www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 14 October 2013 Issue 1275 Free
WHO DOES CLOSER TO IT BETTER? Britain Vs America. REALITY?
MAD HATTERS p.29
Four TVshows, both sides Ewoks at of the pond. Who is best? p.28 arms p.32
First year housing farce
] D E I N E [D By Anna Templeton and James Simpson News Editors Over 200 first year students have been forced into the private sector after the University failed to provide them with accommodation. Rooms has been denied primarily to students who have secured their place through clearing. However, The Courier understands that some students who selected Newcastle as their firm choice have also been left without a bed. Consequently, these first years have been left with no option but to enter the private sector and sign housing contracts with students they have never met in areas they have never visited.
Over 200 first year students forced into private sector
The Courier also understands that there are at least 100 students on waiting lists to secure University accommodation. Margaret Hunter, Director of Accommodation and Hospitality services at Newcastle University, said: “We have a large stock of University owned and managed property which is guaranteed to students who put Newcastle as their firm choice and who meet the conditions we set out. All 2013 students who meet these conditions have been allocated accommodation.” The Courier spoke to Hannah, a first year student from South Shields, who
told us about her experiences trying to secure accommodation. The journey from South Shields to
Concerns raised over damage to student experience
her home to Newcastle city centre takes an hour and a half. She said: “I don’t live near a bus stop,
“I wouldn’t have chosen Newcastle if I’d have known. At the end of Freshers’ Week I felt like I had made the complete wrong decision” Newcastle typically takes 25 minutes by car and falls within the ‘reasonable commutable distance’ area specified by the University. However, Hannah’s travel time from
or a Metro station. So I get on a bus which takes me further away from Newcastle, as it’s the only bus that goes to the Metro station. Neither Metro service is especially reliable, and my bus is also
completely unreliable.” Despite the University’s promise of accommodation to students with Newcastle as their firm choice, Hannah expressed how she did not feel like this was clear for students who live in the North East area. “I put Newcastle as my first choice, and as soon as I firmed it I applied for accommodation. I feel like the Uni didn’t make it clear, they seemed to say that there was a guaranteed offer of accommodation. I thought I’d get accommodation, but when I looked into it, it was if you lived in a certain area.” Continued on page 6
Monday 14 October 2013
News Editors: Anna Templeton and James Simpson Deputy News Editors: Sabine Kucher, Peter Wood and Emily Keen firstname.lastname@example.org | @TheCourier_News
NEWCASTLE JOURNAL Newcastle Law School unveils new studentled academic journal
10 11 SPORT
THE THICKE OF IT Is NUSU banning offensive songs the way forward?
PEACEKEEPER PUTIN? The Nobel Peace Prize’s dodgy candidates
‘Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant’
Anthony J. D’Angelo
Newcastle clashes with Northumbria
68% spring clean social network
A survey by vouchercodes.co.uk has revealed that 68% of students will clean up their social media profiles before coming to University. The survey also revealed that 15% of people will hide their relationship statuses, and 27% will buy new clothes as they are too afraid of being seen in the same outfit twice. This survey has highlighted the importance of and obsession with social media of today’s students, with most of us checking our profiles over 30 times a day. 17% of students wisely hide their profiles from their parents.
A look at the new season’s fixtures
One small step for man
Nobel prize stolen from Jesmond
CLASH OF TITANS
The University’s marketing department have filed patents for the name ‘Central University of Newcastle upon Tyne’ leaving little to the imagination. They have also filed ‘Research University of Newcastle upon Tyne’ making students RUNTs.
A man has been jailed over the theft of a Nobel Peace Prize from Fernwood Road, Jesmond. The burglary, took place in May, from the Lord Mayor’s mansion house. The peace prize was amongst other items including antique silverware, and a lock of Lord Collingwood’s hair. The Nobel Peace Prize has still not been recovered despite a reward of £30,000 been offered.
We’re all just a bunch of C*NTs
Russell Group backs Oxford’s demand for higher tuition fees
e h t
Students here on campus have taken a giant leap for mankind and are looking for individuals for the new ‘Space society’. Their NUSU societies page states that they will be providing ‘opportunities to visit local observatories and planetariums as well as regular evening stargazing trips’.
Naked man tasered at airport
A 52-year old man from Manchester was tasered last Thursday for being abusive after landing on an EasyJet flight from Malta. Video footage shows the man removing his underwear whilst clearly drunk. Shortly after removing said underwear the woman he’s with can be seen slapping him across the face. He then proceeded to urinate against a wall. The man can also be heard to be threatening the captain and appears to be trying to start a fight with him. He was then ‘dry-tasered’ by police after causing quite a disturbance. He was then fined.
One almighty hangover
Leeds University have accidently ordered 4000 bottles of Jägermeister for Stylus, Pulse and Mine - the Student Union bars. It’s reported that there is enough Jägermeister for every ‘undergraduate student on campus to consume 5 Jägerbombs’. Much to the dismay of the students the error has now been rectified and the excess Jägermeister has now been returned.
Newcastle student It’s a dog’s life Briscoe pleads not cleans up Researchers based on campus have developed a system where they can Newcastle University student Ali monitor a dog’s behaviour from afar. guilty Khalid Alyami has beaten off others This revolutionary technology means Alumni
Constance Briscoe pleads not guilty in the latest case against her. The former Newcastle graduate is charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the Chris Huhne penalty points case.
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.
from around the country in a Dragon’sDen-esque competition. His team designed a new system for cleaning pipes and detecting leakages and scooped the prize of $7500 to help develop the business.
that they are now able to ‘remotely monitor a dog’s behaviour in it’s natural setting’. They hope the research will lead on to ‘developing intelligent systems that can help older people to live independently for longer
Editor George Sandeman Deputy Editor Tom Nicholson Web Editor Ben Brown News Editors Anna Templeton and James Simpson Deputy News Editors Sabine Kucher, Peter Wood and Emily Keen Comment Editors Lydia Carroll and Joe Wood Deputy Comment Editor Victoria Armstrong Culture Editor Sam Summers Lifestyle Editors Katie Smith, Elizabeth Archer, Hazel Parnell and Evie O’Sullivan Fashion Editors Amy O’Rourke and Frances Stephenson Deputy Fashion Editors Rebekah Finney Beauty Editors Amy Macauley and Saﬁya Ahmed Arts Editors Millie Walton and Charlie Dearnley Deputy Arts Editor Laura Wotton Film Editors Muneeb Haﬁz and Jacob Crompton-Schreiber Music Editors Kate Bennett and Ian Mason TV Editor Beth Durant Deputy TV Editor Helen Daly Science Editor Lizzie Hampson Deputy Science Editors Peter Style and Emad Ahmed Sports Editors Nick Gabriel, Freddie Caldwell and Francesca Fitzsimmons Copy Editors Lucy Davis, Emma Broadhouse and Megan Ayres
The Courier is printed by: Print and Digital Associates, Fernleigh House, 10 Uttoxeter Road, Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom, DE3 0DA. 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 Students’ Union or Newcastle University.
Monday 14 October 2013
Ferry got one hull of a problem after rowers seas the day in race By Jenni Cannon Newcastle University Boat Club took a break from international competitions to take on a new challenge of racing the DFDS seaways ferry to Amsterdam. With the goal of raising funds for a new coxed four for the women, a group of athletes committed to race the DFDS Princess of Seawards ferry across the North Sea. They attempted to beat it on its 15-hour journey from Newcastle to Amsterdam. The challenge took place on an ergometer (known as an indoor rowing machine), which was positioned on the ferry itself. Each member of the team of seventeen – made up of thirteen oarsmen and four oarswomen - took turns to complete a 20-minute stint of the journey, rowing a total distance of 496 kilometres between them. To succeed in their challenge the athletes had to maintain a ‘split’ of 1.52 throughout: the split is a measof how long “their journey ure in minutes and time at 14 seconds it takes hours and to travel 500 metres at the current 38 minutes, and so their meaning they pace, translates ﬁnished around goal into a speed of an hour before almost 5 metres per second. With the ferry” such a tough pace to keep, the race stood to be a physical challenge even for seasoned rowers! Leaving Newcastle at 5pm on Friday 4th October, the NUBC representatives
rowed through the night to reach the Dutch coast. They eventually arrived at Ijmuiden (around 20 minutes outside Amsterdam) soon after 9am. This put their journey time at 14 hours and 38 minutes, meaning they finished around an hour before the ferry and won the race with a comfortable margin. Although the same race has been attempted in previous years (once in 2010
and earlier in 2007), this year’s NUBS team completed it in the quickest time to date – the second-to-last attempt narrowly missed losing out, only nipping in before the ferry with fifteen minutes to spare. The efforts and endurance of the team have not gone unrewarded, and to date they have raised over £2000, with hopes to gain even more donations in the near future.
ROW YOUR BOAT
Bottom left: The team with Princess Seaways. Below: With the ergos. Above: Action shot Image: NUBC
Researchers to pioneer study which could change lives of thousands of people with Type 2 diabetes By James Simpson News Editor Newcastle University is about to begin research that could provide an answer on whether low-calorie diets could prove a useful method for treating patients with Type 2 diabetes. The £2.4 million research project has been funded by Diabetes UK and pioneered by both researchers here at Newcastle, and the University of Glasgow. It is set to be the largest single research project ever commissioned by Diabetes UK. The main aims are to look at lowcalorie liquid diets as an effective form of weight loss in order to push Type 2 diabetes into remission. It is centred on using a structured, personalised support programme. Leading the team at Newcastle, Professor Roy Taylor said: “We know that changes in calorie intake can produce changes in body composition that, at least in some people, can put Type 2 diabetes into remission. “This new study will evaluate how well people do using this approach and uncover problems that might be faced. “I believe this study will lead to a quantum leap forward in our under-
standing of how best to manage Type 2 diabetes.” Dr Matthew Hobbs, Head of Research for Diabetes UK, said: “Following a lowcalorie liquid diet would be a real game changer in terms of reducing people’s risk of devastating health complications such as amputation and blindness.” The trial will take place in GP practices across Scotland and Tyneside and will recruit people between the ages of 20-65 who are overweight and suffer from Type 2 diabetes. Half the participants will receive a low-calorie liquid diet for between 8-20 weeks with the other half being prescribed the best Type 2 diabetes care available at the moment. As well as monitoring the long-term effects of the diet, some of the participants will have MRI scans, which will show researchers what is happening inside the body during the diet. The research is following on from a 2011 study that was carried out but focused more on the biological processes surrounding the low-calorie diet and not the long term effects on patients. Because of these unanswered questions, Diabetes UK does not yet recommend low-calorie liquid diets to people with Type 2 diabetes. The charity is confident that the new study will answer these questions and so give the NHS
enough evidence to make a decision
Low-calorie liquid diet which could be adopted as a strategy form treating diabetes. Image: Steven Depolo
on whether low-calorie diets should be
offered as a routine treatment option.
Monday 14 October 2013
Russell Group back tuition fees increase By Anna Templeton News Editor
£16,000 The Russell Group have supported Professor Hamilton’s views Image: John Mac 2011 UK
The vice-chancellor of Oxford University has said that leading universities should be able to charge higher tuition fees to meet the true costs of educating their students. Professor Andrew Hamilton said that the “real cost” of an Oxford education was £16,000 a year and fees should be “more closely related to that cost.” His comments provoked an angry response from fellow university lecturers, who said that higher fees were “not what this country needs.” However Newcastle University, along with the 23 other UK institutions in the Russell Group, support Hamilton’s views. Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group, said: “Professor Hamilton is right to highlight the problem of the cap on tuition fees. Increased income from fees in England has largely offset significant government cuts to public teaching grants. Fees should certainly increase with inflation in 201415. “It is important to remember that there are no up-front fees, repayments are only made when they’re affordable and Russell Group universities provide lots of bursaries and fee reductions for students in need. “Our leading institutions cannot continue to be internationally competitive, provide a first-rate teaching experience and offer generous support to disadvantaged students without access to increased funding.” The Courier asked Newcastle University whether they had any intentions of raising tuition feeds in order to be internationally competitive, but a Newcastle
University spokesman said: “We haven’t discussed any proposal to increase home undergraduate tuition fees.” In the annual vice-chancellor’s oration, Hamilton stressed: “I have read that some universities are doing very nicely thank you on that basis, comfortably covering the cost of what they provide to their students. “That may or may not be the case for them, but one thing I am quite sure about is that it doesn’t add up for Oxford, where the new regime of increased tuition charges for students, but greatly reduced Government spending on teaching, have done little to change the basic financial equation.” “That may or may not be the case for them but “As others one thing I am have observed, quite sure about is that it doesn’t add excellence in for Oxford, most walks of up where the new relife does not gime of increased come cheap” tuition charges for students, but greatly reduced Government spending on teaching, have done little to change the basic financial equation,” he went on. “As others have observed, excellence in most walks of life does not come cheap,” he said. Professor Hamilton also went on to say that given the differences between universities, the idea of them charging significantly different fees is not ‘inherently unnatural’. Vice-Chancellor Hamilton has faced criticism recently for accepting a pay package of £424,000 last year, an amount that could cover 60 funding shortfalls for undergraduates.
Researchers showcase 3D technology By James Simpson News Editor Newcastle University is playing a key part in a new exhibition showcasing the prospects of 3D printing and its uses in medical technology. The research group has teamed up with industry leader Peacocks Medical Group and are making tailor made medical devices that suit the individual they are designed for. The exhibition, which is being displayed at the Science Museum in London, contains some of the products which the University have developed in the region of orthotics, which is devices worn outside the body to support bone and muscle realignment. Charting the rapidly evolving field of 3D printing and its growing impact on society, 3D: printing the future takes visitors on a journey through the three key sectors in which the technology is driving innovation - industry, medicine and business. Professor Kenny Dalgarno from Newcastle University said: “The technology allows us to provide personal healthcare in a way that we could never have imagined before, with every medical device or tissue implant created specifically for the patient in a way that is not only timely but also cost-effective. “Through collaborative work with industry partners we’re showing the huge potential for this technology.”
The team are now moving onto looking at more internal mechanisms and how 3D printing can help inside the human body. Steve Cook of Peacocks Medical Group said: “The close relationship with Newcastle University has been really valuable in helping Peacocks to develop our products and services over the years. “The variety and scale of the collaborations has been really exciting - it is a real privilege to be working with such enthusiastic and knowledgeable experts in different disciplines.” The University team are now taking 3D printing to the next level - designing systems that support the body not from the outside, but from within. Professor Dalgarno added: “All our research on implantable devices is focused around helping the body’s natural repair mechanism to do more, by developing biological implants which support or stimulate the body’s own repair processes. “Over time the body replaces the implant with a new tissue or organ. So, for example, we could use 3D printing to replicate tissue structures and stimulate the body of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis to replace damaged joint tissue.” 3D: Printing the Future is free and will run in the Antenna Gallery at the Science Museum for nine months from 9 October 2013.
FORGET 1-D The research group has made tailor made medical device with 3D technology Image: Wikimedia Commons
Monday 14 October 2013
New partnership shares subject expertise By Antonia Velikova Newcastle University will now offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) all over the world thanks to a new partnership with FutureLearn. The platform, which hosts free, highquality online courses, is the first of its kind in the country. Although the website is still in beta, it has managed to attract over 20 of the best universities, not only from the UK, but also internationally. Many institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, including the British Council, the British Library and the British “This new ven- Museum, are also ture will enable on FutureLearn’s list of partners. us to reach Along with new audiences Newcastle Unito give them a versity, two more taste of New- world-renowned institutions are to castle’s wide- join FutureLearn ranging subject – the University of Auckland (New expertise” Zealand) and the University of Liverpool. “Our partnership with FutureLearn will allow us to expand our existing suite of online programmes with the launch of two MOOCs in 2014. “Newcastle University started delivering online programmes over ten years ago and we now offer a variety of health-related courses ranging from Clinical Trials to Oncology. We have
also recently launched a programme in Ageing which is one of the University’s major research themes. This new venture will enable us to reach new audiences to give them a taste of Newcastle’s wide ranging subject expertise,” commented Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching, Newcastle University. FutureLearn has also earned its first business sponsor in the face of telecommunications giant BT. The company will work with FutureLearn’s university partners to develop MOOCs for every engineer, telecommunications professional and technologist, who would want to further their knowledge from any part of the world. They are also hoping to inspire students to devote themselves to a career in technology. A well as training existing telecommunications workers, it is hoped that the BT courses, which will be available to all FutureLearn users, will “inspire school and university students to aim for a career in technology”, according to a statement from FutureLearn. Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn said, “I welcome the University of Auckland, the University of Liverpool and Newcastle University to FutureLearn and look forward to working with them to add to our diverse roster of high quality free courses. Our association with BT will also lead to the development of more business relevant courses which give real currency to career development, and establish MOOCs as a real way to enhance career prospects.”
THE FUTURE IS ONLINE
FutureLearn will host free, high-quality online courses. The initiative has been joined by 20 other universities from the UK and abroad Image: aranarth
“I’ve missed out completely...” continued from page 1 “I thought if I didn’t get it straight away, I would at least get accommodation in Freshers’ Week. Last time I checked I was 80th on the waiting list.” “As the crow flies, my distance is commutable. But as I said, I have to go away from Newcastle to come to Newcastle. It’s ridiculous, they don’t take into account individual cases.” Speaking to The Courier Margaret Hunter said: “Dealing with the waiting list is the highest priority of the accommodation office. All students who do not have accommodation yet are classed as local, which means they can get into University within a reasonable time on public transport. “Currently local students are not guaranteed accommodation and are placed on a waiting list and we are working hard to find places for students who want them. “Where places become available, we do our best to find all other students a place in University accommodation. In doing this, we endeavour to be fair and consistent in our allocation procedures. Hannah told The Courier how she had missed out on the experience of being a Fresher due to her commute every day: “Everybody makes really good friends with the people in their flats in first year and I haven’t had that. I’ve missed out completely.” “I’m 80th on the list. If I was 30th or something, I would be hopeful that I would be placed in the next few weeks. I don’t think I’m even going to bother to pursue it any further.”
When asked about whether Student Services had helped her in any way, Hannah said: “They didn’t recommend anything to us. I think they just assumed we’d sit put on the waiting list.” Emily Waller, Welfare and Equality Officer in the Students’ Union, said: “Obviously, the situation is far from ideal. Students were rushed into finding housing and housemates, and most have signed up to live with people they’d only ever met on Facebook. “Living in private rented accommodation is a big part of university life, but ideally students take their time viewing houses, choosing their housemates, and getting to know their way around an area before they move in – none of which these Freshers had time to do. “The Students’ Union and particularly the Student Advice Centre are here to help all students, and I’d emphasise that we have our own trained Housing Adviser who can help you if any issues arise throughout the year – from landlords, to deposits, to housemate struggles.” Hannah said: “I wouldn’t have chosen Newcastle if I had known. At the end of Freshers’ Week I felt like I had made the complete wrong decision. At the end of the week I thought... this really isn’t Uni life, this isn’t what I want!” [Hannah’s name has been changed to protect her identity.]
Have you been affected by the lack of rooms? email@example.com
Monday 14 October 2013
Law school unveil student-led journal By Holly Callis Over the summer staff and students from Newcastle University’s Law School were excited to announce the first volume of the North East Law Review. The NELR is a student led academic journal showcasing examples of student’s legal writing in order to provide a platform to publish for the academic and legal community. The Law Review was first started in January 2013 where fifteen volunteers from the University met to form the Editorial Board, who then met throughout the year to put together the first volume of the Law Review. On June 20
cessful in reaching a wider audience with blog contributions even sparking debate in a local Sixth Form. The Law Review is holding a competition in January, to encourage students to take part in writing for the blog, with lecturers choosing the best piece of academic writing (excluding submissions from the Editorial Board and lecturers themselves) with the winner awarded a prize of £150 Sweet & Maxwell book vouchers. Although many students may not study law the blog is a great way of staying up to date with legal issues which may also come in useful for nonlaw modules. Submissions are not limited to law students and the Law Review is keen to
So far it has been successful in reaching a wider audience with blog contributions even sparking debate in a local Sixth Form
they held the launch event with guest speaker Baron Hope of Craighead, former Deputy President of the Supreme Court, who expressed his support for the launch. Running alongside the Law Review is the ‘Current Legal Issues Blog’ which runs all year and therefore welcomes submissions from students year round. The blog is aimed at keeping students up to date with current legal practices and also provides another impressive platform for which to showcase their academic work. So far it has been suc-
have students from any academic discipline involved. This next academic year is something the team at NELR are looking forward to and with two issues of the Law Review planned for 2013 – 2014 the Editorial Board itself is keen to expand. They are also running a series of seminars on legal writing, careers and publishing. The first seminar is open to everyone and will be held on November 13 at 6pm in the Law Lecture Theatre with local barrister Mr Roger Cooper of Parklane Plowden Chambers.
LAWYERED The North East Law Review was set up by 15 volunteers who wanted to showcase students’ work Image: seychelles88
TED Prize winner gives inspirational lecture By Antonia Velikova
What if children can learn better on their own, working on problems in teams, instead of constantly having a teacher over their heads, pegging them to ‘Sit still and be quiet’? What if discipline hinders educational process rather than supporting it? What if our concept of education is entirely wrong? Those were the questions that Sugata Mitra, professor of educational technology at Newcastle University, raised at his talk on October 9 in front of more than 100 students in the Spence Watson Lecture Theatre. Those were also the questions that won professor Mitra the $1 million TED 2013 prize. Professor Mitra’s dream is to introduce a new student-led method to teaching in schools all around the globe. In his talk, he introduced his 1999 research experiment, called “Hole in the Wall”. He left a computer in Delhi with a bunch of children, who had never even seen one live. Two months later, they were browsing the internet and asking for a better processor. After repeating the experiment with
children in both desolated and rural parts of the world, Mitra decided to go further – he presented Tamil-speaking 12-year-olds with the task of learning the biotech of DNA replication, using nothing but a “hole in the wall” computer. After three months, their comprehension level went from 0% to 30%. Not only that, but Professor Mitra also introduced his project called “the granny cloud” – a community of After three retired teacher months, their volunteers who c om mu n i c at e d comprehenwith children in sion level went learning centres via Skype, enfrom 0% to couraging them 30% with questions, assignments and praise. He calls this type of learning SOLE – self-organised learning environment. It’s his idea that these so-called “Schools in the Cloud” will one day become a global trend and children will be more and more encouraged to tackle knowledge on their own. After the talk, Newcastle students engaged in a 15-minute Q&A session with Professor Mitra.
Monday 14 October 2013
No chance of copy-paste in UK as Union deem study praises anti-plagiarism calls t-shirts By Tanya Nies The UK has been selected as having the best system for promoting academic integrity among students, so in short: against plagiarism. The decisive study looked at how universities checked for and dealt with plagiarism, as well as the transparency, prevention techniques and nationwide efforts. Over 5000 student volunteers participated in the survey, as well as lecturers, senior managers and members of national higher education bodies. Austria, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Malta all ranked high in the survey.
Job Title: Promotions Staff Employer: Voodoo Events (TSW Marketing) Closing date: 31.12.2013 Salary: Exceeds National Minimum Wage Basic job description: Voodoo Events are one of the UK’s biggest student events companies. We have operated student clubnights, festivals, holidays and music gigs across the country for almost 10 years now. After our second season in Ibiza we are back in the UK and looking to expand our team as our events grow. In particular, we are looking for PR staff, Halls and Course reps, Event Staff, Dancers, DJs, Networkers, Ticket Sellers and Event Managers. Person requirements: Must be aged 18 and over, conﬁdent, outgoing and motivated. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Room Operative Employer: Thistle Hotel Closing date: None given – apply ASAP Salary: Competitive Basic job description: A Room Operative is required to work on an ‘as and when required basis’ at the Thistle Hotel in Newcastle. You will be involved in cleaning and maintaining hygiene standards within bedrooms, bathrooms and corridors, reporting hazards and wear and tear to your Manager, offering guests a warm and friendly welcome and dealing with guest requests. Person requirements: We are looking for positive, friendly individuals to join a like minded team, excellent communication skills, a total commitment to customer service, high standards of grooming. Experience in a similar role is desirable but not essential as full training will be given. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Bar Staff Employer: Indigo Bar Closing date: 31.10.2013 Salary: £7.00 per hour Basic job description: Bar Staff are required to work part-time hours at Indigo bar in The Gate, Newcastle. In this role you will be involved in delivering excellent customer service, serving beverages and keeping the bar and front of house tidy. We are looking for individuals who are able to start as soon as possible. Person requirements: We are looking for outgoing, conﬁdent, friendly people to work in a busy city centre bar environment. No previous experience is necessary, however candidates must be able to work late nights, weekends and bank holidays. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Brand Activators Employer: Indigo Bar Closing date: 31.10.2013 Salary: £7.00 per hour Basic job description: We are looking for hard working, enthusiastic individuals to carry out promotions during the evenings and weekends in bars and clubs. You must be conﬁdent
Spain and Bulgaria, on the other hand, were rated very poorly. Other European countries Over 5000 stu- such as France, dent volunteers Italy and Germany placed participated in not far ahead of the survey, as them. well as lecturers, The reason senior managers given for the and members of UK placing at top was the national higher the constant effort education bodies to improve the system and the policies, to not only find but also prevent plagiarism from happening.
The survey also highlighted concerning attitudes towards plagiarism. Spain hardly seems to search for plagiarism, while French students gave the impression that it was not necessary to check for it at undergraduate level. Even in countries with a good reputation for their education system, like Finland and Germany, the prevention and detection of plagiarism is simple and out-dated. Unexpectedly students seemed more convinced of the need for a fair and consistent system than their lecturers. However the poor response rate might affect results for some countries. was poor for some countries.
and have the skills needed to connect with the public. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience a high proﬁle marketing campaign with the potential for further development within the industry. You will receive extensive brand training to give you the knowledge to educate customers on the qualities of our premium products. Person requirements: Applicants must be over 18 years old. Your own car is preferred, but not essential. Proof of identiﬁcation to work in the UK will be required. Start date ASAP. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne.
nesses offering new product development. The aim of this placement is to migrate an existing FPGA design to a new platform. This is to reduce cost, power consumption and improve our footprint. Person requirements: This placement would be suited to an Electronics or Computer Science student. You must have some understanding of VHDL design and mused Xilinx FPGA’s. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne (on campus).
Job Title: Christmas Sales Assistant Employer: H Samuel Closing date: 31.10.2013 Salary: Competitive Basic job description: A Christmas Sales Associate is required to work 4 hours per week at the H. Samuel store in South Shields. Christmas is a wonderful time in our stores. It’s a time when people with a real passion for quality customer service can help us create the perfect festive atmosphere: turning every moment into a sparkling, welcoming opportunity for Amazing Customer Experiences. Whether a customer is looking for jewellery, a watch or just ‘something special’, you’ll make sure they leave with it gift-wrapped. Person requirements: We’re looking for people with retail or customer service experience. While you may not speciﬁcally have jewellery experience, you will certainly have 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: South Shields. Job Title: Cleaner Employer: Bella Italia Closing date: 23.12.2013 Salary: £6.50 per hour Basic job description: A Cleaner is required to work part-time hours at the Bella Italia restaurant in the Silverlink Retail Park in North Shields. Person requirements: You should be enthusiastic about what you do and willing to learn. All candidates must be eligible to work in the UK and provide suitable and up to date I.D at ﬁrst stage interview. Location: North Shields. Job Title: Newcastle Work Experience (Summer) - FPGA Design Engineer Employer: Photon Fire Closing date: 20.10.2013 Salary: £600 bursary upon completion of placement Basic job description: Photon Fire is a research and development business that designs electronics and sensors for industry, particularly the offshore process industry, ﬁre protection and defence sectors. Photon was established by engineers and scientists, all of whom have extensive hands on, technical experience of working with multinational busi-
Job Title: Newcastle Work Experience - Engineering Assistant Employer: QuestUAV lTD Closing Date: 20.10.2013 Salary: £600 bursary upon completion of placement Basic job description: QuestUAV Ltd is a manufacturer of small Unmanned Airborne Vehicles that are designed to carry airborne sensors for civilian uses such as surveying, monitoring change and assessing some of the effects of climate change. We design and manufacture most of the airborne technology within our technical lab in the in the North of England. Our products and services include: A series of air frames; Options for sensors and payloads; The supporting equipment required to operate the air frames in a variety of environments; Training packages to support the operational systems. QuestUAV was the winner of the 2013 North Eats Business Innovation Award sponsored by Newcastle University Business School. Person requirements: Engineering and design skills are essential for this placement. Skills using SolidWorks, in IT and electronics controls are also desired. Location: Amble, Northumberland. Job Title: Newcastle Work Experience - Laboratory Assistant Employer: Biotoolomics Ltd Closing date: 20.10.2013 Salary: £600 bursary upon completion of placement Basic job description: BioToolomics is a small bio-tech company specialising in innovative process chromatography products and technology for cost-effective puriﬁcation of bio-pharmaceuticals. As part of an ongoing product development project, we are seeking a laboratory assistant to support the development and production of our medical grade products to be used in the bio-processing industry. Placement duties will include: Bead manipulation; Derivatisation; Biochemical testing. More than one assistant position may be available. Person requirements: This placement is best suited but not limited to students studying Bio-science or Chemistry. The successful candidate will have excellent practical skills and experience, must be self motivated with strong organisational skills. Location: Durham.
Outdated dress code scrapped
London School of Economics
University of Cambridge
Richard Dawkins expressed outrage at the banning of cartoon depictions of Jesus and the Prophet Mohammad. Members of the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society at the University’s Freshers’ Fair were told to cover up their T-shirts which displayed a ‘Jesus and Mo’ cartoon. Complaints led to the Students’ Union demanding that the students removed their T-shirts. Dawkins then took to Twitter to express his outrage, saying: “I’m “offended” by backwards baseball caps, chewing gum, niquabs, “basically” and “awesome”. Quick, LSE Student Union, ban them all.” Members from the society also commented: “Our right to free expression and participation in the LSE student community is being curtailed for no other reason than that we are expressing views that are not shared by others.”
‘Gendered’ ceremonial dress codes will be removed from the University of Cambridge. Before the dress code change was implemented, men were required to wear a “plain black suit” with white shirt and tie at university graduation ceremonies. Women had the choice of a black dress, suit or skirt. Female graduates were also asked to cover their legs and arms. Pressure came after an LGBT+ campaign brought the issue to light this year to highlight the restrictive nature of the binary dress codes. President Charlie Bell, 24, a medicine graduate from Queen’s College, said: “This was an issue that many students had talked to us about over the years. From October this year, students will be allowed to wear their own clothes underneath their academic gown and hood.
Sexual violence promo video banned
Counselling sought by increased numbers
University of Leeds
University of Glasgow
A Leeds student club night has been criticised for an avertising video that promotes rape and sexual violence. The club night, called Tequila, created a video titled ‘Freshers Violation’. This video included footage of male club goers describing how a girl was going to “get raped” and how they would “violate” freshers. Another was recorded saying “Violated is a very strong word, I would say take advantage of someone.” The video advertised the night as including “pole dancers, a violation cage and lots of 2nd/3rd years seeking out new freshers.” This latest controversy comes after several campaigns against ‘Lad Culture’, which culminated in the banning of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines song from all Leeds University Union playlists.
The University of Glasgow has had the largest increase in the number of students in counselling, according to an investigation. Help Me Investigate looked into the numbers of students seeking counselling services. In the past four years, numbers have increased from 513 to 1180 students seeking help. L an c a s t e r Un i v e r s it y experienced the second largest increase, with a 127% rise. A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow said: “We are working hard to reduce waiting lists, but would emphasise that we aim to provide all students with an assessment appointment within two weeks and that we also offer a daily drop-in service.” The University of York, The University of West Scotland and Bath Spa University also experienced the number of students more than double.
Images: UGL_UIUC/Shane Pope
Comment The Courier
Monday 14 October 2013
Comment Editors: Joe Wood and Lydia Carroll Deputy Comment Editor: Victoria Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org | @Courier_Comment
Is it right to ban the veil?
Fancy writing for Comment? Meetings at 11am Monday, in the Constance Briscoe Room of SU
Southern Swiss voters have backed a ban on the wearing of full-face veils. The issue of wearing full-face veils has been divisive. Aaron will be arguing YES, the ban is correct, and Douglas will be arguing NO, that it isn’t.
I wholeheartedly believe the state has a right to intervene in banning the veil; while many others, regardless of their decision, still question whether the state has a right to make these decisions surrounding religious practice. First of all, the veil cannot be logically deemed as “religious” since there is no explicit mention of the “burqa” or “niqab” anywhere in the Quran; which is expressed to be the apparent reason that it is enforced, but it is a pre-Islamist characteristic. Secondly, critics argue that preserving the legality of wearing the veil is championing women’s rights, but this is evidently fallacious as it is a symbol of ‘gender apartheid’ since pressure to wear the veil is focused primarily on females, but males have the privilege of staying free from any face-covering veils. On a more contemporary note, I have been asked to remove my sunglasses in a bank before, or else I would not be served, but I find it quite absurd that women who go into a bank covered from head-to-toe are granted an amnesty from this rule, purely out of political correctness.
If we hold to the democratic principle that the state is empowered by the people and voters back the decision then of course the state has the right to intervene. I do not however think that voters have made a wise decision in this case. If we are to maintain a multi-cultural society that is as civil as possible then we must affirm and protect legal rights to religious practice that is free of harm to others and I maintain that women wearing veils fall neatly into this category. You don’t need to be an expert on Islam to see that many Muslim women consider wearing full-face veils to be a very important part of their religion despite the absence of the “burqa” or “niqab” in the Quran just as Catholics clearly see the pope as a vital part of their religion even though the papacy is not mentioned in the Bible. The veil does not need to be in the Quran to be deemed religious. Furthermore, women should retain the right to be the judge of their own attire and I don’t see how their choice to wear a veil in the street is causing doing anyone any harm.
It is a symbol of ‘Gender Apartheid’
In terms of democracy on this issue, a YouGov poll conducted in September 2013 showed that 61% of the British public support an outright ban on the burqa. Britain can maintain its multi-cultural status, but this does not mean pandering to keep all ethnicities and religions content. People must understand that it is only right that certain countries have certain cultures, which are merely a reflection of the people who live in that country. And we have seen that in the 2009 UK European elections, the far-right made electoral gains, since it was established that the pace of change in some communities was too fast. Another point on democracy is that David Cameron declared that Britain is a Christian country and we should respect that view. My point is that face veils clearly harm community cohesion by dividing communities and acting as a blockade on communication. For instance, if a person, or even a child, were to be surrounded in a park by people wearing balaclavas and motorcycle helmets, it would provoke intimidation and fear, but people must be tolerant of face veils simply because of the PC brigade. Overall, face veils pose a threat to national security, with one instance being that wanted criminals could walk about the street in face veils without raising any suspicion. One real case includes the terrorist responsible for one of the 21/7 bombing being able to flee in a burqa.
The fact that most people agree with you may well give the UK government a democratic mandate to impose a ban. It does not however mean that you are right and I am urging those 61% to reconsider. I grant you that it is unnecessary to see that every custom of every group needs to be protected and would say that in some cases to do so would be unwise. But it just is not necessary to trigger deep upset and resentment in the Muslim communities by withdrawing their right to wear veils. As an established member of the University’s Christian Union, I do not see any need for a “Christian” country to deny such a right (as you seem to think) or to provoke the kind of upset that you seem to crave. Surely it is far more respectful and prudent to leave British Muslims with the rights to follow their own customs as to how they dress. I think we can safely say that the number of people who wear veils are in fact disguised convicts and terrorists is not significant and I think that non-Muslims should learn to accept the veil as part of society rather than cementing divisions by holding back in fear and allowing themselves to become intimidated. I concede that it is a different fashion from the social norm and that this can lead to division but I highly doubt that an all-out ban is the best response.
We must afﬁrm and protect legal rights to religious practice
Image: Beau Giles
What’s Farage chuntering? What he said:
‘Nothing could be further from my mind right now then deciding which constituency I might stand for in 2015....’
What he meant:
Nowhere poor. Nowhere northern.
What he said:
‘Off to the Eton College Salisbury Society which is more than David Cameron would do.’
What he meant:
Nur na nur na nur. Na nuff nuff nuff. Na nur nur nur nur nur!
What he said:
‘Theresa May refuses to answer the question on what the Tories can do about Romanian criminal gangs. Because the answer is ‘nothing’’
What he meant:
All Romanians are in criminal gangs. Actually, anyone born east of Kent is suspect. In fact, the country of Romania is most likely one massive criminal organisation seeking to take British jobs from British workers. Joe Wood
Image: Jennifer Jane Mills
Monday 14 October 2013
In the Thicke of it Sam Summers
y now you’ve probably heard about the group of student unions, led by Edinburgh, who have moved to ban Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ because it violated their policies on Sexual Harassment. There’s a good many reasons why this is a bad idea, my favourite of which is that it’s basically pissing into the inferno when it comes to misogyny in music. The NUSU council recently withdrew a motion regarding the song, which looked at a slightly bigger picture, proposing ‘a complaints system which would result in a song being banned following an online vote’. While an admirable attempt to tackle the broader issue, this also posed a serious threat to artistic and personal expression on campus. The motion singled out Thicke’s lyric ‘I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it’ as being out of line with its Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment Policy.
We could argue all day about whether or not this is the case, and to be honest it probably is, but even if it wasn’t there’s certainly a whole mess of songs in the charts of which the same could be said. It’s a sad, sad fact that casual misogyny still laces so many of today’s hits, but to ban every single one of them would leave us with very few options beyond ‘There’s No One Quite Like Grandma’. Besides, such a complaint system couldn’t be limited to just complaints about misogyny when the Union has so many other policies that are being violated. Eminem’s recent hit ‘Bezerk’, for example, includes the hook ‘We’re gonna rock this house until we knock it down, so turn the volume loud, cause it’s mayhem ‘til the AM’, which is, of course, flagrantly out of line with NUSU’s policy against antisocial behaviour in the local community. If I felt sufficiently offended by that, could I vote to ban it? If so, could I vote to ban ‘We Can’t Stop’ because of its passing references to drug use, or the new Conor Maynard because I don’t like the cut of his jib? Presumably there’d be regulations in place to combat such wanton tomfool-
On the Silk Road to legalisation
With the closure of Silk Road and increasing concerns raised by public figures against the war on drugs, Jack Burton argues that we should change our mind on drug policy
ith the recent closure of the website Silk Road and the recent publication of a report on drug use in the British medical journal Open, drug policy is back in the spotlight. Illegal drugs are more readily available and cheaper than at any time during the last twenty years, the report states. This is a state of affairs aided by the existence of sites like the Silk Road that anonymously and painlessly hook up dealers and users online. Multiple competitors to the Silk Road have already sprung up since its owner was recently arrested, and the supply of drugs remains unabated despite police seizures increasing year on year. Meanwhile, the policy of criminalisation puts thousands of people behind bars every year, drives petty crime and sustains a multi-billion pound illegal narcotics industry. This ruins thousands of lives, undermining the exact rationale behind prohibition in the first place. Legalisation is the only sensible way forward: recognising the reality that vast swathes of people in the UK today regularly take drugs such as cannabis and cocaine. The quality of drugs taken would massively increase as producers are exposed to the light of regulation; many of the negative long-term effects of heroin, for example, are tied to the common cutting agents used by dealers, not the drug itself. Furthermore, the side effects of naturally derived drugs are well known and easily managed. However, the current system of prohibition promotes to drug abusers poorly known and artificially derived drugs. The ingredients for these are available cheaply and legally. These drugs are much more damaging than
the common bogeymen, such as heroin and cocaine. Examples include meth in the South-West US and the terrifying Krokodil in Russia, which rots users’ flesh until it falls off and exposes naked bone. Worryingly, online magazine Vice has reported that Krokodil use is beginning to spread to the UK… Prohibition also warps the conversation around drug use, casting users as criminals and moral reprobates, preventing honest discussion about addiction and the support provision. Individuals who go to prison fail to get meaningful treatment, instead ending up exposed to an environment awash in hard drugs, causing greater addiction. Criminalising drug users makes them less likely to seek out treatment, less likely to interact with law enforcement and more likely to be distrusted and even feared by those around them. The government‘s argument is to simply state that drugs are dangerous and that it is their role to keep them out of people’s hands. Regardless of the state’s abject failure to regulate the drug trade, it is hard to seriously consider the government’s claim that they’re protecting us from dangerous substances. This is as less harmful drugs like cannabis are illegal whilst arguably far more damaging drugs, such as alcohol, are not. The current policy is a relic of cultural attitudes and an affront to people’s basic liberties that protects no-one and undermines the government’s credibility on science, health policy and the criminal justice system. It’s time for Britain to grow up. We must accept that recreational drug use is an inevitable part of modern life and start having an adult conversation about drugs and their consequences rather than engaging in today’s judgemental paternalism.
ery, such as a minimum number of required votes, or a panel of experts to judge which complaints are legitimate, but nothing like that was outlined in the motion. Even so, in theory, it’s possible for this system to lead to the censorship of any song for any reason, and it should be obvious to anyone that this is an unfair restriction of artistic expression. Yes, Robin Thicke is a douchebag, but we have to allow him his right to express his douchebaggery through his art, and others the right to enjoy it. Of course, there comes a point at which a song becomes irredeemably offensive. If Thicke was openly inciting the rape of women, I wouldn’t think twice about banning his music, as it could potentially pose a
very real danger. As misogynistic as it is, ‘Blurred Lines’ is not that song. I wish it were easier to define which artworks are offensive enough to ban without infringing upon the freedoms of artists,
but we are unfortunately dealing with some extremely ill-defined boundaries. ‘Ill-defined boundaries?’ There must be a catchier way of putting that...
Are we equal when it comes to pay? The issue of equal pay is rarely out of the news - Jacob Murphy assesses how far the gender divide impacts upon women financially
e live in the age of social networking where we freely share our personal information to those around us, ranging from our day to day thoughts, to our regrets in having that final treble vodka the night before. However, when it comes to sharing information about our salaries, most people keep it close to their hearts. It is a common assumption amongst British society that salaries are something which should be spent and not discussed. It is a practice that appears to be almost singularly British. In Norway for example, every taxpayer’s income and wealth is published in the public domain which may have some correlation with its status as the second happiest country in the world. Such initiatives to make salary information transparent are important as they establish a system that will help prevent inequalities and discrimination in the workplace.
“Newcastle University have been combating inequality in the workplace”
Before the Equality Act of 2010, every employee’s contract was accompanied by a pay secrecy clause, which prohibited the employee from disclosing information to other colleagues with regard to their wage.
So the past three years have seen employees able to talk about (and compare) their salaries without fear of disciplinary procedures - particularly if they believe a pay gap exists as a result of the employee’s gender, age, ethnicity or sexuality. Thus, it is clearly important to have salary transparency throughout the public and private sector as it will be an effective way to combat pay inequalities present in the British workplace. This is evident when we focus our attention on Newcastle University, who have been increasingly pro-active in combating inequality in the workplace as a result of the 2010 Act. The University created in 2011 the Single Equality Scheme which undertook a full Equal Pay Review in order to search for any examples of disparity in pay gaps for employees in terms of gender, age and ethnicity. The review published a list of examples of pay gaps of more than 5% for staff on the same grade and tried to explain the reasons for why these disparities existed. The University explained that the pay gaps existed not on discriminatory grounds, but on the basis of service
Image: @Doug88888 levels. For example, a disabled person earned 5% more than a non-disabled person in the same profession based solely on the length of time that each had worked in that role. The former had worked for twenty years, compared to the nine years of the non-disabled coworker. The University is an example of the benefits that can occur when salary information is made transparent. The review has shed light on legitimate explanations behind pay gaps in certain job roles, and in doing so those gaps that did exist prior to 2010 have been severely reduced. I suggest that other companies and businesses follow this precedent by publishing annual or seasonal reviews that seek to find pay gaps in their retrospective companies. Once these disparities are identified the company should discuss the potential reasons behind these inconsistencies, whilst coming up with ways to resolve these gaps in order to reduce any possible instances of inequality or discrimination in the workplace.
Monday 14 October 2013
Putin on the Ritz
Following Putin’s Nobel peace Prize nomination, Matt Corden considers whether the award has been devalued by some rather dodgy candidates Matt Corden
here have in the past been bizarre and out-right disgraceful Nobel Peace Prize laureates. It was in 1973 when Henry Kissinger received the award for his short-lived effort in bringing the Vietnam War to a close after he sabotaged the 1968 Paris peace accords with Nixon and his associates for Republican Party electoral interests, and led a secret and illegal bombing campaign in Cambodia. Other recipients like Meacham Begin and Yasser Arafat, both of whom contributed their fair share in reducing the cosmopolitan city of Beirut to rubble come across as odd. Even Barack Obama, despite being an honourable and deserving man, was nominated for the prize shortly after his 2009 inauguration, before his presidency can conceivably be judged as peaceful or otherwise. This interesting decisionmaking seems to have returned with the nomination of Vladimir Putin. The Putin-Medvedev duo, a pair of Brezhnev-Kosygin type characters with uncannily similar contempt for dissent and protest cannot conceivably be fit for consideration. Mr Putin’s regime initiated a show trial of Pussy Riot, a rock band that very legitimately pointed
Putin: Champion of Peace. Image: World Economic Forum the recrudescence of a Tsarist tyranny based around Russian chauvinism and the Russian Orthodox Church. Although admittedly they often showed poor taste in doing so, their campaigns for LGBT rights have also been exemplary and necessary, such movements are violently suppressed all across Russia, even through collusion with ultra nationalist groups that physically attack peaceful protesters. Recent raids on NGOs – described as ‘foreign agents’ – such as Human Rights Watch and Golos (who ironically enough are an election watchdog) are a sure sign of things to come. The Federal Security Service that is responsible for enforcing this accelerating wave of au-
thoritarianism is still headquartered in the notorious Lubyanka, where I’m sure Putin can recall fond memories of his time as a KGB agent. Alarmingly, an attitude has begun to arise that Putin represents a sort of anti-war heroism. I suspect the Russian committee members who put his name forward have similar sympathies. This of course mainly revolves around the Syrian conflict, for which the case for non-interventionism amongst an increasingly isolationist Western public is being peddled by UKIP and large swathes of the American Right. Putin’s part in the Assad-Khamenei-Nasrallah alliance may have something to do with which side he decided to take (an alli-
ance that doesn’t particularly qualify for a peace prize), and the whine of “UN backing” might be because of his power of veto on the Security Council. Putin’s refusal to accept the crimes of Bashar al-Assad should not be foolishly mistaken for humanitarian concern or a heroic anti-American rebellion. His supplying of weapons to the regime makes him very much pro-war; he’s simply on the side of the Ba’ath Party. When Putin exploited Ossetian and Abkhazian micro nationalisms to undermine what is an independent Georgia, it was said publically that the war he initiated was in essence revenge for the Western recognition of the independence of Kosovo from Serbian annexation, which contrary to Putin’s claims, was never recognised as part of Serbia, rather it was only ever part of former Yugoslavia. Need I mention Chechnya, where Putin received 99.89% of the vote, after a continuous Russian campaign to suppress the Muslim population there? That’s almost as impressive as Saddam Hussein’s 100% election victory in 2002. Perhaps Malala Yousafzai, the brave Pakistani school girl who was brutally shot yet defied the Taliban’s war on women’s education, is a much more deserving candidate. Islamic Jihad in all its manic suicidal ideas, in her own words, “is afraid of the power of education”. Happily her success over Putin seems to be a foregone conclusion.
The Miley Virus Dave: feminist The Movement of Miley is stirring up controversy. Leigh McDougle considers the ex-Disney star’s new image Leigh McDougle
iley Cyrus is everywhere these days, isn’t she? Her name is rarely mentioned without being attached to yet another controversy and, more often than not, allows people the opportunity to offer us yet another trite remark about her penchant for ‘twerking’ her way through life. However, after it was revealed that Cyrus’s video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ was partially inspired by Sinéad O’Connor’s video for her classic single ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, Miley’s hyper-sexualised image became a cause for concern, rather than the subject of the usual cheap attempts at humour. The Irish singer expressed that she felt Cyrus was being ‘exploited’ and even ‘prostituted’ by the music industry in an open letter addressed to the former Hannah Montana star. Nonetheless, O’Connor claimed the letter was written in the ‘spirit of motherliness and with love’. Now it’s all too easy to look at such a letter and view it as patronising and condescending – Miley is a 20 year old woman after all; she doesn’t need ‘mothering’…and surely she is able to make her own decisions regarding her image as a female artist…right? However O’Connor’s letter raises the question of whether the choices women make are free from the repercussions of a heavily patriarchal environment - is it really possible to view Miley’s current image as empowering? Or even as a choice? Consider the latest offering from the delightful Mr. Robin Thicke: as he
spouts line after line about the troublesome nature of ‘Blurred Lines’, he is notably fully clothed, while the women in the video dance about wearing... well, notably less. Consider again Miley’s controversial VMA performance with Thicke, which followed the same aesthetics, but was even more overtly sexual in Miley’s dancing. The dynamic of an older man wearing a full suit - an outfit that strongly connotes power and a 20-year-old woman fawning all over him, seems somewhat unbalanced, no? Perhaps it is not unfitting to say there is something a bit ‘off ’ when it
“Part of me actually wants to applaud Miley’s brash, ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude and conﬁdence” comes to the presentation of women in the music industry. Part of me actually wants to applaud Miley’s brash, ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude and confidence. But as Sinéad writes ‘[y]ou are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal’, I am reminded of the reality of the world we live in, and desperately hope others will too.
Cameron recently revealed that he was unsure about his stance on feminism. Lewis Barclay is less than surprised
othing to see here folks: just another U-turn for David Cameron’s faux personality this past fortnight. He told Red Magazine that he didn’t identify as a feminist and that “it is up to others to attach labels.” Well Dave, the point you are missing there is that if that is the case, many (myself included) will find some pretty negative ones, pretty quickly. ‘Sexist pig’ was one fairly common on the Twitter feed. This interview caused Cameron’s incredibly overworked PR team to again try to pick up the pieces. Enter the interview on Channel 4 news: David Cameron spun a new tale of lies and said “What I should have said is, if that means equal rights for women, then yes. If that is what you mean by feminist, then yes, I am a feminist.” Following this some panicked minister got their servant to have a quick look through their TV guide (to see what was ‘young’ and ‘hip-hop’ no doubt) and now apparently David Cameron is a big fan of Breaking Bad, the recently concluded cult series. It seems an ideal target for Cameron to deflect attention away from his sexist slip up and show everyone how cool he is. He cited that Walter White was “this fundamentally quite decent man who goes so terribly wrong.” Slight problem there, Davey boy: using a cult series as a platform for trying to be popular NEVER WORKS. People who aren’t fans (the vast majority) will not have a clue what on earth you are talking about and those that are will not like their favourite TV show en-
Cameron obstructs woman, somewhat symbolically. Image: bisgovuk
dorsed by a person who doesn’t have a fucking clue. This comes in a long line of events that have involved David Cameron’s hardly repressed sexism. This is after he told Angela Eagle MP to ‘calm down dear’ in the House of Commons during a NHS reform debate in April 2011 in a pathetic attempt to be relatable to just about anyone, even the dearly departed Michael Winner whose liver must have been so embarrassed by the use of the Esure slogan it felt that it would quickly pack up shop come last January. Clearly, more than being incompetent and artificial, David Cameron is, if not sexist, so uninformed and ambivalent to the feminist cause that he does not deserve membership.
hem. Coughing up your lungs is an unavoidable part of life when winter is coming. Dreaded like the invading Whitewalkers and Wildlings, otherwise known as the Scots, it is not a pleasant experience for some. Yet, like a good oldfashioned war with the natives, it is necessary to weed out the weak from the strong. Winter is the perfect device to see which of the poor should survive, rah rah rah. Our gallant Christian brothers of the Republican Party who fight against this so called ‘Obama-care’ understand this. For as Jesus taught, ‘the meek shall inherit the Earth.’ And who is further from meekness than those wanton plebeian beggars who demand a health service paid for them, rather than putting their faith in our Lord and Saviour, Ted Cruz? (Don’t know who he is? Look him up.) Many a weaker political party would have backed down in the face of a flimsy liberal government shut down, but our brave Republican brothers were prepared to bring the American governing system to a (temporary) standstill rather than pay for some armless smelly plebeian’s medicine. Hear, hear for democracy! And another cheer to the munificent Mrs. Palin; one of the finest and most attractive specimens of bulldog I have yet encountered. I’d waggle her tail any day if you get my drift, rah rah rah. We’ve already seen our great Britannia morphed into some hogwash desolate wasteland of wimpish troglodytes grunting obscenities like ‘please stop my life threatening illness’ and ‘I really do need that transplant.’ Well tough darts! My father, Sir Pugsington-Plebeianbasher, taught me an important lesson: ‘If you can’t pay, you can’t stay’. It is, of course, the Ed and Ralph Commibands of this world who threaten our liberties. I shudder at their destructively fanciful ideologies that money should be taken from the honest and hardworking Rothermeres and Jimmy Carrs of our society and frittered on the money grabbing ‘working classes’. It’s enough to make one choke on one’s brandy! On the topic of having one’s throat congested whilst indulging in a fortified necessity, I saw a photo of Miley Cyrus the other day. Well, all I can say is I will be watching the next season of Hannah Montana avidly. Twerking, wrecking balls and the clutching of another woman’s brassiere are, of course, indicative of the morally depraved lower classes. But, even an old pedigree like myself can admit what is abhorrent to the soul may still be pleasing to the senses. And, of course, it is the pleasuring of one’s senses that heals one’s body. No need for such plebeianistic flantagery as a free health service for all. When Winter Comes one must forget such socialist codswallop and learn to heal their soul with the warming touch of the Miley Cyruses of this world. Yours,
Illustration by Flora Anderson (Overheard by Joe and Lydia)
Monday 14 October 2013
Lifestyle Editors: Evie O’Sullivan, Elizabeth Archer, Hazel Parnell and Katie Smith
It’s a boy/ girl thing
What boys and girls really think about frisky Freshers’ romances... Alice Commins The Adventures of Tinderella
’ve always been rather suspicious when anyone claims that Being Single is something one ought to feel smug about. Up until one month and two days ago (but who’s counting?) I had been in two back-to-back relationships since I was 17. I guess this has placed me as a ‘relationship kinda gal’ for over five years now. Crikey. And so, yes, I admit I’ve never been the type of girl whose hit the ceiling because the opening beats of ‘Single Ladies’ have come on. And I hate to break it to the sisterhood, but I probably never will be, and so if you had asked me one month and two days ago (not that I’m counting) whether I thought that Single Girls had more fun, I would have confirmed in the negative. But following a surprisingly enjoyable Freshers’ Week, I have a funny feeling that I’m on route to being converted. I say ‘suprisingly’ with great emphasis, because I returned to Newcastle having not seen anyone since the Morning After The Night I Was Sick In (let’s call her) X’s Car. Not on purpose, of coursealthough from everyone’s reaction, you’d assume I’d been planning the performance all summer. I knew I would be out of my depth at (let’s call her) Z’s 21st the moment I received her ‘At Home’ invitation. However, a combination of the promise of free champagne and the flattery of being included in something so fancy saw me accepting the offer with excitement. Oh yeah, and I’d just been dumped and told that it was a good idea not to shy away from the social scene. Obviously I got far too drunk on the night, and after crying to some strangers about having to change my relationship status on Facebook, I crawled back unnoticed into my blue Polo and passed out. Only three hours later I was woken up in a blue Golf and had acquired an audience. My memory of the next series of events is rather blurry, but I’m pretty sure I was then pulled and booed out of the driver’s seat. Oh yes, and I vaguely remember attempting a curtsey in a bid to look endearing. All in all Freshers’ Take Three was hardly geared up to be a week of wonderful times for someone wearing the labels ‘Emotional Dumpee’ and ‘CarVommer’; and its not as if previous freshers’ weeks have been that successful. In first year I was repeatedly compared to Cheska from Made in Chelsea – I get it, I have a long face. And then Freshers’ Take Two was even worse when I got scabies from borrowing a jumper from a friend who had recently travelled in Central America. Predictably, rumours about my multiple STI’s became public knowledge, and I swear hardly anyone hugged me for the best half of Semester One last year. Freshers’ Take Three almost followed suite when my novice single-self decided that going to Bar Blanc ‘on the pull’ was actually a Cool, Jesmond Thing To Do. Approaching someone I’d always thought looked sweet on my course, I tried to remember how to flirt. I was only a little disappointed when I heard him lean into a ‘mate’ and say that he would ‘rather shag a porcupine.’ But in true cliché style, every cloud has its silver liningand it took this confidence battering to kickstart my enrolment on Tinder. And it is with Tinder as my starting point, (and maybe the first hint of Gold Rush fever) that single life has begun to get good. I know a ‘lady never tells’ but some things are definitely meant for sharing, and I’ve already admitted to using Tinder seriously (not ironically or as a joke as most people will try and tell you), so I’m happy to give away a few more dirty secrets. Hate to tease you with the juicy stuff and then leave you hanging, but I promise to keep you posted.
Girl: take one
Boy: take one Let’s be honest, a shag is just a shag. We all know what Fresher’s Week means: stocking up on condoms and finding those lucky girls. It’s all well and good on the night, especially if she’s up for new things. But lads, pick carefully... some girls start picking out kid’s names before you’ve even finished up. Every guy knows a girl like this, but last week was just on a whole new level, mate. Calling her a stalker would be an understatement. At first, her efforts to make me a bacon butty after Round Two was pretty good, especially when she brought it in her bra and knickers. Every guy appreciates a good bum. And I can just about handle a spoon in the morning, even with the cramp in my arm, but when the clock strikes 10 I’m out of there… never expecting to see her again. Little did I know, I’d picked a psycho. A few texts are pretty easy to ignore but when I clocked her standing outside my lecture hall, I’d just about had enough. How did she even know what I stuied?! I needed to be straight with her but when she burst into tears, what is a lad to do? I guess it was time for round three. Make-up sex is the best kind of sex anyway, isn’t it?
“I guess boys and girls don’t always want different things after all”
We’ve all been there before, had one too many trebles and given our number to that wrong person in Sam Jacks. It’s all going well, you’re riding the bull but before you know it, you’ve woken up to 17 missed calls and a Durex wrapper on your Law textbook. Well, that was me on my first night of Freshers. I couldn’t even remember his face. The only thing that remained was his Native American head-dress from Clash of the Halls, stuffed under my bed. I got a text that afternoon, ‘Hey Babe, Last night was fun. Can I see you again?’ Flattered, I didn’t think too much of it. At the end of the day, I’m a fresher and just want to have fun. A few days later, cheap chocolate arrived outside my door with a note, ‘Still thinking of you.’ Was this guy serious? I’d only met him once!
“At ﬁrst it was cute, but now I was creeped out” Still feeling fragile from Freshers, I was late for my first 9am lecture. Walking as fast as humanly possible without breaking into a jog, I noticed a goofy six-foot-something boy, who could only be described as the beanpole version of Wayne Rooney, heading my way. Our eyes met and my heart skipped a beat… and not in a good way. This was him. The weirdo. I don’t want a boyfriend and certainly not this guy either. I was never good at P.E, but when a girl has to run, she can run. Head down, I ran past and managed to make my lecture just on time. I guess you have to be cruel to be kind. Since then, luckily all the texts and calls have stopped… but I am still partial to some chocolate from Londis. Alice Kirkland and Catriona McFarlane, based on an interview Illustrations by Daisy Billowes
What ever happened to my...dignity? Georgia Yeadon attempts to recount for us just how, where, when and why she lost that precious little thing we all like to call ‘dignity’... Being a second year coming back to Newcastle is like telling a child that you’ll buy them anything they want. It’s so exciting! As September drags on, you are literally counting down the days before you can finish your summer job, fly the nest (again) and get back to a life of naps, spending your loan, and hitting the best nightlife that the country has to offer.
“For three and a half months over summer my dignity was intact, and I was a responsible human being full of self-respect and pride.” Five measly hours after arriving back in Newcastle, probably about three hours after unpacking, I lost my dignity entirely. I could have left it at my flat during pre-drinks, Bijoux downing trebs, or Perdu when I decide what a fantastic idea dancing on the stage is. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty emotional waving goodbye to my dignity in first year, but I promised myself that if there was a God and he kindly returned it to me, that I would hold onto it in second year and never let it go.
“But no, apparently ﬁve hours was all it took.” Yes my friends, alcohol is a cruel mistress. She fuels bleary admissions of thinking that you are the best ever, maybe even ‘the one’, but when you take the tumble down the Bijoux toilet steps, you find yourself, yet again, in that vodka-soaked predicament. Do I scream out in pain and self-loathing, as yet again another pair of my knickers are on show, or do I laugh it off and pretend no one noticed? The eternal debate. Georgia Yeadon Illustrations by Daisy Billowes
Culture The Courier
Monday 14 October 2013
Culture Editor: Sam Summers Sections: Lifestyle, Fashion, Beauty, Arts, Music, Film, TV and Science email@example.com | @CourierOnline
David ‘Tav’ Tavernor, 3rd year Agricultural Business Management meets Evie O’Sullivan, 3rd Year English Literature (and one of our Lifestyle editors)
Tav on Evie Describe your first impression of him in 3 words... Confident, attractive and vibrant. I’d actually met her before through a mutual friend but couldn’t remember. What’s your usual type? Small, brunette and someone that will dominate me. Cute, would you let her meet your Mum? Yeah, she would be accepted by my family and probably get on well with my mum and sister. Any awkward moments? Yeah the food took ages and we both needed the toilet so we left at the same time and told the waitress we were going to the toilet, who then gave us a dirty look as she thought we were going for a quickie. What was her worst trait? Her immune system, she apparently always has colds.
“Her best feature is her smile” At any point did you understand why she was single? She’s very dedicated to the Newspaper so I can imagine is very busy – that’s the only reason I can think of why she’s single. Any weird conversation topics? No, it was pretty smooth. I am smooth. Shag, Marry or “See ya later”? [Takes about 5 minutes to answer cause he couldn’t stop smiling] Shag… although she did mention marriage and I thought, ‘woaaah steady on’. Will a second date happen? Definitely. What would your ideal date be? I once took a girl to the fair, but she was afraid of heights and threw up all over the bar that we later went into for our actual date. What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on? I was once really nervous before a date so I downed eight pints before... needless to say I remember nothing of the date. How did it end? Anything filthy? It ended well, we embraced. Rate yo’ date 9
Unlucky in love? The Courier is here to help! Send your details to: [C2.firstname.lastname@example.org]
Where? - Scallini’s What they ate? - Calzone for Tav and risotto for Evie. As well as putting away two bottles of wine to calm the nerves. Who paid? - He did
Evie on Tav
Describe your first impression of him in 3 words... Cute, Smiley, BWM (butter wouldn’t melt). What’s your usual type? Well my last boyfriend was Vietnamese so usually the small oriental type. Aww, would you let him meet your mum? Perhaps, I’d be slightly apprehensive about it though as he’s possibly too cute, too nice. My mum would like him though.
“He looked like he could throw me around” Poor David. Were there any awkward moments? Yeah. He followed me into the toilet. He also mentioned how he used to have fights with a guy I used to get with in Rugby and then kept asking him how I knew him. He also called himself a BNOC. What was his best trait? He looks like he could’ve been to the gym before and therefore could throw me around. At any point did you understand why he was single? He seemed quiet and not particularly a lads lad – he seems more sensitive compared to boys who literally go out just to pull. Maybe he’s a sneaky shagger. Any weird conversation topics? Alzheimer’s. Rugby convo was also a bit weird as I just wanted to avoid the topic all together. Shag, Marry or “See ya later”? Shag…for a lack of better options. Will a second date happen? We’ll see. Would you rather go on another date with him or lick Sinners’ floor? It depends what I’m licking off the floor! What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on? I went on a date with a boy I’d met at a neon party. He turned up to the date wearing neon fingerless gloves, a neon headband and a pair of denim flares. He kept trying to hold my hand and on his journey home he texted me saying that his train was delayed as someone had thrown themselves in front of it and that he was going to “pray for them”. I’m an atheist. How did it end? Any kissing? Awkwardly, he went in for a kiss and I went for a polite hug and ended in a weird hug embrace. Rate yo’ date 8
Monday 14 October 2013
Lifestyle Editors: Evie O’Sullivan, Elizabeth Archer, Hazel Parnell and Katie Smith
The Savvy Student Drinker Tired of your usual tequila shots, or bored of the bargain-box wine hangovers? This week, Jenny Dodsworth shows us just how good a slosh of value vodka can taste with some jam, a lime or two, and five minutes of your time. And the best bit? Each of these delicious drinks can be created for less than one pound a glass! Moscow Mule Strong, sophisticated and, as the name suggests, with plenty of kick! Muddled limes, sugar, and lashings of vodka laced with ginger beer. Student Style: Raspberry mule. Squish (or “muddle”) half a lime into the bottom of a glass, along with eight to ten fresh raspberries and a teaspoon or two of caster sugar to taste. Push a teaspoon into the bottom of the glass to loosen the limes, add ice and a double measure of vodka (50ml). Pull out the spoon, stirring as you go, and top up the glass with ginger beer. Caipiroska The Russian edit of the Caipirinha, not for the faint hearted. Vodka, lime, sugar. Student Style: Autumn Caipiroska. Muddle a whole lime into the glass with two heaped teaspoons of your favourite jam, and a few slices of apple or pear – whatever was on offer at Grainger Market! Get a spoon to the bottom of the glass, pack with crushed ice, add vodka. Place a sheet of kitchen roll over the glass, churn the ingredients and pull to spoon out slowly. Garnish with a couple of slices of fruit if you’re feeling fancy, and enjoy!
My crazy Freshers’ Week...
We went on campus to find out some of the weirdest things you saw, did, licked, heard and ate during your Fresher’s Week 2013... The weirdest thing I ate… After a particularly heavy evening in Sinners I ended up going back to a friend’s house and consumed a banquet of mouldy jacket potato, beans and what was later found out to be an entire pan of two week old chilli con carne. My “friend” also provided a pint of what I thought was lemon cordial to wash the banquet down. This turned out to be washing up liquid, resulting in me coughing up bubbles all night! Caleb, 3rd year Geography
White Russian Sweet and smooth. Milk and cream shaken (not stirred…) with vodka and coffee liqueur. Student Style: Geordie Mocha Milkshake If you’re a bit flash, and you’ve got a blender, here is the perfect time to utilise its full potential. Shove everything in and blend with a handful of ice for ten seconds, done. If you haven’t got such extravagant kitchen appliances, a fork and a mixing bowl with good old elbow grease will do the trick. Add a splash of boiling water to a teaspoon of instant coffee and hot chocolate to dissolve the powder. Pour half a glass of milk over the spoon, and add a double shot of vodka. Supplement milk with cream for a thicker, more luxurious cocktail. Add ice and whisk until cold and frothy.
The weirdest thing I did… I love younger boys and Freshers’ Week is the perfect hunting ground. Obviously I’d never go below 18… probably. Anyway, after a steamy Ricky Road rendezvous, I went in search of a toilet. However, on the way back from the bathroom, I couldn’t find the bedroom of the guy I had to leave. So, with the majority of my clothes still on his floor, I left to go home but instead made friends with a new Ricky boy and slept in his room instead! Lucy, 3rd year Marine Engineering
The weirdest thing I woke up to… One fatal morning in Freshers’ Week, I woke up in a police cell... wearing a toga. It turns out I had been arrested after peeing in an alley in full sight of a police officer. Still being drunk, I refused a lift home and decided to walk back to my halls. I didn’t realise at the time that I had been taken to a police station in Blyth (near Tynemouth) so it was a very long walk and cold walk back to central Newcastle. James, 1st year Business Management
Restaurant Review The Handmade Burger Co.
his small restaurant takes over your heart. With its cunning balance of sophistication and cosiness, it attracts the kind of people who look for something a little different to the everyday burger. Since it was our first time at the Handmade Burger Co. we had the menu explained thoroughly. Our food promptly arrived in no less than ten minutes, and it was fantastic. We quickly demolished the ‘Caeser’ chicken
Hair of the Dog
burger, which consisted of delicious fresh chicken, Caesar sauce, Italian cheese shavings, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and red onion. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the burger wasn’t soaked in mayonnaise like in some restaurants, which made it slightly easier to eat cave-man style with our hands. We had also the ‘Three Cheese and Baby Leek’ vegetarian burger, which came with Bramley apple chutney, mayonnaise and salad. Unexpectedly, the
vegetarian burger was the more interesting of the two, as it had many contrasting flavours that made it quite different from a boring bean burger. With our eyes being bigger than our bellies, we also ordered a side of chips each to accompany the burgers, which could’ve really been a full-blown meal by themselves. For a small increase in price, there was the option of Peri-Peri or Cajun chips, but we opted for the traditional ones seeing as both of us are a little pathetic when it comes to spicy food. They were good old chip shop chips without the grease, and were impossible to stop eating. The staff there were among the nicest we’ve encountered around Newcastle; both professional and very friendly. They were always around, which made us feel very welcome. In the restaurant the
“In our opinion, the dishes were worth every penny”
Feeling a little worse for wear the morning after the night before? Try a classic Bloody Mary. Pour a single shot of left-over vodka (25ml) over ice. Add a squeeze of lemon, a drop of Worcestershire sauce, and as much Tabasco sauce as you dare! Finally, top up the glass with tomato juice for the ultimate vitamin kick and enjoy. Whether this classic cocktail will actually cure your hangover, or simply numb the pain for a little while longer, it’s worth a shot! (No pun intended!)
tables were set casually, with a very flexible layout, so they could equally welcome couples, friends and larger groups of diners to enjoy their food. There’s also a small area upstairs for larger parties and special occasions. The menu’s prices are not alarmingly high, but it might be more than some people are willing to pay for a burger. In our opinion, the dishes were very good and worth every penny, since the portions are quite large. If you’re not one for big portions, the menu does have a lot of variety, and caters for those with smaller stomachs, as there is a selection of portion sizes and mini burgers. So you will definitely find the right dish for both your hunger and your pocket. All in all both meals were really yummy, and despite feeling very full at the end, all the fresh ingredients made sure that neither of us left the restaurant with post-burger guilt. THE VERDICT: We will definitely be visiting again.
Illustrations by Daisy Billowes
Photo by deuces
By Ciara Donnelly and Andrea Campos
Monday 14 October 2013
thecourieronline.co.uk/lifestyle email@example.com | @Courier_Life
Ask Uncle LeBron
Wassup homeslice! Uncle LeBron here, Castle Leazes’ third best rapper and sixth biggest baller, your bestie from another teste. Now I know times is tough like my rhymes is rough, but just come take a seat here on my lap - mind the erection - and I promise I’ll make it all better for y’all. Swerve. “HELP ME I’M HORNY”
“I keep wetting the bed after a night out, what should I do?”
Hollaaaaaaaaa at me bitchez aren’t we all? But c’mon you’re in Newcastle surrounded by some of the keenest beans on the planet… surely you can find a hole for that goal? Or even a mole for that hole? Then again peepz if you is a bit more reserved like Lil Ol’ LeBron over here just be sure to keeping clearing your internet history… and that is all I’m sayin’.
Here I goooo: nappies, waterproof bed sheets, nappies, don’t drink so much, nappies, nappies and when all else fails... blame it on your partner in crime. Beast.
“I think I have an STI, what should I do?” “Will my long distance relationship work out?” LeBron doubts. There’s more chance of Miley Cyrus putting her clothes back on.
Wooooooa my main man… lemme tell ya, if something is burning and your stomach is churning, you don’t wana be succumbing to any sexual yearning. JHEEEEZ, you gotta learn to wrap yo willy fool, and gals this one goes for you too… We all know there aint nothing wrong with a ‘lil bump and grind, but you just gotta keep it clean kids. And most importantly, before you go infecting the entire population, get yaself down to the Newcroft Centre on Market Street East in the toon. It’s open from 9a.m. and you’re best getting down there early. Trust me, boy better know.
“I fancy my flatmate, what should I do?” This is a tricksy one brutha, you gotta play it cool. Maybe try sneaking a lil cheeky note into their room, wait for a drunken night out, or if you a struggling just go and lay one on ‘em, LeBron Style. Smoochin’el.
“I can’t stop eating Maccy D’s and now my pants won’t fasten.” Boi, you’re talking to the guy who eats fried chicken for breakfast! I loves me some bootay. But then again if you’re not ready for this jelly, swap the large fries for a regular portion and get in the gyyyym! There are also vicious rumours of something called a ‘Sub Way’ in the SU and a type of fish called ‘Sushaay’…
“My flat mate keeps stealing my milk…” Dude are you fo real? Milk is a precious commodity don’t they know?! A gotta get some laxatives straight up in here and let that son of a biatch sing for their life. Or leave a note. Either should do the trick.
“I’m in love with my best friend” As ma main man Usher tells us, maybe you should write her a letter. You gotta follow your heart or you’ll never know. PEACE OUTTA TOWN.
Illustrations by Caroline Mackill
My Unfortunate Life
here are those people in life who seem to coast through with effortless ease, with excess time to polish their halos. Left to struggle along in their wake are those people that weren’t born with quite the same luck – those that got out of bed on the wrong side, walked under 13 ladders on the way into uni and cuddle their completely black cats every night before they go to sleep. I am one of those people. As the beginning of each new year at uni comes around (this is now my third), with it comes the desire for a fresh start, a new me – dedicated, hardworking, cool, even. I thought that at least by now I would have learnt the ropes and be able to muddle my way through in a fairly inconspicuous manner and try not to draw attention to the fact that I am an embarrassment to society. On my first day back, I like to believe I was doing quite well. I had successfully completed my to do list: - Scanned my student card, (hello loan) - Returned various items of clothing bought
“I woke the next morning with no clue of my misdeeds, with only a small pile of evidence by the side of the bed that gave away my shameful behaviour.” online (that would obviously have looked amazing on our fortunate opposites, but of course, looked definitely sack-like on me) - And bought a few pens for lectures (although I did forget paper…anyway…) Less than 12 hours later, the first (real) incident struck. On my second night out and a few too many gins later things weren’t looking too good. It was approximately 1am and about time I took myself home. Fortunately a friend accompanied me in a taxi. On the journey home, I was told later, that we had to pull over once on the dual carriage way for a chunder scare, but ‘luckily’ – oh the irony – I managed to hold it in. It wasn’t until the top of Osbourne Avenue that I leapt from the taxi to relieve all drinks consumed throughout the evening into a poor unsuspecting hedge. After which my friend dragged me to their house where I was rapidly put to bed. I woke the next morning with no clue of my misdeeds, with only a small pile of evidence by the side of the bed that gave away my shameful behaviour. Staggering home on what can only have looked like a walk of shame, I was finally safe. After a shower and a cup of tea I was slowly returning back to my normal state. Then there was a knock at the door, feeling slightly perkier I went to answer it: ‘I’ve got a parcel for Suzie Bliss’. ‘Oh yes, that’s me, I’ll sign for it’. I look down to a parcel that I recognise. It was the clothes I had attempted to return the day before. I’d spent £4 for them simply to be sent back to me.
If y’all have any problems and are in need of ya Uncle LeBron’s words of wisdom then hollaa at your dawg: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 14 October 2013
Fashion Editors: Frances Stephenson and Amy O’Rourke Deputy Fashoin Editor: Bex Finney
Fictional fashion O
k, so not technically a fresher seeing as he sacks off University in order to live in a bus and read Tolstoy. Nevertheless, Chris McCandless in Into The Wild was a freshman once. Even in a bus Chris sports the perfect off duty uni look with a plaid shirt and a liberal attitude to facial hair. A staple piece in any wardrobe, a checked shirt is a uni essential for both boys and girls. Worn well it can take you from day to night, forming an extra layer to fend off those chilly northern breezes. Girls, they’ll help you cover your modesty in those bum skimming Alexa Chung denim cutt off shorts, with a cheeky flash of sexy shoulder if the shirt is just a little too big. Guys, a lumberjack shirt gives off the
same vibe as a well picked cologne; it says ‘I am manly and I cut wood everyday’. Hello ladies. Try a shirt in a masculine tone like this earthy ASOS number. There are plenty of trucker shirts on the high street or hiding in vintage or charity shops. Your lumberjack shirt will become your go-to everyday item, so what are you waiting for? Hey, if it works for Alexander Supertramp in Alaska, it will almost definitely work in Jesmond.
ASOS Shirt £28
Into The Wild
Starting university can be a daunting task clothes wise. But never fear, Frances Stephenson is here and looks at two ﬁctional freshers to show you the ropes of uni dress codes
ASOS Chiffon Kilt £40
wo key trends for AW13/14 are tartan and two pieces. Both are exemplified by my personal educational style idol, Cher Horowitz, star of a cult film of the ‘90s, Clueless. Cher is a high school student who takes it upon herself to better her poor grades – in bum skimming mini skirts – by playing matchmaker with her teachers. She also matches her kilts to her knitwear (and
sometimes even her knee high socks) another trend that is storming the catwalks this season. We could all learn a thing or two about passing exams from Cher, why not try setting up your lecturers if your exam marks aren’t what you were expecting, whilst looking fabulous in tartan, obviously. Picking up where summer left off, try this Heritage trend of tartan in a tictac shade of pink, yellow or green.
BOY Tom Bromhead I think that the leotard is quite a revealing piece of clothing. It is not an item of clothing that I particularly like, however I think that when worn with different items of clothing, like a pair of high waisted shorts, it may look less suggestive. Its not the type of thing in which you would expect to see people wearing in the day, but the look might be a little more appropriate for a night out. Wearing a leotard like this doesn’t give off a good impression of you; it’s very low cut, which makes a big statement about the person wearing it. For example if I saw someone walking down the street in a leotard I would assume that they were looking
River Is land
Man vs. Clothes The Leotard; Rachel Britton asks Tom Bromhead for a mans opinion on this controversial piece.
for a lot of attention, particularly from people of the opposite sex. I’m sure that they would get a lot of looks, but it probably wouldn’t be the right kind of people. I wouldn’t want to see my girlfriend wearing this on a night out as it shows off a little too much and gives the impression that the person wearing it is hoping to pull. It leaves a lot of boob on show, especially to anybody stood next to her, so it leaves very little to the imagination. Overall I don’t like this piece of clothing and wouldn’t think much of the girl that is wearing it.
Ouch, a damning verdict from Tom – more slapper than sultry in a mans world
GIRL Rachel Britton Seemingly the must-have item of the summer: it’s versatile, it’s sexy and it’s certainly something to wear if you want to stand out from the crowd. Sure, it’s a bit revealing but, if worn correctly, it can look both classy and on-trend – and besides, side-boob is the new cleavage. The leotard looks equally stylish paired with high-waisted denim shorts as it does dressed up with a skater skirt for a night out, however it can just as easily look hideous; there is a fine line between making a quirky fashion statement and looking like an 80s aerobics instructor. It cannot be
denied that it takes some guts to pull off, especially going bra-free, but it is definitely worth the effort – and the vast amount of tit tape – as it is a simple way to give a subtle nod to the ‘90s trend and will certainly turn a few heads. Of course, the style leaves little to the imagination, but it also makes the leotard the perfect clothing choice to show off your tan before it fades and the backless design is effortlessly sexy. All in all, the leotard is not for everyone and should certainly be worn with caution (nobody likes a nip-slip), however, as one of my favourite summer essentials, it will undoubtedly be making the transition into my winter ward-
Looks like Rachel will be embracing this sexy item during Autumn/Winter 13
Monday 14 October 2013
thecourieronline.co.uk/fashion email@example.com | @Courier_Fashion
What I wore the night before Crop tops, kimonos and killer heels; we take a sneak peak into the wardrobes of Kathy Davidson and Amy O’Rourke as they prepare for a night on the toon
Kimono - River Island, £35 Crop Top - Zara, £29.99 Skirt - Topshop, £34 Heels - Zara, £39.99
Shirt - Charity Shop, £3 Cami - Topshop, £18 Skirt - Ebay, £12 Boots - Topshop, £74.99
t was the first Archaeology Society social which means one thing and one thing only, no matter where we go it’s going to get incredibly messy. I’m obsessed with the kimono trend at the moment so I wear it whenever I get the chance. I could have got away without it in this outfit but I love the colours in it and it was chucking it down so it proved to be both pretty and practical. I had to wear heels because to be perfectly honest I’m absolutely tiny and if I wear flats on a night out I’m pretty much by everyone’s ankles. Despite that I absolutely love wearing heels and always will if I get the chance. I had bought this crop top months ago and not had a chance to wear it then it was featured by Women’s Health in a section on clothes that are flattering, so I figured if they told me it was flattering…it probably is – plus it’s actually really comfortable and doesn’t make me feel self-conscious like other crop tops.
fter toppling down the stairs of Sinners one too many times, heels have been a nogo for me on nights out. Instead, I opt for a comfy pair of flats, usually some chunky boots; with their platform sole they still give me that extra bit of height without the pain of heels. Flattering and easy to wear, camisoles are all over the high street and have been a wardrobe staple for me over the summer months, not only on nights out, but during the day too. I’m that girl who takes an age to get ready for a night out, and my evening always includes a mad rummage through my floor-drobe as the taxi pulls up and I still haven’t decided what to wear. As a result of this, I’m never dressed appropriately, and this outfit was no exception. Denim skirts don’t absorb alcohol well, and the shirt I wore intentionally to keep me warm on the walk home is now crumpled up in a bush somewhere. I’ll never learn.
Fresh fashion for a fresh start Rachel Elliot and Laura Derrick take us through four freshers essentials
Coat; Primark £30
winter coat is a must for university. As most students will warn you, the Newcastle weather soon takes a turn for the worst, and want for a snug, yet stylish layer kicks in. The parka coat is popular amongst both guys and girls at the moment and most include a fur lining which is the secret to the snug feel. This is perfect, not only for a breezy day walking to and from lectures, but to satisfy your need for comfort when hungover from the night before. Despite the popularity of the parka, there are many other styles available such as the trench coat and the duffle. Whichever you choose, make sure you’re staying warm and looking great.
Backpack; Eastpak £22.99
ith all the folders, files and books to carry around campus, it only makes sense to purchase a large bag. Luckily for us, satchels and backpacks are right on trend. Satchels are particularly good as they are roomy, extremely sturdy and come in different colours and sizes. A small satchel will also suffice for a night out – keeping all of your items safe and sound. A backpack is great for both guys and girls – they are large and easy to carry around campus. Despite sounding hideous, its easy to find a bag to suit the most flamboyant of tastes with leopard print, neon brights and graphic prints. So, get a bag that best suits you – just make sure it’s big enough and compliments your outfit.
Trainers; La Redoute £50
know what you’re thinking. Trainers…as if I’ll be doing any exercise during Freshers’ Week. Think again, bringing your trainers could actually help you make friends. How? Well, on Freshers’ Week not only will you be bombarded with freebies and events to attend, you will also be given the opportunity to sign up for sporty societies. Despite being something you’d throw on for the gym, trainers have become more than a sports staple. From hidden heels to leopard print, trainers can give an outfit that sports luxe vibe. You’ll soon forget you ever contemplated heels on a night out; so forget your four inches and try trainers with your little black dress.
Jacket; River Island £60
ot only are leather jackets completely in season, they are practical too. They’ll go with any look almost all year round, from denim shorts and converse to a cold winter-day dress and tights. They add an edgy effect to the outfit and they are the perfect excuse to pull off that “biker” look without looking out of place…or an actual biker. It’s not quite cold enough to dig out your woollies just yet; so top off your outfit with a leather jacket adding a touch of rebelliousness to the look. The fit of leather jackets is another advantage; the tight look hugs your body keeping out the cold and defining your shape, what more could you ask for?
Monday 14th October 2013
Beauty Editors: Saﬁya Ahmed and Amy Macauley
What’s on the Beauty Editors’ desk?
Beauty editor Safiya Ahmed shares her top products to stay looking good this week.
Lectures to Legends
MAC Lipstick - Lady Danger Revlon Lash Potion Mascara - Black TopShop Glow Highlighter - Polish Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Shadow Pencil Clash Mac Lipstick - Impassioned L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil Mist
Lyuba Spasova lets us in on her secret weapons for maintaining your look throughout the rest of first year
This week Charlotte Davies gives her advice on that all-important question is it possible to go straight from the lecture theatre to the dance floor and still look good?
Taking your look from day to night can always be a bit of a challenge. What exactly constitutes as a bit too much for the Herschel Building? Or not quite enough for Tup Tup Palace? Though everyone has their own makeup preferences, these simple tricks can help anyone transform their makeup from effortless to polished.
After coming back from a 3 week holiday in the 40 degree heat, I think it’s safe to my skin has turned at least 5 shades darker which means I had to change the products I’ve been so accustomed to using on my face. I did try and get away with using my original foundation and ended up looking grey and murky – never a good look! Luckily I’ve been able to get away with using no foundation and just a bit of concealer and bronzer. As winter approaches (for Newcastle that means next week) I’ll once again have to change my skin care regime but for now I’m making the most of my tan! Currently, the lipstick I’m loving is Impassioned from Mac. It can be described as a bright watermelon pink, it’s super long lasting and looks amazing with tanned skin, but I’m almost certain it can be very flattering on every skin tone. It’s not a shade I thought I would automatically love but its quickly becoming one of my favourites. I’m looking forward to wearing dark, berry stained lips which is a big upcoming trend as autumn approaches. The next product I’m using a lot is Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide on shadow pencil in the colour clash. It’s a big, blendable eye shadow stick in a bright electric blue shade. As with all Urban Decay products it’s highly pigmented and easy to blend. I use it under my eye for a pop of colour. Looks great with brown and green eyes and instantly takes your look from day to night. And finally, I can’t get enough of L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Mist spray. Enriched with lotus flower extracts, it smells amazing. Surprising as an oil, it’s non greasy and leaves hair feeling silky and shiny. Running to lectures on a morning with no time to fuss over your bed head? Just a small spritz before you leave the house and you’re good to go.
Nighttime looks are all about darker tones and shades. This applies to your base makeup too. Rather than taking the risk of opting for a darker shade of foundation, simply apply your bronzer with a slightly heavier hand (emphasis on slightly, no one appreciates the tangoed look).
Being a student can sometimes mean late finishes at uni and early starts to your night out i.e. lapping up the cheap happy hours in Jesmond. The good news: you don’t always have to completely start your makeup from scratch. Replacing a nude natural lip with a darker more dramatic one can completely transform any look. Try using Rimmel’s Notting Hill Nude for a no fuss.
Enhancing the eyes is key in your switch from day to night. Adding a pair of falsies will add some drama to any evening look. If you’re a bit nervous about false eyelashes, or like me disgraceful at applying them, a thickening mascara can give the same effect. Revlon’s lash potion is perfect for this.
Voila! You’re all done and ready to go. Now you just need to avoid the classic makeup melting off face situation. Panic over; a quick spritz of Urban Decay’s All Nighter will assure your legend look doesn’t budge an inch!
Fresher’s week has come to an end, and for me it was a time to look back at the essential beauty items that got me through the week and those I essentially couldn’t have survived without. After long nights of partying followed by early morning lectures on little or no sleep, it’s important for us girls to look like we’ve enjoyed the full eight hours beauty sleep we’re prescribed to! Therefore one of the most lifesaving products in my opinion is the under eye concealer. Not only because it covers up the dark circles and hides a multitudes of sins (remnants of the nights antics) but it also brightens up the whole face. It is advised to choose a shade lighter than your skin tone to counteract the blues and greys. Wanting to add a little bit of extra shimmer to your look? Add a little bit of highlighter to the inner corners of your eyes and along your cheekbones to cheat your way to glowy skin. To avoid the blurry eyed sleepy look, your favourite mascara will do miracles. By elongating those lashes you instantly create a wide eyed alert look, even if you are falling asleep in a nine o’clock lecture! Lining the eyes with white eyeliner opens up the eyes, makes them appear bigger and brighter and creates an overall fresh look. And do not forget to give your face a bit of colour. Cream blush is an all in one miracle product. They are perfect for adding a healthy flush of colour to your cheeks and lips. No fuss beauty in an instant.
This week Elsa Corcoran reveals her favourite online blogger and why she is an internet sensation.
First appearing on YouTube 5 years ago, Dulce Candy has come to monopolise beauty blogging across a series of platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and her personal website, DulceCandy. com. With over 100 videos and almost 200 million video viewers on YouTube, Dulce Candy certainly appeals to a huge audience. What makes Dulce so different from other bloggers is her variety of videos and blog posts, on one day she may do a ‘day-to-day’ make-up tutorial, another, a celebrity tutorial and throughout the year many seasonal tutorials such as a Halloween costume look. The fact Dulce covers so much ground in her posts makes her my favourite blogger; it’s possible to refer to her blog for almost any occasion to get the best makeup look whenever you want.
Monday 14th October 2013
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Beauty trend of the moment
Emily North talks us through the hottest trend of the moment, where it was spotted on the catwalk and how to achieve the look
s the leaves begin to change, and it becomes almost impossible to hold a conversation without someone mentioning the nights drawing in, makeup trends also take a decidedly dark turn. A catwalk staple, the berry lip was presented this year by Dolce and Gabbana, Derek Lam, and Louis Vuitton, amongst others. Though the berry lip is perennially popular, this year’s take up of the trend could have something to do with this summer’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby.. Set in the 1920s when the newly emancipated women of America asserted their independence, not only by casting off their corsets, but also by reclaiming the use of lipstick (which for several centuries had only been worn by and associated with prostitutes) the film’s spectacle was talked about all summer. Unfortunately the flapper look of dark lips and over drawn eyes may look fantastic in the context of a wild party hosted by a reclusive New York millionaire, but will look overdone in a Monday morning lecture. However, the berry lip is one of the most wearable makeup trends, it
works with every skin tone and can be worn for any occasion. During the day a muted stain works well with a natural look overall, a dab of blush suggesting crisp autumn walks, and perhaps some smudgy brown eyeliner for a comfortable lived in look. For evening you can up the ante, choosing darker tones of lipsticks and glosses rather than stains to avoid your hard work looking like the result of drinking cheap red wine! As always it is about striking the right balance between the eye and the lip, and although many would say that you can’t do a dramatic eye and lip together, it is possible with care, par tic ularly if you choose a fairly muted berry tone for the lip as it doesn’t attract attention in quite the same way as a bright red. A smokey eye in shades of grey can look great against a dark lip, but try to keep it low key to avoid the ‘Morticia Addams’ look. Though the berry lip is most associated with Autumn it can work all year round: in the Spring, a light raspberry stain looking fresh faced in the watery sunshine, and so much more dignified in
the april showers than any bright lipstick. Even through to summer a dark plum lip gloss can look fantastic with a tan, though the eyes should be kept minimal otherwise it creates a very 70’s glam vibe. For a pulled together look overall you could even try matching your lips to your nails, as berry shades of nail polish have a distinctly grown up feel after summers brights. So Gatsby fan or not, why not try working a berry lip this autumn? (Though I can’t promise that you’ll look like Carey Mulligan.)
Products featured: Mac RiRi Lipstick - Talk that Talk Mac Sheen Supreme - Quite that Thing Mac Lipstick - Rebel Mac Tinted Lipglass - Desire Mac Nail Lacquer - Dark Angel Topshop Lipstick - Called Up Topshop Lip Crayon - Suspect
Blokey beauty Tom Tibble sheds some light into how the typical ‘lad’ gets ready for a night out on the town. Beauty fans read with caution, there are absolutely no innovative tips or tricks in sight. Lads do not get ready for a night out. Night outs get ready for The Lad. Everyone is familiar with The Lad specimen; an alpha breed of man whose balls threaten to burst at the weight of one’s own testosterone as it pulsates through The Lad’s every fibre, a weight that beta breed’s balls simply aren’t blessed with. Despite this natural advantage The Lad still needs fuel. Alcohol is his petrol. The Lad’s typical watering hole is a trebles bar but where this acts as a night ender for the weaker man, it only serves as a top up for The Lad.
The Lad needs predrinks and he needs them cheap. First he must locate his nearest reasonably competitively priced shop. The priority for The Lad here is percentage per penny - what can get The Lad nailed without his wallet taking a hammering? Cheap vodka with own brand cola is a popular choice but The Exotic Lad may put his balls on the line and plump for a grapeless bottle of wine. Drinks bought, The Lad returns to his Den and after a quick shave-shit-shower and maybe shit one more time due to protein overload, he is ready to patrol his natural habitat, The Club.
Annah Baines shares her latest beauty find that won’t break the bank, and could even end up saving you money.
A good lipstick is always worth investing in. But there’s nothing worse than having to constantly re-apply it or stumbling out of a nightclub with what looks like red crayon smudged across your chin. Now there’s a product on the market to stop this from happening. Simply apply a layer of lipstick, blot it with tissue, reapply and then use Lipcote like a lipgloss to cover the lip colour. A single application of Lipcote means you can leave your lipstick at home for the day. Waterproof. Smudge proof. Fool proof. Priced at only £3.69 in Boots, Lipcote is definitely worth investing in. The average lipstick has 293 ‘swipes’ in a tube, meaning if you use it several times a day you’ll need to replace it at least every 12 weeks. One daily application could potentially save you a fortune in the long run if you’re prone to splashing out repeatedly on lipsticks!
Monday 14 October 2013
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Listings To 3 November Centre For Life
Age of the Mama’s Swish Dinosaur Afternoon
The Centre for Life has got hold of loads of animatronic dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum’s phenomenally successful exhibition. Repeat: ANIMATRONIC DINOSAURS. Plus, included in your ticket price is a go on the planetarium and the 4D simulation ride. No idea what the 4D ride entails but with the fourth dimension being time, if I were you I’d pack some sandwiches in case you’re stuck in medieval Newcastle for any length of time. Individual tickets from £9.95; Group tickets (10+) from £5.99
17 October History Room, Students’ Union
17th October O2 Academy
Try to contain yourselves: Blue are back! Back!! BACK!!! They looked pretty much finished even before a thumpingly average Eurovision performance a couple of years ago, but their reception on the Big Reunion tour has breathed new life into them. Hopefully they’ll just do the hits and get gone, though we’ve heard some excitable reports about Anthony Costa’s forthcoming double album Jazz Odyssey. Tickets £18.50, available at 02 Academy box office and online
The issue burning a hole in the agenda for this week is the old chestnut of animal rights, and in particular the statement “This House would ban all forms of animal testing”. There will, no doubt, be some BIG OPINIONS flying around, and not just here in Newcastle either - the question will be debated by university debating societies across the UK and Europe as part of National Biology Week. Yes, yes, they seem to have a special week for everything these days (surely at some point there’ll be more special things than weeks to accommodate them) but this is certainly a worthwhile example. There’ll be guest speakers and, we understand, a decent buffet.
20th October Ernest, 1 Boyd St., Ouseburn
If you’re not aware of what swishing is, allow us to explain: it’s like clothes-swapping, but for the painfully hip. The term ‘swishing’ itself is a pun on the word rustle, used in the same sense as cattle rustling. Yeah, I know. Still, swishing is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to revamp your wardrobe short of running through peoples’ gardens stealing clothes from washing lines. Just bring along up to ten items of clothes, shoes, jewellery, books and records and take away up to the same amount. Mad bargains. Entry £3, starts 1pm
19-20 October Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim St.
Narbi Price: Shan’t Quit To 26th October Vane, 39 Pilgrim St.
On first glance, Narbi Price’s paintings and lithographs look pretty dull. ‘Why is this man painting kerbs?’ you might ask. Ordinarily, you might have a point. However, these anonymous, humdrum places were once the settings in which the most famous serial killer in British history did his dark business. Yep, most of the spots where Jack the Ripper horribly mutilated his victims are now car parks, loading bays, schoolyards and chicken shops. Price explores the relationship between the gruesome and the mundane as well as that between the realistic and the abstract. Free entry
Mary Wollstonecraft Horse Meat talk 16th October Disco City Library Join Dr Laura Kirkley for a gallop through the life and times of everyone’s favourite eighteenth century feminist firebrand and formative influence on Frankenstein author (and Wollstonecraft’s daughter) Mary Shelley. Wollstonecraft once said,“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves”, which is frankly amazing and more than enough reason to go and learn more about her. Free entry, starts 5pm
Tyneside Cinema Cult All-Nighter
20th October Studio 16, Newbridge
The disco revival continues apace as the near-legendary Horse Meat Disco DJ collective brings its crates of lissom grooves from its south London base to the North East for the first time. “Expect all manner of dancefloor movers”, claims its Facebook page, and to be honest they are unlikely to disappoint – if there’s a better repository of italo disco, electroclash, house and straight-ahead ‘bangerz’ in the nightclub world, I should be very surprised. Past guest DJs have included LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Andrew Weatherall and Dimitri From Paris, so they’ve clearly got pedigree. Arf arf. You can do your own Tesco/Findus jokes. Tickets from £8
The great Tyneside 12-hour film marathon is back for a third round, featuring the most popular films from previous festivals alongside newly-added gems: take your pick from fifteen flicks including The Big Lebowski, Night of the Living Dead, The Breakfast Club and Groundhog Day. Tickets are just 75p for students too. The only difficulty comes when judging which bit of floor looks comfiest for a nap at about 4.30am, but the staff are pretty cool about allowing flagging patrons to snooze at their leisure. Just try not to block a fire exit. There’s a 24hour McDonald’s just up the road too, if the popcorn just isn’t doing it for you after the fifth bag.
Monday 14 October 2013
Arts Editors: Millie Walton and Charlie Dearnley Deputy Arts Editor: Laura Wotton
I am Comedy, hear me Raw GALLERY THE
Last Wednesday, we sent Tanya Nies down to The Stand to see if Newcastle’s favourite comedy club could live up to its reputation. We all know it’s cheap, but would you be better advised to keep your pennies in the piggy bank?
s I entered the main foyer of the Star and Shadow, I was greeted with a large-scale sculpture made up of wooden doors and white translucent walls, lit from the inside. Clare Gomez and Adam Goodwin constructed their collaborative exhibition - Structural Forms - to invite the viewer to participate and interact with the work, which responds to the architecture of the building and the surrounding area. The event attracted mostly Fine Art Society students, from freshers to recent graduates still clinging onto their student days. However there were regular visitors of the star and shadow and friends and family members of Clare and Adam who came with the earlier crowd, myself included. We experienced the initial mellow atmosphere, sipping on the reasonably priced gin and tonics, and taking time to view and engage with the exhibition. The show also witnessed the launch of a new clothing line, which, unfortunately melted into the background as people hoarded around the bar, focused only on their next pint. The night progressed as expected, a few more drinks later and the playful shadows emerged within the work. Clare and Adam acted as great hosts during the night, contributing to the fun party vibe, socialising and answering any questions viewers may have of the work. As the party came into full swing by about 9:30, the DJ sets from Luka T and Bastian commenced, as did the dancing. I found the night particularly fun, and as it was the first major fine art society social; I spent the remainder of the night seeing old friends, meeting new freshers and making friends over a shared drink in the toilets. House and techno music kept the party upbeat throughout the night and gave way to some exotic dance moves pulled mostly from the fourth year fine art students, who were first on and last to leave the floor. The event was a definite success, both as an exhibition and a great venue for the first fine art social, so much so that as the lights came on around midnight, everybody was reluctant to leave until told more than once to do so and a few of us, high of the party vibe, took our dance moves out on the toon. Rebecca Farr
QUOTES SO SIMPLE:
ednesdays is Red Raw, an open mic night in The Stand Comedy Club. It features ten acts; absolute newcomers taking the stage alongside experienced comedians. For a meagre £2 entry, doors open at 19:00 but the show doesn’t start till 20:30. If like me, you arrive unfashionably early because you think the show starts at seven, grab something to eat. I stayed in the upstairs Bistro, enjoying a delicious curry. As soon as the doors opened, there was a range of snacks with more student friendly prices available in the venue. The venue is downstairs in the cellar, and has a really comfy atmosphere. With the loud rock music pounding through the speakers, I felt more like I’d landed in a club than a comedy night. ‘Please Don’t Talk During the Show. Ta’ and ‘Please Don’t Move the Furniture. Ta’ is written across the walls; even the warnings felt friendly and welcoming, while the staff managed to make more and more seats appear, enough for almost everyone. Only the brave few dared to sit at the front, I stayed a row behind, as I guessed rightly that you would get picked out during one of the acts. I could feel them eyeing me even in the second row, so be wise where you choose to sit. Before the show started I grabbed a drink from the bar and was positively surprised at the cheap, student-friendly prices.
John Scott, who has a monthly show at The Stand, led through the evening and helped ease up the audience. One unfortunate purveyor in the first row got his attention, so he got picked to start off the night with a shout-out. He was a Chinese student and, by his own choice, picked the words ‘Ching, chong, China-Man’. As soon as we’d all calmed down the ten acts grabbed the microphone. The line-up included Sammy Dobson, Vladimir McTavish, Nicola Mantalios Lovett, Luke Milford, Seymour Mace and as headliner Harriet Kemsley.
“Awkwardness and fun sometimes walk hand in hand” The topics of the night included: break-ups, the Scottish independence, a love song to dogs, Newcastle, student life and many more. Harriet Kemsley closed the show talking about all the awkward moments in life and brought a smile to the faces of the audience as we all thought about our own embarrassing moments. Awkwardness and fun sometimes walk hand in hand, as we were involuntarily involved in a round of Q&A with Nicola Lovett. I’m going to say it again: stay away from
the front row unless you are willing to participate. Four of the front-row sitters were asked to put on a hat with the word ‘friend’ while Lovett wore a hat saying ‘best’. She managed to make using shaving cream sound rude and guys shrink into their seats with embarrassment. The show closed with a prize draw, which is definitely worth entering, as you can win a free meal and tickets for the next show. At the end of the show I managed to corner Lovett, Dobson, Kemsley and Mace for a quick chat and a few words of sage advice. “Everybody is friendly,” stated Kemsley in reference to her experiences in Newcastle, while Dobson described the city as “like a cuddle” and for Lovett it’s “home, familiar and cultural.” They all expressed genuine enthusiasm for the city and the Stand in particular; Mace even returns for a monthly show. All the performers agreed that students made for “a good audience” as they can more easily relate to the topics, but they don’t appreciate heckling in any form. “Get on the stage and do it yourself!” Best keep quiet then. If you’re looking for something, as clichéd as it sounds, ‘cheap and cheerful’, The Stand is the ideal venue. The comedy is varied, the prices low and most importantly, the atmosphere is lively and inviting. Tanya Nies Vladimir McTavish
Desert Island Books
We asked 3rd Year English Lit Student Cali Mackrill which four books she would choose to keep her company on a deserted island. Here’s what she came up with Random Acts of The Poisonwood Bible How to be a Woman The Book Thief Heroic Love Barbara Kingsolver Caitlin Moran Marcus Zusak Danny Scheinmann
’d want this partly because it’s narrated by Death (who for the record turns out to be a pretty eloquent chap), and partly because there’s a film version out soon which I’m trying hard to ignore.
hese are two epic love stories, one 75 years after the other, interwoven with psychological neuroses, philosophical musings and lashings of emotional turmoil. Perfect for indulging your inner schmaltz.
ts not exactly uplifting, but it is long and absorbing. The sort of book that you’re still thinking about weeks after you’ve read it and therefore ideal when you’ve got to while away the rest of your life with nothing but the odd crab for company.
ecause some of the situations she describes in this are so toe-curlingly embarrassing you’d actually rather be the one stuck on a desert island… at least with this book you’d have a few laughs.
“Be what you would seem to be- or, if you’d like it put more simply- Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Monday 14 October 2013
Pic of the Week
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ach week we choose the best arty instagram pic to feature in the paper. Whether its taken on campus, on a night out or in your own house, we want your snaps! Simply hashtag #nclarts and we’ll pick a weekly winner. Besides featuring in an award winning paper, the winning pic is worth a delicious bag of sweets too. Get instagramming folks!
The Secret Agent
Cooking With Elvis
story full of conspiracy, terror cells, bomb plots and an individual destiny right in the middle of the events – this could be the plot of a contemporary spy movie. However, these criteria also apply to The Secret Agent, a novel written by Joseph Conrad over a hundred years ago. His novel The Secret Agent is set in the gloomy London of the late 19th century. Here Mr Verloc lives a mediocre life with his family until it gets shaken up by an operation from an anarchistic organisation – Mr Verloc’s job: the bombing of Greenwich Observatory which will result in a tragedy for his family. Having performed in other locations in both Edinburgh and London, Theatre O is bringing the theatre version of Conrad’s spy thriller to Newcastle’s Northern Stage. Whilst The Londonist calls the production “explosive”, other reviews praise the physicality and pace of the actors’ performance and promise a show full of dark humoured comedy and tragedy. Northern Stage advertises The Secret Agent as a “hilarious chronicle of passion, betrayal and terrorism.” But don’t let reviews mould your opinion; decide for yourself from Wednesday, October 16th until Saturday, October 19th at the Northern Stage Theatre.
ans of playwright Lee Hall, creator of the ever-popular Billy Elliot, will be excited to hear that Live Theatre will be begin running a production of Hall’s dark comedy, Cooking With Elvis, this month. The play tells the story of a paralysed Elvis impersonator and his family who are attempting to adjust to the situation in their own separate ways. His wife and daughter cope by trying to replace him with sex and food. Their attempts, however, focus on the same man... Stuart. Cooking With Elvis premiered at Live Theatre before going on to be performed across the globe. Its return is linked with Live Theatre’s 40th anniversary celebrations. Artistic director Max Roberts commented on the upcoming production stating: “Cooking With Elvis is one of Live Theatre’s greatest hits, so in our 40th birthday year it seemed appropriate to revive it here in Newcastle for the first time since its premiere in 1998. That it has been produced extensively nationally and internationally since our premiere is a testimony to its universal appeal, emotional intensity and wild and anarchic humour.” Cooking With Elvis opens October 17 and runs until November 23 at Live Theatre, located at Broad Chare, Quayside.
This week’s winning pic is ‘Seeing Pink’ by
Creativity & Coffee This week Lucy Chenery tastes the talents of The Quilliam Brothers Teahouse
T Drinks Art Vibe
Tradition with a twist of bohemia.
Theatre Royal 18 - 26 October
f you are getting back into the Uni groove but are feeling like a fun little cultural excursion, Theatre Royal is boasting a trio of fabulous Royal Shakespeare Company productions in the coming months. Starting the showcase on the 18th to 26th October is David Farr’s innovative and captivating production of Hamlet, the Shakespearean tragedy riddled with murder, mystery and madness. Absolutely no need to fear Shakespeare here as this adaptation set in contemporary society has had fantastic reviews articulating ‘wild inventiveness’ and being a ‘thrilling vision of the play.’ For those unfamiliar with the plot, Hamlet follows his suspicions that it his uncle who is guilty of killing his father and detects his own mother’s involvement in the crime. Does Hamlet avenge his father and secure the seat of Denmark on the back of a ghostly revelation? Death and destruction unpin both a family and a nation… Take advantage of the RSC’s discounted tickets for 16-25 year olds that are just £5 and can be purchased in advance or from Theatre Royal Box Office on the day of each performance. ‘A murder most foul,’ neon lights and on-stage fencing duels – ‘It will come, readiness is all…’ Harriet Sale
Jesterval: Barry Castagnola
Baltic Square 3 October
onny Donkins, a character created and portrayed by Barry Castagnola, aspires to run his own television show. Unfortunately, he has the comedic skill and mindset of an intoxicated teenager. I found myself torn between two opinions: A) that Donkins was intentionally designed to be unfunny or B) that the show was based on a concept that missed the mark. Both options were applicable. The performance featured the following: sexual acts performed through miming, an interview with a Tom Cruise blow-up doll, pre-recorded videos of mild entertainment value, a last minute appearance of a fellow comedian, a grown man bursting into tears, and what I imagine to be offensive material for Scottish people and Muslims. While this may sound enticing for some, your expectations will not be met. This was the first comedy show I’ve ever attended where the people reluctantly pulled on stage were funnier than the comedian. Even then, I only truly laughed when I finally realized how completely stupid it all was. It’s only saving grace was that maybe, just maybe, that was the point of the show. Akeem Favor
Live Theatre 17 October - 23 November
he Quilliam Brothers Teahouse, set to the right of the university entrance, is a bustling hub chock full of sticky cakes, frothy coffee and delicious types of tea. Downstairs I discovered a charming array of sketches, drawings and paintings by the artist, poet and regular customer Mitchell Heggie; the art changes every two weeks so there is always something fresh to see. The vibe is utterly delightful as a result of the jolly, warmhearted staff and the charismatic surroundings. A place to hide away and get lost in a book, kick back and relax in front of a classic film (every Tuesday and Thursday in the cosy underground cinema!) or even to play a complimentary board game. Looking for a place with bags of flavour and character? Yes? Then drop by for a brew soon. Freshly brewed tea, Newcastle style.
Northern Stage 16 - 19 October
Jesterval: Carey Marx
Baltic Square 6 October
ess than ten minutes into the show comedian Carey Marx told his audience that during his heart attack he ended up, among all other possibilities, deciding to have a wank. Welcome my friends to the wonderfully weird world of Carey Marx. Marx based his show around his experiences leading up to and following his heart attack. His stories are dark, honest, blunt, insightful, and funny for all the right reasons. From irritating a group of women looking for a husband through magnetic thoughts to the universe, to being assaulted by a man with a syringe, Marx managed to make time fly effortlessly by. That being said, it was a shame that his performance had such a small audience, although this may have been a result of the weather and timing rather than a lack of interest. Impressively, Marx still provided the dedication and energy of a performer standing before a crowd of hundreds. Marx lives in a strange world where outlandish occurrences happen at a frequent rate. This, paired with Marx’s analytical mind, combine into a performer who can make devastating situations humorous. That is a rare talent indeed. Akeem Favor
Jumpers for Goalposts
Northern Stage 2 October
he performance of Jumpers for Goalposts was completely unexpected. Rather than dealing with infantile subject matter as the title suggests, it was a current and comical portrayal of a gay and lesbian football league. The team, made up of four men (one straight) and one woman (a lesbian) is aptly called ‘Barely Athletic.’ The comedy shines as the team struggle their way through the tournament, fully living up to their name. ‘Beardy’ (Andy Rush) is the comic focus, as he rises above the obstacles he faces as a gay man who is “at the moment, busker. Eventually, though, I’m thinking: gay icon.” The play also tackles issues of love, as Danny (Jamie Samuel) persuades socially awkward Luke (Philip Duguid-McQuillan,) to join the football team. Danny’s self-assured nature highlights Luke’s inability to function socially, as they attempt to flirt, and eventually start a relationship. Luke’s hilarious and unexpected descriptions of his emotions endear him to the audience, as he describes the sensation of falling in love as “a bit like having a stroke. But in a good way.” Overall, the play was very impressive and dealt well with issues that are often avoided. Annelies De Jong
Monday 14 October 2013
Film Editors: Muneeb Haﬁz and Jacob Crompton-Schreiber
To Woody with love
Editor’s An ode to a Master of Comedy: Will Babbington talks Allen in the wake of Word Blue Jasmine’s critical and commercial success.
he academic year is now in full flow. The autumnal gloom of assignment deadlines and enumerate reading lists can no longer be given the fleeting thought they were afforded over the long summer break- they are here and they are very real. For those with dissertations, the mere thought of writing 12,000 words brings with it a bitter aftertaste of resentment and shrill cries of “why me?”, very dramatic I know. But what better way to allay the fears of academia with a no-holds-barred, rocket-propelled action epic, or a beautifully embroidered romance to make souls soar. Let’s face it, films are the ultimate procrastinator. Perhaps, second only to the age-old Facebook/Twitter newsfeed ‘refresh’.
In the run-up to a deadline, a good film can assuage the murmurs of disquiet in ones conscience, and a great one gags such concerns altogether. However dangerous, the magic of the web has granted us a smorgasbord of avenues for distraction and procrastination, not least the miracle of Netflix. Films we once viewed with haughty derision now seem like a revelation with the added ingredient of some kind of cutoff. Funnier still is the way we sometimes rationalise watching a film, when we really shouldn’t be. It is definitely not a way of postponing putting pen to paper, but in fact a crucial ingredient in an intricate preparation schedule. Some say boondoggling, I say quiet contemplation. This column is by no means championing mediocrity, nor is it a Supernanny instruction piece on the perils of minimal effort. Put simply it is respecting the allure of a little procrastination, the tiniest bit of boondoggling (what a word). Ultimately, we must all be wary of the difficult balancing act between ‘productive’ distraction, that is, forgetting about your situation for a little while only to be in a better state of mind to tackle it later on; and total repression- still analysing Tommy DeVito’s potential Napoleon Complex hours after Goodfellas.
Yes, films are a treat and should forever be enjoyed. However, the next time you convince yourself that The Lord of the Rings is appropriate background research on holistic therapy, as I’m sure we’ve all done, think again and tread more mindfully. MH @Mubz1991
lue Jasmine sees Woody Allen release his 46th feature film in 48 years. This staggering record is an achievement by any filmmaker but a genuine milestone for a man whose genre of choice is the romantic-comedy, the typically forgettable type of film so often associated with sexist roles fulfilled by maidens in distress. Allen’s popularity shows few signs of waning: Blue Jasmine is his highest grossing film so far. What, then, has caused this everlasting success? Ultimately, it is Allen’s ability to constantly reinvent the romantic-comedy, a category he now defines, that has allowed him to stay at the top of his game for over forty years. The strength of Woody Allen as a filmmaker is his remarkable ability to rise above the typical boundaries and conventions of the genre that he works within. For example, Manhattan takes on the subject of taboo love. Rather than the clichéd girl-loves-boy-hates-boy-loves-boy story, Allen tells us tales of polygamous relationships and near-disastrous love affairs. Allen’s evolution of a genre so dominated by the boobs-and-bum films creates deeper works that encourage contemplation from the viewer about what Love can mean. Indeed, Allen’s romantic-comedies also stylistically transcend their genre. He is an American director creating European film; his work includes influences from Ingmar Bergman, with his use of light and shadow, to Fritz Lang with the composition of city metropolises. Allen demands intelligence from his viewer, not only through his cinematic allusions, but through the content of the films themselves: few would find Midnight in Paris funny without knowledge of 1920s European culture. And though some would dismiss this as high-brow cinematic
elitism, I view it as a successful attempt to give his work a depth usually forbidden or forgotten in the rom-com. His films are not made of cheap laughs and disposable characters but with a complexity that has meant they are considered and cherished long past their counterparts. Comedy is usually bound to the generations it is created in. Re-runs of the British sitcom Dad’s Army, to our generation a skull-numbingly boring ‘comedy’ about the Home Guard during the Second World War, still make our grandfathers wet their man-nappies with laughter. However, through Allen’s address of timeless themes of the human condition, of death, love, and self-loathing, his work transcends this generational gap, striking an emotive
“Through Allen’s address of timeless themes of the human condition, of death, love, and self-loathing, his work transcends this generational gap”
chord with audiences aged fifteen to fifty. Our fathers may not be able to understand the humour in The Mighty Boosh’s crimps, but we can all empathise with Woody Allen’s feeling that his loveinterest ‘is so beautiful I can barely keep an eye on the taxi meter’. But perhaps what has made Woody Allen so popular, and for so long, is that he is simply very, very funny. Beyond the sometimes difficult and always awkward storylines, there is always a punch-line that would make the most stone-cold fun-hater cackle. Whether explaining his position of monogamy, his attitude toward crime, or his frailties about sex, Allen’s acerbic wit means his work is, though grand, never grandiose. For forty-eight years Woody Allen has existed as the perfect antidote to the unintelligent and unimaginative comedy that has come and gone before him. Though Allen’s career may have its peaks and troughs, he possesses the incredibly rare ability to grapple with the traditional notions of what movies should be and turn them into something new and often sensational. Woody Allen once lamented about the world of film that ‘it is hard to exist in a town full of garbage’. With Woody Allen, this existence is much, much easier.
Autumn & Winter Preview Shaun Forster looks ahead to some of the hottest ﬁlms to warm up the cold months ahead.
elax. We’re not snowed in yet, nor has the student loan run out (I hope), but Hollywood has certainly prepared some crackers for the winter months (sorry, not sorry). Even for a self-confessed sequel-phobic, it’s looking good. Now Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire really kicks into gear. As you might expect, it’s not two-and-a-half hours of Katniss’ new celebrity lifestyle; arch-villain President Snow (Kiefer Sutherland) celebrates the games 75th anniversary by returning Katniss to the arena with a whole host of new faces, flying monkeys, and acid rain. Think a more political, action-packed, thought-provoking games, and you’re probably only half as excited as you should be. Believe me when I say that the comparisons to Twilight’s exhausting, shirtless love-triangle could not be more wrong. Catching Fire is out November 21st. Next on sequel-watch, Marvel return to the postAvengers fray with Thor: The Dark World. For me, Marvel forced Thor out for the sake of The Avengers, so it never quite hit the heights it should have. However with Game of Thrones’ director Alan Taylor on board, and Chris Hemsworth’s now superstar status, The Dark World could be a smashhit. And for a bonus, everyone seems to have realised that there is only so much sibling rivalry one person can take, as original villain Loki returns as an ally. Terminator 2 anyone? Thor: The Dark World is out October 30th. Taking a well-needed break from sequels, Alfonso Cuarón returns to the big screen with 3D sci-fi thriller, Gravity. Already demolishing records over in the US ($55.5m opening weekend), it seems unfair that we in the UK have to wait another month, however when you consider the film has been in post-production for over a year, it’s probably going to be worth it. No pressure, then. Cuarón’s minute cast of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock find
themselves cut adrift in outer space, under continuous threat from high-speed, Russian.... debris. It may not be the most terrifying of enemies sci-fi has offered, but Cuarón’s thriller looks set to be a non-stop, realism-over-everything, thrill-ride. I mean the guy literally wanted to shoot it in space. Gravity is out November 8th.
Smaug; very possibly the most anticipated film of the last year since An Unexpected Journey met all expectations last Christmas. Can Jackson really do it again? If Benedict Cumberbatch can play Khan and Smaug in the same year, then why the hell not. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is out December 13th. Aside from Hollywood’s traditional Christmas domination, Newcastle itself has rather a treat in store for Halloween. It’s an indie film takeover as Empire Cinemas presents Film4 Frightfest: All Night Special. With three UK premieres, Empire present the best of Australian, Canadian, Austrian and US horror as Patrick, Discopath, The Station and Nothing Left To Fear play back to back in a night of slashes, surprises, and of course, screams. Frightfest is on November 2nd. Tyneside Cinema are also offering up an allnighter with their third iteration of their famous Cult Classic All Nighter; it’s all happening this Saturday, the 19th October and runs through until 10AM the next morning, good luck!
Release Dates Thor: The Dark World – October 30th Gravity – November 8th Catching Fire – November 21st The Desolation of Smaug – December 13th Peter Jackson. A hobbit. A dragon. Need I say more? Bilbo Baggins looks set for full hero mode as he continues his legendary journey. Peter Jackson continues his epic tale with The Desolation of
Monday 14 October 2013
thecourieronline.co.uk/ﬁlm c2.ﬁlm@ncl.ac.uk | @Courier_Film
“Life doesnt imitate art, it imitates bad television.” Husbands and Wives (1992)
risoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, is director Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to his Oscar nominated Incendies. At its best, Prisoners casts the same examining eye across the bleak moral landscape of America. At its worst, it’s like David Fincher half-heartedly made a thriller and a 12-year-old did the editing. Keller (Jackman) is a kidnapped girl’s vengeful father up against Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal), as the cop on the case. When a weirdo with a tiny IQ and lank hair, Alex Jones, (Dano) is discovered nearby, he’s arrested. Although the police release him, Keller obsesses over Jones. The film’s plot and aesthetics both owe much to Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream’s hugely praised 2009 game. That said, if Heavy Rain is film noir, this is film gris. Whilst this Lowry-esque colour scheme lends itself to the pervading theme of bleakness, it leaves many segments feeling flat, and a well-lit dash to a hospital later on comes as a great relief. The film is most engaging when confronting our approval of Keller’s actions. We can view him as a Classic Tragic Hero: He meets the ‘noble’ criterion, in so far as he embodies right wing American Christian values, he has his hubris and he has his, rather literal, fall. This is why the films ending is
left open – It is for us to decide whether, after the gross hypocrisy of him praying to ‘forgive others’ as he tortures Jones, we can forgive him. This is ‘Prisoners’ greatest success – We are shown a man who embodies right wing America in his violent desire to protect his family (Read: nation), a man who will betray his morals and resort to torture. He deserves credit for a coarse and cruel performance that inspires as much antipathy as sympathy. Credit is due, also, for Gyllenhaal: He plays Loki as an odd loner, asking questions about what sort of man wants to investigate murders, and from his facial tics and smirks to his obsessive streak, he is a success. Prisoners main downfall is in its overly long first
act, which contributes to a testing running time and features a foot chase so unexciting and limp it could feature as the ‘before’ picture in a Viagra advert. Add to that Jackman’s apparent inability to get above smouldering and the big twist contradicting the rest of the films Christian-critical message. Prisoners features some rich lead performances, interesting themes and works well as a standard killer-thriller. Well worth a look, especially for fans of ‘Heavy Rain’ and ‘Se7en’.
Blue Jasmine (12A)
Runner Runner (15)
How I Live Now (15)
So Argo was a critical success and Ben Affleck should be celebrated for his contribution to cinema. Yes? No. Are we forgetting Daredevil? A film so woefully poor that moviegoers, on reflection, wish they’d had entered the screen with the same affliction as the title character.
More like this: Changeling (2008) George Severs
Secondly, that pretentious monstrosity that he insists on growing on his face with the aim of looking like a seasoned veteran of Hollywood, when, in fact, he looks more like a homeless Tim Allen. Its presence only increases the urge to punch him on sight.
Another thing that creates the urge to punch is the sickening bromance between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; two hopeless actors prancing around on screen together and involving themselves in politics like some satirical spawn of Cameron and Clegg.
ate Blanchett raises Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine from a strained melodrama into an depiction of a hyper-wealthy New Yorker coming to terms with the suicide of her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) a character which Allen writes so well: an American bourgeois with a subtle superiority complex. Blanchett is inarguably the strongest part of Blue Jasmine, typifying the Woody Allen female lead as a beautiful and neurotic New Yorker. However, Blanchett goes beyond this to show us the genuinely sad mental degeneration of a psychologically disturbed woman. Unlike some of his recent cinematic outings such as Midnight in Paris, Blanchett provides scenes of genuine emotive power; what could have been a mere episode of heavy petting becomes an uncomfortable scene of sexual assault. Sadly, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), Augie and Chili (Andrew Clay and Bobby Cannavale, respectively) fail to meet the standard set by Blanchett. Allen‘s patronising depiction of the working-class results in these roles being overacted; standing next to Blanchett the majority of the cast seem like a gang of Jersey Shore extras. As well as this, San Francisco is unduly neglected as a cinematic landscape, unlike the industrial beauty of New York so well recognised in Manhattan. Likewise, unlike Allen’s masterful utilisation of his film’s soundtrack, most notably Schubert’s symphonies in Crimes and Misdemeanours, is absent in Blue Jasmine. Blanchett, then, transforms a would-be forgettable film that only occasionally exhibits Woody Allen’s superb direction into a superb portrayal of a tragically misguided woman suffering from a crippling dose of reality in austere America. More like this: Rachel Getting Married (2008) Will Babbington
land acting from Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck does little to disguise boring dialogue and a painfully predictable plot. Timberlake’s acting abilities have always been something of an unknown quantity, since he first lent his vocal ‘talent’ to the insufferable Shrek The Third. Here he seems to be channeling his most satisfactory role of tech-wizard Shaun Parker from The Social Network. Yet Runner Runner has neither of David Fincher’s cinematic vision or Aaron Sorkin’s razor sharp script. Instead it has Ben Affleck feeding his enemies to crocodiles like some second-rate 1970’s Bond villain and Timberlake as the uncharismatic lead. In fact it looks like most of the cast (including a particularly well-tanned Gemma Arterton) agreed to make the film on the basis that it would be shot in relaxing locations. The plot follows college student Riche Furst who’s cheated out of his money to online poker. Somehow he’s is able to pay for a flight to Costa Rica where he finds baddie Affleck, whose one-dimensional performance will only further raise concerns of his recent casting as Batman. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that Runner Runner is yet another below-par film staring the beautiful and immensely talented Arterton, who must surely be considering a new agent. To its credit the film is mercifully short and does pick up in the last act, in which it desperately wants to be a mix of Wall Street and Spielberg’s underrated Catch Me If You Can. Boring and predictable, not worth wasting time or money on. More like this: The Firm (1993)
Luke Robson @LukeWRobson
ow I Live Now is a bleak, realistic portrayal of what Britain might look like under invasion in the 21st century, seen through the eyes of one teenager and her rag-tag family. Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is an American teenager sent to live with her British relatives in the countryside. She quickly falls in love with her cousin Edmond (George MacKay). But make no mistake; this not a ‘love story’. This is a survival story, in the purest sense. When a nuclear bomb is detonated in London, the children are left to fend for themselves. Discovered by the British military, they are evacuated and separated, and Daisy’s desperate struggle to get home to Edmond begins. Devoted to diet and cleanliness, she is thrust into a world where water is contaminated, food rationed, and no one seems willing to disclose the truth about anything. Her self esteem issues make Daisy an easy character to relate to; at one point or another, we have all felt like the world was too difficult to navigate. I was particularly impressed by the soundtrack and dramatic silences throughout. Intense closeups during poignant moments force you to be an active participant in the grief, fear and despair Daisy must set aside to achieve her goals. She is not a survivalist; but she uses her common sense, and it is refreshing to see a female lead take charge without first being mentored in some way by a man. I defy you not to be moved and motivated by this film. The ending will divide audiences; personally, I thought it was pretty satisfactory. A warning; if you prefer films which focus on the big picture and answer all your questions, this is not the film for you. More like this: Cold Mountain (2003)
Jasmin Hall @JasminCHall
Penultimately, something that simply annoys me when associated with anyone, including Ben Affleck, are directors who star in their own movie. Ben Affleck, are you that arrogant and self-righteous that you feel your talents behind camera are not enough and you should also be the main character in your own movie?
And finally, Affleck has been cast as Batman in the new Man of Steel film. In 2015, in one fell swoop, he is going to destroy two film franchises before the latter has even got going. With the exception of Shia LaBeouf, I cannot think of a worse actor to play the caped crusader.
So, Mr Affleck, do the world a favour and keep away from that legendary mask and, while you’re at it, keep away from cinema altogether. James Vesty @JamesVesty
Monday 14 October 2013
TV Editor: Beth Durant Deputy TV Editor: Helen Daly
TVintage TV Editor Beth Durant discusses why Sabrina the Teenage Witch stole so many hearts in the ‘90s.
t was the summer of 1999 and my friends had just invited me to an exclusive streetwide water balloon fight. Whilst I was eager to go outside and pretend to be one of the cool kids, I was acutely aware of the 3 hour-long Sabrina marathon currently airing on Nickelodeon. Those 3 precious hours equated to 6 entire episodes of pure unadulterated teen-witch dramedy bliss, and against my better judgement I chose to ignore my mothers calls of “Your eyes will turn square if you don’t turn that bloody thing off !”. Clearly, my 7 year old self had her priorities straight. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is one of those quintessential shows of your childhood; the kind of show that makes your eyes roll and your heart clench in equal nostalgic measure. Whether you watched it purely for the cheesy CGI magic, or perhaps the bitchy cat, Salem, it had a certain charm that made it irresistible to so many kids. One week Sabrina might be baking a boyfriend out of dough (he coughed a bloom of flour every once in a while just to remind the audience that he was, in fact, a baked good), and the next she might be actually dating a real one (we were all in love with Harvey “the average guy”, don’t lie.) The relationship between Sabrina and her “they look good for their age” 600 year-old aunts Hilda and Zelda was the emotional backbone of the show. Their calm and sarcastic nature provided a nice stability every time something went tits up, and that was usually every week as Sabrina was the awkward teenager we all knew we were going to grow up to be, all rebellion and “God I wish I could turn my enemies into pineapples.” and sometimes even “I wish I could literally turn myself into a very femme boy for the day.”
fter the success of Marvel’s blockbuster hit The Avengers it was only a matter of time before they launched a spin-off television series. With the pilot episode getting nearly 16 million viewers in the US it looks set to be a success. Launching with the first season of five episodes it looks to link in to the ever-successful Iron Man franchise. There are some familiar faces such as; Clark Gregg who plays Agent Phil Coulson, despite being supposedly killed at the hands of Loki in The Avengers, and Samuel L. Jackson regaining his position as Nick Fury, the head of the organisation, who makes an appearance in episode 2. How I Met Your Mother fans will also recognise Cobie Smulders (Robin Scherbatsky) who plays another of the S.H.I.E.L.D agents, Maria Hill.
When super humans start appearing across the US, the fictional Marvel agency S.H.I.E.L.D is sent out to investigate what’s going on. Headed by Agent Phil Coulson, a crack team of the best field agents investigate and it leads them down some dark alleys and hopefully to a super villain. The first episode’s plot is a continuation of the central theme of Iron Man 3 with a focus on the modification of soldiers with the ‘Extremis’ technology. Effectively turning humans into bombs, the S.H.I.E.L.D team manage to find a vaccine and work with one of the newly vaccinated super humans to track down the source of this technology. The second episode introduces some HYDRA technology found in a Peruvian temple which Marvel geeks will remember from the Captain America franchise. HYDRA is of course the infamous Marvel terror organisation which could easily pave the way for some clashes between S.H.I.E.L.D agents and the HYDRA villains. At the moment it looks like it could be quite successful but compared to the hits of The Avengers and the other Marvel superhero films it could quite
The Wrong Mans
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Channel 4, Friday, 8pm
BBC 2, Tuesday 9pm
Keeping in touch with the time, guest appearances from 90’s teen heartthrobs such as The Backstreet Boys (they drink a magic-laced alcopop which turns them into brilliant singers, of course) and Britney Spears (she gives Sabrina some ‘down to earth’ life advice and performs some sweet dance moves in purple cargo flares), it was interlaced with pop culture references that still stand strong today. The easy-to-watch humour and relatable school situations (minus the magic) made Sabrina a must-watch childhood favourite. I still find myself YouTubeing certain scenes just to remind myself that no matter what mood I’m in, there’s still a scene of a talking cat in drag (Including a Spanish accent and bonus fruit hat) to perk me up. The brilliance of such a witty female lead, growing from awkward 16 year old into a brilliant journalist definitely inspired the little 7 year old me. If you take any life advice from Sabrina, let it be this: “Friends cancel plans. Pancakes don’t.”
eminiscent of Hitchcock and film noir, the opening scenes introduce Sam (Matthew Baynton of Horrible Histories fame), a Berkshire Council employee who is currently at a dead end in his life having just broken up from his partner (who unfortunately for him, may not still be his girlfriend but she is still his boss) Lizzie. Sam then witnesses a car crash and at this point the show’s storyline begins to rear its dramatic head, entering a dangerous world of abduction and crime with a woman being threatened at knifepoint. Now of course, in any other story at this point, the hero would have stood up, taken on the villains and saved the damsel-in-distress. This show, however, is not the tale of a hero; this is the tale of Sam, a slacker with no ambition in any aspect of his life. His friend Phil (James Corden) convinces him that this is their destiny. The Wrong Mans is a beautifully shot, well-acted show with clever plotlines, but if you’ve have watched Gavin and Stacey or even James Corden’s episodes of Doctor Who, you have seen it before. Yet the deadpan, black humour has absolutely perfect timing, and follows in true League of Gentlemen style even down to the referencing of cult films such as Fight Club. It has parodied film noir and action films to the point of actually becoming one, and whilst The Wrong Mans is actually a fantastic show in a true thriller style, don’t expect it to be laugh-out-loud funny. We’ve got to learn to appreciate a good dark comedy drama every once in a while. Lucy Owens
easily flop. The second episode definitely steps it up in terms of explosions and adrenaline pumping action but I still feel it can give more and can only hope that it will continue an exponential increase in the upcoming episodes. Despite it having a good storyline and an up and coming cast, one can’t help but crave some more superhero action. It’s not that it’s a bad TV show, but after the brilliance of the Marvel films, it just leaves you expecting more. I can only hope it lives up to its expectations which have been set so high from having the name Joss Whedon (the mind behind The Avengers) plastered all over it. James Simpson
If you like this, try... Dollhouse, the short-lived Whedon drama with a similar nerdy sci-fi charm.
BBC 1, Saturday 8:30pm
ITV, Sunday 9pm
y the time you read this, it is very likely that there has already been another death on Downton Abbey. ITV were refusing to release screenings of the latest episode to the press, and the past couple of times this happened were when Lady Sybil (still not over it) and Matthew Crawley met their untimely demises. This series of Downton Abbey is already looking more interesting than previous ones, with time transitioning them into the twenties and making the dresses even more enviable. Now Lady Mary has finally moved on from Matthew’s death (although she still looks as miserable as ever), there is ample room for a new love interest in the form of Lord Gillingham. Michael Gregson’s announcement to Lady Edith that he will become a German citizen in order to be granted a divorce from his wife is an interesting twist, with Edith considering whether to join him; the feeling of impending doom with this one will never go away. Thomas’ partnership with the new lady’s maid Braithwaite in a attempt to take down Bates and Anna will remove any thoughts of him going soft, whilst the introduction of Nigel Harman’s valet looks set to shake things up, with the character said to have ‘no redeemable features’. Lady Rose has already brought some much-needed fun and girlish panache to the show, and the Dowager Countess is still as hilariously cynical as ever. However, the only question I have for this season is when are Carson and Mrs Hughes going to get together? Get on it, Julian Fellowes! Chloe Carroll
he BBC hit series Merlin ended last Christmas and the creators of the show wanted to give the viewers another magical, family-friendly show to look forward to. Now we have a new Saturday night mythical hero, and what a sight for these sore eyes. Jason arrives in Atlantis from the modern world, losing his submarine and clothes all at the same time. Poor lad. Fortunately, he quickly adapts to the ancient Greece-like environment, meets some friends and fights with a couple of creatures; clearly a standard afternoon for an average guy. He luckily meets the beautiful and fearless daughter of the king and queen, and yes that’s right everyone, we have our innocent love interest. Keeping in time with the whole corny mystical theme, Jason has to try and seek answers from a cryptic oracle, and to no-ones surprise, he has a destiny to fulfill. To a Merlin fan this all seems a bit too familiar. Whilst I realize that Atlantis was supposed to replace Merlin, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the creators won’t stick with such a parallel format for too long. The stories of Hercules, Pythagoras and Atlantis are all mixed together in one pot so the viewers shouldn’t be expecting accurate mythology, or even a relatively complicated plot. But to be fair, the well-chosen cast and the pleasing visual effects make Atlantis easy and pleasurable to watch. It’s fun, camp, and enjoyable without taking itself too seriously. Let’s hope they keep it up. Aino Haavisto
Monday 14 October 2013
thecourieronline.co.uk/tv email@example.com | @courier_tv
No more mething around
5 US Sitcoms
It seems like you can’t check Facebook or Twitter without seeing someone raving about the ﬁnale of Breaking Bad. Is it overkill or entirely justiﬁed? Self-confessed obsessed fan Lewis Ancrum explores the worldwide craze surrounding the meth-making duo.
ultural phenomenon Breaking Bad drew to a hugely anticipated close in what has been heralded as a spectacular finale full of emotion, tension, but most importantly, resolution. Vince Gilligan’s beautifully woven tale of one man’s descent into evil achieved what many shows fail to, in that it perfectly delivered an ending to cap a brilliant five season narrative which has propelled Breaking Bad into popular overdrive. There was no ham-fisted flop or clumsily rushed disaster; only a pleasingly satisfying end, easing through the pressure of an expectant fan base that holds the story in such high regard. Answers to why Breaking Bad has gained such momentous attention from the masses are relatively easy to find. Not too ambitious or farfetched, it has remained firmly grounded in its roots. Coupled with this beneficial simplicity, the story’s steady progression is why the fans have gained such an attachment to Gilligan’s story telling. The carefully structured ascension of Walter White from mild mannered chemistry teacher to dangerous drug kingpin has allowed a lot of investment from viewers in the characters. We have felt involved and have empathised with the characters’ journeys within the show, feeling all the pain and fear they have felt. No character epitomises this more than Aaron Paul’s portrayal of Jesse Pinkman. Arguably one of the most believable characters to ever grace television, Paul’s partnership with Bryan Cranston is the perfect example of an award-winning acting duo, and if you will excuse the pun, their chemistry is what has created the shows dynamic that we all know and love. This does not, however, take anything away from the supporting cast who have created a thoroughly diverse and enjoyable Breaking Bad universe from likable anti-heroes such as
Friends We’re talking about The One That Started It All; with the will-they-won’t-they tension between Rachel and Ross, Chandler and Joey’s feuds over the foosball table, and Phoebe’s songs about ‘smelly cats’, you believed they were all friends. It didn’t matter where they were, or what they were doing, they were there for you.
The Office US criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, to hardened villains such as Gus Fring, who have become cult stars in their own right. Through this diversity Vince Gilligan has created a show with multiple ingredients from brutal action, nail biting tension, warmth and humour alongside deep emotional moments that hold so much weight in to a true television masterpiece. The iconic quotes and scenes have had a helping hand in creating the continued hysteria over Breaking Bad. From the ‘Lets Cook’ t-shirts to ‘The One Who Knocks’ posters, there is no shortage of Breaking Bad merchandise in popular circulation. Everywhere we look nowadays there are nods to the show in popular media, ranging from mentions
in The Simpsons and Family Guy, to subtle references in the new GTA V, and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to escape, even after the last episode has aired. The keen fandom is there for all to see on social networks, with Breaking Bad routinely trending on Twitter throughout the second half of season five to the point where I avoided Twitter all Monday for fear of the finale being spoiled. But now it’s over, there is no more cooking, no more Walt and no more Jesse and no more calling Saul. The world will have to move on, and Breaking Bad’s obsessive fan base, me included, has to suffer Walter White withdrawal. That is, until the new spin off arrives next year and we go through it all over again.
Kardashian or Orwellian? Reality shows are slowly taking over the real and ﬁctional world. But are they morally right? Charlotte Maxwell takes a look to see if TV should keep up with the Kardashians, or have an Extreme Makeover.
To quote Steve Carell, “If you don’t know a Michael Scott, then you are Michael Scott”. The mockumentary format allowed for realistic portrayals of its characters; you cared about Pam’s struggles and Dwight’s break-up with Angela. If you miss these characters as much as me, then bippity boppity, give me the zoppity.
Parks and Recreation Deputy Director of Pawnee’s Parks Department, Leslie Knope, turns the pit behind Ann Perkin’s house into a community park. Once you hear the theme music, it’s like someone giving you a hug and exclaiming, “For the next 22 minutes, you’ll be beaming like an idiot because of these goofballs who care for each other”.
t used to be the case that if you were searching for a significant other, you would go out into the big, wide world or maybe even join a dating website. Now, all you need to do is apply online to one of the late-in-life Freeview channels and you’ve got yourself a spot on Joe Millionaire UK, Beauty and the Geek, or Love Trap. And of course, if you’re trying to find out what you’re current significant other is up to… there’s always Cheaters. Over the past couple of decades, reality TV has gradually consumed airtime on a vast array of channels, seemingly at all times of the day. You can watch everything from gay men Playing it Straight to win £50,000, an increasing number of X Factor contestants praying that they’ll get the Christmas number one (unless Rage Against the Machine make another come-back) and of course, an endless stream of the Kardashians with new addition North West. (Hey, let’s make a show about that). Millions of us sit at home in front of our TV and allow our brains to be filled with the ‘real’ world and ‘real’ lives. However, many of our regional delicacies such as Geordie Shore do have scripting. Which raises the question of whether you can ‘script’ reality? Clearly, that seems to be a blatantly ridiculous oxymoron but we all fall short when it comes to the cheap thrill we all seem to get from this marmite TV experience. One of the longest running ‘mind enticers’ is Big Brother which has been on our screens for a ridiculous thirteen years and counting. It’s increasingly interesting how we sit at home and religiously tune in on a nightly basis to watch other people live in a house. Curiosity is undoubtedly part of the human condition; however has it reached a point where everyone around us is becoming a potential spectacle of entertainment? Is a large portion of
Arrested Development The superlative writing of the show, along with zany characters, was spot on from the pilot. Mitchell Hurwitz made us fall head over heels for the strangest, yet refreshing, narrative intertwined with quotable lines and running gags. It’s just a matter of time until the Arrested Development movie.
the TV viewing population supporting the exploitation market for reality shows? For the most part, probably, yes - but, hey, they do say ignorance is bliss. Who thought that a blissful chilling session on the settee would require a cuppa and some carcrash individuals frolicking around on screen? The brain has begun to crave raw, stranger and outright weirder dealings (cue Spoiled Rotten Pets). “Reality” feeds us and we feed it - the never ending vicious circle of ‘life’ – which would explain how Paris Hilton has pranced across our screens for so long.
Now, whilst the point of this article was to consider whether life is/can be lived on TV, the answer to this is yes. Most of us love to feed this fire and watch the drama unveil itself and I blame this simply on the death of VCR and the birth of hundreds of channels beyond the original five. But, when it comes down to it, like everyone, I have my reality TV weakness and as the last series is coming, I will fill my brain with multiple hours of Peter Andre. I can’t really help but give the poor dog a bone…
30 Rock 30 Rock graced our television screens with metadialogue and Lemon-isms. Tina Fey, a Saturday Night Live queen, redefined the sitcom formula, and even if you looked away for a second you missed the one-liners and Liz’s famous eye rolls. Might as well go back, re-watch all the episodes, and pretend 30 Rock never ended. Andrea Tang
Monday 14 October 2013
US vs UK Elementary
If I have to describe CBS’ Elementary in two words, I would probably choose ‘fascinatingly different’. The creative team definitely took a leap of faith, changing John to Joan, making her a sober companion rather than a practicing physician, and completely excluding the original character’s military career altogether. The relationship between Holmes and Watson is explored so well and the plot develops in such surprising ways that by the end of it, you say to yourself ‘Hey, I’m actually fine with this’. Johnny Lee Miller’s fantastic performance as the quirky sleuth also helps a fair bit. Here’s a warning, though: If you’re watching Elementary and expecting another BBC Sherlock, you’ll most likely end up disappointed. It’s the difference between them that makes both shows worthy of recognition and appreciation. Antonia Velikova
With producers on both sides of the pond regularly taking inspiration from across the Atlantic, we take four such shows and ﬁsh out the best version
Sherlock burst onto our screens back in 2010 with little fanfare, but has managed to garner a large worldwide audience with a certain zealous energy. Despite only having two seasons so far (the third is tentatively airing in winter), it has had the whole nation talking, particularly after that cliffhanger. The show has made the main leads Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman into worldwide stars, which is understandable considering how effortlessly they portray Sherlock and John. The supporting cast is one of the strongest, and every part of this show helps to make it shine; from the music by David Arnold and Michael Price, to the slick cinematography and witty writing. The show has won over 30 prestigious awards, including numerous BAFTAs, and it’s definitely clear why Sherlock has been called one of the best ever British dramas. Chloe Carroll
A TV show about an alcoholic, benefit-scrounging father, his various hell-raising children, and a council estate in Manchester shouldn’t work and yet after eleven seasons, the award –winning Shameless has become a firm TV favourite among fans and critics alike. Incestuous flirtation, a coming-out story, a fake wedding, an agoraphobic, constantly growing debts, a faked death and a pregnancy are all to boot and that’s only season one! Unlike the American alternative, the show was lead by a relatively unknown actor at the time, David Threlfall, who proved to be perfect as Frank Gallagher. As much as I love William H. Macy, he’s just too well known and perhaps a bit polished in the American version to play a loveable rogue like Frank Gallagher. Kate Stokes
Set in the gritty South Side area of Chicago, the American remake of the award-winning UK series was launched in 2011 with an aim to breathe some fresh, new air into the tired format. Now in its fourth season, it is fair to say that our cousins over the pond have done us proud. On paper, the characters remain carbon copies of their original counterparts, and yet there’s an sophistication and raw emotion that seems to lace through the entire story arc. Fiona Gallagher (Emily Rossum) is a particular stand-out, bringing an elusive yet vulnerable quality to the character which seemed to be sometimes lost in the comedy of the British original. Let’s face it, there’s something really satisfying about seeing a small petite lady shout at Frank Gallagher in a brash American accent. Beth Durant
Long before Charlotte pissed herself and Sophie exclaimed to a bewildered lover the word ‘chlamydia’, there was another group of perma-tanned twenty something’s getting drunk and shaking up reality television; the MTV phenomenon Jersey Shore. What made Jersey Shore so great was how fresh the format and cast were, and that’s exactly what’s missing from the UK equivalent. Gaz would look like a toothpick next to The Situation and not even Vicky & Ricci could do battle like Ronnie & Sammi. Pauly D was the cheeky one, Vinny was the charmer and Snooki was… well, Snooki. America’s favourite Guidos and Guidettes had real chemistry, brought us fun and drama in a show where no one had to listen to the recorded Geordie accent. There’s only one original TV shore and it’s not in Newcastle; it’s in New Jersey.
Geordie Shore is the ultimate guilty pleasure; only I’m not even sure I feel guilty about it. The unadulterated, unapologetic, and unashamed adaptation of the US show Jersey Shore hit British screens in a whirlwind of vodka trebles, public urination, and gratuitous nudity. For me, reality TV is an area in which programming is allowed to shock and somewhat disgust an audience in order to entertain them, and I would be lying if I said that I’m not entertained. Geordie Shore is louder, bigger and more explicit than it’s predecessor and that is one of the main reasons why it is so much more fun. The show creates a world in which the Ferrero Rocher is the height of sophistication, and shouting ‘chlamydia’ halfway through a romantic encounter is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Seriously, I can’t be the only one who wonders why it’s so brilliant? Kelsey Weeks
The Ofﬁce US “I am Beyonce, always”. These immortal words of Michael Scott possibly provide the main argument as to why The Office US is the better of the two mockumentaries. Whilst The Office UK was a fantastic two-season epic, it was always so painfully awkward that some may have found it almost inaccessible. The intelligent but sometimes obtuse Ricky Gervais was said to have put people off, whereas the more likeable (adorable?) Steve Carell was easier for audiences to love. Whilst I can appreciate The Office UK for its dry sense of humour and relatively cult-like following, in the end it comes down to “watchability”. The Office US ran for longer, was watched by more people, and launched several successfully careers, and I don’t think anything can top that. David Leighton
The Ofﬁce UK
I’m sure that any one who has had the pleasure of watching Ricky Gervais ‘get his Brent on’ would agree that I don’t need 150 words to tell you why it is superior to the US version. The programme that kick-started the ‘mockumentary’ genre on mainstream TV followed the day to day routine of business extraordinaire and Slough’s answer to Don Juan, David Brent. Gervais’ impeccable comedic timing and awkward realness is what makes the show such a hit. Throw in a bit of cringe-worthy dancing, a will-they-won’t-they love story and some genuinely heart-warming and equally devastating moments and this programme manages to go above and beyond a classic British sitcom. Unlike its American imitation, The Office is a lot like its central character; rough around the edges, painfully uncomfortable to watch at times but 100% original. Kate Stokes
Monday 14 October 2013
You can leave your hat on
The modern pop star is confronted by a multitude of obstacles on their journey to stardom. Deputy Editor Tom Nicholson considers the PopHat and its deployment
he hat has power in pop music. A bad hat can sink the career of a popstrel who had been progressing with stately elegance along the gilded corridor leading to the upper reaches of the top 40, sending them on a long, lonely trudge around the provincial nightclub circuit. Similarly, a great hat can rescue or even transcend the career of the head it rests on. Those who use hats in pop are playing with fire. Hats are such serious business that according to Fatboy Slim, the Housemartins once scheduled a meeting to decide whether they were the type of band who could wear hats convincingly. They rightly concluded that they were not. Lord alone knows what might have happened had they strapped on the pith helmets lying portentously at the rehearsal room door. Presumably, rather than remembering the Housemartins as being quite good, they would simply be ‘those pith helmet wankers’. Fatboy Slim’s confidence might well have been crushed, and, Mr Slim having taken early leave of the music ‘biz’, we could all have been treated to the sight of Rick Wakeman taking his place riding a not-quite-fully-inflated octopus at the Olympics closing ceremony. Essentially, there are four main uses for hats within the pop universe: as a piece of theatre; as a symbol of power; as branding; and as a signifier of the wearer’s imminent mental collapse. The lines between these four areas are frequently blurred – think of this as a Venn diagram rather than an exhaustively-researched, totally watertight theoretical framework (though if any higher education centres have any excess dosh floating around I’d very happily turn this article into a fully-funded PhD thesis, thanks very much).
Hats as branding and identity
Many pop stars have capitalrevelation that while a pop star song can end up looking fairly pop star singing a song while hat carves out a unique visand also gives the audience to quite what their angle the best example of the is Michael Jackson’s hat, a hat so recognisable that you need only see it in silhouette to know whose it was. (This might also be connected
ised on the singing a bland, a wearing a ual aesthetic vital clues as is. Probably former
to the fact that the silhouette is wearing a sparkly glove and balancing on its tip-toes while shouting “Ee-hee”, but I’m sure we can all agree the hat is doing most of the work.) Similarly, Noddy Holder’s mirror hat is the most potent a symbol of 1970s pop culture there is. It simultaneously says, “We pop stars are very different to mere mortals”, and, “Yes obviously this pop stardom thing is stupid but then life in general is pretty ridiculous when you think about it so why don’t we all have a bit of fun while we can”. What an eloquent hat.
“A great hat can rescue or even transcend the career of the head it rests on”
We might also consider the bucket hat sported by Reni from the Stone Roses, a hat so thoroughly incorporated into the aesthetic language of the band that it transcends them totally – it’s now a symbol of both Manchester and lad culture at large. Who else could wear such a terrible hat with such misplaced confidence? Gregg Alexander from the New Radicals, that’s who, whacking on a bucket hat and tapping into a ready-made audience. Obviously this had limited success, but then there was only so much the bucket could do. It is a hat, not Paul Daniels. The use of a hat for angle-signalling purposes depends rather more on the public grasping what the artist intends to say via their hat, but the language of hats is fairly universal. The nation took Elton John to its heart afresh when he popped on a straw boater in the video to ‘I’m Still Standing’. It told everyone that he’d ditched the glam rock wackiness of his youth and embraced his future as a traditional singer-songwriter, like Cole Porter or some other noted hat-botherer from the past. It was also the dawn of the 80s, a time in which a pop star could no longer have a bald patch and be taken seriously. Olly Murs’s pork pie hats show he’s a cheeky chappy with neither a spine nor testicles, and as such is an appropriately non-threatening teen heartthrob. Take the hat off and he looks like a bit-part player in Mark Wright’s Hollywood Nights. Conor Maynard’s caps place him as a hip, streetwise
kinda cat who listens to Capital FM and loves all the hot new styles they sell in Topman; The Kooks’ straw hats work as a handy shorthand telling the observer that they are a shower of glorified buskers.
Hats as symbols of power A rarer subcategory, the hat of power shows everyone who’s boss – be that the audience or fellow band members. At the softer end is the aforementioned Slade hat which showed Noddy Holder was the main man, with Dave Hill’s fringe earning him a spot as lieutenant. More aggressively, Kevin Rowland of Dexy’s Midnight Runners threatened to boot guitarist Al Archer out of the group for having the temerity to wear a red wool cap, breaking Rowland’s ‘black wool caps only (except for me because I’m the singer)’ rule. “It’s just a hat, what was he so annoyed about?” you might ask. Well, pretty clearly, it wasn’t just a hat. That hat was a direct challenge to Rowland’s iron-fisted creative control, and he couldn’t let that stand. Unless it was just a hat, in which case his man-management skills could do with some work.
Hats as theatre
To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a hat is just a hat – there are no politics or ulterior motives involved, just pure love for its creative potential. The award for this category belongs to Pet Shop Boys: they’ve had stripey dunce hats, bowler hats, and top hats decorated with enormous potted plants, not to mention Chris Lowe’s ever-present baseball cap. Lady Gaga comes a close second – the telephone hat with a handset made of her own hair demonstrated remarkable commitment to pop-hattery, as did the diamante lobster headpiece, even if it did channel Princess Beatrice at the royal wedding. Devo’s Energy Domes deserve an honourable mention, too. Depending on who you believe, their design w a s i n -
formed by the Bauhaus movement, an art deco lamp, a passage from a pseudo-scientific book which posited that mankind’s ancestors were cannibalistic apes, or the steps of ancient Aztec temples. According to founder member Gerald Casale, the Energy Dome “collects energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medula Oblongata for increased mental energy.” Can you imagine Ed Sheeran or Jake Bugg saying something as brilliantly deranged as that? No, and that’s why Devo are much, much better at pop music.
Hats as signs of mental and/or physical collapse
This category is often indistinguishable from ‘hats as theatre’, its true nature only becoming clear in hindsight. The most likely indicator is that the group have split up post-hat; look at pictures of Abbey Road-era Beatles and tell me that the massive parsons’ hats sported by John and George don’t state very bluntly: ‘I care so little about the long-term viability of this group that I’m going to wear this appalling headgear and the consequences can go hang’. Or, perhaps, the band’s new album is a radical and unsuccessful musical volteface featuring the lead singer and a load of ‘new faces’ brought in to ‘freshen up the sound’, (read: ‘everyone kept complaining about my new songs being shit so I eliminated them’), signalled in Razorlight’s case by the new bass player sporting a hat which made him look like an alcoholic musketeer; maybe, like East 17, one of the band will accidentally run himself over with his own car after eating loads of baked potatoes. In these cases, the addition of a new hat to the group dynamic can be the final destabilising act which sends a creaking pop career tumbling into the abyss - like Buckaroo, but a Buckaroo with the face of Johnny Borrell. So, next time you see a pop star straying toward the flat caps in John Lewis, make sure you collar them and remind them of their responsibilities. The world of the pop hat is unforgiving and tempestuous. Nine times out of ten, they’re better off leaving their head nude.
Monday 14 October 2013
Music Editors: Kate Bennett and Ian Mason
Katie Ackerley can’t stand the French dance pioneers. Is it just her? Probably, but hear her out
f you’ve been a fan from back in the 90s, then I may be a little more lenient with you than those who jumped on the ‘Get Lucky’ bandwagon, but even a long-lived love for French electro duo Daft Punk does not excuse your recent behaviour. Before 2013, the band had never reached the number one single spot outside of France, despite some expertly crafted dance classics such as ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’. They have always had a strong and committed fan base but were never anywhere near as mainstream and commercialised as the last few months have portrayed them to be. So why is everyone suddenly so interested, especially when it can be so strongly argued that the quality of the music has dramatically fallen since the early days? It’s obvious that their drastic increase in popularity stemmed solely from the success of single ‘Get Lucky’, which shot to number one all over the world, but what is it about this song? Is it the repetitive, suggestive lyrics? The monotonous tone? I don’t see why those factors would appeal to anyone, never mind encourage them to buy the music. But I’m evidently in the minority. Random Access Memories became the fastest selling album of 2013, surpassing first week sales of the many exceptional albums released this year by industry heavyweights such as Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon - and all because of one successful club hit. In all honesty, I would be lying if I said it was Daft Punk themselves who have stirred up such negative feelings, or at least not the Daft Punk I was used to before 2013. What I do dislike is the hordes of mindless followers who made the notoriously annoying ‘Get Lucky’ so popular in the first place. The same people who read this and were shocked that Daft Punk have made other albums, the people who thought ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ was just a Kanye West hook. The sudden rise in popularity is baffling to me and while the album has been critically acclaimed, the leading single ensured that I’ll never get close enough to even give it a try. I would definitely like this chapter in Daft Punk history to be deleted from my Random Access Memory.
Bangerz Miley Cyrus M
iley Cyrus has had her fair share of the spotlight these past couple of months, from her dramatic makeover to “twerking” at the VMAs. I think we can all recollect the expressions of Will Smith’s family during that performance! After a year’s work in the studio and a three year gap since ‘Can’t Be Tamed’, Cyrus releases fourth studio album Bangerz, proving she’s not all sugar and spice. Pressing play on the first track ‘Adore You’ and you’re greeted by a melancholic set of soothing vocals, alongside a slow backing beat and piano melody. Something promising? True, her opening track does initially establish a trancelike atmosphere with those velvety pipes of hers. Unfortunately, this isn’t like most dreams. ‘Adore You’ retains its demure nature until the chorus, when Cyrus sings the lyrics ‘Adore You’ like an Enya cover artist yodelling. As the album proceeds, we have that annoyingly catchy, yet self-assured ‘We Can’t Stop’. However much we yearn to find Cyrus’ controversial new style sickening, we can’t help but commend her for her ballsy attitude and attempt at musical experimentation. Saying that, these notions of respect seem a little premature. Any hope fizzles instantly as tracks ‘SMS (Bangers)’, ‘4x4’ and ‘Love Money Party’ are riddled with musical chaos, as if a four year old decided to concoct a symphony out of trash cans and paper cups. What’s perplexing about collaborations with international superstars Nelly and Britney Spears, is how underwhelming these records are. Her musical expertise is executed far more skilfully alongside the newly established artists like ‘Future’, who compliments ‘My Darlin’’ with a hauntingly exquisite rendition of ‘Stand By Me’,
scattered throughout the track. A personal favourite is current chart-topper ‘Wrecking Ball’. By stripping down the overused gangster slang Cyrus showcases what musical credibility she has to offer, unveiling her vulnerability. She saves her musical dignity further with ‘Drive’ and final two tracks ‘Maybe You’re Right’ and ‘Someone Else’, which all contribute emotional sentiment within an assortment of genre categories, from dance to poignant ballads.
We can’t help but commend her for her ballsy attitude and attempt at musical experimentation
Bangerz has some gems, yet these are scattered amongst a perplexing amount of disasters. Whilst Cyrus’ attempt at detaching herself from her Disney days should be admired, she fails to polish off her tracks or pinpoint a genre, resulting in a hysterical amalgamation of music. The harmonies save her from a musical catastrophe, yet her incessant desire to be controversial borders on vomitinducing. ‘Bangers and Mash’ happens to complement one another superbly; ‘Bangerz and Miley’ makes Tesco Value Noodles look like a Michelin star meal. Recommended download: ‘Wrecking Ball’ Alex Gibbs
If you like this, try ... Selena Gomez Stars Dance
f you’re after another Disney golden girl attempting to sex up her image, check out Selena Gomez’ solo debut Stars Dance, which sees Gomez dabbling in brostep and EDM. She hasn’t pretended to rim a giant teddy bear at the VMAs yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
Nothing Is Real
Prominence Heavenly Beat
Cage The Elephant
x-Beach Fossils’ bassist John Peña continues the California vibe of his previous band with a more electronic, dance edge, under a new name, Heavenly Beat. Prominence is Peña’s debut mainly-solo album after a previous failed attempt to record solo, and it’s a respectable compilation. The arrangement of sample drum beats, steel drums, classic guitar riffs and synths are complementary of each other, and lyrically, Peña addresses major flaws in everyday human society in tracks such as, ‘Honest’, ‘Prominence’ and ‘Thin’. However, these songs offer no particular opinion on the issues addressed, leaving them unresolved and imperfect, hence, possibly reflecting these issues’ appearance in reality. The use of extended synths with Peña’s breathy vocals incorporates an almost seductive feel to the album whilst the sample drum beats and classical guitar riffs provides a rough quality, creating the melancholy, laid-back surfer vibe that is so definitive of Peña’s previous albums. ‘Familiar’ provides the perfect example of the chilled out surf vibes present within Beach Fossils as well as exhibiting enticing vocals. The isolated sections of vocals and drum beats echo elements of bands such as Metronomy, allowing a much welcomed contrast between the layers of multiple riffs and synths in other sections of the track. Overall, this album is decent. It’s not mindblowingly brilliant, but if you’re looking for some chilled out, beachy background music while you study, it’s definitely worth a listen.
n a drizzly day in 2008, I slumped onto the sofa after a long day at school and immediately sank into the promising solace of television. Amidst the torrent of antiques and miserable faces, Cage The Elephant caught my eye, playing to a small crowd in Covent Garden, and a smile began to return to my little face. Needless to say, my expectations were high when I approached their most recent venture, Melophobia - anything less than perfection would be sent back to the recesses of Soundcloud. Fortunately, it brought the same smile to my face that had sat there five years before. Single track ‘Come a Little Closer’ is bursting with the lively gritty energy from Thank You, Happy Birthday, whilst merging the band’s new interest in lyrically engaging and pensively expressive music. This energetic sincerity flows into ‘It’s Just Forever’, which features The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and her crooning, yearning vocals to powerful effect. Frontman Matt Schultz wanted the creation of the album to be “comparable to drawing your childhood house purely from memory.” After five years of continually gigging, the band took some time off to write Melophobia, and cut themselves off from outside musical stimulation to discover their own sound. Melophobia is mature in comparison to Cage The Elephant’s previous albums but retains a distinctive, dynamic drive. Play-through after playthrough, the childlike grin is still spread across my face.
Recommended download: ‘Familiar’
Recommended download: ‘Come A Little Closer’
Recommended download: ‘Pray’
s it third time lucky for Cali-based psychrockers Crystal Antlers as they prepare to release their new album Nothing Is Real? I was not quite sure what to expect from the psych-rock bunch, who started out back in 2006. After downing half a bottle of cough syrup to nurse the clichéd-but-unavoidable freshers flu, I sat down and got stuck in. ‘Pray’ crescendos from a slow chord sequence into quite the opener, which could have easily found its place on The Cribs’ In The Belly of the Brazen Bull – not at all the sound I had preconceived for the Long Beach trio who have recently just signed to their third label Innovative Leisure for this, their third LP. Unfortunately, yet not surprisingly, after the first 3 tracks, I feel as though this album distorts its way into a dreary end, with many of the songs sounding like reworks of each other. Five minute drone ‘We All Gotta Die’, ‘Persephone’ and ‘Don’t Think of the Stone’ are probably the main culprits in creating this opinion but ultimately, once again, it’s down to the limited range that one bass, one guitar and a set of drums can create without much imagination behind them (think how many Muse songs sound the same). ‘Better Things’ brings back a bit with a little more hope towards the end of the 45 minutes with a sound that Brian Fallon would be happy to devour, but by the time the final track ‘Prisoner Song’ fades out, the only thought on my mind is ‘I’ve heard it all before’.
Monday 14 October 2013
thecourieronline.co.uk/music firstname.lastname@example.org | @courier_music
SceNE: Venues Each week we take a closer look
at a different spot in Newcastle’s music scene. This week: The Cluny
Music Editor Kate Bennett casts a critical eye over this week’s singles releases
ituated in the picturesque Ouseburn valley, The Cluny offers an eclectic place to eat, drink and watch live music. Built in 1848, this gem of Newcastle Upon Tyne is a venue steeped in history: originally a steam-powered flour mill, it became a whiskey bottling plant called ‘The Cluny’, which is where the name originates. Just off the river Tyne, The Cluny is a versatile venue. Whether it is live music or just a swift pint you are looking for, The Cluny can provide with a touch of class. The live music venue itself is an example of intimacy at its best. Every live act to play there can easily feel a connection with the audience; spectators can enjoy the experience with fellow music lovers who join them in the crowd, as this is the clientele The Cluny attracts. This element is crucial to the success of the venue. There is a real respect and passion for music, fans and artists. Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines and Seasick Steve are just some of the artists who’ve played The Cluny and gone on to be successful in the UK and abroad. The Cluny 2 offers another alternative to those visiting. Newcastle’s newest theatre-style space puts on a number of different events including comedy evenings and theatre productions. Described by the Telegraph as ‘…a cosy theatre with glass-topped c o u r t y a r d ’,
The Cluny 2 is a great little addition to an already fantastic live music venue. Filled with character and surrounded by what remains of Newcastle’s industrial past, The Cluny is one of the most cultural places to drink in the UK. It is consistently included in the world’s best 100 bars - the only bar to be featured in the list in the whole of Newcastle. The Cluny offers its own extensive selection of real ales, many of them sourced from local breweries, whilst there are local ciders available as well for those who prefer the sweeter tipple. Classic pub food is also available. Walk: To take the scenic route, walking up from for example. This hugely successful song by a hugely successful hip hop act contains the lyrics “we are not thugs, we don’t use drugs”, a statement which no modern day hip hop artist would admit. Whilst discussing modern music DMC is also quoted saying that ‘If you make a record about a gun... there’s got to be a record about not using a gun.” This kind
Legendary rapper DMC recently called modern hip hop disrespectful and immature. Katie Ackerley and Max Social responsibility died out Cameron join the debate of hip hop a long time ago
t can definitely be argued that DMC has a point in relation to 21st century hip hop. 80s and 90s hip hop is largely centred around a funkier bassline than the harsh sounds of current rap, which can often be described as aggressive and intimidating. However the contrast in lyrics is where a real difference in styles can begin to be seen. Artists such as Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg are often criticised for their offensive or degrading lyrics, with many people believing that modern day rappers are somewhat responsible for the glamorisation of drugs and gang culture. Many hip hop stars, especially in America, proudly display gang tattoos and evidence of violence they have been associated with, which are thought to have negative effects on the young people who look up to them. However, earlier hip hop artists thought differently. Take the Run-DMC song ‘It’s Tr i c k y ’
of social responsibility died out of hip hop culture a long time ago in favour of the idea of an artist’s “street credibility” being more important than the music or the message. It is evident that the drive and culture behind hip hop music has changed with modern day artists becoming, in the words of DMC, “irresponsible, disrespectful and immature”. It is definitely negative for both the music world and the wider society to keep putting these ideas in the spotlight, never mind the poor quality of the records produced by most current hip hop artists. Give me some Fresh Pr i n c e any day. Katie Ackerley
the quayside is an easy and enjoyable option. Turn left at The Tyne Inn and keep walking up the path along the estuary - you will soon arrive at The Cluny. Public Transport: Buses number 12, 22, 39, 40, 62 & 63 all stop on New Bridge Street – get off at the stop closest to The Tanners pub, and walk down Stepney Bank. The Q2 Quaylink bus also now serves Ouseburn Valley, stopping on Byker Bank. Metro: The Cluny is pretty much directly between Manors and Byker Metro stations. It’s easier to find it from Manors, but both are short walks.
his week’s singles roundup kicks off with chief Azealia Banks-baiter Angel Haze, whose new single ‘Echelon (It’s My Way)’is really annoyingly catchy despite having one of the most brain-mashingly dumb synth hooks I’ve heard in quite some time. The accompanying video features Haze getting a backy on a mobility scooter, as well as the usual assortment of babes wearing the kind of skimpy neon swimwear that – combined with all the booty popping – will have women everywhere wincing and reaching for the Canesten Duo in sympathy. The chafing continues over in the clip to Avicii’s latest single ‘You Make Me’, in which there is a fight at a roller disco staffed exclusively by girls in nylon hotpants: a recipe for fungal infection if ever I saw one. The song, it goes without saying, is dreadful in a kind of irritating stabby-piano way and I would highly recommend listening to Cher’s absolute belter of a single ‘Woman’s World’ instead - not least because in the video wor Cher rocks a selection of excellent hairdos and basically provides you with a stellar choice of Halloween costume inspo. It’s not as good as ‘Believe’, but then few things in life are.
Joe Armson & Chris McDonald
ip hop has come a long way since The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and when Blondie rapped on ‘Rapture’, but has that positivity really gone in 2013? Was it really so positive in the beginning? Hip hop faces controversy for glorifying negativity. Rick Ross was recently dropped by Reebok for the line: “Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” Though this seems to glorify rape and is clearly immoral, would this lyric seem out of place on Snoop Dogg’s 1992 debut Doggystyle?
Was it really so positive to begin with? Kendrick Lamar’s Twitter-shattering feature on Big Sean’s ‘Control’ challenges many contemporary rappers to raise their game. There is healthy competition in 2013, unlike the bloody East and West Coast feuds of the 90s. 2012 saw Frank Ocean of Odd Future - a group much criticised for homophobic lyrics - come out as gay, as well as creating one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. Outside the mainstream Scroobius Pip and B. Dolan have made anti-homophobic records, which would not have been possible several years ago; elsewhere, Killer Mike made the highly political ‘Reagan’. There are countless other examples of contemporary hip hop looking to create positive change - a bit different to Run-DMC writing a song about their favourite trainers with ‘My Adidas’. Everyone thinks music was best when they were in their teens and started really listening to it. What DMC seems to ignore is how wide-ranging hip hop has become; in 2013 it is more diverse than ever. Max Cameron
The latest offering from Swedish electropoppers Postiljonen is the kind of thing the word ‘lush’ was created specifically for, along with Joaquin Phoenix (HE HAS LOVELY EYES OKAY) and the bits of the Amazon rainforest that haven’t yet been razed to the ground for cattle grazing purposes. There are hazy, languid saxophone licks, there are floaty synthesizers: it’s basically kind of thing that I imagine a really hip Dalston massage parlour would play in the treatment room (a possibly erroneous belief, my only experience of Dalston being two hours getting scowled at in Efe’s Snooker Club last New Year’s Eve). Eliza Doolittle is still doing stuff, too, apparently. No more skidding about on rollerblades for Doolittle, though: ‘Let It Rain’ sounds like the big chorus number in a mediocre off-Broadway musical about a kooky yet impoverished waitress who dreams of being a star but is held back by the fact that she has glasses/braces/a conspicuous limp. But then a handsome stranger visits her restaurant and after a hilarious sequence in which she accidentally drops his spaghetti carbonara on his lap he falls in love with her and turns out to be this big-shot theatre guy who introduces her to the right people and pays for her to get contact lenses/ Invisalign/magical leg rehabilitation therapy (I’m not a medical student; for all I know this exists), and she realises her childhood dream. This is the general vibe I’m getting, anyway. Modchild Miles Kane also has a new single out, called ‘Better Than That’. Better than what? ‘Inhaler’? No. ‘Come Closer’? No. ‘Rearrange’? No. Anything he released with The Last Shadow Puppets? No. That cover he did of Edwyn Collins’ ‘A Girl Like You’ which was basically exactly the same as the original but with a Scouse accent? No. We’re yet to work out what ‘Better Than That’ is actually better than, other than the obvious things, like, typhoid fever and stuff. Answers on a postcard.
Do you agree with DMC? Who won the debate: Katie or Max? Vote in our online poll at thecourieronline.co.uk/music
Monday 14 October 2013
Science Editor: Elizabeth Hampson Deputy Science Editors: Emad Ahmed & Peter Style
How close are we to... a lightsaber? This year we’re tackling the most important questions facing the future of research. Deputy Science Editor Peter Style takes on lightsabers
he lightsaber, “not as clumsy or random as a blaster, but an elegant weapon for a more civilised age” (Obi Wan Kenobi - May 25th 1977). Since the lightsaber blasted onto the Scifi scene in 1977 it has become one of the most iconic and wanted pieces of weaponry in film history. How could anyone not want a blade of pure energy which harnesses the power of a lightning bolt? So the question is, how close are scientists or backyard sci-fi fans to re-creating the real thing? First you must break the lightsaber into its two components; the five inch handle containing the power source and the three foot long lightsaber blade able to cut through almost any known material. In Star Wars the blade is formed from a laser beam. Lasers are now a relatively common occurrence in modern science as they are just photons of light flowing together in a uniform direction. Scientists are already capable of growing crystals in a lab able to produce laser beams over a GigaWatt in power. However to be able to produce a lightsaber from a laser you have to be able to stop this beam of light and hold it in one place. Sadly this isn’t so simple, the closest we are to this is the work being done by researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics currently working on technology using gas atoms with an ability to hold photons of light for nearly a second. What may be a more realistic method for producing a modern lightsaber in the near future is to use plasma instead of a laser (a tad contradictory I know, but still pretty cool). Plasma is the fourth state of matter, found inside the sun and is already used in manufacturing as a plasma torch to cut through solid steel.
Plasma may be the closest we are to producing a modern lightsaber as it can be controlled by a magnetic field. So a blade of plasma could be held safely by a magnetic field produced from a strong electromagnetic coil. Still, something needs to run along the inside of this plasma blade to hold it straight. One possibility could be the ceramic based materials currently used to protect spaceships re-entering the earth’s atmosphere which are capable of withstanding temperatures over 40000C. The final step to harnessing a lightsaber is a suitable power source, in the films lightsaber’s are powered by crystals but we are not lucky enough to have discovered these yet. If we had, carbon based fuels would probably be a thing of the past. Carbon Nano tubes are at the forefront of technology and able to conduct over a thousand time more electricity a second than copper. A battery held within the handle made from Carbon Nano tube technology could be cable of producing enough energy to power the electromagnetic field inside the ceramic shaft surrounded by plasma of our own real life lightsaber. So all in all, we’re not quite as lucky as Luke Skywalker yet, but we shouldn’t stop dreaming…right?
Since the lightsaber blasted onto the sci-ﬁ scene in 1977 it has become one of the most iconic and wanted pieces of weaponry in ﬁlm history
” GTA V: Lose your life in Los Santos Illustrations by Rachel Templeman
With the launch of Rockstar North’s latest title in the iconic series, we ask if it remains Britain’s greatest digital export. Ben Tyrer opines on this heavyweight contender for game of the year
here do we even begin to talk about Grand Theft Auto V, one of the largest and most anticipated releases of this console generation? Let’s take a look! Having three protagonists goes a long way to keeping GTA V feeling fresh, with brief creative (and often hilarious) vignettes preceding the transition from character to character. You can swap between Trevor, Michael and Franklin at almost any moment to take advantage of their different abilities and statistics - Franklin’s enhanced driving reactions, for instance, or Trevor’s superior piloting skills. The variety of vignettes for each character is impressive, giving a sense that Michael, Franklin and Trevor are leading lives independent of the player’s own actions. Trevor! Finally, a character that reflects the haphazard playing style of the average GTA player with RPG launcher slung over one shoulder and a stunning floral dress at the ready, Trevor stands
out as a highlight of the game’s cast of characters and ensures the game never takes itself too seriously. Michael, a “retired” bank robber, has a more sobering story arc that evokes the likes of Tony Soprano on more than a few occasions, complete with fruitless visits to a psychiatrist. Franklin too is wonderfully written, his sheer incredulity at some of the missions often echoing the player’s in a frightfully accurate way. Oh, the driving, it is Grand Theft Auto after
Vehicle handling in GTA V has a decidedly more arcade-like feel than that of GTA IV, which fans of the earlier Vice City and San Andreas might appreciate. The tweaks mean there’s still a satisfying weight to turning and crashing, while moments of spinning out of control are less frequent. Gun-play is the smoothest yet, with improved lockon targeting resulting in far less mid-combat frustration, though the option for manual aiming remains for those looking for a greater challenge on the shoot-em-up side of the Los Santos story. Los Santos is larger than GTA IV, San Andreas and Red Dead Redemption put together, and is crammed with detail and intrigue that truly boggles the mind. It’s perhaps forgivable then that upon closer inspection some blurry textures can be found.
Generally, GTA V delivers incredibly pleasing visuals, if not somewhat marred by the jagged edges we console players have had to put up with this generation. Roll on next-gen! Needless to say, you could spend a great deal of time simply exploring the island, engaging in any number of activities ranging from golf to parachuting off skyscrapers. Random encounters and “Strangers and Freaks” missions offer plenty of entertaining side-activities. There are great multitude of missions, all replayable, the highlights of which are the heists - grand schemes involving planning beforehand, with different outcomes resulting from choices made during the planning stages. For example, hiring a lousy getaway driver means being able to keep more of the swag for yourself, but he may have trouble finding the right getaway vehicle for the job, or may simply wind up crashing when the pressure is on. At this point in the franchise’s lifespan, it’s almost a redundant question to ask whether or not GTA V is a title worth plucking for. With the usual standard of Rockstar polish, consistently funny dialogue, interesting characters and - most importantly - refined and enjoyable gameplay, GTA V is certainly worth the price of admission. Only if you have the stomach for its wonderful mix of dark humour and controversy.
Monday 14 October 2013
Twitter: @Courier_science Email: C2.email@example.com
A modern day Nostrildamus
The man who grew himself a new nose on his forehead gave us a glimpse into the future of regenerative medicine iaolian is 22-years-old and has undergone to replace Xiaolian’s current, damaged nose. The FACT FILE: a procedure by plastic surgeons to grow a resultant hole is stitched to allow Xiaolian’s fore‘new nose’ on his forehead. head to heal normally. Despite badly injuring his nose last August in a Xiaolian’s nose surgery is an example of a new Extra growths road traffic accident, Xiaolian neglected to seek take on existing plastic surgery techniques. An-
medical attention, which eventually led to an infection eroding through his nasal cartilage. Damaged to such an extent, surgeons were left unable to repair Xiaolian’s nose prompting a procedure to grow a new nose on his forehead. Nine months of successful growth has left his new nose almost ready to be transplanted back into place. Choosing to grow a new nose on Xiaolian’s forehead was most likely due to concerns over the blood supply to the innermost layer of the nose. If surgeons constructed a new nose in the place of existing damage, poor blood supply would have likely undermined healing after the repair. But, how exactly did surgeons grow a ‘new nose’? Well, it turns out forehead skin is perfect for nose reconstruction, and has been used for hundreds of years. Skin from the forehead was stretched out with a ‘tissue expander’, leaving excess skin that is normally then moved down to repair the nose. Blood supply to the forehead can remain in place when the skin is moved too, meaning surgeons don’t need to transplant new vessels. However, instead of just using this flap of forehead skin (called a paramedian forehead flap) to repair the nose, surgeons decided to fully construct a new nose on Xiaolian’s forehead. In order to do this, cartilage was harvested from Xiaolian’s ribs, and ‘sandwiched’ between the superficial, stretched skin and another skin graft underneath to act as the innermost layer of the nose. This process is called ‘prelamination’. Using this method means the operation to move the new nose back in its rightful place is relatively simple. All the layers of the new nose will be removed at once, which is then rotated downwards
other, similar operation has also been described recently; last September, the case of a 42-year-old women growing a new ear on her forearm was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The process was very similar to Xiaolian’s procedure, and indicates another novel application of prelamination techniques. Alex Vozza
The ear mouse: In 1997 Doctor Jay Vacanti grew a human ear from cartilage cells on the back of a mouse, provoking outrage among animal rights groups.
Polydactyly is the condition where extra digits (fingers and toes) grow in addition to the normal five
Five things you didn’t know about...
Sleep. This week we explore the dreamy realms of shuteye land
Photo by epSos.de
The record held by Maureen Weston of Peterborough occurred during a rocking chair marathon in April 1977. The lack of sleep reportedly caused Ms Weston to suffer from hallucinations, paranoia and lapses in concentration. The hallucinations are caused by her brains neurons shutting down due to the sleep deprivation. Although Ms Weston said there were no lasting effects from her days without sleep the Guinness book of world records no longer recognizes this category because of the dangers and health risks that long term sleep deprivation can cause.
This image is an artist’s representation and not an actual picture of Xiaolian
This is called uni-hemispheric sleep and occurs when one cerebral hemisphere is in a state of sleep whereas the other half is completely awake. Uni-hemispheric sleep occurs in aquatic animals and birds due to their constant need to be vigilant and keep themselves alive. This kind of sleep allows Dolphins to rest but also keeps the necessary functions that they need to stay alive going. Whilst asleep they can still go to the surface to breathe and still keep an eye out for predators thus allowing them to remain in a safe environment.
Is iOS7 a genuine rebirth of the 3 Apple software or just a facelift? U
p until now, iOS has seen incremental software updates over time and remained fairly consistent. However, significant competition from other smartphones has resulted in iOS7, which boasts a plethora of new additions, refinements and a completely new, modern appearance. Do these changes make a big difference to Apple’s aging interface, or are there still improvements to be made? One of the biggest changes with iOS7 is the visual overhaul of the user interface; menus now contain bright colours against a white background, making navigation and deciphering information more streamlined. The old bubblelike icons have been replaced with flat, crisp colourful icons while maintaining the same imagery to be recognisable. Some icons have changed but usually for the better. An example of this is the new look camera icon – what was once a vague lens is now a clear grey image of a camera, making the app instantly recognisable and more friendly on the eyes. The redesign brings with it a new transparency effect. The same cannot be said of both the Game Centre app (which now resembles a pile of Skittles) and the photos app, which for some bewildering reason is now a colour wheel, which results in making the initial connection difficult. Transparency is also a major facet of iOS’ overhaul. Many menus now provide views of the background, which allows for a greater feeling of personalisation; although the potency of this effect
varies by wallpaper. The only issue with this addition is that some usability is sacrificed. For example, attempting to adjust the volume during a video being played in full-screen will obscure the video slightly. Another neat feature is the use of the gyroscope, creating a strange parallax effect. While it is a cool little addition, it does seem like a waste of the system’s processing power and highlights Apple’s famed focus on style over substance in certain areas. The most useful addition from the design standpoint is the much needed expansion of folders. While previously limited to a measly 16 apps, folders can now contain an infinite number of apps, making group consolidation far easier. My personal game collection took up multiple folders in iOS6 but now I can navigate them all in a single, easy to use folder. There are also a range of new, major features. A great new addition is the Control Centre (accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen) which allows you to adjust pretty much every critical option from brightness, changing songs, adjusting volume and even activating an in-built torch from one convenient screen. While this concept certainly isn’t a stranger to smartphones (it’s been present on Android for a while now), it closes the usability gap between the two. Other parts of iOS have been heavily upgraded such as Siri, which can now be used to pull up a Wikipedia article or
Menus now contain bright colours against a white background, making navigation and deciphering information more streamlined
tweet of your choice. Performance has also been improved but Siri still has issues with my northern accent so accuracy may still be an issue. Other new features include a vastly-improved multitasking system, the migration of AirDrop from Macs and the fairly-impressive addition of the Pandoraesque iTunes Radio. These additions result in iOS providing more features than ever before, allowing Apple to stand more evenly in comparison to Android devices in terms of in-built features. My final verdict on iOS7 is a positive one and for those with a newer handset, downloading iOS7 makes for a no-brainer, as the download comes with the low price-tag of free. Those with an iPhone 4 may wish to perform a back-up first as performance is hindered somewhat heavily, but it is far from unusable. Overall, iOS7 does not result in a drastic upheaval of iOS but instead focusses on streamlining a system many of us are familiar with, which is a welcome result considering the number of iDevices out there. I’m hopeful that the next major update completes Apple’s metamorphosis of iOS to make the system truly stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace, and solidify Apple’s position as one of the premier smartphone producers. Michael Hicks
Sexsomnia is a sleep disorder which causes people to commit sexual acts when in a sleep walking like state. Experts estimate that approximately 1% of the population may suffer from sleep sex in their lifetime. Research at Stanford University Medical centre believe that sleep sex is caused by glitches in the brain waves during sleep but state that emotional and physiological problems may alter the form their sleep disturbance takes. It is said that sexsomnia can also be triggered by sleep deprivation, stress and excessive consumption of alcohol. People who suffer from sexsomnia tend not to remember the acts that they have performed during the night.
24 hour access to mobile phones and computers is the most common sleep distraction. Studies show that people who use their phone or computer too much at night are more likely to face sleep disturbances and develop mental health problems. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep and is produced by the brain as it starts to go dark outside. Experts say that ideally you need 1-2 hours of dim lighting to receive a good level of melatonin before getting a good night’s sleep. The bright lights from Computers and mobile phones suppress Melatonin production, making it a lot to harder to get to sleep.
Studies show that teens need about 9-14 hours of sleep a night, compared roughly to the 7-8 hours sleep adults need. This extra sleep is needed as their brains and bodies are still developing. Experts say that although they need more sleep than children and adults they get less than both. One study found that only 15% of teens get eight and half hours on a school night. Sleep deprivation in teens can impair memory and creativity making it difficult for them to learn and concentrate. Irritability, lack of selfconfidence and mood swings are common in teens that do not get enough sleep. Alice Batts
Monday 14 October 2013
Puzzles Busy day? Have a sit down, grab a coffee and unwind with this week’s puzzles - and return them to The Courier office to have a chance of winning drinks at MensBar
Puzzles Editors: Tom Nicholson and Sam Summers
Win a MensBar voucher
I sat down with Grandma for a game of pictionary, but she’s just not very good, bless her. Can you help me ﬁgure out what word or phrase she’s trying to draw?
Try your hand at The Courier’s legendary crossword, by far the most ﬁendish test of your intelligence Newcastle University has to offer 2
6 7 8
3 5 7 4 6
1 German physicist and Walter White’s meth cooking alter ego (10) 7 Retro computer brand named after a seed (5) 8 Silky smooth vocalist on Disclosure’s ‘Latch’ and Naughty Boy’s ‘La La La’ (3, 5) 11 What Bob the Builder wears around his waist (4, 4) 14 A type of wordplay, or an obese rapper (3) 15 Walt Disney’s flying elephant (5) 16 The protruding remains of a murdered tree (5) 17 Reptillian tormentors of Samuel L. Jackson (6)
1 Winner of the 2013 Nobel Prized for Physics (5) 2 A common colloquial phrase with a figurative meaning (5) 3 The study of insects (10) 4 ___ Parks, American civil rights activist, and a single by Outkast (4) 5 Marvel superhero, Black Sabbath song, bloody hard triathlon (7) 6 Jeff _____, ruggedly handsome star of Jurassic Park and Independence Day (8) 9 Old stuff worth money, subject of a televised roadshow (8) 10 Legendary HBO crime show and a hit single by Haim (3, 4) 12 King of the Norse Gods, father of Thor (4) 13 Fictional computer nerd Maurice, and very real supermodel Kate (4)
9 8 1 7
4 7 2 1 5 5 4 2 6 1
9 6 2 8 9 5 8 3 9 2
The first person to bring the completed crossword or Grandma’s Pictionary to The Courier office in the Students’ Union will be awarded the prize and the respect of their peers, which let’s be honest is priceless
Monday 14 October 2013
Europe-Ful Start With the group stages underway, The Courier takes a look at the surprise packages and fan favourites hoping for substantial success in Europe in the Europa League and the Champions League in the 2013/14 season
Photography: Getty Images
Once regulars in European competitions, Eintracht Frankfurt’s return to the Europa League due to a sixth-place finish last campaign raised eyebrows following seasons of relatively little success. Their form in the opening two games has
been miraculous; a 3-0 demolition of Bordeaux at the Commerzbank Arena, followed by an away win over APOEL by the same scoreline has catapulted the Germans straight to the top of Group F. While Bordeaux have become significantly weaker in recent seasons the win over Cypriot side APOEL has alerted the footballing world to Frankfurt’s credentials. Champions League quarterfinalists in 2011/12, APOEL remain a strong side boasting several internationals and a passionate home crowd. Frankfurt’s comfortable 3-0 win, therefore, provided a major shock with the host’s attacking threat nullified and defensive frailities exposed. A win for the German side in their next match against Maccabi Tel Aviv should all but confirm their successful passage into the last 16. As a team seemingly lacking a consistent goalscorer, the level of success
Frankfurt achieve this season will largely depend on the form of midfielder Sebastian Rode. The 23 year old German has begun the season in scintillating form, appearing in both Europa League matches and seven Bundesliga clashes, leading to strong rumours linking heavyweights Borussia Dortmund to his signature. With Rode’s contract expiring at the end of the season, losing him at a cut-price fee in January could be devastating to Frankfurt’s Europa League aspirations. Equally important are tricky Swiss winger Tranquillo Barnetta, on loan from Schalke, and English goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who is yet to concede in the opening two matches of the competition. Hopes are high that the club’s glory days in the 1960s could return this season. Tim Hardy
East played amateur football in the third division of the domestic championship. At this point, successful businessman Kiril Domustchiev bought the club in one of the biggest investments in Bulgarian football. After spending over €15 million
ing just one point ahead of Levski Sofia. This began their European adventure - Ludogorets defeated Slovan Bratislava and Partizan on their way to Champions League playoff against Basel, which the Bulgarians lost 6 - 2 on aggregate. Nevertheless, the champions reached the Europa League group stage to write a new chapter of club’s history. Lead by captain Svetoslav Dyakov and young star Virgil Misidjan, the Eagles top Group B with six points from two games. In the next round they will face Chornomorets Odesa looking for three points that should secure their place in the knockout stages. Peter Georgiev
Ludogorets Razgrad continued their sensational run in the Europa League by smashing Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 in Sofia. After a shock away win against PSV Eindhoven in the first round, the Bulgarian reigning champions are proving to be one of this year’s champion-
“The newcomers stunned everybody by winning the treble in their first year”
ship surprises. They also took revenge against the Croatians, who last year eliminated them with a goal in the 98th minute at the Maksimir Stadium. Despite their four titles in the last two seasons, Ludogorets were quite unknown before 2009, even to the Bulgarian football community. Unbelievably, three years ago the team from the town of Razgrad in the North
on new signings, a new stadium and more facilities, Ludogorets eventually reached the top division in 2011; the wait for success did last much longer as the newcomers stunned everybody by winning a treble in their first year, an unprecedented achievement in Bulgarian football. The Greens defended their championship title in the summer of 2013, finish-
Shakhtar Donetsk The Ukrainian champions since the 2009–2010 season, FC Shakhtar Donetsk are no lightweights when it comes to the European football scene. Losing to eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund, they reached the round of 16 last season, and their best showing in the UEFA Champions League was in the 2010-2011 competition, falling to eventual winners, Barcelona in the quarterfinals. Not forgetting that Shakhtar was the winner of the last UEFA Cup in 2009, before it was renamed Europa League, their finest achievement yet. Having lost their top scorer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Borussia Dortmund, it remains to be seen if coach Mircea Lucescu can bring the team to greater heights in 2013-2014. In Group A this year, Shakhtar is
drawn alongside Manchester United FC, Real Sociedad and Bayer Leverkusen. This is arguably a fairly even group, despite this season being the first time Real Sociedad has qualified for the UEFA Champions League. It would be unwise for any team to underestimate any opposing team in this group. As of 7th October, two matches have been played by Shakhtar, against Real Sociedad away from home and Manchester United in Ukraine. Notching a solid 2 – 0 away win against Real Sociedad was no mean feat and even more impressive was containing the likes of Man Utd’s Van Persie in a 1 – 1 draw. Shakhtar sit at the top of the table on goal difference with 4 points in 2 matches, and look to have a good chance of qualifying for the knockout stage.
W i t h Bayer Leverkusen and Man Utd at Old Trafford still to come, Shakhtar Donetsk still have a challenge ahead in progressing but if prior results are any indication, the team will definitely be in with the best of the competition. Huezin Lim
Wigan Despite relegation from the Premier Wigan’s opposition in England are relaLeague at the end of last year, this sea- tively unknown, however, they finished son is historic for Wigan Athletic as second in the Belgian Pro League last they compete in European footseason, ahead of more established Belball for the first time. They gian clubs such as Standard Liege and qualified for the Europa League Club Brugge. as a result of winning their first In Wigan’s second Europa ever FA Cup at the end of last League clash, they marked season. Wigan have untheir European home deder performed so far in but with a 3-1 victory the Championship, as over Slovenian domesthey are struggling tic champions NK Marto pick up wins ibor. 19 year old midwith only fielder Nick Powell, a 14 points from loanee signing from 9 games. ChairManchester United, man Dave Whelan has stated scored two crucial his main priority is progoals to secure the motion back to the Prewin. His second was a miership, however, manbrilliant individual effort, ager Owen Coyle has happening only seconds shown his commitment after Wigan goalkeepJames McArthur to Wigan’s ‘European ader Scott Carson pulled Photography: venture’ by picking strong off a fantastic Getty Images squads in their opening save to prevent matches. He labelled Maribor from his team “outstandequalising. ing” after their EuNew signings ropean debut where Grant Holt they drew 0-0 againsy B e l g i a n and James McClean show Wigan have side SV Zulte Waregem. The only attack enough quality to potentially do well in came from James McArthur hitting the their European debut season. post. They survived a lot of late pressure, including a clearance from McCann off Liam Turnbull-Brown the line, to hold out for a goalless draw.
Steaua Bucharest Having been victorious in European competition twice before and in the process becoming the first Eastern European team to be crowned European champions, it would be fair to say that Steaua Bucharest is a club steeped in history. Unfortunately for fans of Romania’s finest, it appears that the 2013-2014 season will not see them add to their continental pedigree. After qualifying with convincing aggregate wins against Vardar and Dinamo Tbilisi and an away goals victory against Legia Warsaw, Laurentiu Reghecampf ’s Steaua side found themselves
after 3-0 and 0-4 defeats. However, all is not lost for the Romanians because despite what the scorelines may suggest, neither game was wholly one-sided; were it not for big-game naivety, pinpointed by Reghecampf as his side’s major undoing on both occasions, it might have been another story. The best that Steaua can now realistically hope for is to snatch third spot and enter the Europa League in the knockout stage. Last season 4 points would have sufficed for third spot in all but one group and so winning at home and drawing away to Basel is crucial, not only to get some points of their own on the board, but also for limiting the points tally of their Swiss rivals. If this is to be achieved then they
drawn as fourth seeds into group E alongside Chelsea, Schalke 04 and Basel. Given the difficulty of their opening away trip to Schalke and the following visit of a Chelsea side needing a win after their shock home loss to Basel, it is hardly surprising that Steaua are currently languishing in fourth place
will need the goals of Sampdoria loanee Federico Piovaccari, in addition to transferring their impressive domestic defensive record over to European games. Finally, the raucous support of their home crowd will be vital to Steaua’s chances.
“Once European champions, it would be fair to say that Steaua Bucharest is a club steeped in his-
Monday 14 October 2013
Newcastle take legendary Rugby boys top the victory in Clash of the Titans league after wins The first XV continued their strong start to the season with an astonishing 32-31 win away at perennial title contenders Loughborough. Vice captain Alex Hind weighed in with two tries and George Cullen produced a man of the match display scoring two penalties and three conversions in the process. Having scored four tries for the second game in succession, Newcastle earned their second consecutive attacking bonus point and now sit top of the Premier North A Division with a maximum 10 points from two games. Coach Tom Wilkinson praised the team saying that “The start of the season has been a real step forward and we
are beginning to see the benefit of those third year students who have been in the new rugby system for three years now”. He also commended the players for the hard work that they put in during pre season and credited this year’s influx of freshers, seven of whom have already represented the first team in BUCS fixtures this season. Although both of the wins have been by very narrow margins, it has been a dream start to this year’s BUCS campaign for the team, but they know that there are some tough fixtures ahead, particularly when last year’s champions Durham come to visit at the end of the month.
The Newcastle team celebrated exacting their revenge on Northumbria having lost the same ﬁxture last year. Photography: Andrew Dale
Men’s Rugby Newcastle 1sts
By Freddie Caldwell at Kingston Park Newcastle kicked off the new season by edging out fierce rivals Northumbria in a thriller at Kingston Park. This regular match up was labelled ‘Clash of the Titans’ as the giants of Newcastle took on the colossuses of Northumbria, making them both seem normal size. Newcastle began the stronger of the two sides and took an early 7-0 lead thanks to a penalty try after applying pressure in the scrum with George Cullen slotting the conversion. They extended the lead to 12 points through a try from captain Joe Beckett that sparked a 30-man brawl; the passion which both sides were putting in to the derby was very evident. Northumbria got over the line with the last move of
the half to leave the score at 12-5 at the break. The second half began with a barnstorming run from vice captain Alex Hind that set up an extended spell of Newcastle pressure, which was eventually rewarded as Cullen crossed to make the score 17-5. Northumbria then began to get into the game and scored two tries in quick succession, the second of which was converted from the touch-
at 22-17 with 10 minutes remaining, any result was still possible and Newcastle began to struggle at the set pieces, particularly at the line out. This handed a lot of possession for Northumbria and as a result they were able to launch an assault on the Newcastle line. It appeared they would make the pressure pay and actually got over the line twice, only for the referee to decide that the ball was held up on both occasions.
The giants of Newcastle took on the colossuses of Northumbria, making them both seem normal size line by the scrum-half; the scores were now tied at 17-17. At this point in the game the momentum was firmly with Northumbria but Cullen, who had made breaks throughout the match, evaded the Northumbria defence once again and set up a spell of pressure on the try line that eventually led to Beckett crossing for the second time in the corner. With the score now
Finally, Newcastle won a turnover and in their desperation to win the ball back, Northumbria conceded a penalty which Newcastle were able to kick out of play to end the game. The final whistle led to wild celebrations from players and fans alike as Newcastle got their new season off to the best possible start.
The ladies also got in on the Northumbria bashing. Photography: NWR
Newcastle show their resilience by holding up a potential Northumbria try. Photography: Andrew Dale
Women’s Rugby Friendly Newcastle 1sts
By Megan Lines Newcastle University Women’s rugby team smashed Northumbria in a “friendly” match by a score of 55-5. Northumbria got off on the wrong foot from the beginning by unknowingly putting on 16 players, proving that they really can’t count that high! Straight away number 12 Lucy Henson intercepted a pass and scored a try which was converted Rosie Neal, the team’s star kicker. Lauren Wallace, who used her speed out on the wing, then soon after scored a second try. Northumbria then
scored their only points after a strong fight on the defensive line with notable tackles from Captain Katie “Magic” McEvoy. Henson managed to score another three times throughout the match by breaking through Northumbria’s defensive line, with strong backing and support from number 13 Zoe Price. With Neal’s amazing organisation of the backs, she scored another try in the second half. Olly Critchley also scored two tries consecutively by finding gaps in Northumbria’s poor defence. Northumbria attempted to make the way up the pitch to their try line, only to have the ball turned over by the persistent forwards. The final try was scored by fresher Tasha Robson in her first match for NWR and was converted again by Neal. With such an impressive score, the Newcastle Women’s rugby team are now looking forward to competing in the BUCS league and destroying Northumbria again at Stan Calvert.
Monday 14 October 2013
The return of Intra Mural With the Wednesday football league returning to our screens this week, The Courier looks at a selection of teams from across the divisions worth keeping an eye on this year Division One
Last year’s all-conquering Medics 2nds
As newcomers to Division One, many outsiders dubbed the Medics 2s as relegation candidates at the start of last season. Nine months later, they secured their first Premier League title. However, this proved to be the last hoorah for many legends of the team, as they hung up their boots for the final time. As a result, the Medic 2s begin their challenge to retain the title with a plethora of fresh faces. With such an array of youth, the team will surely be looking for new heroes the lead the charge, such as dominant centre-half Dave Gardiner, and hitman Josh Batham, who managed to stay out of prison to score over 50 goals across all competitions last season. Team Comparison: Man United - A summer of change has left many people with doubts, but never write off the champions. Neil Dalton
A busy summer in the transfer market saw Barca manager Hoctor bring in no less than 10 new faces to his side. With one cup to their name from the 12/13 season, Barca will be hoping to push on and reach similar success on all fronts this year. This success will undoubtedly be assisted by the appointment of a club mascot. In an unprecedented step for the Intra Mural game. ‘Slaz the Seal’ will be spotted around the grounds this year hoping to inspire Barca to the success. Hoctor feels his newly assembled squad can achieve. Building on the strength of a defence boasting the majestic Iain Howard and reliable Josh Greenless, in addition to an industrious midfield, success in the league is Hoctor’s priority for the coming season. Team Comparison:: Chelsea - Success this year will depend on the ability of a new manager to gel a predominantly new squad. Alex Hoctor
Henderson Hall Last year, Henderson Hall got to both cup finals, winning the Wednesday Cup (right), and losing on penalties in the Saturday Cup. With a consistent third place finish in the Wednesday league and second in the Saturday league. This season they are looking to build on that success and hopefully push for the elusive league title. Players such as Chris Pudner in goal, Steve Welch in midfield, and Liam McCallister going forward, will be key to any hope of success they have for this year. It will be hoped that a good blend of some more experienced players, such as Phil Mulhall, and the intake of freshers will lead to positive results on the pitch.
South Sandwich FC Boasting a steady mix of freshers and experienced heads, Intra Mural newcomers will have sights firmly set on a solid mid-table finish, and a lengthy cup run, this season. Much will depend upon the performance of centre-back pairing Ritchie Carruthers and resident German Fabian Stubbe. Matthew Ramsey’s craft in midfield will provide a platform for Athletics Captain, Mark Collier, who is swapping his spikes for studs in order to provide a pacey outlet up front. Team Comparison: Carlisle United Like Carlisle, will be hoping to improve steadily as the season progresses. Tom Renwick
Division Four Newhist FC Team Comparision: Arsenal - Both sides that like to play attacking football, and are desperate to finally win the league. Toby Carr
Division Two Newcastle Dynamos Last year saw the Dynamos outclass every opposition in the third tier of Intra Mural football, often being likened to the great Everton side of 2005 by the Close House faithful, and ultimately getting themselves promoted as a result. This season they will be expected to dominate the second tier, especially if Adam Griffin can regain the scoring form that carried him to runner-up in the 2002 Huddersfield Bright Sparks soccer camp penalty shoot-out. Undoubtedly, a full squad and a fit talisman in the form of electric left back Charles Torpey should see them fair well. Team Comparison: QPR - It seems top of the league is less of a possibility and more of a formality. Liam Kirrane
S.S. Ladzio Following back-to-back promotions, expectations are high this season for S.S Ladzio. With a huge summer transfer window, which saw 10 highly talented players recruited, the mood in the camp is a buoyant one. Whilst many might think that a sudden influx of new players would disturb the rhythm of the team, the deeply embedded playing philosoPhotography: phy of the club has Nick Gabriel already been firmly
instilled within the new crop. The headline signing of the window has to be the acquisition of the vastly talented and experienced Rob Goodier, who has decided to round off his illustrious university football career leading the line for S.S Ladzio in the Intra Mural leagues. In addition, the capture of French midfield maestro Charles Lysensoome has added continental flair on the pitch, as well as lucrative marketing opportunities off it with shirt sales in the European market set to soar. The management team, led by veteran full back Dan Skyte and bullish defensive midfielder Dom Brooke, have laid out an ambitious growth plan for the club, which culminates in a Division 1 league and cup double by the end of the 2015/16 season. The funding for which will be provided by ground-breaking financing methods, such as a Ladzio guest list, pioneered by ‘promo w****r’ Matt Mahatme and his sidekick Joe Worthington. Team comparison: Watford - Both good footballing sides with an Azzuri influence. Dom Brooke
Division Three Bayern Toonich Going unbeaten in Division 4 last season, nothing but back-to-back promotions will be sufficient for this all-conquering outfit. Key to their success is the Kevin Lisbie (Armour) and Dave Mooney (O’Callaghan) partnership, with 59 goals being notched between the prolific pair in all competitions last year. There have been a couple of set backs, with Jack Mesquita departing for a stint with the Boca Juniors academy in Buenos Aires, in addition to the failure to agree a deal with Sub Standard for Jake Wilmhurst. However with the added knowledge that Dr Carl Waldmann, the Leyton Orient crowd doctor, will be with us on the sidelines, nothing looks set to stop yet more Toonich silverware. Team Comparision: Leyton Orient Expect us to both this country’s two respective third tiers. Johnny Armour
After disappointingly coming so close to promotion last year in both leagues in addition to going on a strong cup run that included some notable results against higher league opposition, this year Boca are a new-look side, with many older players moving on from the university. However they look to have recruited strongly while keeping a core of last seasons’ stand out players meaning it will be a disappointment if they don’t challenge for the title. Key to success this year will be the performances of last year’s player of the year Ben Hunter, new on-field captain George Greenhill and attacking midfielder Omeed LA among others.
Liege were a new team last year in the Wednesday league. They scraped promotion after a brilliant first half to the season. Their expectations for this season will include promotion in both leagues, alongside a respectable cup run, providing they are able to maintain a fully fit squad. Whilst they’ve lost a few players from last year due to work placements/graduation, they have been able to recruit a few players who will hopefully prove more than adequate replacements (as long as they all survive their initiation!) Undoubtedly, they will be expecting another big season from lead talisman Jake Wimshurst, who bagged an obscene amount of goals last season.
Team Comparison: Blackpool - In possession of a revamped squad with hopes for promotion. Dom Oldham
Team Comparison: Standard Liege Original. Michael Parkinson
Last season, competing in a strong 3rd division, Newhist were relegated for the second successive season despite playing some attractive football . The side have retained a number of key players , including star midfielder Michael Minto and the new Player-manager Josh Walton. Undoubtedly, anything less than promotion will be a disappointment for one of Intra Murals most famous teams. Team Comparison: Wimbledon AFCDecent side with proud history and strong local following. Secretly, everyone wants to do well! Josh Walton
Borussia Monchenﬂapjack With no experience under their belt, first and foremost Borussia Monchenflapjack will be looking to avoid abuse from opposing fans for being a team with no history. With no sponsor or Middle Eastern backer, the team will be working on a shoestring budget as they look to take Division 4 by storm. A 6-5 defeat in a pre season friendly, points to Borussia being heavily backed on BTTS coupon in local bookies. Between the sticks, Nick the ‘penalty saving Moose’ Crampsie provides agility and diving prowess that has not been seen since Neil Sullivan donned the gloves for Wimbledon. Elsewhere, Bastie Richards will provide sideline support in a giant penguin costume and Ryan Grant will look to follow in the footsteps of personal hero Leonardo Ulloa in proving a threat up top. Team Comparison: AFC Wimbledon (as well!) - In similar fashion to AFC, Flapjack sprung out of the ruins of 5 a side team. Floor 5 United, complete with Crampsie, Ryan Gaffney and Charlie Rew, have the makings of a modern day Crazy Gang. Joey Barton To read the rest of the our Intra Mural club previews, head over to www.thecourieronline.co.uk/sport
Monday 14 October 2013
Champions off to a ﬂyer Division One
Scutt 20 60, Higgins (OG) 82
By Tim Hardy at Longbenton Defending Division One champions Medics 2nds began the defence of their crown with a comfortable 3-0 win over Dyslexic Untied at Longbenton. A brace from striker Henry Scutt, including a fine volley early in the second half, played a large part in helping the Medics to victory. In a match of relatively few clear-cut chances, it became apparent early on that the key to both sides’ success lay in the wings, with the majority of the game’s genuine goal scoring opportunities originating from balls in from wide positions. In spite of holding on to many of players that led them to Division One glory last season, Medics struggled to really get going in the game’s opening exchanges. Their best opportunity was fluffed by Alex Rhodes, as Dyslexic failed to clear their lines effectively following a free-kick played in from the right-wing. However just as Dyslexic United appeared to be gaining a foothold in the encounter, the Medics 2nds struck a hammer blow by way of notching the game’s opening goal after 20 minutes.
Following exquisite build-up play down the right-hand side, Dyslexic goalkeeper Rick Leddy failed to deal with a dangerous ball into the six-yard box, leaving Scutt with the simple task of nodding the ball into the net from just a yard out. This goal did not completely knock the wind out of Dyslexic Untied’s sails however, as both sides had good chances before the half-hour mark. First, a long throw-in from the trailing side nearly produced an instantaneous equaliser, as an aggressive header from the edge of the box required a solid save from goalkeeper Andy Conley. The Medics’ best chances of the remainder of the first half came from a series of swift counter-attacks. At the end of one of these, Alex Rhodes fired his effort just wide following a mazy dribble by the ever-involved Scutt. The windy conditions, so typical of the North-East, provided an added degree of danger to a succession of corners enjoyed by Dyslexic at the end of the first half, as the unpredictable flight of the ball caused evident panic amongst the Medics defenders. This sense of desperation from the Medics could be seen across the pitch during this phase of the match. The sense of relief from the Medics was palpable as the half-time whistle blew, allowing them the chance to regroup and identify a way of nullifying Dyslexic’s growing attacking threat. Despite the champions’ obvious attempts to shore up at the back during the break, the opening ten minutes of the second half saw continued dominance from Dyslexic Untied, with a
great save required from Conley to stop a fine header just a minute into the second period. Overall, the second half saw a reduction in the number of chances as the game grew steadily more cagey, perhaps as both sides acknowledged the oftstated significance of the second goal in determining the outcome of the match. This reduction in intensity suited the Medics, who were able to exert a greater control on the pace – and ultimately the outcome – of the match. As tensions began to rise, almost leading to an on-pitch fight at one point of the second half, free-kicks were con-
ceded by both sides in increasingly dangerous positions. It was from such a set piece that Scutt’s, and the Medics’, second goal arrived on the hour mark. A dangerous ball into the penalty area was met sweetly on the volley by the forward to produce an unstoppable effort that induced obvious delight in both he and his teammates. The Medics went on to control the remainder of the second half in true champions’ style, reducing their opponents to mere half-chances as they sought to see the game out with minimal fuss and drama. Things got even worse for Dyslexic
as, with around fifteen minutes left to play, a corner whipped dangerously into the box led to a scrappy goal-mouth scramble that eventually culminated in the scoring of an unfortunate own-goal from defender Conor Higgins. A comfortable win for the Medics in the end, helped in no small part by the fine performance of striker Scutt. It is often said that the mark of champions is the ability to see out wins even when not firing on all cylinders; if this is to be believed, the Medics could well be about to embark on another title-winning campaign. Man of the Match: Henry Scutt
the form of Matt Anderson and Niall Durkin, after their figurative ‘chairman’ expressed his disillusionment with last season’s results. By contrast, Ecosoccer’s expectations are set somewhat lower than their opponents as they embark on their first season in the top flight. Speaking before the game, captain James Homer was quick to comment on his excitement to play at this level, expressing that the focus was to stay up, and perhaps even go on a decent cup run. This marked contrast in aspirations for the season showed itself within the game’s opening minute, as a fierce near post shot forced a smart save from make-shift Eco goalkeeper, Rob Stacey. The Medics persisted in looking the more potent side in the final third, when out of nowhere, Eco took an unexpected early lead. On this occasion, the Ecosoccer wing-
er picked the ball up about 35 yards out, spotted the Medics keeper Dale Anderson off his line, and majestically floated the ball over the stranded Dale Anderson, clipping the bar as it went in. Stunner. Medics held their nerve however and hit back just two minutes later. Reminiscent of their chance in the opening minute, a great through ball from Jamie O’Hara found its way to Adam Duckworth who produced a textbook finish, slotting the ball past the hapless keeper. After this exchange of blows, the game seemed to even itself out with chances coming at both ends. Medics arguably had the better of it, but Goddard, who impressed throughout, was proving to be nuisance for the future doctor’s back line as a result his unrelenting willingness to run the channels. As half-time approached, it was to be a controversial decision that would sepa-
rate the two sides, as the referee awarded a seemingly soft penalty to Medics for a push in the back from Eco centreback Cameron. Dave Edwards stepped up and struck the ball low and hard to the keeper’s right, not giving Stacey a chance despite guessing correctly. Eco’s misery was compounded after the restart as Medics’ player-manager Matt Anderson curled the ball beautifully into the top corner, effectively killing the game off. After the game Matt talked The Courier through his goal, stating that visions of Laurent Robert against Tottenham provided the inspiration in his scoring of the Medics’ goal of the game. 3-1 up, Medics began to control the game. Captain Dave Edwards proved to be the difference between the two sides, providing both good cover for his back line, and posing a threat further up the field.
Unsurprisingly, it was Edwards who scored Medic’s fourth in the 70th minute, teed up by Tom Watkinson some 20 yards out, the box-to-box midfielder finished low and hard to the keeper’s right. Four became five late in the game as Watkinson, once again the provider, lofted a lovely ball over the Eco backfour into the path of Joel English, who took the ball expertly on his chest, evaded the challenge from the on-coming defender and slotted it past the keeper with considerable ease. An impressive start from the Medic’s 1st who have sent out a strong message to the rest of the league, particularly the ‘noisy neighbours’, but plenty of positives for Ecosoccer who hope that their transformed team can gel sooner rather than later as a way of becoming a more competitive force in Division 1 Man of the Match: Dave Edwards
Guy Hindley prepares to take the free kick that lead to the Medics’ second goal. Photography: Tim Hardy
Eco outclassed by Medics Division One
Duckworth 16, Edwards 43 (pen) 65, Anderson 53, English 81
By John Haswell at Longbenton Graduates have said their farewells, new signings have been made, and fitness has been all but lost. After a long summer, the start of the new Intra Mural season is finally here. Both the Medics 1sts and Ecosoccer have undergone drastic transformations from last season. Medics 1sts, strictly following the Premier League trend, have brought in new management in
League Tables Wednesday 11 a-side Football
Pld Pld WW
Newcastle Medics 1sts
1 1 Newhist FC Na Barca Law
0 2 8 50 1 15
F F AA
Pts Pts 328
Newcastle Medics 2nds
2 2 KFC Newcastle Medics 1sts
0 2 3 36 3 20
Henderson Hall FC
FC Bayern Toonich
3 3 FCHenderson Twente Bag Hall
0 4 3 41 3 29
Brown Magic F.C.
Dyslexic Untied 4 4 Monchenﬂ apjack
0 5 0 32 0 26
Roman Villa FC
Newcastle Agrics FC
5 5 Sons of Pitches Crayola
0 7 0 18 0 22
South Sandwich FC
6 (R) We need to talk about Kevin Aftermath
0 9 0 14 0 47
7 (R) Geogsoc Castle Leazes
1 10 1 12 8 42
www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 14 October 2013 Issue 1275 Free
Sports Editors: Freddie Caldwell, Nick Gabriel and Fran Fitzsimmons firstname.lastname@example.org | @Courier_Sport
Students struggle to dodge Adidas stars
Team Adidas, from left to right: Steve Harmison, Helen Glover, Stuart Broad, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Zoe Smith and Christian Wade Photography: Rachel King
Dodgeball Team Adidas
By Freddie Caldwell at the Union Dodgeball Arena Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge. The five D’s of dodgeball are essential knowledge for any potential player of the sport and they were put into practice on campus by both sport stars and students at Adidas’ #allinforncl event. The tournament was designed to promote the new partnership between Newcastle University and Adidas; whilst this might excite some students, the majority of the enthusiasm was due to the high profile athletes that were present to take on Newcastle University’s finest. The Adidas team was made up of weightlifter Zoe Smith, rower Helen Glover, cricketers Stuart Broad and Steve Harmison, and rugby player Christian Wade. This potent squad was coached by national hero Jessica Ennis-Hill, whose advice to her fellow sports stars was simply “Grab as many balls as you can”. A spectacular arena was set up out-
side the Union and the day began with the University teams battling out for the honour of facing Team Adidas. The competition was intense and the inclement weather added another level of danger to an already perilous sport, however, the teams were not deterred and the quality of play was remarkably good. This may have been due to the extra coaching that the students received from the professional athletes, proof that not all teaching at Newcastle happens in the lecture theatres. Three teams eventually emerged victorious and after an entertaining display from the cheerleading squad, the formidable Team Adidas took to the court. As any fan of the sport knows, dodge-
Team Newcastle could compete against “The might of British sport” describing dodgeball as “a level playing field”. She was proved right almost immediately as the first student team, Artful Dodgers, won the opening game by two sets to nil, despite fierce resistance from Steve Harmison and Zoe Smith. It appeared that the expensively assembled Team Adidas squad was taking time to gel, however, with Ennis-Hill in charge, few doubted that they could turn things around. The Wrench Dodgers were the next University team to take centre stage to face an Adidas team that had changed their line-up bringing in Christian Wade in place of Steve Harmison.
ball teams are usually made up of six players or more, however, due to space limitations the tournament was contested by teams of four which allowed Team Adidas to adopt a squad rotation policy; Ennis-Hill appears to be from the Rafael Benitez school of management. Before play began, AU Officer Katie Rimmer expressed her belief that
Wade is known for his speed and agility on the rugby field and he put these skills to good use helping Team Adidas to a 2-0 win, a result which set up a deciding game against the NU Raiders. There was a tense atmosphere around the arena as the crowd anticipated a close match, however, Team Adidas took the first set easily and things
Jessica Ennis-Hill’s advice to her fellow sports stars was simply “Grab as many balls as you can”.
looked bleak for Team Newcastle. The Raiders looked initially overawed by the opposition but they came back in the second set, with only Helen Glover providing significant resistance. Team Adidas lined up for the deciding set with Broad, Harmison, Glover and Wade and they quickly eliminated several members of the Raiders team. This lead to some complacency as Stuart Broad took to showboating which was punished by one of the remaining Raiders who took him out of the game; a surprising lapse in concentration for the captain of the England Twenty20 team. It was left to another cricketer in the form of Harmison to inspire Adidas to victory; although he announced his retirement from cricket this week, the former England and Durham man looked to be at the peak of fitness as he took several catches in quick succession to secure the final set and give Team Adidas a 2-1 win overall. Despite suffering defeat on this occasion, there is definitely promise in the University dodgeball setup, so much so that Performance Sport Manager Fraser Kennedy suggested that it might be another sport that Newcastle could take on Northumbria at in the Stan Calvert completion. Whatever the future holds for dodgeball at Newcastle University, it is pleasing to know that students can be competitive against the best that British sport has to offer.
INSIDE: Clash of the Titans, Intra Mural and European football
DRAG Photography: Akshat Akarsh
Published on Oct 14, 2013