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A Chat with professor annabelle duncan 10 essential sci-fi movies Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey


EDITORS Bridgette Glover Alana Young Jessica Kelley

COVER ART MODELS Stu Horsfield Alien

CONTRIBUTORS Helen Taylor Bridgette Glover Tyrone Phillips Belinda Marsh Kathryn Lambert Phu Thi Tran Jacob Foley Harriet Bawden Elise Mottley Ashley Pianca Alana Young Lauren Harrington Stu Horsfield Judd Newton Tom Livanos John Drake

Contents Volume 2, Issue 3, April 2014 3 - Editorial 3 - UNESA Presiden’t Report 4 - Letters to the Editors 5 - What’s Happenin’ Hot Stuff? 6 - News 8 - A Chat with Annabelle Duncan, UNE’s Acting Vice-Chancellor 10 - To podcast or pot to podcast 11 - Army Reserves 12 - Praise the Suns 13 - Space and Stuff 14 - Animals and their Space 16 - 5 great things about UNE from an International Student’s perspective 17 - Photo by Stu Horsfield 18 - 10 Essential Sci-Fi Movies 20 - How To: Get Maximun Yield out of a Little Garden Space 21 - How To: Cut out Bad Habits and Make Space for Better Ones 22 - (College) Recipes: Pesto Pasta


23 - Game Review: Thief 24 - Dear Space, I Love You - A Review of Cosoms: A Spacetime Odyssey 25 - NEW! Dual Movie Review - Vampire Academy 26 - Tune!FM Timetable 27 - Words with Judd


Visit Or write to us at Come and see us at the office in the Union Courtyard, across from Campus Essentials. We’re always happy to get new writers and artists on board, so send us an email for more information, or send us some of your work if you have it ready! We look forward to hearing from you!

PUBLISHING SCHEDULE Nucleus is published monthly—but not in January, June or October. The submission deadline is the first day of the month of issue. Issues may have a theme, but these are never exclusive — all content is welcome!

UPCOMING THEMES May — FREE SPEECH June — no issue published July — ? Vote at

DISCLAIMER The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of Nucleus or UNESA. If you have an issue with an 2

item published in the paper, write a letter and we will be glad to print it. All contributions must include name and contact details. Ensure that all contributions contain nothing that may be considered sexist, racist, discriminatory, violence provoking, or plagiarised. We assume our readers can tolerate a degree of satire and the odd swear word, but anything containing unnecessary profanity will not be published. Publication is always at the discretion of the editors. All content is published under the Creative Commons By 3.0 license. Refer to website for license information.



hree issues of Nucleus down—and half a trimester gone, already! The Nucleus office hasn’t been egged, no one’s quit or had any tantrums, and things seem to be going fairly smoothly… although it has been rumoured that one editor has dropped a unit. Weak. Over the last few months, we’ve had a few external students requesting copies of Nucleus be posted out to them. We’ve been flattered, of course, but our budget has limited our ability to do this. Which is why we will soon be offering a paid post subscription. The details are still being hashed out, but should be finalised by end of April. The gist of it is, though, that any student can sign up on our website, pay a small fee to cover postage for a few issues, and then presto, all you need to do is sit back and wait for the next delivery of spiffing content, straight to your mailbox. Let us know if you’re interested, and we’ll contact you when the system is ready. In the meantime, we’re interested in other ways to improve Nucleus, be it to do with delivery, content, or anything else. If you have any shiny ideas, send them our way… otherwise you’re stuck with whatever we can think up. The rest of this issue carries plenty of good stuff: vampiric reviews, an interview with our new Vice-Chancellor, advice for managing your space, gardening tips, part-time work opportunities, recipes, introductions to UNE volunteers, even an invitation for you to pick apart Nucleus to find all our typos. Nucleus matters aside, we were all incredibly saddened to hear of the death of UNE student Jessica Lindley-Jones. Please drive safely, people! Alana, Bridgette and Jessie

Vale — Jessica LindleyJones

Jessica, an 18-year-old student of medicine at UNE and a dedicated volunteer at local and international hospitals and orphanages, has been described as bright, generous and kind. Jessica’s mother said her daughter planned to become a paediatrician. Jessica was recently killed in a car accident while returning to Armidale. The UNE student cohort mourn this loss of one of their own.

Anon, sorry we missed you.

Have you experienced or witnessed bullying at UNE? In March we received an email from ‘libertyrant’ about supervisor bullying, but when we wrote back our response bounced. This is an important subject, and we’re interested to cover the story. Anon, if you’re out there, please try again! And if anyone else has information to share, we’re listening.


April Report - David Mailer, UNE Student Association President

he UNE Student Association continues to work hard to deliver on vision, values and purpose. It is clear to the UNESA board that the complex relationship between independence and interdependence needs a high level of respect. UNESA has, in a short time, managed to build a strong presence and respect at UNE. The focus by UNESA on a student experience and building a fraternity is apparent in the growth of UNESA’s voluntary membership. The Student Association seeks to provide solutions, and believes that a collaborative approach with UNE is the best way forward to maximise services to current and future students and to continue to create loyalty and affection for this institution. Our new Acting Vice-Chancellor is at the helm and UNESA welcomes the appointment of Professor Annabelle Duncan. In a meeting recently with Annabelle, she expressed her wish to work closely and productively to see a vibrant Student Association at UNE. This bodes well for the student experience at UNE and the UNESA board looks forward to representing all students in their tertiary experience. The last issue of Nucleus had some advice from a former member of the Student Association, Mr Hargreaves, on the UNESA constitution and a bit more. I feel I should respond to his opinion piece. On a personal point, the most disappointing reference is in relation to me and my character. Mr Hargreaves made a parallel between the Nazi fascist brown shirts and me as the UNESA president. Anyone who knows me, I hope, would not be able to draw this parallel. I think this personal attack lowers the value of what Mr Hargreaves had to say and shows a very thin veil of personal animosity. As to Mr Hargreaves allegations about the UNE Student Association’s independence and governance, I suggest Mr Hargreaves’ issue is not with the Student Association. In the article I was more than a little disappointed and believe Mr Hargreaves was mischievous as he is, and was, aware the UNESA board was working on most of the points he raised in his opinion piece. Maybe not as Mr Hargreaves would like but given he wrote this from a staff email, was he telling or advising? There has been enormous amount of time and effort spent by both students and staff of this university to build a vibrant and successful Student Association from scratch. Having shots fired from the cheap seats by people who cannot imagine a tertiary experience beyond neo rational credentialing is worthy of distain. Vision and values of any organisation is the moral compass that should guide the decision processes. I believe if Mr Hargreaves and his small band of followers were interested in this institution’s future, the ‘scales might fall from their eyes’ and they may have the credibility they so obviously crave. UNESA, UNE and Uni4Me have worked hard to roll out a programme of amenity for the intensive school, in the form of airport and train transfers to and from the University. This started as an initiative of the UNE Undergrad Students with hastily organised pick-ups from the evening plane and train for the August residential schools in 2012. We have endevoured to return some aspects of a tertiary experience from this humble beginning. The current transit service meets all students who request pick-up and this is managed by student volunteers as a service to external students. The energy on campus this year continues and I hope it will flow through to the intensive schools starting this week. The UNESA board continues to work on building tertiary amenity and experience for all UNE students. The Uni4Me staff of Mark, Tom and Jade, have worked with the Blue Shirts team to continue delivery of BBQ’s, pancakes and music in the northern courtyard through the first half of the trimester. By all accounts, the activities well received by both students and staff, as demonstrated by the increased presence in the northern courtyard. So thank you to all those who have contributed and continue to contribute to building a tertiary experience and who understand what the fuss is all about. 3


I write to you here as what I perceive to be a lone voice against the implementation of trimesters (and other recent changes—see below). If this perception is incorrect, I invite— and indeed request—correction.

By way of introduction, I started as an on-campus undergraduate student here in February 2011. That stated, I place myself to one side for a moment.

During O-Week, I met a newcomer on campus: first year, had not been to Armidale before. By week four, she had directed all her (significant) attention to one of her three units (the minimum required to receive Austudy). Even so, she was behind. Her other two units? Neglected. Despite successfully completing a different degree in the mid-1990s (and scoring in the top 15% of the student body), I too am finding it difficult to learn in this current environment. This stated, trimesterisation…it is not solely a question regarding students. Staff have a tighter schedule to keep. This not only applies to teaching but also to setting exams, setting assignments and other assessments, as well as then marking them. It also impacts on what answers may be given to students outside official class times (or even during class for that matter). Qualitative outcomes—by definition—are immeasurable. What I am able to write is that it is less likely to achieve quality outcomes when more and more is being crammed into the same time period—365 days. In the end, it does not matter if the third trimester is non-compulsory. The effects it has on the university experience (and beyond) are real. I take a step back. One may also argue that universities served their purpose for 800 years, i.e. without the introduction of trimesters— anywhere. For 2,400 years, if one looks back to The Platonic Academy in ancient Greece. Let’s be conservative however and keep it to 800 years (Oxford was established in 1209CE). Why—especially after centuries of financial accumulation—are we now being told that trimesters are not only happening— they are inevitable? That there is no going back? I am as much in favour of options as anyone so I ask another, different question. What options exist in today’s world where one can go to find what universities have thus far offered in their 800 years of continuous operation? At their core, this has been self-improvement so that one may better serve the needs of the wider population. Where can one now go to pursue this objective? I shrug. Where? With regards to distance learning, I can see the benefits. I myself completed a diploma via distance learning. I passed everything first go. Online learning may also have its place but what of the timing of contribution in the classroom? What of one’s abilities to sense the personality of a teacher? What of the ability to more easily go on field trips—be they on-campus or off-campus? I have done both.

etc. hold great value—even if no-one borrows a particular item. The current push around the world is to see libraries disappear as well. Does anyone believe that the trajectory humanity created for itself during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries is sustainable? Are none of us impacted by the actions of others? If, even if it is for the first time, one can see that something lacks sustainability, why continue to pursue it or, worse, why pursue such trajectories in the first place? Tom Livanos

This Month… Our Space theme is in honour of the International Day of Human Space Flight (previously Cosmonaut Day), which commemorates the first manned space flight, made in 1961 by Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. This 27-year-old circled the Earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes about the Vostok 1 spacecraft. But there are also a few other things happening in April, including: 1 — April Fools’ Day 2 — World Autism Awareness Day 7 — World Health Day 12 — International Day of Human Space Flight 14 — International Moment of Laughter Day 15 — Titanic Remembrance Day 20 — Volunteer Recognition Day 22 — International Mother Earth Day 23 — World Book and Copyright Day 23 — World Laboratory Day 24 — World Day for Laboratory Animals 25 — World Malaria Day 25 — ANZAC Day 27 — Holocaust Remembrance Day 28 — International Astronomy Day 29 — International Dance Day 29 — An annular solar eclipse will occur 30 — International Jazz Day

Space — a satirical definition ‘Space’ is a compound word made up of ‘spa’ and ‘ace’ (the ‘a’ is in common). A ‘spa’ could involve bubbling water or be a shortened form of ‘spar’, that is, having a fight. Meanwhile, ‘ace’ could be a card or just the best. Put them together and it might describe the best joker—a funny person is a card—in a fight in bubbling water. That’s a definition of ‘space’! — John Drake

I once attended an information day that one of my lecturers was at. It was entirely coincidental. That, in and of itself, was educational. I also note that similar questions may be raised in relation to the digitisation (and concomitant ownership) of books, of magazines, of information generally. Are we masters of technology, or are we letting ourselves be enslaved by it? Tomorrow it may be [x] who makes the information disappear; the day after, it may be [y]; the day after that, it may be [3]. Each, [x], [y] and [3] will have individual reasons for deletion or amendment. Libraries, as separate repositories of books, of magazines, of newspapers 4

Have something to say? A rant, a compliment, a complaint, an idle thought? We want to hear it! Send your letter to or come and see us in our office and grab a Fantail while you’re there!

What’s Happenin’ Hot Stuff?* Travel in Time at NERAM ARTplay School Holiday Workshop Children aged 5 - 12 will be able to explore the possibilities of time travel in a school holiday workshop at NERAM with sculptor Jeremy Rudge. Let your imagination soar through all the possibilities. @ NERAM 16 April 10am - 3pm Full day workshop $50

Withdrawal Deadline Today is the last day that Honours students can withdraw from units for the Year-Long Honours 2 period without registering a fail on your academic record. 10 April 5pm

Open Day

Armidale Slow Art Day Slow Art Day is a worldwide celebration of art that encourages people to look at art SLOWLY, and thereby experience art in a new way. @ NERAM 12 April 11am - 2.30pm FREE!!! Register:

Arts in the Pub Series @ The White Bull Every month Don’t miss next month: Petere Corrigan &

An all-day event with a range of activities being run for future students! Activities! Giveaways! Demonstrations!

Anneke van Mosseveld

2 May 9am - 4pm

6 May

*Obviously a reference to classic film Sixteen Candles (1984)

DESIGN PRINT POST freecall 1300 853 700 email 215 Mann Street Armidale

your local printer proudly suporting the Nucleus 5

Wright College

Media release - 24 March

The University of New England Council has acknowledged links to the past and the future with the announcement that UNE’s new stateof-the-art residential complex will again bear the name of Wright College.

enjoy a ready-made community of support, in addition to the most modern residential facilities on-campus.

More than twenty years on from the demolition of the original five residential blocks known as Wright College, today’s announcement re-establishes the former college at the same location. UNE Chancellor, The Hon. John Watkins, said the new Wright College would deliver the best combination of modern facilities for current students, linking them to the strong collegiate culture of UNE and the heritage of the historic Wright College. “UNE aspires to become Australia’s preeminent collegiate university by building on the student experience. The reinstallation of a Wright College is a powerful symbol of UNE’s commitment to maintaining its strong collegiate tradition,” Mr Watkins said. “The University is extremely proud of the formative lifestyle and experience we provide and the new Wright College will build on those traditions to deliver expanded residential facilities to meet the needs of our on-campus students. “The new college is a building project for the future – a modern residential complex with a sustainable and environmentally friendly design, offering a range of accommodation options including facilities for disabled students.” Mr Watkins said the University had plenty of suggestions about potential names for the new college with the ‘Redmen’ – alumni of Wright College – showing strong enthusiasm for reinstalling their old residence. “The University received more than 30 submissions directly from former Wright College residents in support of the proposal, each highlighting the importance they placed on their own collegiate experience.” “The former Wright College Association has reformed in anticipation of the new college, and the members are already offering support and leadership for students through involvement in the new Senior Common Room.” “This means that when our new students move into the new Wright College in April, they will 6

Artist’s impression of the new Wright College

Students across the Country to Protest Funding Cuts Media Release – 25 March 2014


he National Union of Students said students across the country would protest the government’s proposed $2.3 billion funding cuts to higher education as part of a National Day of Action today. The National Day of Action coordinated by NUS includes actions on campuses and rallies in 7 capital cities around Australia. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is supporting NUS in calling out students to protest the Abbott Government’s agenda of cuts to public funding of education. National President Deanna Taylor said students would make it clear today that they are fiercely opposed to the cuts. “Students know that these attacks on higher education funding means their quality of education will suffer terribly. $900 million ripped out of the sector means bigger class sizes, fewer courses available, less academic support, staff cuts and fewer resources. Students will be sending a very loud and clear message to the Abbott Government that we will not take these vicious cuts lying down.” She also said that while it appears student startup scholarships are safe for now, the government has not announced a change of policy on the issue.

“It was great to see the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill pass both houses of Parliament with the sections removed that would turn student start-up scholarships into loans. However, we know the government still intends to go ahead with this move, which will be devastating for access to education and hit students who are already worst-off the hardest.” Deanna Taylor said students are fearful that there are more ugly things in store for them. “Students are concerned at the prospect of the government privatising their HECS debts, deregulating fees, getting rid of the Student Services and Amenities Fee and bringing back the history wars.” Deanna Taylor called for the government to pay attention to the student and sector campaign against the funding cuts. “As students, we value our education and we expect our government too as well.”

UNE & TAFE NE launch degrees for job-ready graduates


Media release – 25 March

he University of New England and TAFE New England will next week officially launch their collaborative Integrated Degree programs which are pioneering the way for combined TAFE and university study in Australia. The degrees are offered in the overarching disciplines of Agrifood Systems, Health and Community Services, and have been developed with input from industry experts to provide students with the skills and knowledge to enhance their careers, or to start from scratch in the industry. UNE Academic Registrar Eve Woodberry says the aim of the degrees is to deliver graduates who are able to work immediately upon graduation across various levels of their sector. “Through the integrated degrees, students are offered the ‘hands on’ skills typically obtained through TAFE, along with a deep, contextual understanding of the sector of their choosing from the beginning to the end of their studies. A Certificate IV and Diploma are also part of the degree structure so students who work as they study will also have the opportunity to advance their career along the way.

“The Integrated Degrees offer flexible entry and exit points, which means greater, more equitable accessibility for students from all walks of life. Importantly, students studying an Integrated Degree are able to gain recognition and credit for existing qualifications, skills and industry experience, which means they will be able to fast-track their studies accordingly.” The launch of the degrees is the product of many months of collaborative work by both UNE and TAFE New England.

IMPORTANT Student Services and Amenities Fee Committee Clubs and Societies Subcommittee


“The launch of the degrees is testament to the strong partnership between UNE and TAFE New England,” Ms Woodberry said.

Applications are now open for UNE clubs and societies to apply for Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) funding to develop their activities and enhance the student experience in a variety of ways.

“The degrees are unique in Australia because they seamlessly integrate vocational training within Bachelor degrees. Students gain industryready practical skills as they study, and because Certificate and Diploma qualifications awarded by TAFE are embedded in their degree, students are job-ready and in demand even before they graduate.”

While the University’s SSAF Committee allocates the bulk of the SSAF to a wide range of projects from capital works to campus medical services, Sport UNE, Nucleus and student advocacy, it is also recognises that student clubs and societies play an important role in providing amenity and enhancing the student experience and is seeking to support them.

Director of TAFE New England Alison Wood says TAFE New England is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the University of New England to provide these innovative, integrated degrees. “These degrees will not only provide great new opportunities for individual learners, they will also produce highly skilled, work ready graduates that will contribute to the economic growth of the New England North West region,” Ms Wood said. Last year, the degrees were recognised as finalists in the Northern Inland Innovation Awards for the unique and streamlined approach to dual sector study, and their commitment to producing the right graduates for important sectors of our society.

Applications are therefore now open for money to assist clubs and societies initiate or enhance activities, services and programs of benefit to students. An application form and guidelines can be obtained from the SSAF website (address below) or by emailing the Clubs and Societies Coordinator at While an array of proposals can be considered, these must be consistent with Commonwealth allowable expenditure items. They should broadly aim to enrich the student experience, add amenity and build fraternity in the student community, and support capacity building and good governance in student clubs and societies. Further details and tips can be found in the guidelines. The Clubs and Societies Coordinator is also available to answer queries and advise on the preparation of applications, and can be contacted at the above email or at UNE on 6773 4059. Applications for funding can be submitted at any time during the year but will be considered in three main rounds each Trimester. Closing dates for these are Trimester 1: Monday, 18 April Trimester 2: Monday, 21 July Trimester 3: Monday, 17 November The final round provides an opportunity for clubs and societies to secure funds for activities in 2015 so these can start early in the year and be underway in time for Orientation and Trimester 1. Australian universities introduced the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) in 2012, after the then Commonwealth Government passed legislation in 2011 for SSAF collections to occur. The fee is designed to generate funding to help increase the quality and quantity of student services and amenities at tertiary institutions. In 2013, approximately $4.8 million was allocated for activities to enhance the student experience at UNE. For more information, email or call 02 6773 4059. You can also find more information about SSAF at


A Chat with Professor Annabelle Duncan, UNE’s acting Vice-Chancellor by Helen Taylor


n the last week of March, Professor Annabelle Duncan became UNE's ViceChancellor. She has moved to take this position at the exit of Professor Jim Barber, and will remain in this role while UNE Council goes through the process of hiring a new VC. For UNE students, knowing the Senior Executive staff falls fairly low down the list of Stuff To Know priorities, but Nucleus would like to take a moment of your time to introduce Annabelle Duncan. I was lucky enough to catch Annabelle for a chat in her first busy week as VC, and we had a talk about where UNE is headed, developing the next Strategic Plan, and even a little bit about life as an undergrad.

H: How would you explain your role to the student body, in terms of the work ahead for you this year as Vice-Chancellor? A: The Vice-Chancellor is the Chief Executive Officer of the university, which means that I will be in charge of the university as an organisation. It’s my job to make sure that the university delivers what it has promised it will deliver, in terms of teaching quality and research. Overlying all of these processes is the business side of things, meaning that I have to ensure we’re a financially viable organisation, and to ensure the campus functions properly and safely. A lot of my responsibilities are delegated to other directorates and administrative staff. It’s the strategy of how we’re going, and how we deliver on that strategy that is a big part of the ViceChancellor’s role. The current strategic plan runs out at the end of 2015, and it’s quite a big job to develop a new strategic plan. The strategy we’ve got currently has actually proven to be quite good, if you look at where we were when Professor Barber came in. The university did have a deficit, and student numbers were going the wrong way. He’s turned all of that round with the strategy he had, which grew student numbers—particularly online student numbers.

H: What kind of legacy has Professor Barber left behind, and where will this be directed in years to come? A: Professor Barber’s strategy has put us on a good financial track. We have the strongest growth of any university in New South Wales for the last couple of years. The whole sector is changing really rapidly, and you can’t afford to stand still. You have to look at where the money is coming from currently, as well as where it might be coming from in future. It’s a strategy 8

we will continue to use. Myself and the Chancellor will be looking at the overall strategy, we’ll look at an outline of a new strategic plan that will build on the one we’ve currently got, which the new Vice-Chancellor will be able to take and put the trim on, for what they want to do. It’s really hard in the sector, currently—a lot of universities are doing it really tough at the moment. We’re starting to see our successes around the place—the new college, the new agricultural building. I hope you’re starting to see it in the quality of some of your courses too, with the big courseware redevelopment project, the way we offer our courses, the kind of material we’re able to offer. We’ve always done well with distance education, and are continuing to improve. Our student satisfaction is something we’re really proud of, and again, of course it’s not all ideal, but generally it seems as though our students are getting through their degrees with a good success rate. It’s a strong university, and we’re well regarded.

H: Nucleus is talking about the issue of podcasts and on-campus students skipping lectures because the information is already available to them. Does this seem indicative you to of the future of tertiary education? A: I think these things are starting to change. I remember listening to Kerry O’Brien from the ABC talking about this, and saying that his son actually listened to his lectures on the bus on his way to university, and spent his university time doing more exciting things, like socialising! People say that this kind of technology is a way of depersonalising education, and that the best education is where you can sit in small groups. I think that one of the things that we’re moving towards with on-campus education is that you may well watch a podcast before your lecture, and then your lecture becomes more like a tutorial, where you can actually spend more time examining and discussing the ideas. I think there’ll be more and more use of technology to transfer the facts that you need, and more time spent in lectures or tutorials really interrogating the information, and working out what it means, and how you synthesise all these bits of information into coherent ideas. If we go the way we would like to go, as Jim Barber has referred to it, with the online face-to-face element—even if you’re not an on-campus student—if you can get access to the technology you can still participate in a tutorial with people who may be here, but they could be anywhere around the country. So you could have a tutorial group, and where each individual sits is irrelevant, because you’re exchanging ideas regardless.

H: We've addressed UNE's motivation to be set up as, and continue to be, a leading online education provider—would you call this the main selling point for UNE? How does this balance with the recently named Wright College, and the collegiate history of the university? A: There’s several things—the online element definitely. When it comes to getting mature age students through a degree, online, we do that really well. Graduation’s a great example of that, when you see the average age of the people who have come to get their degrees. A lot of those people have never been on campus before—you can see we are doing really well with this, and not everyone can. The other side of it is our on-campus work—compared with city campuses where you’re almost anonymous in first year, here it’s pretty much the norm for lecturers to get to know students one-on-one, and that has a whole lot of benefits. They get to know if you’re doing well, or if you’re not, they know you well enough as more than an anonymous name who’s failing an assignment, and they know how to help.

Some people go through one year of college here and move out, but if you talk to the people that it does suit here, there is a real college culture that you don’t necessarily get at other universities. We’re working on that at the moment—being a premier collegiate university and what that actually means. It’s really about the way the colleges are run, and the support structures around the colleges.

H: Thinking back to yourself as a student, what sort of opportunities did you say ‘yes’ to that have brought you to where you are right now? A: I was the first in my family to go to university, but it was never a foregone conclusion that I would go, and in fact I was planning to study at TAFE. It was my primary school headmaster, teaching relief at my high school, who told me I had to go home and tell my father that I had to go to university. The first three or four weeks of the degree I had chosen to do made me realise it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Instead I started studying things I liked, which is what I would recommend to everybody—go after your passion, okay! I had no idea what this would lead to. It was my setbacks in second year, of really struggling with homesickness, that actually made me clarify what I wanted to do.

H: What were your favourite extra-curricular activities as a uni student? A: I did quite a lot of bushwalking—for my undergraduate degree I was at Dunedin in South New Zealand at Otago University—and also kayaking. Nothing exciting like white water, but where I lived at that stage was right on Otago Harbour, and we had a kayak we could carry down to the water.

H: What opportunities do you see for current UNE students that you think are exciting? A: There are quite a few things going on, like some of the work Enactus1 are doing as extra-curricular, but still a huge amount of work, making a real difference to people’s lives. And by the way, they’re actually gaining a huge amount of skills as well. I think that’s something that’s important to think about—if you’re doing a Bachelor’s degree, Masters, even a PhD, you come out the end with a piece of paper, and you’re one of many. How do you make your piece of paper different from anyone else’s? It might be something like Enactus, or leadership courses, or running a club, or working on the student paper. It’s that experience that shows that you’ve done something more than just sit in front of a computer for three years.

H: My last question—do you have a piece of wisdom to offer to UNE students who are still figuring out their focus and direction? A: Really, picking the fun things you like as a course of study, and taking opportunities as they present themselves—they really very seldom come at the right time, but if it sounds like it’s fun, if you want to do it, you can make it work one way or the other. It’s those opportunities that help to open doors—and by the way, they can be a huge amount of fun while you’re doing them. Professor Annabelle Duncan, acting Vice-Chancellor, and Chancellor John Watkins

H: I've read that UNE Council is looking to increase student representation with more student members. What sort of opportunities is this going to afford both the representatives and the student body as a whole? A: As it is at the moment, there’s a small number of student representatives on Council, and it’s then incumbent on them to get feedback back to students, and feedback to Council. If you have more student members, you can share that responsibility around. It means that things discussed in Council will be able to be canvassed more easily with students, but it also means that more student feedback can come back to Council. It will mean more representation for our diverse student body, and I think that makes the Council stronger.

Helen is studying Arts Management, and things that make her happy include chocolate milk, paper goods and 80’s teen movies.


Enactus UNE is a group of students who develop business , leadership and entrepreneurial skills through the imlementation of community outreach projects. Members also have access to mentors, paid business internships and travel opportunities. Take a look at their Facebook page:


To podcast or not to pocast?

by Bridgette Glover


e’re all guilty of it, I’m sure. Whether you’re lying in your college bed, hanging out in Dixson or recovering from a hellish hangover, there have been times for all of us internals when listening to the recording of your lecture has been far more convenient than actually going to it. The thing is though—much akin to the pangs of guilt we felt after wagging back in high school—do you get the feeling that maybe it’s wrong? A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the library, and looked as though I had set up to live there for at least three days. My books were spread out, I had about fifteen tabs open in Firefox, and my Star Wars R2D2 USB was plugged in and wide open. But at 11:54am (you know, approximately) I suddenly realised that my next class was due to start momentarily—the thought “Oh shit! I need to move my ass” crossed my mind. As I started packing up my site, I began to rationalise that maybe, just maybe, it would be smarter to watch it online? After all, I did have Moodle open. Nevertheless, my morals prevailed and I went to my seminar—and lucky I did. My teacher was hustling everyone into the theatre at five past, and upon looking at all the empty chairs, she began to express her frustration. Every week before this one, most of the on-campus students attended the single two-hour seminar per week that we had; but on this particular day, there were about nine or ten of us. Max. I have sat in a handful of these classes before, and sympathised with the teachers who had prepared content for a group of people who didn’t even show. There’s no denying that it would be irritating. But I never really understood to the full extent the anger felt by the person who stood in front of me, insisting that I tell my friends that they need to come. But why? I thought. My classmates will no doubt listen to the podcast; they’ll hear your voice and take notes from your slides. They may even benefit more, because they have the luxury of pausing the slides to take notes that I couldn’t because you flicked to the next one. Ultimately, they’re still learning the content, so what’s the big deal? Granted, this annoyed teacher was cranky because the absent students would be missing out on the tutorial part of the seminar, but if the external students can survive off just the podcast and the Study Guide information alone, why can’t we? (Unless of course 20% of our grade comes down to class participation… but that’s a whole other story.) This led me to think about what the external students would make of our laziness. Would this frustrate them, maybe even confuse them, wondering why on earth we would bother enrolling as on-campus when we don’t even try to abuse the perks? Jessica Kelley, co-editor of Nucleus and external student living in Finland, gave her perspective on the matter saying, “I have never been an on-campus student, and there are reasons for it—including that I like to keep my own schedule, and it’s almost impossible for me to just sit and listen to a lecture without daydreaming or falling asleep or getting really fidgety.” She continued, “Of course, other people will benefit more from being in classes, and being able to ask questions of the lecturer—there are undeniable perks to physically being in the classroom. Presumably this is why the oncampus students are, well, on campus. If they’re not attending lectures, it does seem to be negating the point. But maybe they’re just figuring out now that they’d be better as externals?” That same week a professor from another unit coincidentally brought up the topic of online learning in our tutorial. We discussed what it meant to be an oncampus student and, although he wasn’t as riled up as some other teachers have been, he did think it an interesting trend. 10

With the definition of an on-campus student being blurred, it sometimes means that the preparation that goes into making content for an in-class lecture or seminar can go to waste. Six students have been turning up to this professor’s lectures for about three weeks now. However, according to UNE’s website the difference between on-campus and off-campus students is quite obvious. Oncampus study refers to study undertaken in Australia at the University where a student attends regular classes. (Hmmm.) Off-campus study refers to study delivered online. It caters particularly for students who live in remote areas or who are not able to leave home for long periods of time due to family, work or other commitments. But if that’s the case, why are certain aspects of study delivered online to on-campus students? I asked Jack Mooney, a third-year Rural Science student, whether or not he thought podcasts should only be accessible for externals. He replied, “Not really, they’re pretty handy. Sometimes you actually have to miss a lecture, and this way we’re able to just listen to it and catch up. But I still find it hard to listen to it for an hour. It’s probably just easier to go to class, and more interactive too; I feel I benefit more from the face-to-face learning than I would via the screen.” So ignoring the technical definitions and the undeniable fact that it can be easier to just listen to the podcast, are we kidding ourselves in ignoring the teacher’s advice that there are actually benefits to attending? Or is it just a flaw in the system and the truth is no one will actually lose from not going to class, except for the teacher who put in the hard work? In the tutorial I mentioned earlier, where we discussed these existential questions, my professor noted that many other universities have gotten rid of actual lectures altogether, when there aren’t enough on-campus students attending to make it worthwhile. At the risk of sounding over-enthusiastic, I think it would be a shame if UNE were to do that, because if it were in effect, I would now be in my third year and not personally know a single lecturer. Except for maybe Rose Williamson from ENCO100—that class was always full. Jessica Kelley noted a similar occurrence in one of her units saying, “I had one lecturer who, on the first day, found out he only had one internal student, so cancelled all the in-person lectures and now simply records podcasts for all the students. He was disappointed, but it works great for me.” According to Jessica, when the lectures are recorded purely for the sake of a podcast and without an audience, they tend to be of a higher quality as they aren’t subject to mumbled student interaction and questions. Though I do enjoy going to the lectures and nodding at my professors when I actually understand them, when I think about my frustrated teacher going on about students not coming that day and apologising to the externals, saying “I’m definitely going to have to record this again”, I wonder if maybe the other universities are on to something?


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also running information sessions at the Army Depot behind SportsUNE every monday from the 17th of March to the 30th of June 2014, if you would like to attend then please call 0409 922 917 or email

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every monday from the 17th of March to the 30th of June 2014, if you would like to attend then please call 0409 922 917 or email 11


by Tyrone Phillips

Image credit: iFreeze


pace. The marvellous area above us, full of so many beautiful and amazing things, and there is just so much of it. There’s so much of it that it might take us tens, if not hundreds of years to explore it all. At least, that’s what it looks like from down here. There are so many great things up there that I barely even know where to start. So I shall start with the biggest things in the sky—suns. Did you know, that the suns’ light is hundreds of times more powerful than anything we have on earth? It is so strong that it can light up things thousands of kilometres away! Even now scientists are trying to replicate this. Just imagine, in the future you might turn on your torch and be able to see all the way to Japan! Have you ever noticed, dear readers, that it’s still sunny even when the sun is behind a cloud? That’s because clouds are the only thing in nature that comes anywhere close to being as bright as suns. Clouds are like miniature suns—not as good, but still pretty good. No one else knows exactly how suns work, but the best theories involve a large, unknown power source on the back of the sun. Just like how we have never seen the back of the moon, we have never seen the back of a sun. There could be anything back there. Our best theory is that somehow a battery has just sort of grown there, and is constantly replacing itself, but there are other possibilities. Perhaps they absorb all the light from the clouds and reflect it back, but better, because suns are better than clouds. Who knows if this is even true for all the suns, they


could all have different power sources. Some suggest aliens, but that’s dumb. They would need a sun in the first place to make another, and we have all the suns, so how could an alien get one? The earth has at least two suns, maybe more; there could be up to six. It’s quite the mystery. We only found this out recently with the advent of modern technology, like YouTube. On YouTube you can find videos from different places around the world, like America and French, and they have a sun there too. There is no way it can be the same sun, because those places must be at least—well, they are really far away. I mean, the sun can shine really far, but those places are millions of kilometres away, which is too far for one sun. Suns are pretty good, but not that good. You might have heard that we don’t know which way is up and which is down. People say that we could be sideways, or even upside down! They are wrong. If we were not the right way up we would fall off. Well, not the people around the centre of the Earth, (the scientific term for which is “middle”) because if you turn the earth upside down they would sort of just be turning around in a circle, but everyone else would fall off. That would be bad because then the only people left would be the ones from middle Earth, and everyone else would just be flying through space—which, now that I think about it would actually be pretty cool. We might even be able to find out what’s on the back of the sun. I wonder if that would be a path to cheaper space travel. Just turn the world upside down, and tell everyone who wants to stay on the ground to build upside

down houses. Get on it, NASA. Have you ever looked up on a clear night and tried to count the stars? If you have not, do not bother. It is really hard. You have to count really fast because there are so many and they are really small and by the time you have a few hundred the sun comes out and scares them away. But go ahead, really, just ignore the advice from your favourite student newspaper. I’m not going to stop you or anything. It’s not like I’m trying to keep the fun for myself. Counting stars is more stressful than the end-of-year GEOL110 exam. The reason you cannot see stars during the day is because when the sun comes up they get scared from how big it is and they run away to other places like America. Space is amazing. The things that it shows us, and even more the things that it doesn’t, are just too marvellous to ignore. If you ever get the chance I strongly recommend going there. You’ll see all these beautiful phenomena: the suns, the stars, the French and much more that not even I know about. You might not see the aliens behind the sun, but that’s because they don’t exist. So the next time you see an ad in the paper that says “Astronauts Wanted—No Experience Necessary”, think about putting your hand up. Because when that call comes, I know what I’ll be doing with my hand: I’ll be putting it in space. Tyrone was born in Cairns and is currently studying engineering. He likes tabletop games and listening to metal.

Space and Stuff by Belinda Marsh


hen I think of space, it’s a selfish act. It’s not about the stars, the galaxies, the planets. It’s about the space in my house—or lack thereof.

It’s funny how we all like to fill our space with stuff. Stacks of DVDs we might watch again one day, piles of paperwork we can’t throw out but can’t fit into our filing cabinet, and shelves sagging with books and trinkets. Then there’s the Ultimate Irony pile—the stack of Home Beautiful magazines, boasting organisation, cleanliness and perfection, collecting dust in the corner of the bedroom as we long for the magazines to magically transform us, simply by owning them. We run out of space on hard-drives because they’re full of movies we don’t watch. Our kitchen cupboards groan under the weight of ‘the good china’ that is waiting patiently for the Queen to arrive for scones and a pot of tea. Garden sheds are full of bits and pieces we can’t bear to throw away because we know that the day after we do, we’ll find that we need it, and we’ll rue our silliness. We may even decide, depending on our level of need for said bit-and-piece, that we’ll never throw anything away ever again, just in case. Which creates a kind of catch-22 because we won’t ever need it until the day after we throw it out, and we’ll end up on the TV show Hoarders. Our ever-increasing desire invades and occupies our space. attachment to stuff could possibly of the worst diseases of modern What is this need within us?

for stuff O u r be one times.

In 1929, Charles Kettering, a director of research with General Motors, explained that there was a need for companies to keep consumers dissatisfied, because as soon as we’re happy with what we have, “almost immediately hard times would be upon us”. And so, since the advent of marketing, we have been bombarded with suggestions that we’re simply not good enough until we have stuff. Once we have stuff, it will make us socially acceptable. So we work, work, work in order to have the money to buy, buy, buy to fill our need to be good enough according to advertising executives, and fill our once-spacious houses with stuff to impress not only others, but ourselves. Consider the impact on the environment. We’re running out of space to put our discarded stuff. Rubbish tips are filling up and there is nowhere else to put it. New York produces approximately 12,000 tonnes of rubbish a day. A DAY. If we don’t want to be part of this cycle, then we have to act on a personal level. We have to eradicate our excess and reduce our enslavement to the system. Without us, the matrix won’t survive, and something new will be born from our consumerist ashes. Recycle as much as possible. Give our unwanted stuff to those who need it. Reclaim our space. It is time, dear readers.

Pick up your stuff, piece by piece, hold it in your hands and ask: “Have I used this in the last year?” “Will I be likely to use it in the future? Honestly?” “Am I keeping it because it brings back a memory, rather than for the actual item itself?” “Is there some way I can reuse this in a practical way?” If the answer to the above is ‘no’, then ask yourself: “Is there anyone I know who may use this item?” If not, then: “Can I sell it on and make a few dollars?” If not, then: “I

will give it to charity.” Promise not to buy anything new unless we absolutely need to. Make do with the basics, and be thankful for what we can get from op-shops, buy from garage sales, and what is given by friends. Don’t over-consume. Keep our lives simple and our space spacious.

is a a cog happy

Cluttering our lives with the unnecessary sign that we are part of the deception, in the wheel of modernism. We seem to work for trinkets to boost our social standing, increase our self-esteem, and impress each other until the day we die. Sounds like a great life we have made for ourselves. We need to reclaim our space, and our sanity. Now, excuse me for a while—I’m off to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Belinda likes to think she’s a writer, but honestly, she just likes to put on her rangry pants and have a good old rant. You can read her shenanigans at; she is also a regular contributor at thebigsmoke. and

Editor’s Note: Have a problem with ‘stuff ’? I have hoarding tendencies; when I moved overseas it was embarassing (but therapeutic!) how many rubbish bins I filled with junk and old filing papers. My dear mum gave me a book to help me along: Lessons in Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder (2011) by Aussie comedienne Corinne Grant. It’s an excellent and amusing read. If you need a nudge to clean out your space, give Corinne’s book a go—it might help you think about things differently! — Jessie.


ANIMALS AND THEIR 'SPACE' by Kathryn Lambert


enerally, when people think of the word ‘space’, planets, stars, solar systems, rockets and movies like Star Wars come to mind. But what if we considered how animals perceive the idea of ‘space’? It’s not like they have the technology to view the Milky Way. From what we do know about the species that have been studied, animals are more likely to consider ‘space’ as their fundamental niche or the area that they are able to occupy and use. Being a human, personification of an animal comes to mind: a bird in its territory that contains enough food and water for its family, friends, neighbours and a place to call home. But is this really how animals see the world and their ‘space’ or is it how we can relate to them to understand their story? Without getting into the ongoing debate about how an animal ‘feels’ about their habitats, current research suggests that animals have different perspectives of space depending on the species in question. Consider the common blue tongue that we have all seen at some point in our gardens around the home. If you are true animal lover, like myself, you may have been curious as to how it got there and what it was looking for. But if you perceive the blue tongue as ‘scary’ and needing to be eradicated, you may have decided that it needed to be removed. A recent call to the Wildlife Carers in Armidale resulted in a house call that involved a conversation similar to this scenario. The owners of the house were renting and had never had much to do with native


wildlife. Their children were frightened of a blue tongue that had decided to choose their garden as its own personal ‘space’. It had been eating snails in their garden and was living under the pavers of the backyard pergola. There had been a few arguments between the blue tongue and one child, where the blue tongue would stand its ground and hiss at the child, while the boy stood there screaming and crying. Eventually, both the boy and the blue tongue moved on and carried on with their day but the mother was worried that the blue tongue would eventually bite the child and she wanted it removed. She had decided that it was the family’s ‘space’ not the blue tongue’s home and they didn’t want to share it. It seems rather comical that someone would be frightened of a blue tongue but the family’s perception of space did not involve the co-habitation of the backyard with the blue tongue. Without personifying the blue tongue, there was a perfect microhabitat for it to feed on the snails in the garden and hide under the pergola where it had found shelter from predators, as the family did not have a dog. It had found the optimum ‘space’ or—as zoologists and ecologists like to call it—home range. The human family had a larger space containing the backyard, which they had decided was not big enough to accommodate a blue tongue. ‘Space’ can, therefore, be viewed as an area that organism decides to inhabit, whether that is a human individual or a reptile. It is an area where

the animal is able to shelter from predators, find a food source and live in comfortable conditions. It is the area in which an animal is provided with all the requirements it has in order to survive. Kathryn is a PhD candidate in Zoology and is studying bell miners and how they influence areas with eucalypt dieback. She loves animals of all shapes and sizes and currently volunteers for the Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers as a snake rescuer.

World Day for Animals in Laboratories is observed every year on April 24th. The event is marked by demonstrations and protests by groups opposed to the use of animals in research.

Okay, so the article has nothing to do with the picture but I couldn’t resist using Fuzz Aldrin - Alana

MONTH January

DATE Saturday 18th


IMPACT Teaching/Intensive Schools


Saturday 22nd

Full Day




Full Day



Saturday 5th

Full Day



Saturday 17th

Full Day



Saturday 21st

Full Day




Full Day



Saturday 9th

Full Day



Saturday 13th

Full Day


The following dates will


Saturday 25th

Full Day


have maintenance outages


Saturday 15th

Full Day


for 2014.


Saturday 20th Sunday 21st

Full Day Full Day

Nil - Christmas Close Down

IT MAINTENANCE DATES - 2014 Periodically ITD needs to shut down services at the hub of our infrastructure to perform maintenance.

April is ‘Stress Awareness Month’, so now might be a good time to ask....

How’s Your Head Space?

Current students (both on and off campus) can access a free and confidential counselling service through UNE, during office hours (Mon–Fri 9am – 4pm), in-person, over the phone and via Skype. Their website states: “Our mission is to provide students with the support you need to succeed in your studies at UNE. Study does not occur in a vacuum. Things happen that can impact on your ability to be as focussed, motivated, satisfied or organised as you normally would be. If you are unsure how to talk to those around you about your concerns, it can be helpful to run things past a counsellor. You might, for example, want some coaching on how to tackle academic concerns such as managing your time, avoiding procrastination, overcoming exam or presentation anxiety, or self-doubts about your abilities. Or you might want to tackle personal concerns such as relationships (with friends, work colleagues, partners, family), managing stress, adjusting to being at university, home sickness, a sudden loss or crisis/trauma, low mood or depression, or whether to study or not.”

The counselling team comprises professionally qualified and registered social workers, counsellors and psychologists. For more information or to make an appointment, phone 02 6773 2897 or visit support/student-support/counselling15


5 great things about UNE from an International Student's perspective

am Phu Thi Tran from Vietnam. I am going to graduate on 29 March, so I would like to share my experiences about UNE and Armidale to all new students who just started their study here. I hope in some parts, these experiences can become a small note to remind you what you are able to obtain at this moment. During two years with UNE, I experienced many difficulties and challenges in both study and social life. However, in that tough time, I was so lucky and blessed when I actually received a lot of support and help from my lecturers and friends here. Looking back those time refreshes my mind about all previous memories that seem like they just happened yesterday. I really appreciate all the great things that came from UNE…

1. GreatTeachers

They are amazing!!! In the beginning, as an international student, I was struggling with English language problems, especially listening and speaking. And then, what was the meaning of an assignment? I have never had an assignment in my life before I came here to study. I had no idea what it was and how to start it. Add into it, the textbooks were full of technical terms and new words. Those are my nightmares! But thank God, all teachers were always there to answer and help me whenever I needed their support. They organised some short discussions to explain more details about lectures, assignments and replied to all my questions via emails, even when there were some stupid questions from me! They are so much patient and enthusiastic to their students. They are very special!

2. Great Students

It was not easy for an international student to make a new friend in the first place, especially when English was always a barrier. Fortunately, studying at UNE gave me a chance to know so many international friends, not only from Australia but also from all over the world, who were very kind and friendly. I have many good friends who helped me voluntarily with my first assignment and presentation. Others assisted me with my English problems. There is a big obstacle that all international students need to overcome when they study overseas—homesick. I was so depressed for the first month because I just wanted to go home with my family. They took me to participate into many social activities and jobs that gave me the opportunity to make international friends from different countries and practice my English skills. With them, I join in different study groups and improve knowledge in enrolled units. Without my friends here, I would not able to finish my study successfully and really enjoyed my time here, studying and living with precious moments everyday.

3. Great Support

Studying at UNE, I found UNE services very flexible and effective. It is not only the international office but also services like ASO1, the library, IT service, UNE Alumni, safety and security. Thanks to all these free services, I was able to adjust quite well to the system here. The most important service that will benefit any international student is an ASO consultant. I understand that all students are very worried about their writing skills and references. However, ASO and librarians can help all of you about it. And if anyone has troubles with information technology, there is an IT service located in Dixson Library, which is always available for everyone searching for help. For two years studying at UNE, these services saved me a lot of times. When I was stuck with my assignments, disoriented with my references and lost track with my research, I look back and search for the supports from these services. And they did help! If I succeed, I reckon you also can!

4. Great Facilities

As an international student, studying overseas gave me complex feelings, nervous, excited and looking forward. In the mess of these emotions, I tried my best to get as much information about UNE and Armidale as I can. And the UNE website did really save me, with a reservoir of valuable information. UNE, 1


Academic Skills Office

in fact, succeed in developing an online system for studying and discussing. That was amazing when I could search for my classmate contact details and discuss online with them whenever I wanted. Exchanging information, data and materials for study purposes became so much easier and more convenient. And the best impressive part in this system was about all recorded lectures that were recorded and uploaded to the Moodle sites immediately after the classes. This support was so helpful for all students who want to review the lectures again at home, especially in examination periods. Another special thing that I feel so much impressed about UNE was updated facilities to support disabled people. There are special chairs, tables, and toilets that are specified to those students. I feel the care and fairness in these supports.

5. Great NEA

UNE Alumni is also an informative website where UNE graduates share their experiences. This allowed me to make the necessary preparations to study at UNE. There was a forum where all current and former students discuss and exchange their experiences about studying, lifestyle and even regrets for their time at UNE. One question offered by new students to graduates that made me very impressed was ‘If you could give 10 pieces of advice to new students for studying at UNE, what would you say?’. Many students answered that question, and I realised the same thing they mentioned was about the New England Award. So curious, I tried to find out about NEA from UNE website even before I came to Australia. “The New England Award is a prestigious award presented by the University of New England to recognise your involvement in the full UNE experience and the many opportunities available to develop life skills. The NEA acknowledges the development of the skills and attributes necessary for successful study, workplace attributes and good citizenship”(UNE website/NEA). I applied for NEA after I came to Armidale. I believe that the courage to challenge myself with new adventures is necessary to become a successful person in the future. I am a young person full of energy and desire for learning. I have self-respect, gratitude, and a desire to give back to society. And NEA was the most appropriate way to open new horizons for myself. With NEA, I took part in many social activities and events that provided me great opportunities to make international friends, and introduce about Vietnam, its rich cultures and great history, which I am very proud of. Through those activities in NEA, I also realised how lucky I was to be here, in Armidale, at UNE, studying and living for two years. I received countless support and assistance from local people, teachers and friends. Participating in those events, I felt and experienced their kindness, care and enthusiasm. I will always remember the love, sharing and warmth from all locals studying at UNE as well as living in Armidale—a small city with such a big heart, for all international students, a destination that we can called ‘home’. Thank you very much for helping me for all the time I was here, living and studying. I was really happy and blessed. I wish you all the best with your time in UNE and Armidale. UNE student — 2014 PHU THI TRAN

Photo by Stu Horsfield


10 Essential Sci-Fi Movies by Jacob Foley

Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977) Star Wars is a series of epic space opera films set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It chronicles the rise of a dark galactic empire and the struggle of the freedom fighters seeking to bring about its downfall. A New Hope follows the journey of Luke Skywalker as he discovers his Jedi powers and obtains by chance the plans for the Galactic Empire’s Death Star, stolen by Princess Leia, an agent of the Rebel Alliance. Aided by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo and Chewbacca, he sets out to aid the rebellion and save the galaxy. See also: Star Wars I-VI.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix is set in a world where machines have gained sentience and defeated humanity in a war for the planet. They keep the descendants of the war subdued in an artificial, simulated world, completely oblivious to the false reality in which they are imprisoned. Neo is a regular office worker inside the simulation until the day he is contacted by members of a group of freedom fighters who have been able to escape The Matrix, and can now enter and leave the simulation at will. This contact is noticed by the machines, and Neo becomes their prime target. See also: The Terminator, Men in Black, Back to the Future. 18

While on the topic of Space in this month’s edition of Nucleus, let’s see how familiar you are with your science fiction movies. From robots to lightsabers, spacecraft to Xenomorphs, this list has titles you know and love, and hopefully a few that you soon will.

I, Robot (2004)

Based on the novel by Isaac Asimov, this film explores a future where humanity is helped in everyday life by robotic servants that are bound by the three laws of robotics. These laws have been conceived to protect humanity, the first of which states that robots cannot harm a human being, or through inaction, allow a human to come to harm. When one of the researchers developing the newest line of robots is apparently killed by a robot, a robot-phobic detective is sent to investigate how this was possible, and whether the human race has inadvertently come at risk from a dire oversight in the laws. See also: Bicentennial Man, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Aliens (1986)

Humanity has now colonised the very planet where the Xenomorph species was discovered by the mining team of the original Alien movie, who investigated a distress call from a crashed spacecraft and accidentally awoke its slumbering cargo. Communications with the colony have mysteriously ceased, and Ripley is woken from cryogenic sleep to be asked to return to the planet with a military team to aid in investigations. Horrified to discover the planet was populated by colonists after her nightmarish ordeal, she agrees to return in order to ensure the alien

species never makes it off the surface. See also: Alien, Predator, Aliens vs Predator, Prometheus.

Blade Runner (1982)

In a dystopian future, genetically-engineered organic robots called replicants are built by the Tyrell Corporation to perform dangerous, undesirable or repetitive work on off-world colonies. They’re virtually indistinguishable from humans, but they are forbidden from returning to Earth. Those that do are hunted down and “retired” by members of a special police force called Blade Runners. The movie Blade Runner focuses on a desperate group of these replicants who arrive on earth, and the burnt-out, elite Blade Runner sent to eliminate them. See also: Total Recall, Robocop, The Fifth Element.

Pitch Black (2000)

A transport ship crash lands on a barren planet, with only a handful of survivors making it out. Among them is a bounty hunter who discovers that his prisoner, an extremely dangerous convict named Riddick, is missing. The group realises that the planet is kept in perpetual daylight due to its three suns, though material gathered from a strangely abandoned geological research station suggests that the planet undergoes an eclipse every 22 years, during which the creatures that

inhabit the planet’s subterranean caves emerge. See also: Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick.

Idiocracy (2006)

Imagine a future where the human race has been changed by centuries of natural selection. This natural selection hasn’t rewarded the fittest, smartest or best, but simply those who have reproduced the most. Corporal Joe Bauers is average in every way, which results in his selection to participate in a military experiment on suspended animation. The experiment goes terribly wrong and results in him waking up five hundred years in the future, where the IQ of the general population has dropped so dramatically that Joe is the smartest man on Earth. See also: Spaceballs, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Galaxy Quest, Flash Gordon, Iron Sky, Mars Attacks!.

District 9 (2009)

In an alternate past, an alien ship arrived at Johannesburg in Africa in 1982. Upon investigation, government officials discovered the ship was full of malnourished, sickly aliens seeking refuge on Earth. Skip to the present, and the aliens have been living in a government camp run by private military contractors—District 9. Conditions in the camp are abysmal, with trade of alien technology for food and living essentials being commonplace. The aliens are mistreated, resulting in several aliens attempting to find a way to return to their home. One of the human military contractors becomes caught up with helping them with their plan when a freak accident leaves him with unusual abilities. See also: Cloverfield, Pacific Rim, Elysium, Oblivion, Real Steel, Children of Men, Moon.

Image credit:

e h t E rr t o p

Wall-E (2008)


pr iz








Jacob Foley is a second-year PhD student in Computer Science who wants the future to happen sooner. Did he miss a movie? Recommend one back via

Just like the sky contains countless glimmering stars, each issue of Nucleus carries numerous twinkling little errors. Why? We put them there. For you. Everyone’s a pedant, and the pleasure of spying someone else’s mistake is matched only by the gloating that follows. So put the kettle on, grab your sp red pen, and explore this issue like e ot yb te d you’re Spock on holiday. a Enterprise err u. M cross-stitch by a ors . g or t o e d it Anne Parker. ors@ nu cle us.


Set in the distant future, Earth has become one gigantic garbage dump due to decades of consumerism and waste. The human race has abandoned Earth and has moved to space stations to escape the pollution. Wall-E is one of the trash compactor robots left behind to clean the planet, who over hundreds of years develops self-awareness. His life changes when he discovers a seedling, one of the first signs of nature returning to the planet, and then meets EVE, a robotic probe sent to examine the Earth and see if it has become fit for human habitation once again. See also: Treasure Planet.


Events in the future result in a Romulan ship travelling back in time and altering the origins of the original crew of the Enterprise. In this reboot of the popular Star Trek franchise, we see the progression of James T Kirk and Spock through Starfleet, how they obtained their posts on the Enterprise, and how their lives change as a result of the interference of the time travellers. This presents an excellent starting point for those who want to follow the new series, or an opportunity to explore the original series. See also: Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.


Star Trek (2009)



How to: Get maximum yield out of a little garden space by Harriet Bawden


Photo credit: Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis

iving in share-houses or college dorms, where space for growing fruit and veg is limited, shouldn’t stop you from having a crack at home-gardening. Generally, the smaller your plot (or pot) area, the less watering, fertilizing and weed removal it requires.

You can also grow sprouts anytime in a jar (or through a stocking “head” like you did in primary school). Nifty huh!? Just check the packet for instructions.

Here are a few hints for getting the most out of the space you have.

Plants will grow to different heights, the taller ones, such as corn, providing shade to those underneath. Lettuce, spinach, strawberries, potatoes and leeks will tolerate some shade.

1. Plant companions Companion plants are those that grow well together, in close proximity (like Leo and Kate), without competing for resources. Like tomato and basil, garlic and onions, or cabbage and broccoli. Herbs complement most veggies and can be dotted around your plot.

2. Use pots Living in Armidale means tolerating some pretty frosty nights. When plants are exposed to frost, the water in their cells, stems and shoots can freeze, damaging the plant tissue. Pots that you can move around from the sunny window sill during the daytime, to the protective bench at night-time, are perfect for such conditions. Herbs grow well in pots, needing little space; chives are like grassthey just grow and grow; thyme and oregano are pot-friendly. As the colder weather sets in try planting spinach in a long planter box. Keep picking the leaves to encourage regrowth. If you don’t have an adequate container, you can always cut a hole in the side of a large bag of organic matter and grow your produce from there. 20

3. Levels

You can also train plants to grow upwards on a trellis or tee-pee. Cucumbers and beans do this particularly well. Hanging baskets can also be used for summer herbs, salad leaves, tumbling tomatoes and chillies.

4. Grow Cut and Come Again varieties Greens and herbs proliferate when young leaves are cut back regularly. You don’t need a big plot to get the most of these veggies, which will continue to grow throughout the season. You can do the same with spring onions. In fact, you can replant the spring onions you get from the supermarket, provided they still have a bulbous bottom and some roots.

5. Share If you’re the non-committal type, work at keeping just one plant alive whilst your friend does the same. Then share.

How To:

Cut out bad habits By Elise Mottley And make space for better ones

We must learn to appreciate the little things to make the most of the time we have. There is so much to live for; hopefully some of these things will ring a bell with you.


Stop procrastinating. The hardest part is starting. Just commit to two

minutes to actually start, and you would be surprised how much further along you will be.

2. 3.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Stay off your phone in the company of others. This includes not

checking your social media when you’re with friends. If you can’t appreciate the time you are spending with that person, re-evaluate if that person is even worth your time.


Stop beating yourself up for skipping the gym on days you truly didn’t

have time. But also, stop skipping the gym on days you had plenty of time to go.


Don’t neglect yourself. Invest in your relationship with yourself. Take

being so mean to you. We say some terrible things to ourselves we would never say to others. Learn to be kind to yourself.

If you hate your job, quit your job. Love what you do, and you will

never work another day in your life. If you think you can’t quit your job, think about all the reasons. You may surprise yourself and realize there is a lot more you can appreciate.



Start posting about things that actually matter on social media. Stop


Read. Reading is one of the best forms of mentorship, you have access

posting reactions to celebrities doing stupid things.

to all the knowledge you need.


Wake up early. You will fall in love with just having quiet time for

yourself. At 6AM, there is no one to bother you so you can invest some time in yourself.


Go to sleep earlier. Make it easier for yourself to wake up earlier, you

aren’t missing out on anything. Nothing good comes after 2 am.


Learn to cook. Eating out every day is only going to make you wonder

where your money went. Eventually, you will have to learn to take care of

yourself out for coffee, sit yourself down and get to know yourself. Stop


Elise is studying a BA, majoring in writing and sociology, and she enjoys sewing including making clothes from scratch and alternation, and also enjoys socialising with friends.

Do first things first. We do a lot of things that are not urgent and

not important to us but it’s often where most of our time goes. Think

yourself, but it’s also a skill you can use to impress that special someone.


Learn a new skill. There is always room for you to improve, but it


Help others. Making other people happy and successful will make


Establish a personal mission statement for how you want to live your

doesn’t always have to be life changing.

you happy and successful.

life. This should be based on your principles and values, not around other people.

about everything that you do and how much it contributes to your overall happiness. If it isn’t helping your cause, don’t do it.


(College) RecipeS Pesto Pasta

by Ashley Pianca


hat I love about this recipe is the strong and pungent flavours that it combines. It

is perfect for lunch or dinner and also as a cold salad the next day. It is incredibly quick and easy to make and I highly recommend giving it a go and sharing it with friends. Remember to send your recipe requests in to:!

Ingredients •


Spaghetti (However much you desire. I used about 250g so I had leftovers!)

1. Finely chop the basil and garlic and place in a large bowl.

125g grated Parmesan Cheese

Add the cheese, pine nuts and oil and stir until well

80g pine nuts

combined. Set aside.

Bunch of fresh basil (can be bought from supermarket)

4 cloves of garlic

¼ cup of olive oil

2. Place spaghetti in a large microwave-safe bowl or container and fill with water until the spaghetti is covered. Cook in the microwave for approximately 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. 3. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain away the water and stir in your desired amount of pesto.

Note: Pesto can be made days ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. 22



hief, the 2014 reboot of the series of the same name, was always going to get compared to last year’s stealth masterpiece Dishonored. Unfortunately for Thief, this comparison doesn’t do it any favours. Where the world of Dishonored felt alive and subject to your every whim and desire, The City, where most of Thief takes place, feels dull and abandoned. You play as Garret, a master thief who wakes from a year he spent unconscious after a terrible accident killed his former apprentice and almost himself. Garret spends the game trying to work out what exactly happened to him during his year-long break, supporting a revolution against The City’s dictator-like Baron, and, of course, stealing anything and everything in sight. To write parts of that summary I had to read the plot on Wikipedia, since it’s explained poorly in-game and I often had no idea why I was doing whatever it was I was doing, relying only on Garret’s gravel-toned narration and luck. I played without waypoints, because in stealth games I prefer to find my own way around the world, but once I started undertaking side-quests I had to turn these on, because there was no indication as to where I was supposed to go to steal the

by Alana Young necklace or the book or whatever random item I was supposed to care about. The civilians I encountered didn’t seem to care that a man with a mechanical eye dressed in black leather with a giant bow on his back was standing in front of them, and the guards were too easy to sneak up on and pickpocket. I tailed a guard to see how close to him I could get, and how long I could follow him for, without him hearing me. I gave up in the end. The most annoying display of incompletion was the dialogue in The City. Guards in a certain area would have one short conversation to say, and once they were done with it they would start it again immediately. After hearing about how nice Polly Adler smells for the 50th time I was considering stealing her precious perfume to make them shut up about it. And you’ll be able to hear these conversations anywhere you go within the area: never mind that there are no guards anywhere near you, you’ll still be hearing them loud and clear. Despite my grievances with the game, there were good parts to it. Embodying the master thief was fun, no matter how boring the majority of the items you lifted were. The City is an aesthetically gorgeous gothic Victorian steam-

punk world (what a mouthful). Finding out how to pass unnoticed through a room filled with guards was rewarding. The musical cues used to indicate when you entered a secret room or had stolen all the items in an area were helpful and a nice alternative to text appearing on screen. Thief manages to be both better and worse than I was expecting. It’s a much more open world than I expected, though still too linear for my liking; there may be two ways to get into an area but those ways are both easily spotted and require almost no exploration. The plot might be about supernatural ghosts and monsters set within a revolution (sounds pretty exciting, right?) but it’s played out in a way that makes it disjointed and shallow (I know why the people of The City started revolting, but some address of it in-game would have been nice). There’s less combat than I was expecting (a good thing), and the combat you do get stuck in is hard to survive (an even better thing). But I also felt like I was never properly utilising all my thieving tools of the trade (no combat means no use for half your items). If you like stealth games and have nothing else to play, then give Thief a try. If you haven’t played Dishonored yet, play that instead. 23


Dear Space, I Love You - A Review of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey by


pace. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise—okay, okay. Sorry, I had to.

Okay kids, listen up. Space is really awesome, which is something most of you should know already. But if you really want to know just how awesome space is, you should watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. A sequel of sorts to the 1980s series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, this documentary TV series has everything a space nerd could want—stunning visuals, an immersive format, and Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining everything. But a large part of Cosmos’ appeal is that it is for everyone. Whether you are an aspiring astronaut, a sci-fi fan, or just someone who occasionally strums their guitar while saying “Wow, space is like, really big, man”, Cosmos will have something for you. From the very first episode, I was instantly enamoured with the way this series explains the complexities and enormity of space. Cosmos’ use of stunning CGI visuals helps to immerse the audience, so it almost feels like a 3D experience, or an amusement park ride through the galaxies. In just the first episode alone, we as an audience travel from our tiny Earth, through our solar system, through our galaxy, to other galaxies, and then other universes, in a journey that has never been visualised like this before. And yet, despite this, it is never overwhelming or fear-inducing. We simply get to the edge of space, and want to keep exploring. Never at all condescending or jargon-y, the series aims to educate, but I think, more importantly, inspire a sense of wonder and fascination with what lies beyond our solar system. Even if you have never before held any love for science or space, I can guarantee after watching Cosmos, you’ll feel differently.


Lauren Harrington

Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, everyone’s favourite science communicator, the series also boasts guest appearances and voice acting from familiar faces such as Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek’s very own Captain Picard). Produced by Tyson, and Seth MacFarlane (the creative mind behind Family Guy), and scored by famous composer Alan Silvestri (the musical mind behind Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers), this series is truly shaping up to be an epic adventure through space. You can watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on FOX networks and the National Geographic channel.

Lauren studies Media and Communications and probably wears pajamas more than is socially acceptable. Her interests include marathoning TV shows and telling people how much she loves Batman.

The Space-Man himself: Neil deGrasse Tyson


’m not too cool to admit that I know my way around teenage vampire fiction. I’ve consumed Twilight in both book and movie format; I’ve partaken in some City of Bones action; I know my way around a Buffy series.

I wonder if teenage vampires aren’t a bit overdone at this point, or maybe I’ve just grown up and moved away from my younger, more easily swayed self. The self who secretly wished to be the beautiful kick ass girl (not Bella Swan, that lady needs some serious character development in the depth department) who was sassy and different and tough but still had a heart of gold. Okay, now I’m definitely talking about Buffy. My point is, if #vampirelyfe is a metaphor for being a teenager, unfortunately Vampire Academy misses the mark. It misses several marks, actually, which is a shame because it could have been… well, not brilliant, but better. It could definitely have been better. The premise of any vampire tale is your basic battle between good and evil with a plot twist 3/4 of the way through the movie, then the heroine battling those last tricky vampires or humans or werewolves (pick a bad guy, any bad guy) and ultimately triumphing in dramatic fashion. Something or someone good has to die near the beginning, then a baddie needs to die at the end. Vampire Academy has these things but it tries to be a little more complex, as in more history to remember, more flashbacks than you’re expecting, and more characters than are absolutely necessary to the main plotline. There are not one but three categories of vampire, and one’s a half-breed that doesn’t even seem to suck blood. The movie tries to be hip and edgy with lines like “Hells Yes!” sitting awkwardly right next to Twilight references to show they’re not only sassy in their school uniforms, but they’re totally self-referential and self-aware. That’s too many things, movie. Be less things, but just be good at some of the things. I’m not sure if I was looking for it, but there’s even a poorly managed touch of the erotic between the two female leads. All the talk of sex without any actual sex lead me to query the applauded yet random closing speech reference to “slut shaming” my inner feminist would otherwise have cheered for. Again: too many things, movie. I would have loved a more coherent feminist statement running through this one, as it does actually pass the Bechdel test (of two women talking to each other about something other than men). Not quite enough of any one thing for me to grab onto, unfortunately. My recommendation: save this one til you need something to sleep through half of when you’re hungover one Sunday. Consume with your hangover cure of choice and try not to let the Australian girl doing a British accent bother you (like, please—I bet she had a ‘voice coach’ and I still picked it. Just ask Stu).

1/5 silver stakes (they’re the only thing that can kill a vampire, you know)


and Stu Horsfield


VAMPIRE ACADEMYA dual-review by Helen Taylor

honestly don’t know where to begin with this thing. The whole experience was an ordeal I would love to repress and forget forever, but I have to write something… I made a promise, after all.

Okay, I admit my bias, this movie is obviously not targeted at me, and in another life I would have been happily unaware of its existence and it would have made its way in and out of Armidale without me giving a second glance, but our fates collided and now I sit here as one of the presumably small group of people over 16 that can say, I have seen Vampire Academy. I remember when I was younger, I was sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s surgery, waiting to get a splint removed from my nose that was left over from a surgery. To keep myself calm I kept reassuring myself that it would be over soon. Sure, it would hurt, but I would never have to do it again, and once it was over I would be somehow better for the experience. I found myself with similar feelings waiting in the front of the Belgrave for the cinema doors to open for what was sure to be an unpleasant experience. Thankfully, Helen saw the worry in my face and offered me a Wagon Wheel. That helped a bit. Wagon Wheels are great. I’d heard Vampire Academy described as ‘Twilight meets Mean Girls’, but really it was more like ‘Twilight meets The Room’, complete with Eastern European guy with long hair who can’t act, awkward dialogue, and an extremely unnerving “sex scene” that comes out of fucking nowhere and is never really justified. It attempted to blend the standard dramatic vampire story with goofy high school drama, which Buffy pulled off quite well, but ended up taking itself so seriously in the dramatic moments that the fluffy teen drama seems totally ridiculous and out of place. Sure, the royal bloodlines are in danger and they should go into lockdown to protect a thousand-year-old dynasty, but on the other hand the prom is tomorrow and they have nothing to wear! (Oh yeah, spoiler alert, or whatever.) The villain even takes time out of his dramatic post-capture escape to tell the protagonist that the guy she likes actually likes her even though he says he doesn’t. He is just lying, he’s fully into her. Omfg wow such a shock twist I can’t fucking believe it. It would be more at home crammed between Saturday morning cartoons on TV than in a cinema where there’s, you know, money involved. Thankfully there is some much better stuff coming to the Belgrave in April. This movie is seriously, seriously bad, but not bad enough to enjoy. I’m sure if you’re into that kind of stuff it would be fun, or... something. But if you’re like me and you find yourself in a situation where you really can’t avoid watching it, don’t worry, it will be over soon.

1/5 sassy comebacks


TuneFM, Australia’s oldest univrsity radio station, offers opportunities for both external and internal students to volunteer in a wide range of roles. Contact us on or drop in and see us on campus!

Current UNE Top 10 □□ □□ □□ □□

Team - Lorde Happy - Pharrell Williams Dark Horse - Katy Perry ft Juicy J She Looks So Perfect 5 Seconds Of Summer □□ Words as Weapons - Birdie □□ All of Me - John Legend □□ Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo ft 2 Chainz □□ #Selfie - The Chainsmokers □□ Shot Me Down - David Guetta □□ Derniere danse - Indila Vote now @

Bandwidth Co-host Deathmatch Continues

While some people take to radio like a duck to water, others find public speaking a nerve-wracking and daunting challenge. These tips are designed to help the anxious sound confident, even when they’re not, until they build up their own natural confidence on-air.

The Bandwidth Deathmatch sessions continue-a tournament of diabolical vocal entertaining science to determine who will replace Melinda and James on the Bandwidth for 2014! Listen in to hear Conrad quiz the victims potential co-hosts on everything from empathetic rats to role-playing politicians.

Read now @

Listen Mondays @ 6pm

WORK300 / WORK500 Units

Radio Theatre Opportunities

If you’re planning to use TuneFM for a WORK300 or WORK500 unit in Trimester 2 then use the break to refine your documentary / project pitch. That way you can approach the lecturer you want to be your academic supervisor when you get back. Read our guidelines on the unit and the documentary process for more information.

Do you fancy yourself a star of stage and screen but have a face that’s great for radio? Do you spend time googling how they made the gurgling sound in The Grudge? Can you write a story that captivates and entertains provided you don’t have to figure out where the actors stand?

Get started now @


5 Tips to Sounding Confident On Air (Even When You’re Not)

Student-powered radio live on

106.9FM or on our live stream

Get started now @

Hey you! Want to receive Nucleus by post? We’re currently training special delivery possums, and post subscriptions will soon be available to off-campus students and alumni. Contact the Editors for more information:

Yes, YOU, working through your journalism, writing and/or media units! We bet your mum’s real proud of you, but what’s a degree without a bit of real-world experience? Nucleus is seeking journalists and writers to work on key stories for each issue. This is your opportunity to refine your practical skills, and get your name in print.

Contact the Editors now for your next assignment:

Words with Judd Confabulation


Having a fabulous conversation, but the words, discourse and dialogue don’t seem adequate? Want to sound like you are making up a word? Why not describe your conversations as confabulations?!?

Some people are nice. Not me; but some people are nice. Some people are so nice that they are even generous and kind to people who would be seen as lesser than themselves. This, my dear friends, is a person who is being magnanimous.

Yes, yes, yes, I am well aware that it makes you sound like a pompous git, but you know in your heart that you need that. You want that. You’ll take that. You’ll confabulate.

A magnanimous person is one who is kind to those who are the downtrodden of their own feet, those who can’t blow their own trumpet or toot their own horn because it is made of a toilet roll and duct tape, those who wallow in self pity not understanding that it is their own misconceptions of body odour. You know, those kinds of people. It can also be just someone who is your rival that you have beaten, and rather than using their tears as a dressing for your salad sandwich, you are quite humble and nice about it. Bleh, disgusting.

(Disclaimer: confabulation in psychology refers to a fictitious story made up by a patient to fill in memory blanks… you probably shouldn’t confabulate too much as there may be side effects.)


Free Speech: the next issue. pew



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These are the voyages of the student magazine Nucleus. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new words; to seek out new contributors and new articles; to boldly publish what no student newspaper has published before! starring USS enterprise pizza cutter and klingon bird of prey corkscrew

Nucleus - Vol 2, No 3  

The April issue of UNE's student newspaper.

Nucleus - Vol 2, No 3  

The April issue of UNE's student newspaper.