TALKING TO THE GROWING NUMBER OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IN NOTTINGHAM
two girls, one vow
IS CELIBACY ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE?
i’ll be watching you IMPACT SHADOWS THE POLICE FOR A DAY
issue 194 jan ’09
4 Editorial 5 News 10
- Notts Malaysia Student Killed - URN Sweep Award Show - Protests Kick E-On Off Campus - BNP List Leaked; Notts Members Galore
- Interview With Tim Brabants - Local Sports Clubs In Trouble - Getting To Know Korfball
It’s about guerrillas n that
20 Down and Out Impact gets to know some of the homeless people of Nottingham.
Smug trust-fund wankers, spinning ever closer to the grave.
Nice 42 Features
22 Je Ne Regrette Rien
- New art exhibitions in town. - Blagger’s Guide to Pop Art.
One student’s feelings on returning to the East Midlands after a year in Paris.
He’s the antichrist, apparently.
24 Young, Free and
Does avoiding sex improve grades?
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52 Nottingham is home to a large number of asylum seekers, fleeing from repressive regimes. Impact investigates a community most students never get to see.
26 The Real Blue Line Impact tails the police for a day.
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Humbug! 28 Bah It might just be that time of the year
- Exclusive preview of Watchmen. - Why game adaptations suck.
Music - Interview with Fucked Up. - End of year roundup.
- The science of Hollywood. - Political change on climate change?
Gratis Famous Last Words
- The best places for Sunday lunch. - Suggestions for a night in.
Recipe of the Month
Impact dining on a budget
Up and coming events from the Students’ Union
Disaster Tourism: Good or Bad?
Impact interviews April Pearson, aka Michelle from hit show Skins.
Editor-in-Chief Rob Barham Editor Ian Steadman Managing Editor James Sanderson Associate Editors Sophia Levine Lucy Hayes Emi Day Design Editor Amy Bell Associate Design Editors Charlie Walker Anna Vickery Sam Evans Image Editors Nicole Samuels Caroline Wijnbladh Website Editor Phil Morton News Editors Susannah Sconce Camille Herreman Sports Editors Charlie Eccleshare Ben Bloom Arts Editors Lotty Clifton Clarissa Woddberry Music Editors James Ballard Elise Laker Film Editors James Warren Oli Holden-Rea Nights Editors Steph Aldrich Louise Fordham Kirsty Taylor Science Editors Henry Blanchard Sophie Stammers Travel Editors Bruno Albutt Samuel Selmon Fashion Editors Nikki Osman Laura Sedgwick Publicity Manager Scott Perkins
few days ago, while walking out of Mooch, I overheard some people chatting. “There’s no point getting involved with all that Impact malarkey, is there?”, someone said. “It’s just a clique, innit?”
This kind of thing naturally makes my ears prick up, so I had to step in and say something. I explained that actually new people get involved all the time, that different people write and design every month, and that the lead feature in the last issue was, in fact, written by someone who’d never written for the magazine before.“Pfft, you probably work there or something don’t you?”, they said. I didn’t have much of an answer to that. But I think the question’s an important one, because it’s an accusation levelled at us almost every year. Is it really a clique? If by ‘clique’ you mean that there’s a dedicated group of people who appear in the pages every month, or who are always in this office, then I suppose in a way it is. But that isn’t because of some attempt at exclusivity, but just because those particular people have chosen to dedicate more time and energy than everybody else. It’s the same with the Students’ Union. It’s the same at URN. It’s the same with almost every society at this university. If by ‘clique’, on the other hand, you mean to suggest that new people can’t get involved, or are discouraged from doing so, then you are very much wrong. Every month we have new writers coming onboard, and all but a handful of this year’s team were new this September. There’s always space in the magazine and on the website, and it’s never too late to get involved. And, as it happens, we have some great opportunities coming up this year. We’re launching our e-newsletter, Impact Weekly, very soon, and we need lots of new writers, designers, and photographers to put it together. So if you want to get involved, then this is a great time to do so. But even if you don’t, you still get to read it. You’ll be able to sign up for advance copies on our website, and then we’ll be rolling it out to the rest of the university. So keep an eye on your inbox over the new few weeks. For now, you’ll have to make do with these sixty pages. Enjoy,
Letter of the month Dear Impact, Following last month’s article on student satisfaction, I thought it prudent to highlight some areas where the Students’ Union - in partnership with the university - is seeking to address the various concerns raised. It is important to realise that student satisfaction is gauged on an expansive mass of criteria, which has a diversity of areas. This data is gathered in the main by the National Student Survey, which seeks to canvass the opinion of students soon to be graduating. Whilst excelling in a large majority of these areas, the university and the Students’ Union are concerned with our institution’s performance in assessment feedback. We recognise that - especially with the advent of tuition fees - students want value for money and a sound educational experience. Naturally, there is a variance of feedback provision from school to school and this says much for the choice of academic programmes available. However, there is a perception amongst the students I represent that the feedback available is not quite adequate. There is more to feedback than just comments on coursework and exams, however. Every time you go into a seminar or tutorial to chat about a lecture topic, that’s feedback. When you meet with your tutor to discuss a journal article or a project proposal, that’s feedback. If you go to a revision session in preparation for an exam, that’s feedback.
Rob x This is not to say that practices surrounding ‘formal’ feedback are perfect; that is why the university and the Students’ Union Education Network are co-sponsoring a half-day event to improve standards and encourage best practice across the board. In embarking upon this landmark measure, we are setting the trend across the HE sector, and students can feel rightly proud that bold and progressive steps are being taken to improve the situation for our students. Having met with a majority of School and Department heads, I am under no illusion that feedback opportunities exist, and they exist with excellent resource. But students just aren’t taking them up on the offer. So I urge you all, take up these existing opportunities with vigour! We are doing everything we can to improve feedback for students, but, I’m afraid, the onus is on the individual student to make the most of it. Our students should take what they have available to them; they will not regret it one iota. Things will get better in the future, but lasting change takes time. Let’s focus on what we have currently, and make the most of it. And you never know...it might have been what you wanted in the first place!
News Nottingham Malaysia Student Killed A student at the University of Nottingham campus in Malaysia has been attacked and killed by three men. Sarankan Sriskandarajah, a Sri Lankan student of Engineering, was attacked near Kuala Lumpur and died of his injuries three days later in a hospital on the outskirts of the city. The incident occurred minutes from the University campus and followed a previous attack the week before. Professor Ian Pashby, Vice-President and CEO of the University of Nottingham Malaysia, said: “We are all deeply saddened by the tragic death of Sarankan Sriskandarajah. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this
very difficult time. The serious and tragic nature of the incident has shocked the whole University community, not least because we have not experienced anything of this nature in the past.” The University has taken steps to tighten campus security in light of the situation, and has liaised with local police in order to intensify their visible presence in the area. A day of mourning was held at the Malaysia campus on December 1st in memory of Sarankan, and the following Friday saw a cancellation of all lectures and academic activity for a day of commemoration.
URN Clean Up At Student Radio Awards Nottingham’s student radio station, URN, took home eight awards at the recent Student Radio Awards. The nationwide competition, sponsored by the BBC and Channel Four amongst other high-profile media companies, nominated URN for ten awards, more than twice the number of any other university.
by Susannah Sconce
Amongst the eight awards were five Golds, including the prestigious ‘Best Student Radio Station’. Overall, URN received awards for ‘Best Specialist Music Programming’, ‘Best Journalistic Programming’, ‘Best Entertainment Programming’, ‘Best Live Event / Outside Broadcast’ and ‘Best Technical Achievement’.
by Emma Shipley Speaking of URN’s recent success, Sameer Mohammed, head of music for the station, stated: “Everyone at URN was really happy with our success. It was our highest tally of awards ever and most importantly, three of the Gold awards and the two Silver awards won were team efforts, proving that URN is not just a station of individuals but also a hard working team”.
“Everyone at URN was really happy with our success. It was our highest tally of awards ever and most importantly, five of the awards won were team efforts” “Our success this year has left the bar at a very high level but we’re always looking to go one step further; hopefully, this year’s technological improvements will show that we’re moving forward with technology and not resting on our laurels”.
Craig Cox Education Officer 05
Scientific Prizes And Discoveries At The University A population of unusual red spiral galaxies has been identified by astronomers at the University of Nottingham. The University’s Centre for Astronomy and Particle Theory led a study to examine galaxy evolution, and used images from the Hubble Space Telescope to discover the galaxies. Dr Steven Bamford, a researcher at the University who led the study, said: “In order to have spiral arms, they must have been normal, blue, spiral galaxies up until fairly recently. But for some reason their star formation has been stopped and they have turned red.” The ‘Galaxy Zoo’ team used images from the largest ever survey of the local universe – the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
– in order to examine the connection between the shapes and colours of over a million galaxies. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers were needed to complete the study.
Technology category, including a £15,000 prize to use toward furthering their research.
In another success for the Faculty of Science, scientists at the University’s Schools of Pharmacy and Biosciences have scooped a prestigious national award for their research into allergies. Researchers at the University worked in collaboration with the Centre for Respiratory Research at Nottingham City Hospital to develop a test for up to 5,000 different allergens using just one drop of blood.
The MA in English Studies is the latest course offered by the School via a webbased distance learning programme. Dr Louise Mullany, Director of Distance
Learning at the department, said: “We were being inundated with requests for a course with literature-based components as well as options that combined modern English language studies with a more historical approach.” “As we had an MA English Studies on-
giant E-ON has pulled out of any further scheduled university career events.
A British National Party (BNP) membership list leaked on the Internet has potentially revealed a local club owner as a member of the party. Released in November, the list contained over 12,000 names, addresses and contact details of members of the far-right party across the country.
As reported in Issue 193 of Impact, Nottingham’s Careers Fair was targeted by protestors in grim reaper costumes whilst student activists handed out fliers, some of which targeted the company E-ON. The energy company saw more than seventeen of its careers fair tour dates disrupted according to the Coal Action Network. The network recounts that at a recent Loughborough careers event, fair organisers AIESEC informed students that “E-ON has cancelled their remaining graduate recruitment events this year, due to the level of protest they have received.” “It got to the stage where the company
admitted that the list was “essentially genuine” with regards to members in 2007, but said it included the names of some who had never been part of the party. The owner of Blueprint club in Radford featured on the leaked list but has previously denied involvement with the party. The club is host to several different student nights in Nottingham, many of which support or promote antifascist views. On attempting to protect its membership list, BNP leader Nick Griffin admitted to The Guardian that the party was relying on the Human Rights Act, based on the European Convention on Human
“A disgraceful act of treachery”
Their innovation has won them a Da Vinci award in the Breakthrough
Student Protests Force Out E-ON
Following a wave of student protests at recruitment fairs across Britain, energy
Nottingham BNP Members Exposed
The publication of the list revealed almost 300 BNP members living in Nottingham. Nick Griffin, party leader,
Nottingham Offer English Degree On The Web Students from around the world are now able to study toward a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham in the comfort of their own homes.
by Susannah Sconce
Rights, to retain its privacy, a convention that the BNP opposes. In an interview with the BBC, Nick Griffin described the leaking of the membership list as “a disgraceful act of treachery” by former members.
by Susannah Sconce
site which fulfilled many of these criteria, it seemed like a logical step to develop this on-site course into a distance programme”. The department now has more than 120 students studying in twenty-five countries.
by Camille Herreman
“Counter-corporate actions around the country have made it impossible for E-ON to hide its climate change profiteering” decided that recruitment initiatives had become counter-productive”, says Tom Bennett, President of the Nottingham Student Peace Movement. “Countercorporate actions around the country have made it impossible for E-ON to hide its climate change profiteering. E-ON’s irresponsible plans for new coalfired Power Stations were getting too much unwanted attention.” E-ON is yet to comment on the development.
Beware The Bogus Taxi Driver Following a number of isolated incidents involving bogus taxi drivers, police in Nottingham have increased taxi license enforcement. Police activity has increased following a recent attack on an 18-year-old who was stripped and robbed after being taken on a terror ride by a man posing as a taxi driver. The teenager had got into the ‘cab’ after leaving Oceana nightclub in Nottingham just after 3am on Friday 7th November.
“We understand a number of unlicensed vehicles are being used as taxis, which are being driven by nonregistered drivers”
by Camille Herreman
News In Brief Student’s Research into Sex Life of Snails Published An undergraduate from the University’s School of Biology has had her research into the sex life and genetics of snails published by Biology Letters, a Royal Society Journal. Third-year Hayley Frend discovered that, much like humans, snails can be right- or left-brained and that this has an impact upon their mating behaviour.
Charges Against Rambo’s Disorderly Behaviour Dropped A student arrested for carrying a plastic knife as part of a Rambo costume has had all charges against him dropped. Anthony Radley, a graduate of Nottingham Trent University, was arrested on Derby Road in February on his way to a fancy dress party. He is now seeking to get his DNA and fingerprint samples (along with the toy knife) back from the police.
by Emma Petela
Detective Inspector Gerard Milano, of Central CID, warned: “We understand a number of unlicensed vehicles are being used as taxis, which are being driven by non-registered drivers.” Police say that the teenager was the third person to be robbed by bogus taxi drivers this year, and the second this month. The police have advised a number of precautions that should be taken in order to ensure a safe journey in a legitimate taxi. The advice includes checking the vehicle has a taxi registration plate on the back of it before getting in, and ensuring the driver has an identification badge visible inside the taxi.
Look out for the registration plate
National News Only 26% Of Students Rate Halls Value For Money
by Dave Jackson
Students who spend longer looking for accommodation are more likely to get value for money, a recent survey of university accommodation has found. Partly commissioned by Unipol, the Student Housing Preferences Survey polled 5,301 students from the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. The survey also found that students in private houses or flats were more likely to find that they had value for money than students in larger developments (housing ten or more students), or students living in on-campus accommodation. Most students living in private houses or flats rated their accommodation as ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ value for money, compared to 34% for larger developments and 26% for halls on campus. Students cited more competitive pricing and the prospect of more independence as some of the lures for private housing,
News In Brief Roman Treasure Discovered by Pensioner
although many expressed their irritation at unfair security deposit arrangements in both private rented housing and larger developments. Similarly, some felt that the contract arrangements were too inflexible, committing a tenant to a 12-month contract when they were likely only to occupy the house during termtime.
28% of those living in halls felt that the package provided on campus was not good value for money, with food featuring high on the list of grievances: “If the food was better it might justify the extortionate prices”, one respondent argued.
‘Meh’ Gains Official Recognition
The rules also mean that non-EU students will have to be sponsored by their university, obtain ID cards and have their fingerprints taken. It will also be necessary for international students to prove that they are financially capable of raising £800 a month and cover their tuition fees. Currently, international students inject £2.5bn into universities’ financial systems each year. If students miss more than ten teaching sessions, or fail to hand in coursework on time,
lecturers will be obliged to report the situation. “The university is being asked to act as an immigration officer”, wrote representatives from various academic bodies in an open letter. They state that it is “not the function of universities and alters the educational relationship between students and their teachers in a very harmful manner”. The letter, also undersigned by activist Tony Benn, is further concerned with the “discriminatory proposals” being applied to non-EU students only.
been discovered in the past three years. A University Spokesperson told Impact: “The University will be doing all it can to minimise the impact on students and it is likely that the vast majority will not notice any difference under the new system.” The Home Office stated to The Guardian: “Those who come to Britain must play by the rules and benefit the country. This new route for students will ensure we know exactly who is coming here to study and stamp out bogus colleges who facilitate the lawbreakers”.
The academics and activists also claim that these measures may be in breach of the right to a private life and freedom from degrading treatment, articles 8 and 3 respectively of the European Convention on Human Rights. Approximately 300 phony colleges have
Newcastle Opens Shop In Malaysia
by Ruby Kassam
by Hannah Gibbons
Her suggestion was chosen as part of the Collins Word of Mouth Campaign, which asked the public to recommend new, everyday words for the dictionary.
Newcastle University has begun building a Faculty of Medicine campus in Malaysia and already has plans to extend to biotechnology. This will be the second UK-based educational establishment to open up a campus in Malaysia after the University of Nottingham opened its doors in South-East Asia in 2000.
‘Meh’ beat off competition from the likes of ‘frenemy’ and ‘huggles’ to earn a place in the dictionary, which will be published next year.
The building of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia or NUMed campus is expected to be finished by 2011 and is expected to offer Bachelor of Medicine
Paws for Thought
by Camille Herreman
A government-led initiative asking universities to monitor, and accordingly report, the actions of international students to the Home Office is coming under heavy criticism from members of the academic community. A crackdown on student immigration scams by the government, academics say, will oblige universities to report students to immigration authorities based on factors such as attendance.
A 72-year-old woman may be in line for a reward after finding a Roman artefact using her metal detector. Alice Wright discovered a gold leaf in Clifton that is believed to be from between the first and fourth century AD. The leaf is now in the possession of the British Museum.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be the first dog in Nottingham to undergo brain surgery for a congenital spinal cord condition. Five-year old Sophie will undergo the pioneering procedure that has only been previously performed in Bristol and New York for Syringomyelia, a disease that affects approximately 70 per cent of the breed.
Universities To ‘Spy’ On Students - Academics Speak Out
The Collins English Dictionary has included the word ‘meh’ in its 30th edition at the suggestion of a Nottingham resident. Erin Whyte defined the word as “an expression of utter boredom or an indication of how little you care for an idea”, noting that it could be used as either an interjection or an adjective.
and Bachelor of Surgery degrees. These qualifications are intended to be identical to the five-year programmes offered by the parent University in the United Kingdom but at a significantly lower cost. Students who complete the course at the NUMed campus will graduate with a full degree from Newcastle’s medicine department. The University of Nottingham’s Malaysia campus does not offer medical degrees and thus it is thought unlikely that direct competition will occur in the near future. The move is part of Newcastle’s selfdeclared ‘internationalisation strategy’. Professor Reg Jordan, who will head Newcastle’s Malaysian campus, said: “We are here because we want to extend the international footprint of Newcastle and we see South-East Asia as the future.”
The Debate ‘To what extent are graduates to blame for the decline in Christianity?’ Reverend Patrick O’Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, recently claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing religious dissent. Bishop O’Donoghue, who has recently published a report on how Catholicism can be renewed in Britain, argued that mass education has led to “sickness in the Church and wider society”.
“dark side, due to original sin”.
The bishop suggested that mass education has resulted in “a fragmented society that marginalises God, with many people mistakenly thinking that they can live happy and productive lives without him”. He also claimed that influential Catholics in politics and the media had been compromised by their education, which he claimed had a
Professor Nicholas Lash, the former Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, was amongst those concerned by O’Donoghue’s allegations. Lash responded, “Quite what constructive purpose could possibly be served by such irresponsible and wholesale scapegoating of the educated, I have simply no idea.”
To a lesser extent
able to achieve both my dreams of becoming a doctor and an Olympic athlete.
Attendance at Mass in 1991 was recorded as 1.3 million, a drop of 40% since 1963, and by 2004 it had fallen to 960,000. The number of priests in England and Wales has slumped by nearly a quarter in 20 years, from 4,545 in 1985 to 3,643 in 2005.
by Tim Lees
At university, we encounter ideas that surprise us, along with beliefs that are radically different to our own. Quite understandably, this causes many students to doubt their preconceptions, leading to scepticism and perhaps making (Catholic) virtue ethics seem less viable. At the same time, university is an inherently social environment where most will feel a need to make new friends. Therefore, students seek out common ground, and usually agree to disagree where common ground is unattainable in order to get along. Since leadership roles are commonly filled by graduates, it follows that these attitudes will become ingrained in the structure of society, in turn dictating the terms of ordinary discourse on topics as disparate as the existence of God, the war on Iraq, and relationships. This is an oversimplification of the issue, but not a gross one. However, education is not inherently opposed to religion, as the Christian origin of Western universities suggests. The Church (and not just Catholicism) is itself to blame for declining belief by failing to challenge the terms of public debate. It has, among other failings, too readily accepted a naturalistic world-view that suggests we can have absolute knowledge of God, neglecting its ancient and better doctrine that God can only be understood analogically, leaving Christianity open to scientific attack and emptied of much of its potential transformative value. If Church leaders were more concertedly to challenge the assumed right of modern science to dictate the full terms of knowledge, its spiritual, moral, and intellectual claims might regain some of the credibility they have lost among students and society at large.
The Midas Touch: An Interview with Tim Brabants
To a greater extent
by Marek Duda
The reason that an increase in the amount and proportion of people getting a higher level of education is resulting in the secularisation of society is as follows: the education system is based upon the scientific method of obtaining and verifying human knowledge. People who study at university become accustomed to having facts scientifically deducted and proven, and as a result invariably adopt a naturalistic world view. This view has spread through society as scientific discovery has been increasing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals, and as such has ‘proven its worth’ as a world view.
Your training must be gruelling. How do you get over the monotony of it?
For Tim Brabants, who studied medicine here at Nottingham University, the last 6 months has been a whirlwind. After becoming the first Briton to win gold in the K-1 1000m canoe competition, at this year’s Beijing Olympics he has been enjoying the luxury of being a national hero. I caught up with Tim in Nottingham, after he gave a motivational speech to the AU club captains and presidents, to find out more about the man behind the gold. How does it feel to be back at your old university? It’s great to be back at Nottingham because of all the support I received whilst I was studying here. It’s a testament to the university that I was
Training can get pretty intensive, but what breaks it up are the different types of training we do. I work out in the gym, swim, ski and cycle and get to travel to different places over the world to do this. My favourite training destination is in Cape Town; my friend has an amazing house overlooking this immense lake which I train on. It’s really quite breath taking! In the Olympic final where you took gold, what was going through your mind during the race? To be honest when the race started I thought I was going to win, and after two strokes I knew I was doing well. I have a race plan which I developed in training, at which points to push harder, what stroke pace to maintain, and I just stuck to it. I had never led an international race from start to finish so I just knew this was my day for victory. How did you celebrate your victory? I’m guessing it was drink-fuelled!
Well I didn’t get to do anything that night because I was competing the next day in the 500m race [for which he won Bronze] but after that all the team went out for a meal, it was pretty tame. When we got back from Beijing the guys and I went on a 3 week binge which got very messy. Doesn’t really fit in with an athlete’s healthy lifestyle though! What was the best perk about winning gold? Well I got to fly home first class from Beijing and got to chat with Princess Anne - I also get loads of things sent to my house like a year’s supply of Wispa bars and Weetabix! I was even invited to the premiere of The Duchess where I met Kiera Knightley... That was quite a messy night too! What’s next for Tim Brabants? I’ll go back to work as a doctor for 18 months which is an enjoyable and fulfilling break from training. I’ll still be competing though, taking part in triathlons around the country but it’s been a great journey so far, a lot of hard work and I’m looking forward to starting it all again in the lead up to 2012.
Getting to know… Korfball with Ruth Evans
In the same time period a decline in religious belief has also taken place, as science has provided alternative explanations for many of the questions religion had to previously answer. As it turns out, and as Tim concedes, a naturalistic world view led through to its conclusion leaves no place for belief in God. Therefore, the more people adopt such a world view, the less religious society becomes.
Name: Ruth Evans Position: 1st Team Captain Hometown: Norwich Course: Geography
To put it very simply, a highly educated individual who understands the many scientific theories which explain how the world works, is less likely to believe in a God than someone who is uneducated and does not posses that knowledge. This is especially true as often such people are more likely to be religiously indoctrinated through their surroundings and cultural experiences.
Korf is actually Dutch for ‘basket’ - the aim being to get the ball through the korf more times than your opponent! Korfball is best described as a cross between basketball and netball but with one key difference – it’s played with mixed teams.
First things first... What does korf mean?
How does the game work? Teams are made up of eight players (four
girls and four boys) and the pitch is split into two halves (with a korf in each). There are two boys and two girls in each half, with one division working together to attack and score against the opponent, and the other to prevent the opposition from scoring by defence. After two goals are scored you swap ends and the attackers become defenders and vice versa.
by Ben Bloom
Being one of the few mixed sports, does team romance ever get in the way? I wouldn’t say it gets in the way, but it does make for some lively socials! Though we’ve only had one serious korf relationship in the last few years. Finally, with the net being so high off the ground (3.5 metres), has anyone hit a low-flying bird when attempting to score? As it’s played indoors for most of the year, we tend to avoid this… However, in the summer you can play beach-korf and there’s even a water-korf version of the game, in which case you never know!
Loophole Saves Basketball Teams From Relegation The University of Nottingham’s men’s basketball teams had a fortunate escape from relegation to a lower division. They were threatened with demotion after failing to submit forms electronically to BUCS (British University and College Sports) before the deadline date despite having sent their forms by post 3 days earlier. The day after both basketball teams had beaten Cambridge 1st and 2nd teams, the AU was notified that BUCS had awarded walkovers in favour of Cambridge, taking 3 points off each Nottingham team and causing them to be relegated a division next season.
“I couldn’t believe it, one minute we’re celebrating our wins, the next they’re taken away from us” Gareth Lewis, the club President, was devastated. “I couldn’t believe it, one minute we’re celebrating our
the outset, scrapping at high tempo with Pascal as both fighters attempted to unload big punches. In a bout described by some as one of the great matches in 12-stone history, it was Froch who slowly took the edge in the opening half before he was made to pay for his continuous aggressive style with some hefty counter-punches thrown by his opponent.
Paul Lloyd, the AU officer, was likewise shocked and furious at the decision. When asked for his reaction, Lloyd’s first thought was about supporting the team. “I obviously wanted to do what the basketball club wanted - that meant fighting this all the way, so that’s what we did”. Lloyd took the lead in the appeals hearing, arguing that the BUCS guide states “every individual that plays in the BUCS Basketball leagues MUST be affiliated to a [UK] Basketball Governing Body.” The club was already affiliated to England Basketball so they could be entered into the Founder’s Cup – a competition separate from BUCS – therefore complying with this regulation.
electronically affiliated with BUCS, the officials could not argue with this loophole as the teams were indeed affiliated to a basketball governing body, albeit it not BUCS. Thus they had no choice but to concede victory to the dynamic duo who, according to Lloyd, celebrated their triumph on the train home “with a few cheeky drinks!”
Despite Nottingham having still not
The club is in dire financial straits and needs to raise as much as £150,000 before Christmas to ensure its survival to the end of the season.
It remains to be seen whether these measures will be enough to save the club, but there could be a lifeline for Nottingham Rugby with the possibility of the formation of a 12 team championship and with it a share in a 3.5 million pound Sky television deal. Credit has to go to the players and backroom staff at this difficult time, many of whom have taken pay cuts, and it is a credit to the club’s attitude that they remain 3rd in the National League 1 table. Nottingham fans can only hope that their own and the club’s endeavours will be enough.
Indeed, Nottingham Rugby Club needs as much support as they can get and the club’s website has drawn up a
Fighting in front of his home crowd at the Trent FM Arena, the Nottingham local Froch put his attacking toe-to-toe fighting style to good use in claiming a 118-110, 117-111, 116-112 victory over his Canadian opponent.
“I didn’t box and move and jab very often like I should do,” admitted Froch. “But I’m a fighter first and foremost. I could make my career a lot easier but that’s not what I’m about. I like to get stuck in. He rocked me to my boots a couple of times but I stayed with it and that’s what you have to do to get this green belt around your waist.”
Froch threw caution to the wind from
The new super-middleweight champion
has been chasing a chance to take on Calzaghe for many years, and such a dominating entrance onto the world stage will have sown the seeds of interest in the Welshman’s camp. A bout against mandatory challenger Jermain Taylor is in the pipeline and Froch’s promoter Mick Hennessy is
“Carl’s the most exciting fighter in world boxing” convinced that the ‘big-time’ beckons for his fighter: “Carl’s the most exciting fighter in world boxing. What he’s done tonight is going to make him a marquee star because not only did he beat a brilliant challenger, he beat him in style.” The precise details of what the future holds are unknown, but one thing is certain: Froch’s name will surely become known further afield than Nottingham after this victory.
by Matthew Flower and Andrew Birch
by Charlie Eccleshare five point plan underlining the ways to help save the club; to donate money, buy shares, advertise with Nottingham rugby, sponsor Nottingham Rugby or enter into the club’s lotto draw. The club is also having a ‘Save Our Club’ Christmas party on December 15th and have even taken a leaf out of Nottingham University Football Club’s book and have stripped off for a fundraising naked calendar.
Former players and staff have spoken out at their dismay at the club’s current predicament with former Nottingham and England full-back Simon Hodgkinson stating “I will give them as much support as I can. It would be dreadful if the worst happened.”
Carl Froch announced his arrival on the world stage by claiming the WBC supermiddleweight title against Jean Pascal on December 6th. He has now set his sights on undefeated Welsh boxing champion Joe Calzaghe.
Froch ‘The Cobra’ seized control as the fight drew to an end, dominating the closing stages against his previously unbeaten opponent.
by Ben Bloom
Nottingham Hockey Silence BUCS Rivals Birmingham
On Thursday 6th November, the same day that Nottingham celebrated one of its greatest ever sporting heroes by unveiling the Brian Clough statue, it became apparent that one of the city’s longest established sporting institutions was in grave danger. Geoff Huckstep, charimain of Nottingham Rugby Club, was forced to issue a call to arms to the club’s supporters, the message being quite simply ‘save your team’.
Mr Huckstep said: “We need to get the support of our fans. We will be looking at doing some promotions for certain games”. The major reasons for the club’s financial malaise are the need to cover the cost of renting Meadow Lane from Notts County Football Club, and a £300,000 land deal with a property developer falling through earlier this year.
Notts Froch Boxes Like An Ox
wins, the next they’re taken away from us. If BUCS received the forms on the Monday why couldn’t they have notified me so I could send the forms electronically, instead of waiting until after the deadline?”
“Save Our Club!” Pleads Local Rugby Team
by Hanna Flint
Nottingham University Hockey 1st XI concluded a successful November being awarded Athletic Union’s ‘Team of the Week’ after a historic 2-1 victory away at Birmingham University. The game started at a furious pace and before long goalkeeper George Pinner found himself picking the ball out of his own net following a neat Birmingham set-piece. However, the Great Britain international was quick to protest the decision, succeeding in vocally persuading the officials that the goal had been scored after a near-invisible Birmingham infringement. Invigorated by their good fortune, the away side started to show greater venture from midfield and were finally rewarded for their adventurous play when Ben Arnold breached the Birmingham defence, slipping the ball into an open net after skilfully deceiving the wavering keeper. This was the fourth game in a row in
which NUHC had opened the scoring, yet following a frustrating trend, Birmingham swiftly counter-attacked the overexcited Nottingham side, creating a series of opportunities before controversially equalising from a penalty corner despite the complaints of Pinner and the rest of the Nottingham side that the ball had failed to cross the goal line. Deeply frustrated, Nottingham again pressed forward, reaping the rewards when a penalty corner saw set-piece specialist Benjamin Apperly put his side ahead on the stroke of half-time. Inspired by a forceful team talk and several hundred home fans who had gathered to watch the grudge match, it was Birmingham who started the second half better as Nottingham struggled to hold onto their lead. However, the visitors looked to have extended their advantage courtesy of Arnold but yet again the officials had a role to play, disallowing the goal for an earlier infringement.
“Fuming Nottingham Coach Dominic Graham struggled to keep the emotions of his team under wrap” Fuming Nottingham Coach Dominic Graham struggled to keep the emotions of his team under wrap, and reinvigorated by their good fortune Birmingham created one final opportunity that resulted in a penalty corner as the final whistle was blown. A nail-biting conclusion saw Pinner successfully repel the Birmingham captain’s effort, pawing the ball away to safety to give Nottingham a momentous victory and three vital points closer to safety in the BUCS Premier League North.
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No Point of Entry:
odern asylum law was a product of the Second World War. Having seen the dangers people could face in their own countries, the international community created a legal framework offering sanctuary to those fleeing war, torture, or persecution. It was this framework which allowed for Cambodians to flee the Khmer Rouge, for dissidents to escape Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and for East Germans to jump the Berlin wall without fear of being sent back. And it is this framework that the UK is progressively tearing apart. ‘Asylum seeker’ has become a dirty word. Tabloid pundits routinely denounce those seeking asylum for taking advantage of our welfare system, for causing crime and disorder, or for “stealing our jobs.” And yet for all the words written against asylum seekers, remarkably few of those doing the writing ever take the time to speak to them.
Asylum Seekers in Nottingham
In Nottingham, as you read this, there are hundreds of people trying to seek sanctuary from regimes they have fled. Whether refugees, asylum seekers, or failed asylum seekers they face serious problems, not least the disdain the public at large has for them. These people are on your doorstep, but you will never hear from them. They remain voiceless. They are here, but it is as if they don’t exist.
By Rob Barham
This month Impact set out to meet some of them. We wanted to hear their stories, the challenges they face, and to find out what life is like for asylum seekers and refugees living in Nottingham. And so I found myself in the middle of St. Ann’s on a cold Saturday morning, with a notepad and a dictaphone and not a lot else...
in mixed shouted instructions and demands, as she became more terrified and began to scream continuously.” Fatma was subsequently deported back to her country of origin, and has not been heard from since. *****
The first person I spoke to was Adam, who knows the university and gave a talk here a few months ago. Adam had fled Darfur in 2003, when the Janjaweed militia, with the support of the Sudanese government, began slaughtering his tribe. “I got away, and sneaked to Libya,” he said. “From there, I travelled by small boat, only a metre and a half wide, with seventeen people, for three days and three nights.” He explained how he’d landed first in Italy, where he stayed for nine months. In Italy, which is notorious for having an asylum policy even harsher than the UK’s, he received no help whatsoever. “There was absolutely nothing there – no house, no support, nothing at all. So I was in the street, and there was nothing to do, just drugs. I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to be one of those people selling drugs on the street’, as most of my friends now were. So I said to myself that I needed a better life.” As we talked, I noticed a line of people patiently queuing not to get food, but to hand in forms. These were entries to the charity’s Christmas prize draw. The first prize: a £10 Asda voucher. There are thousands of others in Adam’s situation. In 2007, 28,000 asylum seekers came to the UK. They sometimes stow away onboard ships, but more often arrive through our airports. Once they get here they have to navigate a legal minefield: filling out forms, dealing with applications, sitting through interviews, and trying to cope with a language and culture they often do not understand. And then most of them are sent back home. Of the cases that were determined last year, 72% were rejected outright. Adam was one of those who got rejected. “The police came to catch me, to send me back to Italy or Darfur. And they were outside my house that night, and my friend told me they were there. I knew I had nothing in Italy, and I can’t risk going back to Darfur. So I ran away.”
But what of those who remain in Nottingham? Most of them are awaiting a decision on their case, are appealing, or are simply waiting to be sent back home. Most also have to routinely visit the local Reporting Office in Loughborough – a trip they can rarely make without financial help. The lucky ones have some state support. They receive £35 a week, given in vouchers, redeemable in a small number of shops. They sometimes have to walk miles to a particular supermarket (the vouchers do not allow public transport), and even then are only be able to purchase a limited set of items. One person I spoke to sometimes exchanged her vouchers for a much smaller amount in cash because it was the only way for her to buy essentials in her local area. Then there are those who are given no support at all. These are the people whose claims have failed, but whom the government does not send back. These people are in limbo: they cannot go home, they receive no benefits, and they are banned from working. They cannot so much as beg, since doing so may land them in a detention centre – or forcibly deported. Rather than face torture or death back home, they opt instead to live in destitution, and get by on what charitable food donations or handouts they can find. There is a large Zimbabwean population in Nottingham right now in this situation. In 2005, an Asylum and Immigration Tribunal ruled that forcible deportations to Zimbabwe should be prohibited – a verdict the government is currently fighting to overturn. While they remain here, most of these Zimbabweans are given no state benefits. Many had their support removed a year ago, on assurances that ‘elections’ would mean they could soon return home safely. Even though Mugabe remains in power they have not yet got support back.
I spoke to one of the Zimbabweans, who did not want to be named. He had fled Zimbabwe fearing for his life, after being targeted by Zanu-PF for his political activity. “At first I got some support,” he said, “and then There are at least 3,000 refugee Quite often, asylum seekers are after they decided my case they cut those doctors here, whom it would cost benefits.” He has launched an appeal, forcibly deported. This is becoming more common each year, as the and is currently awaiting a decision from less than one-fifteenth the cost government tightens up its asylum the government. He has been waiting of training a British doctor from for a decision for more than two years. legislation. It is also becoming more brutal, since the conduct of “I’m not receiving any benefits, I’m not scratch deportations is increasingly being allowed to work, I can’t do anything – contracted out to private companies concerned less with people’s education, training, nothing.” welfare than with getting a paycheque. Fatma, another Nottingham asylum seeker, was recently deported in such a way. In her home All of this is even more confounding since, contrary to popular belief, country she was tortured, raped, and imprisoned, and consequently asylum seekers have a lot of skills to offer our country. A couple of suffers from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a host of years ago the Home Office published some research which showed, other health problems. On the night of her deportation she was on surprisingly, that asylum seekers on the whole have proportionally the phone to a local volunteer, Miriam. more skills and qualifications than the rest of the UK population. Around a third of them have a degree. Many more have A-level or “She rang at 1.30 a.m., and we stayed in contact for about forty GCSE equivalents. There are at least 3,000 refugee doctors here, minutes,” Miriam recalled. “Given that only two women were in the whom it would cost £15,000 to retrain to British standards – less room in a secure institution, the banging on the door was too loud, than one-fifteenth the cost of training a British doctor from scratch. too insistent and unnecessary for anyone, let alone someone suffering And yet they are given no such chance. One Iraqi I spoke to was a from trauma and other conditions. She was shouted at repeatedly by trained accountant, yet found himself working in a factory packing a number of female officers, who warned her regularly and urgently mushrooms. Adam can translate Arabic to English, but is unable to that ‘the men are coming’, which terrified her more…When ‘the do so much as go to a job centre. men came’ there were men’s and women’s voices shouting at Fatma
“ They ask you for evidence
that you were in danger, but where can we get this? Back in Darfur? You can only do this when you are dead. This is the only evidence.
I was at a ‘food group’, run by a local charity, where asylum seekers and refugees come along to get a free meal every week. It was nothing special: soup, rice, beans, some vegetables. Some of the people were here to meet others in their predicament, or simply to help with the cooking. Most were here because they have nothing else to eat.
And so they are left in destitution, with no benefits, and no legal right to work. Several people in Nottingham have been in this situation for over five years. One woman has been destitute, awaiting the government’s permission to stay, for over a decade.
widespread destitution, the government’s treatment of asylum seekers in a number of cases reaches the European Convention on Human Rights threshold of inhumane and degrading treatment.” The report was published without so much as a whimper from the press.
Given their situation, you would expect asylum seekers to commit crime – as many tabloid reports suggest. I spoke to one or two people who were driven to it, but for the majority it was out of the question. Bill Walton, who works with Refugee Forum, a local charity in the area, told me: “they’re usually religious, God-fearing people, either Christian or Muslim. They will sometimes break the law, or work illegally, but it’s not very common.” The Home Office’s own research, surprising once again, shows that asylum seekers are no more likely to commit crime than anybody else.
Asylum seekers are nonetheless effectively criminalised just for seeking support they are legally allowed to ask for, and either left destitute or bundled into detention centres. They require a large burden of proof to convince the government they are genuinely fleeing from persecution, and very often this expectation is beyond what they can reasonably provide. Patrick, another local charity worker, said: “usually their claims are refused because they didn’t have enough evidence, but when you run away from your country because of war, how could you bring evidence with you?” Amon, a refugee from Darfur, made a similar point: “They ask you for evidence that you were in danger, but where can we get this? Back in Darfur? You can only do this when you are dead. This is the only evidence.” And in spite of all this, government policy is getting harsher by the year. Asylum seekers are increasingly being refused claims to stay, being refused support, and being interned in detention centres. The number of destitute people, according to the aid workers I spoke to in Nottingham, is growing year by year – as is the number of deportations. And all this is happening even while the overall number of asylum seekers coming to our country is falling. The problem is not merely that our policy is inhumane, but that it may be illegal. A recent parliamentary committee report, obtained by Impact, suggests that the UK government’s policy on immigration, and in particular measures introduced in the last five years, may be in breach of international law. The report argues that “the government’s approach to asylum has, in large part, been based on the assumption that many of those who arrive in the UK and claim asylum are not genuinely in need of protection but rather are economic migrants seeking a better life,” a claim which it regards as “without objective justification.” It concludes that “by refusing permission for asylum seekers to work and operating a system of support which results in
After they’d eaten, the refugees began to prepare for a protest, and marched down to Market Square. They began chanting, inbetween shoppers and passers-by, as police photographed their faces through long-lens cameras. They unfurled their banners, whose slogans which were interesting for being less about asylum than about weapons: ‘Heckler and Koch: Arming Repressive Regimes’; ‘Zimbabwe Needs Food Not Guns’; ‘Full Circle: From Weapons to Wars to Refugees’. I realised that, for these people, claims for asylum in our country are not as simple as we think. We like to believe that asylum seekers are fleeing their own problems, but quite often these are problems of our own making. Sometimes these are the result of us selling arms to repressive regimes, as in Zimbabwe. Other times, they result from the fallout of wars that we have waged. It is telling that, over the last five years, asylum seekers have consistently come from two countries more than any others: Iraq and Afghanistan. These people feel that the UK has an obligation to help as a result of the problems it has created for them. As one Iraqi I spoke to put it, “if you’re destroying my house, I don’t have anywhere to sleep, you’ve taken off all the water and power in my house and I’m being hunted by militias, what do you expect me to do? Well you need to give me a room at your house. But you don’t.” And so the laws set up to protect refugees after the Second World War are beginning to be discarded. People arrive here fleeing conflict and persecution, and very often have a lot to offer our country, but are promised nothing but a quick ticket home or a life of misery and destitution. The asylum seekers themselves hold out little hope for change. For the Zimbabwean I spoke to the only answer was change in his homeland. “I hope maybe the deal which is going on back home works, the talks going on between the opposition and the ruling party,” he said. “That’s the only hope I’ve got. I didn’t volunteer to come here to England, it’s just because of the political situation…But given the option that Mugabe is gone, I would rather go back home, because that’s where my life is.” Whether or not Mugabe will soon be gone is an open question. By the time you read this, our Zimbabwean may have been sent back regardless.
Moving to the present day, we see ever more people following Robin Hood’s example, taking matters into their own hands and pursuing what they see as right with full vigour, consequences be damned. Consider for example, Fathers for Justice, the political pressure group working toward stronger paternal rights. It is hard not to sympathise with such a worthy cause despite it being brought to our attention through illegal methods. Upon further research, I uncovered many other modern day Robin Hoods whose diverse interests range from street art to sifting through bins, but who are all deserving of their own Ridley Scott epic.
As residents of the city of Nottingham, we know his legend better than most. A hero of English folklore, Robin Hood is as important today as he ever was. A crusader against social injustice, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, he was a powerful symbol of hope for the downtrodden in medieval times. Whilst today in Nottingham he may be of more value economically speaking, drawing in an estimated 300,000 overseas visitors to the city each year, he continues to be canonised in popular culture. Played by modern screen greats such as Connery, Costner and now Crowe - who is set to embody the icon in Ridley Scott’s upcoming epic, Nottingham - his story of sacrifice for the greater good remains as compelling as ever. Interestingly, however, rumours surrounding the newest Scott-Crowe collaboration suggest a departure from the predictable pantomime characters of The Prince of Thieves; Robin will become the villain while the Sheriff will step into the role of the good guy. On second thought, that is not at all inappropriate. Whether we like it or not, our so-called hero was, after all, an outlaw, a criminal, but as far as popular representations go, Robin has been largely excused of his illegal activities. This would seem to suggest that questionable means can be justified by the achievement of laudable ends.
TALES OF MODERN DAY ROBIN HOODS 18
Our first example was brought to my attention courtesy of comedian, Griff Rhys Jones. In his recent television series documenting the greatest cities of the world, he journeyed to Paris where he met with members of the ‘Untergunther’, a faction of the infamous ‘les UX’, responsible for restoration projects. This clandestine organisation devotes its time to restoring Paris’ extensive heritage sights. Their achievements to date include the renovation of a defunct government bunker and the restoration of a 12th century crypt, as well as parts of the underground Catacombs in the Left Bank area of the city. The organisation’s real coup, however, came after they unveiled the results of a year-long operation in one of the city’s most celebrated monuments. Unbeknownst to employees and security services at the Panthéon, these ‘cultural guerrillas’ were able to establish a workshop (with internet access) on the premises and set about restoring the building’s broken antique clock. Going public only to ensure their work would be maintained, they were subsequently detained by the Parisian authorities, only for the case to be dismissed by a judge after just twenty minutes’ deliberation. So thankfully, this complicated
network of highly-skilled individuals was free to continue being the proverbial thorn in the side of the French police and the Robin to their Sheriff. Whilst restoration is surely a very noble and worthwhile act, there is something to be said for doing something totally new. If, like me, you were ignorant of the existence of ‘clean’ or ‘reverse graffiti’, it is the practice of creating street art on dirty surfaces using cleaning fluids, scrubbing brushes and at its most sophisticated, power hoses. Authorities have reacted in a somewhat bemused fashion to this activity, some insisting it is tantamount to vandalism but unable to arrest an artist for simply cleaning a dirty wall. Notorious clean graffiti artists include Leeds-born Paul ‘Moose’ Curtis and Brazilian Alexandre Orion, both of whom attempt to highlight the pollution, dirt and general lack of cleanliness in urban environments. The latter caused a great deal of discomfort for authorities in Sao Paulo when he began an ambitious reverse graffiti mural of hundreds of skulls in one of the city’s transport tunnels. His image was intended to remind drivers of the harmful effect of their vehicle’s emissions on the environment and his message didn’t go unnoticed. After days of work, with police unable to stop him permanently, authorities were forced to clean the entire tunnel to eradicate this provocative image. Furthermore, in a preventative measure, the thoroughly embarrassed authorities took the decision to clean every single tunnel in the city. Though not technically a criminal pursuit, although undoubtedly disruptive and subversive, clean graffiti artists operate in intense conditions, aware that their ‘art’, like in Orion’s case, will most likely be removed. Such dedication and commitment to the diffusion of Green ideals should without a doubt be commended. Staying with the theme of
street art, it is unlikely that many are ignorant of the existence of Banksy. The graffiti artist who to this day remains anonymous began his career in the 1990s, in his hometown of Bristol, but perfected his easily recognisable stencilling technique more recently and in more varied locations. Original Banksy works can now be seen in London, Los Angeles, New Orleans and even on the wall segregating Israeli and Palestinian territory. Often satirical in nature, Banksy’s graffiti has been applauded by the general public, although opposed by authorities, who have removed several of his images - notably ‘Pulp Fiction’ which was removed by Transport for London in April, 2007. In his old stomping grounds of Bristol, however, the council has elected to preserve what they ascertain to be original Banksy works due to their important contribution to Bristol’s revival as a young and vibrant destination. Given that it is now the setting for popular teen drama Skins, their strategy seems to be paying off. Similarly, tourists in Paris are now able to take alternative walking tours to explore the urban art scene of the city, which is home to artists such as the dubiously named ‘Jeff Aerosol’. Though not necessarily an operation intended to benefit the greater good, such works are a perfect example of freedom of expression in practice. Using this medium, Banksy and his European counterparts have not only brought politics to a new and younger audience, they have generated revenue by enhancing the culture of their environment. A less artistic pastime is that of ‘gleaning’, brought to the world’s attention thanks to a film released in 2000 by French filmmaker, Agnès Varda. Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse (in English ‘The Gleaners and I’), documented individuals rummaging through bins, crates left over from street markets, supermarket surplus stores and garbage dumps, and
appropriating the discarded items that no one else wanted. As bizarre as ‘gleaning’ might sound, there is a sensible rationale at its core. Supermarkets dispose of huge amounts of food that have extended their display date though are still edible and households throw away furniture that is in perfect working order every time they redecorate. As a society we are horrendously wasteful, so it makes sense that if someone can derive utility from something we no longer want or need, it should be recycled. Yet to salvage items from someone else’s garbage is considered a criminal offence under Section 1 of the Theft Act, and though an unlikely eventuality, equivalent to a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment. A friend recently told me that a form of ‘gleaning’ is happening right here in Nottingham; groups use the leftover Supermarket produce to create gourmet meals, in order to emphasise just how inefficiently modern society utilises its resources. Although it’s not something I can see catching on, it at least serves as a reminder to dispose of our rubbish responsibly and attempt to reduce wastage. The most satisfying aspect of this research was discovering that in large part these promoters of subversive culture, our modern day Robin Hoods, tend to shun the limelight. Admittedly, it’s all too easy to class all celebrities who actively engage in charitable works or promulgate green behaviours as usurers, especially given the good work and influence that stems from it, but there is something refreshing about genuine attempts at preserving anonymity. In today’s modern society, where tyranny and injustice are generally no longer tolerated, these contemporary Robin Hoods and their lack of ulterior motives have become our powerful symbol of hope.
“Well, I was mending this car you see, I’m like a trainee mechanic. And then the clutch cable just snapped and broke my two fingers here and snapped this…see here, this tendon in my wrist. That’s the lump there.” He points to the swelling on the inside of his left wrist, visible just below the dirty tissue he’s wrapped around his damaged, blue hand. Blood runs from the lump along his arm to where the sleeve of his jumper is pulled up. “Could you spare any change perhaps, ‘cos I need to get to a hospital and I’d heard of you guys…” It’s Monday night in Nottingham city centre and four of us are heading out on the Soup Run to the usual homeless haunts to hand out sandwiches, drinks, fruit and other essentials to those classed by society as ‘less fortunate’. As the man’s story unfolds, the events become more and more unbelievable and we realise that he is a heroin addict whose latest hit has just gone horribly wrong. As we don’t carry money on us - as a matter of principle we can only give him something to eat and drink and direct him to the local walk-in clinic, where medical help is available. By this time our other ‘regulars’ have turned up, throwing plastic bags and ‘Big Issue’ satchels down with the usual
chorus of “Oh about time! Where have you guys been?! I’ve been looking everywhere!” This week someone has donated a selection of scarves and gloves, and angry voices start to rise as some of the men grab more than their fair share. “He’s not even f**king homeless, he isn’t,” one of them grumbles in my ear. The people that turn up for a free meal and, more often than not, a good chat are a complete mixture of genuine car park-hopping homeless, squatting addicts, individuals with learning and social difficulties, and those that just have no real home-life in which they feel comfortable or secure and have therefore been forced to seek their company elsewhere. As we stand there, the usual evening traffic of people continues to walk past. One of our guys attempts to sell a ‘Big Issue’ whilst balancing a cup of coffee in the crook of his arm. We do attract looks from the hurrying passersby, and I suppose we are an unconventional gathering, but a couple of curious glances is the extent of their interaction. A middle-aged man stands slightly apart from the group that has gathered around the benches upon which our bags are sitting. I go up to him and we start talking about his story, and how he
ended up on the streets. After a run-in with the authorities he was forcibly evicted from his council house. At around the same time he fell ill, lost his job and suddenly found himself with no alternative but a life on the streets. “Now I don’t have anyone. No one to look after. Guess I just have to look after myself…but I’m not doing that very well, am I?” The stories vary as do the reasons for being homeless. Will then turns up, kicking a plastic cup with vigour into the centre of the group. He is a ‘Big Issue’ seller and a heavy heroin addict. A few weeks ago he had shown me a track mark that he was worried about. “How’s your hand today?” “Yeah, well I don’t really know…haven’t gone to the doctor yet.” He takes off his gloves to show an unhealthy swelling on the back of his hand that has grown since the last time I saw it. When asked about it, he is very open about his addiction, as a lot of the guys are. The official approach to serious drug addiction is little short of appalling. In comparison to certain other countries our government refuses to view it as a social problem, and have therefore baulked at suggestions of, for example, medically-prescribed heroin, which has proven success rates in the Netherlands and Australia. “You know, if I could get
off it I would. You just can’t understand if you haven’t been addicted”, Will tells us. “Give us a bed, a roof over our heads and heating and then we’d manage it,” his selling partner, adds. Especially at this time of year when the temperature drops the incentive to get rid of their only chance of escaping and forgetting is non-existent. The food has started to run out and we pack up our bags to move on to the next location. Will and a few of the other guys walk with us. “Want to hear a good joke?”, Will asks. “Right, what happened to the man who was caught stealing rhubarb?…He got taken into custardy!” We all groan and Will falls around laughing. We walk up from Broadmarsh shopping centre and usually end up around Rock City. Today we haven’t seen Rachel, or her boyfriend, Nick. Finding women on the streets is far rarer than men, but every now and again one turns up, usually in desperate need of female hygiene products that are, for lack of money, practically impossible to get hold of. It is, as you can imagine, much harder for a woman to survive alone living rough and it also much easier for them to find an alternative, more often than not in the form of prostitution. When we don’t have anything else to hand out and the guys
n w o D d an
have drifted off to their various haunts, we head home - through the hoards of semi-naked Oceana-goers, past the drunken groups of students wandering through market square, along the roads lined with shops displaying a wealth of unnecessary stuff, to our warm houses that have beds, showers, and heating. The reality check provided by an evening like this is really overwhelming, and it’s one that we could all do with. When you talk to the guys on the street, their stories range from shocking to fantastical to hilarious. General social perception tends to group the ‘less fortunate’ into one undefined, partially frowned-upon, partially pitied entity. Yet once you talk to the individuals, and listen to how and what they want to tell about themselves, this entity reveals itself as nothing but a comfortable fiction to categorise those that haven’t had such a successful climb on the capitalist ladder. I don’t know if handing out a couple of sandwiches helps on the grander scale of things, and I’m not even sure that half the guys we meet don’t just see us as a patronising group of students. However, I do know that spending a few pounds on a loaf of bread and cheese and spending a few hours out of the allconsuming student bubble can lead to one of the more interesting evenings you’ll have.
How to bridge the gap Rather than giving a few coins to the homeless people you encounter, it might be worth considering the following: •They always need clothing, especially now during the colder months, so giving them a pair of gloves or a hat is a good alternative to money. •Buying a coffee or a sandwich is another way to provide a homeless person with a basic necessity. •If you don’t have much money to spare, strike up a conversation with one of the guys. A lot of them feel socially alienated, but you can help change this just by showing a bit of interest and spending a few minutes listening to what they have to say.
Leftism None of us here in the venerable institution of Nottingham can be a stranger to deadlines. The coming and going of deadlines, numerous times per term, leaves us a simple ultimatum: meet them or pay the penalty. And meet them for the most part we do. There isn’t really another choice. We can’t negotiate them, we can be certain that whatever department we belong to will enforce them, and so like it or not we have to knuckle down and get the job done. The pressure of fixed deadlines and the credibility of their being enforced is what gets people working; if we were instead given ‘suggestions’, ‘targets’ or ‘recommendations’ for hand-in dates, I think it’s safe to say the number of essays given in on time would swiftly drop. The logic of applying deadlines at university is self-evident. So why is it that on another matter in which there is far greater need for deadlines to be kept – the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible – the rhetoric we hear is still one of suggestions and targets? The Turner report on climate change, published in December, concluded that our target for UK greenhouse gas emissions, in light of the global situation, needs to be a reduction of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, and that this can be achieved with a commitment of around 1% of GDP. But without any enforceability, the target risks being missed like so many previous deals on global emissions. As economics students will tell you, in collective-action problems like making a global reduction in CO2, the incentive is always to ‘free-ride’ – to commit less of one’s own time or resources in the hope that others will pick up the slack. Most systems can sustain a certain amount of free-riding, but if we all try to free-ride then the system collapses. What we need to see is some form of accountability to make sure that emissions targets can become deadlines. Whilst there is no power above the state which can enforce proposals, we need more accountability between states if this problem is to be solved – particularly accountability to the states which stand to suffer the most from climate change while having made a negligible contribution to the problem. The penalty to the world will be so great if the coming deadline is missed, that we can accept no more pleas for ‘extenuating circumstances’. Corin Faife
Je Ne Regrette Rien Spending a year abroad, or a semester on Erasmus, can be a truly enriching experience. However, at some point, this bubble has to burst, and the clouds of Nottingham await. I spent my year in Vienna and Paris. Swapping the Arc de Triomphe for south gate, the Champs Elysees for Derby Road and the Eiffel tower for that red thing on Jubilee campus is a less than enticing prospect. On my return, I certainly felt older, wiser, and generally more European. In a word: better. Surely this mundane life of a Nottingham student was far beneath me and my new-found recycling, ham and cheese for breakfast, bike-riding ways.
So, English cafés and supermarkets have their advantages. The cold reality of literature reviews, seminars and academic journals, however, hides its silver lining slightly more effectively. I know that I’d rather be in a bar with my half-litre of Kronenbourg 1664 than panicking in Hallward, 12 hours before an essay deadline! Not that the only things involved in a year abroad are cafés and bars, but, of course, there is always the excuse that you are in them so as to “get to know the culture,” whereas doing the same thing during in your final year at uni is simply putting off that essay you can’t start and spending money you don’t have – and you know it!
By Mark Daniels
Being back in England, it must be said, does have its advantages. It is rather comforting to know that you can walk into a café and order a sandwich without having to stand outside it for 5 minutes, trying to remember the word for sweet corn or having to stand at the counter repeating your badly pronounced version of “tuna mayo” 10 times. Even better is actually winding up with one tuna mayo and sweet corn sandwich, as opposed to 4 mochas, or whatever it is the waitress has interpreted your order as. It’s also really nice to be able to go into a supermarket that looks like it has been cleaned at some point in the last 3 months, and in which if you ask for anything remotely “specialist” (on the continent this apparently includes such traditional British classics as pitta breads, humus and couscous) you don’t get sent to the “international shelf” which has one foodstuff from every country in the world, as if only built to fit in with some new EU regulation, all at 3 times the price you’d pay in England!
Coming back to uni for the first time felt incredibly strange. Actually, my main sentiment was relief at having made it, due to looking the wrong way and having been nearly hit by three cars en route to a lecture. The campus seemed not to have changed at all. It’s somewhat disheartening to think that the whole university hasn’t somehow frozen or collapsed in your absence. Then, of course, I walked into Hallward Library, and realised that not only had life gone on, but that it had had the audacity to change, without asking my permission, or giving me a chance to complain and/or be amazed by it. I must admit to feeling pretty old and foolish trying to go and check out a book at the desk with a real person, and gazing at the large screens downstairs, as if I’d just walked into a Star Wars film! This must be how my Mum feels when I keep telling her to order her Tom Jones Greatest Hits CD online!
What I can say, however, is that re-entering the bubble that is Nottingham University life undeniably exposes you to a twinge of nostalgia, and once the rights of passage have been undertaken (standing in the queue for Ocean, the queue to order food at Mooch, the queue to get cash out on campus.... perhaps more aptly named the queues of passage!), that Nottingham student identity, the very one you felt was ever so far behind you, seems to have never left you at all. It welcomes you back with open arms! Older and wiser I may feel at times, but let’s just say you’ll still catch me stumbling down Lenton Boulevard at 3 in the morning, half-eaten kebab in one hand, the other wiping chilli sauce from whatever remains of the fancydress prescribed by the evening. An Eiffel Tower it may be lacking, but Nottingham, we love you all the same!
is BARACK OBAMA the ANTICHRIST? Like pornographers, social junkies and gamers, extremist groups and conspiracy theorists have found their home on the World Wide Web. They enjoy a level of anonymity unheard of within the mediums they use to promote themselves, but can hardly be described as masterminds if their spelling is anything to go by – unless it is but another layer of their smoke screen. I had always presumed the self proclaimed freedom fighters had currency only within a minority subclass of the disillusioned; and while this is true in a sense, conspiracy theories, and particularly theories endorsed by fringe ideology can carry surprising weight. I was drawn into the world of the conspiracy theorists as the U.S presidential campaign was in its final stages. While perusing my way through Youtube I found my number one, favourite conspiracy theory of all time - Obama. The OFFICIAL ‘Antichrist’. It’s had almost 90,000 views on Youtube, and typing ‘Obama Antichrist’ into google will get you 938,000 hits. There are a plethora of similar videos on youtube, each pushing the boundaries of sanity in a slightly different way with tens of thousand of views in their own right. The Obama Antichrist theory will have been floating around in the ether for far longer than it seems possible, but Obama’s infernal qualities really came into question in the light of a McCain campaign ad, which looked to portray Obama as a deluded messiah. The ad, entitled ‘The One,’ would probably have simply been glossed over by most voters and analysts, but it’s emotive religious rhetoric and imagery, mostly borrowed from the ‘Left Behind Series,’ particularly familiar to many American evangelicals, seems to have been a nod to Christian conspiracy theorists to unleash hell. Like all conspiracy theories, the Obama
Antichrist theory is based upon what its supporters call irrefutable fact. What of course makes the Obama Antichrist theory a conspiracy theory is that it is based upon refutable fact, or in this case what most would consider issues of faith - fairly cowboy interpretations of Christian doctrine. The theorists cite one or more of the apocalyptic visions found in the book of Daniel, and most of the book of Revelation. Some of the Obama Antichrist theories go for typical fire and brimstone, others for the creation of a new world order in which man proclaims himself God, and others claim Obama is just the tip of the iceberg, the first in a long succession of devils. It’s not surprising that stuff like this can be found on the Internet; I imagine most celebrities have been called the antichrist by the American Religious Right, but what makes the Obama case so unsettling is the amount of mainstream media coverage that the theory, purveyed by a fringe minority, has received. All the major American networks covered the piece, and further information on the issue can be found on sites for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and The Independent. The antichrist theory’s reliance on faith does probably mean it will never become as prevalent as other more infamous theories, but it is not the issue of its longevity which is worrying.
story -- Fox’s monumentally popular, but equally controversial flagship political show. Bill O’Reilly, the outspoken conservative host, interviewed Jeremy Glick, the son of a victim of the attacks on The World Trade Centre, who claimed the American government was partly to blame for his father’s death because they trained and sponsored the mujahidin in Afghanistan during the SovietAfghani war. The following day, O’Reilly defamed Glick as an unpatriotic conspiracy theorist. Shows like the O’Reilly Factor have continued to target their opponents with emotive slander - last month accusing the American Civil Liberties Union of supporting terrorism. Bill O’Reilly, and right-wing media pundits like him, are more and more frequently using excessive rhetoric with heavily weighted negative connotations to knowingly misinform an audience which watches their news coverage exclusively. With the U.S presidential election over, and American politics slowly crawling back into its dark and dusty corner, if this has done nothing for you, at least check out the stuff on Youtube -- O’Reilly really does seem a bitter, angry misanthrope; a raven’s talon scraping the face of respectability and deceny. By Callum Paton
Increasingly, the incredibly popular rightwing media in the US is discrediting their critics by labelling them conspiracy theorists; using the weighted term to implicitly link those claiming Obama is the antichrist, and conspiracy theorists like them, with legitimate critics. The most prominent example of such a denunciation occurred in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, on the O’Reilly Factor -- which incidentally covered more than its fair share of the Obama Antichrist
The Return of the Chastity Belt
The youth of the sixties were thrown into a world of indulgence and free love, but by the eighties teens were told that sex would lead to AIDS and certain death. Even for us kids of the nineties and noughties sex comes back to haunt us, and the wise sages of the tabloid media routinely warn of our ‘culture of excess’ leading to a nation of obese Vicky-Pollard lookalikes, fornicating at the drop of a bottle of VK Blue. I read of a woman who, to combat this lax approach to sex, became celibate for a year. She said it was an eye-opener; she appreciated men more emotionally, reassessed her past relationships and even realised that she had doomed many of them to failure by having sex too soon. What a load of balls, I thought. Surely abstinence would do nothing but make girls unnecessarily reliant on Ann Summer’s latest electrical appliances? Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it, said the Impact staff. And so myself and another brave writer, in the true spirit of investigative journalism, donned our metaphorical chastity belts and threw away the key (only for a month – my commitment to Impact isn’t that strong.) One of us in a relationship, and one single but very much sexually active, we set out to see how abstinence would affect our lives - whether we would change socially, and perhaps even become better people.
My irritation at the perceived absurdity of celibacy led to a slight, er, mistake on day 19, but none of us are perfect and I tried to persevere, despite my growing frustration (peeling labels off bottles is one thing, gnawing the legs off lecture desks is a whole different ball game). I began to feel like a 14-year old boy – I couldn’t focus on anything because I was thinking too much about sex. Thank God I’m not male; I would have had a permanent erection for the past two weeks. I wouldn’t say I was particularly promiscuous, though on occasion I have had amazing sex with men who I knew weren’t potential boyfriends. But as a rule I am a hopeless romantic; I genuinely believe in happy endings, I cry at ‘Love, Actually’, and if Mr Darcy was to tell me he ardently admired and loved me I’d probably orgasm on the spot. I know that if you want a decent relationship you should celebrate love, not sex. But by making sex something forbidden, you give it a centre stage that it shouldn’t really have. In a happy relationship it’s just the icing on the cake - but fucking awesome icing.
There’s only one place I regularly scream ‘Oh my God!’, and it definitely isn’t in church
Case Study 1: In a Relationship Representing the ‘healthy relationship’ side of the experiment, I had to inform my boyfriend of his impending sex-less month. The look on his face changed gradually from laughing disbelief, to incredulity, to sheer horror. It’s not like we’re reliant on sex, but it’s a pretty big change. But for a month, how hard could it be? Going celibate made me ponder why, for some people, this would be the norm. The concept of waiting to have sex with someone you’re going out with has always baffled me. You like each other, you want to have sex, you assume you’re going to do it eventually – why not seize the day, for God’s sake? Perhaps I was jumping the gun a little by sleeping with my boyfriend six months before we started going out (no pun intended), but I don’t think this has affected us negatively. Waiting begs the question of what is ‘too soon’; sex on the 5th date is fine, but on the 4th and he’ll never call you again? Admittedly, I’ve never really tried waiting, so I suppose
The thing that annoys me most is that it’s always up to the girl to keep her knickers firmly on. Surely we’re past the days when cheating husbands and errant sons could use the excuse, “But I’m a man. I have needs.” I’m female and I like sex. That’s the whole point. The days of lying back and thinking of England are long gone. Since it’s firmly established that the female orgasm far surpasses the male version, it’s insane to expect us to be the ones who resist.
this month could be classed as a slightly delayed attempt.
So as this educational month draws to a close, I’m not convinced of the power of celibacy to add a higher spiritual or emotional dimension to a relationship. A Christian friend once confided in me that she and her religious friends talk about sex constantly, and I definitely realised that when you actively try to give something up you think about it more than ever. She also laughingly added, “Why do you think Christians get married so young?” This highlights the very problem with chastity: you’ll rush into a marriage for all the wrong reasons, hit 30 and wonder why the hell you thought you could spend the rest of your life with that person. It’s not a bad thing to want to get laid, and it’s not the be-all-andend-all of existence, or even love. And so at the risk of being slightly offensive, I’ll end by advising against chastity. It’s frustrating, mentally damaging, makes you think about sex more than ever, and is ultimately pointless. The orgasm is a fantastic thing. Go have one. Preferably in company.
and Celibate Case Study 2: Single A few weeks ago a woman named Mabel Meadmore, at the grand old age of 105, declared that the secret to a long and happy life was celibacy. According to Mabel she was always ‘too busy’ to partake in sexual activity. One word Meady: bollocks. How busy, exactly, can one person be? Clinton definitely found time, and even Stephen Hawking probably has a way to get a regular fix. My favourite story of the month was that of the disgraced vicar Chris Brain. Allegedly Mr. Brain, dubbed ‘Rave Rev’, gave a rather different meaning to the phrase ‘Nine O’clock Service’. His unorthodox preaching involved adultery, light shows, bikini-clad dancers, and electro music. Chris, I take my hat off to you. I haven’t been so full of admiration since my mate drank a bottle of wine in three seconds. Do you remember your first kiss? (If this doesn’t apply to you, Mabel’s website is www.sortitout.com) Your lips met, it was confusing and weird but ultimately you were left feeling happy, satisfied but most of all: cool. So there you are, the Don. You strut around as if your glance alone is enough for someone to know. This is the best feeling in the world. Until it gets really sodding boring. You spend hours eating each other’s faces and then one day you think of something better to do. Enter the world of sex. For many of us, the first time was distinctly shit. Bear with it, we thought - if this doesn’t get good we have been grossly misinformed. And my God, it didn’t disappoint. And yet, some people intentionally go without. What follows is an account of my attempt to live like Mabel… Week one: Enthusiasm. Have you ever had one of those moments of enlightenment so intense that you just have to make a list? These are usually due to a new and very definite gym routine or some ridiculous diet consisting of two Ryvitas a day. This was one of those moments. I watched Rocky for some inspiration. Dedication, that’s all I needed. Week two: Anger. The Church condemns sex before marriage. Most of us are gracious enough to sit back and say fair enough, your choice; in fact many of us would even applaud its purity. But really, it’s terrible for people to feel racked with guilt after performing a natural act, which they’re forbidden from doing only because of this outdated concept of pre-marital chastity which was only bloody well introduced, thousands of years ago, to stop the spread of syphilis and lend assurance to families’ claims over land. Repression of sexual urges is not healthy – just look at Catholic priests! What if I walked up to a Christian and declared that they should definitely get a shag now and again? (Obviously not Rave Rev – legend.) I would probably be drowned. There’s only one place I regularly scream ‘Oh my God!’, and it definitely isn’t in church. Week three: Insanity. I’ve done something terrible. I decided that a night out with the girls was in order. Unfortunately they were all
going on beautifully romantic dates with their boyfriends; bloody typical. After a bottle of red I decided that actually I didn’t need anyone else to help me have a good time (not in that way, the editors ruled out everything of such sordid nature.) By the time I’d finished off some left over Lambrini and half a bottle of Becks I was stumbling out of the door and towards the Bag. With severely blurred vision and a sex drive to rival Ron Jeremy’s, I honed in on a target: my tutor. Cue me sauntering over to him, slapping my hand against the wall next to his head, edging my face alongside his to slur, “Hey you. How’s about me and you do something about my grades?” Week Four: Acceptance. I got a third. This experience was supposed to make me see whether or not I would become a better person. I haven’t. Maybe Mabel was right, maybe I could live longer without sex. Maybe if I didn’t smoke I wouldn’t get lung cancer and maybe if I didn’t drink I wouldn’t get liver failure. But you know what Mabel, I’ve done it your way for a month, and after a minute of deep contemplation, I’m off for a shag.
Both writers wished to remain anonymous (for some reason).
A Day in the Life of a Nottingham City Police Officer
By Will Vickers
or SOCO, have been there for some time already. Inside the house, a camera flashes intermittently as hydroponic equipment and brown bags full of cannabis plants are piled up in the front room. We both have to wait outside in the freezing cold until SOCO have finished, and we’re stood there for a good half hour or so. Just as I start to lose all feeling in my toes, they begin to pass the extremely fragrant evidence out to PC Sissons to load into the van. It’s not long before we’re heading back to Central in perhaps the only situation where it’s permissible to be within a few feet of both a Police officer and several thousand pounds’ worth of a controlled substances. A few hours into the shift and I can’t help but think that we haven’t had the blue lights on yet - it’s all been fairly quiet. PC Sissons agrees, although he wouldn’t use the same terms: ‘We like to say “Q” instead, just so as not to tempt fate.’ But then, forget the blue lights, surely it’s time to eat? This is an eight hour shift after all. ‘We always aim to try and get some sort of food during the day,’ but aiming for it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. As we pause at a crossing in the centre of town whilst on the way to the nearest Subway, all thoughts of food evaporate in seconds as someone knocks on the window of the van. ‘I don’t know if you know, but there’s a scooter round the corner that’s on fire and it looks like it’s going to blow up.’
few weeks ago on a chilly November afternoon, I found myself standing at a window of the ‘resource room’ in Nottingham’s Central Police Station, looking out at the city below. As the light dimmed outside, quiet conversation took place between officers about the briefing we had all just had. It had been a bit like a seminar; fluorescent light, a projection screen, notepads at the ready, and that inescapable pairing of pine-finish tables and blue carpet that has a familiar feel about it. But the talking-points did not: bail checks, cautionable shoplifters, burglaries to investigate, and even secret santa (‘I think we might increase it to eight pounds this year’). That, and the realisation that I’m the only person in the room not wearing a stab-proof vest and carrying a telescopic baton. For the next eight hours, I would be following Police Constable Alex Sissons in the City Centre and Canning Circus areas of Nottingham for his evening shift. I would be privy to a world normally seen from an untold number of perspectives other than the Police Officers themselves: as suspect, victim, lawabider, news media, political party, and even from the point of view of films like ‘Hot Fuzz’ (‘Have you ever ever fired two
guns whilst jumping through the air?’ … ‘No.’) What, I had thought on the way to the station, were the Police actually like when they’re at work on an ordinary day? As we climbed into the Police van I realised that there was no way of knowing what was ahead of us. Only one way to find out, I thought. We’re out on patrol, and it’s only a few minutes until the first job comes in over the radio: ‘They’ve asked us to go to a cannabis factory…and we’re going down there just to help them shift it all’. Stuck in traffic on the way there, I take the opportunity to ask PC Sissons how well-behaved (or not) the student community is, and whether he has arrested many students in the past. ‘Not many, but we do end up arresting a few. Normally it’s drink-related: they’ll be on a night out and they’ll have done something that’s out of character for them’. But, as these students come round in the morning, they often get upset about what they’ve done, and what effect that might have on their career prospects. One third-year student who I talked to only fully grasped the significance of what had happened when he was released from Police custody after going through the system of questioning, talks with a solicitor and fingerprinting. Fortunately for him, he was released with a caution. It’s not long before we arrive at the cannabis factory or ‘grow’, at an address in Beeston. The Scene of Crime officers,
Blue lights. Sirens. Hasty radio communication. The sight of a scooter on fire in the middle of the road, spewing a bright arc of flaming petrol from its side, in front of gawping onlookers watching everything unfold on the video screens of their camera phones. PC Sissons is the first on the scene and has to deal with everyone standing around. ‘Can everybody keep back, please!’ The force calls it an RTC, or road traffic collision. To me it looked like a mess. Once the fire crews and paramedics have come and gone, it’s almost an hour before we can do the same. We have to wait until the traffic has been diverted and the charred wreck of the scooter removed. But it’s not over yet - we need to get to the QMC to get details from the injured driver about what’s happened. PC Sissons thinks trips to Subway might be cursed - something always seems to go wrong on the way there. ‘Chips might have been a better idea.’ Once we arrive at the QMC, we are taken straight into the accident ward where the injured driver is. Preliminary questions along with a search of his belongings lead to some suspicion. After an hour or two he’s discharged, but he is immediately placed under arrest for possession with intent to supply and driving while disqualified. This means a trip to Nottingham’s main custody suite, Bridewell.
formidable security barriers and a slew of CCTV cameras. We park and enter through a discrete door on the side of the building to be met by a smell of disinfectant that only barely covers a caustic odour of urine and sweat. A regiment of custody sergeants peer at us over the booking-in desk. ‘He’s not from the dark side, is he?’ says one, looking at me, thinking I’m a lawyer. An easy mistake to make, seeing as everyone else in there is either in handcuffs or uniform. After half an hour our suspect is booked in and, unlike him, we’re free to go. ‘It’s always one of two things in there. It’s either quiet or heaving. It can take sometimes up to an hour due to the number of prisoners that might be in there.’ Things do seem to take a while, and my time shadowing PC Sissons has come to an end, but his shift isn’t even close to over yet: there’s still a search of the suspect’s address to carry out and he reckons he’ll be finishing around two in the morning, a full three hours after his shift was supposed to end. ‘An average weekday, to be honest. You can’t take any one day to be the same. With this job, you do not know what will happen next.’ Earlier, when I had watched all three emergency services attend the RTC, things seemed relatively simple for the paramedics and fire services. They did their job and left as you might expect them to, whilst curious onlookers enjoyed what, to them, was little more than mild entertainment. But it’s a different story for the Police – when things really start to go wrong, they’re the ones who have to stay behind and pick up the pieces and try and get everything back on track. For PC Sissons, this meant no food or a moment’s rest for at least ten hours. ‘It’s part of the job, and you kind of get used to it really.’
Before spending a shift with an officer, the Police always seemed an unusual lot to me, shrouded in mystery and highvisibility jackets. Now, I can’t shake the idea that they are an element of society all too frequently taken for granted. They have to clear up when things go wrong, try to ignore their hunger and the cold, and generally put up with what the day throws at them. I had been looking for an average workday in the force, but I left Central Police Station that evening with the impression that there’s no such thing as ‘average’, for them. I certainly wasn’t expecting cannabis factories, burning scooters and a foiled trip to Subway but, I suppose, they weren’t either. All they can do is to try and keep things in order, and for that we should be thankful.
I can’t shake the idea that they are an element of society all too frequently taken for granted
The ‘scooter man’ was later bailed pending further enquiries.
Situated near to the train station, Bridewell custody suite is a grim, unmarked building surrounded by a tall fence,
Yes, it’s an unoriginal headline. Yes, you may think I’m nineteen going on ninety. And yes, you will scan over this article because Christmas is over. However, do you remember when Christmas was about opening up presents containing Barbies and Action Men, eating so much turkey that you were sick, and watching terrible, terrible festive television? Not anymore: Christmas is hassle, pressure, and complexity. We actually have to buy presents for people, most of whom we do not like, and have to spend the entire day with family, who force us to watch the Queen’s speech. What happened to the magic of Christmas? Wasn’t ignorance bliss?
Arguably, I could pinpoint that day as the day I lost all hope in life. I hadn’t yet been to Lapland, but why would I go now, he’s not fucking real, I thought. My love for reindeers, Santa and his helpers had now turned to anger and resentment. I felt as if every time I had sat on some fat, random bloke’s lap, I was being laughed at and mocked. However, I was not allowed to wallow in my own sad self-pity; once I had been made privy to the truth, I was in and part of the sham. Gone were the Christmas holidays where I could sit at home watching Pokemon and Sabrina the Teenage Witch (you know you did too); I had become another cog in the misery machine, another child that was dragged around shopping centres and high streets and forced to arbitrarily say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to potential presents. Christmas: over.
I apologise for a long and laboured digression, but there is a pertinent point: why does the magic of Christmas die when the present bearer is actually your
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mum and dad? Why does losing a tooth become less fun when you know it’s your parents who are putting the money under your pillow? Why is Easter rubbish without the Easter Bunny? (To be fair, the Easter Bunny is the reject of the mythical world of children’s fantasy figures, so ignore the last example.) The magic, that warm feeling inside your stomach that these figures created, is hard to replicate. There was no greater feeling than thinking that Santa knew I wanted the Power Rangers Megazord, but the realisation I also had both AA batteries for the toy was the icing on the cake. Yet for some reason, that feeling is no longer there when Santa is revealed to be a fictitious creation of the adult world, who builds kids up only to knock them down. It’s because Santa gives children hope; he supplies the magic that fuels Christmas. The idea of a man that delivers presents to every child on earth and that keeps tabs on them throughout the year is a wonderful thing. Every kid was probably a bastard between the ages of four and eight, but Santa gave kids optimism that despite all their wrong-doings, all the times they smashed windows or urinated everywhere except the toilet, they could still get a present. Equally, the Tooth Fairy’s eBay-like quality of taking a
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Presents, gorging and innocence versus shopping, cooking and responsibility. James Adams-Pace asks: when did all the fun get sucked out of Christmas?
To begin with, I shall recollect the day Santa Claus, Saint Nick, the old guy from the Coke adverts, whatever you called him, died. Sadly, I must admit, I was eleven. I was about to start secondary school and my mum thought it better that I did not face social exclusion by being the only fool to believe in Santa. Sadly, she was wrong on two accounts: firstly, it destroyed every Christmas since that day; and secondly, it didn’t quell any social exclusion.
useless good and replacing it with cash made kids happy. For some reason it just wasn’t the same when it was your dad giving you those two pound coins. I don’t intend to give answers as to why and where the magic comes from. I merely want to pass on a message of hope. Life is too short; yeah it may be good to be responsible and have adult chores like earning money and procreation, but let’s not forget the kid stuff. Don’t be the parent that tells their kid it was you who snuck into their bedroom when they were five years old – not only will that child grow up more paranoid than Howard Hughes, but it will let the magic live on. After all, we can only defecate in our nappies and suck dummies for so long, but don’t cut that time short. There’s plenty of time for the misery of Christmas shopping, wrapping and cooking. I urge you to pass on my message to future generations: don’t be afraid to be the absolute legend in the playground who, at the age of ten, still maintains it was Santa who made his Chopper bike. The day Father Christmas is unveiled as your dad is the day the kid inside you loses a bit of its soul. Next Christmas, pretend your presents are from FC; yeah, you may get some weird looks, and yeah, you may be back in Nottingham sooner than you thought, but my word, it’ll feel good.
Nottingham Uni. Nottingham Relationship Status:
According to statistics, we spend around twenty minutes on Facebook per day. Speak for yourself. Triple that estimate and you’re closer to my own average. In the past year I seem to have developed a new affliction; I sit at a computer and before I know it my fingers are on autopilot and my Facebook homepage pops up invitingly before my eyes, simply begging me to indulge in hours of futile stalking. It is due to this obsession with online social networking that the Facebook Profile Picture has become an indispensible presentation of yourself to the outside world. It is true that the Profile Picture says a lot of about you, so careful selection is crucial.
ask…’ Or the funny fancy dress effort will ensure onlookers appreciate your wild side; a photo of you cross-dressing, or kitted out as your favourite super-hero never fails.
Your first option is the aesthetically pleasing photo. After all, wanting the world to think you’re beautiful is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m thinking…black and white photo, wide eyed and coyly peeking out from under your eyelashes, dressed up for a night out, drinking but not yet drunk, smiling but not too much. Or the old MySpace classic: arm outstretched holding the camera above you, head tilted down and heavily made-up eyes closed in an expression of troubled contemplation.
Then again maybe the elusive and inviting ‘?’ accompanying your name will leave people desperate to know more about you. On the other hand it could lead people to the conclusion you’ve got absolutely no mates, so no one takes any pictures of you.
Perhaps the wild look is more your style; you could choose a photo of you jumping elegantly, yet ‘insanely’ into the air, with the backdrop of a perfect beach that screams ‘crazy gap year escapades, don’t
If you’re in the process of applying for jobs, be aware of potential employers perusing your profile for signs of unsuitability. In this case choose a photo that says ‘I’m reliable, hard-working and sensible.’ Remove the photo of you from last Friday slumped faced down on the floor, accompanied by a questionable puddle by your open mouth and perhaps replace it with your demure Graduation photo.
And after all this the question still remains, how many is too many? I can conclude that over a hundred profile pictures leaves you in the unchartered territory of self-centred vanity. Even better to keep the tally below twenty to give the impression of a modest, unassuming and approachable individual. Hattie Hamilton
Conchiglie with Roasted Vegetable and Chorizo Sauce (Serves 5-6) This is a delicious and easy to cook dish that’s bound to impress. It serves up to six people, which is not bad considering that all together it costs just over a fiver. Ingredients 3 x red peppers, diced into small pieces (71p - £1.42 for 6) 450g fresh tomatoes, diced into small pieces (61p) 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (33p) 140g tomato puree (25p) 4 cloves of garlic, crushed (around 17p 34p for one) 1kg Conchiglie pasta (pasta shells) (£1.24)
150g diced chorizo (£1.99) Instructions Preheat oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/ gas mark 4. Toss the diced fresh tomatoes and red peppers in olive oil and place on a baking tray. Then roast for approx. 40 minutes. Shallow fry the diced chorizo and crushed garlic in a frying pan (on moderate heat) in the meantime. Chorizo can be eaten raw, so it is only necessary to cook it for a few minutes. Fry the garlic until goldenbrown. Place the roasted vegetables in a saucepan. Add the chorizo and garlic, and then tomato puree (according to
taste). Then throw a tin of chopped tomatoes into the mix. This is the best and not to mention cheapest way to bulk up the meal, without detracting from the taste. Put a lid on the saucepan and leave it on a low/simmering heat for 45 minutes or so, stirring every so often. In the meantime, add 1kg of conchiglie (pasta shells) to a large saucepan full of boiling water. The length of time it takes will be dependent on whether the pasta is fresh or dried, so follow the instructions on the packet. Drain the pasta. Now either mix the sauce in with the pasta shells, or serve the two separately; it’s up to you. Enjoy! Jonathan Tye
Healthy Living Week
Refreshers’ Fayre Tuesday 27th January, 10am-4pm, Portland Building Missed out on joining the Students’ Union’s sports clubs and societies last term? It’s not too late. Find out about everything the SU has to offer at Refreshers’ Fayre!
Refresh Your Union Change your Union: change the world! 26th – 30th January Let us know about your vision for a better Students’ Union. We want to hear all your ideas, no matter how weird and wonderful they may be, so look out for the ‘Refresh Your Union’ postcards around campus and scribble down your thoughts.
Exam Stress It’s that time of year again… Here are our top tips to stop your studies stressing you out: Be realistic - learning takes time so allow enough of it. Make sure your goals are realistic; perfectionism will only make you panic. Ask for help - all your friends will be busy with their exams too, but there are plenty of people you can talk to, from your Tutors to the Counselling Service or Nightline. Take a break - taking some time out will actually improve your revision so why not grab a hot drink and a piece of cake at Mooch? Exercise will also help you concentrate and will make you less tired in the long run. Look after yourself - make sure you eat and sleep properly as missing out will only make revision harder. Iron and vitamin C are particularly important for concentration and will help prevent illness. Try to avoid sugary snacks as this will make you crash out. Mooch is serving cheap lunches throughout the exam period. Try a fish burger and chips or penne pasta and meat balls for just £1.99.
Did You Know? Food After the Catering and Hall Management Forum at the end of last term, the University has agreed to clearer food labelling, so if you like your food vegan, halal or kosher, it should soon be easier to identify.
2nd-6th February Having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? Whether you want to start eating more healthily, getting more exercise or you’d like to give up smoking, the Students’ Union’s Healthy Living Week is here to help. There’ll be a series of events running throughout the week to help you get back on track. Visit www.su.nottingham.ac.uk for more information.
Mental Health Week 16th-20th February Over 30% of people in Britain suffer from some kind of mental illness every year. Help stop the stigma that often surrounds mental health issues by joining us in celebrating good mental health. For more information, visit www.su.nottingham.ac.uk.
B-eat 9th-13th February B-eat is a student run self-help group supporting individuals with eating disorders. From 9th-13th February, B-eat will be raising awareness of eating disorders and tackling some common misconceptions. There’ll also be a talk on 17th February at 5pm in the East Concourse Lounge in the Portland Building. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.b-eat.co.uk.
Starbucks Update After a tea party outside the Hallward Library at the end of last term, loads more of you added your names to the petition to remove Starbucks from University Park Campus, taking us one step closer to achieving our aim. Thanks for all your support. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.
FYI Sound Impact Awards The Sound Impact Awards is an accreditation scheme for environmental best practice in Students’ Unions. Our aim was to score 300+ points by 2011, however, we’re currently set to score a whopping 332 points in 2009, putting us way ahead of our target! Thanks to everyone who’s helped us to be so green.
Nottingham’s Got Talent
Thursday 29th January, 8.30pm @ The Venue Has it really? Find out for yourself at this fun-filled event. Tickets are £3 in advance, £4 on the door and are available from Student Activities, Students’ Union Reception and online at www.su.nottingham.ac.uk.
Coming Soon... Superstars and Varsity The Students’ Union is re-launching Superstars this year. It’s a chance for athletes from different halls to compete against one another, collecting points as they go. Whoever has the most points at the end of the competition is the champion. The deadline for entries is Friday 13th February. If you think you’ve got what it takes, let the Sports Secretary in your hall know and they’ll get you signed up. Dates for Varsity will be coming soon, so watch this space…
Accredited Housing Launch 24th January Looking for a new student house for next year? Don’t rush in! Wait until 24th January for access to Unipol’s list of accredited accommodation for 2009. Visit www. unipol.org.uk or contact your Community Officer, Alice Townend at email@example.com for more information.
Let Us Know Are you a student with caring responsibilities, such as looking after dependent children? If so, the students’ Union would like to hear from you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or checkout the Facebook group, ‘Nottingham Students with Caring Responsibilities’.
Grief Tourism: What A Disaster? Bosnia: On the Road to Recovery Approaching Sarajevo through Bosnia’s startlingly green and beautiful countryside, peppered with construction sites, it is quickly apparent that this is a nation in a state of physical regeneration. Whilst reconstruction is well underway, Bosnia is, on the other hand, clearly still trying to formulate its own national and cultural identity. Indeed Bosnia is a confusing dichotomy of hope in the face of a bitter recent conflict, and indifferent neglect. Sarajevo has a vivacious, active feel to it and a vibrant nightlife - we had no problem discovering semi-concealed clubs in spite of our visit coinciding with the festival of Ramadan. Innumerable coffee houses, bars and cafés emerge from its still bullet-ridden buildings offering tasty local delicacies such as burek (effectively a Bosnian pasty) and apple strudel. Yet meanwhile there is little sense of nationalistic pride. A football world cup qualifier taking place whilst we were travelling through aroused barely any enthusiasm, whilst the national museum, a repository of important and rare artifacts,
The ‘spork’ incorporates the traveller’s need for a fork, spoon and knife into one lightweight utensil, saving space and weight at only 9 grams. This simple yet wondrous gadget is often a talking point when whipped out by a knowledgeable backpacker as they tuck into an indigenous delight. They are available in over twenty colours, ranging from powder gold to lavender. Should you wish, you can get one reinforced in titanium or Teflon coated. If like me you are a credit crunch-struck student whose cutlery frequently vanishes, what could be better than a one piece, snazzy
on t en ay : W I lid ook Ho d I T an rk
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was spectacularly under-funded and practically empty. It is undoubtedly possible to attribute such negatives to a preoccupation with rebuilding a war-torn society. More likely perhaps is that Bosnia’s religious and racial diversity (divided between Muslim Bosniaks, Orthodox Serbs, and Catholic Croats) does not lend itself to a sense of cultural unity. The nation’s ethnicity is rooted in its turbulent past and is manifested in Sarajevo’s fascinating architecture. For almost half a millennium the region served as a frontier for the Ottoman and then the Austro-Hungarian empires, resulting in a striking mix of Islamic and Baroque architecture. Intermingled with these buildings are the functional, sterile edifices of Tito’s Yugoslavia and the glass structures of a regenerating post-conflict state. Transcending these visible phases of Sarajevo’s history are the bullet holes and shell damage that serve as a constant reminder of the war. Although there are the occasional causes for
coloured, and instantly recognisable utensil? You can even take it on a night out to devour that lusciously greasy kebab on the way home. Now, whatever you do, don’t confuse a spork with a woon - a wooden implement used to dig ice cream! I feel it necessary to divulge a little factual history of this mechanism; you never know, it might be the answer to a pub quiz. The
disconcertment in Bosnia, these ultimately only further the overwhelmingly charming and fascinating impression of the place. Sarajevo and the country as a whole are surely likely to become an increasingly major tourist destination in Eastern Europe. Make sure you get there before the crowds do.
first application for a patent was proposed in February 1874 and invented by Samuel W. Francis. During the Second World War, General Douglas McArthur decreed that the Japanese were uncivilised by using chopsticks. Fearing that the nation may turn on him using their forks, the spork was introduced internationally. Apparently in front of the chemistry building on the Kansas State University campus there is a giant 25 feet tall spork. Surely that would better eye-candy than Jubilee’s ‘Aspire Tower’. Chloe Painter
Visiting mass cemeteries might not seem like a bundle of fun. But as a history student, until university level, it was a terribly moving experience. Often when we hear tragedies in the news, or read textbook accounts of them, we don’t really stop to think. When we hear about 420,000 casualties at the Battle of the Somme, or that around 80,000 Jews were killed at Auschwitz we never really stop to consider that that’s 80,000 individuals. That’s 80,000 ordinary people like me and you.
It is in this vein that grief tourism becomes important. It becomes impossible to ignore parts of our heritage and history where pain and horror became all too real. Although it’s never good to dwell on the macabre side of life for too long, by visiting places such as battlefields we are able to understand people’s experiences during those times more fully. When you first set eyes on the Thiepval Memorial carrying the names of 72,000 men without a grave, it gives you a true sense of the scale of sacrifice on the part of the Allies. It is my belief that visits like these give you more education than you can ever find in a schoolroom. When you stand where millions have been killed, you suddenly develop a different perspective on life. Many different people may visit scenes of tragedy for many different reasons. Some may come to pay respects, or some may visit to come to terms with their grief. Therefore by visiting we help to preserve the memories of those who would otherwise be forgotten. On the other hand we may come for a journey of discovery, to learn
As kids, we would squash helpless insects or trash other kids’ sand castles, but for some this natural inclination toward death and destruction has persisted into adulthood in the form of grief tourism. Centuries ago, crowds would converge to see witch-burnings and hangings, which is forgivable seeing as television hadn’t been invented yet. However today’s ‘thanatourist’ who plans his holidays to sites where natural or manmade disasters have occurred could be characterised as reckless, disrespectful, and just plain weird. Perhaps it escaped their notice, but disaster zones are so-named not only for the tragedy that has occurred but for its ramifications too. Whether war-torn or flooded, these destinations also suffer from disease, major property damage and widespread human displacement – all of which make for dangerous (not to mention less enjoyable) travels. Indeed, tourists in New Orleans after
something about ourselves, and to discover how precious life can be. Obviously there is a difference between visiting sites of historical value and recent sites such as Ground Zero. A more recent tragedy site may call for a respectful period of recovery, away from the eyes of the world at first. However, recent sites such as these form part of our history in the same way as the World Wars. So, with the right balance of sympathy and with the right intentions for visiting, sites such as these can become just as important to visit in later years too.
that oh-so-essential pic of ‘The Levee That Broke’ have been banned from parts of the city for their own safety. Nevertheless, some say that grief tourism performs the vital function of raising awareness – and funds – for the destination. If there is one thing tourists are good at, it’s spending. However, their profitable presence may have the unfortunate side-effect of hampering relief efforts and consuming the already limited resources at their stricken location. Moreover, when interfering with other people’s death ceremonies is taboo at home, why should snooping around a foreigner’s tragedy be any more acceptable? Funerals are not like weddings, where it’s often the case that that any fun-loving stranger is welcome. The fact that it is not something you see every day does not justify you taking pictures of someone burying their Nan. To visit a memorial or cemetery is sincere, to travel to a flood zone to volunteer first-aid skills is constructive, but to snoop around purely out of morbid fascination is disrespectful (and borderline
creepy!). It merely serves to remind those who have suffered of their misfortune – just ask the mourners in the Tibetan mountains who stoned tourists to death for intruding on their famous ‘sky burial’ rituals. Essentially grief tourism is unnecessary because, just like love, death is all around. Tragedy-lovers need only a healthy dose of Tosca to set them right. For educational purposes, perhaps try a museum or library, or if a more hands-on option suits you, why not join the army! Much like skinny jeans and communism, grief tourism works in theory but unfortunately not in practice, so swap Hiroshima for hiking the Himalayas and then you’ll really have a holiday to die for. Rochelle Williams
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: Dress t r i h s T Vintage k : a k r a P Primar Tights:
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Jumper Dress: Fre nch Collection Tights: Primark Army Boots: Vintag e
Suit trousers: Topman T-shirt: Vintage Cardigan: Vintage Warehouse
Red skull jumper: A Denim Jacket: Cow lexanda McQueen Vintage 35
A Guide to Nottingham… Usher in the New Year by discovering some of Nottingham’s best-kept fashion secrets. Here are my top ten places for student style:
Work Experience Is in
I nearly fell off my chair with excitement when I found out I was interning at Vogue India. After months of waiting and many early morning phone interviews I had finally secured a five week internship with one of the glossiest magazines in the world, in one of the most exotic countries imaginable. So off I went to Mumbai, home of Bollywood, gateway to India, and home to Vogue - a city so stylish even the terrorists wear Versace.
1. Accessories: Kathleen & Lily’s, situated on Mansfield Road, is the perfect place for individual adornments. This vintage shop offers handmade, quality pieces for anyone who loves eclectic style. 2. Beauty: For cosmetics to disguise even the heaviest night in Isis head straight to MAC. Ironically located in Cheapside, MAC may not be the most cost effective of places but its worth investing in the basics. 3. Cheap ‘n’ Chic: It doesn’t get much cheaper than the Broadmarsh Centre, and this largely and understandably ignored mecca does have a few tricks up its sleeve. For leggings at only £2.50 visit Admire. TK Maxx is great for finding designer underwear at cut throat prices, and before heading to any of the fancy dress shops in Nottingham (even Primark) go hit the pound shop.
a Wooly Knit: Zar wn Jeans: Model’s o
Wooly Knit: H&M op Trousers: Topsh
4. Evening Wear: Karen Millen can always be relied upon for quality fabric and a flattering fit. For those with a precarious bank balance the sales this year are sure to offer bargains. 5. Hair: If your roots are looking more Shakira than SJP make sure Sutherland and Barnett is your next stop. This stylish salon is located on the edge of the lace market and having won Independent Salon Business Newcomer ’08 in the British Hairdressing Awards you won’t regret a visit. 6. High End: Our home-grown fashion icon, Paul Smith, offers a wide range of stunningly classic pieces in his flagship store located in Willoughby House, Byarn Lane. 7. Lingerie: Gash is my favourite store for beautiful underwear. Located on Thurland Street its luxury fabric and playful allure echoes that of Agent Provocateur. 8. Repair: All Alts Clothing Alterations on Lower Parliament Street is perfect for hitching up, nipping in or seamlessly hiding any rips or tears in your beloved garments. Timpson on exchange walk can repair a broken heel or scuffed brogue in no time. 9. Shoes: Jade’s, just off Market Square, offers a wide range of men’s and women’s brands. It’s a small shop but every style is expertly chosen to cater for its young and fashionable clientele.
Red skull jumper: A Denim Jacket: Cow lexanda McQueen Vintage 36
10. Vintage: The Vintage Warehouse (near Oceana) is an absolute must for all vintage lovers. This place is not for someone in a rush but take to the time to rummage through the piles of clothes and you’re guaranteed to find something you love at a reasonable price.
by Smriti Sharma
Stepping off the plane I got my welcome to the glamour of the city when I found myself rubbing shoulders with Shilpa Shetty at baggage reclaim - she too was standing, jet-lagged, waiting impatiently like us mere mortals. As I ventured further into the city I felt strangely excited to find out more about what the not-sodistant future held. I’d obviously hoped that I’d be doing more than just fetching low fat caramel lattes from Café Coffee Day (the Indian answer to Starbucks) and I wasn’t disappointed. One of my most challenging yet amazing experiences was being asked to supervise on a cut out shoot. I was originally asked to assist, however the evening before was told that I would be supervising instead. Every Friday rails of When it came designer pieces are sent to a studio to the staff, The where they are shot meticulously. This Friday was no different; as Devil Wears Prada the day progressed we shot what seemed liked hundreds was truly fictitious of gorgeous dresses, coats and saris. My eyes glazed over as I imagined how fabulous each would look on, the fabric twirling and twisting with each graceful movement. As we wrapped up the shoot at 10.30 pm I was buzzing with excitement and the insatiable desire to go out and blow my entire student loan on a Christian Dior dress - I did however refrain, much to my mother’s relief.
When it came to the staff, The Devil Wears Prada was truly fictitious. Priya Tanna, the editor-in-chief, was possibly one of the sweetest women I have ever encountered and couldn’t be further from the stereotypical ‘office bitch’. I remember on a certain occasion her coming round the office offering cake, as it was someone’s birthday, counteracting the myth that employees at Vogue don’t eat. India’s fashion scene is growing hugely in popularity with designer stores such as Jimmy Choo and Gucci opening outlets within opulent hotels, and India’s first ever couture week having took place this year it was an incredible time to be there. With an array of spectacular Indian designers such as Satya Paul, Gauri & Nainika, and Manish Malhotra, Vogue India seems exceptionally well prepared to tackle competition from its Western counterparts.
Road Test: Harem Pants by Laura Morrison
The bedroom floor’s a bombsite, the housemates are bored of the fashion show, and the key to wearing harem pants is definitely to keep it simple. Fitted also works best to balance the pouffy ‘I’m wearing a nappy’ look. I decide on a plain white t-shirt, to brighten the grey colour of the pants, and some copious amounts of gold jewellery with some flats. I’m aware I look like I just raided Aladdin’s cave, but somehow it works. Underwear’s an issue though, as harem pants have all the VPL capabilities of its figure hugging counterpart, the legging, and yet whilst they’re baggier, you have to wear them on a flat stomach day; that top band stretches right across your stomach and is not forgiving. Shoes also created a dilemma - these pants definitely lend themselves better to heels, a ludicrous option for the typically hoodie-clad Hallward-goer. Flats were my only option, with Tod’s being preferable in this colder climate as they have grips and lack the absorption rates of ballet shoes.
Night is definitely where harem pants come into their own; they were designed for heels, making the outfit much easier to piece together. I opt for some towering black gladiator heels, which give a tougher edge to these puffball pants, and team it with the staple American Apparel black leotard. Location is Market Bar, I feel the likes of Isis and Ocean are yet to be able to handle the fashion forward harem. The bizarre feeling that I’ve had a quelle surprise in my trousers is wearing off and, contrary to the initial nappy sensation, I feel chic and kind of glamorous. Again the response is positive, yet more difficult to decipher through the drunken slurs outside the black hole of Market Bar. I received a lot of, “your pants are f**king cool.” I chose to take that as sincere and not sarcastic.
I brave the Hallward café. Walking in, I feel like I’ve just had an accident, or my pants are falling down, having my crotch situated halfway between my thighs and my kneecaps will definitely take some getting used to. However, the response from people is surprisingly positive, many people citing them as a part of their gap year wardrobe, while other Vogueans note the key trend with praise. Others (mostly boys) think that they just look plain comfy. I am surprised by the positive response and begin to feel more kitsch as opposed to kid.
Swishing As a toddler, many a little girl dressed in Cinderella Princess gowns, with the sparkly tiara and jewel-encrusted ‘high heels’, donned with lustrous bangles. She’d then look around at her gaggle of friends - a crowd of Snow Whites, Ariels, Jasmines and Sleeping Beauties, and wish she had the outfit of the person next to her. This continues when we get to our teens, and we look into our best friend’s wardrobes and feel the twinge of the green-eyed monster as we wish we had something (sometimes everything!) that hangs so luxuriously from the rail. It’s human nature! Or more specifically “woman” nature: we always want the clothes we don’t have! For some girls it isn’t about wanting what our best friend has, but is solely about wanting… everything. It’s hard times at the moment in the thick of recession; nobody has any money! Especially us students who face the words overdraft, loan and minus numbers everyday. This isn’t easy for shoppingobsessives like myself (formally known as shopsessives), who find themselves looking around campus at young fashionistas and wishing to own some part of their outfit (bag, shoes, cute hair accessory, that gorgeous top you so couldn’t afford from All Saints
So overall harem pants are for me a winner. Once you get over the initial obstacles of underwear and what-to-wear, they make you feel effortlessly cool. I predict that they will make a splash on campus in Spring ‘09 when the weather’s warmer, and hopefully drier, and you can team them with an array of sandals, loafers, ballet shoes and pumps. In the meantime, fashion-forward folk I daresay could team them with some army boots, in order to brave the wintry days, but for night there are endless heeled options, and immediately give the standard clubbing trouser-top combo a style update.
- sound familiar?), which then leads to an almost drug-obsessive frenzy towards the nearest computer where a much needed fix of topshop.com occurs (Remaining balance: -£500). Or, similarly, when walking around the streets of Nottingham (trying so SO hard to turn a blind eye) find that somehow they have the ability to zone in on Zara, All Saints, Jack Wills! Oh My! (Skills even James Bond would envy!) So what to do? The option which is usually put forward towards us shopsessives is STOP! Which I think we would all agree is a formidable concept and not something we have the ability to do. So where to go now? I would now like to welcome you all to the art of ‘swishing’. I do agree it does sound like some sort of ‘shape’ one would make on the dance floor after a few too many, but bear with me, this could change the way we shop FOREVER! The definition of the word ‘swishing’ is to rustle. Now it can involve both these things…so prepare to be amazed. Basically everybody turns up at the event (usually in a big hall) with their unwanted clothes (in good condition of course) and lays them out for everybody’s beady eyes to feast on before the hour of ‘browsing’ commences (which yes does mean no grabbing…another concept foreign to us shopessesives…but
stick with me) THEN…the swishing begins! This basically means everybody grabs the items which they have seen and the items that they want! The amazing part being…it is all FREE! Swishing relies on the ideology that one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. For instance an extremely tight 80’s style I’m-not-going-to-be-able-to-breathe-allnight-let-alone-move body-con dress with a huge metallic bow may hold a feast of embarrassing tales and memories of bad music for someone who wore it in the 80’s. However for the Topshop shopsessives like myself, we find this the biggest treasure ever found as we know it would cost us £50 at least (something our overdraft sees far too often!) Therefore the art of swishing is possibly genius!! So a note to finish on: If you were that cuteypie Cinderella Princess who never quite got over the fact you didn’t have the pretty tiara, and then grew to become a manic shopsessive who now finds it difficult to feed the addiction in these tight times…do not fear! Grab your old clothes, a couple your best mates, make a social occasion out of it and start… Swishing!! Check out: www.swishing.org
Spare Parts Q
uirkiness is a tonic in Asia. At least that’s how it seemed in ‘1982’, Ningbo’s own mini-CBGB rock bar, when a Korean girl dressed in pink clothing and huge heart sunglasses was searching through the crowd to hand out toy musical instruments. Frenzied drumming came from a backing track mixed by her Japanese lover on an Apple laptop. The audience joined in with their toys as she returned to the stage to continue squealing into either of her two mics and vigorously shaking her toys, all laid out on a tray in front of her. Her body quivered to her own unusual sound taking on a trance-like state.
Our Man in Ningbo
At uni there is no shortage of odd events. Probably a result of being ostracized from the rest of society in the city education zone, you find Chinese students organizing all manner of wacky competitions and campaigns. Walking to the canteen for instance you can pass stalls of ‘Green Bag’ designs created by students with a desire to express their environmental concepts on carrier bags. In the high street, a small pedestrian street where all the student accommodation, shops, cafes and post office etc are, I once passed a flower arranging competition. Students are given every opportunity to demonstrate how great they are. ‘Campus Guinness’, for example, is Nottingham Ningbo’s very own Guinness world records. Walking out of the high street I passed three challengers attempting the longest hoolahooping record. Trying this for myself proved harder than it looked since these were clearly no ordinary hoola-hoops. The other day the Psychology Society conscripted Mickey Mouse in full traditional Chinese attire to lead a free hugs campaign. I got two and felt much better after them. Inspired by the creative energies of our fellow Chinese students, my friends and I therefore entered a few challenges. The Fruit Platter competition gave us the chance to show off our originality with ordinary groceries. Though popular with the audience’s vote, our juicy expression of a pirate surrounded by ships and grapes didn’t impress the judges, despite how charming Pachoo had been while explaining the concept. Sometimes choice is not an option, as my Mandarin classmates and I discovered when we were shanghaied into a karaoke competition. Thankfully Pachoo and I saved the audience from our terrible voices by leaving the singing to a talented Russian girl while we pranced around in mouse costumes. The song was about how much mice love rice. Chris Berragan Necessary ingredients: 6 can pack of Red Bull/Relentless/both 1 kg of chocolate Jar of coffee and suitably over-sized mug Computer/laptop Facebook account Book/s on the relevant subject Speed dial arrangement: 1) Dino’s, 2) Last orders, 3) your nerdy mate N.B. A night-before-it’s-due-essay is only valid if the essay is started at 10PM the night before. Overview:
Impact’s Guide to
You will find that you have never been more interested in looking at that guy-you-randomly-added’s photos from his night out to Oceana. Nor will you ever use the Facebook chat application more in your life to tell your mates “This essay is shit!” or “I’ve done 300 words, how many have you done?” in the faint hope he’s still stuck on 100, the stupid dickhead. Instructions: 1) Begin by making an irrelevant point, and ensure you incorrectly footnote your essay by picking a page at random to give any point authenticity. Concomitantly, develop a newfound interest in a random subject (i.e. any article on the ‘Random Article’ link
on the Wikipedia page); any form of procrastination is allowable at this stage. 2) Panic sets in at 3AM when you realise your introduction and subsequent paragraphs do not answer the question. Cue a nonchalant response, because you don’t give a shit. Ensue panic as you realise that you are threatening your degree. Cry over diminished future career aspirations, and how your dream job will actually turn into a dead-end administrative Hell. 3) Re-focus by consuming four cans of Red Bull, and finishing your Dairy Milk bar. Peak by writing one thousand words in the space of three minutes as sugar passes through your brain, and rests in your heart. Cue a lapse in energy, and a realisation that your essay is now about Ghanaian literature from the 1960s, your new area of expertise, thanks to Wikipedia. 4) Fall asleep for five hours. Wake up, saliva drenching and rotting your laptop keyboard, and write as much as you know about the French Revolution, adding in relevant material from the BBC Bitesize website. Miss all of today’s lectures to do essay. Hand in your essay, date-stamping it with a minute to spare. 5) Rejoice! The panic is over for another three weeks. Treat yourself to a night out at Oceana, where you bump into the guy-you-randomly-added. Wake up the next morning with a munter in your bed. James Adams-Pace
Overheard in Hallward
What’s a massage bar? You can’t call that a present Just because you haven’t
heard of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist Because literally yeah both of my grandparents are like passed away or whatever Beating my own trumpet Mum jokes never get old I’ve had enough of men-bashing He also wants some under armour The coffee table will have to do Two words right… round laptops Maybe they’re just talking about how filthy your keyboard is I stress myself up and then I just do it Who’d have thought Futurama was so profound Whipped cream just seemed to be an integral part of my childhood They were rating bust firming creams They miss out the scene in the pub though I managed to get out of the bottom of the glass by pouring another one Coffee Good Morning Bad It’d be great if you married for love and he was a binman That’s nice, that’s nice, I can punch you in the face now We were just considering whether or not to be politically correct When you gotta go, you gotta go You can’t really use plop to describe anything else And a third of it is just my own crap, but that’s going to run out soon In a stupid game his name would win I’d worry if Gok Wan wasn’t gay It’s perfectly legitimate that I need a haircut You’ve really got to push past the itchy phase I just don’t know how I feel about the hug because he’s seen my boobs you know Pick something other than a cardigan The settlement of the free peasants is actually quite an apt description Maybe Christians don’t like mince pies Top Winner Oli Holden-Rea
t’s eight forty-five on Monday morning. The only way I’m going to get to my nine o’clock is if I hit a time vortex on the way into campus. I’m that hungover it takes me three minutes to find a matching pair of shoes, and another two to make sure they were on the right feet. Nevertheless, striding past the people waiting for the bus gives me a smug sense of superiority, and as I get into my power walking, a fuzzy thought forms that I might not even be late. But now the path is narrowing and there are three people walking in front of me. Their Converse are shuffling along so s-l-o-w-l-y that they’re practically going backwards. Their bulky backpacks are blocking any escape routes, and as the gap rapidly closes between me and them, I realise they are deeply immersed in a conversation about whether Asda or Sainsbury’s is cheaper. Don’t these people have places to go? Degrees to get? And, more to the point, can’t they see I’m in a hurry? When I finally manage to battle through the supermarket enthusiasts during a break in the traffic (amidst plenty of sighs of ‘what’s her problem?’), a couple emerges in front of me, ambling along at a dazed romantic pace, occasionally stopping to kiss. Clearly in their world birds are singing, violins are playing, and I don’t exist. Their joined hands are fully obstructing the path, and I am forced to walk so slowly that I almost stop. I cough loudly, gradually progressing to a full-blown impression of a consumptive on her last legs, and the girl moodily allows me past. I arrive at my lecture ten minutes late; the lecturer stops her power point and glares at me for one long minute until I have found a seat.
Now. Whilst I am fully aware that we all have different leg lengths, I am not alone in my hatred of slow walkers; the Facebook group ‘I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head’ has over a million members. Perhaps this vast number will convince you slow-coaches that, although you may not be going anywhere fast, there are more than a few of us in this world who are actually trying to get somewhere, and would love to get past you without feeling like we have pavement-rage.
Vent Your Spleen Slow Walkers
ARTS FILM MUSIC SCIENCE NIGHTS GRATIS
Sokari Douglas Camp ‘Strength of Feeling’
and Anthony Jadunath ‘Red’
the book which changed my life
@ the New Art Exchange Gregory Boulevard
Top five, all-time, desert island ways High Fidelity changed me, from least to most important. 1. It’s killed my finances. I used to be a thieving little bastard when it came to music. I guess I still am a fair amount of the time, but the protagonist Rob Gordon’s expansive record collection showed me the error of my ways. Before High Fidelity I had about ten albums on CD. Now I have over three hundred. 2. It changed what I read afterwards. I was twelve, and I’d read a
proper book now. A grownup book. It was good too. Maybe I’d read some more...
know, right? What the hell was I listening to before? B*Witched? Oh. Yeah. Oops.
3. How to make a mixtape.
5. I list.
Too many rules, can’t explain here. Just promise me you’ll never put two tracks by the same artist on the same playlist. Please. 4. The music. I’d never listened to Dylan before High Fidelity. I
wa, a Nigerian political and environmental activist, we went with some preconceptions which, although not completely off the mark, certainly did not do justice to the experience. The exhibition displayed in the main gallery is that of Sokari Douglas Camp, who chooses to construct her large-scale sculptures predominantly in steel. Viewing one piece in isolation could perhaps prevent anyone but those with a full understanding of the politics behind her work from a full appreciation, however the collection as a whole (combined with a documentary film playing on the wall) allowed a more informed response and prevented any feeling of ‘arty’ elitism.
As two blaggers in the world of visual arts, we felt somewhat fraudulent attending this exhibition with the responsibility of reviewing it for you. But the relaxed and open atmosphere of the New Art Exchange on Gregory Boulevard was far from intimidating.
Chronically. Top five albums, top five Ben and Jerry flavours, top five films. Top Five Disney Animated Classic Females is a favourite. The Little Mermaid’s Ariel with legs is number one. Ariel without legs is a respectable fourth.
The building is small but with resourceful and attractive use of space, and a stark modern façade that stands out on the residential street. With free admission, diverse exhibitions, a programme of workshops and music events, and a café for those pretentious arty discussions afterwards, there are loads of reasons to take an afternoon off and begin a journey of cultural enrichment... As the NAE is Nottingham’s first dedicated facility for Black contemporary arts, together with the fact that the exhibition opened on the anniversary of the death of Ken Saro-Wi-
The artist portrays principally human figures, simultaneously addressing the political and environmental issues that concern her, often through the attitudes, dress or accessories of the figures depicted. The use of cold steel risks inhibiting any personal interaction with the life-size sculptures, but for the warm
At this time of year who feels like going out? Far more sensible to curl up in bed with a gripping read, so here are two quirky new novels that will definitely keep you entertained.
Black Swan Green follows a yearand-a-bit in the life of 13 year old Jason Taylor, living in a small Worcestershire village in the early 1980s. Jason has a stammer, and although this is something that he tries to hide, it does impinge on the day-to-day running of his life as he encounters classmates, teachers and those ever out of reach, otherworldly beings: girls. In contrast to his other, more existentialist novels, Mitchell’s Black Swan Green is altogether more accessible and heart-felt. You get the feeling that Mitchell really cares about the character of Jason through the fact that his story is told through the first person, using the turn of phrase that a 13 year old might employ. Jason’s relationship with Madame Crommelynck is both humorous and touching and the descriptions of Jason’s struggle with his stammer evoke the utmost sympathy in the reader. This novel is a definite page-turner from beginning to end as it draws the reader further and further into the psyche of the protagonist. I have already recommended this book to many of my friends and relatives and now I’m recommending it to you.
by Mark Haddon
George Hall is new to retirement and new to the modern convention of ‘discussing one’s feelings’. It is because of this dislike of communication that, after finding a sinister-looking lesion on his hip, George subsides into an internal spiral of madness and depression, which is exacerbated by the fact that his family are far too busy with their own problems to notice. Fuelled by the false impression that this lesion is cancerous and by his family’s almost willful ignorance of his state of mind, George feels he is forced to take drastic and bloody action. Haddon has produced a bittersweet story, which engages the reader with astute observations of a troubled family life. The characters are easy to connect with and the wry undertones of the novel provide the reader with many laughs. The manner in which George attempts to deal with his lesion, however, is told with stomach-churning clarity and is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Although it doesn’t quite recreate the originality of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, this novel is an enjoyable read and a worthy way to occupy these dark winter nights.
Anthony Jadunath’s ‘Red’ is exhibited in a mezzanine overlooking ‘Strength of Feeling’ and whilst there are certainly areas of overlap in theme, the two artists portray their concerns in very disparate ways. An overriding initial response to this collection as a whole is of anger and, surprisingly enough, the use of one colour more than any other. His pieces are constructed principally from found pieces of wood and rope, and create a series of nightmarish, even satanic, depictions of violence, corruption and ultimately death. One piece refers specifically to the murder of Stephen Lawrence, locating the artist’s concerns around racial tensions in Britain. There are clearly spiritual issues being explored as well, although a feeling of cynicism towards organised religion prevails. Any recognisable human figures have a cartoon-like quality that comes from bold, surreal faces and the brutal use of black and red. The pieces are multi-layered and engaging, if far more aggressive than the work of Douglas Camp, through the appearance that each piece has been finished with a generous dousing of blood! We would encourage anyone with a couple of hours to spare to check out these exhibitions, which run until January 18th 2009, particularly anyone with an interest in art, politics, race, religion, history….almost anything to be honest!
by David Mitchell
A Spot of Bother Strength of Feeling
Black Swan Green
character and facial expression in each. The bold symbols such as weaponry or images of 9/11 show the pieces to be highly politically motivated, often juxtaposed against traditional African figures in domestic roles, displaying both the international and the personal, human elements to the artist’s concerns.
www.thenewartexchange.org.uk Emily Shirtcliff & Katie Terzeon
Creative Corner These are the shoes that spend their days trudging round campus. They are almost sacred to me, so sacred in fact that here they are even my inspiration. This image conveys my two passions; art and shoes, Converse in particular. My inspiration for my art comes from many different sources; they tend to be mundane everyday objects, things which are accessible to me. Art is a huge part of my life, whether it’s a doodle on my lecture notes, painting a canvas or visiting various galleries, I just can’t get enough. Katie Balcombe
a blagger’s guide to... pop art Nearly fifty years later and it still seems the work of the pop artists are everywhere: that infamous print of Marilyn is on everything from clothes to stationary; I can’t see a can of Campbell soup without thinking of Warhol; and Lichtenstein’s comic strip works have almost become a cliché. Ever wondered what makes these iconic images works of art? Well there’s more to Pop Art than meets the eye: Begun in Britain in the 1950s the term ‘Pop Art’ was coined to describe the shift from ‘fine art’ subjects, of often biblical or historical scenes, to subjects from bill-boards, comic strips, and supermarket products of everyday life. Pop Art really took off in 1960s America and Andy Warhol, although not the first, became the most famous artist to blur consumerism and art. He based his work entirely on objects of popular culture: he immortalised Marilyn Monroe in his
iconic prints of varying colours and sizes; as he did for the Campbell brand with his 32 Campbell’s soup cans. In his New York studio, aptly named the ‘Factory’, he hired artists to produce his silkscreen and lithograph works. Churning out his art work to eager buyers as the Campbell soup and coca cola factories similarly churned out their products. Roy Lichtenstein had similar success with his comic strip works which, unlike Warhol’s ‘factory’, he created by hand. Painted benday dots and hard edges mimicked the look of comic strip printing as did his
the last action hero
There are action heroes, and there are ACTION HEROES! Today, there is a new type of rogue action hero that has set the bar higher than ever before, bringing heightened satisfaction to audiences hanging on to every high-octane chase, death-defying moment and anything-goes knock-out fight.
use of familiar characters Mickey Mouse and Popeye. These two artists’ best defined the fundamental idea of Pop Art: creating art made from and for the masses; idealising, exploiting and mocking fine art, popular culture and massmarketing all at the same time. It is ironic that now, with our Marilyn print t-shirts and Campbell soup posters, that Pop Art has totally been assimilated by the forms of mass-marketing and production which it sought to exploit. Rebecca Laing
making waves... The Art Organisation’s laudable aim is to use art as a way to get people involved in the community. Impact’s Anne Moore has visited their fascinating exhibition of photographs and commentary created entirely by people with mental health problems. One way to identify yourself as a person is through the people you know and the places you go. As a university student we have access to a huge social networking system, but what happens to people who find themselves on their own in life? Last weekend I took a trip to 21 Station Street, where The Art Organisation runs a small set of studios, a gallery and a tea shop. The current exhibition is based on the lives of people using mental health services and it examines the lives of those who sometimes live on the fringes of society. Over 1000 photographs were taken over the course of the project, and 200 images were accompanied by words. As a viewer I found these small windows into another person’s life quite moving. It was the words that really fascinated
me. The project aimed to research what involvement members of mental care homes had with their community, and encourage new creative and photographic skills. So although the works produced were quite simple, they really challenged you. Sentences such as, “I go for cigarettes. They know me quite well but I don’t stop and chat. I’m not very good at chit chat,” clearly demonstrated the difficulties of those who find it hard to integrate. The people behind these photographs treasured any small moment of communication they had, “been going to Moulin Rouge for years, make you feel welcome, wanted, they value your custom... especially the kebab guy who’s got a real cheesy grin.” When I go to the shops, after a polite ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ for packing my bags I don’t really give the shop assistant a second glance.
Not that I’m somehow unappreciative in doing this, but I have a larger group of people, from housemates to friends to tutors, that I interact with on a regular basis. Imagine not having this. The key issue at the heart of the project is challenging prejudice and discrimination faced by people who have received a psychiatric diagnosis experience. I own up- I’m not a psychologist, and I don’t have any knowledge of mental health. But this exhibition gave me a lot more insight into the difficulties these people face than reading a psychology book. Anne Moore For more information visit www.makingwaves.org and www.theartorganisation. co.uk
“The stability of the world has been thrown into peril again! The future of mankind is at risk! Who will save us?” #Da dada da#
First and foremost, today’s modern ‘Action Hero’ must have bravery beyond the common man, be able to go above and beyond the call of duty, and that means more than just climbing a tree. In bravery 101 the subjects are put to the test, from jumping across buildings to chasing villains through derelict and unfamiliar territory. All this in a day’s work! Bravery works hand in hand with adept fighting skills and style. Relying on gadgets can only get you so far! Skills in Capoeira, Kung-fu and even Parkour separate action heroes from ‘Action Heroes’! They must think fast and use their imaginations to deliver decisive blows. Who remembers Bourne’s ‘book fight’ in ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’? He really taught the Moroccan a lesson (Wink!). To out-do your opponent physically is one thing, but mentally is another strength of the Hero. The pen (or the spoken word) is mighti-
Game-over for Film Adaptations Now I suspect that I am preaching to the converted, but just in case there are any poor, unwise souls out there, I present to you the four reasons why video-game movies will always be rubbish:
Raul Julia, but Street Fighter was never going to rise above its throwaway plot and Kylie Minogue’s arse. Why anybody thought a beat em’ up would make an engaging story is beyond even the brightest of minds.
The film’s actually quite dull
The film will rape you of your childhood
Sure, some of them may have done well at the box office, but can you actually remember what any of them were about? Go on, give it a try… I think we’re going to have to admit it - we just wasted the last 2 hours of our lives.
Mario = Bob Hoskins Yoshi = velocirapter Mushrooms = semen-like webbing Bowser = Dennis Hopper (seriously) Life = suddenly empty.
The game was never, in any way, translatable to cinema
However, there is a silver lining to this cloud; video-games themselves are becoming ever increasingly cinematic in scope. World War II shooters are getting so good now, that playing through a level can be every bit as thrilling as Saving Private Ryan. Indeed, some games could even be said to be films in their own right. The Metal Gear Solid series is now so film-like that I hear there is a 90-minute cut scene in the latest instalment (that’s longer than most Adam Sandler movies are and should be!).
Now it’s all very well watching Jean Claude Van Damn beat up a leather clad
So in the future, don’t be tricked into thinking that this time, they really will do a
The film has nothing to do with the game Perhaps you want to know what happens to your favourite characters and the world they inhabit; not going to get it with films such as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, as it has absolutely nothing to do with the series. It’s just cashing in on the franchise.
er than the sword. A highly intellectual, sharp action hero can turn a tricky situation into his favour with his unmistakable gift for the gab. His speech leads to the most memorable of lines, “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you want....But what I do have are a very particular set of skills...Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you...I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” (Taken) Action heroes have more than just a hard facade, they are also tough lovers. There is always time for female interest, despite the circumstances. The aesthesis of the ‘Hero’ is completed with today’s increasingly chiselled Hollywood actor in varied attire. Blue Speedos anyone? ‘Action Heroes’ need that wild card, something that makes them original, but more distinctively, that drives them on both sides, evil to go with the good. Following this criterion, I am tied between anti-hero Jason Bourne and Die Hard’s John McClane. There is no better guarantee for a perfect standoff, or better odds for the underdog, than these two hardcore action guys. The former for all seriousness, the latter for unashamed fun. Both are paragons of modern action cinema. Ian Aryeh-Thompson
this ain’t no game good job of it - trust me, they won’t. If we all rebel, and don’t pay to see the rubbish that is video-game movies, then hopefully Hollywood can get back to doing what it does best - children’s book to movie adaptations. Rob Frost
Impact boldly goes where no man has gone before… STAR TREK
FOR THE TREKKIE
FOR THOSE WHO ENJOY A BIT OF DAYLIGHT
If you are a Star Trek fan then you may be forgiven for feeling apprehensive about the upcoming film. The director, JJ Abrams, stated that he isn’t a fan of the show; probably the only thing I have in common with him apart from being at the same preview in Leicester Square last month. However, I will start by assuring you that the continuity of the saga is upheld, as well as the cast’s personalities. The footage depicts Kirk as a maverick genius-cum-fighter, whereas Spock remains superficially logical, albeit with repressed emotion creeping across his features. Sound familiar? We see Scotty as a quirky, madcap engineer, nonchalantly spouting astrophysics in a cheery Scottish accent. Dr who? Dr McCoy, yes, he’s there too, dropping catchphrases casually for the fans to grin at (“Dammit Jim!”), whilst John Cho is a perfect 21st century choice for Sulu, exerting calm and authority with his katana. With no rewriting of history, expendable extras in red shirts and a cameo from Leonard Nimoy as ‘Old Spock’, it’s clear that not only is the franchise safe, but that Trekkies are going to go wild for this film. Except for Picard fans. Jamie McTulloch
Lost and Fringe fanboys may rejoice as their saviour JJ Abrams is making (restarting?) another addition to a dying/dead franchise. We have the likes of Simon Pegg, Eric Bana and that Korean guy from Harold and Kumar (John Cho) to pull us into the cinema and part us from our hard earned cash. So far, so bland. We see an ultra-futuristic earth (Iowa with a few monolithic structures in the background), a futuristic spaceship (the Enterprise, we are told) and futuristic weapons in futuristic fights. From the footage, I’m pretty sure it is in the future. Well done Abrams, I get it! Will it appeal to a wider non-Klingon-speaking audience? Shockingly, this is a tough one. There is the usual insipid, faux-prophetic, Abrams-esque character development - “you were always born to be different”. The film also strives to be seen as a separate entity to past Trek entries - so no need to panic, there are no signs of a Shatner alien-shagging farce. Glynn Nimron
genious psychopath, could envy his darling wife). Your latest movie with your boyfriend Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, has already been hailed as another masterpiece and you have my sincerest congratulations for that.
Open letter to David Fincher, director of Fight Club, Se7en, and other dark films Dear Mr Fincher, ‘Dark imagery’ is a vague and overused way to describe a filmmaker’s talent. Directors from Spielberg to Tim Burton have proven themselves more than capable of presenting us with ‘dark imagery’. Making darkness appear affecting - that’s all you’re doing. Through Se7en and Fight Club you have wormed your way into modern culture and have achieved the status of cinematic auteur (I have to admit that I did see the ending of Se7en come a mile off, realising fairly early on that Brad Pitt was a bit wrathful and how you, or preferably an in-
Before I get too sycophantic, I want to talk to you about Alien 3, the cinematic skeleton in your closet. My question is simple: why dissociate yourself from this movie? What was so bad about Alien 3? I know you have a reputation, like many filmmakers, for being a perfectionist. You have based this reputation on the meagre basis of seven films, or at least six since we’re not counting this one. Your argument is that the movie released was not the movie you aimed to make, that you were screwed by the producers of Twentieth Century Fox. Every good Alien movie has been through a nightmarish production; film making is a collaborative venture, like the sailing of a ship. Perhaps you know of James Cameron? I know - ‘ask a stupid question’! You only killed off all his characters in your threequel! The point is, Cameron is a renowned perfectionist and he too has quite rightly discredited himself from his
directorial debut Piranha 2: The Spawning. You should be thankful that your first outing wasn’t that bad! Even though Alien 3 forever remains a hard movie to defend, I actually quite liked it. It is your darkest movie. Aesthetically it’s up there with Ridley Scott’s original, completely nailing the terror that the xenomorph represents. Thematically, it took cinema’s greatest heroine to a tragic albeit logical conclusion. It is hard to defend, and people are quick to shun it, especially when they realise that you have detached yourself from its existence. Also because of its disappointing reputation, the producers had to go on creating more alien movies. So you see, you are in a way partly responsible for the Alien versus Predator franchise, which may sound like a fairly minor accusation, but from this film geek’s perspective it is an unforgiveable crime. I hope you are happy with yourself, Mr Fincher, and when you are inevitably handed the Oscar for best director I hope my words will hold a certain weight upon your guilty soul. Yours grudgingly, Charlie Phair
FOR THE FANS
A comic book adaptation where the heroes don’t have powers is a hard sell. Or rather, it’s a hard sell to those who haven’t read it. Impact attended a special press conference for Watchmen, and we were privileged enough to be presented with three 10-minute sections of the finished product and a Q&A with director Zack ‘SuperfluousSlow-Mo’ Snyder. And no, we’re not going to pretend we’re not bragging about it. As is obvious from the trailers, it looks beautiful. Like in 300, the excessive slow motion allows the audience to linger on the strong images (faithfully drawn from Dave Gibbons’ original illustration), even if it does leave the audience eating popcorn at the same speed as the falling Comedian. Although the Hollywood gloss may work against the novel’s original ethos, reflecting the mundane existences of the retired heroes where important conversations happen in dingy kitchens, Snyder has clearly fought to keep the “really cool sex and violence”. In bringing to the screen Snyder’s perception of “what Watchmen is to me” we have, however, lost the squid, which just heightens my curiosity.
FOR THOSE WHO WILL INEVITABLY GET ON THE BANDWAGON
Alan Moore’s Watchmen is widely acknowledged to be the most accomplished and popular graphic novel, or “big fat comic book” of all time (according to director Zack Snyder, director of 300). It is, hopefully, popular enough for the mass population to recognise the fatalistic cover image of a bloodstained yellow smiley face. The novel is set in an alternate reality, identical to our own history, but changed slightly by the existence of ‘costumed heroes’. But what’s really shocking is that, even though these characters lack the superpowers traditionally associated with comic-book heroes like Superman and Spiderman, none of them are exactly boring(man). The brilliance of Watchmen is its employment of these subversive elements, such as a slightly altered historical narrative and normal people as heroes, to make points about the political state of the world and the relevance of regular members of society in relation to this. The only character with powers, Dr. Manhattan, is used as a political weapon in America’s war with Vietnam. Cue special effects of awesomeness in the cinematic adaptation. In Snyder’s own words: “pop culture’s ready to have their shit shaken up a bit”.
Impact investigates Hollywood’s growing fascination with comic books and graphic novels. Most would agree that Stan Lee, the man behind the Marvel comic franchise, is a literary legend. So marvellous (I couldn’t resist) was the world that Lee created that filmmakers have continually failed to replicate it. It has been excruciating to watch Marvel endorse and churn out adaptations of what could have been great films, in an effort to eke profits out of an acclaimed franchise (see Punisher, Daredevil, Ghost Rider). The most recent Hulk film even had the audacity to improve upon its predecessor, only 5 years after the first attempt. Unfortunately, I still got bored and spent most of it picturing Liv Tyler naked, only a slight departure from the semi-clad figure on screen. The distinction between comics and graphic novels has now become somewhat blurred. The previous decade has proven that the latter, which are often selfcontained and don’t necessarily feature superheroes, can be adapted more suc-
Oli Holden-Rea Watchmen is out on the 6th March 2009
revenge of the geek
cessfully. With blockbusters like Sin City and V for Vendetta making graphic novels ‘cool’, the medium is now finally being recognised by mainstream audiences as a serious art form. As a result, directors are taking on more interesting and alternative projects, with graphic novels that depart from traditional themes and styles getting more attention from big names. D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) is soon to direct Brian Vaughan’s Y: The Last man, an outstanding 10 volume series about the only man to survive the mysterious simultaneous death of every male mammal on Earth (not as good as it sounds boys). Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) is set to direct Mark Millar’s hilarious Kick-Ass. Following a nerdy and unnoticed high school student who decides to don a ridiculous outfit and become a superhero, it brilliantly (and violently) satirises comic-book and superhero conventions. It should certainly make for fresh and exciting viewing.
Christopher Nolan’s reinvention of the caped crusader has taught us that, in the right hands, traditional comic-book heroes can work incredibly well on-screen. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are diamonds in the rough. However, both comic and film enthusiasts are beginning to lose faith in traditional, iconic superheroes as appropriate material for film. They saturated the box office last summer and so attention now turns to the more independent and unconventional graphic novels for the triumphant union of the two mediums that we have all been waiting for. Comic-book superheroes may have started the transition to the big screen, but they got terribly lost somewhere along the way. We have already seen that graphic novel anti-heroes have incredible potential for continuing the tradition, and trust me: it’s only going to get better. Laurence Elliott
Late of the Pier
@ Chameleon Arts Cafe, 30th November
fucked up On stage, Fucked Up have the energy of a kid on coke. Speaking with vocalist Pink Eye (aka Damian Abraham), Chris Jones discusses their numerous pseudonyms, their recent album The Chemistry of Common Life, and their infamous live TV performance in January 2007. Hey. So, firstly, what’s up with the aliases? Travelling across the border from Canada to America they’re really savvy, and they learn to Google names and do further investigations. A national newspaper did an article about us once, and we were so stoked - but then we tried to cross a border and they searched us and found that we were in a punk band. We got detained, and they threatened throw us in jail. It also serves a practical purpose, it puts us in this punk rock continuum of fake assumed names like Joey Ramone and Sid Vicious. We wanted to place ourselves in that lineage of people in punk bands. What was the first band you were in? Urine Trouble, in 1994. I was in 10 bands before I was in Fucked Up. Anyone from those bands end up with you in Fucked Up?
Jonah [Falco, aka Mr. Jo aka Guinea Beat, drummer] and I went to high school together, Josh [Zucker, aka Concentration Camp aka Gulag, rhythmn guitar] lived in my neighbourhood, Sandy [Miranda, aka Slump aka Laundry aka Mustard Gas, bass] and I used to do a radio show in college, and Mike [Haliechuck, aka 10,000 Marbles, lead guitar] and I are just friends from hanging out and going to shows together. The band came together because Josh was train hopping across America with Fucked
Up, and he invited me to fill in on vocals. When we came back, I stuck around. Who influenced you? We’re all record collectors, we all like Poison Idea, The Melvins, Nirvana etc. We wanted to be in a band like them, bands with insane 7” discographies. We have 70 or 80 songs, which are spread over 50 odd releases.
New Viking or Psychedelic Horseshit, it’s like shoegaze but lo-fi. I have a horrible disease, I have collectoritis. My house is filled to the brim and my wife is pregnant. I have this room full of records, but that’s where my wife wants to put the baby stuff. I think we might have to get a bigger place. You could make a cot out of old records…
That’s… a lot of releases. Ever thought of doing a compilation?
Mmm, yeah, I could build furniture out of old power pop records.
We did one in the early days called Epics and Minutes, and we’re going to do another one, of the singles that have come out since. I’m torn because I want people to be able to hear our songs but I don’t want something where you have to go on eBay and pay exorbitant amounts of money for one 7”. As a record collector I like the thrill of the hunt.
How about the new album, Chemistry of Common Life – what’s with the name, for a start?
Do you think that the internet’s taken away the thrill of finding a really rare record? Yeah, the obscurity has disappeared, but there’s always more to find. It’s so user driven, I might read a blog and they’d talk about a new type of music, or they may have coined a term that would describe a bunch of records, like dustbin glam, I gotta find all the stuff on that. I know what you mean, shoegaze is probably my favourite genre. Or shitgaze, that’s the new one. Have you heard of that? It’s like Times
It’s from a 19th century book on mushrooms. We like the idea of something beautiful coming out of the profane. Mushrooms grow out of shit, but have these properties to open up your mind. The lowest refuse can do something of the highest consciousness. The lyrics are about energy coming out of chemical changes, minor things that lead to great things. I’m afraid we’re running out of time, but finally, what happened on MTV? It came from us trying to be something other people wanted us to be, and those people expecting something that they were not ready to deal with. They wanted us to be crazy but they were not prepared to deal with the consequences. Things got out of hand. I like to be crazy but I do not like it when people get hurt. It felt forced in the end.
After a fairly disappointing set from their support, Fan Death, Late of the Pier – Nottingham’s homegrown effeminate lad quartet - entered the stage, all youth and glittery jumpers. After establishing that they wanted the first four rows to sit down, so that those unlucky buggers stuffed further back could see, they began playing ‘Space and the Woods’, track three on their eclectic debut album ‘Fantasy Black Channel’. Blame the catchy tunes, the immediate sense of fun or their apparently innate ability to entertain, but not 5 minutes had passed when everyone who had begrudgingly sat down was up dancing about like idiots (me included, I might add). I believe it was when ‘Broken’ started up that people began jumping – uh oh. The Chameleon Arts Cafe, for all its intimate charm, has a well dodgy floor – in the sense that it was a real concern for the (few) security staff that the floor was going to collapse from beneath us. I kid you not. When they announced between songs that we had to stop jumping because we might all die people just seemed, bizarrely, to bounce around more. But I must say this: It. Was. Wicked. All of a sudden those stunts bands perform to today’s apathetic crowds became stupendous and exciting: the singer climbing up to the top of the dubiously arranged tower of speakers and the guitarist crowd surfing blindly into the (very) receptive crowd was met with riotous enjoyment. This was truly the best gig I’ve seen in Nottingham in a while and I would highly recommend trying to catch them on their tour if you can. Their thrashy, glittery music is destined to get even the snobbiest of gig-goers going – even without the threat of catastrophe egging them on. As bassist Faley said, when asked what he thought of the gig ‘It was fucking chaos, it was wicked’. Rather. Elly Condron
Death Cab For Cutie @ Rock City, 15th November
I arrived at Rock City with high hopes for what Death Cab For Cutie could offer, and they most certainly surpassed my expectations. The Washington band’s renowned ability to blend simple chords with experimental, angular guitars to mathematical precision is a rare quality, and yet the band still manage to preserve this live in front of an audience. There was real chemistry between the members on stage throughout - to the extent in which exchanging their instruments and continuing to uphold flawless musical production was very impressive. Crowd pleasers included their recent single ‘Cath’, but the catchy ‘Soul Meets Body’ and ‘Company Calls’ were also equal in popularity. A personal favourite was Ben Gibbard’s brilliant solo of ‘I Will Follow You into the Dark’. However, the band’s rendition of ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’, with its silky bass-line driving Gibbard’s sensuous vocal tone and haunting piano, as well as Jason McGerr’s thunderous drums, was undoubtedly one of the best live performances I have ever seen. An incredible evening. Charlotte Krol
The Mystery Jets
@ Rock City, 30th October They strode on stage to the sound of war sirens and appeared to be lovely guys. The audience was well dressed and seemed to be having a good time before the music had even started. I loved their clothes. Blaine Harrison looked a little like a Patrick Wolf-cum-Tim Burton invention, sporting a wonderful, glittering black sequin jacket that matched his geeky-handsome sweep. William Rees was also sparkling like a dream in his lovely harlequinesque, primary-coloured sequin cardigan, and a cheeky bus-stop-boy smile that could make any girl blush. They played many of their illustrious hits including ‘Half in Love With Elizabeth’ and the recent hit ‘Young Love’. Each song was flawlessly played and the band made a real effort to be amiable and communicate with the audience. Unfortunately, there was a lack of fervor or energy of any kind, in fact there was no MYSTERY to the Mystery Jets. It was rather like watching a Gap advert: clean, inoffensive and contemporary but unfortunately, just plain dull. I find this a lot at the moment, it’s as if all the right boxes are ticked, good clothes, nice faces, clean songs - but somehow they just fall short of hitting anything magical. Hannah Cherry
and the worst songs of 2008 “All Summer Long” Kid Rock
“I Kissed a Girl” Katy Perry
It took me a while to figure out why I hate this song so much. Is it because Kid Rock samples both ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Werewolves of London’? Is it the poorly written lyrics? No. It’s because I spent my past few summers working like a dog and not smoking ‘funny things’ or drinking whisky and making love down by a lake.
Katy Perry kissed a girl and she liked it. I’d like to kiss a girl. I’ve been trying without success for sometime now. God knows I’ve tried but Katy Perry just does it effortlessly. I feel bad for her boyfriend. She hopes he won’t mind, but I think he may be a bit pissed when he finds out by hearing his girlfriend’s song on the radio. I’d have told him before making a hit song out of it. She’s a greedy, cheating show off. Ed Bent
best albums of 2008
ones to watch in 2009
Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend
All Hope Is Gone Slipknot
Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes
Diary of An Afro Warrior Benga
XL Recordings Released 29th January
Roadrunner Records Release 25th August
Bella Union Released 9th June
Tempa Records Released 10th March
The debut selfproduced album from New York’s Upper West Side’s Vampire Weekend is a musical adventure that never bores. With influences ranging from afro beats to punk, and with a massive, massive debt to Paul Simon’s Graceland, Vampire Weekend have a song for almost everyone who enjoys indie pop. Hailed and hyped beyond belief in the fashionable music pages as a band able to fill the alternative shoes that the Strokes first occupied at the start of this decade, the songs are certainly enjoyable even if they weren’t the breakthrough act that was promised. ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ brings to mind a gentle yacht cruise down the Eastern American Coast at the height of summer, sipping southern bourbon with a brightly-coloured sweater adorned across the shoulders. Other highlights like ‘Oxford Comma’ show they’re offering a breath of much needed fresh air to the music industry – I, for one, am happy to breathe it in.
At the turn of the century Slipknot exploded onto the rock scene with a sound that journalists worldwide did themselves a brain haemorrhage trying to pin down, but all tags fell by the wayside as this nine-headed beast plundered its way around the globe. Slipknot had achieved what so many before them had failed to perfect – they had created a sound that can only be described as the epitome of aggression, hatred and anger.
In a year that saw a folk resurgence, Fleet Foxes’ eponymous debut is surely the best example of the beauty which that genre has to offer. Coming from Seattle, the birthplace of grunge, the 5-piece created an album that eschewed any influences their hometown had to offer, instead using their talents to make, in their words, “baroque harmonic pop jams” built on vocal harmonies, which have drawn many comparisons to The Beach Boys. But while Brian Wilson’s band used their vocals to construct radiofriendly choruses, Fleet Foxes applied theirs to crafting gentle and haunting tales of pastoral life, adding reverb to create music which sounded as if it came from 1950s Appalachian America. Singles ‘White Winter Hymnal’ and ‘He Doesn’t Know Why’ evocatively exhibited the band’s mastery of vocal harmony, and brought deserved praise to the most enchanting album of the year.
With the disappointment of 2003’s Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses, this new release was met with apprehension. But worry not - they’re back! This monster of a long-player tears its way through your speakers to throw itself boisterously around your living room before shitting on your entire CD collection. Embracing a sound that resembles that of the nonet’s first two albums, this is a mostly crushing release, songs such as ‘Gehenna’ actually proving to be uncomfortable to listen to. The only thing that robs this masterpiece of its 10 star review is that it is a part Slipknot, part Stone Sour record – by no means a bad thing (‘Snuff’ is an exquisitely beautiful lament), but not what the ‘Knot represent.
The year 2008 yielded an array of notable albums, but one that stood out for both for its groundbreaking significance and its unmistakable style was Benga’s second album, ‘Diary Of An Afro Warrior’. The whole album hums with wobbling, synth-soaked bass lines fused with dynamic and energetic production bound to leave you nodding your head in appreciation. Benga as an artist, producer and a DJ represents one of the founding forefathers of the dubstep genre, and has been evolving the sound for years impressively, he delivers this release at the tender age of 21. The south Londoner’s eagerly anticipated follow up to debut album Newstep tore up music stations and dancefloors across the country with his unmistakable beats and eclectic dubstep sound; most memorably with the ubiquitous ‘Night’ produced with Coki - a tune which, by now, you might well have begun to grow a niggling abhorrence for, perhaps symptomatic of sessioning a tune just that bit too hard. Despite this, such majestically fierce anthems as ‘Crunked Up’ and ‘26 Basslines’ are sure to rip up many a dancefloor and represent a solid selection to get you in the mood for a night out. Andy Whitelaw
This is Alphabeat Alphabeat EMI Released 2nd June As we drown in a sea of formulaic and mindless so-called ‘indie’, a shadow of pop light emerges from the darkness in the form of Danish sextet Alphabeat. Filled with a fresh fun sound, their debut album, This Is Alphabeat, makes a definite statement about the return of pop to the UK. Singles like ‘Fascination’ and ‘10,000 Nights’ are emblematic of the brilliant songwriting that provides track after track of infectious tunes, whilst ‘Go-Go’ and ‘Boyfriend’ add an element of disco delight. Despite the slightly questionable lyrics of “You should wear rubber, always wear rubber” (‘Rubberboots’), which sounds like the slogan of the Easy Tiger campaign, these zesty ten tracks will keep you smiling during the dark winter nights. The ‘Fantastic Six’ may not have super powers, but they sure know how to write a great pop song! Katie Feld
With much media attention, including Thomas Meluch is their song being the very talented played on the 24-year-old singerrunway of Paris songwriter and Fashion Week photographer and a remix of better known by their debut single his pseudonym, ‘Veronica’s Vail’ Benoît Pioulard, by Erol Alkan, under which he Fan Death are an creates fragile electro duo with experimental folk low-key, italo-disco music to fall in beats with a touch love with. Highly of the new. Disco is recommended. back. myspace.com/ pioulard
interview das pop
Belgian guitar pop outfit Das Pop spent October and November of 2008 on tour in the UK, hoping to bring their established European reputation with them. We caught up with front man Bent Van Looy before the band’s show supporting Alphabeat. “I met Niek (bass) and Reinhard (guitar) at school, then Matt (drums) moved to London from New Zealand a few years ago and we met him though a mutual friend. He came to Ghent to play with us for one day, and afterwards we were all completely happy. That was a little over a year ago.”
One of many exciting bands to come out of the L.A. music scene, which is home to bands like No Age and The Mae Shi, they are regulars on the scene at the experimental, noise venue The Smell and recently signed to Bella Union Records, they’re definitely a band to look out for. Tropical Punk Rock –yes please!
As the female answer to The Horrors, Ipso Facto are a four piece group from London who all sport bobs and are bringing the gothic look back big time. Think melodramatic goth-pop that is icy, edgy and cool. And by that very fact, they are surely worth a listen. myspace.com/ ipsofactomyspace
Rafael Anton Irisarri
The Crayon Fields
The sell out of his debut album, Daydreamers, is just one sign alone of Irisarri’s success. Citing influences from Brian Eno to My Bloody Valentine, Irisarri’s music is minimal, haunting and touching. Icy soundscapes that will inspire creativity and reflection, which will unhinge those darkest feelings and sentiments.
Subtle sounds coming out of Melbourne, The Crayon Fields are definitely ones to look out for the New Year. Dreamy and feel-good, they sound like the Beach Boys meets Belle and Sebastian. myspace.com/ thecrayonfields
myspace.com/ rafaelantonirisarri It has to be said, the band have had quite a head start. Bent, Niek and Reinhard happen to be childhood friends of Soulwax, who produced Das Pop’s latest self-titled album due for release this year. “They have known us for twelve years or something. It was great combining hanging out with friends and making an album that you love.” Connections with electro artists do not stop there. Bent explains how he moved to Paris two and a half years ago, where he became friends with everyone at Ed Banger Records, long before the dizzy heights of the label’s latest ‘A Cross the Universe’ worldwide tour headlined by Justice. “The music scene in Paris is pretty small so it was incredible to see the beginning of all that. It’s nice to see how Justice will prevail. Literally!” But Bent’s influences do not lie exclusively in electronic music. “As a teenager I was a huge Alan Parsons Project fan, which you couldn’t say to anybody back then as it was a very, very bad thing! We listened to a lot of
Fleetwood Mac when we were making this album. We were influenced by those just as much as we are by Justin Timberlake or someone like that. You can’t help but be influenced by everything that you hear because we all have ears.” We were curious to hear of any other bands from back home. “Have you guys ever heard of Goose? You should check them out, it’s really rocking music, but without guitars. They are the best guitar players in the world, but they have chosen not to use them, which is kind of perverse, but it works nonetheless.” Bent reflects on 2008’s tour with enthusiasm for the future. “We have played to such a huge amount of people on this tour, and people are really looking forward to seeing us again in February. The fan base is expanding rapidly.” Das Pop begin their first headline tour around the UK on 12th February, playing the Bodega on the 21st. James Ballard & Joe Hendry
in your dreams
the science of the silver screen
The ancient Egyptians thought that dreams were divine predictions of the future. They used messages from dreams to make important state rulings and decide how to treat illness. For thousands of years great importance has been placed on discovering the meaning of dreams. Even now different cultures have very different ideas about why we dream. Although most people probably regard it as a bit of a fairground gimmick in today’s world, there’s probably still a mystic woman in an incense-filled tent somewhere more than willing to interpret you night-time mind-wanderings. But Impact Science want to know: what really is going on?
Life doesn’t feature many explosions. Thankfully, cinema does, even if setpieces often escape the realms of possibility. But all that might change if a project by the US National Academy of Sciences succeeds in educating less science-savvy folks at Hollywood. The venture, called the Science and Entertainment Exchange, aims to guide the entertainment industry in all things science, as well as promote communication between scientists and the general public. Certainly good news for boffins. But could any of these bloated blockbusters benefit from a science lesson? Armageddon
Michael Mann wouldn’t lie to us, would he? Scientists currently have an asteroid pegged with a 1-in-45 chance of striking the planet on April 13, 2029, but stress those odds are likely to reduce with continued observation. What if we’re unlucky, or what if Bruce Willis feels like a lie in? According to those very reputable laws of physics, even if we planted a nuke in an asteroid, rather than deviate it, it would fragment and do even more damage – like a blast from a shotgun. However, the mining opportunities are tremendous – an average-sized asteroid could contain 7500 tonnes of platinum; that’s over £3.5 trillion. Waterworld Ice Caps Melting Everyone’s favourite Costner flick (after
the good ones), Waterworld may offer jet ski chases in place of plausible plot, but in our age of polar melt-down panic, is that to say it couldn’t happen? Climatologists claim that if both ice caps were to melt, sea levels would rise by 660 meters globally - leaving campus submerged by 530m. Whilst the Earth has experienced global warming and cooling many times throughout its history, natural variability can’t account for the dramatic rise in global temperature we’re seeing right now – 2005 was the hottest year since records began. Whether down to sudden releases of methane from clathrate compounds or just your daddy’s SUV, it’s fair to hypothesise that if the Earth did become a waterworld, we would all become grunge pirates. Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak While not strictly explosiony or meaty (unless you count Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘wand’
in stage production Equus), invisibility is a very real possibility. The light-bending effect, similar to the kind which makes a pencil in a pool of water appear crooked, relies on reversing refraction. Metamaterial, in theory, could be fabricated to bend light around the object so that an observer would see right through it — or rather, right around it. In fact, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are currently developing the materials to achieve this effect on a nano scale – measured in billionths of a metre – in the hope that these materials could be scaled up to the size of a wearable garment in the future. No longer the playthings of gifted wizards with Beatles haircuts, the Ministry of Defence are also getting in on the action. After testing the technology on British Army vehicles, the in-service debut of an invisible tank could be just five years away. And you thought it was all just magic... Ben Griffin
Stem Cell Research? You decide “The scientific world can breathe again,” many of us thought, following US President Obama’s plans to reverse a directive restricting funding for stem cell research. The restriction is based on ethical issues surrounding the source of embryonic stem cells, which, although usually extracted from days-old embryos that are literally clumps of cells, theoretically could develop into human beings. Last year, Claudia Castillo of Barcelona
became the first person to have a tissueengineered full organ transplant. Stem cells from her bone marrow were used in a procedure to produce a new trachea to combat the aftermath of tuberculosis. Now, five months on from the tracheal transplant, she is doing exceedingly well. Embryonic cells could potentially be used to treat spinal injuries, diabetes and even cancer. But the question arises: is it right to improve one human life, but sacrifice the beginning of another?
You might think it’s perfectly acceptable – you might not. Either way, Mr. Obama’s decision is likely to re-ignite age-old debates. Does life begin at conception? Are the potential benefits of research viable? Are we attempting to ‘play God’? Got an opinion? Impact Science would love to hear what you think. You can get involved in our stem cell debate, which will be published in the next issue: email us at email@example.com. By Aarohi Sharma
There are two main camps in the scientific study of dreaming. Psychologists think that dreams allow us to sort through the events of our day, and start dealing with any problems occupying our minds. But most dreams are so random that it’s hard to see how dancing around a marshmallow factory enthusiastically reciting French verb endings
could possibly be related to your day. A slightly more probable idea – the ‘activation-synthesis hypothesis’ to those in the know - is that our dreams do not have any meanings at all. This theory says that whilst we sleep our dream worlds do not actually play out as little movies in our heads. Instead, a random firing of electrical brain impulses brings to mind unconnected snapshots from our memory. When we wake we connect these images up, creating stories to try and make sense of what we have seen. Scientists who look at the physical changes that occur when we dream believe that vital neural connections are exercised by our dream activities. This
regular use of nerve cells is thought to be important to helping us learn. The link between dreaming and learning is further backed up by the fact that young children spend more of their night’s sleep dreaming than adults do. It seems that theories about dreaming are still a little hazy, and after our brief investigation into the scientific world of dreams we are still no closer to finding out what the marshmallow factory is all about. So if you’re studying psychology or neuroscience and wondering what to do for your PhD, you know what Impact Science suggests. By Laura McGuinness
7,000 calories for Christmas
With a new year upon us, just about everybody is on a diet after the holiday binge. Here’s a stomach-churner: the average person consumes around 7,000 kilocalories on Christmas day alone. How on earth did you manage that? Well, a regular serving of turkey contains 240kcal – and leaving on the skin can increase that figure by 50%. Sausages wrapped in bacon pack 160kcal per ‘pig in blanket’, a gravy dousing adds 60kcal, a slice of Christmas pud comes in at 330kcal, and a single mince pie contains 200. Sickened by you own gluttony yet? Well, bring on the alcohol! Each small glass of wine adds 68kcal and a measure of Baileys contains 129. You’ll be glad to hear that the brussel sprout is useless as a source of energy, contribut-
ing a measly (and bad tasting) 10kcal – but as a source of vitamin C, it’ll keep the scurvy at bay as you munch through tins of selection biscuits. Even with all this, the energy you get from your average Christmas day food binge would still only power a basic 100-Watt lightbulb for 19 hours. (If you were buying that much energy direct as electricity from Npower, it would only cost you 26p much cheaper than Christmas dinner…) Sucking your belly in yet? Well, there are countless diets to help you lose that post-Christmas bulge. Atkins’ carb-slashing regimen enables quick weight loss, but only at the risk of putting it straight back on in six months’ time - along with the increased risk of
heart disease, renal failure, and osteoporosis. The low GI diet involves eating carbs that are digested slowly, keeping you feeling full and energetic, as well a promoting an even blood sugar level. However, it can give the impression that some unhealthy foods that happen to have a low GI can be eaten freely, such as chocolate. Impact Science would like to offer you the only scientifically proven method of weight loss: eating fewer calories than you burn. Every gram of fat contains 9 kcal. For every 9 nonessential calories you eat, you’ll put on a gram of fat; but the opposite is true as well - for every 9 you burn, you’ll lose a gram of fat. So get thee to a gym! By Francesca Cash
how obama is ‘greening’ america
common enemy of rising temperatures, melting ice caps, erratic weather and the spread of disease.” Environmental problems don’t stop at geographical boundaries; what India does affects Chile and what China does affects Paraguay. But how is the ‘undoer of bushism’, going to cope with receiving the ‘inbox from hell’, and will he be able to meet Krupp’s global expectations? Well, Obama has an impressive environmental track record; he was a young green activist promoting recycling in Harlem and has many eco bills in his name.
President Barack Obama is in the White House and a new approach to the climate crisis is on the global agenda. Reflecting the views of environmentalists across the world on the night of November 4th, Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund, said: “This election offers us the greatest opportunity we have ever had to change course on global warming. We must do everything we can to pass climate legislation here at home and to craft a global compact that unites the world against the One of the countries we might hope Obama will reach is India. No country acts in a vacuum; with over 1 billion people, what India does now will have both major economic and environmental importance to the global community. But behind every global story, there are people. Whilst I was in India, I saw some of the local issues firsthand. Picture this: It’s 6 am and I’m walking down Bombay beach. The place is brimming with health freaks, pretending to exercise in the sultry heat. None of them seem to mind the fact that they are doing this amidst thousands of colourful plastic bags strewn across the beach as far as the eye can see. I stand there feeling utterly helpless. “Forget it, it’s not your problem” I think, but that is precisely what the rest of the 1.1 billion here are saying to themselves, not anticipating that it is their problem and their children’s children’s problem. It’s a chilling microcosm of the national attitude towards the environment. But why are people so apathetic? The imbalance of the Indian government’s
Critics are skeptical of his pro-nuclear, and pro-corn-derived ethanol energy stances. Whilst it’s unlikely we’ll see another Chernobyl with today’s technology, the use of virgin crop for biofuel rather than for food is something of an ethical dilemma. Will Obama inspire the world to follow his lead in his green endeavors? We’re all familiar with political spin and hot air, but maybe this time it’ll be fresh air the new president brings to the global picture.
“Yes we can” Obama’s plans for a greener future Channel revenue into developing clean energy technologies, creating more green jobs, and restoring the environmental protections that Bushism blocked. Put forward aggressive policies towards tackling climate change. Decrease foreign oil dependency. Invest $1 million in hybrid car research and manufacture. Implement a ‘cap and trade system’ system to reduce 80% of greenhouse emissions by 2050.
...and the rest of the world investment in environmental initiatives in contrast to their industrial investment is alarming. But when industrialisation is likely to generate jobs and lift millions out of poverty, is this an easy misjudgment for westerners to make? To some extent, it’s a vicious cycle. India is embracing exponential economic growth, pushing into the 21st century, driven by profit. Just one example is the building of one of the world’s largest coal-fired power plants in Gujarat, which, when complete, will pump out 23.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Last year, the net profits of Tata Power, the company responsible, soared by 25%, reaching £120million. Sociologically, though, India is way behind schedule. But how exactly do you change the attitude of 1.1 billion people? This is not going to work without their interest, investment and involvement. But are rising temperatures really a “common enemy” to both India and America, as Krupp claims? Whilst getting in on the so called ‘low-carbon mar-
ket’ has become a profitable business in the West, with financial incentives from the government for companies who reduce their emissions, it’s a different story for countries grinding through the engines of industrialisation, where no such policy exists. If change really is coming to the world, then it won’t begin with India simply switching off its Gujarat power station. Renewable sources must be shown to be financially viable alternatives. Local people standing on beaches littered with refuse need to understand the global picture. Where does Obama’s promise of change fit into all of this? His challenge now is to engage the world’s policymakers to offer a similar financial incentive to those responsible for pumping millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere – perhaps a global climate change levy might mean the profits of the fossil fuel giants aren’t so sweet – and kick-start investment into cleaner technologies. Good luck, Mr. President.
oops, you didn’t go to ocean again As James Joyce once observed, there ain’t no party like an S Club Party. Or is there? If you want to spice up your life, head over to Love Shack on Fridays at Rock City. Rachel won’t be screaming out for more, but there’s a fair chance Bradley will be working as a Freshen Up Guy. Totally unpretentious, Love Shack stares into the maw of the forgotten days when Mark Goodier presented the Top 40. The music is epic: I was unashamedly flailing around like a fish on dry land to the likes of Steps, 5ive and Ricky Martin, clutching a can of warm lager and screaming about the joys of organised dance routines. It’s reminiscent of a primary school disco, except with cheap vodka instead of Panda Pops, and middle-aged women
Alfreton Road, Radford For those who grow tired of the fancy dress-clad hordes of Isis and Ocean, Blueprint is home to a more diverse mix of folk from the Nottingham area. Its website boasts that it’s “the best underground nightclub in Nottingham”, so expect to be hit by the less radio-friendly side of the dance music spectrum played at ear splitting volume well into the early hours. Blueprint has a very bare-essentials approach to décor, so those looking for a ’nice’ place to take a date might wish to look elsewhere - and I’d advise anyone considering using the toilets to seriously rethink how badly they actually need to go. However, all in all a very friendly and unpretentious alternative to many of the city’s more mainstream clubs. Two nights to look out for are the popular Rubbadub and the more studentbased Demo. Frank Jayne
instead of spotty boys. I was having such a good time that I didn’t even care that my feet, after 1am, felt as if they were surgically attached to the floor; I was happily trotting around in stolen Kanye West sunglasses sipping on a big bottle of ‘champagne’ doing the Macarena. The highlight of my night was definitely dancing on what I thought was the main stage (which actually transpired to be a very small table in the back corner) and promptly falling flat on my face into a big pool of Red Stripe. So if your obsession for a western and your dance floor date is calling you this Friday, head to Love Shack. You won’t look back (in anger). Cathy Adams
@ Snug: Every 2nd Monday of the month! If you’re bored of going to the same nights and listening to the same music, don’t miss Snug’s brand new alternative night offering an eclectic mix of the latest techno, electro and hip-hop. Snug prides itself on being slicker than your average super-club, which typically appeals to ‘top-40’ commercial music lovers. Resession’s launch night on Monday, 10th November was one of the best Snug nights yet, with resident DJs Mikey Hanson and James Plaxton playing ‘oscillating, tingling, techy-elechy tunes’ which will keep you on the dance floor until three in the morning. Even if you’re new to this music scene there is something for everyone – you can even chill out on the comfy sofas downstairs if you just want to grab a drink and catch up with friends. So instead of sitting in the ski-lodge of Oceana wondering how it’s possible that one song can be played over ten times in one night, head down to the edge of the city centre instead. This time you’re certain to wake up still wearing your shirt, thankful you didn’t lose it in yet another rendition of ‘Baywatch’ or on that final go on the waltzers! With ridiculously cheap drinks and free lollies on entry, in addition to a great atmosphere, ‘Resession’ at snug is guaranteed to be a good night. Elisa Alston & Emily Hick
By Nivedita Rengarajan
the ultimate guide to sunday lunch in lenton
The Ropewalk Derby Road, Canning Circus
Rainy, cold and grey, it all proved perfect timing to go for a hearty Sunday lunch. The Ropewalk’s trendy lights beckoned us inside to an already animated, easy student atmosphere. The broad menu offered a number of snacks and other meals in addition to a selection of beef, lamb or chicken roasts, as well as a nut roast for the vegetarians. We were disappointed to note on the menu a lack of stuffing and cranberry sauce, but this was made up for by the promise of roast AND mashed potatoes. The food arrived promptly. We all marvelled at the generous portion of chicken and the taste of the lamb alongside a variety of traditional accompaniments. Unfortunately, the nut roast had run out so a vegetable pie was served instead without previous consultation. All plates finished, we sat back comfortably to reflect upon the rain outside and the Sunday papers. In an effort to delay the walk home (and gorge some more) chocolate brownies with vanilla ice-cream were ordered (no more sticky toffee pudding and the only other option was cheesecake). One of my companions (let down by the lack of toffee pudding) hesitantly raised concern that the brownie might be “too dry”, however we happily discovered otherwise. The brownies arrived in large slab-like portions of warm, rich, chocolatey, melting-gooeyness much to the relief and satisfaction of all. Despite getting completely soaked on the walk home, our stomachs were content and we most definitely will be eating ‘light’ (if at all!) tonight. A great, comfortable atmosphere for eating with friends, but unfortunately the roast just doesn’t quite cut it in comparison to your mum’s. Francesca Heaven
Sir John Borlase Warren, Canning Circus, opposite Ropewalk
Styled as a typical English pub with a modern twist, the Sir John very much evokes a sense of déjà vu. And it’s not a bad place to eat a roast, either. Roast chicken, beef, pork and lamb were all on offer and recommended by the pleasant, welcoming staff. The meals arrived promptly on huge plates, laden with a range of vegetables, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and a good portion of meat. Hit the spot perfectly. For dessert, a wealth of traditional puddings greets the eye – apple and blackberry crumble, carrot cake with lemon frosting, jam pudding, steamed lemon sponge, sticky toffee pudding and chocolate torte to name a few! All served with a choice of custard, cream or vanilla ice-cream. The generous serving of carrot cake was moist and perfectly flavoured, likewise the steamed lemon pudding. The creamy vanilla pod ice-cream topped it all! Needless to say, we definitely will be going back. The older atmosphere reflected in the more traditional menu complementary for a Sunday roast at the Sir John proved spot on, whereas the Ropewalk would perhaps be a more appropriate mid-week venue. Francesca Heaven
Scruffy’s Derby Road
If you are looking for a wholesome, plentiful and cheap Sunday lunch then Scruffy’s is the answer for you. Conveniently situated at the top of Derby Road it’s just a short ride away from campus and only few minute’s walk from Lenton. For the typical Sunday lunch a variety of different options are available, from the standard roast chicken to beef or pork. If the traditional roast doesn’t tickle your fancy then there is a wide array of other options available, such as a steak sandwich. There is something for everyone on the menu and you won’t be short of a selection. Be sure not to eat before as the portions are quite large and an extra side plate is needed for all of the extras that accompany the roast! The restaurant is very casual and has an intimate, warm atmosphere. The service is friendly, but be prepared to wait for your food. If you are in a rush, then it’s maybe best to leave Scruffy’s for another time, but if you have a free afternoon and don’t mind a lazy day chilling over a long lunch then Scruffy’s is the perfect choice. Tamrah Woolfe
cafe of the month
Café of the month: Homemade Just around the corner from Zara, tucked away in a spot en route to Hockley, nestles Homemade Café. You walk in to the sounds of Jack Johnson, chattering staff and contented customers. True to its name, the food - ranging from fabulous sandwiches to brownies and cheesecakes - is all homemade and displayed on a handwritten menu that tempts and entices. The meals are made from local produce and there is local artwork decorating the walls. The strawberry milk shake appeals to the child in all of us, whilst the variety of coffees makes a change from Hallward lattes. Choose this independent cosy café instead of one of the endless generic chains and enjoy a respite from shopping that will leave you truly satisfied. Emily Eaves
Restaurant of the month YO! Sushi For those not familiar with the concept of YO! Sushi, here’s a brief overview of the unique dining experience it provides. There’s no need to book, just turn up and you’ll be seated pretty promptly. If you’re not lucky enough to get a booth, sit along the bar where you’ll find all the accompaniments to cater to your sushi needs: soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger. Dishes wizz around on a conveyor belt and are colour-coded according to their price. Don’t go too crazy grabbing things off the belt though, there’s an extensive menu which you can order from – press the red button and a waitress will come over. For a small price you can have as much miso soup, water or green tea as you want; a good tactic is to fill your stomach with these if you don’t want to spend too much money. Here are a few dishes we strongly recommend though: pumpkin korroke, crunchy prawn ISO, crispy duck & moromi miso hand roll, edamame beans. It’s much more than just sushi.
A Decent Night In Here at Impact we recognise that you can’t always be bothered to spend an evening mincing the dancefloor in a club that smells like sweaty pits. If you’re a girl, you may not fancy another night being asked for dances by winking, Gareth Keenan-lookalikes. And if you’re a guy, you may like a change from losing your clothes in Baywatchthemed dance-offs. So we’ve compiled a list of fun things to do at home, to show you that you can have a great night without going out, and may even save a bit too! Casual Social Gathering OK, so you’re sitting in front of the TV watching countless episodes of Sex and the City and wishing you could get laid that often, and you’ve already gone through two tubs of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. You’re becoming a bit suicidal, so you decide to invite some friends over to relight that social life that existed in first year when nothing mattered. Get some skittles and vodka on the go, make a batch of jelly shots, and you’ve got yourself a ‘gathering’ that may even evolve into a full-blown house party.
random stuff from your fridge (extra points to be awarded for the weirdest and most unusual foods), split into two teams, and swap ingredients. In twenty minutes cook something tantalising to kick your opponents’ culinary backsides. Whoever loses buys the drink. Soft Porn? Sexcetera The more you watch it, the more you learn to love it. For those as of yet untainted, Sexcetera is a show in which some horny but inarticulate presenters travel the world in search of quirky sexscapades to televise. Quite often, it’s simply an interesting insight into the likes of the underground fetish business, although it does occasionally get quite graphic and perverted when couples are involved. Set shit on fire. Take a leaf from Friends and have a try at the Fireball Game (you will need a fire extinguisher and the fact that you are likely to lose your housing deposit is also worthy of note). If that’s a bit dangerous for you (and hopefully it is), you could always make up your own game or stick to the old classic Hide and Seek. Nosy Neighbours
Naked Board Games Why not put a modern twist on the old school board game; a wide array of nudity-based “family” fun is waiting for you in the dust of your wardrobe’s top shelf. You may be able to make pop up pirate even more suggestive than it already is. Ready, Steady Cook Why not do some quick cooking with your housemates? Root out the most
If all else fails, sit by the window and people watch. You’ll be the first to know all the gossip, watching two of your friends partake in a sneaky fumble before stumbling through the door. If you start early enough, you could hotor-not everyone heading to their night out (if it’s too late you’ll only get wasted home-comers, and without your own inebriation the effect will be something like waking up the morning after to find that the fitty from the night before has magically transformed).
cocktail of the month Dogma’s Rasberry Mojito A fruity little twist on a timeless classic. Made with fresh raspberries, this cocktail is sweet, fresh and dangerously drinkable. For the raspberry haters among you, other Dogma mojitos include cherry, strawberry and kiwi. It may be a bit pricey at £5.50 (or £4.50 with a Dogma Card) but why not treat yourself to a little luxury?
Famous Last Words
Free Discount Vouchers Everyone knows that the Internet is the best place to pick up a great January sales bargain. That is a given. But now you can get yourself some decent discounts online, with some moneysaving voucher codes on a range of goods from some of the world’s leading retailers, including Thorntons, The Body Shop, Interflora and Nike. Containing hundreds of voucher codes, www.voucherseeker.co.uk is the answer to many a cash-strapped student’s dream. VoucherSeeker is the gateway to saving money, with hundreds of easily navigable voucher codes that can be instantly redeemed when shopping online, without having to enter any personal details. You can search by product, retailer or category, and you can also choose to receive email alerts about new voucher codes that are of interest to you as soon as they go live online.
Right now, as of going to press, there are vouchers such as £10 off your 1st order with the House of Fraser, 10% off all orders over £120 with Mothercare, 10% off all orders over £200 with Empire Direct, 15% off all orders over £60 at Burtons, and 10% off everything at Red Letter Days. The site is updated constantly, so keep checking back if you want something specific that isn’t there right now. (Also, unlike some voucher websites, VoucherSeeker will never display a “false” voucher code. They also ensures that every voucher code is valid which means the website is fully compliant with the new Internet Advisory Board Code of Ethics – a load off my mind, I have to say.)
“Hi! I received information regarding a possible bus trip to D.C. on Jan 20th for the swearing in of President Obama via Soul Sessions founder Lamont Tillman.” “I’m sorry, I’m looking for someone who likes to chat about Princess Diana.” “And that’s why I want a child with autism – they have special powers.” “I’ve only ever had sex properly with two women, and they were both very ugly.” “My piano teacher was a paedophile, I think. He gave me bad marks because I wouldn’t put out.”
So, check it out, yeah?
“There is nothing sexy about lube.”
contributors Emma Shipley, Emma Petela, Dave Jackson, Hannah Gibbons, Ruby Kassam, Tim Lees, Marek Duda, Hanna Flint, Matthew Flower, Andrew Birch, Clare Hutchinson, Camilla Marshall, Mark Daniels, Callum Paton, Will Vickers, James AdamsPace, Hattie Hamilton, Jonathan Tye, Rochelle Williams, Anne Moore. Chloe Painter, Smriti Sharma, Laura Morrison, Chris Berragan, Jess Lea-Wilson, Stephen Thomas, Tara Shanahan, Emily Shirtclif, Katie Terzeon, Katie Balcombe, Rebecca Laing, Laurence Elliott, Jamie McTulloch, Glynn Nimrod, Charlie Phair, Ian Aryeh-Thompson, Rob Frost, Elly Condron, Hannah Cherry, Charlotte Krol, Rebecca Gazey, Ed Bent, Ryan Neal, Joe Hendry, Andy Whitelaw, Katie Feld, Ben Griffin, Aorohi Sharma, Laura McGuinness, Francesca Cash, Nivedita Rengarajan, Cathy Adams, Elisa Alston, Emily Hick, Frank Jayne, Francesca Heaven, Tamrah Woolfe, Emily Eaves, Sam Booth, Adam Igra
advertising Gary Cully SU Marketing Tel: (0115) 8468742 Email: Gary.Cully@nottingham.ac.uk
images and design Eman Seyed-Kazemi, Sarah Macdonald, Charlie Stewart, Emi Day,
apologies We’re very sorry for Impact’s Guide To… Making The Most Of Your Night Out in the last issue. When Austin Tasseltine wrote of degrading women (with all five fingers), and “riding the Buckaroo,” it was intended purely in the most tongue-in-cheek manner – we didn’t think people would take it seriously. Evidently some of you did. Sorry. We’re also sorry to Ms Jackson. Ooh.
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Jack Cooper Our office is on the top floor of Portland, room D9.
At the beginning of 2007, our view of Bristol as a fairly uninteresting corner of the southwest, which only narrowly avoids being Welsh, was drastically altered. E4 launched ‘Skins’, the massively popular teen drama filled with drug-taking, debauched teenagers and, for some reason, set in Bristol. It has since become an iconic part of teen culture, giving rise to the term ‘Skins Party’, which has been unwisely used by many a schoolgirl soon to find herself weeping over the wreckage of her parent’s home. Impact’s Sam Booth talks to April Pearson, aka Michelle from ‘Skins’, about how it was to be a part of the first two series.
things. I still see Larissa Wilson (who plays Jal Frazer) quite a bit as she still lives in Bristol too.
You grew up in Bristol, where ‘Skins’ is based and filmed. Do you think there is much similarity between the city on the show and the city in real life?
Anyone you enjoyed working with on the set of the film?
Yes, of course! The show tried to depict some of the great things about the city of Bristol, the architecture, nightlife and, er, culture, to name but a few. I think it’s difficult to describe to someone who doesn’t know the city, but the places where ‘teens’ hang out are where the characters went on the show.
one of my best friends is studying at nottingham
Do you miss the cast of ‘Skins’? Anyone you were particularly close to? I miss them all, we had such a great time when we were filming. Everyone has gone on to do some really great
What are you up to now? I hear you have just finished work on a new film, Tormented. Can you give us a quick rundown of the plot? Without giving too much away, it’s a horror comedy set in a school (it’s been described as a new zomcom – who would’ve thought Shaun of the Dead would create a genre). I play a bully, and with my gang of devoted diminutive bullies we ‘torment’ one unlucky student, with disastrous effects.
Well, randomly Larissa was working on the film too, so it was great to work with her again. The whole cast were really lovely, very talented, and set for great things in the future!
it’s a hard business and it’s nothing about talent zz
the time, and still is! But I suppose it became a staple ‘Michelle’ piece of clothing.
Any advice for those wanting to get into the industry after university? Be prepared to be disappointed. It is such a hard business, and it is nothing about talent. Even if you are the most talented actor around, if you don’t look right, you simply don’t get the part. And also, network; it’s all about people who know people.
By Sam Booth
How are you finding life as a celebrity? Any particularly surreal moments? I’m not sure I would describe myself as a celebrity, I just get recognized which is still a bit weird. Ever been to Nottingham before? One of my best friends is studying at Nottingham, she was in Lincoln Hall last year, so I came to visit her for her birthday. We went out to a couple of places but I actually can’t remember what they were called! A friend wants to know where you got your yellow jacket that you wore in the first series of ‘Skins’ -perhaps she could borrow it some time? She can have it! It’s from Miss Selfridge; it was too small for me at