Issue 45 Wednesday 06.10.10
SOS Africa play Football
Pete Firman Interview
Opinion » p7
Features » p9
Arts & Ents » p12
Burning fossil fuels anger
Police are appealing for information after the model dinosaur on Southsea Common burnt down in the early hours of Friday October 1st. Officers were alerted at around 2.50am by Fire and Rescue crews who initially reported that the cause of the fire, which left the steel and hard polyester structure totally devastated, was unknown. Arson has not been ruled out as a possible cause. PC Jack Oakley from Portsmouth’s Targeted Patrol team said: “What we’re dealing with currently is an unexplained fire. We’re looking into the possible causes to establish whether it was accidental or deliberate. “We’ve got police and fire experts looking into the possibility of forensics although unfortunately the current bad weather is not helping.
Dan Chesteron “I’m appealing to anyone who was on Southsea Common at the time and who saw what happened, or anyone with information about the cause of the fire, to get in contact.” Local feeling over the incident has included sadness and anger, with some going so far as to call the temporary sculpture “iconic”, and suggestions have been made that students were involved. The leader of Portsmouth City Council had this to say: “People enjoyed having the dinosaur here. It was an interesting addition to the seafront. “Everyone enjoyed it and we were looking at ways to find out if it was possible to keep it here. ‘’I don’t know who did it, but the question has been asked of me that it survived the whole of the summer but within a week of the students returning to university it’s been burned
down.” The police have not confirmed that students were involved, although it is confirmed that a number of people were gathered around the burning statue, recording the fire on their mobile phones. Referring to the suggestion that students were involved, the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union President, Aakash Naik, said: “I’m shocked and saddened to see that the dinosaur has been destroyed in this way, as it was an interesting addition to the seafront. Last week many new students enrolled at the University and have been settling into the city, but it is presumptuous to assume that these two things are linked. “However, if a student, or a group of students, was involved in its destruction then...
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Photo of the Fortnight
Ben Fishwick Editor
Faye Joice Head of News
Melissa Flack Deputy Editor
Grant Clarke Opinion Editor
Milly Youngman Copy Editor
Hana McFaul Features Editor
Joely Dicks Design Editor
Dan Whiteway Arts & Entertainment Editor
Dan Chesterton Pictures Editor
Joe Wilkes Sports Editor
At peak times over 100 people per minute passed through the tent doors at Freshers’ Fayre, on 22nd and 23rd September. Photo by Tom Worman
Dates for the Diary NUS President visit Wednesday 6th October - 5pm, Third Space Aaron Porter, President of the NUS will give a talk about cuts in Higher Education, rising Tuition Fees, and what we can do do campaign against them, before the General Meeting will be opened and every student will have the opportunity to vote on what action the Union should take. Broadcast Media Taster Thursday 7th October - 6pm, Student Activities Centre Come along for the chance to experience the range of different areas you can get involved with in the Union’s radio and TV. The studios will be open for you to try out, and students and staff will be on hand to explain more about how you can get involved. BrightSparks Enterprise Society - Cafe Entrepreneurial 7th October - 8 - 10pm, Cafe Parisien The first Cafe Entrepreneurial hosted by the BrightSparks Society, featuring Derek Arden who will be speaking on networking and negotiation. A chance to meet and network with other young entrepreneurs and local professionals in a relaxed environment over a cup of coffee. Big Society Debate Monday 11th October - 6 - 7pm, Lecture Theatre 1.01, St Michael’s Building Part of Portsmouth’s Local Democracy Week events, The Big Society Debate is being jointly hosted by The
University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council. The panel will be debating whether or not the ‘Big Society’ initiative will lead to a more unequal society. Social Enterprise: Getting underway Tuesday 12th October - 6 - 7:30pm, Richmond Building A panel discussion featuring local experts in the field of social enterprises, featuring chief executives and university specialists. Find out what social enterprise involves and put your questions to the panel. Your Voice in Parliament 15th October - 9:30am - 4pm, Portsmouth Guildhall A further event as part of Local Democracy Week, to give an overview of how Parliament in England works and how to engage with it. Baroness Hayman will give an overview of the House of Lords, and Portsmouth MPs Mike Hancock and Penny Mordaunt will present on thier role as local MPs and how to engage with them. Refreshments will be provided. Pangaea Ongoing Mon - Fri until 29th - 10am - 4pm, SPACE, Eldon Building An exhibition of work by M.A. Fine Art students from the School of Art Design and Media. The exhibition reflects a metaphorical assemblage of this small talented group of artists from around the world. Features a site specific installation, The Chattel House.
Universities Round Up International A report has found that overseas students come to the UK to study for the quality of teaching. Only 1.8 per cent cites obtaining a visa as the reason, and low tuition fees are an important factor in choosing place of study for just 10 per cent of overseas students. The reports finds that students coming from overseas are “enthusiasts” for the quality of education, with 59 per cent saying they consider it as the highest priority in making their decision. Those seeking a place in Germany for example, prioritise low tuition fees (25 per cent). Source: Times Higher Education University of Huddersfield Engineering Students from the University of Huddersfield became the only Uk team accepted for entry at the Formula Student Hungary 2010 event. Team HARE (Huddersfield Automotive Racing Enterprises), saw a summer of hard work pay off as they returned from Gyor, Hungary, with their best competitive results in six years. Their car was one of only two cars at the event to break the 100kph speed barrier in the acceleration test, this along with a third place finish in design and a fourth place in the combined static events secured the students an overall sixth place finish. Making their car, the HARE PFK-01, the most technically advanced and competitive car to ever come out of the Team HARE workshop. Source: hud.ac.uk University of Gloucestershire Business development manager at Gloucestershire’s Faculty of Education, Humanities and Sciences, Jan Merrigan has won a tribunal case against The University of
Gloucestershire. Merrigan claimed she had been sidelined after drawing attention to financial problems not only at her own faculty but in other areas, in a series of emails and conversations with bosses. She alleged faculty budgets were being blown on excessive staff pay, overseas travel and consultancy fees.She said she had suffered professionally after blowing the whistle on the state of the institutions finances, and a university spokeswoman admitted that Merrigan had suffered “some detriment”. Although a number of allegations made regarding financial irregularities were “neither upheld nor featured in the verdict.” The University are considering appealing. Source: thisisgloucestershire.co.uk. University of Salford The University of Salford has become a partner in a major new project which aims to reduce discrimination against Roma populations in Europe. The project aims to examine the ways in which Roma Populations are discriminated against in the area of employment in the UK, Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Bulgaria. It will also look into discrimination in education and health. Salford will conduct a review of existing policies toward Roma people in the EU. Researchers from the university will also liaise with Roma and representatives from civil society. Roma are a subgroup of the Romani people, commonly known as Gypsies or Romani Gypsies. They have historically been subjected to prejudice and oppression, most notably in the holocaust. Source: salford.ac.uk
Pugwash News & Purple Wednesdays
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Produced fortnightly by the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union (UPSU). Printed by Johnston Press Plc www.johnstonpress.co.uk, 02392 622 529, and printed on 100% recycled paper. Pugwash News & Purple Wednesdays bears no allegiance to any political party and discriminates against no-one. Issue 45, Wednesday 6th October.
To get in touch with the Pugwash News & Purple Wednesdays team, please visit pugwashnews.com, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us via the Union’s Media team on: 023 9284 3657, or visit us at The Student Centre, Portsmouth Students’ Union, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2EF.
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Editor-in-Chief: Laura Stevenson Errors & omissions: while we take every care to verify our content, we may occasionally make mistakes. Please contact us using the details above to report any inaccuracies or mistakes.
...that intestinal worms can grow to more than 2m long. ...that the first travelator in the UK was at Bank Tube station in London. ...that David Beckham’s wife Victoria is named “Posh” in his mobile phone. ...that in Brazil, a social networking site called Orkut has more members than Facebook and Twitter combined. ...that A sum of £650m can buy you about 7% of the world’s cocoa.
...that before 2008, prisoners were allowed to have fancy dress parties and comedy nights. ...that the UN has an Office of Outer Space Affairs.
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Union’s hockey shirts cause stir Heidi Klum and Seal have made a wave of new interest in to their personal life - with the video for Seals new single containing shots of the couple naked. The song is called “secret” and will be released from Seal’s 6th album.
A train crash near the Indonesian city of Pemalang in Central Java province has killed at least 36 people, and injured dozens more. Many bodies were trapped in the carriages after the crash which happened just before dawn on Sunday. The former head of Nelson Mandela’s charity fund has been charged with illegally keeping uncut diamonds given to him by supermodel Naomi Campbell. It is thought that he has been in possesion of them since 1997.
Car Parks, Lay-bys and trees have been cut down in an attempt to stop the sex craze known as Dogging. Councils, night watch teams and the police are being called out to hunt for late night “doggers”. Surrey council has considered releasing a herd of bulls into a field to ward of any potential voyeurs.
The Charity Commission has accepted that druids’ worship of natural spirits could be seen as religious activity. The Druid Network’s charitable status entitles it to tax breaks, but the organisation says it does not earn enough to benefit from this.
The White House has apologised after a Medal of Honor Veteran’s family has been denied access to a tour of the White House because of one of the family member’s was wearing a pair of shorts. Vernon Baker, the last surviving black Medal of Honor winner from WW2, only received his award in 1997 from Bill Clinton, after its initial presentation was delayed.
Four major energy companies are pulling out of Iran in order to comply with US sanctions. The four companies, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Statoil and Italy ENI will now avoid US penalties targeting companies which do business with Iran. A Royal Bengal Tiger Roar data: Sunderbans tigers were found to weigh nearly half as much as their cousins in the region The average weight of female tigers in the Sundarbans forests was 76.7kg, but other tigers in the region weighed 138.2 kg. The number of fatalaties from the Tropical Storm Nicole in Jamaica has risen to five following flash floods and mudslides triggered by the storm. At least seven others are missing, it is thought
The fossil of a giant penguin that lived 36 million years ago has been discovered in Peru. It has been named Inkayacu paracasensis, or Water King, and is thought to have lived during the late Eocene period.
Ben Fishwick Editor Students wearing t-shirts, bought through the Student Union, which were the subject of a failed recall last year after being deemed to have homophobic connotations, were asked to remove them by security staff at a Love Music Hate Homophobia event. Members of the hockey team wore the shirts, bearing the slogan: “Hockey’s for gays and prep school boys”, despite a request from the LGBT student officer, Max Davys, asking the club president not to allow his team to wear them. Originally ordered for the hockey club for use on the Salou Fest sports tour, the t-shirts had already been the subject of a failed recall after they
were brought to the Students’ Union attention, last year. Davys, who was present at the event, said: "I and the LGBT society think that the LMHH gig at the Union went extremely well and was well received by all that attended. "The club has been compliant and helpful, and the matter is being addressed, the LGBT hope to work with all clubs and societies throughout the year and have many events planned." Staff at the Waterhole were notified about the shirts by a of sabbatical officer during the event on Friday 24th September. Those wearing the polo shirts were asked to remove them or wear them inside out. Aakash Naik, President of UPSU, said: “Unfortunately because the students had purchased the tour shirts and everything else – they had now
bought that t-shirt and that was their property- so there was no real way we could claim them back. [It] was a failed recall, because we had no power to get them back. “I’m really proud of the Athletic Union, 23rd in BUCS, loads of work with the community, raising lots of money with RAG, doing great work and building up sports, really good in participation. “It was a real shame that was put on a t-shirt and there was no approval process by us that was thorough enough to make sure that this doesn’t happen because obviously it’s offensive to some students within the LGBT community-and we have to take that very seriously.” Got something to say on this story? Contact: email@example.com
Premier foods, who produce Hovis bread, have been ordered to pay nearly £17,000 after a dead mouse was found in one of their loaves. The unlucky owner of the loaf, Stephen Forse, was making sandwiches for his children when he began to wonder what the furry substance on the outside of some of the slices was.
Jimi Heselden, owner of the multi-million pound Segway Inc, the company that makes the self-balancing, motorised scooter fell to his death last week after accidentally driving a Segway off a cliff into the River Wharfe, Yorkshire.
News » Local
News » Union
Drink diver rescued from harbour
Seven second movies
A University of Portsmouth student was rescued from the water at Portsmouth Harbour in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday, September the 28th. Police were called at around 3.15am by the Coastguard, who themselves had been alerted by the Gosport Ferry guards, who were concerned about the welfare of the man. Five minutes later, he was pulled from the water near the Portsmouth Harbour Train Station by the MOD police launch and taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital to be checked over. It is understood that the 20-yearold had been drinking heavily that
evening. The Police are keen to warn students about the dangers of drinking to excess, especially in the wake of this incident. Alcohol Related Harm and Licensing Officer PC Keith Hall said: “With the new term having just started at the university, many students are heading out during the week to enjoy Portsmouth’s night life. Most of them are able to look after themselves but there are a few who drink too much. “If you do get too drunk, quite simply you won’t get served and you will be refused entry to the Portsmouth’s bars and clubs. “Please make sure you look after yourselves, stick with your friends and don’t let any of your mates wander off
by themselves. “I think if you keep that in mind, you’re bound to have an enjoyable night.” Last year there were a number of drinking-related incidents involving University of Portsmouth students, including two incidents which resulted in the unfortunate deaths of members of the University’s student community. The problem with drink in Portsmouth city centre is such that the Hampshire police launched Operation drink Safe in 2007 to tackle it. Amy Baker, the VP Welfare & Volunteering at UPSU, can be contacted if you have any welfare issues.
Faye Joice Head of News Last week software company Windows placed themselves in the foyer of the union during fresher’s week, offering students the chance to make their own 7 second movie and win a VIP trip to a film premiere. The judges will decide from hundreds of different films submitted during the many different Freshers’ Fayres, with the winning entry being screened to a live audience at the premiere of The First Gander on October 26. Hospital Management student Penny Hutchinson is keen to win the
competition after she made a movie alongside fellow student Louise Jones, based on the 1980s blockbuster, The Shining. "Everybody knows The Shining so we wanted to get the three most memorable scenes together, which basically ended in me bursting through a door screaming 'Here’s Johnny’," said Penny. Microsoft are touring accross the country to find a winner among universities. You can also enter online by searching for ‘Access All Areas’ on Facebook. The competition closes on the 7th October.
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
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Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Handbooks: additional costs Burnt down Dino Hana McFaul
A problem has arisen amongst students at the start of this academic year regarding the reduction of print copies of handbooks. Students in a variety of departments have been provided with reduced handbooks or none at all, being told that the full handbook is available on Victory. Students are being asked to print out handbooks at their own cost to enable them to attend lectures and seminars with the relevant material. This comes after the unveiling of the new library computer suite, which the stu-
dents will now have to use to print the handbooks that last year they were presented with in print form. Students from SLAS, SSHLS, SCAFM and SES among other departments have complained about this issue which results in them using a significant proportion of their printing credit at the beginning of term. A result of this extra printing is also that the library printers are overcrowded and work is piling up as people are unable to locate it in time. While this is new practice for some departments, others began to slowly introduce this last year, with thinner
handbooks creeping in during semester 2. When speaking to students about this change, many are upset and angry that they have to spend more and more each year on additional costs. Laura, a second year media student feels that ‘with rent costs and the resources we already have to buy for our course, I think that it is unfair that they are now also making us pay for our handbooks, especially because labs and equipment are provided for science courses at no extra cost, so our handbooks should be included in our fees’.
Continued from p16 ...they should be dealt with appropriately by the police and the University. It should also be noted that students play an active and positive role in the local community through volunteering and contribute significantly to the local economy.” The statue, entitled Luna Park, owned by the Chapter Gallery in Cardiff and brought to the city by Portsmouth based art group Aspex, was due to leave Southsea on October 10, bound for Colchester. A comment left on the ‘The News’ website reads: “I
feel sorry for the owners and the people of colchester who we now never get to see the magnificent sculpture.” Others have expressed hurt pride towards their city; “How stupid and selfish can some people be. It does not matter whether it was liked or not by adults, it brought many excited faces and smiles on to children’s faces. This was on tour so has now possibly given our city a bad name too.” Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Oakley at Southsea police station on 101. You can also call the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Bright Sparks set business alight Nandini Indiran
On the 22nd and 23rd September 2010, the Enterprise Society debuted their new club at the University of Portsmouth’s Freshers Fayre. The new club for members has a sole purpose of discussing and debating about business. The society has also been renamed and is now operational under the name Bright Sparks. Many students turned up during the Freshers Fayre and signed up to become a member of the Bright Sparks team. Among the activities that will be
organised to recruit new members will be the launch of Cafe Entrepreneurial. This will take place within the next month. The main aim of launching Cafe Entrepreneurial is to set up regular meetings, talks and discussion forums at Cafe Parisien which is situated in Lord Montgomery Way, Southsea. Bright Sparks comittee member Mose Adan said that he hopes to make it a monthly affair, with the first meeting scheduled on October 7. The atmosphere will be very informal, relaxed and set a perfect environment to discuss business with other people
with similar interest. He also added that: “A lot of people don't necessarily realise that you can just have an idea and run with it, and we want to engage them when they come to events like this, get them to ask questions and have the ability to network with people.” Other than that, there are also plans to set up a contest for university entrepreneurs to create a business contest mimicking BBC show The Apprentice, in the future.’ For those who are interested to join the Bright Sparks society, the membership fee is only £5 per year.
Dr Detection beats insurance fraud and trains investigators Joe Wilkes
A researcher from the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Psychology has embarked on a £112,000 study into detecting lies in insurance claims. The study, by Dr Sharon Leal, an expert in detecting deception, is funded by a leading insurance fraud investigation firm, and aims to establish ‘ground truth’ about the behaviour of makers of fraudulent claims. This will hopefully lead to an improved chance of identifying frauds, and vindicating truth tellers. Dr Leal’s research will be completed in 2012, and is likely to provide insurance fraud investigators the first techniques for spotting liars that
are purely evidence-based. Currently, investigators have to rely on gut instincts and gadgets such as the urine test kit, used to identify smokers who claim to have given up to avoid the extra costs they are required to pay for certain types of insurance. Dr Leal said: "Insurance fraud has been on the rise since the recession began and insurance companies are very keen to find a way of beating those who cheat. “There is a saying, 'needs must when the devil rides', which basically means when times are tough, people are more likely to break the rules. That is certainly true in the case of insurance fraud. "People think if they are telling the truth it will shine out, but it doesn't.
Insurance investigators waste time and money when they chase innocent people. Under these circumstances some innocent people withdraw their insurance claim because they can't cope with the stress of being investigated." She claims current methods of detecting liars, are completely flawed: “Contrary to popular belief, motivated liars do not fidget, avert their gaze or blink nervously. They are usually calm and have planned their lies down to the last detail. Also, many people do not see anything wrong with making a false claim and if they don't feel nervous or guilty, it follows that the techniques that rely on these factors will ultimately fail.”
Sweat in the tents at Freshers’ Fayre Ben Fishwick
Freshers’ Fayre saw thousands of students flocking to Ravelin Park on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd September. With over 70 societies and 35 sports clubs showcasing their talents, from the Reenactment society to UPDUC, the Union’s diving club, there was something for everyone to try. Especially as UPDUC were offering trial dives on the day in a pool behind the Union building. The University of Portsmouth Chancellor, actress Sheila Hancock paid a visit the Students' Union Freshers' Fayre on Thursday 23rd September to see what our students do when they're not studying. Initially it was suggested the visit would be brief due to the days commitments of the Chancellor, however she stayed for a long period of time
seeing all the clubs, societies and stall holders. The Chancellor was able all the brilliant things Portsmouth student’s get up to in their spare time. This year’s Freshers’ Fayre was one of the busiest and biggest we’ve ever seen; 2,000 Union goody bags were distributed in a matter of hours, 10,000 slices of Domino’s pizza was eaten in a period of the 2 days and every minute more than 100 people flowed through the doors of the Freshers’ Fayre tent on Wednesday. Last year, NUS, the national student body, said that Portsmouth’s Freshers’ Fayre was the best in the country. Laura Stevenson, VP Democracy & Communications at the Students’ Union said: “Building on our past successes, I believe that this year was better than last year. We had a huge turnout from Freshers and continuing students alike.
“Some people at the University will only see the Students’ Union in action over these two days each year and we’re proud that not only so many students attended, but also that many students help organise and run sections of the event.” The Students’ Union were at the event promoting various aspects of democracy and representation. The Union was trying to attract potential applicants for part-time officers, these positions include: Mature Students’ Officer, Disabled Students’ Officer, European Union Students’ Officer and Environment & Ethics Students’ Officer. If you are interested in running for any of these positions, then contact the sabbatical team, or go to upsu.net/ democracy Photo by upsuportsmouth
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
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.
Too much to ask for my favourite tipple? Student bars are too crammed for a quiet drink says Cat Fyson Last Saturday, myself and a few friends decided to go for a quiet drink. Yes, I know – how silly of us to think it’d be possible to relax at a pub on a Saturday night. It was even more foolish of us to assume we would be able to have a quiet drink at the Union. Not only was there a queue, but it was also a pound to get in. Paying to get in I thought, would reduce the chance of the place being busy – what with all the other pubs around being free entry.
A lacklustre DJ played the typical crap songs
How wrong I was. The place was absolutely rammed, with no tables to sit and a wait at the bar. Not a long wait, mind, but a wait nonetheless, but hey – it was a Saturday night, a wait is expected. It was all too clear that the clientele that evening was freshers, freshers and even more freshers. I don’t have anything against freshers, and it’s obviously great for the Union to get so much business but it’s obvious that getting rid of the club upstairs was a mistake. The Third Space seems such a waste, especially since you can’t drink alcohol up there, thus leav-
ing poor suckers like myself and my friends on our feet as we drank just one drink before leaving. Don’t get me wrong, the Third Space is nice, but is it all that necessary? Seeing as it has very little use in the evenings when
the Union seems to be at its busiest. Next, we walked straight passed the overpriced Kraken Wakes and didn’t even look up as we speed-walked along Guildhall Walk, avoiding the leaflets thrust our way, or an embrace
from the Fuzzy Duck. We ended up in the Fleet which was considerably emptier. That baffles me seeing as it’s a great pub when the crack-heads stay out. And so, we took a seat by the window and got our second drinks.
The only problem in the Fleet was that it was near impossible to have conversation. A lacklustre DJ played the typical crap songs you expect from a nightclub, and on the big screen was some Spanish football, followed by WWF wrestling. Aah, nostalgia trip. Anyway, my gripe really is that there should be a place for friends to go and sit and have a chat – the loud music should be saved for the nightclubs, as should the paying for entry. Sure, you may say “Why not go out during the week when it’s quieter?” – well that’s because one of my friends is on placement all week in Oxford. We only see him at the weekend, and it’s nice to catch up without having to yell at each other or have to stand about awkwardly leaning against a wall after the first hour. So, I ask of my fine fellow students, the drinking establishments, and of course the locals - to spare a thought for those of us who just wish to have a few relaxed beers on a weekend night. Or in my case, a few relaxed double Malibu and cokes, in the mere hope I’ll get a little drunk so I can stand the loud music and drunken debauchery surrounding me. Anything to say on student pubs and Bars in Portsmouth? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Photo by Dan Chesterton
S l t i m l
Drunk to Extinction?
Is it just too easy to blame students for Dinogate?
This summer saw the arrival of Southsea’s new resident, a 53ft tall dinosaur as part of a touring art project. The ‘Ultrasauros’ was co-commissioned by three galleries – Portsmouth’s Aspex Gallery, Firstsite in Colchester, Essex, and Chapter based in Cardiff. The model was due to move on to these other locations from October 10th, with the possibility of it becoming a permanent feature on the common after its tour, due to its popularity during the summer with families and children.
It is easy to assume that students would be to blame
On Friday 1st October, at 2.40am Southsea fire crew were called out to tackle a blaze which had engulfed the model, taking the crew 45 minutes to tackle the blaze and damping down the model. It is questionable that it is a pure coincidence that the model had survived the whole summer untouched, and then with in a week of Portsmouth students returning to University, the model has been torched. This is the questionable allegation directed at the leader of Portsmouth City Council. As I am in my third and final year
s i m n l o a t
I have seen my fair share of criminal activity while living in the city; my personal favourite being a new game called “kick the wing mirror off every other car” which was created on my street last year. It is easy to assume that students would be to blame when Fresher’s week has just gone by, and the fresher intake seems larger then usual as we have all taken over Guildhall walk and Gunwharf every night drinking in large quantities. I have my fingers crossed that students weren’t on the common when the dinosaur went up, as we have a hard enough job giving students a good name. I for one do not want to see our student reputation tarnished further by sheer stupidity and vandalism. I think we get let off very lightly with the behaviour that is displayed on nights out and this is something we shouldn’t be taking for granted. If it turns out that it was students, we will be at the top of the hit list every time vandalism is caused in a high student population, and the nights of drunken banter in public places won’t just see you waking up with a headache, but a headache in a police cell. Do you think that students are unfairly blamed when something happens in Portsmouth? Want to get your point accross? Write to us on comment@ upsu.net
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
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.
NUS President: next month is a “crucial one” As the universities review report looms, Aaron Porter explains why we should all be worried
The next month will without doubt be a crucial one for students and our university sector. The independent review of higher education funding and student finance, set up by Labour and the Tories last year in an effort to avoid discussion of tuition fees in the past election campaign, is expected to report on the 11th October – and looks likely to recommend raising the tuition fee cap to £7000 or event £10,000 a year. The review’s chair, former BP chief executive Lord Browne, must be living on another planet if he thinks that this is a reasonable proposal – already, with fees at their current £3,290 cap, students are now leaving with an average debt of over £25,000. It would, I have no doubt, be an unequivocal disaster. Then, on the 20th October, the government will report their ‘Comprehensive Spending Review’ (CSR), announcing massive cuts right across the public sector. Rumours are that higher education budgets may be cut by between 25 - 35%. To put this into context, this would mean funding per student being slashed from £5,441 a year to £3,537. That means £2000 a
year less per student, meaning course closures, larger class sizes, shorter library opening hours, cuts to student services, staff redundancies, university buildings and accommodation not being properly maintained and less money available for student support and efforts to widen participation. And all this, just as students have been asked to contribute more towards the cost of their education. We, as a student movement, cannot stand by and allow this to happen. We must instead strongly make the argument for a fairer funding model for higher education – moving away from the regressive system of tuition fees, and recognising that cutting higher education funding at this time, as we come out of recession with historically high levels of youth unemployment, is both short-sighted and economically illiterate. We are instead making the case for a fairer, more sustainable funding model, based upon progressive graduate contributions. This ‘graduate tax’, as it has come to be called, would mean the end of tuition fees, with graduates only contributing to the extent that they financially benefit from
their education. Most students would pay less or the same as they do currently – while, if you are lucky enough to end up with a sky-high salary, you would contribute more, giving muchneeded extra funds into the system from which you greatly benefited. For more information on our proposed model, and the principles of fairness
which guide it, please go to nus.org. uk/fundingourfuture.
We are also holding a national demonstration in opposition to the proposed further and higher education funding cuts on Wednesday 10 November. This national demonstration, held jointly with the lecturer’s union UCU, will be an opportunity to
present our case for continued investment, and highlight the dangers of the proposed cuts. I hope that you will join with us for the national demo on 10 November – Portsmouth University Students’ Union will be organising travel up on the day, so get in contact with them to book your place. The event will be high energy and fun – indeed, we believe that engaging in mass political action such as this really is a ‘right of passage’ for every student. We know that the students before us campaigned and fought hard for our rights and this is our key opportunity to fight hard for the future of further and higher education. For more information, please go to demo2010.org. This is a crucial time for us all – we must work now to protect our universities and colleges, for ourselves and for future generations. It certainly won’t be easy, but I am confident that, together, we can do it. Aaron Porter (President of the NUS) writes a reply to an article in the last issue of Pugwash
Handbooks: the final cut? Why is the University cutting basic supplies before the cuts have been announced?
Grant “Angryman” Clarke
So another year, and yet another problem. Handbooks have been cut across the University! Yay! No referencing in class without having printing off a massive amount of paperwork. Lovely. I’m rather shocked by the University’s choice to cut student handbooks in an effort to save money, how much more can they cut before we’re having no contact time? We’re being told to log on to the inter-web and print them out ourselves, but it feels like more of an attempt to hedge more money over to the library. As we’re currently paying £3290ish
a year (to the University) in loans, which have risen with inflation too, fun, I can only feel that we should be getting a little more out of our courses rather than having to spend more money for the simple basics which are required for our courses. Is a course reader too much to ask for? I remember getting to university two years ago, and I can’t really remember what I would’ve done without them; the basic reading is just an excellent thing to have in paperwork. No having to run around trying to find the basic book just to have some notes made before you hit the seminar. Now we’ll have to print the whole thing out and spend all our library credit, which
is there to let us print off our coursework and assessments anyway, just to get the basics for our course. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m pretty pissed off about it all. Anytime you cut the most basic thing, there will always be a backlash; look at the privatisation of Bolivia’s water; massive riots after prices skyrocketed. I’m not saying this is like our handbooks being cut, but this is just the most basic thing being taken away from us, and its just one of those things that really gripes with me here. Anything to say on a lack of Unit Handbooks? Email us at comment@
Letters Calm debaters are not the Crux of the Argument In response to the claims made about Dawkins, it is advisable to remember the following: First, one who has no beliefs cannot be fundamentalist, much in the same way as they cannot be dogmatic. To be such one has to make a positive assertion, not - as defined - a "refutation." Dawkins does not 'believe' in 'a lack of belief', because that would be silly. It is not a paradox. Second, atheism does not preclude the possibility of God's existence; merely, it asserts the logic and reason of science in explaining that which religion views as inexplicable or miraculous. The idea that we can never know everything is flawed: we just don't know it yet. An atheist can accept the possibility without believing; an atheist would be happy to be wrong. Third, the intimation of your argument is that Dawkins' views are spu-
rious. Well, they aren't really. They're reasoned, and compared with other famous atheists - Hitchens, anyone? he is incredibly calm and fair. Your third paragraph is a misnomer, again: Dawkins does not propose an 'alternative' to religion. Science is not 'an alternative' to anything. To suggest it is would be ignorant. This point also defeats a later issue you raise: Catholicism doesn't impose on anyone, but anyone with a different view isn't allowed a seat at the table. That's dictatorial and ugly and only indicative of fear. People complain about the Pope's teaching because they actually influence international policy: What about when the church intervened in Manila, preventing the spread of contraceptives, and outlawing abortions in any circumstance? Lots more HIV for everyone! Or the unrivalled influ-
ence they hold in America, preventing the repeal of the 'don't ask, don't tell' atrocity; how women are shunned to the side of the church, or most egregiously when actual fundamentalist adherents kill doctors who perform abortions. They are holding us to a code of ethics that is all but invisible within their own institution, let's face it. Anyone "railing against" religion isn't telling a religious person what to do, they are merely asking for the privilege to choose what they themselves do. Mocking someone's beliefs is not persecution, causing homosexual soldiers to be dishonourably discharged for something they can't change is. Stop cherry picking fallacies, it's egregiously offensive. Perfect periodic abstinence doesn't even prevent pregnancy. Your misrepresentation of the fact here is alarm-
ing: the way you have spun it makes it as self-evident as saying "0% of people who didn't ever breathe died." As far as I am aware, teen pregnancy has been steadily decreasing, and whilst it is still too high this is obviously in thanks to the widespread information about contraception. It has been studied and found time and time again that the only thing abstinence teaches is ignorance. People will still have sex, they just won't know how to do it safely. Great! Believers outside of the Literalists pick and choose which passages to adhere to. Leviticus 18:22 teaches that homosexuality is an abomination whilst Exodus 35:2 says we should kill those who work on the Sabbath. I've worked many Sundays, do I get stoned to death? The NIV is even worse, and will not get a further mention. It is still good to see selective readings abound
in your abomination. Even recently an American study found that atheists know more about religion. Respect and tolerance is a reciprocal action: when a morality accepts homosexuals, women, minorities and so on, and when it thus stops impinging on our rights then we can see this relationship develop. I, personally, will respect something which doesn't label me mentally deficient, evil, and that suggests I should be put to the death. We'll enjoy it when we're safe to.
This is a reply to Issue 44’s “Before we explain what we believe we should remember...” Sent in by Jack Horton via email.
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
The World Cup in South Africa was AYOBA! Claudia Titley SOS Africa
“In the streets our heads are lifting, As we lose our inhibition Celebration, it's all around us Every nation, all around us”
charity, strives to do exactly this by sponsoring the education and care of children from Lonely Park Township, Mafikeng. Hyundai UK recognised this endeavour and together with SOS Africa UK president, Matthew Crowcombe they concluded that “if the children can't come to the game then
let's bring the game to the children.” Hyundai UK generously sent 5000 brand new footballs and 50 football kits (including bibs, whistles, bollards and pumps) to South Africa and together with the SOS Africa team I had the joy of capturing the happy smiles of all the children who received brand
new footballs. After the launch of the project in Pretoria with John Barnes MBE (former England and Liverpool football player), we began to distribute the footballs throughout the South African townships. Driving around townships in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg
Despite being one of the poorest continents in the world, I believe Africa has the greatest spirit. I consider myself privileged to have grown up in a place that taught me the real importance of life.
It seemed children had found a space to play and use any object as a football
During the Football World Cup 2010, South Africa shared this African spirit with the rest of the world. It was contagious to anyone and everyone who was there and I was honoured to be a part of the celebration of being African. By accompanying SOS Africa I was able to participate in a football distribution project sponsored by Hyundai UK. This experience was one that nourished my soul and motivated me towards making a difference by empowering underprivileged children through education. Nelson Mandela once quoted: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." SOS Africa, a UK registered
To follow the full distribution project story please read our blog on sosafrica.com/news.htm?id=7
Left: Children posing in front of makeshift goalposts. Right: Footballers get some practice in. Both photos by Claudia Titley
Give something great Trish Hann
Most of us have a favourite vampire; whether it’s one of the many incarnations of Dracula, or a more modern take on the blood-sucking fiend, these fanged foes have been part of popular culture for a long time. But even before Nosferatu hit the screens nearly a century ago, doctors and scientists had already performed blood transfusions, and Karl Landsteiner was on his way to becoming a Nobel Laureate for determining blood types in humans, greatly increasing survival rates. Quite important stuff, but you don’t need to be a prize winning scientist to save lives. You just need to be over 17 years old, at least 7st 12lbs (just under 50kg) and generally healthy, with about half an hour or so to spare every four months. Blood donors are amazing people, even if I do say so myself, yet only 4% of the UK population are registered donors which means that when some-
one requires a transfusion it comes from very limited stocks. Donated blood is used in a variety of life saving operations, from A&E to neo-natal surgery. 2nd year Radiography student Lynn Noble recently underwent a life changing operation. “Without the help of blood donors I would not have survived my spinal surgery, as I needed a full transfusion during the operation. Giving blood is an amazing way to save lives; everyone should donate if they can.” So once you’ve settled into university life, why not register and pop along to the next session? Life savers get tea and biscuits, but I can’t promise Kiefer Sutherland will be there. Please go to blood.co.uk to register and choose a convenient donation session. And if you can’t convince your house mates to join you, the least they can do is cook you dinner.
Wasting time productively Hana Mcfaul
Whilst contemplating the best articles for this issue, I stumbled upon a press release for a new thesaurus. Now while it may not be not the most exciting thing in the world, I thought I’d try it out, with some topical examples. It claims to be a revolutionary thesaurus as it shows examples of words in context. To test this out I tried a few. My first test was ‘a fresher’ and although it came up with some varied examples (from Life of Lord Byron and The Greatest survival stories ever told) it
we had no trouble finding children playing football. Around every corner it seemed children had found a space to play and use any object as a ball and we surprised them by giving out brand new balls to replace the litter they had been using. Every child showed their appreciation and we were repeatedly invited to join in with their games while they shouted “AYOBA” (a local expression of amazement). Often I hear the phrase “less is more” and after experiencing what I did in South Africa I understand that with less, these people have more to teach us. In giving what seems little to us, we often give to them more then we could understand.
failed to nail what I had in mind. Next I tried ‘completely wrecked’ and again there was some variety of examples, it didn’t grasp what I was getting at. But I think I’m being a bit unfair, and when trying more intellectual phrases it did work well. So if you get bored of work, or genuinely want to know the context of a word, try it out for yourself at wordnik.com Another brilliant way to waste time and potentially improve your university experience, is to start a blog. Granted, everyone with access to the Internet can start one, but if you have a particular hobby, interest or just like
to write, then they can potentially bring in money and work experience. The most famous bloggers are world renowned, such as Perez Hilton, and you could join their ranks at the click of a (few) button(s). There are thousands of blogs out there, but they all start from the same thing. Just go onto a site such as blog.com or blogger.com and start from there. Get your friends and family to read it at first, and hopefully it will all go from there. Of course, if you want you want to see your work printed, join Pugwash News or Pugwash magazine.
If you don’t want to write a blog, or need some inspiration, here are a few of the top blogs out there: Celebrity Fashion: gofugyourself. com
Celebrity gossip: perezhilton.com Games: destructoid.com Science: newscientist.com/section/
Culture Popping: popping-culture.
Student Life: studentbloggeralliance.blogspot.com Photo by Constantin B
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Southsea Festival Review
Southsea Fest: an intro to the Albert Road Festival Dan Whiteway Arts & Entertainment Editor The Portsmouth region is hardly stuck for festivals, what with the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival book-ending the festival season just over the Solent, but the 18th September saw a different kind of festival hit Pompey. Southsea Fest, now into its fourth year, hit Albert Road and hit it hard with acts performing from noon to midnight at 11 venues around Southsea. Over 4000 tickets were sold for the event that had over 250 acts performing at venues as diverse as ‘proper’ gig locations such as the King’s Theatre and the Wedgewood Rooms to pubs like the Fat Fox and the One Eyed Dog, even to the Magic Bean Café. Bigger names like Pulled Apart by Horses and Portsmouth’s own The Strange Death of Liberal England were joined by local names such as ex-Pugwash News Reviews editor Tallie Kane and the University of Portsmouth’s Jack Palmer.
A festival lasting some twelve hours was always going to have some problems, logistics being the tip of the iceberg. Staff for the festival were on their walkie-talkies to each other for most of the day, firefighting any problems that arose (and there were many jduging by the amount of running they were doing.) An immediate thought was that maybe perhaps the combination of holding a festival on a main road and punters drinking isn’t quite the best marriage in the world. However, there is something very endearing about Southsea Fest. Whether it is the sight of bands arriving at venues in taxis, the diverse festival-goes (punks, indie kids, middle aged people) or the amazing sounds of music being blasted out of every other buidling you walk past. All in all, despite some bands failing to turn up, some venues running behind their time slots and the roof of the Wine Vaults almost coming down, the nautical themed festival was a roaring success.
Right: Southsea Fest’s numerous attendees mill around outside two of the venues on Albert Road, Kings Theatre to the right and the Wine Vaults to the left. Picture. Dan Chesterton
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Band Reviews The Strange Death of Liberal England Liam Ryder
The venue’s headliners arrive onstage following an epic introduction from a live orchestra, and it is to the sound man’s credit that the latter failed to drown out the band during their set. The Strange Death of Liberal England are very true to their name, and while several unusual and unique artists had taken to the many stages of the day’s festivals, none of them sounded quite like this. A bizarre, poignant mix of wartime music and folk has clearly worked its way into the hearts of the locals but is difficult to process for newcomers and although the band are clearly very talented it is difficult to see a clear aim and progressive curve within their music. The orchestra add a lot of the atmosphere to the night’s proceedings, and the group’s upbeat numbers are much more interesting and enjoyable, particularly with the Kings of Leon style ‘woah-oh’s littered amongst the songs. There are a couple of very weird moments within the set, as the band’s several vocalists take the stage without instruments for one song, and while the band’s frontman’s voice is clearly at the top of its game during this song, all of the other band’s singers combine for a truly impressive performance. It is just a shame that the few without a decent vocal range were left shuffling, staring at their shoes while their band mates revel in the spotlights of this epic arena.
Hold Your Horse Is
The rather chaotic and brilliantly named Hold Your Horse Is announce their arrival in the most frenetic of fashions. While bassist James Penny jumps on and off stage and then around the floor, guitarist/vocalist Robin Pearson and drummer Chris Rouse inject a much more distorted rock fix into the Wedgewood Rooms’ veiny arm. The band’s feet-on-the-ground banter between songs ensures they endear themselves to their audience while their post-hardcore sound is surprisingly refreshing especially when considering the current mainstream rock scene. The songs all consist of the same basic formula – quiet verses give way to loud choruses and then a quiet half and then loud half of a bridge or breakdown, but it never gets old. Start-stop riffs and beats collide together without clashing, and the band’s professional performance will surely have implanted itself into Southsea memories. It can only be a matter of time before this band become huge.
The set for The Exposed starts exactly how you would imagine it; four lean punks in their punk clothes singing punk songs whilst other punks shuffle to the front of the stage carrying pints of cheap cider. Fair enough, it's a formula that works and it transpires that they are very entertaining. Having anticipated seeing this band though, I was slightly disappointed when the singer decided to make a ‘shout out’, which apparently was for the cause of people unable to make it today via some political means etc etc. The whiff of half baked political ideals fill the air, which I would have taken more seriously had they not been relayed thousands of times previously by supposedly 'political' bands whose names I can no longer recall. That aside though, musically speaking the band had a fairly shaky start but after their first couple of songs they were right on form and got the crowd moving, which for a 3pm slot on a Saturday afternoon in a pub of mainly hungover people, is nothing short of quite admirable.
At the King’s Theatre, folk fans are treated to a special set by local heroes The B of The Bang, where an atmospheric instrumental opening sets the tone for the band’s performance. The six-piece’s blues-inspired folk is incredibly haunting (yet extremely alluring) and their versatility is displayed when the banjo player (banjoist?) trades in his instrument for an
Pugwash News: Considering your
name, is it difficult trying to get gigs at times? Particularly around 9/11? Phil: In 2004 yes but now no, they think it’s Spitfires now so were OK. PN: Fair enough, OK, given a choice would you rather have a drink with the Pope or George W Bush? Rusty- What kind of drink are we talking about? We having a Guinness or are we really hitting the single malt? PN: Whichever one you’d prefer really. Matt- We’d get f*cked up with Pope on the single Malts. Rusty- Yeah definitely. PN: So you’re all agreed on the Pope? All: Yes! Amy-OK, how would you describe
Recently reviewed by The Observer as becoming “surely the greatest live band in Britain”, Leeds quartet Pulled Apart by Horses graced Southsea Fest with their massive heart wrenching presence. Filling the 100 person capacity of The Edge of the Wedge, this band were the secret headliners on the BSM/Alcopop stage and were indeed a successful end to a successful day. With more energy and strength than the Hulk, PABH teased the crowd with songs from their new album until the opening riff of ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ came into play for all those anticipating it. Guitarist James Brown not only crowd surfed but of course took his guitar with him and played the remaining of the song whilst being held in the air like a Grand Prix trophy.
accordion, before also displaying his ability on a keyboard/synth. A testament to the band’s professionalism is that all backing vocals and harmonies are perfectly in key, something showcased on new song ‘The Forest’, as well as a Fleetwood Mac inspired intro. Watching the spectacle unfold, with all band members dressed in similar white shirt, and black trousers and bridges combinations, one can’t help but feel that perhaps a concept could be applied to
the music (if there isn’t one already) as ‘Bring You Back’ and ‘Alaska’ are both beautiful and brilliant in equal measure. Although Mumford & Sons may rule the roost at the top of the folk rock tree, you can’t help but feel that these guys could well have beaten them there with just a bit more luck.
Unexpectedly the crowd for this show weren’t just the Radio 1 followers of a 14-18 age bracket you’d expect, but instead of all ages and not surprisingly in Southsea, from all walks of life. You can only be a bit taken back when you see two middle aged women headbanging to PABH whilst their children stand on the side in embarrassment. Also filling their hour long set were songs ‘I Punched a Lion in the Throat’, ‘E=MCHammer’, ‘Get Off My Ghost Train’ and previous single ‘Back To The F**k Yeah’. Alongside a compelling stage presence, Pulled Apart by Horses effectively managed to colossally mind blow those watching with the sheer noise and rhythm that came out of them.
your sound? KO: Soundgaze shoescape Rusty: Imagine the sound of living in the Falkland Islands in 1982 as four Olympus engines pass over, destroy your home and then thank you for the honour. PN: Who else are you planning to see today? Rusty: I want to see the crazy, Strange Death [of Liberal England] Orchestra this time, I’d quite like to see Attack!Vipers! KO: I want to see Rusty Sheriffs set! Which is noise with a film documentary of an eye operation set in Auschwitz. Rusty: We like to cater to a wide range of audience. KO: I wanna see the Megaphonic Thtift at the Wedgewood rooms, they’re a Norweigan shoegaze band Rusty: I’ve heard The Milk are quite good too.
Due to an administrative balls up with the festival leaflets, I arrived slightly early I am right on time to witness the chest-beating ferocity of ‘Fight and Fires’ set. Although there was no argument against their set being energetic(it initiated the first of what would be many crowd surfing and circle-pits of the day) the band seemed to lack any element that made them any differ-
ent from any other hardcore/screamo band I’ve ever witnessed . Besides their body flailing theatrics and ability to make the bar staff at the Deco look quite nervous as people almost hanged from the ceiling, there was nothing else memorable about their set. Except the fact that the lead-singer seemed almost incapable of keeping his shirt on; never has the term ‘moobs’ seemed more fitting.
Band Interview Pugwash News’s Amy Buxton caught up with KO, Phil, Matt and Rusty of Aeroplane Attack ahead of their 3.15pm slot at The Loft
Fight & Fires
The B of the Bang Liam Ryder
Pulled Apart By Horses
Beginning with a nod to the late Jimi Hendrix (the occasion being that it was the 40th anniversary of his death) they tore straight into a set which had very little in comparison to Mr Hendrix, but in the best ways possible. Their post-rock shoe-gazing musings were well received by the varied assortment of casual listeners and fellow musicians present in the swelled audience. My only gripe was that their set seemed far too short, and as is the nature of post-rock music they only had time to play 3 full length songs within their 25 minute time limit. They are also a band who fare a lot better in a live environment; their studio recordings certainly do not do them justice, and they have the basis for what could develop into a truly brilliant ambient experience.
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Pete Firman: A comedy interview Dan Whiteway
Occasionally, spending a whole morning on the phone can be a demanding experience, just try ringing up BT to sort out your Internet that was meant to be working a week ago or Southern Electric when they’ve overcharged you. Anywho, my point is, even the most charming, polite person in the world can be broken down by an inordinate amount of time on the phone. Luckily, Pete Firman appears to be even more charming polite and than the most charming, polite person in the world. After a morning probably answering the same questions just from different voices in a series of phone interviews, the magician/comedian remained in good form. Speaking with a rather strong Middlesbrough accent that over a decade based in London has failed to dull, Pete chatted about his recent sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival, his career so far and why less is more when it comes to props for magic.
I realised I would have to start writing jokes to go with it, so I started to build an act and it slowly came together.”
fourth year there in a row now so you totally know what to expect. I just love it up there; having so many great acts in one place, the camaraderie, seeing regulars come to your gigs. PN: What inspired you to do comedy and magic? PF: I got given a magic set when I was 8 or 9 but at first, magic was more of a hobby and I didn’t take it too seriously. I did it part time when I was 18 and at university to make some money but I wanted to work on stage. Then I moved to London and went to comedy clubs and realised I would have to start writing jokes to go with it, so I started to build an act and it slowly came together. PN: Can you remember what your
first gig was like?
PF: Yeah, it was at a club in Ealing, I
was on for a five minute set and it’s all a bit of a blur now actually! PN: So do you use a lot of props in
your show or?
PF: Yeah some, though they’re not
particularly exciting ones! You get magicians who use garishly coloured boxes or cabinets they put women in and swords through but that isn’t really my scene. I just kick it old school really!
Pete Firman is at the Wedgewood Rooms on the 10th October. Tickets are available at http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk/tickets.asp
Pugwash News: Noticing your tour schedule, do you prefer to have gaps in the schedule or just one long run, one gig after another? Pete Firman: It’s good to have a day off every so often in the tour just to have a breather really, We can be travelling for up to three and a half hours, there and back, for a gig so we may not get home until half 1 in the morning so we need a break every so often. PN: How was Edinburgh Festival this year? PF: it was perfect, really. It was my
Ross Noble: Enjoy the “spongey sponge” @ Guildhall 22/9/2010 Cat Fyson
Stand up comedy is very often quite formulated, planned and particular. Not frequently will a comedian go playing outside of the script they have prepared, unless they’re Ross Noble. The only preparation he seems to have done for this show is to be familiar with the city. After a hilarious video introduction to ‘the world of theatre’, instructing us to enjoy the ‘spongey sponge’ of our seats, he bursts out onto the stage surrounded by an amazing set design which consists of random inflatables. From a giant duck to some sort of ninja, it’s difficult to describe how fantas-
tical it looked. Opening with jokes about our humble city, he tells us he’s never seen so many pregnant women in his life, and can only assume that the pavements are flowing with seaman’s seed. See what I did there? He made a similar joke, but still, I’m going to applau myself for that. Trust us Pompey lot to laugh and applaud at the typical jokes made about our city, though. From the teenage pregnancies to the bar fights, he was amazed to find a city where he wouldn’t get threatened for poking fun at its culture. I guess we just can’t deny the truth! At this stage, I should probably apologise to the Freshers,
Portsmouth is great really, I promise. Another stereotype about our city is of course: the drinking. It’s not always the students making a drunken fool of themselves though. An older audience member was the obligatory drunk heckler, whom Noble was almost enthused about. Avoiding taking a leaf out of other comedian’s books, Noble opts for engaging the heckler, asking about their life and joking about how loud they are. Usually at a show, the heckler will ruin the atmosphere. However, the banter between Noble and this pissed up idiot was humorous and lasted for as long as it needed to. The banter between all of the ‘callers out’ was great, generating great
material from Ross, proving him not only very genuine and humbling for engaging with it, but also very intelligent for whipping up comebacks. Although he describes his act as “talking bollocks”, it’s very entertaining bollocks. The audience, on the whole, are always on his side, and the gig feels more intimate than the packed out Guildhall would have you believe. Anyone new to his live shows (as I was), can expect jokes and banter about anything and everything. It’s abundantly clear that Ross enjoys performing with the least amount of preprepared material as possible. The tangents he went off on ranged from the relentless “sexy vampires”, condemning Twilight, as he should, to
impersonating a seal on Stars in Their Eyes. On the way there were even a few cheeky poo jokes, and although toilet humour isn’t exactly my cup of tea, the way Ross tells a story of any experience he’s had – even bowel related – is endlessly amusing. Ross Noble’s personality can be summed up by the gift a rather witty fan left for him on the stage. An energy drink. Irony, of course. He is so very full of energy and gusto, that it’s all very easy to tell just how much he enjoys his work.
Pugwash News Wednesday 6th October 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Book Reviews Book of the Month: Eat Pray Love Janine Clark
Over 8 million copies sold worldwide and now a major motion picture! But Eat Pray Love was a book I’d wanted to read a long time before I heard Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem would be starring alongside each other in the feelgood movie of the year. You may not recognise Elizabeth Gilbert as the journalist behind the article that inspired Coyote Ugly, but Eat Pray Love is a word-of-mouth bestseller that has managed to capture the imagination of readers the world over. Admittedly, a significant proportion of them are very likely to be 30-something women but don’t let this put you off.
I am a bit of an armchair traveler and couldn’t wait to dive into the story of Liz, the woman who had everything and gave it all up to find herself in Rome, India and Bali. She tells her story in 108 beads of meditation; a structure that lends itself well to her spiritual journey. Bizarrely, I found the tone a little reminiscent of “Dear God, It’s Me, Margaret”, Judy Blume’s novel of a young teenager trying to find her own relationship with God. However, although Liz is often naive in her emotional responses to events in her own life, this aspect of her character lends itself well to the innocence and purity of faith that she seems to be seeking. I didn’t warm to Liz immediately, initially finding it frustrating how little she confides in her husband about
her dramatic changes in perspective, but as her depression and loneliness become more evident, I could identify with her longing for a new beginning and yearning for a deeper understanding of life. Ultimately, Eat Pray Love is a great travel memoir, an inspiring, romantic and spiritual tale of “one woman’s search for everything”. If Hilary Clinton can recommend it, so can I! For a slightly less feminine approach to self discovery, other readers may enjoy something along the lines of “Into the Wild” by John Krakauer. University of Portsmouth students can get 10% off Pugwash News’ ‘Book of the Month’ at the Waterstones on Commercial Road when they present their student card when paying.
Restaurants Fire and Stone Dan Whiteway
The humble pizza. It’s come a long way from when the soldiers of the Persian King Darius the Great baked bread on their shields and covered it with cheese and dates before proceeding to conquer much of the ancient world. In a similar vein, the pizza has taken over large swathes of the modern world, what with its ability to house meat, fish, vegetables and even fruit on its cheese and tomato surface. But one restaurant appears intent on taking pizza to a new level. Fire and Stone are a relative new-
comer to the pizza business having only opened their first restaurant five years ago but what they lack in history, they make up for in pure innovation. Where else can you get a pizza with roast potatoes on it? Or steak for that matter? Or butternut squash? Or prawns? Or duck? Or, well you get my point. However, anyone can chuck tasty but unusual ingredients on a pizza. I, for example, am fond of Skittles, but I’m fairly sure they wouldn’t go well on a pizza. My point is, innovation has to be tempered with sanity and Fire and Stone do this very well. Personal favourites on their menu
are the Peking, with a Hoi Sin sauce and aromatic duck topping and the New York with bacon and roast potatoes coming to life on the tomato sauce.
All other chocolate is but an insult to the brownies at Fire and Stone. There hasn’t yet been a
word invented that describes how utterly amazing they are.” Speaking of the sauces, this is where Fire and Stone sets itself apart, the quality of the ingredients they use. The sauces take up to six hours to make, on site, from start to finish. The dough is made fresh on site every day, the ingredients are sourced from farms in England, Spain, Italy and Greece. A word on the desserts too. All other chocolate is but an insult to the brownies at Fire and Stone. There
hasn’t yet been a word invented that describes how utterly amazing they are. Finally, up until the 31st October, students can get a pizza for 4 quid as long with a student card and a voucher from fireandstone.com/pizza/forms/ studentvoucher.asp So, for all these reasons, Fire and Stone are a must to visit. Oh, and they’re making a Christmas themed pizza later this year. Awesome.
Film Reviews Tamara Drewe Sophie Worrell
The decision to go and see Tamara Drewe was indeed a spontaneous one as I went in with absolutely no idea what the film was about. But it was undoubtedly the best decision I had made that day. The film oozed a certain British quality and left the whole room giggling like school-children. When thinking about Tamara Drewe one would most likely think that it was a film detailing the beauty of the picturesque English countryside, while unravelling the “Pride and Prejudice” type romance between two beautiful people as they try to overcome life’s difficulties. Being one of these people, I can tell you to get this thought out of your head right now. It’s more like a very English less goryafternoon tea and scones version of Se7en with the characters displaying lashings of envy, greed, anger, pride and most of all, lust (with quite a bit of general sinning thrown in there as well for good measure).
The film is adapted from Posy Simmonds graphic novel and is about a young journalist, called Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton), who returns to her childhood home in a small but boring town in Dorset, with the hope of selling it. From there the film circles around the various characters lives and how they are changed from this one event. From the infidelity of a famous writer to the school-girl obsession on a famous rock-star. What is great about this film is that it manages to depict real behaviour in believable characters in an interesting way, as in between the crazy antics and the satirical humour you discover that each character is putting up various defensive barriers to disguise their sadness, their loneliness and even their love (which let’s face it, is completely British of them) until they finally lay themselves bare and explode into a frenzy of confessions and declarations. You will be very pleasantly surprised by Jessica Barden and Charlotte Christies’ perfect performances
Historically Inaccurate Films of over-the-top, dramatic teenagers Jody and Casey, a real knack for comedic timing and definitely stealing the show from the older actors. However it is hard to ignore and may I say not giggle at Dominic Cooper’s depiction of a typical cocky London-born Indie Rocker, guy-liner and all! All I can leave you with is the thought of the opening scene, which in my opinion must make it in the top ten opening scenes of all time, however females may be the only ones who agree with me on this. Do you want to write for Pugwash News and review films for free? Then contact email@example.com for more information. For extra film reviews and more, including music, gigs and restaurants, visit pugwashnews.com
Give me five: Historically Inaccurate Films In the wake of the release of Robin Hood on DVD, Pugwash News’s Liam Underwood takes a look at five other movies that piss all over historical fact. 5) Monty Python and the Holy Grail Surprisingly, King Arthur didn’t mime riding around on a horse while Patsy knocked coconuts behind him. His legend is mostly folklore, with it unclear if he actually did exist or not. If he was real, he most certainly visited Camelot, despite it being a silly place. The Trojan Rabbit was lifted directly from an entirely different period in history – which didn’t even take place in England, but in Greece. Oh and it was a Trojan Horse. It’s highly probable that there was a killer Rabbit of Caerbannog though, because rabbits are vicious little bastards. 4) Braveheart Casting an American as a Scot, Braveheart makes a mockery of Scot-
land’s history. Everything from the dates to the costumes are inaccurate, such as the belted plaid that the Scotsmen wear. Even the title is incorrect, ‘Brave heart’ in fact refers to a line of a poem describing Robert the Bruce, not William Wallace. Still, by the end of this bum-numbing three hour runtime, it’s difficult to really care. 3) 300 The story of 300 Spartans facing an army of over one million was just too good for Hollywood to pass up. Ignoring the highly stylised and problematic battle scenes, Spartans weren’t allowed to grow facial hair - despite Gerard Butler’s bearded mug staring out from all the posters. Madness. 2) Inglourious Basterds Tarantino unashamedly rewrites history here. While there was a team of Jewish commandos called X-Troop, none of them removed the scalps of Nazis. Also, Hitler probably wasn’t killed by Eli Roth. 1) The Passion of the Christ There is no God.
Pugwash News Wednesday 22nd September 2010
A satisfying taste of sport
Amy Baker VP Welfare and Volunteering
Joe Wilkes Sports Editor
VP for Welfare and Volunteering, Amy Baker, describes her experience of the taster sessions. On Friday 24th September Lauren Ryan the new VP Sports officer developed female taster sessions for those sports clubs who are not stereotypically seen as ‘sports for girls’, this included such sports as rugby and lacrosse. In order to explain more about the day we must firstly travel back a couple of months to the month of July. I had just myself come into office as VP Volunteering and Welfare and so met Lauren Ryan who throughout her time at University was a member of rugby. For the next two months I was told
everything about rugby until the day came when I was told that I should join. Now I must admit the thought of joining rugby terrified me not because of the girls who were part of the team but because I watch the telly and know what it involves. Being continuously slammed into the floor didn’t seem my idea of fun; however these taster days were made for complete beginners so in a moment of insanity I went along. So there I was dressed in my running kit not exactly made for rugby and a pair of borrowed boots standing on the side line ready to die. We were eased in gently with a warm up and some fun games to get us all bonding and then we went onto working on our core strength by pushing another member out of a ring, kicking and catching and then to round up a small
game of rugby netball, thankfully this was non-contact, I was definitely not ready for that yet. After the session was over something changed in me and I ended up having a taste for it. I now go training with the girls, admittedly I am not very good but it seems that they really don’t mind. If it wasn’t for these taster session I would have been too scared to join straight away and believe that many of the others girls who went along feel exactly the same. This was a great way to experience a sport without fully committing yourself and think it could be something that in the future is adopted by all activities.
The female-only taster sessions run on the 24th September by the AU appear to have been a resounding success, with the clubs involved reporting a good turnout and extra sign-ups. The sessions were designed to get more women involved with sports at this university. The clubs that ran sessions were Boxing, Basketball, Volleyball, Dodgeball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Lacrosse, Rugby and Cricket. Although, considering the number of clubs in the AU is thirty five and the total amount of clubs involved with the project was just ten, how effective can they have been? VP Sports, Lauren Ryan, had this to say: “The idea of female taster sessions was to provide an environment where beginners in lesser played female sports (more intimidating sports to play) could play with other beginners at an easier pace. The 10 sports involved were highlighted as clubs that struggle to gain female participants and were potentially intimidating to play as beginners in trials. The taster sessions were also restricted as it is the first year they have been run properly and it was needed to gauge the interest in them”.
President of Dodgeball, Stephen Roberts, said: “It went really well, everyone had a laugh and a few more signed up!” Also Jennifer Ellegard, a second year student for whom the Dodgeball taster session was a first experience of sport at the university, remarked:
The sessions are a really good idea because it gives you the chance to see if you are good enough.”
“I didn’t think I was sporty enough and I was a bit intimidated by all the basketball, the football and the netball teams because they all looked really athletic. And then I heard about this from my housemate.” She went on to comment: “They (the sessions) are a really good idea because it gives you the chance to see if you are good enough and you don’t feel like you have to be a at an amazing level to get involved with sports. They’ve been really really enjoyable.”
NUS and BUCS’s bright future Joe Wilkes Sports Editor
Following a meeting to discuss the impact of the clash between the national demonstration against cuts to further and higher education and the weekly Wednesday afternoon sports programmes, NUS (National Union of Students) and BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) have announced that they will be working together in areas of mutual interest. Future programmes of work will include exploring issues such as graduate employability and running projects leading up to the 2012 London Olympic Games. The meeting was held in response to a request from BUCS members that the organisations engage in discussion over the national demonstration being organised by NUS on Wednesday 10 November, a date which clashes with the ever increasing and competitive Wednesday afternoon sports programme. NUS and BUCS have agreed that there will be no formal cancellation of the fixtures on Wednesday 10 November, however it was agreed by
BUCS that should individual teams or institutions wish to reschedule fixtures from the day of the demo to an agreed alternative then that could be allowed within the current rules and regulations. Both BUCS and NUS have said that they are looking forward to developing a more positive working relationship in the future to ensure the ongoing enhancement of the student experience. BUCS is responsible for the delivery of sport and development in higher education and as such is not a political organisation, it encourages the playing of all fixtures as outlined at the start of the season. The organisation has however recognised these unique circumstances and has made moves to accommodate them and any sportsperson that wishes to attend the demonstration. NUS encourages students' unions that have made representations about the factors impeding individuals participation in the 10 November demonstration to encourage their sports clubs members to talk to each other, in order to see whether rescheduling is mutually beneficial.
Pugwash News Wednesday 22nd September 2010
Spotlight on Cheerleading
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In this issue, we take a look at the Cheerleaders. With national-standard performers, a heavy involvement in events and 140 new sign-ups at Freshers’ Fayre, they are a group on the rise. They are also due to perform at the boxing on the 16th November. First, Media Secretary for Cheerleading, Alisa Walker, introduces the club, before star performer Luke Donovan King reports on a summer showcase. Hi guys and girls! (And yes we do mean guys, because everyone is welcome to cheerleading!) We had an immense turnout for our first social, and cannot wait for the fun frolics ahead. We’ve got exciting events coming up and if you haven’t already joined Cheerleading you can still be part of the fun. There are all
sorts of events that our squad will be performing at: nights at Liquid, the American Football club matches, charity events… and the rest is for you to find out! To join University of Portsmouth Cheerleading Squad, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Allstar Performance Luke Donovan King
The first showcase performance from the British Cheerleading Association Allstars marked the debuts of two current and one ex University of Portsmouth student, at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. After months of tryouts and training sessions, the 18th July 2010, brought about the first test of nerves and abilities from current students, Luke Donovan-King and Elleah Bay-
ley, alongside former student, Eloise Brodin-Thornhill. The Allstars showcased the routine that had taken almost a year to develop and perfect, with training from both the direct team coaches, Hannah Kent and Scarlett Murphy, to the help of the American gymnastics and cheerleading coach from the Maryland Twisters, Joe Vecchioni. With the performance not scheduled to start until all of the competing teams had finished, the floor had cleared and the crowd had gathered in anticipation. Thankfully the routine went well, without any major mistakes; concluding with the entire arena celebrating not only the performance, but the sport of cheerleading as a whole. Team member Leanne Noble said: ‘I was very happy about how the performance went, there is definitely the opportunity to build upon it and we can only get better’.
The BCA Allstars was set up as the national display team for the British Cheerleading Association, with the aim to bring together and showcase the cheerleading talents and abilities within the organisation. Although at an early stage, the team is hoping to be able to compete at a wider range of events with the ambition to travel to America and represent British cheerleading as a whole. For more information on cheerleading, contact a member of the University’s cheerleading squad, information available at upsu.net, or alternatively, you can visit cheerleading.org.uk. Here’s a bit of what we’ve got coming up! Make sure you’re there to support us and see us cheer at these exciting events!
Basketball 17th Nov- Home to London Met Uni @ 1pm 24th Nov- Home to Royal Holloway @ 1pm 19th Jan- Home to Uni of Hertfordshire American Football Sunday 5th Dec- Home to OBU Sunday 12th Dec- Home to BNU Sunday 20th Jan- Home to Brunel Sat 5th Feb- Home to Solent Sunday 20th Feb- Varsity @ Stags Great South Run: Sunday 24th October Hopefully we’ll see you there!
Over £50,000 spent on gym refurb Joe Wilkes Sports Editor
St. Paul’s Gym has had over £50,000 spent on it over the summer, as part of the final phase of refurbishments. In June 2010 the final phase of upgrade took place in the ground floor gym. State of the art Cybex Eagle equipment has replaced the current resistance machines. A complete redecoration and flooring replacement was undertaken, with new lighting fitted and the installation of 48 inch plasma screens. Corresponding with Purple Wednesdays, Paul Tilley, Head of Sport and Recreation, explained how the refurbishment was funded: “The £50k comes from within my budget for which we set aside as part of our income to cover facility maintenance and equipment replacement on an annual basis. We receive a block grant allowance from the University but this accounts for less than 15% of our total budget. We generate the rest through memberships, external usage and bookings. The equipment it replaced was over 8 yrs old and extremely outdated. “The new equipment now helps makes St Paul’s Gym an excellent
facility to meet a wide range of students’ needs. Any surplus we create as a service from our income is reinvested back into sport, such as the current £200k resurfacing of the Hockey Astroturf.” The gym was already wellequipped and popular with students, so the necessity of a refurbishment at such a cost was questioned. Clare King, the gym manager, said: “We wanted to give customers more for their money, and keep the gym up to date with current fitness trends. I wouldn’t say that the gym was lacking compared to other gyms, I would say it was a fairly good standard anyway, but we’re just keeping everything as up-to-date as we can and making the most of the facility.” As to the issue of the ready availability of the money itself, she came back; “It wasn’t like we’ve just been given £50,000 to just play with, we didn’t spend as much on certain areas in the year before so that we could keep the gym updated.” If you are interested in joining St Paul’s Gym, visit: port.ac.uk/departments/ studentsupport/sportandrecreation/ gym/stpaulsgymsummer2010refurbishment/
Trials process put through its paces Joe Wilkes Sports Editor
The AU clubs have all completed the process of trying out new members. The AU club trials were held in the week after Freshers’ Fayre, and as usual have left some happy, and some not so. The process of trying out new members in terms of ability has always been an inevitably contentious endeavour, with disappointment for some and an affirmation of talent for others. This time around however there is a genuine sense of déjà vu, as disgruntled voices and disenchanted hopefuls appear yet again. A third year student, who opted to remain anonymous, described the experience of going on the trials for Tennis: “First off there were about sixty people that turned up for the trials and only three coaches judging
and four courts, which clearly isn’t enough. When we got there we had to go on a thirty minute run, then I had to sit around waiting for an hour and a half before I even got to hit a ball! When I finally got to play it was a simple rally with a partner, with four people sharing one court. This lasted only ten minutes, of which I deduced I was probably being watched for around forty seconds! “Overall the trials were very poor and time consuming. A talented player could have very easily been overlooked due to the short amount of time we actually got to play any tennis. We also weren’t given any time to hit a few balls before being judged so everybody was very rusty, there was no opportunity to display your best tennis.” AU Chair, Steve Shirley, asserted: “Trials are definitely necessary, because of the volume of people you get for say, Rugby, Hockey or Netball, you
Award winning sporting charity planning repeat excursion Joe Wilkes Sports Editor
Portsmouth’s Sports Development team, winners of the BUCS International Award for their fantastic Kenya Sports Development project, is planning another expedition in 2011. The Sports Development Expedition headed by Charlotte Doyle, and in conjunction with Bournemouth University, is designed for students to gain valuable experience coaching the less fortunate communities and
schools in Kenya. Students spend four weeks in Kenya, passing on their coaching skills in rugby, football and dance. The experience incorporates an intense coaching schedule, with a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the Indian Ocean and the thrill of a game drive safari. A summary on the UPForSport Website states that the expedition; “Gives students the chance to directly apply their skills and knowledge to provide inspiration and all of the benefits of their own education to others.” Also offering; “A unique oppor-
tunity for volunteers to get ‘hands-on’ experience of coaching in less fortunate, rural communities and schools in Kenya.” This project has grown in leaps and bounds since being started by Charlotte Doyle, who is also Sport development Officer at this university. The venture now includes students from Reading, Southampton and Brighton universities and has also worked alongside Portsmouth FC’s ‘Boots for Africa’ campaign supported by England goalkeeping legend, David James. Last year saw 100’s of pairs
of football boots delivered to Kenyan schoolchildren by this coalition in charity. A presentation is being run on Thursday the 30th September, at 6pm in the Nuffield Sports Centre, aimed at fully informing all of those interested in going on the expedition of the plans. To enquire about how to get involved with Camp Kenya, you can contact email@example.com. Otherwise visit: upforsport.co.uk
have to whittle it down because you can’t have fifty or so clubs for each sport. It just wouldn’t work. The only issue you have is that the old boys have to run the trials themselves. But I have been to many trials and ran some myself, and they were always very well organised. “All the guys at the club care about the clubs they play for and want to see them be as big as they can be. It can be intimidating for a Fresher to attend the trials, but I definitely think they are treated fairly. I’ve heard disgruntled Freshers’, but that is usually down to their annoyance at their inability to show their best form during the trials. Besides, the intramural system is in place to improve participation regardless of ability.” Did you have a good or bad experience of trials? Contact joe.wilkes@ upsu.net to give your side of the story.
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Pugwash News Issue 45 - 06/10/2010