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Fashion Special

The Drums

March 2010

Coffee and Paint

at The Art Organisation

We talk to their owners

Thin Ice

Photos and analysis from the Varsity Ice Hockey match

Karckzma Pod Zbojem

Budapest

Where the loos have fake bouncers

Apocalyptic Accommodation

How bad can student housing get?

It’s a restaurant, not a tropical disease

How to look good through the looking glass


www.platform-online.net Editor-in-Chief Glen Davies

glen.davies@su.ntu.ac.uk

Designer Stephanie Combs

stephanie.combs@su.ntu.ac.uk

Deputy Editor Andrew Trendell

deputy-editor@platform-online.net

Online Editor Aaron Lee

online-editor@platform-online.net

News Editor Fraser Wilson

news@platform-online.net

Community Editor Nik Charity

community@platform-online.net

Music Editor Tom Warmsley

music@platform-online.net

Film Editor Becky Wojturska

film@platform-online.net

Pictures Editor Stefan Ebelewicz

photos@platform-online.net

Arts Editor Alexander Britton

arts@platform-online.net

Fashion Editor Laura Morrison

fashion@platform-online.net

Food & Drink Editor Molly Woodruff

food@platform-online.net

M

arch is a truly terrifying time of year for the seasoned pros at university. If you have a dissertation to write, you have my complete sympathy. I know that, contrary to your carefully laid-out plans, you’re still fretting over the fact that your flagship piece of academic work consists of about six words. Two of which are your name. It would be more productive to submit your used toilet paper.

Editor’s Letter

Why do we stall like this? It’s not like we do anything useful with the time we could be using to work. Usually it’s another night crawling out of Rock City on your hands and knees or deepening your already horrific overdraft with Scream burgers. In the end, you have to spend days in that awful place where everyone leaves their soul at the door and scurries around in a sort of melodramatic desperation: Boots Library. It makes Auschwitz look like Alton Towers. True to form, I’m here to further disrupt your working pattern. Since you’re reading this, you’ve obviously finished your work, haven’t got that much, are terrified of it or you simply don’t care. But I’m really rather please that you are because, in this issue, we’ve got a beaut. In early February Platform had a big fashion photoshoot, using the cream of photographic talent here at Trent and a collaboration with businesses including Topshop and Cow to create some stunning shots. After all, this is one of the largest clothing design centres in the country, so it’s only right that we do a fashion special. I do, however, feel sorry for the model who had to pose in freezing temperatures whilst wearing some outfits I shall euphemistically call “summery”. On top of that, it was shot on the University of Nottingham’s enviously pretty Park campus. Some of you will think that means we’re practically climbing into bed with Saddam Hussein. I do hope this time that you all managed to actually get an email to tell you this new edition of Platform was out. The wheels of the university’s IT machine turn very slowly indeed, it seems, so we haven’t disappeared. Enjoy the issue.

Travel Editor Lucia Miyashita

travel@platform-online.net

Glen Davies Editor-in-Chief

Gaming Editor Aaron Lee

gaming@platform-online.net

Health Editor Danielle Almond

health@platform-online.net

Sports Editor James Haigh

sports@platform-online.net

Cover photo by Jason Parry

Platform Magazine Nottingham Trent Students Union | Byron House | Shakespeare Street | Nottingham | NG1 4GH Tel | (0115) 848 6200 Fax | (0115) 848 6201 Email | platform@su.ntu.ac.uk Editorial enquiries | Email the relevant address on the left Press/PR enquiries | Email platform@su.ntu.ac.uk Advertising enquiries | Contact BAM Student Marketing on (0845) 1300 667 or www.trentstudents.org/student_marketing

Platform is an independent publication and any views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Nottingham Trent Students Union and its Elected Directors and Officers. Companies advertised in Platform are not necessarily endorsed by Nottingham Trent Students Union. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Editor.


Contents News

Community

Travel

05 | Getting Screwed Student Housing Feature

The Art Organisation

22 | Review

47 | Budapest

08 | Union News & Events

Arts

Health

24 | Review Tethervision

50 | Facts and Fibs about the Contrceptive Pill

25 | Book Review

52 | Say Neigh to K

What’s happening in your union

The Lovely Bones

p16

p32

p50

Music

Photos

53 | Music. Lights. People. Drink.

11 | Platform Interview: The Drums

15th February @ National Ice Arena

26 | Varsity Ice Hockey

54 | Square Eyes?

Fashion

Gaming

Cover Story

56 | Game Review

32 | Alice in Wonderland

57 | Platform Interview: Dewi Tanner of NanaOn-Sha

42 | McQueen Reign On

58 | Game Reviews

13 | Platform Interview: Alphabeat 14 | Platform Interview: The Maccabees 15 | Gig Reviews

Rolo Tamassi @ The Chameleon Café, Exit Ten @ Rescue Rooms

Film 16 | New Cinema Releases The Blind Side, Green Zone, Perrier’s Bounty

20 | New DVD Releases 2012, The Fourth Kind

21 | Classic Film Review Pretty Woman

43 | Trend: The Big Reveal & A Guy-ding Hand to Mens Fashion

Heavy Rain

Mass Effect 2, BioShock 2

Sports

Food & Drink

59 | Varsity Report: Ice Hockey

44 | Restaurant Review

61 | In Capello We Trust

Karckzma Pod Zbojem

46 | Real Ale at The Canalhouse

62 | Winter Olympics Tragedy


News

Getting Screwed - Student Housing Feature

Edited by Fraser Wilson | news@platform-online.net

Getting Screwed We all know that accommodation companies are slow at fixing things, but what if you’re literally being gassed to death? Platform Editor Glen Davies and Emma Thomas look at the extraordinary stories of two people who got far more trouble than they bargained for. > www.platform-online.net |

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News

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The letterbox is hanging off the door as you put the key in its single, ropey lock. It opens to reveal a hallway thick with dust. Dark walls, patched with damp, leer over bald carpets lined with mice droppings lead to a kitchen piled high with mouldy dishes.

The bulbs are blown on the staircase, the wallpaper is peeling off and the only sound interrupting the steady drip of a leaky tap is the wind blowing through the gap in the broken window.

VICTIM #1: REI COX – PAYING FOR NON-EXISTANT CLEANERS typical student home. The much-derided stereotypical hovel really isn’t that far away from the actual living conditions of many young people at university. Whether you’re paying £50 or £100 a week for your new digs, this is what so many move in to. Everything is broken, dirty and smells like a tramp’s underwear – even though you were promised it was cleaned over the summer. This is what Rei Cox discovered, when she moved into her new apartment.

It might sound like a squat on the outskirts of Bradford, but you’re actually stood in a

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“W

hen I moved in my flat looked like it had been left for months to rot.It was awful, there were stains all over the carpet, dust all over the floor and the furniture,” she says, evidently annoyed just by remembering it.

“Nothing was clean, there were even hairs left in the shower from the previous tenant. The window in the living room was also broken and pretty much hanging off, it was freezing in there. “My letting agent knew exactly when we were moving in, so the fact that the property was in such a state is an absolute shambles. Even though the rent is affordable, it doesn’t mean that


the standard and the quality of the property can be rubbish. I am still a paying tenant.” Rei moved into her flat on Derby Road in Nottingham in November. More than half the residents in the area are students. “I think it’s outrageous. They said 4 months ago that they’d give me £50 to pay for cleaning that they hadn’t done, but I haven’t seen or heard anything about this since. “I cleaned all of the mess myself and I still haven’t received any kind of compensation or even an apology.” The third year Fashion Marketing and Communications student, at Nottingham Trent University, says useful information about looking for somewhere to live is hard to come by. “It’s very difficult to know whether a landlord or letting agent is going to be good or not, the best way to find out is really by word of mouth. “My advice to new student renters would be to look up reviews of other companies and landlords and most importantly ask other students who have already done house hunting in previous years.” She also feels: “To be honest, next time I rent – I will steer clear of big companies that don’t care about their tenants.” But even in this set of circumstances, things can get much, much more serious – as Amee Eggerton found out when a problem with her boiler meant she and her housemates could have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. VICTIM #2: AMEE EGGERTON – NEARLY KILLED BY CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING

“F

or 3 months all 5 of my housemates and I were really ill, we had colds, headaches, we were sleepy and felt dizzy a lot of them time. We thought there was just some horrible flu going round at first.

However, whenever Amee left the house she said she started to feel better again. We started to put two and two together and suspected that there might be a gas leak.”

Amee and her housemates rang their letting agent to tell them about their concerns, their agent said they would send somebody round to have a look as soon as they could. After a few days, someone finally appeared. “When the person came to have a look at it all these alarms started going off when they dismantled it. My bedroom was right above it so I could hear all the commotion loud and clear.” However, after this Amee was told that there was nothing wrong with it and her concerns were dismissed.

how on earth it had even passed it’s safety certificate in the first place.” To this day Amee is scared of future gas leaks, and holds off on even turning the heating on. “I just don’t trust them anymore, I’d rather be cold than be almost poisoned again.”

“We were all so weak and very worried about our health. We had no idea what was happening to us.”

“I half expected them to say that there was something wrong because there sounded like there was such a commotion going on, it was all very sketchy.” A few more weeks past and Amee’s health continued to worsen. Finally, she and her housemates took themselves to Hospital.

“We felt like we were on deaths door, we were all so weak and very worried about our health, we had no idea what was happening to us.” The doctors took blood samples and tested the group for various other things. The results revealed high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning in all six girls and said that had they left it two more weeks, they would have died. “At that point I actually wanted to scream, it all confirmed that our suspicions had been right, as soon as we were out of the hospital we rang the letting agent and demanded they send someone back again to fix at the boiler.” Meanwhile, the girls stayed in the Premiere Inn hotel until it was fixed. “When they dismantled it again I went to have a look at what they were doing this time, there were holes in the pipes and some of them were actually completely detached and broken off, I wondered

T

he responsibility for managing the standards of student housing was transferred from councils to Unipol five years ago, and they now work to a code of requirements for landlords.

The charity tries to improve student accommodation standards by registering and monitoring agencies, acting as a watchdog. A spokesman from the Nottingham bureau explained how they endorse accredited property managers and landlords through universities and students’ unions throughout the UK. He said: “The list is called the Unipol DASH Code. It makes sure that students know they are going with reputable people.” However, Unipol does not have any power to rail against landlords and agencies who are not accredited by them, meaning that there are potentially still plenty of less reputable businesses out there. Some, such as the rather infamous Graduates Property Management, have been fined in court. Amee spoke to Platform to warn other students to be cautious when looking for a new house. And with so many alluring deals out there, it’s easy to get roped into the wrong one.

www.platform-online.net |

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Union News & Events

T

he first thing you may be asking is, ‘what is Stride?’ Stride is a free training and development programme run by the students union. It’s open to all current NTU students and not only looks great on your CV, but trains you in everything from Budgeting and Essay writing, to Leadership and Management.

We offer two main programmes, each with 8 modules. Our first programme is ‘Boosting Your Potential’ which helps you achieve your best whilst at university through training you in such things as referencing, exam, revision and presentation skills. Our second programme is ‘Business Management and Leadership’ which helps you develop skills needed for jobs after university. Some of these modules are; Managing Meetings, Projects and Public Speaking. As well as gaining invaluable skills, you can also earn certificates by attending a certain amount of modules. (6-10 modules = bronze, 11-14 = silver, 15 = gold, 16 = platinum) You have a whole year to attend sessions, all of which are repeated several times through for you to attend at your convenience. If at the end, you have earned your platinum certificate, this is accredited by Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce. Achieving this shows 3,500 employers that you have something more to offer than the other 300,000 graduates you are competing with. So, sounds like something you would be interested in? All you need to do is head to the students’ union website Stride page (http://www.trentstudents.org/stride ) and book onto as many or as few sessions as you would like.

FREE Stride Training & Development Sessions on offer in March: Sessions @ City: Boosting Your Potential Programme:

Exam Techniques - Wednesday 3rd March, 3-5pm Building Your CV - Wednesday 10th March, 3-5pm

Business Management and Leadership Programme:

Managing Projects - Tuesday 2nd March, 4-6pm Perfect Public Speaking - Tuesday 9th March, 4-6pm

For more info and to book a place go to: www.trentstudents.org/stride

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| Nottingham Trent Students Union Magazine

NTU’s Students in Classrooms Team are recruiting for the Student Associates Scheme What is the scheme? Student Associates work alongside an established classroom teacher in a primary or secondary school. Associates undertake activities such as helping small groups of pupils with class work, 1-1 support with pupils to improve attainment, and some experience of non teaching aspects such as planning and preparation. Phase 2 will run as a block placement at the end of the academic year, during June and July. Student Associates are expected to attend their placement for 15 days, which will be undertaken full time for 3 weeks. Applications are welcome from students of all courses, although subjects with some relation to those taught in schools are at an advantage for secondary placements. Applications are particularly welcomed from students studying maths related subjects, science (particularly chemistry & physics related courses), modern languages, design and technology,


PHOTOS SOUGHT FOR

COMPETITION

P

hotographers are invited to enter a competition being organised by the Interior Architecture and Design students at Nottingham Trent University. It aims to help promote the Final Year degree show in London in July 2010 called Changing Scale 20:10.

Entrants are asked to provide a photograph that relates in any way to ‘scale’. Closing date for entries is midday on March 31st 2010. All submissions must be made by email to pr@changingscale.co.uk, including your name, a contact number, the photo and where it was taken.

Extended library opening at Brackenhurst

religious education, music and information technology. Unfortunately applications cannot be accepted from individuals already on a course of Initial Teacher Training leading to Qualified Teacher Status or those who have undertaken the scheme previously.

Location Placements take place in schools across Nottingham and the surrounding area. Should you be successful you are assigned to a school, after taking account of a number of key factors.

Benefits The scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for students to gain an insight into working in schools and work with local young people. In addition to this students receive comprehensive training, support throughout their placement, opportunities to develop transferable skills, plus a non taxable bursary of £600 for undertaking the 15 day placement.  

What next?

It is essential that students attend an awareness raising meeting to be eligible to apply. Various meetings are taking place from Wednesday 17th to Tuesday 23rd March

We’ve responded to Student Union feedback and we’ll be trialling longer library opening hours at weekends during the Summer Term! Saturdays: 10am - 5pm (limited staff support after 2pm) Sundays: 2pm - 7pm (limited staff support) For details of all LLR opening times visit www.ntu.ac.uk/llr

NTSU Entertainments this month: Climax @ City - Every Saturday during term time (9:30pm) Double Vision @ Clifton - Every Friday during term time (9:30pm) Assault @ The Pulse – Fortnightly Fridays during term time (9:30pm) ClubNME @ The Pulse – Fortnightly Fridays during term time (8pm)

See www.trentstudents.org for more info

Please visit our website: www.ntu.ac.uk/studentsinclassrooms for exact details.

www.platform-online.net |

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Music

The Drums | Alphabeat | The Maccabees | Rolo Tamassi @ The Chameleon Café Exit Ten @ Rescue Rooms Edited by Tom Warmsley | music@platform-online.net

Interview:

Name

Standfirst >

Interview: The Drums Being asked to open the NME Shockwaves Tour is a pretty big deal. Infamously referred to as ‘the Coldplay slot’, the opening role of the bill has also been filled by the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and The Ting Tings. Needless to say, those are some really big shoes to fill. This year’s chosen ones were U.S. band and NME darlings The Drums. As they warmed up for their first proper tour, Andrew Trendell caught up with singer Jonathan Pierce to talk about what it’s like to be tipped as the sound of 2010 > www.platform-online.net |

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Music

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Andrew Trendell: For those unfortunate folk who live underground in caves and haven’t heard you yet, how would you describe your sound?

Jonathan Pierce: The most important thing for us is just to write pure pop songs. It really isn’t pure pop if you just consider yourself a rock n’ roll band. We feel that true pop music should be vulnerable and honest because you only have 3 minutes to say what you want to say.

“I

think that everyone is miserable - anyone who said they were really happy would be lying. I think only children can be purely happy.”

AT: You’ve got quite a West Coast beach-y kind of sound. I find it quite surprising that you come from New York. How did you come upon this summer sound? JP: It’s a very weird thing because we had no real intention of sounding how we sounded on the Summertime EP. I was living in New York and it was so cold and wintery. I was feeling really depressed then I called my best friend Jacob, who was also really bored at the time. Hey just said ‘hey man, why don’t come live out here and form a band.’ So I packed my bags and went to Florida the next day. Leaving cold New York and then instantly being in Florida just instantly blew me away – everything just felt like an endless summer. I just think that the idea of summer and the beach just worked its way into our sound without us really knowing it. AT: So would you say there’s a strong element of escapism in your music? JP: We’re 100% escapist. I think that everyone is miserable – anyone who said they were really happy would be lying. I think only children can be purely happy. That’s why people love the idea of escaping or being taken back to a familiar place – that’s what we were really trying for on the record. AT: Should we expect more of the same from your full length album? JP: The difference between that EP and the full length is that we’ve been writing in New York more since we’ve been back. I think that we’re a product of our surroundings so I think it’s darker, more brooding and more personal and a little bit more serious side to The Drums that you’ll see.

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AT: That’s interesting because if you listen to other New York bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Interpol, there’s this deep and dark foundation that underlies their sound. Why do you think New York has such an effect? JP: Some people feel constricted by these big buildings and being locked into this grid. I think there is something very gritty and dark about New York. We’re happy to write songs here but this is not where we found ourselves. Had we not moved to Florida we wouldn’t have wrote the Summertime EP. We didn’t feel part of any scene or anything – we were able to just wipe the slate clean and do something for ourselves. We wanted to do this by forgetting about everything else. We turned off our TVs and stopped listening to current music. We didn’t have a car so we were really just stuck there writing songs for about 6 months without any influence at all. I’m really glad we made that move – I

| Nottingham Trent Students Union Magazine

think we found what we needed to find. AT: You’re opening the upcoming NME tour. That’s a pretty prestigious slot previously filled by bands that have all gone on to achieve huge things. Do you feel much pressure in that respect? JP: We don’t really feel pressure because it’s a very strange idea. We started this band as a selfish little project just for ourselves. We didn’t start the band thinking we’d ever get big so all of this stuff has really taken us by surprise. Being asked to be on this tour was really shocking. Whilst we’re grateful for it we aren’t interested or planning on changing anything that we do. The things that were important to us before all of this hype are still important to us. Of course, we have to work a little harder to keep up with what’s happening but our main priority is still just to write sincere pop songs.


Interview: Alphabeat As the radiant ‘Fascination’ of 2008 still beams around the periphery of popular culture, it seems an age since the word was put on our lips and in fervent response we keenly spoke the word. But while the mainstream grasp of wonky pop has evolved into an orgy of electro-dance beeps, tits and glitter, Thomas Warmsley finds the Danish sextet have returned to claim 2010 as theirs. Anders SG tells him why it has taken so long for the ‘Beat to at last continue.

A

fter a year of silence, the Danes couldn’t ask for a better or indeed bigger opportunity to showcase their second album, as they have the flocking crowds of the colossally glamorous Lady GaGa to answer to. “She is definitely the biggest pop star around right now. She’s very professional and in touch with the music herself, so it will be an honour to play with her.”

While you would expect Lady GaGa’s performance to be heartily padded up to her shoulders with all manner of extravagance, Alphabeat are determined to remain modest in light of their stage performance. “We can’t really compete with someone like Lady GaGa. We do something different, and I think we are quite confident if we just do what we normally do and play with our full band. No explosives or pyrotechnics!” Alphabeat’s eagerly awaited album ‘The Beat Is... ‘ set for release at the beginning of March, is far from a closely following sequel to their day-glo pop debut. “The biggest difference is probably that we have written everything on computers, where as for the first album we didn’t have them to compose on. It’s just a whole new creative world for us. But we have

always been fans of Stock, Aitkin and Waterman and that sort of 80s production.” Being influenced by one of the biggest hit making trios in music history, can only mean that Alphabeat are far from finished in the quest for making infectious packages of synthetic pop, but this time they brandish a Dance element to their songs. But before you presume all robotic beats will devour Alphabeat’s delicate Danish charm; it’s clear that they are still proud to wear their hearts on their collective sleeve with latest single ‘Hole In My Heart’. “A lot of people think that it is a negative song, like a heartbreaking song, but it is positive. It’s a classic love song and we always try to write about love in our songs.” With the new album taking up the majority of time for Alphabeat in 2009, they are keen to get back over to the UK promptly in 2010 to kindly make it up to us all. “We missed out on all the fun last year and couldn’t do any festivals. But we are definitely coming over to play festivals in summer and afterwards we hope to do a full headline tour around the UK so people can see just us and not Lady GaGa”.

www.platform-online.net |

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Music

The Space Between Interview: The Maccabees

The Maccabees have outlived most of their flash in the pan contemporaries. Two albums into their career, they’ve achieved great acclaim and a strong following. Now the band find themselves proudly headlining this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards Tour. Just before they played their Nottingham date, Andrew Trendell spoke to guitarist Felix White to discuss famous friends, the future and The Feelies. Andrew Trendell: Your second album ‘Wall of Arms’ has been out for a while now and has been quite well received. How have you found people’s reception of the band and the album since its release? Felix White: I think that generally people see it as an improvement on the first one, which of course is what we wanted. I think it’s just a sign of us getting better and becoming more of a three-dimensional group. We’re getting there and a lot of people saw that.

were written with much more purpose for being recorded. There’s a lot more space on the record and there was much more of a concept to it. The first record

AT: There’s a clear and unmistakable progression in between the albums. How would you describe the band’s evolution? FW: The songs on the second record

was much like it was for most bands – you just bash it out to play live in a club or wherever and hope for the best. One of the things that we tried to do on the second record was to try to make music

that’s exciting and beautiful without having to jump up and down and beg for attention by being fast then slow or quiet then loud or whatever. We wanted the music to just stand up for what it is.

“There’s a lot more space on the record and there was much more of a concept to it. We tried to make music that’s exciting and beautiful without having to beg for attention. We wanted the music to just stand up for what it is.”

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AT: Have you made much progress in writing your next record? FW: We’re putting it together at the moment but it’s going to be slightly different because everyone is getting a bit better at using their computers to put bits of music together. The last song on the second record, ‘Bag Of Bones’, me and Hugh just did that on his computer then eventually put a song over the top of it. We felt much more positive about that way of doing it because rather than arguing about it we were just picking


the parts of the song that we liked and adding our own. We’re going to spend a bit more time on our own and then get together a bit later. I know that it will be yet another evolution and it will be better. If it isn’t better then we won’t release it. AT: What’s influencing you at the moment? FW: I really like the latest British Sea Power record ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’ I’ve only just started to get into that, it’s just a beautiful record. I’ve really started to get into Godspeed You Black Emperor. AT: You’re a fan of ‘Lift Your Skinny Fists’? FW: Yes, that’s the one I’ve got. It’s just such a beautiful record, I love it. Also, I went into a record shop in Brighton and I bought a record by The Feelies just because I liked the cover and it turns out they’re amazing! AT: On all of the albums you’ve just mentioned you can hear quite a lot of space and atmosphere. Do you think that will creep into the Maccabees more so than before? FW: I think so. I can’t speak for the others, but that’s what I’d love to do at the moment. A bit like ‘Bag Of Bones’ from the last record. I think there will be elements of that on the next album. We’ve got loads of other ideas as well. AT: I understand you used to be in a band with Jack Penate? Did you both always think that you were going to ‘make it’ in a Hollywood kinda way? FW: Yes, as embarrassing as it sounds, I think we did. We both always had to have that confidence, not arrogance, but the belief in our heads that ‘this is going to happen,’ in order not to be too timid about it, especially when you’re young. Luckily for us it happened. We’re very lucky people.

Rolo Tomassi, Brontide & Guilty Parents @ The Chameleon Cafe

17th January 2010

N

ottingham’s own garage punk trio Guilty Parents opened the show with a frenetic and delightfully sloppy set. Keeping every one entertained was the bassist’s beard, the best this town has seen since Alan Rickman’s role as the sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Next up was Brontide and they didn’t disappoint. With twiddly, looped guitar, booming bass and ex- ‘I was a Cub Scout ‘drummer/current beat supplier for synth-pop sensation ‘La Roux’, holding it all seamlessly together how couldn’t they? Riff-rock, with no vocals sounds boring on paper, but in practice it makes perfect sense. They’re tight, stopping unexpectedly, with a seemingly effortless precision, while twitching and grimacing with sheer pain/joy at the sounds they have created. The main event Rolo Tomassi appear and front the room changed from nods and tapped toes to crowd surfing, plus the frankly overdue tearing down of the Christmas fairy lights. They’re a band fronted by Eva a little

lady with a big set of lungs, screaming down the microphone like it killed her cat and synth player James who also makes equally shrill (in a good way) sounds with his voice. These two sit neatly on top a mish-mash of abstract discordant guitars and spank-in-the-face time signatures. An apology is made for any mistakes made, as they have only played 4 shows in the last 6 months due to recording a new album. If any had happened already, it was hard to tell. I may have been distracted by the journey through what can only be described as ‘horror jazz’ on a barbecue of ears. They play couple of new songs tonight, which pleases the audience; the same melody repeated itself for longer than two bars, which they might not have expected. The band finish off the night with a request for even more movement from the crowd for the last song, which was instantly obliged. The coarse vocals turn to a sweet, heartfelt thank you to the support acts. An encore is unlikely for such a low-key venue and modest act, but surely tonight they could have got away with it. Peter Kent

Exit Ten, The Casino Brawl & Dividing The Line @ Rescue Rooms

25th January 2010

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t was always going to be Exit Ten who ruled the roost tonight. However, there was an abrasive aesthetic to proceedings that bombarded those in attendance at the Rescue Rooms tonight, before the headliners had even graced the stage.

On first were Dividing The Line, the five piece demonstrated their own infusion of electro metal. With all the energy of a youthful outfit attempting to become a fully fledged seasoned band, yet they fell considerably short of setting the standard for the bands to follow. Following them, The Casino Brawl’s much more excitable sound was the first inkling of a frenzy in the crowd. Technically mature and full to the brim with confidence the band perform with energy and a definite charisma that hint of bigger things to come for the boys from up north. Exit Ten, equipped with material old, new and ancient, took to the stage, with the crowd tangibly anxious as to what they were about to witness. Blasting on with ‘God Speed’, no inferno is seen and no Dutch style wind milling is witnessed, instead

just complete appreciation for a band so technically able, that it almost puts the rest on the bill to shame. As they rekindle old favourite ‘Piece By Piece By Piece’, every faithful in attendance attempts to tame their faces from smiling too broadly, as the intro of the archaic song kicks in. The small venue captured by all that the band from Reading can conjure. They seem completely comfortable in their surroundings and even though they laugh at the state of the lighting rig, no complaints are voiced as the seemingly shitty surroundings seem to drive Exit Ten on to higher levels. The insatiable lyrics and catchy vocals from Ryan Redman merely entice the crowd further. As audience participation reaches a high with the underground classic ‘Resume Ignore’ – setting off a blaze within the front rows of the audience. If they were to have played an encore it would have been lapped it up, with everyone there eating out of Exit Ten’s collective hand. Yet instead they walk off the side of the stage, straight into the path of the exiting public, a very mature performance from still such a young band. Ross Timms

www.platform-online.net |

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Film

The Blind Side | Green Zone | Perrier’s Bounty | 2012 | The Fourth Kind | Pretty Woman Edited by Becky Wojturska | film@platform-online.net

New Cinema Release

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| Nottingham Trent Students Union Magazine


The Blind Side (12A)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head Directed by: John Lee Hancock Released: 12th March 2010

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he Blind Side brings the true story of Michael Oher (Aaron), a poor, overweight African-American who is accepted into a Christian school after they see his athletic potential. However as Michael’s troubles increase he is left homeless and later taken in by the Tuohy’s (Bullock and McGraw) out of an act of charity. Not only do the Tuohy’s change Michael’s life, he brings them to some self-realisations of their own, namely the true meaning of ‘family’ and valuables. With the encouragement of his teachers and his new family, Michael works harder to improve his grades so he can be accepted into a major University to play football, but things change when allegations are made that the Tuohy’s only took Michael in to groom him for athletic stardom at their favourite University, an apparently common and illegal problem. Hurt and angry Michael resorts back to his old neighbourhood but soon realises that it is up to him to make the right choices in his life, no one elses. The Blind Side is not another American football type film where the coach is usually the form of inspiration for the player, but rather a unique film that atriculates the importance of family bond and loving encouragement. Michael’s relationship and effect on the Tuohy’s is touching and at moments tear-jerking especially in one scene where he silently brings the family to eat dinner together instead of watching television while eating for the first time. His relationship with young S. J. is particularly moving and supplies much heart-warming humour. It is refreshing to see Sandra Bullock in a non rom-com film and surprising to see how well she adapts. She interacts beautifully with Aaron and deserves all the nominations she has received for the role. Aaron himself is perfect as Oher who although quiet and shy, has an influential impact of everyone around him. It is more than fair to say The Blind Side is unique within its genre as it brings a truly emotional element to the table, without any of the fake macho stunts seen in the likes of Gridiron Gang, The Longest Yard and Friday Night Lights. This film is thoughtprovoking, heart-warming, tear-jerking and most of all, memorable. Becky Elizabeth Wojturska

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Film

Green Zone

Starring: Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Bredan Gleeson, Greg Kinnear Directed by: Paul Greengrass Released: 12th March 2010

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att Damon seems to be appearing everywhere right now, but perhaps for good reason. Green Zone brings another strong performance from him as he stars as Roy Miller, a U.S. Army officer who begins to become suspicious after his team are led to numerous sites that supposedly contain Weapons of Mass Destruction, but to no avail. As he delves deeper he uncovers a threatening conspiracy that comes from within the U.S. government and so goes rogue to find the truth behind the faulty intelligence.

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If you’re thinking ‘not another Americanised war film’ then you will be more than pleasantly surprised to learn that this film does not glorify war for the American Dream, but is more realistic in its portrayal of corrupt individuals within the systems. Truthfully, it wasn’t on-edge stuff and there were a few moments which could have been sped up or cut out, but altogether the concept is invigorating and the action understated, making it an ultimately refreshing film. Becky Elizabeth Wojturska


Perrier’s Bounty (15)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Jim Broadbent, Jodie Whittaker, Brendan Gleeson Directed by: Ian Fitzgibbon Released: TBC

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errier’s Bounty follows Michael McCrea (Murphy) as, after getting in trouble with the wrong people, tries to escape the clutches of notorious gangster Darren Perrier (Gleeson) who has put a bounty on his head. He winds up on the run with suicidal ‘friend’ Brenda (Whittaker) and his almost estranged father Jim (Broadbent).

A spectacular cast really brings this witty dark script to life, but it is Broadbent and Gleeson who really shine; Jim with his paranoid belief that the next time he falls asleep the Grim Reaper will come for him, and Perrier with his tendency to empathise with everyone he knows or kills (in most cases, both.) With a brilliant screenplay, brilliant casting and brilliant performances, this film is, well, brilliant. Becky Elizabeth Wojturska

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Film

New DVD Releases 2012 (15)

Starring: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton Directed by: Roland Emmerich Released: 11th November 2009

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his may come as a shock to you but 2012 is not one film but rather, two separate, very different films. One film is an atrocious, poorly scripted and poorly acted disaster of a movie that is to be avoided at all costs. The other is the most insanely brilliant disaster film of all time.

No matter your taste in films, there’s no getting around the fact that the first 20 or so minutes of the film are pretty awful. It’s a confusing mess of concerned looking scientists, concerned looking world leaders and (bizarrely) concerned looking art collectors that no-one could possibly find entertaining. Thankfully it seems that 2012’s overlord Roland Emmerich recognises this too. The numbers “2012” are displayed in a giant ominous font only after all this concerned exposition has taken place as if to say “That was the starter. Now here’s the main course.” And what a main course it is. As soon as we join put upon father/writer turned action hero Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) the movie quickly descends into the series of dramatic set pieces and scenes of epic destruction that we were all waiting for. The spectacle is frequently breathtaking. Yet for every moment of sheer joy that comes with witnessing entire cities destroyed by earth, fire and water comes numerous moments where you are required to suspend any sense of logic or reality. Early on in the film, Jackson manages to drive his family to safety through the crumbling streets of San Francisco. Yet while this starts as a dramatic escape sequence, the realisation that no matter what happens, impossibly good driving will ensure their safety does threaten to ruin the moment. This is particularly noticeable when quite literally everyone else in the city appears to die horribly.

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It’s disaster movie 101. There’s an unlikely hero dad whose acts of bravery reunite him with his estranged family. There’s a step dad who can conveniently fly any aircraft he stumbles upon despite his initial claims to the contrary. There is a nononsense Russian co-pilot. Numerous goodbye phone calls are made. As soon as a character is introduced, you immediately know if they will live or die. In most cases they die. Not only is 2012 filled with gaping plot holes and jumps in logic, in even manages to repeat the same “escape to the airplane while the runway crumbles” sequence twice. Stranger still, it succeeds in over complicating the simple act of destroying everything in the world by adding several needless subplots about government conspiracies, the rights of the people and elderly jazz men. Oh and it’s about 30 minutes too long. 2012 is by all accounts an awful movie. Yet it’s hard not to be won over by the sheer gung-ho stupidity of it all. Though some of the acting is a bit suspect, John Cusack is clearly enjoying himself while Woody Harrelson gives a winning turn as demented conspiracy theorist/hermit Charlie Frost. There is a genuine desire to please here that’s hard to ignore. And although you might get more enjoyment from mocking the movie than you get from the movie itself, there is undoubtedly enjoyment to be had. So yes, 2012 is two films. One is an absolute travesty of cinema that is impossible to recommend. The other is a wondrously child like celebration of special effects driven popcorn silliness that is impossible to not enjoy. I know which one I watched. Kane Basterrechea


Classic Film Review Pretty Woman (15)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere Directed by: Garry Marshall Released: 1st June 1990

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The Fourth Kind (15)

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Will Patton Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi Released: 6th November 2009

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he Fourth Kind is billed as the story of real events, which took place in Nome, Alaska. Dr. Abigail Tyler is faced with tragedy as she wakes up one night to find an intruder is in the process of killing her husband. In the combination of grief and disbelief she wishes to recall the face of the murderer to bring him to justice. She visits a fellow psychologist in a bid to find her answers through the power of hypnosis. However, during her session she begins screaming uncontrollably yet is revived without answers. Tyler decides to immerse herself in her husband’s work, where she finds some peculiar studies that he has conducted on the sleep of the locals. It is here that her story takes a rather extra-terrestrial turn as the nocturnal habits of her subjectees wreak devastation.

The film works along the same lines of Paranormal Activity but the two films similarities are the defining feature in its success: to believe or not to believe? The Fourth Kind is extremely stylized but effective in its use of ‘real’ footage and audio. These snippets of reality add terrifying tension to the subject matter and are beautifully shot in a handi-cam style. It’s a mixing of Hollywood’s action filled narrative but with the supernatural elements of The Blair Witch. However, it’s the dramatized versions of events which let the film down. The combination of the real and the fake becomes a whirlwind at times as these move around the screen to accommodate the action. This also leads to the destruction of some atmosphere created, which is a shame as the rest of the film is rather good. Emma Breward

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here are few chick flicks that really stand the test of time; Notting Hill… Four Weddings and a Funeral… but one of the best has to be Pretty Woman. Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the original ‘tart-with-a-heart’ story is still capturing audience’s hearts. Pretty Woman is the tale of a call girl, played by Julia Roberts, who is down on her luck and can’t make her rent, again. Her flat mate encourages her to take some ‘business’ from the wealthy, Richard Gere who initially is just lost and looking for directions. The two tease, taunt, and circle each other, trying to decide whether they have a relationship or a business transaction. However, Roberts’ ballsy and loveable attitude to life soon changes his mind and the rest, after a few socially unacceptable behaviors later (shouting at a horse race an especially amusing one), is happily ever after. The story is a tad predictable, but Gere and Roberts ooze a chemistry, which makes the film come to life. Roberts, as stunning as she is, pulls off a fantastic performance, which made her a star. Gere is restrained by stereotype in his role but is elegant, amusing, and the perfect foil. Pretty Woman manages to be giddy, lighthearted and almost convincing enough to encapsulate the most cynical into believing that love exists, gaining itself the golden status that it holds. Emma Breward

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Community Review: The Art Organisation

Edited by Nick Charity | community@platform-online.net

“I Only Wanted A Coffee” Review: The Art Organisation

It’s got mismatched old furniture, it’s in a tatty old building and it’s full of oddballs. Yet that’s precisely what makes this place so cool, as Nick Charity explains. Photos by Stefan Ebelewicz

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he ‘Art Organisation’ on Station Street seemed to me to be no more than a stylised art-café. It is charming, quaint and spacious – spliced with the work of several artists and a selection of affordable price tags. As soon as I entered and ordered myself a Mocha, an older gentleman in a raincoat followed me inside and walked over to a standing piano, played for a few minutes and then left without a hello or goodbye, nor an eyelid to flutter. The impression of the room is as though you have stepped into an artists studio. That is exactly the feeling that the Art Organisation wishes to conjure up - as though their only mission is to provide an authentic, paint-in-your-mocha, stylised coffee-shop experience. This was my impression, and my impression was wrong. The abruptness of the arriving pianist is a perfect example of this – Art is more than the freedom of expression it is the expression of freedom.

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I got the sense that TAO has a dedication to its local affiliations. The pieces of art I first assumed were simply decorative are all from Nottingham sculptors, alternative jewellers and canvas visionaries that will forever remember this place as their first great stepping stone in their later careers. Apart from supplying studio and exhibition space for peanuts – approximately £1 a month per square metre, they also aid with funding for further exhibition elsewhere, and offer plenty of opportunities for networking.

In actuality, TAO is a completely unpretentious, totally honest and utterly approachable venue for artists in Nottingham. They have been working for more than ten years to provide up-andcoming artists, musicians and comedians with a base for their work. In the main Nottingham building alone, there is a huge amount of gallery and studio space for exhibitions, sculpturing, and screen-printing, as well as further space for dance-studios, large scale darkroom facilities… and of course somewhere to have a Mocha, should you so choose.

As well as an infinite number of artists that have come and gone over the years, TAO has been a base for musical talent, such as ‘Hannah,’ and local band the ‘Soundcarriers’ (who performed at Glastonbury a few years go and have recently released an album and single). As a venue, the Art Organisation also holds improvisational comedy nights, art theatre, big-name tours and a long list of other community events. In recent history, they have most notably been visited by The Kills, Faithless and The Noisettes.

Upon my first ever visit I was privileged to have a conversation with one of the former owners, Kelly Smith, who told me that all of the venues are initially bought as derelict buildings and made safe for use by the community. Now, the Art Organisation comprises several localised buildings in central Nottingham, Leicester, thirteen in cultural capital Liverpool and southern links in London and Brighton. When you think of how little support we give the arts as a country, it is people like the folks at TAO that keep our alternative selves busy. Needless to say that, no matter the community, the Art Organisation has done incredible work around the country and will, quite deservedly, continue to aspire. Oh, and the Mochas weren’t bad either. The Art Organisation can be found at 3-21 Station Street, or www.taonottingham.co.uk

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Arts Tethervision | The Lovely Bones

Edited by Alexander Britton | arts@platform-online.net

No, it’s not a live feed from a bondage den. It’s the innovative way in which a Nottingham gallery is expanding its projects beyond its four walls and onto the internet. Platform’s Arts Editor Alexander Britton takes a look.

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t takes a lot to change the world, of this there is no doubt. Over time, we have seen myriad situations that were awash with revolutionary potential but have amounted to little; a spurious example of this being protests during the G20 summit. The oft-cited adage that “the revolution will not be televised”, whilst lacking in true bite due to overuse, still rings true – it is taking place in our bedrooms, in our libraries, anywhere where we have access to the internet. Bringing this into the arena of arts, the internet is permitting us to consume art as we haven’t been able to do so previously. Tether, an art gallery on Huntingdon Street, Nottingham, have been using the power of the internet within a project called Tethervision – it’s a series of videos which allow them to expand upon their premises and upon exhibitions taking place there. The project is still in its relative infancy – there are currently only eight videos on the site – but the current work demonstrates neatly the potential of this project. One of the most impressive videos currently on Tethervision is an interview with Anthony Peskine, whose exhibition ‘Who

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do you think you are?’ in March last year was a playful satire on the manipulation of hope and aspiration in contemporary society. Rather than just stay within the limits of a generic art interview (“What influences you? What are your processes? Are you frustrated too?”), the flow is largely dictated by Peskine. Set to a backdrop his piece ‘Foule’ [Crowd], a cartoon depiction of hundreds of homogenic, suited, moustachioed men – with far too much resemblance to Hervé’s Thomson and Thompson for it to be purely coincidental – Peskine cuts an awkward figure as he offers his insights into the notion of revolution. “There’s no individuality in crowds,” he says, before adding that, “people want to change the world, but they don’t know what they want it to change to.” Peskine goes on to discuss revolution, individuality and the ‘Thomson twins’ both with relation to ‘Foule’ as well as his other works. Other videos include a piece with Ban Hagari and a discussion of his work and the Israeli art scene and a fascinating discussion with Joanne Lee and Duncan Higgins about art, educa-


Book Review The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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eter Jackson’s upcoming film adaptation of The Lovely Bones promises something visually stunning and has already generated a buzz with stand out performances from Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan but it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the book from which the film is being made. The Lovely Bones is narrated from the point of view of a fourteen year old girl called Susie Salmon who is brutally raped and murdered by her neighbour in a dug out he constructed in the cornfield which Susie walked across on her way home from school. Her voice lacks the bitterness and cynicism it could so easily have had given the circumstances surrounding her death. Instead readers are party to Susie’s recollections, descriptions of her heaven and what she gleans from watching those on Earth who touched her life or are now connected to her through her murder. Chillingly, Susie also observes her killer Mr Harvey, an odd but quiet neighbour who builds doll houses and is so skilled in evoking an aura of loneliness and disconnection that only Susie’s grieving father suspects his hand in her demise.

tion, and art education. With many universities now offering fine art courses, they discuss how this change of context for art education from traditional art schools is having an impact upon prospective artists. The beauty of many of the videos is that they stand alone as discussions of concepts rather than being intrinsically linked to previous exhibitions; whilst knowledge of Peskine’s work would help situate his ideas with the context of his work, his philosophising about issues surrounding identity are captivating. Tethervision is representative of the power of the internet being harnessed to alter the way in which art can be consumed; no longer is this process restricted to the gallery’s premises. The project is allowing an enhanced experience of exhibitions taking place at Tether, and permitting a greater interactivity between artist and audience. Tether will be launching tethervision.co.uk in the not too distant future, but in the meantime their videos can be found at www.youtube.com/tethervision.

Sebold has created a family for Susie as well written and believable as Susie herself, the mechanisms each character employs to cope with their loss and the evolution of their grief are engaging and touching without oozing sentimentality. People on the periphery of Susie’s life on Earth become an integral part of her day in her heaven and the web of connections between each of the people she watches is skillfully spun. The imagery of Susie’s heaven and the way her surroundings work giving her the tools to put herself back together while enjoying the simple pleasures her heaven affords her are an interesting take on the afterlife while being completely unreligious. Atmospheric without being too description heavy, the tone moves through tragic, languid, heartbreaking, tense and uplifting making it difficult to classify by genre as it uses elements of fantasy, suspense, drama, coming of age and romance. While there are undeniably dark moments within the book it is much more than a story of the untimely death of a young girl. Published in 2002, it received considerable critical acclaim and became an instant bestseller through weaving themes of loss, grief and coming of age into something ultimately beautiful and optimistic. Overall an original read that is something of a page-turner. Jem Cope

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Photos Varsity Ice Hockey 15.02.10 Photo: Patrick Taylor

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Photos Varsity Ice Hockey 15.02.10 Photo: Patrick Taylor

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Photos Varsity Ice Hockey 15.02.10 Photo: Stefan Ebelewicz

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Fashion

Alice in Wonderland | McQueen Reign On! | Trend: The Big Reveal | Fashion Tribes Edited by Laura Morrison | fashion@platform-online.net

The designer experience does not stop there, fret not. Renowned jewellery designer and Council of Fashion Designers winner, Tom Binns, has designed an

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elcome to the fashion section – I am afraid, like the rest of the world we’ve come down with Alice fever!

Who can resist the promise of another tantalising 3D film, Johnny Depp in yet more baffling make-up caked sexiness, and of course the clothes! Alice is the new black, don’t you know darling – or (gasp) did you not see the Vegas flash mob? Tutut. Disney Consumer Products have gone into overdrive over Tim Burton’s latest cinematic creation, and began their tour de force with a flash mob, stunning Magic fashion trade show visitor’s a few months ago with “Mad tea at Three”. Cirque d’Alice sprung literally out of nowhere and re-created her wonderland, making it clear that DCP are definitely targeting the fashpack with this latest project. And we don’t mind at all - not when it’s inspiring a whole host of designers. Queue Stella McCartney’s new jewellery line, that was available from stores as of last month (February). The British designer has designed a limited edition necklace and bracelet in her trademark palette of neutrals, blacks and browns. Slung from a brass chain, famous Alice motifs such as a rabbit, a Mad Hatter’s hat and playing cards all give a nod to Disney’s latest film.

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will continue to position Disney at the forefront of fashion trends.” And it is not just the other side of the pond that has come down with Alice mania, Printemps, a department store in Paris, has taken a similar step in Bloomingdale’s footsteps. This month their entire window display has been dedicated to the sto-

exclusive collection of pieces for Walt Disney Signature line. The high-end pieces are centred around Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, the White Queen and the White Rabbit, and are priced between $1,000 and $2,000! For those of us who aren’t willing to part with the equivalent of a deposit on an Alexander Wang bag, Binns has also just released a more affordable line in collaboration with Disney Couture, so we can all get our Alice fix. DCP has not stopped there. In preparation for the release of the film this month, the corporation has joined forces with Bloomingdales in New York, to create a unique window display in their flagship 59th Street store. Props from the set of the film, as well as the specially designed pieces by Binns, and dresses by Sue Wong who created a couture line for Walt Disney Signature, decorated the window, complemented by a special exhibit inside the store. Pam Lifford, Executive Vice President, for Global Fashion and Home at DCP said: “The arresting settings and characters in Tim Burton’s interpretation of Alice In Wonderland provided great inspiration and have made it possible for us to work with this renowned group of designers to create a truly unique collection of lifestyle products that

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By Laura Morrison rybook star, with more than a hint of true Parisian chic. Mannequins with rabbit heads, are draped in the couture from such designers as Haider Ackermann, Manish Arora, Chloé, Ann Demeulemeester, Christopher Kane, Nicholas Kirkwood, Maison Martin Margiela, and Bernhard Willhelm, creating the perfect whimsical display. As a tribute to the legendary Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Ladurée and Printemps have even installed a tearoom with long community tables, so that you can host your very own tea party! After all of the leather and studs of last season, what better way could there be to awake the pastel ribboned child in all of us? And lest you’re seeking any more inspiration to tulle-up, all I have to say to you is US Vogue 2003, Annie Leibovitz and Natalia Vodianova. That in mind, we hope you enjoy our homage d’Alice in the form of our first photoshoot. So the only question left on everyone’s lips is: What who you will be wearing to the tea party? >


Fashion

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Fashion


Pages 33 & 36

Lilac dress: Alice + Olivia, £335

Page 34

Pink cashmere jumper: £10, Cow Blue dress: £20, Cow

Pages 37-39

Blue dress, ruffle sleeves: Topshop, £40

This page

Pink dress: Topshop, £32 White fur coat, stylist’s own Shoes all Cow

Photographer

Jason Parry

Assistant

Jake Turney

Model

Phyllida Price

Stylists

Laura Morrison, Guy Rathbone, Caroline Chate, Clare Bradbury, Jasmin O’Hara, Dominic Hassall, Emily Hart

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Fashion

McQueen Reign On! By Emily Hart

The news of Alexander McQueen’s death came as a devastating blow to the fashion world after he was reported to have committed suicide just weeks before his new collection was to be revealed. Of all the news reporting his death there is nothing but glowing praise of the designers forward thinking, awe -inspiring and beautifully made designs and the public has responded in due fashion by rushing out to buy his pieces, his sales experiencing a 1400% increase most notably in his iconic silk scarves. For McQueen fashion was all about pushing the boundaries. The clothes, often containing notions of the macabre entwined with historical and global themes ring true to his personality, describing himself as “in tune with my melancholic side.” As a designer he was fully immersed in the process. Training as a Saville Row tailor and going on to complete an MA at Central St Martins, he was an incredibly talented and competent designer, with a rare understanding of how to construct even the most complex of garments.

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Although shying away from the culture of fame, the radical elements of clothing such as his bumster trousers in the nineties and sky-high heels in the noughties were championed celebrities up and down red carpets everywhere. His clothes may have been commercially successful but his mesmerizing shows were his true triumph, using unconventional models such as amputees and spectacles such as spray painting dresses live on stage, Embracing technology and always looking for new ways to bring the fashion show into the 21st century, one of his most famous involved screening a holographic Kate Moss into a giant pyramid on the catwalk in 2006. However this frenetic and often superficial world was one in which McQueen felt increasingly isolated echoing the sentiment, “In the fashion industry, you finish one show and the your on the next, your only as good as your last show. Its relentless.” As a fashion student, I am sad to think that when I pick up a magazine eagerly awaiting the new collections McQueen’s designs will no longer be there especially when there was so much left to see. In a recent, especially poignant article in Love magazine McQueen expresses his belief in the future of fashion, “When I’m dead, hopefully this house will still be going. On a spaceship. Hopping up and down above earth” Whilst the future of the house seems uncertain without the enigmatic designer at the helm, whatever happens, McQueen has left a legacy that fashion will never forget.


Trend: The Big Reveal By Lucy Winckle

To keep this look more Dita Von Teese than Jodi Marsh go for soft chiffon fabrics and team lace corsetry

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have always wondered what makes people dress so generically. I understand that, inevitably, there is a limited number of clothes in the UK, but with the majority of people seemingly clad in fleeces with dogs on the front and Marks and Spencer’s slacks, you would think there would be room enough in the other stock for a bit of individuality. Seemingly not.

The Indie Kid.

Dare to Bare? with a tailored jacket or figure hugging pencil skirt for the ultimate in demure 50’s elegance. If however, the thought of baring all is a little scary, try layering a sheer blouse over a pretty bodice or silk brassiere for a nod to Nina Ricci’s fabulously flirty spring 2010 show.

Isaac Mizrahi

By Guy Rathbone

Nina Ricci

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t’s time to reveal all this spring and with lingerie as stunning as that shown by the likes of Christian Dior and Isaac Mizrahi it seems a shame to keep our underwear under wraps! Delicate detailing and burlesque style corsetry dominated the spring / summer catwalks proving that this season’s key trend should not be confined to the boudoir.

Fashion Tribes

Gorgeous underwear is also hitting the high street, and with Topshop’s range of coveted lace bodices there’s no excuse to keep covered up this season. So come on girls if you’ve got it flaunt it!

This is a group is rather like Barack Obama’s presidency – so much promise but ultimately disappointment. It has always been something I’ve pondered on. Why does a group so intent on individuality ultimately ending up conforming? Skinny jeans and a chequered shirt with high-tops suggest difference, but one saunter through Shoreditch will confound that ill-conceived judgement. If I see one more Pete Doherty wannabe with rosary beads draped round his neck like a cracked-out nun, there will be trouble. Pete is stylish for the very reason that you shouldn’t dress like him; he’s so off his nut he couldn’t copy you even if he wanted to.

The Abercrombie Gym Monkey. I’d just like top make it clear this is not a rant which can be attributed to my less than perfect physique or fear of treadmills. The main offender in this category is not the wearers themselves (because I’m scared they’ll beat me up), but Abercrombie & Fitch. Whoever in their marketing department created muscle fit deserves to be shot. Could they not see they were opening up a steroid-fuelled can of worms? For these gym-bound halfwits to wear clothes that accentuate their freakish arms is a temptation too far. It is not just that the majority of the T-shirts bear logos for old school sports events that never happened, but also fact that they seem to be manufactured such that they encourage a desire to “roast birds” and make friends with bouncers. I can only recommend the former.

The Jack Wills Dream. Urban Outfitters, £26

Topshop, £18

Topshop, £32

Before I start, I would just like to pose some questions about JW. How does a brand which does so much to alienate such a large proportion of the population, through undisguised snobbery and pictures of girls frolicking in country houses, manage to sell so well? Why do so many people choose to wear sports clothes of teams that never existed? Why do its devotees think it cool to constantly look like they have just got up? Anyway, getting back to the tribe, it is strange to me that a group would want to identify so strongly with a look that is beyond a cliché. It leads to me to believe that Jack Wills is no more a bastion of the upper middle class than greyhound racing. That is to say, in fact, it is the tribe of the wannabe. It is the Parsons Green of fashion – a group perennially waiting for their wealthier friends to invite them on a weekend shoot.

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Food&Drink Karckzma Pod Zbojem | Real Ale at the Canalhouse

Edited by Molly Woodruff | food@platform-online.net

Restaurant Review

Karckzma Pod Zbojem

(The Robber’s Tavern) Radford Road (near ASDA)

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ope, I can’t pronounce it either. In fact the world of Polish cuisine was completely alien to me before sampling this fantastic hidden gem. When it comes to food the nationalities to choose from are certainly varied. Italian, Chinese, and Indian restaurants are two-a-penny in Nottingham, but I’d never seen, let alone ventured into, a Polish restaurant before. I mean what is it the Poles like to chow-down on? What’s their national dish? I was venturing into new territory.

That new territory as it happened was in Hyson Green. Not the cultural heart of Nottingham I must admit, but it only made for a much more pleasant surprise when we arrived. Carefully placed between a hair-dressers and a pound-shop, we were greeted by the warm glow of pine furniture, and the unmistakable smell of really good grub. A smell all too absent from most restaurants with modern air-conditioned kitchens. It’s the sort of pong that hits you like a wave when you first walk in, enveloping you immediately and telling you that without doubt - tonight’s dinner is going to hit the spot.  We were immediately welcomed into the restaurant by Anna, one of the many family members who run the place. Instantly spotting we were newcomers on the scene, she quickly set about selecting dishes for us to try. All washeddown of course by an almighty glass of Tyskie; a not uncommon Polish beer. Now when I say I didn’t know what to expect, I really didn’t. I had a feeling it was going to be more meat and potatoes than Haute cuisine, but nevertheless

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I had a nagging worry. “What if they serve up something utterly disgusting and horrible which I can’t eat!” What came first wasn’t about to placate my paranoia. Arriving at the table was a steaming, bubbling bowl of fluorescent liquid, with five pale beige round-things floating in it. Three pale beige round-things, that looked suspiciously like eyeballs. Gulp!  ...or not, as the case may be.

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Looking in the menu as to what this dish actually consisted of, we were relieved to find this dish was in fact Beetroot soup, and the beige round things were in fact meat-filled dumplings. And boy was it good. They say never judge a book by a cover, well don’t judge a soup by it’s colour. Or the dumplings for that matter. Pierogi followed; semi-circular dumplings with a cheese and potato

filling, topped with crispy bits of fried onion. Really really tasty, but also very filling. To follow came pancakes filled with cream cheese, amaretto and almonds, a heavenly combination, and ridiculously decadent. We met other diners who enthused about the restaurant’s roasted meat dishes, their parties and their hospitality. A sure-fire sign of committed hosts. Altogether a great experience,

and an ideal adventure for the student pocket. All in all our meal would have come to a little over £15, and with 20% student discount (yes twenty!), you’re laughing. So if eating-out to you means a Wetherspoons curry, maybe a culinary adventure is in order. If so; you’re in safe hands here. Alex Ward http://polishrestaurant.biz

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Food & Drink BrownBeer with Mud & Twigs in it: It’s everso chic. By Alex Ward

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kay so chic may not quite be the word to describe it yet, but real beer (or ale to be precise) is coming back in a big way. Long-gone are the days where tasteless fizzy lager makes you seem suave and sophisticated. That was way before most of us were born anyway. Real-ale is like wine. It’s time to sharpenup and get educated to the delectable delights of the yeasty beverage served in all the best venues.

So you’re a student, and you’re not particularly concerned about appearing ‘suave and sophisticated.’ For many students the cheapest will do. Anything that’ll get you ‘twatted’. An attitude that’s spawned hundreds of bars where the house-red is a pint of snakebite and black. Fine, if that’s what float’s your boat (or has you hurling off the side of it). Of course I wouldn’t be a very good food & drink writer if I didn’t look down upon this with a slightly snobby sense of disdain. So for the more discerning drinkers out there, or those just willing to give it a bit of a try, I present to you the world of real-ales. “But I don’t like it” you might say. Rubbish. The world of real-ales is so diverse, there’s a beer for everyone’s palate. Hardened lager-drinkers will no-doubt enjoy a blonde (cue the jokes). Light, snappy beers with floral aromas and citrus tangs*. Red-wine lovers will fall for intense, malty stouts, with deep base-notes of toffee and banana**. And with thousands of brews in between, there really is a beer for everyone. A venue like the Canal House, not far from Nottingham Train Station, is somewhere where you can indulge in beers like this. Backed by quality local brewery ‘Castle Rock’, they also stock

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| Nottingham Trent Students Union Magazine

a wide-range of speciality beers and lagers from all over the world (Belgian lambic fruit beers are good fun to try). They’re also the hosts of the SIBA national championships, the Oscars of the beer-world. For those frightened of being lumped with a jar of silage having made an ill-informed decision, you’ll be in safe hands. Ask nicely and the bar-keep will be more than happy to let you sample the brews before you make your choice. And with a canal running right through the middle of the bar, you’ll be in an interesting spot to enjoy it when you do. *Golden Champion 5% abv, Badger Brewery, from Asda and other good retailers. **Old Tom 8.5% abv, Robinsons, from Asda and other good retailers. The Canalhouse, 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham, NG1 7EH (0115) 9555060 http://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk


Travel Budapest

Edited by Lucia Miyashita | travel@platform-online.net

It’s easy to mock the stereotypes of the former Eastern Bloc countries, but they can be a wonderful place to explore. Daniel Clarke looks at the differences between the halves of this two-in-one city. > www.platform-online.net |

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Travel

Buda...

>

Within seconds of crossing the Hungarian border, our coach found itself being pulled over by some friendly ‘police’. Apparently our tour bus was not insured to be driving in the country. However, it was agreed that in return for a fee the authorities would let us continue. The amount was surprisingly negotiable. 400€ later and we were free to continue – welcome to Hungary!

After a less than perfect start to my trip, I was still optimistic to see the wonders of Budapest. The journey towards the city was often a rocky one. Many roads were simply brick paths. Thankful that we arrived with the exhaust still intact, I stepped off the coach to an utterly spectacular view. Before me were Buda and Pest. Separating the two, Europe’s ever-present stunning river: the Danube. Its task was not only to divide the two historic towns, but to act as a flowing curtain between Pest’s bustling metropolitan streets and Buda’s serene white, cobbled roads.

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Budapest is a city full of contradictions. Not only geographically but from a social perspective too. Much like the rest of Hungary, it still wrestles with its shocking past - a result of both German and Russian occupation, which continues to leave a profound mark on the country’s culture. The perfect testament to this comes in the form of the Terror Háza museum in Pest. Translated to ‘House of Terror’, the building is a former prison for the country’s political enemies. What lies inside today, however, is a collection of chilling exhibitions, set up in the memory of those who were tortured and killed during the country’s communist and fascist regimes. After leaving the museum I found myself in need of some time to comprehend what

I had just seen. I decided to take a walk around Pest. Pest’s streets have astounding character. While being home to all the multinational corporations that a tourist expects to see, it was refreshing to find small shops and traditional markets dotted around here and there. There are antique shops and libraries which sell books and it is quite original to see this directly in the heart of the city centre. The atmosphere seemed quiet and peaceful, until I was approached by two beggars with limps. After side-stepping them I then turned to a woman begging for change while breast feeding her child. They certainly did not show that in the brochure!

“Much like the rest of Hungary, Budapest still wrestles with its shocking past - which continues to leave a profound mark on the country’s culture”

| Nottingham Trent Students Union Magazine


... and Pest My visit to Buda came a little later. As I crossed the SzÊchenyi Chain Bridge from my hostel in Pest, I realised how beautiful Budapest was at night. Golden lights grace all areas of the city, from the building to the glistening streets. Ironically we were told that the best bar was situated in the quieter part of Buda. Not only are bars and restaurants cheaper than in Pest, but they have a unique richness to them. We arrived at an open air bar that allowed us to marvel at the glittering skyline. The drinks are not pricey, which is always a plus. The live music, the dazzling lights, and the warm air help to fully soak up the city’s atmosphere. Unfortunately reality hit again and the magic of the city is crushed. Guarding the toilets are two angry women demanding passers-by 1₏ to use the loo. Having drunk all my money, I was left with no other option... I left. After my first run-in with some pretty stern Hungarian police I certainly was not going to risk urinating in public.

Over all, my time in Hungary proved interesting and eye-opening. It is a reminder that while it seems as though Europe continues to grow, it is not doing so uniformly. Budapest is unique, if not slightly intimidating. If I were to visit again, I probably would not do so this decade.

There is certainly something for everyone, and with the right guidance and a little cultural knowledge ahead of the trip, it could become a truly great getaway destination.

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Health

Facts and Fibs about the Contraceptive Pill | Say Neigh to K | Music. Lights. People. Drink. | Square Eyes?

Edited by Danielle Almond | health@platform-online.net

Facts and Fibs about the Contraceptive Pill There’s an awful lot of urban myths and completely irrational fear when it comes to most medicines - a bit bonkers when you consider what happens if you decide not to take the pill, if you’re scared of it giving you two heads. Health Editor Danielle Almond attempts to separate fact from fiction.

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round 100 million women use the pill worldwide. It has been proven to be a very effective and safe contraceptive. However, there are many myths and stories about the negative effects the contraceptive pill has on women. First of all, what is the Pill?

It’s a small tablet containing two female hormones – oestrogen and proestrogen. The two hormones combined stop a woman from ovulating (producing an egg) each month. This means that because you are not ovulating, you cannot get pregnant. Many women do not know enough about the pill they are taking, with many brands having different rules in regards to missing a pill or two.

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According to research in the British Medical Journal, poor knowledge about the pill accounts for around 20 percent of unwanted pregnancies. It is important to be educated about the kind of contraception you are using. The following discussion will investigate some of the widespread misconceptions regarding the pill. The thought that the contraceptive pill causes weight gain has had a mixed response; some pills are thought to increase appetite, which results in the weight gain occurring. Studies show that women often begin using the pill during a period in their lives that just so happened to coincide with weight

| Nottingham Trent Students Union Magazine

changes, which has given the pill an unfair reputation in relation. To argue against this point, Jane Bennett and Alexandra Pope together devised a book, The Pill ‘Are you sure it’s for you?’ which provides information that informs women on the choices to make for their bodies when thinking about using the pill as a form of contraception. They argued that ‘weight gain is one of the most common side-effects of the pill. Not only can this effect our body image, self-esteem and general health, but it may also cascade into a whole string of health problems, including eating disor-


ders, overweight, obesity and diabetes.’ Their argument could be said to cause controversy with researchers who work to prove that the pill has no relationship with weight gain. I spoke to Charlotte, 20, about her experiences with the pill, “I first went on the pill because of acne, it was working well for a while but after a few years I started to think that it was making me a bit emotional. I asked my doctor to change to another type but after a while I just felt the same way I had before. I didn’t want to just keep going through different pills because who knows if I’d ever find one I liked? I stopped taking them altogether and after feeling a bit irritable for a while I now feel a lot better and like myself again.” Another myth associated with using the pill is that it increases the risk of cancer. The most common misconception is that it will increase your risk of contracting breast cancer. Recent research has suggested that the pill has little if any effect on causing breast cancer and that taking oestrogen before the menopause doesn’t predispose women to breast cancer. Most experts believe that the pill doesn’t cause any type of cancer and that it is a perfectly good form of contraception for women. The Royal College of General Practitioners has produced an important report that revealed the remarkable fact that pill users have a 12% reduction in their risk of developing cancer. Despite the claim that the pill shows little link to the causation of cancer, there are some risks associated with the pill which include blood clots, heart attacks and stroke. Fortunately, these are very rare but are more likely to happen if you are a smoker, have high blood pressure, being diabetic or you are severely overweight. A survey from 2005, conducted by Tracee Cornforth, a freelance women’s health writer, concluded that twenty one percent of women believed that the contraceptive pill caused infertility. The contraceptive pill has been found to produce no evidence which affects a woman’s fertility. Fertility can return almost immediately after stopping the pill, which is why it’s important not to miss pills. When using the contraceptive pill, your

periods become regulated, causing less pain and lowers stress levels for women who struggle with regular periods. However, in some women this is not the case, with Bennett and Pope arguing that ‘it’s important to realise that the cause of your symptoms hasn’t actually gone away, it’s been repressed.’ If you stop taking your pill, your premenstrual tensions or irregularity may return. By taking care in making your decision to start or stop using the contraceptive pill, crucially helps in creating the best possible scenario for you in regards to your health and wellbeing. The fact that the pill remains so popular despite the myths and controversy it has created does indicate that for a large amount of women, the benefits outweigh the risks involved.

help with the management of acne, whereas some are seen to not work as well. Some research has shown that mood swings are different in women depending on the pill they use. Everyone reacts in a dissimilar way in regards to the pill so a good amount of research is important before deciding which the best is for you. If you have any problems with the contraceptive pill, consulting your doctor may put your mind at ease and help you with any problem you may be having. Alternatively, if you just want to do some research on the pill and its effects, there are some useful websites to visit which will hopefully answer any questions you might have.

“According to research in the British Medical Journal, poor knowledge about the pill accounts for around 20 percent of unwanted pregnancies” The side effects of the pill come with their good and bad points, with some women being unlucky enough to experience bleeding between periods, mood changes, migraine, nausea and blood clots (only common in women over 35 who smoke.) These effects if contracted usually only last to the maximum of three months. Different contraceptives come with different side effects so if you are unsure on what will be the best contraception for you, or you are experiencing problems with your current contraceptive pill, consulting your doctor with your concerns could see you getting the advice and help you need. This links to another common myth that all contraceptive pills are the same. They contain different hormones and are prescribed in relation to the reason a woman wants to use the pill, as some

It is also important to remember that it is imperative to discuss any drugs prescribed for you with your doctor and not to immediately discontinue any medication you may be on without consulting your doctor.

Useful websites: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Contraception/ Pages/ThePOP.aspx www.netdoctor.co.uk/sex_relationships/ facts/contraceptivepills.htm

Further reading: Jane Bennett & Alexandra Pope, ‘The Pill: Are you sure it’s for you?’, Orion Books

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Health

ver heard of ‘K’, ‘Ket’ or ‘Special K’? Well known in the rave and club scenes, Ketamine is used in human and veterinary medicine, acting as a powerful anesthetic for use during operations. So why is this medical sedative known to party goers? The ketamine has a perception of being part of the party and club scene however it turns out that the drug is usually taken at home and does not have dramatic mood elevating effects. For others it appeals due to its cheaper cost than other drugs.

Words by Rachel Campbell Photos by Kayrakise Evans & Katie Stretton

Ketamine is becoming increasingly well-known at a dangerous rate as the ‘new party drug’, which appeals to many party goers around the world. People often take the drug unaware of the hazardous effects that it can have on their bodies. Also as the drug is comparatively new its long term effects are still relatively unknown. The ‘K Effect’ is very rapid, bringing the user to a state of unknown, leaving them barely able to walk. However, some other users experience a lonely, emotional and uncontrollable ‘trip,’ often ending with the user harming themselves as well as others. High doses of Ketamine may induce delirium, hopelessness, respiratory problems and unconsciousness and will ultimately lead to brain damage. Most

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Music. Lights. People. Drink.

By Amy Howbrook

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riday night has just got started and it’s going perfectly. You’re all dressed up and ready to dance the night away. You order your usual from the bar, put it down for a moment as you put your change away. Ten seconds later, you’re laughing and talking with your drink in hand. Twenty minutes later – blackout.

What happened? You have no recollection of the night before – but this time it isn’t from drinking yourself stupid. Your drink was spiked.

recovering Ketamine addicts only speak of the frightening experiences they have had as a result of using the drug on a regular basis; with many of their experiences centring on the memory loss that results after chronic use. A report on Ketamine users has found that the majority who used the drug daily experienced extreme bladder problems, from cramps known as ‘K-Pain’ to irreversible bladder damage. Currently working on a ketamine awareness program Nancy Thomas explained to me, “this is because ketamine is metabolised through the kidneys.” In January 2006, Ketamine shifted from medical regulation through the Medicines Act to a Class C drug through an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act. Ketamine is only obtainable via prescription and if sold on the streets, the dealer will incur a jail sentence of up to 14 years. Ketamine awareness events will be taking place at City campus on 8th March and 9th March at the Clifton Campus in association with Nottinghamshire Crime and Drug Partnership designed to educate students to make an informed decision about Ketamine. Speaking to the organisers of this campaign they explained to me, “Ketamine is psychologically addictive not physically so it may have a different effect on everyone who tries it. As well as this ketamine is often mixed with unknown substances making it less pure.” If you have ever taken Ketamine or known of anybody who has and still does, here are a few places you can visit for advice, effects and help in dealing with your situation: • Talk to Frank – www.talktofrank.com • Drug Addiction Support www.drugabusehelp.com/drugs/ketamine/ • www.sayneigh2k.co.uk

Drugs like Rohypnol or Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB, are the substances most commonly used to spike drinks. They are tasteless, odourless and colourless, making it almost impossible to know if your drink has been spiked. Rohypnol, commonly known as the ‘date-rape’ drug, is the one that you’ve probably heard of, but how much do you actually know about it? Would you know if your drink had been spiked? As a rule of thumb, if after having very little to drink, you begin to have difficulty walking, talking, have blurred vision or have a feeling of nausea, it’s very possible your drink has been spiked. The first thing to do is go and tell someone. Don’t keep it to yourself. Find someone you trust implicitly, tell them and make sure they look after you. Make sure you stay with them. If you begin vomiting, go to the hospital, and tell the staff your drink was spiked. They will then contact the police and be able to conduct tests that will show any unusual substances in your body. There’s even a lip gloss you can buy now that contains a drink spiking detector kit that can help let you know if your drink’s been spiked. The gloss comes with two test strips than you can put a drop of your drink on, if the colour on the strip turns to dark blue it’s possible that the drink is spiked so it should be discarded immediately. Of course, prevention is better than cure, so when you’re out and about, make sure you get your own drink from the bar, don’t take your eyes off of it, and drink it before you go to dance. Don’t leave it unattended, and if you do, don’t drink it.

For more information visit: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Drink-spiking/Pages/Introduction.aspx www.2lovemylips.co.uk

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Health

There have been reports of cinema goers feeling ill after sitting through a 3D film. There are various different common conditions which may make it difficult for a person to sit through a 3D film. For example those suffering from Amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye, will have difficulty with depth perception and may not receive the full benefit of the estimated $300 million invested into the production of blockbuster, Avatar. To avoid dizziness whilst watching 3D films it is advised that you focus on the parts of the frame that are in focus and where the action is happening rather than the looking at the other planes of vision which have been blurred. For example there may be a leaf or some foliage at the front of the frame which is out of focus whilst the action is happening elsewhere in focus.

Square Eyes?

The problem with watching 3D

Words by Danielle Almond | Illustration by Jess Phillips

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aving been officially named the highest grossing film ever, we are undoubtedly in the midst of an Avatar outbreak. Not only does the film mark itself out as one of the most innovative films to date it also marks the beginning of a resurgence in 3D cinema. In 3D films the illusion of depth perception is created as the film is made from two different perspectives.

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numerous different techniques which can be used to create the same effect.

Physicist Nick Brenchley explains, “These two different perspectives are then played together at the same time onto the same screen and the viewer wears a pair of glasses containing filters which makes them see a different image with each eye, this creates the illusion of three dimensions.”

First being invented in 1890 the 3D film experience became popular initially in the 1950s and then again in the 1980s. And in a predictable circular fashion 3D films are now again in vogue.

This is the most popular way 3D images can be produced however there are of course

However despite its popularity not all film viewers are enjoying their 3D experience.

| Nottingham Trent Students Union Magazine

Despite numerous pieces of anecdotal evidence the manufacturers of 3D technology have retorted saying that their technology is not to blame but that it is the theatres who are at fault. Rich Heineman a spokesman for Real3D a company that provides 3D technology for cinemas has said, “People often complained of headaches and it was really because the projectors weren’t lined up.” But then again he would say that wouldn’t he? Undoubtedly it won’t be long before, especially in compensation culture capital, America, someone is held accountable for the experiences a minority has had after seeing a 3D film. I sense a big payout on the way. But as 3D films become more and more popular could we soon be seeing health warnings on the back of our cinema tickets?


Gaming Heavy Rain | Interview: Dewi Tanner | Mass Effect 2 | BioShock 2 Edited by Aaron Lee | gaming@platform-online.net

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Gaming

Heavy Rain (PS3)

Publisher: Sony Released: Out Now

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irector of Heavy Rain, David Cage, hasn’t been prudent about telling the world that he wants players to “feel” for the characters in the game. In production for more than four years, Heavy Rain confronts many adult subjects which are shied away from by this medium. In a way, it’s less of a game and more of a sophisticated chooseyour-own-adventure story. At times it struggles to finds its place between interactivity and cinematic. Nevertheless, Heavy Rain is a poignant experience you won’t soon forget.

Set in a grimy metropolis, this dark, psychological thriller’s main draw is its narrative. When Ethan Mars, a young father of two, loses his son Jason in a fatal car accident his life is torn apart. Two years later, a spate of child murders have been committed by someone known only as ‘The Origami Killer’. Socalled because of the origami figurines he leaves with his victims - all of which drowned in rainwater. When Ethan’s remaining son Shaun goes missing, the father finds himself in a tragic race to prove his love and rescue his son. Just how far he is willing to go will be up to you. Though you begin as Ethan, the story intercuts between three other characters as well: journalist Madison Paige, FBI agent Norman Jayden and PI Scott Shelby. Every one of these characters can die at certain points, which affects the outcome of the story. Coming from the studio behind Fahrenheit, gameplay in Heavy Rain uses button prompts and lots of set pieces requiring quick-time events (QTEs). Exploration is minimal. It’s all decidedly twisted, although con-

Game Review

trol is a mixed bag of naturalistic actions and sudden failures. Like any noiresque tale, you’ll be in all kinds of disturbing and potentially deadly situations, such as being trapped and forced to crawl through broken glass and incapacitating a religious zealot before he shoots your partner. The Stanislavski effect touches gaming once again with Quantic Dream’s new title, as you’ll also be doing things as humdrum as cooking eggs, changing nappies and going to the toilet. You will definitely want to play this game more than once. Keeping all four characters alive is much more

For more reviews check out www.platform-online.net

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fulfilling than witnessing the throwaway epilogues if some die. Seeing the consequences of different actions, and the eventual endings, gives Heavy Rain a lot more staying power than it would otherwise have. As an artistic work of narrative and drama, this game is of rare breed. In those moments where the game asks you to do the dirty work, you’d be hardpressed to feel absolutely nothing for these characters or to not be hesitant in your decision. And the revelation of its John Doe is a work of genius. There are shortcomings with its gameplay, but Heavy Rain strives to be different. It deals with grownup concerns, and if you’re willing to keep a cool head you’ll find it is more than worth the price of admission. Aaron Lee


From Trent to Tokyo

Leaving home and moving away from our friends and family to live in a completely different city is something that most of us go through at some point or another. But Dewi Tanner, an exTrent student, wasn’t content to just stay in his home nation. Pursuing his dream of landing a job in the games industry, Dewi moved over 5000 miles away to live in Japan. Now Director of Development at NanaOn-Sha (the studio behind animated rhythm game, PaRappa the Rapper), Aaron Lee spoke to Dewi about his intriguing story.

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rom an early age Dewi was “fascinated by the worlds” video games created. After completing his degree in Design Studies at Nottingham Trent in 2002 he spent another year in Britain preparing to move to Japan. “My master plan was I wanted to work in games, but I thought if I just graduated here and joined a British company then I wouldn’t have an angle.” Dewi’s angle was to immerse himself in the culture and people of Japan and understand “why they make the games they do.” Deciding to emigrate to another country, one with no guarantee of solid work or even a decent fish and chip shop, is obviously a huge decision. When asked what his friends and family thought about him leaving, he said: “I think they were kind of used to it. I was always the kind of guy who wanted to get out and do stuff… When I was at Trent I actually did one semester as an exchange student in Chicago as well. So, I’ve always been trying to get out there and experience new things and new places and different points of view.” To prepare himself for life in Japan, Dewi applied to the JET programme - an initiative that takes graduates and native speakers of English to Japan as language teachers. However, it takes a full year before you’re application to JET can be approved. In that time Dewi admitted he had doubts and even applied for a couple jobs. But he did succeed and in 2003 he flew to Japan. Upon his arrival in Japan, Dewi said: “It was pretty nuts. With JET, they fly you into Tokyo and you spend a few days in Shinjuku - busiest train station in the world, most skyscrapers, just utter chaos, neon lights constant, people drinking,

[Photo: Lincoln Beasley PR]

Interview: Dewi Tanner of NanaOn-Sha

uddenly you’re “S surrounded by these salary men

in suits watching partying going on. So, three days you trying to do of that, and then ‘Paranoid Android’ a bus into the in karaoke” complete middle of nowhere. They were like, ‘OK, we’re going to pick you up in 30 minutes to take you to your welcome party.’ Suddenly you’re surrounded by these salary men in suits watching you trying to do ‘Paranoid Android’ in karaoke!” Dewi lived in Japan for two years before moving down to Tokyo. Eventually, he began job hunting for positions in the games industry. During that time he did all sorts of things from teaching English to tax men to acting on Japanese dramas. Following several unsuccessful attempts, he answered an advert on a job website simply asking for a “bilingual production assistant.” It turned out to be NanaOn-Sha and as Dewi says, “just two-and-a-half months later I was taking business trips to Texas, by myself, to track development.”

At NanaOn-Sha, Dewi now works alongside, Masaya Matsuura, a respected musician and game designer. “His standards are incredibly high. I’ve really gotten used to that now and I think everyone should try and be the same,” said Dewi. Now that he is living the dream of working in the industry, Dewi said he’d like to try his hand at producing a game himself next. And as for Trent, Dewi said, “it’s got a special place in my heart.”

Read the full interview online at

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Gaming

Game Reviews Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360, PC)

Publisher: EA Released: Out Now

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have a confession to make: I never completed the first Mass Effect. I thought it was a brilliant game, with a great setting, intuitive dialogue system and genuinely interesting characters, but I just couldn’t overlook its flaws. There were two main flaws that combined to make the original frustrating to play: bad squad member AI and an infrequent autosave system. You would fight along for 20 minutes and then your squad would run into the open (despite moving them in cover formation) causing you all to die, and leaving you to play the last 20 minutes over. So, when Mass Effect 2 was announced I followed it closely and was pleased to see that the problems I, and many others, experienced were being directly addressed by the developers. A new, improved combat system with squad members that won’t get themselves killed? Check. Regular autosaves? Check.

A third-person cover system that works? Check. It all looked too good to be true and BioWare seemed to be living up to their name. You are able to explore this great sci-fi setting without it being interrupted by broken combat. BioWare haven’t rested on their laurels and have changed many other aspects as well. The slate is wiped clean at the start and there’s a host of new and interesting characters (and some old friends) to meet. The boring, grey planets have been replaced by unique worlds. There’s no more driving around in the Mako to find resources. You simply scan the planets’ surfaces from orbit launching probes when you find resources, or launching a mission directly to where you need to be. The inventory system has changed. There are very few screens to navigate through, just pop a point in a slim variety of abilities, when you level up, and choose your load-out when you start a mission. After a while it all starts feeling a bit, well, dumbed down. They’ve stripped down the combat, stripped down exploration

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and that, for the most part, was for the best. But I didn’t count on them stripping down on the mission objectives. Sure, some of the last game was too dialogue heavy, but in Mass Effect 2 every mission involves shooting one person or another - there’s no missions were you can just chat, reason and solve problems with your brain. You hurtle through at a 100 miles per hour. It is an adrenaline rush, but at the end there is an emptiness. It’s like a one night stand, it can be fun but the emotional depth is fleeting. Overall, it is just too ‘FPS-ish’. There are no character stats (beyond the abilities), so you can choose how good you are at hacking, charming or intimidating. It’s solely decided through mini-games and how good/bad you are. No more high-tech weaponry firing tiny particles at super-high speeds, instead there are now weapon clips that are dropped by enemies. Want to choose your weapons? You get a base model and then can research one or two upgraded varieties for each. No deciding between damage, accuracy and heat limits. Mass Effect 2 is a gripping game that flies at a lightning pace, but by pandering to a wider audience, Mass Effect has lost a lot of what made it great. Adam Dixon


BioShock 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Publisher: 2K Games Released: Out Now

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he first BioShock was all about atmosphere and the discovery of how Rapture fell into ruin. Many people may have been wary that the sequel would not have been able to recapture the same unique, evocative experience as the first and would be overshadowed by the original. However, the sequel stands alone. Set 10 years after the original and with a brand new protagonist in the form of Delta - the original Big Daddy. This time the story is less about mystery and discovery and takes the form of a more straightforward adventure. Although there is still plenty of intrigue and plot twists, it fails to be as effective as the original.

As a Big Daddy, you are offered new skills and abilities that vary the combat from the original game. The drill is a useful aid, although mostly as a backup for when you inevitably run out of ammo, which is a returning feature. You will constantly be scavenging the environment for ammo and equipment, such as health and EVE packs to resupply your plasmid abilities, but more on that later. You can also purchase these from vending machines and loot dead enemies. Throughout the game, you will always be managing your ammo and weapons, which forces you not to rely on one weapon and utilise your full arsenal in furious gun fights. As for plasmids, they remain relatively unchanged from the first game, but still offer a large variety of upgrades and combinations that vastly add to the replay value and set the basic gameplay aside from other shooters. BioShock 2’s biggest flaw is the basic shooting mechanics, which some may have overlooked in the original game, but now feel outdated and somewhat clunky in comparison to other, tighter FPS games. For some this will be no problem at all, but others may take more time becoming accustomed. The big talking point is the addition of multiplayer. You can now jump online and battle against your friends using the same weapons and plasmids found during the single-player game. Without BioShock’s unique gameplay mechanics it would definitely not stand up to rival online shooters, but given the universe and setting, it just has enough to set it aside. Whether it has enough staying power to keep players online however is unlikely. In summary, this sequel stands on something of a middle ground. Though some sceptics may be right in their original criticisms, BioShock 2 is not all bad and delivers a rich atmospheric experience that only just falls short of its predecessor. Core gameplay could have been improved and might have just tipped this over the edge. But, as it stands, BioShock 2 is just a good game, not exceptional in a year that will see standards raised again. Fans of BioShock are sure to have a blast, while others may be better off giving this a rent. Stuart Kent

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Sports Varsity Ice Hockey Report | In Capello We Trust | Winter Olympics Tragedy Edited by James Haigh | sports@platform-online.net

Varsity Report:

Ice Hockey

As James Haigh reports, there was agony at the National Ice Arena as Trent failed to capitalise in the Varsity Cup. Photos by Patrick Taylor & Stefan Ebelewicz

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thrilling penalty shootout saw Nottingham University ice hockey squad claim a valuable scalp over bitter rivals Trent after a high-scoring game tied both sides at six goals each. After beating the challenging university at basketball last month, Trent failed to double their lead in the Varsity Cup to 2-0, in front of more than watching 6,000 fans at the National Ice Arena. With the sell-out stadium pumped up for the second sport instalment, it took Trent – playing in brilliant blue - only five minutes to open the scoring with a nifty flick from forward James Wood, slamming the puck into the back of the net. But Nottingham Uni – donning a bright yellow kit - made it 1-1 in quick fashion just ten minutes later after two players on the opposing team with sin-binned for rough tackles. With the scores now tied, the energetic fans from both sides began dancing to Journey’s, Don’t Stop Believing. After 20 minutes played on the clock,

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But just as the crowd began to get impatient, two more goals from each side followed in just three minutes. The first - from Nottingham Uni – came after a well planned counter-attack saw the boys in yellow glide down the other end of the pitch at record speed, while slamming the puck past the hapless keeper, equalling the score at 5-5. The next came from a resurgent Trent team as they defiantly attacked to get back into the game. The score now stood at 6-5 to the boys in brilliant blue. A rapid onslaught of shots on goal from the Nottingham Uni side saw Trent keeper, Richard Griffiths, called into action once again, showing why he is number one. But with just five minutes left on the clock, the wealthy yellow-cloaked students slotted a neat shot into an unguarded Trent net, and, as half the crowd groaned and the rest cheered, the Klaxon called time on the game. With six-goals each, the match entered penalties. Nottingham Uni had taken a 2-1 lead with a fine bout of precision passing that saw the puck end up in the back of the rival team’s net. However, the toff’s took their foot off the pace and gifted Trent forward, Marcus Maynard, with two goals in quick succession just 60 seconds later. With the first period over, the scores laid at 3-2 to the former-polytechnic university. As the play resumed, three Trent players were sin-binned after scuffles with the rival team. But that didn’t damped the players spirits as they further increased their lead over their opponents with two more fine goals in just 60 seconds, from quick-footed skater, Ben Wood. Trent now looked comfortable in a 5-2 lead with goalkeeper Richard Griffiths making an emphatic save following a heated offensive from Nottingham Uni. But it was the Beeston-based University who would claim the next two goals of

the game in just five minutes after a catalogue of errors from boys in brilliant blue. After Trent’s forward, Marcus Mayard, scorer of the previous goal, was sinbinned for two minutes for foul play, the Nottingham Uni goalkeeper made an impressive catch from a powerful shot, only to play the puck down the field resulting in a classy goal. And just 30 seconds later Trent had fallen to the same fault allowing the Nottingham Uni keeper to perform another dramatic save only to set up another goal – just before the buzzer alerted the end of the second period.

After the first three shots from each team were saved, Nottingham Uni took the bull by the horns and placed the puck into the back of the net with a graceful shot. This was closely followed by another dramatic miss by an unlucky Trent player. But the worse was yet to come for the blue team as Nottingham Uni forward, Andy Griffiths, won the penalty shootout with a demolishing attempt. Game, set and match.

The gap had been closed and the score was now just 5-4 to Trent.

There were tears on the Trent terraces as Nottingham Uni skated off the pitch after claiming victory.

As the two teams opened battle during the next stage, they look evenly matched, each with an unsuccessful shot on goal.

Nottingham Uni ice hockey squad beat team Trent 2-0 on penalties after a high scoring 6-6 draw at the National Ice Hockey arena.

Look out for the football and rugby Varsity match reports in the next issue www.platform-online.net |

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Sports In Capello We Trust

By Seb Walke

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abio Capello’s decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy was spot on. Recent revelations regarding the Chelsea star’s private life left Capello with no choice. But the manner in which the Italian dealt with Terry should reassure every England fan that the national team is in safe hands. Since the story broke that John Terry had an alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge, his former Chelsea and current England team-mate, Terry’s world seems to have collapsed around him. He has been stripped of the England captaincy, Chelsea have lost their last two away league games, and Terry found himself at fault for both Everton goals in the recent 2-1 defeat. This is a dramatic change for the man who was widely seen as being the perfect England captain, a leader of men and the ultimate professional. Over the last decade, Terry has successfully built a worldwide reputation as a tough, no nonsense defender who led Chelsea to two premier league titles in 2005 and 2006. Indeed Terry is regarded as one of the best defenders in the world and has been voted into the UEFA Team of the Year for the past three seasons. However, it is not Terry’s ability as a footballer which is under fire - it is his personality and lifestyle. It was only recently that the Chelsea captain was exposed to giving secret tours of Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham in order to personally pocket thousands of pounds. As if he really needs the money?! It was only last summer that Terry was strongly linked with leaving his ‘beloved’ Chelsea, as his head was turned by the millions being offered by Manchester City’s Arab owners. This was a surprising story for many because Terry had always been seen as being ‘Mr Chelsea’ and a one-club man.

Yet, it appears that the only reason Terry stayed put was because of a lucrative new £150,000 per week contract that Chelsea rapidly drew up to keep their star man out of the clutches of Manchester City. Chelsea fans would tell you that Terry is their club’s Ryan Giggs - loyal, hundreds of club appearances, numerous trophies. But when have you ever heard Giggs threaten to leave Manchester United unless they pay him hundreds of thousands of pounds? The latest scandal has embarrassed Terry and there is no doubt that leaving him as captain may well have adversely affected England’s World Cup chances. As a result, England certainly stand the best chance of having a successful World Cup with Capello in charge. He has a proven track record of winning trophies and getting the big decisions right. Capello’s handling of Terry is just another example. Therefore, England (as always) head to the finals full of hope and anticipation. There’s no doubt that with Terry in the team they stand a better chance, so don’t expect Wayne Bridge to be on the plane to South Africa. I doubt Capello will punish Terry further and jeopardise his performances by including Bridge in the squad. But if team England fails to meet the nation’s typically high expectations, there is no doubt who the media scapegoat will be.

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Winter Olympics Tragedy By Joshua Robbins

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ancouver is the stage for the greatest show on snow as they welcome the world to the twenty-second Winter Olympics.

The best athletes from 82 countries on ice and snow are fighting it out on the biggest stage of them all for the prestigious gold medal. Over the next two weeks, dreams will be created and for those fortunate enough to realise their dream, a place in history will be theirs. However, the incident that will define the games came before the curtain had officially been raised. During training for the men’s luge event, Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed when his racing sleigh flipped, smashing him into an unguarded steel pole at 90mph. The 21-year-old was set to compete at his first Winter Olympics and had only completed 15 runs from the men’s starting position at the track. Kumaritashvili’s crash came just two

days after Romania’s Violeta Stramaturaru was knocked unconscious during training for the same women’s event. Concerns had already been raised about the safety of the athletes at Whistler Sliding Centre, one of the fastest and most dangerous tracks in the world, with lugers reaching a top speed of 95mph. Before the incident, British skeleton slider Amy Williams said: “I just hope Whistler is safe and there aren’t too many crashes and serious injuries.” Since the tragedy, organisers have taken measures to try to prevent any further serious injuries. The starting point for the men has been moved down to the original women’s start point, the walls on the final corner have been raised and padding has been put around the metal poles that claimed Kumaritashvili’s life. The event continued over the weekend with Germany’s Felix Loch claiming

gold but Friday’s tragedy will remain the most remembered moment of the Games. International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said: “This tragedy casts a shadow over these Games”. The other members of the Georgian Olympic squad have decided to remain in Vancouver and compete in his honour.

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8th March 2010 Boots Library and Student Union Bar 9th March 2010 George Eliot Building

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Platform Magazine - March 2010