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gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1086 Monday 14th November 2016 Cardiff University joins healthcare product initiative
“I don’t want to go back home.” Students react to US election EXCLUSIVE
he world came to a brief standstill on Tuesday night to watch the climax of arguably the most hard fought and momentous presidential election of all time. Many could not believe their eyes as Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 279 electoral votes to 228. Others were jubilant, citing an against-all-odds victory over the United States’ political class. At Cardiff University, many students followed the progress of the election late into the night, with hundreds more congregating in the Taf donning Clinton and Trump masks. The majority were supporting Clinton, and a jovial, alcohol-fuelled atmosphere began to turn anxious and tense as Trump gained more and more electoral votes. The occasion has been compared to
Brexit with the same feelings of confusion and dejection creating a sense of deja vu among onlookers. Alyssa Alamillo is a first-generation Mexican-American currently studying at Cardiff University, and she spoke to Gair Rhydd about her experiences of election night, and her emotions following the victory of Donald Trump. “I voted in both the global primary and the general election. I was, and still am, a strong Bernie Sanders supporter and hoped he’d represent the Democratic Party. I voted for Hillary in the general election, but it was mostly a pragmatic decision than a personal one. “When it became apparent that Donald would be the presidential elect, I cried. I’m not an emotional person, and many friends know this, so for something to strike me that hard is a telling of how much fear Trump brought to America. I feel emotionally drained and tired. This election was my first and has honestly made me feel completely useless.”
She added: “No matter how frequently women and people of colour share their troubling experiences about their identity in America, it just gets struck down as ‘labelling’ and ‘divisiveness.’ It’s exhausting to constantly recount experiences of racism in my life only to be struck down because ‘racism doesn’t exist in the United States.’ “This victory means that it is okay for someone to be blatantly racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and not only is it okay, it is electable in the high office. “I’m more fearful of his Vice President elect and his hardcore supporters than I am of him. Not even 24 hours since he won I had already received a racist tweet basically calling Mexicans rapist freeloaders. I’ve experienced racism as a Mexican-American a handful of times in my life, but not with the kind of rhetoric Trump has introduced.” Alyssa also stated that she had planned to return to Chicago, the city where she
was born and where her family still live, to try and find a job after university. In the aftermath of the election, her plans have changed. Speaking to Gair Rhydd, she said: “Now, I don’t want to go back home.” Talking about her Mexican heritage and newfound fears of discrimination, she said: “I come from a family of legal Mexican immigrants. I’m a first generation American on my father’s side and second generation on my mother’s. This result has me worried for my relatives and younger sisters. My extended family won’t face deportation, obviously, but we sure will face harassment and racist comments.”discrimination many of us have had throughout our lives will not compare to the kind of harassment we may receive in these coming times.”
Continued on page 4
ardiff University has joined a number of Welsh and Irish universities in a new ‘innovation network’. The €11.96m Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) will seek to develop medical products that could help provide quicker diagnoses for patients. Professor Arwyn Jones from Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who is leading the Cardiff University group, said: “The CALIN project is a unique opportunity for Wales to accelerate medical innovation in the region and stay at the forefront of emerging fields in the medical sector. By working closely with our counterparts in Ireland, and SME’s across the two regions, Welsh universities can help develop innovative products that will improve the health and commercial sectors of both nations.”
Partisan support to save Cardiff man from deportation Assembly members from all four of the party’s present in the Welsh Assembly have backed a campaign to help prevent a 19-year old man from being deported back to Afghanistan. Bashir Naderi, who has lived in Cardiff for 9 years, had his deportation postponed in October,, after a judge ordered it be halted. In a show of support for Mr. Naderi, AMs from each party took to Cardiff Bay wearing blue ribbons, after a petition against his deportation recieved over 11,000 signatures. Mr. Naderi’s solicitors have launched a judicial review, while Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens has been working to try and keep Mr. Naderi in the city permanently. Labour AM Jenny Rathbone described Mr. Naderi, who was a painting and decorating student at Cardiff and Vale College up until his deportation case, as an “exemplary” man, while also describing the cross-party support for the “Stand Up For Bash” campaign as “very heart warming”.
2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor
the free word Don’t dump on Trump voters
Deputy Editors Toby Holloway Emily Giblett News Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster Comment Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders Columnist Helena Hanson Advice George Watkins Anwen Williams Politics Adam George Ellise Nicholls Science Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert Societies Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris Taf-Od Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher Sport James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey Digital Media Editor Emily Giblett Cartoonist Louis Mertens Editorial Assistant Carwyn Williams Get involved Editorial conferences are each Monday at 6:30pm. Proofreading takes place from 6pm on Thursdays in the media office. Write to the editor email@example.com Tweet us @gairrhydd At Gair Rhydd we take seriously our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards. Sometimes, because of deadline pressures, we may make some mistakes. If you believe we have fallen below the standards we seek to uphold, please email editor@gairrhydd. com. You can view our Ethical Policy Statement and Complaints Procedure at cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/complaints Opinions expressed in editorials are not reflective of Cardiff Student Media, who act as the publisher of Gair Rhydd in legal terms, and should not be considered official communications or the organisation’s stance. Gair Rhydd is a Post Office registered newspaper.
It’s time to come together: Love trumps hate Maria Mellor
ast Tuesday evening, I was in The Taf. I had spent 20 minutes queuing for a pint and I was ready to settle in for a good night with my friends, planning to head home at about 1am. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you’ll know that events transpired. I ended up staying until past 5am feeling despondent. The next few days were like a dream. It was like Brexit all over again. Nobody I’ve talked to expected Donald Trump to win, but he did. As you’ll see from our front page story, students across the globe were not happy. I was seeing a lot of messages of hate against Trump supporters on social media. Threats ranged from unfollowing/ unfriending people who voted for Trump to physical violence. While the result of the election may not have been what we wanted, we need to consider how we choose to react.
Over half the country voted for Donald Trump. That’s a lot of people! Not all of them are the ignorant racist white men we like to think they are. 42 per cent of American women voted for Trump. What youll find are a lot of people, a lot of families who are scared about their future. There’s a culture in America of scapegoating minorities for their problems. Mexican people are blamed for recessions; Islam is blamed for terrorism; Black people are blamed for high levels of gun violence. Rather than blaming people who voted for Trump for the events that transpired, we should blame the collective frame of mind that allowed the man to get nominated in the first place. Instead of raging against individuals, we should try and educate the masses. I hope in saying that I don’t sound patronising but there has to be a reason why so many women would vote for that man when he himself is a blatant misogynist. There must be a reason why 29 per cent of hispanic voters chose to vote for a man who
actively wants to throw them out of the country. That reason is fear. In the nicest way possible these people who should not have voted Trump don’t know how severe the things he says are. They don’t understand the possible concequences of him being elected. They aren’t aware that he constantly lies and manipulates and that THAT is the real reason why he will be President of the United States of America. I believe in the power of peaceful protests and I am incredibly glad about the many people taking to the streets in America to express their unhappiness in a physical manner. Maybe we should have done the same for Brexit. Anyone who is against Trump: take to social media. Write articles and blog posts. Make Youtube videos or just debate about it with your friends. We need to scrutinise his every political move. We need to point out when he’s racist, when he’s sexist or homophobic rather than just leaning away and saying “that’s just how he is!”
It’s not about attacking hima nd those who support him. It’s about showing why he should not have been elected. I promise that the whole paper isn’t about Donald Trump, but if you’re not sick of him already there’s a couple of articles in the paper about the election. Aside from that we have in Societies a fancy crossword if you want to take your mind off the state of the USA. We have articles about smoking in both Comment and Science: in Comment we ask why students don’t care about their health, typically drinking a lot, eating poorly and smoking socially. In Science we looked at a couple of recent studies that found new information about the dangers of smoking. It’s strange having a week’s break from the paper. It feels like you have to relearn how to get back into the rhythm of it. We’ll be running smoothly from now until just before the Christmas holidays so make sure you keep picking up the paper for the latest news!
Campus in Brief
Taiwan could be the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage
etro, the host of Cardiff ’s favourite 90sthemed Wednesday night, has come under fire from an angry customer after she was served water instead of sambuca. Catherine Gibbs was outraged when she spent over £10 on a round for her colleagues, only to realise that the shots she had purchased were from a bottle filled with tap water which had been mistakenly left on the bar after a training session. Although Gibbs received an apology and was immediately given real sambuca after she complained, she remains dubious of the clubs explanation, calling it ‘a strange exuse’. A bursary worth £50,000 has been shared out amongst 38 bands and artists in Wales. Set up by the BBC Wales and Arts Council of Wales’ Horizons scheme, the Launchpad fund enables young musicians to advance to the next step in their careers. Each group or individual received up to £2,000 each to put towards recording costs, studio time, equipment and publicity. Amongst the bands winning the support of the Launchpad fund, are Anglesey-based band Fleur De Lys and Cardiff alternative rock group Estrons who both played at Sŵn Festival in the capital last month. Following Donald Trump’s victory in last weeks US presidential election, First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, has issued a statement expressing his thoughts on one of the most divisive and controversial campaigns in recent history. In a post on Twitter on Wednesday morning, Mr Jones said that President Trump would ‘have much work to do to repair a divided nation’. The first minister went on to voice his hopes that the strong trading relationship between Wales and the US would continue, saying “we will maintain a strong presence in America, including opening our latest office in Atlanta. I visited the USA in September and plan to do so again next year.”
National Women in the UK will effectively be working for free for the rest of the year, due to the pay gap that exists in between men and women in the workplace. The gender pay gap which is currently between 13-18% according to equality campaigners, exists because women are more likely to receive lower pay, and less likely to receive bonuses and be promoted to roles at the top of their company. A report by the Fawcett Society found that at the current rate, it will take 60 years to close the pay gap. A man who stole a marked police car, leading to an 80 minute chase through two counties, has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and aggravated taking of a motor vehicle, amongst other charges. The 33-year-old man was detained by officers in Turnford, Hertfordshire, after a domestic incident. After managing to escape, he proceeded to steal the police car and drive it through the counties of East Herts and Essex for over an hour with blue lights flashing until he was eventually caught after driving the wrong way down the A10. A retired civil servant from Dundee will be the next voice of the BT speaking clock, it has been announced. Alan Steadman, 69, who also fronted a local jazz radio show for 33 years, is set to be both the first Scottish and first non-English voice of the clock in its 80 year history. Mr Steadman won the chance to be the voice of the clock in a contest held in aid of Children In Need, beating tough competition including two finalists from Wales. David Hay, a member of the judging panel, said “it was so difficult to choose the winner from our finalists but Alan stood out and I think we’ve found a fantastic new voice.”
International Polish women can now learn self-defence for free thanks to an initiative organised by the country’s defence ministry. The classes will be held at military bases across Poland for the next eight months, in a move that some in the country see as an attempt to improve the image of the army. Women of all ages will learn techniques including how to break holds, guards against assault and strangulation, and defensive postures. Many have voiced skepticism for the scheme, with some suggesting that there is a “propaganda dimension” to the classes. The Democratic Republic of Congo faces a descent into civil war if its president Joseph Kabila does not step down, the opposition has warned. The country has been unstable since Kabila announced that the elections, due to be held this month, would be postponed until 2018. Whilst the president maintains that it is currently financially impossible to hold fair polls, critics suggest that Kabila is desperate to cling to power for as long as possible. The UN has urged parties with political differences to “resolve their differences peacefully”. Taiwan could be the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in an historic bill that could be passed within months. Three bills related to marriage equality are currently being worked upon by Taiwanese lawmakers. The move to legalise marriage for gay and lesbian couples is strongly supported by, the first female head of state, President Tsai-Ing Wen, as well as 80% of Taiwanese residents aged between 20 and 29. Taiwan’s permissive attitude to gay marriage bucks the general trend across Asia and the Middle East, where same-sex intercourse remains illegal in 20 countries.
Pictured: Our First Minister makes a statement (Source: UKTI via Flickr)
Women in the UK will effectively be working for free for the rest of the year.
Editors: Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/news
Continued: Students react to Trump
Finally, she said: “The previous brushes with discrimination many of us have had throughout our lives will not compare to the kind of harassment we may receive in these coming times.” In many campuses across the United States, the reaction to the result among students, the majority of which voted for Hillary Clinton, was one of despair and stunned silences. Leo Mackenzie, a finance and mathematics student originally from the UK, who is studying at Lafayette University in Pennsylvania. He said: “On election night, PBS’s regional channel hosted their election coverage from our campus. There was initially a lot of excitement, but as soon as we started getting the first results in from the big swing states like Florida, everyone was pretty concerned and the atmosphere was dying.” He added: “The mood around campus the next morning was very apparently sombre. Professors didn’t want to speak much to it in case of inciting more fear or emotion. Exams were cancelled, classes were cancelled, and the school is pushing a lot of counselling resources.”
Continued from front page
In the wake of the election result, many people opposed to Trump’s incoming presidency have staged protests throughout the country, and many others have voiced their concern and shock over social media. The protests have been largely peaceful, and particularly common at higher education institutions due to the large numbers of Democrat voters among this demographic. Leo went on to say: “There have been many continuing protests of Black Lives Matter, but messages are going on all around campus as allies for LGBTQ, Women, Refugees, Immigrants etc. There’s a sense that the country is about to regress a lot.” Lily Blinco, a 3rd year English literature student currently partaking in a semester abroad at Northeastern University, Massachusetts recounted her experience of the presidential election: “Me and the girls on my floor watched it in our common room and as it became more clear that he actually had a very strong chance of getting in the room just got quieter and quieter and we all stopped talking! When it was announced a few of the girls cried.
“Yesterday on campus it felt like everyone was grieving. My professor had only slept an hour. A few people cried in my class. It’s sort of like a looming cloud...people are scared.” She went on to say: “There was a massive [protest] on Boston common last night. They are trying to focus on being peaceful. It’s not so much a Trump protest it’s more like supporting those who feel victimised by him and a protest in solidarity.” At Cardiff University, scores of students descended on the Taf, which was decorated with countless USA flags, to watch the election night develop. An atmosphere which was party-like at 12am, was laced with anxiety at 3am and downright sombre at 5am, as Donald Trump won state after state to pull of a sensational victory over his rival candidate. Robbie McMichael, a 3rd year CPLAN student, who was in the Taf throughout the course of the election, described the scenes that took place there on Tuesday night: “It was surprisingly busy, I didn’t think so many people would be committed to
watching it, to start with quite a carnival atmosphere, but by the end an almost deathly silence had settled in as the result got more apparent.” Another 3rd year, Ben Harvey, reiterated the apparent change of atmosphere, saying: “I was a bit surprised about the amount of people that actually turned up to watch the election. And it was a pretty good, chilled out atmosphere to begin with...it was also pretty clear who most people supporting with the whole room cheering when Clinton won a state, and an indifferent atmosphere when trump did. “The atmosphere in general I think changed after it was almost confirmed that Trump would win...people seemed to lose interest in the whole thing and people just wanted to get to bed.” Ben also added: “Me personally, I’m pretty indifferent to who is in power in a country which isn’t our own and that probably was a reason why I wasn’t too fussed about the outcome, despite it still being a bit of a shock. “To be honest I think it was just an excuse for people to get smashed.”
To be honest I think it was just an excuse for people to get smashed. Ben Harvey, CPLAN 3rd year
The room just got quieter and quieter and we all stopped talking. When it was announced a few of the girls cried. Lily Blinco, Cardiff University student studying in Massachusetts
Pictured: Anti-Trump protestors (Photographer: Fibonnaci Blue via Flickr)
Winter Wonderland open for business
he popular seasonal amusement park has opened for another year in Cardiff. Located in Gorsedd Gardens opposite City Hall, the park contains various fairground rides, a big wheel, an ice rink and places to eat and drink. It officially opened last Wednesday (November 10) with their press night on Tuesday where they revealed the new rink. The poor weather last year that meant people were sent away, un-
able to skate. This year a roof has been installed to improve the experience of skaters. Winter Wonderland is open now until Tuesday January 3. Operator Norman George Sayers of Sayers Amusements said: “We really wanted to avoid disappointing skaters who turn up to find that the rain has cancelled their session, so we’ve done everything we can to avoid it this year. It means we hope to be able to skate for
55 days throughout the festive season, closing just on Christmas Day.” The big wheel is the height of three double deckers with terrific views over the capital and an alpine lodge-style bar serving a selection of mulled wine, beer and hot drinks. John Davies, a director of rink operator 11th Hour said: “It is fantastic to be involved in this spectacular event. This is the first time that we have constructed the ice rink at Cardiff, and I am real-
ly looking forward to this special time of year. Cardiff deserves events that deliver family friendly, unforgettable Christmas experiences – it is our mission to deliver on that promise.” Students can skate 2 for 1 on all sessions before 5pm from 14-18 November (inclusive). A valid student ID must be shown on entrance to the rink and sessions must be pre-booked online at http://cardiffwinterwonderland.com/ en/tickets.
Clashes in the Senedd as Welsh Conservatives claim Goverment aren’t doing enough to help poverty in Wales Pictured: The Senedd (Photo Credit: The National Assembly For Wales )
elsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies has held his party’s rivals responsible for the high number of people living in poverty across the country, after a recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that almost a quarter of people living in Wales live in poverty. The report also found that such high levels of poverty costs the Welsh Government an additional £3.6billion a year to maintain public services linked to poverty. Responding to the report’s findings and suggestions, Mr. Davies said: “The report raises some interesting proposals to tackle poverty in Wales, but it’s important that we recognise that these challenges exist in communities across the whole of Wales, not just in one area. “In the past, towns such as Barry and Wrexham, and many of Wales’ rural communities, have missed out on the levels of support afforded to other parts of the country and we cannot allow them to be left behind. “Regeneration status must apply to
the whole country, and schemes which replace structural funds must be used more efficiently and effectively to deliver jobs and growth to Wales’ poorest communities. “Sadly, the evidence suggests that Wales needs more than just a change of approach to dealing with poverty – we need a change of government. “It’s worth remembering that parts of the Valleys are already in an enterprise zone, and it hasn’t. “After seventeen years in power, Labour and their supporting cast of Plaid and the Liberal Democrats have failed to deliver jobs or growth, and successive rounds of structural funding have been wasted opportunities.” The report also suggested that poverty in Wales could be set to increase following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and cites the need to secure replacement funding as an “immediate priority”. Attempting to offer reassurance, a spokesperson for the Welsh Government said: “We have big ambitions for Wales and its economy and we will
continue to work hard to create and safeguard jobs. “We are investing £111m next year alone to create 100,000 all-age apprenticeships, piloting a Better Jobs, Closer to Home project to create employment and training hubs in deprived areas, and developing a fresh approach to improving prosperity in the south Wales valleys, which is being driven by a new ministerial taskforce.” Wales voted in favour of leaving the EU in June, despite receiving hundreds of millions of pounds a year from Brussels as part of an EU structural fund program. A poll in July has since shown that given the chance to vote again the country would have voted 53% to remain. Meanwhile, Mr. Davies has also criticized the Labour-led Welsh Government over recent Welsh business rate revaluations, after it was revealed Cardiff based businesses could see the highest increase in rateable values. “The impact of the recent rate revaluations will be devastating for many small businesses across Wales, and the
First Minister’s refusal to consider additional financial support is a kick in the teeth. “Business rates have been devolved to Wales since April 2015, and yet the business community is still waiting for a permanent scheme of support. “Whilst the introduction of a transitional fund will help some of the firms affected, few believe that it goes far enough and it’s clear that more needs to be done by the Welsh Labour Government to provide small firms with a soft landing when these changes come into play. “Ultimately, unless additional funds are brought forward during the current budget period, I do fear that Labour’s new scheme in April 2018 will come too late for many Welsh communities.” The revaluations, which are the first of their kind for seven years, aim to move tax burdens away from impoverished areas and local high streets, with business rates in Wales being blamed for the closure of many shops across the countries smaller towns.
After seventeen years in power, Labour and their supporting cast of Plaid and the Libeal Democrats have failed to deliver jobs or growth Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative Leader
New Campus Development approved by planners Gabriella Mansell
ork on new science and innovation centre at Cardiff University is set to start in
early 2017. Local town planners have approved the most recent phase of Cardiff University’s £300million pound innovation campus project. The project consists of two new buildings which aim to bring together bring researchers, businesses, public sector backers and students together to unlock ideas that drive economic growth. The consent from Cardiff City Council’s paves the way for a development, which brings benefits for all, from cafes and creative areas to public open spaces. This is part of the fully-funded £135m project which is being constructed on the city’s brownfield Maindy Park is the latest phase in Cardiff’s mission to embed innovation in University life. The innovation building has been designed by Architecture practices Hawkins\Brown and HOK both designed a building for the project, working alongside site master planners BDP and town
planning consultancy DPP. The campus project ‘vision’ was first outlined two years ago by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan who said the scheme would establish centres of excellence that push benefits back into the economy to create a self-sustaining cycle for growth. When questioned about the scheme Professor Riordan said: “A new campus helps us create opportunities for all. Cutting-edge research, technology transfer, business development and student enterprise will put ideas to work. “Our innovation ambitions go beyond the sum of the physical buildings. We are hiring internationally-renowned academics who can build world-class teams of post-doctoral researchers. We are equipping students with the skills they’ll need to set up future ventures. And we’re continuing to attract major UK and international funding across private and public sectors to make Cardiff the home of innovation.” The campus will host a range of innovation facilities including, The Institute
for Compound Semiconductors, Cardiff Catalysis Institute, SPARK: the world’s the world’s first social science research park and The Innovation Centre – a creative base for start-ups, working in partnership with the Medicentre, a clinical innovation incubator based at Heath Park. The new project will feature an event space, restaurant, and a flowing staircase, Innovation Central’s public areas will connect researchers with the local community, creating social interaction, recreation space, alfresco dining, and exhibition and events space with research potential. Also available will be a small area for office and lab space which will be allow both small start-ups and major corporations who want to work within one of the UK’s leading research University. Oliver Milton, partner at Hawkins\ Brown, said: “The Innovation Central Building is a really exciting project. In generating our design, we worked closely with Cardiff University to develop new models for space use and the in-
tegration of industrial partnerships and collaboration in an HE context. “This has resulted in a very clear design with interactive working spaces organised around a central ‘Oculus’ that connects the seven storeys. Shared facilities include a Ted-ex style event space and a fabrication lab to trial new manufacturing technologies.” The Innovation Campus is the third phase of development at Maindy Park following the opening of The Hadyn Ellis Building in 2013, and Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, opened by Her Majesty The Queen in June. In addition to two new buildings, each covering 12,000 sq m, this latest third phase includes a bridge linking Cardiff Business School with the Innovation Campus. This development runs alongside the Centre of Student Life building, which will merge with the current Student Union to create a collection the best facilities in every part of the Cardiff University experience.
The consent from Cardiff City Council’s paves the way for a development, which brings benefits for all.
Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom email@example.com gairrhydd.com/comment
The (Dis)United States of Trump
Clinton and Trump were very odd candidates for each party, as they both came with enormous character defects and flaws.
n Tuesday the 8th of November 2016, Donald Trump was elected to become the next president of the United States. These are words which I never expected to write this year, but it is indeed what happened; the crowning glory of an election campaign that has ripped America apart, and been quite unlike anything that any voter has ever seen before. It wasn’t just the scandals that seemed to engulf either candidate on an almost weekly basis, but that principally, the two main choices on the ballot paper were so completely different in almost every way. Both hail, originally, from New York and if we’re honest, they’re both filthy stinking rich, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. One was a misogynistic, racist, businessman who had never held elected office and whose wicked delivery and signature style won over millions of American voters. The other? A former senator, first lady and secretary of state who leaned so hard on her nearly thirty years’ worth of experience but could still not shatter the highest glass ceiling to become the first female president. Clinton and Trump were very odd candidates for each party, as they both came with enormous character defects and flaws that ordinarily would’ve immediately handed victory to their closest rival. Clinton never quite managed to shake off the accusations that have followed her about a private email server she used for sensitive government documentation while she was secretary of state under Barack Obama, which wasn’t helped when the FBI announced
a new investigation into this around a week before the election. Trump, on the other hand, well, what did he say that wasn’t inflammatory or scandalous? From promises to build a wall and stop all Muslims from entering the US after the Paris attacks, to insulting women and the now infamous comments he made during a conversation with Access Hollywood in 2005. Who could forget the furore when Marco Rubio talked about Donald Trump’s hands and made a reference to the inadequacy of his penis? And yet, Trump managed to shake off literally every single piece of bad press and insulting comment he made. As someone remarked to me yesterday, it appeared as if the more negative press he got, the more people popular he became. It wasn’t just the candidates themselves who embodied the divisions felt within today’s America. During the long campaign trail of first the primaries and then the actual election, dissatisfaction and malcontent was rife. There were violent scenes at many Trump rallies around the country, voters from the so-called ‘Rust-belt’ felt left behind by forces such as globalisation, that were out of their control and, even though Hillary Clinton was the first female candidate for a major party, she seemed unable to engage the young, educated women that had flocked to Bernie Sanders during his attempt at securing the Democratic nomination. Whilst the Democrats did eventually select Clinton, the Republicans were tearing themselves apart over their candidate selection. Despite the clear support that was felt around
the country for Donald Trump, many senior Republicans refused to back him or his candidacy and still have not to this day. The campaign also never lost its toxic atmosphere, with Trump’s comments providing most of the drama due to his flamboyant debate style and tendency to interrupt and be rude to literally anyone that seemed to opposed to him. Clinton, debate chairs, other Republican candidates - Trump didn’t care, and to my mind, this is what endeared him to a lot of voters. The campaign Trump ran on was fundamentally and unequivocally anti-establishment, meant to attract the type of Americans that felt left behind by Washington and high-flung trade deals that they neither understood nor took the opinion that these deals benefited them. Much like in the EU referendum in June of this year, the voters who made the difference were ultimately not picked up by the polls and were voters who feel that they had been left behind and that their vote no longer carried any meaning. Well, they have shown twice, that it does, and that the politicians who run for office from now on will need to take heed. This election felt incredibly similar to the EU referendum in the summer; the polls didn’t predict the final outcome and it became clear that the UK was more divided than anyone actually thought, as voters from London and Scotland overwhelmingly supported the EU whilst people in the rest of England rejected the opinion of David Cameron’s campaign. The dissatisfaction was clear to see in the presidential
election when the famed Democratic ‘blue wall’ started to break down last week as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that had voted Democrat since 1992, switched to Trump, handing him the presidency despite Clinton taking some swing states. Even now, with the outcome in most states declared, Clinton has won the popular vote, yet Trump has the presidency. Not since the days of George W. Bush and Al Gore has this happened. Ultimately, this election was a victory for the blue-collar Americans who felt disenfranchised by Washington and the political classes and were uplifted by Trump’s rhetoric of ‘make America great again’. The new president seemed oddly conciliatory in his victory speech, delivering it with of course the usual buoyant atmosphere that follows a win, but also with a sincerity and respect towards his rival, (which has gone missing for much of the campaign) there referred to as ‘Secretary Clinton’. There are many unknowns to a Trump presidency, foremost among them is whether his rhetoric and speeches will actually form a congruent set of policies during his first term in the Oval Office. Will the wall be built? Will Mexico pay for it? Will Muslims be subject to huge scrutiny at customs due to their religion? Will Trump invade the UK and install Nigel Farage as our sovereign? Okay, that last one may be a bit far, but these are serious questions worthy of consideration. The one thing that is certain, however, is that the repercussions of Trump’s victory here will be felt across the world, and for a long time after he leaves office.
Pictured: Presidentelect Trump (Photographer: Matt Johnson via Flickr)
Ultimately, this election was a victory for the blue-collar Americans who felt disenfranchised by Washington and the political classes.
London stadium issues threaten Olympic legacy Crowd trouble and rising operating costs are putting the 2012 goal of legacy in serious danger
The irony is that legacy was such a cornerstone of the planning for the 2012 Olympics, but it is failing woefully at the stadium in which so much British sporting glory took place.
It’s sad but true that for every person innocently using social media in a positive way, there is another person who has set out to do the exact opposite.
here has been controversy in recent weeks over the rising costs of the Olympic Stadium which was used for the London 2012 Olympic Games, which was converted into the London Stadium for use by West Ham United F.C. An investigation was launched as the costs of converting the stadium for football use ballooned by £50 million from £272m to £323m. Furthermore, the stadium has been a cauldron of crowd trouble since West Ham started playing matches there in August, exhibited in violent scenes during their 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the EFL cup in October. The annual operating costs of the stadium have also risen considerably; from an estimated £300,000 a year to £8m due to a rise in costs for the retractable seating used at the ground, which allows it to be used as both a concert and athletics venue, as well as a football stadium. The rise in operating costs is rumoured to be related to the fact that the company that was contracted for the stadium has recently gone bankrupt. The stadium’s issues are so numerous that Paul Fletcher, an expert advisor to over 30 new stadiums, believes that the only way to resolve them is to demolish and re-
build the stadium as the fans are too far from the pitch. These comments are unlikely to please the members of the London Legacy Development Committee (LLDC), whose chairman stepped down on the 3rd of November due to the investigation, as the stadium has already had to be effectively built twice at a cost of £750 million. Any of the overrunning costs will have to be footed by the London taxpayer, who is already shouldering a large portion of the costs due to the incredibly favourable contract that was agreed between the LLDC and West Ham. For example, the club only paid £15million towards the overall conversion cost (which has since increased) and only have to contribute around £2.5million a year towards operating costs, which do not include stewarding and policing on match days; the bill for this is footed by the LLDC. The deal that was secured is ludicrously generous towards West Ham, as other Premier League clubs who have taken over stadiums built for competitions, such as Manchester City, have nowhere near as beneficial a deal. The main issue with this entire news story is that it raises so many
Pictured: The Olympic Stadium was repurposed as a football stadium for use by West Ham United. (Source: Diamond Geezer via Flickr)
questions for the original planners of the stadium. Why was the stadium not designed as dual-purpose in the first place? And why is the deal so favourable towards the occupiers of it? There is not an easy fix solution to the problems that the stadium is experiencing. Crowd trouble is probably the easiest to deal with as it simply requires better organisation and security at matches. The other is-
sues are more problematic as at this point I highly doubt that the suggestion of starting the ground anew will enthuse the London taxpayer, not to mention that West Ham will have nowhere to play their matches. The irony is that legacy was such a cornerstone of the planning for the 2012 Olympics, but it is failing woefully at the stadium in which so much British sporting glory took place.
devices for body-shaming and negativity. Marthers has since apologised for her actions and said that she does know ‘body shaming is wrong’. While you have to question where this sentiment was when Marthers thought it was a-okay to take and share an indecent picture of a woman, simply because she had the audacity to want to keep fit, clean afterwards and be old while doing so. I can nonetheless accept that people make mistakes and, particularly where social media is concerned, have a tendency to act without thinking. This considered then, was Mathers sentencing a little harsh? She faces up to six months in jail, as well as a
$1,000 fine (she’s also understandably been banned from all branches of LA Fitness). I’m inclined to say that this ruling while firm, is indeed fair. The image Marthers shared will probably exist in the depths of the internet for a long time. This considered in addition to the serious negative consequences the sharing of such a photo can have on a person, make legal rulings such as this one not only necessary, but crucial. So long as we exist in a world where the internet and social media are dominant forces, privacy laws are essential to protect individuals. They are needed to both deter people from inappropriate behaviour and to punish those who do cross the line.
Social media & body-shaming: why the public needs protection
t is undeniable that social media is a huge part of modern society. With the rise of smart phones, most people are active every day on multiple platforms. From Facebook and Twitter, to Instagram and Snapchat, we are constantly updating others with the day-to-day happenings of our lives. As with everything in this world, social media has its pros and cons. I’d like to say upfront I am not for one second trying to claim social media is in fact the devil incarnate (indigital?). It facilitates many wonderful things; whether that’s being able to stay in contact with a friend across the world or as a means of building communities for marginalised groups (such as LGBT folk). Interactive tools, such as hashtags, can actually play a part in the campaign for social change (with everything from #blacklivesmatter to #yesallwomen). And last but not least, who could forget the important role social media plays in the distribution of ‘spicy’ memes? There is, however, an unfortunate flip side to all of this. It’s sad but true that for every person innocently using social media in a positive way, there is another per-
son who has set out to do the exact opposite (and probably started an argument in the comments section too…) One of the big issues with social media is that the problems which arise are not always rooted in bullying or out-right morally bad behaviour. Often people can be hurtful in a misleading attempt to gain attention online. Many people are all too happy to laugh at another’s expense so long as the likes come rolling in. Are these people evil? For the most part, of course not! However, there are times when this type of behaviour oversteps the mark. Such a case is that of 29 year old model Dani Marthers who has been criminally charged by an LA judge with ‘the intent to invade privacy’. This sentence came after Marthers uploaded a picture of an elderly woman - who was in the nude in a gym locker room - to her Snapchat story. The image was taken without consent, shared with Marthers’ numerous followers on Snapchat, and distastefully captioned - ‘If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either’. And here we see how Snapchat and other such platforms can unfortunately become
Pictured: Snapchat can present dangers. (Source: Adam Przezdzi-ek via Flickr)
FIFA’s poppy ban: Right or wrong?
FIFA’s decision to prevent British teams from wearing the poppy has sparked huge debate
FOR: Philip Marsh
As it is a symbol which some may find offensive, prohibiting it being worn during these upcoming football matches is probably for the best.
IFA’s recent decision to prohibit England, Scotland and Wales wearing a poppy for their world cup qualification matches has caused outrage across the country. Although the decision caused a lot of outrage FIFA, there are some arguments to support their decision. Despite popular belief, the poppy is a symbol to mark the memory of those who have lost their lives fighting for Great Britain in numerous past wars, not just World War I and World War II. Footballer James McLean himself has said he would happily wear the poppy if it marked only the memory of those who died in the two world wars. McLean’s refusal to wear to poppy is due to his background in Derry, Northern Ireland as Derry was the scene of Bloody Sunday in 1972, when British Soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians, killing 14. FIFA’s decision to ban the poppy stops players, who under normal circumstances would be told to wear the poppy regardless of where they are from, being pressured into doing so. Great Britain was, in the past, one of the world’s largest empires and the British Army were responsible for invading many countries around the world. As a result, people of different na-
tionalities, like McLean, may not be appreciative of British teams brandishing the poppy during high profile international football matches. Another reason FIFA have made this decision is due to the international football rules regarding the suitability of the kit worn. Rule 4 of FIFA’s Laws of the Game says: “The basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.” The English FA, Scottish FA and the Royal British Legion have argued the poppy is not in breach of these rules, however, others have argued the poppy has political ties. Dr James Fox from the University of Cambridge said in a book of his: “The poppy has always been, and continues to be, a profoundly political symbol.” Perhaps the best way to describe the poppy’s political significance is to say it divides opinions. As the poppy is a topic which causes division, preventing it from being worn during international fixtures was always going to be controversial. However, as it is a symbol which some may find offensive, prohibiting it being worn during these upcoming football matches is probably for the best, as it will ensure that no country goes away with the wrong message.
IFA have recently decided to ban British players from wearing the remembrance poppy during international matches, due to a rule that states players must not wear personal, political, or religious symbols while playing in FIFA sanctioned matches. While this curious decision can be explained away as an example of bureaucratic rigidity and incompetence, the implications of FIFA’s decision, namely that the remembrance poppy is intrinsically controversial, lend credence to an extreme form of moral relativism, which denigrates the memories of millions of soldiers who died during World War I, by comparing them to a cheap political statement. Perhaps more controversial than FIFA’s moral cowardice are attempts by some to justify the decision as the organisation following its own rules. If this were the case, why did FIFA grant permission in 2011 for the poppy to be worn in matches played during November? The answer is a change in politics, not those of the poppy, but those of FIFA. FIFA’s secretary general, Fatma Samoura, justified the decision by drawing a revealing comparison when she mentioned that the organisation could not allow players to wear the poppy, because this would mean that FIFA would have no other
choice but to allow other countries such as Syria to make their own ‘political’ statements. The problem with this view is that it presupposes equivalence between the longstanding November tradition of honouring the memories of fallen soldiers and the necessary political implications of a statement made by a national team whose country is presently engulfed in civil war. The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, which the poppy originates from, helped to change what was historically a romantic view of war. The devastation wrought by modern military technology in World War I made it impossible to justify by clinging to the unquestionable virtue of serving one’s country.The poppy is therefore a national symbol of humanism, something with which all can relate, regardless of background. The soldiers described in ‘In Flanders Fields’ are not named, their nationality or politics are not even the focus of the poem. Instead, it is a reminder of the terrible human cost of war. This November, let us not fall victim to the modern trend of viewing everything through a political lens, but instead concentrate on the moral lessons that should be the focus during this time of reflection.
AGAINST: G Gavin Collins
The soldiers described in ‘In Flanders Fields’ are not named, their nationality or politics are not even the focus of the poem. Instead, it is a reminder of the terrible human cost of war.
The true enemies of the people High Court Judges suffer abuse from tabloid media
his week, the High Court ruled that Parliament will have sovereignty in the act of triggering Article 50. Unsurprisingly, this has upset some voters… who wanted to restore sovereignty to Parliament. And it truly doesn’t surprise me. Around the world, 2016 has been
plagued by anti-intellectual, right-wing populist politics, claiming pragmatism in the face of the real world, but actually being little more than the hypocritical ramblings of close-minded people. This new movement, built largely on far-right policies, has been particularly driven by national printed media in the
Pictured: (Left) The poppy has been a symbol of national remembrance for many years (Source: Dave Curtis via flickr) (Right) It was ruled that Parliament must be consulted before Article 50 is triggered (Source: European Parliament via Flickr)
UK, showing similarities with Breitbart and Fox News in the United States. It often uses scare stories to warn readers of the ‘threats’ of the world, despite having no-to-little basis in reality for their claims. Over time these forces have come to feel more comfortable with expressing how they really feel, most recently publishing a wall of abuse aimed at the British lawmakers who ruled that the activation of Article 50, the start of an exit from the European Union, would require a majority vote in the House of Commons. “ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE” the Daily Mail screams, channeling its founder’s own admiration for fascist works in an image eerily similar to a 1933 German headline, attacking judges for standing in the way of the people’s will. In particular, it decries one of the three as an “openly gay ex-olympic fencer” with the use of agenda-driven homophobia so clear it would make Mike Pence blush. “LOADED FOREIGN ELITE DEFY WILL OF BRIT VOTERS” reports The Sun in a moment of strange self-examination. Yes, the newspaper owned by an Australian billionaire attacking the idea of parliament’s sovereignty deserves to be called out on their actions. Wait. That’s not what they meant?
I could go on and on, speaking about the calls for Brexit opposition to be treated as treason or the vile torrents of misogyny and xenophobia directed at Gina Miller, the woman who initiated the lawsuit proceedings. However, perhaps the greatest irony of the whole upset is that there is no real reason to be unhappy with the decision, provided you know how politics actually works. The decision guarantees that the methods of Britain leaving the European Union will be properly considered to find an option suitable for the British economy and for the British people. An exit from the EU is dangerous enough to the nation’s wellbeing, but the chance of a “Hard Brexit” in particular is much more so. Overall, I can only hope that the fake patriotism that the right-wing media celebrates will only carry the new right so far. Demanding sovereignty may take power from one ruling body, but eventually someone has to take control. Lashing out at anyone who doesn’t agree with you will at some point leave you with no one who does. Kicking experts under the bus may provide just enough indignant rage in readers to win a vote, but sooner or later you run out of people who actually know what they’re doing.
Student lifestyle: how bad habits affect our health
a diet lacking in variety and nutritional value could eventually damage the health of many students, which is not ideal considering their busy lifestyles.
ypically, university students are known to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Binge drinking, a lack of sleep and a poor diet are all factors which contribute to this. Students are notorious for constantly going out, but this causes many students to become consistently hungover and fatigued. This ultimately leads to illness and students being unable to attend lectures due to sleep deprivation. Students often see energy drinks as a quick way to cure tiredness, however, these are thought to have a negative effect on the body as they are high in sugar and have been linked to liver damage, high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Meanwhile, a diet lacking in nutrition and essential elements can also take its toll on the health of a student. Ready meals, fast food and frozen food are examples of the type of sustenance a typical student may frequently consume. Initially, this type of food may seem like the best option, as it’s easy and quick to prepare, however, in the long run it’s not benefitting students whatsoever; it often contains lots of salt, saturated fat and lacks nutritional value. Fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and essential fats are all vital components in a healthy diet. Although many students may find this difficult to incorporate into their lifestyle, it is important as the different food groups provide essential vitamins and minerals, some of
which can boost the immune system and prevent fatigue. Therefore, a diet lacking in variety and nutritional value could eventually damage the health of many students, which is not ideal considering their busy lifestyles. Nevertheless, a poor diet and sleep deprivation is easily something which can be gradually altered by an individual. It is other factors such as alcohol and smoking which can cause serious and irreversible damage. Most students go on multiple nights out every week, as it provides relief from the stress of working hard and allows students to make the most of university life. However, many individuals consume a vast amount of alcohol on each night out, which not only increases the risk of future health problems such as liver disease, it can also have an impact on an individual’s actions at the time. According to ‘Drinkaware’, “Accidents and falls are common because being drunk affects your balance, co-ordination… and memory”, whilst “Overdosing on alcohol” can stop your heart, breathing, or “you could choke on your vomit”. Therefore, it’s important that students realise the dangers of binge drinking. Although it would be unrealistic to expect students to stop drinking completely, they should still be able to enjoy themselves by drinking in moderation rather than binging. In relation to this, smoking is an-
The decision guarantees that the methods of Britain leaving the European Union will be properly considered
Pictured: Should students be making healthier choices? (Source: Jurek d via flickr)
other damaging habit which effects students. ‘Social smoking’ has become particularly common amongst students, who only smoke when they’re on a night out or socialising. However, only smoking occasionally and ‘socially’ doesn’t make you immune to the risks of smoking. Tobacco use claims up to six million lives per year through lung diseases, heart disease and cancer and each cigarette increases the risk of these diseases. Smoking is one of the worst killers in the UK, therefore it is vital that students (the future of our socie-
ty) stop smoking, even if they do only do it ‘socially’. This is a realistic prospect as many of the world’s governments are behind a tobacco ban and are beginning to oppose the multinational tobacco companies standing in the way of global progress. Furthermore, India is preparing to host a key global anti-tobacco conference of the parties to the World Health Organisation framework convention on tobacco control. Therefore, it seems likely that smoking is something not only the UK, but the world will eventually combat.
Are Disney Princesses setting a bad example? Alicia Keys recently revealed she doesn’t let her sons watch “sexist” Disney movies
Yes, Cinderella, Ariel and Aurora were great too but even as a kid, their stories seemed somewhat predictable and cliché.
s a child born in the late 90’s, I was pretty much raised on Disney films. The magical worlds of Disney characters such as Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Bella seemed enchanting. Favourites of mine were Pocahontas and Mulan. I mean, who doesn’t love a film about badass female heroes who somehow saved their entire country? Yes, Cinderella, Ariel and Aurora were great too but even as a kid, their stories seemed somewhat predictable and cliché. I remember my parents getting me a Mulan costume for my 8th birthday. I was ecstatic. For a long time, I genuinely believed I was a princess like Mulan. I thought that I would conquer the world and on the way befriend a magical dragon and even find a handsome prince. Obviously, as I grew up a little, I realised that there was no chance this would ever happen. American singer and actress, Alicia Keys recently made headlines when she stated in an online interview that she does not let her 3 year old and 6 year old sons watch classics Disney films such as Snow White. “It’s totally sexist, misogynistic – she’s cleaning for seven dwarfs. There’s nothing wrong with a wom-
an who chooses to stay at home with her family, it’s a hard job, but it’s the way it’s spoken about,” said Keys. The singer feels she has a duty to teach her children about stereotypical gender roles and how they do not need to conform to them. “I feel like it’s by design that I’m raising boys.” Since the release of the film Snow White almost 80 years ago, there has been a huge shift in gender roles and ideology. Snow White was the first Disney princess to be introduced when the film was first out in 1937. In recent years we’ve been introduced to new princesses who unlike those before them, play the heroin of the film rather than being saved by a male character. Like I said earlier, as a young child, it was somewhat inspirational for me to watch films such as Mulan and Pocahontas. I’m sure young girls who watch Disney films such as Brave or Frozen feel the same way today. It was a big thing -and still is- to see a woman saving the world or just taking control. As a generation (and particularly as kids) we are bombarded by fictional male characters who are both driven and strong. From Superman to James Bond, there is no shortage of fictional characters for boys to
look up to, so it’s nice for women to have more inspirational role models too. Particularly when they are as strong, brave and heroic as their male counterparts. Despite the many victories of gender equality, made over the last century, there are still other areas which we need to progress in. So the question is, are children’s films misogynistic and sexist? In my personal opinion, the gender ideologies in children’s films have changed and developed over the years so it’s hard to give a simple yes or no answer. Traditionally, it was a woman’s role to tend to her husband and act as the homemaker. This is something feminists fought incredibly hard to change and in many ways have successfully done so. So yes, Disney characters such as Snow White and Belle are questionable, as they somewhat undermine women’s independence by representing female characters who cater towards the needs of the male characters. Times are changing and the conventional gender roles represented in films from over twenty year ago are breaking down. Film star, Megan Fox, caused controversy online this week as images showed her 3 year old son in dresses and skirts.
When asked about it she said, “Noah wears dresses so there are no rules – you can be whoever you want to be in my house!” I for one support the approach Fox is using to raise her children with. Having a brother who was just a year older than me, I often would dress up in his Spiderman costumes or watch countless episodes of Power Rangers on repeat with him. With this in mind maybe we should consider that children can absorb children’s films and shows whether they are made for boys or girls. While I think what Alicia Key is doing is perfectly understandable and respectable, I for one would not stop my future children from watching the classic Disney films. As a feminist, I agree that the films were somewhat patriarchal and sexist. However, if a women chooses to stay at home and be a house wife then that’s something we should admire as, just like Keys said, it is a hard job. So long as a parent explains to their children this is not the only future path for a woman and that a man too can fulfill this role I think it is fine to let children watch them. I guess in the end, it comes down to the individual and their own approaches on raising their kids.
Pictured: Is Snow White a positive role model for young girl? (source: Carlos via flickr)
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HEL ON EARTH
Do it like they do on the Discovery Channel
The documentary is essentially a metaphor for student life. If you have missed this exceptionally clear parallel then you are not watching it properly.
David Attenborough will save us all
here is nothing that humankind needs more right now than David Attenborough. It is as though some extremely intelligent soothsayer at the BBC predicted that the people of Britain would need something to drag us out of our deep political depression. They knew that Brexit would fuck us over. They knew that the US election would fuck us over. They even knew that Honey G and her X Factor novelty act would be fucking us over, weekly. In the name of preventing mass destruction and rioting, they gave us back Attenborough. There is no greater sight to the human eye than David Attenborough wearing a blue poofy duffle coat, floating through snowy mountains in a hot air balloon that happens to be the exact same colour as his little coat. You just know the moment that beautiful man opens his lovely, little old man mouth that something wonderful is about to happen, and on Sunday the 6th of November 2016, it was Planet Earth II. The documentary is essentially a metaphor for student life. If you have missed this exceptionally clear parallel then you are not watching it properly. Not convinced? Stay with me. Let me set the scene for you. As the camera pans the one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, a an isolated island that sparkles and glitters in the sunlight comes into view. Attenborough’s voice slowly pulls you into a trance-like state as you succumb to his magical, comforting powers. You absorb the soft
music and background birdsong. David introduces us to a three toed pygmy sloth. “This is a male, and life here suits him well…” he begins, as the sloth lounges in a tree with a dorky smile on his face that makes him appear half pissed and half asleep. His eyes are closed as he basks in the Panama sunshine. David assures us that the sleepy sloth has no worries as he grins through his nap, looking exactly like a creature that has absolutely nothing to worry about. All of a sudden, sleepy sloth is awoken by the distant call of a female. David tells us that she is “somewhere, out there” and we know that shit is about to get real for this little guy. His eyes open wide in disbelief and he jumps out of his tree as though it is Christmas morning. As quickly as his creepy little slothy arms and legs will carry him, he is off, ready to track down the woman of his dreams. It is not easy. Sleepy sloth navigates himself across the oceans, swimming like your mum on holiday when she doesn’t want to get water in her eyes or her hair wet. He swings through the branches, his little legs moving faster than they ever have before. He sees her, lounging seductively on a branch. Alas, she already has a baby, and she’s not ready to mate again for at least another year. Sleepy sloth is gutted. There’s not much opportunity for action in these parts and he has wasted a whole day being misled. He slumps back in his tree, belly hanging over the edge, head
drooped in shame. We’ve seen it before, haven’t we? Life lounging in the Panama islands is really no different to life in Cathays Terrace. From this point on, that little voice in your head must read anything in quotation marks very slowly, and in Attenborough’s voice. The camera would zoom in and focuses on a boy, lay in his bedroom in Cathays. “This is a male, and life here suits him well.” Attenborough begins “but there is something missing. This male, is yet to find a mate.” Slowly, the sound of the distant, thumping base will fade in. The young male’s head will lift, alert to the sounds of the sesh. He will slowly rise from his bed and begin running. Attenborough will say “in these desperate conditions, there is only one place that he will have any chance of finding a suitor.” Dramatic music plays, as the camera zooms to the doors of The Lash. Just as the little sloth braved the oceans for his suitor, the little human man will brave the trek up the union stairs. He will face the interrogation from the bouncers. He will be forced to push and shove his way through crowds of hundreds to find his mate. He catches the eye of a potential suitor and attempts to woo her with “a special dance that has been perfected over a series of decades. Alas…” David will sigh “she is not impressed by his dab, and she begins to lose interest.” The scene will become increasingly similar to that filmed in the island of Komodo, Indonesia. Two
dragons are destined to ferociously fight it out for the attention of a female. David tells us that in dragon society, size is everything. In human society, things are no different. “The only competition…” Attenborough narrates, “Comes from others of their own kind…” In swags a large and aggressive opponent, equipped with a beer in hand. “I was here first, mate” he will grumble and Attenborough will say “territory has been crossed...and so it begins”. We will see hand gestures, developing into shoves before escalating into fighting. We will watch it in slow motion, and enjoy it in shiny, sweaty, bloody, high definition. Then finally, “Defeated. Only the most powerful of fuckboys will win the chance to mate”. Then, a close up shot of the successful male’s sweaty grin and high fives with equally lairy mates, as he saunters off into the night with his suitor. Then zoom in to a shot of the loser, with his head pressed against the ground, shirt sticky with beer, looking as sad and defeated as sleepy sloth. We can see ourselves as we watch Planet Earth. We recognise the sleepy sloth as that guy who searches for a mate in the lash every Wednesday. We recognise the slutty sloth that entices you from across the dancefloor then tells you that she has a boyfriend. We recognise those duelling dragons as those who can’t go out without beating the shit out of somebody. It’s real life, and it’s happening right here in Cathays. In a world of uncertainty, thank God, for David Attenborough.
Pictured: We love you, David. (Photographer: The Open University via Flickr)
Just as the little sloth braved the oceans for his suitor, the little human will brave the trek up the union stairs.
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Managing stress presidentially George Watkins
Does pressure have you trumped?
ou’re running for President of the United States, not to mention being deep into a 576-day long campaign. It’s exhausting for anyone, as I’m sure you know. How is it possible to keep all the plates spinning, from a rally in New York to managing an FBI investigation at the same time? When the pressure’s really on, and you’ve got Donald Trump breathing down your neck whispering “Wrong” at every opportunity, how can you fight the stress and not crack? The first thing is to listen to your
body. The last thing you need is to faint at a memorial for 9/11 because you haven’t taken enough time for yourself. Take a moment to catch your breath and stop to feel what’s really going on. Is that headache really going to be cured with more coffee? Are you drinking enough water, as your nan might say? Next, depending on the best way of learning for you, try to organise how much you actually have to get done. It wouldn’t be great to forget to mention Hispanic voters in a speech because of not having your papers in order. For me, this comes in the
form of lists. Many stationary shops (even bookshops) sell pre-packed piles of beautifully satisfying lists or other planners to let you indulge in plotting how to stop the Republicans taking Florida and sussing out how to control immigration without building a wall all at the same time. Talking is always good, although it probably isn’t best to do it in the middle of a rally, taking the opportunity to let the crowd know you’re having a bit of a hard time and Donald’s comments actually do get to you. What’s going wrong? What are
you struggling with? Your friends and family, or even your advisors will be there for you whenever you need them. There’s the old cliche of a problem shared being a problem halved, which is very true, unless your problem includes federal investigators. So, in short, by looking after yourself, you’re much more likely to be on top form for that blisteringly long campaign trail, and much stronger to deal with those feisty candidates who won’t get off your back. You might even be able to make it to the White House.
By looking after yourself, you’re much more likely to be on top form.
Pictured: The white house. Source: Frank camp via flickr.
Overcoming failure George Watkins
o, it’s happened. Your 76-day long campaign to become President ended in dramatic failure. You lost to a man some deem to have fake tan and fluffy hair as his defining features and it hurts. How do you pick yourself up and get back on track after something like this? Listen only to those you need to. The Republicans want you in prison. Listen to the FBI. There’s always going to be people trying to bring you down and attack you for not being good enough to try to boost their own self esteem.The only opinion on
Don’t be down Hillary
the person you are is your own, but it can often be swept under the carpet in times of crisis like a series of emails from a personal server when you were Secretary of State. There’s always people who care. Remember those 59,000,000 who voted for you. They’re the ones you need in your life. Flush out negative people, because they won’t do anything but push you further into a down spiral. You can’t please everyone, particularly when they want to put you in jail. Some people are just set in their ways.
Accept what you can’t change. It hurts that you lost Florida, and even faithful old Pennsylvania. It isn’t going to get better overnight, but what can you really do now? The best thing is to not get your campaign chairman to deliver your speech after the race and hiding away. You need to face up to this in a respectable and honourable way. Issues like this won’t get any better if you hide away from them. You’ve got two choices from here on in: do you stick with what you know and try to get into of-
fice the next time around, possibly up against Kanye West or someone equally as entertaining, or do you say “sod it” and look for a different career path? There might still be an opening to make America great again you know. Maybe that boogie with Jay Z and Beyonce to appeal to the Black community wasn’t totally wasted after all. Or you could go totally off piste and decide to become, say, a ski instructor and teach people how to swerve away from risky questions and bumps at the same time. You’ve got this Hillary.
There might still be an opening to make America great again
What it’s like to get the implant Maria Mellor
You don’t have to worry about getting pregnant.
Your alternative contraception options
here are so many different kinds of contraceptives: condoms, pills, injections. They all have their pros and cons and each one might be better for different people. I personally have tried a few methods and I’m incredibly happy with my current birth control - the implant. The condom only lasts for one use. The pill lasts for one day. Alternatively the implant lasts for three years. It’s a matchstick-sized device that slowly gets placed under the skin on your upper arm. Doctors are very keen about it because of it’s practically fool proof when put in properly. You don’t have to worry about getting pregnant. No missed pills and no broken condoms! I got mine at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary on Newport Road. They have a sexual health clinic for young people where you can discuss your options and get free birth control. The whole process took probably under an hour including the waiting time
and it’s all incredibly respectful and non-judgemental. I was taken in by a nurse who was very pleased about my decision to get the implant. She got me to lie down on a bed with my arm out and then injected me with local anesthetic on the inside of my arm, halfway between the elbow and the armpit. I looked away while she was doing everything as I am fairly squeamish when it comes to this sort of thing. The nurse was very understanding and let me know what was happening before she did it. She made a tiny incision, poked the implant in and bish bash bosh, it was done! She bandaged me up and sent me on my way. There are obvious downsides to the implant. It’s not for the fainthearted with the whole procedure it takes to put it in and take it out again. You’re left feeling a little sore afterwards for a few days and for the
whole time it’s in you can feel it under your skin. I have a tiny scar now but in my opinion it’s worth it. I would spend so much money on condoms and pregnancy tests, but now I hardly need to worry. It doesn’t protect you
from STIs but if you’re in a long term relationship it could be so much better for you than more common contraceptives. The Royal Infirmary clinic also does quick and easy STI tests if you or your partner wants to get tested.
Pictured: The contraceptive pill. Source: Annabelle Shemer Via. Flickr
Five tips for a better night’s sleep A good night’s sleep makes a world of difference
You feel robbed of your sleeping right and no one wants that.
e’ve all had those nights: tossing and turning under the duvets; too hot, too cold; no position seems comfortable. You feel robbed of your sleeping right and no one wants that - sleeping is one of our favourite activities. So, here’s a few tips and tricks to revamp a night’s sleep.
1. Avoid heavy meals before bed Meals high in fat content (this unfortunately includes a curry) are likely to cause indigestion before you sleep sometimes causing a restless night. This is not to say you shouldn’t eat richer foods, just eat them a couple of hours before sleep-
ing to give your body time to digest them before you sleep.
2. The category technique This technique aims to organise your thoughts before you sleep. Sometimes, after working late your brain can find it difficult to organise the day’s activities. For some people this works, for me personally (and others I’m sure) it can be frustrating when your brain won’t shut up. A solution: pick a category, for example dog breeds. Then, go through the alphabet naming dog breeds, e.g. A for Alsatian, B for Beagle etc. By focusing on something, your brain is forced to organise your thoughts. If you find your brain wondering
whilst doing this exercise, re-focus it; only think about the category and not the food you want for breakfast. In my personal experience this works really well- I’m usually asleep by the letter N!
3. Take a hot bath: A hot bath or shower has been shown to induce sleep. After a bath or shower, your body temperature changes when you get out, making you feel tired. This is helpful if you are having difficulty sleeping.
4. Relax before bed Avoid thinking too much before sleeping. Naturally students are noc-
turnal creatures, so working at night is common, but where possible, stop work half an hour/ an hour before bed- substitute the fat textbook you’ve been ploughing through for your favourite film.
5. Lavender Lavender. If after all this, sleeping is still an impossible task for you, lavender may be helpful. The smell of lavender is calming, so if you place a sprig of fresh lavender under your pillow or even next to you, it can help induce sleep for the wearyminded. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help those of you having trouble sleeping- cold Cardiff nights may well rejuvenate your tired mind.
Pictured: A great sleep. Source: Kristina Kuncevich Via. Flickr
Editors: Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol email@example.com gairrhydd.com/politics
It’s the end of the world as we know it
Donald Trump will become the 45th US president in January
The exit polls showed that 82% of Americans thought Trump could bring change, while 13% thought this could be said for Clinton.
ust under an hour before the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, took to the stage in New York to claim electoral victory over the Democratic nomination Hillary Clinton, a scene from Martin Scorsese’s ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ flashed into my head. I recalled a shiny, bright-faced Leonardo DiCaprio learning from his mentor Matthew McConaughey, that in their line of work, it was not the ability to perform as much as the illusion of being able to perform that really mattered and led to customer confidence. As the scene played in my head, and it was explained that as long as you could make it seem like you were able and making a positive difference, you were as good as doing so, it occurred to me that this was the perfect metaphor for what had just unfolded throughout the early hours of Wednesday morning. It was clear as the global markets wandered off a cliff edge that the election had been won on principles rather than on practicality. Hillary Clinton was the personification of everything that had left behind the politically disillusioned population of the United States,
and the more Trump could portray her as such, the more he made this election about more than just Democrat and Republican. With a campaign that I can only describe as an ugly cousin of the Leave campaign, Trump was able to make the election a proxy vote. The election was not at all entirely down to a question of Hillary Rodham Clinton verses Donald J Trump, but it was a question of the establishment verses the people. It was a question of censorship verses free speech. It was a question of stagnation or progression. Donald Trump set the agenda all the way through by using his bombastic personality to put policy positions on the map. By creating an us-and-them mentality that transcended political party boundaries in America, he was able to attract former Bernie Sanders backers, many of the working-classes who had either never voted, or had voted for Clinton’s party previously and were not satisfied with their continuation of the status quo. He was able to attract students who were dissatisfied with the surrender to political correctness by the American university. Most im-
portantly he was able to attract those American’s who were rightly offended by Barack Obama’s passionate promises for change and complete impotence in delivering any such change. The exit polls showed that 82% of American’s thought Trump could bring change, while 13% thought this could be said for Clinton. The recovery from the global recession was never going to be a case of simply rebuilding Western economies and then returning to what had been in place before. In the UK, the Tories, and in the US, Obama, have been looked to over the last eight years to bring our economies back from the brink. Now, in 2016 and in the coming years, Western democracies will shift drastically away from the centre ground as we know it, as the USA votes to elect someone they have never seen exercise political power only months after the UK’s shock decision to exit the European Union against the advice from David Cameron, Barack Obama and Mark Carney. What Hillary Clinton failed to notice, and David Cameron made a very similar error, was that invit-
ing pop-stars and actors and various politicians to endorse you will not help you win over those voters who are sceptical of the establishment they perceive. It will, if anything, make them even less likely to vote when they feel they are being scared, bullied or patronised into voting for the status quo. There was plenty more that Hillary Clinton failed to notice, including how her ‘come out of the shadows’ immigration policy was far to the left of American popular opinion. So, what was it I was saying about Leonardo DiCaprio? Oh, yes, the perception of competence; the ‘fugazi’: Throughout this campaign of slander, one thing benefitted Trump more than any other facet of his appeal; he was not a politician. Hillary Clinton had a record in politics, and this only worked against her as she was being made to defend her political past while Donald Trump had nothing of the sort to defend. Now, as president-elect Donald Trump prepares himself for the White House, we will see if this lack of a political record serves him as well in office as it did in the pursuit of office.
Pictured: Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona. (Source: Wikipedia)
It was clear as the global markets wandered off a cliff edge that the election had been won on principles rather than on practicality.
Parliament will get a say on Brexit
The High Court rules that Parliament must vote to trigger the Brexit process. Pictured: British Parliament. (photographer: Rennett Stowe)
It is believed that the Government is quietly preparing the first draft of a bill to trigger Article 50.
” Alex Seabrook
Fracking, which is also sometimes called hydraulic fracturing, is a method of obtaining underground natural gas reserves.
ust when it appeared that Brexit couldn’t get any more controversial, the High Court has ruled that Parliament has to be consulted on the matter of Brexit. This has put a halt to the process, making news all across Europe. The front-page headline of Corriere della Sera read “Judges put the breaks on Brexit”, with the French business paper Les Echos says “Brexit: London’s dramatic turn of events”. This ruling is clearly going to have a major impact on Brexit. However, Theresa May insists that the Government remain on course to trigger Article 50 by the end of March and can build “strong legal arguments” to win the court battle over Article 50. Mr. Davis, the Brexit Secretary, told MP’s that the Supreme Court is expected to hear the Government’s appeal in early December and Mrs
May urges the Supreme Court to spell out exactly what the Government has to do if it loses the appeal. While the High Court ruling has created a further air of mystery surrounding Brexit, effect on the pound has been surprisingly positive. Sterling rose 2% at the end of the week after the High Court ruling due to the fact that the ruling boosts hopes that Parliament can help moderate a ‘Hard Brexit’ that previously looked likely. However, due to the announcement of the appeal by May and the bettering dollar at the news of Clinton’s emails being free from criminal activity, the pound is struggling to hang onto the gains it has made, stuttering over the weekend and falling on Monday. Theresa May is adamant that she will still be able to trigger Article 50
in March, “I’m clear that I expect to be able to trigger Article 50 by the end of March next year. That’s what I’ve said consistently and I continue to work on that basis”. Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer stated that the government’s approach was “unraveling in an ugly way” and supported the work of the High Court judges, criticizing Liz Truss of being “too slow and too reluctant” to defend the judiciary. May is coming under increased pressure for a verdict on an early general election. May is leading by a slender margin in the Commons, which has been further diminished by the resignation of Stephen Phillips, Sleaford and North Hykeham MP resigning over “irreconcilable differences” regarding Brexit policy. However, May has continued to resist calls for an early general elec-
tion. Mrs May stated, “I’ve been clear on this since I became Prime Minister, the next general election should be in 2020. We should get on with the job ... I think what most people want is for the Government to get on with the job and put in place what’s necessary.” She later added, “I don’t think I could have been clearer about an election in 2020.” Brexit is still causing controversy across Europe, but the terms of this deal are now even more uncertain. It is believed that the Government is quietly preparing the first draft of a bill to trigger Article 50 - the formal process to divorce the EU - in case it loses the appeal in the Supreme Court. It is yet to confirmed when the Supreme Court appeal will take place.
Protesters tell Barclays ‘don’t bank on fracking’
here was a demonstration last Saturday outside of Barclays in Cardiff, protesting against fracking. A mock cocktail bar was set up outside Barclays Bank in Working Street, by St John’s Church, which served “fracked water” cocktails to passers-by. The demonstration was organised by Cardiff Friends of the Earth and Cardiff People and Planet to highlight the dangers of drinking water contamination that can be caused by fracking. Fracking, which is also sometimes called hydraulic fracturing, is a method of obtaining underground natural gas reserves. Advocates say that there are high economic benefits to fracking, and as the UK has lots of underground gas reserves, the technology could allow for more energy independence. Opponents cite widespread evidence that fracking causes severe environmental damage, such as earthquakes and water contamination. Barclays own 97% of Third Energy, a company who gained planning permission last May to frack at Ryedale in North Yorkshire. Third Energy are the second firm, after Cuadrilla, to apply for licenses in the UK to frack.
Law firm Leigh Day are challenging North Yorkshire County Council’s decision to grant planning permission in an ongoing judicial review in the High Court. The law firm claim that the council failed to properly assess the environmental impact and to secure financial protection from Third Energy against environmental damage. They also claim that the vast majority who responded to the council’s fracking consultation in Ryedale rejected the proposals. A decision on whether to overturn the planning permission grant is expected for the 22nd November. The cocktails were made “just to catch people’s eye”, said Jack Pickering, of Cardiff People and Planet. “They’re meant to represent the cocktail of chemicals in the water used for fracking”, and were made out of molasses, cous cous, and cocoa. The demonstration “got a lot of interested people, who wanted to know about it”, with many previously unaware of the dangers to drinking water. Third Energy, which calls itself an “independent company” on its website, is 97% owned by Global Natural Resources Investment (GNRI),
Pictured: Lady signs petition outside of Barclays. (photographer: Craig Redmond)
a private equity branch of Barclays. The demonstration called for a boycott, asking Barclays current account holders to move the money to a different bank. A student boycott of Barclays caused the bank to sell off their South African subsidiary in 1986, and remove all of their support of the apartheid government. Barclays were rated as the world’s most powerful transnational corporation in a study in 2011, due to vast ownership and corporate control over global financial stability
and market competition. They are currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Services Authority for bribery and corruption dating back to 2008. At the height of the financial crisis, the bank avoided a bail out from the UK government, and instead raised funds from investors in Qatar and Abu Dhabi. The amount of power that these investors hold over policy making is still unclear. The Serious Fraud Office expect to complete the inquiry by the end of the year.
Editors: Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert @GairRhyddSci firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/science
Cardiff University’s iGEM team wins silver medal! Asal Golshaie
Working with students from around the world has opened up opportunities I would have never dreamed of
” Christian Donohoe and Asal Golshaie
Team members give Gair Rhydd an exclusive on the experience
small team of seven undergraduates, we found ourselves in unfamiliar grounds as the first Welsh team to enter the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. We were fast welcomed into the global iGEM community of almost 300 teams, and close knit iGEM officials, all working towards the goal of furthering advances in synthetic biology- a field that involves applying engineering principles to biological systems to ‘create something useful’. To fulfil these aims, iGEM teams develop projects to deal with real world problems that simultaneously allow them to make and submit biological parts (BioBricks) to iGEM’s open source Registry of Standard Biological Parts. This registry gives future iGEM teams and research scientists alike access to thousands of BioBricks to ‘improve’ and use in further projects. This open source nature of synthetic biology in general, as well as technological advancements in sequencing and synthesising DNA, is crucial to the rapid expansion of synthetic biology- only 16 years old! With the help of our dedicated supervisors, Dr Geraint Parry and Dr Amit Jathoul, instructor, Dr Dan Pass, and advisor, Jamie Long, we developed our project idea and design over a few months before undertaking the 10 week full time funded lab portion (thanks to our lovely sponsors) from June to August. After a GMO training course and three days of training in basic molecular
biology techniques, we were mostly left to our own devices for a few weeks, with regular meetings to communicate our progress, and later, to develop our side project. As well as developing our lab skills, we learned how to muddle through together, deal with risk assessments, improve our presentation skills, and engage more groups in discussions. We enjoyed performing luciferase demos for sixth formers, making 3D models to illustrate reporter proteins to Year 8 students, presenting our project at Cardiff ’s Science Cafe, and promoting glowworm conservation to young children. We also immersed ourselves in engaging with other iGEM teams, nationally and internationally. From our Skype sessions that developed into lab collaboration with Washington in St Louis and Oxford, and attendance at the European and UK meet ups (Paris and London) to engaging in a synbio panel with Toronto, and featuring in XMU China’s newsletter, we embraced the international iGEM community. According to one team member, Christian “by far the most valuable part of iGEM for me was the international aspect - not only the Giant Jamboree in Boston, but the more intimate venues such as Paris & Toronto. Working with students from around the world has opened up opportunities I would have never dreamed of before joining iGEM.” Christian Donohoe, team
member. I particularly enjoyed the integrated human practices aspect of iGEM. This involved consulting a diagnostics researcher, the regulatory body for medical devices (MHRA), HIV charities, a retired social worker, a biological safety advisor, an ethicist, and the general public on point-of-care testing and self-testing kits. I have learned so much about the importance of the wider considerations that surround innovation, and am motivated to learn more. The Giant Jamboree itself was an experience to behold. With iGEM officials walking in to “Back to Black”, this was probably as pumped up as a scientific conference gets. There was a clear
sense that we were part of something much bigger than our project and summer when we gathered in our thousands of people for the “iGEM from above” photo. And of course with a few hundred presentations going on. We luckily presented early so had more time to sit back and enjoy ourselves. We even found a little time to be tourists- to do the freedom trail, go up the Prudential building, and take the free Harvard campus tour. Did you know that Love Story is the last commercial production allowed to be filmed on Harvard campus? They are clearly missing out on the excitement of exam time Sherlock and Dr Who filming.
Pictured: The iGEM team (Photographer: Christian
The science of the silver medal
hen the team first met, we only knew that we had ten weeks to use genetic engineering to “make something useful”. The rest was up to us. We bounced some ideas around, from synthetic honey to a treatment for gastric cancer. Eventually we settled on the idea of improving the diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), alert to national cuts to sexual health spending and Cardiff University’s poor ranking for sexual healthcare. Specifically, we set out to develop a novel point-of-care test for STIs: a faster, cheaper, and more specific alternative to sending samples for lab testing. A diagnostic test has two components: detection and reporting. For the detection of STI specific DNA, we turned to CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary gene editing tool based on the innate immune system of bacteria. For reporting, we relied on fluorescent proteins: they glow a certain colour when active, and are often fused to genes to follow their activity. We also evaluated
the potential use of our system as a self-testing kit for home testing by investigating the ethical and social implications. Popularly described as satnav and scissors, CRISPR-Cas9 is made up of guide RNAs (the satnav) that recognise a specific DNA sequence, and navigate the Cas9 (the scissors) to cut it. We removed the scissors from our design by using a dead Cas9 (dCas9) variant, which instead opens the DNA double helix when guided to the sequence. Upon the advice of Dr Patrick Hardinge, we used two single guide RNAs to increase the fidelity of the reaction, and in turn reduce false positives. We chose firefly luciferase as our reporter since it produces green light that is visible to the naked eye (by using energy to catalyse the oxidation of its substrate, luciferin). It also didn’t hurt that one of our supervisors is a luciferase expert with plentiful access to a useful thermostable variant. In our system, we used split
luciferases joined to separate dCAS9 enzymes. These split reporters are inactive until they recombine- this only happens if two guide RNAs target the dCas9s to the STI specific DNA sequence. Simply put, if the STI specific DNA is detected, the guide RNAs rejoin the dCas9 fused split luciferase fragments, resulting in a green glow. We achieved limited success with this very ambitious project- too ambitious for our small time window, especially with our inexperience and many DNA ordering misshaps. In the end, only our guides were successful, as our split-luciferase failed to clone correctly, meaning we couldn’t study the viability of our system. However, we still think it has great potential for future iGEM teams to build on. Luckily we had a side project to fall back on to meet other medal requirements. This of course still had to be ‘useful’. Upon Dr Amit Jathoul’s suggestion, we turned towards improving tissue imaging while build-
ing on the work of the Cambridge iGEM 2010 team. We worked on engineering mkeima (a red fluorescent protein) into the widely used lux operon of marine bacteria, so it would produce red light instead of blue. Since red light penetrates tissues, this has the potential to be a valuable research tool. Once again, we had limited success, but alongside our successful aid to the projects of two teams, Oxford and Washington in St Louis, we pulled through and got a silver medal- a decent feat for an inaugral team! Although not all our designs were full realised, we believe we have set a clear path for others to carry on our work, but more importantly gained the experience to effectively mentor next year’s team to achieve a Gold in Boston. If you wish to be a part of next year’s team, please contact Dr Geraint Parry - ParryG5@cf.ac.uk For more info, about our project, please check out our twitter @ iGEM_Cardiff
We only knew that we had ten weeks to use genetic engineering to make something useful.
Effects of media devices have scientists losing sleep Tanya Harrington
The study notes that there are both short and long-term effects of poor sleep on health.
Cardiff University study has recently been conducted with the purpose of looking into the effects of digital media devices, such as smartphones and laptops, on the sleeping patterns of children and young adults. The study, involving a systematic review of over 20 existing observational sleep studies, found that the risk of inadequate sleep in young people is more than doubled when they have access to one or more screenbased media devices. Considering that 72 percent of children and 89 percent of adolescents are thought to use such devices immediately before going to bed, these findings could have parents and teachers losing sleep as well, out of concern for the wellbeing and academic performance of young people. While it would be easy to assume that the only problem with these devices is that they might keep young people from choosing to fall asleep at a decent time, the reality is that screenbased devices are theorised to impact several aspects of sleep. Using a device with a screen before bed can affect how long it takes to fall asleep, even after someone has stopped using it. These devices are also thought to adversely impact the circadian rhythm and levels of physiological alertness during sleep, potentially resulting in a lighter, less
restful sleep than someone might usually experience. This is harmful in several ways – the study notes that there are both short and long-term negative effects of poor sleep on health, including “poor diet, sedentary behavior, obesity, reduced immunity, stunted growth, mental health issues and substance abuse.” Although it could seem like a stretch to attribute so many negative effects to late-night device use, the study warns against this view, stating that “the association between media device use and poor sleep outcomes has been underexplored because the speed at which these devices have been developed has outpaced research capabilities.” Speaking on the study, Dr Ben Carter from Cardiff University School of Medicine said “with the ever growing popularity of portable media devices, such as smartphones and tablets, the problem of poor sleep amongst children is set to get worse.” He added that the best way to encourage young people to develop better sleeping patterns is to employ “an integrated approach involving parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals.” This study appears to be the first of its kind, with Dr Carter noting that “our study is the first to consolidate results across existing research,” using metaanalysis to draw a conclusion from
Pictured: Phones are just one of the devices keeping young people awake. (Photographer: Takao Goto)
various studies which involved 125,198 young people overall, in order to provide “further proof of the detrimental effect of media devices on both sleep duration and quality.” As well as the use of media devices, the study also cited “early school start times, and increase in caffeine consumption” as potential factors in diminishing the quality of
sleep. With the emergence of many studies definitively pointing towards a link between the use of digital media devices and poor quality of sleep, hopefully it will soon be possible to pinpoint an exact plan of action that will help young people to better their sleep, and therefore their wellbeing.
” One genetic mutation per 50 cigarettes, study finds
Pictured: For the first time research has given us a quantifiable correlation between the cause and effect of smoke inhalation. (Photographer: Chuck Grimmett)
Tobacco does not just cause mutations in the lungs but also the larnyx, pharnyx bladder and liver.
any people like to throw around numbers when it comes to the harm behind smoking cigarettes: smoking a cigarette takes an hour off your life, smoking 40 a day makes you guaranteed to get lung cancer. All of these are unproven. For the first time research has given us a quantifiable correlation between the cause and effect of smoke inhalation. Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico found that on average one DNA mutation occurs per 50 cigarettes smoked. Tobacco does not just cause mutations in the lungs but also the larynx, pharynx, bladder and liver. Dr Ludmil Alexandrov, first au-
thor of the paper, said: “Before now, we had a large body of epidemiological evidence linking smoking with cancer, but now we can actually observe and quantify the molecular changes in the DNA due to cigarette smoking.” DNA mutations happen often within the body, hence why not everyone who gets cancer has smoked, however smoking drastically increases the chances of mutation. One mutation alone is unlikely to cause cancer, however multiple mutations over a period time can become cancerous. This most recent study has shown that the average person who smokes a pack of 20 a day for a year generates 150 mutations per lung cell, 97 per larynx cell, 39 per phar-
ynx cell, 18 per bladder cell and six per liver cell. Alexandrov said: “Smoking is like playing Russian roulette: the more you play, the higher the chance the mutations will hit the right genes and you will develop cancer. “However, there will always be people who smoke a lot but the mutations do not hit the right genes.” The researchers looked at over 5,000 tumors, comparing those from smokers and those from nonsmokers. In doing so they found that there was a clear difference: there were clear signs of DNA damage found only in the DNA of smokers. The news of this study was quickly followed by the release of a study from the World Health Or-
ganisation that claimed that the use of e-cigarettes does not help people stop smoking. Professor John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies said: “It is perfectly reasonable to be concerned that young people might use e-cigarettes and become addicted. All those arguments apply to licensed nicotine products that anybody can walk into Tesco and buy.” The team of scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory hope that their research will stop people from taking up smoking in the first place. Every cigarette has the potential to cause genetic mutations, proving that theory that social smoking is harmless is a myth.
Taste the Future: Technology to get your teeth into Josh Green
What if we could perhaps fool ourselves into ingesting real food that tastes great but doesn’t actually.
On average 700,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections a platforms.
he promise of full virtual reality entices us all regardless of generation. We have already been exposed to products that help us to see new realities of our choosing, however, why should it stop there? What if we could emulate food going inside of our mouths and therefore have the ability to virtually eat food that’s not even real? What if we could perhaps fool ourselves into ingesting real food that tastes great but doesn’t actually contain a truck load of salt, sugar and fat? By using special electronic devices this has been shown to be possible. Dr Nimesha Ranasinghe has conducted experiments such as a “virtual lollipop” ,which emulated different tastes, and a spoon covered in electrodes to stimulate the inner mouth further when used with real food. The problems that Dr Ranasinghe came across during these experiments was that the sensation of sweetness is rather tricky to replicate using electronics. Following on from those experiments, Ranasinghe and his research colleague Dr Ellen Yi-Luen Do decided to go down another avenue and use thermal stimulation rather than using electrical stimulation. Recently shown off at the 2016 ACM User Interface Software and Technology
Symposium, a device created by Ranasinghe and Yi-Luen uses the concept of changing temperature to ‘fool’ your mouth into tasting non-existent flavours. The change of temperature of a square of thermoelectric elements, which basically is an element that is heated via a varying flow of electricity, mimics taste by tricking certain neurons which provide to the ‘sensory code’ of taste. Half of the participants in a study, aimed to show the device’s effectiveness, reported that the device worked. Also some participants, who observed the device to work, stated that a sensation of spiciness at approximately 35 degrees
C and a minty sensation at around 18 degrees C. One use of the technology could be making low-sugar food and drink taste more sweet and another being a planned trial, for a Singaporean hospital, to use the electrode spoon as an ‘electronic seasoner’ for elderly patients who require stronger tasting food, but without increasing health risks. As taste is much more than just sensations of spice and sweetness others have looked into elements such as food texture. Arinobu Niijima and Takefumi Ogawa, from the University of Tokyo have very recently created a device that incorporates electricity to
simulate texture. This is done by attaching electrodes on the masseter muscle. This muscle is located in the jaw and controls the chewing action. Using electrical stimulation, the user (or test subject) feels the sensation of chewing virtual food thanks to the feedback from the electrical stimulation. Harder foods were simulated by using a high frequency signal and more ‘elastic’ foods were simulated by using a longer pulse (so shorter frequency pulse). Ideas to expand and apply this tool focuses mainly on making the system more complex so as to get more complex textures out of the device’s usage.
Pictured: What if electrodes can mimic actual food? (Photographer: Wall_ Food_10198)
How to avoid the antibiotics apocalypse
ince Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotic usage has significantly increased. Despite antibiotic treatments remaining largely effective, the continuing administration of the drug has meant some forms of bacteria have become resistant. This could spell disaster for future generations; with new diseases always popping up, it is only a matter of time before one becomes invincible to antibiotics. On average 700,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections and the number is likely to rise. With this phenomena becoming so widespread, various solutions have been proposed. One idea is to reduce the number of pills administered to patients. In some practices, it is common for patients who don’t need the drug to receive antibiotics. The pathogen inside that patient can then become resistant to antibiotics, and given the right conditions could reproduce and multiply. This solution has been trialled in America by Jason Doctor, a psychologist at the University of Southern California. By persuading more than 200 doctors to sign up, posters were distributed and put up in health clinics, encouraging patients to reconsider their antibiotic requirement. This approach was used alongside alerts on the computers of doctors and ranking systems illustrating the amount of pills a doctor was administrating compared to their peers. The results were positive; the number of pills administered
Pictured: Careless use of antibiotics can further increase the incidence of resistance. (Photographer: Iqbal Osman)
significantly decreased. The promising results of the study will result in similar systems being implemented in other US states to try and reduce consumption. However, it is unlikely that a notable reduction in the consumption of antibiotics will take place as poultry and cattle are large consumers of antibiotics. After discovering that antibiotics induced quicker animal growth, the drug was fed to animals to reduce growth periods. However, later studies showed that antibiotics can be passed on to humans; this did not deter many famers. Thus, despite Doctors’ efforts, antibiotic-resistant bacteria still flourish undetected
in the food chain. However, in the Dutch meat industry (the Netherlands having more animals per square meter than other countries), there has been some success. After numerous scares in the industry, European governments decided that from 2009 farmers were to reduce antibiotic administration by 20% in two years and 50% in five years. Dutch farmers were among the most surprising to oblige and the effects meant many stopped using antibiotics with the overall amount falling by 60% over two years. In addition to these measures, scientists are considering the bacteria themselves to find answers. Kim Hardie, a Microbiologist at
the University of Nottingham, believes if we can stop bacteria communicating to one another, they cannot reproduce. Laboratory results have been successful, so this may be a viable option for the future. In addition, exploration of Panama has found antibiotic algae on the toes of sloths and there is even a possibility of using the saliva of a Komodo Dragons as a form of antibiotics. In summary, despite many positive resolutions to solving this crisis, fatalities are still inevitable with countries like China and Russia increasing their usage. Thus, if there is to be a notable decrease, it will require a global effort, not just a national or regional one.
Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris @GairRhyddSoc email@example.com gairrhydd.com/societies
Milly chooses first Society of the Month
ello! As we’re leading up to the Winter break Societies are getting busier, with loads of events just around the corner. Keep an eye out for loads of Christmas Concerts and Showcases... The past fortnight has seen four Society Forums take place. These have been excellent in gauging what needs to be developed and expanded on for next term, and next year.
Thank you to all the Societies who attended! Next week is Interfaith Week and will see all of our faith or belief based Societies take part in a Question Time style event. Make sure you search for the event on Facebook to find our more information. As always, if you need any Society related advice, send me an email or come in and have a chat.
November’s Winner: CoppaFeel!
oppaFeel! is a charity that aims to raise awareness of breast cancer in young men and women. It was founded by Kris, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 23 and decided to set up the charity to raise awareness and prevent late diagnosis of breast cancer. As a society CoppaFeel! also aim to raise breast cancer awareness in the Cardiff student population. This is done through the monthly missions set by the charity for the society to complete. As well as this, the society run a number of different events throughout the year to try
ournalism students have a lot on their plate. We may not have the busiest course, but we’re looking to go into an industry with an uncertain future. The JOMEC society is here to help you attain your goals of a position in the journalism, advertising or PR industries as well as a social side and plenty of support for your degree. Working alongside the JOMEC school, we organise career
and get as many people as possible engaging with the charity and its life saving message. October was breast cancer awareness month, which meant the society were set the challenge of raising
£500 in one month as well as raising as much awareness as possible. They did this through running bake sales, Breastival (an open mic night with a festival theme), shooting a naked calendar with womens’ rugby
The joys of JOMEC developing workshop and trips. In the past, the society has led expeditions to such far-flung locations as Amsterdam alongside such on point industry visits as BBC News studios in Llandaff and London. There are also regular talks organized from industry specialists such as the Daily Mail’s Political editor, Andrew Pierce- a talk which members thoroughly enjoyed.
This Christmas, will we will be holding our charity social in aid of two amazing charities; INSI and Dreams & Wishes. INSI a charity that helps to support and train journalists’ cover stories in conflicted countries and teaches them how to keep safe and create a culture of safety in the media in areas of conflict and transition around the world. Whilst Dreams & Wishes is
which you can purchase on their society page, helped run the AU dodgeball tournament, had runners in the Cardiff Half and on top of that managed to have socials to keep the team spirit up and boob love flowing! Their hard work doesn’t stop just because October is over! A nightclub takeover is on the cards in YOLO on the 16th November where the team will be raising awareness whilst you party- a pretty sweet deal. Keep your eyes on their Twitter and Facebook pages to see what they are up to and get involved with their upcoming events.
a local charity based in the Health Hospital; they are dedicated to helping seriously ill children by making their dreams and wishes come true. We have several events planned before the night to help raise money for these charities, including a netball match between the JOMEC Football and JOMEC Netball team. For more information of the society and our Christmas social, visit our
Society Spotlight applications open
If you’re looking to get some top notch publicity for your society, why not apply for Society Spotlight? For the last half a semester, I’ve been visiting some of the finest societies the SU have to offer, having a go and then reporting back to Gair Rhydd about the sort of things they get up to. This is aside from Milly’s society of the month awards, and in some ways a little different from a mem-
ber of the society writing a piece themselves. This is because the Society Spotlights give an outsider’s look at the society, where students can get a feel of how it actually feels to attend a session. Of course, it still counts toward your Silver Tier, as would any article about your society that gets published in Gair Rhydd. First time around, I visited Debating society and took part in a judging panel to decide who won a de-
bate. Second, I watched some great stand-up with Comedy. Next, I went along and did some rock climbing with the mountaineering club, alongside the scouts and guides. Most recently, I played some exciting indoor Airsoft with Airsoft society up in Gloucester. Now, I’m looking for society committees to get in touch and invite me along to try out their activity. If you think your society has
Pictured: Coppafeel, the masters of mammaries.
a great event coming up, or even just a regular meeting, invite me along(firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will do my best to tell Gair Rhydd readers exactly what it is your society is all about. You can look back on the societies which have got the Spotlight treatment so far on the website: cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/gair rhydd/archives/categor y/societies
Spotlights give an outsider’s look at the society... how it actually feels to attend a session
Cardiff Volunteering: two projects looking for students to help them out
riends of Grangetown support local residents on projects with a lasting benefit. From maintaining a bee-friendly community garden to running annual summer and winter festivals. If you would like to be part of creating a legacy between Cardiff University and Grangetown, apply to get involved in this wonderful project.
his week Christian Union are really getting stuck into the Story: Cardiff project. This involves people getting together to speak to and really get to know one another- “ever thought about how that person sitting next to you might pursue a career saving lives?” More information on: https://storycardiff.wordpress. com/2016/
n the last issue, we heard praise for Quiz Society’s quiz about Gair Rhydd and general knowl-
e need student leaders to work with our programme for 16-18 year olds. These young people are undergoing training themselves in volunteering, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and with support from you, will work in disadvantaged areas to provide fun activities and events for children and families. The work these teenagers do is very valuable, and valued greatly by the communities they work in. Full training is provided.
What’s on this week
Tuesday 15th brings an opportunity to see Comedy society’s finest home grown stand up acts at the Lodge at 7pm. On Wednesday 16th at 4pm, also at the Lodge, the Union have Flatmate speed dating on- I wish this had been around in my first year when I had some real trouble getting people for a house. A fantastic initiative that ought to be of some
edge. In the spirit of bringing a little fun to these pages once again we thought it’d be a good idea to make
a crossword for all of you to try! Most of these clues can be solved by browsing the SU’s website... but
use for anxious freshers looking to ship out to Cathays. However by far the most exciting event this week is due to be the Give it a Go trip to the Bounce Below. Trampolines in the caves of an abandoned slate mine. This is quite honestly the coolest sounding thing I’ve seen for a while. It looks like there’s some safety nets, at least.
some may require some thought! Best of luck... you might even learn something.
Clues --Across 1. Small bears that breakdance 3. Which Great British city has its own society? 7. Which society gave out “Never kissed a Tory” stickers at the fair? 9. The first Society of the Month 11. Medics and Dentists are the only ones with dedicated societies for... what? 12. An Archi drinks posh tea from a cup and... 14. The first F in FAD 15. What Films do Film Soc make? You loves it. --Down 1. These Physicians and Astronomers like to cause... 2. Grimsoc’s favourite material 4. The first society to be Spotlit 5. Which course drinks from CUPS? 6. Highest Tier 8. The principal activity of CUAS 10. What sort of word is Gair Rhydd, once translated? 13. The *What* of Societies?
Crossword generated on TheTeachersCorner.net
Golygyddion: Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher @Taf_od email@example.com gairrhydd.com/tafod
Oes digon yn cael ei wneud i atal rhagfarnau yn erbyn y Gymraeg? Yn y llun: ‘Trydariad’ rhagfarnllyd ‘Wessex Golf Tour’ am ddefnydd yr iaith ar Trydar.
Rydym yn siarad iaith fawreddog, unigryw a ddylem fod yn falch ohoni.
” Osian Wyn Morgan
anseilio a bychanu’r Gymraeg: mae’n teimlo’n ddiddiwedd. Unwaith eto mae statws yr iaith yn y Brifysgol wedi’i wawdio gan y Tab. Mae’r ddadl ddiweddaraf yn codi ar ôl iddyn nhw gyhoeddi erthygl am fyfyrwyr ‘ystrydebol’ yn y Brifysgol. Fel gallwch ddyfalu, fe danseiliwyd myfyrwyr Cymraeg gan ddweud; “The Welsh language will inevitably be a frequent topic of conversation with them as they strive to defend its continued teaching and use in the country, despite its obvious worthlessness.” Erbyn hyn mae’r erthygl wedi cael ei ddileu, ond ni ddylai’r fath yma o ragfarn gael ei gyhoeddi yn y lle cyntaf. Mae hyn yn codi ar ôl i flwyddyn mynd heibio ers y tro diwethaf i’r Tab gyhoeddi’r math yma o ragfarn tua’r Gymraeg. Y llynedd cyhoeddwyd Oli Dugmore erthygl lawn yn gwneud hwyl o’r Gymraeg gan ddefnyddio’r isdeitl “What’s the f*****g point?” Mae’n sôn am sut mae miliynau
o bunnoedd yn cael ei fuddsoddi i’r iaith, er bod nifer fawr o boblogaeth Cymru yn fyw mewn tlodi. Yn sicr pe bai erthygl debyg yn cael ei chyhoeddi lle mae rhagfarnau fel hyn yn cael eu hanelu tuag at grwpiau lleiafrifol eraill megis LGBT+, a lleiafrifoedd ethnig, byddai wedi derbyn llawer mwy o sylw gan y wasg. Yn amlwg nid yw rhai o’n cymdogion i’r dwyrain yn deall pwysigrwydd yr iaith i ni’r Cymry. Gan eu bod nhw’n siarad iaith a rhannir gyda 942 miliwn o bobl ar draws y byd. Er bod yr iaith Gymraeg yn hynach, ac wedi ei siarad gan bobl Prydain yn hirach na’r Saesneg, rydym dal i weld agweddau negyddol yn cael eu hanelu tua’r iaith hanesyddol. Saesneg hefyd yw’r iaith gyda’r fwyaf o eiriau benthyg yn y byd. Rydym yn siarad iaith fawreddog, unigryw a ddylem fod yn falch ohoni. Daw ffrae yn ddiweddar hefyd ar y wefan gymdeithasol Trydar, lle mae dyn busnes o dde Lloegr wedi beirniadu cwmni creision ‘Jones o Gymru’ am ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg ar ei Dry-
dar. Yn ôl David Thomas, trefnydd teithiau golff o Wessex, mae defnydd o’r Gymraeg ar Drydar yn ei ddiflasu, ac nid yw negeseuon trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg ar Drydar yn addas ar gyfer y 60 miliwn o siaradwyr Saesneg ym Mhrydain. Anfonwyd y neges gan Jones’ Crisps ar Drydar yn hysbysebu Pencampwriaeth Bara Brith y Byd, ymatebodd Wessex Golf Tour gan ddweud bod ‘trydaru’ drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yn “gwneud dim i’ch gwerthiant chi”. Gan fod yna 60 miliwn o siaradwyr Saesneg yn y DU, a 700,000 o siaradwyr Cym-
raeg. Yn ôl ef, dydi hyn yn gwneud unrhyw synnwyr o ran busnes. Mae’n rhaid dweud bod hi’n siom fawr fod y math yma o ragfarnau yn dal i gael eu dangos yn erbyn yr iaith Gymraeg. Mae’n siom hefyd bod y rhagfarnau hyn yn parhau i’w cyhoeddi gan sefydliadau, fel y Tab. Mae yna obaith ni fydd y fath yma o agweddau yn cael ei chyhoeddi gan fyfyrwyr y brif ddinas eto, ond mae rhaid i’r Brifysgol, a’r gymdeithas yn gyffredinol, wneud mwy i atal y rhagfarnau hyn yn y dyfodol, fel y buasent yn ei wneud gyda rhagfarnau yn erbyn lleiafrifoedd eraill.
Edrych ymlaen at y Ddawns Rhyng-golegol
Penwythnos hwn fydd y Ddawns Ryng-golegol yn cael ei chynnal yn Aberystwyth. Cynhelir y ddawns yn flynyddol gan Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth, ac eleni bydd ryw 600 o fyfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith yn heidio i’r dref am benwythnos o gymdeithasu a mwynhau drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Mae’n debyg mai prif ddigwyddiad y ddawns flynyddol yw’r gig, a fydd
yn cael ei chynnal ddydd Sadwrn yn Undeb Myfyrwyr Aberystwyth. Mae mynychu’r gig yn gyfle euraidd i weld rhai o fandiau gorau’r ‘Sîn Roc Gymraeg’ yn perfformio. Yws Gwynedd a gaiff y fraint o fod yn y prif berfformiwr eleni, a bydd llu o fandiau gwychion eraill yno i’w gefnogi, megis Los Blancos, Omaloma, Mellt a Brython Shag. Yn ogystal â’r gig, cynhelir gemau chwaraeon rhwng y prifysgolion yn ys-
tod y dydd ddydd Sadwrn. Eleni, bydd gemau pêl-droed a rygbi i ddynion ac i ferched yn cael eu cynnal, yn ogystal â phêl-rwyd i ferched. Yn ychwanegol i’r gig a’r gemau chwaraeon, eleni, am y tro cyntaf, bydd Stomp yn cael ei gynnal ar y nos Wener. Yn y stomp, a fydd yn cael ei gynnal am 8:00yh yn ‘Y Cwps’ yn Aberystwyth, bydd myfyrwyr o ledled Cymru yn cystadlu yn erbyn ei gilydd
mewn cystadlaethau llenyddol. Endaf Griffiths fydd stompfeistr y noson, ac mae’n argoeli i fod yn noson hwyliog a chyffrous. Bydd y penwythnos yn gyfle gwych i fyfyrwyr Cymraeg gyfarfod â myfyrwyr o ledled Cymru, yn ogystal â rhoi cyfle i fyfyrwyr weld rhai o’u ffrindiau ysgol ag aeth i brifysgolion eraill yng Nghymru. Heb os, bydd hi’n benwythnos llawn hwyl a sbri!
Mae’n rhaid dweud bod hi’n siom fawr fod y math yma o ragfarnau yn dal i gael eu dangos yn erbyn yr iaith Gymraeg.
Y Gwahanfur: Trebiwt a difrod cyfalafiaeth Yn y llun: Y Rheilffordd rhwng gorsaf Heol y Frenhines a Bae Caerdydd - Y Gwahanfur (Tarddiad: Matt Buck drwy Flickr)
Lein rheilffordd a saif rhwng Stryd Bute a Rhodfa Lloyd George yw’r gwahanfur hwn; hynny yw, y pwtyn o drac sy’n mynd o orsaf Heol y Frenhines i orsaf adfeiliedig Bae Caerdydd.
hed mur diadlam drwy Drebiwt sy’n gwahanu un rhan bron yn llwyr oddi wrth y llall. Peidied y darllenydd â’m camddeall: er nas croesir, nid di-fwlch mo’r mur hwn. Gellir yn llythrennol gerdded oddi tano mewn ambell fan, neu hyd yn oed o’i gwmpas lle mae’n dechrau ac yn diweddu. Nid ei faintioli neu ei gadernid neu unrhyw briodoledd ffisegol sy’n esbonio ei ysgaru diymwared; nid oes gwyliedydd yn ei warchod na weiren bigog yn goron ddolefus arno ‘chwaith. Pery’r mur hwn yn y meddwl yn anad dim, a ffiniau meddyliol yw’r gwytnaf oll. Lein rheilffordd a saif rhwng Stryd Bute a Rhodfa Lloyd George yw’r gwahanfur hwn; hynny yw, y pwtyn o drac sy’n mynd o orsaf Heol y Frenhines i orsaf adfeiliedig Bae Caerdydd. Taith wirion o fer ydyw, ond mae a wnelo’r siwrne hon â mwy o lawer na thrafnidiaeth foel a diflas. Gwêl y sawl a elo hyd-ddi ddau fyd anghymarus, y naill o’r ffenest ar ei dde a’r llall o’r ffenest ar ei chwith, a’r teithiwr yntau’n araf rygnu drwy’r tir neb rhyngddynt. Er taw ystrydeb gyda’r fwyaf treuliedig yw cyffelybu pared o unrhyw fath i fur Berlinaidd didoliadol ynghyd â’i holl ensyniadau gwahaniaethol, dim ond y meddwl mwyaf barddonol a allai lunio cymhariaeth well yn y cyswllt hwn. Soniaf beth am yr ochr ddwyreiniol. Yma y mae bloc ar ôl bloc o fflatiau unffurf eu gwedd. Codwyd y rhan fwyaf ohonynt pan ddechreuwyd ‘adfywio’ Bae Caerdydd o ddifrif ar ddiwedd y 90au. Yn ymarferol, wrth gwrs, golygodd hynny glirio gweddillion y dociau ac olion y diwydiannau
trymion, ond braidd yn or-selog oedd bwyeill y datblygwyr a chollwyd y rhan fwyaf o hen adeiladau’r ardal yn ddi-angen. Fel mae’n digwydd, collwyd un o’r ychydig prin a oroesodd gwpl o fisoedd yn ôl, sef Y Lanfa, a ddymchwelwyd yn ddi-seremoni am i’w berchenogion benderfynu na fyddai ei gadw’n mor broffidiol â’i chwalu, er cystal ei gyflwr. Heddiw, mae’r fflatiau’n tyrru o amgylch y pyrth a fyddai’n ddrewllyd gan sbwriel ac yn wyllt o brysur gan longau cargo yn nydd eu bri, ond sydd bellach yn ychwanegu miloedd o bunnoedd at bris anheddau newydd y cyfoethogion absennol. Trowyd ardal dlotaf y ddinas yn ynys gaeedig briciau oren. Onid yw sothach un oes yn olud y llall na ŵyr ddim amdani? Rhaid wrth anghofiant, yn amlwg, er mwyn diwreiddio a chreu o’r newydd - neu drawsblannu. Neu efallai fod y rhan hon o’r Bae yn dysteb i ddyfeisgarwch cyfalafiaeth sydd, er disbyddu’r dociau a’u troi’n ddiffeithwch ar ôl sugno pob diferyn o faeth ohonynt a gwasgaru’r hen drigolion i’r pedwar gwynt, wedi codi trefedigaeth o fflatiau drud o’r ulw? Ond bid a fo am hynny, gwelir ar bob llaw i’r dwyrain o’r gwahanfur bennaf llwyddiant cyfalafiaeth hwyr: unffurfiaeth lwyr a bwrw ymaith popeth neilltuol, megis hanes, traddodiad a chyffyrddiadau dynol o bob math. Ond trown ein golygon yn awr at ochr orllewinol y gwahanfur. O gymharu â chostusrwydd llwm yr ochr ddwyreiniol, tu draw i’r trac y mae stad o dai cyngor truenus eu gwedd; unffurf unwaith eto, ond yn eu tlodi
y tro hwn. Petasai’r tai hyn rywle arall yng Nghymru, fe ddichon na fyddent mor drawiadol ac ydynt yma yn Nhrebiwt am fod aml ardal dlawd yng Nghymru - nac anghofier taw un o ranbarthau tlotaf Gorllewin Ewrop yw Cymru. Eithr am fod y tlodi yma’n gyfochrog â fflatiau newydd (‘moethus’ ys dywed y datblygwyr gwancus) y Bae, dwyseir yr ergyd. Ond nid yw’r gwahanfur yn didoli pensaernïaeth y ddwy ran yn unig: truenusaf oll yw mor gaeth yw trigolion y ddwy ochr i’w rhannau hwythau, a chyn lleied o gyfathrach sydd rhyngddynt. Ar yr ochr orllewinol dlawd mae’r boblogaeth yn groendywyll ar y cyfan; ar yr ochr ddwyreiniol gefnog, er nad yw’r boblogaeth yn unffurf, mae’n amlwg yn syth fod llai o lawer o bobl groendywyll, chwaethach rhai o gymuned groenddu hirsefydliedig Trebiwt. Chwith yw’r gwahaniaeth hwn a ddynodir mor gaeth ac absoliwt gan lein rheilffordd a hewl ffensiog! Fe’m synnir o hyd mor brin yw gweld rhywun o un ochr yn croesi i’r llall, fel pe bai ffin ‘swyddogol’ yno megis rhwng dwy wlad! Efallai y bydd ambell ddarllenwr yn gofyn, er gwaethed y sefyllfa hon, beth yw diben sôn amdani? Onid yw’n ddigon hysbys? Ydyw, i raddau; gwyddys am anghyfartaledd, arwahanu a getoeiddio a achosir gan foneddigeiddio. Ond ychydig sy’n gwybod am y perygl penodol i ni Gymry yn yr arwahanu hwn. Nod cyfalafiaeth yw unffurfioli fel na bo gwahaniaethau rhwng defnyddwyr a phrynwyr, rhyw droi pobl y byd yn un farchnad unedig. Does dim byd newydd yn y gosodiad hwn.
Amlinella’r Maniffesto Comiwnyddol - a ysgrifennwyd dros ganrif a hanner yn ôl - fel mae cyfalafiaeth yn sgubo ymaith yr hen grefftau a’u traddodiadau cysylltiedig ac yn ehangu’r farchnad a’i llenwi â nwyddau traul masgynyrchiedig. Nid yw cyfalafiaeth yn parchu cymunedau na chenhedloedd nac ieithoedd: bwrir hwynt heibio fel pob rhwystr arall i’r farchnad, oni bai am yr achlysuron hynny lle y gellir eu defnyddio at ddibenion masnachol. Nid yw cyfalafiaeth yn codi fflatiau ar esgyrn y gorffennol er mwyn achlesu pobl, ond er mwyn eu gwerthu. Gwedd ar hynny yw gwahanfur Trebiwt. Trwy wahanu pobloedd tlawd a chefnog i bob pwrpas, ehanga’r ochr ddwyreiniol gefnog o hyd yn ei hunffurfrwydd dienaid tra bo’r ochr orllewinol dlawd yn nychu fwyfwy, a’r bobl yn gadael cyn gynted ag y gallent. Yn y man, lleda’r boneddigieddio bondigrybwyll i’r ochr arall, pan fyddai honno wedi ei disbyddu a’i gadael y tu ôl, fel yr hen ddociau gynt. Gan fod lleiafrifoedd yn ffynnu pan fo lleiafrifoedd eraill, a phan nad oes gafael hegemonig gan y mwyafrif, bydd y Gymraeg hithau’n gryfach mewn Caerdydd a Chymru lle bo cymysgedd o bobloedd yn rhydd i fod yn wahanol. Fel arall, wrth i’r unffurfioli fynd rhagddo’n ddiarbed, byddai’r pwysau ar y Gymraeg a’r Cymry ond yn cynyddu, a byddai disgwyl iddynt gymathu - fel pawb arall. Yn y cyfamser, saif y gwahanfur fel rhybudd i bawb na chydymffurfia. Os na heriwn y gyfalafiaeth hon, cawn ein gwthio i’r ymylon fwyfwy (yn llythrennol) nes ein llyncu’n llwyr.
Trwy wahanu pobloedd tlawd a chefnog i bob pwrpas, ehanga’r ochr dwyreiniol gefnog o hyd yn ei ffurfrwydd dienaid tra bo’r ochr orllewinol dlawd yn nychu fwyfwy, a’r bobl yn gadael cyn gynted ag y gallent.
Cardiff Cobras edge thrilling win over Exeter James Lloyd
With a number of rookies contributing early in the season and several experienced players still left standing at important positions, there is plenty of reason for optimism in the Cobras camp.
Whilst it is difficult to single out any one member of this historic Wales side, Bale was clearly the focal point of their incredible journey to the semifinal stage in France over the summer.
ardiff Cobras echoed in a new era with a hard-fought 14-12 away win over the Exeter Demons last weekend. The Cobras, who suffered a heartbreaking play-off defeat against arch rivals Swansea last season, got their BUCS 1A South West campaign off to a perfect start. After seeing head coach Ben Watkins depart during the off-season due to a new job in London, they are now under the guidance of former player Sean Patrick Cook. They have also lost a number of key starters to graduation, especially on defence, leaving them facing a tough challenge in order to go one better than last year. Yet they dispelled any doubts regarding their character with a determined display in a tense encounter against the Demons. There was little to separate the sides early on, with some cagey opening exchanges and uncharacteristic mistakes from the Cobras leaving the game scoreless at half-time. Despite the visitors showing plenty of promising signs in the first half, it was the home side who broke the deadlock early in the third quarter. They capitalised upon an interception on the Cobras’ first play from scrimmage in the second half to punch in a touchdown and take a 6-0 lead. But the visitors responded in stunning fashion, with running back Carwyn Chamberlain springing clear for a 50-yard run before rookie Quarterback Max Milburn found rookie Wide Receiver Jak Canham in the back of the end zone to cap off a remarkable 99-yard touchdown drive.
Pictured: Cardiff Cobras taking on Swansea in 2016 Welsh Varsity.
Canham duly slotted over the extra point to give them a slender 7-6 lead although that advantage was extended following the first play of the fourth quarter. Another composed drive from QB Milburn ended with him running in from a yard out to put the Cobras 14-6 ahead entering the closing stages. Exeter nonetheless would not lie down, and they launched a late drive culminating in a 12-yard touchdown
run to set up a nervy finale. A missed extra point after their first touchdown left the Demons needing to go for two points in order to force overtime, and the Cobras held firm to secure a winning start to the season. It was a far from perfect performance from the Cobras, but they will be keen to focus on a number of positives. Milburn starred on his debut and was awarded the overall MVP, whilst second year Linebacker Tom Earl played a key
role at the heart of a brave defensive effort. With a number of rookies contributing early in the season and several experienced players still left standing at important positions, there is plenty of reason for optimism in the Cobras camp. They were due to take on the Solent Redhawks at Llanrumney on Sunday before returning to action at home against the UWE Bullets on November 27.
Bale scoops Wales Player of the Year crown
areth Bale has won the Wales Player of the Year award for the fourth successive year. The Real Madrid superstar was presented with the prestigious award for the sixth time at the 26th annual FAW Awards at the Vale Hotel Resort last week. It caps off another remarkable year for the 27-year-old forward as he saw off stern competition from his colleagues following their dramatic Euro 2016 journey. Whilst it is difficult to single out any one member of this historic Wales side, Bale was clearly the focal point of their incredible journey to the semifinal stage in France over the summer. The talismanic, Cardiff-born star also enjoyed stunning success at club level with Real Madrid, winning the Champions League and recently being handed a mammoth six-year deal worth up to £150m. Popular midfielder Joe Allen also scooped two awards, winning the Fans’ Player of the Year plus the Players’ Player of the Year accolade. Allen, who made a summer switch from Swansea to Stoke, was at the heart of the Welsh midfield throughout their Euro 2016 success story and earned a spot in Uefa’s Team of the Tournament.
Pictured: Gareth Bale celebrates a Wales win on their way to Euro 2016 qualification. (Photographer: Jon Candy)
Wales’ Euro 2016 showing prompted a number of extra awards to be presented, most notably a special award from the FAW to manager Chris Coleman. Hal Robson-Kanu was given the Welsh Goal of the Tournament fol-
lowing his unforgettable finish against Belgium at the quarter-final stage. Arsenal ace Aaron Ramsey was named Wales’ Player of the Tournament, plus Ben Davies was handed Moment of the Tournament for his brave goal-saving block in the early
stages of their opening match against Slovakia. Elsewhere, defender Chris Gunter was given the Media Choice award whilst 16-year-old Exeter City youngster Ethan Ampadu was named Young Player of the Year.
How can Wales overcome their struggles against Southern Hemisphere opposition?
It was undoubtedly a wake-up call for Wales, who appear to be further away from World rugby’s elite sides than they have been for a considerable amount of time.
Rhys Thomas Cardiff Blues Columnist
ince suffering a humiliating 32-8 defeat against Australia on November 5, the entire landscape of Welsh rugby has come under the spotlight. Being beaten by one of their Southern Hemisphere counterparts was certainly nothing new for Wales, but it was the manner of the loss which sparked concern and frustration amongst supporters. Having come within a whisker of defeating the Wallabies on a number of occasions in recent years, there was a sense of optimism at the Principality Stadium. Michael Cheika’s side were coming off the back of a subdued Rugby Championship campaign, whilst Wales were determined to begin their Autumn Internationals on a high. Instead, they were subjected to an Australian masterclass, with their incisive, fast-paced rugby often resembling a hot knife carving through butter as the Welsh defence failed to find an answer. It was undoubtedly a wake-up call for Wales, who appear to be further away from World rugby’s elite sides than they have been for a considerable amount of time. But just why have Rob Howley’s side fallen so far behind? Former Wales flanker Martyn Williams predicted the problems a few days before their clash with the Wallabies, stating that the Guinness Pro 12 simply does not prepare Welsh players for such intense international tests. Speaking at a Welsh rugby debate hosted by Wales Online, he revealed his concern that a lack of matches against top-level matches may leave several players unprepared. It is hard to argue with Williams’ point. The standard of rugby in the Guinness Pro 12 has left a lot to be desired at times in recent years, with the introduction of Italian club sides doing little to help the overall quality of the competition. Whilst Wales struggling to defeat New Zealand and Australia is a longrunning issue – they have beaten Australia just 10 times in history and have not managed to overcome the All Blacks since 1953 – the inception of the Celtic League back in 2001 brought high hopes of an upturn in
he Autumn Internationals are in full swing and this is the time when the Anglo-Welsh Cup makes a return. It was last competed for in the 2014-15 season, (last year was skipped due to the World Cup) is played during international periods and is used as a competition to help bring on the next generation of talent. It has gone through several iterations and a decrease in stature over the past few years, going from a tournament with a Twickenham final to one where the final moves around the English Premiership grounds. The Blues won the Anglo-Welsh
fortunes. Fast forward 15 years and their encounters with top-tier nations New Zealand, Australia and South Africa since the creation of the regional system have yielded a dismal 49 defeats with only three wins and one draw. With the gulf between Wales and the Southern Hemisphere sides arguably at its widest in recent memory, it would appear Williams’ concerns about the club system where the majority of their side ply their trade is justified. His point is strengthened by the fact that Ross Moriarty, playing for Gloucester in the English Premiership, stepped into the unfamiliar No.8 role and was arguably Man of the Match despite his minimal international experience. Moriarty was one of the few Welsh players who looked prepared for the intensity of the Wallabies – something possibly aided by his experience playing across the border. Yet it is impossible to entirely blame the Pro12 for Wales’ issues, particularly after witnessing Ireland’s dramatic victory over New Zealand. Every single member of Joe Schmidt’s heroic side ply their trade in the regional competition, and their convincing success against the dominant All Blacks demonstrates the club system cannot be held responsible for Wales’ humbling failure. It seems that the biggest issue is the struggles of the Welsh regions in Europe, with only the Scarlets competing in the Champions Cup. The regional system definitely possesses a number of positives, most notably the chance for international colleagues to build up partnerships by also playing together at club level. The time spent together playing at club level and developing relationships can only be helpful both on and off the field, potentially contributing to a run of admirable success for Wales in the Six Nations over the last decade. But without the chance to test themselves sporadically against Europe’s top-tier clubs, there is a distinct lack of quality in the fixture list. Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons and the Ospreys have been competing with second-rate French and English clubs in the Challenge
Cup, and until they climb up the Pro12 table and return to the Champions Cup fold then Welsh players may struggle to prepare for facing top class opposition. There is undoubtedly no quick-fix for Wales, but it has been clear for some time a change in culture is required. Attempts to introduce an increasingly expansive brand of rugby have proved more difficult than expected, although it can only be hoped future generations of players will be brought up with a new approach. In the short term, the investment from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in dual contracts to keep their top players in the country is a step in the right direction. 16 players are currently contracted by the WRU, with skipper Sam Warburton recently extending his deal alongside Dan Lydiate, Samson Lee and Cardiff University student Hallam Amos. The commitment to strengthen regional sides should help them return to the top tier of European Rugby in the near future, something which can only be positive for the national team. The recruitment of Southern Hemisphere players, particularly backs, could also be a useful tool in
the development of the Wales side. The arrival of exciting centre Willis Halaholo from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes looks set to give the Cardiff Blues a new dimension in attack, and the presence of similar flair players can only help as Wales look to embed a more cutting-edge, expansive style of play. Realistically, the gap between Wales and Australia is probably not as vast as it appeared on November 5. They were most likely caught off guard against a Wallabies side keen to prove a point after losing out in the Rugby Championship. Yet it would be naïve to pretend there is not plenty of work to be done both on and off the field if Wales are to replicate their recent Six Nations success against the elite Southern Hemisphere. Although the Pro12 is not a perfect formula for international success, it cannot be held responsible for the shortcomings of the national team. After a wake-up call, supporters can only hope a change in approach will pay dividends in the long run and allow Wales to eventually establish themselves as a regular threat to the dominant Southern Hemisphere.
Cup (then known as the EDF Energy Cup) in 2009, in front of fifty-five thousand at the home of English Rugby demolishing Gloucester 50-12 and scoring seven tries in the process. That was the first piece of silverware for the Blues since their formation in 2003, and the team was among the best in Europe with foreign imports like Ben Blair and Paul Tito linking up with Welsh stars such as Leigh Halfpenny and Martyn Williams. When this is published the Blues will already have had their opening fixture at Sandy Park against Exeter Chiefs, before a home tie against
Ospreys this Friday and a chance for some revenge after the PRO12 hammering in October. It will be a chance to see young Welsh stars of the future like fly-half Jarrod Evans in action for the senior side. They go into their Anglo-Welsh campaign with a confidence-boosting league win out in Treviso under their belts - a place where they hadn’t won since 2012, a dire away record at traditionally one of the bottom two teams in the league. Debutants Rhun Williams and Willis Halaholo both scored tries in a 28-34 win which stopped their slide of three
league losses on the bounce. The introduction of a new tournament is a chance to build on that victory and make sure players who don’t get regular game time have a chance to play for the first team in a serious competition. Depending on the Welsh management, some fringe national squad players like Scott Andrews may be released for these games to get minutes on the pitch instead of watching Wales from the stands. Considering the current state of the national team, players may well be grateful for being sent back to regions.
Pictured: Wales face off against the All Blacks’ Haka in a previous encounter in Cardiff .
Attempts to introduce an increasingly expansive brand of rugby have proved more difficult than expected.
We are trying to learn to win, teams strive for years to unlock the golden goose as they say.
Philip Marsh Cardiff City Columnist
Con’t: Frustrated Cardiff boss keen to take positives
ardiff University rugby boss Alun-Wyn Davies admitted their last-gasp defeat at Swansea was tough to take. A big crowd turned out to see Cardiff fall agonisingly short of snatching a late draw against their Welsh rivals at St Helens. Davies conceded he was left frustrated that they failed to stick to their game plan in perhaps their biggest fixture of the season so far. But he was keen to focus on the positives as they aim to bounce back against University of South Wales in another local derby on Wednesday. Davies said: “Yeah it was (tough to take). It was a fantastic day really, it was such a good crowd, especially for a BUCS game. But it is disappointing, we’ve got a few annoyed boys in there but I take nothing away from Swansea, they defended very well, we just weren’t clinical today. “Territory wise we went away from our script and we paid for it first-half where we had a couple of opportu-
nities to score and they scored just before half-time and we had to chase the game. “We are trying to learn to win, teams strive for years to unlock the golden goose as they say. But there are positives, defensively we were superb, some of the collisions our guys were making were extremely dominant. I think our tackle completion last week was around 96% and it was similar today. “I think the few errors that we made told a story. I’m telling the guys
that everything we do has an effect. In a positive way we kept the ball, and we’re learning as a group. We did go away off script a little bit tonight. It’s easily fixed, and we’ll work on being clinical ready for the next game. “The ruck was a little bit of a lottery. I’m not one to point fingers but Swansea were very cute in the breakdown. “We have USW away in our next game. It’s another derby and they beat Swansea last week, so it makes
it interesting. I know their coach, Ben is working very hard up there to try and get certain things in place. It was a great win for them last week, so I will be concentrating all on us next week and concentrating on our game plan and execution and if we do that then we will have a successful week. PLAYER RATINGS: Swansea: Pearce 6; Fieldwick 8, George 6, Gully 5, Joyce 6, Jones 5, Dix 5; Cinnamond 6, Melotti 5, Guy 7, Hayward 6, Hudd 6, Jones 6, Holder 6, Williams (c) 6 Cardiff: Williams 6; Lang 6, Griffiths 6, Parks 6, Mears 6, Mogg 7, Brooks 7; Starks 7, Haines 6, Rees 6, Egan 6, McGrath 7, Viggers 6, Hughes 6, Williams (c) 7 Man of the Match: Sam Fieldwick (Swansea)
Statistical breakdown of the Welsh Derby
ardiff City’s revival under Neil Warnock has been put on hold, after two defeats in a week have dampened spirits. After seven points out of a possible nine in Warnock’s first three games, fans were beginning to believe a play-off push could be on the cards. Victories over Bristol City and Nottingham Forest, alongside a draw against Sheffield Wednesday, brought back a positive atmosphere to the capital which has not been felt for years. However, back-to-back defeats against lowly Wigan and high-flying
Newcastle have brought a sudden halt to Cardiff ’s momentum. The most recent defeat against Newcastle will be particularly frustrating for Warnock. So far this season, Newcastle have not lost a single game when taking the lead. Despite knowing a good defensive performance would be key, poor defending in the first 15 minutes saw Newcastle race into a 2-0 lead. Warnock’s managerial career has rarely seen his teams play elegant, attractive football, but his teams are notoriously hard to break down and
score against. It’s likely Warnock’s brazen attitude and occasional loose tongue would have been on show during his half-time team talk. Whatever he said to the players certainly had an impact after the break. Cardiff had the better of the second half, but it required inspiration from the bench to give the Bluebirds any hope. Three substitutions in three minutes saw Peter Whittingham, Marouane Chamakh and Kadeem Harris take to the field, and within two minutes of their arrival Cardiff
scored. Two missed opportunities and a penalty shout later the game was over, but Cardiff will take some inspiration from their spirited second half performance against the league leaders. Now just one point above the relegation zone, Warnock will view the next games against Huddersfield and Aston Villa as increasingly important. Failure to pick up a single point in these two fixtures would almost certainly see Cardiff drop into the relegation zone once more.
Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey @GairRhyddSport firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/sport
Also this week
Is the Pro12 to blame for Wales’ shortcomings? P30>>
Cardiff Cobras get season off to a winning start P29>>
Cardiff beaten by Swans in tense Welsh derby
Alun-Wyn Davies’ side slip to their second defeat of the season in a nail biting clash at St Helen’s after missing last minute conversion
ardiff University men’s rugby first team suffered a tight, 10-8 loss away at arch rivals Swansea last Wednesday in front of a raucous St Helen’s crowd. Julian Mogg missed a last minute conversion that would have tied the game for Cardiff after Harry Griffiths crashed over in the corner late on. Mogg scored a penalty in the firsthalf for Cardiff ’s other score with Craig Hudd scoring Swansea’s try on the stroke of half-time. Handling errors proved costly for Cardiff who spent the majority of the second-half camped in Swansea territory. It was an error-strewn opening half from both sides as sloppy mistakes cost both from making any headway. And after a cagey opening quarter, it was Swansea who had the first major opportunity but fly-half Mitchell Jones skewed a penalty wide after
Cardiff were penalised at the breakdown. Mogg made his opposite number pay as the Cardiff man slotted a simple three points in front of the posts for the games’ opening points. More errors made for a patchy and cagey period with both sides very much locking horns. But Swansea came back just before the interval and snatched the lead. A catch and drive from the lineout led to lock Hudd going over in the corner with Jones making amends for his earlier miss with the conversion from out wide. After the break Mogg had the first chance at goal but his booming 45 metre effort sailed narrowly wide. Jones followed suit as he missed another opportunity from a slight angle but made up for it just two minutes later with a dink in front of the posts. Despite a hefty and dominant scrum, handling errors continued to haunt Cardiff ’s progress as Swansea started to gain some ground in the
territory game. Midway through the half, Griffiths’ surging break in the midfield sent Cardiff knocking on the door, but a combination of stray passes and a solid Swansea wall halted their progress. And minutes later, Cardiff maintained their stride in Swansea’s half after another powerful scrum, but were left with no reward as the home side cleared their lines. It was becoming that sort of half for the frustrated red men. In the 77th minute Cardiff finally found a gap in the tiring Swansea defence to set up a tense finale. Mogg danced his way through before the ball found Griffiths who scored in the corner. But Mogg missed the resulting conversion from a tricky angle that would have tied the scores. And there was nearly more drama as Mogg found more space, only to be stopped by an outstretched arm. Swansea again were able to clear and held on for the victory.
Pictured: Cardiff in action against Swansea in Welsh Varsity 2016. (Photography via Huw Evans Agency)
Continued on page 31
Cardiff City and Cardiff Blues columns P30-31>>
FAW host their 26th annual awards P29>>