Deputy: Mona Tabbara mtabbara@ epigram.org.uk
NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH? A friend of mine lives almost entirely on food foraged from supermarket bins. He only buys things that go off quickly, like milk, or essentials that you can’t count on finding straight away, like sugar or cooking oil. His entire household join in, taking it in turns to check the supermarket bins one evening a week, and they all tuck in as they please. They have boxes and boxes filled with tinned food, fruit and vegetables, chocolate bars, packs of biscuits, and a freezer stuffed with sausages and bacon and pizzas. They eat like royalty (royalty that foraged in bins) on free food, all salvaged from what supermarkets throw away. Truly an inspiration to all frugalists.
Deputy: Editor: Josephine Franks Imogen Carter jfranks@ living@ epigram.org.uk epigram.org.uk
The student lifestyle often requires tactical money-saving. “Skipping” or “dumpster-diving” is certainly far from the most romantic way of obtaining your food, and there are other ways of eating cheaply. Like manically following around a Sainsbury’s employee as they stick reduced tags on food so you can be sure to grab the best bargains, cooking in large groups, or plate scraping. If there’s still meat on the bone, you throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato: baby, you got a stew goin’. But eating out of bins? Skipping is just one part of the so-called “Freegan” lifestyle, which is focussed on anti-consumerism and reducing food waste. It really is an interaction with food and eating that makes you aware of all the comforts you take for granted, and also how much can be done with food that would normally go to the landfill. Most people will be complacent about judging whether their food is okay to eat or not, and it can be jarring to break your usual habits. But you learn many ways to avoid throwing away food if you can. You learn to treat use-by-dates more as a guide, and tell if something is worth eating by how it looks, smells, or feels. You learn to check if eggs are off by putting them in a glass of water and seeing if they float a bit, instead of throwing them away by the date on the packet. You learn that you can freeze pretty much
anything, pretty much anything except eggs. Bread, meat, vegetables, even cheese- especially if you are going to cook it afterwards. In my experience many people are extremely curious about this crazy counterculture activity, rescuing food that would otherwise be sitting there wasted; and a surprising amount even game for giving it a go, even just once, if only they had someone to show them what it’s really like. Quite a few times I’ve seen crowds of people tagging along with their freegan friend, groups of opportunists curious to see what they can find on their way home after the ASS closes at midnight. A friend also told me that an elderly couple who lived next-door to the shop once asked what they were doing, and on finding out they asked if they could have some! So now anything they have extra they put in a bag and leave in the couple’s back garden for them to find in the morning. Of course Freeganism isn’t just about saving money, but also about reducing food waste. For those who are especially interested in this side of things, and also giving something to the community, there is “FoodCycle”, a project where volunteers cook meals from food that would otherwise go to waste for people affected by food poverty. But many students are open to new ways to save a buck, and skipping is an excellent way of doing so. You can live an entire week on a single plunder, and there are usually plenty of ready-made sandwiches (often enough for a couple of packs for lunch each day), microwaveable meals, fresh fruit and vegetables that maybe are a bit small or a weird shape, and things that are perfectly fine but thrown away because something else has leaked on them. Often six-packs of drink cans thrown away because one is punctured or they are dented. It’s a great way of acquiring food you would never normally buy, and although sometimes you have more cauliflowers than you know what to do with, it can be so nice to have a bunch of flowers in the living room that would otherwise be sitting in a bin.
e2 is brought to you by
If exam season is causing hot tears of anguish to spill from your face and smudge your meticulous Living : Imogen Carter, Josephine Franks and Mona revision notes then it’s probably time to settle down, Tabbara will meet at 1.15 in the White Bear on Tuesday take a deep breath and dip into the penultimate e2 7th of May of the year. Style : Lizi Woolgar and Alice Johnston will meet at 1.10 in the ASS cafe on Wednesday 8th of May Not wanting to staunch the flow of creative juices Travel : Alicia Queiro and Alex Bradbrook will meet at amongst students in these final weeks of term, we 12.15 in the Refectory on Monday 6th of May have settled for what we’re sure you’ll agree is a with e2 editor : Ant Adeane pretty broad theme. From the pros and cons of Austin, Texas to the knotty issue of the objectification of e2 online editor: Nicola Reid Illustrations: Sara Daoud women in lifestyle magazines, this week’s issue is Charlie Aldington www.epigram.org.uk a real Free For All.
THE ARTFUL DODGER
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LOOK NORTH! When I’m not eagerly reading my way through current affairs in Bristol, I’m doing it at the other end of the country, in the beautiful town of Cockermouth (don’t laugh- we’ve had a flood, a bus crash and a shooting spree in the area in the last 4 years, the least you can do is not laugh at the ruddy name). As a result of being home, and being too lazy to write a real column, I thought I’d relate some of my favourite stories from the local paper.
Money is the bane of student life. In good times or bad we never quite seem to have enough of it. Even developing complex strategies, such as leaving one’s bank card at home on a night out, commonly fail to leave us with end-of-term cash, so badly needed for finales at Score or No Scrubs. Turning to criminal activity as an alternative to a savings account has never been more attractive. ‘Rash’ you may say, ‘too rash’, but fear not, casual acquisitive crime is the topic here. None of that rob da bank stuff. ‘Onioning’ was a common fad in 2011/12, when steaks and salmon mysteriously found themselves at the price of five onions. Bristol shoplifting statistics do not fare well on the national scale; it is seventh worst of the eight core cities in Britain. Or is that seventh best? As a community of clever chaps and know-it-alls, living in Bristol could be the perfect place to live life on the cheap. Morality is the usual obstacle for this sort of lifestyle, but with most of us not the God-fearing sort this may not be such a hard one to get over. Certainly sense and rationale don’t stick around for long when having to scan in our own overpriced groceries to the wails of ‘unexpected items in the bagging area!!’ This is not fair, we don’t deserve this.
Here’s a typical one: ‘People on a High Harrington street were treated to a baa-my sight this morning when a group of errant sheep were seen wandering across gardens and driveways.’ There’s also a place called ‘The Sheep and Wool Centre’ where they’d stack sheeps in a pyramid and shear one live for the adoring public.
So here are the pros. With the Bristol Careers Service ever on hand, timing, planning and strategy are skills we can hone to perfection. And remember, practise makes perfect. There has also never been a better time to put on a mask and shout ‘Screw the establishment!’ Bankers, politicians, Co-op workers, yeah, screw the lot. The time is right to act against these cheats and robbers and show them what’s what. If the Daily Mail says so, it must be true.
Another headline: Police want to talk to a man who was seen acting suspiciously around a baby pram in Maryport yesterday. ‘PCSO Steven Relph said at about 5pm, the man, described as being around 60 years of age and “looking like a tramp” was seen acting suspiciously at a child’s pram outside 53 Ewanrigg Road. The man was described as being very thin with a beard and longish hair. He was wearing what looked like dark overalls, a black jacket and dark trousers hanging off him. When he left the pram, he was seen walking off towards Mitchell’s Store on the Arches. PCSO Relph said there was no offence committed, but police would like to speak to the man.’
And think about it, the run is when student its most dull. Minimising alcohol and maximising library time seeps the joy out of the average person.
Did I just copy and paste a whole article? Yes, yes I did. I have a dissertation to get on with so I thought I’d let my local paper write the column for me. In other (Bristol/World) news: Bristol student studying in Canada to embark on 3,200 mile cycle challenge across the US. ‘We’d thought of the cheapest way to get to Harry Potter Land in Orlando and then we were like- hey, why not do this for charity?!’ the student said. Thatcher death party in Bristol causes ruckus. ‘Any excuse for a party!’ reported a student holding a burning effigy, before downing a shot and heading into Lounge. ‘Ding-dong the witch is dead’ makes it to number two in the charts. ‘I’m just so proud our work is finally being appreciated’ gushed the Mayor of Munchkin town in a high pitched squeal. Justin Bieber attends Thatcher’s funeral. “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Maggie was a great lady. Hopefully she would have been a belieber” he was heard saying before breaking into a chorus of ‘Baby’ on her coffin. Giant Gromit the dogs to invade Bristol this summer: ‘run, run for the hills, THEY’RE COMING!’ warned the mayor as he armed himself with horse tranquillizers. Bath crematorium installs webcam to film funerals. ‘We just don’t want to miss a minute’ a relative of the recently deceased sobbed into Skype. Gary Barlow drives pink Rolls Royce through Bristol for charity. ‘I just didn’t have the patience for a sports relief challenge’ the Take That singer drawled just about coherently. Measles hit Bristol. ‘Ouch,’ it said.
Embarking on a sneaky stroll and indulging your inner Burglar Bill is a perfect injection of fun, guaranteed to beat any blow out at Mbargos. Convinced? Thought you might be. For peace of mind let’s consider the other side. Obviously you’ve got to have ‘it’. Many a bolshie hockey girl has felt her knees knock when faced with the prospect of slipping a pack of Refreshers down her top. And OK, if you actually are rich don’t attempt it. Nobody likes a posh kid who steals, it’s like tax evasion. Criminal records are also a thought, but you’ve got to weigh this up. A future job may be out of the window but man up fresher, don’t you want to be a BNOC??!
“Onioning was a common fad in 2011/12, when steaks and salmon became the price of five onions” So there we have it. On behalf of this impartial analysis, devoid of personal opinions and totally lacking in authorised advice, go- enjoy a life free for all and remember, everything’s free in prison.
up to exams life is at
Fifty Three Living decided to lend IDS a friendly hand. Here are the best and often ethically questionable answers we found when we googled ‘How to live for free’ Pretend your food at a restaurant has a hair in it and demand a refund Live off the land in an un-snowy part of Alaska in a village of likeminded people
Spend long distance train journeys hiding in the toilet Sell your hair
Reuse teabags at least four times before throwing them out
Rate how much you like your friends on a scale of 1-20 and spend on their birthday presents accordingly
Start a Ponzi scheme
Stop paying taxes and take your chances
Reap the vast rewards of any event with nibbles Leave the labels on your clothes and return them once you think they’re boring
Make a Google search for ‘Immoral ways to make money???’ which as you will soon find an alarming number of others have done before you
Deputy: Josephine Franks jfranks@ epigram.org.uk
Deputy: Mona Tabbara mtabbara@ epigram.org.uk
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Editor: Imogen Carter living@ epigram.org.uk
DIVINE TRANSMISSIONS Max is draped over the chair across from me, anxiously tapping his feet on the floor. Over the course of the next hour he teaches me, in more ways than he imagines, about the Aetherius Society. ‘The doctors gave me about a year to live, you see’, he explains in his lilting, non-descript southern accent. Max has cystic fibrosis, and in the depths of despair, having received a terminal diagnosis from the medics, he turned to the spiritual community. By chance, the first society he saw advertised was the Aetherius Society, who proclaimed a friendly atmosphere, spiritual healing, and answers. He arrived at the Bristol branch’s door and was greeted by one Philomene Prempeh, surely among the stranger, more likeable women you meet. Upon his arrival, he was spirited inside, as my friend and I were when we first arrived to investigate, into a living room which smelt of the 50s and harked back even further. He was sat down, given a hot drink of his choice, and asked, of course, what he would like to know.
“In 20 minutes she explains the universe” Philomene takes you on a journey of epic proportions (‘if you will let it into your head!’)- in 20 minutes she explains the universe. Starting with the spiritual, she explains that all life is energy, all is connected, and all has unlimited potential to do good if only it would realise it. So far so good. She then took us, and presumably Max, back to the very beginning of the Aetherius Society. A Dr George King (I’m still not entirely sure who gave him the doctorate, but feel it’s wise not to question it) was in the process of meditating, but not short term, like us pansies, no. George King had been in for the long haul- 8 hours a day for 2 years when, depending on how you see it, he either ‘became sane’ and claimed contact with aliens, or went stark mad and claimed contact with aliens. From there on his mission was clear- spread the word. He went on the BBC to galvanise followers but didn’t get quite the reception he was expecting- everyone didn’t join his new society. Perhaps surprisingly, however, over the
course of the next 20 years he gathered a global following, comprising of tens of thousands of devoted followers. He went on to record the ‘Divine Transmissions’, taken from, again perhaps surprisingly, otherworldly beings, described by Philomene and Max as being ‘beautiful, 7 foot tall with long golden hair’, who hailed from Mars, Venus and other planets in our galaxy. These Divine Transmissions form the Bible of the Aetherius society, and preach love, reform and to an unstated degree, socialism. (Of course aliens are communist). King left his body to receive them, and (rather creepily) relayed them with his vocal cords. We were played these transmissions in a dark room, with a large poster on the wall imploring you to ‘surrender to your God’, and Philo and Max watching us be enlightened, on the edge of their seats. You do the math- we spent the long dark walk home whimpering like little girls. Philomene tells you all of this with a wise, kindly air, and admits how unlikely the ideas seem. Indeed, she appears grounded and educated. She then offers, after I have asked a few questions- along the lines of ‘what the hell’, to show us a healing session. We of course returned next week to witness it, scared that we were going to be rubbed, scrubbed or otherwise made nude and ‘clean’. We weren’t, but we were subjected to an experience. Other followers were present this week, an elderlyish couple from the Weston-Super-Mare, who drove an hour each way every week for 20 minutes of healing. ‘What lead you here?’ I ask. ‘Well, I had become very ill’ Judith’s response begins. Her story is very similar to Max’s- everyone we spoke to had begun their involvement after running out of options with a medical problem. Her husband seems less enamoured. Whilst Judith tells us how wonderfully accepting, loving and healing the society can be, Mark looks down at his feet. I try to pin him down on the specifics of the otherworldly beliefs, something Judith’s account had left out. He shakes his head- ‘Some things you go along with. I come for the relaxation it gives me’. The healing session begins in the aforementioned dark room, with Mark and Judith sat in front of us on white chairs 3 feet apart. Max and Philo walk in, silently, dressed in lab coats- my friend’s lips tighten slightly. They begin by pacing around strangely but purposefully, before settling down to business. They rub Mark and Judith, very slowly, in stages, from head to toe (everyone is very much clothed)- the whole process takes around 20 minutes. Absolute silence reigns- the healers seem to be taking as much from the experience as the healees. Afterwards I ask Mark and Judith how that one went-
‘Amazing!’ gushes Judith. ‘It takes away all the aches and pains’ ventures Mark. Max was equally liberated by the experience, looking elated as we left the room.
“We spent the long walk home whimpering like little girls” We left the Aetherius Society armed with a copy of their Bible, and a lift- Philo in her kindness couldn’t let us walk down Whiteladies Road. I ask Philo one last question.‘Say you’d had a crap day, Philo, and one of the Cosmic Masters lands his ship on Clifton Downs. Do you go with him? ‘One hundred percent, no doubt. Why miss that chance?’ she replies. The next day I walk past a gathering at the Woodland Rd Christian Church, the followers reading from their big book of messages, and uniting in invoking a strange, unknowable deity. There are similarities between the Christian faith and the Aetherius Society. Both believe in a descript presence who gives us guidance and provides answers to ineffable questions, both live by a set of morals, both preach peace and love, both give a feeling of belonging to a community. When people are faced with a question they have no answers to, such as ‘why me?’, each can give support. (Max’s cystic fibrosis has receded- he will never be cured, but perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, since his arrival at the Aetherius Society his symptoms have receded).
“Max and Philo walk in dressed in lab coats - my friend’s lips tighten” Christians and religious believers are not quite perceived as raving nutters, and they have no reservations about expressing their views in the street. Something tells me Mark, Judith and Max would not be quite as forthcoming, yet only longevity sets Christianity apart as anything more ‘believable’ than their own religion. I had set out to write an article mocking the ridiculous beliefs of the scandalous idiots of the Aetherius Society- there were none to be found, just people looking for answers.
ANC S S I A N RE
ISOBEL ALLEN Fear not my delicious fan-lings - I return after a frankly STERLING Easter vacay dans the Alps, fairing du ski etc (search #skilicious or just go straight to my Insta prof for slope by slope deets) chilling out, maxing, relaxing, and generally raising the bar (as ever) of my fabuliciousness. Alas, the holiday est fini and though we’ve all had a month of rest and recuperation to ready ourselves for the final push, the home straight, the term de la summere*, this is no time for flippancy or jolly seasonal japes. Oh, no. This is a time requiring no less military organisation and execution and no fewer tactics than the timing of a hangover poo in the library. So, VIGILANCE, my darlings. This final term is like Ed Sheeran – great at first, everyone loves it and quotes songs about Lego Land in their Insta captions, but before you know it it’s all over, he’s old and boring and you, like he, are left weeping, ginger and alone, having risen but catastrophically fallen victim to the challenge of this final few weeks. (*French for summer term) As aspiring BNOCs, preparationing for this period is paramount. You (I) have been MIA for a month over Easter and have but 6 weeks to regain and reinforce your station as Über-Babe of Bristol before another 4 months’ leave. Every minute wasted is one more ‘Who da fuq?’ at the mention of your name.
“Much like a Pokémon in its most evolved form (call me Charizard), I can’t get any better” Whilst you will obviously begin at a much, MUCH lower standing than I, relative action must be taken for the aforementioned re- and future-enforcement of you (me) into any and everyone’s living memory from now and for the rest of time. I for example, on par with the Pope and Justin Bieber in terms of influenciality, hold responsibility for no less than an entire city in my slender, wonderfully proportioned and outfit-coordinatedly manicured hands. Whilst I’m reluctant to say staging a spontaneous world tour is excessive, one has to be reasonable, and so full-scale circulation of posters, perhaps badges, definitely T-shirts with your face on should suffice. Another point for concern around this time is maintenance and expansion of mon image*, as le edge broadens its bounds to the summer collection. Given the weather restrictions we have had this year, le crammage of the summer wardrobe is no less than 900% vital. Come wind or snow or that horrendi kind of rain which isn’t real rain it’s just that rain which is like drizzle and results in ultra frizzliciousness and flicky fringe (I see your knowing nod) this is the term for le shorts. I’m talking all kinds de la short. High waisted, low rise, hot pants, no pants etc . When in doubt, crack the cheeks out – all puns intended. In terms of top half, bikini tops, boob tubes and the like are acceptable really - after all, c’est le summeurere. (*French for image) I divulge such advice, as ever, but for your gain. These things are obviously of no pressing importance to me. As a result of my life’s work of being bloody brilliant I am fully established in my rememberability and, much like a Pokémon in its most evolved form (call me Charizard), I can’t get any better. I laugh in the face of those who persist in their claims of having no clue who I am even after a thorough recount of my life achievements and a summary of my public appearances and social activity of the last 12 months. I trouble myself not over such trifling appendages. (Note to self: Kill them.)
#freedomofspeech#notforeveryone I was having a catch up with my technologically unsavvy friend over the Easter break when she asked me to explain to her some techno-terminology she was unfamiliar with. Amongst these terms was Tumblr, Instagram (I know!) and the hashtag. Before this incident, I was wholly unaware of my intense hatred for the misuse of the latter internet phenomenon. Needless to say, this conversation escalated into a full-blown David-Mitchell-esque rant, which was all but lost on my audience. So I have turned to the Epigram to vent my frustration. As I am aware, the theme of this edition of e2 is ‘free for all’, which connotes various freedoms of speech and living. However, my standpoint on the subject of hashtags reverses this theme on its head, as I will try to prove that a freedom many have previously perceived the freedom to carelessly import functional features of one social media platform to the next, namely Facebook - is a freedom that doesn’t exist (or at least in my eyes, shouldn’t). Now I’m not a massive Twitter user, but I do know that the conventional use of the hashtag originates here. The term even made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010, with the definition ‘a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic’. While this definition doesn’t restrict the use of hashtags solely to Twitter, answer me this:
how does its repeated use within a Facebook photo caption or status help to identify messages on a specific topic? To give weight to my argument, I will now present examples of proper and improper hashtag use. When I logged onto Twitter today, the most trending hashtag subject was #WhyIHateInstagram. This is a very apt example of proper use - providing a large subsection of the twittering population with an outlet to vent - and incidentally is a whole other subject altogether... There are countless examples of hashtag abuse on my Facebook newsfeed, but for fear of incriminating anyone, I have conjured up some examples myself. The two most grating types of Facebook hashtag misuse have to be a) the unbelievably long string of barely related hashtagged words, typically occurring as a photo caption for a ‘delightful’ picture of someone’s food and/or pets such as #cute #dogs #puppies #bless #aww #woof, a.k.a gibbering nonsense. b) The sentence in which every word is individually and unnecessarily hashtagged, usually as part of a moan- or gloat-based status: #i #can’t #believe #i #have #to #go #to #work #today. Both examples demonstrate no wit or functional purpose, and these are the primary reasons for my dislike. In the spirit of this edition’s theme, I’ll be forgiving of those who wittily employ the hashtag in their Facebooking lives. But otherwise, I have as much respect for those who abuse it as I do for those who think it acceptable to share Instagrams of their dinner with unsuspecting, unamused and innocent newsfeed bystanders.
Deal or Noel Deal
Noel’s excelled himself this issue and has uncovered the best of the best freebies to be found hanging around cyberspace. Who needs a job when you can get all this stuff without spending any dollar? Like a classy bevvy? Well, you know what they say, there ain’t no party like a Heinz cocktail party. Student Beans are giving out free Heinz cocktail recipe sheets, so you can wow your friends with what promises to be ‘an exotic twist to old favourites’. By exotic, they may mean ketchup, but when it’s free who cares. If you are single and looking for a pet to fill that space, Nandos are giving away free chickens! If you are lucky, you may get some eggs out of them too. Fancy yourself a budding celeb? Looking for your big break into tinsletown? You could be on Celebrity Juice, X-Factor or Celebrity Big Brother (in the studio audience) thanks to free tickets to your favourite shows from Applause store. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you struggle to get people to call you, tempt them with some banging tunes courtesy of RingTagz. Replace the lame old dial-tone callers hear
when they wait for you to answer the phone with thousands of music tracks to choose from. A great way to boost your popularity. Worried about how much debt you are in? You probably should be, so make the most of www.free-stuff.co.uk’s Free Online Debt Calculator. Having calculated how much debt you are in, you probably will be wondering how you can get some cash, quick. Want some free money to tide you over? Nielsen are running £30,000 monthly prize draws.
ROOM 101 #10: ZA ZA BAZAAR They’ve tried to draw all of us in. Persuasive leafleting on the Triangle and Woodland Road encouraging us to make the most of student deals and 2 for 1 offers, sending us a text code for a FREE meal in Freshers’ Week (and consequently annoying our inboxes several times a term with further offers) and of course the infamous freebie itself, which allegedly resulted in a whole lot of diarrhoea and complaints via Za Za Bazaar’s Facebook page. The marketing worked – everyone seems to have experienced Za Za, whether lured in to find out if ‘all you can eat’ really is all it’s cracked up to be, or desperately seeking ‘value for money’ by endlessly gorging on the Smarties and ice cream combination. This gluttonous, ‘free for all’ attitude deserves to be firmly relegated to Room 101. My first problem with this all-you-can-eat buffet is that, whilst technically it’s not even an all-you-can-eat (‘you only get TWO HOURS’, an over-zealous rugbyplaying friend once informed me), the attitude adopted almost immediately on arrival is that you absolutely must consume all that you can. As a result, some people are found strategically piling up multiple plates at a time in order to maximise consumption, hurriedly gobbling down mouthfuls of Indian, Chinese and American offerings simultaneously, almost completely forgetting that one of the main ideals of shared eating is that it is a social experience. However, the buffet does not lend itself to synchronized seating. People are constantly getting up and down, keen to hunt out another plate of food from somewhere else, plate multiplying upon plate, all to be negotiated within the two-hour time limit. The whole experience evolves into a version of musical chairs as big groups of people become separated into little teams squeezing in and out of their seats, racing to find the next thing to eat.
“It’s reminiscent of a school canteen where your lunch was slopped out by a stroppy dinner lady” My second issue with Za Za Bazaar is that the quality of the food is really rather shit. Perhaps this is to be expected given the life lesson that you get what you pay for – the ‘Dine for £9.95’ deal may seem like a winner, but £9.95 doesn’t really buy you very much of anything particularly decent. Something inevitably has to give, and seeing as it’s not going to be portion size, there goes the quality. Despite the cleverly sold idea of having your fajitas freshly cooked in front of you, your chicken has already been pre-fried, ready to be re-fried in order to heat it up again. The dishes already cooked and ready for immediate serving are sat in warming dishes, reminiscent of a school canteen where your lunch was slopped out by a stroppy dinner lady. Now you can serve out your own dinner from a nice big metal tin of slop. Enjoy. It’s mass-produced, preprepared, and doesn’t appear to offer any nutritional value outside of e-numbers. I haven’t ever been to Cosmo on the Triangle, or FlavourZ by the fountains, so I’m not sure if these can be thrown well and truly into Room 101 as well. Perhaps it’s a little unfair to pick on Za Za Bazaar, but unfair or not, it’s antisocial and poor quality, and there are much nicer places you can go on a similar budget. So, into Room 101 it goes, and don’t forget: let’s put a stop to the slop.
The Big Chill As a social scientist I have approximately six contact hours a week. I require eight hours a night of sleep. Generously I may assume that I will attempt up to two hours a day of independent study of my own initiative. Collectively this leaves me with over fifty hours of free time a week. It may come as a surprise to my more hardworking peers but having a lot of free time can be hard. With it can come a great deal of stress or guilt over wasted time. Deciding which day to day activities to feel the void of empty hours is no easy feat either. Every option has positives and negatives, ups and downs, pros and cons but the main quest is ensuring boredom is prevented. The obvious answer is to work harder, to improve my studies, to become the type of student who will receive a degree with honours... Realistically this is not going to happen. It takes most of my will power to work the amount I already do. It’s a nice thought, something I wish I was capable of but it doesn’t feel right. The hours of free time I possess were a gift, something not to be squandered in the library with my nose in a book or in front of a computer screen. I could get a job? I could work a few hours a week with time to spare. This would give me the money to perhaps live a more interesting life and do the things I really want to do. Yet I find this no more desirable than studying. I justify it to myself by saying it will affect my studies but this isn’t really true. Perhaps socialising is the key. I could make friends,
join societies, maybe even start societies. I could be the popular kid, with many circles of friends all of whom are desperate for my attention. It’s just this still requires effort. Worse still it requires interaction with strangers. I thought I was done with all that nonsense after the first couple of weeks in halls. Sport? The gym? I try. I really do. I’ve attempted to play football, to swim, to run. My bed is just so much more tempting. What I have instead found myself doing is taking up obscure hobbies. Since joining university I have become a keen baker, my crowning achievement being a five tier pink princess cake it took me five hours to make. I have attempted to grow a garden in my room. My collection includes four hyacinths, many strawberry plants, two orchids and one conifer. These hobbies do not last though. I quickly grow tired of them and move onto another short lived, random, arbitrary project. Frequently I find myself going down the bookies. I don’t know when this started. Slowly I’ve started betting on more obscure sports. I begun with horse racing but now I’m an avid fan of ladies handball. This is something I’m attempting to phase out. The mystery of what to do with my free time prevails. For the moment I shall content myself by writing this article.Though now it’s finished, I need something new to do.
GRAMMAR SCHOOL Grammar Nazis (for anyone out there still to discover this thing called the internet) are people who believe it is their duty to correct the grammar (and possibly spelling) of everyone around them. At best, they believe they’re doing a good turn, helping those plebs overcome their disadvantages and elevate them to the heights of grammar enlightenment. At worst, they ridicule and deride those who don’t/can’t spell correctly. I hate the self-congratulatory tone of these people and moreover, this moniker – the offensive possibilities and the worrying trivialisation of a word like Nazi into everyday vernacular. We can’t forget that there are still neo-Nazi groups digging their claws in around the world. As a reformed (well, recovering, with the support of friends and family) grammar Nazi I still feel a pang when an unsuspecting soul writes
‘they think its all over’ and the satisfaction in murmuring ‘fewer’ when someone tells me they’ve got ‘less essays to do this term’. ‘Could of’ still makes me wince. But then I remember this person has made the leap into the conditional! Surely this is a celebration in itself? Enjoyment, manipulation, experimentation with language is sacrificed on the altar of purity and discipline. Even worse grammar Nazis justify themselves by claiming to uphold ‘standards’. Language is alive - to try and ‘preserve’ it in one form or another is a losing battle. Or is this inattention to the minutiae (don’t get me started on Latin plurals) just a product of an increasingly speech-driven, 140-character communication? The thing grammar Nazis forget is that it is the language that matters! No use lamenting about a stray apostrophe that has wandered away from its one true calling as a contraction marker or possessive. The bile that is spewed out in places like YouTube comments is shocking. A tame example: John Self on the BBC website smugly tells us, ‘incorrect use of reflexives makes my blood boil.’ John SelfObsessed more like. Someone
is not a worse human being if they don’t know the difference between ‘effect’ and ‘affect’, or they split an infinitive from time to time. These pedants aren’t the guardians of language. As the inimitable Stephen Fry writes: ‘they’re no more guardians of language than the Kennel Club is the guardian of dogkind.’ Any form of written language, if it is reasonably clear, does the job of passing on thoughts. I’m not saying grammar should be a free-for-all (I’d get thrown off my course for heresy). I for one will make the effort with my essays, but we need a bit of calm. Good grammar does flow better, sound more pleasing, adds clarity, but grammar Nazis need to stop hurting others’ feelings by pointing out their mistakes. People even whip out sharpies to edit public signs (I’m from a uni town, believe me, I’ve seen it). Stop this madness! In an ideal world everyone would punctuate perfectly. But in practice, it’s as important as knowing (and caring about!) the difference between a Bordeaux and a claret (what, Bordeaux is a claret??) – people will drink regardless. When pressed, most will know or learn good grammar, and are more informed for it. There’s no reason to be outraged at someone who’s had a go at saying ‘whom’. At least there their they’re trying.
The Union Awards acknowledge and celebrate outstanding student activity through societies, sports clubs, volunteering, fundraising, projects and individual contributions. Winners will be awarded ÂŁ250 towards a group/project or ÂŁ100 personal prize money for individual awards. All winners will receive a trophy and certificate. Nominees will be invited to the Awards on Thursday 20 June and will be informed of this after the closing date for nominations on Friday 10 May. For any questions relating to the awards, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominations are now open at ubu.org.uk/awards Kindly sponsored by
Good Luck From your Students’ Union, helping you stay positive.
Surviving exam season A message from Alessandra Berti - VP Equality and Welfare Elections have come and gone (thanks to everyone who voted!), spring break happened and now we are straight back into revision time. At least we have got some sunshine now. Summer term with it’s exams and assignment deadlines can be stressful and can affect us all in different ways - both physically and mentally. UBU is here to give you advice and support during this time; from how to plan your time to what to do if things go wrong. We have put together a snazzy exam survival guide, available at your local library, from the Students’ Union Info Point, the Sports Centre, Student Counselling, Student Health Service and the Students’ Union. It will provide you with the most up-to-date exam survival tips ranging from how to revise, relax and eat healthily. Part of the guide is a list of events that are going on during revision and exam period and aimed at allowing you to actually live according to our advice. There are relaxation sessions, walking groups as well as free exercise classes ranging from tag football to basketball. In the next couple of weeks a team of student volunteers will be running pop-up activities around campus which will be free, fun and active revision breaks; keep up to date with
UBU News | Issue 11 | 07.05.13
these by liking UBU’s Facebook page. If you would like to get involved get in touch at: email@example.com and I will add you to our Facebook group. Remember if things don’t go to plan you can always talk to one of our two student advisers from the Just Ask Service or contact them via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, awards season is upon us so why not procrastinate by nominating people who you think deserve recognition for their contribution to Bristol life this year? - You can nominate someone for a Union Award categories include Best Student Group, Media Product of the Year, Outstanding Dedication by a University of Bristol Staff Member and Voluntary Project of the Year, nominations close Friday 10 May. - You can nominate an inspiring lecturer for one of the student-led Teaching Award. For more information go to: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/esu/ bristolteachingawards - nominations close Friday 17 May.
UBU Volunteering Executive Committee
Students hold dinner dance for local elderly community University of Bristol students treated older people in the local community to an evening of dinner, music and dancing at Cotham Parish Church on Saturday 27 April. UBU student volunteers hosted the annual Dinner Dance which invites residents from local residential homes and community groups including Carlton Mansions and Trinity Day Care in Hotwells. Marilyn, the Activities Manager for Carlton Mansions said: â€œOur residents had a fantastic time at the Dinner Dance, they really enjoyed talking to the students and hearing all about their studies. In particular our residents loved the Ciliedh band and have been asking for them to come and perform at the home soon.â€? This year the UBU Volunteering Executive Committee ran the event with over 30 student volunteers who prepared dinner for the guests and provided entertainment in the form of a brass quintet, Le Roc dance
society and volunteers from Jazzhands - a student group who visit older peoplesâ€™ homes to sing. $OLFH3HFN(OHFWHG2IĂ€FHUIRU&RPPXQLW\ said: â€œThe Dinner Dance was organised by students in the Volunteering exec and once again demonstrates their hard work, enthusiasm and altruism in reaching out to senior residents of the Bristol community. Their careful planning meant a really successful evening with delicious home-made food with live music and many a chance to chat and dance. It ZDV D YHU\ Ă€WWLQJ Ă€QDO HYHQW IRU WKLV yearâ€™s Volunteering exec to round off a brilliant year. They will be missed!â€?
Revision Tips Start! No matter how late youâ€™ve left it, thereâ€™s no time like the present
Take breaks. Donâ€™t try to revise too much in one go
Set easy goals to help measure your progress JLYH\RXFRQĂ€GHQFH
Actively revise: write lists, take mini tests, write practice essays
Drink plenty of Ă XLGVEXWJRHDV\ on caffeine & sugar
Weâ€™re Here, Stay Positive 8%8ÂˇV-XVW$VNVHUYLFHSURYLGHVIUHHDQGFRQĂ€GHQWLDODGYLFHIRU students. Just Ask are here to help you get ready for your exams, answer any worries you have along the way and help you understand your options if things donâ€™t go as planned. ubu.org.uk/justask | email@example.com | 0117 33 13511
Refurbishment update This term marks the start of the next stage in the refurbishment of the Richmond Building: Home of the Studentsâ€™ Union. Donâ€™t worry we arenâ€™t closing, just moving across the building! We said goodbye to Bar 100 and the Anson Rooms at the end of last term and in the next few weeks the rest of the â€˜Southâ€™ side of the building will close too. This means we will be joining the Centre for English Language and Foundational Studies DQG WKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO RIĂ€FH LQ WKH IXOO\ refurbished part of the building on the third Ă RRU 2
By improving our Studentsâ€™ Union HQ, coGHVLJQHG E\ VWXGHQWV ZH FDQ EHWWHU IXOĂ€O our vision of students creating a world class student life. We know itâ€™s disruptive and that some of \RXZRQÂˇWEHKHUHZKHQLWÂˇVĂ€QLVKHGEXWZH hope that all students will feel proud to be part of our future.
Weâ€™re Moving! Donâ€™t worry though, weâ€™ll still be here for you
UBU News | Issue 11 | 07.05.13
Build a Better Bristol Calling all final years - itâ€™s time to decide how ÂŁ20,000 should be spent
We received a diverse range of nominations ranging from an outdoor basketball court to minibuses to a rainwater collection V\VWHP 7KH HOHFWHG RIĂ€FHUV VKRUWOLVWHG the nominations down to thirteen options ZKLFK ZH QRZ QHHG Ă€QDO \HDU VWXGHQWV WR help us vote on.
Any student or staff member of UBU or University of Bristol can nominate. The deadline for nominations is Midnight on Friday 10 May.
Vote would How now to spend
Elected President of UBU, Paul Charlton said: â€œBuild a Better Bristol is a fantastic initiative. With the money generously donated by Alumni, students have the opportunity to change University life in ways that would have been previously impossible. Best of all, it is students, and students alone who decide where the ÂŁ20,000 is spent.â€? 7KHZLQQLQJSURMHFWZLOOHIIHFWFKDQJHLQWKH University, so if you would like to make an impact, take this chance to have your say and Build a Better Bristol.
Submit a nomination in the Union Awards 2013 The Union Awards acknowledge and celebrate outstanding student activity that has taken place throughout the year through societies, sports clubs, volunteering, IXQGUDLVLQJ SURMHFWV DQG LQGLYLGXDO contributions.
Earlier this year UBU and Alumni Relations teamed up to give students the opportunity to decide how to spend ÂŁ20,000 of generous alumni donations.
Voting will be open until Friday 10 May for Ă€QDO \HDUV WR GHFLGH RQ ZKLFK SURMHFW ZLOO make an impact on the University of Bristol or an aspect of University life.
In brief the nominations consist of: 1. Renovation of Royal Fort Gardens 2. New outdoor area 3. Outdoor basketball court 4. Rainwater collection system 5. New software for BURST 6. New equipment for UBTV 7. Improve Just Ask services 3RVWJUDGXDWHĂ€QDQFLDOVXSSRUW(8 Masters 3RVWJUDGXDWHĂ€QDQFLDOVXSSRUW+DUGVKLS 10. Set up an online postgraduate forum 11. Making sport more accessible 12. Cyclist changing room 13. Minibuses Details on all the entries are available at ubu.org.uk/betterbristol
The categories are: Best Student Group Best Fundraising Event 9ROXQWDU\3URMHFWRIWKH<HDU &DPSDLJQRIWKH<HDU 0HGLD3URGXFWRIWKH<HDU Innovation and Impact Award Outstanding Contribution to Bristol Life International Engagement Award Outstanding Contribution to Student Media Outstanding Contribution by a Student Representative Outstanding Dedication by a University of Bristol Staff Member 8%86WDII0HPEHURIWKH<HDU 8%86WXGHQW6WDII0HPEHURIWKH<HDU Winners will be awarded ÂŁ250 towards D JURXSSURMHFW RU Â… SHUVRQDO SUL]H money for individual awards. Nominations can be made through the website at ubu.org.uk/awards.
Donâ€™t forget to nominate Nominations open in May
Nominate your inspirational teachers and win an iPad Mini The Bristol Teaching Awards recognise and reward those who have made an outstanding contribution to teaching and supporting the student experience at the University of Bristol. This is your chance to highlight those members of academic, support or technical staff who have really made a difference. The person may be an inspirational teacher, has designed innovative assessment techniques, provides exceptional support for students or for any other reason â€“ it is up to you!
RAG &Volunteering 13 May
The most important point is that you use your vote to recognise and reward the people who make the experience that students have at Bristol the best it can be.
Society and Media 20 May
Nominations are open until Friday 17 May.
Sports 13 May
There are two iPad minis up for grabs for students who submit a nomination.
More details available at ubu.org.uk
For more information go to the Bristol Teaching Awards website at bristol.ac.uk/ esu/bristolteachingawards
UBU News | Issue 11 | 07.05.13
* weekly event
Tuesday 7 May Eating for Exams workshop 1-2pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Wednesday 8 May Study Strategy Group, 12:30-1:30pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events
May / June
Thursday 9 May
Stress Management workshop 4-5pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Friday 10 May Nominations Close for the Union Awards 2013 • ubu.org.uk/awards Study Skills workshop 10-11am • Email firstname.lastname@example.org Monday 13 May Nominations Open for RAG & Volunteering Awards 2013 Nominations Open for Sports Awards 2013 Wednesday 15 May Study Strategy Group, 12:30-1:30pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Dragging your feet workshop 1:45-3:15pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Thursday 16 May Stress Management workshop 4-5pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Monday 20 May
Relaxation for health and wellbeing workshop 1:45pm - 3:15pm • booking required
Your What’s On Guide
Nominations Open for Society & Media Awards 2013 Wednesday 22 May Study Strategy Group, 12:30-1:30pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events
Ju n e
Thursday 23 May Stress Management workshop 4-5pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Wednesday 29 May Study Strategy Group, 12:30-1:30pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Thursday 30 May Stress Management workshop 4-5pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events
Wednesday 5 June Study Strategy Group, 12:30-1:30pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Dragging your feet workshop 1:45-3:15pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Wednesday 12 June Study Strategy Group, 12:30-1:30pm, booking required • see ubu.org.uk/events Thursday 13 June UBU Summer Ball • See ubu.org.uk/summerball Friday 14 June LAST DAY OF EXAMS
If you have any events that you would like included in The LIST or our online
Thursday 20 June
calendar at ubu.org.uk/events, please email email@example.com
Union Awards Ceremony • See ubu.org.uk/awards
UBU News | Issue 11 | 07.05.13
Editor: Lizi Woolgar style@ epigram.org.uk
What’s deliciously trashy and brightly coloured? Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, of course. We’ve now reached media saturation of articles exclaiming about how effectively the ex-Disney stars have lost their goodgirl shackles, so let’s move on to see exactly how the costumes achieved this and set about recreating the look away from Florida and making it more suitable for a
drizzly Bristol morning.
Korine says that he ‘wanted it to look like it was lit with candy’ and that was certainly achieved. For anyone who’s been hiding under a rock, the film follows four college students who rob a restaurant to get money to fund a hedonistic trip to Florida during their spring break. Drugs, jail and guns are involved and predictably it all ends in tears. The girls spend almost the entirety of the film in bikinis, indulging in a sugary neon dream of dubstep and beer.
After a few weeks with the temperature above freezing, for some reason it is acceptable to discuss summer festivities. Of these beloved events, UK festivals have to be a favourite. When you’re in a location you’ll undoubtedly never return to, combined with the festival atmosphere, reality becomes a distant memory, creating a sense of freedom that is often reflected in frequenters’ attire. For me at least, festivals have always seemed to be that safe haven in which you can legitimately wear those outfits usually relegated to the back of your wardrobe.
‘sugary neon dream of dubstep and beer’
Whilst the gun-wielding and heavy drug use is perhaps not an advisable life choice, the bright colours and sunshine of Spring Breakers are certainly desirable. Use a sea salt spray (surf spray, £20.50, Bumble and bumble.co.uk) on damp hair, scrunch and air dry to get a beachy, lived-in look and go heavy on the eyeliner; it’s got to last all day and all night as there’s no room in that bikini for a hotel room key. Aim to look just the right side of trashy. The film costumes were bought from places real students would shop at, like Forever 21 – expensive is not what you’re going for here. Accessorize with a bag of skittles and a squirt gun filled with vodka and you’re good to go.
Sketch: Katy Papineau
Deputy: Alice Johnston deputystyle@ epigram.org.uk
Particularly over the past few years, ‘festival fashion’ has become a major talking point. With all the fashion coverage Coachella received this year, one major online publication even deemed the festival ‘LA’s fashion week’. Indeed, sometimes it seemed that the festival’s music was a mere add-on. Retailers play a large part in fuelling such excitement by stocking their own festival collections, having cottoned on to the huge economic benefits for them. This season Topshop, for example, have announced their own summer festival project, in which they’ve secured creative input from one of the reigning queens of festival fashion, Kate Bosworth.
1. Shorts - Topshop - £12.00 2. Hat - H&M - £4.99 3. Skirt - Motel - £28.00 4. Vans - Office - £49.99 5. Bikini - Topshop - £21.00 6. Pendant - Zara - £15.99
Whilst I embrace with open arms any excuse to add new pieces to my wardrobe, this hype could have an impact upon the once carefree attitude to a festival dressing. With the numerous festival collections, it seems a festival-goer’s attire is bound to become more trend-driven. Of course, there’s no obligation to adhere to such trends, but even the excitement around festival fashion could impose subconscious boundaries upon what people wear. Lucy McCallum
Amongst the infinite boutiques lining the highstreets, there are certainly a few that stand out. These usually include Topshop, Zara, New Look and at times, the arguably haute market Urban Outfitters. Within the plethora of designers at Urban Outfitters, the most prominent and consistently interesting is Free People. The story of how this unique designer came to rule the American high streets is equally surprising…
1,000 retailers. Wherever you saw Juicy Couture, Free People was not far behind. A year later, the first independent Free People shop was built in New Jersey where the serene atmosphere drew in customers by the thousands. Now, you cannot walk a few blocks in the Big Apple without either seeing an independent Free People retailer or finding it featured in other shops.
Once upon a time, a young man named Dick Hayne planted the seeds of commerce in a little street West of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1970s. However, most interestingly is that this same young man became the CEO of Urban Outfitters: his second store incorporated Free People and became ‘UO’. The company flourished to become one of the leading ‘high street’ retailers of America: the Topshop of West Hollywood and Tribeca.
Free People has become one of the leading wholesalers featuring in numerous department stores across America and the UK. It has certainly come a long way from the suburban backstreets of Philadelphia. The most recent collaborations were with Paco Collars to create an eco-friendly dog accessories line. Having constantly rebranded themselves for 40 years, the hippy-turned-elegant fashion house is growing strong and does not look like it will fail in the near future.
The major revamp - the Free People of today occurred in 2001. Hayne’s wife Megan realized that she needed to attract the younger generation, namely those in their twenties. Free People became an innovative, unique fashion house selling their products to over
Sketch: Katy Papineau
DIY for Dummies
Studded Bumbag Nod back to the nineties by creating you very own upcycled denim bumbag.
: Grab yourself a bumbag, a pack of screw on silver studs (ebay is a good bet for these) and a tool with a sharp end to make holes with.
Abby Wynn reveals the secrets to successfully sharing clothes Ever since I was a little girl, sharing has never been a quality that has come naturally to me. It really is no secret. Even at primary school when someone asked to borrow my rubber I would scowl with my eyes glued to them so that as soon as they finished with it I could safely return it to the safety of my Cath Kidston pencil case. My sister and I recently got into a discussion about where our distaste of sharing came from, and after suspecting all the near and dear family members (in particular dad) we concluded that maybe, sadly, and unfortunately, it was just a habit that we had succumbed to on our own. Having a sister 18 months younger than me has constantly provoked questions from my friends about if we share clothes. We politely reply that we don’t often. But the reality of that situation is absolutely definitely not, no, never. In the past few weeks we have tentatively attempted to share a few, staple items from our wardrobes but hold back more distinctive things with the declaration that, ‘otherwise people will think they are yours.’
Step 2: Take the sharp-ended tool and push through the denim to make a hole about 2mm wide.
To avoid making this just a resume of my unattractive habits,
or a subtle warning to future roommates, I do actually want to explore whether style is free for all or a totally personal thing. There is something innate in most of us, which wants to hold back sharing certain items because they’re not transferable from one to another. They’re personal. Life on Woodland Road has proved, to me, the uniqueness of a certain city, place or culture of people and how fashion breeds. Bristol style is nothing less than distinctive. I mean who even am I without my Parka jacket, right?
Step 3: Push the back of the stud through the denim - from the inside to the ouside. Screw on the front of the stud ensuring tightly secured.
I quite like the way that a particular taste is apparent in certain places, in particular cities. I am
still so surprised when one of my friends, who’s only known me for two months, claims ‘that’s so you’ when I’m secretly pretty delighted at thinking I’ve bought something really out the box and different. I love the fact that clothes are like a visual painting of how you are feeling that day. They’re like a canvas of what’s going on in your life. Which is why trackies in the daytime, for me, would definitely be the biggest giveaway that a terrible, tragic event had occurred.
Step 4: Continue making hols about 1 inch apart across the front of your bumbag and screwing in the studs tightly as you go. Spreading the studs randomly across the bag gives a careless grunge feel, but attaching them in unifrom rows looks incredibly effective too. Lizi Woolgar
It intrigues me the way that fashion seems to be taking on a universal appeal, sprawling over decades as it does. I’d like to share my wardrobe with every decade, with the likes of Briz Smith-Start or Wendy Dagworthy. It wouldn’t work with my life, and it would probably take a lot longer to get ready in the morning, but dressing up would perhaps make what we wear more of an art, and less of a convenience.
Editor: Lizi Woolgar style@ epigram.org.uk
Deputy: Alice Johnston deputystyle@ epigram.org.uk
The SPARK challenge interview Ever read a magazine aimed at women or teenage girls and thought ‘this advice is ridiculous’? Yeah, me too. Lucky for us, two teenagers from America have taken on the huge task of proving just how vacuous some fashion magazines can be. Alice and Yingying, both 17, belong to a movement called SPARK, a girl-fueled activist movement demanding an end to the sexualization of women and girls in the media. They reject the commodified, sexualized images that are prevalent and support the development of healthy sexuality and self-esteem. To prove their point, Alice and Yingying decided to live by the rules of two magazines called Teen Vogue and Seventeen for a month (the British equivalent would be Bliss, Sugar or Grazia). They would follow the ‘advice’ given about fashion, fitness, beauty and lifestyle to the letter, focusing on a different
17teenvoguechallenge.tumblr. What got you interested in feminism? I’ve been interested in feminism for as long as I can remember (even if I didn’t exactly know what it was at the time) but I really got into it in the summer of 2011. I was growing apart from one group of friends which felt really isolating and I started to watch Parks and Recreation, which lead me into the theory and history of feminism. I have an obsessive personality so I really dove in and wanted to learn everything that I could. Being a fan of the show also made me realize that many female characters in the media aren’t very complex.
What role do you have in SPARK? My official title is SPARKteam blogger, but we all do so much more than just writing blogs for the site. You can be as involved as you want to be.
So: teenage magazines. Why and when did you begin to think that they were, in lieu of a better term, complete rubbish? My mom would never buy me subscriptions to magazines so naturally I wanted them even more, and whenever I was at my cousin’s house I would read her copies. I always ended up leaving her house feeling horrible, with this internal to-do list of things I needed to buy and needed to change. Later that year I was at a writing summer camp and my mom put a copy of Seventeen in my care package (parcel filled with chocolate and things to stop you feeling homesick). I made fun of its ridiculous flirting tips with my friends and ended up writing this silly essay about why Seventeen was pointless. I also remember getting New Moon, this awesome indie magazine for girls. The reader response section was filled with long thoughtful letters. I realized that the letters in Seventeen and other magazines were all short and like “thanks for putting Miley Cyrus on the cover! I love her!” The letters in New Moon offered counterpoints to editorials and showed how thoughtful pre-teen girls can be.
What made you decide to undertake the challenge? I made a video about Seventeen’s collaboration with the Biggest Loser (weight loss show) and it got a significant number of views, it’s the most watched SPARK video. Dana, the head of SPARK, was like ‘ok so we’re getting this attention, how are we going to turn it into action?’. I thought about a team of us doing fitness and health advice for a month, and the project evolved into what it is today.
What do you hope that the challenge will achieve? Are you hoping to bring about a change in the magazines themselves, similar to the huge achievement of getting Seventeen to change their photoshopping policy? (In 2012 a petition started by a 14 year old resulted in Seventeen promising to feature one unphotoshopped page per issue).
We’re doing this to promote our petition asking Teen Vogue to feature more diversity in their magazine. I do wonder a lot about whether these magazines will ever stop publishing diet plans and exercises. I honestly don’t know. I think that if enough readers are vocal and say ‘we don’t want or need this’ then they could change the content. It gives me hope that alternative teen sites are gaining popularity. Plus, they’re free!
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do so far? How did it make you feel? The fitness week was so so difficult. I just thought about food all day. I felt so horrible [Alice followed a ‘healthy’ day of food plan from Seveteen].
How does it make you feel to know that there are girls all over the world who are reading these magazines and believing they should live their lives by them?
project got attention in the media because there is this myth that there are no young feminists and I’d welcome any opportunity to prove that wrong. Otherwise, like I said before, I think that 99% of our teen readers get that living by these magazines isn’t fun.
Is there anything coming up in the challenge that you’re particularly apprehensive about? Tomorrow I’m going out to breakfast and running errands with my family, I’ll be wearing this horrifying outfit that includes overalls with a plaid shirt, a short sleeve glittery shirt over that, and wedge shoes. I live in North Carolina which is a conservative Southern state and although there are some more liberal Northerners, it’s still very traditional. I’m excited and nervous to see how people to react to someone wearing such wild clothes.
What is the SPARK fundraiser and what are you hoping to achieve with it? What will the money go towards? The SPARK fundraiser is going towards our trainings, which includes our summer training retreat as well as online trainings throughout the year. We get to learn from the experts how to use our voices in the most effective way. 17teenvoguechallange.tumblr.com
It’s upsetting! I do think that people tend not to give teen girls much credit though, one thing I’ve learned from reading the Seventeen website all month is that lots of girls call out the magazine in the comments. I have to admit I was surprised by the number of girls who posted comments such as ‘why would I pay $80 for a purse?’ or ‘these flirting tips are dumb…’. But yeah, the fact that many girls take these magazines seriously is frustrating. That’s why I think it’s especially important that they really think through the things they’re publishing.
Have you considered that by doing what Teen Vogue/Seventeen tells you, you are actually publicising the magazine and might be inadvertently encouraging teen girls to follow the advice? I sure hope not! We’re both pretty honest about how their instructions make us feel, and our feelings are hardly ever positive. I don’t think Seventeen really needs my help with publicity. I would love it if our
How can people get involved with SPARK or help you if they want to? If you’re able you should donate to our fundraiser! We’re offering a ton of awesome sponser rewards. If you donate $50+ to me I’ll do the extreme Seventeen challenge of your choice. Seriously, give me an outfit to wear and I’ll do it! To donate just click on the ‘sponser us’ button on the website.
Is there a message you’d like to give the students of the University of Bristol about what you’re doing? I want to say something to the guys! If you’re interested in ending sexism and violence against women we really need for you to be vocal about that. In my experience, calling out dudes can often put girls in a difficult position, we’re tuned out or dismissed as oversensitive. If they hear it coming from you they’ll listen! It can be something as simple as saying ‘Don’t joke about raping girls around me’. Please use your privilege for good! I hope you all view this as your fight too. Interview conducted by Alice Johnston
Charlotte Free (for all)
Of course, Miss Free had become known for her unforgivingly fuchsia-
Fairtrade? Fairtrade is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Brands that have obtained the Fairtrade mark have to have been approved by the FLO (Fairtrade International) or a Fairtrade LI. It has to meet the social, economic and environmental standards set by Fairtrade in the Charter of Fair Trade Principles in 2009, and has to have obtained prior written approval from the FLO.
But of course, as with all models with a personality much controversy has arisen around Free, with her being
It’s difficult to say whether there is much truth behind these claims, but it certainly can’t be denied that Free has made quite the entrance to the fashion world. With endless ‘Mini-Frees’ now running round the place with self-dyed Barbie hair, I for one think it is only positive that the fashion world is increasingly willing to embrace individuality to new lengths. Lizi Woolgar
Flcikr - Marimoon
After years of versatile mousy-blonde hair being sought after in the modelling world, a more unique look seems to be being favoured. Models are even allowed to have their own personality!
Free was quick to secure a V Man editorial (Febuary 2011), Richard Chai A/ W 2011 and the Topshop Unique A/W 11 shows within a few months of her initial signing. Her impressive array of work since includes opening Dame Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label collection at LFW, countless Jeremy Scott shows, the Rihanna for River Island Spring 2013 collection and – my personal favourite – a stunning cover of Wonderland magazine (Nov/Dec 2011).
Flickr - Chantel Beam photography
Otherwise known as ‘that model with pink hair’, Charlotte Free has shot to stardom in the last few years, bringing with her a whole new meaning to ‘free for all’.
labelled a poor role model for young girls. One of her most recent feats has been appearing in the Maybelline beauty campaign and the colour whisper commercial this year. On scouring the web, I came across a petition dedicated to getting Maybelline (and Forever 21) to stop using Free as their spokesperson. The site considers Free as ‘a model who has been openly malicious, disrespectful, and unprofessional’, providing ‘evidence’ of Free using drugs, cyber bullying and even one post entitled ‘Charlotte-Free-is-a-psycho’. Unsurprisingly, upon clicking on the suggested ‘PROOF’ links, I was failed to be provided with evidence.
The American model was scouted in 2010, aged 18, in an arcade, and has since been signed to IMG models in New York, Paris, Milan and London and SEEDS model management Berlin. At only 5 foot 7, Free shows than individuality goes a long way in breaking those oh-so-strict model requirement boundaries.
Flcikr - Marimoon
Jeremy Scott S/S ‘12 show
toned hair. The somewhat endearing truth behind her hair is that it is homebleached and dyed, which gives (perhaps false) hope to the rest of us that we can achieve such a #SICK hairstyle. The candyfloss pink hair craze swept across the world like wildfire, with countless twitter/tumblr/facebook ‘OMG NEW PINK HAIR!’ posts. See exhibits A, B & C.
Why is it Fairtrade fashion good? Problems? Where?
One of the most important actors in the textile industry is cotton. Minimum prices have been established for Fairtrade cotton; they are always higher than those for non-Fairtrade cotton so the producers receive more benefits. Prices for organic cotton are set 20% higher than for non-organic and environmental standards restrict the use of agrochemicals so being Fairtrade encourages sustainability. Social and economic investments have to be made by the companies, such as providing education and health services, processing equipment and loans to members.
When looking at Fairtrade clothes on various websites, I couldn’t help noticing that the clothes were often not what twenty year old students want to spend their loan on. Fairtrade clothes are not popular because they don’t always look like what we’re used to seeing in Topshop or H&M. The clothes made from Fairtrade material are oten baed around a relaxed, culturally diverse style so are appealing to a smaller group of people than traditional high street style. The clothes therefore can suffer from a lack of publicity.
One of the most popular brands is People Tree, with some of their creations stocked by ASOS. People Tree’s pieces are quite classic, with fun and interesting prints such as cats, soldiers and love birds. The men’s selection is also very appealing; the t-shirts have great designs, similar to those that can be found at Topman. Another famous Fairtrade clothes brand is Annie Greenabelle. Their clothes are flattering and look great on the normal sized models wearing them on the website. The prices are affordable and sometimes cheaper than those in high street chains. Philippa Bosquet
Editor: Alicia Queiro travel@ epigram.org.uk
Deputy: Alex Bradbrook deputytravel@ epigram.org.uk
Letting the good times roll in New Orleans
‘Laissez les bons temps rouler’ is something of an unofficial motto in New Orleans. A throwback to when the city was a French colony, the phrase is roughly translated as ‘let the good times roll’ and is taken very seriously by locals, even if they worry rather less about the purity of their linguistic heritage. Like most of the French terms appropriated by New Orleanians, ‘laissez les bons temps rouler’ is roundly butchered in a frenzy of elongated consonants and unrolled verb endings to stumble out as something approximating ‘Laiss’ay lay bawne tawne roolay.’
“A couple approached and nodded approvingly, with one even, utterly unironically, calling me a ‘G.’” Of course, it is possible that all this slurring is more down to one of New Orleans’ most famous collective pastimes. The appropriately titled Bourbon Street (sadly named after the French royal dynasty, not the liquor) is a mile-long den of sin lined with dive bars and strip clubs. The infamous American drinking laws are mercifully swept under the carpet, or else dumped unceremoniously into the Mississippi,
leaving the city’s population to slur away to their heart’s content. Whenever I travel, I make an effort to appreciate the customs of the local people, and partake in them where possible. So it would have been utterly disrespectful of me not to join the locals in their revelry as I passed through the city on a trip around the States. Solo partying was ill advised, however, on account of the fact that New Orleans has long held the record of being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Fortunately, I was able to convince a fellow guest at my hostel to accompany me for the evening. Unfortunately, he quickly lost interest in my company to pursue a local girl precariously perched by the bar at our whiskey den of choice. Perhaps to drown the sorrows of being abandoned alone in one of the hedonistic capitals of the world, I buckled down and attempted to salvage the night by savouring the local whiskey. Later, I emerged wobbly and confused into the street. It was probably the dank Louisiana air affecting my otherwise stoic demeanour. As luck would have it, a trainee nurse and her friend spotted my – presumably worsening – condition. It appeared that they were suffering from a similar ailment that had so suddenly afflicted me. Not wishing to abandon a hapless foreigner to his fate, they took me under their collective wing, escorting me back to Bourbon Street and the
prospect of more dank air. What could I do but accept? After all, I’m always one to demur to authority, and a soon-to-be-medicalprofessional was imploring me to join her. It was clear, though, that dank air could only get one so far. Eventually, the esteemed doctor advised me to continue my road to recovery by sampling a Poor Boy, a famous style of local sandwich, so named for their invention by itinerant workers during the Great Depression. So we hopped in her car – the only part of the evening that could definitely be described as medically unwise – and sped out away from the bright lights of Bourbon Street to what I had been assured was the best Poor Boy joint in town. Whether it was the dank air talking or not, it was implied in
! y fl g lookin
Andrea Valentino gets to know the locals, enjoy a free dinner along the way.
hushed tones that in a neighbourhood such as this, it would be far safer if I tried to blend in with the locals, specifically by pretending to be dating one. And so, in one final medical intervention, I was hastily re-baptised with the Creole moniker ‘Antoine Baptiste,’ had my arm thrust through my nurse’s, and presented as her new boyfriend to the crowd of surprisingly unskeptical (or gullible) gangstas hanging around outside the sandwich shop. A couple approached and nodded approvingly, with one even, utterly unironically, calling me a ‘G.’ A tad surprising, perhaps, but I guess I just had to embrace the city’s creed – to ‘Laiss’ay lay bawne tawne roolay’ – and go with it.
I never quite got used to waking up in Casa Guapo, the villa in which myself and the Fuze male models were staying. The pungent smells of aloe vera based moisturiser and empty complimentary Jaegar bottles would wash heavily over me as we awoke, cold, having tried to sleep in a dimensionally-flawed sleeveless vest - the boys oh so big, their vests oh so small. The boys all seemed to be creatures of habit; they’d start by waking up and heading straight for the shower before Protein Intake Hour. It was often during this twilight period when nobody else was around that I’d hear the hum of quiet self-motivation through the corridors of the villa. One can only assume this occurred during mirror Flickr: juanstermonster
Our agent reports from a trip with the Fuze models: Part Two pep talks, or at some kind of badly orchestrated group therapy. It was mainly the talking that took up their time in the bathroom (hairless bodies tend to air dry very efficiently). So I never had to wait too long to get in there and pat dry my irritatingly hairy legs. I was seriously weighing up the pros and cons of waxing them - it wasn’t peer pressure as such, I’d just been inspired by the presence of people who led a much simpler life. In terms of their drying habits of course.
“Say that you’re tired of being labelled just a pair of abs - you have six not two.” Soon after we settled in and had gone out for our mad night, I raised the motion that we head down to the beach for snorkelling and sunbathing. The boys had a muted response, claiming they’d got their tans before the trip and the sea would ruin the even coating of their top layers. More fool me for not reading the to-do list! Strong-Jaw Luke eventually managed to persuade some of the others that the
beach would be a good place to get attention and possibly Instagram some ab, sand and sea collages. Tan smudging was still off the cards. Using his pointy-jawed charisma, Strong-Jaw led the boys on a daytime rampage for women along the sea front. I chose to observe the patterns and behaviours of the models. Now was the time to pick up tips! From what I gleaned there are a few simple stages: remind the girl you are a model (a stage I might have to miss out on); then say that you’re tired of being labelled just a pair of abs - you have six not two -; finally, offer to take them backstage to ‘try on clothes’. In hindsight, I’m not too sure about the authenticity of the backstage offer. As Strong-Jaw Luke often said, ‘Life is a backstage, and also a catwalk. It’s what you make of it really. Just behave like you know what you’re doing, even if you feel like what you’re doing has no illustrative purpose’. Wise words yet again from Luke. It took me a while to mull them over and understand them. In fact, I’m still not quite sure if I do. But maybe that’s the point?
Monk’s best friend: Laos beyond the tubing If you hear Laos and think tubing, then you’re reading the wrong article. Vang Vieng and its infamous tubing-cum-magic mushrooming tourist attraction (think: those vile low-neck strappy tees saying things like ‘I survived tubing in V.V.’ that you’ve probably seen in the unay gym) have created a bad name for the beautifully diverse country of Laos. Last summer, I visited Luang Prabang (the place people often head to when they want to ‘chill out’ after their sick and safe tubing experience #yolo #noparents), and spent a month that is now high up there in the list of my top ten months ever. So, before you head immediately towards Vang Vieng when arriving in the country, here’s why you should make a beeline for the unforgettable town of Luang Prabang. e. The e biologists out ther This is one for all th e most naturally Laotian people are th is g town what make the town Luang Praban e ever been to (the beautifully place I’v , if ya get me?). It’s not the special place it wears no make-up a twenty-metre stroll is. I have never been g uncommon durin fly, ten cats, a cow, a somewhere so full er tt bu to see a rare unds, a rooster, ho d bi of friendly folk; no ra of le up co snake, a ose sort of chicks) th ot one’s in a rush so (n s ick ch of p a grou red birds lou co tly igh br all the locals want of and a collection nborough show. to stop you for te At vid Da a of t straight ou camera was always a chat, and ask Needless to say, my wn winds around to questions like why e Th y. ad re e at th d HIGHLY an dy ud m , you’re in Laos/ ick th the gloriously IMMABLE SW UN D what your name AN E BL UNDRINKA ushing my teeth br aa is/why your hair oll (h er riv g Mekon water...although led tt is so red... (just bo ive ns pe ex e with low a larg al sw lly ta en me?). I can’t think cid ac one day I did t the tale in un co re to of another town where going lateed liv d er an amount of river wat night bowling and clubbing with local strangers this article). who can barely speak English is a perfectly normal situation to be in. in s nd eke we no There are Luang Prabang. ‘But surely that’s a bad thing!’ I heard you cry. It’s definitely not The food is divine an d a bad thing. There is no as chips. £1.50 is nein as cheap ng sense of a weekend in Lua bad for a generous portion of no Prabang because there is no odle soup (a Laotian spec iality that sense of a week. The whole ca n be found everyw vibe is so entirely chilled country, from five- here in the , not n tha en oft re mo t tha suspicious-looking, star hotels to shopkeepers have little caffs). ‘Shakes’ are dog-serving another schluffs in the sun, rather speciality; they’re ba than do any work. There’s slush puppies. My fa sically fruity no work hard play hard watermelon, but re ve was attitude here - it’s more like often serve a plethostaurants ra of different do a little bit of work, relax flavours including Or eo and A LOT. peanut butter.
free for all!
fie l e s #
I can’t write a piece about Lu main monk was ang Prabang w this time (A qu called Novice Buntha, who ithout giving a shout out to ick word of ad I th them on the lim vice: if a monk have miraculously stayed in e monks. My touch with al it ad ed d s profile se you on and think it’s normal and ac tting because they don’t realFacebook, make sure you pu l t ceptable to ad themselves into ly understand d Fa must for visitinyour friends’ profile pictures all your friends on Facebook cebook ettiquete crack of dawn g Luang Prabang is giving al even though they have neverand photoshop town. Monks cato place food into their bask ms to the monks - that is, , ever met). A w ets as they do of locals (and n’t work, so the only way th their daily moraking up at the tourists). The lo ey ning walk thro ca n eat is th of advice is to bring somethincals give the monks plain stic rough the generous donatio ugh g a bit more ja n ky zzy e.g. chocolat rice every day, so my wor s d e bars or lychee s.
I could go on forever about the wonderful Luang Prabang and what a laid-back and strange place it is, but alas my article must come to an end. I strongly urge anyone planning a trip to Asia to clear some space in their timetable for this wonderful town, as it really is a dream of a destination. Kate Samuelson
Editor: Alicia Queiro travel@ epigram.org.uk
Only in America...
One of the first things people associate with the USA is its abundance of pretty awesome cities. Yep, I’m talking about places like New York, LA, Miami, Austin… Austin?! Whilst it may not be the first place to spring to mind, this small, humble capital city of the cowboy-loving, Bible-bashing, yeehawing state of Texas (George Bush’s home state…need I say more?) really stuck out to me for a bunch of reasons. Considering that the city’s motto is ‘Keep Austin Weird’, it’s hardly surprising.
The Melle Smell
The city and its inhabitants live in an entirely different world from the Bristol bubble, lurching from ‘mall’ shopping and mani-pedis to Disney channel marathons and ready-made cookie dough tbat comes out of a tube. Never has the phrase ‘only in America’ been more appropriate.
by Jess Piette
While eating at a prestig ious hotel restaurant tha overlooked Lake Travis t , we were asked if we wo uld like to try and complete ‘Th e Big Challenge’. It inv olved attempting to eat a ma ssive (expensive) plate of food – if you managed to fin ish it, you got your mo ney back. We looked at the menu , our eyes widening in horror as we read what the ‘dish’ was made up of. Two lar ge beef burgers, two massive ste aks, an extra large portio fries, sausages, bacon, n of a couple of veg, and the catch was that you had to eat it all under one hour. The wo was, when we asked if rst part anyone had managed to complete it, they said yes – and showed us a picture of an elevenyear-old boy.
est Austin Funk F
glaring heat bar, with the ed en a rk da a and watching Sitting in -red eating nachos ic le tr hi ec w el e id an ts d ou long hair an ry it ve er ith ov l w al an ning bolts Chinese m ith silver light g funk bass, was w it su p m ju latex ayin nd the stage pl me extremely weird jumping arou so w sa e W e. bl ya ndly, showing extremely enjo lovely and frie as w ne yo d for its er acts, and ev in is renowne s charm. Aust xa th going or Te w ue ly tr ite e th d it’s defin an e, en ut the sc ho ic great mus occur throug festivals that e th of e on to summer.
The Singing Rock the ighbour of a rock out in Austin is the proud ne g off lin coo en wh , nite which desert made of pink gra rate and vib to it g sin cau , ink in the evening would shr the late erica. We climbed it in sing. Again, only in Am iting for wa ur ho an ut abo for afternoon sun and sat rting to ly, just when it was sta the sun to set. Poetical itched h-p hig y ver nt, fai a ng ari get dark, we started he scene, ie eer l, rea sur s a slightly car humming sound. It wa the to The journey back kals but also oddly peaceful. jac e som saw we s terrifying; in in the dark though wa aga t tha sh. I won’t be doing skulking about in the bu in a hurry.
And the occasion al bit of racism...
Most of the peop le liv visited hire Mexica ing in the gated community I n are extremely preju people as their gardeners and diced towards th em. told me that som e of their neighbo My relatives rude to them, an d that people assu urs were very me they are illega l immigrants. It was a bit creepy being in such a ric where people ob h, opulent area, served their gard eners labouring aw in the heat from ay their air-condition ed mini-mansions a sad reminder of : the massive ineq ualities that perpetuate in Am erican society.
! e r e h e r e w u Dear e2, Wish yo
As the fishermens’ boats retreat closer to the shore , you can bet your bottom dollar t that it ’s abou to rain . Who needs weather forecasts?!
Love , Tamara Wood x
Flickr: Stuck In Customs
The Big Challenge
Deputy: Alex Bradbrook deputytravel@ epigram.org.uk
When you picture how you will spend your year abroad in France, you imagine little cups of espresso in the sunshine, walking back from town, baguette slung dutifully under arm, bustling markets, and, of course, beret-clad men everywhere, perhaps with garlic around their neck. During my six months here, I am happy to say, I’ve seen it all, bar the garlic necklace… My time here has been spent as an assistant in a lycée in the rural town of Melle. Don’t know where that is? Don’t worry, nor do the French. For those interested, and with a good French geography, it’s halfway between Poitiers and La Rochelle, in the middle of nowhere. Melle has a whopping population of 4000 people, mostly of the older generation. It is best known for both its twelfth century churches and, at the other end of the spectrum, its chemical and mayonnaise factories, which unleash the famous all-permeating ‘Melle Smell’ on a Friday when they close up for the weekend. If that wasn’t enough, Melle is, no word of a lie, capital of a region famed for its goats. Yup, this is where I’ve been living… Naturally, Melle isn’t what I envisaged, I was longing for a big city. However, despite the initial disappointment, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Melle is both the stereotypical rural French town you imagine, and so very, very different. Whilst it is similar to most other small towns I have visited in France, centred around a market place, with a church and a few shops, it is the people that make Melle so different, and have made me love it. I have been accepted as a true mellois and that has made me love my experience. For instance, in such a small town, everyone knows everyone and I am no different. I always know someone in the café, boulangerie, bank and so on. Students and residents alike will greet me with a thickly accented attempt at an English greeting, for here, I am ‘zeee Eeengliiish’ and as such, a rarity. During my time here, I’ve managed to strike up a few interesting conversations with locals, particularly on the monthly “Club Night” (read: a bloke with Spotify and some speakers) in Melle’s solitary café. The selection of amazing mellois I have met here include a man I only know as “Beret Man” as his magnificent moustache and regular inebriation mean I can barely understand a word he says, a barman with an afro three times the size of his head, a parent of a student who made me promise not to tell his kid about his awful drunken dancing, and a bus driver who after 6pm, on his last journey, blasts club music on what he dubs, the ‘party bus.’. This hasn’t been the France they teach you about, and I’ve loved it. I’ve had a truly unique experience, and will remember this place, and the people I’ve met, for a long time to come! Mike Davis Foreign Correspondent in France
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Issue 259 of e2 featured an article headed ‘A day... in Northern Cyprus’ in which we inadvertently referred to the area as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This is in fact a disputed and occupied area. It was not our intention to bestow legal status, or otherwise, on the area and we apologise for any offence caused by the description.
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Issue 262 of e2, Epigram's lifestyle supplement