gair rhydd Monday November 5th 2012 | freeword â€“ Est. 1972 | Issue 989
Student media interview ignites freedom of speech debate
An interview carried out by Leeds Student has ignited debate over the freedom of speech, censorship and student media. Members of the National Union for Students (NUS) have demanded that the interview be taken off the internet immediately, claiming it is effectively advocating the British National Partyâ€™s fascist views. Despite his far right beliefs, should he be forbidden the right to express them? Leeds Student holds that student media should not shy away from publishing such beliefs, despite the controversy they may cause, and despite the protests of the NUS.
Use of external Welsh translators questioned over cost and quality p4 >>
Politics looks at the controversy surrounding Ukranian elections p16
Science examines Freshers revel in its relationship with Ulitmate Frisbee p29 p19 opener religion
2 / Editorâ€™s Note
gr News 4â€“7 Opinion 9â€“11 Columnist 12 Politics 14â€“15 Science 16â€“18 Societies 20â€“21 Taf od 24â€“25 Puzzles 26 Listings 27 Sport 29â€“31
EDITOR Chris Williams CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan CREATIVE DIRECTOR Luke Slade SUB-EDITOR Tom Parry-Jones NEWS Kendal Archer Tom Eden Bethan Jones Anna Hickman OPINION Alice Briggs Nick Evans Alex Greig COLUMNIST Liam McNeilly POLITICS Thom Hollick Position vacant SCIENCE Alexey Underwood Rhiannon Davies SOCIETIES Vanessa Platt LISTINGS Lowri Martinson TAF-OD Tomos Lewis SPORT Rhys Clayton Viktor Tsvetanov James Shapland GAIR RHYDD AND QUENCH MAGAZINE ARE PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY UNION $"3%*'' 1"3, 1-"$& $"3%*'' $' 2/ t REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT THE POST 0''*$&t("*33):%%3&4&37&45)&3*()5 50&%*5"--$0/53*#65*0/4t5)&7*&84 EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE 0'5)&16#-*4)&34t("*33):%%*483*5 TEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
A note from the editor...
never, ever thought I'd be able to successfully complete 60 minutes of talking into a microphone and playing music... but I managed it. It's surprising, you never realise how difficult it is talking for an hour on your own. To me, it was the equivalent of talking to myself in a mirror, only with a few more buttons and dials to press. You hear presenters on the radio and really take for granted how much preparation and effort goes into creating a quality show. Needless to say, due to a lack of preparation and a desperate attempt at learning the controls on the job, mine was not a quality show. Yet, it was quite a fun respite from what has, in fact, been quite a stressful week. Having looked forward to the CUTV Halloween social, I never expected for it to begin with me feeling absolutely furious. The article on the front page about NUS is one that touched the core of my beliefs about free press and freedom of speech. It's worth reading and trying to fully get to grips with what happened last week and the true repercussions this could have. That's all I'll say about it for now (I've a comment on page 5 next to the article), but I implore you to read it. Having calmed myself down, the CUTV Halloween social came and went in standard ridiculous fashion â€“ making the rest of the week a struggle, including one of the most stressful football matches I've ever seen (Reading v Arsenal). Before The Lash's awesome soldout night in Solus, the rest of my week has been a mix of recovery and intense angry email writing. ...and they say this job is easy!
The week in tweets
Want to help make the paper? Date of next meeting: Monday, November 5th: Aneurin Bevan room, 5pm (4th floor of the SU) Monday, November 12th: Aneurin Bevan room, 5pm (4th floor of the SU) Monday, November 19th: CF1o, 5pm (1st floor of the SU)
Proofreaders wanted! Got a keen eye for grammar? Or just enjoy free pizza on Thursday nights? Come up to the office every Thursday for free pizza and proofing.
gair rhydd would like to thank the following for their articles and help in making this issue: Contributors Jenny Morgan, Chris McSweeney, Alexandra Brown, Francesca Blackham, Natasha Smith, Louice Tapper Jansson, Jo Southern, Amy Endacott, Catherine Ross, Lauren Milkins, Rachel Victoria Lewis, Lauren Boyd, Greg Landon, Rachel Lewis, Chloe Peirce, Dylan Jenkins, David Mason, Olivier Richards, Wipula Paquet, Jule Downie, Oliver Gray, Edward Searle, Chris Beynon, Dylan Mitchell, Victoria Farrant, James Tilley
Proof Readers Jia Goh Michael O'Connell-Davidson Jacob Dirnhuber Hugh Roger
Monday November 5th 2012 | @mediacsu
Xpress Radio is back on air
Go to xpressradio.co.uk Your city. Your soundtrack
News in brief Children given cocaine whilst trick-or-treating in Oldham Children going trick or trating in Oldham got more than they bargained for. Greater Manchester have reported that children were handed packets of cocaine instead of sweets in Royton on Halloween.
China bans toy aeroplanes and pigeons With the Communist Party Congress fast approaching in Bejing, it is unsurprising that the Chinese authorities are tightening up the security. Included in the vast list of new regulations is a temporary attempt to ban remote-control aeroplanes and a law that gives police the power to arrest anyone who attempts to fly a pigeon for the duration of the Congress.
A sniffer dog in Brazil has been targeted for assassination by a notoriously violent gang after detecting 660 pounds of cannabis. Police intercepted a radio transmission between the gangsters in the slum of Manguinhos that revealed a plan to “target the brownie”, a reference to the Labrador’s colour.
Sniffer dog targeted by Brazilian gang
Jeep stuck on roof after drug smuggling attempt goes wrong
US border officials revealed last week the details of a highly ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful plan to smuggle drugs into the United States via Mexico. Two suspects fled the scene when an elaborate attempt to drive a jeep full of narcotics over a 14ft building on the border with the aid of improvised ramps failed because the vehicle broke down on the roof.
In this weeks issue... Cardiff University are trying to use bees to cure superbugs in ongoing research
Opinion question whether The Rolling Stones can really justify their extortionate ticket prices
After months of technical problems and a lot of hard work from the team, Xpress Radio is back on air for the Autumn semester
Tuition fees have been described as a 'Unishambles'. Rachel Lewis gives her view on the situation
Sport writer Chris Benyon reports on the first open session of the newly created road cycling club
4 / News / Front Page
eeds University has been condemned by certain members of the National Executive Committee of the National Union of Students (NUS) for publishing an interview with Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party (BNP) in their newspaper, Leeds Student. The interview, carried out by student James Greenhalgh, addresses accusations of racism, gay rights and the future of the party. However, Aaron Kiely, the NUS Black Students’ Officer claimed to be “appalled” by the interview, which he described as “offensive”, and has demanded it be removed immediately in an open letter posted on the internet on the same day. The article, published on October 26th, addresses Griffin on a range of issues, including the falling public support of the party, upcoming elections, as well as Griffin’s typically offensive attitude toward homosexuals and ethnic minorities. Within his response statement, Aaron Kiely, claimed: “In publishing this interview, Leeds Student risks giving legitimacy to a fascist organisation, and boosts the BNP’s attempts to join the political mainstream when we should be isolating them.” Members of the National Excutive Committee considered the interview with Griffin to be in breach of their ‘No Platform’ policy, which dictates that anyone considered racist or fascist should not be able to stand in any NUS elections or participate in any NUS function. This policy is rooted in the idea that fascism stands for the destruction of democracy and freedom and the annihilation of whole groups of people. As a result, there is no
Leeds Student vs the NUS News editor Anna Hickman asks if Nick Griffin should be given a platform to speak, and whether censoring him denies Freedom of Speech logical debate to be had with fascists. Yet it is not necessary for a students’ union to adopt the NUS policy, as there is no legal obligation. However, Aaron Kiely and the other members of the National Executive Committee who signed his open letter have been questioned in their legitimacy in challenging the interview. Lucy Snow, Editor of Leeds Student, defended her decision to publish the interview, claiming: “I was voted into my position by students on our campus, the same students who are exposed to what's in the newspaper.
“Civil partnerships ...undermine the institution of marriage, and as a result of that, children will die over the next few years” “In their email demanding that I remove the article, the NUS signed off "in unity". In unity with whom? None of my team voted for their "no platform for fascists" policy, nor did we vote for these NUS officers. While we have a say on who gets to be an executive member of the Student Union at Leeds University, we
don't get to choose our national NUS officers or their policies.” She also made a point of addressing the LGBT+ committee members before printing, and they decided to include in the article the fact that the interviewer, James Greenhalgh, is gay. Snow admitted that a vulnerable, firstyear student who is struggling to come to terms with their sexuality might be affected by Griffin’s comments, which include describing two gay men kissing as “creepy”, but also stressed that student papers should not shy away from confronting extreme politics. Yet although Lucy Snow has stood by her decision to publish the article, Antony Haddley, the Union Affairs Officer at Leeds University has drawn attention to the controversial nature of the interview. On his blog, he stated: “As with the students we represent, there is divided opinion on the Exec as to whether the Union’s “No Platform” policy should cover printed interviews or whether the article should have been printed in the first place considering there was no wider context in the news. Our disagreement isn’t a hindrance; we want to join with the student
body to participate in open debate about all aspects of the ‘No Platform’ policy. This is not the first time that the NUS has faced resistance with regards to its ‘No Platform’ policy. George Galloway, who has been prevented from speaking at university union’s events’ due to his comments defending Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder who was accused of rape. He has announced plans to sue the NUS for defamation, with any damages he receives to be donated to the Defence Fund for Julian Assange. In his open letter addressing Leeds Student’s interview, Aaron Kiely quoted the Holocaust as an example of why fascists should not be allowed a platform anywhere in the student movement. He said: “We should always remember that the millions of people who died at the hands of the Nazis’ slaughter – in the gas chambers and the concentration camps – did not die because their debating skills or arguments were not powerful enough. They died because once fascism had abused the democratic system to get its grip on power, it soon closed down any freedoms to prevent any resistance.”
Cardiff University Students’ Union clarified “there is no direct action the NUS are able to take”, although they could impose other "sanctions" such as to prevent access to NUS events. Cardiff University does not have a ‘No Platform’ policy, as its stance has previously been that such a policy is in itself a censorship of valid debate. Following the media interest around the interview, and the response from Aaron Kiely, the president of the NUS, Liam Burns, clarified his position, drawing attention to the fact that he did not condone Kiely’s response to the interview. He stated, “I have made it clear to the National Executive Council why I won’t be signing the letter because I believe that our work must always be with the students’ unions we work for, not separate to them. “We should be proud of our position on ‘No Platform’, a position consistently voted for by students’ unions, and so we should work to support the sabbaticals at Leeds in what is an incredibly difficult situation.” Chris Williams, Head of Student Media at Cardiff University, addressed Liam Burns, stating “whilst we understand the ‘No Platform’ policy which governs the NUS, we absolutely cannot support any action taken by the NUS to tell a student newspaper what they can and cannot publish”. Lucy Snow’s parting shot was as follows: “Griffin is a politician in a country which has free speech, it is essential that his views and policies are exposed for what they are. Leeds Student merely gave Griffin enough rope to hang himself.”
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddnews
’ve always been a fan of absolute freedom of speech. That is, freedom of speech for everyone, regardless of their views. I think it’s important that everyone is allowed an equal opportunity to express their views and to be heard. I firmly believe that as soon as you say a certain person or a certain view cannot be heard or cannot be said, you do not believe in freedom of speech. Related to that, I also believe in the freedom of the press. OK, I accept that it’s come under fire recently and that there needs to be responsibility as well, but responsibilities should never stifle a free press. The two views seem quite extreme, but they’re pivotal to editing and running a newspaper. They also hold so much importance to journalists as a whole and, as someone who works with potential journalists everyday, I cannot support any view that I believe to impinge on those rights. Let me make myself absolutely clear: I do not in any way support any of the views that Nick Griffin has. I disagree wholeheartedly with the BNP’s politics and policies alongside any far-right organisation. However, I defend his right to say everything he says and I defend the right of the newspaper to print his views and opinions. To read that members of the NUS had tried to dictate their opinions to the editor of the Leeds Student is a step too far. It’s a step towards censorship and, as a believer in free press and freedom of speech, it’s horrifying that
they’ve attempted so publicly to stifle Leeds Student. Too often do people jump to the conclusion that by displaying Griffin’s views, we’re going to end up with more and more BNP members and the right wing benefitting. What they fail to realise is that the Cambridge-educated Griffin does not necessarily come across very well when interviewed. In this instance, it does not take a genius to see that his strange assertions on gay people are ridiculous. He actually states: “children will die over the next few years, because they’ll be brought up in homes which aren’t married.” How ridiculous is that? It defies belief! The argument that people will turn to his views after stating something as baffling as this is flawed. At Cardiff, I feel we’re lucky to not have a ‘No-Platform policy’ like the NUS. Free and open debate is stifled by it. It is very difficult for you to form an opinion on something if you don’t fully understand all of the arguments, however extreme they may be. To Leeds Student, I give unremitting support. I must applaud the editor, Lucy Snow, for sticking to her guns and printing the article with no retraction or apology. As she so perfectly said in her blog on The Guardian’s website, and as the article finishes on the opposite page: “Griffin is a politician in a country which has free speech, it is essential that his views and policies are exposed for what they are. Leeds Student merely gave Griffin enough rope to hang himself.” Chris Williams
We have chosen to reprint screenshots of the interview – which is readily available online – in this paper as we believe in freedom of speech, the freedom of the press and want to stand by Leeds Student in printing their article. While we wholeheartedly disagree with what he says and find his views absolutely abhorrent, we do defend his – as well as anyone else's – right to be heard.
6 / News Investigation
Get more for your money
The Students' Union has two main eating-places, The Taf and the Kitchen. But Cathays is only a two-minute walk away, with a much bigger choice of eateries. We sent news writer, Jenny Morgan to investigate
he Kitchen is more of a coffee shop, and a great place to spend time between lectures, with its large comfy sofas and relaxed atmosphere. There are usually four or more different fillings for paninis and jacket potatoes (£3.25) on offer each day. Another hot choice is the carvery roll (£3.50), which comes with stuffing and gravy. The Kitchen also serves sandwiches (£1.60-£2.70). Although the service is quick and the food is a good portion size, according to some students, it is not sufficient. Speaking to gair rhydd, an older student, who wished to remain unamed, was disappointed that the meal deals from previous years are no longer available. They said: “Some of the food is nice but you can get paninis where it is mostly just bread”. Nevertheless, drink prices are more reasonable at £1.10 for tea and £1.20 for coffee, plus, the Kitchen has a loyalty card where you get your fifth hot drink for free. In the surrounding area, Pasha, Tucker, dough… and College House are roughly equivalent to The Kitchen. They are mostly sandwich bars or tearooms, which offer a quick on-the-go lunch and have lots of meal deals and offers to entice students. Sandwich bar, Pasha, aims to give students a quick stop lunch that they can take away. All the food is made in front of the customer so they know exactly what is going in
the sandwich or wrap, which cost around £2.50. Pasha also offers a range of meal deals, including a panini or sandwich, with crisps and a drink for £3.00, which is a lot cheaper than the Kitchen. Drinks here are also cheap: tea costs £1.00 and coffee just £1.20. Tucker is more of a tearoom, but they also offer a large range of cocktails and alcoholic drinks making it a nice place to socialise. The food is more expensive here than Pasha, but similar to the Kitchen in terms of the cost of a panini (£3.50).
Generally, the Union is the cheapest place to get food and drinks However, the presentation and size of the food make up for the price, the staff are very friendly and there is a large selection of homemade cakes. Third year student Maya Williams says she likes going to the tea room to people watch and treats herself to the tasty food. Like the Kitchen, Tucker has a loyalty card where you get your seventh hot drink for free. But drinks prices are again more than the Kitchen at £1.40 for tea and £1.50 for coffee. Dough… is a sandwich bar where you can choose from a very diverse selection of sandwiches, bagels, baguettes and wraps, which cost between £2.50 and £2.80.
They have a large choice of paninis (£3.30) and jacket potatoes (£3.00), which are all made fresh and cost less than in the Union. They also have a fax system where your order can be made ahead of your arrival to save time as it can get very busy at lunch time. Dough… also do meal deals for £3.40 which includes a fresh baguette, a drink and a cookie, cake, crisps or fruit as well. College House is further away from Cathays but is very close to Talybont. The café therefore takes advantage of the morning rush to lectures by selling drinks outside for just £1. The Italian café has a smaller selection of food but it is homemade and very original compared to other cafés. First year Nathan Wright said to us, “It’s a cool place to come and the food is really good, I like the focaccia.” The Italian menu includes whole pizzas for £5, burgers at £5, trancio and focaccia sandwiches at £3. This is more expensive than the Kitchen, but the portions are larger. The Taf, the SU's bar has a new, wide selection of food on offer, including main meals and snacks, such as baguettes (£4.95) and jacket potatoes (£3.25). The Taf also has a selection of offers on every night and a different theme, which encourages students to get better value for money and to stay at the Union in the evening. Although The Taf is more expensive than the Kitchen for drinks and food, the portions are bigger and the drinks are larger - it exists to accompany, not replace the Kitchen. The most expensive meal in The Taf is their steak, which is still reasonably priced, at just £6.49. Drink prices are also reasonable at around £1.59 for a pint of beer. According to third year, Greta Sinkonova, The Taf has “great service and is good for students as it’s good value for money.” The Taf has rivals in
Cheapest burger: from £3.65 in The Taf places like KoKo Gorillaz , Café 37, Ramons and The Wo o d ville, which are pubs or cafés that have large main meals and greasy breakfasts to tempt students. KoKo Gorillaz serves regular pub food along with their specialised Mexican dishes. Burgers cost around £4.95 and a side of chips is £1.95. This is slightly more expensive than The Taf, but there is a larger range of food on offer. Different cuisines on the menu include Chinese, Indian, Mexican and English, which can be included in a meal offer of two meals for £8.95. Other deals include an “All You Can Eat” threecourse Sunday carvery. They are also open until late, aiming to catch students coming home from a night out. According to students talking to gair rhydd, the restaurant is “alright value for money but the sizes are a bit small sometimes”. The most expensive dish on their menu is the Surf and Turf at £7.50 but it comes with a large range of side dishes. Their cheapest dish is nachos. Café 37 is more of a café-cumdiner, and like The Taf, has a large range of different fried breakfasts. They also do burgers, which cost between £4.95 and £8.95. A side of chips is only £1.50, but jacket potatoes cost £4.25, which is more expensive than The Taf. The menu is very extensive, covering most main meal choices including fajitas, which makes the café very popular with students. Café 37 is “always busy and it’s good for your local greasy spoon”, says fourth year student Max Roberts. The portion sizes are pretty generous and the quality is good, so the prices seem reasonable in light of this.
Most expensive cup of tea: £1.40 in Tucker
Cheapest sandwich: from £2.75 in The Kitchen
Friendly café, Ramons, offers hearty breakfasts as well as classics like pie and chips for £2.50. They have a have a range of specials that change every day, costing £3.50. They also serve burgers and sandwiches for £4.50 and jackets for £3.00. Ramons is very popular with students and it usually has a large group of them tucking into their massive fried breakfasts, which cost just £3. When asked, students thought Ramons was good value for money, the staff were really friendly, and they would happily go back. The most expensive dish is the mixed grill, which includes steak and sides and costs £8.95. The Woodville is part of the chain of pubs called Scream (as are Gassy Jacks and the Flora). The pub sells yellow cards for £1, which give students discount on drinks and access to many other deals. The food is quite inexpensive: chips cost £1.50, jackets with one filling cost £3.15 and burgers cost between £3.95 and £5.75. Second year Jason Jones thinks that The Woodville has a good atmosphere and chooses the two meals for £6.50 deal when he eats there. The extensive menu gives the customer a lot of choice and the portion sizes are acceptable. Overall, The Woodville is quite a bit cheaper than The Taf and is situated centrally so it is very accessible for all students. Generally, the Union is the cheapest place to get food and drinks, but if you are willing to walk a bit further to Cathays, you are guaranteed to find a great selection of restaurants. Most second and third year students choose to live in Cathays so it is more convenient to pay more and eat closer to home.
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddnews
Professional props could play Varsity Kendal Archer News Editor
Sources close to gair rhydd have said that two professionally trained props might be playing for the Cardiff University rugby team in next year's Varsity match. Both players have allegedly been enrolled onto University courses so that they will be eligible to play in the forthcoming match in April 2013. The University has responded to queries over the fairness of this decision, saying, “Cardiff University has a policy of providing students with every reasonable opportunity to play in a sport that is available at the University. “Providing a student is looking to establish themselves on an academic pathway and their chosen course is accredited with 60 credits or more, that individual would be deemed as a student at Cardiff University and subject
to the same rights as any other student; eligible to join a club, society or any other recognised body.”
The annual match is one that attracts a lot of attention. Huge crowds of students gather to watch the sporting events that
take place around the University campus during the Varsity period, to support friends who are competing. Yet it is the rugby
match in the Millenium Stadium, that attracts the biggest crowd. As Varsity is specifically for students, it may be seen as unfair to allow older professional rugby players to compete. Questions have been raised about the safety of two professionally trained props playing against students. However, the University addressed concerns for safety, stating, “Students attend trials to measure ability and competency. Players are then placed in the appropriate squad based on their ability to compete at the level they are placed.” When asked how they would react if Swansea University were to do the same, Cardiff University said, “Provided that students are enrolled on a course that achieves a minimum of 60 credits as per the BUCS rules, then the student would be eligible to play in Varsity and Wednesday afternoon competition.”
Xpress Radio back on air Chris McSweeney News Writer
On Thursday 25th October, Cardiff University’s Xpress Radio went live for the first time this semester, with a brand new schedule and a variety of new talent. Broadcasting worldwide from the top floor of the Students' Union, the new schedule boasts 75 shows, running from 9am to midnight every day of the week. The launch was welcomed with great relief from the Xpress executive team, following a summer of severe technical difficulties. Among these technical hitches was the failure of “the stream” – the station’s ability to broadcast online. The Union did not manage to fix this fault over the summer break, resulting in the broadcasting launch date to continually be pushed back, until the Union finally managed to undertake the repairs. In addition to the problem with broadcasting, Xpress’ studio
software “Myriad” collapsed, leading to the loss of the station’s entire music library. This had to be rebuilt from scratch over the summer by Xpress’ Station Manager and Deputy S t a t i o n M a n a ge r, H a n n a h Cook and Ed Lecorgne. On Xpress’ turbulent summer, Hannah Cook said: “I think myself and the rest of the executive team at Xpress are feeling relieved more than anything, and e xc e p t i o n a l ly happy! Not having a 'go live' date set in stone has been frustrating. Since we have
been on air we've had really good programmes going out and I'm so impressed with the brand new members. Overall we're smiling a
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lot more and we're sleeping a lot more!" A contributing factor to the difficulties faced by Xpress may be that minimal technical knowledge gets passed down through the Union. This, coupled with the apparent lack of technicians, who themselves are faced with a great deal of work, would appear to be causing excessive and unnecessary delays when problems need fixing. Following the launch at 9am on Thursday, many first time presenters went out on the airwaves for the first time ever. First time presenter Ash Bebbington said; “At first I was really nervous, and really excited, but once I got over that, it
was great fun.” His show, ‘Ash and Zach’s Musical Legends’ airs on Sundays, between 8-9pm. The launch comes just in time for the National Student Radio Awards – at which Xpress is nominated for 5 awards; Best Outside Broadcaster, Best Newcomer, Best Entertainment Programme, Best Male Presenter and Best Student Radio Station. The awards ceremony is being held at the O2 Arena in London on November 8th. Xpress boasts a variety of shows in its 105 hour broadcast week, which comes from a talented group of first year, second year, third year and post-graduate presenters, and is proud of its policy of inclusivity. While the station schedule is now full, Xpress are still looking for producers and broadcast assistants to help out with programming.
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8 / News Humanities building renamed after Cardiff Fellow Alexandra Brown News Writer
Following a recent decision by the University, Cardiff’s Humanities building is set to be given a new name: ‘The John Percival Building’. The renaming ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on the 29th of November, will see the Humanities building reopened under the new title as a tribute to a man who contributed significantly to the School of Humanities during his career. After joining the University as an assistant lecturer in 1962, John Percival’s affiliation and involvement with the University spanned a period of nearly forty years. Within this time, John was both an internationally renowned classical scholar, whose research was mainly channelled into the exploration of the economic and social history of the late Roman Empire, and a well liked lecturer amongst students. As his career progressed, he also took on various positions of responsibility both within and outside the University. From head of The School of History and Archaeology to Chair of the UK Classical Association, he was a figure with considerable influence and responsibility in the academic world.
The renaming ceremony is scheduled to take place on the 29th of November Before his death in January 2007, he was awarded an OBE in recognition of his endeavours and achievements. In addition to this he also became a Fellow of the University the following year. Having been described by the Professor of Medieval History, Peter Coss, as a, ‘fine head of school’ whose ‘capacity for hard work and generosity of spirit earned him the respect, loyalty and affection of his colleagues’, it is clear that the recent decision to name the Humanities building after John Percival is one that will be looked upon with favour by many who worked alongside him. Those who knew John are welcomed by the University to attend the ceremony where there will be light refreshments and the opportunity to chat to staff and fellow students.
Cardiff student named ‘Student of the Year’ at OPTOM awards Francesca Blackham News Writer
A Cardiff University Optometry student has been recognised by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) as their Student of the Year. Jason Searle, who is currently in his third year, won the award for giving back to the profession by “helping to spread enthusiasm” about Optometry. After creating his own website detailing life as an Optometry student, Jason was headhunted by the AOP and now writes a regular student blog for their website. Professor Wess, Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences said that “his blog has been of great support to fellow students. It is students like Jason who contribute to our reputation
for excellence." He added that the School is “very proud” of Jason’s achievement and that he “is an outstanding student, very committed to the course and never misses an opportunity to get involved in additional activities within the school and our partner charities, such as Vision Overseas”. Speaking after the annual award ceremony at the Birmingham Hilton Hotel, the Chairman for the AOP, David Shannon, said they are “proud to be celebrating the achievements of those people and organisations that give so much to the profession and sector.” Jason also now has a twitter account (@optomstudent) to keep fellow students across the UK updated about what he is currently studying. He said “I just hope that I man-
age to spread interest and enthusiasm that helps to keep people motivated” and added that he
feels “very humble” to win this award.
Month of S n Fest Movember success Bethan Jones News Editor
Cardiff University and the Students’ Union are joining in with a campaign to raise awareness for Movember, this month. During November each year, since 2004, men from around the UK grow moustaches, without shaving once, to raise vital awareness and funds for male health, in particular prostate and testicular cancer. A Cardiff University has formed a team this year, and is encouraging students to register on the official Movember website, uk.movember.com, to start receiving sponsors and fundraising. Cardiff University student, Aaron Matthew, who is helping to promote Movember within the Students’ Union, has said whichever Cardiff student grows the most impressive moustache will receive a prize from the Union. Aaron said: “A lot of people
think that Movember is just about the moustaches but it's a really important cause and we can all help raise money.” Not only are Cardiff students getting involved, but also Cardiff Students’ Union male full time Elected Officers. Representing the Union, the Elected Officers are eager to raise awareness and get as many people involved in Movember as possible. Harry Newman, Cardiff Students’ Union President, has said: “As great as it would be to raise some money for the cause, the main thing is to increase awareness of prostate and testicular cancer.” This week, The Lash in Solus is taking on a ‘Lashes and Tashes’ theme to support Movember. Giveaways on the night will include fake moustaches and The Titans will be face painting. Last year, the Movember campaign rose an incredible £79.3 million, with 854,288 global registered fundraisers.
Jo Southerd News writer
Leading Cardiff music event Sŵn Festival has been nominated in the Festival of the Year category of the upcoming Artrocker Awards 2012. The festival, which took place last month in Cardiff, is a fourday, multi-venue event celebrating new music coming in and out of Wales. Originally founded by BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and Cardiff promoter John Rostron, the festival is now in its 6th year. Last Thursday saw the announcement that Sŵn will be competing against 1234 Festival, Southsea Festival, Bestival and Green Man for the award. The winner will be announced
at the second annual Artrocker Awards ceremony on Friday 7th December at the Seabright Arms in London’s East End. Events and Festival Assistant Adam Whitmore told gair rhydd: “We’re very, very happy. It is an honour to be nominated alongside some really great festivals, and it proves that all the hard work of our tight-knit team has paid off.” Artrocker is best known for its honest guide to new music. To reflect this, the award winners will be decided by music fans via an online vote. Have your say at www.artrocker.tv/awards/start. Sŵn put on gigs and events all year round. Keep an eye on www. swnpresents.com for more information.
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddop
For & Against
Reading week: A break well earned? Is reading week a waste of time? Should we be getting more contact hours for £9,000 tuition fees? Natasha Smith and Louice Tapper-Jansson give their opinions on what many call the 'half-term of university'
onveniently, reading week comes at a time when our enthusiasm for the new academic year is beginning to fade. After the first month of a new semester, we begin to slip back into our old ways; dropping off to sleep in lectures, finishing assignments at 4am the night before they're due, and so on. By November, the novelty of being back in Cardiff has truly vanished. Cue, reading week! Freedom from lectures and seminars gives us that extra time to recharge our batteries, and therefore makes the time we do spend working, more efficient. An afternoon writing an essay or reading a book seems a lot more plausible after having that extra hour or so in bed, as opposed to dragging yourself home from a 9am lecture in the pouring rain and a foul mood, vowing to never forget your umbrella again. More free time to relax allows students to muster up the strength to do some focused, productive work, as opposed to sitting at a desk, albeit with good intentions, though inevitably staring into space, preoccupied with thoughts about how soggy your feet are. Reading week also means that those students who live far from Cardiff have time to go home. After finishing the last of the dried food you stocked the cupboards
with on move in day, you need a good home cooked dinner to get your motivation back. Tucked up in bed with a book back at home, you also avoid the lure of Thursday night Walkabout or Soda's Smack Fridays. Taking a holiday at home must be more productive than staring at the same four walls, confined to the same desk. A fully stocked fridge and a warm house are great fuel for study. A reduction in contact time is controversial when fees are now so high. However, what's the point in studying at university if we can't keep up? With many important assignments due before Christmas, the majority of us will admit to innocently skipping lectures in order to prioritise other work, comforted by the thought that we'll benefit more from spending the day making that fourth final draft, the actual final draft. When given reading week, the same benefits are achieved hassle free. So why should those of us who genuinely need a break from traipsing to university everyday suffer, just because some students choose to spend their week shopping and catching up on Made in Chelsea? This labels reading week as a waste of time. Reading week is a waste of time for those who choose to waste their time. I think the majority of us are big and strong enough now to plan our free time effectively. NS
I also wonder whether reading week is viewed by lecturers as an opportunity for them to focus on their own research. As Cardiff is a research University, it is probably convenient for the staff they can devote time to their research instead of our education
n reading week, teacher led classes are cancelled for a week so that students could devote their time to self-study. The idea is to give students a break from classes so they can focus on revision. It gives them an opportunity to study for upcoming exams. However, students might not see this week in the same light: a week without lectures and seminars also equals a week without obligations. Some might see it as an opportunity to do something else – not at all related to schoolwork. It seems, then, that the reading week is perceived by students as a vacation rather than as a ‘study break’. For instance, one of my housemates is going to France during her reading week. So, what is the point of reading weeks if they are not used for studying? For some, reading week could be really stressful and might even be bad for health. Students might feel pressured and overwhelmed by everything they need to do. Also, that an entire week should be devoted to self-study could be questioned. Whereas some people can handle independent work, many may not feel comfortable with this setting and may need support from tutors in order to focus. The University cannot have an uniform picture of how students spend their time. Is it not better to emphasise the
importance of an even distribution of workload throughout the academic year? Besides, many courses already have ridiculously few contact hours. All this questions the necessity of a reading week. With reading weeks you miss the opportunity of having someone to discuss and exchange ideas with – again the focus is on reading for exams instead of reflecting upon what you have read and learned. My school has a reading week, but I never experience the benefits of it, as it is placed between Christmas break and the exam period. For me then, it only means a longer vacation. Some of my friends have a ‘guided study week’ just after Christmas. I support cancelling a week’s lectures and seminars for something similar. That way students could meet tutors to get help with issues they may have. I also wonder whether reading week is viewed by lecturers as an opportunity for them to focus on their own research. As Cardiff is a research University, it is probably convenient for the staff they can devote time to their research instead of our education. However, there should be a way to achieve this without Reducing contact hours. We pay a lot of money for our degree – we deserve more contact hours, not less. LTJ
10 / Opinion When comedy becomes exploitation The phantoms of your Following the recent video filmed for Justin Timberlake's wedding, Amy Endacott discusses whether we exploit the vulnerable for comedy
sordid past...online Natasha Smith Opinion Writer
Porn. Some deem it to be vulgar, some find it sexually appealing. Then there are even those that make their own, the couples that make their own form of ‘entertainment’ but what happens to it in the long run? According to The National Student, 88 percent of homemade pornographic images end up on the internet, which is a high statistic. But are we surprised? Relationships go sour and end, and before long the ‘private’ video is uploaded to the World Wide Web. Back in school, teenage hormones coarsed through our bodies, leaving the boys with less control over their bodies and girls becoming less confident because of theirs. Yet I can still remember the stories of naked pictures of ex-girlfriends being circulated amongst the boys. Sniggers, gossip and rumours of ‘sexting’ spread like wild-fire. Boys became players overnight and girls became slags very shortly after. The Internet Watch Foundation is warning young people to be more careful with what they agree to do in terms of sexting, sending naked photos and porn-
don’t know if it’s the connection or the fact they might have plus-oned once with their superstar friend, but these BFF’s seem to get really stuck in these foot-in-the-mouth scenarios. Justin Timberlake has written an open letter apologising on behalf of a wedding video his friend made for him. Doesn’t sound too dubious...does it? In fact, it was not the spoken content of the video it was more the speakers themselves which put the video on the grounds of controversial, if not slightly vulgar. Timberlake’s friend, it seemed, had decided to create a video of good luck messages for the newly married couple, but used the homeless of LA as the wellwishers. The video was not shown at the actual wedding and in the wake of it surfacing, Timberlake issued an apology. He did not hold back on his 700 words, branding the clip 'distasteful' and admitting he was 'deeply sorry' about the incident but also stating his friends are ‘good people’, and this was a ‘lapse in judgement'. I’m sure everyone reading this has made judgment errors. So on the basis that this is all true, the homeless people are homeless, Timberlake is sorry, his friend is a good egg and one
day we will all become victim to such a ridiculous momentary lapse, does that excuse this behaviour? The joke was that Timberlake had no friends, or at least very few friends actually come to his wedding. (That’s because he didn’t invite many. Let’s be honest we would all be clawing at the door if we had the chance.) I can see the joke. That is funny. However, the execution of the joke is less so. No one would/ should suggest that being homeless is a comical situation, something I can barely even stomach given that 82,000 people are homeless on the streets of L.A on any given night. Some of the homeless shown were paid. One man was reportedly paid $25. Doesn’t this show something? Was it their initial reluctance plagued by Timberlake’s friend’s desperation? It takes an animal in a zoo twist here, ‘I will pay to see something which is so incredibly different from the world I live in’ suggesting the homeless hover in a limbo between the species barrier denying them emotional agency, is comedy really worth that price? However I can see why the homeless were chosen. Juxtaposing two characters has been used for decades as the source of humour, the concept of oppo-
sites trying to be fused together in a scene of chaos and hilarity is what gave us everything from Laurel and Hardy, right down to Buzz and Woody in Toy Story. Timberlake's friend had clearly considered his choice, as what really could be more opposite than a guy sleeping on the street and a celebrity. He clearly knows the denotation of 'opposite'. And that, for me, is the real issue here. I understand how everyone has different values of what comedy is and to what lengths it can stretch, but actually what this incident reveals is how many people still have the inability to even attempt to bridge the gap between the varying social economic status’ that fill our society in the 20th century. The idea that the gap still exsists is bad enough; the fact that people are still increasing the distance is stomachchurning. Timberlake’s friend is probably an ignorant man who was born on one end of the social scale, blinded by money and created a video that he thought his friend would enjoy, he probably did not even see how it could be wrong. I believe that Timberlake is genuinely sorry, but I could never say whether it is genuine or with the helping hand of an excellent PR team.
making. Well let’s be honest, puberty struck teenage boys are always going to be curious, horny and sex crazed, so will attempt to get pictures and most likely share them.
Despite the dangers of homemade porn, it still attracts people to try it for the thrill, relationship growth and a new experience It is an increasing occurrence that footage and images are being stolen and hacked from phones and online accounts, then uploaded to parasite websites. From that point onwards material is very hard to get rid of completely. There is also a major risk of a Tulisa fiasco. No one wants to look like a complete idiot publicly and tarnish and stigmatise their reputation.
Despite the dangers of homemade porn, it still attracts people to try it for the thrill, relationship growth and a new experience. Personally, I have never ‘made porn’ and it’s not a subject that has ever been brought up in my relationship. I can see the benefits to making your own, for one it would encourage you both to only think of each other in your ‘personal time’. For those who hate how routine and seedy porn has become, it would be a chance to create some to the standards you want. There is also the issue of selfconfidence. Typically, women lack it in great quantities for many reasons, as there are too many ‘wobbly bits’, and the worry of ‘normality’. There is also the issue of light. Having the light on during intimate times can be a major no-no for many, but for men it is a major yes-yes! I will admit to having this fear of having the light on and recoiling in horror like a vampire, but in a relationship your confidence grows and eventually it becomes something you do without thinking. Homemade porn in this respect could also help confidence and trust grow. The light is on,
and you are comfortable enough in yourself to record and share it with your other half. Despite my nonchlance to the light and my newfound self-confidence I still would have to think very long and hard about making my own porn. I think I will wait a few years before embarking on such a big step with so many risks. I want to make sure it doesn’t appear on an amateur site for all to see!
Everyone has an opinion. Email us your ideas at opinion@ gairrhydd.com
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddop
You can’t always get what you want
Following from the news that the cheapest seat available to see The Rolling Stones next month is £106, Catherine Ross questions whether these prices are justifiable
t was the 1960s when The Rolling Stones claimed the title of “the greatest rock and roll band of all time.” No one disagreed with them then and fifty years later many still don’t. Rolling Stone magazine named them the fourth greatest artist of all time, only The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis beat them to the top spot. They’ve sold 250 million albums worldwide, five times the number of Katy Perry, Rihanna and Justin Bieber combined. Their supremacy is unquestionable. But does this give them the right to sell concert tickets at the extortionate fee of £106 per seat? (And they’re the cheapest ones.) This is a question that is still up in the air. The Stones last toured in 2007, with 147 different venues, they played in front of an astonishing 45 million people in 32 countries in two years, an impressive record by anyone’s standards ,but the tickets were measurably
cheaper, averaging at about £60 a seat. Now with a combined age of 273 the band expects much more for their efforts. Their 50th anniversary tour (50 & Counting: The Rolling Stones Live) which takes place later this
There is no other band like The Rolling Stones in existence today year, has drawn outrage from the public and many a raised eyebrow from fellow musical artists. The lead singer of Keane Tom Chaplin asked “Haven’t they got enough money already?” With Mick Jagger having an estimated personal wealth of £190 million, the answer is a resounding yes, but this does not stop them charging over £800 for prime tickets. Sir Mick Jagger commented on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row “Well, I know it’s a lot, really, but there seems to be
just are what they are.” And that is true. There is no other band like The Rolling Stones in existence today, with Hendrix dead, the Beatles disbanded and one half deceased, there is no act on earth comparable. It is this god like status that allows them to price their tickets so highly. Says dark rock legend Alice Cooper: “For the Stones, I would pay anything. You know, they’re the Stones.” Perhaps Cooper’s statement indicates the disconnection between rock and roll royalty and their fans - with rock superstars raking in the millions every year, it is difficult for them to comprehend the inability for working and middle class fans to buy a ticket. Who knows if the show will be worth £106, but if anyone wants to buy me a ticket I’ll be sure to let you know.
a demand and that’s good.” He finished by saying, “I’m not going to get into it any further.” Other musicians agree. The Manic Street Preachers lead singer, James Dean Bradfield, said “they’re above and beyond reproach, they exist in absolute isolation from everybody else, it’s impossible to judge them and it’s impossible to take any standards off them. They really are an institution, not even in the bad sense of that word. They
Motorway tax – another cost burden to students?
Lauren Milkins discusses the pitfalls of motorway tax proposals on students who already struggle to fund insurance, maintenance and petrol costs
n an economy which is just escaping recession, government are to introduce yet another tax which will hit the poorest the most – the new motorway tax. The radical idea is being considered as the Treasury faces a budget shortfall caused by families switching to cars that incur lower road tax.
The proposed new taxing system would work in the following way. There would be a two tier system, where two rates of road tax would apply - a lower tier for users of small roads and a higher charge for those driving on motorways and other major routes. All drivers would pay the first charge, but then motorists wanting to use motorways or major
‘A’ roads would have to pay an extra charge. Furthermore, ‘Spy’ cameras would catch any drivers using the main roads without having paid up - they would be caught by automatic number plate recognition, similar to the London congestion charge system. The Prime Minister has also said that private firms could take over the running of roads in re-
turn for pay-as-you-go lanes or a share of road tax revenues. This therefore means that motorways - central routes for all motorists to get where they need to go - will be swamped with wealthier drivers. They will have no problem paying the higher rate tax, whereas those less wealthy will be forced to drive on smaller roads. The effect this could have on their lives is far reaching, as many people’s jobs rely on driving long distances on the motorway. Journeys would be more time consuming, less straightforward and it would also have a knock on effect to B roads – they would be much more congested, disrupting smaller towns and villages. So, after outlining the proposals, the main question I ask is this: How could a new motorway tax affect us students? It is common knowledge that students come from a diverse range of hometowns, some several miles away. But realistically, how many students do you know that bring their car to University? Many of us live in central areas, close enough to the city centre and the university’s main buildings so as to make it unnecessary to keep a car. First years are often unable to keep a car at halls, and running a car in itself of course inhibits several costs. So if not many students own cars, the effect it
will have on us is not drastic. We often use public transport as an alternative. I for one commute back to Bristol every weekend, and I always use the train, as it is often less expensive than driving would be, even without taking into account a new tax. However, the way in which the proposals could affect members of the wider public, means that they too may be driven to use the same public transport system as students. Busier public transport systems may lead to an increase in train and bus fares, making public transport less economical for us. Also, what about university staff? If they use the motorway to commute long distances and have to switch to the inconvenience of using B roads, they may instead seek more local employment. This could have a far reaching effect of restricting the quality of staff that a university could attract. The current proposal is still being developed amongst other alternative ideas, but what is clear, is that should such a policy be implemented, although it may not directly affect students, it may have indirect consequences. Just because you don’t own a car as a student, it doesn’t mean you won’t potentially be affected in some way.
12 / Columnist
hat is Britain’s perception of people on benef its? That question will draw extremely different answers depending on who you ask, but it’s certainly an area that is being discussed an awful lot right now by politicians and commentators alike. Is the welfare state in place to be exploited by unemployed scroungers, or a valued part of society providing for the most vulnerable? Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says that he intends to cut the welfare bill by a further £10 billion. The Tories consider welfare spending the real target of their deficit reduction plan and the first port of call to getting the economy moving in the right direction. Sure, £10 billion is a substantial amount, but when compared to the amount avoided each year in tax by the super rich and massive corporations (£70 billion is a conservative estimate), it makes clear the priorities of this government. But that’s another point altogether. The most recently proposed benefit cut comes in the form of child benefit, with Iain Duncan Smith suggesting child benefit should be capped to a maximum of two children. "Well, why should hard-working taxpayers have to pay for people to have children that they can’t afford?" seems to be the general justification for these proposals. Or the extremely cynical suggestion that recipients of this benefit are reproducing for the sole purpose of manipulating the system for financial gain. This is the picture of ‘Benefit Britain’ that newspapers like the Daily Mail would love for you to believe. Notorious columnist Melanie Phillips said last week that to suggest the unemployed have children out of love, and not money, was fatuous. She continued to accuse benefit-defending lefties of treating the poor as "less than fully human imbeciles" for denying them the right to personal responsibility. This coming just a few sentences after having suggested that they’re incapable of having children out of love. Nobody is suggesting that small numbers of problem families don't exist, but it is, however, fatuous to suggest that this is a
by Liam McNeilly norm. Take the facts about child poverty in this country; they're alarming. They also expose the falsehoods of the arguments of those like Phillips, who think the welfare state is there only for unemployed, single mothers. 62 per cent of children growing up in poverty come from households in which at least one member works. But while low-income workers fail to get paid a living wage, the welfare state must provide for those shortcomings. You would never guess that this was the case, though. Watching Question Time last week, the amount of contempt for the welfare state, and those who require its support, from both the audience and some members of the panel was unbelievable, none more so than the deputy leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Paul Nuttall.
This is the picture of 'Benefit Britain' that newspapers like the Daily Mail would love for you to believe Playing on this distorted portrayal of those on benefits, Nuttall ranted about how it was totally wrong for families on benefits to have loads of plasma screen televisions, drive flash cars and holiday in the worlds most luxurious destinations, while working families struggle to pay their rent every month. He then continued to drive a wedge between the British working class by referring to benefit claimants as an underclass, on numerous separate occasions. Just ask yourself, have you ever actually met someone who lives this life of apparent luxury? I certainly haven’t; in fact, quite the opposite. Just 1.5 per cent of benefit claimants are estimated to have never worked. I fail to see this supposed reality that the poor in Britain are inherently lazy and opportunistic scroungers. It’s no surprise that the government paint this picture, though. Demonising the poor, vulnerable and – even more disgracefully – the disabled, by presenting them as idle, masks the governments own failings, while trying to provide a justification for their austerity measures.
Thankfully, one Question Time audience member picked up on this very point. The problems that undoubtedly exist with the welfare state, are a drop in the ocean compared to other problems that affect the economy. For example, the failures of the banks and the aforementioned tax avoidance are pushed to one side as those at the bottom are footed with the blame... and the bill. It's easy to forget the situation that the jobless face in this country, and as such, easy to get caught up in the stigma that gets attached to those without work and on benefits. But the fact remains that unemployment is enormously high, with more than two-and-a-half million people without work, as not enough opportunities are being created. It's worrying for us students as we face graduating with more debt than ever before in a market offering so few reasons for optimism. While this remains the case,
how can people be expected to provide for themselves when the means aren't provided for them to do so? Both unemployed and working families rely on benefits to keep them afloat, at a time when the minimum wage barely covers average rent and heating costs. Just what are these people expected to do? It is not unreasonable to expect work to pay more than benefits, but surely enforcing a living wage would be a better way of ensuring this. Not to mention the hypocrisy of such a claim, when you consider the recent government promotion of the workfare scheme; people claiming jobseeker's allowance were made to work for massive corporations, such as Tesco, without getting paid anything in addition to their benefit. It is great that these people were given opportunities to gain work experience. However, you can't ignore the glaring contradiction of preaching that benefits
shouldn't pay more than work, then refusing to pay people for their work. It's even more unbelievable when you consider that companies such as Tesco, who clearly can afford to pay their workforce, are profiting from such a scheme. It comes down to whether or not we want a system, with the welfare state, that aims to support people who need it, or an individualistic one, in which the most well-off can prosper at the expense of others. That’s a very simplistic way of presenting a complex issue, but I really see it as such. Can we, at least, if people still remain opposed to such a system, have a fair and honest presentation of the issues, based on facts rather than the fear mongering prejudices that litter the media at the moment?
14 / Politics
Unishambles report opens old coalition wounds Rachel Victoria Lewis
Politics Writer Whether you watched it in song form or the original, the overwhelming attitude towards Clegg’s apology speech appeared to be ‘too little, too late’. Ipsos Mori has now revealed the Liberal Democrats have slumped by four points in the polls over the last month. Clegg’s words felt hollow: "we made a pledge, we didn’t stick to it, and for that I am sorry", and now a recent investigation proves that the tuition fee reforms may actually cost the students and the public more than the previous scheme. The HEPI (Higher Education Policy Institute) think tank highlighted several flaws in the government’s predictions, which may now cause a £1 billion black hole in higher education funding. The key problem they investigated is that many students will struggle to repay their loans, and calculated that around 37% of debts will not be recovered. Repayment regulations are also subject to future changes, meaning that the government can increase cost at any point in a student’s repayment future. You must agree to repay your
loan in line with the regulations that apply at the time the repayments are due and as they are amended. This is worrying as many students face an average yearly tuition fee loan of £8,234, even though the government set the tuition fee boundaries be-
The whole system needs to be looked at: education should not become more elitist as students progress further tween £6,000 and £9,000 for ‘exceptional circumstances’. The HEPI also foresees a growing dispersion in graduate earnings, rather than increasing salaries as the government predicted. The government has predicted implausibly high average salary increases; £99,500 after 30 years. This is a growth in salaries that the current economic climate simply cannot foster. It is clear that such high debts and uncertain prospects will deter many students from university over time, leading to narrowing participation and less fair access. The Higher Education Commission have announced that
an equally important crisis in higher education is the lack of access to postgraduate studies, which threatens our country’s economic future and global position. They predict a shortage of academics in the future because too few students feel they can afford postgraduate study. They are either too poor, debt-averse or the banks are unwilling to lend to them. Higher Education Commission leader Graham Spittle said "this area of education will be closed to some people because of cost and accessibility". Former Labour Minister Alan Milburn was outraged at the hypocrisy of our current system: "Everyone agrees that nobody should be barred from undergraduate education because they can’t afford fees, and yet we completely accept this barrier when it comes to postgraduate education." The importance of postgraduate education seems to be misunderstood by the coalition: "Postgraduate education is not a luxury for the individual." Without academics, the UK will suffer in the competitive market of education and skills against the likes of China, India and South Korea, and will lack
the ‘indigenous talent’ needed to educate the next generation. We need inspiring lecturers, fresh ideas and entrepreneurs; this will not happen if we ‘just let market forces take their effect’. Another shocking flaw in Britain’s current postgraduate system is that we are fast becoming the ‘education outsourcing capital of the world’. With tougher immigration laws and visa regulations, it has become more difficult for postgraduate scholars to stay in the country to teach and study. Universities Minister David Willets says this "climate of uncertainty does not inspire confidence for those considering investing in a British university education". There have been suggestions in Parliament and elsewhere that students should be removed from the immigration cap, otherwise many courses could suffer and face closure. There are also postgraduate reforms being considered, suggested by Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. He proposed changes to the current postgraduate sys te m over two
years ago, but the government has, for some reason, prioritised ruining the undergraduate system first. The proposal is for a postgraduate loan scheme similar to the undergraduate scheme, which prevents rejection of loans by banks and the gamble of whether funding will be received. Also, the applications will be processed through UCAS so that the demographics and socio-economic backgrounds of applicants can be monitored. The whole system needs to be looked at; from our youngest children to postgraduate hopefuls, the education system should not become more elitist as students progress further. Hopefully, the postgraduate reforms will be enacted by 2015, and by then researchers will have the data to calculate the effect of the increased tuition fees as those students enter the repayment stage. Currently, the postgraduate system feels like a deterrent; an entire generation of potential academics may be lost, and future students will suffer even more than they do already.
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddpol
Trident renewal a done deal? As yet more rifts grow in the Government over the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent, Politics reporter Lauren Boyd asks if it is really necessary
onservative Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond last week announced £350m of spending on designs for a like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent. Unsurprisingly, Nick Clegg responded angrily, accusing Hammond of “jumping the gun” and saying the coalition agreement states that no decision is to be made on Trident until 2016. Whoever is in power come 2016 will then be under pressure to opt for a like-for-like Trident replacement if money has already been spent on designs. Clegg believes that Trident is not the best option for a nuclear deterrent, because it was designed with the “strategic purpose of flattening Moscow”. The Liberal Democrats instead commissioned a review of more appropriate alternatives, lead by the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. They will be particularly annoyed that Hammond has made this decision before this review has been published. The review is looking into cheaper alternatives to Trident, such as missiles launched from land, aircraft or ships rather than submarines. Another alternative would be storing warheads and only putting them on missiles when they are actually necessary. Claiming Trident is good for the economy and ignoring cheaper alternatives goes against the Conservatives’ own belief that austerity is an economic necessity. This will further damage relations in the Liberal Democrat– Conservative coalition. The Lib Dems have failed to achieve their main priorities of electoral and House of Lords reform, so the coalition has arguably been a poor deal for them. There have been recent disputes over other key policies; for example, the spat
HMNB Clyde at Faslane
within the Department for Energy and Climate Change, with Ed Davey berating Conservative John Hayes for claiming the UK has no need for more wind farms. The Lib Dems also plan to vote with Labour against reducing the size of the Commons. Despite this, the Trident issue will not be enough to dissolve the coalition. If the Lib Dems maintain such a strong anti-nuclear position, they may gain pacifist votes at the next election, as they did following the Iraq war. It could be a vote-winner too for Labour, were they to adopt an anti-Trident position. According to Tony Blair’s biography, he only renewed Trident to avoid the “downgrading of our status as a nation”. Labour may now reassess that it would prefer to save the £84.5 billion a Trident replacement is estimated to cost between now and 2062.
Some question whether a nuclear deterrent is even necessary, given that no state has the capability to attack the UK Hammond used his announcement to make a weak argument against Scottish independence. Hammond claimed the Faslane complex on the Firth of Clyde employs 6,500 people working on the Trident submarines, and that a plan to move more nuclear attack submarines to the Clyde would create 1,500 more jobs. Official MoD figures suggest the Faslane renovation would actually only create 560 civilian jobs. Whether or not Hammond exaggerated the figure, nobody could argue that building nuclear warheads was the most cost-effective and ethical way to create jobs. If the Conservatives want to use job creation to keep Scotland in
the UK, perhaps they should invest more in green energy or affordable housing. The Scottish National Party have suggested including a ban on nuclear weapons in a constitution for an independent Scotland. This antinuclear stance could increase the amount of ‘yes’ votes for Scottish independence. Some people have questioned whether a nuclear deterrent is even necessary, given that the last government admitted that “no state has the intent and capability” of launching a nuclear attack against the UK. Although
only eight countries have nuclear weapons, the countries without them do not consider themselves perpetually at risk of a nuclear attack. Japan is the only country to have been the victim of a nuclear attack, yet doesn’t feel compelled to have a nuclear deterrent. In fact, the Japanese constitution has forbidden the production of nuclear weapons since 1967. If Trident were vital to the UK’s defence, the military would probably come out in favour of it. General Hugh Beach, however, said that money would be better spent on equipment. It seems un-
usual that the government would not be interested in cheaper alternatives when it has had to cut troop numbers from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020. At a time when equipment budgets and troop numbers are being cut, spending such a large amount of money on something of dubious value seems like a poor allocation of public money. In the words of former Chief of Defence staff Lord Carver: “Trident, what the bloody hell is it for?”
16 / Politics
Controversy over Ukrainian elections
Politics reporter Greg Landon looks at democracy in the recent Ukrainian ith over 95 the dissolution of the Soviet elections, and in the other former Soviet nations per cent Union. Observers from the OSCE
of votes counted so far in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election, the Party of Regions, headed by current President Viktor Yanukovych, has secured victory with 30.68 per cent of the counted votes. Statistically, it is impossible for the Batkivschyna United Opposition and leader Yulia Tymoshenko to surpass their rivals, having won just 25.05 per cent of the vote. Yet the real talking point is not the renewed dominance of the country’s ruling party, but rather that this is another Ukrainian, and indeed ex-Soviet republic election seemingly marred by foul play. Former President Tymoshenko is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence, dating from October 2011, for “abuse of power” over an energy dispute in January 2009 that saw Russia halt gas supplies to Ukraine and south-eastern Europe for a total of 13 days. The court decreed that the deal Tymoshenko struck with Vladimir Putin to end the crisis cost the country millions and her actions were worthy of a criminal sentence – a decision that has been condemned by the United States, Russia, the UK, the EU, NATO and Amnesty International among others. The sentence came about 18 months after Yanukovych had defeated Tymoshenko in the 2010 Presidential election, ousting her from power, by a margin of 48.95 per cent to 45.4 per cent after the second round of voting. At first, Tymoshenko appealed to the country’s judicial system, claiming irregularities, but withdrew her case after the Higher Administrative Court in Kiev rejected her petition to scrutinise documents from election districts in Crimea, and also to question election and law-enforcement officials. Putting to one side the questionable elements of the election, one uplifting bit of news is that Ukraine’s newest party, UDAR, led by heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, has secured an impressive 13.72 per cent of votes, despite only being in existence since 2010. The party name literally translates as ‘punch’ in Ukranian, and has primarily run on promises of greater anti-corruption measures and transparency in the country’s political system. UDAR has been so successful, they have beaten the traditionally prominent Communist Party of Ukraine into third place. This Parliamentary election is likely to become another drawnout mess in a long history of Ukrainian political fiascos since
(Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) said the election had “reversed democracy”, ironically citing “abuse of power” and “the excessive role of money”. Given the international backlash the treatment of Tymoshenko has caused, expect Yanukovych to come under pressure both domestically and externally in the coming days, weeks and months. The US for example, threatened sanctions against Ukraine on September 23rd if Mrs Tymoshenko was not released from prison for the election. With the pursuit of worldwide democracy and a tough stance against perceived enemies traditionally high priorities for American voters, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama may well bring up Ukraine on the campaign trail, or use it to try and gain support once one of them is elected to the White House. Even more worrying, the events in Ukraine are just part of a bigger trend towards undemocratic practices in nations across the former USSR. Freedom House reports that of countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia formerly under Soviet rule, just 28 per cent of the population enjoy political freedom, while a terribly low 15 per cent of the press are free to publish the material they wish. Even worse is that the amount of freedom is often decreasing according to the US-based NGO. In their latest report, Kyrgyzstan moved from the ‘partly free’ to the ‘not free’ category, meaning all five former Soviet republics in Central Asia are now regarded as entirely non-democratic. Europe faired slightly better in the report, with both Kosovo and Montenegro improving their freedom rating, though Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus all remain outside the top 100 nations in the Press Freedom Index. This week’s events in Ukraine have continued a disturbing trend of political instability and corruption that has dominated the country and the region since the 1991 breakup of the USSR. Progress on these issues has been disappointingly slow, and there even appears to be regression of democratic processes in some Soviet ‘republics’. The international community needs to take a stand against such injustices, particularly since several of them can be traced back to the Kremlin. More than 20 years may have passed since the Reds dominated Eurasia, but unfortunately a curtain of authoritarianism still remains over much of it. There appears to be a distressing amount of work needed, and an equally worrying lack of action from the supposed champions of democracy.
The ballots are counted
Vitali Klitschko of "Punch"
The incumbent casts his vote
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18 / Science
Cardiff researchers help lighten the Plight of the Honeybee Disconcerted by the rapidly worsening conditions in the beekeeping industry, Science writer Rachel Lewis examines the dangers facing honeybees and what Cardiff University researchers are doing to address them
ees have suffered a lot of bad press and misrepresentation over the years, and if they had legal rights, they would have a good case to sue for defamation. There are the horror stories about repeated stings, their apparent endorsement for honeycomb cereal and honey-based beers, while films such as ‘Bee Movie’, where the male does the pollinating rather than the female, only spread misinformation. This change in attitudes has happened over the course of the last century as we have increased our reliance on intensive honey farming and lost our respect for the bee community and their proud ancient history. For example, bees are referred to in Egyptian mythology, have been depicted next to Hindu gods, and have been employed in metaphors by political theorists such as Aristotle and Plato. Furthermore, honey bees face many other dangers as well, for instance the harsh agrochemical farming methods used in apiculture today, or the spread of the varroa mite and colony collapse disorder (CCD). The agrochemical farming industry makes regular and extensive use of chemicals such as neonicotinoids to aid crop growth, and it is estimated that 95% of agriculture isn’t organic.
The effect of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees was discussed in a study published last March in the journal Science, which found that bees that consumed sub-legal doses of the insecticide were twice as likely to not return from foraging trips. You may have heard the news stories about bee disappearances – this is often due to the effect of neonicotinoids. These chemicals affect the insects’ central nervous system, disorientating them and disrupting their systematic pollination routines, sadly resulting in them eventually forgetting how to get home. An interesting piece of trivia that puts things into perspective is that one of the world’s leading agrochemical companies that produces these chemicals is the German company Bayer – the same company that, as part of IG Farben, has been linked to numerous war crimes during the Second World War.
We have lost our respect for the bee community and their proud, ancient history
Bees pollinate flowers, which later produce fruits and seeds that are beneficial to us and other wildlife, and without their pollination, we would lack a third of our current diet and lose the majority of our flora and fauna.
Unfortunately, the UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs maintains that “studies did not show that currently permitted uses of neonicotinoids have serious implications for the health of bee populations.”
The anti-bacterial properties of honey could be used to fight MRSA
Luckily, there has been some good press for the bees recently. A research team at Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Pharmacy, led by Professor Les Baillie, have suggested that the welldocumented anti-bacterial properties of honey could be used to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA. The research project is collaborative and is funded by the Society for Applied Microbiology, the European Social Fund and the Welsh Government. The researchers are asking beekeepers across the UK to send them honey samples and lists of the plants they are thought to be derived from, so that they can build a DNA profile of the different types of honey. The DNA profiling will be carried out in association with the National Botanic Garden of Wales, which has nearly completed a genetic investigation (known as ‘barcoding’) of the DNA of 1,143 flower-
ing plants in the country through their Barcode Wales project. The research team, with the help of Barcode Wales data, hope to find out which plant pollination produces the most potent honey in terms of fighting infectious diseases. While many similar clinical research projects involve extensive screening procedures that ultimately prove to be fruitless, expensive and time-consuming, Baillie aims to, in his words, “cut out the middle man, and let the bees do the hard work, guiding [the researchers] to those plants which work”. While potentially providing obvious benefits to human healthcare, it is also hoped that the study will help bees resist pests such as the varroa mite, which has caused a rapid decline in bee populations. This damaging species of mite has been transported to most countries in the world by travelling on the backs of honeybees. They feed off the blood of drones – male honeybees – passing on diseases and viruses. This, in turn, weakens the overall health of the colony and cuts reproduction, causing the phenomenon known as CCD. Just 2,000 varroa mites can kill a colony of 30,000 honeybees, and there is ongoing research to reduce this high rate of CCD in the UK. Perhaps we should follow the example set by Paris, which is fast becoming the queen bee of urban
beekeeping. There are over 400 hives in the French capital, and there is a famous hive atop the Opéra Garnier, a Parisian opera house. Surprisingly, bees have been found to thrive and produce more honey out of season in urban areas. In the UK, the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA) has been supporting the responsible education of citizens and beekeepers since 1874, and their website is full of useful information for budding beekeepers. You can even approach your political representatives for financial subsidies, as beekeeping is a local agricultural service. And of course, by producing your own honey and noting down your local flora, you could become involved in Cardiff’s novel and unique project to fight the most dangerous of superbugs.
Paris is fast becoming the queen bee of urban beekeeping We need to empathise with how the secret life of a bee is not dissimilar to our own: they rely on community, try their hardest to keep working and surviving, and they can even get drunk just like us – they often get so smashed they lay on their back and kick their fuzzy legs feebly in the air, and even get punished by the queen bee’s bouncers!
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddsci
Can science ever be compatible with religion? Chloe Peirce
Science Writer Like Tom and Jerry, or Batman and The Joker, science and religion are commonly assumed to be two opposing forces: both eternally doomed to chase and compete with one another without a victor ever being established. Last week, Rolf Heuer, the director general of CERN, a particle physics laboratory near Geneva, set up a meeting in an attempt to resolve this conflict. The fields of science and religion play undeniably huge roles in our society, affecting our culture, our history and our relationships, not only with others, but also with ourselves. Therefore, the choice to hold these talks in association with Wilton Park, created in 1946 by Winston Churchill as a forum for peace talks, seems to aptly reflect the gravitas of the clash. The main focus of the talks,
which took place in Nyon, Switzerland, was to analyse and agree upon the language used to describe Big Bang cosmology. On the surface of it, language may not seem the most contentious or important topic, but as Michael Brooks, science writer and journalist, explains, the claim "we now know the history of the universe" can be picked apart, as "[even] the word 'know' is difficult to define in scientific terms". Another focus of the talks was to ‘humanise’ science. Heuer confessed his concerns that science was gaining a reputation as an elitist academic subject, and that he felt the need to for science to engage more actively with religious groups and in doing so, engage with the average Joe too. But this is by no means an easy feat, as a survey in 1998 showed, only 7% of members of the US National Academy of Sciences
believed in a personal God. In the meantime, a Gallup poll conducted recently showed that 41% of Americans who attend church on a weekly basis do not believe in evolution. Furthermore, 26% of those who attend monthly regard evolution as false too.
A famous victim of the fallout between science and religion is Galileo Galilei, who was convicted of heresy for his work
Historically, religious institutions have been notoriously reluctant to embrace scientific findings. Perhaps one of the most famous victims of the fallout between science and religion is Galileo Galilei, who was convicted of heresy in Rome for his work in arguing that the Earth was not the centre of the universe. and thus sentenced to life imprisonment. Given this history of open hostility, can common ground be found between the two fields? There are many who, like Heuer, believe that bridges can be built between religion and science. Albert Einstein was one notable scientist who suggested not only compatibility, but a strong, necessary link between the subjects, famously stating that "science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." More recently, Alister McGrath, Professor of Theology at Kings College London, compared the subject areas to each other while highlighting their similarities. He commented that scientists cannot observe the famous Higgs
Boson (or "God" particle), but still – because it explains so many observations – can conceive of its existence. In much the same way, religious people believe in what they consider the best explanation for their observations, despite a lack of conclusive empirical evidence. Science, McGrath said, is not about “what can be proved… [it is] really about offering the best explanations of what we can see”, offering a clear bridge between scientific thought processes and religion. Arguably the most well-known critic of this school of thought is Professor Richard Dawkins. In a number of his books and documentaries, Dawkins decries the idea that science and religion are compatible, arguing that science looks at the evidence and finds a suitable theory of explanation, while religions look for facts that suit their theories. In his view, religion is anathema to the practicing of science, since 'faith', upon which he claims religious belief is founded, "[is] the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence". Geneticist Francisco J. Ayala partially supports Dawkins' stance. In a recent article, he argued that science and religion, when "properly understood" cannot be in conflict – as Dawkins argues they must be – nor harmony, since each concerns a completely different matter. Science is solely concerned with observing and explaining nature; the scope of religion covers “the meaning and purpose of the world and human life…[and]... the moral values that… govern their lives”. Cosmology and the theories
about the creation of the universe are to be found in the discourse of science, Ayala argues, since Genesis is a book of religious teachings and "not a treatise on astronomy or biology". What is clear is that there is no definitive answer as to how much overlap exists between the circles on the Venn diagram of science and religion are. The debate has recently been brought back into the spotlight with strong evidence and defenders on both sides, which makes not only for interesting discussion but also necessary progression. With new advances being made in areas such as cloning and transplanting, many worry that science has been intruding upon the realm of morality. It is therefore necessary for scientists and religious believers to decide not only whether there is a moral compass, but also how to read it, and whether science should follow it or not.
Making carbon neutral gasoline from air: now possible but perhaps unaffordable Dylan Jenkins
Science Writer George and Robert Stevenson’s Locomotion No.1 was the original public steam train. It opened to the public in 1825, and transformed the way the world travelled. Now, not far from where the first public railway began, scientists are on to perfecting a radical innovative concept that could revolutionise the way the world works. An initiative labelled “an engineering tour-de-force” by Douglas Stephenson of the University of Toronto and referred to as “the future” by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. It is the concept of turning air into gasoline. Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS) of Stockton-on-Tees are, in fact, manufacturing over half a litre of purified gasoline a day, in two shipping containers near Stephenson’s legendary first railway.
The first contains a CO2 capture unit, which works by snagging atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) as sodium carbonate and water from the same air. In the second container lies the methanol reactor and miniature gasoline refining system, and is where hydrogen is generated by electrolysing the water captured in the first container. Meanwhile, the carbon and oxygen is released by electrolysing the sodium carbonate, creating methanol, which is later turned into gasoline. It all sounds rather intricate, but the concept revolves around the idea of plucking hydrogen, carbon and oxygen from carbon dioxide and water in the air, to be converted into methanol and then morphed into gasoline. The use of CO2 from the atmosphere in the process offsets the CO2 produced by the cars and trucks fuelled by such gasoline.
However the process is not carbon neutral. Currently, electricity is used to make key parts of the production process possible. If this electricity could be produced by wind, tidal or other renewable sources of energy, only then could it be said that there is no net increase in CO2.
Scientists are on to perfecting a radical innovative concept, which could revolutionise the way the world works
However, there are fears that the use of a renewable energy source, would make the cost of production, and hence the fuel, unaffordably high. As it stands, the method itself currently uses more energy to power crucial parts of the process than is released when its gasoline prod-
ucts are burnt. A half a litre a day is admittedly a bleak prospect and, although the £1.2 million project, backed by private investors, is showing huge potential, it was built to produce gasoline, not to “prove its efficiency”, says AFS Chief Executive Peter Harrison. But looking past that, AFS have succeeded where many others have failed in extracting hydrogen from water in a cost-effective and efficient manner, according to Andrew Bocarsly of Liquid Inc., New Jersey. Peter Edwards, an inorganic chemist at the University of Oxford takes his “hat off to AFS” for taking “a concept that has been around for 35 years and gotten the process going”, and so we could be facing a potential future that is dependent on technologies such as this one. The concept is yet to be implemented commercially, and would
involve building refinery-sized plants on £10 billion budgets to compete with oil refineries and power plants across the globe. However, the next big plant will only fill three containers, which will still produce 1,200 litres of gasoline a day, with remote islands and motorsport venues already expressing an interest. Borcasly adds that the efficiency of the technology “will be the test for commercialisation”, and it is difficult to argue otherwise. It is worth reiterating that until renewable energy sources are powering the technology it can’t be labelled carbon neutral. Nevertheless, it is an exciting prospect and potentially worldchanging technology. While currently the future of the new technology appears to be up in the air, we may well see the day when we use that very aforementioned air to fuel the way we live.
20 / Science
Tomato ingredient linked to reduced risk of stroke David Mason
Science Writer While eating a balanced and healthy diet is undoubtedly the key to living a longer, healthier life, new research suggests that specific compounds within some food substances may greatly reduce the risk of strokes in later life. Finnish researchers of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio have found that the chemical lycopene may possess such beneficial effects. Found in tomatoes, tomato by-products, red peppers and watermelon, lycopene gives such foods their orange-red colour. It is, however, also a powerful antioxidant, preventing the chemical reaction of oxidisation: the production of ‘free radicals’, which are potentially dangerous to the body. The report, published earlier this month in the journal Neurology, suggests that men with high blood levels of lycopene are, on average, around half as likely to suffer from a stroke as those with
low levels. The study was performed on a group of 1,031 men, aged between 45 and 65, for a total of 12 years.
Men with high blood levels of lycopene are, on average, around half as likely to suffer from a stroke Over the course of the study, there were a total of 67 strokes. The 25% of men studied with lowest lycopene levels suffered 25 of these, compared to only 11 amongst the quarter of men studied with the highest lycopene levels. Researchers attempted to account for lifestyle differences between the groups of men, including smoking, blood pressure and stroke history, but ultimately found that the high-lycopene group still had a 55% lower risk of suffering a stroke. It is also argued that whilst tomatoes contain lycopene, they contain numerous other healthy components as well. These in-
Whilst tomatoes contain lycopene, they contain numerous other healthy components as well
clude vitamins C and E as well as folic acid. While high levels of lycopene may suggest high tomato consumption, this would also indicate the presence of other such chemicals, potentially producing the beneficial effects. As such, Larry Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Centre in Durham, North Carolina remarked that the studies of this sort were “interesting, but have significant limitations.” He stated also that the study does, if nothing else, “reinforce the current recommendations for people to get a wellbalanced diet, with fruits and vegetables.” Ultimately, the study may not have produced concrete findings with regards to tomatoes greatly reducing stroke risk. It does, however, provide further documented evidence of the benefits of including lots of fruit and vegetables as a part of a balanced diet.
Brain changes behind conduct disorders in teenage girls pinpointed Kirstie Smith
Science Writer Teenagers are often associated with a degree of anti-social behaviour, but the biological origins of those with more serious behavioural disorders have, until now, been severely underresearched. However, a study recently published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry has rectified this. In a research project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council, a team of neuroscientists from across the world carried out brain scans of 42 teenage girls and found striking differences between girls with conduct disorders (CD) and the control group in terms of the structures of brain areas linked with empathy and emotion.
Incidence of conduct disorder in teenagers has increased rapidly over recent years The study was prompted by the fact that the incidence of CD in teenagers has increased rapid-
ly over recent years, with an estimated 5 in 100 teenagers in the UK being classed as having some form of a conduct disorder. Previously, anti-social behaviour has been described as
teenagers becoming a “menace to society”, characterised by aggression, vandalism and crime. However, this research has demonstrated that there are specific brain changes that can lead to
the aggressive and anti-social behaviours found in CD, which can increase the risk of mental and physical health problems in adulthood. The research team found that a part of the brain known as the amygdala was smaller in girls with CD than in their peers. This area of the brain is involved both in experiencing fear, as well as picking up whether other people feel afraid. These findings build upon and support earlier studies carried out on teenage males. Girls with CD also had less grey matter in the insula – and area of the brain that is linked to emotions. However, previous studies have shown that this area is larger in boys, but the researchers are not yet sure why that is the case. The University of Cambridge’s Dr Graeme Fairchild was one of the neuroscientists involved in the study. Speaking about the study, he said: “"It would be possible to use scans where a person is at high risk of offending in the future. More help could be given to families and receive extra help, this help could teach a person to
understand emotions and the emotions of others better." Dr Fairchild has also highlighted the importance of brain scans, as scientists in the US are already using this technique to investigate cases of diminished responsibility. Experts have said that, hopefully, it will be possible to use brain scans to spot behavioural problems and CD early.
It will be possible to use brain scans to spot behavioural problems early It is clear that the first steps are being made to investigate behavioural problems and hopefully further development will follow for a better understanding and hope of reducing the occurrence of such disorders in young people.
22 / Societies
Water, water everywhere (and the best part is, it’s free) Oliver Richards
Societies Writer Some common highlights of Freshers' Week include: crawling home in the early hours of the morning with your newly-found best friends, pre-drinking from 6pm every night and dancing until those expensive and rather impractical heels surprisingly start to hurt your feet. One feature of Freshers' Week that I certainly noticed, but that may have been missed out of many people’s lists, was Living Water. An offshoot of Cardiff University’s Christian Union, Living Water – often referred to as ‘Jesus Water’ – could be seen greeting students outside the SU nearly every night. As this may be the first time you’ve really spared the group a full, sober thought, I’d like to create some sense of appreciation for them, or at least some knowledge of them.
“I’ve had our hot chocolate called ‘an orgasm in a cup’, so we must be doing something right!” Formed in 2007, the group is an entirely non-profit organisation that serves two main purposes: to hydrate fatigued club-goers and, through this, to spread the Christian beliefs they hold. Supported by Spar until recently, they have given away over 50,000 bottles of water entirely for free, and that's not mentioning the hot chocolate and tea. The labels on the bottles feature the group logo and a brief quote from the Bible. Now, I mean no offence to anybody
when I say that some people can be put off by others sharing their religious views, and being of no religion myself, I will admit to some scepticism at the thought of others impressing their views onto me, however well-intended they are. But this again is reason
enough for me to write about the group; I urge you not to shy away from their generosity, no matter how you feel about their beliefs. In discussing this, I’d like to talk more generally about the Christian Union of Cardiff University. As far as beliefbased unions go, the CU is by far the most approachable and unobtrusive I have had the pleasure of meeting. Having a flat-mate who is a regular churchgoer and attendee of their events, I have been to a few pub quizzes and other events organised by them and have never had my space invaded, or even been asked about my own beliefs. This flat-mate of mine, a firstyear Accounting and Finance
student called Lulu, had this to say on the Christian ethos of the group: "Jesus Water is a good thing. It gives people a chance to ask questions about God and talk to others about what they’re going through", also adding that, besides this, the group "help
those people who are absolutely wasted". Do give a thought to the practical side of what they do: if you asked a selection of students at random if they’d be willing to stand outside in the cold Cardiff weather into the early hours of the morning, dispensing water to oblivious club-goers, most would say no. And I will admit that my response would be the same. This makes appreciating their efforts all the more important. The Christian Union do strive to spread their views, but they don’t intend to challenge your personal feelings or to change you – this (like their water) is very refreshing and welcoming, and I urge you to embrace it
and to feel no trepidation when meeting anyone from the group. The president of the group, Joshua Reid, pointed out their aims: "We make a big point of keeping ‘Jesus Water’ something by students for students, because as the Christian Union we love that we can serve our fellow students like this to demonstrate the love that Jesus showed us on the cross". He added that "I’ve also had the hot chocolate I made called 'an orgasm in a cup', so we must be doing something right here!" His comments sum up both sides of the group, as well as their striving to help their fellow students, regardless of anybody’s views. If you take one thing away from this article, other than some background information on the group, I hope it is the willingness to express gratitude at their generosity. The group is currently trying to find another kind contributor of free water, but when they are back on the streets I urge
you to chat to them and tell them what a useful service they provide.
Whatever your views, water is liquid life and members of the group will, I’m sure, appreciate a few words of gratitude, even if they are slurred. Like 'Jesus Water' on Facebook for more information and keep your eyes out for the group, with their new look labels and friendly faces.
Introducing UNICEF at Cardiff University Wipula Paquet
Societies Writer Are you appalled by the injustice that more than half of the world’s population has to endure? As my old mate Gandhi allegedly used to say: it’s high time to ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’. UNICEF on Campus gives you the opportunity to achieve something meaningful while at university and immensely improve children’s conditions of living in more than 190 countries. Initially launched in the US, UNICEF on Campus is, as indicated by its name, the university branch of the world’s leading organisation fighting for children’s rights. Mandated by the UN, UNICEF is the only children’s charity that works hand-in-hand with partner
NGOs and national governments to ensure that the fundamental rights to education, protection and healthcare are ensured by training teachers, building childfriendly schools, facilitating the issue of birth certificates to putting pressure on governments for longer sentences for child traffickers, by giving immunisations or handing out mosquito nets. 76 per cent of donations go directly to their programme for children, prioritising countries of low GDP – that is, a large population with major development issues. UNICEF also has the ability to react quickly in case of emergencies. Currently the only NGO working in a politically tense Syria and its neighbouring countries, UNICEF is providing clean
water, vaccinations and counselling for children to deal with their trauma.
All this might seem quite difficult for university students to have a hand in, but one should not underestimate the impact that the things done here in Cardiff have on the other side of the planet and as part of the family that UNICEF on Campus is; we are more than determined to make a positive impact on children’s lives. Although the topics that we
tackle are not light, I have never had as much fun as when taking part in our events. I can proudly say that I have burnt my hand in the oven while baking a cake, played to the merchant in almost every building of the university, said awkward stuff on Xpress, challenged myself – some would say tortured myself – living off of only £1 per day for five days for the Global Poverty Project’s Live Below the Line, met most of the Cardiff music scene at our annual gig and almost died on a football pitch. If I had to list all the memorable things I have experienced with UNICEF on Campus, I would have needed more than one article in gair rhydd. And I still have one more thing to add: I have made great friends! After being teased about all the
fun we have in our society, I bet you are wondering how to get involved and be part of our family. Easy! Join us on CampusGroups and our Facebook page. You won’t be able to miss our future meetings and events – especially not the long-awaited charity gig “Let Them Be Heard” at Buffalo, 6:30 pm on Saturday, November 10th featuring all the local musical talents!
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddsoc
A new ‘Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society’?
Broadway Dance Society Open Evening
s an ever-growing dance society that offers a wide variety of dance styles, the Broadway Dance Society held its annual open evening in the Great Hall on Friday, October 5th. The evening aimed to allow new and returning members to try all the different dance styles the society has to offer as well as being a great opportunity for new members to meet the teachers and committee and other members of the society. Half-hour taster sessions in ballet, tap, jazz, street, Irish and the newly introduced Highland were on offer for only £2.
Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Street, Irish and the newly introduced Highland were all on offer The evening was a great success, with over 100 people attending. Everyone got involved and thoroughly enjoyed the night, making the most of the chance to try the dance classes at a bargain
price! It looks set to be another busy year for the Broadway Dance Society, with classes now underway and a performance in the ‘Journey's Dance Platform’ just around the corner on November 30th. This society is a great way to keep fit and meet new people, holding socials every fortnight throughout the year for members to get to know each other. They also provide many opportunities to perform: last year, they performed at Go Global, the 'Journey's' dance show event at the Gate Theatre (twice!) and have previously performed at the Snow Ball. Classes run by Broadway are set at a variety of levels, meaning the complete beginner through to the superadvanced can enjoy them. As well as the styles mentioned above, Broadway also offers a fitness class.
Classes are run weekly at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Students' Union or the surrounding buildings. The membership fee is £10 per academic year (plus the £4 Guild fee); weekly lessons are then £2 for members. You do not have to be a member of Broadway to come along and take part in the classes, but the weekly lesson fee is £4 for non-members. Nonstudents are also welcome to join Broadway or just come along to lessons.
Are you a student who would be interested in seeing the creation of this society at Cardiff University? Would you join such a society if it existed? If your answer is ‘yes’ to either of these, then please contact Owen Spalding on owen_spalding@
hotmail.co.uk with your university email address, student number, and "perhaps any ideas for the society you may have! For the society to work, the Students' Union needs to see that a substantial amount of you are interested!"
Tea Party Society The Tea Party Society aims to further the appreciation of tea and cake in the student community, and they do this by holding regular events. These range from picnics to ‘tea-crawls’, where they visit several tea rooms during a single day.
Annual membership is £3. You can find out more by getting in touch with them at teapartysociety@ cardiff.ac.uk
24 / Taf-Od
Llywodraeth Cymru i gael pwer dros drethi a benthyca arian Cerith Rhys Jones Taf-od
Anaml y cewch chi weinidogion o bleidiau gwleidyddol gwahanol a llywodraethau gwahanol gwneud datganiadau ar y cyd, ond dyna’n union a ddigwyddodd mewn ystafell ddi-nod ym Mharc Cathays yn yr wythnosau diwethaf. Daeth Prif Ysgrifennydd y Trysorlys Danny Alexander, sy’n Ddemocrat Rhyddfrydol, Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru David Jones, sy’n Geidwadwr, a Gweinidog Cyllid Cymru Jane Hutt, o’r Blaid Lafur, at ei gilydd i gyhoeddi eu bod wedi cyrraedd cytundeb y dylai Cymru, mewn egwyddor, gael pwerau dros godi trethi a benthyca arian. Y peth pwysicaf i’w dynnu o’r frawddeg honno yw mai cytundeb mewn egwyddor yn unig yw hon. Mae trosglwyddo pwerau o’r fath i Fae Caerdydd yn dibynnu ar ganfyddiadau Comisiwn Silk sydd, yn ystod y misoedd diwethaf, wedi bod yn ystyried system gyllido Cymru. Bydd y Comisiwn, a fydd nesaf yn ystyried sys-
tem gyfansoddiadol Cymru, yn adrodd ei awgrymiadau ganol mis Tachwedd. Pe bai’r Comisiwn yn awgrymu y dylai Cymru gael yr hawl i godi trethi ac i fenthyca arian, yna mwy na thebyg fydd y pwerau’n cael eu datganoli o Lundain i Gaerdydd. Y broblem, yn ôl Plaid Cymru, yw nad oes unrhyw fanylion wedi dod i’r amlwg ynghylch faint o arian bydd Llywodraeth Cymru’n medru benthyg, na chwaith pa drethi fydd modd eu codi. Yn siarad wedi’r cyhoeddiad, meddai llefarydd y Blaid ar gyllid a’r cyfansoddiad Ieuan Wyn Jones bod ‘olion y Trysorlys yn glir ar y ddogfen hon ac ni allaf ddeall pam y byddai unrhyw brif weinidog yng Nghymru yn cytuno iddi.’ Yr oedd hefyd yn feirniadol nad oedd unrhyw son yn y cyhoeddiad am ‘yr angen i ddiwygio [fformiwla] Barnett [sef y system sy’n penderfynu faint o arian y dylid trosglwyddo o’r Trysorlys i Lywodraeth Cymru].’ Serch hynny, fe ddywedodd Ms Hutt mai amcan hir-dymor Llywodraeth Cymru yw i ddiwygio Barnett rywbryd yn y dyfodol ond taw nid nawr oedd yr amser cywir i gyflwyno ‘llawr’ Barnett, neu Barnett ‘floor’, y’i ddisgrifiwyd gan gyn-gadeirydd Comisiwn Holtham, Gerald Holtham, yn 2011 fel a ganlyn:‘When one of the territories [of the United Kingdom] is below the floor, its Barnett allocation is adjusted to ensure no further squeeze takes place. Note this does not entail restoring the grant to the floor level, it simply prevents any further cumulative divergence – surely a minimal requirement for fairness.’ Yn 2010, fe gyhoeddodd Comisiwn Holtham y tan-gyllid-
wyd Cymru gan £400 miliwn yn 2010-11 oherwydd system Barnett. Fe ddywedodd Ysgrifennydd
exander yn gytun. Fe ddywedodd ef:‘Mae hwn yn gam pwysig ymlaen ar lwybr datganoli i bobl Cymru, a bydd yn dod â man-
Gwladol newydd Cymru David Jones fod y trafodaethau parthed y darpar-bwerau newydd hyn yn ystod y 12 mis diwethaf wedi gweld mwy o gynnydd nag yn ystod y 13 mlynedd yr oedd y Blaid Lafur yn Heol Downing. Yr hyn sydd wedi digwydd yn awr, yn ôl yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol, yw y bydd Cymru’n rhan o’r trafodaethau bob tro y ceir Adolygiad Gwariant yn San Steffan – bydd rhaid cynnal adolygiad ynghylch pa effaith y byddai adolygiadau gwariant yn ei gael ar Gymru. Ond, nid oedd hynny’n ddigon i blesio Ieuan Wyn Jones o Blaid Cymru. Meddai ef yr aeth Llywodraeth Cymru at y trafodaethau gyda’r nod o sicrhau pwerau benthyg a chadarnhau llawr Barnett yn 115% o wariant yn Lloegr. Oherwydd nid oes sicrwydd ynghylch naill un na’r llall o’r pethau hynny, barn Plaid Cymru yw bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi methu. Fel y disgwyl, nid oedd Prif Ysgrifennydd y Trysorlys Danny Al-
teision sylweddol iddynt.‘Rwy'n hynod falch bod y ddwy lywodraeth wedi cydweithio'n agos i sicrhau'r canlyniad da hwn i Gymru.’ Ond wedi’r cyfan, mae’r holl
Cytundeb mewn egwyddor yn unig yw hon
dros amrywio treth, rhywbeth y mae’r Prif Weinidog eisoes wedi pwysleisio y byddai’n fater i refferendwm arall.’ Pa drethi bynnag y caiff Llywodraeth Cymru gyfrifoldeb drostynt, gan gymryd yn ganiataol y bydd Silk yn awgrymu trosglwyddo pwerau o’r fath i Fae Caerdydd, y peth bwysig yw y byddant yn sicrhau ffynhonnell gyllid i Lywodraeth Cymru y bydd wedyn yn gallu bethyg yn ei herbyn. Faint o arian, ry’ch chi (ac Ieuan Wyn Jones) yn gofyn? Wel, ‘paredd’ â’r Alban (sy’n gallu benthyg £2.7 biliwn eleni) yn ôl Ms Hutt, a terfyn benthyca gymesurol â’r incwm o’r trethi hynny y’i datganolir yn ôl Mr Alexander. Cawn aros tan 19eg Tachwedd i glywed beth fydd awgrymiadau Comisiwn Silk ac o hynny ymlaen, fel y dywed Betsan Powys, debyg y bydd Ms Hutt, Mr Alexander, a’r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Mr Jones yn treulio llawer yn fwy o amser gyda’i gilydd yn ystod y misoedd nesaf yn gweithio dros y mân fanylion hynny.
beth yn ddibynnol ar beth fydd gan Paul Silk a’i Gomisiwn i’w ddweud ar 19eg Tachwedd. Yn ysgrifennu ar ei blog, synfyfyriodd Golygydd Gwleidyddol BBC Wales Betsan Powys ynghylch beth yn union y gallai Silk awgrymu:‘Rwy’n dyfalu y bydd yn awgrymu datganoli llawn dros rai trethi bychain – yr Ardoll Agregau, Toll Teithwyr Awyr, Treth Tirlenwi, ac o bosib, Treth Stamp? ‘Gallwn hefyd weld symud at ryw ganol ffordd ar atebolrwydd cyllidol ar dreth incwm – efallai’n trosglwyddo toc o’r talebau treth incwm i Lywodraeth Cymru heb y newid mwy dadleuol i bwerau
O taf D
Straeon OD o bob rhan o'r byd... Wythnos yma, Gandalf y dylluan sy'n byw mewn ty...
ae gang o smyglwyr o fecsico wedi gorfod rhoi gorau i’w hymdrechion i gael mewn i America wythnos diwethaf, ar ôl i’r Jeep oeddent yn ddefnyddio fynd yn sownd ar ben y ffens 14 troedfedd sy’n gwahanu’r ddwy wlad. Roedd y smyglwyr wedi defnyddio rampiau oedd yn debyg i ysgolion i gael fynu un ochr, ond cafodd y Jeep i’w ddal yr frig y ffens. Mae parc saffari ger Lerpwl wedi rhoi ty cyfan i dylluan or enw Gandalf, oherwydd ei fod yn agoraphobic. Mae ei gyflwr
yn golygu bod ganddo ofn hedfan allan mewn gofodau mawr ac felly mae ei berchennogion wedi penderfynu adeiladu ei adardy ofewn ty. Nos Sadwrn, cafodd model enfawr o Lance Armstrong yn gwisgo badge yn dweud “Jim fixed it for me” ei losgi mewn tref yng
Nghaint yn ran o ddathliadau tân gwyllt. Dywedodd y gymdeithas sy'n trefnu'r goelcerth eu bod wedi cysidro defnyddio model o George Osborne, y canghellor, Jimmy Savile ag Abu Hamza ond mai Lance Armstrong a ddewisiwyd yn y diwedd. Mae'r dref yn y gorffennol wedi llosgi modeli o nifer o enwogion, yn cynnwys Cherie Blair, Katie Price, Gordon Brown a Russel Brand. Cafodd y model o Armstrong ei sdwffio gyda papurau newydd wedi ei socian mewn olew. Yn amlwg mae'r dref yn hoff iawn o gadw fyny gyda pynciau llosg y flwyddyn...
Dydd Llun Tachwedd y 5ed 2012 | @taf_od
Prif Weithredwr S4C yn cynnal astudiaeth i’r posibilrwydd o ddatganoli’r sianel Cai Llwyd Taf-od
Datganwyd wythnos diwethaf fod S4C yn ystyried y posibilrwydd o ddatganoli i dair swyddfa ledled Cymru, yn hytrach nag un prif swyddfa yng Nghaerdydd. Comisiynwyd astudiaeth gan Ian Jones, Prif Weithredwr S4C, er mwyn penderfynu pa mor ymarferol fyddai sefydlu swyddfeydd y tu allan i’r brifddinas. Cynllun S4C yw cael un o’u swyddfeydd yn y gorllewin neu’r canolbarth, un yn y de ac un yn y gogledd. Wrth gyhoeddi’r cynlluniau, dywedodd Ian Jones ei fod yn awyddus i sicrhau bod buddiannau’r sianel yn cael eu rhannu ar draws Cymru. Ar hyn o bryd, mae gan S4C ddau safle, sef eu pencadlys yng Nghaerdydd a swyddfa lawer llai yng Nghaernarfon. Dywedodd Ian Jones: “Mae’r trefniant yma’n gweithio’n dda, yn arbennig pan ystyriwch fod dau o’n pump comisiynwyr yn gweithio yng Nghaernarfon. Felly gan ein bod yn gwybod ein bod yn gallu gweithio ar ddau safle’n llwyddiannus, pam na ddylid edrych ar bosibiliadau pellach i ddatganoli’n busnes.” Mae gwaith S4C yn cynnal tua 2,000 o swyddi drwy Gymru, ond dywedai Ian Jones ei fod yn benderfynol i wneud rhagor. Mae diffyg swyddi a chyfleoedd hyfforddi yn her sy’n
wynebu llawer o ardaloedd ledled Cymru, felly petai S4C yn gallu gwneud mwy i ddarparu gwaith i’r cymunedau hyn, byddai’n hwb mawr nid yn unig i’r ardaloedd eu hunain, ond i’r iaith Gymraeg yn yr ardaloedd yn ogystal. Yn ymateb i’r newyddion dywedodd Bethan Williams, Cadeirydd Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg ei fod yn “newyddion da iawn” a bod y Gymdeithas “wedi bod yn galw am S4C ‘newydd’, ac un o’n prif alwadau ydy dosbarthu buddsoddiad y sianel yn well ar draws y wlad.” Yn ogystal, mae galw i ddatganoli’r BBC allan o Gaerdydd. Mae symud rhaglenni Radio Cymru Iola Wyn i Gaerfyrddin a Tudur Owen i Fangor wedi bod yn gam i’r cyfeiriad cywir ond mae galw i fwy o raglenni megis Nia Roberts a Dafydd a Caryl gael eu datganoli allan o Gaerdydd. Un cwestiwn allweddol yw a ddylai’r swyddfeydd newydd y mae S4C yn eu cysidro fod mewn llefydd ble mae’r Gymraeg yn
gryf ynteu mewn ardaloedd ble nad yw’r iaith yn ffynnu? Y rheswm cryfaf dros leoli’r swyddfeydd newydd mewn mannau di-gymraeg fuasai’r hwb y buasai’n rhoi i’r iaith yn yr ar-
daloedd yma. Yn ddiweddar mae swyddi ac adrannau Cyngor Gwynedd ac awdurdodau lleol wedi symud o
Feirionnydd i ardal Caernarfon. Credir rhai bod mwy na digon o waith i Gymry Cymraeg mewn ardaloedd fel Caernarfon a Bangor yn barod. A fyddai’n well cael y swyddfeydd newydd mewn ardaloedd fel Meirionydd a Sir Fôn felly yn hytrach na Caernarfon a Bangor? Dyma fannau sydd wir angen rhagor o swyddi gyda chyflogau da. Credir eraill fod angen swyddfa yn y Dwyrain megis yn Sir y Fflint. Buasai symud swyddfa S4C yma’n dangos i bobl yr ardal bod y Gymraeg yn fyw ac yn weladwy. Mewn ardaloedd Cymreig bydd digon o bobl gyda diddordeb mewn gweithio trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, ond gellir dadlau na fuasai hyn wirioneddol yn hybu’r iaith. Dadl arall dros leoli’r swyddfeydd mewn ardaloedd megis Caernarfon ac Aberystwyth yw bod diogelu’r iaith yn y mannau hyn yn bwysicach na hybu’r iaith mewn llefydd di-gymraeg. Mae’n wir fod y nifer o gyfleoedd i weithwyr
Cymraeg yn gostwng hyd yn oed yn yr ardaloedd Cymreig, felly gellir dadlau fod angen sylfaen cryf i’r iaith yn y mannau hyn cyn lledaenu’r iaith i gymunedau di-gymraeg.
Mae gwaith s4C yn cynnal tua 2,000 o swyddi drwy Gymru Dros y môr yn yr Iwerddon, mae sianel TG4 yn un gwbl Wyddeleg. Nid yw pencadlys y sianel yn Nulyn, nac mewn unrhyw ddinas arall, ond ym mhentref bychan Ballynahown, ger Galway, ar arfordir Gorllewin yr Iwerddon. Yng Nghymru, buasai hyn yn union fel petai pencadlys S4C yn Aberdaron neu Llangrannog. Os yw’n gweithio iddyn nhw, pam na fuasai’n gweithio yng Nghymru? Er y posibilrwydd y buasai datganoli swyddfeydd S4C yn profi'n symudiad da yn nhermau delwedd y sianel, mae'n rhaid cofio bod elfen ymarferol o gael pencadlys yn y brifddinas, canolfan fusnes y wlad ac un o drefi fwyaf diwylliedig Prydain. A fuasai o werth i S4C symud ei swyddfeydd i ardaloedd anghysbell i blesio canran o'r boblogaeth ond colli pencadlys cadarn a sefydlog sy'n bodoli'n bresennol? Mae'n edrych yn debyg y bydd datganoli o riw fath yn digwydd yn y dyfodol agos felly cawn weld canlyniadau'r newidiadau'n fuan.
26 / Puzzles
Rhysâ€™ Riddles Steve has got himself into another sticky situation. He is fighting in a truel with two others: Moriaty and Clyde. They each get a gun and take turns shooting at each other until only one person is left. Steve gets to shoot first, but only makes his shot 1/3 of the time. Clyde shoots next, with a 2/3 chance (assuming he is still alive). Moriarty, who never misses shoots next (assuming he is also alive). The cycle repeats. Steve wants to maximise his survival chance, so where should he shoot his first shot?
You need to conduct 7 races. Races 1-5 races each horse once. You can eliminate all 4th and 5th place finishers in these races leaving 15 horses. Race 6 is between the 5 winners of the first 5 races. From this race we can leave ourselves with 6 horses who could be in the top three. We know the winner of race 6 is the fastest so we race the other 5 to find the next two. Visit tinyurl.com/grriddle7 for the full explanation.
Last weeks riddle answer:
Monday November 5th 2012 | @mediacsu
Listings November 5th – 11th
Music Cinema Skyfall
James Bond is back, but his loyalty is tested as M's past comes back to haunt her. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the famous spy franchise first started and the producers of the latest Bond film have pulled out all the stops.
Theatre New Theatre – Bugsy Malone Set in 1920s NYC, Bugsy Malone is the fun-filled gangster story where the sharp-suited wiseguys are the kids and the guns all fire splurge.
Clubs Cardiff Bay Tavern Red Dragon Centre £2 a drink Monday nights from 6pm Let Them Be Heard 2012 – UNICEF Charity Concert Saturday, November 10th, 6:30 pm, Buffalo Bar
The Killers – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena November 5th, 6pm Nicki Minaj – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena November 7th, 7:30pm
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddsport
Autumn international opener Greg Langdon
Sport Writer Next weekend marks the start of the winter tours for southern hemisphere rugby sides, and Wales will be kicking off against Los Pumas in Cardiff – a fixture that will cause much more worry to the home side than in previous years. Of northern hemisphere nations, only England and France have better records at the last two World Cups than Argentina, and in this year’s inaugural Rugby Championship, Argentina often produced better performances and results against the Springboks, Wallabies and All Blacks than the Home Nations did in the summer tours that preceded the tournament. They drew with South Africa in Mendoza (a game they certainly could have won), and followed that by holding New Zealand to a 9–5 scoreline after 67 minutes in Wellington before almost winning away in Australia. All this came after holding World Cup finalists France to a drawn series in June. In terms of players and tactics, Argentina are about as traditional as they come. Massive forwards, pick-and-drives and tactical kicking define the side. Flyhalf Juan Martín Hernández will almost certainly launch dozens of up-and-unders, kick the ball in behind the Welsh wingers, and look for drop goals at every
opportunity. Up front, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe should be his usual dominant and hard-working self, and with giants such as Patricio Albacete, Juan Figallo, Marcos
Ayerza and Juan Manuel Leguizamón in the same pack, expect Wales to be matched, if not slightly edged, in the physical exchanges. One advantage the winter tours have traditionally given the northern hosts, is that teams from south of the Equator have to immediately adjust from their warm summers to cold and wet European Novembers. While this is likely to affect the backs play and intent of two of Wales’ other opponents (New Zealand and Australia), the Ar-
gentines should be used to the conditions given that an overwhelming majority of them play their club rugby in Europe. Also, even though the tourists are heavily forward-based, backs such as
Martín Landajo, Horacio Agulla and Gonzalo Camacho can all provide a spark when required. Look up the first try from when Argentina hosted New Zealand in La Plata if you don’t believe me. Despite all this, Wales will be heavy favourites for the match, having had an incredible 18 months that saw them reach the World Cup semi-final before winning a Six Nations Grand Slam. However, recent form is not great, with Welsh clubs struggling for European victories,
and only the Scarlets occupying a playoff spot in the RaboDirect Pro12. Injuries to Adam Jones and Dan Lydiate could prove huge, and with confusion over which France-based players can play in which matches, the hosts aren’t providing fans with any certainty. Welsh fans have bemoaned the exodus of their players across the channel in recent seasons, and their fears appear to have come true – French clubs seemingly have authority when push comes to shove. One feels that, with a full contingent of players, Wales have the talent to match the likes of Australia and New Zealand, especially as they will play them at the end of long and gruelling seasons for the southern hemisphere giants. But back to this week, expect out-of-hand kicking, massive collisions up front and rolling mauls to be the order of the day as an under strength Wales edge the more inexperienced Pumas by no more than 10 points. Also, count on Wales’ young backs such as Cuthbert, North and Halfpenny to show flashes of brilliance despite the mud and pick-and-gos – something that may well prove the difference between the sides.
Cleverley defence of title close to collapse Edward Searle
Sport Writer Former Cardiff student Nathan Cleverly will find out within the next week whether his world light-heavyweight title defence against American Ryan Coyne will take place as originally scheduled on November 10th. The American is involved in a contractual dispute with his former agent, Don King, and the pair are due in court on November 1st. If a resolution can be reached with all parties satisfied, the bout in Los Angeles could still take place. With regard to possible replacements if Coyne is forced to withdraw, the WBO has suggested that a fight against one of the world’s top 15 could be available, but as of yet no replacement list has been drawn up. This series of events follows on from the recent cancellations of Cleverly’s fights with Robin Krasniqi, Jürgen Brähmer and Ukrainian Vyacheslav Uzelkov leaving Cleverly in a situation where he is forced to fight with his belt and reputation not on the line in order only to boost his Stateside image.
Freshers revel in Ultimate Frisbee opener Oliver Gray
Sport Writer October saw two exciting weekends for the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. The first journey of the season was to Plymouth with a unruly hoard of beginners. The inexperienced players were provided with a stern test considering the majority had picked up a disc at the start of term, just two weeks before. The two Cardiff teams performed exceptionally well throughout the weekend. ‘Team 1’ progressed through Saturday with only one loss to play an unbeaten ‘Team 2’ early on Sunday. After a big Saturday night out in Plymouth both teams were ‘fatigued’ before even entering the match, but a decisive win for Team 2 meant that Team 1 battled on to achieve seventh place. Team 2 progressed all the way to the final on Sunday afternoon, but an undeserved 8–7 loss to Plymouth meant they had to settle for silver. All in all, the weekend was a great success and set the bar extremely high for the beginners travelling to Sheffield the follow-
The 1st team was able to demonstrate how Ultimate should be played and managed an unbeaten Saturday
ing weekend. An experienced division was organised for the subsequent weekend to run alongside the beginners’ tournament. The 1st team was able to demonstrate how Ultimate should be played, and managed an unbeaten Saturday. The team required a win on Sunday morning to qualify for the semi-finals, and set the stage for a big game first thing. Saturday also saw Team B, captained by Rhys Evans progress to Sunday as sixth seeds, with only one loss, while Team A, captained by Camille Kostov, won the last game of the day to finish as third seeds in the crossover. Following a night in Sheffield dressed as dalmatians, with our very own Cruella de Vil (Jack Titley) as part of a movie-themed event, Sunday morning arrived all too soon. The first team won convincingly to achieve a semifinal spot, but a subsequent loss left them playing for third place, securing it with a confident win. With a win from Team B and a loss from Team A, in the first games of the morning, Cardiff
then played simultaneously. A loss from both teams left the final game of Sunday as a Cardiff showdown. A competitive game saw Team B come out on top, with some spectacular celebrations for scored points. A big thanks to the drivers for getting everyone there and back without incident and all experienced players for the coaching
and support they provided on both weekends. The coming weekend announces the arrival of University Indoor Regionals to Cardiff in Talybont Sports Centre. Best of luck to all those involved.
30 / Sport
Cardiff Road Cycling off to a flying start Sport writer Chris Beynon reports on the first open session of the newly created road cycling club
ast Wednesday, the new Cardiff University Road Cycling Club met at Maindy Track on North Road for a two-hour open session to gather interest in the club. While not yet an official club within the University, the wheels have been put in motion and this open session was for the AU to see how much interest there is among the student population. And what interest there was! More than 30 riders of all abilities turned up, as well as those without a bike to register an interest. To top the session off, we had a visit from local hero Geraint Thomas, a world class cyclist who has won gold medals at the last two Olympics and is in the same team as Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.
what the AU can offer in terms of support and competitions. While it may be a some time before it becomes an official club, there will be no stopping the growth of this new club anytime soon.
hour high-intensity rides to 30km casual rides around Cardiff. Usually incorporating a coffee stop somewhere, these casual rides are the perfect opportunity for those who want to get out of
of the Mountain classifications, all of which will be recorded and prizes awarded at the end of the year. There really is something for everyone! During the summer months,
While not yet an official club, the wheels have been put in motion
The success of the open track session was not just a one-off. The group started meeting shortly after Freshers' Week, with regular rides organised twice a week – track sessions on Wednesday and a road ride at the weekend. From this starting point, we went to the AU with the idea of formally joining in order to take advantage of
Group photo of the club with Geraint Thomas in the Middle. And yes, he did bring his gold medal.
While it may seem the club is an elite group – all shiny metal ! and Lycra – it welcomes everyone of all abilities who would be interested. To this end, there are several different options for the regular weekend rides from four-
Cardiff but don't know where to go, or for those who want a leisurely ride with good company. On the other hand, for those who want it hard and fast, the high tempo group goes 70–90km most weeks with sprint and King
when the weather is more conducive to cycling, there are plans to go further afield. There is such a wealth of brilliant cycling country in Wales that it would be a shame to let go to waste. From the Welsh stage of the Tour of
Britain which is only an hour away to cycle sportives across the country, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about on your bike. There are lots of plans for the future beyond the regular rides. There are plans to enter a team into the BUCS competitions for those interested, as well as putting on training sessions for cyclists on the track as well as basic mechanical workshops, perfect for sorting out all those little niggles on your bike. There is even talk with the AU about setting up a triathlon section for all those budding triathletes wanting to be the next Brownlee brother. If this interests you in any way, be it a social ride on a weekend, cross training for another sport or wanting to be part of the Cardiff University cycling team then get in contact! If you want more information, we have a Facebook page at facebook.com/CardiffRC or contact me, Chris, by email at BeynonCM@cardiff.ac.uk. Alternatively, come to our regular Wednesday track sessions from 3–4pm at Maindy track, near Talybont student residences, and say hello.
BUCS rulings frustrate Cardiff Pool Club Dylan Mitchell
Sport Writer A change in the format of an annual BUCS inter-university pool tournament has left Cardiff University Pool Club members fearing that female members may be precluded from competing at all. The concern stems from the decision by the Universities Pool Council (UPC), which administers competitions on behalf of BUCS, to operate next February’s 8-Ball Pool Championship as separate events for male and female players, rather than as mixed-sex tournaments. The alteration was made, according to the UPC, after some universities voiced concern that mixed-sex tournaments prevented women from playing, as teams were too competitive for them to get into. Rachel Rowe, Cardiff Pool Club’s treasurer who captained a mixed-sex team at the 2012 championships, disagrees; “At Cardiff, we practice and play as a mixed club. It’s not comparable to other sports like rugby or hockey, where there is a need for separate men’s and women’s teams, and so separate competitions”.
Indeed, it’s difficult to find any physical reason why men and women shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the same pool competition, and this wasn’t the only concern. A strange feature of the reorganisation is that the women’s tournament in 2013 won’t be accredited by BUCS, whereas the men’s tournament will. This means that any women’s team may well feel that they are competing in a less prestigious competition than their male clubmates, despite the fact that the tournaments are at the same venue over the same weekend. And this presumes that Cardiff University will be able to send a women’s team at all; with a minimum of three players required to enter, the club doesn’t currently have enough women to form a team. Consequentially, Cardiff may be compelled to leave one of its strongest players at home purely because she is female. In a traditionally male-dominated sport such as pool, this must be detrimental to the sport in the longterm. In a reply to Cardiff Pool Club,
the Executive Chair of the UPC, Oliver Dark, said that changes to the tournament’s format were made after consultation with, and lobbying from, pool teams from other universities, who preferred single-sex competition. He maintained too that singlesex tournaments would increase participation from women. Cardiff University’s pool teams dismissed this notion, however; even after inclusive recruitment drives in September, it’s difficult to attract women to the sport. Cardiff University’s pool team consider it will be even more difficult to recruit if the women are effectively denied from competing alongside the club-mates they play and practice with every week. The UPC have stated that it is now too late to make any changes to the 2013 competition even if it were inclined to, but it is willing to take on board feedback from universities. It is to be hoped that Cardiff’s female players will be welcomed back into a more inclusive BUCS tournament in 2014.
Monday November 5th 2012 | @gairrhyddsport
Cage Warriors 49: a night at the cage Rhys Clayton
Sport Editor “A night at the Opera”, read one of the leaflets, as I perused the upcoming events at St David’s Hall. There was also a large poster for a night with Des O’Connor. Think of the absolute antithesis of this, and you’ll be close to picturing a night at the cage. Cage Fighting 49 was in town, and the locals were loving it.
of the working class in the Victorian England. Now, fighting is the bane of a civilised society, but this seemed quite the opposite. Doing something normally immoral and abhorrent, when cultivated in a controlled environment, was somehow normal. While sitting comfortably in my seat, sipping on a cold beverage, content with my evening’s
I’m not a violent person; I have no pain threshold to speak of, and I avoid physical confrontation at all costs. However, watching others grappling, kicking, punching and throwing their opponent brought peculiar sado-masochistic enjoyment. Sitting in the front row – close enough to hear the sound of punch on skin – was a like a throwback to the days of illegal boxing matches, something you learnt about in history classes when talking about the hobbies
entertainment, I imagined that this is what Roman aristocracy felt like when watching gladiators slug out in middle of the Colosseum. Are you not entertained, sir? I certainly was. In reality, I was not surrounded by toga-wearing emperors, but a braying, snarling crowd, who wanted to see blood, and they wanted it now. There was a smattering of girls in high-heels and thick make-up, ready to hit St Mary’s Street, and the males looked like the section of a foot-
ball ground who chant “hope he’s dead, hope he’s dead” or “snap his legs” at a football ground. You might think cage fighting is no different from a bareknuckle, drunken street brawl on a Saturday night. You’re wrong. In cage fighting, the street fighters wear gloves. And there are 31 golden rules one must not break. Thou shalt not: headbutt, gouge, knee the head, bite, pull hair, go for the spine, strangle, spit, swear, and one must absolutely not, under any circumstance, attack the groin area; and so on and so forth. Most fights are won by submission, which meant an unexpected amount of time was spend wrestling on the floor, the opponents locked together, trying to get the all important choking manoeuvre. Another surprising element of the fights was the showing of mutual respect between the fighters. Before the start of every round, the fighters would touch gloves, and at the end of the fight, the fighters would embrace. As much as I advocate fair play and sportsmanship, it smacked of duplicity that the fighters would beat seven bells out of each other, and then want to kiss and make up afterwards. A look at the Twitter exchange between the two fighters involved in the main event after their fight was incredulous. “Thanks for the fight bro”, “really enjoyed been (sic) there”. Come again? One thanking the other for beating him to a pulp is as hypocritical
as Silvio Berlusconi demanding tighter tax regulations. The only fighter I knew before the event was young Kris Edwards, a Welsh fighter who has made a promising start to his fighting career. However, this certain bout wasn’t to go the 22-year-old’s way. Edwards’ fight was nigh on over when his opponent unleashed a colossal elbow squarely in his face. There was blood protruding forth before you could say 'tap out'. The non-fighting entertainment was questionable. The theatre of Cage Warriors was the fighters’ entrance to the ring, which was the only gimmick on offer to pump up the crowd. Even this was tainted by the fact that the fighter would appear at the top of the runway minutes before his entrance was announces, which resulted in a somewhat anticlimactic feeling. Nevertheless, by far the best entrance was by Faycal Hucin, the French fighter (even though
he posed with a Moroccan flag after his win) who danced down runway in a more circuitous way, with typical French swagger and panache, and was even wearing a Welsh rugby shirt. What a showman! In the cage, entertainment is the name of the game. The referees would demand action between two fighters in a deadlocked grapple, in the same way a rugby referee tells teams to “use it or lose it” if the ball is locked in an immobile maul. Submission and a battle of pure brute strength might be the best way to win the fight, but there has to be a bit of a punch-up along the way. I attended the cage fighting with my good friend Tom Blocksidge, and it proved to be a fitting birthday present, as Saturday was also his birthday. For a boys’ night out, I would highly recommend it. On the other hand, for a first date with a girl, I’d elbow that idea squarely in the face.
Cardiff Lacrosse makes an impressive start Victoria Farrant and James Tilley
Sport Writers Both Cardiff University’s men’s and women’s 1st lacrosse teams have started the season as they mean to go on, with four impressive wins under their belts already. Each team has won both its matches played so far and by comfortable margins. The women’s team have had a great start to the season, captained by Emily Weighton and Anjuli Seaborne. A strong commitment to training and fitness sessions by all involved has allowed the team to make a formidable return to the BUCS league. Their first game was at home against University of Bristol and a great display from Cardiff’s attack meant that the game was won 19–15. Keen to improve on this in the next match, the women upped their game yet again away at the University of the West of England. The outstanding result of 45–0 to Cardiff is proof of the strength of Cardiff’s defensive players, as well as its
attack strategies. The women intend to maintain this level of play in their next match against Varsity rivals Swansea University on home ground. The first men’s game was away to University College Plymouth St Mark & St John and Cardiff were keen to put this game away within the 1st half. The 1st quarter started well, with Jack Ward taking the ball for Cardiff to start the match and Joakim Schuwer scoring four goals with the assistance of Elliot May for the first two. The second quarter followed in a similar fashion, with Schuwer scoring another two goals, although Plymouth Marjon were able to shoot one past Cardiff’s 'keeper, Paul Chapman. However, the goal was a consolation for them, as Cardiff continued to defend well and scored goals in the third and fourth quarters through Schuwer, May and Ondra Teluch. Cardiff won the game 13–1 and were keen to take this form into their next game against local rivals Cardiff Metropolitan the fol-
lowing week. The Cardiff Metropolitan game saw the long awaited return of captain Ceri Hill, who also played for the Wales U19s team this year. The Metropolitan team had only a nine-man squad so Cardiff University donated some players to make a team of ten. Cardiff University came back as strong as in the previous game, scoring numerous times in each quarter. The defence played exceptionally well putting in many a crushing blow, although due to fatigue in the last quarter the Metropolitan team were able to put in two goals before time was up. Despite this, it was another win for Cardiff University with a score of 14–2 and with the University of Gloucestershire being their next opponents they will be eager to keep a straight win record. This very promising start to the season bodes well for upcoming BUCS matches and Welsh Lacrosse Association tournaments.
After claiming that his Swindon beating Aston Villa would be "better than sex with Madonna, Paolo Di Canio has second thoughts...
An exciting month for Ultimate frisbee <<Page 29
Road cycling club in full spin !
After last week's coverage of Lance Armstrong's fall from grace, Sport takes a more positive spin on road cycling with the opening of a club devoted to the sport at Cardiff. A guest appearance from Olympic gold-medallist Geraint Thomas topped off the event as a great success.
Cage Warriors 49 hit Cardiff In this week's gair rhydd, Sport editor Rhys Clayton reviews Cage Warrior 49, a breathtaking spectacle of cage fighting. For those who are not yet acquainted, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship â€“ or CWFC â€“ is a series of mixed martial arts (MMA) events. It is currently regarded as Europe's top MMA organisation.
It was established in 2001, and ever since, Cage Warriors has become one of the few MMA promoters to put on cage fights across the globe, with previous events travelling throughout countries in Europe, North America and the Middle East. See page 31
Cardiff Lacrosse makes an outstanding start to the season, with both teams making yet another successful step p31 >>