NEWS BDS PASSES AFTER TENSE STUDENT VOTE
B RU N E L U N I V E R S I T Y ’ S S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R
LE NURB PASSES LANDMARK PRO-INDEPENDENCE MOTION AT UNION MEETING
FEATURES SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THE CHILDREN AT CHRISTMAS
AROUND 400 STUDENTS PACKED OUT THE UNION MEETING TO HEAR MOTIONS ON BDS AND PRESS INDEPENDENCE (PHOTO CREDIT: KIRSTY CAPES)
Kirsty Capes A motion to promote independence and discourage censorship of Le Nurb has passed with a landslide majority at the Union Meeting. The motion, which calls for the amendment of a contentious bye law from UBS policy, was proposed by Le Nurb’s Editor in Chief and seconded by Postgraduate Students Chair Aaron Lowman at the Union Meeting on Thursday 27 November. It states that “This Union believes it is the duty of student media at Brunel to hold both the University and Union to account for their actions and behaviours” and
calls from the removal of a clause which allows the UBS President or Media Chair to remove any content which may “bring the Union into disrepute”. The motion also mandates Union representatives to investigate training on best practice in journalism and for the Media Association Committee to make contributors aware of the National Union of Journalists’ Code of Practice and Le Nurb’s internal Code of Conduct. The move, which comes after articles were removed from Le Nurb on the grounds of disrepute, demonstrates the newspaper editorial team’s
increasing frustration with the perceived censorship of the press at Brunel. It is particularly contentious because Le Nurb continues to be wholly funded by Union cash and advertising revenue generated through the Union. Editor in Chief Kirsty Capes and Le Nurb Online Editor Eddie Leggatt spoke for the motion. In her opening speech, Capes said: “Le Nurb is, and always has been, a platform for students to voice the issues that matter to them. We cannot accurately represent our students if we suffer from constant fear of being gagged by the Union for the sake of reputation.” In his supporting speech, Leggatt said:
“The scope for abuse of the current bye law is huge. The Union exists to support the student body. They are elected to further your voice, to take your views and needs forward at an organisational level.” The motion was opposed by UBS President Martin Zaranyika and Student Assembly Chair Brendan Cogan, who momentarily passed his chairing duties to Vice Chair Habib Cham in order to join the debate. Amongst the opposition, the main concern was legal implications, with both speakers concerned that removal of the motion invited Continued on page 3...
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This Month... 04
YOUR NEWS BRUNEL RANKED BEST FOR DISABLED STUDENTS
UNION NEWS UNION TO INVESTIGATE GENDER NEUTRAL TOILETS
FEATURES MUST-SEE CHRISTMAS TV
IN DEPTH CLIMBING KILIMANJARO
Simply put, if you’re a current Brunel student, you can write for Le Nurb. There are a few things to bear in mind:
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Contributors Le Nurb would like to thank the following people for contributing an article to this month’s issue.
Adrian Williams Aisha Hamidi Alex Buchanan Amika Gandhi Arthe Kandeepan Eddie Leggatt Elisabeth Mahase Federica De Caria Ingrid Samuels Kirsty Capes Mehvish Maghribi Panny Antoniou Sana Sarwar Shakoofeh Shah Yohanna Sallberg Yasmin Simsek
Antony Smith Arasalan Jawad David Bennett Eddie Leggatt Ellie Wiltshire Ellis Davies Fiona Rutherford Hon Jiun Wong James Alder Jasmine Brathwaite Joshua Connolly Parveen Bhambra Sana Sarwar Sophie Bredbere Toby Berriman Victoria Sanusi Vivienne Burgess
Features Adam Feneley Aidan Milan Antony Smith Arsalan Jawad Becky Collins Ben Vallely David Bennett Ellie Woolcott Inah Dela Cruz Izzy Khatkar Jasmin Nahar Kerri Prince Ridafatema Hussein Rowan Frewin Ruth Sharma Sophie Bredbere Toby Berriman Vivienne Burgess Yasmin Simsek
Adam White Aimee Abbott Allesandro Cristofoli Ben Usher Gregory Palin Joanna Puustinen Joseph Cornforth Jo Gregory-Brough Kat Clementine Laura Eke Matt Southgate Panny Antoniou Sam Persaud Shelley Spooner
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Jo Emma Gregory-Brough
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All articles and pictures © their respective authors unless otherwise indicated. Views expressed are those of the writers and do not reflect the official position of UBS or Brunel University. All comments and complaints about content in Le Nurb should be addressed to the Editor in the first instance: firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints will only be entertained where it can be proven that an article or graphic is: factually inaccurate; breaches the Press Complaints Commission’s Editors’ Code of Practice; breaches the National Union of Journalists’ Code of Conduct; breaks the law; or encourages readers to break the law. No complaint that fails to satisfy at least one of these criteria will be upheld. Published by: Union of Brunel Students, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH. Printed by: Harmsworth Printing Derby, Northcliffe House, Meadow Road, Derby, DE1 2BH.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Continued from page 1...
quoracy in the wake of floods of students leaving after a controversial The motion passed with a landslide motion to revoke the Union’s support majority, with six of BDS fell. votes against and Despite the two abstentions m e e t i n g in a room of just “The victory came after mo- holding less under a hundred ments of uncertainty as the than a hundred s t u d e n t s . students (the meeting lost quoracy.” Among those standard of voting against quorum at a were all four of Union meeting), the Union’s sabbatical officers and the Chair declared that the meeting a member of the Union’s Board of could continue as the meeting had Trustees. been quorate for more than half an hour before students left. The victory came after moments While the motion has passed, of uncertainty as the meeting lost concerns are rife that the Union’s
Board of Trustees may still overturn the vote. Despite this, the editorial team and Le Nurb writers are delighted with the result. Le Nurb’s Deputy Online Editor, Oliver Ronaldson, who attended the Union meeting, said: “The atmosphere was tense, just as it deserved to be” Le Nurb hopes that the bye law amendment alongside amendments to elections campaigning bye laws, which were also passed at the meeting, will allow for far less restricted reporting when it comes to the Union’s Spring Elections, due to take place in March 2015.
BDS UPHELD AFTER TENSE STUDENT VOTE However, Ali Milani, proposer of the original BDS and head of the defence argument, countered by saying “The BDS movement calls for nothing more than for Israel to meet its international obligations.”
doubt over his passion and belief in this motion. He told the AUM: “We have a moral duty to take action, because it is our government that puts the petrol and the bombs in the F-16s.”
BDS sanctions were passed through the Student Assembly on the 30th of October 2014. In a move to nullify that motion, Harriet Eshun took a counter-motion to the Annual Union Meeting.
Other arguments made were that BDS could undermine other forms of protest, as Raphael claimed for the Yes argument: “Supporting BDS in any form weakens other peaceful protests which seek a peaceful solution.”
Due to the contentious nature of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, this caused the Annual Union Meeting to fill to above the capacity of Lecture Centre E.
Just before the votes are cast, Olive Barton, Brunel’s Equality and Diversity chair, spoke in an admirable effort to defuse the tension in the room, which by this stage had made the Annual Union Meeting an uncomfortable environment key arguments even for those the was that of its arguing motion.
The argument against BDS “One of the then highlighted against BDS the fact that, in their opinion, the potential for negative impact Student Union She said, on campus.”” should not take “Brunel is one an official stance community, on this motion. regardless of “The union must not take sides this vote, and if anybody feels any between its societies, it must not take discrimination my door is open.” sides between its students.” The votes were cast, and the motion to modify the Union’s proposed Martin Zaranyika, Student Union stance on the Middle East conflict President, took this view opposing falls. the on campus implementation of BDS, saying that it has the potential It is believed that both this motion and to divide the union: “If you have a the motion to remove the disrepute position on BDS, it is a stance for bye-law, which limits Le Nurb’s ability societies, it should not be a position of to hold Sabbatical officers to account, the union.” are likely to be left un-ratified by the Board of Trustees. After a series of similar arguments and counter arguments, Ali took his closing speech, leaving the room in no
As we continue to grow we are able to Congratulations on picking up a new cover better stories for students: this and improved issue features Issue of Le Nurb interviews with - one which candidates for “The Media Association is allowed to the Uxbridge and publish content staged its first ‘triple-threat’ South Ruislip that may bring constituency: of theyear: a Le Nurb live- UKIP’s Jack Duffin the Union into disrepute! Labour’s blog, a Video Brunel stream and Chris Summers. and a Radio Brunel live You may be We’ve also able to tell managed to snag broadcast.” from our cover an interview with story, that Le the frontman of Nurb is celebrating a victory at the Enter Shikari as well as all your uual Union meeting after passing a pro- culture news and views. independence motion. This means that you can expect a more critical, As always, we are forever looking more political Le Nurb from now on, for interesting, innovative and so keep an eye out for stories! enthusiastic writers to jump on board with our everIn other news, the expanding team. past month has “We are forever looking for This time round been extremely we’re particularly eventful for the interesting, innovative and keen to get in Union. BDS was enthusiastic writers to jump touch with some passed at Student designers who on board.” Assembly, have experience co nte s te d using inDesign. at the Union meeting, and then If that sounds like you then please upheld. Meanwhile, the governance do get in touch by emailing me at referendum has sparked widespread email@example.com. Everyone political activity and campaigning, who contributes to Le Nurb gets including a debate which was the volunteering hours and other bonuses Media Association’s first ‘triple-threat’ like pizza (only sometimes!) of the year: a Le Nurb liveblog, a Video Brunel stream and a live Radio Brunel Our next deadline is mid-January so broadcast. You can expect much more don’t forget to get your submissions in of this kind of coverage next term as after the break. You can now submit campus gears up for general and UBS online by going to bru-media.co.uk/ elections as well as Varsity. lenurb/submit. Meanwhile Le Nurb hit 1000 likes and 10000 hits on Facebook and our website. We’re so proud of all of our editors and contributors; none of this is possible without you lot so a special thanks goes out to you!
Students were turned away and Jordan Friend, a fresher said, “It was absolutely mental. I couldn’t believe how many people there were – it was very stuffy.” Arguments from both sides were contentious and passionate, with a very large amount of speakers both for and against the motion. One of the key arguments against BDS was that of its potential for negative impact on campus. Harriet Eshun pointed out, “This motion causes segregation on campus. We do not believe that what is happening in Israel should effect life on campus.”
That’s all for now. Le Nurb would like to wish all our readers and contributors a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Have a fantastic break but don’t forget - the disso never sleeps. Ever.
PHOTO CREDIT: AARON LOWMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL FLICKR
BRUNEL RANKED BEST FOR DISABLED STUDENTS disproportionately affect the results.
Panny Antoniou A recent report by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers nationwide network has found that Brunel University London ranked as one of the best universities in the UK for inclusion of disabled people. During the course of the study, 78 UK institutions were surveyed – the Oxbridge colleges were excluded as their inclusion could skew and
The research involved a survey which asked fifteen questions on whether they had provided facilities which disabled people wanting to attend university may legitimately require. Brunel was one of the top universities surveyed and – along with Coventry University in the West Midlands – answered the most questions with a “yes” and scored 94% on the queries they were given. These results make Brunel the best university to study at for a disabled
person, not just in London but also in the whole of the United Kingdom. This shows our university’s dedication to equality and inclusion and the great strides which the university has undergone in order to improve the university experience for all students – whether disabled or not. In addition, these results are against the trend which shows that there is not enough inclusion for disabled students in many higher education institutions. Indeed, the report shockingly found that 1 in 10 disabled students at UK
universities are unable to eat or live on many campuses which adversely affects their university experience. However, the report also notes that significant changes need to be made to all universities in order to meet the demands of disabled students and to create true equality. The report notes that there are multiple problems with the clearing system which many students who did not get the necessary grades for their preferred university apply through. They note that one month is not a sufficient period of time to find out if the
facilities which the university provides are adequate to their needs and argue that websites of universities need to be far more informative in order to cater more to disabled students. Despite the additional work needed to include disabled people fully into the university community – getting full marks on next year’s survey should be a university priority – we should be proud of our achievements thus far and for being ahead of most other universities in the country for integration and inclusion of disabled students.
SIX REASONS TO BE POSITIVE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM delivered”, he said.
Federica De Caria
John Ryley, editor of Sky news and biggest journalism employer in West London was the special guest at the Journalism Matters talks at Brunel University on Tuesday 18th November. What happens if we leave behind all the pessimism? Instead saying that we live in the journalism golden age and the technological revolution has made this the better time to be a journalist. It means that we are listening to his vision of the future. Ryley made his position clear from the very first sentence. He said: “They could write it down electronically”, after the audience had been invited to get pen and paper. The tools available nowadays in our everyday life and for gathering news were at the core of his speech. “The growth of technology has opened previously undreamed of frontiers in the way news is distributed and
of the internet boom, which gave journalists the chance of changing From here the six reasons to get over completely the way they gather news, the pessimism that he presented in with the chance of a live approach an inverted pyramid. He said that this anytime ‘listicle’ is “one of the most striking • “This revolution in techniques employed by the new technology has not just transformed type of journalism”, so why not start the way we gather information. using it? It has also revolutionised how we present it and analyse it”. This brings The future of in the concept journalism is of multi-media positive because, journalism, his six reason “The world market for news which is related starting from the to use the most is actually expanding bottom: suitable media dramatically.” to present and • “ T h e analyse the story. world market • “ G r e a t for news is actually expanding journalism has real value”. This is linked dramatically”. Here Ryley mentioned with the change in the relationship the smart phone revolution, which between broadcasters and viewers, underlined the access that people talking about a rolling news channel. have to news nowadays. Ryley underlined transparency as a • “Journalism remains the key word: “By being as transparent most effective way of holding as possible we trust our viewers to institutions to account”. This make their own judgments”. Online highlighted how the elements of resources are broad, full of mistakes persistency and tenacity of reporting and misinformation, that’s why we stay the same, and the fundamental need the news organizations as fact link between journalism and checking authorities. democracy • “The old strangleholds on • “The technology revolution the distribution of news are being has transformed journalists’ ability to systematically undone by disruptive tell stories”. This is the consequence technologies. The most obvious
way is through growth in smart phones”. The success models are the news organizations that are hiring experienced journalists who are creating different and new streams of news able to engage the audience. Ryley sees new technologies as one of our best allies, the interaction with the audience, the future. For example the development of the On-demand service that Sky is going to launch in the summer. To see what you want “in an ondemand world you don’t have to wait anymore”, he said. The service is a step forward compared with the rolling channels, where you have to watch things at a pre-determined time. Internet didn’t spell the death of news channels. “More choice of platforms where you can get the news has expanded the market and the audience”, said Ryley quoting a Reuters Institute of Journalism study, where is proved that people acquiring more devices are consuming more news not less. So the digital is “impacting traditional platform, not yet replacing them”. The change from what the editor of Sky news has said is something that
POLLING STATIONS UPDATE Amika Gandhi The General Election next year is incredibly important for university students. Many of us are beginning careers, and whoever is elected has a duty to ensure our efforts of studying are not wasted, so it’s not surprising our student union have been actively campaigning to encourage all students to vote for this issue. Despite our efforts, Hillingdon Council have overturned our proposal to open a polling station on campus and have given only vague explanations for this decision. Following a polling review conducted by Hillingdon Council, it was decided that extra polling stations are unnecessary as student electoral registration is low. Many students refuse to vote as they feel their opinions are ignored, and that our political system has been unfair to higher education, particularly in the last few years. But instead of trying to increase student participation, the council have removed the closest polling station which will have a negative effect on student electoral participation. The lack of effort made to increase student vote is unfair. This is not about petty politics, it is about increasing electoral participation. The local council have not attempted to
co-operate with the university, to compromise on a decision. Cabinet members feel it is not “worth” putting polling stations on campus as student votes may remain low either way. Our government fail to realise that our votes will contribute to improving the politics in our country. We are all contributing members of society who deserve the right to vote. The union have continued to encourage all students to express their views on this issue, and there has been some success. Hillingdon Council have decided to reconsider this motion in January 2015. The student union had a stall on Tuesday 2nd December to register students’ votes and sign the petition. All students who vote will be entered into a prize draw to win £50 voucher for INTU Uxbridge, Locos, global and even more! Protect your vote and support polling stations on campus. For more information visit: http://brumedia.co.uk/lenurb/brunelvotes/. UBS students have your say and sign the petition by searching “Brunel Polling Stations” on Facebook, Google or Twitter.
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LUNATO-DOYEN
has to be followed, not feared and every news channel has to become an adaptable evolving creature. This the only way of not ended up like dinosaurs. In conclusion, he gave some useful tips to the audience of wannabe journalists. Three do’s: “When you go for an interview or you’re writing to someone make sure you consumed the content hard and that one of their rival as well, so you can go into the interview, if you’re lucky enough to get an interview, and discuss that in an intelligent way. Secondly, be really really enthusiastic. Be really enthusiastic and don’t go in there sort of giving the impression that the news organization is doing you a favour by giving you job. Third, have ideas for where there will be story or products”. So, those are the keys to impress the biggest journalism employer in West London: knowledge, enthusiasm and ideas. Get ready for your interviews, wannabes!
BRUNEL BEATS BULLIES Sana Sarwar Anti-bullying week is back and this year it fell on 17th-21st November. With bullying cases on the rise, Brunel University opens doors to victims of all types of bullying. Recent figures from the Movement Agency NoBullying say that “each year there are more than 3.2 million students who are the victims of a
bully”. In particular further statistics from the agency outline the main issue amongst students is online bullying, with “75% of students having visited a website bashing another student”. Mr Peter J Eldrid, Deputy Head of Counselling at Brunel University states: “It’s not so much a problem at Brunel, as far as I’m aware, but I’m aware it is more of a problem for younger students; however any form of bullying can be distressing and upsetting”.
LEARN TO WELD CHOCOLATE
Brunel University has a strict regulation against bullying, and according to Brunel’s document of ‘A Guideline to Dignity at Brunel’, it He added “if the victim feels they can summaries the steps victims should change things themselves to prevent take to resolve the issue, stating “the a reoccurrence they should do this, most appropriate approach for you for example changing numbers and depends on what you’re comfortable social media etc to avoid people with, and your circumstances. targeting them, and they also change Persistent bullying or harassment can privacy settings make you feel as if blocking the “Any form of bullying can be you are at fault after bullies”. all, or you may find distressing or upsetting.” it hard to decide He went on to if your situation is say that “people bad enough to take have more problems being bullied in action. So take some initial steps to the traditional sense than online, for help you clarify your situation”. example being bullied by flat mates or staff members”. Mr Eldrid outlined The steps it provides are as follows: that bullying comes in many forms, “Talk to other people” from harassment and discrimination being the physical aspect as well as Peter J Eldrid said “coming and talking verbal or online abuse. to the counselling service would be a good start, talking informally with
someone so they can understand and advise you”. “Make a note” It’s vital to keep a written record of incidents, helping clarify the situation. “Decide to take action” The fact remains that until you don’t do anything nothing will change. It’s much better for your wellbeing if you take action as you could also be helping others people being bullied by the same bully. If you are a victim of bullying or know someone being bullied to find out the support available for you, please contact the Advice and Representation Centre (Hamilton Centre) at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Student Equality and Diversity Manager at email@example.com. For organisations available online, visit the Samaritans at: www.samaritans. org.
WELL@BRUNEL HOSTS ADDICTION TALK
PHOTO CREDIT: MATT CHAN
Alex Buchanan Brunel are planning to open a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Outreach Lab on the ground floor of the Wilfred Brown Building in September 2015. This lab with engage with local school students to get them interested in STEM subjects, using innovative and fun teaching techniques. We need students to become our STEM Ambassadors to staff the lab and teach these fun skills. By becoming an ambassador you will be paid to lead activities including welding with chocolate, robot racing, science busking and delivering STEM careers talks to school pupils aged 11 to 14, both in schools and at Brunel.
Students from any discipline and any level are welcome, but we are especially keen on getting those studying any form of engineering, computing, maths or design to take part. To kickstart the programme, Dr Jane Essex, Lecturer in Science Education, will be running two 50 minute Welding with Chocolate Masterclasses, where you learn the intricacies of chocolate welding and more about the programme. A free lunch (and lots of free chocolate) will be provided. Book your place at one of the events by visiting https://brunel.formstack. com/forms/chocolateweld (booking for the first session closes at 5pm on 5th December)
Wurly, or I can drive past the shop – because I’m in control.”
and in certain groups, such as at every family party or funeral. “Breaking that cycle involves deciding to do something else instead, preparing and planning the night ahead,” Ms Sermon said. She said it is important for people with severe addictions to break them slowly.
The most common group of people attending HAGAM are 30-year-old men who have problems with alcohol, Well@Brunel hosted another of its though cocaine and cannabis abuse Let’s Talk About... events, inviting are commonly used from students Helen Sermon from HAGAM to IT executives. “People think it’s (Hillingdon Action Group for Addiction always young people who have these “We never tell people who are Management) in problems,” she drinking 30-40 units a day to just “People are more likely to said. “It’s not. The stop, because they could have a Uxbridge to talk about addiction. have problems if they always older generation seizure. They become so tolerant of drinking at alcohol, if they stop, they crash.” There drink in certain situations are HAGAM deals in home to deal with is no proven “addictive personality”, and in certain groups.” outreach, running loneliness after but there are personality traits that a daily breakfast put certain people drop-in until midday and steering retirement.” in the risk group, “An addiction is defined people towards harmless alternatives such as antiin part by risk to health or social or nervous for relaxation, like herbal tea instead Someone who of cannabis. “Someone told me he drinks 30 units of something that stops people characteristics. couldn’t sleep without cannabis – alcohol a day (a functioning properly.” turned out he was drinking six Red bottle of vodka) Some people Bulls a day,” said Ms Sermon. Britain may need detox attend HAGAM is regarded as Europe’s “addiction treatment, but 30-40 a week (4 or of their own accord, others are sent capital”, and our caffeine intake has 5 bottles of wine) can be solved with by family members and some have increased. Caffeine is one of the more counselling to examine the reasons been in trouble with the law and are common addictions. As a stimulant, why they are dependent. A 40-year- required to seek help, such as those caffeine overuse can affect the heart. old could have been drinking for 20 with drink driving offences. “If a jumbo “You shouldn’t be drinking more than years, so it could take some time jet crashed every week, we would be about five coffees a day, and none for them to recover. Ms Sermon horrified,” said Ms Sermon. “But that’s after 8pm,” Ms Sermon advised. explained that they have “hard-wired” what’s happening – that is the impact their brains to that behaviour, so will of addiction. And it’s rising.” An addiction is defined in part by risk have to return to get help periodically to health or something that stops throughout their lives in order to kick people functioning properly. the habit. “It’s understanding the difference between a habit and an addiction,” People are more likely have problems said Ms Sermon. “I can buy a Curly if they always drink in certain situations
BEYOND A TIN OF FOOD: BRUNEL FOOD DRIVE Brunel volunteering group, Team v, will be campaigning to raise awareness about the realities facing people in food poverty, exploring the causes and consequences and galvanising the public to support food aid initiatives in their ‘Beyond a tin of food’ campaign.
1 Million in three years. A growing number of people are going hungry and being forced to rely on foodbanks to feed their families. A major factor contributing to this increase is that people’s incomes are staying the same whilst living costs are going up and changes to benefits have also made a big impact. We live in the sixth richest country in the world, yet more and more people are going hungry every year.
Since 2011, the number of people using foodbanks has gone up 610%, from just over 128,000 to nearly
The team, will consist of young Brunel volunteers, holding a food collection and donation stall in ‘The Atrium’ in the
Hamilton Centre on the 9th and 10th of December between 11am-4pm. It will provide them the opportunity to inform their local community on the causes and consequences of food poverty while collecting nonperishable food items to support the Hillingdon Foodbank. Students and staff are invited to come and learn more about the campaign ‘Beyond a tin of food’ and to kindly donate non-perishable food items on the selected days. PHOTO CREDIT: SMABS SPUTZER
BRUNEL STUDENT CREATES DIY MICROSCOPE FOR £160 PHOTO CREDIT: ADAM LYNCH
cells, the team realized that they needed more than one inverted microscope; so Adam found a “He has created his own solution.
microscope by combining
three cheap microscopes” The study being Adam Lynch, a PhD student from undertaken Brunel’s College of focused on the Health and Life Sciences, has created immune system of snails, their his own microscope by combining 3 reaction to chemical pollutants in cheap microscopes. water and how this could link to parasites transmitted between snails While studying the movement of and humans.
for tracking the movement of the The DIY microscope was created by cells and as good as those much clamping a USB more expensive “This low cost microscope microscope could microscope upside down and then generate. could be a step forward combining three for scientific research in others together. When discussing developing countries.” He estimated that his work Adam overall the cost said, “If money was approximately £160, a fraction of is no object you can do something the price of a good microscope. better but money certainly is an object and really the only way we Although the images produced were could get meaningful data without not high quality they were perfect spending a disproportionate amount
of time in the lab was this.” This low cost microscope could be a step forward for scientific research in developing countries where resources are strained and could lead to an increase in the progress of biological sciences.
s t n u o c s i d 0 7 1 r e v O
on everything you need
First for student discounts on all the stuff you need and all the stuff you love, ÂŁ12 for 12 months
...plus many, many more
nus.org.uk All details correct at time of printing August 2014
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PHOTO CREDIT: OLIVE BARTON
UNION LOOKING TO INSTALL GENDER NEUTRAL TOILETS AROUND CAMPUS Kirsty Capes The Union of Brunel Students has passed a motion to investigate the possibility of installing gender neutral toilets in the Hamilton Centre, Library and Lecture Centre. Two motions were passed indicatively at Student Assembly on Thursday 20 November, which is also Transgender Day of Remembrance, after Equality and Diversity Chair Olive Barton spoke passionately about non-binary gender issues at Brunel. The Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorates transgender individuals who have died as a result of transphobia. The two motions put forward at Student Assembly mandated the
Union to investigate the possibility of gender neutral toilets within the Hamilton Centre which includes Loco’s, Academy and Yardbird. A second motion mandated the Union to lobby the University to do the same in their own facilities. The motions stated: “Trans people are frequently harassed in gender specific spaces and toilets can be a site of abuse, in which people are often barred from entering, humiliated and
“75% of trans people suffer from bladder infections... due to fears of using public toilets ” physically abused for being in the “wrong” toilet. In spite of this, trans people are required to live full time as the gender they know themselves to
be for a number of years before being will hold their bladders in for hours to granted access to hormones, surgery avoid this.” or full legal recognition. That means being able to use (and prove they are A speech against the motions came using) the appropriate toilet facilities.” from Student Assembly Community Responding to concerns that some Member Loanna Karpathiou, who individuals may argued that gender “It’s whether these feel uncomfortable neutral toilets sharing toilets with provisions can be made and may cause further another gender, put on the table for debate” discomfort for and the possibility individuals who of sexual cannot use mixed harassment within mixed toilets, bathrooms for religious reasons. The Barton said: “A sign on the door does motion would just take the issues not protect a woman from malicious and put these onto another group intent.” of people. “Just from a medical perspective, I think we should keep Barton told the Assembly that 75% the toilets as they are” of trans people suffer from bladder infections and other conditions In her summary speech Barton related to holding in urine due to fears confirmed that not all toilets will be of using public toilets. made general neutral, but “we need to She continued, “The area where make provisions - to sideline a group transgender people suffer the most of students who feel uncomfortable discomfort are public bathrooms, and around their own gender will be
used for something we investigate. It’s whether these provisions can be made and put on the table for debate.” The first motion passed with 13 for, 4 against and 10 abstaining. The second – which was to lobby the University to do the same – passed indicatively. The motions mandate the four sabbatical officers (led by the Equality and Diversity Chair and Vice President Community Welfare) to push for the Union building, the Lecture Centre and Library to “be adapted to meet the needs of all its students”, and the Campaigns Chair and Equality and Diversity Chair to educate students on the importance of the changes
10 UNION NEWS
SHOEBOX APPEAL BREAKS RECORDS
BRUNEL REMEMBERS FROM A VOLUNTEER’S EYES Amika Ghandi An event led by Volunteer Chair Sonia Bhangu left a unique trail which will unforgettable for most of us. Students, members of senior management, staff members, all joined together to remember those who sacrificed their lives during the first and second World War. It was incredible to see how people of all walks of life joined together to remember events of the past. The event took place at the quad and a white marquee was placed in the centre with volunteers selling poppies, as well handing out leaflets to get as many people to participate. Many Brunel students wore red poppies to demonstrate their way of
respecting those who lost their lives during battle.
A group of volunteers made a comment saying “the quad has never been this quiet!” Participants were given candles as they entered for the speeches to start. A two minute silence was given to remember those who lost their lives. Members of the university senate, management and union dedicated their time to participate in this event. A child evacuee - Arthur Tooner wrote a speech which touched all participants. Members of the event became emotional as Mr Tooner spoke about his experience in the Second World War. Mr Tooner said: “I am the past, Brunel Students are the future”
After the speech, candles were lit to remember those in war which was then followed by a brief speech to end the ceremony and remind us that there are still troops fighting to protect our lives. The event led by the Union of Students was more than successful, and left an impact all over campus. Priya Pallan, manager of Brunel Volunteers said: “I was touched by the number of people who came together to remember the troops who lost their lives. An overwhelming feeling was left with many of us and must always remember civilians, and troops who have sacrificed their lives to provide us with a secure society.”
ARC PREVIEW: HOUSING FAYRE/FRESH MEET 19TH JANUARY 2015 NOON - 6PM
PHOTO CREDIT: YOHANNA SALLBERG
Yohanna Sallberg On the 18th of November, student, staff and members of the local community came to the meeting house to hand in their wrapped shoeboxes filled with toys and utilities. The chaplaincy provided hot drinks and cake, whilst Christmas music was playing in the background. The boxes were then picked up on the Thursday by the charity Mustard Seed Relief and sent to children in orphanages and hospitals in Moldova in Eastern Europe. Thanks to the joint efforts of the campus chaplaincy and the volunteers of the Campaigns Working Group, a record breaking 400 boxes were collected.
“A record breaking 400 boxes were collected.” New this year, was the campaigns two competitions to encourage the sports clubs and societies involvement in the donating shoeboxes. The first competition was won by Musical Theatre Society as they promoted the campaign in the most creative way – they did an interpretation of a popular
musical number. The Musical Theatre Society is being awarded with £100 to spend at Yardbrid behind the bar and meal deals, thanks to the sponsorship of Big Mouth Brunel. The second competition awarded the team and the society who collected the most boxes, which was won by the Sikh Society and Rugby Union. The Brunel Sikhs and Rugby Union will be awarded with trophies at their respective awards ceremonies. A big thank you to everyone who got
“New this year was the campagisn two competitions to encourage clubs and societies involvement in donating” involved in the campaign this year, well done! And a massive thank you to Sue Hepsworth of the campus chaplaincy for as always, doing an amazing job with the campaign. Together we have made Christmas slightly merrier to children in need.
Ingrid Samuels The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC), part of the Union of Brunel Students, is once again hosting the annual Housing Fayre, an event to provide essential information and guidance to the large proportion of students living in private accommodation in the local area.
“An event to provide essential information and guidance to the large proportion of students living in private accomodation.” The ARC is committed to promoting and maintaining the welfare of students. We offer free, impartial and confidential advice to students on a wide range of issues, of which housing advice is one of the main concerns of
students visiting the ARC. In addition, many students as possible. You can we endeavour to raise awareness meet and register with Brunel Student amongst students of the housing Homes for Head-lease properties and services available to them, the issues local letting agents – NuPad; Coopers: surrounding housing, how they can Gibbs Gillespie; and Belvoir. This will find private rent accommodation and give you an opportunity to review what to think about once they move selected student rental properties and in. We also provide sign up to secure a contract checking “Fresh Meet will enable you accommodation service to ensure to find a student house-mate from Summer you understand 2015. Other for 2015/2016.” your rights and organisations responsibilities as attending will be a tenant. London Borough The Housing Fayre including Fresh of Hillingdon: including the Private Meet will be held on Monday 19th Sector Housing Team; Community January 2015, between 12 Noon to Safety Team, Anti-Social Behaviour 6pm, in the Academy, Hamilton and Noise Teams; Endsleigh Centre. Fresh Meet will enable you Insurance; and Glide/Housing Hand. to find a student house-mate for 2015/2016 or if you need someone So on 19th January why not drop to complete your student household by, meet the ARC team, look out group. for the give-aways and get loads of information and guidance on taking In previous years the Housing Fayre your first steps into the private rental has been extremely successful with housing sector. over 400 students in attendance over the day. We aim to build on the success of past years and reach as
HOW DO YOU RATE I.T. PROVISION AT BRUNEL? Alex Buchanan
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LUNATO-DOYEN
• IT services were praised in 37% of the comments (an average of 1.5 positive In early November Brunel’s new Chief comments per person: Information Officer Adrian Ridpath gratifyingly high, given that the focus and the computer of the event was centre team held on improvement). “Wireless access was an open house for students to come generally well recieved but • Wireless access and talk about IT with some comments about was generally well on campus. slowness and coverage gaps.” received, but with some comments Over seventy about slowness people turned up to tell them how and coverage gaps the university were doing, and to (For some months, staff have been share their aspirations for Information seeking out and rectifying as they are and Technology at Brunel University identified). London in the future. Almost three hundred individual points of • Some students were unaware of interest were revealed in a happy the full range of resources, and were and collaborative atmosphere, and frustrated by their fragmentation Adrian’s team are already working on (“Why is there a college print service many aspects of the wish list. Some as well as a University one?”). highlights from the first look through the data revealed the following: • Blackboard Learn issues included the need for a timely updating of course
SAVING THE WORLD, ONE CONFERENCE AT A TIME PHOTO CREDIT: MEHVISH MAGHRIBI
On 21 November 2014, four delegates made their way to Manchester for a weekend of intense debating and networking opportunities with students from universities across Europe. The delegates were heading to the University of Manchester’s Model United Nations conference that weekend, ready and excited to represent their positions within their respective committees. For those who are not familiar with Model United Nations, students attend a conference where they represent either the ‘President’ or ‘Foreign ambassador’ for a country or an organisation like Malaysia or a Chinese cabinet minister. You are assigned a UN committee like the World Health Organisation with usually two topics to debate on and you will debate your country’s position on that topic. After that, you work with other delegates to write a resolution or directive to resolve the issues you are debating on in the topic. The four delegates were A. Prasant Singh Rao, Jemima Yoshua, Farah Mawji, and Mehvish Maghribi who represented Egypt in ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council), Egypt in DISEC, Laos then Myanmar in
ASEAN crisis, and Russian Federation in Security Council. Two of our delegates, Prasant and Mehvish, won awards in their respective committees for the ‘Best Position Paper’ which is the document you write up on your country’s position and previous actions on the topic. Apart from the Manchester MUN conference, our delegates also made a strong showing at the Reading University MUN conference where they proudly debated and worked to resolve the crisis in their respective conferences. Some highlights to the event were a ‘torture’ party hosted by the Eco-terrorists who were working to protect the welfare of animals and the kidnapping and interrogation of the World Health Organisations secretariat! We also had one of the delegates, Jonathan Chaloner, win the Honorable Delegate award in Crisis which is amazing as it was his first MUN conference as well! The other delegates did a commendable job as well as they represented characters in Crisis and the Human Rights Council, Aimen and Kerrar (Japan then Russian Federation). However, the society did not just go to MANMUN and ReadingMUN, we
also have sent delegates to OXIMUN in Oxford University and CUIMUN in Cambridge University. We also hosted a Give it a Go session this past month where we had a resolution writing activity where students had three different topics, each was a crisis in their respective universes (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Doctor Who). The students successfully resolved their crisis topics and had an amazing session overall! For the delegates who went to OXIMUN and CUIMUN conferences this November, many of them were first time delegates too so we are very proud of the delegates for taking up the challenge to attend these very competitive and advanced conferences. All the delegates stepped up to the plate to debate their hearts away as Finland (OXIMUN), Belgium (CUIMUN). Congrats to all the delegates! October and November were successful months for our society overall! Any questions or if you wish to know more about what we will do or how you can become involved, then please email us at brunelunitednations@ gmail.com
• Timetabling — real-time updates were a big request (teachers’ input and personalised notifications to students) in order to optimise students’ time and facility management. The team are taking on board and acting on all areas of the feedback they received but invite more suggestions. If you have burning desire to say what you want out of IT at Brunel, be it more computers, a better range of software or more support for non windows machines, then fill in the survey today at https://brunel.formstack.com/ forms/itfeedback The survey will be open until the end of term.
IN BRIEF... Shakoofeh Shah STUDENT HARDSHIP FUND FOR THOSE WHO NEED FINANCIAL SUPPORT
material and the need for better integration of messages and alerts with email.
crisis- the later you leave it, the worse the impact on your academic progress and your mental wellbeing. So seek help as soon as you are finding it hard to manage- we are here to help you with it.”
Brunel University provides GRAND CENTRAL student hardship funds for those STUDENT ARTIST students who find it difficult to meet their living costs before living COMPETITION fees are due. It is available for those “Brunel University provides The Grand Central booking students who fall student hardship funds for train company recently under pressure to pay their this for those students who hosted a student accommodation find it difficult to meet their artist competition to celebrate its fees on time and a living costs.” student discount temporary loan is offer. Students given to them. were asked to Students are advised not to use this design a logo using the theme ‘Direct as their permanent source of income to London’. The winner is yet to be and Joanna Smith for the Advice and announced but first prize will receive Representation Centre (ARC) said: a year of free standard train travel on “At this time of year we experience Grand Central services. The winning increase in applicationsthe design will also be featured on various 1st instalment of student loan is long Grand Central promotional materials. gone, Christmas is looming, January Students who book in advance with instalment is still the Grand Central far far away and train company “Students were asked to life is expensive. can enjoy design a logo using the theme further 10% offa We know it and we ‘Direct to London’” understand it but when they make a because there is booking using their not much money NUS card and is to go around, we have to look at exclusive to Grand Central and sister applications very carefully- under the company CrossCountry. This being magnifying glass! an added bonus to the 16-25 Railcard saving so students can save even Staff members, both at the University more money on Grand Central’s North and Student Union, who process East or West Riding routes. For more hardship applications, have big hearts information visit their website: http:// and do not judge- we do want to help www.grandcentralrail.com/ students. Students who suffer from acute financial hardship should talk to Money Doctors . It is so important to act without delay when you are in
12 UNION NEWS
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LUNATO-DOYEN
UNION VOTES ON REFERENDUM Arthe Kandeepan
The future of the UBS is in students’ hands as Brunel’s student Union calls for a referendum for a proposed new structure to its student officer representation.
Engineering, Design & Physical Sciences. Rather than having a Vice President for Academic Representation and one for Community Welfare, the proposal seeks to have a Vice President representing one college for both Academia and Welfare with a role for a part-time representative of post-graduate students.
As for taking sides, the ‘Yes’ campaign focused on “A referendum proposes The democratic studies and structure being upheld that the questions to the student offered to students rise of tuition fees body where they vote either aims to reflect the meant greater YES or NO” new layout of the importance University with and concern its three colleges for students format: : College of Health & Life with the way they are taught and Sciences, College of Business, Arts urges students to vote ‘Yes’ in order & Social Sciences and College of to have an active voice in their
academic experience. Alternatively, the ‘No’ campaign called for welfare and academic representation to be treated in isolation. They also asserted that with an unequal number of students in each of the colleges and the responsibility of Vice President handling, academic concerns, welfare and student voice issues there would be difficulty in its handling. A referendum proposes questions to the student body where they vote either YES or NO to accept the question being asked. In this case the question is ‘Do you support the proposed new structure for the Union of Brunel Students?’ The main changes in this new structure are instead of having a Vice President Academic Representation
and Vice President Community creation of an executive committee Welfare the Union introduces three involving the officers, chairs and senior Vice Presidents of Academic and management as well as a scrutiny Welfare for the three colleges: panel for the officers and chairs. CBASS, CDEPS, Staffing structures CHLS. The new “The Postgraduate Students within the Union structure also Chair and Campaigns Chair would also have to introduces a change to reflect will be replaced with an part time Post this new Union Graduate Vice Entertainments Chair and Structure. President. Halls Committee Chair.” After a week of The Union campaigning currently has 10 chairs, in this new for and against the new proposals, structure the Union will still have 10 students were invited to vote ‘Yes’ or chairs however, the postgraduate ‘No’ to the proposed Union reform. student chair and the campaigns Voting closes on 5 December and chair will no longer be roles and results are available from Friday 5 instead the Union introduces an December at http://brunelstudents. Entertainments chair and a Halls com/. committee chair. The new structure also sees the
PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER
PHOTO CREDIT: CHRISSUMMERSFORUXBRIDGE
INTERVIEWS: LABOUR & UKIP favourites to win after John Randall’s 11,000 majority in 2010, I don’t think that will be the case this time, I think there are a lot of factors in play. I don’t think so many will vote liberal democrat; we may attract some of them to labour. “I am willing to talk to any groups of students and issues involving them. “We need proper rent control and reform and we need to reform the rent sector along with the cost of living for students as well as local people. “I can promise that I can fight to stop HS2 from being built. It’s not worth the billions of pounds. Campaigning on rent issues is more important in comparison to Boris shutting down Heathrow – Boris seems to have parachuted in with the ‘celebrity factor’ in these elections. “We need to increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour for those living in London and if there is more money coming in, it is better for the local economy as we are injecting money into the UK.”
PHOTO CREDIT: SECRETLONDON123
The countdown begins as the 2015 general election is fast approaching; Boris Johnson, Chris Summers and Jack Duffin are up for the challenge. Who wins? You decide.
the student population as well as the local community in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency. Summers is ‘up for the fight against Boris in the 2015 general election’ and believes that ‘the student population at Brunel is a key group to get voting’ whilst Duffin states ‘its and exciting time in politics and change is coming.’
In an exclusive interview with Labour MP candidate Chris Summers and ex-Brunel University student, as well as UKIP MP candidate, Jack Duffin, both candidates set out their policy goals and what they aim to do for
I asked Chris Summers about the Labour party and their position in the 2015 general election. His main priorities are tackling climate change, opposing HS2 plans, local housing, rent control (which particularly
affects students being overcharged by landlords), the minimum wage in London, immigration problems and stricter sentences for rape crimes. He stated: “It will be a very big high profile election and we are urging people to get involved. I want to represent the people. “I think people deserve better than that. I want to represent the local people, but the conservative party have been blinded by the celebrity status of Boris. “Although
UKIP’s candidate, Jack Duffin was keen to let students know about their opportunities at university and aims to tackle these with his policy goals. Duffin said: “Every student is different and they should be given options. “We are not here to treat people differently. I don’t believe in targeting people from different background differently because at the end of the day they are all people here to make a better Britain so it’s about working together. “We still possess the same policies about lifting the minimum wage out of income tax, creating more jobs and that is the future I will be selling. “There seems to be a lot of mismanagement of student unions and that needs to be a greater focus. There are a lot of moments when you need support at university like debt
and that pressure shouldn’t be put on people. “The more money we give to people the more jobs we create and young people desperately need jobs. I don’t agree in getting rid of zero hour’s contract but people should be offered full time jobs after a certain period of time working in a company. “2015 – Its likely we won’t get the majority but it looks like we might hold the balance of power. “What we will do is support the minority government whether it be Labour or Conservative and what we will do is supply and demand. “We support them and they support us: it’s a new way of doing politics. A change is coming” The Conservative party may seem to have a lead in the 2015 general election with Boris Johnson coming to town. But it is up to you! It’s your chance to change the future of Uxbridge, don’t forget that Brunel students will be greatly affected by the 2015 vote. The student population at Brunel has a major influence on the vote, and could potentially determine who wins the MP seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip with over 14,000 students from all ethnic backgrounds and religions. The election will play a big role in the local area as well as central government and the UK general elections begin 7th May 2015. The choice is yours. Le Nurb made every effort to obtain interviews with all major party candidates for this article. If you are a representative of the Green Party, Conservative Party or Liberal Democrat Party and would like to speak to Le Nurb about your party’s plans for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, please email Kirsty at media.chair@brunel. ac.uk
PHOTO CREDIT: ALISON TANIK
SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THESE CHILDREN THIS CHRISTMAS this year forced to spend Christmas without a parent?
Adam Feneley The two girls in this photo are India and Lulu, British girls aged three and five years old. They have only seen their father a handful of times since 2012. Their parents are not divorced, but forcefully separated. India and Lulu are not the only children who are made to deal with this; there are thousands of other families in the UK facing the same situation right now, and many of them have children. So what do they have in common? Why will there be so many children
The answer is simple; one of their parents is foreign. In 2012 immigration laws changed, and the result was that marriage and children with a British citizen are no longer considered grounds to allow a couple to live together in the UK – even when those children are British. This new law forces the parents of India and Lulu apart on the basis that one parent is British and the other was born outside the EU. However, if their mother was not British, but from another EU country, then they could all live in the UK with no problem at all. This rule only applies to British people with a non-EU spouse.
But the girls are used to life without their father, they learned to walk without him, India started nursery without him, went to school without him and learnt to ride a bike without him - the list goes on. So this Christmas is just another special day to add to the list of memories they won’t get to share with their father. There would be a way around this though, if their parents were wealthy. If their mother had around £62,000 in untouched cash savings, their father could come to the UK. There is also an income requirement, but this lies considerably above the minimum wage. The result is that thousands of the most vulnerable British families are being pulled apart, or forced to live in exile from their own
country in order to stay together.
This legislation was put in place by Home Secretary Theresa May as part of a promise to lower immigration – which the government has duly failed to do. In order to appease xenophobic parties and their supporters, the Home Office promised to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands by 2015; the figure today has risen to over 260,000. Because the government cannot target EU migrants, they have made life unfathomably difficult for anyone else, and the harshest measures fall on families like Lulu and India’s. Ironically, the United Kingdom Independence Party, Britain’s foremost EU-sceptic and anti-immigration party, state in their manifesto that they will remove
these rules to make it easier for families to be together in Britain. Campaigns to give British families the same rights in Britain as people from other nations are now gaining momentum. The parents of India and Lulu have done excellent work so far in campaigning to get legislation changed and you can help too. Search “Let us see daddy” on Google, Facebook or YouTube to find them, and sign their petition to get the rules changed. So far, over 30 MPs support them in their call to abolish the 2012 ruling – there is support for the cause, but it is worth noting that not one of them is from the Conservative Party, Democratic Unionist, Sinn Fein, the SNP, alliance and now UKIP.
XMAS NUMBER ONES? NO THANKS particular festive season.
David Bennett There was once a time, many moons ago, when Christmas number ones actually held some value. The now-dead Top of the Pops was an integral part of a boring Christmas afternoon, along with watching The Grinch, or not watching the queen’s speech, or watching Nanny fall asleep in the middle of an ‘Only Fools’ rerun. Now, this particular part of tradition has become absolutely trite and meaningless, without a hint of nostalgia. What, by the power of Santa’s mighty beard, happened to that once great ceremonial event? Let’s take a look! Since the arrival of the top 40 charts in 1952, there have been sixty two Christmas number ones: two of those being the same song (Do They Know It’s Christmas, re-released in 2004), four by The Beatles, three in a row by The Spice Girls and one by a cartoon. Surprisingly, only five of them even contain the word ‘Christmas’. However, not all of them have been tacky, novelty garbage, as one may associate with this
Some true pop masterpieces, however, have managed to reach those starry Christmas heights: Elvis Presley’s Return to Sender, The Beatles’ I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Flying Pickets’ a cappella cover of Alison Moyet’s Only You (which is perfect beyond words), and Queen’s mighty anthem, Bohemian Rhapsody. Although in the modern era, say the last twenty years, it can be argued that reaching the crimbo top spot has had zero to do with artistry. To be fair, with Christmas being a novelty occasion, tacky ‘musical’ garbage perhaps has a legitimate place. In ‘93, for example, Mr Blobby by Mr Blobby, outsold Take That, taking the top spot, demonstrating that, not only were the music charts governed by democracy, but that people were fully in the spirit of puerile Christmas tat. Besides, Take That would, of course, reap their revenge, replacing Mr Blobby as Britain’s go-to novelty act. But here, you see is where it all takes a sinister turn, precisely in 1996 when The Spice Girls gained their first of three consecutive Christmas chart top posts. From there on,
barring Michael Andrews and Gary Jules’ cover of Tear for Fear’s ‘Mad World’ in 2003, and Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name Of in 2009, all crimbo peakers have been performed by what can be considered as ‘manufactured’ groups or singers. Westlife, Robbie Williams, Girls Aloud and Band Aid have all reached the apex, and this list excludes acts from the most heinous ‘musical’ era yet. We are, of course, in the age of the (karaoke) ‘talent show’. To this day, the unashamedly capitalist infestation of talent shows and their contestants blight Britain’s cultural heritage, muddying the names of the rich and wonderful history of British musicians and their works (visit YouTube to see Steve Hughes’ excellent monologue on this subject). Odds are on, once more, for the 2014 X Factor winner to ‘win’ the Christmas chart crown, once again – an insane thought, when realising no one knows what the song will be, or who will be singing it beforehand. The X Factor’s market domination is something which cannot be ignored (no matter how you try). Since the X Factor’s first Christmas number one in 2005, it has taken six of the possible nine thereafter. This is not
due to coincidence, nor the talent of the performer or the quality of song but instead a result of two months of serious prime-time advertising aimed at Saturday night telly addicts. X Factor currently receives a viewership of 8.5 million (as of Nov 2014), which is its lowest figures to date, yet music industrial hegemony is still easily achievable with these numbers. Even if only one eighth of X Factor viewers were to buy the winner’s Christmas single, no artist, in this day and age, could come close to those kinds of sales (barring extraordinary circumstances and a mass counter-movement). Like it or not, the X Factor is the greatest ‘music’ advertising machine ever devised. It is a tyranny, make no mistake. And for this reason, the 2009 Christmas charts must be considered the most historically significant, monumental occurrence in terms of modern British popular culture. In 2009, the music industrial-complex and the chart hegemony of the X Factor were punched in the face when, through Facebook and other social media platforms, the people amassed in protest, demonstrating the power
SIX WAYS TO SAVE THIS CHRISTMAS Inah Dela Cruz I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love Christmas and giving presents to my friends and family to show my appreciation to them. Alas, our student loan doesn’t always cover present-buying, so here are a couple of things I have found that can help all of us in this dilemma. 1. Secret Santa As much as we want to give a gift to every single one of our friends and family members, it’s never a bad idea to do Secret Santa to help cut the costs. This way there’s also always a mystery who your Santa is, unless, of course, you’re like my group of friends where every year, someone will tell another person who they got and someone else will too, until by process of elimination you find out who your Santa is weeks before you even have Christmas dinner. Just make sure you don’t do that and all will be well. 2. DIY I cannot advocate doing DIY for Christmas enough! Whether it’s
of collectivism, and proved that a determined body of people cannot be stopped in their pursuit of a just ideology. I’m talking about Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name Of which was the chosen anthem of the countermovement, and it couldn’t have been more appropriate. It’s loud ‘F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me!’ is without doubt the least Christmassy chorus of all time, and the most suitable when dealing with a mind-numbing entity like the X Factor. All in all, it can be said that there has never been, and never will be any relevance to the Christmas number one, apart from Rage’s, or something similar in the future. Even Killing In The Name Of had nothing to with Christmas, or, indeed, music, it was purely a rebellion against the corporatised tyranny that the music industry, led by the X Factor, had become. A political, cultural statement that most disappointingly, has fizzled out. No one cares what happens in the charts, at Christmas or any other time of year, and as a result, the tyrannical monster that is the X factor fronted music industry can keep on rolling.
Well, if you have things that you’re not using or ended up not liking, it’s always a good idea to sell them online as long as they’re still usable and in good condition. Amazon, eBay, abebooks, you name it. But if you are too lazy to go through the online process, Brunel Trade is at your convenience, easily found by on Facebook. 6.
PHOTO CREDIT: PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE decorating your flat/house with paper chains or making presents to give friends and family, it’s always more special and personal when you actually worked hard for your present. But of course, if you do some DIY projects, make sure that you do put a lot of effort in it and spend enough time on it so it doesn’t end up looking like it’s done by a 5 year old during break time. One word: Pinterest.
3 or 4 times a week. Yes, a 12-inch sub with a drink for only £5 is cheap, but if you buy that 3 times a week, that £15 could have been used for your Secret Santa present instead. Don’t be fooled by the comfort of having your food delivered straight to your door either – we all love it, but cooking spaghetti bolognese is one of the easiest things to do and it won’t take you long.
something might catch your fancy. A lot of shops also do random sales in store and online, so it might be a good idea to join some mailing lists so you know when there’s great deals around. Just make sure you don’t sign up for every single website you come across – been there, done that, and unsubscribing to 50 mailing lists that constantly spam your inbox is a very tedious process.
3. Stop eating out and ordering takeaway
I will always be thankful that we have a Subway, Yardbird, Loco’s, Costcutter and Costa on campus, but seriously, just because they’re right there doesn’t mean you need to eat out
Take advantage of the sales
If you missed Black Friday (did you see those awful, awful videos?) and Cyber Monday (my personal favourite), Amazon always has Lightning Deals throughout the year. Just make sure to check regularly as
Sell your old things
Even I need to follow this advice: remember being that keen Fresher who bought so many books from the “essential reading list” only to realise at the end of the year that you didn’t need them at all? No? Just me?
Christmas temp work
Whether at home or still in Uxbridge, maybe it’s time to stop complaining about how poor you are and do something about it. Seriously, no one will feel sorry for you if you keep complaining when you’re obviously not trying to do anything to change it. Try talking to your friends or friends of friends who have jobs to see if they can try to get some shifts for you. No CV? The Placement and Careers Centre (PCC) will be more than willing to help you with that, and even with job-hunting. For help and support for any financial challenge, Brunel MoneyDoctors are always available to help. You can email them at MoneyDoctors@brunel.ac.uk or find them in the Student Centre in the Bannerman Building.
LEAVING BRUNEL FOR CHRISTMAS Kerri Prince You’ve crammed nearly everything you own (except the books, never the books!) into your bags, and you’re all set to go home. You’ve probably begged for your parents to come and pick you up from University in the car, but they’ve refused and you’re now facing the four hour train journey home. What a wonderful time of year. But in your hurry to rush off back to dependency with someone else cooking the dinner and cleaning your clothes, don’t forget your life in Uxbridge and the things you’ll need to remember before you head off for three weeks. Student homes over Christmas are targets for burglars. Nobody is there to look after the place, and everything in that house is vulnerable to being stolen.
• Make sure the house is properly locked up. Check all doors and windows before leaving. Double check. Triple check. Try to get in from the outside. Only when you’re positive you can’t, then ok, you can go.
• Shut your curtains and hide anything expensive out of sight. If you decide to leave your iMac in your ground floor bedroom and leave the curtains open – you may return to find that it is no longer there. • Switch off every plug and appliance in the house. Except for your freezer. Turn off the heating. Otherwise you’ll get a bill for all that energy you used whilst not even being there. Happy Christmas, energy company! • Make friends with your neighbours if you haven’t done so already. Get them a Christmas card, and get everyone to chip in for a cheap bottle of mulled wine. Take it round there, and explain that you’re worried
about leaving the house unattended over Christmas. Ask if they’re willing to keep an eye on the house – and consider leaving them a spare key for emergencies. But if it’s the neighbours you’ve annoyed for the past few months by having loud late parties, you better make it an expensive bottle! Also keep in mind that your neighbours may be elderly people who are alone at Christmas. Before you go home for the season, go and see if they need anything that they may not be able to do themselves, especially in the case of an emergency such as heavy snow! Offer to go to the shop and buy some tea bags and long-life milk. Just in case. Grit their pathway for them so it is easier for them during the winter period. See if they need help getting to the pharmacy to get any prescriptions in bad weather.
PHOTO CREDIT: KEVIN DOOLEY
MUST SEE XMAS TV Izzy Khatkar With Christmas around the corner, the whole of the country is on a high waiting for the amazing day to come around. And, from turkeys to Christmas trees, mince pies to presents, everyone has their own family traditions. However Christmas would not be the same without our wonderful Christmas TV specials and this year is looking to be jam-packed with great Christmas telly! With all of the big channels competing for the best ratings, the stakes this year are very high and the war is on! Let’s talk about the big three: BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Channel 4 hasn’t given much information about what their Christmas listing is going to be this year, but they have released trailers of the new season of drama series Black Mirror. The BAFTA award winning show will return with three more dark stories written by ScreenWipe presenter and writer Charlie Brooker. Without a doubt this new series is incredibly overdue, but to make up for it a celebrity face will make an appearance in the form of Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, who will be seen in the Black Mirror Christmas episode, confirmed by Channel 4 to air on 16th December. Rumors have also been flying around that the successful documentary series Educating Essex will return for a one off Christmas episode, but Channel 4 are yet to confirm. It is likely they will release their official schedule in the coming weeks.
One of biggest shows of the past few years, Downton Abbey, is also returning for a Christmas special! As one of the most famous exports of British drama, ITV have confirmed that the hit show will return on Christmas Day, with guest star Alun Armstrong (New Tricks, Braveheart). In addition to this, just like every year, ITV have started their campaign for Text Santa. This yearly charity event will take place 19th December, hopefully yet again being hosted by Ant and Dec. However the BBC seems to be the winner this year with probably one of the best Christmas schedules. There is a huge buzz around the Doctor Who Christmas episode which sees Hot Fuzz actor Nick Frost take the role of Santa Claus, who appears to not be that nice after all. The BBC are also bringing lots of great dramas and soaps, with various specials of Call the Midwife, Boy in a Dress and so many more. The BBC have really pulled out all the stops to bring some of the best in comedy too, with a final Miranda special, Mrs Browns Boys, Michael McIntyre’s Very Christmassy Christmas Show and Top Gear. The Beeb have also made sure to provide a host of amazing dramas, such as Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot starring Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench. Like every year, the Queen’s speech will take place across most channels where we hope she will pay tribute to the hundred year anniversary of World War I. So as you can see, this year’s Christmas telly is sure to bring amazing shows, events, drama and action!
PHOTO CREDIT: STEPHANE MIGNON
XMAS IS COMING BUT DEADLINES COME FIRST Ruth Sharma You may have deadlines or examinations looming so try not to let the excitement of Christmas takeover meeting your deadlines or revising for your exams; here are some things to remember: Submission deadlines for assessments are the latest time/ dates for submission (without a late penalty being applied). Earlier submissions are welcomed and encouraged – it is good practice, and is psychologically beneficial to you, to submit coursework before the specified deadline day. Post over the December period is slower than usual, if you are submitting your work via post then make sure you allow plenty of time for it to arrive on time (it is
recommended you send recorded delivery).
Stephen Mullins - Stephen. Mullins@brunel.ac.uk
If you cannot submit your work on time because of unforeseen circumstances, you must submit a completed Mitigating Circumstances Form to your Department/College within 7 days of the impacted assessment.
If you wish to make an Appeal on a decision made, you must do so by submitting an Internal Resolution Form which can be obtained from your Department Admin office. Internal Resolutions can be submitted via email to:
Mitigating Circumstances can be submitted to your College Administration Office or you can send directly to your Colleges Education Manager:
College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences: appeals-cbass@ brunel.ac.uk
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences Stuart Gabrielson - Stuart. Gabrielson@brunel.ac.uk College of Health and Life Sciences Gelvinder Nothey Gelvinder.Nothey@brunel.ac.uk College of Business, Art and Social Sciences
College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences: firstname.lastname@example.org College of Health and Life Sciences: email@example.com Information on Phase 2 appeals can be found online: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/about/ a d m i n i s t r a t i o n /a p p e a l s - a n d complaints
18 CLIMBING KILI
PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA
OUR KILIMANJARO EXPERIENCE Becky Collins Viv Burgess In the summer of 2014, a group of 28 Brunel students embarked on the Mount Kilimanjaro climb for Childreach International! Two of them were Vivienne and Becky, who spent months training, fundraising and preparing for the climb of their lives. Here, they open up to Le Nurb with the top 5 questions they’ve been asked since they returned! For more information, please contact RAG. What were you most afraid of? V: I think it was being ill half way up, or breaking a leg and knowing that I’d have to suffer up a mountain for a couple of days until I got back down.
B: It wasn’t so much about being Moshi. We pulled up at a Subway and, ill stuck up a mountain for me, just before we could open the doors, our being told “Don’t be silly, you aren’t driver turned around and said “Alright physically able to continue. Go home, guys. Be careful, be quick, you’re in weirdo.” Dar Es Salaam.” I felt this jolt in my V: Yeah, getting to base camp and stomach, part fear, part excitement. having to be taken back down was a I was stepping into a place with real concern the a reputation. “I was falling asleep for 20 Anything could whole way up. B: By the second seconds at a time, imagining happen. day I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. My things were happening when What was it like at they weren’t.” heart was actually the top? hurting just from V: I didn’t actually not having my rucksack on properly. get to the top... I got close! 200 V: I guess the whole experience of metres off. I passed a lot of people on estrangement made me nervous. their way back down, being carried, After the climb we travelled through half conscious, dazed, and high. The Tanzania, through the night, and we altitude makes you high. I was falling stopped off to grab some food before asleep for 20 seconds at a time, continuing the 8 hour journey back to imagining things were happening
when they weren’t, skidding on the snow, crying, yelling nonsense at my guide. B: I can barely remember the top. My guide didn’t ever let me fall asleep, so I was on the verge of collapsing for about an hour at the top. Everyone’s like, ‘aw, was it really amazing at the top?’ It wasn’t. I just wanted to get off the thing! Exhaustion really takes its toll. All you can comprehend is shuffling one foot in front of the other, and how nice it would be to freeze to death on a nearby boulder. V: Before I left, my Dad told me to take a deep breath when I got to the top. (Sorry I failed you, father, please forgive me.) He said “this truly is a once in a life time thing, Viv, so when you’re there, really know that you’re there. You’ll realise what really matters
in your life when you’re looking out over it all.” B: Yeah, that didn’t happen for me... V: Exactly! I mean, you might get your epiphany up there, and everything muddled in your life might straighten out and feel awesome, but it’s more likely you won’t feel or remember a thing until you get back to base camp and realise where you’ve been and what you’ve just achieved. Something incredible. And, credit to my Dad, I did realise what I should do with my life after climbing the mountain: keep being incredible. B: Yeah, I just wanted to sleep. What did you eat? V: Soup. Every day. B: That soup was good! Generally, the food was really nice and there was
CLIMBING KILI so much because you’ve got to keep your energy up, and your body warm. Altitude killed it though, and by the end it was hard to stomach anything no matter what it tasted like. V: No, we ate well. Far better than I think anyone expected us to eat. Omelettes every morning. It was quite funny actually - we had porters and chefs to carry out food and tents - and sometimes you’d pass someone on the track and hanging off their back would be like 10 loaves of bread, or a bucket, filled with sand, and you could see the eggs resting safely inside. B: The worst thing about the food for me was just the repetitiveness of it all. By the end of the trek, the smell of the same food triggered feeling ill, because you’d always be feeling ill! So on the last day I literally took one step into the mess tent, smelt the porridge and plastic-cupped coffee, and dry heaved for about 10 minutes. Horrible stuff. V: Remember the nightB: Probably not. V: - When we had spaghetti bolognaise? Everyone was so excited. I screamed. We hadn’t had anything that similar to food back home for what felt like months and having it up a mountain was just bizarre. Ran straight through me though – I had to run to the toilet. What was it like going to the toilet? V: Right. Yes. This is a very important thing for anyone going on the trip this year. Baby wipes are your BEST FRIEND. Have them in your pocket at all times because when nature calls, it doesn’t matter whether you want to answer or not. B: Brilliant. And make sure you take triple what you think you’ll need. Seriously! I was so lucky though, I didn’t get a bad stomach - or not as bad as others V: Ahem. B: Until we finished the climb. But what I can divulge is just how... lovely... the ‘toilets’ are. V: It’s exactly how you imagine it
would be. It’s not pretty, it smells foul. plane without me. I felt that hopeless. B: Just imagine a hole in the ground I passed some pretty deadly sheer with weeks’ worth of nasty built up. drops and everywhere the rocks V: The one redeeming factor? THIGHS glinted with ice. All I could do was keep OF STEEL! going. The whole night felt like just a B: So much squatting... moment, an unchanging discomfort V: Can we talk about how hard it was of dark and cold and solitude, until to find the perfect spot? It wasn’t the sun started to come up. I guess Disneyland, kids. Not even close. that bit was nice. I have a video of There wasn’t a toilet every 25 steps the sunrise that morning. My guide just in case, there was one loo at each took it for me. I was awake enough camp. If you needed to go between to know that I wanted to remember camps, you had this moment, but I “All our energy went into to find the perfect literally didn’t have spot. the 9 - 10 hour walkto the the energy to hold B: But as we the camera up. summit, so by the time we climbed higher, had to go back down we and as we B: My worst got sicker, the moment was just were knackered.” vegetation grew after that: the thinner and descent. Not all the thinner... way, just immediately after reaching V: And our shame grew smaller and the summit, from the 5,895m peak to smaller. I’ve seen parts of Becky no the camp at roughly 4,800m. It was one should ever see. so weird - all our energy went into B: You’re welcome. Again, we don’t the 9/10 hour walk to the summit, so want to discourage anyone. It was by the time we had to go back down gross, true, but hilarious. Everyone was again we were knackered. Absolutely suffering, and when we got back to knackered. Though the walk down Moshi, we would sit around, swapping took half as long as it did on the way toilet stories and nodding knowingly up, being able to see now that the sun when someone had to all of a sudden was up was soul destroying. Porters ‘duck out’ of a conversation, with a kept saying camp was “just around the groan and a strategically placed hand. corner” but it never was! Again, crying, V: Smelling the things that come sleeping and subsequently freezing out of your friends brings you closer was so tempting. And as if the long together. walk through snow wasn’t enough most of us got sunburnt, both from Worst and Best moment? the sun and the reflective, evil snow. V: I was horribly ill on summit night. Our poor nostrils! So another thing We set off at midnight, and I had to to remember for those planning to take a pit stop behind a boulder about climb? Sunglasses and sun cream! 10 minutes into the climb. When I Make sure you look after your emerged an embarrassing length of sunglasses (mine broke on summit time later I found myself alone with night), and really try to think of sun my guide, in the dark, the rest of the cream mid-exhaustion. Thinking of group just a line of head-torch pin anything other than walking seems pricks high above me, creeping up impossible, but seriously, it will save the mountainside I couldn’t see. That your face. And your dignity afterwards. was my worst moment. Thinking I’d V: My best moment immediately been left behind. Everyone was going preceded my worst moment. Fourth to get to the top without me, come day. The journey to final camp. back down without me, get back to The day before, I’d broken down Moshi without me, get on the bloody completely. I was terrified that my
PHOTO CREDIT: VIV BURGESS
PHOTO CREDIT: VIV BURGESS
skull was going to crack because of the by, the same height as me, above pressure in my brain. I was probably the plains of Africa and several layers fine, but the mountain does things to of clouds lower down. Seeing the your perspective. Anyway, fourth day, clouds like that, horizontally, was just There was a blizzard after lunch but incredible. A perfect representation of even so I was laughing. I was saying peace. And that feeling of peace and hello to the people accomplishment we passed, which “There was a blizzard after lasted for the rest I’d stopped doing of the trip, and lunch but even so I was since day two. it’s still lasting, The blizzard died laughing. I was saying hello really. Other to the people we passed, down and for half than that, the an hour I felt so which I’d stopped doing since general memory positive. Reaching of laughing day two.” the top didn’t feel at ridiculous like such a big situations and task anymore, just inside jokes makes another day of walking. I felt I could it worth it. We went with such a great actually do it. Turns out I was wrong group, and there was this constant about that but hey ho. The point is, I source of entertainment and support felt so capable. I had complete faith in whenever you needed it. So all in myself, if only for half an hour. all, I guess the whole three weeks B: Mine wasn’t really a moment so was the ‘best bit’. Cheesy, again, but much as a feeling, however cheesy it’s true! The suffering was so worth that sounds. Reaching Stella Point - it, to remember what we achieved, which was a 45 minute walk from the how much we raised, and where the summit - as the sun came up, was money is going. amazing. The amount of relief I felt V: And again, thighs of steel. getting there - that was the moment I felt most at peace. I could do this, you know? And then I was sick after drinking tea, which sucked. But after that, I saw a group of clouds floating
CAN YOU BE LGBT+ AND CHRISTIAN? Ellie Woolcott On the 25th of November 2014 Brunel’s LGBT+ society joined with Brunel Christian Union to host the kind of event that has seldom, if ever, been attempted at any university in the UK before. The aim was to answer the question “Can you be LGBT+ and Christian?” in a safe setting where people could ask whatever questions they had on the topic. Spoiler alert: the answer is a resounding yes! With teapots scattered about the room in place of the generic ‘question hat’, and a seemingly endless supply of hot drinks and doughnuts, the Meeting House was well prepared as the room filled with around fifty people, all curious about what was going to be said. We had a panel of four committed Christians to answer questions; a gay man, a lesbian woman, a transgender man and a straight female ally, all of whom had different, individual views on issues surrounding homosexuality in the church, such as celibacy or gay marriage. But they all agreed that it is very much possible to have faith even if you are LGBT+. A huge range of questions were asked and all of them were answered eloquently and openly by the panel. All four people spoke about the importance of acceptance and love above all else in the attitudes of the Christian faith, whether you’re LGBT+ or not. Some of the questions raised were: “How can you be a part of an organisation that has openly spoken against who you are?”, “Should churches be pushed to perform gay marriages whatever their stance on LGBT+ individuals?” and “Are LGBT+ people an ‘abomination’?” These questions all sparked a lot of conversation, especially the last
because the word ‘abomination’ is such a strong and well-recognised word from the Bible. However, our panel brought to light viewpoints that a lot of individuals, both LGBT+ and Christian, may not have considered before. For instance, it was suggested that perhaps the word ‘abomination’ has lost its original meaning. The changing of culture and context over time played a big part in the discussion, as the term ‘abomination’ meant something very different at the time the Bible was written. Similarly, one panellist brought to light a passage in Samuel (16:7), saying “The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”, which ultimately reiterated the idea that acceptance and love should be the first response to all, rather than judgement or intolerance, because the only one who sees us in our entirety is God. This was a significant point, because it rejected the prejudice that prevents a number of LGBT+ people from seeking out faith, and provided a guideline based in the Bible for Christians to practice. There have been decades of controversy over the topic of sexuality and its role in faith, and it is still hotly debated. Many have even suggested that the two communities should not mix at all. In the past few years, acceptance has clearly become more widespread, with gay marriages being legalised and even Pope Francis suggesting that LGBT+ individuals have “gifts and qualities to offer” and claiming, “if a person seeks God and has goodwill, then who am I to judge?”, an attitude that hasn’t previously been heard from the Vatican. However, there is still a long way to go on the journey to full LGBT+ acceptance in the Church.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ETIQUETTE Arsalan Jawad
audience with the help of a short film that’s going to be made from footage taken from the meeting. Members of the Christian Union executive committee have said “it was a thorough and funny discussion, with a wide variety of questions, which really provoked thought about and expanded on previously held ideas”. Ideally we hope that from this event, everyone took away something new to think about, such as perhaps changing what they thing of the LGBT+ community, or perhaps they were shown that the Christian faith isn’t so condemning after all. We also hope that the acceptance that is spreading gradually from organisations such as Diverse Church, a Facebook support group for people who are LGBT+ and Christian between the ages of 1830, is going to continue its way into churches and general society until there is no longer a divide between the two communities. For more information about Diverse Church, visit www.diversechurch.org. uk. If you’re interested in finding out more about this event, keep an eye out for the short film that details main points of the evening, which should be released soon. Alternatively, you contact the Christian Union, LGBT+ society or the chaplaincy for more information either about the event itself, or about the subjects raised.
With all this in mind, this event demonstrates a big step forward in attitudes within Brunel, and hopefully it will have a more widespread
BRUNEL GREENS Adam Feneley Brunel Greens are Brunel’s Newest Political Society. The Green Party is one of the most popular parties amongst young people. The party is in favour of equality, human rights, the environment, electoral reform, wage increases and free education. As an official branch of the Young Greens, our first activity was to engage
with the recent Free Education march in London. The Green Party are on the rise in a big way, gathering a reputation as ‘the party of science’. With voters disillusioned with the three main parties, Green Party membership has doubled in the last year and the party has overtaken the Liberal Democrats in polls and by-elections. We hope to gather likeminded
Ask any international student and they will tell you how it is so odd that people in United Kingdom say “please” “thank you” and “sorry” for the most random things. It took me quite a while to even learn to apologise for accidentally bumping into people, let alone saying “sorry” when someone else unintentionally brushes their arm against my backpack in a packed tube compartment. In my country, these common courtesies are non-existent among the educated, illiterate, rich and poor. It is just simply weird that someone would apologise for something so minor. If I stepped on your foot, I hate to say but I really could not care less. The same is the case in shopping areas, both customers and sales assistants are bitter and rude. In London on the other hand, etiquette is held to astute value among all, specifically in shops, cafes, and restaurants. It is a general belief that etiquette helps build a good brand image, and that is indeed true. You would imagine that good customer service is created when customers and cashiers are both polite and smile. However having recently worked as a sales assistant for a major clothing company, I have come to realise that while the customers are mostly kind and happy, the sales assistants and cashiers hate them, for multiple reasons listed below. From this list you might even be able to learn some other common etiquette that is absolutely essential for Londoners shopping this Christmas. • Sales assistants and cashiers despise window shoppers. It is even more annoying when you ask us to bring something from the stockroom so you can try it on and then end up not buying the item. If you do not want to buy something, do not waste our time and yours. • You would be surprised how many people will try on clothing items and just simply toss them on the shop floor and leave. Have some respect for the clothing and the staff who have to pick them up. Even if you did not like it, somebody else might want to buy it. • Does anyone know how many clothes sales assistants have to put onto hangers? In an 8 hour shift I
think I must fold about 300 trousers and shirts and put another 300 items on hangers. So next time you try something on, please put it back on the hanger and if you want to get a specific size from the bottom of a pile of clothes, PLEASE do not ‘just pull it out’. • Do not ever ask a sales assistant in the fitting room if you look good with maroon trousers and purple sweater. In all honesty, we do not care. And do you really think we will tell you if it looks bad? The higher the sales of the store, the better it is for us. Just google the latest fashion trends and cut us some slack! • If I am giving you advice on a certain look you are going for, replying with - “you’re just saying that so I buy it” - is not nice. • If you remember seeing a certain item in a shop about two weeks ago and you suddenly want to buy it, think before you ask a sales assistant about it while struggling to describe what you “think” it looks like. Please, if you want us to help, you can go on the website, look it up and bring a proper article code for us to help you find an item. We don’t have every item in the shop memorised. Most of the time we see a shirt and we can swear to the good lord we have never seen it before in our lives, only to discover is hanging right in the middle of the shop. • If you have picked up an item from the women’s section it is NOT okay to leave it in the men’s section. Please put it back where you picked it up from! • Before you ask us if we have a particular size in a jacket, try to search for it yourself where all of the jackets are hanging. If you have not even tried to search for the size, what makes you think we will enjoy searching for it? The list can go on endlessly, however, some customers are actually a blessing. They will make sure they do not put the sales assistants go through too much trouble. We love our jobs, but certain things are not included in our job description and expecting us to do them doesn’t please us. All it takes is a little bit of effort on your end to help us out immensely. Christmas sales are a crazy season because not only is it hectic to buy things, it is even worse when you’re working in a shop that looks like five hundred Freshers partied all night long and left without their clothes. Follow these rules and you can spare us all the horrors
students to debate, campaign and socialise throughout the year. It is an exciting time to get involved, with the 2015 general election just around the corner. To join, just search “Brunel Greens” on Facebook, find us on Twitter @ BrunelGreens, or email brunelgreens@ gmail.com.
PHOTO CREDIT: ANDY NOREN
CHRISTMAS IN DENMARK Yasmin Simsek Jul i Danmark er en herlig tid. Danmark er et lykkeligt land, bogstavelig talt taget ud fra et H. C. Andersen eventyr, og især op til jul er der noget særligt magisk ved det ganske, danske land. Dem der er så heldige at bo i København området, vil vide at den har en lignende stemning over sig som London, en by fuld af lys og salmesang, kombineret med en masse historie ej at forglemme fantastisk mad. Men samme følelse kan man nu få i de mindre byer, tit bedre. I Danmarks anden største by, Århus, har man vedligeholdt en lille del af byen som den var i gamle dage, med folk
udklædt og hjemmelavet mad fra de gamle opskrifter. Især op til jul er det et utrolig smukt sted at befinde sig. Jeg er fra en mindre by i Danmark, men det ændrer ikke på julestemningen. Juletræet bliver sat op på torvet hver første søndag i advent og julelysene bliver tændt. Hele gågaden dufter af brændte mandler og der er en fantastisk stemning af jul overalt man kigger. Samme dag tænder man det første lys i adventskransen (grankrans med 4 lys – 1 for hver søndag før jul). Ofte bliver der også julebagt i disse dage, pepper nødder, vaniljekranse og klejner. Når det så bliver første december bliver kalenderlyset tændt. Det er et lys med tallene 1-24 på, og så brænder man som nedtælling til juleaften. Dette er også dagen hvor
kalendergaver starter. ”Julemanden” lægger en gave i strømpen hver dag igennem December (nogle familier gør det hver adventssøndag). Den første december om aftenen samler familien sig om fjernsynet fordi der er julekalender. Det er en ny familie tvserie hver år af 24 afsnit, en for hver dag op til jul. Min yndlings er om nissen Pyrus, der redder julen og den hvor Josefine, der bliver forelsket i Jesus, efter at hun finder en tidsmaskine. Jul er for mig fra midt november og helt til nytår nærmest. Men vi har nogle lidt andre dage vi fejrer op til jul i Danmark. Den 13. December fx fejrer vi Sankt Lucia. Hun er en kristen martyr og af en eller anden grund (som ingen kender til) vil denne dag altid være hendes dag. Vi fejrer hende
ved at gå et Lucia optog. Pigerne i skolen vil klæde sig ud i hvidt og alle bære et stearinlys i hånden, to og to ved siden af hinanden og synger Luciasangen. Den aller heldigste er dog den forreste, Luciabruden. Hun går alene, med en krone af gran og fire stearinlys. Alle danske pigers drøm (Ja, efter 18 års ønsketænkning var jeg Luciabrud i mit sidste gymnasieår). Den 23. December er kendt som lille juleaften. Det er mest af alt bare en opvarmning for maven, så den er klar til måltidet der venter. I min familie er dette også dagen for risengrød og juletræs pyntning. Den store dag er (selvfølgelig) den 24. I modsætning til England, holder vi jul den 24. i Danmark og vores store julemåltid består af: and/flæskesteg, rødkål,
brunede kartofler, sovs, menuchips og den store afslutning; risalamande. Deri bliver der gemt (blandt hakkede mandler) én hel mandel og vinderen får mandelgaven. Efter måltidet danser vi (kontroversielt nok) rundt om juletræet og synger salmer. Og ser selvfølgelig den store finale i årets julekalender. De resterende juledage er til familiebesøg og julefrokoster med endnu mere lækkert mad.
PHOTO CREDIT: CHRISTIAN HAMMER NEILSON
Yasmin Simsek Christmas in Denmark Christmas in Denmark is an amazing time. Denmark is a happy country, literally taken out of a H. C. Andersen fairy-tale, and there is something particularly magical about the Danish countryside, especially around Christmas. The people who are lucky enough to live around Copenhagen would know that it has a similar atmosphere to London, a city full of lights and carolling, combined with a lot of history, and of course the fantastic food! In the second biggest city of Denmark, Århus, a tiny part of the city has been kept in its original condition as it was in the old days, with people dressed
up and cooking food from traditional recipes. Especially around Christmas, it is an incredible place to be. I am from a smaller town in Denmark, but that doesn’t change the Christmas spirit. Every first Sunday of advent, the Christmas tree is set up at the market and the Christmas lights are lit. The scent of sugar-coated almonds is in the air and the entire town is buzzing. The same day we light the first candle in the advent wreath (a spruce circle with 4 candles – 1 for each Sunday before Christmas), and this is also often the time where Christmas pastries and cookies are made, pepper nuts, vanilla circles and “Klejner” (fried pastry). When the first of December comes we light the calendar candle, which is a candle with the numbers 1-24 on it and you burn it as a countdown for Christmas
Eve. This day is also the first day of calendar presents. “Santa” puts a present in your stocking every day in December (some families do it every advent Sunday). The same night the family gathers around the TV to watch the Christmas calendar, a new family TV-series which airs every year with 24 episodes, one for each day before Christmas. My favourite is the one with the gnome named Pyrus who saves Christmas, or the one where Josephine falls in love with Jesus after finding a time machine. Christmas for me is from midNovember until almost new year, but we do have special dates to celebrate it in Denmark. For example, on the 13th of December we celebrate Saint Lucia, who is a Christian martyr and this day will for some reason (no one knows why) always be her day. We
celebrate by doing the Lucia parade where schoolgirls will dress up in white and carry a candle, two by two next to each other and sing the Lucia song. The luckiest of girls is the one in the front, the Lucia bride. She walks alone with a crown of spruce and four candles. All Danish girls dream about getting this role (yes, after 18 years of dreaming I was the Lucia bride in my last year of A-levels). The 23th of December is known as little Christmas Eve which is most of all just a warm-up for the belly, to prepare for all the upcoming Christmas food. In my family this is also the day we have rice pudding for dinner and decorate the Christmas tree. The big day (of course) is the 24th. Unlike Britain, we celebrate Christmas on the the 24th in Denmark and open all the presents after the big Christmas meal
consisting of: duck/pork roast, red cabbage, sugar-coated potatoes (you won’t know until you try), gravy and crisps. The big finish is risalamande, a dessert where one whole almond will be hidden amongst chopped ones and whoever finds it gets the almond present. After the meal Danes dance around the Christmas tree and sing hymns and carols. We obviously also watch the grand finale of this year’s Christmas calendar on TV. The rest of the Christmas days are for family visits and Christmas Lunches with even more delicious food. Christmas in Denmark is absolutely fabulous and right now the only thing that gets me through these last weeks of term is the thought of my nan’s Christmas duck waiting for me.
SHARK WEEK Aidan Milan Rowan Frewin A couple of weeks ago at Shark Week (a weekly radio show where we discuss film and TV) we had an episode in which we talked about all things fantasy, from Lord of the Rings to Howl’s Moving Castle and Labyrinth. But we all love fantasy so much that two hours wasn’t enough and we’ve decided to share some more insight with you, the lovely readers of Le Nurb! And, if you like what you read, don’t forget to tune in to Radio Brunel for Shark Week every Tuesday night at 9pm to 11pm. Another Reason Why the 1980’s Were Awesome - Aidan Milan Often, fantasy gets a bit of a bad rap from people who think the genre caters only to neck beards (for lack of a better term) who live in Mom’s basement and have an unhealthy obsession with scantily clad animated women. Fortunately, these people are wrong. Fantasy, especially films that came out of the 1980’s, are for anyone who wants to escape for a couple hours and go someplace magical. A place where a young and beautiful David Bowie struts around in leggings, kidnaps babies and sings about how angsty he is; where a pre-Christianscience Tom Cruise can defeat an all-powerful evil; where a little boy can open up a book and save a whole world. Judge me if you will, but these movies captured my imagination as much, if not more, than Disney ever did. Although one can easily see why the fantasy genre has perhaps a slightly bad reputation. For starters, there are a few too many occasions when the film adaptations of fantasy novels don’t live up to expectations. For example, if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have seen Stefen Fangmeier’s embarrassingly bad ‘Eragon’ adaptation, then you’ll be
just as grateful as I am that it has faded into obscurity. But then there’s Peter Jackson’s indomitable adaptation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy; which proved to modern mainstream audiences that the fantasy genre was worth their time. But sadly, even after the success of LOTR, book to movie adaptations of fantasy need to be approached with caution. Admittedly, the female characters often leave a lot to be desired, except in the case of their clothing (or lack of). You’re lucky if one woman per film shows herself to have any form of independent though or substantial backbone. However, with this in mind, some of the best fantasy films of the 80’s have very important things to say about gender. By which I mean the female protagonists are portrayed as actual, real people; and not ethereal, idyllic damsels in distress or nearly naked ‘soldiers’, representing an oversexualised parody of masculinity. One of my all-time favourites, ‘Labyrinth’, follows the initially annoying Sarah on a fantastical coming of age tale as she solves the Goblin King’s labyrinth to save her brother. Pretty much everything about Sarah’s character development is on point. We see her grow from a petulant child into a person who is smart and capable enough to challenge David Bowie and win. This film is wonderfully unique in that it shows young and impressionable viewers that you don’t have to settle for the first handsome, flirty, sparkly royal who comes along and kidnaps your brother. What I’m trying to get across here is that even if the genre isn’t perfect, there is so much to be said for good fantasy films, and there are some real gems out there. My top recommendations are Labyrinth, Legend, The Dark Crystal, and The Princess Bride. Don’t knock it till you try it! Escapism in Portal-Quest Fantasies Rowan Frewin Fantasy has always been something
that I love. I can vividly remember taking The Hobbit out of the library when at primary school, receiving The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe as a Christmas present, and curling up and reading The Phantom Tollbooth whenever I got ill. And this is the same for many people - whether you’re a lover of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings or a Pratchett fanatic or maybe an avid watcher of anime. In particular, it was in my low moments when fantasy was the greatest comfort, and this is because of the powerful escapism it provides. Escapism is a central element to fantasy’s broad appeal to adults and children alike, and one particular branch of fantasy that creates the strongest sense of escapism is the portal-quest fantasy. In her 2008 book Rhetorics of Fantasy Farah Mendelsohn breaks the fantasy genre into different categories, including the portal-quest, which she describes as: “simply a fantastic world entered through a portal... Crucially the fantastic is on the other side and does not leak. Although individuals
may cross both ways, the magic cannot.” This definition can be used to describe many well-loved fantasy creations, from Alice in Wonderland, to Stardust, and Spirited Away, and possibly the most iconic example, C.S Lewis’ Narnia. In such works we see the central characters go on a journey from the mundane to the fantastical, and in the process learn something about themselves and I think it is through the changing of characters that we buy into these stories. We join them on their journeys of self-discovery, empathise with them, and experience how these new worlds change them. Mendelsohn asserts “The portalquest allows and relies upon both protagonist and reader gaining experience.” For example, at the beginning of Spirited Away, Chihiro is somewhat spoilt and unlikeable, but after her adventures at the magical bathhouse she becomes a confident, independent character who we empathise with, having grown with her.
The primary role of characters in these stories is to help to create the sense of escapism. In other fantasy the characters function as archetypes used to tell a story but in portal-quest, the character becomes the eyes through which we escape into this world. While immersive fantasies set in a completely new world certainly offer escapism in their own right, I feel that the possibility of escaping from everyday life to something magical resonates with people. This is why, for me, reading about Gaiman’s worlds beneath London or beyond village walls brings me the same sheer joy and excitement that watching Spirited Away or The NeverEnding Story did for me as a child. I think the latter exemplifies the feelings portal-quest creates beautifully. We as a reader or viewer inhabit the same space that Bastian does, becoming immersed in a new world as we see through the eyes of a character and accompany them on their journey. Shark Week are on Radio Brunel Tuesdays from 9PM
XMAS ADS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY Jasmin Nahar 2014 is the year of the “concept” Christmas advert. It’s not about the products anymore, and rather than relate to anything even vaguely to do with what Christmas is really about (eating too much Quality Street, heated arguments during Trivial Pursuit and sitting on the sofa wearing paper hats and watching Eastenders) it’s all gotten as pretentious and minimovie-esque as a perfume advert. And nobody likes perfume adverts.
PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA
One such advert is from John Lewis, who tug at our heartstrings as we watch Monty the penguin look all sad because he doesn’t have a ladypenguin. And off the back of this ad John Lewis are flogging a £95 plush penguin. For £95, I would want an actual penguin.
On the topic of adverts solely designed to make you cry, Sainsbury’s pretty much won the totally-madeup-just-now Emotional Advert of the Year Award with its take on the ‘Christmas Truce’ football match between British and German soldiers. And don’t get me started on Waitrose. Theirs features a young girl trying to make gingerbread, in what is basically a brief baking version of Rocky complete with training montages. But instead of running up steps she’s rolling gloopy dough and throwing tantrums over burnt (but still pretty tasty looking) biscuits. It proves that a narrative based on tension-filled baking is only acceptable on The Great British Bake Off. And yet, whatever you make of them, none of these come close to the full-body cringe sensation that Asda provokes. Whilst thankfully not trying to craft an epic story, they employ a wealth of really bad innuendos, based
on the various reasons one might smile at Christmas. These include (brace yourselves) “the size does matter smile” and “the Santa’s in for a treat smile”. Yeah. Well that treat is just a bit of rum and a biscuit right? No? Oh. It’s not all awful and/or weepy though. Lidl are kind of admirable for admitting that everyone assumes their food is going to be rubbish before attempting to prove them otherwise. Morrison’s is pretty much the only one that references actual things we associate with the festive season, like pantomimes, primary-school Nativity plays, an excessive amount of biscuits, and gaudy jumpers. And for no real reason it has Ant and Dec in the snow chilling (get it?) with a majestic St Bernard dog, which means that, in my opinion at least, they win the Christmas Ad War of 2014.
PHOTO CREDIT:TOBY BERRIMAN
THIRTY DAYS OF POST Toby Berriman In October I decided to set myself a challenge, inspired by a few things I had read and some unrelated challenges friends were undertaking. Since I was already barely drinking there was no point giving up alcohol, and besides I wanted to do something that was challenging and enjoyable. Eventually I came up with the idea of 30 Days of Post. The challenge was simple: every day I would draw
a name from my hat (literally a Brunel top hat) and write a letter to the friend whose name was drawn. I chose hand written letters because they take more thought than an email and feel somehow more special. It proved trickier than I was expecting, not because it was sometimes hard to find the time to write a letter but also because the letters often turned out quite personal. They became an opportunity to tell those around me
how important they were to me and how grateful I was to have them in my life. I also attempted to include something extra with every letter, such as a little drawing or a piece of origami, but this was not always possible. An anecdotal psychology experiment found that showing your gratitude to others can improve your mood, and that was certainly reflected in my experience. It felt wonderful to scribe
those letters, and it made me even happier to see the joy they brought when people received them. I am almost sad now that the challenge is over but I will certainly continue writing letters. However, there is one thing I wish I had done differently: I wish I had challenged everyone to make a list of their own and send some letters. Having missed that chance, I am challenging you instead. Make a list
of friends and family who you could write to and get started. Even if it’s someone you live with! It doesn’t have to be 30 letters, or even one every day, as long as you are sharing the feeling, but of course if you want to take up the full #30DaysOfPost challenge you are welcome to. I cannot recommend it enough!
THE ANIMATED WORLD OF SEAN HARRINGTON Antony Smith Dr. Seán Harrington is a Screen Media lecturer at Brunel University who continues to engage us eager undergrads studying Film and Television in modules such as Critical Methodologies and Gender and Sexuality. Seán recently celebrated the launch of his new book The Disney Fetish on 15th October 2014. The unveiling took place at the aptly chosen venue of The Cartoon Museum in central London. I sat down with the first-time published academic to get his thoughts on the iconic animation studios and the societal impact the films have generated, as well as his own inspiration. And, as anticipated, the interview got very animated… Le Nurb: At what point did Disney the man and the studios - become the topic for your thesis? And can you tell me more about the influence of the chimera? Seán Harrington: I always found Disney films oddly disturbing. I think it was because I grew up watching horror films that I found Disney so bizarre and surreal with its squeaky clean world. In 2007 I attended ‘Hibernator: Prince of the Petrified Forest’, the show by London Fieldworks. At this
Ben Vallely I started at Brunel in 2006 and some of the many things that I got involved with during my four years here included setting up the Martin Trinder (Brunel Uni Kart Club), being the Le Nurb Sports Editor, and spending far too many nights on both sides of the bar’s in Locos and Academy. But what I was really here to do was gain a degree in Motorsport Engineering. I graduated in 2010 and set about trying to find myself a job. As plenty of you already know, and the rest of you will come to know, this isn’t an easy task. Eventually I applied for an Engineering Graduate Scheme with Network Rail, the owners and operators of the UK’s railway infrastructure who have many different careers to offer and about 36,000 employees, including myself! The fact that I graduated with what seems like a very specific degree did not stop Network Rail from seeing my potential, and taking me on. The same goes for all of you, from Sports Science to Law and from Business Studies to Engineering, there are so many different types of careers available within Network Rail that there will be something for you and your specific skills.
rather intense installation, you first walk into a room in which you see piles of bibliographies about Disney, after which you go into this darkened place filled with cardboard cut-outs of trees. You wade through this forest until you enter an open space filled with hay bales, facing a projection of a series of short films featuring this horrifying chimera. The chimera is ‘live-action’ in the clips, everything else around it is computer animated. And it had this very surreal sort of ‘peyote-trip’ narrative playing over it. Fieldworks explained they wanted to re-create the story of Disney’s life spoken from Timothy Leary’s point-of-view, as they saw the two as cultural opponents. You really needed to read between the lines; the narrative is quite garbled and very surreal. But you start picking out different mythologies that you associate Disney with, like Walt Disney in cryogenic freezing… which is sadly an urban myth. LN: Oh, no?! SH: I know! But he was actually interested in cryogenics, according to unauthorised biographers. We’ve grown up in an age of such myths and there’s an abundance of Disney critiques. We have Itchy and Scratchy in The Simpsons, the Family Guy episode “Welcome to the Multiverse”. Very pop culture renderings of the
darker side of Disney. So, a little bit confused and dazed, we then went into a room with the artists and contributors Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson. They’re both articulate, lovely people. And to the left of their table there’s the green screen stage and the chimera- in the flesh! And it’s very life-like. It represents a chimeric combination of Thumper’s hind legs, Bambi’s body and Walt Disney’s head. [LAUGHS] Which is why it waddles and moves really awkwardly. And we were told it’s semi-autonomous. It was horrifying! Good old-fashioned nightmare fuel. As you’re listening to these people in this thoroughly engaging discussion, your eyes would wander over to this monstrosity sitting in the corner. So that left a lasting impression on me. At that point I started writing about Disney in combination with an idea that while organisations are ‘perverse’ people aren’t necessarily, but, you know, organisations definitely are! Disney provides gratification for adults and children alike. It’s not just for children. It’s family entertainment and everybody has an idea of what Disney is. It’s a massive organisation that seems to be internationally influential and something that a lot of people seem to consume. So... yes! [LAUGHS] It was always Disney! LN: You sound completely passionate about it so I believe you! And very
maniacal with your hands! SH: I am convincing. That is good. I gesticulate rather wildly. LN: What was it like getting your book published? Was the process easier than you expected? SH: Yeah, it was a lot easier than I ever thought it would be. I sent the manuscript to a few different publishers and found the right fit. Usually publishers are looking for the right text to fit in with their upcoming catalogue. Or at least that’s what they told me! [LAUGHS] John Libbey had recently published Amy M. Davis’ ‘Handsome Heroes and Vile Villains’. He’s published several texts on animation and gender studies so I thought that would be the right route to go. You usually have to fight tooth and nail with publishers over content, from what I’ve heard, but not at all with John. He was very accommodating and really listened to what I had to say. Having kept many illustrations and two pages in full colour was a really big thing to me. I’m hugely happy with how the book turned out in the end. I had a great deal of control over the process so that was a surprise to me! Contrary to what I’d heard from published colleagues.
LN: Did you have a lot of artistic control over the ambiguous and provocative cover? SH: [LAUGHS] Ambiguity and provocative are my middle names! I had originally envisioned something like that. We’d been talking about having a full coloured piece by Paul Byrne, one of the artists, though the title was already provocative and I didn’t want it to be provocative for provocative’s sake. It is about fetishism. What more can you say? It was only after I had finished writing that I looked at it, I thought: “Ah! Some people might find this somewhat controvertible!” I didn’t want it to shock. That’s not how I saw it at all. It’s a discourse; a discussion of these ideas. I thought the cover would supplement without overstating those meanings. Having the book cover simple and title in red would leave people curious about what’s inside. Quietly saying “Hey! Look at me!” [LAUGHS] I didn’t want something overtly controversial, which it could have been! The Disney Fetish, from John Libbey Publishing, Ltd. is available online at Waterstones now.
ALUMNI ON TRACK Follow the work of the University’s namesake Isambard Kingdom Brunel and help to transform his railway to make it fit for 21st century running and beyond! Network Rail offer two overarching routes for graduates – Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics, and Civil) and Business Management (containing Finance, General Management, Property, Strategic Planning, Project Management, Supply Chain, and Business Technology Schemes). Once you’re on a scheme, the business then opens up to you and there are so many different career paths once you’ve got your foot in the door! I currently work for Network Rail on the Crossrail Programme in London as a Project Engineer for System Safety. The Crossrail Programme is Network Rail’s specific role of modifying the existing infrastructure to get ready for the start of services from Reading and Heathrow in the West to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the East of London. My role entails ensuring that the various projects which make up the programme abide by European and National legislation, which is a massive task. When I started with the Network Rail Engineering Graduate Scheme in 2011 however, I spent a week undergoing a
Company Induction at our Westwood Management and Training Centre near Coventry, before two weeks living on a Royal Navy station in Gosport – HMS Sultan – undertaking a Technical Induction.
rails and crossings that allow trains to move from one track to another. During this placement I helped to compile a work bank of renewals for the next five year funding period running from 2014 – 2019.
As part of the Network Rail Graduate Scheme, you get to spend a lot of time in the business, learning what the company does. As a result, I spent time in the Maintenance part of the organisation, conducting walks out on tracks to help with maintenance to ensure the railway is safe for trains to run on. The adrenaline kicks in whenever you’re out on the tracks, as you have to be aware of any moving trains, remembering that if you end up in the wrong place, a train cannot swerve, whilst at the same time concentrating on what you are out there to do. Safety is one of Network Rail’s key deliverables, and we have our mantra “Everyone home safe, every day” which means we focus on reducing risk to everyone, from passengers at stations and on trains to employees in the railway industry. Once I’d spent the first six months or so going around the business finding out how things worked, I then moved into my first work-based placement for nine months, which was as an Assistant Asset Engineer for Renewals and Enhancements. I looked at the life of track components, such as sleepers,
After this I spent six months working with a Track Maintenance Engineer. I learned more about the reactive side of maintenance as well as how Network Rail manages to keep trains running in hot weather, despite incredible stresses occurring in the steel tracks when they heat up in the sun and can bend. A lot of summer maintenance deals with ensuring that this doesn’t happen, as if a track buckles, you can’t run a train over it, and lots of delays means money lost. Once I had finished this placement, I moved across to work on the Thameslink Programme in Central London, which is currently dealing with the massive rebuild of London Bridge Station – without closing it to the public. Thameslink is a fantastic initiative, linking the north of London and Luton Airport with trains through the middle of the city down to Gatwick Airport and even Brighton. When London Bridge Station is finished, the new concourse will be roughly the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium, which shows just how big a job this is.
During my time on Thameslink, I learnt vital skills, as well as developing my understanding of the requirements of System Safety. I also got the chance to start some real project work, such as the trial for modular platform humps that are required to make some platforms more accessible. The platform humps raise the level of the platform locally to enable level access between the platform and the train for buggies, wheelchairs and anyone with reduced mobility. As an ex-Brunel student, I am immensely proud of my time in Uxbridge and the degree I came away with, especially now that I have found such a fantastic and diverse career with the National Rail network. If you would like to have a look at what Network Rail does then visit their website www.networkrail.co.uk and have a look around at what they do. If you would like to apply for a 2015 Graduate Scheme, go to www. networkrail.co.uk/careers/schemes/ students-and-graduates/graduate/ and click on Apply Now. Applications for 2015 close at midday on 29th December 2014, however Network Rail reserves the right to close schemes earlier if response levels are high.
PHOTO CREDIT: HUFFINGTON POST
FILM: INTERSTELLAR “Out of this world yet so close to home... Antony Smith In a similar vein to Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (2007), Interstellar is set around the threat of Earth becoming an uninhabitable planet and the desperate search for an alternative future for mankind. In this instance the emphasis is on the diminishing crop life and the intermittent, suffocating dust storms. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a farmer, widower and devout family man who is compelled to return to his aeronautical roots upon deciphering what he believes to be gravitational codes. These codes direct him to a hidden NASA facility, operated by Professor Brand (Michael Caine) who is planning to explore
the universe beyond a mysteriously created wormhole for a chance of recolonisation. Cooper and his team, including Brand’s daughter and biologist Amelia (Anne Hathaway), set out on a treacherous journey, fraught with a 50/50 probability of success and ultimately transgresses our comprehension of spatial and temporal verisimilitude with an overwhelming climax. Jessica Chastain co-stars with unexpected supporting roles from Casey Affleck, Ellen Burstyn and Matt Damon. Christopher Nolan draws on his influences from Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott with fragmented, non-linear narratives and boggled our minds with recurring themes of memory and the complexities of science fiction, from his first major feature film Memento (2000) to
Inception (2010). Often serving as a tripartite auteur (writer, producer and director), his other credits most famously include the reboot of the Dark Knight’s vigilante adventures in the Batman Trilogy. After 16 years and 10 films, Nolan is widely recognised for his unique perspective in the realm of the visual arts, having been honoured by the World Science Fiction Society and awarded for Artistic Excellence in Directing at the BAFTAs in 2011. The realism of Interstellar is also noted on Smithsonian.com by historian Cathleen Lewis who acknowledges “it is grounded in the current concerns of our world; its plot is rich in the technically accurate science and technology of spaceflight and the movie pays homage to the best of the spaceflight cinema genre”, as well as NASA’s ongoing development of the theory of warp-drive.
The theatrical trailer thankfully only acted as a teaser for the first chapter of the story; building up to the launch of the awe-inspiring mission. And this was enough to urge me to see Interstellar in the cinema: the music, the emotional scene with McConaughey crying at leaving his family behind and the images of space on par with Gravity (2011). It became an absolute necessity. Even more so than the excitable wait for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. And this is a prime example of McConaughey’s shift from his typecast ‘rom-com’ roles to serious drama territory, in films such as Killer Joe (2011) and his cameo in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) has termed his transition as ‘The McConaissance’. Notably, his Oscar and Golden Globe wins for The Dallas Buyers Club (2013) have elevated his talent, as well as
starring in the successful HBO series True Detective. Nolan is a passionate advocate for films being presented in the IMAX format and argues that movies can only be appreciated properly on the big screen. His epic, fantastical blockbusters that are designed, or at least complimented by cinematic technology, are a USP to entice fans and film lovers into keeping the industry alive by choosing an immersive experience that cannot be replicated on a laptop. Interstellar’s frequently quoted Dylan Thomas poem “Don’t Go Gently Into The Goodnight” sums up the heightened experience of the movie: it doesn’t go gently and so neither should you. Get to the cinema if you haven’t already. Rating: 5/5
FILM: MOCKINGJAY PT. 1
PHOTO CREDIT: LIONSGATE
Sophie Bredbere Following almost directly after the events of last year’s entry ‘Catching Fire’, the third film in ‘the Hunger Games’ film franchise – ‘Mockingjay Part One’ had the difficult job of being the first instalment of the adaptation of the least-liked book in the original trilogy. The book had always been a hit-and-miss, although the general consensus seemed to be that ‘Mockingjay’ was the weakest link.
screening. The third film brings the audience to District 13, where Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is being used as a propaganda tool by President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman). She is being followed around by a film crew from the Capitol, with the ever-faithful Gale (Liam Hemsworth) by her side. Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) finds himself in a situation where he becomes a prisoner of Capitol. Katniss is on a quest to save Peeta and the Victors who have been captured.
‘Mockingjay Part One’, luckily, did not give out the same reaction that the book did at the midnight
By all means, the film had its’ highlights. For example, the scenes in Districts 5, 8 and 12 are particularly haunting
at times. Director Francis Lawrence does not hold back and does not water down the source material. He shows the post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by the refugees. I have always had issues with Jennifer Lawrence’s acting, but her “if we burn, you burn with us” speech was just fantastic, and gone is the rather emotionless Katniss I remember from the first film. Another highlight for me was seeing the relationship between Katniss and Prim develop - because it’s a different medium from the books we never truly get inside Katniss’ head and now we do. Arguably, there is more character development in this instalment than I ever found in the previous two films.
THE BLINK THAT KILLED THE EYE AND OTHER STORIES
with tears. So I wasn’t surprised that there is little remotely light-hearted or superficial about his new collection of short stories.
Still’ - an internal monologue of a woman repeatedly raped by her husband, ruminating on life and her deceased father.
The Blink That Killed the Eye is Anaxagourou’s first venture into the land of written prose. It explores the different nuances of invisibility within society. Each story glances underneath the veil of the seemingly ordinary, whilst exploring the concealed pain behind daily existence. Dark, sombre opening lines include “We’d been split up for about three months” and “I will die on a Thursday”.
The stories appeared to touch on psychology, the human condition, and the way childhood trauma influences adult behaviour. Like in ‘Yellow Daffodil’, where Anaxagorou reveals snippets of the wife-murdering protagonist’s painful childhood, in which his mother’s new boyfriend “crept into his room […] to manoeuvre a sticky hand slowly, pantingly into the bareness of his underwear”, amongst other upsetting occurrences. The book also touched on gender stereotypes and the various dimensions of societal power and status.
Fiona Rutherford Anthony Anaxagorou, renowned for his performance poetry, prefers to lean towards matters painful to confront. He tackles issues such as domestic violence, masculinity, and imperialism, through poetry and spoken word. It has been said that audience members have walked out midway through a live performance, their eyes filled
REVIVAL Sophie Bredbere Stephen King has a big bibliography, and most people have at least heard of a couple of his books, if not having seen a film adaptation or read them. He has a reputation of being a master of our day and age as an author, for generally terrifying and mesmerizing works such as Carrie, The Shining, It and Misery to name his most famous.
At times, I felt like an intruder, nosing in on the solitary musings of an illfated stranger. This was true for the less conversational stories like ‘Keep I wish I could say the same for the newest addition to the Stephen King bibliography. Revival, his new book, is something of a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story focusing on a boy called Jamie and fifty year of his life. Dealing with life, love, drug addiction and a couple of encounters with a man who made an impression on the protagonist as a boy, it seems like a run-of-the-mill narrative. And for me, that’s all it was. When someone has been writing for as long as Stephen King has, the average reader has expectations. Having read both Carrie and Misery before Revival and of course his almost universal
reputation as a master of horror and of literature in general, I had high expectations. At first they held – the opening of comparing people’s lives to films was one of the strongest I had ever read, but sadly, it seemed to go downhill from there. I managed to read the first hundred pages or so without a problem, but then it was strangely difficult to get back into the book. With a book, characters are often what readers get attached to the most; but none of the characters were truly likeable. The protagonist was cynical of everything, especially with Jacobs’ ‘magical’ power that involved
There is always an issue with splitting a book into two or more films – and that question is always ‘where is it going to end?’ I personally think they chose the best possible place to end it, and by the time the credits rolled, you could tell who had and who had not read the books. It was not the perfect film – Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Effie (Elizabeth Banks) and Finnick (Sam Claflin) were in my opinion underused, especially considered how wellloved their characters appear to be with the masses. There was a four minute scene where there was a lot of strobe lighting and there was no warning beforehand – so it’s probably
not a good idea to see it if you have epilepsy, for example; the source material questionably ran a little thin and ‘Mockingjay Part One’ could have possibly benefitted from being one three hour film than two shorter films. ‘Mockingjay Part One’ is intense and uncomfortable to watch at times, but it shows the damaging effects of war and other traumatic experiences. For me, the most impressive thing about this film was that it managed to be better than the book.
BOOKS DECEMBER 2014 electricity, and there was no one really to warm up to. Revival reminded me of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood – it had promised potential, but it did not deliver as well as it could have done. King’s reputation is of a horror writer and those looking for a new horror novel might be looking at the wrong book, even though it has been classed as ‘horror fiction’. I will say, despite the negativity, it was a solid book and almost certainly one for the fans. Revival is not bad by any means, but it is not outstanding. It is simply an okay addition to the long list of Stephen King books out there.
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LUNATO-DOYEN
MUSIC: TAYLOR SWIFT Sophie Bredbere Taylor Swift has been releasing on average an album every two years, and the newest entry into her discography is her strongest yet. ‘1989’ is significant in that it completes her transfer from country to pop (with 2010’s ‘Speak Now’ being a bit of both genres). Gone are the numerous songs about exes and in with a strong opening with ‘Welcome to New York’, even though the majority of the songs still deal with the complexities of relationships. There is the genius ‘Blank Space’, her newest single and an imitation on the media’s image of her being the crazy ex-girlfriend. If you haven’t seen the music video yet, I highly recommend you do. She’s making fun of the media, and it is glorious. And then, firmly in the middle of the CD, is ‘Shake It Off’. It’s a message to her fans to be themselves and have self-confidence. Meanwhile, Ms. Swift dismisses her
PHOTO CREDIT: OUTLOOKAUB.COM
LIVE: LINKIN PARK
Ellie Wiltshire I was fortunate enough on Sunday night to get a last minute ticket for Linkin Park at the O2 Arena in Greenwich on their ‘The Hunting Party’ tour. Not a huge fan I was tempted to turn the ticket down but after much persistence from my friends just thought why not? Support came from alternative Californian metalcore five- piece Of Mice and Men. I’d heard of lead singer Austin Carlile and the guys before but had never invested at time into actually listening to them! By the end of their set my opinion on their genre hadn’t really changed, metalcore isn’t really my thing. But, I can still appreciate a great show which is exactly what the guys gave. The crowd became impatient waiting for Linkin Park and just when we couldn’t get any louder out they came,
lead singer Chester Bennington would make an entrance by running on last during the intro to ‘The Hunting Party’ lead single ‘Guilty All the Same’ which certainly got the crowd going. This new album is a fan favourite being a return to form for the band after experimenting with electronic rock on 2012’s ‘Living Things’. Barely five songs in and fan favourite, as well as the band’s debut single, ‘One Step Closer’ was played. Fans went wild as none of us expected the song so early!
Other strong entries include ‘Bad Blood’, an anthem of a track with a firm beat and a chanting chorus that’s extremely catchy. ‘I Know Places’, my personal favourite, charts a forbidden love: the lovers are ‘foxes’, the people opposing the relationship the ‘hunters’. ‘Clean’, a mellow ballad that ends the album, sings of love as if it is an addiction and ‘Style’ has a hypnotic rhythm and talks about not being able to let go of a relationship. ‘1989’ does have its weaknesses – partially because it sounds so similar to ‘Red’ and the album does sound similar overall on the first listen. It’s only after a few listens that I am beginning to distinguish the difference between songs. But it shouldn’t take it as long as it has/ Gone are the more
acoustic songs from her ‘Fearless’ (2008) days and the songs sound more auto-tuned, which appears to be a customary feature of pop songs. While ‘1989’ might be my own personal favourite album of hers, it may not be for individuals who prefer her earlier albums. Her transition from country to pop reminds me of Nelly Furtado’s transition from folk to pop but Taylor did it far more successfully. ‘1989’ shifted 1.2 million units in its first week and was hailed by Billboard as probably being 2014’s biggest album. I would personally urge you to go buy the CD version of album itself; the presentation is beautiful. ‘1989’ comes with 13 Polaroid photos, each with a lyric written on them. Would I recommend ‘1989’? Absolutely this album is an upbeat addition to her discography that signifies the beginning of a new era for Taylor Swift.
MUSIC: JOHNNY MARR David Bennett Playland is the second solo offering from NME’s 2013 ‘Godlike Genius’, Johnny Marr, and it is a piece of work befitting of such an accolade.
PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNCHNEWS.COM
own critics (again, similar to ‘Blank Space’) and says she really doesn’t care about their opinions. Both of these singles are incredibly catchy, and perhaps even her best two singles in the ‘Red’/‘1989’ era.
Marr refrained from any solo ventures for over 25 years after parting ways with Morrissey and The Smiths, yet his creative output has been immense. Having been an important part of The Cribs, Modest Mouse, The The, and Electronic as well as writing a movie score with Hans Zimmer, all along with being an ever-present session musician,
Marr’s philosophy of music is clear: create, create, create… and then create some more! This philosophy appears to be on show as far as his solo career is concerned, with Playland being his second album in as many years – a tidy pace by anyone’s standard. This album continues on much the same path as The Messenger, with great energy, suitable for the large sound system as much as headphones, with a real clear sense of direction; it’s nonstop, fully-rounded, and straight to the point. It’s what I’d describe as a ‘no mucking about’ effort. From the first track, the tom-andbass-heavy Back in the Box, to the
It was disappointing to hear some great tracks cut into sections to fit into medley’s like 2006’s ‘Shadow of the Day’ but you have to appreciate that they still managed to fit in 28 songs! A 6 song encore ensured fans left incredibly happy and I have to admit I got what I wanted from a Linkin Park show, hit after hit and some impressive new tracks. I sat down at 8.30 ‘not a huge fan’ and left at 10.45 as a huge one. PHOTO CREDIT: INDEPENDENT.CO.UK
last, catchy-as-heck, Little King, Marr’s lyric writing is perhaps surprisingly poignant for a lead guitarist, and his voice doesn’t sound too shabby, either. Chock full to the brim with side-reaching chords and dynamic riffs (as one would expect from arguably Britain’s greatest ever guitar player), rolling drum work and driving bass lines, Playland is an end-to-end triumphant riot. Barry Nicholson sums up Marr’s belated arrival as a solo artist quite perfectly in NME, saying Marr ‘finally seems to be excelling as his own boss. He’s found his niche, and his niche is Johnny f*cking Marr.’
PHOTO CREDIT: KERRANG
INTERVIEW: ENTER SHIKARI Rou Reynolds talks to Le Nurb’s Ellis Davies Ellis Davies ‘Let’s toast to the fact we got this far’, the lyrics of Enter Shikari’s new single The Last Garrison as it winds down before the final chorus of this melodically charged release from the bands upcoming album The Mindsweep. ‘Got this far’ is perhaps an understatement. The St Albans band first burst forth with their debut album, Take to the Skies, in 2007. Now, 7 years later, they prepare to release they’re much anticipated fourth album after a summer of Warped Tour headlines and European festival main stage appearances. In the lead up to the big release on January 19th 2015, I was fortunate enough to get the chance to speak to Rou Reynolds, lead vocals and electronics. Catching Rou in the studio, I had a great 10 minute chat with this charming guy, even if we were interrupted briefly by a noisy sandwich van! Enter Shikari spent their July out on the Vans Warped Tour in the US earlier this summer. As we spoke, Rou recalled previous Warped Tours being gruelling and pretty tiring due to Warped Tour’s DIY feel. This year Enter Shikari only played half the tour, meaning they spent less time in the ‘roaring Arizona heat’. Rou went on to talk of the sense community that revolves around the Warped Tour, with all bands and artists mixing when they aren’t on stage. On the subject
of tours and festivals, we spoke about the difference between European festivals and smaller events like Warped Tour. Whilst Warped tour is a much smaller and intense experience compared to the large scale European festivals, Rou felt that, “Reading and Leeds are always a bit of a blur really, just because it’s so nerve-racking, it’s the festival we all went to as kids… When we finish it it’s always just a massive sigh of relief and you just think what just happened?” Enter Shikari are an extremely crowd orientated band. Even at large events such as Reading or Leeds, they are always looking to get down and over the barriers to be amongst their fans; “To be honest even when we’re on the bigger stages we try and get down into the audience anyway, so that’s not really to much of an issue” Perhaps one of the best things about Enter Shikari then is that they are capable of playing both large and intimate venues, supplying the same energy and enthusiasm no matter where they play. Rou mentioned that because of this he has no real preference to large shows or small shows, because either way he’s going to be in the crowd. With The Mindsweep release date approaching, our conversation turned to the writing and making of the album, with my interest roaming to the bands writing process. “Usually
I’ll come to the guys with basically the main structure of a song, a skeletal idea, and then we’ll flesh it out all together… I’ll get the lyrics done further down the line when theres more of an idea of feel, when the emotions are quite obvious coming out of the music”. The band’s songwriting, from this description, seems to be very collaborative and reasonably well thought out. Particularly interesting is Rou’s choice to write his lyrics later on in the process to allow the feel of the music have an effect on the lyrics that are written to accompany it. On the album itself, the band has made a conscious attempt to stretch themselves by incorporating orchestral elements, as well as using older hardware. Rou spoke of how this was a choice made to “push ourselves”, to “keep people guessing… because the album itself is so diverse.” Rou also commented on the importance that The Mindsweep still received extra attention to texture, melody and rhythm that has become the staple of Shikari’s sound. Our first glimpse of Enter Shikari’s latest offering comes in the form of The Last Garrison, a more melodic and catchy single release than is usual for the band. “The usual thing to do is lead with a heavier track or something that your dedicated, long term fancies will appreciate, but we thought we’d lead with one of the more melodic, stronger singles on the album… it
seems to have paid off”. The Last Garrison is certainly something that will fly around your head for days, with its aggressive opening, to the calm bridge and euphoric ending chorus. The video for this single has already been released and can be seen on the Enter Shikari Vevo page, with the video for another upcoming single being shot this week! Of course, all albums must be followed by a tour. The Camden Roundhouse, an iconic venue in London’s music scene, will play host to Enter Shikari and a sold out crowd on the 1st and 2nd of February 2015. Having added a second date due to a 24 hour sell out, Rou commented that it was “amazing… we can’t wait, the vibe’s always good… it’s a big room venue, and so much of the venue is on the floor, it’s always a pretty wild one… looking forward to it!” On the subject of venues, when asked if there were any favourite venues. Rou paused for a thoughtful moment and replied with, “Not really, I don’t find myself being to sentimental when it comes to the band, I hope that doesn’t sound horrible!” After a brief laugh he continued “In terms of favourites, there’s nothing that really stands out, but there are definitely venues that we love.” Turns out that not all venues are good, as Rou mentioned a place in Newcastle that he can no longer recall which housed a “6-7 metre high
stage… as the audience you were just craning your neck looking up…Things like that don’t really work!” With a 4th album on its way, sold out shows and numerous headline/ main stage performances under their belts, it is safe to say that Enter Shikari have done pretty well for themselves. Having dropped out of university after their first year, the band decided to pursue their music career full time. When asked about the beginnings of the band, Rou felt that it was the right decision, although it was “kind of a forced decision” due to un-met attendance and such. Luckily, around the same time the band were being offered support tours and everything seemed to be kicking off for them. Although Rou felt it was the right decision to drop university to pursue the band, he admitted, “I do miss uni…I would like to go back one day, be a ’mature’ student’”. If anything, the bands experience at university allowed them to decide what was most important them, allowing them to focus in whole on their music. Our brief chat about the experience of university capped off this interview nicely, with Rou returning to the rest of the band for further studio rehearsals. A characteristic, good humoured guy, and a pleasure to speak to. Remember to catch Enter Shikari at The Roundhouse, Camden on the 1st and 2nd of February, and look out for their 4th studio album on 19th January.
MUSIC: AZEALIA BANKS Hon Jiun Wong It’s hard to separate Azealia Banks’s personal life and her music but one has to try when listening to her music. Broke With Expensive Taste comes three years after she burst on the music scene with still-catchy pop anthem 212 and it is mostly definitely worth the wait. Her mixtape Fantasea and her EP 1991 gave fans a little taste of her multi-faceted talent but their anticipation quickly waned as the album release date was pushed further and further bank and Azealia seemed too pre-occupied with her Twitter to make some music. However, it was wrong to write Azealia Banks off our memory because as her debut album serves to prove: the label wasn’t prepared and neither were we. Starting with Idle Delilah, the Pearson Sound-produced song is a great introduction track; it doesn’t try and impress the listener at once but rather guides them on a journey, slowly adding more and more layers. Azealia doesn’t seem to follow contemporary song structure; she constantly switches it up and thus, no two thirtysecond segments sound the same. On Gimme a Chance, Banks effortlessly raps over the horn and brass-heavy song, and then unexpectedly changes to rapping to Spanish. Regardless of how you feel about Azealia Banks tweets, there’s no denying that she has talent. Desperado is a haunting and almost ghostly song, and it is here where Azealia pokes fun at herself:
the repetition of the line ‘I’ve been waiting for Azealia Banks’ is a nod to her multiple album delays. JFK with Theophilus London and 212 with Lazy Jay are the only songs with a featured artist and while it’s strange to have so few on a rap album, it is clear that this was done to highlight Azalia’s rapping skills. It would have been wrong to not include 212 on her debut album despite it being three years old. However, it still hasn’t lost its appeal or its fierceness bite, and the same applies to Azealia. Wallace and Heavy Metal and Reflective demonstrate that Azealia still has got one hell of a tongue. Wallace starts off mid-tempo before revving up and throws shades in all directions, while Heavy Metal and Reflective has her spitting out rhymes over an industrialsounding beat. BBD, Yung Rapunxel and Luxury were all released prior to the album and with the exception of BBD, the songs still sound fresh and hard-hitting; Azealia’s raps don’t fade that easily. Ice Princess and Catching Time are the more pop-sounding songs but Ms Banks know how to keep it interesting, still adding her Harlem-style rapping lines. However, you won’t expect to hear it everywhere soon. These songs are meant for the dance floor, basement and block parties. Soda is a great house-sounding song but one wonders if she was a bit lazy with the lyrics; it tends to get repetitive and dreary.
though in a normal world it wouldn’t be one. It’s such a weird-sounding song and sounds like it would fit perfectly in a 80s or 70s musical, and yet it works and just makes you want to constantly hit play. Closing tracks Miss Amor and Miss Camaraderie are both produced by electronic producer Lone and are just full of great beats and sick raps. It’s a great finish to a debut album: it makes you want to replay the album again. Broke With Expensive Taste showcases Azealia Banks’ rapping and singing skills as well as her diverse taste in music: dabbling in surf rap, industrial sounds and a little bit of jazz. One can understand why industry executives took their time with her: it’s hard to market an album as crazy and weird as this but yet, it was a huge mistake to have kept it on the backburner. This is one of the best rap releases in 2014 and here’s hoping Ms Banks keeps it coming. Must listen tracks: 212, Heavy Metal and Reflective, Ice Princess, and Nude Beach a Go-Go Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
MUSIC: NOEL GALLAGHER Joshua Conolly It’s been three years since Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ eponymously named debut album was welcomed with rave reviews. His split from Oasis lead to a massive amount of speculation on what his new material might sound like - would it be similar to before or would it be something completely new? Instead, a familiar sound was fleshed out, refined and expanded upon to make his first album a stellar performance that stood out in the Rock genre. And after a long time of waiting, a new album mysteriously entitled Chasing Yesterday dawns on the horizon. And by horizon, I obviously mean March next year - an agonizing fourmonth wait after the debut of the first single, In The Heat Of The Moment, which was released on Monday 17th November.
to be a bombastic stadium filler. The lyrics don’t depart massively from his Oasis heydays. ‘In the heat of the moment when the thunder and lightning come, I know that you’ll be by my side’ is reminiscent of Noel’s former band’s 2008 single The Shock Of The Lightning. Similarly, the nasally ‘na na na’s that pervade and complement the song will go down well with any fans of Noel’s earlier work. Those who have been lucky to have bought tickets in the ten minutes it took before they sold out for his upcoming tour will be enthralled by his latest work, and it’s a good omen as to what we can expect for his next album that features collaborations with fellow Mancunian rock god and former Smith’s guitarist Johnny Marr. The countdown to Chasing Yesterday begins today.
There’s something incredibly satisfying about the techniques that Noel employs in his music. Here, there are melodies that stick in your head for days, relentless and unapologetically gruff guitar riffs that work in tandem with the bass to power the song forward, the crowd-pleasing belters in the vocals. There’s no deny that this was engineered from the ground up
LIVE: RAG N BONE MAN
Nude Beach a Go-Go is a highlight, even
Hon Jiun Wong Despite it not being Sunday,Rag’n’Bone Man took the eager crowd of fans to church when he performed at Corsica Studios on November 25. Rory Graham is a Brighton-based blues singer who has become known for his unique mixture of blues, soul and hip hop. When the first notes of ‘Reuben Train’ started to play, the crowd at Corsica Studios instantly went silent and prepared themselves for what was about to be a really exciting and engaging show. Rag’n’Bone Man’s soulful vocals filled the room and he had everyone, long-time fan or firsttime listener, captivated. One might have thought, after hearing ‘Reuben Train’, that it was going to be a gospel-like performance, complete with melodious hums. However, they were soon proved wrong when ‘No Mother’ was played next. Everyone was going to have to get up and dance. He needn’t have worried as it was clear from the start that the crowd, mostly young-adults, loved Rag’n’Bone Man. They all danced vigorously and sang along to every word. He quickly followed ‘No Mother’ with ‘Life In Her Yet’, and ‘Lay My Body Down’, all of which were happily received. Singing to a background instrumental track but with completely live vocals and drumming, Rag’n’Bone’s throaty but powerful vocals vibrated every fiber of the crowds body.
PHOTO CREDIT: ALLHIPHOP.COM
Regardless of the small venue, the production team managed to keep the lighting fresh and that in itself really enhanced Mr Graham’s performance. Rag’n’Bone continually expressed his appreciation for the turnout during the breaks of his songs, just showcasing what a humble and modest man he is. At the beginning, he said he was a little nervous performing at London but listening to him sing, you would have never guessed. Other than playing crowd-favourites “Sirens” and “Hell Yeah”, a clear highlight of Thursday’s performance was “Wolves” where rapper, Stig of the Dump joined him up on stage. The crowd went wild and rightly so; the chemistry between the two performers was electrifying, punctuating every word rapped and every note sung with intense energy. Ultimately, all good things must come to an end but before Rag’n’Bone Man headed home for the night, he did sang a soul song acapella for hsi encore. With a spotlight shining on him, he poured his emotions out, raising goosebumps on everybody’s hand. The soul song, sung acapella was a nice touch, especially after starting the set with “Reuben’s Train”. Support act, Joel Baker, is also one to watch in the future. Playing summery and funk-sounding songs like “Further Than Feelings” and “Garden”, Joel Baker showcased his musical talents and got the crowd up and moving. 4.5 / 5.0
TV: DOCTOR WHO Sana Sarwar Till Death Do Us Part, For Some Viewers Anyway! Fans of the programme were taken by surprise as the last episode took a surprisingly dark twist. With the plot dealing with issue of death in a uncanny way. The eighth series of the British science fiction television programme featured the irrational yet amusing twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) as an alien time lord travelling in time with accomplice, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). The last episode served the completion of the jigsaw puzzle presented through the storyline of the series created by king of sci-fi himself, head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat. The storyline of the last episode concluded the series with the unravelling of the identity of the mysterious woman called Missy (Michelle Gomez) as the Doctor’s arch enemy, the Master. Being illustrated through the series to welcome people to the “afterlife”, where she plans to turn the dead into cybermen. In particular the last series saw conflicted views amongst the
audience as Steve Moffatt surprised viewers ending the series on an unconventional sad note. Providing an emotional, adventure packed, rollercoaster ride as the episode tapped into many sensitive issues from the life of a soldier to death itself. As Clara’s boyfriend Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) was not brought back from the dead, as he declines the offer of being saved giving it to a boy he had killed when he was a soldier. However viewers complained of the dark themes in the episode speculating theories of the afterlife, inducing fear, by associating death with fear and pain by being burned and buried alive. Nevertheless the BBC was moved to defend the plot. In a statement the BBC said, “Doctor Who is a family drama with a long tradition of tackling some of the more fundamental questions about life and death. We were mindful of the themes explored in Dark Water and are confident that they are appropriate in the context of the heightened sci-fi world of the show”. On the contrary, it’s needless to say the series was far from what was expected, after many critics had slammed the decision on the new Doctor being unusually older that previous Doctor’s. I feel it
should be noted that Peter Capaldi’s performance was refreshingly different, developing an intriguing character, with the presentation of a stark character shifting from a cold to gentle front all in one scene. Occasionally breaking his dark appearance with memorable saying’s from the series such as “timeywimey”, contradicting the acting of Matt Smith and David Tennant as the Doctors who used the odd flirting when playing the character. After the first preview of the Doctor Who Christmas episode aired on the show Children in Need, it seems the new series is definitely going to be entertaining. With Nick Frost playing Santa Claus, mixing the Christmas cheer with adventure and thrill, as some new aliens hit the scene. After a series of countless revelations and twist and turns, Steve Moffatt has decided to yet again take the storyline back to the origins of the Doctor, exposing the coordinates of Gallifrey by the Master, proving to be a real spin on the events to come. Raising suspensions of there being more Time Lords other than the Doctor, which could ultimately provide an interesting turn of events; however it looks like only time will tell.
The First Steps of Jim Gordon and Bruce “Batman” Wayne
In the excitement and anticipation leading up to its premiere, Gotham was a show I placed in my pile of ‘been there, done that’ fiascos, as another addition to the DC Comics family of adaptations. Despite standing as a prequel series, rather than the ordinary, borefest remakes, with another talented director and just a new face for Bruce Wayne, the appeal did not sink in. Although still harnessing an influential impact within the story, and legacy, of Batman, Wayne is but a child and thus the torch of protecting Gotham resides with an honest, recently promoted police officer. So, we are now relayed the story of that ‘passing on’ in this prequel television series, and admittedly I watched it, and I am still watching. Branding the show as inherently based on the trials and tribulations of the crooked, urbanized complex, that is Gotham City, series creator, Bruno Heller darkens the DC Comic stories and characters, with a realist grit of injustice and deceit. A projection of crime and vice within mafia-
PHOTO CREDIT: PRIMROSE HILL PRODUCTIONS dominated city streets, Detective Jim Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie), the heroic officer of the law and a young, yet determined Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), demanding answers for his parent’s death, constitute the thematic qualities of a real life comic. You are emotionally satisfied with the portrayal of Gordon and Wayne’s familial bond; you are absolutely not disappointed with the crude, yet entertaining banter of Gordon’s meandering partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and I personally love Alfred Pennyworth’s (Sean Pertwee) rough-and-tough, yet affectionate parenting regime, derived from his typically British demeanour. But, to top them all, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) epitomises a feisty, ruthless woman you do not want to mess with, and if you do, expect your imminent death and most definitely your replacement within the snap of her fingers. She provides a dangerous sophistication to the role, controlling the bodies of Gotham in her own twisted puppet show, where the grand finale is her overthrow of Don Falcone
We at Le Nurb have compiled a collection of films, books, albums and TV shows to look forward to this coming year.
Film - Avengers: Age of Ultron The second instalment of the Avengers franchise is due in cinemas on 24th April 2015. Directed by Joss Whedon, the film will feature all the beloved characters from the first film including Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America) and Scarlett Johanssen (Black Widow). Trouble brews as Tony Stark embarks on a peacekeeping programme as the villainous Ultron emerges and it is up to the heroes to save the planet. And with an estimated budget of $250,000,000 it is sure to be epic!
Game - Batman: Arkham Knight
The tale of the Batman has been remade and revamped in every direction possible, but Gotham delves into the secrets of the corrupt titular city, prior to, and assumedly so, leading up to, the caped crusaders emergence.
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOWARD TO IN 2015?
Other films to look forward to: Jurassic World, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
and his dominating patriarchal rule, garnering prime position of the ‘Boss’ for herself. My favourable opinion of Gotham is merely based upon the first four episodes of the first series, determining the impact it has created among its viewers. Credited as “antidote to superhero fatigue” by Indiewire, I believe it has overcome the issue of being placed within a group of futile remakes, in our somewhat unoriginal film and television industry. Though, an abundance of creativity outplays this lack of original material, illustrating individualism and personality within Heller’s homage to the Batman comics. Now there is a long way to go before we can completely conclude our views on the first series of Fox’s Gotham, but we can applaud its explosive debut as a distinctive television show.
The final edition to the epic actionadventure game is due to be released worldwide on the 2nd of June 2015. This edition is developed by Rocksteady studios and will be available for users of Playstation 4, X Box One and Microsoft Windows. Following the events of Batman: Arkham City, the game sees Batman confront Scarecrow as he returns to Gotham City to unite all of his enemies to kill him. It will also feature some well known super-villains, including Penguin, Riddler and Two-Face.
Book - The First Bad Man by Miranda July The book by filmmaker and artist is about a woman named Cheryl who has been haunted by a baby boy who she met when she was six, and has since recurred as other people’s babies. She is also obsessed with a colleague with whom she believes they have been together in many previous lifetimes, although they have not yet been in this current one. Her bosses also ask her to take their daughter in, which turns Cheryl’s life upside down. This book will be sure to keep the reader engaged and entertained. Other books to look forward to: The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon, Burning Kingdoms – Lauren Destefano
TV - Games of Thrones (season 5) This medieval fantasy show is based on the books ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin. It tells a story of many twists and turns as two powerful families fight for control of Westeros. The fifth instalment is much anticipated and is thought to premier in April of 2015. There is even more anticipation based on the fact that producers have paid a high amount of money on keeping the set secure from prying eyes. Other TV programmes to look forward to: Orange is the New Black (series 3), Hannibal (series 3)
Other games to look forward to: The Division, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5 (Guardians)
Album - Enter Shikari : The Mindsweep This album by the English 4 piece rock band is due to be released in the UK on January 19th 2015. They are known for their unique sound, which incorporates various musical genres from heavy metal to dubstep. This is their fourth studio album, which includes ‘Torn Apart’ and ‘There’s a Price on Your Head.’ The release of their album also coincides with their tour which begins in Brussels on the 9th January. Other albums to look forward to by: Blink 182, Kanye West, Adele
PHOTO CREDIT: ONSCREENFASHION
32 IN BRUNEL
THEATRE: PARADE Sophie Bredbere Brunel’s Arts Centre’s latest production is Jason Robert Brown’s ‘Parade’; directed by Eileen Pinkarchevski, the musical focuses on the trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish Yankee in the state of Georgia after he is accused for the murder of a thirteen year old girl. As she stated in the programme, “these are not the ingredients of your average juke-box musical.” George Gehm and Sarah Davey star respectively as Leo and Lucille Frank, the married couple that the musical centres around. Both cast members had heard about the musical for the first time through being involved with the Arts Centre last year, and according to George, the students “were really pushing to perform it”, despite the musical being unknown. Both students, who are holders of the University Music Award, are fantastically strong as the leads, approaching their scenes together with an undeniable chemistry which makes for immersive viewing. Their strongest
scenes were undoubtedly ‘This Is Not Over Yet’, which coincidentally is one of their favourite scenes, and the emotional ‘All the Wasted Time’ – the duet where Leo realises that he has been in love with his wife all this time; their separate performances, such as ‘It’s Hard To Speak My Heart’ for George, and ‘You Don’t Know This Man’ for Sarah were equally as strong as their scenes together. Alumni, Yeukayi Ushe, who took the roles of Jim Conley and Newt, had not auditioned for the role. “I was on the casting panel and after finding no one suitable, I took the roles as a favour to Eileen,” he said. Yeukayi certainly has a powerful voice, showcased perfectly in Jim Conley’s testimony ‘That’s What He Said’ and ‘A-Rumblin’ and A-Rollin’. Fellow alumni, Ben McMath played the manipulative antagonist Hugh Dorsey, relishing in the charismatic deviousness of his character. Sam Ody was also a standout, tackling the roles of Governor Slaton, reporter Brit Craig and the Young Soldier with ease. With a strong supporting cast, ‘Parade’ is certainly a triumph – and if you were not able to see the shows which ran from the 27th to the 29th of
September, at least take the time to listen to the music. “The themes of Parade are still very relevant to today – loyalty, prejudice and family solidarity. And that is what makes it so powerful,” Ms. Pinkarchevski said. It is examples of theatre like ‘Parade’ that endure – ones that remain relevant and therefore timeless. It is a shame then that the musical is not as well-known as some of the big names as the West End, especially considering they carry some of the same messages. So the verdict? It was easy to see why rehearsals were described as being “hectic” and “chaotic”; this latest production from the Arts Centre, and I highly urge you to go see this musical if you ever get the chance. chance to get completely covered in paint! I would definitely recommend going, but only buy the basic ticket as the supposed perks of the more expensive tickets seemed to cause people more problems. The event had a great atmosphere and will be unlike any other festival you attend – it’ll definitely be more colourful anyway. Let’s hope there will be better weather next time!
INTERVIEW WITH BRUNEL FASHION SOCIETY Victoria Sanusi On Wednesday 26th I met up with the lovely girls from Brunel Fashion Society. Fahima Patanker (President), Tabi Ghasemi (Vice President), Aleruchi Okachi (Secretary), Kristine Yoshikawa (Web Officer) and Saima Ahmed (Treasurer) are the new committee members of this re-established society. For those of you who don’t know, BFS is, according to their Facebook page, a ‘fun and friendly society. Our motto is “Inspiration for the generation” and by that we aim to share our appreciation of fashion through: “Outfit Ideas”, “Brunel Street Style” “Fashion Trend Alerts” via social media as well as tons of fashionable socials.’ BFS currently has 65 active members and 200 members on Facebook. LN: Are you a new society? I’ve not heard of Brunel Fashion Society before this academic year. FP: There was a Fashion Society in 2012 when I started Brunel but it seemed a bit dead, they weren’t even at Fresher’s fayre but we were. LN: Why is your society different? TG: It’s a really social society where our members are really involved. AO: We have a Christmas dinner coming up soon with all our members and then after we are going to Global. LN: What have you done so far?
THEATRE: enough twists and surprises to keep GHOST STORIES you guessing to the very end, even James Alder Written and directed by Jeremy Dyson (League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (co-creator of Derren Brown’s live shows) ‘Ghost Stories’ reopened at the Arts Theatre near Leicester Square at the beginning of the year and since its first performance back in 2010 it has frightened over 300,000 people and you can see why. With a warning – ‘Please be advised that ‘Ghost Stories’ contains moments of extreme shock and tension. We strongly advise those of a nervous disposition to think very seriously before attending’ – plastered over every wall you find yourself tense before the show even starts, even the voice over the intercom announcing the start causes the audience to jump. The story itself is simple, but enthralling. It revolves around a parapsychologist giving a lecture on the paranormal and telling ghost stories that he has been told personally from eyewitness accounts. Without giving much away there are
when you leave. It is a terrifyingly great experience.
Think of a modernised ‘Woman in Black’ with more special effects, more visual horror and even more tension and that’s ‘Ghost Stories’. In the programme Nyman quotes his top ten scary movies including ‘An American Werewolf in London’ and ‘Halloween’, and you can see these influences in the show. The use of special effects, sound and prosthetics may seem over-the-top but they work really well and add an extra layer to the uneasy feeling the audience have throughout the performance.
LN: Where do you all get your style inspiration from? FP: Berlin style. AO: Definitely Instagram, a bit of Tumblr, Fashion companies’ personal shoppers’ Instagram’s accounts KY: Tumblr and Vogue. SA: A fashion blogger called huda beauty, Instagram, Tumblr, Fashion Week. LN: What is your Ideal dress sense for a guy? FP: Basic tee are simple and a long coat AO: Leather jacket SA: Good shoes and a good haircut! LN: High street or high end? All: High street and high end mixed and matched. It’s not about the brands. LN: What advice would you get a girl/boy whose plays a sport and literally lives in their sports gear but what’s to branch out? FP: Stay true to yourself SA: It’s all about testing things out. Try and error FP: You’ve to be confident! LN: What are your plans for next year? AO: We want to get involved with one world week. SA: We want to hopefully expand our merchandise from our £20 jumpers to T-shirts as well. FP: We are trying to organise a trip to Paris Fashion Week for the end of January. LN: Are you going to collaborate with societies/sport/outlet on campus?
LN: What would you say is a key essential item for a winter wardrobe?
TG: We trust our members and we believe that BFS will be in good hands. BFS’ Web officer, Kristine Yoshikawa, is currently creating a fashion blog for the society which will be active soon. You can find the Brunel Fashion Society on FaceBook by searching their name and it’s a £3.50 to join.
However, unlike ‘Woman in Black’, the outlandish effects do mean that if you were to go back it would be hard to be scared as you would know what is coming. But I would strongly recommend it for a newcomer… well unless you have a nervous disposition… in that case stay well away.
SA: All genders are welcomed, in fact it’s about 50% male and we have males on the committee as well.
TG: We were at the Halloween Global running a competition with the 1st price consisting of champagne and £20 for RAG and runners up getting a goodie bag. We also had a photo booth on during that same week. SA: We empower our members! We encourage them to take pictures of stylish people on the concourse. These pictures go onto our Instagram page.
TG: Parka coat AO: Long Coat SA: Snoods KY: Oversize Coat FP: Oversize Jumper
PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK
LN: Is your society gender specific?
PHOTO CREDIT: VICKI SANUSI
FP: We’ve already worked with RAG for Halloween. We are keen to work with Radio Brunel and Video Brunel we just need some help to do so. LN: Seeing as you’re final years and are you scared for the success of the society for the future?
Viv Burgess Eddie Leggatt
Aries If you find yourself with nothing to do this Christmas holiday, grab a mate, two balaclavas and go wreak havoc on a young Macaulay Culkin left without parental supervision. Taurus Our resident psychic has asked: What even is a hootenanny? Unless you change your ways, you’ll find out this New Years Eve. Gemini You will meet the love of your life buying a decorative set of enamel reindeer at the North Aylesbury
Christmas market, 17:56 on December the 22nd. The stars are amazingly specific on this. Pre-warn your other half. Cancer Avoid brussel sprouts. Leo Yes, throwing eggs at the neighbour who rewired his doorbell to play Jingle Bellsevery time it is pressed WILL stand up in court as justifiable selfdefence. Protect your territory, and your eardrums. Virgo It’s beginning to look a lot like a cold, rainy, grim, grey, sunlight-deprived M25 touching border town. Stay positive.
Libra You know that thing you’ve been struggling with? Well, it’s got us stumped. Merry Christmas. Scorpio I saw mommy kissing Henry Kissinger. Santa’s giving her the silent treatment. Dinner might be a bit awkward. But you can handle it. Sagittarius Though seemingly everyone around you is engaged in the gluttonous commercialism of Coca-cola Christmas, remember to make a little time for yourself and your loved ones this holiday season. Sacrifice an elf to the Norse Gods, as a family. Capricorn
1. Scrooge saw four of these
1. The first country to make artificial Christmas trees
4. You’ll have to loosen this after Christmas dinner 7. Happens at midnight in old churches. Not a cult meeting.
2. Baby it’s cold…? 3. Our beloved entertainment box 4. One of Santa’s reindeer
8. Makes it slightly more acceptable to snog strangers. Slightly.
5. Uncles are masters of this (often dirty) type of poetry
9. The British take on snow.
6. Strong. Green. Not Shrek. Makes one forget the night before
10. I give up. But in olden terms 13. Jolly Old Saint…? 14. Traditional Christmas spice
18. What Jesus asked for for his birthday. Or what he got anyway
15. Viking Santa…sort of? Played by Anthony Hopkins in Marvel films
Pisces Expect a visit from the ghosts of coursework past, present and future. We recommend that you sob under a Christmas tree until they leave.
Jasmine Brathwaite Culture Sub-Editor The older I have become the less I have been bothered about the gifts that I receive. I’d be grateful to just get a phone case! But to make my year I would love some tickets to Usher’s concert in March! I think he would be so entertaining. I think a trip to Winter Wonderland would be lovely too. I haven’t yet had the chance to go but I’ve heard it really gets you into the spirit of Christmas.
Jasmin Nahar Culture Online Editor
For Christmas, I want an Xbox One. Sadly, this is too expensive for old Santy Claus, so instead I’ve settled for The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin. It’s basically a backstory to his A Song of Ice & Fire series to keep Game of Thrones nerds, such as myself, happy. On top of that, I’m hoping to get a new laptop so i can get Steam. My current laptop hardly has the capacity to open up Paint let alone Goat Simulator.
12. Where Boris reigns supreme 16. When in doubt what to buy a Secret Santa, buy them these kinds of products
The usually begrudging and despondent old man who lives at the end of your street is about to become seasonally enthused. Trust him if you want, you’ll get a big turkey out of it.
ed. James Alder
James Alder Culture Chief Sub-Editor
11. Part of yer peeper
17. Role in the Nativity. Eddie Murphy character
LE NURB’S CHRISTMAS WISHLIST
For Christmas, a pair of tickets to see Slipknot at Wembley wouldn’t go amiss, seeing as they sold out within minutes upon release (cheers, ticket touts). For when, and perhaps I’m being optimistic, there’s a lull in uni work that allows for some gaming, Lego Batman 3 and Destiny on Xbox 360 would be appreciated, complete with a new controller as the last one fell victim to “gamer rage”. And lastly, The Umbrella Academy graphic novels by Gerard Way because despite being a frothing-at-the-mouth MCR superfan as a teen I never got round to reading them.
LE CHRISTMAS CROSSWORD
While engaging enthusiastically in bottles of Christmas cheer, be very wary of glass doors. They are out to get you this month.
SHORT STORY COMPETITION Halloween has passed, Guy Fawkes has passed, and Christmas is here. But beyond the three Spirits of Christmas, all those characters we loved so much at Halloween are forgotten and neglected. Do you ever think about them? Huh? Do you? No, once a year you turn up like an old friend all happy to hang out, then once they have served their purpose you abandon them. Just think of all the vampires, ghosts, and werewolves who have no one to spend the holiday season with. So to inject a bit of horror into the colourful happy sparkles of Christmas, we are running a competition.
Want to be a part of the Media Association team? We’re looking to fill a number of positions. If you’re interested in getting involved or would like more information please email media. firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
horror story with a Christmas theme. The best three entries, as judged by Brunel Zombie Society and author Sean Page, will win a free copy of one of his excellent books: Zombie Survival Manual: The complete guide to surviving a zombie attack or Alien Invasion Manual.
Le Nurb Sport Sub-Editor Print designers Radio Brunel Online Content Manager
Send your entries to brunelzoms@ gmail.com. Closing date: 1 Jan 2015.
Video Brunel Camera operators Video editors
Remember: A zombie is not just for Halloween!
To win: write a 150 word flash fiction
SOJI AIYENURO PICTURED FAR RIGHT (CREDIT: INTERNATIONAL FENCING FEDERATION)
SPORT BRUNEL FENCER WINS COMMONWEALTH TITLE Ben Usher In this entirely Commonwealth Games-dedicated article, this opportunity is being used to bring some attention to one of Brunel Fencing’s club members, who perhaps hasn’t received the university recognition that he deserves. This will hopefully highlight fencing as a sport and the recent achievements of this individual. Soji Aiyenuro is one of our second year returners, a men’s 1st team regular, one of the Brunel faithful, and someone who also happens to be fencing for GB on a regular basis, ranked number 2 in the UK. As a regular World Cup, European and World Championship competitor, at both junior and now senior level, Soji has brought a wealth of experience to the club, and an ability that has proven the missing ingredient from our men’s teams of the past. In addition to bringing this extra competitive edge, being a key part of the men’s 1sts and
contributing to their unbeaten record this season, Soji can also lay claim to a somewhat more impressive feat in the last month. Selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Games this November, Soji began the week with the individual competition, with expectations high and a sniff of gold in the air. Though he started well, winning all six of his first-to-five point poule fights, losing just nine points on the way, and emerging ranked 1st heading into the knockout stages, he eventually fell in the last 8. In a tense and closely-fought quarter final, in which the score hung in the balance at 14-14 with the last point taking victory, Soji folded first. In the end he dropped out of the competition to the teammate and rival he conquered in the BUCS sabre final last year, securing a final ranking of 5th; still a significant achievement, but not the ultimate goal. Redemption took the form of the team competition later that week, with Soji representing England, and putting defeat to his teammate be-
hind him. Though arguably favourites, there were still obstacles in the form of the various home nations teams, and Singapore. Having made it to the semi-finals, England drew Wales, and despite the tough opposition, England prevailed 45-28 with a convincing display.
Perhaps Singapore left it all in their semi-final, or maybe England proved just too good on the day. The reasoning is irrelevant as England cruised to the gold medal, laying down a marker to the rest of the world that their current crop of young sabreurs are a growing force to be reckoned with.
A special mention at this point is also reserved for one of our Brunel Fencing alumni: Stuart Dixon, selected to fence for Wales, came an admirable 29th in the individual competition. When the showdown with England took place, Stuart held his own, out-performing his teammates and showing the pedigree that earned him a call-up to represent his country, though ultimately in vain.
With the season having just started, a Commonwealth gold medal in the locker, and a host of international fixtures on the way, the upcoming year is looking promising for Soji, and not half bad for the men’s 1st team too. If he and the team keep performing as expected, he can tick two BUCS team trophies off the wanted list, and what’s more desirable than that?
In the final, England came face-toface with Singapore. Having managed to hold on for victory against Scotland, 45-44, despite a late comeback by the Scots, Singapore posed a significant threat. However, when it came to the crunch, the final proved a comfortable victory for England, at least suggested as such by the scoreline, 45-24.
Feeling inspired? A little curious? Check fencing out on Youtube, or better yet, try it out in person and come along to one of our training sessions, Tuesdays and Fridays. Details can be found on our website, http:// brunelfencing.weebly.com/, and on Facebook, Brunel Fencing 2014 2015.
BRUNEL JIU JITSU COMPETE IN ATEMI NATIONALS Johanna Puustinen The Brunel Jiu Jitsu Club set off for the November 2014 Atemi Nationals in Sheffield in a minibus full of nervously chattering white belts and higher grades excited to see some real action. This alone was a serious improvement compared to last year, when we sent one keen novice up on her own! A night in a fluffy hotel bed charged everyone’s batteries, but Saturday
morning was restless. The afternoon competition was uncomfortably close, and everyone was slightly intimidated by the sheer number of people on the mats. Diving into a 700-strong herd of martial artists is not exactly something most people do for fun. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds; we all appreciated a chance to mingle with people from other clubs and learn techniques beyond our regular syllabus. In particular, the novices were amazed at how much they
progressed in just one short weekend. The actual training part of the day was over before we realized, and we’d barely had time to digest our lunch before the first competitors were called. The majority of our white belts came out with huge grins on their faces – all in all, five or six got through to the semi-finals and one made it all the way to the finals. Saturday ended with a bang: we had a whole nightclub rented out just for jitsukas, and things got quite chaotic before we even got there. Let’s just say
that seeing one of our male senseis dance around in a skirt and hoop earrings is tame in the grand scale of things. Our hung-over, tired crew barely made it to the venue the next morning. Some brisk jogging and getting thrown around is a surprisingly effective cure for any ailment, however. Come break time, we were all buzzing for the finals and the black belt open later that day. Despite having an awesome cheerleading crew, we didn’t quite
CREDIT: JOHANNA PUUSTINEN
make it to the podium. However, everyone agrees the event as a whole was a unique experience for beginners and veterans alike, and can’t wait to do it again in March in Northampton. Our tagline this year sums it all up well: jiu jitsu lets us be a part of something big, even if we don’t get a medal for it.
MCPHEE CLAIMS TITLE AT WEIGHT- HOCKEY: BAD LUCK STREAK CONTINUES FOR LIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS BRUNEL LADIES Matt Southgate
Kristian Mcphee, Sport Scholar at Brunel University London, recently competed at the London and South East Championships held at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. Current a postgraduate law student and co-founder of the Brunel Weightlifting Club, Kristian is part of the British Weightlifting London & South East talent squad coached by 3 x Olympian Mike Pearman. Kristian entered the 77kg category and claimed the Championship title with a Snatch of 105kg and PB Jerk of 142kg. Olympic weightlifting is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic programme in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates. The two competition lifts in order are the snatch and the clean and jerk. Each weightlifter receives three attempts in each, and
the combined total of the highest two successful lifts determines the overall result within a bodyweight category. Kristian, who is looking to get selected for the Europeans Championship in 2016, said ‘The London & South East Championships are the only regional championships to have a qualifying entry total in the UK due to its high standard and amount of competitors so this is a great title for me to win for the Brunel Weightlifting Club.’ The next competition for the club will be at an international competition the Phoenix Cup on the 13th of December, followed by the London University Series on the 14th of December, where a large array of new members will be competing to gain experience for the British Students Championships later next year where we hope to win the best team trophy. Follow Kristian on Twitter: @ KristianMcPhee and Brunel Weightlifting @brunellifting
Shelley Spooner Match Report: Ladies 1’s vs. UCL 22nd October 2014 2 - 0 UCL After our first game last week, which resulted in a loss, the 1st team were Roy Keane to put 3 points on the table against a team we knew we could defeat. However, we had a few obstacles in our way; involving a very questionable pitch and even more questionable umpiring. Knowing that these “umpires” give cards out like sweets, Becka instructed the team to “keep your mouths shut and keep playing”-definitely not a positive for Brunel. From the off it was evident that Brunel could easily out skill the opposition, with some great dribbling skills by Anya, Hannah Jones and Becka, yet no such luck with hitting that backboard. UCL had strong passing around the back which, in turn, allowed them to make some forceful runs down the wings, resulting in a few short corners. Eventually, one made it into the goal due to some suspect umpiring and a high ball which slipped
passed Dannii’s glove- 1-0 to UCL. In the first half, Brunel played well but there was no aggression in our play, practically waltzing round the pitch like we were on an afternoon stroll. Highlights include Hannah Brunskill getting a ball to the head, with a fall to the ground that wouldn’t be out of place in an amateur dramatics group. Hina “pushing a girl over”, resulting in a straight short and Hannah Jones getting some abuse from the UCL supporters for using the back of her stick. Half time and the score still stood at 1-0. With a firm team talk from Becka, telling everyone to get themselves in gear, Brunel went back out knowing that we could still pull it back. With some strong attacks, it looked promising for Brunel, although UCL came back at us and scored again with a cheeky player on the post. 2-0 to UCL. Still lacking some aggression on the pitch, Brunel looked deflated until Becka used her signature circle into the D to gain a penalty flick due to a player obviously shoving her in the back. Ashleigh stepped up to the mark with her gammy ankle and unfortunately missed, with the keeper gloving it away. Still 2-0. Not long after, we were awarded a short corner for a chance to get back into the game. Here comes my moment- lovely strike straight into the left corner
(maybe I’m biased) and thinking I had scored, celebrated only to be told that I didn’t take the ball into the D.. The game ended with a disallowed UCL goal, resulting in Brunel losing 2-0.
Man of the Match: Becka O’Connor
CREDIT: VICKI SANUSI
BRUNEL SNOW CLUB POST-FRESHERS UPDATE Adam White So far the first term of the 2014/15 academic year has proved to be quite eventful for Brunel Snow Club. Since our last update in the previous issue of Le Nurb we have been buzzing with activity on all scenes, including lessons and sessions, socials, getting involved in Brunel RAG and of course organising and sorting out our annual Brunel Winter Tour which this year, is to Tignes. Throughout the term we have been running regular trips to Hemel Hempstead Indoor Snow Slope for members to take part in lessons and recre-
ational sessions. We have had roughly 15-20 people a week participating in lessons at Hemel whether as one off lessons or a lessons package we have provided through the centre. There has also been a steady flow of people attending for recreational sessions too. For an idea of what goes on at these sessions there is a short video that was put together by our Media Secretary Rich Varney: http://youtu. be/8DGnnGLwOqw. Our social scene has been full on throughout the term, which is awesome! In previous years this hasn’t been as good so we are really pleased in how things are going so far this year! We have had a joint social with Brunel Climbing that involved plenty
of gammas in Locos prior to one of the weekly Globals. We also held an American night, which involved frequenting Gamma on a Wednesday for beer pong before hitting Liquid in town. Snow club also hit up XOYO in Central London for Halloween which was an awesome night! That same weekend was the Ski and Snowboard show at Earls Court which proved an excellent opportunity to see all what’s going on in the world of snow sports be it the new ranges of gear, resorts and deals, and also speaking to companies regarding season work. Snow club have also participated in the Annual Brunel Bonfire and Fireworks Night this term! At the night, Snow Club had a stall in the union
tent where we were selling hot chocolate for RAG. We were also there in support of a Snowboard Simulator for which we collected donations for RAG. This was an awesome night where we managed to raise a significant amount, both as a club and collectively with all the other participating clubs for RAG. We would like to express our gratitude as a committee and club to the organising committee of the night and Brunel RAG for letting us get involved. Of course it doesn’t end there! This term we’ve still got some good socials lined up as well as ideas for what is to come in the New Year! On Friday 5th December we are hosting our annual pre trip social, which will involve lots of gammas and consumption prior to hitting that weeks Global! The theme for the night is “Festival”. This will be an excellent opportunity for all those going on the trip to get to know each other first as well of course for anyone else to have a good night out too! The following Monday, the 8th, is the club’s annual Christmas meal! Our main highlight of the year will be taking place at the end of this term, the annual winter tour! This year we are off to Tignes in the French Alps for what looks to be a great week on the slopes, as well as partying at all of the major nightlife hotspots in resort. The trip has proved to be a great success already with us being able to completely sell out our allocation. We will be leaving on the last day of term, Friday 12th, which means we will be missing the end of year Mega Global, but we think it’s worth it! Final details for the trip are all sorted and have been communicated to those going via a trip information meeting. Look forward to hearing all about the trip in the next issue of Le Nurb as well as via a trip edit, which will be put together in due course!
PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL SNOW CLUB
That’s not the end of what we have to look forward to though! In the New Year we intend to take part in BUISC, which is the British University Indoor Snow sport Championships. This should be an awesome event and we look forward to seeing some of our members lighting up the slopes at this event! We have also arranged stash this term for our club. This is in the form of club hoodies, which are available for £25, a Club hip flask for £10, and both can be bought in a package for £30. Overall it has been a fantastic term for Brunel Snow Club regardless of which aspect you look at it from. It doesn’t end there though! There is plenty more to come during the rest of the term and throughout the New Year! There’ll be tons more socials, involvement in competitions, and of course (and we’ll keep saying this) the one and only and original Annual Brunel End of Year Boat Party hosted by Brunel Snow Club! Don’t forget you can keep up with the club and all that we do via our social media feeds: Like us on Facebook: https://www. facebook.com/BrunelSnowClubOfficial Join our Facebook group: https:// www.facebook.com/groups/brunelsnowclubofficial
HOCKEY: MEN’S TEAM LOSES OUT AFTER SOLID ULTIMATE: ST. MARY’S IS EASY FIRST HALF FOR BRUNEL PICKINGS IN FRIENDLY subs. Alas; this was not meant to be. gered Ale on a rare occasion spoke out end the half 8-2 up. After a psyched Alessandro Cristofoli
Match Report: Men’s 2’s vs Chichester 2 - 1 Chichester It felt it was to be a glorious day, warm weather, no rain and then Grech trying to assert himself as captain of twos. What a nightmare it turned out to be! Pinching of the twos star defenseman and captain none other than our own Josh Haddow left a hole in the team. Followed with a poor turnout from many sturdy household names such a Choi, Guy and token Frenchman Jeffery left our team shorthanded. None other than the well-connected Charlie Dixon could save our bacon and find us a spare keeper on the fly for the game. Off we bumbled to Chichester University to face what looked like a strong team of burly men with a plethora of
Wave after wave of Chichester attack yielded no goals to the impeccable defence headed by the agile Joe Lodge and athletic Phil Boobbyer. A mention to our freshly drafted keeper Sam for his sterling performance after an extensive period of time being off a hockey pitch. Half time arrived to everyone’s relief. The team was visibly exhausted but in high spirits for holding off Chichester with such few players. Skittles were shared, inspirational speeches heard and off to the second half we went. Less than a minute into the half, a well-made shot from Louis rebounded into the hands of recently promoted Grech, flicking it over the keeper to score the team’s first goal. Unbelievable! We were 1-0 up, and Grech scored. There must be some hope we can win this! Victory could be on the cards.
of the offence after yet another short corner and was rewarded with his first yellow of the season. Now two men down, the short corner was played. A goal was conceded. It became 1-1. Not even freshly drafted Sam could keep so many short corners at bay. Play continued and then another goal was conceded. Even with our technically incredible players we were clearly suffering at everyone’s best friend: fitness. The drone of a whistle called the game at 2-1. An unfortunate loss with outstanding performances all round! Big shout out to the midfield players: Sasha, Louis and Charlie for their relentless energy considering the circumstances. Also big shout out to defenseman Alex and striker Ben for their contributions. FINAL SCORE: 2-1 Chichester
All was well until an arguably questionable yellow card was dished out to defensemen Alessandro Cristofoli. Clearly 5 metres away from a foul and tackled the ball inside the D, the referee declared a short corner. An an-
Sam Persaud Match Report Men vs St. Mary’s 15 - 4 Brunel
Our first outdoor match of the season saw us play a friendly against Varsity rivals St Mary’s University. With Brunel Fielding a variety of experience on the pitch using a combination of freshers and experienced players everyone on and off the pitch was excited to get started. The first half saw Brunel get on the scoreboard early taking the first point in a matter of minutes without losing possession. Aggressive defence shut down the St Mary’s offence allowing Brunel to take the second point. We kept the momentum up before conceding a point from a lucky string of passes and quick movement. With St Mary’s now finding some chemistry points became harder with mistakes on our behalf being punished that slight bit more. But we managed to
half time we launched out of the gates taking the first point. With the temperature dropping in the winter afternoon and the wind picking up maintaining possession was key. With the score gap getting larger a change of tactics was made by the opposition switching from man marking to an unorthodox zonal defence, which was spotted and broken down with ease by our fast offence, calm throw choice and consistent throw execution. Scoring the majority of the second half points finished the match 154, a confidence boosting performance that we look to improve on for Brunel Ultimate’s Varsity debut! Great performances from both the Men’s and Mixed squad both outdoors and indoors left us on the borders of qualifying for Nationals and with a significant win over our Varsity rivals. With a host of outdoor and indoor training we are preparing for Outdoor regionals at the end of February 2015. Everyone in the club has improved so much, which is amazing! I am so psyched for the rest of the year!
BUCS: BRUNEL JANUARY FIXTURES PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS RATHORE
Our weekly Brunel sport fixtures are back! Here’s what to look out for in January.
Men 3 28th January - Kingston (Away)
28th January - Portsmouth (Home)
28th January - UCL (Away)
Men 3 28th January - Holloway (Home)
Men 1 14th January - Royal Holloway (Home) 28th January - Royal Holloway (Away)
Men 4 21st January - King’s (Away) 28th January - Imperial (Away
Netball 1 21st January - Exeter (Away) 28th January - Exeter (Home
Men 1 28th January - Surrey (Home))
Men 5 28th January - West London (Away)
Men 2 28th January - St. Mary’s (Away)
Women 1 28th January - Chichester (Away)
Netball 2 21st January - Chichester (Home) 28th January - Royal Holloway (Away)
Women 28th January - Essex (Home
Women 2 28th January - St. Mary’s (Away)
Men 1 28th January - East London (Home)
Men 1 18th January - St. Mary’s (Home) 25th January - Brighton (Home)
Men 2 21st January - Brighton (Home) 28th January - Portsmouth (Away)
Men 3 25th January - St. Mary’s (Home)
Men 3 28th January - Imperial (Home)
Women 24th January - Brighton (Home)
Women 28th January - Sussex (Home)
Fencing Men 1 21st January - Portsmouth (Away) 28th January - King’s (Away) Men 2 28th January - Surrey (Home) Women 28th January - Queen Mary (Away)
Men 1 28th January - Imperial (Away) Men 2 21st January - Portsmouth (Home) 28th January - Imperial (Away) Women 1 28th January - Canterbury Christ Church (Away)
Football Men 1 20th January - Portsmouth (Away)
Men 28th January - Portsmouth (Away)
Men 2 28th January - St. Mary’s (Away)
Women 28th January - Roehampton (Home) 22nd Oct – Holloway (Away)
Men 2 28th January - UCL (Away)
Netball 3 21st January - Royal Holloway (Home) 28th January - Portsmouth (Away)
Men 1 21st January - East London (Home) 28th January - Sussex (Away)
Mens 21st January - Portsmouth (Home) 28th January - King’s (Home)
Netball 4 28th January - Surrey (Away)
Men 2 28th January - Surrey (Away)
Netball 5 28th January - Chichester (Home)
Women 1 28th January - Roehampton (Home)
Women 21st January - Westminster (Away) 28th January - Westminster (Home)
Netball 6 21st January - St George’s (Home) 28th January - Imperial (Home)
Rugby League Men 1 21st January - Cambridge (Home)
Rugby Union Men 1 14th January - Portsmouth (Home) 21st January - Imperial (Away) 28th January - King’s (Home) Men 2 28th January - Holloway ~(Home) Women 21st January - Reading (Away)
Squash Men 1 28th January - Portsmouth (Away) Men 2
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ed. Michael Darlow With 2015 just round the corner, it’stime to start thinking about new year’s recolutions! In sport, that means new fixtures, new players and a new sense of purpose. Let’s not forget that this year we will also be hosting Varsity at home here at Brunel. We’re looking forward to taking back that trophy! Some of Brunel’s sports clubs have told us what their hopes and dreams are for a year of sport in 2015.
Golf Having recently progressed to the second round of the Cup, a short aim for the club would be to move further on in the competition. The team has not managed to get past the first round of the cup in the last three years. In the league, the team would aim for another mid-table finish due to a shortage of available golfers, however an aim for 2015 would to finish in the top 3. The club is in the process of acquiring asponsorship deal which would improve relationships and provide all club members with new playing kit. An overall aim though would be to increase membership numbers, providing greater strength in depth for BUCs fixtures.
Jiu Jitsu Brunel Jiu Jitsu started on a clean slate with a brand new sensei and committee this past term. We’re in absolute awe of what an amazingly social, enthusiastic and energetic crew we’ve managed to put together, and can’t wait to see what they get up to next year. November’s Atemi Nationals in Sheffield were a hit - we may not have gotten medals, but we’d like to think that no one who came along will have any doubts about coming back next term. We plan to continue down the same path in 2015: bigger, better and more lethal!
Netball Brunel netball has welcomed a wealth of new players joining for the 2014/15 season giving all teams new line ups and combinations. We have had mixed success so far this season but hope to continue to build positive results and secure top three finishes for all six BUCS teams. The social team have enjoyed great success in their new league and also have their sights on a strong finishing position. Yet again our annual pink night raised lots of money for breakthrough breast cancer and we have big plans for more charity events in the new term. We are looking forwards to continuing our 100% record against simmies at this years varsity and putting forward a strong campaign for back to back club of the year titles!
PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS RATHORE
Athletics With a pair of BUCS competitions fast approaching in 2015, there has been no time for rest at Brunel Athletics. The BUCS Cross-Country championship in January is the first competition, hosted down south by the University of Sussex. The team will be looking to replicate, if not better, last year’s success with the women’s and men’s teams taking 4th and 7th respectively. Cross-country is closely followed by the BUCS Indoor Athletics Championships, hosted by the English Institution of Sport in Sheffield, in late February. This is a competition in which we always place highly and will be the main focus for most track and field athletes in the Club. In the mean time, the Club Committee is delighted to be releasing their brand new website, where you can find many details about the Club, including a section on its long and proud history. From everybody at BUAC, we wish all the other sports teams a happy and successful New Year 2015!
Fencing Starting the New Year with a bang seems to have become a tradition for Brunel Fencing in recent years. Whilst ending the year unbeaten has been an important goal for the men’s first team, maintaining this run into 2015 is key to their ambitions of claiming the league and cup double. From an individual perspective, early 2015 is the time to compete and seize ranking points, with the Cambridge and Scottish Opens coming up first and bronze medals to defend at both. Finally, the BUCS individuals in February are the final competitive highlight of the year, a chance to improve on previous results, claim club prestige, and allow one particular member to defend their title.
HANDBALL: BRUNEL LADIES SWEEP ASIDE FINALISTS Jo GregoryBrough
The opening round of the British University handball championships threw off on the 22nd of November with Brunel women’s team travelling to Wolverhampton hoping for a successful start in their attempt to improve on last year’s 13th place. The championships run over three weekends with the first two acting as qualifiers and seeding tournaments for the final weekend. Brunel were placed in the central group due to the excess of women’s teams in London, however they would still have to face the 2013/14 runners-up Nottingham and third placed Loughborough. They opened on Saturday with a game against Nottingham who had been beaten in last year’s final by AECC. Brunel had a lightning start, quickly opening up a significant lead in the first half with goals from all players. At the break Brunel had not even conceded a goal mainly thanks to debuting keeper Del Posner; who
was doing a brilliant job at maintaining the BUHC tradition of producing shotstopping talent. Come the second half Brunel’s lead began to be cut however their five goal lead never looked under significant threat. At full-time the score was Brunel 13 Nottingham 9. The following game would be equally tough against Loughborough, well known for their sporting talent. However, Brunel started exactly the same as before, racing into a five goal lead without conceding. Again, all positions were finding easy scores with goals shared between them. Former Austria Division One player Sabrina Staudinger and Norwegian Bo Tuv Dalland stood out, with Brunel’s British duo of Gabby Kurdyla and Annaleigh Knott contributing six between them. Following half-time Loughborough began to claw their way back yet again Brunel never looked threatened. Final score was a massive Brunel 14 Loughborough 6. Their final game was the following day against an unknown team from Birmingham University. Brunel seemed to have had lost the momentum that propelled them to two victories the previous day but
star player Maria Kourdoulos, who is also currently top scorer in the European Challenge Cup for her local club, kept the scoreboard ticking over, easily keeping Brunel ahead of the Birmingham attack. The final score was a relatively lacklustre Brunel 7 Birmingham 4. After completing a full set of victories Brunel women will obviously be looking to go all the way at this year’s championships. Their threat was underlined by the fact that main rivals Middlesex University stayed for two hours after their final game to be able to watch and assess the Brunel team. The next round will take place in February with another seeding tournament, the finals following soon after in March. In the meantime Brunel return to LUSL Handball with games against UCL and Imperial before Christmas. If you’re interested in playing or learning handball no matter what your ability, for either Brunel’s men’s or women’s teams, search for Brunel Handball on Facebook.
PHOTO CREDIT: ALISON LOKTUNG
INTERVIEW RACHEL ASHWICK (CHEER) Panny Antoniou LN: How is your academic year so far? RA: So far it’s been really interesting; I have met lots of new people and learnt new routines, so I’ve really enjoyed it. Also there’s a new coach so the way that sessions are structured is more enjoyable as we do more fun warm ups and activities.
LN: What kind of warm ups and activities do you usually do? RA: We usually do dance routines that include jumps, tumbles and flying. We warm up with stretches such as jumping jacks, squats etc. and play games such as snap, crackle, pop
LN: For those that don’t
know what is snap crackle and pop is? RA: Its a game where you get into groups of 3 and sit in a circle, each person in the group is allocated a name (either snap, crackle or pop) and then the coach shouts out one of the names, then the people with those names have to jump up, run round the circle, get back to their group, go under their legs and get the middle before the other groups and the last one gets eliminated. LN: How did you first hear about cheer? RA: I first heard about cheerleading from the head contacts for Mill Hall and Fleming
LN: What position do you play? RA: I am a flyer on the team
LN: What is your role in that position? RA: Being a flyer involves being lifted in the air and having to pull stretches and do stunts such as twirls or flips. You have to rely on your team mates to lift you and catch you. You also do dance routines and some tumbling.
LN: That sounds interesting, what is tumbling? RA: Tumbling is basically gymnastics or acrobatics, so we do flips, tucks and somersaults amongst other things.
LN: What do you most enjoy about cheerleading? RA: I enjoy the social side of it, not just going out but also within sessions, so it’s like doing team building but with gymnastics and dance
LN: Are there any competitions or rivalries we should look out for? RA: yes, cheer do 2 competitions a year against other unis and also the pom squad supports the Brunel basketball games so there’s an element of competition in there. In addition, we also compete in Varsity.
LN: What is the plan for Varsity? RA: Our plan is simple, we have to come up with the best routine we can and beat St. Mary’s
LN: Is it too late for people to join?
be very difficult to join now as many routines have already been created and there would not be much time to learn it all and be ready in time for competition.
LN: What kind of routines and exercises do you do? Dance routines that include jumps, tumbles and flying. We warm up with stretches such as jumping jacks, squats etc and play games such as snap, crackle, pop Just want to know what snap crackle and pop is Its a game where you get into groups of 3 and sit in a circle, each person in the group is allocated a name (either snap, crackle or pop) and then the coach shouts out one of the names, then the people with those names have to jump up, run round the circle, get back to their group, go under their legs and get the middle before the other groups. Last one gets eliminated What are the plans for Varsity?
RA: It’s not impossible, but it would PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK
2014 IN SPORT Joseph Cornforth
WORLD CUP 2014 The tournament was said to be one of the most entertaining football tournaments for some time, boasting many world class players, great goals and a deserved winner in Germany. The entertainment value was so high that many of us were able to overlook England’s disappointing campaign after being knocked out of the group stages for the first time since 1958. If omens are a symbol of hope, then let us hope we will bring the World Cup trophy back home in 2022! 2014 equalled the record for most goals
scored in a World Cup tournament, matching the 171 goals scored in 1998. 2014 also broke the record for most goalscorers in a tournament with 121, and Germany’s 7-1 win against Brazil in the semi-final was the largest win in a semi-final.
RYDER CUP 2014 Europe managed to retain the Ryder Cup 2014 at the tournament in at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland by winning 16½ points to USA’s 11½. Paul McGinley and Tom Watson were the captains for Europe and USA respectively. The press conference before the tournament featured some spats between the opposing captains.
QBE INTERNATIONALS SUPERBOWL 2014 One of the biggest nights that happened in Brunel over the past year was the Superbowl XLVIII, which was screened in Loco’s and The Academy. National Football Conference champions Seattle Seahawks secured their first ever Superbowl title with a comprehensive 43-8 over American Football Conference Denver Broncos. The scoreline was the third highest winning margin in Superbowl history. The halftime show featured Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers and it was the most watched halftime show ever.
Preparations for next year’s Rugby World Cup began in the QBE Autumn Internationals. England began the internationals with defeats by South Africa and New Zealand, but then managed to secure wins against Samoa and Australia, who England defeated to secure the Rugby World Cup in 2003. England will also be looking forward to the RBS Six Nations tournament, which will be taking place next February.
WIMBLEDON 2014 Andy Murray had won the 2013 championships, and the world was
watching whether the Great Britain number one could repeat the feat. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Murray as he was knocked out by Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov. Novak Djokovic, Murray’s opponent in the 2013 Wimbledon final, secured his second Wimbledon title with victory over Roger Federer.
THIS MONTH... HANDBALL
B RU N E L U N I V E R S I T Y ’ S S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R
BRUNEL KART CLUB CHANGE THEIR NAME TO HONOUR ALUMNI
LADIES SWEEP ASIDE FINALISTS
INTERVIEW WITH A FLYER
RESOLUTIONS OUR CLUBS’ HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS FOR 2015
PHOTO CREDIT: BUKC
Kat Clementine The Kart Club at Brunel has been renamed, in tribute to Martin Trinder, an ex-Brunel student and keen karter who sadly passed away this year.
Martin died falling off his bicycle on a hill at St Augustines Crescent in Penarth. He was taken to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff but died on the 22nd July. His funeral was held in York on the 8th August.
According to Penarth Times, his family The name change announcement thanked everyone for their support in came from a touching G a b r i e l e “His family thanked everyone for tribute to Morocutti, the their support in a touching trib- their “dearly club’s Social l o v e d S e c r e t a r y , ute to their dearly loved son and son and on the 7th brother.” brother’” November. P e t e r He said, “As many of you might know, Pokoradi, who was at Brunel from a fellow member of the Kart Club 2009-2014 studying Motorsport passed away this summer following Engineering, recalls times spent an accident. He worked very hard for with him and remembers him as this club and loved racing and karting. “An absolutely top guy, who was He was a good friend to many people. intelligent and hard working enough For this reason the committee has to be sponsored through his final decided to change the Club name in masters year at university, while honour.” always having time for friends. Great memories!” Martin, who was 25 years old, completed his degree at Brunel He went on to describe the kindness University and lived in Cardiff. He Martin had shown the club. “At some undertook an industrial placement at point in early 2011 the Brunel Kart GE Aviation in Caerphilly. Club was racing in Wales at Llandow Circuit. He was coming to race with us
as the track was only a short distance from his home.” “Because students are students and we had zero budget he actually offered to team, all 12 members, to stay at his house, which he already shared with at least one other guy. This resulted in people sleeping everywhere, on the couch, every possible floor space dotted around the house.”
“The night before we went out to an Indian restaurant to have some curry and a few beers which resulted in a pretty good evening, despite the rather uncomfortable nights sleep. Few good memories came out of the night and a great day of racing for Brunel Karting.”
JANUARY BUCS FIXTURES, NEVER MISS A GAME
“He only knew a handful of guys from the 12 people he put up for the night, but nevertheless he was there to help anyone who needed it.” The now Martin Trinder Kart Club took a group picture with a banner to commemorate the name change and will organise charity events in the future. PHOTO CREDIT: BBC