bouncers KEEPING YOU SAFE OR CROSSING THE LINE?
going to extra time ARE STUDENTS ABUSING THE DYSLEXIA SUPPORT SYSTEM?
oppressed or modestly dressed? INVESTIGATING THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN ISLAM
issue 196 apr ’09
Diet Water From the idyllic natural* crystal waters of the North East comes diet water, a breath of fresh air in your diet regime. No more faffing with tap water which is proven to make you fatter, this water not only makes you lose weight, but also makes you less hungry.
4 Editorial 5 News
- SU Election Results Announced - Crackdown on Campus Parking - Yezza Jailed on Immigration Grounds - Debate on use of Animals in Circuses
Using patented technolgy, diet water actively seeks and breaks down trans fatty acids, leaving your body free and able to fulfil its potential.
Is the system that helps those with learning difficulties open to abuse?
- Key Make-up Trends for 2009 - Bobbi Brown shows us how it’s done
Try diet water today
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The simple way to diet. Try it. You might lose some weight. Available now and at dietwater.com
- Nottingham Crowns its Superstars - Nottingham’s Football - Varsity Series Review
Investigating the rumours of problems with the University’s much-touted foreign campus
22 NME Awards
Impact Elections 2009
The end of the year is fast approaching, and the current Impact team will soon be flying from the nest to explore the post-university pastures of freedom, independence, and Jobseeker’s Allowance. But before they go, they need some people to replace them. That’s where you come in.
The Details The Impact Elections are going to be held on Wednesday, May 13th, at 3pm. They’re taking place in The Atrium, Portland Building. To see the available positions just visit impactnottingham.com, where you can also download a nomination fom.
Why would I want to join Impact? By joining Impact, you get to contribute to one of the biggest and most successful student-run services at the university. You get to shape what goes in a magazine that gets printed every month, and which thousands of students will read and be influenced by.
The best thing about Impact is that you don’t need experience to apply for a position. You’re a student, and nobody expects you to have a column in The Guardian already (although if you have, that would of course be nice). The main things you need are enthusiasm and a willingness to learn as you go along. We arrange handovers, so you should know what you’re doing when you start in September. Every year the majority of elected members are people who have never worked at Impact before, so not having been on the committee is certainly no reason not to apply. We also have over forty elected positions, so there’s plenty of scope to get involved in whichever area of the magazine interests you most.
Fancy a challenge? Why not climb the Alps...
24 Desperate to be a Housewife?
What positions are there then? Impact has a range of positions for budding editors, designers, photographers, promoters and PR-gurus, and everything in-between. To see a more in-depth list of what the different jobs entail, visit our website.
OK, I’m sold. How do I put myself forward? Putting yourself forward for elections is easy. You can download a nomination form from the
At the elections, you’ll be asked to give a 2-3 minute speech, talking about why you’d be good for the job, what changes (if any) you’d like to make, and generally why you’d make a fantastic member of the team. After that you might be asked one or two questions by the audience, and then that’s it. It’s a lot more laid-back than most people expect, and many people have been elected having never made a speech before in their lives. If you fail to get the position you went for, it’s also possible to switch and go for a different job, so it’s not necessarily the end of the road if you don’t get your first choice.
- Questionmarc causes Trouble - Blag your way throught Surrealism
- How Good was Slumdog, really? - Nordic Cinema
Discussing the extent to which feminism has shaped our society
Once you’ve done that, drop off your form in the drop-box (which may in fact be an envelope) outside our office. The Impact office is on the top floor of the West wing of the Portland Building, and should be fairly well signposted. You can also give your form to the Impact team directly, if you want.
What do I actually need to do at the elections?
23 Munro Goes to the
website, and you can also pick up forms from outside our office. You need to specify what position you’re going for and get someone to nominate you, although this needn’t be someone from Impact and can be any student at the university – even your housemate.
The deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 11th May.
- The Effects of Tourism in India - Backpacking in Thailand
Catching up with B-list musicians at this year’s ceremony
* Treated and bleached in Sunderland
Am I good enough?
26 Women in Islam
- Interview with Glasvegas - Floor Fillers and Dubplate Killers
52 Science Over a decade since being exposed as violent drug criminals on national TV, are bouncers in Nottingham still a danger?
inside this issue 196
Cover Image: Amy Bell, Charlie Walker & James Sanderson
During Islam Awareness Week on campus, one student asks whether Islam truly treats women as ‘equal’
28 Food for Thought How one student grapples with ethical eating on a tight budget
Up and coming events from the Students’ Union Impact’s Agony Aunt answers readers’ dilemmas
- Sort out your Internet - The Science of Phobias
- Spend Less on your Nights Out - Nottingham’s Best Pubs
58 Gratis 59 Famous Last Words
Impact interviews Shed Simove
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 Associate Website Editor Steph Hartley News Editors Sophia Hemsley Susannah Sconce Camille Herreman Sports Editors Charlie Eccleshare Ben Bloom Arts Editors Lotty Clifton Clarissa Woodberry Music Editors James Ballard Elise Laker Film Editors James Warren Oli Holden-Rea
orting through the Impact mailbox is a bit like raiding stray bin bags for people’s bank account details. Most of what you find is useless, or nauseating, or should be kept away from human contact. But with a bit of persistence and willingness to get your hands dirty, you can strike gold. This month we hit upon the equivalent of a high-growth trust fund, as we got sent something from a certain M.W. Smith, a theology graduate from the class of 1959. He told us he had a copy of our 10th anniversary publication from 1958, which apparently featured some famous poetry. Inspired by this, he’s been writing himself ever since then, and he enclosed something of his own. He’s far more eloquent than I am, so rather than tire you with all the usual balls I go on about, I thought I’d feature it here:
“Little I knew, when I was a lad and turned my honest penny, over on Boots’ cash chemist’s counter, that Jesse, by making many such a pile, would, sixty years later, in grand and peep-show style, precribe a box that would promptly cater, for those impatient to see the smile, on their snaps, by inserting plastic water, sitting on a stool in broad striplight, and touching the screen with unsoiled finger, to get the result right now in sight, No need, then, in perfumed hall to linger, I’m off with my ticket to seek a latte, while upstairs megapixels whirring, (camera zipped in bag so natty) And now, as I slurp this rich solution, I dwell on distant darkroom pleasures, And whether this hour will mean less pollution And how good will be downloaded measures From this I know, though I knew it before, That a new dispensation for shoots, Would wipe out a whole lot of lore, And send me once more off to Boots.”
M.W. (Bill) Smith, Theology 1959
This month on impactnottingham.com
Reactions to the SU Elections
The Dead Ex-Lover “This election was infested with illegal campaign tactics. Save one or two, I feel ashamed to be represented by such a bunch of infantile, useless idiots. Once again, fake image branding prevailed over real groundbreaking policies. I also find it worrying that the majority of men at this university seem unable to think with their brain, preferring to do so with their genitals. As for the newly elected President… good luck everyone - we’ll need lots of it.”
Nights Editors Steph Aldrich Louise Fordham Kirsty Taylor
Cult “Does Roxy have a surname? also I believe you have managed to mispell ‘Claire Game’ and ‘Alexandria Hingley’ and missed off a couple of faculty co-ordinators. ”
Science Editors Henry Blanchard Sophie Stammers
Hello “‘The Dead Ex-Lover’… A rather sore loser, perhaps?”
Travel Editors Bruno Albutt Samuel Selmon Fashion Editors Nikki Osman Laura Sedgwick Publicity Manager Scott Perkins
Chris “What a load of bull! I think the best man (or woman) won in almost all the positions. DemComms could have gone a number of ways, but Dave seems like he’ll be good aswel. “preferring to do so with their genitals”, I’m guessing you or your friend lost to either Roxy, Claire Game or Hingers! Notice that DemComm was won by a man, as was President completely ruining your point!!”
News Election Results Announced The results of Nottingham’s Students’ Union elections were announced on Friday 13th March, following a week of controversy among potential candidates. Rob Greenhalgh won the highly-contested battle for the presidency, which saw Henry ‘Blanch’ Blanchard pull out of the race with only one day remaining. Rob commented: “I would firstly like to thank all my supporters and the students that voted for me. It has been a turbulent 2 weeks of campaigning, consisting of minimal sleep but culminating in a successful elections night hosted by URN. I’m looking forward to building on the successes of past presidents and execs to ensure the SU moves in the right direction in the next academic year.”
of campaigning. Questions were raised over Rob Greenhalgh’s use of projected images in Ocean, and fellow presidential candidate Ellie Rosenfield was criticised for using her position as head of Cheerleading Society by using members to help garner votes in Isis.
A representation was filed against Blanch after his campaign team were seen removing another candidate’s banners. Blanch told Impact, “Although I cannot condone some of the actions that my representatives took, I take full responsibility for them,” insisting that he would be back next year with a “more successful and uncontroversial campaign.”
The controversy did not affect voter turn-out, however, and hundreds of students tuned into URN’s seven-hour long coverage of Elections Night.
by Susannah Sconce
Candidates across the board were subject to criticism as a result of limited daytime campaigning in the first week, preferring instead to concentrate their efforts at Oceana, Isis and Ocean nightclubs. In a blog as part of URN’s election coverage, Sammer Mohammed questioned the candidate’s campaign tactics, commenting that “the only voices they seem to be appealing to are those that attend the main club nights.”
Current President Nsikan Edung and next year’s Rob Greenhalgh at Elections Night Photo by Bruno Albutt
Other candidates also had complaints made against them during the fortnight
Democracy and Communications Officer, contested by six candidates and won by Dave Hind, was a particularly close race, and the position of AU officer, won by Alexandria Hingley, was decided on only a marginal number of votes. Stewart Bailey and Thomas Williams, elected as Finances and
Accommodation & Community Officer Sam Wilkinson
Black & Minority Ethnic Students’ Officer Lawrence Bolton
Black & Minority Ethnic Students’ Officer Lawrence Bolton
Disabled Students’ Officer Going to by-election
Disabled Students’ Officer Going to by-election
International Students’ Officer Going to by-election
International Students’ Officer Going to by-election
LGBT Students’ Officer Matt Wildman
LGBT Students’ Officer Matt Wildman
Mature Students’ Officer Going to by-election
Mature Students’ Officer Going to by-election
Postgraduate Students’ Officer Rebecca Lockhart
Postgraduate Students’ Officer Rebecca Lockhart
Women’s Officer Elizabeth Goddard
Women’s Officer Elizabeth Goddard
Activities Officer Claire Game Athletic Union Officer Alexandria Hingley Democracy & Communications Officer Dave Hind Education Officer Roxy Shamsolmaali Environment & Social Justice Officer Tom Williams Equal Opportunities & Welfare Daniel Downes Finance & Services Officer Stu Bailey
Environmental Officers respectively, won by a landslide, however. The full list of elected officers for the Students’ Union Executive 2009/10 are listed below:
President Rob Greenhalgh
Former Chancellor Lord Dearing Dies the introduction of tuition fees. At the time, universities were in a state of crisis due to a dramatic drop in the amount of funding they received per student. It was Lord Dearing’s pragmatic solutions to problems such as this that led to him being nicknamed the ‘Great Conciliator’ and education’s ‘Mr. Fixit’. Lord Dearing was Chancellor of the University between 1993 and 2000
Former Chancellor of the University of Nottingham and education reformist Lord Ron Dearing has died aged 78. National newspapers have paid tribute to the man who fundamentally changed the landscape of higher education through his 1997 report recommending
Further examples of his contribution to the world of education include the introduction of AS-Levels and making the teaching of foreign languages compulsory in primary schools. A long-serving civil servant, Dearing also held positions in the Treasury and Department of Trade and Industry as well as being Chairman of the Post Office from 1981 to 1987.
by Justine Moat As Chancellor of the University between 1993 and 2000, Dearing oversaw such significant developments as the establishment of a campus in Malaysia and the opening of Jubilee Campus, where a building was named after him in 2001. The current Vice-Chancellor David Greenaway describes Dearing as “always humane and thoughtful”, adding that, “his influence on our University will be long-lasting and fondly remembered”. Dearing will also be remembered for being consistently unpretentious. When his job provided him with a chauffeur-driven car, Dearing insisted on driving the chauffeur home at night and picking him up on the way to work in the morning.
Crackdown on Campus Parking
by Emma Shipley
Yezza Jailed on Immigration Grounds Hicham ‘Hich’ Yezza, an ex-employee and student at the University of Nottingham, has been jailed for nine months after trial by jury and given a conviction of “securing avoidance of immigration action via deceptive means.” He maintained that his passport had been stolen and that immigration officials extended his stay until December 2007. When it was later recovered by police it revealed he had
Yezza is being held at Woodhill Prison
failed to obtain a stamp since 2003 and that his stay in the UK was therefore illegal. In mitigation, Caroline Bradley said her client had demonstrated a certain amount of “stupidity” for failing to follow official procedures as “if he had done things properly, he would have been granted in all likelihood the right to stay in this country”. Sentencing him, Judge Charles Wide QC told him: “I find that your guilt in this case involved the deliberate, extended manipulation of the system for immigration control, which involved deliberate and serious deceit. The public is entitled to have confidence in the system of immigration control but it makes it much more difficult for truthful applicants if some applicants tell lies, as you did”.
by Sophia Hemsley Musab Younis, of the Free Hich campaign, said, “It’s really significant that the judge who sentenced Hicham said there was no basis to recommend deportation. The only reason Hicham is still here is due to the work of thousands of people - we should remember that the government tried to deport him within days of his incompetent and racist arrest under the Terrorism Act. We will continue to campaign for his right to stay in the country with his friends and loved ones.” The trial follows the initial arrest of Yezza under the Terrorism Act, which sparked nationwide controversy relating to concepts of academic freedom and UK terror legislation. It is understood that Yezza’s legal team are launching an appeal against the conviction.
Beginning of a New Era for Tourism in Nottingham? The University of Nottingham has intensified their approach to disallowing student parking on campus. Although the regulations of campus parking have been the same since September 2006, the University had previously adopted a lenient approach in monitoring parking on campus. However, following the Christmas break, students have noticed a change in this attitude; several longterm users of the parking facilities have had their cars clamped, raising much upset amongst the student body. One anonymous student described
the recent upsurge in regulation as “outrageous”, and criticised the University for not caring about its students. The University has not gone back on its policy, which states that students found parking who have been refused permission to bring a car onto campus, or who have no valid parking permit, will have their vehicles clamped without warning. Students are encouraged to apply for parking permits, the allocation of which is supplied by the University Security Office. Under the current regulations
Most students are not allowed to park on campus
students living within a radius of fifteen miles of University Park are not eligible for parking permits, however concessionary permits may be issued to students. Otherwise, students must not bring a car on to campus between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday, nor are they allowed to use the pay and display parking facilities found on campus. With rumours of petitions being signed, parking on campus remains a topical and volatile issue.
£5 Million Award for Arts and Humanities Research The University of Nottingham has been awarded 138 postgraduate studentships to further research in the arts and humanities over the next five years. It is worth an estimated £5 million. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will fund 82 PhD and
56 Masters studentships in 16 subject areas across the University’s Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Law and Education. Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Arts, Professor Karen Cox, said: “this substantial award reaffirms the
by Justine Moat
University’s position as one of the country’s leading research institutions in the fields of Arts and the Humanities. It will safeguard our long-term planning for, and delivery of, high quality postgraduate research and training. It also means we will attract the highest calibre of research student.”
As older attractions fade away, could tourism in Nottingham be set for a rebirth? ‘The Tales of Robin Hood’, a stalwart tourist attraction on Maid Marian Way, went into voluntary liquidation in January causing the loss of 40 jobs. At the same time, the DH Lawrence heritage centre at Durban House in Eastwood has met with funding difficulties. A concerned resident argued that “the heart and soul” was being taken out of the area. The council has, however, set up a trust
with the intention of running a major Robin Hood attraction in Nottingham; an attraction which “will put the city on the map”, according to Deputy council leader Graham Chapman. While it is unclear exactly what this attraction will be, the scale has been hinted at in a recent proposal by local businessman, James Mellors, who hopes to construct a 100m high statue of Robin Hood near the city. The statue, which would contain a restaurant and lifts to convey tourists to two viewing
Beeston goes Bananas for Fairtrade Saturday 7th March saw the residents of Beeston take part in a world record attempt at simultaneous banana eating, part of a nationwide effort to break the world record for the greatest number of people eating a Fairtrade banana over a 24-hour period. Banana eating was one of many activities which took place in the town square to raise the profile of the
campaign to make Beeston a Fairtrade Town. Trent FM’s Twiggy and Emma joined the record-breaking residents of Beeston as they took part in fancy dress, Fairtrade food sampling and a Fairtrade recipe competition. Residents were also invited to make their own Fairtrade smoothies using a pedalpowered ‘Smoothie Bike.’ Efforts to raise awareness of the
by Dave Jackson
areas, would dominate the skyline, standing more than twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty and five times as tall as the Angel of the North. Such a construction would capitalise on the impact of a new ‘Robin Hood’ film directed by Ridley Scott, famous for hits Alien, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. Russell Crowe is set to play the eponymous hero while Cate Blanchett will play Maid Marian.
by Susannah Sconce Fairtrade concept also took place at the University in March, where the banana theme took the form of a oneminute eating competition. A fortnight of activities included a football match and Fairtrade wine tasing, alongside which students were invited to learn more about Fairtrade status, and its implications for producers in developing countries.
National News New Universities could Revert back to Old Polytechnic Role
by Jamie McClymont
Under new plans announced by the Universities Secretary, John Denham, ‘new universities’ – polytechnics elevated to university status since 1992 - may soon revert back to their traditional role. According to the plans, former polytechnics should stop trying to ape leading universities and provide vocational courses for practicallyminded students. The announcement marks something of a u-turn in government policy, which has for years attempted to promote the research credentials of new universities alongside the more established universities. Also indicated by Mr. Denham was his belief that post-1992 institutions should be expected to take more of a lead in attracting students from backgrounds associated with lower levels of
participation in higher education. This will come as a relief to leading universities, who have come under relentless pressure from successive Labour governments to increase the number of students from poorer backgrounds.
with vocational qualifications rather than A-levels. “I want to nurture the different parts of the system,” said Denham, who added: “the truth is a Classics degree from a traditional university is not the same as a degree in mining and engineering at another.”
“The truth is a Classics degree from a traditional university is not the same as a degree in mining and engineering at another”
However, the government’s plans may run into opposition from those within the academic profession. Malcolm McVicar, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancaster, a former polytechnic, warned that dividing institutions was “outdated”. He further added that any such move could result in a dispute that would make “the 2005 fees row look like a Sunday afternoon tea party”.
Mr. Denham will outline in full his strategy for higher education this summer, with changes including a new form of vocational degree. This will be mainly offered by new universities and will be aimed to benefit those
Atheist Student Societies on The Rise
by Rachel Webb
Following a recent atheist bus campaign, the secular school of thought has witnessed a rise in student interest and participation. The campaign, which saw 600 London buses bearing posters with the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, was the brainchild of comedian Ariane Sherine and began in response to the Christian ‘Alpha Course’ adverts on buses proclaiming biblical extracts. A series of pro-secular student movements have since sprung up to oppose what the ‘anti-God squad’ believe is a growing pandering towards religious groups.
The NUS has recently reported that only 14% of students think that their university deals with complaints fairly. The investigation included a focus group and a survey sent to 45 students’ unions, to which 23 replies were received. Three-quarters of students said many of their peers feared that making a complaint would jeopardise their relationship with an academic or their studies, as those who deal with complaints are university staff and may “naturally side with the institution”. The NUS wants a single national
procedure that all universities follow, as it claims part of the problem is the lack of uniformity in dealing with such matters. Another possible solution is the appointment of campus ombudsmen – in the US these are often retired professors or lawyers who resolve problems informally and independently of a university. However, critics say that they would just add another layer of bureaucracy to the already muddled system. The Office for the Independent Adjudicator (the student complaints
body in England and Wales) states that two-thirds of cases reviewed are found to be unjustified. In less than 10% of cases they review the student complaint is found to be justified – that is, where there is evidence of a failure by universities to keep to their own rules, breaches of natural justice and insensitive handling. Any improvement in practice is further hindered by the fact that gagging orders are in place in 95% of cases in which a student has won against their university.
Oxford’s Newspaper Editors Resign over Racist Spoof
The editors of Oxford University’s newspaper, Cherwell, have resigned after copies of a spoof edition handed out during a meal held by the weekly paper’s editorial team in November 2008 were leaked.
two students sexually abusing and killing babies. Joint editors, Sian CoxBrooker and Michael Bennett resigned asserting that they were not responsible for the spoof edition and offering an apology.
Entitled the Lecher, the satirical edition mocked the Holocaust, included racist comments and a front-page piece on
Oxford Student Publications Ltd, which publishes Cherwell, demanded the resignations and stated that the Lecher
by Anisa Kadri
was “utterly deplorable”. It is a tradition at Oxford University to publish a spoof of Cherwell at the end of each term as the old editors hand over to new ones. Cherwell is one of the oldest student publications, dating back to 1920, with famous authors Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene amongst former editors.
“University is a place where people think, a place where people evaluate evidence” Professor Dawkins, prominent atheist and author of The God Delusion, attended the launch and canvassed his support for students wanting to set up an atheist society. Dawkins explains, “University is a place where people think, a place where people evaluate evidence”.
Students Concerned about Backlash from Complaints
by Louis George Hemsley
development in the increasing atheism amongst students. The AHS is the first national student body to represent the rights of young British students. President of the society, 24 yearold Norman Ralph, states: “there is a growing wave of British atheism sweeping the country and we need to ride the wave”.
Professor Richard Dawkins helped launch AHS
The launch of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) is the latest
Nottingham does not currently have an atheist society. The University of Leeds recently set up its own atheist society but Chris Worfolk, a Leeds graduate, explained: “It took us a long time to get our society up and running. There was a lot of opposition”.
by Dave Jackson
Leaked Report damns Council as “dysfunctional” “Put simply, this council is dysfunctional,” stated the first line of a draft report originally suppressed by Nottingham City Council, but leaked recently to the Nottingham Evening Post. As well as identifying a “lack of vision, strategic direction, and poor project management”, the report singled out specific members of the Council for criticism, such as Leader Jon Collins and Deputy Graham Chapman, accusing them of “meddling”.
Nottingham champion of running Nottingham has come top in an annual report devoted to finding the best places to run in the UK. In the report, carried out by national magazine ‘Runner’s World’, Nottingham came out ahead of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle. Nottingham was praised for its beautiful countryside and renovated canal network which meant that for a runner “this city is the place to run, work and live.”
NG7 rife with knife crime, says NHS
Universities to Monitor Students’ Use of the Internet by Millie Lovett Government guidance issued to universities to monitor staff and student internet usage, and report findings to the police, has come under attack. The University and Colleges Union said: “the last thing that we need is people too frightened to discuss an issue or research a subject because they fear being arrested or institutions panicking and calling in the authorities”. These fears hold particular resonance at the University of Nottingham where student Rizwaan Sabir was arrested and detained for downloading an al-Qaeda handbook last year. The government fervently defended their actions as being necessary as part of a government crackdown on extremism, although it later emerged that Sabir was researching his dissertation on terrorism.
News In Brief
The government guidelines warn that institutions of higher education are now legally obliged “to prevent staff or students from accessing illegal or inappropriate material through college ICT systems.” Government antiterrorism legislation has been steadily increasing over the years with laws such as the 2006 Terrorism Act extending government power to search and detain those expected of involvement in terrorist activity.
Statistics released by the QMC have shown that of 378 victims of knife crime, the highest number of them came from the NG7 area, notably containing popular student area Lenton. Between 2004 and 2008, 50 people from NG7 had been treated after being assaulted with a knife or sharp object.
Robotic Drones draw criticism for University Nottingham University has found itself on the receiving end of student criticism for its involvement in the development of technology for unmanned aerial vehicles. The University has been paid up to £200,000 over four years to work with BAE Systems on the project, which is aimed at developing both military and civil aircraft.
The Debate Cost of Student Visas
News In Brief
Should Wild Animals be Banned from the Circus?
Concern has arisen amongst vice chancellors as visa costs for international students are set to increase in the year ahead. Within an increasingly competitive student recruitment market, British universities fear heightened visa fees will cause international students to look to other countries, such as the US or Australia, for higher education.
More Breakthroughs by University Scientists
by Dave Jackson
by Camille Herreman Controversy has arisen as ‘The Great British Circus’ arrived in Newark, Nottinghamshire, for a string of shows featuring performing elephants. It is the first time for ten years that an elephant act has been part of a circus schedule in the UK.
by Camille Herreman
“The UK Government is in serious danger of sending out a message that it does not welcome international students” The Vice Chancellors’ umbrella group Universities UK have outlined their disappointment with the Home Office’s decision, made without consultation with the higher education sector. Diana Warwick, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said, “The increase in fees will come at the same time as a number of other changes in the UK’s immigration system and the UK Government is in serious danger of sending out a message that it does not welcome international students.” Initial visas for students applying overseas will increase from £99 to £145. Visa fees for extensions via postal applications in the UK will increase from £295 to £357 and in-person applications from £500 to £565 - with additional costs for dependents. Over 50,000 undergraduate international students began their studies in the UK last year, with a similar number beginning postgraduate courses. Warwick states, “International students contribute far more to the UK academically, culturally and financially than they use in terms of public resources. We are very privileged as a country to welcome international students and have the opportunity to equip them with skills and qualifications for life.” The Vice Chancellors’ representative group highlighted the increasing competition for highly talented undergraduates and suggested this rise on visa fees may hinder the capabilities of universities to attract such students.
Following news in January that geneticists at Nottingham University had helped uncover the source of skin condition psoriasis, another team at the University have discovered three specific gene variations which are indicators of an increased susceptibility to asthma. The research could result in better diagnosis and treatment of the condition, which is thought to affect over 5 million people in the UK.
The show also includes a group of tigers (including a rare white tiger), lions, camels, zebras, reindeer and horses, and has received heavy criticism from animal welfare campaigners. Newark and Sherwood District Council reports that it does not have a ban on animal circuses.
University Challenge Victors Disqualified Oxford’s Corpus Christi made headlines for two reasons as they stormed to victory in the University Challenge final. Team captain Gail Trimble, nicknamed the ‘Human Google’ for her exploits, led her team to what was described as a “stupendous victory” over the University of Manchester, only for the team to be disqualified for fielding an ineligible team member. At the time of filming the final, team member Sam Kay was working as an accountant and was therefore not eligible to participate.
According to The Great British Circus’s website, the show has been “overwhelmed by supportive emails from animal lovers who understand the truth about how well we look after our animals.”
‘High 5’ for the Trams As part of fifth birthday celebrations for Nottingham’s tram system local people gathered in Old Market Square and attempted to break a world record - for the largest number of people simultaneously doing high fives. The crowd included children from a selection of city schools and players from Nottingham Forest, Notts County and Nottingham Rugby Club. A total of 413 people broke the record which was previously set in 2006 in the United States.
Ramsay Returns to Notts 18 months since Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares came to the Curry Lounge in Nottingham, the celebrity chef is set to return in April to see if the restaurant has followed his advice. Restaurant owner Arfan Razak is confident that Ramsay’s return will see him impressed by major changes, believing that “he’ll see that we’ve turned the business around.”
Phase II of Jubilee Campus Completed Phase II of Jubilee campus, which first opened in 1999, is officially complete. The £30m development has transformed a former brownfield site with three landmark new buildings and ‘Aspire’, the tallest freestanding sculpture in the UK. There will be an official ceremony with a royal representative to mark this occasion.
Robin Hood Statue Vandalised (again) Amid plans for a new Robin Hood structure the existing statue outside Nottingham Castle is under threat. It has recently been vandalised just days after it was repaired. Dave Green, General Manager of Nottingham Castle said: “It’s very unfortunate and upsetting that such a mindless act of vandalism has taken place just ten days since it was last repaired. The statue is a big draw for tourists but with repair costs climbing into the thousands each time it is damaged, it means we may face a long wait before it can be restored”.
by Justine Moat
The re-introduction of elephants by the Great British Circus represents a terrible regression in animal welfare. It is a shameful anachronism that whilst bear-baiting and dog-fighting were outlawed in the 19th century, 150-200 animals (30 of them wild) still remain in UK circuses and no restrictions exist on which species can be held or minimal legal provisions for their welfare. The circus director, Martin Lacey, argues that the elephants provide entertainment and education within the caring environment of the circus. This justification is morally and socially unacceptable. Although circuses may insist that they treat their animals with care, it is obvious that the environment of confinement and constant travelling is woefully inadequate when compared to the dynamic and socially complex characteristics of a natural habitat in the wild or a zoo. The minimum pen sizes advocated by the Association of Circus Proprietors of Great Britain are on average 70% smaller and never larger than the recommended minimum outdoor enclosure sizes in zoos. Performing tricks can cause unbearable strain on animals’ joints and the frequent travelling subjects them to high levels of stress. This suffering can never be outweighed by the enjoyment some people get from seeing them perform tricks. Nor can it be justified in the name of education, as there are so many other ways of learning about animals that are not harmful, for instance through the Internet. What can the continued use of such beautiful creatures in circuses possibly teach children apart from the lesson that it is acceptable to confine wild animals for the purposes of human enjoyment?
Nationally,180 cross-party MPs have signed a petition calling for a ban on wild animals in circuses and a proper licensing system for domesticated animals. In recent polls this move has been supported, say animal rights campaigners, by 80% of the British public. “Elephants are intelligent, social animals that need a large amount of space, and a great deal of stimulation,” says Jan Creamer, Animal Defenders International Chief Executive. “Worldwide awareness of animal suffering in circuses has never been greater,” she states, suggesting government inaction is responsible for a resurgence in elephant performances in the UK. The show, after performing in Nottinghamshire in early March, is now set to move to Scunthorpe.
by Louis George Hemsley
To some, the circus represents travellers touring remote villages, offering bear-baiting as a form of entertainment, squatting on private land and starving feral beasts in cages. They could not be more wrong. Invented in 1768 by the same country that brought us rugby, cricket, the World Wide Web and television (Britain in case you’re wondering), for 200 years it was considered the ultimate entertainment with its bright lights and colourful facade featuring exotic people and animals. As with global warming in recent years, the issue of animal rights came to the fore in the 1980s and a smear campaign ensued. Suddenly it became wrong to enjoy all this. But really, are circuses any worse than training animals to sit at the kerb, take part in dog agility courses or horse shows? I’ve yet to hear calls to outlaw county shows or dressage from the 2012 Olympics. Dr Marthe Kiley-Worthington reported on circus animals for the RSPCA that it was wrong to assume animals should always be kept in a natural state. Just as athletes and circus artistes enjoy mastering new physical skills, so do some animals. Might circus animals enjoy a great life of easy food, great travel and fun companionship? I would suggest this is far better than being caged in Whipsnade Zoo or bred for slaughter. I too have issues with the term ‘wild’ – most have been born into captivity and have known nothing but this lavish and glamorous lifestyle. I conclude that animal shows are an important part of our cultural heritage and banning them would simply confirm that extreme zealots are taking over society.
Sport University of Nottingham v Nottingham Trent University Varsity Series by Charlie Eccleshare and Max McLaren Three events into the 2009 Varsity Series and Nottingham University have taken an early lead. A loss in rugby league was countered by victories in swimming and ice hockey to take Uni 2-1 ahead:
On a bright and sunny day, Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent took to the swimming pool as the two teams kicked off the Varsity Series 2009. The tone was set for the whole series when before the event even started Trent fans made their feelings clear by ripping up a Uni banner that had found its way into the Trent section.
In a great game played in driving wind, torrential rain and hail, Trent defeated Uni by a slender 18-10. Bad discipline hampered Uni with a sin binning for Joe Scott and too many careless penalties given away.
In a frenzied affair at the Trent FM Arena, Nottingham University thrashed Trent 6-1 in an impressive victory. The packed out stadium was treated to goals, fights and sin bins galore as Uni routed their Trent counterparts.
Trent scored first, but Uni replied before half time with quick hands allowing Steve Cunningham to score in the corner, making it 4-4 at half-time. After half-time, Trent ran in two quick tries, punishing Uni for their ill-discipline. A superb solo-run from Jack Miller resulted in Uni’s second try, whilst Captain Ed Radcliffe slotted the goal to bring the score within touching distance. A late Trent try, however, sealed Uni’s fate in a game in which no player can be criticized for a lack of effort. A few near misses for Uni could have made a huge difference with both Ben White and Tom Cliffe going close, the latter was judged to be held up over the line by the referee.
The match began at a frenetic pace with Trent going closest, but as would be the case throughout the match, the Uni keeper (the outstanding Michael Snook) was equal to everything Trent could throw at him. Then, with the first third coming to a close, Uni took the lead through an outstanding individual effort from Tom Griffiths.
“The Uni men produced an almost flawless display” In the men’s event, Uni were utterly dominant, starting off with a 1-2-3 finish in the 100m Individual Medley, a feat they repeated twice later in the day. The Uni men produced an almost flawless display, with a 9-2 victory in their events. The women’s event was a much closer call with races going each way. Ultimately, Trent claimed a marginal 6-5 victory, restoring some pride after the men’s comprehensive defeat. The stage was set for the day’s final event, the mixed squadron match up. It was not long before the event descended into farce with almost every member of the squad in the pool at the same time. Both sides’ fans revelled in this light-hearted conclusion to a good spirited and enjoyable afternoon. It was Uni who claimed victory in the final event and an overall victory with a score of 363 points to 226, making a perfect start to the 2009 series.
“Trent prevailed as a more organised team” For Nottingham University the forwards never gave in, with Tom Cliffe and Chris Boobier the stand out performers. However, the plaudits must go to man of the match, Shaun McManus, a new player to the side this year. In the end, Trent prevailed as a more organised team, able to control the ‘play the ball’ more effectively and less susceptible to giving away needless penalties.
Nottingham Crowns its Superstars The last three and a half weeks have seen competitors take part in a number of grueling events in the bid to be crowned winner of Nottingham University Superstars. After coming through the earlier rounds, which had seen competitors run 100m & 800m, swim 50m, kayak 50m, compete in a basketball shoot-out and attempt to score in a football penalty competition, the event culminated in a final showdown at Isis nightclub. Four boys and five girls had made the final cut where a series of sit-ups, press-ups and burpies in one minute stints eventually saw Jordan Mungovan and Sarah Williams crowned the two Superstars of Nottingham University. Impact caught up with a few of the finalists including the two winners: Jordan Mungovan I didn’t really know what to expect when I signed up for the Superstars competition, everyone seemed to be buzzing with enthusiasm and confidence. I knew that to do well you would have to be a good all-rounder, which everyone there seemed to be,
Sarah Williams Kayaking on the lake in the freezing cold was hilarious – about half the boys sunk their boats! Luckily the girls were more successful, only one fell in. The final was amazing - I rounded up loads of troops from Lincoln Hall and the amazing Sports Sec organised supporters t-shirts with my name on. It was an awesome competition and the champagne, free gold gym membership and IMS ball tickets were definitely worth all those press-ups!
“I was told it was going to be a small Inter-Hall competition but this wasn’t the case” Nina Sorensen I first heard about Superstars from my Sports Rep, who had chosen me to
represent Rutland because “I went to the gym a lot”. I was told it was going to be a small Inter-Hall competition but this wasn’t the case. I was shocked at how many people came to support and what we were asked to do. It was an eye-opening experience, demonstrating that university sport really does separate the best from the good. However, students of all abilities were able to participate as there were always one or two of the events in which people could show what they’re made of. It also gives your self-esteem a well-deserved lift to know that out of hundreds of students, although you may not have won, you are still one of the fastest, strongest and fittest. Sarah-Louise Sauven The final was interesting! Nothing like getting down on your hands and knees on the Isis dance floor and doing a load of press-ups and sit ups in front of a load of drunk people. I was hoping they would let us turn away from the audience for the burpies... Alas not, I just hope no one was taking photos!
Nottingham Football by Scott McCubbin
Uni doubled their lead before Trent pulled one back after 34 minutes, setting up what promised to be a tense conclusion to the match. However, this proved not to be the case as Uni set about pulverizing their opponents. Only two minutes after Trent’s goal, Uni restored their two point lead, and later added another, seeing to be toying with their beaten opponents. The final third saw Uni add two more to their impressive total while Trent’s performance became little more than an ill-disciplined shambles. Multiple sin binnings deprived Trent of key players; after 55 minutes there was a brief absurd moment when Trent had 3 of their 5 outfielders consigned to the sin bin. In the final minute both teams became embroiled in a mass fight, leaving the crowd with the perfect entertaining finish to a hugely enjoyable evening.
as well as having specific individual strengths. For me, obviously, the highlight was winning, but there were plenty of memorable moments and it was really well organised, clean fun.
by Ben Bloom
After the most successful season in nearly a decade, the Nottingham University Men’s Football first team are close to being back where they rightfully belong. Finishing as Midlands Division 1a champions with a record that consisted of 8 wins and only 2 defeats was a real achievement. The standards
were higher than ever but the lads did not disappoint, and in the championship decider at Oxford the Notts team came out comfortable 2-0 winners and champions.
Crouch-like striker up front. Ultimately, it was a story of missed chances and it was disappointing to get knocked out by a side that, on the day, were no better than our own team.
It was now time to focus on the knockout competition, in which the team would compete against the Premiership sides in the leagues above them. In the first round they drew Brunel away and, in spite of missing a few key players, put in the best performance of the season culminating in a 5-1 win against a team from a higher division. Suddenly eyebrows were being raised.
Notts could not dwell on the disappointment for too long as they had a promotion playoff with Manchester to concentrate on. In blizzard conditions, Notts conceded first and yet this appeared to galvanise our team as they drew level with a penalty, but failed to take any of the numerous chances we then created, meaning the game finished 1-1. With the second and decisive playoff still to come against Stirling, which will determine if Notts achieve promotion to the premiership, training has intensified and they are coming in for the last week of Easter to prepare for the game and of course Varsity. Congratulations to all involved and let’s hope we can round things off in style.
The Notts team were then faced with the tough task of Loughborough, premiership champions, in another away match. Notts started well and despite conceding an early goal were much the better side. Unlike the Loughborough of old, this side did little more than play speculative long balls to the Peter
Getting to know… Archery with Sam Bucknall indoor season we fire at 60cm targets from 20 yards away. During the outdoor season we fire at larger targets between 80 and 144cm across from up to 100 metres away. In most of the competitions we enter, there is a novice category, so even beginners can win medals in their first few months. Name: Sam Bucknall Position: Club President Hometown: London Course: Medicinal and Biological Chemistry How does the competitive side of archery work? We have two phases to our year, the indoor and outdoor season. During the
Going into the last round of County Championship and Pro40 matches last season, Notts were more than able to finish the season with two pieces of silverware. But losses to Hampshire and Sussex meant that the Outlaws (Notts limited overs team) ended 2008 empty handed. England call-ups did not help Notts for the majority of last year, with both Stuart Broad and Ryan Sidebottom largely unavailable as they fought under the three lions. Furthermore, it seems as if the pair may be joined by Graeme Swann this summer after his wickets in the West Indies. Arguably being the pick of the England bowlers in the Caribbean, he is surely a shoe-in for the first of the return tests on the 6th May at Lord’s. Moreover, if Samit Patel continues his scintillating form of last year, topping the averages which saw him come second in the PCA County MVP rankings, more England caps are surely awaiting him: leaving Notts wanting with both bat and ball.
Have any birds/butterflies/other flying animals ever been accidentally speared by an arrow? Yes! Birds don’t seem to notice what we are doing, and fly across the range. I have seen a couple of birds taken out just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though that sort of thing tends to hamper the score, it makes for good bragging rights.
Do you archers ever re-enact the firing of an arrow into an apple resting on someone’s head?
When you tell people what sport you play, do they expect you to dress in Robin Hood type outfits?
Not properly. The original was done with a crossbow, which is far too inaccurate. Though it was once done with a mini compound bow from about a metre away - and the person with the apple was wearing a fencing face guard!
Only one or two. But especially being in Nottingham, you always get comments about ‘playing Robin Hood’… Though we do have a stock of the Robin Hood hats for when we go away to big competitions.
Nottinghamshire Face Tough Times in 2009 After coming so close to a memorable trophy-winning summer last season, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club may find it hard to repeat such feats this coming year.
by Ben Bloom
By Libby Galvin by Will Gilgrass
The news that Stuart Broad rejected to play in the lucrative IPL to continue to develop his game at home was a pluspoint for the Outlaws, but they have also recruited experience. Ex-Surrey big-hitter Ali Brown and spinner Jason Brown have joined the club to cover for the England quartet, while Mick Newell and the rest of the coaching staff will have to look to academy players to bolster the side where necessary. Luke Fletcher and Andy Carter have already put their hands up to lead the seamattack for the county. Fletcher has made four appearances for the first team, and along with Carter, the 20-year-old has the promise from coach Mick Newell that “opportunities will arise for these players if they prove that they’re worth it”. Read admits that “last season was great but we’d love to go one better and win it,” with the full knowledge that Championships require six months of hard work and a fair helping of luck. Despite the confidence of both captain and coach, Nottinghamshire may find 2009 a long, difficult and ultimately transitional year in the ever competitive 1st Divisions.
ouncers. Doormen. “Security”. Whatever term you use, your interactions with them will often make or break a night out. 13 years ago, Donal MacIntyre, that now infamous and not-so-undercover investigative journalist, began his television career on the groundbreaking documentary series World In Action. After 11 months working as a bouncer in Nottingham clubs, he exposed a seedy criminal underworld of drugs rings and organized crime amongst the so-called ‘security’ firms of our city’s nightclubs. Over a decade later, almost every student has their own sob story about the injustices of being turned away from this or that club, or being roughly treated by overzealous doorstaff, but how far are these just the normal scuffles that come with the territory? Are they the inevitable outcome of alcohol-fuelled, testosteronecharged university rugby lads’ ‘banter’ mixing badly with muscle-bound authority figures? Or do the security staff of some nightclubs actually pose more of a risk to our safety than some of the riled-up students they eject onto the pavements every night of the week?
Nottinghamshire’s Graeme Swann is likely to join Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad in missing much of the season on England duty
Since MacIntyre’s exposé, the world of bouncing has cleaned up its image no end: no longer a law unto themselves, every bouncer or doorman now has to have a CRB check for violent or drugs-related convictions and go through training before being registered with the Security Industry Authority (SIA), in accordance with the Private Security Industry Act of 2001. The introduction of national standards has done much to tackle the negative image surrounding the profession, as Jackie Munn of the SIA recognises. “I personally knew of door supervisors who had convictions for murder,” she said. “We couldn’t continue as we were.” Perhaps we should count ourselves lucky: before these regulations came in, the generation of student clubbers preceding us could have faced convicted murderers with a job description that amounted to a licence to beat people up on the doors of our most popular clubs. Nonetheless, some unlicensed bouncers do slip through the net. On the 6th February this year the SIA conducted a routine check in Nottingham city centre. Of 119 staff working at 29 venues, only 3 individuals were unlicensed. These statistics are good, as over 97% were working within the law, but 3 individuals in that position still have a lot of potential to do damage. In a city with well over 350 licensed venues, the real figure of unlicensed bouncers working the doors could well be much higher; and stories of bar staff at some establishments being roped in as doormen on occasion are not unheard of. The scariest figures show that on a Friday or Saturday night, private security staff outnumber police on duty by a ratio of ten to one, and to a great degree are a law-unto-themselves. So under the new laws, with clean records and training in ‘conflict avoidance’, do Nottingham bouncers deserve the bad rep that still clings to them? Student stories are mixed to say the least. At one underground club on the outskirts of Lenton, shady connections and drug dealing seems to be an open secret. One student, who prefers not to be named, describes his experience at this establishment: “I saw a guy standing in the corner of the club blazing a joint, at a night which my friends and I run. To be honest I wasn’t bothered it was a joint, just that he was so openly smoking inside. I went up to him and asked if he could take it outside; he just stared at me and retorted, ‘what you talkin’ about? I work here.’ Next thing I know he walks off and chats to the bouncer, the bouncer comes over and gives me a little talking to along the lines of, ‘just let me police what goes inside the club, and you keep out of it.’ When I talked to my friends about what happened, they told me that I had really picked the wrong guy to tell off, as he was the resident drug dealer.” Another story from the same club involves one clubber having cannabis confiscated from her at the door – fairly standard, you may think, and in normal circumstances her situation is indefensible. However, rather than refusing entry or reporting the incident to the police,
this particular bouncer preferred to roll joints with the confiscated material and torment the owner by smoking them in front of her! The problem is, these are hardly the sort of incidents that are going to get reported to the police or the SIA, as the people who have witnessed bouncers engaging in such criminal activities are wrapped up in those activities themselves. As a result, many dodgy bouncers are remaining under the radar, and no amount of CRB checks will uncover criminal offences that have gone unreported. The link between bouncers and drugs is one thing, and of little concern to students who don’t participate in that scene. Those that do will perhaps have to accept that such issues are part of the deal if recreational drugs are your vice of choice. But there are other students who suffer real injustices, who haven’t broken the law, who aren’t even drunk never mind disorderly when they suffer the fickleness of doormen’s right to refuse entry. Girls are often the lucky ones when it comes to gaining entry to clubs; if the (predominantly male) doorstaff take a liking to an attractive girl, she often finds herself at the front of the queue, allowed in when a group of lads are told the club is full, or mysteriously on a guestlist she never put her name down for. Few complain about this kind of sexism when it is to their advantage. However, for every hot girl given superior treatment, there are those who incur the scathing indictments of some apparently very specific door policies. Female students have found themselves verbally abused about their looks, one girl being referred to as an “ugly ginger” and subsequently not allowed in. Frustratingly, bouncers can refuse entry without an obligation to provide a reason; perhaps in this case the doorman in question would have done better to be a little more vague in disclosing his rationale for turning her away. Sexism and playground-style bullying aside, the most shocking instances of unreasonable entry policies have occurred most recently at Gatecrasher, and seem to amount to little more than outright racism. Since the beginning of the spring semester, groups of Asian clubbers have allegedly been finding themselves turned away from the club with a trite “not tonight, boys”, standing aside only to look on as other groups of white students are let in without a second glance. One student, enquiring why he wasn’t being allowed in, claims that he was told he wasn’t dressed smartly enough. This was on a student night and he was wearing trousers and shoes. Whilst he turned to leave, others were allowed in, their jeans and trainers being considered smart enough apparently because the people dressed in them had paler skin.
FEMALE STUDENTS HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES VERBALLY ABUSED ABOUT THEIR LOOKS, ONE GIRL BEING REFERRED TO AS AN “UGLY GINGER” AND SUBSEQUENTLY NOT ALLOWED IN When we enquired about these incidents, a representative from Gatecrasher explained that their security is supplied by an external company, and admitted that they don’t vet or interview the bouncers themselves and are in the process of reviewing the contract with the security providers they currently employ. However, they refused to comment directly on the allegations of racism, so we are left to speculate as to whether the potential switch in security companies is connected to bouncers abusing their positions or not. This hasn’t stopped theories circulating the student community regarding the origins of this alleged controversial policy; considering one of the head bouncers is himself Asian, many suspect it is not simply a case of vulgar racism. Rather, rumour abounds that promoters of another Thursday night ‘urban music’ event at Halo are seeking to tap into the Asian student market, and have been paying off bouncers to refuse entry and encourage them to go elsewhere. If there is any truth to this theory, the fact that the usual Thursday night crowd is now partying at Halo whilst Gatecrasher is closed due to fire damage means someone achieved their aim even if purely by coincidence! So there are plenty of bad bouncers, that’s a given. But what about the good bouncers? And, wait for it…what about badly behaved students? ISIS is one club which, being an AU night, experiences all the consequences of the ‘lash and banter’ this entails. Despite being dropped as an officially sponsored Students’ Union night
some years back, partly because of complaints regarding the level of aggression used by the security staff, ISIS have overcome these issues and is back with a vengeance as one of the most popular nights of the week. A spokesperson for ISIS described how they dealt with problems last October surrounding the behaviour of some of the harder partying sports teams: “We worked closely with Paul Lloyd, the AU officer, to get the message out that bad behaviour would not be tolerated. Paul did an excellent job and the situation improved. The situations that arise are the usual: drunken students being turned away and then refusing to go home, the odd fight on the dancefloor, and so on.” Such liaising shows how student nights can be run well, by using communication rather than the shortterm solution of a headlock or ending up thrown out onto the pavement in a bloody heap. The truth is, most student/bouncer fracas are caused by drunk students lashing out when being removed from a club; rarely do you hear of anyone being ‘started on’ by security staff unprovoked. ISIS were keen to reiterate their policy of handing over any person involved in a violent incident to the police, explaining that “over the years there have been a couple of students who have been prosecuted and have now got criminal records. I always explain whenever given
the opportunity to anyone involved in any incident that it will not look good on their PWC or KPMG application form to have to tick the box ‘Do you have a criminal record?’” Harsh as it may seem, this is true. One drunken mistake and what was you simply fighting for your right to party can all too often end up in a fight to clear your name, as one student discovered in his first year during a particularly messy night at ISIS. “Being pretty drunk, I took offence at another student chanting anti-semitic football songs, which I wouldn’t normally… Anyway, I stared him out, then turned away. Next thing I knew he had grabbed my arm and I ended up headbutting him in the face.” It was hardly a fight to rival the Yid Army (a hooligan gang associated with Tottenham Hotspur) v. Millwall Bushwackers, but the student in question ended up with a night in a cell, a police caution and narrowly missed out on a criminal record. Despite drunkenness and clearly an aggressive mood, he had no complaints about the way the bouncers handled the situation. For the most part, bouncers do provide the security they are employed to, and there are a few students who owe certain doormen a debt of gratitude: the girl who was about to step into an unlicensed cab until a bouncer notice and sent the driver on his way, and various individuals on the losing side of a dancefloor fight who’ve had their aggressors removed. And yet, for every few good stories about bouncers fulfilling their duties, there seems to be a story of a bouncer being unreasonable, aggressive or just downright criminal that sticks in the mind that little bit more. Yes, the situation has improved immeasurably since Donal MacIntyre first investigated, but the fact remains bouncers deal with aggression night after night: if you rile them up, they’ll be having none of it. At best, you’ll be going home before you’ve got in, and at worst you’ll have a few bruises to remember the night by. Violence from bouncers is probably the easiest problem to avoid. Most complaints regard the use of unnecessary force, but the best thing is not to give them a reason to use any force in the first place. Unfortunately, the same does not apply to incidents of racism, sexism or simple assault perpetrated by security personnel. Bouncers may outnumber the police on a night out in the city center, but the bouncers’ rule does not outweigh the law of the land.
It is widely known that students in Higher Education who have this label are entitled to a free laptop or desktop, complete with the latest software, courtesy of the government. This software is designed to help those with reading or writing difficulties and includes voice recognition technology and planning programs. These opportunities are all part of a Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) government scheme. Specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia are included in this scheme, which offers non-repayable financial help to the sum of up to £5000 to spend on specialist equipment. Furthermore, in the last year this sum has risen by almost 3%, taking the maximum allowance to £5,130. The Times estimates therefore that around £50 million of government money is invested into dyslexic university students each year. In addition, dyslexic students are of course eligible for extra time in exams. I spoke to a second-year Politics student who was diagnosed with Dyslexia at the age of 7. He explained that he is entitled to 25% extra time in exams and possibly some extensions on essays if he applies for this specifically. Whilst everyone can see the importance of recognising this condition, such policies raise some difficult questions. For example, a dyselxic student taking a Number Theory exam as part of a Maths degree will have an extra 15 minutes longer than the allocated hour, despite the lack of reading and writing involved in this exam.
By Hattie Hamilton
yslexia is commonly recognised as a learning disorder which hinders the use of language, particularly in the case of reading. But is this diagnosis becoming all too easy for students to acquire, and one which provides more profit than problems?
At the University of Nottingham 40% of undergraduate students have known learning difficulties including Dyslexia
Upon reaching new levels of boredom in the Hallward library during the January exam period, I took to eavesdropping on other people’s conversations in order to procrastinate from doing my own revision. I couldn’t help but overhear the grumbles of three scientists who had just returned from an exam. They were bemoaning the famous Hallward library Hitlers, having being sent right back down to the first floor with their tails between their legs for being caught with a packet of fruit pastilles on a food forbidden floor. But in addition to their trivial worries, two of them had been unable to finish their papers in the exam time, but were well aware that their friend (who had an average of 75% already) was still sitting comfortably finishing his paper due to his extra time. This is a difficulty with such policies, as those students who do courses other than Arts may have less need for more time, due to the more mathematical or scientific nature of assessments. But the question is where can you draw the line? A second year student, studying Economics at Nottingham with a current first-class average, said that although he is not officially diagnosed as dyslexic he also gets 25% extra time in exams. “I had it from when I took my GCSEs and it has carried through all my exams until now. I received it initially because I wrote quite slowly and often spelt words wrong. My teachers at the time referred me to a specialist who you basically pay a lot of money, with the end result being given a certificate saying you struggle with texts and you use this to claim your extra time through the exam board”. This suggests that even candidates who have no specific diagnosis can claim extra time in exam situations, which undoubtedly aids some students to achieve higher grades than others. Recently, a friend of mine has been considering applying for the Dyslexia screening. Initially he admitted to me that he had his eyes on Apple’s new Macbook computer. However, on further probing I discovered that his claims of dyslexia might not be completely unfounded. He explained that he had always had difficulty with reading and spelling, but the problem had not been particularly extreme so no action had been taken while he
was at school. Upon coming to university he learnt of the benefits that it is possible to obtain from being diagnosed. Realising that he would in fact be better off being dyslexic than not, he made the arrangements to be tested. He even admitted that the test could not have come at a better time because he had not done as well as he’d hoped in the January exams, and the extra time in the summer could help him climb the grade boundaries. Although he is yet to have his second screening he remains optimistic that he has given enough evidence to provide him with the diagnosis he hopes for. However, having a young relative who is severely dyslexic, I am in no way questioning whether this condition exists or the emotional and educational strains which arise from it. I have seen the problems it can cause for a young child who struggles to spell and process texts and the dilemmas this presents to his parents. Whilst some schools are evidently far better equipped to deal with children with learning difficulties, changing schools would involve him leaving behind all that he has known for the past five years. This in itself has been a particularly challenging decision for his parents to make on his behalf.
The diagnosis has simply become an umbrella term which means nothing and enables students in higher education to abuse the system
Apparently, around one in ten people in Britain have been diagnosed with Dyslexia, but recently the number of students in Higher Education applying for the screen test has new highs. At the University of Nottingham 40% of undergraduate students have known learning difficulties including Dyslexia. Is it too cynical to question whether such figures are due to a wider awareness of the benefits which come hand in hand with such a diagnosis?
In an article published by The Times in 2007, titled ‘Dyslexia: a label to get you off the hook?’, Professor Julian Elliott from Durham University explained that he believed that Dyslexia to be nothing more than poor reading ability. He also suggests that the diagnosis has simply become an umbrella term which means nothing and enables students in higher education to abuse the system. I spoke to Barbara Taylor, Head of Academic Support at Nottingham University, about this controversial issue. She explained that she has become tired of the sort of comment displayed in the aforementioned article, believing it to be ill-informed. She clarified, “The extra time in examinations is designed to create a level playing field. Many dyslexic students have slower processing speeds therefore they will be slower at reading material on the papers, and reading through their answers to check them. In addition, they often have much slower writing speeds— the recognised average writing speed for a student in Higher Education is around 25 words per minute; some dyslexic students produce 15 words a minute. In timed situations if a student is writing 10 words less per minute, in an hour they may write 600 words less. The University does not automatically provide extensions to deadlines for course-work; students have to negotiate these with their module convener just as other students do”. Ms Taylor also struggles to believe that students simply have their eyes on new equipment; “Given that computers are much less expensive than they used to be I would question why anyone would want to go down that route. There are a number of reasons for the growth in the numbers of students coming forward for screening: firstly, we have more students at the University; secondly, awareness of dyslexia is growing both among the students and also among the staff. Students talk to other students who are becoming more comfortable with saying that they are themselves dyslexic and recommending that their friend investigate it — partly because there is support available but also because they are aware of the distress that unrecognized dyslexia can bring”. These valid points render the situation more complex than those grumbling Science students consider it. Perhaps it is a case of a few individuals abusing the system and thus undermining the real difficulties faced by students who are Dyslexic. Although a solution to these complaints seems near impossible, I can’t help feeling that the government might be missing a trick which could save them some of the allocated £50 million they spend. The British Dyslexia Association state that the condition is likely to be present at birth and will continue throughout a person’s lifetime. If this is indeed the case, the solution seems to lie in compulsory screening in primary schools for every child at around the age of 5 or 6 to prevent this situation occurring later in Higher Education.
These words, spoken by the Chairman of the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus, do not fit the experiences I underwent while living there. I don’t deny that I had the best time of my life during my one semester exchange; the opportunity of integrating it with my degree was the reason I chose Nottingham University. I’m not advising that students should miss this unique opportunity, but merely pointing out the improvements that the university needs to make.
To me, it seems as though the university tries to suppress any discrepancies between the experience they describe and the reality. On my return to England, my fellow exchange students and I were asked to speak to potential applicants, but the main requirement was that we were not to reveal anything negative that might decrease interest. I was shocked to be asked this and refused to go. Perhaps things have improved since my time there, but as I couldn’t voice my opinion at the meetings, I’m telling it here instead. In the initial talk about the exchange programme with past students not a bad word was breathed. On reflection it was almost a mimicry of a pre-recorded sales pitch, as each student reeled off variations on, “It-was-brilliant, I-had-the-time-of-mylife”, like talking dolls with pull strings. When I arrived on the Malaysia campus in Semenyih, I was a little puzzled when I saw a friend who had already been in Malaysia for one semester wearing a bizarre combination of a jumper with his shorts and flip-flops, carrying a bomber jacket, in the scorching 38-degree heat. Did he not realise he wasn’t in drizzly Britain anymore?
He was, in fact, going to the library. He shook his head in disbelief that I had only brought summer holiday clothes, claiming that for revision, a ski jacket was more appropriate. This baffling encounter was explained a few weeks later when I visited the library, and understood the possibility of near death by pneumonia from the icy cold air-conditioning. Students were wearing winter woollies and some were falling asleep because it was too cold to concentrate. In Asia it seems that the colder the air conditioning, the higher the status the person holds; I really hope this is not the reason that the University keeps the library in the ice age. Poor ventilation nurtured mould in the hall bedrooms; two days after placing clean clothes in the wardrobe, they would reek of damp and would have grown a layer of greygreen fur. Students living on the bottom floor would have slimy green sheets of mould on the bathroom tiles in a matter of days and even, in some cases, mushrooms growing from the bedroom ceiling. The Malaysia campus is the ideal place to lose weight; the heat helps but the campus’ lack of decent food and resources really do the trick. The main food café was very cheap but certainly not cheerful! It had the same menu, day in day out: curry and roti for breakfast, chicken rice for lunch, and the evening meal a selection of lumpy curries, fried chicken and greasy vegetables. Past students warned me against evening meals, claiming they’d seen cockroaches swimming in the food. There were some problems that were not the university’s fault, but which I wouldn’t have minded a warning about. In the halls, I had a few sleepless nights due to a pesky gecko that sneaked into my room until, in a combination of exasperation and terror, I regrettably battered the poor thing to death with my badminton racket. Situated near a jungle, we were sometimes attacked by huge moths the size of a man’s hand! The edges of the buildings were lined with a white powder to ward off snakes; it worked, but snakeskin often had to be fished out from the swimming pool. I suppose if you can get used to the monotonous yet challenging game of hopscotch to dodge raging geese and their poo on Jubilee, then you can quickly become accustomed to a few anacondas and geckos. Having been to both Malaysia and China campuses, the brief stop on the Ningbo campus presented a cleaner and more organised structure with better facilities
and food than Semenyih. However, my experience with a doctor left a lot to be desired. While trying to explain that I had developed stomach cramps and nausea, the doctor dragged a random student into the surgery to help her understand the extent of my illness even though she spoke English (my numerous attempts at sign language and frantic pointing were clearly futile). I was stunned after she joked with the student and burst into sniggers after I mentioned ‘naughty words’ like “bowels”. What on earth happened to confidentiality, and dignity! Like its China counterpart, the Malaysia campus had many academic and recreational buildings but nothing substantial inside them. They had stalls for fruit and phone top-up but nobody serving, the cash machine seldom worked, whilst the convenience snack store seemed limited to crisps, chocolate, and more crisps. The gym had a lot of equipment which was broken for the whole time I was there. The library shelves had more gaps than books. Core modules were not supported with the essential materials, to the extent that one teacher said, “There is one core reading book, and it’s in my hand. Who wants it?” After a baffled pause, this resulted in a swift and vicious tug of war. We were aware the campus was no longer in Kuala Lumpur, but we were certainly given the impression that it was not too far. We were told that buses were frequent and taxis were available… In fact, buses came once an hour and would only drop us off at the nearest town, Kajang, where we had to get a train for a further 40 minutes. As for taxis, none from the city would come to campus as it was too far away, and the University had only arranged 4 taxi drivers that everyone used. They were on constant redial as students desperately attempted to get out of campus to eat. When we succeeded in getting a taxi, it would take 45 minutes to an hour to get to the city, at a cost of £8-£12. Contrary to what you may think, I am not a bitter student trying to put other people off. I don’t want to discourage potential exchange students because even writing about the worst bits reminds me of how much I miss Malaysia. Also, the opportunities to explore South East Asia were endless; I managed to visit Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand while I was there. The teachers are friendly and, due to smaller class sizes, the lessons are more interactive and have a personal touch. All in all, don’t think twice about it, just go! However, I hope that voicing complaints to the managers of the Malaysia campus will not continue to be a fruitless activity – the university just needs to pull its socks up for you.
By Amy Yau 20
The Palace of Justice, Putrajaya
alaysia Campus is an ideal location for us to develop a high quality living, teaching and learning environment - in keeping with Nottingham’s status as a leading international University
The NME awards are famed for controversy. Unlike the reserved Brit awards or the snooty Oscars, you never know when a drunken, disgruntled musician will strike. Impact’s Ben Griffin caught up with the big winners backstage to get the latest celebrity gossip, from Carl Barat’s comments on former Libertine Pete Doherty to Damon Albarn’s thoughts on Blur vs. Oasis – round 2. Here’s the lowdown from last month’s awards at the Brixton academy.
You won ‘Best Live Band’ yet I hear you’re expanding into the world of video games… Yeah we’re being immortalised…I haven’t played Guitar Hero before, but one of our songs is on it (Hysteria). The sequel game’s going to have Altitude on it, too. As winner of ‘Sexiest Male’, are you going to be featured on screen too? Yeah, next week I’ll be putting on a mo-cap suit so the techie geeks can see how I play the guitar, I’m going to be one of the characters!
What’s in store for your next album? It’s going to be drum-heavy. I love playing the drums, I did a bit on my last album and I’m going to do more on the next one. It makes me chilled out, I get into my own little groove. Drumming’s cool.
So Blur are finally reunited? I want our comeback to be all about positive things. I’m really, really excited about playing Glastonbury, like a kid looking forward to Christmas. I don’t even care if it rains. In fact I hope it does, like the old times. Oasis won ‘Best British Band’ – is the famous feud still going on behind the scenes? I’m too old to get into a row with Oasis. I’m just happy to be back and doing my thing with my friends.
What do you think of Muse’s new enterprise? I do play Guitar Hero in my spare time - how did you know?
I hear there’s a movie in the pipeline?
How are you celebrating your award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to British Music’?
Yes, me and Julian are writing Mighty Boosh: The Movie, with lots of unicorns and magical things. It’s important for me to have creative control - I would never do a movie where someone else wrote the script.
By getting really, really drunk. I’m going to party all night long.
What do you think of Nottingham? I have played at Rock City, I loved it. Nottingham’s great. Is it definitely the end for Dirty Pretty Things? Yeah, we split up last year and it is final. It’s a shame but it means I am free to do new things. The future’s bright. Annoyed that Pete Doherty beat you to ‘Best Dressed Male’? I wasn’t at all upset because I never expected to win. I think Pete is a bit shocked he won - he probably doesn’t even know what he has won it for - but it’s a good award for him to win and if anything, I am happy for him more than anything else. How do you two get along now? Pete will always be one of my best mates.
Pete Doherty won Best Dressed Male despite you currently sporting a purple velvet jacket. Do you think he deserved it? Hm, in a way - I like his hats. Most of the celebs were on their best behaviour. Naughty Peaches Geldof obviously didn’t get the memo – she was seen getting close to Jamie from the Klaxons and they eventually left for a hotel together. Girls Aloud members Sarah Harding and Nicola Roberts diva’d it up by demanding their aides to get them chips from a local Brixton kebab shop, and the night was topped off by the forcible ejection of a reveller after laying on a table and telling his mates to pour drink down his throat. Who says celebrities have all the fun? By Ben P. Griffin http://www.nme.com/awards/photos
t’s early July, and we arrived in the Alps a week ago. We spent our first week climbing with friends, but now it’s time to try something harder. A quick flick through the guidebook clinched it - we would attempt the Frendo Spur. First climbed in 1941, the route is a “magnificent and wellestablished classic” on the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi above the town of Chamonix. The ‘midi’ is 3842 metres high, and the route is seen as a benchmark for those breaking into ‘proper’ alpine routes. At over a kilometre high the face presented an irresistible challenge.
We began our adventure with bivouac at the midstation of the télépherique (the cable car that takes skiers up the gentler slopes, up to just shy of the 3,000 metre mark). During the night three (very wet) students from Leeds University appeared, having just descended from the Frendo Spur - they had begun the climb late that afternoon only to be forced into retreat due to route-finding errors and bad weather. We prayed that the weather would improve enough to do the route since the €32 for the lift up had stung our already frugal budget. We woke at 3am and soon began the walk to the base of the route. By four o’clock Chris was picking his way up the slabs at the base of the rock section. The initial slabs soon gave way to more strenuous climbing on broken rock. Chris climbed to a dead end. I shouted up, “come back, I’ll try this way,” looking pointedly towards a short crack about the width of a fist to my right. Still moving together, I tried to jam my feet in the crack, but my boots were too big and with my feet slipping I felt my arms quickly begin to tire. After managing to place a cam in the crack, I continued the struggle upward. “Watch me here,” I called shakily, as I moved my hands up the crack. “Concentrate…” I tell myself. I grabbed a big flake of rock and knew that the battle was won. Chris climbed up to join me. Now established on the ridge itself we began to gain height quickly, but the climbing was loose and insecure. Many of the Alps are glued together with ice, and every day it begins to melt before re-freezing at night. The outcome of this is a huge amount of rockfall. Alpinists try their best to avoid this by getting up early, to climb while the rocks are still frozen in place. Fortunately for us, the rock wasn’t too loose, and we were soon at the crux of the route, a series of solid chimneys leading up to the ridge.
An enormous rumble echoed across the face as ice cliffs to our right collapsed and hurtled down the 1000 metre face. The ice cliffs, known as ‘seracs’, can reach the size of a building; when they fall they destroy anything below. Although out of the way of its path, we knew we must keep moving. I squirmed my way up the awkward chimneys and established myself in the cracks and grooves above. We moved up quickly with a short section of rope between us. Stunning climbing led up to a few tricky moves and an amazing traverse that marked the end of the rock section. An awe-inspiring snow arête took us to the base of the rognon. From below, the slope angle looked fairly shallow – oh, how wrong we were. Once below the rock rognon a sketchy traverse led around the rock in 3 rope-lengths. I was all too happy for Chris to lead this section, since I’d brought flexible boots and lighter axes to save on weight. Weight equals time in the Alps and the majority of climbers will take the bare minimum a route requires. By now Chris was leading on poor ice with little or no protection, exhausting work that causes you to tire quickly. After bruising his toes from some generous step-kicking he handed me the lead. I initially tried to forge a line up the final section rock but this proved tricky - soon I was back on the ice. To my relief I found a few resting places on the pitch, and I was able to drive in a few good ice screws for the steep bits. I brought Chris up and he slogged on up the final 30 metres of horrendous powder snow and through the cornice to the top. I pulled over the cornice, and felt a tremendous sense of achievement - only reinforced by the view of Chamonix, 3000 metres below us. I joined Chris on the glistening snow beneath the Aiguille du Midi, and we sat for a while enjoying the warm sun and the views of snow-covered granite peaks surrounding us. A while later, we began to get chilly and so began the short journey down to the ‘frique’ station. Crammed tightly into the cable car, comfort was non-existent but the descent was short and soon we were sitting in Chamonix enjoying poor, cheap French beer and steak-frites baguettes under the umbrellas of a sandwich bar. By Hamish Dunn Hamish and Chris are both members of the bizarrely-named Munro Pineapple Society, an AU club specialising in mountaineering. Find out more at www.munro-pineapple.org.uk
e campaigned, protested, went on hunger strike, chained ourselves to railings and, when all that didn’t work, burned our bras in the name of women’s rights. I say we, but my bra is very much intact, as I wasn’t around for any of that and can’t claim any of the credit. Still now, after all of their hard work, I’m reluctant to plead the feminist case. Ironically, that may actually be thanks to Germaine and co; I’ve been brought up with the notion that I can have it all – the meaningful career and perfect family package – and somewhat unfairly, have thought feminists nowadays to be, well, a bunch of moaners. Enter the post-feminists, who don’t exactly share my anti-feminist view, but with whose ideas I feel much more comfortable. According to the post-feminist, feminism is no longer relevant; we must acknowledge that we are all very different and so focus our campaign on equality in general. Though biology isn’t on our side sometimes, we should still be able to go after what we want. But what if one of my contemporaries decided that what she really wants is to be a full-time homemaker – how supportive would I be then? I hate to say it but I think I would probably conclude that she was selling herself short. Have I been permeated more deeply by the feminist rhetoric than I had suspected, or is it that with greater female access to the workplace than ever before, the role of homemaker in today’s society carries with it a certain 1950s cliché and ‘desperate housewife’ stigma?
The idea of choosing a life of domesticity is one that doesn’t seem to fit with the current student mentality. With mere months until the end of another academic year, there is barely a conversation that goes by without mention of the dreaded ‘C’ word, and by ‘C’ word, of course I mean career. As reported in last month’s Impact, there are traces of mild hysteria amongst those awaiting graduation as woeful statistics and apocryphal tales about a ‘hiring freeze’ flood through the student grapevine. The fear is that three or more years of hard (ish) work at university will amount to nothing if there’s not a lucrative graduate position to be occupied at the end of it, especially when you have amassed some hefty student debt in the process. On the surface, therefore, passing over the wealth of employment opportunity that university provides in favour of running a home seems to be a waste of time and money, not to mention talent. Furthermore, the benefits of higher education qualifications do not only come in individually wrapped packages; with greater access to places at university than ever before, university is arguably a breeding ground for equality. Given that in 2000 women were responsible for 53% of all degree applications, it seems that women not only want increased participation in public life, but they are now better-placed than ever to achieve it. Evidently, the instrumental role women at university command in the realisation of workplace equality is undeniable and with an opportunity to change the current situation, perhaps the choice to pursue a life of domesticity sits so uncomfortably with our career-oriented outlook because it represents a wasted chance to make a difference. By definition feminism, or more specifically the women’s liberation movement, revolves around the idea that women should have the freedom to choose how to spend their lives rather than being pigeonholed by society into traditional roles. That is not to say, however, that traditional roles should be viewed as secondary to entry into male-dominated professions. In fact, the role of homemaker has recently undergone something of a renaissance in popular culture. Take, for instance, the WAG phenomenon. Now, the Colleen Rooneys and Alex Currans aren’t exactly your standard feminist icons, but the media obsession with the WAG has arguably given a new legitimacy to the role of wife, girlfriend or mother. The very fact that the term WAG has entered the common vernacular is testimony to this, being that
“Is the good ship sisterhood about to be holed by the feminist iceberg?” it reads like any other job title. And what exactly is that job? Well, providing a vital support system for a partner who is under considerable professional pressure for one thing. Though the WAG brigade has not come through the media circus unscathed and regrettably in most cases for good reason, the recognition given to them by the media has given greater validity to the role of wife and mother. Though a minor victory, for thousands of women, including my own mother, who do not enjoy the same luxuries of the WAG lifestyle and at their own expense allowed their partners to flourish professionally whilst providing for them a family life, a little bit of recognition for their behind-the-scenes work is most welcome. Though being a WAG is definitely a female occupation, ‘househusband’ has also become a new addition to our modern vocabulary and with approximately 200,000 of them in the U.K, it can no longer be assumed that the at-home support system afforded by partners and family will be embodied by a female. This development brings with it a new appreciation for the workload undertaken by the homemaker; as one househusband wrote, “It is difficult, being a househusband; certainly more difficult than I had imagined...You live and sleep on the shop floor.” It is for this reason that playwright Zoe Lewis decided in a recent article in The Times that the role of wife and mother (and househusband for that matter) should be “given the same parity with the careerist role amongst the feminists”. The only difference our sample househusband identifies between himself and his female counterpoint is that introducing oneself as a househusband denotes a certain 21st century man cachet, as if it was a choice rather than a foregone conclusion. Undoubtedly though it’s not his mates slapping him on the back down the pub for his sacrifice, but rather the housewives who champion his decision, giving his role
more credibility than their own. Could it be that it is other women who are most critical of the female sex? If so, what are the consequences – is the good ship sisterhood about to be holed by the feminist iceberg? Consider the curious case of former Justice Minister of France, Rachida Dati. Sarkozy’s protégé, she was the government pin-up for equality, not only because she’s a woman, and not a bad looking one at that, but because she was one of 12 children brought up by poor, uneducated immigrant parents. Dati’s appointment to office was coldly received by fellow politicians, who thought her seriously underqualified for a ministerial position. Her doubters were vindicated after she made some major gaffes, for which she came under considerable fire from both fellow politicians and the French media. However, undoubtedly the most intense Dati-bashing came when Madame le Ministre unashamedly strolled in to work a mere 5 days after the birth of her first child, Zohra. It was too much for some – women’s magazine Grazia held an online forum, inviting its readers to post their opinions on Dati’s decision to return to work. The response was overwhelmingly negative with criticism centring on her setting unrealistic standards for other woman, her neglect of her newborn baby as well as her own health and preoccupation with losing post-pregnancy weight. In the absence of any supportive comments for Dati, it has to be concluded that it is more often than not women who serve as each other’s harshest critics – certainly I am guilty of that. But if feminism and women’s liberation aims to abandon stereotypes, then perhaps we should quit the bitching and put on a united front. After all, if we can’t take each other seriously, how are we going to convince everyone else to? I still want a career and a family and thanks to those who have gone before me, while there still remain obstacles, it is definitely possible. So ladies, while the battle for gender equality continues to be fought, let’s not make womankind one of those obstacles, and instead support our troops on both the professional and domestic fronts.
By Karen Meng
men. I heard this view defended after the lecture in conversation between two girls, who stated that they really believed women were ‘naturally’ more emotional than men. This kind of biological essentialism in the social sciences is considered hopelessly archaic and, more importantly, empirically unsubstantiated. But in religion (Islam is certainly not anomalous in this respect) ideas about men and women’s ‘natural’ countenances and roles prevail.
“ Hijab is not designed
to make women invisible, nor is it intended to symbolise their inferior status
oes Islam oppress its women?’ This question was posed by Rajnaara Akhtar, a former student of human rights at Nottingham and Chair of Project Hijab, to a lecture theatre full of students during Islam Awareness Week. For five days scholars, theologians, economists and public speakers addressed many of the misconceptions and popular media myths that have beleaguered Islam and hindered understanding among non-Muslims. Most interesting to this feminist and student of culture were discussions of the issues surrounding gender by Muslim scholars and students. The oppression of women by Islamic societies and communities was one of the main themes of the week, and for good reason. There has been much controversy over the link between Islamic culture and the practices of wearing hijab, forced marriage and domestic abuse in Europe, particularly in culturally pluralistic cities like Nottingham. Addressing these topics is an important step towards interfaith and intercultural dialogue about the rights and status of women on campus. Akhtar focused on a positive reading of the Koran, listing a number of instances in which Islam was ahead of its time with respect to women’s rights. It made official the right of a woman to own property, choose her marriage partner and request a divorce. This was echoed by eminent scholar Dr Jamal Badawi who, in response to a query about why women receive less inheritance than their male relatives, listed all the ways in which other Islamic laws actually benefit women at the expense of men: women, unlike men, are not required to share their income with their spouse; they are entitled to child support if divorced, and are even entitled to demand a wage for their domestic duties in their marriage contract.
The fact that the Koran gave women the right to negotiate their own marriages at all was revolutionary in a historical context in which women were unequivocally considered the property of men. It was thus the contention of Akhtar and Badawi that it is not Islam but certain Muslims who oppress women, drawing justification from a mixture of cultural, political and social contextual practices and texts but certainly not from a correct reading of the Koran. Unfortunately, the positive aspects of religion rarely make the news. It is definitely important to distinguish between cultural practices and Islamic principles. The contested relationship between Islam and female genital mutilation is a clear indication of how complex this can be, and also of the urgent need for Muslims to make these distinctions – there is something at stake for women, and it’s not just the international reputation of Islam. But the oppression of women is not always physically mutilating. There are other less obvious ways in which it is enacted, most of which passes as neutral, ‘common sense’ knowledge about women. We’re naturally more emotional, aren’t we? And isn’t motherhood our primary role in life? The language of nature permeated most discussion of gender during the week. Islam can be sweet and gentle like a woman, one speaker informed us, but also strong like a man. Another made reference to the supposed natural closeness of a woman to her child, which justifies the lack of shared child-rearing responsibilities among Muslim couples. It would be difficult to reconcile these claims with much secondwave and post-feminism, which emphasizes the deconstruction of stereotypical views of femininity and womanliness. Take, for example, Akhtar’s response to a particularly thorny question about the passage in the Koran that claims a woman’s testimony is worth half of a mans. Revealing a slight rupture in her wholehearted praise of Islam, her brief response made recourse to women’s menstrual cycle and the idea that women are more emotional therefore less objective than
Also exemplary is the rhetoric surrounding defences of hijab (head cover and modest dress for women). This was addressed by most speakers and the consensus was that hijab is not designed to make women invisible, nor is it intended to symbolise their inferior status. Rather, it protects women from the lascivious glances of men who are, apparently, naturally prone to inappropriate sexual feelings when faced with immodest women. Hijab, therefore, can be read as a way of preventing the sexual objectification of women. Importantly, this wasn’t just the theoretical justification of theologians and scholars; the girls I spoke to backed it up by describing their use of the hijab as positive and empowering. Most made reference to ‘modesty’ which, interestingly, also seems to underpin other laws; women are not to sing in a mixed audience for example, and refrain from affectionate physical contact with men. I found that the concept of modesty was being used to invoke wider ideas about what is good and moral behaviour for women and about how we discipline and monitor ourselves. This sounds relatively harmless. After all, who would criticize a woman for being mindful of flirting or for avoiding the sexual attention of men? The problem I think is that justifications for hijab and for modest behaviour in general give no consideration of how concepts like modesty can, and have, been used to oppress women. It assumes that modesty is a kind of moral absolute and ‘natural’ good behaviour: women who refuse to adhere to its governing principles are seen as deviant, pathological, destructive. This is central to prescriptions of behaviour in other religions
too, such as the Tznius laws of conduct in Orthodox Judaism. Modesty is also related to a plethora of other supposed feminine virtues such as innocence and purity. Even now, when we see girls dressed immodestly we often link it to immorality. But this is an entirely constructed way of looking at things. Is women’s sexuality really so frighteningly potent that it could cause complete moral and social collapse? If all women wore hijab would instances of rape decline? Would non-Muslims be better, more moral people if we were more modest? Or is modesty part of a regulating discourse about the appropriate behaviour and conduct of women that is all the more powerful because women themselves support it? This is not to say that wearing hijab is wrong or that women are duped into oppressing themselves – after all feminism emphasizes choice. But it should always be a well-informed choice. It is up to Muslim people to interrogate these issues for themselves. Islam itself is inanimate – it cannot ‘teach’; Muslims teach. In a similar vein Islam doesn’t ‘mean’ anything – Muslims make meaning out of its texts. And these texts can take on a plurality of contested meanings in different contexts. Young Muslim women today can be the source of new meanings. So does Islam oppress its women? This question doesn’t get us very far. Every social or cultural structure has at different times, in different ways, oppressed women. Science historically cast us as intellectually and physically inferior to men; saw hysteria and emotion as peculiarly female pathologies; regulated and dominated our reproductive processes. Christianity placed the burden of Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden firmly on our shoulders and then ‘punished’ us with menstruation and childbearing. But this oppression is usually not constitutional. It is not enacted as a deliberate practice, but lurks beneath the surface of everyday life. We might be able to stop female genital mutilation in the next ten years, but in over a century we haven’t been able to prevent stereotypical beliefs about women and men chaining us to prescriptive roles and behaviour. Rather than singling out Islam, we should look at how it is entangled with these other discourses about gender and sexuality, and seek to challenge them rather than dismiss the oppression of women as fundamentally Islamic, thereby finding a safe distance from which to judge.
A few weeks ago now, a senior official in the Metropolitan police issued a stark warning that we could be heading for a ‘summer of rage.’ With events such as the G20 summit already singled out as a target for protesters, alongside huge discontentment about the global financial crisis and high unemployment, building tensions threaten to overspill into violent rioting. Or so the police would have you believe. For anyone that has past experience of A) political demonstrations and B) police response to them, this announcement is just another chapter in the saga of pre-emptive justification for the at best heavy-handed and at worst downright brutal policing which is being deployed with increasing regularity at protests across the UK. The justification for such measures is always the same: the presence of a violent minority within the activist ranks who are prepared to use guerrilla tactics that put the general public in danger. The fact that this violent minority never appears is immaterial – ‘violent protester’, just like ‘suspected terrorist’, is one of those magic labels which, when applied by the police and/or government, gives them exemption from being bound by such petty concerns as, say, due process or basic civil rights. The police presence of the now annual Climate Camp provides a perfect example. Last year, the huge number of officers used to police the week-long camp brought the total cost to the taxpayer to just short of £6 million. Pressed to justify spending on this level, a Home Office minister reported that seventy police officers were injured during the operation - clear evidence for the necessity of such an aggressive mobilisation. It was only after a freedom of information request by the Liberal Democrats that the actual number for injuries was revealed to be twelve – of which zero were inflicted by protesters. Instead, bee stings and toothache had posed a far greater threat on the day. The whole affair reads like a bad joke, and the ‘summer of rage’ line seems suspiciously like the set-up for another one. Unfortunately, unless we keep exposing these frauds and exaggerations as such, it is political demonstrators of all kinds who will be the butt of them – so wherever you might be this summer, either speak out every time you smell bullshit, or start getting very used to the smell of bacon. Corin Faife
fter the successful onslaught by the Ecowarriors coercing us all into buying a bag for life, or frantically cramming our bog standard bags to bursting point, the aspiration of being greener than thou seems to have pricked the consciousness of all. Next time you’re at a Sainsbury’s or a similarly affluent checkout, one only need glance at the food ahead and behind to see the stranglehold grip that the plight of the free range chicken has on the nation. Eighteen eggs for a pound or just six freerange eggs for twenty-four pence more? Shall I go free range and free of guilt, or shall I discreetly slip my unethical eggs to the bottom of the basket? A mini moral dilemma set to the musical score of Asda radio. The matter of perhaps five pounds over a month is of little importance I initially postulate. “But think of what the money saved could buy,” my less sympathetic side promptly intervenes, “that’s at least two pints.” Two pints which I don’t need, and probably aren’t a good enough reason not to go ethical. Despite this more logical consideration, after much deliberation eventually the devil on my shoulder wins out as I decide that this bargain, and the prospect of little more money to spend as whimsically and wastefully as I please, is worth more than my initial unease and embarrassment. The concept of ethical eating is a relatively new worry for the modern student. As a long standing tradition the student diet was considered as a matter of necessity and survival, and any student consuming edible goods without an alcoholic content was frankly a credit to their parent’s upbringing. Making no bones about it, cheap was most certainly always cheerful. The days of one stereotype fits all however have evaded us, leaving in their wake rosetinted memories of the beans on toast and beer generation. This once blissful apathy towards the way we shop has been eroded.
By Luke Sampson 28
In this constant one-upmanship of consumer consciousness it is simply no longer savvy to occasionally remember to take shopping a solitary bag for life, we must now be sensitive to the needs of our food. Despite the (relative) poverty of
the student, our status provides us with no safe haven from the disdain of other shoppers at the checkout, and the fact that we may be saving valuable pennies at the expense of carelessly sustaining an outdated and unreasonable method of rearing poultry. I do not naively suppose that this problem is much of a problem at all for some of our populace. In some circles the answer to the question of ethical eating is so integral and prominent it seems to be a prerequisite for friendship, an ethos held without so much as a quibble. To others however the issue never seems to present itself, with the prospect of making a roast chicken dinner for your house for well under a tenner an unassailable right, rather than a potentially selfish yet bank savvy decision. Where to start however for those less than well versed in the wonders of organic produce and fair trade fodder, can be daunting. Free range, freedom food, corn fed, champagne quaffing, privately schooled, pampered poultry, the list of terms to look out for can be confusing to say the least. A Freedom Food, RSPCA monitored small whole chicken costs £3.24, in Sainsbury’s of all places. Is this an ethically sound steal or a contemptuous bargain, dressed up in misleading terminology to ease consumer guilt? Either way, to the discerning student this proposal seems both too good to be true, and too good to pass up, a chance to be kind to the conscience (however dubious the plausibility of the product) and cost effective. After all this deliberation, the issue for me at least still remains. The instinct to avoid steep prices for necessities “‘cause I’m a student”, coupled with an unbridled, lavish expenditure on hedonistic odds and ends makes for perhaps not the most uncommon of traits amongst students. Either way it seems that for the rest of my student experience I’m destined to endure this irrational cycle of guilt and unease followed by the instinct to get more for my money taking precedence above all else. For the mean time I can excuse this selfishness (or monetary diligence depending on which side of the fence you sit on) under the guise of a penniless student. When these student days cease, so too hopefully will the tiresome struggle between morality and money, where free range can sit happily in a well-stocked fridge.
Say No to More Fees
Many universities want to raise the cap on tuition fees to £5,000, £7,000 or even remove it altogether. NUS has predicted that if the cap were raised to £7,000, the average student debt would rocket to over £32,000.
Your Students’ Union is already opposed to any increase to the cap on tuition fees and we’ll be working with the NUS to bring about a fair, sustainable funding system. The Government is due to review the current fees system later this year.
Come and cheer for your uni at the last Varsity events of 2009. Who will be the champion this year? Get your tickets from the Students’ Union Box Office in the Portland Building.
As a Russell Group institution, we’re aware that our students are likely to feel the full force of any increase in fees. Our concern is that students and their families will end up saddled with a huge amount of debt and that potential students, especially those from non-traditional backgrounds, might be discouraged from studying here at all.
Football: Wednesday 22nd April, women’s 5pm, men’s 7.30pm, Meadow Lane
This is what your Students’ Union President, Nsikan Edung, has to say on the matter: “We want the Government’s forthcoming review to be about finding an alternative to top-up fees that’s fairer to students but that generates the kind of income the sector so badly needs. For now, we’ll be focusing on educating students about the contentious issues of tuition fees and higher education funding.”
Have Your Say
Register to vote
National Student Survey
P.S. Did you know that, as a student, you can register to vote in Nottingham and in your home town (assuming these are different places, obviously)? This means that wherever you are on election day, you’ll be able to have your say.
Hockey: Wednesday 29th April, 2pm, Beeston Hockey Club Cricket: Monday 4th May, time tbc, Highfields
IMS Ball Celebrate the success of our intra-mural teams. Wednesday 6th May, 7pm, Britannia Hotel
The next elections scheduled for Nottingham are the European Elections in June, but an election can be called at any time and if you aren’t registered, you won’t be able to vote! Register now at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk. Go on … it only takes a few minutes.
Rugby: Monday 27th April, women’s 5pm, men’s 7.30pm, Meadow Lane
Are you a final year student? There’s still time for you to give feedback on your university experience with the National Student Survey. Final year students can complete the survey online before the end of April at www.thestudentsurvey.com.
The Next Big Thing Summer Party 2009
Saturday 6th June, the Downs The biggest event of the year is on its way! There’ll be music, food and entertainment all day and all night long. Don’t miss out on what Radio 1 described as ‘the student Glastonbury’. Advanced tickets on sale 20th April. For Derby, Lincoln and Broadgate Park residents only. Ticket price £20. Don’t miss the launch party on Friday 24th April at Ocean. There’ll be discount tickets available for £23, VIP ticket giveaways and a sneak preview of this year’s line up.
Tickets £20. Includes champagne reception, meal, ½ bottle of wine and great ents all night. Book your table in the Student Activities Office in the Portland Building. Email aupresident@nottingham. ac.uk for more details.
Community Network AGM Monday 27th April, 6pm, C50 Portland Building Why not run as an Area Rep or Campaigns Officer? You’ll get to work with a fun, vibrant team, improve where you live and get some great experience for your CV. Find out more at: www.su.nottingham.ac.uk Or contact Alice Townend, your Community Officer, at: firstname.lastname@example.org 0115 846 8772
This issue, Impact brings in a new (and hopefully regular) feature – we’ve got the help of a genuine Aunt to help with your agonies. This month she helps with long-distance relationships, renting out movies, and tipping for a taxi:
or tragedy? Dear Agnes, I need some advice. I was strolling down by the canal the other evening when I noticed a woman standing on the edge of the bridge with a rope around her neck. I called out to her – she turned, tears in her eyes, choking back her emotions to tell me that she couldn’t take life any more. She jumped, before I could reach her. Her neck broke instantly, and the sinking sunlight cast a long, jerking shadow across the water. Anyway, she left her purse by the handrail with about £15 in it, and I was wondering what you’d recommend I get from Blockbuster tonight? I was thinking Happy Gilmore. Cheers, Dave Blockbuster’s prices are pretty competitive these days – they have to compete with Love Film, after all – so for that £15 you can get yourself several of Adam Sandler’s fine comedic vehicles. Happy Gilmore is a safe choice, but if you enjoy that, may I also recommend taking a punt with some of the films of Pauly Shore? Biodome is worth at least two hours of your evening in. Look out, too, for the cameo from Kylie Minogue, perhaps her finest performance since starring alongside Van Damme in Street Fighter.
Spanish summer still leaves me sweating Dear Agnes, I’m having heart problems. I took some time travelling in Spain last year – whilst there, I found myself bewitched by a smouldering Mediterranean hunk, a man who lovingly stole my innocence on one beautiful night in an empty gym. But we live in different countries. Our brief affair has finished, yet my loins are aflame as I remember our passions. It can never be, but what can I do to swat this Spanish fly from my thoughts? Yours sincerely, Anna Try shagging something Portuguese instead, dear. Worked for me.
I’m having problems wooing this girl. I met her at work, but even though I spent ages helping her settle in she pretty much ignored my attempts to flirt with her. She’s still ignoring my advances, and whilst I don’t want to snap, I feel almost like I deserve some kind of reaction, even if it’s rejection. It’s driving me crazy. What can I do?
I really hope you know how to help me out here. I was out with my friends playing basketball yesterday, when a couple of guys (who were up to no good) started making trouble. In my neighbourhood, this happens a lot, but my mother found out this time – and now she’s scared and says I need to take a taxi and move to the other side to the country, to live with my aunt and uncle! What should I do?
ignoring my advances
Thanks in advance, James (P.S Is something illegal always immoral? Including necrophilia?)
dangerous for me now
etting stared at is something that you eventually get used to in China. Walking down the street you’ll almost certainly see some old person sneer, or glare at you, or simply seem bewildered. It isn’t that surprising, considering that it wasn’t long ago that there were virtually no foreigners here. The younger generations enjoy it too. Adorable kids gaze at you with huge, fascinated eyes, while women sometimes give Western men a glance that is at once intrigue mixed with contempt - though they generally withdraw it when you return it. Young men, however, deliver an amused look and, being spunkier than the rest, often accompany it with a “hello!” Replying to this generally leads you to a small conversation in broken English or Chinese.
Ah, the travails of love, the peaks we must climb and the abysses we must traverse… you’ve yourself a right pickle, it seems, but I must say she sounds to me like a worthless wench. Clearly a sensitive lad, you can, and should, do better. Perhaps join a local jazzercise class? I’m a bit past it now, but I hear from my nieces that they get all their sexual gratification in the showers of the John Carrol Leisure Centre, just off Radford Boulevard. The car park of the Attenborough Nature Reserve has much to recommend it too, I must say!
Whistle for that cab, and when it comes near, jump in it and give the driver directions as to where you want to go (presumably, an airport or train station). When you arrive, give him the money that he is owed for his service, plus perhaps a slight tip if it the journey was longer than half an hour. To pass the time, why not talk to him about the weather, or current affairs? Good conversation can make the time fly.
Our Man in Ningbo
I’ve never quite understood why this frustrates some people - I’ve always found it one of the charms of being here. Chinese people that visit England are met with cold indifference, so to be acknowledged in any way while in a foreign country is rather a delight. Even the hostile looks provide some sense of the rapid change that has gone on here and, moreover, by chatting with them in Chinese you can often change them to those of warm acceptance. If you’re disappointed that no one has taken any notice of you, don’t despair! Simply walk past the American Embassy on Huai Hai Road in Shanghai and every guard on each of the corners will register your presence with a sharp look of scrutiny, jerking their heads from left to right. Sometimes you can even be chosen as a centrepiece to a club simply by being Western! This one time a few months ago, I’d been dragged into dancing to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ with Pachoo by three girls from the Uni Christmas show. Nyima, May and Sarah had sexy outfits modeled on Mean Girls while we wore body hugging red long johns, Santa hats and a length of tinsel. We also only had an hour of rehearsal before the show. The following day we then learnt that Rocky, a Chinese friend, had told a club owner about this and set us up to do a show. Thus we found ourselves jiggling around on a tiny stage while the talented Ramsay sang for us on the night before Christmas. We were even paid! Boys got 10 quid, while girls got 20. Chris Berragan
If you’re having problems with your love life, if you’re finding it difficult on your course, if you don’t know if you should confess to a crime, or if you’re just a little bored – why not ask Aunty Agnes for help? Send your quandries to magazine@ impactnottingham.com with a suitable subject heading.
Impact’s Guide to
getting a computer in Hallward
xams are on the horizon once again. With the air of refugees trudging towards an aid camp, the students of Nottingham take up residence in the library, fully equipped with weeks’ worth of supplies, sleeping bags, and industrial-sized packets of Pro Plus.
dedicated enough to lose their hair.
It’s happened to us all: haggard, bruised and exhausted, you’ve battled your way through short loan, securing the book that will save your essay (leaving dying coursemates in your wake; harsh times call for harsh measures). But horror - there’s not a free computer in sight. After half an hour’s wait, you realise that guy across from you is doing nothing but watching YouTube videos of animals killing each other. Why?! And more importantly, doesn’t he realise you need that computer?
5. Get naked and start doing warm-up exercises (lunges tend to work pretty well) next to their chair.
Sighing and staring pointedly just doesn’t make the cut any more. If you want a computer, drastic measures are called for. Try out some of these:
7. Take up residence under the computer desk, occasionally make ‘Gollumesque’ giggling noises, lick their toes, and occasionally pull out plugs.
1. Stand directly behind the offending YouTuber/Facebooker. Fill your mouth with crisps, then erupt into hacking plague-coughs. Refuse to move. If crisps don’t work, try yoghurt.
8. Dress as a computer and lure the occupant away, enticing them with promises of faster internet, free printing, and a facebook application that pimps out your profile to a Godly level. Then hit the victim with a blunt object and steal his computer. Don’t feel guilty; someone that easily mislead needs to be hit with a heavy object. The fact that yours was blunt can be seen as an act of selfless compassion. Lucy Hayes Impact takes no responsibility for injury, arrest or loss of friends that may occur while undertaking these activities.
2. Edge closer to them, breathing heavily. If they’re not put off by this, stroke their face and murmur, “I like touching things…” 3. Sashay over to someone, ruffle their hair and declare that this style is ALL wrong for them, darling. Get out the scissors. If they’re dedicated enough to stay, they’re
4. Some people have the irritating habit of locking their computers then wandering off for social engagements, leaving coats and books as a signal that they will return. If they’ve been gone too long, burn their belongings. It won’t get you a computer but it’ll be satisfying.
6. Lean over their shoulder to obtain their university username. Run to the short stay computers and barrage their inbox with emails elaborately explaining that there is a detonator inside the computer triggered by one of the letters on the keyboard. “Ask yourself… Am I feeling lucky?”
Overheard in Hallward
e all know buses, we all hate buses. I, however, despise buses. I took my seat on the leather seats of the new ‘Indigo’ bus. There I am, nice and comfy, I have my space, I have my peace and I am safe in the knowledge that I cannot be disturbed. To my horror, an unkempt man (to say the least) bounds down the isle. Please God, not next to me, sit anywhere but next to me. He sits down, managing to collapse on my newly dry-cleaned coat in the process. It gets worse: he stinks. So much so that people sitting in the seats behind me move away. This is not cool. I peer out of the window and try to breathe as little as possible to keep the stench at bay. As the bus pulls up at Canning Circus, some reprobate sits in front of me, his garage music blasting out from the loudspeaker on his phone. As we pull up at QMC another twenty or so people get on. I am literally trapped, how the hell do I get out of this? I NEED OUT! I turn to the man sitting next to me, politely say “excuse me” and he stands up, only to leave the smallest gap in between his cum-stained crotch and the seat. I can quite honestly say that I have never felt as violated as I attempt to squeeze past. Finally, I was FREE! When I stepped off the bus, the breath of fresh air that I took in was about as good as the first gasp of air after almost drowning. It’s not all doom and gloom though; from this fateful journey I have finally convinced myself after four years of putting it off, I will get my provisional and start to learn to drive. Fuck global warming.
Vent Your Spleen
A student’s guide to the key make-up trends of Spring/Summer 09
Chanel Sunglasses £280 Mac Select SPF 15 foundation £18.60 Mac Select Moisturecover concealer £11.26 Mac Pressed Blot Powder £14.68 Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder £21.53 Mac Lipstick in Eager £11.26 Mac Lipgalss Lipgelee in Slicked Pink £10.28
Mac Eyeshadows each £9.79 in Brule, Passionate, Electra, Parfait Amour, Nocturnelle Bobbi Brown shimmer wash eyeshadow in Eggplant £13.70 Eyelure Tokyo False Lashes in I’m Hiroko £9.99 Mac Eyebrow pencil in Velvetone £9.79 liners & mascara as before
Left Bobbi Brown Brights Eye Palette (used throughout) Mac Eyeshadows each £9.79 in Brule, Electra, Newly Minted, Big T, Electric Eel Bourjois Clubbing Liner in Ultra Black £3.45 BarryM Kohl Pencil in White £2.95 Mac Eye Brow Pencil in Lingering £9.79 Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick £28.38 YSL Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils £19.95 Eyelure Naturalites False Lashes in Glamour £4.45
FACE To create Charlotte’s look I began by applying a primer to her clean, moisturised skin. This will simply smooth the skin and prepare the perfect surface for foundation. Next I used Mac’s foundation which I applied across the face and neck, with a brush to create an even finish. This avoids excessive coverage however if your skin is quite even simply use a tinted moisturiser. If there are any imperfections left apply a thin coating of concealer. This is usually over undereye bags, around the nostrils and on the inner corners of the eyes. If the skin already appears smooth enough don’t automatically apply the product. Dust the face with a fine powder. This will simply help to control shine, especially around the T-zone, but don’t over-do it. Young girls naturally have dewy skin; an overly mattified face simply looks dull. To contour the face use a blush brush to blend bronzer slightly below the line of the cheekbone. Add a little on either side of the nose and on the tip of the chin. Finally dust a small amount of shimmer powder above the placement of the bronzer on the cheekbones. For a daytime complexion replace the shimmer and bronzer with a little blush on the apple of the cheeks. Here it’s unnecessary as the vibrant eyeshadow should be the focus of colour on the face. EYES Both models are wearing the same look, sporting the season’s two favourite colours. Blue and Lilac are big for S/S ’09. I started off by filling in the eyebrows. The brows are all too often ignored during makeup application but they really do frame the face. Overplucking and sparse brows bring unwanted attention but a simple sweep of liner can rectify this. Act as if you’re drawing on the missing hairs; the line shouldn’t be single and defined. Next sweep a neutral colour, such as Mac’s Brulee, all over the lid. Layer slightly just below the brow as this will highlight the browbone and lift the eyes. Next apply the lightest of the colours you intend to use. In general a lighter shadow should be applied towards the inner corners of the eyes as it really helps to open them up, darker shadow usually looks best on the outer corners. Blend the shadow over the lid and slightly above the crease of the eye. Never, ever go right up to the brow with a colour, you’ll end up looking like a drag queen; or Jodie Marsh. Next add a mid colour. With Isobel’s pink look the palest shade was a version of lilac, the ‘mid colour’ a pink and the darkest a purple. Stick with the same family of colours. The mid colour should be applied exactly the same as the first but in the middle of the eye. Finally blend the darkest colour around the outer corner of the eye. Bring this colour slightly along the crease of the eye to add definition. With this shoot I used a white kohl to extend the inner corners of the eye but for a more wearable version I’d simply apply a dark liner to the inside rim of the eyes. On the lower lashline blend a little of the mid and darkest colour towards the lashes, this just helps to tie everything together. Use a black liquid liner to cover the upper lashline, sweeping the tip of the line outward to create a feline effect. Finish off with false lashes to add drama. I always add a little mascara just to blend the natural lashes with the fakes and to cement them into place.
Photography – Bruno Albutt Hair & Make-up – Grace Gordon Art Direction – Laura Sedgwick, Nikki Osman, Paul Barlow, Laura Morrison Models – Charlotte Taylor, Isobel Yeung Digital Make-up – Firm Chatikavanij
LIPS If you go for a very bright eye never team it with a vivid lip, it’s too much. Alternatively apply a very basic, bare eye (plain with a little mascara) and play around with lip colour. I always set the lips by smoothing over a little foundation before applying lipstick. This just allows the colour to stick and gives an even surface with which to work.
Road Test: Mineral Make-up My best friend can come back from a night out and collapse in bed with foundation, bronzer and blusher intact - and wake up the next day, smear it off with a cucumber wipe and (lo and behold) she’s still flawless. I, on the other hand, have to remember to cleanse, moisturize and tea tree even through my glazed haze, or I will wake up to skin resembling the moon’s surface. This is just one of those harsh facts of life I’ve had to get used to. Or is it? Mineral make-up is the latest trend in cosmetics. Originating in the seventies, it has recently boomed in the market amid promises that it creates a coveted glow, acts as sunscreen, and is made from allnatural ingredients (so you can perform such feats as sleeping in it). Undoubtedly the allure of it all has seduced me, but I remain skeptical. The new mineral brands all market their products as ‘natural’, ‘mineral’, and ‘from the earth’, containing ingredients such as micronized titanium dioxide, micronized zinc oxide, iron oxide, silk mica, and hydrated silica. However, confusingly I found the “mineral” component titanium dioxide in my normal, non-mineral, Prescriptives Flawless Skin Concealer, so it would seem that these “natural” ingredients are not what make mineral make-up special. Those fans of mineral make-up claim it’s “special” because of the light, natural, long-lasting glow that simply can’t be duplicated by other types of make-up, which was indeed my thoughts as I swirled on the powder – however, as the day wore on I had to agree with its critics; it’s too drying. Furthermore, the colours have a definite ashy undertone that would be a particular problem for non-Caucasian skin types. Mineral make-up does not seem to be all that was promised, then. However, many dermatologists report that because mineral make-up eliminates classic irritants like fragrances, binders, synthetic dyes, and preservatives it is, therefore, kinder to the skin. Moreover, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide both have anti-inflammatory properties which calm the skin. Yet lest we forget, my regular concealer contains this soothing ingredient too, and so is equally as kind to the skin as its ‘purer’ rival. In fact dermatologists agree that titanium dioxide is non-comedogenic, meaning that it won’t clog pores - so whilst this supports the mineral camp it simultaneously undermines them, because my traditional make-up is doing the same job. The make-up itself, however, is good. A light, sheer finish can be accomplished by moving the applicator brush in small circles on the face, or if you desire a more opaque texture you can apply it in layers with a damp sponge (much like you would apply liquid foundation). Fortunately, the consistency of mineral make-up gives coverage without the thick, unnatural, pore-clogging consequences of traditional liquid foundation. So back to the question at hand - can I snuggle into bed with my mineral make-up rubbing against my pillow worry free? The answer, sadly, is no. Whilst it doesn’t contain synthetics and so is more naturally pure, it is still essentially just non-comedogenic make-up like my current concealer of choice - and I wouldn’t dream of sleeping in that. Not all is lost on the mineral make-up front, however - it has created a new, cheaper market for non-comedogenic make-up that never existed before (as non-comedogenic make-up is notoriously pricey). So if you want a cheap make-up (that won’t clog your pores) go for Neutrogena or Maybelline’s new mineral make-up range - just make sure you don’t buy into the hype. It is essentially the same as traditional make-up, just wrapped up in a prettier, organic PR bow. By Laura Morrison
By Grace Gordon
Recently Impact Style was approached to interview world-renowned make-up artist Paul Herrington. With appearances on This Morning, articles in The Telegraph, and regular gigs at London Fashion Week, the Bobbi Brown Beauty Team Expert really is at the top of his game. After twenty years in the beauty business I wanted to delve into the depths of what it really is that turned this Midlands boy into a regular on the global fashion scene. What do you see as the key make-up trends for S/S 2009?
up has to be about options. It’s all well and good to go for trends but if you don’t feel comfortable in that trend then you’re not going to wear it well. What would you say is the product you can’t live without? It would definitely be a product called Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturising Balm. It’s a tinted moisturiser-comeskincare-come-protection. If your skin’s quite dull it gives the most incredible glow because it’s a balm rather than a cream.
There’s a lot of colour, and real mixtures of texture which is very exciting. You’ll always have your base colour – your best foundation that matches your skin tone and your best concealer. Then it’s all about adding accents of colour, and using colour like an accessory. I think this season says if you love it then wear it, but do it in a way that doesn’t make it look like you’ve just fallen onto the make-up counter! Make sure it still looks really quite sophisticated so if you are drawn to a really bright electric blue then do really fresh, natural make-up and wear the electric blue as a liner so you still get this amazing colour but still looks really chic.
What do you think is the biggest mistake women make when they’re doing their make-up?
Do you think the noughties have their own identity? We seem to have regurgitated things that have happened decades before and haven’t developed a new, defining trend for the era.
What would you say is the easiest way to go from day to night with your make-up look?
I don’t think we’ve seen a particular staple of the naughties. You could really pinpoint fashion and make-up for the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s… then it all went a little woolly. Although, I don’t know if it’s such a bad thing, because it gives people more freedom. People don’t feel that they need to be pigeonholed into a certain look when it’s not going to look great on them. What we tend to do now with make-up is play to seasons and trends, as in describe them as really fresh/beautiful skin, or a really sexy smoky eye, or a glossy lip rather than saying here you go, here’s your collection, blue eye shadow, pink lipstick, these are the only ones you can wear this season otherwise you’re not trendy. Make-
I think the first one is foundation that’s too dark. Or wrong coloured foundation in general. If you want to add colour use bronzer or blusher but never add it with foundation; it just looks a little muddy on the skin. The other one would be using bronzing powder as blusher. Bronzing powder really is just to tint the skin, to give kind of a sun kissed look to the skin but you still need to go back and put a bit of pink or coral back into the skin because that’s what naturally comes through.
Use a really good gel/cream eyeliner in black, so you can instantly put a line on top of the eye. Then I’d add a little bit of shimmer or gloss somewhere. Don’t overdo it; add a little on the cheek with shimmer brick. What advice do you have for students dealing with bad skin? I think people sometimes expect far too much from their skin care and make-up and sometimes it’s as simple as a couple of early nights, a bit of water, hydrating moisturiser, tinted moisturiser and some lip gloss. Just strip it all back, give everything a rest and the results are incredible.
Interview with Paul Herrington
THE REAL EFFECT OF TOURSIM IN INDIA
The land of Bollywood, curry and Ghandi, India offers an array of majestic adventures to embark upon. Every year roughly 750,000 tourists from Britain visit India for business or pleasure, and with these figures increasing annually India has become the fastest-growing Asia-Pacific market for the international tourist. Package holidays allow tourists to admire the scenery and soak in luxury for relatively cheap prices, while basking in the colourful Indian culture. For me, the prospect of sun and sea during the cold, miserable month of January was too exciting an opportunity to miss. So I hopped on a plane along with many other pale English hopefuls and jetted off to embrace the sun!
“Amongst the gleaming delights, tourists are shielded from the brutal realities of the poor”
Tourists frequent the picture-perfect beaches of Goa in hope of relaxation away from their hectic lives at home. However, I quickly realised that searching for relaxation is a little optimistic as a tourist here. You become the gold dust of the locals’ finances, and they will not leave you alone until they make some form of gain. Before I had even set foot on the beach, an onslaught of taxi drivers, market sellers, boat owners, beggars and hostel workers swarmed in to offer me their ‘best price’. I felt like some prized meat at a cattle market. What was happening to my paradise? Had Shilpa Shetty set foot on Palolem beach, or did the tourist now warrant the same attention from the locals? My precious notion of a picture-perfect Palolem paradise was slowly being washed away by a swarm of these ‘tourist traffickers’ surrounding the innocent tourists. I must admit, my Western politeness often gave way to frustration and annoyance with the constant harassment of beggars and sellers while trying to relax. Despite this stain in my ideal holiday image, the beautiful scenery remains preserved. You become a human camera, capturing beauty with every angle you observe - up until another seller approaches offering the same items as the seller before, and the seller after. With an untouched beauty and natural surroundings, tourists fall hostage to the colours and wonder. An array of spices, smells and sounds send
your senses wilder and deeper into India’s chaotic nature. However, the food is very different to the local Indian takeout joint down the road. The homeland of vindaloo and naan bread, you better ensure you take some pills with you for the infamous ‘Delhi belly’ that follows! Amongst the gleaming delights, tourists are shielded from the brutal realities of the poor. With the wave of tourists arriving in Goa, it has become a hotbed for the poorer citizens of India who wish to profit from the supposed rich tourist’s finances. I felt like I saw Slumdog Millionaire’s children manning the beachfront everywhere I looked. I now understood why physical deformities defined the majority of these beggars. Sadly, these children highlight the truth behind Danny Boyle’s tale. However, winning millions, getting the girl and ending with a dance are not realistic destinies for many of these poor youngsters. I can’t help but wonder whether there is any hope for these poverty-stricken children or whether tourism is simply helping to perpetuate their overwhelming presence. I must admit, it’s fascinating to observe a culture whose attitudes and general demeanour are so different to the West. A web of chaos and confusion defines the coordination of the country and personally left me absolutely baffled. With one-hand sided car mirrors creating a cloud of constant beeping to allow for overtaking on extremely narrow roads, it’s amazing that Indians have not all died from road accidents! Cows are given free rein on the beaches while police forces line the front awaiting the next intake of Bagshish (bribes) that are used to supplement their salary. This all occurs around the daily power cuts that blacken out the cities and impede life in the towns. I was in complete awe by what seems like an unstructured web of chaos. When asking locals simply why these things are done, the general response was constantly ‘it’s India’, as if that was a sufficient and obvious answer to my puzzlement. Fair enough. Shara Julliette Hikmet
THAILAND: VICTIM OF ITS OWN SUCCESS?
Do you know someone who has been to Thailand? Probably. After all, it’s an extremely popular backpacker destination and there are certain sites in Thailand which draw students like moths to a flame.
Travelling, inevitably, involves a fair amount of transport. What everyone neglected to tell me was the sheer amount of troubles even the most simple journeys could bring about.
One event students flock towards is the infamous Full Moon Party held in Koh Phangan. Thousands of people, mostly Westerners, rave all night on Haad Rin (Sunrise Beach) absolutely loving it. Why all the love? Quite simply, there seem to be no rules. The iconic buckets of alcohol sold on the beachfront get the backpackers sufficiently inebriated, and a few hours into the night tourists are romping on the beach and weeing in the sea. Whilst professionals do tricks with fire, the lethal buckets of alcohol are responsible for tourists burning their legs as they attempt to leap over long flaming skipping ropes twenty at a time. And, despite Thailand’s strict anti-drug policy and policemen wandering up and down the beach, there’s still ample opportunity to buy illicit substances if you want them. A couple of overnight trains away from Koh Phangan and the other South Islands is the city of Chiang Mai, the second biggest in the country. The overnight rainforest treks on the outskirts of the city are a backpacker must. After a difficult hike often led by cheeky tour guides, students stay the night with a Thai tribe. An indoor fire is built and quite an atmosphere is created, with the tour guides and backpackers singing and proceeding to chat away through the night. A
trip to the waterfall, an elephant ride, white water and bamboo rafting are also included in this reasonably priced trek. There are plenty of booths around Chiang Mai to book your tour.
The main problems are undoubtedly going to involve some kind of embarrassing situation or some kind of absolute lunatic. The worst problems feature both.
The experiences of Thailand detailed above paint a lively picture. But is it sad that a generic route has been mapped out for students, both for our own enrichment and for the Thai people? The hypocrisy of many indigenous people reducing their culture to easilypackaged money-making schemes is a sad reality. Travel website, www.roadjunky.com, recently placed Thailand as the number one backpacker destination: “Everything is cheap, everything is available. You want drink beer, you want banana pancake, you want Thai massage, you want see tribe hill people, you want rent beach chalet, you want DVD, you want bungee jump, you want lady boy?” Added to this list could be: “you want temple, you want sex show, you want boat trip to Maya Beach for 400 baht (£7.88), where The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed including food, equipment for snorkelling and a stop at Monkey Island?” Admittedly, the Thai experience can sometimes be superficial, but at least it is fairly easy to travel around the country. It might be argued that this makes Thailand a good place to go for a first-time traveller - a gap year student perhaps. On leaving Thailand, and having experienced its exotica and having had an awesome time, some questions remain. By the majority of us taking the
Coaches are the preferred transportation method chosen by odd individuals. In the past I have endured eight hours sat next to a man with an imaginary friend. Actually, it was more of an imaginary enemy, as he spent the entire journey swearing and picking fights with himself. On the same coach I watched two complete strangers fall in love. They boarded single, struck up a conversation, and left a few hours later with the prenuptials already signed. This was a coach heading to Las Vegas - enough said.
remained all the while the bandits were dispossessing the passengers in front. Sat at the back of the bus Johnny was still fast asleep - neither the children’s crying nor the mothers’ whimpering could wake him.
Bandits aren’t common in Mexico, but they do exist – and such a group happened to stop the bus Johnny and his friend Sam were on. They had little impact on Johnny who was fast asleep even when the bandits boarded the bus. And his friend Sam, who upon seeing the automatic rifles they were carrying instantly put his hands up, felt that any sudden movement to wake him might make them put him into an even deeper sleep. This was exactly how the situation
Eventually having robbed Sam they got to Johnny. At first he received some sturdy pats on the shoulder to wake him, to which Johnny in his drowsy state batted away. Slightly embarrassed, the bandit started prodding him with his gun, which Johnny (still sleeping) thrust back at his assailant. Finally in order to avoid complete humiliation and probable loss of face within the bandit community the robber put his gun against one of Johnny’s cheeks and gave him a brutal
Much of the student population who travel to the tropics in the summer do so in the hopes of avoiding the stresses of 9am lectures, yearning instead to live carefree, if only for a month or so. The lure of sleeping under the stars and forgetting all they learnt in those late night sessions in Hallward tempts thousands every year. But for some the return home is a little less pleasant. Malaria is the most common tropical disease imported into the UK. With around 2,000 British citizens contracting malaria abroad each year it is clear that many either underestimate the risks or simply fail to take proper precautions.
When being reckless can be worse than doing nothing at all
same route, are we being unoriginal? Does the manifestation of Western supremacy and the hypocrisy of Thai people catering for us students while their weak currency prevents many of them from travelling themselves taint our experience? Or might some of us not even think about these issues and be excited for Ocean’s next full moon party in preparation for a second trip to the one at Koh Phangan? The choice is yours. Anisa Kadri
the real hustle The road from Oaxaca to Puerto Angel is famed for its windiness, and when I took it I dreamed I was doing donuts in my car back home. For my friend Johnny, though, the ride was a lot less pleasant.
Impact Travel’s Guide to Malaria
slap across the other, to which a startled Johnny screamed (and I quote) “who the fu—(upon noticing the gun) whoaaaaaaoh-holy shit-fuck”. After this outburst, a copiously sweating and rather confused Johnny proceeded to top up the bandit’s heist by giving them absolutely everything on his person - from his brand new iPod to his old wallet. Whilst he did lose most of what was important to him, with the exception of his passport, he was actually rather stoical about the whole affair, and after all the thirty dollars in his wallet could never have bought a stranger experience than that which he experienced on the road that day. Hareen Potu
I also don’t appreciate certain transport types known as ‘The Recliners’. We’ve all experienced them, they’re the vermin on trains, planes and automobiles who recline their seat so far back into your face that you get wedged in and well aquainted with your meal tray. Recliners are only slightly less vile than snorers but both deserve a good kick in the back of the seat (or head). I look forward to a future when I will have a baby trained to endlessly cry, scream and poo as payback. Obviously planes are particularly soul destroying, especially if you fly with Easyjet because the pilot is likely to be a seven-year-old child. At least with long haul you get a meal, a blanket and an air steward who won’t shout ‘weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!’ as the plane suddenly nosedives. Public transport always results in certain individuals demonstrating unique ‘talents’. And if these aren’t the kind of abilities that warrant a guranteed place on the sex offenders list, they will most certainly be vocally offensive. The worst I’ve experienced has to be that of a young boy showing off his rapping skills in LA (or lack thereof). Six stops later, I thoroughly understood why gun crime is so high in the United States. And finally, why is it that luggage is always a cause for great humiliation during travel? It’s a sure thing that regardless how carefully you pack your bag, something embarrassing will find its way out. You’ll want to get your train ticket and instead a pair of knickers will fly out at an alarming speed. And it doesn’t matter how many times you pack a bra at the bottom, it will always end up in the face of a train conductor. Unfortunately for a friend of mine, a hastily packed bag resulted in a selection of recently washed (but still soaking wet) knickers being manhandled by customs. And I’ll never forget my entire toiletry bag rolling down the aisle of a busy train in Italy. Not surprisingly the most embarrassing items found their way furthest down the carriage. So let this be a warning to anyone considering a travelling adventure in the near future. Do not expect pleasant journeys. Do not expect hassle-free journeys. And never expect a normal journey. But, regardless of the humiliating times, the infuriating and the suicidal times, it’ll be the experiences, the opportunities and even the crazy nutcases who make the trip all the more exciting and memorable. Anna Sarjeant
The instructions for use on anti-malarials are not merely serving suggestions, as I found out when I spoke to Jenny Hoffman, who failed to heed their warnings. She described how ignoring the proper methods for taking doxycycline (one of the most common antimalarials) left her with oesophagitis. This took the form of sores in her throat which made it impossible to swallow even liquids and led to excruciating pain which lasted for days. All this was caused from simply swallowing a pill on an empty stomach and without a glass of water.
The best ways to avoid Malaria Taking anti-malarials in the correct fashion, even after you return home, will reduce your risk of contracting the disease. But there are a number of other factors to consider. The best way to avoid malaria is to not be bitten in the first place. Use an anti-mosquito spray or roll-on which contains at least 50% deet (except on your face). Sleep under a mosquito net which is tucked under you mattress – if you don’t do this, you’re much more likely to touch the edges or create an opening during the night, allowing mosquitos to bite you. Whilst malaria is a very serious and deadly disease (approximately 1 million people die from it every year), when all appropriate measures are taken the chances of catching it are very small. Your hedonistic travels will be all the more enjoyable if you take simple steps to avoid a trip to the local hospital. Whilst we hope this guide will be useful, it does not constitute proper medical advice, which should always be sought if travelling to any potentially hazardous area. Bruno Albutt
QUESTIONMARC THE BANKSY OF NOTTINGHAM
overly concerned with somewhat trivial issues, Questionmarc has cast her net wider to encompass a wide range of local, and indeed broader issues in her work, from the lack of dues paid to local historical favourite Robin Hood, through to the exploitation of women in a stylized female silhouette seen on the Arnold Working Men’s Club. In addition, she was also responsible for the generally pretty darn anti-establishment engraving of the most offensive word in the English language on the untroubled snow of market square a couple of weeks ago. Controversial indeed.
By sheer fluke, prior to reading last issue’s story, I had set about writing a piece on everyone’s favourite enigmatic artist, and sought to discover any local counterpart he might have. And boy does he have one. Unfortunately, the logistics of interviewing this anonymous local artist proved too difficult to overcome - calling herself Questionmarc, (well, many unofficial internet sources suggest that the artist in question is indeed female, and after all, I do have 50% chance of being right), this local firebrand had coincidentally claimed responsibility for ‘urinegate’, as well as the spate of other provocative street art pieces recently seen throughout Nottingham. The notices she placed around the city centre, informing the onlooker “Public Urination permitted after 9pm” were not in fact a prank, but a serious protest at an overlooked local problem. Commenting in her letter to Nottingham City Council, Questionmarc stated:
Whether or not declaredly inspired by him, the comparisons of her work to those of Banksy are inevitable. The most celebrated semianonymous street artist of them all, Banksy is believed to be a native Bristolian who took the unconventional career leap from trainee butcher to urban artist. His pieces have developed a stylistic nature all their own, incorporating visual humour and pastiche as a means of succinctly demonstrating his broadly anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-capitalist rhetoric. He is deadpan about his pieces, stating “people say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish…but that’s only if it’s done properly.” That said, he has established himself one of the art establishment’s favourite enfants terribles, his pieces frequently auctioning for high-art-worthy sums of money. Coupled with several books credited to him, his imprint in public consciousness is impressive for someone in the street art world, a world grounded in secrecy and fast-paced activity.
“Hello, I am responsible for the public urination signs that have been put up throughout the city. Why did I do it? To remind Nottingham that there are so many pubs but nowhere to piss at shutting out time. Twenty-four-hour licensing laws - my arse! I go by the name of Questionmarc, spelt with a C not a K. I will be back. Merry Christmas.” Regardless of artistic merit, Questionmarc’s pieces have certainly continued the age-old partnership of art and controversy. Eager to not be seen as a one-trick pony, or someone
So street artists certainly do get people talking. As for our Questionmarc, be she a creative local activist-cum-social commentator or a public nuisance sent to annoy the stereotypical reader of the right-wing press, she will have certainly made some people chuckle, and then perhaps think a little deeper upon encountering one of these droll little pieces of street art during their, on average, very short life spans. Jason Gregory
Are you looking for a night less ordinary? Arts Council England and the Metro newspaper are working together to provide free theatre tickets for those aged under 26. The aim of the scheme is to attract young people to the theatre to enjoy a form of live entertainment which may otherwise be inaccessible due to the price of tickets. The initiative, which opened on February 16th, has already promised a remarkable 500,000 free seats through the scheme, which will run until 2011. Over two hundred venues around the country are involved with the scheme, such as the Barbican and the Novello Theatre - where the Royal Shakespeare Company is based for a season. The Nottingham Playhouse is also participating, and is offering free tickets for all their latest performances such as ‘Garage Band’, featuring music from The Ramones and The Clash (which begins on the 5th June) - and during the first year of the scheme, the Playhouse will be giving away 3000 tickets. A night less ordinary will be particularly useful for students craving a free night out! So before you go and buy your theatre tickets, check out this website to find out if you can grab some tickets for free instead: http://www.anightlessordinary.org.uk/
Surrealism Dalí’s Lobster Telephone
Surrealism - a movement consisting of fanatical dreamers who over-experimented with drugs, or an insightful, philosophical group who wanted to change our perspective of the world? The conception today is that Surrealism is both philosophical and fanatical as artists of the movement try to lose inhibitions and gain a new perspective on life. A cultural movement which began in the 1920s, Surrealism flourished when war had torn the world apart; there was a need to escape reality and enter a dreamlike world. It originated in Paris and aimed to reveal the unconscious mind through art and literature. Surrealists tried to work freely, having no constraints over their work, which gave it a dream-like quality. Aiming to change perceptions of reality, Surrealists tried to break down the barriers of control and release the subconscious. Some artists involved in the surrealist movement were Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Giorgio De Chirico and Max Ernst. Dalí’s influence over painting, photography and film was significant; his Lobster Telephone (1936) turned the art world on its head, making people question whether this was really art and its meaning. Dalí wanted people to look past the reality of the objects and see the juxtaposition of the lobster and the telephone as something sexual. Whether this is what the viewer observed is debatable, however the idea of re-examining the ordinary was still the foremost theme for Dalí and many other Surrealists.
OPEN MIC NIGHT @Lee Rosy’s Every other Thursday night from eight till ten, the downstairs of Lee Rosy’s cafe on Broad Street becomes the hub of creative inspiration also known as Creative Writing Society’s Open Mic Night. If you want to showcase your own poetry and short stories, act out a comedy sketch or a monologue, have a rant or simply fancy listening to people performing all of the above, then come along.
“Why did I do it? To remind Nottingham that there are so many pubs but nowhere to piss at shutting out time”
It’s not often that the worlds of art and investigative journalism collide, but then again, artists such as Banksy, and his local would-be doppelganger Questionmarc, don’t exactly do things by the book art-wise, demonstrating their renegade spirits and desires to provoke and prod through now iconic visual imagery. And to think that last month’s Impact thought that those little signs popping up across town commanding the public to urinate in designated outdoor areas were merely high-jinks, although this has proved to be a common misconception.
A BLAGGER’S GUIDE TO
A NIGHT LESS ORDINARY
The first session had a good turnout with audience members indulging in Lee Rosy’s acclaimed tea and cake - or in my case, hot chocolate and pitta with humous and guacamole. A cheerful MC led the proceedings and performers came up to present their pieces. The night opened with a performer reading an extract from a book he was writing about the interaction between father and son. The subject matter of poetry ranged from experiences of different countries to love. One boy remembered a long, impressive piece of poetry he had written by heart, and one girl read out a poem that she had written while watching the other performers. T.S. Eliot and Pablo Neruda were amongst the famous pieces read. The next session saw some fantastic dramatic improvisation and stand up as well as a singer and more poetry. So, if you want to get your arty pants on and come along to this fortnightly event, check out details of the next session on the facebook group, Open Mic Night @ Lee Rosy’s.
I know this sketch is anatomically inaccurate but it represents one of my main reasons for going to life drawing classes: to improve my drawing skills. Studying Foundation Art (which I did in my gap year) really did not equip me with anything other than the ability to take abstract photos and collage. On coming to Nottingham I wanted to keep up with my drawing, so I joined Art Society and go to their regular life drawing classes. Despite drawing this very quickly I tried to convey some of the model’s obvious awkwardness at sitting, naked, in a room, being scrutinised by strangers.
Go to the Careers Service and you’ll find a wealth of information about corporate graduate jobs, but what about those wishing to pursue careers in the Arts? Impact’s Anne Moore interviewed Andy Dawson, a Youth Arts Manager and Andrew Breakwell, Director of Education at Nottingham Playhouse, to find out about their career paths and gain a valuable insight into jobs in the arts world.
Interview with Andy Dawson, Youth Work Manager for County Youth Arts in Nottingham.
Interview with Andrew Breakwell, Director of Education at the Nottingham Playhouse
What has your career path been?
How would someone with a degree that’s not specifically related to the Arts go about getting involved in the industry?
I didn’t attend university, which is unusual when I speak to colleagues. I was in a signed band from the age of 19, and I didn’t get into arts until I was 23, which was only supposed to be to work around my band. I started putting on gigs and workshops; I got into tech stuff like sound engineering and lighting design. I worked with drama and dance companies, and I started running events. I ran a music project, did lighting design for a few shows in London and eventually drifted in to arts development. You job seems very varied, but what could happen in a ‘typical’ day? Emails, meetings, telephone calls, budgets, funding bids, interviews, planning, training... oh and some arts projects! What are the positives and negatives aspects of your job? Positives are the projects and young people, sadly as a manager I have to look after many staff, a building, technicians... Most of our work has to be funded via external money, so fundraising and income generation is a big deal. The hardest thing for me is managing a team of people and supporting them. I have to say that they are a great bunch of people. How many different projects do you offer at the same time? Could you outline any current projects you are working on? We are running building projects which include three youth dance projects, one drama project, one visual arts project, one rock school project, one young promoters group, a music project for referred pupils, a thirty-hour media course, and we host events and workshops for other people. We are about to host an arts festival for Mansfield plus a young people’s arts festival the week after and we have been running an environment project for six months, a careers project for a year and a showcase event over five months.
Well, the directors themselves often have an extra qualification specialising in the theatre after their normal degree programme, for example an MA in a theatrerelated study. What we would say to someone who wanted to be a director is to go and put a company together, to perform their play, maybe take it to Edinburgh; we try and give students an opportunity, but they also need to have some entrepreneurial skills, and the ability to make something happen! What are the pros and cons of working in theatre? Despite the antisocial hours and potentially low pay, a career in the theatre can offer plenty of job satisfaction and variety. For example, I recently travelled to Bratislava to manage a joint theatre production of ‘The Island’ by Armin Greder. What kind of opportunities are there for students at Nottingham to get involved in theatre, alongside their studies? Some students already work at the Playhouse. Design students sometimes work to help with set design and costume, and work experience with a specific department (education, marketing or administration) can be arranged. This could lead to a job as an usher at the ‘front of house’ and then onto a box office job, handling cash and tickets. To reach the top, you really have to work your way up the ladder. You have to be determined that you want to do it, you have to be able to multi-task between several different projects; we’re looking for people with commitment.
CAREERS IN THE ARTS
“throw in a little poverty and you’ve got yourselves an Oscar”
Sappy, unoriginal, or just depressing?
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE THE BACKLASH BEGINS
I can think of three movies that are better than Slumdog Millionaire: SpaceJam merely for Michael Jordan’s appearance, Mortal Kombat for its daring video game adaptation, and Deep Blue for showcasing really, really smart sharks. Slumdog Millionaire avoids all of these winning combinations, and instead wins an Oscar for a decent soundtrack, a story we’ve all heard before, and a reliance on the emotive power of poverty to find its success. The story follows the same generic ‘boy meets girl, falls in love and eventually destiny unites them’. I mean honestly, was he going to die and then be resurrected too? There were several times in the film where I wanted to tell Jamal to get over it and get laid - there are plenty of birds in the world. The last time I saw that kind of steadfast devotion was in March of the Penguins… and I’m pretty sure Latika wasn’t bearing an egg, although maybe there’s a suspicion she had a stalker. I calculated how much time he spent with her; it was something like 4 minutes, two of them being while she still looked like a boy. The movie was just an elaborate way for Danny Boyle to make you cry. Everything happens for a reason, eh Danny? What is with this ‘each question comes from a moment in his past’ business, really? If you’re going to have that kind of
disconnection with reality, throw in a fucking unicorn. Thanks. Bell-end. At times this ‘story’ seems little more than a marketing ploy for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Because let’s be honest, I know what you were thinking, throw in a little poverty and you’ve got yourself an Oscar. It was almost as cheap a trick as giving Latika a perfectly placed scar. What was that about? Was it supposed to mutilate her, so we could see Jamal love her for the way she was? No, it made her hotter. In fact, I wanted to shag her more. You might think I don’t have a heart, but I cried during The English Patient just like the rest of you. And hey, the first 15 minutes of Slumdog, when it wasn’t sappy and unoriginal, were genuinely depressing. Then it became one over the top tragedy after another. The brother argument was overkill; I already thought Salim was an asshole. But then again so is Jamal. Surely no one is buying the typical halfhearted attempt at altruism when people say, “I really love how it showed the real side of poverty”. Do you even fucking know what poverty in India is like? I don’t, but I certainly don’t take my cues from Madonna’s exhusband, or whatever else Danny Boyle’s shitty claim to fame is. This movie sucked. By Jonny Cage
NOTTINGHAM BE DAMNED
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES AND COVERING UP WALL-MOULD
As a film fan, it would have been a tough task to find a better city to come to than Nottingham. In an otherwise dull and muddy Midlands, this fair city stands out as a shining jewel. Its fantastic array of cinemas - from the small independents to the large multiplexes - ensure that every new release can be caught. And for emerging British filmmaking talent The Royal Centre and Broadway Cinema form an exciting creative hub, providing the place with a vibrancy that makes it feel like part of the industry rather than just an observer. The city has a lot to provide; up to now it seems like that has mostly been on the behalf of one Mr Shane Meadows, but things seem set to change as two of Nottingham’s icons attract attention from high places. Let the Right One In
A quick search of the words most associated with Nordic revealed things like bleak, dark, midnight sun, cold, ABBA and bikini (?!). All of these words, bar the last two, are evocative of the Scandinavian regions but also aptly describe the Nordic socialrealist cinema of the last decade. This has been led by the avant-garde Dogme95 movement. Brooding, passionate films such as Open Hearts and Reprise make full use of the long, drawn-out days and nights. Much has been suggested of what exposure to prolonged amounts of light and dark can do to the mind and soul. The Dogme95 movement, established by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg in 1995, set the blueprint for Nordic films to follow. As the name suggests, it was a ‘brief’ or manifesto that suggested rules that budding filmmakers within the movement should adhere to. Filmmakers were encouraged to make films that rejected big budgets and special effects. Some were shot entirely on location, didn’t use specific props (only using what was found on set) and had a naturalistic, hand held style. Also the director wouldn’t be credited, renouncing ownership. These are just a few ground rules, many of which were broken in the first films made by Vinterberg and von Trier within Dogme95. Nonetheless, Dogme95 has managed to influence (or at least seep into) the sub-conscious of many Nordic filmmakers, aided by its emphasis on low budget and a simple style.
An example of this is Joachim Trier’s 2006 entry for the foreign film Academy Award, Reprise. More recently, films seem to be focusing a little more on the fantastical. This month’s horror Let the Right One In beautifully combines the social-realistic style of Dogme95 with vampires. The result is subtle but still eerie and terrifying, much like the effect achieved by The Orphanage. Sundance hit, Dead Snow (no UK release date as of yet), also bucked the Dogme95 trend and opted to incorporate the fantastical element of Nazi zombies. The Nazi zombie genre isn’t a new idea, but Nazi zombies wreaking havoc on holidaymakers in mountainous Norway is - and it has hilarious consequences. This dose of black humour and satire injected by writer/director Tommy Wirkola will inevitably lead to comparisons with other zombie comedies of recent years. Think of it less of a zombie horror spoof and more of a satirical antidote to the more worthy WWII dramas doing the rounds and you’re getting close. Dead Snow and Let the Right One In still owe much to the Dogme95 movement, more so with the latter, but they are also proving that Nordic cinema shouldn’t be stereotyped. With the global success of both these films it is time for the spotlight to once again focus on the cinematic efforts of our Northern cousins. Hannah Coleman
Sir Ridley Scott is currently planning his take on Robin Hood in a film (which for a long time went under the working title Nottingham). Starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, this looks set to be as epic in scale as Gladiator. But, in a desperate bid to prove that we can succeed without the man in tights, an adaptation of David Peace’s book The Damned United was recently released. This depicts an altogether different figurehead of Nottingham, the mercurial Brian Howard Clough. The Damned United chronicles football’s greatest ever manager arriving at Elland Road in 1974 to take charge of Leeds United - the most successful side of their era. Without right-hand man and best friend Peter Taylor, Clough’s reign at the club was disastrous; he lasted only 44 days before a player revolt led to his dismissal. Michael Sheen will be portraying Clough, hot on the heels of his shamefully award-ignored turn as David Frost. Starring alongside him is a talented homegrown cast including the likes of Jim Broadbent, Colm Meaney and local lad Joe Dempsie. Dempsie is best known for his consistently scene-stealing performance as Chris in the student favourite Skins, and is a prime example of the talent this blooming Nottingham scene produces. The perfect blend of local ingredients give Old Big ‘ead’s tale the potential to ignite the damp-squib that is the football genre. Furthermore, this complex exploration of the egomaniac’s flawed genius in cinema’s latest Life Of Brian could prove to be a key component in Nottingham becoming a Hollywood institution. Joe Cunningham
My housemate has a number of film posters in his room that wouldn’t look out of place in any typical student house. There’s the Trainspotting ‘choose life’ speech, the classic black and white Scarface poster, and a picture of Don Corleone from The Godfather. This is all fair enough, except for one thing - my friend has not seen any of these films. What, then, possessed him to purchase these posters from the picturesque-landscape-laden Portland poster sale? It seems that my friend is guilty of falling for the charms of the student cult film; a film so impressive, one cannot be seen without it in his DVD collection or on his wall without being the subject of ridicule from his equally fashionable friends. It’s hard to specify just what it takes to turn your average film into a student cult hit. Even the term ‘cult hit’ is oxymoronic, yet is thrown about to justify buying a poster for a film you can only pretend to have an opinion on. Generally these films are from the late 80s and early 90s, of a number of different genres,
Dear Woody, I don’t know what your game is, but I don’t like it. Did you think a magnificent return from a ten-year stint of what I would kindly describe as lacklustre pictures would grab you another Oscar? Did you lose your glasses? I admit I have something of a grudge. Picture me, age fourteen, queuing up outside the pictures to see your new movie Celebrity, expecting a similar standard to the fantastic Deconstructing Harry. It was an experience I have tried to forget. A year later, unperturbed, I waited in line and handed over my hard earned pocket money for Sweet and Lowdown. I could have cried, but not in a good way. Your characters used to zip along the narrative in the flurry of sharp wit and incomparable one-liners that formed your own brand of Jewish New York humour. But here they were left instead to flail around in an all-too-predictable script in search of a good joke or insightful line, albeit against an admittedly beautifully shot background. Did we miss the point of Deconstructing Harry - was it actually an attempt at a poignant autobiopic, a desperate cry for help? Perhaps you
were suffering as the critics hailed your genius for self-deprecation, simply hoping that someone would come and bring you out of your stupor. Well, thankfully, it seems someone’s finally got the picture. Still, while Vicky Christina Barcelona is a fine return to form and certainly one of the best movies of the year so far, there are a few things I miss, those indefinable qualities that made your pictures unique. What happened to whimsy? The flights of fanciful lunacy that conjured up comedy films as diverse and wonderful as Zelig, Love and Death, and Play It Again Sam. A neurotic whose psyche projects as a Marlowesque Humphrey Bogart? Utter genius. I wonder what happened to the New York that rolled to the sounds of George Gershwin and Cole Porter, and made me so desperately want to go there.
and were maybe once cult films until the mainstream got a hold of them, but we decided to keep calling them ‘cult’ to make the films seem even better. These films generally contain swearing, violence and/or drug abuse, have a snappy tagline, and are usually directed by Quentin Tarantino. The trouble is, so many great and deservedly ‘cult’ films are overlooked, as poster sales are filled with hundreds of posters for the same film with just a slightly different colour scheme and a new font. I would love to see a poster for Spirited Away or The Wrestler adorn my friend’s bedroom, but for some reason I don’t see them selling quite so well as this year’s new ‘300’ one. I am not suggesting that certain popular films do not deserve to be popular, because most of them are genuinely excellent films. I am only suggesting that it wouldn’t hurt to actually watch a film and make your own judgment on it before deciding to advertise it in your own home. Luke Mead
AN OPEN LETTER TO WOODY ALLEN
So thanks for taking the first few steps on the road to recovery, but keep taking the medicine and let’s hope for a permanent cure! With very best wishes,
Tom France 47
The four humble & unassuming Glaswegians who make up Glasvegas have been pursued by a relentless media frenzy ever since the release of first single “Daddy’s Gone” in 2007. They have now risen to prominence as one of Britain’s best bands, headlining this year’s NME Tour. Impact’s Chris Jones recently met with bassist Paul Donoghue to discuss the group’s modest beginnings, the genius of songwriter James Allan, and plans for the rest of 2009 and beyond.
Thanks for having me, Paul. So - how did Glasvegas come to be? Rab [guitars] and James [vocals/guitars] are cousins, and I went to school with Rab. Caroline [drums] used to work in a secondhand clothes shop which James would always visit to kill time. Through that we all became friends. James got some songs together, and we decided to give it a go. We formed in 2004. Who was your audience back then? What kinds of bands did you play with? We would play to anyone, wherever we could get a gig. I remember we played in Dundee once with a band called The Hussies. It was just them and us; there was no one else in the venue! We were oblivious to our lacking musical expertise back then. What changed for you?
“We were oblivious to our lacking musical expertise back then”
It sounds a bit prefabricated but the NME voted “Daddy’s Gone” as the second-best single of 2007. It really kicked off from there. Before that we did six gigs up and down Britain and there was no one there. After the NME did that in December, the January 2008 tour was completely sold out. We went from playing to 20 people to 200 or 300. The biggest shock was when the crowd began to sing our songs to us. We realised how much it means to people. No more than three months had passed, and no one gave a shit back then! Can you talk me through your first album, Glasvegas? We recorded it in Brooklyn. People always ask whether New York inspired our songs, but they were all written before we left. It’s not just a Glaswegian album; it’s a British album. It was written from a working class perspective. James wrote it on the dole. It was a hard thing to do at the time of writing; we all went through our own little demons. Have you played Glasgow recently? Yeah, we played in December, then for two nights as part of this year’s NME tour. It’s always pretty special. There is always a certain electricity about Glasgow, it doesn’t really appear at other places.
How did you enjoy being part of the NME Tour? Were there any memorable moments? I heard Lincoln was good? The tour was great. I think everyone was worried that there would be a band that were arseholes, but that wasn’t the case. I don’t know what the highlights would be; there were a few that I don’t think I can say! Lincoln was good. I went to bed straight after our show to be woken up by the screams of Florence [and the Machine] as she beat our tour manager at an arm wrestle, to decide who would manage us for the rest of the tour! Do you feel proud to be part of the NME tour, considering the bands that have done it in the past? I feel honoured that we were top of the bill. NME have always been good to us. To be headlining this tour has put the backlash from them off, at least for a couple of months. Although I think it’s coming?! We’re just going to keep playing, and do whatever they ask us!
FLOOR FILLERS AND DUBPLATE KILLERS
James Zabiela @ Stealth Regarded as one of the pioneers of modern techno, Zabiela effectively entertained the crowd with a set that mixed a variety of minimal, tech-trance and techno-house. Zabiela’s special atmosphere is in part due to his finesse behind the decks, but equally due to the beauty that is techno music.
Mowgli @ Stealth Mowgli provided stealth with a mix of electro and house, along with some wobbly baselines, and certainly did not disappoint. Playing a well-balanced set of well known remixes with rare samples, Mowgli’s notoriety is clearly justified and he’s sure to be a welcome return in the future.
Nathan Fake @ Stealth Fake isn’t for everyone, but for those who know and love him, this was Fake at his best. Fusing music reminiscent of everything from Boards of Canada to Mathew Jonson, Fake’s style is close-on genius and is definitely one to be remembered.
What are your plans for 2009 and beyond? We’re going to be in America most of this year, doing SXSW, Coachella, and Lollapalooza festivals, as well as our own tour. It will be mostly Europe and America this year. After that we might split up?! That’s probably the only guarantee, at some point we will split! Perhaps SXSW will kill us?! No, we’re thinking about getting in the studio in January 2010. I think we’ve picked the city we want to go, it’s a bit sunnier than New York. Basically we want a free holiday!
As the name suggests, Utah Jazz represents the funkier side of D&B’s spectrum. However don’t think this robs his sets of their energy. An accomplished performance supported by ice-cool MC Ruthless, with a good balance of catchy liquid singalongs and deeper bass driven grooves.
Kenny Ken @ Detonate Jungle sets are few and far between these days, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. And who better to take us back to the old school, back to our roots than this pillar of the 90’s jungle scene. Churning out anthem after anthem, even ageing veterans at the back were twisting one out!
Skream @ Detonate Skream is one of the daddies of dubstep and it’s good to see his pioneering spirit hasn’t faded with success. Delivering a healthy dose of bass heavy crowd-pleasers but also several more nuanced exploratory numbers, it’s nice to see some finesse within dubstep to make up for the brashness of Caspa & Rusko.
INTRODUCING A CAREER IN MUSIC SUDDENLY PHANTOMS
Angus Drummond & Edd Gent
The career of NME News Editor Paul Stokes began at his student magazine, and he has since spent many years in music reporting, working for prominent music magazines including Q and NME. So who better to tell us about a career in music journalism?
Is there material that you haven’t yet used, that may be released as an EP or on the next album? There are a couple of things, but James always writes a song, then months later he’ll work on it again. He’s a perfectionist. He’s written good songs in the past, but he thinks, “fuck it, I’ll get something better.” It’s a hard thing to gauge as he does everything from the artwork to the single choices. 99% of Glasvegas is James’ imagination. Whenever he’s in the mood to write he’ll do it.
Utah Jazz @ Dogma
Wednesday 25th March marked the second-to-last round of the JD Set Unsigned tour (a competition sponsored by the most rock ‘n roll drink there is) to scout out unsigned talent round the country. I found myself on a bus to Sheffield’s Student Union to watch Suddenly Phantoms, Nottingham’s representatives in the final nine. This Birmingham foursome, fronted by Nottingham student Andy De Whalley, already have two EPs under their belt and have supported the likes of Fight Like Apes, Sam Roberts Band and a Bloc Party DJ set. Despite not winning on the night, being pitched against Gossip and Arctic Monkeys clones merely emphasized their distinctiveness. Their music, whilst unpolished, has a vital energy and with a repertoire ranging from nu-rave to chaotic garage punk. With single “I Only Dance on Yorketide” being played on Radio 1, they’re clearly a band to watch out for. For more information, visit the JD Set Unsigned website, at www. thejdset.co.uk/unsigned Edd Gent
Stokes’ daily work is essentially based around “looking everywhere all the time.” This can include “borrowing” stories broken by rivals, reading official and unofficial blogs, as well as, “good old-fashioned reporting,” like overhearing things at gigs or talking to bands. It seems a quick check of the odd blog and the occasional gig will not suffice in this highly competitive industry. Stokes emphasises this with his main advice to prospective journalists, to “write as much as you can,” thus developing a quick, well-articulated style that is appropriate for its audience. To maintain this he also stresses the importance of really loving music because, “you get found out very quickly if you don’t.” Stokes found the experience of working for his student magazine to be hugely valuable, despite first getting involved only for free promotional records! However his most valuable advice was to work for a publication with an unfamiliar audience first, as, “it’s easier to learn skills like word counts by writing for an audience you don’t know or understand.” Stokes cites a spell at the Insurance Times as useful for this reason. So you heard the man, get contributing! Email music@ impactnottingham.com for more information. James Ballard
@The Chameleon Cafe
25th February Image by Toby Price, photosinthedark.com
I went to see Brooklyn’s finest a few weeks ago and MY-OH-MY were they good! As usual, the Chameleon was teeming with sweaty keenos clambering like lice on an 8-year old to catch a glimpse of this one way ticket to a strange new decade we shall call the ‘seighxties’, but this just added to the heady atmosphere that CS’s garage-pop-rock had already generated. With a most attractive, lethargic vocal style mixed with some splashy drumming and tinny keys, the band satisfied its audience no end. They may be copycats, but they’re darned good at it! So, you often get referenced to the Velvet Underground and the Jesus and Mary Chain. But if JAMC pulled out of headlining a festival and the promoter offered you £5000 and a slap-up meal to take their place would you do it and do you think their fans would be won over? Yes, we would do it. No, they wouldn’t be won over. What does slap-up mean? Would you sign to Starbucks’ record label if they paid megabucks and you got to tour with Paul McCartney? Everyone says no, except Kyle and Andy, who
would do it if we got to be in Macca’s band. In England we have a saying that something is ‘as much use as a chocolate fireguard’, where the material is no good for the intended task. Is that where the name crystal stilts came from? They’d surely snap right? Wow. You are the best interviewer ever, seriously. Everyone always asks about the name, and nobody’s ever gotten it right until now! You’ve been heralded as the pioneers of a new movement – what would you call it? Avant-Garage? Icky Pop? Prism & Blues? In a German write-up I saw the phrase “Jangle Schrammelpop”. Let’s go with that. How about “Jazz”, is that taken? If you could tour with any band (dead or alive) who would they be? Pearl Jam, but dead. Like, we’d just tour with the bodies. Crystal Stilts will be returning to Nottingham for Dot-to-Dot festival in May, info at dottodotfestival.co.uk. Elly Condron
WAVVES @The Chameleon Cafe, 27th February Mix the Ronnetts with Brian Wilson, add in a couple of do-wops and a dash of no-wave, stir it all up in a tin can and you get Wavves. San Diego based Nathan Williams is the talented skater kid-come-auteur of this pop-noise project. Introducing himself with self-titled song Wavves, it’s like summer already came, and I’m 15 again, hanging on a beach in California. His melodies are simple, lyrics angst-ridden – with many songs containing “Goth” in the title. Sounds like a winner to me. “I’m So Bored” is particularly good, especially as it sums up just about everyone in the audience – who mostly look, well, kinda bored. Not the fault of Wavves I might add, just that being moody and looking bored is apparently in vogue; smiling isn’t cool anymore. Clearly no one told that to Nathan, who is busy shaking his hips and can’t help but smile. Elise Laker
The ‘Do It Yourself’ ideal was firmly in place long before Handy-Andy ever graced our screens – OH YES my friends, that cheeky-chappie may be the winsome poster boy for DIY, but he was merely a new dog learning old tricks; the big daddy of the genre (for the believers among us) was the big G himself during those 7 (well, 6) days of heady creationism...However for all those musical and rebellious: DIY music was popularised back in the 80s when bands realised that they could do away with the dictatorial control of the recording studios and go it alone. It was a romantic, “fuck you,” time when bands recorded, pressed onto record and distributed their songs to college radio stations and regional local weeklies completely off their own back; years before the internet and MySpace. Now we are prey to an ever-growing number of bands, some good, some NOT GOOD, who use (and abuse) the internet to promote their cloying musical endeavours. However, it should be noted that there are people who are willing to sift through the abundance of shit and bring you bands, great bands mind, for your viewing and listening pleasure. JUST OUR LUCK, then, that some of Nottingham’s roaming independent promoters have spewed forth a *NEW* day festival, SPEXFEST, with some of the “best underground music from around the world”, including Times New Viking, Fan Death, Telepathe and more on the 17th May. Info at liarsclub.co.uk – Go and check it out, go on, the clue is in the name! DO IT YERSELF!!!!!
BACK IN THE USSR
Those Ukraine Girls Really Knock Me Out... Impact Looks At The History Of The SamizDataRock Rock ‘n’ roll first arrived in the former USSR in the mid-1950s, when Jazz was legalised post-Stalin, during Khrushchev’s thaw. Although censorship was still very rigid in Soviet Russia, the rock music that was taking the West by storm still managed to penetrate the Iron Curtain, giving rise to Beatlemania and a beatnik subculture in sixties USSR. Bard poetry became popular in Moscow; a new style of song writing that was characterised by tourist songs (usually about camping holidays and escapism), and political songs, which were against the Soviet way of life. Towards the late 1960s, many amateur rock groups started to form, such as Machina Vremeni, who were heavily influenced by the Beatles and the new Soviet underground. Their sound was simple and often, due to the lack of instruments available to underground musicians, poor quality. Acoustic guitars were the cheapest option and could be electrified by telephone microphones, which were used as pick-ups. Unable to record their music officially, they recorded on tapes and cassettes which were sold and dis-
tributed clandestinely throughout Soviet Russia (this was known as magnitizdat). In the 1970s and 1980s, a punk movement of young musicians and writers began to form, who, like their contemporaries in the West, were overtly sticking their middle finger up to the establishment. With the tough censorship still in place, they remained very much underground, often in hiding from the KGB, who condemned their work because of its anti-Soviet message and angst ridden lyrics. In the depths of Siberia, Grazhdanskaya Oborona, a punk band formed by Yegor Letov, was notorious for condemning the totalitarian regime with song titles like ‘Ya nenavizhu krasnii svet’ (I Hate the Colour Red). After spending a stint in a mental hospital (this was and still is a common ‘treatment’ in Russia for political activists), Letov continued to write lo-fi punk music under several pseudonyms and collaborated with singer/songwriter Yanka Dyagileva, Russia’s answer to Nico. In her short life, Yanka produced many albums characterised by nihilism and Russian anguish and posthumously became an important figure of the Russian rock scene. Alex-
ander Bashlachev was a highly influential poet and musician on the underground scene, drawing inspiration from Russian folklore and Soviet Russia at the time. His influences were of particular importance to the development of Russian rock in the 1980s with bands such as Kalinov Most, whose lyrics focused heavily on Slavonic folklore tradition. In Leningrad (now St Petersburg), the experimental music scene was made up of the likes of the now infamous Akvarium and Kino. Their sound was much more influenced by classic Western rock and the new-wave but also drawing inspiration from the Bard song writing tradition of the 1960s. They enjoyed much success during glasnost (Gorbachev’s years of openness), which saw the relaxation in censorship laws. From the mid-1980s onwards bands were allowed to openly release their music and tour, gaining them much media attention, which gave birth to what is now considered to be the golden age of Russian rock. Elise Laker
Throat singing, or to use its more specific name, overtone singing, refers to a certain style in which the singer manipulates the resonances created as air travels from the lungs past the vocal folds. The aim is to create a continual hum, which performs a function similar to the drone string on a sitar, the drone pipe of bagpipes or the bellows of an accordion, to which further harmonies may be added.
Whilst to the uninitiated throat singing may appear to be a somewhat limited genre, surprisingly, a wide range of different styles exist amongst its practitioners, involving varying tension in and manipulation of the diaphragm, throat and mouth. Throat singing may be observed in countries as diverse as South Africa, Japan and Italy, but Russia and its former Soviet states boast the highest proportion of the world’s overtone singing communities, with many hailing from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and remote republics within the Federation. The majority of communities with a tradition of throat singing are animists, and when searching for the origins of such a distinctive custom, anthropologists have suggested that it developed from mimicry of nature’s sounds and in order
to identify the spirituality of objects in nature. Indeed, the hauntingly beautiful flute-like melody of the Tuvan people, to name one example, has an otherworldly allure. For those of you who have been inspired by this undervalued musical field, we’ve included a handy guide. How to Throat Sing Sing a constant note and try and bring it as far back down your throat as you can - by moving your tongue up to almost the roof of your mouth and then backwards. To moderate the sound or alter the pitch of the overtone, either vary the position of your tongue or the degree to which your mouth is open. Kate Holberton
Listen up, house hunters! Next academic year, unless you plan on waiting ridiculous hours for Youtube to load, you’ll want a superfast internet connection. Impact can help.
So, what is broadband? It’s basically a ‘broad’ tunnel to the internet – the larger the road, the more cars (or Christian Bale rants) can drive on it. UK broadband services are growing ever larger and learning to compress ‘traffic’ in more efficient ways, but jargon often obscures the truth. People trip up on Advertised Speed – the maximum potential of the service – and Actual Speed – the speed of your setup- normally significantly less. This can be affected by your hardware, other people in your house sharing the connection, and the worldwide traffic of the provider (usually busiest between 5pm and 11pm). Speeds depend on location. In Lenton, most providers go up to 20mb – about the equivalent of 20 movies, 4,000 tracks and 20,000 photos per month. The term ‘unlimited downloads’ is thrown about a lot when in fact all packages have download limits. This is to ease bandwidth congestion and ensure every customer on the same package is privy to the same speeds. Your connection can be slowed down or even cut off from the provider should you download more than your share. This is called throttling. Dumeter.com is a tool enabling you to keep tabs on everything coming in or out – good having when you’re a heavy downloader.
“all packages have download limits”
It’s inevitable you’ll be courted by numerous service providers, but many companies don’t know their own megabit from their petabyte. Thinkbroadband.com, the only website that a study by Virgin Media has found to measure broadband speeds with accuracy, is a great place to brush up. Deals are often never as good as they appear. To avoid confusion, remember this rule: 8 Megabits = 1 Megabyte. Knowing that 1 minute of MP3 audio is relative to 1 megabyte is a useful context. With TV on demand over the internet and broadband penetration growing rapidly, speeds are set to rise. Case in point: Youtube now uses the same amount of bandwidth as the entire internet did in 2001! Currently, Virgin Media is conducting a trial of its 50mb broadband (an entire album in 11
seconds, anyone?) while BT has plans for a 100mb broadband underway. Until then, though, the current fastest broadband service available in the UK is Be Broadband bethere.co.uk – offering speeds of 24mb, while BT’s 8mb broadband is the cheapest at £7.78 per month. Before you buy, check for tests on the provider’s website designed to ensure your area and setup are supported, and make sure there’s a 24/7 helpline. Though we still have troubles like student loans, looming deadlines and drunken nights that we’d rather forget, now having the right internet connection needn’t be one of them.
ENERGY OF THE FUTURE BIOFUELS ARE BACK The beginning of 2009 saw the UK’s largest ever public investment in bioenergy research. The new £27million Sustainable Bioenergy Centre brings together research projects from several universities across the country, with The University of Nottingham receiving the bulk of the funding. Impact Science caught up with Professor Greg Tucker, from the Division of Nutritional Biochemistry, who told us more about the project. “When biofuels were being produced on a small scale it was a very exciting prospect, but then people realised exactly how much fuel you would have to produce,” Professor Tucker told Impact. That was when the barrage of bad press about biofuels began. The problem is that biofuel crops compete with land for food production. But we haven’t seen the end of biofuels yet. “The idea here is to generate what we call second generation fuels,” Tucker explained.
These fuels will be made from non-food crops such as willow, which can be grown on land unsuitable for growing food. Alternatively they could be made from the inedible parts of food crops. For example, when the grain from wheat is used to produce flour or cereal the straw part is leftover. The challenge is to work out a way of fermenting these leftover bits to ethanol which can then be used as a combustible fuel. There are two main steps involved in making plant material into fuel. “First you’ve got to break it up and then you’ve got to have microbes that can utilise the material.” Physical and chemical processes are currently being tested to see what will “break (the material) down in to a kind of soup that the microbes can ferment.”
left over bits are made of a tougher substance called cellulose. The project that Professor Tucker is involved in will test different strains of yeast, in order to find those which are best at fermenting cellulose. Ethanol is a by product of this fermentation process and can be mixed with petrol to make biofuel. It is hoped that the five year project based in Nottingham will come up with the laboratory based technologies and then industry will put these into practice. If the government target is reached then 10% of all fuel used in the UK will be biofuel by the year 2020. Professor Tucker told Impact, “with the science at the moment I think it’s feasible that these secondary products will be on the market by then.” Laura McGuinness
The sugar and starch parts of plants can be fermented to ethanol relatively easily, (the process is similar to that used in beer making) but these are also the parts that we can eat. The inedible
Ben P. Griffin
Interesting Facts There are currently around 10 billion photos on Facebook - that’s just over one petabyte. (That’s around 10,000 hard drives full of purely photos) BBC iplayer accounts for 13% of all internet use in the UK 10 hours’ worth of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. ISPs are paid no additional fees for carrying iplayer/YouTube traffic Most internet traffic is carried globally by large optic cables on the sea floor, capable of transferring 100Gb per second. Apex DC++, the file sharing software of ‘dubious legality’ we used to love using in halls, was shut down 2 years ago when a student phoned the official Uni IT helpline to ask how to set it up. Sneakernet has been developed for poorer countries and remote villages with few internet connections. A USB stick preloaded with sneakernet software is plugged in overnight, and downloads relevant pages - news, weather, sport etc. - which can then be shared around the village.
GAME REVIEW STREET FIGHTER IV 2D fighters – who needs ‘em? Not when we’ve got three wonderful dimensions to play in, surely? Wrong! Street Fighter IV is a glorious union of old and new, serving equal helpings of nostalgic revelry and relevant, peerless gameplay. If you have fond memories of battering M. Bison on the SNES you’ll feel instantly at home here. The graphics are gorgeous - unlike current 3D beat-emups like Mortal Kombat or Soul Calibur, the lush character models and seemingly hand-painted backgrounds don’t feel as if they’ll ever become dated. The gameplay is the perfect example of this marriage between old and new. Classic moves such as Ryu’s Hadouken sit snugly alongside female assassin Crimson Viper’s Thunder Knuckle, and all, though challenging to pull off, are well within reach for anyone to grasp.
The game, of course, won’t please everyone. If you instead recall snapping your SNES controller after a particularly nasty Blanka beat-down Street Fighter IV won’t lure you back to the genre. Sure, it’s kid-sister-accessible but it’s a fighting game through and through and, as such, shares its pitfalls. This means bosses such as Seth can be cheap (honestly, teleportation?) and the slightest slow-down when playing online can utterly wreck matches. Street Fighter is back with a new vigour and with it comes its trademark tight, rewarding gameplay. Offering immense depth and playability under a gorgeous visual style, it’s simultaneously an ode to the halcyon days of arcade gaming and a promise there’s life in the old dog yet. 9/10 Ben P. Griffin
am, the chances of dying are slim. So, why do I want to run whenever I see one? Well, I wasn’t always afraid. Then I realised all the girls in my class at school were – and somehow, I learnt to be.
Most of us are scared of something – be it spiders, the dark, or even buttons. The NHS says, “A phobia is a constant, extreme or irrational fear of an animal, object, place or situation that would not normally worry the majority of people.” Fair enough. But what actually causes phobias? Occasionally, it’s obvious; falling whilst climbing could result in a fear of heights. But what about things like arachnophobia? I hate spiders, but I’ve never been bitten, and I’m not likely to be – and if I
This links with an accepted idea that sometimes, phobias can be transferred. A mother may pass fears on to her child, who observes her and learns to fear similar things. It’s also thought that longstanding stress and worry increases the likelihood of acquiring a phobia. Biological reasons such as genetic predisposition are mostly unexplored. Can we cure phobias? There are many options. The most sensible is probably cognitive behavioural therapy, involving counseling and gently increasing, regular exposure to the fearful object or situation. Recent research at the University of Amsterdam shows that propanalol, which treats high blood pressure, could be a potential treatment. 60 volunteers were given an electric shock whilst viewing an image of a spi-
der, until they became startled by viewing the image alone. This is ‘conditioning’ – they had become conditioned to respond fearfully to a photo of a spider. Then, the drug was administered. When the picture was shown again, the volunteers did not react. What is interesting is that even after another round of conditioning, they didn’t flinch on seeing the images, suggesting that the ‘fear’ had been permanently removed. Propanalol acts to reduce the effects of adrenaline, which is thought to intensify an unpleasant memory when it is ‘relived’. Such studies are tentative, and more work needs to be done to further understand in this mysterious topic.
Some Famous Phobias Orlando Bloom – pigs (swinophobia) Nicole Kidman – butterflies (lepidopterophobia) Sigmund Freud – train travel (siderodromophobia) Johnny Depp – clowns (clourophobia) Aarohi Sharma
REALLY REALLY BIG STUFF
THE SCIENCE EDITORS GET CREATIVE WITH NUMBERS 243,112,609-1 is the largest prime number ever found. It has 12999920 more digits than the number of atoms in the universe. But don’t rush off to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to collect the $100,000 prize for a prime with more than 10 million digits – some GIMPS (Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search) claimed the bugger last year. A googolplex- one to the power of a googol (which is in itself one followed by 100 zeroes) cannot physically be written out. If you tried to write it in standard 12 pt text, the volume of paper required would be greater than the size of the Universe. Graham’s number- the largest number for which there is any practical use is so vastly larger than a googolplex that even using 10-to the power scientific notation to write it would require more matter than exists in the Universe.
If you were to print out the contents of Wikipedia onto standard academic book dimensions, the resulting volume would be 65 metres thick… …pale in comparison to the one trillion word internet, where the resulting ‘hard copy’ would be 190 kilometres thick. (And that’s excluding the internet’s countless pretty pictures and shiny videos…) 9% of all humans that have ever lived are alive right now - roughly one hundred billion humans have walked the Earth since our species began. There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body Your life will, on average, take 2.54 billion seconds to complete
The Eiffel tower is 15cm taller in the summer due to thermal expansion There is enough virtual particle energy inside a tea cup to boil all the water on the planet The Permian extinction event 251 million years ago, killed off up to 96% of all species, with marine life not recovering for 50 million years The iPhone has more processing power than the computers that sent man to the moon The biggest (known) ‘thing’ in the universe is a giant 3D filament of galaxies and large bubbles of gas, each up to ten times as massive as our own galaxy, packed unusually close together. It is 200 million light-years wide. Henry Blanchard and Sophie Stammers
THE SCIENCE OF PHOBIAS
‘TIS A FAIR SHOUT TO HAVE A CHEAP NIGHT OUT Being a student is no fun. Well, that’s a lie, obviously. But being broke is the typical student’s financial status and that’s not fun. If you, like so many of us, are languishing in your overdraft, striving to get back in the black or calling mummy for financial support, you might want to consider saving money. As in, spending less. And where better to save money than a night out? Nowhere, I daresay. Apart from perhaps a bank. Let’s begin by considering the preparation for a night out. It’s tempting to buy a new outfit for a night on the town, especially because the loan can feel like free money. Unfortunately the definition of ‘loan’ means that you have to pay it back – shocking, I know, but someone had to tell you eventually. Also, many people don’t realise that you have to eventually pay your overdraft back too; I was horrified when I found this out, and I have often felt banks do not make this clear enough. Limit your outfit buying to special occasions (weddings, funerals, yacht parties) and you should be okay. Your weekly trip to Ocean may be special to you, but in this current economic climate, you’re going to have to tone down your spending. Dress to reduce the odds that you will lose something if you are the disorganised sort. As we all know, a good night out involves strewing driving licenses, passports and mobile phones merrily about the club. Sometimes the energetic spontaneity of carefree youth gets the better of us, resulting in a giggling call to mummy (from your friend’s phone) explaining that she may need to advance your birthday present of a new mobile. To all the scatty ladies out there – wear a bag with a zip rather than that pretty one with a button. To the disorganised fellas, make sure your trouser pocket can hold your stuff securely or invest in a bag with a zip – we are living in a metrosexual age
“Unfortunately the definition of ‘loan’ means that you have to pay it back”
after all. Man-bags are the way forward. After extensive research, we found that the biggest expense on a night out is generally alcohol. While it is nice to have a few beverages at the club or bar you are attending, you should limit these to a couple of choice drinks by observing that ye olde tradition – the ’pre-lash’ – which saves money and arguably can be the best part of the night. What better than to lose the ability to walk properly before you even reach the club. When it comes to the execution of the night out, take advantage of being a student if you want to save money. Society, though it can be cruel, has shown that it realises the financial plight of the average student. A well-kept secret of Nottingham clubs is that on student nights the drinks are cheaper. You might want to look into that. Travel costs can be kept to a minimum by sharing taxis. While it may be tempting to pretend you have your own private chauffeur, by getting into the same taxi as your friends you can save a considerable amount of money. Walking is of course free, but, without meaning to sound like your mum, it’s dangerous. Who knows what could happen to you while you’re outside, on your feet? Also, it’s cold, time-consuming and at the risk of sounding like a bimbo, it’s going to be painful in heels. Not saying your mum’s a bimbo or anything! So, there we have it – some revolutionary ways to enjoy a night out whilst bearing in mind the dreaded bank balance. The credit crunch, beaten once again! Hurrah for economically savvy students. Anisa Kadri
WHERE TO? THE ROPEWALK PUB QUIZ! There are very few things in life that have the capacity to educate, stimulate and entertain but the Ropewalk Pub Quiz is one exception to this rule. If you are looking to have a good catch-up with friends or even want to improve your chances of making it onto Nottingham’s University Challenge team, then this is for you. The format is simple: each member of every team pays fifty pence, and for the glorious winners the grand prize is a £30 bar tab (plus a campus-wide reputation as Lenton’s brainiest students). This involves the tactical decision of how big to make your team: the bigger the team, the more knowledge BUT the less prize money per person at the bar if crowned winner - a difficult choice for any passionate quizman.
Rounds include the ‘Picture Round’ - tailormade for avid readers of ‘Heat’ magazine: a celebrity spot-a-thon not for the half-hearted. Other rounds include ‘Current Affairs’ and ‘Guess-the-Intro’. Finally, the quiz climaxes in the all important ‘Wipe Out’ round - the most deadly of them all. If all questions in this round are answered correctly your team will earn themselves ten bonus points. But answer one wrong and your team tragically gets no points and loses all hope of victory. Exciting, thrilling and competitive - the Monday Night Ropewalk Pub Quiz promises to be a night to remember, as long as you don’t drink too much. Claire Meakin
restaurant of the Month
nottingham pub guide Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem
Want to expand your repertoire of drinking-holes in Nottingham? Why not venture out of Lenton and into a couple of Nottingham city centre’s best pubs... Its distinctive black-and-white frontage graces almost every postcard of Nottingham: ‘Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem’ is supposedly the oldest pub in the country, though many others lay claim to the title. It was built in 1189 AD, the year that Richard I ascended the throne. The name is derived from the fact that pub was the final stop-off point for many knights before they headed off on the Crusades. Legend has it the king himself frequented the pub, though this is debatable. But then, Richard I was called Lionheart due to his fighting prowess – ‘Ye Olde Trip’ surely provided him with some Dutch courage! And why go? Well, firstly it’s a pleasant alternative to the usual student dining holes – Bella Italia, Frankie and Benny’s and the infamous Toby Carvery by the West Entrance just don’t quite hold the charm which ‘Ye Olde Trip’ exudes by the bucketful. From sandstone cellars to caves dug into the rock, each room has a character of its own – we ate in the Haunted Snug, which is delightfully cosy and has a ghost who taps patrons on the shoulder! There’s even a pregnancy chair – any female who sits in it will
supposedly become pregnant. Believe it or not, we were not prepared to take the risk. Secondly, it’s number 59 on the SU list of 101 things to do here in Nottingham (possibly now languishing amongst your huge pile of leftovers from Freshers’ Fayre), and therefore simply must be ticked off the list. Thirdly, attractions in the immediate vicinity of the pub include Nottingham Castle and the Museum of Nottinghamshire Life, so it’s in a prime position for you to eat, drink, and enjoy some of the features the city has to offer. Finally – and most importantly – the food. Admittedly not Michelin star quality, ‘Ye Olde Trip’ serves good food nonetheless, hearty and wholesome. Perfect for hungry students! The size of portions is humongous – my fish (with a generous helping of chips) was approximately the size of a small whale. And exceedingly tasty to boot. AND it hardly dented my dwindling student loan – at around £6.00 for such a large meal, what more could you want? So if you’re in need of a winter warmer and medieval cheer, try this pub, and embrace the quirkiness of your university city. Eleanor Matthews
The Orange Tree I could begin this review of The Orange Tree – located on Shakespeare Street – by saying that I happened upon this pub by complete chance. That, however, would be a blatant lie. If I’m being completely honest, the reason behind my first visit to The Orange Tree was a whisper that 8% cider was served on the premises. Having finally become weary of the same old pre-Oceangoing-out-routine, and with the promise of a decent cider ringing in my ears, I decided to give the Orange Tree a go. Upon walking into the Orange Tree do not expect to be overwhelmed. In terms of aesthetics this place is about as uninspiring as it gets; picture any standard high-street chain pub and
you’re along the right lines. However, my initial disappointment was washed away with one pint of Old Rosie. This scrumpy is about as close to a real cider as you’re going to get – without trekking down to the West Country of course. Completely flat and cloudy, Old Rosie is far removed from your average pint of Strongbow. The downside? A pint of this will set you back £3.50 - and other drinks tend to be just as pricey. Having said that, the music on offer is agreeable and the bar staff are very friendly. Whilst it may not be to everyone’s liking The Orange Tree is a good pub with a nice atmosphere; certainly worth checking out, especially if you happen to be a cider fan. Jonathan Tye
The Larder on Goosegate
The Larder is characterised by its emphasis on British-bought produce, from goat’s cheese purchased in Cropwell Bishop to bitter brewed in Nottingham. It may not stand with Nottingham’s fine dining restaurants like Hart’s or Restaurant Sat Bains but it certainly provides something that, every once in a while, the meagre student budget can stretch to. It may not be a birthday party destination and almost certainly doesn’t cater for every wallet, but its terrific set menus cost about the same as going to McDonald’s twice in one day, something I can shamefully say I’ve been guilty of. I did notice that the ‘Buy British’ policy made the menu rather selective and narrow, but the dishes offered all looked delectable. I ordered the soup of the day which was a wonderful creamed broccoli with the just the right amount of Stilton to add that stronger flavour. My Porterhouse steak was succulent, tender and cooked to nigh on perfection. The wine menu offered a fantastically diverse range of Northern and Southern Hemisphere wines which are decently priced and thankfully rarely screw capped.
@Snug Lounge Bar Having built a reputation in London, this student-run company has established itself as a leading player in Nottingham, twice being nominated for Best Club Night at Nottingham Bar and Club Awards. They provide an exclusive brand of student night, with top London DJs, photographers from tilllate.com at all events, and brands such as Red Bull, Jack Wills and Jaegermeister regularly sponsoring nights. At the classy Escucha, Afterdark run High Spirits, an all inclusive night that gives students an excuse to dress up and soak in an unrivalled atmosphere. Aside from being able to choose from an impressive selection of drinks at the bar, each reserved table is layered with a plethora of cigarettes, sweets and bottles of spirits and wine. High Spirits, the perfect balance of class and debauchery, has proved immensely popular so far this year. At midnight the crowd moves (those who can!) to the official after party at one of Nottingham’s leading clubs. This term Afterdark launched the new Tuesday night, one.50 at the chic Bluu in the Lace Market. As the name suggests, all drinks are £1.50 and the launch night proved a huge success with over 600 students enjoying the refreshingly stylish venue complete with shot girls, top DJs playing ‘dirtyhousehiphoprock’, and numerous photographers. Bluu has been refurbished in the past month and one.50’s relaunch on 21 April promises to take Nottingham by storm. Peter Borrie
Service is rapid and rather charming and the restaurant setting is wonderful, with a more informal feel to it than several of Nottingham’s other leading restaurants. The location is rather questionable, as you can pay the bill and end up walking straight into Boom Room, but as the restaurant shuts quite early on week days this isn’t too much of a problem. I would recommend The Larder to anyone as it is a wonderfully rounded, fairly affordable dining experience. For more information and a peek at the menu be sure to check out the website www.thelarderongoosegate.co.uk Niall Michael Emmet Farmer
cafe of the month Jam Cafe - Hockley
Located along a quiet street in the Lace Market, Jam Café is easily missed, but once discovered will become a firm favourite. The menu ranges from all day breakfasts, such as boiled egg and soldiers at only £1.45, to snacks of homemade bread and humous, and an irresistible selection of soups, sandwiches and more filling meals. The laidback atmosphere makes it an ideal spot to study during the day, accompanied by a piece of blueberry pie and a white hot chocolate. Alternatively, if the thought of studying has become too much to bear, then why not while away a few hours watching the world go by and tucking into an item from the ‘Comfort Food’ menu. An open mic night each Wednesday and live DJs on a Thursday mean you can also pop along for dinner and entertainment. With great and affordable food, 10% student discounts, and a far better vibe than generic chain cafés, make sure you don’t overlook Jam Café next time you’re wondering where to go.
It’s got to be one from The House of Coco Tang, the cool quirky underground bar that has recently opened up in Nottingham City Centre. It’s all very subjective when it comes to deciding which of their cocktails is the best, but I must say, the Toblerone cocktail is divine. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, Mozart chocolate liqueur and a spoonful of honey are amongst the ingredients used to create the taste of Toblerone chocolate. And the bonus is that a mini Toblerone chocolate bar comes with this creamy cocktail. The Toblerone cocktail is £5.70 but currently discounted to £3.80 on the student nights (Wednesdays, and now Mondays too) - and before 8-10pm the rest of the week. Once you’ve checked out the Toblerone, be sure to try another of Coco Tang’s funky cocktails which range from Parma Violet to Marlboro Menthol. They also do more classic drinks including superb daiquiris and mojitos. Anisa Kadri
A MEAL FOR TWO AT THE CURRY LOUNGE!
Promising authentic, home-cooked Indian cuisine, the Curry Lounge has been praised by the toptable Top 100 Dining Awards 2009 as one of the top 10 restaurants that offers the best value meals when dining out in the UK for under £25 per head. Providing quality and value, it’s not surprising that the Curry Lounge has become the Indian restaurant of choice for Nottingham’s student population. Ideally situated in the heart of the city, the restaurant is recognised as an exceptional place to dine, whether it be a relaxed meal with friends or a special occasion such as a birthday or graduation meal. Having opened the first Curry Lounge in Nottingham in 2007, the restaurant has gone from strength-to-strength since its appearance on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares series. With Gordon due to visit the Curry Lounge again in April to check on progress, there’s no better time to pay a visit. To celebrate the Curry Lounge’s brand new menu, restaurant owner Raz would like to offer one lucky Impact reader the chance to enjoy a free slap-up meal and wine for two, up to the value of £40. For your chance of winning, email your name and contact details to email@example.com quoting “IMPACT ENTRY” in the subject box by 20th May, 2009.
And FINALLY... IN THE LOOP
We’re all big Armando Iannucci fans here at Impact – the genius behind such British television classics as I’m Alan Partridge, The Day Today and Time Trumpet has been one of the most important comedy writers in this country over the past decades. His latest project is In The Loop, a feature-length adaptation of his political satire The Thick Of It. Like the program, it’s shot in a pseudo-documentary style - an unforgiving, lightning-fast comedy peppered with razor-sharp expletives, which gives a frighteningly uncomfortable sense of how things really might be. It draws on nonspecific events to create a world that is terrifyingly familiar: The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war, but not everyone agrees that war is a ‘good thing’. US General Miller (James Gandolfini) certainly doesn’t think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) - but when the mildmannered minister inadvertently appears to back the war on prime-time television, he immediately attracts the attention of the PM’s venomously aggressive communications chief Malcolm Tucker (reprised from The Thick of It by Peter Capaldi), who latches onto him like a hawk. Soon, the Brits are in Washington, where diplomatic relations collide with trans-Atlantic spin doctors and Foster’s off-hand remark quickly spirals into an insurmountable ‘mountain of conflict’. When it premiered at Sundance it stole the show – everyone who’s seen it has said it’s fucking amazing, and we think you should go see it. It’s out on the 17th of April. (We had spare room here this month, so figured this was as good a way to fill the space as any...)
Quotability “I’ve got an idea for publicity right; bumber cars for the bumber issue” “Well it is! Retardation is really just doing things really slowly” “It’s the worst day for me. I’ve got Greenpeace down there and bloody Darwin upstairs” “Have taken back our water colour (sic)” - Academic Support “I know it’s really sad, but one of my favourite books right now is the economist style guide.” “What is it with fat men who spoil their daughters?” “Think of the sheer cost of the novelty of floating trays - that firstly, aren’t actually floating, and secondly, are suspended on the heads of midgets.” “Nah, she’s not a Christian, she’s just got no money.”
Emma Shipley, Justine Moat, Dave Jackson, Jamie McClymont, Louis George Hemsley, Anisa Kadri, Rachel Webb, Camille Herreman, Millie Lovett, Will Gilgrass, Scott McCubbin, Max McLaren, Libby Galvin, Ben Griffin, Clare Hutchison, Karen Meng, Luke Sampson, Grace Gordon, Laura Morrison, Shara Julliette Hikmet, Hareen Potu, Anna Sarjeant, Katie Balcombe, Katie Balcombe, Rebecca Newbery, Victoria Carter, Jason Gregory, Jonny Cage, Hannah Coleman, Joe Cunningham, Luke Mead, Tom France, Angus Drummond, Edd Gent, Elly Condron, Kate Holberton, Laura McGuinness, Aarohi Sharma, Claire Meakin, Eleanor Matthews, Jonathan Tye, Peter Borrie, Niall Michael Emmet Farmer
Gary Cully SU Marketing Tel: (0115) 8468742 Email: Gary.Cully@nottingham. ac.uk
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Famous Last Words Shed Simove
small. Life and business is a game, and the trick of the game is to realise that everyone is winging it and that once you have a go at it yourself you suddenly adjust, avoid past mistakes and inevitably be successful, as long as you bloody do something. I’ve heard that you have your own currency, ‘the Ego’ - how’s it holding up at the moment?
Image by Umit Ulgen
Shed Simove is an ‘Ideas Man’ - as well as producing Big Brother, he’s a serial entrepreneur (producing ridiculous novelty items), he’s masqueraded as a schoolboy for a Channel 4 series, and has generally destroying the traditional image of an entrepreneur. Impact’s James Sanderson had a chat with him… Do you think that becoming a student entrepreneur is a viable option, considering the current state of graduate recruitment? Absolutely, it amazes me how the system expects you to emerge from university and like a fairy godmother, boom, you know what to do with the rest of your life. I would encourage entrepreneurialism at every stage; being straight out of university is particularly good, as the negative outlook of long-standing businessmen isn’t an influence. Fresh opportunities are always more apparent to graduates - as a student you can afford to take these risks as your overheads (like family commitments) are
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Shed’s Heads & Tails Coin
It’s thriving. I am always interested by how the economy is actually a confidence trick, and this is an experiment within the idea of perception and value - when we all believe the economy is doing well we’ll spend more money which will improve it, but if we believe it is doing badly then we’ll spend less money, worsening the economy. It’s a frightening cycle. I read about the game Second Life and how people were trading currency called ‘Linden Dollars’ on eBay for real cash, and thought I could replicate it. When I was younger in sixth form I saw an image of the Great Depression, a wheelbarrow full of cash with which to buy a loaf of bread. It got me thinking about the changing value of money and how it’s really a con. When you give me a tenner, you are giving me a promise, not truly £10. I looked into the legalities and considering that giftvouchers were almost a currency anyway, I found myself a printing press in brighton, designed it up with my ethoses like ‘tell someone you value them’, and placed my family’s names within the pattern. One ego sells for at least 93p, which is a better exchange rate than the Euro. My Head & Tails coin [a coin with his face on one side and arse on the other] sells for about £8. What’s your opinion on business coaches? Aren’t they all just a bit shit? [Laughter] I haven’t had much experience but there is definitely value in support. A lot of life is about believing in yourself and about being with people who believe in you. I use this phrase ‘negnet’ - a negative magnet. These are the people who you meet and they say “Shed, Shed! - I have this great idea, for a new magazine about plastering.” If I show even a shred of negative emotion - like an eyebrow squint or even telling them that it’s a bad idea that’s being a ‘negnet’ and committing the most heinous crime. You need to surround yourself with ‘posnets’. Support is important, but there is no substitute for doing it yourself. In the
same light, though, I think business mentoring is the way forward, as anyone who is mentoring should give some good guidance, and you can filter the shit. Study successful companies and people, copy their systems and behaviour, add your own USP and suddenly you have something great.
I lost £200,000 and was never offered another production by any other broadcasters
What repercussions came of your ‘Back to School’ documentary stunt? All I can tell you is facts; I lost £200,000 and was never offered another production by any other broadcasters. Doing the documentary undercover and pretending to be a 16 year old for 9 weeks was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. It proved to me that I had the willpower to do anything - so Everest, piece of piss, launching a novelty toy, hard - but I can do it. It gave me an almost legendary status, which lead to my appointment as an executive on Big Brother.
When producing Big Brother, did you ever feel exploitative at all? You could say that they are exploiting us; some of them go on to achieve a really exciting lifestyle and plenty of cash. It opens up a world to them, one that they didn’t have before. Some do it because they crave material wealth and some do it because they want an adventure. We are very careful about who we pick. Many people don’t get into the house because we believe that they can’t mentally handle the process. Generally, we look for people who are robust and will provide an interesting storyline. Can you see celebs having a shit in the toilet? In Celeb BB, you can’t, we have cameras everywhere for their safety and even in the real version the monitor for the toilet is very small. The director would never cut up the toilet - there are microphones inside though!
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Nottingham Entrepreneurs – A new and exciting Society at the University of Nottingham! We hold regular meetings and socials, inviting inspiring people like Shed to impart their advice and knowledge to you. We also organise skills development workshops aimed at equipping you with the much sought after skills needed to start a business! So if you are an ambitious person, up for a challenge and looking to add some valuable skills and experiences to your CV come and check us out! You’re guaranteed to meet some interesting new people. www.nottingham-entrepreneurs.co.uk