Trump to return p.3
AU rector talks Brexit risks p.4
SCI & ENVIRONMENT Don’t bury your head in the sand p.7
Is the customer always right? p.8
By Aemilia Ross
Academics from North-eastern colleges and universities staged a walk out on May 25th and 26th as part of a nationwide dispute over pay and conditions. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) voted to go on strike after wage rise talks with the Universities and Colleges Employer Association (UCEA) collapsed. The UCEA had offered a 1.1% pay rise to union bosses but this was rejected. Starting from 8:15am on the 25th, members of Aberdeen University and the Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) unions picketed on both campuses. and lasted for two hours. RGU’s striking staff stood outside the Sir Ian Wood building with placards and leaflets. Dr Lesley McIntosh, honorary secretary of the RGU branch said: “It was pretty cold, but the fact it was quite quiet means we assume we were successful as people were staying away.” The strikers were also protesting against the gender pay gap and what they claim is the ongoing “casualisation” of staff. Dr McIntosh added: “Many university staff are on zero hours contracts which means they don’t have a proper contract of work. “They are only being taken on for a year or less than a year which is not good for them or the students.” Picket lines formed along the
University of Aberdeen’s King’s Campus: to the entrance of Regent Walk and on the corner of The Spital and College Bounds. Speaking of the strike action, AUSA Student President, Genna Clarke said: “At AUSA we understand and greatly appreciate the hard work of our staff in providing the best education and learning environment for our students and wish to see fairer pay and conditions in order for this to continue. Currently, our academic and support staff are overworked and underpaid and action is necessary in order to change this. Industrial action which impacts on students is never taken lightly, but staff feel that they have been left with no alternative, and this is a result of a democratic ballot with overwhelming support from UCU members.” An RG U spokesperson commented: “UCU only organises a small proportion of RGU staff but as in all such events, we will endeavour to ensure that our students and other partners are affected as little as possible, while respecting the right of union members to participate in such action should they choose to do so.” A spokeswoman for Aberdeen University said: “As expected, only a small percentage of University of Aberdeen staff have participated in the national strike action today and the University of Aberdeen has continued to operate with no disruption to students.”
IV Magazine Inside Emergence Issue facebook/thegaudie | @the_gaudie
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Edition 12: Pastures New A
las, another university year has officially ended, and soon the graduands of 2016 will be heading off for pastures new. We congratulate them on their achievements so far and wish them well on all their future endeavours. For ourselves, this past twelve months has proven that student journalism is not just alive and kicking, but thriving. We have expanded the paper to include new sections, developed our online presence through various outlets, continued to improve the overall design of the Gaudie, and as ever, have produced some stellar content from all sections.
But as with this year’s graduates, we are not looking to what has gone before, but instead focusing on the future with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. The reset button has been pressed, we are back to square one with a whole year ahead of us to not just meet the standards of the previous year, but raise the bar higher. So as our graduates head out into the world of work, further education, travel… or just going into hibernation, we at the Gaudie will be embarking on another year of long nights, encroaching deadlines, technical difficulties and grammatical minefields. I think we both know who has the better deal!
The Easyjet Blues by Christopher Wood “Luxury” they said, I think this business barmy. I came to catch a flight, Not to drop cash on Armani, Not interested in premium vodka, But in this metal box they’ve got a, Captive audience. The boss thinks, It would be nice if they sold Lancôme, Or some new charging device. I’ve nothing against selling food and drink, Given, it’s overpriced, But even I will draw the line at fashion, Or branded furry dice. The airport has forgotten it’s purpose, It’s tried to change its spots, Attempted to be fashion, retail, bars and tech, When it’s very clearly not, The reason we’ve come to the hulking emptiness of the terminal, Is to traverse the skies! Not to purchase homeware, Or an Iggy Azaelea CD. Who even buys CDs any more? The uselessness of the CD today, Is in fact a decent metaphor, For how useless a Lego shop is, In the setting of an airport. Finally: it’s time to board. After all of that, perhaps, A cider can will be my reward. Time to ask the steward...ess? Stella? It turns out that’s her name. How much? Fine, I’ll pay it, I’ll have no money after this I won’t say anything because I’m English, But before we finish, With a grimace, I’ll scribble a letter to your boss, I don’t care if he doesn’t read it. The landing strip approaches, Which is good because, I’ve no more money to give to you thieving, sly cockroaches, And if I’m forced to shell out more, My seatbelt I’ll unclip, And proudly declare: With a broken, English yelp, Are there any terrorists on board? Right now, I’ll gladly help. Read more at: www.facebook.com/chriswoodpoetry - @crwexe
Editorial Team Head Editors
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Editors: Aemilia Ross & Thomas Danielian
University to honour victims of construction tragedy 50 years on
By Michaela Hernychova
Aberdeen University is planning to honour victims of the Zoology building construction accident, which occurred 50 years ago this year. On November 1 1966 five men were killed and a further three injured when the 6-storey concrete framework of the new structure collapsed during construction. The University is currently contacting relatives of the deceased, hoping to involve
them in the planned memorial service later this year. Reverend Marylee Anderson, chaplain at Aberdeen University, underlined the desire of the University to pay respect to those who lost their lives. “We are reaching out to family members of those who died, or anyone affected by the incident to get in touch with the university, so that we can plan a suitable memorial event.” Anyone with links to the tragedy can become involved in the memorial by contacting the events team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The business tycoon was stripped of his title as a business ambassador for Scotland by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Battle over alcohol minimum pricing By Zoe McKellar
Four years ago, legislation introducing minimum pricing for a unit of alcohol was given Royal Assent after being passed by the Scottish Parliament. To date, however, the policy still has not been introduced. In 2012, MSPs passed legislation for a minimum price of 50p per unit, but this was followed by a legal challenge to the policy by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). Additionally, the proposal was immediately attacked by five wine-producing nations – France, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Portugal – concerned that implementation of the proposals would mean an increase in the cost of their products in Scotland, and the setting of a precedent that others would follow. The policy was originally conceived as the Scottish government, health professionals, police, alcohol charities and a few members of the drinks industry believed that minimum pricing would help to tackle Scotland’s unhealthy drinking culture. With Scots buying 20% more alcohol on average than the rest of the UK, the SNP has been trying to introduce minimum pricing since 2009 in a bid to address the country’s binge-drinking culture.
The policy was initially voted down by opposition MSPs in 2010, but after a majority re-election the following year the SNP tried again and the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Act was passed by Holyrood in May 2012. The SNP’s policy to set a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol would see the cost of the strongest ciders double in the shops, while a four-pack of 4% lager would top £4. Whisky would exceed £14 per bottle, and a bottle of wine would cost a minimum of £4.50 if the policy were to be implemented. Now, four years on, the legal battle over minimum pricing looks set to end up in the Supreme Court in London. The Court of Session is due to hear two days of legal arguments for lawyers acting on behalf of the SWA and the Scottish Government. Upon examination of all the evidence, the three judges will decide whether public health may be better influenced by means such as increasing tax rates on alcohol rather than minimum pricing. The findings will be delivered at a later date, but the result is unlikely to be the end of the saga as the ruling will no doubt see an appeal from either the Scottish government or the SWA.
Donald Trump to visit Aberdeen
By Amanda Connelly
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will visit Scotland later this month to officially open his new golf course. Trump has revealed he will attend the official opening of the Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire on 24th June, the day of the EU referendum results, before flying to Aberdeen to visit staff at the Trump International Golf Links at Menie Estate, which opened in 2012. The visit marks the first time the presidential hopeful has been to the UK since he declared his presidential candidacy in 2015. Speaking to his 8.8 million followers on Twitter last week, Trump announced: “After @TrumpTurnberry I will be visiting Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe, to see my great club, @ TrumpScotland”. The Turnberry hotel, bought by Trump for £35 million in 2014, has undergone significant refurbishments in the past eight months amounting to £200 million, including remodeled bedrooms, hotel bars and restaurants. Meanwhile the Turnberry Lighthouse
has also been fully renovated and restored, now boasting a £3,500 a night presidential suite with the Donald J. Trump ballroom to be installed in August, cited by Trump’s publicists as “the most luxurious meeting facility anywhere in Europe”. The billionaire has also applied for planning permission in order to establish a second golf course at the Aberdeenshire estate, named after his Scottish mother Mary McLeod from Stornoway. Trump’s Scottish visit comes just months after the business tycoon was stripped of his title as a business ambassador for Scotland by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, due to his controversial comments on banning Muslims from the United States. His comments saw his membership of the GlobalScot business network immediately withdrawn in December of last year, while more locally Trump’s controversial politics saw Robert Gordon University revoke his honorary degree, a DBA that was previously awarded in 2010.
EU referendum – impact on North East’s fishery By Ann-Christin Mayer
Photo by .deeneg (Flickr)
One of the key battlegrounds in the North-East’s Brexit debate is the fishing industry. Fishing is an important part of the North-East’s economy, with Peterhead being the EU’s largest white fish port. Many fishermen support Britain’s exit from the European Union due to the regulations it imposes on the industry. The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) determines the amount of fish each EU country can catch, and consequently limits profits of those working in the industry. These restrictions are soon to become tighter still. From 2019 the so-called “discard ban” will come into effect. This legislation will force fishermen to consider fish that were accidentally caught but do not match the required criteria as part of their quota rather than discarding them at sea. Some figures in the industry are demanding greater regional autonomy, arguing that they know their areas best when it comes to fishing regulations. Non-EU members like Norway and Iceland still get to have their say in matters concerning the fishing industry, so a Brexit might not have as dire consequences as portrayed by the pro-EU campaigners while also granting more regional autonomy over fisheries. The CFP has been attempting to regain the fishermen’s support recently, by working more closely with the practitioners themselves – a process that is only starting to develop but presents a strong first step towards more locally controlled policies. And as European Parliament fisheries committee vice chairman Jaroslaw Walesa pointed out,
the regulations set on the amount of fish that is to be caught serves to prevent of over-fishing; the discard ban prohibits discarding dead unwanted fish back into the sea, thereby regulating the total number of fish caught rather than just those that are deemed useful and brought back to the shore. Additionally, leaving the EU would lead to Scotland’s exclusion from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund which invests into more sustainable fishing methods, funding developments in technologies and gear as well as sponsoring projects. The access to the single market is also crucial to our fishing industry: approximately half of Scotland’s seafood is exported to members of the European Union. MSP Christian Allard, representing the region around Peterhead, supports the pro-EU campaign, arguing that, once the UK leaves the Union, it is not possible to negotiate a new trade agreement under the same terms that are currently in place; it is therefore advisable for the future of the fishing industry to remain part of the EU. And it is not only the fishing industry that would suffer from the Brexit – British farmers export nearly three quarters of their products to EU countries and would therefore encounter similar problems as our fishermen when trading with the mainland. Chancellor George Osborne argues that, overall, Scotland’s economy would lose £4.5 billion and risk 43,000 jobs in case the Out campaign wins – an outcome that may further unsettle the NorthEast’s offshore industry that has been struggling for months.
Features The hidden risks of closed political borders
Editor: Jamie Ellis
Maggie Chapman discusses the risks of leaving the EU, the impact it will have on environmental and humanitarian issues, and the potential loss of multiculturalism in Scottish universities if Brexit prevails Europol recently released the horrifying f igures that there are upwards of 10,000 migrant children lost in Europe. To what extent do we need to stay in the EU to deal with issues like these by aid of Europol?
By Jamie Ellis On May 2nd, just two days before the Scottish Parliamentary elections, Maggie Chapman was able to take some time out from the heavy demands that seem to come with modern day Scottish political campaigns, to talk to me about the risks of leaving the European Union. As co-convenor of the Scottish Green party, her concerns are primarily environmental and humanitarian. Both of these issues, she feels, have benefitted largely as a result of the EU’s shared platform which allows debate and discussion. For Maggie, these issues extend further than closed political borders, and leaving the EU would not just halt progress for these matters, but in fact be detrimental to them. The EU referendum is obviously the second referendum Scotland has faced in recent memory, and Project Fear is still heavily involved. Do you feel there is a risk Scottish voters may be compelled to vote to leave as a result of already being disenfranchised from the high levels of scaremongering the f irst time round? That’s an interesting question. I suppose I’ve been disappointed, but not surprised, by the nature of the debate so far. It is all about scaring people into either leaving or staying. Let’s have a mature debate about this, let’s have a discussion, let’s actually get the issues out into the open. In some ways I think Scotland may be better able to do that, since we’ve had the last couple of years to practice, to enthuse people about politics and to get people talking about politics again. I think that’s one of the best legacies of the Scottish Independence Referendum. We’re going to have to work very very hard to change the nature of the debate into the positives of what Europe brings. Is Scotland going to be disadvantaged? I think because we’re better able to understand maybe some of the nuances of the debate, because we’ve been practicing it for that wee bit longer, we might see through some of the nonsense coming from both sides. So actually you believe then that Scotland can make up it’s own mind regardless of the jargon spouted from both sides of the argument? Absolutely, I think there will be challenges in Scotland because the perception is that Scotland will vote to stay and England will vote to leave. I think, however, Scotland can actually lead in creating the scope and environment for a positive framework for debate. What would you say would be the Environmental risks if the UK were to leave the EU? I think there will be significant risks across the board if the UK left. One of the things we know is
I’ve been disappointed, but not surprised, by the nature of the debate so far. It is all about scaring people into either leaving or staying. Let’s have a mature debate about this, let’s have a discussion, let’s actually get the issues out into the open. that environmental systems do not understand geo-political boundaries, and so I think having transnational legislation and having transnational oversights is actually a really important aspect of environmental control, of environmental regulation and protection. I think it would be difficult to be able to achieve some of the same levels of scrutiny, the same levels of monitoring, the same levels of regulation and control with the UK being outside an overarching body like the EU. Would it be possible? I think it might be but it would be very very difficult, it would also be very low down on their list of priorities. If Britain were to come out of Europe, there would be so many other issues that people might want to focus on, that environmental regulation and protection would maybe not be seen as that important. I think there are significant risks to the way in which environmental regulation happens, simply because we need international cooperation, we need international agreements on so many of these things. I think there’s something also really quite important, the European Union has been responsible for increasing environmental standards in several areas and I would be very loath to see those sorts of standards slip. That’s one of the reasons why myself, as many others, are campaigning against TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and investment partnership, for instance and other similar deals where we know that the consequences would be a levelling down of European standards to North American standards, and that’s not something that I think many people across Britain want to see because they see the benefits of decent regulation.
I think if it hadn’t been for the EU, we wouldn’t have had the support that does exist, such that it does in continental Europe. I think that having a system that understands or acknowledges cross border movement is actually really really important. I was appalled by the UK government’s vote on the end of April when they turned down asylum for 3,000 migrant children. I mean what does that say about the national spirit of humanity, never mind being welcoming to others? I think something like the humanitarian crisis we see stemming from the Middle-East is not something that any one state could deal with, or should deal with. We have to come together as a collection of nations, as a collection of states, as a collection of people and look at the humanitarian disaster in its own right. I mean let’s think what can we do? Britain is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Let’s put that wealth to good use. The University of Aberdeen is a vastly multicultural university, as is the case with many in Scotland. There are so many positives as a result of multiculturalism in the education process. To what extent will that be under threat if we were to leave the EU? I think the higher education sector in general has a great deal to lose if the UK were to leave the EU, not solely in terms of funding. I think the UK is, if not one of the highest, the highest recipients of the research money allocation of the European Union and our universities would lose out on this if we were to leave. I think that the loss of income is one thing in terms of research funding but actually, there’s something that’s much more important at stake here, which you mentioned in your question about a multicultural environment losing the ability to share knowledge of people, of cultures, students not being able to travel and study across borders. Losing that would be devastating, never mind the intellectual loss but the cultural loss as well. I think it would be hugely detrimental to the culture of Aberdeen University and not just the intellectual wealth and the research wealth of the university. It’s great that we have students and staff moving across boundaries and borders, going to study, teach, research coming here to study, to teach, research and we also know that the highest quality of research happens on international platforms, it’s not a lone researcher sitting somewhere on their own. This is one of the many reasons for me to campaign to stay in the European Union.
Photo courtesy of Maggie Chapman
arts · culture · fashion lifestyle food · gaming technology · health · fitness
rends and cultures are, in this day and age, fast-paced and ever-changing. In this edition we track these evolutions in art and in society and have been left with fascinating results.
Veganism is undoubtedly on the rise, aÒnd to whet your appetite we’ve got some stuffed aubergines, and some answers on why this ethical movement is taking hold. We also step into the world of film, where we explore new Arab cinema and the controversial concept of the anti-film. And that’s just a taster of our foray emergent culture, go look for yourself...
Vegan revolution An exploration of the rise of veganism
Director’s cut: Frances Guy In conversation on emerging Arab cinema
Dying for a tan
A timely warning on the dangers of sun exposure Editors Gemma Shields & Aemilia Ross
Head of Production Claire Livingston
Online Manager Darren Coutts
Deputy Head of Production Kevin Mathew
IV Editors Arts - Hamish Gibson Life and Style - Amanda Connely
Head of Copy Editing Benjeman Farrar Illustrator Vincent Muir
The Emoji Film A look at the emergence of the ‘anti-film’
Online Publishing Assistant Steven Kellow
The American Dream A Big Apple travel reminiscence
find the IV. on social media. Look us up at /ivmagazine p. 3
life and style | summer
‘Dying’ for a Tan?
By Kathryn Smith
s we emerge from the cold winter weather and into the summer sunshine, we all want to embrace the warmer days and give our summer wardrobe a dust off. And what goes better with shorts and t-shirts than a perfect tan? Whether it’s natural, from a sunbed or out of a bottle, a golden glow has been the summer musthave for decades since Coco Chanel first popularised it in the 1940s, and that doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon. With magazine covers constantly sporting celebrities such as Cheryl Cole and Blake Lively, it’s no wonder that a tan is viewed by many young women as a necessity, and it is no different for men. Sportsmen and actors such as David Beckham and Ryan Gosling always seem to air on the side of bronzed.
Photo by Du Truong (Flickr)
cancer, cataracts and premature ageing. The World Health Organisation recently revealed that 1 in every 3 cancers diagnosed world wide is skin cancer, a startling statistic. Yet despite the obvious dangers, there are very little regulations on sunbed use across Europe. In the UK, it only became illegal for under eighteens to use sunbeds in 2010. There is nothing stopping a person using a sunbed for the maximum time every day of the week, and all information on how to responsibly use a sunbed is simply worded as ‘advice’. So while regulations surrounding their use are almost non-existent, it is easy to overlook the damage they are doing to their skin by using sunbeds.
Yet what lengths are people prepared to go to in order to achieve that perfect tan? Many people here in the UK go abroad mainly to escape the dismal weather and spend hours each day lying in the sun, often using little sun protection. We are willing to spend money and time soaking up the sun’s rays, and we revel in showing off our new colour upon our return. However, we can’t always go abroad, so we turn to other methods in order to achieve bronzed-skin perfection. Last year, The NPD Group found that between January and June 2015, sales of sunless tanning products reached £3.5million in the UK, exposing just how big a business tanning is here all year round.
Nowadays, we have access to tanning injections such as Melanotan, which contains a synthetic hormone that speeds up the body’s production of melanin, causing the skin to darken. They are cheaper than the price of a weekly spray tan and it means we can use sunbeds less and still maintain our gorgeous summer glow. Sounds great, right? Well, no, its not. It is actually illegal to sell Melanotan in the UK as it has not undergone any safety or effectiveness testing, so the side effects of using Melanotan are unknown. Yet despite it being illegal to sell, The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency have received multiple reports in recent years that Melanotan is still on sale in beauty and tanning salons across the country. While these products are readily available in the UK, I know I would automatically assume they were safe to use, and it’s worrying that you have to do your own research to find that their use is not actually approved.
But what about those who can’t be bothered smothering themselves in a sticky lotion several times a week, one that will ruin their bedsheets and possibly turn out streaky? What about those who want a more natural and even tan? Well, they turn to sunbeds. Sunbeds mimic the natural sun by omitting UVA and UVB rays, with many referring to their sunbed sessions (usually lasting anywhere between 6-12 minutes) as ‘mini holidays’. However, the great tanning results you can get from sunbeds comes at a cost. Using a sunbed is no safer than being exposed to the natural sun, and we are all well aware of the dangers that come along with that. There are significant links between frequent sunbed usage and the development of skin
Sunbeds can be beneficial to some medical conditions such as psoriasis. Using them to treat such conditions, however, should always be monitored by a medical professional. Sunbeds may appear to be a quick and easy way to achieve an all-year round tan, but it seems that the emerging risks of longterm use outweigh the positives in most cases. However, the surge in sales of fake tan in the UK proves that more and more people are choosing to get their tan from the bottle. Maybe it’s time we perfected our application of the fake stuff and show our skin some love by protecting it from all harmful UV rays - whether that means slapping on sun protection while on holiday or cutting down on our sunbed use.
life and style | food
Why not vegan for a change?
Stuffed Aubergines with Cashews
By Lisa Nais
Ever had to feed your vegan friends or relatives for a week? No? Lucky you! Or so I’d have thought a couple of years ago. I vividly remember another sceptic joking with me before that week of culinary torture. We thought of serving risotto, but risotto minus butter, minus parmigiano makes what? Dry rice?
2 aubergines 3 tbsp of oil (e.g. sesame or olive) salt, pepper, Italian herbs 2 spring onions 2 cloves of garlic 1 red pepper 50g bulgur a handful of cashew nuts about 10 cherry tomatoes vegan cheese
In recent years, ‘alternative’ lifestyles and diets have emerged — veganism’s almost already a thing of the past. According to the Vegan Society, it more or less is: the first people who abstained from meat and dairy died some 2,000 years ago. Only in the 1940s, though, it became a discrete new movement, developed from the loosely termed ‘non-dairy vegetarians’. What started out—from a sceptic’s perspective—as a diet of garden salads, veggies and dry rice, has evolved into a cuisine that doesn’t leave you wishing for greater variety. The plentiful choices range from Middle Eastern couscous and tabbouleh to continental vegan cheese and sausages. I even had asparagus with a vegan sauce hollandaise. Living in Aberdeen, where students have the choice of pub grub or a certain TV chef’s pricier Italian, I only discovered the inventiveness of vegan diets on holiday. There’s a restaurant in Dublin, Cornucopia, that introduced me to the riches of the dairy- and meatfree universe. This tiny place could not have been named more appropriately—there was an abundance of choice: casseroles, quiches and curries, as well as colourful salads with exotic-sounding ingredients I’d never heard of. Now, steep as the prices are and hard as a decent vegan menu is to come by in Aberdeen, this experience was an incentive to whip out the wooden spoon, rattle my pans and get creative!
Method: Wash and halve the aubergines; then scoop out their flesh. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt, and set them aside in an oiled casserole dish for about ten minutes, so they won’t taste bitter. After ten minutes, drizzle a little more oil on the aubergines; cover the dish with aluminium foil and put in the oven at fan 180 degrees for thirty minutes. Meanwhile, boil the bulgur following the instructions on the package. Slice the remaining aubergine pieces, as well as the spring onions, garlic cloves and the pepper thinly. Season with salt, pepper and Italian herbs, and fry in a little oil. When done, add the cashew nuts. Mix the veggies with the bulgur. Then cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and chop the canned tomatoes. Take the aubergines out of the oven; fill the casserole dish with the canned tomatoes and cherry tomatoes; season again (if you prefer your tomato sauce sweet, put some sugar in additionally), and stuff the aubergines. Cover the casserole with aluminium foil again, and bake for another twenty-five minutes. Remove the foil; put the grated cheese on top of the stuffed aubergines, and put them in the oven (or under the grill if available) for another five to ten minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
Photo by Lisa Nais
life and style | new york
New York City By Amanda Connelly
The subject of many a song and renowned the world over for its sleepless existence, a shrine for soul searchers and those that long to be somebody, the city of New York is arguably one of the most iconic places in the world. In the words of Alicia Keys’s ‘Empire State of Mind’, it’s a concrete jungle where dreams are made. Leaving behind my beloved city of Glasgow for the bright lights of the Big Apple for a five-day trip, the city proved to perhaps be the quintessential image of the United States as a country that is both larger than life and brimming with vitality – a real melting pot of people and cultures. Coming from back home, where amenities are generally shut by 6pm, where everyone is highly apologetic and when a taxi home in the early hours after a night out sees you travelling down clear and almost empty stretches of tarmac, New York City is unapologetically loud, busy, and always on the move. It’s a place that as a non-New Yorker can at times be a bit of an assault on your senses, but one that truly sucks in its visitors, and always leaves you coming back for more of the magic of what makes this city such a special and uniquely vibrant environment. Taking a wander through Times Square bears perfect testament to this, and is perhaps somewhat symbolic of New York City life: billboard posters and lights glinting, casting an orange glow in the sky above show just how far removed the city is from anything you could ever hope to find back home. Musical posters old and new can’t help but hint at New York’s rich history and showy background that has continued to wow both tourists and locals alike, never going out of style, while stores remaining open until the wee small hours and throngs of people wander the streets at 2am. Even a walk through the grid patterned streets and avenues gives you a sense of the culture and attitude of the city – the no frills, no nonsense approach to labeling their streets, the purpose with which pedestrians stride along sidewalks, the different personalities, clothes and faces you encounter on your travels…all of it gives you a sense of the city’s sass, determination and pride within itself. Also too is New York’s history, one that is remarkably young and fresh faced compared to ours back home in the UK, but demonstrates the ambition and determination of the city’s inhabitants, and how far reaching their impact has made on the world. From scaling the heights of the Empire State building, a symbol of the city’s perseverance through the Great Depression, or exploring the ancient tomes displayed within the New York Public Library, or catching a Photo by mathiaswasik (Flickr)
boat out to pay a visit to the Green Lady herself, the Statue of Liberty, a poignant symbol and welcoming sight for the many immigrants arriving to Ellis Island seeking greater prospects in America, her torch held aloft as a triumphantly hopeful sign for New York’s citizens. It is this multiculturalism that is so central to the New York experience. Despite the temptation to feel a little lost in such a massive and hugely differing space, New York still seems able, in its ability to amalgamate such a broad spectrum of tastes and backgrounds, to offer something for everyone to make them feel somehow one with the city and at home there, like they belong. On my own visit I stumbled across the massive Tartan Day Parade. It was slightly amusing to see such a big deal made out of something that’s really rather commonplace back home, yet I couldn’t help but smile at seeing some of my own heritage so readily included and appreciated. Equally too was making a stop at the Irish pub that shared my surname, or visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral where despite the hundreds of different nationalities and faith backgrounds present in the pews, there was an distinct sense of togetherness and unity among those sitting there. Yet despite these moments of unity and the sharing and promotion of other cultures that was very much present, the city definitely displayed glimpses of its negative racial issues underneath the glossy, fantastical appearance that first strikes you as a tourist. Not once did I come across a white person working a low-paid service job. It was the first time I was truly able to recognise my position of white privilege for exactly what it was, and understand that despite NYC’s positive relationship to multiculturalism, the negative side of this too cannot afford to be ignored. With recent comments made in the run-up the presidential elections, it’s understandable to be concerned about how this unfortunately negative aspect of multiculturalism in New York will be further affected. It is the emergence of a variety of cultures, ones that combine to create something of what might be a certain ‘New York City culture’ that was one of the most remarkable and special things I found about the city. In a place that has offered itself as a home to so many, brimming with originality and multiculturalism, I remain a hopeful non-American that this special aspect of the city is not tarnished by certain upcoming presidential candidates from New York, that the variety and multiculturalism of New York City and the United States as a whole is recognised as one of the things that truly makes America great.
arts | film Image by Fill (Pixabay)
How anti-film is taking over our screens By Alex Kither
What is film?” is a tricky question to answer.
Should a great film make us think or should it make us feel? Perhaps both. I sometimes lie awake at night staring at the ceiling, sweating profusely while these questions circle my mind. It consumes me. What is film? What is cinema? In all honesty, I cannot say. But I know what it isn’t. It isn’t The Emoji Movie. That’s right, Sony are scraping the bottom of the metaphorical movie barrel and throwing the gunk they find into the eyes of us, an unsuspecting audience. The Emoji Movie was announced this July at CinemaCon after Sony Pictures battled through an intense bidding war to win the rights to the film at the measly cost of several millions of dollars. The story is set entirely within a smart phone where the main protagonists (the smiley face and poo emojis) go on an epic adventure from application to application. Other than this, we’ve been left in the dark on most details, except for the release date of August 11 2017; slap bang in the centre of blockbuster season. Upon first glance this may appear to be some harmless summer schlock to entertain gargling kiddiewinks and maybe turn a small profit, but take a closer look and you will find something far more sinister...
Firstly, note how desperate Sony were to obtain the rights to the film. Not only did they spend so much money on it, they engaged in a bidding war. Secondly, take a look at the film’s IMDb page and you may be surprised to find it completely vacant. The Emoji Movie is keeping a strangely low profile despite its vast price tag. Now I’m no expert, but this doesn’t seem to add up. Why fight so desperately to get the rights to a film and then not even bother to market it properly? It’s almost like they don’t expect anyone to actually see the movie… The truth is they don’t expect anyone to see this movie. This film is being produced in the knowledge that it will make minor ticket sales. In the summer rush some confused popcorn cattle may wander in to see this mindless mess but generally there are no expectations for a hit. But why would Sony Pictures fight so aggressively for a flop? As anyone who has seen The Producers will know, sometimes a flop can sell better than a hit and that is precisely the case for this venture. A film about an animated poo emoji isn’t Citizen Kane, but it is a goldmine for product placement. The film takes place in a smartphone. Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, eBay etc aren’t just being shoehorned in; they’re the setting itself. The mise-enscene will be entirely composed of logos, slogans and identifiable brands that will all
put a pretty penny in the pockets of Sony Pictures producers. And we come to my point; this is not a film. This is a fantastic scam. This is anti-film. Anti-film is created without the primary objective to entertain, educate, impress, provoke emotion or be of any artistic merit whatsoever. The Emoji Movie, in my opinion, embodies this perfectly. It is not a film, it’s a slice of visual culture at best. It is an advertisement dressed up with pretty colours made to turn a quick buck. I know what you’re thinking, “this is nothing new. Hacks have existed since the dawn of cinema.” This is true, but not to the extent we are seeing now. The cinema industry is just that; an industry, but its primary aim has never been simply to make money. The primary aim of the industry is to make films that make money. Even Michael Bay, with his crass humour and tasteless action is still producing something that undeniably entertains a certain crowd. His work may not be critically acclaimed, but it is filmmaking. Films like The Emoji Movie are simply not films. They totally avoid the whole point of a film. Sadly, this formula is catching on with the likes of the announced Tetris movie. If anyone claims you can make a worthwhile film out of a game about eight shapes slowly falling into place, they are a fucking liar. Another example comes in the form of
Happy Madison Productions, a vehicle of cinematic slaughter owned by the unfunny people from Funny People, notably Adam Sandler, an auteur of the anti-film. Though his career started with the intention to make the world laugh, now his films are consistently panned by critics and audiences’ alike leading to constant box office failure. But this does not bother Sandler. His formula is a cunning one. As executive producer, he gets to play god with the budget, and where the film fails on tickets sales it makes up for it in other ways. The obvious is product placement, which he uses plentifully. He will cast close family members and personal friends in his film, inflate personal expenses and even give himself two paycheques as he did in the film Jack and Jill. He is playing the system, just as are the execs behind The Emoji Movie, and it is all at the price of cinema’s integrity. I know the phrase ‘cinema is dead’ gets thrown around a lot, however I do believe there is still hope. For every heartless, money grabbing project there will always be a slurry of fantastic films waiting on the other side of the schedule, even if it can be disheartening to see items such as The Emoji Movie make it to the silver screen. I think Orson Welles put it best when he said “the best thing commercially, is the worst artistically, and yet by and large, it is the most successful.”
arts | film
Emerging Arab Cinema
uring Aberdeen’s May Festival on last month I had the privilege of taking part in a ‘Director’s Cut’ event, organised and compered by Professor Alan Marcus of the Film and Visual Culture department at Aberdeen University. Our theme was the changing portrayal of Arabs in cinema, starting with The Thief of Baghdad, a technicolour British Arabian fantasy directed in 1940, moving through the classic Lawrence Of Arabia, directed by David Lean, and moving on to more recent Arab films by female Arab directors. This was a voyage from a relatively non-critical but unrealistic colonial ‘orientalism’ to an insiders’ sensitivity and critique. The last two films we featured were Caramel directed by and starring Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, and Wadjda by Haifaa al Mansour from Saudi Arabia. These two films are remarkable not just because they are made by women living in the heart of the communities that they feature; but also because they were the first two full length feature films of both artists AND they dare pose real social questions that are at the heart of society in today’s Arab world, such as questions of pre-marital sex, women in society, and the differential treatment of boys and girls and the nature of patriarchal society. Despite their general critique of the society in which they live; the films are uplifting and exuberant and were both adopted by their respective countries as official entries for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.
By Frances Guy
So are we seeing the emergence of a new era of Arab filmmakers? An era moving away from a dominance of officially sponsored filmmaking to one of cinema as social commentary? Censorship in the Arab world remains a serious issue. Despite the potential vibrancy and relative liberalism of the Lebanese cultural scene and Lebanese film making, the Beirut International Film Festival has often had runs in with censorship (most recently in 2015 over a Moroccan film about the Western Sahara). Nevertheless, the Saudi government’s official nomination of Wadjda seems to suggest a willingness to accept a level of social criticism as healthy. Or at least, useful in promoting Saudi Arabia as an acceptable international cultural player rather than the cultural pariah that the country is often portrayed as. Two other currents have been important in the emergence of different genres of commentary film in the Arab world; the development of new innovative genres allowed by web based films and series, and the financial encouragement of the Dubai International Film Festival. The Dubai International Film Festival was started in 2004 and aims to encourage Arab filmmaking. It allows a space for premieres from the Arab world, in particular from the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). Perhaps uniquely among film festivals, it has created a specific space for connecting potential sponsors to filmmakers. The regional competition with projects like Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a local film and TV production company, has arguably led to an increase in film production in the region and created new audiences. Far from the glitzy world of international film festivals though, the real revolution in Arab visual production is happening in the creation of web series. From Lebanon and Jordan to Saudi Arabia, the demand for popular web series appears insatiable. Whilst the Gulf-based shows have access to a more readily available audience, it is the Lebanese show Zyara which has won a number of international awards, including Best Documentary and Best Cinematography at the Dublin Web Fest in 2015. In an interview with the French Lebanese newspaper L’Orient-Le Jour, director Muriel Aboulrouss (another female Arab director) claims the series “promotes the unity of the women and men who inhabit this earth through a very particular use of storytelling.” Aboulrouss considers web series’ as the “language of the future, because they allow you to create art starting from a single personal idea.” These ideas seem to be flourishing in the Arab world right now and merit much greater attention from a global audience still heavily inclined to view the Middle East through a culturally-biased lens. Image by Howard Terpning (Wikimedia Commons)
Frances Guy is a former British ambassador and UN Women’s representative, and a 1981 graduate of Aberdeen University. She is now Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East. You can find out about future Director’s Cut events on campus and watch previous discussions at abdn.ac.uk/directorscut.
Opine Is the customer always right? Why a little respect for restaurant and retail workers can go a long way By Steven Graham-Smith Is the customer always right? The simple answer that employers would want you to believe is yes. However, if you have ever worked in the retail and services industry, I can almost guarantee you feel differently. While at university, most of us will have at some point, taken up a role in one of these industries – whether due to necessity to be able to feed yourself or to further fund some of lives more enjoyable extravagances. I have worked in numerous lines of retail and services throughout my years, from pubs, to supermarkets, to high end fashion retailers. You may think due to the starkly different workplace environments, that the customers would be somewhat different, they are not. You show up for you shift, you work hard, you get paid poorly, and undoubtedly serve at least one customer who thinks you live to serve them and their every need. This is where the question comes into play. Does every single customer get the same level of customer service from yourself ? To answer simply, I would say no. From my experience in all of my jobs, if a customer greets me with a friendly smile and asks for help politely, understanding that I more than likely have fifty other tasks that my manager wants me to have completed by the time I finish my shift, I truly appreciate it. That little bit of mutual respect, not from a customer to a member of staff, but from one human being to another, goes a very long way. When customers are friendly and polite, I can hand on heart truly state that I go out of my way to ensure that they leave the store/pub/shop with whatever item or issue that they came to me with resolved. Rude customers get a completely different experience. If you approach me and immediately talk down to me and are plain and simply rude, I will respond similarly. I might not be rude to your face as I don’t want to get into trouble in my workplace, but you can guarantee that I will put in little to no effort to try and help you with what it is you need. A fun example being, if I go through to the back of the store to check if we have an item in stock, I will walk through the doors and look at my phone for five minutes before coming back through to provide them with a very unsympathetic “no we don’t have it in stock, try again another day”. If you are unnecessarily rude to another human being, someone who is at work, contributing to society and just trying to make themselves some money, what makes you think that you deserve to get the same standard of service that a very friendly and polite customer will receive?! This is not an article to say who is right or wrong but merely an honest insight into how members of staff in retail and services feel. When a company is paying you minimum wage, can they truly expect you to put up with this kind of behaviour from outright arrogant customers on a daily basis and still give them your full 100%, surely not?! I will leave you my own advice. Next time you’re shopping and need help, be nice to the person serving you. Not only will this make their shift more enjoyable, it will also greatly benefit your shopping experience and help towards ensuring that you leave with the outcome you came for. P.S. As the film “Waiting” with Ryan Reynolds perfectly states: “Don’t F**K with people who handle your food”.
As the film Waiting with Ryan Reynolds perfectly states: “Don’t F**K with people who handle your food”
Photo by wearechapterone (Flickr)
Editor: Maximilian Fischbach
Referendum: either way there ain’t a crystal ball The “facts” put forward for the EU Referendum are debatable at best
By Richard Wood Facts. That’s what voters want. The trouble is that the facts that voters want are few and far between. The ‘facts’ sought after in the referendum are almost non-existent as many of the answers that we want involve crystal-ball-gazing. And even basic statistics can be manipulated and misused. It is on this issue of clarity of facts that Sarah Wollaston MP switched from one side to another in the referendum campaign. Let’s look at a couple of these ‘facts’. The one dominating the news in recent weeks is the £350 million that the Leave campaign claim the UK pays the EU every week. However, this fails to take into account the rebate that the UK gets. Leave are sticking to this figure despite the UK Statistics Authority calling it ‘misleading’ something only adding to confusion for voters. On the other side of the debate, Remain argues that the UK will be worse off economically and that recession is possible. They say that the UK would be £4300 per household worse off after a Brexit. However, this is in terms of GDP per capita rather than the implied £4300 less per individual household as shown on the recent Andrew Neil interview with George Osborne. Furthermore, it is an economic prediction, based on models and assumptions, which get harder to predict as you go further into the future so it is not a hard fact. Therefore, when it comes to actual numbers, both sides have struggled to produce 100% trusted facts. So what facts are there? If the UK votes to stay the country will continue to be a part of the single market, will remain signed up to the EU’s four freedoms and retain its opt-outs of Schengen, the pound and in various other areas unless they are given up by the UK. It also looks likely that the Eurozone will pursue deeper integration, but that and a lot of other things depend on guesswork of the future - not facts. On the other hand, it is harder to tell what will happen, purely because Brexit is not the status-quo. Different actors have said different things but we won’t know for sure unless we leave. If we leave we know that we will be out the EU, but the exact shape of the new relationship is unknown. There will likely be a points-based immigration system as advocated by Leave campaigners, but that depends on what the government agrees after such a vote. After these basic ‘facts’ it comes down to individual questions of judgements of what we think will happen in either future purely because we have no crystal ball either way. In elections, however, facts are clearer. Parties produce manifestos and they will try to implement them if they get in. Referendums are different - especially on the constitution - as they may change the political framework in which we operate. And because of this there are less solid facts that voters are so desperately after like a woman on Question Time last week who could not make up her mind. In referendums there are less promises that we can rely on. Therefore, there needs to be better clarity when it comes to the facts even if they are limited. We do have statistics groups and interviewers to point out mistakes, but when they are ignored it shows that we need something much bigger. In future referenda we need something to fact-check all sides. Only then once that is done can judgements be made on all sides. It seems that politicians on all sides are so sure of their arguments - perhaps they fear appearing indecisive but the truth is we can’t predict the future. Leaders would be much more respected if they put their hands up and said “on that point I just do not know” just like the rest of us. It’s too late for this referendum but in future we need further independent scrutiny. Only then will we have truly fair debates and a healthier democracy.
Is a Postgrad Pricy but worth really worth it? it: in defence of Postgraduate degrees Why we’re better off going into the workplace
By Charlie Walker
I think four years are more than enough time to spend at university, and I’m eager to get out into the world and put all the skills I’ve learned at university to use in the workplace.
During my 4th and final year at uni, I’ve noticed a lot of my friends debating whether they want to go into further study after graduation, be that a Master’s degree or even a P.H.D. Personally, however, I don’t really feel like it would be the right decision for me, nor is it really worth the time, effort and money I would be required to put into a further year of study. By all accounts, a Masters is a big step up from undergrad level even in 4th year, and a P.H.D. is, of course, even more so. On top of that, while it is impossible to apply for funding, postgrads can be extremely expensive – one of my friends is studying a masters in Modern History next year which will cost him around £3500, even though he received the 20% discount for alumni since he’s staying here to study for another year (god knows why.) I think four years are more than enough time to spend at university, and I’m eager to get out into the world and put all the skills I’ve learned at university to use in the workplace. While to be fair it is still decidedly hard to get a job due to the still-struggling economy, I’d much rather try to get a job than spend another year studying. If worst comes to worst, I work part-time in a restaurant, and I could ask for my hours to be increased to work full-time until I find something else. In my opinion, many employers would rather see potential employees that have experience working full time in any industry since it gives you an idea of the stresses and demands that will be placed on you by working full time which, to be honest, I don’t think I have yet experienced since I’ve only worked around 20 hours a week. A report by Georgetown University’s Centre on Education and the Workforce released in 2015 found that most employees with undergrad degrees and three years in the work force earn more than new employees with master degrees. For example, engineers with an undergrad who had worked for three years with a company earned 190% more than high school graduates as opposed to newly recruited engineers with a Masters degree who earned only 143% more than the high school graduates. This is not to say, of course, that I think those who choose to go and study a postgrad degree are “hiding from the real world” or any of those equally annoying expressions you hear some people come out with. There are many different kinds of intelligence and so different things work better for different individuals, and I’m sure my friends who are going to go and study postgrad degrees will do very well for themselves. After all, a masters or a P.H.D. is essential if you want to go into academia, which my friend who is going to study Modern History plans to do. Nor am I ruling out ever going back to do a masters at a later date, but to go and do a postgraduate degree right after graduating is something I would really rather not do.
Why it’s best to go on to further study
What have you learned from University? Iona Taylor, 4th year Maths At first coming to University is very daunting, but the best advice I can give is that everyone is in the same boat. So if you are sitting next to someone in a tutorial why not start a conversation, they are probably as eager to make new friends as you. You will have opportunities to make new friends throughout university by joining societies and sport teams, with around 200 options there really is something for everyone.
Alastair Hunter, 4th year Geography and International Relations
By Ian Scott Something strange happens for all those approaching the end of their final year as an undergraduate. With dissertations handed in, all work completed and the results in – the attention and anxiety of most students will soon turn to the impending question that you have suppressed for the past four years while passively pretending that life as a student would never end. Once you recover from the caffeine-dependency developed from the necessary multiple-hour stints at the library then it will be high time to ask yourself, ‘What am I going to do when this is over?’ Like many at this stage in life, that question gives me shivers and the torment is worsened by the ordeal of having to answer, with some certainty, questions of the same ilk that will be coming your way from family, friends, colleagues and pretty much anyone you know in any way, shape or form. But while your degree may be coming to an end, your studies may not, and I like many have chosen to do a Master’s degree. So many great articles are out there for those seeking reason to go on and increase their repertoire of qualifications and I hope those reading may be convinced to do so if they can. It is no secret that the job market facing this generation of graduates is fairly dire. While some may relish the prospect of that challenge by heading out with a strong CV and perhaps some experience, another year of independence and a chance for further study to enhance the skills adopted at undergraduate level is simply too enticing. I fully recognise that my current studying-to-partying ratio will be thoroughly skewed and I face the rather daunting prospect of willingly putting myself further into debt but for me, like many others, there is no other option if I am to pursue my favoured profession. I wish to fulfil a career in urban planning and thus will be heading to the University of Dundee next September to study MSc Spatial Planning with Urban Design. This degree will allow me a simpler pathway to a professional accreditation by the relevant organisation, The Royal Town Planning Institute. And I, in this respect am not alone. With many of us leaving with degrees that we may have chosen hastily and haphazardly, having wandered aimlessly through our time at university then such aspirations can only be achieved through further study. Study which may give many a sense of direction in their career, especially if they have left with a degree in a more generic discipline (like myself with an MA in Geography). While postgraduate degrees may not give you a golden ticket into your desired workplace and may merely give you a second helping of debt what they do show is that you have an admissible level self-discipline, commitment, that you are professionally competent and, of course, that you have more knowledge and understanding of your chosen field. Postgraduate degrees are tough, they are demanding, they are exhausting and they are expensive. But for many, like myself, they are almost a necessity and I know that I am thoroughly looking to further studying a topic which I have enjoyed studying during my time at the University of Aberdeen.
COMMENTS ON CAMPUS
Postgraduate degrees are tough, they are demanding, they are exhausting and they are expensive. But for many, like myself, they are almost a necessity
‘Take opportunities. Chances are you’ll come out of university with a good degree, but if that’s all you leave with then what type of experience have you had? It’ll never be easier for you to take up a random sport, or to join societies of things that you might even have a vague interest in. Learn a language. Speak to the careers office before you really need to. Ultimately, just do something different.
James Smith, 4th year History The best advice I can give is to really make the most out of your first and second years. Grades don’t matter all that much until third and fourth year, so don’t spend too much of your time studying, use to time to join a sports team or a society. These will help you meet great people, and give you an opportunity to advance yourself and gain new skills.
Photo courtesy Ian Cowe
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.
Science & Environment
Towards a Deeper Understanding Deep-sea explorer, Dr Alan Jamieson, speak to the Gaudie about his career. By Cameron Martin
How, and why, did you get into the f ield of deep-sea to start with?
Photo by Marion Doss (Flickr)
Words from the Wise
Congratulations to the class of 2016! The Gaudie spoke to some previous Science graduates for their words of wisdom on graduation and life afterwards. Matthew Burke, BSc(hons) Physics 2013 “All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up. You may cry and say, ‘Oh, why can’t we remain like this for ever!’ but you always knew that one day you must grow up. You always knew after you graduate. Graduating is the beginning of the end… or you could be that one who doesn’t grow up.” Kelly Snow, MGeol 2014 “Apply for everything you’re interested in – you might just end up taking opportunities you never even thought about at the beginning of your degree. Also find something you enjoy doing, or find a place where the people make it great. It makes all the difference.… I wouldn’t have managed so far without great friends!” Rebecca Munday, BSc(hons) Biology 2014 “Take a step back and enjoy every opportunity you’re given, no matter how big or small. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the mundane, strive to make every day unforgettable.” Danielle Burns, BSc(hons) Mathematics & Physics 2013 “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. Although it seems boring that someone who studied Physics would quote Einstein: the man made a good point. Not only does this apply to scientific problems but also to everyday life. After graduation, things may be tough - make the most of what you can! “
I came into this on a very strange path. I underwent an undergraduate degree in industrial design, graduating in 1999. For my honours project, I designed a freefalling deep-sea platform. Marine engineering wasn’t something I consciously got into – I just thought it would make a good honours project. About a year after I graduated, a job came up in the Zoology department (Aberdeen) working for Monty Priede. I went for the job as it was similar to my honours project; I got the job and worked as a mechanical technician for four years. In that time, I went through a part-time PhD working in deep-sea
My coffee cup at work has been to the two deepest places on Earth. technologies. I went on to do a couple of ‘post-docs’, and ultimately became more of a biologist than an engineer. For deep-sea biology, you need to have expertise in both fields (biology and engineering). So, I’m actually not classically trained in biology at all, which is strange [for the field of marinea biology]. What interesting places has your research taken you? I’ve spent a great deal of time in Japan and New Zealand, which I think are two of the most fascinating countries in the world. I’m spending a lot of time in Shanghai at the moment, which I don’t particularly
DIY Science: The ‘Unbreakable’ Egg! Building on the cornflour slime we made last issue! You Will Need: A mixing bowl | 450g cornflour | 475ml water | a leakproof sandwich bag | an uncooked egg Method: Add the flour and water to the bowl and mix it together properly with your hands. Add some food colouring for an extra twist, but maybe wear gloves with that. Now, scoop the mixture into the sandwich bag until it is about two thirds full. Carefully push the egg into the mixture so that it is covered and seal the bag tightly. Now find somewhere safe that you can drop the bag from a height of about 2-3 metres, without splattering anyone if it bursts. Carefully check the egg – it should remain whole. How does it work? Non-Newtonian fluids, like cornflour slime, are pretty good at absorbing and dissipating energy. The slime is thick because of the large molecules, but they can still slide past each other if moved slkowly. When you mix the substance slowly it will flow like a liquid, but sudden or continued force causes it to act like a solid. Did it work for you? Tweet us your pictures @the_gaudie #DIYScience Photo by Goldmund100 (Wikimedia)
What is the daftest thing you’ve done in the name of science? Probably the Holothurian tipping. It was an ROV [Remotely Operated Vehicle] cruise we had in San Diego, about ten years ago. We had done all the science we needed to do, the ROV was still in the water, and we had two or three hours left. We were
talking about what we could do that would be interesting. We had no more cores left, no more grabs left, and lot of the Holothurians (e.g. seacucumbers) in the Pacific Abyssal Plain were really quite bizarrelooking. Somebody said, ‘what if we go just knocking over sea-cucumbers?’ It was the most ridiculous thing, but it was really quite fascinating. We just started knocking over animals, and then watching them right themselves. Some of these urchins are pyramid-shaped. You knock them over and then you realise why they are pyramid-shaped – their centre of gravity is arranged in such a way, that the slightest bit of current will right it again. All these Holothurians have these big sails coming out the back, and what that’s doing is keeping it upright. It’s almost like a balloon, so when you fall over it pulls you back upright. So, just messing around, we learnt quite a lot about the morphology of all these animals, just by perturbing them a little bit. My coffee cup at work has been to the two deepest places on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, and the Horizon Deep in the Tonga Trench. I have a set of pants that have been down the bottom of the Japan Trench. I think I’ve lost them actually (not in a deep-sea trench).
Dr Alan Jamieson is a senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen whose research interests lie in biological exploration of the deep sea. Dr Jamieson took time out of his very busy schedule to speak at length to the Gaudie, providing an extremely informative and entertaining interview. The full-length article can be found at www.thegaudie.co.uk, but here are some of the highlights.
enjoy. It’s not particularly pretty, not particularly interesting; it’s just big and huge. Places around the Western Pacific we’ve worked in, like New Zealand, Samoa, New Caledonia and Guam. [On Guam] It’s interesting, but it’s not a nice place. Likewise, Hawaii is quite similar to that that – the image that is portrayed isn’t quite what it’s like. But it’s still an interesting, mad place to have gone. It’s not the kind of place you would go deliberately; we find ourselves there because it happens to be near deep-water. Over Christmas and New Year, I worked off Deception Island in Antarctica. Deception Island is… incredible. It’s just a big volcanic caldera. It’s cracked so the ships can sail into the caldera. It’s just covered in penguins and ice and ash. It’s amazing, a completely desolate place. Deception Island was crazy; it’s just one of those mad places that people shouldn’t really be.
Photo by ABA63 (Pixabay)
Burying their head in the sand is a great metaphor for people who refuse to face reality or are ignoring the truth, and we get this from the good old ostrich. Everyone knows they bury their heads in the sand to hide from danger, right? Google it, you’ll probably get numerous pictures of ostriches with their heads buried. You guessed it, it’s not entirely true. Let’s think about this sensibly – if they really did bury their heads at the first sign of danger they would quickly suffocate. In fact, they do what you might expect from a flightless
bird that can reach speeds of up to 40mph – they run. Sometimes they even flop over and play dead, but they definitely don’t bury their heads in the sand. Like I said, though, there are pictures of ostriches with their heads in the ground, so what are they doing? These photos are just slightly cleverly timed – ostriches swallow sand and pebbles to help grind up food in their stomachs, and they briefly stick their heads in the ground to pick up pebbles. So there you have it – myth busted!
Overheard by Christopher Wood
Visit www.thegaudie. co.uk/puzzles on Thursday for solutions
Editor: David Robertson
By David Robertson
ere’s the problem: we have our “In” camp, and Nigel’s “Out” camp, but it appears most of our population are still in the “Shake It All About” camp. This referendum is bloody difficult; and the abuse is getting worse from the dissenters in blue. Gove even threatened to reveal my further (as yet disclosed) “farmyard adventures” last week if I didn’t join the Leave camp. There’s no chance of that though – can’t let the cow out of the bag now. As much as I’d like Farage’s party to cease having any kind of meaning, I firmly believe that we are indeed “Better Together”. Well, if we can beat those damned Braveheart bravado bastards, we can beat a ragtag bag of racists and the over-50 bracket. They’ve never won the X Factor, and they won’t win this referendum. To add one headache to the next, I’ve got the delight of knowing Mr Drumpf is in the final two in the shortlist to become the next Supreme Overlord of Washington. It’s not exactly a choice: on the one side, you’ve got a blonde dumpy motormouth whose name has got them where they are, and on the other side you’ve got Donald Trump. Her winning the nomination is not so much a victory for women, rather a victory for the hybrid hyper mutated rabbit-teeth race that Hillary belongs to. I suppose old Clinty has to be a better option than Bernie Sanders, regardless. I’d like to avoid the looming spectre of Communism for a few more years yet, even if that means bringing back HUAC to flush out those filthy reds. What can I say? Hillary has mouse teeth, and Bernie Sanders is really old, so I guess they’re both “long in the tooth”. Finally, I guess we should talk about the European Championships. I’m not really one for footy, but it’ll be a great pleasure to watch us thrash the Welsh. That should stop Plaid Cymru getting any ideas.
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1. Research Quells Vet (anag.) (10,7)
6. Fear of the number thirteen (17)
2. Structure composed of cranium and mandible (5)
9. Decorative stone (5)
3. Ancient Greek storyteller (5)
10. Mediterranean cuisine, styled to encourage conversation (5)
4. Mammal of the order Cetacea (5) 5. Evaluation of the written word (8,9) 7. Mythical river between Earth and the Underworld (4) 8. Civil, public restraining order (abbrev.) (4) 13. Relating to the kidneys (5) 14. Surrender to pressure (5) 15. Opinion or attitude (5) 16. Storage for future data requests (5) 21. Inert (4) 23. Famous neighbourhood of Manhattan (4) 25. Emotionally patient and forebearing (5) 27. Temperamental, fickle (5) 28. Pro-Axis government of WWII France (5)
Well, if we can beat those damned Braveheart bravado bastards, we can beat a ragtag bag of racists and the over-50 bracket. They’ve never won the X Factor, and they won’t win this referendum.
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18. Area of mandated responsibility (5) 19. Republic formerly known as Bohemia (5) 20. Substance that “deforms” or flows (5) 22. County north-east of London (5)
11. Apply physical or mental effort (5)
24. Iron Age inhabitants of Britain (5)
12. Network acting as intermediary between clients (5)
26. White blood cells that fight bacteria (5)
15. Assert through experience truth or accuracy (5)
28. Devotional observance (5)
17. Strength, in contrast to intelligence (5)
29. Futile conversation (phrase) (7,1,4,5)
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Graduation Edition (Emergence Issue)