The Aberdeen University Student Newspaper Aberdeen University’s Student Newspaper
29 April 2014
for 1 in 5 students resort to gambling Demands living wage By Kirsty Shaw The current gap in the law in regards to the Living Wage in public sector contracts has caused Labour to demand that SNP ministers should amend legislation that goes through Holyrood. This amendment would result in full-time workers earning an additional £2,500 more a year. The current Living Wage stands at £7.65 an hour in Scotland. Despite this, MSP James Kelly stated: “400,000 Scots don’t earn the Living Wage.” There have been previous attempts by the Labour Party to change the Procurement Reform
“This amendment would result in full-time workers earning an additional £2,500 more a year.”
It’s also important that students are made aware that support is there for those who really need it.” Trevor David, lead training and development consultant at gambling charity GamCare, said: “It’s time to open up a conversation about gambling in universities. For the first time, student finance officers have been coming to us and requesting we come to events and give information to students.” “Universities seem to be becoming aware that there is a growing problem. More education is needed – people need to know how to spot a gambling problem in others and what help and support to provide.”
Bill (Scotland) in an effort to ensure all companies that are awarded public contracts pay the Living Wage, however, a Holyrood committee has in the past rejected these proposals. Mr. Kelly has further commented that the proposals “would make a huge difference to the thousands of households which are struggling with the cost of living crisis. “The Scottish Government spends £10 billion every year buying goods and services. These contracts should be used to ensure that every Scot is paid the Living Wage.” The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) has expressed their support for the proposals. The STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said: “The Scottish Government has a golden opportunity to deliver fairness and equality though the Procurement Reform Bill but it is currently failing to do so. “STUC and our campaigning partners continue to believe that delivering the Living Wage through performance clauses in public contracts is entirely possibly and we are deeply disappointed that the Scottish Government has not given further consideration to this possibility.”
New Aquatic Centre
Photo/ Pawel Kuncewicz
1 in 4 would sell body for medical trial 80% constantly worry about money 41% say university is not worth the money By Dan Naylor A national survey has found that one in five students have turned to gambling in an attempt to gain money, rather than for fun.
The research, conducted by Save the Student, also found that 25% of students would consider selling their bodies for medical trials or in the adult entertainment industry. 2,332 students participated in the study. It found that 4 of 5 constantly worry about their finances, with the majority saying that it affects their studies and their diet. The survey also highlighted that 60% of students worry about repaying their loans once they have graduated, with 55% not understanding the repayment conditions. When struggling for money, the survey showed that over half of students would turn to their parents for financial help, although
12% would rely on credit cards or payday loans. A University student, who would rather remain anonymous, said: “I needed money, so I gambled. I don’t get a loan and part time job wasn’t enough to pay my rent, I found gambling an easy way to make money once a week. On more than one occasion I did lose though, and it put me in a really difficult financial situation.” Jake Butler, editor of Save the Student, said: “It is clear that now more than ever before students require much more in the way of support, awareness and wider education when it comes to personal finance. “Maintenance loans only go so far to cover the rising cost of living.
Scotland’s future Interviews with the leaders of both the yes and no campaigns Features p.6-7
Summer Plans Two writers ask whether it’s better in Aberdeen or Edinburgh this summer Opine p.10
Eating Disorders We explore the myths, stigma and of having an eating disorder at Uni Life and Style p.16 - 17
Andrew Parker chats to Brother and Bones Arts p.18
Xander Brouwer gives the low down on the new aquatic centre Sport p.23
29 April 2014
Editors: Dan Naylor & Anna Katila
New Scholarships to honour Bishop Vice-Principal receives Elphinstone Korean award By Rachel Clark The University of Aberdeen is to launch a new programme of research scholarships in honour of the University’s founder, Bishop William Elphinstone (1431-1514). The scholarships, amounting to over £5 million, will honour Bishop Elphinstone’s commitment to excellence and celebrate his life and legacy as Bishop of Aberdeen, Chancellor of Scotland, and as the founder of King’s College in 1495. When the University of Aberdeen was established, the papal bull that granted the authorisation for King’s College stated that the University would be dedicated to “the pursuit of truth in the service of others.” The new scholarships aim to continue this medieval founding legacy. Named The Elphinstone Scholarship Programme, the grants will be offered to highachieving students from anywhere in the world who are looking to begin a PhD at the University of Aberdeen in autumn of this year. The Vice-Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Professor Claire Wallace, commented: “The University
environment for postgraduate students seeking a career in research. Students work alongside academics who are world-leading in their field, in high-quality facilities on a campus with an ambitious investment plan. “They also benefit hugely from a comprehensive training and development programme, and
“Named The Elphinstone Scholarship Programme, the grants will be offered to high-achieving students.” Photo/ abdn.ac.uk has an outstanding history of pioneering discoveries which have changed thinking and practice in medicine, science, arts and humanities over the centuries. World class universities are about creating and using knowledge to make a difference. “Aberdeen offers a stimulating, supportive and inspiring
the outstanding quality of life and leisure for which north-east Scotland is famed.” Professor Wallace then added: “We look forward to receiving applications for Elphinstone PhD Scholarships across our three Colleges and in our four multidisciplinary research themes of Energy, Environment and Food Security, Pathways to a Healthy Life, and The North.”
University shortlisted for two THE Leadership & Management Awards
By Rachel Clark Vice-Principal Professor Albert A Rodger has received an award from the Republic of Korea for his contribution to the offshore industry. The Vice-Principal has been awarded Honorary Citizenship of Hadong County in the Republic of Korea, one of very few nonKoreans to receive the accolade. The award recognised Professor Rodger’s contribution and development in working with colleagues in Korea towards developing major, industrydominated organisations in offshore research, development, education and production in Hadong District in Gwangyang Province, one of the Korean Free Economic Zones. Professor Rodger was bestowed with the award at a ceremony last week in front of over 1,000 people, including the Governor of the Province and the Mayor of Hadong County. The Mayor of Hadong County commented at the award ceremony: “As Mayor of Hadong County and on behalf of its citizens, in recognition of the warmth
Photo/ abdn.ac.uk By Maria Suessmilch The University of Aberdeen has been shortlisted twice for this year’s Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award. The first shortlisting in the category Departmental ICT Initiative of the Year goes to the North East of Scotland Shared Data Centre project which saw the University collaborate with Robert Gordon University and the North East Scotland College to build a shared £1.5 million carbon and cost-saving data centre. The project, which is in operation since 2013, has earned multiple awards, including the Universities
and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) 2013 Award for Excellence. To cut unnecessary carbon emissions and costs, all three institutions replaced their data centres and joined in a collaborative facility which is located in Aberdeen University’s Edward Wright building. A second centre is currently being built on Robert Gordon University’s Garthdee Campus which will ensure further savings. Project Sponsor and Chair Brian Henderson, Head of Service Management for IT Services, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted in these prestigious national awards for the innovative work
and powerful results that have been achieved through this unique collaboration with our colleagues at RGU and North East Scotland College.” The second nomination in the category Demonstrating Knowledge Transfer in ICT goes to the Department of Computing Science and their work on Natural Language Generation (NLG) and Information Communications Technology (ICT). NLG explores ways of getting computer programs to produce readable text in any ordinary language. Aberdeen hosts the largest and longest standing concentration of NGL research in the world. A spinout company from the University’s NGL Centre, called Data2Text, was acquired by commercialisation specialist Arria last year, with the resulting company Arria NLG being currently valued at £150 million. Winners of this year’s THE Leadership & Management Awards will be announced on June 17 in London.
and generosity you have shown our county, I have the honour of conferring the title of Honorary Citizenship upon Albert A Rodger.” On accepting the award from the Mayor of Hadong, Professor Rodger commented on his achievement: “To be awarded honorary citizenship of Hadong is a very great privilege indeed. I am very grateful and wish to express my deepest thanks to the Mayor and the Council for this major distinction.”
Domestic animal evolve quicker than thought By Anna Katila
“We are delighted to be shortlisted in these prestigious national awards for the innovative work and powerful results.” Project Sponsor and Chair Brian Henderson
“To be awarded honorary citizenship of Hadong is a very great privilege indeed. I am very grateful and wish to express my deepest thanks to the Mayor and the Council for this major distinction.” Professor Rodger
The University of Aberdeen has participated to a research led by Durham University that suggests that the appearance of domestic animals has changed more rapidly than previously believed. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. The scientists analysed ancient DNA from chicken bones. A University spokesman explained: “By looking at patterns of variation in these genes through time, they found that few European chickens from 2,000 years ago to 500 years ago had yellow skin, and only a small percentage possessed the behavioural trait now ubiquitous in chicken populations worldwide.” The research team is delighted with their findings as they call into a question many long held preconceptions about the evolution of domestic animals. Dr Greger Larson from Durham University’s Department of Archaeology said: “Looking today
Photo/ Vemsteroo (flickr)
at our pets and livestock including dogs, cows, sheep, and chickens, there’s been an assumption that if a particular trait is found in a majority of breeds, that it must have made its first appearance at the dawn of domestication thousands of years ago. “That makes sense since it is reasonable to assume a correlation between ubiquity and time – the more common a trait is, the longer it’s likely to have been kicking around. “Our research, however, suggests that even some of the most common traits, like yellow legs in chickens, were extremely rare as recently as 500 years ago, and that humans can drive selection rapidly, making it look like the trait has a deep history. “In this way, domestic animals evolve more like fashion and culture than like wild animals. Just like taking a ‘selfie’ on your smart phone is both recent and universal, chickens across the world possess traits their recent ancestors didn’t have.”
29 April 2014
Walking Routes to commemorate Marking boycott postponed the Commonwealth Games By Rachel Clark
By Dan Naylor Three new walking maps for the City of Aberdeen have been launched as part of Rambler’s Scotland’s Medal Routes project. In a ceremony held at Robert Gordon University on 14th April, members of the local community, University students and staff officially launched the new maps which show short walking routes. Each walk is centred around several walking hubs, starting and ending at the same place. These hubs include Marischal College, Aberdeen Sports Village and Robert Gordon University. The project was a joint effort by Aberdeen City Council, Robert Gordon’s University, the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen Sports Village. Last Monday marked 100 days until the Commonwealth Games begin. The Medal Routes project is designed to create a physical activity legacy from Glasgow 2014, encouraging individuals and communities throughout Scotland to become more active. There are three levels of walk: Bronze, Silver and Gold (approximately 15, 30 and 60 minutes respectively) starting and finishing from one of the hubs. Rob Burns, Medal Routes Project Officer for Ramblers Scotland said: “We are so pleased to be launching three new Medal Routes in Aberdeen exactly 100 days before the Commonwealth Games begin. “As a Games legacy project, Medal Routes provides wonderful and easy encouragement for people to go for a regular walk using the Medal Routes leaflet. “By walking at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, people can watch the Commonwealth Games knowing that they are on the road to fitness too. “We now have over 250 Medal Routes in almost 90 locations throughout Scotland. Each of the walking routes identified use paths within the local communities that many people don’t even know exist. “The paths can offer wonderful scenery, fantastic points of interest and include some of Aberdeen’s historical architecture. “There are lots of opportunities to get involved if anyone is interested in helping to promote these routes or identify new ones.” Aberdeen City Council’s Convener of Education, Culture and Sport Councillor Jenny Laing said: “As a council we are committed to making Aberdeen a more active city by helping our citizens to be more physically active through sport, exercise, dance and play. “These new walking routes provide the ideal opportunity for folk to get out-and-about, enjoy some fresh air, the scenery, and learn about the local history while getting fitter. “We are also keen to be a more connected city and by working with partners we want to encourage residents and visitors to the city to get involved and enjoy the benefits, now and long-term of being active, which would be a fitting legacy of the Commonwealth Games.” The closest Routes to the University are the Bronze, Silver and Gold walks that centre around the Aberdeen Sports Village.
Aberdeen Sports Village Medal Routes Golden Route
All the Medal Routes can be found at www.ramblers.org.uk/medalroutes
A marking boycott that was scheduled for the 28th of April has been postponed by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU). As a part of the on-going disputes over pay, the UCU have agreed to postpone the proposed marking boycott until the 6th of May to allow for a ballot of members. The agreement was made after a 2% pay-rise for the academic year 2014-2015 was offered, and the UCU are thought to have asked for this to be seen as a way to solve the on-going disputes. The offer sees an increase of 2.2% to the 51-point pay-scale to rates equal to or more than the Living Wage, which is £7.65 outside London. However, the UCU added that many universities already pay in excess of the Living Wage and provide generous sickness, holiday and pension benefits that are not included in the Living Wage calculations. However, it has been warned that a 2% pay-rise might not be enough to settle the unions on this issue, with The Times reminding that previous below-inflation offers have resulted in a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2009. Employers claim that the current offer is “at the limits of affordability” and seeks to “reward their much valued and hardworking staff this year.” However, only 5% of UCU members took part in strike action over the offer of a 1% pay-rise, and support for strikers has subsequently lessened. The decision to postpone the marking boycott was made on the 15th of April, and is said to have been “constructive”, with “both sides exploring all options and seeking realistic outcomes that can be acceptable to all”. The Principal of the Royal Agricultural College, and UCEA Negotiation Team representative, Professor Chris Gaskell, commented: “The employers have made a substantial final pay offer of 2% on all pay points with a
commitment to discuss further the other important elements of the claim.” Gaskell then asked union members to “consider carefully the real value of the offer being made. All in the sector share an aim to conclude this year’s negotiations successfully and draw a line under last year’s dispute.” Daniel Stevens, NUS international students’ officer, said: “These figures confirm what we have been saying all along. Many international students feel unwelcome in the UK as a result of the government’s hostile and overzealous policies.” LLM in Oil and Gas Law student and president of the Azerbaijani
“The employers have made a substantial final pay offer of 2% on all pay points.” Professor Chris Gaskell Society, Fuad Sultanov, was surprised by the results: “I have never experienced any kind of discrimination from the members of staff or students and I’ve had a fantastic 5 years here in Aberdeen.” However, he admits annoyance regarding the high tuition fees: “In terms of equality, there is obviously an inequality such as that the tuition fees for International students are £12,000-£15,000, while EU students do not pay anything at all.” Also Chenjing Gao, a 2ndyear Finance and Accounting student, enjoys the University atmosphere: “I have felt welcome here. Group tasks in tutorials help different students to share cultural experiences with one another, and give Chinese students a chance to improve their English.”
University quits CBI By Asma Butt The University of Aberdeen is amongst the most recent departures from the Confederation of British Industry, CBI Scotland. The move comes after the pressure group took a pro-union stance on the upcoming independence referendum. The CBI is a team of organisations that lobby government on behalf of innovation in Scotland, drawn from various industries including tourism and steel work, and importantly, education. In an unexpected move, the pressure group chose to publicly announce its pro-union position in the Scottish independence debate. The University of Aberdeen said that it would be inappropriate to continue as a member. A spokesperson for the University said: “The University does not take an institutional position on the constitutional future of Scotland.” Robert Gordon University have also followed suit, suspending their CBI membership “for the time being.” An RGU spokesperson added: “This will be reviewed
after the referendum and the University will maintain its position of neutrality.” Other organisations such as STV, the Law Society of Scotland and Visit Scotland have also left the Confederation. However, since the University of Aberdeen’s departure, the CBI is now seeking to reverse its decision, claiming that it was not approved by the CBI Board and was not signed by an authorised signator. Previously, CBI director-general John Cridland defended the decision to define the lobbying group, saying that he did not see the economic case for Scottish independence being viable. Since the decision to reverse their decision, Cridland has commented: “The CBI is politically independent and impartial. Although the decision to register with the Electoral Commission was taken in good faith, in order to carry out normal activities during the referendum period, it has inadvertently given the impression that the CBI is a political entity - we are not and never will be.
University offers new international incentives
The Loch Ness monster found?
Great Tapestry draws the crowds By Anna Katila Since the opening of the exhibition displaying The Great Tapestry of Scotland in mid-February, Aberdeen Art Gallery has doubled its normal visitor numbers. The Great Tapestry of Scotland is a 140-metre long embroidered tapestry that presents history of Scotland. The project is the largest community arts project in Scotland. For the project, Professor Alexander McCall Smith worked with historian Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy in order to design 160 historical panels, each depicting key moments from Scotland’s past, from prehistory to the 21st century.
By Alasdair Lane As part of its ongoing drive to cultivate an ever more diverse and cosmopolitan atmosphere, the University has launched a series of new initiatives designed to give the campus a truly international flavour and outlook. At an annual cost of £4 million, new opportunities will support international students in accessing the University’s refreshed selection of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. There are a collection of new funding opportunities and initiatives directed specifically at international students. International Undergraduate Scholarships are to the value of one year’s tuition fee and open to all international students studying at Aberdeen for four or more years, excluding Medicine. Graduate Business School Scholarships support gifted international students interested in specific postgraduate degrees. Fixed fee structure is the University’s new price structure for international undergraduate and postgraduate research students. From September 2014 onwards, tuitions fees will be fixed for the duration of the degree programme. Announcing the new initiatives, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor said: “Our commitment is for the Aberdeen experience to be the best that students can have anywhere. An important part of this is the benefit for all of a diverse student community including many nationalities. We hope these new initiatives will bring many more students to north-east Scotland from across the world and further enrich the quality of the learning experience on our campus.”
29 April 2014
Photo/ Daria Opanowska By Emily Thorburn Satellite images from Apple’s first ever mapping app claim to have sighted the Loch Ness Monster. Images of the iconic monster were discovered by Nessie enthusiast Andy Dixon of County Durham. He describes stumbling upon the images as ‘purely an accident’ and in a recent news article published in the Scotsman he stated: ‘I was trawling through satellite transmissions of different parts of the country and I thought I would try Loch Ness. I could see something big under the water and I saved it to my phone. My first thought was that it was the monster, and I contacted Gary Campbell of the Official Loch Ness
Monster Club.’ The monster appeared to be swimming southwards, towards the small Lochside town of Dores. Satellite images of the creature were available on the Map app for all Apple users to see. Dixon argues that unless there have been secret submarine trails going through the Loch, he is more than convinced that the creature is Nessie. As a believer of Nessie’s existence, Dixon was understandably excited by his findings and hopes to pay a visit to Scotland soon. There have been no confirmed sighting of Nessie since 1925, however, tourist visits to the scenic area are still high.
Victory for Aberdeen Law students
“I am delighted that the exhibition of The Great Tapestry of Scotland has been so well received in Aberdeen.” Professor McCall Smith After this phase, Dorie Wilkie adapted the work for stich. She took the work to the communities and more than 1,000 stichers across the Scotland participated to the task of finalising the artwork. Since the opening of the exhibition 38,814 visitors have visited the gallery. All supplementary events at the gallery, which were spearheaded by an author and professor Alexander McCall
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska Smith, were fully subscribed. The exhibition was also extended by a full day and remained open for a few evenings to accommodate the wishes of the public. Professor McCall Smith said: “I am delighted that the exhibition of The Great Tapestry of Scotland has been so well received in Aberdeen, and I am very pleased that the Art Gallery has taken steps to ensure that everyone who wishes to see this wonderful celebration of Scotland’s past will be able to do so.” Art Gallery and Museums manager Christine Rew, said: “The Great Tapestry of Scotland has been hugely popular with visitors of all ages to the Art Gallery. People are enthralled by the portrayal of Scotland’s history and culture which is illustrated so effectively through the embroidered panels. In response to this feedback the Art Gallery opening hours have been extended during the show’s final weeks to allow everyone the chance to see the exhibition for the first time or enjoy a repeat visit”.
Fate of Scotland hangs in the balance Referendum vo,ng preferences
Popular Aberdeen bar to re-open
By Rachel Clark Popular Aberdeen bar, Enigma, is to re-open its doors under new owners. Enigma, located within the Academy Shopping Centre, closed down on the 2nd of March, with speculation that the cause was due to cheap alcohol available from offlicences and supermarkets. It has now been announced that the cocktail company 10 Dollar Shake will take over the old site. The business first started in 2010, and they opened The Tippling House on Belmont Street in October 2012, making them wellexperienced within the industry in Aberdeen. A new name for the bar has yet to be announced by 10 Dollar Shake, but it has been confirmed that Beetroot Restaurants, who operate The Adelphi Kitchen and The Courtyard, will be in charge of food in the new bar.
10% 5% 0%
By Dainius Balcytis Photo/ Emma Macmillan By Rachel Clark The University of Aberdeen won the Granite City Moot last Wednesday, gaining a victory over Robert Gordon University. The University of Aberdeen was represented by Alistair McDermid and Emma Macmillan, the third year LLB Law students. They debated over a problem combining delictual liability and employment law. The pair saw the RGU competition from Stephen Dixon and Jamie Gian only to win the Granite City shield. The moot itself took the form of an appeal court, with the two
universities arguing over the facts and the decision of the fictional court lower down. The debate was judged by Sheriff Christopher Shead. Alistair McDermid commented, saying that the problem they were debating over was given to the pair a week before, and the two of them spent almost the entire week practicing in the library: “The judge was particularly inquisitive and interventionist and it was great fun. Emma and I are absolutely delighted to win, especially since its RGU!”
The latest ICM survey reveals a vastly changed public opinion regarding Independence referendum. During the last month the No vote support has decreased from 46% to 42%, while the Yes vote has remained at 39%. After the 19% “don’t knows” are taken out of equation, the No vote stands at 52% and 48% of the population is in favour of Scotland becoming a sovereign nation. This marks a significant victory for the Yes campaign as for the first time since the Scottish Independence referendum was announced back in 2012, Yes and No votes are standing on an almost equal footing. One of the interesting things that
this survey found out was that people born in England are more likely to vote against Independence. Professor John Curtice from Strathclyde University commented on this: “They are more likely to retain a sense of British identity and […] remain part of the UK.” He also noted: “In a tight race, they could yet hold the key to the referendum.” With the coming Commonwealth games in Glasgow everyone expects another major increase in the Yes camp during summer. Yes Scotland’s chief executive, Blair Jenkins said: “This is another very encouraging poll – the narrowest gap in the campaign so far.” Meanwhile Labour party leaders are speaking about campaigning more in favour of a united Britain in the coming months.
29 April 2014
Editor: Grant Costello
Time to move on from Iraq Tom Nugent discusses the legacy of the Iraq War and its consequences on International Diplomacy
roblems in the Middle East are a somewhat daily occurrence in our now so media-run lives. Whether it’s the morning headlines, the latest tweet, or the evening bulletin, we will at some point during our day bear witness to a problem that has plagued our world for years. Like a cancer that has spread far beyond the borders of Syria or Jordan, Iraq or Afghanistan, the Middle East gives rise to a number of fundamental questions for today’s politicians. How do you solve the unsolvable? Cure the incurable? The consequences of what many see as a failed attempt at peace in Iraq have cemented caution in the minds of government’s the world over. The ultimate decision not to intervene in Syria last year had many accusing the consequences of Iraq for playing on the minds of our politicians. Although caution is a positive political approach at times, surely, 11 years after ousting Saddam Hussein, it’s time to move on from the insecurities caused by a previous government before they haunt diplomatic decisions for years to come. Little did we know that back in 2003 the invasion of Iraq and successful toppling of Saddam Hussein’s d i c t a t o r s h i p would have such lasting effects on international politics? Although efficacious in its aims it left a long lasting halo of controversy over the head of then Prime Minister Tony Blair. There are two major details that lay refuge to the huge public outcry over the Iraq war. The first is the claim that Blair, together with then US President George W. Bush, used Iraq as an invasion of self-interest in terms of oil opportunities within the region, and the second is a civilian death toll that as of 2011 reached an estimated 461,000. Despite Blair’s view of the West acting as a shining candle in a sea of darkness, the light on his leadership flickered before slowly burning out. Leaving behind a subtle smoke of caution when it came to all things Middle Eastern, his reputation with the British public was left more than tarnished. In the Guardian weekly on 11th
April 2014, Tony Blair came out deriding non-intervention in Syria and with it had the opportunity to once again defend his actions back in 2003. In acknowledgement of an understanding that people do not want another version of the Iraq war in another part of the world he raised the question “supposing [we] had left Saddam”?, going on to say “I think it is reasonably arguable, surely, that you would have had the so-called Arab spring come to Iraq”. The Arab spring is a wave of pro-democracy uprisings and in Blair’s opinion it would have spread to
Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, it was going to come to Iraq and [we] would be facing what [we] are facing in Syria now in Iraq”. The case of Iraq portrays Blair’s standing view that “when you remove the dictatorship, that is the beginning, not the end”. It was this idea that enabled him to positively advocate military action in Syria against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad after a Sarin gas attack last August. The attack took place in the Ghouta district, near Damascus, and killed between 350-
involvement. In September 2013 Francois Hollande, French President, disdained the decision, saying Cameron had “committed a schoolboy error”, continuing to say “he overestimated his strength and didn’t find a way of convincing his [parliamentary] majority as he lost by just 5 votes”. Hindsight is sometimes a long and winding road towards relief at one’s past decisions. However, in politics, it can very quickly become a short, straight path towards regret. Only time will tell which path those 5 votes will take but David Cameron’s reaction to such a loss
Saddam Hussein, Bashir al-Assad and Tony Blair (left to right) - Photo edted by Josiah Bircham
“Little did we know that back in 2003 the invasion of Iraq and successful toppling of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship would have such lasting effects on international politics?”
Iraq had we not intervened when we did. He went on to say, in his eyes, “if it had come to Tunisia,
We have a whole series of reservations... We have to ask ourselves, are we not further fueling the conflict? Angela Merkel
1400 people. This stance stood him on an equal pedestal as current British Prime Minister David Cameron, who wanted to join the US in launching an attack on the Assad regime. The same two nations that instigated the intervention in Iraq again shared the same view on yet another dictatorship. There is a line that simply cannot be crossed and, in using chemical weapons on his own people, Assad crossed that line and was far beyond the immoral horizon. However, David Cameron did not manage to secure the majority of the vote on the issue in the House of Commons and therefore was forced to withdraw from the idea of military
evidently suggests the latter will prevail. He accused MP’s who voted against British intervention in Syria of weakness, of managing to fall short in their failure to take a “stand against the gassing of children”. In claiming that the UK had fresh evidence of Assad’s regime using chemical weapons, and that the use of such vile approaches to a civil war had broken International Law, David Cameron was undisputedly right in pursuing military action within the region. His aim was the protection of the innocent but the actions of those who were perhaps scarred by the criticism and defilement of reputations caused by the Iraq conflict prevented this from
Few countries can have the capacity of enforcing any sanctions. France will be a part of it. France is Ready. Francois Hollande
happening. There was too much emphasis on what could happen as oppose to what should happen. Cameron said those who opposed “chose the easy and political path not the right and difficult path”. In politics, especially with International Affairs, there is rarely an easy and political path that leads to success; sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. The big question raised is whether those against intervention allowed their conscience to be haunted by the ghost of Blair’s regime. What is evident is that had we intervened in Syria it would have been for humanitarian issues, with the idea of self-interest playing no part in Cameron or Obama’s mind-set. The prevention of intervention led to the eventual prevention of humanitarian aid, something that civilians involved in such a situation deserve as a minimum. If no risks are taken in further conflicts like in Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East, because of such reasons, then the consequences will not be seen at home, but more drastically abroad in the shape of famine and disease spreading amongst civilians helplessly caught in the midst of war. The question of whether we should or should not have intervened in Syria is one that will be answered with hindsight. The short term consequence however is one that shines a glaring light in the face of diplomatic failure; the lack of humanitarian aid let down hundreds trapped in the vicious tyranny of the Assad regime. There seems to be a growing consensus within the European Union to intervene without physically intervening and if this is a direct consequence of what happened in Iraq then something has to change. It is time for the world of politics to move on from the constant echo of Blair’s mishaps before the past becomes the voice of reason by which future diplomatic decisions are prematurely made. A clean conscience is vital in dealing with problems in the Middle East and until the mental slate is wiped clean of Iraq the lasting legacy of Tony Blair’s regime will remain negatively etched in politician’s minds for years to come.
The US will continue to work with Britain and consult with Britain as we are the closest of allies. Barack Obama
29 April 2014
In conversation with
Rona Burns - Voting Yes -
1) Why are you voting yes in the mock referendum? I think that Scotland would be a better country if all the important decisions for Scotland were made in Scotland by a government that we actually voted for rather than a government south of the border who have not acted like they care for the needs of the Scottish people. There is just so little difference the Scottish vote makes to what party is elected to govern at Westminster. Of course there are other reasons like the economic mis-management and trident but the political deficit is the number one reason why I am voting yes. 2) What can the Yes campaign
Grant Costello catches up with the Chief Exeutive to hear his thoughts about AU’s mock referendum “When we achieve independence we can create a more prosperous and fairer society for everyone not just students.” Blair Jenkins
Photo/ Yes Scotland
lair Jenkins, the Leader of the Yes Scotland campaign, walked into the Yes Scotland offices looking confident, despite the recent University of Strathclyde results giving the Better Together campaign a 55% to 45% win in their mock referendum. Yet when I was invited through to their offices I could understand why. It was bustling with volunteers and staff, a lot of noise and a real sense of passion in the atmosphere. Blair invited me into the conference room, both of us with a Herald in hand and its front page espousing the rise in support for the Yes side over the last few months, no doubt the reason for the positive atmosphere emanating from the staff. Blair sat down in his seat, suited up, but in no way reminded me of a politician. This is not entirely surprising considering Blair’s career up until now has had little if anything to do with party politics. A former Director of Broadcasting at STV and Head of News at the BBC, he has had a distinguished career in journalism that even resulted in him being honoured in the Queen’s Birthday List with an OBE (Order of the British Empire). While the irony of his honour might not have featured in his decision to take on the post of Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, his belief that he wanted to be part of something that could “fundamentally change our nation for the better” certainly did. “No one I worked with ever knew my political views, it just wasn’t something you did when you were at the top of that industry” he said, but when I came to the referendum, “Scotland’s once in a lifetimes change for change” he couldn’t reject the chance to be part of history. I started our interview asking him why he actually thought students should vote for independence in the University of Aberdeen’s mock referendum and in the real referendum on September 18th. “When we achieve independence we can create a more prosperous and fairer society for everyone not just students.” I pressed him on this, as it seemed like the perfect pre-planned answer, and he just chuckled and then continued. “I’ve been in many different industries and it’s been true for
a long time that Scotland’s best prospects have to go abroad for the best opportunities. But with independence we can change that culture, keep our top talent in Scotland through policies like free education and a focus on our young generation”. But why is this mock referendum so important? For Yes Scotland, Blair argued: “that we know the more people that become engaged in the ideas surrounding the referendum, hear our arguments and talk about the possibility of independence, come over to our side, become convinced of the prospect of a better nation for everyone that lives here.” With such a big contingent of international students here at the University of Aberdeen I asked what the Yes Campaign can offer to those students who have to take the decision whether or not to stay in Scotland after their degree or return to their home country. “I think a lot of international countries understand Scotland’s desire for independence to be able to guide our own destiny. I think a lot of people in this country want a compassionate Nordic-styled society rather than the failed British state that we have now.” I asked him what the Yes campaign had to offer to students in general, to convince them that they should cast their vote for Independence. “I think it’s not just about Yes Scotland. You have the Radical Independence Campaign which is full of energy and ideas, Business for Scotland, Women for Independence, Generation Yes and so on. The No side has no equivalent to the wide variety of ideas and talent the yes side has to offer the people of Scotland. Asking him about his final comments, for his finishing arguments as to why people should vote yes in both referendums he had me look to the wall in their office with the massive countdown saying ‘147 days, 19 hours and 2 minutes’ until referendum day. “Whether it’s 147 days to go, or 1 hour to go everyone supporting a yes vote will be strongly projecting a positive and passion argument for independence because it is a positive change for the future. People want to see the reasons for independence, they want to see the data that shows we can be independent. But they also want to hear a positive vision for the future and only the yes campaign is giving people that. The no side has brought out all their negative tactics but I honestly believe that in the end the positive vision for yes will win through.”
offer to Aberdeen’s students to convince them to vote their way? I think, just continuing what they are doing, just telling people the truth about what Scotland can achieve on its own, coupled with speaker events, which they are organising plenty of, so just more of that really. 3) How do you think the mock referendum vote will go? I think it could go either way, I have noticed that the Aberdeen student Facebook page for yes has more likes than the one for no so that is an implication that yes will win the mock referendum but, at the end of the day, it is more about getting the information out there, as plenty students won’t vote in the mock referendum but will vote in the real one.
Aberdeen University’s GLASGOW UNIVERSITY POLL
Emily Thorburn - Undecided -
staying part of the union would be best.
yes 38% votes
Poll - Glasgow Uni Mock Referendum February 2013
1) Why are you still undecided on how you’ll vote in the mock referendum? To be honest because neither side in putting forward a truly convincing argument to win my vote. I’m quite torn, as on some issues I think independence would be good for Scotland but in others I think
2) What can the two campaigns offer to Aberdeen’s students to convince them to vote their way? I want to know that Education will stay free and that there will be job prospect for graduates however I vote. Right now I think there will be more prospect of graduate jobs in a country of 60 million than in one of 5 million. However I prefer the ideological basis that Scotland tends to be rooted in, as it is about equality of oppertunity for all and free education. 3) How do you think the mock referendum vote will go? I think that it will be a very narrow vote, most likely for the better together side.
29 April 2014
David Green - Voting No 1) Why are you voting no in the mock referendum? I believe in an internationalist strand of politics where we empower individuals and break down barriers between people, not build them. That is why I believe that Scotland as part of the UK has the best of both worlds – a strong Scottish Parliament, with the guarantee of more powers, backed up by the economic strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. 2) What can the No campaign offer to Aberdeen’s students? Students know that voting No will keep Scotland’s place in the EU,
securing Erasmus programs and EU student funding. Students know that Scotland’s Universities receive 15% of the UK’s research funding, significantly more than Scotland’s 8% share of the UK population. Our message is very clear - we believe Scotland is ‘Better Together’ within the UK. 3) How confident are you, Student will back No in the mock referendum? #ABDNIndyRef is the opportunity to speak to students all across campus about the issues they care about. We have been overwhelmed by the positive support from students for remaining within the UK. We will continue to work hard to deliver a ‘No’ vote as has been the case on every other University campus mock referendum in Scotland.
In conversation with
Emily Thorburn meets with with the Better Together Campaign Director to discuss his thoughts on AU’s mock referendum
Photo/ Better Together
Mock Referendum Alicia Jensen - Undecided Yes side, Scottish citizens would have full political power, allowing the Scottish to make decisions for Scotland, and policies that reflect what they want. For the No side, the UK is a successful many levels and has the capability to further devolution.
1) Why are you still undecided on how you’ll vote in the mock referendum? There are persuasive reasons on both sides. There are a lot of unanswered questions that cannot be answered until seen in practice, which makes it difficult to make a fully informed decision. For the
2) What can the two campaigns offer to Aberdeen’s students to convince them to vote their way? They need to offer more information about their visions for the future, outlining the problems Scotland faces rather than focusing on the emotive arguments. 3) How do you think the mock referendum vote will go? I think the majority of students here support better together, from the evidence of last night’s Earl Marshall debate.
STRATHCLYDE UNIVERSITY POLL
yes 45% votes
Poll - Strathclyde Uni Mock Referendum April 2014
cottish Independence and the coming referendum is 2014’s hot topic. From television debates to bumper stickers, people are starting to voice their opinions about Scotland’s future. In attempt to engage students in the referendum, the University of Aberdeen’s Student Association are currently running a mock referendum across campus with campaigners for both the Yes and No camps furiously trying to persuade student voters with their line of thinking. The University’s Better Together group last week hosted an event in an attempt to convince students to vote to stay in the union. Speakers included local Aberdonian Councillor Ross Grant, local businessman Alexander Burnett and their superstar guest Blair McDougall, Campaigns Director of Better Together. The Gaudie caught up with Blair to hear his thoughts on student referendums and Scottish independence more generally. Blair, who is from Glasgow, describes himself as having come from a political active family, campaigning for the Labour Party when he was as young as sixteen. After completing his degree at the University of Glasgow, Blair went on to work in various different areas of politics including being a special advisor to both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. When asked if he agrees with sixteen and seventeen year olds being able to vote, Blair noted his full support, arguing that the young people are the future of Scotland and that, as politically active teenager, he would have relish the opportunity to vote. I asked Blair to sum up why the University’s students should vote no in both the mock and actual referendum. He pointed out that the Independence debate is often thought of as being very black and white, “we are often told we can have one or other. Either we become independent or we stay as we are and this is not the case”. He argues that if the UK were to work together, Scotland could achieve more devolved powers and greater success. Additionally, Blair argued that upcoming graduates are continually encouraged to think
bigger, better and believe that they are not limited to one career path or location. However, he argues that Scottish independence would limit graduate opportunities and that in an independent Scotland, graduates are being asked to think smaller and only of Scotland’s national concerns: “graduates are better off in a country of 65 million, rather than 5 million.” University referendums, Blair argues, are crucial for gauging young people’s opinions about independence and make young people engage with the political process. Blair also appeared happy to say that students appear to be supporting the idea of unity rather than independence and that, thus far, no student-based referendum has voted in favour of going it alone. The Yes campaign has continually promised to maintain free education for Scottish students, which could be a pulling factor for Aberdeen students. However, Blair argues convincingly that all education decisions are already made by the Scottish Parliament and not Westminster. He argues that free education is something of a moot point as it is down to the policies and beliefs of those elected in Scotland, irrespective of whether or not Scotland is an independent nation. However, Blair warns that in an independent Scotland, places for Scottish students may be limited as demand to study in Scotland from English, Welsh and Irish students would potentially increase.
“graduates are better off in a country of 65 million, rather than 5million.” Blair McDougall Recently, the Confederation of British Industry came out in support of the Better Together campaign, in what some have dubbed to be a controversial move and has actually led to them reversing their decision. Blair commented that he could understand the why the motivation behind the CBI’s decision and went on to say that he is concerned about the way in which the SNP will respond. He argues that the SNP tactics are frequently childish and unduly nasty in response to an outcome that does not go their way. I concluded my chat with Blair by asking him to highlight the major reasons why students and graduates specifically should vote to stay part of the Union. His answer was fairly conclusive, Scotland has more power and influence over world events and students and graduates have more opportunities as more of a larger governing body. His message is clear. We are Better Together.
29 April 2014
The End of the “Chosen One”
Shona Duthie examines the dismal record of Sir Alex Fergusson’s chosen sucessor
avid Moyes reign as Manchester United manager was anything but short and sweet. He lasted just ten months in charge of the world’s most recognisable club and became the 35th manager in English football to be sacked this season alone. The first few days of his reign were celebrated among the United fans along with almost all other observers of the beautiful game. In Moyes’ 11 year reign at Everton, he’d taken them from the brinks of relegation to being a top ten side each season. He made them a team to be reckoned with and Goodison Park a stadium which many teams feared. With the United job came many highs and lows, with the lows being made more prominent in the last few months. He had set new records which had never been seen before at the club with his latest, and not a particularly illustrious one, being the first Manchester United manager sacked since 1986. He was “The Chosen One”, specifically picked by Sir Alex Ferguson himself. Yet now the Stretford End of the stadium lies bare of the ‘Chosen One’s” banner that was torn down, as the new interim manager Ryan Giggs takes over for the rest of the season. During his short reign he’d managed to break 13 records, almost all he’d likely never wish
to be reminded of. These include: United’s worst home form in over a decade; suffering three defeat in a row since 2001; Everton having beaten Manchester United at home and away for the first time since 1969-1970 (no doubt his most bitter pill to swallow); the first time United will fail to qualify for the Champions League since
that the players began to lose respect for their Manager with Ryan Giggs being quoted saying, “We will go back to playing like Manchester United.” One big difference between Ferguson and Moyes is that Ferguson believed in pushing forward to create that magic that has been seen by Manchester United over the past
towards the removal of their manager was indifferent with none of the players being socially active on media sites to offer or show support to their departed manager. It has been suggested that Moyes couldn’t gain the respect like Ferguson had from the players. However, he made no reference to the players in his leaving speech
decades; Moyes on the other hand is a defensive mastermind, which by these records does not work with a team such as Manchester United. The end for Moyes came after the 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park to Everton. The player’s attitude
but did however thank everyone else at the club. He stated: “In my short time at the club I have learnt what special places Old Trafford and Carrington are. I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of
Photo/ caughtoffside.com 1995 and they are now guaranteed to end the season on the lowest tally of points they have ever received in the Premier League. A dismal record for the man chosen to manage a team still currently the champions of England. However, it was lately revealed
the United family from my first day. And of course thank you to those fans whom have supported me throughout the season. I wish you and the club all the best for the future. “I have always believed that a manager never stops learning during his career and I know I will take invaluable experience from my time as United’s manager. I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for believing in my ability and giving me the chance to manage Manchester United.” It has been suggested that the first breakdown occurred between Giggs and Moyes near the beginning of the season with the Welshmen feeling marginalized in his coaching role. It was also revealed that Giggs had become difficult for Moyes to manage over the last few weeks and months. Many of the players began to lose faith in him, which only sparked the ending for Moyes. Taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to be seen as a difficult task, however the damage that has been caused at the club since has seen the legacy of the once greatest football club in England falter.
The rise of television’s Binge culture
Rosie Fergusson looks at the trend in the rise of bulk TV viewing
ouse of Cards’ second season has once again burst into our lives all at once, seemingly encouraging our shameful binge-watching habits. However binge-watching is not a new thing. Cable networks have been airing marathons of popular shows for years, FRIENDS marathons have been running since the show ended in 2004, not to mention ITV’s Sunday morning ‘Corrie’ fix. But that arrival of Netflix, and subsequently its 44 million subscribers, has pushed bingeing into the mainstream. A study by research firm Harris Interactive revealed that 61% of 1,500 Netflix users regularly binge-watch shows, and 79% said TV is more enjoyable when several episodes are consumed in one sitting. Additionally, further study by entertainment research firm MarketCast found that 80% of survey respondents in their twenties said they regularly binge on T V shows online. The 21st century has become synonymous with the need for instant gratification. High speed internet and the development of tablets, smartphones and apps means that there is no excuse for missing an episode. We can watch TV wherever we are, whenever we want: there are no restrictions. With that in mind, who is going to want to wait weeks or months to find out if (spoiler alert) buffy does die. Scientists believe that binge watching can be beneficial. It has been classed as “restorative
experience” which, according to psychologist Stephen Kaplan, helps us to relax and recharge our batteries. Kaplin believes that bingeing, similar to walking along the beach, is calming as it removes us from the stress of daily life. For many, bingeing is a reward. Once a major project or assignment is handed in people will reward themselves by watching a marathon of their favourite show or catch up with the episodes they have missed. In the same way, binge-watching could be used as an incentive; if work is completed, they can enjoy watching tv guilt free. Furthermore, studies have shown that many chose to binge on shows that are ‘compelling’ and ‘innovative.’ As Conor Ferguson states: “Bingeing is not the same as watching a show one hour at a time, week after week. A single episode is just entertainment, a temporary diversion. But when you go immediately from closing credits to opening credits with hardly a pause, you are allowing yourself to inhabit a world. The show can become a new reality for you in a way that isn’t possible with mere casual viewing.” With so many of us unable to commit to the length of a movie without checking social media for slivers of information, binge watching provides a unique opportunity to become fully immersed and focused; factor in the amount of time spent in front of the tv and binge-watching transforms from mindless to a miraculous feat of
concentration. Breaking Bad mastermind Vince Gilligan is sceptical of bingewatching. Whilst agreeing that his show would not be as popular as it is without Nexflix offering potential viewers the opportunity to “seamlessly join the five-seasonlong train of serialized dramatic storytelling,” Gillian maintains, “the best thing TV has going for it is that you have a hundred hours to develop characters, learn their nuances, and tell their stories. I say
Photo/ Failedimitator (Flikr)
if you blast through those episodes too quickly, you won’t have time to appreciate that effort.” Although I would agree that bingeing sometimes makes it difficult to understand the complexity of the show. I would also point out that immersion in a show enables us to immediately notice when someone does something out of character or any major plot holes (see: Jamie Lannister in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones). If a show relies on certain viewing
conditions to make it a good story then it was probably not worth watching in the first place. TV is resilient: it will evolve and adapt as technology does. As Netflix said, binge watching is the “new normal”. It is here to stay, so sit back, relax, and gorge yourself on your favourite show - except Lost, don’t binge-watch Lost if you want to be a fully functioning human at the end.
29 April 2014
Editor: Sofiane Kennouche
Summer in the city – but which one?
cotland is definitely a place to spend the summer. Whether you live here and want to have a staycation to somewhere different, or plan on staying here after term finishes, the wide variety of events and sights across the nation provides something for everyone. One place other than the granite gem of the north that is Aberdeen is the glorious capital city of Edinburgh; a place where there’s always sunshine on Leith. Well, for a few golden days a year at any rate. During the summer, Scotland’s capital city offers a fantastic experience. One such major event is the almost month-long fringe festival, the largest arts festival on the planet. This summer highlight lasts from the 1st to the 25th of August and contains various events of different categories such as comedy, music, theatre, opera, cabaret and, of course, the muchloved dance offerings. Whether you’re up for a laugh or you’re a devoted opera fan keen to see the latest hot-new-thing in the genre, there’s something for you. Alongside the fringe, there is also the world-renowned military tattoo. For those not aware, this is not a show where a bunch of soldiers get willingly tattooed by their generals. Instead, members of the armed forces and associates put on a breathtaking musical performance with a mix of drums and bagpipes. Taking place beside
Edinburgh castle on the top of the mound, the show, performed six days a week for three weeks, has participants from 46 countries and audiences of 220,000 a year; 30% of whom come from overseas. This, and the fact that the performances get a global TV audience of a tenth of a billion a year, illustrates that the show is something not to be missed if you visit during August. Edinburgh certainly knows how to put on a show! Furthermore, if you’re not up for paying money for some events there are, of course, hundreds of street events that come without a price. However, if you think they’re good, which they usually are, feel free to donate your money to them. Some can be absolutely fantastic. Of course, there are other options for you during the sunshine months if a vast number of art performances are not quite your cup of tea. Such alternatives include going to the various tourist attractions such as the Scott Monument, which you can climb and get a mind-boggling view of the city from above, or visit the castle and learn about the city’s history. Or if you fancy a walk, but you’re not quite up for a massive hike, you can climb Arthur’s Seat, from where you can get a beautiful view of the city, particularly if you get up for sunrise or go later when the sun sets. Additionally, you could head down to South Queensferry beside the rail and road bridges and get some ice cream or fro-yo then
stroll along the majestic beach. You could try the city’s new tram link, which will be up and running this May. Or perhaps they won’t; I honestly would not be surprised if another obstacle delayed the process at the last minute. Edinburgh provides a decent alternative to Aberdeen’s summer treats. Both cities offer tourists attractions suited to everyone’s tastes, but if you want a change from Aberdeen take a train down to Edinburgh this summer to experience an alternative way to spend those sunny days. If you’re opposed to spending anytime in the sun, you’re a vampire or you just turn the colour of the sunset sky within seconds of placing a foot outside, you could always sleep during day and venture out at night. The famous - or infamous - nightclub ‘The Hive’ offers a summertime experience not to be missed by anyone fancying staying awake all night and sleeping all day: ‘Hive Til Five’. It’s open until five in the morning for a limited time during the summer months. Edinburgh has a lot to offer during the holidays including the fringe, the accompanying tattoo service, tourist attractions and nightclubs. Fed up with the perpetual grey walls and skies of Aberdeen? Come down to Edinburgh for a bit. You know you want to: it’s burgh-illiant. By Richard Wood Photo/ Dorota Golaszewska
Sofiane Kennouche and Richard Wood discuss what two of Scotland’s greatest cities have to offer this summer
t’s nearly that time of year again. The last remnants of coursework and the acid test of exams stand before you, but once these have been completed, summer will be in full effect. For most, those three months will be a welcome break, a chance to realise
“What Aberdeen has over these cities is its compactness and proximity to both luscious inland greenery and stunning sea views” long-held ambitions or to catch up with friends and family before returning to studying. However, for several hundred students, summer 2014 will mark their exit from King’s College and entry into The Real World of jobs, relationships and the housing market. For those of you baulking at this
prospect, with The Gaudie in one hand and a ready-made Snapchat selfie in the other, fear not: these months offer you your last chances to coast about aimlessly and do very little before real life takes hold. If you’re in Aberdeen over summer, chances are you’ve only really experienced the area in and around the university. If this scenario sounds similar, you’ve barely scratched the surface of this diverse city. For starters, The Big Beach Ball kicks off the summer music scene in early May. Held in and around the city’s Art Deco Beach Ballroom, it promises to be an awesome weekend for electro music lovers. 2014 looks to be an especially popular year now that Snafu has shut its doors. An added plus is that the Big Beach Ball is held in the city, saving attendees from surrendering their possessions to a muddy hellhole à la T in the Park. The only drawback is that it’s pretty early on in the summer season, and that you’re likely to still have coursework to contend with. You’ll just have to live vicariously as a carefree young adult for one day
during term. It’s not too controversial to state that most students like to take a trip to somewhere more rural, whether for a change of pace or a camping trip. Fortunately, Aberdeenshire has lots to see in that regard. Out of the dozens of castles and country houses that lie in Aberdeenshire, a personal favourite of mines is a visit to Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven. It’s broodingly picturesque, and only a twenty minute drive away from the city by car. Fellow tech geeks will recognise it as one of the default backgrounds on Windows 7, or even as a playable map in Call of Duty: Ghosts. What isn’t there to like about a ruined castle that faces out to sea on a cliff all by itself? In a similar vein, the roads of South and North Deeside are recommended for spectacular views. Head west and you’ll come across idyllic towns such as Banchory and Aboyne, which closely follow the winding path of the sparkling River Dee. If you make it all the way up to the Royal Burgh of Ballater, pop in by the local sweet shop next door to the
Station Restaurant. Everything’s locally-made and you can bag yourself some treats. Deeside also offers some pretty amazing riverside spots with which to fire up a portable BBQ and blast the tunes. A few words of advice, though – the River Dee in July is still cold. Deal with pneumonia at your peril. Nevertheless, if keeping yourself in the city is more your thing, Aberdeen still has some options that you may not be familiar with: surely you know by now which nightclubs you prefer to grace with your presence! Next time you opt for the cinema, give The Belmont Picturehouse on Belmont Street a try. It’s an intimate, leftfield alternative to the Vue and Cineworld, which often shows international films and opera concerts. In the same area are Aberdeen Art Gallery and His Majesty’s Theatre. For sports fans, the Sports Village’s new Aquatics Centre opens to the public in early May. With a 50m indoor Olympic-standard pool, it’ll be best to silently ditch the armbands before you pay it a visit. With these
attractions clustered around Union Street and King Street, there’s little to stop your culture fix from occurring in as little as one day, if you so fancy it. Of course, Aberdeen does not offer the sheer breadth of cultural activities that Glasgow and Edinburgh do. By judging the Granite City on such narrow criteria, though, we risk doing it a massive disservice. What Aberdeen has over these cities is its compactness and proximity to both luscious inland greenery and stunning sea views. Whether by car, bus or even by bike, there’s very little to stop you gorge walking at Burn o’Vat in the morning, going for a relaxed lunch on Belmont Street in the afternoon and then stepping onto the dancefloor of Underground at night. Variety is the spice of life, and Aberdeen certainly provides it. By Sofiane Kennouche
29 April 2014
Religion’s role in the classrooms of Birmingham David Paterson draws conclusions from a recent alleged ‘Islamist plot’ in Birmingham
ver the past few weeks, news has emerged of an alleged ‘Islamist plot’ to infiltrate several schools in Birmingham and impose questionable practices. At the outset, it is probably worth noting there is an investigation in place. If past experience is observed, it is likely this investigation will come to the conclusion that there was some attempt to implement Islamic practices in some schools, but not even close to the extent feared by the usual trinity of perpetual outrage: The Daily Mail, Express and bald, drunken morons. This is not to say that this is not a worrying revelation, however, but if the accusations turn out to be true, it shows that the experiment of ‘multiculturalism’ in Britain is simply not working. It is futile to deny that the large rise in immigration under Labour, continuing under the coalition, has led to serious tensions in many areas of the UK. Even if you reject the conclusions of those who bemoan multiculturalism, the rise of UKIP is filling a void in British politics where the immigration debate used to be and is picking up on grievances which have been
under the surface for many years. Furthermore, the idiotic debate that always seems to take place when this sort of thing occurs, whether it be the murder of Lee Rigby or any other crimes involving Muslims, is beginning to get boring, not merely wearying. Terrorism and certain extreme practices are worrying, and to say so is not intolerant, racist or - my personal least favourite ‘ignorant’. Conversely there is not a grand plot amongst the UK’s Muslim population to implement Sharia law, stone women in the street or outlaw our beloved bacon and beer. However, the accusations levelled at the various Birmingham schools in question help reinforce a prejudice I have held ever since I was forced to sing hymns at primary school assemblies by our devoutly Catholic head teacher. To me, religion has no place in schools. Children should be able to learn about religion and the impact it has had upon the world in an impartial manner, much in the same way as it is in France. If religious children want to pray at lunch and break times, this should be accommodated for. No child
should ever have to endure the embarrassment of their fiercely Atheist parents demanding to know why their son was shouted at during assembly for not belting out ‘Jesus is alive, you know he’s risen from the dead’. My reaction to the news of ‘Islamic practice’ being applied in any school will always be a cringing empathy for the children involved, twinned with a revulsion toward those imposing their beliefs upon 7 year-olds. Religion has undoubtedly brought many truly fantastic things to the world, but a child should be educated about such matters in a non-biased approach so they can make their
“Even if you reject the conclusions of those who bemoan multiculturalism, the rise of UKIP is filling a void in British politics where the immigration debate used to be”
own minds up. It is also worth noting that if what is being alleged in Birmingham turns out to be true, it must not be used as a galvanising force for those who wish to adhere to values which are just as ‘un-British’ as forcing young girls to wear headscarves or burqas. For hundreds of years, two of the most important principles in the UK have been the rule of law and equitable treatment by such law, and while questionable Islamic practices are worrying if they are implemented, to use it as an excuse for inciting racial hatred contradicts the very ‘Britishness’ that people may try to defend. Furthermore, the fact that there are now at least four investigations being conducted by the Department for Education, Ofsted, the police and Birmingham Council shows that screams of conspiracy amongst the establishment are laughable. In 1968 Enoch Powell famously predicted ‘rivers of blood’ due to increases in immigration, but I seriously doubt he would have predicted that what would emerge would be rivers of racist idiocy.
Social media is a help, not a hindrance
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Aberdeen University independence referendum?
Jenny Wilson, MSc Int’l Relations and Int’l Law ‘I think that it’s very important to get students engaged with the subject. As the real referendum is less than 150 days away, it’s appropriate that AUSA organises the event to better inform the student body. I’m looking for a high turnout and as I’m a member of the Politics and IR Society, I’m staying neutral.’
Social media can be more meaningful than popularly thought, opines Emily Thorburn
s a society, we are often accused of being too reliant on social media. Seeing someone at lunch, surrounded by a group of people whilst simultaneously checking their Twitter account on their smartphone is an all-too-common occurrence. It’s the same story with someone ‘checking in’ on Facebook to tell you, a Facebook friend that they are currently spending time with, that they are there. We even see people Instragramming a gorgeous view and then having the audacity to #nofilter (you aren’t fooling anyone, we know there’s a filter).
“Facebook has enabled four generations, who live all over Australia and the UK to laugh, cry and work through a tough time together” This need to share things on social media is often perceived to be a bad thing. We are seen as so reliant on our smartphones and iPads that we are actually becoming anti-social in a world of social networking. We are accused of hiding behind our screens instead of actually getting out talking to people face-to-face. I haven’t done great amounts of research into the effects of social media upon a generation and somewhere in the depths of Google Scholar, there is an academic
article waiting to prove me wrong in what I am about to say. I want to make the case that social media is worth defending and that generally it makes our day-to-day lives better, not worse. My evidence for this is anecdotal but convincing. I’m a halfAustralian, half-Scottish student living in Scotland, meaning that a huge section of my family live some 12,000 miles away. Now, I know what you’re thinking: I’m going to babble on what how wonderful Facebook and Twitter are in enabling to me to keep up-to-date with family and friends abroad. This is true: Facebook allows me to see what my cousins have been up to and kindly reminds me when it is someone’s birthday. However, recently Facebook has been even more helpful than this. Over the Easter holidays, my grandmother, who lives Down Under, was hospitalised following a series a heart attacks and the blunt truth of it is that she is unlikely to recover. I wish this article was being written under happy circumstances, but unfortunately that can’t always be the way of things. However, what the last few weeks have highlighted to me is the power of social media to bring together a far-flung family at a time of sadness and reflection. Through a private Facebook group, my family have been able to communicate, post updates about my grandmother’s condition and share our messages of love and support. We’ve also reconnected through sharing old family photos and leaving comments poking fun at some of our old dodgy haircuts and outfit choices. Facebook has
enabled four generations, who live all over Australia and the UK to laugh, cry and work through a tough time together. I’ll admit that I am guilty of relying on technology and social media too much and that, at times I should put my smartphone away and just enjoy what is happening in the here and now. Having said that, the last couple of weeks have reminded me why social media is so important and so helpful and I would be the first to say that I have been
particularly grateful for Facebook over the last few weeks. We use social media because we feel it benefits us and the lives we lead. This is a stance which I will continue to defend. I should also say that I was in Australia last summer and took some copies of The Gaudie over for my gran to read. She’s a fan.
David Green, Fourth Year Politics and Int’l Relations ‘It’s been low-key so far, and it’s a great opportunity for both sides to get involved. It should do good things for each campaigns and I’m looking for a stronger Scotland within the UK.’
Emily Baird, Third Year Psychology ‘It’s a positive development, as it allows for speculation as to the real outcome. I sense that some people currently feel disengaged from the political process, so raising awareness of the referendum can only be a good thing.’
Images/ pixabay.com and wikipedia, Edited by Josiah bircham
out for red polo a Look shirts on campus!
29 April 2014
Lessons to be learned Shona Duthie underlines the importance of human error that led to the sinking of a South Korean ferry two weeks ago
he latest ferry disaster was a tragedy that could have been entirely avoided. After the sinking, it was found that the captain of the ferry abandoned ship before adopting the necessary safety procedures needed to save the crew and passengers. This occurrence is very similar to the cruise liner disaster that occurred over a year ago with the captain of the Costa Concordia. I feel in both cases, captains have become far too reliant on technology. In doing so, they have taken their eye off the main aspect of their job, which is to ensure the safety of everyone that is aboard their ship. There were roughly 459 passengers on board the South Korean ferry, with most of these being school students. The distress signal was sent at 9am (local time) and many were not rescued or found until hours later. I feel the negligence of these captains can only lead to one punishment: they should be punished for abandoning their duties. To a large extent it baffles me why their selfishness would, in such an important situation, override their need to save others. This is surely one of the first things you learn when you become captain of a ship - do not abandon the people that you have been entrusted to care for. The rescue services tried their hardest to search for survivors and treat the injured. However, so far there have been over 150 lives lost.
If the captain is not to blame for this, then who is? There have been many survivors accounts coming to fruition since the incident, with students seen on camera phone videos climbing the walls and floors when the ship began to capsize.
Photo/ news.co.au I believe that on every journey, no matter how short, an evacuation procedure drill should be carried out when every passenger has
boarded the ship, as people’s lives are always at risk on a boat. I have been told that this procedure is followed when you are on a cruise liner, but I have been on a ferry many times and I wouldn’t know the first thing about a safe evacuation if the ship began to sink. It has also been claimed that the ship was carrying 3,600 tonnes of cargo when it left port; three times its legal and recommended limit. In this day and age, we should be aware of these implications that could affect safety, as accidents involving cargo do happen. In 1987, the Herald of Free Enterprise left the port at Zeebrugge, Belgium with her bow doors still open, resulting in her capsizing shortly after leaving the harbour. Ideally, the crews of these ferries should be adequately trained and the passengers should be made aware of the safest routes in the event of an evacuation. The captain of the South Korean ferry, it can be seen, relied far too much on technology to guide and aid his ship. Both he and the captain of the Costa Concordia were unable to control the trouble that they encountered. With this in mind, I feel a more rigorous selection and training process should be implemented for men or women who wish to captain any type of passenger vessel.
Opine Spotlight: #ABDNIndyRef Gaudie Opine takes a closer look at the forthcoming mock independence referendum for students of the University of Aberdeen
f there is one topic that refuses to fade into the background in 2014, it’s the debate surrounding Scottish independence. Whilst The Gaudie continues to provide up-to-date coverage on both sides of the argument, Aberdeen University Students’ Association, along with the Politics and International Relations Society, have organised two weeks of events designed to inform the student body of the momentous choice that lies ahead. Even walking around campus on a Thursday afternoon, it’s clear to see that referendum chatter is a feature of contemporary student life. We got chatting to friends Jamie Allsop, a Third Year Psychology Student and Murray Nairn, a Second Year studying Geology, in order to find out their political persuasions and feelings on the referendum: Jamie: ‘The mock referendum will be vital for the students of Aberdeen and it gives everyone a chance to make an educated decision. For me, it’s good to see the Yes campaign present on campus. I’m eager to see Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.’ Murray: ‘I’ll be voting Yes, as that choice offers a more democratic Scotland. The university’s mock referendum will be good for bringing young people into
politics. Like myself, I’m looking to let Scotland graduate.’ In our brief conversation with Jamie and Murray, we saw real conviction and passion in their beliefs, running against the cultural stereotype that young people are uninterested in politics. If you’d like to take part in the university’s mock referendum, voting takes place between Monday 28 April and Thursday 1 May. Students can also stay connected to both campaigns via Twitter. Search for @VoteYesABDN and @ VoteNoAU to stay involved with all the latest developments for both sides. Both campaigns are also present on Facebook, with ‘Aberdeen Uni Vote No’ currently locked in fierce debate with ‘Aberdeen University Students for Scottish Independence’. Whichever way the mock referendum goes, you can be certain that students will be better-placed to choose sensibly come the official referendum in September. As ever, Gaudie Opine will be providing extensive coverage of grassroots opinion both in the run-up to and aftermath of the decision; make sure to keep yourself in the loop via the ‘Gaudie Opine’ Facebook page.
Are we really facing a debt crisis? Richard Wood offers solutions to the growing debt problem Millennials face
recent study showing that Millennials may face debt well into adult life raises serious concerns. However, are we really doomed to spend the rest of our lives using all our income after tax paying back our student debts and mortgages? Of course, for the majority of Scots studying at Scottish universities the situation isn’t as dire as those coming from England to study, or those who are studying down south and paying up to £9000 a year in tuition fees. Scottish students and those from the EU outside England, Wales and Northern Ireland get their fees covered by SAAS, so debt is less of an issue compared to other Brits and non-EU students. Those of us getting our fees paid should count ourselves lucky but at the same time it is completely ludicrous that students from the rest of the UK should have to pay the full amount of fees. Ideally, higher education should be free for all. Of course, in the real world, debt is an undeniable fact of life in education as Universities do need to make money to pay for their services. The fact that Brits, other than Scots, have to pay for their education and become burdened with debt is completely unfair and wrong, while at the same time EU students get their education paid for. However, Scots are still burdened with debt, even with SAAS covering
their fees. There are optional loans that you can get, available to partly pay for accommodation, food and supplies. But of course this all adds to your debts. So what can be done?
skills then the Student Advice Centre can provide you with help. Getting a part time job, or even working full-time in the summer will give you some money that can be used to combat your growing
amounts of money when out on the town, the costs will add up. Therefore, trying not to spend too much can be a great way of saving money and paying your way through University.
“The fact that Brits, other than Scots, have to pay for their education and become burdened with debt is completely unfair and wrong.”
chance is that your family members are still paying off mortgages, too. Debt is beneficial particularly because it allows us to borrow and pay back later when we make enough money. This borrowed money can help us with education or let us buy a car or homes in later life, but borrowing has to be controlled. I believe higher education should be free especially for those outside Scotland, but also in the EU, and especially within the UK. At least the debt our generation faces doesn’t have to be paid back until we earn enough, and in the meantime we should save to reduce our burden.
Disclaimer Photo/ Money Images (flickr) There are a few simple options that many students have opted for. Whether you’re Scottish, British, or a fellow EU citizen the most obvious option is to get a parttime job. There are a huge variety of options in Aberdeen alone, whether in retail, restaurants or entertainment. If you’re not so sure about your CV or interview
debt. Additionally, simple budgeting can do the trick. Try and plan your meals for the week and do your shopping accordingly. Freeze those perishables that can be frozen. As well as this, try to limit yourself on a night out. Sure, they can be amazing after the sixth shot but if you end up spending ridiculous
The truth is there are many simple ways to save which are often overlooked. If you’re serious about keeping your wallet thick so as to weaken your reliance on debt, think with your common sense and cut back on things that aren’t really necessary. Debt is a massive feature of our lives, even in the wider picture. The Government is in debt. Countries are in debt to other countries. The
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
Editors: Alasdair Lane & Emily Thorburn
The future, it’s in your hands. W
ould it be too self-involved to call it an end of an era? Probably. But it’s the end of an era for me, so there you go. Yes, after three long, rewarding, challenging, exciting, frustrating and (most of all) happy years, my time with The Gaudie is drawing to a close. For this old-timer of student journalism - one of the few remaining who can recall the monumental Hewitt-editorship - the door on Scotland’s oldest
“Reinvigoration should not be mistaken for reinvention. The future editorial team will, as eight decades of teams before them have, put together a graspable assortment of stories, both local and national. While printed publications falter across the land, The Gaudie will endure..” independent student newspaper is closing. But as one door closes, another opens afresh. Next year will see, at least in my memory, the most thoroughly rejuvenated editorial team of recent years. Indeed, I am but one of a troupe of departees leaving vacancies right, left and centre. This exodus of experience is a
29 April 2014
troubling reality, for sure, but the scope it leaves for reinvigoration is tremendous. Reinvigoration should not be mistaken for reinvention. The future editorial team will, as eight decades of teams before them have, put together a graspable assortment of stories, both local and national. While printed publications falter across the land, The Gaudie will endure. The cultural space occupied by a student newspaper, the collegiate identity it embodies are hallmarks and arguably even requisites of a bona fide academic institution. Scholarship and journalism are inextricably linked. The independent thought, discussion and debate at the very heart of academic pursuit demand more than bi-semester essays or shadowy pub corners to be explored. They need page space, license and, most importantly, an audience. Other forms of student media - radio, online etc. - are hugely important too, bringing a level of diversity no single publication could. They contribute to the colour and flavour of student life, working not in competition with the school’s paper, but in complement. Putting the glossy-eyed sentiment aside, let’s get back to reinvigoration. Although I won’t be around to bark the orders, I know that the paper will continue on its trajectory of enduring relevance. This’ll take hard work and dedication, though. That’s where you come in. On the 5th of May we will be holding our 2014/2015 editorial election. We’ve got a lot of team
positions to fill, 8 in fact. Working for the student newspaper is challenging: no editor, past or present, would dispute that. It is, however, one of the most rewarding activities you can pursue while at university. Journalism is a responsibility. A responsibility to inform, to immerse, to compel. And to do it, well...responsibly. There’s no two ways about it, the above looks outstanding on a CV. Tell an interviewer that you worked for your student newspaper and they instantly know a whole host of your attributes that may be otherwise difficult to demonstrate. They’ll know that you’re organised, intelligent, trustworthy, motivated, creative and have that all-important ability to work to a deadline. They may also infer that you have exemplary people skills and can work well as part of a team. How many other student activities can tick all those boxes? That’s what The Gaudie can offer you, as well as an awful lot of fun. What can you offer The Gaudie? That, we’d love to know. Take a look at the back page of this edition and have a read at the detailed job descriptions. If you see one which interests you, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 2nd May telling us why you’d be suitable for the role. From there, successful candidates will be welcomed to our election evening to deliver a short speech before a vote is held. Simple. As one Editor’s door closes, another opens. Make that one yours. By Alasdair Lane
email@example.com Editorial Team Head Editors
Emily Thorburn and Alasdair Lane
Dan Naylor and Anna Katila
Life & Style Editor
Gaudie TV Editor
Head Copy Editor
Copy Editing Team
Rosie Beetschen, Holly Dobbin
Deputy Section Editors
Rachel Clark (News); Richard Wood (Opine); Ashley Sevadjian (L&S); Michael Cameron, Andrew Parker (Arts); Josefine Björkqvist (Sport)
Production Team Head of Production
Josiah Bircham, James Teasdale, George Mathew, Frédérique Manceau, Manuel Lopez
Online Publishing Assistant
Butchart Centre University Road Old Aberdeen AB24 3UT Tel: 01224 272980 We voluntarily adhere to the Press Complaints Commission Code of Conduct (www.pcc.org.uk) and aim to provide fair and balanced reporting.
Do you have an event you would like to advertise in The Gaudie? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every society and sport club are entitled to two quarter page adverts free every year. If you are a company wishing to advertise in The Gaudie, please also contact email@example.com.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in the Editorial 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. Photo/ Josiah Bircham
29 April 2014
The Silver Tongue
Editor: Hamish Roberts
It’s grim up North D avid Moyes was sacked as Manchester United Coach last week. During his tenmonth tenure the current Premier League title chasers have increased their fan base ten fold as the glory hunters endeavour to support their ‘local team’.
increase their already extortionate fortunes by at least ‘0.2%’. Ryan Giggs said he had his eye on the newly released Mini Cooper whilst Paul Scholes said he was looking forward to going on holiday to Leeds sometime next year and Robbie Savage did not know what
An epic in ten lines Milton
As Diamond glided betwixt High Street and King’s College, he denied The lonely student an ounce of leverage, who cried out without sound. The library bellowed from its hole sweet sounds of Americano, And books closed shut as Diamond scaled, rising from floor to floor. Liberty, rights and community, all extant in years gone by, Have ceased to exist in this abyss, oh how we will all cry. But not a sound, to be heard, has reached the Diamond’s ear, What a pity, for the city, this little ditty describes. Melancholy heaps and battles forward and conquers any hope, We are all lost with this riposte in a floundering Aberdream.
Cartoon - Late Flight
Photo/ Hasegawa Takashi (Flickr) Everton, in a press release said they were delighted at the news in that their ex-manager Moyes successfully completed his mission at the Manchester club, ending his employment with a result that he rarely managed to achieve at Goodison Park: a victory over Man Utd. The football world, the world and the universe respectively expressed that they ‘could not give a shit’ about the sacking and that they plan to not ‘take any notice’ or ‘care […] at all’ at any point in the foreseeable future.
“One less multi-millionaire to pay less income tax and a corporate-capitalist slavish club in minor jeopardy matters” Ex-manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, was delighted with the news which sadistically cemented his legacy at the club, who play at the unashamedly sickeningly named ‘Theatre of Dreams’. He claimed that whilst he was saddened that Moyes was now on the streets, begging for money somewhere in the Lancashire area, he was looking forward to searching for another doomed successor at the club who are ‘entitled to win everything’ because ‘they play in red’. Numerous ex-players and retirees of the club have come out of their high-walled, tasteless mansion houses in the Cheshire countryside to seep into the training ground wood-work yet again, desperate to
to say, so just laughed. When asked to comment, other Premier League clubs were ‘utterly’, ‘completely’, and ‘profoundly’ unaware of the existence of ‘Manchester United’, but said that they would support its foundation at any point in the near future. With the title race going down to the wire, overused phrases are starting to become even more overused. Indeed, the league is a ‘two horse race’, ‘at least we got the three points that’s all that matters’, ‘I’m delighted’, ‘he’s useless’, ‘ref, can’t you see?’, ‘top four’, ‘six pointer’ type league, which is distinctly overpopulated, overrated, over commented on and over the heads of people who don’t know why anyone cares. Yet, Moyes’ sacking matters. One less multi-millionaire to pay less income tax and a corporatecapitalist slavish club in minor jeopardy matters. Anyone would recognise that. Whilst temporarily unemployed, Moyes will endeavour to make it back to the border alive, to join the soon-to-be reinvigorated nationalist cause. Alex Salmond has been outraged by the sacking, stating it as distinctly antiScottish and yet another example of the necessity to become an independent country, despite the prolonged desire of Celtic FC to join the English Football League for ages. The political involvement in the sacking is no doubt down to UKIP who have promised to banish all people in the league affiliated with any country without the Union Jack in its flag. By A. Nationalist
29 April 2014
Life & Style
Editor: Alicia Jensen
Style On Campus
LAURA WOOD 4th Year Film & History Laura loves to combine her blacks and greys in a grungy style with a splash of color (not today though). She shops mostly at H&M.
PAUL RAMSAY 3rd Year Law Paul acquires most of his clothes via online shopping sites like Asos. But his green beanie is from H&M.
AGNES NORBERG 1st Year Economics Agnes is from Sweden and wears a great baggy vintage rain coat. Her necklace with a little knife was made by her friend Viola Sparre.
LARS TEIGEN 1st Year Politics & IR Lars is not a big shopper but he is very into socks. His hypothesis: Your socks make your outfit outstanding.
HEATHER GEORGE 2nd Year Ecology Heather has a very bohemian style with flower prints and dresses. She just came back from Amsterdam and loved the retro flea markets.
Photos/ Polly Roquette
Do you know your social media etiquette? Dainius Balcytis discusses issues of etiquette to keep in mind while the role and presence of social media grows
n February 4th this year Facebook celebrated its 10th birthday. In a single decade this company on its own changed the way we understand social interaction. Others followed it - Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr… Nowadays if you are not on a social network of some sort, you do not exist. Some say it’s good and others hate it but that’s the truth about the modern society: we are addicted to the social media either by our own choice or simply because everyone else does it. However, this new medium of interaction is a double edged sword: it allows you to see all but at the same time displays you to everyone else. So what are the potential dangers of not using social media carefully? Photos - to post or not to post? One of the most obvious dangers that most people fall for is our natural need to share our experiences. We all know
the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and that’s why we post them without a second thought. But we must always remember that different people perceive things differently and what is cool today might not be so tomorrow. Remember that photo where you had a great night out? It could cost you a job. Or maybe you have pictures of yourself with two dozen different guys in intimate circumstances? That one might sow seeds of distrust in your relationships in the future. Maybe you have something as innocent as a photo of yourself playing in a casino. Apparently, nowadays, banks check your social profiles before giving out loans and one of the red flags that they are looking for is proof of irresponsible handling of money. Before posting a photo, ask yourself whether you think that the photo makes you look good and if it could cause you problems at some later point in life.
“It would be a shame if after you become the Prime Minister, someone would ask you why have you been posting 20 years ago about the colour of your new panties and whether you have a stance on it.” Opinions and their impact One of the great strengths of social media is ability to broadcast your opinion. You can speak out about issues that concern you, whether those are private, political or social. This is a wonderful thing that all of us are using but, just as with photos, we must be careful with what we say and how we say it. Once you get your upper seconds and apply for your dream job, your profile will be the first place
that your employer will check. If you have been badmouthing your previous employers, you will look disloyal. Or maybe you had a 297 comment long argument with your ex on who slept with whom first? HR will blacklist you immediately: no one wants drama in their work place. Did you tell all the English to take a hike after that bad footie match? Tough luck if the man hiring you lives in London. You must always think twice about what you post; what might seem like an innocent comment at the time could be later used against you. It would be a shame if, after you become the Prime Minister, someone would ask you why you posted 20 years ago about the colour of your new panties and whether you have a stance on it. Protection, Privacy and Image crafting While most people use social media with caution, some clearly do not, because all of the posts
and photos mentioned in this article are real. Due to the nature of the internet, you cannot truly delete anything that has been posted online. Most of the social networking websites, such as Facebook, don’t even offer you an option to delete your profile, all you can do is “freeze” it. However if you would come back in a year or more you could log right back in without any problems and all of your photos and comment history would come back, because they are stored on their servers indefinitely. Keeping your content visible only to your friends is a useful tool however, you never know, you will get into conflict with one of them. Someone who doesn’t like you might copy the images which you posted and later repost them elsewhere. For this reason you must always be aware that with every message and picture you post, you are creating an image for yourself that could stick with you for the rest of your life.
29 April 2014
Sofiane’s day at Balmedie Beach
Sofiane Kennouche details why a visit to Balmedie beach is perfect for a local day out
By Grace Balfour-Harle
Go out walk
It seems stupid, but studies have shown that if you go for a walk before starting any work, you will be more likely to be productive when you do. If you get your muscles going, you also get your brain working, which will help you concentrate when you sit down to get some work done. When you are walking, think about what you are going to be working on, and when you do sit down to work, your ideas will be clear in your head.
A change in scene will help boost productivity: it’s like telling your brain that this is working space, and so you’ll work. Working in the place that you relax (e.g. your bed) means that you are more likely to get distracted. So go find another place to work. The kitchen table is a good one (especially with its proximity to the fridge!)
If you are anything like me (or most students to be honest…) then your room will be a pigsty. Before you sit down to do any work, give it a quick tidy round. It will make it much easier to concentrate when you have a tidy room to work in. You will also have more space to spread your work around if you need to.
Before you start work, make a list a targets of to reach, and stick to them! Make them realistic, so you actually can do them. Don’t over stretch yourself. Order them by priority: if something has a closer deadline, then do that first. Or you could reverse the priority and get all the small tasks out of the way first to make way for the big one. However, you have to be really realistic about how long it will take you to do your tasks. Add thirty minutes to your designated time for the task to make sure that you will always have enough time to meet the targets.
Life & Style
Whether you work best with classical or rock, have on some motivational music to keep you working. Even if you cannot work with music on, there are videos and apps out there that play white noise in order to block out the general noise of life going on around you. Just make sure that you have something to keep you going.
irst off, I guess you can’t really call this a travel article as such. There’s no long-haul flight needed or awkward planning phase to overcome. You could easily be swapping the Sir Duncan Rice Library for sandy toes in about half an hour by car or bus. Still, it’s alarming how many of my fellow students have never even heard of, let alone visited, Balmedie, a small village north of Aberdeen. With that in mind, I feel I have to inform those who have not yet visited the Costa Del Balmedie. Let’s get to the point. Balmedie’s main attraction is its gold sandy beach, which is located just down the coastline from the Menie Estate, the site of Donald Trump’s golf resort. It’s relatively local and served by good transport links from the city centre. If you’re driving, it couldn’t be easier: once you’re on King Street, just keep heading straight on and eventually you’ll make it onto the dual carriageway out to Balmedie. You might want to slow down to negotiate roundabouts, though. In my 21 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to shuffle through the white sands of beaches in Mauritius, tackle the grainy Mediterranean sands of Europe and stroll down the shoreline of both Venice Beach in Los Angeles and Sunset Beach of Vancouver. With that in mind, I doubt many
will believe me when I say that the softest sand I’ve ever felt is present at Balmedie Beach. Get out there and feel it for yourself: it runs through your fingers and doesn’t stick to your skin - unless you’re
Photos/ Rosalinda Whybrow wet, of course. Balmedie’s rugged dunes have won awards all over the country for the cleanliness of both the sand and (surprisingly-sharp and
obstructive) vegetation. From experience, I would recommend getting a hold of a pair of skis or snowboard for the absolute riot that is dune surfing. It’s great fun when you’re with company, no matter how incompetent you are. Furthermore, the dunes are also perfect for resistance training for that Rocky
IV moment. Try and run barefoot without stopping from the foot of a dune to the summit and you’ll improve your cardio in no time. At the risk of looking very out of season, I’d like to return with a snowboard this summer to see if I can go any faster. If you’re not a sports fan, the beaches still have a lot to offer. Scattered throughout the area
Home is - where? F
acing the end of fourth year, with graduation dates in the dairy and paid for, Aberdeen is starting to feel less and less like my home, and more like a life phase soon to end. My parents have lived in the same house for almost 22 years and even though I left for university 5 years ago, I would still call my parents’ house home. True, every year I go back less and less for shorter and shorter visits, but for me the question of where your home is, is about more
than just where you put your hat down. Home is about where your roots are; it’s about a place that you know but also a place that knows you. Although I left 5 years ago, when I go home I know the lady who works in the sweet shop in the village, I went to school with the older sister of the surly teen who served me in the corner shop, and I don’t get asked for ID in the pub because everyone knows I’m old enough to drink. I feel a connection with the village and it
is definitley where my roots are. Although I have loved my student years in Aberdeen and met many amazing people, if I come back in 5 years’ time I know that there will be very few people left in Aberdeen who I know. With job markets, family ties or just a desire for a change of scenery, very few people settle in their university cities. This realisation that everything is about to change, which creeps in gradually throughout forth year, gives a very temporal feeling to
and in danger of being subsumed by sand are the old concrete lookout posts that were used to sight German ships and planes in WWII. They offer a fascinating vantage point towards the sea and highlight Aberdeen’s valiant past. They’re worth exploring if you can tolerate graffiti and, on occasion, the disconcerting smell of- well, I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t fresh. If you only visit Balmedie once this year, take a barbeque with you and make sure you’re there on a summer’s evening in late May or early June. As we are blessed with a long twilight period, the beach offers an amazing sunset in the evenings – a visit in 2012 with my friends did not see nightfall until nearer 22:40 in the evening. Wrap up warm, though: sitting with a group of friends around a dying portable barbeque doesn’t offer much warmth, yet it makes for a spectacular snapshot if you’ve got a decent enough camera. For that The OC-esque summer party look with a striking pink sky in the background, Balmedie Beach is certainly quieter and less disturbed than Aberdeen Beach.
university life. I have no roots in Aberdeen, I have friends and fond memories but, at the end of the day, after graduation, everything and everyone that makes up my life in Aberdeen is going to leave, myself included. This is why although I live in Aberdeen, it doesn’t feel like ‘home’, it’s just where I live and study at the moment. By Clare Blanchard
Where I hang my hat, that’s home – but is that true? Is the notion of home as easy to determine as the place where you are currently sleeping? A we may have two or more homes during our student lives, Alicia and Clare discuss what home means to them.
or those of us who have been living abroad for a large part of our lives, University might actually be one of the first places where you set your feet down for a longer period of time. Once you get to your fourth year at University, you’ll have learned how to build a home on your own, which is a pretty good achievement. But it also makes it a pretty big step to leave one of the first more permanent conceptions of home behind, once graduation comes up. We’re reminded about how temporary this ‘home’ is, a time that brings us to thinking what exactly a home is to us. So what’s in a home? In constructing our home, we include of course a material place - where you leave your hat and sleep at night. But feeling like you’re at home includes familiar jogging routes, the corner shop where you
Photo/ JR P (Flickr) grab your sausage rolls when the morning is hurried, and, of course, friendships - where you lay your hat and where your friends lay their hats as well. It’s where you have all those hats in an orderly
row, that’s what home is. Over these years we’ve come to learn that to feel at home you don’t need that language to be your first, and you don’t even need to have any prior aquaintances: you can make
a home anywhere. And although we all know that the home we build for ourselves at University is still a temporary one, it’s not something that will stop us from enjoying our time here. We know the friendships we have may be changed by distance, but we also know that these are friendships we will carry with us for a long time. And even though you can’t take that corner shop with you, you’ll build new traditions at the next adventure that lies ahead! Rather than temporary, enjoy the brief permanence. Home is something that you can carry with you in your heart and your memories but home is also where you go next. We’ve managed to establish a home at University, so we know we can do it again. By Alicia Jensen
29 April 2014
Life & Style
Dealing with eating disorders at University Paul Donald explores the myths, stigma and treatment available to sufferers
developed Anorexia Nervosa whilst studying for my HNC in Music at Edinburgh College in 2009. I weighed twenty-three and a half stone at my largest size and confided in a friend that I wished to lose weight. She instructed me to go on a website where a community of individuals would ‘help me lose weight’. Little did I know that I’d be sucked into the dangers of a ‘Pro-Anorexia’ website. The internet trolls operating the site demanded picture updates of my weight loss. Eventually they told me to stop eating all together; they said that I was ‘pathetic’ and that I needed to try harder because they ‘couldn’t see my bones’. This led to them concluding that I should cut all food out of my diet and survive on drinking sugary tea. Their argument was that this would speed up my metabolic rate resulting in dramatic weight loss where the glucose would enrich me with energy. When I arrived at the University of Aberdeen to study for a BMus (Hons) I felt lethargic and ill. I had lost all control over my own eating patterns and the eating disorder kicked in worse. I would get up at 4am each morning and jog for three hours around Seaton Park with no food, just surviving on tea. I would come home after lectures and exercise in my room until I went to bed. By the time I arrived for my second year I dropped down to six and a half stone. I eventually collapsed in my bedroom in halls. I was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with an eating disorder. I spent five months on and off in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Although branded with the label ‘Anorexia’ I received no treatment in hospital for the eating disorder. Instead they wished to fix the issues around my gallbladder where it was diseased due to the weight loss. I found it hard to come to terms with the fact I had an eating disorder as all previous
references I knew of this illness were female. I tried to self-refer myself to the eating disorders clinic of which I was refused help on the basis that I was a male and told I’d be waiting up to three years. Eating disorders are a serious mental health condition of which currently affect 1.1 million of the UK population and has the highest mortality rate of all mental health conditions. There are many triggers specific to individuals of which are commonly reported as the ‘root cause’ of disordered eating patterns such as sexual abuse, grief and bullying. But the truth is there is no cure or cause that has been determined to prove the existence of disordered eating patterns in individuals. Psychiatrists explore many factors in the treatment of eating disorders to determine how individuals attribute the deadly mental health condition including genetics, biochemistry, psychology, culture and environment. The common link in all sufferers is the feeling of a lack of control in their life. Perhaps the greatest myth surrounding eating disorders is the misleading title in which the medically recognised mental illness is granted. Food is merely the device used by suffers as a way to cope with extreme pressures and does not solely cause the illness to develop. It’s the thoughts which dominate a sufferer’s life that cause the illness to spiral out of control. The second of the great myths are that only those who come from high socio-economic backgrounds develop eating disorders. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists eating disorders and other mental health conditions are on the increase in
Survey by UK charity Beat · 69% of students with eating disorders had difficulties accessing treatment · 18% had to drop out of university because of their eating disorder · 39% had to take a break from their studies · 30% had to wait longer than 18 weeks to begin NHS treatment when first diagnosed · 52% said their university was not taking action to prevent eating disorders and support sufferers. students aged between 18 and 25, particularly those who come from low socio-economic areas: “Over the past decade, the demographics of the student population have undergone many changes that are of relevance to the provision of mental healthcare. The numbers of young people in higher education have expanded and they have become more socially and culturally diverse.”
Academic institutions have come under fire in recent months as many students come forward with cases of eating disorders and report that little or no support and was given, resulting in many having to drop out of their course. The UK charity Beat recently undertook a survey of students starting undergraduate courses in September 2013. Their aim was to explore the options available to students who present with eating disorders, the most shocking static being that 69% had difficulties accessing treatment. Two students who took part in this survey spoke out of their experiences in being ignored by both their university and the healthcare profession. Leah, Age 21 from England said: “Not once at University had anybody questioned my health or given me any help or guidance. If I’d wanted to go and talk to someone I would have been completely at a loss as to where to go or who could help me. This resulted in my condition worsening and I ended up dropping out of Uni completely”. A young male named Alex echoed similar views of which he too had to end his studies as a result of being ignored by the system: “There was very little in the way of help and support at Uni. My treatment involved a lot of travelling whilst at the same time juggling my studies and this made my final year of university an incredible struggle”. Individuals regardless of background, age, gender or sexual orientation can be affected by eating disorders. Although eating disorders are commonly associated with the female gender
males get eating disorders too. Between 10% and 25% of males in the UK suffer from an eating disorder. 1 in 10 males suffer from body dysmorphia. According to the Royal College of Psychiatry it is common that students often experience difficulty accessing NHS services. Primary health care services are sometimes not organised to meet the mental health needs of students. “There may be a lack of coordination between home and college GPs with failures of communication compounding the student’s difficulties.” Consultant Psychiatrist of the Eden Unit of the Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen calls for the term eating disorders to be changed to compulsive obsessive body image disorder. Dr Morris strongly stated her views of the role of the GP in mistreating patients who have the signs and symptoms of eating disorders at a host of events organised by Aberdeenshire MSP Dennis Robertson during Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Dr Morris, who also lectures at the University of Aberdeen, said that many practices operate like a business and that it was likely only financial incentives would motivate doctors to take new approaches when dealing with patients. “General practitioners need a boot up the backside…Some GPs think I cannot do anything because you are not a detained patient or, I do not have the right to force you, but a person can die!” Eating disorders can affect any individual regardless of age, gender, background or sexual orientation. It is a growing trend in our society, a society where we are faced with images every day of god-like body images, pressures to succeed and a lack of understanding for the issues that face victims of this disorder every day.
Keep calm and finish your dissertation Alicia Jensen on keeping on track for the last month before the summer holidays This one goes out to those still writing their dissertations in the second semester in fourth year, yours truly among those sufferers. What makes this time of year a particularly painful one to sit inside the library (also known as ‘new home’), is the weather, the end of year social events, and that strange, distracting feeling that it will all be over one day soon. In fact, very soon. At this point we roughly have just one month left of university until we are released into the wild world outside. So motivation is an interesting thing. First things first: open up youtube and type in motivational videos. If Rocky can put in the time and work and succeed in his ambition, so can you! Its going to be hard to stay on track, with the weather starting to look more appealing every day and people finishing their university work and handing in dissertations left and right. One way to keep on the right track is to keep going to the library, and spend time around people who are also working on
their dissertation, to avoid being distracted by your classmates who are already done with theirs. If the library is too distracting a place to write, then there are plenty of places around campus that offer quieter computer rooms and places to set up your own laptop station. There are rooms in Macrobert, Edward wright, and other places around campus that are generally less busy than the library. Even if you find a good place to sit and write, it’s going to be hard to say no to all the parties and end of year events that are filling facebook as the end of the year draws nearer. And since it’s your last year here, you still need to make the most of it! Just remember to balance the partying hard with working hard as well. And remember, life goes on after the dissertation is handed in, and there will be plenty of time to enjoy the spring! You’ll thank yourself later for putting in the effort that you did. The very best of luck to you all! Photo/ screensavers.com
29 April 2014
Editor: Elizabeth Ozolins
INTERVIEW Brother and Bones Andrew Parker speaks to five-piece band Brother and Bones about their diverse influences and the experience of being a band on the rise. You’ve been on tour all over the country, what are your thoughts about Aberdeen so far?
How does your writing process usually work? How do you go about arranging your songs?
We’ve actually been here before on a tour we did earlier in the year but we haven’t really had a chance to get about this time around. The Scottish part of the tour has been cool, we love coming up here anyway, everyone is always up for a party and a drink!
Usually we write our songs on acoustic guitar and then we’ll get together and jam up some ideas and maybe change the tempo or the feel. Then we’ll just put some creative stuff on top of it. We spend a lot of time on drums because there are so many options and so many ways you can do it the wrong way if you know what I mean. You often come up with a million things
You’ve been touring for about six weeks so you presumably have a lot of free time while travelling. What have you been listening to when you’ve been going from place to place?
a key part of the writing process. One of our singles ‘To Be Alive’ was debuted here actually, in this very venue and instantly someone started singing back, so we realised that it had a nice hook to it. What has been the biggest change for your band over the last year? We went to America which is something we’ve always wanted to do. We spent a lot more time in the recording studio this year than we did before which is an evolutionary process that we really
you’re the underdog and we just really wanted people to listen. But now we’re much more comfortable in our own skin and sometimes we decide to leave something in a song because we get a kick out of it. Our overall sound is much more focused I think. You’ve supported some pretty big names over the last year like Ben Howard and Feeder. How would you describe that experience? It’s
about how it’s important to keep your roots no matter how big you get or how big the shows are. What kind of venues do you prefer? Well obviously the big shows are stand outs because we can only do those every now and then. But when you have a sold out venues that has a 200 capacity often has a bigger impact. I’ve always thought that it doesn’t matter how big it is. I would rather play to a few people who are loving it than play to 5000
All sorts really, obviously with that amount of time we’ve gone through a lot. A lot of James Blake and stuff like that at the start of the tour. A lot of Ray Charles and Sam Cook. We’ve been listening to the recent Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys albums. We generally make up a playlist before we play and stick it through the PA system. The thing is all of us have quite varied tastes in music. In our van we have an auxiliary lead so we just pass it round and share all our tunes. Joe our tour manager has brought a whole bunch of different tunes that we‘ve never heard before. You’ve had a few support acts while you’ve been touring. Anything of interest we should check out? We really liked Sam Fender who supported us last night. Another one which stood out was a band called The Roscoes, we really enjoyed them. He reminded us of Tom Petty, very good voice. The thing is it all becomes a bit of a blur as well. I know it sounds like a bit of a cop-out but when you’ve seen that many bands you tend to just remember the ones which made an impact. What influences do you each individually bring to the band? We all have certain common ground with certain influences, but we all have our own individual flavours and all of our own inspirations come through when we’re all playing together. I suppose one of the upsides of having a fivepiece band is that there are lots of people to throw new ideas into the pot. It’s different as well because we essentially have two drummers and two kits. So because of that it allows us to bring more tribal sounds to the music. Sometimes the rest of the band get annoyed because we’re always adding more drums to our kits.
Photo/ Matt Holloway which are far too out there and then we end up with the simplest idea, which is a bit of a weird way of doing it, but at least we tried! It has been important for us to go out and gig the songs as well. I think that’s why we’re such a busy touring band because I think it’s important to go out and road test it and see how people react to it. Because it’s so different taking a song from a rehearsal room and thinking we’ve got it instead of getting on stage and then us making changes to the song depending on how it felt while on stage. So I think that has been
need to continue. With as much as we are on the road, our writing and recording process is at the forefront of our minds more now. That has been the biggest change really, the focus now is more on getting back into the studio. We’ve kind of found ourselves as well. For the last couple of years, as we’ve said, we’ve tried out a million different ideas for each song. For our last studio session it felt as though we didn’t have anything to prove anymore, like we were doing it for ourselves. Rather than when you’re first starting out
massive carrot! Obviously with Ben Howard, they were huge, sold out shows with thousands of people there and the same with Feeder, we got to play a really nice venue, great stage and you’re playing to a massive crowd who love live music. But obviously we’re playing much smaller venues, never knowing how many people will turn up so it showed us how it could be. We had a bit of a taste of it when we were in America, and they treated us really well when we were there. We didn’t really know how to handle it. But the other day we were speaking
people who are indifferent and not responding at all. If you’re playing to a few people who are absolutely in the zone then I find that as a performer, you are too. Any closing comments for University of Aberdeen students? We’re looking forward to Brew Dog later!
29 April 2014
Obituary Gabriel García Márquez Petra Hanackova discusses the life of the celebrated Nobel Prize winning author, Gabriel García Márquez.
n April 17 the Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez died aged eighty-seven. He was born 1927 in the small town of Aracataca, Columbia. Leaving his place of birth at the age of eight, he went on to live elsewhere on the American continent and in Europe. He commenced a law degree at the National University of Bogotá in the capital of Columbia, however, he did not complete his studies. Marquez felt a sense of isolation in the academic atmosphere which he experienced at university and writing presented him with an escape. The writer soon discovered the renowned literary works of European writers such as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, and at the age of twenty he ended his studies and pursued a career in journalism. The newspaper El Salvador based in Bogotá became Márquez’s first workplace. One of his reports soon brought him popularity, however, the authorities did not look at it in a positive light and as a result he was forced to live miserably, with his spare time devoted to writing fiction. Márquez’s style of writing falls into the genre of magical realism which blends historical facts with fantastic allusions. The biggest success was the writer‘s fourth novel One Hundred Years of
Solitude. The work tells stories of several generations of the Buendía family living in a fictional village of Macondo. Published in 1967, it became an immediate success. Throughout his life, the author produced other excellent works. Among them is Love in the Time of Cholera and The General in His Labyrinth. The appeal of the writer‘s oeuvre lies within his ability to captivate a wide sphere of readers. His lifelong passion for journalism developed his storytelling skills. In addition, his books are popular with the general public as well as academically educated critics. The Nobel laureate gained an international reputation and transformed the course of Hispanic literature. He is widely celebrated in Columbia for drawing attention to the country’s issues. As the Columbian president Santos said: ‘The world knows about Columbia through Gabriel García Márquez. He represented what Columbia is in many ways. His magic realism […] is not an invention. It is a description of what Columbia is.’ The author had an interest in providing young people with possibilities to educate themselves. He helped to found an International Film School in Cuba and set up a journalism school in
“Márquez’s style of writing falls into the genre of magical realism which blends historical facts with fantastic allusions.”
Photo/ Wolf Gang (flickr) Columbia. García Marquez felt the need to express his left wing opinions. Controversially, García Márquez was close friends was Fidel Castro and he sympathised with the Cuban revolution along with opposing the U.S. influence in Latin America. For many years, the U.S. borders were closed for him. He devoted two of his books to highlighting political issues such as political violence in the 1950s and organised crime. García Márquez avowed
his attitudes overtly, but tried to keep his privacy from public life. Mercedes Barcha was his lifelong partner with their marriage lasting more than half a decade. Last week, thousands of people gathered in Mexico and Columbia to attend a ceremony which commemorated the author. His fans were holding the author‘s most celebrated novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ in their hands like a book of prayer. He certainly managed to touch people’s hearts through his belief in ‘a new and limitless utopia wherein no one can decide for others how they are to die, where love can really be true and happiness possible, where the lineal generations of one hundred years of solitude will have at last and forever a second chance on earth.‘
Arts News Blur’s third studio album, Parklife celebrated its twentieth anniversary last week. The album was a major critical and commercial success, going on to be certified four times platinum and is considered among others to have defined the Brit Pop era. Two new pieces speculated to have been created by controversial street artist Banksy have emerged in Cheltenham and Bristol. The first depicts government agents listening in on a phone box on a wall near to GCHQ, the centre of the UK’s surveillance network. The second depicts two embracing lovers using their phones over each of the other’s shoulders.
Photo/ onenewspage Quentin Tarantino’s legal case against gossip website Gawker has been dismissed by a US federal judge. The acclaimed director filed for compensation seeking $1m (£600,000) from the website who he claims helped to leak the screenplay for his upcoming film The Hateful Eight.
illiam Shakespeare requires no introduction, nor does the impact or legacy he has left behind in the 450 years since his birth require any explanation. Adaptations of his works are numerous; new interpretations frequent, and, beyond even that, the bard’s many plots, tropes and characters have an influence that reaches out in some way to almost all contemporary works of fiction. Over 410 film and TV versions of Shakespeare’s wide variety of plays have been produced over the last century, be that in the shape of the upcoming 2015 film Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender in the lead role, or to offer a stranger example of what can be done with the original material, The Lion King, which borrows various elements from Hamlet. The media has enjoyed a long-term love affair with the world’s most famous playwright, and it is clearly a fixation built to last. Like the works of many great writers, much of what contributes to the continued reverence of Shakespeare is the way in which the numerous reimaginings of his plays allows new audiences to engage with the ideas they present.
Recently, Netflix original series House of Cards (an adaptation of the original BBC series which in turn is based on the novel by Michael Dobbs) has served as a noteworthy example of the legacy left to us by Shakespeare, particularly for its depiction of characters resembling the villainous anti-heroes contained within many of his plays. While this is not, of course, the first time anti-heroes have been featured as the central focus of a series or film, House of Cards is, regardless, exemplary for the complexity of its characters and for its ability to weave together aspects of some of the bard’s greatest villains into the character of Frank Underwood, portrayed by leading man Kevin Spacey. Underwood is a living embodiment of Machiavellian values. He has the charming wit of Richard of Gloucester (from Richard III); a strong desire for revenge against those who slight him is borrowed from Iago (from Othello), and the wild, violent ambition of Macbeth rounds him off as a modern antihero. More than any, it is the first of these Shakespearean characters that Frank resembles most, particularly due to his habit of routinely breaking the fourth wall in a
A graphic novel representing a bleak vision of Scotland will be unveiled at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Entitled IDP: 2043 features contributions from a number of prominent writers and authors including Irvine Welsh, Dan McDaid and Denise Mina. Photo/ David Williamson (wikipedia) throwback to the use of asides in many of Shakespeare’s plays. This allows the character to confide his dark intentions to the audience, simultaneously winning them over while he makes them complicit in his scheming. Many of Shakespeare’s characters displayed not only a departure from overly simplistic villains, but also a move away from plots centred on morality or allegory. Evil is perhaps too rigid a word, but Shakespeare’s anti-heroes are ruthless, malicious and deceitful beings. By making them the focus of the drama, Shakespeare sparks an admiration within his audience for the daring of his villains. When Richard of Gloucester proposes marriage to Anne over the corpse of her dead husband who he has slain, we are both appalled by his gall and impressed with his success, just as the audience of House
of Cards are as they witness the success of Underwood’s political manoeuvres. We are taught, in this way, to beware of those who would ‘seem a saint’ while playing the devil, but in modern works we are also shown that morality is rarely clear-cut and that sometimes we must embrace our more Machiavellian traits. What the likes of House of Cards shows is that the work of William Shakespeare is not simply timeless in its original form, but also malleable enough to adapt with changing cultures. The intricate plots, complex characters and numerous themes can be reshaped into any number of new narratives only because the folio of plays left to us is so rich and diverse. By Andrew Parker
23 April marked the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. The anniversary of Britain’s most celebrated playwright and poet was celebrated across the globe and with an annual festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. Aberdeen acts Dear John and Ray Browder were announced as the joint winners of the battle of the bands run by local independent record label Fat Hippy Records. Both bands were awarded the £5000 prize which includes studio time and a UK tour. 19 April saw Record Store Day encourage celebration of the culture and heritage of independent music shops and music. Despite the closing of One-Up, the muchloved independent record store in Aberdeen which sadly closed last year, events occurred throughout the city.
29 April 2014
Most Anticipated Reunions
1sentOasistwitter – Liam into
Gallagher meltdown recently when he spelled out the name of his former band. Hysterical reunion predictions swiftly followed, but with Noel’s solo stuff doing really well and Beady Eye... well... not, it’s difficult to see why the Gallaghers would want to make up just yet.
2 The Smiths - For some, Morrissey and Marr
were a partnership to rival Lennon and McCartney. The Smiths defined a sound, but lasted only a few years before splintering off into their own projects. Johnny Marr has been playing a few Smiths tunes in his live sets, but Morrissey seems fairly done with the whole thing. Reasoning says this is one reunion that will probably never happen - but didn’t everyone say that about The Stone Roses? Led Zepplin - The rock legends would undoubtedly induce all sorts of euphoria if they played together again, but recent comments from frontman Robert Plant suggest it’s just not happening. After all, he’s carved out a pretty successful, Grammywinning solo career for him-
REVIEWS Music Paulo Nutini Caustic Love ALBUM RELEASE: 14 APRIL 2014
By Calum Busby The Paisley-born, genre-travelling artist has his latest album ‘Caustic Love’ indulge in a rich and culturally significant soul sound. However, the question one poses to themselves throughout is whether this new sound explored by Nutini is a mere imitation, or instead a unique adaption of those who have made the genre so iconic. Throughout we are presented with contrasting themes ranging from the melancholic to the emphatic, with the reliance on an ever present brass section to meld this polarity. The initial stages of the album give no true hints of the complex personality within the LP, as ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ demonstrates. Arguably the most
Nas Illmatic XX NOVEL RELEASE: 15 APRIL 2014
By Phillip Stoney
4 The White Stripes – Alright, Jack White’s hardly gone off-grid since he and Meg went their separate ways. He usually has multiple projects on the go simultaneously, all of which are rather good, but with the future of guitar bands being scrutinised, the return of one of the last decade’s most vital groups would be utterly delightful. ABBA – Despite the fact 5 they’d make a hairy fortune if they even played one show
together, the Swedish pop legends have so far resisted offers to reunite. Agnetha (the blonde one) became something of a recluse for many years, but she released an actually-not-terrible dance-pop album last year, so an Abba show might not be as unthinkable now as it once was! By Alan Henderson
Ask any diehard hip-hop fan what they regard to be as the greatest album of the hip-hop/rap genre and you will be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t mention Nas’ debut album, Illmatic. The self-proclaimed ‘half-man, halfamazing’ released Illmatic in 1994 with huge critical appraise and, to this day, is often described as ‘the bible of hip-hop’. Two decades have now passed since this groundbreaking album shook up the world of rap music and to celebrate the Queensbridge rapper has dropped Illmatic XX. But Illmatic XX isn’t some thoughtless re-release, it is an expanded and remastered version of the original classic 10-track album with an additional disc
“While rhyming from the back of his throat at the tender age of 20, Nas delivers unparalleled lyricism with multi-syllabic rhyming schemes and a rich vocabulary.”
addictive track, Nutini mixes fast lyrics with a range of guitar riffs lying beneath. Immediately after the fade out of the opening track, the listener is introduced to a swift steering of direction. The hip-hop instrumentals that follow in the songs ‘Let Me Down Easy’, ‘Diana’ and ‘Fashion’, the latter a duet with R&B and Soul musician Janelle Monae, show how Nutini has so effortlessly immersed himself in a fresh new style of performance. This new direction accompanied by his cracked soulful voice, proves it to be more than just an imitation of a successful blueprint. The several layers behind the emotion in his voice communicate an almost unattainable degree of meaning to the listener, and this is encapsulated at its finest in ‘Iron Sky’. Starting with a modest yet extremely alluring bass line, progressing with one of the most powerful vocal performances one will ever hear, and concluding with the moving Charlie Chaplin speech from the Great Dictator, ‘Iron Sky’ declares itself as a treat of a lifetime. Describing the truly great nature of this album in a few words is a tough task, however it is with no great trouble to declare that this LP trumps the high standards seen in Nutini’s previous work.
containing various remixes, as well as unearthing a previously commercially unreleased song from the Illmatic album sessions and an unreleased 10 minutelength freestyle. While rhyming from the back of his throat at the tender age of 20, Nas delivers unparalleled lyricism with multi-syllabic rhyming schemes and a rich vocabulary. Nas intelligently paints a picture of what life was like for him growing up in the Queensbridge projects, outlining the severe urban poverty and gang violence that surrounded him. The gritty
Mac DeMarco Salad Days ALBUM RELEASE: 1 APRIL 2014
By Dimitar Iliev Grigorov Mac DeMarco seems to take it easy not only with his music, but with life in general. Aside from the mellow and smooth feel that the whole album communicates, the lyrical content of the songs is in no contrast to the overall atmosphere that the instruments evoke. It’s all about growing up slowly and silently, enjoying whatever life has to offer and the quiet anticipation of what is to come. As a result, ‘Salad Days’ feels like taking a walk on Aberdeen beach in the late afternoon, when the weather is kind enough to allow it. The well-known elements that the critics ascribe to the so-called
Theatre Wullie Wonkie and the Fine Piece Factory AT HMT DATE: 23 APRIL- 26 APRIL
By Darren Coutts and Jacquelyne Hall
production by stellar producers DJ Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, Pete Rock and L.E.S. should also be applauded, particularly their use of vintage soul and jazz samples, encapsulating the deep and thought-provoking lyrics that Nas spits on the mic. For those of you who haven’t ever listened to Illmatic – or even heard of Nas – I urge you to give this album a listen: especially if you are not into rap music. You will honestly be impressed. Forget the braggadocious raps about money, fame, and women that dominate the radio waves right now. This is hip-hop at its finest.
‘lo-fi wave’ DeMarco is part of can all be found here. From the guitar tone that is soaked in psychedelic dreaminess, to the minimalistic, sometimes barelypresent drumming, everything in ‘Salad Days’ creates a world of its own where the only thing that is expected from the listener is to lay back and enjoy the moment. In the manner of his previous works, DeMarco keeps himself away from overstretching the album. There are no virtuoso techniques, or unexpected metre changes, and Mac’s vocals are far from the most technically diverse voices in music. Precisely that, combined with the fact that ‘Salad Days’ is thirty minutes long (the hazily melancholic ‘Let My Baby Stay’ reaches four minutes and it’s the longest song), is what makes the whole album feel like one song. And although the title track and ‘Passing Out Pieces’ could be said to be the perfect examples of what to expect from DeMarco’s music as a whole, ‘Salad Days’ is an album that you should hear from the first to the last song if you want to get the most out of it. What’s more important, it is an album that deserves it.
Following the success of last year’s ‘Spital Shop of Horrors’, the Aberdeen Student Show returns with, ‘Wullie Wonkie and The Fine Piece Factory’, their own take on the classic ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’. The beginning of the show was enthusiastic and set the tone for the rest of the evening. The set and lighting were vibrant and exciting, which complimented the personalities of the cast. The added graphics and pyrotechnics contributed to the fun and humorous tone of the night, and the involvement of local icons such as The Mayor, Sean Batty and various AFC team members made everyone cheer! The brilliant selection of musical parodies were well staged, and complimented by the local jokes and the fabulous acting, singing, and dancing of the triple threat leads. Considering this was the final performance, all the cast members were still energetic and giving it their all! This made the performance a delight to watch, and encouraged audience
participation. The performance closely followed the original plotline of Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ throughout the first half. However, the second act, we felt, deviated slightly from the classic, and although this added originality, it led to an unnecessary element. Nevertheless, this was still entertaining and well performed. The only major criticism that could be made would be that the show, unfortunately, came to quite an abrupt end. This left the audience feeling bewildered, as although the
“The brilliant selection of musical parodies were well staged, and complimented by the local jokes and the fabulous acting, singing and dancing of the triple threat leads.” show ended on a high, it left much of the original storyline untold. Overall, the evening was enjoyable, and everyone involved in the performance should be proud of their efforts. The hard work that was put in was clear to see, and the full house proved that it was a greatly popular show, with a great reputation. The enormous turnout will have raised a considerable amount of money for the charities that benefit from the student show.
29 April 2014
Film Transcendence STARRING: JOHNNY DEPP, MORGAN FREEMAN AND REBECCA HALL
By Ryan James Macready Johnny Depp stars as Dr Will Caster in Walter Pfister’s directorial debut, a much anticipated sci-fi thriller entitled Transcendence. Caster, a scientist who plans to make the world’s debut sentient computer, is shot and terminally injured by a member of an antitechnological extremist group. Caster’s consciousness is uploaded virtually at the demand of his grieving wife, played by Rebecca Hall. Suddenly, the spooky image of Caster’s face and voice coming through the machine becomes the focus of the film and, as he connects to the internet, his life’s aim switches from survival to Advertisements
world domination. Before moving into the world of direction, Pfister was Chistopher Nolan’s chief cinematographer and the film gives the impression that it is aiming for the psychologically thrilling effect of Nolan films like Inception and The Prestige. Unfortunately, what we end up watching is an ineffectual, farfetched and emotionally vacant imitation. Transcendence comes over more like a humourless and shallow version of Spike Jonze’s recent film Her, with Pfister creating a futuristic world where technology has come on leaps and bounds, but interesting conversation and likeable humans have become extinct. The idea and image of a deceased husband living within a computer is an intriguing
one, however, the focus on the software sinner’s attempt at world domination as opposed to the wife’s tragic loss makes it all but impossible to connect in a human way with the would-be widow. Not long after it starts, the audience begins to wish that the film would cease Transcending and finish. After The Lone Ranger and the last instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it is fair to say that the Edward Scissorhands star has had a torrid few years in the film industry. I would argue that Depp will need another film of the quality of Gilbert Grape or Donnie Brasco to save his career from becoming a subject of ridicule. We already have one Nicholas Cage.
Live at Captain Tom’s - Episode One by Alan Henderson
aptain Tom has been a pillar of the local music scene for what seems like forever, providing rehearsal space and recording opportunities for Aberdeen bands of every standard and genre. The associated label, Fat Hippy Records has also been vital, putting out releases from institutions like The Lorelei, as well as some early Xcerts recordings. Their most recent endeavour seems to be giving Aberdeen music another shot in the arm. The wildly ambitious Live at Captain Tom’s series is a multi-platform extravaganza, as they stream interviews and sessions in the morning, preceding a live show later in the evening. It’s a terrific way to bring the studio into the digital age. The first episode appeared to go really well, looking impressively professional for their first attempt at something on such a grand scale. Hosts Scott Ironside and Magenta Lust could have probably carried the morning’s stream by themselves, and the way they channeled their natural charisma into passion
“The first episode appeared to go really well. looking impressivly professional for their first attempt at something on such a grand scale.” for the acts playing was vital to the excitement. They also managed to take an incredibly diverse line-up and turn it into a fairly cohesive musical event. It was always clear that the aim was to create a buzz around local music as a whole, rather than establishing the dominance of a certain scene. Highlights included new Fat Hippy signings Dear John, ASR favourite Leanne Smith and Drummonds 2K Tournament winners Terrordactyl. I keep going on in this column about how Aberdeen music is the healthiest it’s been in a long time, and it’s exciting, accessible events like this that will ensure it only gets better.
Editor: Josiah Bircham
Music Jazz at the Blue Lamp The Blue Lamp Thursday 1 May 20.00 £11.00 inc. b.f. Jazz, jazz, jaazzz. Come listen to Chick Lyall jazz. He is known as one of Scotland’s finest pianists but he’s normally busy with classical and folk projects so this outing with his quartet featuring Colin Steele on trumpet is a rare treat. This new project encompasses a number of Chick’s own compositions in tribute to his favourite jazz stars and arrangements of some of their writing. His playing is lyrical and gentle but always thoughtful and interesting. With the Blue Lamp favourite Colin Steele on trumpet and flugelhorn joining him this will be a night to remember.
Jonnie Cash Roadshow Music Hall Sunday 11 May 19.30 £22.00 inc. b.f.
Russel Kane- Smallness Music Hall Wednesday 30 April 20.00 £20.35 Russel Kane is a comedian. He is a famous comedian. He tells jokes and such. This particular series will be focused on smallness and the like. I saw him a while ago in Edinburgh and he was very funny, and the ticket was slightly more expensive, so I reckon it’s a pretty good idea to catch him while he’s in Aberdeen! Also - fun fact - he won the 2011 Children in Need edition of Celebrity Mastermind, so that’s a thing... Horrible Histories
Connie Lush The Lemon Tree Saturday 10 May 19.30 £16.50 inc. b.f. Connie Lush has been recognised as one of the finest Blues singers in the UK, winning five times, “Best Female Vocalist UK” and earning a place in the gallery of greats, alongside Alexis Corner and Eric Clapton to name just two. Twice voted “European Blues Vocalist of the year” by the French Blues Trophies Awards” and nominated again “Best UK Blues Vocalist” 2011-2012. In recent years, Connie has performed in over 30 countries. She has played at some of Europe’s largest and most prestigious festivals, including Glastonbury Festival 2011 and has wowed audiences in Moscow, New York and LA.
HMT Tuesday 13 May - Saturday 17 May Tue- Sat 19.00 and Matinees daily 17.50 inc. b.f. I was unsure where to base this listing but then I realised the show will be kinda funny- so comedy fits. Also, the online press release came with the following humorous historical blurb. Can you beat battling Boudicca? What if a Viking moved in next door? Has William Wallace met his match? Would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry? Can evil Elizabeth entertain England? Will Parliament survive gunpowder Guy? Can King Charles keep his head? Would you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin? Escape the clutches of Burke and Hare, move to the grove with party Queen Victoria and prepare to do battle in the frightful First World War! Come along- it’s not only for kids.
Elphinstone Lawn Wednesday 7 May 19.00-23.00 £8.00
Highlights Culture Cafe with Denise Mina Music Hall May 7 13.00-14.00 Denise Mina is one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, versatile, prodigiously talented and entertaining.
TedX- It’s All in the Mind
Bookends Thursday 1 May 17.00 Free
Pimm’s Garden Party
PIMM’S! I quite honestly never noticed that apostrophe until I started writing this listing. It’s tricky, though, because it makes it seem like the Garden Party belongs to Pimm when in fact it’s the implied ownership of the alcohol brand. I digress. This event sounds fun and relaxing, especially in the weeks running up to exams. If that’s not enough to entice you, there will be a tent! Not just a tent- a Pimm’s tent! Also, there will be live music, good vibes and the chance to party!
Healthy Eating Workshop
The Tunnels Monday 5 May 19.30 £8.80 inc. b.f. Do you like Mumford and Sons? Well, Bear’s Den has been compared to them. The trio are pretty superb and have been busy this 2013. Highlights include a soldout debut UK tour in February, a summer playing a whole host of festivals including Mumford & Sons’ Summer Stampede at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in front of a 60,000 strong, sold out crowd and joining the Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover Tour in the US followed by a support slot with Daughter on their US tour. They then travelled to Australia to support Matt Corby in October before returning to the UK and Europe for their own triumphant sold out headline tour.
This is the number one tribute to the great Johnny Cash featuring Clive John as the Man In Black. From his first hits in the 1950s right up to his last, the band plays a tribute to Cash with astounding accuracy, capturing the essence of what it was like to be at a real Cash show! This is no ordinary concert: you will be treated to a feast of sound and vision with the band closely replicating the unmistakable sound of Johnny Cash accompanied with a visual backdrop containing hundreds of evocative images and clips taken during his lifetime.
29 April 2014
Do you like food? Do you like health? Does the idea of a combination of the two make you physically sick with joy? Then jaunt on down to bookends and try some healthy and sustainable recipe, then eat a meal with your nourishing comrades. Carrot cupcakes and veggie soup are on the menu! Annual Culture Ball Norwood Hall Hotel Saturday 3 May 19.00- 11.59 £34 for members, £36 for nonmembers What a balmy day this will be, with highs of 9ºC and lows of 7ºC the annual culture ball will be practically in the midst of a really, really early Indian Summer. Join eight societies for a multicultured, cultured, Culture ball with Ballroom dancing and a quite delicious three course meal. Unless you’re a member of the UN, it’s not everyday that so many different cultures gather in one place, which definitely means that this will be a night to be remembered. On top of that, it’s set in the four star establishment- the Norwood Hall Hotel- which I’ve never been to but sounds pretty classy. Transportation to the venue and entertainment during the night are provided by the Societies involved. Ask the Principal Butchart Tuesday 6 May 13.00-14.00 Free Diamonds are forever, but this particular Diamond will only be in Butchart for an hour, to answer all your questions. Don’t ask questions that put Diamond in the rough, but don’t hold back! If you don’t ask anything you can always come and listen because it should be an informative event serving to bridge the gap between the University’s high-ups and ourselves.
The Lemon Tree Sunday 11 May 12.30 £8.00 inc. b.f. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. It is a program of local, self-organized events bringing people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDxUnionTerrace will combine TED-Talk videos and live speakers to spark thought provoking ideas on Sunday, 11th May 2014. The theme this year is “It’s All in the Mind”. Our carefully selected speakers promise to shed light on aspects of life that you may never have considered quite like this before.
Theatre The Tale of Fanny Cha Cha - A Play, a Pie and a Pint The Lemon Tree Tuesday 29 April - Saturday 3 May 18.00 Tues - Fri, 13.00 Sat £11.00 inc. b.f. A Scottish emigrant took the ‘baw’ to Brazil. A Brazilian immigrant took Samba to Scotland. Based loosely on true stories this multi-cultural musical tells a heartwarming love story set doon by the Broomielaw in the hey-day of the Clyde. Also, as per, you can get a free pie and pint with the price of your ticket, so it’s definitely worth its price. 500 WORDS ON ABERDEEN The Lemon Tree Saturday 10 May 18.00 £7.70 inc. b.f. This is a script-in-hand performance of several new scripts written by the the participants in APA’s playwrighting workshop programme - all inspired by Aberdeen. The show will feature a small cast of local professional actors. This, much like the previous listing, gives you a drink with your ticket. Excellent! Alcohol that seems free! Just take your stub up to Kate’s Bar.
Mary Ann Kennedy & Friends (Màiri Anna Nic Ualraig is Càirdean) The Lemon Tree May 9 12.00 – 13.00 Mary Ann Kennedy, one of the top Gaelic musicians in the country, will be putting on an unmissable performance alongside a group of talented musicians. The Dunedin Consort: Madrigals of Love and War King’s College Chapel May 9 19.30 – 21.00 See the Gramophone Award winning Dunedin Consort, Scotland’s top baroque ensemble, perform music celebrating Monteverdi’s poems about the pursuit of love through the allegory of war. Brilliant Bread with James Morton Linklater Room, University of Aberdeen May 10 11.30 – 12.30 James Morton, runner-up in the 2012 series of The Great British Bake off will be showing off his cooking skills and knowledge of bread making. Director’s Cut with David Gritten King’s College Conference Centre May 10 11.00 – 12.30 David Gritten, a film journalist who has interviewed Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep discusses ﬁve key ﬁlms and artists that have changed the face of cinema.
29 April 2014
Ainsley and Black impress at SSS Individual Tennis Championships
In other news...
Rob Ainsley reports on AU Tennis Club’s strong performance earlier this month at the SSS Individual Tennis Championships in Stirling
he weekend of 19th April saw Stirling University host the SSS Individual Tennis Championships. Aberdeen University Tennis Club sent 1st team number 1, Robert Ainsley and 2nd team number 3, Douglas Black to the event. Black was on first, playing Glasgow number 1 Alan Conroy. He acquitted himself well against an established heavyweight of Scottish student tennis, hitting some rasping returns to break his opponent and take an early lead. However, despite constructing many fine rallies, Black succumbed to a 2-6 1-6 defeat; a scoreline that did not do justice to his performance. This was a great effort from Black, who was competing against a player used to playing 2 divisions higher in BUCS. Seeded Ainsley faced a potential banana skin in tier 1 winning St. Andrews 1st teamer Finlay Hutchison. After a slow start, Ainsley worked his way into the match and adapted his tactics cleverly to triumph 3-6 6-4 10-6, after a 3rd set championship tiebreak. Ainsley followed this up with a quarter final against Black’s conqueror Alan Conroy. Having lost their only pre-
Photo/ Craig Doyle vious encounter in straight sets, Ainsley was slight underdog, and indeed looked to be heading out after suffering a back spasm during the 1st set and losing it 2-6. A steely recovery saw Ainsley defy the odds and storm back to nick a tight 2-6 6-4 10-8 victory. This was despite not being able to serve at full pace due to the back injury.
Black and Ainsley then paired up for the doubles competition against the St. Andrews combination of Blair Robertson and Gavin Harkness. After sharing the opening 2 sets of the quarter final, the match hinged on another championship tiebreak. Although they required 5 match points, the Aberdeen pair emerged with a gritty 6-2 1-6 12-10 win. Ainsley was back on court the next day to contest the singles semi final with St. Andrews number 1 and tournament favourite Craig Stevens. This saw the introduction of a full 3rd set if required. In the match of the tournament, and despite still being hampered on serve by his back injury, Ainsley played some sensational precision tennis to grind out a 7-6 6-7 7-5 victory in 3 hours and 5 minutes. The resilience that he displayed to recover from 1-4 down in the final set epitomised his competitive determination throughout the weekend. Remarkably, this match took longer to complete than the other men’s semi-final and the women’s final combined. However, there was no respite for Ainsley or Stevens, as they faced off in the doubles ½ final, partnering
Black and Hutchison respectively. The match ebbed and flowed, but Stevens and Hutchison edged it 6-4 6-4. Ainsley attempted to muster his remaining reserves for the final against Edinburgh’s Matt Stout. Unfortunately, the 6 extra hours on court during the weekend compared to his opponent took their toll on Ainsley. He fought to the last point, but Stout was too experienced and canny to allow him any chance to settle, winning 6-2 6-1. The runner-up spot was still a fine achievement for Ainsley, as he was not expected to pass the quarter final and, at 32, was giving away at least 8 years to all opponents. Black also played his part in representing the university with exemplary spirit and commitment. This caps a strong season for the tennis club, following on from the men’s 1st team winning tier 2 of BUCS and the SSS Conference Cup final. The season culminates with the finals of the internal club championships on Wednesday 14th May at King’s tennis courts. Anyone is welcome to come and watch some high quality tennis.
AU Paintball Society runners-up in opening round of the Scottish Paintball League Nathan Hopwood gives the lowdown on AUPS’s recent form as they kick off their league campaign with a convincing display
t was a brisk, early start on Sunday 13th of April as the Aberdeen University Paintball Society (AUPS) headed out to Battlegrounds Paintball, Aberdeen, in what was to be their second tournament competition. On the back of their successful 3rd place finish in last year’s Scottish Paintball League (then SPCS – Scottish Paintball Championship Series) AUPS arrived bright and early to the first round this year with an almost entirely new team composition, and a new captain, President Scott Gaffney, at the helm. With local teams Aberdeen Pulse and Aberdeen Fusion A/B as well as a team from Lossiemouth filling the roster for the day it was set to be action packed and a tight race to the finish. With initial setup finished, AUPS took to the field for their first game of the day against Aberdeen Pulse. Despite a valiant first effort, AUPS lost all five men and found themselves 0 for 1 after the first game. The next three games were also not to be, while the number of AUPS bodies alive at the end of the game kept increasing, the final flag hang seemed to be just out of reach. This was to change with the last game of the morning however, with the team warming to the field and leading a push from both sides of the field
Photo/ Robert McAteer saw to see their first win of the day, leaving them 1 from 4 at the end of the morning. A quick lunch break allowed for all of the teams to refuel and reflect on the plays that had been made in the morning, and with refreshed minds and new found energy AUPS took back to the field in what would be an eventful afternoon. With all but one of the previous games ending in a loss for AUPS, the want to prove themselves was high and the field was a buzz of anticipation. After a well-fought
couple of minutes, a break in Aberdeen Pulse’s defence allowed AUPS to push through, not only taking out all five of the opposing team, but also getting their first flag hang of the day. A quick stop to refill paint and air and AUPS took back to the field and, with two wins under their belt, they came into their element. AUPS went on to win their next games against Aberdeen Fusion A/B, and their final game against Lossiemouth, who later claimed top spot for the day. With all of the games played and
gear packed away, the scores were announced to a very anxious and excited huddle of teams. Against all odds, it was a surprised AUPS who were called out for the second place trophy, and it was from then that the celebrations began. President Scott Gaffney had this to say about the day’s result. “Coming into my first tournament as team captain, with 3 essentially brand new players was a little intimidating, especially when it can be difficult to fit regular training around studying. But on the day, everyone came out fighting, pulled their weight and, as a whole, performed well above expectations. I couldn’t be prouder of the team: onwards and upwards boys.” With this result under their belt, AUPS now have a brief break for exams before training starts again for the second and third rounds of the SPL, which take place in June and August. Spirits are high after this first round but with the expectations of both sponsors and team members, the team are hoping to get their heads down and work hard to keep the ball rolling on what looks to be an exciting year in Scottish paintball.
As this year’s BUCS campaign draws to a close for the University of Aberdeen, they currently lie in 39th position in the overall standings, just behind Surrey and Brighton. AU entered 64 teams for BUCS competition this year and has recorded 376 wins so far this season, with 590 defeats and 60 draws, making their win rate 37%. As for the Scottish standings, Aberdeen lie in 5th place, five places ahead of Granite City rivals, Robert Gordon. Fencing amounted to 14% of AU’s total BUCS points, making the club the university’s top BUCS performer. Wednesday’s standout tie sees Aberdeen Cricket 1st XI travel south to take on Edinburgh in the Men’s Cricket League. All information is correct as of 24th April 2014. For more information please see http://www.bucs.org. uk/homepage.asp.
Football Last week saw AUMFC’s election and the announcement of next year’s committee members. The results were as follows: Club Captain - Max Williams / Club Vice Captain - Ewen Reid / 1s Captain - Robert Hayes / 2s Captain - Ross Hunter / 3s Captain - Cameron Houston / 4s Captain - Jonathan Brown / Under 21s Manager - Stephen Christmas / Secretary - Robert Guyan / Treasurer - Cameron Shanks / Social Secretary - Patrick Barnett / Tour Convenor - Connor Ashford.
Superteams 2014 Aberdeen University Sports Union’s biggest event is returning this year on Wednesday 7th May. The day will start at 1pm on King’s Pitches. The Sports Union Committee is excited to announce this year’s theme as “Tight and Bright”. Teams must be made up of 7 people, including one Superman and one Superwoman and at least 3 girls per team. Entry is £70 per team. Entry forms are available in the Sports Union Office in ASV. Early entry is advised in order to avoid disappointment.
Weightlifting Last week AUWC announced that, instead of an Intra University competition this year, the club will be sending a strong team down to the Scottish Unequipped Championships on Sunday 8th June. This is massive news for the club (which was only formed in 2012) as they aim to set the standard for other clubs around the UK and showcase the club’s talent.-
Editor: Stuart Bill
The week in tweets @GaryLineker - the MOTD presenter gives his view on Moyes’ sacking Wish David Moyes all the very best. He’s a good man and a good manager, just not the right fit for Manchester United. @RobbieSavage8 - the BBC football pundit thinks he has a chance landing a coaching job at Man United – Just on the way to carrington x @Mo_Farah - makes an appearance on lunchtime TV following the London Marathon earlier this month – Had a good time on @ loosewomen with the wife..!! Shabba..!!! @laurarobson5 - the GB tennis player makes a painful mistake I’ve only gone and scratched my nose after cutting chilli. #rookie #thisgirlisonfire @RealCFrampton - the super bantamweight boxer on an eventful trip to his nearby park My daughter Carla got kicked in the face by a child on a swing yesterday. She has a little war wound and also a solid chin #Warrior @JensonButton - on another tough weekend on the track Tough weekend for the whole @McLarenF1 team. All working very hard to put things right.. I believe we can do it. #BelieveInMclaren #JB22
Video of the Week
Mini Masters – Crazy Golf http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=_oQAjtXz-Vc
29 April 2014
Preview: ASV Aquatics Centre Xander Brouwer gives the skinny on his exclusive dip in Aberdeen’s Aquatics Centre as excitement builds ahead of the public opening next week
e’ve waited a while – it has been under construction since July 2011 – but finally Aberdeen’s brand new aquatics centre is complete. The stateof-the-art facility will open to the public on Monday 5th May. An 18m pool at King’s Pavilion had long stood in odd contrast with the modern facilities on Linksfield Road. So when the university gave the go-ahead in October 2010 I was quite excited. Sadly construction took almost a year to start, after the former Linksfield Academy site had been demolished but now it’s finally completed! With innovative technology included it should be a great place to swim for people from all backgrounds, whether you are a keen swimmer or donning your armbands for the first time. The facilities boast a timing analysis lab, floating floors and an exercise studio. The two most important elements are obviously the two pools. Under the covers of a big black cuboid you can find the 50-meter pool. With 10 lanes it is Olympic-sized and thus suitable for any competition. A quarter of the floor can be moved although usually sits at the depth of 2 meters, the same depth as the remainder of the pool. But most notable about this pool is the ability to become split into two – one 25-meter pool and one 23.5 meters in length. A dividing boom can be raised when there is a
Photo/ ASV need to have more pools available. This ensures that there will always be an open session accessible to the public at all times. On the other side of the building, caped by a large metallic, dome like structure you find the 25-meter pool. Equipped with a fully floating, moveable floor, it often sits at a depth of 5 meters but can easily be brought up to 1.5 meters or even to a place where it is level with the surrounding walkways. The standard depth of 1.5 meters will be used when used for lane swimming, or 5 meters when used for diving. Marc McCorkell, President for
Sport for Aberdeen University Students’ Association said “Over eight sports clubs will benefit from the opening of the Aquatics Centre as well as the potential for exciting new sports such as diving. Just last week a number of the Athletes competing at the Commonwealth Water Polo remarked how they would love to study at a university with sporting facilities as good as this.” Boroka Toro, Co-captain for the Swimming and Water polo Club added: “Our experience so far has been great, the pool is excellent and feels like it’s going to be fast to
race in. Swimming in a 50m pool is a challenge after the 18m we had in kings but we are definitely up for the task. Next year is going to be fantastic!” Besides Swimming and Water polo, other clubs that will be able to use the facility include Synchronised Swimming, Diving, Underwater Hockey as well as other clubs that use it such as sailing and canoe. Whether a new diving club will be founded remains to be seen; that’s up to the students. Equipped with full diving facilities, including 3m springboards and platforms standing 10m high, it’s not one for the faint hearted! In the mean time the Sports Village staff need time to get used to the facility. As the facility is much larger than the old King’s Pavilion, it obviously requires many more staff members, with at least six life guards on at any one time, compared to just one in the old pool. When the building does finally open it will do so quietly, at least initially. It will open at 6.30am, as it would do on any day of the week. A full timetable is already available on the Sports Village website. Four days a week see the 50m pool in use as is, while the other days of the week it is split up into the smaller sections. Come 5th May, I definitely recommend you go for a dive.
Aberdeen University hit the waves on the Algarve coast Arttu Närhi reports on AU Surf Club’s inaugural Easter excursion to Southern Portugal
or a medium sized sports team with a busy events schedule, a trip abroad might be an inconceivable feat. However, with a determined organisational committee, strong friendships between members, and the promise of swells of the like never seen in the cold north, great exceptions can be made to this rule. Exceptional is certainly one term by which to describe the Surf Club’s debut on foreign waters. It was not your typical trip of laid-back bar hopping and lethal hangovers. 17 Surf Club members made the journey down to Peniche, Portugal, over the first week of the Easter break in order to try out the potentially new annual club tradition. Surf Club Trips Officer Liam Tracey was very pleased with the outcome of the trip. “Everyone had an absolutely amazing time by the looks of it. Whether it was surfing, partying or just relaxing and getting away from Uni life for a while, I think we all managed to get what we came for from the week.” Training began the day after
Photo/ Peniche Surf Camp touch-down. Greeted with weather eerily reminiscent of North-Eastern Scotland, the club headed out with surfers from Royal Holloway University and our new Portuguese and Spanish coaches. From the word go, we came to know this would not be a feel good session of casual lessons but actual sports team training, with warm-ups, surf-theory, video analysis, and repetition. Everyone was divided into groups to match their skill
level: pure beginners, intermediate beginners, beginner intermediates, and more advanced surfers. Teaching was, as such, highly specific for each skill group with several instructors looking on, both in the water and on the beach. On top of training and accommodation, the club was treated to kit rentals, meals, and friendly banter. “We were really lucky to work with Peniche Surf Camp. They did everything and anything we could
have wanted, and delivered a great surf experience for all of us,” Liam says in thanking the local staff. “They are very experienced teachers and extremely friendly people. It was great seeing surfers of all levels catch waves and improve over the course of the week. That was probably my favorite part of the journey.” It was a great success then, no matter how you look at it in retrospect. Many newbies were able to stand up for the first time ever, others were able to get rid of many bad habits, and some even reached new levels of surfing excellence which will hopefully show in next year’s BUCS points. Several gigabytes of photo and video material are a great testimony to the good times had on and off the beaches. “As club captain next year, I will definitely push for more trips abroad seeing how popular this one was,” Liam said in weighing the possibilities of the future of the club. It’s safe to say that the Surf Club has developed a taste for international travel, and will look forward to the next opportunity.
2014/15 editorial election
Working alongside a colleague, the News Editor oversees the local and national news stories covered in the paper and online. Specific duties include: assigning stories to writers and photographers, editing content, and writing articles, headlines and photo captions. Managing a sizeable team of contributors is also involved. The ideal candidate would have a hunger for breaking news and investigating stories, exemplary writing skills and the ability to work to tight deadlines.
Aptly placed between News and Opine, the Features section is often regarded as a mix of the two. Covering pertinent and compelling stories in significant depth is the remit for Features. The editor of this section must be just as able to identify a good story when pitched to them as they are at devising their own topics. Working with a team of contributors, organisation, time management and creativity are key to this role. Superb writing skills are desired , as are editing abilities.
As Photography Editor you would be responsible for sourcing quality, original photos for the paper. Ideally, you would create and maintain a group of eager photographers you can draw upon to provide a wide selection of photographs that would be picked by the relevant Section Editor and the Head of Production. A technical knowledge of cameras, file types and photographic software would be helpful for the position, as well as a good eye for photography.
Copy editors are tasked with scouring the paper for mistakes before it is sent to the printers. We need copy editors to check articles for mistakes but also for mistakes in production, such as wrong page numbers, a caption missing or paragraphs overrunning. As a copy editor you would have to be available on a Sunday afternoon as the paper is sent to the printers Sunday evening.
Life & Style Editor
The life and style editor is in charge of the most important part of this student newspaper. The life and style section reports on the intricacies of student life and times. We have the inside scoop on the drama between students and their flatmates, relationship issues, and the most tasty recipes on campus. We do our investigating and observing ... Words of advice: Write drunk; edit sober.
The role of Arts Editor is one which demands dedication to the reporting of up-to-date cultural trends both in Aberdeen and internationally. The ideal candidate would have a genuine passion for the wide scope of the arts and would be willing to dedicate time to gathering relevant and interesting content. Tasks which will need to be undertaken in the role include establishing and maintaining relationships with promoters and keeping on top of local events, international and local news along with new film, music, theatre and book reviews.
Listings Editor Copy Editor As Listings Editor you are responsible for gathering information about local events that will interest readers. You will have to contact local event organisers as well as university societies to learn about their latest events and write 50 words on each. Listings is the smallest section and perfect for all new comers.
A Copy Editor should get angry over missplaced commas, forgotten hyphens and spelling mistakes. Youâ€™ll needs to make sure the edition is free of mistakes in spelling and grammar and ensure we have a solid copy editing team who are ready to come in every other Sunday to critically read the Gaudie.
To register your interest in any of these positions email firstname.lastname@example.org with around 250 words on why you would be a suitable candidate. Shortlisted applicants will preform a brief speech on the election night, 5th May, before a vote is held. Good luck!