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CUrio

A publication of the University of Canberra Students’ Association Inc.

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CUrio

A publication of the University of Canberra Students’ Association Inc.

MEET THE TEAM: Media Officer: Dominic Lavers Sub Editor: Holly Reid

Design: Emily Longstaff Cover Art: Bianca Ugarkovich Journalists: Chris Knaus Sebastian Lavers Ben Lisson Jess Nairn Kurt Steel Special thanks: The team at Out in Canberra. Zoe Barron, Express Media. Kathleen Hore, Secret Sounds. Ineke Wylde, DIRECTIONS ACT. The guys from Buzz Monkey.

Volume 1. 2009

CONTENTS:

1. Editorial 2. What’s on? 4. The Art of Advocacy 5. Meet some of the team at the UCSA 8. A Tale of Two Universities 10. Internet Censorship: Do it for the Children! 12. Out in Canberra Insight 14. UC Students Around the World 16. Binge Drinking - Why all the Fuss? 18. The Student Guide to Surviving the Economic Crisis 19. Tips for the Tattered 20. Thocks, Songs, or Flip Socks 21. University Code of Conduct 22. Reviews 23.Kurt Steel takes on a Sneaky DoubleD 24. Holly’s Horrorscopes 25. Trivia

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MARCH 6th


Editorial A new day has dawned for the UCSA… Since the CUrio’s last issue we have seen a new year, Barack Obama elected as the first AfricanAmerican president of the United States, a global financial crisis, a full-scale attack launched on the Gaza Strip, and yours truly elected the new editor of the CUrio – the students’ very own brand of foxy news. My election was met with jubilation and I would like to thank my mother, as well as those who sent well wishes and danced in the streets across Australia. But I can’t do this by myself, I need you! Any contribution – whether it’s a news story, artwork, poem, short story or review (pretty much anything) – would be lovely. It’s a great opportunity for you to get some stuff published and show your parents that you really are learning something for that measly $10,000 a year. This year we are celebrating 40 years of the University of Canberra Students’ Association and are going to delve through the publication’s archives, from the days when it was called the ‘Ccaesarian’ – and yes, it did leave a scar – to the CUrio’s more recent, ‘best of’ moments. While I know that some of you might not yet be embracing a new year at uni, I feel like the gorilla in the Cadbury ad singing Phil Collins’ ‘in the air tonight’ (and I’ve got the back hair to prove it). In summing up - have a brilliant O-week, get your drink-on, get off Facebook and meet some new people. Yes we can. Dominic Lavers UCSA Media Officer media@theucsa.org.au

CUrio

You can download at www.theucsa.org.au


what's on?* Check out the line up, tell your friends and Get your Party On!

MONDAY: 9am-6.30pm: Enrolment Assistance, Building 11. 10-11am: Treat yourself to a pancake breakfast on the uni concourse. 9:00pm: Come and get loose at the TRAFFIC LIGHT PARTY at the Lighthouse. Wear green if you’re single, red if you’re taken, and orange if you’re undecided but are happy to shop around! Come between 9 and 10pm and pay only $3 for basic spirits and beer.

TUESDAY: 9am-6:30pm: Enrolment Assistance, Building 11. 12 pm: Shake those hangover blues with a free multicultural lunch on the concourse. 3pm: Meet at the Students Events & Activities Organisation (SEAO) stall on the concourse for the AMAZING RACE AROUND RES. 6:30pm: Come to the refectory for UCU Trivia and Kareoke night. 9:00pm: UCSA BAR CRAWL – remember to buy tickets from Students’ Association or outincanberra.com - it’s going to be big!

WEDNESDAY: 9am-6:30pm: Enrolment Assistance, Building 11. Market Day: All day on the concourse. 12pm: BATTLE OF THE BANDS on the concourse.

6:30pm-late: Pasta dinner & movie night, UC Refectory. 9:30pm: WILD WEDNESDAY at the Lighthouse, hosted by SEAO. The theme is Nuts and Bolts and Aussie Bush. This is the first Lighty night of the year and promises to be epic! Strap on your riding boots because the mechanical bull will be ready and waiting for its first contestant! Show your 2009 SEAO card to get… Entry is free and take advantage of power hour with $2 spirits from 10pm-11pm!!


THURSDAY: Market Day: All day on the concourse, includes a live

broadcast from RawFM at UCSA with the Buzzmonkey crew. Become a member of the UCSA and a host of other clubs and societies. 10:30am-11:30am: commencement ceremony, Room 2, Building 9. 10pm: SEAO POST OFFICE PARTY, at Uni bar. Send naughty anonymous messages to one another and the mailman will deliver! Don’t forget to wear red and/or white! UDLs will be two for $9! 12-1pm: Free Sausage Sizzle! On the concourse.

FRIDAY: 12:30-onwards: Laze in the sun - music on the concourse. 2:30pm: SEAO FOSTER A FRESHER, meet at the Resource Centre (near University Village). Held at Turner bowls club and the Belconnen bowling alley. Sign up at SEAO stall on concourse.

SATURDAY: Tragically, O in the Park has been cancelled... but something great will be going down. Stay tuned!

SUNDAY: 4:00pm: SEAO AMAZING RACE AWARDS, at the Lighthouse. Show your SEAO card to get… $7 jugs of beer and bottles of Bubbly between 4 to 5pm. Keep an eye out for updates and visit seao.canberra.googlepages.com for more info. Enjoy the rest of your hols and get geared up for an awesome year!

For a complete academic timetable visit - http://www.canberra.edu.au/orientation


The How Art of Advocacy: to complain to your Uni Hey guys,

I’m Marc, the Advocacy Officer for the UCSA. While I hope that your time at uni goes smoothly (and for most of you it will), there can be times when you think the University is screwing you over, and that’s where I can help. My job is to help students in their battles with the university. So, any complaint you might have, I’m here to help with. Universities are large and complicated organisations, governed by many policies, procedures and laws. UC is no different from any other uni in Australia, even though we are one of the smallest. So, just like any other uni, it runs on rules handed down by governments, the University Council and the Academic Board. For any given situation at UC, you can guarantee that there are rules and policies that cover it. These rules are not just for efficiency, but also for making sure that your rights as a student are protected, and to ensure that you are getting a quality degree. However, there are so many rules and policies that sometimes it can be difficult to know where you stand. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in your frustrations. Every year the Students’ Association helps people like yourself through a maze of university policies and procedures. For 40 years now, the UCSA has been the place to go for all student problems whether they be about a grade, a dispute over an exam, or simply a question about a UC policy. There are three important things to remember when dealing with the university: 1. DON’T

STAY SILENT.

There are no bonus marks awarded to people who don’t rock the boat, so it’s in your interest to speak up if you think you’re being screwed. The sooner you address the problem, the sooner it can be resolved.

Just because a Professor says it doesn’t make it right.

2.

University staff, while no doubt smart in their area, are not necessarily experts on your rights and responsibilities. They do get these things wrong more often than you realise. 3. You

are not alone.

The UCSA is there for you. The UCSA is run by students, for students. Since the UCSA is a student organisation and not part of the university, you can trust that whatever we tell you or do for you is in the best interests of yourself and other students.

So if you think you’re being screwed, that the rules aren’t being followed, or are just unsure about where you stand, give me a call, send me an e-mail or drop by and see me. The advocacy service is free to all UC students and we have a very good success rate in resolving student complaints. I hope that your time at UC is a great experience, and I look forward to meeting you over the coming years, in both good times and bad.

Marc Emerson Advocacy Officer Ph: (02) 6201 2000 Fax: (02) 6251 4248


Meet some of

the UCSA staff President

Hey everyone, I’m Kurt Steel, of the Students’ Association by day and SuperHero/B-grade Porn Star by night. Welcome to all first years and the best of luck to all of you in your upcoming years of study. Take the opportunity to socialize and party in your first few weeks, before strapping yourselves in for some late night study. My role as Pres of the Student Association is to make your lives as students the best they can be; whether that means fighting for better services and facilities, lobbying the government for better income support or making sure you don’t get screwed over by the uni. Be sure to check out the UCSA office and lounge and use all the great facilities available to you (lounge, Xbox 360, printing, Internet, etc.). Membership to the UCSA is only $2, so it’s worthwhile to join. Once again, good luck in your studies and enjoy O-week!

Welfare Officer

G’day, I’m Rohan Headon, and I’m currently the of our beloved SA. As my job title suggests, I deal with the welfare of students, so if you feel like your quality of lifestyle is unwell in any way - be it finance, food or simply feeling oppressed - then consider me your fare to get you there (rhyming is fun). Anyway, a bit about me: I love people and I love the world (I’m also married to Yoko Ono), hence my degree, a Bachelor of Public Relations/ International Studies. I have no clue as to what I’m going to do with it yet, but that’s for future Rohan to sort out, sucks to be that guy. Anywhere outside my comfort zone tends to be my comfort zone, hence I’m a pretty approachable guy. So have no reservations when it comes to wandering up to me and having a chat, I probably won’t judge you... only by the clothes you wear, heeheehee. Oh! And I’m learning mandarin, so if you speak it, a friendly ‘ni hao’ would be sweet.

General Secretary

Michael is the dynamic and often ruthless of the UCSA, whose good looks are matched only by his fierce intelligence. Due to Michael’s mastery of both coffee machines and photocopiers alike, his services have often been contracted out to other organisations. Michael’s fiscal conservative stance makes him the perfect General-Secretary. With Michael in control, frivolous spending has become a thing of the past! Michaels’ most mentionable contribution to the UCSA has been the purchasing of 1000 condoms. In the related media release, Michael was quoted as saying: “Condoms are like plumbers; there is never one handy when you need one!” Michael also enjoys writing in 3rd person.

headspace ACT is a youth mental health service for anyone aged 12 to 25 and their families that provides access, information and assistance to support their well being. If you are finding it hard to concentrate, having sleeping or eating difficulties, feeling down or anxious, being bullied or experiencing alcohol or other drug issues, headspace ACT can be of assistance. Hours of opening: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10am-5pm, closed Weds Phone: (02) 6201 5343 Email: headspaceACT@canberra.edu.au Web: www.headspace.org.au/act Address: Building 12, Level B, Room 40, University of Canberra


Tuesday, Feb 17th at 9.00pm


A tail of two Universities

A Tale of Two Universities

by Christopher Knaus

The advertising campaigns of both the ANU and the UC are symbolic of a greater split between Australian universities, Christopher Knaus explains.

All summer we’ve been caught in a war of words between Canberra’s institutions of higher thought.

The University of Canberra has spent the summer unfurling banners across bustling malls, and framing their proclamations of student employability beneath hungry eyes in food courts from Belconnen to Batemans Bay. At the same time, the Australian National University has been busy sprouting its self-righteous poppies across our television screens in a campaign that is nothing if not ironically under-produced. But at their very essence, these differing campaigns are symbolic of a distinct split between two groups of universities across Australia. With ANU’s campaign beating the drum of excellence and international standing, it has come to represent the elite, traditionalist universities. These universities, which include Sydney University, University of Melbourne, and the University of New South Wales, focus largely on research and undergraduate studies in traditional areas such as medicine, natural sciences, law, politics and economics. But from under their looming shadow has crawled another breed of university. With its constant catch-cry of “professional preparation for professional careers”, UC has come to symbolise a new brand of university, one that focuses on giving students professional skills and enhanced employment prospects in diverse and often non-traditional fields. This breed of universities seems to have almost abandoned the original notion of ‘higher education’ in favour of a defining new concept - ‘higher skills’. Undergraduate programs appearing in UC’s repertoire, such as Construction Management, Cultural Heritage, Sports Management,

Midwifery and Urban planning, are typical of these ‘higher skills’. But UC is not alone. Charles Sturt prides itself on “excellence in education for the professions” and its soon-to-merge partner Southern Cross tends to follow suit. The Australian Catholic University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Technology Sydney and Victoria University also have strong leanings toward a professional, skills-based education. Queensland’s Bond University – well placed in this ‘higher skills’ category – even has a Bachelor of Computer Games, which to Chubb and his traditionalist chums would be the equivalent of a rather large middle finger. But of course Professor Ian Chubb - the Vice-Chancellor of the ANU - might return this in kind. Indeed, ANU even takes an ever-so-subtle swipe at its illbegotten cousins in their summer ad campaign, warning prospective students not to “waste time at a degree factory”. But is this so? Are these universities just factories; gears grinding and crunching, pushing us along an assembly line, where naught but our destined profession defines us? And, with a final clunk and splutter, do we emerge from our ‘professional preparation’ directly into the workplace, be it an office, school, or a hospital, waiting with hands outstretched under labouring thighs? (And yes, that is a crudely ignorant take on midwifery). In fact, the painted banners lighting up our otherwise grey campus actually boast an aspiring to this function. “Forty thousand graduates in 40 years” is an impressive figure; one that even the most prudent economist would agree is within a yardstick of reaching an economy of scale.

And if you can read between the lines of an opinion piece published by Ian Chubb in The Australian last December, you may be able to understand a traditionalist stance on the issue: “It is important for Australia that the term ‘university’ means something. And it means validating claims beyond self belief based on self-assertion.” Although I’m unsure whether Australia enmass cares deeply either way, Chubb is quite right. At some point the line between TAFE and university has become as poorly defined as the tall poppies ANU’s advertising team has forced us through all summer.


But is this really such a bad thing? Is a university that teaches on a model of employment-ready skills devaluing the very notion of higher learning? Let me be as bold as to say that definition and meaning ebb and flow as surely as the tide turns. Perhaps what Chubb would do well to realise is that, yes, the term ‘university’ does mean something, but it means something very different to when he was a promising young lad. Over the past 30 years, its definition has been stretched to include institutions promoting ‘professional skills’.

Review; the Government’s review of the Australian tertiary sector released in December 2008. The Bradley Review makes several key recommendations which, if followed, could greatly change the landscape of Australian higher education.

Are these universities just factories, gears grinding and crunching, pushing us along an assembly line, where naught but our destined profession defines us?

But what fuelled this change in universities? To put it simply, economies evolve, societies develop and needs arise. The education system then strives to fulfil these needs. This brand of ‘higher skills’ universities is no different; it is providing educated workers to industries struggling with a poorly skilled and under-fulfilled labour supply. Solving skill shortages in areas such as nursing and teaching requires not just the provision of workers, but the provision of highly-skilled workers, the likes of which can be trained via universities. Australia is suffering from a fever of skill shortages, and UC is the doctor – sorry, the nurse – mopping its brow.

Perhaps the most revolutionary idea within the review was the recommendation of a student-driven system of funding, an idea that both Labor and Liberal have previously been unwilling to entertain.

Such a system advocates giving money, in the form of vouchers, to students rather than universities. Students could then take these vouchers to any institution that will accept them, creating a deregulated, student-centred system of funding. This would concentrate wealth in more popular institutions, and further isolate smaller and regional universities. At the same time, the Bradley Review recommends the establishment of a national accreditation body that would monitor and enforce strict standards across Australian universities. In the words of an article published in The Australian last December, this accreditation body would “challenge some universities to prove they were worthy of the name.”

Even the aforementioned Bachelor of Construction Management was tailored to meet the exact needs of a construction industry bereft of skilled project leaders. Industry leaders such as the Hindmarsh Group were involved in the formulation of the degree, ensuring it taught skills that the sector was lacking most. So it would appear that there is a strong role for skill-focused universities into the future.

Although these recommendations may seem worrying to smaller universities, the Bradley Review will struggle to actually find its way into the chambers of Parliament.

And with the capitalist beast now gnawing off its own arm and causing economies around the world to fall spectacularly from grace, we may just see a heightened demand for universities like UC.

The question for the future is whether this breed of universities can bear the strains of time and shore up their place along more prestigious competitors such as ANU.

The global financial crisis is already threatening gross unemployment, which many, including UC Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker, believe will result in the rise of vocationally tailored university courses as students seek greater employment security. It is not right, however, to have a conversation on the future of universities without taking into account the Bradley

Denise Bradley, the architect of the review, has attached a $5.7 billion price tag to the proposed changes, which in the current economic environment, is unlikely to be realised.

So let me gaze into my crystal ball and attempt to answer this question with a poetic piece of deadwood – tall poppies cannot grow without a skilled hand tending the soil.


Internet Censorship: or f t i o D A little over a year ago, the Rudd government came to power on a platform of abolishing Work Choices, addressing climate change and wrestling power away from evil rightwing ideologists and their notions of ‘personal responsibility’. Left-wing latte-sippers were beside themselves with joy, half-expecting Julia Gillard to tear off her mask to reveal the bearded face of Karl Marx himself. Resurrected from the grave at humanity’s hour of need, this Marxincarnate would surely lead us into a socialist age of plenty. Meanwhile, non-left-wing voters like myself took sheer relief in not – as yet – being shipped off to a farm in Nimbin to toil in the name of the proletariat revolution. But amidst the election excitement, a few Labor policies were lost underfoot as left-winged voters marched to the victory drum. Of these, a proposition to revamp the Coalition’s PC-Filter slipped quietly under the radar. In 2007, the Shadow Minister for Communications, Stephen ‘Dalek’ Conroy, promised that

!

en r d l i h the C

By Sebastian Lavers

under his guidance, all tasteless filth would be purged from the Internet. Thus, 2008 would see an age of childish innocence and moral purity finally grace our fair country. Strangely reluctant to give this policy any real publicity in the lead up to the election, it caused little fuss as Labor sailed to glory, and is only now beginning to surface. The now Minister for Moral Hygiene, Senator Conroy, has proposed that a mandatory blanket filter – a “Clean Feed” - be installed at the ISP level to prevent citizens from accessing ‘unwanted’ material. This would put Australia in the illustrious company of such human rights defenders as China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. Conroy has thus far refused to clarify what is considered as ‘unwanted’ material. To question his personal judgement, however, is to be labelled a ‘child pornography sympathizer’. By this logic, there are currently 22,500 (and counting) enablers of kiddie porn at large in the Facebook group “No Internet Censorship”.


Of course, there are some that agree with Conroy’s way of thinking. Family First’s Steve Fielding, who has long opposed the public depiction of human reproduction, has been over the moon with glee (has anyone ever actually met or seen a Family First voter? Do they even exist?). Other great advocates of the Clean Feed include the Hypochondriac Mothers’ Brigade, with their shrill cries of “won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!”.

Despite this, the Minister for Moral Hygiene remains firm. If this policy should come into effect, $44.8 million – which could be spent on health, education, jumping castles, magic beans, snake oil, ANYTHING – will instead be spent on protecting us from our own moral depravity. Conroy came to the election charged with speeding up the nation’s internet service to rocket Australia into the 21st century. Evidence suggests, however, that Clean Feed will only cause Internet services to slow and although I’m no expert, I’m pretty sure that making something faster by slowing it down violates a fundamental law of physics. Unfortunately, those who oppose the scheme are themselves outnumbered by those who haven’t even heard about it. Labor has kept details to a minimum and our Dear Leader Kevin Rudd continues to enjoy an extended honeymoon with the Australian media. And after all, who could criticise a cause so noble as ‘saving the children’.

Ah, yes. The children. Yes, the very ones who lobbied to ban tanbark in our playgrounds, rendering the cries of “tanbark fight” a thing of the past.

Likewise, the state of Tasmania is no doubt behind the plan, given that electricity, for all legal purposes, is still considered to be a form of witchcraft (sorry, but sometimes it’s just too easy). Nevertheless, Clean Feed sympathizers remain vastly outnumbered by those who vehemently oppose it. Internet Service Providers have pointed out that not only will it slow internet speeds by up to 80%, but will also be largely ineffective at censoring illegal material. Some, such as Greg Winn, former Chief Operations Officer at Telstra, have equated Conroy’s delusions to stopping a tsunami with a fishing net and “trying to boil the ocean”.

There is a particular type of fallacy known as the ‘appeal to emotion’. A Wikipedia entry for one such fallacy, entitled ‘For the Children’ sums it up quite efficiently: Since X is good for children, and that what is good for children is, well, good, X is therefore most definitely good. Despite the overuse of the ‘reductio ad hitlerum’ argument by cafe revolutionaries and perennial oncampus conspiracy theorists (those who finished their arts degree sometime last century yet are still hanging around your lecture hall distributing pamphlets), I will finish with a quote from Mien Kampf: “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of all people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment and almost any deprivation”.

But it doesn’t stop there. Civil libertarians are against the policy on the basis that it curtails freedom of speech. The Greens, Young Labor, and the Liberals (wow, now that’s something) are openly opposed to Clean Feed. Even child welfare groups argue that preventing people from viewing questionable material will have no impact on the continuation of its production.

To find out more about the Clean Feed, visit www.nocleanfeed .com


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April


UC AROUND By Ben Lisson

My aim was to trek solo to Mt. Everest Base Camp, high in the Himalayas. The result was a month in the country of Nepal where you could never see tomorrow coming. I would stand on the highest mountain in the world, then, just days later, find myself tossed from an elephant’s back to the Nepali jungle floor. One day I would help save a life, then watch helpless as a life was lost. In this country, a stranger and a best friend were indistinguishable, and even the words ‘beer’ and ‘cheap’ could coexist in harmony. Politically, Nepal is a mess. In short, after years of civil conflict, communism has recently been democratically elected (by force), thus ending a long-standing monarchy… go figure. Yet high in the mountains above, it’s easy to forget the poverty stricken streets of the country’s capital city. Playing pool to AC/DC at the local, I got pissed off two beers at high altitude, rocked out at a bar to a Nepalese cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, chilled out with a monk and gazed, half-frozen, at more stars than I even knew existed. But all this was only a side-step to my ultimate goal: trekking to not just Everest base camp, but to Kala Patthar, the best view of Everest at 5545m above sea level. I’ll admit, I scoffed when I first saw it. Paling in comparison to the peaks around it, Kala Patthar seemed but a baby’s first step. I was not alone in my mockery. “It’s just a grassy knoll”,

exclaimed a Scotsman I had met and - despite its lack of grass and ‘knoll-ish’ qualities - I was inclined to agree. Well that ‘grassy knoll’ had the last laugh. It nearly destroyed me. The trip began well. I wasn’t properly acclimatized, but pushed through the days knowing that the ultimate prize would be worth the toil. Yet the closer my goal became, the greater the toll it took on my body. I couldn’t eat, I was stricken by headaches, and I hadn’t slept properly for days. These were the symptoms of moderate altitude sickness, and can quickly escalate if they are not monitored closely. It became a game of mind over matter. It’s hard to promise your body that you’re almost there when all it wants to do is quit on you. As I struggled to conquer the grassy knoll of my nightmares, all I could think was, “what must it be like to actually climb Everest?” By the time I made it to Kala Patthar, I was so cold and tired that I could barely appreciate the fact that I stood gazing at the highest point on the globe.

There it was, right in front of me, but I just didn’t get it. Not until I began the climb down did it begin to sink in; I had achieved my goal. In my mood of jubilation as I descended, I could never have imagined, let alone been prepared for, what would happen next. A Czech man, suffering from severe altitude sickness approached me along the path and asked for my help. The severity of his illness was clear; he was coughing up almost a litre of fluid every hour and it was obvious that he couldn’t make it any further down the mountain. He could barely walk. Attempting to rescue this man was terrifying.


Students THE WORLD I, and others I had gathered, tried to overcome the difficult language barrier, which involved a panicked version of English, Czech and Nepali.

A Nepali man lay on the jungle floor, each breath labored, broken by constant coughing and spluttering.

To add to our troubles, the only phone in the village dropped out mid-way through our call for a helicopter, and we weren’t sure whether or not it would arrive. After hours of waiting in sub-zero temperatures, we decided to wait overnight. Knowing that any lower elevation could help save his life, I summoned up what courage I had, and offered to carry him as far down as I could. I’ll admit that I was relieved when he decided to stay in my lodge and hope for a chopper in the morning.

He had a strange shape to his bare ribs and a fist-sized lump on his forehead. He had been charged by a rhino, twice. I had seen the very same rhino from my elephant’s back only minutes earlier. In the extremity of the situation, the feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. I watched him die, and could do nothing.

In retrospect, my offer could have killed us both. It was well below freezing and the path down was no walk in the park. He confessed to me later that he was convinced he wouldn’t last the night, but decided not to risk my life as well. The sense of relief when he got safely on the chopper the next morning was unparalleled. I described before how Nepal is a land of contrast. In the jungles, only a week later, in a place bursting with life, I was confronted with death, and the realization that I truly was in the wild.

It can be hard to segregate yourself from some experiences in life, but I realized later that I shouldn’t dwell on things that I couldn’t control. My trip was too short, and I was determined to enjoy my time. Not every experience can be written about, or recalled, but it was clear as I flew home that the one month I had spent in Nepal had changed who I was and how I would see the world. Life was different there, away from the comforts of the Western world, it was something far more inyour-face and far more real.


Binge Drinking A message from DIRECTIONS ACT

why all the fuss?

Most young people don’t use drugs, but many drink alcohol and sometimes take risks which may affect their health and wellbeing. Every weekend across Australia, thousands of people attend nightclubs, dance parties and other entertainment venues. For some, this means taking drugs or binge drinking. So, what are the risks of binge drinking? Drink spiking; Unwanted sex (date rape) or unintended pregnancy; A sexually transmitted infection (STIs); Violence, assault and robbery; Drink driving; Safety and health issues; and, most commonly, doing something that you may regret later. Taking risks can be fun and give you an adrenaline rush, but sometimes these risks may affect your wellbeing and cause you harm. It is worth considering alternative methods of getting a buzz without using alcohol or drugs.

Drinking Safely: before you start…

Have enough rest, food in your stomach and water before you start; Plan how you will get home, and have the money for a taxi just in case; Set limits for yourself, and try to stick to them. Pace yourself; Start with a non-alcoholic drink and space your drinks with water in between; Try alternatives, such as low or non-alcoholic wines, and ginger beer; Remember that ‘alcopops’ (sweet flavoured pre-mixed drinks) often mask the taste of alcohol, but they do not mask the effects; Avoid mixing drinks; Have one drink at a time so you can keep track of yourself, and avoid ‘topping up’; Avoid rounds or ‘shouts’ - this can pressure you into drinking more than you want; Avoid eating salty snacks that make you thirsty; Avoid just sitting and drinking, go to venues where something is happening such as pool, music etc.

Is binge drinking harmful? Binge drinking occurs when a person drinks heavily over a short period of time, resulting in immediate and severe intoxication. Binge drinking is sometimes defined as ‘drinking to get drunk’. Alcohol is a depressant that lowers inhibitions and effects concentration and coordination. It also slows down the body’s reaction time to unexpected situations. Alcohol is used to celebrate, commiserate, relax and/or socialize and is considered an intrinsic part of Australian culture. Many people admit that there is pressure and an expectation to drink, and that choosing not to do so can be confronting to those that do. However the dangers and damaging effects of alcohol need to be more widely discussed. This can help to minimize the significant harm that result from drinking too much. Alcohol is the third most avoidable cause of death and disability in Australia.

Remember - Mixing alcoholic drinks


Binge drinking is dangerous for your health and safety If you see any of the following, seek help immediately: • The person is unconscious and can’t be awakened by pinching, prodding or shouting. • The skin is cold, clammy, pale and bluish in colour, indicating that the person is not getting enough oxygen. • The person is breathing very slowly. If there is more than 10 seconds between each breath, this is an emergency. • The person is vomiting without waking up. • Make sure that you stay with the person - the ambulance officers will need your information to help them. If the person needs medical assistance, place them on their side in the recovery position and call an ambulance, 112 from a mobile, or 000 from a land line.

Party Safe Bus From early 2009, a purple ‘Party Safe Bus’ will be situated at a number of ‘hot spots’ around Canberra on Friday and Saturday nights. It will also be at music festivals, and uni and college events. Experienced workers from DIRECTIONS ACT will provide information, referrals, advice and hand out free water, information, safe partying tips and condoms from the bus. If you or a friend want information about anything to do

with other drugs can be dangerous

with binge drinking or drugs, or would like access to free, confidential counselling and resources, just talk to the youth worker at the Party Bus or call DIRECTIONS ACT. We provide referrals and support for any issues related to Alcohol or other Drugs, including detox and free medical services.

First Aid Course DIRECTIONS ACT and St John Ambulance ACT is offering a Senior First Aid Certificate for a limited number of people aged 15 to 25 on weekends at a subsidised cost of $25.00. It will include a party safe component and is a great qualification to have when seeking a job. For more information about the Party Safe Bus locations, First Aid Course, counselling or any other services contact; DIRECTIONS ACT, www.directionsact.com Phone: 6122 8000, 9 – 5 Monday to Friday. Or; Call in to 1 Bradley Street, Woden (next to the Bus interchange) We have a youth support worker available to see if you would like.

Enjoy partying and above all do it safely!


The Student Guide to surviving the economic By Holly Reid crisis When the media would have you believe that a global economic meltdown is imminent, optimism in the face of your own slimming wallet can sometimes feel a little forced. And with the price of a pint (Carlton Draught, would you believe) at $7.50 and counting, its little wonder that our big nights out now conclude with the latest bus home. Yet with a little creativity, and some borderline criminal behaviour – borderline being the operative word in this sentence – there are some ways to keep your wallet wellfed.

you can innocently respond “I would, but it’s my last one”, when this trick is reversed. Education being the primary objective of university, you may have to print out an assignment at one stage of your student life. Do not surrender to ridiculous library costs of 20c per page. Steal paper from your office printer and keep it on your person at all times. Study finished for the day, the inescapable dilemma of food must now be factored into the financial equation. Whilst a pack-and-a-half of two minute noodles might suffice, so might a seared salmon steak with a squeeze of lemon.

In the spirit of investigative journalism, I endeavoured to reduce my daily costs through any means possible. The result: a foolproof guide to surviving the economic crisis, with some loose change to spare.

Clutching your ticket at the deli counter, be sure to suss out the most revolting – and therefore cheapest – substance available. Devon is usually the primary culprit. When your number is called, match your devon order with the same weight in your favourite deli-delight. Sidle around the corner and perform the old label switch-a-roo. The devon may now be disposed of.

My financial day begins with the routine bus ride to campus. $1.50? I think not. Be sure to look especially rueful whilst waving a crisp fifty in the face of your bus driver; and not too smug when they grudgingly let you on for free.

Some supermarkets, Coles in particular, mark down foods approaching their use-by-date with a large and ridiculously easy-to-dislodge ‘special’ sticker. Simply remove and decide which food is ‘special’ to you.

Note, however, that breasts may be a necessity in the successful negotiation of this stunt.

Avoid paying for parking on your way out by tail-gating the car in front of you as it drives through the boom gates (OK, so I don’t have a car, but my friend does this all the time).

The first order of business upon arriving at university is always caffeine. The boys at Mizzuna’s will gladly make you a have-here coffee for $3.60, but why not save 30c in the take-away price and simply seat yourself regardless (sorry, boys... can I buy you a soft serve?). Coffee and seat obtained, lean casually towards the closest smoker with an empty cigarette packet in your hand. This reduces your image as a scabby never-buy-my-own smoker, whilst secretly being just that. Be sure, however, to always equip yourself with a packet containing a lone cigarette. This prevents scab-karma as

At the end of the day, with several things now weighing on your moral conscience, decide on the most ethically appropriate way in which to spend your savings. Personally, I found my fears wholly assuaged (and entirely forgotten) in the bottom of a pint paid almost completely with my hard-scrimped $7.00. Ok, sure, so it’s not much. But then again, I didn’t start out with much in the first place.


d e r e t t a t e h t r o tips f

With another semester about to kick off, the effects of playing ‘the grasshopper who sang all summer’ (or ‘sat by the pool and got drunk’) are about to hit hard for those of us who haven’t saved a penny for the coming university year. And all scroogey-ness of my student guide aside (hey, don’t knock-it til you’re dosh-less), there are some ways in which the term ‘student’ can avoid synonymy with ‘sucks-to-be-me’. So before you surrender yourself to another year of pocket-scrounging, check out some of these useful tips:

Unless you’re particularly anal about excessive highlighting and dog-tagging, there is some serious money to be saved in the acquisition of textbooks. Pre-loved (... hmm) copies can usually be obtained via eBay, www. textbookexchange.com.au, and various flyers on campus. Balance the cost of this by selling your own old textbooks, and experience new-found fondness when truthfully describing their condition as ‘never used’.

Take full advantage of your government by applying for Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy or Rent Assistance. After all, what’s the use of a government if not for scabbing as much as possible? Start your application online at www.centrelink.gov.au. Requests usually take about eight weeks to process, but you will be back-paid for the waiting period.

It’s no co-inki-dinky that fast-food dominates commercial breaks during your evening in front of the TV. Rather, marketers have realised just how many people can’t be bothered to cook or clean, and they will sell this to your inner fat and lazy. Try opening a cookbook and save yourself at least half your weekly food allowance, especially when implementing some of the opposite suggestions.

Don’t rag on Aldi. Okay, so the ‘microwaveable roast chicken’ might not be a go-er, but there is definitely good money to be saved in your staple foods. After all, we know deep down that the product only differs from its dearer counterpart by its crappier label. If you still can’t fathom the courage, then try ‘We Love Coles’ brand foods. I might not love Coles, but I do love their cheap alternatives.

Believe it or not - despite all my scabbish tendencies - I hate to haggle. But, if you’re not afraid of looking stingy, use the following phrase as often as possible: “is that your best price?” You will be amazed at how often - especially given the current economic climate - retailers will be willing to knock a few digits off the original price to make a sale. JB HiFi wins the bloggers choice award for the most easy to bargain with, so don’t settle for ‘recommended retail’ anymore.

Fake it til you make it and buy yourself a home-brew kit. If you’re like me, and summer is all about afternoon beers, invest in make-your-own kit and you’ll be laughing (from excess alcohol consumption, that is) when you cut the average cost of a litre down to 95 cents. Whilst the start up cost ranges from $70 to $100, this little scheme will pay for itself in no time.

Make the most of your campus and take advantage of the cheap alternatives it offers. Gym memberships are available from $195 per 6 months, haircuts from $20, the medical centre will bulk bill and the Hub offers a range of facilities that empathize with your financial position, such as student-rate travel and bank fees. Not to mention that the Internet is free, and there is real money to be saved in flushing costs when there are over 100 toilets to be found on campus. So don’t despair, my fellow paupers. By embracing your inner urchin and cutting a few corners, you will find a way to get by, whether it be through shopping at Aldi, learning to haggle, or simply having rich friends. Like they say, money can’t buy you friends, but your friends can certainly lend you money.


Thocks, Thocks Songs, or Flip Socks? By Dominic Lavers “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” - Aristotle

And now, it’s my duty to spread this invention, like a gift, into other peoples’ lives. That’s just the kind of guy I am. Most clarifying moment of the night? The entire venture shaping up to be a complete success when, walking into Dragonfly, a bouncer yells in my direction, “Sorry mate, but you’re not coming in in those shoes!” I turned sheepishly to find him pointing not at me, but at my mates pair of Globe skate shoes. He should’ve worn thocks. Later that night, as I took off my footwear – which had all the distinct smells of a 4am Mooseheads floor soaked up by two pieces of cotton – I thought: “These are the filthiest pieces of crap I have ever seen in my life”. And I couldn’t help but love them.

It’s hard to believe that Aristotle didn’t have me in mind when he wrote those fateful words. Over the summer holidays, after sitting through one of the dullest days of Test match cricket in history, I stumbled upon an invention that just might be my legacy to this world. That night, thrilled to escape the monotony of Canberra night-life, my friends and I prepared to head out and get our booze on. Upon inspecting my bag, however, I discovered that my classy shoes had decided to miss the fun and stay at home in Canberra. All I had were thongs. Because none of my friends had spares, I was sadly preparing for a night in, clutching to the one consolation that at least my wallet wouldn’t suffer with me. And then came the genius. “If I could put some black socks OVER my thongs, they might, just might, be passable as some form of trendy new shoe”. Granted, I’ve never been much of a fashion guru... Until now. I’ll admit - I was nervous. Trying to look calm is harder than you might think when walking up to a menacing bouncer with socks over your thongs. But as the night wore on, and we crawled from one club to the next, I realised that no-one was going to stop me. I felt like Alexander Fleming stumbling across Penicillin.

HOW TO MAke YOUr OWn THOCkS:


UniverSiTY

CODe Of COnDUCT

ApprOpriATe STUDenT BeHAviOUr in LeCTUreS If you are one of those ‘associate-my-face-with-motivated-student’ type people, limit yourself to two questions per lecture to avoid becoming an ‘associate-my-face-with-you’re-a-dick’ type student. It is never, under any circumstance, acceptable to ask a question when the lecturer says “that’s about all for today, any questions?” Hissing as a response to this misdemeanor is entirely appropriate.

ApprOpriATe LeCTUrer BeHAviOUr in LeCTUreS Never attempt to run your lecture to the specified time limit. 2 hours should therefore be equated to 1 hour, 30 minutes. This is sure to earn you brownie points and, let’s face it, everyone has stopped listening by then anyway. Avoid attempts to ‘keep it cool’ with your students. This will only estrange us further. Do not begin your very first lecture with “my lectures WILL NOT be available online, therefore your presence is required to pass this unit”. Attendance to lectures, as specified in the unit outline, is NOT compulsory and should not be treated as such, especially when scheduled at 8:30am on a Monday morning. Keep coughing, sneezing and annoying throat clearing to a minimum. It’s amazing what those little microphones will pick up.

ApprOpriATe STUDenT BeHAviOUr in TUTOriALS Never turn up to tutorials at the specified start time. This makes your fellow students look bad when they arrive ‘punctually’ five to ten minutes later. Seating etiquette is of particular importance. Once having sat in the same seat for more than two tutorials, you may now claim ownskies on this spot. Should anyone be found in your designated area, you may issue a formal complaint to the Vice Chancellor within 5-7 days of the incident occurring. Do not dominate class discussions with your own, uninformed point-of-view. We do not care. Repeat. We do not care. Baking muffins for your tutor is not an acceptable form of brown nosing. Neither is making a request to become their friend on Facebook (they are NOT your friend, either virtually OR in reality). If you should receive a high distinction for a piece of work, please keep smugness to a minimum. Avoid asking the person closest to you “what did you get?”, as when the question is returned, your conceitedness will shine.

ApprOpriATe TUTOr BeHAviOUr in TUTOriALS Rocking up for tutorials half an hour late citing personal reasons is not an excuse. Remember, you’re paid to be there, we aren’t. Distributing ‘P’ marks for class participation is strictly unacceptable. I’m fucking there aren’t I? What more do you want? A basket of muffins? Oh wait… damn. This code of conduct has been officially endorsed by the team at CUrio. Should you have any complaints, it’s unfortunate that you are one of these people. Culminated by Jessica Nairn, Holly Reid and Dominic Lavers.


revieWS Ben Lee, The Rebirth of Venus (New West) - By George Newman I wasn’t sure if I wanted to listen to another Ben Lee album, if only for the fact he’s dedicated his latest to “Venus, the goddess of love and beauty”. Sounded pretty lame. But I was surprised to find The Rebirth of Venus,, his seventh studio album, a pretty decent listen. ‘What’s so bad (about feeling good)?’ picks up where ‘Catch my Disease’ left off and you can’t help but singing along to the chants of “no guilt, all pleasure”. But Lee doesn’t make it easy to like him. With ‘I Love Pop Music’, he said he wanted to write a song that was both political and hard hitting. But Lee has confused social commentary with simply singing the news. For example: “there are six billion people on this planet and not enough drinking water, religious intolerance creating geopolitical instability”. Not exactly Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’, is it? But my real problem with Ben Lee is that his melodies sneak up from behind you. You can listen to his lyrical garbage, then suddenly find yourself singing “I love pop music, sprinkle sugar through it”, which is just as catchy as it is naff. And on The Rebirth of Venus,, the melodies are plenty. If you’re going to buy it, make sure you get the collector’s edition, if only for Lee’s cover of the Ataris song ‘Ben Lee’, about their extreme dislike of, surprise surprise, Ben Lee. On it, he sings “I’d love to kick you in the face, break your legs and throw you from a train.” For someone who wrote the song ‘I’m a woman too’, he’s sure got balls.

Credit

Yves Klein Blue, Draw Attention to Themselves (Dew Process) - By Elaine Jerry “Lick up a dream that seemingly sings with a whistling neon breath”, Michael Tomlinson sings on Polka. I’ve got no fucking idea what it means, but I like it. By the 4th track of Yves Klein Blue’s Draw Attention to Themselves e.p., it’s clear you’re listening to something special. To get an idea: think lovechild of the Strokes and the Kooks, with a little bit of Spoon (let’s call him ‘spook’). There’s so much talent and variety here that their debut album, soon to be released, promises to be one the best of 2009. I’m still not convinced of the band name – or the unassuming song titles – but who really cares when they’ve got songs like ‘Silence is Distance’ which burst out of your stereo with supreme confidence. Make sure to catch them at ‘The Big O’on the 3rd of March, I’ll be standing somewhere up the front.

Distinction

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby by Holly Reid In a blend of broken-hearts, compilation tapes and top-five pop culture lists, Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel is a far from outdated look into the mind of a thirty-something single man. Rob, a slightly neurotic and far too analytical owner of a failing record store, is struggling to rebound after his latest break-up. In an effort to understand the complexities of life and love – and simply just to pass the time - he revisits the subjects of his all-time, top-five most memorable split ups. Despite being a self-proclaimed arsehole, Rob’s sarcastic humour, vulnerability and lack of ambition make him a loveable, yet equally pitiable, main character. His all too honest internal monologue, constant need to share an extensive knowledge of the arts and total submission to a life of mediocrity, make for a unique insight into nineties pop-culture and a comforting I’m-glad-I’m-not-this-guy read. “‘Have you got any soul?’ a woman [in the store] asks the next afternoon. That depends, I feel like saying; some days yes, some days no. A few days ago I was right out, now I’ve got loads, too much, more than I could handle. I can see she wouldn’t be interested... though, so I simple point to the soul I have, right by the exit, next to the blues.” TOP-FIVE THINGS I LIKED ABOUT HIGH FIDELITY 1. That it’s punctuated with top-five lists, ranging from favourite episodes of Cheers to topfive records that make you feel nothing at all. 2. That even if the modern male is a mystery to you, don’t stress, because Hornby reveals that he probably understands himself a lot less than you do. 3. “It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favourite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party”. 4. That it falls somewhere in between Hornbys’ best (About a Boy) to worst (A Long Way Down) novels that I’ve read and is still a really good read. 5. That it is available for only $9.95 from the orange-and-white Penguin range from most bookstores. Distinction+


kurt Steel chats up a Double D With a couple of ARIAs under their belts and their new album close to hitting triple platinum, Sneaky Sound System’s fresh mix of dance, punk, pop and soul is fast becoming a soundtrack to our generation.

playing us like four times a day, so there are a lot of people beginning to know about us. I’m looking forward to gauging their reaction, and fingers crossed it will be a mirror of what happened here.”

CUrio caught up with MC DoubleD from Sneaky to talk about their new album, their roots, and the insanity of the Canberra faithful.

Closer to home, Sneaky has played in Canberra over 25 times, headlining 2007’s Foreshore music festival and making countless appearances at club gigs. Returning the love that Canberra feels for Sneaky, DoubleD see’s something special in the nation’s capital too.

Spawning from Sneaky Sundays - a Sunday night gig that continues to attract thousands of Sydneyites each week – original members Daimon (DoubleD) and Angus made a quick progression to the studio. “None of us knew how to write a record, so we built a studio and learnt to do it ourselves”, DoubleD recalls. The third ingredient to Sneaky, female vocalist Connie Mitchell, was discovered singing in a Sydney park. “Our mouths

dropped and we both thought; fuck, this girl can sing! Two

weeks later, we had her in our studio singing ‘I love it’” (now the longest lasting single ever on the Australian charts).

After attracting a huge underground following based entirely on Australian tours, Sneaky finally reached a mainstream audience with their self-titled album in 2006. Now, having risen to the top of the Australia’s charts with a regular radio rotation, Sneaky’s new album, ‘2’, is set to conquer the globe with a fresher sound mixed with the old styles we know and love. “We were always told that we sound better live than we do on the actual albums, so we made ‘2’ sound a little bit more live... [and added] a lot more instrumental. The songs still run along the same theme – there are a lot of pointless songs, songs about love and songs about how love doesn’t work – but there a few little surprises as well.” “We’ve been to Britain five times, and now we have a record deal over there. We’re going back this year when our album is released [in the UK]. The success... has been really good. The radio is

“All I know about Canberra is that you guys go fucking mental. I don’t know what it is; whether they put something in the water or because you’re able to grow marijuana... you guys go off.” Most likely discovered by Canberra fans of the ‘after party’, a quirk of Sneaky songs is that they sync almost perfectly with any film clip on Rage and Video Hits. Be it Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’, or Tommy Seebach’s ‘Apache’, chuck Sneaky on in the background and the dancing in the video clip matches it seamlessly. When asked about this strange anomaly, DoubleD gladly took the credit. “Total genius at work! Maybe there is a semi-slight pop music formula that is common between our songs and others... there’s the middle eight, then comes your break-down. That’s really funny you say that, because there are so many people who have synced it up on YouTube. It’s hilarious.” Given the opportunity, DoubleD was happy to offer advice to our first year students: “[with] studying and partying, it’s less on the latter so you can do more of it later. Drop everything, just go and study music... Oh, you can’t study music at UC? Well get the fuck out of there and find [a university]... that celebrates the creative side!”


Hollysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Horrorscopes TAURUS

c

SAGGITARIOUS

u

SCORPIO

Be wary of all people with names beginning with B. If your own name begins with a B, avoid looking in the mirror for fear of self-mutilation.

ARIES

Your financial situations looks set to improve in the coming weeks. Favour the Gods by treating all friends to a round of gin and tonic.

PISCES

CANCER

e q

w

o m

It may be time to get that you-know-what checked out.

i

CAPRICORN

s

AQUARIOUS

With Mercury in your rotation, it seems likely that you will achieve a P on your next piece of assessment. For this reason, any invested time and effort is pointless.

Family of are particular importance to you in the final week of February. Be sure to keep them in good humour as their financial services will shortly be needed for textbooks.

People who read star-signs often believe in divine intervention. Unfortunately, this intervention does not extend to you. It is your fault if your life is crap.

I regret to inform you that you are genetically inferior to all other star signs. Suck up to your superiors in hope of happiness-by-association.

VIRGO

a

GEMINI

Libra

k

Leo

That uneasy sensation in the back of your mind is a byproduct of excess alcohol consumption. Ignore it and continue with business as usual.

I sense that the scales of life will soon be tipping in your favour. Remember to wear clean underpants for O-week.

g

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m afraid that you are to be punished for the ridiculous spelling of your star sign. Be warned, therefore, of falling power lines, rabid dogs and black holes.

Eat lots of pineapple. Remember, a pineapple a day... oh, never mind.

Receiving no financial gain for the predicting of your future, I suggest you foresee your own destiny for this month. Should you have any complaints regarding this matter, please petition to the UCSA for my talent to be recognised on a financial level.

Holly is currently in her 3rd year of a Bachelor of Astrology at UC


Trivia

1. What is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with und? 2. Who said: “I’m the president of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli”? 3. What is the name of the road where TV’s Desperate Housewives live? 4. In which country was Greenpeace founded? 5. What country hosts the World Wife-Carrying Championships? 6. What is the full name of the school in the Harry Potter books? 7. Who is the rapper Calvin Broadus better known as? 8. In which sport does Australia have national teams named the Sharks (men) and the Stingers (women)? 9. How many Oscars did the 1997 film Titanic win? 10. Who was the Beatles’ original drummer?

Brainteasers

1. What happened in 1961 that won’t happen again until 6009? 2. How far can you walk into the woods? 3. Is it legal for a man to marry his widow’s sister? 4. How many of each kind of animal did Moses take on the ark? 5. A woman looks at a photo and says, “This person’s mother is my mother’s mother in law.” Who is she looking at?

CUrio is looking for writers, photographers, artists and graphic designers. To take advantage of this opportunity, contact Dominic on: media@theucsa.org.au Remember! \ Next Curio Deadline: March 6th Answers: 1) Underground, 2) George Bush Senior, 3) Wisteria Lane, 4) Canada (in 1971), 5) Finland (traditionally in the town of Sonkajärvi, the race is run over a 253.5m track including various surfaces and obstacles, carrying a woman weighing or handicapped to weigh no less than 49 kgs, which also is the weight in beer of the prize for winning.), 6) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, 7) Snoop Dogg, 8) Water polo, 9) Eleven, 10) Pete Best. Brainteasers 1) The year will read the same upside down, 2) Half way – any further and you’re walking out of the woods, 3) No, because he’d be dead, 4) None, it was Noah’s ark, 5) Her father


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