The Aberdeen University Student Newspaper Aberdeen University’s Student Newspaper
5 November 2013
Staff stage one day walk-out
University publishing house relaunched By Anna Katila The Aberdeen University Press was formally re-launched by Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, when Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group, visited the University. Announcing the news, Professor Diamond commented on the coming publishing programme: “Publications will cover a broad spectrum, be very accessible, and offer something for all audiences. We have a well-established reputation in publishing works on Scottish culture and history, and to this we will add publications covering all areas of study and
Photo/ John Waddell
Students up and down the country had their classes cancelled after negotiations surrounding pay failed. The deals were being made with University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and trade unions: Unite, Unison and University and Colleges Union (UCU). The one day walk-out took place on the 31st October, leading it to be coined “Pumpkins and Pickets” by the National Union of Students
(NUS). Anger surrounding pay is due to the 1% increase teachers and education staff are being offered, which due to inflation leaves lecturers 13% worse off in real terms since October 2008. University management and employers are resistant to wage increases as they argue that working conditions and pension contributions are more than acceptable. The GMB union, which has already agreed new terms for its members who are employed by universities, represents a minority here, at Aberdeen. UCEA work with universities to help staff get the most accurate income for the work they do. When these negotiations break down or a suitable offer is not made, education staff, who are in contact with their unions all year round, discuss and debate the issue with other members across
the country. While a strike serves as a last resort, it works as a way to deliver a direct message to employers. A minority of 7.8% from all three unions actually voted, from which 60% voted in favour leaving less than 5% actually striking across the UK. Aberdeen employs more than 3,000 members of staff, with approximately 180 workers joining the picket lines. President for Education and Employability Rob Henthorn has advised students to join lecturers and librarians in protest. He said: “University staff are asking for our help, and we’ve got to answer that call.” Universities UK (UUK) predicted “low level impact”. Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge argued that: “The 2011 one-day strike over pensions had little impact on institutions, and universities put measures in place to ensure key services were maintained.”
But NUS Scotland President Gordon Maloney is adamant, and earlier said: “We’re clear that it would have a more detrimental impact on students if this strike isn’t won, and we want to show staff that we support them.” Unions said they are willing to meet for last minute talks but doubted this will achieve anything. UCU have said before the strike date: “We are amazed that employers are still refusing to sit down with us and try and resolve this without any need for disruption.” However, the UCEA, which represents higher education institutions in such cases, said: “These pay increases will be seen as generous by many looking into the sector. “HE [Higher Education] employers value their staff and provide a good reward package to attract and retain outstanding staff.”
Life & Style
Inflation leaves staff 13% worse off since autumn 2008 1% pay rise turned down By Asma Butt
On Scottish Independence: we interview the CEO of Yes Scotland. P.5
The Royal Charter - Is it an intrusion on freedom of speech or needed for society? P.9
How do we perceive beauty? What makes a healthy body image? P.17
This week we chat to Tubelord about their song writing style. P.18
“Publications will cover a broad spectrum, be very accessible, and offer something for all audiences.” Professor Sir Ian Diamond achievement, including significant literary works in Gaelic.” The first title under the new imprint will be an autobiography, Vita Mea, of Scottish literary scholar and Aberdeen alumnus, Sir Herbert Grierson. The Aberdeen University Press will also publish six volumes of Patrick Gordon’s diaries. Aberdeenshire-born Gordon was Peter the Great’s top military adviser and founder of the Russian navy. These treasures are currently held in the national archives in Moscow, and it will be the first time they are published in English in their complete form. The new Aberdeen University Press is widely seen to show the University’s commitment to Continues on p.3
Sport Introducing the Aberdeen University Orienteering Club - we chat to them to find out more. P.22
5 November 2013
Editors: Dan Naylor & Jo Polydoros
Enterprise competition Link between breast cancer and diet investigated launched By Rachel Clark The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) and the Bank of Scotland have launched their New Venture Competition for the year 2013-2014. The New Venture Competition, which was officially launched on 28 October, sees students and new graduates compete for a top prize of £10,000. The competition is aimed at students and graduates from Scottish universities and colleges that have either a well-developed idea or an early stage business venture. The competitors will then submit a business plan to the competition before being grilled, in the next stage of the competition, by a panel of judges consisting of both academics and representatives from local businesses. Last year’s winner was Amanda Jack, who at the time was in her final year at Glasgow Caledonian University. She won the competition with her brand Mediscot Ltd. and her subsequent product, Plasta Master, that safely removes plaster casts with less stress for the patient. Since winning and graduating, she has gone on to develop further products in her Mediscot brand. The CEO of SIE, Fiona Godsman, commented on the significance of the competition: “New Ventures is
“The new sponsorship from the Bank of Scotland means we can offer bigger cash prizes that will allow the winners to accelerate their business start-up plans.” CEO of SIE Fiona Godsman
our toughest competition and I am always extremely impressed with the high quality of the entries. The standard increases every year: a testament to the quality of support available to student entrepreneurs, not just from SIE’s own fantastic team of advisors, but also from their educational institutions and the wider Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem. “The new sponsorship from the Bank of Scotland means we can offer bigger cash prizes that will allow the winners to accelerate their business start-up plans. Like our enterprising students, we can’t wait to get started.” The New Ventures Competition is now accepting entries from all Scottish universities, including the University of Aberdeen.
“The diet consists of main meals along with healthy snacks and will be fully provided to every participant.”
Photo/ Sue Bryce By Tarrick Haynes Researchers in Scotland have come together to explore whether there is a link between breast cancer and diet. The aim of the research is to determine whether a diet geared toward weight loss is more effective in reducing the likelihood of the return of cancer cells in a person that has been cured. The world-known Rowett institute, which merged with the University of Aberdeen in order to ensure the future security of nutrition research, has formulated
Pool filled for the first time
a diet that they believe could hamper the addition of weight in cancer treated patients. The leaders of this research in Aberdeen, Professor Steve Heys and Dr. Alex Johnstone, said: “We know obesity and weight gain following treatment for breast cancer significantly increases the chances of it coming back. “What we are aiming to do is pinpoint a healthy diet which is satiating, tasty and supports weight loss, and thereafter maintenance, to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.” The diet they have formulated
Scotland third best country to visit
By Rachel Clark
Lonely Planet Guide top three: 1. Brazil 2. Antarctica 3. Scotland
The new Aquatics Centre at the Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) has taken a significant leap forward having been filled with water for the first time. The £18.2 million facility, which is due to open its doors early next year, filled its 25m and 50m pools with 4.5 million litres of water.
“This centre will allow Aberdeen to take its place on the UK and World Aquatics stage” Marc McCorkell
The sheer scale has made this a delicate project, but everything is now coming along swimmingly. Kenny Gunnyeon, the Business Development Manager of ASV, commented on the continuing development of the new centre: “As we head into the tail end of the year, we can sense the anticipation
is designed to be satisfying, flavoursome and most importantly healthy. It consists of main meals, as well as healthy snacks and will be fully provided to every participant. They are calling for volunteers who have had at least six months since their last treatment of chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. Volunteers will be required to undergo a six-week run on the diet, which uses a combination of foods that encourage a steady and healthy loss of weight. Those who choose to participate will go to the Research Institute in Bucksburn on three occasions in order to measure how their bodies respond to the change in nutritious intake. The hope of Prof. Heys and Dr. Johnstone is that the information gained “could be used within guidance supporting patients who have undergone breast cancer treatment to maintain their health.”
set to swell the city next summer. Gleneagles’ hosting of golf’s Ryder Cup also ensures there is much to keep sports fans entertained this year. The political intrigue surrounding the Year of Homecoming as Scotland prepares for the upcoming referendum was another
By Gordi McColm
Photo/ ASV of the opening of the Aquatics Centre, particularly now as the exterior is virtually complete and those in the local area can clearly see the facility taking shape.” Similarly, Marc McCorkell, AUSA Sports President, also commented on the impending opening: “The ASV Aquatics Centre will offer students the chance to compete and train in world class facilities. Our aquatics clubs will also have the privilege of using the facility before it opens to the general
public in early spring. McCorkell continued: “This centre will allow Aberdeen to take its place on the UK and World Aquatics stage, with a number of events and tournaments already scheduled to be held here in Aberdeen in the run up to Glasgow 2014. “The opening of the Aquatics Centres is something the entire Sports Union is very much looking forward to.”
Scotland has been named third best country by travel guide Lonely Planet. According to Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel 2014, Scotland was beaten only by Brazil and Antarctica and surpassed the likes of Sweden, the Seychelles and Malaysia in the list. The guide highlights the hosting of the 20th Commonwealth games and the Year of Homecoming as high points of ‘an eventful year’ for Scotland. Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games next summer and the multi-million pound investment into the city ahead of the competition, was one of many upcoming attractions that influenced Scotland’s high ranking in the annual travel guide. Edinburgh too received praise for being “the most gothic city outside Transylvania”, which bodes well for its annual Festival which is
“This could be the greatest ever chance for our country to be seen as a globally recognised, mustvisit destination for many years to come.” Visit Scotland
key reason in securing Scotland’s high placing. The anticipation of a celebration of Scottish culture and identity led VisitScotland to comment: “This could be the greatest ever chance for our country to be seen as a globally recognised, mustvisit destination for many years to come.”
5 November 2013
Postgraduate Dunnottar Castle short-listed for 8th open day Wonder of World By Anna Katila The University of Aberdeen hosted its annual Postgraduate Open Day last Saturday. The event expected the arrival of hundreds of prospective students to hear about postgraduate possibilities offered in Aberdeen. The event took place in the MacRobert Building at the University’s King’s College Campus between 12 and 3.30pm. Visitors also had the chance to participate in campus tours and see facilities available at Aberdeen Sports Village. The University offers over 120 taught postgraduate courses, a wide range of research programmes, as well as Continued Professional Development courses. Talks at the event included key topics such as postgraduate funding and benefits for students of postgraduate study. Carol Baverstock, Head of Admissions, University of Aberdeen said: “Whether you are considering undertaking a Masters, which will lead you into your chosen profession, or a Continued Professional Development (CPD) course on a part time basis to enhance your current career, the Postgraduate Open Day is an opportunity to review the options available at the University. “The event will provide visitors with detailed insights into all aspects of postgraduate studies, from the application process through to finances. Current and former students, and key members of academic staff from across all disciplines will also be on hand to offer crucial advice and guidance.”
University publishing house re-launched Continued from p.1 excellence not only towards its own community, but also wider audience. Professor Diamond said: “This is an important further step in our engagement not only with academic colleagues worldwide, but with the many people in all walks of life, who will, I know, welcome the diverse programme we will be publishing over coming months.”
“The first title under the new imprint will be an autobiography, Vita Mea, of Scottish literary scholar and Aberdeen alumnus, Sir Herbert Grierson.” Photo/ Julia Franke By Dan Naylor An iconic Aberdeenshire castle has been shortlisted in the top 10 for the 8th Wonder of the World. Dunnottar Castle, south of Stonehaven, has been placed 7th in the global search, having been the clear winner of Scotland’s nomination. Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “From a personal point of view, the North East of Scotland and in particular Dunnottar Castle are stunning,
so it is no surprise that this breathtaking historical site was successful in making the shortlist in the 8th Wonder of World vote. “The news that a place in Scotland has been ranked 7th overall is fantastic given over 344 locations were shortlisted and we offer our congratulations to the winner and all others in the top ten.” The castle, which doubled as Elsinore in Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet and inspired Princess Merida’s family home in DisneyPixar’s Brave, dates back to the
Middle Ages, and was besieged by William Wallace in 1297 before becoming the seat of the Earls Marischal, one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Custodian at Dunnottar Castle, Wendy Sylvester, said: “We are delighted that Dunnottar has taken seventh place in the 8th Wonder competition. Thank you to everyone who has voted for us and supported us.” Chile’s entry of Torres del Paine National Park was chosen as the 8th Wonder of the World.
The former Aberdeen University Press originates from 1840, and it flourished under the stewardship of the local King family printers. In 1900, it was registered as a Public Company. The Aberdeen University Press successfully printed educational and local interest books and journals through 1980s until the company ceased trading in 1993 after getting involved with the collapse of the Maxwell publishing empire.
Plans for redevelopment of Broad Street By Richard Wood and Dan Naylor Aberdeen City Council has recently announced plans that could significantly alter the face of the city. The redevelopment of Broad Street, where the old Council building St. Nicholas House is being demolished, is the primary concern, with a public consultation opened last week. The reintroduction of trams to the city centre has also been mooted, along with the continued debate over the future of Union Terrace Gardens.
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska
The leading idea for Broad Street is the Marischal Square proposal, with the public able to voice their opinion on whether Broad Street should see no change; allow only public transport and taxis; or even become fully pedestrianised. Chair of the Marischal Square Working Group, deputy council leader Marie Boulton, said: “We want to gather the views of as many people as possible, not only on the proposed development but also on the potential options for Broad Street. “I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the process. Our roads officers will
be joining the Muse team at their consultation event at Aberdeen Art Gallery until the weekend and will be on hand to talk through the options being put forward.” In addition, a recent council report looked into the potential of a tram system in the city centre, with the point being made that cities across Europe have successful tram networks. The council’s leaders are asking the Scottish government to commission a study showing how any future trams would impact or improve the city. Leader of the Labour led city council, Barney Crockett, said: “If we look at cities of Aberdeen’s
scale, a mass transit of some kind is probably essential.” The City Of Edinburgh is arguably one of these cities. Currently, in Edinburgh, a tram system is in the process of being built, but due to numerous delays it will not be operational until summer 2014. The trams in Edinburgh have faced many problems with total cost being around £780m. A critic of the new plans for Aberdeen, SNP group leader Callum McCaig, said that instead of spending money on a study for the trams, instead: “Someone buys a train ticket to Edinburgh and ask them how well they got on with their
tram project.” The Council’s finance convener, Labour’s Willie Young, said that the Council would go ahead with the plans, with or without the Aberdeen oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood who has hinted at helping fund the project through the Wood Family Trust. The Broad Street consultation will run until 22 November at Aberdeen Art Gallery, with an online questionnaire available on the Aberdeen City Council website.
5 November 2013
Aberdeenshire roads most dangerous AECC moving to Dyce By Anna Katila
By Rachel Clark
New figures reveal that more people were killed in road accidents in Aberdeenshire over the past decade than in any other region in Scotland. The shocking statistics published by Transport Scotland showed that there were 280 deaths between 2002 and 2012. Moreover, 1,555 people were seriously injured in crashes. Road safety will have greater emphasis than ever before under Police Scotland, Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said. He commented further: “Evidence has shown that regular risky and illegal drivers do not acknowledge the risk they present, or view their own actions as illegal or having any real social impact. “A recent study stated that almost three quarters of all drivers admitted to risky driving behaviour in the last 12 months and more than half of those admitted to illegal behaviour in relation to speeding, mobile phones and seat belt use.” The figures show that there were 52,171 speeding offences; 25,451 seat belt offences; and 20,440 mobile phone offences recorded on Scottish roads by Police during the first six months of the year. Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said: “There is a common perception amongst offenders that offences are committed by others, but not by themselves. Our job is
New developments to the AECC were announced last week, which will see the multi-purpose venue moved to Dyce. Aberdeen City Council have deemed the AECC to be “no longer fit for the purpose”, as energy and building costs are constantly rising, despite yielding £50m annually for the city. In addition to this, it is also too small for some exhi-
Photo/ Wojsyl (wikipedia.org) to challenge these perceptions and make people aware that offending behaviour will be dealt with. “Local communities consistently tell us that road safety is one of their top concerns and we have listened to that in shaping our policing response. We are now continuing to build our dedicated trunk roads patrol group across the country, matching specialist resource to the right place at the right time.”
The Chief Constable concluded: “Greater enforcement has led to some good early results however it is worth remembering that in 2012, 174 people died on our roads – three times more than the homicide rate. I regard this as simply unacceptable. “We will continue to work with others to improve awareness of road safety and challenge offending behaviour in order to keep people safe on Scotland’s roads.”
Photo/ Aberdeen City Council bitions, conferences and concerts, most notably the Offshore Europe conference. The City Council have signed a 35-year lease with Henry Boot Developments. After the lease is up, the Council can then purchase the
“Aberdeen City Council
have deemed the AECC to be “no longer fit for the purpose”, as energy and building costs are constantly rising.” development and the subsequent land for just £1. Barney Crockett, the council leader, commented on the new plans: “The AECC makes a crucial contribution to the economy of Aberdeen and the broader city region. It has become clear in recent years that the existing facility is no longer fit for purpose. “We must ensure Aberdeen continues to attract large and popular events […] to the city. Securing a top-class exhibition centre is essential if we are to succeed in that. “The Henry Boot Developments proposal for a new facility on a new site is very innovating and exciting. I look forward to working on this joint venture.” Henry Boot Developments will build a new complex with bigger venues and car-parking facilities. The proposed model also aims to be the most sustainable building of its kind in the UK.
Independence could threaten national security
Police issue student safety guide
By Jo Polydoros
By Rachel Clark
National security could be put at risk by Scottish independence, experts have warned. A report presented in Edinburgh by home secretary, Theresa May, suggested that an independent Scottish intelligence service could diminish security levels and cause damage to both UK and Scottish intelligence infrastructures. Scotland would lose access to “some of the finest intelligence and security services in the world” and have to establish its own security
“SNP have promised to set aside £2.5b for the Scottish defence budget and remove all nuclear weapons from Scottish soil.” networks according to the coalition government.
Photo/ Stephen Simpson (flickr.com - homeukoffice)
SNP have promised to set aside £2.5b for the Scottish defence budget and remove all nuclear weapons from Scottish soil if there is a “yes” in next years’ referendum. While it would be possible to set up a new Scottish intelligence service, there are serious worries about the effectiveness of such a program. The £2.5b budget proposed by the SNP pales in comparison to the £33b the UK spends on its defence. In addition, there is doubt about how, or if, a new spy service could work with MI5 and MI6. The Scottish government and police currently rely on a vital collaboration with UK security bodies in London, which could be seriously impaired if Scotland becomes independent. However, Allan Burnett, the former Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland co-ordinator of counter-terrorism, said: “an excellent Scottish intelligence organisation could be developed”. Scotland’s justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, also believes that the claims about Scottish independence being detrimental to UK security are false. He argued that: “Scotland is already an independent jurisdiction when it comes to policing and justice issues. An independent Scotland will have first-rate security arrangements to counter any threats we may face. And we will continue to work in very close collaboration with the rest of the UK on security and intelligence matters.”
Police Scotland has issued a new safety guide online specifically for students. The extensive guide aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers students face, particularly those who are living independently for the first time. The guide includes all issues that affect students and potentially threatens their safety. The guide applies to all students, as it contains safety guidelines on various common issues, such as living in halls, flat-sharing and flat-hunting, looking after yourself on a night out, social networking, as well as ID and online theft and security. The guide also contains more widely applicable safety guidelines on drug use, alcohol, and keeping your personal belongings safe. Although crime rates in Scotland are currently at their lowest in 40 years, it is important that all students make themselves aware of the warnings and guidelines the report includes. There are many pointers that aren’t as well-known, such as how to order a takeaway safely and avoiding unlicensed taxis. The safety guide can be viewed online, at www.scotland.police. uk/assets/pdf/keep_safe/studentsafety-guide, or via the AUSA website, which also has extra information on student safety.
Top Tips •
Make sure to lock your accomodation, and keep valubales out of sight. Don’t put your name or house number on your keyring. If lost or stolen, people could have information that directs them to your property. Don’t give keys to tradesmen as copies could be made. Be sensible about how much you drink. Too much and you could become a target for thieves. When walking home in the dark, stick to well lit, busy streets. On a night out, stay in a group, never walk home alone.
5 November 2013
Features Editor: Konrad Wojnar
– An Evening with Blair Jenkins – CEO of Yes Scotland Bart Kruk and David Lawrie talk about Blair Jenkin’s visit to Aberdeen University and Scottish independence
or two hours on Thursday evening, Blair Jenkins, the official face of Yes Scotland, made the case for Scottish independence. He began with putting forward the argument that an independent Scotland would be fairer, more prosperous, and more democratic than it is now. The remainder of the evening was given over to answering audience questions. Although the former broadcaster managed to find a positive answer to every question about independence, it seems that Yes Scotland made little capital on the night. This was mostly because the campaign was preaching to the converted.
“He showed a gift for uniting people who had little in common apart from a belief in selfdetermination.“ Photo/ yesscotland.net The event was hosted by ‘Yes Aberdeen Youth and Students’ in association with ‘Yes Aberdeen’ and took place in a packed MacRobert lecture theatre. The evening attracted an audience which was mostly comprised of non-students. The Yes Scotland CEO was keen to emphasise the campaign’s varied demographic. Mr Jenkins argued that, “One of the most important things about ‘Yes Scotland’ is the fact it involves a whole lot of people who are not politicians and don’t come from a political background.” However, it was apparent that this wide demographic was not fully represented on the night. Mr Jenkins sought to engage listeners in conversation rather than rhetoric, stating that “I don’t go around Scotland making speeches all that much anymore.” He continued, “I’m more interested now in talking to people, in understanding any issues or concerns people still have. That’s the way we win this referendum in 11 months’ time.” The campaign leader expressed his belief that there is no longer any doubt that Scotland could be a successful independent country. Instead, Mr Jenkins argued that the debate has moved on to whether Scotland should be independent of the United Kingdom. He told the audience that “as people engage with the debate, as they find out
the facts, and as they look at the evidence, there is only one direction of travel. People move our way.” To illustrate this point, Mr Jenkins invited members of the audience to raise their hands if they knew of anyone that previously was going to vote no, but now intends to vote yes. When counting the raised hands, which equated around half the audience members, he remarked
“I don’t believe Higher Education should be for sale.’..” It is a real deterrent for people going into higher education. Blair Jenkins
“Arithmetic was never my strong point. I’ve got that in common with Alistair Darling,” the head of Better Together, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer. The audience laughed loudly. He had
obviously struck a chord; now he could move on to give his message. “The main three pillars of the independence campaign…are the arguments based on democracy, prosperity, and fairness.” Mr Jenkins claimed only an independent Scottish government would produce policies that “chimed with Scottish values”. By way of contrast he cited a raft of controversial Westminster policies, from Thatcher’s poll tax, to Cameron’s bedroom tax, through to the perceived privatisation of healthcare, the rising cost of higher education, and the recent sell-off of Royal Mail. Little was said about the challenges Scotland would inevitably face after the referendum and during the transition to independence. On the other hand, much was made of the opportunities and benefits an independent Scotland should have been taking advantage of for years. Mr Jenkins argued that the Scottish economy is inherently strong, even before taking consideration of its windfall oil resources. He maintained that moving away from the union would make for a fiscally stronger Scotland, unlike what was described as the current “position of inherited debt that is a legacy from the UK”. It was when answering audience questions that the advantage of having a non-political frontman became abundantly clear. Without any prior agenda Mr Jenkins did indeed appear to be a ‘Yes’-man. He showed a gift for uniting people who had little in common apart from a belief in self-determination. Though he declined to comment on specific policy initiatives as he was “not part of the Scottish government,” he made it clear that Scottish interests would be best achieved through the democratic process of an independent Scotland. In general terms, Mr Jenkins was able to put forward a well-argued case for independence. Nonetheless, this broad brush approach meant less attention was paid to the details of decisive issues such as Scotland’s membership of the European Union. An independent Scotland’s relationship with the EU was discussed at greater length at a Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum (SCFF) event in King’s College Auditorium on October 11. A panel of experts including Professor Sir David Edwards, a former judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union, came together to address specific issues arising from a ‘Yes’ vote in 2014.
In contrast to the Yes Scotland event, the speakers were able to examine the complex legal and political problems an independent Scotland could face with regard to membership of the EU. Currently Scotland has no separate identity within the European Union. As such, it is unclear whether or not an independent Scotland would be required to renegotiate membership and if so, there exists a large degree of uncertainty surrounding the outcome of such negotiations.
“The campaign was preaching to the converted.” higher education.” As the referendum draws near, we can expect an increase in presence from both the Yes campaign and Better Together. Addressing the next phase of the
“Do you think Scotland should be an independent country?”
100 AU students responded Those contemplating a course of study at a Scottish university would do well to pay particularly close attention to these developments. Currently, the free tuition offered to students coming from EU member states is derived from UK membership of the European Union. Following the transition to independence, Scotland’s separate status within the EU could potentially force the extension of free tuition to students from England. In expressing his commitment to free university tuition, Mr Jenkins said: “I don’t believe higher education should be for sale. The amount of debt people are going into their adult lives with is horrendous. It is a real deterrent for people going into
campaign, the audience was told that “If there is anyone now who is undecided about voting yes, our job is to convince them that’s the right decision. That is the work of the next 11 months, to make sure that enough people are persuaded by what we have to say, and that a yes vote next year is the right thing to do.” On November 26 the Scottish government will publish a white paper, laying out in the most comprehensive publication so far the case for independence. According to Mr Jenkins, “that will help to tackle one of the things that sometimes does come up…that there’s not enough information.”
5 November 2013
Work reports, anyone interested? Grant Costello wonders that if a Sabbatical Officer writes a report and no one reads it, is it really a report?
o, as I write this article I’ll be honest I am quite demoralised, after just watching my own football team be beaten by our local rivals 1-0, in a match that on paper we should have won by a clear landslide. It’s never the most uplifting experience, especially when you’re watching a team you truly believe has potential. Why is this relevant you ask? Well, because it is the same feeling I get when I think about our own student body elections. Last year we had around 18,000 students registered to study at Aberdeen University and around 800 of these students studied Politics and International Relations. This would lead you to believe that our elections might actually be well contested and have a high student turnout. Both assertions would be widely inaccurate. In fact, less than 15% of the student electorate turned out to vote in the last elections. Is this the fault of AUSA and the Sabbatical Officers? I’m going to be kind here and say that they are only partially to blame. However, while we are put off by the elections,
by their simple cliquishness and the damn near impossibility to navigate the AUSA Website, not to mention other issues, we are also partially at fault. Candidates can only do so much to convince people to vote or even take part in elections and they have lives they have to live as well before their election. The voters, and believe me I consider myself in this category when it comes to AUSA, just don’t get involved enough as we should. But why does all this matter? I mean we know this, you get people ranting and raving about AUSA all the time over Facebook (you are well aware of who you are). This matters because like it or not they
“…but the elections are over so how on earth can we interact with AUSA and our almighty Sabbatical Officers?’”
are our representatives and do make or at least get consulted on so many issues that will affect our time and University and even our degree. So shouldn’t we take this seriously? Simple answer is yes, but the elections are over so how on earth can we interact with AUSA and our almighty Sabbatical Officers? Well, they do write themselves up work reports so that we can read them and decide if we think they are doing a good job. Now while I earlier on mentioned the navigational difficulties of the AUSA website, one of its oh so many faults, finding the Sabbatical Officers’ blogs in truth is relatively simple. All you have to do is click on the picture of the Sabbatical Officer and ‘pop goes the weasel’ you have your reports. Now these reports are, to be fair, informative if we read them. Not all are long but much of them give us an overview of some of the work that our Sabbatical Officers have been undertaking. In the case of our Madam President, Megan Dunn, we have a very long and detailed report on her on goings and even the amount of hours she
“However, they have amassed a total of zero comments this month...“ has worked. In fairness, that is accountable, even if she does say so herself. Alas, mes petits fromages, for those of you that can’t speak French or have not watched the West Wing that means ‘my little cheeses’ (if you find it a strange term watch the West Wing and a few seasons in you’ll laugh at the joke), there is always the ever looming BUT! Yes these reports are posted online, yes these reports are free for all to see, yes these reports are informative but sadly they likely offer exactly zero accountability to our Officers. Now again it would be unfair to blame this on the Officers themselves, they are trying to give us the information and likely spend at least some time writing out these reports for us to read. However, they have amassed a total of zero comments this month
and I would likely hedge my bets that the most traffic they have received has been the time that I have been writing this article and regularly going back and forth to read the blogs. So I suppose the simple question is, what do we do now? Abraham Lincoln once said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll use four hours sharpening the blade.” No that wasn’t just a random quote stuffed into the article, it has a simple meaning. When undertaking a task be sure not only to have a plan but the right tools to execute that plan, and if this means taking time to do it then take the time. Do AUSA need to fix the problem of low voter turnout? Yes they do. Do AUSA need to improve their own means of assuring accountability? Yes they do. Do we as voters need to start giving a damn? That too would be a yes. This isn’t going to be an easy problem to fix, and I’m not saying I have the answers on how to fix it either, but it does need to be fixed.
It’s back folks. Again! Ben Kamal refurbishes the Union Terrace Gardens saga in a single snapshot
berdeen City Council has set aside at least £20 million for renovations in the city centre: renovations which will include Union Terrace Gardens. This information will have people of varying persuasions and opinions rejoicing, despairing and eye rolling in equal measure. It marks a new chapter in a lengthy, if not epic, debacle regarding the fate of the city gardens. This saga (one fails to find another word for it, while being aware that this one is hardly apt) began in November 2008, when plans for a street level square on the site of the gardens were proposed and budgeted at around £140 million. The results of the project were to represent a “new heart” of Aberdeen. In June 2009, oil tycoon Ian Wood of the Wood Group took an interest in the redevelopment and pledged £50 million towards it. The plans were announced in January 2010 and the Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Futures (ACSEF), a public-private sector partnership showed interest in them. This group formed the backing of the City Garden Project which lobbied in favour of redevelopment. Also, a public consultation began regarding the project. One month later, a group called Friends of Union Terrace Gardens (FUTG) started to campaign against the project. They objected to the city centre’s only green space being, as they saw it, surrendered to the callous interests of business. They won many high profile supporters including the singer and Aberdeen native Annie Lennox.
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska In April 2010 the results of the public consultation showed that the majority of Aberdeen residents were against the scheme. Despite this the council backed the plans and, after a year of unquiet hesitation, launched a competition for the design, which was eventually won by Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Keppie of Oslo with their ‘Granite Web’ design. In November 2011 SNP MSP Kevin Stewart suggested a local referendum on the issue, which was approved by the council and was to take place in March of the following year. This time the voters were in favour of the plans, though only a few thousand carried it.
However, during the local elections of May 2012 a Labour led coalition took control of the city council. Their manifesto had stated that they would scrap any plans for the gardens. Consequently, in August, despite the referendum, the council voted to stop the project. Kevin Stewart described this result as a Labour “power trip” and the ACSEF lamented the loss of job opportunities. The FUTG’s campaign had seemingly worked. One year later the self-same Labour led coalition has proposed a new project involving the gardens. The proposals, this time by architect John Halliday, will
include an arts centre, a civic square, and a new entrance to the train station, yet should retain the “visual features” of the gardens, though quite how many of, and to what extent these “visual features” shall remain is unclear. Ian Wood has still pledged to put £50 million towards the costs though the council’s finance convener Willie Young has stated that the funds could come from other sources such as the Scottish government or other businesses. He further stated that these new plans represent a “compromise” with the Aberdeen business community and are something on which all interested parties can agree.
What are we to make of all this? The cynic could merely say that it represents the venality of local politics in general and the ignorance of local worthies in particular: The SNP and the ACSEF have ignored the 2010 public consultation; the FUTG have ignored the 2012 referendum and the Labour party have ignored their own manifesto. Some of this is perfectly justified if you believe in either the inherent corruption of business or the inherent worth of redevelopment. However, there is a broader aspect to this than small time political wrangling. The word “transformational” has often been used in the literature of different proponents of redevelopment. This means that something will change into something else and be indistinguishable from what it was before. This is used not just in reference to the gardens but to the whole city. Union Terrace Gardens finds itself in an area where prosperity is becoming ever more lucrative due to Aberdeen’s position in the energy world yet is also where many of the workers of the fishing industry live for conveyance’s sake: an area where BMWs can be parked next to trucks of cod, the old colliding with the new. The argument over Union Terrace Gardens is one aspect of the wider question of how Aberdeen should manifest itself physically and with whom this manifestation should align itself. This question remains yet unanswered and, until it is, we should expect the fate of the gardens to be fought over.
5 November 2013
The little ships that could! Sebastien Raybaud and Dainius T. Balcytis rediscovers the maritime history of Aberdeen City
rguably the confident capital of northeast Scotland, Aberdeen is one of Scotland’s great cities. In Flemish, the word aberdaan translates as cod. In Scottish Gaelic, Aberdeen translates as the town of two rivers. All these aforesaid facts represent the rich maritime history of Aberdeen. Since the early 12th century, Aberdeen was known as a closeknit community port that traded with key merchants from the Low Countries, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. However, when the early modern phenomenon of shipbuilding began in the 1700s, it would transform Aberdeen from a key continental European trading port, into one of the most critical shipyards of British naval history. According to Scottish historians Dennison and Simpson, Aberdeen only had two vessels of 60 tonnes in circa 1700. However, in comparison, a century later, there were to be 150 ships, at 17,130 tonnes altogether. To this day, Aberdeen Ships Project, which has gathered information about all the ships that have been built in our city, at the moment stands at 2914 entries. The very first documented ship was built in 1606, more than four centuries ago. It was named Bon Accord, after the famous words on Aberdeen‘s Coat of Arms. This ship began a noble line of Aberdonian ships that served in all the roles you can imagine. Apart from traditional purposes such as fishing and whaling, these ships were of many other uses: immigration, commercial trading and sea warfare. Some ships, such as Fox, had even more interesting
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska stories to tell. Fox was first built in 1854 as a leisure yacht for Sir Richard Sutton. However, after his death, it was sent on a trip to the Arctic Ocean in search of the infamous lost expedition of Sir John Franklin. Sir John Franklin attempted to navigate the treacherous Northwest Passage between Greenland and Canada, but his expedition perished. While Fox was not the only ship used to search for the lost explorers, it was the one that found written notes left by Franklin‘s expedition on the King William Island. Once Fox returned, it was refitted and used to survey the coasts of Norway. Another impressive achievement on its part was laying the North Atlantic telegraph cable in 186061. Fox was abandoned during its
wreckage after half a century of service on the coast of Greenland in 1912. This story well illustrates the quality of Aberdonian shipbuilding, however most ships had a lot simpler purposes. The majority of common ships were used either for trade or transporting people – an important element in British global empire. Emigration from the British Isles also plays its part in Aberdeen’s naval story – namely convicts that were exiled and transported to Australia. Many of the ships built in Aberdeen, such as Marquis of Huntly, were used to send tens of thousands of criminals across the globe to their island prison. Marquis of Huntly could transport as many as 320 convicts at once, while suffering no more than two deaths during a three-month-long
journey from Britain to Sydney. While only a part of these unwilling travellers were of Scottish descent, there seems to have been enough of them to build a city and name it Aberdeen (located in the Australian New South Wales) in the honour of their hometown. Actually, if we look around in the former British colonies, it will soon become clear that almost 30 cities and towns around the world share the name. It seems there was an Aberdonian mini-empire within the Commonwealth – Aberdeen‘s colonies are spread out over five continents and eight nations (including Hong Kong). Emigration aside, timber and tea trade were also fundamental to the Aberdeen shipbuilding industry. During the early 19th century, timber trading blossomed during the politico-economic depression felt by the Napoleonic Wars. Many trading activities with the Baltic countries and British America allowed captains to encourage many emigrants to their respective ships, particularly the famous Louisa captained by James Oswald. During the 19th century, there were other ships being constructed for the Chinese tea trade, especially the Cairngorm and Thermopylae. According to the Aberdeen Built Ships Online Archives, under these clippers or trading vessels, owned by many companies like the Alexander Hall & Sons and Duthie Shipbuilders, the British Empire could successfully acquire tea products and key trade routes to the East Indies. These made travel more efficient, traveling from the British Isles to important Southern Chinese shipyards like Canton, Whampoa and Foochow,
and eventually to Australia. Another prosperous, but a lot more cruel, business that flourished in the Silver City was whale hunting. Whale blubber, from which lamp oil was later made, was a valuable commodity and even a single kill was enough to make a trip worthwhile. Whale hunting is first mentioned in 1753, but it quickly grew due to its profitability. While the number of ships dedicated to whale hunting varied over time, it reached its peak in 1820, when a total of 15 Aberdonian whalers roamed the North Sea and Atlantic. Soon after, in 1823, we have a record catch – a total of 1,824 tonnes of whale oil had been harvested from kills that were brought to Aberdeen that year. While an exact number is unknown, in order to extract so much oil, probably around 300 whales had to be slaughtered. However, because of extreme over fishing, hunting whales was becoming increasingly harder. Numerous ships were lost to Arctic ice or violent storms, because they had to go further north to find whales. The whale industry started to falter, and by the end of the 19th century was close to collapse. Aberdonians slowly abandoned it, but its legacy still remains. When we look at the history of our city, we see rich maritime traditions that stretch back in time for centuries. While nowadays it is natural for us to think of ourselves as a City of Granite or the Oil Capital of Europe, we must understand that this is only a very recent development. Aberdeen, in its essence, has always been (and still is) a city of ships.
The Angus diaries... Katarina Poensgen looks at an Aberdeen architect who characterised the Silver City in the 19th century
remember when I first arrived in Aberdeen I was completely enchanted with its beautiful granite buildings; especially the larger buildings’ beautiful appearances, such as Marschial College. Walking down to Union Square felt like walking in a museum; the slightly dark and dramatic buildings everywhere gives the city a middle-age atmosphere, as well as a sense of historic importance. Over time, as I started to settle more into the city, that deep curiosity of whom this architect was kept bubbling up in me. Who was this man that made beautiful gothic-like buildings out of granite as far as the eye can see? Archibald Simpson is the man behind the magic. He is known as the city’s main architect, contributing a great deal to this Granite City. With a touch of Greek revival inspiration, he gave Aberdeen its unique and beautiful appearance that it is known for today. He, along with his rival (not enemy) John Smith, both contributed to the creation of this
city with their terrific construction ideas for granite buildings. Still, it is Simpson who’s considered the artistic genius behind the city’s looks, mainly because he designed larger and more important buildings, and partly because his
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska
designs were simply better. If you’re in the mood for some cool facts, then read on; he was actually a true Aberdonian. Born and raised in Aberdeen city in 1790, he lived here for a great amount of his life. In his early days, he felt a bit adventurous (and probably a little rebellious as well), as all young people do, which eventually led him to leave our great city. He stayed a
few years in London, working with architecture, which was followed by a long study trip around Italy. When he returned in 1813, satisfied with his adventures and full of cultural inspiration, he established his own architectural company, located in Bon Accord Square. This is when the magic started. Some of the first buildings he worked on are those in Union Street today. This includes the inner court of Marischal College, where he also went to school, Aberdeen’s Music Hall, St Giles Kirk, Gordon Chapel , Kintore Parish Church, and the slightly Greek Revival Stracathro House; all created in only a bit over a decade. Basically, as you walk in the heart of the city and are wandering about on Union Street, you are actually witnessing great historic architectural masterpieces along your way. How cool is that? He also designed St Andrew’s Cathedral in King Street, which was in fact his first public commission for Aberdeen City. What might be considered his most remarkable
work though, is the design of the former North of Scotland Bank building, between Castle Street and King Street. Today, it’s known as the pub The Archibald Simpson (don’t frown; it’s a very fancy pub). This is one of Aberdeen’s most iconic buildings, glittering in silver on a sunny day. His design is simple, yet magnificent. You feel like you’ve entered a place of great historic importance, along with a sense of mighty power (I mean hello; huge grey granite stones basically scream power). This guy was a mathematical genius as well as a terrific artist. Aberdeen is proud of its architectural looks with good reason. So now, when Scotland makes its decision on independence and you’re planning on going to Weatherspoon to get wasted because your side either won the day or you’re drowning your sorrows, you can think of Archibald Simpson: a simple Scot who shaped a city into a masterpiece.
5 November 2013
A carbon neutral city of the future Natalia Kajdas explores the City of Masdar, a first in carbon neutral cities
Fairwell Fukushima, bye bye Chernobyl, hello Somerset Richard Wood discusses the place of nuclear energy in Britain
estminster is always full of hyperactive energy, whether that be in the heat of a debate at PMQs, or in front of the cameras where politicians are so often assessed by the media. But in the past month or so energy itself has dominated the headlines and the UK’s political sphere: the proposition of major fracking in the country; gas and electricity costs rising; Ed Miliband announcing a future freeze in energy prices if he becomes Prime Minister; and most recently the government’s announcement of building the first nuclear energy plant in 20 years. The plant, to be built in Somerset will generate energy by 2023 at the earliest. However, in rapid contrast to previous projects, where plants were paid for by the taxpayer, the new plant will be
other environmental risks exist. The story of nuclear power arguably started when Enrico Fermi, an Italian physicist in 1934, conducted the first fission experiment. A similar process is used today to create nuclear energy, as atoms from minerals, often uranium, are split causing a release of energy. Despite the process of being associated with horrific nuclear bombs, it is often seen as an efficient form of energy. For example, nuclear is “clean” to an extent, as proponents of its usage point out that this source of energy, making a comeback in Britain, is not a fossil fuel, resulting in it not contributing to anthropogenic climate change. However, opponents of the move are keen to point out its failures. Most notably of which, in the UK,
be only one part of the solution as the UK’s energy minister, Ed Davey, said that “not putting all your eggs in one basket is the right approach.” So perhaps nuclear power will dominate the future of British energy, but only to an extent. Another sign that nuclear energy may be here to stay is that, at the same press conference, Ed Davey said that according to government calculations consumer bills will be down £77 by 2030 compared to a future without nuclear energy. As well as this, the creation of the new power plant will create at least 25,000 short term jobs, then 900 full time permanent ones. But of course by the time this plant is built us students will be on the verge of, or well into our 30s. The benefits of such a solution to the energy
ith the growth of carbon dioxide emissions around the world, a high rise in waste production and a significant rise of human population, we are faced with growing issues. Despite all of our efforts, we are far away from the utopian dream of Masdar City- The Global Centre of Future Energy. Welcome to Masdar City Masdar City, which name derives from Arabic word of ‘Masdar’, meaning ‘the source’, is an arcology project in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Arcology, a concept first conceived of Paolo Soleri, incorporates ecology into architecture. There are and were many arcology projects around the world, but this one seems to be the first that will actually be finished. Once built, the city will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable sources, with a neutral carbon footprint. However, besides being an open technology platform, Masdar is thought to be a trial city. Most of its citizens, students and technicians, will conduct various experiments to see how such a city fares and whether the idea of a CO2-neutral city can be transported all over the world. The first non-university residential buildings will be completed by
“Most of its citizens... see how such a city fares and whether the idea of a CO2-neutral city can be transported all over the world.” 2015, and, supposedly, 50,000 non-academic people should be living there when the project will be finished in 2025-2030. With the large reductions in water and energy usage, the mission of Masdar City is “to provide the highest quality of life and work environment with the lowest environment footprint”. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology itself will use 70% less energy supplies in comparison with similar buildings in others cities. Cars will be dealt away with, and public mass transit or electric vehicles will be the only option for its residents. ... If you want to find out more about Masdar City, go to thegaudie. co.uk!
Free Lectures and Events Virtual Outcrop Geology Meston 118 5 November 2013 12pm A talk by Prof. John Howell. What Oil and Gas Sector Employers Want: : An event for women studying science. Sir Duncan Rice Library 6 November 2013 1:30pm-5:00pm A workshop facilitated by Lynda Wilson (online registration necessary) Demystifying petroleum engineering Macrobert Lecture Theatre 051 Photo/ redjar (flickr.com) built by foreign investors (mainly France’s EDF and China’s China National Nuclear Corporation and the China General Nuclear Power Corporation). Nuclear power is always a controversial issue. Such a method of producing energy does have the benefits of potentially resulting in cheaper energy, as well as helping create a low carbon economy. But at the same time, downsides such as radiation, potential meltdowns when combined with natural disasters (Japan’s Fukushima only two years ago for example), and
happened when there was a fire at the Windscale nuclear plant in 1957. Furthermore, incidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima are often highlighted to show the flaws in nuclear power. As mentioned previously, the last opening of a nuclear power plant in the UK was 20 years ago, but the opening of a new plant could be a turning point in Britain’s future. With climate change becoming an even bigger problem, nuclear could be the solution by providing nonfossil fuel energy. However, it is arguable that nuclear energy will
problems are a long way away. So is this really a sign that the UK will once again become a nuclear powered nation? I reckon it depends on the success of the first plant. If the foreign funded plant is a success, both economically and in terms of providing an efficient energy source, then perhaps nuclear will once again step out of the shadows, having been put there by environmentalists and disasters around the world, and come to dominate the supply of energy to British homes.
Cloud Cover and surface temperature variance in the UK: an empirical assessment of net cloud forcing factor. Meston 118 12 November 2013 12pm A talk by Dr. Euan Mearns The energy skills shortage and the employment requirements of the oil and gas industry. Marcliffe Hotel, North Deeside Road 12 November 2013 6pm A talk by SPE with Peter Gaffney, Alan Watt and Bob Steel (online registration necessary)
6 November 2013 6:30pm
Ethiopian Opals Meston Lecture Theatre 1
A talk by SPE with Paul White (online registration necessary)
14 November 2013 6:30pm A talk by Helen Plumb
PESGB Aberdeen Evening Lecture The Copthorne Hotel, 122 Huntly Street
Careers in Earth Science Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
12 November 2013 6:30pm
20 November 2013 12pm
A talk from various industry companies and industry representatives (registration necessary at geolsoc.org.uk)
5 November 2013
Editor: Sofiane Kennouche
The Royal Charter: The future of press regulation guaranteed
he debate on press freedom has unfortunately failed to avoid the fatuous, unilateral and painfully predictable exaltations on the importance of having a free press. Many columnists (primarily from Murdoch’s publications) continue to irrelevantly quote such figures as John Milton, Voltaire and George Orwell on the importance of free speech. They should know better than to divagate into the non-existing debate over whether press freedom is important. The same columnists have compared the government’s plans to the repression of the media in countries like Zimbabwe. This is disingenuous, and it is casuistry of the lowest kind. Intelligent columnists from NI publications suddenly exude the folly of purblind pundits. Reading their columns, the impartial and imperturbable reader might detect a whiff of reluctance in their rants, and he’d be spot on. When exposed to public ire, Rupert Murdoch knows he can rely on his claque. There has been much use of the expression “last chance saloon” in describing the incorrigible gutter press. However, after a quick glance at the history of the press’s attempts at reforming their selfregulation, the reader might be forgiven for thinking that Last Chance Saloon is an old pub on the corner of Fleet Street that’s existed for decades. Every attempt at pure self-regulation in the past has been doomed to atrophy. The press industry’s rival Charter proposal was considered fairly
Photo/ NS Newsflash (Flickr) and transparently by the Privy Council Sub-Committee. It found a lack of independence around appointments and funding. Also missing was the arbitration scheme offered under the prevalent Royal Charter. Nothing in the Royal Charter allows any kind of prepublication control of newspaper content, nor any direct influence post-publication; so any argument that newspapers’ stories will be
routinely expurgated is false. Under the Charter, an inspector will ensure that the press’s own successor to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is effective and independent. As such, it gives rise to a principle of subsidiarity: the inspector only steps in when the independent regulator cannot or will not deal with the problem. Whereas the feckless PCC was headed by party-political peers,
the Royal Charter would ban politicians from any part of the process. It essentially amounts to a law guaranteeing press freedom, which Sir Harold Evans, the distinguished and sagacious former editor of The Times, likened to the US First Amendment, which prohibits “abridging the freedom of speech”. Before any change could be made to the criteria by which the independent regulators
are judged, there must be a twothirds majority in Parliament in favour of this. The backlash in some parts of the media, best captured in The Spectator’s sensationally obstinate front-cover ‘NO’, has thrived on misleading fear-mongering, which distracts the public from the crux of the matter. Among them are publications that have attempted to sublimate the dirty exploits of the tabloids into noble investigative journalism. Contrary to their assertions, impecunious local newspapers will not face an existential threat. This Royal Charter will not be a prophylactic intended to stop the gutter press from being the gutter press. It will be a respite to the parties whose problems have long been neglected. The sluggishness of the response to Leveson’s report was a good thing. This was a decision fenced around with proper scholarly dubitation. A quicker response might have created the impression that the Charter was nothing but an exvoto offering given in order to fulfill a political promise. After countless mea culpas, this could be the instrument that chivvies the press to take action against irresponsible practices. Our free press will continue to make the occasional squalid mess. All we can hope for is that an effective regulator will exist to goad it. By Mohammad Alansari
Gemma Shields and Mohammad Alansari debate the fundamental ramifications of the Royal Charter for Press Regulation on the landscape of British journalism
t is illegal, not immoral, to intercept someone’s telephone calls. This is a distinction, the presence of which, I feel is lacking from the considerations and consequences of the Leveson inquiry. Press regulation has faced severe scrutiny in light of recent scandals. A new Royal Charter could have serious implications on the free press and freedom of expression; eventually amounting to nothing more than censorship. You think you’re ‘Hacked Off’ now? The policy of Royal Charter which would shift the responsibility for regulation to the state is ‘making it easier for media and creative industries to grow, whilst protecting the interests of citizens’. This is not so, as each and every heinous, unscrupulous act that provoked the inquiry was illegal. There are ‘plentiful criminal and
“It is not further external regulation that is required to prevent press intrusion and promote ethics, but for existing laws to be enforced by policing bodies and not politicians” civil laws’ that already regulate the press and protect the interests of the citizens. If these are enforced as they should be, then state intervention - which marks the demise of the free press itself - will not be necessary. It is not further
external regulation that is required to prevent press intrusion and promote ethics, but for existing laws to be enforced by policing bodies and not politicians. The Royal Charter could constitute ‘a breach of article 10 of the European convention on human rights’ as is observed by Lord Lester, the prominent human rights lawyer, Liberal Democrat peer and key voice in fighting Libel reforms. This implies that this type of intervention would contradict the fundamental right to freedom of expression. It also seems that the reforms will see heavy penalties enforced on those that refuse to play ball, waive their right to freedom of expression and exist as no more than a state mouthpiece. Publications that do not sign up to the Royal Charter that are engaged in libel action -
even concluding in their favour will bear the responsibility of the entirety of the legal costs on both sides of the action. Lord Lester also offers that ‘there is no need for further state intervention, as proposed by Hacked Off celebrity campaigners’. This theme echoes through many of the more rational, pragmatic and intellectually (rather than financially) invested contributors in the forum. In an interview with the BBC, Bob Satchwell (the director of the Society of Editors) argues there is ‘no place for political interference in the free press’. Rightfully so. If you object to the vapid bile of certain national daily publications then, in the words of Ian Hislop, editor of a voice-of-reason publication often embroiled in libel action, ‘you don’t ban it, you don’t buy it!’. Hislop
has also labelled state regulation ‘dangerous’ and has acknowledged that it ‘internationally has a bad record’. The Royal Charter comes as a result of each key actor; press, politician and police, having fallen far short, or deviated quite significantly, of their role in this system. The way to restore this balance however is not in radical reform of regulation. If this is regrettably to be the case, however, and the reforms are made law, then you can all look forward to my forthcoming glowing review of ‘Did you hear about the Morgans?’ By Gemma Shields
5 November 2013
Bringing golf home again Jozef Doyle discusses the lack of golf courses in Scottish Universities
outh Scotland MSP Chic Brodie recently called for Scottish universities to begin offering courses dedicated to Golf, in the same way that English universities do. He claimed the abundance of world-class golf courses found in Scotland is mismatched with the relative lack of world-class talent from the sport’s nation of origin, and that having courses available to young Scottish golfers will pave the way for a new generation of Scottish golf champions. Since Birmingham University has recently opened a golf course, one might take the view that it is only fair for Scotland to have courses available for the game it invented. After all, what connection does Birmingham have with the sport? However, Birmingham’s campus is located less that 15 miles away from the PGA Belfry training academy, allowing ease of access to world-class coaching and training equipment. PGA joint chief operating officer Dr Kyle Phillpots has said that the headaches that would arise from offering PGA-recognised courses in Scotland make the idea untenable at the moment. He further stated that: “There are many outstanding universities in Scotland, but their distance from the National Training Academy would create logistical and administrative problems. So for now we are not looking to establish such a partnership with a Scottish university.”
We all know how much money is tied up in golf, and it makes sense that an MSP would want to take advantage of the local resources in an attempt to build the image of Scottish golf. But if a young golfer
“We all know how much money is tied up in golf, and it makes sense that an MSP would want to take advantage of the local resources in an attempt to build the image of Scottish golf.” shows ability and enthusiasm, why should it be expected to have a world class sports facility in their neighborhood? In tennis, football, athletics and even rugby, players are expected to travel to meet the best coaches and receive the best training. Leaving one’s state in order to get a better coach is considered standard procedure in American collegiate sports, with some college wrestling hopefuls travelling from Texas to New Jersey in order to have access to the best. Additionally, the question of
value for money must inevitably be asked of a golfing course when many other, more mainstream courses are neglected at Scottish universities. The money it would cost to bring PGA level coaches into Scottish universities could see an improvement in resources for current courses that would be appreciated by thousands of students across the country, offsetting the potential disadvantage experienced by young Scottish golfers. To argue it’s unfair that Birmingham has this course and Scottish
universities don’t is missing the point, anyway. Birmingham made the golfing course available as it shut down both its Archaeology department and its nursing program, suggesting the reason for opening this degree option is more about cost efficiency than providing more choice to students. I’m not sure I’d be willing to sacrifice Aberdeen’s English department or close down Foresterhill in order to make life easier for the next Tiger Woods.
Photo/ Easchiff (Wikipedia)
David Paterson suggests that Aberdeen learn the transport mistakes of Edinburgh by investing in the buses and not a new tramway
of Edinburgh’s trams), roughly a third of the whole of FirstGroup the largest transport company in the UK - could be bought. It can be fairly assumed that for
“The common-sense solution to Aberdeen’s public transport problems is not to build a new form of transport; it is to improve the existing form” a fraction of this price the bus system that operates only in Aberdeen could be bought by the council and enormously upgraded and made cheaper. When the city’s bypass is finally built, Aberdeen’s buses could traverse the city and face significantly less congestion, thereby promoting the expansion of potential bus routes. I am a believer in the free market and the improved quality it can offer, but the privatisation of Aberdeen’s bus system has not
Frances Gilmour, First Year Archeology Well, my mother’s from the Philippines, where there isn’t really much of a culture of celebrating Halloween. I do celebrate B o n f i r e Night with my friends though. We’ll be going down to the beach this year to see the fireworks display, whilst keeping our options open for later on in the evening.’
Putting Aberdeen on the right track? efore I begin, I will explain my bias against trams. I am from Edinburgh and in my opinion, the city’s often-publicised potential tram system has not been of benefit. There is a valid debate regarding whether this is due to the trams themselves, or mismanagement of their construction. The main point, however, is that building a tram system will undoubtedly cause disruption, regardless of the scheme’s handling. Disruption caused by Edinburgh’s trams has ruined the economy of several areas of the city, particularly Shandwick Place, where multiple businesses have had to close due to the street’s closure for tram works. In addition to this, a debt of over £1 billion is now the burden of the people of Edinburgh to repay. This is not to deny Aberdeen has a transport problem; I don’t think anyone in the right mind believes First Buses runs a particularly useful or affordable service (£2.50 to travel from Hillhead to Union Street? Come on…). The commonsense solution to Aberdeen’s public transport problems is not to build a new form of transport; it is to improve the existing form. For the price of the tram system, assuming a conservative estimate of £250 million (or half the price
Halloween and Bonfire Night are only a few days apart. Which event do you prefer and why?
helped the city and should be reversed. To prioritise a costly tram scheme over the simplest example of common sense - putting the buses in public hands - would be an act of sheer idiocy on the part of the Labour-led council. It must be said that the legal realities of this suggestion are not my area of expertise, but if the council can ask the Scottish Government to conduct a ‘feasibility study’ into trams, surely they can ask them if they can buy back the buses. This would be very difficult for the Scottish Government to refuse if it is correctly presented as absolutely vital for the Photo/ Les Chatfield (Wikimedia Commons) city’s economy.
Emma Pugh, Fourth Year English Literature I enjoy both e v e n t s ; t h e y ’ r e really fun. I prefer Halloween t h o u g h as I enjoy dressing up – everyone l o o k s awesome when they put effort into their costume. That said, the fireworks at the beach are really good on Bonfire Night. I’ve already hosted a Halloween party, where I dressed as a dead John Darling from Peter Pan. We’re planning a dinner party for the 5th!’ Richard Wood, Second Year Politics and Economics I’m not a big fan of dressing up, so in that respect I’m not a big fan of Halloween. It is, however, a good occasion to get together with friends. Bonfire Night is also a great chance to see people and the displays, both in Edinburgh where I grew up and at Aberdeen Beach.
5 November 2013
English Defence League loses its talisman James Higgin unmasks the hypocrisy behind Tommy Robinson’s latest stunt
ommy Robinson shocked everyone by stepping down as leader of the English Defence League, an anti-Islamic, anti-immigration group, claiming that it had been overrun by racist extremists. It is definitely a logical decision that he has made, as one cannot claim to only hate the extremist element of Islam if they themselves lead an extremist organisation linked to attacks on mosques nationwide. However, it’s impossible not to be sceptical of Tommy Robinson’s decision and I eagerly await his next move in the fight to save Britain. Mr. Robinson’s decision comes after a consultation with counterextremism think-tank Quilliam, with a disclaimer on his part that ‘whilst I want to lead the revolution against Islamist ideology, I don’t want to lead the revolution against Muslims.’ Is it possible that Robinson is indeed the voice of the silent majority of people fed up with the undeniable problems that extremist elements of Islam are causing in the UK? No. Steve Hart, chairman of Unite Against Fascism, put it best when he said that Mr Robinson and co-founder of the EDL Mr Carroll (who also left the organisation last week) were merely mak-
“That’s right, the head of a racist organisation actually makes his money by darkening the colour of people’s skin”
ing a ‘tactical retreat’. He added that “Robinson et al. have left a sinking ship, however, leopards do not change their spots […] like other European far-right leaders Robinson and Carroll will use other methods – possibly through electoral means – to spread their Islamophobic message.’ At one point last year Tommy Robinson actually became an illegal immigrant. Robinson was arrested after trying to illegally enter the USA using a fake passport. Robinson was actually born as Stephen Christopher Yaxley, to Irish Catholic Immigrant Parents. In another twist that must have been written into the EDL script by Monty Python, Robinson actually owns a tanning shop. That’s right,
the head of a racist organisation actually makes his money by darkening the colour of people’s skin. Since stepping down as leader and leaving the EDL, Robinson
claims to have been on the receiving end of death threats from both Muslim extremists and neo - Nazi members of the EDL and, whilst one does not wish that upon any-
body, it is ironic that he is now suffering at the hands of a monster he helped create.
Photo/ Gavin Lynn (Flickr)
The Dogma of the EU
In defence of AU UKIP
Lewis Dale investigates the importance of the EU for the citizens and students of the Union
The UKIP Society’s recent skirmish with a local student paper provokes a staunch defence from Aarran McPherson
racks are beginning to appear in the European Union. The European Project was once considered a means of promoting stability, equality and greater European integration. The recurring headache of the sovereign debt crisis, coupled with the popular perception that national interests are continually sacrificed at the altar of the EU, has led to increasing Euroscepticism across the continent. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Cameron’s promise to hold an in-out referendum on Britain’s EU membership in 2017 has placed Europe firmly on the political agenda here in Britain. The growing success of the United Kingdom Independence Party is being matched by that of nationalist parties elsewhere, whilst in Hungary and Greece, right-wing extremism is becoming a real problem. The debate therefore is hotting up for those of us who support European integration. To counter this rise of nationalism, however, the EU itself has sadly resorted to intolerance. Rather than welcome debate, the European Parliament recently published a declaration equivocating opposition to the project with racism and anti-Semitism. This ‘you’re either for the EU or against Europe’ attitude is unhelpful; not least because Europe and the EU are not interchangeable terms. The EU is of great importance to the UK, particularly for trade. EU member-states account for almost
50% of our exports. No one can deny the importance of the EU to UK businesses. Students, too, also benefit. We enjoy the ERASMUS exchange programmes, spend our summers city-hopping across a Europe free of borders and perhaps also look forward to opportunities to work on the continent. There are however workable alternatives to the EU. Norway, for example, which trades around 80% of its exports with the EU, seems to do just fine without EU membership. Switzerland - lying at the very heart of Europe - yet outside of the EU, also trades roughly 60% of its exports with EU member-states. Switzerland and Norway’s inclusion in the Schengen area further suggests that European integration does not necessarily require EU
Photo/ Rock Cohen (Flickr)
membership. According to a report by Open Europe, our membership yields a net cost of £27 billion excluding bail-outs and agricultural policy; having a healthy debate on the matter is therefore in all of our interests. Whether or not you agree with the viability of the UK exiting the EU is for you to decide, but it clearly would be a mistake to compare EU critics and sceptics with racists and anti-Semites. Whilst there are without doubt racists who do denounce the European Union, such as members of Jobbik and Golden Dawn, it is not their opposition to the EU which identifies them as racist extremists, rather their intolerance of multiculturalism and violence towards immigrants.
berdeen University UKIP Society (AUUKIP) has recently been targeted by Aberdeen’s very own answer to Pravda. Hammer & Seagull, a local communist newspaper was all but joking when they demanded in their latest edition that students ‘Get UKIP off our campus’. At first I chuckled to myself; were the editors really claiming to stand up for free speech on the one hand yet deny a voice to those they disagree with on the other? The writer goes on to slate Austrian School Economics and gives a short spiel about the ‘marvellous’ role of the EU. However, the article then takes a more sinister turn and accuses organisations such as AU UKIP of being harmful to society. I fail to see how a society with just three members on campus can in any way make people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in this country, especially when the society is open for all students to join. The writer makes the extraordinary claim that AUUKIP’s Euroscepticism is nothing but underlying xenophobia and racism. This is a society that encourages members from all backgrounds and ethnicities to join and stands against racism. What we are seeing here is the opportunism of the hard left in action. Hammer & Seagull have seen an organisation that holds oppos-
ing views to their own and are attempting to stir up hatred on campus in order to have this society removed. This is a dangerous move by a publication that is written by those who support Marxism, the very ideology that destroyed Eastern Europe’s economy, and the reason why so many people are now coming here via the EU. UKIP, on the other hand, is a party that believes laws affecting Britain should be made in Britain. Where is the harm in that? Much more harmful is Hammer & Seagull’s idea that we should ban any organisation that does not adhere to their particular viewpoint. If Hammer & Seagull are looking for narrow minded bigotry, they need look no further than their writers who hide behind their keyboards.
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Editors: Alasdair Lane & Emily Thorburn
Halloween – Fun, dress up and offence H
alloween: one the biggest and arguably best student nights out of the year. It’s the only night where it’s acceptable to go out dressed as a pumpkin or a witch, a devil or a vampire – and not get strange looks from passers by. Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have come from
5 November 2013
it just the chance to dress up as something scary, pretty, comedic or, dare I say it, a little risqué?! For most people, I would assume it’s the dressing up and playing the part of someone or something different. I imagine many of you started your Halloween plans as I did, by browsing the internet for costume ideas. As a student, I am
health issues are something to be feared is simply untrue and outdated. However, when leading retailers are offering products for Halloween (a traditionally scary time of year) that suggest mental health issues should be feared, it is hardly helpful in challenging people’s preconceptions. Many people took to social media
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Photo/ deviantart.net Celtic countries, some of which have Pagan roots. Celtic groups would gather at the end of the Harvest season to stockpile food supplies for the winter. Ancient Gaels believed that on the fateful 31st of October, the living and the dead worlds would overlap and the deceased would come back to life to wreak havoc (how inconvenient). They believed the dead could cause sickness and infect the food supply. The festival would be celebrated with bonfires, which are believed to have attracted insects and bats (helping them to become forever linked with our associations of Halloween). Masks and face paints were worn in an attempt to appease or impersonate the sprits. Halloween is now internationally celebrated in over 31 countries, including the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland. So what is about this day that is so popular? Is it the cheap entry to student nightclubs? Or is it reminiscing on childhood Halloween parties, dooking for apples and eating donuts off a difficultly placed string? Or is
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highly price conscious and skipped past websites charging upwards of £20 for a custom. Somehow, in my midst of my muddled search I found myself on the TESCO and ASDA websites and I can only describe the costume options as highly disappointing and more worryingly, offensive. While they stock the usual readymade witches and red devil outfits, this year Tesco and Asda seemed to think that stocking a costume of an ‘escaped mental patient’ or ‘psycho killer’ outfit is somehow acceptable. One essentially looked like a zombie outfit, a white dress, mimicking a straight jacket, stained with blood, while the other was an orange jumpsuit, much like those inmates in American prison movies wear, with the word ‘committed’ stamped across the back. It is not just the outfits themselves that can be deemed to be offensive. It is also the name and product description of each. As a society we are meant to be encouraging a positive and nondiscriminatory view of mental health issues. The idea that mental
outlets to express their outrage at the events. According to Sky News, charity Rethink Mental Illness posted on its Twitter account: “Hi @Asda please explain: ‘Everyone will be running away from you in fear in this mental patient fancy dress’.” In the interests of fairness, I should note that both supermarkets did offer sincere apologies and remove the products from shelves quickly, and ASDA even made a large donation to a mental health charity. But does this undo the damage done or make up for the initial mistake? Well, I would argue no, it doesn’t. While I’m sure both supermarkets are sorry, their actions have helped to build up stigma against mental health issues, not tear them down. I can only hope that next Halloween retailers think through their decisions a little better.
By Emily Thornburn
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5 November 2013
The Silver Tongue
Editor: Hamish Roberts
NSA listens in on David Cameron talking Julianne Moore’s Silver dirty to Cabinet Uvula
n the wake of German, Brazilian, French and North Korean outrage at having been ‘spied on by a close and lovable friend’, the NSA has poured cold water on British protests stating ‘after years of surveillance, all we uncovered was that David Cameron nurtures an unusually intimate relationship with his cabinet.’ The Guardian has now come into several text messages sent between Cameron and members of his Cabinet. These range from strangely complimentary: ‘George, you looked so lovely with your red briefcase today. And 0.8% growth, that’s almost one fifth of growth while Maggie was at the helm. Well in!’, to the profoundly dirty: ‘You’re such a naughty boy Clegg. If I ever catch you lying to the commoners again, I’ll come round, drape velvet over you and give you the spanking of a lifetime. ROFL’. Although unusual, these develop-
ments have served to defuse the tension recently palpable throughout the ‘special relationship’. North Korea, however, has expressed its dismay at what it perceives to be a stab in the back by one of its closest allies. ‘Me and Barack used to be so close’, the supreme leader, Kim Jung-un, commented to Human Rights Watch, during the annual Amnesty International awards ceremony. ‘After I invented the game of basketball in 2007, Obama and I used to shoot hoops all the time. Maybe he just had my phone tapped to figure out how I practice my dunks’, the 5’5 dictator said as a rainbow burned and a unicorn fell from the sky. Washington declined to comment. By C. Swift Julianne Moore
Photo/ Guillaume Paumier (wikimedia.org)
Photo/ David_Shankbone (flickr)
Justification for GCHQ spying
ou will have no doubt heard of the incriminating evidence that the NSA has been monitoring the calls of millions of EU citizens and their leaders, with most insignificant help from our own GCHQ. The reaction to this scandal has been widespread condemnation, but one man remains steadfast in his support for the scheme. That man is foreign secre-
recently released under the thirty year rule. “In 1605, an Englishman tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. He had travelled to Spain in order to receive terrorist training, and intended to use the very latest in weapons technology at the time – gunpowder – packed in a cellar to blow the MPs to kingdom come. Home-grown terrorism is a real
to suggest that people are not really bothered by any of these allegations. The main topics coming up in people’s phone calls are Eastenders and the state of the FTSE 100 index.” It seems that Britain can look forward to continued protection
ollywood’s favourite redhead has had a solid silver uvula fitted. Eschewing more humdrum bodily modifications, flame-headed Moore, 52, has taken the, some would say, f**king mental step of having her own fleshly uvula removed and a precious metal one put in its place. A closely-placed source said that “Julianne rightly considers tattoos to be passé and piercings downright lazy, so when the time came for her to mutilate herself in an ostentatious way, she decided that an uvulectomy and tasteful replacement was the way to go. Her new uvula is made of the finest Sterling silver; in fact, so keen was she to get ‘the gold standard’ in silver, as it were, that she flew to Antwerp personally to source the stuff. This, of course, was a wasted journey as the international trade in precious metals doesn’t work that way anymore – but still, it’s a measure of
“In between quaffs of brandy, cigars and incoherent rambling, Sir Anthony Fotheringay Blenkinsop-Keyes, head of GCHQ, did manage to string some words together.” Cartoon - Improvement
Photo/Ministry of Defence tary William Hague, the thunderbirds puppet at the heart of government. At a press conference in Chipping Norton today, he outlined exactly why Britain needs to monitor telephone calls in partnership with our American allies. “Britain is under more threat now than ever in her history’, he told a room of journalists, “If we don’t monitor the phone calls, then we will be a sitting target for any and every kind of attack”. He went on to outline how this is a particularly dangerous time of year for Great Britain, citing a case
danger.” Mr. Hague went on to explain that this remains very sensitive information and is indicative of the threat facing Britain. He explained how it was only a letter that was handed to the king that foiled the plot, and that “intercepting communications in this way remains the single best method of preventing terror.” When probed over how far he feels these revelations will have hurt the government’s re-election hopes, Mr. Hague remained upbeat. “We have significant evidence
from the scheme. We went to the former head of GCHQ, Sir Anthony Fotheringay Blenkinsop-Keyes, for his opinion. In between quaffs of brandy, cigars and incoherent rambling, he did manage to string together some words to the effect of ‘just like the good old days’, ‘they all do it’, ‘lots more to come’ and ‘bloody good thing too’. William Hague agrees: “Next time we just won’t get caught. Besides, if we did stop doing it then the Americans wouldn’t be our friends anymore”. Clearly the foreign policy of this country is well thought out and considered. Mr. Hague ended on a good joke he had heard, which we will leave you with in turn: “Here is a good one I got from Merkel’s texts: did you hear about the accountant who missed out on his local bank’s offer of 7.5 percent? He was very upset.” By F. Urquhart
her commitment (to folly).” Now, as any fool knows, the uvula has a role in speech; with this in mind, we asked Dr Garner Ted Armstrong, renowned otorhinolaryngologist and competitive tongue-twisting champion to assess the potential impact on Moore’s voice. Says Dr Garner Ted: “Ms Moore is right to be concerned (though we have no evidence she is) about the potential implications of this procedure. It isn’t without its complications on the operating table and botched jobs are bloody common, let me tell you! Seriously though - and really there is no other way to say this - her voice may be affected. Or to put it another way, she may not sound the same.” This, according to manic Hollywood vocal coach, Tish Beaumont, “would be a terrible blow to the world of film.” Moore is best known to the movie-going public (after Streep) for her mastery of accents, but, says Tish, in ‘the business’ she is more highly-prized for “her excellent ability to trill and tintinnabulate. She warbles well, can croak, and even chuffs passably: vocallyspeaking (if you’ll pardon the pun!) she’s an all-rounder.” So, the silver uvula walks amongst us. But will it start a trend? One-man cultural commentariat and self-styled ‘prince of wry laughter,’ Simeon Broadstairs, says yes: “Moore has form in this area: her scintillating nude-fromthe-waist-down monologue in Altman’s ‘Short Cuts’ re-taught a generation of women to self-actualize and spare the razor. Who amongst us hasn’t serially been addressed by girlfriend, wife or mother in the same manner since? In ten years’ time the unmetallized soft palate will be a marker of the stiff and the square just as the provincial postcode is today.” By Neil Cupp
5 November 2013
Life & Style
Editor: Alicia Jensen
Style On Campus
AMANDA MARTINY From the USA. Literature Masters student. She gets her fashion inspiration from staying warm! Photo/ Carmelo Establier Sanchez
PAULINA VON ZABELTITZ From Germany, Second year Economics and International Relations student. She gets her ideas from blogs and anything classy. Photo/ Carmelo Establier Sanchez
CLEMENT PELVEN From France, studying Drama in Bordeaux, he gets his inspiration from rock and roll bands in the UK
DEREK STUART English Masters student, gets his fashion inspiration from old school movies.
Photo/ Carmelo Establier Sanchez
Photo/ Carmelo Establier Sanchez
The Italian restaurant just around the corner Clare Blanchard visits Poldino’s Italian restaurant
or a restaurant located on Little Belmont street, so close to Aberdeen’s “Strip” Belmont Street, Poldino’s is surprisingly unknown to Aberdeen students. A cosy family run restaurant, I first stumbled across Poldino’s when I visited Aberdeen as a prospective student with my Dad far too many years ago. I was left with a lasting impression of good food, friendly service, and a warm atmosphere. I had always meant to return one day, so when my 21st Birthday came around, I decided that it was time to go back. It was a Monday night, so the restaurant was fairly quiet, but there were enough other tables that we felt comfortable. We were placed at the back of the restaurant in a nice private section. The staff were very attentive, taking our drinks order nice and fast, and paid good attention to making sure that our wine glasses were never empty for too long. The menu included plenty of choice, with pastas, pizzas, and meat dishes, everything that you would expect in an authentic Italian. The prices were about average, £10 for the main course pasta and pizza dishes. It was always easy to catch
The bill came to about £20 each, for a main and dessert or coffee for everyone, and plenty of wine. The staff were also very happy to find a chair for an extra person to join our table after we had finished our meals. This made us feel very much at home in our dining experience.
“There are always some quirks when you choose a family restaurant rather than a well-oiled chain restaurant” someone’s attention anytime we needed anything. There was, of course, one person in our party who was very late, but the staff were very accommodating, adding his order in while everyone else was finishing off their starters. The food was good, although nothing to really write home about. It was all freshly prepared and the meals arrived correctly, all at the same time, which is always impressive when dining in a larger group. The service seemed prompt, although I didn’t check how long each course took to arrive, but there was certainly no moment when I wondered what
Photos/ Alicia Jensen was taking them so long. The only let down in the service came when we wanted to order our desserts. Some people wanted dessert, some coffees, and some an after dinner drink. Naturally we wanted to order these to come all together, but the first waiter told us that this was not possible. We would have to have desserts first
then coffees. We were a bit taken aback by this, but a younger waiter seemed to realise that we were a bit less than happy, and as soon as the first waiter had left to prepare the desserts, he came over to take our coffee order, so in the end, everything did come at the same time. And the desserts were to die for!
Although there are always some quirks when you choose a family restaurant rather than a well-oiled chain restaurant, overall we had a pleasant evening and felt well looked after. I always feel that the personal touch by a manager whose heart is in his business and his food makes for a much more enjoyable experience, if at times a little unusual.
5 November 2013
ways to save money as a student By Grace Balfour-harle
When you’re out shopping, think before you put something in your basket- do I really need this? If the answer is no, then put it back. Another tip is not to go food shopping when you’re hungry- you’ll end up buying far more than you need! As a student, you’re also privy to some pretty good discounts, so do some research to find out where you can get a discount, and take advantage of it.
Keep a note of what you spend
Keep a physical note of your spending makes it much harder to lose control over it. You’ll also see where you’re over spending. At the end of each day, write down everything that you spent, and I mean everything! If you spent 65p on a bag of crisps, write it down. Every penny counts towards something.
Have a night in
It can be nice to have a relaxing night in, by yourself or with friends. There are fun things to do that don’t involve going out: a movie night with your room mates, a ‘me’ night, even just watch the telly! You could even, shock, horror, study!
Life & Style
A full moon tradition unlike any other Kimberly Lorimer tells us what it’s like to celebrate the full moon in Thailand
or the past thirty years, throngs of partygoers have flocked to the island of Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand every full moon. They let loose and celebrate life by dancing the night away on the sand in a traveller’s utopia. A utopia which comes with warnings nonetheless – robbings are typical, there are a lot of fights and the drinks are likely to be spiked. Yet with dreams of paradise firmly in place, I was lucky enough to experience the full moon party and discover what the island of Koh Phangan had to offer. Surrounded by other young at heart people, my travelling companions and I boarded a vessel bound for Koh Phangan. The atmosphere was buzzing, the temperature was soaring and expectations were sky high. Upon arrival, if Full Moon fever hadn’t already hit, it certainly had now. All the necessities for the party (fluorescent paint, headbands) were on sale, music boomed out onto the sands and offers of all kinds of pre parties - a waterfall party, a jungle party, a foam partywere a plenty. Within minutes we had encountered the infamous ‘bucket stalls’; where patrons are handed a sandcastle bucket filled with your choice of spirit, mixer and the token Red Bull. These stalls are typically named after common western names, celebrities or just how drunk they will make you, letting each partygoer choose a bucket that suits them. We hadn’t just come to party, though. The island is known for its astounding natural beauty, so rather than experience this through the eyes of a hangover,
“There were fireworks, fire twirlers, acrobats and bucket stalls galore, all competing for our attention.” know that they started a partying tradition? Waking up was not so fun. However, I feel compelled to mention, that not one of us were robbed, had our drinks spiked or even had any bother from anyone. What we encountered were people just like us – there to have a good time and celebrate for a night. If it isn’t already on your bucket list, get it on there!
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska we made this our first stop. Ang Thong National Marine Park is credited as being the place which inspired Alex Garland’s novel The Beach. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. This place is paradise. An archipelago of islands surrounded by crystal clear water, with fine white sands and amazing reefs for snorkelling or diving: this place is the real deal. Thursday 19th September. Full Moon Party day. It appeared customary to have pre-party manicures, pedicures and massages, so that is exactly what we did. This was followed by a shopping spree to get all the essential fluro fashion. A few pregame drinks at the hotel and a splash of neon body paint later,
we were off to party! The walk in alone was a spectacle of colour with body painting stalls, bucket stalls and souvenirs. We paid our £2 entry fee and entered a beach party extravaganza like nothing I have ever seen before. There were fireworks, fire twirlers, acrobats and bucket stalls galore, all competing for our attention. Musically, each venue blasts out a tune louder than the next, so if you don’t like a song, you move along to the next place. A lot of dancing and bad singing ensued; a lot of new friends were made. The party reaches its climax at the Paradise Bungalows. It is said the tradition began here as a birthday party for a traveller. I wonder who this traveller was, and I wonder if they
Photo/ Kimberley Lorimer
The Day of the Dead in Aberdeen Our French frog eater Caroline Toussaint describes the Aberdonian Halloween from a new perspective
Instead of using public transport, or if you’re lucky enough to have access to a car, just walk somewhere. An added benefit of this is that you’ll be healthier as well as richer! Another slightly more expensive option is to buy a bike, and then you’ll get around much quicker than just walking. There are many cheap second hand ones for sale on the internet if you are wanting to save money.
This may seem counterintuitive to saving money, but treating yourself once in a while is not a bad thing! If you reward yourself for saving money, by splurging on something nice, it reminds you why you’re saving money in the first place. Just be careful not to do it too often!
hen I arrived in Scotland, people told me that Halloween was something that I shouldn’t miss. “A big night, very peculiar, a crazy atmosphere!” they said. I was looking forward to experiencing the spookiest night of the year in a country where many famous frightening stories take place. In France, Halloween is more for young children. They go from door to door asking for candies (“Des bonbons ou un sort !”), and at the end of their spooky walk, they count how many candies they received, they eat many of them, and then they have a big stomach ache because of the high dosage of sugar now in their little bellies. For the grown-up people who want to celebrate it, it’s more about being the creepiest person of the night, scaring each other, and going to a bar to have a few drinks. Not a big deal, not a big night: it’s not very popular. That’s why I was surprised when I went into town a few days before the 31st of October. I wanted to find a costume and some make up, but there was neither fake blood left, nor black and white make-up, and the biggest surprise above all: there was a big queue to
Photo/ John Waddell enter the costume-shop… Scottish people were really enthusiastic for Halloween, and they seemed to try hard to be the best zombie ever. “Wow”, I thought, “this is going to be a spooky night”. Being scary is what Halloween is supposed to be: it celebrates the day of the dead, and people in disguise should look like them. But I soon discovered that Halloween in Scotland was more
the occasion for people to pay tribute to their idols. I probably saw a dozen of Snow Whites, Alices in Wonderland and little red riding hoods (but nowadays heroines have changed a lot: their crowns became panties) ; and some Pacman (who couldn’t take off their costume to pee), robots, cowboys, and a man wearing knickersuspenders (epic). There was a very wide range of individuals.
And they were definitely more funny than spooky. The atmosphere in the streets was also funny: you could sit down on the sidewalk for a few minutes and observe the people passing by and as though you were watching a comedy play… all for free. My friends and I saw people dancing, a crippled Santa, a pirate checking if her boobs were still in place, and a playboy bunny talking to her buddy, stopping, puking, and continuing with their discussion as if nothing had happened. I discovered that vomit is also a big part of Halloween. Toilets were unreachable because of girls being sick, puddles of omelettes every 5 meters, etc (well, I’ll stop there because this article is becoming filthy). The Aberdonian Halloween was, to be honest, not that spooky. It was a big party, with happy and sick students in costumes. I realised that if something can make Scottish students happy, it’s partying, no matter how. Halloween turned out to be more terrifying the day after: hungover faces walking all around campus: this was the true spooky day of the dead, and they didn’t even need any make-up.
5 November 2013
Life & Style
Keep calm and essay on Pimp my room Alicia Jensen gives tips on essay writing
t’s that time of year that turns our happy smiles into uneasy ones: essay season. We’ve been on an essay-free holiday for months. The last essay I wrote must have been in April. The essay skills that we have feel rusty and it feels impossible to get started, but here are some ideas on where to start. First: calm down. Stop jumping
Photo/ erink_photography (flickr) around thinking about how stressed out you are, it will only make it worse. Over worrying is counterproductive as it focuses your energy on stressing rather than your essay! Make sure that the environment you’re creating for yourself is a calm one, so if you can’t study at home get to the library. Remember that talking about getting something done and actually getting it done are two different things. But
“Calm down. Stop jumping around thinking about how stressed out you are.” psychologically, you feel a sense of (false) accomplishment just from saying you’ll do something – you feel like you’ve been productive, where all you’ve done is SAY you’ll be. So stop saying that you’ll get started with the essay – and actually get started! Prioritise. There are always a lot of things to do during this time of year, but remember what are the most important. Some deadlines might be coming up faster than others; and some courses might require longer preparation time. If it’s a question of balancing work, then just keep in mind that essays are an important part of your course – and sometimes other things can be postponed until after the essay is in! Take the first step. If you want to take a look at the essay at home, make yourself a cup of tea (what I have learned is the way people handle stress in the UK), and open the book. One way of getting in to
the topic itself is to watch a video about the topic – it’ll make you think about the topic, and the idea will start forming in your mind. Even if you can’t sit and write anything down yet, it’s better to think about it than postpone the essay. Essays are like wine: the longer your ideas mature, the better your essay will be. Lastly, keep perspective of your workload and your life. This works both for getting yourself focusedand making sure that you’re not worrying too much about your essay! If you’re considering going out, just remember that there are 365 days in the year that you can have a good night out, but only this week will determine how your essay will turn out. So it might be worth sacrificing a party or two. But also keep perspective on the essay and don’t let stress affect you too much. If you’re finding yourself worrying and planning and making lists to no end rather than actually getting anything done, then remember that it’s just an essay. Just try your best, and you’ll get another chance to make it up in either another essay or an exam for the course. And even though it feels like there are so many things happening at once, and so much for you to do, it probably won’t have a long term impact on your life.
Sebastian Raybaud shares his green pesto recipe Ingredients
his recipe is close to my heart, as I have always loved the pesto sauce; a staple in my Italian grandma’s cooking. I have always loved the creaminess and velvety texture of the sauces she would make. The pesto sauce is one of those sauces always readily available at the supermarkets; pop open the container and spoon it over your pasta. But hopefully this article will teach you and inspire you to make it yourself! In 1863, Giovanni Battista Ratto published La Cuciniera Genovese that had one of the first pesto recipes. It read: “take a clove of
Photo/ Jackie Newman (flickr) garlic, basil, or when that is lacking, marjoram and parsley, grated Dutch and Parmigiano cheese, and mix them with pine nuts and crush it all together with a mortar.” In the true Genoese tradition, the pesto would be accompanied with troffie or elongated gnocchi, or the more orthodox and popular dried pasta. Pesto is a layer of flavours, built individually until you get a creamy texture. If you do not have a mortar, then I recommend using a mixer. Once you’re done, you can use the pesto on pasta and meats such as salmon, chicken and steak – they marry well together with a side of mixed vegetables or mashed potatoes.
ave you just moved into a room, in which you don’t like living? The colour of the walls, which you can’t even describe, the random furniture which does not match together? You want to redecorate your room, but you are a student, and you don’t have a lot of money to do it. Here are some tips, which can make your room nicer. After a long day of lectures, your new room will seem a much more attractive place to relax.
floor, will give a sense of a warm atmosphere, especially if you can also use it as a comfort blanket. Buy candles and incense: this will give a nice smell to your room. Candles on your windowsill or dressing-table will give an impression of a romantic place, don’t be afraid to try. Just keep in mind that a too strong smell of incense will not let you sleep, and candles must have something under them for safety reasons (and don’t forget that candles and
Photo/ Ewa Czerwinska
Green galore – the salsa verde that shook the world A big packet of basil leaves 50g of pine nuts 3 large garlic cloves 40g Parmigiano Reggiano (30g for sauce, 10g for garnishing) Olive oil Salt/pepper to taste
Tadas Cilcius shows good ways to brighten up dreary student accommodation
Method 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Grate the parmesan cheese and set aside. Peel the skin off the garlic cloves. Put in the basil leaves into the mixer and blend. Add the pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and garlic cloves to the mixer. Blend all the ingredients well. Add olive oil slowly and blend, until it is a thick, creamy texture.
incense are not allowed in student accommodations.)
Firstly, cleaning your room has magical power. No one likes dust or a bad smell. If you have a carpet, shampoo it. It will help to get rid of the smell and will clean stains on it. And don’t forget to clean your windows and mirrors with window cleaner, which will make them crystal clear. You always need to think about space. Your room cannot be overcrowded with furniture or small, nice things which don’t go together. It really is enough for one person to have a wardrobe, a desk, a chair and a bookshelf. You can use your windowsill as it is the best place to keep a framed photo of your family, souvenirs from abroad, and a small box with things you need every day. You may not be able to change the wallpaper or paint the walls of a rented room, but you can always hide those bits you do not want to see every day. Print your favourite pictures of places you have visited, or plan to visit one day, and make a collage from them. Your desk needs a corkboard: it is so convenient to stick a shopping list on it. Be creative: if you have been to a great concert lately, stick your ticket on it! Light is essential, if you want to spend a day or an evening in your room. Open the curtains to allow the natural light from outside in. Don’t forget about room light. If it does not have a shade, you can get one at most supermarkets in Aberdeen. A cheap and nice way to do it is to buy a paper lantern, which is so easy to fit! Buy a bed duvet cover. You don’t want your bedding getting dirty, and a duvet cover, which matches with your carpet or wooden
Don’t Although it’s written above that a paper lantern is a great idea for changing your room light, never buy a very bright paper lantern. From my experience, I bought a red one and now my room looks like a Red Light District! Plants and flowers make your room more alive. But be honest with yourself: three-week’s holidays, a night or two not at your place and long days at the library writing your essay or preparing for exams will make them dry and dead. Don’t keep birthday or Christmas cards for months, as these do not last forever. If you still want to remember someone’s wishes, keep only a few of them temporarily. This applies as well to Valentine’s cards and glamorous souvenirs, which are so nice to get, but not appropriate to be kept – at least in view throughout the year. Hanging an old painting on your wall will make your room look miserable. Although sometimes antique things go together with modern ones, you need to be very accurate. Also imagine your girlfriend or boyfriend entering your room, when a portrait of old woman or a small house is hanging on your wall… It’s great that you decided to make a photo collage on your wall. But don’t use pins. They will make holes in your wall and your photos. The best way to do it is to use a sticky tack, which does not leave marks on your wall, and it makes it so easy to remove or update your collage.
5 November 2013
Life & Style
An apple, a pear, an hourglass, and a tube Ysabelle McGuire and Alicia Jensen consider how we should change the media’s idea of the perfect body
eing able to promote and define a healthy lifestyle is something that has proved difficult in our society. Promoting a healthy body image is still of lesser importance to the media than endorsing an unhealthily thin body. In recent attempts to turn around the notion that very thin girls are the best looking, some claim that ‘curvy’ women are real women and skinny women are not. As for men, is an an incredibly toned and muscular man what a perfect body should look like? It isn’t fair to judge a body based on one conception of what is good looking. What is important is to promote a healthy body, and a healthy lifestyle. A large issue a lot of women and men of all ages suffer from is a distorted body image of what is perfect. A poor body image and lack of confidence in your image is associated with depression, eating disorders, over-use of cosmetic surgery, as well as obesity and unhealthy weight loss behaviours. As it stands today, 1 in 3 women say that are dissatisfied with their body image. Body image is the mental picture you have of your body – what it looks like, and how you feel about your body, which is related to self-esteem. Your body is important as it affects the opinion you have of yourself. How you value your body has a direct effect on how you look after yourself in a number of ways. It is hard to take care of yourself if you have a negative view of the way your body looks, or the way you feel – taking care of yourself can be side tracked and put to the back of your mind. But if you like your body, you’ll take care of yourself by keeping yourself healthy and keeping your body happy. We find ourselves looking for information in the wrong places: instead of looking for the best ways to be healthy and dealing with body image issues in a healthy way, we often find ourselves stumbling into the dark spaces of the internet.
from what they call ‘encouraging a positive body image’. It’s hard to define what a good body type is, all body types being different. A better way to look at body image, then, is health. When it comes to feeling good about your body and yourself, it’s a question of taking care of your body through eating well and exercising regularly. Taking care of your body means you respect your body.
“There are so many different body types so everyone’s ideal weight and shape will differ – and that’s something that should be shown in the media but too often is not.” Photo/ Relaxing Music (flickr) One of the most searched things on the internet is ‘thinspiration’ – which is essentially pictures of thin women, and rules and guidelines of how to stay or get thin. This is problematic for many of the reasons mentioned above as it highlights that the ‘thin’ body is the most perfect, and many people will not treat their body well to get thin. On the other hand, newspaper and website headlines also read ‘I love being curvy’ or something along those lines, whilst promoting an obese or overweight body image to contrast thinspiration. Neither thinspiration nor promoting obesity or being overweight are healthy attitudes to body image. It isn’t healthy to be extremely overweight or too thin, and whilst it is a good thing that women do feel comfortable and
confident in their bodies, it isn’t good to advertise an unhealthy image as a correct one in either extreme form. Of course, it’s hard to define what the correct image to promote is. This is because you can be ‘curvy’ but live a very healthy and balanced lifestyle (yet there is a distinction between being obese/ overweight and curvy), and you can be thin and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle (again there is a distinction between being thin and too thin). There is no easy or clear way to define what the best ‘body’ is, as each individual’s body will vary. What is rarely seen is the promotion of a regular sized body: most advertisements include thin models. There are some great examples of campaigns that try to get a ‘healthier’ body image out to
women. One example is the Dove advertisements, with adverts that show average sized women. It’s important to notice that these include naturally thin people, and naturally curvy people – with just different body types. The models look healthy and happy, and confident – as they should be! This is a great way to show women that a ‘normal’ sized body can be beautiful as well. These kinds of campaigns are important because they show how a good looking body isn’t always what’s found on the cover of a magazine. A Swedish department store called Åhléns has also introduced size 12 mannequins. The effort to have mannequins closer to the size of the average shopper at the department store has been received with positive reactions,
Respecting your body also means to not over eat, be careful about what you eat, but it also means that you are not starving yourself or denying your body nutrition that it needs. When you take care of your body you’ll feel healthy, which is the most important thing. When you feel healthy, you’ll feel good about your body and yourself. It’s important that the world saw the idea of healthy for what it is. It isn’t the same body shape for every person, it can be entirely different. Health is what body image should be about. The perception people have and present to the world of what is ‘perfect’ should be examined more– because being ‘perfect’ as the media depicts it should never be the most important thing for anyone, being healthy should be.
Bitchy Bosses, self-discipline, and time management in a nutshell Ashley Sevadjian talks about time management, self-discipline, and bitchy bosses
any students at Aberdeen University have a parttime job they juggle with course work and social lives. Sometimes pressures of the workplace can cast a shadow over the other areas of life. Whether you’re only working a couple hours at the weekend or squeezing in classes around a full time job, it’s important to strike a balance and find a way to cope with stress of the job. More importantly, how is a full time student supposed to avoid anxiety over a job and how many hours are too many? Perhaps the number one stress a student has at a parttime job erupts from poor time management. There are some students who are adamant that it is possible to work 30 hours a
week and still have enough time to devote to assignments, but I disagree. It takes up too much of your free time and your study time to allow yourself to fully focus on your studies. A student who works up to 16 hours, however, may not be sacrificing study time. They may instead be sacrificing those hours spent lazing about doing nothing in particular- like those moments when you look at your phone to check your emails or even to glance at the time, and one hour later you cast your phone aside with stinging eyes and a depleted battery. There is, of course, self-discipline involved with employment while being a full time student. We all find a way to blame our lack of preparation on the things we don’t
like doing in the first place: ‘I had to work all weekend so I didn’t research my essay’ or ‘I was going to go to the library to write that document report, but my boss phoned and asked me to start early’. But when dealing with the pressures of balancing your studies with a job, question what the real source of stress is, before making any changes at work. Keep in mind that you are the judge of what you can handle, and if you truly believe work is affecting your studies then discuss these issues with your boss or ask if you can reduce your hours. Psychology student Cassie says, ‘Make sure you know Uni is your priority. As much as we would all love some extra cash in our wallets, course work is more important’. Another fairly common form
of stress on the job comes in the familiar form of bitchy bosses and co-workers. The label ‘bitchy’ is too freely given to unsuspecting employees who simply don’t get along with you. Or the sycophantic gossip, with an attitude which could make Regina George herself feel fugly. Either way- it’s always there- at every job. No matter where you work or who you work with, you are probably going to encounter some conflict or other with a member of staff. Melissa, an Accounting student, gives sound advice on taking a step back before judging your colleagues, ‘I try and remember co-workers and bosses are humans too and everyone is fighting some sort of personal battle. So I try and treat everyone with respect and remember that
everyone has bad days.’ In other words: give them a break. Not everyone is going to get along; it doesn’t work that way. The best you can do is to not take any friction or rude remarks personally. There are so many different kinds of stress that students can encounter at work, but an open mind and a clear set of priorities can ensure you don’t get swept away in the tide of worries that often accompany a job. Know your rights, and don’t let yourself be bullied. You don’t have to choose between cash and good grades if you just stay focused. If you need further advice, ask friends what they do to balance work and Uni, or seek guidance from the new Personal Tutor programme in place this year.
5 November 2013
Editor: Elizabeth Ozolins
Elizabeth Ozolins speaks to alternative rock band Tubelord about Math Rock and their song writing technique How would you describe your sound? Joe: How would we describe our sound? Muddy, we were saying the other day weren’t we? Dave: Muddy? Tom: No man, not muddy! Dave: Earthy, bassy. Joe: Earthy? Dave: Earthy man. Earthy was the word that I’ve been going for. And my cymbals take up the rest. It’s pretty much just bass, that’s about where the most clarity is. That’s how we describe our sound. Tubelord has been described as Math Rock. What elements of this genre do you think are present in your music? Dave: Most of it’s in the older songs that we do. We’re not trying to distance ourselves from it, but I think in our recent stuff there isn’t really any of that. It’s quite hard from inside to tell whether there is but I don’t really think there’s much of that at all. Joe: Math Rock is just so a few years ago. Dave: Yeah, it doesn’t really feel relevant now. I mean, there are still people who really like it but I don’t think that there’s much innovation now. James: The way we see it is that Math Rock is a genre and that genre has specific things. Those things are usually a drummer, two guitarists, a bass player, no vocals and they’re usually really heavy, really complicated, really quite long, drawn out songs and I think everything that I just said, we have none of. Tubelord: (laughs) James: So I’ve never understood it.
Dave: Yeah, there are some good bands doing it but...
say that their songs aren’t in 4/4 or something. It’s Math Rock!
One of them is unusual time signatures. Dave: I guess that was one. But that was a long time ago. Tom: But just playing in five for a whole chorus doesn’t class as math rock because math rock is constantly changing. Joe: I was trying to play some of the old songs the other day and there were certain bits I had to learn how to do again and then it came to my head that this is where the math tag is coming from. It’s just a little less than a second twiddle in one of our songs. Just that little fragment. James: It’s weird though because obviously the new album stuff, we’ve tried to take in as many different genres as we physically can and it seems weird that that’s the one that people pick up on. Tom: Well it is in there a bit. Joe: People really miss it though don’t they. Dave: Well listen to the old albums then, we want to move on. You know, do a different album, why not? Tom: Math Rock’s boring man (laughs).
When I first heard your first album, I really thought you sounded like The Mars Volta in some songs and they’re described as Math Rock. Joe: That’s more of a fair comparison, I suppose. Tom: It’s nonsense though. Joe: I think that we’re more similar to The Mars Volta than say, Hella. James: It’s a stupid genre name basically that doesn’t really apply to any bands. I don’t know who invented that. James: Only one band I can think of is Don Caballero. They’re the only band I would call Math Rock. I don’t think I would call any other band Math Rock. Joe: I think that it’s quite a UK thing like This Town Needs Guns, Black fish; it’s all sort of around that same time. James: But those bands don’t sound anything like each other. Joe: They just didn’t use a straight 4/4 time signature. James: It’s the only thing they have in common. James: That’s basically what people mean I guess, but it’s just a stupid phrase to use in order to
Only mathematicians can work this one out. Is five really a complicated number compared to four? James: Count to five? Tom: Just one more! James: That’s even one less than six! (laughs) Joe: Six isn’t Math Rock! Joe: Eminem made that song in 5/4, that was really quite confusing. A hip-hop song in 5/5 is a strange thing. Tom: Math-hop.
Photo/ Mathew Comer
You just created a new genre. James: Oh no! Tom: What have we done? (laughs). Would you consider yourselves an experimental band? Joe: Yeah, but not in the way that we sound like experimental music but some of the processes we went through were experimental. So we undertook an experiment. James: Also, the whole second album was a complete experiment. We started without knowing what the outcome was going to be. Joe: I knew.
James: Well I didn’t (laughs). Dave: Joe wrote all of the songs on his laptop in midi, everything that was in his mind, we had to interpret and learn so Joe knew what he wanted it to sound like but it was kind of like Chinese whispers between him and the laptop. We were getting Chinese whispers out of the laptop instead of his mind because that was the only way he could represent what he wanted it to sound like. So we were like, ‘so maybe that bit needs to sound like that bit, is that right?’ and he would be like, ‘yeh okay, cool’. Joe: See, that was the most fun part though, getting in the studio, setting up and we all knew the songs, we all knew the parts, and if you were saying like, ‘what about the drum sound or the bass sound?’, and I was like, well that has nothing to do with me anymore. I wrote the songs but then it’s on you after that. Tom: At the time of writing, we were living in Bristol so we needed to use the internet to get the songs to each other. Dave: So in that sense, it was quite an experiment for us, but it was so much fun in that respect. Tom: It was cool to sit down in a room on your own and figure stuff
out for yourself. Joe: By that point, all I had been doing is, I had made a demo and by the time I got to the studio, I hadn’t even made a guitar part, they all knew the parts and I was like, well I have a demo that I don’t even want any more (laughs). Tom: And the lyrical process was very experimental. Did the creation of your first album differ from the second? Tom: The first album was pretty similar. Dave: But I think that there were probably some songs from there that were from the earlier batch of demo EPs and stuff. Joe: Like Stacy’s (Left Arm), that was just two of us in my house. Dave: That was before we even had a real bassist as well. That’s going back a long way. Is it true you’ve had six bassists? Dave: Bassists are basically rubbish. Tom: Thanks! Dave: No! I was going to say that it takes six bassists to find a good one, but, I now take it back!
5 November 2013
REVIEWS Music Reflektor Arcade Fire ALBUM RELEASE: 28 OCTOBER 2013
By Fraser Walker
than previous albums have had. In terms of tracks, Reflecktor is the strongest, opening the album and providing the listener with a strong idea of the musical theme that will occur throughout the rest of the album. ‘Here comes the night time’, ‘It’s Never Over’ and ‘Afterlife’ are highly successfully tracks which express the development and variety that the band has to offer. Arcade Fire is a band that improves and brings something different to the table with every album. There is a softer tone and slower pace on a few tracks, which to some could seem dull and less engaging. On
There has certainly been mixed reactions concerning this album. However, I must come clean and state that my opinion regarding Arcade Fire might be a little one -sided due to the fact that I am an avid fan of the Canadian group. In 2010, the band was in their element with the success of ‘The Suburbs’, with the band having received two Brit awards for best album and best international group. Comparably, Reflektor certainly has a different
“Arcade Fire is a band that improves and brings something different to the table on every album. “ feel to previous albums in the sense that the bass is subsonic and with uplifting choruses and all the tracks have more of a dance feel
the other hand, this album is a work of art. As pretentious as that may sound, this band is musically gifted; every song, beat and lyric has been carefully thought through. So, if you want to escape the current musical car crashes that have been fabricated by the music industry then I recommend you pick up this album. Reflektor is a clear depiction of musical talent from a band who keep building on musical successes.
Prism Katy Perry ALBUM RELEASE: 18 OCTOBER 2013
By Michael Cameron Katy Perry is one of those artists who most people enjoy. Whether you are comfortable enough with yourself to admit it or like me simply mutter her catchy tunes under your breath and hope that no one notices, her music is definitely loveable. If you are one of those people who outright denies her catchiness, then your life is missing one big wedge of musical sunshine. Regardless of whether you’re a proud Perry patron or in the closet Katy club, this new album really should not fail to disappoint. From start to finish, the album has the same happy-go-lucky, bouncein-your-step feel that comes with every other Katy Perry song. Overall, it is a refreshing change of pace from pop music in general, which seems to be awfully serious and predominantly about partying these days. Prism on the other hand is full of nineties synths, disco back beats and accompanied by lyrics about love and beauty. The opening track, and lead single from the album, Roar is a such a feel good, empowering song that it actually has the line ‘I am a
champion’ in it: the kind of song that makes you feel like you can do absolutely anything. ‘Walking on Air’ is the height of the nineties feel in the album; it is almost entirely synth based and wonderfully catchy. There are times when the album threatens, briefly, to slip back into being all about partying and getting drunk in the form of ‘This Is How We Do’, but recovers quickly with ‘International Smile’, a happy song about pretty girls and seeing the world. Towards the end of the album, ‘This Moment’ keeps the cheesy, eighties and nineties
STARRING: JOHN BERGER, HAMISH HENDERSON, LUCIA LANZARINI
By Jess Johnson Last Sunday, the Belmont Picturehouse showed the last in its run of Timothy Neat films, to coincide with the close of his brilliant exhibition at Peacock Visual Arts gallery in Castlegate. Titled Play Me Something, and opened with an introduction by Neat himself as well as a short film in Gaelic about Highland Traveller people (Rathad Nan Ceard, 1994), this charmingly peculiar nugget of British cinema won the Europa prize in Berlin in the year of its release, and is widely regarded as somewhat of an artistic masterpiece. It begins on the Hebridean Isle of
1Fire.TheItProdigy – World’s on is a bit surreal and
unnerving to think that a force as in-your-face as The Prodigy physically exists. Now take that wild thing, let it feed off of a crowd of more than 65,000 nutters and record the results. Toward the end of the gig Keith Howlett called it ‘the best night of our f*****g lives’. That is a pretty big claim, but given the madness they let loose on Milton Keynes I am not inclined to doubt him. Radiohead – I Might Be 2 Wrong: Live Recordings. Kid A and Amnesiac were
feeling going strong right to the end. Do not expect this album to be musically impressive; it manages to simultaneously have a dire lack of variation but also be woefully inconsistent. But it never promised to be musically astounding, it promised to be a cheery blast of pop fun, mingled with synths and sing-a-long choruses, and that’s exactly what it is.
Film Play Me Something (1989)
technically astounding albums. There are few bands with the guts to take that spaghetti-like mass of sound and untangle it on-stage. Credit to Mr Yorke and co. that, with only a little sacrificing of complexity for power, they pulled it off exquisitely. On the other hand, an acoustic version of ‘Spinning Plates’ absolutely steals the show.
3 U2– Under a Blood Red Sky. Before the paraphernalia
of later tours – the mass TV screens and general weirdness of the Pop/Zooropa era, the spectacle of the 360° stage – their gigs rested on some honest-to-goodness cracking rock songs and the charisma of their frontman. This is oldfashioned U2 at its very best.
Barra, where a group of would-be travellers are waiting for a plane to make its way through the fog and deliver them to the mainland. While hanging around in waiting room stasis, and The Stranger (played by John Berger) begins to weave a story of love and magic in Venice between an Italian peasant and a secretary, which begins to be reflected in the actions of his rapt listeners (the ranks of which include a very young Tilda Swinton, as The Hairdresser). Italian classicism meets Scottish pragmatism in Neat’s depiction of his subjects, the Caravaggesquely warm-lit and captivated faces of his characters framed by anoraks and NHS glasses in place of floral garlands and antique drapery. The story is powerfully driven, its mixture of monochrome and colour, static and movement, and silence and noise casting as much of a spell over the viewing audience as Berger’s Prospero-like Stranger does over his listeners. Neat makes a commentary on the art of storytelling itself, while paying tribute to the contrasting archipelagic beauties of Venice and Barra.
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology DIRECTED: SOPHIE FIENNES STARRING: SLAVOJ ZIžEK
By Sophie Fiennes The documentary Pervert’s Guide to Ideology is one of the rare cinema-experiences that you come out of confused but having loved it. The film is Sophie Fiennes’ second installment of the series The Pervert’s Guide, with the first one being on cinema itself and a fantastically odd piece of cinema. TPGTI (shortened from original long name) follows philosopher, psycoanalyst and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek through various film sets where Žižek takes on the task of explaining various ideologies present today by using films as examples. Whilst Žižek casually sits on a toilet seat in a
set associated with its iconic film version, he explains how a variety of ideologies work in life and how they get portrayed in a variety of films. The genius of the documentary lies in the way it has been made. Something as confusing as ideologies is translated in a way that is easy to understand. You do not even need to know the films referenced to as Žižek explains the storylines and why he chose the particular film making it even easier for a cinema geek to just sit back and enjoy. Documentaries have a reputation amongst some people as films which are quite dull and slow, however this one is definitely not. This film is an extremely entertaining piece of cinema and Žižek has a sense of charisma which many Hollywood stars very much lack nowdays.
“Something as confusing as ideologies is translated in a way that is easy to understand.”
4 Daft Punk – Alive 2007. No, they don’t just press ‘play’ and then pretend to scratch discs for an hour and a half. They are DJs at heart: this was how their music was meant to be heard, artfully blended and mashed together in something more like a gigantic party than a mere gig.
The Who – Live at Leeds. 5 Popular opinion is that this album is as good as or better than their recorded material: as a guy who gets bored halfway through Quadrophenia I could not agree more. If you want your fix of their storytelling style without digging in for the long haul then this is the ideal compromise. By Scott Reid
Arts News Lou Reed, the legendary American musical pioneer, died last week aged 71 of liver-related issues. Responsible for such seminal albums as The Velvet Underground and Nico and Transformer, he has been publically mourned by the likes of David Byrne, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop. Lady Gaga’s characteristically ‘zany’ performance on The X Factor last week prompted over 250 complaints from the general public.
Captain Phillips DIRECTED: PAUL GREENGRASS STARRING: TOM HANKS, BARKHAD ABDI, BARKHAD ABDIRAHMAN, FAYSAL AHMED
By Anastasia Cojocaru
The British Fashion Award nominees have been released, and include newcomers such as Simone Rocha and Agi & Sam as well as the more established Burberry, Peter Pilotto and Alexander McQueen. The winners will be announced in December.
ship, MV Maersk Alabama, was taken over. The movie is based on Phillips’ memoir which describes the real events surrounding the hijacking of the US tanker by Somali pirates in 2009. The British director Paul Greengrass takes the audience directly into the middle of drama, emphasising details and trying to balance the nervejangling tension and full-throttle conflict, just like he did with United 93. Tom Hanks delivers one of his finest interpretations with him inhabiting a role arguably as dramatically potent as in Road to Perdition. His un-compelling character starts with the attitude of a hero, whose actions are dignified. However when Phillips is taken hostage, panic gradually cracks his
Baby-faced, gravel-voiced London soul/darkwave phenomenon King Krule made his debut U.S. television performance on David Letterman this week, performing ‘Easy Easy’. The memoir of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls, was released last month titled I Am Malala and has already sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide.
When we think of pirates, Jack Sparrow the captain of the Black Pearl, is the first image which comes to mind. For him, piracy consists of a bold attitude, getting drunk and fooling around with Keith Richards. The pirates in Captain Phillips differ greatly from the wooden legs and eye-patches of Pirates of the Caribbean. The Somali Pirates want money and they are determined to use their AK-47s when they negotiate with Captain Richard Phillips who was taken hostage after his commercially chartered cargo
By Jess Johnson
t has definitely been a big year for Scottish music. Biffy, Frightened Rabbit and CHVRCHES have all had pretty massive albums out. Biffy headlined Reading & Leeds. Twin Atlantic have played their biggest shows to date. Mogwai have just put out a teaser for their next album. We’ve got loads of really well established bands. But there are even more that are on the cusp of making it, and deserve to do so. We’ve been lucky enough to have some of these come up to Aberdeen recently. Fatherson are possibly the only band in Scotland without an album out that are capable of filling The Garage. The hype around them is pretty well justified. They’ve got as many anthems as anyone else out there. A summer spent on the main stages of festivals has let them sharpen their stagecraft. Emotional without being sentimental, anthemic without being contrived… Rousing in every way. Prides have been plying their trade for a shorter period of time (in their current incarnation at least) but have gained a pretty fanatical following since they came into existence earlier this year. The Glasgow trio have already played Reading/Leeds, T In The Park, Belladrum and Wickerman
All my Sons by Josh Bircham
Beck will be releasing a new album on Capitol Records next year, titled Morning Phase. It is being described as a ‘companion piece, of sorts’ to his 2002 album Sea Change.
12 Years A Slave was released in the UK last week. Directed by and starring two Britons, Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor, The New Yorker dubbed it “easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery”.
initial attitude. The movie has a pounding pulse, driven by fear and the need to establish control over people as is seen in the relationship between Muse and Phillips. When Muse says ‘Everything gon’ be okay’ he seems to be trying to reassure himself, not his prisoners. The last 30 minutes, which concludes with a feeling of pure relief, not revenge, are full of breath-taking tension. The director is able to masterly deal with situations dominated by frenzy and chaos in the most comfortable manner.
Aberdeen shows: FATHERSON AND PRIDES “One of the most reassuring things about seeing these bands live in Aberdeen is that they chose to have the best local talent supporting them.” festivals, and their single Out Of The Blue (currently available as a free download online) was played by all the big cheeses on Radio 1. Their anthemic synth-pop is maybe best compared to CHVRCHES, but the male vocals give it a different edge. One of the most reassuring things about seeing these bands live in Aberdeen is that they chose to have the best local talent supporting them. I’ve raved about Forest Fires, Cara Mitchell and Margaret Finlayson here before, but seeing them share a stage with the best in the country should give us all hope that our music scene isn’t lagging too far behind our southern counterparts’. By Alan Henderson
“The reason why All my Sons will always be widely watched, taught and appreciated is because in the play Miller targeted a flaw within everyone.”
Drake has announced he will be doing a UK tour supported by The Weeknd in 2014.
Germaine Greer has sold her lifetime archive to the University of Melbourne, her alma mater. She plans to put the proceeds towards Australian rainforest rehabilitation schemes. The archive includes diaries, letters, and early drafts of novels, amongst other things.
5 November 2013
oe Keller, the protagonist of Arthur Miller’s All my Sons, is an everyman. Since the mediaeval days of morality plays, this type of character has been used as a warning and a guide to audiences and readers: don’t be like him. The worry is, though, that we are just like him. He is a self-taught, hardworking father and husband with a steady job and a home he built for himself. In short, he is ‘A man among men’. The reason why All my Sons will always be widely watched, taught and appreciated is because in the play, Miller targeted a flaw within
everyone, one which continues to this day and one which Miller saw in an America revelling in the hope of the American dream: we are all selfish. In the midst of the Second World War, Joe Keller is the boss of a factory which manufactures aircraft engine cylinder heads. Upon finding a hairline crack in those on the production line, he ignores it for fear of losing his company money, causing 21 P-40 planes to fall out of the air and his son to commit suicide from the shame. Joe’s tragic mistake is his blindness in his love for his
family, and his love for money to support them. For him, ‘Nothin’ is bigger’ than family. These two traits are not personal to Joe, they are universal. Miller is suggesting that we all put ourselves, our money and our families ahead of the needs of everyone else. In the 1940s when he was writing the play, America was alive with the American dream, a hope that anyone can come and create a new life. However, Miller suggests that this concept is flawed as a society cannot function while formed from individuals who care only for
themselves. To return to what defines Joe Keller: he is a self-made man. In an America currently torn over issues such as gun laws and national health care, the very themes Arthur Miller was addressing continue to be relevant. America is a nation of self-made men: you have the right to free speech, to arm yourself, to keep what is rightfully earned. However, the fear is that this can be dangerous: guns can be legally purchased by those wishing to protect themselves but also those wishing to cause harm; holding on to your money creates a poverty trap for those worse off. Perhaps Miller’s lesson still resounds, to remember the needs of others and not just your own. Joe Keller reaches this conclusion before he commits suicide: ‘but I think to him [the pilots killed] were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they were”’
5 November 2013
Editor: Josiah Bircham
Music Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire (Support from Wilson Gray) The Lemon Tree 6 November 2013 19:30pm £8.80 inc b.f. Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire are a band defiantly in the classic mould, eluding a darkly compelling conjunction of classic Americana and Celtic soul. They are set to make their mark this year with the release of their long awaited eponymous album. Having released three independent solo records, Hart decided to shake the traditional singer/songwriter tag and concentrate on building an exciting and formidable sevenpiece band.
RSNO present Williams’ Fifth Music Hall
Paul Mealor’s (The Beatitudes) and the Fauré Requieum St Machar’s Cathedral 10 November 2013 4.00pm Entry: £10, but students free Come along and support the University Chamber Choir (and St Andrews Chapel Choir) as they perform Aberdeen’s own Paul Mealer’s Beautitudes and the fantastic Fauré Requiem. Also, it’s totally free if you’re a student. There’s almost no reason why you wouldn’t attend
Turin Brakes Lemon Tree Lounge 10 November 2013 7:30pm Entry: £20.00 plus b.f. If you don’t fancy Fauré’s Requiem you can still get your musical fix on the 10th by attending Turin Brakes performance. The English duo, comprises of Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian, hailing from Balham, London. They had UK top 5 hit with their song “Painkiller (Summer Rain)”. Since starting out in 1999, the band has sold around 1 million records internationally. Their sound is brilliantly varied from record to record, and has ranged from indie rock to funk to acoustic.
7 November 2013 7.30pm Entry: £22.00 At the heart of the firestorm of World War II, Ralph Vaughan Williams looked around himself and saw a vision of peace. Vaughan Williams’ Fifth is quite simply one of the finest symphonies ever composed in Britain. It also provides a striking contrast to Britten’s deadpan take on English folklore and a startlingly different world to Shostakovich’s tense political thriller of a Cello Concerto, both of which will also be performed at the occasion. See pre-show talk at 6.30pm.
Stereophonics AECC 7 November 2013 6.30pm Entry: £35.00 plus b.f. Described as “classic UK rock delivered with whiskey vocals”, the headlining Welsh band have been summarised as possessing a sound akin to the genres of alternative rock and “British traditional rock.” They have achieved a total of ten top-ten singles as well as one number one: 2005’s Dakota. Having sold around 9 million copies worldwide, Stereophonics are one of the most successful Welsh rock acts. Importantly, they are also well known for being excellent live, so it’s probably a good idea to grab the chance while they’re in Aberdeen.
Quickbeam + Amy & Kathryn Sawers Peacock Visual Arts 16 November 2013 8.00pm Entry: £7.50 (ticketed) Come and see two fantastic music acts for a fantastically affordable price. Quickbeam are an atmospheric/ cinematic band based in Glasgow. Part sparse minimalism and part luscious extravagance, Quickbeam presents a confident showcase of the members’ growing maturity as songwriters. Consistently underpinned by orchestrally arranged strings, brass, and rich harmonium pitted against thunderously distorted guitar passages and pounding rhythms, their music has a very grand quality. Amy and Kathryn Sawers have been dubbed the first ladies of the Aberdeen music scene. Amy will be just back from some sell-out dates in in West USA with her Fat Hippy label & Kathryn has just managed to fund her debut LP through a Kickstarter campaign which oversubscribed in eight days.
Events Aberdeen’s Fireworks Spectacular Beach Boulevard and Esplanade 5 November 2013 6.30pm Entry: It’s all outside and free Who wouldn’t like to celebrate the foiling of a plot against the government by firing exciting coloured explosives into the air? I certainly would. The Bonfire Night spectacular includes the charity firewalk from 6.30pm then a stunning twenty-minute fireworks display accompanied by music from 7.30pm. Remember to wrap up warmly and leave all dogs and friends of a nervous disposition at home. Also, please don’t bring your own fireworks or alcohol- it’s frowned upon
Aberdeen Fashion Week Copthorne Hotel 31 October 2013 - 3 November 2013 Times Vary, see on the website http://www. aberdeenshirefashionweek.co.uk/ Entry: VIP £15.00, standard £10.00 Aberdeen and fashion; surely not? Well, in fact, yes! With exciting pieces from established, emerging and student designers, as well as a range of couture, eco friendly clothing and ready to wear outfits, Aberdeen’s Fashion Week displays a vibrant range of creativity and style. Come along to grab a chance to pick up an individual and exciting garment or just to see what fashion is on show.
The Aberdeen Film Network The Belmont Picture House 4 November 2013 7.00pm Entry: free Are you a filmmaker, actor or movie enthusiast? Why not pop along and share ideas, make connections and find out about relevant opportunities in the North East of Scotland and further afield? It’ll be a blast. The events will be hosting a variety of guest speakers from the film, television, and broadcast industries in Scotland, but this month there will be a focus on the filmmakers and actors attending, inviting them to advertise themselves as skilled people looking for local projects. You’ll be given encouragement to pitch film ideas and network with others in the film industry, making the Aberdeen Film Network a hub of talent that can see projects through from start to finish.
A History of Parody: The influence of William Hone & George Cruikshank with Andrew MacGregor Sir Duncan Rice Library
14 November 2013 6.00pm
Finzean in the Rain HMT
Andrew MacGregor, Deputy Archivist with the Special Collections Centre at the University of Aberdeen introduces a History of Parody. In the 19th century, satirist and publisher William Hone and caricaturist George Cruikshank started a publishing phenomenon of radical pamphlets, ingenious in their use of parody.
7 – 16 November 2013 Various Times Entry: £17.00 - £25.00 plus b.f. Aberdeen’s own comedy team, the Flying Pigs have been entertaining ever-growing audiences since 1998, and enjoyed sell out runs at HMT with Desperate Fishwives, How To Look Good Glaikit and The Silence of the Bams. Now they’re back with a brand new show, packed with laughs and their distinctive North-East flavour.
Suk-Jun Kim: Aberdeen Humming Installation 17, Belmont Street 14- 30 November 2013 Entry: free There’s been a real buzz surrounding this special exhibition. Suk-Jun Kim, Lecturer in Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art at Aberdeen University, has been collecting recordings of Aberdonians humming tunes and has created a public sound installation revealing collective memories. Daniel Sloss The Lemon Tree
Theatre Much Ado About Nothing ACT Aberdeen 6 – 8 November 2013 7.30pm Entry: £12.00 (concessions available) The notorious Aberdeen-based Studio Theatre Group presents a comedy often considered one of Shakespeare’s best.
The Ballad of Bonnie Prince Chucky The Lemon Tree 7 – 9 November 2013 7.00pm Entry: £7.70 plus b.f. Aberdeen Performing Arts youth theatre presents an exciting new play by Wendy Macleod with an amusing Jacobean reference in the title. The theatre company themselves is made from young people of the North East and has an impressive track record of delivering quality performances.
14 November 2013 Entry: 13.50 plus b.f. The new, hilarious show from comedy’s internationally acclaimed and award-winning young Scottish comedian, direct from his sixth consecutive sold out Edinburgh Fringe performance and ready for a year of television appearances and his debut DVD release. Sloss combines self-deprecation and storytelling in a unique and hilarious fashion. He’s well worth going to see!
Craig Campbell’s Thrilling Mic Hunt! Music Hall 15 November 2013 8.00pm £15.00 plus b.f. Internationally acclaimed Canadian stand-up Craig Campbell brings his highly anticipated new live show to venues nationwide. Craig has supported Frankie Boyle on his last two sell-out national tours, performed sets on Dave’s One Night Stand (DAVE),Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC Three) and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow (BBC One) and has more recently been touring the critically acclaimed 2012 Edinburgh show ‘Return of the Lumberjacks’ alongside fellow Canadians Stewart Francis and Glenn Wool. A formidable force, Craig never fails to impress with his high octane, charismatic performances and hilarious anecdotes.
5 November 2013
Aberdeen University Orienteering Club
Josefine Bjorkqvist shines the spotlight on the newly reformed Orienteering Club
rienteering is an outdoor adventure sport where the aim is to navigate between points marked on a specific orienteering map. The participants must decide which route to take to complete the course in the fastest time, and they can do this by running, jogging or walking, often competing against other individuals or teams. Gaudie Sport asked Alastair Murgatroyd, fourth year archaeology student and captain of AU Orienteering Club, why he chose to re-form the club: “I re-formed the AUOC this year as I wanted to share my love of this sport with others. It had terrific success back in the day and I hope the club can once again do well nationally!” AU Orienteering Club is still brand new and as such it does not have a regular training schedule but the club aims to host at least one event or training session per week. Orienteering is a very lowcost sport, without the need to invest in expensive equipment. “All you need to start doing orienteering is some comfortable shoes,” Alastair says. Despite the club just getting
started AUOC will be participating in the student championships in Edinburgh in November. “Due to the number of student clubs this year a student championship is being held for the first time in over a decade. More people of all ages and abilities are finding the sport due to more coverage and word of mouth. We get a lot of support from the local club Grampian Orienteers and we hope to go to more of their events when we get a minibus driver,” Alastair says. Alastair emphasises the inclusiveness of orienteering: “It is a unique sport that can truly be enjoyed by anyone, no matter your physical ability or experience. A course can be walked or ran, by individuals or as pairs and groups. As with all orienteering clubs we are exceptionally open and friendly. We always enjoy seeing new people come along and give orienteering a go!” For more information about the club visit “Aberdeen University Orienteering Club“ on Facebook.
Photo/ Simone Martinetto (flickr)
AU Trampolining open league in style AUTrC captain, Danielle Joyce, looks back on the club’s performance at their opening league competition at St. Andrews
he word ‘trampoline’ may conjure up images in your mind of reckless bouncing and flips in the back garden. However, it is much more, it is also an aesthetic performance sport with a incredibly rich heritage. There is an ever-increasing popularity to get involved with this sport and Aberdeen University has been no exception. With our abundance of coaches and ability to cater for
formance from Hannah Ratcliffe gave her 8th place in Intervanced Ladies and Gemma Short came in 20th in Intermediate Ladies after she completed a personal best performance. One of our brand new competitors this year, Alistair Eddie, fought off tough competition to achieve 7th place in Novice men in his very first competition and Alison Frew secured 6th position in Advanced Ladies. With the morning over we then moved on to the afternoon session which saw Aberdeen University take 4 medals! Becca Houston dominated in the Elite Ladies category taking Gold and Danielle taking Bronze in that category also. The Intermediate Men’s category saw Aberdeen dominate the podium once again with John Haldane taking the gold medal and Tom Elias-Jones taking silver after performing solid routines to cement their places on the podium. With everybody completing personal bests on Saturday, the club is delighted to be standing in 4th place so far in the SSS League and are ready to show AUTrC’s dominance once again at the next competition in Glasgow in December. The trampoline club are always open to new members, and for people that want to come and see what it is all about! Maybe trampolining is the sport for you!
“With everybody completing personal bests on Saturday, the club is ready to show AUTrC’s dominance once again at the next competition in Glasgow in December.”
anyone between beginners to elite levels, it’s not surprising that people always want to try it out. Last Saturday saw the club head down to St Andrews for the first SSS League competition of the year. St Andrews have not hosted a tram-
Photo/ Jonathan McDonell poline competition for a number of years and so the club were keen to get down there and see what they
had to offer. Donning our Cadbury’s Crème Egg-esque leotards, we set off on our way, with the first aid kit and a McDonald’s break-
fast in tow. As soon as we arrived the competition got underway and saw Nadine Hay take 6th place in the Novice Ladies. A solid per-
5 November 2013
Historic day for AU Surf Club and BUCS In other Championships news... Gillian Kerr reviews a memorable day for AU Surf Club as Martin Portillo secures a podium finish
Photo/ Mairi Graham
artin Portillo of the University of Aberdeen has made history by taking 3rd place at the 2013 BUCS Surf Championship (the highest result the university has ever had in the competition). The three-day competition at Fistral beach in Newquay finished with a nail biting final between four universities. In a similar fashion to twelve months ago there were very tough wave conditions for the 16 surfers returning for the semi-final and final rounds. A strong left to right rip meant that half the test was get-
ting out back beyond the crashing waves. However, once there, the big sets provided some epic sections for big open face tricks. The beginning of the second semi-final saw heavy rainfall and increased wind, making conditions even harder for Aberdeen’s Martin Portillo, Warwick’s Sam Mason, Plymouth’s James Taylor and Cardiff’s Jack Ellis. Ellis scored first getting some good turns off a left hander before Portillo followed a quick up and down with a runner all the way to the beach. Going into the last minute the surfers were
all up and riding, hoping for that all important score that would secure them passage to the final. For Mason, Taylor and Ellis these final waves were all their highest scoring but it was Portillo who stormed ahead with packed waves and huge maneuverers to become the heat winner. The four surfers in the final included; Plymouth’s Sam Coad, the University College of London’s (UCL’s) Iarom Madden, Cardiff’s Jack Ellis and Aberdeen’s Martin Portillo. Between the four surfers 23 waves were caught, impressive
in any normal conditions but with the strong rip they were paddling through even more so. Madden opened his account with a huge run, a long left hander with big spray off several huge back handers scoring 6.34. Sam Coad also scored big early with a wrapping roundhouse as Ellis and Portillo caught a number of nice waves building good combination scores. Half way through the final all scores were close. Then a long right hander with two big hacks of the top saw Iarom better his early wave and push himself way out in the lead. Portillo was doing his best to stay in contention and to the joy of the crowd put himself close smacking the lip and free falling onto the open face of the wave, by far the biggest and most risky move of the whole competition! As the surfers returned to the crowds on the beach the result was too close to call with none of the final positions clear. The crowd waited in anticipation, and as Jack Ellis was called out in fourth place, the University of Aberdeen roared with delight as Martin took place on the podium to collect bronze. The next name called out was to be the silver medallist, Sam Coad. In the end Coad’s late wave was not enough to overhaul Iaron Madden’s excellent display and the students from UCL cheered as a new champion was called up. Evelyn Steele captain of the Aberdeen’s Surf Club said: “this is an amazing result and one that was truly deserved, Martin fought off some seriously good talent to take 3rd. Thanks to Martin we can go home extremely satisfied that we competed and held our own against some of the best surfers in the UK”.
BUCS Update University of Aberdeen have entered 64 teams into the BUCS league programme for the current 2013 - 2014 season. So far Aberdeen have secured 110 wins this season, with 188 defeats and 24 draws, making their win rate 34%. Aberdeen currently lies 33rd out of 142 in the main BUCS table sandwiched between the University of Portsmouth and Swansea University. Whilst in the Scottish table, Aberdeen is in 5th position just behind the University of Glasgow. This week sees AU Men’s Water Polo and Men’s Volleyball play at home on Tuesday with Mixed Golf, Women’s Lacrosse and Men’s Tennis play in their respective BUCS competitions on Wednesday. As usual, it would be fantastic to have a large home crowd to lend their support to Team AU this week. All information is correct as 1st November 2013. Please visit http:// www.bucs.org.uk/homepage.asp for more information.
Principal’s Sports Union reception University of Aberdeen Principal, Sir Ian Diamond, hosted the annual Sports Union reception for club captains at the Chanonry Lodge. Alexander Davidson was awarded the BUCS Unsung Hero Award for his outstanding contribution to Aberdeen University men’s and women’s volleyball.
Men’s Fencing team emulate women by winning league AU Fencing Club Captain, Rory High reports on the Men’s victory over Dundee which secured the side the Scottish 1A title
ast year, the Aberdeen University Fencing Club’s women’s team took the spotlight by winning the BUCS Trophy, the Scottish League and gaining promotion to the Premier League North. This season, the men’s team were keen to replicate their achievements and they couldn’t have got off to a better start, winning the BUCS Scottish League. The league was organised over a single weekend hosted at Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre, meaning a home crowd was on hand to lend their support. The first weapon of three to take place was sabre. Aberdeen fielded a team consisting of Tsvetelin Stoimenov, men’s captain Will Mackey and club captain Rory High. Despite sabre being far from Will and Rory’s primary disciplines, the trio edged out rivals Dundee who have not lost to Aberdeen in sabre since 2009. This win set up the team’s confidence and they remained un-
Photo/ Millen Dei Millanovi beaten, finishing the sabre round with a 45-15 demolition of HeriotWatt. On day two, Will and Rory were joined by last year’s men’s captain Neill Fotheringham and post-grad student Tim Carlisle for the foil. Despite being dispatched 45-22 by a very strong Dundee foil team in the first match of the day, the team put in convincing performances, earning unassailable leads on Heriot-Watt and Glasgow, as well
as extending their advantage on Strathclyde and Stirling. Will, Rory and Neill returned on Sunday for epee (their strongest weapon by far) accompanied by Milen Milanov. The men knew exactly what was needed from them to win the league, and set about the task expertly, with Rory producing a devastating 27 hits in a 45-33 victory over Strathclyde, spearheaded by Jamie Firth, who has represented Great Britain on the interna-
tional stage. The team then eased out an overall win against Stirling. The last match of the weekend was the decider versus Dundee; the winner of this match would win the league. Aberdeen needed to beat Dundee by 16 hits in the epee to win outright. Clinical performances by all three fencers saw Aberdeen race to a 20-4 lead, but Dundee clawed their way back and going into the final leg, the match was in the balance at 38-18. It was down to Rory to hold out for the win. The nerves were showing as Dundee closed Aberdeen’s lead to two, but Rory held on giving them a win of 111-109 across all three weapons. The relief was palpable. As a result of the men’s success last month, they will get the chance at the end of the academic year to fence against the champions of both the Midlands and Northern Leagues to follow the women’s team into the Premier League North!
Archery Aberdeen Archery Club Captain, Rebekah Tipping continued the club’s recent run of success with a fantastic performance at the Scottish U21 Championships where she was crowned champion. This trophy will undoubtedly look well alongside her outdoor trophy on her mantelpiece.
Basketball Men’s 1st team claimed their first win of the season last week with a convincing 72 – 41 win over Abertay. Whilst the Women’s 1st team narrowly lost to a strong St. Andrews side 55-57 they will be looking to make amends in their next match against granite City rivals, Robert Gordon in Scottish 1A.
Editor: Stuart Bill
The week in tweets @laurarobson5 – the British tennis star on her annoying parents
5 November 2013
National sporting success for AU Medical School Josefine Björkqvist reviews a fantastic weekend for AU Medic School as they are crowned SNIMS champions
Anyone else have parents who ask for a bite of your sandwich then proceed to eat 75% of it in one go. @McIlroyRory – the Northern Irish golfer is enjoying his return to form in Shanghai, China Happy with the thumbs up ahead of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai!! Looking forward to starting tomorrow. @mrjakehumphrey - BT Sport frontman gives his opinion on Man City’s Joe Hart being dropped for the Norwich game Too much is being made of Joe Hart being dropped. Fluctuating form, in & out of the team, press scrutiny-it’s all a regular part of the game @YardeM – the London Irish wing on being chosen on the wing for Australia’s visit to Twickenham Thanks for all your messages - excited to be playing my first full international in front of a packed Twickenham on Saturday! #ProudMomenty @andy_murray – answers the age-old Halloween questionTrick or treat? Trick @Sebas_Vettel – the Red Bull F1 drivers thanks his fans following his fourth world championship win in four years Thank you to all of my fans who wake up each race,who book two hours every weekend to watch F1, who support me every lap. THIS IS YOURS. 4.
Video of the Week
Kyle pulls off Halloween prank on Spurs team http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=SJv0A5Pu32o
Photo/ Aberdeen University MedSoc
t was a victorious weekend for Aberdeen University Medical School as they finished in first place in the Scottish and Northern Irish Medical School Sports (SNIMS) competition on the 26th of October. SNIMS is one of the biggest events on the medical school calendar, where students from medical schools in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Queen’s University Belfast compete across six different sporting events. Aberdeen University Medical Society (MedSoc) hosted this year’s SNIMS competition, which took
place at the Aberdeen Sports Village and on King’s Pitches. Around 170 Aberdeen University medical students took part and it was Aberdeen’s dominant performance on the day which led to them winning the competition overall. Aberdeen came in first place for men’s football, rugby and hockey as well coming in second place for basketball, third place for women’s football and fourth place for ultimate Frisbee. Aberdeen failed to gain a place in the netball quarterfinals. Alastair Syme and Ian Chalmers, sport reps on the Medical Society committee, had the joint re-
sponsibility of organising SNIMS this year. “Myself and Ian are at the head of a small committee of 12 who have been organising the event since June. Organising the pitches was the easy part, feeding and organising a night out for 1000 medical students and making sure they have a good time was the hard part!” Alastair said. “SNIMS this year was a great success! The event was split between a day of sports and banter on the pitches before team meals in the evening and a night out. It’s themed fancy dress every year and this year the theme was ‘On Safari’.
My favourite moment was when we announced the winners on the night out. The DJ cut out and we had the microphone and there was a huge chorus of Stand Free to the announcement, before we handed away the trophy to the crowd. It was brilliant!” Alastair says. Medical students can sometimes face barriers to getting involved in university sport. “Sometimes it is difficult,” Alastair says, “Having a full timetable each week, which changes every week as well, and being up at Foresterhill means it’s harder to make it to training sessions. I play football mainly and have been with the medic team since first year. The medics rugby club participate in a league every week this year and so does the medics football team, so we’re getting better. There are definitely a few medical students playing for other university teams as well.” Ian Chalmers has managed to overcome some of the logistical barriers to getting involved in university sport. “I’m captain of the 2nd university badminton team for a second year and it takes a bit of juggling to make the sessions when they are scheduled for during part of the working day. At the same time, university sports are a great way to meet other students from different backgrounds and to break out from the clique stereotype that I think is often associated with medical students,” Ian says. Alastair says medics should not be averse to getting involved in sport: “Medics should get involved in MedSoc and in medic sports teams because there is literally no better way to meet new people and find out about and attend great events such as SNIMS. You get some exercise as well!”
Men’s Shinty extends superb start to season Jamie Fogarty, AU Shinty Club captain, reports on another impressive win for the Men’s side
t was a rain swept Saturday afternoon which saw the University of Aberdeen’s Men’s team line up against Dundee, in what would be a crucial match in forwarding the league ambitions of both teams. Whilst Aberdeen were still in high spirits after their 5-0 victory over local rivals RGU, Dundee looked to bounce back after a home defeat to Glasgow. A delayed throw-up at 2.30pm saw Aberdeen begin to dominate the match; strong midfield possession confining the ball to Dundee’s half. An early goal from full forward, Mark Fraser, settled Aberdeen before Dundee began to creep into
“A delayed throw-up at 2.30pm saw Aberdeen begin to dominate the match; strong midfield possession confining the ball to Dundee’s half” Aberdeen’s half. They were kept at bay by some shaky defending before the exploits of midfielders Jamie Dawson and John Sweeney
brought Aberdeen back into the game. Last-ditch defending kept Dundee from scoring, miscommunication in the back line letting the Aberdeen side down. A save from a distance shot from Tom Adrian left Mark Fraser free to score again at the end of the first half, Aberdeen finishing with a 2-0 lead at half time. The rain intensified as the second half began, with Dundee beginning to look more dangerous. However their bouts into the Aberdeen half were contained by a more resilient defence that allowed Aberdeen further chances at goal. Persistent pressure from Greg Tilman and newcomer Peter
Pearson wore the Dundee team down enough to allow Duncan Liddle to score off a corner. A final brawl in front of the Aberdeen goal left the defence scrambling to correct a meandering shot that deflected off the post to the feet of a Dundee striker, which was fortunately miss-hit and subsequently cleared by a grateful defence who collected their second clean sheet. The final whistle blew with the University of Aberdeen emerging as 3-0 victors over Dundee. As a result, Aberdeen go to the top of the SSS Shinty league, with two wins out of two.