-time staff but rather visiting lecturers, they have given an extra veneer of prestige to the newly�ledged university that some newspapers have dubbed ‘the new Oxbridge’. On its website, New College promises students they “will hear lectures by some of the world’s leading thinkers and will receive a far richer higher education experience and a highercontent degree, than the standard UK offering.” Students will be charged £18,000 a

year for this ‘superior’ tuition, twice the current maximum of public universities, which has caused another storm of controversy among dissidents. When New College opens its doors in 2012, only 200 successful applicants will walk through them, with 50 of those places being classed as ‘assisted’ to help poorer students gain access. In many ways, New College seems to offer an educational experience that most modern students could only dream of. The prospectus promises good staff-student ratios, one-to-one tutorials, and a minimum of 12 contact hours a week compared to the university average of 4-8 hours for humanities subjects. As well as greater personal attention, New College students will also experience a wellrounded thoroughness in their degree. Core modules include ‘Logic and Critical Thinking’ and ‘Science Literacy’ so that, although specialising in the humanities, graduates won’t be completely clueless about other disciplines, particularly science. There will apparently be an emphasis on ‘professional skills’, preparing students for the world of work. In fact, as well as the standard University of London bachelor’s degree, graduates will also be awarded the ‘Diploma of New College’ which purports to be

of additional value to employers, although it is clearly too early to judge the reliability of this claim. What Grayling terms his “small experiment” is perhaps an experiment in tradition considering some of its key characteristics: traditional subjects, rigorous teaching, small student numbers, big charges and perhaps that faint whiff of elitism. Many argue that this is no bad thing and that there is nothing wrong with variety in the education system, whether that concerns teaching styles or sources of funding. One more private university doesn’t necessarily mean an overhaul of public education as we know it. Buckingham University, a private institution, has been around since the 1970s and we still expect the majority of higher education to be state funded. In particular, New College’s relationship with other London universities has been a source of criticism. Despite its privileged distinctions from its neighbouring public institutions, New College students will have access to the same resources, such as the Senate House Library, a factor that many brand as unfair to the rest of London’s university students. New College was in the papers again when accused of copying its prospectus, some parts word for word, from

that of the University of London, leading people to question why students were being asked to pay twice as much for practically the same course. Ultimately though, the heart of the debate and the controversy has been New College’s private status. Grayling has admitted to being hurt by his characterisation as a ‘bastard capitalist’, stating that he still believes wholeheartedly in public education but at a time when the arts and humanities seem to be in grave danger of being undervalued, this is just one small experiment to try to maintain their prestige. The relationship between educational institutions and the rest of society is changing, both literally because of increasing �inancial strains, but also in our perceptions of the role of education. Money became a major determining factor in the value of university degrees when fees were introduced by Labour, but recent protests have shown that young people are still questioning the compatibility of education and pro�it. However, those with concerns about trends of privatization may have to wait another year or so to see whether the New College of the Humanities is just one new university, or if it signi�ies a new direction in higher education.


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

7

news

UK students have better deal than US cousins

Average US student pays $17,000 yearly

The Memorial Hall at Harvard University. A bastion to the best education in the world yet seemingly unattainable to those without sufficient finances Photography: NKCPhoto (Flickr)

Maximum ‘Pell Grant’ covers 1/3 of costs Jenni Cannon

In the face of rapidly rising tuition fees, President Obama announced plans last week to increase aid to US students. This follows news that the average annual tuition cost in public colleges in the States has risen this year by 8.3%, to $8,244. Public college is by far the cheapest university option for American students, as opposed to the extortionate $28,500 average for private institutions such as the Ivy League. As a result, the US government has been faced with public opposition similar to that which has swept the UK over the last 12 months. Protests at the costs of higher education have spread across the States, and the issue has been highlighted by the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. Their grievance is that, despite increasing tax cuts and grants for students, it is still unaffordable for less well-off young people to access higher education. The plans seem to echo those announced by the UK government in an attempt to soften the blow from the tripling of fees. Obama’s proposal is to alter the way that loans are repaid to the state and alleviate the problem of crippling student debt, a figure which in the United States, exceeds credit card debt. Proposals include lowering the maximum repayment from 15% to 10% of earnings and writing off remaining debt after 20 rather than 25 years of repayment. However, as the Coalition has discovered, whilst offering relief from tuition fees by helping to deal with the consequences of taking out large student loans is necessary, it does

nothing to persuade the public that these levels of borrowing will ever be affordable or that higher education will be worth the financial impact. Furthermore, with current financial instability added to rising living costs, it is estimated that the overall cost of being a student in the USA will average at about $17,000 per year and the

maximum ‘Pell Grant’ offered by the government barely covers a third of the cost of a four year degree. Food, travel and equipment as well as accomodation, are all becoming significantly harder to afford, yet UK students are expected to survive on the same maintenance loan whilst US plans do not address the issue of cost

outside of tuition. This only serves to further contribute to worries across both nations that university will become effectively unavailable to those less well off. Reactions to these plans show that not only are higher education costs a major issue outside of the UK, but also that government efforts to help

are widely considered insufficient. Fears that the best institutions will be the most expensive and therefore force the less well off into gaining a less valuable degree are also universal.

to all applicants.” A consultation document revealed information that almost half of predicted grades are wrongly awarded. The same information showed that a quarter of pupils receive at least one under-prediction meaning that they have often been forced to drop their applications to top universities. The proposals would also mean that the traditional clearing system would be scrapped. The consultation document criticised the way students are repeatedly forced to scramble for places: “The combined effect of predicted grades, insurance choices and clearing have led to a system that is complex, lacks transparency and, for many applicants, is inefficient and cumbersome.” The National Union of Students welcomed the plans, saying that applicants from poorer backgrounds are more likely to be failed by predicted grades in the current system. However, many schools and colleges will potentially oppose the reforms as teaching time in the final year would be cut. The marking process would also have to be considerably speeded

up, which could make marking errors more likely. Top universities also fear chaos as admissions tutors would be required to consider tens of thousands of applications in just a few weeks instead of months. Usman Ali, vice-president of the National Union of Students in charge of higher education, said: “These are

clearly very carefully constructed proposals and we would certainly expect they are given careful consideration and not dismissed out of hand – particularly not by those universities with the most work to do to ensure access is widened for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.” The UCAS proposals have been put out for consultation until January 20

but any changes are not expected to be introduced before 2016. General Secretary of the Association of Schools and Colleges, Brian Lightman, said: “Changing the system will require effort and adjustment on the part of schools, colleges, universities, exam boards and UCAS, but it is in the best interest of our young people.”

UCAS proposals to count actual grades and scrap clearing Anna Templeton The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has outlined proposals which could potentially lead to the biggest upheaval of the university system for the last 50 years. On October 30 a report was published with plans to scrap the current system of students applying for university based on predicted grades. Under the new system students would sit their A-Level examinations 15 days earlier. This would mean that results would be published at the start of July instead of mid-August. Applications would also be limited to just two choices instead of the current five. University courses would then start no earlier than October 8. The UCAS Admissions Process Review says: “We believe that a system that makes judgements based on actual grades achieved and not on predicted grades will remove unpredictability from the process and be fairer

In light of revelations that the current admissions system favours richer students, UCAS has proposed changes Photography: lukemontague (flickr)


8

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

national student news

Lecturers’ stress levels on the rise according to UCU Three quarters of staff say deadlines were unacheivable Wills Robinson News Editor Research has suggested that heavy workloads and a lack of time are making academics more stressed on the job. Around four-�ifths (81%) of those working at UK universities found the job too stressful in 2010, according to a study by the University and College Union (UCU). This has increased from 74% in 2008. This research comes amidst a series of demonstrations amongst senior academics against pension cuts. The main reasons the research found for these increased stress lev-

els was the lack of time lecturers had to conduct research, excessive workloads and unreasonable expectations from students and the institution itself. It has also been suggested that the gap created by the gradual in�lux in students and the decline in the number of lecturers is to blame. The difference has been on the increase for the past ten years as UCAS applications reached their peak. However, application �igures so far this year could close the gap. Around 73% of university lecturers said that they were given unachievable deadlines on some occasions, while 89% said they end up neglecting some tasks because they have too much work to do. Around two-thirds said they were unable to take enough breaks some of the time or on occasions the entire time, whilst just under a quarter said

they were never pressured into working longer hours to meet demands. UCU general secretary Sally Hunt stated that it was unacceptable that the majority of staff found their jobs stressful. “Universities are getting a reputation as stressful places to work and this report reveals that the problem is getting worse. “As we enter uncertain and challenging times in higher education we need universities to start taking the problem seriously. “We hope institutions will engage with the UCU...with a view to tackling the issues raised in the report”. This problem could be averted by the decrease in the number of students applying under the new tuition fees; a rare positive to come out of the changes set for next year.

English lecturer passes away

Fresher dies of heart attack

Sam Tyson

Oxford University

Cambridge University

A promising engineering �irst year student has died of a suspected heart attack in his halls of residence. The students and staff of the engineering department were informed of the untimely death of Chao Cao by the head of the department. Since then tributes have been pouring in, praising Cao’s work ethic and good humour. His family in Shanghai have been noti�ied and are travelling to Oxford. While rare, it is not unknown for undiagnosed heart conditions to cause such tragic and sudden deaths.

A beloved Professor of English and Head of the Humanities Research Centre at York, Jane Moody has passed away after a four-year �ight against breast cancer. Since a relapse in 2010, Moody kept news of her illness away from the public eye, continuing her work until she passed away. Passionately involved in the humanities department, not only was Moody the founding director of the HRC, she was also heavily involved with bringing literature and history to the public arena in the form of projects such as the York Festival of Ideas, a project she began this year. Commenting on the York University memorial page, one student said: “Jane was an inspirational woman on both a personal and an academic level... she is and will be terribly missed”. A scholarship fund is being set up in Professor Moody’s name.

University fellow accused of fraud London School of Economics

Job Title: Female Personal Assistant Employer: Disability North Closing date: 19.11.11 Salary: £8.30 per hour. Basic job description: A Personal Assistant is required for 6 hours per week by a female wheelchair user. Main duties would include: Providing assistance with social activities, household tasks and occasional personal care (when main carer is not available). Person requirements: All ages may apply. The person must be able to meet with the physical demands of the post. A car driver is preferred. This post is subject to references and satisfactory CRB checks. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Sales Associate Employer: H Samuel Closing date: 20.11.11 Salary: TBC Basic job description: This is a Christmas Temporary part time vacancy of 12 hours per week. Main responsibilities: Playing a key role in helping the store to maintain performance and meet sales targets. As new products are introduced in store, you will build your knowledge to ensure that you can deal with every type of customer enquiry. Person requirements: Have excellent customer service skills, an interest in jewellery products and brands. A positive, ‘can-do’ attitude is essential, with a natural ability for striking up a conversation with a diverse range of customers. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Bar Staff Employer: J.D Wetherspoons Closing date: 07.11.11 Salary: £6.25 per hour. Basic job description: As a member of our customer-facing team, you will be responsible for delivering top quality service and ensuring all drinks and products are presented to our high standards. This role is based at The William Jameson pub in Sunderland for 16 hours per week. Person requirements: You will need to have excellent customer service skills and be professional and well presented. You will need to be able to communicate clearly with people at all levels. You should be a

self-motivated team player able to work unsupervised in a busy environment. Conversational English is essential and you should be confident, friendly and reliable. Location: Sunderland. Job Title: Bank Telephonist Employer: NHS Closing date: 10.11.11 Salary: £15,860 - £18,827 pro rota Basic job description: Applications are invited to join our very busy team of Telephonists. Switchboard deals with a high volume of calls and respond to a range of emergencies including Fire and Cardiac Arrest. You would be required to work on an ‘as and when basis’. Person requirements: Applicants must have excellent communication skills, the ability to deal with staff and members of the public on all levels and the ability to work as part of a team. Keyboard skills are essential. PAS experience would be desirable. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Sports Assistant (Casual) Employer: Newcastle University Closing date: 17.11.11 Salary: £8.08 per hour. Basic job description: The University Sports Centre is looking for casual staff to work on an ‘as and when’ basis, predominantly on evenings and weekends. You will support the full-time Centre Staff delivering aspects of our Health and Fitness service (including gym inductions) and assist in other activities across the rest of the Sports Centre including cleaning, maintenance, setting up/ taking down and storage of equipment. Person requirements: You should have previous work experience in a sport and leisure environment and display the personal skills to contribute to our customer service ethos. Further industry recognised qualifications plus a first aid certificate are desirable. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Events Security Stewards Employer: G4S Closing date: 30.11.11 Salary: Competitive Basic job description: We are looking to boost our Events Security Team here at

Newcastle. We are looking for people to work as part time/casual Security stewards, within our events security team. You will have the opportunity to work at local events and also events around the UK. This role is ideal for people who have evenings and weekends free due to the nature of when our events are. Person requirements: Applicants must be over 18 years of age. Ideal candidates will be smart, professional and approachable and ideally have experience in a customer focused environment and have strong communication skills. SIA Door Supervisors Licence is essential. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Sandwich Artist Employer: Subway Closing date: 09.11.11 Salary: TBC Basic job description: Part-time Sandwich Artists required at Subway, Metrocentre to work 16-20 hours per week. Full and extensive training is provided. Duties include serving customers, cash handling, preparing food, adhering to workplace health and safety standards & other general duties. Person requirements: Applicants must be fully flexible across trading hours, must be presentable, trustworthy and reliable. A CRB check may be required. Please note there is opportunity to progress for the right applicant. Location: Metrocentre, Gateshead. Job Title: Sales Consultant Employer: Next Closing date: 11.11.11 Salary: £4.98 - £6.08 per hour Basic job description: Sales consultants are required to work various shifts during the Christmas Sales at the Next store in North Shields. Responsibilities include: Working as part of the sales team in order to provide excellent customer service; Replenishing stock and maintaining high standards of merchandising and housekeeping; Displaying good listening skills, identifying customer needs and responding to them quickly. Person requirements: Previous work experience in a similar environment desirable. Location: North Shields.

Victor Dahdaleh, governor, donor and honorary fellow of the London School of Economics has been formally charged with corruption, conspiracy to corrupt and fraud in relation to a £700 million bribery and moneylaundering scheme. The Serious Fraud Of�ice, in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice and the Swiss authorities, carried out the two-year investigation which led to Dahdaleh’s arrest on October 24. A spokesperson for the LSE has stated that Dahdaleh will remain a governor at the school until further notice. Should he be found guilty, the school will reconsider his position. Dahdaleh is contesting the charges, claiming that “the investigation into his affairs was �lawed”.

Gilmour loses appeal against sentence

Cambridge University Charlie Gilmour, a Cambridge student convicted of violent disorder during the tuition fees protest last year, has lost his appeal against his 16-month prison sentence. Gilmour, who was photographed swinging from a Union Flag on the Cenotaph and attacking a royal convoy, is one of many people who were convicted of public order offences after the student protests turned violent. In contesting the jail term, Gilmour’s lawyer argued that he should be released so that he can �inish his degree. The courts also heard that Gilmour had “addressed his underlying drug and alcohol problems,” which he claimed had precipitated his actions. Having served half his term already, Gilmour could be out of prison by

Warwick closes ties with BAE Warwick University

Warwick University has signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with the world’s second largest arms manufacturer, BAE systems. This agreement will extend the research and development projects that Warwick will run for the company and will provide opportunities for post-graduates in many �ields. Many are questioning the move, however, citing BAE’s chequered background. The company was last year forced to pay a $400 million �ine after being involved in a “conspiracy to defraud the United States”. Campaign group ‘Weapons out of Warwick’ has denounced the “renewal of wedding vows” as “horri�ically negligent”. Despite this, opinions on the matter have been mixed. Many students are pleased that they will have greater opportunities to work with a large graduate employer, especially with graduate employment the lowest it has been for a decade.

St Andrews to scrap reading week St Andrews University

Staff and students at the University of St Andrews are still expressing frustration at the decision to remove the University’s reading week from the school calendar, starting from next year. As of 2012 the calendar will have a 14-week semester with no break. The exclusivity of the discussion to change the school calendar in such a way is a key point in the dabate. Faculty and students are arguing that it was unfair to put such a radical change in place without consultation. Principle worries are that without reading week, the quality of feedback that tutors are able to give students will be severely affected, with less time to mark and increasing demands on faculties with stretched budgets. A Newcastle student said: “I would love [a reading week] if it was offered to me. However, I would like to think that if I was up to date with work, I wouldn’t need a reading week. You also have to consider that in essence you are paying for a week with no teaching hours.”


Comment

9

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

thecourieronline.co.uk/comment

Comment Editors Sophie McCoid and Susie May Beever Online Comment Editor Jack Torrance courier.comment@ncl.ac.uk

Assad cannot be ignorant of the growing momentum that the opposition is accumulating - Jack Torrance page 10

UCA$H: Cashing in on the rich’s applications? Lauren Smith

T

his week UCAS made calls for the government to transform the university admissions process, after admitting that the current system favours those from privileged backgrounds. UCAS has claimed that the existing application process gives private school students an unfair advantage over state school pupils. As a result, it has suggested that a new system be put in place, whereby students would

not apply for university places until after A-Level results are published, a system which would give students more time to consider their options and see predicted grades scrapped. However, whilst many (including myself) welcome the news that UCAS is actively trying to ensure fair and equal opportunities for all higher education applicants, regardless of their �inancial background, will the proposed plans really help put an end to the class divide? UCAS has stated that students are currently applying to universities without having enough time to research courses and institutions, which puts students from private schools, whose families are often familiar with the system, at an advantage. UCAS has therefore proposed that applications should be made in July (with the idea

that A Level results are published at the end of the summer term). This is designed to give students with little knowledge of the UCAS process more time to consider their options, so that they can make informed decisions. Undoubtedly, this would bene�it more able candidates from lower income backgrounds, who may currently lose out on places at the top Russell Group universities to private school students, who are encouraged to apply well before the of�icial UCAS deadline. However, if the application process does not begin until the end of the summer term, when students have left their schools and colleges, many may struggle to make an informed application without the support and guidance of a tutor who is familiar with the system, which could result in

a decrease in applications altogether. Furthermore, if the process doesn’t begin until the end of July, over a month after the �inal A-Level exams, more students from lower income backgrounds may decide not to opt for the higher education route if they �ind employment and do not have a guaranteed place at university. Basing applications on actual grades rather than predicted grades is another issue that leaves opinions divided. The new system could bene�it many state school students who do not apply to university because their predicted grades aren’t good enough, but go on to achieve good A-Level results. Yet on the other hand, a university offer with required A-Level grades can motivate students to work hard to ensure they meet the entry requirements for their course. If students

aren’t clear about the grades needed to gain a place on their desired course before taking their exams, some may �ind they do not meet the required standard later on, and with UCAS stating that private school students bene�it more from experienced staff when it comes to dealing with applications, you can bet it won’t be them losing out. At a time when the government is trying to drive up the number of students in higher education from lower income backgrounds, it is clear that the UCAS process is in need of some reform. UCAS will be consulting on their new plans up until 20 January, and with the sheer number of people that the process involves and the many issues that a new system would create, it seems they have a tough decision to make.


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

10

comment

Is the monarchy still relevant in today’s society?

Amy Shields

Yes

W

ith only a brief interregnum, Britain has had a monarchy for hundreds of years. However it has not been the same monolithic institution since it was created. Like any long standing system, it has necessarily adapted itself to changes in the world, and therefore still remains relevant. Recent changes have shown how the monarchy is modernising. The change in the law of succession has long been sought, with at least eleven attempts by MPs in recent years. It signals a marked break with British history, and will change the future of the monarchy forever. It means that if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter before a son, then she will be �irst in line to inherit the throne, and will remain so even if a subsequent son is born. This in itself is a monumental change in the British monarchy, which �inally brings it into line with the gender equality that is so highly valued in our modern world. The idea of overlooking females for younger and therefore less experienced male heirs is contradictory to the core beliefs of our society. The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton combined the tradition of monarchy with the dawning of a new era. They have served as a reminder that there is a new generation of royals, and have proved to be the force of urgency pushing against the drag of inertia. Kate also followed in the steps of Princess Diana in not vowing to ‘obey’ her husband. This modernisation of traditional religious vows re�lects a further move towards a more accessible royal family. The young royals are people we can all relate to. As students we can sympathise with Prince Harry in his wilder, younger days stumbling out of a nightclub. They have risked life and

limb alongside the troops in Afghanistan. They associate with young people at the same universities that we ourselves attend. These are a generation with the same life experiences as us, and no longer the distant elite that they used to be. Our monarchy is part of what de�ines us as British. They are an instantly recognisable image of our country across the world. Our current monarch is approaching her 60th year on the throne. Whilst the Prime Minister and the government are the fundamental machinery of running the country, the monarchy is the face of Britain that is remembered. Clearly the monarchy still reaches out to people. There was a public outpouring of grief upon the death of Princess Diana in 1997, and it has been suggested that as many as 24 million people tuned in to watch the wedding of William and Kate. Clearly there is still an emotional investment by the British people in the royal family. To abolish the Royal Family would be to discount centuries of history and tradition. The monarchy is an institution that Britain should be proud to claim. They offer us a link with our history and I for one think it would be a royal shame to abandon that.

Ralph Blackburn

No

T

he recent legislation regarding the monarchy outlines the precise problem with the Royal Family in the modern age. With plaudits being piled upon the law, stating that a daughter will become monarch even if a son is born, is averting from the fact that it has taken up until 2011 to end old fashioned sexism being enshrined in law; This being the �irst time since 1772 that the Royal Marriages Act has been changed. Over the past century, universal suffrage has come into place and hereditary peers have been abolished from the House of Lords, yet the monarchy is still holding Britain back from becoming a truly modern state. It represents classism, inequal-

ity and prejudice; Roman Catholics, whilst now being able to marry into the Royal Family, can still not become monarchs, due to Henry VIII’s schism of just under 500 years ago, based entirely on personal preference. The modern multicultural state of Britain has no place for implicit religious prejudice. These issues which have largely been solved in the recent parliament act, are not even the main problems with the monarchy in the modern age. Unelected of�icials, with prerogative powers have no place in a modern democracy. In the latest election, there was confusion as to who should form the government, with the Queen possibly having the decisive outcome on which party would form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The economic bene�its and de�iciencies of the Royal Family are fairly even, with the amount the taxpayer pays towards the Royal Family, clearly accounted through the civil list. The civil list is the annual grant from parliament towards the monarchy for of�icial functions. From 2010 - 2011, parliament paid £14.5m towards the monarchy which is approximately 68p per taxpayer. That’s roughly doubled over 2011 due to £20m spent on the police presence for the Royal

wedding, although effectively cancelled out due to increase in tourism revenue. 68p may not seem a large amount, however when tuitions fees have risen to £9,000, the NHS is being cut and EMA has been scrapped, paying £14.5m towards an outdated system seems absolutely ridiculous. Given the vast inherited fortune which the Royal Family possess, by 2011 they surely can at least be self suf�icient. Whilst over the course of the 20th century there were a variety of roles for the Royal Family regarding the Commonwealth, over the past 10 years they have been transformed into a laughing stock by the tabloid press. Prince Harry staggering out of clubs dressed as a Nazi does nothing to alleviate the public perception. The two Princes have done minimal of�icial appearances over the past few years, Prince William averaging a fairly measly 14 per year. On average over the 1980s Prince Charles ful�illed 84 of�icial appearances whereas Princess Diana over 100. Clearly over the past 25 years the of�icial role of the monarchy has decreased whilst the cost has increased. We should live in an egalitarian state, not one still in�luenced by such a high standingbackground.

Crowds go crazy at a sighting of the Royal couple at their wedding in the spring. Photography: Government of Alberta (Flickr)

With or without intervention, Syria must succeed

Jack Torrance Online Comment Editor Continued from Page 9

B

uoyed by the toppling of Gadda�i’s regime and the �irst free Tunisian election for decades, Syria’s opposition is in a stronger position than it has ever been. Rather than being quickly stamped out, Assad’s detractors have emerged from brutal government crackdowns even more determined to get their message across, and have grown increasingly organised.

Far from the relatively disparate and uncoordinated demonstrations seen at the beginning of the year, President Assad’s opponents have grown into a movement capable of taking robust action against his abuse of power. Last month, inspired by the success of Libya’s NTC, opposition �igures founded the Syrian National Council. This umbrella organisation will be an effective focal point for the Syrian uprising to rally around, and has already been recognised by the new Libyan administration as the rightful government of Syria. As well as being useful for the coordination of dissidence, the SNC also allows Syria’s opposition to speak with a united voice, expressing their intentions with clarity. Far from being a violent extremist Islamist movement, as Assad has sought to characterise them, the SNC is made up of diverse movements, from ethnic mi-

nority representatives to pro-democracy protestors, grass-roots organisations and the Muslim Brotherhood. This multi-faceted movement can legitimately claim to speak for much of Syria’s population, completely undermining Assad’s characterisation of them as violent, sectarian terrorists. Sections of Syria’s opposition have also begun to engage in military action. Since July, government security forces involved in suppressing the protestors have come under attack from the ‘Free Syrian Army’. Comprised primarily of soldiers who have defected to the opposition, this group has carried out guerrilla-style attacks against Assad’s forces and encouraged others to defect. Whilst it’s encouraging to see protestors defended from Assad’s militias, the increasing levels of violence on both sides of the political divide have led to speculation that Syria

will descend into full-blown civil war. Whilst the outcome of Libya’s civil war has seen a relatively swift victory for Gadda�i’s opponents, it has not been without major bloodshed. There is no reason that levels of violence wouldn’t be the same in Syria. We also shouldn’t ignore the debate about foreign intervention in Syria. After the relative success which NATO enjoyed in Libya, some have suggested it should aid the Syrian opposition too. Though much of the opposition protest against intervention, the Muslim Brotherhood have called for assistance from NATO, and this perspective has also seen some support in the west, notably from former presidential candidate senator John McCain. It should be borne in mind, however, that Syria and Libya aren’t the same. The diplomatic situation surrounding Assad is much more complex than for Gadda�i, whose unpopularity

made support for intervention easy to come by. The Arab League, Russia and China are highly unlikely to support foreign interference. Even in simple geographic terms, the complexity of Syria’s terrain would make military action incredibly dif�icult in comparison with Libya. This multitude of factors has led NATO commanders to rule out any action. So while Assad clings to power, he cannot be ignorant of the growing momentum against him. With Ben Ali of Tunisia in exile, Egypt’s Mubarak awaiting trial and Gadda�i in an unmarked grave, Syria’s president must look around him and realise he cannot ignore pleas for reform for much longer. Whether the situation ends with Assad stepping down or a bloody drawn-out war, it is clear that the Syrian opposition will not be silenced any time soon.


11

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

comment

Poundland get picky about poppies Georgina Moule

A

Poundland employee in Northern Ireland last week walked out of work after being asked to remove her Remembrance poppy, apparently due to it contravening with ‘uniform policy’. However, many people have since voiced their opinions about the little red pieces of paper that become part of our national landscape every November. In a recent statement, Poundland said that whilst they were not “against employees wearing poppies”, they were simply not allowed on the shop �loor, as they were not part of the uniform. The decision has since been reversed, but the question still remains: should we be judged for deciding not to wear a poppy? And why do we wear them in the �irst place? Wearing a poppy can be interpreted in many different ways, and each person has a different motivation for wearing one. For some, it symbolises respect for those that died during past con�licts, and isn’t a statement of modern political beliefs. For others, it is a symbol of allegiance to, and continued support for the armed forces. Equally though, people can remember those who died �ighting without wearing a poppy. It’s not as though not wearing a poppy is to besmirch the names of those who died �ighting Hitler. Poppies don’t just represent respect for past generations. They are a symbol of support for the armed forces in ongoing con�licts. Men and women in Afghanistan are making huge sacri�ices, and regardless of whether or not you support the war, it’s hard to deny that what they’re doing is sel�less, and they deserve respect for doing such a dif�icult and demanding job. The Salvation Army spend nearly £1.4 million a week delivering support to service men and women and their families, and obviously the an-

nual Poppy Appeal brings in a huge amount of money to enable them to continue this work. But, do we really need to demonstrate our respect for the armed forces outwardly? Jon Snow, the Channel 4 News presenter, has come under �ire in the past for refusing to wear a poppy on air. He reasons that as he gets asked to wear so many symbols for charities and its impossible to wear them all, it’s fairer to wear no symbols at all. I completely disagree with the notion that he should be criticised

so heavily for choosing not to wear one until Remembrance Sunday, and am completely against the culture of ‘poppy fascism’ that has developed so fervently in recent years. People are free to make their own decisions, and we as a society should respect that. I personally do not wear a poppy. Yes, I’ll buy one if I’m asked, the money goes to a good cause, and obviously I feel immensely grateful to the men and women who witnessed, and did terrible things in order to protect the country I call home. However we

are lucky enough to live in a society where we can make our own decisions. The people we’re remembering on 11 November fought so that we could all hold our own opinions and continue to express ourselves freely. So yes, Poundland were wrong to deny somebody the right to express such a big part of our national identity, but if people have the right to wear such emblems, we must also respect the opinon of those who choose not to don the iconic �lower.

A war veteran takes part in an emotional Rememberance Day parade. Photography: Chris Beckett (Flickr)

Solution to ballooning obesity epidemic found? Laura Wotton

S

hef�ield Children’s Hospital has proposed giving ten obese 1318 year olds gastric balloon to aid weight loss, sparking much debate. The ‘balloons’ are effectively designed to reduce overeating by in�lating the stomach and, as a consequence, generate the sensation of being ‘full-up’. The scheme at �irst seems insensible, gastric bands largely being used to treat older patients who have attempted weight loss for years. Yet in light of this rising epidemic of overweight children, doctors have credited the proposal as a look into the future in terms of children’s health. The scheme, if approved, will aid the growing number of children affected

by weight related diabetes. Expert paediatrician, Professor Julian Shield, stated that “the children we see with type 2 diabetes who really struggle to lose weight with other methods have all the health issues that adult diabetics have”, signaling the necessity to develop new means of reducing body fat beyond simple weight loss programmes. Yet, as with most medical proposals, there are ethics to consider. The introduction of such ‘foreign objects’ to children’s bodies seems irresponsible and counterintuitive to the ultimate goal - a longterm �ix. Children will not have fully developed yet, and many critics of the proposal have deemed it an overly drastic measure for an issue that can be sorted through regular exercise and a balanced diet. Nevertheless, it is surely sensible to grant the proposed treatment to the obese children who have tried and failed with other alternatives. Dr. Neil Wright, a consultant paediatrician at Shef�ield Children’s Hospital, claims the procedure was “intended as an option for young people where other treatments have not been successful”.

If the trial is approved, the teenagers selected for the procedure will also receive a ‘bonus package’ of medical checks for illnesses such as diabetes and depression and a long-term support system that will encourage the young patients to make changes to their lifestyle. Indeed, enthusiasts see the scheme as by far the best method

It is surely sensible to grant the proposed treatment to the obese children who have tried and failed with other alternatives in aiding weight loss as not only does it provide an alternative to gastric surgery but also it combines both a long and short-term ‘remedy’ to the issue.

However, this seemingly ‘faultless solution’ is littered with medical complications. The teenagers granted with gastric balloons might be subject to nausea, abdominal discomfort, bouts of indigestion and back pain following the balloon placement, not to mention the theoretical risk that balloon may rupture causing obstruction to the bowel. Yet when considering the hefty health risks of obesity itself, one might argue that a solution must be prioritized, rather than a preoccupation with the rare side effects or risks of the procedure. With recent statistics revealing the UK’s relentless increase in teenage obesity rates and the disease costing the NHS roughly £2 billion a year, the gastric balloon scheme seems a positive alternative to surgery and other weight loss programmes and an essential solution to the obesity pandemic threatening the lives of Britain’s younger generation.

Emails in response to the articles should be sent to editor.union@ncl.ac.uk

This week I’ve learnt... Becky Orwin

...how good a bath really can be

I think it’s reached that point of the Fresher’s �irst term when everyone has suddenly realised that they haven’t seen their mum for a really long time. I am not at all ashamed to say that I am most de�initely one of those people. As a result of this thinly-veiled homesickness, I bit the bullet and bought my train tickets for this week, expecting to return home to a welcoming fanfare of trumpets, shameless pampering and (most importantly) at least three Terry’s chocolate oranges. To be fair to my parents, they met pretty much all of these requirements, despite the fact that I greeted them with words to the effect of “Hi Mum, hi Dad, lovely to see you, now excuse me whilst I have a bath”. And my God, what a glorious experience it was. Baths have always been a favourite pastime of mine, but this – being my �irst one in six weeks – was in a whole new, magical league of its own. And the food, too! On announcing my long-awaited return, I also gave my mum a list of preferred meals, which basically listed all the food I either can’t afford, or is beyond my admittedly fairly basic culinary abilities. My mum, bless her, delivered on every count, and even Grandma went above and beyond in the effort to provide vast quantities of cake, because I was “looking thinner” (not true, sadly). I have to say, moving out seems to have done wonders for my familial standing – I’m pretty sure those two days were the most spoiled and pandered to I’ve felt in the 18 years of my life. Even illness never incited that kind of attention – and believe me, I tried. Even my little brother was being suspiciously nice to me (though, as it turns out, he did actually want something). I was a bit worried, on going home, that university might start to feel like it was one big, long dream – like I’d never actually gone anywhere. But thankfully it didn’t feel like that at all. There were certainly elements of weirdness, and a very tense reintroduction to driving (it is not like riding a bike...), but it felt more like a sort of weekend holiday in which I got to choose all of the activities. A pretty awesome holiday, basically. But, when I sitting on the train taking me back to Newcastle, I had a really weird combination of feelings – sadness, to be leaving home again; excitement, at being reunited with my new University friends; worry, that the guy on the seat opposite me looked a bit psychopathic; and gratitude to my family for giving me such a brilliant couple of days. Returning to University was a distinctly bittersweet moment, but it made me realise how glad I am to have a home away from home. Also, being as the next time I’m going to see my family is December, I think this means I can of�icially begin the countdown to Christmas.


12

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

comment

Horri�ic homophobic attacks must stop

Bridget Hamilton

A

vicious assault on two men at a gay bar has left a bitter taste in the mouths of those campaigning against hate crime and homophobia this week. One young man sustains horri�ic burns on his face and forearms, another on his hands and forearms after being sprayed with �lammable liquid and set alight in the smoking area of the Rainbow and Dove pub on Charles Street, Leicester in the early hours of Tuesday October 25. Despite owners insisting this incident was not homophobic, the local LGBT community has been left shocked and distraught. This comes but days after the brutally beaten and burnt body of 28-year-old Stuart Walker was found by the roadside in an industrial estate in Cumnock. Again the police are not ruling out, but not con�irming the attack to be homophobic. These vicious events coincide with candlelight vigils being held this week in most major cities of the UK to make a stand against hate crime. The vigil in Leicester was situated outside the Rainbow and Dove in support of Rob-

ert and Russell, the two injured men. A status update on the pub’s Facebook page thanked everyone for their support: “I knew we had a strong Gay Community in Leicester but I’ve been so touched by the �lood of well wishes and support for not only Robert and Russell but also our team of staff”. At present it is still illegal to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered in around 80 countries, some 41 of whom are members of the Commonwealth. In several, having a relationship with a member of the same sex justi�ies a punishment as severe as being put to death. This weekend the 54 Commonwealth leaders held their annual summit meeting in Perth and Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General, was at the forefront of a campaign to ensure the decriminalisation of homosexuality in every one of these remaining countries. Despite over 27,500 signatures on the online petition ‘We Are Not Illegal’ – which claims it wants to show leaders that “a massive global outcry is bubbling up in their own countries and demanding fairness” – the summit was unable to establish an of�icial human rights charter. This has failed to send out a clear message of equality; now another year must pass before homosexual or bisexual citizens of countries such as Cameroon and Kenya can love exactly who they choose. Since the summit, Prime Minister David Cameron has threatened to withhold aid from countries he sees

Gay Pride events around the world are taking a stance against homophobia. Photography: Guillame Paumier (Flickr)

as failing to “adhere to proper human rights”. This drastically controversial approach is, while admirable, a double-edged sword. Will communities �inally start welcoming LGBT citizens with open arms when they are being withheld vital aid?

Whether the incident in Leicester’s Rainbow and Dove was homophobic or otherwise, it is disheartening to think that a pub where members of the LGBT community can feel safe and at ease has been rattled by such a terrible event. Perhaps it can serve

as a reminder to us all that despite being one of the most gay-friendly countries in terms of law, we need to be pro-active in providing support on our own doorsteps as well as putting the necessary pressure on other nations to do the same.

Best of this week’s online responses Re: Spy on your flatmate or face fine, students told. Former Ricky Roader: Another example of the fraud that is the Accommodation Service. Absolutely outrageous. They’re just money grabbers. And despite all their money, the standard of the Richardson Road flats is worse than anything I’ve seen at other universities. Anonymous: My flat were made to pay for a replacement kitchen floor in Ricky Road because of a 5mm cigarette burn when non of us even smoked. Because none of us owned up to it (it could have been there when we moved in from all we knew) they took £10 admin fee off each of us earning themselves £50 bonus. The accommodation services have no respect for students and will use any excuse to take money from them. Re: The Turner Prize: What is the point of modern art anyway Jonathan Smith: I agree this was a pretty pointless article and quite offensive to the strong art culture the north east has gained in recent years. If you want to know why funding for the arts is being drastically reduced go and take a look at the exhibition and the other stuff in the baltic. In my opinion this has to be the worst exhibition and turner prize I’ve ever seen, this was definitely not a true reflection on what ‘modern’ or contemporary art is or has to offer. Its so unfortunate that this the kind of stuff that gets through the gap so people i.e the general public are effectively told “this is modern art” Having spent a considerable amount of time on my career as an artist and been included in some important exhibitions this was just a huge kick in the teeth looking at the work put before me.

The baltic is an amazing art gallery and fantastic exhibition space which has been completely wasted at the moment. For example, has anyone even looked at whats on offer on the top floor? Video projections of a man dressed as baby. Enough said if you ask me. DMC: @jonathan smith – I gotta say to be fair i think it was pretty ballsy of the baltic to show the mike kelley & michael smith show alongside the baltic (although on this occassion I agree it’s not a great show), and also the absolutely fantastic piece by matt stokes they had on during the opening night. those are/were arguably two pieces of art that are controversial due to their nature in the eyes of people not used to contemporary art and certainly artists and installations that the majority of the general public and casual art fans probably would not bother to go see or even be aware of had it not been in the building during the turner prize. whilst certainly not being everyone’s cup of tea i think it’s great they chose to put on such daring and controversial/devisive pieces as these as it means more people have that chance to engage with them and experience something that is genuinely new and challenging, even if they turn out to dislike it, art is all about challenging perceptions and offering up different ways of seeing and all that jazz… I must say I agree on the turner prize not being great, but for me its just because it’s a rather tame show, there’s nobody there really pushing boundaries, boyce could have but I think has played it safe, same with karla black and her lush sponsored installation and I think both shaw and loyd are extremely dull. To respond to this week’s articles visit

thecourieronline.co.uk


No feng shui, no partay

How to transform dull student lodgings into a place worth calling your own page 14

Breaking into games

We visit the Newcastle-based makers of Driver to ask how to get into the industry page 30

lifestyle fashion music ďŹ lm arts science tv careers


14

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

lifestylefeatures

Perk up your pad

thecourieronline.co.uk/lifestyle c2.lifestyle@ncl.ac.uk

Colour it pretty

Blu-tack stained walls, brown carpets, drab shelves and a lot to organise? Check out our handy guide on how to brighten your boudoir

Get creative

Pinboards If you’re stuck for wall space, a pin board is quick way to add some personality to your room. Cover it in photos, postcards and messages from friends and family. Another great idea is a “Wall of Shame” full of embarrassing photos, private jokes and unforgettable one liners from your �latmates. Guaranteed laughs when you look back later on in the year!

Maps Maps are a great way to bring a touch of home to Newcastle, and it’s something a bit different to show off to your �latmates. Either buy one of your hometown and cover it in photos from home, or print out smaller ones from online and frame them. A big map of the world is a nice idea too, good for inspiration when thinking of places to go on your next “Lads on Tour” or cultural inter-railing trip. And more importantly, they can be a great way to procrastinate.

Bunting and fairylights

Still got blank canvases? What about stringing bunting or fairy lights across your room? It can make your room look cosier and help beat away the homesick blues. Alternatively, how about clubbing together with your �latmates and making a chain out of all the paper bracelets that club promoters have given you in the street, and hanging it up in your living room. Not only does it prove your social butter�ly status, but it’s also a unique talking point.

Words and Photography: Emily Rae Georgina Moule


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

featureslifestyle

Lifetsyle Editors:Ben Parkin and Olivia Mason Online Lifestyle Editor: Emma Balter

Co-ordinate Decide on a colour scheme to make your room more homely. With the drab carpet and curtains that are an obligatory part of student accommodation, having a few items of the same colour can really make it look more welcoming. Let’s face it, as a student you’re going to be spending a lot of time in bed. Forget Fresher’s stories - we’re talking sleeping and working. Is a white bed set, admittedly the cheapest, really the most practical? (Think UV Paint and highlighters!) Buying bright sheets and duvets can inject an instant burst of colour. However, you don’t just have to go for block colours; think prints and patterns. Sheets sorted, what about cushions think bed by night, couch by day. Practical for when you have friends round, but also great for adding colour to your room. The contrasting pink and green tones of this bed complement each other perfectly , and the throw is a quick �ix for colour. With the winter season coming you may also be grateful for something to snuggle up to in bed. And for only £4 from Matalan there’s no excuse.

Bathroom to bedroom A simple way to brighten up your room is by buying a rug. However, forking out for a rug doesn’t normally feature as a top priority in the average student’s weekly budget. May sound strange, but what about a bath mat? No, not of the rubber variety. You can get vibrant mats for only £4 from Primark! Better yet, pop the rug under your mirror and then you don’t have to worry about make up or hair gel spillages. Remember, mirrors make even the smallest room look bigger, so more the merrier. However if you’re really on a budget, buy some ribbon and stick it along the edges of your shelves or windowsills – it can really help tie the colours in your room together, and for only a few quid too!

Snap happy If all else fails, order photo prints online and cover your room with them. Theyre great to look at if you’re ever feeling homesick, and also a good talking point if your new friends are over. Loads of websites do 50 free prints when you sign up, and you only have to pay postage (at only 99p Snap�ish is a good place to start), so you could decorate your room for almost nothing! Or, buy some coloured frames and put your favourites up. A fool proof way to make your room look more cheerful.

15

Top ways

to pimp your crib

We’ve all been there, left with an empty, impersonal and echoing room that is supposed to host you during the upcoming year. Virginia Woolf once said; “A woman needs time and a room of one’s own to write.” She probably meant the furnishing as well, so the key to successful study would be a nice place to do it. You presumably don’t want to cut off your party budget in favour of investing in expensive pieces of art, though, so don’t worry, here are the top ways to decorate your room.

Student planner

A student planner designed for your wall gives you an easy overlook of the work you have to do (or a reminder while you’ve forgotten to do something). You can make one yourself or get one cheap at any well-stocked bookstore. You can always improve a boring planner with some stickers and colourful pens.

Flowers

Some people say that �lowers bring life to a room. Maybe they do, but either way they’re still a nice accessory for your room. Just make sure you pick a type that is easy to handle. Aloe and Golden Cane Palm can handle a dark climate (which can be good during party/hangoverweeks when you must escape daylight).

Mirror

Space out Space, or lack of, is always an issue with student accommodation. This is why you need to be savvy and save space wherever possible. Storing stuff under your bed in plastic boxes is hardly rocket science, but have you ever thought of a shoe rack to hang on the inside of your wardrobe door? You can �ind them on Amazon for under a tenner. They’re suitable for guys and girls alike – the pockets are big enough to withhold both chunky trainers and stilettos.

Hangers

If you’re stuck for space on your dressing table or desk, try organising accessories using hangers on the back of your door or in your wardrobe. Primark has some awesome accessory hangers at the moment, and they’re colourful too.

Shoe boxes

When it comes to hair gel or hairspray, an easy and cost-ef�icient way to store products is to keep old shoe boxes, cover them in some funky wrapping paper, and stack them up neatly on a shelf. Also, in terms of work, organising your studies can help brighten up your bedroom too. Head to WHSmith and grab yourself some brightly coloured �iles. They may not sound a big deal but they can make your desk an interesting feature of your room rather than just a place to slog at your work.

Post-it notes

Leading on from this, instead of writing a “Things To Do” list, how about writing up tasks and things to Use wall space remember on post-it notes and sticktoabove hang ing them yourbags desk. Again, as well asand keeping you organised, clothes on you’re inadvertently making your room brighter.

What’s up with accommodation insisting mirrors aren’t a necessity of life? (except for that sticky bathroom mirror in which you have to perform climbing skills on the toilet to get a whole-�igure-glimpse). You can easily solve this problem with a trip to IKEA or Wilkinsons. Both stores have offers under a �iver and most mirrors even come with glue.

Pictures of friends and family

There’s no place like home. Even though it’s nice to live independently, the homesickness will sneak in. Thank God for Skype. While waiting for your beloveds to get online, you can always enjoy pictures of them. If you forgot to bring some, there are lots of ways to get them. Print some out in the Robinson Library or get them professionally printed in town. Put them in a frame or directly on the wall and you won’t feel alone again.

Items from the Sunday market

You can get some really nice decorations at the Sunday market by the riverside. The market is open every Sunday from 10am until around 4pm. Bring your friends and get some exercise as well as shopping. The market offers all you can imagine - dream catchers, small soft elephants on strings, beautiful photographs and signs with retro prints… The point is, you will easily �ind items that will give your room that personal touch. Take the chance to improve your haggling skills as well. Enjoy! Evelina Malteson


16

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

lifestylefeatures

thecourieronline.co.uk/lifestyle c2.lifestyle@ncl.ac.uk

Walking in a workout wonderland Shorthand NU-Think Nonie Heal

Who?

The NU-think society

I’m sorry, who..?

Well that’s what I thought; who indeed? NU-think promotes ‘science as the best way of understanding the world around us.’ At the end of last summer there was a variety of established religious groups, but none which took a secular approach. NU-think was the answer.

But not to their prayers I take it…

Science and reason are endorsed as the best tools for both comprehending and questioning what people believe in - from alternative medicines to the big faith questions. That doesn’t mean that the religious aren’t allowed or aren’t involvedthey are just sceptical about other issues.

Sounds like a whole lot of controversy if you ask me.

Perhaps it is- but then again, perhaps that’s the point. There’s a broad intake of students (“there’s not a typical member” a point con�irmed by various ‘sly’ glances around the debate, amid consumption of the chocolate crispy cake handed out on arrival - a sure winner for the less intellectually curious…) and topics discussed. “But our society is ready to weather any storms we may encounter.”

Epic. So what went down when you attended? (Aside from cruising your way through the entirety of the free food)

A really interesting talk about ownership of the body and the ethics of using cell tissues in research. Religion values the body even after someone has passed away, but where do others stand?

Luiza Stefanova investigates how to shed those pesky pounds this winter

When you’re bored of all the regular exercises at the gym, when you’re fed up of all the unpleasant healthy recipes in style magazines – it’s time to cheer up, think more creatively and boost your con�idence! It’s possible to have fun while losing weight- meet the �ive alternative rules of how to stay FIT in winter time!

It’s a fact that pole dancing burns as many as 250 calories every hour- an equivalent of a good gym session. You not only train your bottom but do a lot for your stomach and leg muscles and the twirling and swinging will improve your �lexibility and posture. After a few sessions of this it will certainly improve your con�idence, give you a great laugh and maybe even start up a new hobby.

Put the Heels ON, babes!

It’s time to put your favourite and elegant heels on but not just for the nights out. It is not too comfy, I agree, but be a bit brave and take the challenge. Find out a reasonable height for you (don’t overdo it with 10 inches high as you’ll suffer the pain) and walk to school, hang around with friends and go shopping. Many �itness instructors and researches claim that wearing heels daily really tones your bum. Sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? It will accentuate your features and the idea that ‘the taller you appear, the more ignorant people are of your weight’, works!

Flirting

Don’t sacri�ice your emotions and curves by starving! It never helps! Enjoy yourself and don’t let the cold weather halt your nights out, friends’ visits or walks to the shops. If the perfect guy has not appeared, keep on searching for him. Put the heels and seductive dresses on and show your best out�it at the closest cafe and shopping centre. Flirting always raises your positive mood and seductiveness.

Get in love

Holidays!

When you’re in love you start losing weight straight away. It’s the time when you release a lot of happy hormones which enormously improve your metabolism. Scientists have also proved that feeling pleased and optimistic works great for your body tone, self-esteem and outlook. There’s no such thing as the need for a bar of chocolate or a piece of strawberry cheesecake to make you smile. The butter�lies in your stomach, the pressure and anticipation for your date, is what keeps you energetic and alive. Illustration: Jennifer Dodsworth

You tell me.

Wintertime gives great opportunities to visit foreign countries, explore different cultures and meet new people. De�initely don’t stay home searching the web for good cake recipes or watching �ilms with muf�ins and hot chocolate! You should be out, walking, having fun and choosing gifts for your friends. It’s a great way to stay away from the gym, be excited and live healthily! So, don’t store up the fat in the hostile winter weather! Be active and release your happy hormones. You can always look fabulous without making much effort!

Ask Aunty Angela After a fun-filled weekend of far too many sweet treats, Aunty Angela hangs up her catwoman outfit for another year and is here again to offer her worldly advice

I couldn’t; there are many different opinions - as proven in society at large and in this, smaller one. Having broadened their horizons to a skeptics’ society “we also deal with all manner of supernatural and fantastical claims” as well.

Skeptics? This sounds eternal - I thought they doubted everything…

No - not at all. “It’s the application of reason to any and all ideas.” These people are looking for reliable evidence, not disregarding it. Plus the society (48 members at the last count) has variety - quizzes and day trips as well as a themed social are all on the cards.

Help! I just can’t say no. Whenever anyone asks me to do anything I just have to say yes. So I’m stressed all the time and feel like such a push over - what should I do?

Actually, the society goes one better. Not only did some of the members meet Professor Richard Dawkins (the evolutionary biologist and atheist proponent) he also gave the society his approval. More ‘high pro�ile’ events are scheduled too - but for now, “you’ll just have to wait and see by keeping a keen eye on our Facebook page”.

Well, I think you’re just going to have to man up and say no every now and then. People will start to push you around and take you for granted if you’re not careful. I’m not saying stop all together, no one wants to be friends with someone selfish, but it’s better to be that reliable friend they can always turn to than the person who is used and then dropped when the situation is sorted.

Radical. Anticipating the in�lux of inebriated Einsteins already…

Pole Dancing

My boyfriend is always smoking weed and I don’t know what to do. I am fairly easy-going and don’t want to be the killjoy girlfriend telling him not to smoke in front of all his friends. I just think it’s a horrible habit but don’t know how to approach the subject without causing a row. Well �irst and foremost you will not be a killjoy. I couldn’t stand it if my boyfriend was smoking weed all the time. It smells! I think you should say that you don’t like it, but don’t try and stop it altogether because then he will think you are trying to control him, and we all know how men have to feel like they are calling all the shots. He has to make this decision on his own, and if he doesn’t then my advice is get out of there - you don’t want to be with someone who might have a problem. Harsh but true, I’m afraid.

Whenever I have sex with my girlfriend she always makes a noise like a cat at the moment of climax. It’s ruining the whole experience for me but I don’t want to hurt her feelings or make her embarrassed by telling her. Help! The problem with this is how fragile it is. I don’t think you will ever be able to tell her without embarrassing her because it’s a moment of complete loss of control and you’re telling her that you are turned off by something she can’t really help. If it really is that distracting then you will have to tell her, but you must be gentle. Don’t be harsh or point it out as it being negative in any way, but maybe ask if she notices herself doing it? That way you could make it funny or endearing without embarrassing her.

If you have any issues you need help with, email Aunty Angela at c2.lifestyle@ ncl.ac.uk


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

sex&relationshipslifestyle

Blind Date Mark Wanzala-Ryan, 2nd year Economics and Maths, meets Sophie Pearson, 3rd year Medicinal chemistry Mark on Sophie

Sophie on Mark

First Impressions?

First Impressions?

Although I did feel a tad nervous before we met, the nerves left as soon as I greeted her. We immediately started a good conversation on our way to see Ghostbusters at Tyneside Cinema. Sophie was really relaxed, talkative and good-looking too. This meant I was able to feel comfortable and this set the tone for a rather fun date!

What did you talk about?

We talked about a variety of things. I gained a good insight into Sophie’s life and what her hopes are for the future. We exchanged amusing stories about nights out in Newcastle and about our time at Richardson Road, where we had both stayed in �irst year! We talked about our experiences of Leeds Festival too as we’d both been on numerous occasions. She’d also been to a fair amount of gigs, like myself, so we talked about bands we’d seen live. The list goes on and on. She also told me a good drinking game which I intend to try!

Any awkward moments?

I managed to resist Facebook stalking before the date so when Mark turned up I had no expectations. He greeted me with a hug and was the perfect gentleman, paying for the cinema, where we saw the classic, and very appropriate, Ghostbusters. Turns out Mark had never seen it before so I was very keen for him to experience the brilliance of the �ilm.

What did you talk about?

We chatted about pretty much everything really. I’m a massive fan of small talk so we covered everything from family to our horri�ically embarrassing nights out. I stupidly went �irst in telling the embarrassing stories and it turns out that not everyone is as big a mess as me and his story of merely throwing up after a few sounded to me like one of my quiet nights in.

Any awkward moments?

For me there weren’t any awkward moments. After the �ilm we went for lunch and the conversation never really stopped, although next time I should probably order a less messy sandwich!

There were no awkward silences as we were both quite chatty. Although, when I expressed my love/obsession for Harry Potter, he said that he had only seen the �ilms which, if the subject had not been changed, could have got a bit awkward.

Anything in common?

We actually have a fair amount in common. We are both from Yorkshire (I’m from Bradford and she’s from Hudders�ield), which is always good, and we also have similar tastes in music.

Best thing about them?

I’d say the best thing about her is that she’s really chilled out and down-toearth, which meant I was really comfortable being around her.

Did you go anywhere afterwards?

After the �ilm we went for lunch at Olive and Bean, where we had a nice long chat! I then took her to Monument Metro and she went home.

Would you meet again?

Yes I would. Sophie was easy going and good company and it meant awkward moments didn’t occur. It would be quite good to meet up in a less formal setting!

Marks out of 10?

I’m going to give an 8/10, I had a really enjoyable afternoon. In addition, Ghostbusters was awesome.

Anything in common?

He was from the best place in the world, West Yorkshire, like me, so we spent a lot of time discussing our many Leeds Fest weekends and all the bands we’ve seen - turns out we’ve been to many of the same gigs.

Best thing about them?

Mark was really easy to chat to and we were never stuck for things to talk about. He also walked me to the Metro when he wasn’t even going home - very sweet.

Did you go anywhere afterwards?

After the cinema we went to a cute deli and had a natter over some really nice food. I was quite glad it was a sandwich-only kind of place since (as most of my friends are fully aware) I am not the most elegant of eaters and pasta in particular would have been a nightmare!

Would you meet again?

I would de�initely meet up again, if not I’m sure I’ll bump into him in Sinners at some point given that I spend most of my life in there.

Marks out of 10?

I’ll give Mark a 7.5/10.

17

Tashin’ on in the Toon Victoria Mole When you take into account that the head and the heart aren’t the only anatomy people consult when making life-changing decisions, the logic (or lack thereof) behind them becomes easier to understand. Unfortunately as a species we’re not quite capable of circulating enough blood to keep all of these organs performing to their best simultaneously yet, and on that note, I’m sure we can all sympathise with the person who coined the term ‘boneheaded’. The irony is: we can’t consciously separate the functions of these organs either. We’ve all known of a solely physical relationship that saw one person fall for the other without it being reciprocated. With male/female friendships and casual sex at a peak, it’s all too common for people to be left feeling like ‘the one that got away’ is the one they never had. If you develop emotional attachments easily, avoid casual relationships like you should avoid men in Uggs. Ask yourself: how did you react as a child when you dropped your favourite teddy in a cowpat? Your heartbreak survival potential is a matter of knowing how easily you can replace the centre of your world when they’re full of crap, and understanding that you will never feel exactly the same way about someone after sleeping with them. Whether it’s the stranger from Halloween or the buff one off your course, you will either want them more or less after sex. A ‘no strings’ rendezvous can also be dangerous for those who don’t have the ego of Russell Brand. Having hair that greasy and being that charismatic without some degree of intoxication takes a lot of self-security. People often forget what a compliment it is when someone wants a relationship with them; moreover, it’s easy to take it personally when someone you’re close to doesn’t want one. This is because, in the words of Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different” (basically if you’re a bit crazy, you’re more likely to be loved-up on Valentine’s Day). Truth be told, I’ve never been hit on more than when wearing a frumpy boiler-suit (looking like an orange Teletubby) to Riverside for a Mis�its-themed birthday. Note also that you want to be irreplaceable rather than just unforgettable: some behaviour is more likely to have you being given shock-therapy than kept around for shock value. I sometimes wonder why some of my friends are single, only to realise that many �it the ‘beautiful, intelligent, funny’ bill and it’s not rare enough; clearly natural selection has worked in men’s favour and sadly women �ind moronic behaviour too endearing for it to die out. The times when you think Cupid should be drop-kicked into a cowpat can be dif�icult, especially when ‘Jar of Hearts’ starts playing in the gym and your pride-worthy (for a couch potato) jog turns into a de�lated plod. Getting back into the game can involve anything from a jig on the treadmill to LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I Know It’, to a walk of shame across the city centre in an obscenely bright dress... so long as you don’t cause yourself or anyone else an injury, moving on should be as fun or embarrassing as you wish to make it.


18

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

lifestyle

A bloody good idea

Michelle Janetschek explains the importance of giving blood and her personal experience 600 blood donations are needed every day by hospitals in the North East. Last year over two million donations were collected. In order to provide hospitals in Britain with enough blood, the NHS needs at least 7000 donors to step forward every day, and around 300,000 new donors are needed every year in order to replace those who are no longer able to give blood. In contrast with other countries, in Britain donating blood is run by the state - on a voluntary basis. “This makes British blood one of the safest in the whole world,” says Lorna Taylor, Donor Relations Co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant. “Young donors are really important for us,” she adds. Statistics recently showed that only 14% of blood-donors are less than 30 years old. More than two thirds are over the age of 40, which means the blood donor population is slowly ageing and therefore the number of donors is decreasing every day. As a result, the NHS Blood and Transplant, NHSBT, tries to increase young people’s awareness, especially at university, to secure future donors. From a personal point of view, I have to admit that my �irst experience giving blood was really bad. A friend convinced me to do something for a good cause. I was going through a rough patch myself, as a family member had just been diagnosed with cancer, so I decided to donate blood. Even if my blood could not help her, maybe it would be useful for someone else. In general, blood is a lifesaver for those who have been in an accident or need it to survive treatments and operations.

Beauty basics

Quenching that winter skin

Winter is a beautiful season, with snow, Christmas, and holidays, but a coin has two sides and along with the beauty of winter there come some side-effects to it too, dry skin being one of them. Dry skin feels stretchy, causes itching, and, in extreme cases, cracking and bleeding. Since the skin is our �irst line of defence from germs and infection, it deserves to be pampered! So here are some top tips to protect your largest organ:

Because it’s worth it

Invest in good skin products. Your skin deserves the best. See the label for your skin type and if in doubt ask the salesperson for help.

Moisturise

Apply moisturizer to the whole body right after bathing while the skin is still soft. Hot water causes the skin to dehydrate, so when washing your face try using warm water instead of just hot.

Think natural

A few natural products are very good for extreme dry skin. Instead of face wash, use a cotton ball to apply milk to your face, wait till it dries then wash it off - it makes the skin soft and supple!

Consider your environment

Other causes of skin dehydration are air conditioning and central heating. If you

More speci�ically, blood is separated into its constituent parts and used in various treatments. Red blood cells are essential when a great amount of blood is lost, for example, in accidents, surgery or after childbirth. Platelets can be used for chemotherapy and leukaemia treatments. Processed plasma may help the production of stronger antibodies against diseases like tetanus, hepatitis and chickenpox. After I arrived at the donation centre and had something to drink, I was checked by a doctor, who asked me several questions. Everything appeared to be good; the blood was valuable, so I laid down on the bed and tried to relax. I am not necessarily afraid of needles or blood, but really afraid of pain. A nervous-looking nurse started unpacking all the material needed. I was certain that something was bound to go wrong and was considering for a second the consequences of jumping up and running away. Convinced that, with a weak circulation, fainting was a de�inite option, I saw myself lying on the �loor in a puddle of blood. The question remaining was why the hell people even consider giving blood. Maybe it was my attitude, maybe I jinxed it, but the lovely nurse was not able to �ind a vein in my arms. As a result, I left the donation centre without leaving any blood behind, without even having had a chance to faint because of blood loss, but with two hurting arms, which turned blue and green after a few hours. For two days, getting dressed presented itself as a demanding challenge, as whenever I tried to raise my arm I was faced with intense pain. It was a mild disaster. Despite my experience, normally it is

keep a damp cloth on the radiator it will dry within no time - the same thing happens to your skin. To avoid this, keep a bowl or mug of water close to the radiator so that your skin is not the �irst thing to get dehydrated (but take care not to spill it!).

Don’t forget your feet!

To cure or avoid cracked heels slather petroleum jelly on your feet and put socks on right before getting in bed. The jelly heals the skin and the socks prevent the jelly from going all over the duvet!

CTM

Follow the basic skin care routine of CTM: cleansing, toning and moisturizing. It hardly takes any time and trust me, your skin will thank you!

Exfoliate

Scrubbing at least once a week removes the dead and �laky skin, making it look fresh and radiant.

Keep hydrated

Last but not least, drink water! That’s the best cure for any problem and during winter we hardly pay water any attention. Juices, colas and coffees have sugar and other ingredients in which further promote dehydration, so the best thirst quencher inside and out is good ol’ H2O! Ridu Bhatia

fairly easy to give blood as nearly everyone is quali�ied to donate. There are a few rules. For example, the donor should not be drunk, ill, hungover or pregnant. The minimum age is 17, the maximum age 65 years, the ideal weight is at least 7st 12lb. Tattoos or piercings should have been done more than 4 months ago. Once all those factors can be ruled out, the actual donation can take place, which only takes around ten minutes. However, all the processes involved in the donation can take up to an hour. Everyone afraid of needles and blood should give the urge to do something good a second thought or consider anaesthesia for the arm. The needles used are really small and even though a donation is not necessarily comfortable, 10 minutes will pass by fast. It is often forgotten that blood donation also has a bureaucratic side. There are a few things that need to be done. First of all, every prospective donor needs to register, which can be done either online or by phone. Then an invitation is sent with an appointment and a form, with general questions concerning health issues. At the appointment, a basic donor health check is carried out, looking, for example, for things like anaemia (low red blood cell count). During the donation, a sample is taken, which is checked before your blood is put to good use. Every unit is split into red blood cells, plasma and platelets which are then donated to hospitals around

I have never... waxed

Let’s face it girls, when it comes to female pampering the bane of our lives is hair! Why is it there? How can I get rid of it? When it comes to effectively getting rid of those persistent hairs and avoiding the dreaded shaver’s rash, it’s all about the wax. My housemate, Charlotte Geoghegan, was a waxing virgin so I decided to help get rid of her stubbly ways, by taking her for her �irst ever wax. We went to Serenity in the City on Osbourne Road as not only is it a lovely beauty clinic but it also offers an amazing 20% student discount on Tuesdays. Following her waxing experience I asked her a few questions and found out her verdict: Why had you never gone for a wax before? There were two reasons: �irstly, how painful I thought it would be! Secondly, I had heard that you have to wait until there’s hair again until you can have another wax, but the lady told me it takes on average 4 weeks until hair starts growing back and that it grows back thinner. I think there are a lot of myths about waxing that just aren’t true!

Facts and �igures To meet demands the NHS needs 7000 donors to step forward every day Only 14% of donors are less than 30 300,000 new donors are needed every year

the area. My bad experience with two ruined arms was never repeated and I think a sudden realisation of how easy it is to help others made me go back. I’d never used to think about when blood is needed, who needs it or even where the blood used in hospitals comes from. But it comes from us. According to statistics, young people think that everyone who is able to donate should do so. But when it comes to making an appointment, most claim that they don’t have enough time or that they are afraid of needles. Giving blood is only allowed every sixteen weeks. However, a regular supply of blood is necessary as some parts of the blood can only survive 5 days. The procedure itself is neither painful nor comfortable but it’s not as bad as many say. With only 470 ml of blood it is possible to save up to three people’s lives. Thankfully, being at university makes it incredibly easy to donate blood as the blood donor service comes to us, and with new rules allowing homosexual men to donate too, it is becoming more and more accessible.

Are you impressed at the end result? Yes! My legs are so smooth now, much smoother than shaving could ever have made them! Was it as painful as you thought it would be? Well, everyone always says that waxing is incredibly painful as you are literally ripping your hairs out but I was surprised at how little it hurt. I think I made it seem like an ordeal in my head so I had braced myself for it to be horri�ically painful but I was pleasantly surprised at how little it hurt. However, the �irst few strips may have produced a small yelp! Do you think it was worth the money? Well, I cannot lie; it does seem more expensive than shaving, but waxing is more ef�icient and effective. I think it’s worth paying that little extra especially if you are off on your holidays so you can get out your legs without any worries. Plus �inding out which places offer a student discount always helps! Do you think you have become a wax convert? I can’t express how impressed I am at the end result, and it’s de�initely worth the money. Granted, at times it was a little painful but I think I’m going to make it my monthly treat! Rachel Thornton


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

lifestyle

IanJonesPennyPincher Getting the most out of ebay

Buy it now

As one of the world’s most popular websites, many students and others across the globe browse the hundreds of potential eBay bargains on a regular basis. However, eBay is teeming with rip-offs, scams and useless junk. Amongst all that though, are plenty of gems. While the cheapest way of getting things is usually via auction, before bidding on anything you should check the item’s equivalent price if you choose to buy it now. This can give you an upper limit and should prevent you getting carried away as an auction hots up in the �inal seconds.

Low traf�ic times

The best and most obvious way to get yourself a bargain on eBay is to �ind auctions that end at times when eBay has less hits than normal. Typically this is during the day, Monday to Friday, or in the early hours throughout the week. As most bidding takes place in the �inal ten minutes of an auction, auctions ending at these times inevitably end up cheaper.

With millions of items listed on eBay, only searching in a speci�ic category can save you a lot of time. However, as most people follow this general rule, if you’re prepared to spend a longer amount of time skimming through the entire ‘Clothes, Shoes and Accessories’ section you might catch something others will miss.

Fat �ingers

When creating a listing, the most important thing is that your title gives an accurate description of the item. If not, then you’re not likely to get much attention. Fortunately for us, every day hundreds of people misspell key words in the titles of their listings. Using websites like bargainchecker or fat�ingers makes it easy to �ind these dud listings and grab yourself a deal.

Primarily a music venue, The Cluny, occupying a converted factory under Byker Bridge, is a simple, unpretentious place to eat. Serving simple, hearty food combined with a cool yet homely atmosphere, it’s clear that this place is very popular with students and locals alike. The food is reasonably priced - the most expensive thing on the menu is £7 and desserts start at £1. The selection is broad with a typical yet wide variety of sandwiches, burgers and salads, along with a specials board offering international dishes such as Thai vegetable curry. The burger I had was a generous portion; very tasty, clearly homemade, cooked to perfection, and served with some of the best chips in Newcastle. The specials sounded interesting and change every day. My friend had the jambalaya, and it smelt delicious, but tasted a bit �lat, and some of the �lavours were overpowering. I was impressed by the variety of veggie options, all of which sounded appetising. The sticky banana cake with toffee sauce that I managed to squeeze in was also good and a hearty size. It’s easy to see that The Cluny isn’t as famous for its food as its frequent gigs and massive selection of real ales and cider (which are a little expensive but available to take home if you want to continue the party elsewhere). With the added attractions of live music and a well-stocked bar, The Cluny is popular, and rightly so. Even though the food isn’t the main priority, it was enjoyable, and it would warrant a return trip. Georgina Moule

Illustration: Jennifer Dodsworth

Most of these rules can be applied inversely when using eBay to sell old things. Setting auctions to end on a Sunday even-

How to reach The Cluny: Location: 36 Lime Street, Newcastle, NE1 2PQ Phone: 0191 233 1113

Website: www.thecluny.com Hours: 12pm-9pm everyday

Florence and the Machine

She takes inspiration from Virginia Woolf, dresses amazingly, and has a new album full of grand, atmospheric baroque pop!

Be careful

Selling

Review The Cluny

ing is recommended as this is by far the busiest time, while making sure they are correctly categorised with pictures and some form of description are other ways of increasing the �inal selling price of your item.

Incorrectly categorised

19

For every hidden gem on eBay, there are at least twenty scams or rip-offs. Whenever you’re bidding on something, always read the entire description very carefully before committing yourself. More importantly though, check the pro�ile of who you’re hoping to buy from. Pro�iles older than a year should generally be considered safe, though take a look at any bad feedback received. Similarly, anyone with feedback lower than around 20 need a little further examination. If most of their transactions have been for just a couple of quid and suddenly they’re selling an iPod touch for half the price of the next lowest alternative, steer clear. Remember these two rules and you’ll give yourself peace of mind while bidding.

MattAspin StudentSupper

Bon�ire treacle sticky toffee pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is one of many archetypal puddings that seem to have become a symbol of hearty British food, and it doesn’t take more than a mouthful to realise why. This recipe adds bon�ire treacle, a reasonably hard treacle toffee that can be found in most sweet shops, to add an extra crunch and make good use of seasonal produce. Sticky toffee pudding is conventionally made using dates and/or other dried fruits; however, I’ve left them out of this recipe because this particular pudding is not made using the traditional steaming technique – a process that would normally keep the fruit moist. Nevertheless, pecans work remarkably well in this pudding, and should be considered in order to create added crunch. This pudding truly will warm you all the way through, and serves as a perfect sweet for any cold and crisp winter’s afternoon.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the pudding: 200g muscovado sugar (light or dark) 200g self-raising �lour 2 tbsp butter 2 eggs 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100g bon�ire treacle 50g pecans For the toffee sauce: 200ml double cream 200g muscovado sugar 2 tbsp butter

Cooking Instructions: For the pudding: 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4, and grease either a round cake tin or a rectangular loaf tin.

2. Mix the sugar and butter in a bowl, followed by the eggs, �lour and bicarbonate of soda. Continue to mix until it is thick and sticky. 3. Chop the bon�ire treacle into small pieces and add to the mixture. Add the pecans, if used. 4. Add the mixture to the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. (Bear in mind that in some tins, the pudding will cook quicker – check it regularly to avoid burning!)

For the toffee sauce: 1. About 15 minutes before the pudding is ready, begin to make the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat. 2. Stir in the sugar and cream, and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. 3. Simmer for a few minutes, and pour over the pudding. The sauce should be runny, but also sticky. Add a touch more cream if the sauce is too runny!

Vespas

The authentic retro scooter complete with cheap insurance, free parking and low running costs. Oh, and it’s aesthetically pleasing.

Tool Academy

Rick Edwards is back to present another TV guilty pleasure (as if we haven’t got enough to watch). The Tools have a series of challenges in what they believe to be a ‘King of Men’ contest.

What’s hot What’s not Celebrity toddlers’ designer wardrobes

Harper Seven’s recent day trips to Prada have left us less than impressed, while Suri Cruise, the queen of baby designers, has a shoe collection rumoured to be worth $150,000.

Facebook hackers

600,000 impostors every single day are accessing our Facebook accounts without us being aware.

Hope Gray


20

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

fashion

thecourieronline.co.uk/fashion c2.fashion@ncl.ac.uk

campusfashion

fashionista etiquette being chic in all situations

Fiorella Margiotta-Mills

Cable knit: H&M Fur headband (as snood): Topshop Rucksack: Topman Shoes: Aldo (in Italy) Glasses: Vintage

Economics

For those of you who have once thought that wearing vintage clothing requires bags of courage and a hunt through your grandma’s wardrobe, think again. When done properly, you can make your out�it a classic while still retaining your personal style. Here are my ten tips for adopting a vintage style.

Don’t overdo it

Try not to have vintage style pieces on both your top and bottom halves, as you want to avoid being asked which fancy dress party you’re going to. A vintage skirt or blouse mixed with your more contemporary items will have a much better effect.

Choose wisely

Pick one vintage garment and let it be your out�it’s centre-piece! Clothes and accessories that are older than you deserve the spotlight. Once you’ve found your perfect item, keep the rest of your out�it contemporary and simple.

Perfect Fit

A key trick with vintage is to make sure you get the right �it. In many cases, you have to ignore the size on the label and try it on. If the vintage piece �its you right, it will effortlessly make your out�it.

Second hand? No thanks

All vintage clothing does not have to be second hand. I’m sure die-hard vintage wearers will disagree with me here, but many high street stores adopt a vintage in�luence in their clothing. All you have to do is look for the key trends such as fabrics, patterns and cuts that de�ine certain retro styles. For example; denim, checks, �lorals, polka dots, lace, ribbons and bows, �lared sleeves and high waists.

Accessorize

If you’re still not convinced by vintage clothing but love the style, try just adding a few simple accessories to your out�it. Combine your personal style with chic accessories such as a belt, hat or scarf. Also, vintage jewellery is much more cost-effective, so you can buy lots of accessories for the price of one vintage dress.

He says: “Despite the sunny skies the Toon always has plummeting temperatures so I wanted to incorporate the hot and cold into my out�it autumn colours.”

Jacket: TK Maxx Top: Aldo Denim shorts: Topshop Boots: Of�ice Bag & earrings: Vintage

Fashion Editor says: “Being creative with pieces is key to customising any fashionable ensemble, as Tom’s done here with the touch of the head band worn round the neck.”

She says: “I like to match high street with bargain vintage �inds.”

Fashion Editor says: “Pairing the �loral detailing of the top with the studs of the jacket tackles this season’s embellishment trend with �lair and originality.”

Tom Howard Hoare

Marketing & Management

Photography by Hannah Walsh

Check

If you are buying from a vintage store, check that everything is in order before you purchase. Check the buttons, seams, zippers etc. If something’s not working you can always get a tailor to �ix it or if you’re a crafty person you can do it yourself. Make sure that you factor the �laws into the price, as repairs can easily raise the price of the garment.

Style

Don’t just buy vintage for the very sake of it. Make sure you absolutely love the item, that it �its your personal style and that you’re de�initely going to wear it. There are so many vintage pieces to choose from, so why pick something you’re not sure about?

Bargain Hunt

Newcastle’s Affordable Vintage Fair is coming this Saturday (5th November) to Sandyford Rd and entry is only £2 with a student card!

Customisation

Buttons or embellishments that have come off other garments can be kept and sewn on to vintage pieces for a guarantee that your garment is one of a kind.

Enjoy!

Once you’ve found your perfect piece of vintage, make sure you love and cherish it. Most importantly you should enjoy wearing it. All vintage clothes have a story, so take these into account and wear them as pieces of history.

Sally Greenwood

Topshop, £16

On trend

Dalmatian print

River Island, £16

Topshop, £18

Miss Selfridge, £18

Leopards may not change their spots but that’s not the case for fashion Animal print has been around in a big way for a while now, from leopard to zebra; however, this season the high street is embracing a new, canine-inspired addition to the trend - dalmatian print! Not of the Cruella De Ville persuasion but of the more elegant, sophisticated and rather re�ined variety. Singer-style icon Eliza Doolittle has already been spotted in this trend at London Fashion Week this year. Moreover the A/W11 Topshop Unique show focused massively

on the beautiful dalmatian spots, which have now (�inally!) begun to �ilter their way down onto the rails of our beloved Topshop, with many other stores following suit. Whether you want to make a bold statement or simply channel a gentle nod in the direction of the trend, the high street can most certainly oblige! It doesn’t matter if you only opt for a warm accessory such as a hat, or a full-on faux fur coat to keep you chicly snug (and camou�laged!) in

the snow: dalmatian print is ideal because it can be matched to anything in true, simplistically stylish, monochrome form. Teamed with a leather biker jacket or casually worn with a classic pair of Converse, either way it works and slots its way into your wardrobe, rendering versatility a key feature. Amanda Old


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

stylingfashion

Fashion Editor: Victoria Mole Online Fashion Editor: Rosanna Sopp

Dressing for

your body shape, night and day

Big Bust

Modelled by Tiffany Boswell; History Boswell

Day

A �loaty blouse (Topshop) with a cinched-in waist �latters a large bust by emphasising the hourglass shape of the torso. Long necklaces draw the eye down to Tiffany’s fab legs rather than her chest and the light colour of the denim shorts (vintage Levi’s) gives shape to her hips, suggesting a curvaceous �igure. The black cardigan creates the illusion of a smaller top half to balance out her proportions.

Night

The cascading material on this dress (Love at Topshop), which is cinched in by the elasticated waistline, drapes over Tiffany’s �igure and subtly showcases her chest. Big patterns patterns, thicker straps and material that isn’t too tight are the golden rules of dressing for �lattering a curvy bust.

Curvy Hips Modelled by Megan McGonigle; Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Day

This wide-legged printed jumpsuit (Primark) helps to balance out Megan’s proportions as it is drawn in at the waist, gliding over her hips and emphasising her enviable waist-hip ratio. The low neckline accentuates her upper body and the �lared legs of the jumpsuit lengthen her body for a streamlined effect.

Night

The pleats on this dress (Topshop) soften Megan’s lower body. The lace draws attention to her upper half whilst the high neckline creates the appearance of a fuller bust, which manipulates her proportions. The A-line nature of the skirt and the peplum-style fabric are �lattering and create a smooth silhouette.

Hourglass

Slender

Modelled by Alice O’Brien; English O’Brien Literature

Modelled by Laura Nicholson; English Literature

The hourglass is the most versatile �igure to dress. The proportions are already balanced so make the most of this by wearing clothes that emphasise them. We paired the berry skinny jeans (Warehouse) with a V-neck blouse, (Quinn and Donnelly), which draws attention to the cinched in waist created by the �itted tweed jacket (H&M).

The high-waisted palazzo pants (Topshop), which are teamed with a black belt (vintage) give the illusion of a gently curving �igure, whilst still showing Laura’s long legs. The waistcoat (Topshop) adds volume to her upper body.

Day

Night

This bright bodycon dress (Topshop) speaks for itself as it highlights Alice’s hourglass �igure. The cut-outs at the back emphasise her proportions even more. The dark colour of the dress and the �irm elasticity of the fabric make it perfectly �lattering and bang on-trend.

Day

Night

The vibrant colour of the dress (Miss Selfridge) draws attention to the contours in Laura’s �igure.The sweetheart neckline helps to add fullness, and the frill from the waist gives the illusion of a more womanly, hourglass �igure. The detailing of the waist, in combination with the mini-skirt style of the bottom of her dress, also emphasises her long legs.

Photography: Sam Tyson Words: Laura Nicholson, Ellyn Bramley and Alice O’Brien

21


22

artsfeatures

The book that... is worth a laugh

Fran Allenby encourages us to look on the lighter side of life with Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity

A

THE COURIER Monday Novemeber 7 2011

s I mull over my literary conquests to decide which made me laugh the most, I’m struck by how easy the decision actually is. High Fidelity, from About A Boy author Nick Hornby, is the only book that has ever made me attract concerned looks from disturbed members of the public whilst lol-ing sporadically and inappropriately. It’s no surprise that the 1995 classic was turned into a �ilm starring John Cusack: combine an endearingly vulnerable protagonist with vinyl and love and you’ve got a winner. Forget the �ilm though - dry and glaringly self-deprecating, it’s Hornby’s tone that really makes this book so brilliantly captivating, and something you can only experience through the written word. The novel is narrated by record-shop owner Rob, a hapless, lonely and compulsive thirty-something. He is labelled as an under-achiever and commitmentphobe, yet the sort of guy who’s capable of drawing empathy from a stone. Read the �irst page, and you won’t know whether to laugh or cry as Rob outlines his ‘desert-island, all-time, top �ive most memorable split-ups’ - cue 200-odd pages of similarly endless lists of rejections, failures, dreams, �ilms, records (including ‘top �ive �loor�illers at the Groucho’). He takes us back to his �irst relationship, one that lasted a record-breaking six hours, and from this moment you realise it’s impossible not to sympathise with this character. We are exposed to a way of seeing life that makes you wonder how you ever thought it was complicated; love, failure, death and commitment are all explored through vinyl records. It’s music that drives the soul of this book, and Rob lives through the very �ibre of it. As you read this book, every cliché regarding men being ‘emotionally inept’, ‘afraid to commit’ and ‘shallow’ is either completely obliterated or transformed into a list of reasons to love men. Hornby does this with such a degree of wit and charm that you are in fact left hating Rob’s comparatively dull and rational ex-girlfriend Laura, which alone will make you howl with laughter at the sheer irony of it all. And it’s not just Rob that’ll warm your heart. His employees, Dick and Barry, are the sort of people that would buy you a pint just because you share a mutual hate for Julio Iglesias. This book can appear from the outset like a morbid satire of life but in fact, Rob’s depressing life allows you to see the sunshine in even the darkest situations. High Fidelity is a book that reminds you, in the midst of life’s seriousness, that you just have to laugh along, and slowly but surely you understand it’s not all that bad.

Banter or abuse: Can comedy go too far?

Mallory McDonald explores whether comedians need to reconsider where the boundary lies between shock tactics and shocking humour

I

n 2011, within minutes of a statement or joke being said, it’s all over the internet, open to criticism or open to other people adopting it. No one likes the oversensitive complainer, but there is a point where people use the stereotype of this ‘whinger’ to excuse unacceptable ‘jokes’. Are we being all too quick to jump on the complainer and ignore the root of the complaint? Of course, the debate of where to draw the line could not occur without mention of Frankie Boyle. When on Mock the Week I like Boyle; he is on-point, clever, shocking but, most importantly, funny. However, I could not help but be disgusted by one of Boyle’s jokes last year in which he stated: “I have a theory about the reason Jordan married a cage �ighter - she needed a man strong enough to stop Harvey from f**king her” (Harvey being her disabled son). That line is not a joke, it is a derogatory statement. This is the kind of humour ‘Heat’ magazine had already tapped into with their ‘Harvey’s going to eat you’ badges. In this reference I mean it is essentially unintelligent, and, to many, offensive. Be shocking, but at least have the decency to force us to laugh against our best instincts. The real problem is where the shocking aspect becomes more important than the comedy. Jokes about rape, dead babies and disability to me suggest immaturity - a great comedian does not use these topics, childish people do. These are the easy way to get a laugh and if you don’t gain a laugh

Your Uni

The Comedy Society

B

you can just pretend everyone else is being oversensitive, rather than you simply being unfunny. Once you have a friend who has a baby, once you have a daughter or even if you have a sister, once you work with people with a disability, you do not make these jokes. I have an Australian relative who casually uses the ‘N word’ while doing her impression of being a gangster rapper. I automatically say ‘please do not use that word’, to which I get told to relax. I come from Croydon so I always turn on my ‘let us try not to get stabbed today by using a derogatory racial term’ mode, and I feel we de�initely do need this mode (perhaps replacing fear of stabbing with fear of offending). I cannot use that word because of the meaning it holds; the use of it is disrespectful. It was a word she could use because she was quite ignorant of black culture and history. That’s where comedy needs a line - where it is used ignorantly. If you are going to be shocking, know your topic well, and be well placed to stand up for your comment. I know some will argue that I am being pedantic and giving examples that are a bit extreme, but everyone has to admit that there should be some limits, as seen with Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights that took his humour far beyond the lines of decency, and the sketches were just tedious and unfunny. On Mock the Week he was known for being

both over the top and below the belt at the same time but he seemed to just overstep the mark when he got his own show; it isn’t funny if you have to swear four times every sentence. I don’t want people to think I am just attacking Frankie Boyle - I do actually enjoy him, but when he is telling a joke, not just being offensive. Comedy should be something that makes you feel good and leaves you with a nice feeling; it should not be used as a tool to be abusive and pretend that you are doing it for the purpose of entertainment. There are very few people who don’t enjoy a good laugh but why should it be at someone else’s expense? I am not advocating a permanent watershed or totally PC comedy but there should be some limits on what people make jokes out of. There is always going to be someone offended, nothing can please everyone but sometimes a bit of common sense and sensitivity needs to be employed. Laughing at the end of saying something awful does not make it okay. And why in recent years does comedy have to have the shock factor to grab attention? I am starting to see shocking humour as mere desperation. Sometimes you just need something as simple but genius as Miranda Hart dressed as Where’s Wally and standing in a crowd or Michael McIntyre’s ‘Man Drawer’.

They’re just some poor boys, very good at comedy: a review of Bohemian Laughsody

ohemian Laughsody is the ‘smorgasbord of delights’ offered to us by the hilarious and award winning Newcastle Comedy Society who kick-start the new academic year with their �irst stand-up show of the term. Featuring the society’s �inest stand-up talent, Bohemian Laughsody showcases the hilarity and wit of stand-up comedy along with the unique spontaneity of a live show. It’s not often you get the topics of glowin-the-dark condoms, tramps hell-bent on destroying lamp-posts and inordinate numbers of nipples addressed all on the same evening, but in their �irst stand-up show of the year, Newcastle University Comedy Society covers them in one fell swoop, alongside many more unusual yet wonderful subjects. The intriguingly named Bohemian Laughsody features an array of student comic stars, all jostling for the laughs and respect of the baying crowd, and succeeding by any means. Stand-up routines were invariably punctuated by compere Charlie Rowley’s energetic and spontaneous storytelling, observational humour and improvised interaction with the audience, who habitually fell into his palm, creating those off-thecuff moments which make live comedy so exciting and one of the most unique forms of entertainment.

Amongst the thicket of jokes about Newcastle’s nightlife and the ever-entertaining Sinners, there are some original and sharp ideas; one particular piece, a poem about a tragic love affair with a fridge-freezer, is both wonderfully unexpected and yet hilariously obvious, making it all the more entertaining. Highlights include a tight observational set from Sam Steventon and Jonathan Pelham’s self-parodying set, whose deadpan, sarcastic delivery is refreshing to see, not to mention outrageously funny. The varying degrees of experience is noticeable throughout - however, with so many exciting acts all brimming with potential, it’s not hard to see why the Comedy Society clearly has no shortage of supporters. From what could have been a clichéd and unimaginative regurgitation of the trials and tribulations of student life, Bohemian Laughsody doesn’t fail to please with some witty stand-up comedy covering a whole host of topics, and just the right amount of trebles-based humour. Georgia Snow


arts

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

previews

reviews The Rememberers Northern Stage

Opera North

A Walk On Part

Theatre Royal 8-12 November

Live Theatre

Opera North prides itself on a fresh approach to opera and musical performance. This November they’re heading to the newly refurbished Theatre Royal in Newcastle to put on an ambitious showcase of three productions in one week. Director Jo Davies revives Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic comic melodrama Ruddigore. This is a tale of a curse that forces the victim to commit a crime a day or die in agony. It includes ghostly apparitions that are brought vividly to the stage by illusionist Paul Kieve, whose previous work includes Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Ghost: The Musical. Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades is set in 19th Century St Petersburg. Herman, an of�icer in the army, is obsessed with learning the secret of the three cards that will bring him wealth, love and happiness. It’s a demanding production that sees director and writer Neil Bartlett undertake his �irst full scale opera. Last but not least, Puccini’s Madama Butter�ly is the heartbreaking tale of innocent love torn apart by two different cultures. Directed by Tim Albery with music from Opera North’s Orchestra conducted by Daniel Rustioni this world-famous and revered opera promises to be unmissable. Opera North is a unique experience that offers people the chance to experience spectacular Victorian melodrama.

Political, current and hilarious? That is not a traditional combination, but Michael Chaplin has nailed it with A Walk On Part. This play fantastically and interestingly demonstrates the changing of the insecure political landscape of our lifetimes. Directed by Max Roberts, who admits he “feared that people had become tired and cynical of politics and politicians”, there is rarely a moment when audience members are not thoroughly engaged or laughing at Michael Chaplin’s use of quick wit and word play combined with Roberts’ directorial sharpness. Former Labour MP Chris Mullin’s diaries are brought to life by the actor John Hodgkinson. He narrates the play through a series of sketches which give life to the rise and recent fall of New Labour. Mullin’s diaries offer an insight into the collapse of public trust in Britain’s parliamentary system. The cast is made of �ive actors who perform in various roles to represent over a hundred characters from bizarre MPs to aggressive Geordie women. The actors perform with spotless con�idence and the constant transition between characters is effortless and easy to follow. The stage is washed in a �lood of light like the television set for Question Time allowing the audience to focus their energies on the richly informational, personal and sometimes emotional vocabulary of the script. Mary Taylor

Lauren Stafford

Culture Shock

Comedy Clubs

1

Rather than spending your night in the same clubs that you go to all the time, drinking the same drink while dancing to the same music, why not bring a bit of laughter into your life and go to a comedy club! Yes, it is different, but isn’t variety the spice of life? Why not jazz up your social calendar with a night out like no other…

For one, there are seats, which means no falling over because you’re too drunk to stand up, and no breaking your neck falling down lethal nightclub stairs to a dingy toilet. All in all, a great night out - no student scars from drunken injuries! Even if it is a cash-strapped week and the overdraft is saying “NO” to a night out, you can still go to a comedy club. They generally are cheap for both food and drink. So why not grab a bite and not break the bank? You don’t need to dress up! That dreaded “what will I wear?” needn’t be uttered. Nearly all comedy clubs are late night venues but all eyes are on the comedians not the spectators, so you’ll get away with out�it repeating, or relaxing in your comfy jeans. And �lats are a must which is always a bonus. Everyone will enjoy it! No arguing with �latmates over which club plays the best music because everyone loves to laugh. Even if your sense of humour is a little different to each others, you’ll all �ind

2 3 4

23

something funny, and nothing is as infectious as getting the giggles. It is actually funny. Who cares which comedian is the opening or closing act? They stand up there because they are witty, ironic or downright rude; humour to tickle everyone’s funny bone. And you never know, there might even be a famous face doing a gig! So if you fancy an alternative night out full of laughter, cheap drinks and everyone getting along for once, you really have no excuse. Newcastle no longer just has the hilarious Hyena Comedy Club (Leazes Park Road, by Munchies). The Stand (High Bridge Street, near the Theatre Royal) has recently opened, with huge stars such as Frankie Boyle, Phil Jupitus, Mark Watson and Rory Bremner performing there in the next few months. So what are you waiting for? Becky Lightfoot

It is dif�icult to know what to expect when going to see a show described as ‘a live hip-hop graphic novel’. Images of Kanye West in a Superman out�it spring to mind. Thankfully, the one-hour long performance was surprising in all the right ways. Written by the profoundly charismatic and intensely engaging Kenny Baraka, The Rememberers feels rather like falling into the pages of a Sin City comic. This effect is clearly not accidental, as Baraka harbours a love for the ‘noir’ of the graphic novel genre, listing Watchmen as a key in�luence. Walking into the Northern Stage on an unassuming Wednesday afternoon, the audience immediately �inds itself plunged into a strange, post-apocalyptic wasteland that provides the backdrop for the storyline. We were ushered inside to �ind the interior had been completely transformed; gone was the stage, the seating, the feeling of normality. Instead we were left to wander a dark room ominously adorned with graf�iti, television sets blaring static, and oil drums containing sinister-looking toxic chemicals. The whole effect was, well, quite weird. The stage area was unrecognisable; the usual chairs had been replaced with oldfashioned bus seating, with foreboding barbed-wire decor. And so entered Kenny Baraka, and the riveting one-man show began. My initial misgivings faded as the narrative began to unfold. Baraka �lipped from genre to genre, using rap, song and simple storytelling to tell the story of the plight of a young girl to save the world from the grips of the evil NorCon Corporation. Although, the story may be one that has been heard and reproduced over and over, I can guarantee that you will not have seen it performed in this imaginative way. The tale is accompanied by meticulouslytimed projections. “I wanted to do fullblown animation,” Kenny explains, in his New York drawl. “But that was pretty ambitious”. The static imagery proves to be

just as powerful, and Baraka carries the audience skilfully through the story. The interactive narrative incorporates themes of world doom, war, family, hope and love. “I wanted to story to be open to interpretation,” Kenny says. “After working with kids for so many years, I learnt you have to get your message across without preaching.” By his own admission, the storyline is conveluted. “I constantly adapt the narrative,” Kenny says. “This show is the Newcastle version; different from the last, different from the next.” As it drew to a close, the applause in the intimate theatre was warm and reeked of surprise. The Rememberers really is a must-see for any fan of theatre, music, comic books... well, for anyone whose looking to be entertained and truly surprised. Kenny’s performance was a one-off, unique show in aid of Newcastle’s Juice Festival, that encourages young people to be creative and express themselves in new and interesting ways. Alice Fairholme

artintheeveryday

5

...performance art on Northumberland Street


24

listings7th-13thNov Monday

How to find a job in the UK (for international

students) 1-2pm Medical School, David Shaw Lecture Theatre

This workshop will help you to effectively market your skills, experience and academic potential when applying for postgraduate study in the UK. We will consider what to include in your application to convince selectors of your suitability.

Tuesday Ruddigore

Jason Manford

When mild-mannered Robin Oakapple is revealed as the villainous Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, inheritor of the curse of Ruddigore (he must commit a crime a day), his chances with the prim Rose Maybud look doomed. This marvellously entertaining take on Gilbert & Sullivan’s topsy-turvy burlesque of Victorian melodrama was a smash hit in 2010 and is now back due to popular demand. Student prices start at

Mancunian funnyman Jason Manford will be treating us to a an evening of hilarity at the Metro Radio Arena tonight. Grab your tickets before they sell out, prices start at £25.00 and are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

7.30pm Theatre Royal

The Buzzcocks spin-off band light up the O2 Academy tonight with a full line-up including Howard Devoto on vocals, Dave Formula on keyboard, Jon White on bass, John Doyle on drums and Noko on guitar. Tickets are £22.50. www.o2academynewcastle.co.uk

Cult Classic: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 8.45pm Tyneside Cinema

The Tyneside introduces us to another cult classic film - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) heads to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, bringing along his Samoan lawyer, Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro), but they become distracted by the massive amount of drugs they have stored in their car and their search for the ‘American Dream’. A hilarious adventure with some top-class talent. www.tynesidecinema.co.uk

Modern Warfare 3 Pre-Launch Party 9.30pm Pacific Bar

Celebrate the launch of the long-awaited Modern Warfare 3 game by heading down to Pacific to play all night long - or until the clock strikes midnight and you can walk over to Eldon Square to pick up your copy of the new game at the Midnight Launch.

Mysterious Red Lights in the Night Sky Public Lecture 6-7pm Great North Museum

Internationally renowned artist, Peter McLeish, will be discussing the nature of his art and science collaboration based on Red Sprites (upper atmospheric optical phenomena associated with thunderstorms that have only relatively recently been documented). Free and guaranteed to be very, very interesting. www.twmuseums.org.uk

8pm Metro Radio Arena

Give it a Go: Karate 6.30-8.30pm Northumbria Sports Centre

Come and learn some kick-ass karate moves! Beginners and more experienced karate kids welcome. Just come along in comfortable clothing and bring a bottle of water. Karate class followed by a trip to the pub for a well-earned drink. www.nusu.co.uk/giag

Magazine gig 7pm O2 Academy Newcastle

Wednesday

How to find a job outside the UK 1-2pm Etal Room, King’s Road Centre

If you are a UK student, working overseas could allow you to experience new cultures, to learn a new language and to enhance your employability in a different environment. This workshop will help you to consider the practicalities of working outside the UK after graduating. It will include a consideration of how employers outside the UK recruit and what they may expect from applicants. www.ncl.ac.uk/careers

A Good Yarn: Knitting Club 7pm Tyneside Cinema

Whether you are a beginner or expert, pop along to the Tyneside’s knitting club. It’s friendly, fun and for everyone. A knitting expert is on hand to help you with any knitting dilemmas and there are bottles of house wine from just £9.50. A Good Yarn takes place every two weeks in the 2nd floor digital lounge, with lovely comfy sofas and a private bar! Entry is £2 per person and your ticket is redeemable in full against your first order at the bar. Advance booking is recommended.

‘Where is the new economy?’ Public Lecture

5.30-6.30pm Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building Tim Jackson is a leading international expert on sustainability. Since 2000 he has been Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey – the first such chair to be created in the UK - and he has written extensively about the relationship between economy and sustainability. Free admission and no pre-booking required.

Hitch Society 7.00pm Students’ Union

Budget travel with a difference – take part in an epic sponsored hitchhike to Morocco or Croatia. This is the UK’s largest organised hitchhike; since 1992 over 7500 people have taken part. Come along to our info meeting and find out more about this amazing adventure.

WWE Raw 7.30pm Metro Radio Arena

Join all your favourite WWE Superstars including John Cena, Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne and Kelly Kelly in another explosive live performance. Tickets from £20. www.metroradioarena.co.uk

Madama Butterfly 7pm Theatre Royal

Madama Butterfly is the deeply touching story of a young woman whose innocent love is rewarded only with betrayal. This exquisite production sets one of opera’s most heartbreaking love stories in the context of the culture clash between East and West, and combines beauty with unflinching emotional truthfulness. Sung in Italian with English titles. Watch the trailer on www.theatreroyal.co.uk.

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

thecourieronline.co.uk/listings c2.editor@ncl.ac.uk

Thursday Lest We Forget: Tacitus on History Writing Under a Tyranny 5.30-6.30pm Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

Many Roman emperors were disliked by their contemporaries – and often with good reason. In many cases, their regimes amounted to tyranny, and people could end up paying with their lives for invoking the displeasure of the emperor or his circle. How, then, should one behave under a tyranny? And should one dare to write? These questions are a central concern in the work of Tacitus, the great historian of the early Roman Empire. This lecture will discuss Tacitus’ account of the trial of a fellow historian. www.ncl.ac.uk/events

Free Movies at Monument 3pm Monument, Newcastle

Every Tuesday and Thursday until December 22 a classic film will be shown at Monument. Tonight’s film is ‘The Italian Job’. Don’t forget your popcorn and bucket of lemonade.

Frock Swap 7pm The Cluny

A group of volunteers have organised a ‘Frock Swap’ in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. It’s just £5 per person and not only will you have access to a great range of clothes to swap your unwanted garments with, there will also be an auction for a unique piece of clothing from Hey Baby Chief Panda vintage shop as well as great music from DJ Tim McVicar and a goody bag filled with great samples and discounts. What a great excuse to grab yourself some new clothes for the festive season! To buy tickets, ring 0191 257 1419 or 07889 604633, email lindsay.harding@alzheimers. org.uk or write on Frock Swap’s Facebook wall. Other donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/youthfundraisinggroup.

Diwali Dinner and Dance

7.30pm The Venue, Newcastle Students’ Union Newcastle Hindu & Sikh Society proudly present ‘Diwali Dinner and Dance’ complete with a three course Indian meal, Bollywood dance performances, a Mehndi artist, and a DJ playing a variety of Bollywood, Bhangra and RnB. Tickets for members are £12 and for non-members are £15. Contact hindu.society@ncl.ac.uk for more info.

How to find study overseas 1-2pm Etal Room, King’s Road Centre www.ncl.ac.uk/careers


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

7th-13thNovlistings

C2 Editor: Aimee Philipson

Friday Remembrance Day 11am

Remembrance Day gives us the chance to remember all the brave men and women who have given their lives to protect their country and its people. There a number of events marking the event over the weekend.

How to get into TEFL

Something for the Weekend Dananananaykroyd Saturday 8pm The Cluny

Dananananaykroyd play their last ever gig at the classic music venue The Cluny tonight from 8pm. Tickets available from £7.50. www.thecluny.com

1-2pm Bamburgh Room, King’s Road Centre

Are you attracted to the prospect of mixing travel with employment? Whether you are looking for a career or a gap year, you’ll find out what’s involved in teaching English as a foreign language abroad or in the UK. We will explore the range of training available, what it will cost and how to find a job. www.ncl.ac.uk/careers

RockSoc Quiz

6.30pm The Venue, Students’ Union Know your Metallica from your Misfits? Dragonforce from your Deftones? Then come along to the Rocksoc quiz, with a mix of music, picture and general quiz questions to truly test your rock knowledge. With some fantastic prizes on offer, you’ve got no excuse not to. Free entry for Rocksoc members, £1 for non-members. www.nclrock.org

25

Photo of Dananananaykroyd by Tektsman

Newcastle Vintage Fashion Fair

Sunday 9.30am-4.30pm Royal Station Hotel, Neville Street

Grab a vintage bargain or some unusual Christmas pressies at the annual Newcastle Vintage Fashion Fair at the glamorous Royal Station Hotel. Entry is a mere £2.50.

SCAN: Rupert’s Wood Arts and Crafts Project Saturday 10am-4.30pm Rupert’s Wood, Otterburn

SCAN (Student Action Communtiy Newcastle) are heading to their very own woodland in Otterburn in Northumberland for an afternoon of arts and crafts using the wood’s natural materials. Food, transport and equipment will all be provided free so all you need to bring is suitable clothing and some creativity! www.nusu.co.uk/giag

Musical Medics

12-14th Nov Jubilee Theatre, St Nicholas Hospital Each year a group of Medic students puts on a musical for charity. This year more than 50 of them are directing, choreographing and performing in a production of Fame! The Musical to raise money for Hadrian School for children with learning disabilities. Performances: Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 2.30pm and Monday, 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 NUS/£9 other. Email l.t.b.wilson@ ncl.ac.uk for info.

First Aid and Trauma Workshop Saturday 8am - Sunday 6pm

Keen on the outdoors? Climbers, cavers, canoers, orienteers, fellwalkers or anyone else who likes being outside, come along to a weekend of workshops and scenarios about first aid and trauma out in the wilderness. Covering Basic Life Support, evacuation, fractures, head injuries, teamwork, trip and expedition planning and much more! No previous experience necessary. You can complete one or both days. Search ‘First aid and trauma workshops’ on facebook or email k.a.wakefield@ncl.ac.uk for more information.


26

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

musicreviews

5 reasons why...

...whoever suggested the Stone Roses reunion is a floppy-brained chump

1) Ian Brown Even with The Greatest Rhythm Section In Rock Music™ back together, the Roses will sound terrible. This is because Ian Brown will be honking his way over the top of everything like a depressed goose. Some will say, “But Ian Brown never could sing, that’s irrelevant”. These people are fools. His youthful cool disguised his complete lack of any other useful attributes, but he vaporized that at Reading ’96, the Roses’ last live performance. He was so out of tune that he sounded like he had been recently bereaved and was wailing at a loved one’s graveside. Now, he’s a creaking heritage act: the pop equivalent of Bruce Forsyth’s abysmal jokes on Strictly Come Dancing.

2) There will be endless discussion of the Roses’ “legacy” Actually, what is their legacy? Half an hour of excellent music, granted. However, is it worth the terrible human cost? Anyone who has been to Manchester in the last twenty years will recognise the poor wretches: usually called Gaz, Baz or Dwaz, they swagger around in Inspiral Carpets t-shirts, living permanently in 1991, describing turgid pub rock bands as “proper rock ‘n’ roll” and bankrolling the Courteeners’ feeble existence. Ian Brown is directly responsible for the emergence of lad culture. As such, libraries will place his biography next to those of Stalin and Mao in the ‘History’s Greatest Monsters’ section. 3) Morons abound Come with me, reader, to the wild and confusing world of the YouTube comments section. TriGGlety1974 seems to represent everything that’s wrong with the worst kind of Roses fans. He says, “UK has gone black, its gone rap, its gone urban, its gone geek, its gone computers. White boy guitar music needs to �ill the charts again.” Now imagine this statement being made by a forty-year-old mouth-breather wearing a �ishing hat. You may note that you have unconsciously started setting items around you on �ire. Don’t worry, that is a normal reaction to this level of idiocy. The emergency services will be very sympathetic. 4) Mani will tell the anecdote about how he stole a tractor again Did you think about the consequences of your actions, Mani? That farmer was struggling to get by. His cows were giving sour milk. His egg yields had plummeted. In a last throw of the dice, he had spent £30,000 on a swanky new tractor in the hope of saving the farm which had been in his family for six generations, only for some gurning, pot-addled scally to nick it. He rang his bank manager, who told him that he was on the brink of bankruptcy. The farmer sighed, walked outside, turned on his threshing machine, and jumped in. OH HAHAHAHA YEAH REALLY FUNNY STORY MANI. 5) Steps’ reunion will overshadow it As we’ve established, the Roses have 30 minutes of excellent music. Yet, they will play for about two hours longer (or at least you’d hope so if you paid £55 to be there). Steps have exactly 42.3 minutes of greatness, and Lee will probably throttle H onstage. Thus, mathematics �inally proves itself useful to humanity. Thomas Nicholson

When it was �irst announced that heavy metal giants Metallica and the grumpiest of all sixties rock stars Lou Reed would be collaborating, the world of music was intrigued. However when their �irst preview song ‘The View’ was cyberleaked, many were unsure of the sincerity of it - was the project supposed to be some sort of joke? Based around Reed’s fascination with expressionist playwright Frank Wedekind’s work, the album takes you on a disjointed, dragged out journey of monotonous vocals and repetitive riffs. It is almost as though controversy overcame sense in the minds of Reed and Het�ield et al. during the writing of Lulu; Reed’s �irst line on the album is “I would cut my legs and tits off/when I think of Boris Karloff”. The opening track ‘Brandenburg Gate’ consists of one trashy riff played over and over again beneath frivolous, out of tune ramblings for 4 minutes 19 seconds. It is the shortest song on the album and yet seems to last an eternity. Each song continues in this style until you reach track four, ‘Mistress Dread’, which you hope to be the

Welcome To Condale Summer Camp

With the rise in popularity of Christmas jumpers your grandad used to wear and sepia toned iPhone photos, Summer Camp slide right into this revival of ‘80s nostalgia. Yet instead of just using Human League-esque synths, this duo have gone the whole hog. Using vintage photos for single covers and a dose of John Hughesinspired romanticism, Summer Camp could easily provide the soundtrack to some Hughes movie that was never made. From lead single ‘Better Off Without You’, based around a messy break up, to ‘1988’, which sounds like it could easily work during the credit sequence of a coming of age �ilm, Welcome to Condale is its own story. Each song takes a look into the lives of the citizens of Condale; from a disastrous date in ‘Last American Virgin’ to possible stalker anthem ‘I Want You’. This introduction of a single location and various characters gives the album a much greater focus. The album manages to feel distinctly ‘80s with a futuristic tinge to it, down to Pulp member Steve Mackey’s production. With Elizabeth Sankey’s soaring vocals and Jeremy Warmsley’s intricate arrangements (see ‘Brian Krakow’ for the latter), nothing here feels forced. Sampling �ilms such as Weird Science and Sixteen Candles, this is the ultimate love letter to the ‘80s. Condale is not a place you’ll want to be leaving any time soon! Recommended download: ‘Last American Virgin’

Chris Taylor

thecourieronline.co.uk/music c2.music@ncl.ac.uk

The album makes Metallica seem boring and Lou Reed seem like a singer who’s lost the ability to sing – of which neither is true

Lulu

album’s saviour. A fast, frenetic guitar riff resembling Metallica of old gives you optimism, which is in turn crushed when met by an out-of-time, incompatible moan by Reed - which could quite possibly be mistaken for an OAP moaning about bin collections. ‘Cheat On Me’ is one song where something seems to work, yet four minutes pass before anything of note happens. The album lasts 95 minutes, yet could easily be cut to 70. There are moments where you �ind your head nodding, yet these are invariably few and far between. Lulu is like a piece of modern art, that in a sense you understand should be respected, but don’t know why. It is gothic and abstract, but neither tasteful nor enjoyable. Understanding why the two acts chose to team up isn’t dif�icult: Metallica gain artistic cachet, and Reed gains an audience. However, the album makes Metallica seem boring and Reed seem like a singer who’s lost the ability to sing – of which neither is true. It simply hasn’t worked.

Metallica & Lou Reed

Th1rt3en

Odd Soul

Whilst his old band Metallica seem to be having a mid life crisis with their Lou Reed collaboration/abomination, Dave Mustaine and Megadeth have stuck to their thrash metal guns on Th1rt3en. As their thirteenth album, little effort appears to have gone into the name, but it’s clear that plenty of hard graft has gone into its creation. From the guitar shredding on opener ‘Sudden Death’ to Mutaine’s trademark snarl, it sounds like it’s from thrash metal’s golden age in the mid-’80s. Then there’s the �inal piece to the classic Megadeth formula; the riffs. And thankfully they come in abundance. Previous album Endgame was guitarist Chris Broderick’s debut with Megadeth, and his mad axe skills slotted in perfectly. On Th1rt3en this has developed to even greater levels. Check out the intro to ‘Black Swan’ and the solo on ‘We the People’ for proof. In fact every song’s crammed full of riffs, solos and memorable melodies; you’ll be air guitaring until your muscles seize up. The brilliance of Th1rt3en and return to a more vintage Megadeth sound can also be attributed to the return of founding member and bassist Dave Ellefson, whose return has had a hugely positive in�luence on their song writing and performance. Megadeth may never get the same recognition as Metallica, but on this evidence it’s hard to understand why.

Mutemath are heralded for their multi-layered sound consisting of an unbelievable amount of musical in�luences. While new album Odd Soul is an amalgam of styles, the band have trouble �inding their own. The band cite isolation as the main contributing factor to the tone of the album, but if anything it seems confusingly crowded. Fusing their native New Orleans blues with funk, classic rock, and new wave (among others), it’s hard for them to pin down a distinct style long enough to form consistent work, disrupting the �low of the album considerably. The songs aren’t bad individually. In fact, several of them are quite enjoyable. ‘All Or Nothing’ has elements of Simple Minds and modern electronica rolled into a fun �ive minute package. ‘Quarantine’ is an amazing display of Mutemath’s range, shifting in segments that could each be their own song but somehow �low together. Paul Meany’s vocals are always just a little higher than they should be and consistently presented with that low-production grain. After four songs this combination grated terri�ically on my nerves, but the music was interesting enough to keep me engaged. Odd Soul is a hectic, volatile and interesting album but enough is enough: when it gets tiring to try to �igure out which song is which, don’t be afraid to turn it off and walk away for a while.

Graham Matthews

Maggie McBride

Recommended download: ‘Cheat On Me’ Freddie Watson

From lead single ‘Better Off Without You’, based around a messy breakup, to ‘1988’, which sounds like it could easily work during the credit sequence of a coming of age �ilm, Welcome To Condale is its own story

Megadeth

Recommended download: ‘Black Swan’

Mutemath

Recommended download: ‘Quarantine’


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

Music Editors: Ben Travis and Chris Scott Online Music Editor: Graham Matthews

Live: Beth Jeans Houghton

featuresmusic

The Cluny, October 26

H

er band’s name is The Hooves of Destiny and her promotional poster depicts a naked woman’s body with a tiger’s head. Something told me Beth Jeans Houghton was going to be a bit different. Singer-songwriter Beth is a local lass, which was made immediately apparent as most of her mates turned up at the Cluny to cheer her on, lending a nice intimacy to the gig. Preceded by some rather painful support acts, guitarist Richard Dawson and a truly bizarre set by Wellington Boot, Beth was a welcome surprise with her quirky, playful sense of humor and bouncy guitar riffs. The �ive-piece line-up comprised of bassist Rory Gibson (who took to the stage in a

tiger out�it, as you do), trumpeter ‘Blazey Blazey’ (who was rather dashingly attired as a circus Ringmaster), violinist Findlay Macaskill, drummer Dav Shiel, and Beth herself (disappointingly, without the tiger head). For those unfamiliar with the satanic cult of folk music, Beth’s voice is reminiscent of Eliza Carthy’s, while the band’s spritely tunes bring Noah and the Whale to mind. Folk in�luences are strong throughout the set, but the upbeat instrumentals combined with haunting vocals produce a sound that is quite hard to categorize, and refreshingly original. With friends in high places (being currently linked to Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis), Beth Jeans Houghton is well-placed to take the music scene by

storm. With gorgeous tunes like ‘Dodecahedron’ and ‘Lilliput’ up her sleeve, and counting Badly Drawn Boy as a member of her growing fan base, Beth is someone you must immediately add to your iTunes collection. Watch this space. Alice Fairholme

Striking up conversation with Bowling For Soup

Sally Priddle ventures onto the tour bus of the poppunk legends to talk Obi Wan Kenobi, the ultimate ‘snog/marry/kill’ and fans who piss themselves.

I

think it’s fair to say that Bowling For Soup are a blast from the past for many of us and there are very few people who, whether they admit it or not, can’t sing along to ‘1985’, ‘Girl All the Bad Guys Want’ and ‘Punk Rock 101’. Preparing to interview the band, the 14-year-old inside me got overexcited and searched for the studded belt and Converse combination I used to rock back in the day. The band’s tour bus was a lot larger and more impressive than my entire house, with a red interior with black leather seats and numerous fridges stocking everything from beer to juice to yoghurt. Browsing the band’s movie choices revealed the ultimately cool Inglourious Basterds and then the less-expected Bad Teacher. Having been offered a drink by bassist Erik Chandler, I sip on a ‘Delicious Gary’ - a drink invented by drummer Gary Wiseman while on tour. Consisting of cranberry juice, lemonade, vodka and lime (evidently the band’s drink of choice as the fridges are �illed to the brim with cranberry juice), when questioned whether the drink was a bit too similar to a Cosmopolitan, Erik laughs: “Yes, probably but it’s a Cosmopolitan with balls!” Poised with tonnes of questions, I get the most important few out of the way �irst: what fancy dress would Erik wear for the rest of his life if he could never change it? Being a life-changing decision, Erik considers the question carefully. “I think I would have to go for Obi Wan Kenobi, although my issue would be whether to be the younger or the older one. Obviously the old �ilms were the better ones, but the younger Obi Wan was ultimately cooler. Yes, it’s going to have to be the younger one.” The Force is clearly strong with Bowling

We were at an album signing and two girls came up to the table giggling to themselves, stood in front of us, said nothing and you just saw this wet patch forming on their skirts, they then ran off. I had no idea what was going on

For Soup. This level of consideration shows how, at 35 years old, Chandler can still sing poppunk songs to an audience of 14-yearolds. However, Erik says that he does take writing songs seriously and carries a little black notebook around with him everywhere, so that if he ever gets an idea for song lyrics or a riff, he can write it down before he forgets it. “My favourite song I’ve ever written was written like this and it is actually off my solo album, it’s ‘Tonight’s The Night’.” After pretending to be serious and talk about music for a brief moment, we go back onto the questions that really matter – the classic choice of ‘snog/marry/kill’. The candidates: Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg. “I would have to snog Barbra Streisand, just because, marry Oprah for the money and then kill Whoopi Goldberg because she is just so annoying.” Looking around the tour bus, it’s one of the best bachelor playgrounds that I have ever seen (possibly because I don’t hang out in many bands’ tour buses). Asking Erik what the best bit about being on tour is, his attention turns to the large amounts of alcohol on the side before answering. “I think it has to be hanging out with friends, just chilling out and getting tojoke around. Although that is also the worst thing about touring as you’re on top of each other the whole time.” Erik has been in Bowling For Soup since they formed 17 years ago in Texas, but he says that if he could be in any other band, past or present, he would be in American punk rock band The Replacements. “They’re legendary, in my opinion t h e y were t h e �irst

Want more from The Courier Music section? Check out the website for loads of web-exclusive live reviews, extra columns, Courier Music Forum podcasts and more on the Stone Roses reunion!

band to bridge the gap between punk rock and pop music, and without that Bowling For Soup would never have been formed.” With such a long musical career under their belt, surely Bowling For Soup have perfected a pre-gig routine that warms them up and gives them the energy to go out and perform their best? “We all like to have a really good nap.” Not exactly the rock and roll answer I was expecting. “Our dressing room always surprises visitors as it’s actually really boring, we just sit around and chill out, not really saying much to each other and just listening to iPods and playing on our laptops.” Despite suffering through some of the negative aspects of touring, being part of a successful pop-punk band with millions of fans across the globe has some pretty good perks. “My back-up bass on stage tonight was my 30th birthday present from the band, they really set me up! We were playing a gig on the Warped Tour and they signalled to stop the music and ask me why I was playing out of tune and was something wrong. I knew I wasn’t playing out of tune and was really confused but then they walked off and came back with the bass that they had hidden behind the stage. It was pretty impressive.” What about perks from fans? “Well it wasn’t actually something a fan gave me, as I don’t think I could pick - we get some pretty weird shit. We were at an album signing and two girls came up to the table giggling to themselves, stood in front of us, said nothing and you just saw this wet patch forming on their skirts, then they ran off. I had no idea what was going on.” Living the rock’n’roll lifestyle for 17 years, it has to be asked - what is Erik’s best pulling move? “It’s been a long time, as I’m married now, but I always found that back in the day, as long as you acted cool from the open and pretended not to care, then girls suddenly wanted you so much more,” he reveals. “If not I would tell them I was in Bowling For Soup. That’s de�initely how I got my wife.”

27

On the record Classic albums Fresh perspective

Until last week, I had never listened to The Stone Roses’ debut.

The announcement that the Stone Roses were reforming was met with scepticism by many (including myself - the word bandwagon comes to mind), especially after the band, who only lasted two albums, ended in 1996 so badly. Their debut release The Stone Roses is synonymous with the late eighties ‘’Madchester’’ scene, and there are usually a fair few clichés that come in tow; spews about how it created Britpop and started a revolution. I’m not claiming to be a Stone Roses virgin. It’s impossible not to have heard the cool indie chill of ‘Fools Gold’, but I’ve never just sat and listened to it from start to �inish as a complete record. I’m almost shocked at myself - being a massive Oasis fan, many would assume it comes with the territory. It’s strange when you approach an album knowing it’s going to be good. It wouldn’t have the status if it weren’t. The distinctive chilled out “baggy” vibe is present throughout, but each song is different, be it the ambience of ‘Waterfall’ or the happy, upbeat ‘She Bangs the Drums’. Together they make an album that �lows, the tempo ever-changing, with John Squire’s spiraling guitar riffs and Ian Brown’s dream-like vocals which merely accompany the rest of the band’s music. If you need evidence of the band’s mastery, look no further than ‘I Am the Resurrection’ where the song progresses through every aspect of the album’s sound in eight minutes. The one problem with The Stone Roses isn’t so much with the actual album, it’s more what it meant for the band. You feel they really hit their peak with it, and would struggle to do better with any subsequent release, something that may have contributed to their premature breakup in 1996. I can’t really say that listening to this album has changed my life because it hasn’t; it didn’t need to win me over, it was always going to be a hit. What it has done is renew my respect for the band, in both their creativity and originality in their song writing. The album is a timeless masterpiece from start to �inish, and even though the big songs come at both ends of the record, every track holds its own. The Stone Roses without doubt deserves its status as a classic album. Whether the reunion goes well or falls apart worse than the Spice Girls’ one did, I can only hope they do this record justice when playing the songs live again. Tim Sewell


28

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

filmfeatures

Top 5

Science-�iction movie robots 5) Marvin

When a robot gains arti�icial intelligence the results are often devastating and uncanny. Alternatively, in the case of android Marvin in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, he sinks into the least exciting of human emotions - apathy and depression. Actor Alan Rickman as a depressed android saying, “I knew this would all end in tears,” is pure genius.

4) The Terminator

The Terminator showcases Arnold Schwarzenegger �inding his calling in life: being inhuman. Of all the robots played by actors, The Terminator stands out by a mile, launching Schwarzenegger to stardom. As if that whiny kid from Arti�icial Intelligence was getting a look in.

3) Wall -E

thecourieronline.co.uk/film c2.film@ncl.ac.uk

Science fission Luke Hearfield explores the close relationship between science and science fiction films

T

he wonderful truth about the science �iction genre is that even though it often delivers epic escapism and fantastical realities, most sci-�i �ilms are grounded in a certain level of sociological in�luence. Over the course of time, inspirational directors have brought to the screen bold and often controversial ideas that have re�lected issues of scienti�ic developments in the public mind. They have even helped to advance the production of new technology, with one eccentric writer’s idea being another step in the improvements of society. It can be dated back as far as early cinematic experiments of the early twentieth century. Nearly 70 years before the ground-breaking moon landing of 1969, French director Georges Méliès created a piece of cinematic history with his glorious �ilm A Trip to the Moon (1902); A �ilm whose title alone demonstrates the earliest thoughts of space exploration within cinema. Arguably the �irst science �iction �ilm ever, its trick photography opened up a whole new world of possibilities to society. From its simple roots, sci-�i picked up momentum to become a powerful drive in the �ilm industry. Metropolis (1927) became the �irst to be produced with a budget of more than a million dollars. What once was a commercial �lop turned into a cultural phenomenon, due to its ‘dystopian future’ theme. It re�lected the 1920s expressionist architectural design and po-

Sci-�i

Ah, Wall-E. You know you’re mentally going ‘waaaall-eeee’. Where other robots are iconic he is just lovable, motivated by simple pleasures and a inescapable hunger to hoard things, plus, those hypnotic eyes... One of Pixar Studios’ most endearing creations.

2) Hal 9000

(Ignoring that Hal is technically a computer) Not only a top �ive ‘robot’ but a top �ive villain. That instantly recognisable dangerously polite voice sends shivers down your spine. Re-watching Kubrick’s malevolent creation at a time where we all live through our laptops makes Hal all the more terrifying. There is now a post-it covering my webcam.

1) R2D2 & C3P0

Who else? They come as a pair: that is their brilliance. As much as R2 tends to be the most loved, his whizzing off for adventure would not have the same effect without C3P0’s maternal, middle-agedhousewife panic. They make the original trilogy what it is. Mallory McDonald

Illustration: Emma Rawsthorne litical ideologies, while exploring the dehumanizing effect of industrial technology on the individual through a iconic android �igure. Franklin J. Schaffer’s Planet of the Apes also tussled with science, offering a postmodern twist on the works of Darwin, with the concept of evolution at the �ilm’s core. Fictional technologies are also something that modern scientists should be grateful for. Without the innovation of Star Trek writers, we may not have the easy-access communication we are saturated in today. The wireless mobile phone

2001 : A Space Oydessy produced visionary images of space travel before the �irst moon landing, in�luencing real-world NASA designs in the process.

Blade Runner

the essential collection

Voted Top Sci-Fi Movie of all time by the review website IGN last year, Blade Runner remains an audience‘s favourite even 30 years after its release. In a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles in the year 2019, former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) returns to his job to “retire” (i.e. eliminate) four replicants, bioengineered robots with superior bodily abilities created to serve humans,

Forbidden Planet Walter Pidgeon as Dr. Morbius and Leslie Nielsen (Captain John J. Adams) star in the trailblazing sci-�i classic Forbidden Planet, taking place in what the trailer calls “that distant tomorrow”: you know, the kind littered with spaceships, lovable robots, and extraterrestrial beings. Trying to �ind out what happened to a lost crew that disappeared and attempting to contact Planet Altair, Captain Adams �inds an abandoned planet, empty with the exception of Dr. Morbius and his daughter, Altaira. As Adams attempts to uncover the dark secrets that destroyed the population of Altair, it becomes evident that Dr. Morbius holds several dark secrets of his own. Watching this creepy yet campy �ilm (mostly because of how dated the special effects are) it becomes evident what huge in�luence it’s had on the storylines and aesthetics of generations of �ilms after it. In the current movie atmosphere up to its eyeballs in tiresome remakes, going back to 1956 and watching Forbidden Planet seems like a breath of fresh, interplanetary air. Maggie McBride

was something �launted on the screen between Kirk and Spock, before it became an essential living requirement, and NASA even named a shuttle enterprise after the Domoulin due to its in�luence in propelling space travel into the twenty �irst century. However the most culturally dominant sci-�i �ilm has to be Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); an intelligent piece of social commentary from the past, present and future, touching upon multiple scienti�ic principles of mankind. From the dawn of evolution to the dangers of future arti�icial intelligence, 2001 : A Space Odyssey produced visionary images of space travel before the �irst moon landing, in�luencing real-world NASA design in the process. It remains a cinematic masterpiece that still continues to shock viewers with a truly phenomenal balance of scienti�ic reality and imagination. Science and sci-�i entertainment go hand in hand. There has always been a socialistic relevance in the development of the genre, and will continue to as we progress towards an unknowable future.

Metropolis

Released in 1927, the silent �ilm Metropolis still ranks as one of the most visually impressive and absorbing �ilms of the sci-�i genre, with visual effects that once were so advanced still remarkably engaging. Directed by Fritz Lang, the �ilm is set in the capitalist dystopian city of Metropolis, where the population is divided into two classes. High in the skyscrapers live the managers, led by John Frederson, whilst in the sublevels of the city live the oppressed workers. The central story follows the son of Frederson as he discovers the truth about the life of the workers, and the distinctly unsettling machine-man. Class politics is only one of a number of themes that run through a relatively complex plot, which is set against a backdrop of elevated highways and intimidating skyscrapers. It in�luenced the visual style of many sci-�i �ilms, most notably the grimy cityscapes of Blade Runner. Although the �ilm was not a critical success on its release, it is now regarded as a classic and is the archetypal dystopian sci-�i �ilm. Jeremy Trotter

that have illegally come to Earth. During his quest to �ind and retire the replicants, Deckard pushes the envelope in terms of his physical capacity, while also confronting the tragic development of the robots’ emotional side, eventually even bonding with Rachael (Sean Young), an incredibly advanced and evolved replicant prototype. But what makes Ridley Scott‘s loose adaption of a novel by Philip K. Dick so appealing? The gloomy cinematography or the recurrent theme of what it means to be “human”? An incredible multifaceted viewing experience and in�luential addition to the sci-�i genre.

Lisa Bernhardt


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

reviewsfilm

Film Editor: Chris Binding Online Film Editor: Hayley Hamilton

Anonymous Set in the reign of Elizabeth I, Anonymous centres around the conspiracy theory that Shakespeare’s works were actually written by Edward de Vere (the 17th Earl of Oxford). Director Roland Emmerich and writer John Orloff use the enigma of the character of Shakespeare to forge an entertaining, if slightly unrealistic, political thriller set in 16th-century England. On the stage of a theatre in Manhattan, Derek Jacobi begins by presenting us with various reasons to believe that the Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans) is actually the man behind the Bard. The film follows Oxford’s life, beginning with his adoption into William Cecil’s Puritan family home, where Oxford’s passion for writing literature and plays is quashed due to the puritanical belief in the condemnation of the arts. Oxford, desperate to overcome this hurdle, plans to publish his works under the pseudonym of William Shakespeare, before adopting a little-known playwright to put on his plays and instigate revenge against the Cecil family’s plans to put

Adventures of Tintin

James VI of Scotland on the English throne. Oxford tackles the issue of anonymity in his plays by offering budding playwright Ben Jonson money on the condition that he will take claim for the plays Oxford has secretly written. Jonson declines and the position is inadvertently filled by his fellow thespian (Rafe Spall), a drunken, illiterate womanizer, who charges onto stage at the end of a production of Hamlet to steal the credit. Whilst this drunken fool

The Ides of March

is not Oxford’s ideal candidate, he has little choice in the matter, and must continue to use him in the role of Shakespeare. The film follows the play’s progression to huge popularity, whilst documenting Oxford’s life ‘behind the scenes’. This cluttered situation involves a failing marriage to Cecil’s daughter, various mistresses including a young Queen Elizabeth I, and several illegitimate children. The film comes to a climax with the performance

The Help

29

of Richard III, which Oxford writes in order to incite anger, and provoke a revolt against Robert Cecil, William’s son and an enemy of Oxford. However, as it becomes clear that the revolt may unintentionally overthrow Elizabeth, it backfires, and a huge twist is introduced into Elizabeth and Oxford’s relationship. However, a number of shortcuts are taken, in particular the tired attempt to explain historical background and the somewhat erratic portrayal of chronology which can leave the viewer confused at times. The use of artistic license is also arguably stretched. The idea of Oxford having apparently written A Midsummer Night’s Dream when he was just a child is especially unconvincing. Moreover, it is disappointing that the only plays mentioned are the more ‘mainstream’ of Shakespeare’s works. ‘ Verdict: Anonymous has some brilliant performances, in particular Ifans’ commanding portrayal of Oxford. Despite pushing the boundaries of believability at times, it is still an overall entertaining watch. Lucy Hutton

Sket

Whose line is it anyway?

Who better to bring Hergé’s beloved comic book adventure series to the big screen than the undisputed king of blockbusters Steven Spielberg? Aided by Peter Jackson and working from a script by current Doctor Who head-honcho Steven Moffat, Attack The Block director Joe Cornish and supreme geek Edgar Wright, it would have been nighon impossible that Tintin could fail. And for the most part, it doesn’t. I’m not overly enamoured with the concept of motion-capture and Tintin didn’t fully convert me, but at least we have another example which can stand next to Avatar as proof of what the technology can do. On the whole, the film looks stunning. The characters look spot-on, while a thrilling chase through the fictional Moroccan city of Bagghar is not only edge-of-your-seat exciting, but lushly realised in bright, tropical hues. As the dead eyes found in the uncanny valley occasionally rear their creepy pupils, Tintin could use a little more warmth. It’s rollicking, but doesn’t quite reach loveable. The plot, despite a pretty strong script, suffers from an occasional lack of focus and too many macguffins. For the amount of times that Tintin transports you back to a Raiders of The Lost Ark frame of mind, it’ll make you miss that film’s streamlined simplicity. However, considering the pace that the film hurtles along at, you’re offered no choice but to be swept along in the adventure. Verdict: Tintin is a genuinely exciting cinema experience, and a fun way to spend two hours. You won’t fall for the characters (except Snowy), but the thrill of adventure is too good to miss.

Ben Travis

After handling espionage drama in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Cold War tensions in Good Night And Good Luck, who better to take a look at the hardknock world of Presidential campaigns than George Clooney? Unfortunately, The Ides of March (even with its allusions to Shakespeare) never quite hits the mark, being a cliched film surrounded by great performances that manage to save it. Based on the play Farragut North about a former staffer on the Presidential trail, The Ides of March focuses on Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling), a hot shot media manipulator working for a potential President in Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney). However, a moment of feeding his ego during a meeting with the rival campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) sets off a chain of events which slowly sees Myers lose his naïve approach to politics and set on a path of destruction. We’ve seen Presidential campaigns before and yet, here, when this brighteyed and bushy-tailed press secretary suddenly loses his cool when he is dismissed, he makes an almost Dr Jekyll-like transformation which doesn’t work in the context of the film. It’s this that pulls you out of the film and, if it weren’t for the excellent performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti as opposing campaign managers and Evan Rachel Wood providing a human aspet, The Ides of March wouldn’t work. Verdict: There’s a lot less to The Ides of March upon retrospect. The elements of a political thriller are there but everything is too neat. You could set your watch to the plot. Luckily, the performances bring everything back together, giving you your money’s worth. Chris Taylor

Grossing over $160 million, The Help has been an enormous success in America. With predictions of Oscar nods for the cast, and hugely positive reactions from audiences in its homeland, it will be little surprise to see it do well here in the UK. Yet how can a film that purports to deal with the intricate, controversial and grave political and social issue of racism in 1960s Mississippi appeal to so many people? The simple answer, in the case of The Help, is that you don’t deal with any of those issues, and you instead steamroll through the brutal and protracted history of the period, opting for something a little less sombre. The Help, Tate Taylor’s first major directorial outing, is his adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s much-revered novel of the same name. Set in 1963, it tells the story of a group of underappreciated AfricanAmerican maids working for upper-class white families in Jackson, Mississippi. The families afford them little respect, and frequent plot meanderings show the extent to which the white families are willing to go in order to degrade them. That is, until Skeeter (Emma Stone), the daughter of one of the white families, comes along and offers to write a book about their experiences. Unfortunately, the characters are all painfully stereotypical caricatures framed in a sugar-coated fairytale history of the era, which fails entirely to engage with any of the wider issues surrounding the horrific treatment of African-Americans.

Verdict: The Help stands out as a feelgood film, but ultimately promotes a false history; one which nowhere near captures the experience that many African-Americans had during the period. Dave Dodds

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched Cbeams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.” (Roy Batty)

Blade Runner

If plays are indeed such a sin, I pray that I do not find my salvation until very late in life. (Young Queen Elizabeth I)

Anonymous

Being an approved medium of meaningmaking and opinion-shaping, it is a shame to see a film missing out on its potential to deliver an important, sophisticated message. The directorial debut of Nirpal Bhogal could have thoughtfully addressed some of the social issues raised by the London summer riots this year, but chooses to stick to a drama-focused concept instead. After her older sister is killed by local drug dealer Trey, Kayla (Aimee Kelly) tries to win over ruthless female gang leader Danielle (Emma Hartley-Miller) to support her in her quest to kill Trey, facing some harsh realities of sub-urban life. While capturing the drabness of a South London council estate in an uncomfortable manner, the film is soaked with stereotypes and doesn‘t let its central ‘vendetta’ theme kick off until the last 25 minutes , with Kayla‘s development from the shy newbie to a determined wannabe murderer happenening too abruptly. Flimsy, overly ‘chavvy’ characters don‘t have a significant impact as the fragile story floats along. In addition, everything is underlayed with the hammering beats of an aggressive hip hop soundtrack making the film seem to be set in a ghettoish part of a major US city. The chances to critically discuss crucial issues such as gang culture, female violence and perspectives within socially disadvantaged communities and areas are hardly seized and rather blatantly projected onto the somewhat overdone characters. Verdict: The standard runtime doesn‘t give the story and characters a fair chance to credibly evolve, with a provocative, wellintentioned message almost completely lost. What seemed to be a promising project turned out to be rather disappointing.

Lisa Bernhardt


30

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

science&technologyfeature

Full throttle into the games industry

Deputy Editor Elliot Bentley visits the game developers responsible for the Driver series to find out how to break into this competitive workplace

D

esigning video games is for many of us a childhood dream - being paid full-time to dream up colourful fantasy worlds, gritty criminal empires or high-pressure military simulators. And for a lucky few, this dream is a reality. For the last 27 years, Newcastle-based Reflections (or, Ubisoft Reflections, as it has been known since its purchase by French publisher Ubisoft) has been developing games known for their character and style - most notably 1998’s Driver and its many sequels.

The novice

Theo Jalil has been working for Reflections since 2009. He graduated from Teeside University with a first in Computer Games Art, and now works full-time as the vehicle handling designer for Ubisoft Reflections. You’re the vehicle handling designer - what does that entail? I was basically exclusively responsible for the vehicle handling. In previous Driver games, the vehicle handling has been handled by Martin [Edmondson, founder of Reflections] but this time the project was just too large. We have 140 individual cars, more than any Driver game before. How did you get your job at Reflections? I always wanted to get into games - once I’d left university it was just a case of having to take other jobs in the meantime until the right opportunity came along. I actually started out here as QC [Quality Control], but I was only in the role a couple of months before the position was advertised for the handling guy. And I was like, “Oh, I could so do that!” It’s great, really, since I don’t have a vast amount of previous games industry experience, to be given control over such an important part of the game experience. How did you develop your skills? So when I went to college, I joined the modding communities behind Grand Theft Auto - and Driver as well, actually. I got quite heavily into that, wanting to make the vehicles that I enjoyed in order to drive them in GTA - that made me learn 3DS Max, and then I started looking at the vehicle handling side, because there was a system for editing. But when I put my first vehicle into the game, it didn’t handle at all well, because the wheel base was all different and the physics needed completely readjusting for this vehicle. So I basically learnt all the background of that.

Although the studio went through a rough patch in the mid-noughties, the studio has bounced back and its latest creation, Driver: San Francisco, has just been released to both critical and commercial success. On a tour round the studio - a large and surprisingly bland open-plan office spanning two floors - The Courier was given the opportunity to ask some of Reflections’ top talent, as well as their head of HR, what they think it takes to make it into this exciting but highly competitive industry.

What do you think clinched you the job? I think just the enthusiasm, to be honest. Having the passion to want to do the job and to do it well. I always wanted to work for Reflections on a Driver game since Driver 1 came out, and at the time I assumed it was made in America. But when I found out they were local I thought, hey, it’s something I’d love to do. You can’t just let yourself be knocked down at the first rejection. You’ve got to keep plugging away at it, because a rejection doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not good enough, it just means, more than likely, someone betterposted for the role came along in the interview process. Or, more likely even still, the role was filled internally, because, by law, companies have to externally advertise job vacancies, but often the role is created specifically with a person in mind.

Do you think working in the games industry is tough? It is, to be honest. You can’t be work-shy, for a start. The games industry favours single males with not too many personal commitments in their social life, I would say. But the plus side is you’re getting paid to do something, day-today, that (in theory) you love doing. It’s a creative process... a lot of these people just do it for the sheer passion of things. The flipside of that coin is that because people are doing it out of sheer passion, there’s a hell of a lot of demand for it and that pushes the effective salaries down, because there’s always someone willing to work for less than you, who might be more talented than you. And that means that the gaming industry is poorly-paid compared to doing exactly the same job, but as a database manager - a generic IT position. In a job like that, you stay until 5pm and then go home - but here, people stay until 9, 10, 11 at night making sure that it’s right, because that’s what they want to do.

The recruiter Giselle Stewart is the general manager and HR director of Ubisoft Reflections, as well as the chair of the HR panel in industry body TIGA. She is in charge of filtering through the hundreds of job applications the studio receives each week. Which degrees in particular do you look for? Computer science, or the variations of that - artificial intelligence or some of your engineering degrees. There’s a professor we have a lot to do with - he is a bit of an expert in, say, online transactions, so we’ve talked to him quite a lot about how we might be able to use some of his expertise and knowledge and maybe his students, and maybe they can come for placements here as they may have some knowledge that’s just embryonic here and we can build on that and build a relationship with the University. Do you recruit many Newcastle graduates? We have - well, when I say many, we’re not a huge employer, but we do regularly, yes, [and] physics as well - it’s quite important to us. Obviously car handling, vehicle dynamics physics, and so one of our most senior engineers was a Newcastle graduate - Dr Chris Jenna. There’s also a guy who’s at Newcastle Uni now who did work here - Dr Gary Ushaw. So they’re all

Newcastle graduates. We love home-grown talent - first of all, it means they’re not just coming for two years and disappearing again, they have huge loyalty to the region, and I would say 40% of staff are from the north east - but when I say the north east, that’s because they come to university here and then stayed. You know what the student retention up here is like. How does the hiring process work? The hiring process itself takes the form of obviously screening by CV and work submitted, which a lot of graduates forget - they think a CV will do it, [but] obviously we need a link to their work and see what they’ve done. If they’ve done any relevant work experience, tell us about it. We do a technical assessment, which is quite lengthy and quite thorough. We don’t expect everyone to get everything right. Obviously it’s the thought process about what they do and how they can discuss that.

Is that a written test? Yes, it’s a technical test - a written test. And then we will discuss their answers with them - so it doesn’t really matter if they didn’t get it right. Where did they come from is key. And then finally, if they make it through the technical discussion part, I tend to generally


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

featurescience&technology

The veteran Left, below and top right: Inside and outside of Ubisoft Reflections, which is based in Newcastle Business Court on the Tyneside. Above: An image from Driver: San Francisco.

Mark Sample has worked in the games industry for over 20 years, and was involved in the original Driver game on PlayStation. He is now a senior designer for Ubisoft Re�lections. What did you work on in Driver: San Francisco? I worked on the missions - “do a handbrake turn”, and “get to a place”, things like that. The gameplay section worked with the team to implement all the missions to make sure they had as much fun and gameplay and variety, because a good game should have variety. Just like a movie where you pick up the pace, and then slow it down, and have frightening things here, and you’re always playing with the tension and the emotions - that’s what a good mission should have as well.

How long have you been working for Re�lections? For Re�lections? I’m up to four years now. I left school when I was seventeen and got a job ith computer games, and I’ve been making computer games ever since. It’s twenty-one years now, and I was lucky enough to be part of Re�lections on the �irst Driver game as well. But I went away, worked with other companies, after the �irst Driver, and then I came back for Driver: San Francisco, which is a privilege as well.

interview everybody and talk to them about why they want the job, what they think they can bring to it, what they’re looking to get from it.

What do you look for in the interview? A lot of people have been involved in organisations while at university, in societies - I want to know what they have achieved, what they have enjoyed. And usually there’s something within people that inspires me, you’ve got something - I can see you’re a bit of a shining star. Or sometimes it goes the other way and there’s someone with extreme arrogance and I think, “oh god, they’d destroy a team”. Lovely person, even though he is, and very very bright, sometimes there are some traits that just don’t work here. Not saying they’re not going to work anywhere else - but just doesn’t always work for our culture. So I don’t know if people would call the interview gruelling. It’s certainly testing. And then you go into your job, and you have a sixmonth probationary period, and we have very few failures from that period - people who don’t make a mark. I think because it’s quite an exciting atmosphere to work in, there’s this whole idea that I’m coming in and I’m learning so much, there are challenges here.

Where did you work between then? I worked for 2K games, Infogrames, Rage Software - a variety of software. I worked on controls for Bioshock and The Darkness... a boxing game called Rocky.

Is it dif�icult to produce a game set in America, when you’re based in the North East? Or do you think it adds a certain Newcastle �lavour to it? Well, I think it recreates San Francisco really well - with the tone and feel of the streets, the angle of the streets and the levels you can jump between. But I;’m sure there’s little twinges of Newcastle in there as well.

You’ve never been tempted to have Tanner [Driver’s main character] driving through Grainger Street and down Bigg Market? Well, it’s funny you say that. In the �irst Driver game, there’s actually a secret level which is a small section of Newcastle modelled, and you can actually drive around the Quayside. And you’ve still got the pedestrians who jump out of the way? [Laughs] Oh yes, that’s typical of the Driver franchise. You can drive to your heart’s content trying to hit people, but it’s always fairly safe.

Rockstar North [based in Edinburgh] make another open-world game - the Grand Theft Auto series. Do you think there’s something about the north of the UK that brings about

31

If you’re in in playtesti terested tion’s futu ng Reflecre send an games, reflections. email to playt ubisoft.co ests@ m

this kind of game? Yeah, well, you’ll �ind that in a lot of the North East and in Scotland there’s a lot of driving specialists, and I’ve found in games development that the colder the weather gets, the better the game developers. Because if you go to southern Spain or southern Italy, there’s much better things to do than make computer games. Seriously! But think about Scotland, the North East, Scandinavia, northern Germany, where it’s pretty grim, you’ll get great games. And Newcastle’s always been highly creative, for the past thirty years there’s always been a good talent base. Maybe there’s something in the water - I don’t know. It’s good that we continue to make great games.

Is there growth in the technology sector in the North East right now? Yeah I think there’s growth in the North East. I think things are changing, that’s all. Obviously the larger, AAA games are becoming more and more dif�icult to make. It’s like making a Hollywood summer blockbuster - there can only be two or three per year. But there’s certainly room for indie developers, iPhone developers. Is there a large indie game scene in Newcastle that you’re aware of? There’s a few around Newcastle - obviously they don’t spend as much money as, say, Ubisoft, hawking themselves, but they’re there. In fact there was one making a zombie game - which had the kit stolen unfortunately - but they made Kotaku and the big gaming sites. So there is scope, obviously you have to hunt them out but there’s little teams between Newcastle and Middlesborough mainly. What you’ll �ind as well in the way things are changing is that a lot of people who graduate and are wanting to make teams will have two or three guys who are close by, but they’ll have an artist in another part of the country, or another country altogether. And they just check in using Hotmail and other services. So teams are starting to recognise that they don’t have to be in the same places to make a game anymore. So you entered the industry at seventeen - I assume you didn’t go to university, then. No, no. Back when I started, there weren’t any university courses [regarding game development] anyway. In fact, if you do some researching you’ll �ind that a lot of people who got into game development in the 80s or early 90s, most of their skills were learnt by being hobbyists and becoming speciailists at home, and then taking those skills off to companies. I would strongly recommend that everyone does get a good education in whatever �ield they want to go into, whether it’s programming, design or art - trying to get the best course they can to suit them. Do you know what courses are looked for? Well, a degree in maths or physics is always

good, because if you’re spending all day playing with numbers you want to be good at it. But good design courses - my speciality is design production - what I’m looking for is someone who has possibly made something with an editor, something like Unreal or Unity, or anything where they can show off what they made, and the thought process of why they did that. Because a good game designer or producer has a good logic thought process and creativity - combining them both together to make something, that’s a great experience. Whereas you could turn up with a lot of documents and a lot of theory, which is �ine and that’s also good, but there’s something really valuable and practical about being able to say, “I’ve made this,” and someone can pick it up and play it and say, “yeah, this guy’s got the touch, he’s got the feel, he knows exactly what will make a game tick or feel special”. So a good portfolio is the most important thing? I’d say so - it shows what they can do. One of the best bits of advice that I got was, “don’t show everything you’ve got - show your best”. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be pages and pages - it could be a smaller amount, but when you see it it’s just really strong stuff. So people will say, “we need this guy - he’s got some really great potential there, she’s got something great to bring to the team”. I think one of the key things is having a certain amount of perseverance and persistence, if that’s something you want to do. Just apply to as many companies as possible, �ind out if there’s any networking events in your local region. Offer your services to do a little playtesting to show your skills, and when you do the playtesing make sure to �ill in the feedback in a very thorough, well-though-out way. Don’t just say, “yeah, I like that level” - you could say “in that level I had trouble on that corner”, and just help the team and hopefully they’ll say “oh yeah, this guy - he really knew what he was talking about”. You’re just trying to make a mental imprint of your personality on members of your team. So the next time when you’re free, when you’ve �inished your course, you say, “yeah I did some playtesting”, and they go “oh yeah!”. You build a bit of rapport to help you get in there. So the next phase would be trying to get any kind of position that gets you a foot in the door, and holding onto it. QA is a good entry point, junior programmer, junior artist if you’re an artist. Design’s a bit of a different one. Most of the time you come to design via another skill - but you can get straight in from university. There are a lot of guys who come from Teeside [University] and started as a junior designer. So, good portfolio, work on your interview skills, know a little about the company, and be very persistent on getting there. I’ve worked with a lot of students and the ones that have been persistent have actually got jobs.


32

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

science&technology

5 things you need to know about

The Solar System

The solar system is a subject so vast that by de�inition it contains almost all we know about anything. Whilst daunting, this provides us science lovers with an almost endless spectrum of interest. So what is it that you need to know about the world that holds the world we live in? 1) Pluto is smaller than the United States

You may have felt sorry for Pluto (if sentiment is possible towards astronomical objects) when it lost its status as a planet, but after hearing this, my sympathy was minimal. The greatest distance across the United States is approximately 2900 miles (from Northern California to Maine); almost double the radius of Pluto which stands at 721 miles. A demotion very much deserved. 2) Jupiter’s moon ‘Europa’ could harbour extra-terrestrial life

The potential presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa has given scientists the most promising conditions for extra-terrestrial life outside of the on-going Mars missions. As well as liquid water, Europa also seems to have an abundance of oxygen. One of life’s favourite prerequisites, the oxygen is formed from cosmic rays impacting on Europa’s icy surface and converting water to ice. Even though we are still far from seeing a Spielberg species, the ingredients for primitive forms of life are there. 3) On Mercury the days are twice as long as the years

To us it sounds somewhat paradoxical, a day which lasts two years which lasts 730 days, right? Well not on Mercury. The planet’s slow rotation on its axis means a solar day is the equivalent of 176 earth days, whereas its relatively fast 88 earth day orbit of the sun means its year lasts half the length of a day. This gives rise to the phenomena of one year of ‘day’ when temperatures reach 400°C followed by one year of ‘night’ where temperatures plummet to -200°C. 4) We live inside the sun

It is hard to believe that the earth resides within the �iery body which we call the sun, so perhaps I should clarify. We live within the sun’s atmosphere, which extends beyond its visible surface for approximately 10 billion miles. The evidence of this can be seen in the Northern and Southern Lights that we see on our planet. These auroras are produced by solar winds and can be seen in effect as far as the distant Neptune. 5) 12.5% of the planets have 75% of the mass #Occupy Jupiter

As you can probably see by now, the solar system is a mind-blowing subject. Hopefully with these �ive (four and a half) facts you feel ready to take on the rest of the known universe. No? Me neither.

Tom Feltham

thecourieronline.co.uk/science c2.science@ncl.ac.uk

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A personal voyage

In preparation for the third annual ‘Carl Carl Sagan Day’, Science Editor Mark Atwill explains why it’s most definitely still Carl’s Cosmos

F

or those who have never heard of him, to try and summarise the enormous in�luence of Carl Sagan on the philosophy of modern physics within the con�ines of such an article is an almost impossible task. Astronomer, astrophysicist and cosmologist, his all- encompassing understanding of high-level physics gave him an unprecedented and effortlessly knowledgable standpoint from which to bring erstwhile unassailable planes of thinking to the public, delivered through characteristically haunting rhetoric in his unique, baritone timbre. Despite humble beginnings, a chequered personal life and a propensity to dabble in mind-altering drugs, Sagan’s list of accolades borders on the ludicrous. During his relatively short life, Dr. Sagan was elected President of most every recognised Planetary research society, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his book The Dragons of Eden: Speculations of the Evolution of Human Intelligence, Emmy and Peabody award winner for his series Carl Sagan’s Cosmos viewed by a billion people in 60 countries and owner of 22 honorary degrees for his contributions to science, literature and preservation of the environment. Even with so much academic recognition, his greatest achievement perhaps still remains “his ability to capture the imagination of millions and to explain dif�icult concepts in understandable terms”, the very words ceremoniously uttered during his re-

ceipt of the Public Welfare Medal, the highest award of the National Academy of Sciences. To scientists like Sagan, this is the fourth century of the great thinking revolution, ignited by the great minds of the Renaissance, and from that spark our knowledge of the universe continues to expand omni directionally. The social and spiritual implications of such an upheaval are incalculable, yet still, at a time when the evolution of our civilisation borders on a wholly intercommunicating organism, we choose to utilise the vast scope of the media not to share our blossoming consciousness with the verisimilitude it deserves, instead dedicating most of our time to entirely substance-less material. As Sagan proclaimed: “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” The unfolding beauty and grandeur of the universe, the unfathomable scale, the simultaneous signi�icance and insigni�icance of our world and the folly of global destruction were the things that Sagan saw in his Cold War threatened world, and dedicated himself to share them with us all.

Newcastle University has been in the news once again recently - this time, for tracking populations of wild goats by strapping GPS collars to them. Research into the behaviour of the herds that roam the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland have been featured on both the Guardian and BBC websites (no doubt to the delight of the University’s press of�ice). One detail picked up on by the media is the involvement of two undergraduate Zoology students, Aimée Palmer and Scott Barnes, who were given grants from the Sir James Knott Trust to gather data in the �ield. The pair spent three weeks observing a population of goats, the most northernly known in England. Since goats aren’t native to the British isles, at some point in time they must have been brought over the Channel by humans. “There’s dispute over when [the goats were brought over],” Palmer told The Courier. “Some say Neolithic, others say a 100 years ago. But now they’re a population - they’re feral, and aren’t used

to humans.” Though a celebrated element of the local wildlife, the goats are seen as a nuisance by some. “Farmers don’t like them knocking down walls and going into plantations,” she explained. “They have restrictions on the population level, and by going there we got to see how many were there and we took rough estimates.” Speci�ically though, Palmer and Barnes wanted to track the exact movements of the goats. “We wanted to see their spatial patterns, and where they’re going, and the different reasons behind why they’re going to different places,” she said. “I followed them round and saw where they were going, and whether this was due to feeding, or mating, or to see whether the males and females and kids were doing different things. “That’s why we got the GPS collars out - because I was only able to go for restrained hours. You can’t sit on a hill for 24 hours following goats, so these collars should come back with some good data.”

Space Exploration and Nuclear Destruction

Sagan’s passion for the exploration of space and hope for contact with extra-terrestrials to broaden the concept of our human condition is well-catalogued. Involved with the NASA space-program from its inception, he personally briefed t h e Apollo astronauts before their lunar missions, and was heavily involved in many robotic space US thermonuclear weapons testing missions - such as the

Pioneer and Voyager missions - for which he conceived the idea of recording unalterable recordings and messages that could potentially be intercepted and translated by non human intelligent life. From his own postulations using the Drake equation, Sagan was fa-

C

arl Sagan means a lot to me; the path I walk today was �irst blazed by him. Sagan’s insight, his gift to us, is the knowledge that we all have the ability to examine the universe with all the power of human curiosity, and we need not retreat from the answers we �ind. That is still true today, and I think it always will be. There is a comfort in lies whispered to ease our immediate fears, but they are lies nonetheless. Reality is something to be embraced whole-heartedly, or more accurately whole-mindedly. We are just past the cusp in our evolution where we can start to truly appreciate the universe for what it is, and leave behind the superstitions and comforting falsehoods of our species’ youth. Sagan reminded us to look ahead, and to be joyful about what we we �ind.

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe

Brian Cox

Carl Sagan

The men who stare at goats Left: Dr Bevan fits a GPS collar to a goat. Below: Palmer observing goats in the field. Photography: Scott Barnes

“I also want to see what they were eating,” Palmer says, adding: “I have fecal material which I’m going to analyse.” The data collected will feed back into Dr Bevan and Dr Garson’s studies, as well as Palmer’s dissertation. “I was only there for three weeks, but it was three weeks of hard work,” she says. “It was really good fun though, and it was interesting, and I think I learnt a lot.” Elliot Bentley


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

science&technology

Science Editor: Mark Atwill

Phases of the Moon, NASA

L nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with �ire.”

Sagan’s Influence:

Instantly recognisable in the world of modern physics, Royal Society member Brian Cox is a Professor of physics at the University of Manchester, and has been outspoken about his proclaimed hero Carl Sagan in the past. Last year he presented a poignant and heartfelt tribute on BBC Radio 4, which can still be heard online.

The Legacy of Carl Sagan

mously con�ident of the existence of intelligent life beyond our solar system, and was a vocal advocate of scrapping space shuttle missions in order to fund more experimental robotic and deep space communication-minded missions. His biggest practical fear was that the human race would fail to reach its potential of space-faring technology due to the folly of what would amount to assured total annihilation by nuclear war. For most of the Cold War, Sagan was in outspoken opposition to the stockpiling of nuclear arms, and was arrested several times for his protestation. As he famously described the absurdity of the superpower’s gesticulations: “The

A freethinker and spiritual skeptic, Sagan’s belief (or more aptly, lack of belief) in the meaning of life, on the nature of his own place - and that of humanity - in the vastness of the universe was famously unshakeable. As he mused: “Who are we? We �ind that we live on an insigni�icant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.” After a dif�icult and protracted battle with a rare form of leukaemia, Sagan’s �inal bone marrow transplant failed to eliminate his disease and following a relapse he died of secondary pneumonia at the age of 62 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle on December 20, 1996. He was buried near his home at Lakeview Cemetery in Ithaca, New York State. As well as a back-catalogue of awe-inspiring academic prowess, Sagan leaves us with a profound legacy of love, hope and fear for our future; a fear for the planet Earth, hanging so vulnerably in the vastness of space, for the pale blue dot in the infinite dark that harbours the hopes of everyone who has, and ever will be.

The Earth phorographed at a distnace of 60 billion kilometresfrom the Voyager space probe

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known

Carl Sagan

Water way to live

‘Wet’ star system hints at origins of Earth’s water Water is essential for life as we know it, covering 70% of the planet’s surface and the solvent that allows biological reactions to take place. For all of its importance however, relatively little is known about water. Where did Earth’s water even come from? Water is relatively rare in the Solar System. Europa – one of Jupiter’s many moons – is thought to have an ocean of liquid water deep under its surface, and this is the only other example of liquid water in the Solar System. The rest is present in small, frozen amounts: the ice caps of Mars and the ice in Saturn’s rings being two examples. Comets present in the outer Solar System are made almost entirely of ice, and it is comets that may provide clues regarding the origin of Earth’s water. Recent observations from the Herschel Space Observatory – currently in orbit around Earth – have excited astronomers. Herschel has been used to examine a cloud of gas 175 light years away that will even-

tually become a star system like our own. What has intrigued scientists is the presence of a large amount of water in the outer regions of this cloud; water that will eventually lead to the formation of comets. Astronomers have previously theorised that Earth may have gained water from comets colliding with the newly formed planet. These new observations suggest that this may have been a distinct possibility. The presence of masses of water in a developing star system suggests that water is not as rare in space as originally thought. Given water’s crucial role in the development of life, could this mean that the presence of extra-terrestrial life is more likely than was previously thought? Joe Willet

The Pale Blue Dot

ook again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of con�ident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined selfimportance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbour life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known. Carl SaganNovember 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996

sciencemeetsmusic

A

Artist’s impression of TW Hydrae

The presence of masses of water in a developing star system suggests that water is not as rare in space as originally thought.

lmost a century ago, English composer Gustav Holst composed The Planets suite, each movement based on a different celestial body within our solar system. Enduringly popular and immediately recognisable, his work is regarded as one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century. Composed over 2 years (1914-16), each movement evokes with unerring clarity astronomical characteristics and astrological imagery of the psyche associated with the planet; Holst, a keen amateur astrologist and astronomer keenly integrating his own observations of the solar system into his music. Although astrology is hocum, an emotional reaction to the scale and grandeur of the planets is a completely rational and ancient thing. Holst’s beautifully haunting piece very successfully captures the ‘essence’ of mankind’s vain, subconscious attempt to project personality onto our solar system in order to feel less insigni�icant, and, even if you don’t know it yet, has shaped the way you view our little corner of the universe. Mark Atwill

33

Technology Zelda: A link to our past

One of the dif�iculties of writing or speaking about something that is well loved is actually saying something new. We’ve all suffered the interminable waf�ling of a particular sort of Beatles fan, the sort who cannot accept that you merely like the holy quartet. Don’t you realise they were the best band ever? So when writing about the beloved Legend of Zelda series on its’ 25th anniversary, I am very conscious of the risk being a bore. In all likelihood there’s nothing I can tell you about the actual games themselves that you don’t already know. Perhaps then, the safest option is to relate my own personal relationship with series. Like many things that I love, I met Zelda kneeling on the carpet, too close to the television, with my little cousins. Zelda which had swords, shields and monsters in it - sent me hurtling down our common street to play. Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link was quickly deemed an essential purchase, but proved disappointing, lacking the open world that allowed three cousins to treat it - as all good Zelda games encourage - as a fantastical playground. We didn’t �ight when playing Zelda; suf�ice to say, this was not the norm. Our next adventure was brought about by misfortune; my cousin’s NES was stolen. Fortunately the SNES had been released as had Zelda: A Link to the Past. More hours of cooperative play ensued, enhanced by better visuals, music and a dimension hopping narrative. The thrill of exploration and discovery remained paramount however. It was around this time that life, and the series, took a melancholy turn. My mother was diagnosed with cancer as I approached puberty and I found solace in Link’s Awakening on the GameBoy, with its humorous yet wistful narrative and allusions to a chaste romance. The music proved to be a real highlight in the absence of colour visuals. Signi�icantly however, this is the �irst Zelda game I primarily remember playing solo, partly due to its format but also thanks to an increasing isolation from my family, driven by mundane puberty and less mundane tragedy. My mother’s illness proved to be terminal, family dysfunction ensued, the most tragic consequence of which was my cousins and I being separated by bitter, adult feuds beyond our control. Just before spending my �inal Christmas at “home”, Ocarina of Time arrived; my last truly emotionally signi�icant Zelda game. Link’s mid-game development into an adult and his subsequent rediscovery of familiar places rendered alien by the passage of time �it the mood perfectly. This was an epic that deserved to �ind its place within my hectic schedule of drinking, sleeping and mooning about over girls. Even then, however, there was something missing from the experience, something distinctly cousin shaped. I have of course, played and loved all of the subsequent Zelda games and I understand that some readers will be annoyed by my neglect of the other titles, but this is where my journey through the series, though not my enjoyment, ended. “But what about the cousins?!” I hear the more sensitive among you cry. I’m happy to report we are �irmly reunited. It may also please you that our remembrances upon our reunion focused heavily on this wonderful series, a perfect meeting of heart, nostalgia and technology, much like the games themselves. Steve Bartram


34

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

tvfeatures

thecourieronline.co.uk/tvandradio c2.tvandradio@ncl.ac.uk TV Editors: Sophie Fairhead and Nicole Stevenson

Made in Chelsea vs The Only Way Is Essex Whichever camp you choose, the cast of MIC and TOWIE are like rats in London – you are never more than �ive metres away from someone discussing the most Marmite stars of reality TV. The Courier attempts to explain Botox from Belgravia and sightings of the two casts, *shock horror*, partying in the same London club. “Did you know that Ireland is a Why are we not so surprised about this? separate country to Let’s look at their lifestyles. Neither MIC England?” Thanks nor TOWIE are strangers to club promot- for the heads up, ers, socialites, wannabe singers and ex- Amy Childs. travagant champagne-�illed parties - the “Without sounding only thing that differs is the postcode. Similarly, whether haute couture or Juicy like an arrogant Couture, the two teams place an extraor- b*****d, I could probably drive a dinary importance on their wardrobe. While we might also don more than our Skoda and still nick hoodies if we were on TV, the TOWIE stars birds.” We’ll take seem to spend excessive hours in Amy’s your word for it, salon or Sam’s boutique, while Binky, Mark. Cheska et al. use conspicuously-branded London boutiques as backdrops to many “If you get a waxan awkward love-life conversation. How- work done that’s ever it’s what’s inside that counts, and I’m how you know sure we would not be forgiven for ignor- you’ve made it.” Still waiting, Sam? “I’ve beat my meat loads since breaking up with Lauren.” A little too much information, Kirk?

Review

ing Chloe’s new lips/boobs and now bum job underneath the little clothing she wears. Frequent discussions of surgery and self-improvement leave Team Essex open to accusations of being unnaturally vain, or vain and unnatural, while the subject is fairly unspoken amongst the Rahs. Louise’s face is a shade of orange to rival an oompa-loompa, and we couldn’t help but feel sorry for Ollie Locke in his break-up scene, less because of the tears, more because they were washing telltale stripes of white down his face. While appearances suggest that the latter have had fewer crossings with the surgeon’s blade, an aggressive following for skyscraper heels, �lesh-baring tops and underwear shots reveal their covert vanity, but because it’s less talked about, it goes a little under the radar. I bet Team Chelsea would rather eat their polo pony than discuss tits and arse on TV and perhaps this can be put down to their aristocratic ‘stiffupper-lip’, a stark contrast to TOWIE’s easy-going banter. Conversation in SW1 seems limited to relationships and careers, whereas TOWIE’s often ridiculous blondeness is rather endearing and hilari-

body image How to Look Good Naked (C4)

A bit of a marmite kind of guy, Gok Wan does not please everyone’s taste buds, but when it comes to pleasing women, he has the best recipe for one self-satis�ied lady. At the scrutiny of the public, we’re not sure if a larger-than-life billboard poster of a naked lady would be a good way to increase her self-esteem. However, his signature one-size-�its-all compliment – “Look at that teeny-tiny waist!” – seems to work at making every woman feel beautiful… again. Although Gok’s show is probably Wan to miss for the men, I’d recommend it for those struggling to �ind words when your girlfriend asks, “What do you think?” instead of giving a general, less-believable reply, how about some honesty for a change? – “Umm…well…A V-neck would be more �lattering to your neckline and black is a little harsh for your skin tone, babe.” The Courier takes no responsibility for broken plates, noses and relationships; readers use the advice at their own risk. Yay or nay?

Supersize vs Superskinny (C4)

Hosted by health expert Dr Christian Jessen, Supersize vs Superskinny juxtaposes two radical examples of unhealthy eating habits and the consequential bodies of each case. Both extremes put you off binging and starving for life, and prompt you to rethink your own eating habits. The two contestants face each other and swap diets for �ive days – �ive excruciating, frustrating days for both. The purpose of the show is to make the overweight and the underweight contestant realise how much or how little they eat in comparison to each other and �ind a balance. Watching the show may also make you appreciate yourself – it could be worse, you know.

ously funny. Mark and Arg’s bromance is laughably pathetic but admirably exaggerated, as are many of the TOWIE characteristics. While we are reminded at the start of the programme that events have been created for our own entertainment, they are executed so convincingly that we begin to wonder. This sheds the TOWIE cast in a very sunny light and blurs the line between who is having more fun - us laughing at them, or them playing up to the part we want to see? Without claiming to be in either camp, it is impossible for us to gauge how authentically either social stereotype is portrayed, and I suspect the answer is ‘not very’. However, the caricatures are occasionally punctured by seemingly genuine moments when emotional turmoil is impossible to disguise under the glaring lights of reality TV. Thank god our love lives aren’t under the scrutiny of half the country! I’ll continue to watch both, judge all and fancy the boys, but what I would most like to see happen is a marriage of the two great houses. Wouldn’t it be great if Caggie and Mark Wright hitched up: ‘O Mark, Mark! wherefore art thou Mark? Deny thy Essex birds and refuse thy Sugarhut. Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I’ll no longer be a Chelsea Sloane’.

Models, Mis�its and Mayhem (ITV)

October’s new show about potential models in the making has hit our screens. Twenty people off the UK streets rival for recognition in the fashion modelling business, at the London School of Modelling. Not as prestigious as Britain’s Next Top Model, it is, however, more relatable for viewers. The school emphasises that modelling is de�initely not just for the typical skinny body types. What’s more, impressing the team doesn’t seem like a hard task, judging by Demitri the hairstylist’s benchmark criteria, “I don’t wanna see really s**t models.” As long as we’re not too bad, we might as well take our chances! Nicole Stevenson TV Editor

Chandler predicts Gaddafi’s death Before we knew and loved our sarcastic Friends hero Chandler Bing, Matthew Perry had a more humble start in corny 1980s sitcom Second Chance. It is partially set in 2011, where a man �inds himself at the gates of Heaven for his judgment day. The programme �lashes back over parts of his life and Perry plays his younger self. While the interior design of 2011 might have been beyond the stretch of the program’s budget or imagination, the show had far larger claims to futuristic accuracy. Before Perry’s elder arrives, a cheesy Miss America arrives at purgatory and is sent straight to Heaven, before St Peter �inds himself face to face with Libyan dictator Muammar Gadda�i, who comes in and is sent to Hell. The date is set on July the 29th 2011 (just 83 days before the actual date) and the portrayal is unnervingly true. He appears with a scraped muddy face and riddled with bullet wounds, unable to believe he has �inally been killed. An unconvincing St Peter accurately quips: “Oh, come now, you must have seen this coming; very few parents these days are naming their kids Muammar”. It would be hard to claim that this ominous prediction were anything deeper than the late-in-coming Second Chance of the producers, but it does remind us, the majority of whom were no more than a glint in the milkman’s eye 24 years ago when this was produced, that Gadda�i was already up to his tricks. Well done to the producers, you have accurately predicted that it would take that long for anyone to get round to doing something about it! Sophia Fairhead TV Editor

Hottie of the Week Harry Judd

Okay, so a guy drenched in sparkles, glitter and sequins does not usually scream ‘boyfriend material’ but if there was any male that could make us reassess this disaster of a wardrobe malfunction it is Harry Judd himself. The 25-year-old, famous for rocking out in McFly, normally dressed in jeans and a fashion-savvy top, actually manages to pull off the lycra look with his new role on Strictly Come Dancing. If you think Harry’s talents begin and end at the seat of a drum kit, you may be pleasantly surprised - he can now add ‘avid dancer’ to the list. Not only does the boy have rhythm, he is one quarter of the most successful and hot boy bands of the last ten years. See for yourself and check out those arms, eyes and that almost too-goodto-be-true bone structure, which could not be more perfect if it was intricately carved by a professional sculptor. Thankfully, we’re backing him to be on the show for a while, so switch over from X Factor. I’ll leave my bedroom door open in case he ever chooses to waltz in. Jessica Timms


THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

thecourieronline.co.uk/careers c2.editor@ncl.ac.uk

featurecareers

Considering a Masters? Debating a doctorate? Lauren Girling interviews Dr Katie Harland and poses the dif�icult question – to study or not to study?

We all know that three years of undergraduate study may be enough for most people – the tears, the tutorials and the hangovers are suf�icient to have students running for the hills at the prospect of postgraduate study. But in fact, it may be more inviting than it seems. I know, there is this terrible cliché that as soon as you become a ‘doctor,’ you have to spend your life in academia wearing leather elbow patches. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of this week’s alumnus, Dr Katie Harland, the Development Manager for the HASS faculty. Dr Katie is a prime example of having a ful�illing job away from academia (and elbow patches) yet still achieving her full academic poten-

Photo: DM Burrows

Graduate Profile

tial. For someone who was so keen on studying for their doctorate in English Literature, a career as a professor never crossed Katie’s mind. ‘Throughout my studies I was quite sure that I didn’t want to be an academic, although I did enjoy the research and I also had the opportunity to do some teaching, which was

great.” As well as enjoying the teaching side, Katie had a lot of praise for the PhD experience overall. “PhD study is all about self-motivation and discipline and gives you the opportunity to manage a large and complicated project. “I do feel very strongly that doctoral graduates have skills that should

be recognised as valuable by employers,” Katie added. These types of ‘transferable skills’ (a phrase I’m sure those of you applying for jobs are all too familiar with!) are the things which really make you stand out to a prospective employer. With on average 83 graduates applying per place on graduate trainee schemes, Katie decided to look a little closer to home when applying for jobs. As Development Manager for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) at Newcastle University, Katie explained, “the most exciting aspect of my job is de�initely having the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with some really interesting and successful individuals who have a genuine fondness for the University and the city more generally.” Being a local girl, Katie loves the fact that she can stay close to her family and friends by working for the University however, she often travels all over the country to meet alumni. Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be reserved for the privileged and the deeply intellectual as there is funding available if you look in the right places. If I can take anything away from speaking to Katie about her experiences, it is that my perception of the typical academic has changed. She proves that if you get the balance right, a doctorate can also be the ultimate fashion accessory! For more information on funding, visit www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/ funding.

Career Crackers

Key questions about your future Before you start applying for jobs, ask yourself some important questions; - Where do you want to work? - Who do you want to work for? - Who do you want to work with?

- Do you want regular hours or �lexible hours? - Do you want to work for yourself?

- Do you want to apply for graduate schemes or current vacancies? - Do you want to continue studying?

- Where do you want to be in �ive years’ time?

35

Tribulations of a soonto-begraduate Lucy Alexander It is a widely-known fact that University is meant for experimenting, be it with your hair, sexual orientation or political beliefs. What is not so widely publicised is that living in a mixedsex house is possibly the most surreal form of experimentation at undergrad level. At risk of reading too much into things (the curse of the ‘soon-to-be graduate’, I feel), I can’t help but see my current living situation of three boys and three girls as a partial dryrun for marriage in (much) later life. If so, I would like to of�icially opt out. The boys that I live with are awesome. This is, in part, what worries me though: if the anecdotes listed below are the result of ‘nice’ boys living together, then I shudder to think what other traumatic experiences girls are forced to undergo in their mixed houses. I can’t help but feel that there’s scope for a hotline. The �irst side effect that springs to mind is where boys are suddenly and irrecoverably struck with an attack of the ‘over-protective brother’. Having already spent all of my undergrad life so far living in the near vicinity of my actual brother (you know when you’re just too close as siblings to possibly contemplate going to separate universities? I don’t think sarcasm is translating too well in print...), I am both accustomed to and already tired of this. Their threats to stave off gentleman callers (purely round to discuss current affairs you understand) involve in equal measure: literally barricading the stairs, �lannel dressing gowns, folded arms and a look that says, “not in this house you won’t”. When you have more brute-force protection than the Princess on a night out, you know that your �latmates have probably got the brotherly balance a bit skewed. Other incidents include getting a little too excited whilst watching Coyote Ugly (you know that sex scene where she still has underwear on? Who knew that that is still too much for the average male), and performing the LMFAO ‘Sexy And I Know It’ dance whilst I’m trying to eat. I’m talking the full routine, WITH the gratuitous nudity and repetitive gyrations. Thus most meal times circulate around this conversation: “Boys, I’m trying to eat. Please don’t do that in my face. ESPECIALLY not without any clothes on. Well now I can’t eat a thing. (Sigh) yes, I suppose that does mean you can continue.” This, when coupled with the sounds of FIFA and CoD permeating my dreams, can be a little hard to digest sometimes. However, living with boys isn’t all bad by any stretch. My boys are sweeties (most of the time), and prove extremely useful when it comes to moving heavy furniture around. Well, how does a girl know where her bed looks best without a little research? I wouldn’t change who I lived with for the world – really, it just ensures that if I do end up trapping a man for an extended period of time, then their naked dancing would be slightly worrying still, but not a surprise. After all, I can’t have it that bad if I occasionally return home from lectures, only to be greeted by the sweet smell of baking cookies and my most metrosexual �latmate mincing around the kitchen.


36

Puzzles

Sudoku

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

You can find the answer s to this week’s pu thecou zzles at rieronli ne. co.uk/p uzzles

thecourieronline.co.uk/puzzles c2.puzzles@ncl.ac.uk Puzzles Editor: Laura Armitage

Catchphrase Crossword Across

1. ___ speak louder than words (7) 5. Pieces of ___ (5) 8. Trade ___ (7) 9. The Holy ___ (5) 10. __ the lion (3) 12. Lead by ___ (7) 14. A little rough around the ___ (5) 15. Last but not ___ (5) 20. Time is of the ___ (7) 22. Tic-Tac- ___ (3) 23. A ___ playing field (5) 25. Sorely ___ (7) 27. __ your bets (5) 28. Many happy ___ (7)

Down

the e of mn o Be e to co ord fiv first e crossw n’s th Me plete nd into ree f ha and to win a r Ba meal!

1. Question and ___ (6) 2. ___ pink (7) 3. The ___ and only (3) 4. You can’t beat the ___ (6) 5. Chicken and ___ (3) 6. ___ the nettle (5) 7. Fortune ___ (6) 11. A drop in the ___ (5) 13. Secret ___ (5) 16. Helter ___ (7) 17. Health, ___ and happiness (6) 18. ___ late than never (6) 19. Jack of all ___ (6) 21. ___ by the bell (5) 24. Let sleeping dogs ___ (3) 26. ___ his match (3)

Dingbats Work out the word or phrase that is depicted in the image.

Wordsearch

Aston Villa 4 - 1 Arsenal 4 - 1 Liverpool 4 - 1 Man United 4 - 1 Sunderland 4 - 1

birthstones

Charlton Everton Bradford Chelsea Leicester

West Ham 4 - 4 Tottenham

Duckett and Hay

Garnet

Amethyst

Bloodstone

Diamond

Emerald

Agate

Ruby

Peridot

Sapphire

Opal

Topaz

Turquoise


Sport

37

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

A Welshman, a Scotsman and an Irishman enter the Olympics...

Is support for team GB stronger following Gareth Bale’s publicity stunt?

Wales

This debate regarding a British Olympic football team is incredible. Only the UK would struggle with an argument about an occasion meant to bring nations together in support of their athletes. After all, the Olympics only come about once every four years, and it is extremely rare to have them in your own back yard (the last Olympics in Britain were in 1948). First off, for Scotland and Northern Ireland, this is a moot point in my opinion, as neither nation has any players under 23 who would ordinarily get near a GB team, unless the new Kenny Dalglish or George Best miraculously appears in the next year. However, for Wales the story is completely different, as they hold two possible trump cards for any team GB; Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. Both players would be sure to light up any major tournament, and this

may be their best opportunity when you consider that Wales last quali�ied for a major competition in 1958. For me, I would love to see the best young players from the UK playing for together for the same team. If anything, it would give England a sample of what they’ve long been missing when they watch Bale foray down that left wing. I can see no plausible way of, or real justi�ication for, preventing these players competing in the Olympics if they wish. After all, it’s not as if Wales have the luxury of being able to hold players to ransom, as they cannot afford to leave out their best players. And from where I’m standing, it looks as if players like Gareth Bale have already made up their minds. It’s all Sepp Blatter’s fault anyway... Niall Haughey

Sport Editors Colin Henrys, Harry Slavin and Rory Brigstock-Baron Online Sport Editor: Grace Harvey courier.sport@ncl.ac.uk

Northern Ireland The four countries do share a passport, so why not share a collective Olympic football team? From a Northern Irish point of view there is no reason why we should not compete alongside England, Scotland and Wales. We will happily share in humiliating defeat, as it will only give us another reason to belittle the English national side, which will inevitably occupy 100% of the Olympic GB team. Of course, this will in no way be due to the bias in team selection, the squad being picked by England’s very own under-21 manager. However, if Stuart Pearce does decide to use his

head and choose the likes of Jonny Evans, Corry Evans, James Gorman and Craig Cathcart – two Manchester United players, one former Manchester United player and one Wolves player, who could all be at the disposal of Stuart Pearce and his Olympic side - the fortunes of the Olympic team could be drastically improved. After all, based on previous performances against England we are currently the form team out of the four home nations. Cast your mind back to 1984 when Northern Ireland brought home the last British Home Championship, or, more recently, Northern

Ireland’s 1-0 win at Windsor Park in 2005, when England were lucky to escape with their dignity intact after being punished by none other than the talismanic David Healy. In retrospect, Stuart Pearce should take note of these statistics and base his Olympic GB team solely around the Northern Irish international side. If the man does ever come to his senses Northern Ireland and its international team will certainly have no issues with partaking in a joint Olympic football team alongside its other, inferior, Home Nations counterparts Chris Adams & Chris McCrory

As far as I am concerned, no other home nation, let alone Scotland, should be enticed into accepting any invitation to take part in this sorry excuse for a national football team at next year’s Olympics. There are a lot of memorable things that may come from next year’s Olympics - athletes such as Jennifer Ennis and Sir Chris Hoy winning gold on home soil, Usain Bolt smashing his own world records - but I can promise you now that the legacy of GB’s football team will not be one of them. Whether you are English, Irish, Welsh or Scottish there is no denying that there is one thing we all have in common and that is our unenviable ability to excel in the art of glorious failure. While the English FA has put the weight of its full support behind the idea, other home nations have been entirely reluctant to follow suit and with good reason. England and its supporters over the last umpteen years have been quite content revelling in mediocrity, clinging on to past glories and blaming their inevitable downfalls on anyone but themselves. I do not wish my beloved country to be a part of this misguided philosophy

and am thoroughly behind the Scottish FA’s intention to stay well clear of any co-operative footballing venture with the sinking ship that �lounders just across the border. After all, we are a nation that �irst and foremost takes great pride in its mistakes. We revel in them. No one in Scotland can for the life of them remember that impossible victory one night in Paris against World Cup �inalists France, but you can guarantee every Scotsman from Berwick to Wick can recall the time Chris Iwelumo made the impossible possible with the most majestic miss from two yards anyone has laid eyes upon to this day. Scotland is a national team built on hope and not expectation. Any decision to allow our �ine selection of SPL stalwarts and Championship high-�lyers to integrate with a

team of over-rated Premier League divas would throw our game into disrepute. When the day eventually arrives and Team GB stroll out to a stadium full of deludedly expectant supporters, I can only hope that there is not a single Scottish gene on that pitch, or in the stands for that matter, because at the end of the day, who wants to be British, when you could be Scottish? Harry Slavin

Scotland


39

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

featuresport

Massa vs Hamilton: crash of the titans

Formula One’s latest rivalry should be a cause for excitement, argues Freddie Caldwell Rivalries can often be one of the most interesting aspects of sport; there are few tennis fans whose heart rates do not rise signi�icantly at the prospect of a showdown between Federer and Nadal, just as there are few Scottish football fans who would get up to pour themselves an Irn-Bru if an Old Firm game was on. A rivalry gets particularly interesting when it escalates into a feud, and this is a common occurrence in the world of motorsport. In the late 80s and early 90s Formula 1 was energised by the battle between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. There was clear aggression between the two men and there were occasions when they each seemed to deliberately crash into the other; there can be little doubt that this brought a soap opera element to the sport which helped to boost viewing �igures worldwide. To the excitement of many fans, the sport now has another feud to savour thanks to the ongoing battle between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa which has developed over the course of the 2011 season. To understand the nature of this con�lict we have to look back to the Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of the 2008 season. Massa won the race in front of his home fans and it appeared that he would take the driver’s World Championship for that year. However, on the last corner of the last lap, Hamilton was able to overtake Timo Glock and gain the extra point he needed to take the Championship instead of Massa. Fast-forward to the Monaco Grand Prix 2011. Hamilton attempted to overtake Massa and hit the side of his car, the Brazilian eventually crashed as a result. The pair have subsequent-

Massa is hot on Hamilton’s tail in the Japanese Grand Prix this year, a race in which the two crashed for the fifth time this season. Photo: Getty Images

creased the pressure on him to perform well. The dif�icult situations in which both drivers �ind themselves perhaps makes it less surprising that they have decided to take their frustrations out on each other. Many F1 fans have been disappointed at the way the 2011 season has panned out with Sebastian Vettel

dominating throughout and already securing the drivers’ World Championship. However, the feud between Hamilton and Massa provides a welcome talking point. This goes to show that rivalries, no matter how bitter, add an extra level of intrigue to any sport.

Sporting feuds Roy Keane vs Alf-Inge Haaland

As Roy Keane lay stricken in 1997 with a serious cruciate injury, Haaland accused him of having faked it to avoid punishment for a bad tackle. Keane exacted his revenge in 2001 with perhaps the worst tackle ever seen on a football field. Haaland never played again, and Keane received a big fine and a ban for bragging about the tackle in his autobiography. Last month Haaland is alleged to have called Keane a “maverick” who “had no idea how to play football”. ly made contact at four more races this season which has resulted in Massa refusing to speak to Hamilton. It is worth noting that this is not the �irst time that Hamilton has had an issue with another driver; in his debut season in 2007 he endured a �ierce rivalry with his then team-mate Fernando Alonso. 2011 is the �irst season since then that Hamilton has been seriously

challenged in terms of speed by his team-mate; Jenson Button has currently accumulated 38 more points than Hamilton and looks almost certain to �inish above him in the �inal standings. Massa has also struggled to match his current team-mate who, coincidentally, happens to be Alonso. This has lead to rumours that his seat at Ferrari is under threat, which has in-

Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield

While boxing is hardly known for being a soft sport, when a man loses a chunk of his ear in a fight it is clear that the physical contact has gone too far. Aggrieved at what was deemed an accidental headbutt by Holyfield in their first bout in 1996, and then again in their rematch in 1997, Tyson chose to bite both of

Holyfield’s ears as they stood in a clinch. One of Tyson’s former trainers had predicted that Tyson would resort to illegal tactics having failed to intimidate his opponent. Referee Mills Lane disqualified Tyson and took away his boxing license.

Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi

Vicious feuds are not restricted to contact sports either. In the late 1970s, chess players Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi went 43 games without once exchanging a pleasantry. Korchnoi had defected from the Soviet Union, whom Karpov represented, and the two even pushed for the rules of the game related to offering draws and resigning to be changed so that they could avoid talking to each other at the height of their intense rivalry.

Back of the net Video of the week

Tweet of the week

-@DGoughie November 3

“I’ll tell you what so many people doing movember! Great cause but in a couple of weeks time it will be Mexico revisited” Former England fast-bowler and Strictly star Darren Gough offers a word of caution as the MoBros settle into their shave-free month.

Testing times This week in

He is best known for being Mr Bean and as Rowan Atkinson watched Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa crash for the sixth time this season (see article above) from the McLaren garage there were certainly elements of his famous character in his reaction. Captured here by Youtube channel “f1thegame”, the 14-second video

shows Atkinson react �irst with fury before his facial expression turns to uncertainty and then to a telling look of deja-vu; no doubt a reaction that many British fans will have shared up and down the country.

1) Emile Heskey; 2) Chicago White Sox; 3) Rapid Vienna (1941); 4) Youngest World Cup try scorer; 5.) Three - Elena Baltacha, Anne Keathavong, Heather Watson.

Rowan Atkinson reacts to Massa/Hamilton crash

1.) Who wore Liverpool’s number 8 jersey before Steven Gerrard? 2.) Which Major League Baseball team did Michael Jordan play for? 3.) Which is the only domestic football team to win two league titles in one season? 4.) What record did Wales’ George North break at this year’s Rugby World Cup? 5.) As of October 31 2011, how many British women were ranked in the WTA Top 100 players?

history

Nov 7 2007 University: Newcastle Men’s volleyball team remained bottom of the league after a defeat in four sets to York 1sts. Nov 8 1987 National: Australia beat England by seven runs to win the Cricket World Cup. Nov 10 1991 National: South Africa play their �irst cricket international since 1970 - an ODI against India. Nov 13 1974 Intra Mural: Freeman’s A beat Medics 14-3 thanks to goals from Wilson (4), Kalinowsky (3), Lake (2), Lord (2), Gillen, Rigby and an own goal.

Birthday Week

Nov 8 1979: Aaron Hughes Popular Northern Irish defender, formerly of Newcastle United and currently at Fulham. Nov 9 1970: Chris Jericho A name instantly recognisable to fans of WWE after a career that spanned two decades. Nov 12 1970: Tonya Harding A former Olympic Ice Skater best known for her part in an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.

The Longshot Bosnia to qualify for Euro 2012. While most people will turn their attention to Republic of Ireland’s play-off matches with Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina take on Portugal for a place in the �inals too. The Bosnians will look to Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko to beat the Portuguese. While this looks one-sided on paper, Bosnia nearly beat France to an automatic spot in the group stages and should not be written off so easily. Coral are offering generous odds of 7/4 for Bosnia to qualify.

7/4


40

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

sportIntraMural

Eco on the Batham mobile Second division goal machine nets second consecutive hat-trick as free-scoring Ecosoccer win again

Intra Mural Football Division Two (Weds) Ecosoccer

7

Boca Seniors

1

Rob Stacey at Longbenton 3G If you’re looking for goals and free �lowing football this season, second division out�it Ecosoccer appear a safe bet, as they breached the six goal mark for the third consecutive game, seeing off Boca Seniors 7-1 at Longbenton’s 3G. The �ixture was in doubt after a �loodlight failure, an absent referee and confusion amongst players came close to causing a postponement. Much to the relief of both sides, legendary Intra Mural referee Steve Catchpole stepped in to oversee the �ixture and the lights returned so that the game could go ahead. It was Ecosoccer who opened the scoring when Zack Goddard swung in a defence-splitting cross from the left for Josh Batham to turn home from six yards. Then it was the turn of the mid�ield as year-abroad-meeting-bunker’

Conor Macdonald capitalised on good work from Scouse counterpart Joe Murray who burst into the box and rounded the keeper to place home and open his account for Ecosoccer on his �irst start. Batham then continued his hot streak of form when his left-footed shot found the bottom left corner of the net for Eco’s third. Most goals are planned on the training ground, but Eco’s fourth came straight from the living room table as Goddard and Macdonald linked up from a short corner. Goddard unleashed a venomous shot from the corner of the area which rocketed in to the top corner of the net. On the stroke of half-time it became 5-0. The old saying ‘play to the whistle’ no doubt said by everybody’s under-11s manager back in the day, couldn’t have been more relevant as the Seniors defence stood and watched Batham square it to Goddard to make it 5-0 at the break. As the second half developed, so did the passing play of a revitalised Boca Seniors who took the game to Ecosoccer. However, from a Seniors corner it took two passes to make it 6-0 to Ecosoccer as captain Tom Warren, who had taken his phone off silent mode and decided to show up, dribbled it out of defence and played it to

Rob Stacey. Stacey threaded Goddard clean through on goal for the striker to calmly strike home his second hattrick in two games and round off another Man of the Match performance. Keeping up his early charge towards the golden boot, Batham then showed the opposing defender a clean set of heels from a Goddard �lick on before lifting the ball over the keeper with an exquisite �inish. The goal took his tally for the season to nine goals in just three appearances. Boca Seniors did, however, get the goal that their second half display warranted when a cross from the right was converted with a quality side-footed �inish. The Seniors will be looking to match their second half display and do Ecosoccer a favour when they face The Courier’s pre-season predicted champions Medics 2nds in next week clash, while Ecosoccer will hope to maintain the league’s only one hundred per cent record when they meet Boroussia Forsyth. With 20 goals in Eco’s �irst three matches, Forsyth had better bring a well-drilled defensive unit if they are to avoid becoming Ecosoccer’s fourth victims of the season.

Ecosoccer continued their fine start to the season with a crushing defeat of Boca Seniors

Photography: Hubert Lam

Aftermath are le Intra Mural Football Division One (Weds) Newcastle Medics 1sts 7 Aftermath

0

Daniel Carnie at Longbenton 3G

IM league tables >>>

After a disappointing start to the season for reigning champions Newcastle Medics 1sts, who are looking for their fourth consecutive title this season, the junior doctors kickstarted their campaign by hitting newly-promoted Aftermath for seven. For the second week in a row, their opponents were left to count the cost of more woeful defending while the referee was left to count the number of goals scored. Having been on the wrong end of a 9-0 rout against Barca Law Na last time out, Aftermath were

keen to show that they are more than just Division One’s whipping boys. Unfortunately their con�idence (and goal difference) took another battering against the impressive Medics who bounced back from a draw against Castle Leazes in their opening match and an enforced postponement of their game last week when they failed to raise a team. It didn’t take long for the boys in claret and blue to breach the Aftermath defence and with only �ive minutes on the clock, Chris Kay took advantage of some chaotic defending to grab the �irst goal. This was unfortunate for Aftermath after they had made a promising start but the goal seemed to de�late them. 10 minutes later it was 2-0 and it was right-back Johnny Emms who was the unlikely scorer, rampaging through the defence before clipping a delightful �inish over the oncoming keeper. The defending didn’t get any better as the Medics’ standout player Joel English stole the ball off the Aftermath full-back before pulling the ball back to Dave Edwards to slot home.


41

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

IntraMuralsport

Secret No laughing matter for Shavin The Intra Mural Hurricanes put newly-promoted boys in a spin to record �irst win of season

Intra Mural Football Division Two (Weds) The Hurricanes

5

Ar U Shavin A Laugh 1 Harry Slavin at Redhall Drive The Hurricanes’ season �inally burst into life on Wednesday as they put 2nd Division new boys Ar U Shavin A Laugh to the sword in an open game at Redhall. Shavin came into the match off the back of an impressive victory over Boca Seniors and looked buoyed by their recent success in the opening stages, controlling the majority of play as The Hurricanes struggled to �ind a foothold in the game. With Shavin controlling the early mid�ield battle, largely down to the performances of Martin Windebank and Ben Mile who was deputising in goal for The Hurricanes and had to be alert on a couple of occasions to keep his team level, coming to the edge of his area to snuff out a couple of goalscoring opportunities. Having soaked up the pressure though, The Hurricanes began to impose their authority on the game and two quick-�ire goals midway through the half set the tone for the rest of the encounter. The �irst blow was dealt by in-form striker Chris McCrory, who found the net for the fourth time in three games when he rolled his marker in the box and lashed home into the bottom corner past the despairing keeper. Shavin were clearly shell-shocked at falling behind and failed to regroup after the restart as less than a minute later the team in light blue found themselves two goals behind. A through ball over the top from Eddie King wasn’t dealt with by the defence

and although the initial effort from McCrory was blocked by the ‘keeper, Adam Duckworth followed up the rebound to sweep home and give his side a bit of breathing space. Duckworth’s goal saw a complete switch in emphasis from both sides as The Hurricanes pushed on for further goals having smelled blood, while Shavin desperately tried to sure up a defence that was leaking an alarming amount of chances. After squandering numerous opportunities, these

chances eventually brought reward with a third goal from a well worked move down the right hand side. Rightback Chris Adams charged down the right wing and sent in a pin-point cross which McCrory headed home for his second of the game and �ifth of the season. Shavin’s misery was compounded with the last kick of the half as King was given enough time and space in mid�ield to aim for a goal from 35 yards out, his effort sailing over the

keeper’s head and nestling in the net to give his side an unassailable four goal lead at half-time. Despite starting the second half with renewed vigour it was more of the same for Shavin as The Hurricanes continued to bombard their goal, and four soon became �ive as a cross from McCrory was turned into a goal by one of Shavin’s own defenders. With the �ifth goal, The Hurricanes began to ease their pressure on the opposition’s goal and allowed Shavin the space and time to create a couple of chances for themselves. Shavin’s perseverance paid off towards the end of the half when their star performer, Windebank, had time to send in a cross-come-shot that ended up looping over Mile in The Hurricanes’ goal to give his side a slight consolation. The result was a welcome one for The Hurricanes’ captain Nick Gibby, who was extremely pleased to see his side in gear after a tricky start to the season. Meanwhile, it’s back to square one for Ar U Shavin A Laugh after they failed to build on last week’s result. Their next match, a basement battle with Wednesday new boys Newhist FC is already a must-win encounter if they hope to keep themselves clear of a relegation battle this season. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, can look forward to an early evening match on Longbenton’s prestigious 3G pitch against Lokomotiv.

Not laughing anymore

Hurricanes right-back Chris Adams clears his lines as his side secured their first win of the season.

Photography: Clare Deal

After two promotions in the last two seasons, Ar U Shavin A Laugh appear to have finally met their match in the competitions second tier as their results so far have shown: 12 Oct Medics 2nds LOST 0-4 19 Oct Ecosoccer LOST 0-7 26 Oct Boca Seniors WON 3-2 2 Nov The Hurricanes LOST 1-5

ft to count cost of leaky defence Kay then got his second of the match after a simple ball over the top opened up space behind the defence and he nudged the ball past the keeper into the empty net. Matt Anderson got in on the act too, after a long ball up�ield by Andrew Fretwell resulted in a simple ball being played across the box, and he was left unmarked at the back post to cut back inside and smash a shot into the corner. At this point, half-time couldn’t come quick enough for the shambolic Aftermath defence but before it did, English got his well-deserved goal, �inishing crisply after the full-back once again decided to come inside rather than putting the ball out of play. Thankfully for the Mathematicians, half-time came and it gave them the opportunity to regroup and regain some pride, but a seven goal turnaround seemed somewhat unlikely. With the Medics looking in such imperious form there was talk that the score could reach double �igures but to Aftermath’s credit they managed to regain a bit of pride in the second half.

Greig Dickens’ introduction in mid�ield helped to bring some much needed composure. Joel Hawkins also deserves an honourable mention for his work-rate upfront. Sadly though, the match as a whole was more reminiscent of the Scottish national team chasing Spain around like lambs to the slaughter last month. The inevitable seventh goal came from English once again, who had the simple task of nodding the ball in at the back post after a delightful cross. To compound their misery, Aftermath missed their best opportunity of a consolation goal. Referee Steve Catchpole has received criticism for ‘champagne-gate’, (his alleged celebrations with the Medics at the end of last season,) but there was certainly no lasting love when he penalised angry Medic Fretwell for what seemed a minor off-the-ball infringement as a corner came in. Perhaps he was just trying to wind up the Yorkshireman, or maybe it was given out of sympathy to the helpless Aftermath, but either way captain Pete Watts blazed his penalty high,

wide and not very handsome to leave the score at 7-0. Fretwell told The Courier after the match that he believed the penalty had been ‘very harsh’ but did not want it to distract from the Medics dominant performance. He commented: ‘We looked class, it should have been double �igures’. With a porous defence and toothless attack, Aftermath will have to improve if they are to stay in the top division. Without a win since the opening week, and having leaked 19 goals in their last four matches, it has been a dif�icult start to life in the top division for Watts and his teammates. For the Medics, however, tougher challenges lie ahead as they look to catch early league leaders Barca Law Na. They showed a �ine comeback from their disappointing start to the season and while the �inal margin of victory was less than Barca had managed against the same opposition, the Lawyers would do well to heed this warning: the Medics will not be giving up their title that easily.

Goals galore As is the nature of Intra Mural football, this was the eighth time a team a match has been won by a winning margin of six or more goals. Below are the biggest wins so far this season: Barca Law Na 9 - 0 Aftermath Brown Magic 8 - 1 Dynamos Medics 7 - 0 Aftermath Ecosoccer 7 - 0 Ar U Shavin Roman Villa 7 - 1 CHS Ecosoccer 7 - 1 Boca S’iors Lokomotiv 7 - 1 Newhist FC Barca Law Na 6 - 0 Leazes

Footballer

#4 Changing of the guard

A disappointing start to the season has led to a major upheaval at The Courier’s undercover footballer’s club, leaving him with plenty to ponder. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. As a team, we feared the worst after a poor start. Our fear led us to lose games at an alarming rate, which led to anger. That anger at our poor form led to a hate of the system, and as a result we have all suffered. So there we are, the seamless link between Yoda’s warped syntax and Intra Mural football clearly explained. Our suffering has led to drastic changes at the club. No one person is to blame for the state of affairs we �ind ourselves in. Both individually and collectively we have let ourselves down. Nevertheless, there has been a shake-up both at board level and on the coaching staff and there is a certain amount of optimism surrounding the changes, with some believing the club is �inally moving in the right direction. Think swapping Tony Pulis for Pep Guardiola; that’s the blueprint anyway. As I’ve been told by a reliable source close to the chairman, BarcaLaw-Na should watch out. Speaking of the Catalan giants (no, Barca-Law-Na, not you) in their game against Viktoria Plzen last week, Barcelona attempted a pass every 6.6 seconds on their way to a 4-0 victory against the Czech title-holders. If we are to emulate the best team in world football, my teammates and I should probably start practicing the old tiki-taka as there have been times this season (every game) where it has felt like my team has struggled to complete a pass every 6.6 minutes, never mind every 6.6 seconds. But that is all going to change now; the philosophy of the club has been transformed, with a recent e-mail to the team explicitly con�irming this. The BBC recently released �igures given to them by the LMA (League Manager’s Association) detailing the costs to Football League clubs of managerial changes in the past year: £99 million! That is how much was spent by clubs in England on compensation, legal fees and ‘double contracts’. I wonder how much our managerial change cost. I’ve asked the club treasurer but he politely told me to do one. It is certainly one to think about.


42

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

sportIntraMural

Medics stunned by Newhist at Longbenton

Determined defending earns New boys �irst ever point as the Division Two table-toppers surrender 100% record Intra Mural Football Division Two (Weds) Newhist FC

1

Medics 2nds

1

Colin Henrys at Longbenton In what must be classed as one of the most surprising results in the history of Intra Mural football, Newhist FC earned their �irst ever point in the Wednesday competition as a true backs-to-the-wall performance saw them to a 1-1 draw against the tabletopping Medics 2nds. The Medics entered the match with three wins out of three while Newhist, surprisingly placed in Wednesday’s second tier in their debut season, had conceded fourteen goals in their �irst two matches and entered the game amidst rumours that they had asked to be relegated from the league. Despite the odds being piled against them, with bookmakers having slashed the odds on a double �igure scoreline in the week leading up to the match, only a late equaliser denied the New boys all three points after Luke Krumins had earlier marked his full Newhist debut with a sensational long-range goal. Perhaps over-con�ident given their expected superiority, the Medics started the match slowly with Krumins and Will Broadbent dominating the mid�ield battle for Newhist, while centre-backs Will Robinson and Rowan Northcott looked at ease on the

few occasions that the Medics broke through. At the other end, Rory BrigstockBarron battled tirelessly as the lone striker for Newhist but chances were few and far between. The closest was when Patrick Gallagher came within inches of intercepting a loose pass from the Medics ‘keeper, which would have undoubtedly presented him with an easy tap-in. Although not necessarily against the run of play, Newhist’s goal, when it arrived, was somewhat out of the blue. Welshman Krumins received Gallagher’s pass on the edge of the box, sidestepped a tackle and then unleashed a rising shot with his weaker left-foot. His shot could not have been hit any more perfectly, leaving the Medics ‘keeper stranded as the ball found the top corner to send Newhist into raptures. The goal shocked their opposition into action and mid�ielder Chris Holt shot narrowly over the crossbar with a half-volley from distance just moments after the restart. Medics 2nds also hit the outside of the post from a header, after the original corner was only half-cleared, but as the interval arrived Newhist held a 1-0 lead that nobody had expected. As expected, the second half began with an onslaught of Medics’ chances, with Guy Hindley and Holt looking to expose Colin Henrys at right-back by frequently piling forward together. Great cover play from Broadbent, however, meant that Newhist were never at a numerical disadvantage on that wing and, when crosses did come in, the outstanding centre-back partnership of Northcott and Robinson stood �irm, clearing chance after chance.

Alongside Henrys and cult-hero Raymond Wen, the two continued to hold �irm in the Newhist defence. Chances did continue to rain in, however, and both sides made full use of their substitutes to keep their players fresh. Somehow, Newhist continued to hold �irm as the Medics hit both the post and the bar before goalkeeper James Thornton pulled off a superlative save at close-range to keep his side in front. The Medics striker should have equalised when he found himself behind the defence to meet a right-wing cross, but instead contrived to nod his free header up onto the bar before the ball fell, hit his foot just inches out and yet somehow managed to defy logic by looping up over the crossbar and onto the roof of the net. With less than ten minutes remaining, the pressure �inally told when a cross falling between Wen and Thornton presented the Medics with an easy tap-in. Had this happened to their easily demoralised Saturday team, Newhist would then have gone on to lose the game, but this Newhist team proved that they are made of sterner stuff. Brigstock-Barron dropped into the mid�ield to shore up proceedings and he could even have nicked an unlikely winner as he combined with substitute Owen Evans before his shot was charged down. At the other end, Northcott and Robinson continued to hold �irm in defence for Newhist and, when a late corner was headed wide by the Medics, the referee’s whistle blew to con�irm a sensational result for the New boys.

Jesmondino beaten by Senseless brilliance Intra Mural Football Division Three (Weds) Shagther Senseless

2

Jesmondino

0

Robbie Cachia at Close House It took two moments of genius to help new boys Shagther Senseless clinch three points in what was a heavily anticipated mid-table clash against Jesmondino at Close House yesterday. Just four days before their scheduled �irst round cup match, this game gave each side the chance to get some momentum going into that match. Tackles �lew in early as Jesmondino attempted to get in the faces of the Shagther boys but, unfazed, the latter started to play some good football, success coming down the right wing from Gavin Montgomery who gave another outstanding performance. Indeed, the �irst goal came from the right side. With ten minutes remaining until half time, right-back Peter Holland turned around what had

been a dismal start to his game, driving the ball into bottom corner from 25 yards. Maintaining their lead till the break, Shagther looked in control. However, the second half was an altogether different affair as Jesmondino began to pile men forward, searching for the equaliser. When their chances �inally came, Ben Lamont was more than up for the challenge and the Senseless goalkeeper pulled off an athletic dive to tip one particularly good header over the bar. As the boys from Jesmond pushed forward for their equaliser, they increasingly left themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack as gaps appeared at the back. Shagther came close with one breakaway effort, McClune agonisingly missing from just two yards with an open goal in sight. The second did �inally come shortly afterwards though, after more success down the right. Following some neat passing, the ball fell to impact sub Hugh Tomlinson, who set the ball up before volleying low into the net evading the goalkeeper’s outstretched glove. It was a clinical �inish from Tomlinson on his comeback from an injury that had seen him miss the last two matches. Shagther were dominant in the middle and, led by man of the match Sam

Garrood, they �inished as deserving winners on what had been, on balance, an even contest; the teams separated only by a clinical �inish in each half.

Saturday Cup Results

Cupsets have been surprisingly lacking as the IM Saturday Cup first round has begun. Henderson Hall Newcastle Medics 1sts

0 7

SS Ladzio Sex Panthers Athletic

4 3

Roman Villa FC Shakthar Last Night

8 1

NUSSC FC Newhist FC

5 2

Axe Wielding Baboons Barca Law Na

2 5

Newcastle Medics 2nds Queens of Everything

3 2

Tenacious midfielder Will Broadbent was one of Newhist’s star performers

Photography: Hubert Lam

Player of the Month Carlos Totti NCL Galacticos

The Courier Sport has teamed up with Sam Jacks to recognise the achievements of the best players from the Intra Mural leagues. October’s winner, Carlos Totti of NCL Galacticos, will receive a night of complimentary drinks at Sam Jacks as a reward for his performances over the opening weeks of the season. Totti has almost single-handedly transformed his side from being the expected whipping boys of the league to realistic challengers for the league title with four goals and seven assists in the �irst three matches of the season. A new team to the Wednesday League, captain Claudio Carvalho told The Courier at the start of the season that Totti was set to be a star player when he made his debut in the

In association with:

competition, and he has not let them down so far. When asked by The Courier how he felt about recieving this award, the modest Totti responded by saying he was pleased his performances had been recognised adding, “I’ve scored four goals in three games so I guess I’ve been playing alright!” As a result of his achievements in October, Totti now becomes the �irst player to be nominated for the Player of the Season award.


43

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

Intra Mural Hockey round-up With Intra Mural’s most sociable sport – mixed hockey – now underway, Biosci Hockey Legends have started brightest and a 5-1 win against Pink Panthers following their opening day success against MLS has put them top of the pile in Group A. New additions to the group, NUTS, are still searching for a point after their second consecutive defeat this year. MLS managed to slip four past the Dramatists, although if MLS captain Dave Richardson had managed to keep his cool during a one-on-one it could have been a further blow for the Theatre Society. Upon arriving customarily late and a little worse for wear, Larrikins were confronted by a spectacle seldom witnessed at Intra Mural hockey games - the opposing team were actually warming up. These intimidation tactics (if indeed that’s what they were) worked admirably. Midway through the �irst half the Agrics consolidated their earlier lead with a second goal. From that point forward however, momentum shifted. Hangovers improving by the minute, the Larrikins began a spirited comeback that unfortunately yielded just a solitary goal. This was followed a fortnight later by their second successive 2 - 1 loss, which could perhaps be attributed to the team’s antics the previous evening, or even the lack of warming up prior to the game. It could be argued that in order to compete for the title this season, things must change, but equally that is just not Larrikins style and they �ind themselves in seventh place as a result.

Intra Mural Netball round-up

Despite predictions of success for Mansoc and NUSSC this year, both sides �ind themselves in trouble at this early stage. Mansoc’s narrow, low-scoring defeat to Biology Netball leaves them without a win so far this season, while NUSSC’s defeat to CHS puts the Ski Club in �ifth place in the 5pm-6pm league. This league has been notable for the fact that Architecture have already forfeited two of their �irst three matches, allowing CHS and Chem Eng to bene�it from walkover victories. It is likely that one more forfeiture will result in their expulsion from the league. A team that suffered such an ignominy last season, The History Girls, have also suffered a disappointing start to the season with three heavy defeats. At the top of the later league, Chem Eng’s walkover win has helped them to the top of the pile while Netball Ninjas are also unbeaten after their �irst three matches. In the 4pm-5pm league, versatility has been the key as the Uni Hockey team have proved themselves to be pretty good at netball too, as emphasised by last week’s 22-9 thrashing of Leazes Ladies. There has been less success however for CHS who have been unable to repeat the solid start of their 5pm6pm team, suffering three defeats in three matches, the most recent a 21-7 reverse at the hands of new side Net Assets who sit top of the league. It has been a miserable season so far for RRB1, as they have scored just three goals in their three matches so far while conceding a massive 44 in return. Unsurprisingly, they are bottom of the league and look set to stay there based on their form so far.

IntraMuralsport

Football Wednesday 11-a-side

Netball 4pm-5pm

Division 1

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Net Assets

3

3

0

0

51

17

12

1

Barca-Law-Na

3

3

0

0

17

0

9

2

Uni Hockey

3

3

0

0

42

17

12

2

Henderson Hall

3

2

0

1

9

6

6

3

Biology Netball

3

2

1

0

30

26

10

3

Newcastle Medics 1

2

1

1

0

9

2

4

4

Leazes Ladies

3

2

0

1

36

42

8

4

Dyslexic Untied

2

1

0

1

4

3

3

5

Agrics B

3

1

1

1

36

26

6

5

Crayola

3

1

0

2

2

6

3

6

Mansoc

3

0

0

3

21

25

0

CHS

3

0

0

3

25

47

0

RRB1

3

0

0

3

3

44

0

Biology Netball Mansoc

6 5

Leazes Ladies Uni Hockey

9 22

CHS Net Assets

7 21

RRB1 Agrics B

1 13

6

Aftermath

3

1

0

2

3

12

3

7

7

Castle Leazes

3

0

1

2

5

13

1

8

Crayola Barca Law Na

0 2

Dyslexic Untied Castle Leazes

P P

Newcastle Medics 1sts Aftermath

7 0

Top Goalscorers 7: Jamie Hurworth (Barca) 5: Chris McKee (Barca) 3: Dave Edwards (Medics) 2: Dave Eccles (Aftermath) 2: Joel English (Medics)

5pm-6pm

Division 2

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Chem Eng

3

3

0

0

33

7

12

2

Netball Ninjas

3

3

0

0

40

34

12

Agrics

3

2

0

1

51

20

8

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Newcastle Medics 2

4

3

1

0

12

3

10

3

2

Ecosoccer

3

3

0

0

20

5

9

4

CHS

3

2

0

1

40

20

8

3

Lokomotiv

3

2

0

1

14

8

6

5

NUSSC

3

1

0

2

25

23

4

4

Boroussia Forsyth

4

2

0

2

6

9

6

6

Polly’s Dollies

3

1

0

2

24

30

4

5

The Hurricanes

3

1

0

2

10

9

3

7

The History Girls

3

0

0

3

7

43

0

6

Boca Seniors

4

1

0

3

12

16

3

8

Architects

3

0

0

3

5

48

0

7

Ar U Shavin A Laugh

4

1

0

3

4

18

3

8

Newhist FC

3

0

1

2

5

15

1

Agrics The History Girls

22 3

CHS NUSSC

13 7

Architects Chem Eng

0 15

Polly’s Dollies Netball Ninjas

11 15

Boca Seniors Ecosoccer

1 7

The Hurricanes Ar U Shavin A Laugh

Boroussia Forsyth Lokomotiv

1 5

Top Goalscorers

5 1

9: Josh Batham (Ecosoccer) 7: Zack Goddard (Ecosoccer) 5: Chris McCrory (Hurricanes) 4: Guy Hindley (Medics) 3: Jamie Bishop (Lokomotiv)

Newhist FC 1 Newcastle Medics 2nds 1

Division 3 1

Rugby Union Division 1 Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Armstrong

3

3

0

0

155

0

12

2

Titans

2

2

0

0

41

10

6

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

3

Cheeky Ladies

3

1

1

1

46

67

6

Roman Villa FC

3

3

0

0

13

2

9

4

Agrics 1

2

1

1

0

15

8

5

5

Larrikins

2

1

0

1

38

21

4

6

Engines

2

1

0

1

35

38

4

7

Southern Fairies

2

0

0

2

5

32

1

8

Agrics 2

1

0

0

1

0

28

0

2

NCL Galacticos

3

3

0

0

11

6

9

3

Politic Thistle

3

2

0

1

10

9

6

4

Shagther Senseless

3

1

0

2

5

4

6

5

Brown Magic FC

2

1

0

1

9

3

3

6

Jesmondino FC

3

1

0

2

3

7

3

9

New Uni Freshers

2

0

0

2

14

78

0

7

Combined Honours

4

1

0

3

7

13

3

10

Medics

1

0

0

1

0

67

0

8

Newcastle Dynamos

4

0

0

4

4

18

0

Brown Magic FC NCL Galacticos

P P

Shagther Senseless Jesmondino FC

Combined Honours Roman Villa FC

1 7

Top Goalscorers

Politic Thistle Newcastle Dynamos

5 3

5: Ollie Griffiths (R Villa) 4: Carlos Totti (Galacticos) 3: Duke Ata (Galacticos) 3: Lewis Cockerill (B Magic) 3: James Dunn (P Thistle)

2 0

Armstrong Cheeky Ladies

57 0

The Courier Online Check out www.thecourieronline.co.uk every week for up-todate league tables, exclusive match reports and round-up’s of all of the University’s Intra Mural competitions.


44

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

sportBUCS

Poly perplexed as NWR winning run continues Women’s Rugby Newcastle 1sts Northumbria 1sts

22 7

Sofie Raine at Bullocksteads For their second match of the BUCS season NWR faced the short away trip to Northumbria’s home ground Bullocksteads. After a good warm-up, Newcastle were well-prepared for kick-off and it showed as they started on top. Winger Elizabeth Severs dominated Northumbria’s wings and scored the opening try of the game, touching down in the corner. Unfortunately the extremely hard angle for kicker Phoebe Lebrecht resulted in the conversion being missed, but Newcastle were soon back on top again. Good hands and control of the ball continued the constant pressure on Northumbria’s 22. The forwards, led by Charlotte Flint, performed some great crash balls to sustain such pressure and Northumbria were soon worn out, with the NWR pack domi-

nant in the scrums and controlling every aspect of the game. Newcastle’s backs ran rings around Northumbria, making great use of the quick offload. The second try became inevitable and it arrived after a great kick from Pat Lapierre opened up the wings. For the second time, NWR had to make do without the extra two points, but as half-time arrived they held a well-deserved 10-0 lead. After such a great start to the match, Newcastle’s confidence was high but this bred complacency and as the second-half began, a below-par opening to proceedings from NWR let Northumbria in for a simple try under the posts. The conversion took the score to 10-7, giving the Poly a renewed belief that they could scrape a victory from the match. However, NWR are not a team to miss out on a spot of Poly-bashing, and they responded with a try from Emma Boyle right underneath the posts. Fly-half and captain Phoebe Lebrecht made no mistake with a good conversion to restore Newcastle’s 10 point lead and dissolve any ideas of a Northumbria win. Northumbria were pushed back into

their 22 with NWR driving and wearing them out, leaving them with no option but to kick themselves out of trouble. This tactic backfired, however, as winger Rosie Neal charged down a kick to score Newcastle’s fourth try of the match. Although the conversion was missed, NWR held on for the win with the full-time whistle confirming a 22-7 victory. It was a well-deserved win to maintain NWR’s 100% record for this season and keep them up at the top end of the BUCS Northern 1A league table. Also in action were the Newcastle Women’s 2nds team, who had a friendly at their training ground against Durham 2nds. With their BUCS season not kicking off until the end of the month, it was a chance for some new players to get used to playing together. The new girls proved to be strong defensively, putting in some great tackles but with Durham possessing the advantage of substitutes, a luxury NWR didn’t have, the fresh legs proved the difference as Durham secured a narrow 12-0 victory.

Newcastle hold on tight to take victory in local derby Photography: Sam Tyson

Owls robbed by scouse come Rugby League Newcastle 1sts Liverpool 1sts

10 18

Chris Griffiths at Bullocksteads

Grounded: Owls season yet to take off as Liverpool stage comeback Photography: Hubert Lam

The second fixture for NURL this year at Fortress Cochrane proved once again to be a disappointment. After an emphatic victory over Sheffield Hallam last week the Owls were looking to push on in their bid to complete back-to-back league titles. Liverpool University were the visitors and, after two wins from two games, were uncharacteristically top of the table. NURL were on top immediately with constant pressure being put on the Liverpool defence. After twenty minutes the deadlock was finally broken; a sweeping move from left to right saw George Matthew break the line and offload to Sam Flowery who then offloaded to Jonah Watts to weave over in the corner. Griffiths failed with the following conversion from out wide to leave the score at 4-0 to Newcastle. Further dominance from NURL was shown with Chris Chatterton and Harry Rigby taking no backwards steps in both attack and defence. Soon after the Owls crossed the whitewash again with Dave Fatterton cutting a perfect angle like a knife through cheese. The conversion was added making the score 10-0 going


45

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

BUCSsport

Royals battle past Trent to gain first victory of season The Men’s Rugby 1st XV got their season back on track with a hard fought win against the newly promoted Nottingham Trent. After a long bus journey down and a less than perfect warm up, the 1st Team did not have the best preparation for the game. But by the time the whistle went all of that was put behind them and they got off to a blistering start. Playing a wide and expansive, fastpaced game they created chances almost every time they got their hands on the ball. After an early penalty goal from fly half Andy John and some sustained pressure deep in Nottingham’s half, it was no surprise that Newcastle crossed the white line first. Following a quickly taken tap penalty, the ball ended up in the hands of Mark Wilcox in the corner after a very impressive offload from centre

Ioan Davies. At 8-0 up after the first 10 minutes, it looked like Newcastle were in total control. The pressure continued to build and Newcastle went over the line three times in the next 30 minutes with each of them being controversially disallowed to the despair of the Newcastle supporters on the sideline. Nottingham took advantage and began to claw their way back into the game thanks to some long range penalties. The home side then took the lead when their scrum half scored a breakaway try after finding a gap around a ruck and creating a clear path towards the try line, making the half time score 14-8. Another Nottingham Trent penalty just after half time gave them a nine point lead. This score line remained for the next 20 minutes, despite Newcastle creating more and more chances; a combination of handling errors and poor decisions letting Newcastle down at the vital moments. The breakthrough came for Newcastle after a great individual try from Jo Beckett on his first away trip with the team. Beckett managed to round his opposite man then put in a skilful chip over the fullback only to collect

Lead by veteran Hector Hall, Newcastle looked dangerous, running onto searching aerial balls delivered from centre back Max Underwood into wide areas of the pitch. Unfortunately, though, Newcastle did not make use of their possession and squandered numerous chances with a lacklustre display in the final third. Following a concerted period of pressure, the ball popped out of a melee to Keiran Borrett at the top of the “D” in space but he could only push the ball wide of the right post. Minutes later, Newcastle blew another chance, this time Hall rounding the keeper before blazing his effort wide with the goal at his mercy. Nevertheless, Newcastle kept playing and were dictating the game with man of the moment Ben Gowing going through his repertoire of passing as attacking midfielder. Without a goal, however, the Royals were vulnerable and Sheffield started to get back into the game. Rattled by a questionable umpiring display, Newcastle let their heads go and space opened up in defence. As a result Sheffield were able to win a series of short corners late into the half and the Newcastle defence had to be organised to keep the home team

at bay and go into half time with honours even. The second half was played out in a similar fashion to the first. Newcastle were dominant with freshers Tom Saxton and Joe Cooper delivering a committed and skilled performance up front in both attack and defence. The goal finally came for the visitors midway through the second half. After winning the ball high up the pitch, Ben Underwood found himself in space on the flick spot and was able to casually dispatch the ball into the roof of the net and give the Royals the lead. Frustratingly, however, problems in front of goal continued, and still Newcastle were not getting a good enough return for their dominance, the best chance falling to Saxton who got on the end of a cross and was unlucky to see his diving effort saved by the glove of the Sheffield keeper. Newcastle did nothing to help themselves, disappointingly only winning one short corner over the course of the 70 minutes, something which they quickly need to address if they want to go on to the next level this season. The Royals should have been able to see the game out from here. As a team they handled the tricky Sheffield for-

Rugby Union Nottingham Trent 1sts Newcastle 1sts

17 30

Richard Walker-Taylor in Nottingham

the ball and touch it down for what was a much needed score. From then on Newcastle took the game into their own hands and finally began to convert their well-worked attacking moves into points, scoring three more tries before the end of the match. The final score of 30-17 made it look a lot more convincing than it actually was. However, if you take into consideration the disallowed tries in the first half, the game could have gone differently. None the less it showed great team spirit to pull through in the end and finally get the win the team deserve for all their hard work on the training ground.

Upcoming fixtures

9 Nov Stirling Uni 16 Nov UCLAN 23 Nov Leeds Met. 30 Nov Sheffield Hallam 7 Dec York St John 25 Jan Liverpool Uni

back Late equaliser denies Newcastle first win into half time. Captain fantastic, Dave Knox, then once again struggled to inspire his team with a breathless and uninspiring team talk. This led to a catastrophic second half for NURL. Lack of structure in attack made Newcastle look clueless at times and soft defence around the ruck area allowed Liverpool to score three unanswered tries in the secondhalf to make the final score 18-10 to Liverpool. An injury-stricken squad is a factor as to why Newcastle, for the second time this season, went off the boil in the second half. This, however, can not be held accountable for the defeat. Numerous key players failed to perform up to their usual standards leaving Liverpool with a comfortable second half victory against a lacklustre looking NURL side. With a week off next Wednesday, NURL are hopeful the walking wounded will recover from an unfortunate start to the season both injury and results wise. The second team were also closely beaten away by an impressive looking Teesside team with Craig Richards astonishingly earning Man of the Match with just a 30 second stint on the pitch.

League Position: 5th

Men’s Hockey Sheffield 1sts Newcastle 1sts

1 1

John Colville in Sheffield Newcastle made the journey to Sheffield in an expectant mood as they looked to register their first win in BUCS. However, they were to have yet another frustrating afternoon at the Goodwin Sports Centre as they were held to a 1-1 draw. After a good warm up on a difficult Sheffield pitch, Newcastle were aiming to come out of the blocks fast and impose themselves on the game. However, familiar in their surroundings, it was Sheffield who started the game the strongest and tested the visitors’ defence early on. Some shabby marking allowed Sheffield to gain an overlap on the left and again Newcastle were thankful to call on the experience of German goalkeeper Johannes Linden who made a fantastic double save at his near post. For the rest of the first half, Newcastle were the better side and were causing Sheffield problems as they struggled to cope with a pacey attack.

wards well and looked comfortable with Kieran Borrett an engine in midfield as always. However, in the dying minutes of the game, Newcastle were to pay for failing to put the game to bed. For the second time in as many weeks, captain John Colville got caught at the back and could only watch helplessly as two Sheffield forwards made his error count and brought the sides even at 1-1, a scoreline which remained until full time. Not content with drawing, Newcastle are keen to get back on the pitch and put in the hard work to right the wrongs of this week. The next challenge for the Royals comes in the form of a glamour tie with Strathclyde away in the cup, where they will hopefully register their first win and gain valuable BUCS points for the University.

Results so far

(A) John Moores 5-5 (H) Leeds 1sts 1-1 (A) Sheffield 1sts 1-1

League Position: 5th


46

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

sportBUCS

Knights battle to first league victory

Mens’ Basketball Newcastle 1sts Manchester Met 1sts

76 64

Owen Evans at the Sports Centre Newcastle Knights ran out 76-64 winners over Manchester Met at the Sports Centre on Wednesday to record their first victory of the season. Both teams went into the match with losses in their first two BUCS games this season, and the win will be a welcome relief for Newcastle, who will now be looking to advance up the table. The Knights began the game in fine form, with Ply firing home a stunning three within seconds, before contributing another two points soon after. Manchester Met kept up with the Knights thanks largely to a number of free throws from Rowley, with Newcastle feeling aggrieved that the referee was being too harsh on defensive fouls. Chalkidis prevented a number of Manchester Met chances with some great defensive play, and later nearly brought down the basket with an at-

tempted slam dunk. It was Manchester Met who took the initiative in the first quarter, however with Sweeney and Rowley both sinking two pointers late on to edge the visitors in to a 21-15 lead. Newcastle started the second quarter well, coming back into the game with Ply sinking two consecutive shots from in the key. Nolungu beat the shot clock and sank a big three pointer, just before adding another two. Gioharis then sank another to put the Knights back into the lead. Manchester Met kept the pressure on though, thanks largely to Archer, who hammered home three baskets in a row, the last of which coming from an ingenious pass from Mirllais, who found space before flicking the ball through his legs to Archer, who was happy to place the ball home. Despite the pressure, Newcastle went into half time with a 31-35 lead, to the delight of coach Ian Hewitt. The second half started in fiery fashion as Newcastle took an immediate lead with both Giokaris and Ply swishing home baskets. The Knights continued to increase the deficit with some expert free throwing, and by the first timeout had achieved a 10 point

gap. Despite Newcastle’s dominance the Met boys were not willing to give up just yet and a series of baskets from Fasbender and Rowley brought the scores level. Ply managed to give Newcastle two points before converting a free throw to give the Knights a very tight 49-52 lead, going into the final quarter with the prospect of a three point game to contend with. The score-line remained tight for the first moments of the final quarter, with chances hard to come by as both teams defended cautiously. Newcastle managed to add points to the board thanks to some good baskets from Ply and Mustafa. Manchester Met ensured the score stayed tight with Fusbender firing in a two and Archer dominating the free throw line. However, it was Newcastle that proved their class, upping the gears and taking the game to Manchester Met. With Giokaris squeezing through the tightest of gaps to get two and Ply contributing four more points, it wasn’t long before the Knights had regained their 10 point lead. The Met continued to try, and Archer gave them some hope with a big three pointer, but Newcastle defended well

newcomer and taxi ruiner Silvia Montserrat stepped her way through the defence scoring more easy points for the home team. With the hope of free Eagles tickets running through her mind, Eglė Duleckytė powered her way past the ginormous Swede for some bruising lay-ups followed by several made free throws. With a combination of a drilled defence and team work, Newcastle made it impossible for the away team to do anything but shoot from the threepoint line, with air balls flying in from all directions into the palms of the defence. By half time, MMU Cheshire had only put a shameful nine points on the board, giving Newcastle a great point difference of 23. A team of giants was sent onto the court with Cheshire cowering at their knees at the start of the second half. Alice ‘access all areas’ Hollaway demonstrated several spectacular moves under the basket, even with the ‘immovable object’ that was MMU’s number 9 throwing her arms in the Monsters face. With several of the away team players not understanding the rules of basketball, great box outs from the Knights created easy fast breaks down the court with well executed finishes from the Lithuanian Lieutenant Inga Vareikaitė. Newcastle’s defence began to weaken late on and somehow the Mancs managed to close the gap between the score at the

end of the 3rd quarter. With a win at the tip of their fingers, a strong Newcastle team headed back out determined to increase their advantage, which could mean everything to them later on in the year. Fantastic defence on the press from Smith prevented the away team from gaining possession over the half way line in 8 seconds, creating easy turnovers for Newcastle. More fantastic jump shots were hit by Vaughan as the opposing team watched in silence, ball after ball swooshing through their net. Great looks from birthday babe Jen Ben to Captain Jacqui Fisher at the backdoor led to Man Met players leaving the gym in disbelief to ‘put more money in the parking meter’. Another fantastic win for the Knights, 68-40. Coach Bunten stated in brail that he was very pleased with his team’s performance. “Another fantastic performance from all the players, the best I have seen all season. Our-man-to man defence was infinitely better and after working on our full court trapping, the hard work was rewarded with MMU only scoring nine in the first half.” With a very tough game against Manchester next week in the Cup, the Knights will be working hard to ensure yet another win.

to put the game beyond doubt. Newcastle will be delighted to be taking home three points from a game that was tight to the very end. Both teams played with a real desire to get the result they both desperately needed to get their seasons on track. The final 64-76 result may not really reflect the closeness of this game, but it shows proof that the Knights just had the competitive edge on their opponents in a thoroughly enthralling match.

Upcoming fixtures

16 Nov Teeside 1sts 23 Nov Manchester 1sts 30 Nov Worcester 1sts 25 Jan Sheffield Hal 1sts 8 Feb Central Lanc 1sts 15 Feb Man Met 1sts 29 Feb Teeside 1sts 07 Mar Manchester 1sts

Visit bucs.org.uk for up to date league tables for all BUCs teams

Female ballers Lacrosse us dominate MMU at your peril Women’s Basketball Newcastle 1sts MMU Cheshire 1sts

68 40

Rosie Wowk at the Sports Centre

After their first win of the season last week against Liverpool, the Newcastle Knights were keen to prove that they were a threat in their new league, division 1. With all team members finally turning up to training, the full squad were ready and raring to knock MMU Chesire out of the running for the top of the table at home this week. With Cheshire’s number 12 barely being able to leave the ground, Tass Von Streng’s long limbs tipped the ball into Newcastle’s possession and a few passes later she was making some secretly practiced post moves under the basket, securing some early points. Further drives from Euro-girl Corinne Vaughan and professional photographer Leonie Smith helped bump up the points on the score board, leaving MMU Cheshire dragging behind at the end of the first quarter. With barely a drop of sweat on them, Newcastle walked casually back onto their court to face the embarrassed Man Met for the second quarter. Straight out of the blocks,

Men’s Lacrosse Newcastle 1sts York 1sts

8 2

Harry Mead at York

For this match Newcastle had prepared. We were fast, so fast that when our players cut the lights off in their bedrooms they are in bed before the lights go dark. We were mean, so mean that just last week we murdered a rock, injured a stone and hospitalized a brick. So mean, we make medicine sick. We knew that some did not expect us to win; well we showed them how great we are. For on that field of battle, events unfolded that can be described as nothing less than monumental. The whistle signaled play had started and Newcastle unleashed hell. Nick ‘Wonder Boy’ Weeks showed that no matter what York may try it was of little consequence. He weaved in and around players like a leprechaun on speed and let rip a shot with such incredible velocity that the sound of a sonic boom emanated around the pitch. The ball pierced clean through the net and no trace has been found. Next to make the score sheet was Harry ‘Simple’ Mead. Fed the ball from a fearsome midfield, Mead pro-

ceeded to pierce the York defence without a second thought, player after player trying to stop him, none able. Only scoring ended the torment. However, it wasn’t until Ben ‘Birthday Boy’ Beattie entered the grassy arena that things truly escalated. Beattie fired shots like they were lightning bolts thrown from the hand of Zeus himself putting three into the net before deciding to let overs claim honor and glory. However, this wasn’t enough, the clouds parted, light shone down and our very own Rich ‘The Warrior’ Wise penetrated the opposing defence a few too many times, scoring two goals before stopping to check if his darling was impressed. She was. A special mention must go to Alexander ‘J-Lo’ Jolly for deflecting balls with the style and grace of a prancing gazelle. The match ended when Mead, the combination of an unstoppable force and an immovable object, received the ball and with four seconds left on the clock turned and shot. The only sound was the rustle of the net as it was caressed by the ball’s cold hard touch. With a victory that will echo into eternity, the final score stood 8-2 to Newcastle.


47

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

BUCSsport

Goal glut as royals trounce Liverpool Men’s Football Continued from back page. Obviously buoyed by their late resurgence in the first half, the Royals began dictating the play at the start of the second half, producing some outstanding individual performances. The travelling side looked a little deflated and were reduced to playing long balls over the top and whilst this had been effective in the first period, the hosts dealt with their opposition’s game plan well after the break, Kurran Dhugga barely allowing Brogden a sniff of the ball and Luke Fisher dominating at centre half. Fisher was assured and commanding, and were it not for Rakshi and Savitt’s goalscoring efforts would have easily been man of the match. The latter two combined again for the fourth goal as Rakshi set up Savitt with a wonderful chipped throughball. Gordon added to his miserable afternoon by fouling Savitt who stroked home the penalty to make it 4-1 and complete his hat-trick.

Newacstle firsts romped to their second successive victory with their win at home to Liverpool Photography: Moises Bedrossian

A second penalty for handball gave Savitt the chance to make it 5-1, but that honour instead went to Rakshi who lashed home the rebound after Savitt saw his effort saved. This was followed by the goal of the game when Rakshi was given time in central midfield to unleash a stunning 25-yard strike which sailed over the hapless Gordon, Raksth and joining Savitt on three goals. There was still time for Liverpool to claw back a couple of goals however, Fergus Ellis scoring a free kick that Matt Thorpe might have held, and Russell Jones scoring a lovely chipped penalty after another dubious decision in the box, but the Royals deserved their win on the basis of the second-half performance even if their level dropped a little towards the end. After a poor performance in their opening match, this was Newcastle’s second win in as many matches and fears that they might struggle in this league have been quickly allayed.

Campbell double downs the Poly Men’s Football Newcastle 2nds Northumbria 3rds

2 0

Chris Ritson at Bullocksteads

Seconds shocked top of the table Northumbria thirds to go level on points with the Poly Photography: Moises Bedrossian

Newcastle’s third match of the season saw them still looking for their first win as they travelled to the Poly for the second time in two weeks. With Northumbria top of the league the signs were ominous for Newcastle, but an inspired performance helped them to a 2-0 victory, courtesy of two goals from their new summer signing, last season’s Intra Mural top goalscorer Nathan Campbell. Both teams started in true varsity fashion as tackles flew in all over the pitch. Newcastle’s Henry Scutt flew in with one horror challenge in particular that almost saw him in the book. Although early possession was dominated by Northumbria a resolute and well-marshalled defence by Adam ‘ marvel’ Gamble and the ever vocal Eddie Holden kept the Poly at bay; fleeting efforts from all of 30 yards were the only real threats. This prompted Newcastle to hit back with their usual free-flowing, electric football as midfield dynamos Mike Spencer and medic Josh Davison began to utilise the speed and skill of Dave Mifsud on the right-hand side.

Mifsud constantly had the beating of a left-back who at times was left as confused on the pitch as he is in the classroom. With a blustery wind blowing across the pitch Newcastle then took advantage of what can only be described as the mammoth kick of Marau, which resulted in a fully committed Will Marks beating the goalkeeper in the air, only for the ball to be cleared off the line. With that being the only real opening of a naturally brutal varsity game, half time arrived with the deadlock still yet to be broken. A rousing team talk from standin manager Chris ‘Bobby Robson’ Ritson, led to a perfect start to the second half, however, when Nathan Campbell latched onto a flick-on to chip the ball over the advancing keeper and allow Newcastle to take a deserved 1-0 lead. The away side then began to dominate all over the pitch, with the mazy runs of the engine Henry Scutt constantly causing problems. His skill led to Newcastle’s second goal too as his superb technical ability allowed him to drift past three Poly players with consummate ease and pull the ball back to the lurking Campbell, who bundled the ball home from close range to double Newcastle’s advantage. Even with the two-goal deficit opened up, Northumbria still strug-

gled to react, failing to get the ball down and play it, mostly due to the courageous and outstanding togetherness of the Newcastle side. The Uni were therefore able to close out the game with ease despite a frantic last five minutes during which Andy Hamilton, despite having been injured, extinguished all the threats that a lacklustre Poly side had to offer. With their first win of the season safely secured, the Uni’s stand-in manager commented that he hoped that it would kickstart Newcastle’s season and pave the way for “further majestic performances in the weeks to come”.

Upcoming fixtures 9 Nov York St John 3rds 23 Nov York St John 2nds 30 Nov Durham 2nds 25 Jan Sheffield 2nds 8 Feb Northumbria 4ths 15 Feb Northumbria 3rds 29 Feb Durham 2nds 14 Mar York St John 2nds


Sport

48

THE COURIER Monday November 7 2011

Rugby League: Owls lose out page 44

thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

Let Savitt: Royals too much for Liverpool

Intra Mural: All the results, all the action

page 40-43

Man Met can’t jump: Knights stand tall to record �irst victory of the new BUCs campaign page 46

Men’s Football

Newcastle 1sts Liverpool 1sts

6 3

Joshua Duf�ield at Longbenton 3G The home team put six past their visitors to settle what had looked like being a tricky affair down at Longbenton. Liverpool were unlucky to �ind themselves 3-1 down at the break and in truth, they had the better of the �irst 45 minutes but poor setpiece defending (and a goalkeeping howler) cost them dear and the Royals turned the screw after the break; clinical �inishing from hat-trick heroes Ed Savitt and Tim Rakshi clinching the valuable win. In a game dominated by explosive wing-play, Newcastle’s Adam Ball had the �irst opportunity breaking free down the right to hit the post with the outside of his boot from close range. Real opportunities were scarce early on, both teams failing to get hold of the ball in mid�ield and both teams pressurising every man in possession, but the �irst sign of Dan Clement’s ability on the left wing brought Newcastle their �irst goal; Clements showed too much pace for the Liverpool defenders who clumsily brought him down on the edge of the box. Tim Rakshi’s brilliant free-kick curled over the wall and beat Liverpool ‘keeper Andrew Gordon with ease. Liverpool were by no means beaten at this early stage and they equalised within minutes of going behind, showing craft and more impressive �lank-play; imposing left back Jonny Brogden made one of his frequent runs down the wing before squaring to mid�ielder Russell Jones who levelled matters. The positive response to falling behind galvanised the away team who came alive and started running the game, helped by some wayward passing from the home team in mid�ield. Sloppy passing allowed Brogden to intercept play near the halfway line before powering into the box to thrash the ball wide across the face of goal. The Liverpool players were �irst to the knock-downs and loose balls as Newcastle endured a testing period, committing several fouls and struggling to cope with the marauding

Brogden and his cohorts. Striker Fergus Ellis should have put the away team in the lead but his curled effort drifted harmlessly wide. Liverpool needed to make their pressure count but their wayward �inishing hindered them from capitalising on some �ine play and despite being under the cosh, the Royals were still in the game. Rakshi, who proved to be one of Newcastle’s �inest performers, was causing problems for the opposition defenders and drew a foul from their left back with some fancy footwork near the penalty area. Striker Savitt’s free kick didn’t appear to be too �iercely struck but Gordon still managed to fumble it into his own net to allow Savitt his �irst of the match. Unfortunately for Gordon it was the sign of things to come. Just before half time Brogden, was released with another ball over the top but his right foot effort summed up Liverpool’s woeful shooting in the �irst half. Clements then gave everyone watching another �lash of his electric pace down the left, holding off some cynical challenges to shoot from the left byline which Gordon parried towards Savitt who nearly took off the back of the net with his second strike of the afternoon. Continues on p47

Football Trial

Men’s football will be holding a second trial on November 17. This is an opportunity for players who were not able to make the trials in September, or were not successful first time around but feel that they have the quality to play for the club. The trial will be held on the 3G at Longbenton (near Four Lane Ends Metro) and will begin at 6pm. Players will need plastic studs and shin pads or will not be able to trial. Talismanic Ben Peleg spreads himself to help Newcastle leap up the table last week Photography: Moises Bedrossian

The Courier 1237  

The independent voice of Newcastle students

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you