The Aberdeen University Student Newspaper Aberdeen University’s Student Newspaper
3 December 2013
Aberdeen lights up for Christmas By Maija Metsola and Anna Katila
Photo/ Rachel Job
Students’ co-op campaign kicks off By Asma Butt Aberdeen University Students’ Association launched their first housing co-operative model last week. After a national student accommodation event, Better Housing, guest speaker Sean Farmelo spoke to AUSA presidents about a housing co-op he set up in Birmingham and how Aberdeen could realistically have their own, too. Mr Farmelo is one of the founders of the Birmingham based “Students for Co-operation”, an organisation who fund starter co-operatives around the county, which will be a key resource in the making of Aberdeen’s first cooperative.
“It was decided that events within the wider community would be necessary in order to maintain the foundation the cooperative was built on.” They spoke about the realistic goals AUSA should aim for in order to create a working and lasting co-operative. The meeting also began primary discussions about financing and working with other co-operatives around the country
and the rest of the world, whilst planning concrete actions. After this, “Aberdeen Student Housing Co-operative” Facebook page was created and quickly gained likes from students doing a whole array of degrees at Aberdeen University. An initial meeting with the people interested in the co-operative took place, with 40 students eager to materialise the idea. It was agreed that a housing co-operative with hundreds of students would be unrealistic and dangerous for people living in the co-operative, with a smaller house would be more likely. However, discussions on how to maintain a community ethos within a smaller co-operative was one of the stumbling blocks the group spoke
about. Students from the page are currently voluntarily helping make Student President Megan Dunn’s manifesto promise a reality. “Looking at properties, speaking to Aberdeen City Council and creating feasible business plans, the students are really enthusiastic about making this happen soon,” Rob Henthorn, President for Education and Employability earlier stated. It was decided that events within the wider community would be necessary in order to maintain the foundation the co-operative was built on. The community events could be intimate gigs or skill-share sessions. Whatever Continues p.3
The Christmas Light Switch On Parade continued the city’s Winter Festival and took place on Sunday 24 on Union Street after the sunset. The Parade was led by Lord Provost Councillor George Adam, and the lights were turned on one by one following the progress of the procession. The Parade was a part of the city’s Winter Festival, which includes numerous events. The fireworks event earlier in November opened the Festival, and the latest event in the series was the Christmas Tree Switch On. The city council informed that the Christmas Light Switch On Parade aims to transform Aberdeen’s city centre into a magical winter wonderland, with a wide range of performaces, including floats, music, and festive characters. The Parade was a musical experience with bagpipe bands and drummers. Also, Aberdonian dance schools showed off their best, with traditional ceilidh dancers dressed in tartan. There were carneval dancers wearing impressive outfits, providing a more exotic twist to a parade that otherwise followed traditions. The audience seemed to find the flood of Santas driving vintage Vespas and honking their horns the most amusing element of the Parade. The event was described as ‘magical’ and ‘surprising’ by students who had arrived to see the procession. They also agreed that they had never seen so many people on the streets of Aberdeen. The children especially seemed to enjoy the buzzing atmosphere. The festivities continued a few days later with the Christmas Tree Switch On event. The Christmas tree, which is located on Castlegate, was donated by Aberdeen’s Twin Town, Stavanger in Norway. The event constituted of a carol service that lasted around half an hour, followed by the act of switching on the lights. Each year, the Lord Provost and a special guest light up a beautiful spruce. This year the honoured guest was the Deputy Mayor of Stavanger, Bjørg Tysdal Moe.
www.thegaudie.co.uk Independence: what does it mean for you?
The ‘Lad Culture’ epidemic.
Recipes: Festive baking galore!
Obituary: Doris Lessing (1919 - 2013).
We take a look at Salmond’s White Paper.
Are we experiencing a crisis of misogyny?
Christmas cookies, ginger cake and more!
We remember the Nobel Prize winning poet.
Life & Style p.17
Photo/ Maria Castelló Solbes
3 December 2013
Editors: Dan Naylor & Anna Katila
Aberdeen named best city to live in
By Euan Forbes
Aberdeen is the best Scottish city to live and work in, a report has found. The 2013 Good Growth for Cities Index, devised by PWC and thinktank demos, ranked the Granite City as the best city to live and work in Scotland and second-best in the UK.
“The findings of this report are extremely welcome. Aberdeen topped the list of Scottish cities last year and outperformed many other UK cities.” Barney Crockett The report places Aberdeen second only to Reading and Bracknell in Berkshire, with Edinburgh, the only other Scottish city to make the UK top ten, in third place. The report combines quality of life with economic performance to rank 39 of the UK’s largest cities. The factors considered by
the report include employment, health, skills, balance, work-life balance, house-prices, pollution, and travel-to-work times; the report states that the highest ranking cities did particularly well on the categories of jobs, income and health, as well as skills and the environment. Aberdeen City Council leader and convener of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Councillor Barney Crockett, welcomed the results. He said: “The findings of this report are extremely welcome. Aberdeen topped the list of Scottish cities last year and outperformed
many other UK cities. “Aberdeen has continued to bloom and grow since then. It is becoming increasingly well-known as a fantastic place in which to invest, live, and visit. Our city is seen as a very attractive place, particularly among people from out-with the area, Scotland, and the UK.” On the back of Aberdeen being named the happiest city in the UK 2012, by the Office for National Statistics, Councillor Crockett is eager to continue the oil capital of Europe’s success.
Staff stage walk-out
Photo/ John Waddell By Rachel Clark University staff are to walk out again today after the successful strike action on the 31st of October. The University Council for Educational Administration have made it clear that university staff will still not budge on the paycut that is currently being offered to them. They are asking for a different approach to be taken. University staff have been offered a 1% pay rise, which has been widely rejected because they have experienced a 13% pay cut in realterms. There is also anger at this pay cut despite university leaders’ pay rising on average by £5,000, and Vice-Chancellor’s pay and pension package now reaching up to £250,000. The cumulative operating surplus
Photo/ Anna Ozerowa
budget in education currently stands at £1 billion. In the academic session 2001-02, 58% of this was spent on staff wages. Now, this has fallen to only 55.5%. Since 1st of November, staff have been working to contract hours only and not completing any unpaid overtime. This has resulted in students’ having late replies to e-mails and late handing-back of assessments from tutors. Because of this, UNISON, Unite and the UCU (Universities and Colleges Union) will walk out again today (3rd December) in protest to university staff pay. The University of Aberdeen remains open, but some classes may be cancelled. Individual schools will contact students by e-mail if they are to cancel their classes, and deadline submissions on this date still stand.
Cuts hit poorest students
Independence date set
By Jonathan Brown
By Richard Wood
Internal government documents leaked to the Guardian have revealed proposals to cut grants to the poorest students by £350 million. The leaked papers are from the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which is headed by the Business Secretary Vince Cable, and expose the cost cutting measures that are under consideration in order to fill a £1.4 billion hole in the BIS’s budget. If this particular suggestion was implemented it would mean a cut of around a quarter to the student grant budget. The proposal involves converting £1,000 a year from the maximum £3,250 grant award received by each eligible student into repayable student loans. This would mean students whose parents combined earnings are between £35,000 and £42,600 could lose all or most of their access to student grants. This austerity measure, if taken forward, would come into effect after the 2015 General Election. Liam Byrne, shadow universities minister, said: “This is fresh evidence that ministers have lost control of University finances and now the country’s students
and science must pay the price. Vince Cable needs to come clean immediately on what on earth is going on, and how he’s going to clear it up.” Furthermore, Toni Pearce, president of the National Union of Students, said: “Any proposal to balance the books on the backs of the poorest students would be disgraceful.” “NUS research has highlighted the real difficulties that many students have covering their basic living costs, and has shown the significant detrimental impacts that their financial worries have on performance, dropout rates, and even mental health.” Also included in the documents obtained by the Guardian is evidence that the BIS is considering cutting £215 million from ring-fenced science funding. This has already been frozen in real terms and if this measure was put into practice it would mean a 2% cut. The memo warns that the implications of this could be the loss of 700 PhD student places and almost 2,000 full time academics. Furthermore, Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group said: “We are disappointed to hear that overspends linked to Government Higher Education
“This is fresh evidence that ministers have lost control of University finances and now the country’s students and science must pay the price.” Liam Byrne reforms could result in additional stretching of the science budget that, if enacted, would hinder the realisation of the Chancellor’s aim of ‘making the UK the best place in the world to do science’.” A BIS spokeswoman said that they could not comment on leaks but added: “Work continues to resolve the difficult but important challenge of balancing the departmental books while not damaging growth.” “A range of proposals are being considered but final decisions have not been made.”
Following a “Yes” result to Scotland’s referendum next year, the date of Scottish independence has been announced as being the 24th March 2016. The date comes with a 670 page “white paper” which outlines, according to the Yes campaign, how an independent Scotland would operate. The 24th of March falls on the day after the dissolution of Scotland’s current parliament, and just over a month before the 2016 elections. The elections would be to the first independent Scottish parliament in the event of a “Yes” result. Additionally, March 24th 2016 is the anniversary of the 1603 Union of the Crowns. Some of the outlines for an independent Scotland are the abolition of the “bedroom tax”, a halt to the UK Government’s universal credit rollout in Scotland, the creation of a fair work commission, and an inflationlinked minimum wage. A ‘triple lock’ for pensioners’ incomes is also mooted, meaning they would rise by either inflation, earnings, or 2.5%, depending on which is highest. It also contains a guarantee to cut
energy bills by five percent. Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister, said: “It is a landmark document which sets out the economic, social and democratic case for independence.” The document gives an answer
““It is a landmark document which sets out the economic, social and democratic case for independence.” Nicola Sturgeon to many questions but has been criticised by the “Better Together” campaign, whose leader Alistair Darling said: “People in Scotland wanted yesterday to be about facts, but all they got was a wish list.” A spokesperson from the Scotland Office in Westminster said that deciding the date this far in advance “would only weaken the Scottish Government’s negotiating position if Scotland voted to leave the UK.”
3 December 2013
University denies ties to “unacceptable” whale killing By Alasdair Lane
Last week, the University of Aberdeen came under fire from conservationists for alleged links to whale hunting. Data, obtained from whales killed in Iceland’s whaling programme, was used in research carried out on campus. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), an organisation campaigning for the end of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling, have called for the University to publicly sever all ties with the Icelandic whaling industry. Photo/ Prabhu (Flickr)
“The University is not a proponent of scientific whaling, and we do not advocate whale sacrifice in support of our scientific research.” University spokeswoman Branding the University’s affiliation with the inhumane practice “unacceptable”, Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “The UK has been and should continue to be a world leader in whale conservation. Shockingly,
the University of Aberdeen has instead been promoting Iceland’s whaling via its research.” He continued: “We have repeatedly asked University officials to stop providing academic cover for the cruel and abhorrent practice of slaughtering whales.” The International Whaling Commission (IWC) – the body who put a global ban on commercial whaling in 1986 – have distributed key documents listing Aberdeen University as a “proponent” of scientific whaling. IWC have continually called for the end of scientific whaling, a practice believed to be a way for countries such as Iceland or Japan to out-manoeuvre legislation
prohibiting the killing of whales for commercial purposes. Academic journals, such as Science and Nature, have widely criticised scientific whaling, maintaining that it fails to provide critically important data, and that the data it does furnish could be easily obtained by non-lethal means. The University has robustly denied the allegations. A spokeswoman for the University said: “The University of Aberdeen is not a proponent of scientific whaling, and we do not advocate whale sacrifice in support of our scientific research. “We carried out a study to help the conservation of minke whales
in the North Atlantic, not only for tourism sustainability, but also to inform how human activities can influence the conservation status of a key whale species in the North Atlantic. “This research, for which we received no payment, used data from whales that had already been sacrificed – in previous years and by Icelandic scientists – to try to gain as much information as possible from these whales in the spirit of the 3Rs – to reduce, replace and refine the involvement of animals in research. Indeed the research carried out provided important information to support non-lethal research methods in the future.”
University of Aberdeen Winter Graduations By Tarrick Haynes and Dan Naylor Last week saw the latest wave of students graduate from the University of Aberdeen. The Winter Graduations are always a special time of the year, with the newest graduates taking the next step in their lives and out of academia. University Chancellor the Duchess of Rothesay was not able to conduct this year’s ceremonies, with Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Diamond conducting the ceremony in her place. Master of Petroleum Geology graduate, Yaw Akyampon gave some words of wisdom as encouragement to current students: “Aim for the stars so that when you fall, you hit the moon. Aiming for the sky causes you to fall to the earth if you fail.” Clare Graham, Archaeology of the North graduate, also had some parting words for students: “Don’t be scared to talk to people, and don’t be scared if you feel overwhelmed by coursework, especially when it comes to your dissertation, where that feeling is experienced every day.” Honourary degrees were also bestowed. Juliette Paton was awarded the Degree of Master of the University for her outstanding charity work. Active in the North-east, she
has raised over £1,500,000 for vulnerable children in Scotland during her volunteering with CHILDREN 1ST over the past 20 years. Karen Darke BSc MA PhD, was awarded the Degree of Doctor
looking forward to the 2016 games in Brazil. Controversially, the Archbishop of York, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable John Sentamu LLB, BA, MA, PhD, PC, was given the Degree of Doctor of Divinity.
multiculturalism. Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted that the Archbishop of York, Juliette Paton, who has tirelessly done so
Archbishop Sentamu was on the General Synod from 1985 to 1996 and again from 2002, and held his current post since 2005. However, he is outspoken against homosexuality and
much for so long for charity, and the inspirational Karen Darke, who has triumphed over so much adversity, are all joining the University family.”
Students’ co-op campaign kicks off Continued p.1 happened in the house would have to be suitable for the property, thus take place on days the co-operative agreed on and in communal areas. The underlying theme was that the co-operative must be outward facing. Eva Nohe the President for Environment and Ethics explained: “It is not just about the lucky five people who live there, it’s about everyone who worked to make the housing co-operative achievable”. At the launch of Aberdeen Student Housing Co-operative, another co-operative was ‘skyped’ in from Bloomington, Illinois, who gave a thorough account of their time in a co-operative. The key lessons they passed on to Aberdeen were that communication is essential, and that democracy is key to keeping the housing co-operative happy. The Gaudie previously reported on rent prices in Aberdeen and the measures that Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) were looking to combat this.
Art Gallery redevelopment progresses By Louise Sloan Aberdeen Art Gallery has recently had extension and refurbishment plans recommended for approval. The application for extension is currently being considered by the Aberdeen City Council’s Planning Development Management Committee. The Art Gallery, designed by Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, opened its doors in 1885. Now one of Aberdeen’s top tourist attractions, the gallery comprises of the gallery buildings, the War Memorial and Cowdray Hall. The Gallery is of Renaissance architectural style and although the changes are of a contemporary nature, Dr Margaret Bochel (the head of Planning and Sustainable Development) has ensured that they have been well considered and “compliment the existing building”. Some of the proposals include the refurbishment of Cowdray Hall, a new community gallery and the addition of a top storey to hold temporary collections and a learning zone. If approved, the extensions will have a positive effect in breathing new life into the Gallery.
Photo/ Yoga Adhi Prabowo Honoris Causa. Paralysed in a tragic rockclimbing accident at the age of 21, Dr Darke won a Silver Medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the women’s H1-2 time trial, and is
Photo/ Pawel Kuncewicz
3 December 2013
Universities are property giants
Principal recognises scholarship in Learning and Teaching
By Dan Naylor
By Jonathan Brown
UK universities own more property than a supermarket giant. A report from the Association of University Directors of Estate (AUDE) claims that institutions hold seven times more property than the total estate of Tesco. The report says that the 2011-12 income of this university estate was £27bn, including student accommodation and tuition fees. This translates to an income of £1,600 per year for every square metre. With a combined student population of 2.3 million, the institutions match up as about the same as Birmingham, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Dudley, Walsall and Solihull combined. Alongside this, the universities are among the biggest local employers, spending almost £2bn
per year on upkeep. Competition to draw students to the institutions has seen a wave of new building on campuses, with £2.2bn spent. Much of this money, directly or indirectly, will come from student tuition fees and the student finance
system. George Griffith, from property consultants CBRE, said: “What it shows is the huge size of the university sector and the enormous contribution it makes to the economy in general and to the property market in particular.”
The efforts of staff who have completed Post-Graduate Certificates in Higher Education Learning and Teaching have been recognised In an awards ceremony held in the University’s Linklater Rooms, the University Principal and ViceChancellor, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, bestowed the awards. The courses are 60 credit, Master’s level programmes and are taken over two academic years. The Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Learning and Teaching has been offered for the past eleven years and is open to staff who are currently teaching at the University of Aberdeen. It is delivered by a team consisting of staff from the educational development team within the
Centre for Academic Development and academic staff from across the University. Professor Sir Ian Diamond said: “The student experience is at the top of our agenda, and the suite of PG Cert Higher Education Learning and Teaching programmes are a central part of our support for this.” Dr Darren Comber, the Programme Co-ordinator, said: “These Programmes, which are benchmarked against the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning, provide staff with the opportunities to demonstrate a professional, scholarly approach to their teaching. Such an approach demonstrated commitment to the enhancement of the student learning experience at the University of Aberdeen.”
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska
Body scanners at Aberdeen Airport By Rachel Clark Full body scanners have been permanently installed at Aberdeen International Airport. After successful trials at the airport, the decision has been made to make the body scanners a permanent feature as of November 22. Similar trials at Glasgow
“Aberdeen Airport is now one of 19 UK airports to have full body scanners installed.”
Prestwick airport have also been made permanent. Aberdeen Airport is now one of 19 UK airports to have them installed, including Edinburgh and Glasgow International Airports. The body scanners take a full 2D picture of passengers and scan through their clothes. Any suspicious objects that are not visibly obvious will be picked up by these new scanners. The decision to make the scanners permanent comes after low refusal rates during the trial period, and because religious and cultural headgear can now be safely scanned without removal. The decision has therefore been made on operational security grounds. Passengers can still refuse to have a full body scan if they request an
alternative private full body search, which may involve the removal of clothes. However, any out-right objection from passengers to be searched will result in refusal from flight.
Singing into the record books Photo/ en.wikipedia.org
University wins award By Anna Katila The University of Aberdeen has been named Education Provider of the Year in this year’s Annual African Achievement Awards Scotland which was organised by the African Forum Scotland. The awards pay tribute to African success across all walks of life, recognising and promoting excellence, best practice, and innovation in the worldwide African Community, with emphasis on inspirational achievements and role models. An award ceremony was held in Glasgow, and Dr Hilary Homans, Director of the University’s Centre for Sustainable International Development (CSID), accepted the award on behalf of the University from Sierra Leone’s Ambassador His Excellency Edward Mohammed Turay. Dr Homans commented on the award: “This is a tremendous achievement for the University in recognition of the role it is playing in building capacity of African students and institutes in research
and education.” The University welcomes about 500 African students yearly, most of whom pursue degrees in global energy, IT and business sectors. The University’s new Centre
“The University welcomes yearly about 500 African students, most of whom pursue degrees in global energy, IT and business sectors. “ for Sustainable International Development has also established a Nigerian Research Group for staff and students working in Nigeria, which also functions as an interdisciplinary forum for sharing latest research findings. The University spokeswoman explained further connections to sub-Saharan Africa: “Following
Photo/ abdn.ac.uk more than 30 years of hosting postgraduate education and research collaboration with subSaharan nations, the School of Geosciences is focusing on stimulating the growth of internal capacity in specific academic institutions in Ghana, Namibia and Uganda.” “The Immpact research programme directed by Professor Wendy Graham works to improve maternal health throughout subSaharan Africa, and Professor Pamela Abbott in Sociology has been working in Rwanda for the last ten years conducting research and building capacity in Higher Education.”
By Anna Katila VisitAberdeen invited all Davids from the Aberdeenshire area to assemble at Castlegate on Sunday 24 at 3 pm to sing popular Christmas carol ‘Once in Royal David’s city.’ A total of 121 Davids gathered together to attempt a new world record, which was submitted to the Guinness World Records for consideration. The invitation to the event welcomed all men and boys above age 7 with David as a first name and Daves or Davies as a surname. No experience in singing was required from the participants. The event was organised as a publicity stunt to promote the city’s Winter Festival. Steve Harris, VisitAberdeen chief executive, commented on the event: “We’re staggered at the support we’ve had from local Davids and their families for this record attempt. “Getting to 100 Davids was our dream number but to get to over 120 is fantastic. Visitors are always impressed by how friendly the city is so what better way to show that community spirit by organising a record breaking choir singing one of our best-loved carols? It was a Christmas sing-a-long with a difference! “The name David is always in the top 50 most popular names in
Scotland so we were confident of a good response, although it might have been a different matter if we had chosen Good King Wenceslas — there’s probably not too many sharing that name in our part of the world. After today’s success however, we may be looking for Hollys to help us to Deck the Halls next year!”
“Visitors are always impressed by how friendly the city is so what better way to show that community spirit by organising a record breaking choir singing one of our best-loved carols?” Steve Harris, VisitAberdeen chief executive David Marrow, a fourth year student in Geology and Petroleum Geology, saw the event as pointless: “It does not show anything sensible and none of the people there chose their name so what does it actually matter?”
3 December 2013
Features Editor: Konrad Wojnar
- Bill Coles The modern day detective Josiah Bircham and Katarina Poensgen talk to Bill Coles about his new book, journalism and Rupert Murdoch.
ill Coles is a journalist, political correspondent and a writer with 25 years of experience in the field of journalism. Not only has he worked for several highly regarded newspapers and magazines like The Wall Street Journal, The Scotsman and Prima Baby Magazine, but also published several fictional books. ‘Red Top: being a reporter: ethically, legally and with panache’, is his first nonfiction book and is one which he uses his talent and experiences in journalism to help young aspiring reporters understand the trade. We started the interview inviting Bill to talk about this new book, the origins of which lie in a trip to South Africa. He travelled over there about six years ago to find a very different landscape to British journalism. Due to the fact that tabloids were sparse during the apartheid, he went over to Cape Town to talk to journalists about the principals of tabloid writing. He soon found that “Teaching journalism, it is different to practicing it,” which lead to him thinking about these fundamental ideas and how to clearly explain them. Six years later he finally got around to putting it all down into a book. Bill found the experience “a very different kind of writing to my fiction or journalism,” and created his book around anecdotal experiences, “involving a disaster which happened to me or a colleague”. From each of these disasters you can extrapolate a principal, yet “Writing it was quite good fun, actually,” as these disasters are really entertaining as well as educational.
“Red Top tackles the murky areas of ethics and legality in journalism.” The anecdotes in Bill’s book show experiences drawn from both American and British journalism. Having experienced writing on both sides of the pond, he has really come to appreciate the high quality of British journalism. “The British trade” he states, “is a very good and tough one. It manages to be brilliantly competitive for such a small area. In America one paper has a complete monopoly over a region. For example, New York has the post with blaring tabloid headlines yet a rather
Photo/ youtube.com clunky style. The New York Times is a great clunking broadsheet and the journalists there think that they are the greatest on Earth.” He concludes that the best thing about British journalism is the competition and subsequent spectrum of news due to the prevalence of many broadsheets and tabloids, all with a different focus. Red Top tackles the murky areas of ethics and legality in journalism. With the backdrop of the recent trials of the News of the World editors and phone hacking, Coles agreed that journalism currently had a pretty negative reputation. He reflected on this, saying: “All the brilliant pieces of journalism that are coming out are largely being forgotten.” He believed that there was however a bright future in the strengthening of the PCC (Press Complaints Commission). Staying on this topic, we asked if Bill felt that the Leveson Inquiry had been especially damaging
in the amount of bad practice it had exhumed and presented to the public. He reassessed that the Leveson Inquiry “focussed on the bad stuff and has ignored all the good things that broadsheets and tabloids are doing”. The interview then moved away from the focus of his book and more about his personal experiences of journalism and his views on the trade. Interestingly, although having a clear passion for writing articles as well as fiction and non- fiction books, Bill didn’t dive into the journalism business right away. He did a degree in theology at University then went on to travel. Following that, he worked in a hotel as a waiter. “After that my mum paid for me to take vocational guidance. She paid about £400; and it told me to be a reporter (which everyone had always said I should become, anyway). I went on to college to learn how to type shorthand, then got a job in a local paper in
Gloucestershire. You don’t really know what it’s like working in a paper until you get into one.” This led on to us asking him if he thinks a degree in journalism is essential for entering into the career, considering the competition and the attraction of specialized reporters in the field. “I think the thing about journalists is that they need certain traits. Let’s say, one month on a paper is worth more than one month on a course as they are quite focused towards teaching ethics and laws.” He went on to assert that he I didn’t have a degree when he started but nowadays you would be very lucky to get into a paper without one. “There is pretty good stuff that’s been going on with these courses. You have to go out and interview people whether that’s at University or on [a real] paper. That’s one of the main skills: interviewing.” His book Red Top explains key skills on how to interview well, a skill which he heavily emphasised the importance of: “If you’re a reporter you’re going to be meeting a lot of strangers and exacting their stories out of them. It’s a real skill getting them to open up when they don’t necessarily want to open up.” With so many different forms of social media spreading news across the globe, it is clear that the journalism business is facing challenges as an information source. Bill Coles has a more optimistic view on the future of reporting and journalism. “The news maybe disseminated in many different ways, but there will always be the need for reporters as people will always want the news.” He added that “Journalism is a great career to start off in but don’t go into it if you’re looking for money.” From the future of journalism we moved onto the future of print media. This discussion has been going on in the British media for quite some time, where suggestions of taking charges off people to read online articles are seriously considered by some papers. Coles, however, thinks differently. “Rupert Murdoch is certainly going
“The British trade is a very good and tough one. It manages to be brilliantly competitive for such a small area.” Bill Coles
“[The Leveson Inquiry] focussed on the bad stuff and has ignored all the good things that broadsheets and tabloids are doing”. Bill Coles down that route, but you’ve got to be pretty sure your publication is amazing to do that because news is always going to be free from other sources. If you’re going to start charging [people for reading online newspapers], good luck to you; but you’ve got to be pretty damn sure that what you’ve got is worth being paid for. They can always get news free elsewhere!” We concluded by asking him what good student journalism is to him. Should we align ourselves to more serious broadsheet and tabloid conventions or try and be more light hearted and accessible? “Many students write articles to get a job in a paper or on a radio station.” He added: “A lot of student papers I’ve come across are moulds of the type of papers students want to work in, like The Guardian and The Times. The stories are what journalists would be interested in, but aren’t that readable [to the other students]. Students are interested in the same things now as they always have been: food, sport and clubbing. I think that student papers are fundamentally made to be read rather than showcases for journalists who want to beef up their CV. I would like to see many lighter stories on the topics I’ve just mentioned instead of trying to ape the local papers which have limited appeal.” For young aspiring journalists, or just curious people who are interested in writing good articles and executing good interviews, Red Top is a must-read. His tips for future reporters wanting to succeed in their career will help those who are interested in getting into the newspaper business. With his extensive experience and success in this field it was an honour to experience his tips and advice. Equally, it’s encouraging that such a pillar of contemporary journalism, the man that broke the Clinton Scandal, started out as a confused graduate is hope to us all.
3 December 2013
Closer look: Christianity on campus Sophie Gerring asks Aberdeen University students about their faith.
uring Freshers’ Week 2013, the Christian Union went out around campus asking our fellow students about their views on spirituality and faith. We wanted to see what students here thought about God and belief. Most of our surveying was carried out in person, obtaining 131 responses, with a further 36 responses being given online. Christians believe in one God in three persons, who came to earth in the form of a man named Jesus. They believe Jesus died to save all men and that he rose again, conquering death, so that whoever truly believes in him might gain eternal life. So if we know what we believe, why bother doing the questionnaires? Well, we wanted to know what our campus believes
“Asking, ‘Is Scotland a Christian country?” confused a few people and of course, being on a very academic campus, drew some pretty smart responses.”’ in. We also love to discuss these ideas with people who disagree with us. We asked a variety of people studying different degrees, which hopefully means we gained a good reflection of the views here on campus. 13% of responders
How important is spirituality/ faith in your life?
Graph/ Aberdeen University Christian Union
were studying Medicine, 10% were studying Primary Education, 8% Engineering. The fourth largest group interviewed was Law (7%). Perhaps there is a link between subject group and religious beliefs, although we did not investigate this using our surveys. As a medical student, I actually find science compatible with faith, but that’s a topic to be discussed at another time! One question we asked could be considered quite controversial in a modern age where political correctness and tolerance reign supreme. Asking, “Is Scotland a Christian country?” confused a few people and of course, being on a very academic campus, drew some pretty smart responses! Perhaps surprisingly, most people answered yes (55 people). But how does one define a country as ‘Christian’? Is it to do with church membership or attendance? Is it based on how our laws compare with what the Bible says? One student said Scotland was “founded on Christian grounds, however those morals can be found in most western countries. Customs purely Christian are often commercialised and have since lost meaning. Add in the fact we are now a very multicultural nation, I believe that Scotland should not be considered a Christian country.” Another response was “It depends on which demographic you are looking at. I think Scotland used to be a very Christian country, but it’s becoming a much more diverse place with many or no faiths.” The other questions we asked (How well do you know the Bible? Who do you think Jesus is? What would you ask God?), are not easily displayed on a graph or explained using numbers.
Is Scotland a Christian country?
Graph/ Aberdeen University Christian Union The answers to these questions were as varied as they were interesting. Many people said they had no biblical knowledge, whereas others had been taught bits and pieces at school or church. What struck me was that most people had an opinion on the Bible – even if they admitted never having read it. Most people we asked knew who Jesus was, although three respondents had never heard of him before. Many claimed he was ‘a great man… but not God’, others
“We wanted to know what our campus believes in. We also love to discuss these ideas with people who disagree with us.“
thought he was a prophet or a messenger from God. Interestingly, most seemed convinced of Jesus’ existence, with only five people saying they didn’t think he ever existed. 43 people said he was the Son of God. “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?” was a tough one to ask and tougher to answer. Surely if you believe in an infinite, all knowing God, there are hundreds of questions to ask him. Answers ranged from “are you real?” to “what is the meaning of life?” Some answers were serious, others ridiculous. My personal favourite was “who will win Great British Bake Off?” and of course, the classic desire of a student – “will you pay my fees?” The word ‘why’ was a big theme. Why so much suffering? Why does evil exist? Why did he create us? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Reviewing 2013, Billy Joel style Manuel Lopez Arranz reminisces about 2013.
he year 2013 has been a pretty provocative year. After the End of the World hoax of 2012, what else could we have expected? At the start the year, the French decided to go to Mali - rambostyle - the Syrian Civil War reaches new levels of violence, disaster hits Brazil as over 200 people die in a nightclub fire and Britain hosts our first ever George Orwell Day, at the same time our Government announces we’ll hold a referendum on our membership of the European Union. All in all a depressing start to the year and before January is over there is a
“[In February] we have the cheap version of the end of the world when a meteor hits Russia. “
Photo/ Chris Devers (flickr.com) hostage crisis, this time in Algeria. What can I say? February’s obituary: The North Koreans go for yet another atomic test despite widespread condemnation. We have the cheap version of the end of the world when a meteor hits Russia. Pope Benedict XVI abdicates; it is a first since the Middle Ages! Rather fitting as he did it in Latin and it took the major newspapers hours to translate his resignation. Fear
not however, for Francis of the Argentines takes the Holy See. March: A devastating earthquake hits the Chinese province of Sichuan, one of the most splendid hiking trails in the world; it is the Himalayas after all! North Korea start acting up again and say they are still at war with their Southern counterparts and Italy finally realise that maybe Silvio Berlusconi isn’t fit to be their political leader and sentence him
to a year in jail for tax fraud – but he’ll serve it in his house because life in Italy is that good! On April 7 a friend and protector of Scottish people dies, Margaret Thatcher and the world is shocked when two bombs explode at the Boston Marathon as America suffers yet another terrorist attack. May starts with a crash. A factory collapses in Bangladesh and leaves more than 700 dead, May 1 was of course international workers day, what an irony that the worst industrial disaster of the year hit the world just a few days after politicians around the world were promising to “improve working conditions”. In June, it’s Wikileaks 2.0 as Edward Snowden reveals the dark side of the US government in the beginning of his adventures that will bring the young Snowden to Hong Kong and then the warm liberal embrace of Russia and that well known defender of Liberal act Vladimir Putin.
In July, Croatia joins the EU and Egypt’s military overthrows the democratically Islamic government raising a question mark over the Arab spring so loved by all of us in the west. By September a shopping mall is attacked in Kenya and Australia has a new Prime Minister. November sees the Yolanda Typhoon devastate the Philippines and Vietnam, more than 5000 people die. Condolences. But we end on the note that Iran is going to limit its nuclear production. 2013 has been filled with disaster and achievement, I could have mentioned thousands of other events but the world moves so fast even for the might of The Gaudie. So here’s to a better 2014!
3 December 2013
Blueprint to Independence or a work of fiction? Shona Duthie attempts to assess the importance of SNP White Paper. independence and having our own government to decide our policies, it would be better without being a
he Scottish Government last week released their White Paper that details Scotland’s logistical route to Independence along with many policy promises on what they might do in an independent Scotland. But the question still remains, what does independence actually mean for you? The answer to this particular question is that independence will deliver a “transformational change” in childcare, will cut energy bills, will preserve pensions and will scrap the so-called “bedroom tax” while defending benefits. Or so the SNP would have you believe. The pro-Union campaign, Better Together, came out all gun blazing with Better Together Leader Alistair Darling saying that the White Paper “failed to answer
“If the people of Scotland vote for independence in a referendum then Scottish Independence day would be March 24, 2016. ” the key questions on currency and European Union membership”, and calling the document “a work of fiction, full of meaningless assertions”. To make things worse for the yes side the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy decided it was time for Spain to get a slice of
Photo/ Scottish Government (flickr.com) the Independence action by saying that as far as he was concerned: “Scotland would be outside of the EU” should it vote for independence meaning it would have to apply to be in the European Union. Better Together leader Alistair Darling jumped on Mr Rajoy’s comments arguing they were “another blow to Alex Salmond’s claims that nothing would change if we vote to go it alone”. Followed by the Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael saying the white paper failed to tackle “the major issues.” Harsh circumstances all round for the Government, but commentators responded well to the promise of a “childcare revolution” by Alex Salmond in the white paper by promising up to 30 hours a week of free childcare for all three and four year olds as well as vulnerable two years. This
was followed by a perceived win in a debate on STV by the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Secretary of State Alistair
“The white paper is a work of fiction. It is thick with false promises and meaningless assertions.” Alistair Darling Carmichael, some would say leaving the campaigns on a neutral ground after a week of political points scoring back and forth. The challenge for the SNP last week however was to convince the Scottish population, that under
“Our vision is of an independent Scotland regaining its place as an equal member of the family of nations... We know we have the people, the skills and the resources to make Scotland a more successful country. ” Alex Salmond part of Westminster and the UK. The SNP had stated before the white paper was distributed that all the questions would be answered, as what Scotland is looking for is hard facts. It doesn’t seem they have managed to do that with this launch, but the campaigns still have a year to go. Even though his blueprint to independence does have some flaws, Alex Salmond said he is positive that the outcome will be a majority Yes vote. Speaking at the launch he argued that: “Our vision is of an independent Scotland, regaining its place as an equal member of the family of nations. However we do not seek
independence as an end in itself, but rather as a means to changing Scotland for the better. “ Under the proposals, if the people of Scotland vote for independence in a referendum then Scottish Independence day would be March 24, 2016. This date is also the same date as when the Act of Union was signed to join the parliaments of Scotland and England over 300 years ago. For the Yes side Independence would bring about a more democratic, prosperous and fairer Scotland. For the No side, Independence would see the end to the most successful political union in world history and the reduction of Scotland to a small power in a more globalising world. The date for the referendum is to be held on September 18 2014 where all people living in Scotland
Photo/ Scottish Government (flickr.com) will decide either Yes or No. The White Paper has provided a further battleground for the contest, who will be victorious is anyone’s guess.
The Angus diaries... Thomas Nugent explores why Aberdeen is the best place in Scotland to live right now.
hen it comes to residing in the UK our place of choice is influenced by a number of things; job prospects, financial capability, education standards, the overall general reputation of a given place. Ask any innocent bystander where they believe the best place to live is, and you will be met by one of two typical responses, an inevitably biased answer to their current location; the other being one of the major cities within the UK. The latter compiles with it a blatant list consisting of London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and so on and so forth. However, sneaking up on these already flourished powerhouses, like a tortoise on a hare, and overtaking them in a tsunami of prosperity is Aberdeen. Rapidly becoming Scotland’s unsung hero is a city that has everything, a city that has built itself on a surrounding gem field of opportunity. In the 2013 Good Growth for Cities Index, Aberdeen was
announced as the second best place to live and work within the whole of the UK. It came second only to Reading, and joined Edinburgh (ranked third) as one of only two Scottish cities in the top ten. Although Aberdeen is not in the bracket of a city that never sleeps, it is far from dozing off; it’s alive with a vibrancy and development that warrants national recognition. It is no coincidence that the Good Growth for Cities Index, a system graded on economic performance and quality of life, ranked Aberdeen so highly. As a student, where good economic performance translates as simply a positive bank balance, and high quality of life is portrayed as having beans on toast for dinner only four or five times a week, it is easy to adopt a naïve attitude towards such statistics. Nonetheless, if you look beyond student life it is clear to see, Aberdeen is a city very much engraved upon a granite stone of prosperity. Councillor Barney Crockett,
leader of the city council, has taken pride in Aberdeen’s success. He
“As a student, where good economic performance translates as simply a positive bank balance. ”
commented: “Aberdeen topped the list of Scottish cities last year”, adding that since this feat the city “has continued to bloom and grow […] becoming increasingly well known as a fantastic place in which to invest, live, and visit.” The main reason behind Aberdeen’s success is the oil and gas industry, an area very much central in the development of the city. Lauren Adams, a former graduate of Chemistry from the University of
Aberdeen, and current employee of Baker Hughes stated: “the energy sector has kept Aberdeen in a bubble outside the recession”, adding that she has “a future career outline, not just a job.” Investment in such an industry brings inevitable economic growth and vast job opportunities, in fact Aberdeen is one of the few places in the United Kingdom where there is more jobs than people to fill them. In fact it is predicted that by 2022 the energy sector alone in Aberdeen will surpass 120,000 people, not a number to snigger at. Not many cities boast the potential of Aberdeen, but we aren’t just about that magical black liquid. Aberdeen has a solid business infrastructure, a vibrant tourism base of art galleries, museums and countless coffee shops, and last but by no means least, a beautiful long stretch of golden sand offering a parallel universe of relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of city life, when the Scottish weather isn’t beating down on it with rain
of course. Aberdeen’s size, in comparison to its city counterparts elsewhere, means that it may subconsciously be dismissed by many as a major UK city. However, as evidence shows, Aberdeen has everything going for it. Although in the past the Granite City may have been the school kid who was bullied in the playground by the bigger kids, it grew up, developed, and took full advantage of what was on offer; it now looks down on the superficially superior larger cities. The foundations upon which Aberdeen is built have paved the way for the large scale development. It is Europe’s oil capital, is socially vibrant, has direct transport routes across the whole of the UK, and is situated in an area of surrounding natural beauty. Aberdeen is well and truly the UK’s rising star of economic growth and opportunity and is a shining example of how to prosper in times of economic struggle.
3 December 2013
Making a mark in a male dominated profession
Looking towards the future Jay Chu and Miriam Shortman discover the Carbon School.
veryone’s been talking about the funky industrial posters hanging all over uni and appearing on TV screens which advertise the Carbon School. But what is Carbon School? Who is it for? And why should you join? Miriam and Jay, two of the first trained Carbon School Agents (CASs) will give you the low down on what’s happening in Carbon School these days. Carbon School is a new initiative providing students with the opportunity to become more environmentally aware and reduce their carbon footprint whilst also gaining a vast array of skills in sustainability matters and the energy sector. Through the programme, students make new friends, give back to the local community, and boost their employability. Students taking part in the project will gain invaluable skills which they can apply to future career prospects and are eligible to sign up to the Saltire Award. The most extraordinary aspect of the project, a brand new Aberdeen University Students’ Association career development programme for any student interested in energy conservation, is that the initiative directly benefits both people and the environment. After three training sessions
Photo/ ausa.org.uk/shift/carbonschool. devoted to giving you (the candidates) the knowledge on basic energy conservation methods as well as more specific skills such as the ability to read several types of energy meters, calculate domestic and commercial energy bills and to get familiar with energy saving devices, trained CSAs will contact local charities to offer an energy audit and advice service. The aim of this is for the Agents to identify and highlight wasteful energy usage within the building that the charity operates in and thus help
them save energy as well as money on their energy bills. The Carbon School aims to help the student community reduce its carbon footprint and aid local charities in reducing theirs by 3.5%. Achieve these goals by doing all you can to reduce your carbon footprint – simple things like turning off the light when you leave the room and not overfilling the kettle can make a real difference. Sooner or later it becomes a habit and you don’t even have to think about it!
Kirstin Stewart talks about a little known group appearing at AU.
omen In Engineering (WIE) is a recently formed group on campus dedicated to encouraging women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. Women are majorly outnumbered in most of these subjects, usually with only a handful of females on their course. This can discourage women from continuing in the subject that they love as they see it as a male dominated industry that will be hard to break into. WIE on the University of Aberdeen campus was founded by Faye Campbell, a fourth year studying electrical engineering. She
“The aims of the student group are to encourage pre-university students to carry on into STEM subjects in further and higher education, allow current students to network with other like-minded students and to hear success stories from women in industry.”
Free Lectures and Events
A short history of power generation Konrad Wojnar looks at the history of the steam engine to see how technologically savvy our power generation is.
he engine, in its most elemental form has been around for a long time. In the first century AD, a chap by the particularly awesome name of Hero of Alexandria invented the first steam engine. It’s interesting to think what would have happened if the Greeks capitalised on the idea. The story goes that the object was used only for amusement purposes. The Greeks amused themselves with this funny little object that rotated and created a lot of steam. Was there really no use for the most revolutionary machine in the first century? It’s logical to think that the Greeks had enough human power in the form of slaves and servants to satisfy their needs. In the face of free labour, the engine seemed like a hassle. While the value of energy
resources is usually graded by investment against return or input against the output of energy, it’s interesting and clearer to look at it through the lens of history. This sheds light on the place of renewables and non-renewables in our energy portfolio. The history of hydrocarbon use is a long one, but its application to daily tasks didn’t become practical until the technology could be applied in factories and mines. At that point, machine labour was cheaper and more efficient than the sum of all paid workers. Shortly after the rich folk from London saw the possibility of getting away from that Ghastly City to spend a weekend in beautiful Aberdeen. Since hydrocarbons were first used to generate electricity, most thermal power stations are an alteration to the first steam engine.
Even the nuclear power plant is basically a huge steam engine. The heat produced from nuclear fission creates steam that drives the turbines which in turn generate energy. So where do renewables come into play? Our whole world is geared towards an engine that was created a few hundred years ago and perfected in the last two centuries or so. At some point the renewables fell away from convention. Without proper incentives, these new “engines” will likely fail to be implemented back into everyday use. The question remains, with 1.4 billion people still without electricity, do we focus on the present or on the future?
is a member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) which is split into many different areas of interest including the WIE. The IEEE have a student branch on campus which Faye became involved in before deciding to found a WIE group. The aims of the student group are to encourage pre-university students to carry on into STEM subjects in further and higher education, allow current students to network with other like-minded students and to hear success stories from women in industry. The group are holding a drop-in study evening on Thursday 5 December at 5.30-7pm in the Chaplaincy for any interested students. The hope is to bring together female students from as many different STEM subjects as possible and they already have members from several areas of Engineering, Maths, Physics and Computer Science. Almost all of them agreed that they found it hard to meet other females which left them feeling isolated, however knowing that there are other female students following their passions as well as female graduates doing jobs that they may well be doing in the future gives them the drive to succeed in their chosen subject.
Dynamic porosity in rocks investigated by 4D synchrotron x-ray microtomography Meston 118 3 December 2013 12pm
Nature’s aesthetically challenged children The Tunnels, Aberdeen 12 December 2013 7:30pm A presentation by Dr Simon Watt
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets The Tunnels, Aberdeen
Impacts of igneous intrustions on hydrocarbon prospectivity in sedimentary basins Meston Lecture Theatre 1
5 December 2013 7:00pm
30 January 2014 6:30pm
A talk by Simon Singh
A talk by Dr. Christopher Jackson
A talk by Dr. Florian Fusseis
Aotearoa – a plate margin journey Meston Lecture Theatre 1 12 December 2013 6:30pm A Christmas Lecture & Party with Alan Crane
The Atacama; landscape evolution on a Geological timescale Meston Lecture Theatre 1 6 February 2014 6:30pm A talk by Dr. Anne Mather
3 December 2013
Editor: Sofiane Kennouche
Flowers has wilted – but is the media glare to blame?
he story of Paul Flowers could easily be mistaken for a dark comedy. The religious minister and chairman of Co-op Bank stumbling into the spotlight after buying cocaine and is, undoubtedly, a laughable proposition. Sadly, this scenario is not merely dark humour, but a frightening example of power drifting into the wrong hands. The intense media fervour that followed has been justified. This man - whose decisions affect a large number of people - warrants public attention, but the tale of how he got there has been sidetracked. A reaction is most definitely required, but it needs to be channelled appropriately and not simply at the identified target that is Flowers. By opting to focus solely on the man who abused his position, the public are prevented from understanding the bigger picture. Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto came under fire in similar circumstances when he was recently filmed smoking crack cocaine. Both men are in high-pressure, public-facing roles. The use of drugs may have been a temporary release from a demanding lifestyle. Indeed, Mr Flowers was in charge of the bank at a time of crisis. Along with the death of his mother, there is no arguing that he endured an overwhelmingly difficult period. Incidentally, the focus has not been placed upon those in close proximity who
could have supported Flowers or been aware of his problems, thus preventing the current situation from unfolding. It is unlikely that Mr Flowers’ unprofessionalism would have ever have seen the light of day, but for £300 of cocaine and the Daily Mail. Question marks over how many have occupied, or are occupying, similar positions in society arises from the above point. If it took the purchase of an illicit drug to identify Flowers, surely there are similar
“The opportunity to scrutinise the procedural deficiencies that allowed him to hold his position have been missed.” stories of men who are equally incapable but maintain their jobs. This reasoning epitomises the problem with the media zoning in on isolated cases. The opportunity to scrutinise the procedural deficiencies that allowed him to hold his position have been missed. An investigation will follow, but if policy decisions had been unravelled immediately, then change could have been adopted sooner and more efficiently. MPs have been quick to point fingers at opposing parties in a bid
Photo/ geograph.co.uk to smooth over any angst over their ties with the Co-operative. Labour regarded him as an advisor, but now seek to paint a picture of innocence on top of their own mistakes. The likes of Ed Balls stressing that a £50,000 donation to his office came from the Co-op Group, and not the Co-op Bank is a desperate attempt to avoid accountability. He is a problem receding into the past; the failure of Labour in not realising his true
character earlier is not. The media went for the jugular of Mr Flowers and succeeded. Their actions have provided the public with knowledge of the shocking truths regarding the man who helped destroy one of the only respectable banks left. Having not adhered to the Bible’s teachings to avoid temptation, Mr Flowers has been led astray, leaving behind him a trail of devastation. Mr Flowers may be the main
attraction, but a trick has been missed in not laying siege to those who were conveniently unaware of his inabilities. £300 worth of cocaine may yet prove to be a blessing in disguise, as the ensuing investigation into this ordeal will no doubt create opportunities to identify the other villains who have so far refused to be held accountable. By Peter McEwan
Peter McEwan and David Paterson examine the latest revelations about ex-Co-op chairman Paul Flowers.
he recent revelations regarding the former Coop chairman Paul Flowers buying over £300 worth of cocaine have been, to say the least, heavily covered by the media. This particular Pandora’s Box has lead to debates on various fronts, from the relevance of public figures’ private lives to whether personal consumption of illicit substances is genuinely immoral. While these are interesting debates which do need consideration, I will choose one particular debate: is the media response justified? My stance on this is simple: yes, but only because of who Paul Flowers is and the power he has. It is no concern of mine whether my next-door neighbour consumes drugs, as it does not affect me. I would, if asked by the neighbour, tell them that their drug use is
stupid, but I would not go out of my way to do so because what they do in their own time is no concern of mine. Paul Flowers is not my neighbour. However, he helped fund the Labour party, and therefore his actions have the potential to directly affect me. When, several years ago, Lord Ashcroft - one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors - was found guilty of tax evasion, people were rightly infuriated as it sent the message that the Conservative Party was comfortable with such practice. While I am not suggesting the revelations regarding Flowers mean the Labour party condones Class A substance abuse; there are legitimate questions which need to be answered regarding who in the Labour party knew of, and perhaps tolerated, Paul Flowers’ behaviour.
There are those who will suggest that there are perhaps more important things to worry about
“If the Co-op is so bad at appointing its leaders, does this apply to the Labour party as well?” than this, and while there probably are, it is proportionate given the lambasting bankers have received
over the past few years for roughly the same kind of debauchery as Flowers. While such bankers sunk the world economy, one has to remember what political party was in charge at the time. Furthermore, Flowers’ mismanagement of the Co-op has lead to its near collapse, which justifies the media coverage yet further. Given the exceptionally close relationship between the Co-operative movement and the Labour party, surely the simple question arises: if the Co-op is so bad at appointing its leaders, does this apply to the Labour party as well? Given the overlaps between the two, this is a legitimate question as many members of the Co-operative movement are also members of the Labour Party, the most prominent of which is Ed Balls.
And even beyond this, the media coverage is simply justified as it is yet another scandal involving the Labour Party and how it is funded. The revelations regarding Flowers follow the discovery that the selection of Labour candidates have been fixed by the unions in Falkirk. The funding and policies of the Conservative Party have lead to the vast majority of people in the UK (justifiably) believing them to be the party of the rich, as they are funded by the rich and led by the rich. Given the Labour Party is funded by people who fix elections, run businesses into the ground and take cocaine, is this how the Labour Party should be portrayed? By David Paterson
3 December 2013
A night out in Aberdeen is rarely fraught with danger, responds Emily Thorburn in light of David Paterson’s recent article.
here are many adjectives that I could use to describe Aberdeen’s nightlife; varied, fun, light hearted and always (once you leave a club at 3am) absolutely freezing. However, the words ‘violent’ or ‘unsafe’ are not words that readily come to mind. As you can therefore imagine, I was surprised when skimming through the last edition of The Gaudie, to stumble upon an article that slammed Aberdeen’s nightlife: ‘go out and have a good time by all means, but don’t expect to feel safe’. In writing this response piece, I am in no way looking to deny or undermine David Paterson’s experiences. Instead, I am trying to defend the Granite City which we as students have come to call home and dispel the myth that it is excessively ‘unsafe’. Before I began writing this article, I did a quick Google search to see where Aberdeen rates in UK safety rankings. Comparison website completeuniversityguide.com told me that Aberdeen is in fact the safest city in Scotland with the lowest bodily violence, mugging and home burglary rates. Numbeo. com, a website that allows you to compare crime rates in different cities, backs these statistics up by awarding Aberdeen an overall safety rating of 78%, with Glasgow rated 58%. Edinburgh too, was deemed less safe than Aberdeen, with 71%. Dundee was rated the lowest city in terms of personal
safety, coming out with 50%. I realise throwing these numbers at you might not be the most exciting way of making my point. However, what I am trying to demonstrate is that Aberdeen is, for the most part, a very safe place to be a student. In his article, David spoke of drunken violence, people punching each other and male violence towards women. For me to deny that I have seen violence in Aberdeen would simply be lying. The key thing to remember is that drunken
problem. Students can be just as bad for starting fights or violent behaviour as anyone else. I’m sure we can all recall times when we have seen drunken students or
alistic and point out that students can be part of the problem. I would argue that Aberdeen is a safe place for us to be. As you would anywhere else, make an ef-
Greta Majeraite, Fourth Year Sociology and Swedish
“Violence does not just originate with the local or rigger community; it is also a student problem’.”
violence happens anywhere where alcohol is readily available. I have seen drunken violence in Aberdeen, but also in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and further afield in Amsterdam and Prague. It is common and it is nigh-on impossible to argue that drunken violence is worse in Aberdeen than anywhere else. Moreover, violence does not just originate with the local or rigger community; it is also a student
Photo/ Pawel Kuncewicz groups taking part in a society or sports team pub crawl who are behaving in a less than desirable way. The common link between the individual and violence seems to be alcohol, or too much of it to be precise. I’m sure no one can deny that most students like a drink now and then. By no means am I trying to tar all students with a drunken violent brush, but we have to be re-
fort to look after yourself when you’re out and about, ensuring you leave nightclubs with friends and where possible taking taxis home instead of walking. Like David, I would argue that you should ‘go out and have a good time by all means’, however, I would argue that you should also expect to feel safe.
Has ‘lad culture’ gone a stop too far? Louise Sloan demonstrates that gender equality has some way to go.
few weeks ago, a video of male Stirling University students emerged online. These men, part of the university’s hockey team, can be seen and heard chanting a sexist, offensive and racist song on a public bus. The YouTube video currently has over 117,000 views and has become the latest flashpoint in a series of episodes highlighting the issue of sexism amongst students. This video, along with similar incidents from universities across the UK, is making people question whether ‘lad culture’ has gone too far. The ‘Stirling lads on a bus’ video was taken by a shocked fellow passenger and shows the students making light of issues such as miscarriages and sexual assault in a drinking game chant. Their aggressive nature is visibly intimidating to the fellow passengers as the viewer can witness them becoming increasingly uncomfortable. As the lyrics get more explicit passengers sit tensely, waiting for the ordeal to be over. When the video went viral, there were claims that it was just harmless banter and a normal part
“Universities all over the country need to implement serious measures to combat this onslaught of casual sexism.” of being a ‘lad’. Comments on the video include ‘This is hilarious!’ and ‘I don’t understand why people get so offended by this’; views I’ve also heard echoed by some of my fellow students. However, it is quite evident that many do not see it as just harmless fun, including Stirling University who have issued an investigation and stated that they ‘take incidents of this nature very seriously’. But unfortunately, this type of behaviour is not unusual and depicts an all too familiar situation for many female students. Talking about the video amongst friends, it is clear we can relate to the situation. Whether it is by shouts and jeers when walking past a group of drunk guys or being
The new aquatics centre opens in 2014. What would you add to the university campus if you were given the chance?
leered at or groped by someone in a club, we have all experienced the nasty side of lad bravado. What is not clear is why we have come to
Photo/ camarua (YouTube)
accept this as being a normal part of today’s society. One group trying to show that this type of behaviour is not acceptable is the ‘Everyday Sexism Project’. In the last month alone, it has received over 100 reports from female students about incidents concerning sexist and misogynist behaviour. The project aims to catalogue sexism experienced by women on a day-to-day basis and wants to show the world it is not okay for men to behave like this. But despite the good work the project is doing, it is not enough. It is clear sexism is rife on any campus and in 2013 this is wholly unacceptable. This article is not supposed to be just another angry feminist rant. Nor am I implying that all men are sexist, or that every male sports club takes part in misogynist games. What I want to highlight is that behaviour like this is a growing problem, and until it’s tackled seriously, it is not going to go away. Universities all over the country need to implement serious measures to combat this onslaught of casual sexism that has become an underlying element of student life.
I’d add an entertainment centre, which would be open in the evening. Students could meet up, play games and make new friends there. It would be especially useful for Freshers who could meet new people without the pressure of alcohol being involved. Ieva Greblikaide, Fourth Year Economics T h e entertainment centre is a good idea, but I would add a variety of events such as pubstyle quizzes, karaoke, and even a place for tribute acts to perform. There’d be a focus on musical entertainment, and I’d like a fashion show to be held there too. Students would also be able to play games, such as Bingo! Darren Coutts, Second Year Artificial Intelligence I’d build better student parking, as the current facilities are just not adequate. S i x t e e n spaces in Butchart are just not enough! Why not bulldoze Meston to make some room?
aLook for the
red polo shirts on campus!
3 December 2013
Vaping in the Granite City Aiden Deuchars reflects on the new alternative to ‘analogue cigarettes’.
t the time of writing I’ve not had a cigarette for 118 days. That’s a tremendous achievement, considering I’ve smoked for 5 years with a month or two’s respite here and there. I can honestly say that I don’t want a cigarette, which even when I’ve stopped previously isn’t something I’ve been confident in attesting. Usually, the problem is that there is a hole left in your life when you don’t smoke anymore. There are little things that you miss, such as grabbing a cigarette after work, just before you go to bed, or when you’ve just woken up. Your routine goes. That’s why I was always drawn back to smoking; not because I picked it up again, but because I was just reverting to normality. But now I don’t smoke – I vape. A vapourizer, or vape, is a device that heats liquid containing nicotine, turning it into a vapour that you can inhale. It therefore replicates smoking, but without the smoke. They are generally called Electronic Cigarettes, but therein lies the problem for the person using the vape. The taboo surrounding cigarettes is so strong that even an alternative is seen as
horrible or harmful in some way. Thus, vaping is often wrongly seen as another way of smoking. Despite this, vaping is about as closely related to smoking as a horse is to a car – both perform a similar function, but their method
“Vaping is about as closely related to smoking as a horse is to a car.’” of doing so is entirely different. In my experience there are absolutely no negative effects from vaping. I don’t cough anymore and I can do sports that I would have never been able to do whilst using regular cigarettes, or ‘analogue cigarettes’ as they are known in vaping circles. I don’t smell of smoke and neither does my room,
Photo/ Pawel Kuncewicz my car or my clothes. I’ve saved money because vaping costs just a fraction of what smoking does; perhaps £10 a week compared to around £45 a week to sustain a 20-a-day habit. Buying a vape is one of the best
decisions I have ever made as I feel much healthier and I’m no longer worried about the long term health issues associated with smoking. The only active ingredient in E-Liquid- the liquid used to deliver the nicotine - is just
nicotine; by itself a mild stimulant no more harmful than caffeine. The only problem with vaping comes when you have to explain to someone what it is. If you go down the ‘It’s an electronic cigarette’ route, you open yourselves up to all the taboo and prejudice that comes with smoking. So I tend to try and explain what it actually is, or if I’m in a rush I just say ‘It’s the future’. That may seem quite arrogant but I really hope it is the future for a lot of smokers and if even one person searches ‘vaping’ online after reading this, I will have accomplished my goal. However, if you do go out and start vaping inside nightclubs or pubs or anywhere public, you have to do so with some common sense. As it looks similar to smoking people think you are doing just that, and often the bouncers in certain Aberdeen nightclubs aren’t as open-minded as you are. This isn’t the worst thing though, because then you can go out to the smoking area and talk to people about it, as smokers will ask what you’re doing. That’s how vaping will grow in popularity, one person at a time.
Playing, working and procrastinating
Deadlines: why they shouldn’t matter
Social queen or study buddy? Shona Duthie talks of her time at university.
tudents of universities in the UK are portrayed as major partygoers who manage to pass their courses idly, don’t study and party continuously. According to many TV shows, it seems that in our first year, our main focus is to experience that ‘freedom’ and independence we all crave for away from our parents. During my time at the University of Aberdeen, I have met loads of new people and went out for cheap drink deals on student nights. However, I also have stayed up until 3am in the morning, drinking ridiculous amounts of Starbucks coffee and Red Bull, whilst stressing over coursework. In Channel 4’s Skins, students are constantly on drugs, drinking, at house parties and in nightclubs, whereas in Fresh Meat they are slightly less hardcore party animals. On TV, they merely skim over the stress of coursework and exams, and how they determine your career in terms of further study and gaining that first fulltime paid job. Stressing is literally my middle name when I have four weeks worth of deadlines with different essays, exercises and presentations to be completed. The exam period is just as stressful, with a list of OCD’s you have before an exam and the numerous, repeated questions you ask yourself: have I revised enough? Have I answered the questions correctly? Have I done
enough to get the grade I want? However, as soon as the stress recedes for a few days, I am one of the very first students hitting the cheap bars across Aberdeen for a bottle of wine to catch up with friends, whom I have not been in touch with since the start of my studyinduced social reclusion. I would go as far as saying I may turn into a Skins or Fresh Meat character like Cassie or Josie for an evening, partying with my friends, meeting random people, fixating on the latest relationship issue and staying out until 5am. Then reality hits the next day when I have a 9am lecture or tutorial. This is worsened by the amount of research required in your given topics in class, or even sitting in the library to chase the one book that may be on the topic you need. Student life is not measured by how many cups of coffee you have, how many relationship crisis occur during your four years, or how many nights out you have had drinking: it is about having a balance between a social life and an academic life. I believe university is all about how you experience it for yourself; for example, if you are still living with your parents, or if you have chosen halls, or if you have decided to move into a flat with friends. It is all to do with your own choices and student experiences.
Jozef Doyle argues that a pressure-free world can move us forward. omewhere between verbally dry-heaving my way to the word limit and achieving Mach-2 on the run up to College Bounds, I realised something: deadlines are worthless. This is a bold statement from one who fails to produce work of any kind without a clear and present consequence in sight should he fail to complete it, but nonetheless I believe it to be true, and a widely believed truth at that. Douglas Adams famously said “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by” - a feeling that many reading this may be familiar with. However, there may also be those reading this who see the pragmatism behind the sadism of the deadline. They might exclaim that it is necessary in order to ensure work is received by tutors in time for them to mark and return it before we all graduate, or that it instils a sense of discipline that will stand us in good stead for future life. This way we can become people who meet deadlines to please bosses who also meet deadlines, thereby ensuring life, as we know it, runs on schedule. They might even say that deadlines separate the dreamers from the doers, and so they are useful in rewarding the hard-working individuals hidden amongst the rabble of lazy Millennials. To them I say, yes. You’re correct, deadlines do all of that and more. They allow us to work within a specific time-frame, forcing us to focus our actions and work harder than we might otherwise have
done. Parkinson’s Law, as many deadline-advocates will know, states that work expands to fill the time allotted to it, and thus setting deadlines creates a pressurising effect, causing work to get done faster. But therein lies the flaw, and the issue that made me realise the folly of the deadline. If deadlines do all of this good, and help the stu-
Photo/ Wesley Fryer (Flickr) dent to get their act together, why do some people consistently slip through its net? Why do some students, businessmen, authors, artists, engineers, builders, landscape gardeners and TV chefs consistently fall short of the time limitations imposed upon them? If deadlines do so much good, how do these people get along in life? I believe it’s because for some of us, deadlines are neither a carrot nor stick. We don’t see them as a goal or a threat, and so they pass us by without incident. At university we’re told that missing deadlines will have consequences, and they certainly do. But if we don’t
see those consequences as, well, consequential, what hope is there for us to get out of bed, fall into our desk-chair and start that essay due in 4 hours? Little to none. For this, we are told to feel ashamed, that we aren’t ‘reaching our potential’. But what if the time we spent worrying about our ‘failures’, and fearing the next deadline, were used in a different way? What would happen in a world without deadlines? Would It be chaos? Or would we simply have to form a new way of prioritising? I think that the removal of deadlines would force us to think about what we’re doing, instead of thinking about how little time we have to do it in. Instead of ensuring the work that we’ve been set was done on time, we would consider whether that work is worth doing at all, and whether there could be a better way to learn, or to produce, or to landscape that garden. I believe that we who miss deadlines have stumbled onto a new way of thinking. Will you join us?
Disclaimer 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
3 December 2013
Editors: Alasdair Lane & Emily Thorburn
- A year in the life of The Gaudie -
he hours of daylight are decreasing, Aberdeen comes with the constant threat of snow, students are hurriedly completing that final essay of term and woolly hats are becoming a common site. This can only mean one thing: the festive season is nearly upon us! Aside from turkey, presents and mulled wine, the season is also a time of reflection and a chance to look back at the year gone by. A chance to note down your successes and high points and the things that have made 2013 the year it has been. For some of you, that might be moving to Aberdeen and the big bad world of independence, for others, it might be finally getting an 18 on an essay. Here at The Gaudie, 2013 has been a great year, and one that we are very proud of. In February, we launched our website, www. thegaudie.co.uk, our first ever online platform. This meant that
chance to ask questions about the paper and gives us feedback about how we’re getting on as well. We aim to take on board all feedback that we were given and continue to make Aberdeen’s student paper as good as it can be. In March, four members of our Editorial Team were honoured at The King’s Award Ball for their dedication to the paper and student activities more generally. The King’s Ball was also a great excuse for us to have a great night of ceilidh dancing and a class of wine, or three. And before we knew it, it was time to wave goodbye to some of our graduating editorial team, and welcome our newest recruits. A quick graduation edition of the paper then produced before we all got a rest over summer. Fresher’s Week was a particular highlight for The Gaudie, with well over 100 people expressing an interest in working with us,
the ‘Best Student Article Award’ as part of the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards, and travelled to Edinburgh, with Alicia, our Life and Style Editor, for the award ceremony. As you can imagine, we’re very chuffed to have such a great editorial team. In December, The Gaudie held a training workshop with Wayne Price, an English lecturer at the university, who offered some great tips about good writing skills. We hope to organise more events like this during second semester. We are very proud of successes this year, every edition has been filled with 24 pages of exciting, student orientated content and each edition has been well distributed, on time across campus. We’ve had a record number of contributors getting involved, all of whose names should be featured in the ‘Writers’ or ‘Photographers’ tab, on our website. As for next year, we are excited
email@example.com Editorial Team Head Editors
Alasdair Lane and Emily Thorburn
Dan Naylor and Anna Katila
Life & Style Editor
Head Copy Editor
Online Video Editor
Copy Editing Team
Lewis Dale, Holly Dobbin, Andrew Parker
Deputy Section Editors
Production Team Head of Production Deputy Head of Production
Rachel Clark (News); Grant Costello (Features); Richard Wood (Opine); Ashley Sevadjian (L&S); Michael Cameron, Andrew Parker (Arts); Josefine Björkqvist (Sport)
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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.
Photos/ AUSA 2012/ 2013 Editorial and Production Team enjoying the Kings Award Ball, March 2013 we could, for the first time, publish content with the print deadlines and really get to the heart of breaking news stories, something that we aim to keep doing in the future. We also had our first ever AGM this year, allowing students the
whether it be writing, copy editing, production or photography. Some of those 100 even braved what could be described as monsoon weather to make it to our introductory lecture. In November, our Features Editor, Konrad, was nominated for
to launching our first ever online video project, reporting on what each section has been up to! Look out for them in February! On behalf of The Gaudie, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! By Emily Thorburn
- Writing Workshop with Dr Wayne Price The Gaudie invites all contributors to come and get some tips on how to improve your writing! Come along to MacRobert 317 at 2pm on Wednesday 4 December.
Do you have events that you would like to advertise in The Gaudie? 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.
3 December 2013
The Silver Tongue
Editor: Hamish Roberts
Straight-talking Sentamu L
ast week, The Chaplaincy invited the Right Reverend John Sentamu to tea, as part of the University’s ReverseDiversity week. Dr Sentamu, who in 1999 refused to sign the Cambridge Accords (an agreement that homosexuals should all be granted the same human rights as other humans, since they are humans too), did not speak about his antihomosexual views and was therefore A-OK and welcome to the university. The university’s LGBT society raised the possibility of a protest, but were quickly silenced by a reminder of the many occasions
throughout history when the gays have oppressed and opposed the rights of Christians. I am sure we all remember, even just this year, when gay peers in the House of Lords opposed the Equal Marriages Act, which will allow Christian men to marry Christian women while in the wider world, Uganda is currently enacting laws based on the core beliefs of homosexuality which will see Christians sentenced to death for simply existing. Dr Sentamu was in Aberdeen to receive his honorary doctorate in theology. The university’s policy of awarding doctorates to people who are experts in their field as a
result of working in it has also seen Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and Thomas the Tank Engine awarded doctorates in their respective fields; building, postal delivery, and moving forwards and backwards. Last year, Dr Sentamu likened David Cameron to a dictator for trying to push through Equal Marriage legislation - and as a member of an organisation which exists only to give praise to a capricious, jealous, genocidal, ever-watching overlord, we can be sure that the good doctor knows what he’s talking about. In addition, having escaped the rule of Idi Amin, Dr Sentamu is in a perfect position to realise the similarities between genocidal despots effecting ethnic cleansing and a government trying to redefine “marriage” to include everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. This event follows the interfaith kirking, the yearly event where people of different faiths gather to feel smug that everyone else in the room is going to hell (aside from the atheists, who know there is no hell, the agnostics, who aren’t sure, and the existentialists, who think hell is other people). The kirking, from the Latin kirk meaning “Captain”, takes place every year and involves a giant mace to remind everyone that religion is mostly about destroying your enemies, crushing their cities, and hearing the lamentations of their women. This year the mace was carried by the Chair of Student Council and the Chair was carried by the ViceChair; a tradition dating back to the days when the Chair of Student Council was, in fact, a rather nice mahogany wingback with leather detailing. Next week, the university has invited Nick Griffin to talk about the benefits of a Cambridge education (and nothing about racism at all, so we’re okay), and then following him will be a talk from David Icke about reptile care and management, and not the international Zionist conspiracy. There will be tea and (straight) fairy cakes. By J. Did
Photo/ York Minster (flickr)
‘Nasty’ Britain is actually quite ‘nice’
avid Cameron has been accused of turning the UK into a ‘nasty’ country by European commissioner Laszio Andor. The comments sparked a reaction from the UK government who assured the public that they think the UK is actually quite ‘nice’. Mr. Cameron has spoken out against the commissioner saying that he was being infantile and that it ‘isn’t nice to call people names’, denouncing the comments as bad diplomatic practice and that he expects ‘better behaviour in the future’. Hungary’s Mr Andor was provoked by the UK government’s tightening up on immigration policies and restrictions on EU immigrants claiming welfare benefits. The Prime Minister said that the comments were ‘completely un-
“Alex Salmond will wade into the debate next week to call England ‘bad’’ acceptable, especially so close to Christmas.’ Germany have been stuck in the middle of the infantile spat; warning that if Hungary and Britain don’t sort out their differences Angela will ‘give you something to cry about.’ In Britain, the reaction has been strangely accepting of Mr. Andor’s comments saying that ‘sh*te’ would work better. These very engaging develop-
ments have added fuel to the flames of the European question for the UK and the Scottish independence debate. It is expected that Alex Salmond will wade into the debate next week to call England ‘bad’. Following Dr John Sentamu’s visit to Aberdeen last week, gay rights have been brought to the forefront of student debate. Indeed, ‘nasty’ is an apt term to describe Sentamu’s views and that of the church, but it is somewhat confusing as to why EU residents would want to emigrate to the UK, considering its lackluster performance on the equal-marriage international developments. By H. Clinker
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3 December 2013
Life & Style
Editor: Alicia Jensen
Style On Campus
...is studing English Literature in fourth year. Sofiane sports a colorful winter scarf - keeping warm while keeping trendy at the same time.
...is a first year Law and English Law student. She wears a classy combination of different patterns.
...is an Entrepreneurship student in fourth year. This is how he gets his style: wake up, look outside, put on a white shirt, maybe put another one on top.
...is a fourth year English Literature & Linguistics student. She is still discovering her own style and likes to spice up a simple outfit with some accessories or a colourful make up.
...is a third year Management student. How does he describe his style? “Comfortable and not my pyjamas.”
Photos/ Alicia Jensen
The art of getting what you want Ysabelle McGuire investigates the merits of books that tell you how to get what you want.
here are multiple books out there telling us how we can get where we want. They tell us to use a series of methods to lure you in, like: ‘The secret’ (a personal favourite), ‘How to get everything you want – faster than you ever thought possible’, or ‘How to win friends and influence people and see you at the top’ – but do these things ever actually work? Or is it simply another con? For me, the only thing these books do is damage your ability to focus and work hard in your own way to get where you want to be. Following a set step-by-step guide of how to live life is not going to guarantee that you get everything you want, it might work for some people, but there is absolutely no guarantee it will work for everyone. Some people, like me, just have to work hard to get what they want. No form of literature or DVD is going to give you the secret keys to the perfect life, because every person in the world is different, everyone’s brains work differently and everyone has different methods for doing different things.
I’m talking about this because exam time is coming up, and the panic is beginning to settle in, as always, about what is the best way to revise – how am I going to work, study, attend social events and jumble it all together – but there is no definitive answer. Everyone is different. For example, I can’t
“For me, the only thing these books do is damage your ability to focus and work hard in your own way to get where you want to be.” stand studying in silence, silence actually distracts me, but if I have a TV show, or music playing in the background I find it easier to focus on the thing in front of me. I know for a fact this is not the best way for everyone else to study. So who is to say that if you act a certain way,
or live your life a certain way that you’ll get that top job you always wanted faster than anyone else? And why are we buying into this rubbish? I think we live in a society where we are gradually getting lazier and lazier. If there was a way that I could pass all of my exams without studying, I’m sure I would happily take that option, as I’m sure many people would, which is what these books claim to offer to us. For example, I have read, and watched the DVD of ‘The Secret’ – it basically claims that the laws of physics say that if you focus on negative energy, you’ll attract negativity, and if you focus on positive things, you’ll attract positivity – this is one part I do agree with. If you think positive things, and keep yourself away from negative things of course you are going to remain positive. But, where it gets ridiculous is when it claims that if you think about something enough, you get it – all I can think about when I think of this is ‘be careful what you wish for’ a little phrase told to us when
“No form of literature or DVD is going to give you the secret keys to the perfect life, because every person in the world is different.” we were kids complaining that we wished we were never born, or wished that we didn’t live at home. I can understand where it would work for things like, focussing on a subject – so you get a good grade… because that is just working hard, which is what this all boils down to. What I have learned from watching videos and reading books on telling you how to get what you want, and just through life experience, I’ve found a few pretty helpful things. If you want to get what you want in life, there are a handful of things that usually help
without fail. - Be confident in yourself; always know that you can do whatever you want to do. - Work hard for it, you can get wherever you want to be in life if you work hard. - Stay positive. If you begin to think that you’re not going to do well, then you won’t do well, because you’ll get lazier and lazier and fall into a rut, which you will most definitely struggle to get out of. I know it is all well and good saying ‘oh if you do these three simple things life will come easy’ but that is not what I’m trying to say (unlike the self-help book section in the book shop). You will have to work hard; it is incredibly difficult to remain positive; you’ll have to keep up to date with your studying; be confident in yourself, but if you believe in yourself then nothing else will stop you. You need no one but yourself to believe in you, because no one else is going to get you the perfect job or house, or grades - only you can do that.
3 December 2013
AIDS: what you should know
Things to follow on Instagram By Natasha Eastwood
None of the photos on this instagram require captions because the random nature of every single photo will leave you in hysterics. The photos range from chihuahas chillin’ in crisp packets to Drake dressing up as Borat. This page has something for everyone’s sense of humour.
Life & Style
Jack Fletcher considers the illness as international AIDS Day arrives.
c q u i r e d immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) means a virus that is acquired, primarily through unprotected vaginal or anal sex. Most people still think, “yeah that’s in Africa and the gay community isn’t it?”. While AIDS is often talked about in relation to the African region and in the homosexual community, it’s certainly not the full story. There are many people who suffer in the United Kingdom, in fact 1/5 of those with HIV in the UK don’t know it.
expectancy similar to not having HIV at all. Trivialising a huge world issue is foolish and deserves attention particularly as there is a chance that it could affect you. The manner in which AIDS and HIV spreads most commonly is through sex, which is why it’s
When it comes to relationships, the same logic applies. You still need to remember to use a condom, or get tested before you make that kind of decision. Look out for the World AIDS Day (WAD) events that will run in the week of 2-6 December in
massive issue in the poorest parts of the world and we do have an obligation as a developed country to help others in need. So do without coffee, a bar of chocolate or one fewer pints for the day and give the proceeds to help change the world for the better. The
People living with AIDS around the world
This Instagram features daily updates from the owner of the most unfortunate-looking dog in the world. It will mean you’ll have to explain why you’re laughing hysterically at your phone in public. The only way to describe Tuna, the instagrammer’s dog, is that he has no chin and generally looks like a cross between a malformed chicken nugget and ET.
These screenshots of all of Will Ferrell’s quality twitter updates provide perfect procrastinating material. His sarcastic insights into many different aspects of 21 century life are comedy gold. One example being, ‘I haven’t seen Paranormal Activity 4 yet so PLEASE don’t tell me what lamp falls over’.
Follow this page when you need a good cheering up. Again very random but quality quotes and words of insight. One example being, ‘if you make me laugh I’m already 89% in love with you’. This instagrammer also posts photos of pretty bizarre images like turtles dressed in raspberries.
Example’s posts to his 381k fans will make you love him even if you don’t think much of his music. Follow his page for controversial digs at his fellow celebs like Tulisa Contostavlos, pugs taking selfies and the Mona Lisa looking pretty with Example’s face.
“The manner in which AIDS and HIV spread most commonly is through sex, which is why it’s incredibly important to be careful in the bedroom.” Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the preceding infection that causes AIDS. AIDS is in a way the end-point of the disease where the immune system has been so destroyed that even a common cold is hard to fight off. What once was a deadly diagnosis is now thankfully well managed by tablets that combat the virus. There is no hiding the fact that it is less prevalent in the UK than in many other parts of the world, and treatment can allow for a life
Graphic/ wikimedia.org incredibly important to be careful in the bedroom. It’s impossible to tell if someone is carrying the virus, so to be sure to avoid any risks, remember to stay safe and use protection. And although it may seem like something that is unlikely to happen to you, remember that one-fifth of those that carry the virus are unaware of it. That means: stay safe no matter what.
celebration of WAD on 1 December. The UK can also celebrate being one of the front runners in providing aid relief to the developing world as well as providing medicine that will save lives in countries where the health infrastructure is poor and contraception is not freely provided. Help your fellow man by giving to a good cause and learn more about global health issues. Preventable death is a
UK has already been the biggest pledger with £1bn to fight AIDS, TB and malaria in the developing world as a result of strong activism and campaigns. We are reaching a tipping point towards eradicating HIV in the world and we can’t stop now. Join the plight against AIDS in the first week of December with many events around campus that you can take part in.
Keep calm and study on
Alicia Jensen gives some tips on taking it easy around exam time.
o you made it past essay season, congratulations! You can now take a small sigh of relief, and get ready for the Christmas season – and what inevitably follows. Let’s not get ready to put the books away just yet, the next step is just around the corner, namely, exam season. The exam has a different character from the essays and short quizzes we’ve been studying, especially because there is a good chance that it’s going to be worth more than 50% of your grade. The exam requires a far larger amount of knowledge than preparing for a short test or writing an essay on one specific subject does. As such, it requires the accumulation of information and knowledge on a far broader basis. An exam covers a far wider range of material. So the first step to getting started is to plan ahead: plan far, far ahead. Read: start studying now! One of the most important things I’ve learned after my three years at University is to appreciate time. Time is so important when studying for something so broad, because there are so many different
sets, in terms of lectures, to cover. To understand it all you’ll have to do a lot of reading and going over lecture notes. Time to reflect and think about some of the things you’re studying is also important – and you need to take into account time for this as well! Starting early is crucial to doing well. Time will either be your friend or your enemy – you choose which one. The earlier you start, the more knowledge you’ll gain. You’ll get a chance to review the knowledge you’ve accumulated during your studies, which will only strengthen the knowledge you have, and making it more likely that you’ll remember it during the exam! Lastly, the longer you think about a subject, the more you’ll allow your brain to reflect on that topic, and really understand it. This applies to everything from politics to economics, the practical to the theoretical. The more insight you gain, the better you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned and the less confused you’ll get with applying formulas to specific tasks, as, for example, in economics. Knowledge acquired in the beginning of your studies will
also stick with you, and help you in the long run as you’ll be able to remember it, whereas knowledge that is crammed in to your short term memory won’t stay with you as long, and thus won’t benefit you in the future like long term knowledge will!
“Starting early is crucial to doing well. Time will either be your friend or your enemy – you choose which one.” Take care of yourself. Remember to eat, drink, get enough sleep, and exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the library or around the block. These may sound like obvious things but when you’re getting really worried, you might want to start cutting corners by cutting your hours of sleep. But doing well on an exam isn’t just about how much you’ve managed
to cram in to your brain; it’s also about how healthy your brain is at the time. If you’re feeling fresh, have slept well, and have been eating a healthy diet, then you’ll probably do better on your exam! Remember that if you start early you’ll feel more relaxed, which will give you time to think about these things. Making sure your mental health is in shape is also very important, and although it might feel secondary in comparison to your uni work, you’ll do a lot better in your exams if you feel confident and good about yourself. Give meditation a go. This applies especially when you’re starting to get deep in to exam season, and study mode. A lot of articles I’ve read have pointed to meditating a few minutes a day. Taking a few deep breaths, closing your eyes and taking yourself to a peaceful, exam-free place for a few minutes will calm you down and leave you feeling refreshed afterwards. It certainly should leave you feeling less anxious, which will help you focus and give you energy to study, study, and study some more! Bonne chance, my friends!
3 December 2013
Life & Style
Around the world on Santa’s sleigh Grace Balfour-Harle investigates Christmas traditions from across the globe.
hristmas is a special time of year. The time to forgive and forget, the time to give and receive, and to eat an awful lot of food. All over the world there are different Christmas traditions and stories that celebrate Christmas in a particular way. Being at university and mixing with these cultures highlights the differences at this time of year.
The Czech Republic celebrates Christmas eve on December 24. The father prepares the presents, and then he, or rather ‘baby Jesus’, rings a bell which is a signal that everything is ready. The rest of
Ginger bread is usually baked on December 6, which is Finnish Independence Day. Other traditional Christmas foods also include the plum tart and a warm spicy drink called glögi. It is a bit like mulled wine, but often made with vodka, althoug there are very good non-alcoholic alternatives. White almonds and raisins alre also added in to the mulled wine. In Finland, Christmas Eve is the big day. There is rice porridge for breakfast and then families go to church. They might also go to the cemetery and light up candles at relatives’ graves. When they get home they gather to have dinner at 5 or 6 o’clock. Somebody, often
Photo/ wikimedia.org a family member such as an uncle or grandfather dresses up as Santa and gives out the presents to the children. In Finland Santa Claus lives on Korvatunturi (“Ear Fell”) in Lapland. He works there with his wife and gnomes in a secret workshop. The gnomes have a list of good children, from spying on children all year. On Christmas
“On Christmas Eve Santa leaves Korvatunturi in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and visits every house with children. “ Finland
Photo/ George Mathew Eve Santa leaves Korvatunturi in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and visits every house with children. The traditional Christmas feast is Christmas ham which is a huge piece of meat, covered in mustard and cooked in the oven overnight. There are also many fish dishes: raw spiced salmon and different types of herring. There is a salad made of boiled potatoes and beetroot which is served with whipped cream, sweetened potato casserole, carrot casserole, rutabaga casserole, boiled potatoes and peas. Ginger bread and piles of plum tarts are popular as dessert.
In Germany, Christmas Day is December 24. They spent the day preparing and cleaning, and then in the evening go to church.
“In Germany children are told the story of Santa Claus, but in some parts of Bavaria children are told the story of the “Christkindl”.” Afterwards they go home and drink mulled wine, have dinner and give presents to each other. On the next two days they meet their families. In Germany, children are generally told the story of Santa Claus, but in some parts of Bavaria children are told the story of the “Christkindl”. “Christkindl” means small Christ and therefore Jesus. This child is
always female and is pictured as an angel. The “Christkindl” came down from heaven to save the people, especially children. On Christmas Eve the “Christkindl” comes to children’s houses to bring them gifts. But as the “Christkindl” knows everything and sees everything the children do, it reminds children of their mistakes and forewarns them for next year.
The traditional feast is cabbage with meat and crème fraiche. In Hungary. the story of Christmas is a bit different, Santa comes on December 6, when children get tons of chocolate, while little Jesus comes on December 24 giving Christmas presents. Some families give gifts to each other after the sun goes down and it is totally dark.
the family then go in and unwrap the presents. The Traditional Christmas feast is mushroom soup with noodles or pea and fish soup and carp with potato salad. Before the Christmas dinner, they go to the cemetery. It is traditional to abstain from meat during Christmas Day until dinner in order to see a golden pig. If you want to be really traditional then in order to see the golden pig, you can’t eat anything at all. In the Czech Republic, they give presents to their dogs and cats too.
In Portugal, the whole family comes together and a pyramid of presents is built next to the Christmas tree. Lots of traditional food is made, such as cod with boiled potatoes. Traditionally, Santa Claus only brought you presents if you’d been good, but nowadays children don’t really believe in Santa Claus anymore, and parents don’t seem to hide the fact that they’re the ones buying the presents. It is usual to open the presents at midnight, although this isn’t always upheld.
‘It’s Christmas!’, he said with a cheery smile... Grant Costello ponders the festive period and what it really means to him.
o yes, it’s Christmas time again. Okay, it’s not Christmas this very second, but if we all skip past that obvious circumstance we’ll get on just fine. You should all at least be on December 3 of your advent calendar, so you’re in the Christmas spirit and therefore I’m going to accept it as an invitation to speak about Christmas. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Christmas time again so you better get your wallets out and buy lots of stuff, which by New Year’s will be stuffed in a cupboard and never seen again. Maybe I’m being a little cynical but it’s the real truth of the matter. I’m not just talking about the random presents we get from Granny at the bottom of the sack, the ones you give that weird crooked smile to, pretending you love it, while all the while in your head you’re asking yourself the immortal question
that your parents asked and your grandkids will most definitely ask: “Are they losing it? I mean what the hell is this!” I remember last year I got a laminator, and for the life of me, I can’t understand what my Grandparents were thinking. Why did they walk into whatever stationary shop they
“I remember last year I got a laminator, and for the life of me, I can’t understand what my Grandparents were thinking.” were in, and say to themselves, “YES! That is just the present for Grant. We know he just sits up all night wanting to laminate pieces of paper.”
It’s true, even the best Christmas presents like computer games and books (yes, books can be good, you are all university students!) won’t be used after a couple of days. As soon as we get our latest Xbox or PlayStation game, it’s right into the console and we binge for a good 1214 hours a day, playing until we’ve completed the game. This is swiftly followed by the realisation that a game we could have stretched across the span of a month or two has been played so much, we can no longer look at it, and it is banished to the cupboard until summer. We also get a lot of chocolate. Yet again though, when we are sitting up at 4am playing our games, we do get peckish and those mountains of sweets quickly disappear into nothingness and we are again left with our Christmas presents being gone by New Year’s, or if you’re like me by Boxing Day
“All this being said, I can’t wait for it. There’s just something that makes you smile about Christmas.” morning. Now the boys may be thinking they are getting an unfair bashing here and the girls are getting off lightly, but they are no less guilty. Most girls will be carefully admiring the beautiful heap of clothing that they have managed to amass to add to their already terrifyingly extensive wardrobe. But come Boxing Day, while we guys have probably still not moved from wherever we were sitting after dinner, all bleary eyed, our minds bent on killing whatever fictional moving target has been animated
onto our screens, all the girls are up at the crack of dawn, looking their best and out at the sales, yes, to buy more clothes and add to the ones they just got. All this being said, I can’t wait for it. There’s just something that makes you smile about Christmas. Even though the prices of presents are a massive rip-off, it’s bloody freezing as you trek from relative to relative, you gain back the same amount of weight you’ve lost throughout the whole year in one night, you get drunk and make a fool of yourself in front of your dear old Gran and Aunties with your Dad and Uncles, and then to top it all off in the morning there is the cleaning up to do, the empty bank account and the splitting headache. In spite of all of that, it’s Christmas!
3 December 2013
Life & Style
Holiday Recipes Banana Bread (A Vegan’s Delight)
his recipe is ideal for anyone, who, like myself, have a sweet tooth, but would like a healthier option to enjoy without any guilty side effects. This banana bread is relatively simple to make and only a few things need be changed to make it even healthier. For example, you can use molasses or even honey for sweetener instead of sugar. However you must get the right conversions with regards to how much of the replacement s w e e t e n e r Photo/ wikimedia.org is needed to replace the sugar. Replacement sweeteners, such as honey or molasses, result in a different physical component to the end product. For example if you bake with honey, expect your bread to be darker and moister when finished.
Take a large bowl and place your sugar and butter/grape-seed oil in a bowl and use a mixer to stir until creamy in texture. The texture, smell and appearance when honey is used are an absolute wonder to a baking enthusiast. The gold colour and soft smell of the honey is enough to make you salivate! After the c r e a m y texture has been achieved, add your replacement egg, which should be about three full tablespoons of an opaque, white, thick liquid. Again, stir in with the mixer until creamy then add the mixed flour, linseed, nutmeg and nuts gradually. Add water as needed, but be wary not to add too much water or your bread won’t hold
Ingredients 3 cups flour (1:2 – self-raising wholemeal flour: strong white bread flour) 1 ¼ cups brown sugar 1 cup walnut pieces 1 tsp. ground nutmeg (an ingredient frequently used in Caribbean ‘sweets’) 3 tsp. natural egg replacer (with the equivalent quantity of tbsp. water) 100-200mls water 2 ripe bananas 50g-100g vegan butter or grape seed oil 2 tbsp. ground linseed
together! When the flour has mixed with the other components and you have a ‘not too thick and not too watery mixture’, mash the bananas and combine with the creamy mixture. Your bread is now ready to be baked! At this stage switch the oven on to 200ºC (or just before in order to allow for ten minutes of preheating). Then grease your two loaf tins with the infamous grape-seed oil and place the mixture within! Put the two tins in the oven; change the temperature to 180ºC, then let to bake for one hour or until golden or mahogany brown. Afterward take it out, allow it to cool and then serve!
On the ingredients
The flour: wholemeal flour is known for it’s healthy properties. The presence of bran allows it to be passed through the system with ease in comparison to white flour. However, I find that using purely wholemeal flour for baking can sometimes ruin the end product. The sugar: brown sugar is preferable to white sugar again because of the presence of molasses in it. Molasses is a healthier option because of its closeness to the unrefined product which nature produces. I find the best molasses to use is that which is grainy, not liquid. The liquid form is trickier to
incorporate in this method. Nutmeg: either nutmeg or cinnamon can be used, or a combination of the two. Natural egg replacer/Linseed: it is known that ground linseed with water can act as a natural egg replacer. However, ground linseed added to the ingredients can also cause the end product to be more ‘fluffy’. Grape Seed Oil: grape seed oil is an expensive option, however, it does not change its conformity when heated, in other words, it does not become like plastic, and is the best oil to be used with cooking. Another oil that can be used that keeps ‘shape’ under heat is coconut oil. Vegan Butter: To date I have found four different types of vegan butter. ‘Pure’ butter has a soya, sunflower and olive flavour. Vita Life butter has a sunflower flavour to it. All the ingredients can be obtained from the Grampian Health Store on Market Street, Tesco, the Asian Shop on John Street, and Holland and Barrets in Trinity Centre. By Tarrick Haynes
Ginger Cake with Caramel Frosting Ingredients Alicia and Clare decided to attempt this recipe for Life and Style’s first video broadcast, find us on YouTube at TheGaudieChef!
Heat oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan. First, butter and line a cake tin. Put the butter, sugar, treacle and syrup in a large pan and gently heat, stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Then let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the eggs and milk, then sift in the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well, then pour into the prepared tin. Add marshmallows. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until the cake is firm to the touch and springs back when pressed in the centre. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. Put the frosting ingredients in a small pan, heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat and boil hard for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally; the frosting should look like runny custard. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Beat with an electric whisk until thick and spreadable. Spread over the cooled cake and decorate with sprinkles and marshmallows.
Simple Christmas Cookies Ingredients 100g sugar 200g butter 300g flour 1 egg decorations
bowl together with the soft butter! It is very important NOT to melt the butter, as this will make the cookies go rock solid! You need some muscle strength to mix the ingredients into a workable cookie
his is a super easy basic Christmas cookies recipe. It is nice to use it as it is, or pep it up a little with ingredients you like. I, for example, like to add cocoa and chocolate chips because I am obsessed with chocolate cookies. You can also add some vanilla extract into the dough, or ginger, or anything you like and think would make a great cookie. This recipe is wonderfully versatile and so easy and quick to make.
Get the butter out and leave it to warm up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl (you can sift the flour in if you like); beat the egg in a cup and add it to the
Photos/ Maria Suessmilch dough. Once you cannot see any buttery bits anymore the dough is finished; roll it out and use your favourite cookie cutters to make
some Christmas cookies. Put on a tray with grease proof paper. Bake in the oven (middle-lowest level) until they are golden brown. They might be a bit chewy and soft when you take them out of the oven but once they cool down they will get harder. Judge by colour when taking them out! When cooled, use decorations to make your cookies sparkle!
200g butter, plus extra for the tin 200g dark muscovado sugar 100g black treacle 100g golden syrup 2 large eggs, beaten 300ml milk 350g plain flour 2 tsp. ground ginger 2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda marshmallows For the frosting 85g butter 175ml double or whipping cream 175g caster sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract sprinkles
Adapted from www.bbcgoodfood.co
By Maria Suessmilch Photo/ Sebastian Clej
Watch Alicia & Clare bake this cake!
3 December 2013
Editor: Elizabeth Ozolins
Obituary The uncompromising and appraised Doris Lessing In the aftermath of her passing, Petra Hanackova recalls the success of Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing.
er career was ridden by a belief that a writer should disregard the judgement of the public. She claimed that such is the character of the profession and that this must be respected. Doris Lessing, a praised author despite the controversy which she sparked, died November 17 2013 aged ninety-four. Lessing did not hesitate to pronounce that the 9/11 attacks were ‘not that bad’ in comparison to the IRA terror campaign. Neither was she afraid to raise the subject of usefulness of men in society and of ‘unthinking and automatic rubbishing’ of men by women. She became the oldest winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, being eighty-eight years old when awarded. She published her last book, Alfred and Emily, which describes the lives of her parents, a year after winning the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. However, during Lessing’s life, the author managed to produce numerous literary works of fiction and non-fiction. Doris Lessing drew themes for her works from life experience. She was born in present-day Iran in 1919, spent her childhood in Zimbabwe, and later moved to England. Her time in Africa features in her debut novel, The Grass is Singing, where she explores the issue of racism in South African colonies. The breakthrough in her writing ca-
self. The Golden Notebook, published in 1962, is a work of an admirable originality of literal form. The legacy of Lessing’s inventiveness can be found in the writings of, for example, John Fowles or Angela Carter. The novel was acclaimed as feminist many readers,
“She remains an unforgettable writer who won people’s hearts by uncompromisingly scrutinising the world in which they live.”
Photo/ Elke Wetzig (wikimedia.org) reer is represented by The Golden Notebook. The novel tells the story of a woman who finds herself in several life roles – woman, lover,
writer and political activist. These feeling of internal conflict causes her breakdown which, eventually, helps her find a new, ‘undivided’
but the author herself did not identify with the feminist movement. However, Lessing’s life and her work uncover a sense for emancipation. The series Children of Violence contains autobiographical elements from Lessing’s life. It tells a story of Martha, who marries at a young age despite her efforts to avoid the domestic role of a woman, although her marriage eventu-
ally results in Martha’s rejection of it. Subsequently, she takes interest in Marxism. Lessing’s life story differs only in the fact that the author began to refute the ideology later in her life. The sphere of the political also appears in her science-fiction writings, where she explores the outer universe and inner worlds, questioning the relationship of an individual with collective life. The author published two novels under the pseudonym ‘Jane Somers’ in order to have her book judged according to its merit, not the status of a distinguished writer. Moreover, she intended to show solidarity with unknown writers who face difficulties when publishing their books. The books written under her alias did not reach the success of books published under the author‘s real name and to a certain extent proved that the author’s name can influence the ultimate evaluation of their books. Doris Lessing represents one of the most important post-war writers in the English language. Many remember her with words of praise. She remains an unforgettable writer who won people’s hearts by uncompromisingly scrutinising the world in which they live.
Is this a new era of Romanian cinema? Anastasia Cojocaru explores Romanian cinema’s recent period of rejuvenation and success.
ave you ever tried something truly different when it comes to film? Do you think your personal cinematic experience has influences from all over the world? Think again. Romanian cinema is currently entering an exciting new era which arguably could enrich any film goer’s experience. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005), winner of the Prize Un Certain Regard, tells the story of Mr Lazarescu, a 63-year-old widower who is the hero of this magnificent movie from Romanian director Cristi Puiu. It is about the final stages of old age – a comedy with something similar to the documentary style of Frederick Wiseman and Samuel Beckett. The character reaches a critical point of mortality after being gradually torn apart by his illnesses, aches and pain and lingers between illness and death. The paramedic Mioara is the only person who cares about Mr Lazarescu while the other characters are concerned about trivial matters and ignore the state of the patient. It may seem bizarre to claim that this film about an ill man could be humorous, but in fact the reactions
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) of the various characters result in extremely hilarious viewing. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days took the Palme d’Or at Cannes in May 2007. The setting is Romania in 1987; 20 years after Nicolae Ceaușescu had outlawed abortion
to increase the birth rate. This movie seems to be set in a simultaneously distant and recent era. The film depicts how the humanity of the people is slowly degraded by the state and is able to do this without it being overtly political. It tells
the story of two students in their early 20s, Otilia and Gabriela, who share a dorm in a provincial town. Otilia is the one who offers to help her friend Gabriela, who is pregnant in the precise degree mentioned in the title and at this point of termination would become an act of murder according to the Romanian law. It is a very interesting film, the spectator being detached and emotionally involved at the same time. Beyond the Hills (2012) was given the prize for best screenplay and best actress at Cannes. The two leading characters, Alina and Voichita, were roommates in an orphanage and there are some hints throughout the film which imply a lesbian connection between the two. Alina returns from Germany to take Voichita to a monastery, however she does not want to follow her friend to a liberating life waitressing in Germany because she claims that she has found God. Alina becomes the object of a brutal exorcism and the end of the movie reveals a society dominated by cruelty, indifference and lack of charity. Last but not least, Child’s pose
“Romanian cinema is currently entering an exciting new era which arguably could enrich any film goer’s experience.” (2013) has won the Berlin Golden Bear award this year and belongs to the ‘slice-of-life’ cinema genre. The film delivers a fascinating insight into the post-Ceaușescu society which is dominated by bureaucracy and corruption. A wealthy and overprotective mother has a difficult relationship with her spoilt grown up son and attempts to remove her son from trouble through bribery. These movies will definitely leave you with some deeply moving images and will become food for thought after you have watched them. Romanian cinema has begun to achieve both critical and commercial success which displays a growing talent within the country.
3 December 2013
REVIEWS Music Let Your Hands Be My Guide Chantal Acda
For Those Who Caught the Sun in Flight Tomorrow We Sail
Album Release: 11 November 2013
Album Release: 4 February 2014
By Anastatsia Cojocaru By Andrew Parker Formed in 2009 and based in Leeds, Tomorrow We Sail features an ensemble of musicians, each bringing a range of skills to the table. Everything necessary for an interesting listen is present within this ambient post-rock band: vocals, strings, keys, drums and even an accordion for good measure. The promise is there, but despite this For Those Who Caught the Sun in Flight fails to deliver up much of interest. The first track, ‘The Well and the Tide’, opens the EP with a lacklustre composition featuring intrusive vocals that do little to endear the listener to the band’s work. Fortunately, things take a turn for the better in the second track, ‘Eventide’, which opens
Shangri-La Jake Bugg Album Release: 18 November 2013
quietly with guitar and strings before introducing piano and slowly weaving in vocals. It is in moments like this, with sounds layered upon sounds, instruments and vocals in equal measure accentuating one another, that the band are at their best. ‘Eventide’ is not an isolated instance either. The fifth track, a melancholic peace titled ‘White Rose’, demonstrates choral elements, showing that what Tomorrow We Sail lacks in strong solo vocals they make up for in the power of their haunting collective voice. While For Those Who Caught the Sun in Flight has its moments, they are, unfortunately, few and far between. Even within each track itself there are only particular moments worthy of note, found in between minutes of sound that falls flat on the ears. For the most part, it simply sinks into the background, eventually forgotten. album. Speaking of stand-outs, the following track, ‘All Your Reasons’ is another. It is a slow, bluesy, five minute long track with overtones of Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey, My My’, and lashings of guitar riffs. In other words, it is really good. ‘Kitchen Table’ is a song with an eerie feel and the lyrics which roll off his tongue and are loaded with uncertainty to match the eeriness. ‘Pine Trees’ is one of Bugg’s songs that resists the temptation to turn into a power ballad, and
The Dutch-born Chantal Acda is currently based in Belgium and has been known under the name of Sleepingdog moniker since 2006. She has released her debut album after working with the inventive German pianist and producer Nils Frahm, the multi- instrumentalist Peter Broderick, the cellist Gyda
Bob Dylan Live in Europe Dates: 10 October - 28 November 2013
By James Macready
rightfully so. As such, it remains a delightfully melancholy ballad right to the end. The album closes with ‘Storm Passes Away’ which draws the album out of the sadness of its second half and jingles it through to a cheery end. On the whole, Jake Bugg’s second album did exactly what it should have done - it took what he was good at and moved on with it. Everything about it is better, even the first three tracks on closer inspection are better throughout: angrier, catchier, and generally having moved in the right direction.
1multi-Stanley. Very awesome instrumental group.
Ask anyone who has heard them what they sound like and you’ll get a different answer every time: for me it’s somewhere between a formal, unplugged, orchestral Franz Ferdinand and Radiohead (madly enough). Their frontman puts on a stonking vocal performance. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time until they take the world by storm. The Deportees - For a 2 while it felt like these guys were supporting every other
act that played The Tunnels or Drummonds. That might have been partly because they can pull off a far wider range of sound than their limited Bandcamp recordings suggest and partly because they are just really good.
By Michael Cameron Jake Bugg’s second album certainly had the odds stacked against it. He is a singer/songwriter with a guitar and an interesting voice, but we’ve all seen it before, and, as we can see from James Blunt’s current struggle, it is hard to get more than one album out of it. The first three tracks of Shangri La were disappointing: they are all much the same as ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Taste It’ from his debut, fast paced and angry. At this point, it looks as though Shangri La is set to be a re-hash of the first album because Bugg, like many others before him, can only produce one interesting album out of his guitar. But, thankfully, this turns out not to be the case. Bugg’s nasally, raspy voice has never been more spine tingling than in the hook of ‘Me and You’, and settles comfortably in the midst of a heart-warming lovers-on-the-run-style lament. ‘A Song About Love’ is definitely a progression from Bugg’s earlier love songs such as ‘Simple As This’, and it has certainly progressed well: it is touching, beautiful and an instant stand-out on the
Valtysdottir and Shahzad Ismaily. Her wonderful record reveals power through vulnerability and melodies marked by delicacy, quietude and understatement. Acda’s refined song writing allows the listeners to enjoy a light, pure voice which speaks about romance and tragedy in a poetic manner. Her music fascinates because every bit of it is deeply moving and invites the listener to become consciously reflective. The piano, guitar (acoustic and electric), glockenspiel and strings gently blended into the songs’ arrangements are used sparingly in order to let the voices stand out. The track ‘We Will, We Must’ shows how the natural singing of Broderick becomes a beautiful complement to Acda’s own. An even more ravishing piece is ‘Arms Up High’ which could be considered the album’s emotional peak. The only time when the instrumental palette shifts from its normal course into the conspicuously electronic is represented by the closing song ‘We Must Hold On’. This last track resonates with the idea of the victory of love. This album reveals the beauty in minimalism and innocence and also shows how Acda’s light vocals shine through the darker tones. It certainly would be a wonderful experience to hear this album performed live by Chantal.
On June 14, Bob Dylan announced his European tour following the release of ‘Tempest’, a criticallyacclaimed masterpiece boasting his best songs since 2001’s Love and Theft. There was a sense of apprehension surrounding the shows arising from the disappointing performances that all-but-filled the last decade. At 72 years old his voice has, in the last few years, been suffering a drawnout, distressing decline and many assumed that this would continue into the latest shows of his ‘Never Ending Tour’. Never has it been so delightful to be wrong. The same set each night ensured a tight, professional performance from Bob and his band, especially the mercurial Charlie Sexton on lead guitar. We started with ‘Things Have Changed’, a dark and cynical ballad, each line caressed with a voice that croaked a sincerity absent from recent tours. Bob enjoys playing the new album and it showed never more explicitly than when he spat out the verses to
‘Pay in Blood,’ a wide, self-assured grin accompanying his own unique brand of dance. The second set contained three performances as close to perfection as would be justifiable to expect. ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ showed vocal strength I thought had vacated Dylan’s body years ago, ‘Forgetful Heart’ could move anyone to tears, whispered wistfully to the Clyde Auditorium and Royal Albert Hall respectively. The centrepiece of the show was undoubtedly ‘Long and Wasted
Forest Fires. If I listen to a band and am immediately reminded of Fallout Boy and Co. before anything else then it’s usually not my cuppa. But in a live setting these guys have more than enough innovation and energy to keep it interesting and entertaining. Cracking good fun (and just plain old cracking!)
“The same set each night ensured a tight, professional performance from Bob and his band.” Years’. Its live incarnation was unlike anything I have seen Bob perform, emphatically punched out by the band and Bob with his strongest vocal performance of the last decade. Each verse had my heart thumping against my rib cage as his voice soared from centre stage to the galleries. The encores were popular hits played well but the substance of these shows was in the recent songs and his earnest delivery of them. An exceptional tour by the most important musician of the twentieth century. Bob Dylan, ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.’
4 Indian Red Lopez – Imagine Snow Patrol with a
harder edge (that is not an oxymoron, promise). One of the city’s most technically accomplished bands. Always seem to be ever so close to getting bigger recognition beyond the Aberdeen scene.
Under The Noose – No 5 nonsense rock, best served live, loud and in an enclosed
space. Though there are many bands with a similar sound not only in Aberdeen but all over the country, these guys stick out in my mind as putting on a particularly good show. By Scott Reid
Monty Python will be playing a comeback tour in July 2014, at the O2 Arena in London. The first batch of tickets sold out in 43 seconds, and several more dates have also since sold out. Business magazine Forbes has named Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate the biggest cinematic flop of 2013, taking only $6m at the box office compared to a reported budget of $28m.
Last week Family Guy killed off one of its central characters: the intellectual martini-drinking family dog Brian. He has been replaced by a new dog Vinnie, voiced by Tony Sirico, who is best known for his role as Paulie Walnuts in The Sopranos. The Nobel Peace Prize Concert will take place on December 11th this year, in Oslo. Omar Souleyman, Morrissey and Mary J. Blige are all slated to play. Now That’s What I Call Music! – staple of pre-teen music collections everywhere – has just turned 30 years old. The first one, in 1983, featured Duran Duran, Madness and Men At Work. An anonymous fileshare has been made available online of three unpublished short stories of J D Salinger, including “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls”, directly against the author’s wishes. He had stipulated before his death that they were not to be published until January 27th 2060, exactly fifty years after his death.
Live Carol Ann Duffy At the music Hall Date: 27 November 2013
By Michael Cameron Planning poetry readings must be really difficult. How on earth do you make a poetry reading memorable, or different, or in any way special compared to any other? Well, you start by having the Poet Laureate read her poetry, but, rather interestingly, she chose to share the stage with John Sampson, which, I for one, did not expect. The result, however, was absolutely excellent. John Sampson is a musician, actor and composer who specialises in woodwind and brass instrument, and so, between Duffy’s readings, we were treated to light hearted, humorous performances using an array of ancient, modern and downright bizarre woodwind instruments. This dynamic worked especially well given the serious and often melancholy nature of a lot of Duffy’s poetry. Among the most serious moments were her selected readings from Rapture, a book of poems that follows a love affair. ‘Liverpool’, a poem written upon
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Director: Francis Lawrence Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Presenter Nick Grimshaw has been appointed by the British Fashion Council to be the ambassador for London Collections: Men A/W 2014, which will run 6-8 January 2014. The 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, entitled Day of the Doctor, has made more than $10m in 15 countries worldwide in its first three days at the box office. It featured Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt, as well as a cameo from Tom Baker. The band Barenaked Ladies have cancelled a gig at Seaworld in Orlando after watching the documentary Blackfish, following a petition from their fans. The documentary examines the moral problems with keeping killer whales in captivity. This month marks the centenary of Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, and will be marked by a concert by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, featuring works by Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn and Wagner among others. By Jess Johnson
3 December 2013
Film the publication of the Hillsborough Inquiry, was extremely touching and heartfelt, given that Duffy spent much of her adult life in Liverpool. And there are, of course, the poems about her mother’s death: ‘Water’, and her closing poem of the afternoon, ’Premonitions’, which was particularly touching. They are both very emotional poems, so having a jolly, musical Scotsman there to spread some cheer was somewhat of a stroke of genius. However, when Duffy was more upbeat, the comedy flowed between them and complemented itself. Her anecdotes and explanations before and after poems were very entertaining, particularly her introduction to ‘Mrs Faustus’, in which she explained that Faustus sold his soul to the devil for unimaginable power, rather like Nick Clegg. Her explanation and reading of ‘Mrs Scofield’s GCSE’ were funny, but her funniest moment was when, having read her intelligent, poetic, witty poem of respond to Mrs Scofield, she stopped, and in a very disgruntled, irritated voice, simply said: ‘Cow.’ It was an afternoon that stretched from comedy, through seriousness and all the way to the downright sad, but was very, very enjoyable. Perhaps the most pleasant thing about the reading was that Duffy sat in the foyer after her reading to sign tickets and books, which was really refreshing from a poet of her stature.
this film at least as good as the last. Each character has their own story and although the focus is always on Katniss and Peeta, you definitely feel a part of their world and familiar with the people in it. The only complaint that you may hear is that the film unfortunately suffers from ‘Middle Film Syndrome’: it picks up halfway through a story and the cliff-hanger ending is far from satisfactory. Obviously
By Emma Deries-Glaister
timeline links the events of Adele’s life, whether she passed her exams, came out to her friends, to her parents, how long her relationship lasted for: all of the aspects a film would generally base itself around are left unsaid, as if what we are shown are stories from Adele’s diary. What is significant are the moments we are privileged enough to be privy to. Moments of love, passion, tenderness, blissfulness, uncertainty, sadness, heartbreak and pain: they are all present, each given as much importance as the other. Nothing that matters to her story, to her, is hidden. As exposed as her emotions are all the things which come with being
As the main character Adele walks away, the film ends. We stare unsure of what we have seen. Then it dawns on us (or at least on me), that was an extraordinary film. Afterwards, thoughts stumbled through my mind and I forgot all that had been said, the acclamations, the virulent critiques. I liked it. It was different, unique. No concrete
human: tears, snot (a lot), sex, eating, chewing, random noises, laughing, shouting, screaming. This film gives the audience a real reflection of who we are regardless of whether it is always appealing. It is raw, brutally so at times, and uncomfortably so at others. Most importantly this film is beautiful and profoundly moving.
Blue is the Warmest Colour Director: Abdellatif Kechiche Starring: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing
TV Doctor Who Anniversary TV Series BBc 1 Writer: Steven Moffat Director: Nick Hurran
By Mia Wilson After the raging success of the first Hunger Games film, fans waited with bated breath for the next instalment. Released on November 21, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looks as though it is going to be just as popular as its forerunner. As an uprising begins to brew in a number of the towns, or ‘districts’, the Capitol blames Katniss for uniting the people with hope. Rather than killing her outright, Katniss and Peeta are forced to enter the Hunger Games for a second year running. Although reentering the Games means the plot line seems familiar from the first film, the difference in atmosphere, characters and arena keep you excited and involved in the story. The new additions to the arena where the Games are held will have you gripping your seat and crossing your fingers for Katniss. The excellent characterisation in this film, mixed with great visual effects and a fast paced plot, make
“The excellent characterisation in this film, mixed with great visual effects and a fast paced plot, make this film at least as good as the last.” there’s no way around this when you’re making a trilogy, but if you have not seen the first one then I wouldn’t bother with this one either. The ending does guarantee the audience will be dying for the next instalment, but with a year to wait it is a frustrating finish to an otherwise great film. Apart from that, Catching Fire does a great job of furthering the story and catching our hearts and imaginations. Bring on film number three!
By Daniel Strasser From 1963 to 2013. From William Hartnell to Matt Smith. From Daleks to Cybermen. Children, teenagers, mums and dads tuned in on Saturday 23 to watch Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. BBC broadcasted the very special episode in over 90 countries so that families can enjoy sitting down with their dinners to watch the doctor conquer aliens and villains all across the galaxy. But, this episode was slightly different, slightly more special than others. On the night of November 23, Matt Smith was joined by 10th Doctor David Tennant, Billie Piper, and acclaimed actor John Hurt, who revealed himself to be another Timelord. Steven Moffatt spoke after the episode on BBC1 to talk about the episode and hopes for the seasons to come; saying goodbye
to all the doctors and companions that have come and gone, and also to celebrate the entirety of the show and how much it has changed British Television. Teary eyed as I got towards the end, it was amazing to see some of the greats back on screen, and to look forward to what the next season has to come, especially for us Scots having another brave heart at the wheel of the Tardis (Peter Capaldi). The episode itself revolved, as it always does, around chaos and secrets. In this instance the set and cast were spaced across Britain to look for a painting that explained a darker Doctor who lived and killed during the war between the Daleks and the Timelords. Of course though, it wouldn’t be a Doctor Who episode if there wasn’t some comedy displayed by Smith, Tennant and Hurt as they all meet together in some weird paradoxical manner! I have been watching since Eccleston ruled the roost, and have been overwhelmed with joy whenever a new series comes on. It was always going to be hard to beat the Weeping Angels episode, but it is very evident that Moffat and the whole Doctor Who writing team are not short of ideas, roping in actors, singers and comedians from all aspects of TV to provide another joyous episode. 50 years have passed. 11 doctors have been and gone. One of the largest fandoms in TV history. Without sounding too corny, I hope the series will continue for another 50 years, and that no-one will ever have to ask… Doctor Who?
3 December 2013
n the bitter, windswept, treeless north I was hidden. I am as old as the hills and fittingly disguised as one. Beneath my earthy skin, and lush green cloak I am an ancient safe of secrets and mysteries, though I have been violated, defiled and despoiled, I retain my secrets. The first is my name. I have gone by many: Orkahowe, Mound in the Meadow, Maeshowe and many more. My purpose was to protect,
“My purpose was to protect, to shelter the dead deep in my stone womb.”
to shelter the dead deep in my stone womb. I was forgotten and so were my secrets, all but one. The fabled treasure of my tombs may
have existed or it may be ancient myth. It may have rested miles away with my brothers at Stenness, or it might have been stolen from its Neolithic hiding place long ago. What treasures could stone men
petrified flesh. They carved their names upon me, sought the shelter of my remains and claimed my treasures for themselves. Or so they will tell you. When they left I was happily forgotten and I grew
a monster or a man? Alive or spectral? They called it Hogboon or Haugbui but did he really possess unnatural strength and could he have been a harmless tramp or the embodiment of myself? A draugr
Short Story - Meashowe have made anyhow? The possibility was enough for some. My sacred hall was breached and the men of Harald and Ragnald stormed through me. With beards and axes and defiance they trampled, defiled and desecrated and left their marks upon my
my grassy fringe across my open mouth to hide me from the world. But, the villagers talked. They knew me from the legends of their ancestors and some approached with curious minds, only to claim to find what I treasured within my walls in those days. Was it
sent to protect my sanctuary from further violence and desecration? Would I ever tell you? If Hogboon was my protector he failed. They burst through my skull with merciless tools of metal and roaring machinery and fell into my heart. They searched me for
“They carved their names upon me, sought the shelter of my remains and claimed my treasures for themselves.” my secrets, for my treasure, for my history, for my Hogboon and all I offered them was a skull. So they patched me up and dug me out and paraded me before the masses at £5 a head. Admire my Viking scars, my Neolithic craftsmanship, wonder at the secrets I protect. Ask you endless questions about my purpose, my creators, my treasures, my spirits and my incredible survival and I will give you just one, tantalising clue, once a year, on the winter solstice when the setting sun shines through my tunnelled mouth and lights up my insides like magic. By Louise Scott Dickens wrote in the wake of British government changes to the welfare system, and asked for people to recognise the plight of people who were displaced by the Industrial Revolution and driven into poverty. He saw it as a societal obligation to provide for them and, like other great works of literature,
Alan Henderson rounds up the past year of local music.
ith this being my last article of the calendar year, I think I’m obliged to muster a saccharine summary of 2013’s local music highlights. Sorry for being unoriginal. It’s just that, in all seriousness, it really has been a great year for local music. I cringe a little seeing such an unquantifiable, kitsch statement written down. Genuinely though, it’s not the product of yuletide nostalgia and unwavering optimism. Some seriously encouraging things are happening, making this year enjoyable and inducing excitement for 2014. Admittedly, the year didn’t get off to the best of starts. Beloved independent record shop One Up closed at the end of January, after more than 30 years of service to local music buyers. The shop could always be relied on to stock local artists’ CDs, and its closure emphasised the fact that the majority of music nowadays – at every level – is bought online. However, the absence of a physical retailer in the city centre hasn’t stopped our artists from churning out some great releases. We’ve seen debut EPs from Watchfires, Daniel Mutch, Uniform and Margaret Finlayson. There have been albums from Leanne Smith and CS Buchan. Marionettes are finally putting out their debut album this month and we should have a new Forest Fires EP by the end of the year too. Other highlights of the year
include Akord and Semperfi winning huge nationwide competitions to get to play Download festival. Those bands also played at our own Wake The Deen Festival, which was hugely successful. Fridge Magnets won the chance to open the main stage at Rockness. Cara Mitchell got to support some lass called Emeli Sande at the Music Hall. While AGP and IMP continue to bring great talent to the city, it has also been a good year for DIY promoters. Headache Promotions are going from strength to strength, and are about to put out there first release in the form of Amanti’s album. The likes of Headache and Laika Come Home show that you don’t necessarily need massive budgets to put on entertaining and successful gigs. Finally, I’d like to mention a personal highlight that exemplifies the way our local music scene seems to be heading. For the Fatherson gig at the end of October, there was a competition of sorts where a few local acts were short listed for support slots, and people voted for the two they’d like to see. It was great that on the night, all the acts that lost out turned up early enough to watch their fellow local bands. It may not sound like a particularly important gesture, but it’s great to see that sort of mutual respect and support between bands. There are lots of places you wouldn’t see it.
A Christmas Carol by Josiah Bircham
ritten by Charles Dickens, an author named ‘the man who invented Christmas’, A Christmas Carol has stayed a key part of the festive tradition since its creation in 1843. It tells of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser and generally bad man, whose only salvation lies in the visits of three spirits, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, to
transform him into a new man. It is thick with morals, a trait typical of Victorian texts but, unlike many strict Victorian principles within literature (think of Hans Christian Anderson’s nastily moral retold folk tales of children being eaten when they misbehave), Dickens’s teachings have stayed true to this day. One of the central themes is sympathy towards the poor.
“Dickens [...] asked for people to recognise the plight of people who were displaced by the Industrial Revolution and driven into poverty.” his statement struck a chord, and continues to do so to this day. Upon reading the book, Thomas Carlyle expressed a generous hospitality by staging two Christmas dinners. Today The Big Give helps over nine thousand charities raise money over the Christmas season. As a result of these morals of love and kindness, as well as its literary status, A Christmas Carol has never been out of print. The phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ was popularised following the appearance of the story and the name ‘Scrooge’ along with the exclamation ‘Bah! Humbug!’ have entered the English language. The story itself has been constantly reinvented and retold, in film, opera, ballet, and even a Broadway musical. My personal favourite has to be the film A Muppet Christmas Carol which stars a grumpy and irritable Michael Caine (‘Even the vegetables don’t like him!’) as Scrooge and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. Dickens’s story has been reinvented so many times because of the warm morals at its heart. These are themes which should be kept in mind by everyone this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!
Editor: Josiah Bircham
Music Alabama 3 Undaground 4 life Tour The Lemon Tree 7 December 2013 8pm (doors) Entry: £18 plus b.f. no concessions Alabama 3 were in a sombre and reflective mood as they announced their next UK tour, as it was the week after James Gandolfini died. ‘Woke Up This Morning’ is inseparable from The Sopranos, as it grew into the nation’s consciousness and heart along with the series. Said by The Guardian to be ‘The best live band in the country’ and by Author Irvine Welsh as ‘The first band I could ever dance to in the daytime hours without chemical assistance’, the Alabama 3 will take new and old material and their ‘let’s have a party’ and celebration spirit to their fans with their annual UK tour.
Grampian Hospitals’ Christmas Carol Concert Music Hall
Eat So they Can: Concert The Blue Lamp
This is a fundraising concert for the Eat So They Can campaign, organised to help a group of 400 children from Kilptown, South Africa by tackling the issue of malnutrition and providing educational support. If you like good fun, live music and the idea of helping a child build his future, then bring along your friends. Among the performers are Lizabett Russo and some of Aberdeen University’s very own students.
Get your festive spirit on with a performance of Handel’s great oratorio featuring some of the most glorious music ever written, including the triumphant Hallelujah Chorus. Join the massed forces of the Aberdeen Choral Society, accompanied by the Grampian Sinfonia and led by conductor Alistair MacDonald, with leading soloists for the ultimate traditional celebration of the Christmas season.
Courteeners Music Hall
Widely regarded as one of the best singer songwriters and performers in show business, James Grant will be performing at The Lemon Tree, playing an array of his classic songs from the eighties through the noughties and beyond. This year his new Love And Money opus The Devil’s Debt was released to rave reviews everywhere and he’s also due to release his own, currently untitled, ‘Best Of’ album.
Aberdeen Ministry of Crafts and Candybelle present: The Unique Christmas Boutique Methodist Church, Crown Terrace 7 December 2013 11am-4pm Free Event This month, Aberdeen Ministry of Crafts has joined with Candy Belle Vintiques and created a unique Christmas Shopping Boutique with two floors of handmade & vintage gifts from 36 traders. Downstairs, Aberdeen Ministry of Crafts will be packed full of the best artists, designers, crafters and makers. Meanwhile, upstairs, Candy Belle will offer a vintage treasure trove. There will also be tasters and demos from Lakeland, a raffle in aid of The Archie Foundation and goody bags for the first 25 people through the door. Hogmanay Ceilidh Beach Ballroom
10 December 2013 7pm Entry: £20.35 inc. b.f. The Courteeners are an indie rock band formed in Greater Manchester in 2006 by Liam James Fray (guitar/vocals), Michael Campbell (drums/backing vocals), Daniel “Conan” Moores (guitar), and Mark Joseph Cuppello (bass). The band, who released their new album ‘Anna’ in February, will be stopping at Aberdeen as a part of their eight gig tour, one of their later stops being a huge homecoming show at Manchester Arena on December 13. Earlier this year, The Courteeners played to 16,000 people over two nights at two huge hometown shows at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl.
Come along and get into the festive spirit while helping those in need. The concert consists of Christmas carols and songs sung by the Grampian Health Services Choir and it will be in aid of CLICSargent, a charity supporting children and adolescents with cancer.
8 December 2013 7.30pm (doors) Entry: £13.75 inc. b.f.
9 December 2013 8pm Entry: £2
8 December 2013 2.30pm Entry: £12.50 plus b.f. Concessions available
James Grant The Lemon Tree
Aberdeen Choral Handel’s Messiah Music Hall
17 December 2013 7.15pm Entry: from £16.00 to £20.00 plus booking fee, Concessions available
Boyzone BZ20: Anniversary Tour AECC
3 December 2013
12 December 2013 7.30pm Entry: £35.50 +bf Finally! Ronan, Keith, Shane and Mikey take to the road once more to thank their fans for the incredible support and dedication they have shown over the past twenty years. In November 1993 this group of young lads from the North side of Dublin infamously appeared on Ireland’s biggest TV show, ‘The Late Late Show’, and from there they shot to fame. Twenty one singles, seven albums, twenty five million record sales, hundreds of gigs, millions of memories and twenty years later, and Boyzone are still going strong. Join them as they celebrate ‘BZ20 – The Anniversary Tour’.
31 December 2013 7:30pm Entry: £39.50
Events Wrestlezone Christmas Chaos The Summerhill Hotel 6 December 2013 6:30-9-30pm Entry: Adults £12 Children £8 The final event of the year will certainly aim to put everyone in the Festive Spirit as WrestleZone returns to the Summerhill Hotel for the first time in a year. Christmas Chaos takes place on Friday 6 December with a number of top bouts set to end 2013 on a high. Stars such as Crusher Craib, Scotty Swift and the Thunder Buddies will be in action at the family-friendly event. Not to forget that Santa Claus will take time out of his busy schedule to appear at the spectacle and be a huge part of the action.
In memory of Jamie Stewart and Climb Charity Christmas Fayre. Somebody Cares Centre 7 December 2013 11am-5pm Entry: Adults £1 Children 50p This is a Christmas fayre held in aid of Climb Charity and the host’s brother Jamie, who died at the young age of 14 due to a rare disease called leighs disease. Climb is a charity that deals with metabolic diseases so come along and show your support. There will be 45 stalls including jewellery, candles, books, cupcakes, hair goods, toys there will also be an entertainment area which will include face painting, glitter tattoos, sand bottles, ceramic goods, balloons and Santa’s grotto.
Start the new year in style! This unmissable evening includes Scottish Stovies, music from arguably the best Ceilidh band around, Clachan Yell, as well as Bucksburn Mini Pipe Band, Solo Piper at the Bells, and, of course, a glass of champagne to bring in the New Year.
Theatre Attic Theatre: Robin Hood and Babes in the Woods The Tivoli 7 December-21 December 2013 See website for times Entry: £16.50 inc. b.f. Feel like ACT Aberdeen is a bit mainstream for your panto tastes? An evening of live music, singing, dancing, slapstick and lots of audience participation, Robin Hood and Babes in the wood is the first Pantomime in the Tivoli in OVER 50 years! In this, The Sheriff of Nottingham plans to seize control of Sherwood Forest, evict all the villagers and take over their businesses. However, the Forest belongs to the Sherwood Twins who have no intention of letting the Sheriff get his way. Maid Marion and the Babes move back to Nottingham, but, before the Sheriff can put his plans into action, Marion’s school sweetheart, Robin Hood returns from the wars overseas and springs to their aid. Find out what happens next in this fun and laugh filled evening.
Aladdin ACT Aberdeen 6 December- 24 December 2013 See website for times Entry: £15, concessions available You just can’t have Christmas without a panto. Following the success of last year’s performance of Little Red Riding Hood, where there were many sell-out shows, director Wilma Gilanders has once again returned to dazzle the audience with a sparkling script and magical production. Aladdin is likely to be another flying success for ACT with its family-friendly story and imaginative costumes.
Rudolph’s Last Stand The Blue Lamp 16 December 2013 7.30pm Entry: £8.25 inc. concessions
Rudolph’s Last Stand is a hilarious Grown-Up Christmas Comedy Written and Performed by Paul Hughson at ‘Aberdeen’s Premier Comedy Venue’, The Blue Lamp. It tells the story of wee Wullie, an office manager who’s had enough of Christmas because he never has enough money to pay for it. So he devises a cunning plan (with a little help from his somewhat deranged alter ego!) to solve the afore-mentioned dilemma. Chaos inevitably follows, ably supported by the predictable bucket-load of festive cheer at his staff Christmas lunch. This is also being played at Sinatra’s At La Lombarda on 18 December with a special deal on pre-show meals and at Cellar 35 on 19 December, with complementary home-made mulled wine, spiced cider, and mince pies.
Aladdin on Ice Linx Ice Arena 22 December 2013 11.30am / 3pm / 6.30pm Standard entry: £12, Premium Entry: £15 Sport Aberdeen and Ice Coaching Elite present this year’s Christmas Ice Show, Aladdin on Ice, where the Aladdin story has been magically transformed into a production which promises to capture the imagination this Christmas with dazzling performances. The fantastic cast includes Kevin Van Der Perrin, a two time European Figure Skating Bronze Medallist, Jenna McCorkell a ten time British Figure Skating Champion, Karly Robertson, a seven time Scottish Figure Skating Champion and Matthew Parr, three time British Figure Skating Champion. They will be supported by local Aberdeen skaters from the Aberdeen Linx Ice Arena’s ice skating clubs and the Skate UK Learn to Skate programme.
3 December 2013
Weightlifting Club impress at Bournemouth BUCS event
In other news...
James Milroy, AUWC captain, and Desmond Woods, AUWC treasurer, shine the spotlight on AUWC and their recent success at a recent BUCS event in Bournemouth.
ormed in spring 2012 by Michael Ferguson, Aberdeen University Weightlifting Club (AUWC) began as a small group of boys training together in its spiritual home, the Kings Gym ‘sweat hut’. This select group of hardened gym goers slowly but surely proliferated into an established and well-respected sports club with more than 40 members from a variety of training backgrounds. Members of the club train for powerlifting, Olympic lifting, occasionally bodybuilding and everything related to weightlifting. We have many members specialising in other sports but train at the club in order to improve performance in their respected disciplines. For those interested, we train in the Kings training hall, Monday 19:00 - 21:00, Wednesday 19:00-22:00, and Friday 19:00-22:00. All levels are welcome and more information can be found on the club’s Facebook page ‘Aberdeen University Weightlifting Club’. Now thats enough of the introductory spiel and onto more recent and pressing events. On Thursday the 21st November, natural born leaders James McIlroy and Desmond Woods led the AUWC BUCS SQUAD 2013 (Molly Gray, Emily Mowat, Zak Hardy, Scott Rutherford, and Jamie Davidson) onto transports equivalent of Mordor, the Megabus sleeper to London. They say after darkness comes light, and this most certainly is the case with the AUWC shining in the competition. The club hoped
Photo/ AUWC to beat last year’s results and everyone was ready to get under the barbell. First up on the Saturday were new members of the club, Molly Gray and Emily Mowat in the 63kg class, and Zak Hardy in the 67.5kg class. Although these three are new to the sport, none showed any form of apprehension and were all buzzing to hit some personal bests. Emily hit some lovely numbers with a 60kg squat, 35kg bench and 85kg deadlift, which left her in third place. Molly went one better and hit a 82.5kg squat, 40kg bench and a Scottish record of an 110kg deadlift to achieve a total that saw her finish in second place.
It was Zak’s turn to compete in the afternoon sessions, lifting some excellent personal bests with a 105kg squat, 80kg bench, and a 125kg deadlift to give him a fantastic 1st place total. This concluded an excellent Saturday of competition for the AUWC, with everyone leaving LeAF Campus tired but exceptionally happy and excited for Sunday’s competition. It was the heavyweights turn to compete on Sunday with Scott ‘Shermy’ ‘Piece’ Rutherford in the 82.5kg class, Jam McIlroy and Des ‘Swoledier’ Woods propping up the 90kg class, and Jamie Davidson in the 100kg class.
Scott was first on the platform and performed exceptionally well in a very strong weight class. He hit an 165kg squat, 135kg bench, and a 235kg deadlift which gave him a commendable sixth place total. Des, Jam, and Jamie were lifting in the next flight. Des performed well in his first competition with impressive PBs in squat and bench - hitting 155kg and 107.5kg respectively with a 185kg deadlift to give him an 8th place total. Jam hit some exceptional numbers as well with a 195kg squat, 115kg bench, and 220kg deadlift to give him a well deserved 3rd place total in what was a tough weight class. Jamie also performed excellently in the 100kg category with a 170kg squat, a 115kg bench, and a 240kg deadlift to also give him a cracking 3rd place in his respective category. The Sunday session concluded an excellent weekend of competition, with the AUWC Girls achieving 3rd place in the team event and the AUWC boys earning a commendable 4th place. After a night of Bournemouth debauchery the AUWC wearily returned to the North East with medals in the bag and personal bests achieved. This concluded a fantastic trip and we look forward to getting back to normality in the Kings ‘sweat hut’ where we’ll be training harder than ever. Lift. Laugh. Love. AUWC
AU Gaelic Football end promising year with semi-final loss to Glasgow AU GAA captain, Kenny Corcoran, reviews a strong 2013 for the university’s gaelic football side.
U GAA’s (or Gaelic football) year had a very promising start winning their first four games. The season started by beating both Glasgow teams, Glasgow Caledonia and Glasgow University, which saw AU GAA sit top of the table. The winning streak continued through October as Dundee University and Heriot Watt were unable to deal with the likes of Greg “the snake” Henry and Shane Garry. November brought with it a dip in form as Napier University travelled to Aberdeen and ended AU GAA’s winning streak, which resulted in the side finishing second in the league. The Scottish Universities GAA league then transforms into a knock-out competition where the top four league teams face each other. AU GAA were drawn against Glasgow University in the semi-final that was played in Dundee last Saturday. Missing a few key players resulted in Glasgow winning comfortably and knocking AU GAA out of the league. They will face Dundee University next
Photo/ AUJAA weekend in the final (both teams that AU GAA managed to defeat earlier in the year). Fintan Corvan of AU GAA, commented on the poor end of the year, saying “there is no need to panic, it’s all about the big competitions after Christmas.” The Scottish University GAA Championships commences in February before the UK GAA Championships are held in
Birmingham in March. AU GAA hope to win both competitions as their prodigal sons Conor McIvor, Andy Duffy, and Paul “the Geezer” O’Leary return from New Zealand and London to join up with fellow international Jeremy Smith. However, more immediate matters are on the mind of some of the lads as AU GAA prepare for its annual netball match against the
AU Netball team. Fran Mc Shea is looking forward to a physical game as he plans to make use of his 5”4 stature on the netball court. The girls have been warned to be weary of Niall Murphy and Tom “the pornstar” Corcoran, two boys with a poisonous reputation. Plenty of other social events are being organised by AU GAA in 2014. O’Neills will host “Take Me Out” after exams in late January where a few lads will try the case with a number of ladies imitating the TV show. There will also be a race night in Malones towards the end of February. Alongside the trip to Birmingham for the British Championships, it will be an eventful few months for AU GAA in which they hope to win a few trophies. AU GAA are keen to recruit anyone interested in playing a bit of GAA or anyone who likes a few pints in the new year, just send the Facebook page, “Aberdeen Uni GAA”, a message or contact the captain Kenny Corcoran.
BUCS Update Following last Wednesday’s BUCS results, Aberdeen have secured 220 wins so far this season, with 354 defeats and 30 draws, making their win rate increase to 36%. Aberdeen lies in 42nd position in the overall rankings ahead of Leicester but just behind Surrey. Whilst in the Scottish table, Aberdeen remains in 5th position out of 16 institutions, just lagging behind the University of Glasgow. Fencing, Lacrosse and Water Polo make up Aberdeen’s top three BUCS performers. This Wednesday sees AU Netball, Indoor Cricket and Badminton play at home. Check out http://www. bucs.org.uk/homepage.asp for more information. All information is correct as of 28th November.
Football AUMFC 1st XI began their highly anticipated BUCS Cup campaign last week against Stirling 2nd XI at Balgownie. The visitors took the lead early in the second half only for Aberdeen to strike back five minutes from time. However, Stirling were to claim a 2-1 victory four minutes later when they struck late to end AUMFC’s cup ambitions.
Rugby Union Although the Mens 1st XV were not in action last week, the 2s, the 3s and the 4s all picked up victories that meant their strong league campaigns continued at a fine pace. The 2s completed a fine 62-5 victory over Granite City rivals, RGU 1s at RGU. Whilst on Kings, the 3s beat Dundee 2s 39 -12 and the 4s nearly amassed a century when they emerged 99 – 7 victors over Abertay 2s.
Medic Sport In the annual doctor vs. student fixtures, the students claimed a clean sweep against the doctors as they won the rugby, hockey and football matches. As for basketball it was medic seniors versus juniors. The juniors came out on top in this match, which was played at Aberdeen Sport Village.
Rowing The date for the 2014 City of Aberdeen Universities’ Boat Race has been announced. Aberdeen University will take on Robert Gordon University on Saturday 1st March 2014, starting at 12pm on the River Dee. The presidents for this year are Lauren Cammaert from University of Aberdeen and Gillian Paterson from RGU. This will be the 19th annual Aberdeen Boat Race.
Editor: Stuart Bill
The week in tweets @BrianODriscoll – the talismanic Irish centre following Ireland’s last minute defeat to New Zealand Incredible atmosphere yesterday, gutting result! Respect to the doc for making the tough call on my head injury #playerwelfare @StuartBroad8 – the England cricketer following Jonathan Trott’s departure from the Ashes touring party Love Trotty. Absolute champion of a man. He knows he has all the support of all the people around him. Puts cricket in perspective @StGeorgeGroves – on the proposed rematch with Carl Froch I’m on @SkySportsBoxing Ringside tonight. We all know what their first question will be.. The answer will be #RematchOrRetire @ElenaBaltacha – the Scottish tennis player after recently deciding to retire from tennis – Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou everyone..WOW im so over whelmed by how many amazing tweets! I will try my best to reply..!!xx @HCDream2012 – Hannah Cockroft is elated following being shortlisted for SPOTY 2013 – Absolutely ecstatic to be on the #SPOTY shortlist! The ultimate award honour for an athlete. Thanks so much for the lovely comments&support!
3 December 2013
David Vernon stars in AUAC’s Cross-Country success Josefine Björkqvist reports on a fantastic day for the university’s athletics club as they host the Scottish Universities Cross-Country Championships.
he Scottish Universities Cross-Country Championships on Saturday 23rd of November were a big success story for the Aberdeen University Athletics Club (AUAC) who hosted the championships this year. David Vernon, a third-year medicine student, gave a powerful performance on the day and became the fifth person from the University of Aberdeen to win the Scottish Championships in the last 60 years. Gaudie Sport reports from the race. Aberdeen’s David Vernon was neck and neck with Grant Sheldon from Stirling for the majority of the Men’s 10K race but in the last kilometre Vernon pulled away from the Stirling runner and beat Sheldon by an impressive 14-second margin. Vernon’s final time for the Balgownie grassland course was 29min 53sec. Delighted with his victory, Vernon said: “It feels great, this is the first win for Aberdeen University for a while. There were good guys running the course and they kept the race going.” Aberdeen University’s Men’s Team won bronze overall after great performances led by David Vernon, James Joy (19th), Sam Burgess (20th) and Chris Ponton (21st). The winning Men’s Team and overall champion were Edinburgh University. Lauren Quee from Glasgow University won the Women’s 6.5K race, with a time of 23min 37sec. Aberdeen University just missed out on the Women’s Team medals with the Aberdeen trio Rebecca Hay (20th), Isla Scott-Pearce
Photo/ The Press and Journal (29th) and Lauren Craig (31st) finishing fourth overall. AUAC Club Captain Lachlan MacLean was pleased with the day and the performance of his club. “It was a brilliant day and a great win for David and the club,” he said. There was a good turnout of spectators on the day and Aberdeen University proved to be good hosts for the championships. “We had 201 athletes competing in the race. I was happy with the way the course turned out; it had some good tight corners. I also want to say a big thank you to the volun-
teers who helped with the course and helped marshal,” Lachlan said. There are still major competitions coming up for AUAC this year. “It has been a record year for the club so far. We have had a record turnout for training and we had a full team for Scottish Championships. We are hoping for another full team for BUCS in February. Edinburgh University can bring it, we will beat them at BUCS this year!” Lachlan said. Winning the race was a great boost for 20-year old Vernon, who is looking to build on his success. Vernon has previously represented
Scotland and Great Britain in junior internationals. In February he is competing in the British Universities and Colleges championships in Stirling and later, in the same month, he will be competing in the Scottish national championships in Falkirk. When asked about future ambitions within the sport Vernon said: “The 2014 Commonwealth Games are too soon for my age group but 2018 is a big target and so are the European Cross Country Championships.”
AU Archers produce fine display in last SSS fixture of the year Steven Seagull reports on a strong year-ending performance for AUAC at Dundee.
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n Saturday 16th November, Aberdeen University Archers set forth for their second league match fixture of the season. Having faced fierce competition the week before, expectations were running high, with the match now set with Dundee as hosts, and Napier as the other guest university. St Andrews meanwhile hosted Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Heriott-Watt in what would make up the other half of the day’s shooting. Unfortunately, the Dundee leg was delayed by four hours after their sports institution made an er-
ror and mixed up the hall booking. Fortunately the kind Dundee archers provided a suitable setting and complimentary flavoured teas to pass the time. Once the competition did get underway, it proved to be hotly contested. In Dundee, Napier matched all but four of Aberdeen’s arrows. Both universities scored a highly respectable 2235, separated by tens, 119 for Aberdeen, 115 for Napier, giving Aberdeen the lead between the two. Aberdeen archers were shooting exceptionally well: Rebekah Tipping, AUAC Captain
racked up an astonishing 583/600, the highest score of the league so far, and only 7 points short of equalling the Scottish record. Other scores for the team came from Simon Garrett (561), Veronique Heijnsbroek (555) and Amy Bode (536). Despite surpassing Napier by a hair’s breadth, it was still not enough for Aberdeen to win the stage. Shooting 2250, Edinburgh managed to only just make it clear for first place, in a weekend that proved to be even more hotly contested than the week before. This marks an end to league
matches this semester until the university indoor season recommences with the next SSS stage, taking place in February. Meanwhile Aberdeen archers are setting their sights on Coventry, where they will be representing the university and Scotland at the British indoor championships on the 8th December, followed by the European Archery Festival in January (24th-26th). We wish them the very best in these endeavours and hope to see some monumental performances to compliment their strong abilities.
Published on Jan 3, 2014