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NEWS

Oil job losses in Aberdeen p.5

Free 24.01.18

The Gaudie FEATURES

A month in vegan shoes p.6

OPINE

The ethics of medical studies p.13

SATIRE

Star Wars Revisited p.14

Photo by Alistair Swan

By Chris McKinnon As 2018 commences, the University of Aberdeen still does not have a Student Rector, with the election having been annulled in December 2017. The results of the election have not been made public. The Student Rector candidates were Angus Hepburn (student candidate), Fiona Kennedy (OBE), Maggie Chapman (co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party and incumbent rector) and Andrew Bowie (Scottish Conservative MP). Throughout the campaigns, there were reports of misconduct by the candidates themselves or by the campaign teams. Soon after the candidates were announced, an open letter, requesting that Mr Hepburn be prevented from running, came into circulation. It accused the nominee of "homophobic, transphobic and sexist remarks." In Response, Mr Hepburn denied some of the accusations and apologised for the rest. On Monday 13 November, the Hustings saw an engaged debate between three of the candidates (Mr Bowie was not present) and

the audience. The questions ranged from fossil fuels, through mental health, to the 24-hour library. The voting also did not go without issues: around 200 voted failed to register, with students having to recast their vote. The results of the election were to be announced on Thursday 16 November. On Friday 17 November, a mass email was sent out to students, with the information that the election had been suspended. The Chapman campaign then launched an appeal, examining closely the various complaints that the campaigns had received, from the inappropriate display of posters, to campaigning in classrooms. The appeal also outlines the actions the campaign took and the complaints they themselves filled. An email from AUSA President Lawson Ogubie was also included. He states: "I was monitoring the campaign carefully, and nothing that happened could be said to have invalidated the result. While I accept that there may be circumstances in which the election might be annulled (such as a fist fight between campaigns, or widespread voter fraud) there was clearly no circumstance of that order." Finally, on 6 December, all students received an email, stating that

the election results have been annulled. It reads: "The Returning Officer stated that he did not, and still does not know, the result of the election." The email concluded, that there were concrete grounds for annulling the results, as the Elections Committee "was satisfied, in particular, that a significant number of campaign posters had been deliberately removed or covered up and it was very concerned about the [hostile] conduct of the hustings" and that these events "had the potential to influence the outcome of the election unfairly." As the Committee did not see fit to disqualify any candidates at this stage, it chose to annul the results and re-run the election, in accordance to a tighter set of rules. The dates of the 2018 Rector election have not yet been announced, however, it is expected to commence later this spring. Although the nominations are yet to take place, it is clear that Maggie Chapman is set to run again, whereas Angus Hepburn will not.

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24.01.18

Editorial

Edition 06: Death in December

Towards the final month of each year a large majority of us, despite best judgement, voluntarily submit to a total purge of morality, frugality and health in the name of a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It has become a morose pilgrimage where the very sight of seasonal paraphernalia is enough to stimulate an almost suicidal portion of the brain, where we are immediately devoted to bankrupting ourselves financially and committing to a level of gluttony so excessive that Caligula would blush in modesty. We stagger between the latter half of December into the throws of the New Year consuming or copulating with everything/anything within sight and purposefully ignoring any sense of responsibility, work or self worth for the very reason that we yearn for our spiritual resurrection in January. We sacrifice ourselves in December in hope of a better January. The mandatory Winter festival of excess is a deliberate exercise in exhuming all our base desires so that by the late morning of January first we can punish ourselves with Puritanical levels of self loathing that often result in the implementation of a strict new regime – booze free, gym memberships, read a book a week, new years resolutions that make us feel like a ‘new person’. In a sense, the seasonal depravity is perceived

as a necessity in encouraging us to begin the New Year in the most sober, well meaning mind-set possible. The physical and emotional fallout from a relentless fortnight of food, drink and merriment is a provocative symbol, a throbbing sense of guilt, that forces us to be on our best behaviour when it is finally expected of us. The question raised is whether the process of death and resurrection truly is a necessary ritual that we must perform annually in the hope that we can continue to be functional human beings at the beginning of each new year.

The question is certainly a broad one, which struggles with the notion of an intrinsic human desire for self-destruction and redemption. However, as I find myself sat in this familiar office space once again, I cannot help but let it preoccupy my mind. The return to a daily routine occurs almost seamlessly and before too long the manic cacophony of late December seems like a drugaddled memory from a long forgotten weekend. The stark realisation that the New Year is upon does bring a sense of normality and sobriety into life, which is welcome for a small while, but I hope to not give it too much more credence beyond all this. If I linger any more of the notion of a ‘Happy New Year’ I may as well lose all notion of the past.

We stagger between the latter half of December into the throws of the New Year consuming or copulating with everything/ anything within sight.

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24.01.18

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News

Editor: Emily Craig and Gabija Barnard

Begging has Doubled in Aberdeen Since 2013 By Emily Craig

The number of people begging on Aberdeen streets has doubled in the last four years. Research by Aberdeen Cyrenians states that 59 people are currently begging in Aberdeen compared to the figure of 31 in 2013. Aberdeen Cyrenians focuses on providing services, such as the prevention of homelessness, alleviation of homelessness, rehabilitation and resettlement. The research they conducted, which took place over 14 weeks, points to a 90% increase in four years, with 44 of the beggars being men and 15 are women. The number of beggars who are foreign has fallen from 12 of the 31 people in 2013 to 11 of the 59 people in 2017. Councillor Douglas Lumsdan, Aberdeen City Council co-leader and Aberdeen Conservative group leader, said: “It is disappointing to hear there has been such an increase. Even having one beggar

on the streets is too many. ACC and its partners offer lots of support to beggars and vulnerable people and it will be important for us to use this research to see if those services can be improved.” Out of the 10 beggars who gave information to the Aberdeen Cyrenians, 8 revealed they had alcohol or drug issues. 9 of the 59 beggars revealed their housing status, with one person being a rough sleeper, 2 sleeping on friends’ sofas, 1 living in a hostel and 5 were permanently housed. The majority of beggars were noted to be on Union Street, Belmont Street, Back Wynd and Market Street. The highest number of beggars were noticed between the hours of 5pm and 6pm, but research was not carried out later than this time. Councillor Jenny Lain, Aberdeen City Council co-leader and Aberdeen Labour group leader, said: “A few years ago, we pushed for a bylaw to make begging punishable by fine and this was rejected by the SNP at Holyrood. We felt this would have

allowed us to take action against people who were begging as a lifestyle choice while using resources to help vulnerable people who are in need.” Evening Express conducted research which revealed that the highest number of beggars is between 9pm and 1am, with Friday and Saturday being the busiest night of the week. An individual told Evening Express that he makes £200 on one weekend night. Mr McGiveney, manager of Unit 51, acknowledges the help that some beggars need, but believes that others are giving them a bad name. He said: “Lots of people come to Aberdeen from places such as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth and you want to be able to show them the best of the city, and that kind of thing puts people off visiting here.” Councillor Stephen Flynn, Aberdeen SNP leader, said: “The previous administration tried to criminalise begging. We rejected that stance and will always push for efforts to be made to ensure

the right support services are in place to protect the poorest people in Aberdeen.” The law allows for begging on streets and for beggars to receive money from individuals who wish to provide this freely, but it is illegal for begging to become aggressive. Steve Hughes, project manager of Aberdeen Cyrenians, said: “Our advice, information and drop-in service took 5,345 appointments in 2017 – an increase of 592 on 2016 figures. This service provides and assists with a range of issues including housing, state benefits, food poverty, fuel poverty, clothing, access to IT facilities, access to furniture, healthcare and employment.” Aberdeen City Council will use the data gathered by Aberdeen Cyrenians to evaluate whether the support currently available to beggars is sufficient.

Student Boat Race Going Ahead for its 23rd Year AUSA Opens Parent’s Room By MIe Astrup Jensen

Photo by The University of Aberdeen

By Beth Godfrey The University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University go head to head in March for the 23rd annual boat race along the River Dee on Saturday 17th March at 1.30pm. The event is sponsored by the global investment group, Aberdeen Standard Investments. In 2017 the University of Aberdeen won the race over the 3.5km course in a time of 7 minutes 03.4 seconds, winning by four lengths. This ended RGU’s winning streak that lasted 5 years. Henry Pettinger-Harte, the president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, is confident that his crew has what it takes to win again this year. The 22-year-old mechanical engineering student, said: “Breaking RGU’s winning streak was a huge achievement for the 2017 crew, and we’re determined not to hand the trophy back in 2018.

“We train alongside RGU’s rowers for much of the year, however as the Aberdeen Boat Race approaches our traditional rivalries bubble up to the surface. We’re in it to win.” RGU’s Boat Club president Erin Wyness believes that her team’s form over the past couple of months will give them the edge to get back their title. The 21-year-old events management student, said: “The Aberdeen Boat Race is unique in university rowing in the UK, as it’s the only major race which has mixed crews. “It adds an unpredictability to the race which is great for spectators, and gives us an extra challenge when picking the crews. I’ve been watching the RGU rowers during training, and they’re looking really strong, so I am confident about our chances in 2018.” The boat race, that is held every year is Aberdeen’s answer to the Oxford-Cambridge boat race. It follows a course from the Bridge of Dee down to the finish line at Aberdeen Boat club.

Alongside the main event, there are also alumni, second crew and media challenge races. Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and ViceChancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said: “The Aberdeen Boat Race is a fantastic event for the north east of Scotland, allowing students, alumni and the public to support the city’s finest student athletes. Every year the race seems to get closer and closer, providing a wonderful spectacle for those watching on the banks of the River Dee.” Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, said: “The Aberdeen Boat Race has long been one of the highlights of the sporting calendar in Aberdeen and the north-east, and generates much public interest and support. The students in both crews show incredible determination on the water, representing their universities with pride and friendly rivalry. I look forward to cheering on the RGU rowers in March for what promises to be an exciting race.”

Aberdeen University Student’s Association has recently opened a Parent Room for students and staff members with children. AUSA has renovated the room SUB 007, which is located on the ground floor of the Student Union Building, which was previously called The Hub. The room is for parents to spend time with their children. Donna Connelly, Education Officer, is one of the main figures behind the initiative and shared that AUSA had approved the idea as they acknowledge the importance of a parent’s room due to there being no alternative space for parents on campus. Ms Connelly, said: “The room came about as I was very conscious that we did not have a facility for parents on campus. I had been contacted in the past with queries asking if we had one.” Titiana Dovgan, a third year MSc Genetics with Immunology student and the Athena Swan Undergraduate Representative for Medical Sciences, is a parent who uses the room. Dovgan states that her children enjoy the space, which also provides another option apart from one parent staying home. Ms Dovgan, said: “This news makes me feel like the university is taking steps to support us. This is a very empowering thought that needs to be spread, especially with more women trying to return to the workplace or education after taking some time off to start a family. “Quite often the highest earning parent goes back to work, while the other stays at home sometimes all the way until children reach school age. This transition provides a great opportunity to do that degree and start a new career.” She would therefore like to see more campaigning and financial support to aid parents. She acknowledges that the university can offer help, and hopes this will become more visible. Eleanor Piret Alver, Mature Students convenor, explains that parent rooms are important to create a safe-space for babies, as well as a private room for breastfeeding. Ms Piret Alver, argues: “I do use the Parents’ Room, and my mother who looks after my daughter often waits for me to return from my tutorials/lectures in the Parents’ Room, so we can continue our journey home together. “The parents’ room is making the University of Aberdeen a forerunner among other universities and that is definitely something to be proud of.


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Concern Over Number of Animal Cruelty Cases in the North East of Scotland

24.01.18

Uber granted license in Aberdeen Student Body

Elections to Take Place Next Month By Lewis Macleod

By Ana Lorang

Figures released under Freedom of Information reveal that 87 cases of animal cruelty were recorded between 2012 and 2017 Since 2012 Aberdeenshire has recorded 87 cases of animal cruelty, with police having resolved half of them. In most of these cases, dogs were the main target as 65 instances of abuse have come to light since 2012. Ross Thomson, Aberdeen South MP, is outraged at the high and steady number of dog cruelty instances happening in his “friendly city”. Being a dog owner himself, he cannot comprehend how “anyone could mistreat their pets.” Mr Thomson said: “This is not a crime that is particular to the city of Aberdeen, but its predominance here and in Aberdeenshire is startling.” He warns inhabitants about the danger that comes with buying dogs from online retailers as “dog are being imported to the UK illegally” and therefore begs people to not consider these kinds of offers. In 5 years, police have been able to resolve 31 instances of harm against dogs committed in the North East of Scotland. The number of instances has been steady with seven crimes being recorded in 2014/15, another seven in 2015/16 and most recently, eight instances in 2016/17. Dogs are not the only target, as seven of eight livestock offences have occurred in the last two years in Aberdeenshire. Police Scotland are eager to resolve the issue as they “have the power to arrest an individual where there is sufficient evidence to support a charge against them, either for a common law crime or for a statutory offence where the statute empowers the police to arrest any person contravening its provisions”. The decision on whether convictions are made in animal cruelty cases are taken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Photo courtesy of the Evening Express By Sophia Brooke Uber, app-controlled taxi service, has been granted a license to operate in Aberdeen. So far, the date of an Aberdeen launch has not been disclosed, and Uber has made it clear that it has no plans to expand further at this stage. The service, currently operating in Glasgow and Edinburgh, allows its users to order and pay for a taxi through a smartphone app. It tends to be around 25% cheaper than a regular taxi. It also incorporates a ranking system: both the driver and the passenger rate each other at the end of the journey. Uber has recently had its share of controversy. In September, 2017, with London denied the firm's application to renew its license, citing "a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications” as the reason. Opponents also cite Uber's contribution to London's traffic, bad treatment of drivers and negatively affecting the established taxi system. In Aberdeen, the decision to grant Uber a license has not been fully supported. SNP MSP Kevin Stewart stated, that opportunities to object to the decision had not been provided. He said: "I think that the consultation itself has been farcical. I have had a lot of correspondence already from taxi drivers and constituents about the fact that there has been no consultation whatsoever." Mr Stewart also feels that more than one consultee should have been consulted under the circumstances. "The fact the council only talked to

the statutory consultee, which in this case is Police Scotland, and no-one else is quite outrageous. It's ridiculous that officers of the council have taken the decision to allow Uber to operate using delegated powers." Douglas Lumsden, Conservative co-leader of Aberdeen City Council is of the opposite opinion. He said: "Uber are just another taxi operator in my mind and this is why the decision has been made using delegated powers - as far as I'm concerned there are no issues with the process that has been followed." An Aberdeen Council spokesperson has explained that the move was standard practice. "Police Scotland is the statutory consultee for an application for a booking office. No other persons are directly consulted with for such applications." The spokesperson concluded: "As there were no objections, the matter was not referred to the Licensing Committee." Aberdonian residents have also expressed concerns over Uber entering the city. Apart from safety concerns, the issue of increased traffic has also been raised. According to one resident, "There's enough traffic in Aberdeen as it is. I also feel it would be unfair on existing taxi drivers who go through vigorous tests to operate in Aberdeen they lost their licence in London." Others have been optimistic about the city council's decision. One driver has expressed the hope of becoming more stable financially, as a result of partnering with Uber: "I think it is good thing, Aberdeen needs it. I'm struggling to make a living as it is, so if Uber means more fares and money then I'm all for it."

The AUSA Student Elections are to take place this month, with nominations opening on Monday 19th February. Elections for Sabbatical Officer, part-time Executive Committee members and student councillors will take place during this period. The elections provides the opportunity for nominees to represent student interests to both the University and wider community, and to run events and campaigns. AUSA has five paid full-time sabbatical officers, each elected by the student body. The elected individuals lead the Students’ Association throughout the year, covering remits spanning academic, sport, community, and welfare issues. Sabbatical officers provide the roll of student politicians whose job is to ensure that the association and the University are working in the interests of the students. Students can run in the sabbatical officer election at any point of their university career, even though it is more common for final year students to come forwards as candidates. Currently, the student body is represented by Lawson Ogubie, Student President; Emma Lister, Sports Officer; Kendall Ann Smith, Welfare Officer; Donna Connely, Education Officer; and Lewis Macleod, Communities Officer. AUSA will be hosting a range of workshops to help students prepare a campaign. Some of the sessions planned include Introduction to AUSA, Manifesto Planning and Design, Building and Running a Campaign, and Empowering Women and Non—Binary campaigners. The Student Association aims to equip students with the knowledge and support required to run a successful campaign, regardless of previous experience. Students interested in running for a position, whether full-time sabbatical, part-time executive member, or student councillor, should email elections@abdn.ac.uk with any questions. The voting is then set to take place on the week beginning Monday 19th March.


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Oil Job Losses in Aberdeen to Continue, Despite Growth Elsewhere By Aidan Walker

An Aberdeen City Council report has predicted that 5,500 more jobs may be lost in the city’s oil sector by 2027. Oil and Gas UK stated this indicated a need for fresh investment, with trade union official Tommy Campbell describing the figure as “very disappointing”. The disappointing economic news comes in the wake of the Scottish government’s decision to wound up the Energy Jobs Taskforce in September, which served to protect North Sea oil jobs. The figure taken from Skills Development Scotland’s draft regional skills strategy, indicated that it was “uncertain” whether or not the oil sector would continue to play such a central role in the region’s economy in the future. Additionally, the report stated that the oil sector slump impacted the property, transport, retail and hospitality industries, drawing attention to a need for a more balanced economy that does not place so much reliance on the oil sector. Such diversification has already began to some extent, with Skills Development Scotland having received over 2,500 applications from oil workers for funding to retrain, through their Transition Training Fund programme. The programme is one of many initiatives mentioned in the report which serves to assist oil workers. The report was not an entirely negative economic outlook for the north-east. It did indicate that job losses in the oil sector would be somewhat offset by an increase in opportunities in the digital, creative and financial service sectors. Furthermore, it stated opportunities would still be present in the oil industry for years to come. Conservative MP for Gordon, Colin Clark, stated, “The headline figure that a further 5,500 jobs could be lost over the next 10 years is alarming, but the assessment also states those losses will be offset by strong growth in other areas of the north-east economy. “The long term predictions are still for employment in the Aberdeen area to grow by tens of thousands up to 2027, but we cannot afford to be complacent.”

Photo courtesy of Thomaskc.com

City of Aberdeen Awarded Grant for Recycling Initiative

By Sarah-Marie Thomas

Aberdeen has recently been awarded a grant from Zero Waste Scotland to work towards the Scottish government’s waste and recycling goals. The city’s business improvement district, Aberdeen Inspires, with the consultancy of Zero Waste Scotland, is hosting an initiative aimed at improving trade waste services in the city centre. Both trade waste suppliers and contractors are to discuss ideas on how to make more efficient recycling possible. Moreover, they will provide

advice on how waste should be collected and stored in the city centre. Unsightly bins that block pavements had often led to negative feedback from residents. Geoff Cooper, City Centre Manager, believes that the project is going to make Aberdeen’s city centre more welcoming for both residents and visitors. On top of that, businesses in Aberdeen will benefit from the support. Mr Cooper added: “This is a very positive step forward for Aberdeen city centre. We often get feedback regarding trade waste bins in the

city centre and I’m confident our local business organisations will support us in delivering this new initiative to help us continue to create a more attractive and welcoming city centre.” Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We know many businesses share our vision of maximising resource efficiency and keeping costly waste to a minimum. That’s why it’s fantastic to see BID organisations like Aberdeen Inspired tackle costly and unsightly waste head on.” In Scotland alone, about 13.5 million tonnes of food and drink are currently wasted every year. By

2025, the Scottish Government wants to reduce waste by 15%, food waste even by 33%. Funding schemes like the one Aberdeen is now benefiting from are expected to be a great step towards achieving these goals. Aberdeen Inspired is also cooperating with Aberdeen City Council. Together they are planning to develop a trade waste policy that should help tackling the problems of waste bins blocking streets. They will bring the results of their discussion to the authority’s Finance, Policy and Resource committee on Thursday 1st February.

Aberdeen University Awarded £1 Million for Green Research

By Emiy Craig

The University has received a fund of over £1million from the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Award. Aberdeen is one of ten universities in the UK to receive the scholarship, to invest in a centre which will train researchers to develop technologies which transform organic waste into sustainable materials. Professor Masthoff, said: “This is a fabulous achievement for the University and builds on our reputation for outstanding postgraduate research training. The CDT will be supported by our newly established Postgraduate Research School.” The Scholarship award will fund 15 doctoral scholarships over three cohorts. The Centre for Doctoral Training will provide researchers with the tools to sustainably produce chemicals and materials from organic waste and consider the environmental and economic effects of these technologies. Dr Davide Dionisi, Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering, believes that the production of

chemicals in a sustainable way is an expanding area, with the goal of reducing a reliance on fossil fuels. Dr Dionisi added: “Our aim is to train a new generation of interdisciplinary researchers who will have the skills and knowledge to deliver our

This is a very positive step forward for Aberdeen city centre. We often get feedback regarding trade waste bins in the city centre and I’m confident our local business organisations will support us

vision of producing chemicals and materials from waste using renewable energy, as well as to assess its environmental impact and provide the economic and political arguments to encourage its uptake.” Professor Marion Campbell, Vice-Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University, added: “The University recognises that some of the world’s greatest challenges need to be addressed by interdisciplinary teams, and it is testament to our strength in this area that we have been selected for this prestigious award. “We are grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for the award which provides us with an exciting opportunity to equip the next generation of research leaders with the skills and expertise to address this challenging global issue.”

Photo by Alistair Swan


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24.01.18

Features

Editor: Alice King

Photo by Curacao

By Rebecca Clark

What is Veganism All About?

As the New Year takes hold, an alarming 40,000 more people have decided to ditch the cappuccinos and bacon butties and reach for the soy latte, humus falafels and vegan brownies. I will be one of them, for a week, to see what all the fuss is about. Ethics While I previously could understand why people would give up meat, with the spotlight being shone on the disgusting intensive farming methods used in recent years, I couldn’t quite understand the dairy industry. Cows would naturally produce milk, and milk has countless health benefits for humans including calcium to support our bones, and it helps prevents osteoporosis. Yet our ancestors wouldn’t have carried on drinking milk into adulthood, as the enzyme required to breakdown lactose would cease to be produced. And let’s not forget the harm it causes to the cows. Female cows usually produce around 2 litres a day for their calves, however instead are forced to produce up to 20 litres a day thanks to a cocktail of hormones and antibiotics. This causes joint problems with the extra weight, as well as huge amounts of pain. As I cycle through idyllic country lanes on my way to the Cairngorms, I pass large fields of pigs, cows, and sheep, all looking pretty happy to me. It makes me question what all the issues are with eating meat; they seem to have a great life. But the chance of the meat I buy from Sainsbury’s or Lidl coming from these local farms is very slim. It is more likely to come from battery farms out of public sight, boxed away in barns. Over the last six years, there has been a 26% rise in intensive factory farming, and this includes the rise to nearly 800 mega, US-style, farms in the UK. These are defined as facilities housing 125,000 chickens or 2,500 pigs closely packed together, and while this cuts carbon

Photo by Voncho

footprint, questions about the welfare of these animals have been strongly raised. Health Many people turn vegan for health reasons, not just for animal welfare. You can still get protein from beans, pulses etc. and cutting out dairy has shown to reduce cholesterol dramatically. Recent studies have also shown a link to cancer. Yes a steak tastes unbelievable (medium rare of course) but vegan steaks are now becoming a thing. Vegan cafes are popping up everywhere, and with Aberdeen having two, it has never been easier being a vegan. Big name restaurants have vegan menus and Ben and Jerry’s have vegan ice-cream – life seems pretty great for vegans right now! Environment Another main area to consider is the effect on the environment. A cow produces between 70 and 120g of methane a year, which does the same amount of damage as 2,300kg of CO2. This is equivalent to 7,800 miles driven by a car! The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) states that agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and cattle breeding is a large contributor to the figure. The clearing of forests for grazing and production of food for the animals also increases greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the carbon sink. In addition, the same land used to produce 1kg of meat could be used to produce 200kg of potatoes, not only helping the environment but also helping to feed more people including those in developing nations. Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO's Livestock Information and Policy Branch, stated, "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation." Middle finger to the meat industry By cutting out all meat and dairy products

many argue farmers and industry owners will be forced into action. Yet is avoiding it altogether the best way to bring about change? Some say we must work with the farmers to produce more sustainable methods, as these workers are merely doing the best they can to provide for the masses. One thing I disagree strongly with is subsidising farming. It should be a business working on its own or they must raise the prices. I think subsidising undervalues the produce, disconnects people from reality and increases waste. With globalisation comes greater transport of goods and services, and for the meat industry this means being able to eat produce from China, America, Thailand, Africa. It’s incredible really. But then comes the increased competition, the lowering of standards, the ultimate abuse of the system. Rice fields in Thailand are flooded to harvest prawns, but then they can’t feed themselves and instead become dependent on big companies for their income. The prawns have their eyes ripped out as they otherwise would be unable to mate in the small amount of water they are confined to. Buying wild caught Scottish salmon is of course much better ethically, however the future of the industry is a little shady, with increased demand and pollution stacked against decreasing numbers. And as more and more people turn vegan, the number of farms in the UK is decreasing year on year. In 2016 there were 21,000 dairy farmers but analysts are predicting as few as 5,000 left in 2026. Farming used to be the foundation of our society, but times are changing and as we become more conscious about where our food comes from, our dinner plate is changing dramatically, which only adds another dimension the debate! Going vegan for a week So how hard can going vegan be? I decided to go vegan for a week for find out for myself. After

taking advice from a vegan friend, I was optimistic and armed with a very different kind of shopping list – no salmon to make my stir-fry, no beef mince to cook spaghetti Bolognese, and certainly no milk to add to my much needed morning coffees. The first day was fun, as I spent my afternoon whizzing beans to make burgers and baking cinnamon bread rolls. But by mid week I was craving cheese: creamy extra mature cheddar thinly sliced onto freshly baked sourdough. Yet after a quick Google search, I read article after article shedding the light on the harm the dairy industry does to cows. As a woman myself, this especially hit me, as milk production for human consumption exploits the reproductive system, pregnancy after enforced pregnancy through torture and rape (but maybe I’m humanising them?). When female cows give birth, their young are often taken off them straight away leaving them stressed and agitated. By the end of the week I was a little depressed. Having learnt how my careless eating habit has caused so much harm over the years, I vowed to become a more conscious human being. And while that may mean still eating meat and cheese, I will check where the produce has come from and the ethical standards of the farms. And I will definitely be adding vegan recipes to my list of regular meals. The verdict: while it’s an effort checking every food packaging, I felt a lot more connected to the food I was eating, and after researching alongside, I could agree with most of the reasons why veganism is the way forward. It was easier than I thought and was really fun to cook and bake with new ingredients. I made cinnamon and date rolls, coconut curry and exotic and flavourful salads, all enjoyed by my friends too. But I know I could’ve done more – I continued to wear leather boots, and I am pretty sure my make-up was tested on animals. And don’t get me started on the honey debate!


24.01.18

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Photo by Its a mess

Reflections on the Massacre in Las Vegas and America’s Refusal to Give Up Their Assault Weapons By Jaeden Reppert Disclaimer: This article is in no way attempting to take a political side in this debate, or to promote the use of assault weapons amongst civilians. It is simply an attempt to impartially explain my reasoning as to why Americans will not enact gun regulation. On the first of October last year, I heard the news that there had been another mass shooting in America. I’ve been numbed to such stories, given the their reaccurance, so the news didn’t initially shock me until I saw the death toll. Fifty-nine dead and nearly six hundred injured made this the deadliest mass shooting in American history, and even then I didn’t feel overtly surprised – it almost felt inevitable. That evening, I found myself in the pub with a good friend. And it wasn’t until he questioned how America could witness so many of these instances with such ambivalence: refusing to take firm and lasting action. I took his words to heart and spent two weeks musing them over – the result of which is this article. Prior to the First World War, the only firearms that were accessible to civilians were pistols, shotguns and these were used primarily for hunting and personal defence. However, shortly afterwards the Thompson Submachine Gun, intended as a military weapon, fell into the hands

of the public. This gun quickly began to rise up the criminal ranks, noted for its high ammo capacity and its rapid firepower; Al Capone’s gang famously used the ‘Tommy Gun’ during the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre to devastating effect. Before this, the only firearms widely available to criminals were the above three, which had a limited rate of fire and ammo capacity. Thus the introduction of the Thompson revolutionised and magnified the world of crime. This is when I think the US Government should have begun to enact gun legislation. Unfortunately, as we all know, this didn’t happen and Most people would agree that it is now too late for America to attempt in regulating these weapons. In my opinion, this problem should have been addressed as soon as firearms began to be used by criminals because there are now around four million assault weapons in the USA, so anyone wishing to acquire one face little to no opposition or suspicion. I am often asked, being an American myself (more on that later), why do we not simply agree to get rid of these guns, after seeing the devastation they can cause. In order to answer that, I look towards the Second Amendment of the US Bill of Rights which states: ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed’. While I highly doubt that the Founding Fathers foresaw the advent of rapid-fire

machine guns, their intent was that the American people should not be forbidden from owning firearms, both to hunt, and to defend oneself and country if the need would arise. Many Americans who own firearms do so as a means of self-defense, both from criminals and the government itself. Some Americans hold the belief that if the government disarms the population, the ‘free state’ mentioned in the second amendment would be compromised because citizens would be deprived of the right to rebel against tyranny. Since this belief is so widely held, it is much harder for the government to pass anti-gun legislation. I grew up in Pennsylvania, on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, with metropolitan cities on one side and wilderness on the other so there were a lot of gun owners in my neighborhood. One man I know in the area is an avid gun collector and I have never felt unsafe around him or his guns. I also know people who own several guns for both hunting and self-defense with whom I am completely at ease with. However, I also have friends who do not own any guns, and who never should. The point I am trying to make, is that simply attempting to ban all guns is not the answer to America’s problem. Rather, the answer to America’s gun issue, in my mind, is twofold: while I do not believe it is possible to get rid of all civilian’s assault weapons, I do believe that stopping the sale of any

future assault weapons will, within time, help to lessen their use. In conjunction, the guns that are sold need to be monitored and catalogued. With more regulation, I believe that the continued owning of pistols, rifles, and shotguns is fine, considering their use in defense and hunting. Unfortunately, if there is a will, there is always a way. Tragedies such as the Las Vegas shooting can be significantly lessened, but cannot be altogether suppressed. As I have said, there are several people who own guns and would never think of harming another human, but there are also those who would. This leads me to contemplate an additional solution. People who own guns need to undergo far more extensive background checks and the waiting period to acquire guns should be lengthened. Furthermore, the mental health facilities in the US need to drastically improve. This is especially important because the majority of mass shootings were enacted using legally acquired guns. Perhaps, if the government worked to improve the mental health of American citizens, and the previously mentioned regulations were passed, America might be able to turn its back on regular mass shootings. I dedicate this article to those who died in or were affected by the recent Las Vegas shooting, and any other mass shooting in the United States of America. May they forever rest in peace, and may their suffering not be in vain.


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24.01.18

Science & Environment

Editor: Deborah Gillard

El Niño’s Long Reach to Antarctic Ice El Niño phenomenon explained

By Kelly Snow Many of us have heard of El Niño and its effect on global climate, now new research funded by NASA and NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship has revealed the impact these events have on Antarctic ice shelves. Published in Nature Geoscience this research is a step forward for scientists trying to gauge how the Antarctic will respond to a warming world. El Niño is caused by the weakening and even reversal of easterly trade winds, reducing the upwelling of cooler, nutrient rich waters from depth; causing the surface waters offshore northwest South America to warm. The El Niño’s conditions can be further boosted as a feedback loop between the atmosphere and the ocean and can develop leading to the shut down or reversal of ocean circulation. El Niño is officially declared when ocean temperatures are recorded at 0.5°C above average for five consecutive months. Typically peaking November to January, El Niño can occur every three to five years, as frequently as every two years or even as rarely as every seven years. Evidence of El Niño events go back thousands of years with findings in ice cores, deep sea muds, corals, caves and tree rings. The global weather patterns change in response to the release of energy from the warm waters of South America; and in the past half century major El Niño has been responsible for some of the great floods, droughts, forest fires and coral bleaching. The disruption of air circulation patterns

leads to more stable air over the Atlantic making it harder for hurricanes to occur while boosting such storms in the Pacific. Record rainfall is recorded in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and the United States; while droughts are experienced in South Africa, South-East Asia, Australia, Canada, and Pacific Islands. During strong El Niño events, the Amundsen Sea sector of the western Antarctic experiences a change in wind patterns, allowing a flow of warm water towards the ice shelves and an increase in snowfall. Scientists looking at satellite observations tracked the height of ice shelves from 1994 to 2017 and have now published the results. Initially data showed an increase in height from the increased snowfall, but further analysis identified that five times more ice was lost from basal melting of the ice shelves by waters being warmed up due to snowfall. While the melting of the ice shelves does not affect sea level rise as they are already floating, this new data as Professor Helen Fricker, the glaciologist on the project states “puts us a little bit closer to knowing what is going to happen to the grounded ice, which is ultimately what will affect sea level rise. The holy grail of all this work is improving sea-level rise projections”. The study further highlights the value of ongoing satellite measurements in Polar Regions, as the ice shelves in the Antarctic play an important role in holding off the flow of the grounded ice towards the ocean and a subsequent rise in sea level.

New Research Shows Increased Risk of Breast Cancer in Women Who Use Hormonal Contraceptives By Holly Leslie

With the number of women choosing to use hormonal contraceptives continuing to rise, potential risks of such intervention must be assessed. New research from Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen indicates that all hormonal contraception, with or without estrogen, carries an increased risk of developing breast cancer for up to five years after stopping use. It must be noted however that the use of hormonal contraceptives has also been associated with decreased risk of other cancer forms including ovarian, endometrial and cervical. Estrogen is known to stimulate mammary cell growth through estrogen receptor (ER ) however research by Yue W. et al (2010) attempts to uncover estrogen-independent mechanisms that may support undesired tumour growth, focusing on estrogen metabolites. Progesterone administration leads to thickening of the mucus lining in the uterus, preventing implantation of a fertilised egg. Ovulation, which is inhibited mainly by estrogen, has only shown to be inhibited when using desogestrelTM, hence is not traditionally the mechanism of action for progestin-only contraceptives. The Independent stated that approximately

140 million women use some type of hormonal contraception. Like most therapeutic intervention, prolonged use leads to increased risk of adverse effects with a 9 percent increase in risk following less than a year of contraceptive use and a 38 percent increase after more than ten years of use. The study claims that a longer duration of use correlates with a prolonged increased risk following discontinuation of the contraceptive in question. Women who have a family history of breast cancer continue to be advised to seek medical advice prior to starting the use of hormonal contraceptives. The authors of the study discuss limitations of their findings, acknowledging that they were unable to control for “menarche, breast-feeding, alcohol consumption, or physical activity, and [we] had information on body-mass index only for parous women” confirming the associationonly nature of the study. Reasons indicating such study underestimating risk include misclassification of prescription duration and minimal subjects with already increased breast cancer risk. Prior to release of recent research, it was thought that progesterone-only pills or combined pills with lower doses of estrogen would decrease the risk of developing breast cancer in later life however the importance of the most recent study indicates this not to be the case and highlights the need to continue research into increasing the safety of all forms of contraceptive pills.

Photo by Rappert

By Natalia Dec

Bionic Hand Can Feel

Almerina Mascarello, who lost her hand in an accident nearly twenty-five years ago, stated that for the first time in years, she “feels complete”. She received the first ever bionic hand with a sense of touch to be worn outside the laboratory, developed by scientists in Rome. In 2014, the same team developed the first version of the prosthetic which, while functioning, required sensory equipment too large to be portable. The development team consisted of engineers, surgeons, neuroscientists, as well as robotics and electronics specialists from Italy, Switzerland and Germany, all working to ensure that the previously non mobile sensory equipment was small enough to fit an average-sized backpack. Almerina, when speaking of her hand, stated that “it’s almost like it’s back again”. The hand represents another revolutionary leap in human prosthetics: a linkage between

Photo by Arm with Science

the machine and the human body via nerves. A series of sensors detect whether an object is soft or hard, and then relays that information to a computer. The signals are converted into a format which the human brain can understand, and are transferred via tiny electrodes implanted in the nerves of Almerina’s upper arm. Almerina, who remained blindfolded, was able to ‘feel’ whether an object was soft or hard during laboratory tests. To a journalist from the BBC, she described the feeling of using the hand as “spontaneous, as if it were your real hand”. She continued: “You’re finally able to do things that before were difficult, like getting dressed, putting on shoes—all mundane but important things. You feel complete.” While the prototype prosthetic has now been removed, Almerina was able to keep it for six months. The team has stated they hope to reduce the size of the equipment even further, and eventually release it for public use, leading to commercialisation.


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arts culture fashion lifestyle food gaming technology


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intro N

Highlights

ew Years end up old Resolutions unresolved Might as well just drink -GL

A Blossom in the East The in-depth story of Mariupol

Logan Paul YouTube’s reponse to the vlogging king

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Aberdeen Art Gallery

Editors Alex Kither & Mira Bagaeen

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IV Editors Arts - Grant Lawrie Life and Style - Metodej Novotny Gaming and Tech - Daniel Fenn-Tye Alba - Antonia Uri

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How long will we be kept waiting?

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Restart your term with poetry and good vibes

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life and style | reflection

Fascism, Communism, F*ck-it-ism, Populism: How the latest fashion in a long line of trend-pushing political outerwear may be Liberal Democracy undercutting itself and bringing about our ultimate doom By Hanna Kahlert You’ve probably decided to read on because of either the radical political terms or the fashion metaphor; if it’s the latter I am sorry to disappoint, but my creativity in that specific vein has completely been exhausted in the creation of that title. If, however, you’re interested in almostreadable politics, which you should be because it’s interesting (my opinion) and it will determine the way the rest of your life pans out (be that ten more years until the nuclear holocaust, a George Orwell 1984 scenario, or an actual liberal democracy where you have to get your ass out of bed and vote once in a while to keep the world free of zombies, chaos, and general destruction – actual fact), read on! Let’s start off with a test: do you recognize any of the following names? Donald Trump, Marine le Pen, Bernie Sanders, Fidel Castro, Sarah Palin, Hugo Chavez, Boris Johnson, Adolf Hitler. Fortunately for my article, none of these names are boring. What do they have in common? They all are considered to be generally populist. Obviously, then, the term is a very broad one. So, let’s step back, because some of you are probably reconsidering what the term ‘populist’ actually technically means. It is, after all, difficult to conceptualise Bernie Sanders and Adolf Hitler as related somehow in their political discourse, but, hey, it’s a weird world we live in, and I promise this will all make sense eventually.

The problem with populism (well, one of them, anyway), or more specifically the problem with talking about populism, is that it is not very well defined because no academic scholar can just agree with anyone else about it, and yet it has this massively negative connotation which automatically means you picture generally bad things when you think about it. Boris Johnson. Shudder. ‘Populism’ seems, and those who are considered populist seem, cheap; it’s catering to the whim of the majority without an eye for the subtleties or mundane necessities required to run a government. It disempowers intellectuals and experts and gives nuclear weapons to rich and powerful 71-year-old business tycoons who just want to watch reality TV all day, simply because they said what people wanted to hear. However, it is also, in principle, a renaissance of democracy in that populism impassions and empowers those who are experiencing losses in a time of societal change, and causes them to seek to once again take control of the government ruling their daily lives. Populism isn’t based on a result, it is a type of discourse, or ideology, or political style (it depends on which academics you ask; trust me, I had 4000 words due last Friday on this, and they all say the exact same thing in a different order and then can’t agree with one another because their order is more correct and it’s so horribly annoying). It basically

Cleansing your mind the way you cleanse your skin By Ebba Strutzenbladh

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sets goals and determines certain types of behaviour for a group, but does not actually determine what those goals are. Also importantly, populist discourse is not always the same as populist goals, so while Hitler may have said he wanted the best for Germany, what he actually did, including amongst other things try to take over the world, systematically kill (at the broadest definition) 17 million people, and effectively cause the country’s second downfall and bisection, was not exactly on the table at the time of his election. Populism is, by nature of its very name, most characterised by its attention to what will make it most popular, and that is not always linked very closely with things like ‘truth’ or ‘reality’. Right-wing populism gets the most attention and usually does the most damage, which is why we know populism best by its least savory characters. However, it must be said that as it is simply a method of discourse – being popular, reaching out to a disempowered people on their level, promising change and restoration of that which is good, and a very open type of simplistic dialogue, it is not always a bad thing. Bernie Sanders was also populist by this definition; he ran for election from outside the system, appealed to the discontented youth, promised change and a return to more honest governance, and was insanely popular over the internet for such things as a bird landing on his podium at a rally, etc.

So, what exactly is populism? Well, basically, it’s a warning sign. Populism emerges when modernisation occurs, and the government can’t keep up, and people slip through the cracks. It occurs when people get bored of bureaucratic necessity, and someone stands up and makes them interested in politics again. Populism is the dark side of democracy: the people take control, but the principles guiding them are hazy and indistinct, and the results are more mythical than realistic. When someone shows up at a podium and promises beautiful things in vague terms, when ideas stand strong and details just seem to not exist, it is easy for the emotional parts of ourselves to get wrapped up in a vision of what could be and to want to help in its realisation. But take two steps outside the myth, and reality seems scarier. People who believe in a dream world don’t take care of the real one quite as well. So, if nothing else, when the word of the day is ‘populism’, take it as a warning: not because evil approaches in the form of a guinea-pig-haired leader, but because it means people are cheering about ideas that no one understands – and no one particularly wants to. And that, ladies and gentlemen and anyone on the spectrum between, that is when society crumbles.

Looking for something to do once you’ve peeled that face mask off your face? In need of a new project since you spent all your money, and your skin got really dry from that ‘moisturising’ face wash anyway? If yes, this is the article for you. I recommend you to turn to the art of the ancient tragedy, and its concept of ‘catharsis’. Like all long words that you’ve seen before but can’t quite place, it’s Greek, and it means ‘purification’ or ‘cleansing’. It is, supposedly, what the Ancient Greeks would have experienced after having watched a tragedy at the theatre. They believed that an extreme change in emotions – such as when you see a fictional hero experience overwhelming suffering – would clean the mind in the same way as we today are convinced that a face serum will clean our skin. So yes, you can start by reading all the classic writers of tragedy: Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. People will murder their parents. People will backstab

their siblings and friends. People will marry their mothers by accident and then cut out their eyes when they realise their mistake. If you’re looking for swift changes of emotion, this is a treasure trove. What you can also do, however, is look to our modern tragedies; East Enders. Reality TV-shows. American politics. There will be backstabbing galore, and surprisingly often people will have problematic relationships with their parents or children (‘If Ivanka were my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her’). What I’m saying is that you can continue doing EXACTLY what you’ve always done, watch what you’ve always watched – but you get to tell yourself those ‘NO HE DIDN’T’-moments are purifying your mind. The bottom line is, treat your mind the way you treat your skin – and don’t shame yourself for it. If the idea of catharsis feels too unscientific for you, I can let you in on a little secret: there is nothing as unscientific as skin-care. It’s about the feeling, not the facts.


life and style | food

Overnight Porridge By Metodej Novotny The history of this recipe dates back to my first year, when I got access to the kitchen deep in the Adam Smith House dungeon in Hillhead. Sure, we shared two small fridges between eleven people and I had to balance three eggs on top of each other to make them fit, but as most of your food got stolen anyway, it didn’t matter. I was young, innocent and excited by my first encounters of Scottish culture – kilts, ceilidhs, folk music, drunk people fighting on Belmont Street and the overuse of the f word. Finally having access to a kitchen without my mum watching me nervously (she never recovered from the mishap when I tried to skin a carp filet) unearthed the long forgotten culinary ambitions. And there was only one truly Scottish ingredient I could afford – oats. I really got into oats. I cooked them. I ate them raw. I baked them. I fried them AND baked them. There is so much more potential once you ignore the dogma of the boring sweet porridge. Like savoury porridge. With carrots. Or whisky (without carrots). I read a 19th century theory by some British scientist that linked the consumption of oats to development and the lack of it to degeneration. Based on this I could pass my entire time at university without studying once as long as I ate enough porridge. With purely oats and milk for breakfast, flapjack for lunch and porridge for dinner I managed to live almost purely on oats. My happy day of sowing and cooking oats came to an unhappy end when I tried frying porridge with eggs mixed in. I just couldn’t eat them anymore for quite some time after that, which indisputably explains my falling test scores. Having tried oats through and through, there’s no better way to prepare them than overnight porridge. If you can force yourself to prepare it in the evening, you will be rewarded with the best healthy breakfast you’ll ever have. Ingredients: Some oats Some milk Some yoghurt Some spices Some sweetener Banana Fill your cereal bowl with oats up to one third. Mix spices in (cinnamon recommended). Add banana chopped into circles. Add some sweetener if you want. Add milk and yoghurt to an approximately 1:1 ratio, and mix thoroughly into a fairly liquid substance – it will thicken significantly overnight. Store in the fridge until morning. Pig out.

Photo courtesy of Well Plated by Erin

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life and style | living

A Blossoming Flower on a Hill of Steel The Cultural Renaissance of Eastern Ukraine

Photo by Elias Huuhtanen & Robert Halenius

By Elias Huuhtanen and Robert Halenius Suspended over the high streets of Mariupol, the golden tridents of the Ukrainian coat of arms decorate the banners in Eastern-Ukraine. In the centre of the city, the street forms a large roundabout around Teatralnyi garden. An imposing fountain in the middle of the garden serves as a common rendezvous for the city. Enclosed in the midst of tall oak trees, the granite fountain wreaths the surrounding square in a mist of water in the colours of a rainbow. Every weekend loudspeakers blare Ukrainian folk songs. The elderly people of the city fill up the park, waltzing candidly in their Sunday clothes. Occasionally, teenagers join in the dancing, laughing cheerfully as they scamper around. Mariupol, The Steel City of Eastern Ukraine, is located near the Russian border on the coast of the Sea of Azov. Twenty kilometres East of the city centre, Ukrainian folk songs are replaced with artillery and mortar fire. The ongoing war between the Ukrainian government and the separatists of Donetsk People’s Republic has claimed the lives of more than ten thousand people. The people of Mariupol, however, are seemingly heedless of the conflict. The reality of the city is far from the barren, war-ravaged image that is conveyed to the West through the media. Pictures of camouflaged snipers manoeuvring through ruins of concrete and scorched tanks rusting on the grey roadside feel distant. On a fast glance, it is difficult to find signs of the conflict in Mariupol. When the rebels declared Donetsk

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as the capital of their separatist state in 2014, Mariupol, being the industrial centre of Donbass region, became their main target. In the eve of the conflict, the separatists were able to occupy Mariupol with the familiar tactic observed in Crimea: green men appeared out of nowhere, seized important buildings in the city centre and drove the overwhelmed army away from the city. “Mariupol, however, is not the same as Crimea or Donetsk”, tells a local filmmaker, Sasha Protyk. “When the rebels were only miles away, thousands of people were queuing at the volunteer battalions, donating clothes and supplies.” A different spirit surrounds Mariupol. The city was mainly defended with the contribution of volunteers. When the rebels were occupying the city centre, a local funeral company staged a protest against the invasion. A metallic funeral casket was tied behind a black hearse with an iron chain. The casket was then driven around the separatist positions through the streets of Mariupol. The hearse was accompanied by an infernal racket, as the steel casket clattered against the asphalt and pavement. The letters DPR, Donetsk’s People’s Republic, were engraved on the side of the casket. The escapade carried an omen of the future. The burnt ruins of the old police headquarters stand as one of the few remainders of warfare in the city. When the city was recaptured by the locals, the remaining separatists occupying the building were dug out with heavy weaponry.

Twenty people died in the ensuing firefight. This time, the caskets brought only silence. Locals speak of the Renaissance of Eastern Ukraine. The eruption of the conflict marked the beginning of a new era in the East. The rebels in Donetsk acted as a catalyst for a new societal awakening. “The separatists created a brain drain in the region. The most socially active part of the population in Donetsk was affected by the pressure of the separatist government the most, and decided to flee,” Protyk recites. “Even those, who were uninterested in politics before the conflict, became activists.” As a result of the conflict, some 1.4 million people became refugees within Ukraine. Some decided to stay close to the warfare. Diana Berg, 37, is one of them. Tall cedar trees overshadow a dark brick-plated building on a quiet street close the centre of Mariupol. Its black wall is smeared with bright blue graffiti: swastikas, white supremacist symbols, and insults against the owner. Bullet holes glimmer in the dingy windows, reflecting the Autumn sun from the dirty glass. A metal door on the side of the building reveals Art Platform TIU – an art gallery. “Negative feedback is more vivid and visible because we don't hide it,” Berg answers when asked about the smears. “We consider writings on the walls or bullet holes in the windows as scars of TIU.” The manager of the gallery, Diana Berg, is one of the Donetsk citizens who had to leave their home after the


life and style | living

Photo by Elias Huuhtanen & Robert Halenius

conflict. Berg, who speaks Russian as her first language, identifies as a Ukrainian. She believes in a unified Ukraine where both ethnic Russians and Ukrainians can live in peace. Working as a graphic designer before the conflict, Berg was completely uninvolved in politics. In the spring of 2014, when the separatists occupied Donetsk, Berg saw it as her duty to voice her opinion. 28th of April in 2014, Berg was organising demonstration of thousands of people in Donetsk, supporting the unity of Ukraine. Masked men attacked the protest with clubs and whips and hospitalised many of the peaceful demonstrators. That was when Berg decided to leave. Vehemently, the activism persisted. Berg’s Art Gallery provides a platform for completely new ideas in Eastern Ukraine. At the moment, there is a feminist art exhibition in TIU: paintings of axe-wielding women, mannequins dressed up in traditional vyshyvanka-dresses with vagina embroideries, and large posters condemning violence against women. “Although some might say our initiatives are shocking and provocative, we are actually just trying to open the city for modern culture,” Berg says. “Edgy festivals and events, punk and queer groups, modern performers and artists, avant-garde theatre and authors. All this is unprecedented in Eastern Ukraine.” Many of the politically active refugees had all the means

to flee far away from the killing. For some, however, it did not feel like the right solution. “When I was forced to flee from Donetsk, I was travelling around the country for almost 6 months, from Kiev and Dnipro to Odessa and L’viv. I could not, however, accept the fact that my home was lost, and one day I decided to drive as close to Donetsk as possible – that is how I ended up in Mariupol.” Effectively, the aim of Berg’s activism is to open up the society for change. The purpose is to get the normal, working-class people to participate in politics. This is to prevent the events in Donetsk from repeating. The rebels were able to occupy a city of million inhabitants because most of the population is afraid to voice their opinions. When it comes to the resolution of the conflict, Diana Berg dares not to be optimistic. She tells that she has waited for the end of the war for too long. “Thinking about the conflict is too painful. However, I am sure that there will be peace one day but, until then, can only do my best to change things around me. When the conflict is over, I will be the first of the hundreds of thousands to go back home.” In Mariupol, it is called “coffeehouse democracy.” After the influx of refugees from Donetsk, a number coffeehouses were established where they could debate politics free of interference. “People are used to seeing government officials as gods,” says Maksim Borodin, a local MP and the head

of commission of ecology in Mariupol. “People are afraid to bite the feeding hand, and it is easy to buy someone who has nothing.” Borodin is a local politician, known for his work anti-corruption and environmental activism. He explains, that the coffeehouses are an important change in the political paradigm of Eastern Ukraine. “The success of the separatists was possible because people did not have access to information. Projects like the coffeehouses increase awareness and participation,” Borodin reveals. People in the East are used to the commands coming from above: be it the oprichnik of the Tsar, a politruk of the communist party, or an oligarch of the steel factory. The renaissance of Eastern Ukraine is a process where an increasing amount of people are involved in participating in the society. Gazing to the future, Borodin can already sense a change in the mindsets of people. In 2012, he was organising a 13,000 people demonstration against the environmental problems of the local iron works. The waste water of the factory used to be flown straight into the sea. Due to the pressure of the people, the factory was forced to enact tighter environmental controls in the factory. “We are on the right path. In time, the sea, and the community itself, will recover.”

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arts | opinion

New Year, Same Me By Anita Markoff New year new me, new hair new me. Social media is littered with these catch phrases, sparked by the strong human desire for change. We are always longing to upgrade, as if we were pieces of technology. People search for the best versions of themselves in new year’s resolutions. Maybe if I go to the gym more I’ll feel beautiful. Maybe if I study harder I’ll feel self-worth. The problem is, often the qualities we are looking for can only be taught by the wonderful and painful surprises life throws at us. Time and life experience is what teaches you to feel comfortable in your own skin, to feel like you deserve to be valued. Spending time taking care of your body and keeping it in shape, or pushing yourself to achieve the academic grades you know you’re capable of are good habits to have. But when you are poised on the brink of a new year, about to fall into it in a shower of champagne glasses and cheerful cries from friends or family, you are starting a new day. Not becoming a new person. Every single day gives you the chance to live your life a little better, to be kinder, to put more effort into the activities and people you care about. Waking up in 2018 won’t do that for you. Only you can do that for you. And you can do that every morning of your life, not just on New Year’s Day. Be honest with yourself. The things you are looking for are often deeper than the simple resolutions you write down, and sometimes they are things you have no control over. You can’t force yourself to feel beautiful. Maybe going to the gym will make you feel that way, but maybe not.

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Reading more books might not cure your depression. Taking up a new hobby might not distract you from your failing relationship. Spending more time with your friends might not make you more compassionate. Buying a dog may make you more responsible for taking care of a living being, but you are also a living being who deserves to be cared for by yourself. Think deeply about the real reasons you’ve made the resolutions you have. Will doing these things change the issues you are actually trying to tackle? The truth is, most of the time when you change, it won’t even be through conscious decisions of your own. Unexpectedly getting a new job can teach you responsibility and give you confidence. Catching a plane alone can teach you independence. Wearing a hippie outfit your friend got you as a present can make you realise you are happy with the way you look. Or dying your hair pink, or discovering a Youtuber who explains your favourite makeup look. Life will naturally change you without you having to do all the work yourself. In a year you will be different than the person you woke up as today. One day you will achieve your potential, be in a good relationship, know how to treat people with compassion, be able to cope positively with mental health problems, and be independent and brave. The things that matter will happen to you over time, not by sheer willpower, so don’t stress out too much about it. Think about how your resolutions reflect on you as a person, and then get out there and live your life.


arts | poetry Poetry by Ian Macartney

For maybe not love but certainly company I want to share these waves with you, their miracle in folding to tunnels of topaz light, topless cones, telescopes of temporary perception from the underside of sand-reflection. I see more here, the pan of sea-foam like cloud cover, scooped golden ice cream, thick vanilla, whatever— maybe not for love but certainly company I want to lead you to congregations of pebble like bird eggs, some boulder-dashed balderdash waiting for the right time, like: I imagine sand barriers were the spines of grand hulls, once. Groynes. I can dream in Aberdeen, the granite bank submerged in sand, where old couples can still stroll as magnetic miracles on the drizzly promenade, holding hands. So can we maybe not love, but certainly keep company? In this place far-out fishing boats stick close, like a gang of children in the upper school; your brethren, I’ll always think, whatever the truth. Fat drops fall on my phone, a speckled rain-moult garbling my unspoken words. I wonder if out there is how you’d roll a joint— forever uncertain waves curled towards a complete shape before dispelling, fantastic kelp twirled into moving mountains, then sand. For that, Aberdeen Beach, November 2016 (13th)

Mother Fish , from which all life sits in its cerulean womb, clicked an alien tongue against the bank, percussive. Each outward gulp shot moons to the shore. Clotted air— bubbles sketched intricate veins behind the waves, ashen valves, the thread from kelp’s absence. Think the fronds of jellyfish, this the body of a jellyfish nestled as anti-peninsula between the land’s crab-hand, the encrusted jewels of heather and me Going back to the divide Again Uncertain of all this giving Jumping freely over stones The teeth of the beach

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arts | aberdeen

Photo courtesy of Laurence Winram Photography

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arts | aberdeen

The Waiting Game for Aberdeen Art Gallery by Phoenix Archer

So, it’s a new year, a new month, and a new semester. Daylight is growing and the desire to keep the new year resolutions is still strong. You want to do some exercise on the cheap and try and get a bit more cultured. Seeing the odd play at His Majesty’s Theatre (HMT) costs you an arm and leg, even if you’re a student and many of the shows are on in the evening. That’s prime essay writing time so a quick lunchtime walk to the museums is cool. You’ve been to the ones on campus hundreds of times, since they’re on campus after all and the Tolbooth and Maritime museums are alright, but the displays don’t change much. The Art Gallery still isn’t open. Hold on! Wasn’t the gallery supposed to be opened in 2017? According to my calendar, it’s 2018. What on earth is going on? Hey, I need a place to go to with plenty of cultural talking points, so I sound good on Tinder and my parents will think I’m a smarty pants. The Art Gallery hasn’t been open in ages and according to reports, completion of it won’t be done until the end of 2018 or early 2019. How long does it take to build an art gallery? Aberdeen City Council has 30 million pounds worth of investment and it’s only a building on the corner of a street, where the original art gallery was before. Am I missing something here? It took a shorter time to build Union Square and look how big that shopping centre is. The last time I was at the Art Gallery in 2012, I saw this ace exhibit of our Aberdonian Annie Lennox’s costumes and merchandise from when she was in 1980’s band Eurythmics. Think very eccentric David Bowie, mixed in with some Michael Jackson’s vocal highs and lows with a dash of femininity, then you will get the picture of what Ms. Annie Lennox is about. That was a fun day. I was actually taking a break from my third-year undergraduate studies and thought I’d head to the Art Gallery and check out some paintings; relax from my essay writing and immerse myself in some Scottish and International art. You know, the paintings and sculpture were quite good. Not that I’m an aficionado of the artworks, but I can tell the difference between an Impressionist piece to a Colourist one. When the gallery was open they had a great selection of pieces and I always picked up a souvenir from the little gift shop inside the gallery. A keepsake to remind me of my time there. It was well lit, spacious, the staff were nice, and the toilets were clean. Well, that’s all over, and it looks like by the time I graduate from my Master’s degree, the gallery still won’t be open.

When I heard the gallery was closing for refurbishment, adding a new roof, new floors, and galleries for extra exhibitions, I thought; great, more Scottish artists’ works, more contemporary, modern and community art will get a look in and more art jobs for people in and around Aberdeen, instead of heading south for employment. I even heard a Remembrance Hall would be built inside to commemorate the fallen soldiers during the world wars. At the time it seemed a nice touch, but now I feel as though they we’re only getting empty promises. You can send out layouts of floors and put messages into newspapers saying this new thing will be added and that new thing will be added, but where is the actual Art Gallery? It will be three years in March 2018. It’s bad enough we still don’t have our Music Hall up and running either. Since I’m not the only one who has asked Aberdeen City Council what’s taking so long, the response is along the lines of that they ‘’decline to discuss the cause of the delay.’’ As some people would say, I’m not being funny but… that’s not a very helpful reply. You genuinely have people living and working in Aberdeen who want to have an Art Gallery to be proud of, to put Aberdeen on the map in the art world, and the council doesn’t want to discuss it. Some of the redevelopment money put aside for the Art Gallery is from donations and public funding. A decent answer is needed to this one. There was more opposition for the restaurants, bars and hotels that have been built in Marischal Square and look how quickly that shot up. Aberdeen has quite a few museums and enough hotels and restaurants already, but it doesn’t have anything close to a good art gallery. Ok, so they found out that there was a medieval cemetery under the building last year and work stopped for about six weeks. I’m all for preserving history and heritage, and I can live with a six weeks delay… but three years is something else. Since November 2017, the council have contracted a project manager to assist in negotiations with the contractor. I just hope they hired a project manager beforehand and that this wasn’t an oversight. At the beginning of December 2017, the council were in talks to discuss the reasons behind the revised opening date and any potential budget implications. I’m not a millionaire that has invested my own personal money in this project but if I had I wouldn’t be pleased with it at all, regarding this situation. Even the Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture lead, described the delay as “unacceptable.” There’s one consolation I guess; it’s not just me that’s annoyed.

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arts | film

Film Reviews By Sofia Ferrara Aaron Sorkin is perhaps the only contemporary scriptwriter venerated for that art; a man with a recognisable style in a medium often ignored in favour of the director’s cult (excluding Charlie Kaufman, perhaps, and his self-reflexive exercises). His latest story, Molly’s Game, is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an American competitive skier who started running extravagant and high-stakes poker games, stumbling into the world of celebrities, the super-richand organised crime. It is Sorkin’s directorial debut, and is very like his brand of screenwriting— for better or worse. Visually, infographics and diagrams flit past at the speed of razor-sharp dialogue, cramming the screen with verbosity. This makes for entertaining viewing, for sure, and any unique rhythm in a film is valuable— but it can be disorientating when it speeds right past the nuances of complicated subjects (primarily gambling, but also competitive skiing), throwing out player-slang, lightning-fast, before the audience can quite figure out what these terms mean. There’s walk-and-talk sequences, as expected; characters debate their morality, with good usually prevailing in some manner, not sentimental nor totally realistic. For some, this will leave them with a frustrating script full of characters plunging into their emotional depths via spontaneous monologue (Idris Elba’s character becomes particularly essayistic towards the end) and an ending frankly of the quality of some made-for-TV film, in mise en scène if nothing else. That said, there’s something intriguing about the film, specifically its feminist subtext. The eponymous character becomes simultaneously maternal and an amorous point of interest (a Freudian sentiment, despite the younger Molly branding him a “misogynist” someway into the film)— the male super-rich whine to her with their problems; she refuses their advances; she surrounds herself with strong and beautiful women to carry out her ambitions, her business. So despite its divisive stylisations, his film comes out well in the current climate of accusations bringing down (some of…) the darker ids in Hollywood today. Whatever you think of think of him, Sorkin’s optimism, however quixotic, winds through the hotel rooms of power with aplomb and energy; a burst of humane spirit by a filmic figurehead, mature in career.

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Molly’s Game By Ian Macartney I cannot wait to see the film they will make about Frances McDormand’s face. Her expressions are so articulated that I am sure they could tell a story and entertain for at least an hour and a half by themselves. In ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, she is the female character we have all been waiting for; strong and determined, she does not allow anybody to shake her convictions, expressing her femininity in a totally non-conventional and truthful way. Mildred Hayes, McDormand’s character, is a woman whose pain after losing her daughter has made her lose all faith in the authorities that are unable to find the perpetrator. She challenges the Ebbing police with three billboards outside the town, demanding justice. The film is a portrayal of the relationship between the citizens of Ebbing and the police, represented by Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, respectively the good and the bad cop (it is refreshing to see Harrelson playing a different role from his usual). Exploring the themes of justice and life in small town America, the film addresses the grey areas that exist between good and evil, a place where most of the characters seem to stand. Every action, in spite of its good intentions, has negative consequences, and the characters swing in and out of the audience’s sympathy. It is when you find yourself cheering for the racist cop, however, that things seem to swing a little too far in the wrong direction. He becomes one of the heroes of the story, though there is no acceptable closure to his racist storyline. The film is absolutely enjoyable, and the prizes it has won are greatly deserved, but in the end it seems a little too indulgent of racism for it not to be noticeable.

Photo by Kingsport Times News


arts | film

Album Reviews Charli XCX - POP 2

N.E.R.D

By Harry Mathieson By Harry Mathieson UK artist Charli XCX returns with her fourth mixtape, Pop 2, produced by enigmatic PC Music founder A.G. Cook. The influence of Cook’s bewildering bubblegum bass aesthetic is obvious in the glitchy yet glitzy instrumental arrangements. Charli’s vocals are pitch-shifted and manipulated so extensively as to create the effect of a heavily programmed, Sophiaesque character, a robotic theme which is pursued in the glorious and unapologetically sing-along ‘Femmebot’. Yet, what makes the project so likeable is the emotional content that doesn’t get lost beneath the songs’ idiosyncrasies. Take ‘Lucky’, the slowest and most heartbreakingly resonant track on the album; beneath the whirling artificiality of the vocals, the lyrical content is all-too-painfully human. Charli XCX makes party music for when partying becomes the cure for a broken heart and the loneliness of being in love. From the gorgeous opener ‘Backseat’, featuring an ever-sugary Carly Rae Jepson, to the most accessible pop banger ‘Out Of My Head’, the same themes of unrequited love and emotional solitude continuously crop up. The overall contrast between sound and content results in a highly enjoyable mixtape, and begs the question as to whether this post-human aesthetic is a style that popular music will soon begin to adopt in its fullest form. Perhaps the post-ringtone sound of A.G. Cook’s PC Music will move beyond the aspects of performance art it initially resembled, and become the go-to sound, the audio zeitgeist of 2018 and beyond.

With ‘No One Ever Really Dies’, N.E.R.D return with their first album in seven years. Though the three-piece have previously been known to cross defined limits of genre, often wearing rock and soul influences on their sleeves, this newest project comes across as highly contemporary both in sound and in content. The album’s production is undeniably stellar (as would be expected from the Neptunes members responsible for some of the most recognisable beats and singles of the past fifteen years), with the album’s sonic texture relying heavily on crisp jittering 808s and a deep lowend that punches easily through the mix. Unusual for a N.E.R.D project, the album displays an impressive line-up of featured artists. Pharrell himself has previously acknowledged that his best work arrives when he functions as producer and inspiration for other artists, and indeed it is the featured songs which carry the album through. Highlights include Rihanna’s impressive guest feature on ‘Lemon’ and Kendrick Lamar’s blistering political verse on ‘Don’t Don’t Do It’. Meanwhile, second single ‘1000’ is an album highlight, though this has less to do with Future’s predictably drab verse than it does with the sheer breadth and energy of the track itself. It’s all far from perfect however; Pharrell’s peculiar yelpy vocals are an unfortunate departure from his usually buttery-smooth falsetto. There is clearly an attempt to create a riotous energy on what is supposed to be a strongly political album, but the general message rarely amounts to more than informing the listener that Donald Trump is an asshole. Frankly, do we really need Pharrell Williams barking ‘Mad Ethnic!’ at us to recognise the current racial tensions that plague American society? Despite this, ‘No One Ever Really Dies’ is worth a listen, especially for fans of Williams’ solo work as well as of his Neptunes productions. Just don’t expect to be blown away by the basic political arguments on offer.

Photo courtesy of Mike Massaro at DIY Magazine

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gaming and tech | the internet

Photo courtesy of Page Six

Logan Paul’s New Year’s Resolution: “I’m Just Getting Warmed Up” In a video compilation of his highlights of 2017, YouTube star and vlogging sensation Logan Paul made a promise to his fans (the #logang), to his haters, and to the world. As he released his drone camera out into the evening sky, filming himself dramatically swaggering around the rooftop of a skyscraper as the music swells, he lets everyone know that he is “just getting warmed up”. On January 1st, Logan released a video where he and his friends explore the Aokigahahra forest, infamously called the “suicide forest”, in Japan. They find a dead body, and rather than putting the cameras down, Logan and his friends proceed to film the body up close, only blurring the face, all the while laughing and joking about the whole situation. Logan Paul is an internet prankster who first became well known on the internet by gathering a substantial following on the now-defunct video sharing platform, Vine. In September of 2016, Logan made the switch over to YouTube and started vlogging, sharing a video every single day. Logan’s Vlogs are full of wacky high jinks, pranks and personal drama, almost always under clickbait titles such as “I GOT A SEX CHANGE?!” and “MY MOM FOUGHT A KILLER CLOWN!”. This is who Logan Paul is. He portrays himself as a goofy, ambitious young social media influencer who wants to get famous and have some laughs along the way. His vlogs are a testament to that; he’s not ashamed of the clickbait nature of his videos, he knows what he’s doing. It’s all just part of the fun. This brings us to New Year’s Day 2018. Logan Posts the video of himself and his friends, joking around, touching distance from suicide victim, all supposedly in the name of raising awareness around the issue. The video remained on YouTube’s trending page for several days, amassing over 6 million views before Logan, not YouTube, decided to remove it due to the backlash from the wider internet community. In the days that followed, both Logan and YouTube themselves came under heavy fire. Logan, for being disrespectful enough to put a suicide victim in a vlog (including putting them in the thumbnail) and openly make jokes about it, in a shameless attempt to get views (an accusation he later denied in the first of his two public apologies), and YouTube for allowing the video to remain on the site and on the trending page, uncontested, for as long as it did. YouTube were also criticised for not taking any actions against Logan, as they have done against creators like Pewdiepie in the past. However, this criticism has abated after YouTube announced that Logan has been removed from their preferred ad partner program, a program which gives selected creators access to premium ad rates. Another change which YouTube has announced, seemingly in light of this incident, is that all videos on the trending page will now be manually reviewed by a real person to

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verify that they are suitable for the platform. It is this amendment to YouTube policy which brings attention to the more worrying consequences of Logan’s actions, consequences which reach further than the outrage of the online community his video provoked. I am talking about the Adpocolypse. This was the phenomenon which occurred early 2017 where the money that creators get for showing advertisements on their videos drastically decreased. The impact was so great that many creators feared that they would no longer be able to sustain themselves with their videos; the ad money was simply no longer enough to live on for those who were barely scraping by as it was. If this weren’t bad enough, creators were hit with yet another advertising crisis. It came to light that YouTube had been demonetising the videos of creators without notifying them. YouTube was essentially removing ads from videos that they deemed “inappropriate” or “non advertiser-friendly”, and they were doing so with little to no comunication with content creators, and extremely vague guidelines as to what constituted inappropriate content. It seemed that content addressing political or sexual issues was extremely vulnerable to demonetisation, videos having ads removed for such minor things as having a painting of a naked woman featured for a few seconds. This is the climate in which Logan’s video gained so much traction, and went uncontested on YouTube’s trending page. While ads were not displayed on the video, this is because Logan himself decided to not run them - ironically enough he thought it would have been insensitive to do so – so we will never know whether the YouTube algorithm would have caught him. But in the grand scheme of things, this makes little difference. Advertisers will look at this fiasco, and they will think to themselves “This is the sort of content which YouTube is endorsing? This is what gets through the gaps?”. They will panic, and they will be less willing to advertise on the site. While Logan’s suicide forest video was disturbing, offensive, and either deplorable or tone-deaf depending on your generosity, this is the worst thing about the video. In YouTube, the internet has created a platform that gives equal opportunities to creators big and small; anyone can make it on YouTube. Videos like this jeopardise that platform. Logan said that he was “Just getting warmed up”. He is not alone. YouTube is bursting at the seams with young, irresponsible pranksters who are willing to cause controversy and make themselves into headlines in exchange for vlogger stardom. Perhaps this recent debacle has forced the Logan Pauls of the world to gain some perspective, and realise that their attitude is not a sustainable one. I hope so, because if this trend continues, the future of the career YouTuber looks less and less certain as we move into 2018.


gaming and tech | video games Photo courtesy of Sonder.ee

Star Wars

BATTLEFRONT II: THE PERIL OF THE REBOOT By Daniel Fenn-Tye In 2015, the gaming world was shocked to hear that EA and DICE were going to be giving life on the newest generation of consoles to Star Wars: Battlefront, perhaps one of the most beloved series from the era of PS2 dominance that was the early 2000s. I, for one, could barely contain myself at the prospect of one of my favourite childhood games being brought up to current technical standards and reinvigorated with a fresh player base. Unfortunately, all that was in store for us was disappointment. While being visually stunning, Battlefront quickly left players bored and frustrated by its lack of content and extortionate DLC model. So, when EA announced Star Wars: Battlefront II in May 2016, we could only live in hope that things would be better this time around. During development, EA and DICE made some promising announcements about changes from the original. I began to believe them, and I don’t think I was alone. This time, things would be different. Things were not different. In all fairness, it was clear that an effort had been made to address some of the concerns that players had about Battlefront 1: there are far more maps for online play, there is now a single-player campaign (as short as it is) and EA has pledged that all future DLC will be free. All these changes show a certain respect for the consumer, which is refreshing as if pressed to summarise EAs relationship with their players in a word, the word that springs to mind is “contempt”. Things were looking good. However, EA’s downfall came in their exploitative use of loot crates and microtransactions. In a nowinfamous Reddit post, a user complained that they had payed for the game, but would have to pay extra to unlock heroes such as Darth Vader. Another user calculated that players would have to grind for approximately 40 hours to unlock a single hero. In an insulting attempt to convince players that the loot crates were anything more than a cash grab, EA responded to these criticisms by saying that “The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.”. This response has gone down as the most downvoted comment in the history of Reddit. At this point, take my previous comment about EA showing respect for the consumer and throw it in the bin. Anyone who attempts to recreate the magic of an old franchise immediately has the odds stacked against them. The odds are especially bad with things such as Star Wars, a franchise that has a place so close to the hearts of so many. This being said, EA did themselves no favours. They took a game which people cherished, and a universe which people love, and they made it about money. They couldn’t help themselves. What could they have done better? I believe an excellent example of how to do a reboot right can be found in DOOM, the unhelpfully-titled reboot of the 1993 classic of the same name. The original DOOM is almost universally recognised as the godfather of the FPS genre. Along with other titles such as Wolfenstein and Quake, DOOM was one of the

games that kickstarted the rise of the genre in the 90s, a genre which has been at the forefront of gaming ever since. However, as genre-defining as these games were, the FPSs of today have a completely different feel. The fast-paced, run and gun, “unrealistic” shooters of the 90s have disappeared, and they have been replaced by slower games, centred around strategic use of cover mechanics and picking off enemies one by one. As much as creators believe they need to keep up with the times in order to succeed, DOOM 2016 would have been doomed to failure had it adapted itself to fit the current market. Id software could have easily looked around and seen that people don’t play games like DOOM anymore, and decided to give us another Call of Duty, another Gears of War, but they didn’t. They recognised that their target audience was the people who played the originals back in the 90s or early 2000s and loved them, people who were frustrated and bored with the homogony of modern FPSs and wanted something different. DOOM 2016 succeeded because it gave people what they wanted; more DOOM. The point is this; while Star Wars Battlefront II may have had a terrible, exploitative system of unlocks, but the real reason people got so mad is that it wasn’t the same game as the original. While they are perhaps not quite as bad as Battlefront II, many other games today have a problematic pay-to-win, or at the very least a pay-to-enjoy element. Hearthstone and other collectable card games, for example, practically require that players invest upwards of £50 every expansion in order to get the complete experience of the game, and even then, nothing is guaranteed because of the random nature of opening card packs. But no one cares, because we expect this from card games. No one cares about the unlock systems in Overwatch, or Battlefield, or League of Legends because we expect these things from modern games. And while it may be true that the loot crates of Battlefront II were worse than all of these games, for several reasons, the fact that this pay-or-grind structure was violently inserted into a game of another era, an era where you payed for a game and then you had fun playing it, made it sting all the more. So, as we move into 2018, undoubtedly another year full of endless reboots and remasterings, let us look at the lessons to be learned from Star Wars Battlefront II. Aside from the obvious one about making player experience the focus of your game and not treating players like cows to be milked for everything they’re worth, the lesson here is that when people say they want a reboot, it means they want more of whatever you were selling in the first place. While they might claim they want a newer, fresher version, fit for the current generation of consoles, this doesn’t mean they want a game which is in any meaningful way different from the original. Although now I say it, that seems quite obvious too, so maybe the real lesson is that if you want a reboot of something, don’t let EA make it for you.

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scotland | alba

Scots in Scuils By Owen Irvine In each edition yer gaun tae hae the chunce tae read some o the finest pieces o Scots an Doirc writin fae scuils aroon the North East, startin wi Eldritch Story, written by Owen Irvine, an S6 pupil at Banff Academy. There wiz eence a man fa lived doon by the auld kirk. He wiz ainly kaint as McDougal since nebdy spoke wi him lang enough tae get his full name. He hid twa dugs that baith had an affa stink aboot em. The locals aa thocht he wiz pals wi the deil an aifter a file they thocht tae get rid o him. The toon fowk a githered aroon his hoose, they hid decided tae jist trap him in an burn it tae the grun. McDougal woke up tae the soond o haimers haimerin awa at the windaes an doors. The toonsfowk wir boardin them up sae he coudnae ging oot. He heard hiz dugs pining at the doors an smelt somethin burnin. His hoose filled wi smoke an he kaint he wiz gan tae end up deid. Wee his laist breeth he cut intae hissel an his dugs tae get their bluid. He drew a pentagram ower the grun an shouted “I curse aa o ye an yer young tae painful an affa deiths.” The hoose wis brunt tae the grun an the only thing left wiz the pentagram …or sae the storie gings. Abdy says the only gadgie that deid wiz the man fa planned the attack, Patrick Macgonnalie. Twa hunner years since McDougal wiz killed. Patrick’s great, great, great grandson, Paul wiz twaul year auld an wiz gaan guisin wee his pals fan he wiz dairt tae ging doon tae the auld boglet hoose. Paul wiz feart bit he said aye tae them. On his wye doon he came tae a tall mannie fa wiz jist skin an beens. The man said “fit are ye deein roon here wee loon, hiv ye nae heart the stories?” Paul replied “aye I hiv, bit ma freens dairt ma tae come here.” The man said “Well yi’ve been waarned.” Paul then continued his

wye and the man went his. Aifter a few steps Paul turned back aroon tae see the auld man bit fan he lookit roon he wiz naewye tae be seen. Paul felt uneasy bit gaithered up the strength tae continue. He wiz aboot twa minutes awa fae the hoose an wiz comin through the burial grun faar the grave o McDougal wiz. He lookit at the grave an tae his surprise saw a deidkist hauf open’t. Wi the licht o the moon he cuid jist mak oot something scraaled ower the side o the deidkist. “GING BACK” the kirk bell rang twaul. “Fits at?” shouted Paul he then herd twa eldritch hools fae ahint him. A mist wiz gaitherin aroon the kirkyard an afore he cuid turn aroon he felt cauld breeth on the back o his neck. A corp like wraith arose fae the grun an twa unbeast dugs followed. An affa smell o deith krept up Paul’s neb. The wraith bellowed “ye’ll aa pay for fit yiv deen!” Paul wiz jeelt, he wiz feirt for his life. The deil dugs lowpit at Paul takin him tae the grun. He felt een o the dugs chawin up his airm. He strugglet tae his feet an bolted awa. The dugs followed him an the wraith wiz jist stood there. Paul wiz coming up tae the gate o the auld kirk. He thocht that he cuid get awa fae them an hide in the auld kirk. He kicked aff the lock an gid in. The kirk wiz in an affa state. The grun wiz covered in a foushty muck an the waws wiz mozie. The maist aff pittin iv aa wiz that the cross o Jesus wiz turnt upside doon like the deil’s cross. This wiznae a place o the lord onymair. Paul’s airm wiz thumpin’ saire. His jumper wiz soakin’ wee bluid.

Fit Word Means Fit? Blaain a hoolie Flech The Blue Toon Kirkyard Mangilt Kist p. 16

Churchyard Flea Peterhead Chest Very Windy Mangled

He wiz feel gie thoucht airm sae

stairtin sick. tae he

tae He check his pulled up his jumper. His airm wiz mangilt. Jist as he wiz awa tae pull his jumper back doon, oot the corner o’ his een he saw a shadda creepin ower the waw. “come oot an’ accept yer deith wee loon!” Paul desperately clambered tae the corner o’ the kirk. “I kain far ye are wee loon, ma dugs hiv tasted yer bluid!” Jist then the twa dugs laupit through een o the windaes. Paul hid almost nae time tae react. Afore he cuid run McDougal hid clawed open the door and wiz blockin’ hiz wye oot. “Ye’ve got naewye tae hide noo, wee loon.” In a mad panic Paul grabbed a widden plank an gave een o the dugs a dunt ower the heed wi it. “leave ma aleen!” bleated Paul. The dug hooled at Paul an the ither een stairted tae run at him. Paul chucked the plank at it an the dug fell on tae a rooshty pike. “Misty, no!” The dug let oot a weak pine as the pike tore through its heid. McDougal seemed tae float ower tae his dug. “Yev kill’t ma dug! I’ll skin ye alive wee loon!” in the heat o’ the moment Paul ran tae the windae tae climb oot. McDougal took a hud o’ his leg an Paul lost his balance. He fell ower ontae the glaiss an left a big gash ower his leg an kist as he fell oot the windae. Wi the laist o his strength Paul hobbled oot o the kirkyard intae a field. He tripped ower something in the dark an fell tae hiz knee. He tried tae crawl a wee bit mair bit suddenly felt a shairp pain gaan through his back. He couldna move, he felt as if he wiz pinned doon. He lookit doon tae the grun an saw a pentagram painted far he wiz lying. He coughed an bluid spewed fae his moo. He felt a chillingly, dark aloneness. He closed his een. The laist thing he felt wiz a roosty blade on the back o’ his neck as McDougal laughed “yir time is up wee loon!” The next morning the police found a mangilt corp doon by the auld McDougal hoose. It wiz smaulderin an’ blaikend bi burnin’. Fae at day naebidy gings oot by the auld kirk onymair. Some fowk say they hear a small loon greetin or see a tall thin man walking aroon, bit abdy is ower feart tae ging ower tae find oot.

Foo tae beat the Januar Blues in Aiberdeen City an Shire By Antonia Uri It’s Januar, yer battlin against the forces o naitur tryin tae navigate yer wye aboot campus. It’s blaain a hoolie an bloody freezin. “Ah dinna ken how Ah’m gaun tae get through the month athoot the winter blues gettin ma doon”, ye think tae yersel. Weel, dinna fash yersel, cause Ah’ve got some ideas o bits an bobs ye can dee roon aboot tae cheer yersel up a wee bit durin the maist depressin month o the year. Ah honestly canna think o a bettir wye tae put a smile on onybody’s pus than jumpin up an doon like a flech. Ah’d suggest though, that ye heid tae somewye like Jump In trampoline park in Aiberdeen or Skyline in Inverurie, and dinna jist dae it on King Street or ye’ll end up leukin like a bit o a numpty. For ten pun ye can jump aboot tae yer hairtie’s content for a hail oor at Jump In. Nae only will a bit o trampoline fun cheer ye up, it will also heat ye up and help ye burn aff some o those Christmas calories. Continuin wi the theme o burnin Christmas calories, fit wye nae hit the gym? Ah ken it’s gaun tae be hoachin in Januar but there’s aye the choice o gan tae some fitness classes. Aiberdeen Sports Village runs mair than a hunner classes each wik, so ye’ll easy find somethin that’s yer cup o tae. A personal favourit o mine is Zumba, cause it’s basically a Seterday nicht oot clubbin, but healthier, cause aire’s nae booze involved. Aa that latino music is bound tae get ye fired up an aa. Or if ye dinna funcy ‘at, fit aboot yoga? Aire’s nithin better for ye than taakin some time oot tae focus on yer mind, body an soul. Spikkin o cups o tae, yon first twa options hiv maybe knackered ye, so here’s a less energetic, yet still effective wye tae shak aff the winter blues – treat yersel tae a flycup. An a dinna mean hae a generic coffee fae somewye like Starbucks, or the last crummlie piece oot the packet at the back o the kitchen cupboard. Gaeng awa an heat yersel up wi a proper cup o tae an a traybake fae a richt traditional place, sicc as Simpsons taeroom in the Blue Toon, fa’s scones canna be beaten. Finally, here’s an idea for if ye’re feelin a wee bit flush efter gettin a bit o cash for Chrimbo. This year the Beach Ballroom will be hostin ‘Nae Ordinary Burns Supper’. Ah say that ye hiv tae be feelin a bit flush because the tickets themselves cost £95. It seems affa dear, but that does include a funcy three course meal an an evenin o ceilidh dauncin. Aire’s also gaun tae be a charity action, raisin silver for charities sicc as The Archie Foundation an The University of Aberdeen Development Trust. Aire’s nae doot that helpin those less fortunate than yersel is a great wye tae maak yersel feel a bittie better an aa.

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Health Issues Related to Ibuprofen Is Ibuprofen a noxious substance?

By Holly Leslie Despite being one of the most readily available drugs on the market, recent research has warned about the danger of over-relying on Ibuprofen as a longterm treatment for pain. It was found that the resultant compensated hypogonadism indicating an imbalance in hormone levels and increased risk of infertility in males. A double-blinded, placebocontrolled, randomized study was completed by Kristensen D. M et al (2017) during which a dose of 2 × 600 mg/d was administered for six weeks. Participants were tasked to complete an exercise session after the initial two weeks. Luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were shown to increase by 23% by day 14, leading to an imbalanced ratio of testosterone to LH. Furthermore, inhibin B:FSH was shown to decrease along with anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels. Together, it was shown that both the Leydig cells and the Sertoli cells, found in the testes, were affected by Ibuprofen administration. Leydig cells are the ones that produce testosterone whilst Sertoli cells are central in the production of new sperm. Kristensen explained to The Guardian that “the pituitary gland kicks in to compensate for [the decrease in testosterone]” caused by the decrease of Leydig function. William College, at the University of Cambridge, continues to advise

By Rebecca Clark

that Ibuprofen should not be taken for more than ten days, as stated on the packet. Professor Allan Pacey from the University of Sheffield told The Independent that men or women who find themselves needing to selfadminister Ibuprofen should consult a GP following no recovery of symptoms after three consecutive days of use. Long-term use of ibuprofen has also been shown to increase risk of heart attack and stroke and it is advised that endurance athletes do not consume Ibuprofen tablets before or during an event. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory which causes vasoconstriction to prevent inflammation. Constriction of blood vessels leads to insufficient blood flow to muscle which is amplified when competing in endurance sport. Lack of oxygen leads to increased anaerobic respiration causing lactic acid to build up resulting in long-term muscle damage. Gastrointestinal (GI) health is a principal factor to consider in relation to Ibuprofen use. An increased risk of Coeliac disease has been associated with Ibuprofen in people that are genetically predisposed. There is no doubt that Ibuprofen works as if by magic, but with all its benefits comes a similar number of risks, many of which are commonly disregarded in long term treatment options. Awareness of the dark side is key!

By Nebiyu Kibru

The research team at The University College London led by Professor Sarah Tabrizi has developed a new experimental drug that has been shown to correct the defect that causes the loss of brain tissue in Huntington’s Disease. While clinical trials are only at phase 1, the results have generated much excitement in the field, with experts dubbing the trial “the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases in 50 years”. The drug known as IonisHTTRx is injected into the patient’s spinal fluid and works by destroying the messenger RNA of the mutant huntingtin gene, effectively silencing the effects of the gene and preventing the production of toxic proteins. Pharmaceutical companies are already queuing up to take the drug forward for clinical use, with Swiss pharmaceutical giants Roche already having paid a licence fee of $45m.

Photo by Ken Dooley (Flickr)

China’s government is in the process of enforcing an import ban on plastic waste in an attempt to cut down on the amount of waste they receive. Whilst the move has the best intentions, it is already significantly affecting how the world recycles and disposes of waste. Most of us indulged over the Christmas periods, be it food or gifts, and while we may have recycled the odd discarded wrapping paper, one thing certainly came out of the holidays - a large amount of plastic waste. Half a trillion plastic bottles are used every year, creating what analysts describe as a ‘throw away culture’. A report by the MPs on the environmental audit committee showed that 2.5 billion take-away coffee cups are discarded every year, creating discussions of a 25p levy per cup. And while you would think they could be easily recycled as paper, they contain a thin strip of polyethylene making it unrecyclable. More than half of the waste is transported to China. China needs the raw materials, in particular clean polystyrene, so they can break down and mould it back into packaging again. It is a large business and provides a large amount of jobs, however China is getting impatient with how much is being sent and wants to change how we use plastic. Plastic is vital for our society and its usage has multiplied twenty times over the past decade. It is long lasting and versatile, and so it is great for storage and keeping food fresh. But why do we only use it once? And how are we able to

The biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases in 50 years

Photo by D Coezee (Flickr)

China’s New Plastic Import Ban discard so much of it without even thinking of the environmental effects? China’s new ban hopes to bring about a change in how we use plastics. The current design of services and products results in waste and pollution, and many argue the only way to reduce the amount of plastic is to get better at reusing them. Another reason for the ban is pollution – China has become both richer and dirtier over the years, and they believe they have become a dumping ground for waste. Foreign waste is dangerous, and so China wants to put the responsibility back on these countries to help reduce the amount used and to use more sustainable methods. But how will the UK recycling industry be able to cope with the amount of plastic? The chief of the UK Recycling Association Simon Ellin told the BBC “we simply don’t have the markets in the UK. It’s going to mean big changes for our industry”. Pressure is growing on Thérèse Coffey, the environment minister, to take urgent action to support and build the UK recycling industry to meet the challenges created by the China ban. A main concern is that plastic will temporarily be incinerated and put on landfill, creating even more problems including the increase in toxic chemicals. The government is currently in discussion with industry over a tax on single-use plastics and a deposit scheme on bottles, a promising sign that the problem of plastics is being taken seriously. The most obvious answer - use less plastic. However the question remains as to how we will process the additional 500,000 tonnes a year of plastic.

Defect in Huntington’s Disease Reversed for First Time

Photo by Wikicommons

Huntington’s Disease is known to be one of the cruellest neurodegenerative diseases. Insidious in the nature, the disease is caused by a mutation of the huntingtin gene and is autosomal dominant, meaning that only one copy of the gene in required for symptoms to occur. This means children having a 50:50 chance of inheriting the disease. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 33 and 55, and progress from behavioural changes such as mood swings to the characteristic jerky uncontrolled movements. Other symptoms can often include depression and problems with articulating thoughts with patients often becoming withdrawn and unresponsive. No curative treatment is available for the disease, but this grounding breaking research means this may change in the near future. “For the first time a drug has lowered the level of the toxic-causing protein in the nervous system, and the drug was well tolerated” said Professor Tabrizi who later claimed the trail to be “the most significant moment in the history of Huntington’s since the gene was isolated”. Professor Tabrizi believes that, if successful, the drug could be used to treat those with the huntington’s gene before they fall ill, preventing the symptoms from ever occurring. While many researchers are still cautious, animal studies suggest that by reducing levels of huntingtin, sufferers may see their motor skills recovered. While further trails with more patients are required to validate these first trials, the initial signs are positive. With around 10,000 people in the UK suffering from Huntington’s and about 25,000 at risk, this latest trial is welcoming news, providing hope for accessible curative treatment in the near future. Further details of the trial will be available when the paper is published later this year.


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24.01.18

Meghan Markle: The Newest Addition to the British Royal Family Will the American actress reform the British monarchy or will she fall in line?

Breaking with the Status Quo on Jerusalem The problem of Jerusalem is unsolvable

By Michael Vilimek

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By Aidan Walker

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olitically, Britain is about to shift some way to the left. Yes, we may have had a Conservative majority government not too long ago, followed by the Tories then being propped up by an anti-abortion, pro-Brexit party. And, yes, the country may have just voted for Brexit with immigration as its apparent primary concern. However, you don’t need to spend too long on social media to realise that the youth of Britain is about to take the country into a new age of leftism. Corbyn is being worshipped at music festivals and even Ed Miliband has never been more popular. The youth voted to stay in the European Union, for Jeremy Corbyn, and for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom - an election fought by the Yes campaign, often, on a platform of social justice. This has the Tory elite worrying about an impending death of their party, unless they can convince swathes of the new generation to somehow support their cause. It is this new era of what some political commentators describe as leftism, that will serve to threaten the existence of the British monarchy. After all, it is hard to imagine a country where a family of individuals can live luxuriously off the taxpayer, whilst living alongside an electorate that is increasingly concerned with equal opportunity. It is for this reason that Meghan Markle, who is a divorcee, a selfproclaimed feminist and a great-greatgreat granddaughter of a victim of slavery - bucking the trend of white, stiff aristocrats - could be the saviour of the monarchy in the country’s new political age. Ethnic minorities who have been shown to be more likely to vote for parties on the left of the political spectrum rather than the right, will now have a figure they can perhaps relate to slightly more. As New York Times journalist Irenosen Okojie stated: “Prince Harry openly and defiantly dating Ms. Markle made me,

a black British woman, see the royals slightly differently.” Additionally, feminism has never been so prominent as it is today. And, typically, a royal would be prevented from displaying political views. However, Markle has never attempted to hide her support for the cause prior to dating Harry. An UN advocate for women’s rights, she even went as far as describing US president Donald Trump as a “misogynist”. The relevance of such aspects of Meghan Markle’s character is the role it will play in furthering the lifespan of the British monarchy. Gone are the days when the population was content with subsiding monotonous individuals. One can draw a parallel from the work of Princess Diana as a royal to the way in which Meghan Markle can capture the nation. The mere existence of a recognisable and simply likeable personality went some way to benefiting public opinion of the royal family. As royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams put it: ”Diana’s more approachable, endearing and emotional style … appealed to the public.” Princess Diana’s work on AIDS, homelessness and landmines - often politically sensitive topics - struck a chord with the British public. After her tragic death in 1997, a wave of shock and grief swept over the nation in mourning someone who’d undoubtedly been the most popular royal in a long time. The rawness of her interviews and the rejection of a proper, lifeless persona had brought the monarchy closer to the people. As Diana said in an interview in 1994: “It’s vital the monarchy keeps in touch with the people — it’s what I try to do,” and this legacy will continue with Meghan Markle. Whether it’s her commitment to being a feminist, her greater appeal to ethnic minorities or even the fact she’s a TV star - the royal family is about to welcome an individual who comes with a certain appeal they would have unlikely been able to muster without her. Meghan Markle is the prime candidate for carrying the baton for changes in the monarchy.

it is hard to imagine a country where a family of individuals can live luxuriously off the taxpayer, whilst living alongside an electorate that is increasingly concerned with equal opportunity

Photos left to right: W Magazine, Vox

t is beyond doubt that the decision on Jerusalem constitutes a solid installment of the currently hottest show on the planet. The wannabe majestic Trump saga is filling great multitudes of screens everywhere and at all times. We watch it. We read it. We muse about it. Perhaps the reason why we cannot resist it is, that it all seems so real and present. Every day feels like it is the new low. With every word the world turns a bit more backwards and with every tweet we seem to be one misspelled word closer to a total annihilation of our great species. In the midst of all that madness, I cannot but scratch my head in utter stupefaction. Is it all really as horrendous as our feverish nightmares make it seem? The perceived reality of the nuclear button that has been pounded into our heads by an incessant stream of movies, where the American president overcomes all adversities and fulfils his salvific purpose with a stern look in his face, is surely scary. Just as there is no actual button except the one that calls in a guy with a diet Coke (surely a musthave item), there is no real diplomatic progression towards peace in the Middle East. The peace is dead and no matter how badly the United States want to play the saviour, there will be no resurrection, unless things change dramatically. American peace effort in the Middle East has always been a lopsided sham. How can you claim the position of an arbiter, if you are not so secretly propping up one of the parties at the table? From the day of its foundation, modern Israel has been taking matters in its own hands, without any regard for anybody else and, fulfilling its moral duty, the United States of America has politely nodded along. However, rest assured that it is not my intention to diminish the importance of the historic Oslo Accords from 1993 or paint Israel in dark colours. The Oslo Accords were the pinnacle of what a foreign arbiter with a serious bias to one

of the two negotiating parties can possibly achieve. Nevertheless, moving past Oslo, Israel quickly defaulted on key parts of the Accords and the beacon of hope, the famed shining city on the hill has done nothing. That is not to say that the Palestinians are free from blame, because there is truly no one in the Middle East who could claim that their hands are perfectly clean. However, it remains a simple fact that the territory that should long have been in Palestinian hands, as it had been agreed, is still fully or at least partially controlled by Israel. It is also a fact, that Israel has not stopped building further settlements in the West Bank, but more are being built as we speak. The problem of Jerusalem is unsolvable. It is a holy city of three major world religions and all peoples living there have unbreakable bonds to the place as well as irreparable enmities between one another. If you have been racking your brains trying to figure out how to solve Jerusalem, you should stop. The only way to solve Jerusalem is for all parties to give up. I am sure that it sounds outrageous, but it is as simple as that. The only sustainable future for Jerusalem is a neutral enclave claimed by none and occupied by no one. Sadly, looking at the historical records of all involved parties, I think it is safe to assume that such proposal has absolutely no chance to survive. The quintessentially Trumpian decision to meddle in the matter is surely a grave mistake, but it is certainly not a step back, because there is nowhere we could step back to. Jerusalem was never “on the table” and all that is being jeopardized by this move is, in fact, only the recurring role of the United States proudly starring as the wise arbiter and saviour. Neither it is a step forward, because all we have been doing since 1993 is walking in the circle of maintaining the status quo. Just as this move by the Trump administration plays nicely as part of the Trump epic, it is also a fitting sequel to the magnificent farce that we call the peace process.


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24.01.18

Denouncing #MeToo #MeToo divides the camps: a symbol of solidarity or simply a witch-hunt?

The Time’s Up #MeToo Addressing darkest secret of the entertainment industry

By Michael Vilímek

#MeToo was not a passive, retrospective campaign, but a call for something apparently radical and groundbreaking: consequences

By Fiona Sprack

I

f all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “#Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”. Last October, the two-word hashtag was posted millions of times, turning into a movement that was impossible to miss. Originally, it was initiated by Tarana Burke in 2006 to raise awareness of the struggles of women of colour who have been subject to sexual harassment or assault. It was recently re-activated to be a platform for women and non-binary people to speak out about their own experiences. #MeToo was not a passive, retrospective campaign, but a call for something apparently radical and ground-breaking: consequences. Perpetrators were fired, victims were given a voice, debates were started – and yet, some three months later, it seems like the most striking consequence is the realization that the magnitude of the problem is, indeed, much bigger than expected. #MeToo, intended for the liberation of systematic oppression of women, has now been denounced by a group of women in the name of sexual liberty. Around 100 French women, among them actress Catherine Deneuve, have signed an open letter. In it, they are claiming that the hashtag has gone too far, leading to a witch hunt on innocent men. The letter states that behaviour such as “clumsy flirting”, “trying to steal a kiss” or “touching someone’s knee” is now self-righteously being decried as sexual misconduct. They claim that any confident woman should accept this as part of normal interaction. However, #MeToo was about individual women speaking out about individual experiences that have led to individual personal consequences. Selfrighteousness is for mostly wealthy white women to speak for all women in terms of what behaviour is acceptable. Selfrighteousness is to de-validate the trauma that victims have, because one has luckily been spared from it. Tarana Burke called for

“empowerment and empathy”, but the letter is a testimony of bitterness and division. The world is not black and white, and discourse about sexual misconduct goes beyond the system of either/or. The letter reduces an enormously complex and personal topic to simple categories: we can either set limits to appropriate interaction or be sexually liberated. We can either be a passive, pitydemanding victim or a powerful, confident woman. This sorting is harmful as it fails to recognize some crucial points. It is certainly true that sexual liberty should be a right, not a privilege. But in a society where women demand that other women not only have to expect but also to accept penetration of their personal spheres, it is questionable how liberated this society is. Women are only free to express themselves sexually if they are free from the constant fear of being victimized. It is also true that the hashtag is a symbol of solidarity among victims of sexual harassment or abuse. But victimhood is not weakness: to share painful experiences is ultimate bravery and the epitome of strength. It is however ignorance for a group of women who have, for the most part, probably never been discriminated against based on their belief, sexuality, race or social class, to denounce the grievances of women who have to live with this discrimination on a daily basis. Men trying to turn around the narrative from being the assumed perpetrator to claiming they are the true victims is almost unsurprising. But women supporting them in this damaging to female solidarity. Many of the millions of women who posted #MeToo have talked about the consequences that they have to live with after the assault or harassment. Trust, even in close friends and family, can be destroyed, and their mental health can be substantially damaged. These women have to endure consequences from behaviour that was, in many cases, intentional and conscient. For the responsible offenders to face consequences on their part cannot take this away, but it is a necessary step towards creating a culture of consent and true liberty.

Photos left to right: NY Magazine, Song Suffragettes

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he 2018 Golden Globes awards had little focus on the nominated shows, films, and performances; but instead was overshadowed by the ‘Time’s Up Movement’. It aimed to address and show support to victims who had brought forward allegations and stories emerging from 2017 regarding sexual harassment, abuse, sexism, and rape within the film industry. This campaign was the result of many women and members of the LGBT community coming forward and publicly exposing powerful men within the film industry as abusing their positions for sexual gain. Some of those accused of these allegations include Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis C.K, to name but a few. The event’s campaign involved many women attending the awards wearing only black outfits, and saw both men and women wearing pins which featured the phrase ‘Me Too’. This is in reference to the ‘Me Too’ movement which was started by Tarana Burke, the founder of the ‘Me Too’ movement, in 2006, who attended the Awards as the guest of actor Michelle Williams. The phrase also became a trending hashtag on various social media outlets. The message that this protest conveyed was clear. The oppression of women and the power that men hold over women was no longer going to be tolerated and accepted. Not just within the field of entertainment, but broadly across society. Yet, after the Golden Globes and the ‘Time’s Up Campaign’ a counter protest emerged from France with an open letter denouncing the protest carried out at the award ceremony as being merely a witch hunt. This feminist letter received one hundred signatures all from French female actors, journalists and academics arguing that the men are being unfairly demonised

for carrying out what they perceive as innocent acts which they refer to as ‘‘touch someone’s knee or try to steal a kiss’’. They do however regard rape as a criminal act, but justified the claims of a witch hunt against men that are being punished for trying to seduce women in ways in which they label as ‘‘persistent or clumsy’’. One of the more prominent names that added their signature to this was the seventy-six-year-old French actor Catherine Deneuve who has since publicly apologised to the victims that have came forward with their stories of sexual harassment after receiving a great deal of public criticism for supporting the letter. I however take the view that the ‘Time’s Up Movement’ is a positive step forward that has in fact been far too long overdue, particularly considering that these allegations have practically, in some cases, been open secrets within the film industry for many decades. The bravery of the individuals that went public with their own horrendous experiences of being sexually harassed and assaulted by men who have held positions of great power and influence, without being held accountable, should be commended and supported. The letter that was written and supported by the one hundred signatories only offends the very individuals who have spoken out. And simplifying sexual harassment as mere clumsy acts of seduction from men is a ridiculous notion; when the plain truth of the matter is that it is inappropriate, intimidating, and inexcusable. Hopefully the ‘Time’s Up Movement’ will not stop here. Hopefully its message of equality and social justice will prevail not only beyond gender issues, but also into the issues of racial and sexual equality, and will not only be a turning point for the film industry, but a turning point for all of society. And so that, in the words of Oprah Winfrey, recent winner of the Golden Globe’s Cecil B. de Mille award, ‘‘nobody ever has to say ‘‘Me too’’ again.’’


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24.01.18

The Rise of Far Right Populism

Pardoning a Dictator The price of power and the dignity of a nation

A pause to consider what had happened is no bad thing in the current storm of allegations flying around By Yanick Max 2017 has been yet another tumultuous year for an observer of the global political stage. According to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, 2017 has provided ‘the biggest shift in the political landscape since the end of World War II’. After the Brexit referendum result and the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th US President in 2016, the past year has brought about another wave of far-right populism across the world, especially in Europe. Despite several rebuttals of the populist wave, such as the rather bad result for Geert Wilders’ PVV in the Dutch general election in March or the election of the liberal and staunch pro-European Emmanuel Macron as the President of France in May, the report warns that populism could become the new normal in European politics. Yet, the silver lining of 2017 is that we (signifying those in favour of a liberal and democratic society) now have - as opposed to the shock many people felt after the EU referendum result and the election of Trump in 2016 - a better idea of how to defy the populist far-right and their often simplistic arguments. In a recent interview with The Guardian, the Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz accused Trump of having ‘fascist tendencies’. It is debatable whether this may be true or not. There are

of course several undeniable facts that link 21st century far-right populism to early 20th century fascism, notably Austria’s FPÖ historical connections to former SS officers and Nazi functionaries. The 21st century far-right has, nevertheless, morphed into something new that often differs from fascism in many ways, namely its general respect for the constitution, its regard for democratic institutions and its refusal to engage in blatant racism. If we have learned anything in recent years, it is that by linking 21st century farright populism with fascism or Nazism, we bolster the far-right. Indeed, the very agenda of populism always draws on a self-understanding of victimhood by depicting itself as the only viable alternative to the corrupt elites. Parties from the political ‘middle’ will only be able to defeat populism by refuting their arguments and by debunking deficiencies in their manifestos. In last year’s election in Germany, for instance, political opponents were too busy criticizing the AfD’s stance on migration to recognize the party’s very imprecise suggestions on health insurance and its largely ludicrous opinion on climate change. Hence, the populist far-right will only be weakened when we take their voters and their concerns seriously instead of stigmatising a large proportion of the population as racist bigots.

by linking 21st century far-right populism with fascism or Nazism, we bolster the far-right

By Thomas Piarro Escuti

O

n the night of Christmas Eve, Peru’s former dictator, Alberto Fujimori, received the best present he could possibly get; he was granted a presidential pardon and freed from his twenty-five years’ sentence. The controversial decision was due to “humanitarian reasons”, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski argued. Indeed, Fujimori’s pardon is based upon a contentious medical evaluation which indicates that Fujimori suffers from "a progressive, degenerative and incurable disease". However, is it ethically right to pardon a man who has been convicted for corruption and human rights violations? A man who is responsible for the murder of dozens of people, including young students and children? Alberto Fujimori has always been an unorthodox character. The son of a humble family of Japanese immigrants who climbed the ladders of power to become head of state. Indeed, even his first electoral victory in 1990 over Mario Vargas LLosa, one of Latin America's most significant writers of all times, was quite a surprise. Political scientists and other analysts argue that Fujimori appealed to the Peruvian electorate as he was not the typical candidate of the Peruvian creole elite. This “nobody” represented a change within the political spectrum of the country. A country, that in 1990 was submerged in an economic and social crisis with an inflation of 7.000% and the increase of violent guerrilla movements. After assuming his first presidency in July 1990, he adopted strict anti-inflationary reforms that provoked discontent among the unions and the working-class, because of his harsh and restrictive measures. Later on, the Congress joined the demands of unions and due to this, Fujimori began to rule by decree until the point, that on the 5th of April 1992 he seized power with a selfcoup d'état that was supported by the army. Fujimori dissolved Congress and closed the courts. Surprisingly, Alberto Fujimori was re-elected President in 1995 and then again in 2000 (under suspicious conditions).

Fujimori’s fall started in his third Presidential period when his appropriation of public fund and other acts of corruption which were publicly exposed. Four months after his election and in the climax of a tremendous political crisis, Fujimori decides to flee the country and travelled to Japan where, in the most inelegant and possibly cowardly way, he resigned as President of the Republic of Peru by fax. Nevertheless, his resignation was rejected by the Congress, instead, the Congress opted to remove him from office based on Fujimori’s “permanent moral incapacity”. Finally, in 2009 after visiting Chile, Alberto Fujimori was arrested and sent to Peru, where he was condemned for human rights violation and corruption. Loyal to Fujimori’s style, his pardon was full of controversies, particularly the role of the current President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who was recently almost impeached by Congress due to economic and political corruption. Nonetheless, Kuczynski was saved by the bell. Paradoxically, when the parliamentarians were about to vote for the impeachment, ten congressmen known for being Fujimori’s supporters abstained and the motion was rejected. However, if these congressmen would have voted in favour of the motion, President Kuczynski would have been automatically impeached. This mysterious abstention has led many people to believe that this was “the price of power”, a dirty exchange that allows Kuczynski to remain in power by freeing a criminal. Fujimori was convicted for human rights violations and corruption. He was responsible for a coup d'état as well as the dismantling of Peru’s democratic institutions. His pardon demonstrates the little appreciation for dignity and equality before the law that Pedro Pablo Kuczynski holds, who puts his own political benefit over millions of Peruvians. Hopefully, not everything is lost. The Organisation of American States (OAS) has stated, that if Fujimori’s medical evaluation is found to not be genuine, then the pardon could be overridden.

DISCLAIMER Photos left to right: The Wire, Diario Correo

All opinions expressed in the Opine section are those of the authors of the articles and do not necessarily represent views held by The Gaudie, AUSA, or any company which advertises in The Gaudie.


24.01.18

p.9

Opine

Editor: Marijke Kirchner

Being Human in Medical School Should students be taught empathyin medical school,or is it an inherent trait?

By David Jacob Conard

G

oing through medical school is a metamorphosis of sorts. The caterpillar that wrapped itself in the ceremonial cocoon bears very little resemblance to the butterfly which will flutter out into the world. The caterpillar in this case would be a human and the butterfly, a medical professional. Regardless of how earnest the student is to help people, it is an unfortunate truism that it takes doctors a few years after medical school to become a human being again. Though it is also evident that some may never recover. The great conundrum of medical school for teachers and students alike ought to be how

Empathy is the bedrock of medicine on which subsequent knowledge must be built in order for it to be of any worth at all. If we fail to communicate that value in our actions to our students and patients, we fail as medical professionals – regardless of whether our patient lives or is cured. one goes through this great forging process, where strength and confidence in demanding situations is called for, without losing one’s feeling of empathy towards the vulnerable. Without losing connection with the patients who come for treatment. It seems an unspoken rule amongst the staff teaching young Physicians or Physician Associate that confidence and competence ought to be rewarded while mistakes persecuted, and a fear instilled about the possibility of not being good enough. There is an underlying message communicated to students, that only if you understand the basics of medicine, then you can consider giving empathy. After all, there is no empathy, no humanity, shown to you as a student from the practitioners teaching you; why should there be empathy towards a patient? But empathy is not the sprinkles on top of a job well done. Empathy is the bedrock of medicine on which subsequent knowledge must be built in order for it to be of any worth at all. If we fail to communicate that value in our actions to our students and patients, we fail as medical professionals – regardless of whether our patient lives or is cured. We have said good results are worth more than the motivation needed to achieve them. When we remove our motivation, empathy, we lose track of why life is important and therefore cannot do a good job. Yet teachers in medical school are a product of the medical system they were taught in, and medical students themselves are not the easiest to teach. If you are a person considering medicine because you wish to help people live as your primary motivator, it can be disappointing to realize you learn in medical school how to keep people from dying, but do not know how to teach them to live. There is a dismissiveness

towards quality of life activities as being of value. It is thought that supporting patients with concrete structures and programmes to help them towards healthier lifestyles isn’t as important as a nifty new drug or treatment that addresses symptoms but ignores the cause. We have chosen, in our great wisdom as practitioners working to a medical model, to ignore the science we are reminded of everyday during clinical reasoning: that diseases are often a result, at least in part, of quality of life choices. What you eat, what drugs and alcohol you take, and how much you exercise you get and your state of mind. But we, in almost all situations, have no reliable ways of improving these in even our most at-risk patients. There are multidisciplinary programmes which address these issues, but they remain the minority. Older traditional medical systems e.g. Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, seek to address the issues of quality of life and are usually held in contempt and wholly dismissed as infantile and next best thing to valueless by many doctors. We must notice a strange correlation between

It is thought that supporting patients with concrete structures and programmes to help them towards healthier lifestyles isn’t as important as a nifty new drug or treatment that addresses symptoms but ignores the cause a focus upon remaining alive but little quality of life in both patient care and the practitioners providing that care. Often, those who arrive in medical school have been taught that they are the best, the most intelligent and worthy to be there, and, for the most part, have accepted the accompanying entitlement. This is a recipe for an emotional crisis in a future medical practitioner: an overconfidence which removes the physician from the realms of mere mortal patients. It raises the question: “Do I acknowledge my mistakes when I make them and realize that I may not be worthy of being among ‘the best’, or do I ignore them or write them off as complications, and go on being confident that I’m bulletproof ?”. There is little reward for acknowledging a mistake and learning from it besides the cessation of guilt which is projected onto you by the condemnation of your instructors for unsafe practice. If one grows a thick enough skin to avoid the sting of their condemnation the same person may likely also grow a wilful unresponsiveness to the suffering of another. It seems obvious to anybody receiving good medical care, that the essential difference is the empathy and humanity with which the practitioner executed their job. Yet medical practitioners are encouraged to keep from focusing on their own vulnerability by an environment that could be considered toxic to emotional wellbeing or a respect for the vulnerability of a patient. There is a strong case for turning out medical practitioners who have empathy. So, I ask the question: why are we not encouraging it in our medical schools?


24.01.18

p.15

Satire

Editor: Androo Meackan

Star Wars: The Last Jedi The De-Feminized Fanedit

By James Polk In the latest event of level-headed and ration discourse from the Men Rights Activist circles a fan-edit has surfaced that removes as many women as reasonably possible from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This appears to include female pilots, Laura Dern, and ‘That Asian Chick’. The task apparently necessitated removing almost two hours of footage, making the new, De-Feminised version, around 45 minutes long. While the movie is now considerably shorter the creator stated in their release notes: (Uploaded to the fire sharing website The Pirate Bay) “There are plotholes and continuity errors” But assures us that: “Kylo is more badass” Other changes include the removal of almost any male character being talked down to, subordinate too, or displaying any form of character flaw in relation to a women. This display of masculine

prowess sits on the verge of being overshadowed by the throbbing rod of mother issues lurking below the surface. While the creator of the re-cut attempted to remove women, he(?) appears to have been unable to change the central thesis of the movie; that being the cultural and ideological conflict between intersectional liberation (and aesthetically feminized) movements of the post-60s social order, and the hyper-masculine nature of reactionary populism present in the current cultural strata. Both of these movements illustrated in the populist, hostile, and visually masculine reaction against Syrian refugees sitting in contrast to the appearly feminized desire to help those, particularly children, in need. This conflict manifests itself visually in the climax of the film where the rebels, led by a woman, take shelter in a large cave. The Empire then attempts to infiltrate this through the repeated pounding with their laser cannon. The sexual symbolism being so obvious it seems laughable it wasn’t visible to the creator of the fan-edit. However, the sexual experience of an individual who would take the time to remove all women from a children’s movie is open to speculation.

Conservative Party Frantically Defend Ideology By Grover Cleveland The recent collapse of the infrastructure giant, Carillion, has prompted the Conservative Party to release a statement defending their decision to continue to push for private sector involvement in providing public services. The move comes shortly after Carillion, the provider of infrastructure services related to the HS2 rail line and catering services for army barracks, as well as the maintenance of up to 50 prisons, announced that it was entering administration, potentially putting up to 20,000 jobs at risk. This comes shortly after Virgin Healthcare secured £1billion of contracts within the NHS in order to make up for the lack of funding available for publicly run hospital services. This approach is in line with the traditional libertarian idea that increased competition and free market involvement with inherently yield the most efficient solutions over the inevitably inefficient public sector. This is usually carried out through competitive bidding systems similar to the way public transport and the rainway system is handled. British rail travel being the most efficient in Europe. Other policies suggested to increase competition in the NHS include building two of every hospital and allowing them to compete for patients until one remains. Similar to high street takeaways, or student club nights. In a statement made up by one of our writers: Theresa May said:

“We are fully committed to supporting those affected by this event. The decision to employ the services of Carillion was carried out through the proper procurement channels.” She went on to add: “We will be bringing in expert consultants from the private sector to ensure such an event does not occur again.” Senior civil servant have begun to speculate what this could mean for the average member of the public. The current consensus seems to be a tightening of government purse strings in order to make up for the money Carillion seemed to misplace. On Wednesday the Government announced that it was committed to continuing to pay workers involved in public sector contracts, negating the need for Carillion in the first place. In statement later that day by the Good Business Institute: “We would like the assure those concerned that we are committed to making sure those responsible for this mess are basically fine.” The Gaudie has made several attempts to gain comment from members of the University of Aberdeen Economics department regarding how a company employed by the private sector manages to run out of money. After several shrugs we were directed to the Department of Divinity and Theology.

This reactionary fan-edit merely serves as an indicator to issues the film attempted to address in the first place. That being the fundamental conflict between the masculine and feminine identities in post-emancipatory society, in relation to the changing meaning of gender identity as a whole. With the repeated destruction and decline of the First Order, and their decline from The Empire in previous installments being comparable with the deindustrialization of traditionally masculine industries and the growing relevance and earning power of women in the workforce, a previous source of masculine pride. Fear and apprehension visible in the creators desire to remove any attack on characters who bear a masculine identity is a clear indication of this insecurity manifesting itself. When asked for an opinion on the topic actor Mark Hamill responded with 114 cry-laughing emojis. The Gaudie would like to add the following statement in relation to the article: “We honestly are not making this up, someone actually did this, this is barely satire at this point.”

te a im n Too t i Leg atio ou? c Y u r d o E F h c Mu

For the price of money and some dignity you can skip to exams and get a totally legitimate degree* -Printed on nice paper -Save time on actual studying -Almost as valuable as a 2:1 in anthropology. Just call 01224 262980 from a the payphone on Kings Street, wait for 3 rings, hang up, and wait for a call back.


p.15

Satire

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SIMPLESUDOKU

24.01.18

22 23

24 25 27

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Across 2 Genetic disorder affecting coagulation (11)

20 To be renowned or esteemed (4)

7 Visual media format (5)

22 South Asian silk wrap (4)

8 Decay (3)

23 Each Cast Eats (anag.) (7,5)

10 English folk tradition with bells (6,5) 12 Congratulations (5) 13 Waterbird with white plumage (4) 14 Knitting stitch (4) 15 To express disapproval (4) 16 Tropical, spiral-shelled molluscs (7) 18 State of being a slave (7)

26

24 Capture fascinated attention (7) 25 To be in trouble (express.) (8) 27 Addictive smoking substance (7) 29 Absence grant under personal circumstances (13,5)

31

33

Down 1 False or misleading account (17)

19 Put into force or operation (10)

2 Prejudice against gay community (10)

21 Outside border of an object or surface (4)

3 Mistake (5)

24 Receding of the tide (3)

4 Tool for carrying bricks (3) 5 Person who designs outdoor areas (9,9)

26 No. of players per side in cricket (6) 28 Repeat; once more (5)

6 Greek god of war (4)

30 Frozen water (3)

9 Beam reinforcing boat stern (7)

31 Mixed feeling of fear and wonder (3)

32 Small bread roll (3)

11 Young students or pupils (14)

33 Medicine that promotes secretion of mucus (11)

17 Quick, ransom investigation (4-6)

ADVANCEDSUDOKU

Fill in the missing numbers. Each row and column is a maths equation to be solved in sequence. Use the numbers one through nine to complete the equations. Each number is only used once.

DISCLAIMER All opinions expressed in the satire section are written primarily for the sake of comic value and therefore do not necessarily represent the honest views held by the author, The Gaudie, AUSA, or any company which advertises in The Gaudie.


p.16

24.01.18

Sport

Editor: Daniel Rees

‘Athletics Coaches must Work Together for the Benefit of Future Athletes’ Former AUAC President MacNamara opines that collaboration is key to developing talent By Daniel Rees Eoghan MacNamara may only have set up his current training group in Aberdeen two years ago, but his philosophy as an athletics coach already seems to have matured to a level well beyond his years. For the 23-year-old engineering graduate, collaboration and communication are the fulcrum of his coaching outlook, and such a way of thinking has seen him move beyond coaching junior athletes to overseeing the development of track and field competitors in a university setting. He is working towards his UK Athletics Level 3 coaching licence, and has already taken athletes to the latter stages of British University Championships as well as Scottish Age-Group Championships. His motivation for coaching, though, could in some senses almost be seen as philanthropic. Having had his own distance running career curtailed by incessant injury, MacNamara turned to coaching, not only to keep himself involved in the sport, but equally to help other athletes avoid the pitfalls that prevented him for fulfilling his own aspirations: ‘I wanted to be involved in the sport and I wanted to help prevent other athletes from getting injured. I always suffered from hamstring injuries, so how can I help athletes who sprint not suffer from hamstring injuries themselves?’ Having had a successful season in 2016, which saw him run under 2:00.00 in the 800m for the first time, as well as setting numerous personal bests in the 1500m, an injury-ravaged winter season that same year seemingly ended any hopes of taking another step forward in 2017. Instead, MacNamara diverted much of his energies into coaching and, being significantly younger than his counterparts, he offers an interesting insight into the coaching sanctum. With the ubiquity of the internet, electronic coaching manuals and training session guides are now frequently found online; but the ease at which people can access training session plans brings with it its own challenges for coaches, who must try and separate the gems from the junk: ‘A challenge for me and for other coaches is when you read stuff online – what’s useful? What’s not useful? You’ve got a lot of information lying around. It’s easy to just look online and say ‘that looks good, let’s do that.’ But is it functional? Is it going to help you develop athletes?’ For MacNamara, as with any intelligent coach, tailoring session plans to suit the athlete is key. So too, he emphasises, is collaborating with other coaches. MacNamara has been part of the Scottish Athletics coach mentoring scheme for over a year now, and readily admits that learning from Scottish Athletics coaches and ex-athletes Allan Scott and Darren Ritchie has been invaluable. In spite of the general population of coaches’ unwavering commitment to their athletes, some are seen to show a reluctance when it comes to helping

their fellow coaches write programmes and identify biomechanical weaknesses. Interestingly, however, MacNamara demarcates combined events coaches from others who specialise in individual disciplines: ‘It’s good when you speak to people who coach in combined events. A lot of them understand that they can’t know everything about everything. Some coaches have a feeling that what they do is a secret and it’s almost as if it’s their knowledge to keep, whereas it

would be much more beneficial if people just opened up and let their experiences teach others.’ In short, communication and collaboration are the two keys to creating an environment that prioritises the athlete absolutely and unequivocally. After all, every coach is determined to learn and help develop the athlete – for MacNamara, teamwork greatly improves the efficacy of this endeavour. Through his attendance at numerous coaching courses provided by the national governing body Scottish Athletics, MacNamara has learnt much from the input of other coaches who have attended. For him, however, it is the metaphorical toolkit that the governing body provides coaches which is crucial; this provides the coach with a level of understanding so as to guide an athlete in the right direction, whilst equally allowing them a level of freedom in coaching their athletes without an overbearing presence. For him, funding – which has been for so long the gripe of coaches throughout the UK – is not an issue: ‘In terms of support, obviously I don’t get any funding, but then that’s the same for most athletics coaches in the UK. I do think though that providing courses and educational information that’s peer reviewed helps a lot more than funding does. For the majority of coaches, I think it’s more beneficial if you’re given the tools to be educated. I’d rather have the freedom to coach.’ But being a young coach is not merely accompanied with the attributes of innovative ideas and fresh thinking. On the contrary, MacNamara has at times been on the receiving end of a condescending animus from other coaches, who have openly questioned his coaching experience. This is without doubt an unhinging experience, and far from the ideal world of coaches helping one another; but all the same, MacNamara does admit that the interests of the athlete are still prioritised: ‘I’ve dealt with [mistrust] from an old coach of an athlete that I’ve taken on, demanding that the athlete be removed from their current training group and move to another one in the Aberdeen area. They thought I was young so I didn’t know what I was doing. It was annoying that someone didn’t believe in me and my abilities. I felt if I don’t do well with them then it proves [their doubts] right.’ MacNamara is now going into this third year as a coach in the north-east, but nobody would call him a coaching cavalier. He is clearly determined, sedulous, and has an outlook on the general athletics landscape that builds from the coaches down to the athletes. For him, coaching is still very much a gratuitous vocation, and he openly admits that there are numerous facets of technique there for him to learn; but given the strides he has taken in the previous few years as an athletics coach, would anybody bet against his further progression as an athletics coach? Unlikely. With his toolkit becoming ever more extensive and elaborate, it may not be long before he begins to unlock the potential of more than just a handful of budding sprinters in the north-east.

SPORTS RESULTS Aberdeen Men’s 1st

BASKETBALL Aberdeen Men’s 3rd Edinburgh College Men’s 1st

55 67

Aberden Men’s 2nd Aberdeen Men’s 3rd

83 61

Aberdeen Women’s 1st RGU Women’s 1st

46 32

Aberdeen Men’s 2nd Dundee Men’s 2nd

87 46

WATER POLO

5

RUGBY UNION Strathclyde Men’s 2nd Aberdeen Men’s 3rd Stirling Men’s 2nd Aberdeen Men’s 4th

41 15 39 2

TENNIS Stirling Women’s 3rd Aberdeen Women’s 1st

12 0

Sheffield Hallam Women’s 1st 12 Aberdeen Women’s 1st 0

Aberdeen Men’s 1st Stirling Men’s 1st

75 60

St Andrews Men’s 1st

30

VOLLEYBALL

Aberdeen Men’s 1st Abertay Dundee Men’s 1st

3 0

Glasgow Women’s 1st Aberdeen Women’s 1st

3 1

Aberdeen Women’s 1st St Andrews Women’s 1st

1 3

SQUASH Aberdeen Men’s 1st Strathclyde Men’s 1st

1 4

Aberdeen Men’s 1st RGU Men’s 1st

4 1

Aberdeen Men’s 1st Edinburgh Men’s 1st

2 3

Aberdeen Men’s 1st

1

Heriott-Watt Men’s 1st

4

Aberdeen Women’s 4th

Aberdeen Men’s 1st Glasgow Men’s 1st

0 5

Aberdeen Women’s 1st 44 Edinburgh Napier Women’s 1st 37

LACROSSE Strathclyde Men’s 1st Aberdeen Men’s 1st

RGU Women’s 2nd Aberdeen Women’s 3rd 5 4

NETBALL

39

30 17

BADMINTON Aberdeen Men’s 1st Stirling Men’s 1st

9 3

Aberdeen Women’s 3rd RGU Women’s 2nd

24 24

HOCKEY

Aberdeen Women’s 5th St. Andrews Women 4th

29 45

Aberdeen Men’s 1st Sheffield Men’s 1st

3 2

Aberdeen Women’s 4th Dundee Women’s 4th Strathclyde Women’s 3rd

23 24 32

Aberdeen Women’s 2nd Dundee Women’s 2nd

1 0

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