Thinking squarely inside the box
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The one-time Soccer AM presenter talks to Palatinate about hangovers and his new company Interview
PALATINATE The ofﬁcial Durham University student newspaper since 1948
ISSUE 707 | FRIDAY 8TH MAY 2009
Loveshack DJ asked to leave following Open Day allegations
DJ held responsible for encouraging inappropriate behaviour on stage Thomas Lewis A LOVESHACK DJ was asked to leave for encouraging inappropriate games on stage on the ﬁrst evening of the Durham University open day. >>>Problems arose as the DJ, a man not connected with Durham University, stopped the music and organised games on stage for potential students, which included stripping and swapping clothes between boys and girls.
“Swapping clothes” >>> The situation was made worse when, after the last game, he unexpectedly raised the screens behind which contestants were changing, to reveal two potential students in a compromising position in front of the entire nightclub. >>>Andy Welch, the Students’ Union president, and numerous other Durham college representatives complained to the duty manager, at which point the DJ was taken off the stage. Andy Welch told Palatinate that he was impressed that the open day representatives acted so swiftly. >>>Michael Hartley, an open day representative from the College of St Hild and St Bede said, “the behaviour I witnessed was appalling. I was surprised simply because I had never seen it happen in Dur-
ham before. >>> “All the potential Hild Bede freshers just wanted to dance and have a good time; I re-assured them the next morning that it was not a normal occurrence in Durham”. >>>The general reaction to the night seemed to be of surprise as the open day this year had been unusually strict after criticisms of last year’s open day for underage and excessive drinking. >>>This included colleges such as St Aidan’s enforcing a token policy at its college bar to monitor even legal drinkers. Furthermore, at Loveshack, all students including Durham college representatives, required identiﬁcation. >>>Olly Nguyen, a senior fresher representative, noted: “the open day had run very smoothly with colleges being particularly vigilant. The DJ was probably to blame, especially as the next night out ran without a hitch”. >>>Loveshack told Palatinate that they wanted to make it clear that the DJ was not from the same DJ company that they usually hire from. >>>Their regular DJ was apparently called in from a gig in Newcastle as soon as a complaint was made. They said: “As soon as problem was highlighted, the DJ was released from his duties. >>>”His actions were totally inappropriate and we immediately responded to rectify the problem and ensure there was no repeat”.
Grey up to the Challenge The Grey College University Challenge Team were victorious against St Mary’s College in the Durham University inter-collegiate University Challenge Final, which took place last Wednesday 29th April. Pictured above from left to right: Sarah Watson, James Link, Hannah Mosley and Jessica Pratt.
University appoints ﬁrst female registrar DURHAM UNIVERSITY HAS appointed a female registrar and secretary for the ﬁrst time in its 177 year history. Carolyn Fowler, 39, was appointed to the position permanently after initially working in the role on an acting basis following Lee Sanders’ departure from the role in October 2008. >>>As registrar, Mrs Fowler is the chief operating ofﬁcer of the University, heading the Registrar’s Division of professional support departments of more than 650 staff and with responsibility to the vicechancellor for the University’s business.
DURHAM UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS
Academics’ pay dispute intensiﬁes
Within her new role, Mrs Fowler is also secretary to the overall governing Council Committee and the Senate - the body which oversees academic policy-making and is a member of the University’s senior management team. >>>Mrs Fowler was one of the ﬁrst women to attend University College, graduating in 1990 with an honours degree in history. >>>She was ﬁrst appointed as the School of Education’s Administrative Ofﬁcer in 1998, before becoming the Registrar Division’s head of the undergraduate section. >>>She went on to become deputy director in the University’s Strategic Planning and Change before taking up the position
of academic registrar a year later.
>>>Mrs Fowler said, “Durham is a place
I really love and having arrived here as a
student more than 20 years ago, I am extremely proud to have been appointed as registrar to the University”.
>>>Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Hig-
gins described her new position as “a key
role in developing and implementing the University’s strategy and in developing
the professionalism of our support departments in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace”.
A PAY DISPUTE in the higher education sector has escalated after members of a prominent trade union balloted their members for industrial action. >>> The University and College Union (UCU) has provoked anger from the employers’ organisation University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) after it appeared to break with an agreed timetable for action, prompting Durham University vice-chancellor Prof Chris Higgins to send an e-mail to all academic staff expressing his dismay with the industrial action proposal. >>>It was originally agreed that the dispute, relating to pay, conditions and union fears over job cuts, would be discussed over an eight week timetable. However, the UCU’s decision comes only three weeks into the agreement. >>>Jocelyn Prudence, the UCEA chief executive, said: “On a day when the sector has been asked by the Treasury to make additional signiﬁcant savings, the UCU decision to instigate a strike ballot over pay is truly bafﬂing”. >>>The move by the UCU appears calculated to demonstrate impatience at the nature and development of proceedings, after what they cited as the “lack of a credible pay offer”. The union responded to UCEA by saying: “It is the failure of the employers to react to the growing crisis that has forced our hand”. >>>The NUS has expressed disappointment with the news. The president said: “Given the effects of the current economic climate on the graduate jobs market, students need industrial action by university staff like a hole in the head”. >>> It is as yet unclear how Durham might be affected.
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NEWS PRESIDENT’S COLUMN ANDY WELCH THIS WEEK I have decided to talk (OK, type) about the upcoming European and local elections on 4th June, not because I have nothing more interesting in my life (honest), but because they are very important. >>>Regardless of whether you are proor anti-European you should be aware that the EU Parliament increasingly sets EU-wide policy on important issues such as trade, the environment and civil liberties. >>>Even if you do not care about what kind of person represents you in Europe, the elections are very important on the domestic front as well. Local and EU elections are used as referenda to gauge the popularity of political parties; if a party does particularly badly they might change their leader, and if they do well they capitalise on it to increase their political momentum. It is an excellent chance to express your thoughts on who should run/keep running the country. >>>If you vote, it also makes my job easier. I am often lobbying politicians with your concerns and issues, and whilst they normally listen, they listen harder to pensioners. Why? Because more pensioners vote than students. If more students voted, the government (and opposition parties) will care more about our concerns. >>>It may seem facetious (my word of the week) but democracy is kind of a big deal. People have fought very long and hard to give you the ability to vote and the least we can do is honour their work by using this right when ever we have the opportunity. Remember, if you dislike all the options on a ballot paper you can always use it to compose an amusing limerick! >>>To register to vote (and make me very happy), go to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk May so The deadline is 19th don’t delay! Don’t forget to vote on 4th June either.
From the Union Patrick Hague George Beverly I REMEMBER SAYING in my election hust back in dark and frosty Michaelmas that, despite appearances, Durham does have a summer. This week we’re beginning to see the ﬁrst inkling of it. >>>It’s been a busy ﬁrst week for the Union Society. We kicked off the term last Friday with the ﬁnal round of the Robson Cup, in search of the best debater in Durham. Competitors from across the university argued for and against Tamil independence in Sri Lanka. I’m pleased to announce that, after truly excellent speeches from all ﬁnalists, Tim Finlay of St Aidan’s won the cup this year. >>>The debate was followed by free summer cocktails at 24. Given the sheer volume of alcohol consumed by members, I can only conclude that it went well and a good time was enjoyed by all. Huge thanks need to go to our social secretary Anna and everyone who helped ensure that a freshly muddled mojito was never too far away. >>>Durham teams have also been doing well on the national debating circuit. We had a strong presence last week at Newcastle Open with Tim Finlay and Luke Wells reaching the ﬁnals, only narrowly missing out on the title. >>>In the next couple of weeks before exams, we have some really interesting debates on legalising cannabis and the Israel-Palestine conﬂict. Would you like to be able to smoke cannabis at a Durham Cafe? Or perhaps you’re more interested in bringing peace to the Middle East? If so, then come on up to the Chamber on Palace Green; you could be surprised by what goes on.
DUCK and SCA donate ducklings Jamie Hubbard DURHAM UNIVERSITY’S CHARITY organisations, Durham University Charities Kommittee (DUCK) and Student Community Action (SCA) recently made a donation of eight ducklings and a mother duck to the children of Daisy Chain in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees. The unique institution was founded to give children with autism and special needs respite and holistic care. >>>The centre has been described by its founder Lesley Hanson as “a haven for children with autism and special needs, a place where they can go and ﬁnd something in life to give them pleasure”. >>>Set in the grounds of Calf Fallow Farm it offers an environment of fun and learning, with animals and activities for the children to be involved with. Recent building development at the centre, which marks its sixth anniversary this year, will greatly enhance the facilities available. >>>SCA has been involved with the centre for a number of years. The gift was aided by Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. The ducklings have been very well received; Laura Matthews, the manager of DUCK for 2008/9, described them as “so, so cute!” It is hoped the relationship between the charitable organisations will continue to strengthen.
NUS conference Jess Pauley THIS YEAR’S NUS conference took place in Blackpool from 30th March until 2nd April. Eleven students attended on behalf of Durham University, including Durham Students’ Union president, Andy Welch. >>>NUS President Wes Streeting was re-elected for a second term in ofﬁce by a margin of 631 votes to 140. The vice positions were also elected, with the new term of ofﬁce commencing on 1st July 2009. Streeting said: “I have received the overwhelming mandate of 81% of delegates at our conference to lead our Union for a second term and I relish the challenges to come”. >>>Many hot topics were debated at the conference to ascertain the Union’s standing on a number of key issues. There were also a number of external speakers present. Matthew Collins, an anti-racism campaigner from HopeNotHate campaign, spoke about the need for people to get involved to help defeat the BNP in forthcoming European and local elections. >>>The NUS will also be calling for additional action to be taken on the recession over the coming months, including putting pressure on the government to expand its graduate internship scheme and to encourage the continued growth of student numbers to prevent a crisis in youth unemployment developing in the near future. >>>Students everywhere are concerned about the future of government funding with regard to tuition fees; those at the conference were reassured by Streeting about the priorities of the NUS over the coming months. “The year ahead will be about ﬁghting for a new deal for students: one that combats, halts and reverses the marketisation of our education system. When the university fees review starts later this year we will step up to the plate with an analysis of its failings, and a fairer, equitable and sustainable alternative that sees graduates contribute according to the real beneﬁts they obtain, and our government putting its money where its mouth is on the importance of education and the necessity to widen access and increase opportunity and aspiration”. >>>A motion passed on the ﬁnal day of the conference endorsed proposals to start consultations to set a minimum price
Durham University Student, Amran Hussain, takes to the stage at this year’s NUS conference. for alcohol in student unions across the country. This was one of the most contentious debates. It was argued that more needs to be done to discourage students from drinking to dangerous levels, and that there should be no place for this kind of activity in students’ unions. However, as one Durham delegate highlighted in their post-conference report, Durham University already imposes mimimum pricing and as such, the issue was not as hot a topic for Durham as for other universities. >>>However, there were several criticisms raised as a result of this year’s NUS conference. The ﬁrst of these, and perhaps the most important, was that delegates did not ﬁnd many of the issues raised to be in tune with Durham students. As one delegate wrote in their conference report, “Durham is a unique institution and needs to be recognised”. Durham only had two motions in which it had allocated speeches - but unfortunately there was not enough time to get to these points. >>>The second criticism was concerned
with what was actually achieved as a result of the conference: delegates complained that too much time was wasted submitting procedural motions, particularly due to the limited timescale that the conference was operating on. At one point, people were becoming so annoyed by the time wasting that a procedural motion was proposed to stop procedural motions; as a result, some motions were not discussed which was deemed disappointing. >>>However, Andy Welch said to Palatinate, “I think NUS conference does waste some time on issues of dubious relevance, however it made some important and good decisions on topics like Higher Education Funding and supporting student unions in their campaigns”. >>>Amran Hussain, one of the delegates that attended the conference (and pictured above), said “we ﬁnally witnessed a conference where our National Union moved on from institutional debates and endless motions on its constitutions and British foreign policies, to debating issues that really matter to us British students”.
Durham awarded grant to train local industry Jamie Hubbard DURHAM UNIVERSITY HAS been selected to receive a share of signiﬁcant government funding. >>>The money, offered by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, is targeted towards the provision of qualiﬁcations called ‘Industrial Bridging Fellowships’. The intention is to provide short courses and periods of research that allow employees of locally-based companies to enhance their development and output. The hope is that companies being hit by the recession will increase their productivity in an attempt to nullify some of the effects of the downturn. >>>It is thought that the University was selected due to its excellence in research
and commitment to high quality teaching. The pro-vice-chancellor for research, Professor Tom McLeish, was pleased by the announcement. >>>He said: “We are excited by the opportunity to meet the needs of our local communities now and in the future by bringing together the efforts of teaching, research and business staff across many departments”. A hand-picked selection of other UK educational institutions were also given a share of the grant. >>>The funding offered must be spent by the end of September 2010, and is part of proposals by the government to provide short-term support for industry. Durham, amongst other higher education institutions, will aim to spend this money quickly for maximum beneﬁt to local companies. The University is working in
partnership with One North East, the Regional Development Agency, for this part of the country to make sure the money is spent efﬁcently and effectively. >>>One North East has already begun to look into speciﬁc plans for how to allocate the cash and there will be agreement between the University and the development agency on how the money can most effectively be used. >>>One thing is clear: the intention is a “short sharp shock” to local industry and a much-needed boost for ailing North East institutions. >>>In the long run, this will be a positive step in providing people with the professional skills that will be demanded in the future. This is more essential than ever given the economic crisis and the subsequent burden on future generations.
C M Y K
Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
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Future of accomodation fees debated across university JONATHAN ALLEN
Vincent McAviney PLANS ARE BEING discussed within the university to radically change the accommodation system. At the end of last term, Palatinate learned that the idea of differential lets was being discussed by the University Accommodation Advisory Group comprised of Presidents’ Committee members and university officials. >>>Differential lets essentially means that instead of charging a flat rate for college accommodation, rooms would be assessed on quality, amenities and location, and priced accordingly. >>>However, this idea was met with resistance over fears this approach could be detrimental to the nature of the collegiate system leading to ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ colleges. Jenny Wren-Charlton, University College senior man said at the time “A concern I think many have, mainly from hearing from friends in other universities, most notably Oxbridge, is there is a fear of changing the unique nature of the college system into an elitist one, thus diminishing the diverse communities that you find in colleges and the eclectic mix of people that our University attracts”. >>>When questioned about the status of the proposal, DSU president Andrew Welch stated that the University, in response to the negative reaction of students, is considering alternative ideas, primarily a ‘returners’ bonus’ to help plug the gap in college finances. “Currently some
A STUDENT FROM the College of St Hild and St Bede - William Lucas - was admitted to hospital last week after getting washing detergent in his eye. The accident occurred when his friend, another student from Hild Bede, accidentally burst the capsule during a ‘play fight’, causing some of the liquid to go into Will’s right eye. This resulted in chemical burns to the cornea. William was admitted to a specialist eye clinic in Sunderland following the event. After several days, his eye has started to recover.
colleges like Hild Bede, Van Mildert and Aidan’s are struggling to fill their blocks,” said Mr Welch. “This is known as the ‘void problem’, as many third and fourth year students find it cheaper to live out in areas like Gilesgate instead of moving back into their colleges”. >>>The idea is to charge freshers, who have to live in for the duration of their first year, more money for their accommodation, allowing colleges to charge returners less. It is hoped this incentive will attract
third and fourth year students back into their colleges. >>>However student reaction to the proposal has been decidedly mixed. When raised at a Van Mildert JCR meeting this past weekend, the proposals were not well received, with many students labeling the system ‘unfair’. >>>However, a source placed highly within the Hild Bede SRC executive said that the college is in favour of the returners’ bonus. “With Hild Bede surrounded
by cheap Gilesgate accomodation, there is no incentive for third and fourth year students to move back into the college. They can live out for less whilst enjoying all of the college facilities”. It is hoped that with more Hild Bede students choosing to return, a greater sense of community will develop and college spirit will be strengthened. >>>The discussions remain on-going within the Accomodation Advisory Group.
Students warned of Criticism of library theft admissions process Dan Bloom
students who own them. >>>“We do our best to ensure people look after their possessions – and we provide lockers,” a library source said. “But people just say, ‘Oh, it’s safe in here’. We can’t have a card entry system because of our archives”. >>>Madeleine said: “I wasn’t actually aware that it was a public library. I hadn’t heard from anyone that anything had got stolen before so I was kind of lulled into a false sense of security by the Durham bubble. They should have some way to monitor what goes on because it could easily happen again.” >>>She has learnt from her experience: “I’m much more vigilant, and I’d say back everything up on a hard drive,” she said. “I had my work backed up but because I DJ, I had about 8,000 songs that weren’t. I’ve had my iTunes since I was about fifteen so it was a bit of a loss.”
A STUDENT’S LAPTOP was stolen over the Easter break from Palace Green Library when she left her desk for just five minutes. >>>Madeleine St-Amour, a second year from Trevelyan College, was working in Palace Green Library on Saturday 25th April when she noticed her white Macbook had disappeared. >>>She said: “I was at Palace Green all day at a desk on my own, and it must have gone whilst I went to the toilet. I only left my desk for five minutes at most about twice that afternoon. It was in its case and hidden under my bags, so I only noticed it had gone at about four o’clock. When I realised it had definitely gone, after I’d searched everywhere, I burst into tears and told the Palace Green people”. >>>However, since the library has minimal security facilities, there was little staff could do to help. >>>Madeleine went on to say: “They said because there was no CCTV, and people walk in and out of the library all day, they couldn’t really help me too much – but they did help me look around the library for it”. >>>Unlike the Main Library, Palace Green welcomes members of the public to its Archives and Special Collections and so lacks a card entry system. >>>Responsibility for belongings rests solely with the
Student blinded in Liqui-tab incident
Jack Battersby Last month, Durham University was publically linked to growing concerns over how UK universities should distinguish between high performing applicants. >>>On 5th April, the Sunday Times published a letter from a parent whose son had been rejected by the University to study History and Russian, despite achieving four ‘A’s at A Level and holding ten ‘A’s or ‘A*s’ at GCSE. >>>After asking for the decision to be reconsidered, the applicant was told that, given the intense competition for places, the University had taken into account the “educational context in which previous qualifications had been achieved” and applied a “mathematical formula” to reach its decision. >>>The University informed the applicant that the formula was applied to GCSE results to “recognise candidates who had performed very well despite attending schools where average performance was weak”. >>>The letter received attention from Chris Woodhead, former chief inspector of schools and now columnist for the Sunday Times’ education feature ‘Answer the Question’. >>>His response echoed the parent’s concerns of a system that had the potential to work against those who had attended feepaying schools. “Exactly how it works is not clear to me. Admissions tutors should
exercise discretion rather than blindly apply a formula”. >>>Vice-chancellor Chris Higgins was quick to clarify the University’s position in his bulletin to staff and students. Defending the admissions process, he highlighted the difficulties faced by academic selectors in distinguishing between candidates achieving three ‘A’s or above at A Level. “The University is committed to recruiting high quality students by identifying merit and potential, regardless of background. We do not have quotas or reduce A Level grades for offers to students because of their school type or socio-economic circumstances”. >>>In June 2008, universities were told that they could adopt controversial admissions procedures to make lower offers to pupils from struggling state schools because they show greater potential than applicants that have been intensively tutored at private schools. >>>However, last year’s revised Undergraduate Admissions Policy saw no change in the University’s procedures for attracting state-educated applicants. Outreach activities, including a generous bursary scheme to attract students from lower income backgrounds, remain the favoured approach. >>>It would appear that despite considerable pressure, Durham University admissions tutors remain opposed to the use of social engineering to encourage state school applicants.
Zip Wire Challenge A DURHAM HOSPICE is planning an audacious zip wire challenge across Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge. St Cuthbert’s Hospice is planning the event on 7th June. The aim is to raise precious funding for the hospice, which provides free care and support to local people with life-limiting conditions. It is hoped that the nature of the zip wire challenge event will interest local students and aid engagement with the hospice’s vital role in the community. If any of you are interested in either participating in the challenge or simply donating money, please contact Emily Rosselli on (0191) 386 1170.
Cuth’s to push for privacy clause in licensing ST CUTHBERT’S COLLEGE JCR is to lobby other colleges to join a campaign to add a privacy clause to the standard licensing agreement issued to all students who live in college rooms. The proposal, which is expected to state that students would have to give their permission before University staff entered their rooms, follows an incident in St Cuthbert’s last year. A college officer was allegedly found to have entered a student’s room in their absence and without their permission.
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
Under pressure Emily Evans offers an exam pep-talk for the stressed
weaty palms? Check. Irregular heartbeat? Check. Shortness of breath? Check. Yes, that’s right, May has reached us and this means only one thing, hop aboard for the exam rollercoaster. But before you jump out of the carriage, get back under the safety bar because this ride, I assure you, has a happy ending. Like any good rollercoaster, the route >>>Like to exams begins surprisingly smoothly and uneventful, full of unthwarted expectation. So, you’ve got the timetable and you’ve spent about a week writing out an intricate (colour-coded) revision timetable but as the days ﬂy by (and the timetable gathers dust), your good intentions fall by the wayside. >>>This is the ﬁrst mistake of exam preparation: the confounding human compulsion to set ourselves grossly inﬂated targets which are hopelessly unachievable from the start. Just like the twists and turns of the unpredictable fairground ride, the build up to the exam period cannot be mapped out like a military attack plan. As we all know, some days the motivation to spring out of bed is non-existent and the impulse to check your Facebook proﬁle is simply unavoidable. What is most important is not to waste time worrying about missing your targets but rather focus on what you have done and what still needs to be completed. Be realistic about what
you can achieve in a day; planning and organisation is a crucial part of the revision process but building mountains that are impossible to climb will only make you tumble down more quickly. >>>The key to survival and success in the revision stakes is BALANCE. It is this phenomenon which saves the thrillseeker from plummeting to his death on Nemesis, and it will save you from going crazy until the ﬁrst post-exams party. Has anyone ever told you that you can never have too much of a good thing? Well, they are wrong. We all need a little variety in our lives and this time of the year is no exception. >>> The good news is
that at one end of the tightrope are all the ﬁner things in student life: lie-ins, happy hour and daytime TV - but at the other are all the things we love to hate like essays, exams and work in general. So it’s a case of a little from Column A and a little more from Column B with an F for food, an E for exercise and an S for sleep which will hopefully lead to a D for degree. As any good Stress Less leaﬂet will tell you, your body and mind are like a well-honed machine which needs the right fuel and maintenance to succeed. HowANTHONIE CHIU ever, don’t feel guilty for taking
time out. Every successful machine needs a break now and then and yours needs one regularly. Remember, you need this motor to run for the rest of your life; don’t burn out yet. >>>When the build-up is over and the climax of this educational rollercoaster looms the greatest fear that is faced by the student and thrill-seeker alike is the fear of the unknown factor. Don’t let your desire to obsess over Mystic Meg style predictions of what the questions will be destroy your sanity or cloud your vision. >>> Whether an anxious fresher or a seasoned fourth year, we are none of us strangers to the examination game; we may not know exactly what we face but we’ve faced this situation before and emerged intact. In truth, exams are a large part of the success that has got us to this Cathedral-shadowed city and there is no reason why our experience should desert us now. >>>Unfortunately, irrational fear is not the only side effect of this rollercoaster ride. Many of us, poor souls, suffer from
a little motion sickness when plunged into the depths of exam tension. In fact, when it comes to the crunch I defy anyone not to feel a little icky, as if your stomach has jumped ship and joined the circus. It is a well-known fact that stress can bring on physical symptoms of nausea, dizziness and even fainting but don’t worry, it could be worse. >>> Until you’ve thrown up outside Maiden Castle in front of a spectating crowd of exam candidates, you’ve not felt embarrassment. And just in case you’re thinking that this situation might well apply to you in the coming weeks, for the record it helps to have a loyal
“The key to survival and success in the revision stakes is BALANCE” friend to hold your hair back and venture bravely into the gents to fetch you a paper towel. >>>Most importantly, as this scenario illustrates, before long you will be able to laugh at yourself, your unfounded fears and anxieties. So don’t stress! You are not the ﬁrst person to embark on this ride; those in front of you in the queue have laughed, cried, screamed but most importantly survived and you will too. Take it from someone who has been through the rollercoaster and has come out the other side in one piece: there comes a time when the fears dissolve, the adrenaline kicks in and the result leaves you on top of the world. With highs like these, this junkie is the ﬁrst in the queue.
A little TLC Alexa Cutteridge digs up a few stress remedies for revisionees. Photography by Lorna Urwin, model Emily Smith.
ith the busy exam time looming and endless hours spent stressed out at a desk revising, you might ﬁnd that you begin to suffer with back-ache and tension around your neck and shoulders. But, don’t panic - there are ways to avoid this and the following tips will hopefully provide students with cost-effective ways to have a more relaxing exam period.
tionally avoiding fatigue, muscular strain, malfunction of internal organs and pain. Good posture allows for less strain to be put upon bone, muscle and ligaments and for a natural s-shape of the spine to be achieved.
• Adjust your chair height so you can sit close to your work, and if possible tilt it up towards you • Elbows and arms should rest on the desk and shoulders should be relaxed • Try to not be sitting for more than 30 minutes and have frequent breaks by walking and stretching • When you do get up, move to the end of the chair and avoid bending at the waist by straightening your legs Pilates
“Sit up straight don’t slouch!” We bet you have all heard those scolding words enough times! What if I told you your grandparents were actually right; good seating posture is essential for preventing back problems and addi-
• Sit with your back up straight and shoulders back • Buttocks should touch the back of the chair • All three back curves should be present • Distribute your weight evenly on both hips • Knees should be bent at a right angle and should be slightly higher than your hips (do not cross your legs) • Feet should be ﬂat on the ﬂoor
Pilates is ultimately a great way to prevent back problems by building up your inner core muscles, in particular the transverse abdominal muscle (TA) and the deep muscles closest to the spine. Pilates focuses on engaging the TA and develops ﬂexibility and agility, optimal core control, creates ﬂat abdominals, toned thighs and a strong back. Additionally, it is a great mind-body workout. For more information on Pilates classes in Durham contact Maiden Castle: 0191 334 2178 Exercise Ensuring you warm up and warm down, exercise is a great way to have a break from work and loosen up those
muscles; especially useful are nonimpact activities such as walking, cycling and swimming. Exercise also releases chemicals in the brain (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and endorphins). These have many positive psychological effects: • Reduced anxiety, stress, tension and depression. • Strengthens immune system which is often vulnerable during exam time. • ‘Runners high’ after exercise from betaendorphins causes you to feel invigorated and enthusiastic after exercise. • Increases mental alertness and concentration. • A more positive outlook on daily tasks and problems which may arise during the exam period. So what are you waiting? Pick up your tennis racket or swimming cossie and get active – you can’t spend all day in the library! Massage Everyone loves a good massage and simply strokes or touch alone can reduced stress levels and muscle tension. Massage causes an increase in muscle temperature, a increase of fresh blood carrying essential nutrients and
oxygen, and removal of waste products which may be the cause of tension. Using lavender oils or natural deep heat lotions can also enhance stress relief and reduce muscle tension. Two beauty salons in Durham offer massages: Skin Philosophy and The Beauty Spot. Additionally, if you can’t afford to pay for massage treatment then pair up with a housemate and give each other a shoulder massage after a busy day of revision using grape seed oil from your local supermarket, or Forever Freedoms Aloe Vera-based deep heat products, found online. There are two main technique to massage: efﬂeurage and petrissage are the most common. Efﬂeurage involves the stroking of the skin with applied pressure, whilst petrissage involves the kneading of muscles in inwardly rotating circles. Additionally using the thumb one can apply pressure points to areas of high tension. To ﬁnd out more, the website below provides a simple shoulder and neck massage demonstration: http://www.videojug.com/ﬁlm/how-togive-neck-and-shoulder-massage
C M Y K
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RESEARCHERS FROM DURHAM University’s Centre for Bioactive Chemistry have been looking at approaches which could prevent the development in our bodies of one of the viruses which causes respiratory illnesses, as well as one third of forms of the common cold - and potentially the recently emerged swine flu. >>>Led by Dr John Sanderson and Dr Paul Yeo, researchers have been investigating ways to intercept the virus inside our bodies and to prevent its reproduction and development. >>>As part of their work, the team have helped to produce the first ever high-resolution, full-length structure of a protein from an enveloped virus called the ‘matrix protein’. Using this, they have been able to learn more about the final development stages of viruses and how it functions. In particular, they have been working to identify the vulnerable parts of the virus’ structure which could be targeted to prevent its spread.
>>>Dr Yeo has described how these images “provide amazing insights into the micro-chemical world of our cells. We have an opportunity to use bioactive chemistry to develop the medical tools of the future”. >>>During this work, researchers have been looking closely at the point at which the virus assembles inside the body, and believe that by intercepting and attacking the virus at just the right time, the virus can be destroyed. It is on this basis that future drugs for combating these illnesses would be based. >>>When looking to develop medicines against viruses, one of the main problems facing scientists is the fact that viruses are constantly developing and mutating, and so can become immune to these drugs. The Durham University team also hope to be able to extend this work to look at other viruses including Hepatitis C and Measles. Swine flu The past few weeks has seen the emergence and spread of the swine flu virus
from Mexico around the world. The World Health Organisation has upgraded its status to Level 5, meaning that a global pandemic is underway. With cases occurring across Britain, including one confirmed case in Newcastle, the virus has shown that it has mutated to combine forms of the virus that affect not only pigs and birds, but humans as well. Dr Paul Yeo offered some of his expertise on the matter. >>>He stressed the difficulty in working with viruses to confirm suspected cases of swine flu and to develop a vaccine. He says that “some people are unrealistic about timescales” when expecting immediate solutions to the outbreak. At this point, it is impossible to know whether the attention being afforded to swine flu is unnecessary hype. Whilst bird flu was contained and did not begin spreading between humans, the fact that swine flu has made this development makes it potentially much more serious. >>>He described how “the pig has become the mixing pot of influenza viruses” and as such swine flu is now “a complex virus”. He added that “it’s not hype if people are
Iranian Culture Week gives valuable insight >>>A large collection of photographs and books also showed off Iran’s impressive archaeological heritage and informed visitors of the many peoples who live within Iran’s deserts, mountains and forests today as pastoral nomads. >>>A documentary played in the background gave visitors a a glimpse into the extraordinarily rich history of Iran and the historical influences on its art to the sixteenth century. >>>However, the festival also examined aspects of contemporary Iranian culture. Iranian cinema has undergone a revival and achieved international critical success over the past decade, and the screenings in the week addressed key moments in Iran’s more recent past, such as The Third Day, set in 1980 in Khoramshahr, which is a challenging examination of the Iran-Iraq War and its effects.
Jennifer Thompson ST AIDAN’S COLLEGE played host last week to Durham’s first ever Iranian Cultural Week. >>>The event was organised by the Centre for Iranian Studies and was an ambitious project aiming to showcase in detail as many different aspects of Iranian culture, both traditional and modern, in five days. >>>Visitors had a chance to explore and celebrate the heritage of the country through a programme of film and music. There was also an exhibition of traditional Iranian arts and photography running alongside these events. >>>The first half of the Iranian festival featured the Iranian band Safa, which gave much-appreciated recitals of Sufi and der-
vish spiritual music in a series of evening concerts. >>>Having performed in both European and Middle Eastern countries before, singer Fariborz Alagheband said that they were very pleased to be in Durham, adding, “We think it went well and hope the audience liked it. Audience members have described it as absolutely wonderful and we enjoyed every bit of it”. >>>Meanwhile, artists demonstrated traditional Persian calligraphy and miniature painting live, such as Maryam Mirzaei who, like Safa, travelled all the way from Iran to be at the festival, where she continued her work in illumination at the college throughout the week. >>>Her colleague Mr. Salehi, an expert calligrapher, helped visitors understand the art form and explained its history in a Persian context.
“Iranian cinema has undergone a revival and achieved critical success” >>>The event was attended by students and academics from across the UK. Executive director for the Centre for Iranian Sudies Dr. Reza Molavi said that they were “very happy to have been instrumental in the first ever cultural exchange of its type.” >>>Durham’s Iranian visitors certainly enjoyed the time they spent in the city, members of Safa all agreeing that, “We want to stay in Durham forever!”
dying in large numbers”, which has been the case in Mexico, where there are over one hundred suspected swine flu deaths. >>>With the Mexican government saying that the spread of the virus has peaked and is now in decline, it appears that a guardedly optimistic outlook can be taken for the time being. In Mexico, the move
to temporarily shut down the economy, alongside the co-ordinated response from the WHO and international governments, has proven successful in slowing the spread of the virus. >>>However, a new wave of infections could still occur in autumn/winter this year.
Protein key to fighting flu virus
Survey of Class ‘09 Jess Gordon ACCORDING TO A survey conducted in March, the Class of 2009 are expected to fare quite differently in the graduate job market to their predecessors. The survey, based on interviews with 16,357 finalists nationwide, reveals that fewer students have applied for graduate jobs in business and finance, instead favouring their chances in the public sector. >>>The survey was completed across 30 top universities in the UK, including Durham, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge. 52% of university leavers are recorded as having described prospects for new graduates as “very limited.” >>>Although the volume of job applications made by final year students has increased notably this year, the proportion of those who have received an offer has fallen by a third compared with 2008. >>>One in six job hunters have confirmed
that they deliberately targeted employers that appeared to offer the best job security, rather than pursuing that dream job or a generous starting salary. >>>Findings reveal that of the Durham University finalists surveyed, for the 30% expected to join the graduate job market straight away, the most popular destinations are in teaching, media and marketing. >>>Evidently not all finalists are intending to plunge headfirst into the world of work as an almost equal proportion of students plan to delay the move into the ‘real world’, opting instead to study for a postgraduate course. >>>20% of Durham finalists surveyed are preparing to take time off and travel. >>>In spite of this year’s tough graduate job market, 96% of students at Durham University felt their time as a student had been beneficial. Furthermore, 50% of those asked said that they read Palatinate on a regular basis!
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Adam Painter weighs up the pros and cons of leaving Britain in search of work
George Stafford and Jess Gordon review Labour’s Last Stand
“The question of employment opportunities outside the UK for graduates has never been of greater exposure”
before travel would be beneficial says Peter. Moving away can add to, or give you many key skills as prospects.ac.uk outlines, working abroad can, “provide an opportunity for total immersion into a foreign culture”. Furthermore, skills
such as initiative and determination, communication and flexibility they say can also be strengthened. When it comes to actually going away there are so many opportunities and areas to try. The sheer amount of options can be daunting and confusing. Therefore it is paramount that you try and minimize your options. For example, deciding whether you wish to go away for a short term project or long term employment would be the biggest decision to make. If going for employment it will of course be important to search relevant employers and check out their entrance requirements. Will you need to be able to speak the language for example? If looking for actual employment abroad a clear decision must be made about which career path you wish to follow
A man delivered his baby son by watching a video on YouTube. Mark Stephens from Cornwall watched the video as a precaution when his wife began to feel discomfort and called for an ambulance. However the ambulance did not arrive in time and he had to use what he had picked up from the internet just hours earlier. They had planned a home delivery, but not quite in this fashion. “The videos gave me peace of mind. I think I would have coped, but watching videos made things much easier,” said Mark. Mother and baby were taken to hospital, and both were healthy.
BBC blunder Residents in a Scottish village have complained to the BBC that its negative weather reports are driving away tourists. Villagers claim Carrbridge, which is situated in the Cairngorms National Park near Aviemore and protected by mountains, has its own weather system. They also criticise the BBC’s use of the word ‘showers’, when in fact the weather is mainly dry. Local businesses believe tourists are using the web to determine the weather and where to book their holidays and day trips, and are being put off by this negativity. Tourism is the main industry for the village of 250 inhabitants.
Flickr: Stuart Axe
Bursting the bubble
long term jobs but can be of great help in researching the necessary requirements. Of course any work, even work in hospitality and catering can increase your cultural and commercial awareness, as well as giving you an insight into different cultures. Although it is incredibly difficult to outline all possible options the aim of this piece is to inform of what is available and make you think about why or even if you wish to take the big step of going abroad. Yes, you can gain a huge amount from going away whether it be for the long or short term however that does not mean you have to. Foreign work can give huge advantages however it can also go belly up.
TWO WEEKS AGO Alistair Darling delivered his 2009 budget speech to the House of Commons. Palatinate investigates what the changes may mean for students in Durham. The major headline that came out of the budget was an increase to the top level of income tax, which is now set at 50% for incomes above £150,000 a year. Obviously this will not apply to students in Durham, but there was
“if you drink 15 pints a week you will spend an extra £7.80 in the next financial year”
“Despite all the doom and gloom in the mainstream media there are still plenty of UK opportunities”
plenty in the speech to take note of. Duties on alcohol and tobacco have risen once again, putting the price of the average pint up by 1p, and an
Peter Fox makes it very clear that you should think incredibly hard before deciding to go away. He wishes to clarify that despite all the doom and gloom in the mainstream media there are still plenty of UK opportunities. He says, “good quality graduates who have been involved in other extracurricular activities are still encouraged by employers to apply. They are still keen to recruit the best candidates”. In fact he also states that it “is more like 20%” of recruiters who have slimmed their intake. Therefore do not let the current recession cloud your judgement; of course times are tough and it may be in your mind the best time to go abroad. Try to build your plans into your long term aims and consider why you are wanting to go away, essentially do it for the right reasons. Of course people are not just packing their bags in the current climate, postgraduate options should also be considered,and many students are in fact taking up this option. Things in the UK are not apocalyptic, there are still opportunities here for hard, conscientious workers. In the end it is up to you, plan, take the advice and then decide. Your answer may not be as straight forward as you first thought.
Thousands of people have thronged to the streets of the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, to see one of the country’s shortest people get married. Masire Kamara, a tea seller at the local market, is well known in the city. When it came to the kiss she had to stand on a chair to reach her partner. The Church was packed and street festivals went on all night in celebration, making Masire a local celebrity. The mayor of Freetown and several MPs also attended the ceremony.
Message from the past Buliders near the Auschwitz death camp in Poland have claimed to have found a prisoner’s message hidden in a bottle. The message, written in pencil and dated 9th September 1944, bears names, camp numbers and home towns of seven young inmates from Poland and France. The note seems to be written by young Jews trying to leave some momentum of their existence behind. The bottle was buried in a concrete wall of a school just outside the camp that the prisoners were forced to build.
amount you can put into a tax-free ISA to £10,200, starting next year. Finalists with no plans for life after Durham will find it hard to be completely out of work in 2010. In an attempt to prevent unemployment numbers getting any higher, the government has promised to offer employment or training to all under-25s who have been out of work for
“Finalists with no plans for life after Durham will find it hard to be completely out of work in 2010.”
a year, starting from January next year. It is difficult to tell how the financial downturn has affected Durham life this term. Empty college bars and clubs are probably a symptom of exam season more than the credit crunch. There are few immediate effects of the budget on students. Studying at university in Durham is still probably one of the best situations to be in over the next financial year. Rises in fuel duty will be largely irrelevant, as most Durham students do not have a car or need to use public transport. Shops trying to stay in business are offering enticing deals, such as mid-season sales in clothing stores or meal-deals for £2 in Marks and Spencer. Most importantly, students are not in fear of losing a job on which their livelihoods depend, unlike millions across the country. One aspect of the credit crunch that does eat into the overdraft is rising food prices: but as long as inflation is kept under control student budgets should survive Darling’s reaction to the crunch. The immediate effects of the budget are fairly limited for students, but its long-term implications are much more important. Reaction from Durham students to the budget has been overwhelmingly negative. “There isn’t much in the budget to help students” responded St Aidan’s first year Hugh Silk who believes the tax increases might lead to a brain-drain “for anybody earning that much the attraction of working in the UK has been lessened”. Similarly Collingwood student James Underwood said “In terms of help for students the budget is not going to do a great deal. I
think a radical overhaul of the taxation and student finance system is needed.” Asked if he would consider working abroad after graduating he replied “I personally wouldn’t move abroad but I think more people will leave. I’m not sure its the right thing to do though.” The advantages of being at university in the downturn are balanced against the effects of the governments’ massive spending over the next year, which will be funded by borrowing money. The government will borrow £348 billion over the next two years, which is more than the sum total of all governments’ borrowing of the last 300 years put together, doubling the national debt. This debt will have to be paid back over the next decade. Students currently at university will have to face higher taxes when they find employment in years to come to pay for last month’s budget. Many students will be looking for jobs in the public sector: in teaching, the armed forces or the civil service. It is likely that the salaries of these jobs will have to be lowered because of funding cuts to accommodate for the debt. The borrowing incurred by Darling’s budget may well save the country from economic collapse, but it is certain that we will have to pay for it in years to come.
How has the financial crisis affected your postgraduate or gap year plans? Do you care about the Budget? Will the tax increases promt you to seek a career aborad? Email us: in.focus@palatinate. org.uk
by Ursula Hankinson
extra 7p onto a pack of 20 cigarettes. However, these rises will not break the bank; if you drink 15 pints a week you will spend an extra £7.80 in the next financial year, and an extra £7.28 if you smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a week. Tax on fuel has also risen by 2p a litre, applying from September. If you want a new car to fill up with pricier petrol, now might be the time to get one. A scheme based on German and French models gives you £2000 off the price of a brand new car when you trade in one that is more than 10 years old. The grant will be available until March 2010. But most students are not lucky enough to own a car to exchange, or the cash to buy a new one regardless of the discount. However, there are some students lucky enough not to have to spend their student loan. They now have a greater opportunity to earn tax-free interest on it. To encourage the public to save more, the government has raised the JONATHAN ALLEN
advisor, suggests that whilst these forms of funding are entirely credible it is worthwhile trying to have some of your own money stored away before travel. Trying to get some work in the UK
and in what way your UK degree is accepted in your chosen country. It is of course difficult here to talk through the thousands of different career areas you could work in, here it would be easier to alert you to the many background checks you must consider before taking such a big step. If looking for long term employment one must research the company you are applying to, its history and custom. The company’s terms of employment will also be very important and it may also be worth considering whether there will be opportunities for you to move back to the UK in your role. Although there are of course many graduates who go on to work abroad full time, whether in a profession, for charity or to teach; the majority of students who are looking to move away will do so on a short term basis. This will usually manifest itself via a short term project in which to gain vital transferable skills and commercial awareness or a specific task to train for a chosen area of employment. Camp America for example can be great for enhancing teamwork skills, getting fit and experiencing a different culture. Certainly for sports students it can be very beneficial. Other ‘projects’ would be familiar to most and are run by companies such as Projects Abroad. Often they involve community or conservation work but can often entail work base projects. These may involve media work, experience of international law and things such as child care experience. Often in such schemes you may stay in a hotel or most likely with a local family. They are not cheap but can provide an array of life experiences. When it comes to going to foreign lands there are a few obvious things to consider. Visa requirements are usually a key problem for all travellers;certainly short term ones. The USA and Australia are especially tough with immigration,as are some of the Asian countries. Therefore it is essential to check embassy websites for all updated travel information. The EU however is fairly easy to travel around. Being a member of the EU, UK residents can travel and work in the EU without too many problems. If you are looking for work inside the EU a great site to check out is EURES at ec.europa.eu. The site contains mainly
“Today everyone can see what an utter mess this Labour government and this Labour Prime Minister have made of the British economy.”
“Alistair Darling did well in a very tight spot … Brown and the Labour party are lucky in this Chancellor”
– David Cameron
– The Guardian
Flickr: FF Arcade
FLICKR ID: JAFFA THE CAKE
A fair budget?
Home or away? NO, WE ARE not talking about football or which question to choose on Question of Sport. In fact this question is of much greater importance. Many of us, unless we are happily isolated from the news, will be well aware of the dire financial circumstances the UK currently finds itself in. Now, whilst this is not the place to discuss the recession or who caused it, the effects of it will impact upon every one of us. Certainly, graduates in the next two years are going to be faced with a severely restricted labour market as we continue in a deep recession at least until next year. If this news was not bad enough (and you may be wondering how it could possibly get any worse), most other countries are also suffering from the collapse of the financial sector and the overall fall in world demand. Therefore, it is not simply the UK suffering in terms of graduate opportunities. Nevertheless the question of employment opportunities outside the UK for graduates has never been of greater exposure. For there are still opportunities out there, not just for full time employment but also temporary opportunities to expand your CV before returning to the UK labour market when the economy improves. That said, there are of course still opportunities here in the UK. This is not about persuading you either way, but to clear up any misunderstandings and provide some help and advice during a period of exposure for work abroad. Moving away is always a very big decision to take and it is certainly one you should not take lightly. There needs to be an in depth consideration of your aims, motives and potential outcomes of any foreign work or study. Before you even start, you need to make sure you are financially able to undertake such a commitment. This of course involves future planning to assess your potential outgoings, and is likely to take priority before any active planning of moving to foreign climes. In the current climate, banks will be less willing to lend to students who are planning a knees-up and a quick tan whilst growing forever familiar to Fosters lager. Finance-wise then, it is worth considering your funding, whether you will try for a loan, sponsorship, or try to undertake some charitable work. Peter Fox, a Durham careers
“Gordon Brown’s budget is a dishonest piece of pre-election politicking… the rapid increase in borrowing is eye-watering”
“They have condemned us to years of unemployment and decades of debt. The public deserves something different.”
– The Economist
– Nick Clegg
M Y K
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EDITORIAL AND LETTERS
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EDITION 707 | FRIDAY 8TH MAY, 2009
A few words on the future of Palatinate F
OR OVER SIXTY years now, Palatinate has held the distinction of representing Durham’s student newspaper of record; a newspaper produced entirely by the students of Durham, for the students of Durham. >>>It is not without a certain amount of pride that Palatinate’s editorial board produces forty pages of entirely studentled content every fortnight, even if this content isn’t always to everyone’s taste. >>>While the paper’s afﬁliation with Durham Students’ Union is self-evident, it is worth remembering that at no stage throughout the production process of any given edition of the publication does a paid member of staff have any creative input whatsoever, irrespective of various misconceptions to the contrary. >>>Naturally, this situation has both advantages and disadvantages.
>>>Without paid involvement, the paper is, theoretically at least, free to publish whatever it sees ﬁt, provided that this is not illegal. In this fashion, the paper is able to represent the views of Durham students free from alien inﬂuences. >>>Of course, the ﬂip-side to this coin is that Palatinate will never attain a truly professional standard; how could it? Its editors, writers, sub-editors, photographers - everyone involved with the paper - are students, just like everyone else. >>>From the start of the next academic year, this situation could be about to irrevocably change, for better or worse. For there presently exists a proposal, currently working its way through DSU, to appoint a paid editor to take charge of Palatinate on a full-time basis. >>>Palatinate wants to know what you think: www.palatinate.org.uk
Anybody wishing to become involved with a section should e-mail the relevant editor(s) as listed above
Correspondence Palatinate readers share their views. This edition, DSU’s porters are ﬂush with praise for Palatinate
>>>I was apalled at your review of Esquires coffee house in the latest edition of Palatinate newspaper. The whole ‘craving coffee’ article felt to me like a one sided rant based on personal preferences and experiences. I personally love coffee, I’ve drank in most of the houses in Durham on more than the ODD occasion. >>>If the reporter behind this article has any real idea about coffee knowledge and, as the Palatinate is a STUDENT newspaper and not one for personal rants about hatred of coffee houses, then I think instead of trying it once and having a bad experience, I challenge them to go back and try the honeycomb latte - it’s divine. >>> This article is not helpful for students at all, maybe something based on research would be better. I seriously doubt the integrity of a student newspaper when articles are based on one person’s opinion and not that of the student body!!! R. J. Dunn Re: ‘Down the pan’, edition 706 >>> Madeleine Pitt’s article on the toilets of Durham City was engaging, but not entirely balanced. >>> >>> Amongst the venues mentioned in the article, those of us who work at DSU are fortunate enough to know who is responsible for the depressingly common damage to our facilities: Durham students. >>> One of our ﬁrst jobs on a Monday morning is to assess the level of the weekend’s destruction to our toilets, whether it be to the toilets themselves, other sanitary ﬁttings, kicked apart cublicles, kicked off doors etc. Indeed the damaged cublicle in your DSU photograph had been repaired for precisely one day before the damage shown was caused. >>> It’s all well and good expecting the Union of (to quote Madeleine) “one of the world’s leading centres of scholarship and learning” to provide better facilities; for our part we might reasonably expect the students of such an esteemed institution not to destroy our facilities on a weekly basis.
Re: ‘Craving coffee’, edition 706
normal business: their entire existence relies on the fact that one can make money merely by having money, and thus they are more dependent on economies of sale, and it is in their interest to be as large as possible. >>>The Monopolies and Merger Commission might possibly be partially to blame for the crisis, for allowing the mergers of Lloyds and TSB and Halifax and the Bank of Scotland. But when you bank you are taking a risk; that’s why they pay you interest. >>>People may be angry with good reason - I didn’t say they weren’t - but no amount of public anger can justify a post-facto change in the law. Fiat justitia, ruat caelum, and all that. Mark Harmstone
>>> To be honest we’re not so green behind the ears that we think this situation is likely to change dramatically, but an article which points the ﬁnger without considering the culpability of its own readership seemed somehow incomplete to us. DSU Porters Re: ‘Sir Fred Goodwin’ piece, edition 706 >>>RBS would likely have been bought out by one of the banks who had acted sensibly. If not, the deposit protection scheme would indeed have come into play, but don’t forget that only your ﬁrst £50,000 is fully protected. >>>As the bank is now in state hands, the taxpayer is now underwriting the whole amount, and the size of public liabilities is that much greater. >>>It’ll actually increase yet further, as those with over £50,000 in cash will move it from the risky private banks to the no-risk state-owned banks. Effectively we are now in the process of moving to a full deposit guarantee. >>>If individual banks have such a great market share, that is indicative of there not being enough capitalism. I do accept that banks are different from
Re: ‘On the receiving end’, editorial, edition 705 >>> Well, if that isn’t the ultimate proof that Cuths (or certain members of it, at least) needs to grow up I don’t know what is. >>> No one was named in the article in question, and it made points that a) were purely opinion, b) were also the opinion of a number of other people. >>> The equivalent would be Gordon Brown suing, say, George Monbiot for criticising his environmental policies; we might expect these things perhaps in Russia or China (no disregard to those nations, merely their governments) but not here. >>> If you disagree with the points someone has made you take it up with them, publicly if necessary, but just saying ‘we’ll sue you’ is frankly pathetic. >>> Anyway, my point is - well done, Palatinate, for giving such a ﬁghting response to what is possibly the most ridiculous thing I have heard in my 2 1/2 years here. Which is saying a lot. Thom Addinall-Biddulph Submit letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on any of our articles directly at palatinate.org.uk P. S. Look out for our new website...
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COMMENT Peter Elliott
propose that it is wholly worthless is misleading, dangerous and, at worst, fatal. As Owen Barder, an expert in International Development, retorted about one such sceptic, if she “is wrong, and yet her book convinces enough people that aid should be reduced, then people will die”. The stakes are high. >>>The sceptics are largely concerned about governance standards. “ODA keeps non-democratic, corrupt and inept regimes in power”, some holler. “The social contract between citizens and government is undermined”, others add. “It cultivates dependency”. Another criticism often levelled is that ODA produces no tangible results. >>>Not quite. Disbursing aid through governments rather than directly to the people strengthens the social contract; the latter option undermines the authority and credibility of the state. It also lowers transaction costs, streamlines development policies across multiple agencies, and builds the capacities of governments. >>>The argument that it fosters dependency is startling. There is strong evidence to suggest that aid is correlated with growth, helping to ﬁnance better power infrastructures, educational facilities, and transportation and communication systems. Along with this are ‘spill-over’ effects from increases in foreign direct in-
vestments, trade volumes and so on. >>>If anything, ODA helps construct the foundations of a strong economy, enabling developing countries to become self-sufﬁcient in the long term. Moreover, the alternative to aid which the sceptics often propose, - privatisation, liberalisation and de-regulation - in the words of Paul Collier, “exaggerates this opportunity for alternative ﬁnance and underestimates the difﬁculties African societies face”. This has been compounded by the global recession. >>>Britain’s national interest, the second reason why ODA is deemed irresponsible, is frequently overlooked. Blair’s liberal interventionism may have been discredited following the Iraq War, but the tenets it was founded upon remain as important as ever. With the globalisation of trade, travel and ideas, developments on the other side of the globe can have a profound effect upon Britain’s welfare and security. It is no longer possible to turn inwards. >>>The outbreak of Swine Flu is a telling example: global action is necessary, but many developing countries lack the resources to take effective measures. If the problem is not solved within these countries, then it is more likely to spread to our isles. Overlooking the welfare of people in poorer countries will therefore be detrimental to our own.
>>>Providing ODA results in positive-sum gains. Helping to give people in Pakistan an education provides them with hopes and aspirations, hence reducing violent tendencies against British interests. Encouraging developing countries to adapt to climate change and adopt
sustainable agricultural practices reduces global greenhouse emissions. Preventing food, social and economic crises from deteriorating by offering valuable skills, resources and commodities serves as a power-
ful form of ‘soft power’, which is the ability to achieve policy aims through the attractiveness of our culture, ideals and policies. >>>It is for these reasons that the Labour government’s decision not to reduce aid spending in the recent budget should be celebrated. This is particularly signiﬁcant because The Department for International Development (DFID), created in 1997, is the world’s pre-eminent aid organisation. >>> Its expertise is needed and sought across the globe and it is up to us to ensure that this continues by putting pressure on future governments not to reduce its funding or independence. >>>Indeed, the Conservative Party has stated that if they win the next election the Foreign Ofﬁce will be given more inﬂuence over the distribution of ODA. This is a woeful idea which should be ﬁrmly opposed, not least because it will undermine DFID and lend credence to the notion of neo-colonialism, especially in those countries to which Britain is historically attached. >>>The world’s poorest will be the worst affected by the global recession. This is not the time to turn our backs on the commitments we have made. Even if you do not want to do it for the sake of the common good, do it for yourselves.
McBride’s lesson in media ethics We should not overlook the role of journalists in Brown’s bullying
journalist whose job depends on a ﬂow of political stories from ‘anonymous sources’. >>>Some have dated the origin of the technique of anonymous brieﬁng to the the journalist George Steward, who in the autumn of 1937 spread a strategic lie on behalf of Prime Minister Chamberlain. The foreign secretary, Lord Halifax, was on a trip to Germany, but with no special diplomatic intention in mind. Steward briefed The Times and The Telegraph that the purpose of the meeting was to make appeasing gestures, and thus No. 10 won an internal political struggle against the Foreign Ofﬁce on the policy question of how to approach Herr Hitler. >>>Thatcher’s press man, Bernard Ingham, institutionalised the practice and turned it into a science. The good work of Alastair Campbell was the result of the Labour Party, traditionally less efﬁcient and ruthless in such matters, learning to play the same game. It is a system that diminishes the power of the cabinet to hold the Prime Minister to account, with the positive effect - if we view it
as a positive - that the government can get more done. Damian McBride and Charlie Whelan are Mr Brown’s somewhat inferior versions of Ingham and Campbell, bullying the press into doing the Prime Minister’s dirty work. >>>There is an old legal phrase, quo warranto or ‘by what right?’, which people who claim authority should always be expected to answer. When Brown’s admirers are challenged to justify the position of a prime minister who has never been elected, they often reply that it’s a good thing we don’t have an American presidential system: we don’t vote for a leader, we vote for a party. Ignoring for a moment the fact that Brown bullied his way to the top of the Labour party and is regarded by many within it as a liability, this argument is completely undermined by the political lobby system of anonymous brieﬁngs. >>>In America, the president is held to account by Congress much more effectively that any British prime minister is held to account by Parliament. Traditionally in Britain, therefore, the role of the Cabinet has
been crucial: the PM, as his title suggests, is supposed to be ‘ﬁrst among equals’, more team leader than emperor. Yet the authority of Cabinet is profoundly undermined by the Malcolm Tuckers of this world. FICKR ID: NO10
he subtext of l’affaire McBride is the acquiescence of journalists in an extremely dodgy political lobby system. >>>Following the resignation of Brown’s personal attack dog, the commentariat lined up to rip a piece of ﬂesh from the disgraced spindoctor’s carcass. >>>Steve Richards of The Independent wrote about a TV presenter being told by McBride to ask a cabinet minister about his drinking problem. Boris Johnson told of McBride’s unpatriotic willingness to sabotage some Olympic-related occasion in the name of undermining the new Tory mayor. Iain Martin of The Telegraph explained McBride’s involvement in the chaotic 3am resignation of Ruth Kelly. >>>None of this was made public at the time because of the powers wielded by McBride, namely the power to cut journalists off from his brieﬁngs and the power to use other journalists to spread poison about opponents. You don’t lightly make enemies with people who have such power, especially if you are a lobby
Congratulations to Labour for its international development policies
t is often said that charity begins at home. With Britain’s economy submerged in a deep recession this sentiment has never seemed pithier. And now, emboldened after years of marginalisation, the sceptics of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) are beginning to sharpen their knives. >>>ODA comprises of governmental ﬁnancial ﬂows aiming to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. Although it represents a minimal amount of the UK government’s budget, at approximately 0.52% of Gross National Income in 2006, its critics are loud and vociferous. They often have a point too: there are other ways of supporting development. >>>The criticisms come from two seemingly opposing viewpoints: global ethics and national interest. Pertaining to the former, the UN estimates that nearly a billion people are starving worldwide. Poverty is prevalent and almost half the world’s population live on less than $2 a day without access to clean water or sanitation. Some ODA sceptics have suggested that this situation actually arises because of foreign aid; others say that ODA does nothing to alleviate these inequities and is thus squandering public money. >>>Some concerns about the quality of aid distribution are justiﬁed, but to
Maintaining aid through recession
>>>Relatively admirable and even loyal ministers like Douglas Alexander and Alastair Darling have recently been victims of Brownite attacks. In other words, Britain has the worst of both worlds: an effectively presidential government with none of the constitutional protections. >>>Cliques rule the world, but like
tyrants they do so in the knowledge that they might be displaced by those outside the loop. The great thing about democracy is that it provides a bloodless mechanism for the process of displacement. But the vigour of this system depends on our being able to continually demand: by what right? >>>Unless the media gives voice to this question, journalism is just another form of entertainment. When journalists are servile to those with power, they deserve to lose the respect and trust of the public. >>>There are a lot of other deep problems with the British press. We have the ineffective and illiberal combination of libel law and the Press Complaints Commission; commercial pressures favour cheap journalism which relies on the press releases from authority and also from PR on behalf of businesses and other organisations. Press magnates such as Murdoch have the power to intervene in politics if they so wish. >>>But what is the point of tackling these distortions if journalists willingly comply with authority?
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COMMENT Douglas Burkinshaw aniel James had a white solution poured into his mouth. He was asleep within minutes; a camera was catching it all. >>>Eighteen months earlier his neck had twisted in a collapsed scrum: the force of the scrum had twisted his neck severing his spinal chord. He had played for the English Universities’ rugby team only four days before. Eighteen months on from that scrum and he was lying dead in a clinic in Switzerland. Life is a tough old sod, eh. >>>Big tragic cases crop up every now and again. They bring the issue back into our living rooms. The lad was depressed: his life was shattered, he couldn’t move, he went from sportsman to tetraplegic in a single movement. He wanted out. You can hardly blame the guy. I can hardly say that I wouldn’t be the same. >>>You see, where once he would have had to tough out a life that he didn’t want to live, today because of legal euthanasia in Switzerland, with minimal pain and surrounded by the people he loved, he did exactly as he
wanted to do. >>>Daniel James passed away on 12th September, 2008. It was an informed decision that he made about his life. He checked out of the big hotel of life on his own terms, he paid the bill with his own card, he walked through the big swing doors as he wanted to: his life, his decision. >>>In recent years the euthanasia debate has receded. The goal posts have shifted. You see, if somebody wishes to die we simply cannot stop them boarding a plane to Switzerland. We just cannot touch them. >>>Today the debate instead centres on those who ﬂy out and assist the suicide: should or shouldn’t they be prosecuted under our laws? In terms of raw legislation the answer is yes – yes, they are culpable in another person’s death – but the law is slightly more complex than just raw legislation. >>>The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has in recent years shunned prosecution. Judges use their discretion to issue sentences, sentencing guidelines issued by the government do not require custodial terms, and
more and more the CPS is choosing not to prosecute at all. Every time the CPS doesn’t prosecute, or a judge issues no sentence they are setting precedent and moving the legal goal posts. >>>The debate has not only moved on, but in recent years it has faded even as a debate at all. It seems that with each new tragic case that we do not prosecute or in which we do not sentence we are moving more and more towards a compromise of ‘sorts’: we are sort-of allowing people to go abroad, and to sort-of legally do as they wish, even to sort-of legally assist relatives - but we are not allowing it on our own soil. So they still can sort-of do it, but we still sort-of don’t facilitate it. We kind-of don’t condone it. If you get what I’m sort-of saying. >>>As a middle way it seems to have appeased those on both sides of the argument. The anti-euthanasia camp still do not have euthanasia on our soil and still haven’t had their fears - of vulnerable people being pushed into signing away their lives - realised. And then the legalisation
camp see that those in the direst need do not have to tough out years of pain, that for those like Daniel James there is another way. With such a divisive issue, to have calmed even the moderates on both side of the spectrum, as this has, is a huge achievement by what is really just an accidental solution. >>>In terms of the monumental change that would be legalising euthanasia outright, well, we’ll leave those big brash statements to the Swiss. We have done it our way. >>>Daniel James’s parents were unwitting pioneers: to face interrogation and questioning whilst in mourning is, I’d imagine, hardly pleasant. I hope they can take solace in knowing their bravery will help others in similar situations. >>>A difﬁcult and vexing issue for many years, now the euthanasia debate has receded. Daniel James and others are tragedies; but it is my opinion that to force them to live on against their will would have been a greater tragedy. It also is my opinion that we have ourselves a beautiful solution. I call it the Swiss solution.
Obama’s compromise on torture The 44th President needs to be tougher about his liberal principles
procured valuable information from American and British ﬁghter pilots is testimony to the potentially remarkable success of non-violent interrogation. Unsurprisingly, history teaches us that the reliability, effectiveness, and ethics of Hanns-Joachim Scharff is the complete antithesis of those traits which characterise the use of torture. >>>A revealing example is the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Waterboarded an astounding 183 times in one month, his admission to the murder of Daniel Pearl was entirely fabricated, and evidently induced by nothing more than sheer agony and unmitigated terror. Perhaps the Bush administration should have spent more time reading history books than watching the (admittedly gripping) television series 24. >>>The desire of the Obama administration to draw a line under the disastrous human rights abuse and transparent law-twisting of the Bush years is clearly admirable. Yet rather than a ﬁrm line, all we have at the moment is a disappointingly halfhearted squiggle. >>>The underlying ﬂaw in Obama’s carefully balanced position is that it is an appeasement of those who advocate Bush’s absurdly cruel policy of ‘enhanced interrogation’; it continues to support the dismissal of lawsuits concerning allegations of
torture, it has effectively invalidated the verdict of the Nuremberg Trials that ‘obeying orders’ is never admissible (in the assurance that CIA interrogators will not be prosecuted), and it is presently more interested FLICKR ID: BUSHISSHIT
orture is a war crime. The Japanese were tried, convicted, and hung for employing methods of interrogation such as waterboarding against American prisoners of war during WWII. >>>The Norwegian 1948 war crimes trials convicted Nazi ofﬁcials on the basis of using ‘enhanced interrogation’, which involved practices such as submitting detainees to near-death freezing conditions, forcing them into prolonged periods of standing, and putting them into stress positions. >>>Yet these interrogation techniques – which were unequivocally and explicitly denounced as torture around 60 years ago – were reinterpreted by the Bush administration, in what could realistically be described as a political contest to assemble the most radically tough-minded memo on the lack of prisoner rights. >>>While not only incontrovertibly illegal, and against practically every human rights convention since the Second World War, the simple fact is that torture simply does not work. It’s nothing more than an ineffective, counter-productive, self-defeating, and unethical form of barbarism. >>>It is no coincidence that one of the most successful military interrogators to have ever lived never resorted to violence. The eye-opening story of the Luftwaffe Ofﬁcer who
The decisiveness of the Swiss leaves Britain free to remain neutral FLICKR ID: OTZBERG
Euthanasia: taking the easy way out
in bipartisanship than the prosecution of those who approved harsh interrogation methods. Certainly not the ‘hope’ and ‘change’ which I was anticipating. >>>However, all is not doom and
gloom. In typical fashion, President Obama has been exceedingly cautious in his wording, and has thus left the door open to the genuine possibility of a ‘truth commission’ and a subsequent criminal investigation. Yet the current administration’s attempt to juggle the conﬂicting balls of human rights and partisanship is erroneous; one clearly needs to be compromised to uphold the other. >>>The bottom line is that America has taken a massive step towards legitimising the use of torture across the globe, and that accountability is an absolute necessity. No, prosecution will not undo the damage that has been done; the Rubicon has been crossed and the American moral standing has taken such a dent as to be unrecoverable, at least with regards to the foreseeable future. >>>Yet one step forward will provide at least some compensation for the Bush administration’s eight year backwards run with regards to the complete neglect of international law and arms control efforts - both of which failed to be mentioned in either of the previous administrations’ National Security Strategies. Not to mention the dismissal of the Security Council (with a “we have the inalienable right to enforce the just demands of the world, even if the world overwhelmingly objects” attitude), a full-blown assault on civil
liberties, and the ﬁrm establishment of the ‘right’ of the United States to engage in preventative war against whomever it sees ﬁt. Compliance with the Third Geneva Convention on the issue of torture is the least Obama can do. >>>Presidential rhetoric and precarious executive orders are, in this instance, simply not sufﬁcient; those responsible must be ﬁnally brought to justice. Without prosecution, the door is left wedged open for any future American president to follow in the footsteps of George W. Bush. Without prosecution, the global legitimisation of torture edges closer to reality. Without prosecution, the recovery of American moral standing is utterly inconceivable. >>>Obama is certainly correct in stating that the recent years have been a “dark and painful chapter in our history,” yet he is completely off the mark in claiming that this should be a time for “reﬂection, not retribution”. >>>It is time to get off the fence, Mr. President. Do you disagree with any of our opinion-merchants? Go online to tell them what you think at www.palatinate.org.uk Or why not take part in the brand new Purple Radio feedback show on Wednesday at 1pm? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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structures and procedures in place with professionals and sabbatical officers working together and with council meetings every other week to discuss student policy. We are clearly a student union that has established itself over the years into an effective body of student representation. Clearly we don’t need the NUS to help us with that. >>>So what else can the NUS help us with? Their main aim is to represent student views from right across the country on wide-reaching topics from tuition fees (something that will be addressed separately later) to banning the consumption of Coke at university (apparently it’s unethical). Again, this goes back to my previous point; we have a union that is strong enough to make decisions on its own. Look at the Coke argument; why can’t the DSU decide if Coke is unethical? >>> We can clearly make decisions on similar topics; after all, the Israel boycott debate attracted huge publicity within the university, and students had a real, direct say on what they wanted. By giving decision-making to the NUS, Durham students are putting their trust in delegates from many institutions, most of which are very different from Durham.
Rich Johnstone If they want Gurkha soldiers, they should treat them equally” Dhan Gurung, Ex-Gurkha
>>> The Gurkhas of the British Army have fought for their adopted country for over 150 years. Being stationed at every corner of the globe, and risking their lives at each turn. >>>While it is not right to glorify war, or dismiss it like Clausewitz as “merely an extension of politics”, the treatment of the Gurkhas by Britain’s current government is unacceptable. >>>The Gurkhas are a proud and courageous people that have forged a reputation as some of the finest fighters in the world. These men have fought for our country for a very long period of time; indeed 26 of them have been awarded the Victoria Cross, underlining their bravery. Yet now, this Labour government sees them as a nuisance and an annoyance. >>>The actions of the government towards the Gurkhas have been met by derision by those aiding their fight for justice. Last week when the updated guidelines were announced to the High Court, they were heralded by the government as a way to allow many more ex-Gurkhas to settle in Britain once their military career was
>>>So indeed it is time for my first of many moans about the NUS. Having attended the NUS annual conference a few weeks ago, I can genuinely say that so many of the delegates there are egotistical, self-righteous, and simply living on another planet. The obsession with morality and ethics is so inhibiting to the effectiveness of the union. Every time a good motion was proposed, the conference would get bogged down by politically correct measures that simply aren’t necessary. The problems get worse with the motions themselves. Not only are some of them simply vague and inconsequential, but they only affect a minority of the unions represented. >>>This is perhaps the fundamental problem with the NUS; it is simply too convoluted in the types of institutions it represents. Over 6 million students are represented by the NUS from higher education (universities like Durham), further education (e.g. vocational colleges), apprentices, and even 6th formers. Do we really think an organisation can effectively represent so many people from such a large diversity of backgrounds? For example, huge swathes of time are taken up with motions that only affect apprentices
and FE institutions; we are paying for all of this time-wasting. >>>The NUS also tries not just to represent students, but quite literally, it seems at times, to save the world. Let’s discuss something controversial: one of the motions (that was passed) was to ban beauty pageants at universities as it objectified women. Whatever you feel on this subject, surely the university
in question has to make the moral decision themselves, not an overlyarrogant organisation. Perhaps on a more moderate platform, shouldn’t Durham colleges decide what fits them best on policies like this? What about the BNP (to which the NUS has a no platform policy)? Despite my dislike for the organisation, I still think it would be a shame if the Durham Union Society were not allowed to invite BNP members; wouldn’t this be detrimental to academic debate generally? >>> Let me end on a more positive note for the NUS. The subject of tuition fees is the only real issue that will have a direct and important impact on Durham students in the next few years. Undoubtedly having a large organisation like the NUS petitioning the government to keep the cap is a good thing, and perhaps for that reason alone we should stay within the NUS. Still, there are other possibilities; Durham might fare better in a smaller union that only represents universities similar to ourselves. >>>I am certainly not advocating an instant withdrawal from the NUS, but at least ask yourselves if you feel that the £11,000 is being put to good use. Personally, I’m not so sure.
Brown’s shame over the Gurkhas
If 45,000 Gurkhas died for us, we can afford to support the survivors
over. >>> What the government failed to mention was that their opinion of many more was a few hundred officer rank Gurkhas. If we examine the criteria, we can see just how obstructive the government has been to these ex-soldiers. >>> For a Gurkha to be eligible to claim asylum in the UK they must have; three years continuous residence in the UK during or after service, close family in the UK, a bravery award of level one to three, service of 20 years or more in the Gurkha brigade or a chronic or longterm medical condition caused or aggravated by service. These rules were to apply to the 36,000 Gurkha troops who served and retired before 1997 who have now retired. They may seem reasonable but many of them have hidden caveats that cause them to be useless. >>> The offer to live in Britain because of a working relationship for over twenty years seems just reward for a career defending this country. However, it fails to mention that a non-commissioned Gurkha soldier can only serve a maximum of 15 years. Therefore, these offers were extended in the knowledge that they
could only ever effect a very few. Gordon Brown argued that it was an improvement from twenty years previously, however, why should we accept an improvement from ignorance to elitism? >>>While Brown and Woolas have suggested that several thousand Gurkhas will be able to settle in Britain because of these changes, the response of the Gurkha Justice Campaign is that it will only encompass a few hundred of the officer class. >>>The gesture made by the government at least shows a positive step, but it was forced by a high court ruling, and these new stipulations were thrown out by parliament at last week’s vote. With the government being defeated for only the fourth time since coming to power in 1997, it shows how insensitive the government was to this matter. >>>We are abandoning men who have served our country proudly in theatres such as the Second World War, up until the present day where they have been present in Helmand, Afghanistan. >>> The Gurkha’s settlement rights have become somewhat of a cause celebre with the public support of Joanna Lumley and the emergence
FLICKR ID: LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Is it worth being part of an organisation that morally evaluates Coke? FLICKR ID: BENFRANTZDALE
Ask any Durham student about the NUS, and they will most likely tell you that it appears on their student card and gets them a discount at Topshop. >>>What they won’t tell you is about all the campaigns the NUS currently supports, the enormous bureaucracy behind it, and indeed most importantly, that the DSU currently pays them £11,000 a year just to be a member. For a union that has very little money (the DSU was making a huge loss until only a few years ago), do we genuinely feel that this is money well spent? >>>Right from the very start I would like to make clear that I do not consider the NUS to be a useless organisation in terms of principles and aims, and although I will express my concerns on the way it handles itself, I do still believe the NUS has a lot to give to many universities and colleges; just not Durham. >>>Let me give an example; the NUS is brilliant if you are a member of a new university or college and want help setting up a strong and effective student union. Their experience and skills are invaluable for these organisations. However, the Durham Student Union is one of the oldest in the country. We have strong
£11,000 per year for NUS membership
of the Gurkha Justice Campaign. >>> However, I feel that we are depriving many thousands of British troops the chance to live in the country that they have served and protected. >>> The influx of numbers of exGurkhas will not cripple the state. Not all will want to move from the province in northern India where they hail from, but we should offer the opportunity to those who wish to. >>>Every year we commemorate those that have died in the many wars that the British have fought. In the Second World War alone, 45,000 Gurkhas died. They gave their lives to protect our country, and yet we now belittle their legacy by ignoring their modern brothers. >>>Allowing the Gurkhas to settle in Britain is not an act that glorifies war. It is one that we should make to show our gratitude to these men for volunteering to serve in our army. The actions of parliament make the chances of a positive outcome in the future likely, but our government should not have needed to be defeated to find justice for these men. >>>If we remember those that have already died on 11th November, why should we not show our appreciation now, to those that have survived?
TAKE YOUR CAREER TO NEW HEIGHTS AT THE
MA/MSc Open Event Wednesday 6 May 2009, 1.00pm to 2.00pm at Queen’s Campus, Stockton Wednesday 13 May 2009, 2.00pm to 4.00pm at Durham Business School At Durham Business School we offer the following Masters programmes for recent graduates: MA programmes:
� MA Management (also available via Distance Learning)
� MSc Accounting and Finance
� MA Financial Management
� MSc Corporate and International Finance
� MA Marketing (also available via Distance Learning)
� � � � �
� MA Human Resource Management
MSc Economics and Finance MSc Finance MSc Finance and Investment MSc International Banking and Finance MSc International Money, Finance and Investment
Interested? Then come along to our MA/MSc Open Event. You will see a presentation from the Programme Directors, with an overview of the facilities and support available as well as career services. In addition to meeting members of the MA and MSc teams, current students will be on hand to tell you about their Durham experience. For further information on our Masters programmes please call 0191 334 5188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org To book a place on this Open Event please visit: Stockton – www.dur.ac.uk/dbs/news/forthcoming-events/?eventno=5393 Durham – www.dur.ac.uk/dbs/news/forthcoming-events/?eventno=5392 Please book by 4 May for the Stockton event and by 11 May for the Durham event: pre-booking is essential.
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Undefeated season for Collingwood ladies NEWLY CROWNED THE Collingwood Sports Team of the Year, the Collingwood Ladies’ Football A team have had an outstanding season: they stormed the Women’s Football Premiership to take the title without losing a match, scoring 41 goals and conceding a staggering 0. >>>Palatinate caught up with club captain Harri Shee, First Team captain Claire Mellor, striker Helen Roach and right back Sarah Allt-Graham to talk about their unbelievable record, the club as a whole and their futures in the sport. >>>Girls, a fantastic achievement to win the league, and not only were you unbeaten, you didn’t concede all season! How did you manage it? >>>“Although we did play really well, and I know it sounds cheesy, we actually all got on really well. Off the pitch we had a great time and I think you can carry that onto the pitch,” responds Roach. >>>Mellor adds: “I think when we got on there it was a lot easier to read each other. When you spend a lot of time with each other, you get to know how to work with each other as well”. >>>While Shee reflects: “The social element struck me when I joined in my first year. It made me think ‘I want to stay in this club’ because there was this real sense of welcoming. I think we’re proud to say that that’s been an aspect of the club throughout our time at Durham”. >>>On the pitch, did you focus more on defence, or did you feel attack was the best form of defence? >>>“I think we kept it equal throughout. We didn’t really have a huge defence like some teams do; we just kept the normal 4-4-2 formation and it worked for us. For the first few games we didn’t really realise we hadn’t conceded, and then after that the thought of conceding a goal was hor-
COLLINGWOOD GIRLS FOOTBALL TEAM
rible, so we just didn’t let it happen!” says Allt-Graham. >>>Did it affect the way that you approached games? >>>Roach diplomatically states: “We’re really lucky in the fact that our defence and our attack are equally strong. Our centre-half is the uni Firsts captain, so even if the other team broke we were pretty sure that she’d pick up on it. So I don’t think we changed our strategy at all; we just thought if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, and it worked out for us”. >>>Allt-Graham chips in saying: ”You’ve got to give credit to Big G the goalie!” >>>You also competed in a uni tournament this year, didn’t you? >>>Roach excitedly responds: “Yeah! We held our own, scored a few goals and had a good time, and I think we gave them some good competition for a college team”. >>>Mellor laughs, stating: “I don’t think the other teams were there to have fun like we were though; they gave us some horrible chat!” >>>Is there a balance in the club between people who have played before they came to uni and people who haven’t? >>>“Yeah I’d say it was about half and half. We’ve got some really good players like Nat, obviously, the uni captain, and we’ve got people who I don’t think have ever touched a football before, like me! So I think we’ve got a really good mix of all abilities,” notes Shee. >>>Would you ever think about going into women’s football once you leave Durham, either at amateur or semi-pro level? >>>Roach again excitedly responds first: “Yeah, women’s football is getting more and more exposure every year, and I’d be really upset if I left uni and never played again, so I’ve got big plans to carry on with it”.
Hatton proves to be ‘first class of the second class’ Simon Lamb AS RICKY HATTON lay on his back on the MGM Grand’s canvas after only five minutes and 49 seconds of his bout with Manny Pacquiao, his loyal fans were exposed to boxing in all its brutality. >>>Wind the clocks back five months and two weeks before his fight in December 2008, the unbeaten Ricky Hatton had a lot to say about ‘Prettyboy’ Floyd Mayweather. “I’m sure he’s in the best shape of his life, but he does not realise how good I am and that’s going to be a shock”. When a fantastic Mayweather left hook turned Hatton’s legs to jelly in the 9th round, the Mancunian’s demise began, if even he joked that he “slipped”. >>>A change of trainer, to no less than Floyd Mayweather senior, and a reasonably convincing points win against Paulie Malignaggi, suddenly left his shortcomings in December almost completely forgotten. >>>The new plan was set. Arrange and win a fight, back in Las Vegas, against the pound-for-pound number one fighter in the world who goes by the name of Manny Pacquiao. Achieve this then let all memories of his only loss be pushed aside with a knockout win in a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Sadly, whoever believed this needed to be awoken from their fanciful dream. >>>As you sit and watch the Sky sports programme entitled Hatton-Pacquiao 24/7, you are lulled into a slightly false sense of
Hatton shows in his everyday life. The programme gives you a fantastic insight into both boxers lives, both in training and at home leaving you with no idea which boxer would prevail on the night. >>>It seems the only man who knew what was going to unfold was Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach when he said, “Ricky will make us look great”. Hatton’s third visit to the canvas in only two rounds left him unconscious and de-throned. I’ve seen bigger left hooks in my time but I really can’t remember when, for the final punch from Pacquiao was felt by sleepyeyed watchers all over the world. >>>But to criticise Hatton’s performance too much would be to belittle the greatness of the ‘Pac Man’, who seems to be on a mission to win in every weight category boxing has to offer. If the general public is given its wish and Manny Pacquiao meets Floyd Mayweather Junior we could be alive to witness the greatest boxing match since Muhammad Ali met George Foreman for the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. >>>The most popular man in boxing has seen what was a glittering career come to a rather sorry end, with retirement his only option. It is a sport for the young and the hungry - not rich, ageing boxers chasing an unreachable dream. No top class fighter would risk their reputation in the ring with him now, yet if they did you feel the outcome would be inevitable, as Hatton has proven to be ‘first class of the second class’.
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
Durham City AFC are the pride of the north
Rajvir Rai WHO SAID FOOTBALL in the north east was on the decline? Durham City AFC are only heading one way, and that’s up! >>>Those football fanatics from the north east who are desperately in search of a successful team support need look no further than our local club. >>>The club have recently joined an elite group of teams who have achieved back to back promotions. >>>The squad last year were crowned Amgrove Northern League Champions, and followed that up this season by winning the Unibond North League Championship. >>>Next year they will compete in the
Unibond Premier League where they will meet teams such as Boston United, FC United of Manchester, and Hednesford Town. >>>While the north east’s premiership giants have struggled to find the net all season, this has not been a problem for the Durham boys. >>>The team have scored well over 100 goals in both the league and the cup this season. >>>Barcelona have Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi, and Samuel Etoo, and Durham City boast their own lethal trio of Steven Richardson, Adam Johnston, and Gavin Cogden who between them have scored 77 goals. >>>Maybe Gareth Southgate, Alan
Shearer, and Ricky Sbragia, should come down to the Arnott stadium and check out the training methods of Durham’s manager Lee Collins. >>>However, the team did leave it to the last game of the season to secure the championship title. >>>Knowing they needed a win away from home against mid table Woodley Sports, the pressure was on. >>>This seemed to tell as the team found themselves 3-1 down at half time, and the title they so deserved was slipping away from them. >>>However, a magnificent second half turn around - which saw Richardson score a hat trick - gave the travelling supporters what they came for!
>>>Durham narrowly edged out their nearest rivals, Skelmersdale United, by a solitary point and ended the season with an impressive goal difference of plus 57. >>>Notable highlights of the season included a 6-1 home thrashing of Mossley, and a mere 10 goals being put past Bolden C.A. >>>With confidence high in the Durham camp the team were relishing facing their southern counterparts Retford United. >>>Durham had Lewis Dodd and Tommy English to thank as they secured a 2-1 victory and the all important bragging rights. >>>However, the team could not keep up their winning momentum as last Saturday they were defeated 2-1 by Eastwood
PAUL GAYTHORPE / PK4IMAGES.COM
Town in the final of the Peter Swales Challenge Cup. >>>However, despite their heartbreaking final defeat the team can look back on the season and be proud of what they have achieved and the manner in which they achieved it. >>>So forget the all-seater stadiums and disappointment of the north east’s supposed elite; if you want drama, goals, controversy, and importantly a win here and there, then Durham City AFC is definately the team to watch. >>>Palatinate would like to congratulate all the staff and players at the Abbott stadium on all their successes, and will definitely be taking a keen interest next season to see how they get on.
Team Durham cyclists look to end season on high HANNAH READ
Hannah Read AFTER LAST YEAR winning silver and bronze medals in the BUCS Cycling competitions, DUCC had to go some way to top the achievements of the 07/08 season. At the very start of the 08/09 season though, they had already started to make inroads into that tally. >>>For DUCC the team actually received a set back as the BUCS cycling season begun with news that the Track cycling championship was to be cancelled, This announcement denied the Palatinates the exciting opportunity to participate in an event with previous record holders, Olympic gold medalists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton. >>>With the combination of Hamish Batchelor, Rob Simpson, and Harry Evana, they won the Men’s Team bronze medal in the BUCS Hill Climb Championship with some considerable style. >>>Batchelor also came agonisingly close to winning an individual medal in the event coming in a respectable 4th position overall. >>>In the time trial competitions Women’s Captain Hannah Read also had a very strong showing, narrowly missing out on an individual medal coming 4th
in both the 10 and 25 mile Time Trials respectively. >>>Arguably the performance of the season for the Palatinates was in the Mountain Bike Championships, where Hamish Batchelor secured a well earned silver medal in the Cross Country event. >>>Strong performances from Ewan Brown, Anthony Swales and Henry Smart meant all finished in the top 10 of the Men’s Sport event, and the team gained an overall 6th position on top of their silver medal. >>>The team looks now to the BUCS Road Race where they will be striving for more medals to cap off an excellent season; with an ever expanding squad, the Palatinates will approach next year’s BUCS competitions hoping to secure that elusive gold medal. >>>For season 09/10 DUCC will be lead by co-captains Matt Daniel and Ewan Brown, both cyclists have been committed members of BUCC, and with their undeniable experience they will look to lead from the front in what could prove a very successful season. The DUCC are looking to strengthen their squad for next season by recruiting extensively in the upcoming Freshers’ Fair. >>>If you want to join DUCC see: www.dur.ac.uk/cycling.club
C M Y K
Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
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DURLFC star to coach Great Britain STILL CELEBRATING A landmark finish in the BUCS plate, Durham University Rugby League has more reason to celebrate after Thomas Brewster gained selection to the Great Britain Students Rugby League Tour 2009. Thomas has been given the role of assistant manager on the upcoming tour to Norway. The fact that Brewater is currently injured and has not played competively for sometime, makes his achievements even more remarkable. Club captain Martin Hall commented: “We are all really really proud of Thomas. His hard work all year has definitely been recognised by us, and it’s nice to know that it has been seen by others as well. “International honours are a massive achievement. We know Thomas will be a terrific ambassador for the club and country, and we wish him and the rest of the squad the best of luck.” An over the moon Brewster said:“I am delighted to be asked to tour this summer with Great Britain. “It’s the greatest ambition that any sportsman can ever wish to achieve, and I consider myself so fortunate to be given this opportunity. “I hope the tour is successful and I will endeavour to bring back to Durham the latest skills and coaching techniques for next season.” The 2009 tour to Norway sees Thomas assisting in coaching the game to a number of local sides as well as the elite Great Britain squad. Whilst in Norway, Great Britain will play a number of club sides, before the tour
culminates in a test match against the full Norwegian national team in Oslo. Thomas said that he was unphased by the challenges that lie ahead of him. “The Great Britain training is motivating me more than scaring me to be honest. He went onto to say that: “Coaching in a foreign country will be a great eye opener, and I am particularly looking forward to spreading the English style of play to Norway. Brewster concluded:“I’m entirely grateful to all those that have assisted me in the game this far. There are many people to thank, namely those at University Rugby League. “They are a great bunch of guys and I hope that by getting involved, they feel that I am representing them as well”. This is an exciting period for DURLFC, with Martin Hall, First Team Captain Karl Stephenson, and winger James Alderson, having all played country level earlier this season. Such is the development of the club over the last year that Maximuscle has recently announced that they will be backing DURLFC with nutrition supplements to aide further improvement. Equally, there is fierce competition between sponsors for shirt space for the 2009/10 season. The forthcoming season looks to be an exciting one for the club who are relishing the growing attention that they are now recieving. Brewater believes that the next few years will see the club grow in stature and acheive real success. “We have had a great year, and the challenge for us now is to push on in the future and go one better than this year. I firmly believe that we will do it too!”
University Triathlon Sprint team end season on a high THE BUCS SPRINT distance triathlon took place on Sunday 3rd May with a strong showing from Team Durham. The triathlon involves a 750m swim, followed by a 25km cycle, ending in a 5km run, representing one of the shortest events on the calendar for most triathletes. >>>As such the race encourages a wide range of abilities and experiences, which was reflected in Durham’s team, with competitors ranging from Great Britain level to first timers. >>>In the event Loughborough’s Mark Threlfall won in a time of 1:05:28 with Lois Rosindale of Leeds Met winning on the women’s side in a time of 1:13:05. >>>Durham’s highest place competitor for the men was Matt Gunby in 12th, with Sarah Hazel, who has recently qualified for Great Britain, coming in 18th for the women. >>>Other impressive results included Ben Howard and Vikki Frith, finishing in 28th and 35th respectively in only their first triathlons. >>>Next year’s club captain Kat Henderson said: “this was a great effort by everyone with the club improving significantly from last year”. >>>Henderson also stated that “I have been left with a great platform to build upon in the future, and I hope to move the club forward next season. >>>An encouraging performance from an enthusiastic club that through investment from Team Durham could progress further and add to the 6 members who have already achieved Great Britain level.
SPORT IN BRIEF
Sailing success for Team Durham Pippa Wilkinson AMONG THE 33 teams who qualified for the team racing finals, the highlight of the university sailing year, were Durham 1 (Andy Conn, Pippa Wilkinson, Rich Clay, Jemima Riley, Ed Sidgwick and Helen Williamson) and Durham Ladies (Hayley Goacher, Bryony Meakins, Tash Lister, Heather Jones, Olivia Pettit and Megan Chamberlain) >>>The Ladies team made the most of them. The Ladies team dominated the competition by winning 8 of their 10 races and ended an excellent day in 1st. >>>The first team didn’t share the Ladies’ luck; throwing away their first race against Manchester, and failed to make an impact against Southampton in their 2nd race. >>>Things began to look up with a win against Oxford 2nds. However, they lost the next race against local rivals and training partners Newcastle due to a series of fouls. >>>Suddenly, late in the afternoon, they found their form, racking up respectable wins against Cambridge 2nds and Bath, which gave them a 1,2 all around the course and a huge confidence boost. >>>On Thursday, with the wind light and changeable, the roles reversed. Durham Ladies struggled, especially against the strong Bristol teams, dropping to 2nd by the end of the day. >>>Meanwhile, Durham 1 stormed through the Gold fleet. They took control of the start line and won 7 out of 8 races, including clear wins over last year’s champions Southampton 1st, >>>The wind on Friday was again light and fickle. Durham Ladies continued well to secure a place in the quarterfinals. >>>The Firsts kept their winning streak by comfortably beating Newcastle and Nottingham. Thanks to some fantastic manoeuvres up the final beat, they also scraped a win against Bristol 1. >>>Their 10 race wins placed Durham 1 at the top of the Gold league ahead of Oxford 1st and in 4th place overall, guaranteeing them BUCS points. >>>The Ladies semi-finals used the new “Aussie Rules” format with two chances to get to the final, so after narrowly losing to Bristol 2nds they made it by beating Bristol 1 in style. >>>Durham 1st was chosen by Cambridge 1st, lying 3rd overall, as their opponents in the quarterfinals. >>>After a clear 1,2 win in the first of 3 races, Durham began to struggle. They lost a 1,3 to smooth team racing moves from Cambridge 1st. >>>With a win each, the pressure was on for the deciding race. Durham had a slight advantage with a 1,4,5 combination, but when Sidgwick/Williamson in 1 were given a penalty, Cambridge 1 sailed into a 1,2 and the semi-finals. >>>The Ladies final was a nail-biting affair. Durham took the lead off the start in the first of 5 races, thanks to an amazing start from Pettit/Chamberlain. >>>But the tight contest came down to the final face with the scores level at 2-2. >>>However, Bristol 2 won the start and kept their position to win the BUSA Ladies competition 2009. >>>The main BUSA competition was won by Oxford 1st, with Southampton
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
PALATINATE SPORT JONATHAN ALLEN
Durham stumble against Leeds Ally Bacon DURHAM 2ND’S CRICKETERS got off to a flying start this season with wins against Newcastle and York, and on Wednesday faced their rivals Leeds Met Carnegie 2nds in the third match in the BUCS Northern Conference League Division Two. >>>Both teams were unbeaten so far this season, and head the top of their division. >>>Facing the familiar blustery and chilly conditions that every resident of northeast England is well used to, Durham Men’s were optimistic of their chances in the clash between these two promising sides. >>>Winning the toss, Durham elected to maximise the conditions that would inevitably deteriorate as play went on and went in to bat. >>>Durham’s batting was opened by Chappell and Sharpe. With a magnificent glance shot from the red-helmeted Chappell to get four off a Leeds short pitch, Durham were off to a solid start after only a few minutes. >>> Following this play was defensive and slow-paced, the potent Leeds bowl-
Bailey rule supreme over the Hill in women’s rugby
ing exacerbated by the gusty wind. Nonetheless, Chappell made a satisfactory nineteen off 78 balls before being bowled. >>>Sharpe took over the role of aggressor to hit some sweet boundaries and contributed 27 before falling to the Leeds attack. >>>Rain threatened to chop the overs, but luckily it stayed away and the third batsman Bruce came to the crease. >>> Though unluckily caught after four, it was the star of Wednesday’s match, Jackson, that distracted from this and had Leeds back on their toes. >>>Shots were progressively more attacking, and greater risks were taken as confidence returned to the Durham batting order. >>>Jackson narrowly escaped being run out in a spectacular nose-dive across the line, and responded promptly from this scare with a sweeping four. >>>Outstanding batting following this brought him close to a half-century, before he was bowled for 42 all in the space of about three minutes. Suddenly, there was an urgency amongst all the players. >>>With Elsden and Bugge both contributing a decent fifteen and twelve respectively and Pickup out on an unlucky LBW
after just one run, Durham finished up bowled out at 179. >>>With Leeds having to chase 180 for victory at Maiden Castle, Durham broke for lunch with a fair degree of confidence. >>>It was noted that Leeds Met needed an average of 0.6 runs per ball so it was pretty much in the balance. >>>The gamble of batting first with the weather looking threatening paid off, as the post-lunch conditions deteriorated and Durham now had to field in bitterly cold conditions. >>>However, they faced an uphill battle from the outset, with the Leeds openers gaining a handy 40 runs by the seventh over. >>>Yet the consistent and accurate efforts of the Durham bowlers meant that victory was by no means easy to come by, with constant pressure being applied from both ends of the pitch. >>>Leeds continued to cash in on some generous Durham fielding though, with top Leeds batsman Rickards racking up a century to bring the score to 179-3. >>>With only one run left to win, Durham promptly took a wicket with a sizzling ball that demolished the stumps in a last minute attempt to regain control of the
match. >>>Leeds’s replacing batsman almost got caught out on each of the next few throws, but balls were dropped much to the dismay of the Durham fielder, raising the tension tenfold. >>>With a classy flick round the corner by Leeds’s Rickards, the match closed 180-3. >>>Sharpe stated on leaving the pitch, head held high, “Leeds just got off to an absolute flyer, and we just couldn’t catch them”. >>>Whilst this match did end in defeat, Durham can take solace in the developing skill of their bowling attack. >>>Though most of the Durham team were out to poor shot selection, it was mentioned by the Leeds players after the match that batsmen Farley and Jackson were particularly impressive, having calm, mature and measured innings, employing stalwart defensive shots, and patiently waiting to play their offensive shots. >>>Some things need to be worked on, but Durham can take heart from the efforts of Jackson, Sharpe and Chappel, whose performances impressed even the opposition.
The Women’s match set the tone for what was to be a rip-roaring evening. Despite early pressure from The Hill, stout defence by The Bailey allowed them to gain a pontoon in which to bridge the early gulf in possession and territory. >>>Expansive breaks from Bailey players Jasmine Coyne and Sophie Campbell mirrored the changing momentum in the match, and after a long stoppage for a serious neck injury, Charlie Miller burrowed over to give the Bailey a 5-0 lead at half-time. >>>The Bailey continued to apply pressure early in the second half, but in a reversal of fortunes, The Hill then grasped the nettle and was unfortunate to be held up by a stoic Bailey defence following a mazy run by their number 10. >>>Yet Bailey defences finally broke and Rachel Fenton crashed over from the five metre line. >>>As the game became increasingly scrappy and marred by errors, it become apparent that a moment of brilliance would eventually separate the teams. >>>Gathering the ball on the half-way line, Campbell profited from an uncoordinated Hill backline and proceeded to pace into the corner, sending the Bailey team into raptures and giving them a 10-5 victory. >>>Following some amusing half-time entertainment provided by foolhardy, naked men and the adequately clothed Grey Cheerleading Squad, the Men’s match began in a similarly physical vein. >>>The Hill were pressurising The Bailey’s line, yet indiscretions at the ruck area were negating their advanced field position, and furthermore, allowing The Bailey to wrestle the ascendency from them. >>>This dominance was crystallised by a well-crafted try as the Bailey established a maul off a lineout and breached the Hill’s defensive line. The game was then energised by two superb solo efforts. >>>First, Ollie Boden from The Hill produced a devastating line to cut through The Bailey’s defences and equal the scores at 5-5. >>>Then, Matt Wertheim re-established The Bailey’s lead with a trademark break, astonishing onlookers with dynamism and flair not necessarily befitting a hooker’s credentials! >>>With the Bailey leading 10-5 at halftime, The Hill had to reduce their arrears rapidly, but such plans were scuppered as Nick Burberry scored an audacious interception try, increasing The Bailey’s lead to 17-5. Despite continued pressure on The Bailey’s defence, Oli Turner’s try added the coup de grace to see The Bailey return a well-deserved double over their rivals from The Hill.
C M Y K
TIM LOVEJOY THE GREAT BRITISH ESCAPE FASHION’S NEW LOOK BOOK RICHARD III
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
PICK AND MIX Palatinate loves...
How to... be calm Francesca Teoh offers pearls of wisdom on maintaining inner peace
Britain’s Got Talent Perfect hangover TV.
icuits atime B M&S Te ats after a hard tre Yummy . e library th day at
Spotify Fast and up -to-date mu sic streaming, just what w e need to distract u s.
es, it seems like a tall order. How can there possibly be any real technique to… well, being calm? Often considered the privilege of perpetually chilled philosophical types, people without any feelings, and cactus plants, calmness is something to which we all aspire at some point or another. Of course, it’s an exceedingly useful tool to employ in order to avoid spontaneous combustion when you ﬁnd out that a) you completely overestimated your ability to multi-task and are now facing 24-hour revision sessions, b) life hasn’t exactly turned out the way you planned and it’s the wrong time for an existential crisis, or c) your ﬂatmate has consumed your secret stash of Green and Black’s Maya Gold chocolate. >>>Calm people normally enjoy the best of both worlds. So little fazes them in the ﬁrst instance, that every problem, every antagonism, every hurdle, is merely part of the larger cosmic picture. “That’s life”, they say, and shrug their shoulders in a nonchalant fashion. “It just wasn’t meant to be” – to which the rest of us reply: “Seriously? That’s your answer to everything? It just wasn’t meant to be?” Learning to be calm means learning to tolerate people who… are calm. It’s not their fault, we ponder… They were born without any sense of danger. In the ﬁght or ﬂee scenario, they’d simply set up camp and eat Greek yoghurt whilst everyone else
scrambles accordingly. Actually, perhaps it’s a good thing not to feel anything one way or another. That way you can’t make any mistakes. Caution always proves its own reward. >>>Being calm consists not of seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses, but rather of not venturing too far outside your room to avoid being blinded by the glaring rays of reality. Calmness also encompasses turning a blind eye when you repeatedly have to deal with irritating, self-absorbed and spiteful people who
Selected quotes Palatinate presents snippets from the public sphere “I don’t want to be thin, I hate looking thin. I don’t want to be up and down like a lollipop lady. It’s not a good look...” Cheryl Cole The sassy Girls Aloud frontwoman has her priorities in place.
Swine Flu We thought the credit crunch was bad.
“He’s rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy. He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup”. Noel Gallagher Oasis: family values as normal. The musician on his much-cherished brother, Liam.
ines Library F not to er reason Yet anoth e. is v re ing to bother try
Lady GaGa Bizarre hairdos ,w and monkey bo eird teacup ttom face. Enough is en ough.
seem determined to ruin your life. The trick is to console oneself with the daily recitation that someday, “The meek will inherit the earth”. Dear God, let’s hope so. Another aspect of remaining calm is to convince yourself that no matter how badly you’ve been treated, that great soothsayer, Mr. Justin Timberlake, was telling the truth when he sang, “What goes around, comes around”. And he should know. >>>In mastering the art of staying calm one essentially retains their sanity in an
existence deﬁned by very troubling facts. >>> One of which is that it’s probably not a good idea to be still awake at 2.23am when you have to get up at 8am for a labour-intensive day of hardcore essaying and ﬁghting innumerable intergalactic battles with people with whom you’d NEVER want to be stuck in a elevator. Naturally, the state of tranquillity is not actually one that, well, comes naturally to most individuals. >>> Calmness is normally supplemented with artiﬁcial stimulants, mostly of the toxic variety, depending on the extent to which they are indulged. Hypnosis is an attractive prospect, although what exactly happens afterwards, we’re not entirely sure. Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Happy is supposed to be a good place to start. >>> If that doesn’t work, a good Hollywood musical is normally enough for an afternoon delusion or two. We’d recommend The Wizard of Oz or Singin’ In the Rain. >>>What happens, though, if you can’t do calm? Nothing really. You just end up ever-so-slightly on edge that you should be feeling calm, because the minute you stop holding your breath you’re probably going to collapse. But that’s nothing a good book (okay, magazine at this rate) and a cup of cocoa can’t cure. Or should that be Horlicks?
“Oftentimes when you face such an overwhelming challenge as global climate change, it can be somewhat daunting -- it’s kind of like trying to lose weight, which I know something about”. Hillary Clinton It’s good to know that the US Secretary of State thinks that the environment is no trivial matter. “Shameless rubbish to entertain the Emperor… [demonstrating] a total lack of discretion in his exercise of power which offends the credibility of all women”. Veronica Lario Silvio Berlusconi’s soon-to-be ex-wife ridicules the Italian premier’s attempts to line up a plethora of female celebrities as candidates for Italy’s June elections.
“I’m not a bad person and this is what happens. I was raised to treat people well, and I’m so tired of this drama... I’m a 22-year-old girl “She is a victim of her looks, doomed to be dewho’s in love. I felt like I was in Mean Girls, but worse: Mean Girls was a movie”. ﬁned by them for eternity, or until she becomes Lindsay Lohan wrinkly and we all express our horror at the ruination of her face”. India Knight The singer/actress/whatever laments the failure of her sapphic love affair. We feel your pain, Linds. The columnist on France’s ‘picture-perfect’ First Lady, Carla Bruni.
C M Y K
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
Tim Lovejoy - something for everyone? Tim Lovejoy of Soccer AM fame talks to Charlie Booth about his new internet venture, Channelbee. «Born 28 March 1968 «Nationality British «Career Began on MTV. Worked as a researcher, then producer on The Big Breakfast. Presented Soccer AM from 1996, for over a decade. Presents BBC Five Live’s 6-0-6 sport chat show. Has a weekly column in Nuts magazine.
Auditioned to present Blue Peter in the 1990s. Currently presenting BBC’s Something for the Weekend and working on his joint venture with Simon Fuller, Channelbee.
im Lovejoy’s career has featured stints with The Big Breakfast, Fifth Gear and even a short-lived (and ultimately unsuccessful) chat show, Tim Lovejoy and the Allstars. However, it is for his decade spent with Helen Chamberlain on Soccer AM that he is most likely to be remembered. Now presenting the BBC’s Sunday morning extravaganza Something for the Weekend, he is currently re-launching his flagship internet TV channel Channelbee. I have to be frank; I didn’t expect much of Tim Lovejoy. Having sat through several cringe-worthy episodes of Soccer AM after boozy nights out, and then tuning into the frankly bizarre Something for the Weekend in the name of research, I felt positive I was approaching a deeply uncomfortable interview. His internet venture, Channelbee, was of more interest but I was sceptical as to whether the internet would ever challenge television and the radio as a viable medium for new content. I also wondered whether Channelbee would merely be a conduit for the sort of puerile humour Soccer AM was famed for. A quick look at the review for one of Tim’s books revealed I wasn’t alone in having misgivings: “he is a rather vile, pseudo trendy character. Vacuous, unfunny, trite, unoriginal and offensively representative of lowest common denominator ‘lad culture’”. Nevertheless, I prepared to swallow my pride and asked Tim about the origins of Channelbee. “I was just fascinated by the internet; it’s growing so quickly. To begin with, everyone was saying it is going to take over from television so I became intrigued by it. But the reality is, it won’t take over from television, a bit like TV didn’t take over
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from radio. It’s just a new medium”. Internet television is certainly growing fast with more and more of us relying on BBC iPlayer as well as 4OD (Channel 4’s On Demand service) and YouTube to get our television fix - not to mention Sidereel and other more illicit television portal. Tim was quick to point out the shortcomings of internet television: “Nobody is really making any decent content for it. They do re-runs of television shows on it, and there is usergenerated content on it, and then there is a handful of people who aren’t that good at making content, who are making content. Then there are a load of fantastic advertising virals. So I thought, why don’t I start making some good content for the internet? The great thing about the internet is that it is on demand. It’s not like Eastenders: you can watch it when you want to watch it”.
Any advice for students looking to go into the media? “Have a wash!” Tim has assembled an impressive team, bringing in members of his awardwinning Soccer AM team to assist his new venture. He attracted the attention of Simon Fuller, the founder of 19 Entertainment, who represents Claudia Schiffer and the Beckhams. “He’s not short of a few bob or two”, quips Lovejoy. I asked Tim the story behind the name Channelbee: “I tried for the name ‘ChannelBroad-
band’ but couldn’t get it, so I then tried for the name ‘ChannelB’ and I couldn’t get that either. So I put ‘Channelbee’ in, just as a whim, and I got it, so I bought Channelbee.com, Channelbee.co.uk, I got them all. Then I sat around on it for ages, until one day I thought, let’s just go for it. If they can make billions of pounds out of an apple; why can’t I out of a bee? “It turned out pretty well, because we have what’s called a sonic identity with a bee: the buzzing sound as well as the colours and the logo. It turned out to be not a bad name after all”. Channelbee was re-launched in March: “it didn’t navigate very well, to be honest with you. We did a very soft launch in the beginning just to see what it would be like; but we now think that we can make it better so we’ve made a few tweaks”. I asked him whether it had been successful. “It has been a success in that we know what we’re doing now. We’ve got a lot of detail on there now. We’ve got a vibrant community; a good forum; and lots of people posting great content”. At this point in the interview, it doesn’t take long for Tim to revert back to discussing his first love: football. He tells me how a journalist in the Guardian had first learnt about the sacking of Phil Scolari, the Chelsea manager, from Lovejoy’s Twitter. Lovejoy, in turn, had heard the news himself from a post on Channelbee’s web forum. “With TV you’re slightly removed from your audience, with radio you’re a bit closer but with the internet you’re really close to your audience”. Tim recently took over presenting Something for the Weekend, an eclectic
entertainment show featuring a mixture of old TV clips, cookery and cocktails. I asked Tim how he has found the change from Soccer AM. “Both of the shows are similar in that I just go on there and have a laugh. That’s how I make television: I just have fun. To begin with, the idea of Something for the Weekend wasn’t that appealing, and then I met the chef, Simon Rimmer. The chef and I thought, we’ll have a laugh doing this and that’s what I think TV’s about. I get a buzz out of live TV.
“If they can make billions of pounds out of an apple, why can’t I out of a bee?” “I kind of miss Soccer AM in a way, but it needed a big change. I’d been there for such a long time and loved every minute of it but it was getting a bit tired; it needed to evolve. I’d rather put my effort into the internet stuff to be honest”. Tim has claimed that a significant factor in his decision to leave Sky and set up his own broadcaster was that he could never really own an aspect of the medium by working for a global media company, and would always be just a presenter. I asked if he felt other television personalities might follow in his shift to the internet. “You can see that happening already with the likes of Twitter. Stephen Fry has 250,000 friends on Twitter, so when he launches a new book, he’s got 250,000 people he can sell it to. People want to own their persona. Philip Schofield spends all his time twittering about his
website. He wants to own a chunk of his own media”. Tim went on to give his advice to any students looking to start a career in the media: “Have a wash! No, my advice is to realise that everyone else wants a job as well. I took on a lot of people on work experience when I was doing Soccer AM and I always found the ones who annoyed me were the ones who thought that the world owed them a living. So just make sure when you do it that you’re humble. I was always first in, last out. It sounds stupid, but there are so many people out there that you have got to set yourself apart from everyone else and show that you are invaluable. Keep coming up with ideas. The whole thing about media is that it is all ideas driven; so the more ideas you have, the better”. Obviously it takes time to gain a profile in the media world and there are wrong turns along the way. Tim claims he once interviewed for a position on the British television institution Blue Peter: “I think they realised in the audition that I didn’t really suit it. I was a bit too controversial maybe. Not really my thing. Good show but I can’t see myself on it to be honest”. As the interview ended I must confess to feeling somewhat ashamed. My preconceptions about Lovejoy had proved to be unfair as he was relentlessly polite and friendly. Channelbee itself is an interesting venture; fans of Soccer AM (at least those who have a fast internet connection) will love it. Personally, it’s not for me. However, I concede that it still makes more sense than Something for the Weekend. Maybe I just haven’t had enough hangovers lately.
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
This is a man’s world Daisy Wyatt investigates whether there is a great woman behind every good man
he week of the G20: crowds go wild, WAGs support from the sidelines, world leaders sweat it out to resolve an economic crisis. But who really cares about economics? We’re only neck deep in perhaps the worst economic situation of the last fifty years (Pah! Imagine!). >>> No, if the press coverage was anything to go by, we the British public and the good citizens of the world, apparently care more for the minutiae of the G20 wives’ wardrobes. >>> The accompanying wives posed in line for their unashamed beauty pageant shot in what promised to be a week devoted more to the fashionable and less to the fiscal. At the centre of this international politically-sponsored fashion show, Michelle Obama graced cameras and wowed fans with none other than her spellbinding ability to piece together clothes in an aesthetically pleasing manner. >>>Stop all the clocks, put down your Grazia, this is no time for trivial fashion matters. Michelle Obama was spotted wearing a coral blue asymmetric Argyle (yes! Argyle!) cardigan, in a fashion scandal one blogger called ‘Argyle-gate’, on the very day she chose to give Our Liz a big pat on the back. >>> I take no sides in the Argyle debate, but Michelle must be doing something right to land herself on the cover of Vogue, while simultaneously finding herself among People’s Ten Best Dressed
Women, and Vanity Fair’s List. Sure, I admire her elegantly cut clothes, but is being First Lady of the United States nothing more than one big fashion show? Is all a first lady has to do these days to get herself noticed to wear a lot of Jason Wu and have a good eyebrow shape? Apparently so, according to mediafrenzied fashionistas: ‘Woman Wears Blouse’ was not news, so why report it? Michelle Obama’s inspirational speech to girls at London’s inner-city Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School was unfortunately superseded by her choice of sweater. >>>Enough with the rhetorical questions already. Why these intelligent, independent women chose to parade themselves as glorified wives, accompanying their beloved hubbies on a business trip is beyond me. >>> Don’t these women have jobs? Angela Merkel’s husband, Joachim Sauer, was too busy lecturing on Quantum Chemistry to hold his wife’s handbag. And quite right too. Carla Bruni, Michelle Obama’s second in well-dressed first lady stakes, chose to stay in France, because she apparently only accompanies her husband on state visits. >>> But maybe Sarkozy didn’t want her glamorous garb upstaging him like it did last year on their visit to the UK. For Carla’s clothing to cause a furore seems fitting, since she is, after all, an exsupermodel turned First Lady overnightwith a brief musical career thrown in for
extra aspiring rock star (ahem, Sarko) credit. She fulfils all celebrity credentials. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, is as well educated as her husband with degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law School. >>>She chose to give up her high-flying career as a lawyer in New York to look
“Politics may be a man’s world, but it would be nothing without a woman in it” after her two daughters in a role she calls ‘Mom-in-chief’, and presumably to undertake her duties as First Lady. Michelle’s choice is one many women are forced to make, and by no means should any mother be criticised for wanting to take care of her children. >>> However, it does mean that the role of First Lady to the US continues to be a job in its own right. Jackie Kennedy aged sixteen wrote that she hoped to become “more than just a housewife”, and halffulfilled her wish by becoming the world’s most famous glamorised housewife. That was forty years ago, yet Michelle is still being compared to Jackie. >>>Back in Blighty, Sarah Brown and Cherie Blair have gone some way in putting the power back into girl power. Sarah
Brown has followed Michelle Obama’s call to motherhood, while still holding down presidencies of charities, after a career in PR. >>> Cherie Blair continued to work as Cherie Booth QC throughout her husband’s career as PM, but despite her capabilities she will probably forever be known as ‘the one with the funny face’. As for women on the political frontline, Britain came an embarrassing fifty-fifth place in the international league of women MPs. That’s right folks, a mere eighteen percent of UK politicians are female. And can you really blame them? >>>While male MPs’ paunches and unibrows make them all the more loveably charismatic, female MPs are torn apart by men and women alike. They have to be beautiful and/or elegantly dressed to command the presses’ and our attention (see Sky News’ Top 10 Most Fanciable MPs) only to then be disregarded by their male peers and the loving British public for being too frivolous. >>> Long, anti-social voting hours prevent MP mothers spending time with their children, a reason cited by Ruth Kelly for stepping down from the Cabinet. In this post Blair Babe era, where politics is being fought on centrist ground, might just might the battle become one of gender? Politics may be a man’s world, but it would be nothing without a woman in it. And please God - no more Argyle.
Information overload Ally Bacon discusses the implications of the internet phenomenon - do we really need a Google a day?
ave you ever spent a single day on the internet without our faithful friend Google? Can you find something out without first effortlessly checking Google, and then no doubt clicking absentmindedly on the first link about the topic, more than likely to be a Wikipedia entry? Are you aware of the indisputable power that Google has over the internet world, and thus a vast majority of the planet? >>>Google is everywhere, it’s free, and you can do almost everything online with all the applications it has developed. Nonetheless, the fact that it is everywhere is somewhat worrying to a fair few people. >>>Creators of the website www.onedaywithoutgoogle.com propose that we do as its name suggests, and do away with Google for at least 24 hours, and use other resources to navigate the internet. >>>The site states: “Google knows what you are looking for. Where you are from. What you are interested in. What you´re blogging about. What you advertise. What you click on. What your hobbies are”. >>>As well as this there is an increasing volume of ‘anti-Google’ propaganda sweeping the internet realm, with many people advocating that Google must be stopped. At the moment, there is considerable outrage about Google’s website Youtube blocking music videos to UK users. Yet why is there such a backlash against a search engine of all things, when there are numerous other global plights to be dealt with? >>>I know that people simply use Google as a means to an end. It is after all so much easier to pop something straight into Google than affix a .com. Hell; I’ve even googled my own name out of interest! >>> A esearch team led by Prof Hermann
Maurer of Graz University’s ICT department, argues that Google is turning into a new version of George Orwell’s Big Brother, creating unacceptable monopolies in many areas of the worldwide web. >>>The study argues that Google is too influential on economies in the way advertisements and documents are ranked. “The more a company pays, the more often will the ad be visible”. The study be-
lieves influence may be increased by also ranking results from queries, and that Google could, for business reasons, in the future rank paying customers higher in search results. >>>Furthermore, there are considerable indications of cooperation between Google and Wikipedia. Sample statistics showed that randomly selected Wiki entries consistently ranked higher on
Google than on other search engines, the Graz team said, regardless of whether or not the Wikipedia entry was an accurate or impartial piece of work. >>>Google does appear to be an allpowerful internet giant. It’s been almost a decade since the search engine came online, and while the whole industry has crumbled around it, Google, somehow, has only became bigger, better and more popular. >>>To boycott Google, internet users would thus have to stop using Gmail, YouTube, Google Video, Google Reader, Picassa, Blogger, Orkut, Google Maps, Google News and Myspace, as well as countless other partner sites. >>>Mr Daniel Brandt, dubbed ‘Mr Anti-Google’, has created websites such as www.googlewatch.com to confront Google and its policies. For Brandt, Google’s PageRank algorithm, the celebrated system by which Google orders search results, is not, as Google says, “uniquely democratic” but it’s “uniquely tyrannical”. PageRank is the “opposite of affirmative action,” he has written, meaning that the system discriminates against new websites and favours established sites. >>>More than that, says Brandt, Google is a careless custodian of private information. When you search for something on Google, it saves your search terms that live on your machine for 36 years. Brandt fears that law enforcement officials could muscle Google into divulging all the terms you’ve ever searched for. Those terms could be “a window into your state of mind,” and are therefore a clear violation of your privacy, he says: Google can know everything. >>>In spite of this, it’s hard to get upset about search privacy at Google when, all over the web, other sites are increasingly
playing fast and loose with private data. Google isn’t alone in setting long cookies or saving search terms. Other search engines keep that kind of information, but people tend to want to focus on Google because it’s so popular, and they almost unfairly separate it out from the rest of the group.
“Google knows what you’re looking for. Where you’re from. What you’re interested in” >>>I must mention Google’s most controversial and far-reaching political action, abiding by the ‘Golden Shield Project of the People’s Republic of China’, a censorship and surveillance project operated by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. This decision has come under fierce criticism by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. >>>Nevertheless, despite the complaints, criticisms and controversies, it is highly unlikely that Google can really be stopped. Grossing billions of dollars a year, Google is a formidable force, and despite its privacy issues and interference in global politics, Google with all its clever applications and widgets is not something that actually needs complaining about. >>>That being said, do by all means attempt to spend one day on the internet, researching that dissertation, without once absentmindedly using Google. I bet you can’t, or at any rate, won’t want to.
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FOOD AND DRINK
Black beans are a rich source of ﬁbre and antioxidants; they are great for keeping your stomach full and brain functioning throughout the exam period. This recipe is very easy - and crucially stress-free - to prepare! Feeds eight as a main course. 1 medium sized bung of coriander 3 cups of dried black beans (pre soak overnight) 3 medium sized onions 2 tins of tomatoes 10 cloves of garlic 1 litre of vegetable stock 2 rounded teaspoons of cumin 1 lime 2 sticks of celery Optional toppings: Sour cream/ sharp grated cheddar/ sliced avocado/ corn tortillas/ diced green or red pepper tossed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a little lime and coriander. 1) Drain the soaking water from the beans. Cover with 3 inches of fresh water and boil until tender for 40-60 minutes. 2) Chop the celery and onion very ﬁnely and sweat until soft with a little olive oil and salt. 3) Add the chopped garlic and cumin and cook for a couple of minutes until the spice is fragrant. 4) Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and black beans. Simmer on a low heat for half an hour. 5) Depending on the consistency you prefer, you can partially or fully blend the mixture. Taste to adjust the salt and black pepper. 6) Add the chopped coriander and lime just before serving with any or all of the toppings above. Ondine Gillies
Milking it Forget Brown Sugar. Students ﬂocking out of Elvet’s lecture halls now head to Shakeaholic for that mid-afternoon tasty treat. James Roberts checks out Durham’s latest gastric haunt
n the last week of Epiphany term both the sun and a new contender on the Durham beverage scene made their debut to the city, and we students were lapping it up. This contender is Shakeaholic, which, if the name doesn’t give it away, sells milkshakes. Addictively good ones. >>>Shakeaholic invited myself and some friends to “shakes on the house and a little behind-the-counter look into the mysterious art of milkshake-making”. So, on a glorious Wednesday afternoon, whilst other students were burning calories on playing ﬁelds across Durham, we opted for a stroll down to the self-proclaimed ‘milkshake bar’ located on Elvet Riverside, where we proceeded to savour Shakeaholic’s caloriﬁc ﬁnest. >>>We expected to wander in and place our order, but it became clear that since opening the café has had anything but a shaky start; it was mid-afternoon and the queue into the premises rivalled that of Studio on 50p night. We may have been Shakeaholic guest-listed, but there was no Q-jump past this thirsty crowd. >>>So, equipped with a menu of 175 ﬂavours from which we could pick and mix, we passed the time administrating our choices between ten of us so that no ﬂavour was tried twice. We wanted to sample the broadest range of Shakeaholic’s wares; for the good of Palatinate readers, of course. >>>Once into the café, full to the brim with milkshake-lovers, I snuck behind the counter to be taught how to make a shake. It turns out there’s more to it than just chucking a banana into a blender and hoping for the best. >>>Shakeaholic claim that they use unique ‘blendtec commissioned’ technology with custom cycles for each type of ﬂavour. However, ultimately when it came down to blending a particularly stubborn frozen doughnut, the advice was to “just keep pressing that button”. There are lots of chrome gadgets for squirting things and crunching things behind the counter, and yours truly, a technophobic Philosophy student, was quite overwhelmed. The ice cream they use is also pretty posh, having been experimented on in laborato-
Recipe: Black bean soup
ries, yet sourced locally. No jokes; google Shakeaholic and have a gander at their website. >>>To choose a milkshake à la carte, you just pick a ﬂavour ranging from mufﬁns to Jelly Tots, all displayed temptingly on shelves across the café’s pink painted walls. Then you choose something to be crunched up on top, and enjoy. However, if you are riddled with angst at the extent of such ﬂavour freedom, I have here for you a selection of the tasty milkshake concoctions that we eager samplers thought up, and our reactions. >>>To begin, I opted for apple pie in my shake, topped with Milky Buttons. At ﬁrst I was put off by the consistency reminiscent of setting concrete; however, this would not be such an awful fate because it turns out that apple pie makes for great tasting shakes. And quite possibly one of your ﬁve a day. >>>Next, Francis chose to treat himself to a Dark Bounty ﬂavour topped with crunched Crunchie. Described as “particularly thick, deﬁnitely a tasty mix”, this shake is a good candidate for Shakeaholic virgins with chocoholic tendencies. Annette had a doughnut blended into her milkshake, topped with toffee popcorn,
which she expressed was “a jam-tastic explosion in my mouth” though warned that “the popcorn got a bit soggy, which wasn’t great”. >>>Emma decided to devour an obscure Battenberg cake ﬂavour, which for those lacking cake expertise is a kind of pink and yellow chessboard cake. It must have been delectable though, with Emma’s eloquent reaction being “empty; nuff said”, after practically downing her litre of cakey calcium. >>>James cherished his Double Decker ﬂavoured shake with Malteasers on top and described it as “a chocolatey delight to be lusted after, with a particularly teasing texture”. Meanwhile, Olivia spoiled herself with a Ferrero Rocher shake topped with hazelnut, and praised it as “praline perfection with a nutty, crunchy contrast; perhaps the most classy of shakes”. >>>However, toppings proved controversial when Sophie, famously hard to please, opted for Peppermint Cream with a Jelly Tot topping. “Fabulous, except the milkshake wasn’t thick enough to hold the topping, which sank to the bottom and froze into icy little crystals of sugary madness. Frankly, I’m not complaining,
but connoisseurs with more delicate jellyrelated sensibilities might”. >>>Topping reservations aside, a clear ﬂavour favourite arose. Its possessor Sarah grudgingly treated us all to a sip of her traditional strawberry milkshake topped with scrumptious mini Oreos. In terms of milkshake mixology, we discovered what was ﬁttingly described as “summer in a cup”. >>>Having exchanged and trialed a dozen milkshakes between us, a formula was apparent in the search for the ﬂavour crème de la crème. We advise you to always be concerned with texture and balance. For texture, beware toppings which dissolve, drop or become soggy. >>> Furthermore, remember that thicker shakes such as cake based ones will hold a greater variety of toppings; you don’t want to be ﬁshing out drowned Jelly Babies. Balance-wise, there is such a thing as too much chocolate or too many sweets. Fruit and cake ﬂavours topped with a variety of naughty treats often balance out best, though it cannot be denied that there is a time and place for dual chocolate combinations. >>>All in all, Shakeaholic’s shakes are udderly scrumptious - milk them dry!
Restaurant Review Palatinate ventures outside Durham for a taste of (grim) reality The Lodge Neville’s Cross, Durham
often wonder why just thinking about venturing into the library triggers that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. Perhaps it is the acknowledgement of the sheer volume of work that I have, up until now, neglected; or maybe it’s that by the time I get there and manage to convince myself that this time round my research will be interesting, all the books will have gone. >>>All that I can deal with, but the real reason I hate going to the library is the stress of the social scene. Feeling compelled to look half-decent just in case you happen to bump into that one particular person you just don’t want to see you looking rough is just an added stress to an ever-increasing work load. >>>Then the ultimate social situation I desperately try to avoid: bumping into someone you don’t know well enough to have an interesting conversation with,
but know too well to ignore. All you have to say to each other is, “How is the work going?” and the ﬂoodgates open. >>>Durham can get very claustrophobic. So when a trip to The Lodge out in Neville’s Cross (that’s past the Viaduct for those who aren’t familiar) cropped up, I jumped at the chance. >>>I must say, I was put off by the outside; the drab exterior looked a little like that dodgy looking ‘Bistro’ on the side of the A1 South. The inside, however, was a great surprise. The restaurant looked like a cross between an American diner, a college bar and a function room. Bizarre combination, I know; it’s deﬁnitely quirky. The extent to which that was the intention of whoever designed it is unclear. >>>We were shown to our table at the back of the restaurant. We were situated by a huge window, which overlooked the car park, and beyond that, some ﬁelds. If there had been a few more customers, I suspect there would have been more of an atmosphere, as it is has to be said, it’s an interesting place. >>>My quest for solitude was deﬁnitely complete; there was no sign of any other
students. There were virtually no signs of other life forms apart from the staff, who were very friendly, attentive and delivered a high level of service. >>>A glance at the menu is like ﬂicking through Around the World in 80 Days. ‘Extensive’ is an understatement. Curries, pasta, pizza, burgers, ‘traditional pub grub’, ﬁsh AND grills. If the pandemic does strike and restricts travel, there’s no need for alarm, you can go to The Lodge and eat cuisine from anyhere on earth. >>>The ‘Taste of the Orient’ starter, boasting of a selection of dim sum surprises, intrigued me. When it arrived, it looked like an Iceland party food platter. Furthermore, the lamb kofta my companion ordered was perfectly cylindrical and probably belonged to the same family. Iceland party food pretty much sums up the taste as well as the appearance. >>>Then we turned to the main courses. The salmon ﬁllet in a white wine sauce, served with a side of vegetables was sampled by my companion, who deemed it “a little on the dry side, but ultimately non-offensive”. The presentation was unimaginative but the rosemary potato
fritters were good. >>>I plumped for the Mediterranean kebab mix, upon the suggestion of the waitress. I was surprised to ﬁnd that I actually got a kebab; I don’t mean the kind of kebab you get in The Real Greek, I mean the kind you get in Beni’s. It was undeniably tasty, but eating a greasy kebab in smart, civilised surroundings was deﬁnitely a ﬁrst for me. >>>The Iceland theme reappeared with the desert, which was frozen cheesecake. Here I admit I am a huge cheesecake snob, so for me this was a big disappointment. Having said that, the dessert had one feature in its favour; it brought back childhood memories of eating frozen cheesecake on a Saturday night whilst watching Gladiators with my parents. The nostalgia redeemed it somewhat for me. >>>All in all, if you are after a quirky experience, I can guarantee you won’t ﬁnd one quite like it elsewhere. Or if you just want to get out of Durham and indulge in the dictionary deﬁnition of ‘greasy spoon’, go to The Lodge. Anna Codrea-Rado
C M Y K
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Friday 8th May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
Cool Britannia - the best of British Mini breaks and low key days out have never been so appealing. The average student budget has never stretched so far, so Nell Killin explores the best of Britain for those post exam adventures
aster term: summative deadlines, exams looming, even the most bookphobic of your friends crawling out of bed to go to the library when they would normally be getting in, and to cap it all off, the rain returns to Durham. >>>It’s hard not to consider your prospects somewhat bleak for the next few weeks at least. But think about it, in a scarily short amount of time it will all be over and then you’re free to bask in the sunshine (optimistic, maybe) and kick-start your summer. >>>Admittedly, this freedom is a little >>> stunted by the pedantic stipulations of university registration and - my one and only mention - the constant reminders that we are in a recession; so why not use the time to make the most of what Britain has to offer? Start planning now and have something to look forward to for June – here are few ideas to add to the list:
THEME PARKS A guaranteed fun day out - get there before the schools take over. • ALTON TOWERS Location: Staffordshire, it takes around three and a half hours to get there by car from Durham. Price: The DSU is currently selling tickets for only £19 that are valid until November. Normally the gate price is £36, and the online price £29. • THORPE PARK Location: Surrey - it takes about 30 minutes to get there from London. Price: Gate price is £34, online purchase is £24.
CLOSE TO DURHAM: THE GREAT OUTDOORS
• BAMBURGH CASTLE One of the most famous and historic castles in England, it sits on a basalt outcrop with views over Holy Island and the Farne Islands in one direction, and the Cheviot hills in the other. Entrance to the castle itself costs £7.50 and is open 10am-5pm. >>>If this seems a bit steep, there are a great number of walks along the stunning Northumberland coast and the village itself has several quaint little shops and cafes. You can try horse rid-
ing along the beach - which extends all the way to Budle Bay - or if this doesn’t quite take your fancy, there are a range of golf courses in Northumberland set against the magniﬁcent coastal backdrop. >>>Contact Bamburgh golf course on (01668) 214 378. It takes just over one hour to get there from Durham, so it’s worth spending the day and trying out several activities. • CRICKET With Chester-Le-Street only ten minutes away, why not pack a picnic and spend the day drinking Pimms - fun even if you don’t like the game! >>>Dates - There are three home games coming up, on 31st May, 24th June and 26th June. • ROWING BOATS Hire a boat and get a whole new perspective of the city. Deﬁnitely fun although potentially quite hazardous depending on who’s in control... >>>To book a boat either pop along to the boathouse next to Elvet Bridge or telephone (0191) 386 3779. • GO KARTING There is a track in Durham and another further aﬁeld in Newcastle. To add a slight twist, the Durham centre offers a ‘disco atmosphere’, complete with strobe lights, music, UV and a smoke machine... >>>30 practice laps cost £20 For the more competitive there are Grand Prix races available for around £42 per driver. To book, call Top Gear Karting in Gilesgate Moor on (0191) 386 0999. • PAINTBALLING Associations with Freshers’ Week may spring to mind (equipped with a gun, dressed in camouﬂage and shooting at the people you will be spending the next three years with is the perfect ‘bonding activity’), but paintballing is undeniably adrenaline-boosting and accessible to both small and large groups. >>>The North East is apparently quite taken with it; there are sites in Newcastle, Sunderland, Seaham and Heighington to choose from. Prices are usually around £10 for 100 paintballs, or £30 for 400. Most sites offer packages for the day and give discounts for large bookings. •
Spend the day enacting childhood dreams and playing with diggers! A unique, albeit slightly bizarre, day out. Find it in Langley Park, a stone’s throw from Durham. Prices for the day are £15 per person or £13.50 for groups of ten or more. Tel. (0871) 227 7007.
CAMPING Slightly retro, but it is friendly to the student budget and there are now more ways than ever to go about it. • YURTS and TIPIS Camping with a nomadic twist. Nicknamed ‘glamping’ (short for glamorous camping), it is becoming increasingly popular around Britain. Yurt tents are spacious and comfortable, furnished with cushions, a wood burning stove, a double or single beds, and futons. >>> You can choose to cook your food inside on the gas stove or go back to basics with a ﬁre grate. The raised wooden ﬂoors mean you and your belongings don’t get wet, but you still feel like you’re getting the authentic camping experience. Sites around Britain include Norfolk, Devon, the Lake and Peak districts, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Dorset, Wales... >>>They range in size, sleeping from two to around sixteen people. >>>Prices vary depending on the number of people, the extent of your luxuries and the general cost of the area you are in. A rough guide for a week’s stay for six people is around £300.
DAY OUT CHECKLIST: • RAILCARD If you don’t have the luxury of a car or know someone that does, a student railcard is an essential purchase. They only cost £24 and will save you at least a third off the original price of any train ticket not for travel during peak hours. • STUDENT CARD It may sound obvious but there’s nothing more frustrating than paying full price in the knowledge that you didn’t have to. Make the most of that campus card while you can - the next form of concession you’ll get won’t be for another 40 years or so! Deﬁnitely worth taking if you’re planning a real shopping trip, and will also come in handy at art galleries and some theatres. • PICNIC SET You never know when the weather might surprise us and a picnic in the sunshine is the perfect way to relax after exams which so often leave us feeling a bit lost. Conventional but essentail are Pimms and strawberries. Throw some crisps, quiche, sausages and dips into a bag and you’re set.
PHOTO BY JO
NATHAN ALLE N
• MUSIC Make up a retro mix CD for any long car journeys; it may seem like yesterday’s technology but it’s deﬁnitely worth the ten minutes it takes to do. >>>A set of mini speakers is also worth investing in; yes, you might annoy the people around you (depending on taste of course) but they remain necessary all the same.
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
BEAUTY AND FASHION
New looks! With a brand new store opened in Durham, Palatinate looks at the choicest ﬁnds at New Look Styling by Georgie Macintye Photography by Tommy Clarke
New Look Durham High Street Student discount of 70% until 17 May See in-store for details Model Tanith Hough Kiss me quick Scarf (as belt): £7 Headband (as bracelet): £4 Skirt: £25 Charm bracelet: £25 Shoes: £25
Ooh-la-la Bag: £10 Black headband: £3.50 Dress: £25 Shoes: £22
Mash-ups! Hat: £7 Beaded belt: £6 Dress: £30 Beaded bracelet: £6 Shoes: £25 Tribal trance Necklace: £10 Headbands: £4 Dress: £30 Shoes: £22
Blue mood Sunglasses: £15 Bracelets: £5 Dress: £25 Shoes: £22 C M Y K
Got a Features idea? 0191 3341786
Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
BEAUTY AND FASHION
Safari set Bag: £25 Bangles (left hand): £6 Bangles (right hand): £30 Headband: £3.50 White necklace: £5 Tribal necklace: £10 White linen top: £20 Cream shrug: £14 Shorts: £15 Shoes: £30
Animal magnetism Necklace: £6 Dress: £16 Print cardigan: 20 Shoes: £25
Word play Cardigan: £18 T-shirt: £8 White jeans: £25
Micro ﬂoral Sunglasses: £15 Shorts: £20 Vest: £12 Camisole: £14 Shoes: £25
Hippy chic Dress: £25 Bracelet: £6 White necklace: £8 Wooden necklace: £5 Headband: £3 Shoes: 35
Friday 08 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
Friday 08 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
LISTINGS By Alison Moulds
PURPLE DIARY YOUR POSTER-SIZED EVENT GUIDE FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS
Highlights this fortnight Sat. 9 May - Sun. 7 Jun
Jerwood Drawing Prize 2008
rofessor Anita Taylor RWA opens Durham Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, which boasts drawings by more than 54 artists, selected from over 2,500 entries. With the works of more established artists alongside those of newcomers and fresh-faced students, fans of contemporary art should join this celebration of one of the most traditional artistic mediums. Durham Art Gallery, 10AM5PM. £2.15
Wed. 13 May
An Evening with Tony Benn
he Gala Theatre welcomes the country’s longest-serving Labour MP Tony Benn for an intimate discussion, followed by Q&A session. Budding politicians shouldn’t miss this opportunity to learn from Benn’s half a century of political experience, including his time as a Cabinet Minister and work ranging from grass roots politics to the Stop the War coalition. Gala Cinema, 7.30PM. £15
Until Sun. 27 Sep.
Manhua: Chinese Comics Now
ritain’s ﬁrst-ever exhibition of Chinese comics comes to Durham’s Oriental Museum. The display of more than 200 works offers not only a visual delight for art fans but also an insight into 21st century China. The long-running exhibition is set to attract Manhua creators leading talks and workshops. Oriental Museum, 10AM5PM weekdays, 12-5PM weekends. £1.50
Art Fri. 8 May
Artist’s Talk Professor Anita Taylor RWA, the University of London’s Director of the Centre for Drawing, discusses the history of the Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition preview follows. See ‘Highlights this Fortnight’. DLI Museum and Art Gallery, 6PM. Free
Film Sat. 9 - Sun. 10 May
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Bede Film Soc presents the Oscar-winning American fantasy-drama based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story of the same name. Starring Brad Pitt. Caedmon Hall, Hild Bede, 8PM. £1 members, £2 non-members.
Amy Hutchinson As part of its celebration of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, Durham Art Gallery has commissioned Amy Hutchinson, Fine Art graduate fellow of Northumbria University, to produce a new series of drawing- based works. DLI Museum and Art Gallery, 10AM - 4PM. £2.15
Until Tue. 30 Jun
EDAN in the Round Exhibition Marking a new relationship between the East Durham Artists’ Network (EDAN) and Durham Uni, this exhibition showcases an eclectic selection of works from artists based in the Tees Valley and Durham, a collective specialising in visual arts. Upper Rotunda, Queen’s Campus, Stockton.
Until Sun. 27 Sep.
China Comics Now Encompassing hand-drawn artwork and digital prints, this new exhibition reﬂects on the last 25 years of Chinese comics. With works from Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as the mainland. See ‘Highlights thi Fortnight’. Oriental Museum, 10AM- 5PM weekdays, 12-5PM weekends. £1.50
Until Thu. 14 May
Star Trek Your last chance to see the 11th part of the relentless franchise. Gala Cinema, times vary. £4.25
Thu. 14 May
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Screen adaptation of John Boyne’s novel charting the friendship between a Jewish boy and the son of a concentration camp commandant in WWII. Bishop Auckland Town Hall, 7.30PM. ��2.50
Thu. 14 May
Sun. 10 May
Sat. 9 May
Mon. 11 May
Fleshtank Everyone’s favourite Durham dive plays host to more live music, this time in the shape of Gung Ho, the Speed Dogs and North Star Saints. Fishtank, 8PM. £2 Big Brother’s Liam and Ziggy The former housemates hit Stockton in a ﬁnal effort to preserve their ﬁve-minutes of fame! Put on your dancing shoes for the live DJ set. Zanzibar, Stockton, 10PM. Price tbc
The Songs of Nick Drake (1948-1974) Celebration of late songwriter Drake, with music performed by Keith James and Rick Foot. Includes screening of a new documentary about Drake’s life and work. Gala Theatre, 7.30PM. £12 Young Guns Live music courtesy of this retro funk sestet, playing 70s and 80s covers including Wham, Duran Duran and Chic. Shamrox, 9PM. Free
Sun. 17 May
Rachel Harrington Award-winning Oregon-raised rural gospel singer Harrington looks set to cement her rising star status. Gala Theatre, 7.30PM. £9
Sat. 9 May
Pop Klubb Bizarre mix of indiepop, both classic and Swedish, plus 60s girl groups. Retreat@ St Dominic’s, Newcastle, 8PM. £3.50
Wed. 13 May
King Creosote Ahead of new album Flick the Vs, the Kenny Anderson-led singer-songwriters play Gala. With support from Player Piano and neo-folk band Pictish Trail. Gala Theatre, 7.30PM. £9
Fri. 22 May
Thu. 21 May
Sat. 16 -Sun. 17 May
Beyoncé New tickets have just been released for this unmissable tour. With songs from her international number 1 charttopping album I AM... SASHA FIERCE. Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, 7.30PM. From £49.50
BUCS One-Day League: Durham UCCE v Loughborough UCCE The cricket tournament relocates to the racecourse for the next in their host of scheduled home ﬁxtures. The Racecourse, 12.30PM.
Wed. 13 May
Stage Sun. 10 May
Dan Leno - the King’s Jester Tony Lidington penned and performs this celebration of famed Music Hall comic Dan Leno, whose work has had a lasting legacy on British comedy. Gala Theatre, 7.30PM. £8
Tue. 12 - Sat. 16 May
Brief Encounter Noel Coward’s much-loved tearjerker makes it to the stage, with an adaptation incoporating his music and songs. Newcastle Theatre Royal. 7.30PM Tue-Thu, 2PM Wed & Thu, 2.30PM Sat. From £8.50
Losing My Edge Think prices are too high outside of our beloved bubble? Then head to Newcastle for a new underground indie club night with free entry! Club Camp David, Westmorland Road, Newcastle. 10.30PM. Free
BUCS One-Day League: Durham UCCE V Exeter 1s After a strong start in their away games, can our Team Durham stay strong in their home matches? Don’t miss the Women’s Cricket ﬁxtures to be played at Maiden Castle later in the month. The Racecourse, 12.30PM.
Thu. 14 - Mon. 18 May
N Power Test Series 09: England v West Indies Seen our students’ home games? Now check out the international pros as England’s team take on their multi-national rivals. Durham County Cricket Ground. From £35
Sun. 17 May
12th Annual Sunﬂower Cycle or Saunter Too much time stuck indoors with your head in a book? Try this easy terrain through the Lanchester Valley, with a main route of 14 miles or the easier option of 8 for walkers and cyclists. Start at Broompark Picnic Area (3km from Durham City Centre), 11AM.
Talk Sat. 9 May
The EU, the UK & Global Emergencies: A Concerted Approach To celebrate Europe Day, the Durham European Law Institute holds this public debate, chaired by Newcastle Uni’s Dr Martin Farr. The speakers are MEPs Martin Callanan (Conservative), Liberal Deocrat Fiona Hall and Labour’s Stephen Hughes. Arnold Wolfendale Lecture Theatre, 12PM. Free
Mon. 11 May
Who Was the First Person to Die From Climate Change? Topical public seminar given by Ralf Ohlemüller, RCUK Research Fellow from the Institute of Hazard and Risk Research. Seminar Room 010, Department of Geography, 12.30PM. Free.
Other Sat. 9 May
Spring Festival Ditch the books and catch the rays at this offering of crafts, food, classic cars and entertainment all in the museum grounds. Bowes Museum, 10AM-4PM.
Sat. 9 May
Treasure Hunt In aid of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. For entry form and sponsor sheet contact Susan Tesdale - details at www. durhamtourism.co.uk. Begins at Milennium Palace, 10AM (staggered times). £10
Until Sun. 10 May
Bobby Roberts Super Circus Traditional-style circus show. With international performers and equestrian display. Pelton Lane, Chester-le-Street, Times vary. £6
Wed. 13 May
Thu. 14 May
Soda Tup Tup Palace instructs guests to put on their glad rags as they’re joined by hosts Calum Best, Gary Lucy and Dean Gaffney keen to assert their dwindling celebrity status. Tup Tup Palace, 7 St. Nicholas Street, 10P. Price tbc
Thu. 21 May
BUCS One-Day League: Durham Men’s 1s v. Nottingham 1s The British Uni Cricket Season continues as our boys take on the lads from Nottingham. Maiden Castle, 12.30PM.
BUCS One-Day League: Durham Men’s 2s v York St John 2s The second teams collide in the latest home game. Ditch the revision for a day in order to support the Palatinates! The Racecourse, 12.30PM.
Sat. 9 May
Gomorrah Clayport Film Club can help up your indie cinephile credentials with its screening of this foreign language ﬂick which studies the contemporary criminal underworld of Naples. Clayport Library, 7.45PM. £5 membership The Matrix You’ll either love or loathe the Wachowski brothers’ triology, but Matrix virgins shouldn’t miss Bede Film Soc’s screening of the ﬁrst instalment. Caedmon Hall, Hild Bede, 8PM. £1 members, £2 non-members.
Fri. 8 May
Stephen Dale Petit and Mick Taylor The legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Taylor teams up with a new rising music star; bluesman Dale Petit and his band. Gala Theatre, 7.3oPM. £12
Until Fri. 12 Jun
Fri. 8 May
Durham Choral Society - Vivaldi and Britten Featuring Vivaldi’s Gloia and Britten’s cantata Saint Nicholas. Conducted by Richard Brice and led by Susan Innes. Elvet Methodist Church, Old Elvet, 7.30PM. £10
Sat. 9 May - Sun. 7 Jun
Barry Woodward Colour and Line Trevs presents a new exhibition by ex-Durham Uni student and former Chairman of the Durham Art Group, Barry Woodward, featuring pen and ink drawings, alongside paintings of people and places. Trevelyan College. 10AM- 6PM. Free
Wed. 13 - Sat. 16 May
Queen Bee Margaret Wilkinson’s contemporary Gothic ghost story promises to be a spinetingling experience. Don’t miss the bargain performances of this new psychological drama. Northern Stage, Newcastle, 8PM. £5.50
Thu. 21 - Sat. 23 May
Little Shop of Horrors Star Set production of the famous story following a ﬂorist’s assistant who makes a Faustian pact with a plant that thrives on a diet of human blood. Assembly Rooms Theatre, 7.30PM + 2.30PM Sun. £8
Fri. 22 May
Funny Bones Comedy Club With MC Stuart Wilde and comics Dom Woodward, Newcastle’s Carl Hutchinson and Gary Kitching. Gala Theatre, 7.45PM. £8
Ben Hartop Memorial Lecture The future Director of Counselling Services for the uni, Sally Ingram, lectures on ‘Mind the Gap: The Transition from School to Uni’. The lecture is in memory of Ben Hartop, the pioneer of Guidance and Counselling in Initial Teacher Training. Holgate Centre, Grey’s College, 6PM. Free
Wed. 13 May
An Evening with Tony Benn The former Cabinet Minister and our longest-serving Labour MP discusses his past political experience at the Gala Theatre. With Q&A session. See ‘Highlights this Fortnight’. Gala Theatre, 7.30PM. £15
Tue. 19 May
Monastic Houses in the Middle Ages Lecture by the University of Wales, Lampeter’s Professor Janet Burton, whose research interests include monastic history, with an emphasis on the North of England. St Giles Parish Centre, 5.30PM. Free
Mon. 11 May
New Philosophies of Learning Launch for a new book edited by London Institute of Education’s Ruth Cigman and Andrew Davis of Durham Uni’s School of Education. Room ED134, School of Education, 4PM. Free
Until Fri. 31 Jul
Anthropology Degree Show Support fellow students with a visit to a new display by students studying for a BA Anthropology (Material Culture) degree. Oriental Museum, 10AM-5PM weekdays, 12-5PM weekends. £1.50
C M Y K
Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
The Palatinate festival guide for the long summer ahead Overseas The best festivals abroad. Sonar «Dates 18th - 20th June «Location Barcelona «Ticket Prices Standard Ticket - 140 EUR «Headliners La Roux Tim Exile Mary Anne Hobbs «Website www.sonar.es Benicássim «Dates 16th - 19th July «Location Benicássim, East Coast of Spain «Ticket Prices Four Day Tickets have sold out Four Day Passes have sold out Day Ticket - £67.50 «Headliners Oasis King of Leon Franz Ferdinand The Killers «Website www.fiberfib.com
Beach Break Live Celebrate the start of the season
each Break Live will unite 10,000 students from the across the country under the Cornwall sun for four days of sand, surf and killer beats. >>>The student festival is by far one of the hottest festivals on offer this summer. The organisers have pulled out all the stops to put together a top line-up of firstclass entertainment in a perfect setting. >>>Beach Break’s edge over other boutique festivals is by far its location. Set in idyllic North Cornwall, the site is a stroll away from gorgeous sandy beaches. During the day, if you’re feeling too lazy or hungover to take part in the onsite activities, (The Mighty Cornish Goblet - everything from blind fold long jump to the Zorb assault course), you can catch a few rays or waves down at the beach and head back to the festival as the sun sets and the real fun begins. >>>Dizzee Rascal is the confirmed main headline act, with other top performances hot on his heals: The Zutons, Ladyhawke, Cuban Brothers, Mystery Jets and Friendly Fires to name but a few. Not to mention the DJs: Chase & Status, DJ Yoda, Scratch Perverts, Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip and Krafty Kuts. >>>Any of those DJ acts sound familiar? Some have graced the Subotica stage right here in Durham. To make matters even more exciting, Subotica is hosting the Quarry Stage on one of the nights. They have chosen as their headliner, one of the loudest and rawest electronica DJs around, Radioactive Man. >>>Supporting him is a group of Durham
DJ Raspberry Armadillo, RrobT, B2B, Beardman, Consoul, Von Pander and Twisted’s very own Kris Heslop. A Durham exodus to Cornwall will therefore mean supporting home-grown talent and saying a massive thanks, and indeed, farewell to the Subotica team who have been entertaining Durham’s underground musical side for the past three years. >>>The Times has tipped Beach Break as one of the hottest festivals of the season with predictions of tickets selling out fast. >>>For tickets and more information, go to www.beachbreaklive.com/subotica.
Sziget «Dates 12th - 17th August «Location Obudai Island, Hungary «Ticket Prices Camping Ticket - 180 EUR 2 Day Weekend - 150 EUR «Headliners Digital Mystikz Mala Loefah
Intense Not for the faint-hearted
Beach Break Live “Three full-on days and nights of music, madness, magic and delight”
Rockness «Dates 12th - 14th June «Location Dores, Inverness, Scotland «Ticket Prices 3 Day Camping - £139 2 Day Weekend - £105 «Headliners Basement Jaxx Orbital «Website www.rockness.co.uk
«Dates 16th - 19th June «Location North Cornwall «Ticket Prices £84 (includes camping) Return coach to Durham - £40 «Headliners Dizzee Rascal Chase & Status «`The X-Factor The Lost Gardens World’s Biggest Pyjama Party «Website www.beachbreaklive.com
Glade «Dates 16th - 19th July «Location Winchester, South East England «Ticket Prices Student Weekend Pass - £100 Standard Weekend Pass - £125 Student Pass till 8th May only «Headliners Underworld Carl Craig Adam Beyer «Website www.gladefestival.com
Global Gathering «Dates 24th - 25th July «Location Long Marston Airfield, StratfordUpon-Avon «Ticket Prices Weekend General Admission (inc. camping) - £115 (+ booking fee) «Headliners The Prodigy Pendulum «Website www.globalgathering.co.uk Bloom «Dates 14th - 16th August «Location Cheltenham, Gloucestershire «Ticket Prices Early Bird Weekend Tickets - £50 (+£5 booking fee) «Headliners Chase & Status The Whip Noah & The Whale «Website www.bloomfestival.com Creamfields «Dates 29th - 30th August «Location Cheshire, North West England «Ticket Prices Standard weekend ticket with or without camping - £100 (+ booking fee) «Headliners Tiesto Mylo «Website www.creamfields.com Bestival «Dates 11th - 13th September «Location Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight «Ticket Prices Adult Weekend - £150 Child Weekend - £70 All tickets include camping «Headliners Kraftwerk Elbow Massive Attack «Website www.bestival.net
Boutique Small, but perfectly formed Hop Farm «Dates 4th - 5th June «Location The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent «Ticket Prices Weekend ticket including camping and parking - £125 Day ticket - £65 «Headliners The Fratellis Paul Weller «Website www.hopfarmfestival.com Cornbury «Dates
11th - 12th July «Location Charlbury, Oxfordshire «Ticket Prices Adult weekend ticket including camping - £110 Day Ticket - £55 «Headliners The Sugababes The Magic Numbers «Website www.cornburyfestival.com Beat-Herder «Dates 3rd - 5th July «Location Sawley, Lancashire «Ticket Prices Weekend ticket including camping £60 «Headliners Reverend & The Makers Utah Saints «Website www.beatherder.co.uk Camp Bestival
Bigger More than a music festival «Dates 24th - 26th July «Location Dorset «Ticket Prices Weekend ticket including camping £130 «Headliners PJ Harvey Mercury Rev «Website www.campbestival.co.uk Kendal Calling «Dates 31st July - 2nd August «Location Lake District «Ticket Prices Weekend ticket including camping £70 «Headliners The Streets Skream «Website www.kendalcalling.co.uk Secret Garden Party «Dates 23rd - 26th July «Location Secret «Ticket Prices Weekend ticket including camping £137 «Website www.secretgardenparty.com/2009 WOMAD «Dates 24th - 26th July «Location Malmesbury, Wiltshire «Ticket Prices Weekend ticket including camping £125 «Main attractions Fat Freddys Drop «Website www.womad.org
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
FILM AND TELEVISION firstname.lastname@example.org
FILM AND TELEVISION
Television review Poppy Macleod takes a look at HBO police drama The Wire and examines what this series has that others haven’t
y now it is unlikely that word of HBO police drama series The Wire has not reached you. Although the five part series was shown in the US from 2002-2008, until recently it has only been available on DVD and an obscure satellite channel. This led to a growing cult following; those in the know thinking they were the select few. Trying to cash in on this, BBC Two is currently airing all sixty episodes in quick succession, in late weeknight showings so that we can all catch up with one of the best television dramas around.
“...the masterminds run the drug enterprise in a disciplined and intelligent manner...” >>>Set in Baltimore, Maryland, season one focuses on the Baltimore police department’s never-ending struggle to bring down those at the heart of the city’s thriving drug ring, run by Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell. Aside from the numerous bodies they leave in their wake, the masterminds run the drug enterprise in a disciplined and intelligent manner. This challenges even the most advanced wiretaps and surveillance tactics employed by the team of detectives who make it their business to bring them down. >>>However, a major problem is that vast amounts of money made from the drug trade filter into many areas of city life, including politics. Although this major plot is threaded throughout the series, each
lived many of the stories shown. Simon worked as a police reporter for The Baltimore Sun, whilst co-writer Burns is a former Baltimore police detective and public school teacher. Many characters in the show are said to be based on real people. The cast has also featured appearances from prominent Baltimore figures in minor roles, for example the ex-mayor. >>>The cast itself is made up of a number of actors whose lives used to reflect that of the characters they now play. Creator Simon’s previous productions include The Corner and Homicide: Life on the Street, which were adaptations from books he had previously written from his experiences.
“full concentration is needed at all times”
season dedicates itself to the exploration of a particular socio-political domain of the city; the drug trade, the port, the city government, the school system and the print news media. In line with the varying themes, the theme tune Way down in the Hole remains constant across the series but a different style is used for each season. >>>It’s clear that The Wire is not an average police drama but a drama about the people of Baltimore. Within the refreshingly large cast, few characters are painted as one-dimensional, as simply good or bad. Much screen time is granted to
exploring the lives of the characters selling drugs on the streets or working down at the port, as well as the detectives’ broken marriages and personal problems. Insight into the motivations and pressures to participate in the drug ring mean that these characters become some of the most distinctive of all. The insight granted into the workings of the City Police is similarly revealing. The many corrupt figures in authority are more preoccupied with fixing crime statistics and bolstering their own careers than solving the crime itself. It is left to the handful of misfit detectives, who operate
out of a disused warehouse, to try and make a difference on the street. >>>The group of detectives are themselves made up of a variety of characters who often clash, with McNulty (Dominic West) and Bunk (Wendell Pierce) the stars of the show. Despite the dark stories seen, humour is not lacking. English actors Dominic West and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) put in perhaps the most impressive performances and for once, manage believable American accents. Part of the appeal of The Wire is surely explained by the fact that the writers David Simon and Ed Burns have
>>>There are additional unusual characteristics of The Wire which further distinguish it from other dramas around. In place of the all too common end of show cliff-hangers, the twists and turns in The Wire are unexpected and frequent. Another quirk is that each episode opens with a quotation which will be spoken in the show. >>>Nevertheless, the complex plot and the often incomprehensible Baltimore slang mean that full concentration is needed at all times, or else make sure you have a laptop showing the HBO website’s episode guide to hand. If you get really confused, you could always try to alleviate your problems by watching with English subtitles!
Feature film review Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren star in the adaptation of the BBC political thriller State of Play COURTESY UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
State of Play Dir. Kevin Macdonald Star. Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams «««««
C M Y K
Ever since I saw State of Play a couple of weeks ago, I’ve wanted to be an investigative journalist. Honest. Who knows why though: it involves lots of boring research, lots of doors being slammed in your face and lots of being shouted at by your editor. >>>But as the man says, film is the ultimate pervert art, it tells you what to want. For most of us, we want films to take us away from our mundane lives of revision and daytime TV. All we want is a good story to transport us somewhere other than yet another antiques fair. >>>It turns out though that unless you live at a leisure park, you first have to take six buses to the other side of town to get your escapist fix, because all the nice cinemas in town shut down for no reason. >>>Then, when you do arrive, you have to queue up behind someone buying a Sunday dinner because they can’t not eat for two hours. I mean, when would you ever think it was necessary to consume three tonnes of popcorn? Madness. >>>So we finally sit down on one of the seats that isn’t sticky, and get ready for
a good story to make us forget about the hellish pilgrimage we’ve just made. State of Play does not disappoint. It’s based on a BBC TV series from a few years back, but somehow they managed to cram six hours into 127 minutes, and it doesn’t feel rushed or lacking in substance. There’s
a film noir-ish amount of twists and turns to keep you on your toes and by the end, it doesn’t matter who did what, we’re mainly there for the ride. >>>You can tell there’s lots of money behind it, but State of Play isn’t as slick or glossy as I’d expected it to be; it gives a
realistic impression of what it might be like to work on the cutting edge of news, in this case the Washington Globe (a carbon copy of the Washington Post). >>>Russell Crowe’s performance is good, perhaps understated in parts, but he’s certainly not the über cool glamorous journalist I’d been dreading. As Maggie O’Kane from the Guardian told me, you should never trust a journalist who wears a suit. >>>His scruffy appearance definitely adds to his old school character, a leftover from the good old days of investigative reporting. Nowadays papers don’t have the money, time or inclination it seems to send people out and research stories: this is one of a couple of references to current debates in print media in the film, flat earth news. As usual, it was good to see Rachel McAdams, but this time in a serious film. Her character represents the changing face of news: she’s a blogger, or ‘scribbler’ as they’re known by journalists. She gives a convincing performance at any rate, the sensitive ‘good cop’ in the almost buddy-buddy set up between her and Crowe. >>>Overall the casting is good, but weird: Helen Mirren is a decent editor, willing to bend the rules to get the truth, but slowly being turned into a whore by the new owners, interested more in revenue than
journalistic integrity. The other star, Affleck, just doesn’t sit right for me though. I don’t respect him, and as a Congressman he needs to have some sort of authority. Yet he does redeem himself by the fact that he’s not a bad actor; we can believe him a little bit.
“...it gives a realistic impression of what it might be like to work on the cutting edge of news...”
>>>State of Play is well worth seeing if only to forget about revision for a while. It’s a real, intense political thriller that injects at least some reality into a truly intriguing story. >>>If you like this, you’ll love The Insider, it’s a tad more realistic and less Hollywood, but probably the best thing out at the cinema (after In the Loop), and it’s got to be better than 17 Again, right? Right. Ben Swales
Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
Book chat Literary goings-on «Death of J.G. Ballard The literary world has recently been mourning the death of cult novelist J.G. Ballard. With a vast output over numerous decades, Ballard found huge acclaim and notoriety with his novels Crash (1973) and Empire of the Sun (1984). Recently Ballard published a much-lauded autobiography, Miracles of Life (2008). In the Guardian, Martin Amis described him as an “unusually loveable man, despite the extraordinary weirdness of his imagination”. He died on April 19. «Poet Laureate handover Andrew Motion has penned his last piece as Poet Laureate. An oddly light and political piece, it was apparently dreamt up while Motion was relaxing in the bath. In it he confronts Alistair Darling’s recent budget starting with the lines: “Poor Alistair Darling’s new budget / Invites us to listen and judge it”. Unsurprisingly, he tried to save his literary credentials by urging people not to “think this is a poem – this is some rhyming”. He has been replaced by Carol Ann Duffy, the first woman, and first gay person, ever to hold the post. «J.K. Rowling credit-crunched The fortunes of J.K. Rowling have taken a hit, as revealed recently in the Sunday Times Rich List. Rowling’s fortune has decreased by eleven per cent, falling from £560m to £490m. However, she did, rise in the Rich List rankings to position 101 from 144. «New Dan Brown novel The long-awaited sequel to The Da Vinci Code is due to hit shops this September. Random House has ordered its largest print run ever, with 6.5 million copies scheduled to be thundering from the printing machines this year. Originally titled The Solomon Key, the new book is now known simply as The Lost Symbol and is set over a single twelve hour period. «U.A. Fanthorpe dies Another, less publicised death was the passing of the poet U.A. Fanthorpe. Her work is a feature of the A level syllabus, and she won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2003. After studying English at Oxford, Fanthorpe taught English at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and worked in a hospital before publishing her first volume of verse, Side Effects. She also served as Northern Arts Fellow for both Newcastle and Durham Universities and was awarded a CBE in 2001. She died on 28 April.
Weird and wonderful Matt Richardson interviews local author, Guy Mankowski
media world of TV, movies, sitcoms, iTunes and all the other possible entertainment mediums?
egend Press has just released an exciting new short story collection called 8 Rooms. Palatinate caught up with one of the featured writers, former Durham graduate Guy Mankowski. 1.) Who is your favourite writer and why? >>> If I had to name one it would probably be Nabokov. Lolita showed me how persuasive a narrator can be. How even a deeply flawed narrator can seduce readers into his skewed world view by using words in a captivating way. I’m intrigued by the idea of an uneasy trust developing between the narrator and the reader; there has to be enough of a bond there for the reader to stick with him, if only for his word play, but enough intrigue for the reader to want to see out his situation. In my story, A Body Of Strangers, I tried to create a manipulative narrator who you somehow keep listening to; it was Nabokov who showed me that was possible. It amazes me that Lolita wasn’t even written in his first language. 2.) If you could have written one book, which would it be? >>> Paul Auster’s Moon Palace. I love the idea that someone can only create their own identity, aside from the one we’re encouraged to cultivate, if at some point they’re reduced almost to nothing. In Moon Palace his protagonist is reduced to desperate, poverty-stricken circumstances, but describes his recovery from that position with such warmth and sensuousness that he discovers himself in the process. It’s an idea I wish I’d thought of, and since reading Moon Palace that
concept has become central to a lot of my writing.
“When I was at Durham I often used to write late into the night” 3.) Give us a rough outline of your writing day. >>>It completely varies: sometimes I can
only write at night, sometimes I’m really disciplined about it from the moment I wake up. Before writing there’ll usually be a bit of research to finish; for instance with a recent story I had to find out more about The New Romantics before starting it, as my characters were part of that movement. I ended up watching a whole documentary about Steve Strange before writing a word. After that I’ll often keep writing in bursts until I fall asleep. When I was at Durham I often used to write late into the night, only to delete it all before going to bed in a fit of disappointment. 4.) Do you think the short story form still has a relevance in today's multi-
>>> I think it definitely does. People have an unsettling need to make things disposable at the moment– as if they’re scared of losing themselves in something for too long. People want to skip to their favourite part of a song straight away. >>> I think part of the reason writing has its place is because it demands you see out a piece in its entirety. I think short stories are particularly relevant now because they offer a compromise between the short attention span of our age and the nourishment an extended piece of work offers. >>> Whenever I read a brief article in London Lite or one of those free papers I always feel a bit empty afterwards; writing needs to resonate more, and short stories do that. >>> I think it’s up to writers to rise to the challenge of meeting the demands modern readers have. >>> Legend Press are great because they are one of the few publishers bold enough to consistently give writers the chance to rise to that challenge. 5.) What advice would you give to a wannabe writer? >>> To never think that what you need to say is worthless, and shouldn’t be written. P.J. Harvey once said she felt ridiculous going into a studio to record “these pathetic, stupid songs” but I’m glad she didn’t give into that voice, because her work has enormous value to me. So my advice would be try to resist value judgments, no matter how disdainful people can be.
Short on ideas Palatinate reviews a new collection of bite-sized essays Thinking About Almost Everything Edited by Ash Amin and Michael O’Neill Profile Books «««««
he danger of trying to think about almost everything is, as in the Popperian phrase, you end up thinking about almost nothing. I’m afraid that Durham’s pop-academia PR exercise is a case in point. >>>The self-proclaimed purpose of Thinking About Almost Everything: New Ideas to Light Up Minds is to offer fresh, insightful thoughts from Durham University academics, communicated in bite-size essays about this and that. The true spirit of academic creativity is supposedly communicated therein. >>>In the post-script, Prof Chris Higgins defines this spirit against the essence of teaching, which consists in the “repackaging and dissemination of existing ideas”. Good universities should be about more than this, he suggests, which is the reason that “one of the first targets of any extremist regime is the university”. >>>The problem is this collection of essays contains far too much ‘teaching’ and not enough original thinking. Don’t get me wrong, amid the platitudes about the value of creativity and interdisciplinary synthesis, there are a lot of arguments
that are eminently sensible. There is a fair amount of information to be imbibed, much of it even interesting; most of the facts and concepts are clearly and precisely expressed. But despite all this, the book spectacularly fails to do what it says on the tin: within its pages, there is nothing of the excitement and controversy of great minds at play. >>>To get a sense of the depths of mediocrity to which the collection sometimes sinks, a good place to start would be the joint essay by Jamie Tehrani and Robert Layton, which begins by pitting the problem of free will up against the ‘selfish gene’ idea of Richard Dawkins. >>>The authors explain that there is a disagreement between ‘social scientists’ and ‘evolutionary psychologists’, before offering a ‘middle path’: “What if culture is not the liberator of individual free will, but another jailer?” What then, dear reader? >>>Supposing we forgive the editors for leaving this dull fluff in, might they not have done something about the fact that the intrepid Prof Dawkins and his 33-year-old popular science book is treated to another flogging, just a few pages away, in the essay by Tim Blackman? Never mind the selfish gene, Blackman argues, non-zero sum cooperation is the key to evolution and to solving our problems. Type ‘Clinton non-zero sum’ into YouTube if you want to know exactly how radical and original that proposition is.
>>>Blackman’s faith in selfish altruism has a positively Third Way vibe, as does the ‘middle path’ advocated by Tehrani and Layton. Yet again, I must insist, moderate reform is all terribly sensible, but one thing you can’t say in its favour is that it is “a challenge to conventional thought”, which is what the impartial observer Bill Bryson claims for this collection. On the contrary, it is mostly repackaging and disseminating. And remember, this book is supposed to be why ‘extremists’ shut down universities! >>>On the subject of politics, I hope nobody will confuse complaints against the status quo with challenges to convention. The distinction should be observed in the case of the essay by Stephen Graham, who argues that the concept of terrorism is elusive (bet you hadn’t heard that before) and that the context of the ‘war on terror’ is “a globe-stretching programme of political violence, emanating from the US and UK governments, among other nations, to allegedly target ‘terrorism’”. >>>However, never fear, because Graham provides a better definition of ‘terrorism’, a task which the rest of the world has neglected, in the light of which he concludes that “violence by non-state fighters against the occupying military forces of a foreign power is not best described as terrorism”. Oh, I see what you’re getting at: we are the real terrorists. It’s enough to turn your whole world
upside down. >>>The reductio ad absurdum of all this tedium is Julian Wright’s essay arguing that history is the story of ordinary people: “After a century in which little people have suffered in the name of ‘great’ ideas or systems, historians badly need to discover better ways of placing the little people at the centre of our analysis”. >>> Compare this with what the Institute of Advanced Study says is the point of the project: “The book claims a special place for ideas, arguing that they provide a vantage point, and can help us understand the best ways of shaping the world we inhabit”. >>> No, no, history is the story of Willy Lowman and Joe the Plumber. Ideas are for totalitarians. As good democrats, it is our job to deal with the issues of the day: global warming, the economic catastrophe, flu pandemics, that sort of thing. In Bryson’s words, “solving all of the earth’s problems by using your head”. It’s good to know we have a plan. >>>Alongside all the talk about big new dangerous convention-busting ideas, Prof Higgins, apparently without irony, has marketed the book as good bedside reading. So this is why we should buy back the surplus value of our lecturers’ intellectual labours: to bore ourselves to sleep. Chris Wright
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
My kingdom for a horse! Palatinate reviews the savagery that is Shakespeare TOM SMITH
to a script. Ollie Lynes as the lead was at his best in monologues, presenting an array of twisted emotions gleefully. Though difficult to stand out in such a large cast, Keiran Sims and Callum Cheatle managed to do so in their various small roles, most poignantly as executioners of the Duke of Clarence (Alex Bhat) in one of the most memorable scenes of the production.
“The three brilliantly executed murders including chopping off a head - were quite enough to convince the audience.” >>>Unfortunately, there were quite a few scenes which should have been forgotten. Though editing Shakespeare may be taboo, three and a half hours is difficult for any production to get away with. For example, the significance of Lady Anne (Gabby Wass) did not come through, and she could have been dropped. The three brilliantly executed murders – including chopping off a head - were quite enough to convince the audience that Richard was not a very nice guy.
“The use of multimedia was a strength throughout the play”
Richard III Durham Shakespeare Company Assembly Rooms «««««
anipulation, deceit, murder: all things a student may have in mind during exam season. So what better stress relief is there than going to see the Durham Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard III? A brilliant Shakespearean tragedy brought to the stage by students, for students should surely take one’s
mind off revision. >>>From the moment the lights dimmed it became very apparent that this production was created by some very experienced members of the Durham student theatre scene. Powerful, eerie music filled the Assembly Rooms, building up tension with the help of a flickering TV screen. This use of multimedia was a strength throughout the play. >>>Sound designers Sophie Morelle and Owen Roberts could not have done a better job at creating just the right sinister
atmosphere at pivotal moments. Nearly as powerful was the use of the TV set at the forefront of the stage, especially as a distraction to the audience whilst props were moved around. >>> The use of the TV, as well as other modern props – cameras, cigarettes, a toy dinosaur – brought the production into an ambiguous setting in time. This was obviously far more suitable for the budget of a student production than a fifteenth century costume drama. >>>Yet it did make a discerning viewer
wonder whether director Jonathan Bullock had watched the 1995 film dramatisation of Richard III recently? Of course moving the play forward in time is not a copyrighted idea, but the boar crest used as the backdrop in most of the second half was just a bit too similar to that seen in the film. >>>This aside, the production was considerably faithful to Shakespeare’s text. Lines were delivered well from the 21-person cast, all of whom must have spent their entire Easter holidays glued
>>>These scenes were the best examples of what made the production so worthwhile, as the cast and crew came together to make something that was obviously their own. Moments of subtle humour were also a highlight, as in the cracking of knuckles at just the right moment. The play ended on a truly original moment, with the unveiled victims of Richard’s tyranny looking over his dead body, leaving the audience with a generally good impression as a whole. Reetta Humalajoki
Singin’ in the Rain Palatinate braves the elements to review Hild Bede Theatre’s latest musical offering Singin’ in the Rain Hild Bede Theatre Assembly Rooms «««««
erforming to a sold-out Caedmon Hall, this was a difficult show to pull off, and despite the few aspects that - if improved - would have helped enormously, the four leads more than rose to the challenge. >>>Alex Bhat was simply very, very good. Channelling Gene Kelly’s easy, relaxed charm, his voice was strong, his performance highly entertaining, and considering Don Lockwood spends about 90% of the time tap-dancing, he pulled it off with
panache. Many of the dancers appeared unsure as to what they were doing a lot of the time, but Bhat coasted through the set-pieces with ease; ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ was one of the shows highlights. Equally fantastic was Tessa Coates as Lina Lamont. Stealing each of her scenes, Coates screeched, preened and pouted to hilarious effect. Her rendition of ‘What’s Wrong With Me’ had the audience in hysterics, as well as the exchanges with Don as they filmed both versions of the Duelling Cavalier. >>>Jon Tester played Cosmo with all the cheekiness expected, although unfortunately a lot of his words were lost. This was a shame considering Tester’s performance was enjoyable (if perhaps
a little camp), especially during the famous ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ scene, which ended with an effective bout of slapstick. Another commendable performance was that of Becca Collingwood, playing Cathy Seldon, whose singing cannot be described as anything less than utterly sublime. In fact, there aren’t really any adequate superlatives. She embodied the charming sweetness of Cathy very well, although - and this goes for the entire cast - she could have benefited hugely from more direction. >>>There were a number of points wherein the actors were, for want of a better phrase, just standing around. During the exchanges between Don and Cathy, there was minimal movement and
though Bhat tried to overcome this, there was only so much he could do before it began to look quite obviously underdirected. >>> The potential was there, but because the actors were wandering aimlessly, blocking each other or facing upstage, many scenes were disappointing. An example of this was Lina’s egotistical outburst after the Dancing Cavalier premiere, which was well acted but looked as though the cast had been left to their own devices. >>> A little harsh perhaps, but if these things had been tightened, the production would have benefited hugely. Additionally, Caedmon Hall couldn’t be blacked out so the audience could see every lengthy and
complex transition, which, again, didn’t do the show any favours. Finally, there were several instances wherein the singer was in key and the orchestra were not, most unfortunately in the title song ‘Singin’ In The Rain’. This was a shame considering everything else about this scene was spot on. >>>However, despite all this, the production showcased a very strong cast who should all be proud of themselves; they lifted the show above the category of ‘disappointing’ to ‘enjoyable’. Though hampered by certain aspects, it contained some genuinely impressive moments, admirable performances and an inordinate amount of tap dancing. Stevie Martin
Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
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Collectivising comics Tom England talks to the fanatics and learns what happens when geeks do art
mployment’ is the word hot on the tongues of most prospective graduates, usually in the context of probably not being able to find any. Thanks to mounting debts and the dodgy economics of the now-flailing Labour government, students across the country are having panic attacks at the prospect of not being able to get onto that 60k+ graduate job. >>> One group of individuals not worried about such petty issues are, of course, the artistes of the world. Denouncing worldly matters in devotion to the power of subjectivity and vision, the artiste beats the recession. >>>However, even the artiste/visionary would doubtless appreciate a leg-up, and if he happens to be a comic-book artist, he may well just be in luck. >>>Small press ‘collectives’ - groups of people who publish their own work have been set up by creators all around the country. In Manchester, the Comix Collective (MCC) is very successful, and includes the chap who did the artwork for Elbow album The Seldom Seen Kid, Oliver East. Edinburgh too has a thriving comics group. >>>However, the most interesting and promising seems to be the group known as the Paper Jam Comics Collective, based in Durham’s sister-town Newcastle, who hold ‘Comics Evenings’ in the Travelling Man comic book shop fortnightly. >>>But other than a strange lefty way
of organising farmers, what actually is a collective? And what does it do? I spoke to co-founder Jack Fallows, who had his two-penneth on hand: >>>“First and foremost, the Comics Evenings are there as a social event to meet like-minded people, talk, write and draw all things geek, and pick up some good buddies along the way”.
“our aim is to continue until we’re an unstoppable army” >>>And good buddies they seems to be, if a somewhat diverse bunch. While Jack Fallows writes sort of existentialistsurrealist comics in a picture-book style somewhere between Dan Clowes (the writer of Ghost World) and Paul Hornschmeier, co-paper-jammer Gary Bainbridge helps produce Nightbus, a gritty noir-style serial with two unlikely heroes, set in modern day Newcastle. >>>These ‘Comics Evenings’ seem to involve everything from chatting and having a drink, to planning their next joint project. Jack is quick to tell me that it’s more than just a social opportunity; there also seems to be a good deal of passion
under the surface. >>>“It’s a great tool for people who want to get into comics, who want to expand their already-existing fandom of comics, or meet writers or artists from the area to collaborate with on their own creative projects”. Such projects include the release of their fifth anthology at the end of May, entitled Robots...and that, featuring brilliant work by a whole host of Paper Jammers. >>>“We’re completely non-profit,” Jack points out, “but growing in size and interest by the week, so our aim is to continue on this road until we’re an unstoppable army of dorks that the media will fear and envy”. >>>Quite an ambition, although they have achieved a lot already; while the Paper Jam Comics Collective is comprised mostly of frequenters to the bi-weekly Comics Evenings held at the Travelling Man comic shop in Newcastle, there’s a mailing list of about 200 people, a blog, “and,” Jack chimes in, “a series of lovely comics anthologies that represent their joint efforts to make comics the medium of the future”. Sounds exciting. >>>The launch party for Robots…and that will be held at the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle on Friday 29th May, starting at 7.30pm and costing the general public £4. For more information, see paperjamcomics.blogspot.com
Exhibition review Harriet Whewell journeys to Newcastle’s The Baltic to explore the art world’s contribution to Darwin’s bi-centenary celebrations
ollowing the recent celebrations of Charles Darwin’s life, work and impact on the world of science, The Baltic in Newcastle has hopped aboard the band wagon and created an exhibition involving nine artists’ interpretations of natural selection and evolutionary thinking. >>>A Duck for Mr Darwin consists of an eclectic combination of sculptures, installations, paintings, films and drawings. Artists have drawn inspiration from Darwin’s interests, findings and concepts, with some providing work from visits to the Galapogos Islands, the pivotal inspiration for his theories. >>>The beauty, sophistication and variety of the animal kingdom is clearly explored. In particular, elegantly shot films of a woman swimming among thousands of box jellyfish, and a documentary style piece capturing the many unique species from the Islands were received well. >>>A comic feel was also provided by a real working wormery, accompanied by silver worm cast sculptures created to highlight one of Darwin’s supposed fascinations. >>> Despite this, I failed to notice any signs of the ‘struggle to survive’ or ‘survival of the fittest’ as the exhibition claimed to include. On paper the show promised to deliver an interesting take on the fusion of art and science, yet although there were a number of fascinating pieces to view, I could not help but feel that it missed somewhat on the delivery. >>> The slightly unco-ordinated, sparse and literal take on the concepts of evolution could have benefited from some deeper insight into the scientific theories and some more imaginative artistic interpretations. >>> However, putting to one side the limitations for any science enthusiasts,
for those whose interests lull somewhere between the arts and the sciences, the exhibition is worth a visit. ‘A Duck for Mr Darwin’ runs until September 20th.
Upcoming events at Baltic DAVID BLANDY, The Barefoot Lone Pilgrim, 27 April-19 July 2009 A video in which the artist seeks his position in the cultural world, wearing the attire of a Buddhist monk and armed with a walkman. SARAH SZE, Tilting Planet, 10 April-31 August 2009 Everyday household objects are worked in to collections that “defamiliarise our preconceived ideas of these objects.” TOBIAS PUTRIH & MOS, Overhang, 10 April-31 August 2009 Styrofoam blocks are used to build objects that seem to be about to crash to the ground.
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Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
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My favourite piece
Nicola Clements ponders over the power of Fiona Banner’s Stainless Steel Full Stops
tremes of human nature with little to no classic artistic skill. She does not paint, draw or even render images. No: this artist relies on words. This is why Stainless Steel Full Stops is my favourite piece to date. Authors are lauded for their literary prowess when exploring a new facet of language; an entire novel written without the letter ‘e’, or another composed without any discernable punctuation, or simple poetical devices and rhymes.
“a physical and interactive piece” “the colours transported me from east to west and north to south”
n this modern day and age where contemporary exhibitions display self-portraits made with blood, dismembered dolls in disturbing positions, animals suspended in formaldehyde, and any number of other creations designed to provoke an instinc-
tive response - be it shock or disgust - it would be easy to dismiss Fiona Banner as another devotee of the Shock Art genre. This seems particularly likely as she is a graduate from Goldsmiths University, known to churn out artist after
artist that create a stir (for instance, the infamous Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst to name but two). Superficially, the 2003 Turner Prize short-listed nominee may appear to present pornography and war as the ex-
owever, the artist is expected to portray and to depict without using the most prolific and recognised method of communication that we have in our capabilities. I do not mean to suggest that Banner is the first to use text within art; graffiti is one of the oldest art forms, whilst Arabic and Asian lettering is used as a basis for patterns in both fashion and art. Calligraphy, hieroglyphs, and advertising logos are also all within the parameters of ‘art’: words are everywhere. >>>The difference with Banner is that she draws our attention to the possibilities and the limitations of words, and uses them to show language itself as another media. Stainless Steel Full Stops made up a part of an installation held in Neuer Aachener Kunstverien in 2002 and contributed towards her being short-listed for the Turner Prize. These black painted steel creations were installed throughout the museum grounds, a physical and interactive piece that epitomises the meaning of the object itself. >>>In Banner’s own words, “the full stop sculptures are all about not having words, or not being able to find words, or words not always being appropriate.”
The Turner Prize 2009 Palatinate discovers a more conventionally artistic shortlist than usual
amien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde. Tracy Emin’s messy bed. Mark Leckey’s video piece. The Turner Prize is one of the most controversial and highly publicised art awards in the country. But this year, to the pleasant surprise of many, the four shortlisted works - announced on 30 April - comprise of more conventional art forms than previously, with evident artistic merit. >>>Roger Hiorns’ installation, Seizure, is the interior of a flat plastered with 90,000 litres of liquid copper sulphate, giving it a twinkling blue interior from wall to wall and ceiling to floor. It is a wholly interactive work, as the viewer can stroll through the installation don’t forget your rubber boots and gloves - contemplating the rooms, which are surreal but not inconceivable as the interior of the mind. >>>For many he is seen as the favourite for the award, the winner of which will be announced in October. However, his competition is strong. Enrico David has creFIONA ANNER/ated a sculpture entitled How Do You Love OODLE-Dzzzzt by Mammy?, which is the image of a
ROGER HIORNS/JOANNE CHEW
scowling man covering a balloon-shaped frame. It stands on two stick-thin legs with feet like those of a rocking chair, allowing him to bob back and forth. >>>Next is Lucy Skaer, who over the years has been responsible for many an innovative installation. Her work concentrates on the natural world; Black Alphabet is an elegant cluster of tall black objects which have the fragility of a reed, yet the certainty of a blade. Worlds apart from Hiorns’ work, but equally worthy of the £40,000 prize. >>>The last of the four is Richard Wright, who at age 49 is just within the prize terms stipulating that runners must be under 50. Often painting directly onto gallery walls, his paintings are incredibly complex and very large, yet are done in minute detail. >>>So what might separate one from the other three? Two Glaswegians, two studied in London. Three men, one woman. Yet all have elements of the surreal which, because of their strong foundations in traditional art forms and nature and the elements, are in many ways more interesting than previous winners.
Turner Prize Facts The award was created in 1984, and is named after the renowned British artist J.M.W. Turner. It is organised by the Tate Gallery, where the exhibition is held each year. The first ever Turner Prize was awarded to Malcolm Morely, who served time at prison before turning to the world of art. The prize has many critics, some of whom have created alternative awards. One award is ‘The Anti-Turner Prize’, brain child of the K Foundation, which rewards the worst art in Britain the nominees being the same as those shortlisted for the real Turner Prize. In 1993, their winner, Rachael Whiteread, also won the Turner Prize.
he world is awash with art. It has transcended the centuries, riding on waves of human passion and despair. It is never submerged, but at times is calm and placid, at others tempestuous and terrifying. Everything and anything can be voiced on the artist’s wordless canvas; infinite meanings are held within a block of stone, waiting to be liberated by the sculptor’s careful hands. But at a time when images and ideas are growing more and more abstract, where artists seem to be vying with one another and with nature to find the new form of expression, are we losing sight of the purposes of art? Is it becoming a contrived means for the self-conscious among us? Then again, art has never been for its own sake. The wall paintings in the Lascaux caves in France are today fascinating not just for their beauty, but for their oldest of ages and what we can learn about the lifestyles and cultures of that inconceivable time. The Bayeux Tapestry is likewise regarded as a highly significant historical document, as well as being an extraordinary feat of artistic endeavour. So does art simply tell the history of humanity? If it does, it is a history which over time has spun out into a plethora of tales about the thoughts and turbulent times of thousands upon thousands of individuals, rather than focusing on the successes and failures of society as a whole. A representation of the ideas of the parts of the human beehive, not just the beehive itself, as it were. This is no bad thing in itself, providing it does not ostracise the majority. Compare today’s art with that of the Renaissance. Titian, Raphael and Michelangelo are responsible for some of the most sublime works in existence, which celebrate a collective religion and take contemporary society as their central figures. But within the palettes of colours so fervently applied to the interiors of Italy’s churches and the canvasses of the artists’ patrons, there lie the marks of the individual: the artist himself, and the dictates of the patron. Living during the Renaissance, the artists themselves lived romantic and poetic existences, engrossing themselves in all things stereotypically aesthetic that furthered their talent, debauchery included. Call me a sceptic, but with so many artists working in these commercial times, and egged on by the media culture, it seems as though some big names are in it not to send out beautiful works of personal discovery into the world, but to reel in some attractive profits for themselves. Damien Hirst is a case in point; having established himself securely in the sphere of modern art, he began to employ other artists to execute his work, partly out of laziness, and because he believes that the birth of an idea in his mind makes him the true artist. Either way, he has still reduced art to a factory line affair. Perhaps he is right in thinking himself the artist of a work he does not personally make. Perhaps I’m too much of a romantic. I can’t help feeling that all these newfangled ideas are taking art away from the layman, twisting it into shapes which produce more money for one man than thought for the masses.
Friday 8 May 2009 palatinate.org.uk
Charity Corner Laura Matthews, Tom Bigglestone and Frances Main
1. Ancient Egyptian paper (7) 4. Yoga position (5) 7. Distinct period, e.g. Georgian (3) 8. Interval in a musical scale (4) 9. Greek letter (5) 11. About A Boy author (4,6) 13. Tree often found by riversides (7,6) 15. Held back against one’s will (10) 19. From an animal killed according to Muslim law (5) 20. Fencing sword (4) 21. Flightless bird (3) 22. Scooter (5) 23. ___ __ You Crazy Diamond, Pink Floyd (5,2)
1. Russian Prime Minister (5) 2. Worry (5) 3. Having feeling of moral superiority (4-9) 4. World’s deepest inland body of water (4,6) 5. Form; printed letters (4) 6. ___ Grave, Danny Boyle’s first film (6) 10. Dry and wrinkled (10) 12. Dry ___, solid carbon dioxide (3) 13. North Welsh town (7) 14. Natural source of metal (3) 16. Hangman’s loop (5) 17. Bob ___; ____ Thomas (5) 18. Glitch, small problem (4)
DUCK Durham University go Quackers to Support the British Red Cross Durham Universities Charity Kommitee (DUCK) have sprung in to action again this year to help support the British Red Cross by taking part in the Great North Run.
© 2009 DAVID PRICE-WILLIAMS
Sudoku Fill the blank cells on the grid with numbers so that
© 2009 PUZZLEMIX.COM / GARETH MOORE
each box, row and column contains the digits 1-9 once only EASY
3 7 5
6 2 8
5 9 3
1 6 4
2 7 5
2 1 6 6 5
1 5 3
9 8 6
4 1 2 9 6 7 3 1
6 5 4 1 3 9 8 2
9 5 6
2 7 4
© 2009 PUZZLEMIX.COM / GARETH MOORE
If you think you can help the British Red Cross like DUCK and raise funds for the British Red Cross by taking part in the North’s best event of the year, The BUPA Great North Run please contact Emma today: 07843346159 / Esimpson@ redcross.org.uk
SCA During the exam period SCA is running an eSCApe to volunteering programme aimed at all students. One off, relaxed events will be available. This week: Monday, 2pm – litterpick. Meet outside SCA office on the day. Thursday, 10am – gardening session in Durham. If you’re interested in either please just turn up on the day. More events coming – see the website for details! SCA week LOADS of events planned, including trip to the beach, project tasters and many more. More details coming soon, keep an eye on the website for details.
This year the British Red Cross and DUCK are joining hands again to raise much needed funds but this time they hope to make their team bigger and better and raise even more.
The British Red Cross is dedicated to caring for people in crisis, providing care for thousands of vulnerable people each year in the UK and responding to disasters all over the world.
Enter digits from 1-9 inclusive so that the row sequences add up to the numbers on the left and the column sequences add up to those up top. Each sequence cannot contain any duplicate numbers, though overall rows and columns can contain duplicates EASY HARD MEDIUM
In 2008 many students from Durham University ran the Great North Run and raised over an incredible £4,000 to help the British Red Cross. The funds raised from the students by taking part in the world’s most prestigious half marathon have helped vulnerable people in the UK and abroad.
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