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gair rhydd

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ISSUE 876 OCTOBER 06 2008 CARDIFF’S STUDENT WEEKLY free word - EST. 1972

INSIDE...NEWS/OPINION/FEATURES/SPORT/LISTINGS

INITIATION DEVASTATION AU club initiations: When sport, peer pressure and binge drinking collide - p. 3

From the sea to the Shaw

gair rhydd interviews Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw - p. 34

Societies' budgets reined in 43 out of 139 societies receive £0.00 15% of budget held back for new contingency fund

Sian Symons News Editor The release of the Students' Union's societies budget last week has angered many students who have seen an average reduction in initial budget allocations. With 139 societies applying for funding, many groups have found themselves with a much smaller allowance than last year. Despite society applications for funding reaching a collected total of £173,000, more than eight times the total Societies budget of £20,000, initial funding for societies has been reduced, on average, across the board. Instead of distributing all of the budget at once, this year just over £3,000 - a quarter of the annual budget - is being held back in a contingency fund for societies who urgently need extra money. Clubbing and DJing society Traffic was given nearly £400 on last year’s budget, but this year they have only £50. A spokesperson for the society, described this as a “measly allocation”, but recognised that it is not only Traffic that faces financial problems. Many societies have been awarded no money at all. Act One, ACS, Brass

Band, Cardiff Business, Earth Soc and SVC are among the many societies that have received no funding. They are advised to fund their group with membership and participation funds. However, some societies have emerged with an even larger chunk of the budget than the previous year. The Live Music Society has earned £610 worth of funding, Nightline have been given £870, and the debating society have been awarded £850. Cardiff Student Scout and Guide society (SSAGS) were another of the high earning societies. They were given £668 towards affiliation, trips and printing costs. Secretary for Cardiff SSAGS Rebecca Taylor said: "to run as a society we have to be affiliated to Student Scout and Guide Organisation (SSAGO) which costs us a certain amount per year. If we couldn’t afford to pay this fee we wouldn’t be able to run as a scout and guide affiliated society”. She went on to explain that as well as receiving a lump sum from the University, the society also charges a £6 membership, some of which goes towards the affiliation fee. Becca Rees, the Societies, Postgraduate and International Officer said: “Overall, societies are actu-

ally getting more than ever before this year. However, we have adopted a different strategy to that of past years. Less money has been distributed initially and we have kept back a contingency fund for those societies who can demonstrate that they require additional funds for their activities or to facilitate those who may need help later in the year.“ She also explained that, as 18 new societies have been accepted this year, the existing budget is even more thinly spread. Cardiff University Students’ Union (CUSU) explains that to calculate the budget for each society, they look at the income the society already generates. If a society receives a high income from membership fees alone, they are not given as much funding as others. The CUSU also states that they only provide funding for trips and events, guest speakers, conferences and publicity. Therefore, societies intending to spend their money on social events, clothing or international travel will find themselves not covered by the budget.


02 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

NEWS

NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

this week in gair rhydd: The week in pictures:

News: Students get ID Cards

05 Home Secretary Jacqui Smith visits Talybont to talk safety with students

Sport: Cardiff Olympic bronze medalist Bryony Shaw

33 Features: Gearing up for World Mental Health Day

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Over 1,000 students sign up to Cardiff Student Media

In numbers : Foals rock the Great Hall

visit the brand new gairrhydd website and have your say at

>>

www.gairrhydd.com

27%

of Cardiff students are based at the Heath Campus

73% are undergrads

22%

are freshers


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

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NEWS

NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

"I had to drink a pint through a pig's head" gair rhydd investigation uncovers peer pressure to binge drink at bizarre sports club initiation rituals Emma Jones News Editor A gair rhydd investigation into sports club initiations at Cardiff University has revealed that students are sometimes pressurised into binge drinking by their peers. In addition, the investigation showed that students were encouraged to engage in bizarre and occasionally humiliating behaviour. One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, attended the Windsurfing club initiation last week. He said: "I was definitely pressurised into drinking. We were pushed into a house that only had UV lighting and there was a massive trough full of pink liquid." He continued: "I don't know what was in it, but we were forced to drink loads of it." Another anonymous source, who plays BUCS (British Universities and College Sports) football, explained that his initiation last year consisted

of an assault course with an unpleasant task waiting to be completed at each station. He said: “We had to eat pet food at the first one. At the next one we had to drink gin, absinthe and vodka through a straw. And at the next one we had to drink a pint through a pig’s head. "They put a hosepipe coming out of its mouth and a funnel out of the back of its head. He continued: "We then drank a dirty pint which contained everything and anything you can imagine: chilli powder, tuna fish, vodka. Then it was back on to the coach where we had to drink a bottle of wine and eight cans on our journey back.” Despite having his clothes taken from him and having to wear women’s underwear during the initiation, however, the footballer said: “It was probably one of my best nights at Uni. He was keen to stress that “There is peer pressure to drink, but it’s in the form of banter. “The chairman is always there

Cardiff University joins prestigious Santander group Joy Harding Reporter Cardiff University has become the first institution in Wales to join the ‘Santander Universities’ network. ‘Santander Universities’, founded in 1996, is a scheme through which Banco Santander supports Higher Education in America and Europe. Since the project began the firm has channelled almost half a billion Euros into over 700 institutions worldwide. Universities in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Portugal and Uruguay already benefit from Santander, which offers support for researchers, exchange students and entrepreneurs. Cardiff University now joins other British Institutes such as Cambridge, Bath and University College London in the scheme. For Cardiff, being partnered with Santander will provide funding for student volunteering and student enterprise as well as more opportunities for overseas research and student ex-

changes to take place. Dr David Grant, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University expressed his pleasure at the newly formed partnership: “Working with Santander will provide many new learning and research opportunities for current and future students and staff, and bring enormous benefit to the University as a whole.” Eighteen scholarships and research grants will be offered to students from the Schools of European Studies, Welsh, and Physics and Astronomy. As well as this, financial awards and scholarships for Excellence and Achievement in Business and Entrepreneurship will be given, and a special bursary for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year from Student Volunteering Cardiff has been announced. Dr Grant described the occasion as “another step towards Cardiff University fulfilling its ambition to pursue research, learning and teaching of international distinction and expanding our reach in Latin America, Spain and Portugal.”

keeping an eye so it doesn’t get out of hand,” he added. Another Cardiff University student, who is part of the CARBS IMG rugby team, described a similar experience. He and his team mates “were strapped together with zip ties and had to run around Cathays doing ‘missions’ in various houses. “In house once we had to dunk our heads in a mysterious liquid which was basically urine,” he said. However, some Cardiff University sports team members were keen to stress that not all ceremonies are the same. At the hockey initiations, one student explained, nobody is forced to drink anything. He said: “The people in the hockey club binge drink as much as any student does on a night out. You can’t pretend that binge drinking is confined to sports clubs – everyone does it.” A member of the University’s rowing team said that at her initiation,

drinking games were optional. “Nobody’s that naïve that they don’t know what happens at initiation. You know that there’s going to be drinking, there’s going to be general tomfoolery, and there's going to be team building games,” she added. Despite this, the National Union of Students (NUS) are in favour of a total ban on initiation ceremonies. NUS President Wes Streeting said: "We are totally opposed to student initiations. "They put students at serious risk and exclude students who don't want to take part in binge-drinking culture.” Andy Button-Stephens, President of Cardiff University Student’s Union, said: “Cardiff Students' Union takes these allegations regarding 'initiation' ceremonies very seriously. We are currently investigating these claims and are also working on effectively communicating our initiations policy with our members."

'Heal the Heath' launches Sarah Powell News Editor A new campaign entitled ‘Heal the Heath’ is underway to help tackle the various issues surrounding the Heath Campus. The Heath campus has been under increasing focus recently after gair rhydd published the results of the National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS) (issue 875), which showed that Medicine students at Cardiff express the least satisfaction with their course in the United Kingdom. Alongside this, there have been ongoing problems with Medclub and exam administration, which have led to an overall need for change at the Heath Park campus. The ‘Heal the Heath’ campaign shows a definite attempt to solve some of these issues. James Wood, the Vice President of the Students’ Union and one of the principal founders of the campaign, has placed a large focus on student involvement in helping to heal the Heath. Using consultation groups with students, statistics from the NSS, and a new ‘Heath Park Survey’, it is hoped that the main problems that students

are facing can be discussed and their issues can be addressed. These topics will then be discussed at a ‘Heal the Heath Surgery’ and will form the basis of the campaign. The aim of the ‘surgeries’ is to produce targets which will then be presented to the Sabbatical Officers, as well as key staff at the Union and University in order to effect change. In this way the campaign is attempting to provide a representative voice for the students at the Heath, and also to mediate between the University and Union on issues ranging from academia to sport and extra-cur-

ricular activities. It is hoped that this will improve communication and ensure that Heath Park students feel involved in the University. James Wood said: "I feel that, at the moment, healthcare students at the Heath Park campus have an array of problems that have not been listened to by the University, one of the key reasons being that since the 2004 University of Wales College of Medicine and Cardiff University merger they feel they have lost their voice and representation. Heal the Heath is giving this back to them."


04 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

NEWS 2 in 5 can't manage money

NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Geology students told to fork out for fieldwork Sarah Powell News Editor

Katie Chidwick Reporter Recent research has brought to light the extent of money troubles regarding students. A study conducted by the UK's main financial watchdog has found that two in five students admit to being "completely disorganised" when it comes to their finances. As the cost of higher education is increasing, a worrying number of students are simply burying their heads in the sand when it comes to their finances. One in three students are constantly overdrawn, whilst the same number said they never check their bank statements. In an aim to reduce student debt the Financial Services Authority is sending financial advisors into universities to educate students in monitoring their finances more effectively. This is particularly relevant in the current financial climate where increased living costs have forced many students into part-time employment. However, this will inevitably become more difficult as the credit crunch has led to a reduction in the number of jobs on offer.

Third-year students from Earth Science courses have been hardhit by unexpected additional costs for fieldwork. A third year BSc Geology student recently contacted gair rhydd telling how students were being forced to pay additional fees of £250 to cover their fieldwork costs. Coupled with this, the student said; ‘This additional cost comes after we were expected to self fund a five week field course this summer, costing most

SVC

students around £1000.’ She told gair rhydd that because of the summer course, most students were unable to secure jobs as they had little free time. This has left many of them on the brink of their overdrafts. This year group, who are one of the first groups to pay the ‘top up’ fees of £3070, feel that the additional fees are unfair. The financial hardship that these students are faced with has left many seeking help from the University Contingency Fund, which is in place to offer students financial support. However, one student told us that,

school with a less than predicted income for the new year and increased costs from travel operators because of fuel and exchange rate considerations.” The school views fieldwork as a vital component of their degree schemes, and said that the students were informed about the extra charges in September. In a recent statement, the school has said: ‘As a result of representations from the student body it has been decided to allow students until 26 January to pay the fee rather than demand it at enrolment.’

Calls to provide Success postgraduate funding Emma Barlow News Editor

Lecture letdown for Medics Emma Barlow News Editor Cardiff Medics are once again encountering problems with their lectures. Some second year students were recently left thoroughly disgruntled after six lectures were cancelled in one week. The problems arose because many of the lecturers are working doctors or other clinical staff working at the University Hospital of Wales and have other commitments. Tom Wright, MEDSOC President said he understood that the teaching staff are very busy people. “In my opinion this problem makes up a large component of why Medicine students were revealed to be the most dissatisfied in the National Student Survey.”

“Those that have tried the financial contingency have either received nothing or very little so we don't appear to have any support.” A spokesperson for the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences said: ‘All first, second, third and fourth year courses are entirely free for students. However, it has been decided to take £250 per head from third year students so that they make a contribution to what is their second overseas field trip of their degree. This decision was not taken lightly but was made as a result of the financial settlement given to the school by the University, leaving the

Emma Barlow News Editor Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) had their most successful volunteer recruitment fayre to date last Monday September 29, with record numbers of people in attendance. The fayre was SVC’s biggest ever, with over 35 different volunteer projects on offer. As well as the student-led volunteer projects, the fayre also saw more outside agencies in attendance than in previous years. SVC projects work with Cardiff’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Some of the volunteering opportunities on offer include helping

out in special needs schools, gardening with adults who have learning disabilities and cooking meals at a shelter for the homeless. One of the most popular stalls at the fayre was a new project mentoring young offenders. SVC Manager Andrea Dare said: “With such a fantastic turn out, and such enthusiasm among students, SVC looks set to have a truly successful year and to continue to build on the work it does in the local community.” If you missed the fayre and are interested in volunteering, visit the SVC office on the third floor of the Students’ Union, or visit the website www.svcardiff.org.

The National Union for Students (NUS) is calling for the government to provide funding for postgraduates, similar to the student loan available to undergraduates. Currently, government-backed loans provided by the Student Loans Company are only available to undergraduates studying their first degree. However, recently concerns have been raised about the very limited funding options available to those going on to study for further qualifications. For those trying to fund their postgraduate studies a limited range of grants are offered. Some students, however, choose to take out a career development loan, backed by the government and provided by some of the major banks. This provides students with a year’s free interest on their loan, but as soon as the year is up the loan must be paid back and the bank starts charging an interest rate of up to 13%. In contrast, the loans received by most undergraduate students currently accumulate interest of 3.8% and graduates pay nothing until their salary reaches £15,000, when they pay back 9% of anything earned after that. Many postgraduates who accept the career development loan are still in debt from their undergraduate courses. The government says its priority is funding undergraduates and current postgraduate funding is “sufficient.” Aaron Porter, vice president for higher education at the NUS, also believes a more comprehensive system of funding is needed. “The government, if it claims that

postgraduate study is important needs to ensure a fairer funding system to support students. I am sure a student loan system would be a better mechanism to ensure this happens.” “The priority for the government is to get you your first degree. Beyond that there seems to be greater onus on the individual to support what they’re doing.”

Ian Carse is studying an MSc in International Relations at Cardiff University, he can’t see why the government will not help him out financially: “In a time when the government are trying to encourage further education it doesn’t make sense that postgraduate students are being penalised.” “I’m funding myself through two overdrafts. It seems the government is sending out the message that postgraduate studies are only available to those from privileged financial backgrounds.”


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

NEWS

NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Students first to trial ID cards Adam Croome Reporter

Students are set to be the first UK citizens to receive controversial ID cards under new Government proposals. The cards, unveiled last week, contain a photo of the holder, biographical details, as well as a chip to digitally store fingerprints and biometric information. From November, 50,000 cards will be issued to non-UK citizens, including overseas students, before the operation is rolled out to target

UK students by 2010. The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, promised ID cards would combat identity theft, help prevent illegal immigration and enable people to prove their identity more easily, but opponents to the Government’s scheme have long attested that ID cards violate civil liberties. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have said they would scrap the ID card scheme if they came to power. But Meg Hillier, Labour MP, suggests the scheme might be too far advanced for other parties to “unpick”

if they came to power in 2010. She said: “There isn't an easy way to unpick this scheme, quite rightly because it is invaluable.” Ms Hillier, Minister for Identity, responsible for implementing ID cards, said teenagers as young as 14 will be first to get ID cards from 2010 as the scheme is introduced in stages. Whilst there are no proposals to make the opt-out scheme compulsory to all citizens, an official document states: “We should issue ID cards to young people to assist them as they open their first bank account, take

Emma Jones News Editor

Sian Symons asks students for their views...

Liam Colman, First year French

“I don't mind carrying an extra card. I already carry loads of cards that I don't use”

Georgie Goodhind, First year European studies

“I think it's just another way for the Government to keep tabs on us. I think its only been brought about out of the heightened hysteria about terrorism” Rebekah Fening, First year Law and German

“I think it's a good idea as long they don't get lost! I would worry about someone getting hold of my personal information” Lydia Shillaker, First year Accounting and Finance

Student Sabb Officer cleared of racism Emma Barlow News Editor Craig Cox and Christopher Mullan made headlines when they were accused of racism at a recent NUS seminar. The pair found themselves in the middle of an investigation, which was covered, widely in the national press after the training day, at the University of York. More than 100 student union officers from around the UK, including members of Cardiff’s Student Union executive, attended the seminar. The University of Nottingham, along with the NUS and North York-

shire Police, are still investigating allegations that its newly elected education officer, Craig Cox, held up a poster saying ‘bring back slavery.’ Christopher Mullan, the Student Union president at Kings College, was alleged to have questioned moves which would encourage more students from the black community to attend university as he thought their presence would increase gun and knife crime. Mullan has now been cleared and in an official statement, released after the end of the NUS investigation, Mullan said: “I would like to now make it clear what I was talking about. Since I am from London, and represent a London university, I could not have failed

to notice the recent reported increase in knife attacks on young people over the summer.” “I firmly believe I have a duty to do the best for all students, and that means asking questions relating to their safety, which is in truth all that I have done.” Craig Cox denied any wrongdoing and accused the NUS of a witch hunt. He said: “The real story here is that the NUS wants to run a show trial that would make Stalin blush. Due process, natural justice and fairness are, in the NUS eyes, mere concepts that can be readily ignored when it suits them.” Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, the NUS

An end to 'ghost towns'?

out a student loan, etc.” This would mean students with no ID card could not apply for a loan. David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary who resigned this year over civil rights issues, said: “It is typical of this Government to kickstart their misguided and intrusive ID scheme with students and foreigners - those who have no choice but to accept the cards - and it marks the start of the introduction of compulsory ID cards for all by stealth.”

What do you think of ID cards?

“I have enough cards as it is! If I lost my wallet, someone would have access to all my vital information”

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Black Students’ Officer, said: “It is unacceptable that black students should have to put up with blatant racist stereotypes at NUS events. Slavery can not be treated as a joke. It is one of the greatest crimes in human history.” The Nottingham University Students’ Union website claims Cox produced the sign to ‘wind up’ participants and claims to be currently considering what action to take. Some students at the University are calling for his position of Education Officer to be revoked. At the time gair rhydd went to print, Craig Cox’s comments were still under investigation.

A new report, commissioned by the Government, is looking to reduce the number of studentconcentrated areas in university cities. The problem has been recognised as "studentification", whereby parts of cities are becoming dominated by student accommodation. Housing minister Caroline Flint wants to reduce the number of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) privately rented to students. Instead she suggests that councils and universities work together to plan more purposebuilt accommodation for students, like halls of residence. One of her main concerns was the "ghost town" effect, brought about by students deserting cities for the summer months. She said that "unplanned student enclaves" have developed, leaving "local communities living as ghost towns following the summer student exodus". Flint proposes that changes to planning regulations are required to create a more balanced community, and to dilute the concentration of rented properties. Her aim is to "blend student populations into well-mixed neighbourhoods". However, NUS President Wes Streeting is worried that “added bureaucracy will discourage landlords from the HMO market.” A spokesperson for Shelter, the housing charity, said: "This seems to be a cheap dig at students, many of whom are forced to live in HMOs because it's the only way they can afford to attend university". "Students are often some of the most exploited people in the private rented sector, having to live in poor but expensive accommodation because it's located near the college or university." The rising cost of university living also means that students have little choice but to search for the cheapest, most convenient accommodation. Since the Government announced plans to get half of young people entering higher education, the UK's student population has grown to 2.5 million, which has added to the demand for student housing. There are already plans to reduce the concentration of student populations in the cities of Belfast, Leeds and Southampton.


06 gairrhydd

NEWS Also in the news... Emma Barlow News Editor

Kerching!

A British teenager has won 7 million pounds on the Lottery. Ianthe Fullagar, 18, from Cumbria, northern England, said she still plans to go to university next year to study. The teenager said she screamed so loudly when she checked her ticket that her dog jumped up and bit her on the bottom. She plans to spend some of the money on family and friends and buy herself a Ford Ka.

Road rage

OCTOBER.06.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

World's biggest loser Heaviest man loses his title in the pursuit of love Emma Barlow News Editor The world's heaviest man says he is to marry his girlfriend later this month after losing nearly half his original body weight. Mexican Manuel Uribe said he and Claudia Solis would wed in his hometown of Monterrey on October 26th 2008. The 43-year-old entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2006 after tipping the scales at 560kg. Manuel, who has lost around 250kg (39 stone), said he would be steering clear of the wedding cake. He would have just one bite for the cameras, but no more, he said: “It will be a hefty wedding, on a large scale, but with a low-calorie banquet.” Manuel Uribe has attributed his weight loss to the love and encouragement he has received from Claudia,

One small step Camper killed in crocodile attack? for maths Eleanor Joslin Reporter

A German man became so angry in an argument with a taxi driver over parking that he struck him on the head with a machete and chopped off the man's finger. The 70-year-old man stormed off after remonstrating with the cab driver but later reappeared at the driver's office armed with a 24inch machete and attacked the 60year-old, who was taken to hospital with head injuries. He is to be charged with attempted homicide.

Wall St. crass Playboy magazine is launching a search for models to pose for its upcoming feature, Women of Wall Street. Playboy came up with the idea for the feature after the onset of the global financial crisis, which has vaporized fortunes and left Wall Street reeling. "When the news gets bad, then maybe that's a chance to make people smile," a spokesman said. It is planned for the February 2009 edition.

whom he has known for four years. The couple have been engaged for two years. He is currently only able to leave his house by being towed through the streets on his specially made bed, but he dreams of being able to walk again. Manuel has been following something called the Zone Diet - a formula of carbohydrates, proteins and fats supervised by a team of scientists and nutritionists. The diet is controversial, with some experts warning that not enough is known about the long-term effects of high protein diets. However, Claudia is proud of the progress he has made. “Sometimes he is sad and cries because he cannot get off his bed,” she told the BBC in July. “But he is an example for other obese people to move forward.”

The Space Frontier Foundation intends to send two teachers into space to encourage children to study maths, the sciences and space exploration. The Foundation, joined by the United States Rocket Academy, aims to send these teachers back into American classrooms after their flight to teach children about their space adventure. This $20 million project will show children that going into space can become a reality, inspiring them to study further to realise the dream. The program project manager and USRA Chairman Edward Wright said: “We want to put astronaut teachers into American classrooms and we want them [the children] to go to space.” The most successful candidates, also known as a Pathfinder Astronauts, applying for the project will be maths and science teachers. Their three weeks of training will take place on weekends and during the summer so the teachers will be able to discuss their experience with their students from day one. In relation to this, a second project will ask candidates to submit a paper on human space flight instead. In both cases, the Pathfinder Astronauts will go on to inspire their students and help train future astronaut teachers as well. In the 1980’s President Reagan created a similar idea which was managed by the United States space agen-

cy NASA. Unfortunately, the project ended in tragedy. The first successful applicant, New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe, died when the space shuttle exploded seconds after lift-off. With advanced technology, the dangers of space travel have decreased, and Wright wants to send 200 teachers into space and back to school every year for the next decade. The first two teachers will be trained for lift-off in 2010 or 2011.

A man who disappeared during a camping trip in Australia could have been killed by monster crocodile

Sarah Powell News Editor A Scottish man who disappeared while camping in north-east Australia is believed to have been killed by a crocodile. The 63 year old man had been camping with his wife near the Endeavour river in northern Queensland when he was reported missing. According to reports, the man had gone to the river to check crab pots, and never returned to the camp. Queensland Parks and Wildlife rangers said that there were clear signs of crocodile slide marks on the river bank near where the man is believed to have disappeared. After an extensive search of the area, the man’s watch had been found,

along with one sandal. There have been no further signs of the man, and a Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger said that police strongly suspect a crocodile attack. The Endeavour river, which is very close to the campsite where the couple were staying, has a large population of saltwater crocodiles and campers are urged caution when staying there as this type of crocodile is capable of attacking animals up to the size of an adult water buffalo. The local environmental protection agency is planning to erect crocodile traps near where the man went missing. Whilst the search continues for the missing man, his wife is being treated for shock and grief by a local hospital.


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

OPINION

OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

freewords Est. 1972

Initiation Discrimination?

Editor Ben Bryant Deputy Editor Hazel Plush Co-ordinator Elaine Morgan News Emma Barlow Emma Jones Sarah Powell Sian Symons Editorial and Opinion Jamie Thunder

Does it offend you, yeah? Steven Kenward goes on the offensive

This week's story on peer pressure within the initiations of AU club members will doubtless spark anger and controversy among members of AU clubs keen to defend what has become a rite of passage for so many students at university. For a very long time now, the culture of initiations has been overlooked as an inevitable part of the university experience. It is acknowledged by students' unions and universities, but they do not often attempt to actively regulate these rituals. Over time, initiations have acquired a legendary status. They are such well-rehearsed institutions that their eyebrow-raising stunts are treated as routine by insiders. So, when a video of students taking part in a Nazi-themed initiation emerged on the BBC website last week, it's perhaps not that surprising that it was greeted with indifference by much of the wider student body. Granted, the Nazi uniform was pretty gratuitous. That was edgy. But the themes of binge drinking, vomiting, submission and domination are familiar territory to many students. And, crucially, the message from practically all students participating in initiations at Cardiff seems to be one of acceptance: they do involve a lot of bizarre tasks fuelled by copious amounts of alcohol, but they are nevertheless celebrated by their participants. This would all be very well, of course, were it not for the fact that the peer pressure to binge drink at many initiations is intense and unforgiving. Running around Cardiff city centre in a pair of y-fronts is unlikely to get you killed. Arrested, yes; killed, no, But drinking until you're paralytic is dangerous, even deadly. Last year Exeter University banned initiations after a student drank himself to death. The fact is that because initiations are loaded with a legacy of drinking to excess, they almost risk lulling their participants into a false sense of security: everyone's doing it, it's always been done, it must be fine. Clubs can still have fun, but if they want to avoid tragedy they would do well to avoid pressurising their members into drinking in the first place. Ben Bryant

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I

am not a person who is easily offended. You can confidently call me a cunt, you can laugh at my funeral should my coffin be dropped by a clumsy pall bearer and yes, you can even use the word nigger whilst singing along to Golddigga – I wouldn’t find any of the above offensive. However, there is one thing that does grate with me: when someone gets offended on another person’s behalf. From workplaces not putting up Christmas decorations or women being banned from breast-feeding in public, to the complete idiocy of black coffee being renamed ‘coffee without milk’, examples are easy to find. Just to clarify, I’m not a nostalgic Jim Davidson fan, pining for a by-gone time of stereotypes and misogyny. Instead, there are three blindingly obvious reasons why this hypersensitive liberalism is so distasteful. Firstly, it is done for all the wrong reasons. When government and big business exercise the nauseating justification ‘to ease fears of offending other faiths and excluding minorities’, it is actually not fear of being offensive that is the issue. It is the fear of being sued.

Political correctness causes more tension than it prevents Secondly, it self-righteously claims to ‘know’ the opinions of large numbers of people. A smug, arrogant, hyper-liberal idiot on a tedious quest to be in touch with all aspects of culture and ethnicity thinks that they are so in touch with the Other that they can speak on their behalf. This does the work of stereotyping in creating common denominators amongst diverse groups of people. It is all the more nauseating because it assumes that a minority does not have the power or influence to express itself without the help of the privileged majority. Thirdly, it ultimately creates more tension than it sought to prevent. I call this ironic consequence the Political Correctness Paradox (PCP), and it works like this: a self-appointed spokesman for minorities decides Christmas trees are offensive and bans them in the workplace. The Daily Express then runs a front page along the

Emma Davies Politics Gareth Ludkin Sport Scott D’Arcy Rhona Morris Josh Pettitt Richard Williams Liz Wray Letters Laurel Burn Features Ceri Isfryn

lines of ‘MUSLIMS BAN CHRISTMAS – WHAT NEXT? Turn to page 5 for a discussion on the real threat of a bacon-free Britain’ – despite no Muslim ever actually complaining about the office Christmas tree. Next, the bigots of this country see the headline, and their fire for ignorance and prejudice is well and truly stoked. Finally, we end up in a country where the BNP has 46 councillors and is gaining a worrying amount of popularity.

We need common sense, not rules So, what of the alternatives? I have the misfortune of being a part-time Asda employee, and as a result have witnessed their hideous solution: the ‘celebration of diversity’ approach. Using this approach, Asda seeks not to silence cultural expression for fear of causing offence, but rather to create a plastic copy of any cultural event it can get its hands on, and ram it down the throats of its employees. They behave like a desperate mother, trying to force feed their child vegetables in

Aimee Steen Listings Hazel Plush Television Sarah George Tim Brandon TV Helen TV Tom Five Minute Fun Kate Eaton Tafod Dafydd Loughran Picture Editor

DISBELIEF: Philip found Liz's remarks offensive and crude preparation for a visit from the social does not mean I then greet all Pakistani people with a jolly ‘Hey, Paki!’ worker. But instead of vegetables, it is a But I don’t need a rule to tell me this, slice of Hinduism that Asda rams it’s common fucking sense! down our throats, for fear of a visit from a diversity watchdog. These atrocities climaxed with a fifty yearold white Christian woman, dressed up in a saari from a fancy dress shop greeting customers to the store for Asda’s Divali celebrations. This situEach time people make a generation was made more ridiculous by the sight of the bemused catering alisation about the opinions of others, staff, who were unable to comprehend they are ignoring the diversity that is why not every single Asian employee evident in human personality. It is a wanted the special ‘Divali curry’ for common argument of the bigots that ‘we are not all the same’ and as a retheir lunch. This actually happened. To summarise, attempts to regulate sult multiculturalism will never work. or enforce liberal multiculturalism Indeed, we are all different, and we result in divisiveness, ignorance and are also all entitled to our individual alienation. It feels like too obvious opinions. All this means is that there’s a point for me to bother making, but more to talk about, more to enjoy, some people seem to be missing it: the more to learn. Ignorance is the enemy of learning, key to harmonious multiculturalism is empathy, communication and under- and the longer presumptions persist standing. To offer a personal example, in our society the more likely we are I have a Pakistani friend for whom the to forget to ask individuals what they word ‘Paki’ is no more offensive than think. the abbreviation ‘Scot’ – however, this

Natalia Popova Online Editors Paul Springett Tom Barnett Sub Editor Graeme Porteous Proof Readers Francesca Russell Kaylie Mackenzie Sarah George Ian Fairbrother Andy Swidenbank Ailing Tempany

The key to multiculturalism is understanding and communication

Contributors Steven Kenward, Eleanor Joslin, Corey Shefman, Joy Harding, Katie Chidwick, Adam Croome, Scott Hadley, Nia Thomas Alice Jones, Aisling Tempany, Bryony Shaw Address University Union, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10

3QN Web www.gairrhydd.com Email info@gairrhydd.com Advertising 02920 781 474 Location 4th Floor Cardiff University Students’ Union News Desk 07908 551922


08 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

OPINION

OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

LA confidential?

Scott Hadley wonders if we ought to be keeping the finer details to ourselves

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he one thing my mother ever taught me about sex (other than never to believe a woman is on the pill unless you actually see her take it - which implies a few things about her I'm not quite sure I like) was that discretion is key. The tabloid press and the magazines which shine like plastic make this point even clearer - everybody knows who is doing what to whom, all of the time, and to not know is to be out of the loop.

a scandalous tale of ‘Hollywood Youth Gone Wild’, than in a discursive piece on modern acting techniques. Which in itself is a failing of the system. The very idea of Celebrity and the public having a strong knowledge of what actors are doing with their lives was an American invention in the Golden Years of Hollywood in order to make possible audiences more aware of the industry as a whole. If people are thinking about the actors, they'll remember to spend money seeing the films. And for a while it worked, but increasingly it has become the person who is the issue, not what they do for a living, not what they're selling. They become the product. I mean, this works too; for years Jordan/Katie Price has had the media at her beck and call describing her sex/love life. She has even managed to wangle a television show about herself, too.

Lindsay Lohan is more likely to make the news in 'Hollywood Youth Gone Wild' The red tops rarely have a day go by without a front page alluding to someone's sexuality somewhere upon it, and Hello definitely doesn't. But the crux of this issue is that with many figures in the public eye, ‘private' lives seem to become more public than 'professional' ones. Lindsay Lohan, for example, has clearly hit a rough point in her career. It's largely accepted (at least in the circles I move in) that she'll never be in a film as good as Mean Girls ever again, and in the last few years she's been in and out of the press more for her

LINDSAY LOHAN: mainly an actress, you know drink driving, the parties she's been to, the ever-popular ‘climbing out of car' shots and, most recently, her affair with Mark Ronson's sister.

These things overshadow her work, the films she's been in and those she is working on at the moment. She's much more likely to make the news in

The importance of sexuality in these magazines is part of the culture of the voyeur This is impressive, but a different matter; she has been fashioned as someone for the public to know a lot about. Lohan, in contrast, was an ac-

tress first, becoming someone of interest later, when she became older and it was clear that her life was something that people had an interest in. Now an industry has developed around this voyeurism; magazines have been created just to tell followers what celebrities are doing, which sportsmen are cheating on which models with which singers, who has been seen with a larger stomach than before, whose tan-lines are an embarrassment and all manner of incidental, personal details.

The one thing my mother taught me about sex is that discretion is key The importance of sexuality in these magazines is also part of the culture of the voyeur, the idea that seeing a celebrity in the street is the same as knowing them personally, and the private aspect of sexuality makes the level of familiarity that much more intimate. One cannot blame the media for writing these articles, as they do sell magazines, and as no-one wants to feel lonely, it almost seems acceptable for us to know more about celebrities’ sex lives than our friends’. Or at least the ones who had mothers with life lessons like mine…

Canuck in Cardiff

Corey Shefman hits a brick wall of bureaucracy, and hits out at British banking

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aybe it’s a Canadian thing: the stereotype that we’re supposed to be friendly and forgiving all the time, in contrast with the very British tendency to maintain your stiff upper lip, refusing to complain through the harshest of ordeals. I’m just going to come right out and say it: your banks suck! I had been warned before arriving in Cardiff to prepare for a battle in getting my bank account here set up, one Canadian friend currently studying at Oxford told me how she broke down in tears after her bank account was still not fully functional after 10 days of being in England. Hastening my own downfall, as befell the Germans at Vimy Ridge, I ignored the warnings of my fellow Canadian, my comradein-arms as it were. Where the courageous Canadians vanquished the enemy on Vimy Ridge so many years ago, however, I was left cowering, broken and defeated on Queen Street after a combined assault

by the forces of Abbey and Barclays. Many of my fellow international students – Canadian and otherwise – lay scattered across the City Centre.

Asking someone to go without a debit card for two weeks is unrealistic and unneccessary Dramatic? Maybe a bit. But seriously, if you ever want a new tactic for winning a war, forget the troops; just send in the British bankers to stonewall the enemy into submission. Skipping past the part where they make you get a pile of proof of address letters from the Union, it has taken my friends and I anywhere from two days to two weeks to just speak to a bank representative in order to open an account. So I finally got my bank account

open – that’s of course skipping over the part where they gave the group of people I was with totally misleading information, which we called them on after reading the information pamphlets. So my account is open, I hold my hand out expectantly, waiting to receive the bank card that a normal person needs today in order to survive, and after an awkward look, the account consultant shook my hand. Corey: So, I’m not getting a card I take it? Bad British Banker (BBB): No, I’m very sorry but we don’t have the facilities to produce the cards here: it’s all done in the central office. Corey: That seems like a fairly inefficient system: in Canada, we’re given temporary cards as soon as we open the account. How else are we expected to actually survive in this day and age? What if I need money on Sunday? And since you people won’t give me a credit card, it seems like pretty terrible customer service to leave your customer with no alterna-

tive but to come into the branch and speak to a teller. BBB: They give temporary cards right away in Canada? Well that’s brilliant! But I’m very sorry, we don’t have the facilities to produce the cards here, it’s all done in the central office. Corey: You realize that all of your ‘swiper’ machines here are capable of programming a blank card, right?

I'm just going to come right out and say it: your banks suck! BBB: I’m very sorry, we don’t have the facilities to produce the cards here: it’s all done in the central office. Oh, speaking of which, because you’re an international student, your paperwork also has to be approved by our head office in London, so it might actually take 10-12 working days instead of the 5-7 it takes for everyone else.

Corey: *stares* Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be a playwrite, but you get the idea. To my knowledge, international students studying in other countries (certainly in North America) don’t face the kind of hoops we’re made to jump through here. Regardless of our temporary status in this country, banks are, to a certain extent, a public service. As silly as it sounds, asking someone to go without a debit card for two full weeks is as unrealistic as it is unnecessary. Unless all of the cards are produced by a single old lady sitting in her rocking chair, etched and magnetized by hand, there is absolutely no reason for it to take as long as it does to service their customers. International students make up a significant percentage of students in Cardiff, it’s time the banks, often our first point of contact with institutional Britain, recognized the important contributions we make to this country.


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

09

OPINION

OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Em Cetera...

We're all going on a summer holiday

T

he term “summer holiday” conjures up a multitude of delightful images, doesn’t it? Sunshine, relaxation, even relaxation in the sunshine – plenty of it, too. Long, lazy afternoons in the beer garden of your local with a group of friends and a few pints of Strongbow or Kopparberg (or even Magners, if you absolutely insist). Trips to the beach, if you’re lucky enough. A break from uni and lots of time off: it is a holiday, after all. What a concept. Perfick. And, also, what a bloody con. I defy you to tell me that you’ve just had the summer described above. You have? Well, in that case you’re either a liar or you can get out. Summer is never the happy, idyllic escape that you dream of or see on the telly. I’m not saying that summer is a bad thing – I love a good chance to catch up with my home friends and even to return to the familial fold for a few months – just that we ought to change the name, because whoever termed it a “holiday” should get done under the Trade Descriptions Act.

Funds are needed to go out and have fun, and while you're working you can't be out having fun So, it’s mid-June (or mid-May, if, like me, you’re a humanities slacker) and the time comes to traipse back home. You pack up your clothes, your CD collection and your pet goldfish (okay, maybe the goldfish is just me...); you strip the pictures from

ISLAND IN THE SUN: yeah, right drunken nights in Fun Factory from your walls and say a sad goodbye to your room; you endure the usual parental moaning about how-the-helldo-you-expect-us-to-fit-this-all-inthe-car and how you bring more stuff every time you come home. Sorted. Except there’s one problem, and it’s a fairly big one: you’ve not got a penny to your name. I know that the words “students” and “money” tend not to be found sharing the same sentence space unless separated by the phrase “never have any”; it tends to be a fairly tempestuous relationship at the best of times. I’ve yet to meet a student with sufficient budgeting skills to make their loan instalment last past the end of term, if they even make it that far. Let’s be honest, it all gets spent on snakebite in Solus and random crap which honestly did seem like a fantastic idea at the time. Their true worth shows

itself (or its absence) a few months into the term when the cash machine starts shouting at you and you realise that even Tesco Value beans cost money. It’s fairly safe to say that only the most conscientious among us have anything left for summer expenditure. Bye bye, beer garden. Sigh. There’s only one solution: getting a job. Oh my God! She just mentioned the “j” word! Yes, sadly, in order to give ourselves any hope of not maxing out our overdrafts, it’s what most students have to do over the summer. But not even that’s as simple as it sounds. Unless you’ve been such a diligent worker over Christmas and/or Easter that you’ve managed to swing it so that a job’s been held open for you, you soon come to the nasty realisation that finding employment takes time. And time is money. And you don’t have any of that. Nobody really likes employing students; they have a nasty habit of hang-

ing around for a few months and then promptly disappearing back to university, without even the courtesy of leaving the proverbial puff of smoke. When they do that, it tends to render all the training you’ve given them slightly fruitless. One of my friends was still struggling on the job front come late July. So far, so good on the relaxation stakes? Didn’t think so. If, like me, you were fortunate, you might’ve managed to land a job through one way or another – maybe you’ve got connections, or maybe you just wormed your way in through sheer persistence. I spent the hours between nine am and five pm (barring the time between noon and one) from Monday to Friday answering the phone on the reception desk at my dad’s work. Bloody convenient, but perhaps not the most scintillating way of filling in the days. On a list of the most common answers to “how I spent my summer vacation”, I doubt it’s up there in the top ten. It was a steady income, though, and needs must. Time off? Check? Er, no.

Whoever termed it a "holiday" should get done under the Trade Descriptions Act And therein lies the hideous contradiction of the university student’s summer holiday: in order to afford to enjoy your summer holiday you have to work, but in working you forfeit a large chunk of the time available in which to enjoy yourself. Funds are needed in order to go out and have fun, but to get the funds you have

to work. And while you’re working you can’t be out having fun. It’s not a holiday as such – more a period of time spent working rather than studying. Welcome to the real world, some might say. Still, I propose we change the name in order to make it more realistic because “summer holiday” just doesn’t do it justice, does it? I reckon we could get round this. Tack a fourth instalment of student loan onto the end of the summer term. It’s an amazing idea – guilt-free expenditure at the expense of the Government. I’m willing to concede that there

There's one big problem: you've not got a penny to your name

are a few flaws in the plan. It would mean a lot of extra money would need to be found, thus probably diverting it away from the people who truly need it, we’d wind up finishing our degrees with even more debt than we’re currently heading towards – perhaps not the best of ideas when the credit crunch is all we hear about. We’d also basically be reinforcing the general public view of students as good-for-nothing layabouts who spend their time lazing around on government handouts. I’m not too bothered about that last point, to be honest – they already think it, so we may as well give them cause to. These minor glitches aside, it’s the best idea I’ve had all day. Three words for you, Gordon Brown: sort it out. I’ll even let you take the credit for the idea. I’m expecting the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be ringing my mobile any minute now...

Heroes and Villains

T

here’s some strange correlation between my determination to work and the temptation of procrastination: the more determined I am to work hard, the more tempting the guises in which procrastination presents itself. It’s the start of a new academic year, so naturally I’m resolved to turn over a new leaf and work my little cotton socks off; I’m not actually wearing socks right now – I’m wearing tights

instead – but that’s beside the point. I’m going to be an outstandingly dedicated student; I mean it this year. Which is, of course, why I’ve spent my afternoon doing nothing more productive than sit around the house watching old episodes of QI on YouTube. I can kid myself that this is productive, though, because it leads me to the first hero of the year: Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry is, let’s face it, one of

STEPHEN FRY: HERO the closest things we have to a legend in current existence. He’s the kind

of person you really, really wish was your benevolent old uncle, just so you could get drunk with him at Christmas and have the benefit of his amazing wit on tap. He’s like the ultimate brain: really, really clever and really, really funny. And therefore really, really cool. He also makes procrastination a worthwhile experience, because watching QI is an educational extravaganza. When Stephen Fry teaches me

things, I feel like I’ve not been wasting my time. This afternoon alone I’ve learnt that armadillos can contract leprosy, that the first vacuum cleaner was horse-drawn, that the V-sign has nothing whatsoever to do with having your fingers cut off by French people and that ligers really do exist (I thought they just made that up for Napoleon Dynamite). I’m not sure I even learn that much in an afternoon of lectures.


10 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

POLITICS

POLITICS@gairrhydd.COM

"We've done something terrible to ourselves in Britain," claims Shadow Home Secretary

Gareth Ludkin investigates Dominic Grieve's shock comments about multiculturalism ahead of the Conservative Party conference

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hadow home secretary Dominic Grieve, ahead of last week’s Conservative party conference claimed that “we’ve actually done something terrible to ourselves in Britain”. Mr Grieve spoke of the 'terrible' impact multiculturalism has had on our society and the importance of British Christian heritage. Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, Mr Grieve suggested that in preparing ourselves for some new multicultural society we’ve ignored our heritage, particularly our Christian heritage, and have instead told people, ‘your cultural background isn't really very important, or it's flawed, or you shouldn't be worrying about it’. Concerned by the lack of discussion and debate over the issue of, as he calls it, 'fundamentalist Islam', Mr Grieve raised his concerns over the compartmentalising of people from different traditions while ignoring the identity of white Britons. Mr Grieve blames multiculturalism, which he believes has fundamentally failed

to bring people closer together. He told The Guardian: “Our country has adapted because people have been tolerant, which has often required a lot of forbearance and acceptance of things they didn't like. That is how Britain has evolved.” Such a cynical and publically expressed view is certainly a concern for vast swathes of the country, but at the same time it may perhaps appeal to the traditional voters of the Conservative Party.

Criticising multiculturalism is risky for a party trying to modernise The comment comes at a time when the Conservatives are expected to pounce on the vulnerability of the Labour Party. Instead the polls are beginning to suggest that Gordon Brown is narrowing the gap and catching the Conservative lead. Suggesting that our multicultural society is flawed is a risky step for a party trying to portray

a squeaky-clean modern image and shake off an old stuffy one. An ICM poll for The Guardian put the Conservatives on 41%, Labour on 32% and the Lib Dems on 18%. Polls cannot always be trusted, but as the Conservatives complete a fairly progressive and radical conference it is interesting to see where the they lie. Sayeeda Warsi vowed at the conference to 'fix society' and condemned a decade of 'state-driven multiculturalism' which has created cultural divisions at the expense of British values. Warsi claimed that multiculturalism had 'sent out the message that we're not sharing a society, we're just cohabiting a space', and that it has 'led people to retreat into separate cultures rather than reach for a shared community'. If a Conservative government were voted in, both integration and neighbourliness would be at the heart of policy. Mr Grieve also spoke of a vacuum created by multiculturalism, in which both the BNP and Hizb ut-Tahrir rise: "They are two very similar phenom-

ena experiencing a form of cultural despair about themselves and their identities. It's terribly easy to latch on to confrontational and aggressive variants of their cultural background as being the only way to reassure themselves that they can survive.”

Mr. Grieves thinks multiculturalism has failed Multiculturalism, believes Mr Grieve, is a concept designed to help people feel more comfortable in society. But according to Mr Grieve multiculturalism has failed, and has instead created a tradition of fundamental extremism. It is a concerning thought to think that a man who could quite possibly become our next Home Secretary believes that multiculturalism in our society is corrupting our British values, when in fact ever since the Vikings and Romans various cultures have shaped and formed our values. We live in a multicultural world

and multiculturalism is at the heart of our values and national identity. For this reason we should embrace, not condemn, multiculturalsm despite the challenges. David Cameron, when asked by the BBC about Mr Grieve’s comments said: “I think trying to integrate more, trying to bring people together more, trying to build a strong British identity for the future, I think that's absolutely right.” Certainly a sensible ideal, but can we really trust a Conservative Party whose Shadow Home Secretary believes multiculturalism to have failed?

Calm the Obama drama

Is Barack Obama's race still important? Jamie Thunder discusses

A

pparently there’s an election campaign going on in America, and it’s quite an important one. A black man is running, you see. If you watched the Olympics you’d know that they’re rather good at that, but this is different. Let’s be honest – from that paragraph alone, you’ve probably already decided whether you think I’m racist. I’m reducing the black male to a single characteristic of athletic ability and extending this characteristic to all black males, right? Or maybe I’m making a harmless joke and cutting through the ridiculous political correctness that stifles our society? Either way, the chances are that you made an instant judgement. Race and racism are very sensitive issues right now, and people are only too alert to perceived racism. And nowhere has this been clearer than in the U.S. presidential election race. Take the criticism of The New Yorker’s now-notorious cartoon, which depicted Barack and Michelle Obama in Muslim and Black Panther outfits respectively. Obama’s campaign condemned the image as ‘offensive and tasteless’, while John McCain called it ‘totally inappropriate’. Both completely ignored the image’s intent, which was to lampoon the totally inappropriate, offensive and tasteless accusations levelled at Obama of anti-Americanism and, er, being a Muslim. It was a simple lampoon, but it is significant that both Obama and McCain responded. Mainstream presidential candidates must not appear

racist, and perhaps particularly Republican candidates as the right is so often associated with racism. But now anything Obama attacks on grounds of racism, whether implicitly or explicitly, McCain must be seen to just as forcefully decry. After all, Obama would know whether something was racist, wouldn’t he?

It's crude to say Obama will win votes solely because he is black There’s more. In January 2007, Joe Biden, now Obama’s running mate, described him as ‘the first mainstream African-American presidential candidate, who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy’. It’s not a contentious statement, but after Biden’s appointment as Obama’s prospective Vice-President it enjoyed considerable coverage on the premise that it implies he is racist. Biden would never be on Obama’s ticket if he were racist. The reaction just displays the accepted response to anything race-related that is slightly ambiguous or negative: clumsily denounce it as intolerant. It seems everyone either wants to catch a Nazi or wants to cause trouble, and both make people unnecessarily cautious. There is a definite risk of branding any criticism of Obama as at least implicitly racist. My own initial reaction to the McCain camp’s sly suggestions that Obama is unpatriotic was that it was just nastily playing on his ethnicity. But then the same accusation was

directed at John Kerry in 2004. Maybe some voters give it more credence because Obama isn’t white, but that is not the Republican Party’s fault. Obama’s nomination is undoubtedly historic. It says a lot about him that he dared to stand for the nomination. It even says a lot about the Democratic Party that they voted for him, although I wonder whether he’d have won were his main opponent not a member of another under-represented group in U.S. politics but a ‘safe’ white, older male. Either way, for the first time in history, it’s gonna start raining meno, hang on, I mean there is a major African-American candidate for the Presidency of the United States. He may even win. If he does, commenta-

tors will surely start making grandiose statements about how America has thrown off its oppressive racist shackles. And if he loses, they’ll gnash their teeth and wail about how the U.S. remains intolerant and bigoted, unable to accept a black man into the highest office. The problem is, it won’t actually show anything. You can’t reduce the complex reasons behind votes to a single issue, however clean and simple it might make things. Policies, for example, can make a difference, as can sheer partisanship. No-one seems to be considering the fact that Obama’s ethnicity might just be effectively irrelevant. Obama will not win votes from white voters due to positive discrimination or ‘white guilt’. Yes, he may persuade black voters to the polling stations, but it is a crude and patronising suggestion that they will vote for him solely because he too is black. And the majority of hardcore racists, the ones who would vote for anyone to keep a black man out of office, live in strongly Republican states, in which Obama could not win if he were white. Even if Obama’s race is a significant factor, it is impossible for us to know to what extent. It’s a presidential election, not a referendum on what America thinks of black men. The election will show whether American citizens prefer McCain or Obama. It will not show why. Some voters might vote for Obama primarily because he’s black, some might not vote for him primarily because he’s black, but we can’t know the motives for certain.

Any conclusions from the election result must be carefully drawn. If a state votes for Obama, that state is not automatically a beacon of racial tolerance. It is not impossible that he will even win votes in spite of his ethnicity, as the lesser of two perceived evils. And if a state votes against him, it does not automatically cast racist aspersions on that state. This can be extended to America as a whole. If Obama is triumphant on November the 4th, the U.S. will not suddenly be without racial issues – no British woman would argue that Thatcher’s election victory in ’79 ended sexism. Equally, if he loses the election, then America is not necessarily a bitterly divided, racist nation. An Obama victory would not cleanse America of its racial problems. Once it became clear that he would not enslave the white man, Obama’s presidency might win round the merely prejudiced (those with private misgivings about a black President that they would never share or act on out of shame). But it would change nothing for the staunch racists who practice their prejudices. I’m not saying Obama or McCain’s presidencies would be indistinguishable. It’s just that whether or not they would be has nothing to do with Obama’s race. Electing Obama would prove nothing new: much of America is comfortable with black people in powerful positions. He is the Democratic presidential candidate, and no more because of his skin colour.


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

11

LETTERS

LETTERS@gairrhydd.COM

letters@gairrhydd.com Kudos for Kitchen Dear gair rhydd, I just wanted to write a quick note to say how impressed I was with the new Union. There was lots of talk about how they were going to treat us with this massive revamp, and to be honest all I was expecting was the usual lick of paint and possibly a bit of a spit ‘n’ polish, but they have actually exceeded themselves. I really like the way that they have managed to assess what we students need and want from the Union. The Kitchen is definitely a success, and as well as looking slick and having enough seating for

socializing, it also serves good food at reasonable prices (beans on toast for £1.50 – love it!) Another great thing is that every time I’ve been in the Union during the day there’s been quite a crowd, something that hasn’t happened at the Taf for a long time. As well as making it more inviting, this gives the Union that home-away-fromhome feeling which we all need at times. Ruby Johnson Third year English

Water waste of time Dear gair rhydd,

I’m writing to make you aware of my dissatisfaction with the university cafeterias. I am a humanities student, and with copious amounts of long-winded text books to peruse, I am a regular at the humanities café. Although service is good and there are a wide range of snacks and drinks to choose from, I have one major complaint: the absence of free water available to students. There is no water machine, and no water fountain. Instead, we are forced to pay for a vital commodity and this just isn’t fair. I visited Bute café where I tried to carry out some hot water to quench my thirst, but I was reprimanded and charged 50p for the privilege.

I propose that the University respects its students and installs some water machines in all cafeterias and perhaps libraries too. We’re paying enough to study here, so we should be provided with water free of charge, just like it is in almost every other establishment in Cardiff. Fanny Smith First year Sociology

Module misery

placed in a class I am unable to leave. I was given this module after an over-subscription to my preferred programme of study and now the Administration office tells me I am stuck here. As far as I am aware other departments within the university allow their students to ‘window-shop’ for the first two weeks before any definite decisions have to be made. If I fail this module that I hate, it will all be JOMEC’s fault.

Dear gair rhydd, Can you believe it? After two years of being able to freely change modules within my journalism degree, I have been

Alice Edwards Third year JOMEC

the Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com A Right to Die? Mark, PhD Political History ----If one considers the right to life an inalienable right, then, by default, one must also accept that that right to life can be abrogated by one’s own consent and/ or actions. If a person who is judged to be of sound mind wishes, for whatever reason, to end their life, then what right does the state or other groups of people have to impose a sentence of living upon that person? Surely a right to a quick and painless death is equally as important to a right to have a long and painless life and should be

treated with equal respect? I would take this argument to its logical conclusion and argue that patients that are, according to doctors, suffering intolerable pain with no to little chance of even partial recovery should not only have their life support systems removed but also be allowed to enjoy a quick and painless death via a massive injection of diamorphine or similar drug. I would also argue that, in some circumstances, this action should be taken even if the patients next of kin do not wish it. Controversial admittedly but, I think, the best solution to deal with such patients.

Welcome to big school Mark, PhD Political History ----Big school? Sorry kiddies, but this is nursery. A nursery where you’ll drink far to much alcohol and sleep with far too many people but a nursery nonetheless. ‘Big school’ starts when you either become a Postgrad student or join the rather scary concept of the ‘real world’ where one just doesn’t have a job, one has a ‘career’. I’d urge all you newbies to put this frightening prospect off for as long as possible. For most of you that will

forum

just be three or four years, for some it will be a bit longer, for others you’ll just go back to working in Tesco (no offence to Media Studies types) and finally a few of you with end up doing a PhD and face the prospect of never leaving university life, which, although a somewhat daunting prospect, it still beats the real world. So whoever you are, wherever you came from, whatever your reasons for being here and whatever you end up doing, by chance or design, I tell you this: enjoy the next few years as they will, in all likelihood, be amongst the most memorable and enjoyable of your life. Be sure to use this opportunity to drink excessively and act irresponsibly. The world seems to ac-

cept student-drink-induced-stupidity as a fate accompli but, apparently, frowns on businessmen urinating in the street. Three years goes far too quickly I’m afraid, so make the most of it. Don’t worry about the ‘work’ side of uni; as long as you’ve got a reasonable intellect then leaving things to the last minute won’t cause you too much trouble. Though by far the most important advice I can give any new arrival into our glorious institution is this: do not, under any circumstances, buy a pint from the Students' Union. This is the start of my seventh year at Cardiff and I have never, not once, had even a remotely nice one.

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12 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

FEATURES

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Mental health: don

With World Mental Health Day on October 10th 2008, Aisling Temp The Shocking Statistics In the UK , the most common mental disorder is mixed anxiety and depression. ... At any point, around 10% of children have a mental health problem of some description. ... At 400 per 100,000 people in the population, Britain has one of the highest rates of self harm in Europe . ... Just one in 10 prisoners has no mental disorder. ... In a year, 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem. ... Women are more likely to be treated for mental health problems than men. ... Men in the UK are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. ... 1 in 5 older people in the community are affected by depression, and 2 in 5 for those living in residential homes.

I

f you read the BBC news website, mental health issues are accompnied by the standard issue picture of a check-shirted man staring out a dark window. But mental health is complicated, strange and seemingly far too common. Every pop star, actor and politician seems to have an eating disorder, be experiencing a nervous breakdown or suffer from some variation of depression that seems to be the cool new thing. But it’s so much more complicated than that. When are you mentally healthy? When are you not? Who’s ill and who’s just weird? Is everyone ‘attention-seeking’? Are they just ‘being silly’? The chances are, if you’ve ever had, or have, a mental health problem, you’ve heard all these things. University is, for everyone just starting in their first year, one of the first big moments of change in your life. Even if you’re a 33 year-old mature student or postgraduate who

450 million people worldwide suffer from a mental health problem has been working for a few years, it’s still a massive change. Naturally, changes in lifestyle affect how you think and behave. And changes in how you think and behave directly influence your mental health. All this makes students one of the most vulnerable social groups for mental illness, with depression and eating disorders being the most common. Most people will just face these changes, adapt and grow. However, some people will struggle with these changes and just fall apart. Getting help is not always easy, and it’s difficult to know what is available. The chances are, in the middle of an exciting first semester, you won’t notice the people in your halls who fall apart. The chances are, you’ll probably never notice. You’ll probably hear one day via someone else that ‘that one’ in ‘that hall, you know, in your seminar’ dropped out.

Treatment With an estimated 450 million people worldwide with some form of mental health problem, treatment is no small feat. For students starting to suffer mental health problems, the first port of call is your GP. Medication of some sort is the most likely option, but they will usually offer access to a counsellor, which is often limited to 6 sessions. Book prescription schemes are becoming more common. A GP gives you a ‘prescription’ for a book, which you then collect from the library. These come from a series of

self-help books on common problems such as low self-esteem or anxiety. (The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is not a common recommendation by doctors!) The university has its own counselling service but, as with the GP, there are limits on how long and how often you can see a counsellor. According to the Association for University and College Counselling, 3-10% will have contact with its counselling services every year, so there’s a fairly high demand. Exam periods tend to be difficult for appointments, but if you’re particularly troubled they will try to see you the same day. In more serious cases, for example long-term or severe depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder, your GP might ask for you to be assessed by the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). These are made up of doctors, community psychiatric nurses, social workers and clinical psychologists. They will do an initial assessment. Depending on assessment, they may either refer you back to the GP with their recommendations, or they may offer an ongoing service, including medication, psychotherapy and social support. The problem with this, though, is that it all takes time, and if you find yourself in such a serious situation, it is probably time to consider your options in continuing your degree. It might seem an easy choice to make,

Changes in how you think and behave are part of your mental health and it might not. This is where it is always a good idea to keep in touch with your personal tutor, or someone else in your department who is familiar with you. It can come down to choosing between your health or your degree. Beyond that, if you enter a serious crisis it used to be the case that you’d be admitted to an acute psychiatric ward. It is more common now to be referred to Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team, so that sufferers can be cared for in a crisis without having to go to hospital. A crisis team would consist of psychiatrists, nurses and social workers (similar to a CMHT) who would visit you at home up to three times a day. They would stabilise changes of medication, carry out brief psychotherapy, and arrange extra social support if needed. If they feel that you are becoming a risk to yourself or others, they might arrange for you to be admitted to an acute psychiatric ward. If admitted, most stays are for a few days or weeks. They will work to stabilise your mental state. Once this is done, you would then have steadily increasing periods of leave from hospital, with

the support of the crisis team, to help reintegrate you back into the community. Once the crisis has passed, the team will then discharge you back to the CMHT for ongoing support.

Keeping it in the family Mental health problems can be caused by all sorts of situations, but many people will argue that if you’re a young adult, your problems emerge from your childhood. I’ve never thought that in my case, this was anything that needed to be analysed. God, did I have a complicated childhood. If I wasn’t being bullied in the street, having Pot Noodles, rocks, fireworks and who knows what else thrown at me, then I was trapped in the house, being home-educated by an increasingly withdrawn, erratic and obese mum and a heavy-drinking dad. We never went out, we never saw other people, not even relatives. Most of the time, the curtains were kept drawn. I spent part of my teenage years in a dark bedroom listening to music on headphones and avoiding standing too close to the window, in case anyone threw anything through it. Eventually my family broke up, with my dad going one place, my elder sister going another and me, my younger sister and my mum going somewhere else. And it was a shock. I could keep my curtains open, I could look out the window, the next doorneighbour said hello when they passed. All through sixth form I struggled to understand or mix with other people in my class. But I survived with top marks and went on to university, mainly because I had a very supportive and reliable personal tutor. It was when I went to university for the first time that problems emerged. I had no choice about going to university. There was really no other way I could leave home. So perhaps I made the wrong choice in university. Or perhaps what happened to me was inevitable. As soon as I got there, I didn’t know what to

3%-10% of students make use of university counselling services every year do. I couldn’t go to Freshers’ events and almost everyone asked the same questions: where are you from, what course are you doing, etc. I’d answer but I couldn’t think of anything else to say. Before the reading week, I was crying in toilets before lectures, struggling to take notes in tutorials, and making appointments for the doctor. After that the next couple of years are a blur of anti-depressants and endless names of people to remember, all of

whom seemed like identi-kit cutouts. I slept through the days, I drank through the nights and I screamed, cried and shouted through everything. I kept the curtains closed, and stayed under the duvet with headphones blasting Joy Division. I had counselling sessions, I had Fluoxetine, Citalopram, Venlafaxine. I had sleeping pills that kept me awake all night. I had four different GPs, I had meetings with psychiatrists and assessments, only to be told there was nothing that could be done. To cut a long story short, eventually I packed up a suitcase and left my shared house at 6 in the morning without saying goodbye to anyone. That isn’t the end of mental illness,


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

13

FEATURES

FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

n’t suffer in silence

mpany investigates how mental health issues affect students

depression, or whatever anyone wants to call it for me. Because a year and a half later my sister turned up in Cardiff. Blah, blah blah, bullying, bad parents, yeah, you heard that bit already.

Your mind might be breaking down but the world goes on around you She didn’t fall apart as quickly as me, or maybe she did, and I just didn’t notice. For a while she was, to me, what she’d always been: an annoying, whiney, attention-seek-

ing shadow, taking all your friends and turning them against you. When I returned to Cardiff University, finally well enough to stand it, though somewhat battered and bruised, she started to melt down herself. She didn’t attend her lectures, she didn’t even know what her lectures were on. She barely lasted a term. Then she just dropped out of university. She couldn’t get a job so she started claiming benefits. She got more and more fed up and more and more angry about all the things she couldn’t do and felt she never could. She was short, fat and had almost no education and no experience in anything. I was always the bright spark in my family,

and, as so many people comment, the most ‘normal'. My sister became a sight. Dirty clothes, dirty hair, never out of her pyjamas. She cut herself, she burned herself and took every kind of pill her doctors prescribed. Nobody wanted to speak to her, everyone she lived with avoided her. I joked that she was such a copycat, everything she did I did first. I was only half joking. After a year and a half, some dramatic hospital visits, some narrow escapes and many, many tears and arguments, my sister was finally said to have Borderline Personality Disorder. Now she’s on some list for a form of behavioural therapy and treatment. Not to get rid of her dis-

order; that’s not how it works. Treatment is a way of controlling it, so that you can get on with your life. That’s the difficulty with mental health. Your mind might be breaking down, but the world around you goes on. So if you’re going to stay in it, somehow you have to adjust to your problems to work in it. By the time you read this I’ve begun my final year in Cardiff University, and am trying not to fall apart again. For the most part it’s been ok, but there are still those days, there are still problems. It’s hard to forget what you’ve done, and it’s not as easy as people think to separate what happens in the university from what happens outside of it.

For more information contact: Nick Yates - Education and Welfare Officer, 3rd floor Students' Union Cardiff University Counselling Service: counselling@cariff.ac.uk 029 2087 4966 (Cathays) 029 2074 2070 (Heath) The Mental Health Foundation: www.mhf.org.uk


14 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

FEATURES

FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

COME OUT TO PLAY...

October 11 is National Coming Out Day. Nia Thomas and Alice Jones share their experiences of coming out at university university... ...

F

or me the hardest thing about coming out was fear: fear of rejection, fear of non-acceptance, fear that my friends would no longer like me. When you’ve known your friends from the age of 3 the thought of potentially losing them is quite daunting. So to finally get the courage to say, hey you know what, I like girls, was quite hard for me. I know this all sounds quite dramatic, believe me they said the same thing when I told them why I was so worried about telling them.

I'm still me, no matter who I sleep with It's easy to get worked up but the fact is, no matter how well you know someone you can never say for sure how they are going to react, there’s always that small margin of the unknown. So when I told them and they all said we don’t care who you sleep with, you’re still you, I really didn’t know what I had been worried about (some of them were even more excited than me about the whole thing!) But it’s true; I’m still me no matter

I

never really came out to my Mum, she put two and two together at the pub one night and asked me in the toilets if that hickie was from Katie. I really couldn’t be bothered to hide myself anymore so I said yes, and admitted that I like women. To which my mum exchanged secrets and told me she was cheating on her boyfriend. What?! It’s funny, the whole time you work yourself up about telling someone their response is either ‘oooh, that’s nice’, or ‘well we always knew honey’. Then you think ‘what the hell was I so worried about?’ I’m still the same person she raised and watched grow. I didn't change; I just found my sexual self. They don’t call us “HOMOsapians” for nothing! University is the time you will really find yourself, and be free about who you see when and where. Yet coming out to my flat mates was harder than coming out to my parents. I thought, ‘God, what if they don’t like me and are homophobic?’ Every worst possibility was running through my mind. I was standing outside having a fag when a flat mate came outside and she could see I was a bit distressed. Which I was. I was on the verge of breaking out of a year relationship. “You alright?” she asked. To which I just blurted

out “I’m a lesbian, I’ve just cheated on my girlfriend twice, I’m trying to cover my tracks, I’ve just moved here and I’m about to go to York for the weekend.”...SILENCE. ‘Oh, shit,’ I thought. “Erm.. I hope you don’t have a problem?”... to which she laughed and said “absolutely not, I’m bisexual."

You feel like you're the only gay in the village But even after you’ve jumped the hurdle of telling your flat mates, uni, at first, can be a lonely place for a gay person. You really do feel like the only gay in the village. I thought ‘Where do I go, I just want to find fellow gays!’ I joined up to the LGBT to socialise and to see what kinda scene the gay folk have. Joining the society was a great help, especially the pub crawls! Cardiff is thriving with gay pubs, clubs and bars. There are queens, kings, plastics, and other ingenious stereotypes of gays on the scene. The LGBT opened my eyes to just how many people there were from the same halls as me who were out for the same reason. I found myself in a group of people going out on Wednesdays, or as my flat mates put it, Gay-Wednes-

days. We now hang out together, get drunk, boogie, and keep each other safe when we’re out. I have even been dating one of them for over a year now, and I’ve never been happier in my new ‘out’ state. I did use www.gaydargirls.co.uk for a time, which is cool. But it’s true about internet dating: some are out there to find their true love and some to mess you or your head over. It can get a bit creepy at times, especially if you’re just looking for friends. Most people on gaydar Wales are in Pulse on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night so you can meet them in the flesh. Just a few things to remember as a gay person in Cardiff: the gay scene is like one big family and your face will be remembered so make friends not enemies. Don’t give up with your sexuality, even if you find there is no one out there or whatever. Remember you are who you are, don’t try replacing it with something you’re not. I tried that once, managed to pick up a guy in gay bar (its true, they are out there to pick up), something I will always regret. But the most important thing is to have fun, be safe, and be who you are.

who I sleep with. Being gay is just another part of who I am. An important part, a part that no-one should have to hide. Honestly, coming out was one of the best things I’ve done. Now I’m free to be the whole me. University is the perfect place to ‘experiment’ if you think you might be a little less than straight. You’re meeting new people all the time from lots of different backgrounds with so many different views. It’s a time to open your mind: talk to those people you may have previously steered away from. I was lucky, I knew a few gay people through work and friends who I felt I could talk to, and that helped me a lot. Don’t underestimate how much telling even one person can make you feel. Don’t worry if you don’t have any friends you feel you can confide in, the LGBT society is on hand to offer help and support. Pop along to one of the LGBT coffee mornings or nights out, everyone’s welcome whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or even if your just interested So get over your fear, talk to someone and get ‘out’ there! Cardiff University LGBT society: www.stusoc.cf.ac.uk/suon/lgbt/


D O YO U ? ?? ? TO SAY? HAVE SO M ET HI NG

Have a thirst for news? A passion for sport? An opinion you need to express? Can you dig for stories? Pen a feature? Review a film? Give your heroes a grilling? Rate a gig?

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ing for contribuCardiff University’s national award-winning student media are always look ions in the countors hungry for the opportunity to work with two of the best student publicat rience necessary. try. Pop up and visit us on the 4th floor of the Students’ Union. No expe

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16 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

JOBS & MONEY

JOBS@gairrhydd.COM

Heaven knows you're employable now

Looking for a job but can't find a job? Jamie Thunder looks at your options for earning a bit of extra cash as you study

I

t’s hard to be a student. You never have any money, you see. Well, you do. But somehow that never seems to last you for your first year. So what do you do? Eat the ice from your freezer for sustenance? Raid Cathays’ bin bags on a Tuesday nights? No. You get a job. At the start of the year it’s an unappealing idea; everything’s hectic and it seems like your life is comprised entirely of lectures, nights out and sleep. And you don’t want to work. You’re doing work in your lectures, so why do any in your free time? Despite your moral objections to work, it can be very useful. It doesn’t have to be terrible, either. Around half of all students have a part-time job, and they can’t all be terrible. Obviously some subjects lend themselves to work better than others – medics, for example, don’t really have the time with all their lectures and that. So what are your options? It can seem daunting – how do you get a job that will happily take you on as a student, actually pay you, and understand when you’re busy as hell? Jobs & Money is here to help!.

1. Jobshop On the bottom floor of the Students’ Union is the Jobshop. It should be your first stop for getting jobs as

and peddle your instrumental wares. You might need to apply to the council for a licence, but I don’t know much about that. And the pay is very variable. But it’s fun, I guess? And you get to play Wonderwall all day, so, er, that’s nice.

5. Stripping Okay, I can’t really advocate this. I will get in trouble. And I don’t actually know any strip clubs in Cardiff, so it might not be a viable option anyway. It does pay well, apparently. But it’s immoral and will make Jesus sad, so you shouldn’t really do it. a student. If you sign up with them, they’ll let you know when temporary jobs become available. All the jobs pay at least £5.52 an hour, and you can just work when you need to. The work’s quite often tedious but there’s no obligation – I signed up last year and did just two days checking exam papers. Very dull, but it earned me around £80. You can even see some vacancies under this article!

ably counted out. But you can always try the Union bars, which recruit occasionally throughout the year and provide you with all the training you need. The best bit about working in a bar is that not only do you not go out on nights you work (and so don’t spend all your money in Metros), but also you get paid. You get paid for not going out – save and spend money in one go.

2. Bar work

3. Flyering

If you’re looking for something a bit more permanent, there’s always bar work. Most places in the city centre request experience, so if you’ve not done it at home then you’re prob-

Does it annoy you when you’re happily wandering around Cardiff and are accosted by people thrusting leaflets into your ungrateful hands? Yes? Oh. Er, well have you ever con-

sidering being one of those people? It’s usually reasonable pay (several bars pay their ‘promotions team’, as they’re grandly called, more than their bar staff), and if you can get over your dislike of marching towards targets and throwing paper at them, it can be a good option. There’s quite often a range of times you can work (and almost all flyering spots are in the centre of Cardiff), so you can pick and choose to suit you. Bars, gyms, and clubs all need people to flyer, so try asking them. Nicely.

4. Busking For the musically-minded among you, you can always take to the streets

6. Shops A bit more traditional than some of the other potential money-making schemes perhaps, but it’s always worth stalking the streets of Cardiff centre to hand in your CV to any shops. Even if they’re not hiring, many places will keep you on record and let you know of any vacancies. The only problem here can be that if your hours are limited, you might be of limited use to them so they may not hire you. But who knows? Right, that’s it. Of course, you can always live off your overdraft and not work, but that’s up to you. You’ll probably regret it eventually, though. No, really. You will. You’ll see.

Not Yet Registered With The Jobshop? The Jobshop is the Students’ Union’s great, FREE Student Employment Service! If you want to be kept informed of the many part-time and temporary student employment opportunities available within the University and Students’ Union as well as with many local companies, please come and see us on the ground floor of the Students’ Union building. You will need your student ID and passport to register. Our opening hours are 10am-4pm Mon-Fri (11am on Thursdays).


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QHDF!Tfdpoebsz!Jogpsnbujpo!Npsojoh! Tuesday, 11th November 2008 The Swansea School of Education Secondary subjects:

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For these subjects above you will receive a Training Grant of ÂŁ4,200* For all Primary PGCE courses, you receive a Training Grant of ÂŁ2,200*

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Where will your ideas end up? In hospitals? In schools? On the six o’clock news? Become a Civil Service Fast Streamer and the answer could be all of the above. One thing’s for certain. Every different area you work in (and there will be many), you’ll be finding solutions to some of society’s most important issues. Some of which need answering right away. Come and see us at the Cardiff University Ideas 4 Careers fair on the 8th October 2008 from 11am - 3pm.

faststream.gov.uk


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM .

HOT

!TELLY!

19

TELLY

NOT

We have a friend named Jesus.

A

nd so, with a song in our hearts and a grin on our faces, we get back to Never Mind The Buzzcocks. We never really seem to run out of panel shows - Mock The Week's only just finished, Would I Lie To You was before that, and I'm positive there's more of Have I Got News For You and QI just waiting around the corner. Buzzcocks is different, though. It's probably due to how young Simon Amstell seems - while you'd never imagine a guest simply getting up and walking out of any other panel show, on NMTB this is an occupational hazard. Preston walking out was one of the best moments on BBC2 that year, even if it was understandable. But despite Simon being the one quite easily in the wrong, it's always the offended guest who ends up looking like an idiot. See, that's part of the genius of NMTB. Simon Amstell is just so darned cuddly. He could sit at his desk throughout the show, making jokes about raping grannies and you'd still giggle at him. Or maybe that's just women - perhaps it's the

mothering instinct emerging. Simon just looks like a little boy, being cheeky to his mother, and you can't help but give him a piece of cake and a pat on the cheek. Still, sometimes the show misses its mark. And badly. For every Preston there's a Bill Oddie, sat cackling in the corner like an embarrasing slightly dodgy

SOAPS

SPORT The Formula 1 World Championship is reaching its climax and Lewis Hamilton holds a slender lead over Felipe Massa going into the final three grands prix of the year. The first of these races takes place in Japan, on the Fuji circuit where Hamilton triumphed last year. Fuji is more likely to provide more excitement and overtaking than Singapore last time out, where fans were treated to an aesthetically pleasing spectacle albeit on a track which might need some adjustments before next year. Its obviously great to see a Briton leading such a prestigious championship but in all honesty Hamilton is about as British as Shane Warne: He lives abroad (in the tax haven of Monaco, obviously), he’s good at his sport and, most importantly, he

uncle. Or there's an Amy Winehouse at the start of her extended overdose, where you can't help but watch and wonder exactly what the hell is going on. And what was that, last series, with Noel Fielding? I like the Mighty Boosh, I even have tickets to see them in a few weeks time. But that doesn't make him a

Bill Bailey replacement. It doesn't come close. The only link Fielding has with music is the fact he can sing a bit and his girlfriend's in a band. That's it. And, ok, so he's got the whole surrealist aspect to his comedy, just like Bill. But It's not as quick. Noel Fielding needs a run up to every decent joke. I know Bill Bailey's gone from NMTB now, gone to a better place where he can do more comedy and probably make more appearances on QI (I swear all panel shows just swap around panellists). But it's not going to be the same without him. I have yet to see the first episode, but apparently the guest captain is Mark Ronson. People in the future, was this as dire a mistake as I think it is? A producer whose sister is more famous than he is because she's dating a former train wreck (that'd be Lindsay Lohan, if you haven't been keeping up to date with OK magazine). I love NMTB. Or at least I did, when it was glorious and had Simon and Phill and Bill. Now, though? I'll reserve final judgement until the third episode.

has a media-friendly persona and comes across in interviews as a genuinely likeable guy – there’s no way he can be classed as a true British sportsman. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy watching the Formula 1 there’s always the snooker. Or, more likely, a few more hours trying to sleep off that hangover.

Well, I'm exhausted from the run of Soaps last week, but nevertheless we must continue with the deliverance of Soap news, because this section needs to be filled. So whether you can handle such excitement or not, here comes the gossip for the coming week..... Niall is as hot-blooded as ever in Hollyoaks, as this week he attempts to kill Myra - shock, horror! I don't understand how he has escaped prison for so long; he is a mentalist with his only cure being a stint behind the big grey bars. Elsewhere, Michaela's crush on Mike is brought to light when she manages to lure him into her teenage crush of a trap. I really can't see the appeal, being barely out of my teens

and all that, but I guess there is always something about an older man! In Walford this week, it's Jase's funeral and it's eventful to the say the least, when tensions run high between Dawn and Jay, whilst Gary leaves her with an ultimatum! Poor girl... probably the last thing she needs to console herself!

FILM

LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, CH4, MONDAY II Any film where we’re asked to support Josh Hartnett, and believe that he’s not the most wooden actor since Keanu Reeves, is never going to be the most riveting watch. This manages to rescue itself from dire failure by the use of Bruce Willis as a hitman, but it’s still not exactly essential viewing. STRAW DOGS, CH4, SATURDAY IIII Any film which inspires Hot Fuzz has to be a good one. And ok, so this is heavy on the gore, but surely that’s all you want from a late night film? But be careful who you watch with. The rape scene takes away a bit of the romance.

FUDGE TUNNEL

THE SWAN PRINCESS, FIVE, SATURDAY III A cartoon film based on a rather famous ballet doesn’t sound like a good idea, but take into account that John Cleese does the voice of a frog and the evil guy is more fun than Jafar and the Sheriff of Nottingham put together, and you’ve got the perfect hungover hazy film.


20 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

TELEVISION

TELEVISION@gairrhydd.COM

6th October Ioan Gruffudd’s Birthday

MONDAY Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is BBC1 10.00am

Eggheads BBC2 6.00pm

BBC 1

BBC 2

Police, Camera, Action ITV1 11.35pm

Dinosaur: A Team Time Special C4 8.00pm

ITV 1

Channel 4

Neighbours five 1.45pm Five

6:00am Breakfast 9:15am Real Rescues 10:00am Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 11:00am Open House 11:30am Cash in the Attic 12:15pm Bargain Hunt

6:00am CBeebies 11:30am The Daily Politics

6:00am GMTV Newshour 6:58am GMTV Today 8:35am LK Today 9:25am The Jeremy Kyle Show 10:30am This Morning 11:15am ITV News and Weather 11:20am ITV Wales News and Weather 11:25am This Morning 12:30pm Loose Women

6:10am Kids TV 7:00am Freshly Squeezed 7:30am US Sitcoms 9:30am Britain’s Deadliest Addictions 10:00am Advertising Uncut 10:30am Seven Ages of Britain 11:25am Year Dot 12:00pm News at Noon 12:30pm The Great Italian Escape

6:00am Kids TV 9:00am The Wright Stuff 10:30am Trisha Goddard 11:30am How Not to Decorate 12:30pm Five News 12:45pm Grey’s Anatomy

1:00pm BBC News 1:30pm BBC Wales Today 1:45pm Doctors 2:15pm Diagnosis Murder 3:00pm BBC News 3:05pm CBBC

1:00pm Out of the Blue 1:30pm Living in the Sun 2:15pm Animal 24:7 3:00pm Murder, She Wrote 3:45pm Flog It! 4:30pm Ready Steady Cook

1:30pm ITV Lunchtime News and Weather 2:00pm 60 Minute Makeover 3:00pm The Alan Titchmarsh Show 4:00pm Midsomer Murders

1.30pm Chateau Monty 1:35pm Dark Command 3:25pm Countdown 4:15pm Deal or No Deal

1:45pm Neighbours 2:15pm Home and Away 2:50pm County Secrets 3:05pm Columbo: Death Hits the Jackpot

5:15pm The Weakest Link

5:15pm Wanted Down Under Revisited

5:00pm Britain’s Best Dish

5:00pm The Paul O’Grady Show

5:00pm Five News 5:30pm Neighbours

6:00pm BBC News and BBC Wales Today 7:00pm The One Show 7:30pm Big Cat Live 7:57pm BBC News and Regional News 8:00pm EastEnders 8:30pm Panorama 9:00pm Motorway Cops: A Traffic Special

6:00pm Eggheads 6:30pm Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two 7:00pm An Island Parish 7:30pm Mastermind 8:00pm University Challenge 8:30pm What To Eat Now 9:00pm Amazon with Bruce Parry

6:00pm Wales Tonight 6:30pm ITV Evening News and Weather 7:00pm Emmerdale 7:30pm Coronation Street 8:00pm To Sir With Love 8:30pm Coronation Street

6:00pm The Simpsons 6:30pm Hollyoaks 7:00pm Channel 4 News 8:00pm Dinosaur: A Team Time Special

6:00pm Home and Away 6:30pm Animal Rescue Squad 7:00pm Five News 7:30pm Top Trumps: Warships 8:00pm The Gadget Show

9:00pm Place of Execution

9:00pm Dispatches: The Hidden World Of Lapdancing

9:00pm Unbreakable

10:00pm BBC News, BBC Wales Today and BBC Weather 10:35pm The Dark Side of Fame With Piers Morgan 11:20pm Inside Sport 12:00amThe Mean Season 1:20am Sign Zone 2:20am Sign Zone:

10:00pm Harry and Paul 10:30pm Newsnight

10:00pm Lucky Number Slevin 10:00pm News at Ten and Weather 10:35pm Real Crime: The 30 Year Secret

10:00pm America's Toughest Prisons

11:50pm Losing It: Griff Rhys Jones On Anger 12:50am Ellery Queen 1:40am Joins BBC News

12:05am Party Poker Nations Cup 2008 11:35pm Police, Camera, Action 12:30am UEFA Champions League Weekly 1:00am Nightwatch with Steve Scott

11:05pm Pacific Heights

PICK OF THE DAY Neighbours, Ch5, 5.30pm "Neighbours, Everybody needs good neighbours! With a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend! Neighbours...should be there for one another! That's when good neighbours become good friends! Ooh Neighbours, should be there for one another! That's when good neighbours become good friends." Well the theme tune still does it for me...it lifts me up and sends me to that happy place which I so desperately seek after a long hard day of lectures. Sure it's never been the same since Madge died, and Harold's recent departure has left long-term fans reeling, but the show never fails to pick you up when you most need it! I've lost track of the storylines, but a glimpse of a few episodes is all it takes for you to be filled in on the latest shenanigans on Ramsay Street. Channel 5's saviour... fo' sure!!


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

TELEVISION

TELEVISION@gairrhydd.COM

TUESDAY The Weakest Link BBC1 5.15pm

British Style Genius BBC2 9.00pm

BBC 1

BBC 2

Sally Morgan: Star Psychic ITV1 11.35pm

In Old California C4 2.00pm Channel 4

County Secrets five 2.50pm Five

6:00am Kids TV 7:00am Freshly Squeezed 7:30am US Sitcoms 9:30am Britain’s Deadliest Addictions 10:00am Advertising Uncut 10:30am Seven Ages of Britain 11:25am Year Dot 12:00pm News at Noon 12:30pm Property Ladder 1:30pm Checking Into History: Claridges 1:50pm In Old California 3:25pm Countdown 4:15pm Deal or No Deal

6:00am Kids TV 9:00am The Wright Stuff 10:30am Trisha Goddard 11:30am How Not to Decorate 12:30pm Five News 12:45pm Grey’s Anatomy

5:00pm Britain’s Best Dish

5:00pm The Paul O’Grady Show

5:00pm Five News 5:30pm Neighbours

6:00pm Eggheads 6:30pm Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two 7:00pm Hairy Bikers Come Home 8:00pm Twiggy's Frock Swap

6:00pm Wales Tonight 6:30pm ITV Evening News and Weather 7:00pm Emmerdale 8:00pm Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: Nurses Special

6:00pm The Simpsons 6:30pm Hollyoaks 7:00pm Channel 4 News 7:55pm 3 Minute Wonder: Miss Landmine 8:00pm The Sex Education Show

6:00pm Home and Away 6:30pm Animal Rescue Squad 7:00pm Five News 7:30pm Highland Emergency 8:00pm Curse Of The Titanic Revealed

9:00pm British Style Genius

9:00pm Cops With Cameras

9:00pm Jamie’s Ministry of Food

9:00pm CSI: Miami

10:00pm News at Ten and Weather 10:35pm: Doctor in The House 10:40pm UEFA Champions League Highlights 11:35pm: Sally Morgan: Star Psychic 12:00am Guinness Premiership Rugby

10:00pm Dawn Porter: Mail Order Bride

10:00pm CSI: NY

11:05pm The Family 12:10am Reaper 1:10am Comedy Lab: Pappy's Fun Club

11:00pm Law and Order: SVU 12:00am The FBI Files

6:00am CBeebies 12:00pm The Daily Politics

6:00am GMTV Newshour 6:58am GMTV Today 8:35am LK Today 9:25am The Jeremy Kyle Show 10:30am This Morning 11:15am ITV News and Weather 11:20am ITV Wales News and Weather 11:25am This Morning 12:30pm Loose Women

1:00pm BBC News 1:30pm BBC Wales Today 1:45pm Doctors 2:15pm Diagnosis Murder 3:00pm BBC News 3:05pm CBBC

1:00pm Out of the Blue 1:25pm Coast 1:30pm Animal Park 2:00pm am.pm 3:00pm Murder, She Wrote 3:45pm Flog It! 4:30pm Step Up to the Plate

1:30pm ITV Lunchtime News and Weather 2:00pm 60 Minute Makeover 3:00pm The Alan Titchmarsh Show 4:00pm Midsomer Murders

5:15pm The Weakest Link

5:15pm Wanted Down Under Revisited

6:00pm BBC News 6:30pm BBC Wales Today 7:00pm The One Show 7:30pm EastEnders 7:57pm BBC News and Regional News 8:00pm Big Cat Live 9:00pm Sunshine

10:00pm BBC News, BBC Wales Today 10:00pm Later Live...with Jools Holland 10:30pm Newsnight and BBC Weather 10:35pm Alesha: Look But Don't Touch 11:35pm Film 2008 with Jonathan Ross 12:05am Dear Frankie 4:35am News with Jonathan Dimbleby

7th October Alesha Dixon's Birthday

ITV

6:00am Breakfast 9:15am Real Rescues 10:00am Homes Under the Hammer 11:00am Open House 11:30am Cash in the Attic 12:15pm Bargain Hunt

11:20pm Golf: The Links Championship 11:50pm The Supersizers Go... Wartime 12:50am Joins BBC News

21

PICK OF THE DAY Alesha: Look But Don't Touch, BBC1, 10.35pm It's about time some celebrity stepped up to the mark and revealed the overly modified side of celebrity! Alesha Dixon takes on the challenge, uncovering the pressures that society today is faced with as a result of the airbrushed pictures of such 'perfection' which graces the front pages of our favourite glossies each week. She speaks to members of the public who have succumbed to such pressures and who feel they need to change their body image to appear just like their idols. Cheryl Cole even makes an appearance (anything to plug her XFactor stint) to voice her disgust at what the media has done to the public... as if she would refuse a bit of airbrushing here and there! Anyway, Alesha manages to do a good job in researching the area of societal pressures that have yet to be explored... she always was my favourite member of Misteeq!

1:45pm Neighbours 2:15pm Home and Away 2:50pm County Secrets 3:00pm Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance 3:10pm: This Matter Of Marriage


22 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

TELLY

TELEVISION@gairrhydd.COM

WEDNESDAY

Big Cat Live BBC1 8.00pm BBC 1

Who Do You Think You Are? BBC2 7.00pm BBC 2

Greatest Cities In The World ITV1 9.00pm

8th October Matt Damon's Birthday

Day I Got The Sack Axe Men C4 11.25am five 8.00pm

ITV 1

Channel 4

Five

6:00am Breakfast 9:15am Real Rescues 10:00am Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 11:00am Open House 11:30am Cash in the Attic 12:15pm Bargain Hunt

6:00am CBBC 11:00am What Are You Like? 11:30am The Daily Politics

6:00am GMTV Newshour 7:00am GMTV Today 8:35am LK Today 9:25am The Jeremy Kyle Show 10:30am This Morning 12:30pm Loose Women

6:00am Kids TV 7:00am Freshly Squeezed 7:30am US Sitcoms 9:30am Gay to Z 10:00am The Big Squeeze 10:30am Extremes 11:25am Day I Got The Sack 12:00pm News at Noon 12:30pm Property Ladder

6:00am Kids TV 9:00am The Wright Stuff 10:30am Trisha Goddard 11:30am How Not to Decorate 12:30pm Five News 12:45pm Grey’s Anatomy

1:00pm BBC News at One 1:30pm BBC Wales Today 1:45pm Doctors 2:15pm Diagnosis Murder 3:00pm BBC News 3:05pm CBBC

1:00pm See Hear 1:30pm Working Lunch 2:00pm Animal Park Reversions 2:15pm Animal 24:7 3:00pm Murder, She Wrote 3:45pm Flog It 4:30pm Ready Steady Cook

1:30pm ITV Lunchtime News and Weather 2:00pm 60 Minute Makeover 3:00pm The Alan Titchmarsh Show 4:00pm Midsomer Murders

1:30pm War of the Wildcats 3:25pm Countdown 4:15pm Deal or No Deal

1:45pm Neighbours 2:15pm Home and Away 2:50pm County Secrets 3:00pm Five News Update 3:10pm Cool Money

5:15pm The Weakest Link

5:15pm Escape to the Country

5:00pm Britain’s Best Dish

5:00pm The Paul O’Grady Show

5:00pm Five News 5:30pm Neighbours

6:00pm BBC News 7:00pm The One Show 7:30pm Inside Out London 8:00pm Big Cat Live

6:00pm Eggheads 6:30pm Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two 7:00pm Who Do You Think You Are? 8:00pm The Restaurant

6:00pm Wales Tonight 6:30pm ITV Evening News and Weather 7:00pm Emmerdale 7:30pm Coronation Street 8:00pm The Bill

6:00pm The Simpsons 6:30pm Hollyoaks 7:00pm Channel 4 News 7:55pm The Political Slot: Liberal Democrat 8:00pm Supernanny

6:00pm Home and Away 6:30pm Animal Rescue Squad 7:00pm Five News 7:30pm It Pays to Watch 8:00pm Axe Men

9:00pm Silent Witness

9:00pm Heroes 9:45pm Heroes Unmasked

9:00pm Greatest Cities in the World

9:00pm The Family

9:00pm Paul Merton in India

10:00pm BBC News 10:35pm The National Lottery 10:45pm Medium

10:00pm Mock the Week 10:30pm Newsnight

10:00pm News at Ten and Weather 10:35pm Secrets Of My Success

10:00pm Desperate Housewives

10:00pm Banged Up Abroad

11:30pm The Tudors 12:20am Weatherview 12:25am Losing It: Griff Rhys Jones On Anger 1:25am Timewatch

11:50pm Ireland to Sydney by Any Means 12:50am Joins BBC News 4:00am Race

11:05pm Jamie’s Ministry of Food 11:05pm Welsh TV Gold 12:05am One To Watch: Iglu and Hartly 11:35pm Freeride 12:20am One To Watch: Bombay 12:05am Dancing with Colin 12:35am Nightwatch with Steve Scott: Bicycle Club 12:35pm JD Set Presents Cherry Ghost Crime

PICK OF THE DAY The Family, C4, 9.00pm The Family is marketed as a watercooler show. It is supposed to reinforce Channel 4’s reputation as a purveyor of serious, thought-provoking programmes which put their competitors to shame. But is anyone really watching it? This formula has been regurgitated so many times before: Big Brother, the 1940s House... I'm sure the list would be endless if i could be bothered to think of more. I’m tempted to suggest that it’s so unoriginal that parodists have run out of ways to take the piss. Does anything separate The Family from other similar shows (most of which are on Channel 4, I’ve noticed)? In short, no. I guess people might watch it in order to develop a common topic of discussion with their coworkers and bring an end to the awkward silences which permeate their everyday social sitations, but they should stop kidding themselves, turn off the TV and do something useful.

11:00pm Unbreakable 12:05am Poker 1:35am Major League Baseball 4:45am Race and Rally UK 5:10am Neighbours


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

TELLY

TELEVISION@gairrhydd.COM

THURSDAY Diagnosis Murder BBC1 2.15pm

An Island Parish BBC2 7.00pm

BBC 1

BBC 2

9th October Leif Erikson Day

Natural Born Sellers Wake of the Red ITV1 9.00pm Witch C4 1.30pm ITV 1

23

Channel 4

How Do They Do It? five 7.30pm Five

6:00am Breakfast 9:15am Real Rescues 10:00am Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 11:00am Open House 11:30am Cash in the Attic 12:15pm Bargain Hunt

6:00am CBBC 11:00am Educational TV 12:00am The Daily Politics 12:30pm Working Lunch

6:00am GMTV Newshour 7:00am GMTV Today 8:35am LK Today 9:25am The Jeremy Kyle Show 10:30am This Morning 12:30pm Loose Women

6:00am Kids TV 7:00am Freshly Squeezed 7:30am US Sitcoms 9:30am Gay to Z 10:00am The Big Squeeze 10:30am Extremes 11:25am Day I Got The Sack 12:00pm News at Noon 12:30pm Property Ladder

6:00am Kids TV 9:00am The Wright Stuff 10:30am Trisha Goddard 11:30am How Not to Decorate 12:30pm Five News 12:45pm Grey’s Anatomy

1:00pm BBC News at One 1:30pm BBC Wales Today 1:45pm Doctors 2:15pm Diagnosis Murder 3:00pm BBC News 3:05pm CBBC

1:00pm Out of the Blue 1:25pm Coast 1:30pm Living in the Sun 2:15pm Animal 24:7 3:00pm Murder, She Wrote 3:45pm Flog It 4:30pm Ready Steady Cook

1:30pm ITV Lunchtime News and Weather 2:00pm 60 Minute Makeover 3:00pm The Alan Titchmarsh Show 4:00pm Midsomer Murders

1:30pm Wake of the Red Witch 3:25pm Countdown 4:15pm Deal or No Deal

1:45pm Neighbours 2:15pm Home and Away 2:50pm County Secrets 3:05pm Columbo Goes to College

5:15pm The Weakest Link

5:15pm Escape to the Country

5:00pm Britain’s Best Dish

5:00pm The Paul O’Grady Show

5:00pm Five News 5:30pm Neighbours

6:00pm BBC News 7:00pm The One Show 7:30pm Eastenders 8:00pm Big Cat Live

6:00pm Eggheads 6:30pm Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two 7:00pm An Island Parish 7:30pm Secret Wale 8:00pm The Restaurant

6:00pm Wales Tonight 6:30pm ITV Evening News and Weather 7:00pm Emmerdale 7:30pm Stories From The Street 8:00pm The Bill

6:00pm The Simpsons 6:30pm Hollyoaks 7:00pm Channel 4 News 7:55pm The Political Slot 8:00pm The Great Italian Escape 8:30pm Chateau Monty

6:00pm Home and Away 6:30pm Animal Rescue Squad 7:00pm Five News 7:30pm How do they Do It? 8:00pm I Own Britain's Best Home and Garden

9:00pm Silent Witness

9:00pm Never Mind the Buzzcocks 9:30pm Beautiful People

9:00pm Natural Born Sellers

9:00pm Ninety Naps A Day

9:00 Extraordinary People: The Little Mermaid

10:00pm BBC News 10:35pm Dragon's Eye

10:00pm Sport Wales 10:30pm Newsnight

10:00pm News at Ten and Weather 10:40pm How The Other Half Live

10:00pm 8 Out of 10 Cats 10:35pm Star Stories

10:00pm A Perfect World

11:05pm Question Time 12:05am This Week 12:55am Ireland to Sydney By Any Means 1:55am Arena: The Hunt For Moby Dick

11:20pm The Graham Norton Show 11:50pm Amazon With Bruce Parry 12:50am Joins BBC News

11:10pm Sharp End 11:40pm The Guest List 12:10am Bingo Night Live 1:15am Motorsport UK 1:40am Nightwatch with Steve Scott

11:10pm When Women Rule the World 12:10am Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong 1:10am One to Watch: Esser 1:15am Devi

12:40am Quiz Call 4:00am Major League Soccer 4:45am Wildlife SOS 5:10am Neighbours 5:35am Home and Away

PICK OF THE DAY Star Stories, C4, 10:35pm A welcome rerun for the show which launched the career of Kevin Bishop. Not the greatest of boasts I’ll admit, but Star Stories is a much underrated programme. Deliberately dodgy impersonations (including in another episode, Matt ‘Super Hans’ King as a straight, cockney Elton John) and an ironic celebration of the lives of the ‘stars’ in question make this a joy to watch. Tonight’s episode is entitled ‘Syco Productions Presents: Simon Cowell – My Honesty, My Genius’, and sees Bishop in fine form as the high-trousered egomaniac. Although not quite up there with the Take That and George Michael episodes, the laughs still come thick and fast, from Cowell’s decision to make American Idol (‘Exactly the Same Show, But for More Money’) to Rhys Thomas’ flawless turn as Simon Fuller. If you’ve never seen Star Stories before then now’s a great time to start. You can thank me later.


24 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

TELLY

TELEVISION@gairrhydd.COM

FRIDAY

Bargain Hunt BBC1 12.15pm BBC 1

The American Future BBC2 9.00pm BBC 2

10th October National Fiji Day

60 Minute Make- Just Shoot Me over C4 8.00am ITV1 2.00pm ITV 1

A Nightmare Come True five 3.10pm

Channel 4

Five

6:10am Kids TV 7:00am Freshly Squeezed 7:30am Everybody Loves Raymond 8:00am Just Shoot Me 9:00am Frasier 9:30am Gay to Z 10:00am Big Squeeze 10:30am Extremes 11:25am Day I Got The Sack 12:00pm News at Noon 12:30pm Supernanny US 1:15pm Sands of Iwo Jima 3:25pm Countdown 4:15pm Deal or No Deal

6:00am Kids TV 9:00am The Wright Stuff 10:30am Trisha Goddard 11:30am Colin and Justin's - How Not to Decorate 12:30pm Five News 12:45pm Grey's Anatomy

5:00pm Britain's Best Dish

5:00pm The Paul O'Grady Show

5:00pm Five News 5:30pm Neighbours

6:00pm Eggheads 6:30pm Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two 7:00pm An Island Parish 8:00pm Mastermind 8:30pm Gardeners' World

6:00pm Wales Tonight 6:30pm ITV Evening News and Weather 7:00pm Emmerdale 7:30pm Coronation Street 8:00pm DIY Diagnosis: Tonight 8:30pm Coronation Street

6:00pm The Simpsons 6:30pm Hollyoaks 7:00pm Channel 4 News 7:30pm First Cut: Junk Mail Britain 8:00pm A Place in the Sun: Home or Away

6:00pm Home and Away 6:30pm Animal Rescue Squad 7:00pm Five News 7:30pm Daring Raids of World War II 8:00pm Police Interceptors

9:00pm The American Future: A History, by Simon Schama

9:00pm Wire in the Blood

9:00pm Ugly Betty

9:00pm NCIS

10:00pm QI 10:30pm Newsnight

10:00pm Al Murray's Happy Hour

10:00pm Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong 10:50pm The Secret Policeman's Ball

10:00pm Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

11:00pm Newsnight Review 11:35pm Later... with Jools Holland 12:35am That Mitchell and Webb Situation 1:25am Star Trek: The Next Generation

11:00pm The Late News and Weather 11:45pm Bingo Night Live 12:50am Planet Rock Profiles 1:45am Peeping Tom

12:30am 4 Music: Levi's Ones to Watch: Metronomy 12:45am 4 Music: Levi's Ones to Watch: Broken Records 12:55am Team Waterpolo

11:00pm Law and Order 12:00am Quiz Call 4:00am Wild Events 4:25am Great Ocean Adventures: The Thresher Shark

6:00am Breakfast 9:15am Real Rescues 10:00am Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 11:00am Open House 11:30am Cash in the Attic 12:15pm Bargain Hunt

6:00am CBBC 12:00pm The Daily Politics 12:30pm Working Lunch

6:00am GMTV Newshour 6:58am GMTV Today 9:25am The Jeremy Kyle Show 10:30am This Morning 11:15am ITV News and Weather 11:25am This Morning 12:30pm Loose Women

1:00pm BBC News 1:30pm BBC Wales Today 1:45pm Doctors 2:15pm Diagnosis Murder 3:00pm BBC News 3:05pm CBBC

1:00pm Out of the Blue 1:25pm Coast 1:30pm Living in the Sun 2:15pm Animal 24:7 3:00pm Murder, She Wrote 3:45pm Flog It! 4:30pm Ready Steady Cook

1:30pm ITV Lunchtime News and Weather 2:00pm 60 Minute Makeover 3:00pm The Alan Titchmarsh Show 4:00pm Midsomer Murders

5:15pm The Weakest Link

5:15pm Escape To The Country

6:00pm BBC News 6:30pm BBC Wales Today 7:00pm The One Show 7:30pm Big Cat Live 7:57pm BBC News and Regional News 8:00pm EastEnders 8:30pm DIY SOS 9:00pm Harry and Paul 9:30pm Little Britain USA 10:00pm BBC News 10:33pm BBC Weather 10:35pm Friday Night with Jonathan Ross 11:35pm National Lottery EuroMillions Draw 11:40pm Under Seige 2 1:15am Weatherview 1:20am Earth: The Climate Wars

PICK OF THE DAY QI, BBC2, 10.00pm Yes, Little Britain USA is on tonight. But that's had rubbish reviews in America, and so let's instead make ourselves feel intellectual by basking in the magnificence of Stephen Fry. Is there a man more well-suited to being worshipped? True, he's not exactly the best looking bloke, but you can't help feeling that the fact he knows everything in the world ever makes him a worthy candidate for God. He even tolerates the riff raff who show up on the show, treating them with a kind benevolence. The real reason for watching the show, though, isn't the all round wonder of Fry. It's blatantly so you can turn to your friends when you're down the pub, open your mouth and tell them that Victorians wore badgers' penis bones as tie pins.

1:45pm Neighbours 2:15pm Home and Away 2:50pm County Secrets 3:05pm Five News Update 3:10pm A Nightmare Come True


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

TELLY

TELEVISION@gairrhydd.COM

SATURDAY Grand Prix Snooker Dad's Army BBC1 2.30pm BBC2 6.30pm BBC 1

BBC 2

City By The Sea ITV1 2.00am ITV 1

25

11th October National Coming Out Day

Building Of The Year C4 8.00pm Channel 4

Wild Events five 4.00am Five

6:00am Breakfast 10:00am Saturday Kitchen 11:30am What To Eat Now 12:00pm BBC News 12:10pm Football Focus

6:00am CBBC 12:00pm Sound 12:30pm Scene Stealers

5:15am F1: Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying 7:15am Kids TV 9:25am GMTV 10:00am CITV 10:35am Coronation Street Omnibus 12:50pm The X Factor

6:10am Kids TV 7:00am Goalissimo! 8:00am The Morning Line 9:00am T4: Friends 9:30am T4: Everybody Loves Lil Chris 10:00am T4: Friends 10:35am T4: 4Music Presents... 11:05am T4: Friends 11:40am T4: The Hills 12:05pm T4: Reaper

6:00am Kids TV 9:30am To Be Announced 9:45am Demolition Dad 10:00am Top Trumps: Warships 10:30am Highland Emergency 11:00am To Be Announced 12:00pm To Be Announced

1:00pm Racing 2:30pm Grand Prix Snooker 2008 4:30pm Wales on Saturday

1:00pm Greek 1:45pm Revealed 2:00pm The Sky at Night 2:20pm To Be Announced 3:05pm To Be Announced 4:35pm The Hairy Bikers

1:50pm ITV News and Weather 1:53pm ITV Weather 1:55pm ITV Wales News and Weather 2:00pm F1: Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying 4:00pm ITV Wales News and Weather 4:30pm England v Kazakhstan Live

1:05pm T4: Scrubs 1:30pm T4: Scrubs 2:00pm Channel 4 Racing 4:20pm Brothers and Sisters

1:00pm To Be Announced 1:15pm The Swan Princess 3:05pm Loving Evangeline 4:55pm To Be Announced

5:10pm Grand Prix Snooker 2008 5:15pm BBC News 5:35pm Hole in the Wall 6:05pm Merlin 6:50pm Strictly Come Dancing 8:05pm The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins 8:55pm Casualty

5:05pm To Be Announced 6:05pm To Be Announced

5:20pm Tea with Mussolini

5:55pm Biloxi Blues

6:30pm Dad's Army 7:05pm Coast 8:05pm Big Cat Live

7:30pm The X Factor

7:30pm Channel 4 News 8:00pm Building of the Year: The RIBA Stirling Prize 2007

7:45pm Five News and Sport 8:00pm NCIS 8:55pm NCIS

9:45pm BBC News

9:05pm Timewatch

9:30pm All Star Family Fortunes

9:00pm Collateral Damage

9:55pm CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

10:05pm Little Britain USA 10:35pm Film To Be Announced

10:05pm Never Mind the Buzzcocks 10:35pm Live at the Apollo

12:05am Film To Be Announced 1:35am Friday Night with Jonathan Ross 2:35am Weatherview

11:20pm To Be Announced 11:50pm Snooker 12:40am Snooker Extra 2:40am Film To Be Announced

10:15pm The X Factor Results 10:45pm ITV News 10:58pm ITV Weather 10:59pm Regional Weather 11:00pm England v Kazakhstan Highlights 2:00am Bingo Night Live 1:00am Nightwatch with Steve Scott: Emergency 2:00am City by the Sea

PICK OF THE DAY Hole In The Wall, BBC1, 6.00pm

According to most students, Saturday nights are a time for drinking yourself into oblivion. But no more! For Hole In The Wall is into its third week, falling quite firmly into the 'so bad it's brilliant' category. Six celebs dress in lyrca (not good when it's Vanessa Feltz) and try to jump through holes in a foam wall. Or they get pushed into a swimming pool. It's genius! It even has its own catchphrases. Never before has 'you have control of the Megawall' been so much fun. True, this is a programme which makes Numberwang look sane. But who can argue with Anton Du Beke as a team captain? He's one of the dancers from Strictly Come Dancing, as you ask. The nice one. No, we don't want to steal him for our house...

10:55pm Law and Order: Criminal Intent

11:05pm Straw Dogs 1:25am Waking Life 3:10am Terra Firma 3:40am St Elsewhere

11:55pm Quiz Call 4:00am Wild Events 4:25am Great Ocean Adventures: Spinner Dolphin 5:10am House Doctor


26 gairrhydd OCTOBER.06.2008

TELLY

TELEVISION@gairrhydd.COM

SUNDAY Sunday Life BBC1 10:00am

13th October Sacha Baron Cohen's Birthday

The American Future The X Factor ITV1 1.30pm BBC2 7.00pm

BBC 1

BBC 2

ITV 1

Secretary C4 10.35pm Channel 4

The Longest Yard five 9.00pm Five

6:00am Breakfast 9:00am The Andrew Marr Show 10:00am Sunday Life 11:00am Countryfile 12:00pm The Politics Show

6:00am Kid’s TV 9:00am Escape from Scorpion Island 10:00am Something for the Weekend 11:30am Film 2008 with Jonathan Ross 12:00pm Animal Park

6:00am Kid’s TV 9:25am GMTV 10:45am CITV 12:15pm The Crocodile Hunter Diaries

6:10am The Hoobs 7:00am Trans World Sport 7:45am Bennetts British Superbike Championship 8:40am Freesports on 4 9:05am T4:Hollyoaks Omnibus 11:35am T4:Frock Me 12:25pm T4:Friends 12:55pm T4:Ugly Betty

6:00am Kid’s TV 10:00am The Gadget Show 11:00am Hawaii

1:00pm EastEnders 2:50pm The Sarah Jane Adventures 3:45pm Merlin 4:30pm Points of View 4:45pm Songs of Praise

1:00pm Snooker

1:15pm ITV News and Weather 1:30pm The X Factor 3:00pm F1: Japanese Grand Prix

1:55pm T4:Ugly Betty 2:55pm T4:When Women Rule the World 4:00pm T4:The Simpsons 4:30pm T4:The Simpsons

2:30pm Daniel and the Devil 4:10pm Bloodhounds of Broadway

5:20pm Tess of the D'Urbervilles

5:30pm Wild

5:00pm Deal or No Deal 5:45pm Born Survivor: Bear Grylls

5:45pm RV: Runaway Vacation

6:20pm BBC News 6:35pm BBC Wales Today 6:45pm To Be Announced 7:45pm After You’ve Gone 8:15pm Strictly Come Dancing

6:00pm Dragons’ Den 7:00pm The American Future: A History, by Simon Schama 8:00pm Charley Boorman: Ireland to Sydney By Any Means

6:00pm ITV Wales News and Weather 6:15pm ITV News and Weather 6:30pm The Food Show 7:00pm To Be Announced 8:00pm Heartbeat

6:45pm Channel 4 News 7:00pm Outback Art: The Gold Rush 8:00pm Wife Swap

7:40pm Five News 8:00pm Deadly Jungle Rattlesnake: Austin Stevens’ Adventures

9:00pm To Be Announced

9:00pm James May’s Big Ideas

9:00pm To Be Announced

9:00pm The Secret Policeman’s Ball 2008

9:00pm The Longest Yard

10:00pm BBC News 10:15pm To Be Announced

10:00pm To Be Announced

11:05pm Film To Be Announced

11:00pm Graham Norton Uncut 11:45pm Heroes

10:35pm Secretary

11:00pm ITV News and Weather 11:15pm F1: Japanese Grand Prix

PICK OF THE DAY Born Survivor: Bear Grylls, Ch4, 5.45pm Forget Ray Mears, there's only one survival expert you need and his name is Bear. With Christian Bale's face, unfaltering politeness and a bizarre air of calm in the most dire circumstances, there's no-one else I'd rather get lost in the Amazon rainforest with than Bear Grylls. Watch in awe as he eats bugs and bunnies, builds shelters up trees or in dead camels and -without fail- builds a fire with some tinder. Ignore the controversy you may have heard over events being staged, this is pure entertainment whether it be real or not. What other programme will show you a man stripping down to nothing, rubbing himself with snow and doing twenty press-ups to get warm again; I don't think we want to see Ray Mears in the buff now do we? It's not all golden entertainment though, I personally could do without ever having to watch Bear drink his own pee again. I guess I'm just old fashioned that way.

11:25pm To Be Announced


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

29

LISTINGS

LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

week: Pugs, coolboxes and an evening of clairvoyance. Yeah!

Thursday 09/10/08

Friday

Saturday

10/10/08

11/10/08

FOOD & COMEDY SPECIAL @ GLEE CLUB: Does what it says on the tin, really. Lucy Porter, Mark Oliver and Steve Hughes do stand up stuff.

LUSH @ SOLUS Classy, innit. R’n’B, poppy stuff, funky house & electro. Free entry 7-9pm, £3 after.

STANDUP @ JONGLEURS It’s Dominic Frisby Phil Butler Simon Clayton and Rhodri Rhys again. 7pm, £12.

ARAF @ CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE Araf is a group of artists from various disciplines which include painting, photography, dance and architecture. The group developed from a series of DanceLab sessions run by Diversions Dance Company in 2006/07. Will be experimental, but probably quite fun. Runs until 11 Oct. 7pm, free.

ELBOW @ GREAT HALL Mercury Music Prize winners visit Cardiff on their whopping tour of the UK. This should be very special. 7pm, £17.50 (SOLD OUT)

PEPPERMINTPATTI PRESENTS @ CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE ‘Named after a golden ship found rotting in Reykjavik harbour, Berlin-based musician Theresa Stroetges creates dreamy, experimental folk-tronica that sounds like walking on a beach with the sun in your eyes.’ Support from local Electro Improvisers Fallen Painting and the quirky idiosyncratic Johana. Er, yeah. 8pm, £5/£4 adv, £6/£5 on the door.

C-Y-N-T @ CLWB IFOR BACH Monkey!Knife!Fight! This week the Monkey!Knife!Fight! crew head over the bridge from Bristol to tear up C-Y-N-T. Get your rave boots on. 10:30pm, £3. DISCORD @ BARFLY Rock out with your cock out. 10.30pm-2am, £3 before 11.30pm, £4 after.

06/10

STANDUP @ JONGLEURS Dominic Frisby Phil Butler Simon Clayton and Rhodri Rhys doing standup. Why don’t anteaters get sick? Because they’re full of anty-bodies. 7pm, £10. STAND UP COMEDY SHOW @ GLEE CLUB Same lineup as last night. What do you call spending the day with a cranky rabbit? A bad hare day. Contact venue for details. LONE TWIN: DANIEL HIT BY A TRAIN @ CHAPTER Bloody hell, this sounds like a barrel of laughs. In each story a person loses their life in the attempt to save the life of another. Chapter aren’t really doing much to lift our winter spirits this week. Take tissues and mascara, if necessary. 8pm, £10/£8/£6. SCARFACE: AN EPIC ON THE CHEAP @ SHERMAN THEATRE A remake of the 1983 trash classic, only with a lay-dee standing in for the lead. ‘Eddie plays to camera all the way through as her image is then locked to a series of backgrounds and great soundtrack and sent onto a cinema-sized screen relocating the action from Miami to Eddie's home in West Wales.’ Trippy. £8/£10/£12, contact venue for details. DEBATING SOCIETY @ THE TAF Come and watch the debating society argue over the merits of alcohol. Great for relieving stress. FREE

Sunday

12/10/08

JIMMY CARR @ WMC What do you do with a dog who has no legs? Take him out for a drag. For a hefty £20, hopefully the jokes will be better than this. 7.30pm, £20.

MICHAEL BOLTON @ CIA A once in a lifetime opportunity to catch Michael Bolton and his amazing receding hairline in action. An absolute snip at £38.50! Marvellous. 7pm, £38.50

GRIMM TALES @ SHERMAN THEATRE Adapted by Carol Ann Duffy and dramatised by Tim Supple. A fresh look at the stories by the Brothers Grimm. Yes, we know it’s meant for kids but it’ll be wondrous. 11am & 2pm, £6. ME AND YOU CLUB @ 10 FEET TALL - Cardiff’s Saturday Night Heroes bringing Good Time weekend Indie Rock ‘n’ Pop, New Music & Classic Alternative Tunes to your grateful ears. 11.00pm – 4.00am, free entry before 10.30pm, £4/£5 after. AN EVENING OF CLAIRVOYANCE WITH SUSAN CLEMENTS @ NEWBRIDGE MEMORIAL HALL This is in Gwent, but will be WELL WORTH the trip! Back by popular demand, internationally acclaimed medium Susan Clements returns to Newbridge Memorial Hall for a night of conversation with the other side. 7.30pm, £6, tel: 01495 243252. BOOMSHAKABOOMTANG & VINYL VENDETTAS @ CLWB IFOR BACH 3 floor extravaganza! A clash of the best new indie, 60's gems, 70's new wave and 80's pop. Dance til your shins tingle! Classic disco on the middle floor, and filthy, sweaty tunes on the ground floor. 10pm, £5..://www.myspace.com/thevinylvendettas

12/10

pick of the week 11/10

10/10

12/10

07/10

(The Welsh Club), 11 Womanby Street 02920 232199 www.clwb.net ◆ Barfly, Kingsway, Tickets: 08709070999 www.barflyclub.com/cardiff ◆ MetIncognito, Park Place 02920 412190 ◆ Liquid, St. Mary Street 02920645464 ◆ The Philharmonic, 76-77 St. Mary Street 02920 230678 ◆ Café The Hayes 02920 878444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk ◆ Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton 02920 304400 www.chapter.org ◆ Wales Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road 02920 646900 www.shermantheatre.co.uk ◆ The Glee Club, Mermaid Quay 0870 2415093 www.glee.co.uk ◆ Cardiff Bay, 029 2046 0873 www.thepointcardiffbay.com ◆ Tommy’s Bar, Howard Gardens (off Newport Road) 02920 416192 ◆


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

31

FIVE MINUTE FUN

FMF@gairrhydd.COM

found on facebook Housemate done something stupid?

sudoku.

1. Log on to the book of face 2. Join the group ‘Found on Facebook’ 3. Upload embarrassing photos 4. Pick up gair rhydd on Monday and laugh

EASY

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MEDIUM

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1. ____ Hugh Munro, real name of the writer Saki (6) 5. Periods of sovereignty (6) 8. Sharpen by rubbing (4) 9. Operation ____, 1975 war film about the assassination of Heydrich (8) 10. In a careless manner (8) 11. Somewhere ____, Razorlight hit (4) 12. Upward incline (6) 14. Robs by trickery (6) 16. Homework (4) 18. Authorise or attribute (8) 20. The ____ Breaks, 1976 Marlon Brando film (8) 21. Arlene ____, glamorous 1950s Hollywood actress (4) 22. Open shoe with straps (6) 23. Practice of baring all (6)

2. Breathes out (7) 3. Add together (3,2) 4. Provocation (3,3,2,1,4) 5. Percussion players (6,7) 6. Nationality of Liverpool player Yossi Banayoum (7) 7. Draws close (5) 13. Unprotected (7) 15. Japanese girls trained to provide entertainment for men (7) 17. Indian side dish similar to tzatziki (5) 19. Came to a close (5)

Send more oddities!

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G

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Spotted Glyn? Glyn, BB7 mega-star, is studying Welsh and Spanish at Cardiff University. Snap a picture of him and send us your sightings! Join the Gair Rhydd G-spot facebook group and upload!


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33

SPORT

SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

THE WORD ON... ...the highlights of the greatest show on earth Scott D'Arcy Sports Editor

and carried on, albeit only to fall again in the semi and final. Yet it is hard to imagine a footballer doing the same. Beach volleyball, a relatively new entrant to the Olympic schedule, would also rate highly in terms of spectacle. A particular highlight was the women’s match between Georgia and Russia, just days after the conflict between the two nations broke out. The tension was tangible as the two stern faced Russian women were

T

here is no better advert for the capabilities of mankind than the Olympics, the biggest, most intense sporting showcase on the planet. For those two short weeks in August, elite sportsmen and women congregated in Beijing, the hub of the world’s fastest growing nation, to perform at the highest level. The attraction of the Olympics comes from its variety in sport and diversity in nations. It features so many exciting sports that, unless you are a devout follower, are rarely talked about, publicised or broadcast through mainstream mediums.

There is no better advert for the capabilities of mankind than the Olympics

Better. Faster. Stronger. Whereas football, tennis, basketball and other high-profile commercial sports dominate in the years preceding an Olympic Games, they are ceremoniously pushed aside as sports such as gymnastics, cycling and all manner of aquatics share the stage. Fortunately for the Chinese government, and for the event as a whole, there were no high-profile political protests from Tibetan separatists. Olympic history is littered with political outbursts and so it was, to some extent, a relief to see the Games pass without much incident. The opening ceremony was a jawdropping carnival, emphasising the cultural and historical aspects of China rather than, thankfully, its controversial political elements. The lighting of the torch oozed style and creativity, and it certainly set the bar high for London in four years time. As for the sport, the Games were almost certainly the best event of recent memory. Although this summer also witnessed a very competitive Euro

2008 and a highly dramatic Wimbledon, neither could quite match up to the magic, for want of a better word,

43 world records and 132 Olympic records were broken in Beijing this summer of that fortnight in Beijing. Of course, it is not just because of Team GB’s incredible success, achieving the highest gold medal tally since the 1908 Games in London that made this particular Olympics so significant. Obviously, Michael Phelps' achievements will be remembered for years to come, and it is doubtful whether it will ever be surpassed. Also, Usain Bolt

and his phenomenal double world record victories at both 100m and 200m will still be fresh in the memory come 2012. But although Phelps and Bolt became the faces of Beijing 2008, they were not the only athletes to excel beyond expectations. A staggering total of 43 world records and 132 Olympic records were broken in Beijing this summer. Better. Faster. Stronger. Everything that had gone before wiped away in a matter of seconds. The simultaneous feelings of jubilation and disappointment were written all over Michael Johnson’s facial expression after Bolt shaved two-hundredths of a second off Johnson’s own 12 year strong 200m World record time of 19.32 seconds. The British cycling team proved that they were top of their sport, while Ben Ainslie, Bryony Shaw and the yngling team showed that even with

barely any wind, Brits can still sail a boat better than anyone. Of this year’s Games, however, the most entertaining sports did not take place on the track nor in the pool. The addition of a BMX discipline,

Hopefully, London can use Beijing as a model for how an Olympic Games should be handled although questionable, seemed to be a huge success. Extreme sports have often been rejected, but BMX provided some spectacular crashes and exhilarating action. When British rider Shanaze Reade fell in qualifying and left a chunk of elbow behind on the gravel, she duly picked herself up

clearly overcome with the pressure of an expecting nation, eventually losing and finishing bottom of their pool. However, probably the most exciting of them all was the gymnastics, which, although dominated by the Chinese, was still very competitive and visually spectacular. All manner of flips, tricks and dismounts on the high bars, pummel horse and vault, were performed faultlessly by most competitors. But one simple mistake and their face would be introducing itself to the canvas. Not many other sports offer this intensive atmosphere and often if you took the lid off the National Indoor Stadium, it would have been near boiling point. It was also relatively refreshing that there was a lack of drugs scandals, which have often plagued big events such as the Olympics. The organisers managed to run a tight ship throughout and this ensured that the focus was firmly on the sport. Hopefully, London can use Beijing as a model for how Olympic Games should be handled: with efficiency and flair.


34 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

SPORT

SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

Shaw to shine

Beijing bronze medalist, and former Cardiff University student, Bryony Shaw speaks to Sport's Richard Williams about windsurfing, the Olympic experience and her hopes for London 2012

2008 WILL BE remembered as Great Britain's most successful Olympic Games in living memory, with an impressive haul of 47 medals. One of the medal winners was 25 year-old Bryony Shaw, a one-time Cardiff University student who won bronze in the women’s RS:X, becoming Britain’s first women’s windsurfing medalist . The performances shown by the sailing team in Beijing were one of the highlights of a brilliant summer for Team GB, which came as no surprise to Bryony. "I certainly knew the potential of the British Sailing Team, which has been in the top three best performing sports for the last three Olympic Games, alongside rowing and cycling. This summer’s performance was the best sailing team result in 100 years. In terms of athlete potential, we were very close to winning more medals.

My parents bought some gear when I was aged 14 so we could continue our hobby back home. But I soon got introduced to racing as I loved the competition, and we got some second hand racing equipment." Bryony's life has always revolved around windsurfing. Like most fulltime sports professionals, her education has had to be sacrificed in order for her to reach her maximum potential. Despite a year studying architecture at Cardiff, her commitment to windsurfing remains strong. "I have been full time since summer 2001, age 18, with a long break to study at Cardiff during 2004/05. This could not have been possible without the support of my parents, who let me take three years out of education to travel to all the competitions around the world, even though they saw my academic education as vital. "The decision to leave Cardiff and campaign in a brand new windsurfing class was 50/50 and quite a gamble, although Cardiff supported my choice and said I could return to the course. This gave me great confidence that I had two optional pathways and I could fully commit to windsurfing with no regret." Unsurprisingly, for a windsurfing enthusiast, Bryony joined the windsurfing society at Cardiff. Although her time spent there was short, she holds many memories of the society, which she says is perfect for any newcomers to the sport. "Windsurfing is very popular at "The sailing venue was in Qingdao and the marina was built on a massive Cardiff Uni and they are a great crowd scale. The “Sailing City,” as it came to to party with, even if you are not a be named, was so well presented and windsurfing enthusiast! So hang out with them, see if you can borrow, the Chinese were very welcoming." It was a family camping holiday beg or steal some kit to try out or alin France at the age of nine where ternatively the second hand market is Bryony fell in love with windsurfing. booming so it’s easy to pick up some Since then, her life has been lived on bargains. “My advice is that the modern kit the board. "I had the opportunity to try it is now tailored for the beginner with out on a camping holiday and I got big stable, padded boards and easy to hooked. Every summer holiday all handle sails, then it’s simple to progI wanted to do was windsurf, and it ress from there onto something a bit was lucky that my parents and sister smaller and faster" As you would expect for an Olymalso enjoyed sailing and windsurfing. pian, BrySHAW: Medal of Honour ony undertakes an intense fitness regime, with most of her time devoted to physical conditioning both in and out of the gym. "I do a

Team GB's success has given the nation an expectation for 2012

SURF: Fun in the sun

lot of road cycling and running for fitness. I try to do as much of my training out-doors, rather than in the gym, so I can get in more hours as the time seems to go by quicker. I also try to train with a group to make it more fun. "I tend to windsurf in the afternoons with a training partner and my coach, unless I train in a group. My sport requires a lot of traveling around Europe during the summer, so I do not have a steady routine, as I have to set-

"In terms of athlete potential, we were very close to winning more medals" tle in various locations traveling with my windsurfing and bike." Throughout her full-time career, Bryony has competed in a number of tournaments around the world. Having reached the heights of a bronze medal at what is arguably the most prestigious sporting scene, there is now the potential for windsurfing to

reach more people in time for London 2012. "There was more UK media attention on the windsurfers for 2008 following Nick Dempsey’s bronze medal in 2004, and my win at the test event in 2007. Both of us clearly had the potential to medal. “With media attention building for 2012, improving technology with cameras, GPS, interactive TV and Internet, I have no doubt that windsurfing will get great coverage. It is seen as one of the coolest sports at the Games, alongside BMX and snowboarding, and it's up to the windsurfing organisations to push it into the limelight as much as possible" Team GB's success in Beijing has given the nation an expectation that both the spectacle of London 2012, and the achievements of our athletes, will better those of Beijing. Bryony's belief is that London will be a more than fitting host for the greatest sporting show on Earth. "London 2012 will be a better experience for the spectator. It is a very popular city for tourists and visitors will have plenty to do if they are not able to attend a sporting arena every day. I think the UK will offer a very genuine interest in supporting their home-grown athletes.” And on a more personal note, Bryony is keen to improve upon her success in the Far East, when the Games

arrive in London in four years time. "I have a great opportunity to win the gold in my home town. I have

"I have a great opportunity to win the gold in my home town" sailed and raced there since I was 15 and that venue knowledge is vital. "I will be 4 years wiser and I am a lot younger than most of my closest competitors, which hands me the fitness advantage, unless they retire before then! "It is an extremely competitive class and all the women who compete at the Games dedicate their lives to the sport, so I will work extremely hard to try and dominate the World Cup in these next few years. "I hope to fulfill my dream of a gold medal and enjoy my life as a windsurfer for as long as I can, maybe through to 2016." With Olympic success already behind her, the goal is now for Bryony to become a member of the elite group of Great British Olympic gold medal winners, when the Games are staged in London in 2012.


gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

SPORT

SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

The IMG Roundup IMG: Scrapheap Challenge Josh Pettitt Sports Editor THIS SEASON IMG rugby will have to settle for a touch rugby league and an end of year contact tournament. However last week, talks were held between IMG rugby, the AU President Scott Pigott, Head of rugby Martin Fowler and Membership Services and Democracy Manager Steve Wilford to discuss the potential restoration of IMG rugby to its former glory. The air was cleared of popular speculation that the University wanted to rid itself of IMG rugby entirely with reassuring words from Head of Rugby Martin Fowler: “We are not here to stop you playing rugby. We just want you to play rugby safely.” The primary concern with the continuation of IMG rugby from last season is the high rate and severity of

35

injuries to university students taking part in contact games. The University is essentially culpable for each and every student partaking in universitysanctioned sport. Steve Wilford expressed his anxiety that if IMG rugby were to continue as it is “the University would not be fulfilling its duty of care to its students.” The regular injuries were soon identified as stemming from the disparity in competency levels within the IMG itself. IMG is host to a number of extremely talented players, but also to a few who have little experience of high level rugby. Throw into the mix what Martin Fowler describes as an “unparalleled intensity” and IMG is an accident waiting to happen. This is not the only problem that has plagued IMG rugby over the past couple of seasons. There is extremely tough competition for referees in the Cardiff district with BUCS, School competitions and local leagues taking

precedence over IMG rugby. To make matters worse the introduction of the ELVs has proven yet another pitfall, with the older referees hanging up their whistles for good. Yet hope was apparent despite such a bleak outlook. Although the issues of safety and referees first seemed insurmountable, the meeting was rife with suggestions of how to overcome such obstacles. Steve Wilford was optimistic, insisting that despite such concerns “full contact rugby is still the key agenda.” The buzzwords to emerge from the meeting were “self-sufficiency” and “sustainability”. It was agreed that the most efficient way of revitalising IMG rugby in the long term is for each team to train a first or second year student each year to the WRU Level 2 refereeing requirement. This would immediately remove the problematic shortage of referees. It was also suggested that each

team would train up their own Level 1 coach to iron out the gulf in competency between players. For the more technical aspects of the game such as scrummaging, lineouts and the contact area there is a proposal to bring in community coaches to enrich the playing ability of every participant. In the short term IMG will have to be content with a weekly touch league and the possibility of a few friendly games, dependent on the availability of referees. IMG rugby is also working towards an end of season knock out competition where they will be given the chance to showcase their newfound competency levels and push for the ultimate goal of a full contact league the following season. A blueprint is in place for a sustainable, and more importantly, safe IMG league. However, it remains to be seen whether IMG Rugby will be salvaged from the scrapheap.

What do you think of the state of IMG rugby? Sport asks IMG Rugby Captains their opinions...

“It’s going to take a lot more work to get IMG rugby back to where it should be and we’ll have to get very involved. It’s got a lot of potential and hopefully we’ll be able to move things forward from here.”

“Unfortunately we can’t all play for the Cardiff University teams. It’s great that something is being sorted out so that IMG players can go back to playing twice a week.”

“I’m feeling really positive about it. If all the ideas that were raised in that meeting materialise then yeah I’ll be really happy. We’ve put in a bit of legwork so hopefully it’s starting to pay off.”

“Touch rugby is fine and it provides a structure. But people will start to lose interest if they don’t think there is going to be contact rugby at the end of the season. I would be very disappointed if we didn’t play contact.”

Martin Churcher, STOMA Captain

Joe Tyler, BIOSIC Captain

James Lander, ENGIN Captain

Adam Smith, LAW Captain

Dates for your Diary: 6th October - Captains' Meeting. Netball 5pm. Football 6pm. 9th October - Recruitment Night for all IMG teams, Solus, 7pm.

IMG Teams 08/09

Netball: Economics A Economic B English A English B J-Unit Cardiff Christian Union Cardiff A Cardiff B SOCSI A SOCSI B CARBS A CARBS B Law A Law B Biology Cardiff Jets SAWSA Dentistry Medics A Medics B Cardiff IWC Psychology A Psychology B Gym Gym Engin Numatics Engin Automotives C Plan JOMEC Navy (URNU) Pharmacy A Pharmacy B Earth Soc

Football: J-Soc Economics Philosophy J-Unit Law A Law B Uni Hall Stars FC FC Samber Tigers Gym Gym Engin Locomotive Engin Automotive Real Ale Madrid FC SAWSA Pharmacy A CARBS Psycho Athletico AFC Cathays MOMED FC Earth Soc JOMEC FC AFC History SOCSI FC Opsoccer Men United FC Magnificent XI KLAW Euros FC Banter FC


Sport gairrhydd

INSIDE: Olympic bronze medalist Bryony Shaw, a review of the Beijing experience and the latest on IMG Rugby

FEVER PITCH Liz Wray IMG Editor

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY'S increasingly popular Intra-Mural Games (IMG) are under threat this year, as the fifteen regular football pitches at Pontcanna have been declared unplayable by the Athletic Union and Cardiff City Council, only weeks before the beginning of the season. During the summer, the University learnt that the 160,000 visitors to the Eisteddfod festival, combined with Cardiff’s poor weather, has left the playing fields at Pontcanna out of action this season while they recover. Despite the Council’s reassurance that the pitches leased by the university

would be unaffected by Wales’ festival of the arts and culture, there seems to have been a break down in communication and there is little the AU can do now the damage has been done. The original solution was to move the games to the fields behind the Blackweir but IMG football has been dealt another fatal blow, as a decision has been taken to relay these pitches this season. With 29 teams showing interest in playing IMG football this year and space for less than half of these at Pontcanna, our Athletic Union President Scott Pigott has been working extremely hard in conjunction with the newly appointed IMG administrator to find new pitches. The current plan to move the games

to Trelai, four miles outside of Cardiff, is proving unpopular with the team captains, who are already unhappy with the facilities available for trials this week. Real-Ale FC Captain, Liam Massey realises that "the Eisteddfod is an integral part of Welsh culture but it’s sad that this has happened just as IMG football was starting to find its feet.” Whether this extra travelling is going to mean an increase in registration fees is yet to be confirmed by the AU. If buses cannot be provided, players will have to make their own travel arrangements every Wednesday. A costing exercise is currently being carried out by the AU to ascertain a more accurate perception of the costs of IMG. Cardiff has always taken great pride

-GAIR RHYDD AND QUENCH MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY UNION CARDIFF, PARK PLACE, CARDIFF CF10 3QN

in its Intra-Mural Games and it was part of our new AU president's manifesto to increase participation in IMG, something that now looks unlikely to happen this year. Although the AU has managed to increase the number of pitches available, places in the league have been allocated on a firstcome-first-serve basis and it is likely to result in some of the newer teams being denied a position. Scott admits "the situation is not ideal, but at least this is one location and everyone will be together. All teams playing at Trelai should reduce some of the confusion IMG football has previously faced." The University has used the pitches at Trelai in the past, and it does appear to be the best solution given the circumstances. If IMG football is not played here, the

teams will be scattered all over Cardiff. Phil Martin, Captain of Engin FC suggests that: "the main problem is the lack of an IMG Chair before the start of the season and that better communication with the council is needed." However, the AU informed gair rhydd that the opportunity was given to members of IMG to elect a Chair at the end of last year, but nobody was put forward. It looks like IMG football has a problematic year ahead, but hopefully the new Chair can learn from this year’s difficulties and prevent them from effecting subsequent seasons. IMG is an integral part of many students’ university experience and the AU are committed to rectifying this inconvenience.

REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT THE POST OFFICE GAIR RHYDD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE PUBLISHERS THE GAIR RHYDD IS WRITTEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITY n WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE? CONSTANT VOMITING OR CONSTANT DIARRHOEA? n RICH COMPARES GRANGETOWN TO BAGHDAD n WATCH OUT NATALIA - LIZ 'PHOTGRAPHER TO THE STARS' WRAY IS ABOUT n RICH'S OBSESSION WITH BRYONY REACHES NEW LEVELS n ALL SPORT... AGAINn


28 gairrhydd

OCTOBER.06.2008

LISTINGS

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The Listings Top Five... Things to do in the dark In these pressing times, one doesn't always possess the necessary financial muscle to run the tumble-dryer, PS3, mini-fridge, central heating AND house lighting simultaneously. Something has to be sacrificed, and it might as well be the lights. So here are five things to do when they go out: 1. Have a romantic dinner Always wanted to capitalise on that gentle undulation of sexual tension that's been bubbling away between you and your faintly attractive housemate? Now's your chance. Whip out the tealights, chuck a pizza in the oven and marvel at how much more attractive the possibility becomes when it's bathed in the warm, foggy glow of candlelight.

Tuesday

Monday

07/10/08

06/10/08 FUN FACTORY @ SOLUS Indie, alternative, old 90’s classics and ROCK!! 7pm, free entry. BOLTS @ CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE Some young artistic types sat round and made some pictures with photograms, and here they are in an exhibition. Excitement all round, no doubt. Free (we hope), contact venue for details. Runs until Nov 2. Hurrah. FOOTLOOSE @ NEW THEATRE Woo yeah, this is much more like it! See some jazz-hands types doing hearty renditions of 80s classics. We’ve been promised ‘Holding Out For A Hero’, ‘Almost Paradise’, ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’, and of course ‘Footloose’… Legwarmers at the ready! Runs until Nov 11th, 7.30pm, £9.32.

2. Indulge your dirty habits

KINDERTRANSPORT @ SHERMAN THEATRE ‘Evelyn's daughter Faith is moving out of the family home, and both are finding it hard to make the break. In the attic sorting out the teacups, Faith discovers a battered suitcase of her mother's childhood things.’ Ah, those teacups. Also showing tomorrow. 7.30pm £14/£12/£8. UNION COMEDY NIGHT @ CF10 Hurrah! Woop! They’re back! Tonight Sean Percival and Cole Parker entertain your lovely selves with their standup skills. Chortle. 8pm, £4 adv. YEAR OF THE PUG @ CLWB IFOR BACH: Stupid name, good night. Emo, pop, power ballads and hip hop, but don’t let that put you off – there’s punk and rock too. Woof. 10:30pm, £2/£3.

Pick your nose. Squeeze your spots. Remove your clothes. Touch yourself in places that you shouldn't. Do it all while engaging in polite conversation with your housemates.

JAMES PANTS & MR HEALAN @ BUFFALO It’s the closing party of Buffalo’s Oktoberfest. Lederhosen optional. 8pm-3am, £7 on the door.

3. Spy on your neighbours This is old-school voyeurism at its finest. Even the most mundane of activities becomes mysteriously compelling when it's viewed from afar without the subject's knowledge. Who knows, with luck you may uncover a Rear Windowstyle murder mystery. Just DON'T TURN ON THE LIGHT.

CSNY: DÉJÀ VU @ CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE (15) ‘Expertly balancing electrifying concert footage and riveting political debate, this is one of the finest music documentaries in recent memory.’ Sounds a bit deep for us, but we’ll probs be watching Footloose again tonight, anyway. Runs until 9 Oct. Contact venue for details.

08/10

Wednesday 08/10/08

JEST A MINUTE WITH RHOD GILBERT @ GLEE CLUB Let Rhoddy entertain you with some gleeful comedy. Will be recorded for BBC Radio Wales. 7.30pm. contact venue for details. ONE MISSION @ GLO BAR Glo means coal, but I’m still none the wiser. 10pm - 3am, £3. JENUFA @ WMC Worth going to see solely for its bizarre name, Jenufa is an ‘intensely theatrical opera’. It’s sung in Czech with English and Welsh subtitles, so maybe you can pick up a bit of the language too. Despite these exciting intellectual revelations, the plot’s actually a little depressing. Expect disfiguration, family rows and murdered babies. 7.15pm, pre-performance talks at 5.30pm & 6.15pm. Contact venue for details. LISTEN UP! @ CLWB IFOR BACH The longest running indie night in Cardiff Wednesdays at Clwb Ifor Bach is an institution! 10:00pm, £2/£3. SIN BIN @ SOLUS Pop, chart & debauchery. Pack some bin liners and Febreeze, it’s gonna get messy. Free entry 7-9, £3 after. COOLBOX @ MILGI A new student night at City Road’s Milgi bar… Amazing cocktails, a great atmosphere & up & coming local DJs. And it’s free! 7.30pm, free.

4. Play a game of Twister Another great way to boff your roomies. With the lights out, the gentle frottage that you indulge yourself in when you participate in a game of Twister suddenly becomes an out-and-out dryhumpfest. And nobody ever needs to feel awkward because you can always say it was just your elbow. Or something. 5. Sleep Sleep is definitely the best thing anyone can do in the dark. It's warm, it's cosy and it keeps the real world at bay. Why anyone ever leaves their bed is a mystery, frankly.

11/10

10/10

Students’ Union, Park Place, 02920 387421 www.cardiffstudents.com ◆ Med Club, Neuadd Meirionydd, Heath Park 02920 744948 ◆ Clwb Ifor Bach ros, Bakers Row 02920 399939 www.clubmetropolitan.com ◆ Dempseys, Castle Street 02920 252024 ◆ Iotas, 7 Mill Lane 02920 225592 ◆ Jazz, 21 St. Mary Street 02920 387026 www.cafejazzcardiff.com ◆ The Riverbank Hotel, Despenser Street www.riverbankjazz.co.uk ◆ St. David’s Hall, Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay 0870 0402000 www.wmc.org.uk ◆ The New Theatre, Park Place 02920 878889 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk ◆ The Cardiff International Arena, Mary Ann Street 02920 224488 ◆ The Millennium Stadium Can’t miss it. www.millenniumstadium.com ◆ The Point,

gair rhydd - Issue 876  

gair rhydd - Issue 876

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