STUDENT PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR
GO LARGE OR GO HOME NOTTINGHAM’S TOUGHEST EATING CHALLENGES
ISSUE 222 MARCH 2013
IN THE LURCH
SYRIAN STUDENTS DESPERATE FOR FUNDING
LANDLORDS OR LANDLOUTS? FINDING THE SKELETONS IN YOUR LANDLORD’S CLOSET
EDIT RIAL the candidates who want to take the reigns of the Union next year. From Karni to Week One and from “And the name. Implode - what the fuck even this year’s Exec to the Dark Knight himself, the eight is that?” candidates running to be your SU president face fierce competition; find out more on page six. This was a nightmare I had back in January before our stress-relief issue hit campus. Speaking of competition, our second major coverage of the term is the Charity Varsity Series. Fortunately, judging by the word on the street and Flick to page ten to catch up with the highlights the reception of the magazine’s content online, so far and page 12 to see what you’ve got to look Implode actually went down pretty damn well. forward to. “Mate, they cut the magazine in half.”
We only produced 1,500 copies so if they were all whisked away before you could get your hands on one, I suggest you whip out the Kleenex (you’ll be crying with regret), visit your most viewed website (Impact, naturally) and find the digital version, which has been deemed suitable only for an “adult audience”. In the meantime, our News team has been grilling
and previews online but if you’ve missed out so far, visit impactnottingham.com The next couple of weeks are almost always our most popular online so I guess this is an editorial geared as much towards our booming online content as it is the rest of the magazie. It’s impossible in 300 words to do justice to everything the Impact team produces in a single month. All I can say is that the next 64 pages barely scrape the surface.
The clutch of pages devoted to SU elections and Varsity in this magazine are just hightlights of the Until next time, enjoy. incredible content that our News and Sports teams have been producing online over the past few weeks. Thousands of you have already been reading and viewing our reports, reviews, photos, interviews
Oscar WIlliams Editor-in-Chief
WE WROTE, YOU RESPONDED ‘Heads Should Roll’
on ‘“Summer Party Is Shelved After Losing £157k Over Three Years”
on ‘‘‘You feel like you’re a shell of a person, on “BREAKING: Full List of SU Election completely dead inside’ – Eating Disorder Candidates Announced” Awareness Week” Now the voting don’t start till the eighth of March. I
Den Loses = £160,000 Summer Party Loses = £157,000 TOTAL = £317,000
trust that this will help inform your decision. This is an extremely touching article. I admire your strength and courage in talking openly about this and hope that it will encourage others to do so too.
Join the discussion at www.impactnottingham.com 2
‘Vote Lawrence for Activities’
CONTENTS FEATURES Editorial News Comment Sport
2 4 8 10
Landlords or Land louts?
Bad location, bad location, bad location
Talk Nerdy to Me: Impact Explores the Rise of Geek Culture
The women who breed their daughters as if they were racehorses
We speak to students with the sophomore slump
Up All Night
Impact Investigates Student Insomnia
The nerds are finally here and Geek is chic
Toddlers and Tiaras: What’s the Deal with Child Beauty Pageants?
Are you Suffering from Second Year Blues?
Tony’s Tips - No-Nonsense Know-How
From buying gifts to dealing with depression, Tone’s your man
We Asked, You Responded
Style Exposure Travel Food Science & Tech What’s On Arts Music Film & TV Gaming Heard in Hallward
28 32 36 40 42 46 48 52 56 60 63
SYRIAN STUDENTS STRUGGLE FOR FUNDING SYRIAN STUDENTS ACROSS THE UK ARE IN NEED OF URGENT FINANCIAL AID DUE TO THE ON-GOING CONFLICT IN THEIR HOMELAND. fact that he has retained his status as a student. Although he has appealed to the University, they are looking at his case “without any promises”. Universities Minister David Willets gave a statement on the 18th January, urging students to speak to their university and for universities to give students access to emergency funds. The University of Nottingham has an Alumni/ Crisis fund, where students can meet with the International Office on an individual basis to appeal for financial assistance. The International Office told Impact that they work closely with the University Counselling service to ensure students can be seen by a counsellor. They also pointed out that “the University does not have funding to support students in ongoing cases of hardship. The funds are for short-term, unforeseen circumstances. As such, priority is given to students who are coming to the end of their studies”.
“They are looking into my case without any promises.”
yrian students across the UK are in need of unable to get official headed letters from their Syrian urgent financial aid due to the on-going conflict universities on official letterheads because of the However, for Nottingham student Yamen Badr his crisis”. in their homeland. primary concern is to be financially independent in Of the 670 Syrian students in UK universities, Official letterheads are impossible to get hold order that his family can keep their savings for his 21 are studying at the University of Nottingham. of because “there is no emailing system there, brother. His family are currently trying to get his Approximately 420 students across the UK have all paper must be collected in person from the brother out of Syria in order for him to escape his been sponsored by the Syrian government, while University”, Husam Helmi, Syrian student from military service. Badr notes that although “they do others were privately funded. Following the crisis in Brunel University told Impact. He also said that, not need my financial help, this can change at any Syria, these sources of funding have been under “No employees are going to work because of the moment”. conflict. Universities are under attack”. At least 82 After trying to get a job with the University, in catering, threat. people were killed and 162 injured after a bomb cleaning and the libraries, Badr told Impact he: “got exploded in Aleppo University in January this year. the impression [from people in his department] that “Syrian students are being denied funding
because they can’t get official headed letters to send to the British Council”
Although the British Council has established a £1 million hardship fund, only 100 of the 670 Syrian students in the UK are eligible to the fund, from only University of Nottingham PhD student Yamen Badr eight universities. told Impact that the “EU sanctions against Syria One of the main problems facing Syrian students have affected the students expecting money from in the UK is the absence of an established national their parents and the official students sponsored policy for all universities outlining the means of by the government in Syria. There is no way to protection for Syrian students. communicate or transfer money.” Yassin*, a Syrian student at Edinburgh University The British Council scheme is open to Syrian told Impact he was tortured for 48 days during students seeking financial help, however the the Syrian uprising. He said he was grateful to number of students eligible to this funding has Edinburgh University for reacting “sympathetically” only been widened after pressure from the Avaaz on his return to the UK, especially since the Syrian campaign, a global online campaigning network. regime cut off Yassin’s scholarship to the University. Christine Gilmore, spokesperson for the campaign, However, Edinburgh stopped his funding between told Impact that students were being rejected the submission of his PhD in November last year from the British Council fund “because they were and his viva, due to take place in April, despite the 4
the University is trying to help the local community” over its international students. He said that he thought “this is the right thing for the University”, but that it was frustrating for him in his search for a job to help his family. The Human Resources department told Impact they cannot confirm this allegation, given that “the University does not have a ‘marker’ for this information”. The Students’ Union BME officer has said that “students who have experienced issues should contact any of the SU officers or the student advice centre. We will be able to help with complete confidentiality”. By Emily Tripp Additional reporting by Rob Moher *name changed to protect identity
“We as a Students’ Union should not have a policy on this matter. I do not think we would gain anything from having this policy; rather, we would be actively alienating some of our members.”
“The Students’ Union is supposed to represent the students of our University. This should be regardless of religious or political beliefs.”
referendum proposing that the Union adopts a ‘Support the Right to Choose’ policy on abortion will be held in March. On the 5th February, Women’s Officer Rose Bonner put the motion to Union Council. The proposal faced opposition, notably from Accommodation and Community Officer, Sian Green.
SHOULD THE UNIVERSITY HAVE A POLICY ON ABORTION? REFERENDUM ANNOUNCED ON ‘SUPPORTING THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE’
student would be able to vote on the matter.
campaigning for the referendum.
Bonner stressed that this motion was not proabortion but simply making sure that there is relevant support in place to help students who get pregnant during the course of their degree, whether they choose to have an abortion or not.
They added that the Trustee Board of the Students’ Union would get involved if any laws could potentially be breached.
Writing for Impact Online, Charlotte Abbs said: Speaking to Impact, Green said: “I understand “The Students’ Union is supposed to represent the both sides of the Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life argument students of our University. This should be regardless and I personally feel it is very important that a of religious or political beliefs. It is not appropriate for woman does have the right to choose.” the Union to take a side in ongoing debates such as She added: “I spoke in opposition to the motion at the morality of abortion.” Union Council as I feel that, whilst it is important She said that, “If the Union declares itself pro-choice that a woman has the right to choose, we as a it is effectively alienating any students who hold Students’ Union should not have a policy on this different ethics to that of the pro-choice movement.” matter. I do not think we would gain anything from having this policy; rather, we would be actively Talking to Impact, Bonner said, “Because ofAbort67, a lot of other Universities are trying to introduce proalienating some of our members. choice policies, including Cambridge, Oxford and “It has been mentioned that we passed an Equal UCL. Sheffield, for example, recently became a proMarriage policy last year, which does alienate choice union.” some of our members. The difference is that last year, we as a nation did not have Equal Marriage Since the referendum has been announced, the and therefore it is important for us a Union to be in Elections Committee has received a total of 40 objections. Some of these were politically and a position to lobby for equality.” legally based arguments and the Committee urged Council member Fran Cowling proposed that the students with these views to raise them during the motion be moved to a referendum so that every www.impactnottingham.com/news
The Committee also addressed other objections involving the motion’s wording and grammar, saying: “Elections Committee is not in place to discuss the motion itself – only whether by putting the motion to a referendum, would the vote itself be able to be delivered in a fair and democratic manner.” Regarding the issue of alienating pro-life students, the Committee stated: “We understand that this is a highly emotive issue and that there will be strong opinions on both sides of the argument. However, this doesn’t stop the student body from voting to decide a position that the Students’ Union should adopt. The Students’ Union has previously held positions not agreed by all of its members, and will do so again in the future. Such is the nature of democracy.” Voting is set to take place on the SU’s website, starting at 12pm on Monday 18th March and finishing at 3pm on Friday 22nd March. By Ellis Schindler
IMPACT 222 215
Grilling the Presidential Candidates Voting for SU elections starts on 8th March. In the run up, Impact pitted all eight Presidential hopefuls against each other. For full coverage visit impactnottingham.com
What is the biggest role you have fulfilled at University?
Will Clempner: The biggest role I’ve fulfilled is Karni Exec, because it was a year long commitment leading to us becoming the biggest student run charity in Europe. Shehroze Khan: My NUS delegate role. I just went out and talked to students. I didn’t think of them as votes, I looked at them as people who wanted to make a difference. The Dark Knight: Being Batman. Johnny Lawrence: Can I say being a boyfriend? No? Ok. I was a Week One rep which was quite fun. I got to meet people, be friendly, and help people get home ok. Some powerful responsibilities there. Ellie McWilliam: Doing Week One. It was a role I didn’t expect but absolutely adored. Luke Mitchell: Being on the SU Exec, because you can make such a difference for students. It’s a big responsibility but I love it! Anil Parmar: My role as FSO is my biggest role while at University. It has lots of responsibility and I had a really big learning curve towards it, but I think I’ve got on really well. Tom van Wesseldine: Nothing to be honest. That’s what separates me from other candidates. I’m not Karni or Week One - I’ve not done any of that. I’m just your regular student.
Who do you consider to be your biggest rival in the race for President?
Will Clempner: The Dark Knight. Shehroze Khan: Other sabb Officers. And Will’s a nice guy, but I’m scared of him. The Dark Knight: Apathy. Johnny Lawrence: Will Clempner and Ellie. Ellie McWilliam: Will Clempner. I think this is going to be Week One v. Karni. Luke Mitchell: The Dark Knight. Anil Parmar: I don’t really think there’s one candidate stronger than any other. Tom van Wesseldine: Will Clempner.
Describe your biggest rival in three words.
Will Clempner: Mysterious, rebellious, dark. Shehroze Khan: [Sabb officers:] Good, bad, ugly. The Dark Knight: Bane Two-face Joker. Johnny Lawrence: We walk in the same friendship circles, so we’re fishing in the same pond of voters. Ellie McWilliam: Confident, ambitious, charity. Luke Mitchell: Cunning, dangerous, heroic. Tom van Wesseldine: Never met him.
What has been your biggest achievement while at Nottingham, or what are you most proud of?
Will Clempner: My biggest achievement was probably being elected as an NUS Delegate last term for the coming National Conference. Shehroze Khan: Being the president [of the Islamic Society] was an amazing learning curve because I got to represent so many students, and empower Muslim students who are less represented. The Dark Knight: Being the hero Nottingham deserves. Johnny Lawrence: Joining Impact and writing about terrible movies that I watch. Ellie McWilliam: I’m most proud of achieving assistant coordinator [of week one], and being rugby captain. Luke Mitchell: My biggest achievement was when I organised an end of year funday for my hall. It took months of organising. On the day it absolutely poured with rain, but we kept going and had a decent turnout. Tom van Wesseldine: I started a oil and gas brokerage in my year out and since being at Uni that has now become global. Also being on course for a 2:1 in my degree as well as being part of NUFC. Anil Parmar: My biggest achievement was being elected [as Financial Services Officer]. Simply because I was doing it alongside my degree, and so I didn’t have much time to campaign.
by Antonia Paget Images by Callum Mclarty
The Executive Strikes Back: Incumbent Officers allowed to run again an advantage to incumbent officers: “I work full time as an officer and I’m not using the time I should be working to plan my campaign. Some of the other candidates, if they’ve been organised, will have all the time in the world to organise a brilliant campaign. Joseph Clough, Disabled Officer in 2011, told They also have the advantage of being able to Impact that because some candidates running come in with a fresh face”. aren’t currently students, this means that “several of the exec will be taking their paid annual leave” Clough added: ”It’s difficult to say exactly what effect during campaigning. He pointed out that “taking a having two year sabbs will have on the election holiday is not something that the students running in itself… It’s important to note that the SU have done a great job this year in attracting many plausible the election have the luxury to do”. candidates for this election”. Luke Mitchell, currently Democracy and Communications Officer and candidate for SU Emily Tripp President, said this would not necessarily act as Incumbent SU sabbatical Officers will be able to re-run for positions in the University’s Students’ Union elections for the first time this year, following a motion introduced in 2012.
Environmental and Social Justice Officer Role Under Review Elections for the Environmental and Social Justice Officer have been delayed until after Easter. A review of the role was initiated after the resignation of ESJ Officer, Andrea Pilava, earlier this year. Speaking to Impact Pilava said: “My resignation was solely due to the fact that as a final year student I was unable to undertake my duties as an Officer effectively and perform well in my degree.” Upon the announcement of her resignation in SU Council, Finance and Services Officer Anil Palmer tweeted, saying: “She did an amazing job too!”
We Want 10,000 Votes: Amos’ Ambition for SU Elections The SU aims to hit a target of 10,000 votes in this an attainable figure. He said: “It all depends on how year’s Student Leader elections. many people care what we think and about what we do. Voter turnout last year was the lowest since 2005, with only 5,610 students voting across the election. “This year we’ve got really specific plans. We’re This came as a surprise after the record breaking mapping out all the schools and courses that didn’t figure of 7,756 voters in 2011. vote high last year, and we’re going to tell campaigners where to go so it’s not all stuck outside Hallward But voter numbers have risen again this year, with all day.” the NUS delegate elections at the University having the highest voter turnout across the country. “Also, as there are less rules this year it encourages creativity. From now, we’re encouraging people to James Potts, chair of Elections Committee said talk to leaders of groups about building a manifesto, 10,000 votes in the SU elections is an “achievable and leaders should already be asking the members goal”. He told Impact that “the fact that no one has they represent what things they want. So hopefully done it before makes us more determined to hit that we already have people engaged in the elections target”. process.” SU President, Amos Teshuva, agrees that this is Antonia Paget www.impactnottingham.com/news
Education Officer Matt Styles told Impact that: “A motion will be brought to Students’ Union Council which proposes keeping the Environmental & Social Justice Officer role part-time and with the same portfolio. It will also propose that rather than taking on the responsibilities of an Exec or full-time Officer, ESJ will support the full-time Officers where necessary. “The idea behind the changes is based on a number of previous ESJ Officers’ experiences of balancing a part-time Exec Officer chairing a number of groups, with the ability to focus on their course during their time in the role. This would allow the ESJ Officer to focus on just that - environmental and social justice issues.” Ellis Schindler
IMPACT 222 215
“The Only Connection I Have With The NUS Is My Card”
he failure of the NUS protest in November 2012, which resulted in leader Liam Burns being assaulted with eggs and fruit, has left the National Union of Students facing many questions. Critics point to disorganisation, apathy and an irrelevant approach to student issues as the root of their problems. Perhaps Burns agrees, admitting: “We’ve got to get better at campaigning.” The turnout in November, a mere 4,000 people, was two-thirds of what the NUS hoped for. These unpromising figures highlight the clear weaknesses within the organisation. It is easy to point the finger of blame at the NUS for not effectively conveying to the government that paying triple the amount in tuition fees is not only financially crippling, but can also act as a deterrent to academically able students with monetary worries. Others are shocked with the means used to try to combat the decision, with the notorious protests of Demo 2010 marring the Union’s image. Many Nottingham students also have concerns, “The only connection I feel that I have with the NUS is my card and sure, that’s good for discounts, but it doesn’t feel like I’m truly represented by them,” says Nottingham student Tom Griffiths. Comments like this are a far cry from the NUS’s claim that they are “the definitive national voice of students.” However, there is much more scope to the work of the NUS. Successes in more niche areas are worthy of credit, such as the “Out in Sport” report, which explores the experiences of LGBT students active in university sport, and has sparked a campaign to oust homophobia from student life. Commendable projects like this offer a contrast to feelings of disunity between some students and their union. Other lesser known policies of the NUS include improving childcare and working for better timetabling. In time to come, perhaps a more feasible approach for improving student/union relations would be to increase awareness about such projects, and although the paramount issues of finance and funding will remain a priority, students’ disposition towards the NUS would certainly be more
“Are the motivations for the driving forces behind the strategy of the NUS careerminded, or for the genuine interest of the student population?”
favourable if they had knowledge of the work that Unfortunately, there is a definite disparity between the organisation is doing to improve student life. delegate and student. This is the first point of breakdown in connection between the NUS and First year student Talia Yilmaz highlights this, saying: who they represent. Nottingham undergraduates “Apart from financial issues, I was unaware that the felt that the number of candidates was too high, NUS was working for, let alone making significant and there was too little information available to progress, in other parts of student wellbeing. choose between them to be able to narrow down Knowing this makes me think of the NUS in a more their choice. Others were unsure on how to formally positive light.” voice an idea to a delegate. Another problematic aspect of the structure of the The overall lack of confidence in the NUS is due NUS is that a considerable fraction of policymakers to a dearth in student understanding about their for the Union are using the organisation as a delegates. This illustrates a key point; it is essential stepping stone for a career in politics. Perhaps this that the National Union of Students works first on is unavoidable. Undoubtedly those interested in raising awareness and informing students of the working in the political sphere would gain valuable issues at hand. If the public perception of the NUS work experience within the NUS. But the question is to improve, critics must first know that they are remains: are the motivations for the driving forces more than a protest group with the sole objective of behind the strategy of the NUS career-minded, or lowering tuition fees. for the genuine interest of the student population? Elliott Stone Image by Ben Tynegate Fortunately, democracy remains at the heart of the NUS, who pride themselves on using “open democratic structures.” Delegates are voted for by students at their respective universities, with the successful candidates then going on to represent them and voice their issues. Concerns can be raised at events such as the Annual Conference, held in April this year. In theory, this seems to be a logical and effective system that allows the average student to get their opinion heard.
Union Restructuring Will Alienate Students
such as allowing elected Officers to be able to rerun for election and serve two terms, were put to The document concluded that most officers were the student populace in a 2012 referendum called far too administrative or ‘operational’ in carrying out ‘The Big Ask.’ their work, and resolved to change this. In particular, the roles of DemComms and FSO were targeted as Although the referendum became the pet project being up to 90% operational and as such became of the 2011/12 Executive, it failed to pass as it targets for the Union’s proposed new Executive did not reach an appropriate quorum of votes. While students remained apathetic towards these structure. changes, this year’s Officers have carried on the path to constitutional change regardless. This attempt to reach out to students has put “Backdoor officials, having been increasing participation at the top of the Union’s The roles of the Democracy and Communications appointed rather than democratically agenda. Several policies seeking to inspire chosen by the student electorate, would and Financial Services Officers are to be the first student-driven change at the University were casualties in this gradual change. While at least not find themselves held to account or floated, including allowing students to start and scrutinised through any form of mandate.” aesthetically the decision to move administrational sign up to online petitions. tasks to administrative staff makes more sense than the current system, there is a clear sense that “There is a clear sense that these The newly proposed structure allowed for the these changes have been rushed through. changes having been rushed through.” election of only four or five Officers, while the bulk This is a rare chance for reform, to change of the responsibilities from scrapped roles would be the content of the roles themselves and to More importantly, changes were to be made reallocated among full-time operational staff at the attempt to move them towards an overtly to the Students’ Union Executive, the officers Union. representative function. Instead, by making key democratically elected by students each While done with good intentions, the new structure roles unaccountable to the societies which greatly year. Looking to trim down the Executive to a essentially ignored the major consequences of depend upon them, the Union risks achieving sleeker form, the Union’s Communications and scrapping roles. For one, it removes a physical exactly the opposite of its long-term aims, alienating Democracy department, headed by then-Officer presence from the eyes of the student population, the very same student electorate they hope to Danny Barry, released a 34 page document relegating a vital role such as that of the FSO to that reach out to. outlining the changes to structure. of a backdoor official. Aatish Thakerar The document used the results of the Union’s Backdoor officials, having been appointed rather Officer Duty Audit, including a concise ‘Operational than democratically chosen by the student vs. Representational’ to conduct an analysis into electorate, would not find themselves held to account the necessity of each role and the extent to which or scrutinised through a democratic mandate. these roles actually involved practical rather than This structure, along with other proposed changes, he decision to scrap the Financial Services Officer and Democracy & Communications Officer is undoubtedly one of the talking points of this year’s SU elections. However, it’s merely a consequence of large scale changes that have been in motion since the Union’s ‘Big Review’ Survey in May 2010, a continuous consultation exercise designed to make the Union more representative of its students.
Do you agree? Join the debate at www.impactnottingham.com www.impactnottingham.com/comment
ON THE RECORD A brief round-up of some of our teams’ results from the past few weeks: Basketball
Rugby League Rugby Union
Mens Mens Mens Womens Womens Womens Mens Mens Mens Mens Womens Womens Womens Mens Mens Mens Mens Womens Womens Womens Mens Mens Mens Mens Womens Womens Womens Womens Womens Womens Mens Mens Mens Mens Mens Mens Mens
Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Cambridge 1sts Nottingham 1sts Lincoln 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts 6KHIÀHOG+DOODPVWV Manchester 1sts Nottingham 1sts Chichester 1sts Nottingham 1sts Birmingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Durham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Birmingham 1sts Durham 1sts Birmingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Manchester 1sts Nottingham 1sts Durham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Loughborough 2nds Birmingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Birmingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Northumbria 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts
75-63 78-72 87-81 58-48 21-77 65-48 2-0 2-2 2-4 0-2 3-0 1-0 3-0 3-0 1-3 3-3 7-3 3-2 2-2 1-0 11-3 10-10 8-5 17-2 19-1 21-2 10-4 54-38 27-31 59-39 44-24 7-6 0-64 15-5 10-59 0-31 30-17
Bournemouth 1sts Worcester 2nds Nottingham 1sts Newcastle 1sts Nottingham 1sts Worcester 1sts Northumbria 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Loughborough 1sts Nottingham 1sts Northumbria 1sts Nottingham 1sts Oxford Brookes 1sts Nottingham 1sts 6KHIÀHOG+DOODPVWV Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Manchester 1sts Warwick 1sts Nottingham 1sts Loughborough 1sts Nottingham 1sts Oxford Brookes 1sts Oxford Brookes 1sts Oxford 2nds Nottingham 1sts Nottingham 1sts Oxford 1sts Nottingham 1sts Cambridge 1sts Loughborough 1sts Nottingham 1sts Durham 1sts Leeds Met. 1sts Leeds 1sts
For a full round-up from all BUCS teams head to: www.impactnottingham.com 10
Varsity: The Story So far Basketball Nottingham Women 51-47 Trent Women Nottingham Men 83-70 Trent Men 2,016 people watched in the Capital FM arena as the University of Nottingham took the lead in the Varsity series thanks to two strong performances from our men’s and women’s basketball sides. Nottingham controlled the women’s game from the outset, finishing the second quarter with a six point lead over Trent at 24-18. The rest of the match was equally dominated by Nottingham, despite a spirited Trent comeback led by Pippa Burrell. The women’s side never let their lead slip despite a tight scoreline by the end of the match. While Bethany Stevens was named Most Valuable Player, it was a great team performance that saw them come out on top, with Amelia Reynolds defending superbly at times and Marie Bruse contributing significantly to Nottingham’s point tally. The men’s basketball side didn’t enjoy the same level of domination as the women’s team. Trent started the match strongly and, although Nottingham managed to keep within touching distance throughout, Trent’s Jojo Ansah produced a strong performance which saw them take the first two quarters 42-35. The third quarter looked to be more of the same from Trent, finishing 53-47, before an extraordinary comeback led by Ibey Agbaje saw Nottingham complete an astonishing 83-70 victory. Aaron Brown’s three consecutive three pointers in the first quarter was a particular highlight for Nottingham. Yannick Mitchell Image by Chris Dixon www.impactnottingham.com/sport
American Football Trent went into this one as favourites and justified their reputation with an early touchdown by Dan Miller in the first quarter. This was to be the first of many runs from Miller that the Outlaws never got close to containing. Miller constantly went to the left and ran a play in virtually every set of four downs, yet the Outlaws were helpless in trying to prevent substantial gains on almost every occasion. The second quarter was the critical period in the game. Miller’s opposite number, Nottingham quarterback Luca Rossini, led a lengthy drive, marshalling his troops to great effect. The drive had put the Outlaws little more than five yards from the Renegades’ end zone. At this juncture, in what was
Nottingham Outlaws 0 Trent Renegades 28 retrospectively the most important play of the game, Rossini, in the shotgun position, fumbled the ball for Trent to recover. This drive looked to really dent Rossini’s confidence, who until that moment had been quite the general. As the Outlaws struggled to make any notable yardage, Miller continued to wreak havoc in the opposition defence. Two more touchdowns followed for Miller, both runs from close range. By the final quarter, the match all but fizzled out as Trent comfortably held Nottingham at bay. The final score of 28-0 was probably a larger margin of victory than the season’s form would have suggested. Will Cook
Nottingham 8 Trent 14
A late converted try from Sam Campbell secured a Jimmy Goodwin went over in the corner. 14-8 victory for Nottingham Trent over the University Uni’s ill discipline in their own half provided a rare of Nottingham in the 2013 Charity Varsity Rugby period of Trent pressure and to their credit, they did League. not pass up the opportunity - the wide men again The game was attritional and brutal, with few real doing the damage as Trent powered their way over chances for either side; the main excitement for the the line to level the scores at 4-4 near frost-bitten crowd at Harvey Hadden came An early second half try from Trent was cancelled from the occasional big hit. out by a brilliant effort from Cunliffe, whose run from Uni dominated much of the territory and their pres- deep set up a tense finale, only for Campbell to sure was rewarded 10 minutes before the break. A crash over at the death and give Trent a hard-fought rare decision to go wide through the hands paid off victory over a brave University of Nottingham side. as, after a long pass from Will Cook, prolific winger Dan Matthews
Varsity Ice Hockey In front of a packed Capital FM arena, Uni dominated the opening few minutes of play. The great link-up play of their starting forwards, including Luke Branin, capitalised immediately with a goal to give Uni a deserved early lead. The Uni crowd was electric; this continued as netminder Richard Griffiths made a fantastic save for Uni, before setting up Simon Bell for a chance at goal which hit the post.
Nottingham 4 Trent 3 occasions. Trent had the best of the play, with the best opportunity coming from Ryan Rathbone, who had a great opportunity to claw one back only to force a good save from Richard Griffiths. Whilst Uni started quickly in the final period, Trent began to play themselves back into the game and were rewarded with two quick goals, one from the brilliant O’Flaherty. Having lost a two goal lead in a matter of minutes, nerves were kicking in amongst the Uni side. However, an inspired Ben Gillingham led a last minute attack for Uni as he set up Branin, who scored with just a minute remaining. The Trent fans, who had watched their comeback from 3-0 down, fell silent.
Trent found themselves having to dig deep to prevent themselves from falling further behind, but Uni proved too strong with 2 goals in quick succession, the latter from an in-form Simon Bell. Thankfully, for all the Trent fans that had attended, it was soon game on again as Gareth O’Flaherty began to get himself into the game and scored late Nottingham held on in the dying seconds that on in the period for Trent, leaving the score at 3-1 remained and claimed the win. Going to the wire to Uni. once more, it is easy to see why Ice Hockey is the The second period failed to live up to the pace of the jewel in the Varsity calendar. first, with no goals scored throughout and both teams finding themselves a player down on numerous Anil Parmar 12
What's Still to Come... HOCKEY
Friday 15th March (Women’s 5:30pm, Men’s 7:30pm), Beeston Hockey Club
Wednesday 20th March (3:30pm), University Park Sports Centre
Wednesday 20th March (5pm), University Park Sports Centre
The men’s game should be a tightly contested affair, with Trent running out winners of the division below Nottingham 1sts. Trent have bashed Nottingham’s 2nds twice this season: 8-1 and 8-0, but our 1sts came a respectable third in the sport’s top tier.
On paper this one looks to be either side’s for the taking. Nottingham have won as many games as they have lost so far this season, with a 4-4 record, but are a division higher than Trent on the student netball pyramid. Trent have dominated their league but the gulf in class between divisions may allow Nottingham look firm favourites for the spoils in the Nottingham to show their class. womens’ game, despite a 3-1-6 record this season, Trent’s 1sts have only drawn with Nottingham’s 2nds, 1-1 and 0-0 and finished mid-table in the league below Nottingham.
Peculiarly, there is only a men’s lacrosse in this year’s Charity Varsity Series.
Friday 10th May, details TBC
Monday 13th May, details TBC
The men’s football looks to be a foregone conclusion in favour of Nottingham. Having finished an impressive second in student football’s top flight, losing only two games in the process - incidentally the same number of games that Trent have won in the league below - Nottingham will be distraught with anything other than the big W come May.
Nottingham should be looking to dominate the men’s game. Returning to student rugby union’s top tier, Nottingham avoided relegation, which is quite an achievement. Trent on the other hand, have slipped to mediocrity in the division below and the gap between the two leagues is marked.
Trent are perhaps slight favourites for the womens’ tie after winning Midlands 1A this season. Nottingham finished at the foot of the Premier North table, winning only one of ten games. Trent’s upbeat mentality and winning tradition this season may well see them through.
However, Nottingham look to be firm favourites after a respectable third place in the top tier of student lacrosse. However, Trent have only lost one match all season and we can be certain that they won’t go down without a fight.
After trouncing Trent in last year’s Varsity, Nottingham will be looking for the same again despite a tough league season, winning only two of eleven games. Trent have placed mid-table in Midlands 1A but the gap between the two leagues is monumental, bearing in mind Nottingham dominated Midlands 1A last year. Images by Chris Dixon and Martin Slyvester
Images by: Charlotte Albert, Martin Sylvester, Chris Dixon, Lukazs Bonenberg, Andreas Billman, Ntobeko Chidavaenzi and Callum McLarty
Landlords or Landlouts?
I came home at around 11pm one evening and the landlord’s father was sat in our living room, having let himself in. He had randomly turned up to do some ‘essential’ work on the house, during exam time, bearing in mind we were all moving out a month or so later. Not content with this, he then ended up living in our garage without telling us, illegally burning tar in the garden and pouring concrete down the street drainage system.
his is not an isolated incident. Housing has long been a difficult, controversial and at times traumatic aspect of student living. Stories of poor quality accommodation, manipulative landlords and dodgy agents are rife within student circles. Recent efforts by the Students’ Union and other groups have sought to increase awareness and improve standards, although Accommodation and Community officer Sian Green has claimed: “For as many students who will find good quality, wellmaintained housing, there are as many, if not more, that will struggle with poor property standards.” HOUSES OF HORRORS For many students, the issue of poor housing is primarily a case of small, isolated incidents and hard-to-reach landlords. Briony Valencia told Impact: “The house was the dirtiest that we’d ever seen when we moved in. Some of the furniture was broken and light bulbs hadn’t been replaced. There is a serious case of dampness in three of the four rooms and the cellar is full of pots and pans from previous tenants. The landlord isn’t exactly rude, but is very inattentive, particularly as he lives in London and works in Leicester.” Sarah-Jayne Grahame has been in temporary accommodation since August and is still waiting to move into the house she signed for: “We were told we would move in at the end of September, then November, then in official writing on the 14th December, then January, then the end of January. “We were promised that we could move in on the 18th February, so we packed everything to go. We are currently living out of boxes - I literally have nothing usable, including my dissertation work and clothes. We got there in the morning [of the 18th] and the head builder (who we talk to as [the landlord] doesn’t bother with us) is ill and the other guy in charge won’t let us in until electrical checks are done. Why we weren’t told this earlier I don’t know. I am currently trying to get extenuating
circumstances as my work has been affected.”
Sygy Collins rented a property on Derby Road: “I had a tiny flat, which was overcharged. My room had no heating and in the winter I could see my breath, with a mould infestation that covered one whole wall green. There was a crack in the window pane/side of the house and she had placed a wardrobe in front of it to cover it up! Furthermore, [the landlord] was in debt and had listed my rental flat as their primary residence, meaning that I had to deal with debt collectors coming around.” PRICES THROUGH THE ROOF Extremely high rent is accepted as a necessary evil by students, many of whom believe there is no option but to pay for whatever they can find quickly, otherwise they’ll miss out on housing. However, this has not been the case for some time. “There is quite a bit of empty housing – there has been for many years, especially in Dunkirk,” says local Councillor Sarah Piper. “It has a very empty feel to it if you walk around the area near the University [South Entrance]. We’re left with the issue of what to do in a an area where there is falling house demand and it has been evident for years that this is the case.” The Students’ Union advises that students take their time and look through Unipol, a housing organisation recognised as “the official student accommodation site for Nottingham”. Nonetheless, some students remain suspicious as to how useful their accreditation system actually is: “The three landlords we used over the years, two of which I’d highly recommend (neither of these are Unipol accredited) are Kwik-Let and MS Estates. We also used Grainger RAMP (Grant Management) who are Unipol accredited and were shocking. We had so many issues with this company it was untrue. “We turned up to find lots of the previous tenant’s possessions there and a large hole in the floor at
the bottom of the stairs. It took three months for them to finally board over the hole: they didn’t fix it, just put a temporary botch on top.” Kwik-Let has since been accredited by Unipol, though MS Estates has not been. Grainger Residential Asset Management Platform Ltd are still accredited, while Grant Lettings (formerly Grant Management) has a Gold standard rating, which means it has been a member of the Unipol DASH Code for at least three consecutive years without a sustained complaint being made against them. Grant Management were unable to provide Impact with any specific information about the incident – however they did confirm that the shift to Grainger came after the previous landlord went into administration and that Grainger was the agency responsible for the disturbances. Grainger RAMP were contacted by Impact but declined to comment on the matter. Unipol does have a record of punishing landlords who fail to abide by their code that governs student lets. Since September 2010, Unipol has investigated eight landlords and letting agencies, including Shields and Grant Lettings, following complaints by student tenants. Of those investigated, Sheila Rathour, Beverly Hall and Dr Fatima Jabbar/Max Choudhuri have all been suspended from the Unipol DASH code.According to Unipol, there are “several cases on-going”. The system, however, relies on students reporting landlords to Unipol, which, judging by the relatively low number of cases brought to the organisation each year, seems to be something that students are reluctant to do. 45% of students surveyed by Impact would be unwilling to report their landlord to Unipol in the event of a problem, with some respondents claiming that they “don’t think it would have any effect” or that they “didn’t know you could.” IMPACT 222
Unipol provided Impact with the following statement: “The University of Nottingham Accommodation Services, the Students’ Advice Centre and Unipol work together to support students in their search for accommodation, providing different roles. Students living in a Code property can approach Unipol in the event of issues with their property. “Unipol write to students in all Code properties to make them aware of what their landlord has committed to. Unipol’s own research shows a significant number of students are aware of the Unipol DASH Code and their website has over 266,000 searches a year.” Housing has become a central part of the
50% of students would not recommend their landlord or letting agency to a friend operations of the Students’ Union Advice Centre; its casework has increased by 151% year on year, according to Union statistics. The Advice Centre provides contract checking services and can assist
students with problems of disrepair, bad conditions and contractual issues, such as getting deposits back and finding replacement tenants. Due to the nature of the services that the Advice Centre provides, it is “therefore most likely that students are more familiar with this service”, according to Unipol. Rather than report housing problems through official channels, many students have taken to Facebook via the ‘Crap Landlord/House Awareness’ group, which was set up in 2006, to air their concerns and to share stories of housing woes, as well as offering advice for good landlords in the area. Although not a formal guide, it contains hundreds of word of mouth testimonies concerning both good and bad landlords. Currently over 1,000 students are members of this group. Some students have expressed dissatisfaction with Shields Student Homes, a popular housing provider that is accredited under the Unipol scheme. One student wished for their testimony to remain anonymous as their house is considering taking legal action against the company for systematically failing to sort out vital repairs: “Our house flooded on the first day that we moved in and we are still without proper electricity downstairs, no carpets in the hallway or on the landing, no plaster on the walls in the living areas. They [Shields] have been rude, unhelpful and continually impossible to
get hold of. We wrote a detailed letter explaining everything that had happened to pass on to the insurer and, rather than doing so, they rang up and threatened us because they felt that the letter placed them in a bad light.” Shields responded: “The tenant’s version of events is not reflective of the actions carried out by Shields. Good service and communication has been maintained throughout the process. The refurbishment has been completed including carpets and electrics. Compensation for the inconvenience has also been offered with no further complaint being received. “This situation could not have been anticipated and was dealt with as efficiently as possible given the circumstances. We were impressed with the resilience and sense of humour the tenants displayed in this situation.” STUDENT SLUMS Maya Fletcher, from the community organisation Nottingham Action Group (NAG), has seen the problem of inflated rents for poor-quality properties develop over the last few years: “It is one of the things that keeps coming up with members of the NAG, how students are being ripped off. We know these houses; we know the properties. I used to go around the local ones every year until last year – and I can’t this year – but you see what the properties are like, you see people living in the garage and yet they’re paying enormous rents. These tenants just sit there in these awful
“45% of students would be unwilling to report their landlord to Unipol in the event of a problem.” (Source: Impact) conditions, seemingly okay with it. You can’t help but think that sometimes students can be their own worst enemy. In that respect they really are. “[What] really gets most people, is that these landlords are operating businesses. It’s not that you have somebody who inherits a house and rents only that out – these are massive portfolios that they have. And yet they pay no business rates whatsoever.” Councillor Piper has expressed concerns about the exploitation of international students by some landlords, particularly in the area of Dunkirk closest to the University: “They’re generally properties that international students, who arrive late in the year, tend to rent out. They’re almost certainly the types of property that no English undergrads would be interested in renting and they don’t tend to be the best landlords – we get reports that a lot of them have mice and some have rats in.” Perhaps the most infamous of landlords in the Dunkirk area was the recently deceased ‘Uncle Tony’ Carroll. In January 2010 he was fined £62,200 in Nottingham Crown Court for a variety of misdemeanors, including a washing machine and freezer blocking a stairwell, not holding a valid 28
Council license and for illegally evicting tenants when they discovered that the property was infested with mice. Although he pled guilty to all seventeen charges brought against him, his lawyer claimed that the situation had come about because Carroll ran the business himself and had literacy problems.
“She listed my rental flat as her primary residence, meaning I had to deal with debt collectors coming around.” QUICK FIXES? When it comes to finding a resolution, there seems to be no unified agreement on how to improve student conditions. Dan Lucas, a member of NAG and a former University of Nottingham student, says there is a lack of common agreement between students and residents about how best to address Nottingham’s problems: “It is frustrating for us, because we think people like to be able to portray things in black and white – residents against students or this, that and the other. That’s just not how it is. “If I were to pick out a villain of all of this it would be a lot of the landlords. Even that isn’t fair, because some of the landlords have tried really hard to make sure that properties are in a decent state. The trouble is that a lot of them are not like that.” Some landlords, meanwhile, have complained about being victimised and vilified in the community. In a letter to Nottingham City Council, local landlord Shad Ali accused the Council of collaborating with other groups to smear landlords: “Despite the fact that the next local election will not be until 2015 it seems that [Councillors] are already pandering to [their] handful of local supporters made up of local Nimbys* [sic] and the anti HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) lobby, namely NAG. It never ceases to amaze me, both the hostility towards landlords and the uneducated views that are constantly expressed by Councillors representing this Council. “Whilst I have been helping this City to grow with my landlord colleagues, investing millions of pounds annually into the housing sector, [the Council] continue[s] to slander us from self-serving positions of power. If it wasn’t for landlords like me and my colleagues this City would be even more economically deprived than it already is.” Ali goes on to argue that landlords by and large follow the rules: “As landlords we have asked for years for you to tackle rogue landlords in a manner that would be effective and that would benefit the City as a whole. We have wanted to be part of this process and work in partnership with [the Council]. We have always accepted that there are bad landlords just as there are rogue traders in all professions. In case you need reminding some of the worse [sic] housing in this City is owned and managed by the Council itself.” www.impactnottingham.com/features
1 in 3 students are unhappy with their accommodation
Speaking to Impact, Ali added: “Landlords have been investing heavily in their properties and making sure that tenants are happy in order to compete with each other and the numerous private purpose built blocks that have surfaced. We would be foolish to believe that savvy students, who have a choice of accommodation available to them, will rent our houses if they were not of a certain standard.” With such bad feeling between many of the interested parties, it seems unlikely that there will be a rapprochement anytime soon. Students should, however, be aware that there is a surplus of housing in Nottingham. With the average rent in Lenton for next year currently at around £70, according to Unipol, there is little point paying over the odds for a terrible property with a dodgy landlord. If you find you have a bad house, don’t sit in silence. There is plenty of support from a variety of organisations. Bad landlords need to be stamped out - but it is students who have to lead the way. Ben McCabe Images by Charlotte Albert *NIMBYs = Not in My Back Yarders
Talk Nerdy to Me: Impact Explores the Rise of Geek Culture Students confess: Geek is Chic Switch on the television and they are everywhere. Walk into the library and suddenly you are afloat in a sea of check shirts, thick-framed glasses and over the knee socks. The nerds are finally here and Geek is Chic.
female customers actually outnumber the men. Store owner Jonathan Rigby recently appeared on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe to discuss how his store has survived in the recession. He admits proudly that 2012 was their best year ever.
But why is geek apparently the new black? Some view the success of software entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as paving the way to the techno future. The AV Club currently offers its own ‘Gateway to Geekery’ guides for those who want to Five years ago I would rather have run naked keep up to date with the genre. through the corridors of Portland than admit that It would seem that geekdom is having the time of at age six I wrote a letter to the BBC complaining its life. There have been multiple reboots of what about their decision to replace Battlestar Galactica Ed calls the ‘Big Four’ (Spiderman, Batman, Star with snooker. But now? Quirky is cool, and it Wars and Doctor Who), but also The Avengers, seems like everyone is coming out. Did you Dredd and even The Hobbit. He is surprised at the know Vin Diesel has been playing Dungeons and longevity of the trends, although it seems the films Dragons for over 20 years? He even has a tattoo still command pop culture more than comic books. of his player name. Seriously. Regardless, nerds are enjoying a big budget revival It’s been coming for some time, the ‘rise of the like never before. nerds’. And it’s not just the spread of technology and a fascination with gadgets. There has been a “Did you know Vin significant growth of geek pop culture movements, Diesel has been including superhero movies, TV shows, graphic novels and, particularly, the rise of ComicCon. playing Dungeons and CBS’ hit show “The Big Bang Theory” is even Dragons for over 20 credited with increasing the number of students choosing to study Physics at A-Level by 17%.
On campus, students now wear their Topshopbought ‘GEEK’ and ‘DORK’ t-shirts with pride. But perhaps the best example of the evolution of geek is the rebirth of ‘Q’ in the latest James Bond film Skyfall. Where once we saw a socially inept middle-aged man, Ben Whishaw played a slick twenty-something who embodies intellectual cool. “Expecting an exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that any more.” The modern geek is far more suave. With superhero movies breaking box office records, a rise in graphic novel and manga sales and the latest line of nerd chic clothes hitting Britain’s biggest high street retailer, the new geek seems unstoppable. And if these facts alone can’t persuade you that geek is cool, remember: a slacker student from Chicago called Barack Obama once spent his days collecting Spiderman comics. Becky Bell
Ed Garrie of Forbidden Planet, the Nottingham branch of the UK’s largest comics and merchandise stockist, says he has noticed “an upward trend in sales” and says that certain elements of geek culture have become less niche. “Comic books are also becoming more acceptable,” says Garrie. “Currently, the male to female ratio falls at about 60:40.”
Top image by Callum Mclarty
In fact, according to BBC science correspondent Pallab Ghosh, the term ‘geek’ is no longer an insult. “The stereotype image of the physicist as socially inept individuals with bad haircuts and no dress sense has made way for ‘geek chic’ epitomised by Professor Brian Cox and his hugely popular Wonders of the Solar System and Universe series”, The staff at Page 45, a Nottingham store says Ghosh. dedicated to comic books, believes that their
What's the Deal with Child Beauty Pageants? “Mom, I’m gonna shoot down the competition this weekend.” With a syrupy sweet smile and a toss of her painfully glossy locks, six year old Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson from McIntyre, Georgia steps off her stool, which lies against the motel bathroom mirror, with overbearing confidence and determination. After watching this scene from TLC’s hit show ‘Toddlers and Tiara’s’, a bitter taste lingers in my mouth as if I’ve inhaled six cans of hairspray. Alana is just one of the thousands of little girls who have been ‘bitten by the pageant bug’ and it seems as though this nasty infection is spreading like wildfire. With child beauty pageants trending not only in the US, but also in Australia and right here in the UK, it seems as though parading pretentious children in puffed out dresses is officially an ‘it’ craze. Despite my not-so-fond feelings for the brats who grace our TV screens, we cannot pretend that their behaviour is innate. It is apparent that the beauty pageant mothers are vicariously living through their kids. Whether it’s the cheesy routines backstage during the live performances or the constant stream of motivational quotes, these self-indulgent mothers are wishing that every moment that their daughter steals the spotlight was their own. On one particular episode of ‘Toddlers and Tiara’s’, a mother claims that her young daughter Hayley has ‘average colour hair’ and then proceeds to take her to the hairdressers to get blonde highlights. These women breed their daughters as if they were racehorses, focusing only on their appearance and the way they are perceived by others rather than their own well being. Considering the university life of endless deadlines, work stress and too much caffeine awaiting the girls as they grow up, surely an early exposure to this pace of life and the plague
"Alana's mother insists on her daughter taking 'pageant crack', a combination of Mountain Dew and Red Bull." of social pressure is one step too far? The loss of childhood innocence has been the source of many scandals that have hit the headlines in recent years, with special focus on the lengths some mothers go to in order to get that 1st place title. June Shannon, Alana’s mother, insists on her daughter taking ‘pageant crack’, a combination of Mountain Dew and Red Bull. These shocking stories, however, aren’t all found in the US, as can be seen from Lincoln’s ‘Miss Sparkle 2012’ pageant where kids as young as 20 months old were entered into swimwear rounds, causing a stir among national press. Perhaps one of the most disturbing stories has been that of Kerry Campbell from California, who lost custody of her 8 year old daughter after admitting on ‘Good Morning America’ to injecting her face with Botox before a pageant. This outrageous behaviour is an example of why pageant kids are often anything but safe, even in the hands of their own parents.
Everyone in society suffers when children are sexualised, but those hurt worst are the children themselves. At pageants, they are surrounded by screaming crowds and exercised smiles. Hearing a 5-year-old say “I feel pretty ‘cause I have all my make-up on” is frankly appalling. The most disturbing outfits of the past century belong to three-year-old Paisley and five year old Maddy, who both star on ‘Toddlers and Tiara’s’, dressed as Julia Robert’s prostitute role in ‘Pretty Woman’ and country music star Dolly Parton. The fact that the video of these children will be immortalised on YouTube blurs the line between what is playful and what is suggestive. Is all the glitter and glamour worth it? Maybe these girls would rather wake up in the morning and watch TV rather than spend 3 hours perfecting their pageant routine. But for now they are innocent puppets in their parent’s pantomime. Jessica Dunks
Are you suffering fr Second Year Blues? â€œMy brother went to university three times and dropped out three timesâ€?
In the lead up to university, you will likely have heard the following piece RIDGYLFHŇŠ0DNHWKHPRVWRI\RXUĂ€UVW\HDULWGRHVQŇ‹WFRXQWŇ‹ However, the blissful blur of freshers year soon comes to an abrupt halt once midterm deadlines approach, along with the dawning realisation that essays actually matter. The accompanying feelings of depression and anxiety are known to many students as the â€˜second year bluesâ€™.
Rosie,19 Studying: English Literature and Language
to focus on the small things rather than focusing on the bigger picture because if you do things step by step it makes things a lot easier.
Is second year very different to first year? Second year is VERY different because I was in halls first year and itâ€™s a completely different working environment. Simon,21 And obviously this year counts towards your degree Studying: Maths This mental slump often occurs at the end of the first so thereâ€™s a lot more pressure. Is second year very different to first year? semester of second year and continues throughout Mainly in terms of workload. The content is also Describe your second year blues? the festive period. Itâ€™s the feeling that you are half tougher and there are more deadlines so itâ€™s Despite setting resolutions to be more motivated way through your course and it isnâ€™t quite what you thought it was going to be, that actually you hate and work harder, I ended up doing four intense generally more difficult to stay on top of things. days of writing coursework. I had a breakdown Describe your second year blues? writing essays or the degree doesnâ€™t feel â€œworth itâ€?. at 2 oâ€™clock in the morning and was considering These three Nottingham students encountered dropping out, just freaking out about the amount I Itâ€™s usually during the second half of term where similar feelings in their second year â€“ and give the had to do. Itâ€™s just the relentless knowledge of having you make a list of all the work you have to do and then all the work coming up and you donâ€™t really essential advice about how to avoid it. more and more work. see a way out. Itâ€™s really de-motivating and I tried to Any advice? I think itâ€™s important to talk to someone about it. If youâ€™re really stressed ring up family or friends. My friends were really supportive of me. You just have 22
pretend it wasnâ€™t there which was a bad idea. It kind of comes and goes and you start to question if you can actually DO the degree. Or I did at least. Itâ€™s not a great feeling.
rom the You're not the only one “I ended up doing four intense days of coursework writing. I had a breakdown at 2 o'clock in the morning and considered dropping out”
Ever consider quitting? Fleetingly. My brother went to university three times and dropped out three times, so I’ve always tried to keep going because I know that he regrets not sticking it out.
Rachel,20 Studying: Psychology
Enjoying your degree? Yes and no. Yes because its all still interesting, no because you’ve got no choice with modules and Are degree blues specifically related to second you get stuck doing stuff you don’t want to do. year? In first year it was different because it didn’t really Is second year very different to first year? matter. You didn’t have to stress about work Definitely, you have to do the work for starters! because actually it doesn’t count towards anything You’re expected to do a lot more and know a lot – it’s just about getting you used to the environment. more beyond than in first year. You aren’t guided In second year you’re like ‘oh this is important’ and quite as much. I know third year’s going to be even more difficult. Are degree blues specifically related to second year? Any advice? Stick at it. I regret not really talking to someone about I can imagine third years feel the same about it it. But there are so many options for people to talk to but second year is horrible because it’s right in the and once you get it off your chest you can start to middle. At least in third year you’re doing more of what you want and you know you’re close to getting think more clearly. something out of it.
Any advice? Do your reading in first year because I didn’t and that was a bad idea. Find time to relax, not just doing all your work because you get into a bit of a hole. Here’s a word of advice for those in the storm of second year. Focus on the small things and don’t stress over the bigger picture. Embrace organization. Don’t bury your head in the sand. After all, the slump is just one step in the turbulent three years that is an undergraduate degree. Hey, you’ve still got third year to look forward to. Rachel Cooney
Up All Night Impact Investigates Student Insomnia Can’t get no sleep?
Time moves slowly when you’re wide awake. Despite having a 9am seminar, you’ve been lying in bed for three hours. Like Nottingham student Unigwe Nneka, you feel like a “nocturnal creature....watching the world go by.” You are not alone. Insomnia, or the struggle to fall and stay asleep, is a significant problem among University students. The inevitable feeling that the whole world is sleeping and you’re the only one staring at the ceiling can make your University experience a real test of endurance, both academically and socially. In an Impact survey of over 400 students, two thirds admit they struggle with sleep and 84% say that it affects their academic work. Second year student Jon Rowson says that severe sleep deprivation leaves him in a state of “half existence...every day feels mundane, everything is mundane.” Among the demands of his course and maintaining a healthy and balanced student life, a lack of sleep leaves Jon in a constant state of depression, fluctuating between “feeling really sleepy and feeling just okay.”
Dealing with the problem, however, is no easy task. anything for me,” he says “I need the actual proper Impact’s student testimonies suggest that many prescription stuff and they’re hard to get hold of if have sought advice from their GP or the Cripps you’re not professionally diagnosed.” Health Centre, only to be given ineffective solutions. However, the relief from sleeplessness came with Ramsay believes that there is a critical lack of consequences. “It has insane side effects if you take attention when it comes to dealing with the mental it while you’re not intending to sleep...I accidentally health side effects of sleep deprivation: “I really feel took it instead of a different medication and then went that if the University, or the country as a whole, had driving. That nearly ended with a massive crash on a better framework for psychiatric or psychological the motorway. That was scary!” Unsurprisingly, less support, it would really help with insomnia”. In fact, than a third of Nottingham students have attempted Ramsay feels he had access to better support in his medication, suggesting a distrust of chemical home country of Israel, and argues that the UK is methods. failing to meet the needs of insomniacs. Impact approached the University with regards to the services offered in support of insomniacs. Nightline, Nottingham’s confidential listening and emotional support service, said: “We would be there to support someone no matter the cause of their insomnia, providing a friendly voice to listen to students’ problems.”
Eight out of 10 students say that deadlines affect their ability to get to sleep
Unsurprisingly, many students link their insomnia to academic pressure. Eight out of ten students admit that anxieties surrounding deadlines affect their ability to get a good night’s sleep. Ramsay Bolton, a second year mechanical engineering student, describes his sleeping patterns as a type of limbo: “It’s a state where you’re asleep but you’re Similarly, Bryony Lingard, a first year German and not asleep. You just walk around like a zombie and Russian student, explains how she was given “a it’s hell.” little pamphlet about ways to help yourself get to sleep; I tried them but I felt a bit silly. They didn’t help Although the average student gets far from the much.” First year medical student Louisa Hepworth recommended 8 hours a night, the frustration of brought her insomnia up with a local GP, “but they insomnia is a pressing issue for students, and is yet sort of brushed it off as a standard ‘students can’t to be addressed on a large scale. sleep’ issue.” The matter becomes more complicated, however, Taking matters into your own hands with over-thewhen psychological issues such as anxiety and counter medication is also notoriously ineffective. depression are closely related to cases of insomnia. Third year English student Suzi Collins says: “when I Jon explains: “My anxiety issues have a lot to do was in first year I bought sleeping tablets from Boots with insomnia, but my insomnia has a lot to do with and they didn’t even work.” Ramsay could only anxiety issues.” Ramsay weighs in: “I think that for deal with the problem with a potent combination people who suffer from insomnia in most cases, it’s of prescribed medication. “Herbal stuff doesn’t do a symptom, not a disease.” 24
The University’s Counselling Service, however, provides a more structured type of therapy. But many students seem unaware of its existence or are outwardly critical of it. Louisa says: “I know they have the counselling service for mental health issues, but they don’t say ‘if you’re having sleeping problems maybe you can try this or speak to this person’.” Despite repeated attempts to contact the Counselling Service itself, they have made no comment. Insomnia is definitely a critical issue and has serious physical and mental implications for students at Nottingham. And while resources and services are available, students feel that not enough attention is being given to the subject. For too long, insomnia has been seen as a ‘normal’ part of student life. This needs to stop. Will Hazell & Emily Shackleton Image by Andreas Billman
Its like living in a state of half existence. Everyday feels mundane www.impactnottingham.com/features
NO-NONSENSE KNOW-HOW Tony Terrence grew up in the East End, starting off in life with nothing but a dream and £750,000 in inheritance money from an estranged Uncle. After losing it all in a bet, Tony earned his millions the hard way, by the grit of his armpits and the sweat of his balls, selling his home-brewed mouthwash ‘Trusty Tony’s Teeth Whizz’. Now, with countless other successful ventures and a grade A* diploma from the University of Life, he has decided to dedicate his time to sharing his wise words and sparkling smile with the rest of the world. Dear Tony, I don’t know what to get my friend for her birthday. She says she would really like a new inhaler because she’s ‘asthmatic’ and too poor to afford one, but I’m thinking that might be a bit too obvious. She doesn’t know it yet but I think I’m in love with her and want to get her something that will show her just how much she really means to me. What do you reckon, Tony? Dave.
“You won’t find light at the end of the tunnel if you’ve got your head stuck up your arse”
Alright Sunshine, If you asked your average bloke how to please your average woman he’d probably tell you that what keeps a bird happy is pretty clothes and fancy jewellery, a VHS box set of her favourite soap and most importantly a savvy successful businessman in her life. Some of you progressive types who say a woman can be as intellectual as a man might even
think she’d like to read a nice book once in a while like OK or THE HEAT. I provide my lovely wife Sheila with all of these things, but at the end of the day and with all due respect you’re all fucking wrong. The key to winning over a pretty girl’s heart is actually to satisfy her desire to clean things. My advice to you would be to head down to my distribution centre in
Burnley before March 20th and take advantage of my half-half-price offer on Tony’s Festive J-Cloths (that’s quarter-price for you smartarse mathematics out there). If the delicate scent of fresh cranberries and roast turkey doesn’t get her in the mood for love then at least you know that you tried your hardest and that she’s not the girl for you.
Dear Tony, I’ve suffered from severe depression for as long as I can remember and can’t seem to find a way out, but I’m sure the world used to seem brighter than this. Every day I wake up feeling aimless and trapped, and it seems as though there’s nothing I can do to stop my thoughts from spiralling downwards. As someone who has been through tough times and succeeded in the face of adversity, what helpful tips can you give me to get back on my feet and to start seeing the beauty in life once again? Wayne. Wayne, me old mukka, You won’t find light at the end of the tunnel if you’ve got your head stuck up your arse, so why don’t take you take a breath of fresh air and stop being such a mopey fucking cunt. Do you think I became the number one supplier of dental mouthwash to Dodgy Den’s Dental Association (the second most popular
dentistry provider in London after the NHS) and the face of Colgate’s curry gum by sitting around on my Jack Jones thinking about shit? No. I pulled up my bootstraps, and my suspenders, and in turn my life. So, the world’s giving you a hard time… how would you deal with it if it was some bloke doing the same?
I tell you, if some geezer told me I’d crossed the line, I’d draw another line ten miles behind his smarmyarsed self and nut the trespassing cunt. Until you stop listening to your brain and start listening to your loaf you’ll never make it in life.
Got a fucking problem? Send it over to the posh bastards at email@example.com and they’ll fax it to my warehouse in Burnley. I might get back to ya but no promises, right? 26
WE ASKED, YOU RESPONDED ARE YOU ADDICTED TO
Have you ever slept with someone you met on Facebook? 6.5% say yes. 1 in 5 students have used social media to make an ex-partner jealous.
Could you survive without Facebook? Probably not. We asked 300 students about their social media secrets and were overwhelmed by the response.
37% Yes 63% No Are you worried about the amount of time you spend on social media sites?
Have you ever Facebook stalked someone?
Why Facebook Stalk?
75% Bored 17% horny 80% Curious
Pornography Survey: Do you enjoy TAPPING ON THE HIGH HAT? Have you suffered from a BROADBAND BLISTER during a SIESTA WITH A FIESTA? Are you a SOCIAL NETWANKER? No? Then this survey might not be to your tastesâ€Ś
What porn do you watch?
9 out of 10 students have never paid for pornography
of students admit to watching pornography
17% have been caught watching porn
Tube Sites Eg. RedTube
Erotic Pay-monthly Books sites Eg. Brazzers
Infographic Design by Martin Bassot www.impactnottingham.com/features
Spring Â Edit
Words by Jess Roseblade
Wearing white brings a crisp and fresh approach to the new season. While a head-to-toe ensemble may be a practical nightmare for students, opting for a capsule piece or adding just a white accessory can transform your look.
Changing your colour changes your mood! Start the season with a bang with neons and brights to bring a zesty feel to your outfit. Statement makeup or block coloured dresses make for a bold change from the customary spring pastels.
Metallic clothing looks mysterious and brings a shimmer to your spring wardrobe. Keep it simple with pastels and nudes or add a metallic tee to a pair of skinny jeans for a simple but effortless way to trial this trend.
Team your prints with simple accessories or plain Tâ€™s. Printed cigarette trousers are an easy way to ease into the trend. Similarly, try printed scarves or bags. Clash your prints for a fun and high fashion look.
Kimono - Vintage Photography by Emma Charalambous Modeled by Stephanie Rew Directed and Styled by Hannah Wilkinson and Grace Fleming. Hair and Make-up by Emily Jane Craig Assisted by Jessica Roseblade IMPACT 222
Photography Competition Tiitle: ‘Snow” Winner: Ben Tynegate 32
r e ad
e L t ns n e o d
i t u c t S ele
VOT CH ING C LOSES 15TH MAR
START . LEAD . BECOME
Each year you elect from amongst your peers a team of students to lead your Union. The successful candidates will represent you â€“ the 36,000 students at the University of Nottingham â€“ for the following academic year.
VOTE NOW Voting is open from Friday 8th March until Friday 15th March 2013. Check out the elections website to find out more about the candidates and how to cast your vote.
se is l e t a Wh ing on go
VARSITY The University of Nottingham fighting to keep their championship title whilst raising money for the Headway Cha rity. Visit their facebook page for the latest info.
www.facebook.com/NottsVarsity?ref=ts&fref=ts Visit our website www.su.nottingham.ac.uk
Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/UofNSU Follow us on Twitter @uonsu
VOLUNTOURISM: THE BUSINESS OF ORPHANS As the new term begins, you might be thinking about how you’re going to spend your impending weeks of freedom. Without a job or internship, those plans might be centred around travelling - maybe a holiday with friends, or an aid project abroad. Something reminiscent of those sweltering gap year days becomes all the more appealing when you sit in your student house, watching icicles form on the inside of your windows…
found that not only are people exploiting the money and labour of people travelling to help abroad, but that Cambodian parents are giving their children to exploitative centres promising a better standard of upbringing and funds from this industry. It’s been estimated by Al Jazeera that over 70 per cent of the estimated 10,000 'orphans' have at least one living parent. Far outstripping demand, the number of orphanages has doubled in the last decade alone.
However, the rapid growth of the ‘voluntourist’ “Students in particular are market has been noticed by entrepreneurs abroad. increasingly falling into the Students in particular are increasingly falling into the trap of ‘orphanage tourism’. This idea encompasses trap of ‘orphanage tourism’” schemes that deliberately maintain poor living conditions for children to secure funds from tourists The ChildSafe Network is a charity who have seen - some even go so far as to take children from examples of this problem worldwide. “An orphanage underprivileged homes to create situations that is a child's home, and they have the right to privacy westerners can pay to visit. in this space,” the charity reminds us. “Most people Cambodia is one such example. Torn apart by civil would never consider going to an orphanage, war in the 1970s, and again in the 1990s, it has shelter or residential home in their own countries. become a hot bed of ‘voluntourism’- a site for people They are not zoos.” And whilst the ready retort may to visit and try and make up for the severe shortage be that orphanages and child-centres in developed of development funding by giving their time to countries don’t suffer from the same issues of orphanages and schools. However, it has been funding as those in developing countries, the issue
still stands that streams of tourists dropping in and out of these children’s lives really can be destructive. The funding tourists provide is not sustainable, and by “visiting orphanages and making a donation, you may be fuelling a system that exploits children” rather than one that helps them in the long run. It can also be seen through national tour services how orphanage tourism has become commonplace. Hidden Cambodia, an adventure tour service, agreed that “large tour companies, cruise Siem Reap for one day, [and] will do a visit to a children's centre or orphanage on the second day”, despite movements on Facebook trying to “educate people that they do not need to visit an orphanage to help”. However, this issue is one that is just too big for social media. Information is not reaching students before they commit to big tour-operator programmes and thus they may be unintentionally supporting an industry that they believe their money is helping to stop. “There are a number of questionable orphanages, we often hear of them … attract[ing] tourists to their place for performing shows late night and asking guests to attend and make donations,”
Hidden Cambodia warned. “There was one recently closed down here where a foreigner had set it up, and there was some abuse. Another one again when the American founder fled when [there] was found out … to have been some wrong doing [sic].” The negative impact of such profit-run orphanages affects those who do try to help Cambodia’s weak social infrastructure. Veasna Long, the co-founder of ACODO (Assisting Cambodian Orphans and the Disabled Organisation), a government-registered centre which opened in 2008, explained how illegal centres have a wider impact. “Most of those orphanages [were] established by people who have no job, no skills [and were] intended to open the orphanage for the funding only. Those founders don't have any ability, especially knowledge to run the orphanage. They are easy to be controlled by foreigners. It means some of the money goes to foreign bosses and the children get nothing.” ACODO works to provide children and disabled residents with vocational skills to help break the cycle of poverty in families, but the quick-fix tourist centres have no interest in life after the orphanage. By not checking registration details, or at least the reputations of such centres, tourists and tour providers are falling into the exact trap such ‘foreign bosses’ want. “There are a couple [of] orphanages near ACODO. They are very close to ACODO, on the same road,” Long explains. “Those founders are intending to use the good reputation of ACODO for
their benefit [sic]”, rather than create better standards explains: ‘Although we know that there is little for their own children. evidence that microfinance [through business and university loans] does reduce poverty, we believe However, it is hard to tell from the other side of the that the work we do is helping, albeit on a small world, behind a computer screen, what the centre scale, a few individuals to improve their prospects. you end up in will truly value. Some argue that With our support [students] have gone on to study even government accredited orphanages (with medicine or law or economics, giving them a their mandatory inspections) don’t always tell the completely different lifestyle to their families who are full story, either. A Swiss expat, Sara Wallimann, maybe subsistence farmers in the countryside.” opened a training school in Siem Reap after finding out that few places had any support for children after “Over 70% of the estimated they left the orphanage. In her experience, “it doesn't 10,000 'orphans' have at least matter if the orphanage is a registered NGO or not. The government doesn't check them anyway and one living parent.” we know of NGO registered orphanages that are not trustworthy, who have kids that are not complete Rather than simply losing hope in the companies orphans and who keep the orphanage in poor who provide tours and student trips, it is important to conditions.” She warned, “what’s really important make sure that the people who you are giving your is that the orphanage has a strict child protection money and time to are using it for its proper cause. policy. That’s when you know it’s a reliable place.” “It's necessary to find genuinely good charities and I Not all of these centres are run by Machiavellian would advise people to find smaller charities if they money-grabbers, but also by charities and trusts don't want to be paying a lot to those doing admin,” who do the best work they can with the donations Stapleton agrees. Yet, she blames the culture of they can raise. Golden Futures, a student-run charity ‘gap year’ group travel for the reasons why people initiated by a University of Nottingham student, aren’t always interested in thoroughly researching works to provide young adults who have grown their destinations. “Some people aren't comfortable up in orphanages in Cambodia with interest free traveling alone and want everything arranged for loans for tuition fees, vocational training, or towards them, which is probably why those organizations start-up costs for small businesses. This means a exist. A certain amount of cynicism is necessary, but step towards breaking the cycle of intergenerational remember that a lot of charities and volunteers are poverty and dependency on aid. doing excellent work!” Chloe Valentine Katherine Stapleton, a member of Golden Futures, Images by Chris Dixon
THE MAN WHO CYCLED THE WORLD:
Impact Interviews Mark Beaumont Cycling over 100 miles a day is no easy feat. “I needed mental toughness to cope with 8-10 hours a day on the bike. It needed commitment. It wasn’t a race where you’re maxing out each day, I had to wake up each day and get on the bike to meet my target.
but it was America where his venture came closest to failure, after being hit by a car and robbed.
It wasn’t just isolation and the physical challenge that Mark had to overcome: “Stuff slows you down. Mark’s life of adventure began young. By age 15 I had armed guards in Pakistan, I was fighting cross he’d already cycled Land’s End to John O’Groats, winds in Australia, was hit by a car in the US - there’s but it wasn’t until after university that he realised enough to keep you going”. he could make a career out of his exploits. Having studied Politics and Economics at university and Mark’s ride took him across 18,000 miles, from heading toward a life in finance, Mark eventually Europe to Asia, across the Australian outback and realised that: “This wasn’t what I wanted to do. I the length of the United States. wanted to be a broadcaster, to share my journeys In Baluchistan, Pakistan, Mark “skirted Helmand with people.” province, to Quetta up to the Indus valley, with
cycle the length of the Americas for a second BBC documentary The Man Who Cycled the Americas.
n the 15th February 2008, Mark Beaumont cycled along the Champs Elysees in Paris, to set what was then the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle, just 194 days and 17 hours after beginning his epic ride of 18,000 miles. Since then, the adventurer and documentary maker has cycled the length of the Americas and rowed to the North Pole. In February 2012 he was stranded for 14 hours in the freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean, 500 miles offshore, when a trans-Atlantic rowing expedition went horribly wrong.
His journey ended in Paris, on the Champs Elysees, the finish of the Tour de France and an icon of cycling culture: “I had a full police escort, outriders and the road ahead was cleared. I had a huge reception. “It was always tempting to take a day off, but I was It was mental, crazy, and an amazing accolade to always trying to break the record and that would finish on”. have left me behind, so it was enough of a goal to After setting an incredible, record breaking keep me going.” circumnavigation time, Mark Beaumont went on to
After this success Mark looked towards the seas: “I wanted to circumnavigate the world, but I’d not done the oceans. I wondered what it would take to cross the ocean, to join up the pins on the map”.
In 2011 Mark was part of an expedition that traversed the Canadian arctic to reach the 1996 position of the North Pole. Last year however, as part of a transatlantic rowing attempt, Mark found himself So Mark set off to complete what he described as armed guards and it was tough riding. There had “In a desperate situation, 500 miles offshore in the a “personal challenge”, the fastest circumnavigation been 20 kidnappings of foreigners the month before middle of the Atlantic, with everything we needed to survive under the capsized boat”. of the world by bicycle, with no support team, and lots of insurgency. thousands of miles to cycle and months of isolation “The British foreign office didn’t want me there. The After 14 hours in the water the crew were rescued. to contend with, filming it all for the BBC documentary Guinness criteria would have allowed me to avoid it, Mark describes this near death incident as integral The Man Who Cycled the World. and make up the miles elsewhere, but I wanted to to “[changing] my outlook on ocean rowing. The “I researched what had been done. I realised only five people had done it before and thought, why not? The previous world record was 276 days. I wanted to smash it, I wanted to set it at a whole new level and I realised I could”. 38
go. If you’re circumnavigating the world that’s exactly Atlantic is a dull place, it’s a personal, physical battle”. what you want to do. Looking at a map it wouldn’t After getting married last year, he wonders, “Do I want to put my family through that danger again?” have been right not to”. Mark collided with a motorcyclist in Lucknow, India
IN SEARCH OF SERENDIPITY: THE AFTERMATH OF A CIVIL WAR
he diamond shaped island that lies off the southern coast of India has been a part of our collective consciousness for thousands of years. Lankadweepa, Singal-Dip, Ceylon and Sri Lanka are names that have appeared in ancient Roman maps, Persian fairy tales and colonial records. All these disparate histories have presented the similar view of a foreign and ethereal place that would eventually spawn the word serendipity.
Lanka’s Darjeeling - next to a lake encircled by hills rich with green tea plantations. The second largest of Sri Lanka’s cities is nestled around the Sri Dalada Maligawa, a temple said to hold the Buddha’s tooth. Setting aside the faith based foppery, Kandy has an easy charm and a cool breeze that comes as a welcome balm to an English traveller. My fondness for the region is added to by the local production of the world’s best tea. When the British Empire came to the island the British bought the tea with them, along with the indentured labourers from the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Their descendants would go on to form the Tamil ethnic group that today coexists with the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Moors.
I embarked on an eastward journey from Colombo on an overnight sleeper train. After landing in Bandaranaika International Airport, I reached the outskirts of the capital via the newly built motorway linking the north and south of the island. With Colombo’s midnight lights percolating through my train carriage window, one could be forgiven for My final destination was the eastern city of forgetting the flawed history of this jewel of the Indian Trincomalee. This journey, into what used to be Ocean. LTTE territory, was a different experience to the This is a society that has recently emerged from the pain of Asia’s longest civil war, the effects of which can, at times, still be felt. Open discussion of the war is still not advised. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (or LTTE) had at their zenith a dictatorial control over a third of the country’s territory, from the Trincomalee coast in the east to Jaffna in the north.
others. Army checkpoints and military bases came into sight every few minutes. The driver of my car even began pointing out sites of known massacres that still bear the scars of bullets holes and barbed wire. Trincomalee, or Trinco as the residents affectionately call it, is another coastal port city. The remnants of the central Dutch fort served as a reminder of the importance of the peninsula that protects the Indian Ocean’s only harbour accessible to all types of craft in all weathers. I finished my jaunt across the island on a white sandy beach with a lapping blue sea. Local residents had just finished their day’s work and, mirroring the rest of coastal Sri Lankan society, were arriving for beach cricket, football and volleyball. One hopes that this tranquil scene is a mirror for the future prosperity of this island and not a mere respite for more bloodshed to come. Words and Image by Alexander Fitzgerald
An acquaintance recounted to me how after the LTTE decided to graduate from child soldiers to suicide bombings, the government decided to fight it as a conventional army, as if it belonged to a separate state. The LTTE were eventually destroyed in 2009 after President Rajapaksa’s acquisition of warplanes and armaments from China and Pakistan, heralding an end to the decade long struggle. The history of successful counterinsurgency military campaigns in Asia is sparse, but the LTTE insurgency was eventually defeated. Accusations of war crimes have also been hurled from many sides, with Channel 4’s documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” providing first hand documentation of atrocities. A recently leaked report from the UN indicates that the UN acknowledged that it had “failed to protect civilians” in the last months of the war. This has resulted in tensions between ethnic groups remaining strained. During my travels, I saw effigies of Tamils hung in urban and rural areas. I moved on to the central city of Kandy - Sri www.impactnottingham.com/travel
STUDENT Venue: Rose and Crown, Lenton
FULLY LOADED HOT DOG Challenger: Ollie ‘Bear-claw’ Byrne Difficulty: 3/5 Contents: Foot-long black pepper sausage in a sub roll, served with spicy chilli beef, jalapeños, sour cream and melted Cheddar. Chips and corn on the cob on the side. Are you feeling confident about this challenge? Yeah, I’m feeling pretty confident about it. Have you done anything to prepare yourself? I have been watching plenty of Man vs. Food to get into the right frame of mind and I’ve been to the gym to work up an appetite. I feel like my hangover may help as I’m really hungry but I started my day with a triple layer sandwich to keep my appetite up. What’s your motto for taking on a challenge? Pain is only temporary, pride is forever. Ollie ‘Bearclaw’ Byrne adopted a two pints of water and plenty of sauce method so as not to “waste precious saliva”. Tactics for getting through the challenge included undoing the button on his jeans and standing up in some attempt to make more room for the food. “If I split it in two it’s half the size so I can eat twice as much”. At 13 mins in Ollie claimed he had smashed through the straw wall. 19 minutes in the wooden wall was broken along with the meat sweats. At 28 mins 55 sec he smashed the challenge.
FLAMING CHALLENGE Challenger: Charlie ‘Juggernaut’ Jenkins Difficulty: 4/5 Contents: Two flame-grilled 12oz beef burgers, Two breaded chicken breast fillets, spicy chilli beef, melted Cheddar, onions, bacon and onion rings in a burger bun. Accompanied by a large portion of chips. Are you feeling confident about this challenge? I’m feeling fairly confident, but I want to keep focused as I don’t want to peak too early. Have you done anything to prepare yourself? No, not really. I always cook large quantities so I’m pretty used to eating lots in one go. Once I nearly got kicked out of Peachy Keens for eating too much. I had a bacon sandwich this morning, which I think is key. I’m just going to approach the challenge head on. What’s your motto for taking on a challenge? The light at the end of the tunnel is just the light of a train. Charlie ‘Juggernaut’ Jenkins went for the meat and chips approach and left his bread in an attempt to get the bulk of the meal out of the way first. While initial progress was good, soon the ‘Juggernaut’ began to slow as his armoury of techniques and preparation went out the window. 13 minutes in, he admitted, “I feel awful - like I’ve been hit by that train in the tunnel”. It wasn’t looking good and sure enough 23 minutes in he lay down his cutlery and gave in to the monster challenge. Words and Images by Emma Drabble 40
A NOTTINGHAM CLASSIC
Nothing encompasses youthful hedonism and stupidity quite like the infamous Karni Cocktail. Inflicted upon countless numbers of University students on rag raids, socials and initiations throughout the years, as cocktails go it is as subtle as a spade to the face. If it was a person, it would wear a gilet and make 6 foot dicks every time it snows: it is as ‘laddish’ as it gets. Mixed in industrial qualities, this lethal punch is less of a drink and more a test of your gag reflex and the ability to remember all the words to B*Witched’s back catalogue whilst inebriated. Oh Karni Cocktail, long may your legacy continue. Ingredients: • 1 litre of vodka • 12 litres of wine • 12 litres of lemonade • 2 litres of cherryade • 5 litres of cider Quite simply, mix (for the traditionalists among us, in a bin) and drink immediately. Follow it up with a dirty night out and wake up the next day with a black hole in your memory and a quite possibly a literal black hole in your liver. (Makes one serving). Words by Phoebe Harkin
Image by Charlotte Albert
MEGA CHOCOLATE BROWNIE SUNDAE Sometimes a normal sized dessert just won’t cut it. When this happens, it’s time to break out the Mega Chocolate Brownie Sundae. Warning: this is not for the faint hearted. For the Chocolate Brownies: Ingredients: • 185g unsalted butter • 185g best dark chocolate • 85g plain flour • 40g cocoa powder
• • • •
50g white chocolate 50g milk chocolate 3 large eggs 275g golden caster sugar
Image by Alshaima Alhinai
Method: • 3UHKHDWWKHRYHQWRԱ&IDQ • Cut the butter up into small chunks and break up the dark chocolate into a bowl. Melt in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water, then leave to cool. • Sieve the plain flour and cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl. • Chop the milk and white chocolate into small chunks. • Mix the golden caster sugar and 3 eggs together in a large bowl with an electric whisk until doubled in volume. • Fold the melted butter and chocolate in a figure of eight motion, taking care not to beat the air out of the mixture. • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the wet mixture and fold in until just before it becomes fully incorporated. At this point add the chocolate chunks and fold them in. • Place in the oven to cook for 25 mins, then remove and leave to cool for 10 mins. Once you have made your brownies all that remains is to throw this beast of a dessert together. Take a large bowl and line the bottom with some of your brownie. Add a healthy dose of chocolate sauce, the kind you can buy for ice cream. Take a good three (or more) scoops of vanilla ice cream and repeat the layering process again until you are satisfied with the epic proportions of your dessert or until all the brownie is all gone. Emma Drabble www.impactnottingham.com/food
IMPACT 222 219
SCIENCE & TECH
Impact takes a look at some very notable science and tech nerds who have not only dabbled in drugs, but in some cases even attributed the success of their work to their ‘experiences’…
Francis Crick (1916-2004) On having discovered the double helix structure of DNA, Francis Crick and his partner Watson famously ran to the Eagle Pub in Cambridge and announced they had “found the secret of life”. It’s been reported that he often took small doses of LSD to boost his powers of thought – and boost them they certainly did. He first envisioned the structure of DNA under the influence and was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) Sigmund Freud was a public supporter of cocaine and it turns out the inventor of the light bulb, Thomas Edison, was also a fan. He famously slept for just four hours each night and reportedly drank Vin Mariani, a wine infused with cocaine, to help him stay awake.
Kary Mullis (1944-) Anyone studying biology or chemistry will certainly have heard of what Mullis contributed: polymerase Richard Feynman (1918-1988) chain reaction (PCR), which revolutionised work on A famous theoretical physicist, Feynman was DNA and earned him the Nobel Prize. awarded the Nobel Prize in the 1960s. He In an interview in the BBC’s Psychedelic Science experimented with marijuana and ketamine in documentary, Mullis said, “What if I had not taken sensory deprivation tanks in order to explore human LSD ever, would I have still invented PCR? I don’t consciousness but was apparently reluctant to try know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.” In his biography, LSD, as he didn’t want to “damage his brain”. Mullis talks about his use of LSD, his belief in in astrology and his meeting with an extraterrestrial who came to him in the form of a glowing green Steve Jobs (1955-2011) raccoon, although he denies that LSD had anything Apple founder Steve Jobs didn’t keep quiet about to do with this… his drug use. He once said that taking LSD was Bill Gates (1955-) Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates (left), in a 1994 Playboy interview, hinted at taking LSD when he was young. In reply to the question “Did you ever take LSD?”, he answered cryptically “My errant youth ended a long time ago. There were things I did under the age of 25 that I ended up not doing subsequently”. His errant youth didn’t lead him too wrong, did it Bill?
Carl Sagan (1934-1996) Carl Sagan, the famous astrophysicist who promoted the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) wrote an essay about smoking cannabis under the pseudonym ‘Mr X’ in the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered, in which he said “the illegality of cannabis is outrageous” and commented that it helped him intellectually.
“one of the two or three most important things” he had done in his life and that Marijuana and hash made him “relaxed and creative.” “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin... It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money”. Faiza Peeran
Poor sense of smell? Good luck with your sex life… The study found that men suffering from anosmia had on average five times fewer sexual partners than those with a full sense of smell and displayed “much less explorative sexual behaviour”. This was not the case with women, though the research Anosmia – the partial, selective or total inability to shows that female sufferers are less likely to feel smell – is thought to affect up to 1 in 5,000 people. safe and secure in a relationship than women with As well as a loss of olfaction, sufferers often find their full olfactory perception. sense of taste severely affected. It is also thought to have a negative psychological effect on social be- While anosmia is often inherited, it can also result from head trauma, viruses and nasal polyps. Alhaviour. though some forms of anosmia are temporary or A German study, published in the February edition of Biologoical Psychology, has found that partial or total anosmia can affect social interaction and make it harder for individuals to find a sexual partner.
can be treated, many instances remain permanent debilitations. The study backs up anecdotal evidence on the distressing effect that anosmia can have on a sufferer’s romantic life. As Anita Chang, writing for the Associated Press, puts it: “Not having my sense of smell has made kissing quite dull. The excitement, the intimacy of knowing a person’s smell is gone. For me now, kissing is like eating theatre popcorn without the butter. I know I’m missing the best part.” Ben McCabe
Can We Live Forever? Eternal life is something humans have dreamt of for thousands of years. From as early as 200 BC people were trying to reverse aging: the first Emperor of China was killed eating mercury in an attempt to become immortal. But can science make eternal life something more than a futile hope? Age, disease and trauma (e.g. falling off a cliff) are the three things that threaten life. As our medical knowledge grows, the latter two are being challenged, with the number of survivors of diseases and serious accidents rising yearly. Curing old age, however, is lagging behind the others. In April 2011, scientists in Israel announced something long considered science fiction: they had reversed some of the effects of old age. The immune system grows weaker with age, as fewer white blood cells are active to fight diseases that in youth would not affect us so negatively. The scientists came up with a relatively simple solution: they removed the old white blood cells from mice, forcing the body to replace the lost cells and increase the strength of the immune system. This was the first major achievement in the reversal of ageing.
been found to increase the lifespan of fish. Other to be desired, future advancements may include chemicals have been shown to delay death in mice, replication of the way a human looks, feels and but none have been tested thoroughly on humans. moves, providing an appealing way to extend life.
“Attempts are being made to put a person’s mind into a robotic body within ten years”
Nanorobots may also provide life enhancing benefits: swarms of tiny robots could hypothetically live in a person’s blood stream, repairing damage, killing cancerous cells and protecting the body from disease.
In Russia, attempts are being made to put a person’s Will science enable us to live forever? If I’m still mind into a robotic body within ten years. The project around in a few hundred years, I’ll let you know. - called ‘Avatar’ - may be a little too Doctor Who for Certain chemicals are also being studied. some peoples’ tastes, but for others the prospect is Timothy Winstanley Resveratrol has anti cancer properties, and has exciting. Although robots currently still leave much Image by Harry Dinsdale www.impactnottingham.com/science
SCIENCE & TECH
The World’ s Most Stupid Inventions Technology is constantly changing and updating, bringing newer and smarter solutions to improve and revolutionize our lives. But with every improvement, a few oddballs get thrown in. Some have been (thankfully) swept under the rug, whilst others linger to make us cringe… The Ones That Didn’ t Make It…
The Ones That Unfortunately Did…
Operation Acoustic Kitty
In the 1960s, the CIA discovered that high-level Soviet diplomats lunched on a particular park bench. Instead of bugging the bench they devised a cunning plan: they installed a microphone, battery pack and a transmitter inside a live cat. Unfortunately, after being deployed in the direction of the bench, the $20 million cat was run over by a taxi.
Do they enhance your eyesight? No. Do they protect your eyes? No. Do they make you look good? No. Sorry Kanye, the only thing these glasses are good for is giving you some crazy tan lines.
The Steam-Powered Plane This Victorian idea consisted of two giant steam engines powering two tiny flapping wings. It had to be catapulted into the air with a few firemen to shovel the coal to power it. Unsurprisingly, it plunged to its doom in a large fireball. The Motorised Surfboard Because there are obviously so many situations in life in which we need a self-propelling surfboard, Hollywood inventor Joe Gilpin invented one in the 1940s. Surfing to work without getting your clothes wet is the epitome of cool.
Car Alarms Alarms on cars and houses provide peace of mind, but who pays that much attention to a neighbour’s screaming alarm at night, besides putting a pillow over their heads and attempting to get back to sleep? The Rotary Printing Press The Rotary Printing Press finds itself here for a rather different reason. It may have been very important to the modern world but its inventor certainly regretted making it just before it killed him - Richard Hoe’s foot was pulled into the machine and badly crushed. He later died of the infection. Self Service Checkouts
Blue Peacock In another Cold War creation, the USA built an atomic landmine for the German frontier. During the winter months, however, the mine froze. The solution? Build an underground poultry farm around the mine and use chickens to keep it warm. The project was only cancelled after it was thought politically inadvisable to hide atomic landmines in an allied country.
They’re spreading like a virus throughout the UK, pushing out the old checkouts to make way for shops to save money. Supermarkets don’t appear to have clocked on to the fact that the scales are so sensitive that a member of staff needs to operate it anyway, and then there are the items that you’re not allowed to scan in yourself. One phrase sums up the frustration these machines cause: UNEXPECTED ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA. Timothy Winstanley Image by Helen Miller
46 WHATâ€™S ON GUIDE The best Arts, Film and Music events in Notts this month
Why are there so few roles for women actresses?
Can the music industry accept the death of the CD?
56 FILM&TV Is Netflix the future?
How to do gaming on a student budget
WHAT’S ON GUIDE: MARCH Impact's selection of the biggest and best Arts, Film & TV and Music events in Nottingham this month FRIDAY 8TH MARCH
MONDAY 10TH MARCH
FRIDAY 22ND MARCH
Cinema Diabolique presents Robocop:
Nottingham Playhouse, 7:30pm Dance, drama and music all wrapped into one night! Performed by the University of Nottingham’s Hindu Society and Asian Cultural Society, you will feel as if you’ve been transported to India for the evening. £15.
Broadway, 2pm Broadway, 10:30pm A screening of the classic 80s loose-footed Nottingham film collectives Kino Klubb and Kneel Before Zod have reunited with the minds behind romance. Nobody puts Baby in a corner! Mayhem Film Festival to bring us a whole season Road to Perdition: of cult and alternative cinema, beginning with a free Screen 22, 7:30pm screening of Robocop in Broadway’s Cinebar. It’s Sam Mendes season at Screen 22, and tonight they’re screening this 2002 crime drama starring SUNDAY 24TH MARCH Tom Hanks as a mob enforcer seeking vengeance
New Art Exchange For young people by young people, this exhibition after the murder of his family. by the New Art Exchange Young People’s Panel displays the work of up and coming photographers. TUESDAY 12 MARCH STILLgives us an insight into the lives of these young photographers through their camera lens, based KepowTheatre Company - Kevin around the theme of documentary photography. Tomlinson: CRAZY LITTLETHING Until 20th Apr. Free.
Screen 22, 7:30pm Ending Mendes season on a high, tonight Screen 22 will be showing last year’s outstanding 23rd entry into the Bond franchise.
WEDNESDAY 27TH MARCH
Lakeside Arts Centre, 8pm Bringing his hit Edinburgh comedy show to SATURDAY 9TH MARCH Nottingham, Kevin Tomlinson returns to the Linnea Olsson: Lakeside. One of the UK’s most loveable and Rescue Rooms talented improvisers, Tomlinson explores love in all Swedish musician Linnea Olsson comes to Rescue forms, probably hoping you will all leave loving the Rooms on the back of her critically acclaimed debut show! £9.50 - £12 album Ah!. She has previously been a backing vocalist and cellist for Peter Gabriel, but is now WEDNESDAY 13 MARCH embarking on her biggest solo UK tour to date. The gig shall consist of just Olsson and a cello, Willy Mason: but between them, they will create a beautiful and Rescue Rooms American singer-songwriter Willy Mason known spellbinding sound. for his esoteric blend of folk, blues and country is set to play Rescue Rooms this March. Touring alongside the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, Bright Eyes and Damien Rice, Mason has proven himself as a thoroughbred member of contemporary IndieAmericana.
Eels: Rock City American alternative indie outfit, Eels head to Rock City touring their latest album Wonderful, Glorious. Everyone’s favourite band from the Shrek soundtracks famed for their devoted fanbase and well renowned for their live shows are guaranteed to bring da motherf*cking ruckus.
MONDAY 1ST APRIL King Charles: Rescue Rooms After a lively gig at Bodega last year, King Charles returns to Nottingham hoping to deliver more of the same. Expect material from his Vampire Weekendesque debut album LoveBlood and the first airing of some new material.
Impact’s picks of this month’s releases:
Stoker Friday 1st March The director of Oldboy makes his English language debut in this chilling drama, which sees a young girl’s mysterious uncle moving in with her unstable mother after her father dies. (Dir: Park Chan-wook. Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode.) 46
The Place BeyondThe Pines Friday 12th April A motorcycle stunt rider commits a crime to provide for his newborn child, which puts him on a collision course with a young police officer in a conflict that will span generations. (Dir: Derek Cianfrance. Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes.)
Opportunity. It’s staring you in the face.
Undergraduate and Graduate Opportunities It’s February already, so there’s no time to lose. Apply now to make the most of your opportunities with PwC in 2013. Text ‘PwC Nottingham’ to 60300* for a chance to win an iPad mini and get details of the events we’ll be attending at Nottingham this month.
Take the opportunity of a lifetime www.pwc.com/uk/nottingham www.facebook.com/PwCCareersUK
© February 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved. *Texts charged at your standard network rate.
Price, of course, contributes greatly to cinema’s popularity with students: cinema tickets are much cheaper than theatre tickets, with more student offers, as well as the glorious 2-for-1 Orange Wednesdays deal. At the Savoy Cinema, 44% of ticket admissions in the last year have been student tickets, a significant proportion of sales considering that students aren’t even in Lenton for 5 months of the year. Whilst I don’t deny that you can get cheap theatre tickets, you have to know where to find them first!
Price may seem an easy goal for cinema to score but a closer examination suggests otherwise. Student tickets at the Nottingham New Theatre are £4 (£2 for freshers on Saturday matinee) equal to that of the Savoy and lower than Cineworld at £5.49 (with 10% off!). Even in the West End, I’ve seen Catherine Tate at the National for £5. If student tickets for the Savoy only amount to less than half of their audiences (44%), then students are not outstandingly obsessed with spending money at the movies.
Cinema is so much more accessible than theatre: films are screened nationally, in various cinemas, and with multiple showings per day, it’s easy to fit into a hectic lifestyle. Cinema is shared internationally and discussed through all media forms – radio, TV, social networking sites. Whilst theatre is constricted to a specific temporal and local situation, film has the power to reach communities worldwide, to impact upon many different people, making it more exciting for students. In an age where global networking is at the foreground, it is no surprise that we have a passion for global-reaching art forms.
From a worldwide perspective, theatre is much more widely spread across all nations, blind to poverty, wealth or technology, from Africa to America. Cinema is not everywhere; it is a modern phenomenon for an elite set of nations. Theatre is universal.
Movies are a product of the fast-moving technological advancement of the last century; there is a lot more scope for developing this art-form, indeed we’ve already seen 3D technology pervade the household. CISCO, a leading company in networking, has forecast that 90% of Consumer IP Traffic in 2013 will be video, showing just how fixated the world is becoming with video and film today. Cinema also provides a sense of escapism which cannot be achieved through theatre, which is a great feeling when students just want a two hour break from seminar prep, or even that housemate! With film, it’s easy to lose yourself in the action of the big screen, to be whisked away to a foreign land, or to fall in love. There’s something far more magical about the experience of cinema. Some of the most thrilling, thought-provoking and epic stories have been told through film. And films live on, long after you’ve seen them in cinemas, preserved on DVD forever more, unchanging; a small relic of that perfect moment when you first saw the movie that changed your life. Sangeeta Jheinga
Closer to home, with the New Theatre and the Lakeside Arts Centre on campus, going to the theatre is less hectic than catching the bus into town to the cinema for a Nottingham student, especially those living in halls. Our theatres win on geographical accessibility. The performance itself may be fleeting, but evidence suggests that the fever of theatre popularity far outweighs the success of Hollywood’s movies. The Mousetrap has been running for 61 years; The Woman in Black for 26 years. Not even The Lord of the Rings could keep a movie in the cinema this long. Within the world of University societies, the Nottingham New Theatre has an average audience of 207 per show and their popularity lets them produce two plays per week. The charm of theatre is its truth, fragility and individuality – no performance can ever be repeated. Being part of an ideal theatrical experience is completely and emotionally immersive. The actor is a site of living, breathing humanity which the faded shadows of pixelated faces on screen, in magicless artifice, will never achieve.
Eve Wersocki Morris
A ‘Mirror up to Nature’? Theatres Are Failing To Represent Women A cast of 23 took to the stage when This House opened at the National Theatre in London last year. 20 of them were men. This imbalance in the number of male and female roles is not rare.
n June 2012 Equity, the UK trade union for creative practitioners and performers, highlighted the lack of female roles in productions shown by subsidised theatres nationwide. Research undertaken by the union revealed that male roles outnumbered female roles by an average of two to one. This disparity in the number of male and female roles is not exclusive to the publicly funded theatres of the nation, however. This year, the Nottingham New Theatre have cast 46 males and 29 females in their spring season with one show containing eight male roles and one female part, while in another the ratio is 9:2. Whilst the difference between these two figures is not on the same level as the disparity seen in This House, it does raise the question of whether they are catering to the gender ratio of their membership, which consists of 160 males and 253 females. James McAndrew, Productions Coordinator at the Nottingham New Theatre, responded to this question of inclusivity by emphasising that the theatre aims to “provide as wide a range of opportunities for our members as possible, without jeopardising the
quality of our productions.” He explained that during the production selection process, the committee are “striving to pick the best proposals and therein most promising and exciting plays and production teams”. He added that although ‘male/female role breakdown’ is important, other factors such as budget and timescales must be considered.
“Research revealed that male roles outnumbered female roles by an average of two to one ”
But what about what lies beyond student theatre, for those who want to pursue acting as a career? In Shakespeare In Love, Gwyneth Paltrow must hide her true gender to gain access to the boards of The Globe in a time when it was illegal for women to act. That law changed in 1660 and yet the extent of the opportunities for female actors in British theatre industry remains arguably less than that of their male counterparts.
McAndrew explained that the idea of a committeeenforced ‘quota’ is not something that would fit with the mantra of the theatre as “the plays that are proposed are entirely down to the membership.” The idea of a season of shows, engineered by the committee to offer an equal amount of male and For Emily Heathcote, a second year English female roles, would take away the creative power student, fears over the lack of female roles in the of the membership and therefore “defeat the point of theatre industry led to a change in her future plans. the society altogether”, he concluded. “I decided to come to university instead of going to drama college,” she explained. “I wanted a degree to fall back on after having heard of so many aspiring actresses having to find work as waitresses because they are unable to get acting jobs.” Although she still hopes to work in the theatre industry after graduation, she added that “when theatres such as the National choose plays with considerably more male roles than female it definitely adds an element of wariness to my aspirations.” If female students cannot see actresses on the nation’s famous stages, or indeed those of their local student theatre, these anxieties are understandable. As highlighted by the chair of Equity’s women’s committee: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Lauren Wilson Image by Ben Tynegate
IMPACT 222 220
ARTS A Day In The Life of...
The Gramophones’ Artistic Director Formed in 2009, The Gramophones are an all female theatre company based right here in Nottingham. Artistic Director Hannah Stone lets Impact in on their clowning around and invites us into the world of the theatre business...
How were The Gramophones formed? I moved to Nottingham after chasing acting work for quite a few years and went on a clown course where I met Kirsty. We loved the clowning and decided to get together but felt we needed a few more people, so we wrote a little note saying “looking for quirky female performers for theatre project”, which we put all round Nottingham. We had several replies, including Kath and Ria. Hatch Nottingham asked us to make a piece for an event and we performed for the first time in a restaurant, anxious as to whether people would find our show funny or interesting. When it seemed to go down well we decided we would form a company, The Gramophones. Have you always devised work? Yes, we have. Our newest piece, End To End is a show based on a journey we made where we spent three weeks travelling across the country on as many forms of transport as possible, having hilarious experiences and collecting people’s stories along the way. We came into the rehearsal room with tons of material but no idea what story we wanted to tell. Working with Tilly Branson as a director, who hadn’t come on the journey, really helped us to see things objectively. We actually decided to have a moment in the show with all the names of people we’d met on the trip written onto a 50
blackboard and asked the audience to choose who they wanted to hear about. This seemed to fit really nicely with our chance encounters on the journey itself.
Being on tour is the hardest because you’re very much immersed in performing but you’ve also got to remember to manage the company. What’s the best thing about your job?
Run us through a day in the life of The Gramophones... That’s a tricky one because every single day is different, which is one of the things we love about our work. At the moment we are in rehearsals for our show Anything To Decliare? We get into our rehearsal space early to have a quick cuppa, normally begin with a warm-up, stretching and playing silly games that get us in the mood for improvising and devising. Then we’ll have a look at where we are at so far with the show. There may be various deliveries of unusual props such as sun umbrellas or table legs. At the end of the day we try to do a stagger run of everything we’ve got and see how it fits together. Then probably ask our designer to order more unusual props for the next day! How do you juggle being both artistic director and a performer? It can be hard. The roles are quite different but knowing the shows so well and being such an integral part of them helps to write about them and sell them to people. It’s great having such a close knit company where we are such close friends.
I love the feeling of coming up with an idea or a concept which will make someone laugh or a great story to make someone think. Also getting to meet people and making connections. We always place the audience at the centre, trying to make them feel part of it. In End To End, for example, we ask the audience to tell us about their journeys. I really enjoy hearing other peoples’ stories and sharing our own. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own theatre company? Be prepared to learn to not just be a performer and willing to take on lots of different roles. You have to be passionate, willing to work really hard and be really organised. Always ask for help; there have been so many times with The Gramophones that I haven’t understood something within the industry, like writing a press release or what lighting would be good to use. But overall: go for it! Nottingham needs more companies, more emerging work and more platforms for talent. Kiran Benawra Image by The Gramophones www.impactnottingham.com/arts
All rights reserved.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF....
Actor, Gyuri Sarossy This is your invitation to join an organisation offering greater opportunity, greater challenge and greater satisfaction. An organisation dedicated to teamwork and collaboration. An organisation working in the forefront of technology, helping 92 of the Fortune Global 100 to reinvent business. Our capabilities are so broad, you can even change jobs without ever changing companies. Talk to Accenture and discover how great you can be.
Boot Camp – your toughest test yet Boot Camp could be the most intense learning experience of your life. We won’t tell you the location. We won’t even tell you the agenda. All we can tell you right now is that you will negotiate a packed itinerary of business games and other mental challenges. It could also be the start of your future with us – if you get through to Boot Camp you’ll be fast-‐tracked through to interview stage for our 2014 summer vacation, industrial placement and graduate roles. Boot Camp takes place 25th – 27th March 2013. It’s a popular scheme, and competition is fierce so the first skill we’ll test is your
response time. Applications are open now for first & final year students (and those in the second year of a four-‐year course) and close on 22nd February. However places are filled on a first-‐come, first-‐served basis so apply early to avoid disappointment. All will be revealed by visiting our graduate website. accenture.com/bootcamp Be the first to know the latest news: ‘Like’ Accenture Careers UK Follow accentureukjobs on Twitter Watch us on YouTube AccentureUKcareers
WHAT'S A CON CLASSICAL GRA The music degree: the successful (longterm) marriage of man and instrument. Looking back, it feels as if the weekly hours of practice, the expenses of instrumental lessons, maintenance of an instrument and purchasing hundreds of scores have not all been in vain. One thing that all students do certainly achieve on the course is enjoyment. However, as with all graduates, music students can struggle when arriving in the
â€˜real worldâ€™. During the course of the three years, students question career prospects and begin to worry about the value of their degree. Music can open up a number of avenues, whether that is admin, instrumental WHDFKLQJ RU RWKHU MREV LQ WKH Ă€HOG RI WKH Arts. What ultimately is most important are the life skills and personal development that each student achieves while studying at university.
Each year, a number of student composers emerge from Nottingham and continue to study Composition at Postgraduate level DQGEH\RQG'HVSLWHWKHLUGLĹŠHUHQWVW\OHV they all face a similar problem: making their own artistic voices heard in the face of the current music scene. Impact met with four graduate composers to hear their obstacles and plans for 2013.
Sources of Inspiration
Birmingham, a community vocal ensemble, in addition to writing his first opera, CARNIVAL, which was performed by the University Opera Society in December 2012. These musical opportunities have served as a platform for Ed for 2013; he has been commissioned to write an opera to be performed on the Birmingham canals, in addition to a ballet for a local company.
Away with the Old
ED DENHAM MUSIC BA AT UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM. STUDYING FOR MMus IN COMPOSITION AT BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE. â€œThe University and particularly the department have been very important in my development,â€? says Ed. His involvement with many music societies at Nottingham throughout his three years provided â€œexposure to such a range of forms and idiomsâ€? which he recognises as an inspiration to his compositional style. However it is always best to be cautious about defining style. Ed comments: â€œpeople only really talk about the style if the music itself is bad.â€? The contemporary scene by its nature is a challenging field to impress, with audiences still preoccupied with the recognised concert-hall museum of the big household names: Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Other students have been fundamental in Edâ€™s development as a composer. He stresses: â€œIt is so important to hear your pieces realised.â€? When entering a professional, musical environment, the opportunity to hear pieces being rehearsed is limited, possibly even to one-hour rehearsals before performance as a result of the lack of funding in Arts. Since graduating, Ed has become Musical Director of Hearts in Harmony Hospital Choir in 52
ALEX KOLASSA MUSIC BA AT UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM. STUDYING FOR PhD IN COMPOSITION AT UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM â€œI characterise myself as an ardent modernist, I like my music to be angular, idiosyncratic and challenging in the sense it is engaging for the performer (and audience).â€? During the last century, musical composition has become an intellectual, esoteric expression of an artist; a composer whose ambition is no longer to primarily provide pleasure for the audience (or at least not in the same manner as before). In the face of the modern musical climate, style can often be a determining factor in success. While the Nottingham music scene has not been hugely influential in Alexâ€™s development as a composer, his most profound influence has been his lecturer, Dr Nick Sackman, and the Department of Music, in particular the exposure to a wealth of musical sources and material.
â€œMusic societies at Nottingham are an inspiration to compositional style.â€?
Despite finishing his PhD this year, Alex balances the practicalities of completing his portfolio and thesis alongside gaining experience composing for ensembles. During 2013, Alexâ€™s compositions will be performed by MusSoc students and the Arco Ensemble, in addition to a â€˜pervasive mediaâ€™ drama collaboration to be performed in Bristol and Nottingham.
NTEMPORARY ADUATE TO DO For Angela, an awareness of her musical surroundings has been key to her development as a composer. During 2013, Angela will be composing for BlowSoc’s Wind Orchestra and the University Philharmonia in addition to external choirs and an exciting local instrumental project in Nottingham.
A success story
Adaptability is the key to success ANGELA ELIZABETH SLATER MUSIC BA AT UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM. STUDYING FOR PhD IN COMPOSITION AT UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM Aware of the balance between composition and audience enjoyment, Angela’s style varies “from piece to piece depending on what you aim to achieve and who the music is for”. Although within all compositions there is “a sense of emotion and/or abstract narrative”, Angela is a diplomatic composer who is aware of the difficulties of a rigid ‘style’. “The music department is full of great performers who are willing to give up their time.”Angela’s involvement with the University Choir, Coro Sorelle and Wind Orchestra has been important in her inspiration to compose and the students of the University have been essential to hear her compositions performed. In addition, the professional and amateur concerts of the Nottingham area have provided Angela with “an insight into the local and national contemporary composition scene”. www.impactnottingham.com/music
ALEX PATTERSON MUSIC BA AT UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM. MMus FROM BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE. in Nottingham. Despite graduating, Alex “still maintained links to the department, the ensembles “I owe a lot to being a music student at Nottingham. and Lakeside, [who] have helped me develop The course itself is great and the facilities are my craft”. Contacts and opportunities in the music wonderful but it’s the extracurricular stuff that allowed industry are always extremely important and should me to really develop as a musician.” As a student never be overlooked. at Nottingham, Alex’s prowess was developed by conducting the music societies’ ensembles and Alongside being a music teacher at St Joseph’s being a performer at the University and as a choral School, Nottingham, Alex is also the musical scholar at St Barnabus Cathedral. The diversity of director of Radcliffe Ladies Choir and Conductor choral music has in particular been influential to Alex of Nottingham Youth Voices. One of Alex’s main as a composer. attributes is his skill as an all-round musician; as a teacher, a composer and a performer. Alex soon became composer-in-residence and Assistant Director of St Barnabus and has since Despite keeping his plans under wraps, the success become one of the most exciting composers of the previous year; including the selection of Entr’acte (pub opera) as part of the World Event Young Artists in September, promises that 2013 will be another successful year for Alex as a composer.
The main issue facing composers in the 21st Century is primarily discovering a personal, artistic voice that is accepted and performed. Without this, a career can SURYHGLŋFXOWWRVXVWDLQ Although the facilities at the University have been important in the development of these composers, the true underlying inspiration has been the students who support and premiere these works for the world to hear. Jonathan Newsome
IMPACT INTRODUCES: GEORGIE ROSE HOW Georgie Rose How, at the tender age of 18, hails from the same Nottingham acoustic scene as the now household name Jake Bugg. With her blend of heartfelt contemplative lyricism and guitar work well beyond her years, Georgie is starting to make waves with many an industry mogul. As we sat down to chat, she had just returned from the studio, excited to tell me about her forthcoming EP.
In three words, who is Georgie Rose How? Aspiring singer-songwriter. What can we expect from your first release? Hopefully something that sounds alright. Some songs that are familiar to those who have seen me live, some new songs which are cool and some new arrangements and it is with the band, which puts a different aspect on a few of the songs. This is your first record and you're recognised solely for your live shows. How will you bring that live sound to the record? The way we've recorded will hopefully bring that atmosphere to the record. We
started the process by all playing together and laying down the bones if you like. Also just putting heart and soul into it the same way as I do live. You recently added a backing band, has that changed/enhanced your performance? I think its definitely lifted my performance and my songs, they're very talented guys who are willing to work well with me in a great way. We've become tighter the more we play and especially after spending time in the studio. What's next after the EP? [Laughs] Who knows? Hopefully something along the horizon. I think as long as I'm making music and playing as much as a musician can, I'll be happy. But of course I'd love to go somewhere and play my music to more people. In the same mould as Laura Marling and the late Janis Joplin, Georgie continues to grow through her formative years and with heavy influences ranging from Cash to Elvis, her casual manner is beguiling. Having found herself as XFM's track of the week recently, she could well be Nottingham's next success story. Adam Keyworth
THE HEIRS OF DAFT PUNK “Anyone can take a disco sample and put a kick drum under it, but no-one will sound like Daft Punk.” Such was electro producer Boys Noize’s reaction to the announcement of a new Daft Punk album, their first in eight years, due for release this spring. With the current explosion in popularity of electronic music, it’s all too easy to forget where today’s producers draw their influences from, so here’s our rundown of some of Thomas and Guy-Manuel’s biggest disciples.
HARD ROCK SOFA
18-year-old prodigy Madeon wears his countrymen’s influence proudly on his sleeve. His breakthrough ‘Pop Culture’ was a YouTube hit, and sampled several classic Daft Punk tracks. Listen to his remix of Deadmau5’s ‘Raise Your Weapon’ or his own ‘Icarus’ to get the best of Madeon’s sound.
Despite boasting one of the naffest names in music right now, Russian duo Hard Rock Sofa match the robotic sounds of Daft Punk with the aggression of modern progressive and electro-house to forge their own exciting sound. Their remix of Calvin Harris’ ‘Let’s Go’ echoes the classic guitar line from ‘Aerodynamic’, while the top line of ‘Chemistry’ is supercharged Daft Punk for the ‘EDM’ generation.
Most notable for collaborations with A-Trak and remixes for Britney Spears and Breakbot, Oliver's bouncy nu-disco basslines and vocoded vocals are hugely indebted to classic tracks like ‘Around the World’. Check out their latest release ‘MYB’ to get a taste.
Alex Noble and Luigi III make up LBCK, who fuse the funkier side of Daft Punk with influences from tech house, big room, and disco. Their ‘Super Natural’ EP shows off this sound perfectly, with the intro of ‘Archnemesis’ coming across like a lost session from ‘Discovery’ before exploding into stuttering electro. Will Gulseven
DON’T CROSS THE STREAMS: Can the music industry accept the death of the CD?
usic journalism has embraced a curious form of clairvoyance over the last ten years, trying to constantly second guess the future of music. Whether it be the stability of record labels, the morality of illegal downloading or indeed alternative methods of distribution, the music industry is a paranoid place to be at the moment. The theme that emerges from this is the notion of sustainability: how can music a medium predominantly distributed in a physical format - embrace the electronic age and would doing so come at a huge cost to the industry? The answer to this conundrum is twofold, firstly you need to convince a generation of music fans, who thought nothing of illegally downloading music, that buying music is a worthwhile investment. Internet piracy has empowered the consumer and the moral debate has played heavily on some devotee’s minds - they want to give something back to artists. Fans want to cut out the middleman and offer a direct line of purchase to the artist rewarding them for their hard work and talent. In the music industry credibility is power, an uncomfortable truth perhaps for the ‘Big Three’.
“ In the music industry, credibility is power ” Additionally, you need an avenue that can support this artist-audience centric consumer enthusiasm. Streaming services, such as Rhapsody, Pandora, Rdio, Grooveshark, Last.fm and particularly Spotify, have been able to capture public interest in a way that lends itself to this ideal. It allows for
audiences to pay artists en masse and expand their this reckoning, she wouldn’t need to stream 4 million musical horizons without additional cost, thereby songs in a month in order to make minimum wage... It is simply unthinkable for us to sign of [sic] on the encouraging wider music involvement. potential value of a song being worth [£0.00029], An interesting division to have emerged from the even when it comes in the form of a stream. Once current economic reality of the music industry is the we put such a value on the music at that rate, we grouping of record labels. Over music’s rich history, are devaluing it.” mainstream labels have streamlined into well oiled machines producing market friendly artists intended to shift as many units as possible - think Beyonce, The Spotify experiment Coldplay, Mumford & Sons. It’s a rigorously efficient has failed business model intended to inherit as little risk as possible, so more alternative and forward thinking artists often never get a chance at these labels. In essence the problem of streaming services is They are picked up by a relatively new group of that they are intended for the major labels and their labels that have retained independence so that they artists, but make no allowance for any artist that could can nurture the talent of these esoteric artists. XL, not comfortably sellout Madison Square Garden. Warp, Domino, Rough Trade, Drag City, 4AD, Sub The concept of an online subscription service is a Pop, Jagjaguwar, Matador, Merge are but a few of sustainable alternative to physical distribution (sorry the more popular labels to have made a success HMV), but to keep the benefits from aiding the artists out of merging bankable artists like Radiohead, the will only suppress the idea among a vital proportion Arctic Monkeys and The Pixies with less successful, of artists and fans. Spotify is an experiment that has but still popular artists like Deerhunter, Beach House proven that people are willing to invest in a new and Animal Collective. The two co-exist in the model of listening to music, but the experiment has spectrum of modern music in mutual equilibrium failed. Its commercial tendencies have alienated with some crossover, but ultimately the two function audiences and what we need now is a new well regardless of the other. streaming service that bridges the gap between artist and audience and provide the solution to the However, this duality isn’t being reciprocated by ever present dilemma of finding sustainability in the streaming services. Rather than supporting both modern, electronic music industry. Ben James markets, they are targeting quick dollar in favour of finding a middle ground and treat music as a business rather than entertainment. Drag City’s head of domestic sales demonstrates the inherent flaw of streaming services such as Spotify: “for someone like Joanna [Newsom], her records are being sold via LP, CD, iTunes and so forth, so by
FILM & TV
We Can Stream It For You Wholesale
The landscape of television is an everchanging one. A decade ago, the concept of streaming entire films and shows - even in the poorest quality - from your Windows XP PC with its customary giant monitor seemed alien to most of us. Now, thanks to services like Netflix and LoveFilm, hour upon hour of multimedia has been made available for us to watch at the click of a button.
the first ever high-production value TV series to be distributed solely via the internet. It was initially offered to flagship networks such as HBO, AMC and Showtime but, seizing the opportunity, Netflix outbid them.
“This is an invaluable and indisputably important ethos that has been absent from television for decades -listening to the fans and giving them what they want.”
Fee-based distribution of digital media was popularised by the iTunes Store in 2005 following the announcement of its latest iPod model that had video-playing capability. At the time it was revolutionary, and it remains popular due to its access to high-definition quality digital downloads upon home media release, but who wants to pay £7.99 per film, when on Netflix you can have unlimited viewing of their entire library for a £5.99 Adapted by The Ides Of March scribe, Beau Willimon and The Social Network director, David monthly subscription? Fincher, House Of Cards is a modern re-imagining Founded in 1997 in California, Netflix currently has of the successful BBC political drama of the same over 33 million streaming members worldwide. In name. Kevin Spacey stars as US Representative the fourth quarter of 2012, they reported a revenue and House Majority Whip, Francis Underwood, of $945 million, making it the most profitable a ruthless and cunning politician who, after being business of its kind. Their success, at least with passed over for a promotion to Secretary of State, European audiences, lies in the fact that viewers decides to take revenge on the administration that can stream entire seasons of US shows that aren’t betrayed him. broadcast on national television - Breaking Bad It’s a near-perfect amalgamation of that slick, being a prime example. metallic, low-key aesthetic of Fincher’s work with the It is because of this success in the distribution of seedy, underhand world of American politics. The popular existing content that they’ve been allowed performances are second to none, with supporting to branch out into producing original programming. players Robin Wright, Kate Mara and Corey Stoll February saw the release of House Of Cards, 56 54 52
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each matching the gravitas of Spacey’s. The writing may sometimes fall short of the mark, but that’s beside the point - since its release, House Of Cards has become the most-watched show on Netflix. The gambit paid off. As with their non-original content, all thirteen episodes are available at once. Viewers (i.e. myself) can speed through the entire first season in a day should they choose to, but really this says more about Netflix’s vision of changing the way we watch television. Control has been shifted from the networks’ prescribed schedules and placed in the hands of the audience. This is an invaluable and indisputably important ethos that has been absent from television for decades - listening to the fans and giving them what they want. Arrested Development, often hailed as the greatest sitcom of all time, was axed from TV in 2006 following its third season; now fourteen brand new episodes will be airing on Netflix in May, with a view towards making a feature film in the near future. What we are witnessing here is a slow but steady reinvention of the wheel. With House Of Cards paving the way for even more high quality original content and the resurrection of classic, unjustly cancelled shows, there’s no telling what we could be watching eighteen months from now. Could we be watching the majority of our TV online - legally? And, dare I say it, could we be watching Firefly? Josh Franks
Grimm Fairy Tales
The original fairy tales, before they got colonised by Disney, were dark tales that involved violence and darker elements, with a thriller action premise.
The problem with being young is that you’re impressionable. You read stories about girls being plucked from obscurity to marry a handsome Prince and you believe, if you’re lucky, this might just happen to you. Unfortunately, reality hits and the magic of Disney, Pixar and the Brothers Grimm is exchanged for your teenage years, where the only time you pick up a book is if it’s on your syllabus and the only films worth watching have a certificate of 15 or above. However, since 2010 there has been a resurgence of the fantastical within cinema. We’re not talking classic Disney stories either; these are dark, twisted tales aimed at an adult audience. They say that events in history are often reflected in the literature and film produced at that time. For example, in America the Great Depression resulted in movies that were escapist and musicals that were bright and full of success stories. Since the recession began in 2008, parallels of our current problems can be found in every fairytale: Caroll’s Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee seem to resemble the doltishness of our bankers, the Seven dwarves are probably unemployed somewhere - everyone is looking for a little bit of magic, which explains why the box office is now filled with fairytale remakes and re-imaginings, and it looks likely that this will remain the case. In March 2010, the five highest-grossing films were based on fairytales. At the top of this list was fantasy king Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderand. As this magazine goes to print, Alice In Wonderand’ s worldwide gross stands at $1,024,299,904. While the critics may not be so fond of these remakes, the public are buying more and more into the world of dark fantasy.
no longer damsels in distress that sing to the birds and wait for their handsome Prince to come save the day. In Swath for example, we see a princess that channels her inner Joan of Arc, going into battle waving a sword and favouring full body armour over a dress. However, Joe Wright, director of action thriller Hannah, argues that these themes have always been at the core of fairy tales. Originally, they were fables, made to teach lessons to young children through the medium of storytelling. Wright said himself in a recent interview: “The original fairy tales, before they got colonised by Disney, were dark tales that involved violence and darker element, with a thriller action premise.” Even Disney now seem to have turned to the dark side, as 2014 will see the release of Maleficent, a new twist on the classic story of Sleeping Beauty told from the perspective of the eponymous evil Queen. Angelina Jolie is set to take on the title role, and has a lot to live up to with recent fairytale queens including superb performances from the likes of Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Helena Bonham Carter. Moreover, one has to question if Maleficent is going to be released into an already over-saturated market and whether, by the time of its release, we may have grown tired of the ideals of the fairy tale world. We can at least be comforted in the fact that fairy tales aren’t all fantasy. There’s still hope of us marrying a handsome prince someday - after all, Kate Middleton did it. There’s probably just as much hope of that happening as getting hit by lightning and winning the lottery, but still… a girl can dream. Lucy O’Boyle
Last year saw not one but two remakes of Snow White: Snow White And The Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror. These remakes sought to rebrand the stereotype of the fairytale princess, who are now
FILM & TV
LOST IN TRANSLATION?
LOST IN TRANSLATION ?
This month sees the long awaited release of Park Chan-wook’s English language debut, the psycho-sexual drama, Stoker. From a screenplay that is said to be heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow Of A Doubt and a cast headed by Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman, Chan-wook’s latest venture promises to be something completely different to 2003’s nihilistic revenge thriller, Oldboy. However, as exciting as it is to see the Korean filmmaker directing a film for a more mainstream audience, should we perhaps approach this traversing of the language with a cautious eye?
director of The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut’s 1966 adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Farenheit 451 received an overwhelmingly negative response at the time of its release.
The director of one of the most influential films in cinema history, À Bout De Souffle’s Jean-Luc Godard, couldn’t successfully cross the language barrier either: his 1987 production of King Lear being described by The Washington Post as a “not terribly funny practical joke” in which Godard “trashes his own talent”. Clearly, his unique style After all, Park is just the latest name in a whole host was simply deemed inappropriate for an adaptation of foreign filmmakers who have attempted to take of Shakespeare. on Hollywood, his predecessors’ forays into English language cinema being met with varying degrees Conversely, for some, the journey across international waters has proved pivotal in their of success. international success. Spanish directors Alfonso Somewhat surprisingly, the transition to English Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu have only language filmmaking has proved particularly seen minor success in their native language, and troublesome for the French masters of arthouse only through the success of Children of Men and cinema. 1997’s Alien Resurrection effectively Babel, respectively, were they able to raise the ended Delicatessen director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s profile of Mexican cinema and obtain international Hollywood career until he returned to France to recognition. However, by attempting to do so, produce the charming Amelie in 2001 and has foreign filmmakers run the risk of losing touch with what brought them success in the first place. remained there ever since. With production features that are so far removed from the taut, urban surroundings of the South Korea that defined his seminal Vengence Trilogy, one has to wonder whether the uniquely dark, unsettling style that characterised Park Chan-Wook’s earlier work will translate to this vastly different cultural setting.
Even the filmographies of the celebrated pioneers Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from of the French New Wave haven’t gone unmarred Chinese director John Woo. Having mastered by their English language debuts. The acclaimed the action/crime genre in Hong Kong with The
Killer, Red Cliff and Hard Boiled, Woo staved off the temptation to spread his artistic wings too far in America and instead found mainstream commercial success by continuing to produce big budget blockbusters. While the quality of his English language productions are debatable, both Face/ Off and Mission Impossible II have proved lucrative at the box office, Face/Off grossing $245 million worldwide. In contrast, our generation’s most celebrated Asian director, the adventurous Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee, has thrived in the Western market by refusing to conform to one particular geographical style. His American-produced, but English and Asian language films, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and last year’s Life Of Pi have earned him several academy awards and have made Ang Lee one of the biggest names in the industry. For Park Chan-Wook’s sake there is perhaps some solace to be had in the success of his fellow Asian directors. Let’s hope Stoker still retains his trademark unnerving style, and that American producers let us see Nicole Kidman eat a squid or two. Malcolm Remedios
BEST SUPPORTING SITCOM CHARACTERS Troy McClure - The Simpsons Hi, I’m writing about Troy McClure. You may remember him from such films as The Seven Year Bitch, Give My Remains To Broadway, and Christmas Ape Goes To Summer Camp. Voiced by the late Saturday Night Live regular, Phil Hartman, Troy McClure is arguably the greatest of all The Simpsons’ characters, which considering the diversity and strength of the cast is a difficult claim to make, but I’m going to go out on a limb. He stands out because every second McClure is on screen is hilarious. The jokes are many, yet not forcefully delivered. Dotted throughout the golden era of The Simpsons, his educational films may be the best comedy vignettes of the show. Ben James
Jean-Ralphio - Parks and Recreation K-d-d-d-d-d-bang: It’s Jean-Ralphio Saperstein. Played by comedian and improviser extraordinaire Ben Schwartz, Jean-Ralphio is far and away my favourite of Pawnee, Indiana’s colourful and eccentric inhabitants. Much like many of the townsfolk he lives in his personal bubble of ignorance, styling himself as a pickup artist, entrepreneur and Pawnee’s biggest baller - perhaps second only to his best friend and business partner, Tom “Tommy Timberlake” Haverford (Aziz Ansari). Together, they have conquered the multimedia entertainment world with their company Entertainment 720, only for it to come crashing down when they realised they couldn’t maintain a business by printing their own money. Be it his unique approach to rapping, his fashion sense, his improbably coiffed hair, his job at Lady Foot Locker or his outrageous attempts to flirt with Pawnee’s women, Jean-Ralphio’s infrequent appearances are brief but always scene-stealing. Josh Franks
Creed Bratton - The Office Of all the weird employees of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, there is one man who remains something of a mystery: Quality Insurance Director and Spider Solitaire maestro, Creed Bratton (a fictionalised version of the real Creed Bratton). Any narrative of his life remains purely speculative based on the brief interviews with the documentary crew. I am of the belief that his senility and naivety is a smokescreen to cover up his true dark nature. So what do we know for sure about Creed Bratton? We know he has a history of drug use during his days as a rock star, that his favourite James McAvoy movie is Wanted, and he has been both a member and leader of a religious cult.The more we learn of Creed, the more convoluted his past becomes. At over 80, he may not be long for the fast-paced world of paper distribution, but until then, let's hope for more hilarious insights into the mind of Creed Bratton. Sam Todd
Barry Zuckerkorn - Arrested Development Arrested Development is rife with great supporting characters: From the master of disguise, Gene Parmesan, to G.O.B's racially insensitive puppet, Franklin. Nonetheless, one character clearly stands out for one simple reason: "Barry's very good". Henry Winkler's inspired turn as the Bluth family's incompetent, sexual deviant defence attorney, Barry Zuckerkorn, is pitch perfect. This might provide one of the most hilarious comic performances in recent years. Even when the inept lawyer is fired at the start of Season 3, jokes are still to be had at the character's expense: in a show that relishes in throwbacks to the cast’s past, Winkler once again finds himself replaced by Scott Baio in a subtle reference to their time on Happy Days. With Season Four on the way and him having literally jumped over a shark, I find it hard to believe we've seen the last of Barry Zuckerkorn. Malcolm Remedios
AND WHO COULD FORGET... Magnitude - Community “Pop, pop!”
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GAMING ON A STUDENT BUDGET When you’re living off value noodles and you’d rather spend your student budget on a night-out than on the heating, your craving for gaming need not suffer as well! There are loads of alternatives that are perfect for the student budget...
Classic Gaming The lack of money which all student gamers face has a solution which might be simpler than you think. Dig out that console from the attic you were weaned on in your childhood - the almighty PlayStation, the beloved GameBoy, the noble Xbox. We all have favourite games from our childhood, for example Crash Bandicoot or the original Halo. Bring up those old multi-player games you were forced to play with your selfish siblings; you and your flatmates will have a blast. There’s a world of classics out there, and they can be yours for mere peanuts. Check out CeX, log on to Amazon, scour eBay. Find these games and enjoy the times before online play and HD. Your wallet will thank you for it. If you’re still not totally persuaded, here’s a game that may have slipped under your radar that definitely deserves your attention…
Rob Recommends: Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction Imagine you are B.A. Baracus for a moment. There’s a game for that and it’s here. Four (maybe five) words: BOMBS GUNS ASS-KICKING FUN. If that doesn’t cause you to quiver with joy, nothing will. Robert Priest
Free to Play Gaming The Free to Play (F2P) model of gaming is getting seriously popular. Developers earn money from ‘micro-transactions’, which charge smaller amounts of money to gain in-game bonuses, for example weapons, but they’re perfectly great to play without spending any cash. If you’re a first person shooter fan, take a look at Planetside 2. F2P games can be just as epic an experience as their £40 equivalent. In Planetside 2, three factions battle over an open world in a constant struggle for territory, but here’s the kicker - each game has literally thousands of players participating. Take control of futuristic tanks and planes and get stuck into a seriously epic battle! Shooters not for you? League of Legends is so good that it has become an international eSport, and even one of the national sports of South Korea. It’s a 5v5 tactical team game where each player controls a powerful champion and attempts to fight their way to the enemy base. From RPGs to RTSs, there’s room for every genre in the F2P scene.
Richard Recommends: Team Fortress 2. If big-scale battles aren’t your thing, take a look at Team Fortress 2. It’s fun, addictive and sometimes just plain daft with its tonguein-cheek humour. Teams up to 12 can battle it out over various objectives (such as launching a monkey ‘Poopy Joe’ into space). With nine different classes to choose from, it’s a perfect lighthearted stress relief from studies. Richard Lakucs
Indie Gaming Stay away from those traditional full-price blockbusters! Save your hard-earned loan and look instead to Indie gaming. They’re usually smaller games which have been designed and created by one or two people with a great idea. Over the past few years the popularity of the Indie genre has gone through the roof, as greater numbers of developers are inspired through success stories of games such as Minecraft. 9.3 million copies of the blocky sandbox game have been sold for the PC! There are some absolute gems available on platforms such as Steam and Xbox Live Arcade for Indie games. A great Indie game will entertain you for equally as long as any other; and for a quarter of the price. On top of that, there’s no one genre for Indie games, which means racing, platformers, shooters and everything in between is all out there waiting to be discovered. 60
Anil Recommends: Hotline Miami Addictive, bizarre and at times hilarious. Creepy carnage is the name of the game, and with its distinctly 80’s soundtrack it feels like a crossover between GTA: Vice City and a Tarantinostyle action flick. Glorious.
MOTHERBOARD BEFORE THE MORTAR BOARD:
Student Game Developers at the University of Nottingham
Students are no strangers to playing games, but how about making them? We interviewed a few talented student developers to find out some of the intricacies of game development while at university. Dimitrios, a PHD student with Horizon DTC, found his love of creating games whilst he played them – “but not just play them, try to see how they work,” he told Impact. “Even when I was in high school, I would look at files and think 'that's pure text, I can change that... this gave me my first taste of how games were made.” Alexandru, a second year computer science student, on the other hand, discovered his creative spark when a teacher gave him his first glimpses of programming - "he tried to do something extracurricular and teach us visual BASIC" - one of many programming languages Alexandru would go on to teach himself.
alongside fortnightly 'hackathons', events where avid programmers are able to meet up, share ideas and advice, and work on developing software in a casual environment. Game development isn't just about making that dream game you've always wanted. I met with Martin, Kyle and Steven, all Masters students in computer sciences, to discuss where the entertaining and the academic blend. The team are working on a voice controlled game that has you navigating a train from point A to point B, whilst trying to outwit an opposing computer player. It's aimed at training speech recognition software to recognise different accents and better understand different voices. “Our product is looking at trying to make that a little more of an interactive experience”, they explained. The results of their game will feed into another system being developed at the university, namely a healthcare application that will allow psychiatry patients to have a conversation with a computer avatar and, based on how the system detects emotions, facial expressions and how the patient speaks, be diagnosed.
Regardless of how they came to programming, they represent an endangered species at the University of Nottingham. We asked Joe, president of newlyformed Hacksoc, how Nottingham compares in national and international programming competitions – his response? “It doesn't, at the moment we don't at all. We aren't low ranked in computer sciences, we're relatively high, so there's no reason why we shouldn't be represented there.” Hacksoc are hoping to change this: “we're planning to do a weekly practice for four hours Surprisingly, despite a shared passion for creating on a Wednesday afternoon, treat it like a sports games, none of the students we talked to saw team, and get higher in the rankings". This will be themselves working in the games industry www.impactnottingham.com/gaming
professionally. Dimitrios scorned the lack of creative freedom in a medium dominated by profits and publishers. “Why is it not a good idea to go into the game industry? It's horrible. You've got people like Activision and Electronic Arts saying 'lets make our stuff as fast as possible and for the lowest common denominator'. You remove creativity and make it a cookie cutter business” Martin expresses similar fears: “The problem with the games industry is it’s very profit focused.” His team also vent concern over the competitive nature of securing jobs in a declining industry. “Getting into games in Britain certainly isn't that easy, if you do want to work even in one of the smaller games companies you really need experience from another game company in Britain,” Steven tells us, and Martin adds that “it's quite a hard industry to break into, and people in the industry tend to stay there.” Amid these fears though, the developers we spoke to seem certain that their enthusiasm for game development will endure. Alexandru confesses: “I'm sure it's always going to be part of my life; it's a great achievement to see something you've created, and to see that other people like it." Tom Mackay Image by Callum Mclarty IMPACT 222
Save a life. Give blood
Gaby Wood would not be here if it wasn’t for blood donors. Follow us on Twitter to find out about our news The 15-year-old from@GiveBloodNHS Suttonthis way.eld, We’d love you to tweet and share that you’ve become a in-Ashfi Nottinghamshire, donor encourage others #signupgiveblood was lefttocritically ill after glandular fever caused her Blood donors saved my life spleen to rupture in October last year. Gaby Wood would not be here if wasn’t blood surgery twice at Queen’s Medical She hadit to havefor emergency donors. Centre and received 15-20 units of blood. The SuttonAfter15-year-old eight days from in hospital Gaby bounced back and is stressing the in-Ashfi eld, Nottinghamshire, importance of blood donors to encourage more people to come was left critically ill after forward. glandular fever caused her She said: can remember telling my mum ‘I love you and I think spleen to “I rupture in October I’m dying’. The surgeon told me afterwards I was very lucky. If I last year. hadn’t have had blood, I would have definitely died. She had to have emergency surgery twice at Queen’s Medical “It’s quite but awesome that got lots of different people’s Centre andscary received 15-20 units ofI’ve blood. blood inside me. It’s amazing that it’s saved my life.” After eight days in hospital Gaby bounced back and is stressing the importance of blood donors to encourage more people to come forward.
We’d also like people to use social media to share the message that they have become a donor and reach even more people.
She said: “I can remember telling my mum ‘I love you and I think I’m dying’. The surgeon told me afterwards I was very lucky. If I hadn’t have had blood, I would have definitely died.
Search for the NHS Blood Donation Facebook page and like us to keep up to date with our news. Why not use your status to spread the word?
“It’s quite scary but awesome that I’ve got lots of different people’s blood inside me. It’s amazing that it’s saved my life.”
45&161t4*(/61t4)"3& You can donate right here at the University of Nottingham this month
Thursday 7 March
45&161t4*(/61t4)"3& The Great Hall, Trent Buildings 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4.30pm
You can donate right here at the University of Nottingham this month
Tuesday 12 March Engineering and Science Learning Centre, University Park Thursday 7 March
Contact the Donor
10am-12.30pm 2pm-4.30pm The Great Hall,and Trent Buildings 10am-12.30pm Line 0300 123and 23 2pm-4.30pm 23 to make
Tuesday 12 March
facebook.com/nhsblood @GiveBloodNHS Engineering and Science Learning Centre, University Park 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4.30pm
Contact the Donor Line 0300 123 23 23 to make your appointment facebook.com/nhsblood
visit blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23
Photo: Nottingham Post
But it is it essential that people keep signing up as we need more than 1,000 new registrations every day to replace donors who can no longer donate. We need more new blood donors, especially young people, to People aged 17-24 come forward now.are particularly needed as we’ve seen a drop in young donors in recent years. We need to recruit the lifesavers of We have recently recruited more than 100,000 new donors in 100 the future! days which is fantastic. We hope any new registrants who haven’t Every donation can potentially up to three lives so you can got around to donating will dosave so soon. make a real difference to other people. But it is it essential that people keep signing up as we need more To find out more and sign up all youday need do is visit blood.co.uk than 1,000 new registrations every toto replace donors who can or contact the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23. no longer donate. You canaged help17-24 us further by telling others and more People are particularly needed as recruiting we’ve seen a drop in donors – become an ambassador blood donation. Please tellof young donors in recent years. We for need to recruit the lifesavers your family and friends about the difference donating blood can the future! make. Every donation can potentially save up to three lives so you can We’d people to social media to share the message that make also a reallike difference touse other people. they have become a donor and reach even more people. To find out more and sign up all you need to do is visit blood.co.uk Search for the Blood Facebook or contact the NHS Donor Line Donation on 0300 123 23 23.page and like us to keep up to date with our news. Why not use your status to spread You can help us further by telling others and recruiting more the word? donors – become an ambassador for blood donation. Please tell your family and friends about the difference donating blood can make.
Photo: Nottingham Post
got around to donating will do so soon.
HEARD IN HALLWARD
OVERHEARING YOUR EVERY WORD AT ‘HEARD IN HALLWARD’ ON FACEBOOK!
Supposedly it explores the theological implications of sex with extraterrestrials... or something We’re reaching inception levels of in-jokes now...
Come have a look at these micro penises... or is it penii? -RIZIVWLEKEKMVPYRPIWWEPPSJQ]LSYWIQEXIWLEZIWLEKKIHLIV¿VWX8LEX[E]-GERNYWX ask them if she's any good instead of wasting my time.
I feel like I'm enough of a BNOC to get a good turn out at my birthday. So I opened the door to the Sainsbury's delivery guy and I didn't realise till I got back to my room, because I was wearing PJ’s, that my nipples were sticking out.
I can confess that yes, I am young and beautiful.
What do you mean I’m not going to make Heard in Hallward? Haven’t I said anything funny this month? Girl 1: 'Don't you think having an orgasm is like sneezing?’ Girl 2: 'He must think you have really shit orgasms.' Girl 1: 'Nah I just have great sneezes.'
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CONTRIBUTORS Rob Moher, Elliott Stone, Aatish Thakerar, Yannick Mitchell, Dan Matthews, Anil Parmar, Becky Bell, Jessica Dunks, Rachel Cooney, Will Hazell, Emily Shackleton, Tom Sheldon, Jessica Roseblade, Chloe Valentine, Alexander Fitzgerald, Timothy Winstanley, Sangeeta Jheinga, Eve Wersocki Morris, Jonathan Newsome, Adam Keyworth, Will Gulseven, Lucy O’Boyle, Sam Todd, Richard Lakucs, Robert Priest.
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