Inspire - Michaelmas 2021

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Table of Contents Will we ever know everything about everything?.......................................................2 The Price of Genius…………………………………………………………...……..4 A Short Intro to the Essence of Calculus……………………………………………6 What Forensics Can Tell Us About Life, Not Death……………………………….10 The Biologist’s Guide to the Galaxy……………………………………………….13 An Introduction to Tachyon Particles………………………………………………15 Chinese Idiomatic Expressions……..………………………………………………16 Are Men Better than Women at Chess?…………………………………………….17 Concussion in Rugby……………………………………………………………….19 Rhino Poaching in Zimbabwe; Why is it happening? ………………..……………20 Is Starmer bringing Labour back to the centre? ……………………..……………..22 Verstappen Vs Hamilton – The Battle for the Championship…………….………..24

Editorial Following on from the hiatus of the Covid-19 situation, Marlborough scholars are back at school and are keener than ever to write. The L6 scholars have decided to open up the magazine, not only to younger scholars to whisk up an article. I can say that, without a doubt, the life lessons that we have all learned as individuals from the pandemic are eye-opening. We have all had different experiences during the pandemic. From the range of wonderful articles that are featured in this edition, and the equally amazing ones that are in our stock, it can be seen that we have all developed fascinations with different concepts and ideas during lockdown. In this edition, we present the carefully selected and composed articles on a range of topics. From chess to Formula 1, there is definitely something interesting for everyone! By Chicha

With Special Thanks to: Sophie Herrmann, Erin Butler, Rosie Hodgson and Chicha Nimitpornsuko


Will we ever know everything about everything? As science keeps moving forward, marching to a never-ending beat of discovery, many people have questioned as to how much longer this can continue. What will run out first, things to discover in the universe or the human desire for knowledge? The curiosity that compels people to search, think, write and philosophise seems unending, so surely at some point before the heat death of the universe our understanding as a civilisation about the place in which we live will be complete? Unlikely. Albert Einstein, widely regarded as one of the smartest men to have walked this planet, spent decades of his life in search of a unifying, so-called ‘Theory of Everything’, that brought together his work of general relativity and the work of Niels Bohr and others of Quantum Mechanics. Ultimately, he failed in his quest and that equation has still not been found to this day. Despite break throughs with the discovery of Hawking Radiation and the suggested string theory which point towards how these two phenomena can interact science is still no closer to discovery this elusive foundation. Despite this, even if the link were to be found, many maintain that it would not be the ‘Theory of Everything’ but rather, as leading physicist and advocate of Superstring theory Brian Green says, “its discovery would be a beginning rather than an end”. So if the ‘Theory of Everything’ is actually just the start, what is the ending? A nagging question enveloped cosmologists throughout most of the 20th century, they knew that the universe was expanding but how could it possibly be accelerating in its expansion? In the 1940s Edwin Hubble discovered, due to the red shift measured of our near-by galaxies such as Andromeda, that our universe was not only expanding but also accelerating in its expansion. This realisation prompted the creation of the theory of dark energy, first put forward by a group of cosmologists in 1998. This discovery came alongside the discovery that most galaxies had far too little mass from detectable objects such as stars and planets to stay formed as they are and thus the theory of dark matter, which makes up for the missing mass in galaxies, was formed. These two things are said to account for up to 95% of the universe leaving us to have discovered, and not even yet understood, just 5% of the entire universe. This shows to many that there is a lot of work to be done and highlights how in the 7 million years humans have inhabited earth we have barely scratched the surface of what is truly out there. This idea may provoke many to believe that we will never in fact, no matter how long we are around, be able to discover and understand the entirety of the universe. Moreover, without even thinking about the wider expanses of the universe, our own planet is still a mystery to us. Around 80% of our oceans are currently unmapped, unobserved and unexplored and many parts seem unreachable, especially with our current technological capabilities. Humans have travelled forty thousand times farther away from the surface of the earth into space than under the sea and it seems unlikely that humans will be able to travel any deeper in the near future. This leads to a daunting idea; it is unlikely that humans will discover and understand half of what goes on in the oceans anytime in the near future. However, will we ever know everything about them? If the rate of human technological progress and curiosity remain the same then most likely yes, but only if we do not destroy them through climate change before. Not only are the oceans on earth a mystery but so is much of the land. New varieties and species of flora and fauna are discovered every day by scientists. For example, in 2016, 18,000 new types of living organisms were discovered; that is on average 50 a day. So, it seems not only will it take an immensely long time to explore every


habitat but even longer to discover all that lives within, let alone understand the nature of those creatures. It took biologists half a century of studying to understand truly how the European eel mates and the original question was posed hundreds of years ago during the Middle Ages, which is just one example of how discouragingly difficult it can be to understand the living world here on earth. However, with enough time and diligence from the scientific community I think it is possible for humans to discover and understand all living organisms on planet earth, even with the astonishingly high rates of adaptation and extinction keeping them on their toes. So, from these few examples I think we can draw the conclusion that humanity will almost certainly not be able to ever know everything about everything or possibly anything close to that. The universe and maybe even our own planet are far too vast and complex a place for one civilisation to discover and understand in their entirety. But is this such a bad thing? Life is such an interesting and captivating place due to these unknowns and having a world without any unanswered questions is not nearly as compelling. As said by the Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman, “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned”.


Max Del Mar – Lower 6th


The Price of Genius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist, whose most well-known contribution to science is the creation of the atomic bomb. He was the lead physicist behind the infamous and fatal Manhattan Project, which paved the way to the production of the first nuclear weapons, and as a result, the man responsible for the deaths of up to 226,000 people who were mostly civilians. Madness and maniacal drive for success fueled Oppenheimer to create one of the deadliest weapons that the modern world will ever know. However, the shadows that plague every genius are always of his own creation. Oppenheimer’s early years are similar as one might expect of a child prodigy. He was born in 1904 to a wealthy German-Jewish New York couple. Although he was a sickly child, he managed to deliver his first scientific paper at age 12, graduated from Harvard three years later and received his doctorate at age 23. He was described as ‘insufferably arrogant.’ In 1928, he was offered positions in 10 universities including Harvard but accepted a joint position at the University of California Berkley and the California Institute of Technology. However, under his façade, Oppenheimer also suffered from bouts of depression and many forms of emotional instability. At Berkeley, he gravitated towards the Communist milieu socially, intellectually, and politically. His abhorrence of fascism and social injustice led him to join many Communist Party-linked organizations and he even contributed money to the party to aid and support their causes. Even though he was technically a part of the party, there is a fine line between membership and work, especially for professionals such as him. He may have joined parties with communist ideals, however they were not officially ‘communists.’ Authors of American Prometheus, Bird and Sherwin found no evidence that Oppenheimer ever joined the party, accepted the discipline, or even conformed his opinion to fit party views. In August 1943, Leslie Groves chose Oppenheimer to direct the Los Alamos laboratory, which designed nuclear weapons. With Oppenheimer in charge, the project flourished in a way it had never done under Groves. Oppenheimer’s intelligence and skillful mediation skills between scientists and military officials produced breathtaking results. Many scientists were reluctant to join the project due to ethical concerns and Isdor Isaac Rabi refused to contribute at all since he ‘expressed serious qualms about the atomic bomb research.’ In the end, however, most of the scientist caved due to their passionate anti-fascism and crippling fear of Adolf Hitler creating a bomb before the United States. Groves made sure to keep Oppenheimer in line by exploiting his weakness, his vulnerable security status. He understood that, very much like himself, Oppenheimer was driven by an unhealthy and overwhelming ambition and constantly sought the fame and adulation that would follow the successful completion of the bomb. Much before Oppenheimer’s lapse into his moral crisis, the company of scientists started to question the project. Spurred by troubling questions from Niels Bohr and Leo Szilard, the group pondered the ethical implications of what would be the result of their creation. The slaughtering of innocent civilians and the thought of commencing a catastrophic arms race between the US and the Soviet Union caused uneasiness among them. However, Oppenheimer was less than concerned. When questioned by Enrico Fermi about his decision to poison the German food supply, Oppenheimer remarked, ‘we should not attempt a plan unless we can poison food sufficient to kill a half a million men.’ Oppenheimer’s despair struck him over the destruction of Hiroshima as the significance of what he and the team had achieved hit home. As he witnessed the first detonation of his creation on July 16, 1945, the words that ran through Robert Oppenheimer’s mind were “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”, which is from a


piece of Hindu scripture. Never had humankind possessed such destructive power and all the blood was on Oppenheimer’s hands. He felt responsible for the ensuing of the arms race and the threat to civilization that he was so eager about in his youth. Robert Oppenheimer’s end was bitter but possessed a certain dignity. Immediately after the end of the Second World War, he resigned his position and dived back into work, this time on the elimination and dismantling of all such bombs. He toiled feverishly to create an international authority to control nuclear weapons. He spoke of the ‘numbing indifferent’ that World War II had made on humankind and that ‘we have made a very grave mistake.’ He spoke mercilessly of himself and of his teams that ‘in some sort of crude sense… the physicists have known sin.’ Even though he did not define ‘sin,’ it is easy to assume what he meant. Oppenheimer spoke in the Association of Los Alamos Scientists in 1945 but he did not share their enthusiasm for the fabrication of ammunition. He instead called for noble goals: he wanted to share the knowledge of atomic process, the creation of a world fraternity of nuclear scientists and most importantly, an abolition of nuclear weapons. Oppenheimer was offered many jobs, but he ended up serving in Washington as an adviser and contributor to the Acheson-Lilienthal Report on international atomic controls. His job was short lived, as a witch hunt trial was opened against him concerning his pre-war association with Communists. Unfortunately, the trial had more to do with Oppenheimer’s refusal to support the hydrogen bomb project. He retained his job as director of the Institute of Advanced Study resident however, and in 1963 John F. Kennedy awarded Oppenheimer the Enrico Fermi Award as a gesture of political rehabilitation, and he later retired with a curious honor. He died of throat cancer on February 18th, 1967. Sadly, Oppenheimer was nominated for the Nobel Prize for physics three times, in 1945, 1951 and 1967, but never won.

This concludes the painful existence of the father of the atomic bomb. Robert Oppenheimer is the embodiment of two of the highest human types, the theoretical man as a typical Aristotelian god-like figure, holding the same destructive power and God complex but plagued by the suffering that he has caused. It can be argued that this is what renounced his distinction and has demoted him as just a man amongst men but there is a dark majesty in taking responsibly for his downfall. His agony and strong moral compass tore him open from top to bottom. The theoretical man knows no such burden because he does not possess the same intelligence, ideas, struggles and moral greatness as Oppenheimer. Robert Oppenheimer is credited today one of the greatest scientists the world had ever known, however, I doubt that he had ever seen himself in that light.


Chicha Nimitpornsuko – Lower 6th


A Short Intro to the Essence of Calculus If I spoke to someone and asked them what they thought maths was, they would probably say it was a subject in which you operated on numbers to come up with solutions to problems. Numbers, numbers, numbers. To an ordinary person, this is all maths is: numbers. To a mathematician, this is only the beginning. To put this into perspective, if you can speak English, it does not mean that you can really use the language. If you wanted to tell imaginative and adventurous stories, you would use the language that you have been given to give the reader a real understanding of the world which you have created and to make them feel a part of it. In maths, it is a mathematicians aim to display a simple and elegant “sentence” of maths which will give you an insight into the world around you. Pure maths is a very creative subject which surprises most people that don’t already know it. Whatever you thought maths was before, I encourage you to open your mind so that I can show you a side of maths that you may not be familiar with. I would like to take you through the topic of the essence of calculus which introduces a different, creative way of thinking about maths. I will begin by walking you through some of the essence of calculus. It is quite likely that you know some of calculus already; perhaps you have slaved to learn endless rules such as the chain rule, the quotient rule and all the others. But perhaps you don’t really understand it. The reality is that all this maths makes perfect sense. What is more, is that it is almost obvious if you were to think deeply about it. This is how the most important parts of science tend to come about: thinking deeply about a simple problem. Suppose I wanted to find the area under the graph of 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2 bounded by the 𝑥𝑥 − 𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 between the points (0,0) 𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 (2,0). This may seem like something random and maybe it seems that is impossible because the gradient of 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2 will constantly be changing, but I encourage you to think about this. I will show the area that we are trying to find to the left: What you might think about doing is seeing what happens to the area if you increased the range from 0 𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 2 𝑡𝑡𝑡𝑡 0 𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 2.1. This small change has the effect of adding area equivalent to a shape which can be approximated as a rectangle. Notice how we are using approximations, which may feel strange to you from the maths you know already. We should consider what the area of this ‘rectangle’ is. It will turn out to be approximately 0.1 × (2.1)2. This is true since the yvalue will be 𝑥𝑥 2 (hence 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2). What matters here is not the value for this example, but for in general; what happens if you were to increase 𝑥𝑥 by a tiny number? From now on we will represent this tiny change in 𝑥𝑥 as 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 where you can think of the 𝑑𝑑 standing for the Greek letter delta (meaning change in maths) and meaning a small change.

What we have now is that the change in area is equal to the change in 𝑥𝑥 multiplied by the length of the rectangle which is 𝑥𝑥 2. Our formula is as follows: 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 = 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 × 𝑥𝑥 2

You may have noticed that I have written 𝑥𝑥 2 instead of (𝑥𝑥 + 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑)2 . This is because we can imagine that 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 is such a small value that it doesn’t change the value of 𝑥𝑥 2 by a noticeable amount. (N.B. 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 means the change in area).


The formula that we have just come up with seems simple if you were to think about it. It is clear that increasing 𝑥𝑥 by some small number will increase the area by approximately a rectangle. It is also clear what the area of this rectangle is. Without even realising it, you have been introduced to two of the most important concepts in calculus: limits and derivatives. If we were to rearrange our equation that we have above, we would get the following equation: 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 = 𝑥𝑥 2 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

Before I come back to this, I would like to refer back to one more thing: the gradient of the curve 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2.

We can find the gradient of a curve by thinking about the effect a small change in 𝑥𝑥 has on 𝑓𝑓(𝑥𝑥) which in our case is 𝑥𝑥 2. This means we can think of it like this 𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟

𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

and more specifically

𝑑𝑑𝑥𝑥 2 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

. This will

. Unfortunately, we can’t simply cancel the 𝑑𝑑′𝑠𝑠 and the effectively give us the 𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟 𝑥𝑥′𝑠𝑠. It wouldn’t really make any sense anyway if you think about it; you would be taking out the small values which is what calculus is all about. As our function that we want to find the gradient of is 𝑥𝑥 2 we can literally think of it as a square with side lengths 𝑥𝑥:

If we were to increase 𝑥𝑥 by some tiny amount 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑, it would have the following effect on the area: We now have three new bits of area: two rectangles and a square. The rectangles will measure 𝑥𝑥 × 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 and the square will be 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 2. Before including 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 2 though, consider how small it really is. For example, imagine squaring 0.00001. this would be so small you could pretty much ignore it. This is what we will do here. We see that there are two rectangles, so the total new area is 2𝑥𝑥 × 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑. This means that a small change in 𝑥𝑥 gave us 2𝑥𝑥 × 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 new area. 𝑑𝑑𝑥𝑥 2 = 2𝑥𝑥 × 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑


𝑑𝑑𝑥𝑥 2 = 2𝑥𝑥 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

Just by thinking about the area of a square, you have come up with the gradient of the curve 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2. As you can 𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟 see, you have the of the curve. The typical way you might go about finding the derivative of this function will 𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟𝑟 either look like this: (ℎ is some tiny change in 𝑥𝑥) 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

= 𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙 ℎ→0

= 𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙 ℎ→0

= 𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙 ℎ→0

(𝑥𝑥+ℎ)2 −𝑥𝑥2 ℎ

𝑥𝑥 2 +2𝑥𝑥+ℎ2 −𝑥𝑥 2 2𝑥𝑥+ℎ2


𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

= 𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙𝑙 2𝑥𝑥 + ℎ ℎ→0

= 2𝑥𝑥

or this: 𝑑𝑑(𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 𝑛𝑛 ) 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

𝑑𝑑(𝑥𝑥 2 ) 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

= 𝑛𝑛𝑛𝑛𝑛𝑛 𝑛𝑛−1

2 × 𝑥𝑥 2−1 = 2𝑥𝑥

I think that our method was more intuitive, don’t you? We say the derivative of 𝑥𝑥 2 is 2𝑥𝑥 because this is its gradient at any point. Using our knowledge of this notation, 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 we can see that = 𝑥𝑥 2 is a derivative (or the gradient) of the area under the curve that we were working with 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 earlier. This feels quite strange, right? What we found earlier is that the change in area under the curve is directly proportional to the function itself (𝑥𝑥 2). This in turn is equal to the gradient of the graph which displays the area under the curve 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2. If this feels strange, great! Maybe you would have experienced maths that you have never experienced before. It almost feels obvious, though, to some level. We didn’t really do anything complicated; we just thought deeply about a function and came across calculus as if by chance. We thought about tiny changes in area under 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2 and tiny changes in the area of a square. From that, we worked out the gradient of the curve 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2 and that there is a relationship between the area under the curve of a function and the function itself. In fact, we could go one step further. I think this would be a good place to just slow down and digest all the information that we have gone over. This would also be a good time to reflect on really what is going on here. Firstly, we discovered that rearranging a formula we came up with, we found that: 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 = 𝑥𝑥 2 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑

Or in other words, the derivative of the function which gives us the area under the curve 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2 bounded by the 𝑥𝑥 − 𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎𝑎 is 𝑥𝑥 2 itself. This is not an obvious statement but, using our small changes, it almost seems intuitive.

The second thing we came across was that a derivative was a rate of change and an example of this was the derivative of 𝑥𝑥 2. This turned out to be equal to 2𝑥𝑥. I now want to use these two facts together to introduce the final part of calculus: integrals.

We know that the derivative of 𝑥𝑥 2 is 2𝑥𝑥 but what about if we wanted to do the reverse. Let’s say that you were told that 2𝑥𝑥 was the rate of change of some function and you needed to work out the function itself. We know that the derivative of the area function under the curve 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2 is equal to 𝑥𝑥 2. If we divided the area under the 1 curve between 0 and 2 into rectangles with 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 width each, we would have rectangles. Let’s imagine that we 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 were to add them up to give us the total area. We might write it with a symbol that you can think of as looking like an “s” for sum: 2

� 𝑥𝑥 2 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑 0


It shows that you are adding the area between 0 and 2 as well. Now we must work out what function has the derivative 𝑥𝑥 2. You might have noticed that when we took the derivative of 𝑥𝑥 2, we lost one from the power to give us 2𝑥𝑥 (of course there is a 2 there as well but we’ll ignore this for now). Let’s try this same idea for 𝑥𝑥 3: This is a picture of a cube, and it represents 𝑥𝑥 3 which has a power one higher than 𝑥𝑥 2. If we were to increase 𝑥𝑥 by some tiny 𝑑𝑑𝑑𝑑, we would get something like this:

All I have shown here is the main part of the volume that would have been gained with a slight increase of 𝑥𝑥. This total new volume is equal to 3𝑥𝑥 2. This means that the derivative of 𝑥𝑥 3 is 3𝑥𝑥 2. This is very close to 𝑥𝑥 2 (which is what we want it to be): it is only off by a factor of 3. So, we can say that the derivative of 1 3 𝑥𝑥 is 𝑥𝑥 2. We say that this is the “indefinite integral” of 𝑥𝑥 2. Therefore: 3

1 𝑓𝑓(𝐴𝐴) = 𝑥𝑥 3 3

And there we have it: you have found the area under the curve 𝑦𝑦 = 𝑥𝑥 2 with little maths, really. In our journey, we came across limits, derivatives, and integrals. I hope that this has given you an insight into what calculus is essentially about and the thinking that goes into it. We have managed to come up with a function for the area under a curve, which is genuinely impressive. What is important though, is not the answer but the way that we came across it: tiny changes in 𝑥𝑥 and approximations. This is at the heart of what calculus is about.

What’s important from this, is that maths is a subject of thinking deeply and coming up with simple and elegant ways to present things. Quite often we are made to think that maths is just numbers and formulae. In truth, maths is a series of creative ideas forming a language to describe the world around us. Next time you come across a mathematical problem, don’t think of it as being numbers, think of it as describing part of the world around you and how this affects the meaning in the universe.


Elliot Ransome – Remove


What Forensics Can Tell Us About Life, Not Death The majority of forensics typically focuses on discovering the causes and nature of a death. However, forensics can tell the story of someone’s life as eloquently as it can their death. In this article, I will look at how forensics can uncover your life before death through your occupation, individual markers, last meal and the place where you grew up and lived recently, in addition to mentioning why this is important in everyday life. Forensic anthropologists can determine the type of activity a person did frequently throughout their life based on occupational markers, also known as musculoskeletal stress markers. In the body, skeletal muscles allow movement by connecting to our bones at different points. Each muscle has multiple attachment sites, called the origin, to a stationary bone and a point of attachment to a moving bone, called the insertion. These sites can also be called entheses. Ligaments, cartilage and tendons form similar attachments around the muscle. As they are stressed, the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage develop stronger attachments to the bone, causing long-term activities to make entheses more pronounced. If you were an avid golfer, for example, you may have occupational markers in your shoulder from the repetitive swinging motion. The exact type of movement can’t always be determined, but there are many types of movement that have been identified from past remains. For example, Snowmobiler’s Back is a set of compression fractures of the vertebrae in the lower back that result from travelling over rough terrain in a vehicle with poor shock-absorbing capabilities, most commonly a snowmobile. This condition has also been observed in parachute jumpers, tobogganers and medieval remains who rode in wooden-wheeled carts in Germany! Furthermore, Le Trou de Pipe (Pipe Smoker’s Teeth) is the mechanical wear of the central incisors. This can result from policemen using whistles, wind instrument players, trumpeters, glass blowers or pipe smokers. Forensic dentists can determine where a person grew up based on the chemical composition of their teeth. Strontium in rocks is taken up by plants and then transferred to animals that feed on the plants. When humans ingest one of these organisms, that strontium is used alongside calcium to build tooth enamel. Two of strontium’s four stable isotopes, strontium-86 and strontium-87, exist in the soil in different ratios in different locations depending on the age of the rocks below the soil. The enamel in your adult teeth is never replaced, so it can show where you lived while it was forming. Bone also uses strontium alongside calcium, but bone cells are lost and replaced several times throughout your life so bone can tell where you have lived for the past 10 or 20 years. This allows experts to tell if a person has moved during their life by comparing the composition of their teeth and their bones. One commonly used individual marker is your fingerprints. Fingerprints are made up of tiny ridges on your fingers called friction ridges. These ridges form due to pressure exerted on your fingers when they are developing in the womb. This is why fingerprints are so unique, even if you share DNA with someone. There is a one in 64 billion chance of having exactly the same fingerprint as someone else. We leave fingerprints on surfaces because the ridges contain pores that secrete sweat. This is what leaves behind the pattern. Fingerprinting (dactyloscopy) can be done simply by cleaning a person’s finger in ethanol to remove sweat, drying it, and rolling it in ink. The hand can then be placed on a sheet of paper, recording the position of the friction ridges. As they are so individual, they can be used to link a person back to their identity from life, returning it to the body. However, a rare genetic condition called adermatoglyphia prevents the formation of fingerprints. Another, less well known, identifier is the veins in your wrist and on the back of your hand. These are even more individual than your fingerprint. This is because the blood vessels in your body develop in utero when blood islands form. This is when a type of cell, called hemangioblasts, clumps together at points in the body. These blood islands eventually begin to form blood vessels. As you get further away from the heart and major organs the placement of these blood islands, with smaller blood vessels such as veins and capillaries, begins to become


less regular. This causes the veins in your hand and wrist to be unique, and the position of all the veins from the antecubital fossa (the anterior surface of the elbow) are so individual that their position can’t be relied on with any certainty! This method of identification can be applied to the living and the dead and was first allowed as evidence in court in 2006. This was when a girl recorded video of a man’s arm touching her at night. The girl claimed it was her father, but he denied it. However, Professor Dame Sue Black was able to match the veins in the man’s hand to those of the father as the camera had reverted to infrared mode in the dark, causing the deoxygenated blood in the veins to show up as pronounced black lines. This technology has also started to be used in security instead of fingerprints since they are harder to imitate. These are both part of a branch of science called biometrics. Finally, forensic pathologists can determine what a person last ate by analysing the contents of their stomach. With undigested food, sections can be removed from the stomach and analysed under a microscope, allowing the pathologist to identify the last meal of the deceased. To be more precise, this can also be done using molecular methods. A recent study of identified 34 vertebrate (animal) molecules and 124 plant molecules. As the stomach stops working after death, there can be strong chances of discovering what the person last ate, even several hours ago, when they were alive. Identifying who a person was in life is very important as it allows us to better understand our past. We can paint a more detailed picture of history using forensic techniques as it allows us to see what kind of life previous generations led. For example, occupational markers can show class divides in history as farmers and workers would have more pronounces entheses than the nobility. It also allows us to get an idea of the technology they had available, like how the wooden wheeled carts in Germany left compression fractures on skeletons as they had bad shock-absorbing capabilities. The comparison of strontium isotopes in the enamel of our teeth and in our bones also allows archaeologists to determine how different groups of people migrated. They can tell if a group was nomadic or if they tended to stay in one particular region, perhaps suggesting they were territorial. It also allows them to show how groups of people spread out and moved over time as these skeletons can also be dated, giving an indication of the first-time groups of people mixed, or travelled. Forensics will also be important in the future as it allows people to be reunited with their identities and their families after disasters such as tsunamis or terrorism. When disasters strike, millions can be killed which leaves millions of unidentified bodies and grieving families without answers. Using these techniques to give a person their life back stops them being lost to anonymity in death and allows their family to know what truly happened to their loved one and to commit their body in whichever way they wish. It allows families to find closure and breaks the isolation of being a nameless corpse that can consume so many after terrible disasters. The saying “to lose your life” can be cruelly literal. Also, as we become more apt at using these new branches of biometrics we will be able to have greater security as things like the veins in your wrist and hand are incredibly hard to imitate, much more so than the commonly used fingerprint. As this technology progresses, people will be able to make their homes, resources and families more secure. In conclusion, forensics can return the story of who a person was in life to them, not just who they were in the hours of their death. They can do this by discovering the places they’ve lived, their frequent activities, their unique identifiers and their last meal. They can uncover the things that made that person themselves while they were alive, like their origins, foods they enjoyed and favourite activities. This is important as it allows us to understand more about our history and how people used to live, as well as allowing us to return identities to modern victims and loved ones to their families when disasters strike. No-one deserves to lose their entire life to death’s anonymity. -

Lottie Jordan - Remove


The Biologists Guide to the Galaxy Ever wondered why are we here? Biology has answers but, a bit like the answer “42” from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, you might be a little disappointed with it. The answer is simple, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. And it leads on to some wonderfully beautiful thoughts. You could have complex philosophical and theological answers, but in my experience, these give answers with more questions and are matters of personal opinion, schools of thought. Biology is empirical – it can be measured and used to make reliable predictions. Hard answers. I know which I prefer but then I also know I am usually wrong. So, why are we here? The answer is similar as to why rain falls from the sky. Droplets of water condense away from the surface of the Earth and then return towards that surface because they obey straight-forward laws of nature – gravity in this case. And so, we are here because the atoms that make us are following straight-forward laws of nature. We are here because 3 billion years ago in the broiling waters of the oceans some atoms crashed into each other, yet again. You might be familiar with the idea that if I had enough chimpanzees randomly typing away on typewriters one would write the works of Shakespeare. Imagine billions and billions of them at desks, stretching across the whole Earth, out past the Moon, past Jupiter to the very edge of our solar system. Full of chimps hammering away. Randomly. And that is only a billionth of them. By chance one of them is writing Shakespeare. Now think how many atoms there are in all the oceans of the world (clue: there are more atoms in a bottle of water than there are bottles of water in the oceans). And imagine them bashing into each other through simple Brownian motion for 4 billion years. Throw in some volcanic heat, solar radiation and a bit of lightning. We need a molecule made up of about 50 atoms and after a 4 billion-year wait, that is what happened. The way the atoms were arranged in the molecule gave it two properties: 1. 2.

It was stable and not about to fall apart again. If other atoms came near it then they would be arranged in a reflected pattern, copying the original arrangement.

There we have it. A molecule that can make copies of itself. Every now and then it will make mistakes as it copies itself. Most of these mistakes will be a disaster, but every now and then they actually make it more stable and better at copying itself. For example, it might stick a few extra atoms around itself, protecting it from harmful UV radiation. It might make copies of another molecule that doesn’t copy itself, but instead is good at attracting the right atoms so it copies itself faster. We call the self-copying molecule a nucleic acid. The atoms that protect it would be a protein coat. The molecule that speeds up copying is called an enzyme. Through these tiny improvements, step by step, the molecule develops into a cell and then into the millions of different organisms that have existed in the last 3 billion years. This basic process of change over time is called evolution and is driven by the straight-forward law of nature called natural selection: getting better at fitting into the environment. And so, the reason why we are here is that on Earth the conditions exist for molecules to evolve and 3 billion years ago we were lucky enough for those conditions to fall into place. There are plenty of planets where these


conditions don’t exist and there are plenty of planets where these conditions do exist and yet life still hasn’t started, just like all those chimpanzees typing out meaningless text. Furthermore, there are plenty of planets where these conditions exist and life has started; but it hasn’t helped to have a nervous system that is self-aware so none of the organisms are wondering why they are there. But humans tend to be very arrogant about how important they are in the Universe. We see ourselves as somehow separate and above all of it. Some humans struggle to see that if we weren’t here, then there wouldn’t be anyone to wonder why we weren’t here. Imagine those hundreds of thousands of planets in the Universe, jealously eyeing-up Earth, thinking “why haven’t I developed Life? I’ve got all the right conditions and everything.” There is no higher purpose to our existence on Earth. We fell into existing, there was no plan. Like raindrops fall without each one planning where it is going to go, humans exist on Earth for no reason, just natural laws. Sorry, I know you feel special. But rather than being special for being made to be here, actually you’re special because you’re lucky to be here. So don’t feel sad and instead rejoice in the unbelievable luck you have had: the right planet; the right ancestors stretching back in a continuous 3 billion-year line who had what it took to survive long enough to reproduce; and, of course, out of billions of sperm and hundreds of eggs you were the lucky two.


Mr Dennis


An Introduction to Tachyon Particles Ever since Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity in 1915, it has been thought that no object (or particle) can travel faster than the speed of light. However, the finer details of Einstein’s hypothesis are often misunderstood. His special theory of relativity isn’t so much a cap that nothing can exceed but is more a barrier across which nothing can cross. Simply put, he says that nothing can start travelling slower than the speed of light then accelerate to cross the barrier and enter the faster-than-light realm. However, none of this makes any mention of particles that are born travelling faster the speed of light, which would therefore never need to cross that barrier. Such hypothetical particles are called “tachyons” or “tachyonic particles”. The idea of tachyonic particles was first introduced by German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in 1962. However, the term tachyon was not coined until 1967 by Gerald Feinberg in his paper entitled, "On the possibility of faster-than-light particles". In his study, Feinberg explored the possibility of particles travelling faster than light in a vacuum, whilst also having them agree with the framework set out by Einstein in his theory of relativity. The word tachyon comes from the Greek word “tachy”, meaning swift, and sits alongside “luxons” and “bradons”. Tachyons travel faster than the speed of light; luxons travel exactly at the speed of light and bradons travel slower than the speed of light. The main reason that some physicists think faster-than-light travel cannot be achieved by ordinary matter is because of the way speed affects mass. According to Newton’s First Law of Motion, if you want something to move faster, you need to apply external force to the object in question. However, to do this you need energy. And more energy is needed as you approach the speed of light because particles get heavier the faster they move. In a vacuum, an infinite amount of energy would be needed to propel a single electron to the speed of light – more energy than exists in the entire universe. Conversely, the reason other physicists believe in tachyons is because of their supposed “imaginary mass” and how this influences the speed at which they travel. Imaginary mass refers to tachyons only having mass when in motion, but not when stationary due to particles getting heavier as they speed up. Additionally, unlike ordinary particles which gain energy as their speed increases, tachyons do the opposite and lose energy as they gain speed. So, if we accept that tachyonic particles can (in theory) travel faster than the speed of light, their existence would have some very interesting, if not potentially disastrous, consequences to the laws of physics and causality – mostly because of their ability to travel back in time. Due to the way that space and time affect each other, the faster something moves the slower it will perceive time. If something reaches light speed, time will theoretically completely stop and if something travels faster than light, time will in theory start to go backwards. So, tachyons would always be moving away from the future and into the past, against the grain of time. In essence, if a tachyon did something 10 billion years in the future, it could have an impact on something that is happening today. They could hurtle back in time and rewrite history, thereby violating the laws of causality. Something that hasn’t even happened yet is taking place in the past which will then impact the present and the future. Imagine sending your 7-year-old self a message telling them not to try a certain food because they will suffer a severe, lifethreatening allergic reaction to it. To be able to give this advice to your former self, though, you would have to have tried that food yourself to know the implications that it would have on your health. So, if 7-year-old you grew up not having tried this food, how could they warn their former self of something they had no experience of? This is called the Grandfather Paradox. In conclusion, tachyons are hypothetical particles that can travel faster than the speed of light. They are strange things that have traits very unique to them - they have an imaginary mass that allows them to travel at extremely high speeds and therefore travel back in time. The ability for them to do this could have some disastrous consequences to causality and could ultimately change the way we view physics. Although tachyons have never actually been found in experiments as real particles travelling through a vacuum, they are thought by many physicists to be theoretically possible in the form of "quasiparticles".



Leo Fitzgerald – Remove

Chinese idiomatic expressions: 成语 All languages across the world are laced with a multitude of idiomatic expressions. These are short expressions which when translated literally either contain no meaning at all or have a meaning which doesn’t make sense in the context. However, the power which idiomatic expressions hold within language is immense and an understanding of such expressions is key to learning any language. In the Chinese language, an example of idiomatic expressions, and the basis of this article is 成 语 (cheng yu). When translated literally 成 语 means already made/formed words or speech. 成语 are usually four character phrases which carry a wealth of meaning. They are extremely brief but can convey a much deeper meaning. They also have a strong intonation and can add a good rhythm to your speech. 成语 are a fundamental part of the Chinese language as with around 8000 individually recognised phrases in any Chinese dictionary, 96% of them are four-character phrases. 成语 are usually derived from ancient Chinese literature. They are mostly linked with myth, story, and historical fact from which they were derived. An example in the English language would be the expression “Achilles’ heel” to describe an area of weakness or vulnerability. The expression, derived from Greek mythology tells the tale of Achilles, the greatest of all the Greek warriors, whose entire body was invulnerable except for his heel. The meaning behind 成语 usually surpasses the sum of the meanings of the four characters which make up the phrase. 成语 do not follow the usual grammatical structure and syntax of the modern Chinese spoken language, this is because they are highly complex and are extremely compact phrases. Because 成语 are set phrases, they are able to be used as nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and so forth. Although most 成语 are four-character phrases, there are of course, exceptions. The longest 成语 that I could find was a sixteen-character phrase: 不是东风压了西风就是西风压了东风. It directly translates to, it is not the east wind that overwhelms the west wind but the west wind which overwhelms the east wind. Traditionally, it would be used to indicate two opposing parties in a feudal system, in which one was overwhelming the other. However, more recently it can be used to describe the power of justice having an overwhelming advantage over the forces of evil. 成语 also have an important historical significance. In the past, 成语 were solely used by the wealthy, this is because only those in society who were able to go to school and be educated had the opportunity to learn these set phrases. Therefore, those who would use them were seen as higher classed as you could tell that they had been educated. By using 成语 now, you can show that you have an in depth understanding of not only the Chinese language but also of the culture in China. Also, 成语 can also be shown as a sign of intelligence as it conveys a sense of historical understanding. My personal favourite 成语 would be 对牛弹琴 (dui nui tan qin), it is a phrase which directly translates to “to play the piano to a cow,” and implies that someone has chosen the wrong audience, because they cannot understand what they are talking about. In English, it is similar to “talking to a brick wall.” It is derived from a story of an esteemed musician, Gong Mingyi who one day decided to play his Guqin to a cow. He played a multitude of songs all of which the grazing cow ignored. Gong Mingyi felt disappointed and started to question his own Guqin playing abilities, that is until he decided to play weird sounds like the sound of a fly or the sound of a small calf. These sounds caught the attention of the cow leading Gong Mingyi to realise that it was not his playing ability, which was not up to par, it was the cow’s ability of understanding which could not understand the music that he was playing. In today’s context it is still used as a phrase for example if someone is trying to explain rocket science to a child, it can be said that they are “playing the piano to a cow.” Hopefully, you were able to learn something about the importance of idiomatic expressions in the Chinese language from this article, and hopefully I haven’t been playing the piano to a cow!


Sebastian Hebblethwaite – Lower 6th


Are Men Better than Women at Chess? On the 23rd October 2020, The Queen’s Gambit, an inconspicuous historical miniseries, came to Netflix. It was an instant hit, attracting 62 million viewers in its first month, and soon becoming Netflix’s most-watched scripted limited series to date. Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, it tells the story of Beth Harmon, an orphan chess prodigy played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who battles to become World Champion while struggling with emotional problems, drugs and alcohol dependency. While it may sound like a strange idea, the show is a compelling watch, and easily accessible even to those who have never played chess. For previous chess players, the attention to detail is immaculate: the games themselves were carefully selected by professional chess players, including the eight-time world champion GM Garry Kasparov, who also showed the actors how to move the pieces properly and play with real life accuracy. For those new to the chess world, it got many people wondering whether there has ever been a female chess world champion, such as Beth Harmon. As it happens, the plot is entirely fictional, and there never has been a female chess world champion, but there is one particular parallel to be made. Judit Polgár is without question the strongest female chess player ever. In September 2002, she defeated GM Garry Kasparov, and reached her peak rating in July 2005 at world No. 8. She even managed a peak rating of 2735 Elo, which, in the chess world, wins the unofficial title of ‘super-grandmaster’ – for reference, the rating requirement of a GM is 2500 Elo, and the average chess rating of online players is around 1300. However, only three women (including Polgár) have ever been ranked in the world’s top 100 players. Chess has always been a male-dominated sport, but the reason for this is still widely debated. Why is there such a big gap in chess achievements between women and men? Is this due to less women playing chess in general, or is there a biological difference in chess ability between the genders? An analysis of ratings of German players in 2009 showed that although the highest-rated men were stronger than the highest-rated women by over 200 rating points, this was largely accounted for by statistical distribution: a smaller pool of female players provides a much smaller range of peak high and low ratings. A large number of girls quit serious chess as a young teenager. This is partly due to the lack of a social network, as the cultural expectations are biased towards chess being a male sport. Gender stereotypes may often lead women to lower their self-esteem and confidence, playing less aggressively when they’re against men then they otherwise would. This defensive play in turn worsens their performance, leading to better play from men, and contributing further to the cultural bias. Furthermore, women are often held back by lower ambition when faced with all-women tournaments, of which there is practically no male equivalent. However, not everyone shares this belief. One such player was Bobby Fischer, the only American world chess champion in history, who many consider to be among the greatest chess players of all time. He commented that women “are not so smart,” and therefore play worse chess. Much later, in 2015, grandmaster Nigel Short argued that the difference was due to men and women being “hard-wired” for different skills. In 2020, psychologist and neuroscientist Wei Ji Ma summarised that “there is currently zero evidence for biological differences in chess ability between the genders.” However, that does not mean that these differences don’t exist. There are of course differences between men and women’s brains, but none have yet been found that may relate to chess, whether they relate to actual ability or interest in the sport.


As I’ve discussed, there are many reasons to justify the performance gap between men and women in chess, but no conclusion can yet be made on whether there are biological differences. However, it is clear that a fundamental factor is that fewer women learn chess to begin with, and therefore by the time players reach a high level, the probability of one of them being a woman is incredibly slim. This gap has existed ever since chess was established, but is it going to change? In the past year, the number of people playing chess has risen astronomically. This is largely due to two main reasons. First, the release of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, which introduced the game to millions of people –, the largest online chess website, has gained over 12 million new members since its release. However, the show alone didn’t make all the difference, but it came at the perfect time. Esports have become increasingly popular in recent years, such as the Fortnite World Cup in 2019, with a total prize pool of over $30 million. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, people found themselves with more time at home, causing a surge in Esports, but particularly in chess. The online streaming platform “Twitch” has seen chess regularly overtake popular games such as League of Legends, becoming the most viewed category that week. Many professional events such as the Candidates tournament, which dictates who will challenge Magnus Carlsen in the world championship, also took place online. The introduction of online chess means that it can be played anywhere at any time, so is way more accessible to the public. As a result, many people are playing chess as another game on their phone, and the role of Beth Harmon has inspired many women to try out the game. While it’s incredibly likely that chess will remain a maledominated sport, I have high hopes that this exposure may encourage more women to try out chess, and the sport as we know it may completely transform.


Allegra Hannan – Lower 6th


Concussion in Rugby It is impossible to hide the fact that rugby, in itself, is a very rough sport. Throughout its history the rules of the game have constantly been reviewed and changed, in order to maximise the safety of players of all ages when playing the game. Overall, these rule changes have been successful in reducing the numbers of injuries when playing, particularly to the neck. However, one reoccurring and seemingly inevitable part of the game of rugby has in-fact increased in frequency and that is concussion. In 2001, a study was carried out In an American high-school rugby program to determine the incidence of concussion in players between the ages of 15-18. The study followed two teams for 3 years, and the results were collected over this period. 17 concussions were recorded, accounting for 25% of all injuries and for 25% of all playing time lost to injury. This figure is quite frightening; although 17 does not sound like much, but there are thousands rugby teams around the world at many levels, and so if on average 25% of all rugby injuries are concussions, that accumulates to an extremely large number. On top of this, during the 2018-19 season, one in five professional Rugby Union players in England suffered from concussions. The exact figure was 20.4% which demonstrated an increase from 16% the season before, which just goes to show how much of a problem concussion is in the game. During the past decade, in which concussions have started to become a serious problem, many changes have been made to the protocol in how to determine and recover from concussions. Firstly, if a player takes an impact to the head during play, they are obligated to leave the pitch and undertake an HIA (Head-Injury Assessment) to try to recognise a concussion as early as possible. If a player is deemed to have a concussion, disregarding the severity, for players of age under 18, a minimum of 2 weeks is to be taken off and for a player over 18, 1 week must be taken from any physical activity. In this time, they must undergo tests and prove to have no symptoms of concussion before they begin an RFU-prescribed return to rugby program. Lastly, if a player obtains two concussions in a season, he must stop playing until the next season and if a player obtains five concussions throughout their playing career, then they must retire from playing contact rugby, regardless of their ability or playing level. These are all guidelines that must be followed to try and maximise the reduction of the effect of the concussion. However, what is being done to prevent them in the first place? The Rugby Football Union (RFU), Premiership Rugby (PRL) and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) have announced an action plan aimed at reducing the exposure to head impacts and concussion risk within men’s and women’s elite rugby matches and training in England. This plan exhibits how science and technology is being used to evolve thinking to optimise player welfare and brain health for prospective current and past players. The expanded focus on head impact exposure sits alongside ongoing work to enhance the standard of head impact and concussion management within the sport and the introduction of a new brain health assessment service for retired elite male and female players. The decision to broaden the approach to target head impacts, in addition to concussion risk demonstrates, the RFU, PRL and RPA’s ongoing commitment to look at all possible ways of continually improving player welfare. In conclusion, it is clear that concussion is a massively negative side-effect of rugby, and a large problem facing the game today. However, action is being taken to reduce both the frequency and impact of concussions in the sport. Nevertheless, rugby is fundamentally a contact sport and, as a result, people will sometimes get injured. The truth is no matter how much we try and eradicate concussions, they will remain a part of rugby. This isn’t something that we can change without changing the sport so much that it ceases to be rugby.



James Fuller – Remove

Rhino Poaching in Zimbabwe; Why is it happening? Rhino poaching is a pressing problem in today’s society, and if measures are not taken to protect this incredible species, they will become extinct! I am from Zimbabwe, in Southern Africa, and I have lived there all my life. As a five-year-old, I began travelling to the wild regions of Zimbabwe for holidays, and I would see all the amazing and indigenous animals in my beautiful country. Having grown up with this luxury of wildlife around me, it deeply saddens me to know that many are endangered, or on the verge of extinction. Rhinos are especially important to the Southern African ecosystem. If rhinos perish, there will be a drastic ripple effect on the environment, as the rhino is a keystone species. For example, there will be fewer grazing lawns as rhinos prevent foliage like forest taking over. They also increase plant biodiversity; by eating the more dominant greenery, they allow other grass species to grow and take root. In fact, the territory rhinos inhabit tends to have 20% more grazing lawns, meaning that they keep other grazing species afloat as well. It could even be pointed out that grasslands and grazing lawns decrease the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, therefore, rhinos also help the broader environment and the pressing concern of climate change. So why does rhino poaching happen? One common reason is the illegal trade of their horns, and the demand has been increasing in many Asian countries. For some people in Asia, having access to rhino horn is a sign of wealth and prosperity, as well as being used in some traditional Chinese medicine. Because of this demand, rhino poaching became a major phenomenon in 1970, where it mainly affected the black rhino population. By 1993, there were only 2475 black rhinos left in the world! While the international trade in rhino horns was officially made illegal in 1977 by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), rhino poaching continued. In the mid 2000s, demand actually “exploded”, which meant that increased numbers of rhinos were being killed for their horns. Over the last decade, Vietnam and China have become the two top consumers. Presently, the world has about 13,500 black and white rhinos. There are around 3500 black rhinos left, a slight increase since 1993, and this means that they remain critically endangered. The white rhinos are in a better position but are still classed as ‘near threatened.’ In my homeland, Zimbabwe, there were 2200 black and white rhinos in the year 1999. Fifteen years later, the population has decreased to 766, a devastating figure. Zimbabwe currently has 375 black rhinos, which means that it has just over 10% of the world’s population. On average, rhinos are found on private estates and protected wildlife areas of Zimbabwe, showing how difficult their protection has become. To preserve what is left of the rhino population, countries in southern Africa will need to manage, breed, and protect them, but this can be difficult in terms of funding. Whilst the World Bank reports that the unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is 5%, realistically it is likely to be about 70% (with a population of 14.65 million people.) This is one of the main reasons that rhinos are poached in Zimbabwe, as many people live in poverty and want to earn money for themselves and their families. Local families, or even communities sometimes shoot a rhino to illegally sell it on the black market. A single Kilogram of rhino horn can be sold for $65,000 (£47,500) to those who distribute them into the markets of Asia, and yet the average white rhino horn weighs around 2.5 Kilograms, and there are two horns. Rhinos are killed in extremely cruel ways. They are shot dead; the poachers leave the bodies and take the horns. The average white rhino weighs 2300 Kilograms and is killed for only 5 Kilograms of profit or trophy. Even more disturbingly, when mother rhinos are killed, the poachers usually leave their young. Picture a little baby rhino being left to fend for itself in the heart of the wild, leaving its chance of survival at an exceptionally low rate.


Sometimes, poachers do not shoot the rhino, they tranquilize them, cut their horns off, then leave. Such rhinos wake up in immense pain and then likely die from their wounds anyway. If they survive, the horn is a rhino’s system of defense and for protecting their young, and they are severely weakened without it. As mentioned earlier, rhinos can be killed for the use of their horn in traditional Chinese medicine. Traditionally, it was mixed with other ingredients to treat certain fevers. However, rhino horn is mostly composed of keratin, which is found in our fingernails, in our hair and in the buffalo horn. So, is rhino horn really needed? I rely on western medicine as much as anyone, but I would argue that there is little scientific evidence to suggest rhino horn helps with fever. Only one study conducted in Hong Kong has shown an efficacious effect on fever from buffalo horn, but even then, it must be used in exceptionally large amounts to have any effect. Therefore, this does not seem to be a very convincing method. Many Chinese people believe that rhino horn can cure hangovers and reduce fevers. Even if this were the case, this would not be a good enough reason for killing a rhino, as there are many other medicines in the pharmaceutical world that can help instead. Those wealthy Vietnamese and Chinese people, who mix rhino horn powder with alcohol or water as a general health and hangover curing “tonic,” can easily use other methods. Sellers on the black market are also creating wild theories to enhance sales. For example, media gossip in Vietnam claimed that rhino horn could cure cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Also, popular websites in Vietnam were mixing medical claims with sales pitches. For instance, comparing rhino horns to owning luxury cars! Thus, the cost of rhino horn is increasing due to high demand against product availability, and previous users of the “medicine” have found themselves unable to afford it. In traditional Chinese medicine, rhino horn was also mixed with other natural ingredients for relieving the symptoms of arthritis and gout. It could also be used to treat headaches, hallucinations, high blood pressure, typhoid, snakebite, food poisoning and even possession by evil spirits. Many professionals mention that you will receive the same medicinal value from rhino horn by chewing your own fingernails. Despite this, we must remind ourselves of the many benefits of Chinese medicine in the modern world, including the best available treatment for Malaria (Artemisinin). The traditional medicine value will remain a long-term challenge, due to the widespread belief in the rhino horn properties, making it a difficult problem to address. Luckily, Chinese medicine experts are beginning to help tackle the battle the rhinos are facing. When the international trade of rhino horn was banned in China in 1993, rhino horn was no longer considered a medical substance and was replaced by water buffalo horn and herbal remedies. However, that does not mean that all practitioners have stopped using rhino horns altogether. Whilst people may continue to poach and use the rhino horn, there are many conservation efforts and charities to support the rhino. I am very familiar with one conservancy, called Makore. My family go there every year and are amazed at the effort they have put in to keep their rhinos safe. Makore is a part of the Save Valley Conservancy (SVC), and they are not allowed to reveal the exact number of rhinos they protect for poaching reasons, but they have about 25% of Zimbabwe’s black rhino population! Makore has two expert consultants that lead a team of three non-commissioned officers (NCOs), two dog handlers and thirty-two rangers. The number of rhinos killed a year depends on poaching trends, but the SVC are doing their best to reduce the number, and so far, they have reduced it down to three rhinos a year! They also track their rhinos by tagging them, like the method used on cattle. When a new calf is born, they wait until it is old enough to tag it. Some conservancies dehorn their rhinos, but for this process to succeed, they would need to de-horn all the rhinos in that area. However, this is an expensive and cruel method, as the rhinos would lose their only form of protection. The Rhino is an amazing species that deserves to live. They play a vital role in the ecosystem, and without them we would find ourselves with major environmental issues in southern Africa. We need to protect them, for the sake of the species and for future generations too.


Dani Levy - Remove

Is Starmer bringing Labour back to the centre? In the Christmas Election of 2019, Labour returned one of its worst results in their history. They lost 59 seats in a feeble showing of just 203 seats won. The centre-right Tories however, captured the nation in their simple slogan ‘Get Brexit Done’ to win a significant majority with their 365 seats. This disastrous result for Labour saw the end of the left-wing Corbyn as leader and heralded the arrival of the ‘centre’ Keir Starmer in 2020. However, since he took over Starmer has grappled with the confused remains of the party Corbyn left him. The party was very divided and consisted of very left-wing MP’s such as Andy McDonald and more central figures such as Starmer himself. Therefore, Starmer has struggled to shape a new identity for Labour. This is shown in the fact that even during the pandemic when confidence in Boris Johnson was minimal, Labour still made no real progress in the polls. Yet, on 28th September 2021, Starmer made a speech at the Labour Conference which gave us the first real inkling of his true desires for the future of the Labour Party. Furthermore, his stance on many issues does suggest he is returning labour to a more central position. “The principles that have formed my life are work, care, equality and security … These are British values. I think of them as the values that you take right to the heart of the British public. That is where this party must be.” Starmer finished his strong speech with the words above. It is noticeable how Starmer emphasises Labour’s need to focus on the issues that will win back the hearts and minds of the British people. Hence, he is ditching the efforts for a socialist Labour that performed so disastrously in the 2019 election. There were parts of his speech that also hinted to a return to the centre although Starmer never explicitly said so. He touched on new rules to make it harder for left wing candidates to make it onto the leadership ballot, thereby making it less likely that someone like Corbyn would ever come to the fore again. He also consistently reminded the audience that Labour was under “new” leadership that was “sick of the disruption from the left.” He continued to say that he wanted to “move the party so that we can focus on the issues that matter.” In this speech Starmer is clearly trying to obliterate any remanence of Corbynism in the works of his party and is instead trying to insist that they are indeed listening to the voters who turned away from them in the last election. Starmer tried to address the main concerns of these lost voters through his words on the NHS, climate change and spending among other topics. Starmer said that he would make sure the NHS shifted from ‘emergency care towards protection,’ hinting at the prevention of another pandemic. On the mental health front, Starmer pledged help for all those struggling within a month and pledged that there would be 8,500 new mental health supporters who would be stationed in places such as schools. On the topic of climate change, Starmer spoke of Labour’s new green deal. This consisted of an investment pledge to make every new home zero carbon, a pledge to insulate every home to save energy costs and a clear air act. And finally on the spending front during the conference, Labour talked about the need for wise spending which contained no remarks on nationalising parts of the economy (a Corbyn policy). With his words at the conference, Starmer has already received vocal support from some of his own MP’s including Louise Ellman, a practicing Jew, who had quit the party under Corbyn due to anti-Semitism. Having rejoined the party in the recent days, she said that “Britain’s Jews can have trust” in Starmer, which is a promising statement. It is interesting that throughout his long speech, Starmer spent a lot of time talking about his values and the values his new Labour Party wanted to have. This is a clear indication that the party is moving in a new direction


under new leadership. His words on the key issues were directly addressed at the real concerns of the majority and not just at the ‘labour voter.’ There seemed to be a layer of Tony Blair in how Starmer spoke as he pledged indirectly that the years of Corbyn were over and a new Labour era for all of Britain (rich and poor etc.) had begun. Although it was not clear in Starmer’s speech that he was moving Labour to the centre, the reminding of the audience that this new leadership wanted to move in new directions did hint at this fact. So, although Corbyn and his legacy are still a real issue in the Labour Party, Starmer is beginning to move Labour away from those days.



Ollie Dickens – Lower 6th

Verstappen Vs Hamilton - The Battle for the Championship Lewis Hamilton is the reigning World Champion of Formula One; with seven world titles and a knighthood to his name. For the past few years, he and his Mercedes have had no major rival and have seen their way to victory easily. However, this season, the young and aggressive Max Verstappen has begun to shake things up at the wheel with his contending Red Bull car. This has produced one of the fiercest rivalries seen in Formula One. Niko Rosberg, former World Champion, teammate, and rival to Hamilton, said “I think [the relationship between Max and Lewis] will go down as one of those great rivalries.”[1] The contest has brought excitement to the track and created some of the most gripping moments of the season, such as some intense wheel-towheel action at Silverstone, leading to Verstappen crashing into the barriers and retiring from the race. Having a real rival for the championship has brought out skills in Lewis, not seen properly since the 2016 contest with Rosberg. This has created obvious duels which, at times, have been on the edge of acceptable. However, as former World Champion Ayrton Senna said, “if you no longer go for a gap which exists you are no longer a racing driver.” Both Verstappen and Hamilton have certainly been taking this approach. There is always a line between healthy competition and the risk of fatality in motorsport: racing is all about making the right calls to push yourself and your car to the limit whilst staying safe and in control. There have been moments this season where that line may have been crossed, and some critics have argued that the aggression between Verstappen and Hamilton has led to some unsporting and unnecessarily dangerous clashes. For example, their recent collision at the Monza Grand Prix. Hamilton came out of the pits alongside Verstappen and, wheel to wheel into the first chicane, they crashed out onto the gravel with the Red Bull on top of the Mercedes. Damon Hill, former champion, criticised this crash: “It is a racing driver’s job not to crash into the other racing driver. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but when it is an aggressive, uncompromising move, then somebody must come in and say, ‘okay that is going too far’.”[2] The rivalry has divided the Formula One community, with many saying it is bringing thrill and excitement into the title battle, but others complaining it is moving the sport away from the great moves of drivers such as Alonso and Ricciardo, towards a more aggressive ‘elbows out’ style. The battle for World Champion is not just about the drivers, it is about the cars too. Mercedes has dominated Formula One for the past six years, but this year Red Bull has produced a very well-engineered car. The main difference between the Mercedes and Red Bull is something called rake. Rake is the angle between the bottom of the car and the road. If that angle is large, meaning the back end is higher than the front end, there is a larger volume of air under the car at the back than the front. As air flows underneath the car, it spreads out into this larger volume. This creates lower air pressure to the rear and thus suction of the car onto the road. This suction can also be called downforce. Downforce is particularly important as it stops cars sliding around on the corners of tracks and wearing down their tyres. The Red Bull car has a high angle (rake) so has an extremely high downforce (suction), but this comes at the expense of consistency, so the levels of downforce vary


more. The Mercedes is a low rake car (the front end and back end are at similar heights) meaning it has lower, but more consistent levels of downforce. To counteract this, a back wing is used to generate more downforce. However, this wing also creates drag so, although it is increasing corner speed, it reduces straight line speed. There is always a trade-off between downforce and drag. For some tracks with many corners, engineers may decide to use a large rear wing to create extra downforce for those corners. Whereas for a track with more straights, a smaller back wing will be used to reduce drag and increase straight line speed. To put this into context, in the two Austrian races, Red Bull could successfully use a smaller rear wing to generate sufficient downforce than Mercedes, so they were faster on both the corners and straights, winning both races. In the Spanish Grand Prix, however, Red Bull again used a smaller rear wing than Mercedes to reduce the drag for the long main straight. This time the gamble did not pay off as the rear tyres suffered badly due to lack of downforce around the corners. Hamilton pitted when he was behind Verstappen, so Max could not respond by pitting at the same time. This meant Max had to do a one stop race on rapidly degrading tyres, allowing Lewis to snatch the win. Rake and downforce are just some of the factors which set these cars apart, but they may become the deciding factor in the intense battle for first place. We will have to see which car and driver comes out on top, and whether the brash mentality of all or nothing is a safe and sensible approach to Formula One in the days where safety is of highest concern. I leave it to you to decide who you think will become the Formula One 2021 World Champion- Verstappen, Hamilton, or someone else entirely?



Charlotte Greenham – Lower 6th

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