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again to an alternative practice on Albany road in Roath. Kirstin said: “I walked all the way back again and they told me that I could register but I couldn't get an appointment for three weeks, I was so upset and feeling really ill so I ended up going to casualty.” If a student can not register at a particular practice it means the practice’s list has reached its agreed maximum number. A new contract agreement, introduced in April 2004, seems to have exacerbated the problem. According to the Department of Health’s website, the General Medical Services (GMS) contract agreement is in place to “enable the NHS to provide a wider range of services closer to where patients live and improve the quality of

care provided.” The system however, appears to have limited the number of patients a surgery can have on its books even further, making the situation for new students trying to register in the city even worse. Kirstin criticised the Welsh system of holding a morning 'open surgery' - where sick patients can walk in and queue to see a doctor. She said: “It doesn’t make sense that you can only book appointments in the afternoons and they all just have open surgery in the mornings - it’s nearly impossible to get an appointment." She concluded: "And sitting in a waiting room for an indefinite amount of time at 8.30am is the last thing you want to be doing when you're ill!”

Psychic? Jamie Thunder is skeptical... >> page 13

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V.C. DAVID GRANT

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Cardiff University students are being forced to put their health at risk because they are unable to register with local GPs, a gair rhydd investigation has revealed. With many local surgeries already full to capacity, students who have failed to register with a local GP must face indeterminable queues at morning open surgeries, with no guarantee of being able to see a doctor. In addition, long waiting lists have left students in need of medical attention for weeks at a time. This has even led, in some extreme cases, to students vis-

iting casualty to receive the medical attention they require. A Cardiff University spokesperson said: "There is a capacity issue with registering at GPs in Cardiff." They continued: "In most parts of the UK a student could walk into a GP's and register, but unfortunately it’s not that easy here.” Kirstin Knight, a third year English Literature student, fell ill at the beginning of term and tried to book an appointment with her regular doctor who she had visited last year. However, she was turned away because she had changed her address, and was advised to visit a surgery in Cathays instead. Kirstin went immediately to the Cathays Surgery, but was unable to register there because it was full to capacity. She was sent on

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CARDIFF'S STUDENT WEEKLY

NEWS The environment: not on Cardiff University's agenda >> page 2

What are all these students queuing for? >> back page


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New initiative for scientists Sian Symons News Editor

NEWS.............. 1 EDITORIAL & OPINION...........9

POLITICS......... 15 LETTERS.......... 16 FEATURES....... 18 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT.21 TAF-OD............ 23 JOBS & MONEY............ 25 XPRESS........... 26 FIVE MINUTE FUN................. 27 LISTINGS......... 28 SPORT............. 30 gair rhydd has been Cardiff University's independent student newspaper since 1972.

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EM CETERA......13

PROJECT QUEUE: STUDENTS STAGE A PROTEST OUTSIDE PARK PLACE GYM TO SHOW THEIR FRUSTRATION AT CARDIFF'S INADEQUATE SPORTS FACILITIES. SEE BACK PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS.

Things are looking up for medics Yousar Jafar Heath Park Correspondent

This week sees the opening of the long awaited New Lecture Theatre for medics based on the Heath Park Campus. This ambitious development, planned approximately seven years ago in response to the increasing intake of new medical students, began construction in July 2007 and has benefited from almost £3 million of Welsh Assembly Government funding along with significant investment from Cardiff University. The Welsh Assembly Government Minister of Health and Social services, Edwina Hart, who visited the site and laid down the last piece of concrete in the clinical skills room, promises that “the Welsh Assembly Government are committed to providing the best opportunities and facilities to train the medical staff of the future.” The multi-million pound develop-

ment will ensure that medical students get the best facilities they have been denied for so long. The 3-storey building, which is yet to be named, will include a 373 seat lecture theatre, 10 seminar rooms which can be adjoined to form larger rooms, a scrubs facility and a purpose built clinical skills room, as well as state-of-the-art audio visual facilities. Professor Helen Houston, Dean of Undergraduate studies, said “I am very keen on having a student focused opening. There will be a big event planned early next year for our students.” This new facility will predominantly be for the teaching of third, fourth and fifth year medics, while pre-clinical students will remain in the Biosciences building on the Cathays Campus. Despite the new lecture theatre, the infamous LT1 will still be used to deliver lectures to medical students if more than one year group has teaching at the same time.

The School of Biosciences at Cardiff University has launched a new Research Fellowship Programme for early career scientists. The programme is named in honour of its two nobel Laureates, Professor Sir Martin Evans and Professor Dr Robert Huber, both of whom are members of the school. The main aim of the programme is to provide young researchers with the best possible start to their independent science careers by providing initial financial support. An international recruitment exercise is under way, looking for highquality applicants across the full range of the School’s research interests. The first appointments are expected to be made in the New Year. For further information about the Programme and how to apply, see http://www.cf.ac.uk/biosi/research/ fellowships/

Environment: not on the agenda Emma Jones News Editor

Professor Houston says that, “medical students deserve really good quality learning space and up to now they haven’t had it. Myself and other colleagues have been acutely aware of the difficulties of delivering our course in scattered teaching facilities on site. “I feel the biggest impact this new building will have is on the student learning experience. It’s a pleasant environment to learn in and the modern audio visual facilities will allow students to benefit from the latest video and animated presentations in support of lectures.” These new developments will no doubt boost the profile of Cardiff’s School of Medicine and promote further the School’s international reputation as a medical centre of excellence and a world-leading research facility. So it’s looking up for Cardiff medical students after they were named the least satisfied students in the UK in the National Student Survey recently.

Last week, Cardiff University's Vice Chancellor, Dr David Grant, revealed his priorities for the year 2008/09. However, despite the Vice Chancellor's claims that sustainable growth is important to the University, the document did not mention a commitment to improved environmental performance. Andy Button-Stephens, SU President, said: "It's very disappointing that the VC didn't include anything about reducing the University's environmental impact or sustainability in his list of priorities presented to the Union." He continued: "Whilst I have spoken to the VC about this issue, there is little real dedication, which is highlighted by the University not employing a full time Environmental Manager to oversee and audit the activities of the University with a green agenda in mind." Amy Hall, publicity officer for People and Planet Cardiff, said, "It's astounding that the VC doesn't feel that the environment is a priority. Cardiff is one of the worst performing universities in Britain environmentally and students are increasingly aware of this. It's up to the university to take some responsibility and make improvements that many other universities have been able to do."

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From to riches: RAG week is here

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WHERE'VE YOU BIN?

Sarah Powell News Editor RAG week begins on Monday 10 November, with a range of activities organised in order to raise money for various charities. The week consists of bucket collections, sponsored silences, fancy dress events and a foam party, as well as some organised events at Walkabout and the Students' Union which students can buy tickets for. With events occurring all day, every day, there will be something to suit everybody, and it is hoped that this year, the greater number of events will draw bigger crowds than ever before. Extra excitement has been caused by the possibility of the BBC filming the events on Monday (fancy dress as fairies to collect money at the Union) as well as the foam party which is planned for Tuesday 11 November. RAG stands for ‘Raise and Give’, and there are various RAG societies at universities across the country. The aim of the society is to raise money for charity, while encouraging students to have fun. Students are encouraged to take part in all of the events, and to give as much as possible. More details can be found on the Cardiff University RAG Facebook page or through email - rag@cardiff. ac.uk.

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH: the pile-up in The Flat Place

Students' health at risk after four week wait for rubbish collection Thomas Siddons Reporter Residents of student flats The Flat Place on St. Mary Street, central Cardiff, did not have their bins collected for over four weeks due to Cardiff City Council’s unannounced interruption of the services throughout the city. Only on Monday November 3 did the City Council website announce a disruption of the waste collection services for between 4-6 weeks due to “new crews working on new rounds.” None of the residents were individually issued advance warnings or

apologies, leaving them with heaps of rubbish with nowhere to go. “I am worried about this pile of rubbish attracting rodents – it’s turned into a real health hazard!” said one resident. “I also haven’t been able to access my bike as the rubbish is stored in the same room as the bikes,” the angry occupant continued. “The Government threaten us with fines of up to £1,000 for not recycling properly, but they can treat us like caged animals and get away with it!” An inquiry as to whether this case is in breach of European Union regulations is under way. The ‘Directive 2006/12/EC of the European Parlia-

ment and of the Council of 5 April 2006’ states: "Effective and consistent rules on waste disposal and recovery should be applied, subject to certain exceptions, to movable property which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard.” When questioned, the Council gave mixed responses as to why the rubbish had suddenly stopped been collected, stating that, in addition to the change in service routines.: “we have a policy of not carrying the keys or door codes with us” and that “not all the residents had submitted their Council Tax Exemption forms.”

Final year students regret degree choice Recession makes some students lose confidence in their degree choice due to lack of job prospects Zhang Luca Reporter One in twelve final-year university students are less confident in their degree choice because of the recession, a survey has showed. And nearly half think that the crisis would endanger their future career. The survey was conducted by the market research firm 'Opinionpanel' and involved 1,041 undergraduates from freshers to final-year students. They were asked if they felt their

future prospects were being affected by the financial crisis, conducting by Market research firm last week. The survey spoke to students at 133 UK universities and specialist higher education institutes. Some 8% of the 357 final-year students revealed they wished they had chosen a different degree because of the current situation. In terms of the how much the recession will influence their careers, 46% said "a bit", another nine per cent thought it would "a lot" and ten per cent were "unsure".

One student who took part said: "It's going to change everything. I was planning on taking my time to get a job and I'll have to take whatever job is available, even if it's something like waitressing." The results showed those at post1992 universities were worried more about recession: 12% of these students feared a downturn would harm their job prospects "a lot", compared with only eight per cent of students at Oxford, Cambridge and redbrick universities such as Bristol and Leeds. Students at the newest universities,

such as the University of Winchester, and the specialist institutes were the least worried - 7% Femi Bola, associate director of student services and head of employability at the University of East London, said it was important for graduates to think less negatively: "By the end of their degrees, students will have developed transferable skills for the workplace," she said. "It shouldn't be forgotten that graduates are the cheaper end of the employment chain. Their jobs may not be the ones that will be cut."

News in brief: Cardiff scientist has a Blast! Eleanor Joslin Reporter A new film, featuring Cardiff scientist Dr. Enzo Pascale exploring the origins of the universe, is being screened at Cardiff University. Blast! films the exciting scientific exploration following Dr. Pascale and an international team of astrophysicists as they perilously travel from the Arctic to the Antarctic. The team launch a state-of-the-art telescope on a NASA high-altitude balloon in their adventurous quest to find out how the universe became what it is today and how we evolved on earth. Blast!, produced by five-time Emmy award winning producer and director Paul Devlin, will be shown in a free screening at the University’s Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre on Tuesday 11 November 2008 at 6.00pm. For booking details email publicbookings@Cardiff.ac.uk or call 02920 876936.

Taxi skiver Steve Wright Reporter Cardiff Council has successfully prosecuted a Cardiff Private Hire Taxi driver for plying for hire without a license and driving without insurance. The prosecution was the result of a complaint upheld by a member of the public on 27 January 2008, and was investigated by Cardiff Council's Licensing Section. Burhan Karatas, 38 from Penarth, was found guilty of the two offences at Cardiff Magistrates Court on 27 October. He was fined £100 for plying for hire, and £250 and an additional six penalty points for the no insurance charge. Cardiff Council was awarded £350 prosecution costs. Councillor Ed Bridges, Chair of Cardiff's Licensing Committee said: ''All licensed taxi drivers are bound within a set of rules which protect the public's interest and regulate the taxi trade. It is an offence for a working Private Hire taxi driver to accept fares for hire without having the license to do so.''


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IMG: OMG!

"Elite sport should get all the backing from the University" says new IMG chair Sarah Powell and Eleanor Joslin News Editors The new IMG Chair, elected last week in the non-sabbatical byelections, has caused controversy after stating his belief that more money should be invested in so-called “elite sports” at Cardiff University over IMG teams. At Candidates' Question Time in the Great Hall last Wednesday, James ‘Lammy’ Lambden, who has

played for an IMG team for the last 3 years, said that IMG "is what it is", and that "elite sport should get all the backing from the University". In an interview with gair rhydd last week, James confirmed his position, saying that he is “results driven”, and thinks that University teams are of greater importance, due to their performance in inter-university competitions such as BUCS. James said that IMG was "fun". He added: "IMG represents the wider student body, so it does warrant

support from the Union." AU President Scott Pigott said in response to James's comments: "Sport at university can be about both participation and performance. The AU does its best to provide students with both those opportunities." James told gair rhydd that his major priorities for this year are setting up the position for future candidates, obtaining league sponsorship and generally maintaining the league.

The by-elections round-up: Ffion James Welsh Affairs Officer

Matthew Clarke Heath Park Campus Officer

Carys Hazell Women's Officer

Shalini Ganasan Postgraduate Support Officer

Ffion James is passionate about celebrating her Welsh identity. She ran for Welsh Affairs officer to improve the representation of Welsh speakers in the Students' Union. Ffion's main objective is to get more bilingual staff employed by the Union, especially in The Taf. “I can’t order a drink in Welsh and this puts Welsh speakers at a disadvantage.” Ffion said: “I can’t fill out the form for a teacher training course in Welsh as the university application form is in English and why should I use English instead of my mother tongue?” She added: “In Cardiff, the future of the Welsh language is more important than anything else,” she added.

Matthew Clarke is confident that he can improve the Students' Union services, which he says have been under-representing students on healthcare courses. Matthew said: “Course lecture times mean that students can only get support if they skip their lectures which, obviously, they are very unwilling to do. This is not support.” Matthew’s main objective is to restart the Heath forum again. He added “I want to globalise different medical courses. We need a timetable that suits all the healthcare students, so that all can be involved in the Student Union and societies. Working together is the biggest challenge.”

Carys Hazell believes awareness of women’s issues, safety in particular, needs to be raised to a higher standard. Her main objective is to organise walking groups for girls who may be vulnerable walking home after a night out or without enough money for a taxi. Carys said: “I want safe socialising, a safety net for people. I want police to give safety talks in the university. ” Carys added: “I want a better attitude towards drinking, especially for first years who may have a blinkered view about socialising.”

Shalini Ganasan decided to run for the role of Postgraduate Support Officer to meet more people and help other postgrads. Shalini is keen to improve postgraduate representation. She said: "I want to make it compulsory for class reps to attend the postgraduate committee, so that we can reach more postgraduate students." Shalini also added that she is "looking at tax issues" for postgraduates. She also wishes to put on a night at the Union that "appeals more to postgrads."

Natalia Popova asks students: did you vote?

Jack Haines

MA International Journalism I was curious about the elections. I didn’t vote but I did listen to what the candidates had to say and read their manifestos online.

Laura Goodwin

Olivier Poncelet

Sarah Stone

European Studies and Politics ERASMUS

Nick Harrington

Second year Psychology

Second year Marine Geography

Accounting and Finance

I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t actually notice any people campaigning.

I knew what was going on as I saw people with signs. But I didn’t vote as I don’t feel committed to the union - I’m only here for one year.

I didn’t vote as it wasn’t well advertised. The campaigning people also seemed to be just shouting, rather than telling us the important things.

I’m a member of the Student Council, so I got to discuss and see what all the manifestos were about. I do think that it should have been better.


NOVEMBER.10.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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NEWS 05

Controversial fingerprint policy Student complaints cause for overseas students headache Sarah Powell News Editor

A new policy means that overseas students will now need to give fingerprints when applying for visa extensions to study in the United Kingdom. It has been revealed that overseas students will require biometric identity cards, containing personal information, which, alongside fingerprinting students, is part of a bid to tighten immigration. This is part of a Home Office initiative to help combat ‘bogus students’, the term used to describe immigrants gaining visas under the pretence of studying in the UK. It is hoped that these new regulations will help to decrease the Home Office having to check information about students applying to study in

the UK. However, this news has emerged amongst criticism that the new regulations will discourage potential students from studying in the UK. Currently overseas students - those from outside the European Union are an important source of income for universities, due to them paying higher fees than UK students. In a statement from the university watchdog, the Quality Assurance Agency, it is said that some universities are now financially dependent on overseas students, who contribute roughly £2.5bn to the UK economy. The Home Office are positive about their new policy, and Phil Woolas, the Border and Immigration Minister, said “This new route for students will ensure we know exactly who is coming here to study and will stamp out bogus colleges which facilitate the law-breakers.”

for universities

Joy Harding Reporter

Doctor Who in the house Sarah Powell News Editor

Cardiff University will be hosting an academic conference to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Doctor Who. The ‘Whoniversal Appeal’ conference, organized by Melissa Beattie, a PhD student from the School of History and Archeology, is dedicated to the Doctor Who series and its spinoffs, Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. The conference includes various guest speakers who will examine issues of history, philosophy, fan culture, sexuality and technology which surround the series. One of the key speakers will be Dr Matt Hills, Reader in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Stud-

ies, whose research focuses on cult media and fan cultures. Also appearing will be Rob Shearman, an award winning writer, who has written for the Doctor Who series. Cardiff University is thought to be an appropriate host for this conference, as locations around the campus have been used in the filming the series. Students and members of the public are invited to the conference, which takes place on 14-16 November. The entry fee for all three days is £20, or £12 for a single day. Further information, including a provisional programme and details on how to register, can be found at www.dedoc.net/ WhoniversalAppeal.

The Higher Education watchdog has revealed that student complaints are rising at a rate of about 10%, and as a result, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OAI) for Higher Education has launched a consultation programme for universities. The complaints that are being dealt with by the OIA focus on a range of issues, such as problems with student accommodation, services being given by universities and promises made at the beginning of courses. Rob Behrens, the chief executive of the OIA said, "The bulk of the issues we deal with are academic related." He also believes that the number of complaints will continue to rise. The increasing number of complaints is said to be because students today are more assertive than ever before, meaning that they are less afraid to challenge the authorities when they feel their rights are being violated. The OIA allows students who previously had to report complaints directly to their university or college a chance to resolve their problems externally. This scheme is independent and free for students studying in the United Kingdom. Higher Education institutes also receive regular recommendations for improvement from the OIA. Rob Behrens highlighted the success of the OIA, which since its launch in 2004 has "reviewed and closed 2,000 complaints" and awarded £500,000 in compensation to students. The OIA has set up a "pathway project" which aims to meet the needs of its members and solve the problems raised. In addition to this, qualitative research into student views is going to be conducted by King's College.

Higher education under scrutiny Damian Fantato Reporter A Committee of MPs will be looking to completely review some of the major areas surrounding higher education in the coming months in a thorough investigation. The Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee will be probing issues such as admissions, the balance between teaching and research, drop-out rates, degree classifi-

cation and methods of student support in an enquiry which could completely reform the way that British higher education looks. Government targets on getting more students from non-traditional backgrounds into university will also be examined. The most thorough investigation in recent times, some major changes could be made - Phil Willis, the Liberal-Democrat chairman of the Committee, has stated in the past that he would

be interested in "totally reengineering the higher education system, creating a US-style system - but for free." This investigation comes at a time when higher education in the UK is coming under more and more scrutiny; better A-level results are making it harder to distinguish between applicants, forcing more and more universities to use their own entrance exams. The cap on tuition fees is being hotly disputed and 22 of the 29 British universities in the top 200 in the world

have moved down the table over the past year. Last week the government announced that it would be cutting grants to students from middle-income families in England due to poor estimates of how many students were eligible for support. In this environment, the committee will be looking to re-establish the reputation of British higher education and to improve on its perceived mismanagement.

Degree classification will also come under the spotlight; the committee will look at whether the way degree classes are awarded is appropriate, and the effectiveness of monitoring of degree standards by the Quality Assurance Agency. Universities are urging the importance of self-regulation in maintaining their standards, defending current practices and rejecting the need for increased external scrutiny.


06 NEWS

NOVEMBER.10.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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UNION WATCH

Sian Symons rounds up the week in student media

24-hour drinking licence revoked YORK NOUSE

Plagiarism scandal among students CAMBRIDGE VARSITY

Almost half of students admitted to plagiarism in a poll carried out by a students' newspaper at the University of Cambridge. Students admitted to copying material found on the internet and submitting it as their own. The survey also claimed that only one in 20 students had been caught. The University of Cambridge says that it has policies in place to prevent this serious disciplinary offence. The university also uses software designed to detect plagiarism in submitted work. Despite this, the online student survey found that 49% of respondents had admitted to a range of different

types of plagiarism, including handing in someone else's work, copying and pasting from the internet, buying an essay or else paying someone else to edit work. Among the concerns from the survey was an over-reliance on sources such as the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, with 82% of plagiarists admitting to taking material from the website. There have also been concerns about whether plagiarism is really taken as seriously as univerisity regulations suggest. A report this year from the from the Higher Education Academy and Joint Information Systems Committee found that even repeat offenders were unlikely to be thrown off courses for cheating.

The University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) has been forced to accept defeat over the battle for a 24 hour drinking licence for the Union bar in Langwith. Following YUSU’s refusal to withdraw their application for a 24-hour

drinking licence, the University submitted a formal objection to the City of York Council just minutes before the 5 pm deadline on Friday, October 10. YUSU Services and Finance Officer Matt Burton, the driving force behind the project, remained convinced that the application would proceed successfully. In an abrupt about-turn, YUSU

Law degree forgery

have now issued a statement outlining their decision to abandon the 24hour drinking licence and to remain in keeping with the 2am closing time of the other campus outlets. This concession has led the University to withdraw its objection from the city council, enabling the licence application to continue to move forward.

OXFORD CHERWELL Iran's parliament has voted to sack Ali Kordan after he admitted that his Oxford degree in Law was forged. According to reports, 188 MPs, out of a total of 247, voted to remove Kordan from office. Now Iran's former Interior Minister, Kordan came to international attention in August when Oxford University released an official statement denying that Mr Kordan had ever received a Law degree from the institution. Copies of the degree were later released onto the internet via Iranian political websites and the diploma was revealed to be a crude forgery riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. At the time, Oxford University confirmed that the academics who 'signed' the diploma had all held Oxford posts, but never in the field of Law, and they would never have signed degree diplomas either.

Bristol student beaten by bouncer BRISTOL EPIGRAM A third year student was brutally punched and had his nose broken by a bouncer at Clifton Triangle's Lizard Lounge. The bouncer wrestled him to the floor and held him down before delivering a blow which left blood on the pavement of Queens Road and left onlookers disturbed.

The archaeology and anthropology student had been outside the club smoking and had a disagreement with a bouncer. The student in question admitted he was drunk at the time; onlookers saw the bouncer react to a comment and subsequently wrestled him to the floor. The scuffle continued as both parties began to argue. The police took statements from the victim and witnesses who testified that the bouncer had been overly bru-

tal and irrational in the situation. Epigram spoke to staff at the club, who played down the incident, describing it as "an argument that escalated out of control." There was no action taken against the bouncer and the victim was not taken to hospital. The incident is one of many concerning violence by the security staff at the club.


WORLD NEWS 07 Pizza company criticised over use of Also in the news... dead celebrities in ad campaign NOVEMBER.10.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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Emma Barlow News editor

Formula Won

Chris Lloyd Reporter A New Zealand Pizza chain called Hell Pizza has come under fire for its “grotesque” adverts, which depict three dead celebrities dancing on graves for its Halloween promotion. Distinctly provocative, Hell Pizza had to withdraw its advert, which featured skeletal animations of Sir Edmund Hillary and Heath Ledger, who

both died in January, and the Queen Mother dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The family of Sir Hillary, the first man to climb Everest, said that Hell’s advert was in “extremely poor taste” with Hillary’s son Peter describing it as “disturbing”. The firm has since apologised, adding that “the idea of Sir Edmund being there was intended to be a light-hearted remembrance and not meant to cause offence.” The company has an infamous

'Obama - the musical' a big hit in Kenya Charlene Anderson Reporter Days before he was voted President in the US elections, Barack Obama, along with John McCain, took centre stage on the opening night of 'Obama – the Musical' in Kenya. It was a biography of Barack Obama told in dance, song and narrative with music from different genres including traditional Kenyan music. The show even included scenes of before his birth, such as when his father moved from Kenya to America and met Barack's mother. It then went on to show Obama's political career until he accepted the Democratic nomination. George Orido, the writer and director, said that in his play, McCain is the ‘chief villain’, along with George Bush and Sarah Palin who are "standing in Obama's way." Paul Kamau, the actor portraying John McCain, is a firm supporter of Obama, and expressed a touch of resentment at his part, saying: "Obama is more fun to portray than McCain.” Meanwhile, the actor portraying Barack Obama felt

past. In 2007, controversy erupted over an ad featuring Hitler holding a Hell pizza in his hand in a Nazi salute. Other previous campaigns include distributing free condoms with their “Lust” pizza, with the innuendo loaded slogan of “Lust: Our pizza for meat lovers!” which lead to uproar from Catholic groups. The New Zealand brand’s website adopts a light-hearted, pseudo-Satanic style, with pizzas named after the Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Gluttony,

Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride) and by using slogans such as “Sell Your Soul For Pizza.” Hell Pizza’s marketing director, Rachael Allison defended the company, saying that this latest animation was part of an email campaign that targeted existing customers and that Hell Pizza is known and loved by customers for its controversial adverts.

A Formula One fan who placed a bet a decade ago on Lewis Hamilton becoming a world championship racing driver has pocketed £125,000 in winnings. The punter, from Peterborough, placed a bet with Ladbrokes on him winning the world crown by the age of 25. The man, whose son used to race go-karts against Hamilton, said: "I've known Lewis from his early days. "He had an obvious driving ability with a fantastic attitude to racing."

Baby Baracks

Sleeping Judge throws out case Mothers in Kenya have marked Barack Obama's historic win in the US presidential elections by naming their newborns after him and his wife. More than half of the babies born in a Kisumu Hospital on the day after the election were named either Barack or Michelle Obama. Kisumu is close to the village where Mr Obama's father was born and raised and Mr Obama is a local hero.

"privileged" to play the part. Orido stated his aim was to get people to "learn about hard work, selflessness, democracy and public service." Expressing his reasoning for making the play a musical, he said: "Music is the universal language, and Obama is the universal figure." Despite only being an hour long, and running for just four nights, the director said he hasn't "ruled out a sequel" and confirmed that he has had "invitations to perform in the UK". America’s new president Obama is hugely popular in Kenya, where he

Bit and run Emma Barlow News Editor Australia's High Court has overturned the convictions of two alleged drug traffickers, because the judge in their original trial repeatedly fell asleep. The court heard that the judge slept for up to 20 minutes at a time and sometimes snored, distracting the jury. At the end of the 2004 trial, Rafael Cesan and Ruben Mas Rivadavia were convicted of importing ecstasy, but now face a retrial.

Judge Ian Dodd has since been diagnosed with a condition known as sleep apnoea. "Where the judge is noticeably and repeatedly asleep or inattentive during the trial, there can be a miscarriage of justice," said Chief Justice Robert French. The High Court heard that members of the jury were visibly distracted and sometimes amused, while court officials resorted to dropping documents loudly in a bid to wake the napping judge. The 11 to 13-year sentences given to the two men have been cancelled.

An Arizona jogger had an unwelcome companion on a recent run - a fox, hanging on to her arm by its teeth. The rabid animal had attacked her foot and then as she grabbed its neck, it bit her arm and would not let go. She ran a mile to her car, where she managed to free herself, wrap the fox in a shirt and throw it in the boot. It later bit an animal control officer and both jogger and vet received anti-rabies injections. The fox was confirmed to be carrying the disease.


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OPINION 09

NOVEMBER.10.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

freewords Est. 1972

Students stand up for sport Last week's Project Queue demonstration has been widely considered to have been effective at attracting the University's attention on an issue that affects thousands of students every year. While campaigning for better gym facilities at Cardiff University isn't quite as noble or romantic as protesting for social revolution, it is certainly more practical, showing that students at Cardiff aren't afraid to stand up and be counted when they feel a sense of injustice. Student protests are often characterised by cynics and the media as being predominantly concerned with high ideals and unreachable goals. However, often the most effective protests are for causes that are tangible, simple and visibly attainable. Perhaps this is why Cardiff students were out in force on a playful protest that every student could relate to. The University has long neglected its gym facilities, which have been placed under enormous strain. And, with ever increasing numbers of students pouring into Cardiff every year, it is clear that something needs to be done quickly to alleviate the situation. If Cardiff University is going to continue billing itself as a competitive University with the sort of world class sports facilities expected of a prestigious, former top 100 university, it needs to invest in sport.

Sick students must seek treatment The news that many students are left unable to register with a nearby GP has sent ripples throughout the student body. As students enter the coldest time of year, they are even more vulnerable to infection and, with nearby surgeries full to capacity and many students without any form of transport, the options for sick students are limited. However, when illnesses such as the potential fatal meningitis have symptoms that are very similar to flu - but far more dangerous - it is important that students do not allow the waiting lists and difficulties registering to deter them from seeking the medical treatment they may need. Editor Ben Bryant Deputy Editor Hazel Plush Co-ordinator Elaine Morgan News Emma Barlow Emma Jones Sarah Powell Sian Symons Eleanor Joslin Editorial and Opinion Jamie Thunder Emma Davies Columnist

Much ado about nothing

Daniella Graham thinks the media is to blame for the hysteria surrounding the Sachs offenders

I

f you have listened to the radio, watched the television or been anywhere near the internet in the past couple of weeks, you cannot fail to have heard about the phonecalls made by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to actor Andrew Sachs on Brand’s radio show and the subsequent uproar. People have got more worked up over this in the past few weeks than the slightly more important issue of the global economy. Is all this fuss really justified? I think not. I am not disputing the fact that the calls were offensive. Telling a 78-year-old man Russell Brand 'fucked your granddaughter' isn’t normally considered acceptable. However, regular listeners to Brand’s Radio 2 show would know that his style is not to everyone’s taste – your average pensioner is unlikely to be a big fan of a recovering heroin addict who holds the title ‘Shagger of the Year’.

Many of those who complained had motives to do so But why has this incident provoked such controversy? In July, Brand was roundly criticised for a prank call to Northamptonshire Police, but no further action was taken. Is it possible that the very different outcome to what many would consider a much more serious incident is all down to media representation? After the actual show was broadcast, the BBC only received two complaints, related to Jonathan Ross’ swearing. Andrew Sachs was not even aware of the contents of the broadcast until his agent was phoned by The Mail on Sunday, and all subsequent complaints were made after The Mail on Sunday published its article on 26th October. The article itself was misleading, suggesting that Ross and Brand could face prosecution for their remarks when no complaint to the police had been made, as well as taking other remarks out of context – the article suggested Ross had broken his BBC contract by hinting he supported Labour, when in fact he was mocking Gordon Brown at the time. By referring to the salaries of both presenters, The Mail

Emma Davies Politics Gareth Ludkin Sport Scott D’Arcy Alasdair Robertson Josh Pettitt Richard Williams Liz Wray Letters Helen Langdon Features Ceri Isfryn Aimee Steen Science and Environment

Priya Raj Listings Lucy Majury Sarah George Jobs and Money Tom Victor Five Minute Fun Kate Eaton Taf-od Dafydd Loughran Picture Editor Natalia Popova Online Editors Paul Springett Tom Barnett Sub Editor

IMAGE: Beau Bo D'Or www.bbdo.co.uk/blog managed to turn the controversy into another debate over the licence fee. The impact of the article highlights a level of media manipulation which I find quite frightening. All complaints were made after the article was published, suggesting that most complainants had not even heard the actual broadcast, and many who complained were people who did not personally like Brand and Ross or their type of humour, or had a motive to speak out against them. David Cameron was humiliated on

Baillie's revelation that she slept with Brand after the first date detracts from her outrage Ross’ chat show when Ross asked if he had ever fantasised over Margaret Thatcher, while Gordon Brown was mocked by Ross and Brand on the same radio show in which the phone calls were broadcast. Michael Parkinson called the behaviour of the two comedians ‘indefensible’, but has an axe to grind having previously admitted he retired from presenting his chat show due to the success of the Graeme Porteous Proof Readers Aisling Tempany Katherine Davies Georgina Coles Helen Porter Laurel Burn Birgitte Wangenteen Huw Roberts Charlene Anderson Emma Davies Contributors Yousar Jafar, Thomas Siddons, Eleanor Joslin, Zhang Luca, Joy Harding, Damian

format of Ross’ show. Terry Wogan, a respected Radio 2 broadcaster, argued that the comments of the pair had been ‘blown out of all proportion’, and I am inclined to agree. The question is; who should actu-

It's been blown out of all proportion ally be offended by the phone calls? Surely it is Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter Georgina Baillie who are the victims in this affair, and Andrew Sachs himself has publicly said he has accepted the apologies of both comedians and is ‘not out for revenge’. Georgina Baillie has every right to be angry at Russell Brand for the disrespectful way he has treated her as a partner, but this isn’t the same as Brand deserving to lose his job. She says that he has forced her into the spotlight and damaged her reputation. But as she is a member of a burlesque dance troupe called the Satanic Sluts, with many provocative photos and videos circulating on the internet, forgive me for being a bit sceptical about Baillie’s innocence in all this. Her choice to reveal in The Sun that when she slept with Brand after their first date he was not as sexually pleasing

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as you would expect slightly detracts from her outrage that ‘Russell Brand has embarrassed [her] by making a private relationship very public’. Incidentally, she is now being represented by Max Clifford, whose past and present clients include Jade Goody, Kerry Katona, Rebecca Loos and O.J Simpson. So what has now been achieved?

The impact of the incident shows frightening levels of manipulation

Since the show was broadcast on October 18th, Russell Brand has resigned, Jonathan Ross has been suspended for 12 weeks, and the controller of Radio 2, Lesley Douglas, has also resigned. While Jonathan Ross’ reputation has been severely damaged, Russell Brand’s Channel 4 show Ponderland saw its ratings increase by 50%. With the number of complaints far less than the radio show's regular audience, the outrage of a vocal minority means that it is the viewers and listeners of Ross and Brand’s shows that ultimately lose out.

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10 OPINION

NOVEMBER.10.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Classification alteration

Canuck in Cardiff Corey Shefman The proposal for changes to the degree results' gets positive

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ositive discrimination? The phrase itself reeks of bigotry, though not in the way you might think. In America, they call it affirmative action; in Canada, it’s employment equity. Those aren’t just superficial changes. They change the very meaning of the term. The idea that members of a minority group should be given preference when it comes to the working world, (not to mention other areas of life) is not discrimination. Dictionary definitions aside, ‘discrimination’ carries serious negative connotations in our society. Memories of apartheid, segregation and the denial of women’s right to vote come to mind. When was the last time that someone other than a white Christian was Prime Minister of Britain, or even led a major British political party? How many of the 25 largest corporations in Britain are run by women? Ceri Isfryn, writing in gair rhydd a few weeks ago, seemed to think that we should let bygones be bygones. Yet in her article, she wishes she was a black lesbian. The offensiveness of her comments aside, the idea that black people and people in the LGBT community somehow have it better off than the average white, heterosexual man or woman is simply ludicrous. If people feel like they are being put at a disadvantage because of 'positive discrimination' policies, they should quit whining and count their blessings. For countless years, members of minority groups have faced discrimination throughout their daily lives. While many people might be able to just walk into a shop and apply for a job, someone of South-East Asian descent or someone in a wheelchair may not be able to do the same. The article went on to protest that ‘distinguishing between majority and minority groups like this can inevitably only make the problems worse’. If that’s the best that you can come up with in opposition to fairness in employment programs, perhaps I needn’t worry. Seriously, we’re already divided along any number of majority/minority lines already. Ethnically, religiously, by sexual orientation, by gender, by ability or disability, by skin colour, and so on. This is nothing new. What’s new is that these programs are attempting to use these already existing divisions to improve the position of people who for centuries (and more importantly, today) have been discriminated against by the white, Christian majority – not just in Britain but throughout the Western world. Feel free to disagree with equal opportunity programs; they are certainly controversial the world over. But when doing so, frame the discussion properly. This is not a bunch of minority groups ganging up on white people to take away your job and devalue your degree. Making it out as if you, a member of the majority, are the victim, is just plain wrong.

system doesn't entirely convince Nathan Allen

N

ow a first-year undergraduate rambling on about a shiny new grading system for the degree he may be getting in a few years’ time may seem a bit unlikely, foolish or even perhaps wrong, but let me run with this one. Last week, a set of 18 universities were announced who will be partaking in a trial of a new scheme that supplements not replaces - your first, 2:1, 2:2 or third. The idea is that there'll be a more detailed report containing your individual unit grades (yes, even from your first year... you thought that wouldn’t count, didn’t you?), on top of a whole host of other things, such as a note from your personal tutor, your practical marks and maybe even some extra-curricular bits in there too. The Higher Education Achievement Report – HEAR for short – is seen by its creators as complementary to the current 200-year-old system. You may be sat there thinking ‘oh God, I didn’t do that well in my Welsh

history exam in January’. But there is nothing to fear (at least, not for now). Cardiff will not be included in this trial, which is due to begin in 2009 at UCL, Manchester, St. Andrew’s and UWIC among others. I’d also like to stress the word ‘trial’.

The HEAR may devalue the British honours degree The report in which this idea was first suggested, published in late 2007 by The Burgess Group for Universities UK, promotes the notion that should this trial be a success in the next academic year, more institutions will join. They hope that eventually every university up and down the nation will adopt what can only be described as a report card, and hand it to you at the end of your three (or four) years with your certificate. You’ll then try and find employment. and this is where the ‘beauty’ of the scheme becomes apparent.

It will aid the employer in selecting the right person for the job. For example, two fresh-faced graduates apply for a job, they both have 2:1s in Biology, and they have their (big, big) school report with them. The first excelled in the Biomedicine unit, yet the other one didn’t; they instead were better at the mammalian Biology part. The job is an overall biology post, but because of a small quantity of the position requiring knowledge of Biomedicinal applications, the first graduate gets the job, and graduate two goes back to the employment section in the back of New Scientist or whatever it is biologists read. The employer is happy; the decision has been practically made for him.

It'd mean more work, hassle, and increased cost So does that make the idea a good one? Well, yes. A more detailed review of the last few years of your edu-

cation is surely a good thing. However this poses another question: would it remove some of the value of the British honours degree, a well respected award that is world-renowned? Perhaps it might. It could be considered in a similar way to the proposed A* grade for A-level.

It's supposed to help employers choose between candidates Adding a nice lengthy report onto your grade will also bring the curse of paperwork for those poor, unfortunate people who have to compile these things. You can hear them groaning already. So it’ll mean more work, hassle, sleepless nights and probably a lot of money (aha! Credit crunch? Could that be unnecessary spending?). As plausible and in some ways, good as the idea is, it brings me back to that old and most useful of phrases: ‘if it ain’t broke, don't fix it’.

Know your limits

Katy Gorman is scared of her internet usage cap

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f my student house is anything to go by, the internet is an essential part of everyday life. It’s vital for everything from communicating to shopping, browsing the web and maybe even occasionally working. Anything can be found on the internet and anyone under the age of… well everybody really, is aware of its benefits and most probably knows how to turn on a computer, use a computer and even owns, or at least has access to, a computer. Life and the internet now go handin-hand, and we take our access to the World Wide Web for granted. I am incredibly fortunate that I have a technologically competent flatmate who has taken charge of our house internet account, a task that may have proven incredibly daunting had I been left in charge. I view my internet much as I view other electronic items: as essential yet mysterious objects which completely surpass the limits of my knowledge. I have no idea about the inner workings of the internet; I only know that if I click a procession of buttons my Facebook appears. So long as that continues to happen I am perfectly happy with our working relationship.

Usage caps are common practice This is why I was rather worried to hear that there are in fact most probably download limits on what I am legally allowed to access through my broadband account. According to re-

search from consumer group uSwitch, so-called usage caps are common practice. This means that internet service providers can limit the amount of bandwidth that users can have in a month. Of course most of us (3 in 4, to be exact) are guilty of receiving the user manuals that accompany our internet connections and never, ever, reading them, especially the small print where the terms of the bandwidth limits are listed. What is frightening is that in some cases the penalty of exceeding these limits is disconnection.

Service providers have no excuse to be unclear about the conditions This prospect and the cold sweats it evokes make me think that I may need help for my internet dependency problem. The survey found that 56% of broadband providers who advertise their services as ‘unlimited’, do in fact impose caps and are prepared to cut people off if they use their service to excess. This seems to me, as it did to uSwitch, and I assume it will appear to you, to be extremely unfair. Service providers argue that such caps are necessary if they are going to continue offering their services at cheap rates. However, that is no excuse not to be clear about the conditions of their contracts, and they should never resort to false advertising. 7.5 million people are unaware of their download limit – not surprising, as only 22% of

What's on offer: Tiscali - advertised as unlimited, has fair usage policy but with unspecified excess, will cut off those deemed heavy users Be - advertised as unlimited, unspecified excess, will not cut off users Sky - unlimited, with no usage barrier or cut off policy for those on its own network. 40GB monthly limit for other customers. Virgin Media - unlimited but traffic of heavy users is shaped if busy Toucan - advertised as unlimited, with unspecified fair usage, will cut customers off BT - advertised as unlimited, unspecified fair usage, will not cut users off AOL - 40GB limit, will remove users who exceed it Plusnet - 30GB peak-time limit. Those exceeding their limit will be encouraged to upgrade Orange - advertised as unlimited, unspecified excess, removes heavy users broadband providers advertise their true limits.

Without usage controls, prices would be higher The best advice consumers can take from these findings is to read the small print in our manuals and make sure that we know our rights and our limits. Although overall usage levels are still relatively low (TalkTalk showed that half of its users use less than 1GB per month), this may be changing. Now with services such as iPlayer and 4OD which allow us to catch up with

TV, usage could explode. With this in mind, Sky has launched a (truly) unlimited broadband package, Sky Max. However Andrew Ferguson, editor of broadband news site ThinkBroadband, has said that without some usage control, prices would be higher: £30 and upwards rather than free and upward we have now. It seems that with the current economic climate and prices rising in general, the internet providers are simply giving us one more thing to worry about. Now, excuse me, I’m going to have to go and ask my technological housemate about our user cap, because I don’t have a clue.


OPINION 11

NOVEMBER.10.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Lust or disgust? Killing speed With clubs and sex now hand in hand, Alison Dairy on Swindon Council's Chris Humphrey thinks we should decision to pull the plug hold onto our dignity on speed cameras

H

S

ave you ever been to a sex club? I suffered the indignity of venturing inside such a place a few weeks ago. Depending on your mood, desires or desperation, you can choose upon which level, and in which surroundings, you wish to tastelessly flaunt yourself and grope anything that moves. The club was called Oceana. All of the commercial clubs in Cardiff stand out like cockroaches on a wedding cake. Dancing, in such venues, appears to me about as attractive as these insects, and dominating the scene is a move that I like to call ‘the sexual assault’. Somehow, in these hedonistic depths, which never cease to pulsate, actions that on the High Street would cause outrage, protests and screams of attempted rape, are irrefutably accepted as the unquestionable social norm.

Why has such sleaziness become a focus? Get some dignity! Why? Why should these people pollute the air that I breathe, like defecation in a bathtub? Why is it that I have to feel ashamed to look upon a housemate, their bloated face resembling a butternut squash that’s just been urinated on, peering downwards with chauvinism screaming from their eyes as they consider how to get to work on their victim?

Commercial clubbing has its blade into the heart of romance and is twisting Sex, for all its wonders, has fled from being a communist to a hideous dictator. Posters advertise club nights, breathing the death of inhibitions and displaying lips and breasts as if they’re all that’s required. These are akin to the owners chanting “Girls, our club needs you!” It appears that a club’s reputation is dominated by its sex appeal, and even those allowed to enter are controlled by a sexual authority: “Lads, you’re not coming in, there are too many guys in here already”. Alcohol may tell you to walk the plank, but you don’t have to listen. But please, forgive the conserva-

OBSESSED WITH SEX?: a flyer for a night at a local club tism that the outward character of my envisage as a fulfilling night out is to language is suggesting. I am, in fact, listen to great music that makes you more liberal-minded than you might want to dance, and to enjoy dancing, have already begun to conclude. To joking and chatting. Whatever hapme, sexual equality is the reality of pened to talking? progress. The attitudes of men in Britain, and elsewhere, towards women enjoying the single life is archaic and ridiculously unfair. Not only should the branding of women as ‘sluts’ or ‘slags’ not exist – as there is absolutely nothing wrong or disgusting with having healthy sex (as long as you’re being prudent and not hurting anybody) – but such views are also obtrusively hypocritical on Clubs deafen us in an attempt to the behalf of men, who undoubtedly prevent this barrier to sex. Why has desire such plentiful sex themselves. Unless you hold the misguided im- such sleaziness become a focus? Give pression that we’re still living in the yourself some dignity! Avoid the Victorian era, or are a devout Chris- masses that flock like moths to a light tian, there is absolutely no way to jus- bulb towardd a blindingly obvious destination of public disgrace. Never tify such labelling. before has romance appeared more painfully redundant – sex should not be a reason for nightlife. However, we should really thank avarice and stupidity that such sex clubs exist, and that the patients are kept inside by the latest audio rape on the charts, which to me is as agreeable as being repeatedly punched in Feel free to call me a pensioner, but the side of the head. Without them all my issue here is one of sexual taste good bars, restaurants and live music and romance. The knife of commercial events would be pitiably morphed into clubbing has its blade six feet deep in a wrong turn in Amsterdam. Thanks, you moronic, insipid nymthe heart of romance, and its serrated edge is twisting. The emphasis of sex phomaniacs: you’ve made my evehas become overwhelming. What I ning.

Actions that would cause outrage on the High Street are accepted as the norm

Sex has fled from being a communist to a hideous dictator

peed cameras: another Government money-making scheme to cover their ridiculous spending habits. Well, there is hope: Swindon Borough Council in Wiltshire has been accused of playing with people’s lives after the town became the first in the UK to propose the abolition of speed cameras. After openly accusing the Government of installing speed cameras for profit rather than for accident prevention, the Conservative-run council voted unanimously to pull £400,000 out of a speed camera project. Instead, the money will go towards a more useful cause: local safety measures such as vehicle-activated speed signs, better lighting and improved road cambers. No longer can safety partnerships comprising of councils, police and the courts keep the millions paid in speeding fines; the money instead will be kept by the Treasury. No wonder the council are objecting in such a controversial manner. Tory councillor Peter Greenhalgh, head of highways for Swindon, said: “We pay about £400,000 a year to the partnership, which goes straight into the Government’s pockets. We don’t get anything back.” In 2007-8, nearly 30,000 people in Wiltshire received speeding tickets, generating £1.76 million – £252,300 in Swindon alone, of which they would see none. The council supports the popular belief of the public that speed cameras are a blatant tax on motorists. Nationally, around 2,000,000 motorists a year receive a £60 fine from one of around 8,000 speed cameras in the UK. Since 1992, when Britain’s first speed camera was erected on the outskirts of London, they have bred like rabbits. Only now is someone trying to combat this Government parasite, sucking money out of the motorist only to be thrown away later.

Only six percent of collisions had been caused by speeding Today, it seems we are overly reliant upon speed cameras, using them as a substitute for active policing. AA president Edmund King has the right idea, welcoming the move by saying “they are too often seen as the first and last resort.” Other measures being considered by Swindon Borough Council include education and train-

ing for motorists, and reduced speed limits in problem areas. Brake, the national road safety charity, strongly opposed this move, accusing Swindon Council of “entering into a dangerous experiment with people’s lives.” However, councillor Greenhalgh claimed that in 2007-8 70 people were killed on Swindon’s streets, proving that speed cameras were not making the roads safer.

We are overly reliant upon speed cameras

Four speeding tickets are issued every minute from the 7,935 speed cameras lying in wait for the nation’s motorists. Annual figures from the Department for Transport, published in September, demonstrated that only six percent of collisions in the UK had been caused by people speeding. Clearly, the Government is sending us mixed signals when it comes to the facts about speed awareness. Let’s face it, speed cameras are a nuisance; planted on roads that don’t even really need them because there is nothing there. How many times have you been stuck behind a little old lady, driving ridiculously far below the speed limit because she is petrified of being fined? Every few minutes on a journey, you will see a camera. For example, the A6 in Lancashire alone, the worst-hit stretch of road in the UK, has 31 cameras. Is there really a need for this extortionate number? How can the Government justify this, except for a money making purpose? Furthermore, they only slow people down over a very short distance; many drivers speed up to the camera, slow down so they don’t get caught and then speed up again. What’s the point of spending so much money on something that barely has any impact? Swindon Council is actually listening to the opinion of motorists, which is more than can be said for the Government. They are so blinkered that they don’t realise that surely there must be a more cost-effective method. Or perhaps they know this, yet aren’t bothered; let the taxpayer fund our excessive spending, as long as we're seen to be doing something, they’ll say. We shouldn’t necessarily ban speed cameras altogether, but instead use them in well known accident zones alongside other measures. Police will, however, continue to use mobile speed-measuring devices. So watch out!


12 OPINION

NOVEMBER.10.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Digital love Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more life-like, and Tom Whitehurst is already considering his future robot bride

ELBOT: h science, how you have enriched my life! Back in the days when I cowered in the freezing boys’ toilet of a Catholic church in a Tory constituency, I didn’t foresee how I would possibly be able to breathe in such an overwhelming universe. God was all-powerful, yet distant and petrifying like a 1950s headmaster, occasionally descending to hand out fiery, eternal detentions. My year three teacher, Mrs Matthews, described me as a “solemn child.” I couldn’t understand how you could be anything else, what with a whole

O

inanimate conversation starts here eternity resting on my marks in times table tests. I still had problems with joined-up writing, yet I was expected to work under that kind of pressure.

Would these robots be conscious? Gradually, things changed. Iron filings made beautiful patterns around magnets, Van de Graaff generators made a more outgoing pupil’s hair stand on end and the counter-current mechanism maximised oxygen exchange in gills. I learned about how

Darwin was a genius and Lamarck was an idiot. It began to dawn on me that God probably didn’t exist and that if he did, it was as more of a founder and less of a manager. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders, but it was too late. The other children, for whatever reason, had been unburdened of questions of infinity and what might have happened had God not been inclined to create everything. They had moved on. I had nobody with whom to share my newly found devil-maycare attitude. That is why recent news of a breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence research has excited me so much. A new computer program designed by Fred Roberts has come closer than any before it to passing itself off as human. The software package – known as ‘Elbot’ – convinced three out of 12 adjudicators that it was human after an extended text-based conversation. Whereas the people in the chatrooms always ended up either threatening to hurt me – or worse – Elbot is kind, witty and articulate. Tell him about your financial worries and he’ll lighten the mood by saying something like: “I think you should melt all the coins and make something of value out of them, like robots, for example.” With my limited experience of human

interaction, I often find myself thinking I’m talking to what I imagine a real person is like. However, he has his critics. Communication experts say he, like Barack Obama, can sometimes be a little too cerebral and aloof in his responses. Asked what he would do if elected President, Elbot said: “I don't worry about things like that. I just load the algorithm I need and take it from there.” Detractors said that although his words were eloquent and soothing, they didn’t add up to much.

Whereas people in chat-rooms threatened to hurt me, Elbot is kind and articulate What then does this mean for the future of artificial intelligence? In the 1960s, influential thinkers thought that by the 21st century there would be machines capable of doing any work that man can do. Eight years in, that is still a long way off. The kind of advance that would be required to make an artificial brain capable of all the functions of a human one would be huge. As the climate changes, economic disaster looms and more ways

of destroying ourselves are being discovered, there is an increasing chance that we may never get there. Suppose for a minute that we did manage to create a robot with such a brain: what would be the implications? One of the classic questions we ask is whether or not these robots of the future would be conscious or have a sense of self. I think the answer depends on how you see humans. If you think (like many of the leaders of the world’s enlightened, liberal democracies) that humans are unique among the natural world in that God has given them a soul, then nothing would lead you to believe that a robot could have one, aside from some sort of divine declaration. However, if you believe that humans, and by extension their minds, arose by a process of evolution and obey physical and chemical laws, then it would follow that a machine that works along similar lines could have similar sense of self. We would have no more reason to believe that robots were cold empty machines than we would to believe the same of other humans. That, at least, is how I would justify being one of the first humans to marry a robot. Alas, I fear that day is a long way off. For now I will have to make do with spending my Friday nights with my cursor hovering over the 'poke' button, too nervous to click.

Keeping it off the streets

Muhammad Darwish isn't sure if China's really in it for the environment

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he People’s Republic of China has exerted their force on their people once again. In an attempt to clear up the air in one of the world’s most polluted cities, the Communist regime is operating a ‘car-rota’ system, which ensures that every car gets its fair share off the road, as well as on. The law, which came into force on October 11, sees one in five cars being taken off the road during the weekdays. The system works like this: if your car registration plate ends in a one or six, you won’t be allowed on the road on a Monday. Those ending in a two or seven, it’ll be Tuesday; for three and seven it’s Wednesday, and so on. As well as reducing pollution, it’s expected that congestion will ease considerably. And that can only be a good thing. So, is this a sign of China’s changing ways, or is it simply a political statement made in China’s

typically authoritarian manner? A similar thing was done during Beijing’s recent Olympics, and it did show a big improvement on the air quality. People accepted it as well, but this is now a permanent measure. The inconveniences of the system were ignored during the Olympics; it was only temporary back then. Even if the general public are behind such a scheme, compliance will be very difficult to enforce. A similar thing was done in Mexico City in the late 80s and early 90s. It was to be law that each car in Mexico City had one day of the week off the road. Polls suggested that the public supported such a scheme. Yet, despite the heavy fines, and the visible policing of the law, many people ignored it. Some sources even hinted at an increase in the number of cars on the road. But that’s not the only problem. While cars may be barred from the streets on certain days, the people who drive them aren’t – that would just be

silly. These people have to get from place to place somehow, and the most logical conclusion is that they would have to rely upon public transport.

It probably won't make much difference in the long run In the run-up to the Olympics, the Chinese expanded and improved their public transport system. Now, though, there’s an estimated 4 million more people cramming into the mass transport systems every day, which is bound to test the system. It surely would have made more sense to expand existing public transport networks and introduce something along the lines of London’s congestion charge. Secondly, we all know that cars are a big emitter of CO2, but industry is

by far a much bigger player. Everyone’s heard the statistic that China is building the equivalent of two new coal power stations every week. I don’t know about you, but limiting construction on these would seem like an even better idea to me. Or maybe you could assign every factory four days a week only? It all seems unlikely somehow. Whether China has good intentions or not is beside the point – they may well have everyone’s best interests at heart. However, the chances are that they don’t, because if they were really intent on tackling climate change, they

would do something about industrial emissions rather than taking something which is negligible off of the map instead. It probably won’t even make that much difference to congestion in the long run anyway.

Is this a sign of China's changing ways? Hopefully it’ll work, and maybe I’ll be proved wrong – but until that day comes, I’ll be remaining sceptical.

SMOG: the scheme hopes to alleviate this


COLUMNIST 13

NOVEMBER.10.2008 COLUMNIST@gairrhydd.COM

Supernatural disbelief don’t know about you, but I’m starting to think I’m psychic. This might seem bold, even arrogant (unless you agree with me, in which case get in touch), but the other night I had a dream. The soundtrack to this dream was Babies. What’s that, you say, Pulp’s kitchen sink masterpiece Babies Why yes, I reply, the very same. I then woke up with the aforementioned classic giddily careering around my head. That’s hardly surprising – I’d been dreaming about it. But when I left the house, I put my MP3 player on shuffle. The first song came on. It was 'Babies'. Did it occur to me right then that perhaps I was psychic? Of course it did. I smiled slightly to myself at my new-found skill and happily strolled off to my lecture. And when you consider my ability to steal Huw ‘he thinks stuff I’ve already thought of’ Davies’ ideas – I’ve decided not to do it this week – and the number of times I’ve taken my phone out to check for messages JUST AS ONE COMES THROUGH, the evidence seems incontrovertible.

can’t reason someone out of a position they did not reason themselves into. Then there’s the argument that you can’t empirically disprove these beliefs. It’s a (sort of) reasonable point. But it’s also the equivalent of me starting a business sending people to Narnia. Except they wouldn’t remember the snow, Mr. Tumnus or the thinlyveiled moral. Sorted. Hmm, what’s that? I couldn’t do that because you can’t go to Narnia? Well I say you can. So there. Prove me wrong. Ner.

I

Does Jarvis Cocker live in my heart? It’s certainly an attractive theory. Screw science. Science, as every Creationist worth his pillar of salt knows, changes its mind. What I have is a Power. It’s unchanging. It’s an absolute. My belief in my Power to predict the future of my MP3 player overrides my sketchy knowledge of science that says I can’t do it. Only for a moment, mind. Then I remember it’s bollocks. Seriously, what on earth is going on with people? You can’t leave them for a second without them starting blindly believing in rubbish. Illogical, absurd, unscientific rubbish. And no, before you start, I’m not even going to mention God. Much. Firstly, you’ve got your mediums.

The lack of logic upsets me

Last May, the Consumer Protection Regulations replaced, among others, the Fraudulent Mediums Act. And hoo boy were those fraudulent mediums up in alms about it. It didn’t outlaw their predatory tactics at all, but they still claimed it was a real kick in the crystal balls. Elsewhere, and I am not making this up (she is though), there’s a woman who claims she can predict the future with asparagus. Asparagus. Asparagus. Don’t get me wrong – I love asparagus. I do. I bloody love it. But I do doubt that it can tell me next week’s Lottery numbers. Even Robbie Williams is relevant here. He’ll be relieved. He’s into UFOs, y’see, and has been going round telling anyone who’ll pretend to believe him that he’s seen alien craft and ghosts and ‘other worlds’. And obviously there’re billions of people who believe that there is a man in the sky who gets angry when they wank. How exactly does God know, anyway? Is he Ceiling Cat? Whoops. Ahem. Anyway. It’s not

IMAGE: xkcd.com the implausibility of these people’s claims that I can’t stand. It’s the lack of logic and critical thought behind them. Robbie Williams has said that he doesn’t want to hear any debunking of his beliefs because he wants to believe. Now I’d love to believe that I’m psychic. It’d be great fun. But I just can’t. I’m too sceptical. I try not to believe things just because they’re convenient. I don’t think I’m psychic. Which means the first sentence of this column is a lie. Sorry about that.

I doubt asparagus can tell the future Of course, psychic sympathisers have a very useful counter to my closed-mindedness (and indeed any scepticism): you can’t just be convinced of these things; you have to believe. If you have belief, you will see things that reinforce that belief, but not otherwise. Convenient, isn’t it? It also makes it impossible to convince anyone otherwise – as Ben Goldacre in The Guardian said recently, you

That’s all very well, I hear you cry. But what about you, Boy Thunder? None of this explains your experience! Perhaps you are a real psychic! It’s a good point. Why did Babies come on at just the right time? Was it because Jarvis Cocker, despite his claim that they share only initials, is actually Jesus, lives in my heart, and wants me for a sunbeam? Possibly. Was it that I am actually psychic? Unlikely. It was more likely to be that my MP3 player had decided to shuffle only five songs, one of which happened to be Babies, and that because it was a strikingly relevant song to come on I remembered the occasion. Basically, I’d ignored the hundreds of times when an irrelevant song came on, but the one that seemed unusual stuck in my mind. It’s simple perception bias, not psychic power. Shame. I planned to end this with a pithy observation on how I’ve finally disproved all supernatural claims. But then the spirits intervened. I wrote most of this while listening to The Mountain Goats, but nipped out for a gair rhydd meeting before I finished. I walked out of the house, put on my now-working MP3 player, and there was the nasal whine of John Darnielle. So that’s not just a strikingly relevant song, but one coming on at a strikingly relevant time. Maybe I am psychic after all. Anyone got any asparagus?

It’s all over the front page I

t’s occurred to me that this column has become a bit of a bashing of right-wing newspapers. The Express, The Mail and The Telegraph have all felt the wrath of my words (er, yeah) in recent weeks. I may not agree with their opinions, but it’s mostly coincidence that they’ve been mentioned most often here. To balance things up, I feel I should at least have a little go at The Guardian and The Independent.

So, The Guardian and The Independent. Yeah. They’re pretty poncey. Only teachers read them. Liberal Teachers who only eat free-range tofu. Yeah.

The use of 'crusade' is a bit disturbing Okay, back to the conservative papers. This week it’s The Express. I am not known for my love of The Express. In fact, I am not known for

anything, but that’s beside the point. But this mild dislike turns into outright bafflement and slight fear when they run one of their ‘crusades’, as they have recently about oil prices and their impact on fuel prices. Does anyone else thinks this is a bit disturbing? Not the fact that they want petrol prices to drop, but the word ‘crusade’. I mean, it’s not an unloaded term, is it? Not only does it conjure up a distinctly Christian image (nothing wrong with that, except it excludes

anyone who isn’t Christian), but also it’s kinda violent. Why call it a crusade, anyway? What are they going to do about it? Invade oil-rich countries? Oh wait, someone beat them to it. It seems like other than furthering their image as good Christian soldiers, there’s no reason for it to be called a crusade. Call it a tantrum. An ineffectual protest. Anything. I dare you. But not a crusade. Bad Express. Bad.

Is it

?

just me...

...or is everyone who they are these days?

eality TV (we have to stop calling it that), has a new set of catchphrases. Repeated endlessly by banal, preening idiots, they’re the mantras of choice used as primitive responses to feeling threatened, or artificial shows of support for the person they decried as ‘such a bitch’ only moments before. I am who I am. You are who you are. These statements may appear eye-shatteringly obvious, but they have been elevated to the level of the profound by sheer repetition and, significantly, a refusal to consider that perhaps ‘being yourself’ is not always the best strategy. That you should express your ‘true self’ at all times is an odd idea anyway, as presumably no-one behaves the same in all situations. And sometimes being yourself just gets you punched. No matter what the inspirational propaganda masquerading as kids’ films might think (High School Musical, I’m looking at you), sometimes you just need to shut up, fit in and bend over. ‘Being yourself’ is all too often taken to mean choosing the easy option, based on the premise that being yourself should be, well, easy. This leads to a risk of misplaced confidence and immunising yourself against self-reflection and criticism; any comment that doesn’t reinforce the idea that you are the fabulous human you consider yourself to be can be brushed off with a simple ‘I am who I am’. They just don’t see the real you, right? And of course, there are limits to who you can ‘be’; if who you are is a paedophilic, racist cannibal, to give a purely arbitrary example, then ‘I am who I am’ is probably not too sound a defence when you’re being lynched by the townsfolk. So being your ‘true self’ isn’t really all that. By all means be yourself, but only when appropriate, within the carefully prescribed boundaries of acceptability and not at humility’s expense. Got that? And if you disagree with me, just console yourself with the fact that you are who are, and that nothing will change that. I’m just an ignorant, talentless hack who doesn’t understand you. But hey, I am who I am.

R


POLITICS 15

NOVEMBER.10.2008 POLITICS@gairrhydd.COM

Obama Takes The Plunge

Adrian Filice reflects on a monumental election and considers what's in store for Barack Obama and the world as America makes history

“Y

es we can! Yes we can!” The chants of Obama supporters rang from town to town last week as they celebrated what many had been anticipating for months. A year ago analysts were counting Mr Obama out, citing inexperience and race as reasons voters would not be drawn to him. But it’s the zealous enthusiasm of a young politician that garnered Mr Obama a record turnout from voters last week on one of the most historic elections of all time. The ‘innate racism’ in the Deep South that many feared could ruin the dreams of millions was not as much a concern as was expected, highlighted by the fact that Mr Obama won Virginia, the state where slavery in America was born. This is a momentous turning point for America, in policy as well as practice. 53 years ago, Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus. 45 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. And on Tuesday, November 4 2008 that dream came true when America elected their first black president. America is head over heels in love with Barack Hussein Obama. Unfortunately, the honeymoon period will be incredibly short-lived. Even though Mr Obama received 349 Electoral College votes to John McCa-

the country. With 55.8 million voters having voted against him Mr Obama will be criticised at every turn, by Republicans thirsting for blood as well as by Democrats craving immediate change. The Bush Administration has left in its path a wake of destruction that even the amazing Barack is going to have trouble cleaning up. America’s economy is in shambles, not to mention the federal deficit spiraling towards $1 trillion this year. America is in the middle of a war in Iraq that Mr Obama has promised to pull out of. This certainly won’t be easy, especially with support for the war increasing in America, and problems will arise no matter how the withdrawal from Iraq is dealt with. in’s 173 (with North Carolina still too close to call), Obama has just 52% of the popular vote, compared with 46% for Senator McCain, hardly a walkover. Just shy of half of the country is mourning the loss of their candidate, and while the Democrats celebrate they also know how the republicans must feel. We felt it with John Kerry’s loss in 2004, and we felt it even more with Al Gore in 2000. For the next 4 years Mr -Obama will face opposition and dissent from a large part of

Obama must carry the burden of the 'War On Terror' Mr Obama must also carry with him the burden of the ‘War On Terror’, which has spawned multiple problems across the world. Terrorist hatred for America will not cease anytime soon, but as soon as Mr Obama deals with these existing problems he can get

on with fixing global warming, setting up national health care, reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, and delivering on all of that change he has promised, internally and socially in America. Two wars and a broken shell of the world’s largest economy seem like plenty to leave for the new President. With an incoming Democratic President, Senate, and House of Representatives, the Republicans are going to have a hard time getting any legislation through come January. Thankfully for them, George W Bush is in control until then, and his last 100 days are going to be painful to watch. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is giving banks $350 billion in nostrings-attached gifts, the purpose of which is to encourage banks to loan to businesses and people, or buy out weaker banks. However half of this bailout money is being given to banks considered too big to fail, who are planning to merge with other healthy banks in order to form super-banks. With Mr Paulson supporting this, it is bound to create another mess for the Democrats. Attempts at major legislative changes with regards to foreign policy, the environment and abortion are also expected from Mr Bush. Mr Obama is going to have a difficult first

term to say the least, and this is not even considering what may happen without Mr Bush’s interference. With comparisons between Mr Obama and JFK circulating throughout these elections let us hope that we don’t encounter another Bay of Pigs type fiasco.

The honeymoon period will be incredibly shortlived

Mr Obama however is confident, “The road ahead will be long,” he said in his speech last Tuesday night. “Our climb will be steep”. He noted the likelihood of setbacks and disagreements with his policies, “We may not get there in one year or even in one term”, Mr Obama conceded. “But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.” Hope has been a key word throughout Mr Obama’s campaign, but can the American people survive on ‘hope’ through the challenges they are bound to face in the coming months and years? Only time will tell.

Is British Politics Stagnating?

Gareth Ludkin Considers what lessons Britain can take from the US election campaign and what can be done to invigorate passion in British politics

A

t last we can all breath a sigh of relief. Barack Obama is the new President of America and the future looks supposedly rosy for a nation with more problems than you can shake a stick at. America may be saved but what about Britain? Coming off the back of this historic election we must ask ourselves, why is the difference between British and American politics so stark? Why does no one give two hoots about British Politics? And why oh why don’t I own a t-shirt adorned with Gordon Browns chirpy face? The spectacle of US elections is undeniable and the passion and interest it seems to whip up is fantastic. In a nation so widespread and different as the US, the election offers millions of people the chance to unite under a shared dream and a shared belief. The grand and spectacular rallies we've become accustomed to are synonymous with US politics, stadiums full of screaming fans reflects the fanaticism which has surrounded the latest election. There does however remain a sense that these great political rallies

are fairly pointless. In essence all that is being achieved is preaching to the converted. Grand rhetoric and inspirational speeches are all well and good but do they really convey the key policies? Do they change anything? Elements of the showmanship and excitement these great events stir up could certainly be used in British politics where the most exciting speech you’ll hear all year is at the party conference which whips up a smattering of applause from other ministers and

Mr Obama has been the perfect example of what British politics needs gives everyone a chance to pat themselves on the back. I for one am more than happy that the elections are finally over. Election Fatigue set in quite some time ago in a race, which has been building for the best part of 8 years, ever since Mr Bush first came to power and the ‘war

on terror’, first reared its ugly head. This election race has been historic and monumental for many reasons and it is unsurprising that interest in the election has been so widespread across the world but questions also arise from the sheer magnitude of an election campaign, which has cost billions of dollars. For all the razzmatazz the substance of American politics sometimes seems to go amiss. British Politics could certainly learn a thing or two about instilling passion, debate and interest in politics through the classes. Currently politics in the UK is still far too elitist. The working class are becoming increasingly disillusioned and detached from politics, which seems to be failing them at every turn. Political apathy is a very real threat in British politics, which is overtly reserved and serious. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong in creating a buzz and an excitement about British politics. Especially with a general election on the horizon, British politics could certainly do with a bit of drama, it certainly needs a face-lift and could take a lot away from American politics. Many young people have

been more engaged with the latest US election than they ever have with British politics. The thought that many people get more excitement about American politics than their own British politics is intensely worrying. The US elections are unique and no other election has sparked as much interest, controversy or media frenzy as this years election. Ever since the preliminaries began the world has

been watching and waiting for a new President to replace the beleaguered Bush regime. In the US, which historically has seen only moderate turn outs, record numbers went out and made their vote count last week, why can’t this happen in Britain? For a generally politically apathetic nation the US elections have managed to engage thousands of individuals young and old from all walks of life. Could Mr Brown or David Cameron ever do the same? For certain something is desperately needed. The spectacle of US politics and the showmanship of politicians leaves a strange taste in my mouth. The huge rallies we see on the TV with Mr Obama and John McCain giving rousing speeches fills me with dread The idea of political rallies is absurd in the UK, the idea of filling even a local conference league team stadium with screaming, flag-waving fans seems ridiculous when put in the context of politics but maybe this is what’s needed to reinvigorate an apathetic and fed-up British electorate.


16 LETTERS

NOVEMBER.10.2008 LETTERS@gairrhydd.COM

letters@gairrhydd.com letter of the week A Taf-Od translation? Dear gair rhydd, This is something that has irritated me for quite a while now, and I'm sure I'm not alone. The page in gair rhydd which is entirely Welsh - "Taf-od"? I understand the importance of keeping the Welsh heritage a part of the newspaper, but with (what I'm guessing is) a majority of the student population not having any understanding of the Welsh language, would a translated page not be quite a good idea to ensure non-exclusion of the majority of Cardiff University? Sometimes it looks as though it could be an interesting article, but all those that have not been brought up in Wales, or haven't studied Welsh at any time, are prevented from being able to read it, simply because it's entirely in Welsh. Why not have both? Just a thought.

A Fuss Over Fees Dear gair rhydd, This is something which comes up, time and time again in our media and in our brains. And now we find out that next year there's going to be less money, for less people. Once again, the middle classes are the ones that are going to get shafted. It's not enough. Now I'm in second year, paying for rent, gas, electricity, water and food, there's barely enough to spend on books for my course. Forget about going out. Maybe it's better spending your evenings in with your housemates and getting to know them, but you can't really afford to have the television or the heating on. So you end up huddled over a single candle. Maybe I exaggerate. And we're not even that badly off in Cardiff. I have friends in Portsmouth whose loan from those wonderful people at the SLC didn't cover their accommodation when they were living in student residences - now, they're permanently living off their overdraft. You've really got to admire the brains behind the loans scheme. In a time when the world is, basically, up the spout financially, it's a perfect time to reduce the money those filthy students get. After all, we're just going to spend it on drugs, drink, and different varieties of condoms. In fairness, I shouldn't even really be getting so worked up. I'm one of

Isaac Parnell Third year student gair rhydd responds: As a Welsh newspaper, we have always endeavoured to acknowledge our cultural heritage, and a Welsh language page has been regarded as the most suitable compromise for a very long time. Since we live in the capital of Wales and have a small number of Welsh-speaking readers, the ideal situation would of course be to have a bilingual newspaper; however, this is an absolute practical impossibility. gair rhydd is a news-driven, weekly student newspaper that is written and re-written right up to the print deadline by student volunteers. Translating the entire paper into Welsh in time for the deadline simply couldn't happen - unless we were prepared to compromise on those scummy students who gets the full grant, and hopefully this should continue into next year. If not, then I can foresee a massive increase in the number of students hanging around the Millenium Stadium, hoping for work or money dropped by the drunken rugby fans. We're not allowed to be proud of our degree, told by the media that it's easier than it used to be, and now we're not even allowed money to live. Alanna Murray Second year ENCAP student

Praise for atheist article Dear gair rhydd, This isn't particularly something I'm looking to get published as a letter (though you can if you want...), but I've just read the Columnist article on 'Spreading the Word?' and was 'moved' enough to want to send you an email about it. I haven't found who the author of that article was, but I'm really impressed with the even-handedness and sensitivity demonstrated by her/ him. As a 'Christian scientist' (who also likes writing on issues such as this) I find that all too often authors claiming to support' free-thinking' produce articles that are as much propaganda items as the works they decry. It was refreshing to find a very interesting piece of writing that seemed to handle both sides of the

the quality of the newspaper. This is not an option. As such, in lieu of a bilingual newspaper, a Welsh-only section has long been seen as the only suitable alternative. The decision not to translate Taf-Od into English is based on the feeling that this would detract from its identity as the Welsh section. It would be like any other section. Translating Taf-Od into English would dilute its message, since its function is symbolic as much as it is there to inform: it is a reminder to readers that a Welsh language and culture exists that is self-contained and exclusive of English culture. Readers who wish to engage with Taf-Od must engage with Welsh language and culture. As a student newspaper, we must make decisions that consider the interests of all of our readers, and it is our opinion that the decision to keep Taf-Od untranslated is in the best interests of all of our readers. issue in a truly fair and non-hysterical manner.

University. Therefore, when hearing of the 'Queue' protest taking place on November, I was pleased to discover that something was being done from within the Student's Union to remedy this. However, when reading the current issue of gair rhydd, I was very disappointed to see the tiny amount of coverage allocated to informing students of this event: a two inch column on page five and a very missable banner at the bottom of the sports pages. As far as I can see this is a major protest against the University, by students, on an issue that concerns thousands studying in Cardiff. As such, it surely has significant news value for your paper? As your website states the gair rhydd is "Compiled by students for students" and "covers the issues that affect students in Cardiff". Does this not mean you have an important obligation to adequately inform students of the chance to protest about such a major issue? As is often the case, a change in sports funding will require the support of the many. If the Students' Union cannot pull together between themselves to get the word out to people in their own newspaper, the cause is lost from the beginning. Kind regards,

Nice one :) Best wishes, Piers Horner 4th Year Postgrad, Astrophysics

Jumping on the Brandwagon Dear gair rhydd, Does anyone else feel the whole Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross affair has been blown out of proportion? I listened to the show and it was hilarious. At the time, only one complaint was made. Now Andrew Sachs has spoken out, the BBC have received 10,000 complaints! It wasn't that offensive and quite frankly, I would expect someone who from the Fawlty Towers cast to have a much better sense of humour than that! Anon Third year student

No editorial investment in Invest In Sport? Dear gair rhydd, As a postgraduate arriving for my first year in Cardiff, I was surprised at the low level of investment in sport at the

Will James MA International Journalism gair rhydd responds: Firstly, we would like to draw your attention to the full page advert allocated to Project Queue on page 16 of the issue you're referring to. We would like to add that we also ran a quarter page ad in the previous issue - which, incidentally, was compiled by us at the last minute because the artwork for Project Queue was unavailable at the time. Compiled, not because we had to, but because we happen to be fervent believers in the cause. But just because we are firm believers in the cause, that does not mean that we are prepared to exaggerate the newsworthiness of the piece. As a Journalism student, you can surely appreciate that a story on a protest that hasn't happened yet is not, in itself, a story. It is an advert. The real story will be the outcome of the event, for which gair rhydd has provided extensive coverage which you can read in this week's Sport section. gair rhydd is a newspaper; not a newsletter. It is not the place of gair rhydd to act as the mouthpiece of the Students' Union. We are not here to toe the Union's line. And as passionate as we are about the Students' Union, we are here to hold its decisions to account and our editorial independence is crucial to

our success. We believe that this is why, according to the annual Student Satisfaction Survey, gair rhydd is a trusted source of information and is considered to be the students' favourite tool for communication.

The not-so-great debate? Dear gair rhydd, I am writing to inform you of my dissatisfaction with the Great Sports Debate, recently held by organisers from the Invest in Sport campaign. I attended both Project Queue and the debate keen to voice my opinion on such an important issue, yet was disappointed to see a fairly low turnout for both events. Project Queue, which preceded the debate in the Great Hall, provided an adequate protest but clearly even a topical student-centric issue cannot stir the student body from its apathetic coma. This letter is not an attack on the organisers of the demonstration for a lack of publicity, since it was advertised up to at least two weeks prior to the event in gair rhydd. Indeed, all sports teams’ captains will have been aware of the event. The Great Sports Debate, as it was advertised, was hardly great and barely a debate apart from the sole representative from the societies. All were in agreement and I felt a genuine sense of despair when one attendee posed the question of whether a University representative was present to answer the proposals being discussed, only to be told that there was not. It would be an overstatement to call the event a waste of time, but I do feel that with a representative present the debate would have been more meaningful. The attendance was also pitiful, relative to the participation levels in Project Queue and last year’s Fun Run, The Invest in Sport campaign is an important one to both current and prospective students because it seeks to obtain a commitment to sport from the University. At present Cardiff’s sporting reputation is embarrassing and needs to be developed for the benefit of all students. A new gym, swimming pool or even all weather pitches can be beneficial even to those who do not play in BUCS or IMG competitions. Also, with increasing alerts about healthy living, sport and exercise play a key role in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, if any University representative were present to witness this recent demonstration, they would be unlikely to be propelled into action. Anon 3rd year Politics


LETTERS 17

NOVEMBER.10.2008 LETTERS@gairrhydd.COM

the

forum

Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com No Candidates In Sight Jamie ------I suspect part of the problem is that for many people these positions mean nothing. I’m an English male undergraduate who doesn’t study at the Heath and isn’t involved in IMG, so what interest do I have? I’d imagine the same is true for many students. Ed Mason ------I agree with Jamie. I did consider whether or not I’d want to stand in these elections, but quickly realised that the positions being contested meant nothing to me. Yawn. What’s the reason for these October by-elections, by the way? Why can’t we just elect every Sabb and non-Sabb at the same time? Mark ------Why can’t we just elect a few

"?

Sabbatical Officers, such as Union President and maybe one or two other key positions, and then let them appoint any person they want to sabbatical and nonsabbatical officers? This would mean that the majority of positions could be filled and replaced by means of demonstrable merit or failure throughout the year. We could simply then either remove or continue with this administration every year or so by way of popular vote. This would allow the centralisation of policy formulation within the Union and mean we would only have to endure one desperate nobody trying to convince us to vote for them as opposed to several. It could also mean the doing away with several unnecessary positions. Why, for example, do we need a ‘Welsh Affairs’ Officer? By an accident of birth and geography I happen to be Welsh, yet I feel no need to have a person in my Students' Union whose responsibility is seemingly to aid me in expressing my Welshness. I am also a Post Grad Student, but

why do I need a Post Grad ‘Support Officer’? Just what, exactly, is such an officer there to do? If, as a PG student, you have trouble with your course you speak to your supervisor/ lecturer or departmental secretary, and if you have financial difficulty then you speak to the aforementioned and then the finance department and then if you have social worries you speak to any and all of the above as appropriate, then grow a pair. So what, exactly, does a PG ‘Support Officer’ exist for? Seriously, though, could any Union Officer suggest why we cannot just elect one individual or team to executive office and then just then appoint as and when they like?

LadyDrinkKing ------The more excruciating the death, the better fish taste. For best results I recommend crucifixion and a garlic butter sauce with fresh dill. Oz ------Oh god. They have 'widdle hiding pwaces'? What are these sea kittens, strange mixes between three year olds and Care Bears?

The Media Debate Goes On. And On. And On.

Sea Kittens and Chips

Anon -------

Guy Incognito -------

lol Media students – quick, study while you can. I forsee laws being passed against media studies in the very near future!

Mmmmmm…. Tasty sea kittens. I can’t wait to see “Sea Kitten” maki at my local sushi restaurant.

?

Thomas Carroll -------

Legal advice from someone who starts a sentence with “lol”?

To Fee, Or Not To Fee Mark -------

Unfortunately education isn’t free, someone has to pay somewhere along the line, be it taxpayers, parents or graduates or a mixture of all. We can’t expect any one of these three to shoulder the entire burden by themselves, especially with more people than ever going on to university, in particular from poorer areas. Personally I think that the fairest system would be to greatly increase the student loan, but keep its operating principles in order to cover the fees in their entirety, and a reasonable living allowance. This would presumably mean students leaving university upwards of £50,000 in debt if they’re doing a standard three-year course, but if that is the price of education then so be it.

?

?

JOIN THE DEBATE AT

?

Why do we need a Welsh Affairs officer ? ?

?"

www.gairrhydd.com

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18 FEATURES

NOVEMBER.10.2008 INTERVIEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Drunk, Drugged

As Road Safety Week raises awareness of the increasing number o Steve Wright explore the extent of the problem... hirty three million. That’s how many cars, motorbikes, vans, buses and lorries jostle for space on UK roads every day. Suffice it to say, at an average ratio of one vehicle per 1.5 Brit above the driving age, the roads on our little island are… cosy. Especially when taken into account that the cars Mr. and Mrs. Average drive today are about 12 times bigger and heavier than yesteryear. It’s a wonder Britain hasn’t sunk. What is more problematic, however, is when these vehicles collide. Every year as we approach the home straight towards Christmas, the national 'Think!' anti-drink-driving campaign gets into full swing. The message is hammered home with a series of hardhitting adverts where scary schizophrenic bartenders verbally assault the screen, and drunken men sat behind tables crash into businesswomen. It's undeniable that when alcohol and driving combine, they make for an unhappy marriage, with many drink-drivers killing innocent bystanders, as well as themselves. One problem is that there are many people on the roads today who aren’t aware of what the drink-driving limits actually entail. Or crucially, how much alcohol they can consume before being over the legal limit. Current UK legislation states that drivers can legally have up to 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. However, there is no scientific way to calculate your blood alcohol level from how much alcohol you’ve consumed, as this varies by a person's size, weight, age, gender and other factors. Substances such as mouthwash can also increase the blood alcohol level, as can certain conditions like diabetes. There are some affordable selfbreathalysers for sale from around £20 and upwards. However, the fact that they're available isn't a guarantee that drivers will use them, or more importantly, listen to them if they say they are over the drink-drive limit. Confusingly, there are at least five different drink-drive limits currently in Europe. Countries such as Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic have a no tolerance standard of 0mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, whilst many have a limit of 50mg/100ml blood, including France, Germany and Italy. This leaves Luxembourg, Malta and the UK (and also the USA) with the highest blood: alcohol limit of 80mg per 100ml of blood. Motions have been brought forward to bring the UK’s limit in line with most of Europe at 50mg. However,

T

none have succeeded to date. With such lenient drink-drive limits, UK drivers’ ability to judge distance is seriously diminished, their reactions to road conditions and other vehicles are severely impeded, and concentration is poor. These effects, amongst others, help account for the greatly increased likelihood of accidents. One potential contributing factor for drink-driving in the UK is the proximity of minimum ages for consuming alcohol and driving. Many people pass their driving tests around their 18th birthday when they are suddenly legally allowed to consume as much alcohol as their stomach can hold. Because of this, many young drivers may be less aware of the impact alcohol has on them and where the line between being safe to drive and unsafe to drive is. However, this doesn’t explain drug-driving, as at no age is it legal to consume such substances. Yet people will still do so and drive, just as many 17-year-olds may illegally consume alcohol and drive afterwards. In the US, there are a whole range of minimum ages to drive unsupervisedfrom 14¼ in South Dakota through to 17 in New Jersey. Yet the minimum age of alcohol consumption is 21, which leaves at least four years’ gap between the highest minimum driving age and the legal drinking age, in contrast with the one year gap between minimum driving and drinking ages in the UK. This in theory should impede young US drivers from drinking and driving, or at least they will be more experienced drivers by the time they are

The cost for a combined card and passport will be £93 legally allowed to consume alcohol. Even smoking cigarettes whilst driving, legal as it is, is a major hazard. It’s not hard to see how holding a burning stick while steering, changing gear, driving over bumps etc. is a bad idea. This seems especially unreasonable when it’s been outlawed to talk on a mobile phone which couldn’t possibly set fire to your crotch, in the same way that eating an apple could never cause you to belch a cloud of smoke onto the windscreen, impairing vision. Moreover, some drugs, such as cannabis, hinder coordination, while others, such as LSD, can provoke vivid hallucinations, neither of which promotes safe driving. Having being driv-

en by someone who was on cannabis, I can wholeheartedly say that it was the most terrifying experience in my life. (I didn’t know when I got into the car. DON’T do it.) It was a combination of reckless speed, a complete lack of awareness for what other cars were

In South Dakota, USA, children of 14 1/2 can drive unsupervised. doing with deafeningly loud music. So how do we go about making the roads safer? One theory that has been suggested is making drivers learn for longer. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said that new drivers should spend at least a year learning to drive before being allowed to take their tests. Stephen Haddrill, director general of the ABI, said ‘‘every day, four people are killed or seriously injured in crashes involving young drivers’’ in an interview recently conducted by the BBC. ‘‘The trend is getting worse not better. We urge the Government to adopt these proposals to improve safety on the roads and reduce this tragic loss of life.’’ Like it or loathe it, he might have a point. As Mr Haddrill says, four young drivers are killed or seriously injured in road accidents every day. Additionally, 80% of all accidental deaths among young males are due to car crashes. So what can be done to buck this awful trend? The ABI says that licenses should only be granted gradually, with learning prior to the test recorded in a logbook as part of the overall training programme. Currently, most driving instructors usually keep a logbook with their trainees in order to track their overall progress, but this isn’t a requisite of the law, and it could arguably be quite easy for unscrupulous driving instructors to skip over some of the harder bits in order to ensure their students appear ready to take their tests. As well as this, the ABI says that newly qualified drivers should be encouraged to restrict the amount they

In 2007, in the UK alone, and 1,760 serious injuries over the legal limit.

"The trend of drink In addition to this, ther which accounted driving is getting for 16% has proven t worse,Research not better"

blood:alcohol concentra (the most common limit is twice as likely to cras while someone at the U 10 times more likely t the 60% increase in blo tration from 50 to 80 blood accounts for a the likelihood of an ac dents at the limit.

The amount of casu road accidents in Ca has decreased from 1 1,556 in 2004, and 1


FEATURES 19

NOVEMBER.10.2008 INTERVIEWS@gairrhydd.COM

d... and driving?

of young people affected by car accidents, Christofer Lloyd and

UK residents on the limit are 500% more likely to crash than the rest

over 14,480 casualties s were caused by drivers

re were 460 fatalities % of all road fatalities.

that a driver with a ation of 50mg:100ml t in mainland Europe) sh as a sober driver, UK drink drive limit is to crash. Therefore, ood:alcohol concen0mg alcohol:100ml 500% increase in ccident for UK resi-

ualties caused by ardiff since 2002 1,682 that year, to 1,390 in 2006.

drive at night, as well as limiting the amount of passengers they carry. According to research carried out by the ABI, drivers are more susceptible to being affected by drink and drugs at night. The ABI says that implementing this policy in California has shown it would lead to a sharp decrease in casualties on the road. Meanwhile, back in the UK, in 2006 the insurance company More Than announced that it would cut its charges for young motorists who agreed not to drive at night between the hours of 23:00 and 06:00. Easy to promise this though isn’t it, especially when the chance to save money is on offer?

It's hard not to notice what an automobile hellhole Cathays can be So do young people really need to spend a year learning to drive? Including the two tests I failed before passing first time and I spent nine months learning how to drive, which was bad enough. A year learning to drive would be pretty tedious. In any case, most people seem competent enough and ready to pass long before the 12month period that the ABI suggests. Would making them learn for longer, when they frankly don’t need it, be beneficial? Unlikely in my view. In any case, learning to drive isn’t cheap. Lessons usually cost around £16 per hour; a year’s worth of lessons would cost over £800, not including the price of driving tests. Many young people would simply not be able to afford this, and would put them off driving as a result. Rising oil costs are also likely to mean that in the future, the cost of learning to drive is only set to rise, not fall. If excessive numbers of young people are becoming involved in accidents on the road, then perhaps the best way of resolving the issue is to look at how learner drivers are tested. Particular targets of my ire are the Theory and Hazard Perception tests, which in my view are outdated and of insufficient difficulty. Any examination that gives equal

significance to a question about speed limits and one about the colour of cats-eyes on motorways needs serious consideration looked at. The theory test can easily be passed by buying the CD-Rom and memorising the questions, all of which can come up in the exam, rather than memorising the issues themselves. The hazard perception test is similarly flawed, often penalising those with quicker reactions. It also seems to value guesswork over actual knowledge; you simply have to click on whatever grabs your attention without giving the slightest reason as to why it might be potentially hazardous. You don’t avoid crashing into someone by clicking a mouse. And then there is the practical test. To be honest, there seems to be little wrong with the current examination; a serious mistake is usually punished by an automatic fail. Harsh maybe, but certainly effective. After all, who wants to fork out the better part of £50 on another test? Drivers give the road their undivided attention, at least until they pass. The only real criticism of the practical examination is that the test route cannot involve motorway driving – as stipulated by law. The PassPlus scheme – promoted by Cardiff Council’s Road Safety Unit – is aimed at filling this void in training. This specifically involves developing drivers' confidence by practicing driving at night and on motorways: two of the main accident hotspots which aren't covered in the conventional practical. As far as road safety goes, many of you may not consider this to be a particularly student-related issue. Most students with cars tend to leave them at home during term-time. Still, it’s hard not to notice what an automobilehellhole Cathays can resemble in the roads surrounding the main University buildings, a problem not helped by students either late for lectures or simply bored of waiting for the (admittedly slow) traffic light man to turn green. I came from a small town to live in a capital city, so maybe it’s just me. But some of those drivers would certainly benefit from a PassPlus course. Or perhaps just a brain transplant. In my eyes it’s a miracle no one’s been killed on the crossroads by Park Place. It’s inevitable that with 33 million vehicles sharing the road that accidents will happen. What alcohol consumption and other drug use serve to do is exacerbate this and increase the likelihood and severity of any incident, as does inexperience, whether drivers are 17 or 71.

Useful Contacts: The Kelly CampaignA Aims to change the law so that when a magistrate or judge jails someone and imposes a driving ban, that ban starts on the day they walk free. www.kellycampaign.com

Brake The road safety charity aims to prevent death and injury on the roads through education and campaigning. www.brake.org.uk

Campaign Against Drink Driving CADD provide support for the families of victims killed and injured by drunk or drugged motorists. www.cadd.org.uk

Cruse Bereavement Care: Counselling, support, information and advice to enable anyone bereaved to understand their grief and cope with their loss. www.crusebereavementcare. org.uk

Helpline: 0844 477 9400 Young Persons' Helpline: 0808 808 1677


NOVEMBER.10.2008 SCIENCE@gairrhydd.COM

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 21

Treating the Common Cold: What's the alternative? Suffering with a cold may not necessarily mean the usual medication fix. Priya Raj investigates

I

t’s that time of year again....the coughing, sneezing and sore throat season has officially begun. With students living in some of the most inhabitable, cramped housing; they are often primary victims of the aerosol transmitted common cold. The common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses, specifically picornaviruses (including rhinoviruses) or coronaviruses. It is thought that more than 200 different types of virus are responsible for causing the common cold.

200 different types of virus are responsible for causing the common cold Conventional treatment upon visiting the G.P usually involves pharmacologically treating the symptoms of cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat; with decongestants, antiinflammatory agents and analgesics (pain killers): There is as yet however, no cure. Unfortunately such drugs are often associated with various side effects such as stomach upset, increased blood pressure and urinary problems to name but a few. These so called ‘adverse drug reactions’, are associated with a noticeable change in patient knowledge (perhaps fuelled by the increasing availability of information through the internet).Together with increased attitudes towards a healthier, greener, environmentally friendly way of life, thousands of people across the world have been inspired to experiment with alternative or ‘complementary’ therapies. The World Health Organization has defined alternative and complementary medicine as all forms of health care which ‘usually lie outside the official

health sector’. The evolving public interest in complementary medicine has led to increased awareness amongst GPs with roughly 68% practising such therapies; herbal medicine being the most common for treating symptoms of the common cold. Herbal medicine is an ancient practice, with the use of plants for healing purposes forming the origin of modern medicine today. Many conventional drugs are derived from plant sources e.g. Aspirin (willow bark), digoxin (foxglove) and morphine (opium poppy). One of the oldest botanicals used in symptomatic treatment of the common cold is Echinacea, arguably one of the most recognized herbal supplements for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu. One review (Alternative Medicine Review;12;1;2007) stated the plant may demonstrate immune-supportive properties such as specific cellular and humoral immunity. There is however a clear controversy within the established scientific community regarding the efficacy of Echinacea. Differences in many other studies conducted have included no significant improvement in cold symptoms. Nevertheless, Echinacea has been used for hundreds of years. Many people today are enthusiastic of its benefits.

Vitamin C both prevents and reduces the effects of the common cold Another botanical often used in treating the common cold includes Elderberry or Sambucus nigra. Sambucus nigra is a member of the Caprifoliaceae or honeysuckle family. Extracts of the berries are used primarily as antiviral agents for colds, influenza, and Herpes virus infections. Various research demonstrates that this botanical possesses immune-boosting and antioxidant properties. The berries have also been found to contain

HERBAL TEA: can it help keep you cold free? vitamins A and C. Other herbal remedies currently under investigation for treatment of the common cold include garlic, olive leaf extract and North American ginseng. Alternative therapies also include nutritional vitamins such as vitamin C. Since the 1940s, numerous studies have suggested high doses of vitamin C both prevent and reduce the effects of the common cold. In addition, since

Homeopathy is nothing more than quackery the 1970 publication of the Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling’s Vitamin C and the Common Cold, interest in Vitamin C for treating colds and other viruses has skyrocketed.

It is thought that the use of Vitmain C before the onset of symptoms, is much better in shortening the duration of illness as opposed to commencing intake during the thick of infection. Zinc is another alternative to treating colds. It is thought to have antiviral properties with human studies demonstrating a mild zinc deficiency can elicit changes in immune status such as defective natural killer cell function (cells involved in an immune response). In addition to herbal medicine, another alternative therapy, homeopathy, claims to be capable of treating colds. Homeopathy revolves around the idea of let likes be treated with likes. That is, treating a sick person using a method or drug which would cause a similar effect in persons who are otherwise healthy. Homeopathic remedies can be derived from plants (Arnica), vegetables (Allium cepa), minerals, animals and insects to name a few. They are diluted, involving the process succession-vigorous shaking of the original substance with alcohol/water, which activates and ‘potenizes’ the remedy. Occasionally they are diluted to such an extent that no molecules of the original solute remain in the finished product. Remedies thought to be of benefit in treating colds include Aconite Napellus used primarily in the early stages of infection, Arsenicum Album for those who suffer with frequent colds and Euphrasia to treat watery eyes are just a few. Since homeopathic remedies contain a very little dose, they are generally considered to be harmless and free of adverse drug reactions. However, there is very little evidence in support of its claim as a beneficial therapy; leading many to conclude homeopathy is nothing more than quackery. Here at Cardiff University we are lucky to house the world leading Common Cold centre; which celebrated its 20th anniversary last month. The Common Cold Research Centre was established in 1988 and is based at the School of Biosciences.

Strange but true: how the sun can make you sneeze

H

ave you ever squinted into a sudden burst of sunlight and started sneezing uncontrollably? Up to a third of the population has been found to answer this question with a ‘yes’. The process of sneezing as the result of being exposed to a bright light—known as the photic sneeze reflex—is a genetic quirk that is still unexplained by science, even though it has intrigued some of history's greatest minds. The Greek philosopher Aristotle

mused about why people sneeze. He concluded that the heat of the sun radiating on to the nose was probably responsible. Several thousand years later, the English philosopher Francis Bacon neatly refuted that idea by stepping into the sun with his eyes closed—the heat was still there, but the sneeze was not. Bacon's best guess was that the sun's light made the eyes water, and then that moisture ("braine humour," literally) seeped into and irritated the nose.

This moisture hypothesis seemed quite reasonable until our modern understanding of physiology made it clear that the sneeze happens too quickly after light exposure to be the result of the comparatively sluggish tear ducts. Most experts now agree that crossed wires in the brain are probably responsible for the photic sneeze reflex. A sneeze is usually triggered by an irritation in the nose, which is sensed by the trigeminal nerve, a cranial nerve responsible for facial sensation

and motor control. This nerve is in close proximity to the optic nerve, which senses light entering the retina. As the optic nerve fires to signal the brain to constrict the pupils, the theory goes, some of the electrical signal is sensed by the trigeminal nerve and mistaken by the brain as an irritant in the nose. Hence, a sneeze is produced. In the past, informal studies have suggested 10 to 35 percent of the population are photic sneezers. One study in the 1960s demonstrated that the

trait is autosomal-dominant—the gene is neither on the X nor Y chromosome and only one copy of the gene has to be present for the trait to be expressed- so if one parent sneezes when they look at a bright light, roughly half of his or her children will, too. The exact genetic reason remains, as yet, unknown. A neurologist from the University of California, San Fransisco believes investigating this photic sneeze reflex may aid in understanding the neurology behind light induced migranes and epilepsy.


TAF-OD 23

TACHWEDD.10.2008 TAF-OD@gairrhydd.COM

Her yr Hydref Aled Roberts & Berwyn Jones

M

ae’n bellach yn fis Tachwedd ac mae’r gyfres Invesco Perpetual yn ôl i’n diddanu unwaith eto. Pedair gêm sydd gan dîm Cymru i’w chware eleni gan gynnwys y cewri o hemisffer y de a Canada. Erbyn i chi ddarllen y darn yma, fe fyddwn wedi mwynhau un Sadwrn o rygbi rhyngwladol yn barod, gyda’r “Springbokke” yn dod i Gaerdydd ar yr 8fed o Dachwedd, felly rhagflas yn unig yw hwn o’r hyn y gallwn ni ddisgwyl o’r wledd o rygbi sy’n ein haros. gyda Chanada ar y 14eg, Seland Newydd ar yr 22ain ac yn olaf Awstralia ar y 29ain. Gyda’r garfan wedi ei chyhoeddi eisioes, gallwn ddechrau trafod pa chwaraewyr sy’n debygol o ddisgleirio dros gyfnod y gyfres yma. Braf yw gweld ychydig o hen bennau yn cael ail gyfle i brofi ei hunain, a braf hefyd yw gweld tipyn o wynebau ifanc yn eu plith, gan gynnwys Morgan Stoddart a Dafydd Jones o’r Sgarlets yn dychwelyd o’r cyffiniau rhyngwladol, a’r bw-

ystfil Andy Powell yn derbyn galwad arall i gynrycholi ei wlad. Mae’r enwau rheolaidd i gyd yn y garfan, gyda disgwyl mawr ar rai fel James Hook a Gavin Henson i gyflawni ei potensial, yn ogystal a nifer o wynebau newydd megis Leigh Halfpenny, asgellwr chwim y Gleision, mewnwr ifanc y Sgarlets Martin Roberts a Dan Biggar, y maswr pedwar ar bymtheg oed o ranbarth Y Gweilch. Y chwaraewyr pennaf i wylio yn y gyfres yma fydd y ddau ifanc o’r Gleision, Leigh Halfpenny a’r canolwr enfawr Jamie Roberts. Ar gefn y gamp lawn eleni, mae gofyn mawr ar dîm Warren Gatland i ail gydio yn y llwyddiant hynnu wedi siom taith y hâf, ac i wneud hyn bydd rhaid iddynt drechu o leiaf un os nad dau o dimoedd hemisffer y de. Yn hytrach, mae’n debygol iawn mai dim ond Canada fydd yn fodlon plygu i Gymru. Fodd bynnag, er bod Seland Newydd wedi dod ar frig y tabl yn nghystadleuaeth y tair gwlad, fersiwn wan iawn o’r tîm buddugol hwnnw sy’n teithio yma i hemisffer y gogledd. A yw hi’n ormod i awgrymu mai hwn fydd y tro cyntaf i Gymru fod yn fuddugol dros y crysau duon

fwya’ tebygol i Gymru o dan yr amodau yma, a chael a chael fydd hi os ydym am wneud yr amhosib a hawlio buddugoliaeth anrhydeddus yn wyneb y byd rygbi. Y cwestiwn ydi a fydd Cymru yn codi i’r her ac yn trechu y tri tîm gorau yn y byd?

ers y pumdegau? Amser a ddengys. Ond mae’n rhaid sylweddoli nad yw hyn yn debygol iawn gan mor uchel a chyson yw safon rygbi y ‘Cîwîs’. Cyfres yr hydref fydd gemau cyntaf Cymru o dan rheolau arbrofol newydd yr IRB, gyda’r timau deheuol wedi ymgyfarwyddo â’r rheolau hynny ers peth amser. Mae llawer mwy o bro-

fiad ganddynt yn chwarae yr arddull yma o rygbi; arddull sy’n llawer mwy agored. Er bod clybiau Ewrop wedi trosi i gydnabod y rheolau yma, sydd heb os yn cyflymu’r gêm mewn tempo, does dim profiad gan chwarewyr Cymru o chwarae’r gêm gynt yma ar safon rhyngwladol. Canada felly yw’r fuddugoliaeth

Carfan Cymru: Cefnwyr: M Stoddart (Sgarlets), L Byrne (Gweilch), L Halfpenny (Gleision), M Jones (Sgarlets), S Williams (Gweilch), G Henson (Gweilch), T Shanklin (Gleision), A Bishop (Gweilch), J Roberts (Gleision), D Biggar (Gweilch), J Hook (Gweilch), S Jones (Sgarlets), M Roberts (Sgarlets), D Peel (Sale), G Cooper (Caerloyw). Blaenwyr: G Jenkins (Gleision), D Jones (Gweilch), A Jones (Gweilch), E Roberts (Sale), R Thomas (Dreigiau), H Bennett (Gweilch), M Rees (Sgarlets), R Hibbard (Gweilch), AW Jones (Gweilch), I Gough (Gweilch), I Evans (Gweilch), L Charteris (Dreigiau), D Jones (Sgarlets), A Powell (Gleision), M Williams (Gleision), R Sowden-Taylor (Gleision), R Jones (Gweilch, capt).


02 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT

NOVEMBER.03.2008 INTERVIEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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JOBS & MONEY 25

NOVEMBER.10.2008 JOBS@gairrhydd.COM

It's all adding up Is the credit crunch affecting us more than we think? Tom Victor examines its impact on television.

I

n all the debates about how the credit crunch is affecting students, one key area has been surprisingly neglected: the impact on television. No, I’m not talking about the quality of programmes, which - let’s face it - was already pretty dire. I’m talking about advertising. ITV has claimed that its advertising revenue has fallen by 2.5% since the start of 2008, as companies have been forced to cut back on expensive advertising during the current economic climate. Bearing in mind ITV can proudly claim a 43.8% share in the UK TV advertising revenue market (spread over its four channels), things look far from promising for the multitude of terrestrial and satellite channels who rely on ads for a chunk of their income. So, if those terrible Cobra beer adverts on Dave make your blood boil, wait till it gets really bad. If we step back from our biased consumer outlook, it is easy to understand why companies are becoming less willing to shell out on expensive TV advertising. The recent Cadbury’s

advert, for example (you know, the one with the gorilla playing drums), set the company back a reported £6.2 million and - although few others cost as much - the price of TV advertising is far too extortionate at a time when many are seeking to cut costs. Although the appeal of television is unlikely to be dampened by the credit crunch, the attraction of sport (in particular football), would appear to transcend monetary difficulties altogether. Consequently, given the disparity in costs of advertising, companies may be tempted to ignore the TV bait and advertise at football grounds instead. Advertising boards at Premier League clubs are unlikely to cost more than a few thousand pounds - ideal for companies interested in simply getting their name known. When you consider that the matches are shown on TV (either live or on Match of the Day), the decision is a no-brainer. Michael Grade, the ITV executive chairman, was the first to admit that the television industry is experiencing ‘tough economic conditions’. Grade has worked in television for 35 years,

GREAT ADVERTS: still possible on a budget? incorporating stints at the BBC and Channel 4 before he accepted his current post, so if we’re going to listen to anyone about the future of TV, then he is probably the man.

The bad news is that this 2.5% drop is only the beginning, with ITV predicting its advertising revenue will fall up to 9% year on year. And don’t think that it’s only affecting ITV: the

total UK TV market can expect a 9.4% fall year on year. So, what does this all mean for us students hoping for top-notch advertising to distract us from the fact that we’re watching Deal or No Deal for the fifth day running? Well, that remains to be seen. We will probably see a reduction in the quality of advertising, most likely constituting an influx of badlydubbed foreign adverts for products we either have already, would never want, or can’t afford. Not to mention those products which are ‘not for sale in shops’ for a good reason. Of course we should not forget that channels like ITV often rely on advertising money to fund their programmes. The bulk of CITV has long since fallen foul of the repercussions of the ban on junk-food advertising, and, as less money comes in, the quality of programming inevitably dips, perhaps to the point where ‘Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men’ is the highlight of the evening’s entertainment. And nobody wants that.


26 XPRESS

NOVEMBER.10.2008 XPRESS@gairrhydd.COM

cardiff student radio broadcast online 24/7

Mainstream show of the week: Point Blank

A mainstream show rebelling against the mainstream. Point Blank is three guys with a passion for comedy really pushing the boundaries, and taking a stand against excessive political correctness. Playing the best of current and classic rock tunes, their show is a blend of laughs and heated debate and they're looking for you to let off steam and voice your opinions too. So tune in Wednesday 1:30pm-2pm to have your say. Apparently Xpress Radio has 'never had a show quite like it', true? It's up for debate really...

Monday: 10:30am till 12:30pm

Just Added A selection of the best songs added to the playlist this week, all of which can be heard on mainstream shows. 1. Neon Neon - Dream Cars 2. The Futureheads - I Wouldn't Be Like This If You Weren't Here 3. Ladyhawke - My Delirium 4. Baddies - Battleships 5. The Kills - Tape Song

Specialist show of the week:

Tuesday

Monday

Mainstream

Mainstream

9am-10:30am Alice and Mel Breakfast Show 10:30am-12:30pm Loud Noises 12:30pm-2pm Show and Tell with Amy 2pm-2:30pm Quiz 2.30pm-4:30pm Sports Show 4:30pm-6pm Lee Macaulay on Xpress

Specialist

6pm-7pm The Xhibition 7pm-8pm Transmission 8pm-9pm Gig "n" mix 9pm-10pm Holly & Carys Show 10pm-11pm Superstar DJ's Here We Go! 11pm-12am Anything Alternative 12am - 1am Richard Gale Show

Wednesday

Swn Festival Special

Including interviews from organisers and bands playing Swn. As well as exclusive acoustic sessions from Flashguns, Georgia Ruth Wiliams, The Golden Silvers and more...

Thursday Mainstream

9am-11am Filing the Gap with Emma & Alexis 11am-12:30pm Kat & Ash Show 12:30pm-1pm The Trawlermen's Mainstream Sweethearts 9am-11am 3 Man Bundle 11am-1pm Gossip Girls with Seetal & 1pm-2pm Star and Moo Show 2pm-4pm Sporties Lily 4pm-6pm Sam & Greg Show 1pm-2.30pm Point Blank 2.30pm-3pm The Weekly Summit 3pm-4pm Louisa & Beth Afternoon Specialist Show 7pm-8pm Curly Joe and Ginger's 4pm-6pm Luke & Ed Show Countdown Conundrum 8pm-9pm Xposed 9pm-10pm Thursday Night AnnihiSpecialist lation Appreciation Society 7pm-8pm The Housemasters 10pm-11pm Subversion 8pm-9pm Lean Eyon Show 11pm-12am Dan and Petch's 80s 9pm-10pm The Take Over Hour of Power 10pm-11pm Martin Sharpe Show 12am-1am Peter & Coralie Show 11pm-12am - Rhys James

9am-11am Three Girls & A Gay 11am-12:30pm Hilary and Heather Show 12:30pm-1pm The Xpress Debate 1pm-3pm Madame Audrey's Lunar Cake Shop & Delicatessen 3pm-4:30pm Rebekka & Mikey in the Afternoon 4:30pm-6pm Rich & Britt Afternoon Show

Specialist

6pm-7pm Kat, Kimba & Ruth Show 7pm-8pm Tom & Billy Show 8pm-9pm Andrew Rhys Lewis Show 9pm-10pm Megan & Charlote Show 10pm-11pm Hedonism 11pm -12am Pete Blackley Show

Friday Mainstream

11am-1pm Al & Steve Show 1pm-2.30pm 2 Girls, 1 Mic with Sally & Susie 2.30pm-4:30pm TNT 4:30pm-6pm Ben O'Clock Radio

Specialist

6pm-7pm International Superhits 7pm-8pm The Hype Machine 8pm-9pm The Argument 9pm-10pm The Essential Gig Guide 10pm-12am Flo Jam Sessions

Hype Machine

If you’re sick of the mainstream indie pop that seems to be dominating the charts these days and find yourself going to CYNT and Glo Bar on a weekly basis, then make sure you tune in to Hype Machine, every Friday from 7pm8pm. Mixing electro, house, breaks and beats with the odd obscure mash up, Ollie will give you the perfect set up for your messy Friday night out. What are you waiting for?

Friday: 7pm till 8pm saturday: 10.30am til 11am

Saturday

Sunday

Mainstream

Mainstream

10am-11am Hair of the Dog 11am-12pm Wake Up with Henry & Oscar 12pm-2pm Jack and Tom Delusion

Specialist

2pm-3pm PushPop 3pm-4pm Naomi & Beth Show 4pm-5pm 3 Man Bundle 5pm-6pm Milo Mitchem Show 6pm-7pm Frankie & Tegan Show 7pm-8pm Ruari & Liam Show 8pm-9pm The Pigeon Hole 9pm-10pm Alice & Monique Show 10pm-11pm Ian Hall Show 11pm-12am Richard Gale Show

11am-11:30am The Beautiful Hesitation 12:30pm-2pm Laura, Dora & Lucy Show 2:30pm-2:40pm Across the Corridor 3pm-5pm The Student Radio Chart Show 5pm-6pm Crapbox

Specialist

6pm-7.30pm Classical Show with Hannah & Co. 7:30pm-9pm Jazz Society Show 9pm-10pm Daneka

www.xpressradio.co.uk

Xpress's Weekly Soap An exciting fun look at student life, written and performed by students. This Week: A game of “I have never” reveals all sorts of secrets about Lisa….

Broadcast Nationwide This week it’s Xpress’s turn to host The Student Radio Chart Show, a nationally syndicated weekly chart show composed from the top tracks played in student radio stations across the country.


FIVE MINUTE FUN 27

NOVEMBER.10. 2008 FMF@gairrhydd.COM

found on facebook Housemate done something stupid? 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

sudoku. Quick Crossword Across

Down

1. Drink coloured by grape skins (3,4) 5. Internet fraud (5) 9. Painting featured in Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code (3,4,6) 10. Given alternative accommodation (8) 11. Martial ___, judo, karate etc (4) 12. Ornamental material (9) 16. Passed along smoothly (4) 17. Uncommunicative (8) 19. Dive in, go for it! (4,3,6) 21. Habitual drug-takers (5) 22. Decelerating (7)

2. Repetitions of sound (6) 3. Drunk (4,5) 4. Builds a structure for egglaying (5) 6. Dog rose fruit (3) 7. Fuses (ores) in order to separate the metallic constituents (6) 8. Theatrical whispers (6) 11. Speechless with wonder (9) 13. Spiteful (6) 14. Scrubs (6) 15. On the ___ of Species, work by Charles Darwin (6) 18. Frisk (5) 20. Location of the malleus, incus and stapes (3)

1

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Send more oddities!

3

HARD

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8 9

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G

- spot

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this week's

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Sarah George and chum cosy up with a rather dapper looking Glyn... Goodness gracious 'G'! Spotted Glyn? Glyn, BB7 screen god is studying Welsh and Spanish at Cardiff University. Snap a picture

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of him and send us your sightings! Join the Gair Rhydd G-spot facebook group and upload!


28 LISTINGS The Listings Top Five...

Monday

November 10

...wonderous ways to beat a cold! It's that time of year again when the thermometer reading heads southwards and the number of coughing and spluttering students in lecture theatres quadruples. So just how do we go about beating those irritating autumnal sniffles? 1. Vitamin C The vitamin of C reigns supreme amongst the supplement populace. Forget those 'vitamin packed' gumdrops that your mum used to force on you, because a hefty Jaffa orange or a glass of tangtastic Tropicana each day is all it takes for your immune system to fight off those pesky antigens. 2. Wash your hands! Keeping your hands in the cleanest form possible will ensure a healthy lifestyle. Did you ever consider who touched that sink tap before you or delved into that complimentary bowl of peanuts on the bar top as well? Germs are everywhere... beware of them! 3. Chicken soup Whether it's a can of LIDL's home-brand or Marks and Sparks' finest, a bowl of chicken soup can work wonders. Known as 'Jewish Penicillin', this variety of broth will fight away any infectious illness and put a warming winter smile on your flushed and feverish face!

FUN FACTORY @ SOLUS Indie, alternative, old 90’s classics and ROCK!! 7pm-2am, free entry. DIGITAL @ OCEANA Another student night with plenty of music to boogie the night away to. 9pm-3am

NOVEMBER.10.2008 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Tuesday

November 11 GET LOST @ LIQUID It's all in the name. 9pm - 3am, £3.50 CHIC BEAT @ REVOLUTION The Rough Hill promotions team are at it again. 9pm - 3am, £4 - £5

VODKA ISLAND @ TIGER TIGER Popular alternative to Fun Factory - with added rarrrr. Free before 9pm, £3 after

ROBERT MITCHELL TRIO @ DEMPSEYS If you're into your alternative music and by that I don't mean hardcore rock, I mean Jazz, why not head down to see this young funky jazz musician. 9pm, £5

SAD SONGS FOR DIRTY LOVERS @ BUFFALO BAR Resident DJs and guest stars playing the music of the future. Popular with indie kids. Unofficial Quench spin-off too. 8pm - 3am £3

GAI TOMS @ CLWB IFOR BACH The amused resident DJs are back and will be pumping your blood full of all their usual catchy tunes. So why not head on down and have a boogie. 10pm - 2am, £3 - £2 nus

SHAM 69 @ THE POINT English punk rock band from Hersham will be rocking the stage with special guests Foreign Legion and the Duel. 7.30, £12

PICK AESTHETICS @ BUFFALO Hot Tuesday night moves to Buffalo. Brought to you by Cardiff students, this is the only choice for hip hop fanatics all week. 8pm - 3am, £3 - £2 nus

Wednesday November 12

THE ELECTRIC CWTCH @ GLO BAR Yeah, it's big and it's still going but not quite as good as our old Sin Bin nights. 10pm - 3am, £3. PICK SIN BIN @ SOLUS Heading up all other Wednesday nights in Cardiff and still first stop for the AU mob, apparently. Free entry 7-9, £3 after SHOTGUN RULES @ REVOLUTION Popular student night at Revolution battles with Sin Bin for the coveted AU crowd. 9pm - 2am, £2.50 COCK AND BULL @ TIGER TIGER The name says it all: it's a load of cock and bull. Free entry, 8pm WAVE AGAINST THE MACHINE @ THE BASEMENT Rock 'n' Rave, 90's school rave and all the classics. 9pm - 3am, 11pm IDA MARIA @ THE POINT I like you so much better when your naked.. yes that's her. If you fancy getting naked maybe you should go try your luck with her. You never know, you might get lucky. 7.30pm, £8 DIRTY YOUTH @ BARFLY Female fronted full force attitude rock band with special guests: Death of an Icon, Evil i and dead against the rest. 7pm, £5

4. Garlic Garlic in its rawest form will allow your sinuses to function properly once again - that means chomping on a bulb of the stuff as a mid-morning snack! Not brave enough? Then add the herb to spicy curries and pasta sauces to experience its healing powers at their fullest. 5. Vix A sniff from a tub of that childhood favourite, and your problems will go away (until it runs out that is.) Rub on your chest at nightime for a stirless sleep...or get your spouse to do it for you; it could be fun! Although the thought of snotty tissues, runny noses and violent coughing fits admidst an act of lurve is enough to make one feel increasingly ill.

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 ◆ Move, 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,


30 SPORT

NOVEMBER.10.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

SPORT ANALYSIS

Hamilton: a true champion Professional loser Scott D'Arcy Sports Editor

LEWIS HAMILTON has won the Formula One World Championship in just his second professional season. He became the youngest driver, at just 23, to claim victory in the World Championship and the first British Formula One champion since Damon Hill in 1996. It was not easy viewing, though, as he again struggled at Interlagos, where he agonisingly lost the title last season to Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton’s closest rival, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, burst into tears as the young McLaren-Mercedes driver pulled past Timo Glock in the dying stages of the final lap. The Brazilian had been told he had won a fairy-tale victory in front of his home crowd, only to have it snatched from him 38 seconds later. However, a quick look back over the season reveals that, yet again, Hamilton did not win the most grand prix, taking only five compared to Massa’s six. Add the point deductions

and controversy that surrounded his successful campaign and his victory is all the more incredible. Of course, the reaction of the British press in attempting to propel him to greatness is inevitable, but therein lies a cautionary tale: the higher he rises, the harsher the criticism when he falls. No longer does Britain will him to win - they now expect him

to, and this will place great strain on his young shoulders come the start of next season. The worry is, having done it once, can Hamilton handle the pressure of expectation? If Ferrari bring their car up to speed, and Massa continues his winning form, next season will provide an even greater challenge. Some hope Hamilton can dominate like Schumacher once did, but this seems both unlikely and perhaps undesirable. Formula One has seen a revival since the great German’s retirement. Although no other team seems able to break the Ferrari-McLaren dominance, there is an abundance of talented young drivers ready to challenge should Hamilton falter. One thing is certain though: Hamilton is no longer in danger of being a Great British nearly man. He is a World Champion. The question now is will he fade, like Raikkonen and Alonso before him, or can he maintain the composure that is characteristic of true greatness?

It's just not cricket Alex Bywater Sports Writer

THE STANFORD Super Series, run by the Antiguan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, is a possible future of English cricket after its announcement at Lords this summer. However after England’s 10wicket defeat to the Stanford Superstars, serious questions have been raised concerning the wider value of the tournament. The English Cricket Board (ECB) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) each received $3.5 million from the competition, with the winning Superstars taking $1 million each.The ECB have argued that the Stanford Series has given them the opportunity to invest into grass roots cricket in this country. However, monetary benefit aside, there has been criticism for the way that the tournament has been run. Important figures within English cricket

have referred to the tournament as, “obscene”, “a garden party”, and “a pantomime.” Even the English captain Kevin Pietersen revealed: “the more this week goes on, the more I want it to end.” Additionally there has been criticism of the poor quality floodlights and the long grass in the outfield, leading to a general poor standard of cricket. The behaviour of Sir Allen Stanford has also come under fire. In one of the earlier matches, the billionaire was pictured with England

wicket keeper Matt Prior’s wife sat on his knee. He has also had free reign to walk into the team’s dressing rooms at any time. This has made the England players feel distinctly uncomfortable about Stanford’s presence I and around the game. Despite this, the Chairman of the ECB, David Collier has described the tournament, “as a success.” The Stanford Series has underlined the growing importance of Twenty 20 cricket in the commercial world of cricket. The huge sums of money and the promise of more series to come have highlighted the growing shift towards the more accessible format of Twenty 20 cricket. Many argue that this could detract from the value of traditional Test Cricket. Commercialism looks set to displace the quaint world of Test cricket. Although the faster game of Twenty 20 may initially appeal to a wider audience, the soul of cricket, deeply rooted in fierce and prolonged Test encounters, could come under threat.

Josh Pettitt Sports Editor LAST FRIDAY Peter Buckley, boxing’s greatest loser, won his first fight in five years. This final twist of fortune was the last in Peter Buckley’s journeyman career as he signs off on his 300th fight. The tragedy is that Peter Buckley was earmarked early in his career for success and a crack at world titles. Although he never fought a title match, he prided himself on providing up and coming talents, such as Prince Naseem, with opportunities to blood themselves - albeit shedding little of their own. Out of his astounding 300 fights he lost an impressive 256, joining the likes of Eric 'the Eel' in the history of sport’s most incompetent participants. And yet Peter Buckley featured prominently in recent front-page news.

Britain is notorious for its love of the underdog and its chipper attitude in the face of defeat. For years we have cheered on the likes Paula Radcliffe and Tim Henman, only to groan in disbelief as our brave and plucky athletes fall at the final hurdle. Buckley has succeeded where more talented sportsmen have failed. For once, our faith has been rewarded by a spectacular win from a spectacularly useless athlete.

The hand of God Matt Parr Sports Writer DIEGO MARADONA has been confirmed as the new manager of Argentina. The decision comes in the wake of a bitter 1-0 defeat for the Argentines against fierce rivals Chile. However, the decision to grant the footballing legend his country's managerial position has come in for heavy criticism. Many feel that Maradona, recently voted Fifa Player of the Century, lacks the necessary experience to

handle the reigns of a major national team. Maradona’s status as the greatest player of his generation was marred by his 20-year long cocaine addiction. Despite this, Maradona is still revered in Argentina. His status as a national hero is such that a religion has been created in his honour, the ‘Church of Maradona’. The mission statement reads: ‘Our religion is football, so like every religion we have a God: Maradona’. In theory, it is a match made in heaven if we disregard Argentina’s favourite son’s total lack of managerial experience. Maradona’s track record to date is two short and rather unsuccessful spells at minor clubs - hardly a CV befitting the head coach of one of the most talented sides in the world. Not only does the great man seem too under-qualified, but more importantly he has proven too temperamental for such an important position. However, the memory of his legendary playing days endures in the minds of the Argentine faithful and would seem enough to grant the ageing legend a shot. For Argentina’s sake let’s hope he has other worldly connections.


SPORT 31

NOVEMBER.10.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

A Question of Sport

Following Project Queue, the Great Sports Debate took place in the Great Hall to discuss the proposed gym facilities, the state of sport at Cardiff University and where improvements can be made. Following the Project Queue protest outside the Park Place gym on Tuesday evening, the Great Sports Debate was held in the Great Hall. After the successful attendance of the earlier protest, numbers had noticeably dropped for the debate. The debate was held by representatives of the executive committee from the Students' Union and chaired by Ed Carey. University representatives were present at the debate in the form of Ed Lewis, Head of Sport and Exercise, Karen Tanner, Director of Sport, Chris Turner, Director of Regos and Matt Simms, Head of Registry. However, to the frustration of the students, the University representatives refused to participate in any debate, maintaining that they were only prepared to listen to the issues raised. Piggott opened the debate with an address that highlighted the state of the gym and sports facilities at Cardiff University: “The sports provision we have at Cardiff is insufficient for those that want to play sport.

“Increasingly, students are paying high fees and deserve value for money.” The need for an improvement to the gym facilities, as raised earlier at Project Queue, was the focal point of the debate. The suggestion that a new gym could be built inside of the SU was proposed at the meeting. For a variety of reasons that were discussed, the common consensus was that any new gym should be placed outside of the Students’ Union. Wood said that the need for a gym should not mean that the facilities that the SU provide are compromised. He said: “If we allow the university to build a gym [in the union] which I don’t believe there is space for, we are giving space away in the Students’ Union.” Comments from the floor proposed that a brand new, state-of-the-art gym is required to meet the demands of students. It was also suggested that a new gym is needed because there is a growing number of students who use non-university gyms in the Cardiff

area. Scott Piggott said that he was surprised that so many students have been forced away from the Park Place gym due to the inadequate facilities. On more than one occasion, the point about Cardiff University missing out on extra income due to a lack of sporting facilities was raised. One member of the audience said that if a new gym was built, it would provide more income to the university instead of local gyms. When the debate moved on to general sports facilities, there was an overwhelming belief that, again, the University is not meeting the standards required by students. The fact that Cardiff rank fifteenth out of the 17 Russell Group universities with regard to sports facilities, as well as being last out of the six Welsh institutions, shows how much room there is for improvement. Vice-President Wood also represented the hockey clubs in his address, raising the point that the men’s first team had to pay their own way to take part in the recent European Championships in Malta.

Wood said that investment in sport is based on ‘needs’, not ‘wants.’ He claimed that “people are being turned away from teams” during trials because the University’s sports facilities are not satisfactory enough to cope with the overwhelming demand. He said: “All we need is for the University to realise that sport means everything. “The university has an obligation to fulfil the needs of its students. There is no way the University can be a lead-

ing world organisation if it doesn’t invest more.” There is an apparent need to improve the sporting facilities at Cardiff University, both in the short and long term. The need for a new gym is the most important issue, as shown by Project Queue. However, vast improvements to the overall standard of sport are required long-term if the sporting reputation of Cardiff University is to improve.

What do you think of the state of sport facilities at Cardiff? Sport asks a cross-section of students their opinions...

“A gym or a pool is something that everyone can use and benefit from. Improvement in sporting facilities would boost poor student satisfaction.”

“Why should elite sport be prioritised over other activities that we compete in at a high level such as societies? There are only a few people here, so I question how much people care.”

“University sport isn't a priority for local councils, so we struggle for pool time. We spend £15,000 on pool bookings. Leisure and recreational swimming benefits everyone.”

“Mass participation is the priority, so a gym that can accomodate a larger number of students would be a good start. Sport is a crucial factor in the enjoyment of university life.”

“The state of facilities are pretty poor. Park Place is OK: there's just not enough for the amount of students here.”

Rosy Beasley Cardiff Medics Netball

Amy Aiello MA in Analytic and Modern Continental Philosophy

Natalie Proctor Water-polo President

Lloyd Jenkins Football 1sts

Sally Mason AU executive for individual sports


32 SPORT

NOVEMBER.10.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP

Uni HallStars 4-0 Liability FC

UNIHALLSTARS REGISTERED THEIR second win of the season in considerably better conditions than last week at Trelai. The Hallstars dominated the opening proceedings, which proved to be a common theme throughout the match, but to their credit, Liability battled hard and can take heart from a spirited performance. Strikers Adam Woodward and Chris Leigh had a wealth of chances in the first 45 minutes and should have put the Hallstars' lead out of sight, however, some poor finishing and a boggy pitch restricted their ability to do so. Scoring opportunities also fell to wingers Steve Tozzer and Dickie Campbell, but a string of fine saves from the Liability FC goalkeeper denied the Hallstars and kept the scores level going into the break. However, the opening minutes of the second half turned the match, with the Hallstars going two up within the first five minutes. A Tozzer corner was converted at the far post by Leigh, before Woodward doubled the lead with a burst through on goal,

rounding the keeper and calmly finishing. With conditions worsening, a scrappy spell ensued as neither team was able to make any constructive passes. However, Hallstars finally made the game safe with twenty minutes remaining, when a pin-point through ball was pounced upon by Adam Woodward. He shot quickly, only for the Liability goalkeeper to make a smart stop. Unfortunately for the 'keeper, the loose ball fell straight to the feet of Steven Tozzer, who cut back inside and rifled the ball into the roof of the net. Their advantage did not deter the Hallstars from attacking further as they fought hard to widen the gap. This was met with similar fight and resistance from Liability FC in their efforts to grab a consolation. Such efforts, though, eventually proved to be their downfall, when some impressive interplay between Steve Tozzer and Alex Prior down the right flank found the latter in the penalty area. Prior then drilled a low ball across the box for Adam Woodward to stroke home. That proved to be the end of the day's action, leaving the score line at 4-0 and the Hallstars' ambitions of Premiership football looking a real possibility. PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

Alexander Prior IMG Reporter

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

Starstruck

IMG: Putting in a STAR Performance

Men-tal breakdown Jonnie Bradbury IMG Reporter Inter MeNan 6-3 Men United WITH BOTH TEAMS yet to win this season it was a do-or-die encounter at Trelai and it was Men United who looked to take the initiative early on. United caught the Inter defence napping to grab their first of the day with only five minutes gone. Inter, however, clearly fancied themselves for this tie and the scores were evened up when Si Rawlings raced through to finish emphatically into the top corner. With neither side's midfield able to control the tempo, Men United reverted early on to long-ball tactics, continuously firing the ball over the Inter defence and taking advantage of their pace upfront. It was by these means that their second goal came: a long ball finding Inter 'keeper Lee Morgan,

who gifted Men United the lead following a misplaced pass. Although clearly rattled with finding themselves 2-1 down, Inter again replied quickly and neat interplay down the right-hand side from Rawlings resulted in Sam McKerrell neatly sliding his shot past the 'keeper on the turn. Inter, however, found themselves down again following more indecisive defensive work. Failing to clear a loose ball, it landed at the feet of a Men United player who made no mistake with his shot into the bottom corner. Again, though, United failed to hold on to their lead, after confusion in the box and following a corner, Adam Woodworth nodded home his second of the season from close range. The remainder of the first half saw the tempo fall and a stalemate take hold until Sam McKerrell's lofted free kick deceived everybody to sail untouched into the top corner, restoring Inter's lead shortly before the

break. Buoyed by their halftime lead, Inter looked much stronger in the second half, dominating midfield possession. Both teams looked dangerous on the break but it was McKerrell who again outpaced the United defence to deliver the perfect low ball for Rawlings to hammer home from six yards out. At 5-3, midway through the second half, neither side was able to sustain such a frantic tempo and the match descended into somewhat of a dogfight until Inter's substitutes brought renewed life to the match. As Inter pushed forward, looking to consolidate their lead, it was Jack Bennett who finally brought the scoring to a close as he popped up at the back post to scuff the ball untidily into the net. Although United continued to pressure, the result was never really in doubt and the game ended in a deserved 6-3 victory, getting Inter MeNan's season up and running while leaving United pointless after three games.

took his chance brilliantly and easily lobbed the goalkeeper. Engin responded quickly, though, with a low cross that was converted from close range. Goalkeeper Chris Jones kept the Tigers in the game with some difficult saves; the best coming from a header that was destined for the top right corner, only to be tipped around the post at the last moment. With Engin failing to build on their first goal, Barrett was sent through at the other end, latching onto an incisive pass from Adam Hobson and clinically converting. Just before half time the Tigers launched another successful attack. As Pete Gardner broke down the right, his shot was initially saved, but fell into the path of Pepe Edgley who

snuck in for a score from a few yards out. Newcomers FC Samba Tigers led 3-1 going into the second half. Engin halved the deficit quickly when a poorly defended corner was headed in at the far post. The Tigers failed to create any great chances to test the Engin 'keeper, but had spells of pressure with set pieces causing particular trouble. Engin’s dominance of possession eventually led to their equaliser, a cross from the left wing met a fantastic diving header that thudded into the net. The match remained tense but Engin could not find a way past a committed defence and a determined goalkeeper. After a tough game two impressive teams had to settle with a share of the spoils each.

Samba Tigers stall Engin Marc Edwards IMG Reporter Samba Tigers 3-3 E. Locomotive

IMG: Playing Dirty

PONTCANNA SET THE STAGE for an enthralling tie between the two unbeaten teams in Group C. Something had to give as FC Samba Tigers took on Engin Locomotive. It was Engin Locomotive who started as the better team, with some promising attacks taking advantage of sloppy defending early on. However, it was the Samba Tigers that took the lead with a booming goal kick that split the Engin defence and sent marksman Max Barrett in on goal. He


SPORT 33

NOVEMBER.10.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP

Eimear O'Toole IMG Reporter Cardiff Jets 15-8 E. Automotive NEWCOMERS CARDIFF JETS A secured their second group stage victory in a hard-fought match against the established Engin Automotive. The game, played at Talybont in cold and slippery conditions, was littered with unforced errors but both sides dug deep to deliver an exciting contest. Jets came out stronger, taking an early 3-0 lead with fast, competitive play and some vital interceptions in defence. Engin however, soon fought back, gaining more possession with impressive centre-court play and were able to narrow the gap to 3-2. Recognising the threat, the Jets upped their game, utilising their defensive players in the centre third to give them a powerful attacking element. This created a string of goals for the Jets, and it looked like they were finally able to pull away. But Engin Automotive replied with two succesive goals before half time, bringing the score at the interval to 9 -4 to the

Jets. Engin made some tactical changes at half time, which saw a stronger team emerge for the second half, and they were able to secure two early goals, largely down to skilful accuracy of their Goal Shooter. Jets remained strong and composed in defence, passing with speed and accuracy up the court, turning over each interception and providing much-needed goals to further stretch their lead. Early in the second half the game became scrappy, with several unforced errors affecting both teams' play. This frustration was evident in the increasingly frantic tempo and in the higher level of errors, but both sides soon regained their composure. It was in the latter stages of the second half that Cardiff Jets’ skill was fully evident. They soared ahead with intricate attacking play between the Centre and Goal-Shooter, to which the Engin Automotive defence simply had no reply. Despite their best efforts, Engin could only pull back a few conciliatory goals before the final whistle was blown, signaling a comprehensive victory of 15 - 8 for the Cardiff Jets.

IMG NETBALL

PHOTO: LIZ WRAY

Jets soar to victory

Group Positions after Week 3:

Both Cardiff A and Pharmacy B battled hard from the opening

IMG: Goal Fest

L

Diff

Pts

Law B

3

3

0

0

26

9

2

Cardiff A

2

2

0

0

36

6

3

Navy

3

2

0

1

-16

6

4

Medics A

3

1

0

2

22

3

5

Dentistry

3

1

0

2

-3

3

6

Medics B

3

1

0

2

-17

3

7

Pharmacy B

3

1

0

2

-21

3

8

Socsi B

2

0

0

2

--3

0

P

W

Group B D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Economics A

3

3

0

0

91

9

2

Psychology B

3

2

0

1

13

6

3

Socsi A

3

2

0

1

-16

6

4

SAWSA

2

1

0

1

-2

3

5

Cardiff IWC

3

1

0

2

-12

3

6

English B

2

1

0

1

-15

3

7

J-Unit

3

1

0

2

-35

3

8

C-Plan

3

0

0

3

--42

0

Group C P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Law A

3

3

0

0

50

9

2

Psychology A

2

2

0

0

13

6

3

Christian Union

3

1

0

2

8

3

4

Cardiff B

3

1

0

2

0

3

5

Cardiff Jets B

2

1

0

2

-10

3

6

Jomec

3

1

0

2

-18

3

7

Optom

2

0

0

2

-12

0

8

Gym Gym

2

0

0

2

--31

0

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

IMG NETBALL

tration of players on one side of the court. Pharmacy managed to take advantage of this sloppy play by picking up many of the wayward passes. Cardiff were not finished though, and with some neat interceptions from Centre Rhi Boulton and Wing-Defence Louise Winer, they converted two

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

Cardiff A 14-14 Pharmacy B

D

1

IMG NETBALL

IMG: Up, Up and Away

centre pass in what was a surprisingly hard-fought match for Cardiff, who are currently settled at the top of Group A. Pharmacy’s consistently effective attack ensured they took an early lead. At times the game was disjointed, with weak passes from both sides resulting in confusion and a concen-

W

IMG NETBALL

Pharmacists sedate Cardiff Grace Le Breton IMG Reporter

Group A

P

Pharmacy centres to narrow the defecit to four goals at half time. The tension between the two teams that had dominated the first half showed no sign of letting up in the second. With at least two players carrying injuries, Cardiff began as they meant to go on and quickly converted another Pharmacy centre. Pharmacy seemed to tire despite their substitutions, while strong support from the sidelines boosted Cardiff’s morale. Accurate shooting from Cardiff’s Goal-Attack Ruth Hannan and Goal-Shooter Grace Le Breton meant the teams drew level with just five minutes remaining. Pharmacy matched them goal for goal however, meaning that neither team could sustain more than a two goal lead. The impetus for more goals resulted in errors at the Pharmacy end, with Cardiff's defence zoning the shooters out almost completely. The last minute of the game was tense as both teams attempted to claim the three points on offer. A last ditch attempt by Pharmacy’s Goal-Attack Rachael Boyd was not successful and it was Cardiff who finally scored to close the one goal deficit. After an extremely physical half hour, the teams had to be satisfied with one point each and zero goal difference, which could prove to be of some importance when phase two begins.

Group D

1

Carbs A

2

3

0

0

25

6

2

Cardiff Jets A

2

2

0

0

12

6

3

Carbs B

2

2

0

1

9

6

4

Pharmacy A

2

1

0

2

9

6

5

Numatics

2

1

0

2

4

6

6

Economics B

3

1

0

2

-6

3

7

Biology

2

1

0

2

-2

0

8

English A

2

0

0

2

--5

0

9

Automotive

3

0

2

0

-10

0

10

Earth Soc

2

0

0

2

-16

0

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

IMG FOOTBALL

Group A

1

Real Ale Madrid

2

2

0

0

13

6

2

Gym Gym

2

2

0

0

3

6

3

Magnificent XI

2

1

1

0

3

4

4

Pharm AC

2

1

0

1

3

3

5

Earth Soc

2

1

0

1

0

3

6

OPSOC

2

0

1

1

-3

1

7

Numatics

2

0

0

2

-6

0

8

Philosophy

2

0

0

2

--13

0

P

W

IMG FOOTBALL

Group B D

L

Diff

Pts

1

AFC History

2

2

0

0

13

6

2

Carbs

2

2

0

0

7

6

3

MOMED FC

2

1

0

1

2

3

4

Psychology

2

1

0

1

2

3

5

SAWSA

2

1

0

1

-3

3

6

SOCSI

2

1

0

1

-3

3

7

AFC Cathays

2

0

0

2

-6

0

8

Crusaders

2

0

0

2

--12

0

P

W

IMG FOOTBALL

Group C D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Locomotive

2

2

0

0

11

6

2

J-Unit

2

2

0

0

5

6

3

Samba Tigers FC

2

2

0

0

2

6

4

Law B

2

1

0

1

7

3

5

J-Soc

2

1

0

1

2

3

6

Inter MeNan

2

0

0

2

-3

0

7

Men United FC

2

0

0

2

-10

0

8

Euros FC

2

0

0

2

--14

0

P

W

IMG FOOTBALL

Group D D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Law A

2

2

0

0

15

6

2

Automotive

2

2

0

0

8

6

3

Uni HallStars

2

1

0

1

4

3

4

KLAW

2

1

0

1

0

3

5

Economics

2

1

0

1

-2

3

6

Liability FC

2

0

1

1

-3

1

7

LAW C

2

0

1

1

-10

1

8

Jomec FC

2

0

0

2

--12

0


34 SPORT

NOVEMBER.10.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

Valiant Cardiff foiled

Charlie Dyer Fencing Reporter CARDIFF 1sts........................118

FENCING: Staberystwyth 2, the epeeists strike back

PHOTO: SARAH DAY

ABERYSTWYTH 1sts..............130 CARDIFF LADIES' fencing team, consisting of just Morwenna Perrott, Rose Gorden and Charlie Dyer suffered a close defeat yesterday to a full strength Aberystwyth team. The first weapon fenced was sabre, Cardiff’s strongest weapon. However, Cardiff got off to a slow start and were trailing Aberystwyth by 6 points after four bouts. Perrott, normally a foilist, took the scores to Aberystwyth 25Cardiff 22, halving the home sides’s lead. Gorden then took Cardiff into the lead with an amazing 8 point win over Aberystwyth’s Stephanie Ties. Cardiff held onto the lead over the next two fights, with both Perrott and Dyer winning 5-2. Rose then finished off the first weapon of the day with a 40-45 win and impressive display of fencing. Next was foil and despite the experience and skill of Perrott, it was not Cardiff’s strongest weapon, with sabruer Gorden taking up foil for the first time ever in a match, after barely half an hours training. The scores were initially close with

UWE hit for six CARDIFF Men's 1sts.................6 UWE Men's 1sts........................1 A GREAT all-round team performance saw Cardiff put six goals past bitter rivals UWE in a heated affair at Llanrumney. Defeat at the hands of Southampton last week prompted coach Dean Wheeler to alter his team’s formation to a more fluid 4-4-3, with captain Sean Hogan and Kane Finnegan giving attacking creativity from wide positions and Shawn Prince dropping into a free role ahead of defensive midfielders Huw Corn and Danny Sproule. Both teams began the match in full blooded spirit, however neither side managed to carve out meaningful chances amidst crunching and committed tackles. When the first chance did arrive in the 27th minute, it was Cardiff that made important breakthrough. Indecision in the UWE defence allowed lone striker Kwame Asare to out-muscle centre back Callum Stewart and poke the ball under the advancing goalkeeper from ten yards. Cardiff were utilising the wings well and just prior to the interval, neat passing football down the right channel earned them another opportunity from a corner. Hogan and Prince worked the ball short and the captain beat a defender before swinging a dangerous cross

into the box. The ball evaded three Cardiff heads before falling to winger Finnegan, who took a touch and blasted a left footed effort across the keeper into the top of the net to make it 2-0. Cardiff were impressively calm and organised in defensive areas and this was reflected in the fact that UWE could not manage one attempt on goalkeeper Luke Bliss’ net during the opening 45 minutes. After the restart, UWE piled on the pressure, but were thwarted by Cardiff’s. However, Cardiff’s first lapse in concentration at the back led to a UWE goal. Callum Stewart managed to evade his marker to steal in at the near post from Sam Croft’s corner and divert a bullet header from close range past Bliss to set up a tense last half hour. The goal should have signaled a spirited UWE comeback, however the Bristol side failed to respond and Cardiff seized the initiative to definitively put the result beyond doubt. A sumptuous move began from the centre of the midfield with Danny Sproule who linked a one two with strong striker Kwame Asare. Sproule’s vision astutely picked out captain Hogan who motored past the last man and finished expertly across the keeper to restore the two goal advantage. UWE were forlorn and their misery was to be compounded moments later. Prince scampered onto a long ball only to be cynically hacked down by Croft. Referee Kevin Russell judged the 6”3 defender to have been the last man and showed him a straight red card.

From the resulting free kick, Prince righted the wrong by smashing a low drive past a shoddy wall into an exposed part of the net to extend the lead to a 4-1. All pressure on the home side had evaporated and they exploited the one man advantage cross-field pass by Hogan toward Kane Finnegan, who thumped a volley past the despairing hands of Jason Lewis in the UWE goal to score his second of the afternoon. UWE almost mustered another goal but for Bliss’ first rate save from Cookman’s looping header. It was too little too late, though, and Cardiff’s man advantage proved too much for the away side to counteract. Cardiff completed the rout with a swift counter attack. The ball worked its way to Prince, whose shot was saved, but substitute Callum Brennan mopped up the rebound to complete an resounding 6-1 victory with a minute to go. Speaking after the match, captain Sean Hogan was understandably elated with his side’s best result of the season and believes they can replicate such potential in the forthcoming games. “We learned lessons from our 3-1 defeat last week and changed our formation to try and make us more of an attacking threat.” He explained. Cardiff now sit third in the BUCS Western Conference 1A and will be entering next week’s tough away test against table toppers Bournemouth in a confident mood.

FOOTBALL: Better, faster, higher

PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

Will Viles Sports Reporter

one team in the lead for a bout then the other. Then the home side began to pull away and the scores became 25-16. The next two fencers on the piste each had to get to up to 30 points, giving Cardiff the seemingly impossible task of making up 14 points in just three minutes, all before Aberystwyth were able to get 5. A superhuman effort by Perrott saw the scores level at 29 each after three minutes. However, the home side again pulled away to take the eventual win 45-34. Finally came epeé and unfortunately Cardiff’s smaller team for this match had a lot less experience in epeé than Aberystwyth’s two Team GB epeéists. However, Cardiff held their own, with the scores at 15-12 to Aberystwyth after the first three fights. Aberystwyth then demonstrated their greater skill and experience by taking the scores to Aberystwyth 40 – Cardiff 27. For the final bout Ceilidh from Aberystwyth needed 5 points and Cardiff’s Perrott needed 18. An amazing final display of epee by Perrott, who managed to earn 12 points, was unfortunately not enough with the final score reading 45-39 to Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth took victory 130-118, but Cardiff can be proud of some amazing fencing shown in Aberystwyth, and a very close loss against a full strength home team.


SPORT 35

NOVEMBER.10.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

Perfect Ex-ecution Phil Haynes Hockey Reporter CARDIFF Men's 1sts.................3 EXETER Men's 1sts...................0

Ultimate Frills James Hinks Ultimate Frisbee Reporter CARDIFF UNIVERSITY Ultimate Frisbee First team, ‘No frills’, breezed through the first regional tournament of the year, held in Plymouth, to qualify for the National finals, albeit with a slight sense of disappointment. Cardiff, BUSA outdoor national champions, eased through the group stage beating 2nd and 3rd teams with determined discipline. A more focused mentality had to be conjured by captain, Tony Fuller, for the semi-final, which was against much more credible opposition, Plymouth. Cardiff, successfully pumped-up by the tirade

of taunts from the home support and opposition, silenced them by storming to a 9-3 victory. Sadly, the final is where the disappointment occurred. A sluggish Cardiff team trailed 4-1 before finally becoming aggressive and faster in their play. Two hard-fought points forced the game into sudden death, which Cardiff lost. The team had to settle for 2nd place, which still takes them through to Nationals in four week's time. Overall, it was a good weekend for all Cardiff teams. The 2nd team finished an impressive 8th, led by new, inspirational captain Simon Dunstan. The 3rds, who where accompanied by some Cardiff old timers, landed 21st in ranking.

LACROSSE: Capital punishment

CARDIFF CONTINUED their excellent start to the campaign with a hard-fought 3-0 win over an Exeter side that proved tricky to break down. A resilient performance by the defence and clinical finishing were key factors, which ultimately brought the home side their deserved reward. The opening exchanges saw both sides endeavour to keep possession for as long as possible. Had Phil Wilkinson’s pacy cross been touched even slightly by a Cardiff stick, they could easily have nosed in front early on, in what proved to be a half of limited chances for the home side. Seizing the initiative, Exeter began to dominate. The pace of their front line caused the Cardiff defence problems. On more than one occasion ‘keeper Ian Ferguson had to come to their rescue. Despite the visitors' efforts, the back line stood firm. Tom Bacon produced a crucial clearance with Exeter’s striker lurking expectantly. The half-time whistle was surely a relief to

crossed for Huw Proctor to give the Exeter ‘keeper no chance, claiming his second goal of the season. Clearly inspired by the cushion, Cardiff pressed on, Martin White going close shortly before the same player picked the ball up in midfield, doggedly running through a number of attempted challenges to put Felix Flower clear on the left, whose precise cross saw Bacon arrive to claim a deserved first goal of the season. Exeter could not believe what had hit them; they scarcely threatened even to produce a consolation as Cardiff patiently maintained possession until the final whistle. In their toughest test yet, Cardiff displayed their all-round determination and sheer refusal to back down, resulting in a well-earned victory. HOCKEY: Triple Ex

London falling Susanna Byers Lacrosse Reporter CARDIFF Ladies' 1sts..............25 UCL Ladies' 1sts.......................1

PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

Cardiff as they sought to regroup after a testing first thirty-five minutes. After a determined start to the second half by Exeter, Cardiff began to rally, frequently breaking up the away sides play. As on previous occasions this season, the home side’s threat paid off: Tom Moore and Wilkinson combined to great effect on the lefthand side, the latter was impeded inside the D and a penalty corner was awarded; a well rehearsed move drew Exeter out, and captain Billy Hughes was on hand to smash the ball home to the delight of the home crowd. Cardiff consolidated their newfound dominance in possession, and shortly afterwards they were 2-0 up and cruising; a clever turn and through pass from Jamie Longstreet on halfway set Bacon away on the left, who

PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

HOCKEY: No thrills qualification

CARDIFF LADIES' Lacrosse team were aware of the difficult challenge ahead of them at Llanrumney against a University College London side, who they had to beat to avoid definite relegation to a lower league. There was a nervous atmosphere amongst the team as the new kits were unveiled. The team were ready for a game which all felt should be an easy win. Cardiff fired out of the blocks and, by playing well as a unit, looked by far the better team, ending the first quarter with eight goals under their belts. UCL were fumbling and had yet to score. As it seemed that it was going to

be a win for our home team, Cardiff appeared to slow down in terms of goal scoring. Despite excellent linking feeds in the mid-field from players such as Anna Tomlinson and Georgie Saunders, our attacking players lacked the team play that was apparent in the first quarter. As such, Cardiff’s consequent goals came thick and fast, but with less finesse. Yet, the home side still went into half time with a lead of fourteen goals to nil. Half time brought a confused Cardiff back to its senses, but unfortunately a lapse in concentration allowed UCL some consolation with their first goal. With UCL gaining a higher percentage of possession, Cardiff’s defensive players finally had some work to do to get the ball back into our control. CoCaptain Lisa Paul stood her ground, never letting up on the opposition’s drives into attack, while Lucy Clare saved the hard-hitting UCL shots that did manage to get through. Once again, Elly Morris and Ellie Drury played a vital role in our scor-

ing for the third quarter, providing impressive set-ups and scoring some brilliant goals. Co-Captain and defence player Sam Olney was also pushed out of her comfort zone as she faced up to the centre position; meaning she would be bringing out her attacking skills. She tackled the change well, and with supporting players such as Sue Chandler, Chaz Ewen and Annabelle Lee, Cardiff racked up the goals to eighteen to one at the end of the third quarter. Although victory was ensured, the big goal difference would keep Cardiff at the bottom of the league table, the home side did not relax. UCL were rattled, and despite many a cheeky, underhand comment from our opposition, Cardiff remained dignified, ending an easy game with a spectacular win of twenty five goals to one. Lisa Paul commented on the conclusive win: “It was a great victory for a new team. Everyone played really well and we definitely deserved the win.”


Sport 14 gairrhydd

gairrhydd

FEATURES

OCTOBER.22.2007

INSIDE: The Great Sport Debate, BUCS reports, the IMG FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM round-up and an all new Sport Analysis section

A QUEUE FOR CHANGE

Over one hundred students take part in an Invest in Sport protest against inadequate sports facilities

Richard Williams Sports Editor

Richard Williams Sports Editor Over 100 people queued up outside the Park Place gym on Tuesday evening in protest of the lack of sporting facilities for Cardiff University students. The protest, named Project Queue, was devised to raise awareness of the long queues that are a regular occurence at the university's main gym. Members of both BUCS and IMG sport teams,

as well as regular gym users, turned up in their sportswear to campaign for an improvement to the university’s sport and exercise provisions. The current standard of gym facilities at Cardiff is nowhere near sufficient for the number of students attending the University. The University has two gyms, at Park Place and Talybont, with a combined capacity for cardio-vascular and weight equipment of just 66. 26,000 students, along with almost 6,000 fulltime and part-time staff, attend Cardiff University and have access to the range of sport and

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

exercise services available. Students have been forced to travel into town and sign up with rival gyms, spending more money but avoiding the queues at the university gyms. The Cardiff University website claims that the facilities ‘provide students and staff with a balanced, high quality and integrated sport and exercise service which meets the needs of a broad range of users.’ However, as the protest highlighted, there is a distinct lack of quality in the service provided

for an increasingly demanding student population. The protest was followed by a public debate in the Great Hall to discuss the issue in greater detail. The need for a new gym was discussed with representatives from the Students' Union, the Athletics' Union and members of BUCS and IMG teams. Representatives from the University attended to listen to the concerns of students. Project Queue coverage continues on page 31

REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT THE POST OFFICE n GAIR RHYDD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS n THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE PUBLISHERS n GAIR RHYDD IS WRITTEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITY n BEN: 'IT DAWNED ON ME I AM A MASSIVE RACIST.' n EMMA: 'I OFTEN WONDER WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE BEFORE FACEBOOK' n LIZ CONFESSES SHE SECRETLY WANTS TO BE A BOY n JOSH PULLS OFF WHAT OTHER MEN DON'T DARE - A PINK T-SHIRT n MR RASCAL FOR PRIME MINISTER n HELLO BAGUETTE


LISTINGS 29

NOVEMBER.10.2008 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

November 13

November 14

November 15

November 16

GLAMOURPUSS @ GLAM The cats are still fighting but who is winning? It's your chance to pick again. Why not mix it up a bit. 9pm - 4am, £3 NUS MISCHIEF @ TIGER TIGER Clearly no mischief happened last week so why don't you try and cause some this week...? 9pm - 2am, £4 - £5 CYNT @ CLWB IFOR BACH Audio Jack and John White will be pumping out their tunes. 10.30pm - 4am, £3 ELLIOT MINOR @ SU They played here once and they're back again, so clearly they were a hit. If you didn't manage to get down there last time why not go tonight. But be aware of the teeny emos; some are quite scary. You might even be able to spot the odd parent. 7pm, £12

LUSH @ SOLUS R’n’B, poppy stuff, funky house & electro. Free entry 7-9pm, £3 after. VOODOO @ RISA Student night. 9pm-3am, £4 SCOUTING FOR GIRLS @ CIA They played the ball and now they're at the CIA. If you enjoyed it why not go back for a second installment. 7pm, £17.50 STRIKE @ METROS Anyone heard of Mark Ramone? The legendary member of the Ramones. Well yeah, he is back with some punk classics. 10pm - 3.30am SWN @ Venues all over Cardiff More music and art than you can wave a bloody stick at. Spread over the entire week end at numerous 'cool' indie venues 6pm, Wristbands £45, Walk-up £3 - £12

COME PLAY @ SOLUS Possibly the best established night at the Union. Better music this year too. 9pm - 2am, £3 ME AND U CLUB @ 10 FEET TALL The resident DJs are all out in force this week playing all their usually boring tunes. So we should all head down to the union and support our uni. 11pm - 4am, £5 PICK N MIX @ BUFFALO BAR Yet more resident DJs. There is nothing more to say. Free before 10pm, £3 after MOTORHEAD @ SU They're fast, filthy and very loud with Lemmy on the bass. Special guests include Saxon and Dako Jones. £25

ZUTONS @ SU Did you know they got their name from The Magic Band guitarist Bill Harkleroad? He was better known as Zoot Horn (or "Zuton"). How exciting. 7pm, £20 TORN@ BUFFALO BAR Yet again more resident DJs. 10am - 4am, Free 10 FOOT CWTCH @ 10 FEET TALL Rowan Liggett, Habana Flex and Freak Unique are taking over the stage. Freak Unique are a welsh trio with electric energetic beats and a unique style you are all going to love. 8.30pm - 3am, £3

pick of the week (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, 02920 460873 www.thepointcardiffbay.com ◆ Tommy’s Bar, Howard Gardens (off Newport Road) 02920 416192 ◆

gair rhydd - Issue 881  

gair rhydd - Issue 881