gair rhydd Monday November 12th 2012 | freeword â€“ Est. 1972 | Issue 990
Safe taxi scheme introduced The safe taxi scheme has been introduced to ensure students make it home safely after a night out if they are alone, feel unsafe or have no money
Xpress Radio success at SRA p4>> awards News enter into the No Platform debate p7
Cardiff researchers help to create neuroanatomy bible p20
Sport interview with Arthur Ellis
2 / Editor’s Note
Obama's victory last week returns him to the top job in America for the next four years, leaving Mitt Romney and a host of Republicans in fits of rage – while people around the world breathed a sigh of relief. This photo of the President hugging his wife, Michelle, quickly became the mosttweeted photo of all time, having been shared over 788,000 times. It's also the most-liked Facebook photo ever, with over 2.1 million likes. Others weren't so quick to jump on the Obama bandwagon. Donald Trump was one of the most vocal critics, tweeting: "Our country is in serious and unprecedented trouble... like never before"
News 4–8 Opinion 9–12 Columnist 13 Politics 16–19 Science 20–22 Societies 25–27 Taf-Od 30–31 Puzzles 34 Listings 35 Sport 37–40
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 Katie Bennett POLITICS Thom Hollick Rachel Lewis 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*5TEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
A note from the editor...
t's been a pretty amazing week between last week's deadline day and now. The SRA Awards have come and gone, America went for the sensible choice in the election and another student media social left a few of us needing a few pints of water and a lot of Vitamin C the next day. For CUTV, this week meant a continuation of their various projects. Their show Cwis saw a few of the elected officers pitted against a three-man (and a pieece of paper) team: "The four horse-
men of the Apocalypse" against the elected officer team. Frustratingly for the competitive Kieran Gandhi, the all-knowing Beth Button and myself, we lost our hefty lead and managed to let the officer team down in unbelievable circumstances and a ridiculous final round. Brushing past our defeat, as a team we experienced our first Scrutiny Committee within Ministry of Change. The committee is there to scrutinise the work that we do and how well they feel we're getting on. Those things are never easy and it was made worse by having the looming uncertainty of a very
close American election. As an ex-Politics student, I was pretty involved in it. In fact, I wasn't just involved in watching the results come through, I was emotionally involved in what I believed to be certain death and the end of the world if Romney had been elected. Fortunately, he wasn't. In the land of radio that is Xpress, this week meant one thing: Student Radio Association Awards. For student radio stations, it's their main event – getting dolled up and heading to the O2 Arena for a ceremony attended by all the big names in radio.
Jo Southerd and Chris Browning really deserved their silver; it was just a shame the station didn't win 'Best Station' – that went to URN for a third consecutive year. But this doesn't disappoint me at all. Last year's team were fantastic at what they did and went through a lot to get to where they did. I still maintain that Xpress has some of the most dedicated and hard-working volunteers in the SU and that each year we're getting better and better. Last year laid the foundations for what I hope (and believe) will be a successful year for the guys in Xpress.
gair rhydd would like to thank the following for their articles and help in making this issue: Contributors
Want to help make the paper?
Sally Wilson, Emma-Louise Pritchard, Ellen Davies, Chris McSweeney, Weidi Xue, Kirstie Smith, Beth Gregory, Nick Evans, Alexander Missen, Katie Bennett-Davies, Sophia Pellatt, Sophia Epstein, Dylan Mitchell, Helen Louise Cox, Rachel Victoria Lewis, David Mason, Emma Dudley, Michael O'Connell-Davidson, Heather Ellis, Steffan Evans, Angharad Hywel, Gerallt Rhys Roberts, Jacob Dirnhuber, Wai Lim, Nye Davies, Victoria Farrant, James Tilley Proof Readers
Date of next meeting:
Michael O'Connell-Davidson, Emilia Ignaciuk, Jacob Dirnhuber, Anne Parker Illustration: Katarzyna Lewandowska
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.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @mediacsu
News in brief
Words by Michael O'Connell-Davidson and Jacob Dirnhuber
Drunken elephants go on rampage in India A herd of wild elephants went on a rampage after drinking over 500 litres of moonshine in the Indian village of Durmurkota. Described as "aggressive", the animals went on to cause
damage to a number of shops and homes in the area. Local police officer Ashish Samanat said that the elephants smelled the alcohol due to their close proximity to the village.
Peace was eventually restored when authorities herded them across a local river and onto a migration route. MOCD
Parents lifesavings US voter ‘comes spent on sweets back to life’ to cast A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has vote in elections gained national fame for stealing $4,000 from his parents and spending the entire sum on sweets. Russian tabloid Ria Novosti reports that the boy, unnamed, discovered his parents' stash hidden in the sofa, and with the help of an adult described as having "a mental disorder" spent it in a local sweet shop during a school trip. JB
An elderly man from Detroit suffered a heart attack whilst filling out a ballot paper in this week’s U.S. Election. A nurse performed CPR, enabling him to recover suddenly and submit his vote. Nurse, Ty Houston, was quoted as saying that, “'It was God’s divine word that I be there.” MOCD
In this weeks issue... Cardiff RAG week is upon us. Societies list a guide of what you can expect from RAG this year p25
Opinion look at the pros and cons of Disney buying Lucasfilm in this week's For and Against section p9
After months of technical problems and a lot of hard work from the team, Xpress Radio is back on air for the autumn semester
Barack Obama has won the presidency for a second term. Politics cover the election p14
Sport editor Rhys Clayton talks to Arthur Ellis about life at the Ospreys p38
Catch it online at cardiffunion.tv
4 / News
final Xpress win AU’s chance to silver at SRAs get naked? Cardiff University’s annual AU Naked Calendar is back, however there are fears it may be for the last time. Previously, the calendar has not made enough profit for it to be viable for the University to produce or make a charitable donation. The calendars have simply not been selling. The reason for
The calendar has been running for several years now and has supported various charities including Cancer Research. It has always generated a lot of enthusiasm from the AU clubs, as Cari said: “It is a fun way of raising money and awareness for charity.” All the proceeds made from the calendar usually go to a sport-related charity, decided by the c l u b s within
this is thought to be that in the past the photographers have been students or members of each club, meaning that the pictures were made accessible on Facebook and other social media sites. This allowed students to view the photographs without purchasing the calendar itself. With this in mind, Cari Davies, the Athletic Union President is trying to make this year’s calendar a success. A professional photographer has volunteered to take and edit the photographs meaning that the pictures will only be available in the calendar. Potential sponsors will be involved, so a profit will be made from all calendar sales.
the AU. Last year the proceeds raised went to Right To Play, an organisation which improves the lives of children around the world through the power of sport and play. The charity for the 2012 edition has not yet been confirmed but will be announced in the next few weeks. Many of the photographs will be taken of clubs during their training sessions and the final page of the calendar, as tradition dictates, will display a naked picture of this year’s AU President. The calendar is set to be launched at the end of November. Each calendar will cost £5, which will go to charity.
Sally Wilson News Writer
Kendal Archer News Editor Last week's Student Radio Awards saw Xpress Radio walk away with the silver award for Best Entertainment Programme. Xpress Radio were nominated for five awards, including Best Student Station. In addition to its nomination for Best Student Station, Xpress also received nominations in the categories for Best Outside Broadcast, Best Male, Best Newcomer and Best Entertainment Programme.
The people who volunteer day-in and day-out in Xpress are some of the hardest working people in the Students’ Union Winners of Xpress’ silver award for Best Entertainment Programme went to Jo Southerd and Chris Browning. Southerd, who attended the event in London, said, “It’s been a delight to work with Chris all year, so to get the silver award is a real honour. We’re very happy and I’m really proud of Chris and of our show. It’s been brilliant.” The Awards were presented by BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac, and television personality Dave Berry. Being nominated for so many awards is a huge achievement for Xpress Radio. Juliette Nicholls, Mainstream Programme Controller, said, “It’s been an honour to receive nominations, and to be nominated for five is fantastic. The whole night was a great event, and we all really enjoyed ourselves. With all the talent and dedication at Xpress Radio, we will be back next year to get the recognition we deserve!”
Sean Thorne narrowly missed out on Best Male, as did Pete Robertson for Best Newcomer. The station faced tough competition from other student radios from across the country, including Nottingham’s URN, Cambridge’s Cam FM and Durham’s Purple Radio.
With all the talent and dedication at Xpress Radio, we will be back next year to get the recognition we deserve
The standard of each submission was incredibly high, and the competition for the title of Best Student Station was strong, and eventually went to Nottingham’s URN. Expressing her enthusiasm regarding the many nominations, Station Manager Hannah Cook said, “I am really proud of my team. We have worked really hard this year to ensure all our shows are of a good standard. I am so
pleased that this has been recognised and Xpress has received so many nominations, as well as winning a silver award.” Current Head of Student Media, Chris Williams, said, “The people who volunteer day-in and day-out in Xpress are some of the hardest working volunteers in the Students’ Union. “Last year's team were unbelievable. They were the most passionate and solid team that I've ever seen. It's a shame that they didn't win the SRA for Best Student Station, but Jo Southerd and Chris Browning really deserve an awful lot of praise for the amount of work they do in Xpress and should definitely be congratulated on the fantastic achievement of gaining silver for Best Entertainment Programme. “Every year the team continues to grow. I'm predicting big things from our fantastic and hard working Xpressers.” If you would like to listen or get involved in any area of Xpress Radio, visit cardiffstudentmedia. co.uk/xpress for more information.
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Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddnews
Anna Hickman News Editor Cardiff University is starting up a “Safe Taxi Scheme” that will enable students to get a taxi home safely, regardless of whether they have cash on them. Megan David, Welfare and Community Officer, decided to set up the scheme after the elected officer team travelled to some of the best students’ unions around the country, and noted that several had such a scheme. The scheme will operate between the hours of 10pm and 6am. It will be available for those who do not have cash on them and do not feel safe searching for a cash machine, or are unfamiliar with the surroundings. Students should ring Dragon Taxis on 02920 333 333 and ask for the “Cardiff University Safe Taxi Scheme”, and quote their name and student number. When the taxi arrives, the driver will ask to see the student’s university ID card, and then give the student a safe journey home without requiring payment at the end of the journey. The student will then receive a receipt, with a reminder to go and pay the fare in the Finance Office of the Students’ Union within the next few days. To guarantee the student pays the fare, the invoice that Dragon Taxis sends the Union will have the student’s number and name, as well as their fare amount. Therefore the Union can email the student to remind them to pay their fare. If it is not paid, the University can block access to university facilities including certain buildings, libraries, gyms and gig tickets. Megan David notes that the scheme is a slightly adapted version of those operated by such universities as Sheffield and Leeds, as there were issues with the role of the ID cards at these institutions. In other students’ unions, the ID card is used as a form of deposit, which the taxi driver takes after dropping the student safely home. The card is then handed to their students’ union
the next day, where the student can pick it up once they have paid the fare. However, when Megan David began researching the scheme in more detail, and looked for responses from students on Facebook, it transpired that some were concerned with handing over their ID cards. She said, “I decided to put out a Facebook question to gather whether students liked the idea and to answer any concerns that students had about it. “Out of the 86 students who answered the question, 79 loved the idea, yet 7 had concerns about handing over their ID card to the taxi driver and it therefore being in the hands of a stranger.” This concern was shared by the University, who explained that student ID cards are technically keys to various buildings and could cause trouble if they were to fall into the wrong hands. Subsequently, David decided to use student ID numbers instead, which would enable them to prevent access to university services if the fare was not paid or the scheme was abused. However, there are rules in place to prohibit students abusing the scheme. For example, no more than two students can use the service in one taxi, as three would likely be able t o
either walk home together, or at least find a cash machine and pay for their own taxi.
It will be available for those who do not have cash on them and do not feel safe searching for a cash machine There is also a cap of £10 on the journey, as it is possible to get almost anywhere in Cardiff, particularly Cathays and the student residences, for less that £10. Although there is flexibility in this figure, it will hopefully prevent students taking advantage of the scheme to travel to Swansea for a night out, for example. Dragon Taxis was chosen for the scheme for several reasons. When considering which f i r m s to ap-
proach with the idea, Megan David chose the three major companies, Dragon Taxis, Premier and Capital Cabs as not only did they have the biggest fleet of cars and therefore would be able to cope with demand, but they would also be most well known by students. Premier Taxis were apparently unwilling to cooperate on the scheme, according to David. They did not think it would work due to a lack of support from drivers, who they believed would not be happy to carry out the scheme as they like to have cash for the journey. Capital Cabs only responded to David’s request after several attempts, and suggested that they could be persuaded to use the scheme if they were able to charge VAT on the admin and journey cost of the taxi, unlike Premier and Dragon Taxis who only charge VAT on
the admin cost. David also drew attention to neither the fact that Premier nor Capital Cabs turned up to the taxi forum meetings held by the police and representatives from the council about how to improve taxi services in Cardiff for members of the public. However, two representatives from Dragon Taxis were in attendance , both contributing to many topics, including David’s own agenda regarding the safety of students. Megan David said, “I am delighted to be supported by Cardiff Local Police force, our Police Student Liaison Officer PC Tim Davies, as well as Cathays' local neighbourhood police officers. I also have the support of senior managers at the University and Cardiff Council’s Student Community Liaison Officer, Emma Robson. “The scheme is something that will benefit all students.”
6 / News
Cardiff ’s week of RAG Emma-Louise Pritchard focuses on all levels of support News Writer
Cardiff University’s RAG Society is presenting their annual RAG Week, from Monday 12th to Saturday 17th of November. On each day of the week, a different event will take place to raise as much money as possible, which will be divided between four chosen charities. Raise and Give (RAG) is a charitable society in the majority of universities nationwide. RAG raises money throughout the year in a variety of ways, from smaller collections at events, to weekends of team challenges. ‘RAG Week’ is the most prominent event on the RAG calendar. The four charities that have been nominated to receive donations this year are Ty Hafan, Refuge, MS and Nightline. Ty Hafan focuses on life-limited children in Wales; Refuge, tackles domestic violence and support for abused women; MS
for sufferers of MS and finally, Nightline is a confidential listening service for students in need. ‘RAG Week’ begins officially on Monday 12th. On Day 1, RAG will bring ITV’s ‘Take Me Out’ to CF10 in Cardiff SU, for £3 a ticket. Day 2 will host three events. During the day at 12pm, the Hindu Society will entertain with food, music and a trip to a local temple. In the evening there will be a three-legged-race from the Union to the Bay at 7pm, and the Ultimate Pub Quiz at The Vulcan, at 7.30pm. Day 3 takes RAG to The Lash at 10pm for competitions and dancing, before Day 4 hosts the perfect hangover cure, Student Vs. Food. Food will be provided by Queen Street Pizza Hut. The penultimate event on Friday is “Clowning”. This involves secretly nominating someone who will be followed by a clown all day, who will only stop following the nominated person
when a charitable donation of £20 is made. Also taking place on Friday, at 3pm, in the Taf, is the Raffle. Wristbands for entry will cost only £1. It will be drawn at 3pm and there will be the chance to win £1000. Saturday is the main event and finale of RAG Week; LOST! This involves being dropped at a secret UK location and racing back to the SU in time for Comeplay in the evening.
RAG Week is the most prominent event on the RAG calendar The RAG Committee are still keen for volunteers and participants so get in touch if you are interested, find them on Facebook, and enjoy the fun fundraising.
Damaging effect of Cardiff confessions Ellen Davies News Writer
The past few weeks have seen the growth of a new Facebook trend, with previously unheard of ‘Confession’ pages, popping up on almost everyone’s News Feeds. Anonymous operators, often in association with a specific university or town, set up the Confession pages. The pages call for students to share their most embarrassing and unsavoury stories of university life for the entertainment of others. On the 9th October, ‘Cardiff University Confessions’ was established, and the site began publishing students’ stories “no matter how embarrassing or cringe worthy”. These confession pages offer students the opportunity to share their amusing, but more often than not crude, stories anonymously with others, and their appeal seems to be wide reaching. In only a month, ‘Cardiff University Confessions’ has gained almost a thousand likes. A similar page, ‘Cardiff Confession’, which posts students’ tales from Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Glamorgan University, has gained over 3,500 followers. Whilst ‘Cardiff Confessions’ calls for students to share their stories and “have some fun”, many have raised concerns about the lewd and often derogatory nature of the stories posted on these pages. A brief scan of the
latest posts on Cardiff University Confessions reveals comments that refer to female students as “wenches”, tales of lewd sexual activity and excessive alcohol consumption.
These pages call for students to share their most embarrassing and unsavoury stories It is no surprise then that these pages have received increasing media attention with sites such as Wales Online commenting on the debauched nature of this Facebook trend. Despite the increasing controversy surrounding the page, ‘Cardiff University Confessions’ appears to celebrate the attention and in a post on their page, they express the belief that the media attention is testament to its increasing popularity. Although ‘Cardiff University Confessions’ seem unfazed by the criticism being levelled at them, the University has expressed concerns with regards to the damage these sites could have on their reputation and the credibility of their students. Al-
though all comments on these sites are anonymous, the stories are first submitted to the page administrators who have access to the contributors’ identities. As a result, contributors to these pages could be unwittingly putting their future employability at risk by sharing their seedy stories with people who could later expose them. All of the ‘Confession’ pages are adamant that they will protect the identity of the contributors, but as these sites are unregulated, it is impossible to guarantee that students’ identities will not be revealed. Given the increase
in the number of employers who turn to social networking to vet new applicants, students could well be jeopardising their future prospects by sharing these stories. Although Cardiff University have not yet taken any action against the ‘Confessions’ page, they have commented: “The University would remind students that the owners of this site and their stories for encouraging individuals to share their stories are unknown and that they may use these stories and knowledge of students’ identities against them in the future.
“We would ask our students not to encourage this page to publish content that puts people’s dignity and privacy at risk.” Megan David, Cardiff University’s Students’ Union Welfare and Community Officer, has highlighted other important issues surrounding the Facebook pages: “I worry that a prospective student may be put off from coming to Cardiff University if they ever read it, in fear of being bullied or peer pressured in to binge drinking or sexual activity.” Megan also states, “this page has huge potential to damage the reputation of Cardiff students, when the majority of students here are very focused on their education and would be horrified to be associated with the behaviour boasted about on these pages.” Despite the controversy caused by these confession pages, it seems many students are happy to share their stories and given the number of contributors and followers to these pages, we have to consider whether these pages are in fact an accurate representation of some students’ university experience. After all, these ‘Confession’ pages simply provide a platform for students to broadcast their antics and given the increasing number of followers on ‘Cardiff University Confessions’, it seems that not all students are dissuaded by the potential damage they are causing themselves and the University.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddnews
Bute building fire escape panic Kendal Archer News Editor
On Monday 5th November, a planned fire drill in Bute Building resulted in panicked students believing they were trapped in the building. Approximately 200 people evacuated the building via the twenty four hour exit door on the south side of the building, with many others attempting to exit the building either via the main front door, or the fire door at the north of the building.
Students found that the door was apparently locked However, those students who attempted to exit at the north of the building found that the door was apparently locked, and panic ensued. A Cardiff University spokesperson said, “On inspection, the door was found to be fitted with a "Redlam" panic bolt. This is an accepted method of securing a
fire door, and features a ceramic tube, held in place with a padlock. The ceramic tube is designed to be broken to release the door in an emergency, with local instructions available. It would appear that on this occasion people were either reluctant to break the tube or saw the padlock and assumed the door was locked.”
term carry out an assessment on whether an alternative locking device can be fitted to the door.” Distress was also created as large numbers of panicked students rushed to exit the building through the main door. The volume of people overwhelmed the
exit capacity of the front doors, leading to further concerns over the exit strategies that should be employed in the event of a real fire. In answer to such concerns, the University spokesperson said, “As a result of this, addi-
tional directional signs are to be displayed to ensure people are aware of their nearest fire exit.” As a result of the fire drill, it is hoped that the problems will be addressed and the building will offer easy and safe exit strategies in the event of a real fire.
The results of the drill were not satisfactory Despite this reassurance, questions were raised addressing the fact that had it been a real fire, the safety, and potentially the lives, of those trapped within the building might have been threatened. A spokesperson for the University responded, “On this occasion the results of the drill were not satisfactory, and as a result another drill will be conducted in the very near future. In the meantime, we will be taking steps to improve signage within the building, improve local instructions on the use of the door fitted with the bolt and in the longer
gair rhydd story provokes No Platform debate Chris Williams Editor
Debate over the idea of a No Platform policy within Cardiff Students’ Union has erupted after last weeks front page (gair rhydd 989). The story – about the NUS attempting to censor an interview with Nick Griffin in Leeds’ newspaper (Leeds Student) – has sparked debate amongst Cardiff students, with the story still reverberating around NUS and other universities. The NUS hold a No Platform policy, which means that no one considered racist or fascist should be able to stand in any NUS election or participate at any function. As a result of this ruling, officers of the NUS are forbidden from sharing a platform with anyone considered a racist or a fascist. Speaking to gair rhydd, Aaron Kiely said on the No Platform policy, “we believe that
Cardiff Students' Union does not have a No Platform policy. Historically, the issue has not been prominent and it has never reached a motion stage at student council
the student movement have the ability to isolate all those views by not giving them a platform in elections, student societies and media”. It is reported that this policy was introduced to prevent minority groups from not attending the NUS Annual Conference through fear of being persecuted. The policy, however, is directly related to the NUS itself, and not students’ union’s, which was one of the reasons why the president of the NUS, Liam Burns, did not sign the original open letter to the editor of Leeds Student. Currently, Cardiff Students’ Union does not have a No Platform policy. Historically, the issue has not been prominent and it has never reached a motion stage at student council. On this subject, last weeks article stated, “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.”
Questions have also been raised as to whether such a policy for a Student Union is legal. The University has a policy to ensure freedom of speech, which says, “Cardiff University recognizes all forms of expression under the law”.
Officers of the NUS are forbidden from sharing a platform with anyone considered a racist or facist Further to this, they cite the education Act of 1986, which requires the University to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for its members, students and employees as
well as for visiting speakers. A letter from Unite Against Fascism Wales, received by gair rhydd, further ignited the debate this week, with the signatories questioning whether gair rhydd should have printed the story surrounding Nick Griffin’s interview. Such a platform will be discussed in the Union forum, Ministry of Change, in the coming weeks as one student has already submitted an idea which reads: “I call for a No Platform policy or fascists and racists across all student media and in union elections.” In other universities, however, this policy has been hotly debated. It is reported that problems surrounding this policy caused students at Durham University to push for a referendum on NUS disaffiliation. In a referendum at Bath University in 2008 about the no platform policy, the idea was heavily defeated.
8 / News
Open-air gallery projected on main building Tom Eden News Editor
Cardiff University’s main building was covered with hundreds of images of university life, which were projected by using multiple lighting techniques and cutting-edge technology. The Open Air Gallery was inspired by the Welsh School of Architecture, who ran a similar event with students as part of a
teaching module in May 2012. School Research Associate, Nick Humes, said: "The module allowed students to explore themes and techniques which are often outside that of ‘typical’ design projects. Innovative methods and tools were used in a way which explored architecture outside the studio and resulted in outputs which engaged the public through an exciting and novel medium.
"The possibilities with this technology are endless and I feel very proud that our students have been the first to work with Philips on such a project and to have been at the forefront of this development." T h e stunn i n g visual
display is achieved by a process called ‘architectural mapping’, where the building is mapped then projected back on itself using a
£20,000 projector, with two lenses positioned exactly 35 meters from the front of the building. Images can then be overlaid, altering the appearance of the building.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddop
For & Against
Are Disney taking the Mickey?
Chris McSweeney and Weidi Xue discuss the potential benefits and pitfalls for the Star Wars franchise following the multi-billion dollar merger of Disney and Lucasfilm
For isney are not going to ruin Star Wars for one simple reason; Star Wars was al-
n? co io d. in yd op rrh an gai ot G on@ i in
ready ruined. It is now almost a pop culture cliché – George Lucas killed Star Wars. The new ones suck. It’s practically common knowledge, regardless of whether or not you actually liked the prequel films, released between 1999 and 2005 (although to clarify, they did suck). Star Wars Episode 1 was a cinematic nightmare. It was a cartoon aimed at children, and was possibly the biggest disappointment of all time. See RedLetterMedia’s epic 70-minute review on YouTube for further details on that. Episode 2 wasn’t quite as awful, but that’s only by comparison to the first one. The third and final prequel just about rounded up the ultimately pointless story arc of the origin of Darth Vader to a semi-satisfactory conclusion. However, despite the films’ spectacular visual accomplishments, it’s impossible to see the prequels as anything other than a hollow, soulless attempt to cash in on one of the film industry’s most valuable ideas. E v e r
wonder why the Star Wars universe is so rich in detail with regard to ships and background characters, but it’s still somehow terrible? That’s because George Lucas kept the merchandising rights, so more characters means more action figures. The prequel Star Wars films were less about telling a story, and more about selling lunchboxes. And this is why it’s a good thing that he’s finally sold out to Star Wars. If you abuse your baby, it should probably be taken into care. And personally, I think Disney will make a fantastic foster parent. Thanks to Disney’s financial and creative backing, one of their other recent acquisitions, Marvel (how are they paying for this?!), recently released The Avengers to near universal critical and public acclaim. They attached precisely the right director and precisely the right actors to resurrect a pop culture icon that had laid somewhat dormant since the end of the Golden Age of comic books. Perhaps they could do the same again with Star Wars. Some might argue it’s too soon, some would argue it’s pointless. However, I’m personally looking forward to what Disney can bring to the franchise. While it is a little disappointing that 97% of films released nowadays are sequels, adaptations or remakes (genuine statistic), what else do we have to look forward to besides Captain America 2, 3, Iron Man 3, 4, Thor 2, Thor 5, Thor 9…CM
Disney are not going to ruin Star Wars for one simple reason; Star Wars was already ruined
isney has acquired the rights to the once-great Star Wars franchise to the tune of over $4 billion. What does this mean for the existing franchise? More importantly, what does this mean for the existing fans? With the recent Star Wars prequels being reasonably successful at the box office, but not very well received by critics nor fans, one can only speculate how an actual Star Wars sequel may turn out. Can Disney insert some kind of Mickey Mouse magic into this franchise? Recently, Disney has never passed up a chance to show the world that it can also make mature films such as Alice in Wonderland, Tron: Legacy and Secretariat as well as one of this year’s most successful blockbuster, The Avengers. Some have turned out to be franchises such as The Pirates of the Caribbean and the Chronicles of Narnia. There is no reason to doubt the potential quality of a new Star Wars story, but the problem that remains for Disney to tackle is how to make it unique while maintaining the same Star Wars feel. Disney’s move to acquire Star Wars is bold and one can only speculate at the motives behind it. The only way for the Star Wars universe to live on through Disney, is with original content, but it must be unique and have
the same shock factor that the original trilogy had. If a new film has a mediocre reception, the possible negative perception of the new direction would be uncontrollable and would harm Disney’s image; fans would begin to assume that Disney did not have best interests in mind for Star Wars during the acquisition and are just milking it for the money. With the quality and reception of sci-fi films improving every year, with films such as Looper and Inception, a new Star Wars film should have a decent chance; emphasis is placed on the “should” because it also has all these great films to compete with. More often than not, a good film is often overlooked because it lies in the shadow of a great film of the same genre released around the same time, and a new Star Wars risks being one of those films. Disney definitely knows how to make movies, but let’s take a look at some of its other franchises. Star Wars fans would be very reluctant for their franchise to be preserved by the same group of people responsible for the likes of High School Musical or Hannah Montana. There is always potential for more original content, but the people at Disney must think to themselves, can this new idea function outside of the Star Wars universe? Should this franchise be milked even more at all? No. Star Wars should be left alone. WX
10 / Opinion
Universities receive millions from Middle East
Following the recent news that various UK universities have received vast sums of funding from sources such as the former Gaddafi regime, Kirstie Smith reviews the significance of this and whether it matters when academic institutions are struggling for money
aturally, as students, we would all expect the majority of university funding to come from the Government. Be it from tuition fees, research funding or council grants for investment, we expect it to be linked with our government. This is a predominant view among students due to the enormous increase of university fees to £9,000. Thousands of university students arrive every year providing income from these tuition fees. An average 3 year degree previously cost £10,500 and now costs a massive £27,000 after the increase. Surely this would be one of the main sources of funding? Shockingly, recent research has found millions of pounds flooding in from generous benefactors overseas. The most disturbing fact is that a majority of this money is coming from Middle Eastern countries which are notorious for human rights violations according to Amnesty International. One of the most unbelievable funding issues to come into the limelight recently was the graduation of Saif Gaddafi, son of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from the London School
of Economics. Saif left LSE with two degrees but also “generously” donated £1.5 million to the institution. Considering the Libyan terror regime shook the world by the devastation that was caused by Colonel Gaddafi, it is a huge discovery to find that he funded a UK university. It appears that countries under these regimes are most of the overseas contributors to our university funding. Bahrain donated a “gift” of £3 million to Sandhurst Royal Military College near surrey. Bahrain is known for its human rights violations and torture, yet still donates money to a UK university for some unknown reason. In other cases, Durham University received 2.5 mill endowment from a former Kuwait Prime Minister, and Exeter received £5 million from Sharjah in the United Arabic Emirates and has disclosed that they are the single biggest donor to the university. To me, these are quite sickening facts. These “donations” look like bribes or the case of “if I scratch your back then you scratch mine”, and if that is the case then what do these regimes want from our academic institutions? Donating millions of pounds to universities is odd behaviour; they are not in charge
of the military and have no role in the Government. Many within the institutions have hidden these facts and claim that this is “academic freedom” to accept vast quantities of money without asking questions as to why they are donating this money. Universities are world centres of learning as a number of students are international, but how many come from Bahrain, Kuwait and Libya? In the Gaddafi case, you could almost understand the donation as his son completed degree programmes at LSE. Not many universities are revealing who their “generous overseas benefactors” are but it is very worrying how these donations are coming from countries that are all under regimes and disregard any thought or consideration to the human rights of their people. By willingly accepting these donations, on an outside view it appears that UK universities are supporting these regimes that our government and armed forces are trying to destroy. Yet, Western civilisation claims it to be of upmost importance. What's next? Will we be finding out that Cardiff University is receiving donations from Iraq or the Taliban?
Life without Facebook would be unthinkable Beth Gregory Opinion Writer
An article published in The Independent claimed that Hactivist group ‘Anonymous’ were going to take down Facebook on 5th November, based on the claim that gaming giant Zynga, a company which use Facebook as a way to sell their gaming apps, were going to make 1000 of their employees redundant. Of course, 5th November came and went and we still have Facebook. Readers of the article argued back that ‘they have said on their Twitter multiple times that this is fake’, and that one of Anonymous’s rules is ‘We do not attack Media and ISPs’. Plus, there have been numerous claims such as this one in the past. It’s not surprising therefore, that Facebook was never taken down. However the article has posed a question as to how the world would cope without Facebook now. In a time where everything from the jobs people get to how people socialise is largely based on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, to most a world without social media seems unthinkable. While there are a few people who are adamant not to go on Facebook, or who have deactivated their accounts because they don’t see 'the point’, it doesn’t
detract from the fact that 1/7th of the worlds population now have a Facebook account. Despite knowing the original article was fake, it was still slightly worrying, because in this technological age, most people are dependent on Facebook. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While Facebook tends to be the number one tool when it comes to procrastination, without it I wouldn’t discover half the things I do, whether thats a new band to listen to, a new event to attend in Cardiff, or a news article. Facebook enables people to chat to friends from near and far, to organise events, to share pictures that otherwise only a select few would see, to share opinions, and to learn new things, whether trivial or serious.
To most, a world without social media seems unthinkable What started as a simple site for friends to communicate has quickly become a tool used for a variety of reasons, and on a daily basis. In fact, without Facebook many people would not of even been aware of The Independent's article. With the numerous news apps and the ability to see what
your friends are reading, Facebook allows people who would not normally bother to read the news to become interested in what’s going on in the world. On top of that, it’s one of the best ways to exercise your own opinion, giving a platform that ordinary people would not otherwise have. Facebook has gone beyond simply social networking, although that is still an important feature. While some people argue Facebook cuts off real communication, I see my friends who have Facebook a lot more than those who don’t, as Facebook is in fact a key way to communicate. For most, a world without Facebook now is unimaginable, and it could only of been for best that Facebook was not taken down as it was claimed it would be.
Movember Diaries: Week 1 Nick Evans
Opinion Editor It's that time of year again! Time for Freddie Mercury enthusiasts and budding RAF wing commanders everywhere to join hands and piss off their girlfriends: Movember! Every guy thinks that within thirty days, he'll be boasting a Dali or a Sellick when the sad reality is that he'll actually end up looking more like Beppe from Eastenders. Of course, for most gentlemen, the moustache is a sensitive issue, you must never directly or openly mock a man's moustache, regardless of how paedophilic it makes him look. Movember does, however, throw you some curveballs, it gives men everywhere a chance to flaunt their machismo with a justifiable reason and some guys even look half-decent with a 'tash...see pictures of Zac Effron, his stout moustache stands in firm juxtaposition to his ridiculously feminine eyes. Back to that 'justifiable reason' for growing your moustache, prostate cancer. It's the most common kind of cancer in the UK among men and in 2008, almost 900,000 men worldwide were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Breast cancer has been 'high-profile' for a long time, with nearly
every girl I know having done a 5km fun-run for it. With that in mind, since men (and some grandmothers) are the only ones who can grow moustaches, why shouldn't they in order to show support against a cancer that only they can develop? So if you haven't already started, I urge you to, even if you're not raising money, just show your support, I've been called everything from 'douchey art student dropout' to 'budding porn star' and I'm still doing it so get involved!
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddop
WHAT IS TERRORISM? REMEMBER, REMEMBER, THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER, GUNPOWDER TREASON AND PLOT, I KNOW OF NO REASON THE GUNPOWDER TREASON SHOULD EVER BE FORGOT
uy Fawkes - the only man to ever enter Parliament with honest intentions, or so the saying goes. It is common knowledge that every year on November 5th we celebrate the anniversary of the 1605 Gunpowder plot – in which Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators (including mastermind Robert “Where’s my nursery rhyme?” Catesby) attempted to destroy the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of dynamite hidden in a cellar beneath the chambers. Further atrocities were attempted centuries later in the very same cellar by Edwina Currie and John Major. Today, we celebrate Fawkes’ treason against the Crown with ironic enthusiasm. Not only on November 5th – in which firework displays are a staple of modern British culture, and a fork in the groin of A+E departments nationwide that same night, but the legend of Fawkes, Catesby and the less famous conspirators has penetrated into pop culture – most recently with Alan Moore’s graphic novel “V for Vendetta”, and its subsequent film adaptation by the Wachowski Brothers. There’s an undeniable, anarchic appeal of a lone freedom fighter – blowing away the corrupt, oppressive bureaucracy of Government and wiping the slate clean, starting it all from scratch. However, it’s very often overlooked that while the Gunpowder plotters were attempting to remove the totalitarian, pro-protestant rule of James I, it was only to install a totalitarian pro-Catholic theocracy of their own. This was one of the earliest recorded acts of what today, we would call terrorism. Terrorism is a morally despicable and questionably effective means of political violence – by definition it is a systematic use of terror, often violent, as a means of coercion. It also almost never, ever, works to desired effect. Usually because retaliation
against the original cause is too strong, or the use of senseless violence on the part of the perpetrators themselves alienates them from the people they are supposedly fighting for. But then again, how would we label the French Resistance in World War 2, or more profoundly, the victorious Afghan insurgents who drove out the Soviet occupation in 1988, but then would later become our sworn enemies following the NATO invasion in 2001? It’d seem history is written by the victors. But I digress. In contemporary Western society, it is most often associated with Al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalism. However, throughout the 20th Century - the bloodiest century in human history - terrorism was a tool frequently utilised for political gain, by both paramilitary groups as well as, very often unbeknown to their people, governments. The Provisional IRA was the most significant terrorist threat to the United Kingdom until the end of its campaign in 1997. Its declared aim was to free Northern Ireland from British rule, and unite mainland Ireland as a socialist republic – a noble cause (depending on your opinion of the continued existence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as a nation state). However, its bombing campaign throughout England claimed the lives of over 1300 people between 1969 and 1980. As well as British Army personnel, 600 were civilians. However, terrorism is not just a tool of desperate fringe paramilitary groups – governments have, in the past, done the unthinkable and used terrorism as a means of political persuasion against their own people. Most famously, although still an event open to debate, the Reichstag fire of 1933 was rumoured to have been orchestrated by the Nazis to gain the full support of the German people. In the press, they
terrorist operatives been
to Guantanamo, we'll
continue searching for those who have stepped forward to take their places. This nation's going to stay on the offense to protect the American people. We will continue to bring the world's most dangerous terrorists to justice, and we will continue working to collect the vital intelligence we need to protect our country. The current transfers mean that there are now no terrorists in the CIA program. But as more high-ranking terrorists are captured, the need to obtain intelligence from them will remain critical, and having a CIA program for questioning terrorists will continue to be crucial to getting lifesaving information. Some ask, why are you acknowledging this program now? There are two reasons why I'm making these limited disclosures today. First, we have largely completed our questioning of the men, and to start the process for bringing them to trial, we must bring them into the open. Second, the Supreme Court's recent decision has impaired our ability to prosecute terrorists through military commissions and has put in question the future of the CIA program. In its ruling on military commissions, the court determined that a provision of the Geneva Conventions known as Common Article 3 applies to our war with al Qaeda. This article includes provisions that prohibit outrageous upon personal dignity and humiliating and degrading treatment. The problem is that these and other provisions of Common Article 3 are vague and undefined, and each could be interpreted in different ways by an American or foreign judges. And some believe our military and intelligence personnel involved in capturing and questioning terrorists could now be at risk of prosecution under the War Crimes Act simply for doing their jobs in a thorough and professional way. This is unacceptable. Our military and intelligence personnel go face to face with the world's most dangerous men every day. They have risked their lives to capture some of the most brutal terrorists on earth, and they have worked day and night to find out what the terrorists know so we can stop new attacks. America owes our brave men and women some things in return; we owe them their thanks for saving lives and keeping America safe, and we owe them clear rules so they can continue to do their jobs and protect our people. So I'm -- today I'm asking Congress to pass legislation that will clarify the rules for our personnel fighting the war on terror. First, I am asking Congress to list the specific recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes under the War Crimes Act so our personnel can know clearly what is prohibited in the handling of terrorist enemies. Second, I'm asking that Congress make explicit that by following the standards of the Detainee Treatment Act, our personnel are fulfilling America's obligations under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Third, I'm asking that Congress make it clear that captured terrorists cannot use the Geneva Conventions as a basis to sue our personnel in courts, in U.S. courts. The men and women who protect us should not have to fear lawsuits filed by terrorists because they're doing their jobs. The need for this legislation is urgent. We need to ensure that those questioning terrorists can continue to do everything within the limits of the law to get information that can save American lives.
openly accused the German Communist party, and just about all other dissenting political rivals. This was a profound catalyst to the Nazis’ electoral success, as Hitler was elected Chancellor later that year. This has since been described as a “false flag” operation - an operation carried out by Governments, designed to look like a terrorist attack to raise public support for a potentially unpopular cause. You might see where I’m going with this. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I have no time at all for “controlled demolitions” or “second gunmen”, because very often the closer you look at these so-called studies, you come to realise that the “facts” that are presented are little more than a collection of distortions, half-truths, and tenuous connections which make sense only with the benefit of hindsight. I’m talking of course about the ever-popular 9/11 conspiracy theories. Films such as “Loose Change” go in to great depth and detail in weedling out any potential anomalies which bring doubt into official reports as to what happened on September 11th, and the subsequent foreign policy of the Bush Government. The overall thesis is, that Bush and co, with the help of the CIA planned 9/11 themselves, and carried it out to justify a war in Iraq. This is explained by conspiracy theorists with a myriad of testimonies from cra-
Chris McSweeney has written a fantastic article here, discussing how 'terrorism' has evolved and polymorphed over the centuries, from being a tool of revolution to being utilised by governments to keep order and structure within society. The 9/11 attacks have only made the notion of 'terrorism'even more complex. We are constantly bombarded by the lexeme 'terror' and all its various forms. The problem is that 'terrorism' is no longer concrete and
zy people (some actually claim mind control was being used), genuine quotes out taken of context, and frame-by-frame analysis of video footage from the day (which reveals nothing). The fact that many people have even been driven to protest by this alleged treason (even Charlie Sheen publicly asked Obama to tell everyone “what really happened”) is offensive to the victims’ families, and it’s selfish on the part of the conspiracy theorists themselves. They’re so desperate to simplify an overwhelmingly complicated issue into an episode of 24 with a three act structure, that they’ll completely disregard any opinion, no matter how factual, which disagrees. And how do they justify this? One of two answers – for the average person; “You just don’t know the truth, man.” And for the scientist or historian with the factual dissenting opinion; “You’re one of them.” With regard to 9/11, many mistakes were made. Terrible mistakes which cost lives. In the decade following, governments passed numerous laws which restricted our civil liberties – the Patriot Act, mass surveillance in the UK – all done in the name of protecting us. Nobody wins. Ultimately, one does wonder exactly what terrorists think they’re going to accomplish. Still, Remember remember and all that.
visible, 'terrorists' are faceless enemies in lands that we will never visit and 'terrorism' is conducted via the internet as often as not. We can no longer perceive attacks which apparently threaten our very way of life. With this in mind, we are left with the media and governments to present their interpretations of events as fact and we consume it without question. Remember, readers, we see facts with out our eyes, not our ears.
12 / Opinion
An atrocity in modern times Following the inhumane treatment of disabled people at Winterbourne View Hospital, Opinion writer Alexander Missen assesses how the situation was able to escalate so dramatically and where we should go from here
he case of Winterbourne View Hospital is one of the most savage breaches of human rights in modern Britain. It has been labelled as ‘torture’ and ‘sickening’ by leading experts in the field. Winterbourne View, for those who don’t know, was a ‘hospital’ that housed severely disabled patients in order to care for them. However, little caring was carried outside and instead, people's integrity was violated – they were beaten and abused. One woman was doused in cold water and left out in the middle of winter. Another person had mouthwash poured into their eyes. In a third example, a patient who had tried to jump out of a second floor window was later mocked by staff members. Rob Greig is director of a notfor-profit organisation (The National Development Team for Inclusion - NDTi) and is also ex- director of Learning Disabilities in the Department of Health, making him one of Britain’s best informed people on matters such as this. Mr Greig said: ‘It comes back to respect for human rights. The staff had power over the person. They were bored. We know sometimes if [humans] have power over people and nobody is questioning and checking how they use it, bad behaviour can just escalate.' It’s a terrible and yet intriguing case of human psychology, and demonstrates the sheer danger of power in the wrong hands. The staff were underpaid, under -trained, and were not recruited properly. Essentially, these actions were carried out for the ‘pleasure’ of the Winterbourne Staff. I asked Rob Greig how people came to be in institutions such as this: ‘People’s needs aren’t properly understood, so they receive poor services, things go wrong and their behaviour gets worse. People responsible for services panic, don’t know what to do and turn to the private sector hospital providers who say “don’t worry we’ll look after them”. They [the private sector] make huge profits from these hospitals and people get poor services’. If you’re wondering how much money, consider that a place at Winterbourne View (which had over 50 patients staying in it) cost between £1,500 and £3,500 a week, depending on the severity of the disability of the person. This atrocity was exposed over a year ago, and has come to prominence once again in recent weeks as the government is on the brink of releasing a paper
Six months was also the sentence given to the man who jumped in front of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race. ‘What does that say about society’s priorities and attitudes, that it is as bad to jump in front of a group of privileged athletes rowing a boat as it is to physically assault and abuse someone with a disability?’
outlining a plan of action: how to stop situations like this from re-occurring. This report is important as there are thought to be around 1500 bed spaces across the country in institutions similar to Winterbourne View. However, it has been questioned whether the Government response is a poor effort that has come too late. ‘It’s taken a year, yet is still ignoring what the sector experts are saying’ says Mr Greig. Many non-governmental organisations wrote a letter to David Cameron informing him of the best course of action. This advice came from the experts - the Royal College of GP’s, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and many other leading figures in the field with years of experience. Despite this, the Government is ignoring most of these recommendations and they have decided to take their own path. So, should all the hospitals be closed down? ‘If you just closed them all down now, as happened at Winterbourne after the abuse, what do you do with the people?' said Mr Greig. 'What you’ve got to do is start a year or two in advance, working on improving services, so people can actually move to a service that works. Close them all down two years from now, but you need two years of planning’. So what would be an ideal solution? In the eyes of the NDTi and others, it is to ultimately have disabled people ‘live in an ordinary house in an ordinary street with skilled staff supporting them on a very intensive basis.’ Until disabled people are removed from such institutional surroundings, the risk of abuse is still high. The most recent of the two Panorama programmes on this scandal followed up exWinterbourne view patients. It discovered that of the 51 people
that had come from Winterbourne, one had a proven case of assault against them, and in total 19 were in services where similar concerns over their treatment was raised. As Mr Greig puts it: ‘similar types of things [were] happening to them because it was the same hospital-style model of service’. These institutions are far removed from the idea of basing care around the individual, which is what needs to be done. A major reason that people end up in such a position in the first place is that their disabilities are too complex for their family to be able to handle. Surely this in itself is reason to have a whole range of service models - one cannot put together a group of highly complex people and expect one model to suit their vastly differing needs. One of the most unbelievable aspects of this case is the sentences that the abusers recently received. Most were sentenced to six months or just received a suspended sentence. They’d all admitted guilt. Six months was also the sentence given to the man who jumped in front of the boats at the Oxford and Cambridge boat race. ‘What does that say about society’s priorities and attitudes, that it is as bad to jump in front of a group of privileged athletes rowing a boat as it is to physically assault and abuse someone with a disability?’ asks Rob Greig, adding: ‘If somebody didn’t have a disability and was being treated like that, what would society say?’ It doesn’t take a genius to see the answer. The point is painfully clear. Many people’s attitudes towards the disabled is troubling. It is only through integration into society, with the strong support of trained staff, that the lives of these people, and our attitudes towards them, will radically improve.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddop
by Katie Bennett-Davies
My guide to beating the winter blues
don’t know about you but this last week it’s really felt like autumn, maybe even winter has arrived. I don’t think we really have autumn here, just straight to winter! The rain has been pouring as usual, but the temperature has really dropped too. The clocks have gone back (or forward? I never know which) so the days have started getting short already. It seems like it’s dark by 5pm. Around this time of year it’s easy to feel down and let everything get on top of you, especially with deadlines and exams looming. You can even develop SAD syndrome, or Seasonal Effective Disorder to give the name its proper title. I can already feel myself entering hibernation, eating more and going out only when completely necessary. Rather than let the season get on top of me, I decided to try out some research to see if I can stay positive and ward off the sadness. The NHS website seemed like a good place to begin. I managed to glean five nuggets of wisdom from our trusty health service, beginning with keeping active. Both exercise and getting as much sunlight as possible both help reduce the effects of SAD syndrome. A daily one hour walk in the middle of the day is the free alternative to one of those SAD lamps. You know the ones? They’re expensive lamps that you look into for thirty minutes and they generate the same effects on your body as spending time in real sunlight. The second piece of guidance was a little...obvious, but hey, people always have to be reminded of the dangers of fireworks. The website advised people to keep warm. Apparently being cold makes you more depressed – that’s scientific fact. Staying warm can reduce winter blues by as much as a half. Wear warm clothes and shoes (hello Ugg boots), drink hot drinks and eat hot meals (that’s the NHS advising us not to eat salads). It ruins the whole ‘no salads’ thing though by also advising
people to eat healthily. Balance your craving for carbohydrates with plenty of fruit and vegetables because it helps to boost your mood and energy. You can even go as far as taking vitamin D supplements; a doctor once told me that pretty much everyone in South Wales is deficient in vitamin D because we have so little sunlight. The last two pieces of wisdom were a bit more fun – take up a new hobby and be sociable. During these long, cold months it can be tempting to lock yourself away, rather than make an effort to go out with friends or join a new society. So, rather than feel bad about your slamming hangover, think of going out as an investment in your health. While I have no doubt the NHS’s advice was scientific and effective, I was looking for something that made staying cheerful on chilly November nights a bit more fun, so I turned to my trusty friend Google and found some less conventional advice on some blogs. My favourite piece of advice was to treat myself this winter. Having an event or holiday to look forward to can keep you motivated. I’ve read that often the planning of a holiday or weekend away can bring as much happiness as the actual event itself. I’m still working on this as my funds are a little low. I do have a trip to London to see some family in the pipelines though. When one of the blogs told me to wear bright colours and invest in some fresh flowers, I discovered that Lidl sell quite pretty bunches of flowers for as little as £2-£3. Bargain. I was also encouraged to drink whiskey because it makes you warm and it feels good, and eat a piece of dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa) a day. I’m not a fan of dark chocolate, but I’d be happy to eat more than one piece of milk chocolate to make up the cocoa content. Listening to lively music is supposed to help raise your mood, that’s another tip of the hat to going out then. The most bizarre piece of advice was to have sex
(the site was titled ‘The Frisky’). I’m sure my husband would be happy to oblige me in experimenting with that one. The internet and some happy tapping bloggers may have just come to mine (and your) rescue this winter, by providing us with the very thing we need to get us through to Christmas. That has kept me going every year until now, the promise of Christmas. I am one of those suckers who go wild for Starbucks’ red cups, somehow the coffee just tastes better when it’s in a red cup. I know that Christmas isn’t the best day of the year for everyone, but for me it’s still magical. Not just because of the presents and the eating, but the excitement of the build up too. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes the build up can be just as good as the actual event. Sometimes when I was younger it led to unrealistically high expectations but now that I’m old enough to deal with a bit of bickering in the kitchen, I enjoy each and every second. The other day I was walking home and I swear I actually felt tingling when I saw them setting up Winter Wonderland. Anyone who says Christmas is only about commercial materialism can join the ranks with Scrooge of people missing out on the true wonder of the holiday. Okay I love the presents, I can admit that, and children definitely go a little crazy, but they do that on their birthday too. For me, Winter Wonderland reminds me of the fun times I’ve had there, I love seeing the delight on my friends and family’s face when they open a gift I put so much thought in to, and realising that my mum must really love our family if she’s happy to spend so much time slaving over dinner while the rest of us are sat on our bums getting merry with mulled wine. If I had to pin point one thing that keeps a smile on my face when my deadlines are stacking up and the wind is so cold it feels like it is actually cutting my skin, it’s the promise all of Christmas holds.
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16 / Politics
US Presidential Elections Barack Obama has secured a historic second victory in the face of a deeply divided electorate. Sophia Pellatt reports on one of the closest run races ever
arack Obama prom- second stretch as President will ised America “the be marred by the gridlock that best is yet to come” crippled many of his efforts in his as he accepted a first four years. second term in the Aside from swing state FloriWhite House, hav- da’s 29 electoral votes, which as ing beaten Republican rival Mitt we go to print are yet to be deRomney, securing the crucial 270 termined, Obama won by a clear votes in the electoral colmargin of 303 electoral lege needed to win the votes to Romney’s 206. race. Obama congratulated Walking on to his opponent Mitt Obama is the first Stevie Wonder’s Romney and his President since Signed, Sealed, Device-presidential F.D. Roosevelt to livered, I’m Yours, candidate Paul be re-elected with unemployment Obama greeted an Ryan on their camabove 7.2% enthusiastic crowd paign. “The Romney in his hometown of family has chosen to Chicago: “Tonight in give back to America this election, you, the through public service”, American people, reminded Obama concluded. us that while our road has been Obama told the crowds he hard, while our journey has been would be returning to the long, we have picked ourselves White House “more deup, we have fought our way back termined, and more … for the United States of Ameri- inspired than ever Obama's victory ca the best is yet to come”. about the work tweet - "Four more It was the female had to put “people across the board it the day before)”. Obama’s 25 minute long speech there is to do, years" - has had half of the US before politics” and though, as Obama Such ideological petpraised his wife Michelle and two and the future 563,281 retweets and population that 189,641 favourites, refrain from “par- lost his 2008 wins tiness stands to padaughters Malia and Sasha, and that lies ahead”. secured Obama's making it the most re-election, voting tisan bickering and in North Carolina ralyse the progress Vice-President Joe Biden, before Obama stated that popular tweet ever by 55% to 44% for political posturing”, and Indiana to Obama is so desperaddressing the country, declar- he would cooperthe US president ing “we are not as divided as our ate with Republia sentiment echoed by Romney. ate to make. Obama. Overall, more In four years, Obama politics suggest”. He insisted that can leaders within He concluded his ad- than $2b (£1.25bn) has has rescued the US’ au“we are greater than the sum of Congress in continuing our individual ambitions, and we to tackle America’s deficit, dress, “I so wish that I had been been spent on the 2012 tomobile industry, created a stimulus package that has saved remain more than a collection of fixing the tax code and reforming able to fulfil your hopes to lead election, largely on adverts red states and blues. We are, and immigration policy, pledging that the country in a different direc- in the swing states, making it more than a million jobs, put forever will be, the United States “we are an American family and tion but the nation chose another the most expensive presidential healthcare reform on the agenda, pushed through Wall Street reof America”. we rise and fall together as one leader and so, I join with you to campaign in US history. earnestly pray for [Obama] The US constitution pro- form to protect consumers and A further victory was nation”. hibits presidents from reduce the likelihood of another scored by the Obama In Boston, Romney and for this great nasitting for more than financial meltdown, improved administration as congratulated the tion”. Obama polled President Obama two terms, mean- educational outcomes nationally his Democrats president, telling the Romney/Ryan is strongest among retained control disheartened crowd won a number ing Obama has un- and ended discriminatory polithe first presidential 18-29-year-olds of the Senate. that he and Ryan had of crucial swing til 2016 to build cies against gays in the military. ticket to lose both (60%), whilist candidates' home including on his legacy: to The next four years will see if he However, the Re“left everything on states, Romney polled states (Massachusetts strongest among make America a will continue to bring the prompublicans have the field” and “given Colorado and Iowa, and Wisconsin) the over-65s (56%) kept control of the their all” to the cam- but it was a narrow fairer society, and ised change to America, without since 1972 to push through his the shadow of yet another reHouse of Reprepaign. Romney also result in Ohio that key passion, health- election campaign playing on his sentatives, creating stressed that both his sealed his victory. care reform. He is also mind. concern that Obama’s party and the Democrats There were not gains burdened with the dauntElection night in the Taf ing task of recovering America’s economy, which will ultimately Tuesday night saw a full-to-cadefine the success, or not, of his entire presidency. pacity Taf celebrating the elecThe extension of Republican tion results as they came in. From eleven pm until six am, control in the House of Representatives will be the biggest students cheered and booed challenge to Obama’s term in as each new state was called for either the Democrats or office. In 2010, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated the Republicans. The majority “the single most important thing seemed to be dressed in Blue we want to achieve is for Presiin support of President Obama, but a determined small group dent Obama to be a one-term president”. This saw the House were fitted out in Romney red. of Representatives blocking proCUTV were there covering the event; interviewing students posals that mirrored their own ideological preferences. As Cass and getting their predictions. Sunstein puts it, “whatever PresiKeep an eye on www.cardiffdent Obama was for, they were studentmedia.co.uk/cutv for against (even if they had been for the full coverage, coming soon!
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddpol
China: new leaders to be selected in elections Sophia Epstein Politics Writer
In a stark contrast to the lines of citizens waiting to vote in the American presidential election last Tuesday, the Chinese public will not participate in the allocation of their 18th Congress or its new leader, Xi JinPing. This year’s Congress will see the vast majority of the seats change hands to make way for the fifth generation of leaders. The major players, like Xi and new Premier Li KeQiang, were essentially chosen five years ago at the 2007 Congress, but the other approximate 370 members will be selected for the Central Committee in an extensive week-long process. It will be this Central Committee that selects the members of the Politburo from a list of party-approved candidates. It is believed that the Politburo Standing Committee, those at the top tier of power, will be condensed from nine members to seven this year. The process is long, but impossible to avoid with over 2,270 delegates selected to attend this years congress (including Mao
ZeDong’s grandson, Mao XinYu, and women’s Olympic badminton gold medalist Zhao YunLei!) Under the leadership of Hu JinTao, the current General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, China has become the second richest country in the world, making it undeniably influential. Chinese delegates believe “people in other countries will care about the congress, just as we care about the presidential election in the United States,” unfortunately this does not seem to be the case, with the Western press seemingly distracted by the American election.
more sustainable growth track. With very big shoes to fill, Xi JinPing and Li KeQiang are under pressure to rebalance the country’s economy, as the Communist Journal, QiuShi, warned that stagnation could lead to an economic “dead end”. Taking a leaf out of Obama’s book, reform is said to have been the slogan of the Chinese media leading up to the congress. The worry is that if change does not
come, the government is risking unrest and the subsequent loss of their monopoly of power over the country. It is also rumoured that considerations for political reform may be in place, and while no one expects a move to complete democracy, there might be experimental measures taken towards inner-party democracy. A survey published in the staterun Global Times newspaper, indicated eight out of 10 people
in China’s major cities support the idea of political reform, with specific concern over the lack of transparency in the Chinese government and consequent corruption. Under Hu JinTao’s leadership the economy flourished but public approval diminished; an issue this fifth generation of the Chinese Communist Party will have to confront head-on if they are to govern effectively.
Taking a leaf out of Obama’s book, reform is the media slogan for the run-up to the congress With such a dramatic change in committee members there is bound to be an effect, especially with many urging for economic reform in the wake of the now sluggish Chinese economy. It is thought that the move will be away from the country’s dependence on exports and towards a
Government defeated by rebels over EU budget Tom Eden News Editor
The government has suffered its first significant Commons defeat as MPs voted by 307 to 294 to back a Tory rebel call to cut the EU budget. Just weeks into his new role as Chief Whip, Sir George Young was faced with the issue that continues to haunt the Conservative Party: Europe. He was unable to control the 53 rebels, predominantly from the right of the party, who formed an unlikely alliance with Labour to defeat the coalition government. Together, they passed an amendment calling for a real-terms cut in spending on the EU budget between 2014 and 2020. Before the vote, Labour leader Ed Miliband made his case for why his party favoured this amendment, saying at PMQs “At a time when he [Cameron] is cutting the education budget by 11%, the transport budget by 15% and the police budget by 20% how do we give up on a cut to the EU budget before negotiations have even begun?” Cameron countered the stance by Labour, claiming it was "rank opportunism." In a bitter clash, Miliband said the PM was as "weak" as ex-PM John Major on Europe and accused him of "throwing in the towel" before budget talks had begun. John Major, the former Conservative
Prime Minister saw his government severely damaged by a series of backbench rebellions on Europe during the early 1990s, and if this comparison resonates with the public, could be very damaging to Cameron’s image. The rebel amendment passed by 307 votes to 294 after a stormy debate in Commons on the 27-member union's next sevenyear budget and UK contributions. The European Commission's proposed budget for 2014-2020 would see a 5% increase in spending on the current seven-year period. Government supporters said it would be "nigh on impossible" to negotiate a budget reduction given the lack of support among other EU nations and urged MPs to back Mr Cameron's call for an inflation-linked rise as the minimum acceptable outcome. In 2011, the UK's net contribution to the EU budget was 7.25bn euros (£5.85bn; $9.4bn), after the UK's rebate of 3.56bn euros from the EU, according to data from the European Commission. However, according to the Treasury the figure is £8.1bn. The vote is not binding on the government, but Downing Street moved to reach out to the rebels by dispatching William Hague to declare that the government would "take notice". Elaborating further, the Prime Minister’s
official spokesman said the rebels’ views were “not altogether surprising” and that the government’s position had not changed: it wanted to get the “best deal for the UK”. George Osborne, the chancellor, called on rebels to wait and see what the government was able to negotiate with Brussels. "Let us see what we bring home, if we think there's a good deal.” At that point the deal would be put to the Commons, where Tories would hope for a less rebellious outcome. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg also spoke out to attack the opposition, saying Labour was well aware there was "absolutely no prospect" of achieving a realterms c u t .
"Their change of heart is dishonest, it's hypocritical." Further bickering continued, with Tory rebel Douglas Carswell, in an interview with the BBC, saying that "it's always wonderful hearing Nick 'Tution Fees' Clegg talking about hypocrisy." At a EU meeting later this month, it is expected that the Prime Minister will tell Angela Merkel that he faces intense par-
liamentary pressure to freeze the EU budget. However, Cameron expects the German chancellor to say that she faces a more important challenge – saving the euro.
18 / Politics
Your local Police Commissioner candidates Who will you choose? Dylan Mitchell reports on our South Wales election candidates
his Thursday, November 15th, 41 people across the nation will be elected to the new role of Police and Crime Commissioner. The coalition government is introducing the controversial position in an attempt to give the public a say in how policing priorities are set, how budgets are allocated, and hold police forces to account. The Commissioners will also be responsible for recruiting and dismissing Chief Constables. Critics of the role include the Labour Party, who object to the cost of electing and maintaining a Commissioner at a time when over 12,500 police officer positions are being cut. David Hanson, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, estimates the cost of implementation at over £100 million, although the government puts it at closer to £75 million. Hanson also echoed his party leader Ed Miliband with concerns that the
This Thursday 15th November, 41 people will be elected Commissioner role handed too much power to one individual. These are indeed powerful positions; the Commissioners will control budgets of over £4 billion, and govern the operations of over 130,000 officers. The timing of the PCC elections has also been criticized; November elections produce notoriously low turnouts, and a lack of publicity around these elections led the Electoral Commission to predict
here are many aspects of modern policing which need change, but the appointment of a Police and Crime Commissioner is certainly not one of them. There is a long standing precedent in our country of an apolitical police force, and the idea that the PCC elections will strength democracy is an insult to citizens. The electoral commission predict turnout at 18.5%, the lowest turnout of modern times. the most concerning aspect of this potential outcome is that the entire ethos of policing will be changed by only a small proportion of the electorate. Equally concerning is the disproportionate amount of power that will be placed in the hands of the elected commissioner: hiring and firing the Chief Constable, control of policing staff, and financial resources. There is a diverse range of
record-low turnouts. Defenders of the role have been quick to counter these criticisms however. Nick Herbert, the minister in charge of policing, states that since the police hold a monopoly over legitimate force, it’s important to have elected officials in order to hold that force
"Domestic violence is a vile and hidden blight on our society" Tony Verderame to account. He also maintains that the role will separate policing from politics, although many candidates are party-affiliated. Cardiff falls within the South Wales region for the PCC elections, and there are four candidates. Falkland’s veteran Simon Weston withdrew from the race, citing concerns that the role had become ‘too political’. Whilst it’s understandable that public are failing to engage with the PCC elections, the newly elected officials will control large budgets, a vast workforce, and hold considerable sway in the community; in many ways they could be considered more influential than many other elected officials. While a cold and wet November day might not be the ideal time to venture to the polling booth, it’s important to grasp every opportunity for democracy. We must hope that predictions of 15% turnouts turn out to be unfounded. This is gair rhydd's round-up of the remaining candidates...
Rachel Victoria Lewis Politics Editor
crime that occurs in Wales and these elections set the boundaries for only four areas: South Wales, Gwent, Dyfed-Powys and North Wales. Within South Wales, the commissioner will need to understand, for instance, the differing crime needs of the Valleys compared to Cardiff City Centre, which in my opinion is knowledge only someone with experience in the force would have achieved. However, I would never advocate wasting a vote since it is not often that we are presented with such democratic opportunities (this will by my first time voting). Personally, I'm swaying towardS the Independent candidates because they are not supporting politicisation as much as candidates who are party funded. I have to see how this horse race progresses.
Michael Baker Independent Education: Post Graduate Business at University of Glamorgan Work: former police officer of 30 years but retired after an accident. He then studied to become a solicitor. Micheal Baker is standing as a candidate for the Independent, hoping to help restore public confidence in the police force, and act as a conduit between them. He strongly believes that the role
Alun Michael Labour Education: Studied Philosophy and English at Keele University Work: former MP for Cardiff South and Penarth for 25 years, previously, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Micheal stepped down from his MP position to contest in the PCC elections. Whilst working in the Home Office he was responsible for policing, part of the team that came up with Labour’s ‘Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ platform, and introduced the 1998 Crime and
Caroline Jones Conservative Education: Teacher training Work: former teacher, local government, prison service Caroline has previously stood as both an Assembly and parliamentary candidate, and recently launched a petition backing David Cameron’s insistence that UK prisoners would not be given the right to vote. Caroline advocates reform of the police service, and would take
Tony Verderame Independent Work: former businessman, chairman of Cardiff Older Persons Forum, Queen's Award 2006 Like Michael Baker, he believes the PCC role should not be held by an affiliate of a political party, stating that the need of the public are best served by those without political motive or desire for personal gain. Verderame pledges to deliver an approachable police force which works for the public, and to prioritise scrutiny of community and
should not be party-political, and voices concerns that if a partyaffiliate was elected, they would struggle to act impartially. Baker also believes that it’s important to have police force experience, in order to understand the difficulties both the public and Chief Constables face. He wants to encourage correspondence with victims, and focus on all communities of South Wales not just the capital city, properly addressing anti-social behaviour and drug crime. Disorder Act which brought the ASBO into effect. Although he agreed with his Labour colleagues that the PCC role would not be the best way to reform the police force, he believes that now it is definitely happening, Labour personnel are best suited to the positions. He cites the fact that the coalition is cutting police officer numbers as evidence that Labour should be proactive in filling the PCC roles. Alun disagrees with Michael Baker on the political nature of the PCC and that police force experience is necessary. steps to reduce crime and help victims of crime. She sees the introduction of the PCC role as an important step in bringing democratic accountability to the police force. She cites the fact that London’s police are accountable to the Mayor, so the rest of the UK should have the same option. She believes in less bureaucracy in the police force in order to give them more time to focus on their frontline duties. This is something she firmly believes in for other areas of the public sector too.
custodial sentencing. He believes that police force is no different from any other large organisation in that it should be run efficiently and transparently. Tony pledges to focus on doorstep crime, especially domestic violence which he calls 'a vile and hidden blight on our society that costs the country millions'. As police commissioner, the first action he wants to do is spend time in the the community, visit local police stations and local community centres to see what the community actually wants and needs from their police force.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddpol
Have the media boycotted BNP coverage this year? In the Helen Louise Cox thick of it Politics Writer
During the last couple of months the media has been awash with reports from various party conferences, political interviews and excerpts from the speeches. The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems have been embracing this free mass media publicity, although one party appears to have been left out of the loop. The BNP may be a small party but in the past they have received massively out of proportion press coverage because of their controversial and often offensive policies. However this has not been the case lately as the BNP seems to be under a media blackout. From a quick glance, it is not clear whether this is a self imposed strategy or if the news media are boycotting BNP coverage. If the latter is the case, it would require mass co-ordination and consensus amongst many media outlets. Whereas if the former is true, were there press restrictions imposed at the conference?
from a highly publicised interview with Leeds Student writer, James Greenhalgh. This was a brave move by Leeds University since the NUS have a ‘no platform policy’ which bans involvement with extremist parties – particularly the BNP. Nick Griffin must have viewed the interview as an opportunity to connect with the student demographic, but in a brilliant piece of student journalism, Greenhalgh turned the tables and showed Nick Griffin in his worst light. A recently altered statement on their website adds some insight, 'Due to draconian anti-free speech measures imposed by the
Nick Griffin was greeted by around 30 protestors outside the Liverpool conference shouting 'Nazi Scum'
National Union of Students we cannot take calls from students.' However, students from Oxford University who defied the NUS 'no platform policy' are welcome to apply. As most student media outlets have strong links with the NUS, it is unlikely that the BNP will be venturing into that territory again. The UK has a strong history of freedom of speech and of course the BNP have the right to media platforms, but if their events simply aren't newsworthy for mass audiences, the media will gradually become disinterested, such is the fickle nature of news.
The UK has a strong history of freedom of speech and the BNP have the right to a media platform All we know is that Nick Griffin was greeted by around 30 protestors outside the Liverpool conference shouting 'Nazi Scum' and 'fascist' as he entered. BNP are already recovering
This week in the National Assembly for Wales Rachel Victoria Lewis reports on the week's events and decisions from Cardiff Bay Senedd
deas flow up from the Senedd (Senate) every day in Cardiff Bay, policies are decided, decisions made, but the information rarely reaches us through the mass media. Gair Rhydd Politics are making a pledge to cover Welsh Assembly and Government politics, so Cardiff students can connect with the local politics that really affects them. Welsh Government Budget Old coalition partners Labour and Plaid Cymru have agreed on the next Welsh Government budget. With half of the 60 seats in the chamber, the Labour government cannot pass a budget alone. Darren Millar AM has called their cahoots 'like a dog returning to it's own vomit'. Labour rejected Lib Dems propositions to close the funding gap between school pupils in Wales and England, instead they are prioritising jobs for young people by adding an extra £20m for apprenticeships. Plaid Leader Leanne Wood said
Gaffes, Guffs and Scandal from inside UK government political communications. Rachel Victoria Lewis
jobs were her Party's priority. North Wales Abuse Inquiry The children's commissioner Keith Howler called on the Welsh Government to set up a new independent inquiry into events in the North Wales children's homes in the 70s and 80s. First Minister Carwyn Jones agrees but wants more victims to come forward with more evidence.
BBC/S4C Programme Deal The partnership guarantees BBC Cymru provision of 520 hours of programming per year to S4C in order to maintain welsh language programming. Programmes by BBC Cymru include the likes of Pobol y Cym and Newyddion, they state 'we look forward to more creative collaboration.'
£40m Rail Station Upgrades Numerous railway improvements will be carried out in Wales, to revamp in their second phase of upgrade work. All lines in the South Wales valleys will be electrified in an investment worth more than £350m to improve journey times, stimulate business and create jobs.
ollowing in the stumbling footsteps of Lembit Opik and George Galloway, the political communication faux-pas of the week has to be awarded to Nadine Dorries. In a decision that must have either been influenced by a colleague trying to bump her off, or her own ignorance of the public, Mrs Dorries has decided to participate in the pinnacle of TV production that is I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. The Mid Bedfordshire MP has been suspended by the Chief Whip for abondoning her constituents so she can seek out sun, bush tuck, and 'connecting with the electorate'. Maybe it's that £40,000 pay off she's chasing, alongside her £6,157 monthly salary. Dorries has been known to be a notorious Tory descenter, referring to herself as the 'Bridget Jones of Westminster'. I'm not sure if she's comparing herself to the chain smoking, binge drinking or promiscuous endeavours- The Daily Star have already papped her 'putting her consTITuents first'. At least she will be surrounded by a whole constellation of stars: a Pussycat Doll, a Doctor Who, a few soap actors and one Bird of a Feather. Here failure to understand the electorate is pretty damn obvious since I'm a Celebrity hasn't been socially relevant since the noughties. The Thick of It quote comes to mind, when Hugh Abbot MP is struggling to understand the public, 'they're like a different f***ing species! Why do they wear clothing with writing on it? And why are they so fat?!' On the bright side, her appearance will have me tuned in to I'm a Celeb for the first time since school, waiting like a vulture for a whole range of entertaining ways Dorries will gaffe up and embarrass the Tories. Although I'm not sure any TV embarrassment could possibly beat the image of George Galloway on his hands and knees lapping milk from a bowl on Big Brother.
20 / Science
Cardiff scientists help create neuroanatomy atlas
Brainbows, produced by using fluorescent proteins, are another way of visualising brain matter David Mason Science Writer
Cardiff scientists involved in the EU consortium ‘CONNECT’ have played a key part in collating the world’s first neuroanatomical atlas of white brain matter, announced on October 19th. The atlas, assembled using non-invasive MRI technology, marks a crucial turning point in neurological research, allowing the creation of an effectively virtual map of the human brain. The Consortium Of Neuroimagers for Non-invasive Exploration of brain Connectivity and Tracts, ‘CONNECT’, is an international research collaboration, formed in 2009, which incorporates research groups from Germany, France and Denmark, the United Kingdom and Israel. The consortium consists of institutions at the forefront of neuroanatomical research, including Cardiff University. Led by Professor Derek Jones of the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), the Cardiff research team has been extensively involved in the three year project. After three years and a grant of 2.4 million Euros, CONNECT has released the fruits of its work: the first atlas of the white matter of the human brain. Prior to this, researchers worldwide have relied on a dated, vague and painstakingly produced atlas, produced only through those few who have left their body to science. Crucially, this newly produced atlas
allows detailed examination of the brain’s white matter, without requiring the physical presence of a human brain: something that few people are willing to part with.
Prior to this, researchers have relied on a dated and vague atlas White matter, long overlooked and believed to be a passive component of the central nervous system, accounts for more than half of total brain matter and is now believed to be an active and vital component in general learning. Prior to this research, grey matter has been the primary target of studies, as a key part of the nervous system. However, the construction of this atlas focusing on white brain matter holds the potential to greatly expand our knowledge in this subject area. When formed in 2009, the CONNECT project aimed to assess the reliability of in vivo measurements, as well as finding an optimal way of measuring brain tissues in vivo. With the production of this atlas, effectively creating a virtual image of the brain, this aim has been fully achieved. They have produced the most comprehensive and accurate assessment of brain macro- and micro-structure to date. Combining the MRI scans of over one hundred subjects, the atlas utilises state-of-the-art imaging techniques to construct
a detailed view of white matter within the human brain. It simulates the ability to view every square millimetre of brain tissue in great detail. Even microscopic features such as average cell size or fibre diameter can be examined in depth in the simulated environment of a natural, whole, living brain. The atlas is created in ‘standardized space’, specifically designed to be accessible to those who are not experts in this field. Medical researchers and physicians will be able to use and understand it, alongside those who have researched and created it. It is expected that this atlas will serve as the standard tool for future brain study at all levels. Professor Derek Jones, when speaking about his part in leading Cardiff’s contribution to the project, said: “Being part of the European CONNECT team has been one of the most rewarding research projects of my career. Europe leads the way in microstructural imaging, and the UK, in particular, punches well above its weight.”
"Europe leads the way in imaging, and the UK punches well above its weight" It is expected that this project, one of the first to examine white brain matter in considerable detail, will prompt further research into the area. White matter has
previously been an overlooked area of study, due at least in part to the lack of tools available to correctly analyse it. Naturally, the production of this neuroanatomical atlas will help greatly in rectifying this. Project members, both individually and collectively under CONNECT, intend to use this new technology to further study the microstructure of white matter within the brain. Specifically, it is thought that study into white matter may reveal information regarding how the brain processes and stores learned information.
The development of this atlas is expected to benefit medicine for decades to come The potential also exists for examining neurological and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, as well as investigating the precise impact that these may have upon the brain’s ability to learn and retain information. Even without considering future research potential, the development of this white brain matter atlas, accessible to all who may benefit from it, can be considered to be a significant development in neuroscience, and is expected to benefit medicine for decades to come.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddsci
Feathered dinosaurs may have used plumage for courtship Emma Dudley Science Writer
Dinosaurs and feathers have perplexed many a palaeontologist. There is strong evidence to suggest that various species of dinosaur had evolved feathers at point, with some studies even indicating the king of predators, the Tyrannosaurus rex, may have been feathered. This would, of course, imply that T. rex youngsters could have even looked like ducklings – ducklings that, despite looking cute, had the ability to gnaw hands off. Recently, evidence has come to light that indicates that the dinosaurs’ plumage may have been used predominantly in attracting mates and courtship.
Some studies even indicate that the king of predators, the Tyrannosaurus rex, may have been feathered As increasing numbers of dinosaur fossils showing signs of being feathered have been found, the first feathered dinosaurs have been discovered in Canada by researchers at Canada’s Royal
Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology and University of Calgary. The North American fossils are of a juvenile and two adult Ornithomimosaurs, a type of dinosaur which was known not to fly. Dr Zelenitsky, the leader of the research group, stated that the adult feather pattern is different to that found in the juveniles – the former having longer feathers like those found on a wing, as opposed to the downy, fluffy feathers on the latter. The feathers and wing-like forearms discovered in the adult fossils could shine a light onto some lifestyle factors of these fast-running dinosaurs that have previously been unknown. The adult Ornithomimosaurs’ plumage appears to have displayed mating patterns not too dissimilar to that of birds. It is well known how birds such as peacocks display their plumage to attract the best mate, and it looks as though their distant relatives the dinosaurs may have done too. The ornithomimus is a more primitive dinosaur and Dr Zelenitsky told BBC World that “this indicates wings evolved much earlier than previously thought”. The fossilisation pattern of the feathers supports the reason-
ing that dinosaurs competed for mates and effectively did battle through the art of who had the prettiest feathers. Alternatively, the feathers could have been used in the protection of eggs. Both are reasonable possible applications of the ornithomimids’ feathers. The development of the adults’ wings shed some light onto their usage. Dr Therrien, the curator of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, observed that the wing-like forelimbs were developed in the adults and not in the juvenile. The mature development of the forelimbs suggests usage of plumage for courtship.
The fossil site of the three dinosaurs is particularly of special interest, as unlike the previous fossils found in China under exceptional, oxygen-lacking circumstances that favour fossil preservation, these were found in river deposits. This opens more doors to new sites of fossilised river deposits containing dinosaur remains and hopefully provides more clues as to how wings and feathers evolved, instead of the tiny glimpses palaeontologists currently have to put up with.
Evidence has come to light that indicates that the dinosaurs’ plumage may have been used for courtship
Three-parent embryo reduces risk of genetic disease Kirstie Smith Science Writer
For the first time in scientific history, two human eggs have been fused together and fertilised in an attempt to prevent the development of hereditary diseases. This controversial fertility treatment is designed to reduce the occurrence of inherited mitochondrial diseases. Mitochondria are known as the power producers of cells in the body, and convert energy into usable forms for these cells. When someone has a mitochondrial disease there are problems with the conversion of energy, which results in incurable and often fatal diseases that
can affect the brain and muscles, and can, in worst case scenarios, result in entire biological systems failure.
Baby monkeys conceived using this process appear to still be healthy To combat these problems and help women with these diseases
have healthy children, the threeway embryo research is a step in the right direction. In this procedure, scientists take the nucleus of the original mother’s egg and place it into a donor egg that has healthy mitochondria but has had its own nucleus removed. The Oregon National Primate Research Centre in Beaverton tested this remarkable technique on monkeys. Baby monkeys conceived using this process appear to still be healthy, but it will still be a long time before the procedure can be used with humans. Since this development, Shoukhrat Mitalipov and his research team have advanced this process, using a similar technique
to fuse human eggs. This procedure involved 65 donated eggs that were fertilised. From these 65% grew into healthy-looking blastocysts, embryo precursors with only 100 or so cells. Although this is a groundbreaking scientific discovery and has been successful so far, there are still many issues with using this method to avoid diseases. There are clear ethical matters as this development could lead to the future of ‘designer babies’ where certain parts of the DNA could be manipulated for much more trivial genetic factors such as eye colour. Without a doubt, there will be many issues with ethics due
to the tampering with DNA and genetics, with a high chance of backlash from religious communities. Despite these problems, there are clear developments in the treatment of genetic diseases. By simply finding some way to take mitochondrial elements out of DNA, there is hope for potential mothers who have these disorders, as well as other diseases. This is a revolutionary development that could in the future, prevent all inherited diseases. Obviously, this research needs more investigation, testing and government support in the U.S and UK for legalisation before it can be seriously considered in a clinical environment.
22 / Science
Research sheds light on spread of malaria via humans The high rate of malaria in areas of Kenya with few infected mosquitoes is finally being explained. Science Editor Rhiannon Davies discusses its implications and gives tips on staying safe abroad.
ecent research by Amy Wesolowski at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has shed light on the peculiar prevalence of malaria in Kenya’s western highlands and capital city of Nairobi. Neither area has a significant population of infected female mosquitoes, the disease’s primary carriers. However, there is another potential cause, human beings. It may sound counter-intuitive but human beings, once infected, can infect mosquitoes who bite them. These mosquitoes then in turn infect other people. However, previous research into how problematic this is and whether it lies behind the high levels of malaria in Nairobi and the western highlands has been done on relatively small numbers of people, rendering this theory highly speculative. Wesolowski’s team, by taking location information directly from the logs of a national phone-service provider, and mapping every call or text to the cell tower which routed it, we’re able to analyse the movement of 15 million Kenyans, nearly half the country’s population. This information was combined with maps of population distribution and malaria rates to create, for
the first time ever, a map correlating human movement with the spread of the disease. This map revealed that whilst Nairobi, and the western highlands naturally have few infected mosquitoes, they crucially receive large influxes of people from the coast of Lake Victoria, a destination notorious for having the highest concentrated of infected mosquitoes in the country. Furthermore, the research showed that overall the parts of Kenya with the highest malaria risk contained people that travelled the most.
organism or parasite called a protoza. This infects the red blood cells and the ensuing symptoms will vary depending on which of
of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston states "There's a big danger of people damaging control-programmes by travel-
length trousers and staying in accommodation with screen doors and closing windows, there are plenty of measures you can take
ling and bringing parasites in with them." Until these efforts bear fruit, it is essential that UK travellers take more precautions if the rate of the disease is to fall. Remember that if you visit a popular destination for travellers, this research suggests you are at a particularly high risk. From using effective insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and full-
to stay safe and avoid becoming a malaria statistic. Further information is available at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel. For more general travel information you can follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/fcotravel) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/ fcotravel).
Every year, about 2000 people return to the UK with the disease Malaria is a common disease that tourists get caught out on abroad. The number of UK tourists visiting malarial destinations has soared since the advent of cheap air travel in the 1990s. With students travelling to far flung destinations more and more, it’s crucially important that they take heed of the potential risks to their health. In other words, if you are reading this and planning a trip away, remember that you are not impervious. What actually causes malaria is not the mosquito itself but a tiny
Nairobi, Kenya the four types it is. Disturbingly, some types of malaria, once contracted, never leave your system. Given this, it is worth visiting your doctor to ensure you are taking any necessary medication before you go. Malaria parasites are resistant to different types of malaria tablet in different countries, so you need to be sure you’re taking the right ones. You can check whether your destination is a malaria hotspot on the National Travel Health Network & Centre (www.nathnac.org). Whilst some forms of malaria are fatal, others cause high fever and can lead to kidney, liver, brain and blood complications. It is essential that courses of malarial tablets begin before you arrive at a malarial destination, and that the course is finished, even if this means you are still taking them after your return to the UK. Perhaps the most famous sufferer of the disease is Cheryl Cole, who became ill after failing to finish her course of tablets believing wrongly that as she was back in the UK it was no longer necessary. Every year, about 2000 people return to the UK with the disease, of whom 12 will ultimately die. Indeed, symptoms can present anywhere between 10 days and 1 year after being bitten. Wesolowski’s research reveals that there is a need to go beyond merely controlling the mosquito population to curb malaria. As team member Caroline Buckee
Malaria Top Tips Contrary to common belief, mosquitoes are capable of biting through certain clothing, such as lightweight and tight cotton. Its therefore best to go for loose fitting clothes. Mosquitoes have a tendency to target the ankle area, so make sure that this is particularly well covered. Make sure too that you move your shoes away from your bed at night. It sounds silly, but bizarrely mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of feet, so this should keep them away from where you’re sleeping. If your room has air conditioning, turn it down cold, so that they become drowsy and therefore easier to swat. Mosquitoes like to hide in dark places, so shake the curtains in your hotel room and check behind furniture. It's unnerving but it's best to swat as many as possible. If in doubt, douse them with a healthy dose of repellent. Remember, one bite is all it takes.
Cardiff Bay 029 2048 0490
Roath 029 2045 4555
Cathays 029 2066 8585
2013/14 lists out now
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Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddsoc
Week descends on Cardiff University
ome next Monday, November 12th, the University will be red with the stripes of 'RAG Week' as our 'Raise and Give' Society – Cardiff's only Society that is dedicated entirely to fundraising takes over. For the presently uninitiated, RAG Week is a whole week of fundraising events in the Students' Union and surrounding Cathays area in support of selected charities. This year, RAG are supporting the following four charities: Ty Hafan hospice, who provide palliative care and support to children and young adults with life-limiting illnesses; Nightline, the student-run listening, emotional support, information and supplies service; Multiple Sclerosis Trust, who conduct research and provide support for sufferers of the condition; and Refuge, the service for victims of domestic violence who run safe houses, offer a wealth of support services and work in communities to prevent domestic violence against women and children. Societies at gair rhydd are here to keep you up to date! Take your housemates or society to an event
and show RAG your support – there is something for everyone and you can participate from as little as £1! Societies Officer Adam Curtis spoke to gair rhydd, giving his thoughts on the upcoming week: "The fundraising aim of RAG Week this year is £10,000. Last year's total was not as impressive as we would have hoped, even though Santander stepped in to double the final amount. And the events of this year look great (Student vs Food sounds especially good!) and the alwayspopular Lost has already sold
out, which will have created a head-start of a few thousand pounds, so we should be able to have a good crack at smashing that £10,000 target." Adam also pointed out, however, and very rightly, that it is ultimately down to the response of students to the week, and urges students to get involved as much as possible: "If we're going to be reaching our full potential for this kind of event, we will, I think, need to be reorientating the focus of the Week onto the members of the local community,
"Lost has already sold out, so we should be able to have a good crack at smashing that £10,000 target" rather than soley the student community, where both money and thus involvement cannot be as high as they might be." At the moment, however, "Cardiff students need to grow up and get involved!", said Adam. "Our RAG Week is still young and growing, and our RAG 'culture' is low, but it ultimately takes the target audience's involvement to make it work so that we can create successes to build on in
the future, as other universities have done to construct their massive RAG weeks. "Saying that, thanks and appreciation must go to the RAG team for their organisation and dedication in putting on the Week." And, saying that, here is your fully fleshed-out version of events happening in and around the Union. Just so that you have no excuse...
Monday Take Me Out – 7.30pm CF10, The Union. Tickets £3 Still single?! To open RAG week they are holding the ultimate dating show. Come down and be in the audience or contact RAG to take part. Put their match-making skills to the test. But remember: no likey, no lighty. Tuesday Three-Legged Night Hike – 7pm, meet at the Union, £3 sign up, £20 minimum sponsorship. Find a friend and get involved, get everyone you know to sponsor both of you to race to a mystery location. Enter via campus groups by Monday 8pm. The Ultimate Pub Quiz – 7.30 The Vulcan, £2 per person, max. of 5 per team. For those of you who would rather just venture down the pub, they are hold a relaxed evening with a hint of competition. Be in with a chance of winning a minute behind the bar. * Drinks to the value of £30 Wednesday RAG at the LASH – 10pm, Solus. Come and find them at the Union
for society competitions and antics all night. Thursday Student vs Food – 7pm, CF10. £5 competitors fee, £2 for spectators. RAG challenge you to scoff your way to being crowned Cardiff’s champion. Bring your housemates or society down to witness the madness and place your bets on the winner – all winning bets will get a free drink* from Solus. To compete, contact RAG with your name, society and contact number by Monday 12th
November. *Selected drinks only. Method of betting will be explained thoroughly on entrance. Friday Clowning – Nominations needed - £5 to nominate. Secretly sign up someone you know - committee member, housemate, sports rival, etc. to be followed by a RAG clown all day. The only relief will be at the cost of a £20 donation. Email your nominations to RAG@Cardiff. ac.uk asap. RAG Raffle – The draw will be in The Taf at 3pm Buy your wristband ticket for £1 to be in with a chance to win £1000. RAG's sponsors for this, 2Let2 and Soda Bar, are donating the cash prize, so every £1 ticket will go directly to the RAG charities. Tickets can be purchased from November 1st in the Union box office or your local library* Come down to the Taf to see the draw** and celebrate with the winner. *Library locations are subject to change. Notifications will be sent out daily via Facebook and Twitter with sales locations. **All tickets must be purchased before noon on Friday 16th November to be entered into the draw. To claim the prize the winner must present their wristband in its entirety. Saturday It’s a charity hitch and the finale of RAG week 2012! Your team will be dropped off at a top secret UK location and then will have to race back in time for Come Play whilst completing a series of challenges along the way. RAG challenge you to blag your way back home for free. Sign up your
team of 3-5 on Campus groups before Friday 9th November! WANTED – VOLUENTEERS! RAG know that everyone has lectures, but even if you can spare an hour here and there please come and give them a hand. Without your help numbers may be limited for all of the events. Volunteering is a great asset to any CV. Contact them with your availability and any area of interest! RAG@Cardiff.ac.uk Facebook/CardiffRAG @Cardiff_ RAG, and 'Like' their Cardiff RAG Week 2012 Facebook page. You can commit as much time as you want to volunteering with the RAG Society, outside of RAG Week. They aim to raise money in a variety of fun and interesting ways, from bake sales to clothes swapping to skydiving, and they also travel around the UK for street collections, sometimes meeting up with other RAGs for collecting and socialising afterwards. If you just fancy coming along for a few of the socials to meet some new people or going with them for a couple of collections then that's great, but if you want to organise your own event for a charity close to your heart, RAG will be on hand to help you out. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, with planning, publicising and running events all requiring plenty of people on board. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteering opportunities – every hour that you can give is appreciated by RAG... And make sure you support them in their work this week!
26 / Societies
Our Computer Gaming Society organises Cardiff ’s first BarCraft event
Societies writer Michael O’Connell-Davidson went along to check it out
ast Sunday, Cardiff saw its first ever BarCraft Event, organised by video game Journalist Alexander ‘Farske’ Brown and the Cardiff University Computer Gaming Society. BarCraft is a social event wherein players watch games of StarCraft, a space themed strategy game, at bars or pubs. If the name of the game sounds familiar, that’s because StarCraft was developed by Blizzard -- the team behind the immensely popular Warcraft series. Hosted by the Buffalo Bar, attendees watched the MLG (equivalent to the Premier League) Dallas finals as they were broadcast live from America. The game is a surprisingly good spectator sport, despite much of the skill being based around resource management; I’ve heard StarCraft being described as applied economics, and though it demands a high level of manual dexterity, many of the game’s subtleties are mathematical. Still, with many players undertaking over three hundred actions per minute, matches are rarely stale. StarCraft has been built from the ground up with spectators in mind, and while a multitude of attendees were unfamiliar with the more subtle elements of the game, few people - even the bar staff - looked bored by the event. This surprised me, because while I’m no stranger to watching sporting events in social settings, with the exception of international team games, it’s incredibly rare to see an entire audience this engaged.
Monday November 12th the Art Society is putting
Events like BarCraft come as a wider part of the eSports movement, where games such as StarCraft, League of Legends and Street Fighter are played at competition level for cash prizes. While many will be unfamiliar with the term, eSports is creeping into the mainstream
treated like celebrities in South Korea, commanding salaries higher than many athletes, and the scene has exploded with the increasing popularity of watching games live online. Attendees included James ‘Stress’ O’Leary, who commentates games for team
and that the Computer Gaming Society could expect to see their attendance double as awareness spread. With fifty attendees, a number outstripping that of many small gigs, the society was taken aback by how great the numbers were; I was part of a conversation where
and becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. The recent Season 2 World Championship, an international League of Legends tournament, had a prize pool of over $2,000,000 - a massive amount, with half of that going to the winning team. High level competitors are commonly
Dignitas, one of the UK’s premier eSports organisations. James is the organiser of BarCraft Swansea, and when I asked how this event matched up to similar events across the UK, he said that it was doing well. He described the numbers as “encouraging, especially for a first event,”
the possibility of a venue change was discussed, as the capacity of the Buffalo Bar would inevitably be exceeded as the event grew. Society president, Abigail Farrell, said “I certainly didn’t expect such a good turnout, and we’ll definitely be doing this again.” Alexander Brown, e-sports
Wednesday, November 14th
Thursday, November 15th
Friday, November 16th
The Cardiff University
Debating Society's first
Purcell Singers' weekly
public debate of the year.
weekly Friday training,
rehearsal, 2 - 3pm in the
The motion will be 'This
Talybont Sports Centre,
Tuesday, November 13th
manager for rtsguru.com, was particularly surprised. Much of his coverage is focused on the UK, where eSports is still a fledgling concept. I asked him how he felt about the turnout, and he responded that while he “knew eSports was growing, to see Cardiff and the Cardiff Gaming Society coming out like this shows that eSports is becoming mainstream.” The tournament was eventually won by Korean player Lee ‘Life’ Seung Hyun, who won $25,000 for first place. At 16, Life has earned more money from playing StarCraft than many of us have earned over the course of our lives - all while being just about old enough to sit his GSCEs. Ben Curwen, the society’s secretary, encouraged those from the student body at large to attend. He said that, “Even if like me, you don’t have a clue what StarCraft is, it’s worth coming for the atmosphere alone. You never know - you might pick up a thing or two.” I’m not a StarCraft player, and lack the logical sensibility to add and subtract, let alone apply economics to a video game, but I’d echo Ben’s sentiment. While on paper watching broadcasts of tournaments in a social setting sounds absurd, events such as BarCraft go a long way to dispel the idea that video games are somehow an antisocial or individualistic activity. Though the MLG’s fall season has ended, Alex and the computer gaming society will undoubtedly be back in 2013 for the Winter series.
Kenyan Society's Yuva
large lecture theatre,
House Would Equalise
7.30 - 9.30pm with
on a session on life
Diwali Charity Ball,
Music Building, Corbett
Marriage', debated by
Contra Mestre Claudio
drawing for all you artistic
10pm at Glam Nightclub,
Road, CF10 3EB.
the Catholic Chaplaincy,
sorts out there, 7 - 9pm,
advanced tickets cost £7,
a Theologian and the
always welcome! Wear
Rona Griffiths Rm., SU 4th
or £9 on the door. Get
comfortable clothing and
floor. The cost will be £1
ready to dance the night
Keep Marriage Sacred,
indoor shoes or barefoot.
for members & £2 for non-
away to Bollywood beats
alongside the University's
It costs only £4 per class
members. They hope to
LGBT society. 7 - 9pm,
see you there!
Law building, Rm. 2.27.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddsoc
Meet the Healthcare Music Society Heather Ellis Societies Writer
Healthcare Music Society (HMS) brings together students from all different aspects of healthcare, displaying their talents to raise money for charities through musical performance. The society enjoys many socials including meals, nights out, musical trips and drinks post rehearsal. The ensembles rehearse in the University Hospital of Wales Chaplaincy (B5) performing a combination of pop, film themes and classical pieces. Orchestra rehearses on Tuesdays at 7pm, and Choir on Thursdays at 7.30pm 2012-2013 is
geared up to be another exciting year, with more opportunities, one of which is happening on the 16th November at 7pm (doors open at 5.30) in the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The
The society are taking part in a performance alongside 1000 young people for Children in Need society are taking part in a performance alongside 1000 young people from choirs across South Wales for Children in Need. The repetoire includes a number of
popular pieces including: Rule the World, Circle of Life, Joyful Joyful and many more. The money for Children in Need this year will be going to a number of different places: in Wales, the money will be donated to Buttle UK, a charity aimed at helping children and young people in need, Llamau, a homelessness charity providing services to young people and The National Deaf Children's Society. These are just a few of the charities that Children in Need are fundraising for, so do your bit, visit https://www. ticketline.co.uk /order/ tickets/13276220 or ring 0844 888 9991 and buy your tickets for what is going to be a magical and life-changing evening for young people around Wales and the UK. For more information about Healthcare Music Society, join our Facebook group “Cardiff Healthcare Music Society 2012/2013 or contact us on cardiff_ healthcare_ music@hotmail. com.
Spanish and Italian Society competition winner announced!
The competition was won by 1st year student Aniya Savage who sent in her beautiful image entitled 'Reflection', featured above. Congratulations Aniya! Her image can also be seen on the Spanish and Italian Society Facebook page as their cover photo.
The theme for the next competition is 'Italian Adventures'! Send your entries to email@example.com including your name, year of study and a caption to describe your photo. The deadline is the 28th November, and the winner will be announced on the 1st December.
Feisty Feministas Cardiff University Feisty Feministas, or CUFFS, as they are also known, brings together likeminded people through socials, film nights and a book club, acting as a forum to explore women’s portrayal in culture.
So if the slut walk and Gaga have got you hyped up and feeling excited about using the F word (..feminista!) in the 21st century, then take that enthusiasm along! They only cost £3 to join for the year!
30 / Taf-Od
Carfan Cymru'n wynebu cyfres holl bwysig Yn dilyn y gêm agoriadol yn erbyn yr Ariannin, Steffan Evans sy'n trafod y sialensiau mae carfan rygbi Cymru'n wynebu yn yr wythnosau nesaf
O taf D
ae’n anodd credu, fod ‘na flwyddyn bellach, ers rownd derfynol Cwpan Rygbi’r Byd yn Seland Newydd. Ond er fod ‘na bron i dair blynedd nes y Cwpan Byd nesaf yn Lloegr yn 2015, mae canlyniadau y mis nesaf o rygbi yn hollol allweddol i Sam Warbuton a’i dim, os yw’r Cymry am fynd cam yn bellach y tro nesaf. Ar y 3ydd o Ragfyr, fe fydd y Bwrdd Rygbi Rhyngwladol yn tynnu enwau allan o’r het ar gyfer grwpiau Cwpan y Byd 2015. Fe fydd yr 20 tim sydd yn cyraedd Cwpan y Byd yn cael ei rhannu i 4 grwp. Er mwyn sicrhau grwpiau cyfartal, fe fydd y gwledydd yn cael ei rhannu yn ôl eu safle ar rhestr detholion y Bwrdd Rygbi Rhyngwladol. Ar y foment, mae Cymru’n 6ed ar y rhestr, ond wrth i’r garfan ddychwelyd o’i cyfnod yn ymarfer yng Wlad Pwyl, fe fydd y tim yn ymwybodol o’r ffaith y gallau tair buddigoliaeth o’i pedair gem fod yn ddigon i godi’r tim i’r pedwar uchaf, gan osgoi bod mewn grwp gyda Seland Newydd, Awstralia a De Affrica. Er mwyn sicrhau tair buddgo-
liaeth, fe fydd yn rhaid i Gymru chwarae i orau ei gallu. Ni fydd ‘na un gem hawdd yn gwnebu’r Cochion wrth iddynt herio’r Arianin, Samoa, Seland Newydd ac Awstralia. Wedi gem gorfforol yn erbyn Los Pumas y penwythnos diwethaf, a chanlyniad agos yn erbyn Samoa yn ystod y Cwpan Byd dal o fewn cof, ychydig iawn o fobl sy’n rhagweld buddogliaeth rhwydd nos Wener yma. Gyda anafiadau i chwaraewyr blaenllaw fel Adam Jones a Dan Lydiate yn peri cur pen i Warren Gatland a Rob Howley eisioes, fe fydd y ddau hyfforddwr yn gweddio na fydd unrhyw rhagor o chwaraew-
yr yn cael ei anafu, wrth wynebu taclo chwedlonol, chwarewyr ynysoedd y Môr Tawel. Y penwythnos canlynol, fe fydd Cymru yn gwynebu ei her fwyaf wrth iddynt chwarae’r Crysau Duon. Cyn dechrau ar ei taith i Ewrop, roedd tîm Seland Newydd heb golli mewn 17 gem. Er nad iddynt chwarae i orau ei gallu yn ystod cystadleuaeth Cwpan y Byd, does dim amheuaeth bellach mae Seland Newydd yw’r tim gorau ar y blaned. Beth sy’n frawychus yw gallu’r Crysau Duon i gynrychu chwaraewyr ifanc yn gyson. Mae Cory Jane wedi etifeddu coron Mils Muliai-
na fel cefnwr gorau’r byd, tra fod Aaron Cruden wedi dangos digon yn nghystadleuaeth y 15 Disglair (Super 15) i grybwyll ei fod yn chwaraewr sy’n barod i gamu i esgidiau enfawr Dan Carter pe bai angen. O’r prop pen rhydd i’r cefnwr mae Seland Newydd yn dim sy’n llawn talent a gallu. Ond er ei bod yn gwynebu tasg enfawr, nid yw’n dasg amhosib. Dros yr haf, fe lwyddodd tim dan 20 Cymru i guro tim dan 20 Seland Newydd, y tim cyntaf erioed i wneud hyn, ac ychydig wythnosau yn ôl, fe lwyddodd Awstralia i gael gem gyfartal â Seland Newydd. Pa bris ar Gymru’n achosi sioc arall?
Cyn dechrau ar ei taith i Ewrop, roedd tîm Seland Newydd heb golli mewn 17 gem Yn olaf, fe fydd Cymru'n herio Awstralia. Dyma’r chweched gwaith i Gymru herio’r Wallabies mewn 12 mis, ac, hyd yn hyn, colli yw hanes Cymru ym mhob un o’r gemau, ond mae’r tîm wedi dangos digon, yn enwedig yn ystod prawf olaf cyfres yr haf, i grybwyll bod ganddynt y gallu i drechu
Awstralia. Serch hyn, prin yw cefnogwyr Cymru sy’n teimlo’n hyderus am y gêm yma, oherwydd fe fydd y tim yn methu dewis y mwyafrif o’r sêr sy’n chwarae ei rygbi tu allan i Gymru. Yn ôl Rob Howley, dyma’r rheswm na oedd Mike Phillips yn wreiddiol yn y pymtheg cyntaf i wynebu'r Arianin, ond mewn gwirionedd, a oes gan Gymru chwaraewyr o’r un safon a Phillips ymhlith ei eilyddion? Yn ôl pob tebyg yr ateb yw na, ond dylid cofio na fydd Awstralia ar ei cryfaf chwaith. Dyma fydd gem diwethaf y tymor i fwyafrif yr Awstraliaid ac wedi tymor hir a chaled, faint ohonynt fydd ar brig eu gem yn gorffol a meddyliol? Fe fydd yn rhaid i Gymru gymryd mantais o’r gwendid yma. Does dim amheuaeth fod ‘na fis cyffrous a phwysig o rygbi yn ein gwynebu. Gyda gobeithion pob gwlad am Cwpan y Byd yn yfantol, a gyda taith y Llewod ar y gorwel, gellid dadlau mae dyma Cyfres yr Hydref pwysicaf i Gymru wynebu am rhai blynyddoedd. Gobeithio felly, fod cyfnod y tim yn ymarfer yn Nghwlad Pwyl, wedi eu paratoi yn drylwyr am y sialens sydd yn eu gwynebu.
Straeon OD o bob rhan o'r byd... Wythnos yma, cath gyda ASBO...
n ystod yr etholiad yn America wythnos diwethaf, gwnaeth un dynes o Illinois ymdrech ragorol i wneud yn sicr bod eu llais yn cael ei glywed, wrth iddi stopio i bledleisio ar y ffordd i'r ysbyty i roi genedigaeth i'w phlentyn. Roedd Galicia Malone, 21, ar fin geni ei merch pan fynodd hi fynd i bledleisio dros Barrack Obama cyn mynd ymweld â'r ysbyty. Ar gwch oddiar arfordir De Affrica wythnos diwethaf, cafodd tri dyn ei anafu ar ôl i forfil
neidio allan o'r dwr a glanio ar y gwch. Mae'n debyg y dioddefodd y gwch cryn ddifrod pan laniodd y morfil a gyrru'r llongwyr yn hedfan i'r môr. Mae'n debyg fod y dynion nawr mewn cyflwr sefydlog yn yr ysbyty. Mae cath o Buckinghamshire wedi cael ASBO am fod ar fai am nifer o droseddau yn lleol. Mae Oscar y gath yn gyfirfol am ddwyn bwyd gan gymdogion, cwffio gyda cwn lleol yn ogystal â ymosod ar ddyn yn ei saithdegau oedd angen triniaeth yn yr ysbyty yn dilyn ymosodiad y gath. Efallai y cam nesaf yw cael tag electroneg wedi ei roi ar ffêr y gath...?
Mae dyn o Loegr wedi troi hen fws mewn i dafarn symudol y mae'n glyfar wedi ei enwi'n "Hop on Inn". Prynodd Colin Flitter y bws oddi ar e-Bay am £18,500 a gwariodd £14,000 ar roi pwmpiau cwrw, bar a llwyfan ar ail lawr y bws ar gyfer bandiau allu perffor-
mio. Mae Mr. Flitter on gobeithio gallu teithio'r wlad gyda bws, yn ymweld â sioeau a nifer o wyliau. Mae'n debyg y cafodd y syniad yn dilyn ymweliad â America lle gwelodd bws wedi barcio tu allan i dafarn Brydeinig.
Dydd Llun Tachwedd y 12fed 2012 | @taf_od
Dim llwyfan yn y MOBOs i Mr Phormula Angharad Hywel Taf-od
Dwy wythnos yn ôl, yn rhifyn Hydref 29ain o Tafod, soniwyd am Ed Holden, y rapiwr o Ogledd Cymru, oedd i berfformio yn seremoni’r MOBO’s (‘Music of Black Origin Awards’) penwythnos diwethaf. Yn siomedig, ar y funud olaf, penderfynodd y trefnwyr beidio llwyfannu perfformiad ‘Rap Britannia’. Roedd hyn yn syndod, a siomiant mawr i bawb oedd i gymryd rhan yn y perfformiad, yn enwedig wrth i’r perfformwyr gael gwybod ychydig oriau ynghynt ar Twitter. Byddai perfformiad ‘Rap Britannia’ wedi bod yn hanesyddol i’r iaith Gymraeg; hwn fyddai’r tro cyntaf i unrhyw un berfformio yn y Gymraeg ar lwyfan y MOBO’s. Cymerodd Ed Holden, sydd yn perfformio gyda'r enw Mr Phormula, rhan yn rhaglen ddogfen ‘Rap Britannia’ ar gyfer Radio 1Xtra. Pwrpas y rhaglen oedd ceisio tynnu sylw at rapwyr o’r tu allan i Lundain, gan gynnwys Mr Phormula a rapwyr eraill o Gymru, Yr Alban a Gogledd Iwerddon.
Yn sgil y rhaglen ddogfen, daeth y rapwyr ynghyd i greu rap unigryw ‘UKRA’ (The UK Rap Anthem), gyda Mr Phormula yn rapio ei ran yn y Gymraeg â’r Saesneg. Gobaith yr ‘UKRA’ oedd arddangos amrywiaeth a chryfder y sin rap ym mhob rhan o Brydain i weddill y byd. Yn draddodiadol mae’r sin hip-hop i’w weld yn gryfach yn Llundain, ond gyda’r ‘UKRA’ rhoddwyd bwyslais ar gyfoeth talent rapwyr tu allan i Lundian. Ers ei gyhoeddiad ar YouTube ym mis Medi, mae’r ‘UKRA’ wedi bod yn hynod lwyddiannus, ac wedi cael ei wylio dros 300,000 o weithiau. Yr ‘UKRA’ oedd i’w berfformio ar lwyfan y MOBO’s dros y penwythnos. Cynhaliwyd seremoni’r MOBO’s yn Lerpwl ar y 3ydd o Dachwedd. Bob blwyddyn mae’r MOBO’s yn gwobrwyo ac arddangos talent gorau’r sin hip-hop ac r’n’b o ar draws y byd i gyd. Roedd yn anrhydedd enfawr i ‘Rap Britannia’ gael eu gwahodd i berfformio yn y seremoni, ac yn hanesyddol bwysig, gan mai dyma’r tro cyntaf i rywun rapio yn y Gymraeg ar lwyfan y MO-
BO’s. Ond rhai oriau cyn y seremoni, cyhoeddwyd drwy Twitter nad oedd y rapwyr am gael perfformio oherwydd problemau amserlennu. Mae’n siom enfawr fod y trefnwyr wedi penderfynu peidio llwyfannu’r perfformiad, ond hyd yn oed gwaeth eu bod wedi cyhoeddi hyn drwy Twitter. Yn dilyn misoedd o waith caled
gan holl gyfranwyr ‘Rap Britannia’, mae’n wrth-uchafbwynt enfawr i’r prosiect. Mae’n siom enfawr hefyd i’r sin hip-hop yng Nghymru, gyda rap ddwyieithog Ed Holden yn cael ei pheidio. Bydd Ed Holden yn parhau i berfformio ar draws y wlad fel Mr Phormula, yn ceisio hybu’r sin hip-hop yng Nghymru a datblygiad rapio drwy’r Gymraeg. Mae
Holden hefyd yn brysur iawn yn rhedeg ei stiwdio recordio: Stiwdio Panad o’i gartref yn Llanfrothen, Gwynedd. Gobeithio ni fydd siomiant y MOBO’s yn gam yn ôl i Mr Phormula, nac i'r sin hip-hop a rap yng Nghymru.
Newidiadau i Maes B, beth sydd i ddod yn Eisteddfodau'r dyfodol? Gerallt Rhys Roberts Taf-od
Y Gorlan, y goelcerth, y toiledau a’r cawodydd afiach, a llond cae o ‘bobl ifanc’ meddw - rhai o’r nodweddion sy’n dod i’r meddwl wrth sôn am Faes B. Er nad ydy i’r yl hanner mor fawr a phoblogaidd â gwyliau eraill dros y ffin, mae hi ers degawdau wedi bod yn rhan annatod o galendr yr Haf nifer fawr o Gymry ifanc. Ond, gyda’r Eisteddfod yn gwneud colled ar ôl colled dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, â’r geiniog yn dal i wasgu, efallai na welwn ni Faes B fel y gwelwn ni hi ar hyn o bryd yn y dyfodol.
Faint o 'awyrgylch gwyl gerddoriaeth' sydd ar y Maes Ieuenctid a Maes B? Yn rhan o’r holl grafu pen dros ddyfodol yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, â Leighton Andrews yn sefydlu ei dasglu i ‘foderneiddio’ yr yl fis d’wetha, tro Maes B yw hi yn awr i fod o dan y chwyddwydr. Ar hyn o bryd mae adolygiad yn cael ei gynnal o faes B, ynghyd â’r hyn mae’r Brifwyl yn ei ddarparu i bobl ifanc ar y cyfan. Gyda sawl Eisteddfod a Maes B hollol wahanol eu naws wedi eu cynnal yn ddiweddar, o faes cyfyng Glyn Ebwy i ehangder y chyfleustra y Bala, ac o neuadd i
gigs Maes B yn Wrecsam i lwyfan agored ym Mro Morgannwg, mae hi’n deg dweud ei bod hi’n anodd mesur beth sydd yn, a beth nad yw’n boblogaidd ymysg selogion Maes B. Un o’r syniadau sy’n cael ei gynnig yw dod â gigs Maes B i’r Maes. Flynyddoedd yn ôl dyma oedd y drefn, gyda cerddoriaeth i bobl ifanc ar gael yn y Babell Roc ar y Maes. Ond gyda’r rheol alcohol wedi cael ei lacio dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, â corneli’r Bar Gwyrdd a’r Bar Guinness yn
dod yn ardaloedd poblogaidd o’r Maes, mae’r llwyfannau perfformio wrth ymyl wedi golygu bod cerddoriaeth roc Gymraeg yn cael ei glywed yn amlwg unwaith eto ar faes y Brifwyl. Ar hyn o bryd mae unrhyw un sy’n mynd i Faes B yn gallu cael mynediad i’r Maes am ddim gyda’u band garddwn, ond prin yw’r Maes yn rhan o fywyd trigolion Maes B mewn gwirionedd. Gobaith aildrefnu o’r fath, felly, byddai denu â mwy o bobl ifanc i’r Maes gyda gweithgareddau i’w diddanu,
gyda rhoi prif lwyfan Maes B ar y maes yn un o’r syniadau hyn. Mae’r un ddadl dragwyddol hefyd yn dod yn rhan o’r adolygiad – a ddylid cael lleoliad parhaol neu beidio. Yn amlach na pheidio y ddadl dros beidio dod i Faes B yw ei bod hi’n ‘rhy bell’ - yn ddigon teg gyda taith o’r de i’r gogledd yn 4 awr ar y gorau ar yr A470. Felly os bydd lleoliad parhaol yn y canolbarth, neu un yn y de a’r llall yn y gogledd, efallai bydd y geiriau i’w clywed yn llai aml. Bydd yr Eisteddfod yn
arbed costau drwy gael llwyfan a bar parhaol hefyd – fel yn Wrecsam a Chaerdydd yn 2007. Ond yr wrth-ddadl yw y bydd safle parhaol yn golled ddiwylliannol i’r ardaloedd mae hi’n ymweld â hwy, yn enwedig ardaloedd di-Gymreig. Ond hefyd mae’n rhaid ystyried - faint o drigolion ifanc Llanilltud Fawr a’r Bontfaen oedd yn ymwybodol o’r Eisteddfod a Maes B, heb son â bod â diddordeb ynddi mewn gwirionedd? Mae’n rhaid gofyn hefyd faint o ‘awyrgylch g yl gerddoriaeth’ sydd ar y Maes Ieuenctid a Maes B? Dim ond gyda’r nos mae’r gerddoriaeth yn cychwyn – does fawr o ddim yn digwydd yn ystod y dydd ar y Maes Ieuenctid oni bai bod yr ysfa yno i fynd i’r Prif Faes. Mae’r Gorlan yn gwneud gwaith da yn wirfoddol i ddifyrru pobl yn ystod y dydd – ond yn hytrach na ceisio darparu mwy i bobl ifanc ar y maes, beth am gynnig mwy ar y Maes Ieuenctid? Fel gyda popeth erbyn hyn, mae’r cwestiwn o wneud pethau’n ‘gost effeithiol’ yn bwysig iawn i sefydliadau, â’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yn fwy na neb – os bydd yn parhau i wneud colled efallai na welwn ni Faes B o gwbl yn y dyfodol, gyda mi yn un o’r rhai a fydd yn gweld ei golled. Mae’n angenrheidiol felly bod y camau cywir yn cael eu cymryd yn awr i gadw’r yl yn rhan o’n gwyliau Haf!
32 / Letters to the editor Defending ‘No Platform’ – Defending Democracy
rom time to time it becomes necessary to return to a timeworn, yet crucially important question – “How does a democracy defend its self ?” In a recent headline piece, gair rhydd chose to re-release excerpts from an interview with BNP Leader Nick Griffin, originally published in the Leeds Student, despite Leeds Students’ Union’s ‘No Platform’ policy. We believe that gair rhydd has made the wrong ‘choice’. Notwithstanding the distress that this decision will have caused Cardiff Students, we feel that this is not about the rights of individual people to say things in a make believe world. Rather, it is about whether we, as a campaigning Students’ Union and gair thydd, as its instrument are free to come together in order to say that we will not tolerate fascism. Moreover, it begs the crucial question “Will we allow fascists to organise in our lecture theatres, bars and campuses?” If the threat posed by the BNP appears remote, then that is only because progressive forces, including Students’ Unions, have united in rigorous opposition during the past five years. As recently as 2007, Griffins party canvassed in excess of 943,000 votes to take possession of two European Parliamentary seats. Elsewhere, the BNP were posed to take control of local councils, both in London and the North of England (polling in excess of seven percent in North and West Wales). Since then, the fascists have witnessed a massive collapse in support. How was this achieved? By furnishing them with high-visibility newspaper editorials so that everybody could conclude how stupid they were – “enough
rope with which to hang themselves”? By defending their notional right to argue for the liquidation of trade unions, the voluntary repatriation of ‘nonindigenous’ UK citizens or suggesting that LGBT folk should be legally forced back into the closet? No! The facts prove that the BNP was successfully tackled through a combination of community engagement, counter demonstrations and conversations with ordinary people on their own doorstep! Most importantly, many organisations, through the freedom of their own democracy, resolved to deny the BNP the legitimacy that a platform constitutes! Of course, we would all love to live in a more peaceful world where each idea is calmly and rationally evaluated on its own merits. Unfortunately, instead of this, where the BNP organise, the facts prove that anybody who is held to be ‘a little bit different’ risks a greater likelihood of suffering violence and attack! In 2010, the boot-boys of the English Defence League (EDL) were still marching through the streets of multicultural cities like Cardiff. But, for the moment at least, they have been decisively defeated by a successful community mobilisations; most recently, in Waltham Forest. This is the freedom that we support! We do not call for a blanket, legal ban or parliamentary proscription. All that we say is that “we support our collective freedom to decide whether organised fascists are welcome in Cardiff University and the freedom of students elsewhere, including Leeds University, to make that same decision." As a group of CSU Society Committee members, Students and supporters in the wider anti-fascist movement, we feel that
in this case, the real issue is not one of free speech. Rather, what is at stake might be best summed up by the following question; “do the individual convictions of an SU newspaper editor trump our collective democracy as freely exercised by a strong, campaigning union?” We thus call on gair rhydd to immediately retract the article, provide the same press window (i.e. front cover and pages 4-5) in either one of the November 12th, 19th or 26th editions of gair rhydd for a counter article and, finally, for the CSU Sabbatical Team, ‘Change Makers’, Society Members and Students to initiate a debate leading to a referendum on a ‘No Platform Policy in Cardiff University.” Signed: Tomas Evans, President, CUSU Socialist Worker Student Society; Glenn Page, President, CUSU Plaid Cymru Youth Society; Imelda Barlow,LMHR Cardiff Uni; Aaron Kiely, NUS Black Students' Officer; Cerith Rhys Jones, National Chair, Plaid Cymru Youth; Jamie Woodcock, NUS NEC; Trish Clinton, NUS LGBT Committee (Women's Place); Mark Campbell, UCU London Met UCU (Chair), UCU National Executive Committee; Peter Hain MP, President UAF Wales; Cllr. Ali Ahmed, Chair UAF Wales; Maggie Simpson, Vice Chair UAF Wales; Jeffrey Hurford, Secretary, UAF Wales; Amarjite Singh, Treasurer,UAF Wales; Julian Goss, Liaison Officer, UAF Wales; Marianne Owens, Vice-chair PCS Wales; Darren Williams, Campaigns Officer PCS Wales (pc); Robert Goddard, Cardiff UAF; Leanne Wood A.M. Leader Plaid Cymru; Mick Antoniw A.M.; Lindsay Whittle A.M.; John McDonell MP; Paul Flynn MP
A response to religion and science
was very interested to read the discussion by Chloe Peirce on whether Science can be compatible with religion (gair rhydd isue 989). As a Christian myself, I without a doubt believe that yes, the two can be compatible with each other. Neither bases of knowledge, religion or science, has the capacity to swallow up the other, no matter how fiercely Dawkin or the creationists try to do it. Science cannot answer the questions of meaning and purpose in a lab, but neither can Christianity claim the Bible is a
modern day scientific text book. These two things, if they remain in a meaningful dialogue can help humanity acknowledge the truth within the universe. Polkinghorne, a once Cambridge mathematics professor, upholds science and religions compatibility. He asks the question: Why is mathematics so effective and why is the universe so rationally transparent? This question must be perused, yet within science we do not have the answer, for science exploits these gifts but cannot explain the origin of them. Christianity can. Science and Christianity can work compatibly with each other
for Science investigates the depth of the world and sees its beauty, while Christianity can explain it within its understanding of God as creator. Christianity and Science are only in conflict if one decides to be closed minded and intellectually immature. Within our university world, where all things should be discussed, all tools should be used and all knowledge appreciated, I urge you to explore the possibility that Christianity is true and that science can be compatible with it, and you may find yourself convinced. Adam Curtis
Cardiff Bay 029 2048 0490
Roath 029 2045 4555
Cathays 029 2066 8585
2013/14 lists out now
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34 / Puzzles
Rhysâ€™ Riddles Steve has lost all his money in Las Vegas. He still has seven nights to stay, but no hotel room. Luckily, he has a valuable gold chain, with seven sections linked together (as in the picture). Steve finds a hotel that will accept one gold link per night as payment, but with these three constraints: The manager doesn't like to be in other people's debt, so cannot accept extra rings up front. The manager doesn't like to be owed anything. Steve needs to pay the exact correct amount before each night. Steve is only allowed to make one cut in the chain. How can Steve pay the hotel?
Visit http://tinyurl.com/cy78845 for a very detailed explanation!
Last week's riddle answer: Steve should deliberately miss his first shot. If his first shot (obviously aimed at Moriarty) is successful, he will have to face a duel against Clyde, with Clyde shooting first. If Steve misses his first shot, then Clyde will shoot at Moriarty. Next, Moriarty will kill Clyde if still alive. In both these scenarios Steve will get a second shot against a single opponent.
Monday November 12th 2012 | @mediacsu
Listings November 12th â€“ 18th
Cinema Rust and Bone When Ali suddenly finds himself in charge of his estranged five-year-old son, penniless and without friends he seeks shelter with his sister in Antibes. Finding work as a bouncer at a local nightclub Ali meets Stephanie. When he sees her again she is in a wheelchair.
Theatre Chapter Arts Centre
Everyman Theatre end their session of Banned Plays with the notorious Spring Awakening. A group of intelligent teenagers are packed with 'education' but lack practical advice or emotional guidance. Act One society are also staging Spring Awakening the musical next year.
Clubs The Lash Every Wednesday Between free giveaways and drink offers, the Lash is the place to be. 10pm-3am
Music The Globe - Unsigned bands November 13th Wales Millenium Centre Van Morrison November 18th
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddsport
Keeping cool on the ice? Jacob Dirnhuber
Sport Writer An unnamed fan of the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team has been banned for five seasons, after an altercation with an opposition player during a match against Coventry Blaze.
a steward, a mascot and a nearby journalist. The journalist in question, David Simms of Sky Sports News, criticised the actions of the stewards, who in his view could have done more to prevent the assailant from reaching Olson.
apologies on behalf of the Cardiff Devils to anyone who was offended by the actions of a minority." Fighting between players is legal in ice hockey, and the supporter's attack on Olson came after a lengthy confrontation between players, following a series of contentious penalty decisions in favour of Coventry.
An unnamed fan has been banned for five seasons
The supporter, who was originally banned until the end of the season, evaded several stewards and approached defenseman Ben Olson as he left the rink. A video of the incident on YouTube suggests that the supporter then pushed the player, who retaliated by punching his attacker in the head. The fight was, however, brought to a premature end through the combined efforts of
However, the Devils CEO, Paul Ragan, has called for a public apology from Simms, claiming that, "as stewards are volunteers, they are for health and safety reasons not licensed to engage in confrontation." In a later statement published on the official website of the Cardiff Devils, Ragan apologised for the conduct of the supporter in question, offering his "sincere
As a result of the original fight, both Devils defence coach Neil Francis and Olson, were banned for one match each, while Cardiff forward Max Birbraer, received a six-match ban. Devin Didiomete of Coventry Blaze escaped punishment despite his contribution to the fight. Coventry Blaze players are being investigated for their part in allegedly provoking the Cardiff supporters, who claim that obscene gestures were made in their direction by the visiting team. The match ended 3–2 in favour of Coventry.
Cardiff Badminton teams experience a mixed start Wai Lim
Sport Writer continued from back page First up were Oxford, with James Klanczkowski undoubtedly the hero. The second-team star stepped up to the plate after the brilliant Richard Townsend and unpredictable Teo Jun Juan, were lost to graduation this summer. He emerged from his match victorious and clinched the win for Cardiff. The second match saw a trip down the M4 to Bristol. Their Danish contingent were strong in the doubles, but Cardiff’s spirit shone through in the singles fixtures, and a gutsy win ensured a top-of-the-table spot for the first time in the team’s history. Southampton were up next with an opportunity for Cardiff to stretch their lead at the top of the table, to three points. It soon became a fiery affair, as Huw Bowen and Wai Lim, found themselves on the receiving end
of a Bristolian outburst in the doubles. The pair rose above it, however, and emerged as proud winners. Despite the south coast outfit’s late surge, Cardiff kept their composure, securing another win and cementing their place at the top of the pile. The men’s second team appear to be emulating the start enjoyed by the firsts, as they too remain unbeaten at this stage of the season. The boys are hoping to continue in their next fixture against arch-rivals Swansea. While the men have enjoyed such a successful start to the season, the ladies are experiencing something of a crisis, after the resignation of team captain Olivia Payne. Her successor, Cerys Hickinbottom, has had to deal with a long list of injuries and a decline in numbers from last season. The newly recruited ladies coach, Nic Strange, is working hard to get the players up to scratch for life in the Premier League.
Sport catch up with Welsh cricket legend Robert Croft Tom Parry-Jones
Sub-editor Glamorgan County Cricket Club is set to host five matches of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, as was announced at a press conference at the SWALEC Stadium on Thursday, November 1st. Present at the event were the First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, Champions Trophy Tournament Director, Steve Elworthy, Glamorgan President and former ICC President, David Morgan, Glamorgan Chief Executive, Alan Hamer and former Glamorgan and England spinner, Robert Croft. The tournament, which will feature the top eight cricketing nations in the world, is to be played across 18 days in June next year, at The Oval in London, Edgbaston in Birmingham, as well as Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium, which will be referred to as the Cardiff Wales Stadium for the tournament. Six of the eight teams will be playing in Cardiff over the course of the competition, starting with the opening match on June 6th, between Cricket World Cup holders India and South Africa, who won the inaugural Champions Trophy in Bangladesh in 1998. South Africa will return to the Welsh capital for their final group game against the West Indies on June 14th. New Zealand are also scheduled for two games here, opening their campaign against Sri Lanka on June 9th before facing
England on June 16th, as the host nation completes its tour of the three venues. Cardiff will complete its duties as a host venue on June 20th, when the city will host the semi-final between the winners of group B and the runnersup of group A. Tickets have been made especially affordable for students this time around, with anyone under 21 being charged just £10 for group matches and £20 for the semi-final, compared to prices for adults of up to £50 at the semi-final stage. All cricket fans are encouraged to buy tickets for the event while they last, so as not to miss the opportunity to watch some of the best players in the world. Former Glamorgan spin bowler Robert Croft finally hung his boots up in September, after a 23year professional cricket career. He has now taken up an ambas-
sadorial post with the club, and one of his first tasks in the role, was to help announce the SWALEC Stadium as one of the host venues for the ICC Champions Trophy. How are you, Crofty? I’m very, very good – and I’m excited, to be talking about cricket in November. Yeah, it’s not something we often get the chance to talk about, especially with the weather we have in the UK. Well yes, and England are just embarking on a tour of India so it’s just starting to get cricket back in the minds of people, and also to announce what’s coming to our stadium next year: the ICC Champions Trophy. Eight of the best cricket teams in the world within touching distance if you come to the ground; you know, come on down and see us. How important do you
think it is, both for Glamorgan and the city of Cardiff, to get these ICC Champions Trophy games? Well, for the city of Cardiff, it’s obviously going to give a financial boost. That’s paramount, particularly in the current times. From a cricket point of view, if you’re a fan, you’re going to be able to witness some of the best cricket you’ll ever see. This ground, as well, is a very intimate ground – you’re very close to the players, so you can really feel what’s happening out there. From a Glamorgan point of view, our players will get the opportunity to witness what the best do. We also will be able to get a practice match against one of the teams – we don’t know which one yet, but we’ll get that opportunity. So yeah, it’s going to kick off something special, I hope. I hope so too. We already lost this year’s West Indies Test, and we had to give up next year’s New Zealand Test to get the Champions Trophy games; do you think that seems like a fair swap? I do, really, because things were proving very, very challenging, particularly on the Test-playing front. There seem to be more hotbeds for Test cricket in certain parts of the country than others unless it’s against some of the really big teams; Australia, obviously, India and South Africa tend to be at the top. So yeah, right now, I think it was the right thing to do. It’ll give, also, more
variety for people who follow cricket in Wales to come and see different teams play. And not just Wales! We’re just half an hour from the Severn Bridge, so plenty of opportunity for our neighbours across the water to come and watch us as well. Do you think that the SWALEC Stadium can really still be considered a viable international venue? Yes, I do. I mean, the financial side of the ICC Champions Trophy is taken on board by the ICC, so that’s not a financial pressure as far as Glamorgan is concerned. I think everybody has seen particularly how wonderful the Ashes Test match was, providing this exciting cricket. But it does need people to turn up and come and watch. People can’t really sit back in their armchairs and complain and moan about what cricket they’re not seeing because they can’t be bothered to get up and watch it. Do you think the ICC Trophy can ignite the Welsh sporting imagination? Well, it’s going to give us variety. Bristol is actually closer to Cardiff than Colwyn Bay is, so it’s not just about people in Wales; it’s about people who are prepared to come to Cardiff to watch a game.
Listen in to Xpress Radio this Thursday from 3pm to hear the full interview on From the Sidelines.
38 / Sport
Another elite athlete talks to sport Sport editor Rhys Clayton talks to flanker Arthur Ellis about life at the Ospreys and Cardiff Rugby Remember Varsity last year? Remember the score? You might remember a certain flanker getting over the whitewash. Arthur Ellis was involved in the game last year as a Fresher and found the experience amazing. By his own admission, he only “managed to sneak over from a yard”, but they all count, right? However, this season the University team haven’t been doing so well. Ellis has been away training with the Ospreys. Coincidence? Ellis may refute the idea, but perhaps Cardiff have been a victim to their own success. With the likes of captain Ross Wardle involved with the Dragons set up, and many players likes James Thomas playing well for Bedwas in the Welsh Premiership (the semi-pro level beneath the regions), it is little wonder that, combined with injuries, that the team are not at their best. Varsity is a long way off, but it’s clearly on the players’ minds already. “I want to make sure I am play the minimum requirement of games, and form and injury permitting, I can’t wait to be involved again." Back to the here and now, and Ellis is enjoying his club rugby at Bridgend in the Welsh Premier-
ship. It is his form at this club last season that means he is with the Ospreys now. Ellis explains “Steve Tandy, the current Ospreys coach, was at Bridgend for the first half of last season, and I think he likes me as a player. He’s a fantastic coach, and has made a
However Ellis is keen to stress how supportive the Business School have been towards his Business Management degree. "Julian Gould-Williams has been absolutely brilliant. He's been so helpful and understanding. I can't thank him enough."
real impact on my career.” Ellis made the bench for the Ospreys against Leinster, and although he didn't get on, he is hopeful to be involved over the next few weeks during the Autumn internationals. Ellis was again named on the bench for this weekend’s LV Cup match against Gloucester. During this International period, Ellis will be training with the Ospreys every day. Travelling to Swansea every day to train obviously has a big impact on studies.
This is very heartening to hear, and it’s always a pleasure to report on such dedicated students. As much as Ellis wants to make a success of his rugby career, he is grounded enough to realise that he needs an education to fall back on. “Rugby is my passion, and I want to play as much for the Ospreys as I can, but I’m determined to come out of Cardiff with a good degree. At just 22, Ellis has already had a more interesting career path that most. The first notable fea-
Ready for the Samoa
form for the Ospreys this season, and will be a constant threat to Wales. His ability to control the game from 9 makes him a valuable asset to the Samoa team and somebody Wales must keep an eye on. Samoa will be a very tough game for Wales, especially if a strong side isn’t selected. If the coaches pick form players who are able to match the ferociousness possessed by their opponents, then Wales should be heading towards a good victory.
F1 fever to hit USA
Arthur Ellis (left) enjoys victory in the 2012 Varsity victory
ture is the fact that he is adept at both the hooker and flanker role, two positions with very contrasting skills sets. “I prefer playing 7, but I’ll play anywhere to get game time. I think the fact that I can cover two positions is an asset for my team.” Ellis is in a good position to comment on the current Heineken cup debate. He started his club career at Wasps before moving to the Dragons. "I played for England u-18s and u-20s, started my club career with Wasps, and then moved over the bridge to the Newport Gwent Dragons. When I was released from the Dragons, it was heartbreaking. I moved to Bridgend (a semi-pro feeder club for the Ospreys), had a good season, and I managed to win a development contract at the Ospreys." "The Welsh clubs are a bit more...laid back, in their approach." (Is this surprising when he was at Wasps with the work fanatic Shaun Edwards?) "There's no relegation, however I'd say the style of rugby is more expressive." This is often seen at the highest level, with Wales' more open style in comparison to the more forward orientated England. On the topic of Wales, Ellis is
confident of a good Autumn International performance. Training closely with some of the Wales players, he has faith in the new prop, Aaron Jarvis, and also in Dan Biggar. "Biggar is an unbelievable player. He trains so hard. He gets a lot of unfair press, but he's such a nice guy." Considering that Ellis trained with the likes of some truly world class players at Wasps like Betsen, Haskell, Vickery, Worsley, Ciprianni, not to mention being coached by rugby legend Sir Ian McGeechan, league legend Shaun Edwards, he knows what he's talking about. And do those infamous ice chambers work? "I think so! They're not nice, but it’s only a 5 minute blast. You're always looking for anything to get the edge.” Talking to players who know the stars of regional rugby is always fascinating for this rugby mad student, and we discussed many topics including the Aviva Premiership, life at Wasps, the Ospreys, Varsity, and football (he's an impassioned Arsenal fan, for the record). I’d like to thank Ellis for his precious time, and on behalf of gair rhydd, I’d like to wish Ellis all the best in his rugby career and academic success. See you down the Liberty, Arthur!
Sebastian Vettel, who leads the Drivers' Championship on 255 points, and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso who is just 10 points behind. This season has been one of the most exciting and open competitions in recent years, with eight different drivers having stood on the top step of the podium. The likelihood is, of course, that Sebastian Vettel will claim his third championship title in a row, and in the process emulate some of the legends of the sport such as Michael Schumacher – the man he is often compared with.
pectations of the young England side are low. Despite India being heavy favourites for the series, England’s form in the preparation games ahead of the series has been positive. All-rounder Samit Patel has been picking up wickets and runs consistently, while Pietersen’s return has already seen him hit a century. Moreover, potential new opener Nick Compton’s form has carried on from a summer in which he hit 1,191 County Championship runs at an average of 99.25. He has passed 50 twice already in the warm-up matches. In the grand scheme of things, there is an argument that this is all very insignificant. In none of the three warm-up games so far have England faced an opposition anywhere near as strong as India, and so form in these matches is arguably irrelevant. In my opinion, England’s weaknesses are too great to win this series. For success on the sub-continent, a degree of comfort facing spin bowling is vital. There is no evidence that England’s batsman have collectively developed in their ability against spin since getting torn apart by Saeed Ajmal against Pakistan at the end of last year, and for that reason, I can only see England losing the series.
Your guide to the sporting week ahead... Nye Davies Sport Writer
On Friday, November 16th, Wales meet the current Pacific Nations Cup holders, Samoa, in a rematch of their 2011 World Cup pool tie. This fixture always has the potential to be an exciting affair. The Samoan team is renowned for its physicality, while the Wales team have been praised for their ability to run with the ball and cause damage with their potent backline. However, any fears that Samoa might out-muscle Rob Howley’s men might be eased, as Wales’ backline can be just as physical as the Samoans. If Rob Howley and his coaches make the right calls concerning team selection, then Wales will be able to outmuscle their opponents. If the coaches select the likes of George North and Alex Cuthbert on the wings along with big ball carriers like Alun Wyn Jones and Toby Faletau, then Wales should be able to match Samoa in every department. A weakened side should not be considered for such a difficult match, especially when Samoa will have the like of experienced wing Alesana Tuilagi and Ospreys scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i. Fotuali’i has been in excellent
Weekend Predictions England 19–12 Australia France 23–15 Argentina Italy 10–39 New Zealand Scotland 15–17 South Africa
Kieran Davey Sport Writer
With the dust having settled over the biggest US presidential election in history, motorsport fans will be gearing up for the return of Formula 1 to the States for the first time in five years. The venue for this year's race will be Austin, Texas, home of the newly built 'Circuit of the Americas'. The new circuit in Austin will host the first US Grand Prix since 2007, and is the first purposebuilt Formula 1 circuit facility in the country. In terms of participation and interest, the USA has a fairly limited history when it comes to F1; while events such as the American Le Mans Series have become hugely popular, there has not been an American world champion since Mario Andretti in 1978 and there are no American drivers in this year's competition. However, there is hope that this new addition for the racing calender will attract more viewers to the sport, as well as advertisers, who are likely to be encouraged by the long air-time provided by each race. As the 2012 season draws to a close with just two races left, most pundits believe that the title has become a straight fight between defending champion
Tough Test series Felix Bramley Sport Writer
On the back of being knocked off the top spot in the ICC world rankings this summer, England’s long-awaited four-Test tour of India begins this Thursday. It is an opportunity for England to rebuild and prove themselves in the aftermath of captain Andrew Strauss’ retirement. However, this will be no easy task given India’s strength at home on slow, turning pitches, where England have traditionally struggled. Having won only one of the past 14 Tests on the subcontinent since 2005, away to India, Sri Lanka or Pakistan, ex-
Monday November 12th 2012 | @gairrhyddsport
Smooth waters for Cardiff rowers Jacob Dirnhuber
Sport Writer Although Cardiff has never been universally regarded as one of the elite rowing universities, the rowing club's recent results have
2x category despite strong competition from Durham University, while the quad crew finished second in the final. It was a testament to the strength of the competition that Durham's
been putting some of their more prestigious rivals to shame. At the recent Diamond Jubilee Rowing Championships, Cardiff more than held their own in what Ian Shore, the head coach of Welsh Rowing, described as "a truly world-class field". Cardiff won the BUCS Men's
boat did not qualify for the final, despite boasting both a 2008 Olympic medallist and a current GB U23 squad member. Not only did Cardiff's crew finish with a silver medal, but they were also the fastest U23 crew in their category. Ian Shore, who coached the
victorious crews, was understandably delighted. "This weekend has clearly established our programme as one of the top programmes in GB. We are sitting at the head of the top table and there isn't a higher table to sit at. I have been coaching for 25 years, and due to the standard of the competition, these were by a margin the best results." He later went on to claim that Cardiff was now "the top sculling university in Great Britain". The recent success of Cardiff's sculling crew has led to national recognition for one of its members, pharmacy student and U23 GB international Josh Bugajski. In August, Bugajski was presented with the 'Welsh Rising Star' award, previously claimed by the likes of Gavin Henson and Nicole Cooke. In an interview with gair rhydd, Bugajski spoke of his "honour" at winning the award, "especially considering the number of world-class athletes who have previously won it". Bugajski was quick to pay tribute to the coaching that he has received at Cardiff. "Our training mirrors many aspects of the GB programme. It has moved on a lot within the two years since I started, and generally it's been improving the progression of our rowers. It says a lot that some of our top athletes, myself included, are relatively new to the sport (2–3 years) and it shows that the university is now able to develop athletes incredibly quickly. Even the largest and most prestigious rowing universities can't boast that at the moment."
Bugajski also outlined his rowing ambitions for the future. "So far, I've managed to surprise myself. I'm keeping the same philosophy as I did last year. I want to keep my feet on the ground, train hard and hope I can surprise myself again this year – I've got the chance to represent GB at the European championships, and hopefully that will lead onto representing the senior squad at the World Cups and Championships in the future. However, the overall goal is of course to go to Rio 2016 and bring back a medal." When he made the U23 GB rowing squad last summer, Bugajski managed to set a record that he considers to be a personal highlight. "I broke a British record in becoming the fastest male to go from first stepping in a boat when I first came to University to representing the GB u23 side. If I had to pick a career highlight so
far, it would probably be making GB U23 in record time." The success, however, has not been exclusive to the men's teams. Over the summer, Cardiff's female rowing team dominated several championships, including the BUCS Nottingham Regatta, the Metropolitan Regatta, the Reading Amateur Regatta and the Henley Women's Regatta, beating the likes of Durham, Manchester, Nottingham and Warwick in the process. Rowing at Cardiff has undeniably gone from strength to strength in recent years. However, just to maintain the current level of performance will require a monumental effort, according to Shore. "I will try and keep everyone's feet on the ground... this may be the best that it gets, but just trying to maintain this level of performance is going to take a lot."
Cardiff Lacrosse continue rich vein of form Victoria Farrant and James Tilley
Sport Writers It has been another exciting week for Cardiff University lacrosse club. Both the men’s and women’s 1st teams are yet to concede a game and, with the season decider coming up fast, all is to play for at this stage in the BUCS league. The men’s team played away at the University of Gloucestershire and fought for another impressive win with a score of 16–0. The ladies’ team played exceptionally well in their match against Varsity rivals Swansea University. The girls were keen to put their Varsity rivals in their place once again on home ground after an impressive win in the 2012 competition. Emily Cecil gave an outstanding performance, scoring 16 goals over the course of all four quarters of the game. Cecil opened the first quarter with three consecutive goals and further goals were scored by co-captains Emily Weighton and Anjuli Seaborne,
Flo Barker, Amy Rochford and Emily Hearn. A brilliant display from Cardiff’s defensive players meant
The first weekend of November saw Cardiff’s first tournament of the year, the Welsh Women’s Tournament. This was
squad, captained by Labhaoisa Cromie and vice-captain Rachael Brand. The teams were made up of a majority of beginners mixed with a few experienced players. The first match pitted Cardiff University’s Team A and Team B against each other. Exceptional play from Hannah Mayes, Beth Young, Charlotte Cummings,
Both the men's and women's are yet to concede a game and, with the season decicder coming up fast, all is to play for at this stage The ladies 2nd squad make a promising start to the new season that Swansea managed only two goals during the entire match, leaving Cardiff with an overwhelming win of 32–2.
organised by the Welsh Lacrosse Association and was played at home. Cardiff University entered two teams from its women’s 2nds
Rebecca Mussenden and Jess Wheeler led to a draw of 2–2. The inexperienced players showed hugely promising play throughout the tournament, especially considering most had picked up a stick for the very first time only
a few weeks earlier at the start of the semester. With the sun on their backs and an early draw under their belts, both teams were feeling good about the games to follow. Cardiff University’s Teams A and B then played a far more experienced Cardiff Club. The final scores were 6–0 and 5–0 to Cardiff Club respectively, but both were well-played games overall. For the final match of the tournament, Team A faced the prestigious Cardiff Harlequins team with only eight-a-side due to the Harlequins’ lack of available players. A respectable score of 3–0 to the Harlequins gives credit to Victoria Farrant, Vikki Thomas and goalkeeper Catrin Williams on University’s defensive side. This weekend sees an exciting mixed game against Imperial College London, who are staying in Cardiff for a mini-tour. Cardiff are looking forward to a relaxed and fun session, complete with a big night out. Best of luck to all involved!
Cardiff Devils ice hockey descends into chaos << page 39
Sport Monday November 12th 2012 | Issue 990
Cardiff to host ICC Champions Trophy
Sub-editor Tom Parry-Jones reports back from his exclusive interview with Glamorgan County Cricket Club ambassador and former player Robert Croft. The SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff is set to host five key fixtures in the prestigious ICC Champions Trophy in June 2013. see page 37
Photo: Tom Parry-Jones
Menâ€™s badminton top the table In this week's gair rhydd, Sport writer and badminton player Wai Lim gives his account of the Cardiff teams' performances so far this season. The men's first team are on a hot streak, currently sitting pretty at the top of the BUCS Premier League. Meanwhile the ladies have already experienced a change in leadership, as the captain stepped down after just one week in the role. They face a challenge to avoid relegation with dwindling numbers and
a long injury list. After winning promotion under the stewardship of Wai Lim last year, Dominque Brown has led by example as Cardiff men's 1st badminton has stormed to the top of the Premier League. Unbeaten Cardiff have seen off the threats of seasoned Premier League outfits Oxford, Southampton and Bristol. See page 37
After watching David Haye's latest fight on I'm A Celebrity, Wladimir Klitschko phones his brother. "Hey Vitali, you say this guy wants to fight you?"