Issue 36 Wednesday 03.02.10
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Record number of students in 2009 Freedom of the press? Lisa Hearn
With the government pushing for students to go onto higher education, and the current climate of unemployment, more people than ever are applying for university. In 2009 there was an increase of 5.5% of students accepted onto university courses, with 481,854 students being accepted. That’s 25,227 thousand more than last year. However, the number of people applying was also higher by 8.7%, meaning that that the rate of acceptance actually fell by 3%. Since 1999, the number of successful applicants has risen dramatically by 44%. University of Portsmouth is no exception. Last year the total number of students at the university was 19,551 students. In 2009 this has risen to 21,377 students. That is an increase of nearly 2,000 students. Every year before 2009, the university had a steady number of around 19,000. Chief Executive of UCAS, Mary Curnock Cook said: “2009 saw an
unprecedented demand for places at university or college, but significantly more students have been accepted into higher education than ever before.” Universities UK believe that the rise in applications for 2009 is due to people understanding the benefits of having been through higher education with the current economic climate. This is shown by the 15.3% increase in numbers of applicants over 25 years of age or over. The government has recently notified the funding council for England of cuts of £135m to universities in 201011, on top of the £600m announced in the pre-Budget report for 2011-13 and £261m of efficiency savings already known about. This amounts to a reduction of less than 5% over the next three years. The University and College Union (USU) have said that for those lucky enough to gain a place, the university experience could be ruined by record class sizes if these cuts go ahead. Wes Streeting, president of NUS has said that it concerns him that
many students with the ability to go to university will miss out on their opportunity as a result of the cap imposed on student numbers after the increase in students this year. Ministers have now said that they will fine universities nearly £4,000 for every student that they over-recruited in 2009. Shadow University Minister, David Willetts said: “We are in the absurd position that ministers are fining universities for moving towards the government’s own targets on student numbers and widening participation.” As we went to print, the BBC released their own figures about the situation, figuring that some 230000 young people could miss out on places at university next year, due to the budget cuts and penalties imposed on universities who take on too many students. On Monday, Lib Dem spokesperson Stephen Williams said: “Targeting universities for cuts in this way is setting us up to see record numbers of bright young people turned away this summer.”
Photograph by Umida Akhmedova Turn to page 6 to see why this picture could send you to jail.
Universities to become a commercial commodity Lisa Hearn
British Universities are set to become the NHS of the educational world by turning their attentions into becoming more consumer friendly. With the changing patterns in the workplace, universities must now adapt their programmes to help fit with this change. Where universities once used to compete on an education level with their reputation and research, in the future they will compete on the student experience, support and employability. Student needs are changing, and
therefore universities must adapt to attract them to their facility. CBI has predicted that they will have to contend with new challenges in managing their employee base, which contains four different generations, each of which have different motives and expectations of employment, and all of which have to work with each other. One of these generations being “Generation Y” (those born between 1979 and 1994). This generation is believed to have had a major impact on the workplace, being the first generation of “digital natives” who know
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how to use new technologies, social networking, other ways of sharing information and new ways of learning. Like a lot of students at university, there is a marked increase in students studying whilst working, which is believed to vary the pace at which they do study; therefore employers look for flexibility with employees that help support the lifestyle of work and study. University of Portsmouth has already adapted to the commercial future to help students’ employability levels, with facilities such as Purple Door helping students get work ex-
perience and create the best possible CV’s. With the general election coming up as well, it could spell bad news for some universities who have trouble competing. If the Conservatives win there will be a complete reform in all aspects of the education sector. If Labour are reinstated they have already stated that there will be a large reduction in public money for universities. Less funding is set to force universities into being more commercial; those who don’t could simply go out of business. However, whichever party wins
they are likely to look to the private sector of education for answers. Although most universities have state funding and considerable tax breaks, the private sector has neither yet still delivers high quality, affordable education. Due to all of this, Lord Browne’s review of fees and university funding, which began last year, will be watched with great trepidation by those who rely on higher education. Is this a good thing? Or have unis lost sight of their original mission statements? firstname.lastname@example.org
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Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Editors Laura Patricia Editor
Philipp Geng Head of Design
Ben Fishwick Head of News
Photo of the Fortnight Leila de Lara Jonny Rowe-Davison Arts & Entertainment Co-Editors email@example.com
Liam Ryder Sports Editor
Emily Jane Smith Essentials Editor
Matt Blackall Grant Clarke Comment & Opinion Co-Editors
Catherine Johnson Deputy Editor
Melissa Flack L&S Editor
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Chris Keep Web Manager
Sub Editors News: Amy Cox & Faye Joice C&O: Martin Thorpe & Jayna Zala L&S: Rebecca Hogg & Hana McFaul A&E: Joe Adams, Bryn Etherington, Matthew Pilbeam, Sam Rhode & Dan Smyth
Sport: Hannah Barclay, Ellie Dyson & Lucy Roberts Design: Laura “Stevie” Stevenson Marketing & Distribution: Milly “Vanilli” Youngman VP Comunications: Jacob Leverett
Contributors Amy Baker, Pravindharan Balakrishnan, Chris Batchelor, Emma Biermann, Howard Crates, Peter Frizelle, Tristan Gordon, Steph Hall, Ben Harris, Lisa Hearn, Ross Keating, Aakash Naik, Saraid Morgan, Liam O’Mahoney, Molly Samuels, Pete Souza, Primrose Tricker, Megan Webb, Will Wells, Dan Whiteway, Joe Wilkes, & Sophie Worell
With thanks to: Stephen Dancey, Lizzie Gilbert, Marie Gomes, Rob Knott, Gamel Oki, Andy Stass, Katie StepheAndy Mew, nson, Adam Sunman, James Trimbel, Niki Wakefield, Tom Worman, the Lacrosse boys, & the Union Staff
Dates for the Diary Lady in the Dark 7pm Thurs 4th to Sat 6th Feb – New Theatre Royal UoP Creative Arts students embark on a project to mount a full musical in just three weeks. Come and enjoy the fantastic fruit of their labours. The Birth of British Rock Sat 6th Feb to Sun 6th Jun – Portsmouth City Museum This exhibition of over 100 photographs by Harry Hammond captures the emergence of British Rock.
Deadline for Issue 37 Noon Wed 10th Feb - email us Want to get something in Pugwash News? Send it on over! Loaded Student Finance Advice Week 8th - 12th Feb Need help with your finances, or want advice as to how not to get into trouble in the first place? Come along to one of the many events being held this week to find out more.
Universities Round Up Oxford University
Across the UK
Oxford has banned students from using the music sharing website Spotify because it uses up too much bandwidth on the campus network. The university’s IT department made the decision because it said the number of undergraduates listening to free tracks online was affecting those using the internet for academic work.
Life as a student is “almost impossible” without doing some part-time work, it has been suggested. According to a recent survey from technology firm Olympus, 17% of university students regularly miss lectures due to their job commitments, and 21% have fallen behind on assignments after putting their employment first.
University of Gloucestershire
Hard-up students are struggling to balance the books as they wait for their loans to come through. More than 100 students at the uni have not received any of their loans since starting in September. The university has had to give up 2,700 emergency short-term loans to their students.
An Indian student has had to wait ten months to receive a letter of apology from the university for racial discrimination. She accused the staff of giving marks “based on the colour of [a student’s] skin” and of making racial remarks about Asian students.
Seventeen students have been expelled after being caught plagiarising their coursework. The university said the figures showed it took cheating seriously and would not be afraid to take action against it
A 19-year-old man has been arrested after two university students suffered severe burns when a costume caught fire at a fancy dress party at the Students’ Union.
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...that, during Medieval times, girls ate unusual foods on St. Valentine’s Day to induce dreams of their future husband ...that, the first international cricket match was in the USA ...that, February 15th was the date of the Roman festival of Lupercalia – where young men held a lottery to decide which girl would be theirs.
...that, Michael Winner had part of his leg cut away due to oyster poisoning
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
UPSU meets the UN Simon Cowell is organising a charity single for Haiti, including Kylie Minogue, Take That and Mariah Carey, using REM’s Everybody Hurts. As for REM, Stipe says: “How could we not say yes to this appeal? We’re honoured to play even a small role in trying to help.”
A 16-year-old girl has been pulled out of the rubble in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, 15 days after the earthquake struck, rescuers say. Darlene Etienne was said to be happy but dehydrated. Rescuers said she had survived by drinking water from a bath. Her rescue comes five days after Haitian government officially ended the search and rescue operation.
Experts have told of their surprise after witnessing a rare “divorce” between a pair of swans (who usually mate for life) at a Gloucestershire wildfowl sanctuary. The Bewick’s swans have returned to winter at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centre at Slimbridge but both have brought new partners. It is only the second time that a “separation” has been recorded at the centre.
Iran has executed two men arrested during the period of widespread unrest that erupted after June’s disputed presidential election, reports say. They had been convicted of being “enemies of God”, members of armed groups and trying to topple the Islamic establishment, Isna news agency said.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 64, has cancelled his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos after falling ill with high blood pressure. He became ill as he was about to fly from the north-eastern city of Recife to Davos in Switzerland.
US President Barack Obama has said in his first State of the Union address that creating jobs must be the nation’s number one focus. Mr Obama accepted Americans were “hurting” and that his election pledge of change had not come quickly enough. He defended his healthcare reform efforts and bank bailout policy, but said there would be a spending freeze from 2011 to tackle the budget deficit.
Gordon Brown has said that mid2011 should be the deadline for “turning the tide” in the fight against insurgents in Afghanistan. Speaking at a 70-nation London summit on the future of Afghanistan, he said the nations faced “a decisive time”. Before the talks began, President Hamid Karzai said Afghanistan could need foreign support for its security forces for up to 15 years.
Photograph by Emma Biermann Aakash Naik
Questioning Gordon Brown, heckling our minister for Energy and Climate Change, shouting at lead negotiators and private meetings with top civil servants is not what I usually do. But last month was different. Last December I went to Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference; basically the most important political gathering of our time. I was there as part of the UK Youth Delegation. On day one, with the eyes of the world on Copenhagen, the President of the conference stated that the talks would be open and transparent. The opposite was the case. In the first week I walked between the two plenary halls, eager to see what our negotiators were up to, but I kept walking into empty rooms. On one afternoon I even played Frisbee in the main plenary hall. It was clear that the real talks were going on behind closed doors. Monday of the second week would be my last day inside the UN. I was not alone, the 15,000 delegates from NGOs was scaled back to 500 the next day. We were told this was for security
reasons. The chief scientist of the IPCC and delegates from some countries even walked out - the only people deciding our future were politicians and lawyers. The result was a worthless document that saves no one. Our own politicians couldn’t even handle the job; Gordon Brown fluffed a question I asked him about finance for deforestation, he only offered empty promises. The top civil servant for climate change, Pete Betts, wouldn’t answer our questions properly and eventually admitted that he couldn’t assure our future. Ed Milliband, the minister for energy and climate change, admitted to me that he didn’t have a clue what was going on and that he too was frustrated by the process...hardly inspiring. We face two challenges; combating climate change and eradicating extreme poverty, and at Copenhagen we failed on both. I went to Copenhagen with a simple mission, I wanted my presence to inspire people to fight against climate change. We still can. Whilst I was in Copenhagen I agreed I would keep a daily blog. But I found this to be impossible because I didn’t want to tell people that I felt
completely powerless, completely useless, and insignificant. But that was the truth; my voice wasn’t heard. But it was still important that we were at the United Nations so that we could try and hold the politicians to account. Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN climate convention stated that: “The financial crisis is a result of us living beyond our financial means, the climate crisis is a result of our living beyond our planet’s means.” This therefore is not just about climate change: it’s about jobs, the economy and society in general. Sustainable economies are the way to the future, it’s about being positive and saying yes to the right things and changing our lifestyle for the better. A sustainable economy could have more opportunities for the 2.5 million young people unemployed. An unsustainable economy can’t currently achieve this. 2010 may be the last opportunity for climate negotiations, it is up to us to build up even more momentum. If next year’s climate talks fails it won’t just be the politicians at fault, it’ll be us too.
The Austrian extreme sportsman Felix Baumgartner says his next goal is to try to break the record for the highest ever parachute jump. It is 50 years since the American Joe Kittinger made history by leaping from a balloon at 102,800ft (31km). Many have sought to repeat the feat, but all have failed. A 7-year-old boy from London who was aiming to raise just £500 for the Haiti quake relief effort through a sponsored bike ride has raised more than £72,000. Charlie Simpson, from Fulham, West London, cycled five miles (8km) around South Park to raise funds for Unicef’s appeal. His call for support touched the hearts of people around the world after he put a message on the JustGiving website. Five disabled turtles have completed a 4,700-mile journey to their new long-term home at a marine park in Dorset. The Florida sea turtles, whose injuries range from paraplegia to damaged shells, have all lost the ability to dive. They will receive intensive care at Weymouth Sea Life Park
News » University
News » Competitions
Day of Action over Uni arms trade investment
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This February 24th will see the 2010 Universities' Day of Action against the arms trade. The day aims to put pressure on universities that invest in the arms trade and ask them to instead adopt ethical investment guidelines. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), a national NGO which works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade, the University of Portsmouth invested £20,000 in BAE systems through investment fund managers in 2008. Last year demonstrations were held at 19 universities including; Birmingham, Cardiff, Oxford, University Col-
lege London (UCL) and York. CAAT also advocates the complete removal of the arms trade from universities, including stopping funding for research and not allowing them a presence at career and recruitment fairs. In 2009, students at the University of Warwick developed an "Alternative Careers Guide" and in Leeds students held a "die-in" outside BAE Land Systems. BAE systems, along with other defence related employers were at Portsmouth the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair this year, held at Guildhall. According to the UoP website, they currently recruit over 400 graduates. This year CAAT hope to have more demonstrations than last year. Sarah
Reader, CAAT's Universities Network Co-ordinator, said: "Students do not want to see their course fees invested in armaments, their departments' research sponsored by arms companies, or these companies be allowed to recruit the next generation of workers on their campuses. In the current climate of growing privatisation and cuts to higher education, students are even more focused on their universities' priorities. We think this year's Day of Action will be bigger than ever before.” The debate about universities' unethical investment policies now has to be considered at a time when higher education funding faces many cuts. Universities need to be able to invest
to strengthen their financial standing, but many question whether or not this should be at the cost of investing in the arms trade.
For more information about the Day of Action visit: caat.org.uk/events/ For more information about UoP's investment in the arms trade visit: tinyurl.com/yknzepc Please also visit Pugwash Online: upsumedia.com/pugwash, which will shortly be publishing further details on this matter as they come to light.
Your SU’s website, UPSU.net, has beaten off stiff competition to become one of the top three finalists in the “Best Young Persons Website” category of the 2010 Hanstweb Awards. The website was developed by former student and current member of staff, Tom Worman, who said: “there are plenty more developments in the pipeline; the website is always going to keep growing into a one-stop resource for University of Portsmouth students.” Please support this excellent service, which was most people’s first port of call for regular updates over the recent period of adverse weather, by voting for it at: www3.hants.gov.uk/ hantswebawards/publicvote.htm
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Student helps after Haiti earthquake Pravindharan Balakrishnan
On January 12th 2010, a catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.0 M (recorded in the Richter scale) struck, disfiguring the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The earthquake caused major damage to Port-auPrince and other settlements in the region. Officials reported that more than 150,000 are dead and a massive 1.5 million people are left homeless. However, the optimism of the Prime Minister of Haiti, Jean-Max Bellerive must be applauded. He stated that rebuilding the country is possible in the wake of the devastating earthquake. Nonetheless, he added this is only possible with the “massive support” from the international community. Large amounts of aid have been pouring in since the tragic incident and many have volunteered in Haiti.
However, the question here is, as students, what role can we play in aiding this tragedy-stricken country? Naomi Morris, a University of Portsmouth student and disaster management specialist, flew immediately to Haiti after the earthquake as a volunteer under the charity MapAction. The charity works in disaster zones providing situation maps highlighting where relief help is urgently needed. Her effort saved approximately 90 lives. Morris is currently pursuing her PhD in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Indeed, Morris’ act in assisting the grief-stricken people is incomparable to donations and financial aides. However, it is equally important in rebuilding the future of Haiti. We can help by donating money and any items to Haiti. Let us play a role in providing comfort to the people of Haiti.
First it was CO2 and Lux...
Students have reacted with shock, anger and sadness following the announcement of the closure and rebranding of The Registry pub. The announcement came through the pub’s Facebook page, saying that trading will cease on Sunday 28th February 2010 and the bar will then be refurbished into a Project Tokyo venue. The same company, Mitchell and Butler, will manage the bar, but its new image will be drastically different, aimed at 25-35 year olds and not its current student fanbase. Harry Brownjohn, who has launched a Facebook Campaign to ‘Save The Reg’ said: “Mitchell and Butler as a company are very big on feedback, and it seems as though this has been ignored. The Registry is
making money; this perhaps is why it has been seen as an easy choice to change.” The new venue will be called ‘The Kraken’s Wake’ and, unlike The Registry, the pub will charge entry on the door and will have a dress code, much to the dismay of Registry regulars, who have made their feelings known on the new pub’s Facebook page. Staff and management declined to comment on the changes, as they did not wish to jeopardise their future job prospects with the company, but the feeling was generally described as “devastated”. Brownjohn, 21, added: “I think on the whole people understand the deal is done and the aim of the group is more to try and keep some of the character and integrity of The Reg and hope someone is listening and doesn't alienate the current clientele.”
University society denies radicalism Howard Crates
Thirty one days after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s unsuccessful attempt to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253, The Islamic Society of University College London (a group of which Abdulmutallab was once chair), has defended its right to have held a War on Terror week arranged during his time in charge. In their statement, the group’s current president, Mojeed AdamsMogaji, dismissed all claims that Abdulmutallab had shown any signs of radicalism while a member. He said that “the positive campus work of the Islamic Society has been tainted and maligned” and expressed “deep shock
and sadness” at the attempted attack. Adams-Mogaji defended the War on Terror week, which featured a talk from former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, as well as a panel discussion on ‘the use of torture and human rights issues arising from the War on Terror detentions.’ He said that the suggestion “that Islamic Societies are somehow hotbeds for radicalisation” was “a baseless untruth” as “all events organised by the Islamic Society are public meetings and are designed to engage and facilitate open debate and discussion.” However, Professor Anthony Glees, from the University of Buckingham, has expressed his opinion that al-Qaeda recruiters routinely prey on such
radical religious and political gatherings. He has said that Abdulmutallab is: "one of a considerable number of people who have turned to al-Qaeda after being recruited in the UK." The UCL society, whose website is headed, “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu” (May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be with you) condemned attempts to blur the boundaries between terrorist acts and the expression of ‘controversial, but legal’ views. But the question remains whether it was Abdulmutallab’s outspoken role within the society that identified him as a vulnerable candidate to be converted to extremism.
Animation awards to be held at UoP Dan Whiteway
The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries will play host to the British Animation Awards: Public Choice events later this month, which offers students the chance to vote for the eventual winners in three categories. There will be three displays in total which will showcase all of the nominees, with each viewing containing entries that are music videos, short films, animated commercials and more, with several international festival award winners featuring. Entries include pieces from Aard-
man Productions (the team behind Wallace and Gromit and the film Flushed Away), award winning TV advertisement creators Nexus Productions and many others. Each viewing will last about an hour and a half, after which the audience will be given voting forms to choose their favourite piece in each category, with their votes contributing to the overall award winner which will be announced at the British Animation Awards 2010 at the BFI on the Southbank, London on April 8th. The first showing will take place in the Portland Building lecture theatre
(room PO1.53), at 2pm on Wednesday 17th February, with the others at 2pm and 6pm a week later on Wednesday the 24th. Each event is free to attend and there is no need to book in advance, just turn up on the day. For more information on the event, visit: port.ac.uk/departments/faculties/cci/news/title,105195,en.html For more information on the British Animation Awards 2010 visit: britishanimationawards.com
Torture fears for Iranian student Matt Blackall
Since the Iranian Presidential elections in June 2009, students have been at the forefront of continuing protests against both the disputed election result and the widespread human rights violations committed by the authorities. One such student, Payam Jahangiry, was arrested on 5 December 2009 by security officials, claiming they were workers from an electricity provider, who forced their way into his home. Payam was arrested because he is a supporter of an opposition group in
Iran known as the Green Movement who protest against the disputed election results, calling for an end to human rights abuses and for social reform. He was also a contributor to the website Rooznamak. Amnesty International have recently expressed concerned that he is at risk of torture or other ill treatment and have called on supporters to write to the Iranian authorities calling for his immediate release. Since the elections, dozens of people have been killed by security forces using excessive force and thousands have been arrested and tortured.
Many activists have also faced unfair trial, including some in mass show trials, with over 80 sentenced to prison terms, and at least seven sentenced to death. All because they wanted to protest against what they consider to be an undemocratic election. Payam is currently being held in the Artesh Sevvom detention centre in Shiraz and has had no access to a lawyer. He has been allowed just two visits from his family. For more information and to take action please visit: tinyurl.com/yg7hpzt
News » National
News » University
Study reveals hard times to be had by all
With the country just finding its way out of a recession, university applications at an all time high and the Office of National Statistics detailing figures showing the number of people out of work for varying reasons reaching close to ten million, worries loom over the possibilities for university leavers. What is becoming clear however is that those in either full time or part time Masters degree courses face a more pleasing prospect when it comes to entering the world of work, compared to first degree students. A study by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HESCU), entitled: 'What do Masters Graduates Do?'
shows that the unemployment rate for Masters graduates increased over the last twelve months by 0.4 %, to 4.1%. What is significant though is this in comparison with the figures for first degree graduates, where we find the rate increased by 2.4% to 7.9% over the same time period. It’s not all good news for the Masters student however, a 7% increase in the overall number of students taking a Masters degree appears to coincide with the first signs of the recession’s effect upon those continuing in education after first degree level. Charlie Ball, deputy research director at HECSU, has been quoted as saying: “Compared to the increase in unemployment for first degree graduates over
the same time period, this cohort has been less affected. We expect that the full effects of the economic downturn will be more apparent for the most recent crop of Masters graduates”. Problems also occur with regards to employer’s perception of full-time Masters students, as compared to part–time learners, who, as the HESCU study reveals, are more likely to go into the more lucrative professional or managerial roles and to avoid experience of underemployment or unemployment. Masters students appear to enjoy a better forecast compared to their first degree concomitants, although as the sources show, harder times are predicted for all.
The SPACE gallery at the University will play host to the ‘Liminal’ touring art exhibition from the 15th Feb to the 5th Mar. The show features the work of renowned international public and gallery artist Katayoun Pasban Dowlatshahi, who works on both regular art projects and architectural ventures. The exhibit showcases items of photographic art, drawing, architectural glass and ‘time based’ media that examines the nature of light and shadow as a metaphor of the landscape and architecture of Iran, Katayoun’s birthplace. Katayoun is one of the few artists worldwide who uses the 19th century
art technique of ‘Carbon Photography’, where pigments are transferred onto glass and paper to create light and shadow effects. As well as traditional gallery art work, Katayoun has used her glass art to create public artwork of ‘glass facades’ and ‘floor-scapes’ in buildings across the UK. The exhibit will run for three weeks later this month, with a ‘Meet the artist’ preview session from 4pm to 7pm on Friday 12th February with free refreshments, and a public talk on the exhibition at 2pm on Wednesday 17th February. For more information visit: tinyurl. com/ydk4nv5
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Comment & Opinion
The views expressed on this page and throughout this publication do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of UPSU, Pugwash News or the editorial team.
Fare thee well old friend
A country’s negative image Mark Norman
Uzbekistan is a relatively unknown country to the majority of people in Britain. Most people wouldn’t know where it is on a map, let alone what goes on inside its borders. Uzbekistan is seen as a closed country, with its government heavily censoring the internal press. Very rarely do news stories make it outside its border, let alone worldwide. In the UK, we take freedom of speech for granted, like much of the rest of the world today, but in Uzbekistan, the government has become seriously over sensitive about how it is perceived to the western world and this has hindered its population’s basic human rights. Umida Akhmedova is an Uzbek photographer who, in 2007, produced an album of images of the everyday lives of the people of Uzbekistan. The album, titled “Men and Women: Dawn to Dusk”, contains more than 100 images of Uzbek traditions and customs. The images, which are of simple and everyday scenes, have been severely lambasted by the Uzbek authorities, who have claimed the images portray the people of Uzbekistan as “backward”. The government authorities have since charged Ms. Akhmedova with “slander” and “insult“ against her own nation. The news of Umida Akhmedova’s arrest spread around the world like wildfire, being picked
Photograph by Umida Akhmedova
up by many international news providers along the way. She is facing up to six months’ imprisonment or two to three years of “correctional work”. From Umida Akhmedova’s photographs, I gathered that the Republic of Uzbekistan is a religious and deeply traditional country with outstandingly beautiful natural scenery; a country I wouldn’t hesitate in travelling to. The moves that the Uzbek authorities made following Ms. Akhmedova’s photographs raised many questions. One was, why is the Uzbek government so sensitive about how it appears to the rest of the world? I feel that, simply, Uzbekistan needn’t be sensitive and reactionary to potential perception of its country. From where I’m standing the reaction of Uzbekistan’s government shows a paranoid dictatorship regime which clearly has something to hide; and in so doing has banned almost all nongovernmental media, including Ms. Akhmedova’s still images of simple everyday life. In recent times, countries from the region of Central Asia have been made a bit of a laughing stock to the rest of the world: for example, the film ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’. A relatively new country on the block since the collapse of communism in the now defunct USSR, the Republic of Uzbekistan, founded
in 1991, is eager to find its feet with its own identity and position in the world. I believe it is doing everything it can to shrug off the image of Borat and central Asian nations of being backward, but with this hypersensitivity I think they have shot themselves in the foot. Uzbekistan sees itself as a potential future holiday destination for tourists from the Western hemisphere and ever increasing tourism in the region could bring in much needed capital for a young nation like Uzbekistan to stand up and be counted in our Machiavellian world. I have the opinion that Uzbek authorities are doing themselves no favours in attracting tourists or otherwise business opportunities by their actions, which have caused outrage worldwide. It seems the self-imposed President, Islom Karimov, is possibly ashamed of his country and is doing his utmost to join the world order. I believe Uzbekistan should refrain from attempting to assimilate to globalisation and Westernisation, as it has a wonderful and unique culture which should be respected, firstly by themselves. It could be interpreted that Uzbekistan is similar to that of an adolescent; sensitive of its appearance and uncertain of its place and future in the big wide world. It is generally thought that every adolescent should soon become accustomed to the body
Photograph by Umida Akhmedova
they live within and move onwards and upwards in the world. They should be comfortable with their possible perception and work with those around them. Young adults who figure this out first and take on an adult mentality first are the ones who reap the rewards later on in life. I am not speaking from experience, but from what I believe is common sense. I hope Islom Karimov responds to the people worldwide, such as myself, who have signed petitions and protested for Umida Akhmedova’s immediate release. It is hard to believe that in this day and age taking photographs of everyday life can land you in prison facing a charge near to treason. Just remember how fortunate you are to live in a country with basic human rights and the freedom of speech as our own and where you would be without them. I think there's a lot we can all learn from this debacle. For more information: amnesty.org. uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=18597 Below are two of Akhmedova’s Photographs, to view more of the photos in question: fergana.info/details. php?image_id=1220 Take advantage of your own freedom of speech and have your say on this issue: email@example.com
I’d heard stories in my Fresher’s Week that there was “nothing as satisfying as peeing on Superman’s face” or that “the whole place smells of wood and beer”. I’d also heard “man, they have Bulmers on tap! We have to go!” That was my first love affair with The Reg. However, I learned recently, with some distress, that The Registry pub in the city centre is to be closed and renovated as a new format bar under the name ‘The Krakens Wake’. The name seems to keep in tune with the locals who frequent the bar... or does it? The one thing I find so refreshing about The Registry pub, and have done since coming to this fine University, is that no matter what background or what specific tastes anyone might have, so long as you were under the roof of the pub then you were a Reg drinker. Every time we went in there, and there were quite a few times I can assure you, there was hardly ever a bad word said against one another and certainly never a fight. I can’t speak for the rest of you reading this, but that was certainly my experience. The staff were always unbelievably polite and were more than happy to stand and have a chat on a quiet morning or afternoon before the rush of students eager for drinks that evening, and I believe hardly anywhere in Portsmouth has the same calibre of staff as the Registry does. If The Krakens Wake does not keep them on, then it’ll be a sad day for many regulars through those hallowed doors. So to the staff, I tip my hat. No, on second thoughts I take the whole damn hat off to you, because you made the experience so personal, and everyone felt accepted. Many have joined the Facebook petition to “Save The Reg”, and for me this is a fitting tribute to the end of what many consider the ultimate student bar in Portsmouth. That is their way of saying goodbye to The Reg, andm while I might not have a group at my disposal, I have a keyboard and hopefully an audience to say this to. This is my way of saying goodbye and thank you. Without a shadow of a doubt, The Registry will be missed. Have something to say on this issue? firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to show support for The Reg? Join the Facebook group!
Grind my Gears Come follow us on Twitter (@upsucomment) and tell us what “grinds your gears”, or leave us any comments or opinions on Facebook (UPSU Media Comment & Opinion Team) or by email (email@example.com) about this latest issue of Pugwash News, for a chance to get published next issue!
Dan Whiteway - Novelty, colourful, winter hats. Seriously, what’s wrong with normal, boring, black/grey/white hats?
Laura Patricia - How long it takes to list things on eBay, and how little you make for them in the long run. And how I keep forgetting this and going back with dreams of getting rich somehow...
Matt Blackall - That my essay results have yet to be put on the student portal
Jayna Zala - Men who seem to have become at least 5% girl: the hair product, the cardigans, the accessories... If you’re spending longer than me - you’re spending too long!
James Trimbel - Finding that my only options for a night out are drinking in dingy local clubs and dodgy student nights without feeling too secure
Adam Sunman - That the history section in the library is often populated by non-history students who then use the area as a ‘common room’
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Comment & Opinion
The views expressed on this page and throughout this publication do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of UPSU, Pugwash News or the editorial team.
Obama’s first year Build up to the General Election Joe Wilkes
It could seem, from the outside, that President Obama’s first year in office was a highly subdued and disappointing one. He has continued the conflict in Iraq, lost heavily in the Senate election and split the country over his healthcare reform bill. Less than a month after his first full year in office ended, pressure is inevitably building. An article on the Telegraph’s website claims Obama needs to ditch his policies soon, before his public turn on him for squandering taxpayers’ money on the failing U.S automobile industry, welfare increases and,, of course, the demonized healthcare reform. But surely this is an example of one eye on the future and one in the sky for Obama’s detractors? Before George Bush came into power, the US economy was up; he inherited a surplus of money before introducing unnecessary tax cuts, which benefited the rich, his main support base. He then waged an unjust war which, according to one source, could
cost up to $2 trillion overall, once you take into account all expenditure related to it and its effects. Republicans have accused the White House’s latest inhabitants of a lack of focus concerning jobs and the economy and unfortunately it appears that the US public is going along with this. But hang on, aren’t we forgetting something? The Obama administration inherited somewhere near a $70 trillion deficit from Bush’s, including a war which sources suggest would cause more trouble to pull out off than to continue, due to major investments of the US and its resources. What we are seeing from Obama, is what the American people and us in the world found across the Atlantic need to employ when it comes to judging this man after his first year in office; caution. It’s no wonder we perceive a lack of focus or change, when the cleanup operation after Bush’s party is clearly so huge. I say pipe down, let this leader get his eye in, and I’m sure we’ll see the brighter future we all envisioned when we saw Jesse Jackson shed those tears.
And so General Election campaign 2010 has begun in earnest, with 6th May being pencilled in as the most probable date, pitting melty-faced, sad sack Gordon Brown against permagrin walking charisma/swarm merchant David Cameron, with Nick ‘yes I am relevant’ Clegg scrabbling along the floor picking up odd votes and seats, the electoral system’s equivalent of a homeless pickpocket. Obviously the Election will dissolve into a straight out battle between Brown and Cameron, Labour and Conservative. The Liberal Democrats will do their generic, ‘get 25% of the vote and a disproportionate amount of seats in Parliament’ trick, the BNP will do their level best to get a seat in a racially volatile constituency such as Barking or Dagenham (but the British people will prove there is no place
Questions of class – a rant Matt Blackall
When questioned about social class, most people will question its existence and affirm it further into the historical abyss as something confined entirely to the Industrial Revolution and perhaps the 1970s. However, with a General Election having to be called this year, the last few weeks have seen in the news the prevalence that questions of class will play in any re-emergence of New Labour. Several New Labour MPs have started to try and pull their Party’s policy back to its left-wing routes and in its ideals to reduce social inequality and increase social mobility. Yet these MPs are only deepening the grave that they themselves have dug since 2001. It would make sense that if New Labour had any commitment whatsoever to reducing social inequality, then they would have done this during the last 13 years. Yet a recent report from the National Equality Panel, commissioned by the Government, has found that the gap between the rich and poor is wider than 40 years ago – not helped by pay discrimination towards ethnic minorities and women. Now personally, I agree that there are many deep seated class based issues within Britain (depending on how you perceive class). Don’t get me wrong, I do not see this as having
Photograph by Pete Souza
for their kind in this world) and the Green Party might get a seat, fingers crossed they do, but they might not. There you go, election results in 100 words, four months before it happens. Enjoy. Anyway, the real battle will be like it’s been for the last 100 years or so, between Labour and the Tories. The battle lines are already beginning to be drawn out, with the economy being the main point of discussion for obvious reasons. The danger for Brown with the economy is that he can come across as gloating and bigheaded note his “saviour of the world” bit after last year’s G20 conference. For anyone without an economics degree (that’s me too!), the tactic of pumping money into the economy in a downturn to turn it around, a Keynesian approach, is the generally accepted way to get out of an economic crisis. This is what Brown did and the
UK is now out of recession, by the skin of its teeth admittedly. Cameron opposed this policy and has subsequently been proven wrong. The paradox is that the Conservatives will brush this under the carpet and if Brown attempts to bring it back up, he will be accused of gloating on an issue that has long since passed, and intellectual boasting; a trait we on the Left have a habit of, portraying those on the Right as moronic, stupid and wrong. This is one, of many, tightropes Brown and Labour will have to walk if they want to have any chance in this election. The chances of Labour still being the dominant party in the House of Commons come June are slimmer than a playing card, but they can still hope for a hung Parliament to retain some semblance of power. Let battle begin.
to attack ‘the Toffs’, or an acceptance that you can divide people among the lines of ‘working class’, ‘middle class’ and ‘upper class’ – as society has become more diverse since the 1970s. But New Labour are not the party to challenge class issues. They resigned that right in 1994, despite some great initiatives such as the Minimum Wage. The Tories will be no better either. Why are more people not picking up on the fact that David “call me Dave” Cameron - the vile PR man that has convinced many people that despite admitting his Party will partially destroy Britain will still be calling himself Prime Minister by the end of May - did not even realise that the word “twat” is used as a derogatory term by everyone outside of Eton until he said it live on a morning breakfast show. The worrying thing is that those people who are facing the brunt of class based issues are voting more and more for fringe parties, some of which are far more unsavoury than the British public should have the taste for. But, who can blame them. I suppose at least these people have more guts to vote for who they think is best rather than those who wrongly believe they should vote for one of the two main Parties because no-one else will get into power. Why do people feel such a need to vote for the winner? How un-British!
Grant “Angryman” Clarke
boyfrwiend vewwy vewwy much” fan pages on a daily basis, and I respond to them - by wrinkling my nose in disdain. Yes, I could block you, but that’s not very friendly now is it? And, for the record, I’m not talking about the odd, one off, “So and so had a good day out with their other half” kind of statuses. Even I put my hands up and admit to being guilty of those. Nor am I talking about putting that you are in a relationship with someone on Facebook (so long as your status doesn’t switch and change like a yoyo...). I am talking about the ‘too much information’, mushy, twee, over the top and constant sort of spew that some people are capable of. No one wants to see that, guys and gals,
except maybe the one person you’re referring to. (And they invented the private message function on Facebook for a reason you know!) I’d love to know what our readers think about this. Should the love be shared, anywhere and everywhere, regardless of how nauseating it may be? Is social network gushing the new level of unacceptable PDA? Should I be writing an essay right now instead of wasting time making statements on Facebook? (Perhaps (not); I would argue so; and yes, yes, I really should!) But let me know. Join my group (or the other one, if you absolutely must) – but better yet, drop me a line:
So, just a short one this week, but it’s about something that really did shock me. If I mentioned a cold hearted idiot with the smile of a cow being told it’s getting a fresh swath of grass before going into the abattoir, you might think I’m talking about Simon Cowell. And while it may be shocking, awful news to some that he’s leaving American Idol (about which I personally do not care), I actually mean our cold hearted ex-PM, the one and only jester in the UN, Mr Tony Blair. For showing truly that democracy is dead in this country (saying that, it never really has been alive anywhere) by invading Iraq because Saddam wouldn’t let the Carlyle group and such keep their hands on the lovely black gold buried beneath the ground. It’s recently hit me how much spin, doctoring of the facts, and disregard for humanity has recently been bought to light, which has turned me into this contempt-full “Angryman”. I’ve never been too bothered about it before, but after opening my eyes I’ve come to realise how messed up our otherwise perfect world is and Mr Blair’s total lack of humanity in the Iraq Inquiry last week has just shined a light on everything for me.
You’re in love. We get it. Laura Patricia
Now stop gushing all over the internet about it! Oh dear. I appear to have started some sort of Facebook feud... Last night, after yet another one of my acquaintances came out of the woodwork and admitted that a mutual friend’s status updates of the past few weeks have been making them want to gag every time they log in, I did something I never thought I would do, and started a statement-making Facebook group. The gist of my group – “You’re in love. We get it. Now stop gushing all over the internet about it!” – is pretty much self explanatory. We’ve
all seen them at one point or another; we all went “aww” the first few times, but now we just roll our eyes. You know who you are, and you know you do it. I’m sure none of your friends or family begrudges you any happiness, and we are all, sincerely and honestly, really glad you’ve found that special someone. But PLEASE stop spewing that ‘love’ all over our homepages! No one is trying to be a killjoy, but we really don’t care if your girlfriend is “the sweetest thing since cotton candy” or that your boyfriend “makes cute little squeaking noises when he’s dreaming”. We especially don’t want to see another ‘taken at arm’s length on my mobile while lying on the sofa cuddling’ profile shot.
You’re giving us all diabetes. Anyone who agrees with the above statement is more than welcome to join my group. But what is really interesting is that, less than 12 hours later, a counter-statement-making group appeared. Now, I won’t give them any free publicity by naming them, but they (all, thus far, five of them) feel that if we don’t like it, we can just ignore it. Well, yes, fair point, but we can’t really, can we? Facebook, marvel and hindrance both that it is, is designed to throw such things up at us, to keep us informed and let us know what is going on in the world. Just as the creator of that group saw mine and responded to it, so I see your statues and “I miss my wuvvly
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Life & Style
How much are you drinking?
This isn’t a lecture, nor is it me trying to do my bit to make the world a better place, although that would be nice. It is a realisation of truth, a bit of useful advice, or rather a plea, to not let alcohol ruin your life. Studying for a degree is not only time consuming and tedious, it’s also a lot of hard work, determinism and a heck of a lot of money. So it is painful to go out on an evening into Portsmouth town, to the many bars and clubs available and see students drinking their education and money away, stumbling around the streets not even sure where they are going, half dressed and often unconscious in the ladies toilets, or throwing up down the back streets of Albert road. That’s not a good memory of the university experience for anyone. There are an estimated 7,000 alcoholics living in Portsmouth alone, and the unfortunate truth is that some of these will be students. Being an alcoholic doesn’t make you a tramp on the street. Nor does it automatically brand you as a violent resident of the local pub. It is purely an inability to refrain from drink. The effects both short and long term are well known to everyone. Throughout schooling we as students have been possibly even brainwashed into knowing how alcohol effects the body, and why it is important to know your limits. The media does their bit to show the tragedy that comes from drinking too much with their horren-
dous drink driving adverts, and signs are constantly increasing around alcoholic venues trying to teach people that drinking too much will only land you in trouble in the long run. But still we persist to ignore them. Why is the temptation to continue doing what we are told is bad for us so great? Why, although we feel the aftermath of nausea and headaches the day after a heavy binge, vowing to never drink again, do we not stick to this pledge? Moderation is the key to anything, and this is my short message to all students. Students who are putting hard work and determinism into their degree, students who are spending over £9,000 on an education which could end up poured down the sink. Drink
in moderation. I am not calling every student an alcoholic, nor am I saying many students are, but if there is one thing you can take from this very short plea; try something next time you’re on a night out. See if you can go a whole night with no alcoholic drinks. Just one night, just to prove to yourself you could refrain if you wanted to. If students are concerned about the risks of alcohol, or believe they are drinking too much, please contact Alcoholics Anonymous with confidence at aa-uk.org.uk, or alternatively please see your local doctor for help or advice.
My guide to rodents Will Wells
My friend Tom just went and bought three mice,all females; it’s the smart way to do it. You see, mice procreate very quickly, and sometimes the parents will eat the babies. I don’t really have much experience with mice, but I know a little about guinea pigs. I was probably about seventeen when we got our guinea pigs, one boy and one girl. For me it was just about having a pet, and to be honest I really wanted ferrets but I wasn’t allowed ferrets. For my mother it was a valuable teaching tool; these guinea pigs were pawns in my education on the facts of life. She had valid cause I didn’t find out about sex for myself until some time later and even then I think I misunderstood because apparently I’m still doing it very wrong. The little creatures started off marvelously; there was frolicking, there was subtle flirting, there was courting and there was sex. It was beautiful to witness. Not the sex - I’m not a weird animal pervert - I mean watching nature take place in all its wonderfulness. I think it gave me a God complex. The first litter was born on a Christmas day and, being a wholesome person, my mother wanted to keep the family unit intact, a two parent household. That’s when things took a turn for the worse. The lascivious male had been a father for maybe fifteen minutes before he remounted. I’m glad guinea pigs are born sightless, as watching your father display such loose morality sets a very bad example. The father was put in sex rehab and the mother and new babies
could be at peace, but by then it was too late. What you can’t deny is the sheer tenacity of his sperm. Couples try for years to have babies (admittedly probably not guinea pig couples) and this guy managed to re-impregnate his missus in one clumsy, hurried effort. She was officially knocked up; fortunately the first litter had grown up and gone to new owners by the time the second litter arrived. The bad family planning meant that they were all a bit too deformed to be given away. They were all born with alopecia; mostly covered in welts and sores and they weren’t exactly gender specific. Oh, and they were blind with beady red eyes and sallow skin. Also, guinea pigs are particularly unscrupulous and have no sexual morality, they will literally screw anything. I tried to instill in them the same morals I had been brought up with – i.e don’t steal, and it’s probably best not to shag family members. To be fair to them I never caught them stealing so I guess they did hold onto something. When the skin-conditioned boys started to mount their mother we knew we had to separate them; the boys went with their father while the girls stayed put. Problems arose again when the boy who had been caught shagging his mother started to be mounted by his father; we had on our hands a flaky skinned hermaphrodite. We took a gamble and left it with dad. I mean it had what we took to be a ball sack so what were the chances it could get knocked up? It got knocked up. Cue generation three of deformed offspring. The life span of a guinea pig is maybe three years - this dad had
messed up a family unit in maybe ten months. If I learned anything from these pets, it was don’t have kids... they might try to shag their mother. There was one more litter. The sexcrazed male escaped and found his way into the female pen. He had to be forcibly removed from a female - that means prising him off, and he wasn’t just hanging on with his limbs.... In the end there were only two healthy guinea pigs - a lot of the illegitimate children died of very unnatural causes. A few survived and looked not dissimilar to Watership Down’s General Wormwart, though with less of an agenda. The sad thing is that I could never really hold them; they started bleeding when you touched them and squealed in pain. Despite this they all out-lived any regular guinea pig. The hutches were moved to opposite ends of the garden to help prevent sex induced escapes and, like all pets, it was Mother Wells who had to look after them once the novelty wore off. There’s not really a moral here; it isn’t a moral tale. Well, perhaps if you take anything away from this it’s that if you’re having an incestuous relationship and aren’t using contraception then don’t be surprised if the kid has a skin condition. I’ve heard prescription shampoos are expensive, so maybe factor that in to maintenance bills.
Read Will Well’s other articles online at: upsumedia.com/pugwash Got any funny pet stories of your own? Share them with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever wondered what the world of dating would be like if it were more like the world of work? Two recent conversations made me ponder this point. The first conversation was over Frankie and Benny’s a few weeks ago with a group of friends. We were talking about a recent ‘small world’ moment that I had had, where I discovered that a jerk I had dated in the spring had also dated a friend of a friend, and treated her in a similarly appalling manner (which is, in itself, another story). If only, we said, I had talked to this other girl before I had gotten involved with the guy; temporary misery might have been avoided. We decided that the idea of dating references might be, theoretically, a wonderful idea, and that any potential future mates should provide them before so much as a cup of coffee is to be had in their company. I think I know what I would write for my exes. Most of what I said would be complimentary or indifferent – except of course, for the above individual – with a few simple points of annoyance highlighted. Certain boys might rate more highly than others, but overall I don’t think anyone would be ashamed to ask me to be their referee. In fact, I kept myself amused one whole dish-washing session by composing said references in my head – just ask if you’re interested, guys! Overall, my friends and I decided that dating references would be a good thing, and would probably save us all a lot of time, money and hassle. But then we got to thinking – what would our exes say about us? Especially the ones that we broke up with, rather than the other way round... What feelings might come to the surface; what things would we learn that we perhaps could have lived without discovering? Would they agree with our fragile ‘looking-back’ analysis of the relationship, or have a completely different take on the entire affair? Again, I like to think I know what most of them would say, and that, for the most part, it would be good, but if I have learned anything about human beings it’s that we’re a complex
bunch, who all see things differently. Suddenly the idea of a dating referee system didn’t seem so wonderful after all. But the second conversation, had just a few days ago with someone, raised the issue once again. It prompted me to wonder if maybe we shouldn’t all just have dating CVs which we hand out on the second date. Previous boyfriends, experiences and skills gained, reasons for leaving etc; if everyone told the truth it would probably give you a very accurate sketch of their character, and a few heartaches could hopefully be avoided if you were wise. Now, the reason we were having this conversation – aside from the fact that, well, he asked – was partly due to the nature of the modern dating scene. I have friends whose ‘tallies’ range from 1 to 30, and numbers 2 to 31 will most likely be morbidly curious to know who was there before them, and if they left anything, emotional or otherwise, behind. There’s also the issue of moving in certain social circles, and the potential awkward revelation that they know someone you dated previously – or worse! This is where the ‘CV’ comes in. Over the course of this conversation, I found myself listing and describing my (ahem) partners in ‘100 words or less’, as it were. It was like that scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, where Andie McDowell is making Hugh Grant’s character choke on his coffee as she rattles off a list of her conquests. Granted, mine is nowhere like hers in length or diversity, but there it was in black and white; numbers, names, details, former partners, boyfriends and mistakes. It was entertaining, as an exercise, and interesting, to say the least, as a conversation. Think about it. What would your dating CV reveal? If you had to give a reference for a former partner, or even a friend, what would you say? What would people write about you? For me, just thinking of it in such terms means I can identify my mistakes and learn from them. That said, it’ll probably be a long time before my personal CV reaches more than a page in length!
Spring/Summer 2010 : hit or miss? Primrose Tricker
From the look of the spring/summer fashion trends this year, it seems the top trends are all things you thought were fashion faux pas. Backpacks, bumbags, novelty bags, bright clashing prints, socks with high heels, head to toe one-colour outfits. If you’ve cringed at it, chances are it’s been on the catwalk this season. However, all these aside, there are many good things to come from the catwalks, and almost all of them involve getting your knees out. Short dresses and long shorts, both coupled with long socks mean that this summer we’ll all be seeing a lot more knees. Time then, for me at least, to invest in some tinted moisturiser and stock up on new razors! As well as legs, there are some other big trends that are seeing the light of day after a while hidden away. Safari theme, khaki military, pastel
shades, and the wardrobe staple, the lightweight mac, all make a refreshed and revitalised appearance for this coming season. I shouldn’t (and probably won’t) be surprised if you see a lot of these in the shops in the coming months. What will probably not affect shops is the variety of shoe height seen. It’s everything from completely flat lace up sandals, through to kitten heels and wedges, right the way up to towering and elaborate platforms. This is brilliant news, as it means that it is easier to stay on top of fashion, without needing to work to stay on top of your shoes! Personally, I think that there is one massive trend coming loud and clear from all the great and good of the fashion industry: this season, anything goes. Do you agree? Just because Cosmo says it’s trendy, is it acceptable? Let us know: email@example.com
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Life & Style
Don’t you wanna know? Peter Frizelle
Last issue, we told you a little about the survey that the Christian Union did during last term. [See upsumedia.com for the full article.] Well, the results of our survey are in, and we figured we’d share them with you! The first question we asked was: “How important is the spiritual dimension in your life?” (on a numbered scale). 18% of respondents answered ‘Very’, a whopping 25% were in the middle (ie neutral) and only 12% said that the Spiritual Dimension didn’t affect their lives at all. Clearly then, the CU is arguably an important part of university life. Our second question was a bit of a tricky one: “What do you think is the meaning of life?” Our top answers were: Love and friendships (55%), having a good time (44%) and worshipping God (18%). Other options included making money, job satisfaction and saving the environment. We then asked people what their views on the Bible were. 30% of people think it serves as a moral code, while 27% believe it is God’s message to everyone; 17% think it is just a myth or fable and 10% believed it was no longer relevant. The percentage of people who think it is unreliable was the same as those who did not! Our next question was: “What is your view of Jesus?” Many people thought he was a good man and a moral teacher (60%), while only 21% believed he was the Son of God. 7% took him to be a political figure only,
and 22% thought he was a prophet of sorts. 3% thought he was deluded or insane. As well as the questions outlined here, we also asked “If you could ask God one question, what would you ask him?” Questions students offered themselves included: “What do you [God] look like?”, “Explain the Big Bang”, “Why do people suffer?”, “What is the purpose of life?” and “Have I been a good person?”. So, ‘Don’t you wanna know’ the answers to some of these questions? I mean, who is God exactly? Can science and faith co-exist? Is there a purpose to life? From the 15th to the 19th February the CU will be looking to answer these and other questions, based on the things that students here in Portsmouth have asked us, in our events week, “Don’t you Wanna Know?” Each day of the week, there will be a Lunchbar exploring a different question and most evenings there will be a chilled out event (bring and share meal, chillout cafe with games consoles, etc, and a pub quiz), with a short talk to get you thinking. Friday is the best opportunity to get your questions out there, via text in the afternoon (with donuts also on offer) and a question panel available at the Union in the evening. Keep an eye out for the words ‘Don’t you Wanna Know?’ on posters to see more details of the week around campus, find us on Facebook, or visit upsu.net/dontyouwannaknow.
Re - building bridges Hana McFaul
I was looking through old photographs the other day, and came across a bunch of photos that I hadn’t seen in years. As I looked through, I realised they were mostly of people who I am no longer in contact with; and I began to wonder why. Why, after knowing people for years and sharing your secrets with them, do we all drift apart? Understandably, you grow apart from people who change as they grow and who you no longer share similar interests with, and equally we move away and it’s not easy to keep in touch. But thinking back to my school days, there are still people who I would like to meet up with again. The point of this little reminis-
cent story is that, although it may be awkward and sometimes difficult to arrange, it could be time to rebuild bonds with some of your oldest friends. Being at University is a great experience, a great way to meet tons of new friends who will stay with you for years to come, but that doesn’t mean that your old friends should be forgotten. Each party is equally to blame, but who’s to say that the ones you let go will not be the ones you form the strongest bonds with when you re-unite. So let’s all use the wonderful sources of Facebook and the internet, and get in touch with some old friends. Hopefully they will reply with your enthusiasm, and if not, at least you will have no regrets! Let us know how it goes!
Pugwash owes me money! Laura Patricia
This is a historical issue for Pugwash News: it is the last one we will ever be putting out from our current location in Gun House (hopefully this time next fortnight we’ll all be happily settled across the road). It’s sort of sad, in a way, but also sort of exciting. Anyways, as I sat here thinking about the memories in and around this office and this paper, I got to thinking about how much time and effort I’ve put into Pugwash over the last two years. Now, I’m not complaining; yes, it has driven me crazy sometimes, but it’s also been very fulfilling, and I’ve learned a lot. But I got to doing some math, and the numbers shocked me.
I would say Pugwash business takes, on average, half an hour a day, and that’s probably rounding up on a general basis. So that’s 3.5 hours a week. Times 52 weeks a year – and yes, I did work the holidays – that’s 182 hours a year, approximately. And I've been doing it for two and a half years now. So, just with answering emails, holding meetings and so on, Pugwash has ‘eaten’ 455 hours of my life thus far! And every fortnight during term time we put out this fine newspaper, which takes up an entire weekend of my time at once. Call it, roughly estimated, 20 hours per issue. We’ve put out 36 issues (including this one) thus far, only three of which I had nothing
to do with. So, 20 hours x 33 issues = 660 hours devoted to the paper so far in total. And, we put out a magazine every now and again. I used to be more heavily involved in it, but this year I have had to take a step down to focus on my third year. But I think in my first year we had five issues, and last year we did four, plus a special issue for new students. I would say the magazine took, on average, four or five hours of my time at once. So we’ll call it 4.5, and that means that I spent 45 hours working on the magazine over the last two years (and none this year). However, this year I became a member of the Media Exec, which
holds meetings roughly monthly. So I will lose another eight hours or so to that over the course of this year. So, when we include regular time doing admin stuff etc, the fortnightly newspapers, meetings, and the magazine work last year, Pugwash has consumed a total of 1168 hours of my life since October 2007, roughly. (Which is vaguely depressing, when you put it in those terms!) Now, Pugwash is strictly a volunteer organisation, and none of us are paid. But, if they had paid me for my work, even at a minimum wage of £4.77 (for 18 – 21 year olds), they would owe me...drum roll please... £5571.36!!! At least! I know it’s not a liveable
salary by any means, but it’s not small change either, and, I’ll be honest, I could use it. Who do I see about a back payment claim for volunteer work? Or, as a friend who was right here in the office with me for a large percentage of those hours put it: “One could argue that Pugwash (the Union) has equally given you the opportunity to write in 37 editions of the newspaper and 12 editions of the magazine. Of which there is a value of around £50,000 over the 2.5 years. You've edited three quarters of that, so £37,500 - which in my eyes means you owe the Students' Union £3192.64!” Well... um. Back to work I think! Visit laurapatricia.co.uk for more!
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Arts & Entertainment
@ The Lyceum Theatre, London So there I was, feeling like a sardine in the sweatiest, most over crowded carriage of the Tube I have ever been in. So crowded in fact, the doors tried to shave a few inches off my arse whilst closing. Thinking to myself, “this best be worth it”. We were on the way to see the Lion King at the Lyceum theatre. Finally we found our way there and barged through the hoards of crowds to get in. As it was a longish show (just under three hours) we stocked up on drink and snacks, with the novelty of being given a pint of sweets! Although, be prepared, as this came to just under a tenner. Anyway we found our seats and got comfortable, awaiting the spectacular show which we were assured it would be, and my God it was just that. We sat in the stalls and whilst ‘Circle
of Life’ was being performed on stage the aisles filled with a huge display of marching animals. The costume design was breathtaking, encapsulating you into the whole performance; the stage completely transformed for every scene and was utterly bewildering; the actors were absolutely fantastic (Zazu was incredible); and the singing was just mesmerising. Everything about the show was so perfectly, constructed keeping you entertained throughout. I must say there was never a dull moment, where you would just take a look around or fiddle with that really annoying nail. It was great to see they kept the epic songs from the film version and proceeded with the same story line, however they added or lengthened scenes to make the performance work for theatre. Battling the Tube was definitely worth it to view this show. If you loved the film, you will love the stage version even more. A definite 10 out of 10 from me.
Recipe for the average sitcom: take three or more main characters, all friends, all with contrasting personality traits. Add to a common setting in which they all interact - usually a house they all live in, a shared workplace, or a pub they all drink at. Mix in a relationship developing between two of the main characters that creates friction among the others. Shake for zany comedic results. Set down after production. Wait for awards and critical praise to follow. BBC3’s Sunday evening horror/ thriller sitcom Being Human follows this recipe to a tee, except the awards haven’t come in yet. The four main characters are very different to one another, they all share a flat (just life Friends!), two of them work in a hospital (just like Scrubs!), three of them frequent a pub (just like Cheers!) and two of them are having ups and downs in their relationship (just like, well, all sitcoms, really). But wait. No. Wait a
second there. Not so normal. They’re supernatural beings, not humans at all. There’s a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf. Two werewolves, in fact. The show is marketed as sexy, and sexy it indeed is, despite being filmed in Bristol. Lenora Crichlow is the sexy ghost, who’s sexy in an “its-laundryday-so-all-my-good-clothes-are-inthe-wash” kind of way. Aidan Turner stars as the sexy vampire, because all vampires in TV and film have to be sexy now. It’s pretty much the law. Russell Tovey is cast as the sexy werewolf, although he’s probably the one element of the show that isn’t sexy. Fine actor though he is, he looks like the FA cup might if it lost a fight with a madman armed with a hammer and chisel. The show is in fact so sexy there’s even some actual sex, unbelievably. Once you get over the marketing, Being Human is a very good programme. Although the plotline can be a little confusing (with secondary characters arbitrarily disappearing and reappearing from the story), the
quick-cut visuals are a real treat, as is the soundtrack. The humour is genuinely funny at times, but the real plus point is the acting, with stand-out performances from Turner and Tovey in particular. Give it some time, and Being Human will be garnished with the awards the sitcom recipe outlines.
BBC3’s Sunday evening horror/ thriller sitcom Being Human follows this recipe to a tee, except the awards haven’t come in yet
Romeo & Juliet Dan Whiteway
@ New Theatre Royal - Friday 8th January On a cold, icy night on Guildhall, the Oddsocks team rolled into the New Theatre Royal to deliver a masterclass in comic acting, modernising a Shakespearean classic to the enjoyment of young and old, bringing in humour whilst leaving the classic storyline, wisely, alone, keeping the integrity of the production. This adaptation featured the families of Capulet and Montague, not as influential houses of the state of Verona, but as rival restaurateurs, one serving pizza, the other pasta, which, despite being somewhat stereotyped, worked very well. Blending the Shakespearean language with modern slang and colloquialisms was a nice touch, but the (hopefully intentional) poor Italian accents made the puns and word play elements of the script fall on deaf ears. Rather than using conventional stage backgrounds, the team utilised a hugely original interactive computer screen for its backgrounds. And, when the actors walked through slits in the screen, they became digitalised versions of themselves, thus adding another dimension to the production. As is to be expected in a produc-
tion aimed at all ages, the humour can be a little bit ‘lowest common denominator’ at times, particularly with the pratfalls, but the prop comedy was simply outstanding. A memorable scene involved Father Capulet, in a fat suit, attempting to climb from a (model!) Fiat onto the balcony of their house, which went on for a full three minutes, but the laughter did not cease throughout. The prop comedy and the interactive background combined to truly magnificent effect in Tybalt’s death scene, where a car chase is brought to life on stage. Having only five actors to fulfil all the roles can be a difficult proposition for production teams but Oddsocks achieved it with aplomb. Playing Tyblat and Father Capulet on the stage at the same time (two characters with hugely different accents, with only the cover of different hats and a chalkboard to change behind), and the different accents and styles of Mercutio and Friar Lawrence (portrayed as an American-style preacher) also played by the same actor, is testament to the talents of the acting team. Overall, the Oddsocks team produced a masterful, original, modern adaptation of a classic, with brilliant performances by all the actors involved that warmed up the coldest night. Oh, and the ice cream was pretty good too.
Picture by the BBC
Book A Most Wanted Man Joe Adams
By John Le Carre In my books, if a story includes a mysterious half-starved Russian man randomly being in Hamburg, linked in with a strong-willed idealistic German civil rights lawyer who happens to be
a young lady, then the story is going to be a damn good one. Twin this with an aging banker from England and the involvement of the three governments’ desire to control the ‘war on terror’, and we have a gritty, and often darkly astounding novel, which one will remember long after the last page has been turned. Described as relevant to our times, this tense thriller combines
mystery with humour, sex, and passion; its intercultural, economic and political plots strengthen the essence of the story and believability of the characters and their importance not only to the novel but to you as the reader. Highly recommended for any passionate soul.
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Films It’s Complicated
Picture by Universal
Sex, drugs and a great cast make this film one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long time. Meryl Streep (Jane) and Alec Baldwin (Jake) star in this hilarious romcom about a divorced
couple who begin seeing each other again. There’s only one problem – Jake is married to the woman (25 years his junior) that he cheated on his ex-wife with. My favourite part was when the couple’s daughter’s boyfriend, Harley (John Krasinski) realised they were
having an affair. During the tryst, Jane becomes close to her architect, Adam (Steve Martin), who she brings to a party at her house where they smoke pot together. Jake is also at the party and he and Jane are smoking the pot when Harley catches them. Soon after he confesses to Jane he knows
Up In the Air
what’s going on. This secret continues throughout the film, with Harley making subtle jibes about the affair, unbeknown to everyone else. Soon, Jane has to decide who she wants to be with after complications arise. This endearing and hugely entertaining film brings home the truth
that love isn’t easy no matter what your age, and is suitable for everyone above 15 - some of the sexual references are pretty explicit, which makes it all the more amusing.
The Taking of Pelham 123
Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air tells the story of a corporate man who is literally lost in the clouds as he becomes more and more out of step with reality. Oscar winner George Clooney is on fine form playing Ryan Bingham, who works for a company that goes round to other companies to tell their employees the happy news that they ‘have been let go’. Bingham flies around America, to the point where he flies 350,000 miles a year (further than the distance to the moon) by himself. He is lonely, and spends so much time away from home that he considers being 10,000ft in the air as his home, but he is at least content with his life. Until he meets Vera Farmiga's enchantingly seductive Alex; and begins to question his life goal of accumulating 10 million air miles. The cast all put in exceptional performances; Clooney delivers on every front, playing a character who, despite living a depressing lifestyle, remains good hearted and identifiable. Vera Farmiga’s performance is certainly on a par with Clooney’s, playing essentially the female version of Bingham,
Picture by DW Studios and the two characters connect perfectly on screen. Anna Kendrick also does a better than average job playing a young, talented developer who has designed webcam-sacking software. This in itself is a threat to Bingham, as it would tie him to one place. Keener travels round with Bingham to learn the ‘correct way’ to fire someone and queries Bingham’s perception on life. Also, mention has to go to the actors and non-actors who play the doomed folks who are getting fired. Though only briefly on screen their feeling of
betrayal, shock and misery are clear and can’t help but be sympathised with. Reitman films Up in the Air superbly. The opening sequence of aerial shots of cities, towns and the country was beautiful. This, combined with the original plot and fine performances makes it a film many could appreciate. The surprising end gives the audience a lot of room to think by the end, and establishes Up in the Air as one of the best films of the new year.
With films such as Top Gun, Domino and Déjà Vu under his belt, Tony Scott’s remake of the 1974 thriller, The Taking of Pelham 123, can definitely be labelled as a must-see as it is sure to be nothing less than outstanding, and with an exceptional cast including two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington and twotime Academy Award nominee John Travolta, it’s no wonder that it took over $23 million at it’s opening weekend. Washington is in fine form as subway dispatcher Walter Garber, an ordinary guy whose world is turned upside-d own when a subway train he is monitoring is hijacked. The criminal mastermind with a highly-armed gang and a monstrous plan is Ryder (Travolta), who threatens to execute the train's passengers unless a large ransom is paid within one hour. As tension is mounting and time is slowly running out, Garber finds himself becoming more and more involved in the wretched wrongdoing occurring below the streets of
New York City, as he is forced to try and outwit Ryder while facing a few demons of his own. Washington and Travolta really do bring this film alive, delivering performances that complement each other perfectly. Travolta is both intelligent and manic, one moment showing mercy, then a split-second later exploding in a fury fatal to those around him, while Washington is forced to remain calm, adjusting himself to whatever Travolta throws at him next. As you watch these two film icons, with their powerful screen presence, immense talent and never-ending energy, coupled with an unpredictable script, you cannot help but find yourself compelled to watch. I recommend that you see this film if you want to be thoroughly entertained and surprised by two brilliant actors. As cliché as it may sound, The Taking of Pelham 123 really does constantly keep you on the edge of your seat. Seen a film and want to let us know what you thought? Email artsents@ upsu.net
Pugwash News Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Esmée Denters - Outta Here Steph Hall
Discovered by Justin Timberlake on YouTube, this is Esmée's first album produced by JT, who also sings additional vocals and co-wrote the songs with Esmée. This talented young Dutch (who sounds American when she sings) offers a soulful R'n'B album which has a mix of tracks for getting ready to go out with the girls and chilling out. The self-titled album track,
@ The Wedgewood Rooms - 02/12/09 Over-excited and slightly eccentric, Little Fish open up tonight. They are full of energy and their experimental, brash sounding music, with Toya Wilcox-sounding vocals, have a hard time getting the crowd warmed up, as at the moment there are so few of us. The second support band, the funky punky Scanners, is rather catchy crooning out ‘Baby Blue’ and ‘Goodbye’, and end on a slightly heavier note with ‘Raw’. But who the massive crowd is here for is hot actress turned hotter musician Juliette Lewis. She may not be the world’s best singer and tonight she may be dressed as a ballerina chicken, but she certainly knows how to put on a great rock ‘n’ roll show. This may be down to her actress background that enables her fantastic stage presence, or it could be down to her weird and oddly mesmerizing dancing, but she has the crowd enthralled, dancing and singing along with her from the beginning. After splitting with her band mates, ‘The Licks’, Juliette has embarked on a solo project, which is different to her previous band's style, but is just as great. Two stories are shared with us tonight, the first about one day when Juliette Lewis was walking down a street in LA and was asked by a preacher what she is grateful for. We are told that after much deliberation
@ Guildhall, Portsmouth 01/12/2009 White Lies have enjoyed 18 months of success; their first album ‘To Lose My Life’ debuted at the beginning of 2009 and turned out to be a strong album, finding success in the UK and later in the US. Their nigh-on ubiquitous presence on TV evidence the fact that they’ve enjoyed patronage of the media; hell, their CDs have been present in the edit suites of pretty much every soap and advertising agency in the country. It was no surprise then to find the audience filling Guildhall diverse in age and creed. However, the inclusion of two New York bands with somewhat less commercial leanings took me off balance, and actually made the evening. Opening were Violens, who despite belonging to a much thicker band were actually fairly thoughtful, playing well constructed art-pop. Sonic Youth could have sounded like them in their infancy, but Violens’ less selfindulgent dynamic aspirations and obvious affinity for The Byrds define the sound as an interesting and danceable synthesis of 60’s and 80’s pop,
a little more to the usual female R'n'B vocalist, she could have more success in the charts. I enjoyed the album overall, but it does sound like another American female vocalist and only the aforementioned tracks really stood out for me. While she has achieved success in her homeland, it might take something outstanding and unique for her to make her stamp on the UK market.
Hot Chip – One Life Stand Photograph by Dan Smyth Juliette decided she was grateful for her band. The second story was told like a little elf asking his mother about the universe, to which she replies that there are alternative universes, which we all know is about Juliette’s beliefs in Scientology. Whilst most of tonight’s set is off her new album ‘Terra Incognita’, with the likes of ‘Fantasy Bar’, Juliette also takes a trip down memory lane with songs like ‘Sticky Honey’ and ‘You’re Speaking My Language’. If you can appreciate the music, love her crazy style and can let yourself go carefree and have fun, then Juliette Lewis is the performer for you, allowing you to appreciate why she has such a big group of followers.
Hot Chip return with their fourth studio album and their most diverse and mature sound yet. However, I’m still not sold that’s a good thing.
Unfortunately the album doesn’t live up to the reputation that Hot Chip have built
White Lies / Asobi Seksu / Violens
‘Outta Here’, only reached the top 30, which is surprising as it's very catchy and has a real powerful feel to it. Follow up single and opening track, ‘Admit It’, reminds me of Amerie and it to has got that independent woman feel about it. Jazzy percussion livens it up and gives it edginess. Some of the other tracks are reminiscent of dance sequences in films such as Honey, Save The Last Dance and Step Up and can be a little predictable. If she stretches herself and tries to add
all draped in Shins-like production values. Definitely one to watch over the coming year (in fact, hit violens. net for a free winter mixtape, shabby it is not...) Next up were Asobi Seksu (Japanese for ‘playful sex’, apparently), a successful band in their own right (inclusions on soundtracks of both Skins and Ugly Betty), whose shoe gazing noise-rock was pleasantly and loudly staged behind their diminutive keyboardist-singer. Whilst comparisons to Deerhoof could be seen as lazy, there was some reminiscent chaos in the background at all time, and I was severely disappointed to have been at the bar during their opening songs. Fans of School of Seven Bells should rejoice. Finally, White Lies themselves. Despite the appeal of the smoothly-tailored pop of ‘Fairground’ and ‘Unfinished Business’, they seemed unable to maintain such stylisations for more than five minutes; many of their songs reverted to a very basic rock chorus (think The Killers with an overdrive pedal), shuddering by like the last train to the gulag. Lyrically they are a bit of a let-down; bland, blithe and lacking the concisely bleak beauty of forebears such as Joy Division.
One Life Stand sees the band mix their traditional ‘geeky’ synth-pop sound that we’re all used to with a much more minimalist, down-tempo, vocally-led feel, reminiscent of the title track from their last album, Made in the Dark. Unfortunately the album doesn’t live up to the reputation that Hot Chip have built themselves and none of the tracks come close to the level of indie anthem ‘Over and Over’. In fact, the whole album seems to have strayed a long way from their earlier work. Certain tracks however, like ‘Hand me Down your Love’ and ‘I Feel Better’, show promise but still fall short of expectations. The album on the whole feels like it’s been rushed out and many of the
tracks not given the thought or time they needed. This leaves you with half an album. To be fair to the band that half is good, it’s just the other leaves much to be desired. (One Life Stand was released on February 1 on Parlophone Records.) Wanna write reviews? Pugwash News needs you - shout about the best and the best avoided every fortnight! Films, music, TV, food, culture, you name it. We can even offer you free CDs and occasionally tickets, so get in touch. Join us on Facebook (UPSU Media Arts & Ents Team), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Collective – Fall be Kind (EP) Ben Harris
Photograph by Dan Smyth However, anyone looking for a straight play of the album wouldn’t have been disappointed though; they were super-tight and Harry McVeigh’s voice maintained its haunting quality that shall no doubt remain a selling point for the band and a nexus to their live sound, which was rounded off quite properly by a Simple Minds cover, as I slipped off to buy a t-shirt off Asobi Seksu’s singer.
To those who have never listened to Animal Collective before, I implore you: look to the vocals. When listening to this EP, they are, as with Strawberry Jam and Merriweather Post Pavillion, something to grip on to. Compared to some of Animal Collective's previous work, the main vocals are foregrounded in the mix, providing a security to the listener. This security allows you to slowly release yourself into some of the melodies that swirl around them, and to get a foothold with the changes in rhythm and tone, which can be bewildering. Like the other works by this Baltimore based band, their work grows on you, until you come to love the little details in the background this is definitely an album that works well with a good pair of headphones.
Repeated listens cohere this together
Each of the tracks here have a really defined and specific character to them. Whilst all are obviously
made by the same bunch of people, each track is allowed a sense of individuality. 'What Would I Want? Sky?' has been getting quite a bit of play on Radio 1 recently, but by far my favourite track is 'I Think I Can'. Its opening appears to be built out of a green digital bouncy pong ball being hit around a squash court, startlingly insistent drums, and crickets. At the end of the track this resolves itself to a repeated chorus almost sickly sweet in comparison. The effectiveness of the EP is arguably to do with space. The reverb heavy harmony on 'Bleed' creates a sense of a broad chasm, or of some large hall; an effect furthered by little details and percussion clicks which serve to draw the attention out from the central vocal line just enough to stretch the soundscape wide. This wide space allows an hazy atmosphere which can be contracted by the comparatively tight vocal melodies on songs like 'What Would I Want? Sky', which, to me, have a strange familiarity in their pop sensibility. Often, this change occurs within the same track, furthering awareness of the wandering tone. Repeated listens cohere this sense of space together, fusing it with your brain. That's right: this album fuses with your brain.
Purple Wednesdays Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Expanded horizons ‘What appealed to me about the structure of this course was the ﬂexibility and scope for independent study within your area of interest. The course at Portsmouth involves not only the history department, but academics from other disciplines within the University who get involved by running guest seminars.’ Zoe Denness, MA History of War, Culture and Society
Do a Master’s, change your life
Postgraduate information days
• Thursday 26 November 2009 • Tuesday 16 March 2010 • Tuesday 7 September 2010
11.30am–2.00pm and 5.00pm–7.00pm.
Purple Door, 28 Guildhall Walk Portsmouth PO1 2DD. Drop in or book an appointment online at
Want Real Change? Become a Sabbatical or Student Officer. Nominations close: 1st March.
The Cleveland Show Laura Patricia
I am about to do something I thought I would never do - bash the genius of Seth MacFarlane! (I justify this in my head by arguing that technically The Cleveland Show is actually very little to do with Seth, and is more the brainchild of Mike Henry; Seth is only implicated by involvement and association, rather than being the creator of the show.) But I am indeed about to do it, so brace yourselves folks! The much talked about Cleveland Show finally comes to the UK on E4 this week. I have to confess that I cheated and watched the first five episodes of Season 1 on the internet a while ago, so I know what’s coming. And I have to say that I wasn’t much impressed. Aside from the first five minutes of the Pilot (which was television gold, and included the cast of Family Guy and Cleveland’s farewell to them all), The Cleveland Show just didn’t do anything for me. Sure, it has a catchy theme tune which gets stuck in your head for days, but the characters are stock cliches, and the jokes are utterly forgettable. Even Seth’s character, Tim the Bear, didn’t bring enough to the show to make it worth going back for more. And when I don’t want more of Seth, something somewhere has gone horribly wrong! Don’t misunderstand me; The Cleveland Show is a decent way to kill half an hour. It’s not bad, it makes you smile at times and it’s solid in terms of animation and writing quality. But I expected more. It’s not groundbreaking. Without the association with the Family Guy crew, and the curious fanbase like myself that that could promise, it probably wouldn’t have been picked up by the networks; and it probably won’t hold its own that long. It’s just not Frasier. It is, in fact, effectively, Family Guy again. Which is what some people have said about American Dad - but they’re wrong. American Dad is much more political, it has a different tone; it has a set of truly unique and individual characters and stories to tell. It doesn’t reference pop culture as much, and it has done away with all the cutaways,
segways and flashbacks that are Family Guy’s signature. It is it’s own show, and it stands alone without leaning on Family Guy at all. But The Cleveland Show is the same format and style as Family Guy; cutaways, celebrity insults, rude jokes. (Ruder jokes, even, if possible the town where Cleveland and co live is called ‘Stoolbend’ and all that that implies.) But while Family Guy makes this work by having an awesome collection of characters and story lines interwoven around these, Cleveland lacks those elements. The characters are American cardboard cut outs the spunky grown up before her time teenager, the ‘redneck’ judgmental hick, the slow talking neighbour next door - and the plots are sitcom staples that are so over worn that there are holes in the elbows and knees. There is even a bar in Stoolbend where the four male characters on the show go to hang out and shoot the breeze. ‘Ext. establishing shot of bar, with amusing neon sign and pub name; cut to booth inside where Cleveland, a fat bear, a skinny White Guy and a short, well-built White guy are sitting, drinking beer from glass mugs.’ Sound familiar? I thought so. But while I don’t really miss Cleveland too much when I watch such scenes in Family Guy now, I do miss Peter, Joe and Quagmire when I watch The Cleveland Show. And that’s the rub I guess; it’s Family Guy, but without the elements and people of Family Guy that we know and love. Of all the characters they could have given a spin off too, I don’t see why Cleveland was the one to get it - aside from obvious career aspirations on the part of Mike Henry, who created the character and happens to be one of Seth’s best friends as well.. I don’t really see why a spin off was necessary at all. Fox did pick it up for a second season before the first one had even aired though, so they must see a financial potential for it. But I personally don’t see this one lasting long. I certainly won’t be watching, and if you can’t even get a hard core fan like me to tune in to your ‘other show’, you’re probably better off directing your efforts into the original. unbored.co.uk
“FEES WON’T REDUCE THEMSELVES” Students Deserve Better www.upsu.net/elections
Purple Wednesdays Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Meet the Committee: Wakeboarding The AU Exec A Fresher’s point of view Tristan Gordon
Rob Knott; AU Chair Rob is responsible for ensuring the Exec are completing their objectives. He chairs AU Council meetings and represents the voting rights of the AU at Student Council. Rob likes to don his tiny speedos and jump into deep water, whilst bearing an uncanny resemblance to Owen Wilson.
Stephen Dancey; RAG Exec Dancey is responsible for organising the AU’s Naked Calendar and is the primary link between the AU and the Raising And Giving branch of the Students’ Union. Dancey can never be faulted for his enthusiasm, from his commitment to the Hockey Club to wiping down the sunbed booth before and after use.
Andy Stass; Events & Publicity Exec Stass is responsilbe for encouraging a culture of spectator sport, promoting AU events such as Varsity and assisting the VP Sport in the promotion of Sport at Portsmouth. Stass can either be found organising the whole Football Club in his role as president or playing wife to his Hockey girlfriend
Marie Gomes; Media Exec Marie is responsible for updating the AU website and gathering sporting news for our fortnightly Pugwash newspaper. Although she holds one of the quieter personalities, Marie is often known to bare all...
Katie ‘Shorty’ Stephenson; Tour Exec Shorty holds the daunting prospect of oraginsing two sports tours this year and keeping a potential 500 students in line! If Shorty isn’t dribbling a ball around the football pitch, then I’m sure she is trying to think about how she can make her fifth tour the biggest and best it has ever been.
Niki Wakefield: Exec
Niki's primary objective is to raise participation in sport thought channels such as the Intra Mural programme. Niki is also possibly the smallest netball player in the world...
Fresher Tristan gives us an idea of what it’s like to join the Wakeboard club, and a run down of what they’ve been up to so far. Signing up at Freshers’ Fayre couldn’t have been easier, apart from having a banging headache hangover, and working out where Wakeboarding was. Once there I actually found out about ‘White Out’, a Wakeboard social that involves not being able to see straight or allowing anyone to understand you till 7pm the next day. The introduction as a Fresher had begun; living in halls meant that trying
to work out where anything might be apart from at Guildhall and Gunwarf would be impossible, therefore trying to find a “£1 roast dinner at the Eldon arms with added banter” for a social was going to be a struggle. From here, the world of being called ‘Fresh” became standard, though getting to know most of the Pompey Wake guys made it a little easier; and eventually I would lose the name ‘Fresher’. After the liquidbased few weeks, we managed to get out on a trip, hit the water and enjoy; though on the way back, quote: “a fat lady just crashed into our bus”, making the day a little more adventurous. With the insurance information afterwards, everything had all become a
little more exciting. In all honesty, Wakeboarding is a fantastic sports club. I’ve already met some great mates to sort out somewhere to live next year, got a fair bit of banter, a cheap roast dinner, first session was free and I might even have had a couple of drinks on the side (enough to forget the night before). So yeah, from a Fresher’s point of view, Pompey Wake all the way!
Are you a Fresher? Let us know how things are going in your club! email@example.com
The Lacrosse boys demonstrate their skills in a match earlier this year. Photographs by Laura Stevenson
Sport » Lacrosse
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Flags competition quarter finals
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Cambridge University vs University of Portsmouth 1sts - Final score 6-5
Portsmouth Lacrosse Firsts were knocked out of the Flags competition in a triple over-time thriller at Cambridge University. Despite having led for much of the game, the 12 man team, hard hit by exam period, ran out of steam and were cruelly punished by Cambridge scoring a golden goal after 18 minutes of extra time. Despite having had a two month Christmas break, the game started in
earnest for Portsmouth, as a well executed game plan gave Portsmouth control of the game. Despite Wez Morris catching Cambridge off guard and breaking the deadlock, Cambridge were a tough team to break down, showing impressive disciplined and structured defence that can only come from four team training sessions a week. Portsmouth methodically carved out goals from inspired skill by Oliver Bailey and Mike Beatty. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter Portsmouth looked to be in control, at 5-1 up. Cambridge played on the advantage of a larger bench, pressurising the ball, not allowing the Portsmouth midfield to get their breath back. Mistakes be-
gan to slip in and Cambridge picked up momentum and pulled themselves back into it, and by full time the score was even. As a knockout competition there had to be a winner on the day. The game went into 10 minutes of extra time, swinging both ways, with both teams having chances. However, the longer the game went on, the more advantage Cambridge had. With defender Dave Ross hitting new levels of ferocity and some near-impossible saves from Mike Woods, extra time ended goal-less. The game then went into another five minutes of frantic end to end, golden goal overtime. The game-winning goal came to Cambridge in the 98th minute, during
the 3rd period of overtime. It was a bitter pill to swallow for a team who had put so much effort in and pulled out some individual all time best performances. Scorers: Wez Morris, Liam O’Mahoney, Oliver Bailey, Carl Joyce, & Mike Beatty
Ever wondered what the other side thought? Today, thorugh the wonder of the wide world of web, we can offer you the rare opportunity to: tcs.cam. ac.uk/issue/sport/lacrosse-bluesedge-portsmouth-in-extra-timethriller/
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