Redbrick Friday 14th October 2011 | Volume 76 | Issue 1395 | redbrickpaper.co.uk
Education for the nation: Meet Mr Drew from Channel 4's Educating Essex See Television, p14
Students protest on campus in support of VPE
Students protest at Mermaid Square on campus Jo Thomas Reporter
Political groups, unions and personal friends of the Vice President of Education, Edd Bauer gathered on Wednesday to protest against his suspension from the Guild of Students. Located in Mermaid Square near the Guild, the protesters held banners declaring 'Speech is free, Bauer's for me. F**k Harrop's silent majority'. Student voices were raised over a P.A. system saying, 'we are fighting against massive inequality. We are more determined. The best power we have is ourselves â€“ we don't need the Guild', and 'this is not against Edd's injustice, but
Students stand against Edd Bauer's suspension from Guild and University Protest calls for Bauer to return to his role Full story on p5 Security measures employed at entrance to Guild
against the Guild'. More than two weeks after his suspension as Vice President of Education, the Guild are continuing their internal investigation. One member of the protest group who wished to be called an 'ex' Guild councillor claimed it was obvious that the Vice President of Education would be evicted from the very beginning due to his heavy involvement in raising educational awareness on campus, particularly in relation to student fees and job cuts. He said, 'it was simply a matter of time, but I didn't think it would happen this soon'. When asked what the atmosphere was like within the Guild itself, he said 'very tense.'
Photo by Freddie Herzog
Dan Harrison, leader of Birmingham Student Labour group, was also at the protest and he said, 'We don't need the Guild, and we don't want the Guild. I am embarrassed and ashamed to be a student at this university, and am asking myself whether I made the right choice in coming to Birmingham at all.' In reference to the group of students he personally represented, Harrison remarked that even though some Labour members didn't vote for Bauer, several were in 100 per cent support of him being reinstated to his position as VPE. The protest remained peaceful and gained the attention of both students, academic staff and union members.
'The protest showed that students are willing to stand up for what they care about.' -Guild President, Mark Harrop
Uninvolved students had mixed opinions about the protest. Hannah Brazil, 3rd year English student said, 'A lot of people outside were not very enthusiastic at the protest. It seemed to have little substance and seemed disorganised.' Chemistry student Pod Ruben
said, 'I think Edd Bauer should be reinstated because he is one of the few people who actually listens to students'. An official forum and debate named Birmingham Against Cuts will be held on the 24th November, at 7pm in the Council Chambers. Mark Harrop, President of the Guild, issued this comment, 'The protest today showed that students are willing to stand up for what they care about. Even though I cannot comment on the ongoing investigation, the matter of the suspension of the VPE was raised at the Better Education and University open forum. More importantly, we were able to discuss education issues that students face here at Birmingham.'
Redbrick Editorial Editor Glen Moutrie Deputy Editors Victoria Bull James Phillips Online Editor Chris Hutchinson Art Director Beth Richardson Photography Editors Freddie Herzog Millie Guy email@example.com Technical Directors Jeremy Levett Dan Lesser News Editors Anna Hughes James Brilliant Kerrina Gray firstname.lastname@example.org Online News Editor Freddie Herzog Features Editors Ali Hendy Amanda Callaghan email@example.com Online Features Editor Owen Earwicker Film Editors Genevieve Taylor Isidore Sanders firstname.lastname@example.org
News shorts compiled by Patrick McGhee
Tweets of the week
Life&Style Editors Sophie Cowling Lara Edwards email@example.com
'Jackson did not cause own death'
Food Editors James Morrison Jordan Warner firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the medic who conducted Michael Jackson's autopsy, the singer could not have administered the drugs that killed him. It has been claimed that Jackson's physician Conrad Murray could have given Jackson the lethal drugs.
Travel Editors Emily Booth Louise Spratt email@example.com Sport Editors Sam Price Joseph Audley firstname.lastname@example.org Online Sport Editor Joel Lamy
Immigration law overturned
Technology Editor Joshua Lindsey Ruth Bradley email@example.com
A government regulation preventing non-EU citizens under 21 from coming to live in the UK with their spouses has been overturned. The rule was reversed because it was found to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Crossword Editor John Rizkallah Senior Editorial Assistant Kate Selvaratnam Editorial Assistants Oscar French Ellie Jarvis Isabel Mason Sarah Musgrove Elisha Owen
Arts & Culture Editors Lexie Wilson Alexander Blanchard firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Editorial Assistants Sophie MurrayMorris Rosie Pearce Josh Taylor Eimear Luddy
Music Editors Will Franklin Tamara Roper email@example.com
Junior Art Directors Lauren Wheatley Sophie Rogers Kimberley Fariah
Television Editor Charlotte Lytton James Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Proofreaders Nicola Barton Ropa Rusere Jenna Kirby Sana Hannan Rachel Ashe Hannah Ennis
For meeting times and available positions visit www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/join Designed and typeset by Redbrick. Copyright (C) Redbrick 2011 Redbrick strives to uphold the NUJ Code of Conduct. The views expressed in Redbrick do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the Guild or the publishers. If you find an error of fact in our pages, please write to the Editor. Our policy is to correct mistakes promptly in print and to apologise where appropriate. We reserve the right to edit any article, letter or email submitted for publication. To contact us: Redbrick Guild of Students Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham B15 2TU 0121 251 2462 email@example.com www.redbrickonline.co.uk Redbrick is printed through www.quotemeprint.com: 08451 300667. Advertising: Contact Aimee Fitzpatrick in Guild Marketing on 0121 251 2524 or a.fitzpatrick@guild. bham.ac.uk
14th October 2011
Local hospital sent NOTW funds
Unemployment hits 17 year high
Japan to offer free flights for tourists
Writer's Bloc to hold campus event
News International, parent company of the now defunct News of the World has donated £933,333 to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Selly Oak. Profits of the newspaper's last edition were split among various charities.
The UK unemployment rate now stands at 2.57 million, up by 114,000 since June. 1.6 million people are now out of working and seeking benefits. Employment Secretary Chris Grayling blamed the fall on the 'international financial crisis'.
In April Japan will spend the equivalent of £10 million on 10,000 free return flights for foreign visitors. The campaign aims to increase tourism after the tsunami in March which caused tourism to drop by 63 per cent.
The Creative Writing society will be holding an event tonight (14th October) in Beorma Bar featuring 'accordions, insane stories about a polar bear and a vulture, improv comedy and a couple of musicians'. 7.30pm, £2 entry.
Liam Fox in Werrity row
Blackberry server crashes
Defence Secretary Liam Fox has been criticised over his relationship with Adam Werrity. Fox faced questions over Werrity’s proximity to the Ministry of Defence, after the revelation of regular meetings at Mr. Fox’s office and on foreign trips.
Blackberry has experienced various technical faults with its devices. Users experienced issues ranging from the unavailability of social applications, such as Facebook and Twitter to the failure of the company’s own messaging service, BBM. WORLD
USA uncover Iran plot The FBI has discovered a plot to assassinate the US ambassador to Iran. The attempt would have involved the use of explosives as the ambassador dined in Washington D.C. The incident has worsened 'an already fraught relationship'.
Sex education fails to prepare pupils A new report by sexual health charity Brook has found that 47% of secondary school pupils say that sex education 'doesn’t cover what they really need to know about sex'. It was also found that one in four 11- 16 year olds get no SRE in school.
Rhian Lubin tells us what to spend our student loans on We say: Seeing a film at the cinema Clothes Old El Paso fajita kit Hair dye Digital camera You say: Post-pub grub - Matt Wood, English and American Studies Fish pedicures from the giant fish in the Bullring Amy Kelly-Miller, Physics Flights to Tanzania this summer - Ashley Carter, Political Economy Long distance phone calls Anwen Roys, Hispanic Studies Babestation - Lewis Jones, Geography and Economics
14th October 2011
Spotlight on Societies
hot water. We celebrate this, and encourage people to try new teas with friends. Tea Soc highlights:
President: Owen Earwicker How long have you been running for?
For us it had to be our first meeting. After months of planning we were finally able to pour tea for our lovely members. And discovering that the Harvey Milk room had a sink was probably the highlight of my life – otherwise we would have had to carry a lot of water from Joe's!
Print's charming... Victoria Bull
Why should we get involved?
Tea Soc in five words:
What is the society all about?
We're everyone's cup of tea.
Tea. Pure and simple. Everyone loves a cup of tea. It unites our fantastically diverse culture, bound by the pure joy one can get from some dried leaves in
Three Tea Society Facts:
Saturday 22nd October – We are teaming up with the Northern Society on a day trip to Blackpool (including a visit to the pier, bingo, fish and chips and a cuppa). Every Wednesday we hold a drop-
1. We played with the idea of calling ourselves 'The Delightful Tea Society'. 2. At the Societies Fair we got 89
members in one day. Before then we had zero. We now have over 100 members. 3. Before we were given recognition, the Student Groups Committee asked us what our favourite type of tea was. If any one of us had said Lapsang Souchong we may not be here!
Because whether you like a fancy loose leaf blend, or a simple cup of Yorkshire Tea, the Tea Society will provide. Come and have a good time and a brew.
We were founded early last spring term, over a cup of tea in the iLounge. We then received official recognition from the Guild in May 2011.
in session between 1pm and 3pm in the Harvey Milk room, where there will be six different teas to try. How can we get involved? Facebook: Tea Society, University of Birmingham Twitter: @Tea_Society Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Judith Hawkins Reporter
A recent survey claims to have identified the 'value' of certain degrees over others. Job search engine Adzuna.co.uk analysed job advertisements to determine which degree subjects and grades are most in demand by employers, and the average salaries that could be expected by graduates. The research revealed that the highest average salary of £46,940 awaited those taking Civil Engineering, with the next highest earners having degrees in Economics, Law, Maths or Computer Science. At the other end of the scale, Hospitality & Tourism graduates had the lowest average salary of £18,996, with Art & Design and Anthropology degrees leading to only slightly higher average pay. The survey also highlighted how it is worthwhile to get a First or a 2:1, as graduates with these degrees earn on average £8,000 more per year than their peers with a 2:2 or a Third. This potentially means a difference of £300,000 over the course of a working life. Statistics provided by Adzuna. Graphic created by Glen Moutrie.
A week in the life of a Deputy Editor Monday The start of the week for most of the Redbrick team, although more often than not we are coming off the back of a heavy weekend of work! The office is full of culture section editors, with the odd appearance from the News team. As Deputy Editors, our job is to prowl the office, helping where we can and performing (James) or receiving (Vicki) the occasional frape. Total emails sent and received: 46 Tuesday Another hectic day for the culture sections, as their deadline looms. Subway wrappers and tasteless Spar food is strewn across
Last week, I heaved an enormous sigh of relief as this year's first Redbrick went to print. I was even more pleased that it did so with a modernised banner (I wonder how many of you noticed – the subtle change is more reflective of our website's contemporary look) and some ambitious content featuring serious campus issues. Holding last week's newspaper in my hands, I couldn't help but feel part of a shared tradition that has been part of Birmingham's campus life for 75 years. How many thousands have browsed through Redbrick's pages inbetween lectures, or even hung-over in the Selly Sausage, throughout the years? Whether or not you're an avid reader of Redbrick, simply seeing it around campus is part of being a student here. The week's news is there in front of you, literally at your fingertips. This is where I and Editor Glen differ in our views. While I cannot disagree that online journalism can do many things that print cannot (our coverage of the riots whilst I was at home and Glen in Singapore proves this), the increasingly astounding capability of the internet should not mean that we disregard print newspapers completely as a meaningful platform for journalism. Just as the creation of mp3 technology did not, as predicted, signal the end for the record industry – interactive websites and e-editions of newspapers do not automatically close the doors of printing houses. In the past week we have both mourned the loss of Steve Jobs, a hero of modern technology, and thousands of us have been let down by BlackBerry, finding ourselves without the technology we rely on so heavily. This irony proves that technology, while essential to the development of the modern world, has its limitations. Print newspapers, on the other hand, provide the nostalgia, tactility and reliability that generations have come to depend on. I hope Redbrick's concrete presence remains for years to come, however much I want our other mediums to improve. Perhaps I could send Glen a copy of Redbrick in another 75 years. That is, if the postal system still exists.
James Phillips and Victoria Bull describe their typical working week in and around their second home, the Redbrick office...
the office, and it often falls to us to make sure it all finds its way to the bin. One of us will oversee our team of Editorial Assistants after 6pm, who scour the finished pages for those pesky mistakes. In these early weeks, we are busy interviewing people for new positions in the Redbrick team. So far James has interviewed 47 and Vicki isn't far behind with 38.
Beth Richardson and her team of wonderful assistants. Meanwhile, one of us can be found supervising the proofreaders who are searching for yet more pesky mistakes, while the other one will usually be found comforting our editor Glen, inevitably in a state of distress as the Marketing team at the Guild continue to confuse us!
Total emails sent and received: 79
Total emails sent and received: 124
Wednesday With the culture section editors tucked away in bed, it's the turn of News, Comment and Sport to wreak havoc in the office. As the day goes on they are joined by Art Director
Thursday The big day in the office. An 8am start calls for coffee, Red Bull and yet more comforting of the editor. With a lunchtime print deadline approaching, the two of us alongside three Editorial Assistants and Glen attempt to get all the pages in working order. Every knock on the door or phone call strikes fear into the team as we worry about our content not getting approval from the Guild. The paper usually meets the deadline, which means we can head off for an afternoon nap, while the online team take over the office to fulfil their duties. Total emails sent and received: 176
Friday After a rare lie-in, we start planning for the following week. James records the podcast with Arts editor Alex Blanchard before (in a good week), a social. This is where the Redbrick team let their hair down a bit, in the case of a certain photography editor, taking an intoxicated swing at one of us (guess which?) after a drunkenlymisinterpreted joke. On returning home in the early hours, we realise that none of our seminar work has been done as the Fab ticket on our desk stares at us tantalisingly… Total emails sent and received: 9,635 (definitely not exaggerating)
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors – Anna Hughes, James Brilliant & Kerrina Gray
'How do you feel about your student job?' asks Zahra Damji 'Bar work is great as it's during the evenings and never clashes with lectures, although it is very unsociable.'
'Having just started my third year, I decided to quit work as I'd like to focus more on uni work this year.'
'I just adapted and got used to getting all my work done over the week as I don't have my weekends free.'
James, 4th year Marketing
Jonathan, 3rd year Biochemistry
Lucy, 1st year English
Spotlight on student jobs and money
Money VPW: Guild's finance campaigns to be more 'effective' saving tips Judith Hawkins Reporter
Redbrick speaks to the Guild of Students' Vice President of Welfare Luke Reynolds about student jobs and budgeting. What support does the university provide for students who want to find jobs during their studies? The Guild has the Job Zone service which always has many jobs on offer; last year it advertised 5,900 vacancies, 1,550 of which were taken by University of Birmingham students. The Guild itself employs over 300 student staff members, and it is estimated that there are at least 1,500 students in total working on campus. Those students who find jobs through Job Zone earn on average £7.85 per hour, and work just over 11.5 hours per week during term-time. The Job Zone also helps students with their CVs and application forms, as does the Careers and Employability Centre. Do you think the higher education funding system does enough to help students? The means-tested evaluation on the amount of student funding one
will receive, fails to recognise how much money students actually receive from parents. There are many instances of individuals whose household income is deemed too high for any offer of extra support to the student, but where none of this income actually filters down to the students, leaving them in a worse situation than those from households with lower incomes. This is a big problem with no easy fix, and I understand that there has to be a cut-off point somewhere. Funds like the ALF (Access to Learning Fund) take this into account, making it of great use to many people who fall into this hole.
lunch into university with you rather than buying it on campus will soon add up. Buying basic ranges rather than branded products is also another easy way to save money. Lastly using student discount websites such as student-
What additional funding for students does the University offer? There are lots of different grants, bursaries and scholarships available, whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate, home or international student. For example there is the Birmingham grant and Birmingham scholarship. Do you have any tips for students on money saving? I would always suggest to watch what you're spending your money on. Simple things like bringing
beans.com, and offers available to you as a student, for example an NUS extra or even a Joe's Plus Card, is always a great way of
keeping life as cheap as possible. What do you want to improve in terms of finance during your time as Vice President for Welfare? The Guild's previous campaigns on finance haven't always been that successful; for a lot of people money isn't an issue until they don't have it, and then the advice on budgeting comes too late. At this point we have services to help; the ARC can give advice on applications to grants and bursaries and the Job Zone can help you find a part time job. This year we will look closely at how we do campaigns on funding so we can ensure they are as effective as they can be in the future with the new fees. Is there anything happening on campus soon which will help students with this issue? On Wednesday 19th October the Guild is holding a Jobs and Opportunity Fair for those students who want to find jobs and increase their employability. During that same week we will also be focusing on student finance as part of our Welfare Wednesdays, with advice on budgeting, getting jobs, and information on grants and bursaries.
How do student employers compare?
Ryan Jones investigates being a student employee at the University of Birmingham. Does your business employ many students?
What do you believe Does employing When a students throw up vacancy arises, do makes a good any difficulties? student employee? you get many student applicants?
The Goose, Selly Oak.
Yes, 60-70% of our staff are students.
Yes, we get online applications and CVs dropped in.
Selly Sausage, Selly Oak
Yes, the majority of We've been our staff are inundated with students. applications for the new term.
Costcutter, The Vale
Yes, we do.
Gunbarrels, Selly Oak
We do yes, 80-90% Yes, this session we got over 200 applications for 10 positions.
Reliability – num- No student related ber one. But also problems. professionalism and enthusiasm. Only around exam They have to be happy, fun and flex- time. ible.
Yes, we have appli- They definitely have Only during exam time. cations from across to be flexible, not shy of hard work. the board. Someone who is Not really, no. willing to work hard and has the right attitude also.
Zak Bentley Reporter
1) Create a monthly spreadsheet – Writing down how much you are actually spending each week will leave you with a precise knowledge of how much to budget. 2) Jobzone, Jobzone, Jobzone – Birmingham's got one so use it. The vacancies are always being updated and there are plenty of jobs available to suit different timetables. 3) Get the best deals online – Look for Amazon sales, supermarket comparison sites and ebay for huge savings. 4) Sell old books and clothes – There are always people looking out for second hand items, including clothes and books. 5) Be economical – Buy supermarket's own brands, they taste just as good and usually save quite a bit of money. 6) Use cash – It can be very easy to use the 'plastic money' of the debit or credit card but using cash keeps you aware of the money you are spending. 7) Turn off the lights – According to the BBC in 2008, UK households spend £1.9bn on electricity every year for lighting. By turning the lights and plugs off at the wall you can make huge savings. 8) Take advantage – Going home for the weekend? Take a big bag with space for dirty washing and extra food to bring back. 9) Shop smart – Impulse buys are just that. Make a list and stick to it. 10) Plan ahead – When booking train tickets around the UK money can be saved if you book well in advance – often up to 50%.
Poll Edward Gilbert asks 'Does the University give enough help with budgeting?'
'It's great as I get to pick my own hours so I can work around my timetable and choose how many hours I do' Anonymous
42 of the top 50 universities in the world are in English speaking countries, according to a global list dominated by US and British universities. The World University Rankings, produced and published by the Times Higher Education, feature 75 US universities in the top 200. Seven of the top 10 institutions were in the US, with the rest in Britain. For the first time in eight years, Harvard University lost its traditional spot at the top of the list, being replaced by the California Institute of Technology. There are 32 UK universities in the top 200. Oxford was the highest ranked British institution at fourth place, followed by Cambridge in sixth place and Imperial College London taking eighth place. Of those higher education institutions not within the English speaking world, the majority are hosted by either European or Asian countries. The highest ranking university outside of the UK and the US is ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, in 15th position. Asia's top university is the University of Tokyo, weighing in at 30th place. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings assess universities by 13 performance indicators which are grouped into five areas. These five areas include teaching, research, citations, industry income and international
'It's not so difficult as I get to pick the hours I work but it does mean that I need to know in advance if I want to do something over the weekend.'
'As I've worked at Waterstones in the past, they let me return over the Christmas period temporarily, which is great as it doesn't get in the way during term time' Anonymous
Birmingham falls in world league tables Dominic Jackson
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors – Anna Hughes, James Brilliant & Kerrina Gray
outlook. University leaders have generally been sceptical about league tables, although they have become more important in recent years for marketing purposes to counteract the rise in fees. Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of universities said, 'Ranking universities is fraught with difficulties and we have many concerns about their accuracy'. The University of Birmingham features at 148 in the list, slipping three places from last year where it appeared at 145. The rankings place Birmingham in 24th place out of all UK universities in the list – a similar position to where domestic league tables, such as those compiled by The Times and The Guardian, have placed the university in recent years. Commenting on the results, the University of Birmingham issued Redbrick a statement saying: 'The University's Strategic Framework sets out our ambition to become a leading global university by 2015. 'In order to achieve this ambition we are continuing to invest in recruiting world leading academic staff, improving teaching and learning spaces, increasing careers and employability support as well as spending £175m on campus improvements such as a new library and sports facilities. 'As the benefits of these ongoing investments are felt, we are confident they will be reflected in our league table positions'.
Jake, 1st year Psychology
Medic run over and beaten up by unidentified aggressors Edward Gilbert Reporter
A fifth year medical student has said his whole life has been turned ‘upside down’ after being hit by a car of robbers and then beaten by the same people. Chris Holmes, who is 23 and lives in Harborne, was walking home along Lordswood Road at 2.30am in the morning on Sunday September 17th, when three men attempted to attack him. He managed to escape at first by running away from them, but then came to encounter them again on Hamilton
Part of the medical school
Avenue, just a few roads along. At first, he believed the car driving along Hamilton Avenue to be a taxi, and stuck out his arm in order to pull it over. However, the car then mounted the kerb and drove straight into him. Mr Holmes has said that the people in the car then proceeded to beat him ‘relentlessly’, and stole his wallet and phone. He said ‘I tried to get up and run away but my knee gave way under me. They started hitting me and kicking me around the head. I was completely defenceless. They all joined in. It was relentless’
He added ‘They were like animals. It was just mindless violence. There was no need for them, to go that far. It doesn’t make any sense.’ As a result of the incident, the student’s right leg is broken and he has needed surgery. He spent nine days in hospital and he learnt that he will be off his feet for around six weeks. Mr Holmes has said that as a medical student he is only ‘allowed a maximum of three weeks off’, but he will endeavour to attend as many classes and lectures as possible by getting about with crutches.
UCU take industrial action over pension schemes Caroline Mortimer Reporter
The Universities and Colleges Union started its first round of industrial action this week after negotiations about changes to their pension scheme broke down. As well as a protest outside Aston Webb on Wednesday, over the course of the week many UCU members at the University of Birmingham refused to cover some of the lectures of those who were sick or do any unpaid overtime. They are protesting at plans to adjust their pension scheme from being based on final salary to average earnings over the course of their career. They also participated in 'work to rule' action where they will not carry out risk assessments or follow health and safety legislation. Dr Sue Blackwell, one of the Vice Presidents of UCU and a former lecturer in English Literature at the University said, 'Action short of a strike implies that it's less than a strike, but actually it can be more serious because we could boycott
all exam marking, for instance'. She explained that their actions this week, which also included a protest this Wednesday, are the first phase of campaign that will eventually stretch over the entire Autumn term if they cannot reach an agreement with their employers. 'We're planning phased actions for this month and November. We want to give the employers a chance to come back to us but if they don't come back to us by 30th November we will strike'. According to legal precedent, the University is entitled to reject what is deemed 'partial work' and not pay any striking lecturers or academic support staff. Dr Blackwell explained, 'They said they can withdraw 100 per cent of pay for partial work so there is little difference between striking and action short of strike'. She added that it was 'very likely' that UCU would take legal action against any institution that deducted pay from its striking members. They would also consider academic boycotts such as advising members not to apply for
jobs at these institutions or refuse to work as independent invigilators. In addition to the change in
the overall pension scheme, the USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) Board, which manages the pensions of lecturers and academic support staff at all pre 1992 universities such as Birmingham, is also making changes to other parts of the existing pension scheme. 'They are making it easier to make older lecturers redundant, putting a cap on the interest you can acquire on your pension to match inflation and changing the overall interest rate measure from RPI to CPI (a lower figure excluding taxation and housing costs). Dr Blackwell states that unlike public sector pensions, USS is a private scheme, 'USS is not in trouble and these changes are not necessary'. The UCU claims that the USS Board, which includes Vice Chancellor David Eastwood, has not consulted UCU members properly about the changes being made. At the ballot to strike, they had a turnout of 41.7 per cent with 58.6 per cent voting to strike and 76.69 per cent voting for action short of strike. A statement issued by UCU said 'The review of the scheme,
which began over two years ago, has been completed with the full involvement of UCU and in accordance with the scheme rules. Any further discussions about the rules will take place at the JNC (comprising UCU and employer nominees with an independent chairman) in the usual way.' According to Dr Blackwell, there are 'well over' 1000 members of UCU currently working at the university. The University of Birmingham said: ' In managing any industrial action we are particularly concerned to minimize its impact on our students and effects on wider activities and have contingency plans in place to mitigate any impact.' ‘Academic and related staff at the University have no fixed contractual working hours and the duties required of them are broadly defined to encompass a wide range of activities. Therefore the University anticipates that all staff, including those who are UCU members, will continue to work normally in accordance with their contractual obligations.’
14th October 2011
Comment & Features Editorial Ali Hendy
Comment and Features Editor
Can we ever be alone?
Consume, forget, repeat: are we binging on fast-food news?
After a long day existing in society, creating conversation, producing explanations and endless interaction, we all appreciate some time alone. Even the most social creature must admit to occasional cravings for a space to sit in, and shut up, away from the verbal demands of the outside world. But can we ever truly be alone? The contented sigh produced in appreciation of some solitary state is more often accompanied by the 'ping!' or buzz of a smart phone. Email. Twitter. Facebook. BBM. The outside world remains to bombard our tired eyes with luminous, textual chunks.
Without intending to sound misanthropic, there is no way to escape other people: your seminar acquaintance may not be sat beside you in bed (eager Facebook friend request) but his appeal to be reminded of that week's preparation beams instantaneously into your consciousness. We are utterly defenceless against SMS or TCP/ IP. It's enough to force anyone into a hermetic state. The main response to be drawn from the mania produced this week over ongoing BlackBerry network problems must be pity. The sheer panic streaming from Facebook feeds evidenced some feeling that individuals were unable to fulfil their social obligation to be fully contactable all the time. The sentiment of being joined up like paper dolls is rather lovely; yes, we can stay in touch and delegate our emotional baggage out at any moment of the day. But we all intuitively know that this is an unnatural state of being. Atavistically, we seek a long stretch of empty beach (or park, or road, or room.) The problem is that there is no longer a differentiation between time alone and time to be social; the 'outside' world is no longer outside, but exists 24/7 in our pockets, on our phones and on our computer screens. I'm so glad I kept that Nokia 3310 for posterity as I am one SIM-exchange away from preserving my sanity.
Elin Stone Giles Longley-Cook Commentator
When the popular Arab revolutions broke out earlier this year, I was in Peru, about as far away as one could possibly get from the action: but for me and many others across the globe, excitedly following the step-by-step coverage of those remarkable events was easy. Anywhere I could access a rickety computer I would immediately access the BBC website and read front page reports of the people of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen replacing their tyrants with democracy. I watched tensely as the heroic rebels in Libya faced the onslaught of Gaddafi. However, it came as no surprise when events closer to home overshadowed these reports in the media, such as the lavishly crowdpleasing royal wedding or the unprecedented England riots. Once the dust-clouds had settled from these comparatively small stories, I expected the media's focus to shift back to the struggles in the Middle East. But to the dismay of internationalists everywhere, the attention of the news seemed to have shifted permanently away from the Arab spring, even though
it is still far from over, with the Syrian government continuing to ruthlessly crack down on unrest, and the grotesque monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain quashing all opposition. I could not understand how some of this century's most monumental political events had been reduced to second page news, even as they continue to unfold.
to forget them. A recent example of such suspicious manoeuvring was the News of the World hacking scandal. After publicly moralising over the unpleasant activities of their rival, the British media did not consider it worth readdressing after its worthy upstaging by the UK riots. Perhaps breathing a sigh of relief that it could be forgotten before people
While loss of interest in Middle Eastern affairs could be excused due to its great distance from Britain, it does point out what has become a worrying hallmark of modern media in recent years. Monumental issues, both national and global appear to have been brushed aside with such ease that one could be justifiably believe that the media had wanted people
demanded investigations into their methods of collecting information. These tactics, however, are merely a method of exploiting the general cheapening of information which has developed due to the rapid-fire style of rolling news. Without the action-packed photographs and sensationalist headlines it is implied that the issues in the Middle East and elsewhere
have reached some kind of solution and are therefore no longer newsworthy. Of course, this is beneficial to governments and large corporations who would happily deal with the more obstinate dictators in order to get trade flowing again, safe in the knowledge that any outcry has been muted. The saddest part about it is that the dominance of the internet and TV should make it extremely easy to investigate such issues and yet they remain largely ignored. The overload of information we receive in the form of 24 hour rolling news updates on both important and trivial affairs alike has led to a total devaluing of information as a whole. Why should people be especially concerned about the government cuts or floods in Pakistan when a bit of snowfall or the death of a reality TV star receives the same amount of coverage? So in a tragic paradox we find ourselves in an age of limitless potential for popular knowledge but the real truth is still only accessible to few. Once the elite nature of this situation made the disenfranchised majority determined to fight against it, now there is no longer any reason to inquire, as it's so easy just to accept what the headline tells us is true.
14th October 2011
Editors – Amanda Callaghan & Ali Hendy
Comment & Features 7
The trials and tribulations of being a religious fresher Being a student of faith can be confusing and at times challenging but ultimately a very rewarding experience, as one fresher discovers... Veronica Wilson Commentator
Every Sunday night, you disappear out for an hour or two. Flatmates politely ask you where you are going. In that moment you are faced with an internal, moral dilemma. Perhaps it is easier to say that you are just going to meet some 'friends'. The vagueness of your answer wrestles with your conscience and a prickling of guilt stirs inside you. You wonder whether you should have been more honest in your answer. Why are you so embarrassed to divulge your exact whereabouts? Why it is so difficult to admit you are going to church? What is so controversial about being a fresher with faith? As the first few weeks of term slip by, acquaintances you have made develop into friends. You find yourself sharing more of who you are, allowing others to see a real glimpse of yourself. Inevitably a conversation will begin and religion will somehow be mentioned. In my experience this has resulted in people strongly declaring a pledge to atheism and light hearted humour of those who do believe in God. Eventually the attention turns to you, waiting for your nod of the head and chuckle of laughter. As the silence grows longer you mumble something about how, actually, you are religious.
This could be responded to with a series of hasty apologies – no one meant to offend you with their jokes. Or, from others, a barrage of questions such as, 'What's your opinion on abortion, sex before marriage, euthanasia, divorce, swearing, drinking?' For me, faith is very personal. Prayer has granted me serenity in times when I have felt troubled and courage in moments when I have felt overwhelmed. Trying to justify to others your belief is almost impossible. In response to the questions we are asked – for me the answers seem irrelevant. As a 19 year old in the 21st century, my views on what is right and wrong, moral and immoral do not seem to differ majorly from those of any of my peers. Since starting university I have witnessed so many acts of kindness between young adults. In my own halls there is a strong sense of community and people go out of their way to help others. Witnessing this love displayed between the people around me regardless of personal beliefs has highlighted how alike all human beings are. Maybe next time I will be able to openly declare I am going to mass. Hopefully this piece of information will not be met with controversy, but instead with a realisation. Through the help of my
Statement from the UoB Chaplaincy
'All sorts of faith traditions are found on campus, and faith is often put into practice in the home of the Chaplaincy, St Francis Hall. Here, faith groups book rooms for their worship, and individuals come over for a time of prayer and reflection in our quiet space. The Interfaith Association, which every Guild member belongs to, provides a forum for the sharing of ideas and understanding. The chaplains are happy to meet up for a chat with individuals or with groups in a relaxed atmosphere.'
friends around me, I have realised that pretty much all freshers seem to be united in having some sort of ethos of how they want to live their life, even if they don't share the same faith as me. At the end of this
article, perhaps you have found yourself thinking that having a religion does not make you different. In fact, for me, it has made it evident we – regardless of faith – are all strikingly similar.
Anna O'Connor, Catholic Chaplain
chaplaincy@contacts. bham.ac.uk 0121 414 7000
'Romeo, Romeo where for art thou?' Probably still in his PJ's With nearly half of all single adults signed up to internet dating websites, it is no surprise that one in five couples married since 2008 first met their other half online James Dolton Commentator
A plague has recently beset my television. Where once I would receive all manner of advertised services between programmes, one now reigns supreme. You are sure to have seen examples of it: whether its Brown-jacket man and box-fringe girl professing their enjoyment of renowned Mafia films through song or some dweeb with a ukulele making wildly inaccurate guesses about a woman's hair colour and age across a train platform, internet dating is now an inescapable and alarming part of society.
Go to the pub. Take up a sport. Join a society. Spend all hours frequenting the aforementioned coffee shops, libraries and book-stores if you must, but just meet people. I must say straight away that I am aware that internet dating has many success stories. Given the regularity of these adverts, mine might be an unpopular opinion, but I am concerned with the long term effects upon society that a culture of increasing internet dating represents.
We seem to be constantly wanting more for less, and wanting it now. Instead of making your way into town to buy your favourite band's latest album, you can now listen to it online for free perfectly legally on programs such as Spotify or even own it somewhat less legally in minutes. Whilst a summer blockbuster could previously only be enjoyed with exorbitantly priced popcorn in an uncomfortable cinema seat, it can now be streamed directly to your desk. The internet was once used as a metaphorical seedy back alley for those too embarrassed to reach for the top shelf in the newsagents, but it is increasingly becoming the proverbial coffee shop, library or book-store in which to meet a future flame. Whilst I appreciate that many struggle to strike up conversation with whomever they would've been visiting such venues to ogle, our species seems to be thriving. The web being used so blatantly as a get-out clause for utilising basic social skills makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable. One must question 'what next'? Will dads who feel ill at ease around their children begin to exchange their first words with their infants via a message board? As well as imagining the possible future consequences, there are clearly current issues more serious and concerning than my television being populated with inane singing. As anyone who has idly wasted hours on Chatroulette or Omegle , holding conversations with Darth Vader, the Queen or (my personal favourite) 'The Ghost of Shakespeare' will attest to, the internet is
a very easy place to play at being something you are not. The case of Ashleigh Hall, occurring only last March, is a forceful reminder of this. This seventeen year old, 'giddy with excitement' at being asked on a date by a 'dreamy' nineteen year old boy she had met online, was instead picked up by Peter Chapman, a 33 year old who was eventually given a life sentence for committing her murder. Furthermore, can the despicable scenes seen this summer on the streets of our cities be linked to the escalating sense of entitlement that people feel when they see something they want and don't have the ambition and gumption to go out and work for it? We may not inhabit the generation who most regularly utilise internet dating, but it is an already huge and growing industry that I am sure will rush to envelop us as quickly as we age to meet it. The motto I hope to stick with, should I find myself tempted by internet dating's vacuous adverts is thus: Go to the pub. Take up a sport. Join a society. Spend all hours frequenting the aforementioned coffee shops, libraries and bookstores if you must, but just meet people. It may be altogether easier to sit at your desk in your dressinggown and nonchalantly scroll through your prospective partners 'matched on the deepest level of compatibility!' (or 'your taste in films and music!' as it should more truthfully be known) but it is surely far more satisfying to conquer the challenge all by yourself. Just remember: if your parents managed it, you can too.
8 Comment & Features
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
A 'renaissance' of the traditional British holiday Commentator
by James Dolton
holidaymakers who go in search of 2p slot machines or an offensively easy and passionate fumble. The reality is you will not find any of this tacky charm anywhere on the continent and there are very few places on this earth which offer so many opportunities to misbehave. If I haven't convinced you to go already, then non-seafront B&B accommodation starts at around ÂŁ12 per night. Blackpool's existence really is testament to the fact you can be broke and still have a riot. Anywhere that has a club night called C.U.N.T. is surely worth a visit? I am, of course, talking of Brighton, where distinguishing be-
tween a hedonist and a lunatic is rather hard. Amongst the beautifully preserved Lanes is a paradise for liberals and vegetarians which is impossible to resist. Even if you are of neither persuasion the bohemian atmosphere of Brighton makes it unavoidable to join in. Brighton is a contrast to Blackpool in the fact that it is sophisticated nonconformist as opposed to traditional Northern piss-up. Regardless, Brighton is also key to the British seaside renaissance as if you go there you are positively hipster. Whether it be the limited number of chain-stores or abundance
of executive sex shops, Brighton is as trashy as it is decadent making it the ideal British holiday destination. In conclusion I suppose what you just read is a very brief overview as to why the British seaside is witnessing a comeback greater than when Cher re-released 'Believe.' I have been very kind to you, dear reader, and thrown in two case studies so that you understand why you should be part of the rediscovery of Britain's seasides as a viable alternative to that high caron emission, non-chic holiday you were about to take on the continent.
'What' in a name?' A question of identity Sarah Cozens Commentator
So, it is common knowledge that the celebrities of our day tend to choose names for their babies that most of us would run a mile from. It is almost as though they are in competition with each other, fighting for the top spot of 'Most Ridiculous Name.' I assume that most people would agree with me when I say that an apple is the refreshing fruit picked from a tree, and not a word that would be deemed appropriate for a baby name. However, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were clearly not in agreement with this. It seems that the rich and the famous need yet another reason for people to talk about them, by creating these outlandish names. Take Katie Price and Peter Andre for instance, naming their daughter Princess Tiaamii. Although the latter part is a combination of their respective mothers names, is the Princess part completely necessary? Is it possible that the name we are each given at birth will affect our future? If our parents decide to call us a certain name, would that be the reason we end up in a cer-
How do you solve a problem like... Running
Decay, decline and excrement on the beach are just three of the characteristics associated with a traditional British seaside holiday. Three years ago in Blackpool I took a wrong turn after a night out and saw a pensioner performing acts of a sexual nature on a young gentleman down a side street. Despite this, it looks as though British holidays, by the sea, are in grave danger of becoming 'cool.' Everybody loves a good recession. It brings us all together and makes eating out of bins socially acceptable. Subsequently, it has done wonders for the British seaside. Swathes of tourists, who previously have gone to all-inclusive resorts in Spain, are now forced to have a British holiday and visit the fading resorts this country has to offer. However, this should not be looked at with sorrow for if you choose this option then you are in fact very trendy. That's right: financial limitations are in vogue â€“ think of it then as poverty chic. This is because, despite the shabbiness of many of this country's great resorts, you are actually saving a lot of carbons by refusing to fly and unintentionally boycotting the continent. The aforementioned resort of Blackpool is where 'us Northerners' go for a 'right good time.' I shall let you decide exactly what that means, whether it be fornication or waking up in your own sick, there is no denying Blackpool leads the North in the renaissance of the seaside. Yes, you hear rumours of kiddies digging up bits of raw sewage on the beach, and yes some of the people that you meet on a night out might be prone to a violent altercation. However, there is no denying that this place really has something, whether it be the Kiss Me Quick hats or the fact that it is easy to pull in broad daylight. Blackpool is thriving off British
Editors â€“ Amanda Callaghan & Ali Hendy
tain career path, and had they not called us this, then would we have ended up doing something completely different? To some people, a name is a name, and there is no way it could affect what job, or what kind of a person the individual will be in
the future. However, for others, a name could be something that is characteristic of the person they believe their baby will grow up to be. Some people say that it is not until they have seen their baby that they can decide what name they
will give them. I can see how this could be true. You come across people in life who either just don't seem to match up to their name, or their name doesn't seem to match up to their personality. My name is Sarah, a very standard name. In fact, so standard that I am living in a house of four, and three of us are called Sarah. But, I must be honest, I do not feel as though my name has had any affect on what I want to do in the future. However, I do believe, had my parents decided to call me Bluebell Madonna, as Geri Halliwell named her daughter, or something similar, I may have been affected by this name in other ways. The main being, I may have been on the receiving end of a few 'funny remarks' throughout my school years. On the whole, I believe a name is simply a word that we use to associate people from other people. It is a way of differentiating between friends, and is simply a way of getting the attention of the people we want the attention of. I do not believe that a name is life-changing, but it is our individual identity, and lets face it, who would want to be without one, however ridiculous it is?
The first few hectic weeks of Freshers are over, and the time has come to return to some semblance of normality: eating during daylight hours, getting up before noon and not drinking at least your age in units every night. Regrettably, that also means addressing the rapidly expanding problem around your stomach that those weeks of fast food and frivolity created or exacerbated. This means taking on the metaphorical 'marmite' of physical activities: running. To some people, running is as easy (and painless) as breathing. They glide effortlessly over mile after mile, barely breaking sweat, arms and legs in perfect perpetual motion. However for many, many others, it is not. Running alone is the first port of call for such people: after all, this means that your secret lack of fitness can remain firmly secret. Unfortunately, the trouble with running alone is that if you don't get into it (and don't go very fast) it can swiftly become very boring and often humiliating as you find yourself jogging 'at your own pace' being overtaken by other, far fitter runners, fast walkers, slow walkers, dogs, small children and eventually by stationary objects. If running on your own is dull and you need the extra drive to speed up, why not try jogging with friends? I myself tried this just 'Harry Potter and the last week. is the operative Age'Tried' of Illusion' coinword, because 'with' implies that I cides with the current was actually beside them instead governmental stew and of lying, wheezing like an asthmedia finger-pointing matic hippo with cheese-grater over declining lungs and a heart the verge of standards inonUniversity combustion after the first couple education, and the of resultant miles, whilst denunciation they effortlessly strode onof in their bloodyMouse' perfect 'Mickey perpetual motion. modules It isn't that I'm 'anti-exercise', it's just that running itself seems so inherently pointless. You rarely go anywhere of consequence and have no time to appreciate the places anyway through your sweaty stupor. Indeed, with the advent of treadmills, we can now exhaust ourselves dashing for miles without actually moving an inch. I'll bite the proverbial bullet and the literal celery stick: I'll even lay off the sauce for a few evenings. But please, please, keep the Lycra and the spikes away. Life is too short to spend prolonging it.
14th October 2011
Editors – Amanda Callaghan & Ali Hendy
Comment & Features 9
We must continue to evaluate and question the NHS Shahin Ghezelayagh Commentator
Asking a typical student for their thoughts about the Government's time in Parliament can often feel like an exercise in futility, especially when the answer almost wholly revolves around tuition fees and Lib Dem bashing. This reveals a wider problem faced by students, and indeed the public when commenting on political events: we are too easily distracted by the policies that impact only ourselves to see what will affect society the most as a whole. We tend to blind ourselves to the wide healthcare reforms that threaten to revolutionise the National Health Service, and not necessarily for the better. While only the staunchest Socialist could argue that facing an aging population the NHS doesn't need an injection of efficiency and reform, only the most determined Conservative could excuse conducting this restructuring at a time when austerity is the word in Government. One question however has been sadly missing from the debate, no matter how many times the Bill is paused 'for reflection' and rewritten: what should the NHS look like in five years time? This is to say which healthcare model is accessible to all, affordable to all and copes efficiently with the issues surrounding an aging population and rising occurrences of preventable diseases, such as Heart Disease and Diabetes? Do other healthcare models, Transatlantic or European, hold any of the answers? To consider an alternative for a moment: America clearly demonstrates the dangers of uncontrolled privatisation. Public intervention through Medicare and Medicaid accounts only for around
26 per cent of the population. With its population of around 300 million, over 15 per cent of which are uninsured, healthcare in America is often held up as an example of what not to do. It's public plans
ing that a comparison between the UK and America is a bit unfair considering the differences in size, both in terms of population and economy. The contrast with France is
ment, however France still lags far behind the USA in terms of private investment. France achieves all this through a Social Insurance System where all legal residents are covered by public health insur-
treatment and are reimbursed through their insurance scheme: usually 70 per cent for an ordinary condition and 100 per cent for a very expensive or chronic one. The French person chooses the practise or doctor they visit and so this competition drives prices down and standards up. For this reason I would say that the NHS suffers from a lack of competition – grossly apparent in its administrative costs and expensive IT schemes and delays. To cope with the costs that will simply continue to increase exponentially with modern day disease and old age some further private sector contribution is necessary. Otherwise, to maintain standards as they are, the biggest tax burden that the UK faces will only continue to increase. An efficient healthcare system is paramount in society and if the NHS has to be changed, I would hope that cross party debates would occur and importantly, we would look to France, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries for inspiration.
UK population percentage covered by private healthcare are already unaffordable and huge state to state, rural to urban and ethnic discrimination rampant. The country spends around £4644 per person on healthcare but this does not seem to materialise into success. To compare to UK figures, a much lower £1,861 is spent per person but with only 7/10 of the American infant mortality rates. However it is worth mention-
much more accurate, given how France is only slightly smaller on the GDP rankings quoted earlier and how it is also a member of the European Union. France performs better than the UK with approximately 8/10 of the infant mortality rates at an expense of another £328 per capita. A larger share of this expenditure stems from private invest-
ance funded by contributions from businesses and the people they employ. This means that everyone is legally is covered by some sort of health insurance, but the majority also subscribe to private insurance to cover other eventualities. This insurance does not make healthcare free at the point of use, in fact the French pay the full cost of their
18th The WHO ranking of the British health care system out of 121
Don't shoot the messenger: the decline of print journalism Joe McKivitt Commentator
It would be wrong of me to begin this article with the assumption that you hold a paper issue of Redbrick in your hands. The reason why is obvious: Redbrick is also available online. In the UK, television's digital switchover is due to be completed in 2012. The switchover from print to online journalism may not be far behind. Naturally, as an 18-year-old in the 21st century, I very rarely buy an actual newspaper since the majority of stories I read are available on the internet. It seems somewhat ironic that every newspaper around has some form of online presence, speeding up the inevitable process of transition from print to screen. The subscription website for The Times newspaper even offers deals that exclude its printed paper; £2 per week for their 'Digital Pack'. James Harding, the editor of The Times, stated his belief at the Leveson inquiry seminar last week that 'the iPad [has] transformed journalism'. This offer from The Times includes iPhone and iPad applications, as well as a subscription to their normal website content, and in this way consumers of digital media are actually being encouraged to use technology, rather than the corner shop, to gain ac-
cess to news. Apps and newspaper websites certainly bring some major benefits. For instance, as the sleepdeprived, alcohol-fuelled student I am, having just survived my first Freshers' week, apps on my phone allow me to catch up with the news stories I somehow managed to miss, from the comfort of my own bed. Having stories posted online also allows newspapers to feature a higher number of articles, enabling them to cater for the various needs of the whole country. Thus, in my opinion, it is no wonder people prefer to use the web rather than buy a paper. As well as being cheaper and more environmentally friendly, the internet allows news to be delivered in ways that newspapers cannot. RSS feeds, which apparently stands for Really Simple Syndication, remain constantly updated with headlines and blog updates from a huge number of sources. A large criticism of print in the fast paced news environment of today is that it's never truly up-to-date, since only one version can be produced per day; whereas, it seems that certain celebrity figures can achieve a variety of ridiculous headlines per day. RSS feeds have evolved into services such as Google Reader, which allows you to add blogs and websites you would usually visit in turn to access news items, on one
single page. In our contemporary, social media orientated world, news travels fast. Newspapers, it seems, are barely coping with the strain placed upon them by the constant updating of sites such as Twitter. And this is at a time when only the privileged few have iPads. Imagine, in five to ten years time, when the majority of people could have iPads or other tablet computers. I believe this will happen, since increased competition in the market will knock their prices downwards and, with the planned introduction of apps that, for example, allow you to control your home's energy usage from anywhere in the world, tablets and smartphones will become a functional necessity. If newspapers are struggling to survive now, how can they possibly keep going when the entire population wants to remain continuously up-to-date and, more importantly, is able to. The result of newspapers dying out will be very saddening, but not catastrophic. It could help propel us into a new age of technology, faster and greener than the world as we know it. Not everyone will agree with me I'm sure, but personally I'm excited by the prospect, in terms of what it could mean for our technological evolution. Let's face it, paper is outdated. Don't shoot the messenger.
14th October 2011
'In an age of PR and sales, a time when we're conditioned to take sides, form snap judgements and feel superior (because advertising is flattery, when it isn't making you feel insecure enough to need flattering), when disagreement between false factions is exaggerated by partisanship and blind loyalty, we need the subtlety, the thoughtfulness and the difficulty of poetry more than ever.' Luke Kennard
Jan Watts: The City's New Poet Laureate
Birmingham Book Festival Bethany Wells & Bhvishya Patel Critics
On the evening of 6th October, the delicious Yumm Café located in The Custard Factory played host to the launch party of Birmingham's book festival and the live announcement of 2011's Poet Laureate. For the past 15 years, Birmingham has encouraged and supported poetry by appointing the honorary position of Poet Laureate for the city. The Poet Laureate award supports a poet for a year, connecting
them with the writing community and encouraging them to generate opportunities for themselves. Last year's winner Roy McFarlane was there to hand over his title and congratulate the winner. Over the past year, McFarlane has travelled around Europe on a poetry tour performing his work. Not only did he perform past pieces, but he gained inspiration for future pieces. Whilst in Amsterdam, McFarlane comically told the audience how he found there were more bikes than citizens and it was this that inspired the piece 'Bikes,
bikes everywhere'. McFarlane, clearly a born performer, stole the room with his animated and enthusiastic readings. The evening also saw this year's candidates for the title perform. The audience were pleasantly entertained as Jan Watts, Marcia Calame, Gary Longden and Jo Skelt all shared their poetry. Despite all the candidates performing to a high standard there could only be one winner. Jan Watts secured the title with her hilarious and quirky piece on produce shelf life. Watts, who is a
poet, playwright and presenter of The Crumble on Rhubarb Radio, was thoroughly delighted with her win. When asked where inspiration came from, she simply answered that she doesn't have any: she just lives life. Also gracing the event was performance poet Matt Harvey. Harvey was titled the official Wimbledon Championship Poet 2010 and effortlessly amused the audience with one of his creative tennis poems, amongst other performances. Throughout the evening many
Student Poetry Exclusive As anyone who attended the excellent Writers Bloc 'Loot' event at the Bristol Pear last Wednesday can testify to, there is a veritable wealth of poetic talent residing within the University of Birmingham. With the refreshingly diverse range of themes and styles permeating the minds of the audience, the bar was set and maintained unwaveringly high. However, just in case you were unfortunate enough to miss it, Redbrick Arts tracked down a few of the best poets around campus, some kept their tongues firmly in their cheeks and others gave us a glimpse of their soul.
instructions make me suspicious. Eva Hibbs Looking Back I fell out of love with you because of the chickens. A toppled truck. Half in the left lane, Half in the ditch. It was early in the morning, A little over the limit.
You wouldn't stop, Laughed when we hit the bumps.
Her bed clothes weigh a ton – heavy nights and heavy mornings seep through the fabric, pinning her down, smelling faintly of red wine and tears and cigarette smoke. Stains and quilted patterns interplay; mahogany dots meet patchwork lines in designs that preserve years of her life. Layer upon layer of it.
Remember that...? Feathers everywhere on the A34.
And the duvet? the woman in the dry cleaners said. Everything. I said, without hesitation, and shook the ache in my arms from the journey. Mum's Cooking vs. Ikea Mum's started cooking this stuff, which doesn't taste like mum's cooking to us at all. It tastes like tea at a friend's and I feel I've betrayed her 'til I remember I ate at our kitchen table. I'd be lying if I pretended it wasn't delicious, but strange. The Swedish
And you laughing. Danny Murphy I cannot be bothered with poetry, I cannot be arsed with prose; to discuss the beauty in a starlit night or the fragrance of a rose. But as my brain begins to tire, and my wit is wasted to old age, I find a deep set inner fire and put my pen to pagebut it's clear enough to see, that a simple lad like me, should not attempt highbrow contempt or verseful vanity. So I'll avoid the clichéd crime of woeful teenage rhyme and tell you all that what poets do
thanks were made to Birmingham libraries and their role in supporting and funding the Poet Laureate scheme. If you are a budding poet and wanting to share your writings the Poet Laureate, the applications for 2012 are now open. If you haven't already, go and check out the rest of Birmingham Book Festival events found in nooks and crannies throughout the city, which are running until the 16th October- a fantastic and often free way to be inspired and get your creative juices flowing.
Meet The Publishers is a bloody waste of time! Giles Longley-Cook Dear Sigmund My dear Sigmund The powder is caught in your beard White and fuzzy And we both adore its wonder Upon our bodies Everything seemed so simple When it begun For heaven can cost a great deal To body and funds Who whine pathetically at us Killing our fun The elixir can drown them out But for how long? Tom Matthews Horizontals and Borders Let's say the world was a 2D pad, And you drew us skylines as I watched and sat, And marvelled at our brand new world You etched in margins with sweet precision. And you drew us picture perfect friends So we wouldn't grow bored and break again. And all was well in our college rule, An etch-a-sketch reality. What if you slipped, and spilled your drink, And drenched our land in black caffeine? And all our world was drowning. Would you draw me bubbles so I could breathe? Or colour fauna in the very least? And if I got erased, would you still love me? Or would you just draw yourself another He? The next Writers Bloc event is the 14th October at 7.30pm in the Beorma Bar.
Nine Arches Press and Flarestack Poets are two of the most prevalent forces of creativity in Birmingham and have an acclaimed reputation for publishing some of the most cutting edge and innovative poetry that extends far beyond the city's boundaries. Ahead of their talk at the Ikon gallery, as part of the Birmingham Book Festival, Redbrick Arts speak to Jane Commane, one of the creative visionaries behind Nine Arches, about how she got into the field, and about the remaining importance of poetry. Commane describes the conception of the publishing house just over three years ago as stemming from 'an awareness that there were many talented poets in the Midlands region who were not getting to audiences or receiving publication. We started Under the Radar magazine as a platform for new writing, and soon we moved into pamphlets and full collections from poets, many of whom are based nationwide'. In response to the often cited 'irrelevancy' of poetry to a modern audience, the company has a focus on creating new audiences because Commane and Nine Arches inherently believe 'poetry still matters as long as poets have interesting things to say and audiences who want to hear it. You can't have one without the other'. To find out more, you can follow them on twitter: @NineArchesPress
Autumn Glory at The Hippodrome
Legally Blonde at The Alexandra Alice Young & Sophie Rogers Critics
Charlotte Wise Critic
Birmingham Royal Ballet's current production Autumn Glory not only challenges, but conquers the modern blinkered view of an 'antiquated ballet' in a typically David and Goliath fashion. Perhaps what makes the show so interesting is that it is a varied and pleasing triad of very different ballets, offering new perspectives into the world of ballet itself. Despite having premiered in 1937, the opening ballet Checkmate remains a modern, interpretative representation of the inevitable corollary between love and death, played out through a game of chess. Both the choreography and costume are incredibly effective in their simplicity – as one may expect from Royal Ballet founder Ninette De Valois. Symphonic Variations is a more traditional ballet. Comprising of only six dancers, the show – if not the evening – was stolen by male lead Nao Sakuma, whose perfectly executed movements held the audience captive. Despite the Grecian costume, the feel of the piece is irrefutably British and, unusually for a profession so concerned with movement, centered
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors – Alexander Blanchard & Lexie Wilson
on stillness – with the result serene and unreservedly beautiful. In stark contrast to the previous pieces, the BRB's final offering was Pineapple Poll, where the two seemingly incompatible worlds of ballet and comedy are used in harmony to provide a lively and expressive piece. Set to the unmistakable music of Gilbert & Sullivan and with the kind of slapstick humour more customary in a Carry On film than a ballet, it is an undeniably enjoyable conclusion to the evening. However, the claim made by one commentator that it is 'likely to be the most successful ballet ever created for the company' must be opposed. Lacking both the modernity and the emotional conviction of the previous two acts, it left the audience feeling as though they were sitting through a muted and rather tawdry Broadway musical. Birmingham Royal Ballet's mission statement includes a promise towards helping increase the: 'understanding of the cultural and social importance of the arts.' Despite the anticlimax of the anticipated grand finale, Autumn Glory is testimony to this promise.
OMIGOD, omigod you guys! Legally Blonde the Musical is like, totally touring the country tackling some of the most awesomely important questions, like, ever! How do you execute the perfect 'bend and snap'? Can navy really be the new pink? And, crucial to the solving of any violent murder, is the pool boy gay or European? For the benefit of anyone who lives in a cave, Legally Blonde the Musical is the stage adaptation of the box office smash Legally Blonde, which follows Elle Woods in her transformation from sassy sorority president to Harvard Law student extraordinaire: 'what', she says, ' like it's hard?' The show manages to strike the perfect balance between fabulously flamboyant and purely preposterous (just!) by remaining firmly tongue in cheek. The cast fully embraces this overwhelming
over-everything-ness with a figuratively raised eyebrow. During her somewhat inexplicable ballad about Irish men, Paulette, portrayed expertly dizzily by Claire Sweeney, sang 'I think I've taken this metaphor too far' to hoots of laughter and applause. And there was no shortage of whooping and whistling for the rest of the cast. A particular audience favourite was undoubtedly the 'UPS guy', a hunk in short shorts who sashayed around the stage to his signature sexy music, grappling with his enormous package. And the dogs! Squeals erupted from the audience every time one of the extremely well behaved dogs graced the stage. After all, who can resist a puppy in a purse? With vivacious musical numbers jumping from reggae beats to Irish jigs to aerobic work-outs, it is near impossible for even the grouchiest theatregoer to leave this show without a grin on their face. It is certainly clear why O'Keefe and Benjamin's reworking has been met with such high acclaim; the current touring company brings an excellent, energetic show with Faye Brookes putting in a faultless performance as the effervescent Elle Woods. 'Snaps' for Legally Blonde! Like, totally.
All in Order, with Exceptions at Ikon Gallery
Sivan Lavie Critic
All in Order, with Exceptions is a new exhibition at the Ikon Gallery displaying an array of work from Bulgarian artist, Nedko Solakov. Though his work is praised worldwide, this is his first big exhibition in the UK. Solakov is an imaginative character who presents human temper-
ament as it is in reality: with a concoction of melodrama, bitterness, happiness, fear and a dry sense of humour. All of this can be seen in his oil paintings, installations, and very original ink drawings. A lot of his work is accompanied by short stories, which invite the observer both to think and to smirk back at the nonsense of the artist, who, for example, drew a large fruit-fly, and alongside it
portrayed the tragic predicament of eating human faeces yet wanting to keep the pearly-white wings clean and pure. In many of his paintings, thus, he reflects this idea of fear and the attempt to overcome it. On a different spectrum, his ink illustrations are incredibly amusing and beautifully simple. He draws tiny people – perhaps like insignificant specks or ants in the huge world – paired with short stories, lasting a line or two, which are very precise and humorous, and sometimes slightly vulgar. For example, one 'doodle', part of the Fear series, depicts a tiny man (no more than a simplistic stick-figure) walking and being closely followed by the grim reaper. The line below reading 'Death is following a man. He knows about her but keeps
walking (not running)'. With ink, a pen, graphite, charcoal and oil paint, the artist paints an intriguing picture of the human condition, with titles such as 'My Conscience Tormenting Me' and 'The Profound Thoughts in the Philosopher's Head'. Any pensive person might immediately connect with his work, for example, the former mentioned depicting a lonely figure sitting awake in a gloomy dormitory whilst several others are cosily tucked away and dozing off, their pleasant dreams filling the room with imaginary figures dancing on the ceiling, painted in the style of Chagall. Solakov is an artist that depicts his own thoughts and ideas, however trivial; his ideas come across bluntly and with a smirk from the viewer.
A Brush with the East at The Barber Institute
Charlotte Bagwell Critic
A Brush with the East is, on first sight, a deceptive title for the McGowan exhibition at the Barber Institute. Originally expecting delicate oriental calligraphy, the audi-
ence is confronted with abstracted, acrylic on canvas works, inspired by Mountainous Landscape, a 14th century design by Chinese artist Sheng Mou. Rethinking the title, there is the realisation that the word 'Brush' is an important component of this exhibition. The thick brushstrokes seem like a departure from the eastern style it is compared with. The swift brushstrokes and muted colours, used in eastern calligraphy, can be seen in McGowan's work, yet there is a contrast with the thickness of the paint. The fineness of the wash in some pieces highlights that the exhibition is not solely about McGowan's experi-
ment in brushstrokes. The Frith pieces appear to have a lightness that connects to Mou's Mountainous Landscape. The introduction to the exhibition gives a substantial amount of information, however the layout of the display could be perfected. Mountainous Landscape, the inspiration for the exhibition, is not placed in the exhibition room, but in a separate space. Having the influence for the exhibition in the space, would arguably aid the exhibition. The organisation of the pieces could also be subject to rearrangement. The viewer is encouraged to study McGowan's work in a certain order, with the
Frith I-IV designs, the works most closely linked to oriental art, being viewed last. Putting these pieces first would ease the viewer into the rest of the exhibition. Saying this, the exhibition has a contemplative air that may be needed in the frenzied atmosphere coming with the start of a new term. The muted colours and abstract shapes are interesting to examine, while the lack of information about individual works intend to encourage the viewer to think about the meaning and other influences for the work. Overall, while there are some imperfections to the exhibition, this is a thought provoking and calming display.
BSA presents: A Woman of No Importance The Crescent Theatre 14th & 15th October £2.50
Othello The Drum
14th & 15th October £9
Tony Harrison: Selected Works Hall 6, ICC 15h October £6
REP: Butcher and In Extremis Old Rep Theatre 16th October £9
Stephen Merchant Symphony Hall 17th & 18th October £25
14th October 2011
Listen to Redbrick Technology's new podcast www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/category/technology
Amazon does an Apple Dor Vago Writer
When launching the iPad, Apple attempted to create a brand new category of devices that were more about consuming than creating content. The iPad was not going to replace the old, dependable desktop or laptop. Instead it was designed to be a device that is simpler, more focused and catered for the mainstream user. To create the iPad, Apple removed most of the functionality of a regular computer and gave us a mobile and relatively cheap device, focused on entertainment. The iPad excelled at tasks such as browsing the web, watching videos or just playing one of the thousands of games in their App Store. And people loved it. On Wednesday the 28th of September, Amazon (to coin an Apple slogan) 'Changed everything, again'. The Amazon Kindle was, 'til that day, a dedicated eBook reader with a black and white E Ink screen that resembled real printed paper. It was, and still is, adored by many an indecisive pool-side vacationer, keen to delve into the endless lists
of engrossing thrillers or be swept away by thousands of romantic tales, simply by carrying one miniature device. On the 28th of September, the Kindle grew up. It became a fully touch-screen, multi-colour entertainment goliath. The Kindle Fire is based on the Android operating system and links directly into all of Amazon's services, giving it access to the thousands of popular books, magazines and newspapers that Amazon provides as well as millions of songs, films and TV shows that are stored online and downloaded (for a cost) to a consumer's device. In addition to packing an
Kindle Fire has potentially pulled the rug from beneath the iPad revealing an early grave.
impressive internet browser, Amazon has not forgotten about the best part of owning a tablet – the apps. Kindle Fire owners will be able to indulge in a quick game of Fruit Ninja in the knowledge that they are getting secure apps thanks to Amazon's dedicated Appstore. Amazon has done an Apple! They have managed to further distil the iPad's functions and even improved on its mobility by reducing the screen size to a snuggable 7 inches. Doing this, Amazon have moulded the Kindle Fire into the ultimate entertainment device doing to the iPad exactly what it did to the traditional PC. More importantly, Amazon achieved all this at an astonishing $199 (roughly £150) price point. At this price and coupled with these great services the Kindle Fire is not just a true competitor to the iPad, but a device that has potentially pulled the rug from underneath the iPad, revealing an early grave. The Kindle Fire is currently only available to pre-order in the US and will launch there on November the 15th, with no details on a UK release.
Contre Jour Tom Rich Reviewer
Apple devices were once places games went to shrivel and die. Nowadays iOS devices are the young revolutionaries of gaming. The App Store has overthrown the old bureaucracy of publishing and allowing any developer with an idea to test its buoyancy on the market. One such game, Contre Jour, has floated to the top for its chippy, minimal aesthetic and polished gameplay. The player must guide Petit – a cute Cyclops with an infectious giggle – through physics-based puzzles that challenge the player's dexterity and problem solving. There is a pleasing openness in the way you can interpret each level. Devising creative solutions to abstract puzzles is both the goal and reward. However, scratch beneath the surface and Contre Jour is highly derivative. The cartoon style noir apes the hugely distinctive Limbo and much of the physics feels copied from World of Goo. Most notably the addictive level structure is right out of Angry Birds. This isn't a criticism. Games aren't about pure innovation, but about refinement and modernisation. Nobly, Contre Jour does this by bringing many great ideas together in one place. The game's design is near perfect if not completely original. Contre Jour is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
Correction In the issue of Redbrick published on 07/10/2011 an article appeared titled Apple press conference reveals new iPhone 4s. This was mistakenly credited to Joshua Lindsey. The article was in fact written by Sam Atkins and Dor Vago
Steve Jobs 1955-2011 Redbrick looks back at the key events in his extraordinary life Joshua Lindsey Technology Editor
Steve Jobs' biological parents were young graduate students who weren't married, and Jobs was put up for adoption. Jobs spent six months at Reed College before dropping out. Jobs founded Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak who later designed the Apple II. It went on to be one of the most successful computers. Jobs famously pursuaded Sculley to work for apple by saying 'Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?' Jobs was fired from his own company for being a liability for his extreme views. After being fired from Apple, Jobs founded NeXT computer. NeXT developed the first version of the operating system that would become OS X.
The 'FIFA effect' Dan Lesser Writer
FIFA 12; F1 2011; Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. All of these sports games are this year's installment of their respective series. Each claims to be an entirely new game, with revolutionary features that set them apart from their older siblings. In reality, annual releases such as these tend to be evolutionary, not revolutionary. They are not all new games. Despite this, people exhibit what we at Redbrick Tech like to call the 'FIFA effect': shelling out a full £30 for what is essentially a glorified expansion pack to a game they already own. Almost everyone has experienced the 'FIFA effect' at some point in their lives. Many people who have bought FIFA 12, with its all new impact engine, tactical defending, and precision dribbling, also owned FIFA 11, which was a superb game without these additions. The career mode has been changed and the AI has been improved, but at the end of the day you're still playing a virtual game of football. The game is an upgrade, not an entirely new game. The only reason it isn't sold as an expansion pack is because EA
know that people will buy it for full price as a whole new game. F1 2011 is a prime example of the 'FIFA effect'. It includes all the new gear from the 2011 season, like KERS and DRS, and it includes the safety car for the first time in an F1 game. The cars feel heavier, as they should do, and the AI is more realistic. It is a brilliant game, an improvement on F1 2010 in pretty much every single way. But you can't shake the feeling that it's almost the same amount of fun as F1 2010. It's an evolution of F1 2010, not a whole new game. Some people might think that the 'FIFA effect' extends to new releases of shooters, such as the upcoming Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. But these games have a story-driven single player mode that sports games don't. More importantly though, the multiplayer mode in these games is significantly different to their predecessors. Modern Warfare 3 will feature massive changes to its 'killstreaks' and ranking systems, while Battlefield 3's multiplayer has also been overhauled. Both games will feature entirely new maps and weapons not seen in previous installments. They are totally new games. As such, it would not be an example of the 'FIFA effect' if someone who
owned Modern Warfare 2 were to purchase Modern Warfare 3. The 'FIFA effect' also extends to console purchases. For example, the Nintendo DS Lite was basically a smaller, rehashed version of the original DS. There were no real hardware improvements. It was just lighter and more compact, with a better backlight. Anyone who upgraded from a DS to a DS Lite succumbed to the 'FIFA effect': shelling out a lot of money for a glorified improvement, not an entirely new console. Some people like to think that they're resistant to the 'FIFA effect'. They aren't. Once all of your friends own FIFA 12, and boast about its glorious new features, you'll soon be feeling left out with your copy of FIFA 11. Eventually, peer pressure and the 'FIFA effect' will combine. You'll cave and trade your hard earned cash for a few new features and a slightly higher number on the cover. That's just the way it works and things don't look like they'll be changing any time soon.
Disagree with Dan? Join the debate on Twitter. Search for @redbricktech
Whilst working at NeXT, Jobs also founded Pixar. Disney later bought Pixar making Jobs a majority shareholder at the film giant. Jobs was made chief excecutive at Apple again. a year before NeXT was bought by apple for $429 million making Jobs the defacto chief. As soon as he was back Jobs began working to bring Apple back to profitability. Apple creates the iPod.The magically minimalist design shocked the world. Within a few years the iPod and iTunes revolutionised the music industry. Apple introduces the iPhone, which had a similarly disruptive effect on the mobile phone market. Apple briefly becomes the world's most profitable company with its range of computers, music players, phones and tablets. Steve Jobs tragically dies of respiratory arrest after suffering with pancreatic cancer for seven years.
R E B M E V NO 0 1 Y A THURSD TH
With 80 ele cted stude nt representa tives mee ting five tim each yea es r, Guild Co u n democrat cil is the ic voice o f Students University at the of Birming h a m. Throug Guild Cou h ncil, stude n t s University at the of Birming ham decid policy of t e the he Guild a n d ensure it working fo ’s r its memb ers.
What’s Guild Council Done for You? Action on Access - The Guild will ensure that widening participation remains a priority for the University of Birmingham and that all students have access to university education. Mobility and Access for Disabled Students - The Guild will establish a Mobility and Access Policy working group, to monitor access to the Guild and its events, and ensure all disabled facilities are working correctly, and accessible. Birmingham Uni Students say NO the Cuts and Higher Fees - The Guild of Students will continue to fight locally and nationally against further cuts to the education sector and against the implementation of higher student fees.
Now What Can You Do? The Guild of Students supports a huge range of issues and campaigns across campus. To view the Guild’s Beliefs and Commitments on a range of issues affecting your student experience, please visit guildofstudents.com As a member of the Guild, you have the power to propose any changes or additions to our Beliefs and Commitments document.
So.... What do you want to change? To have your say on how the Guild is run all you need to do is submit a motion. The new template for motions can be found at guildofstudents.com in the Your Voice section.
ALL MOTIONS NEED TO BE RECEIVED BY 10AM ON THURSDAY 20TH OCTOBER. Please email all completed motions to
14th October 2011
Russell Webb reviews the latest episode of Harry Hill's TV Burp Read more on www.redbrickpaper.co.uk
Mr. Drew speaks out about Educating Essex Charlotte Lytton Television Editor
Fly on the wall documentary series Educating Essex has taken the country by storm since it began several weeks ago. A ratings hit since its debut, the show follows a number of students at Passmores Academy in Chelmsford as they prepare to take their GCSE exams. Straight-talking deputy head Mr. Stephen Drew has become an unlikely celebrity since the first episode aired and is now nationally renowned for his penchant for tucked in school shirts and a love of teaching. Critics of the show have questioned whether filming students is appropriate or constructive to their learning, but Drew says, 'Educating Essex has absolutely been a positive move for Passmores. We are immensely proud of our school and doing the show has made us better at our jobs. We are eternally reflective about everything that we do, and being broadcast to the nation has given us a lot more to reflect upon.' Drew admits, however, that the staff were initially 'tentative' about the idea of taking part in the programme. TwoFour Productions approached Passmores around Easter time last year with the idea to shoot a documentary series about a school in a challenging area that had been branded 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors. But when they agreed
Stephen Drew keeps the kids in check Jude Edgington/Channel 4 to the programme, Drew could show's success. The production not have anticipated the over- company behind Educating Essex night celebrity status it would are also responsible for One Born give him. 'This has been the odd- Every Minute, a fly on the wall est thing in my life so far. To us, show documenting the realities the documentary just shows us of giving birth in hospital, and doing what we do, and we know The Family, a similar endeavour schools all over Britain are doing charting the daily fare of an ordithe exact same thing. nary household. The events that 'We are not special,' he adds, occur are certainly not extraordiand this has been crucial to the nary, but they provide an honest
insight into the lives of others. But Drew is no longer just a regular teacher, and now gets recognised when doing simple things such as having a haircut or playing rugby with his friends. 'On the pitch, they shout, 'go in hard on TV's Mr. Drew' to the opposing team. Dealing with people coming up to me and saying lovely things about the show is far easier!' Fame has not yet enticed him to throw in the teaching towel, he reflects. 'The best thing about my job is spending every day with exciting and energetic young people who are both your harshest critics and biggest cheerleaders. The chance to help them fulfil their potential is a privilege I never get complacent about.' He looks fondly on his own time as a student reading history and politics at Middlesex University after moving from Cambridge with his high school girlfriend. 'I never did the halls of residence or shared student house thing as we lived together from the start of our first years at university. Very boring, I know, but true love was so much more important!' Having been compared by colleagues and friends to David Brent (The Office) and Basil Fawlty (Fawlty Towers), Drew takes a different tack, likening himself to wizened wizard Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. 'I'd like to think of myself as him – trusted by everyone, ready to be
stern when necessary, but always there to make sure that everyone else is able to be true, honest, decent and focused on the ultimate goal of making the world a better place.' Drew credits his wife and
This has been the oddest thing in my life so far children with keeping him grounded during stressful times, particularly in regard to viewer outrage that a fellow teacher at Passmores jokingly called students 'scumbags' at the end of a lesson. He hits back, 'I've found this reaction very disappointing and lacking in understanding of the reality of working with young people. If people want teachers to be dull cardboard cut-outs with no personality and no ability to have a bit of banter with the students, then so be it.' 'Our job is to get them to be the best they can be, and I'm proud of the overwhelmingly positive reaction we've had to the show. Some of the emotional messages we've had have made me cry. I do not think we are perfect, but I feel more content with life since doing the programme.'
Made in Chelsea vs TOWIE: who rules the roost? Claire Kelvin says Made in Chelsea
Eleanor Pitt says TOWIE
Elin Stone The Only Way is Essex has stormed onto our screens and into our hearts with its genius combination of over-the-top characters, gripping story lines and perfect blend of rows, banter and romance. The cast's bleached teeth, shiny cars and orange tans have quite literally brightened up our Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Having said that, cast is probably the wrong word since the people who make up the show are all real, unlike the employed actors in copycat programme Made in Chelsea.
The show is unquestionably addictive, and whilst I'm not saying it's filled with Oscar worthy script delivery, what more can you ask for from trashy telly other than the ability to laugh and cringe at people and their antics? The show is definitely not pretentious – it simply is what it is, love it or hate it. For me, it's love. There have also been fantastic comedic moments like Arg rolling around in the garden with his pet pig, and Nanny Pat holding a sex toy while helping granddaughter Jess set up a lingerie boutique. The show has also enhanced our understanding of Essex terminology beyond measure and brought 'reem' and 'vajazzle' into wider usage. Its popularity is phenomenal and has inevitably sparked a range of copycat, though obviously inferior, shows such as Made in Chelsea. After an impressive, albeit unexpected win at the BAFTA's it proved that TOWIE was not a show to be overlooked. The only way really is
What is there not to love about Made in Chelsea? Knowing that the upper class have the same worries as us normal folk is pretty reassuring, whether it's liking the right person at the wrong time or falling for your best friend's girl. We can empathise, and laugh with these flashy rich kids, instead of purely laughing at the ridiculous characters in the The Only Way is Essex's cast. Made in Chelsea allows us to laugh along with the cast: we want to be entertained, but some of the things the Brentwood bunch get up to are just plain embarrassing. Watching Spencer chase Caggie to the airport, and not quite make it, is the cheesier-thancheese stuff films are made of. This compelling insight into the lives of the rich – and now slightly famous – is the perfect way to relax on a Monday night, satisfying our need for tension, drama and high emotion. Who doesn't want to see Gabriella's music video with ridiculous body doubles of her vain and eccentric ex-boyfriend? The fascinating web of characters is growing episode by episode and the show is even more intriguing than the first series. Especially since everyone now knows everyone's private business and wants to be with everyone else. Life is far from straight forward for these prima donnas. Girl-next-door Millie has been left heart broken by player
Hugo, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will she copy Caggie and flee for foreign climes, or stick it out in Blighty? Will Spencer realise that his time with Louise is over and that Caggie is the girl for him? Only time will tell. Fingers crossed that Francis learns how to read scripts and comes across as a genuine person . He may be a diamond cultivating millionaire heir, but his incessant slip ups and slipping over (in swanky restaurants, no less) need some serious work. This gripping reality show is definitel y
worth watching, whether to aspire to the characters' wealth, or just to feel smug about their startling lack of common sense.
X Factor evictee Jonjo Kerr has mouthed off about several of the show's contestants, claiming to be 'f***ing sick of Kitty.' Not bitter then.
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors – Charlotte Lytton & James Moore
Movie star Ralph Fiennes is set to star in BBC's Rev. A host of A-list stars have signed up to appear in the second series of the show.
Former politician Edwina Currie has become the first celebrity to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing.
Transplant explores the ethics of organ donation Sarah Murphy
a debate over its medical ethics has been sparked. Of the questions this show raises, one of the most prominent concerns is what is deemed appropriate for public viewing. Should surgery be entertainment? Especially when in recent years a fascination has emerged over surgical procedures, in a bid to understand the 'real' story. What's most dangerous about this kind of television is the emotional impact and sense of guilt it may instill in viewers. In some ways, the potential to turn people off donation completely or cause others to sign the register without having had a consultation is just as damaging as being ill-informed. However, by highlighting such an issue, more
Perhaps the most miraculous feature of modern medicine is the ever-advancing process of organ donation and transplantation, a process which provides over 2,700 people each year with a new lease of life. Yet every day only three individuals offer their organs for donation and a series of strict anonymity laws prevent those who have saved lives from being celebrated. The entire timeline of events, from the brain stem death of a patient to the aftercare of a recipient, was broadcast by BBC One, making television history. After privacy clauses were removed in order for the show to air,
lives could be saved. This thought-provoking documentary provides an insight into how many people are involved in a single donation, with over 150 skilled professionals involved in the process from start to finish. We can see the show in an educational capacity, with many medical schools up and down the country adopting these practices in order to teach students about the emotional aspects of their future profession. Closely following patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and the Hammersmith and King's College Hospital, London, the show demonstrates just how desperate the NHS is for organs and what a difference organ donation can really make.
Reviews: Our look at the week's shows TV theme tunes Alex Bentley Writer
5. Cold Case: Nara by E.S. Posthumus - This instrumental piece by cinematic composer E.S. Posthumus offers a sweeping, ancient feel to the title sequence, which fits well with the aesthetic of this police drama.
Southland Rosie Widrington-May Critic
There is no shortage of American cop shows – they are now so common they've become something of a cliché. Far less common is one that doesn't get canned because it cannot compete in this cut-throat genre. This cannot be said of the compelling Southland. The brutal streets of Los Angeles are a far cry from the sun-soaked beaches of Orange County for newly qualified police officer Ben Sherman (The O.C's Ryan Atwood). If Mckenzie was looking for a new direction sure to see him enter the realms of the so-called 'serious actor' then he couldn't have picked a better show. The cast (particularly the fantastic Regina King, Detective Lydia Adams) all get a chance to shine amongst the gripping and occasionally disturbing plot-lines. With two fantastic seasons to live up to, the first episode of season three packs the same punch. Lydia investigates an assault, Ben and John (Michael Cudlitz) find themselves in a severe street shoot-out and detectives Nate (Kevin Alejandro) and Sammy (Shawn Hatosy) investigate a double homicide, all whilst juggling their own interesting personal problems.
Boardwalk Empire's large collection of awards suggests a second season is certainly worth watching. With eight Emmys under its belt the series has wooed viewers with the corruption, violence and loose morals of 1920's Atlantic City. In season two standards have certainly not fallen. A recap reminds us that Nucky is still running his bootlegged liquor business, and Nelson is still trying to stop him. The episode begins when Chalky's supply-house is attacked by the Ku Klux Klan, one of whom Chalky shoots in the neck. However, this soon lands him in trouble when the KKK member dies and Nucky is forced to imprison Chalky. Meanwhile, Nucky's bootlegging monopoly slips through his grasp: not only is Jimmy closing in but Al Capone is making plans to cut Nucky out altogether. The latest offering from the show has kicked off to a triumphant start: the pace has quickened and the storyline is already extremely intriguing. Scorsese's series promises not to disappoint those looking for twists, turns and, of course, the usual abundance of loose ladies.
strong American start, givingcampus-based the audience This just enough clues to is have comedy-drama series backthem for hooked, securing its third and season on E4.aItfanbase is the for the rest of the morning after the series. night before, as everyone deals with the repercussions of last season's 'end of the world' party. The focus is on unravelling the events of the night and, typically, they didn't unfold quite as one might have expected.
Rusty soon learns balancing life in a fraternity and completing his schoolwork is not as easy as he had hoped. Elsewhere, his older sister; Casey, and Kappa Tau president Cappie, teeter on the brink of resuming their relationship, though the writers seem determined to leave us hanging a little longer. If the premiere is anything to go by, there will be an increasing focus on the development of the show's secondary characters. Conservative Christian, Dale, struggles with the temptations of student life at Cyprus-Rhodes University. Meanwhile, Calvin endeavours to define his relationship with closeted fellow Omega Chi, Grant. All in all, the episode was a
Award-winning documentary series Unreported World returns this week, reporting from South Africa 17 years after apartheid. The programme shows the terrible conditions in which the impoverished are forced to live, as they are promised state homes but forced onto endless waiting lists. Bad sanitary conditions in the slums make life harder with sewage running into streets and one water source for an entire community. It soon becomes apparent that only those who can afford government bribes are able to secure the papers and keys to the state homes. South Africans are well aware that they are ruled by corrupt officials. Politician Julius Malemo, whose home cost around £1.5 million to build, is asked why the poor people of his country are promised homes yet don't receive them. He refuses to comment. In the 17 years since the end of apartheid, South Africa has come a long way regarding racial discrimination, with black people holding important governmental positions, but the conditions of the working classes remain a disturbing indictment of the state of the country.
4. Friends: I'll Be There For You by The Rembrandts - If you're a human being, and have owned a TV at some point in the last 15 years, chances are that you know this catchy tune by an otherwise unknown pop band. 3. CSI: Miami: Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who This classic, power-chord laden rock song has become famous in internet circles, and is a memorable, inspiring song that sets this CSI apart from the others. 2. Peep Show: Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger - One of the most critically acclaimed British comedies of recent times, Peep Show's opening theme is a clear runner up. The band said that pairing the song with the show 'feels like a kindred spirit to the original attitude of the lyric". Fitting, then. 1. The Sopranos: Woke Up This Morning by Alabama 3 -Now almost synonymous with the word mafia, The Sopranos dominated TV screens across the US and UK from 19992007. The bluesy feel of the song as Tony drives around town reflects the temperamental, unpredictable nature of this remarkable show.
14th October 2011
'Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you'.
Con Air (1997)
Interview: Cast of Johnny English Reborn
Rosalind Fursland accepts her mission to interrogate the stars of the new spy-com romp thing – just because the first one was very successful. I think it was my son's favourite film at the time, so that was quite a pressure to inherit. I wasn't sure about whether we would be able to retread the same territory, but when I read the script, I thought Hamish (McColl) had done a really good job. By that point, I thought it was a great opportunity to get involved. Is this going to become a franchise like James Bond?
What made now the right time for a sequel? Rowan Atkinson: I think we always wanted to return to it. Actually, immediately after the release of the first movie in 2003, there was a thought that we could do a sequel. The first script meeting that I remember attending for
this film was in 2004. We worked on that film for a year or so, and then we decided to abandon it and make a Mr Bean sequel instead. I'm sorry it's taken so long... distraction and laziness got in the way! Oliver Parker (director): I think to do a sequel is a tricky
RA: God, I hope not! I suppose we have been subconsciously influenced by the changes that have taken place in The Bourne Identity and James Bond. I think it's probably easier to plan a new Johnny English movie, because, James Bond has the constant creative challenge of a character thought up in the 1950s. Gillian, since finishing The X-Files, the characters you've played have been very varied. What was it like playing an agent again? Gillian Anderson: Ironically, this year, I've also played an MI5 agent. I think at first my intention
was to do things as differently as possible, or as differently from what I had done previously in my single role. I was turning down a lot of stuff that was even remotely like it, but then, I realised that there was a unique challenge in doing something along the same lines. I didn't feel it was anything like my previous experience. Gadgets play a big part in the film. Are there any particular gadgets0 you can't live without? RA: The gadget I think I would probably most value would be one that changes your registration number from inside the car! GA: I think I'd like an umbrella that shoots rockets out the end. Daniel Kaluuya: I'm a single guy, that's all I want, that's all I need. I want a Nandos' black card, if anyone can get me one – you and four friends get free Nando's for a year!
Marvin – HGttG
brain the size of a #4 'aplanet', that nothing can An intellect so vast, with
successfully occupy his time. Underappreciated and neglected, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Marvin naturally suffers from extreme depression, as well as boredom at being able to solve literally any problem in seconds. Not that anyone listens. No-one ever does.
David – A.I.
This may be stretching the definition of robot a little bit, as David is human in every way but biologically. A mecha so advanced, he can exhibit the same naivety, thoughts and feelings as a human child and, unlike other mechas, pleads for his life, inciting sympathy even in mecha haters. No special features or added laser beams, emotions are David's only added element in this touching futuristic version of Pinocchio, and whilst he may not be human, he's definitely a person. Oh, and the film features Jude Law as a mecha called 'Gigolo Joe'. So that's a plus right there.
Bond 23: Skyfall? Following on from last week's Bond related gossip, this week sees rumours circulating over the title of the latest addition to the series. Speculation began after companies related to the film registered multiple domain names with the word 'Skyfall' in the title. Little is known aside from this and as the film is still at least a year away from release, Bond fans should not get too excited as it may yet prove to be an elaborate hoax!
To celebrate the knock-out Real Steel, Alex Bentley gives us the top 5 movie robot contenders
Continuing the trend of short, unintelligible dustbins, it would be a crime not to mention R2D2 here. An R2-series Astromech Droid, carrying the vital message from Princess Leia, R2 shows his bravery and courage many times, unlike his counterpart, C-3PO, who was designed primarily for etiquette and diplomacy. As R2 himself says: 'Be-boop beep beep boop'.
For last week's review of Johnny English Reborn, go to www.redbrickpaper. co.uk/category/film
Five of the Best: Movie Robots
R2D2 – Star Wars
Jack-of-all-roles, Johnny Depp, appears to be first in line to play the legendary author, Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, in a big budget biopic. The Pirates of the Caribbean star is well known for his many successful portrayals of eccentric characters, which would make him an obvious choice for the film. However, it is said that Depp has not yet made a final decision on the project, despite being signed on as one of the producers. Though with or without Depp, the film will hopefully shed some light on the man behind some of the world's most popular and iconic books.
Despite not speaking comprehensible English, WALL-E still manages to overflow with personality, clearly more adorable than your average automaton. After somehow developing sentience, and spending 700 years alone on the desolate remains of earth, this brave waste-collector ends up being possibly the only robot ever to fall in love. That has to count for something, right?
Bishop 341-B – Aliens
lifelike 'synthetic' (al#5 Athough he prefers the
term 'artificial person'), Bishop is created as a carbon copy of Charles Bishop Weyland, founder of the elusive and powerful Weyland Industries. As well as being able to play five finger fillet astonishingly, he started on bad terms with Sigourney Weaver and subsequently managed to stay alive for longer than five minutes. Not bad for an android.
Fans of the mega franchise Halo became briefly excited this week when news emerged of a possible resurrection of the cancelled Spielberg adaptation. The project was officially declared dead in 2007. However, this week the gaming world looked on with anticipation as a recent French book seemed to claim that the film was back on. Despite this, Microsoft, the game's publishers, were quick to dismiss claims in a statement to IGN. They claimed there were 'no plans' to resuscitate the project, leaving gamers the world over to exhale a collective disappointed sigh.
Editors – Genevieve Taylor & Isidore Sanders
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Midnight in Paris
Director: Woody Allen Cast: Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams Cert: 12A Midnight in Paris is another stop on Woody Allen's European tour. Following Vicky Cristina Barcelona's sizzling portrait of, well, Barcelona, and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger's whimsical depiction of the London lifestyle, Paris was the next on his hit list. However, this is more than a quirky postcard from the French capital; it is a letter of adoration to it. By the time the opening montage of landmarks, bistros and avenues has finished, you, like Gil (Owen Wilson), will be ready to leave everything behind for the City of
Light. Gil is a Hollywood screenwriter struggling to find inspiration for his novel. After being dragged around the usual tourist hotspots with his irritable fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams), her right-wing parents and 'pseudo-intellectual' Paul (Michael Sheen), Gil finds himself alone exploring Paris' backstreets. When the clock strikes midnight, however, he is picked up by F.Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and is taken back in time to the roaring Twenties. Allen is clearly still a magnet for great talent, with the gorgeous Marion Cotillard as Picasso's mistress, the charismatic Hiddleston as Fitzgerald and Kathy Bates impeccably bringing to life the stern but wise Gertrude Stein. The film is littered with other excellent cameos, from Adrien Brody's flamboy-
ant Salvador Dali to France's First Lady Carla Bruni appearing briefly as a tour guide. Wilson's bumbling yet sharp Gil echoes Allen's performances in his earlier work, and his love of nostalgia and bewilderment at meeting his idols carries the film. It's shot beautifully; the city is bathed in a golden light during the day, and at night the Jazz Age is brought to life spectacularly as Gil's adventures become a series of flapper girls, smoky bars and swing music. 'That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else will always be a mystery' quotes Cotillard, and by the time the credits have rolled it will be a mystery for everyone else too. A charming and original picture, Midnight in Paris is Allen's most entertaining work in years. !
Director: Shawn Levy Cast: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo Cert: 12A Set in a futuristic time when robots have replaced live people in the boxing ring, Real Steel follows Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) in his slightly dodgy life in the underground robot boxing world. Unwillingly re-adopting his estranged 11 year old son for the summer and losing his best chance of starting to earn big bucks – and $50,000 in the process – turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to Charlie, as he unexpectedly stumbles upon the clichéd unexpected hero: Atom. Atom, is a generation two (i.e. pretty old) robot with unique talents. Scrubbing him up to an acceptable standard, the unlikely team of stereotypical bad father and rebellious pre-teen son embark on a journey to the big
league, and get a lot more than they bargained for. The boxing matches themselves are pretty damn good. Electrifyingly thrilling, they throw you right into the heart of the intense and grimy world of robot boxing. And hey, they're robots... so there's all the excitement with none of the cringe-from-thescreen gore of 'real' violence. Yet for almost every actionpacked spectacle there is an equally cheesy moment. From the predictable and heart-warming father-son relationship plot to the sometimes questionable music, some of it was just a little bit laughable. However, the action vs. cheese elements balanced each other out to give way to an overall very watch-worthy two hours. Robots aren't for everyone, and Hugh Jackman might not be either. But the two make a pretty good combination in Real Steel, offering a predictable and Disneyesque but thoroughly entertaining film. !
The Beginner's Guide to... Monster Movies
The colossal Ellie Dobson grapples with the fearsome beast that is the genre of creature features
The monster movie or 'creature feature' is undoubtedly one of cinema's most diverse genres. From modern blockbusters and golden oldies to low-budget Z-grade flicks, monsters have dominated the silver screen from its infancy. The plot of a typical creature feature is simple: humans try to survive the threat of one or more destructive and dangerous beasts whose power is all-too-suddenly unleashed.
King Kong (1933) is one of the earliest examples of a film featuring a giant monster and a landmark in cinema history. So iconic that its scenes and parodies are instantly recognisable and with remakes in 1976 and 2005, it's a monster movie that refuses to go away. Godzilla (1954) is another classic, telling the tale of an enormous dinosaur-like creature. Having taken the world by storm, Godzilla is now a verified franchise, with the oversized lizard appearing in comic books and in various TV series. Jaws (1975) is a monster movie staple. In this film, however, the monster is not a prehistoric survivor or the result of a nuclear explosion, but a modern-day predator.
Admittedly, the 'rogue shark' in Jaws is on the large side for a great white, but that doesn't stop it from being a terrifying adversary with an insatiable appetite for children, dogs and skinny-dippers alike.
Under the radar
Long before Jurassic Park (1993) there was The Valley of Gwangi (1969), a western-themed dinosaur monster movie. As with King Kong before it, this film presents a more sympathetic view of the creature (and features some very impressive stop-motion animation).
Tremors (1990) is an underrated comedy creature feature, with giant subterranean worms as the antagonists. The tagline – 'The monster movie that breaks new ground' – should not be taken all too literally, but the genre-combination of horror and comedy works especially well in this film. The Host (2006) is a gory South Korean film with a comical tone. It does, however, have a level of seriousness to it, notably in the way in which America's military presence in Korea is ad-
dressed. If you like your monsters fishy and fast, this is one for you – the mutant fish-creature is incredibly well-animated and very original. Watch it before the sequel comes out, which is planned for release in summer 2012.
Cloverfield (2008) has something of a cult status in the world of film. Shot using hand-held camcorders, it's hard not to compare it to The Blair Witch Project (1999), though Cloverfield is more intense and action-based throughout. The monster which comes from the water but wreaks havoc on land has been compared to that of The Host. The infamous Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus
(2009) is not just a prime example of recent Z-list monster movies, but, if laughable special effects and clichéd dialogue do anything for you, is surprisingly enjoyable. It's the best-known film created by 'The Asylum', who have produced countless other direct-to-DVD gems. If you like it, keep your eyes peeled for 2 Headed Shark Attack, due for release in January. Piranha 3D (2010) is another gore-tastic comedy horror. Cameos and allusions galore, it's a real treat for monster movie connoisseurs. The film's opening scene featuring Richard Dreyfuss (Matt Hooper in Jaws) is particularly brilliant, and draws upon decades of the genre's tradition. What is clear is that the monster movie genre is as popular today as it ever was. Bigger, badder and toothier than ever before, it continues to delight and disgust a loyal and truly bloodthirsty fanbase. Fang-tastic!
Illustration by Dan Andrews
14th October 2011
Ex-Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh dies of suspected drug overdose www.nme.com/news
Album reviews 7 Jay-Z/Kanye West
Watch The Throne
Nathan Lightman Critic
Tamara Roper Music Editor
De La Soul – Eye Know The opening guitar chords to this could be the beginning of any song. Such is the beauty of De La Soul's 'Eye Know' – like lying down face to the sun, it wraps you up in a blanket of fuzzy. The lyrics are casual without being sloppy, and the melody is catchy without that hint of irritation. Almost more pop than hip hop, stick some headphones on and go and lie in a sunbed. Lauryn Hill – To Zion The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is an album every single person ever should own. As if being in The Fugees and being in Sister Act wasn't enough, Hill made an album so perfect that there was no need to even make a follow up. From this, 'To Zion' is heartwrenching; an ode to her first tumultuous pregnancy. Raking up at over 6 minutes, it isn't the easiest listen on the album, but is absolutely the most profound.
Pieter Colpaert Critic
Kanye West experienced his great breakthrough in 2001 when he coproduced Jay-Z's masterpiece The Blueprint – an album which literally became the blueprint for all hip-hop to come in the following years. The two have been buddies ever since, epitomized by several amazing collaborations. Nowadays they are undeniably the one and only 'Kings of Hip-Hop' and on their first collective album they make it abundantly clear that any claimants to their throne shouldn't fool themselves. The two rappers have mobilized a small army of producers to provide their album with a unique and diverse sound: ranging from the tight, danceable Neptunesbeats on the excellent Gotta Have It to the simple but efficient synths
8 Ed Sheeran
on Made in America. That track, by the way, is brilliantly enhanced by the contribution of Frank Ocean, the RnB-singer of the OFWGKTA hip-hop collective. To us, he is the revelation of this album (and we would like to refer any enthusiasts of this contemporary crooner to his recent mixtape: Nostalgia/Ultra). However, the real stars of the album are, of course, Jay and Kanye. It is a relief to hear sincere cooperation, rather than a big ego clash, on this album: the gentlemen are smoothly rapping back and forth, finishing each other's lines and spitting some of their best raps without seeing each other off. Lyrically as well they are going to great lengths: combining raps about Plato with others concerning their baller lifestyle, the struggle for Afro-American emancipation and deeply personal confessions. Luckily, these gentlemen
actually have got something to say and dare to go beyond gratuitous name-dropping. If there is one brickbat we should mention, it's that this CD, as with so many other hip-hop albums, slightly overstays its welcome. We wouldn't have bothered if a song like 'Welcome To The Jungle' or 'That's My Bitch' would have been kept for the Deluxe Edition. With Watch The Throne, the two have not achieved a complete redesigning of the hip-hop landscape, but simply deliver a very good album that makes it clear that only they can lay claim to the throne. Sounds like: Everything Kanye West and Jay-Z have done
Having perused the press release prior to listening to Cork outfit Echogram's debut EP, and seen that Robert Smith is apparently a big fan, I had high hopes. Unfortunately for me, what followed turned out to be possibly the longest forty-one minutes of my life as I forced myself to listen to the damned thing twice through in order to gain a proper appreciation of its many failings. Things get off to an awful start as frontman Kilian Pettit whinges his way through the lead single. Vocally, it consists mainly of a cringeworthy repetition of 'come on', over what was intended to be a dizzying swirl of synths and guitars but instead just sounds messy. Unusually for such a small-time act, Pettit chooses huge bands as his influences such as U2 and Depeche Mode. Yet there is nothing of Dave Gahan's brilliance about him or his band. Whilst I suppose Echogram would want to be compared to such successful indie/electronic acts as Delphic, whose debut album effortlessly combined two genres that are notoriously difficult to meld, I certainly will not be doing so.
Sounds like: Busted on a bad day.
White Night Sound
Jurassic 5 – Concrete Schoolyard Everybody seems to know this song – whether they're a seasoned hip hop fan or just someone who reckons they're a bit retro. It's probably the chorus that does it: 'Playground tactics/ No Rabbit in a hat tricks/ Just that classic/ Rap S**t from Jurassic'. Which is self-explanatory really – J5 don't need to mess around with fancy lyrics to prove their worth. Roots Manuva – Dreamy Days Probably the defining moment of 'Dreamy Days' is the moment Rodney Smith opens his mouth to rap and the sound that comes out is not downtown LA but in fact South London. Showing that you don't have to be American to hold your own, Roots Manuva has opened the door for so many young British rappers. Well done, sir. For more content, including live reviews of Birmingham darlings Poppy & the Jezebels and Summer Camp, visit: www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/music Contact us: email@example.com Twitter – @redbrickmusic Facebook – Redbrick Music
James Kinsey Critic
Josh Carvell Critic
The debut effort from Ed Sheeran, + showcases the diverse talents of the Suffolk-based singer-songwriter in a promising effort that has seen his tireless efforts rewarded, and few can claim this success is undeserved. + is the result of an idiosyncratic sound refined by a relentless schedule of touring that saw Sheeran play 312 gigs in 2009. This unique album combines both the raw emotion of Damien Rice and the nimble vocal delivery mixed with hard-hitting lyrics of grime, refined by various collaborations with heavyweights of the genre, Wiley and Devlin. This leads the album to show a duality between folk ballads such as 'Gold Rush' and the self-aggrandizing acoustic hip-hop track 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You'. These elements combine to form a surprisingly effective hybrid in songs, such as 'U.N.I', where a melancholy acoustic track is the canvas for Sheeran to experiment with soft, soothing vocals that contrast with his speedy, intelligent deliv-
ery. His lyrics showing a penchant for the simile. Admittedly, however, acoustic tracks 'Kiss Me' and 'Sunburn' prove to be dreary affairs, with the desire for emphatic love songs somewhat wide of the mark. They appear more as filler than the catchy, radio-bound hits such as 'Grade 8' and 'Lego House'. Debut single 'The A-Team' displays Sheeran's softer side as he depicts the desperate life of a drugaddicted prostitute 'stuck in her daydream', with drugs the only escape from reality. This moving yet catchy song has catapulted Sheeran into the mainstream, reaching number 4 in the UK single charts. In Ed Sheeran the UK has its own Jason Mraz: a troubadour capable of catchy, emotional acoustic anthems who experiments with rap to form an impressive hybrid worthy of comparison to the Curbside Prophet. With this impressive offering, Sheeran may yet achieve the 'stadium heights' he desires. Sounds like: Jason Mraz
Underground Railroad make reviewing a rather exasperating task. The Parisian trio's new album White Night Stand comes with an abundance of contradictions. The conglomeration of distorted classical rock, electronica and progressive rock would reasonably make any reviewer dismiss this album as a European band barging their way into the British music industry by confusedly throwing together 90's Radiohead, The Cure and Velvet Underground. To put White Night Stand in an understandable context, in terms of art, try imagining what John Constables' Hay Wain would look like if a child sullied it with experimental finger painting. For, to a certain extent, this album is confusing and on the surface lacks a defining statement. We are constantly enticed in by catchy commercial guitar based songs like the opening track '8 millimetres', then to be violently thrown aback by strange experimental studio sounds in 'Russian Doll' and 'Seagull Attack'. On closer inspection, however, the dichotomy in sounds, lyrics and styles is the ingenious formula
of the band's haunting third album. Fascinatingly, it's that which makes it so appealing. Throughout the album the listener is disturbed by the eerie distortion and lyrics but then drawn in by familiar classic rock melodies. The two singers on the album, Raphael Mura and Marion Andrau, create the dynamic formula of mystery and familiarity. The songs Mura sings on have defined lyrics, about his experience of being a foreigner in London, meeting new people, and not understanding them, but are weaved over experimental studio sounds. By contrast Andrau's lyrics in The Orchid's Curse and Traces to Nowhere are less defined, dark and ethereal in nature but are sung over more straight edged song structures. As a result, Underground Railroad have masterfully crafted a dark brooding album that is full of idiosyncrasies. By not adhering to a distinct sound the French trio have perfected a vision of mixing old and new, conventional and innovative. By doing so the listener is forced to listen and appreciate the haunting experience. Sounds like: Velvet Underground
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors – Tamara Roper & William Franklin
Redbrick Meets... S.C.U.M. Louise Potter Critic
It's October 7th 2011 and Londonbased quintet S.C.U.M are about to embark on their fifth night as part of this year's NME Radar Tour. With vocalist Thomas Cohen currently dating 22-year-old socialite Peaches Geldof, and bassist Huw Webb sharing the same parentage as Rhys Webb of The Horrors, the band is plagued by constant references to the above, with any discussion of their music tending to come across as a bit of an afterthought. However, the recent release of Again Into Eyes (the band's debut of shoegaze, post-punk, and psychedelic influences) proves that S.C.U.M deserve to be recognised as a band in their own right. So, upon sitting down with Cohen and guitarist/keyboard player Samuel Kilcoyne, I set about discovering
how the band were feeling about their busiest year so far. 'They've been really fun,' says Kilcoyne of the NME gigs to date. Cohen agrees, despite considering spectators to have been only 'vaguely' receptive so far. When it comes to live shows, the band embrace the challenge of delivering something audiences wouldn't necessarily gain through just listening to an album. 'It would be too contrived to try and just recreate the record,' Cohen frowns, 'you have to let things go wrong and not get it perfect. The best gigs have been when you totally lose the consciousness of time and it seems like everyone's experiencing something together.' The visual experience has always been regarded by the band as a vital extension of their music. Cohen elaborates, 'When we create music, we see it as something that's quite visual. Matthew Stone (director of the video for the band's
single 'Amber Hands' and the album artwork) had a very similar agenda to the one we started with. If I imagined our music in a photo, it was the work that he did'. Turning towards inspiration for Again Into Eyes, Kilcoyne emphasises the importance of their surroundings on the writing process. 'A lot of our main influences have always been where we are. When we went to Kraków, we were walking around a really bizarre flea market, and that was so inspiring for what we were about to do. I bought loads of books, Tom bought – what was that thing?' 'A traditional Polish jacket', Cohen laughs. 'I just got some interesting bits…' he trails off, absorbed in the memory, before returning with: 'There was this one guy doing taxidermy. It was sort of striking in that I think all of the animals were extinct… it was so random there!' Kilcoyne nods and contin-
ues, 'I love the idea of everything being foreign to you, so you create something through your reaction against it.' The album itself was partly written and recorded away from London, in the countryside of Hampshire. 'It was a really amazing place we went to,' begins Kilcoyne enthusiastically, 'we could stay up all night together, miles from anywhere else, and just write and go out into the countryside and see the stars for once. We could create at any time, day or night; it was just really inspiring for us.' Reflecting back on 2011, Cohen picks out the ATP festival as his particular highlight, 'Being chosen by Portishead to play at their festival at Alexandra Palace, that was really amazing.' Kilcoyne favours the band's visit to the Czech Republic before being reminded by Cohen that this had actually taken place the year before: 'Was that last year? Are you defi-
All The Young Quiet Night In
nitely sure? Has it really gone that quick? Wow. ATP was probably the highlight for me then.' Looking ahead, Cohen anticipates the band will commence work on a second album in December. Finally, I ask how they would like to sum up S.C.U.M to the readers of Redbrick. Cohen smiles and turns to his band member, seemingly seeking inspiration: 'Vast, colourful, wall of sound' is his reply, 'by kids who are younger than you'd think.' On this note I thank them both and shake hands with Kilcoyne as Cohen asks if I'd like to stay for their sound check for which, by this time, the band are running obscenely late. My enthusiastic acceptance has me almost falling off my chair, but luckily the pair are oblivious to this, having already run off. Sounds like: My Bloody Valentine
Music Diary 14th – 20th Friday 14th The Horrors O2 Academy
Saturday 15th Jaguar Skills Urban Outfitters
Bowling For Soup O2 Academy
Emmy The Great Glee Club 04/10/2011
Metallica feat. Lou Reed
James Vincent McMorrow Glee Club
Mel Hunt Critic
'We always play the Glee club when we come to Brum,' Emma Lee Moss chirps brightly as she readjusts her mic stand. 'Jim's from Birmingham,' she says, pointing to her drummer, 'his Dad's stood at the back.' With that, she strums her guitar, runs her hand through her sleek black hair and goes straight into 'We Almost Had A Baby', the 2009 single that shot her to the forefront of the British folk scene. Only two years later and the 26 year old has managed to experience the emotions of what many of us don't even touch upon in a lifetime. Her second album Virtue, written during a time of psychological turmoil as she struggled with her fiance's conversion to Christianity, heavily impacts upon her new material. The album mixes themes from myths, fairy tales and saints' lives, new songs such as 'Paper Forest' and 'Iris' absorbed gladly by the intimate 200 strong, sit-down audience. Emma performs her pieces personally and sincerely, allowing you to see the raw experiences play out in her face and through her fin-
ger-tip guitar plucks. Nevertheless, she comes across as a confident and playful soul, making minor quips between songs. 'It's autumn today. It was summer yesterday,' she comments, highlighting the temperamental October weather that the UK experienced last weekend. 'This song was meant for yesterday.' The band then strike up a cheery cover of Weezer's 'Island in The Sun'. This quickly contrasts as she engages with the audience about her first boyfriend, with whom she had an abortion. 'I thought that I wouldn't ever see him again. It made me wonder what he'd look like as an old man.' She then laughs. 'But now he's in a band with Ewan.' She points to her lead guitarist standing next to her. 'Life's like that, I suppose.' She sends a subtle grin to the front row. She wraps up her set with a couple of requests, making it clear she can't play Embrace songs. Finally Emma concludes. 'It's been good to be with you for the first day of autumn. Remember, it's only six months from Star Wars day.' Sounds like: Bic Runga
Miles Kane HMV Institute
'The View' is the first single from Metallica and Lou Reed's collaboration album Lulu. Although both artists should be commended for attempting such a different project, it is hard to see how anyone involved could honestly believe that this was worthy of release. It is difficult to solely point the blame at either party in particular. Metallica have never sounded more apathetic. Their solid, yet highly repetitive, backing riff sounds like a copy and paste mix of their back catalogue, whilst their plodding drumbeat barely carries the track along. Lou Reed's contribution is nothing more than a spoken word monologue of nonsensical ramblings. His offbeat mutterings, combined with such a nondescript backing, make the track feel badly disjointed, almost as if neither party bothered to listen to the other's part. Closing the song is a standard Metallica solo section that leaves us no closer to understanding where this confusing collaboration will venture next although, surely, the only way is up from here.
Wednesday 19th Alex Bentley Critic
With the influx of indie-rock bands over the past couple of years, it's nice to hear something a little bit different in the genre. Unfortunately, this is not the case with All The Young, who seem to be trying a little too hard to be the British version of The Killers. That doesn't mean they're not succeeding though, as their new single, 'Quiet Night In', seems to be channelling the rhythm of 'Mr. Brightside', particularly in the chorus. Opening with a catchy, distorted 'teen drama' guitar riff and following it up with some entirely stereotypical soulful indie lamenting, the track brings nothing new to the table. Despite this, it works well enough as an indie-rock track – somewhat redundant and without its own unique sound to fall back on, but no worse than any other in the recent plethora of unoriginal guitar based rock tracks.
Keith Caputo HMV Institute
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Symphony Hall
Redbrick's Turkey of the Week
EchoGram – Conspiracy
14th October 2011
Fierce & Finished
'Sluts' defy negative assumptions with Slutwalk Olivia Ovenden Writer
In January of this year, a senior constable issued a statement during a talk about safety and crime prevention at a university in Toronto, Canada: 'Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.' His message may have been the same vague heralded advice long given by authorities but his words began Slutwalk's crusade. Namely one word: 'slut'. What Constable Michael Sanguinetti couldn't have realized was he was about to unearth a mounting problem with the accepted negative terminology referring to women that is ingrained in society. Furthermore, his address cut to the heart of the evolving issue of the blame factor that has started to preside within rape cases. Understandably, an official representative so candidly using the term sparked outrage within female communities, active feminists or not. In the case of Slutwalk, Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis decided to use the word 'slut' in their response. They discerned that, historically, 'slut' has had negative connotations – their goal is to redeem the term. They write that women 'are tired of being op-
allvoices.com pressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence.' Just three months after Sanguinetti's remark, and a subsequent apology on his behalf, numbers in excess of 3,000 gathered to march to the Toronto police headquarters, some dressed in daily wear but many as 'sluts', all in defiance. They maintain that some established myths about rape must be debunked - the level of alcohol in your blood, the amount of flesh on show and your personal sexual
history do not mean you're 'asking for it' – after all, by definition you cannot ask to be raped. Yet these are factors used by rapist's defendants and taken into serious consideration by judges and juries in assessing their verdict, as if they somehow excuse sexual assault. In the United Kingdom only 6.5% of rape cases end in conviction and less than 20% of cases even make it to the police in the first place. Slutwalk announced that they are challenging the 'radical' notion that nobody deserves to be raped. It's a statement seemingly obvious to many of us, but one that is
Laura Frost Writer
becoming increasingly important within the culture of shame and blame attached to rape victims, who personally feel a sense of responsibility and guilt in regards to feeling accountable for something they might have done to provoke an attacker. The word 'slut' is thrown so casually around society and has now been encoded with the poisonous attitude that women's choice of clothes dictates how women behave, and consequently that it is okay for us to be judged, victimised and attacked based upon this. Often women are as bad as men in branding other women and making baseless assumptions about their sexual activities. It isn't a crime to enjoy sex, nor is it a crime to dress how you choose to. Rape, on the other hand - that's a crime. Continuing the message that woman should curtail their outfits and behaviour out of fear of attack is as stupid as it is offensive. There is no evidence that supports a correlation between being scantily dressed and becoming a victim of rape. Rapists target women regardless of whether they're wearing short skirts or office wear, providing good reason for Slutwalk's intense frustration and its increasing worldwide popularity.
A-List Fashion brands hit Selfridges Selfridges&Co has long been one of the most desirable department stores in the UK. The Birmingham Bull Ring store, one of only four in the country, is popular with students and celebrities alike. The recent launch of both Beyonce and Rachel Zoe's fashion lines is likely to only escalate this interest (and further threaten the student loan). We sent two writers along to experience the celebrity style magic... Abi Tunney on Beyonce's label: Beyonce Knowles is undoubtedly a woman on a mission. It seems she is determined to prove that there is truth in her lyrics and girls really do run the world. With countless number ones under her belt, a scandal free marriage to one of the biggest rappers in the industry and a baby on the way, it was only a matter of time before she designed a fashion label. House of Deréon was finally launched in Selfridges Birmingham last week and, as expected, we love it. Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles, who was also stylist to Destiny's Child, is the creative director of the brand and with the help of her daughter has created a stand-out line that
ranges from sizes XS to XL. The 'Single Ladies' songstress, who is renowned for embracing her curvy figure, has claimed that, like her music, the line is about giving women strength and confidence and, from what we have seen, the collection is already living up to its aim. The range includes items that will flatter a fuller figure, such as maxi and printed jersey dresses, and some edgier pieces for those who want to be a bit more daring. Although the price tag is pretty hefty, the pieces are bang on trend. House of Deréon's printed panel leggings, at £70, are a stand-out item, as the tribal pattern is totally this season and would look fierce teamed with a pair of killer heels. A pricey but essential item, House of Deréon's black quilted jacket will add a quirky edge to any outfit this winter, the fusing together of biker style leather and k n i t t e d trims makes the £130 worth-while if you're going for an individual, urban look this season. So she has done it again. This woman can do no wrong and Beyonce – we salute you.
Vicky Gardiner on Rachel Zoe's label: Yes, she uses phrases such as 'shut up right now' and 'that's absobananas', but I vote we forgive her these sins, because there is one thing that Rachel Zoe does very well, and that is styling. As of late August, the new line by the tic-tac-sized stylist travelled across the pond and hit the rails exclusively at Selfridges. Zoe, who is never to be seen without her towering heels, dark glasses and her trademark serious 'fash pack' pout, has created a collection that mirrors her personal style to a tee. A sophisticated yet modern compilation of ultra-wide leg trousers, ankle boots, simple shifts and statement handbags form the basis of the brand. Since the colour scheme is kept strictly to neutral tones, pieces such as the leopard print maxi dress (£415) save it from becoming too safe and a little blah. This dress along with a faux fur trim winter coat (£460) and a goldsequined dolman blouse (£230) are amongst the most fabulous picks of the collection for which the prices range from £165 to £560. Although some of the clothes may venture a touch close to 'exceeding the overdraft' territory, Zoe is always a great source of inspiration and this winter will have you looking perfectly snow queen chic.
Sadie Palmer Writer
Fierce We Found Love (ft. Calvin Harris) – Rihanna: From the girl who just keeps on giving. This is yet another brilliant song for those unforgettable drunken nights. Gunnies: The best place to eat with your mates when you can't be bothered to cook. Warm coats: Fashionable and cosy? Hurrah! The Bullring's Forever 21 has a huge range at affordable prices. Funny lecturers: If you can teach me and make me giggle at the same time, you're on your way to a winner. The Lion King in cinemas: Oh, the nostalgia! This makes me feel five again – in a very good way. Oh, I just can't wait to go and see this... Boot cuffs: Need to smarten up those old boots for the coming winter? Get some cute boot cuffs. Stay stylish and warm. Everybody say 'Ugg'! Vodbull nights at Risa: Still not as good as Oceana, but Risa is ten times better since hosting Vodbull on Thursday nights every other week.
Finished Christmas merchandise in shops: It's not even Halloween yet! Ding dong merrily on high, it's still only October. Santa Claus is coming to town... in December. JLS condoms: I know they're promoting a good cause, but practically? 'Would you like to use Marvin or Aston this time?' Awkward...
Hannah is a final year Zoology student at the University of Edinburgh. Her blog, 'Foxtail + Fern', combines her love of thrifting with a keen interest in the natural world, resulting in a blog that features her latest car boot finds alongside outfit shots taken in beautiful outdoors locations. Hannah has a great eye for interesting little antiques, as well as a real talent for putting together vintage-inspired outfits. If pretty little old-fashioned trinkets and beautiful photography are your thing, 'Foxtail + Fern' is the blog for you.
Campus cash point queues: It's cold, I need some lunch and I have no cash. All this plus a ridiculously long line for the Lloyds TSB cash point and you've got me grumbling like a crazy cat lady in my next seminar.
Visit Hannah's blog: www.foxtailandfern.com
Embarrassing Facebook pictures: I don't normally look like such a state, honest!
Cookie addictions: Did I... did I just eat the entire packet? Whoops. Procrastination: I can't go for a run this morning, it's raining. University work? The Hollyoaks omnibus is far more interesting. I really would get on if I didn't have all this washing-up to do!
Grad Scheme pressure: The deadlines are creeping up and it seems like everyone has applied for hundreds when you haven't even started...
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors – Sophie Cowling & Lara Edwards
Honey Money: How will you be paying for that, Miss?
Sarah Musgrove Editorial Assistant
A new book is out – an academic book – but it's one of those projects that I can't help but feel is making a science out of the obvious. It's called 'Honey Money', which appropriately brings up the alluring image of bees in a honeytrap. Catherin Hakim, author, has written this book on the subject of her newly coined phrase, 'erotic capital'. Now, without even defining this term, I think I can assume that everyone already prescribes to this theory, or at least understands the
premise behind it. Hakim has studied the simple, unwritten principle of humanity's (unfair?) basic instincts: those who are more attractive get further in life. It's a fairly obvious sounding rule, although this is the first time that such an issue has been so directly addressed. While other studies have considered that we are, for example, more sympathetic towards people we consider more attractive, none have so blatantly described how advantageous it is in our society to be well put together in an aesthetic sense. Using 'hard evidence' (I've yet to read the entire book, and so unfortunately cannot be the judge of this), Catherine points out how 'erotic capital' is an overlooked human asset that can be just as influential as intelligence, riches, education or connections in terms of opening doors for ourselves in the social and professional world. 'Erotic capital' is a conglomeration of not just pretty features, but also sex appeal, presentation skills and social skills. This deadly combination is in constant use, she argues, but remains side-lined – we often consider economic or social capital when we value a person's worth, but the hush-hush rule that the prettier person is more likely to get the job seems to be an unspo-
Scientists say 'man flu' is real
dailymail.co.uk/health Lily Black Writer
God help us if we have to live under the same roof with someone who has contracted the dreaded 'man flu'. Weeks of moaning and puppy dog eyes, accompanied with 'could you possibly get me a drink, I'm far too ill to move!' All women shudder at the thought of the dubious 'man flu'. However, it turns out that men may actually have an excuse for this behaviour as recent studies have shown that 'man flu' could be real phenomenon. Women have an in-built advantage to their immune system because they have two X-chromosomes, making us more able to fight diseases and also live longer than men. So does this mean that we should now cut them some slack because they just can't help it? Is all that moaning now tolerable because they can't possibly fight it like we can? Definitely not.
Rob Hastings, a reporter from The Independent says, 'For women pouring scorn on their male counterparts' susceptibility to "man 'flu", be kind on them.' Perhaps we should take the tough love approach instead. We women have always known that we were the stronger sex - this news comes as no surprise. But instead of blaming it on science, why don't they just get up and get on with it? It could be seen as comical that a man is reporting on this subject. It is definitely time for a woman's opinion! Dr Libert, who co-authored the research (yes – another man) said: 'The same mechanisms that endow females with a survival advantage also increase their susceptibility to autoimmune disorders later in life.' So, not only are we having to endure the fact that men now have a reason for all their moaning, we could also have to deal with a disorder later in life. Arguably science is wrong this time – flu is flu no matter who it affects, and maybe next time men feel like having a good old moan they should refer back to that wellknown phrase and MAN UP! Life&Style's favourite man flu symptoms: 1. Excessive watching of sportsrelated television. 2. Inability to fetch own food and drink 3. Random groaning outbursts of 'Oh god, I'm soooo ill.' 4. One beer a day keeps the doctor away? 5. In all seriousness: 'I may never get better... ever.'
ken taboo. And rightly so, perhaps? It would be incredibly un-PC for an employer to admit that they chose, out of the equally qualified candidates, the one who was considered more beautiful. However, it also seems glaringly obvious that this would be the case – as judgemental as it may seem, an individual who puts time into their appearance and gives off an air of health and attractiveness is perhaps likely to be seen as a better person inside and out. Whilst we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, it's only natural that, as human beings, sometimes our instinctive behaviour takes over. Take one of Hakim's examples, Anna. Anna lost her dead-end job and took it upon herself to have a personal overhaul. In the space of three months, Anna lost weight, got a modern, flattering hair-cut, bought new suits that complimented her slim figure, and then landed a job that paid 50 per cent more. A similar story was featured in Grazia recently – the overweight girl who (having worked hard at her job for years and never progressed professionally) lost several stone and was instantly given a promotion and a position dealing with important clients face to face. Her increase in erotic capital increased her value as an employ-
ee, so it seems. This all begs the almost painful-to-bring-up questions: could we, do we, and should we use erotic capital ourselves? Are you buying your way into higher places with 'honey money'? Perhaps most interestingly, Catherine Hakim found that it is actually men who benefit more from using their looks than women.
Erotic capital does not mean just pretty features, but also sex appeal, presentation and social skills. Is it an unjustifiable act, in this day and age, to put potential friends, employees and strangers through such a shallow audition process? No matter how much I'd like to join hands with fellow humans and sing about self-worth coming from the inside, I strongly believe that Hakim's 'erotic capital' is a booming economy that will only ever be on the rise. Honey Money is available to purchase now.
Save ginger hair
5 Best Buys of the Season Sophie Powers Writer
This season there really are trends for everyone. The fetish trend, epitomised by Louis Vuitton, has hit the high street with full force. Avoid the dominatrix look by adding subtle flashes of leather to otherwise more conservative outfits. Thanks to Chanel's catwalk offerings, the androgynous look is still going strong – think cropped trousers, brogues and button-up shirts. Finally, the summer's passion for brights is carrying over into the autumn, so don't be afraid to inject some colour into your A/W wardrobe. An easy way to work this look is with a stand-out coloured coat or a chunky knit in a suitably bright hue. The high street is teeming with catwalk-inspired pieces, so get out there and enjoy! 1. Knitted Cable Jumper, Topshop, £40 Add a splash of colour to your winter wardrobe with this cosy, peacockblue jumper. 2. Orange Snood Scarf, River Island, £15 Push the colourb l o c k trend into the new season with this bright, snug knit. 3. Patent Leather Brogues, ASOS, £35 Work the androgynous look with these slick, easy-to-wear brogues.
April Shacklock Writer
Rihanna has ditched her tomato red hair for this month's cover of Vogue and, according to scientific predictions, the rest of the population could be going the same way. Some experts say that as soon as 2060, ginger hair could be extinct! It may even be possible that Britain will have a ginger monarch and not a single ginger child. The reason for this diminution in the 'ginger gene' is the increase in global mingling and migration making the recessive gene less likely to meet a suitable partner. Currently less than two per cent of the world's population have naturally red hair. But no one can deny that Janet Devlin looked beautiful on the X Factor
last weekend with her new Lily Cole style hair. So undoubtedly, if extinction really is threatening red hair, fashion will follow in Janet's footsteps, red will be the new blonde and auburn the new brunette. While perhaps in the past being a red-head may potentially have subjected one to taunts, it is now becoming extremely in vogue. Soon, red hair dye will be the most sought-after at hair salons all over the country. Unless the population can increase the spread of the recessive ginger hair gene and therefore keep red hair alive, strawberry shades such as that of Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts may be lost forever. However, for her the question may be what will be forgotten first, her hair colour or her solo career?
4. Black PU Mini Skirt, Miss Selfridge, £32 Team this faux-leather skirt with a chunky knit for a subtle nod to this season's fetish trend. 5. Aztec Arm Cuff, Urban Outfitters, £8 Add an easy touch of Navajo to any outfit with this simple, slipon cuff.
14th October 2011
Photographers wanted: send in your favourite travel snaps, to be part of our new online photo album.
Breaking boundaries with alternative travel
Bored of package holidays, rip-off tours and formulaic Gap Year itineraries? Louise Spratt, Sarah Bailey, Mairi Davies and Charlotte Callaghan suggest alternative trip ideas... Pictures from Shane Global Language Centres@Flickr and Bogdan Suditu@Flickr.
Couch Surfing Craze After a tent-battering storm and a tumble drier incident later, we were left homeless. Desperate, we turned to Couch Surfing. French students came to our rescue, offering floor space in their Bordeaux pad, great food and crazy chess parties! Hooked, we seeked hosts in every country. In Salamanca, we stayed with Spanish hippies and befriended cats, sunbathed and lunched on their cannabis – adorned patio. Students in Krakow showed us Christian artwork and their Polish reggae collection, while Jakub our transvestite host in Prague invited us to watch his play about schizophrenia. You'll save a hell of a lot of dosh, but undoubtedly it's the weird and wonderful experiences it brings that will always stay with you. Surf by country and city to find users on the website. Be sure to check their profiles: choose hosts with similar interests, and thoroughly read any house rules they may have, you don't want to end up in awkward or uncomfortable situations. www.couchsurfing.com www.hospitalityclub.org
Language School Fun The words 'France' and 'summer course', summon ideas of sun and romance. On route to Dijon, these were the sort of things I was anticipating for the vacation course. The course itself was well structured; with an average of four hours of classes per day, and thanks to the five flights of stairs we had to climb daily, I was also getting in a lot of exercise. Staying in local French halls of residence made for an interesting experience, quite different to living in Birmingham halls; think thirty people on one corridor, sharing two unisex toilets and showers! Despite this though, friendships were made quickly with other students and we spent most of our free time together exploring Dijon. Ok, so the weather wasn't as nice as I'd hoped, the halls weren't exactly romantic, and there was a lot to learn, but the great thing about the language class abroad is that with new friends from different parts of the world, I was able to experience French culture first-hand, while also forcing myself to practice the language in everyday situations outside the classroom. Even after a year abroad, the month in France was a rewarding learning curve, and definitely something that I'd recommend, whatever your level in a language.
WWOOFing on Farms Car Pooling Tip Off 'World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms', a world-wide network of organisations, for volunteers of all ages and nationalities with an interest in ecological farming. It enables travellers to stay on a farm almost anywhere in the world, working in exchange for food and accommodation. The registration process is easy; a registration fee of 20 euros allows you to view information on the many WWOOF hosts, such as job responsibilities, hours of work per day and minimum/maximum stay. Once you're signed up, all that is left is to do is contact the WWOOF hosts that catch your eye. At the host farm, jobs vary from goat herding to almond picking, you'll also learn how the farms are self-sufficient and make the most of the resources, by using homegrown organic produce and recycling. You don't have to speak the language as some host farms are English-run, but it can be a fantastic way to learn one. WWOOFing is a great way to learn about a culture and meet people of all different nationalities while having a lot of fun. www.wwoof.org.uk
Allow me to introduce Germany's best kept secret, 'Mitfahrgelegenheit.de' A website that allows people to advertise their travel plans, and offer you a seat in their car. Interested? It gets better. This gem of an idea is international. Forget pricey Interrail tickets, confusing foreign train stations or hefty last-minute fees for large hand luggage. Simply enter when and where you want to travel and see if anyone else is travelling in the same direction. The best thing about Carpooling is how cheap it is; from Frankfurt to Berlin we paid €22 in petrol rather than the €90 train fare. There are no large corporations charging administration fees or taxes. Just a normal person wanting to split fuel costs, and have a little company on what could be a long journey. Setbacks include long journeys, no air-con, or worse, the driver has terrible music taste. But for a cheap trip, who can complain? Warning: be sensible, do not travel alone or with anyone who seems a tad suspect. My experience was fantastic, so why not give it a try and bring some CDs!
Tell us about your own alternative travel ideas: email firstname.lastname@example.org / tweet @redbricktravel A prize to be won for the best idea!
Editors – Louise Spratt and Emily Booth
Stay safe in South Africa
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
James Campbell says keeping your wits about you will ensure a safe and exciting visit
South Africa Last year South Africa attracted
nearly 500,000 British visitors to its shores. For a country rich in culture, history and outstanding natural beauty it does not take a genius to work out why the place is so popular with us Brits. Despite all of this, the rainbow nation is locked in a seemingly never-ending battle against crime. When searching for wildlife in the Kruger National Park, or watching the sun set over Table Mountain, you can quickly forget about some of the real problems that the country faces. For the majority of visitors, a trip to South Africa will hopefully be memorable for all the right reasons. Staying safe does not mean having to be paranoid but rather using a bit of common sense and not being naive . Most acts of crime tend to occur in the townships, or in central business districts of the cities, and most likely at night. As a tourist it will be very unlikely for you to find yourself in these areas. If you are ever unsure about somewhere, ask the staff in your hotel or hostel about the no – go areas as local knowledge is always
helpful. Walking around at night is rarely recommended, if you want to get somewhere and are not driving, book a private hire taxi. Again, the staff at your accommodation will know a reliable company that will generally be safer and will not try and rip you off. A lot of visitors will hire a car on their visit to South Africa. Although the roads are generally in good condition, driving is definitely a different experience to what
'Staying safe does not mean being paranoid but rather using a bit of common sense and not being naive' we're used to in the UK. Not that the roads are lawless, but undertaking and seeing ten people on the back of a pick-up truck is an everyday occurrence in the country. The main advice I would give is just to be very aware of what is around you; always check mirrors and make sure car doors are locked from the inside.
If you choose to travel by bus there is an extensive network of intercity services that are generally very safe and reliable. Local minibus taxi services do operate throughout the country and, although considerably cheaper, they are a lot more hassle and safety records are generally poor. A good option for backpackers is the Baz Bus. This company offers door-to-door transfers from selected hostels throughout the country that makes travelling very simple. The bus trips are not that bad either; films are shown on the road, you can meet and exchange stories with fellow travellers and the friendly staff are always there to help you out. Yes, South Africa does have its problems, but do not let it put you off making a trip to what I believe to be one of the most interesting and unique countries on the planet. Being sensible greatly reduces the chances of you being a victim of crime, and by reading guidebooks, researching on the internet and accepting local advice, your experience should be as safe and exciting as the one I had.
What's the crack? Louise Spratt urges you to ditch the stereotypes
There’s more to Colombia than white lines, coffee and Shakira. For decades, the South American country has been tainted by bad reputations of peril and corruption but it is about time that dated perception be dragged into the present day. A backpacker’s dream, Colombia offers everything from jungle treks to lost cities and stunning National Parks to white water rafting and paragliding down canyons. For the less adventurous, Colombia boasts blissful beaches to die for and a happening nightlife. Bonkers Bogotá will take your breath away- but that’s thanks to the 2600m altitude of the capital and the white knuckle bus rides of lunatic drivers speeding through the automobile carnage. Somewhat too proud of connections with their capitalist ‘cousin’ of the North, Bogotá is bombarded with American-style shopping malls that dominate Colombians’ social lives but the characteristic colonial architecture in the historic centre of La Candelaria makes for a more interesting day out. Ajiaco, a hearty chicken and potato broth served with rice and avocado, followed by a sip of chicha- an indigenous drink made of fermented maize and fruit-will help you face the chilly temperatures and rain. Colombians are some of the friendliest Latinos around, and their welcoming approach is most notable in the lush and mountainous city of Medellín- although it was once the world’s most murderous city! Colombian service puts us Brits to shame; expect to be treated like royalty at restaurants! The most beautiful city of Colombia, however, is the romantic Cartagena de Indias that sits
relaxed on the Caribbean coast. Polar opposite to Bogotá’s European vibe, suddenly you’ll feel like you have been transported to the Congo; enchanted by AfroColombians and their zest for life manifested through dance. So it’s no surprise that this is the place to relax. Catch a boat to Playa Blanca and while away the afternoon on white sands surrounded by crystal waters where you can snorkel, savour Caribbean flavours of grilled fish and coconut rice or relax into a massage. So forget everything you’ve been told about Colombia before, and spread the love for this safe, affordable and inspiring country.
Return flights from London Heathrow from £658 (with American Airlines ) No visa required Hostels from £6 per night Climate varies due to location rather than season. Expect colder climates in Bogotá and very hot humid conditions in Cartagena, temperatures reach 34 °C. Local currency is Colombian Pesos, approximately 3000 pesos to the pound. All prices accurate in October 2011
All ale the best of British Breweries! Will Spence Reporter
Boring weekends left you feeling bitter? Need some help brewing up original ideas? Then why not try a typical British day out sampling the best of British beverages around the country. These breweries won't break the bank and offer a fun filled, merry day out. Hook Norton Brewery Based in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside near Banbury, this 150 year old brewery is loyal to traditional ale making. It is one of the only breweries left in the country that still uses a steam engine for part of the beer making process. Coming up in the first weekend of reading week, October 29th, is the cleverly named 'Hooktoberfest', so why not pop down and take part in the next best thing to the German original; sausages and large hats supplied! Birmingham New Street to Banbury: £5* Brewery Lane Hook Norton Oxon OX15 5NY Castle Rock Brewery Based in Nottingham, Castle Rock Brewery has produced several beers that have won regional and national awards; its Harvest Pale winning the Champion Bitter of Britain award in 2007. Tours here allow you to pour your own beer
at the end of the day, and whether you're a fully trained bartender or a fully trained bar attendee, this is fantastic fun. The brewery itself supplies cask ale to many local pubs and the local MP for Nottingham South has even taken some of its beer to the House of Commons! Birmingham New Street to Nottingham: £9.50* Queensbridge Road Nottingham NG2 1NB
and school groups under 18 are allowed on the tour, without the tasting at the end, of course and the brewery itself offers a helping hand in setting up independent pubs. As well as this, they run several cosy hotels in the south, offering a true British country life experience – beer, sun, and roast dinners! Fantastic! Birmingham New Street to Chiswick: £9* The Griffin Brewery Chiswick Lane South London W4 2QB Theakston's Brewery A northern gem, Theakston's brews one of Yorkshires best selling beers of all time, the Old Peculier. With its ales sold throughout the north, this is a brewery that captures the spirit of beer – made by beer lovers, for beer lovers. Adding that little extra touch, for groups larger than 20, an evening tour can be provided. This includes unlimited beer sampling, tolerance permitting, and food is also provided.
The Griffin Brewery (Fullers) Based in our capital, the famous Fullers London Pride is considered by many to be Britain's premium ale. Having been brewed for over 350 years, the Griffin Brewery certainly has experience on its side when it comes to making beer. A family friendly brewery, children
Birmingham New Street to York: £70* T&R Theakston Ltd Ripon HG4 4YD *All train prices are for singles checked in advance for 12pm travel – no student rail card.
Santa Marta, Colombia
14th October 2011
Sport Cyclists gaining momentum Birmingham triumph at Cross-Country meeting
Find out how Birmingham won the Manchester Relays, p25
Redbrick Sport writer James Robinson talked to the University of Birmingham Cycling Club's head coach Xavier Disley to find out more about a club that is very much on an upward curve
Andy Robbins in action (left), and the team after gaining silver medals in the BUCS Team Time Trial (right). From left to right; Xavier Disley, Oliver Wilson and Jack Peasgood (photo) pleasant surprise the club seems to be a microcosm of British cycling itself at the moment: hugely successful in recent years, growing in reputation and growing in sheer size. Disley echoed the recent expansion: 'Two years ago we only had twelve members, last year we had over forty.' Although the club has been in existence since 1942, the last few years have been exceptionally prosperous, particularly in terms of tangible gains, such as medals. Furthermore, this success is diverse: gold medals were achieved last year in road events, hill climbs and the BUCS track championships, in which Birmingham finished first overall. The passion and hunger displayed by Disley seems to disseminate through a team which boasts several eminent riders, such as Elle Hopkins, winner of the prestigious 2011 UBSport Sportsperson of the Year award. The club itself won development club of the year at the UBSport Sports Awards, while impressive
The Week In Numbers
Points earned so far this season by Sebastian Vettel, who secured the Drivers' Championship with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.
Northern Ireland had won just two of their previous 23 games before Nigel Worthington's resignation on Tuesday.
Jonny Wilkinson's kicking success percentage during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, far below the standards England have come to expect of the talisman.
Rafael Nadal was allowed to score just four points in the 6-0 final set of the Japan Open Final against Andy Murray, a set in which the Scot played some outstanding, aggressive tennis. Ireland's 22-10 defeat to Wales incredibly marked the sixth time they've crashed out of the Rugby World Cup at the quarter-final stage.
results at last years' BUCS championships have further enhanced the club's growing reputation. Birmingham's riders accounted for one-third of BUCS entries and finished second in the team time trial event, just five seconds off the winners. It's not only BUCS championships in which University cyclists compete. The recent national championships in Manchester, graced by the presence of athletes such as Hoy, witnessed the Birmingham team produce a blistering performance in the team time trial event, finishing 10 seconds faster than last years' BUCS gold medallists. Despite its success, the club is not filled with egos and individuals, instead appearing tightly knit and highly focused. Disley has been instrumental in the success of this team. A PhD student, he arrived at the club two years ago with a mountain of invaluable knowledge and expertise. Working for RST Sport, he has experience of dealing with big-name athletes
and is one of the best-placed people in the country for aerodynamic analysis. 'Shedding that extra second can be the difference between gold and silver' he added. Under his (and others) recent leadership the club has become a formidable force, characterised by a high level of professionalism throughout its competitors. The University of Birmingham Cycling Club is not just a name respected within university sport; it has become a force in the entire UK cycling sector and remains as determined as ever for success. Furthermore, the implementation of a five-year plan should ensure its prosperity in the long-term. Next month sees the commencement of the BUCS track championships and Birmingham will be hungry to build upon the foundations laid by its previous success. Disley is adamant that the club will do well, noting that certain members have been putting in extra training hours on Sundays such is their determination. In terms of
The Week In Quotes
preparation, the coach remarked, 'the most important thing is to remain physically and mentally fit, and to ensure that all your equipment is ready and in good order'. Students considering joining the cycling club should not be intimidated by its enormous success, nor put off by the fear of having to purchase expensive equipment. Annual membership is ÂŁ65, which includes free entry to BUCS competitions, free accommodation at BUCS, free lending of equipment (such as bikes, helmets etc.), and access to top-level coaching. Disley insists the club is memberorientated and offers something for everyone, from complete beginners through to national level riders. He said, 'Our main goal is to see a smile on everyone's face. Enjoyment is vital to success and we put a lot of focus into ensuring our members feel comfortable'. For me, Birmingham's cycling club can be summarised in just three words: successful, professional, and accessible.
The Redbrick Sport Quiz
'This year we've always been this one step ahead. In a way the hardest thing is after winning last year to go out and do it again.'
1) Who is Liverpool FC's record goalscorer?
'I've been dealing with them, the Pakistan team, for about two and a half years and we've made massive amounts of money.'
3) Which seven disciplines make up the Heptathlon?
Sebastian Vettel pays tribute to his Red Bull team after securing his second consecutive Formula One Drivers' Championship with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The comments used in court by Mazhar Majeed, the player-agent at the centre of cricket's 'spot-fixing' trial involving Pakistan players Mohammed Asif and Salman Butt.
'What we should be talking about is the spine of a team that has no mobility and can't keep the ball.'
Gary Neville believes England's problems stretch deeper than Wayne Rooney's ill discipline ahead of Euro 2012.
'I guess the boozing, womanising, dwarf-tossing strategy didn't quite work then'.
Via Twitter, Piers Morgan takes a dig at the England rugby team in the aftermath of their quarter-final defeat to France.
2) How many career Formula One Drivers' Championships has Michael Schumacher won?
4) Who is England cricket team's highest runscorer of all time? 5) Which four European golfers have won major championships in the last two years? 1, Ian Rush 2, Seven 3, 110m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, 200m, Long Jump, Javelin, 800m 4, Graham Gooch 5, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, Ro y McIlroy and Darren Clarke.
When Mark Cavendish powered over the finish line to emerge victorious at the recent World Road Race in Denmark, he became the latest in a recent line of illustrious British cyclists to achieve glory. British cycling has become a hot topic in sports at the moment, reaching its apogee in the 2008 Summer Olympics. In Beijing, team GB took home 14 cycling medals (eight of them gold), topped the cycling medal table and ensured household name status for the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton. Boosted by recent success and multi-million pound investment from BSkyB, the popularity of this sport has soared: British Cycling, the national governing body for the sport, has doubled its membership since 2007 to 40,000. Considering the hype generated by cycling at the moment, I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to speak with Xavier Disley, head coach of the University of Birmingham Cycling Club. To my
Sport Thoughts Redbrick Sport Editor Joseph Audley discusses football punditry and how it hands a lifeline to ex-professionals...
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors â€“ Sam Price & Joseph Audley
Seconds weather storm before striking Men's Rugby Union
Frankie Conway & Raphael Sheridan Sport Reporters
Are all footballers destined for a career in punditry after their playing days? It seems that way, as more and more players are turning to media coverage almost immediately after retirement; whether or not their career was an illustrious one doesn't seem to matter. It seems that there is nobody better than the likes of Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen appearing on our screens every week to update us on recent events in football. The excitement of Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Paul Merson on Soccer Saturday whilst watching live games that aren't being broadcast allows us to enjoy football without even watching it. This is anything but unusual to viewers; fans look forward to the sofa banter and postmatch analysis. But when looking into the future of punditry, it is hard to picture which present-day professionals will step up to the task. Can you imagine Joey Barton, Craig Bellamy and Wayne Rooney presenting Match of the Day? It is still strange to see Gary Neville in a suit talking us through con-
When asked before the game what the Second XV were aiming for this season, the coach Ed Binham's answer was simple, 'Promotion'. After a rigorous pre-season training schedule, a strong start to the season was therefore essential and Worcester presented the first major obstacle in their endeavour; a team that had undergone thorough conditioning work in preparation for the season ahead. Birmingham put four tries and three penalties past their opponents to comfortably win 29-3. Yet despite the margin of victory, Binham saw significant areas for improvement with the performance, 'I'm not really delighted. I think our first half performance was pretty poor, it wasn't satisfactory. I was quite hard on a few guys.' Birmingham had actually started the brighter of the two teams, very nearly converting a quick, fluid move down the right hand side two minutes in before the referee blew for a forward pass. Not troubled by this, they pressed forward and were initially stronger in the scrum, more disciplined in line-outs and controlled proceedings in the first 15 minutes. They were eventually rewarded for their efforts with a penalty, which was expertly converted by the fly-half Pete Gizauskas, who controlled play throughout the match with great effectiveness. Soon doubling Birmingham's lead, it appeared mid-way through the first half that Worcester were going to struggle throughout the game.
Birmingham had to evade determined tackles to take control of the contest The source of Binham's ire came 20 minutes in when their opponents wrestled control of the contest. They won a series of scrums inside the Birmingham 22 and continually put significant pressure on the home side, who were camped inside their own half until the referee blew for the interval. A try at this point was looking very likely, but despite this the home-team defended valiantly and crucially, kept Worcester from scoring. It looked like Birmingham would struggle in the second half but the match once again turned, this time in favour of the home side. Indeed, from the outset Birmingham took total control. As they bombarded Worcester with a barrage of forward runs, it was evident that a miraculous halftime team talk had significantly reshaped the contest. So what was the difference between the first and second half? 'Just making them relax.' Bin-
ham later said 'It was a case of having the confidence to show how we play and that's what showed throughout. I was quite hard on a few guys [at half time] and I've got no excuses for that performance. I
Birmingham fly-half Pete Gizauskas converted all three of his penalties but missed three conversions.
think the boys understand that.' Unlike their Worcester opponents in the first half, Birmingham were able to convert their territorial dominance into points. Key to their success was the nimblefooted skill and trickery of the leftwinger Amesh Ahir. Exploiting a now tiring opposition, Ahir was able to score his first and second
tries with strong, weaving runs in and out of the Worcester defence. Sandwiching Ahir's tries came a scrappy 'over the line' effort from flanker Wilkins. Birmingham added further misery to a now demoralised away side by notching a fourth try courtesy of their insidecentre Mathews. The accolades for this match, however, belong to Ahir who was at the heart of everything good about the home side's performance. Speaking after the game, he said 'It was nice to get my first try and my first game on the Bournbrook pitch. The key was getting more of the ball. We just needed to know how to play and have a go.' Spirits in the Birmingham camp seem strong, with Ahir commenting 'It's the first game and there's a lot of things to come for us, don't worry about that. As long as people keep turning up, we'll put a show on every week.' With spectacles like that, Ahir will certainly get his wish.
Brum held as Warwick snatch late draw Men's Badminton
troversies every week rather than causing trouble on the pitch himself. On the other hand there are injury-prone players like Jamie Redknapp who retired at the age of 32, destined for a life of punditry. Gary Lineker is the benchmark of football punditry. Taking over from Des Lynam after four years experience, the Englishman became BBC's lead anchorman for coverage of football in 1999. Nobody could have imagined this in his glory days, just like nobody could imagine Darren Bent introducing MOTD every Saturday night. So the question still remains, will today's top goalscorer become tomorrow's top TV personality? With the list of footballers becoming pundits growing ever bigger, it seems that most players assume a second career is assured imminently after retirement. This second career can range from anything from a brief comment about an important game every week, or even Strictly Come Dancingâ€“ just ask Robbie Savage.
James Newbon Sport Reporter
Both teams came away with a share of the spoils at the Munrow Sports Hall on Wednesday, as Birmingham's second team shared a 4-4 draw with their opponents Warwick 1sts. With both teams talking up chances of victory before the tie started, a draw was perhaps a fair result as the sides looked to get their Midland League 1A campaign off to a good start. And it was Birmingham who got off to the best possible start as doubles pair Scott Williams and Jamie Roberton raced into a one game lead over their opponents Thaddeus Oh and Wa Sonsin. They completed their victory with relative ease in the second game to win 21-14, 21-13 and take the first match for Birmingham. Fellow doubles pair Avinash Chandarana and Matt Rowbottom also took their first game, edging a close encounter of 22-20. But they completed a more convincing victory in the second, getting the better of some long rallies to win 21-14 and take a second match for
Birmingham. Whilst Birmingham's doubles pairings were taking their team into a 2-0 lead, their single's players were struggling against tough opponents. Both Chong JJ and Sean Corden pushed their opponents close, but were beaten 18-21, 19-21 and 18-21, 17-21 respectively, as Warwick levelled the score at 2-2. As the second set of games commenced it was once again the Birmingham doubles pairs who lead the way. Chandarana and Rowbottom polished off Thaddeus and Wa 21-17, 21-11 as Birmingham looked to regain the lead. On the adjacent court their teammates Williams and Robeton were also in dominant form as they took on Ken The and Nikko Cheung and won 21-17, 21-18. The doubles results left Birmingham guaranteed with at least a draw and needing only one win from the singles to take victory. But on the singles courts it was not going Birmingham's way. Chong lost his first game at the hands of Warwick's Xinquan by an 11-21 score. Sean Corden was unfortunate to suffer a 20-22 first game defeat after pushing his opponent, Ben Li. With both Birmingham players trailing by a game Warwick sensed an opportunity to take a draw from the tie.
And things looked to be continuing this way when, despite receiving some mid-game advice from coach Lorraine Cole, Chong lost the second game 18-21 to leave the overall score at 4-3 to Birmingham. After the game Chong could not hide his frustration, 'I needed to win. I was disappointed for today.' All eyes then turned to Corden's match against Li, in which Corden had managed to level the games at 1-1 with a close 21-19 victory in the second game.A win for Corden would mean a win for Birmingham, but for Corden, final game glory was not to be as he succumbed to a 9-21 defeat. 'I felt I had a chance going into the final game but I started it badly, going 11-3 down at one point and that didn't help,' the disappointed player explained after the match. Warwick captain Wa said he was 'happy with the draw' while Birmingham coach Cole stated that she was also satisfied with a share of the spoils, 'I'm happy with the draw and we won on points which is good. They fielded a strong team, with their singles player's particularly strong, but we dominated the men's doubles so that's good.' So after a hard-fought afternoon in the Munrow centre, both sides went home content with their early season performance.
Awaiting service Michael Drury
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors â€“ Sam Price & Joseph Audley
Cross-Country teams reign supreme at Manchester relays
Sport Shorts Football Writers
Barclays this week launched the 'Barclays Aspiring Football Writer' competition, aimed at the next generation of budding football journalists. To enter, submit a match report or article on the Barclays Premier League in no more than 500 words to email@example.com for the chance to experience a Premier League match with a top journalist. For more information go to www.barclaysfootballwriter.com
Vote for Hannah
This week marked the launch of the 2011 Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year. This is a great initiative to recognise the best British sportswomen, with previous winners including Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe, Victoria Pendleton and Zara Phillips. Front runners for the prize this year look to be the likes of golfer Laura Davies, triathlete Helen Jenkins and England rugby captain Katy McLean. But we're encouraging you to vote for former Birmingham student Hannah England, who won the silver medal for 1500m at the 2011 World Athletics Championship and was featured in last week's Redbrick. You can vote online at www.sundaytimes.co.uk The girls set off for the Cross-Country relays, in which conditions proved to be as much of a challenge as endurance Joe Townsend Cross-Country Correspondent
Not dissimilar to the summer of 2010, recruitment was down after the big intake of 2009 but it certainly has not weakened the University of Birmingham CrossCountry team as yet again the Manchester University Relays was dominated by red and blue vests. Thanks to 2009, the team enjoyed the experience of ten final-year students on the coach to Wythenshawe Sports Ground. The most notable absentee was European silver medallist Jonny Hay, but his presence wasn't missed as Birmingham romped to victory for the fifth consecutive year. The University's second and third string were not far behind, taking silver and fourth place respectively to complete an emphatic performance in Josh Gorecki's first fixture as captain. Used to being greeted by sunshine, it was a decidedly wet Manchester that met the University's cross-country team though it did little to dampen spirits. The 3.5km course took the runners around a
muddy array of sports pitches and included a tight slalom through the trees. After three years of being spearheaded by international stars Nick Goolab & James Wilkinson a new breed would need to fill the void; they did so resoundingly. Traditionally the event is used for blooding fresh talent and without Hay it was left to Finn McNally and Tom Jervis to lead the fresher charge and they did so with aplomb. The former debuted solidly in difficult circumstances having taken over from Gorecki with a lead of more than one minute. Vice-captain Matt Jackson had given BUAC a near-perfect start and was unlucky in being squeezed out of first place by a single second. Joe Townsend took Birmingham into the lead before Gorecki and McNally extended it, leaving seasoned campaigner Harry Harper to cruise home to a great reception, ensuring that the title will remain in Edgbaston for another year. Equally weakened by the graduation of several excellent athletes, the girls enjoyed an even more dominant display as all podium positions were secured both individually and as a team. Leg one
saw a showdown between training partners and Great Britain internationals Hannah Walker and Lauren Howarth, with the two neck and neck until the final straight where Howarth squeezed ahead by four seconds via a strong finish. Cath Blew's impressive run should merit special mention as she posted what would be the third quickest time of the day, just 12 seconds adrift of Walker. Fresher Beccy Linney ran superbly to extend the lead before handing over to Walker (running her second leg of the day), who wrapped up the win before seeing the next three finishers all in Birmingham blue and red. It would appear Becky Tipping, women's cross-country captain, had an even more successful first day at the office than Gorecki, which says a lot given the the men's dominant display. Ultimately, the University of Birmingham's men and women ruthlessly laid down a marker for their rivals in a long-term pursuit of sterner tests. The next examination will be in early November as Leamington Spa plays host to the first Birmingham and District and Midland Women's League fixture
where Gorecki and Tipping will be eager to capitalise on the fantastic foundations laid at Manchester.
Resulting Times Men's 1st's Total Time: 1 hour 4m 47s Individual (2 miles): Matt Jackson 10m 20s Joe Townsend 10m 29s Josh Gorecki 10m 39s Women's 1st's Total Time: 1 hour 5m 14s Individual (2 miles): Lauren Howarth 11m 37s Hannah Walker 12m 1s Becky Linney 12m 22s
Deserved recognition for Lions head coach Sam Price Sport Editor
University of Birmingham's American Football Head Coach Wayne Hill was last week announced as the only UK representative to be selected for the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Development Team. Hill will be a member of the coaching staff and selection committee that prepare a team of the best 17 and 18-year-olds around the world to play against a USA select in an 'Allstars' game in January. It is deserved recognition for
Hill, who has been an integral part of the Birmingham Lion's success during his 14-year association with the club. He also believes the experience will be extremely beneficial to the club, who he will continue to coach. 'It's going to benefit us tremendously. It puts us on a world stage, and in terms of networking will open up many avenues, including much better contact with the USA. 'I'll benefit from working with the best coaches and players and can bring what I learn from the programme back to the University set-up, which will raise our standards.'
It is a significant achievement for Hill to be the sole representative from the UK in the programme, which was launched in 2010. The selection process is worldwide, including Europe, Australia, Mexico and Canada and culminates in a January training camp before the all-star game. 'I'll be flying out to the States for a large part of January, but I'm only missing one Lions game and it won't disrupt the season'. Hill was eager to point out that this recognition is not merely a testament to his coaching ability, but a reflection of the University of Birmingham American Football
set-up as a whole. It is certainly another achievement for UB Sport, and the coach believes it's a culmination of the support the club has had from the University. 'If we didn't have such a good set-up and hadn't been so successful, then I may have gone unnoticed and this opportunity wouldn't have presented itself. I've been committed to the sport, have spent 14 years with the Lions and it's fantastic that we're going to be recognised on a world stage.' This is a huge boost for the Birmingham Lions, who kick off their campaign with the annual 'Xplosion' game on Novermber 5th.
First Team Fixtures
Wednesday 19th October Game of the week:
Men's Football vs Stirling 1st's Munrow Track 2.30pm Women's Football vs Sheffield Hallam 1sts Metchley Pitch 2pm Women's Hockey vs Nottingham 1sts Bournbrook P1 2.15 pm Men's Hockey vs Sheffield Hallam 1sts Bournbrook P2 2.15pm Women's Rugby vs Sheffield 1sts Bournbrook 2.30pm Men's Volleyball vs Nottingham 1sts Munrow New Gym 5.30pm Women's Netball vs Oxford 1sts Munrow Sports Hall 3.30pm Women's Lacrosse vs Warwick 1sts Munrow Track 5.30pm Men's Lacrosse vs Staffordshire 1sts Metchley 3G Pitch 2pm Men's Basketball vs Warwick 1sts Munrow Sports Hall 7.30pm Women's Basketball vs Nottingham 1sts Munrow Sports Hall 5.30pm
This week in...
England Euro 2012
Couldn't make it up
The Wednesday debate this week discusses the pressures on Arsene Wenger and whether he is still the right man to manage Arsenal. Tom Harvey sticks up for the Frenchman and Sam Barnett argues that the Gunners should let him go.
Seth Armstrong-Twigg reviews Engand's performance in the qualifying round of the 2012 European Championships. The Three Lions finished top despite unconvincing performances, can they get it right this summer?
they Weekend Wager
Champions Day at Ascot promises to be an incredible day's racing, and with superhorse Frankel not offering value for money, it may pay to have a flutter on Oaks winner Dancing Rain, who was back to form on his last run in Germany and can outclass this field.
Club in Focus... BUAC Cool Runnings Cool Runnings is a running club set up in 2009 and aimed at nonelite athletes. The club attempts to give all abilities the opportunity to run at a pace they feel comfortable, and sessions can be as competitive as you like. Sessions take the format of meeting outside the Munrow Centre and often running from 3km-10km in the local area, or doing middle distance and sprinting on the Munrow Track. Cool Runnings provides a great social atmosphere as well as an enjoyable way of maintaining fitness throughout university life.
The Redbrick Crossword
Training sessions are: Mondays 6.30pm – 7.30pm Wednesday 3pm – 4.30pm Sundays 1pm – 2.30pm Membership: £25 for the year, enabling you to attend as many training sessions as you'd like. Contact: http://www.facebook.com/ groups/buac.coolrunnings/ Twitter: @BUACcoolrunning
Mordo Nahum Puzzles Editor
This week's prize is a £5 Waterstones Gift Voucher Completed crosswords to be submitted to the Redbrick office by 17/10/11. (Redbrick Office located in the basement of the Guild)
Year: Email Address:
Saturday 3.00 Ascot
Record of the week
A cult hero in the Manchester City years before the Abu Dhabi millions, Shaun Goater scored over 100 goals for the club. He has since set up a team called Bermuda Hogs, and branched into business, setting up 'Eastend telecommunications' with three partners.
Andy Murray beat Rafael Nadal in style to win the Japanese Open after dropping the first set. Murray hit six aces and recently won the Thailand Open, making it a very successful week for the Brit.
Blayne Pereira has a look into Sebastian Vettel's second consecutive Formula One Championship win. At 24, the German became the youngest ever double-title winner, and won with four races to spare of the 19-race season.
On his 16th hole of the day, Tiger Woods was preparing to sink his putt. Unfortunately, an angry fan jumped out from the crowd and launched a Hot Dog in his direction. After the fan had been detained, Woods then missed his putt.
Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword into the Redbrick office.
2007 England beat France 14-9 on their own turf in the Rugby World Cup semi-final four years ago this week. England lost to South Africa after reaching the final.
Rashed Al Hooti got himself into the record books this week – for a reason he'd probably like to forget. The Bahrain player is now the fastest ever player to get an international red card after being given his marching orders after just 35 seconds . Bahrain went on to lose the Asian Cup Qulifier 6-0 with Rashed regreting his rash challenge early on.
This week on the Redbrick website...
2000 Conceding an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time never goes down well, but in 2000 Arsene Wenger received a 12-match ban for pushing fourth official Martin Atkinson after his team did just that.
Manu Tuilagi was in hot water this week as he received a warning and a £3,000 fine for jumping off a boat and swimming a short distance to a pier. Manager Martin Johnson has warned him of his future conduct and punished him internally.
14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors – Sam Price & Joseph Audley
1. Layer of paint (4) 3. Linguistic system (8) 9/10. American jazz/soul musician who sang Killing Me Softly With His Song (7, 5) 11. 3 Across used in Ancient Rome (5) 12. Demand (6) 14. Scottish snooker player and seven-time world champion (7, 6) 17. Capital of Taiwan (6) 19. Male duck; 16th century explorer (5) 22. Earlier (5) 23. Ball-tracking system used in tennis, cricket and other sports (4-3) 24. Fissure in a glacier (8) 25. Probability (4)
1. Negligent (8) 2. Head of a monastery (5) 4. Collection of stories including Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad the Sailor (7, 6) 5. Objects found in Santa's sack? (5) 6. Hoarded (7) 7. Large mammals known as moose in America (4) 8. Type of 1 Across (6) 13. Mountain range on the France-Spain border (8) 15. Inspect (7) 16. Snowed (anag.) (6) 18. Type of 1 Across (5) 20. Named (anag.) (5) 21. Long narrative poem (4)
Youtube search: David Hirst vs Aston Villa 1991 David Hirst, also know as 'The Cudworth Flyer,' completely surprised Hillsborough when he picked up the ball on the far side of the 18 yard box and smashed it into the top left corner. The ball was hit with such venom and swerve that it's not a surpirise that Hirst holds the record for the fastest ball ever struck (114 mph).
Sam Warburton After making it to the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup, Wales face a very important tie against France on Saturday. This is the first time that the team has reached this stage in the tournament since 1987. Captain Sam Warburton was heroic in the quarter-final win against Ireland but is keeping a cool head in the build-up to the biggest game of his career so far.
Wayne Rooney is set to miss the start of Euro 2012 after kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic and getting sent off against Montenegro at the weekend. Many people were convinced that Rooney had matured but his performance last Friday has knocked his Euro 2012 campaign before it has even begun.
Defeat to France capped a miserable World Cup for England, who have played poorly throughout. The campaign will be chiefly remembered for the off-pitch antics of the players, who disgraced themselves on boozy nights out.
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14th October 2011 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Editors â€“ Sam Price & Joseph Audley
Birmingham Cyclists Turn to p24 for an exclusive feature on cycling with head coach Xavier Disley.
Worcester whitewashed by Birmingham Men's Rugby Union
Laura Frost Sport Reporter
The Birmingham men's rugby union first team defeated Worcester firsts 38-0 in a well-played match at the Bournbrook pitches. Having finished joint third last season in the BUCS Premier B North league, the team were raring to go and prove their strength in this, their first match. At the kick off, the guests were eager to get a head start and put pressure on the hosts as they pushed forward into Birmingham's defensive third. However, the boys in red kept a strong defence, keeping Worcester away from their 18 yard line. The ball was played up and down the pitch between the teams for the first ten minutes, before the home team managed to keep possession in Worcester territory and scored two tries in quick succession. The hosts showed no fear and were keen to get stuck into the rucks. The Birmingham back row was strong and triumphant in the breakdown battle, proving to the crowd that they took no prisoners in the opposite team. The scrums were powerful from the host side, at times rotating the opposing team sideways and leaving them dazed. Despite this, the visitors displayed a clear strength in their line out catches, achieving much elevation and keeping possession for a short time after the ball was thrown in. The visitors were not going down without a fight. Having found confidence on the pitch, Birmingham managed to hold strong possession in the first half of the game, scoring a penalty kick to send them into half time with a 17-0 lead. Each conversion was taken by inside-centre Pete Matthews, putting more pressure on the guests to deliver. As the second half began, Worcester upped their game and pushed Brum back into their territory, showing that they were not yet defeated. But they failed to penetrate them and put a mark on the board. However, the possession was much more even at this time, with the guests fighting for a chance to level with the Birmingham firsts. They forced their way into the home team's territory, proving they hadn't finished layering on the pressure. Despite this newfound confidence from the opposing team, the hosts mauled forward and forced the visitors back, turning up the heat on the Worcester defenders and putting their stamina to the
Matthews was in superb kicking form (left) allowing Brum to celebrate an emphatic victory (right) Meurig Gallagher (left) Tom Flathers (right) ultimate test. The visiting team rose to the challenge and delivered a strong defence, but were unable to stop the outside backs from racing across the pitch in an attempt to reach the try-line. Despite Worcester's best efforts, there was nothing to prevent the home team from cruising to victory in the last half hour with three more tries. Matthews had a
strong second half, scoring the final try moments before the match finished and sealed this successful victory with a last conversion bang on target. When interviewing coach Mike Umaga after the match, it was clear to see that the boys had delivered. 'I'm very happy with the result. They've worked really hard for the past five weeks.' Jimmy Ray, who played
strongly throughout, echoed Umaga's satisfaction. 'I hope we can carry on with these winning ways, and keep at it for the rest of the season and hopefully get promoted!' The team all seemed pleased with their efforts and the final score, despite the odd few injuries, bumps and grazes. Overall, this has been a very promising start to the season for the first team, who will hope they
can continue to score at will against sterner opposition.
Magic Number Five out of five tries were converted by Paul Matthews
INSIDE Turn to page 26 to read about the performance of Birmingham's cross country team at the Manchester Relays last Saturday