The Aberdeen University Student Newspaper Aberdeen University’s Student Newspaper
30 October 2012
High bills leave students out in the cold
Photo/ Joseph Heskett By Isla Nicoll Startling figures reveal the continuing problem of student debt in Scotland, and the worrying length some students will go in an attempt to avoid crippling debts after graduation. The survey, taken by YouGov for the Money Advice Service, exposes the levels of debt Scottish students are expected to have once leaving university, and set these in comparison with the UK average. Despite the fact that the government finances tuition fees for those studying in Scottish institutions, the issue of debt clearly still looms large amongst Scottish students. On average, students will expect to owe £12,500 by the
time they graduate; a figure which undoubtedly effects many potential students’ decision to undertake a university degree. Even more worryingly, 28% of students admitted skipping meals would be an option due to financial pressures, and 35% revealed they would switch off their central heating. This issue appears particularly relevant in Aberdeen due to recent cold winters and rent prices which are undoubtedly higher than other Scottish cities. With another harsh winter fast approaching the north east, the opinion on campus appears to mirror these latest findings. Despite many saying skipping meals was perhaps too radical a decision, a number said they regularly turned off their heating
in an attempt to cut bills. Becca Snyder, a medical student at the university, commented: “Rent is definitely higher in Aberdeen than places like Glasgow and Edinburgh, so I would certainly consider turning down my heating in order to save money.” Similarly, many students feel part time jobs were essential in providing an additional income, echoing figures presented just weeks ago by the Royal Bank of Scotland, stating almost 40% of students study and undertake employment simultaneously. The Royal Bank of Scotland’s head of Student Accounts, Judith Fraser, said: “Students are telling us that building up debts during their time at university is now just a fact of life and a third of them are saying it could take up to ten years
to repay that debt.” With around 69% of students across Scotland having at least one loan during their time at university, and 31% with an overdraft, it is not surprising that money matters feature so highly on many students’ list of worries. The University of Aberdeen, however, offers a comprehensive scheme of financial support for students who may be particularly concerned about money. Linda Ibbitson, Senior Student Support Advisor, realises financial pressures can take their toll on students and urges those having difficulties to seek help from the Student Support Service. She said: “If students are experiencing financial difficulties please make an appointment with one of our general student support
advisers. Everything you tell us is completely confidential. “We can usually help and if we can’t we generally know who can. We can help solve issues with SAAS or SFE, debt problems, problems with rent, deposits and landlords, budgeting advice and much more.” The University offers a range of support including discretionary funds for UK students experiencing additional or unexpected financial pressures and assistance with child care fees. For more information and advice on financial issues, visit the Student Support Office on the ground floor of the Hub, or visit http://www.abdn.ac.uk/studentsupport.
Life & Style
We explore the history of Aberdeen’s very own anatomical theatre.
Maitland Mackie discusses the benefits of green energy in his column.
We have Ethel and Janice giving you some much needed advice.
Gaudie Arts bring you the first instalment of Palette Life.
Once again, we have the most interesting tweets from the sporting world. P.24
30 October 2012
Editors: Conor Riordan & Tasneem Mahmoud
Historic exhibition opens at the Trump’s lawyer seek answers over windfarm University of Aberdeen By Rachel Clark
By Emily Thorburn
An exhibition displaying the journey of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter in Saudi Arabia has opened in the University of Aberdeen. Princess Alice, Countess of Althone went on tour to Saudi Arabia in 1938, the year the country struck oil. The exhibition depicts her journey where she met with King Abdulaziz and visited the famous Well Number Seven, the first commercially viable oil well in Saudi Arabia. The tour in question has also been said to have strengthened Arab-British relationships. The exhibition was opened on the 18th of October, and was launched with a lecture by the Right Honourable Baroness Symons, Chairman of the ArabBritish Chamber of Commerce on the travels of Princess Alice. The exhibition was organised by the university and by the King Abdulaziz Public Library Riyadh, and both conducting partners seem very happy with the final product. HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, Ambassador for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UK said: “I am delighted that this exhibition is going on show in Aberdeen – the UK’s oil capital.” Likewise, Professor Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, is equally pleased, saying: “we are delighted that the University of Aberdeen has been chosen to host this historical exhibition.” The exhibition, named “Journey
Donald Trump’s lawyers are calling for a public inquiry, after plans to build an offshore windfarm were announced. Trump claims the wind farm will ruin the view for users of his multimillion-pound golf course. In a letter to Marine Scotland, Trump’s lawyers suggested that a thorough investigation ought to be
this month and declared that there would be no let up from him in his fight against the go ahead of the wind farm. Trump argues that the plans for the windfarm should be scrutinised as carefully as plans for his own golf development were. The £230m project is a joint venture by Technip, Vattenfall, and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Areg). Vattenfall stated that
Photo/ abdn.ac.uk of a Lifetime”, is currently on show in the MacRobert building at the
university and will run until midJanuary.
carried out to check that the wind farm will be of no economic risk to the Menie Golf Resort. Lawyers stated that should this investigation not be carried out they will pursue any legal availability possible. The American business tycoon made a brief visit to his beach side resort, situated in Belmedie, earlier
securing the project is important for their company and that the project could provide energy for up to 100,000 homes. The Scottish Government has stated that they will consider correspondence with Trump’s legal representatives on the matter.
Aberdeen is named a Oil and Gas could lead the way ‘Supercity’ on economic recovery By Dan Naylor Last week, Aberdeen was named one of the UK’s newest ‘supercities’. The group are predicted to play key roles in the growth of the nation’s economy. This comes on the back of the news that Britain is finally coming out its longest recession since the Second World War, with such cities being the basis of the newfound growth. Aberdeen’s position comes from the booming energy industry found in the oil and gas sector and is only the second Scottish city to be given the status so far after Glasgow was granted access in 2011. Other ‘supercities’ include Manchester, Cambridge and Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Liverpool and London on the list. The UK head of trade and receivables finance at HSBC Steve Box said: “Our Growing British Business report shows that the majority of UK businesses are
confident in growth over the next two years, demonstrating the tenacity and determination with which business leaders are rolling up their sleeves and driving
Photo/ abdn.ac.uk growth.” Earlier this year, it was announced that Aberdeen was the only city to see growth during the worst year of the current economic downturn.
By Nicholas Layden A record number of 167 oil and gas exploration licenses have been awarded for the North Sea, at the same time as a growth of 1 percent in the British economy. With only 0.2 percent contributed to the Olympics, there are indications this could be the beginning of a real economic recovery. The high number of licenses for the North Sea has been attributed by an increase in demand after the UK Government boosted industry confidence with tax breaks in this year’s Budget. Despite the positives, there are no guarantees that new licenses translate into new oil wells. Last year the number of new wells drilled fell from 74 the previous year to 49, with less than half of those wells exploratory – raising further concerns that North Sea oil is now past the peak of its productivity.
In the national economy, industrial production and services expanded 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent respectively, while construction contracted by 2.5 percent, about half of the rate of
Photo/ Suncor Energy (Flickr) contraction in the first quarter of this year. The Chancellor, George Osborne, welcomed the figures but maintains that Britain is still threatened by “many economic challenges at home and abroad”. A major blow came with the
“A record number of 167 oil and gas exploration licenses have been awarded for the North Sea” announcement that Ford will close UK factories, amounting to a total of 1,400 jobs. Ford recorded a £1 billion loss in Europe this year, despite positives from the sector as a whole. Despite the fall in inflation, unemployment and the rise in retail sales, Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, complained that the growth in GDP was “nowhere near good enough”. He appeared concerned that Downing Street would “hope for the best” regarding the economic situation next year, where the IMF predicts approximately 1 percent growth through the twelve month period.
30 October 2012
“Their jobs – our education” An extraordinary general meeting By Louis Beazley Last week Aberdeen University Students’ Association held an Extraordinary General Meeting. The meeting was held on 24th October in an attempt to formalise student support of lecturers in their current pay dispute with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association. Recently university staff voted on whether to pursue industrial action as a way of resolving this dispute. Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland, one of Scotland’s Five Higher Education Unions, voted to pursue industrial action, the other unions still hope to resolve the conflict without resorting to industrial action. EIS members commenced Industrial action on the 23rd of October. Lecturers have for the last few years been in constant negotiations with the UCEA over a number of topics chiefly pensions and pay increases. The first industrial action in over 20 years took place last year after the UCEA’s modification of the pension package; lecturers now pay more money for a less significant pension. Over the last 3 years lecturers’ pay has increased far less than interest rates have risen, this has led to lecturer and university staffs’ pay check being worth approximately
recent losses. The EGM was called to propose a motion that would give the student body of Aberdeen more opportunity to support Higher
second EGM to further discuss the proposal. Despite a slight shortage of participants there was a clearly a great deal of support for university
staff among the 114 people present at the EGM. Rob Henthorn, who presented the motion, said: “Obviously it’s disappointing to not get the
turnout we were hoping for, but the statement made at this meeting is still a strong one.” Over 100 students showed overwhelming support for supporting our lecturers and other staff at Aberdeen. The debate made it very clear that students take these issues very
“This has led to lecturer and university staffs’ pay check being worth approximately 88% of the value of their pay from 3 years ago.”
seriously, and want to work closely with the campus unions to make our university a better place. The EGM was a step along the way to providing lecturers with the support of the students of Aberdeen, however, further action is required to achieve such an outcome.
Photos/ Jonathan MacDonell
Aberdeen bypass built by 2018 By Anna Katila
88% of the value of their pay from 3 years ago. Higher education staff unions are currently campaigning for a 7% pay increase to counteract
Education staff. Although there is AUSA policy that supports industrial action taken by staff at the university, there is little in the way of a formalised method by which this support can be expressed. With the prospect of industrial action ahead it has become increasingly important that AUSA explores the methods by which lecturers can be supported by the student community. The key focus of the EGM was to begin a process by which the students would be given a voice in a conflict which is of central importance to their education. Little progress was made on the lecturer pay dispute topic on Wednesday the 24th of October, as attendance was well short of the figure necessary to approve a motion and also 11 people short of the number required to call a
The Supreme Court in London has ruled that the 30-mile planned road, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), can go ahead after rejecting the latest appeal by a campaigner group called RoadSense. RoadSense has been fighting to stop the £400m plan joining the A90 from Blackdog to Stonehaven because the public consultation in 2009 it claims was flawed, and a consultation by Scottish Executive was not included in the process. According to the First Minister Alex Salmond, construction work begins immediately with drilling work starting next month, and a completion date set to be in 2018. He said: “The decision by the Supreme Court is an opportunity for Scotland that marks the end of five incredibly frustrating years for the vast majority of people who are behind this ambitious project.” Mr Salmond refers to the delays of the road project that started already in 2003, and received 8,000 objections during the public inquiry in 2007. The appeals against the route were taken into the courts in 2010 by RoadSense. William Walton, who led the RoadSense group, commented on the loss: “Obviously this is not what I had hoped for. I have always maintained that the route selection process was flawed and that people living along the Fast Link were deprived their rightful opportunity to be consulted.
“Clearly the Court has come to a different view. Nevertheless I take some comfort from the Court’s view that the action was legitimate.” Not all politicians agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision. Patrick Harvie MSP has said: “This ruling is disappointing but at least the judges acknowledge that the bypass is bound to have a significant impact on the environment. “Now it seems the public purse will have to cough up a staggering £400m for a system of roads that will simply encourage more traffic, contradicting Scotland’s low carbon ambitions and doing little to reduce congestion in Aberdeen
city centre.” Aberdeen City Council leader Barney Crockett is pleased with the AWPR, as it is expected to bring in an additional £6 billion to the local economy, creating around 14,000 new jobs. The publication of the Prior Information Notice (PIN) for the AWPR on Friday 19th October signals, according to Transport Scotland, the start of procurement with the construction industry. The work is anticipated to commence in 2014 after expressions of interest in early 2013 from companies wishing to tender for the work.
30 October 2012
NUS Scotland join protest Scotland’s European Union membership against government cuts increasingly in danger
By Rachel Clark A peaceful demonstration, a rally called “A Future That Works”, was carried out by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Saturday, 20th October in Glasgow, London and Belfast. The Scottish branch of the TUC, responsible for organising the Glasgow protest, represents 630,000 trade unionists across the country, including the National Union of Students Scotland, which represents all university students in Scotland. 5,000 people from trade unions, political parties, community groups, students and civil society organisations attended the Scottish rally. STUC have called for the government to stop the austerity measures and instead start investing in jobs and growth. NUS Scotland attended the Glasgow rally to protest against the job cuts for young people and new university graduates. Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said: “There is a real threat that the UK government’s plans will result in a lost generation caught in a personal cycle of unemployment.” 2/3 of citizens agree with this statement, with a further 56% of the population calling for more youth employment. The new approach, NUS suggests, would create new jobs for young people which would directly effect Aberdeen students. Pat Rafferty, Unite’s Scottish Regional Secretary, spoke on behalf of the demonstrators in Glasgow Green: “We fight to defend our public services, we fight for a decent wage and pension, we fight to bargain for our livelihoods and future collectively.” Likewise, Mike Kirby, Unison Scottish Secretary and former STUC President, called for the demands of the STUC to be met and criticised the current coalition government in Westminster and the SNP government in Holyrood’s austerity measures. He said: “As the ink dries on the Edinburgh Agreement, signed by Diamond Dave and Alex the First, we gather to say to politicians of whatever colour or whatever persuasion you’ve got less than 100 weeks to sort this out and get us out of the mire that you have created. “Ordinary people are being asked to pay too high a price, key public
services are under attack and politicians need to be told that enough is enough.” Ed Miliband, Labour party leader, who has recently doubled his lead over the Tories, attended the London rally and agreed with Kirby, calling for the Conservatives to rethink their austerity plans. Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, concurred calling for fairness and justice in society. The TUC General Secretary added: “We are sending a very strong message that austerity is simply failing.” He also warned that the demonstrations on the 20th October could lead to a general strike. Mr Parker said: “Students are standing side-by-side with trade union and community members from across Scotland because we
don’t want to see Westminster’s austerity policies dump an entire generation on the scrapheap. “The reality is the UK Government is simply not doing enough to provide opportunities for those who need it most. It needs to back down on its austerity plans, and get to work creating jobs that will reduce youth unemployment.” Strathcylde police were pleased to report no major incidents at the Glasgow rally, however a government spokesperson has condemned the STUC’s rally. The spokesperson said: “it is disappointing that some unions insist on pushing for irresponsible and futile strike action which benefits no-one.”
SNP conference results in MSP resignation By Xander Brouwer For the first time in the party’s history, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) has changed its policy in regards to NATO. Traditionally the SNP has been opposed to the defence alliance but during the conference held in Perth, the party voted by a margin of 426 to 332. The policy, which is over 30 years old, has commonly been associated with a pro-nuclear weapons position. Angus Robertson, MP for Moray, put in a motion stating that an independent Scotland should become a member of the organisation which is pro-nuclear weapons. Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie argued, however, that if the party voted in favour, it would be unable to remove nuclear weapons system Trident from Scottish soil. In his speech against the motion he stated: “You vote to join NATO and there will be pressure and there will be phone calls to this man and his deputy not to be involved in CND, not to support the Palestinians and similar causes around the globe.” When the conference voted in favour, Mr Finnie and Jean Urquhart, MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, decided
“The issue of nuclear disarmament and removing Trident from Scotland’s waters is a red line issue for me” Jean Urquhart to resign from the party but retain their seats in Holyrood as independents. Ms Urquhart commented on the matter, saying: “The issue of nuclear disarmament and removing Trident from Scotland’s waters is a red line issue for me, and I could not remain committed to a party that has committed itself to retaining membership of NATO.” Besides the change in policy regarding NATO, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill also promised that Scottish police would continue to support police in England and Wales during major events. Also, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a £33m fund to help the country’s most vulnerable, including crisis payments for those who could not afford to feed their children.
The SNP’s aim for independence is becoming increasingly difficult when it was proved that the party had not requested legal advice regarding EU membership until after the Deputy First Minister expressed a desire to do so last week. It has taken a long row to reveal the information requested by opposition parties for more than a year. The parties pressed the Scottish government to reveal if it had sought legal advice regarding what the status of an independent Scotland would be within the European Union. It has now emerged this advice has not been sought. First Minister Alex Salmond has always been firm about the idea that Scotland would automatically become a member of the European Union but it is now becoming increasingly doubtful. After it emerged, the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, contradicted the first minister’s position in a statement to the Spanish Senate. Mr Garcia-Margallo said: “In the hypothetical case of independence, Scotland would have to join the queue and ask to be admitted, needing the unanimous approval of all member states to obtain the status of a candidate country - and to sign the final treaty [of accession].” He argued that the EU would have to carefully look at Scottish legislation to check if Scotland
was suitable for accession to the European Union. President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso recently made similar claims, dealing a large blow to the options after independence was achieved. The statement of the Spanish foreign minister comes as little surprise as Spain continues to struggle with independence movements in both the Basque Country and Catalonia. The Spanish government has frequently opposed independence movements across the world for that reason. In the mean time in Scotland, independent investigators will be looking into whether Mr Salmond broke the ministerial code in relation to the release of the information. The First Minister said he had referred himself to the body for investigation. Sir David Bell, the vice chancellor of Reading University and a former top civil servant in the UK government’s education department, will lead the investigation. Mr. Salmond has since said that any legal advice on European Union membership of an independent Scotland would not be published in full.
By Xander Brouwer
30 October 2012
Features Editor: Konrad Wojnar
Say no to premium fees Hannah Wright explains the legality of premium fees and how to prevent getting ripped-off
If Edinburgh is bipolar Aberdeen is schizophrenic Alicia Jensen asks Stuart MacBride questions on why Aberdeen makes such a good setting for a gory murder mystery
hy set a murder in Aberdeen? This is my first question in my Skype interview with Stuart MacBride, recently out with a new bestseller, ‘Birthdays for the Dead’. In the interview MacBride describes the spookiest settings of our city but also shows that being a crime thriller writer can make you see the ‘spooky’ in everything: places, settings, and particularly in people. ‘Aberdeen is a strange place. It’s different from other Scottish cities.’ MacBride begins. He explains that it’s the oil industry that makes Aberdeen such a strange place in comparison to the rest of Scotland. In the beginning, there was a lot of money that was spent locally. Aberdeen became an affluent place very quickly. About fifty pounds per day were spent on each person; ‘there were lobster parties’. These days, only about 2.45 pounds are spent per person in the oil industry. It’s a huge change. This background gives Aberdeen a unique setting, explains MacBride. This affects the people of Aberdeen. Also, a culture of going off shore for two weeks at a time affects the people. ‘It makes Aberdeen a strange place.’ MacBride says that a lot of these people that go offshore for two weeks at a time come from small communities, often out in the country side: the suburbs of Aberdeen. Often in these communities there will be a lot of recreational drug use and marital affairs are commonplace due to men leaving offshore for long periods of time. Both of these factors build conflict within these communities and make the communities have a different,
strange feeling to them. Another factor that sets Aberdeen apart from other towns in Scotland, making a perfect scene for a murder story, is the weather and granite. ‘If consensus is that Edinburgh is bipolar, then I would call Aberdeen Schizophrenic’, says MacBride. ‘There is so much granite. Granite isn’t like the sandstone of Edinburgh: it picks up its colour from the weather. As soon as the weather changes the place is the same but the feeling changes dramatically. This is mirrored in its people.’ The character of Aberdeen can change instantaneously with a change in the weather and, because it is so often rainy in Aberdeen, the weather easily sets the tone for that constant feeling of impending doom lurking behind Aberdeen’s corners. Perhaps Aberdeen has always been the perfect setting for murder. Asking MacBride what places inspire him to write cold thrillers, he responds that everything does. Being a crime thriller novelist, he explains, gives you a slightly different point of view on everything. In his words it ‘twists your perceptions slightly’. ‘One Halloween I saw three ladies dressed up: one as an angel, one as a devil, and one as a witch. They had stopped to give a homeless girl money and talk to her. I assumed they were classmates. But I immediately started thinking of a plot.’ His first novel Cold Granite had been inspired while he was driving. His most recent bestseller was inspired by its title ‘Birthdays for the Dead’; the story followed as he imagined what story that title held.
Everything in Aberdeen is then an inspiring setting for a murder story. ‘There are many good places to set a crime thriller in Aberdeen. I wanted to set one at St. Nicholas Kirk but I wasn’t allowed to use the title Dead Center’ MacBride muses. But all of Aberdeen is a good setting; he has used the beach, farm houses in the country side and many more. The spookiest locations in Aberdeen are down by the harbour, says MacBride. Take a turn down Marshall Street and there are these tiny alleyways that ‘feel small, feel dark and feel old’. At the start of a new book the first thing to do is to take a walk around Aberdeen. MacBride often finds himself in the alleyways - but probably not at night time. ‘But even a new nice housing estate could be creepy’ he adds. MacBride’s style of writing is quite detailed, which any of his readers could attest to. ‘I don’t see it as ‘gore’, to be honest. I see it as being honest about what’s happening.’ His readers won’t be spared of any thoughts that go through the narrator’s mind, even as he sits and watches the autopsy of a child murder. ‘Letting the reader glance over it would be dishonest. A scene with a murdered child should be horrible, because child murders are horrible’ says MacBride. But his books aren’t all gore- he brings in humour by building up his characters, and not portraying them as ‘single focus bastions of justice’ that so many crime thriller characters are. From MacBride, one can then expect honesty, a good story and a chilling feeling of what the reality of Aberdeen as we all know it can inspire.
lot of students will live in a different flat for each year that they’re at University and most of them will get ripped off by at least one of their landlords. Lots of letting agencies in Aberdeen charge something called ‘premium fees’ - this’ll be stuff like admin fees, reference checks, inventory checks and non-refundable deposits. These charges are completely and unambiguously illegal and have been for years. The bad news is that most students don’t know this and get tricked into paying them anyway; the good news is that you do know it now and it’s really easy to get that money back. In the 1980s, legislation was passed that made charging premium fees illegal in Scotland but letting agencies kept insisting that this wasn’t clear and that the charges they were asking people to pay were fine. Then, over the summer, the Scottish Government launched a consultation which, for a while, looked like it was going to legalize these charges. AUSA, along with Shelter, NUS and lots of other groups around the country, responded to the Government’s consultation and made it clear where they stood that letting agencies didn’t need
and, so far, almost £200,000 has been claimed by tenants. You can check it out and go through the process yourself at: http:// reclaimyourfees.com/ The website gives a run-through of what to do in order to reclaim the money that has been taken away from you and informs about the different aspects of what constitutes a premium fee. A friend of mine got hundreds of pounds back so it’s worth the little bit of hassle. But rent, however, is still too expensive, finding flats is still too hard and landlords and letting agencies have lots of other ways of ripping students off. Over the summer, the city council was talking about introducing quotas on HMO licenses - something that, in other places, has ghettoised students and forced rents up but AUSA managed to stop that. As part of NUS, AUSA has been helping to set up schemes to stop people getting ripped off when they’re trying to get their deposits back (check it out: http://www. safedepositsscotland.com/) but there’s still a lot more to be done. Right now, AUSA Welfare Committee, working with the University and RGU, set up a
Photo/ epSos.de (Flickr) to charge these fees and that they shouldn’t be allowed to. In their response they focused particularly on the disproportionate impact these fees could have on particular groups - women, for example, tend to buy houses later in life and, therefore, are at risk of being ripped off by dodgy landlords for longer. This worked and, when the consultation came back, it was absolutely clear - premium fees are illegal and have been since 1984. Now we’re trying to get the word out to students: if you have been charged premium fees in any flat you’ve lived in over the last five years, you can get it back. Shelter have put together an online toolkit to help people get their fees back
students’ association letting agency - a letting agency that puts the welfare and security of students ahead of making massive profits by ripping folk off. We’re also working with Shelter to make information around housing and tenant students’ rights more accessible. It’s exciting to know just how much is going on behind the scenes since most of this information doesn’t typically reach the regular student. It’s important to keep going; to make finding and keeping accommodation easier and cheaper. If you’ve been charged a premium fee then treat yourself to something nice because now you know you can get that money back.
30 October 2012
Interview with Fiona-Jane Brown of Hidden Aberdeen Tours Ben Kamal interviews Fiona-Jane Brown about the hidden aspects of Aberdeen and the reasons for these tales to remain an intrinsic part of society
berdeen is an old city. A myriad of stories and narratives coalesce with the bricks and the mortar and thusly culture and history are made. Though it is not just the history of great men and women and great forces which hold sway. Local histories also play a significant part and they may stray into the realms of the irrational. There is certainly no shortage of interest in such tales, especially at this time of year. Fiona-Jane Brown runs Hidden Aberdeen Tours, which offers history tours of the Granite City. Her annual Halloween Ghost Walk “Spooks, Freaks and Fools” sold out more than a week prior to the event. The stories told on the tour stray from the supernatural and the mythical to the verifiable truth. For instance the ghost of Brother Francis, a monk murdered by bigoted noblemen during the reformation, is said to haunt Stirling Street, chilling passers-by with the injustice of the past. An urban legend tells of a comatose drunk, who was thought dead by medical students and as a result
Photo/Julie Franke woke up on the dissection table, fled in terror and bled out on the street. Of course there were also Witch-Burnings, particularly in the years 1596-97 when twenty seven women were found guilty and set aflame, probably for nothing more than having a basic knowledge of herbs and looking different. Another story tells of a woman,
hanged in 1830 for the poisoning of her alcoholic and reprobate husband, who was reported to have castigated, in her last words, the city notables for letting drink flow so freely in the streets. The tours offered by Fiona and the stories told therein form something akin to theatre and performance - colder than a
theatre though it may occasionally be - and despite the occasional mutterings of spiritualists regarding a “certain presence” on the walks, film-inspired ghost hunting is not the agenda. People can easily recognise when truth straddles fiction. Nonetheless the tales still draw attention. Fiona attributes this fascination with the vicarious thrill people get from being scared. Since they are, to a degree, removed from the action of the tales, people can confront their own fears through the narrative and arrive at a resolution without the consequences of facing the darkness in real life, having confronted such fears in a fictional setting. People may also feel better prepared to deal with them later on. It is a way of undoing the power of fear. Also the tales may speak to a desire for something beyond the material. These may explain why the tales persist, but why tell them in the first place since many don’t stand the test of rationality? Many of the tales and their aspects (particularly the more supernatural ones) have their
“The fascination with ghost stories is attributed to the vicarious thrill of being scared” Fiona Jane Brown origins in our unrecorded past and they are a way of keeping that folk memory alive. It is a testament to the power of the stories that when Pope Gregory was advising his missionaries he told them not to denigrate the old holy places or magical beliefs of potential converts but rather wind a Christian narrative into them. Some chroniclers have also been known to put a moral slant upon the stories with a factual basis. Besides the power of these stories, the important factor that makes them popular to this day is that these stories are entertaining. People like to be entertained and often they like to be scared at the same time.
“Hello, Niteline?”: the listener service Konrad Wojnar discusses the ins and outs of the Niteline service at Aberdeen University
n an unknown location somewhere in Old Aberdeen, two students are sitting in a room with a bed, a laptop and a kitchenette. It’s 1:00am in the morning and they are deciding their shifts - who goes to sleep, and who stays awake. Suddenly, the phone rings and one student answers: “Hello, Niteline?” Silence. They can hear the gentle breathing down the other end of the line, a sign, and a weak answer:
“I joined nightline because, as cheesy as it sounds, you can really make a difference.” “Hi, can I talk?” The majority of students see their time spent at a University as a transition between the ‘grown up world’ and the academic one. By the end of their undergraduate degree they are supposed to possess the skills that are required for their careers, or at least allow them to survive as individuals. This daunting prospect can put many students into a complicated state of mind. The Division of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy suggest that “over
20 – 25% of university students show raised levels of psychological distress”, an average that is slightly higher than that of the general population. Institutions such as Aberdeen University have many organisations for students to help them deal with their day-to-day problems. However, only 1 in 5 students with suicidal thoughts will seek the help of a GP, as found by the Samaritans organisation. A few more will contact other services that have professional services, such as counselling or therapy sessions; a lot will just talk to their friends. But what happens if they do not feel that they can do either of these? This is where Niteline comes in. Niteline was founded at the University of Essex over forty years ago to reduce suicides among students. It has slowly been evolved into a student listening and information service, run by students, for students. “You get the opportunity to talk to fellow students, your peers, who might understand your situation better than anyone else”, says one member. Niteline provides an anonymous and confidential service. One volunteer from the Niteline team says that “it can involve informational calls or more private calls concerning university work,
friendship worries or problems of a more personal nature. University life can be overwhelming at times and it’s good to have the chance to make someone feel better about
Freshers Fayre, I spotted the Niteline stand. After a friendly chat, I signed my name up for the upcoming training sessions. After six two hour training sessions, a
Photo/ alanclarkdesign (Flickr) theirs, even if that just means listening to them.” The role involves undertaking a shift from 8pm-8am on a purely volunteer basis. It is easy to sign up for and involves only a few hours of training to get started. One volunteer recalls her beginnings with the service: “browsing the
mock call situation to ensure I was prepared and two supervised shifts later I was a qualified Niteliner.” The service aims to be completely anonymous and encourages its members, as well as callers, to abstain from giving out any identifying information such as names, contact details or where
they live. Such is the purpose of this service: no strings attached, no consequences to spilling their hearts out and no judgement afterwards. Sometimes even friends can’t help them get out of their sticky situations or they might be afraid that their friends will judge them based on something they did or know. The people at Niteline seem very enthusiastic about what they are doing. They are always talkative and speak highly of their work. Whatever it is that makes people join or call Niteline, it is comforting yet difficult to be on either side of the phone. “I joined Niteline because, as cheesy as it sounds, you can really make a difference. It doesn’t need to be a massive difference but it really could help someone get through something that they may be struggling with”, says a member. “I have dealt with problems of various kinds but when the caller thanks you at the end, I know that giving up my time has been worth it. For the duration of that call,you have made someone feel like they aren’t alone. Talking to your friends about something can often be difficult but at Niteline we offer a non-judgemental service. I’d urge you to pick up the phone whether you need to discuss a problem or just fancy a chat.”
30 October 2012
270, the presidential magic To infinity and number beyond Grant Costello tries to get into the nitty-gritty of what really matters in the upcoming US presidential elections
Photos/ betting.stanjames.com; toughtalkerz.com
o this isn’t the regular voting season but, nonetheless, this is one of the most interesting elections broadcasted throughout the world. The US presidential elections are to take place on November 6th and play an important role in not only the US but in world politics as a whole. Despite what many will say about China’s rise, the US is still the leader in many areas that influence the world’s economy, society and business. The people of the United States will have to decide in less than two weeks time whether they want to remain with their current President, Barack Obama, or the former Governor of the State of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. Each of the 50 States of the US has electoral votes they cast for the presidential candidates based on which earns the popular vote in each state. However, in reality, 38 of the states will vote for one candidate no matter what; it is only 12 states that ever really matter in the US election. These states are known as the Swing States. The swing states make up 151 of the 538 electoral votes a candidate needs to be elected President, and with just over a week to go until the election it is expected that over $250 Million dollars will be spent on these states alone. This is money spent trying to convince voters to vote for either the Donkey or the Elephant. The State of Ohio will likely be the most important of all these swing states, and that’s simply because it is known as the “maker of Presidents”. Ohio is a microcosm of the United States as it has agricultural, manufacturing, rural, urban and energy sectors; every type of voter across the US is also in Ohio. If Romney can win the State of Ohio it is very likely he
will take the White House and deny President Obama a Second Term. If he fails to win in Ohio, it will be a tough nut to crack for Romney as no Republican Presidential Candidate ever seized the White House without carrying the state of Ohio. Obama’s chances of carrying Ohio at this stage are high. He is leading among women and men and it is likely the voters that were for him in 2008 will vote for him again. Obama can afford to lose this state to Romney but if he does, who knows which other states he could lose at the same time? Ohio polls close long before the polls in other key swing states such as Nevada and Wisconsin and a defeat for Obama could demoralise his supporters and motivate Romney’s with the belief that he would be within a touching distance of the Presidency. Wisconsin gave Barack Obama a massive margin of victory in 2008, but are things about to change? Although Wisconsin traditionally votes Democrat, Paul Ryan (Republican) is a seven time member of the House of Representatives for Wisconsin and gets a big reception in that state. What will happen there, no one knows. The most recent economic reports show that the American economy has grown by 2% - this will likely be revised down to 1%. Mitt Romney jumped onto those numbers and claimed that Obama is only concerned with the small, short term picture and not the big picture, which is the future of jobs in America. This has led to Romney leading Obama by as high as 15 points in who voters believe is best placed to manage the economy. If over the next week and a half Mitt Romney can turn this belief into votes, it is very likely Wisconsin would transfer
its critical 10 electoral votes to the Romney camp. The States of New Mexico and Michigan were believed to be on a knife edge, since Mitt Romney’s father had been an extremely popular Governor of the latter. However, the Obama bailout of the American Auto Industry, saving thousands of jobs in Michigan, and Romney’s opposition to that bailout seem to have swung it for the President and garnered a much sought after 16 electoral votes. As for New Mexico, it has been known to vote for candidates around its vicinity. It voted for the Tennessee man Al Gore in 2000 and the Texan Bush in 2004 and with a large Mormon population neighbouring the Romney heartlands of Utah, the Democrats had feared they would cast their votes for Romney. The polls show Obama is pulling ahead. Romney moved resources from New Mexico to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin this week suggesting they are giving up on the state. The other Swing States of Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Iowa are switching from Romney to Obama and back again with each passing day. Every political pundit is agreed this election is on a knife edge. On Social Issues Obama leads by a landslide, on Economic Issues it falls for Romney and with an estimated $400 Million to spend nationwide before the election is over, it could go either way. For me I’m sticking with the belief and hope that Obama pulls through and wins the day, but don’t be surprised with the next edition of the Gaudie and every other paper around the globe in their editions after the election have the headlines, PRESIDENT MITT ROMNEY!
Sebastien Raybaud discusses how technology affects the different aspects of society – education, business and social life? Watch out! Technology has taken over the world! It is the simple instinct of mankind to abbreviate and simplify its daily chores and make them more efficient. It is hard to imagine the time when letters were the main form of communication.; when men and women needed to understand the simple elements that constitute their language and a mutual and important rapport between teachers and students existed. Nowadays, technology seems to give people the ability to do away with the knowledge that proved to be invaluable a little while back. The power and impact of technology has significantly increased in the last few decades and will continue to do so in the three principal aspects of society: education, business and social life. Traditionally, students were expected to listen and respect the teachers’ explanations throughout a wide spectrum of subjects. These were namely the natural sciences and humanities but also included moral codes which were based and learnt through human interactions. With the advancement of technology, the role of a teacher as a medium for translating facts is no longer necessary. Through PowerPoint presentations and digitally recorded classes, the traditional role of a teacher is often removed. One positive of this is how it helps sick or absent students: they could easily access these types of information online, meaning they could catch up to the latest lesson. Conversely, this puts into the limelight a burning question: What is the point of teachers? With the increasing amount of presentations available online, a harmful impact is discovered; students gain the negative attitude that they do not necessarily need to attend class to gain the same knowledge. Imagine a young entrepreneur with a brand new, expanding business. They pop into their bag or pocket and reach for their BlackBerry or Smartphone. Being able to check the current state of business and news, for factors that might influence future growth, is literally an arm’s length away. A lot of people will see this as having a positive impact as everything is convenient. Applications and programs are specifically designed so that their job can be easier: whether they want to make some basic calculations or estimations, or create their own presentation for their next business meeting. It creates instant gratification. Moreover, the programs are user friendly, with a digital assistant instantly there to help with the problem - whether it is technologybased or mathematical-based. Thus, we go back to the same idea of how our mutual relationship with real people is somewhat destroyed through lack of communication by choosing to work more independently and efficiently.
Perhaps the most fundamental impact is that on society and social lives. Throughout history, men and women wrote letters to each other. These letters often contained a true grasp of language with respectable grammar, punctuation and a thorough reflection on the subject-matter. Currently, in the 21st century, a word can be entered into a dictionary site (whether it is a native or foreign language) and in a five second configuration the word is spelt correctly and defined. This part of technology could have a negative impact on social lives; some say this outweighs all the positive points of technology. This is because there is no longer a need to know how to spell words properly or a need to know how to use dictionary as, nowadays, a word could be written and the program suggests the correct spelling or word. Abbreviations have completely revolutionised our mode of daily language. However, some would say that the younger generation have abused this concept. Would older generations have a clue what “lol”, “fml” or “yolo” meant?! Online journals and eBooks have revolutionised the way we do research. Can you imagine a world without Google or Wikipedia? In addition, the environmentally friendly groups are jumping for joy for this way of spreading information. Millions of tons of carbon are not released into the atmosphere because of this technology. The typical erudite, such as yourself (even if you’re not particularly environmentally friendly) will find pleasure from saving so much money on buying books off of Amazon for a reduced price. Convenient as it may be, where has the passion of entering a bookstore gone? It must be stated that despite its convenience and user-friendly outlook for the world, there are more negative impacts that are beginning to affect various traditional and respectable habits such as visiting a book shop or purchasing and appreciating a piece of art. In my own perspective I think we do need technology. It will always help us in many ways, whether we are a student or a professional, but we definitely need to lay some crucial boundaries on things that could potentially destroy important parts of our lives, for example a school or a book shop as these are the places that provide us with a social and nostalgic connections. Maybe I am just an old-fashioned guy who enjoys entering a bookstore, picking up a book and purchasing it depending on whether I like what I read or not. While I’m at it I appreciate the feeling of using paper, since it gives me a feeling of something graspable and real as opposed to an LCD screen on an iPad. But, to each his own - as the saying goes.
30 October 2012
The Burking Hoose: the curious tale of Aberdeen’s anatomical theatre Aaron Murray retells the tale of how Aberdeen once had an anatomical theatre and how it met its end
n the early 19th century, Britain’s medical schools were facing a crisis. There was a crippling shortage of human bodies for them to use when teaching anatomy to their students. At Dr Robert Knox’s anatomy school in Edinburgh they were allocated just one freshlyexecuted criminal per year to dissect, as religious authorities were offended by the idea of any other kind of human bodies being cut up for scientific study. This was of course not enough for the
to quietly instruct their students to fetch the frigid corpses of homeless people who died on Aberdeen’s streets. One tale from the 1800s tells of how a group of medical students found a dead man lying in a gutter on Broadgate (now Broad Street) and brought him back to their anatomy tutor at Marischal College. There they proceeded to cut open his abdomen to dissect his digestive system only for the man to suddenly awaken, jump off the table and rush out the door with his own intestines in hand.
kind of news leaflet handed out on the street) at the time, “dug up a portion of the fragments of a human body.” Dr Moir’s new surgical college and anatomy school at the corner of St Andrew Street and Blackfriars Street had already proved to be a deeply unpopular addition to the local area, but this shocking discovery was enough to incite destructive outrage from the crowd. Here is an extract from the broadside account of what happened when they stormed inside:
dismembered corpses were buried in the grounds. Loud cries of “Burn the hoose! Burn down the Burking Shop!” were heard as the mob tore Dr Moir’s theatre apart and set it ablaze. Another group began to use large wooden planks as battering rams against the back wall of the building and within five minutes had brought it crashing down. Others fuelled the inferno inside the school by throwing in any wood they could find and by 5pm the mob had succeeded in bring down the front wall too. Meanwhile, the city’s Lord Provost and his magistrates addressed the mob, reassuring them that: “…if the feelings of the public had been hurt in this case, every enquiry would be made and every satisfaction afforded.” Really, he might as well have just egged the rioters on because, even though he was loudly cheered, his speech was completely useless at stopping them. The rampage continued and soldiers from the 79th regiment barracks were ordered to stay on Schoolhill and not come any closer. By the time the roof of Dr Moir’s anatomy theatre had collapsed, the mob was estimated to be in excess of 20,000 people. While most then left to go home, several bands
of rioters continued to roam the nearby streets, attacking and chasing anyone who so much as resembled a medical student. As if the story wasn’t dramatic enough, it was reported that Dr Moir spent the night hiding in the cemetery of the nearby Kirk of St Nicholas, surrounded by the graves he had been suspected of robbing. In July of the following year, the Anatomy Act 1832 was passed by Parliament which allowed doctors and teachers of anatomy to dissect bodies that had been donated to their schools rather than just those of executed criminals. The market for illegal corpses collapsed as medical schools could now legally obtain enough cadavers for their teaching needs, putting to rest the not entirely unjustified fear among the general public of ending up on the receiving end of a scalpel. Sadly, the Act came eight months too late for Dr Moir’s anatomy theatre, but he went on to teach anatomy at Kings College from 1839 until his death in 1844. A hospital was built on the site of his ruined school which, interestingly enough, was later acquired by RGU for their St Andrew Street Library. All of this just goes to show that you can never be too certain of what is buried under your feet.
A little shop with big dreams
Melanie Herbst talks about the little shop that’s producing a lot of buzz around it
needs of the growing school and it was Dr Knox who then entered the history books as the client of the murderous bodysnatchers William Burke and William Hare, accepting the cadavers they brought him with no questions asked. When news finally broke of this macabre practice in 1828, the entire country was gripped with terror. The very idea of ‘Burkers’, as they were called, killing the innocent and selling the bodies to anatomists was enough to incite riots wherever they were suspected to operate. In fact, one of the most notable and destructive riots occurred in 1831 at an anatomy theatre here in Aberdeen. At that time, the law permitted anatomy tutors in the city to receive the bodies of hanged criminals from the gallows on Gallow Hill, accessible through the Gallowgate. However, like Dr Knox, they struggled to obtain enough cadavers and it was considered routine for anatomists
As he ran outside he was spotted by several passersby, who mistook his entrails for stolen sausages and chased him as they would a thief, only for the poor fellow to stumble round a corner and bleed to death on the street. According to the tale, the medical students then caught up with their runaway experiment and dragged him back to Marischal, where they carried on with their dissection. Whether or not this tale is true, the very real demise of surgeon Andrew Moir’s Anatomical Theatre on St Andrew Street is almost as grim. On the morning of Monday 19th December 1831, two young apprentices from the local tannery spotted a dog digging up something unusual in the grounds of the anatomy school. They called out to people standing nearby and soon a crowd of around 30 people had arrived at the scene. Upon closer inspection it turned out that the dog had, according to an account printed on a broadside (a
“Two lads entered, and finding Mr Moir, the lecturer, in the place, assaulted him, turned him out and he escaped. Part of the crowd, however, followed him to his own house and into a room, but Mr Moir leaped from a window and escaped by George’s Street. The crowd, which had now increased to perhaps 100, rushed into the place, where they found three dead bodies lying on boards. Cloaks, instruments, all the paraphernalia of the place, instantly disappeared, part being destroyed, and part carried off.” The crowd, now a violent mob, had broken in while Dr Moir was teaching an anatomy lesson to his students, who fled in terror. The bodies they had been dissecting were removed from their slabs and taken outside into the courtyard by officers who had been summoned to disperse the crowd. However, by this point, the frenzied mob had grown larger amid rumours that the remains of several hundred
Nicola Bruni, Deputy BookEnds Administrator, has a more pragmatic view of the shop. When asked about the bookshop he announced that “although we have grown a little every year over the last 30 years, the past year has been the most explosive. It seems like we are finally getting the word out, and we couldn’t have done it without the volunteers and all the students and professors who brought in their books to sell!” Building on this, BookEnds has many plans for the future. One of the biggest plans for this year is to really bring BookEnds into the 21st century by introducing an entirely computer based system. No more piles of paper and snail mail! Other plans to continue on our rise to fame include special sales in Hillhead, Foresterhill and the Hub throughout the year, as well as joint events with societies in BookEnds. If you have any questions or queries, or better still, if you would like to join us, email bookends@ abdn.ac.uk or pop into the shop Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. We look forward to seeing you!
ookEnds, home of text books, fiction books, CDs, DVDs as well as (believe it or not) VHS tapes, was founded in the 1980s and has been providing a service for students run by students ever since. The second hand charity bookshop is run entirely by student volunteers from the University of Aberdeen, and supports the Aberdeen Students’ Charities Campaign. Originally located in a corner of Lithuli House, the bookshop moved to the Hub and then, 3 years ago, into Butchart, its current home. Even though BookEnds has become much bigger over the past 30 years, not much has changed. Students set the price for the books they want to sell; once the book is sold they get 2/3rd of the price, and the other third goes to charities in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Currently, BookEnds has a team of about 35 volunteers, including Erasmus students as well as full and part time students. Svilen Gotsev, a computing science student and BookEnds committee member who has been volunteering at the shop for over a year said: “A friend of mine showed me the bookshop when I was searching for cheap textbooks in my first year. After a while I found it a wonderful place for volunteering. I especially like the interaction with people, it is rewarding to see them leaving the shop with a smile on their face”.
30 October 2012
Editor: Alasdair Lane
A confession that nobody wants to hear Iona Richardson shares her anger at laddish Facebook groups such as AU Confessions
arlier this month, a shortlived group was created on Facebook. In the time it was active, it gathered a respectable number of likes and contributions from people who appreciated the anonymous stories it posted of vomit and sex filled antics submitted by students. Aberdeen University Confessions took the “most disgusting, hilarious, embarrassing, outrageous and rude confessions” submitted to them, and posted them “in the pursuit of patter.” Due to the nature of some of these stories, however, it soon drew the attention of those less than sympathetic to its cause. First, it was ordered by the University to remove their logo from the page, and then, after AUSA got involved, the police were contacted and the page was shut down for good. Many people may have thought this to be an overreaction by AUSA, not to mention setting a worrying precedent for censorship when police can take something written anonymously on the internet and use it to shut down a page designed for harmless fun. It was none of these things. The anonymity of the page, while intended to allow people to share outrageous stories for the entertainment of others, allowed people to submit stories using slurs against people’s sexualities, race or gender, and not be held accountable. More importantly, some of the stories submitted detailed sexual activity that sounded not-entirely consensual. The expression for that is not “patter” - it’s ‘sexual assault’. The fact that these stories were submitted and posted as humour does not reflect well on the
University or its students. Despite these concerns, Aberdeen University Confessions was merely a side note, not the whole problem. The page was just
and Secretary Hos’ are a common sight at clubs across the country. What needs to be considered are not the individual people offended by the stories and slurs (although
Photo/ Jonathan MacDonell a small part of a larger culture that seems to particularly thrive at universities across the country. Often labelled as ‘LAD culture’, it is the view that derogatory slurs, stories of sexual assault and getting as drunk as possible, are the epitome of humour and matey conversation. Often the people saying these things maintain they would never use slurs against someone that may be genuinely offended, or that it’s ‘just a bit of fun’, that the ‘PC police’ need to stop trying to censor them and get a sense of humour. Nights like ‘Geeks and Sluts’ and ‘CEOs
they are important), but what this culture enables. If you use derogatory slurs, even jokingly, you are not taking into account how hurtful these can be. If your stories consist solely of times when you were so hammered you didn’t know what you were doing, you are perpetuating a culture that encourages people to drink to excess if they want to be considered a fun and sociable person. If you trade stories and jokes about sexual assault, you are dismissing the often traumatising experiences of the 1 in 7 female students who have been victim to
serious physical or sexual abuse whilst at university. If this doesn’t make you think twice about what you’re defending, then maybe you need to read it again, think about how many women you know, and work out statistically how many of those may have been assaulted. A new group was set up in response to Aberdeen University Confessions: “Real Aberdeen Uni Confessions.” The idea was to gather stories that would provide a more rounded picture of students’ time at the University. Whatever you think of the comedic value (and realism) of the group, the idea behind it is one that deserves more attention: getting hammered one night and finding someone to sleep with is all well and good, if that’s what you want to do, but be respectful. Everyone has embarrassing, funny, and probably outrageous stories, but they don’t have to be the kind of story that needs telling. If you wouldn’t tell your story around certain people (be that LGBT students, black students, disabled students, female students, or even survivors of sexual assault), then it probably needs to be altered before you tell it to anyone. Remove the slurs and derogatory language. Respect people as individuals. Surely that’s not too big an ask? After Aberdeen University Confessions was shut down, it was revived. Pages like this exist everywhere. Some of the stories probably are funny or outrageous enough to keep people reading. That doesn’t mean they should.
A slap on the wrist would have sufficed! Sofiane Kennouche shares his frustration at the ‘Pleb-gate’ debacle
f you swore at a police officer, would you lose your job? It’s highly unlikely, aside from the severe dressing-down you’d receive, the punishment would amount to no more than a fine or a couple hours community service. So why then has Former Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell been forced to resign over offensive comments made to the police officer who refused to allow him to cycle through the gates of Downing Street? The ‘Pleb-gate’ scandal has rumbled on for several weeks, culminating with Mitchell’s resignation in an attempt to save some face for an embarrassed Team Cameron. Whilst I make no attempt to defend his excessive verbal abuse of the officer, it’s clear to see that the former Chief Whip’s punishment is completely disproportionate to the offence committed. Originally,
the disgraced minister was backed by David Cameron after apologising for “not showing the police enough respect”, but this support was rescinded after a slew of organisations - the Daily Telegraph, the Police Federation and Labour to name a few - called for the minister to give up his post. This is just yet another example of juvenile, tit-for-tat politics, with Mitchell’s departure largely dictated by the outcry from rival political parties rather than on the basis of his political proficiency. Unsurprisingly, Ed Miliband was quick to urge Mitchell quit his role, but few expected coalition Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to side with Labour on the issue. This incident - essentially a vague matter of what someone did or did not say to someone in a position of authority - has captivated the tabloids, thus wasting column inches on a matter that should
have been decided when the Sutton Coldfield MP apologised for his actions on October 18th. I fail to see the logic in pressurising a politician with over
“It’s clear to see that the former Chief Whip’s punishment is completely disproportionate to the offence committed.” twenty-five years of experience into resignation, especially on the back of controversial transport and energy policies proposed by the party. Now, the Conservatives will have to search for a willing Chief Whip candidate at a time when tough decisions about recent
austerity measures need to be revised. Why are the three major parties diverting their attention away from NHS reform and the Eurozone to engage in foolish oneupmanship? The whole debacle has illustrated to the electorate, in a manner as sophisticated as a playground scuffle, just how fixated our media and parties-inopposition are on degrading those in power instead of working for the voters. Of course, it’s undeniable that Mitchell was wrong to act in the way that he did. His resignation, though, has been forced by a media that is largely opposed to the Conservatives, instead of by those within his own party. I can’t help but feel that if Shadow Chief Whip Rosie Winterton had uttered those expletives to the police officer instead of Mitchell, then the outcome would have been very different indeed.
...about the importance of renewable engery
am a huge advocate of renewable energy. In just one generation, all energy can, and should, come from renewable sources. Renewable energy from here, there and everywhere, will deliver a clean environment, economic stability, and a totally sustainable world- at least until the Sun goes out! The Sun delivers 20,000 times more energy than we currently use per day. We just have to capture it! Renewable energy can deliver worldwide economic stability because natural energy capturing stations can be positioned anywhere, totally independent of the geography of the current fossil fuel reserves, and totally independent of the oligopolistic ownership structure of our current energy systems. The move to renewable energy gives you (the new generation) a colossal opportunity to democratise and decentralise the world’s energy supply systems. Just note that this utopia will not be delivered by the current energy supply industry as the concept competes totally with the physical and ownership structures and political conventional wisdoms of today. It requires new people with new ideas, new businesses, new organisations all over the world to rise up and do it. Renewable energy technology has, in crude form, been around for over 100 years. It just has not been developed as coal, gas and oil were cheap and easier to exploit. Not so any more. We are at the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era, the manifestation of which is the rapidly rising cost of energy, likely to double in price every 5 years. Renewable energy technology is now developing its physical and financial capability very fast indeed, with a particular focus on turning excess wind and solar power into hydrogen and ammonia for energy storage and/ or direct use. Big turbines on good land sites are already delivering electricity competitively, when compared with new gas, oil and coal installations. Renewable energy also puts dangerous nuclear materials back in their box. Your challenge, as the new generation, is to deliver this energy revolution, and so save the world!
30 October 2012
The wind of change - why won’t it blow over Aberdeen? Daniel McCroskrie discusses Aberdeen’s inability to change for the better
berdeen is the oil and energy capital of Europe. It is also one of the only places in the United Kingdom that was able to weather the grave effects of the economic downturn. Yet in spite of these positives, native Aberdonians and many of their elites seem to fear and resist change. In the last few years, Aberdeen and the wider region has had the opportunity to completely transform the city from its old and worn out Granite image to a dynamic and modern global city. Instead, many people have either killed these plans or attempted to prevent their inevitable occurrence. The £192 million investment into the city centre, comprising of a regeneration of Aberdeen Art Gallery, a transformation of the North Denburn site, regeneration of the St. Nicholas House site, improvements to Union Street and the City Gardens Project as its centrepiece, were dashed after narrow-minded Labour councillors teamed up with Independents and two cowardly Liberal Democrats to kill the project stone dead. They disregarded the facts that the present Union Terrace Gardens is no longer fit for purpose or that the access to it is dire for those with mobility conditions. And they ignored the public referendum which saw a turnout of over 50% of the electorate and produced clear majority of 4,000 votes in favour of the City Gardens Project. They also ignored the calls by Sir Ian Wood, who pledged £50 million to the project and business leaders from the Institute of Directors who said that these plans were
vital to securing a better future for Aberdeen. Yet many of these councillors put politics first and dashed the hopes of a new and vibrant city centre in Aberdeen. Instead, Labour councillors want to pedestrianise Aberdeen’s busiest street and
the proposals concluded that the overall plans would result in a net gain of 1,400 jobs and an extra £64 million boost to the economy. Yet, originally, Aberdeenshire Council’s own planning committee rejected the proposals, giving no strong case for their decision,
Photo/ Tom Watt, Editing/ Maria Suessmilch open up a £1 million toilet in the gardens. Revolutionary stuff there! The Trump Golf course issue is another great example of the inept fear change that the people and councillors of Aberdeen seem to harbour. Last year I wrote an article in The Gaudie arguing for the redevelopment of the Menie Estate and putting forward the facts to support American tycoon Donald Trump’s impressive plans for a championship-standard golf course and hotel. Aberdeenshire Council’s own economic study of
and a group of fringe protestors made a biased and vitriolic movie against Donald Trump and his development. It came to a point where even the Scottish Executive felt the decision was the wrong one for the area and stepped in to overrule the planning decision. The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) debacle is my last example of how fear of change has prevented a project which should’ve been passed by planning, built and in use. The AWPR was originally envisaged
back in the 1970s as an answer to growing road users and congestion in Aberdeen. However, various fudges by councils and most recently the protest group, Roadsense’s, attempts to block the plans through the courts, have resulted in an overall delay of 40 years. Now that the nonsense is over the process to build this needed bypass can progress. These are just a few examples of the struggle to transform Aberdeen. We only have to look at other Scottish cities to realise that we are sorely lagging behind. Despite the contractual problems and delays, Edinburgh City Council has continued to transform the way people travel in the city by constructing the Edinburgh tram line. Glasgow City Council has just announced a multi-million pound redevelopment of the city’s iconic George Square, and also to regenerate one of their central railway stations to bring it into the 21st century. And you only have to look down the A90 to see the city of Dundee and its transformation. For a long time it was in the shadow of Aberdeen, but now, their city council, the Scottish Executive and various private sources are investing a total of £1 billion into the regeneration of the city, with particular focus on its waterfront which will now house the new V&A Art Museum. These cities clearly don’t fear change in the same way Aberdeen does. This inertia will hold the city back for generations to come unless brave individuals can overcome the cynicism and give Aberdeen a brighter and better future.
Problems for potential post-graduates Ben Kamal explains the real price of extortionate post-graduate fees
cynic, so the famous epigram of Oscar Wilde goes, knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. And thusly it has often been motioned that the price of a post-graduate degree be raised while the value that such a degree may bring to an individual or indeed society at large is completely ignored. The cost of undertaking a post-graduate course is already enormous, with some students, particularly down South, being saddled with as much
as £26,000 debt. This means that taking on a post-graduate course is a deeply serious decision as no one wants to live on a financial knife edge. As a result, the universities and the government must accept that the pool of talent from whence post-graduates are drawn will significantly decrease with regard to wealth, which, in this context, is arbitrary and often completely irrelevant. If this country wants to stay afloat in the modern and globalised economy, the harsh realities of which we hear about daily (while some new measure is being proposed often to our detriment), then we need talented people. These talented people are not simply born, they are made and a good qualification is a seal of their quality. Increasingly an undergraduate degree is not seen as sufficient enough to make someone employable (once again the price has gone up and the value has gone down), and post-graduate degrees among
professionals are more common. Moreover, if the UK still wishes to lead the world in innovative and new ways then it must actually be affordable to do so. If it isn’t then we risk losing the edge to countries
“Taking on a post-graduate course is a deeply serious decision as no one wants to live on a financial knife edge.” like China, South Korea and India, who enthusiastically pump money into their universities knowing full well that if their bright future is to be found anywhere then it is in the lecture hall. In this economic climate, raising the fees would not merely be cynical but actively ludicrous and
short sighted. The proposal of keeping the post-graduate costs as low as possible for students may seem naïve to some; the money, I freely admit, has to come from somewhere. But there is no reason to burden the students with that particular albatross considering the work they do in their later careers will benefit us all. Some may say that scholarships will be enough to bring in the debt averse talented, yet these are very limited and it’s unlikely that a fat cheque and a pat on the head to an estatekid-made-good will make any difference to the fact that, if fees rise, wealth will be a qualifying factor along with ability. The best of all possible people educated to the highest level are essential for the success of any modern nation, and, if we want that success, we have to attract those people, regardless of their financial background.
Comments on Campus
What are your thoughts on Halloween? Pete Watt, 3rd Year Politics & IR For me Halloween isn’t really that big of a deal, but for the sake of my wife I make the effort! She’s Canadian, you see, and the 31st really is a big deal where she’s from. This year, we’re planning on going as a mail-order bride and postman, it should be a laugh! When I was a kid my mum wasn’t so keen on me going trickor-treating but this never really bothered me to be honest. There’s certainly fewer kids going door to door on Halloween where I live in the inner-city, but over in the West End you do still get quite a few. Yu Yao Liu, 1st Year Music For me Halloween is a one-day holiday. This year I will be attending the Chinese and Japanese societies’ Halloween Party - I prefer these kind of events to going out on the town. Costumewise, I’m thinking of either a cat or Where’s Wally - I think he’d be a lot of fun! Growing up in China, Halloween really wasn’t a recognised event at all, but with the new generation of children, it is getting increasingly popular over there. Bogdan Mihai Zidaru, 2nd Year Politics & IR Halloween? It’s an excuse to party! I won’t be wearing a fancy costume though- I was thinking of just drawing on a cardboard box and wearing it like a hat! I’m also more of a going-out person when it comes to Halloween, so no flat parties. Back in Romania, Halloween is certainly becoming more and more of a big deal with the kids- maybe this has something to do with the fall of communism?!
The power of unity: a rebuttal Josh Donnelly and Sarah Spence respond to Vincent Price’s article on LGBT and the dangers of ‘othering’
heterosexual and trans-gendered people a visible, undeniable political presence. It is this united presence that facilitates real political and social change. Any oppressed minority group – as demonstrated with, for example, the African-American Civil Rights movement or Women’s Suffrage movements – gains acceptance and increased equality of rights and status through their unified and collective presence which can no longer be ignored.
that the terms ‘faggot’ and ‘breeder’ are the same. This is extremely offensive, considering the history of the word ‘faggot’ as a violent, oppressive insult. ‘Breeder’ has nowhere near the same power or even intent, historically or presently. Price also claims that both the words ‘faggot’ and ‘breeder’ “arise from fear of the unknown.” But LGBT people, of course, are born into a heterosexual, gendered world; indeed, they are brought up as heterosexual, gendered
This is how democracy works. Without the unity of groups like LGBT, current issues such as same-sex marriage would not even be discussed – such issues would not exist in the eyes of the heterosexual mainstream. Political tensions in the United States show how contentious same-sex marriage still is. It will evidently take the strong and sustained unity of LGBT supporters to gain equal rights. Price misunderstands the social science theory of ‘Othering’ and misuses it to rather dangerous effect. Price appears to “blame the victim” for their own subordination with his claims that united minority groups create their own segregation. Wikipedia simply defines Othering as the way dominant mainstream “societies and groups exclude ‘Others’ whom they want to subordinate or who do not fit into their society.” It is therefore fundamentally impossible for an oppressed minority group – in this case LGBT – to ‘other’ either themselves or the majority: Othering works to oppress those who do not fit into the ideals of the (politically and culturally dominant) majority. Further to this idea, Price insists
people. This is why LGBT people must ‘come out’, whereas nonLGBT people are immediately and forever ‘normal’ by default. The mild term ‘breeder’ does not arise from “fear of the unknown.” Indeed, it is not used solely by non-heterosexuals; it is also not a criticism of innate sexuality but is instead derisive of people choosing to have children. ‘Faggot’, on the other hand, is a hateful slur against those who are perceived as different to ‘normality’. To end his piece, Price calls out vaguely for “acceptance of others” as a solution to end such discrimination. (Bizarrely, Price does not once use the word ‘discrimination’ in his article, perhaps failing to understand the difference between segregation and discrimination). Mere positivity is clearly insufficient when the problems of discrimination are institutional and subtly ingrained. Social equality has repeatedly proven to be extremely difficult to achieve. Unity of minorities, formal and informal, is vital to make any progress against social equality and support the individuals facing this inequality. The power of unity refuses to be denied.
Photo/ sigmaration (Flickr) argument on the idea that minority groups, such as LGBT, “ultimately lead to an alienation from wider society” for its affiliates. In suggesting that groups like LGBT “alienate” individuals socially, Price fails to comprehend that the real alienation for LGBT people comes from the larger society itself. LGBT people do not choose to alienate themselves from society but are judged and rejected based solely on their nonheterosexuality or because they are trans-gendered. If they unite over their sexuality and gender, it is not because they define themselves entirely in this way or believe themselves superior to others, but because it is on this basis that they are alienated from mainstream society. LGBT groups are not private social clubs for non-heterosexual people. They are a vital way to give social and political voice to this minority, to alleviate their alienation and foster a sense of community that is accepting and understanding. Individuals have little political power by themselves. It is when individuals come together over a shared issue that the group becomes powerful. The unity created through LGBT gives non-
A privilege that must be paid for Nicholas Layden defends rising tuition fees in an open letter to the AUSA Executive Commitee
n November, AUSA will be joining the NUS to march in London against higher tuition fees and cuts to universities. What has been sadly missing from this debate, especially in Scotland, is the problem with university funding. Currently, in Scotland, approximately £1,800 is paid to universities for each Scottish student that attends per annum, in England this has now been raised to around £9,000 in many cases. The gap, therefore, in funding is clearly immense. The problem for Scotland is clear – English universities will now be able to outspend Scottish universities both proportionately and in real terms. I am certain that I am not the only person studying at this university to notice less class time and larger class sizes. Is less funding a solution? Absolutely not. I am certain that many of the people campaigning for a free ride for students are the very same people who call for aggressively high taxes on the wealthiest of society. How can this hypocrisy stand up to scrutiny? It cannot. On the one hand we have protesters demanding an advantage over around 80% of the population (about 20% of the population hold a degree), while they are also likely to call for their education to be bankrolled by those who have got on in life. The idealistic argument of free tuition fees has been carried on for far too long, even the Scottish Labour Party has now recognised it is unsustainable. The students of Scotland are being carried by the taxes of the working population and will not pay back for their advantageous position. On average, a graduate in the United Kingdom will earn £100,000 more than a non-graduate. We must recognise that if students are to be treated as adults we must face up to the fact we are enjoying an immense advantage. Not everybody will have the chance – or willingness – to go to university. Not everybody needs to. Those who need, or want to, must accept that a move towards paying back tuition fees (which could also be higher) is not only necessary, it is inevitable. The English system is not an unfair one. Students’ fees are paid for by the government on a loan based system; the fees are only paid back after their earnings reach £21,000 with inflation rises being taken into account at a rate of interest starting from 1.5%, plus inflation. The repayments also rise if a graduate crosses a threshold of £41,000. If after thirty years the loan has not been paid off then it is written off by the government. This is not an unkind system, it recognises that graduates are likely to earn more over their lifetimes and asks those who have to pay back into the community for their advantage. In addition, universities charging above £6,000 for tuition fees are
“English universities will now be able to outspend Scottish universities both proportionately and in real terms.” obliged to offer more programmes and scholarship systems in order to attract those from poorer backgrounds. This is an additional form of encouragement for those who have considered university but do not feel they are able to manage it, financially or academically. A claim often thrown around is our ‘right’ to a free university education. I am afraid, however, that there is no right to higher education. Of course we have the right to expect a certain degree of education – basic literacy and numeracy to name but two examples – but we do not need university education to gain employment or to live happy and fulfilled lives. Some people have decided that the best path to their chosen career is through university, some careers require a university education or the potential to study at university. This does not immediately translate into a right to cater for the minority who do. While it is obviously easier to gain employment with a degree than without one, the same could be said of work experience – this does not convey the status of a right onto it. We must further acknowledge that we have an ageing population, one which will require a large proportion of our country’s resources. We must acknowledge that education for children is still the best way to make sure that those who want to attend university have the capability to do so. The Coalition Government has made the unpopular decision to make students pay back more when they earn more. In Scotland, no such pragmatism has reached us, we must strive for greater university funding – but do not be outraged or surprised when society asks us to pay for our better career prospects.
ast week, Vincent Price’s article attempted to argue, despite his own contradictions, that aligning oneself with a minority group – specifically LGBT – is dangerous because such groups segregate their members from other groups. However, it seems clear that it is only through unity that minorities can make real, lasting progress in the larger society that rejects them. Price balances his entire
30 October 2012
Disclaimer All opinions expressed in the Opine section are those of the authors of the articles, and do not necessarily represent views held by The Gaudie, AUSA, or any company which advertises in The Gaudie
30 October 2012
Editorial Editors: James Valentine & Claire Wheelans
The Gaudie goes to London Claire Wheelans gives a recount of her trip to the London Library to meet the editors of the Times newspaper
ne of the benefits of being involved with the Gaudie is the trips that we can offer to some of our writers and editors. We are constantly trying to improve the standard of the paper we all work hard to produce and one way we can achieve this is through learning first hand how professional journalists work. The Gaudie was lucky enough to be invited to an event to meet a panel of journalists and an editor from The Times newspaper in London on 18 th October. Myself, Jo (Life & Style) and Emily (Arts) travelled down to London that morning. After getting a little lost and finding ourselves in the wrong library, we finally found The London Library, albeit a little late. Surprisingly, the Gaudie were the
only student newspaper attending who were from Scotland – and also who had travelled the furthest. The panel included a young journalist who got an internship at The Times and was giving us tips and tricks about how to get into a career in journalism – the most useful being that you need something valuable to set you apart from others, such as being fluent in Arabic which would have been an advantage during the Arab Spring. The event was created to introduce British student newspapers to the London Library Student Prize, where final year undergraduates can submit an eight hundred-word article under a certain theme. The first place winner will receive a £5000 prize, which would be appreciated by any student. For more information
and to enter you can go to http:// www.londonlibrarystudentprize. com.
establishing a core group of writers that will help the Gaudie reach its goal of 24 pages each edition. We have appointed three new students to the Gaudie team: First year Darren Coutts has become our new website administrator. We are really looking forward to seeing what Darren can do with our website and hope that the tech wizard will give us a great platform to give Aberdeen’s students the latest news in an online format. Tom Booth, a loyal member of our rival student media group (ASR) has decided to split allegiances and join the Gaudie’s team as the new Listings editor. He will keep you
Editorial Team Head Editors
Claire Wheelans and James Valentine
Conor Riordan and Tasneem Mahmoud
Life & Style Editor
Head Copy Editor
Copy Editing Team
Andrew Parker, Oliver Stone, Elizabeth Ozolins, Nicholas Layden and Victoria Anderson
Deputy Section Editors
Dan Naylor, Anna Katila, Alicia Sofiane Kennouche, Josh Bircham, Elisabeth Ozolins and Natasha Eastwood.
Photo/ Gruenemann (Flickr)
Latest news from The Gaudie his term seems to be flying by already and at the Gaudie we are looking towards the end of term now, as we only have three editions left before the Christmas break. This term we have produced four fantastic papers, with brilliant contributions by some of Aberdeen’s students. At the end of each year, the Gaudie loses dozens of loyal contributors that write every week, and each September we have to replace them with the students that are left and those that have just arrived. Fortunately, this year we have seen unprecedented enthusiasm for the paper and it has made this process much easier. We are, once again,
up to date with the latest events on campus. Lastly, we have appointed Joseph Heskett as our Photography editor. This is very good news for the Gaudie, and you will see our front pages and content throughout the paper improve dramatically due to his input.
We hope you enjoy another edition of the Gaudie
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in the Opine section are those of the authors of the articles, and do not necessarily represent views held by the Gaudie, AUSA, or any company which advertised in the Gaudie.
Production Team Head of Production
Fiona Lawson, Catrina Ball, James Teasdale
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30 October 2012
The Granite Press
Editor: Stuart Hewitt
Summer of Sandy: Part Two
HALLOWEEN: Hello Spleen. Reclaiming the British Night Time! ‘
Tender is the night’, said F. Scott Fitzgenital as well as Blur. Every so often, I like to take a walk around my local neighbourhood in the Basildon area after dark, you could say that I’m a bit of a ‘flaneur’, but, personally, I prefer the English version: ‘Prowler’. In the twilight, there’s a certain ambiance to my Greater London borough, a certain ‘I don’t know’ (as the French wouldn’t say). Normally, the city streets at night are full of your traditional Dickensian criminals: the dogger, the pick pocketer, the aristo slasher- criminals you could introduce your nan to and eat your dinner off. But come late October, every year, it all changes when the streets throng with toddlers dressed as skeletons and women dressed as mothers, clogging up the Basildon turn-pike and making noises outside the Parson’s house after 9. I blame America- those pre-teens are mental about FDR! I remember the halcyon days of winter solstice, when all the kids would dress up as druids and do a dance with herbs on the valley. But now they’ve got ‘Halloween’, which is all about things like ‘apple bobbing’, which is apparently a devious sexual act involving a Braeburn and willing participantsprobably something dreamt up by sick pervert and likely bong smoker, Polly Toynbee, in the quiet of her Primrose Hill antechamber. What’s more, another thing that really whacks me off is the Trick or Treating, or, as I call it, with Dryden-esque aplomb: ‘Dick or Treating’! Who gave these underaged pricks the right to come round my house and demand delicacies off of myself and my thrombosis riddled wife, Vanessa; delicacies of coal, wicker and sultanas (as you can imagine, I am considered a prime source for the latter, as my journalistic
integrity was recently lost after I did those ‘Sunmaid’ adverts with the slogan ‘Littlethought: The Voice of Raisin’- trust me ‘Alpen’ have been at my door ever since, I just can’t shake off the dried fruit community). Halloween, for me, spells a winter of discontent, as Richard the IIIrd once said whilst apparently navigating a tight space in the Leicester Park and Ride area - if the archeologists are to be believed. So ere’s my answer to it: Make halloween accountable! Let’s have it in broad day light with no fancy dress so that every child is identifiable! You would get a knock on your door from one of them with their little pop and fresh fists: ‘Trick or treat, correspondent number 1. My name is Philip. Please may I have a Twix?’ ‘I’m afraid I don’t have a Twix, consumer Philip. However, I do have a lesson in communal responsibility and a sense of national identity!’ ‘That should suffice, fair beadle.’ ‘We shall rejoice then. Sultana, my boy?’ If we did it like that, I could continue my night time prowling through the back gardens of people who I reckon are suspicious in an activity that I have named ‘physical CCTV’ (the Parkour for middleaged men, if you will). But will the young people listen? With their mp3s and their music boxes, their iPods and their iBuprofens, I doubt they’ll even cock a bud! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to delouse a sack of roasted chestnuts. By Richard Littlethought: THE VOICE OF TRUTH (IF, BY ‘TRUTH’, YOU MEAN PROFOUNDLY RIGHT WING ASSERTIONS)
*Miscellaneous Oil Company is at an end. I wish you all the best in your future career, and I hope that the rest of your life is fruitful and prosperous. Of course, I’m being ironic. I’m about to kill you.” “No..., no wait! Sandy, PLEASE! NOOOOOOOOO!” And with that, Sandy picked Jim up as though he were a barbell, and hurled him through the open fifth-floor window, sending him plummeting to the asphalt below. He then rubbed his hands together and turned back towards the hall. Spotting me. “Ah! Someone else wants to taste the tarmac do they?”, he said, advancing towards me. “Not before you’ve tasted this”, I said, producing a kit-kat from my back pocket. One I’d laced with arsenic, and, for ironic purposes, a dash of crude oil (HA!). “Well, I really should dispose of you now, but... I suppose one bite can’t hurt.”, Sandy said, his willpower shattered by that foil-
““All that time in the forces, and it was those bloody kit-kats that got him in the end! ” wrapped delight. “Mmmmm, good as ever!”, he said, between chomps. “There’s...there’s something different about this one though... I wasn’t aware of a new flavour...? But... but no! I ALWAYS know of the new flavours! You’ve... you’ve poisoned me, haven’t you?” “That’s it.”, I said, placidly, “Just you eat it all up, Sandy.” “I’m.. I’m choking! I can’t breathe! Damn you.”, gasped Sandy, his voice barely a whisper now. And with that, he sunk to his knees, and expired. Everyone from the hall spilled forth now, in utter distress. Their granddad was gone and there was nothing they could
do. The Boss reached down and picked up the kit-kat wrapper from the floor, now soiled by Sandy. “Well, waddaya know, eh?! All that time in the forces, and it was those bloody kit-kats that got him in the end! And he was only two days from retirement!” The sadness on the faces of the rabble, immediately changed to delight once they realised The Boss was making a joke. And on that note, I left the corpse of Sandy, the guffawing prOILetariat and The Boss, and went back to my desk and finished my placement quietly. By Adam Mcilroy
he’d served in the SAS for 27 years. Upon the command of the nod, and under the cover of the uproarious laughter, he struck towards the laptop man (who, by know, had resuscitated the PowerPoint), took him by the scruff of the neck, and marched him from the hall. As The Boss resumed his corporate monologue, I slipped away, following Sandy from the hall. I stopped in the doorway, and watched. “Sandy!... Sandy, please! One more chance, I beg you!” “Too long have your technological discrepancies rendered our masters oration inert, Jim!” “Sandy, it’s... it’s not my fault! Please, you must believe me!” “I’m afraid, Jim, that your time at
The hall erupted in a blast of fawning laughter; I saw it all in slow motion. The bloated, ruddy faces of the bourgeois were stretched like over-inflated balloons in their sheer effort to laugh as hard as possible. Spittle ran unchecked from flapping mouths, as the men in the hall, seeking The Boss’s approval, rapped each other’s legs, and clapped each other’s backs in hilarity. Amongst this, The Boss nodded to his left. That’s when I saw him, just... waiting. Sandy. In the semi-darkness cast upon him, his physique looked tougher than I had first thought. Those kit-kat induced man-breasts seemed to utter a pectoral echo, for the first time. They say prior to his oil-life,
30 October 2012
Life & Style
Editor: Jo Polydoros
Style On Campus
Jo Polydoros has a look at some of Aberdeen’s best dressed this week
Shannon Keenan Is a 1st year Anthropology and Behavioural studies student. She loves any bright coloured, random item.
Rox plusa Is a 3rd year Art History and Spanish student. Her trousers are from a friend in Colombia.
Vanya Semerdjieva Is a 1st year studying Literature in a world context. She got her interesting earrings from a small shop in Bulgaria.
Dan Simpson Is a 4th year Spanish and Film student. He’s ready for the cold weather in his colourful and furry hat.
Photo/ Joseph Heskett
Photo/ Joseph Heskett
Photo/ Joseph Heskett
Photo/ Joseph Heskett
Cosmetics with a conscience Emily Hunt shows you how you can look fabulous and spend your money ethically
was walking along Union Street where I was stopped by one of those people we are all guilty of avoiding, the charity worker. He asked me for a £5 donation. Guiltily, I admit I made my excuses and walked away. It seemed a lot of money to part with. However, I then proceeded to spend a lot more than that on an overpriced lipstick I definitely didn’t need, but really wanted. With my purchase in hand I walked back home passing the same charity worker with my bag of shame; needless to say I couldn’t meet his eye. How I can justify spending money on something so trivial, yet begrudge parting with money that could change someone’s life? I began to think, there must be a way to treat ourselves whilst doing something good for charity. A compromise I thought must be too good to be true, but no. Retailers such as LUSH, The Body Shop and MAC have all jumped on the, what I like to call, the Cosmetics with a conscience bandwagon, selling
products of which percentages or even entire RRPs go directly to Charity. So, I give to you my top choices of Cosmetics with a conscience. Shopping may have never seemed so worthwhile! MAC cosmetics are at the forefront of the idea of creating
cosmetics with a conscience. In 1994 they created their Aids fund to raise money and awareness for people all around the world living and affected by HIV and so the Viva Glam programme was born; a line of lipsticks designed by spokespersons such as Lady Gaga, Dita Von Teese and currently Nikki Minaj. Unlike the majority of cosmetic companies, MAC’s Viva Glam donates the full RRP (minus VAT) to their Aids fund and has so far raised over £224 million for their cause. Head to www.maccosmetics.co.uk to purchase the lovely light pink shade designed by Nikki Minaj, retailing at £14. Singer Ricky Martin has also collaborated with MAC to create a limited edition lip conditioner, priced at £11. The Aids foundation is not the only good thing MAC aim to do; they also have a Back-to-MAC programme that encourages recycling and protecting the environment. Instead of throwing away old packaging, such as empty
foundation bottles, lipsticks and powders, MAC encourage you to return these to a store or online where they will recycle them for you. In return, and as encouragement for this process, for every six primary MAC packages you return, you will receive a free lipstick of your choice. The majority of plastic packaging qualifies but for further details visit the MAC website. LUSH is also a company known for its ethical work. The charity pot, retailing at £12, is described by LUSH as “A
Photo/ -Edward- (Flickr)
kind and passionate body lotion that wants to change the world”. The charity pot was created in 1997 and 100% of the RRP goes to charity. Finally, The Body shop has recently created a delicious Dragon fruit Lip Butter; the entire £4 will go to helping charities that focus on animal protection, protecting the environment and human rights. On purchasing this product you have the opportunity to vote for these three charities the Body Shop Foundation will help support. For more information on this great cause, head to www. thebodyshopfoundation. org. With so many great products doing fantastic work for charity, I don’t think any of us will ever again need an excuse to treat ourselves, even if we didn’t before.
30 October 2012
Life & Style
The evil dead cupcakes recipe
Last minute Hannah Girvan makes horrifying cupcakes that give you the heeby-jeebies (and happy tummys) Halloween Ingredients costumes I By Jo Polydoros
t’s that time of year where the scary costumes and decorations come out and the halloween parties take over your weekends. But what better way to make a splash, and possibly a few people’s stomachs churn with these spooky cupcakes and they’re perfect for warding off any tricker or treaters that might brave knocking on your front door.
We all pretend we love this time of year, the dressing up, the spooky decorations and yet another excuse to drink too much. However, most of us don’t admit it, but we all know that the thought of coming up with an original and interesting costume Step One: The Cupcakes poses far too much effort and far too high a price tag, so here are a Method (Overall Time: 50 minutes) few quick fixes: 1. Preheat the Oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4) and line a 12-hole tin with cupcake cases. A ghost 2. Beat together the butter and There is no costume out there sugar until well combined. which is easier than this, all 3. At high speed, gradually add the you have to do is cut a couple of egg and beat until well mixed. holes in a bed sheet. But, for a more 4. In a separate mug/bowl, realistic twist take inspiration from combine the cocoa powder, food the ghosts in Harry Potter and just colouring and vanilla until a dark cover yourself in some talcum pow- paste is formed. der. It’s cost effective, you won’t ruin 5. On a slow speed, pour in half the any sheets and you’ll have irresist- buttermilk. Beat until well mixed ibly soft skin, but you might get your then add half the flour (sieved). bathroom a bit messy. Repeat until all the buttermilk and flour is added. 6. With all the ingredients together, beat on high until a smooth mixture is formed. 7. Spoon mixture into tray and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean). 8. Cool on a wire rack to stop sogginess. Ice only when
For the cupcakes:
60g Butter 150g golden Caster Sugar 1 Large Egg 10g Cocoa Powder 40ml Red Food Colouring (or 6-7 tsps) 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 120ml Buttermilk
150g Self-Raising Flour
For the icing: 100g Softened Butter 200g Icing Sugar Piping Bag (Or make out of Baking Paper (snip one end of a cone shape) 6-12 Strawberry or Green Starbursts 6-12 Cocktail Sticks 12 Wafer biscuits/Plain digestive biscuits Black food pen or icing pen A few Drops of Vanilla Extract with 1 tsp of Cocoa Powder OR A few Drops of Green Food Colouring with 1 Drop of Vanilla Extract (Or for a shortcut, use Betty Crocker’s Red Velvet Cake Mix) completely cool. Step Two: The Icing
sift the icing sugar in 2. Add the rest of the ingredients until smooth 3. Add the mixture to a piping bag and spike/ swirl buttercream onto cupcakes for a grass effect 4. Gently carve a gravestone shape out of the biscuits and write ‘RIP’ on one side. 5. Slice a small line in the cupcakes for the gravestone and place the biscuit in the cupcake 6. Put the starburst in the microwave for a few seconds so they become soft. Mold them into hands and use scissors to cut in fingers. 7. Stick a cocktail stick into the hands (the cocktail sticks will anchor the hands into the cupcake) Put the hands in the cupcakes and for added effect, dab on some jam (for blood)
1. Put the softened butter (soften by putting in the microwave for a few seconds), in a mixing bowl and
Probably one of the easiest costumes, just get a ripped t shirt, some ketchup or fake blood and some white face paint. For a more realistic look fashion some cold meat into loose skin, or if you’re really dedicated get yourself beaten up.
A student’s guide to fixing things: How to replace a light bulb Jo Polydoros shows you how to tackle the age old problem of a burst bulb
Apparently 25% of people under the age of 35 don’t know how to change a light bulb. Make sure you are not one of them.
A favourite amongst teenage girls who fashion this costume with skin tight leotards. Or you could go super realistic and by not shaving your legs and walking around on all fours.
While the majority of people dress all in black with pointy hats, we forget that witches would probably want to blend in. So just dress in your normal clothes and go around cursing people.
Now an even easier costume than ever before, all you have to do is not see sunlight for a few days and cover yourself in glitter.
Photo/ Chris J (Flickr)
1. Make sure you have the right light bulb to replace the broken one, if not go to the shops and buy the correct one. 2. Turn the lights off and allow the bulb to cool if it has been on. If you’re unsure whether you’ve turned the lights off because the light has already blown then switch off all the lights at the fuse box. However if you do this you may need someone to assist you with a torch. 3. If needs be use a ladder and make sure it is securely placed on the ground. 4. Remove the bulb carefully. The way you do so will depend on the type of bulb you have but whatever you do, do not try to force, rip, yank or tear it out, especially if
you are on a ladder. This will only result in bruising for you and a fit of giggles for your friend holding the torch. 5. Give the old bulb to your friend and make sure to take the new and working bulb. Insert the replacement bulb firmly but lightly into the socket. Depending on the type, turn it clockwise until it locks into place or keep gently twisting clockwise until it won’t go any further. 6. Turn the lights back on. Don’t forget that you’ve switched them off at the fuse box and start panicking. 7. Throw away the old bulb safely; you don’t want to mix it up with replacement bulbs next time a light blows.
30 October 2012
Life & Style
Confessions of a Sexaholic! A sneaky look into the awkward mishaps of just your typical Aberdeen student
he looked genuinely confused! I quickly scan through a drunken mental list of any guy I have ever met (and it’s a long list) and reply with an “I don’t think so!” After a couple of minutes of awkward chat we exchange numbers and my bus comes to save the day. I text him when I get home (‘cos I’m a LAD) and we chat for a bit. He seems alright, not like a murderer or anything, and things escalate
go to his - “just to chill”. I manage to convince myself that things won’t get too frisky, but shave my legs just in case! I tell my flatmate where I’m going (just in case a picture of someone’s torso isn’t a reliable indicator of whether or not they are a murderer ) and I turn up at his door. The minute I walk in the door I notice a picture of a cute little
bad for getting his hopes up and decide I should reverse the situation. Once that’s all over with and a little bit of conversation later, I realise that I don’t actually like him as a person. He has an annoying laugh and really bad taste in music! But I decide it would be a waste of my bus fair to leave now. So we squeeze in three more rounds and I make my excuses and leave. Although slightly annoying, five orgasms in three hours isn’t something to laugh at, so his number is safely stored as Bus Stop Boy in case of a desperate drunken emergency!
ts summer, I’m waiting at a bus stop. A rather hot muscly guy in tight lycra (fresh from the gym, not a weird fashion statement) stands next to me. “Hey, do I know you?” he says. I’d have thought it was just a cheesy chat up line except
toddler … this guy’s only gone and got himself a child! Why did I think this was a good idea? I’m too young to be a step mother, but I power through, after all he might be a nice guy. Literally four minutes after I walk in the door he pulls me through to his bedroom, strips me down and we start having sex. It’s good, he knows what he is doing, but in the throes of passion I make a fatal error. He asks me something but I don’t hear exactly what he says, so I give a generic “mmm, yeah” response. He flips me over and before I know it he is trying to stick it there and I am NOT down for that! I recoil in horror and ask him what the he thinks he is doing. He explains that he had just asked if I was okay with it, to which I had unknowingly replied yes. After the mishap, I feel slightly
“I’m too young to be a stepmother”
enough for him to send me some saucy body shots! After a couple of days texting he persuades me to
The Love Guru Rachel Donald considers the nature of the serious relationship for young couples
t’s only recently struck me that we’re now all at an age where relationships (the ones that last longer than a night) tend to be “serious” and, more scarily, indefinite. I’ve been in a relationship for the past two years, and it’s become very serious over the past year. However, it’s only recently I’ve managed to accept
Photo/ Barbtrek (Flickr)
my circumstances and enjoy it fully because beforehand, I was panicking about, well, being in a serious relationship. Since letting go of the shackles that is the fear I won’t sleep with someone else for a long time my relationship has gone from strength to strength. It probably helps that I no longer come home with boys’
numbers written on me or wake up to cringey texts from unknown numbers such as “Darling, I was so drunk I couldn’t remember my own name” or “Funny how you managed to remember your own number then, huh?” In my defence that happened once..ish. Now that I have accepted my position as “taken” and have surpassed the stage that I see many friends falter at, I feel that the term “guru” can also be applied. In fact, one of my best friends has come to me for help while she struggling through her own acceptance of love quoting the undisputable female logic of “It’s easier to push them away than get hurt.” Funnily enough, if you push them away then it will hurt because they won’t be there anymore. Here are a few tips (trust them, they’re coming from a guru). Firstly, for god’s sake if it makes you happy do not try and sabotage it. Secondly, ‘the grass is always greener’ does not apply in Aberdeen where talent is thin on the ground. And finally, unless you have a piece of paper that effectively says you own each other’s assets you are not trapped - and even then not permanently.
Aberdeen University’s straight-talking OAP Agony Aunts solve all your problems I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago and another guy is really into me but I’m not sure I’m ready for another guy. What should I do? HT Chances are if it’s been a few weeks then your boyfriends already moved on and what better way to get back at him and to show him how much he should miss you is by bagging yourself a rebound. It really doesn’t matter if you’re not ready for a relationship, I’m sure he won’t mind a quick fling. I can’t stop eating, literally, no matter what I do I can’t stop and I’m afraid I’m going to get fat. AW You could do some exercise and fill your schedule up so you don’t actually have the chance to eat. Or if that fails stock up on negative calories such as celery, then you can eat as much as you want.
I’ve been doing yoga for a while, but I’m not as flexible as I’d like to be. How do I learn to put my legs behind my head? KH Get drunk and find yourself a stretching partner. My flatmate is really weird, he never comes out of his room and I always hear him chanting. Is there any way we can involve him more? RG Try to do something that would interest him, if he’s into chanting he may really be into spirituality and meditation so you can always try a group meditation session with your flatmates before a looming deadline. However, he may also be into Satan and demonic summonings and if that’s the case I would keep my distance.
Email Ethel & Janice with your problems: firstname.lastname@example.org
30 October 2012
Editor: Emily Thorburn
Known for his deadpan style, Canadian one-liner comic speaks to Emily Thorburn and Josh Bircham Hi Stewart! Thanks for taking the time out to speak to us today! How are you today? No worries, I’m very well thank you. Tell us how you became interested in comedy and how your career in this area really started? Was it a challenging industry to break into? When I was old enough to stay up late, I used to watch Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. I also used to like Steve Martin, though before he started making films. I got into comedy as an amateur, my girlfriend at the time made me go to an gig, near Niagara Falls. I was living in Toronto at the time and the deal was that I would go and perform my set, just to see how it went. It all started from there really. Most of our readers will know you as the dead pan comedian from ‘Mock the Week’. What is your favourite part about working on this show? Yeah, that’s where I first heard of myself too! My favourite part: the after-parties! I mean, its not labour intensive work by any stretch but its takes two and half to film and then they cut it back to half an hour so it does take a lot of energy and stuff but its good fun all the same. Your new DVD is coming out soon, what should we expect from that? Has it turned out like you planned? Yes! I love it! It was at the Hammersmith Apollo, so we managed to fill the old barn and you know, get some bums on seats and that sort of thing. But it turned out really well. The only thing I’m a little upset about is that we had to cut some jokes out for legal reasons, a bit like censorship creeping, so I was not so happy with that. They cut out one part where I sang an entire James Blunt song, but it wasn’t even a parody, it was just me singing. They weren’t fans, over in the Blunt camp. Singing James Blunt? Never had you down as a singer? What can I say, I have a beautiful singing voice. Is it hard working as a one -liner comedian? Do you feel under pressure to remember so many lines? Yeah, the memory aspect is really hard, but it’s my favourite form of comedy so I think it’s worth it. It’s a sort of ‘more laugh for your buck’ style of comedy, if you don’t like the joke there’ll be one coming along in the next minute for you. Plus, it means that people can’t remember every joke so they have to go out and buy the DVD, which is out on November 26th by the way!
Photo/ chiclifestylemagazine.co.uk Don’t worry, we’ll mention the DVD for you! Thanks! Do you have a favourite place to perform? For example, do you prefer working in the UK or at home? The bedroom? Haha, that’s tough, I love performing everywhere and no matter where I am, I’m grateful to the audience for coming out to see me. However, Liverpool, Jersey and Dublin have been great. I really like performing in places like Hong Kong too, not so much for the audience, which is mostly expats, but more for the fact that I’m in Hong Kong which is pretty great in itself! Have you ever performed at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh? I have done three times now. I was there some 15 years ago performing with a couple of guys in a show and we returned to perform it again this summer. “Back by popular demand!” In Canada the most important festival to get noticed at is called ‘Just for Laughs’, but over here it’s the Edinburgh Festival. For me though, performing there is just a chance to see my family in Scotland. It’s a relaxing month, I stay outside the city, drive into work, perform my hour then head back home; much less relentless than touring! What do you miss most about home and what do you enjoy about being based in the UK?
Everything! I miss everything about being in Canada! At this time of the year the ice hockey season starts up in North America. I have a programme that links my laptop to Canadian TV so I can watch stuff. There’s no ice hockey this year due to labour strikes but normally I would sit at home and watch it. Often an advert will come on for my favourite restaurant in Toronto or something and that can be hard, its the creature comforts you miss really. I do love the UK now, I have a British passport so I’m a citizen and here to stay. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Still in comedy? No! On my sofa, with a cup of tea, looking back at my tour posters from ten years ago from when I was popular! I’ll just be relaxing with my wife hopefully. I would like to be a published cartoonist, which is what I originally set out to be. Hopefully, once I have some more TV shows under my belt, becoming a cartoonist will become easier, what with having a profile and stuff. Wow! Comedian, James Blunt impersonator, cartoonistyou’ll be everywhere! I want to be like Britney Spears: everything she’s done I aim to do! I’ll have a fashion line out soon and I’ll get working on a fragrance! Well, hopefully you wont be doing all the same things that Britney does? She is my life template.
What is your favourite film and why? It would have to be the Wizard of Oz, it was the first feature length film I ever saw and it’s just magical isn’t it? It’s got everything too! It’s scary but it’s optimistic, it’s frightening but it’s joyful; just like life really. If today was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it? Talking to the Gaudie! Aren’t I
lovely! Though once I was off the phone with you, I would cuddle my wife, all day. I don’t know if she would be as happy about that, but you did ask me! Wow, Stewart, breaking the dead pan image that you’re known for?! Underneath I’m just a big cuddle bear! Mind if we publish those exact words? Go for it!
ArtsBlog Keep up to date with what’s happening with Aberdeen’s art scene. read extra articles and find out how to get involved with the paper by following the new Gaudie Arts blog.
30 October 2012
REVIEWSFilm Skyfall Starring: DANIEL CRAIG, HELEN MCCrory, Javier bardem
By Heta Mattila ”Welcome to Scotland”. Not a line you would expect to appear on screen whilst enjoying the new 007. The newest Bond, Skyfall, is a film that many people have waited for months to see. I was not one of
ParaNorman Starring: Kodi SmitMcPhee, Anna Kendrick
By Christian Robshaw Occasionally, there will be a children’s film – generally, it will be by Disney – so good that I will urge everyone to seek out some niece, nephew or impoverished local child with whom to see it, just so as to have an excuse. This is not one of those films. You do not need any excuse to see this. It barely even qualifies as a kids’ film really – it is heartbreakingly honest and shockingly mature. A lot of kids’ films have some trite message, like “Be tolerant”,
these people. In fact I first saw the trailer three days ago. You could say I am not a Bond fanatic. Bond, known for his charm, is expertly depicted by Craig who shows Bond in a sticky situation; stuck in the middle of an MI6 crisis. Of course the Bond girls in this film make every woman want to starve themselves and every man have that one wild night with them. Biggest raise of a hat goes to ”the baddy”, Javier Bardem, the man who I fell in love with after No Country for Old Men, and as the tortured bad guy in Bond, Bardem made me fall in love with him all over again. Even with a new hair colour Bardem manages to amaze
or “Respect the environment”, or whatever. This film’s message is that even though adults can be motivated by fear and do horrible things that they regret, there is still a place for forgiveness, sometimes victims can become just as bad as their persecutors, and everyone is flawed; all we can do is our best. The film inhabits a moral world of despair and hope more complex than anything you are likely to see outside of art house. Beyond the subtlety of its story, ParaNorman succeeds on just about every level there is; it is beautifully animated (with puppets!), hysterically funny, genuinely scary, fantastically acted, and with a kick-ass score, straight out of some forgotten Italian zombie movie. This is not just a brilliant children’s film, or a brilliant horror, or a brilliant human drama; it is a film that everyone needs to see.
with his acting abilities. Out of the other new faces you cannot go wrong with Ralph Fiennes, who asks 007 ”not to cock it up”. As a whole, Skyfall does not bring any thing very new to the Bond genre, rather it returns it to its glamorous days. Skyfall is filled with amazing action scenes, secret passageways and of course some horizontal action that makes everyone dribble over the bodies of the cast. Dedicated Bond fans might disagree with me, but as a non-Bond-lover Skyfall was definitely worth checking out, and if nothing else, there is some beautiful Scottish scenery in the film.
Gaming Dishonored genre: First Person action-stealth
By Dan Naylor The premise is pretty simple, you have been framed for murder and this is your revenge. There is a little more to Dishonored’s story than that; your victim was an Empress and the government used you as a scapegoat, but it does not really matter. Instead, all you will care about is finding an inventive way to reach your next target, and that is a good thing. A first-person stealth game, Dishonored gives you a handful of powers and weapons to navigate its sprawling levels, ending with an assassination. Ranging from teleportation to possessing animals and people, there is always an alternative approach to objectives, and with slick controls it is a joy to play; patience scoping patrols matched with moments of pure adrenalin. It is a looker too, with cartoonyish visuals, bringing a dark light to the steam-punk Victorian city that is the games playground. Some textures and long range shots are muddy, but do not mar the overall experience. A must buy.
Hotel Transylvania Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James
By Christian Robshaw Sometimes, for whatever reason, Hollywood releases two or more of the same film at once. This Halloween, this has not happened with ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania, and Frankenweenie; although from looking at the trailers, you would have thought it had. No. ParaNorman is beautiful, clever, funny, and scary; Frankenweenie is your average Tim Burton rubbish; as for this, it is just ugly on every level. The animation is cheap and obnoxious; the characterisation is cheap and obnoxious and the humour is cheap and obnoxious. The plot spends maybe an hour or so stalling for time, before stumbling hastily into an ultra-cliché sprint to the love-conquers-all resolution that comes out of nowhere. Who cares? The protagonist is the least likable I have seen since Winstone in Sweeney. He does not deserve anyone’s love, and he never changes or betters himself. Nothing moves in this film; it just spasms from telegraphed punch line to telegraphed punch line. You know what this film’s message is? That humanity was
pretty intolerant a hundred years ago, but we have fixed it now. And the secondary message is that you only fall in love (or “spark”, because apparently “love” is not a radical enough word for kids these days) once. That is literally, explicitly, stated in the film. Even if you are adolescent and having feelings for someone for the first time, better hope you marry them or it is a spinster’s life for you, because you cannot fall in love twice, not ever. How are you meant to know you are in love? I guess you just know, because you feel that ‘spark’, right?
30 October 2012
CREATIVECorner Between poetry and tales Between poetry and tales the clash seems to be clear, as such as the evil that men do surviving to their deep bones. Behind hard form accurated lines, but inside the words that beautiful color. In the same way they fill our hearts, picked up by the need of lost feelings and new points of view. A single fluid covering every empty space, taking off the breath. By Matteo Mazzoni
Mothlight At night they come, spirited on wings of Divine wisdom. Hear them beat ‘gainst the pane: Tap tap! Tap tap! Those welcome ghosts have not Power to enter, so ignorant we lie. See their bodies, bloated with much bounty. See their glowing eyes, glitt’ring in moonlight. See their oval mouths, gasping and grating. See their hopeless wings, still clicking away. And you, who sits, comfortable, in still warmth, What of your key role in this wond’rous dance? You stand by window, looking past small gifts; Your shrivelled hands hang limply by your sides. Oh, if only we could all reach out and Grasp those lovelies, make them one with our hearts! Instead, we focus on nothing and us, And those beauties shrivel and die with dawn. By Dougie Morgan
- Eric Auld Fiona Lawson begins the expressive journey of spotlighting local, Aberdeenshire artists
ith intentions of this being a continuing series, I felt the first artist that I should convey to you should be one I have long admired. I first saw Eric Auld’s work hanging up in the Sand Dollar Café on the Beach Esplanade several months ago and was taken aback by the vibrancy and expression of his painting. His painting stimuli range from Aberdeen city, architecture and industries to the surrounding countryside, coast, rivers and mountains. His style has notably changed over fifty or so years as an active painter, which is unsurprising given the diverse vocation he has lead. With both parents engrossed in art, it was fairly inevitable that
Photos/ ericauld.com Auld too would pick up a nuance for it. He studied at Gray’s School of Art until 1953, which led onto
his first independent exhibition of his student work at the then Gaumont Cinema. Sadly, this cinema - located on Union Street, where the Coral bookmakers now is, was demolished in 1973 and replaced with what you see today. His early student works tend to focus more on studies of nudes, people and outdoor artefacts such as “Tree Study” from Persley Den (near Danestone). Of these ‘simpler’ workings from Gray’s, Auld comments: “imaginative treatments were not a strong or necessary consideration – you were being taught the values in painting that could allow you to present your ideas effectively and artistically – individual expression was for the future”. His artistic repertoire was expanded further when he received the Robert Brough Travelling Scholarship in 1954, allowing him to view the great masterpieces of France and Spain. Notably
in his continental work, he took great influence from the Hispanic culture of bullfighting. “Entry of the Picardores” and “Entry of the El Toro”, are too among several of this subject completed in oil pastels, each with a sense of immediacy and colour, perhaps in an attempt to reveal the impulsive and swift movements he witnessed. There was then a pause in proceedings as Auld enrolled in National Service for two years. After which he returned to Aberdeen and became an art teacher in local schools. From his early student days of draughtsmanship, Auld
moved towards portraying emotion and the fascinating environment
that surrounds us here in the North-East. City and landscapes became his focus and he produced what I believe are his finest works. He captivates the feeling
and the somewhat surrealist “Evocation Aurora and City”, demonstrate Auld’s playfulness yet admiration for what Aberdeen stands for. Aberdeen may be the
of our city so very well. His interest in architecture is very apparent through most of his cityscapes. For aspects of Aberdeen and Old Aberdeen buildings, he uses oil paint to create quick, colourful, abstract impressions of the architecturally beautiful buildings that Aberdeen has to boast. The vibrant blue and orange hue of the city skyline in “Energy Capital”
oil capital but the artist recognises that it is also a playground of spires and beaches. Auld paints with an unequivocal passion for the environments surrounding him and subsequently relates this passion to canvas. It is for this passion that Eric Auld deserves to be commended. A handful of his cityscapes still hang in the Sand Dollar, and occasionally his works pop up in the Aberdeen Art Gallery. However, for ease, all of the paintings mentioned are available to view and buy at www.ericauld. com.
30 October 2012
From page to rage: Do cinematic adaptations lack fidelity? John Lewis questions whether the original and the remake can ever live in harmony together
Story telling is always the art of repeating stories” - Walter Benjamin
The adaptation has in recent years come to be regarded with a general feeling of malaise and outright disgust. It could be said that our society is saturated in adaptations, taking form in comic books, film, television, the Internet, on stage and radio. All of us have at some point or another experienced an adaptation and we all have our own views on them; but one that has come to be quite prominent in the artistic world is the superiority of the source material when played up against it’s younger clone. The transition from page to silver screen is a good starting point to highlight many people’s qualms on the subject of adaptation.
In most circles today, the novel is seen as the hallowed ground which may not be touched by man or God and certainly may not be taken in by any other form of media. The cinematic adaptation therefore has suffered an uphill struggle against such criticism and has to work harder in order to try and ‘validate’ it’s version of a story. Cinematic ‘tributes’ to novels are often deplored as mere derivatives; inferior in their interpretations. To take a novel; an inherently private imaginative experience and commit one person’s interpretation of the work to the public forum can be seen as offensive to the original work. Often however, the silver screen versions are just seen as a ‘bit crapper’ than the book. The general consensus on such work is not always negative however. The recent Harry Potter films have received as much critical appraisal as their paperback progenitors. Likewise, cinematic works based on novels can in fact be held as superior to what started them off. Stanley Kubrick films are somewhat notorious for being as classical as their source materials, if notably tweaked. Soylent Green is an example of a film that has overshadowed its
origins. Based on Harry Harrison’s Make Room! Make Room!, ‘Soylent Green’ is lauded as a cult classic of dystopian cinema, the novel being a somewhat sorry and forgotten curiosity by comparison. Frankenstein is likewise a good example of a division of fidelity. Both the novel and the 1931 ‘tribute’ to the third edition’s hundredth birthday are praised as classics in their field. Whilst Frankenstein as a novel is remembered mainly by students and academics for it’s great and somewhat paradoxical contributions to second generation Romanticism, the cinematic
adaptation has changed the very perception of Frankenstein, with the Boris Karloff incarnation of the monster cemented as an indelible cultural icon. To say however that the process of adaptation is an inferior pursuit would appear to be an exercise in both futility and ignorance; adaptation has been at the heart of human culture for almost as long as we have had language. When you think about it, adaptation is little more than imitation, which is in itself the principle way we learn when we are children; we copy the behaviour of those around us and change it to suit our own personality. The same can be said for taking an established work and retuning it; in adapting a work we love or is significant to us, we make it a part of ourselves and add to the work’s canon. History is resplendent with various forms of imitation and adaptation. Take the classical civilisations for example; the story of Oedipus is most famously associated with the Theban plays penned by Sophocles, but various other playwrights and poets such as Homer, Pindar and Euripides told tales of Oedipus, his rise to power and his downfall. Both Oedipus and Homer’s Iliad likewise share a history of near constant adaptation as both are associated with the ‘oral tradition’ – basically a version of Chinese whispers - where the story would be told by various people, each time becoming changed by the story teller. And whilst we are at it, let
us not forget The Romans. For all their originality and inventiveness, it cannot be ignored that their gods were merely nicked from the Greek deities with some minor tweaking to better fit their civilisation. Cinema, by it’s very nature is a visual medium and therefore has aims and objectives vastly divergent to those of novels. A novel, for example, can commit much more time to character development and interior reflection; cinema by comparison is a more condensed format and has to ‘hack away’ at the text in order to make it palatable for a cinema going audience. Faithfully adapting a 470 page novel would likely bore the audience to death, or at the very least be so long as to make the primary story line inappreciable. Put simply; a screenplay takes the essential plot points, cuts and condenses the parts that will not translate as well to screen, and derives a suitable story that balances viewing pleasure with the crux of the story. Or at least that would be the case in the ideal world; in all too many cases however cinematic works are merely rushed jobs to try and cash in on an already popular format. By using the name and associating your work with it, screenwriters and directors are willing to forgo artistic integrity and weather the torrent of bad reviews to follow in order to make a quick bit of money by hanging off of the shirt tales of an established classic. The
2009 TV adaptation of The Day of the Triffids is a good example of an ‘adaptation’ from a writer that had clearly never read Wyndham’s classic and it was a mere five minutes after Fifty Shades of Grey
Walter Benjamin Photo/ blog.videoart.com became a best seller that a film adaptation was announced. Will adaptation and original ever live in harmony? It is a tough question, and certainly one a lone man or woman cannot answer. It
Dracula and charity this Halloween Kirsten Rankin invites you to do your bit for charity this Halloween
is however likely that this question will continue to be argued and debated anew for millennia. The spectrum of human opinion is a never ending collage of grey rather than a predefined ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and
so as long as there are humans there is guaranteed to be two other things; adaptations, and people arguing about the bloody things.
ver 100 years Dracula has not lost any of its power, captivating audiences and sending them away with the shivers. One version which really brings out the grotesque human nature at the centre of this story is that of Liz Lochhead’s. And this Halloween, it is coming to Aberdeen. Yes that’s right kids; Dracula is coming to town. The play will be performed by the Smith & Wolfe Theatre Group. Two performances taking place in the Blue Lamp on Gallowgate, one on Monday the 29th and the other Wednesday the 31st. Tickets are prices £7 for adults (the play is restricted to 16+ only) and £5 for students. The founders of the young drama group are two local Aberdeen born cousins, Calan Stephen Smith and Michael Wolfe and their aim is to regenerate a pub theatre atmosphere whilst supporting local needs; their work is entirely nonprofit. Fellow students, not only do you get a night of thematic entertainment but you can go feeling good about yourself, as all proceeds made from the play will go to Befriend a Child, a local Aberdeen charity that support vulnerable children by providing them with an adult role model. Warning: there will be strobe lighting effects and smoke machines used during the performance.
Toto Vivian and Sasha Carlson from Splashh talk beachy vibes and dreamy tunes with Jess Johnson Firstly, how did you all meet? You live in London, right? Toto: Yeah, but I’m Australian originally, and Sasha’s from New Zealand. We met in London two years ago and then ended up hanging out back home in Australia for Christmas, had a crazy party at mine on New Year’s and he started talking about coming back to London. In February he did, and we started writing songs! When did the other guys join? Sasha: We booked a show for March, and still didn’t have a band together the week beforehand! Beale [bass] was around anyway and we flew Jacob [drums] over from home – he had to quit his job and his other band, and then 2 days later he was playing with us at our first show. It’s been a bit of a wild ride to be honest. Would you say that where you’re from influences your sound? T: Yeah I guess so; especially coming off the back of a summer holiday, we were just in that kind of mind set. Still just chilling out, thinking about the beach! [laughs] But the writing is getting a little bit heavier – we’ll have to cut London
Photo/ sexbeatlondon.com out and go back to Australia for a couple of weeks to get the sunny vibes back. I just want to live a constant summer, doing all the festivals! Have you met any cool famous people yet? S: We met Bobby Gillespie. And also, Marky Ramone. Oh and Jacob and I met Katy Perry as well, she was at a house party after a show we’d played. Toto didn’t
make it though. T: I missed out, man. So do you have any obsessive fans? That always seems like fun. Signed any cleavage? T: No, not really! We have quite a young crowd, we had to sign a skateboard the other day, but that’s as far as it’s gone. Apparently there was someone waiting for us outside earlier tonight, but I didn’t see them. No crazy stalkers just
Swim Deep Kirsten Rankin chats to indie band Swim Deep
Hey guys, how about we start off with a little introduction, say your name and what you do in the band Austin: Hey, I’m Austin; I sing in the band. Zak: I’m Zak and I play the drums. Pete: My names Petey, I play super bad riffs and the only bad thing about me is I don’t have any bad things.
P: That’s right dear. A: Yeah we were both walking down the aisle. P: We were working there. Our eyes didn’t meet or anything. A: Yeah. I met Cav on the dance floor on a night out. C: And I met Zak on a night out in
instruments, let’s just do this? A: Well Cav didn’t play an instrument to begin with, so Cav joined later. C: Yeah, I joined later on… (Interrupted by Austin) A: (Jokingly) Yeah, it was actually just recently, when he heard we
And what are your favourite bands at the moment? T: Swim Deep, man! [cheers from Swim Deep across the room]. Temples are pretty cool, and obviously Tame Impala – their So, what are your musical influences? A: Yeah, anything from Funk and Soul a bit of Drum and Bass. No joking, we don’t like Drum and Bass. Just, R&B, Soul, Garage… Just Indie music, we love Indie music, we always have. I mean, screw it, Justin Bieber’s quite good. You being serious? Cavan: Yeah I love Justin. Austin: He’s smashing it! Okay… Moving on, what was your best gig so far? You know, for crowd ethos? A: Tram lines, Sheffeild.
What’s the strangest thing to happen at a gig? P: I got fined £70 and the gig before that we let off fire extinguishers.
So it was a good gig? A: Yeah it was smashing, crowd was good.
Okay let’s get on to personal info, how did you guys meet? A: Me and Pete met in Morrisons at the ready made aisle. Is that right dear?
What has been your best gig so far? T: Our first headline show, at Birthdays in Dalston, was crazy. It just seemed to work; it was the hottest day of the year, and there was a really good vibe. It was our single launch, Austin over there [from Swim Deep] was crowdsurfing – it was just really hectic and fun. S: playing with Primal Scream and Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth was amazing too, because we love both those bands. In fact I think I’m wearing a Sonic Youth t-shirt right now! It was a Ray Ban anniversary event at Islington Assembly Hall, in collaboration with Dazed & Confused magazine. That was pretty cool. There was loads of champagne, and we got some free sunglasses! But everywhere we play seems awesome at the moment, because it’s all new to us.
How come? A: We played at two in the morning, we’d just come back from Berlin and it was the first time we saw these guys (points to Splassh), they were going on the stage, shit that was the first time we’d met them and the Spector guys were there too…
So I see you guys just travelled up from Glasgow, did you enjoy it? C: Glasgow was amazing. A: Yeah, I felt like death. This morning I woke up and thought about killing myself. No wait, I had thought I had killed myself. But I wasn’t in heaven. Yeah, it was a real heavy night it was real good.
Is this your first time in Scotland? First time touring? Z: No, we have done a few gigs in Glasgow; they always seem to be the better shows. We love it here.
What are your lyrics mostly preoccupied with? T: It’s usually about girls! S: Yeah or memories, quite personal stuff. We’re getting better at the lyrics, trying to not just write a whole album full of songs about girls! For us it’s all about the overall feeling you get from a song. People can take whatever they want from the lyrics, but some words just sound really nice and paint a good mental picture, you know?
Photo/Sam Bradley Birmingham. That was it. You guys just decided, hey, we all play
were getting big. C: (Jokingly) Yeah, I thought, I want in on this life.
What antics do you get up to backstage, are you well behaved? Z: We’re well behaved before the show, it’s after the show… C: We’re always well behaved. How old are you boys? C: I’m nineteen. P: Twenty- two A: Twelve. No not mental your actual age. A: Twenty-one. Z: Same
new album is out of control. S: At the moment we’ve been listening to The Smashing Pumpkins, Deerhunter, Pixies, and we love a bit of dance music as well – LCD Soundsystem have a great new documentary out at the moment that we just watched called Shut Up And Play The Hits, which was so good. We also love Joey Bada$$, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre are rad. So have you started getting stuff for free yet? Except Ray Bans, obviously. S: Its slowly starting to happen – but you have to be careful, otherwise you end up wearing free clothes for the sake of it. If it’s Levi’s or something I’d wear anyway, that’s cool. But we’d like some luxury brands to come forward! We wouldn’t mind being sponsored by Comme des Garçons. So I saw that you’re featured in the current issue of Vogue as well, how did that come about? S: Yeah, we got the call like a day or two before! We were called in for 9am and didn’t get shot until 5 or 6pm. So we were just sitting there rinsing the open bar tab. I suppose it was a good experience; it’s a step up from Vice magazine isn’t it? T: Yeah, and the photo was good; my Mum really likes it! Definitely one for the parents. It was a feature on ‘Young London’ – it was all actresses, models, and rich people’s daughters who were still in school. Then there was us, sitting there eating all their food and drinking all their alcohol! [laughter] Yeah, I’d love to do it again! Splashh’s new single, ‘Vacation’, is out on 5th November A: Cavan is the baby…awww. How did your mum feel about letting you go touring? A: She doesn’t believe him. Z: She doesn’t have a clue, doesn’t know he’s gone. Seriously? C: No she knows, she just didn’t believe me at first. Like when we got signed, she thought it was a massive lie. Well I do have to say I love your music video honey, what was it like filming? Z: Amazing. A: Yeah it was real cool to do that, we’d never done anything like that before, like going into a studio. There were loads of people there and the artists were so good with the backdrops they made. It was a real fun day. So you guys have just been signed, got any tips for other artists with getting signed? Any dos and don’ts? Z: Do write good music don’t write bad music. A: Take your time, you just got to listen, don’t sign straight away on the dotted line, just take your time. More information can be found out from the boys’s Facebook page.
yet. Maybe one day there will be Splashhmania, with all our fans running down the street!
30 October 2012
Listings Editor: Tom Booth
Music Twin Atlantic Music Hall 29 October 2012 7.30pm Entry: £14.50 + bf Currently receiving massive support on the BBC Radio 1 airwaves with their anthemic new single, Make a Beast of Myself , Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic hit Aberdeen as part of their 10 date UK tour. A staple of the live circuit Twin Atlantic have shared the stage with Blink-182, My Chemical Romance and The Gaslight Anthem. The band also earned the recent accolade of having their song Free remixed especially for Felix Baumgarter’s record-breaking space jump.
Lau The Lemon Tree 2 November 2012 7.30pm Entry: £14 (concs. £12) + bf Winner of ‘Best Group’ in BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2008, 2009 & 2010 Lau are modern folk music’s most innovative band. Brilliant musicians, thrilling performers and free-thinking visionaries. Complex, yet accessible, Lau push to the outer reaches of folk music and have cemented their reputation as a blistering stage act. “Astonishing walls of sound, truly magnificent”– The Scotsman “One of the most exciting live acts in any genre, Lau are to be cherished”– The Arts Desk
Ceilidh with Danse McCabre Music Hall
Federation of the Disco Pimp The Lemon Tree 31 October 2012 8pm Entry: £8 + bf Providing unstoppable grooves since 2005, Federation of the Disco Pimp are Scotland’s premier exponent of modern funk. Combining elements of Old-School Funk, Disco, Psychedelic and Jazz, this 7-piece band of Scots are legendary for their endless energy and blistering live sets. Hailing from the city of Glasgow, they have been championed by Craig Charles on his Funk and Soul radio show on BBC6 Music, Stephen Duffy on The Jazz House BBC Radio Scotland and Christian Bragg on Jazz Fm. Jo Mango The Tunnels 7 November 2012 7.30pm Entry: £6 With her wee suitcase packed full of kalimbas, omnichords and a shruti box, Jo Mango has been quietly sneaking her music around the world – appearing on stage with incredible musicians such as David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, Vashti Bunyan and Coco Rosie. She has played at venues ranging from the Carnegie Hall in New York to a Greenhouse in Glasgow. This year, Jo Mango returns to the UK music scene playing her own songs once again. She is fresh from appearances at Fence’s Homegame festival and has just finished an exquisite new album produced by nu-folk genius Adem.
9 November 2012 8pm Entry: £10 + bf (£2 off conc.) Danse McCabre has built an enviable reputation as THE allgirl ceilidh band in the North of Scotland. Formed in 2003, Danse McCabre has an eclectic lively style, playing a mixture of old favourites and less familiar dances as required, and includes its own Caller. The line up includes Clare on the fiddle, Helen on the whistle, Frances on the concertina and Anne on piano/keyboard.
Theatre Ross Noble – mindblender Music Hall 31 October 2012 8pm Entry: £25 + bf After a two-year break Ross Noble, the demonic scarecrow himself, is back doing what he does best with a new live tour. Famed for his fiery and fluid freewheeling style. Noble creates comedy gold from tiny particles of random nonsense This is your chance to see one of the world’s most critically acclaimed stand ups in a hysterical night with the Mindblender.
The Magic Flute (Scottish Opera) His Majesty’s Theatre 1-3 November 2012 7.30pm Entry: £16-£50 Following the huge success of The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, Sir Thomas Allen and Simon Higlett return to take on the fantastical charms of Mozart’s most inventive opera. Set in a spectacular visual world inspired by ‘steam punk’ Victoriana, this promises to be a stylish and imaginative telling of this much-loved piece. A mix of comedy, fantasy and pantomime, The Magic Flute is also a profound story of the search for love, wisdom and truth. The performance will be sung in English making the famous story and music all the more accessible.
30 October 2012
Michael Slater: An Attempt on the Life of Charles Dickens Seminar Room 224, Floor 2, Sir Duncan Rice Library
Café Controversial: Grappling with the Geopolitics of Green Energy Satropshere’s Tramsheds Coffee House
8 November 2012 7pm Entry: free booking recommended through www. abdn.ac.uk)
6 November 2012 7pm Entry: free
Hosted by The Centre for the Novel and The Dickens Fellowship, Michael Slater is Emeritus Professor of Victorian Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London, and the author of Charles Dickens. On this talk, he explores the challenges of writing the biography of this brilliant, enigmatic and troubled novelist.
Speaker: Dr Anatole Boute, Law School, University of Aberdeen As Russia moves from fossil fuel superpower to renewable energy innovator, come and discuss how Europe’s energy demands might influence the world’s largest energy supplier and affect all of us. Café Controversial features talks by University of Aberdeen researchers, followed by an audience discussion. Booking is Stewart Francis – Outstanding not required and entry is FREE. Refreshments will be available at in his Field the Satrosphere Tramsheds Coffee Music Hall bar. 5 November 2012 7.30pm Public Talk with Terry Waite: Entry: £18.50 + bf Survival in Solitude Kings College Centre Winner of 1969 West Mall Soccer Auditorium Association’s Most Valuable Player and now Edinburgh Fringe’s 11 November 2012 Funniest Joke Award, Stewart 5.30pm Francis brings his new show to Entry: free – booking required Aberdeen. Star of Mock the Week through www.abdn.ac.uk and Live at the Apollo, Francis is famed for his one-liners and finely Terry Waite talks about his life and tuned live shows. views with Dr Graeme Roberts on “A brilliant comic brain... this Remembrance Sunday. stand-up cracks some of the The name of this event is “Survival best one liners I’ve ever heard” - in Solitude” referring back to Terry Guardian Waite’s 1,763 days in captivity in “Perfectly crafted gags” - Sunday Lebanon. There is no doubt that Times his experience of life as a hostage will comprise some of the evening’s discussion with interviewer Dr Graeme Roberts. Thereafter, we will learn how life has evolved since his release in 1991, covering his charitable work, his political views, his ecclesiastical opinions and his life as a speaker and author. There will be a drinks reception following the event.
Great Expectations His Majesty’s Theatre 6-10 November 2012 7.30pm Entry: £15-30 + bf Graham McLaren’s lavish, spectacular and unashamedly theatrical show brings Charles Dicken’s classic work and some of the most memorable characters ever created to life. The beautiful, chilling Estella; the terrifying convict Magwitch; the manipulative lawyer Jaggers; the tragic, mysterious Miss Havisham and Pip with his ‘great expectations’. Starring Jack Ellis (Coronation Street, Where the Heart Is, Bad Girls) as Jaggers, Chris Ellison (The Bill) as Magwitch, and Paula Wilcox (Emmerdale, The Smoking Room, Man about the House) as Miss Havisham.
Rolf Hind: piano performance (Part of sound 2012) Elphinstone Hall 8 November 2012 7.30pm Entry: £8 (conc: £5/students: £2) An expansive programme of contemporary and slightly-lesscontemporary music for solo piano, performed by the eminent Rolf Hind: Cage’s Sonatas I – IV, Julian Anderson’s Four Etudes, Cage’s Sonatas V and VI; George Benjamin’s Shadowlines; Claudia Molitor’s Tango; Cage’s Interlude 3 and Sonata XXII and lastly, Hind’s own a single hair, a jasmine petal, seven mattresses, a pea.
Societies Food Sovereignty in Practice Taylor Building, Room A21 6 November 2012 7.30 Entry: free Part of Aberdeen City Arts Board’s Autumn Series and organised in conjunction with The Shared Planet Society this talk will host Professor Pedraza of University of Camagüey Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz, Cuba. Professor Pedraza will be looking at developments in sustainable agriculture in Cuba and how they relate to the concept of Food Sovereignty. Professor Pedraza’s presentation will be followed by a screening of Simon Cunich’s film on Food Sovereignty in Venezuela, ‘Growing Change’.
30 October 2012
Men’s Hockey Report University of Aberdeen 1st XI 6-1 University of Abertay 1st XI
Photos/ Calum Swann the game; the ball was pushed out by captain, Greg Richards, for Tom Adams to drag flick a ball to back post, but neither of the forwards were able to deflect the bobbling ball into the goal. The breakthrough did come near the end of the half, when the ball broke from a goal mouth scramble to Alistair Keith on the left side of the D and he hit it past the keeper. The second came shortly after
Aberdeen surfers take on BUCS contest in Newquay S
urfing on Aberdeen beach, or anywhere in Scotland in general, can make you forget that it is possible to enjoy the sport without freezing your extremities to the point you are afraid the doctor will amputate them against your sincerest wishes. There was certainly no fear of chilly weather down in Newquay during the annual BUCS competition, annually frequented by the Aberdeen University Surf Club. Aberdeen’s surfers were literally the first to arrive at the scene on Thursday morning. Our 17 hour drive ended at the parking lot of the main venue, Fistral Beach, at 6 am (4 am for those who did not get lost). Sucking in a few hours of sleep, people were enthusiastic to get into the water at first light to feel the waves before the competition. Sadly enough, surfers are just people too and needed a large breakfast before the equally primal instinct of jumping into the sea could be fulfilled. Thursday, not being a competition day, saw significantly emptier beaches than the weekend, which gave competitors an ideal chance to prepare for the next day. The beginning of the competition itself was a long one, with our first surfer starting in the sixth heat of the men’s tournament and our last one in the third last heat of the women’s, over seven hours apart. The atmosphere was relaxed, spliced with palpable excitement once one of our friends was ripping it among the waves mid-heat. In one way the best surf could be obtained in the 15 minutes during
ones heat, as half the beach was cleared just for this purpose. Never mind the odd, anti-social characters ignoring this arrangement and dropping in on the waves people were attempting to compete on. One great aspect of Newquay is the abundance of accommodation, specifically for surfers. Accordingly, the town was full for the contest, and the nights out were filled
Photo/ MikeBaird (Flickr)
with like minded souls from other universities. Our lodge held about 60 people: exclusively us and Warwick Surf. Some rudimental bonding occurred naturally, but even with the spacious hostel we could never fit our two groups in one room. It might have been for the better in the end, they seemed like a bad influence. Missing their own heats due to a collective hangover and what not… The competition itself was a great success for several members. Four of the club members advanced into the second round, all of them making it to third place, thus being barely eliminated from advancing further. Kukri Sports also recognized one competitor with a customized hoodie for an incredible feat. This is a great achievement for the individual competing surfers, stimulating plenty of high fives from peers. Nevertheless, Aberdeen surfers’ have placed even higher in the past; most notably in 2007 when one student came in second place in the men’s series. In the end, it was once again confirmed that this was the most anticipated trip for a reason. For many, this was the sentimental last time they could come down as undergraduates. For the rest of us there was uncertainty. The trip in its present form might not be possible again, as the AUSA minibuses would have their roof racks removed by the end of the year. Incidentally, these were the last things on our minds driving back in the middle of the night, singing with the speakers on full blast to keep our drivers awake. Going on
tay had the ball in the back of the net ,but it was judged to be illegal as the forward had used his stick above his shoulder. This spurred the home team on and the first short corner of the half was scored by Adams after following a plan formed at half time by switching it left and then back into the penalty spot, avoiding the box formation Abertay were running. The game became very one sided from this point onwards with continued periods of possession from the home team. Aberdeen had been working on the forward defensive play at training and this looked to have paid off as the opposition struggled to get the ball out of their 25. David Healy was particularly strong in his defensive work, although he does still need to work on only using the front of his stick. The fourth goal materialised from a strong forward run, with a ball from Gerard who was able to challenge the keeper only for the ball to come to Magnus Willett on the base line, who managed to score from a very shallow angle.
any trip with your favourite bunch of people will always be figured out no matter how much the EU tries to hold up the works. It is a simple fact of uni, surfing, and life in general. By Arttu Närhi
A fifth shortly followed as the morale of Abertay dropped. Stuart Allan put Gerard through on goal, who then crossed the ball left of the keeper for a diving John Hamilton to deflect it into the net. A sixth goal came from Phil Kirkby and again Allan played a part in the build up, providing a ball to Hamilton. Kirkby volleyed a bouncing ball into the corner. A slight downside for Aberdeen was the failure to keep a clean sheet, but this was due to a misfortunate deflection off keeper Tom O’Kelly. Final score: University of Aberdeen 1st XI 6-1 University of Abertay 1st XI. This leaves the league very tight at the top, as St Andrews and Aberdeen are both on nine points, but the former have a game in hand. The club recorded three wins from three teams with the 2nd XI winning by the same margin as the first team against the University of Dundee seconds. The 3rd XI were driven down by President William Dodds and beat the University of Glasgow 3rd XI 5-0. By Calum Swann
from a penalty flick after the ball was stopped by an Abertay defender on the line. There was much debate between umpires, Callum Reid and Calum MacDonald, but they made the right decision in the end. Tarak Chourai boldly stepped up and put it middle left in the goal, with the keeper going the wrong way. The umpires blew the whistle for the end of the half with the score at 2-0. Aberdeen were caught unaware at the start of the half as Aber-
he fourth game of the season beckoned for the Aberdeen’s Men’s Hockey 1sts team against a strong Abertay side who had beaten Aberdeen; their opponents in the BUCS cup the previous year. The opponents also included a representative of the Grange team who had been in the Euro Hockey League (the premier hockey league in Europe) action in the last month, amongst another couple of standout players. Their preparation was not helped by a late appearance, allowing them only 15 minutes to warm up for the game. This showed in the early moments of the game as Aberdeen operated a full press to take full advantage of Abertay not being at match pace. Aberdeen were confident in possession, moving it round the back three in defence and waiting for the spaces to open up in their attacking half. This was relatively easy, with the opposition using a half court press until they became frustrated and spaces opened up for the midfield, most notably Harry Gerard. The first short corner was a real opportunity to take a hold of
Editor: Ryan Ross
The week in tweets @BeckAdlington – melts whilst shopping. “Why do shops make their changing rooms about 400degrees!!?!.” @Robbie9Fowler – has solved one of football’s main debates. Or has he? “The chicken or the egg= ronaldo and messi?!!” @sammy_ameobi – learns to stay away from Newcastle’s tenacious midfielder, Cheik Tiote. “Note to self: If Cheik Tiote isn’t on my team in training? DON’T go near him!!!” @AussouEkotto – is training in the hills to make his comeback for Spurs. “Montain finish. 2h of walk and run!! Work hard to come back strong!!! (Normally LOL)” @chrishoy – resists temptation. “Everytime I see the advert where the guy whips the tablecloth out from under the dishes then pops it back, I fancy trying it myself #badidea” @BeckyWainLH – gets what Rihanna’s saying. “I realised at spin yesterday morning, Rihanna really likes diamonds.” @rioferdy5 – is stunned at the English team’s performance in the Champion’s League. “Wow, both english teams beaten tonight. Would not have called that at all before. Ajax right back was quality tonight, modern day full back.”
Video of the Week
Mario Balotelli’s up to his usual antics. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ddlrjfMSXio&list=LPDkAzYfwY HG0&index=11&feature=plcp
30 October 2012
AUBC win Aberdeen Club Championships
berdeen University Boat Club took to the water for the first competition of the year on Saturday 13th October. The competition, a closed event, between the four active rowing clubs on the River Dee; Robert Gordon University Boat Club (RGUBC), Aberdeen University Boat Club (AUBC), Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association (ASRA) and Aberdeen Boat Club (ABC), consisted of 500m races which took place over on the River Dee. The first race of the day, the Mens 8+, saw the AUBC Mens 8+ win their heat, unfortunately due to an accident on the way back to the start, the Mens 8+ did not take part in the final. However by winning the heat the Mens 8+ had secured AUBC 3 points, thus a relatively good start to the day. From bow the AUBC Mens 8+ was Craig Munro, Dan Guymer, Tom Coles, Adam Filsell, Conor Bowers, Tom Drake, Nadir Khan and Ian Walker coxed by Erica House. The next race was the Women’s 2-, which saw AUBC’s Ingibjørg Thomsen and Jennifer Allan uncontested in the first heat, as the RGUBC crew forfeited. The final of the Women’s 2- between AUBC and ASRA resulted in an unfortunate capsize by the AUBC crew and a comfortable win to ASRA. However yet another 3 points were secured for AUBC. After a few eventful second places the day brightened up both in terms of weather and in terms of wins for AUBC, as the Women’s 4x+ took to the water and won both their heat and their final by a comfortable margin. The Women’s 4x+ was composed of experienced rowers who are all new to AUBC, from bow Sophie Goettke, Rachel Lilley, Jess Lees and Jess Buckley, coxed by Georg Sachsen. Having seen the Women’s 4x+ win, AUBC fans could celebrate once more as AUBC’s Sheila Mill won the 1km indoor rowing challenge. The next event was the Mens 4+, this was won again by AUBC, hav-
ing won their heat by a comfortable margin, the AUBC men had to go through a re-row of the final, as the two finalists, AUBC and ASRA got too close for comfort on the reasonably wide river. The exciting final saw the AUBC men win, however the young ASRA crew made very sure it was not a walk over.
a mix of relatively new and experienced rowers, from bow Sophie Brackenridge, Kyrsten Corbijn, Rebecca Cox, Mary Rutherford, Ruta Denisenko, Kirsten Sims, Victoria Gordon and Georgina Bartlett, coxed by Monica Mesquita, whilst seasoned rower Jamie Steel represented AUBC in the Women’s
Katila. The final two races of the day followed the pattern of the Mens 2- and the Women’s 4+ with the AUBC Mens 4x losing their heat, but winning the B final, and the Women’s 2x losing their heat, but again winning their B final. The AUBC Men’s 4x from bow was Jon-
1x race. After two more wins for AUBC, Alexander Hitchinson and Niall Rundle came 2nd in the Mens 2x after chasing their very strong opposition, the RGUBC 2x down the course. The Mens 2- saw the tables turn in terms of AUBC’s good results, as AUBC Mens 2- Alex Woehling and Berni Scholz lost their heat to a strong ABC crew, however the Woehling and Scholz duo recovered for their B final and beat the ASRA opposition, thus securing AUBC a 3rd place in the race. The Women’s 4+ race was similar to the Mens 2-, as the AUBC women lost their heat, but managed to win their B final. The AUBC Womens 4+ was from bow Grace Anderson, Luisa Ciriello, Emily Mowat and Lauren Cammaert, coxed by Anna
ty Knox, Calum Paterson, Hamish Elliot and Georg Sachsen, coxed by Jamie Steel. The AUBC Womens 2x was Catriona Bain and Emily Colley. All in all an eventful and very enjoyable day. Which saw AUBC draw on its broad variety of members, both in terms of novice, senior and alumni members, as the clubs were not allowed to put the same member forward twice. The overall points were as follows: Aberdeen University Boat Club 56 points, Aberdeen Boat Club 50 points, Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association 44 points and Robert Gordon University Boat Club 27 points.
Photo/ Ron Wallace To avoid doubling up of rowers, the AUBC Mens 4+ was an alumni crew from Aberdeen University, from bow Adam Downie, Calum Thirlwell, John McIntyre and Jack Montgomery, coxed by Georg Sachsen. Having enjoyed a few AUBC wins, novice rower Richard Lofthouse secured the club a decent 3rd place in the Men’s 1km indoor rowing challenge, after respectively, Aberdeen Boat Club and Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association. Having only taken up rowing a few weeks ago, Richard’s effort signals well, considering the strong and experienced ABC and ASRA rowers which he was up against. Both the Women’s 8+ race and the Women’s 1x race were won by AUBC. The Women’s 8+ being
By Ingibjørg Thomsen
Women’s Hockey Report AUWHC 1ts three points off leaders
wo wins from three for the newly promoted university hockey side reads very impressively on the BUCS 1A league table. In their second home game of the season, nerves were jangling before the encounter with another Edinburgh University side - this time their 2nds. The first ten minutes proved to be a closely contested affair with chances created at both ends as each team tried to stamp some authority on the match. It was through an attacking and decisive play opening up the heart of Edinburgh’s defence that striker Katie Gill wrong footed the visitor’s goalkeeper to calmly put the ball in the back of the goal.
However, it did not take the travelling team long to work their way back into the match with an equaliser seven minutes later. Persistent work from Aberdeen’s forwards saw their first penalty corner awarded where Jilly Bell stepped up to strike the ball into the bottom left hand corner to take the team 2-1 ahead. In the second half, the match turned into a tense showdown between the two sides after Aberdeen increased their lead through Captain Christina Cutt. Immediately, Edinburgh University’s defence protested to the umpire claiming the ball had hit off the attackers foot while travelling towards goal. After an in depth discussion be-
tween the two match officials, neither were able to justify any reason for the goal not to count. Spectators were made to endure a nail biting end to the game when the travelling side clawed a goal back. Adding to the air of suspense, several of Aberdeen’s team picked up match-related injuries, but luckily the 1sts had three substitutes to choose from. At last, the final whistle went where Aberdeen came out victorious 3-2 in a game of two halves. Last week the university side travelled to play St Andrews’ 1sts for a blustery and rather damp encounter where Aberdeen overcame the conditions to win 3-2. Earlier this week, a certain blues winning
St Andrews’ hockey player, Kate Middleton, helped host an official reception for Team GB’s heroes including the bronze medal winning women’s hockey team. London 2012 was a great platform for many sports in the UK including hockey to gain more media coverage and to adopt influential fans such as the Duchess of Cambridge. If you are interested to learn more about the sport, why not visit http://www.hockeynation.info/ where you can trace your nearest club to play or go to watch a game! By Jilly Bell