Page 1


EST. 1936


E 140


Friday 18th November 2011 | Volume 76 | Issue 1400 |

'Arts in Wonderland' Redbrick Arts begins its search for University of Birmingham's favourite fictional characters, p18

Selly Oak burglaries rocket by 300%

Vice President Housing and Community warns students to remain vigilant following sharp increase in burglaries and car theft Dominic Jackson Reporter

A recent crime wave has hit the Selly Oak area, with police figures indicating a dramatic 300% increase in the number of burglaries committed during the month of October. The year on year figures also indicate that the incidence of car theft has risen by 28%. It is estimated that a massive three quarters of all these crimes are carried out by opportunistic criminals taking advantage of individuals who fail to secure their property or valuables. Redbrick contacted a number of the students who have been recent victims of burglary in Selly Oak to hear about their experiences. Saul Freedman, a third year Politics student, returned from a night out to discover that thieves had broken into his property via a small first floor window. Valuable electronics were stolen from his room including a laptop, Playstation and BlackBerry mobile phone.

'Students should ensure all doors and windows in their property are locked, avoid displaying valuables in plain sight, walk home from nights out in groups and hide or remove property kept in their cars.' VPHAC Zuki Majuqwana He said, 'When the police came, they told us that they had been in Selly Oak for most of the night, but had gone to Harborne to attend another incident. It is simply not good enough for the safety of students to have just one car out on the streets, when it is well known that a lot of crime goes on around here. I think having a police station in Selly Oak would be a massive deterrent to would-be hoodlums.' During the first week of term Lauren Du Bourg, a third year Chemical Engineering student, had her bike stolen from her garden despite it being chained up and covered in tarpaulin. More recently the property itself was broken into. 'Last week thieves broke into our house after three in the morning and made off with a TV, laptops and some DVDs. It might have been our fault, we had left the back door unlocked.' Zuki Majuqwana, Vice President for Housing and Community, said in an interview with Redbrick, 'Last October there

A warning notice deterring would-be thieves is displayed on Dawlish Road, Selly Oak were 13 burglaries reported, however this October there were 41 such incidents.' He added that the trend may be set to continue into November, 'On the 5th of November alone there were 10 reported incidences of burglary that evening.' Despite the rise in burglaries, Zuki was pleased to point out that Selly Oak has progressively become a safer place in recent years. 'Data for the overall crime rate shows that the number of reported crimes is down on previ-

ous years', but admitted that burglary is the one exception to this trend. He added that the Guild had run a number of successful campaigns in partnership with the local police force to reduce crime over the past few years, with particular mention made of the 'Selly Watch' Guild microsite, which provides information and advice to students about how they can avoid becoming victims of crime. Zuki concluded the interview by offering advice to the student population. 'Keeping it simple, I

recommend that students should ensure all doors and windows in their property are locked. [Students should] avoid displaying valuables in plain sight, walk home from nights out in groups and hide or remove property kept in their cars.' A representative for the West Midlands Police confirmed the increase in the number of burglaries and car thefts. 'There has been a recent rise in the number of house burglaries and car theft‌ we are addressing this issue as a

Millie Guy priority.' The West Midlands Police are now deploying patrols in greater frequency during the evenings when the majority of burglaries and car thefts take place. The number of acquisitive crimes committed typically rise during times of economic difficulties, with Selly Oak traditionally a vulnerable area targetted by criminals due its large student population. For further information on the latest Selly Oak police crime maps, see page four.


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 Technical Directors Jeremy Levett Dan Lesser News Editors Anna Hughes James Brilliant Kerrina Gray Online News Editor Freddie Herzog Features Editors Ali Hendy Amanda Callaghan Online Features Editor Owen Earwicker

Life&Style Editors Sophie Cowling Lara Edwards Online Food and Life&Style Editor Rosie Sharratt Travel Editors Emily Booth Louise Spratt Technology Editors Joshua Lindsey Ruth Bradley Online Travel and Tech Editor Frank Mugomba Sport Editors Sam Price Joseph Audley Online Sport Editor Joel Lamy Crossword Editor John Rizkallah Senior Editorial Assistant Kate Selvaratnam

Arts Editors Lexie Wilson Alexander Blanchard

Editorial Assistants Oscar French Ellie Jarvis Isabel Mason Sarah Musgrove Elisha Owen

Music Editors Will Franklin Tamara Roper

Online Editorial Assistants Rosie Pearce Josh Taylor Eimear Luddy

Online Arts and Music Editor Mel Hunt Television Editors Charlotte Lytton James Moore Film Editors Genevieve Taylor Isidore Sanders Online TV and Film Editor Matthew Clemens Food Editors James Morrison Jordan Warner

Junior Art Directors Lauren Wheatley Sophie Rogers Kimberley Faria Online Junior Art Director Akhil Kothari Proofreaders Sian Stanfield Charlotte Goodwin Emma Korniewski Lucy Haffenden Elizabeth Waind Anna Lumsden Community Manager Sophie MurrayMorris

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 Redbrick is printed through www.quotemeprint. com: 08451 300667. Advertising: Contact Aimee Fitzpatrick in Guild Marketing on 0121 251 2524


18th November 2011

News feed UK



Unemployment level rises

Apple select new board chairman

MoD costs increase by £500 million

The number of economically active people currently unemployed rose by 0.4% between July and September, a report by the Office for National Statistics has revealed. The number of unemployed people is the highest since 1994.

Apple has selected director Arthur Levinson as its new board chairman, the position previously held by the company's co-founder Steve Jobs. Apple's chief executive has said Mr Levinson's 'insight and leadership are incredibly valuable'.

Efforts by the Ministry of Defence to balance its budget have led to cost increases of nearly £500 million on its 15 largest projects, according to a report by National Audit Offices. The NAO said that cuts to the MoD were 'not value for money'.

Patrick McGhee takes a look at Europe's fallen leaders

Silvio Berlusconi Italy

George Papandreou Greece

Silvio Berlusconi dominated Italian politics for 17 years - serving three terms - making him Italy's longest serving post-war Prime Minister. Mr Berlusconi formed his Forza Italia party in 1993 and won the 1994 general election, although his first term in government was short-lived. He returned to power in 2001, and again in 2008, when Italy's economy was under strain. His premiership has been characterised by personal problems, and he has drawn criticism from commentators after accusations of corruption and sex scandals. His business empire, ranging from construction to media and worth £5.6 billion, has been investigated. He has fought several trials, relating to fraud, bribery and dealings with the mafia. In the midst of the Eurozone economic crisis, and after losing his government majority, Mr Berlusconi announced his resignation on 8th November.

The third Prime Minister in his family after his father and grandfather, 59-year-old George Papandreou had led the Panhellenic Socialist Movement since 2004, after serving in various ministerial positions, including as foreign minister from 1999. It was in 2004 that Greece hosted the Olympic Games, after the country's successful bid, for which Mr Papandreou, who is fluent in three languages, was responsible before becoming Prime Minister of Greece in 2009. Critics of his premiership often pointed to his lack of leadership, but during his time as foreign minister he successfully improved Greek relations with Turkey, Albania and Bulgaria. However, economic difficulties in recent years have caused concerns for Mr Papandreou's leadership. Despite recently winning a vote of confidence 153 votes to 145, Mr Papandreou resigned on 10th November.

Sabbs on the week

Compiled by Patrick McGhee

Overheard on campus '…you know when Enoch Powell said he had to give up the cello?' 'this Subway...mmmmmm... I am literally becoming aroused' 'I added orange juice to milk once. I thought I'd make orange milk but it curdled' 'Why does she have to be a fruit? She's not a fruit. She's more like a McDonalds' 'You don't have in your head, you have YMCA'

'But what about my library card?!' (Girl whilst crying) 'Parents who let their children run around in doctors' surgeries should suffer' 'You know you're pathetic when 90210 makes you cry' 'The meaning of life is to give life meaning' 'Just saw Immortals, oh my god I love it. Theseus, touch me right now, and Zeus' Overheard anything funny on campus? Email us at news@

Thanks to all email contributions and the Overheard in Bham Twitter and Facebook sites.


18th November 2011

News shorts compiled by Patrick McGhee




Soyuz docks with space station

Old Joe turns blue for Diabetes Day

Defectors attack Syrian military base

The Russian spacecraft Soyuz has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The rocket is the only way to access the space station after the discontinuation of the US space shuttle programme earlier this year.

The University of Birmingham's clock tower face turned blue on Monday in recognition of World Diabetes Day. The University is highly regarded for its research into diabetes. Other buildings around the UK also turned blue for the day.

The Free Syrian Army has attacked an Air Force Intelligence base near Damascus, according to anti-government opposition. It is estimated that over 3,500 people have died in the country since demonstrations began in March.

Redbrick through the years: from issue one to 1400 As Redbrick reaches issue 1400 we take a look back at how the paper has changed

These front pages range from issue one in 1936 and follow Redbrick through every hundredth issue until today's 1400th front page. With thanks to the Cadbury Research Library. For larger versions of these front pages see online at

A week in the life of BurnFM station manager Oliver Owen Monday

Although Monday is the official start to the week, once Burn FM has rescheduled, weeks become a continuous battle to keep broadcasting and fight technical issues. Rescheduling is our busiest time of the year; involving the heads and deputies of each department cutting 130 applications for shows to roughly 60. Mondays also consist of a brief from the Heads of News about their weekly content, and my own radio show with cohosts Sarah and Jacob.


A day fighting a building pile of emails, and making sure lectures are attended. Also a worried text to Deputy Manager Chris Bates to

see if I have forgotten anything is a regular feature of my day.


Better known as 'Big Guild Day'. All kicks off at 9am by opening up the studio to supervise the first show. Then on to my first Guild meal of the day, either Spar of Subway, knowing what I don't choose for lunch I will have for dinner. We have a full committee meeting at 1pm to discuss the ever changing issues at Burn, and ask Chris in person if I am forgetting anything. Meetings take up most of the afternoon and early evening, including seeing Assistant Manager Rachel to plan our new Burn DJ's Present club night venture.


A relaxed day, occasionally gatecrash shows to make a guest appearance. Never quite sure if the shows appreciate this‌. Probably not.


Meeting with Arts & Culture department about how their shows have been going, and what events they have covered. A similar meeting with the Head of Sport to review the department's live coverage of campus sports on Wednesday went.


As the weekend gets into full flow so does the studio technical issues, resulting in a mad dash half awake and often only half dressed to the studio. Then begins the process of staring aimlessly at the malfunctioning tech in a vain hope that it will spark into life. Luckily it normally does. I lock up the studio at 9pm, swiftly followed by a cracking night at Fab.


My self designated Burn free day. Sleep, work and Selly Sausage are the business of the day. Occasionally a message to Chris to ask him if I have forgotten anything, just in case.


The importance of an open platform Glen Moutrie Editor

The shifts in the ability to communicate information with greater effectiveness, reach and quality almost always break down the barriers to access. There are countless examples of them, spanning from printing books in vernacular languages to the creation of the internet by Tim Berners-Lee. One recent advancement has been the ability to access the internet from mobile devices. More than being able to check the traffic reports while in the car, it has made accessing the internet cheaper. As a result mobile internet has proved to be hugely popular in developing nations. Yet much of the internet is not available for mobile devices, with websites opting for higher quality websites that relatively primitive browsers and processing abilities of a mobile device cannot handle. Adobe's Flash products had been a big part of this problem, a company that frequently claimed that devices that did not take on their mobile flash would not have access to 'the full web'. With much online media requiring a flash plugin, from interactive reports from the BBC to online games, Adobe were not far from wrong. The plugins would often consume a large amount of processing power and battery life, additionally they were often unreliable with security issues that would take time to solve. New platforms would also be dependent on Adobe to develop to adopt new enhancements. After pressure from Apple, Adobe announced that it would abandon Flash, giving preference for codes such as HTML5, CSS and Java. These are platforms that are more friendly for mobile devices but are also open to developers. This means that visual, interactive and dynamic websites are not just more accessible but also cheaper and easier to create. In short, providing communication with greater quality, reach and effectiveness. Our online editor Chris Hutchinson has been pivotal to ensuring that our website avoids the use of Flash were ever possible. This is something we will continue to do to ensure that our products are available on the widest array of platforms possible.


Christmas adverts and promotions seem to emerge earlier each year, and with shops such as Selfridges starting to sell Christmas merchandise as early as July this year, Emily Brickell asked 100 students: Is it too early to prepare for Christmas?

4 News Amani Hughes asks 'What did you think of the student protest last week?' 'I think the recent student protests have been really successful, they remained non-violent which is essential as the previous protests turned violent which overshadows the whole agenda and gives students a bad name.'

Becky Jones, 2nd year English and History 'Students are doing the right thing; I am not cool with the decision about raising fees. However they should remain non-violent as all the attention should be about the cuts in education not the chaos created around it.'

Silviu Meterna, 2nd year Economics 'I went to the protests last year, not because I thought the government would change their mind but because it would show them that we would not just sit down and take whatever ridiculous cuts they throw at us. The recent protests had stronger police presence, so it was less violent. However violence makes good TV therefore this protest received less media coverage which is a real shame.'

Nadiyah Hashmi, 3rd year History 'I certainly believe that if it was not necessary, the government would have not decided to force all these changes to the education system and tuition fees. However I also believe that students have a right to protest, but in a nonviolent manner. We should fight for our rights and if we cannot change i t completely to how it was in the past, then we can at least try to make it an easier and smoother process for generations to come.'

Mehrnoosh Salehi, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering I think that protests are completely unacceptable when they turn violent. They may gain more attention but it is unnecessary and a poor representation of students. The protests on Wednesday were much more conformed, but sadly cuts in education have already gone through. They may not achieve a lot but that's not to say we should stop voicing our opinions peacefully.

William Dengate, 1st year Accounting and Finance


18th November 2011

Editors – Anna Hughes, James Brilliant & Kerrina Gray

University uses zero renewable energy Lily Beazley Reporter

After making an enquiry into the percentage of energy consumed by the university that derives from renewable sources, Redbrick has found out that the University of Birmingham does not consume any energy derived from renewable sources. The University currently has no solar panels, photovoltaic installations or wind turbines and therefore generates no energy from renewable sources on site. Neither does it purchase electricity generated from renewable sources. The only energy the University consumes which is obtained from renewable sources is the 'renewable component of electricity that is purchased from the national grid.' The Green League Tables, organised by environmental group People and Planet, rate universities according to environmental policies and practice. Institutions are awarded degree – style scores according to how environmentally aware and responsible they are. The University of Birmingham was awarded with a 2:2, coming joint 73rd along with Goldsmiths University, London. The organisation claims the 'University of Birmingham produces 182.80 kg of waste per head.' First year Student Gemma Bridge said 'As a bioscience student I am interested in the environment, after reading the data I was disappointed to see the poor

attempts made to reduce the University's environmental impact especially as Birmingham is a redbrick university and as such should be setting an example.' Despite the overall result the University did manage to achieve high marks in certain criteria under the Carbon Management Plan section of the Green league tables. For example; the 'publicly available Carbon management plan which meets the Carbon Trust and Capital investment Framework requirements' earned the University full marks. Enquiries into other redbrick universities' energy consumption revealed similar figures. Of the energy consumed by the University of Leeds 'less than 1% is taken from renewable sources' and Bristol uses 0.3%. The University of Sheffield told Redbrick that they 'currently purchase electricity generated from renewable sources for all its major non-residential buildings. In 2010 this accounted for 81.4% of the University's total electricity consumption.' Nottingham Trent University, which came first in the Green league tables this year, 'purchases 92.63% of its electricity from renewable sources.' A direct enquiry to the university revealed that 98% of the energy consumed is purchased through a green energy tariff, however 'currently less than 1% of our total energy consumption is derived from onsite renewable sources.' Trevor Shields, Sustainability and Environmental Advisor, com-

University creates anti – comfort eating app

Crime map of Selly Oak released Anna Hughes

Emily Brickell

News Editor


A new iPhone application has been launched from within the University of Birmingham which aims to help tackle comfort eating. Developed by, this app was a product of the University of Birmingham organisation the Ideas Lab, a group who aim to combine media outlets with academic expertise. The Ideas Lab used academic input from Dr Jacqueline Blissett, a senior lecturer in the University's School of Psychology, to create the 'Comfort Eater Beater', which is essentially a question and answer app intended to help people avoid unnecessary eating. The app asks the user straightforward questions such as when they last ate and the variety of foods (high-fat or high-sugar, for example) that they are craving. Then, using mathematical formulas based upon the responses given, the app determines the state of the user's mood and provides a final result with appropriate advice given. It is aimed to simply make people stop and think about what is influencing them to over-eat, and the nutritional value of the foods that they tend to eat in such situations. 'It makes you think twice about what you are doing,' a student commented after having used the app 'simply because you pause for a second before going for that snack.' This app is not recommended for those with serious eating dis-

Uni advertising features wind turbines University of Birmingham mented 'Although the Green Group universities, although it is League table is a great way of raisgreat doing research into renewing awareness, it doesn't give our able energy sources, we use lots of projects a lot of credit. We believe energy doing it. However we do that it is most important to reduce believe teaching and research is direct emissions first. We have one of the best ways to make an many behavioural change projects impact.' and projects which are directly Abby Levy, Environmental reducing energy use such as our and Ethical Officer said, 'There is new steam bridge and the refurobviously a lot more that the bishment of Gisbert Kapp and 52 University can be doing to reduce Pritchatts Road which has halved its environmental impact, but I gas consumption.' hope to be able to work with them The University appears to to make positive steps toward this. pride itself on being at the foreI have an understanding that they front of research into environhave explored options for renewmental issues, calling itself 'a able energy sources but the camworld leading specialist in low pus is not well suited for many carbon energy.' However Trevor types of green generator. This is Shields added 'Research is a dousomething I would like to explore ble-edged sword for all Russell further.'

Police website have released the latest crime maps. The Bournbrook area had the highest level of crime in Selly Oak, with 75 reported crimes in September. Harbourne Park Road near the University of Birmingham had the next highest number of crimes with 29.

Within Bournbrook, the area with the highest student population, Dale Road had the highest number of reported crime, with Bristol Road and Hubert Road in second and third place. There were 326 reported cases of crime in Selly Oak in September, including 116 cases of anti-social behaviour, 40 thefts and 39 vehicle crimes. See for more details.

UoB Press Office orders or mental health issues; it is aimed at what Dr Blissett describes as 'the average person, trying to make small changes towards a healthier diet' but there are several questions on the app which concern more serious issues such as self-harm and depression. Although the app clearly states that it is not a solution for severe conditions, this use of personal technology for an issue such as comfort eating, which is often stress-related, could be seen as a hint that future psychological treatment may begin to enter such territories. This app is currently 5* rated and received several hundred downloads even before its official launch on November 2nd. The 'Comfort Eater Beater' app is currently available for free from the iTunes store.

Selly Oak crime map



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18th November 2011

Universities with 'richest students' Judith Hawkins Reporter

A Freedom of Information request by The Telegraph has revealed which universities have the 'richest students' (or parents). The universities seen to have the most

financially independent students were identified by looking at the proportion of undergraduates not needing the support of a maintenance loan for their first year of study. The Guardian revealed the universities with the highest number of private schooled students.


Editors – Anna Hughes, James Brilliant & Kerrina Gray

Fee increase may create a two tier system in universities Rhiannon Doyle-Maw Reporter

In a recent report, a cross-party committee cautions the Coalition that plans for competition between universities would lead to a two – tier system; traditional universities remaining distinctly separate from those charging less and therefore being seen as a 'lowcost alternative'. There is a fear that this could potentially discourage intelligent, working-class teenagers from choosing the best degree courses. The report has also criticised the alternative policies designed to allow potential students to win sponsored places at university. They feel that the subsidised places at the university – over-and-above normal allocated spaces – could be 'open to abuse', with the more affluent applicants buying their way in. The conclusions from the critical report are made in an extensive analysis by the Commons business, innovation and skills select committee. Ministers are hoping to generate a market of universities competing for 85,000 places, encouraging competition and in return improving services, creating a better university experience. In line with this new system the existing limits on the number of students achieving 'AAB' at Alevel that universities can enroll will be eradicated, and this is expected to affect around 65,000 places in total. An additional 20,000 places will be put into an 'auction' and offered to universities that keep fees under £7,500. However, the new report

claims that this has the potential to 'polarise' higher education in England; those seen as top universities asking for 'AAB', being separated from 'low price' institutions charging less than £7,500. The president of the National Union of Students has said, 'This could have undesirable consequences for social mobility if able candidates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds felt constrained to choose lower-cost provision...Further education colleges (and other providers) are capable of offering excellent low-cost and high-quality provision, but they may not offer the same experience as a student might receive in a traditional university.' Bethany Burns, currently

studying Genetics BSC, said 'To be honest I really don't think that the new tuition fees will change things that greatly. The majority of universities are charging the higher fees and most students get a loan and so you don't have to think of the money whilst at university. When the fees rose last time it didn't affect universities and the university student numbers still kept on rising. Rhiannon Foster–Davis, a second year Dentistry student, said 'I would have thought that it would just create a spectrum of universities and prices. People don't have to divulge their financial situation so it wouldn't create this two-tier system – especially if people work hard to get in.'

Izzy Gibbin

Thatcher on Trial and Norman Finkelstein on campus James Green and Zak Bentley on this week's campus events

Politics Society presents Thatcher on Trial Tracey Emin said recently that despite voting for the Conservatives in last year's election, she still believed that Margaret Thatcher should be tried for crimes against humanity. The Politics Society did not go that far on Wednesday evening; however, the policies and legacy of arguably the most divisive figure in twentieth-century British politics were scrutinised during 'Thatcher on Trial'. The debate focused on Thatcher's battle with the unions and the consequences of her rule for British manufacturing. Professor Colin Thain stated that Thatcher destroyed one of the largest industrial economies in the Western world. He also located the origins of the get-rich – quick attitudes that are bedevilling us in Thatcher's neoliberal programme which culminated in the Big Bang deregulation of financial markets in 1986.

Peter Kerr from POLSIS also linked Thatcher's policies to today's debt crisis, saying that she had replaced real wage increases with credit cards, making Britain the debt capital of Europe. Both he and Professor Thain also tried to move the discussion away from ideology by describing Thatcher as essentially incompetent:

Thatcher, according to Dr Kerr, had no economic strategy, had fetishised the City of London, placed all her faith in the free-market fairy and had taken four years to destroy Britain's reputation as the workshop of the world which had taken two hundred years to establish. In response Dave Glenwright of UKIP portrayed Thatcher as having inherited an industrial base that was already being destroyedby militant unions and their persistent strike action, and insisted that if anything she should be considered as having saved British manufacturing with her antiunion stance. Christopher James of Conservative Future offered a similar view, claiming that Thatcher had merely wished to prevent a group of unelected bodies from dictating policy to the government. He also insisted that she had been prescient in redirecting the British economy towards services and had simply realigned our economy to make sure that it was stronger for the future. He conceded, however, that she should probably have regulated the financial industry more than she did. At the end of what was a wellmannered debate considering the emotive topic, a show of hands suggested that Thatcher's advo-

cates had performed well: less than half agreed that Thatcher should be found guilty.

Norman Finkelstein on the Isreal-Palestine conflict The American academic Norman Finkelstein spoke at the University of Birmingham last Thursday on 'How to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict' and hosted a short q u e s tion and answer session. A controversial figure, Finkelsteinspoke about recent develop-

ments in the world regarding the conflict, such as the Palestinians attempt for statehood through the UN and approaches taken by Turkey and Egypt towards Israel. In the question and answer session Finkelstein vehemently attacked the UN, labelling their report absolving Israel of blame in their flotilla raid as 'disgusting' and calling UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon a 'bit of a freak'. Regarding the current situation of a potentially nuclear Iran, Finkelstein defended Iran, saying they had more of a right to attack Israel. Finkelstein's visit was marked by a protest outside the Education Building by Jsoc who opposed his visit on the basis of previous controversial statements by Finkelstein regarding the Holocaust and Hizbullah. Read the rest of these stories and Dominic Jackson's coverage of the Capitalism Debate online at redbrickpaper.

18th November 2011


Comment & Features Editorial Amanda Callaghan Comment and Features Editor

A future for Europe? Freddie Herzog Online News Editor

The latest application to hit the mainstream in the constantly adapting world of journalism is for Facebook users. At the click of the mouse you, the reader, can share with your friends what articles you've enjoyed. The bizarre and arbitrary algorithms of Facebook then choose to distribute 'who's read what' on my news feed. Perhaps this new app signals a positive change in how we consume news. Using the application could encourage a breadth of reading from news sources that otherwise might get overlooked. It might too, filter quality journalism from the crap – a 21st century social networking separation of the 'wheat from the chaff' for want of a better phrase. Instead though, it would appear that there is a direct correlation between the shock factor of the headline and the level of readership. Whilst many are keen to gasp in horror at The Guardian's expose of a 12 year old boy who raped his teacher eight years ago, there are far less readers of current, topical less jaw dropping articles. I am shocked to discover that only one Facebook contemporary with the application chose to enhance their knowledge of the Eurozone crises by reading a text heavy comment piece. However, 14 friends were compelled to read the gory details of 'Victim of cannibal agreed to be eaten' – an article dating back to 2003 in which a German man Armin Meiwes advertises online for an adventurous 'young wellbuilt' individual who would consider being eaten.

'14 friends were compelled to read the gory details of 'Victim of cannibal agreed to be eaten' When willing participant Bernd Brandes responds Meiwes invites him over for a drink so the two can get to know each other. He proceeds to drug him and cut off his genitalia which he cooks and the two dine on it together before Miewes murders Brandes, keeps his body in the freezer and slowly devours him over a series of weeks. The horrifying Hannibal Lecter-ish content of the article is only reinforced by the sheer knowledge that it is actually not fictional; as such it is not an advisable read in bed before slipping off to the land of nod. The popularity of the story tells us one thing. Evocative headlines pull in the readers and the Facebook application only adds fuel to the intoxicating world of sensationalist journalism. If anything, the app proves that the already fuzzy distinction between the news and entertainment is becoming ever more blurred.


If a Martian were to land on earth and if they were to read any newspaper headline about Europe, they would think the whole situation was completely beyond repair. With words such as 'crisis', 'meltdown', 'implosion' and 'collapse' being bandied around by the media, one might be tempted to agree with the Martian. Indeed a few weeks ago the situation was irretrievable. The debt crisis in Europe had been building up with further austerity measures being introduced in Greece and higher interest rates in Italy. The European Commission then predicted that economic growth in the Eurozone would come 'to a virtual standstill' and would grow by just 0.2 per cent by the end of 2011. The predicament reached a new level of intensity when the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, announced he was going to hold a referendum on the acceptance of the terms of a Eurozone bailout deal. This was a ridiculous decision by Papandreou. Europe had offered Greece an enormous lifeline of a further €8bn (£7bn) which while not saving the country totally, could very likely have prevented Greece further defaulting on its debts. But Papandreou ploughed on and despite eventually cancelling the referendum, it was too late. He could not have continued on any more even if he had wanted to as internal and external pressure forced his eventual resignation. The downfall of one European

leader led to the ruin of another as last week saw the resignation of one of the stalwarts of the European 'old guard', Silvio Berlusconi. His time was running out as the Italian interest rate on its debt reached a new high of 7 per cent despite austerity measures of €54bn being introduced. What clinched the deal for Berlusconi was another announcement of his sexual antics where he was recorded saying: 'Last night I had a queue outside my door, there were 11 of them. I only managed to do eight of them, I couldn't manage any more. You just can't get round to all of them. But this morning I feel great, I'm pleased with my stamina.' The Italian government finally saw the light and decided not to back Berlusconi, leading to his resignation. Now the Martian visiting Europe would think that the resignations of European prime ministers could only be a sign of impending doom and catastrophe. But they are actually the most positive thing that could have happened to the Eurozone since the whole crisis started. By the 'old guard' of European leaders voluntarily committing political suicide, Europe will eventually recover or at least be less of an embarrassment. Competent and decisive leaders such as Nicolas Sarkozy or Angela Merkel must be allowed to steer the Eurozone out of this mess and quickly. Apart from the fact that their countries simply have more money than other European nations, they are not afraid to humiliate and shame European failings, making the resignations a popular certainty. The new leaders

Jean-Claude Trichet Former European Central Bank President

of Greece and Italy will be too embarrassed not to listen to Sarcozy and Merkel and will accept bailout packages to assist their recovery. The 'new guard' leaders are not perfect by any means. Sarkozy calling Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a liar after the recent G20 conference did not help his case in driving Europe towards a better future. They are also not popular within Europe because of their bluntness and directness. But these are precisely the qualities that will bring Europe out of the dark and into some form of light. The Eurozone was bound to fail since its creation on January 1st 1999. Binding wealthy countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands to poor countries like Greece, Portugal and Slovakia with the same currency, was utter madness. The contrast in wealth means that the 'single currency' cannot remain the same and absolutely must change if Europe is not to totally implode. The following countries must leave the Euro immediately for any of Europe to be salvaged: Greece, Italy and Portugal. These countries need to go back to their original currencies and leave the Euro to the Benelux nations, Germany, France, Finland and Ireland. This change will not cause long term implosion, and while debts still have to be paid off and austerity measures still brought in, Europe will begin to recover. The next few years will be tough, there is no doubt about it. But under 'Merkozy', recovery is on the horizon.

Elin Stone

David Cameron Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany Prime Minister of UK

'The task of our generation now is to complete the economic and currency union in 'We have tried to be as cautious, prudent and measured Europe and, step by step, creas possible but to be in denial ate a political union. It's time for a breakthrough to a new of the fact that we have the worst crisis since World War Europe. Through the crisis, Two would be, in my opinion, Europe is growing closer the most terrible mistake we together and Europeans are discovering that decisions could make.' taken in one country can have enormous impact on the rest of Europe.'

'Change brings opportunities. An opportunity to begin to refashion the EU so it better serves this nation's interests and the interests of its other 26 nations too. An opportunity, in Britain's case, for powers to ebb back instead of flow away and for the European Union to focus on what really matters...'

8 Comment & Features


18th November 2011

Editors – Amanda Callaghan & Ali Hendy

To the right, to the right: is Conservatism inevitable? James Dolton Commentator

While Nick Clegg is now a figure of overwhelming contempt amongst most of the population, if opinion polls are to be believed, the ferocity with which students remonstrate against him perhaps proves the fondness with which he was once regarded. Whilst the vast mistrust and contempt for virtually all mainstream political parties remains rife throughout student circles, it is fair to say that the majority of students harbour liberal ideologies. Clegg embodied this: He was the plucky little guy standing up to the hulking titans of mainstream party politics, and they were apparently listening, indeed, clamouring to side with him. 'I Agree With Nick!' tee shirt sales soared almost as high as Nick himself did in the opinion polls. Sure, he wasn't going to win, but he was doing his darnedest, and we liked him for it. Far from raising tuition fees, he wanted to scrap them entirely. He wanted to shorten NHS waiting times and pay for it with greater levying from the private sector. He wanted to lower tax for people in low paid, bottom-rung jobs. He was new on the scene, fresh faced, idealistic and not tainted with the tar of prior scandals. He wanted to look after us. He was us. Then election day came round. Just as we expected, he

Josie Byrne didn't win. But somehow, nobody else managed to either. After a few days of furious backstage wrangling, what had seemed impossible had become fact. Nick had leapt into bed with the people who those liberal newly voters who had obediently trooped to the ballot

boxes would deem 'the enemy': the Tories. Is this perhaps a sad metaphor for leftist ideology? The line that has driven many an adolescent activist mad with impotent frustration is 'you might think like that now, but wait until you are

older' and it appears, certainly in this case, that the smug parents may have a point: to get anywhere in life, you have to gain a hearty cynicism. François Guizot famously remarked: 'Not to be a Republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head', a quote regularly re-worded and misattributed to a variety of world leaders. The essence is that when you are young you should be idealistic and sentimental in your judgements, but as you age you should also become more realistic and conservative in your outlook. This has always struck a certain chord. It's all very well to dream of perfect equality when all that is available to you are dreams, but when we get out in the big wide world we are bound by many constraints that often make this impossible: this shift to the right as we age seems inevitable. It is cynical and foolish to simply point out that the lynchpin of Tory political action is the lowering of taxes and that this explains why those who have aged and thus are likely to earn more are more prone to agreeing with them: someone's ideology is a complex, many faceted beast motivated by much more than simply reasons financial. However, it is clear that as students who rely upon the state to at least partially fund our education, we need a state that is well funded by those who are earning. Furthermore it is also clear that a parent,

in all matters of importance, will put their family first and any others second. As we get wealth we want to conserve and children we want to protect, concerns that previously mattered to us will seem much less significant and this explains why a desire for a smaller state, lower taxes and greater independency become more popular. In a sense, students are like Nick's jealous friends at his wedding: we see him swanning around now, getting with that bloke we've always disliked, looking altogether happier without us.

It's all very well to dream of perfect equality when all that is available to you are dreams, but when we get out in the big wide world we are bound by many constraints that often make this impossible: this shift to the right as we age seems inevitable. We pity him that he's had to sell out, not by pretending to like his music or his terrible jokes but his policies that seemingly were against everything he stood for. But mostly because he reminds us that if we want to 'grow up' and 'get real', one day we might have to do the same as him.

Weighing up the positives of a law conversion Alex West Commentator

It's the question that so many students dread – often asked at family gatherings over the Christmas and Easter breaks: 'so what are you going to do after you finish University dear?' We blush slightly and cobble together some sort of story about getting work experience, trying our hand at a few things and end up making some sweeping statement about working 'in a management role'. Aunt Gladys will naturally smile sweetly and tell you that that's wonderful, and remark how difficult it is to find work these days. Awkward conversations aside, the reality is that unless you're doing medicine, accounting or some other degree with a clear progression into a vocation, what exactly you'll be doing after University is often far from clear. That's where the Law Conversion course steps in. In one year you can gain a qualification which gives you largely the same opportunities as an undergraduate Law degree, at a fraction of the price – prices for the course range from £3,225-£8,730 depending on where you want to study. Then all you have to do is take the LPC or the BPTC (which you would have to do anyway if you'd studied Law) and you're ready to be a lawyer. As a trainee solicitor you'll earn a minimum of £16,650 outside of London, and £19,040 in London. Once you qualify that number doubles within a few years. As a barrister you'll often be paid around £20,000 to train (the range is between £10,000-£60,000) and once qualified barristers can earn between £20,000-£150,000 depending on the type of work they bring in. All that sounds pretty good, and it's probably the reason why the University of Birmingham has 395 applicants for the 50 places on its Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) course. People are attracted by the course because it's cheap (£6,100 for the year) and gives a clear link to a respectable profession. However the reality of the situation is that students are getting themselves into untenable levels of debt in order to fund a course that was never going to provide them with a career, because they are failing

to do the research and be realistic about their chances of success. In order to become a solicitor or a barrister, after the GDL course students must complete either the Legal Practice Course (for solicitors) or the Bar Professional Training Course (for barristers). In 2010-11 there were 15,166 places on the LPC available nationwide, and only 4,875 jobs. For barristers there were 1793 places on the BPTC (2009/10 figures) and only 460 jobs. This looks like a one-infour chance, but it's not. The qualification gained from an LPC or a BPTC lasts for five years. That means that if you're un-

successful in applying for a job the first time around, you can apply for another four years. So each year it's not just your fellow students applying for jobs, but also students from the previous four or five years. This means that for barristers, the odds are closer to 4,000 people applying for around 460 jobs. It would be quite easy to think 'If the stats are one-in-ten, I can be that one'. However, most providers of the GDL, LPC and BPTC have a minimum entry requirement of a 2:1 and good A levels, which means that everyone you're competing against is going to have a decent CV. Unless you've got something

on your application that makes you stand out from the well educated, articulate and intelligent crowd, you're going to find it tough to get a job. Getting a job as a solicitor or a barrister is by no means impossible, but students need to be realistic about the challenges they will face after they qualify, and that information isn't always easy to access. Law schools are notorious for being selective about the statistics they present, choosing to show the percentage of their students who later find work, rather than being frank about the wider picture. At the end of the day, their interest is in putting bums on seats and filling places on courses which prove to be highly lucrative. The most reliable information can be found not from the law schools, but from external sources. Even these need to be treated with care. For example, some 'law careers' or 'student law' sites are heavily funded by leading law schools, who have a clear interest in being portrayed in a positive light. Those interested in converting to Law should visit the websites of the Law Society and the Bar Council, as well as Chambers' and Partners Student Guide. The information is out there, but students need to be discerning as to who is providing the information, and what their motivation is for providing it. Ultimately the age-old saying is right – 'if you're good enough, you'll make it'. At a time when more students are signing up to a course with poor job prospects, it's more important than ever to know the statistics, and know that you're doing the right thing.


Editors – Amanda Callaghan & Ali Hendy

18th November 2011

Comment & Features

The unfairness of the nightclub queue Commentator

Matt Hewson Commentator

Katrin Busch are known to be jealous creatures. It is possibly jealousy that leads to my frustration: I was standing in the line with my freakish face paint dampened by the rain which only added to the hideousness. Meanwhile a group of long-legged lovelies skipped past the barrier with their perfect hair unscathed by the weather. I still cannot help but think that we are selling ourselves to men whose position of power is determined by their ability to grow muscles, shave their head and wrestle drunk people. After fighting for so long to have our lives not governed by the men around us, it could be de-

scribed as liberating that women have the upper hand. An upper hand based on chest size is, however, no upper hand at all. I am not insinuating that we should dress as nuns, but there is something quite disturbing about receiving comments from the person who is meant to be there to protect you. Perhaps that is all it is; a compliment that we should seize before we become too old to receive them. I do not believe that we all dress to procure the wandering eyes of passersby. To feel good about your body these days is enough of a rarity that at some level, I think it should be encour-

aged. However this is not about self-discovery. This is about overstepping the mark that titles us strong women and instead looping back to primitive behaviour where we are selling ourselves for a 'free ticket'. If we dress to reflect our self-assurance and happen to catch a few eyes; well that is incidental. Perhaps we have entered an era where women can utilise their femininity to manipulate men. However, I know that I, and many others, would still prefer to be the girl in the queue laughing at unintentional 'AliceCooper-esque' make up, than acting as someone they are not.

Fight, flight or freeze: the pointlessness of panic Giles Longley-Cook Commentator

Dr Samuel Johnson once claimed that 'When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.' This is generally accepted as truth, the concept that it is in times of crisis and dread that we think most decisively, acting on survival instinct. But as I pace in circles around my room with an unfinished assignment sitting on my computer screen I know that I'm lacking the focussed intensity of desperation that Johnson was talking about. No order comes into my brain and I'm unable to concentrate on one single train of terrified thought for more than a few seconds. This is no state in which to write a worthwhile assignment, I know this and know I need to try and relax, but cannot stop both my thoughts leaping about and the steady pacing of my body. A close relative of mine teaches children with severe autism and other mental issues. Some of the worse cases would, when put under enough pressure, fly off the handle and enter an unresponsive and animalistic state. She described this to me as a form of reversion, a basic response to the huge pressure they feel upon them. But again, these panic attacks hardly sounded like a response that would in any way benefit them, and presumably, in a survival situation, that is what our instincts want for us. One could argue that it is simply the 'Fight or Flight' instinct that has failed to adapt to our sur-

How do you solve a problem like... Being a smug Guardian reader

Ellie Fewings

One can't help but wonder, whilst mulling over whether slutty maid or naughty nurse is the best choice of Halloween costume, whether feminism has hit a phase of regression. This year, I chose instead to adorn myself with 'black swan' style face paint although slightly disturbing my flatmates in the process. This seemed the perfect compromise between buying a costume from Ann Summers and covering my body in toilet paper and fake blood. However, whilst queuing at a nightclub, I observed that many women appeared to be hiding their tickets down their bras. Of course I only noticed this from following the bouncers gaze. Had I too decided to wear a costume that displayed my assets like meat in a window of a butcher's shop, perhaps I may not have waited so long. Bouncers at nightclubs tend to be men, but should women take advantage of these circumstances? Is the sexism in fact against men, who are less likely to be allowed in having had a few drinks? Perhaps this is reasonable? We know that statistically men are more likely to start fights when drunk. After my flat mate was turned away after dropping his driving license, whereas the more intoxicated females stumbled through, I have to consider that there may be another reason. I can't help but wonder if women were in the same position, would we hold bias? We ourselves might be inclined to turn away females more attractive than us. We


Michael Drury roundings. This would make more sense if combined with the often forgotten 'Freeze' option that's also part of the psyche, as this is what many people seem to do in times of crisis. In stressful situations the chemicals adapted to be used in a sudden run or battling a predator

are stored up as a natural reaction. But, of course, social precedent has made it instinctive (for most people at least) that you cannot run away or attack your boss when he's threatening to fire you. The other problem is the focus issue. As I said, when the pressure builds up we need to be able

to concentrate on the most important factors. This should theoretically be covered by our instincts but then they were designed for the basic reactions, and not for advanced cognitive thinking. As this is so important in modern society's dilemmas, it would appear that our body's natural reaction has failed to keep up with humanity's development and is thus rendered obsolete. The extreme examples of panic attacks and stress related suicides that we see today are also the result of us bottling up our stress for far too long, resulting in major reverberations when our bodies can no longer take the strain. Some anthropologists have made links between the way that baboons and other primates, on the lower rungs of the troupe's social ladder, and therefore routinely beaten up by the alphas, have thicker blood that clots easily to heal the wounds. Many people who work in the civil service and other areas develop the same blood condition in preparation for having to heal wounds from their superiors, but as we no longer do this, the thick blood instead clots to create strokes and heart attacks to which this group is disproportionately susceptible. There is no simple solution to these problems. Perhaps a more forgiving attitude towards emotional outbursts before they become serious breakdowns and always bearing in mind that we are animals and that no matter how much we control our environment we will have to deal with the curveballs life throws at us.

Newspaper of choice for many lefties, The Guardian understandably holds a special place in the hearts of most students. It's not without its quirks however, and here are nine things to make you hate the paper you love. Obsessed with unearthing 'scandals' and 'corruption', The Guardian remains at the forefront of so-called 'proper journalism', based on 'facts' and 'investigation'. Dredging up the Trafigura disgrace, publishing WikiLeaks material and holding Rupert Murdoch to account are all very noble, but just print some picture of a footballer in a club – it's what the people want. It won't be around much longer. The Guardian is haemorrhaging money, with losses of £44 million in the last year. Editor Alan Rusbridger reputedly earned more than £450,000 in the same period, and it's been predicted that the paper, the only left-leaning daily of any quality, could disappear from shelves in as little as five years. Free Starbucks with your Guardian? Or free Guardian with your Starbucks? Both have been done, both will undoubtedly be done in the future and both scream 'middle-class liberal elite' louder than a fair-trade organic olive stuffed with Polly Toynbee. Their online content is satu'Harry Potter and the rated with These coinsound Ageliveblogs. of Illusion' like acides nice idea, but anyone capable with the current of following a journalist on twitter governmental stew and or even searching a hashtag will media finger-pointing find themselvesover privy declining to a far betterstandards source of news. in University It can be sickeningly education, and selfthe satisfied. The life and style pages resultant denunciation (this weekof including an enlighten'Mickey Mouse' ing feature on the correct use of modules juniper) are so objectionably smug that they make Piers Morgan seem understated and modest. Is it a devastatingly unfunny spoof? Or simply the single worst article ever to see the light of publication? Check out http://tinyurl. com/skiingfeature to decide. It's been called 'The Grauniad' for a reason and a flick through their corrections quickly shows why. Confusing the Dutch and Danish prime ministers and printing a picture of a deceased filmmaker's twin brother have both been managed in the last month. Yet even these are topped by having once misprinted their own name as 'The Gaurdian'. Back in July, banners on the paper's website began pleading 'Support the Guardian', as if the paper was some sort of underfunded political or ethical cause. They may produce unrivalled investigative journalism, but they're still a business – Private Eye magazine has its highest circulation in eighteen years – and all without pretending to be a struggling charity.

10 Comment & Features

18th November 2011


Foreseeing the end of the X Factor-y production line Owen Earwicker C&F online editor

When the idea for this article came into my head, Frankie Cocozza had perplexingly survived the public vote on the X Factor yet again. I was ready to express my general dislike for him, combined with the usual polemic about the programme; how it is corroding originality in the Charts and corrupting people's idea of fame and success. Then Frankie was shown the door, after being overheard bragging about a coke-fuelled orgy. It's been established now that The X Factor is no longer about singing. The contest is one of gimmicks, hence why Frankie survived for so long and Janet Devlin still inflicts her warbling irritating voice on the nation. With Frankie, the idea was that he had the bad boy rock star personality. It failed because usually this character trait is developed after a few years and albums of success, thus warranting an 'off-the-rails' lifestyle. Frankie had no success. The 'Great British Public' defied their namesake

and voted him through, week after week. Thank God he had the good grace to get himself kicked off. Janet's gimmick is the vulnerable innocent 'away-with-thefairies' persona, which apparently justifies her inability to stick to the correct note once she's found it. Ok it's slightly different, in the sense that she covers more folky genres which rarely do well in the charts. But it's boring in this context. Folk isn't manufactured; it isn't a typical product of the X Factor-y. The judges are beginning to get bored of her; if they're not saying it like Gary Barlow, they're certainly thinking it. Her voice could have done well if she hadn't gone through the programme, but had tried to get into the industry the respected way. But I bet she, like so many others, saw the X Factor as the easy way in. Jamie Archer, a contestant from a few years back whose personality was his afro and nothing else, claimed he applied to the show because he had no idea how to get into the industry. I didn't buy this. It seems to me that if you were desperate

Religion must de-politicise Andy Peck Commentator

The protests invited to take place at Saint Paul's are the latest in a series of unwarranted and unnecessary interjections by the Church of England in our national politics. Previously the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has declared that government austerity measures were 'radical long term measures for which no one had voted', supported the imposition of the Robin Hood Tax and suggested where there is conflict in communities between civil and religious law, theology could and should interfere with secular civil law; paper's prone to knee-jerk overreaction exaggerated this last one to 'Rowan wants Sharia Law!' He has offered his opinions on geopolitics in the Middle East and in 2002 he gave an entire lecture to bemoaning Capitalism as being exploitative and ineffectual. Aside from the fact I find it slightly hypocritical that the figurehead of an institution that holds ÂŁ4.8 billion in various property portfolios and siphons off ÂŁ750 million a year from the faithful to fund itself, can then turn around and say any policy is exploitative or unfair, I have more philosophical objections to the Church's behaviour. The Thomas Jefferson in me cries out for a separation of Church and State. We live in a modern, secular society where I would not expect the government to take such measures as making church attendance mandatory, attempting to impose a Book of Common Prayer or ordering what should be said in the weekly sermons. Similarly I don't expect the Church to endorse taxation strategies, comment on government economic policy or make suggestions that Civil Law can and should be flouted in certain situations. Dreams of disestablishmentarianism aside we have to accept the Church of England is part of the national political system; the twenty one 'Lords-Spiritual' in the House of Lords represent and owe their position solely the Church and the Queen, who still holds, if no longer uses, the power to veto

parliamentary legislation, is the head of both Church and State. This is advantageous, not least because through amalgamating with government, the Church of England has secularised as much as the rest of society. No one in the Church is calling for attacks on abortion clinics, or arresting homosexuals as other churches in other parts of the world might do, it does however cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Church's political musings. By being an actual part of the political machinery of this country it is hypocritical of it to then make political statements against the political system of which it is part. Further to this, the Church has more fundamental internal problems than, say, Western involvement in the Middle East. 'Any house divided against itself cannot stand' as Matthew 12:25 states, and the Anglican Church represents this in entirety. It is currently tearing itself apart over the issue of homosexuals and women in the clergy, how far to accept evolution and the morality or contraception. Ann Widdecombe represented many formerly devout Anglicans when she converted to Catholicism in 1992 citing 'The ordination of women was the last straw, but it was only one of many. For years I had been disillusioned by the Church of England's compromising on everything.' While Williams himself may take a liberal stand on all these issues, many in his Church, particularly overseas, do not. Given this crisis and potential schism, should Williams really be spending his time worrying about the failings of Capitalism, Robin Hood Tax or daydreaming on how to solve international terrorism? The Church of England needs to exercise restraint on its politics. To focus on it's own internal problems and be content with the power it wields through Bishops in the House of Lords and the sermons it gives nationwide every Sunday. We already have a loyal opposition and dedicated focus groups to hold government to account politically, so in the interests of specialisation and it's own survival it should reassign focus to the spiritual rather than temporal.

to make it in music, you would try everything possible to get noticed, not appear in what is essentially a freak show with the slight hope you might get a recording contract if you survive. This gimmick aspect of the programme seems to be confusing. Judges are always complain-

ing about the lack of versatility with their acts, while simultaneously pushing their acts' stereotypes. The show currently has the heir-apparents of Adele and Bruno Mars. Lady Gaga's heir was kicked out, hilariously, during the Lady Gaga week. But why do the judges play up these unoriginal traits and

Arthur Jones

consistently call for more range? Thankfully the X Factor-y is beginning to close down. I hate the programme, but I'm also a distinct minority in a house full of fans who insists it goes on every Saturday and Sunday. Therefore instead of boycotting the show, I insist on making comments not too dissimilar to what I've said here all the way through it. But with dropping viewing figures, is this a sign that the British public is bored of this kind of 'talent' show. The format hasn't changed, the songs are the same and the gimmicks are predictable and dull. Even Simon Cowell has given up on the UK franchise of the programme. A glimmer of hope begins to crack through the dark and inane crap that spews forth from the doors of the X Factor-y. Ok, it could easily be replaced with something just as vacuous in the future, but dare we dream that this series or maybe next year's will be the last? We did so well to kick Big Brother into obscurity; can we please send the X Factor there too?

Where the Arab Spring, sprung Matt Hewson Commentator

Hosni Mubarak is, to many, a familiar name. The deposed Egyptian leader is being tried for several crimes since he was ousted in February. Muammar Gaddafi is if anything a more omnipresent figure, killed at the hands of a rebel uprising borne out of the very same revolutionary spirit that saw Mubarak step down. It is then curious that the name Ben Ali seems so unknown. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ruled Tunisia for twenty-three years. He managed to exercise routine abuses of power and crush civil liberties with greater subtlety than many of his tyrannical North African counterparts. Indeed, he succeeded in slowly and silently quashing press freedom and political opposition. Dissidents disappeared and Ben Ali's wealth rose. In mid-December, a disillusioned Tunisian man named Mohamed Bouazizi found himself abused by security forces and facing unemployment. His act of protest through self-immolation did not just set himself alight. It became a spark that ignited widespread discontent and tore through North Africa. The comparatively small country became the epicentre of a wave of dissent and protest that has seen leaders killed, innocents slaughtered and a chain of popular uprising that leads all the way to St Paul's Cathedral. It was the birth of the Arab Spring. On January 14th, after four weeks of protest, Ben Ali fled the country. He never managed to match Mubarak's luxurious excesses. His violent attacks on his own people didn't come close to those of the late Gaddafi. And because of this, because his human rights abuses were careful and calculated, because he didn't proclaim from a presidential balcony that he would wipe out the 'rats and scum' that were rebelling against his regime, he has been ignored. He has been largely overlooked by the popular press, and this, whilst lamentable, is unsur-

prising. Searching the The Sun's website for Ben Ali yields barely three hundred results. The Star manage half that. Of greater concern is an apparent apathy present in quality newspapers. The Guardian has fifteen times more articles on Gaddafi than on Ben Ali. The Telegraph manages around two hundred and fifty pieces on Gaddafi for each article on Tunisia's former premier. This unbalanced reporting of world events isn't restricted to the left or the right, to popular or quality newspapers. It is ubiquitous. Perhaps this disparity comes down to the significance Ben Ali has on the global stage? This, I think, would be an erroneous conclusion. He was the first leader to be forced out in democratic shifts of an almost unimaginable scale. His removal from office showed that change was possible, that protest worked. Mubarak's exit followed, and after a fashion, so did Gaddafi's. The victory in Tunisia proved the scale and worth of the Arab Spring. Ben Ali's importance cannot be understated. It could equally be suggested that this isn't a current story; news is meant to cover ongoing affairs after all, and Ben Ali stood down in January. This would be equally inaccurate. The story of Tunisia, and by association their former leader, continues. In the past month, the country announced the results of their first democratic election

since the tumultuous uprisings of the spring. More pressingly, Ben Ali remains noticeably off-stage. Mubarak is still in Egyptian custody and awaits further trial, having been charged with both corruption and murder. Gaddafi met a grisly death at the hands of rebel soldiers. Meanwhile, Ben Ali has escaped to relative safety in Saudi Arabia, where extradition requests by the Tunisian judiciary are falling on deaf ears. Any claims that this is a finished chapter in world affairs, and as such is unworthy of reporting, are plainly false. If anything, there should be greater interest in Ben Ali's story. He has been deposed and yet is neither dead nor imprisoned. He is the one that got away. When British reporting of crucial world affairs is so inadequate, it is of little surprise that viewing figures for the Al Jazeera Englishspeaking network are surging upwards. They manage to keep an admirable grasp on important global events and haven't yet sold out to the celebrity-based drivel that seems to permeate much journalism. When the British public is so shamefully unaware of such critical global matters, and when this ignorance is caused by shoddy coverage, it is time to look for alternative, reliable sources of news. Al Jazeera may be just this.



18th November 2011

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sells 6.5 million copies in first 24 hours

Joshua Lindsey Technology Editor

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has sold 6.5 million copies in its first 24 hours of release, outselling all estimates. The latest installment of the franchise has broken records across all entertainment platforms and has already made over $400 million. These figures are from US and, UK sales data only but despite this it is 'the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium' according to Activision, who pub-

lish the game. The Call of Duty franchise has guaranteed that for the last three years the company has held the record for day-one sales. This year Modern Warfare 3 made $40 million more than its predecessor Black Ops, which was the best-selling game of that year according to figures from GAME. This record breaking release has cemented Call of Duty fans as some of the most avid in history. Compared to this year's biggest movie release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Modern Warfare 3 made $220

million more on the first day. Modern Warfare 3's release day sales also blew away major competitor Battlefields 3, which only sold 5 million copies in its first week. Across the world 13,000 shops opened at midnight to sell the game and some people reported queuing for two and a half days to get their hands on a copy. Far more it seems, chose to pre-order the game. Modern Warfare 3 received a 32 per cent increase in pre-orders on Amazon compared to Black Ops. A GAME spokeswoman said it 'beat records set by last year's

number one game' concluding that it was GAME's 'largest pre-order title in the company's history'. Celebrity endorsement for the game included the cast of The Only Way is Essex and footballer Joey Barton. Barton represented the UK in a live multiplayer match against celebrities at launches around the globe. A recent trailer for the game also starred Sam Worthington (Avatar) and Jonah Hill (Superbad) as the Vet and the Noob respectively. This year's installment of Modern Warfare was released to critical acclaim. It has a score of 89 on Metacritic based on 51 reviews. The game features the same persistent levelling system found throughout the franchise but this time it is improved significantly. Even inexperienced gamers can achieve something and progress quickly. Killstreaks are gone, replaced by Strike Packages which a can be customised for experts, and a new game mode has been introduced called Kill Confirmed. The release of the game was accompanied by the launch of Activision's Call of Duty: Elite service. This social platform brings players' stats together in one place in a similar way to Halo: Waypoint. On the Elite platform players will be able to view their kill/death ratio and a host of other information and opt to pay for extra statistics. Love it or hate it the franchise is here to stay and is only going to get bigger. As Activion's chief Bobby Kotick said, 'Call of Duty has become a major part of the pop cultural landscape' and with more players online than any other game in history it's hard to argue with him.

The great voice race: is Apple's Siri set to beat Google off top spot? Google's Response

Tom DeFraine Writer

As Apple celebrates 4 million iPhone 4S handsets sold in its opening weekend, how can Google bounce back in the artificial intelligence war? Siri, Apple's self-described personal assistant in your pocket, is now the largest distribution of artificial intelligence in the world and boasts a 'natural' voice engine that actually understands English in a way never seen before. You can now ask Siri 'what's the weather like in the Bahamas' or perhaps, more appropriately, tell it to wake you up in 20 minutes. There are some teething problems in that Siri has some trouble recognising regional, and specifically Scottish, accents but Apple is actively collecting data every time Siri is used so it learns how to respond not only to your voice, but to all voices in general. Siri may not be confined to iPhones either. Rumors have begun circulating about an Appledesigned television which replaces the remote with their unique voice recognition software. It wouldn't be Apple, however, if there wasn't a dark side to the pocket PA. When Apple acquired Siri and its 40 years of research into voice-recognition technology, they systematically closed down the development of Android and BlackBerry applications – beginning a voice war and bringing it

Phil Schiller at the iPhone 4s launch straight to the doors of Google Inc who's ageing Voice Actions for Android feel a little less than human. At the moment Google's rarely used voice recognition software will happily recognise individual words but struggles with sentences. Equally Google's software is not integrated properly into their operating system. It is essentially limited to web searches on most devices. Google has responded to Siri by with a campaign to highlight the advantages of Voice Actions and they have promised a new, more natural voice engine with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich (the latest in the Android operating system) in January. The problem for Google is the distribution of an advanced piece of software to over 40 handsets of different specifications. They've already promised that Samsung Galaxy S2 owners will be the first to experience the new service but how will the newly improved Voice Actions cope with a vast array of different handsets, ranging from the featherweight Galaxy S2 to the rather miserable little HTC ChaCha? The answer perhaps lies within their recent acquisition of key patents from Motorola which may provide Google with a springboard for their own bespoke handsets which are built for the voice race against the Apple juggernaut. The big question is: will older Android users be left at the starting line when the gun goes off?

Google have already acknowledged that Apple's Siri could pose a massive threat to their hold over the search industry. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has responded to the release of Siri by saying, 'Apple has launched an entirely new approach to search technology with Siri, its voice-activated search and task-completion service built into the iPhone 4S.' 'Apple's Siri is a significant development: a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search. Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information.' His statement came in a letter in response to questions raised by a senator about Google's monopoly in the search business. If Siri can convince people that voice search is a viable alternative, Google's monopoly could become a thing of the past.


Games News Assassin's Creed Ruth Bradley Technology Editor

Assassin's Creed: Revelations hit the shelves this week. This game sees the return of Ezio Auditore as he runs, jumps and stabs his way through Constantinople. The online multiplayer mode introduced in Brotherhood has been meticulously fine-tuned. With new weapons, maps and an improved gameplay experience, Revelations seems set to live up to expectations. It also marks the end of Ezio and Altiar, clearing the way for the long awaited Assassin's Creed 3, although a release date still seems a long way off.

Hackers hit Steam Dor Vago Writer

The Steam Games service, operated by Half-life and Portal developer Valve, sustained a substantial breach in security over the past week. Credit card details and other user information from more than 35 million active PC and Mac customers could have potential been obtained by hackers. This draws painful parallels to the PlayStation Network intrusion that happened in April last year, which lead to customers being urged to change their password and monitor any suspicious information on their credit cards. Valve is maintaining that there is no evidence that any credit card information was collected and that they are still investigating the situation.

GTA V trailer released Tom Armstong Writer

The first details of the next GTA game appeared last week and contrary to many people's expectations, Rockstar have gone straight ahead with the next numbered iteration of the franchise. While the trailer doesn't give much away, a few more details about the long awaited Grand Theft Auto V have trickled out the last few days. The game will be set in Los Santos, Rockstar's take on Los Angeles, and one of the three cities featured in GTA San Andreas. Many people where hoping that a return to Los Santos meant a return to San Andreas but Rockstar have subsequently squashed all rumours that the game will feature multiple cities, stating that it would take place in just Los Santos and the surrounding area. A multiplayer element has also been confirmed. With Rockstar claiming that GTA V is their 'largest and most ambitious game yet,' this is certainly one to watch for fans of the series. You can find the new trailer at

12 Technology

18th November 2011


Editors – Joshua Lindsey &Ruth Bradley

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception explodes onto the scene

Sam Atkins Reviewer

Jumping onto the wheels of a plane as it is taking off, Drake finds himself outnumbered when he gets on board. Taking the initiative to creep under the enemy through the holds, his plan backfires and a quick bout of hand to hand combat is needed to find some cover. Making his way down the now unstable plane, with crates and vehicles shifting around, he makes his way through the men trying to find a way out of the impossible situation. On seeing that the rear hatch has been opened, another bout of quick thinking going south sees Drake unhooking equipment so it will knock the others out of the plane. Ten seconds later, Drake is holding onto some netting for dear life as the plane continues to climb to 20,000 feet. All in all, another normal day for Nathan Drake. It's moments like these that make Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception such a thrilling journey. Setpiece moments come thick and fast across the eight hours it takes to complete the single player game and utilise just about every kind of gameplay the series has to offer. Another great feature of Un-

'There is one reason why Uncharted 3 is not only the best game in the series, but one of the best games of the year: Nathan Drake' charted is that it is visually stunning. The series is undoubtedly the best looking on PS3 and the cast of characters are looking better than ever. Drake, Elena and Sully are fully motion captured again, which makes a huge difference during genuinely touching moments, which Drake's Deception is full of. Much more than either of the previous games, you have a

lot more choice when it comes to tackling combat situations. Taking plenty of cues from the hand to hand combat of Batman: Arkham Asylum, punching your way through enemies is both rewarding and genuinely useful. Most of the time, a useful strategy is to quietly dispatch as many foes as possible with silent kills before alternating between hand-to-hand and gun combat. It still takes a few too many bullets to take men down, the armour being used must be amazing, but yet again Naughty Dog have done a terrific job of making each fight feel unique and constantly thrilling. You never feel stuck in one position for too long and in fact using this tactic will usually end with you blown to pieces by a grenade or RPG. There is always a constant forward momentum through the game. Multiplayer takes this to a new level, with the online modes being as strong as they were in Uncharted 2. Though the quality of the campaign makes the multiplayer unnecessary to the experience, it does add some longevity to the game. Objectives evolve as each match continues and the setpieces seen

Procrastination Aid of the week

in the single player mode make their way into the online modes for the first time. Using the same setting as my opening paragraph, one map sees a team stationed on a plane about to take off and another on trucks either side trying to jump on board. There really is no multiplayer experience like this and while it isn't 'essential' to the experience, it's definitely worth trying out. Some of the best moments in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception are not the sort that can be transferred to multiplayer. The story that the game tells is the most touching so far, focusing on the father/son relationship between Nate and his mentor figure, Sully. Series favourites, Chloe and Elena, appear alongside new characters including the brilliantly twisted villain, Katherine Marlowe. The game takes Drake across the world, from the Rub 'al Khali desert, to Columbia and to an English Pub. Each environment comes to life, each feeling like there have been years of history behind them. This is a true adventure. There is one reason why Uncharted 3 is not only the best game in the series, but one of the best games of the year. That is Nathan Drake. Drake is alone for much of the game, most notably when wandering hopelessly across the most visually stunning desert gaming has ever seen, and holds your attention throughout. His wit, charm and good looks are only half the story as the Indiana Jones elements of his persona come through at all the right moments. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception makes you feel like Drake. You find yourself reacting to the beautiful vistas in the same way and the subtle things built into the animation, like the way he will brush his hand against walls when walking close to them, make him one of the best characters the medium has seen. It may not have the surprise factor that the second game did, but Drake's Deception is most definitely one of, if not the best, single player experiences on PS3. Uncharted 3 is available exclusively for Playstation 3. !





The Humble Bundle raises $2.6 million for charity from games Tom Rich Reviewer

If games are your thing, the Humble Indie Bundle deserves your attention. The idea is simple: a number of independent studios offer up their games for purchase and you decide the price. You also get to decide the way in which the money is split and portion some of it to charity, but how does the system make money? To date the business has raised $2. 6 according to Richard Esguerra from Humble Bundle Inc. This novel business model took off when Radiohead released 'In Rainbows' effectively for free. The band offered customers the opportunity to pay what they thought the album was worth. Yet strangely, the band still managed to defy cynicism and enjoy not only profitability, but notoriety in the industry. Within the Humble Indie Bundle there are lots of incentives for altruism. Some are obvious; for instance if you pay above average you will receive extra games to enjoy. Other incentives are subtler;

'The web is democratising the way we pay, allowing consumers to decide how much products are worth' the guiltiness of greed, the nagging call of charity, the hedonistic kick of anonymous benevolence. Perhaps the thrill is in supporting the indie underdogs and overthrowing the traditional publishing hegemony. Either way, the success of the idea is borne from the statistics on the Humble Bundle website. For the latest bundle alone, $880,000 has been paid by 160,000 people. The average price at the time of writing is $5.26, which is low, but the assumption is that at full price none of these sales would ever have been made. Indie developers are often freelance, requiring

all the funding they can get to pay the rent and carry on making these great games. The games themselves are excellent quality. Recently, Edmund McMillen's The Binding of Isaac – a comic haiku of a game has graced

the Bundle. In the past, there have been classics such as Osmos and Braid, both gems of beautiful and intelligent design, showing off the indie genre at its best Such a movement is worth checking out. Not only is it as good value as you want to make it, but it's also a piece of the future. The web is democratising the way we pay, allowing consumers to decide how much products are worth, and empowering creative individuals to keep innovating whilst remaining independent. Get involved at

Each week we provide you with the best ways to get your five minute tech fix. This week Tom Armstrong presents StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon might just be the single biggest time vacuum on the whole of the internet. This genius of a tool uses data from one billion recommendations per month to provide you with a personalised way to surf the net. Once you've signed up, the site prompts you to pick your interests from a fairly huge list containing everything from Scientology to crochet, (whatever the heck that is). There's no limit to the number of boxes you can tick and there genuinely seems to be something for everyone. Once you've picked your interests, a little button appears in your browser toolbar which, when clicked, brings up the StumbleUpon toolbar itself. The feature of this toolbar is the 'Stumble' button. You'll be clicking on this a lot! This takes you to a random site related to one or more of the interests. Whilst you are likely to skip past a lot of pages, there's a lot of potential to 'stumble' across a host of fascinating pages. You'll quickly find yourself 'stumbling upon' web sites that you would have never ordinarily have visited. The 'like' and 'dislike' buttons, on the toolbar, help StumbleUpon learn more about you. As you surf your interests, you can hone your preferences. The real killer with StumbleUpon is the fact that the 'stumble!' button sits merrily at the top of the page and is so easy to click on when you're even the slightest bit bored or in need of a distraction. While it may eat countless hours of your time, StumbleUpon will also show you some genuinely fascinating stuff. Thanks to the 'stumble!' button, it took four hours to finish this article because we stumbled upon some pictures from the Hubble Telescope, then spent half an hour playing a flash game version of cult film, The Room. If, like me, you'd like to spend eternity looking at pages dedicated to conspiracies about the moon landings, head to or download the iPhone, iPad or Android apps.

Call for writers Redbrick Technology is expanding fast! We're looking for people with an interest in technology who want to gain valuable writing and publishing experience. Redbrick Technology has a number of opportunities including writing for the weekly paper and highly popular website and the brand new podcast. No experience necessary! To get involved come to our weekly meetings in student development at 5pm on Wednesday, email or tweet @redbricktech.

Editors – Charlotte Lytton & James Moore


18th November 2011


Matthew Clemens reviews Life's Too Short

Martin Trenaman talks Phoneshop

Charlotte Lytton talks to the star of Phoneshop about playing the fool and rocking out with Bill Bailey In Phoneshop, I play Lance, the manager. He shouldn't really be there, he's a bit old for it. The show isn't a million miles away from a family sitcom – Lance is the dad, and he's got the two errant sons (Ashley and Jawayne), the stroppy daughter (Janine) and the cousin who comes to stay because his parents have been killed in a tragic fishing accident (Christopher). Lance is a really fun character, he's a proper tit. I don't think there are really any similarities between him and myself – except I'm a proper tit too! No, I don't really think so. The only likeness is that Lance has a bit of humanity to him, he's quite warm. The scripts really attracted me to the role, and the fact that it was work! Also, Phil Bowker was producing and writing it and I've worked with him before. He's brilliant, he really understands comedy. Lance gets more caught up in the madness this series – I love that. The success of The Inbetweeners was extraordinary. As an actor, you're

happy to be working, and I took the part of Alan Cooper, Simon's dad, who was another really funny character. Again, another tit! Maybe I'm being typecast as a tit! I've always played idiots. You don't know something's going to be that much of a hit. You read the script, which is great fun, but you have no idea if it'll work, so it was a huge surprise. I went to the premiere of The Inbetweeners film and people were just going mad, it was wonderful, but very odd. A career highlight to date was when I was singing the hokey


kokey in German with Bill Bailey at the Hammersmith Apollo for his DVD. I go back a long way with Bill, I was in a band with him. So that was quite a moment, singing das hokey kokey in German, that was a bit nuts. I also really enjoy working with Sean Lock, who's brilliant. And to be honest, and this sounds terribly f*****g cheesy, but the Phoneshop cast, all of them, are the best cast I've ever worked with. They're at the top of their game – they're brilliant. I've done a fair bit of both writing a n d

acting, and they both have their benefits, but I have to say that acting probably tips the balance. I've been busier acting than I have writing in the last few years and I've really enjoyed that, so I probably prefer acting. I never went to university – my first job was on a ghost train! I did various jobs after I left school, then I was in a band and got kicked out of that, and then I did stand up comedy for six years. I'd been circling comedy for some years and used to run a comedy club in Southend so I was always really into comedy. I'd given up my job to be in a band, so when I got kicked out of that, things all went a bit tits up, so I thought I've got to do something. I got into stand up comedy and from that into writing and acting; I've been acting for about 15 years now. I've got a few things in the pipeline for next year – a BBC Radio 4 series, telly a n d films. But I don't want to jinx it!

Reviews: This week's hottest shows Grey's Anatomy Claire Kelvin Critic

For those who love hospital drama with less gore and more romance, there's Grey's Anatomy. This week's story develops around a married couple where one has to make an extremely difficult decision, and Owen uses his experiences to help his situation with Christina and their unborn child. The remainder of the series picks up with Meredith's sentimental voiceovers and the rest of

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Sara Hailan Critic

The cheeky chaps are back and it's about time: who can wait to see a bunch of Z-List celebrities puking up camel penis, drowning in a sea of fish guts, and screaming the whole way through an obstacle course. Cruel? Possibly. Entertaining? Always. The episode begins with the initial meet-and-greet, with ev-

the much loved cast's complicated personal lives. April's unlikely promotion tests her even more under pressure and it doesn't end well with the wrong patients sent to theatre. The magic and pull of Grey's are the links that make the doctors one big family. Alex has even managed to get everyone back on side after telling on Meredith. Next week, we will find out how Christina is coping after her operation, if Meredith and Derek can work it out for Zola's sake and if Mark can admit he still wants to be with Lexie. eryone shamefully pretending to know each other. It's not long before we see the contestants hurled out of a helicopter with deafening screams. It seems the contenders are too similar to previous ones. There's the American who constantly looks lost, a walking pair of DD boobs knocking about, a feisty model and a wise old timer. With Crissy Rock's awful jokes and Ant and Dec's mocking commentary thrown into the mix it's always a fantastic show to watch and the trials are far too amusing for anyone to get bored. However, the format being exactly the same does mean that the show is somewhat too familiar.

Top TV tweets Compiled by Eleanor Pitt & Eliott Rhodes

Al Murray 'I am watching XFactor this afternoon. Unlike soup or stew it isn't better reheated the following day.'

Matt Lucas 'That's right, Skype. I've got so much spare, unusable time on my hands that I'd love to accept invitations to chat from strangers in Uganda.'

Seth MacFarlane

'I sometimes feel that Rick Astley really did give me up.'

PopJustice 'Kitty singing is like watching someone shoe a horse. I mean it's a talent but I don't need to see it happen'

Jimmy Carr '8 out of ten cats on tonight 10pm on C4, We had Joey Essex on, where's he from again?'

Olivia Wilde 'Is it just me or is it weird that the gym TVs are always playing cooking shows? that's like watching porn in prison.'

Jack Whitehall 'Can't believe what I just saw.....a Peter Andre that a joke who would actually buy that!?!? answer Peter Andre'

Russell Tovey ' Ok... Just seen it... Yes I am crying a little bit... A great great advert #JohnLewisxmas2011'


18th November 2011

Music Guilty Pleasures Jukebox

William Franklin Music Editor

Friendly Fires postpone three UK shows due to ill-health

What will Frankie Cocozza do next?

After getting the boot off of the show for 'boasting about cocaine', two Music writers offer some suggestions on where to go next for the X Factor reject:

Avenged Sevenfold – Sidewinder

Joseph Fuller

My metal phase was already cresting when I came across City of Evil, but it reinvigorated the genre for at least a few more months. 'Sidewinder' is one of the more abstract shocks to the system, with a Guns & Roses meets Ennio Morricone sound, but like the rest of the record it serves double duty in terms of guilty reminders – bringing up bad memories of questionable fashion decisions as well as shoulder-length beatnik hair.

Rehab/Rebirth Following a successful stint in rehab (then recording a single about it), we could see a 180-degree turn in Frankie's image via a conversion to Christianity. The Christian church could do with spicing up its image with a hip new face and absolution could only bring good press.

Genki Rockets – I Will As far as J-Pop goes, Genki Rockets aren't the most heinous band out there, although that is a lot like saying a hungry tiger isn't the worst thing you could find in your bathroom in the morning. Some of the most terrible crimes in music were committed when Japanese hands touched synthesisers. That's not going to stop me loving this song, but I question my sanity when I sing along to it in public. The lyrics are so detestable sickly-sweet that listening to 'I Will' comes with a severe risk of all your teeth falling out.



Reality TV Show Cooking with Cocozza really does have a nice ring to it. Either that or we'll find him on I'm On A Celebrity… a few years down the line, sobbing into his leotard and being berated by John Lydon.

Perish When our hero is found outside a Wetherspoons, pale-faced and shirtless, it could very well be a great career move, a doe-eyed girl could tearfully dedicate her performance to his memory in the qualifying round. And Wonderwall could play in the background. Collaborate with David Guetta Watch in awe as David Guetta leads Frankie, a forgotten rapper and female vocalist du' jour to intone about partying/girls/drinking (the trifecta) over the same drumbeat he's used in every other single release, then watch it provide Guetta with chart-bothering success yet again! Hoorah!

Album Review 7 Pixie Lott Young Foolish Happy

Laura Schofield Critic

Date a Celebrity Kerry Katona, Katie Price, one of the girls from TOWIE or all of the girls from Made in Chelsea, all at the same time! He's already making a name for himself, as a modern day Casanova, but now that he hasn't got the X Factor to keep him on the hallowed pages of Heat magazine, he needs to step up his game and date a better class of lady. Carry on partying Because why stop now? He'll need to party even more after being thrown off the show to cheer himself up, so have a drink on us

Frankie, you deserve it. Audition next year The X Factor loves a good sob story, so it might be shrewd of Frankie to cut off his hair, buy a pair of jeans that actually fit him and become a born-again Christian, before reappearing on the show next year, crying about how he went off the rails but one day saw the shape of Jesus in his morning cider and took it as a sign to repent. Get a job at Tescos Like 'Tesco Mary' from last year's X Factor, Frankie may find himself working in one of the countries many supermarkets. Maybe if he gives Mary a call she'll get him a job at her local branch.

Live Review Bon Iver

O2 Academy 09/11/2011

Chamillionaire – Ridin' Chamillionaire has as much credibility in the hip-hop community as James Blunt. And I'm qualified to say that – I'm whiter than Larry King eating wonder bread. Liking this song is humiliating for so many reasons, the worst of which isn't even Krayzie Bone sounding like he had a stroke halfway through his verse. No, it's Weird Al Yankovich's fault. His 'White & Nerdy' parody destroyed its inspiration so utterly that I can't even listen to the original without picturing an angular beanpolehuman hybrid playing with Star Wars figurines. And when someone can make that sound cooler than absent-mindedly firing a handgun into the air, it might be time to give up rap and try your hand at ballet again. REAL TALK. Britney Spears – Toxic I'm so sorry. Contact us: Twitter – @redbrickmusic Facebook – Redbrick Music

Josh Holder Critic

We should have seen it coming as soon as Pixie announced that her sophomore album would be titled Young Foolish Happy, a nod to motown legends The Tams' track Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy. It was the first indicator that Pixie was embarking down a more mature, soulful path for her second album. Then the lead single All About Tonight was released and its club-invading synths reaffirmed that the album would still feature playful chart hits. The emerging album is a combination of both and indicates that Pixie Lott, at just 20 years old, is all grown up. It's clear that Pixie has been rummaging through her parent's record collection since completing her first album, with many of the album's songs reminiscent of early 60s soul artists such as The Supremes. The appropriately named 'Stevie On the Radio' features a harmonica solo by the soul legend himself, Stevie Wonder, resulting

in a refreshing, lighthearted pop song. The album highlight comes in the form of the upbeat 'Birthday', and despite featuring the cloying chorus, 'It started out as the worst day, but now you got me feeling like it's my birthday', it succeeds in looping itself around your head for the remainder of the day. Whilst the album effortlessly jumps through multiple genres, the constant throughout is Pixie's angelic voice that is always given priority over the instrumental components. Even on collaboration track 'Bright Lights', Tinchy Stryder is only given the responsibility of laying down the introduction, leaving Pixie in the spotlight for the remainder of the song. By avoiding the clichés of the current bass-heavy chart toppers, Pixie Lott has created an admirable second album that stands out as one of the purest pop albums of the year. Sounds like: The Saturdays

Eva Hibbs Critic

From the balcony, one marvelled over the spellbound assembly. Their obedience reminded me of photos of political rallies once upon a time: a shared cause between an entranced group, completely in awe of what they're listening to. I don't think I have ever been in a room full of such uniformed serenity, especially not in Birmingham's O2 Academy. Bon Iver opened with 'Perth'. With marching bandlike percussion, it was an epic prologue. The first track is placed on an album as an introduction: it's the opening. From now on I stand by the opinion that bands should always start their shows with opening album tracks. It works. I loved their second, self-titled album before I saw it live, but I didn't necessarily feel like I understood it. The tracks totally come to life. There are some gigs where you're happy to be there for the duration, but you do wait for your favourite songs to be played, and

the melodies in between can merge into one. It's such a cheesy remark to make, but every new track this band played I claimed was my favourite. They seemed to continuously up their game throughout the set. This gig, however, wasn't just about establishing new love, his older songs were played in a way you've never heard them before: 'Creature Fear', for example. Everyone, disbelievingly, shook their heads (in unison of course) as the band crescendoed and all eight bent doubled over their instruments in exertion. There seemed to be a shared understanding that this really was a had-to-be-there kind of musical moment. And the most memorable moment for the majority of the people in this room is when they urged the crowd's participation for the refrain of track 'The Wolves'. The echoing, 'What might have been lost', which seemed to get louder with each time sung together, created a really special climax for the show.

Better Forums give you the chance to raise any issues, discuss any ideas, or make any suggestions to shape your experience here in Birmingham.

Better Forums are open to all University of Birmingham students who want to have a say.

What have the Better Forums done for you? Lower drinks prices in Joe’s

Introduced a loyalty card, Joe’s Plus, which entitles you to discounts on various beverages and meals.

Improve signage around the building

New signage for the Guild has been designed and installed with a plan to introduce more signage over the coming year.

Personal Tutor system

Gained feedback from students on the Personal Tutor system and met with the Director of Student Support to discuss issues raised.

When do the Better Forums take place? Wednesday 23rd November

Amos Room (Guild of Students) – 2pm

Whether it’s Guild events and campaigns, or housing, community and safety issues, in this forum we want to hear how we can best represent you.

Brigid Jones, local Councillor for Selly Oak, will be coming along to the Forum at 2pm to hear and discuss with you any issues or concerns you may have about your local community. Come along and speak to your community representative.

Wednesday 30th November

Rosa Parks Room (Guild of Students) – 2pm

From course content to representation and plagiarism, the Better Education and University Forum covers every aspect of your university experience.

Thursday 1st December

Law Lecture Theatre One – 6:15pm

Topics in this forum cover everything from student group room bookings, to facilities, and representation of sports groups within the Guild.

Can’t make a Better Forum but would like to keep updated? During each Better Forum you can follow a live feed on Twitter. To keep up-to-date with the Forums as they happen, please use the following # tags.

Better Guild and Welfare Forum - #BetterGW Better Education & University Forum - #BetterEU Better Student Groups & Sports Forum - #BetterSGS

Want to know more?




18th November 2011


'I don't mind being the smartest man in the world, I just wish it wasn't this one'

Watchmen (2009)

The Beginner's Guide to... Martin Scorsese

Film News

Jamie Kershaw gives us the lowdown on this high-flying cinema king's career

With a critically acclaimed career that spans four decades, Martin Scorsese is one of the most celebrated and influential filmmakers of all time. Famed for his gritty realism, troubled leads and fastpaced style, Scorsese has given us some of the most iconic films of all time.

Early Success

Born in New York City, host to many of his films, Scorsese made his first feature, Who's That Knocking at My Door, in 1968, premiering at the Chicago Film Festival. After this he directed Boxcar Bertha before moving onto Mean Streets, his first major feature film. Based on his own experiences, it shows mobsters trying to move up in the local mafia. It firmly put Scorsese on Hollwood's radar and soon after he made Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Scorsese followed this with one of his most iconic films Taxi Driver; starring Robert De Niro as lonely veteran Travis Bickle, a taxi driver disgusted by the crime that plagues the streets. It was a huge success, winning the Palme D'Or and gaining four Oscar nominations; the start of his frustrating relationship with the Academy.

Scorsese then created New York, New York, a musical based around the city he loved, before returning with Raging Bull. De Niro starred again, this time as boxer Jake La Motta in the brutal biopic frequently ranked as one of the best films ever.

Branching Out

After this came two dark comedies, The King of Comedy and After Hours, as well as The Color of Money. Scorsese then created his labour of love, The Last Temptation of Christ, depicting Jesus's life and the temptations he faced as a man. Hugely controversial, it was nevertheless

praised and he received another Best Director nod. Next he returned to the world of crime with Goodfellas, telling the story of three young men in the mafia in what is often considered his finest work. After remaking thriller Cape Fear, Scorsese moved into uncharted waters with period piece The Age of Innocence. Next was Casino, another gritty look at mob life, this time in glitzy Las Vegas. Another surprise was Kundun, a biopic of the Dalai Lama before Bringing out the Dead, starring Nicholas Cage as a paramedic with a hint of Travis Bickle.


After this, Scorsese hit his recent purple patch, and began his successful collaborative relationship with his 'new De Niro', Leonardo DiCaprio, with Gangs of New York, a violent epic set in 19th century New York. The film was a success and brought in 10 Oscar nominations, none of which were won.

Next was another biopic, The Aviator, of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes. DiCaprio was a revelation in the title role and the film was another huge success, Scorsese being nominated for, and losing, the Best Director Oscar for the fifth time. Scorsese again returned to the mob with The Departed. A rare example of a remake considered better than its original, Scorsese took Korean thriller Infernal Affairs and relocated it to Boston. With a star-studded cast, the film was an incredible journey through corruption in the police force and finally won Scorsese his long deserved Academy Award for Best Director. Most recently, Scorsese released Shutter Island, a tense psychological thriller starring DiCaprio which became his highest grossing film. Despite already having created some of the greatest films of all time, there's still plenty on the horizon for Scorsese. First up is a customary unexpected piece, the 3D family film Hugo, due for release next year. Also in the pipeline are the film adaptation of the novel Silence and a Sinatra biopic. Scorsese fans can rest assured there's plenty left to come from the old master.

Isidore Sanders Critic

Crystal's Back! This week has seen a massive upheaval of next year's Oscar ceremony plans. Action flick producer Brett Ratner was signed on to produce for friend and host Eddie Murphy, but when Ratner was fired earlier this week for homophobic comments, (the cardinal sin for anyone who needs to be liked by crowds of Hollywood's most glamorous) Murphy soon followed with a resignation. Fortunately for fans of all things funny, one of the Oscars' most reliable hosts, Billy Crystal, was able to fill in. The ceremony will now be produced by 24's executive producer Brian Grazer.

Five of the Best: Movie Genre Mash-Ups

Luke Jones gets twisted as he looks at cinema's top 5 most genre-bending films

Doctor Who?

Sherlock Holmes



Continuing a trend started by Van Helsing and soon to be seen in Snow White and the Huntsman, Sherlock Holmes takes the famous literary character and gives him an action makeover. He creates something more akin to a buddy comedy Ă la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid than the detective yarns of old. Also check out the BBC TV series which is similarly fun.

From Dusk Till Dawn


One of the great 'wtf?' films of the nineties, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's gory schlocker starts out innocuously, as George Clooney and Tarantino himself star as fugitives on their way to Mexico. However, things take a severely out of the blue turn when a visit to a strip club introduces a group of vampires that definitely don't sparkle in daylight and listen to Muse. It also features Salma Hayek making snakes sexy years before Britney Spears in the video for 'Slave 4 U'.

Rare Exports



Serenity was the feature film spin-off from Firefly, a TV series that saw westerns meet sci-fi long before Cowboys & Aliens. Sadly the series was cancelled before the end of its first season, and this film was both a re-boot and a sign-off for the plot threads that were never resolved on TV. Watch it, fall in love, then feel sad knowing that Nathan Fillion is never going to be as famous as he deserves.

Blade Runner

Finnish oddity Scott's seminal #5 Ridley #3 This doesn't see Santa Claus as blend of sci-fi and film a jolly man in red with an increased chance of heart failure, but as a feral creature living in the forests of Finland and killing children. The Rare Exports of the title are his helpers, who are captured and trained to be shopping centre Santas. Genuinely oddball.

noir is impossible to sum up in a short space. A visually unique and influential tale set in a dystopian future, Scott has recently announced plans for a sequel, though one that is unlikely to star Harrison Ford (the two famously didn't see eye to eye during production).

Harry Potter director David Yates has chosen his next project, and it's probably the biggest challenge he could have taken on: a film of the BBC's award-winning and much-loved TV series Doctor Who. He's working with the beeb on finding writers, but while this gives hope we'll have to wait a few years more to see The Doctor on the big screen. The question is, who will play him? Yates says it'll be a separate cast to the TV series so there's definite potential for a Hollywood A-lister to take the job, like Johnny Depp who's been linked with the role in the past.

Tangled 2? Maybe not, but there'll certainly be more Tangled in the form of a Pixar-style short. The adventure will tell the story of the day before Rapunzel and Eugene's wedding and will focus on two of the most popular characters from the film, horse Maximus and chameleon Pascal, and the age-old problem of the missing wedding ring. The short will be screened in cinemas before Beauty and the Beast 3D which is released on January 20.


Editors – Genevieve Taylor & Isidore Sanders


Film 17

18th November 2011






Director: Tarsem Singh Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto Cert: 15


Director: Jonathan Levine Cast: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick Cert: 15 'Cancer is hilarious' say Seth Rogen and writer Will Reiser: their reasoning behind writing 50/50, a story based on Reiser's own experience of being told in his early 20s that he had a giant tumour in his spine, and a 50/50 chance of survival. What's funny about that, you're probably asking? Well, as it turns out, a lot. Adam (Gordon-Levitt), based on Reiser, a healthy 27 year-old radio broadcaster who, after experiencing back pains, is casually informed by his doctor that he is dying. His best friend Kyle (Rogen)



Genevieve Taylor

Bethany Ditzel


tries to use his disease as a way to pick up girls, his girlfriend (Dallas Howard) struggles to cope with the pressure of looking after him, and his young, inexperienced therapist Katherine (Kendrick) tries to help him come to terms with his situation. The film is often hilarious. Scenes that could have gone down a weepy, clichéd path are offset with humour; the script provides fantastic lines (Adam: 'No one wants to f**k me, I look like Voldemort') and other amusing moments, including Adam getting high during chemotherapy, and a scene in which he shaves his head using Kyle's questionable razor. Yet despite the comedy, the film has gravity to it, mainly due to the faultless cast. Rogen, Reiser's real life best friend, plays a fictionalised version of himself, as always a quick-wit-

ted oaf, but with a grounding to his character that makes his commitment to his friend touching. Kendrick's charming naivety is perfectly contrasted against Dallas-Howard's selfishness, and Angelica Huston stands out as Adam's overbearing mother. But this is Gordon-Levitt's film, giving a subdued performance as he moves through the different stages of the illness insisting 'I'm fine'. When his calmness finally breaks, you will break too. A film that can be described as a 'cancer comedy' could have so easily been mishandled, but a witty script and all-round brilliant performances make 50/50 a refreshingly funny yet poignant take on a usually off-limits subject. For those brave enough to laugh at the most serious of diseases, this film is worth the risk. !




If soon-to-be Superman Henry Cavill slo-mo sword-fighting with a sweaty torso exposed excites you, then you won't need convincing about the merits of watching Immortals. However, for the more discerning filmgoer with less of a pectoral-predilection, Tarsem Singh's first big-budget offering is undeniably a sumptuous visual feast. It's elsewhere in silly little details, such as plot, that it falls flat. The film is set in Ancient Greece, but its central ideas are drawn from Tarsem's own questions about religion, focussing particularly on the Gods' inability to interfere with humans. It follows Theseus, a peasant bastard trained by wise, old John Hurt who is actually Zeus, King of the Gods, in disguise. His village is attacked by King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), a ruthless, godless tyrant

who creates a revenge-mad Bambi of our hero by brutally killing his mother before his eyes. Theseus joins up with beautiful virgin seer Phaedra to avenge his mother and save Greece from Hyperion's plan to release the titans. The cast, led by the promising Cavill, all play their clichéd characters rather like intense pantomime outcasts; Pinto's Phaedra is the naïve and largely inactive Princess while Stephen Dorff's warrior thief sidekick is a sort of grumpy, battle-hardened Buttons. Rourke is easily one of the worst culprits; his crazy, scarred King comes off as overdone and predictable. Like a panto though, it's all good fun, but unlike a panto there's some pretty intense ultraviolence, largely down to Hyperion's varied and disturbing punishments which may make you laugh, but only from horror. If you can cope with the simple plot and half-baked characters there's more than enough treasure here in the film's stunning aesthetic. Tarsem's eye for detail shows true brilliance and there are quite frankly no films out now which can match the visual treats Immortals offers. !



If You Like... Little Miss Sunshine

Natasha Lavender shines a light on films you'll like if you love indie classic Little Miss Sunshine

If you were a fan of the funniest road trip ever undertaken in a VW campervan, you might want to try these other comic takes on life, love and unconventional families.

If you like... the independent comedy In 500 Days of Summer (2009), everyone's favourite pioneer of geek-chic, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, plays romantic Tom, a card designer who falls hopelessly in love with the new girl at work, decidedly unromantic Summer (Zooey Deschanel). What sets this film apart are its whimsical interludes, including a joyous musical-inspired trip to work, and its nonlinear plot which begins at the end of their tumultuous relationship. Over waffles. Ouch. Gordon-Levitt's Inception costar Ellen Page was nominated for an Oscar for her leading role in successful independent comedy Juno (2004). A witty yet vulnerable teenager, Juno falls pregnant by close friend Paulie (Michael Cera) and puts their baby up for adoption. This film charms its audience through an atypical high school story told with sharp but sincere humour and carefully observed relationships, all backed by a superb soundtrack. For fans of British comedy, Shaun of the Dead (2004) takes a refreshingly realistic look at a zombie uprising. A useful guide to

the handling of the undead should the worst occur, this film also tackles annoying step-fathers, fed up girlfriends, true bromance, and the ultimate question: which records must be sacrificed to the cause of zombie-slaying, and which must be saved for the sake of the post-apocalyptic world? Pick those delicious brains no further, and observe.

If you like... the dysfunctional characters Waitress (2007) is a bittersweet blend of odd characters, dreams and a lot of pies. Jenna (Keri Russell) is the titular waitress at Joe's Pie Diner, with a genius for pies, an abusive husband, a baby on the way and a dream: to win a $25,000 pie contest and escape her boring life. With a host of peculiar personalities, including a

spontaneous poet, a dishy doctor and a grumpy diner-owner, this film is funny, sweet and strangely true to life. Despite its cheerful name, the premise of dark comedy Sunshine Cleaning (2008) is not particularly sunny. Sisters Rose (Amy Adams) and Nora (Emily Blunt) decide to tap into the lucrative crime-scene cleaning industry by starting their own business. From the producers of Little Miss Sunshine and featuring Alan Arkin as the girls' eccentric father, this comedy introduces characters both likeable and flawed, and presents a thoughtful take on the grizzly matter of death. Released in cinemas this summer, Submarine (2011) is the story of preten-

tious teenager Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) and his quest for individuality. While Oliver is solemnly seducing his dream girl, his mum's mystic ex-boyfriend is moving in next door, prompting his mildmannered father to turn to lemon tea. A send-up and celebration of 'quirky' films, this is sharp, clever comedy.

If you like... the amusing journey Another film which takes in the American landscape, Away We Go (2009) also follows some unique personalities. After discovering she is pregnant in a rather unusual way, Verona (Maya Rudolph) and

her boyfriend Burt (John Krasinski) set out to find somewhere to raise their child. In between the laughs, coming mainly from sweet-natured oddball Burt and the characters they encounter, come touching moments in this character-driven comedy. Despite the more rustic method of transport, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974) is the ultimate comedic journey. When King Arthur and his unfailingly loyal, generally brave (and slightly dim) knights set out to find the Holy Grail, they little suspect the horrors they must face. Featuring a very resilient knight, the world's most dangerous rabbit and an important debate on the matter of coconut-carrying swallows, this is intelligent, silly fun.



18th November 2011



rmin In Bi

Arts in Wonderland

A Clockwork Orange at mac

To commence Redbrick Arts' search for UoB's favourite fictional character, we take a look at some of the all time greats. To vote, go to




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Jed Parry Jed Parry is one of the most bizarre and intriguing characters ever to have been created; not a character really to fall in love with but one you can’t help but want to understand. For anyone who doesn’t know, Parry is essentially a stalker in Enduring Love. His obsessions with one man derive from the misinterpretation of the merest gestures and looks. Undoubtedly mentally unwell but infinitely fascinating. Ian McEwan's character is an enigma.

Words by - clockwise, from top - Alexander Blanchard, Alice Grimes, James Kinsey, Emily Priestnall, Lexie Wilson, Charlotte Lytton

Laura Schofield Critic

Since the book's release over 50 years ago the disturbing world of A Clockwork Orange has become a major part of British popular culture. However, Volcano Theatre Company were unfortunately not able to maintain this disturbing world throughout their performance of the play. However, it all started-off promisingly. At the door the audience were offered the choice of either a white or black programme, when asked what the difference was, the theatre worker replied ominously ‘You’ll have to choose and find out’. It transpired that in choosing the white programme you aligned yourself with the establishment, and the ‘Ludovico Technique.’ On the other hand, by choosing the black programme, you had showed yourself to be a ‘droog’ like Alex and his gang. Although the colour choices were somewhat unimaginative, it was a nice touch to involve the audience from the outset. Once inside the theatre, two things stood out from the show's preset. Firstly, the couple sat in the corner of the stage wearing clinical white coats and face masks, ever present and ever watchful throughout the show. Secondly, one of the five cast members was a woman, which at first seemed like daring casting when you consider that the gang of ‘droogs’ who are the main characters are entirely male. However, once the play started it became inconsequential that the actor was female, as she played the role of Alex- which was multi-roled throughout- with just as much harshness and cruelty as any man could have. During the first half of the show a tense and exciting atmosphere was created as the audience observed Alex’s diligent ways . The tension built and built, through crashing classical music, racing towards his correctional treatment under the ‘Ludovico Technique’. But, once Alex was released back into society and the tension was released, the mood of the play quickly fell thanks to some rather unnecessary nudity which was a crude way of showing his vulnerability now that he had been forced into a certain behavior and had his right to choose his actions removed from him. However, the nudity added a comic element to the play that jarred with the previously disturbing and tense atmosphere. There was a moment of real beauty towards the end of the play, a brief piece of physical theatre to convey the connection between father and son, but unfortunately the actors were unable to fully regain their audience. Overall, Volcano Theatre Company’s version of A Clockwork Orange was a good piece of theatre, although it did have potential to be a great piece of theatre.


Editors – Alexander Blanchard & Lexie Wilson

Arts 19

18th November 2011


Lost in Lace at BMAG

Ami Coxill-Moore Critic

Lost in Lace, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery's latest exhibition portrays lace in a way that will make you look at it as much more than the musty, off-white and partially stained material hanging feebly at the window of your Gran's living room. The exhibition, of which the majority is based in the

Gas Hall (plus the sister exhibition Lost in Lace: Concealed and Revealed on display in the Bridge Gallery), blends a mixture depicting the historical context of lace in society, alongside innovative modern creations. Originally viewed by the affluent as a desirable status symbol, lace has permanently been a popular item of trade, so much so that when importation into Britain was

restricted, lace became an unlikely regular occurrence on smugglers' lists alongside vices such as brandy and tobacco. To this day large sums of money remain tied up in the circulation of lace, reflected principally by the recent Birmingham based auction that saw a machine-made interpretation of the Battle of Britain reaching a sale figure exceeding £5,000. Walking through the revolving doors into the Gas Hall, it is easy to see why. The mysterious air feels like you are being transported into a dream-like world. The white wash walls encase a largely open space, broken up solely by intricate lace hangings and crystals that glisten in the spotlights, evoking expressive images of innocence alongside romance. This is mirrored in one of the exhibited pieces Jardin de lit, lit de Jardin – the careful construction of a suspended lace 'bed',

surrounded by delicate floral lace 'walls', complete with arched doorway. Other impressive works include the centrepiece to the room, the Inverted Crystal Cathedral. This work strikingly encompasses 1,000 fine strands of crystals, of which their overall form is created by the force of gravity, determining both the path and distribution of the treasurable crystals. One of the most enigmatic displays is A Thin Line between Space and Matter, a piece that invites the audience into a moderately lit room, only to be then found encircled by darkness, revealing great glowing lace arches that create a 3D black hole effect conjuring the illusion of freely falling – all going to show that even a three century year old material can remain gracefully timely in modern-day society.

What to do in an Emergency

IKON 18th-2oth November Free

Arthur Smith at mac Emily Priestnall


As one of the stars of Grumpy Old Men, Arthur Smith certainly nailed grumpy but whether he was actually funny is debatable. The consciously bracketed target audience of the middle class over fifty year-olds led his humour in an extremely predictable direction and left everyone else behind in a state of an occasional chuckle. Fortunately for Smith, this 'everyone else' constituted almost solely of me. The audience evidently enjoyed his constant jabs at the admittedly dull town of Dudley and the unoriginal comparison of the Bull Ring to a construction site. Smith laid on an evening of song, poetry, impressions and an-

ecdotes to entertain, whilst throwing in the odd one-liner when audience enthusiasm lulled. Smith has recently released his memoirs and read us numerous extracts; these, despite not being funny, were actually very touching and revealed him to be a far more intellectually stimulating man than the one stood before us. Living up to his grumpy acclaim, Smith expressed a hatred for many things, including the youth of today. Our excessive use of the word 'literally', for which I am, embarrassingly, a culprit, seemed to annoy him more than is entirely necessary. This, unsurprisingly, had the OAPs laughing as did his wild suggestion of people heading out to Snobs after the show. The opening of the second half began with Smith asking the

Rose and the Seven at mac

Claire Jervis Critic

A 'modern day-fairytale', Rose and the Seven portrays an emotional, hard-hitting insight into the lives of eight young people in their first week at university, each carrying with them the burdens of their past life. At first, innov8's portrayal of student life could be a glimpse into any fresher household: Cassie has a nervous breakdown when her iPhone stops working; Summer is so homesick that she carries around with her a cuddly toy resembling her pet dog, whilst Rose is having to pull herself away from her flatmates at least twice a day to reassure her mother that she's alright. This doesn't last long, as the audience is gradually introduced to the characters' pasts, where we witness a drive-by shooting, a young girl abandoned by her

mother, and another struggling to care for a parent with an anxiety disorder. What was most striking about innov8's performance was its vulnerability. A small cast, performing in a room no bigger than the university's smallest lecture theatre, with minimal use of props, Rose and the Seven is not about grand theatrics. It is subtle, yet powerful. The teenage cast were able to project themselves into the minds of complex, confused, and griefstricken characters with such maturity that the audience was silenced; captivated. Not only that, but with several cast members doubling up on characters, it was amazing to see how these talented young individuals were able to switch between varying degrees of emotion and intensity seemingly at the flick of a switch.

Rose and the Seven is not about grand theatrics, it is subtle yet powerful. Rose and the Seven is at once playful, haunting, and intense. It is written and performed by a local youth theatre company, but you wouldn't know it. This is amateur theatre at its best.

Gina Yashere

The Drum 18th November £14.50 audience about what made them grumpy; despite being initially amusing it just got awkward when one woman shared the personal grumpiness she felt towards having a cheating husband who had just run away with his mistress. In Smith's defence, it is clear that he achieved what he set out to do: open the door into the life of a comedian with heartfelt tales and

to use observational comedy to relate to the audience. Unfortunately, it wasn't entirely my cup of tea. Call me comically immature but the only real laugh I had all evening (and this is saying something) was, 'Doctor, doctor, I'm having trouble saying my f's and th's!' 'Well,” said the doctor, “you can't say fairer than that then.'

The Crescent 23rd Nov – 11th Jan £9

Word Up! at The Drum

Anna Fearon & Laura Kemp Critics

Having gone with premeditated expectations of delicate verse akin to that of Keats and Coleridge, the immediate atmosphere of this poetry slam presented a dramatic contrast in terms of style and content. The well-acquainted crowd gathered to spectate what would turn out to be the showcasing of raw talent featuring a plethora of unique contemporary poets, singers, rappers, and spoken word acts. The extraordinary themes of the poetry encompassed a wide variety of topics ranging from motherly love, to imprisonment, to sexual encounters. Local spoken word poet Ddotti Bluebell was particularly moving, providing slick lyrics outlining the struggles of her teenage pregnancy

The REP's Sleeping Beauty

to her discovery of poetry and subsequent ability to express her emotions through this unique verse. A particularly inspiring aspect of almost all of the acts was the spontaneity of the verse and lyrics, many of which had been written very recently, to the extent that one young act had written one poem on his journey to the venue. Many read aloud directly from mobile phones, although this appeared to falter their performances slightly due to their evident unfamiliarity with their material. Several of the musical acts were exceptionally talented, one of the most notable being a young singer named Jhanalle whose dulcet tones put many X Factor contestants to shame. From the more sombre notes of Adele's 'Someone Like You', the mood of the night shifted to those who liked to 'make beats', providing an entertaining cultural twist which sent the crowd wild. Overall, Word Up! did not fail to provide an energetic and quirky night of entertainment. The array of new talent for these up-andcoming artists provided an exciting insight into authentic contemporary culture expressed through a number of heart-wrenching yet intriguing notes, words, and lyrics. Having presented an evening not short of variety, talent and diversity, this is an event not to be missed in the future.

CBSO C'est Fantastique! Symphony Hall

24th November £15

3BUGS: Trainspotting


23rd-26th November £4




18th November 2011

Poppy appealing: Fashion fad or heartfelt statement? Read online at

Fierce & Finished

The Two Style Extremes This Season: Fetish Fashion

Femme Fatale Laura Rudolph Writer

No other fashion revival is guaranteed to make a woman feel more elegant, sophisticated and sexier than she ever has before than the forties style come-back: the femme fatale. And the only item of clothing needed to create this look is the ultimate pencil skirt. The pencil skirt has adjusted the desirable hemline to a respectable knee-length and in doing so pushed the mini skirt off the style map. It is now the ultimate way to look beautifully chic and seductive without revealing too much flesh. The trend has been impossible to avoid, as the world of fashion exploited it to the full for their Autumn/Winter'11 collections. Donna Karan to Jean Paul Gaultier to Gucci have squeezed their models into the most alluring, yet conservative, pencil skirts complete with faux fur, gloves and pearls. Donna Karan inspiringly described her collection as 'empowering women to be strong and take a stand without giving up their femininity'. Key pieces to compliment the pencil skirt this season are well-tailored blazers and delicately printed tea dresses. Of course the look would not be complete without the ever glamorous fur tippets and elegant leather gloves. A silk pussy bow blouse will make the look simultaneously smart and seductive. The low hemline of the pencil skirt encourages women to wear skyscraper heels as a sure way to elongate their legs and a bright red lipstick moves the look from frumpy to fabulous ina

High Street: On a Budget Elizabeth East

Emily Challis

matter of seconds. Creative Designer at Agent Provocateur, Sarah Shotton, says: 'The global success of Mad Men promoted this look within the media, but really the hourglass silhouette has always been – and always will be – attractive to both men and women because it is healthy, sexy and alluring'. It is no surprise that the sexy forties are being revived alongside the release of My Week With Marilyn, starring Oscar nominee Michelle Williams. The film explores Marilyn's brief romance with Colin Clark and, ultimately, the inevitable divide between a public Marilyn and a private Marilyn. Half a century after her death, Marilyn Monroe still captivates the imagination of men and women. She is the ultimate icon of the femme fatale with her perfectly formed hour glass figure and her never ending supply of ultra-glamorous, always tailored outfits. Designer Antonio Beradi, whose Autumn/Winter 2011 collection is filled with femme fatale dresses, suggests that 'perhaps women have been a little lax of late with the etiquette of dressing, never considering the right underpinnings, the perfect stocking, shoe or the contents of their handbags. This was a prerequisite for my parents' generation'. The best thing about this ladylike style is that it offers women an opportunity to experiment with old Hollywood glamour whilst giving it a modern edge. Silhouettes have never been so enthralling.


How will you be doing fetish fashion this Autumn/Winter? Fetish fashion was all over the A/W 2011 catwalks, from sheer panelling and open lace at Chanel, to handcuff bracelets and PVC corsets at Louis Vuitton. Even classic brands such as Ralph Lauren sent models down the catwalk in strapping leather. The Alexander McQueen collection was probably the most daring, with full body harnesses, studded collars and thighhigh lace-up platforms, as this season displayed a different league of female power. Fetish does not have to be all about sex (though essentially that is where the trend lies), but Autumn/Winter '11 was more about a different side of girl power, a kind of no messing, leather clad Wonder Woman who knows just how to get what she wants. What's not to love? Whilst all these shows were breath taking, daring and infinitely glamorous, the problem is that for the average University student, turning up to everyday lectures in PVC leggings, a leather body harness and a sheer blouse may raise a few eyebrows. How do you turn catwalk 'ready to wear' into University 'ready to wear' and stay at the forefront of winter fashion? Vogue contributor Julia Neel wrote of the trend, 'Save the bondage bindings and lace-up corsetry for your naughtier costume parties and embrace the subtler side of this trend with suggestive sheer inserts, leather panels

Fierce Esther Newman

and black lace.' The idea is not to take these grand displays of the most extreme of designer fantasy as literally as you see them. This year the high street have really picked up on leather accents, sheer panelling and a big dose of black, which makes making this trend your own really rather easy. The look encompasses lots of textures, and mixing tactile fabrics breaks up the black of the trend. A little bit of leather really does have a profound effect on any outfit. It instills a kind of confidence that I don't think any other material can. Accessorise with a little pair of soft leather driving gloves, which feel just gorgeous - the high street is fantastic for this year. My favourite for good leather gloves is John Lewis, but New Look and even Primark do some great little pairs. For evening a pair of killer heels is a must: the higher the better. For daytime, last year's flat over-the-knee boots can be reworked with a soft blouse and skinny black jeans. My personal favourite homage to the trend is a little structured black pencil skirt in either leather or satin; Asos is good for these, as is Topshop. So don't be afraid of this big bold trend, as it can easily be slotted quite nicely into your wardrobe. This winter be sure to release your inner dominatrix. It's about attitude and letting a little bit of leather or chiffon boost your confidence, which I promise you is great for a night out.








Luckily for us the coloured knits, sequin embellishments and laceup boots featured on the runway by Vivienne Westwood and Armani have trickled down to the high street. One doesn't have to be dripping in sequins to nail this trend – choose one piece to achieve that expensive, luxe look. Laced boots give you the added security of knowing you won't be losing it on the dance floor amongst the crushing crowds. And what better way to complete the look than with an eye-popping, coloured knit keeping you warm enough to go out without a coat. Whether you're splashing out the cash or nearing the maximum on your overdraft, you can find virtually the same outfit to suit any budget, from high street stores Forever 21, Topshop and French Connection, meaning we can all treat ourselves this weekend.

Red Knit Cardigan: £11.75

Sequin Shorts: £16.75

Red Knit Cardigan: £25 (reduced from £45)

Sequin Shorts: £45

Boots: £22.75

T O T A L : £56.25

Red Knit Cardigan: £79

TOTAL: £145

Olivia Palermo's Blog – From fashion wish lists to style lessons to interiors. My bible. Christmas limited editions – Christmas always brings the release of miniatures and gift sets. They're super cute, and who says they have to be gifts anyway?! GaGa's grotto – The lady herself turning the 5th floor of Barneys NYC into a festive wonderland. Chocolate skulls, a stocking in the shape of a claw and a wig boudoir. What else would we expect? Michael Buble's Christmas album – No, it's definitely not too early to purchase. And no, definitely not just one for the mums. Sundays – The one day of the week where you're actually allowed to get out of bed late, eat a lot and ignore any impending deadlines. Bridesmaids on DVD – One of the best films of the year is now on DVD, the perfect excuse to avoid writing that essay. John Lewis Christmas ad – Will bring a tear to the eye of even the biggest of Scrooges. New series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here – We still haven't got over our teenage crush on Dougie from McFly...

Finished Frankie Cocozza – No you never deserved to be on the X Factor, and not only because you couldn't sing. TOWIE Christmas single – As much as we love TOWIE at Life&Style, they're overdoing it with the all these spin-off projects. Is there no escape? Bonfire night – Yes it's cold, but sparklers are fun, and toffee apples are yum. Heating bills – Whoa, hot water bottle anyone? Heated blankets are a must as the cold weather draws in. The Victoria's Secret show in NYC – No matter how many nosolids diets we could try we would never look like the angels. Twilight mania – Come on people, it's only a film. Taylor Lautner has a insane body but we're bored now.

S e q u i n Shorts:

Boots: £75


£82 Boots: £180 TOTAL: £341

Marc Jacobs' Dakota Fanning ad – The ad has been banned in the UK after being criticised for being too sexual. Risqué fashion is great but a 17 year old posing with a perfume bottle between her thighs = not cool. The lack of sunshine – Leaving the house armed with an umbrella every day isn't fun.

18th November 2011

Redbrick Editors – Sophie Cowling & Lara Edwards

Swishing: Joys of a Communal Wardrobe Campus Street Style India Gilling Writer

Growing up with a sister a couple of years older than myself, and almost equally as small, sharing clothes was inevitable. However, after years of joint Christmas gifts and hand-me-downs, it was nice to arrive at University and start a life with my own personal possessions. Naive about my expectant student loan, I counted down the days until I could head to the Bullring in leaps and bounds to splurge money on clothes I most certainly could not afford. Second year however has presented a mighty change: the added inclusion of electricity bills, water bills, and a TV licence has burnt a hole in my wallet I seemed previously oblivious to. It became apparent that sharing would yet again become inexorable. Who'd have thought sharing clothes with close friends could become a fashion frenzy and a global phenomenon. 'Swishing', a term coined by Futerra Sustainability Communications Company in 2007, refers to the exchange of an item of clothing with friends or

acquaintances in a bid to protect those precious pennies. It is described in an immensely business like fashion, as a 'transaction' between two parties where value is not to come into question: the deal is to occur where each participant comes off a winner. Futerra has created a craze which is not only ethical and eco-fabulous, but enjoyable and social too. Director of Futerra and founder of 'Swishing' Lucy Shea has quoted 'Save money, save the planet, have a party: swishing effortlessly touches all of these buttons'. Although my current experience of swishing is in our communal house wardrobe, which we even decided should have a room of its own, it is interesting to see the numerous amounts of websites available, where strangers are willing to lend their belongings to another fashionista. With names like '', and 'bigwardrobe. com', it is evident that what Futerra has created is a way to elevate one's love of shopping without having to spend a penny! Swishing offers a glimmer of hope; it allows us to act upon our love of retail shopping without con-

tributing to the apparent increased consumption. It blows away the cobwebs on pre-loved items of clothing you have neglected in the depths of your wardrobe in the hope that you can buy something new, and offers somebody else the chance to experience its glory. 'Swishing parties' have been held so transactions can be made more enjoyable, and also more personal. They also promote the ethical message behind this scheme at the same time. Celebrities such as iconic fashion model Twiggy are endorsing swishing, her programme 'Frock Exchange' highlights the benefits of such a transaction and has furthermore promoted it as one of the most popular ways of swapping clothes. 'Swishing parties are for all those women who want to combine glamour, environmental protection and frugality,' claims founder Shea. Clothes sharing is not only a way to keep your pockets heavy, but can also be deemed as beneficial for periods of change – holidays for example, or when the weather changes, or if your body shape alters for a limited period of time and it just seems unnecessary perhaps to splash out for temporary style. If you are a 'buy it now, wear it once' kind of person, swishing could be your new daily mantra. It seems that swishing is replacing disposable fashion, and creating a montage of styles for the individual, without even dipping into that overdraft you've maxed out so many times before. Julian Leiner Writer

For some unknown reason, the subject of casual sex has come up a few times in our house recently, with the girls' general line of complaint being 'Guys can just completely separate sex and emotions'. Now I know, and they will secretly agree, that this is a hugely generalised exaggeration, but it has given me cause to explore the basic differences in the way guys and girls view these one-off encounters. Let us start with the girls. I feel obliged to straight away mention the obvious when it comes to your position with casual sex: society is not on your side. A guy can sleep with a different girl each night, almost any girl in fact, and be branded a legend for his low standards

think I'll forsake any feeble attempt to excuse and justify us all, and simply admit that there are a number of laddish types out there who will sleep with almost anything, and simply not give a damn. But not that many. Although it's true that after sex we would probably prefer eating or sleeping to trying to answer such important and meaningful questions as 'what are you thinking?', this does not lead to the conclusion that it didn't mean anything to us. When it's with someone you care for, sex can be any number of things to guys as well: fun, passionate, romantic or even a little aggressive. I'm sure that this can also apply to casual sex, with some sort of spectrum of real emotions underlying the simple 'on or off' image we seem to portray. In addition, like the girls, men aren't always doing it because they love undressing the drunk and desperate stranger that has enough issues to make Freud blush, but instead the aforementioned pressures of male society rest heavily on their minds. Combined with a touch of that universal insecurity, is it any wonder that many guys settle for less than what they're honestly attracted to on a night out? The bottom line is, if a night out ends in casual sex it can be just as fun and morally permissible to both genders if a mutual attraction is present, but if not, why not go for a Rooster House and a cup of tea instead?

The Date Doctor

Sadie Palmer and Esther Newman Writers

Charlie, a first year English and Creative Writing student, is dressed to impress with his smart red tie and braces combination. His ensemble, expertly put together with a dash of 'Doctor Who chic', certainly stands out on campus. We particularly loved his long trench coat, tying his outfit together and transforming his look to something reminiscent of film noir characters from times gone by. This is one dapper young gentleman! Anonymous Columnist

Sadie Palmer

Casual Sex: A Male Perspective and embarrassing anecdotes. Unfortunately, following the same behaviour, a girl's reputation is rarely going to soar – or at least not in the reproachful eyes of her own gender. Now, if the girl genuinely enjoys her spontaneous sex with an intoxicated stranger, then it seems entirely unreasonable to negatively judge her for it – she's just having fun! The problem is that this is a big 'if'... so instead of a bohemian quest for sensual pleasure, the main alternative driving force is rather less glamorous: low self esteem. I have heard a number of girls use self esteem issues as the excuse for their rather promiscuous friends, and sadly, being the perceptive creatures they can be, they're probably right. An affirmation that someone is attracted to you enough to sleep with you can no doubt be very reassuring – unfortunately it carelessly pushes your own desires and attractions firmly into second place. Perhaps it is also that a number of these ladies will not yet have slept with any other sort of guy: someone who really likes them enough to combine a selfless focus on her pleasure with that testosterone-fuelled passion that you wouldn't want to do without. After all, if you don't know what sex can be, why not just go home with the guy at the bar who is almost definitely the multimillionaire Calvin Klein model he says he is? Right, time for the guys. I

Life&Style 21

Sadie Palmer Writer

Blogger Carrie Harwood comes from a small town in Somerset, which isn't exactly known for its fashion credentials. Despite this, she is the writer behind one of the most established fashion blogs in the UK, with global recognition from magazines such as Elle and Vogue. Currently based at Middlesex University in London, Carrie writes her blog in her spare time. It is a true feast for the eyes – fantastic photography captures every detail of her playful retro style, whether it be her signature beehive, shiny patent brogues or immaculate peter pan collar.

After last week's jaunt into the countryside we are staying strictly city side this week, allowing you the chance to see the classier side of Birmingham. We are lucky enough to see the return of the festive Frankfurt Christmas market this Friday, giving us the ideal backdrop for a successful fourth date. For many this key milestone is the opportunity to show the other person how you feel with a canny request on Facebook. Nothing says I really quite like you like a little notification offering you the chance to go public and show off your new relationship status. If you do take the plunge and no-one likes it except your Mum (if she's cool enough to be on Facebook), then perhaps a re-assessment is in order. If not, head on down to New Street for this week's date idea. For those of you new to the German Christmas market, I expect you will find it an absolute delight and a welcome assault on the eyes and nose. It can provide you with the chance to do a varied amount of very early Christmas shopping, but it is not the cheapest, and other than a potential stop at the beer and mulled wine stall, I would recommend you leave your shopping for another day. Just beyond the end of the market at the bottom of Broad Street is an upmarket set of bars and restaurants canal side, in one of my favourite parts of Birmingham. Brindley Place, as it is known, offers you the perfect chance to share a drink or grab a bite to eat in classier surroundings than is normally afforded. After this, less than a hundred meters or so across the canal is Symphony hall, the ideal venue to sit back and indulge in a musical fiesta. Booking in advance and being a student concession all helps to make it a wholly enjoyable experience. From past experience I would recommend getting a programme, especially if the performance is in Latin or Spanish, otherwise you probably won't have a clue what is going on and you would be amazed at how long a couple of hours can become if you're totally clueless. Afterwards you will find the night is still young and the world is your oyster. Who knows what will happen next... Will things heat up in Date 5? Find out next week from Life&Style's favourite Doctor...



18th November 2011


Find Travel's essential packing list and first aid must-haves on our new online Health section

Is getting a tattoo abroad a travel taboo or a holiday 'must do'? Gemma Fottles spells out the dos and don'ts of going under the needle for tattoos and piercings in other countries

Whether you're going away for a week or a year, souvenirs are usually one of those things that you do not leave your holiday destination without. Ranging from the less than enthralling cheesy fridge magnet, to the obscure and wonderful item you couldn't get anywhere else in the world, they are a great way of bringing back a little bit of your trip. One of the great things about souvenirs is that moment when you stumble across it buried in your room, months after you get back home, and you suddenly remember what an amazing time you had. But sometimes this random memory trip isn't enough, and a permanent reminder is desired, often in the form of an infamous holiday tattoo. At the time, a tattoo whilst you're away may seem like the greatest idea to have ever existed. However getting tattoos whilst abroad, and the certain situations in which many people do so, can lead to very serious consequences. Most typical backpacker or 1830 drinking holiday destinations will have different rules and regulations to the UK. In many places for example, it does not matter if you are intoxicated (in any way) to give consent to a tattoo. This combined with a 24/7 tattoo parlour equals a very bad mix. So many people wake up the next morning having forgotten all about the previous night's adventures, and are horrified when they

look down to see some complete atrocity in a random place on their body. Think The Hangover 2. Nobody wants that. Aside from the slightly comical, but still pretty horrific consequence of a drunken tattoo abroad, there are also serious health risks. Health regulations in some part of the world are, unfortunately, virtually non-existent. This joined with a generally very poor community can sometimes lead to cutting corners to keep down costs and make the most out of the occasional drunken Westerner's money. Corners such as not using new or sterilised needles on each person, not wearing gloves and generally not keeping an acceptable level of sanitation. Dirty needles are obviously a big deal, as they can lead to life threatening diseases and infections, including HIV and Hepatitis. If you're not careful and fail to maintain a decent level of common sense you could end up returning home with a lot more than you bargained for. However, just because bad things can happen does not mean that they will. Tattoos are often things that people have been thinking about for a while, but have never got around to doing. Sometimes a holiday is the perfect excuse – losing a few inhibitions can sometimes lead to something you have thought about for ages finally becoming a reality. It can also be a chance to

Isabella Fritz explores Liverpool

Evan Blaser, Flickr experience something complete unique. For example, a lot of Asian countries have experts in bamboo tattoos, the traditional way of getting tattooed. This technique is pretty rare back in the UK and is a totally different way of experiencing a different culture. I have had both tattoos and piercings whilst travelling, and do not regret either. They remind me of where I was when I had them and hold more of a meaning to me than anything done at home. In hindsight, I probably should have taken my own advice

A hitchhiker's guide to hitchhiking, obviously

Carnival RAG's hitch to Newcastle Laura Hopkins Reporter

A generation ago hitchhiking was how a lot of young people travelled through Europe and America. It's a free way to travel to wherever you want to go, whenever you like and the best part is meeting new people from all walks of life along the way. My dad and my godfather have some brilliant stories from their travels. Whilst hitching through San Francisco, they were interviewed by the local news team and thanks to an appearance on the news that night, they were recognised and offered lifts and money. When my godfather needed to get from Wales to London to

Joe Alderman watch a Spurs match, he hitched and got picked up by the brother of a Spurs player. Hitching has also helped them out when in trouble, for example, my godfather had his passport and money stolen whilst in Madrid and managed to hitch his way back to London thanks to a friendly trucker and a sports car. Admittedly, it's not all football players and sports cars; it can go wrong. When in America, they got picked up by a hillbilly who pulled over mid lift and cracked out his shotgun, fortunately only so he could shoot some birds for dinner. However, that was the era of love and peace. Nowadays hitching is a lot less popular and considered by most as unsafe, especially for women and those who choose to

An International View

hitch often and do so alone. My first proper hitch was with Carnival Rag. Starting at the university in various different animal onesies at six in the morning, we hitched the 230 miles to Newcastle. In eight hours we took seven lifts and came in second place. Apart from travelling that far for free, the best part of the hitch was the people. It really restores your faith in humanity when complete strangers are willing to go completely out of their way to help you. The funniest part was watching Luke Reynolds (VP Welfare) and Zuki Majukwana (VP Housing and Community) dressed as polar bears being escorted off the motorway by the police. We gave some brilliant love advice to a woman and got lost by a lake for an hour before getting a ride in the back of a police car. The fact that I was hitchhiking in fancy dress and fund-raising along the way were probably the main reasons people were so willing to help. Most of the people who gave us lifts said they had never picked up a hitcher before, and were only doing so now because we were doing it for charity. I would definitely do it again and can't wait for Carnival RAG's Escape and Evade in Easter – the aim is to get as far away from the University as possible in 72 hours – and I'm sure we can beat last year's winners Matt Sharpe and Tom McMullen who got to Serbia. So, is hitching still worth trying? If you do it safely, then I would say definitely.

and thought a little more sensibly about the situation in which each of these were done. Thankfully, I was lucky and everything turned out alright. On the other hand, I have met various people who weren't as lucky as me – even if their tattoo or piercing just ended in a minor infection. At the end of the day, horror stories should be taken with a pinch of salt. If you don't take take stupid risks, then you could end up with a souvenir you'll never lose, and no one else will ever have. 5 Hitching Tips 1. Only go hitching by day. You can see the car you're getting into and the driver in advance. Also, it will be less seedy than if you're trying to get picked up at night... 2. Travel in groups - two is probably the best number. This way you will ensure safety in numbers, and at the same time, there won't be too many of you to fit into the car of a passer-by. 3. Location - firstly, you need to keep to the law, anywhere along a motorway is illegal. You need to be in service stations. When not on the motorway, try to position your-

After staying in Birmingham for almost two months, it was time to explore the British Isles. So, together with two friends I took a train Northbound to a rather gloomy and stormy Liverpool. Expecting merely an industrial city, we found that Liverpool has surprisingly a lot to offer. We only had one day for our exploration, and so had to pick out our top spots. Our first stop was the pier and on the way we couldn't miss photographing the gigantic statue of Queen Victoria and the impressive Royal Liver Buildings with the Liver birds atop. Very close to the sea front there is the newly opened Museum of Liverpool. It's really worth going there and not only because it's for free. You get to know a lot about the city, its popular culture and history. Lunchtime was, of course, in a traditional old pub in the city centre. A football game was showing, with teenagers and old ladies alike cheering for their team. Here in England, football seems to be some kind of a religion. However, for me, eating fish and chips was much more fun than watching 22 guys chasing a ball. Finally it was already dark when we crossed the huge Runcorn Bridge towards Birmingham again. selves somewhere cars can easily stop. Service stations are a ideal spots though, because you can grab supplies and break the ice by talking to people first, which may get you more lifts. 4. Be noticeable. Have big signs, flipchart paper or a whiteboard which will mean you can change your sign when you change direction. Also, wear bright clothes. 5. Keep someone updated on your movements. GPS, regular texts or phone calls will mean someone always knows where you are. If you have any problems someone can provide details of where you were last and where you're heading to.

Picture of the Week

A chilling sight, Auschwitz in winter

Will Spence

18th November 2011



Want to know where's best? From fiery Indian to epic pizza, check out the full range of our takeaways reviews online at

Restaurant Re-launch: Bar Room Bar Izzy Gibbin and Hannah Lloyd attend the re-opening of this Mailbox pizzeria

Izzy Gibbin Entering the recently refurbished Bar Room Bar at the Mailbox, we were faced with a stylish décor and atmosphere that is decidedly chic without being sickeningly trendy. Bar Room Bar seems to land in the middle of the Italian chain restaurant genre that's become popular through restaurants such as Pizza Express. But, as we were about to


discover, it has a lot more to offer than your standard pepperoni pizza. As the waitress handed us the first of many pizzas, she claimed that the food is 'much better than Pizza Express'. Tucking into the 'Albondigas', which is topped with meatballs and cinnamon, I had to agree. Also featured on the menu

is a crispy duck and hoisin pizza which, despite the unusual amalgamation of Chinese and Italian flavours, is surprisingly delicious. For a 12 inch pizza, prices land somewhere between £7-£9, which is comparable to most similar restaurants. At lunchtime, you can get any pizza and a drink for just £6.25. Other deals include two-for-

one pizzas on Tuesdays, and 20 per cent off food and drink with a 'Slice card' (available at £2.50). The menu isn't limited to pizzas; it also features jazzed-up pub fare, such as the Wasabi-spiked burger and crayfish-stuffed pitta breads. It's refreshing to see a menu that doesn't shy away from inventive combinations. With enough free drink vouchers to inebriate an army, we set about sampling the cocktail menu. Like the food menu, the cocktail list featured a mix of updated classics and brand-new combinations. Our favourite was the 'Courtney Love', which contained rum, cream and crushed Oreos. We felt that some of the prices (about £7-£8) were just a little too expensive for the drinks themselves; however, there's no reason to lose out with cocktails at two-for-one every Thursday. The chatty and experienced bar staff only enhanced the experience. Overall, Bar Room Bar is a buzzing and innovative place to enjoy a drink or catch a welcome break from the dull and overused flavours you'd find in so many chain restaurants. If your budget can't quite stretch to full price, make sure to check out the twofor-one days.

Souper Soup Hannah Rowe Writer

It's that time of year again. Lecturers are struggling to make themselves heard over a torrent of coughing; Aldi has a large display of lemsips in its eclectic central aisle; and you consistently have to resist the urge to force a tissue upon the person next to you and inform them that constant sniffing is much, much more annoying than blowing their nose. Yes, cold season is upon us and we are all looking mournfully at the unopened packet of multivitamins our parents mysteriously gave us in September. When I have a stinking cold I have the urge to do three things: moan/ whimper, hibernate in a duvet cocoon, and eat comfort food. I strongly abide by the motto 'starve a fever, feed a cold', though I have yet to be presented with any solid medical proof as to why this may help. Comfort food for the common cold differs between each family and every culture. Whilst researching this I did, however, notice that there seemed to be a common worldwide theme: soup. It's loved the world over as a common cold cure. In China, a type of rice soup,

Do you have a Hungry House? The Food section teamed up with takeaway website Hungry House to order, eat and review the food from the local area's takeaway restaurants. More reviews online.

Sophie Crane reviews Kebab Land 2 Dawlish Road, Selly Oak 0121 471 4466

Victoria Anderton reviews Pino Pizza and Pasta 2 Elliott Road , Selly Oak 0121 472 3130

Jenna Kirby reviews Tony's Fish and Pizza Bar 25 Strathdene Road, Selly Oak 0121 472 0022

Izzy Gibbin reviews Rainbow Garden 1225 Pershore Road, Stirchley 0121 459 1281

Grilled chicken breast wrap, with salad and chilli sauce; Cheese burger with ketchup; Half periperi with regular fries; Mint yoghurt Total £10.50

Meal Deal – Large hot vegetarian pizza; Onion rings; Coleslaw; Large bottle of Pepsi Total £10

Haddock; Mini Cod; Chicken and mushroom pie; Large chips; Scallops Total £10.55

Mixed ribs and jill yim style wings with fried rice; Fried chow mein; Two bags of prawn crackers (Delivery charge of £1.50) Total £12.10

Taste 4/5 Value 3/5 Menu 3/5 Delivery 5/5 Total 16/20

Taste 3/5 Value 4/5 Menu 4/5 Delivery 1/5 Total 12/20

Taste 2/5 Value 3/5 Menu 3 /5 Delivery 4/5 Total 12/20

Taste 3/5 Value 2/5 Menu 3 /5 Delivery 5/5 Total 13/20

Waking up the morning after eating 10 different takeaways was like waking up with a hangover – nursing a very dry mouth and reaching straight for a large bottle of water. Kebab Land was the surprise of the night. Situated at the end of Dawlish Road, expectations weren't exactly high for the takeaway. At £10.50, it was average value, but in terms of taste, Kebab Land was a big hit. The chips were some of the best of the night, though slightly soggy, and the wrap was delicious. With just the right amount of spice and a lot of chicken, it went perfectly with the mint yoghurt dip. The periperi chicken was flavoursome, and again you got a lot of meat for your money. In all, the only disappointment was the cheeseburger, which was definitely below average with bland meat and a soggy bun – the only time it would go down well would be on the walk back home after Fab!

Pino Pizza offers a large range of pizzas from basic Margheritas to the more adventurous Chef's Special (bolognese, double onion, sweetcorn and fresh chillies). With 28 different pizzas on offer and available in four different sizes, as well as 'Half 'N' Half' and the option to make your own, there really is a pizza for everyone. The menu also contains a good range of pastas, burgers and side orders. The chillies on our pizza pretty much blew everyone's heads off on the first bite. Although labelled 'hot', we found it a little too overpowering, so much so that you couldn't actually taste the rest of it. The onions rings, on the other hand, were good: crisp batter and not at all soggy. Overall, our pizza's lack of flavour brought down the takeaway's score. The meal itself, however was good value, as you could easily feed two people with this meal deal for a very affordable £10.

Tony's chips caused a lot of disagreement among our team. The battered haddock was a good size, and most people were fairly pleased with it, although some commented that the batter was greasy and that the fish was too salty. The cod was quite large for something described as 'mini', but it was good value at £1.85. The scallops, however, caused a lot of confusion and led many to question whether we had actually received what we ordered. Instead of the mollusc variety which we were expecting, something akin to a battered potato cake arrived, which led many to treat it with suspicion. Overall, while Tony's Fish and Pizza Bar is not somewhere that I will be frequenting myself, it is suitable for students who are on a tight budget, willing to try out ominouslooking and unknown foods, and who aren't prone to heart failure. If you're feeling adventurous, then why not?

Our first dish, ribs, tasted delicious, if a little dry; however, the real problem came to the portion sizes. Each rib had only a tiny little bit of meat on it, barely enough for one mouthful. The mixed ribs and wings came in one smallish container, and would feed maybe one to two people if they were eating other dishes as well. Not very good value! The prawn crackers were quite bland and soggy, as was the egg fried rice. Some of our reviewers praised the chow mein as being quite tasty, although its texture was too greasy. We felt Rainbow Garden didn't give much for the price. Their menu covers all normal Chinese takeaway dishes such as sweet and sour chicken and chilli beef, with dishes priced at about £5 on average. They also offer some Thai tom yum dishes and English omelette and chips. Their 'house special' dishes appear to consist of various fried mixed meats.

which is almost like porridge in texture and is called Congee, is often eaten by the ill as it is easy to digest. Variations of this can be found all over Asia. In Jewish culture Matzoh Ball Soup is the traditional comfort food. This thin chicken broth with dumplings is colloquially known as Jewish Penicillin as it's thought to be good for the sick. In Puerto Rico a hearty soup called Asopao is a well-loved comfort food, as is a spicy miso-based stew called Soon Doo Boo Jigae in Korea. So, there we have it; throughout the world soup is the food to remedy a cold. Nothing beats homemade soup, so why not give it a go this season? Carrot, tomato and onion soups are all cheap and easy to make. However, be inspired to look up a recipe for one of the ones previously mentioned. If you don't feel you have time for that, you could always try (dare I say) picking up a couple of tins from the supermarket and adding ingredients of your own! A tip is to make a big batch so that some can be frozen, ready for those days when all you want to do is lay on the sofa watching Come Dine With Me, swaddled in a blanket and wishing you were back home being offered Lucozade on a regular basis.



18th November 2011

Sport Reid-ing between the lines Old Rivals

Turn to page 26 to read about Birmingham's grudge match against Loughborough seconds

Redbrick Online Sport Editor Joel Lamy put the questions to Premier League footballer and former Republic of Ireland international Steven Reid, currently with West Bromwich Albion...

Player Profile Age: 30 Nationality: Irish Height: 6' 1'' Positions: Right back, centre midfield Previous Clubs: Millwall, Blackburn, QPR Notable Achievements: playing in the 2002 World Cup, winning Match of the Day’s goal of the month in the 2005-6 season for a screamer against Wigan (see Classic Goal on p27) What’s the proudest moment of your career? Probably going to the World Cup with Republic of Ireland. I managed not only to go, but to actually play in the two games against Cameroon and Germany as well. Playing in the World Cup’s got to be the highlight of anyone’s career. It’s almost ten years ago now but it’s still definitely the best moment in my career. It’s a shame I didn’t get to play in another one. What’s the biggest derby you have been involved in? The actual playing against Wolves is the biggest fixture of the season,

it’s the one the fans want to win. The big game when I was at Blackburn would probably be the Burnley game when we played them in the Cup, that’s quite a tasty game as well. Going back to the Millwall days, probably any game in London really! They’re good games to be involved in. Are you worried Roy Hodgson will become England manager next year? Obviously his name’s been thrown in alongside the other top English managers around at the minute; Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew’s been mentioned in the last couple of weeks. Hopefully the club will give a new contract to the gaffer and he can stay on and we can improve and keep our Premier League status. How good was your strike against Wigan in the 2005/06 season? (See this week’s classic goal) It’s definitely up there. I was a little bit disappointed it didn’t get Goal of the Season that year if I’m honest, but definitely one of my better strikes. I scored a couple of similar ones when I was out at Millwall, but it’s a highlight of my Blackburn career. I seemed to kick on after that. It was definitely my best goal for Blackburn that’s for sure. What’s your favourite chant? I quite like the Mulumbu one actually, over the last year they’ve developed that one. It’s ‘he comes from Africa, he’s better than Kaka.’ Quite a catchy lyric and tune and we give him a little bit of banter about that as well. How do you feel about assistant manager Michael Appleton going to take charge of

The Week In Numbers

1 47 14 41 11

million Euros. The bonus earned by Novak Djokovic just for taking part in the Paris Masters, where he pulled out in the second round due to injury.

Portsmouth? He’s been a big part of the club for the last 10 years, he’s had a big input as long as I’ve been here over the last 18 months. So yeah, he’s going to be a loss, but at the same time he’s always wanted to crack on and become a manager so it’s a great opportunity for himself and it’s a decent club he’s gone to, so we wish him good luck. What's the worst thing about being a footballer? Probably the time that you spend away from your friends and family. Obviously Christmas time and times like that where most people are chilling out and relaxing at home with the family but that’s the biggest time. Sometimes you’re travelling around all the time but it’s a price worth paying. We’re privileged to be in that position so I’m not going to complain too much about it. Who had the bigger ego, Robbie Savage or Craig Bellamy? I wouldn’t say they have big egos, people would be surprised actually both really wanted to do well, wanted to win games. Looking at it now, with Strictly Come Dancing, I have to go with Robbie Savage. Settle a debate for us: Who is the best manager ever? I think you’ve got to go with Fergie, 25 years at the same club, built them up since he went there and whatever it is now, 11, 12 league titles, a couple of European Cups. He’s won everything there.

Reid has had a distinguished career, and is now at the Hawthorns

You can read the full interview with Steven Reid, and find out the details for our ticket competition, as well as other ticket offers from West Brom, on our website.

West Brom ticket competition

Redbrick Sport has teamed up with West Brom to offer two lucky people free tickets in the press area to watch the Premier League match against Wigan at the Hawthorns on December 10th, including a tour of the tunnel and media area. Simply 'Like' the new Redbrick Sport page on Facebook to be entered into the prize draw.

The Week In Quotes

The Redbrick Sport Quiz

‘We believe 2017 will cement the clear, unambiguous vision we offered the world in 2005 [when London was awarded the 2012 Olympics], a vision that promised a real legacy through unprecedented levels of investment in our new national stadium.'

1) Who are the only team to beat Munster at their home ground in the Heineken Cup?

'I’m hoping that’s as bad as it gets in my career. If anyone in our team does not have pain eating away at them now, then they shouldn’t be playing sport.'

3) Which nation did England once bowl out for 26, the lowest test total of all time?

Australia were bowled out for just 47 by South Africa last week. Their top order collapsed to leave them at 21-9, but this was still their lowest test total for 109 years.

Lord Coe was delighted after England were awarded the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Sebastian Vettel equalled Nigel Mansell’s alltime record of 14 pole positions in one season at Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Skipper Michael Clarke was furious with the way Australia's batting lineup collapsed as they suffered an eight wicket defeat to South Africa.

The number of phases before Ronan O’Gara hit his injury time drop-goal to give Munster a 23-21 win over Northampton in the Heineken Cup

'I think it is in the best interests of both the England team and myself not to carry on. I have a choice at the moment. If I hadn't made that decision someone may have made it for me.'

Spinners have been picked for the Australian test side since the retirement of Shane Warne. Current spinner Nathan Lyon was once a member of the Adelaide ground-staff.

'Leave him to the dogs. I don't want to go backwards.'

Martin Johnson on resigning this week as manager of England rugby team, after a desperately disappointing World Cup showing. British boxer Tyson Fury has bigger fish to fry than Audley Harrison as he looks to progress in the heavyweight division.

2) How many times have Andy Murray and Roger Federer played each other this season?

4) When champion jockey Tony McCoy won the Grand National for the first time last year, which horse did he partner to glory? 5) After their surprise loss to England this week, which other three teams have World Champions Spain lost to since that final? 1, Leicester Tigers 2, 0 3, New Zealand 4, Don't Push It 5, Argentina, Portugal and Italy



Sport Thoughts Redbrick Sport writer Raphael Sheridan looks into golf's governing bodies' reactions to recent transgressions, and why there are inconsistencies in the responses...

Sport 25

18th November 2011

Editors – Sam Price & Joseph Audley

Lewis turns tables as Brum triumph Men's Table Tennis

Birmingham 1sts


Nottingham 2nds


Raphael Sheridan Sport Reporter

The most intriguing facet of the recent Steve Williams debacle wasn’t the surprisingly defensive reaction of his employer Adam Scott, nor the multitude of tweets that followed from Tour golfers, but the silence from the sport’s de facto governing bodies, the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) and Royal and Ancient (R&A). After several days two executives issued muted statements, but it was left largely to the players to ‘mediamanage’ the mess left by golf’s most brusque caddy. Fast-forward to last week, and John Daly walks out of the Australian Open after hitting seven balls into the water at the par-3 11th hole, an impressive feat even by amateur standards. Cue the Australasian PGA and tournament director Brian Thorburn falling over each other to issue critical statements. ‘We are definitely disappointed in that attitude. We’ve got to protect the sport’, said Thorburn before banning Daly from future Australian Opens. Why the two polar attitudes? The case for the defence would probably be that Williams’ comments occurred at a private function; Daly’s was in full view of a watching public. In Williams’ case, it was countered (eventually) by a statement from Tiger Woods. Daly’s, however, was interpreted as a transgression of golf’s sacred code of on-course integrity. This points to some interesting conclusions. Golf has always suffered from poor race relations, and the problem has never been fully addressed (the first black golfer to play in the Masters was in 1975, and the Augusta admitted its first black member only in 1990). Yet the sport prides itself on supreme ethical behaviour on an individual level, with golfers seen as the most honest of sportsmen. Consequently, all that counts is a golfer’s pristine on-course behaviour. This attitude stems from (especially American) golf being largely a conservatively sport where the individual’s conduct is of paramount importance, rather than a prevailing collective attitude. Furthermore, Williams’ remarks were made in China, where golf is attempting to tap into a new, lucrative market. In the governing bodies’ thinking, issuing a statement on race would have unnecessarily rocked the boat. But in refusing to face off-course issues, the sport has once more shown its cautious, corporate elitist tendencies. And, despite every player playing the same course, there is still a fundamental inequality at heart. After all, could any other caddy other than Steve Williams have survived that storm?

‘We’ve lost against Nottingham in the last two seasons’ said Birmingham captain Ed Slot, as he set up the two tables, ‘but we weren’t playing our strongest team. In fact, today is the first day we’ve had our strongest team this season.’ Intriguing; so have Birmingham struggled this season? ‘We’ve played two league games and a cup game.’ Slot replied ‘We won two of them 11-6 and the third 17-0.’ He looked up at the other table, and paused. ‘You need to focus on your own match. You can’t think about the person playing next to you.’ And with that, the contest got underway. The imposing Xioaxin Liu and the brilliantly aggressive Matt Mulley won the first two games in style and paved the way for Slot to take on Nottingham captain James Berry. A defensive masterclass followed from Slot, and Berry became visibly frustrated with the Birmingham captain’s invincibility at returning shots ten yards away. Slot deftly battled through and made it 3-0 to the hosts. The home side would eventually lead 6-1, although not without a couple of close encounters, principally from Liu who almost let Pritesh Kakad back in the game after losing five match points. ‘Could

Ed Slot (above) showed his defensive prowess in beating James Berry of Nottingham have played better. You think too much and I didn’t play properly’ he muttered as he sat down, being overly self-critical. The most intense battle was an epic between Berry and Brum’s Scott Lewis. Lewis, whose matches never seemed to lack action, found himself on the brink of defeat before an almighty comeback and an 1816 victory cued further anguished looks from the Nottingham skipper. ‘I was just concentrating point after point’ said Lewis afterwards. However, Berry took control in the

decider and eventually defeated his opponent, whose gritty determination this time didn’t prevail. The Nottingham captain deserves praise for his performance, and his troops went on the charge, pulling the score back to 6-4. Yet Slot, Lewis and Mulley finished their next three matches in convincing fashion, and Lewis sealed the contest with an almighty forearm smash - the sort usually seen in boxing. Birmingham were now 9-4 up and over the line, eventually making it 12-5. ‘There were some

Michael Drury

tough matches and some strong performances today’ remarked Lewis, ‘it’s good to keep our undefeated start for the new season.’ A performance, in sum, of guile, grit and grace.

Comeback King When his opponent needed just one more point to win, Birmingham's Scott Lewis still won 50% of his games.

Sharks stutter to win over Wolverines Aussie Rules Football

Birmingham Sharks


Wolverhampton Wolverines


Sebastian Goodwin Aussie Rules Correspondent

Ruckman Ed Clampitt gets the better of his opponent Charlotte Wilson

The Aussie Rules team continued their season last weekend with a disjointed 91-28 win over local rivals Wolverhampton. The match was a fiercely contested and scrappy affair, with both teams quickly feeling the effects of the highly physical sport. Wolves’ squad was lead by their founder Ian Mitchell, fresh from captaining the England side in the recent European Cup. Birmingham continued to introduce fresh faces to the sport, with a third of the squad playing their first ever match. The start for the home side wasn’t ideal, with Wolves piling on the pressure immediately and putting the first points on the scoreboard. However, Birmingham quickly gained some composure with captain Ian McNicholas scoring the first goal after ruckman Ben Massey cleared through midfield to get the ball up to the attacking line. Wolves showed early their intention to make the match a physical one and this was felt heavily by Birmingham’s midfield. Massey and fellow ruckman Ed Clampitt quickly overcame this with their strength and pace, and sent several kicks into the home side’s attacking half. Despite conceding first points and struggling to convert

numerous chances on goal, Birmingham ended the first quarter with a 25-7 lead. The second quarter started tentatively, with both teams still trying to outfox the other. This quarter was short on goals with kicks and hand passes from both sides going to ground frequently. Birmingham continued to have difficulties capitalising on their attacking chances, yet managed to keep Wolves at bay thanks to their stamina and well timed interceptions from resolute f u l l b a c k Ollie Di-Lieto. A long first half ended with the home side leading 37-21, yet already feeling the effects of the hard hitting opposition. The second half saw Birmingham take control of the match, becoming more tactical and more aggressive than their opponents. Mitchell was holding the Wolves team together, but after he received a bone-crunching hit from Birmingham’s experienced Australian halfback Steve Ingham, the visitors quickly began to lose focus. The home side’s ability to shut down almost any attack by the opposition was shown by Wolves’ inability to score a goal in the entire second half, totalling only seven points during the final two quarters. This shutout coincided with Birmingham extending their lead with 54 points being scored in the second half, including seven goals. While Birmingham struggled to be clinical in this game, their sheer persistence in front of goal gained them the points needed for victory.

26 Sport


18th November 2011

Editors – Sam Price & Joseph Audley

Wood's kicking consistency key in win

Brummy Bender

Men's Rugby Union

Birmingham 1sts


Loughborough 2nds


This weekend sees the return of the ‘Brummy Bender’, a two-day sailing race event held at Bartley Green Sailing Club. There will be 21 teams competing from across the UK in this the 9th consecutive edition of the Bender. Last year the event made approximately £1500 for the University of Birmingham sailing club, and with exciting races and great socials, the 19th and 20th November promises to be another cracker.

James Newbon Sport Reporter

Birmingham firsts saw off Loughborough seconds 33-17 at Bournbrook on Wednesday to leapfrog them in the table. Level on points going into this game, Birmingham trailed only on points difference. And, despite what the scoreline may suggest, there was little to separate them in this encounter. The hosts got off to a flying start. Loughborough failed to get out of their half from the kick off and this Brum dominance was rewarded by a try from Will Knight after three minutes. A poor Loughborough line out resulted in a Birmingham scrum three yards from the away try line, with the home side driving forward for Knight to break out and score. Dan Wood converted to put Brum 7-0 up. Birmingham increased the scoreline on 16 minutes when quick passing from the backs put through Robbie Montgomery who found Matt Smith to his left. The number 12 was left with clear space to run into and score Brum’s second try of the game. Speaking after the game coach Mike Umaga explained that the backs had been receiving some stick from the forwards in recent weeks and that this try ‘gets the message across that when they have their time they utilise it well.’ Wood converted once again as Birmingham led 14-0. But Loughborough weren’t about to roll over and concede the game easily. And they got themselves on the scoresheet courtesy

Raising the Bar

Tom Flathers

An unorganised Loughborough allowed Birmingham to press forward of a penalty from Bill Harling. And Harling was to increase Loughborough’s tally twice more in succession over the next 10 minutes with two further penalties, as the away side decreased the gap to a single try at 14-9. The visitors grew in confidence and began to dominate. This dominance was rewarded when Phil Williams was the recipient of a perfectly weighted cross field kick that enabled him to score unopposed on the left wing. With Harling’s conversion from the wide angle drifting just wide the scores were level at 14 a-piece. Losing their lead seemed to galvanise Birmingham and straight from the kick-off Nick Gardner was able to win possession and along with Jamie Wilkin managed to see Birmingham to within touching distance of the visitors’ tryline. The referee brought play back for a Birmingham penalty that was scored

by Wood and Birmingham took a 17-14 lead into half-time. Early in the second half Loughborough levelled through a Harling penalty as the game became an open and tense affair in which neither side managed to dominate. It took until the 21st minute of the second half for this deadlock to be broken. A strong drive forward by the Birmingham forwards was illegally brought to a halt by the away side. Wood stepped up to score the resulting penalty from close range directly in front of the posts to make it 20-17. And from here Birmingham stepped up a gear as Wood, whose kicking was impressive throughout, added a longer range penalty three minutes later to increase the lead. Loughborough did have one chance to score as their number 21 kicked through the Brum line but his dive failed to catch the ball up

as he watched it sail agonisingly out of bounds. And from then on it was really all about Brum as Wood added another penalty before Dave Devlin capitalised on some sloppy Loughborough handling to run in the home side’s third try of the game. Wood maintained his 100% kicking success for the game as he converted from the tight angle to give his team the 33-17 victory. But, despite the seemingly comfortable scoreline, Birmingham will know they were made to work hard for the win.

Magic Number


Both teams conceded 13 penalties

Milne magic too much for Brum Women's Badminton

Birmingham 1sts


Leeds Met 1sts


Josh Hunt Sport Reporter

Birmingham women’s badminton first team were whitewashed 8-0 by an outstanding Leeds Met squad, failing to win a single game in the process. Brum came into the match unbeaten in the Premier Division North following victories over Manchester and Durham but were outplayed in every match this time around. Veteran doubles player Lucy Hunter revealed her thoughts before the tie started and said that despite having ‘a strong team, one or two games would be fantastic’ against the top women’s university team in Britain. Sadly Birmingham were unable to do so and it was clear that the visitors weren’t taking the home side lightly. Steph Brown raced into an early lead in the first singles match against Anna Showan, taking the first game 21-7. Showan got into the match a little more in the second game, but couldn’t prevent Brown taking the second game 21-9 and wrapping up the away team’s first victory of the day. On the other court Alyssa Lim and Lauren Bromley were putting

Sport Shorts

up more of a fight in the first of the doubles matches, but they too fell 21-12, 21-15 to Emma Smethurst and Joanne Quay. The second doubles pairing of Hunter and Claire Mort came closest to putting Brum back into contention, as they narrowly lost their two ties 21-15, 21-15 against Lauren Smith and Alex Langley and 21-14, 21-17 to Smethurst and Quay. England’s Sarah Milne beat Hannah Killick in straight games, both 21-5 and then dismantled Showan 21-14, 21-8 to end the tie as a contest, putting Leeds into an unassailable 5-0 lead. Killick was unable to match Brown, the result in the end a disappointing 21-14, 21-4 and after Hunter and Mort’s second defeat, it was up to Lim and Bromley to attempt to salvage some pride from a difficult day for Birmingham. A tight first game was taken 21-18 by the travelling side, who affirmed their dominance with a comfortable 21-10 victory margin in the second. Head coach Lorraine Cole was positive in defeat, admitting ‘Leeds Met are far too strong’ for Birmingham to handle at the moment, but praising some ‘good performances’ by her doubles sides on an otherwise unimpressive showing by her women on Wednesday. Birmingham must look to quickly move on from this outing as they prepare for the BUCS badminton individuals this weekend.

It’s the end of an era as UB Sport are changing the name of ‘Raising the Bar’ (RTB), the café bar in the Munrow Sports Centre. One lucky reader can win a threemonth gym membership if they can come up with a new name. RTB Assistant Manager James Hyde said, ‘We want to modernise RTB as it was starting to feel a bit dated and we thought who better to name the new café bar than the people that use it every day.’ Entries need to be sent to James Hyde on, deadline December 22nd.

Other Results and Next Week's Fixtures This week's results:

Netball 1sts won 39-38 against Cambridge 1sts Men's Fencing 1sts won 135110 against Leicester 1sts Men's Hockey 1sts lost 2-1 against Durham 1sts Men's Football 1sts lost 1-0 against Leeds 1sts Women's Hockey 1sts drew 1-1 against Durham 1sts

Next week's first team fixtures on campus: Game of the week: Men's Football 1sts Loughborough 1sts Munrow Track 5pm


Women's Football 1sts vs Loughborough 1sts Metchley 2pm Women's Lacrosse vs Edinburgh 1sts Munrow Track 2pm Men's Lacrosse vs Loughborough 1sts Metchley 2pm Men's Hockey vs Loughborough 1sts Bournbrook 5.15pm Women's Hockey vs Leeds 1sts Bournbrook 2.15pm Netball vs Lougborough 2nds Munrow Sports Hall 3.30pm

Brum put up a fight but were ultimately outclassed

Mathis Baumert

Men's Fencing vs Loughborough 2nds Munrow New Gym 2pm


This week in... 2001

The Republic of Ireland beat Iran to give them a 2-1 aggregate victory sending them into the 2002 World Cup finals, in which they reached the last 16 only to lose on penalties to Spain. Ten years on, this week, they qualified for Euro 2012. 2003 At the ripe age of 16, Lionel Messi made his debut for Barcelona in a meaningless friendly against Jose Mourinho's FC Porto. Eight years on, Messi is possibly the greatest player ever, and is a tormentor for Mourinho's Real Madrid in the battle for supremacy in Spain.

Couldn't make it up Celebrations in some sports can often go over the top, but in American Football David Nelson of the Buffalo Bills did something unique after scoring a touchdown. Nelson ran the length of the field to give the ball to his girlfriend, who was cheerleading for the opposition.

Sport 27

18th November 2011

Editors – Sam Price & Joseph Audley


This week on the Redbrick website... Stadium Names

Best modern cricketers

Scott Parker

It's tradition vs. modernity as Joshua Reynolds and Ross Highfield argue whether or not the renaming of football stadiums under sponsorship is a necessary evil for the sport. The debate is based on the renaming of St James' Park to the Sports Direct Arena.

xpLosION interviews

The Tuesday Top Ten looks into who the best modern day cricketers are, from the 1990's onwards. Ten Redbrick sport writers put forwards who they think is the best and readers can have their say by voting in the online poll.

Former Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers full-back Cecil Martin now works for Sky and Josh Hunt interviewed him in the build up to xpLosION as well as speaking to NFL journalist Neil Reynolds.

Where are they now? Weekend Wager

Classic Goal...

Blackburn to win

Youtube search: Steven Reid vs Wigan Athletic In 2005 Blackburn Rovers faced Wigan Athletic at the JJB stadium. Rovers were 1-0 up in the Premier League tie and after a cross into the box was cleared, Reid stepped up 30 yards out and smashed the ball so hard into the top corner that the cameras could barely keep up with it. Turn to p24 to read an interview with the man who did it.

Six years after it was stolen, a £6,000 Rolex watch was reunited with owner and ex-Arsenal defender, Lauren. Over 400 items worth £500,000 were found in a series of police raids and a 73-year-old man is believed to be responsible.

The last non-European to win the F1 World Championships, Jacques Villenueve released his first commercial single 'Accepterais-tu' in 2006, followed by his debut album a year later. The singing career didn’t go so well though; by the end of 2007 it was reported that he had sold only 836 CDs throughout North America.

Controversy Reigns

Club in Focus... Ballroom and Latin Dance Society

38-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez was livid after being defeated by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on a split decision. The match was extremely even, with Marquez appearing to land the better blows, and the Mexican stormed out of the ring following the decision.

The University of Birmingham Ballroom and Latin Dance Society was founded in 1969. They provide classes for their 300 members in Ballroom, Latin American and Rock'n'Roll including Cha Cha Cha, Jive, Rumba, Samba, Tango, Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot amd Argentine Tango. All ability levels are welcome, from absolute beginners upwards. The club attends ten competitions a year and also perform at the societies' balls and events across the campus. Partners are not a requirement, all you need is a pair of comfy shoes!

The Redbrick Crossword

Classes take place in the Avon Room, the Guild Underground/Deb Hall (for details see contact details below): Monday from 6pm Tuesday from 6pm Wednesday from 2pm Friday from 7pm Saturday from 2pm Contact Details Facebook - University of Birmingham Ballroom and Latin Dance Society

Mordo Nahum Puzzles Editor

This week's prize is a £5 Waterstones Gift Voucher Completed crosswords to be submitted to the Redbrick office by 21/11/11. (Redbrick Office located in the basement of the Guild)

Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword into the Redbrick office. Name:


Year: Email Address:

Phone Number:

Across 1. American soul musician shot dead by his father in 1984 (6, 4) 7. Rare precious metal, atomic number 78 (8) 8. The Wind Cries ____, song by 14 Across (4) 9. Area of London's West End (4) 10. Female relative (7) 12. Novella by Albert Camus, also published as The Outsider (3, 8) 14. Jimi _______, American guitarist (7) 16. Purple ____, song by 14 Across (4) 19. Italian volcano (4) 20. Supplied; as long as (8) 21. Intentionally annoying behaviour (10)

Down 1. Slime (anag.) (5) 2. Guy _______, director of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (7) 3. Taverns (4) 4. Biblical city destroyed by fire and brimstone (8) 5. Middle Eastern country (5) 6. Earthquake (6) 11. African country with a green, yellow and red flag (8) 12. (International) agreement (6) 13. Tearing (anag.) (7) 15/18. Actress and lead singer of The Supremes (5, 4) 17. Choose (5) 18. See 15

Lewis Hamilton

A puncture to Sebastian Vettel's tyre on the opening lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix gave Hamilton the chance to take first place. The Brit calmly completed the laps and produced a performance that suggests he has put a tough season behind him.

Roger Federer

Wigan v Blackburn, Saturday 3pm Despite the protests demanding the end of Steve Kean's tenure, Blackburn have been showing good signs recently with their performances, and can beat a confidence shattered Wigan, take them at 2-1 with some bookies.

England were victorious against World Cup holders Spain in a friendly at Wembley last weekend and much of the credit should go to Scott Parker for a particularly strong performance. By dominating midfield and working alongside a fairly young England team, Parker has proven he could be a regular feature in the starting lineup ahead of Euro 2012.

The Swiss beat JoWilfried Tsonga in the final of the Paris Masters, making him the first man to reach the final of all nine Masters 1000 events. It is the 30-yearold's 18th Masters title and 69th tournament success.

and Villains... Australian batsmen The Aussies were bowled out for 47 by South Africa in the second innings of their first test match, their lowest score in 109 years. 21-9 at one point, tailender Nathan Lyons was top scorer with 14 to avoid the lowest test score in history.

Mike Ashley

After 119 years of tradition, Newcastle's famous St. James' Park has been renamed the Sports Direct Arena after Ashley's company, as the club doesn't think the previous title is 'commercially attractive.' Ashley has never been popular with the Toon Army and even Ant and Dec have vented their frustration at the owner.

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28 Sport



18th November 2011

Editors – Sam Price & Joseph Audley

Meet Steven Reid Turn to p24 to read an exclusive interview with West Bromich Albion player Steven Reid

Lufbra shut Brum out Men's Badminton

Birmingham 1sts


Loughborough 1sts


Frankie Conway Sport Reporter

Coming off the back of an 8-0 hiding away at Leeds Met last week, Birmingham had no time to lick their wounds ahead of a crunch top of the table clash against second placed Loughborough. In a muchimproved performance from seven days previous, Birmingham battled every step of the way before going down six matches to two against a formidable Loughborough side. The first round of matches saw the top two singles players take to the court. Birmingham’s number one, Mark Happleman put up a stern challenge to his Loughborough counter part, Arthur Cheung. Having gone down 21-18 in the first game, Happleman quickly put the disappointment behind him and charged into a 6-2 lead early in the second. Anticipating all of Cheung’s plays, the home player dictated a lot of the early rallies, controlling the centre of the court and keep-

ing his opponent guessing with a varied attacking strategy. In a dramatic turnaround, the visiting player visibly tightened his defence and was thus able to create more opportunities to implement his destructive attacking game to which Happleman had no answer. Cheung subsequently reeled off 19 of the next 25 points to claim the second game 21-12. Birmingham’s woes quickly amplified as the home side’s second singles player James Taylor lost out 21-13, 21-13. When the hosts went down in the first doubles to trail 3-0, it was left to captain Andrew Wainwright and his partner James Lauder to try and resurrect Birmingham’s challenge. In an epic encounter, Birmingham’s leading doubles pair had to battle back from a one game deficit to win 21-19 in the third game. In a nerve-wracking deciding game, the lethal combination of Wainwright’s devastating smash and Lauder’s clinical net play, ensured the hosts found a higher gear to just pip their disappointed opponents. 3-1 and Birmingham had a foothold. Any pretensions of a heroic home recovery were quickly dashed, however, as the reverse singles matches both went against

the hosts. Despite a gallant comeback to take the second game of his match, Taylor was unable to sustain his charge and subsequently went down 21-7 in the decider. Once Loughborough’s Harley Towler defeated Happleton, the away side had built an unassailable 5-1 lead. Refusing to accept their fate, Birmingham’s doubles pairings fought to the bitter end. In the first of two enthralling encounters, the home pairing of Doug Furze and Avinash Chanderana produced a breathtaking burst of attacking badminton to overturn a 10-6 deciding game deficit to win it 21-16 and secure Birmingham’s second point. And despite a defiant final game showing, Wainwright and Lauder went down 21-14 in the third game, a result which consigned Birmingham to a 6-2 loss. After the game, coach Lorraine Cole was in positive spirits as she reflected on her sides spirited showing, ‘It was a great effort. The players gave it 110 per cent. If we keep that attitude, our results will definitely turnaround.’ Indeed, the resilience Birmingham showed will serve them well as they look to build on this encouraging performance, and can do so when they travel to Newcastle next week.

Brilliant Birmingham get better of Bedford Women's Basketball

Birmingham 1sts


Bedford 1sts


Tom Williamson Sport Reporter

Birmingham put in an admirable effort but Loughborough were too strong

Mathis Baumert

Meurig Gallagher

The hosts were dominant in every quarter

On Wednesday, Birmingham women’s basketball firsts took on the University of Bedford firsts at the Munrow Sports Hall. The game was the fourth so far for both teams in the Midlands 1A Division. The home team were looking to build on their consecutive wins against Lincoln and Leicester. The game ended in a thumping win for Birmingham, who thrashed their opponents 86-27, sending the home crowd wild. The first half saw Bedford take an early 5-1 lead, before Birmingham took control of the game. Brum soon led 16-11 and closed the quarter at 18-12. The hosts' Anne Martin played well in the first quarter, scoring four points, as well as Eleanor Minter, who also netted four. Bedford’s captain Emily Kinghorn impressed, scoring all but two of her side’s points. The second quarter saw Birmingham push on, looking to cement their advantage. The home team steadily pushed on throughout the half to widen their advantage from the first quarter. They certainly achieved this, adding 21 more points to their total thanks to impressive displays from Ellice Beale and Maeve Higham, who scored five and four points for their teams respectively. Karen Chui, Minter and Amy Wills provided good assists for Birmingham and for the opponents, Katie Slade did well to get three defensive rebounds .The second quarter ended with Birmingham firmly ahead at 35-21.

The third quarter saw the hosts really start to put their foot on the gas and got up to 56-27 by the end of the period. In this quarter, Beale helped her team by scoring six more goals, as well as Martin who claimed two assists. The best individual moment in this quarter came from Bedford’s Ruby Ditende with an impressive run and slam dunk. Bedford noticeably dropped off in the fourth quarter. The visitors failed to add any more points, with Birmingham adding 30 well earned goals, to run out 86-27 winners. Bedford fouled more in this half, giving Birmingham several penalties that they took full advantage of to increase their score. The home team’s Matilde Bonhomme impressed in this half, scoring ten goals and helping Birmingham push on and show what they were capable of. Bedford’s Kinghorn tried hard to rally her side and was arguably their best player on the day. At the end of the game, the Bedford team were clearly disappointed and knew that they had underperformed. Kat Barmby reiterated this, ‘it was sad that our coach couldn’t join us, that really hampered our game. However I feel that we did well under the circumstances and we'll improve’. Bedford’s Ruby Ditende agreed, ‘we were missing many of our best players, so that was a big factor in our underperforming.’

Steals Birmingham




INSIDE Turn to page 25 to read about the University's Aussie Rules team and their latest game against Wolverhampton Wolverines

Redbrick - 18th November 2011  

Issue 1400