Redbrick Friday 16th March 2012 | Volume 76 | Issue 1411 | redbrickpaper.co.uk
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'R.I.P Higher Education' VPE and VPE-elect ejected from the Bullring by security BCU and UoB align on higher education issues
Security staff eject Bauer... Freddie Herzog Online News Editor
Simon Furse, Vice President (Education) elect, and Edd Bauer, current VPE, were ejected from the Bullring after briefly occupying the Vodafone store on Wednesday. A National Union of Students (NUS) organised 'walkout' took place led by a small group of protesters who met in Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre. The protesters were quickly removed from the Bullring by security guards and despite trying to get back in, were forcibly taken off the Bullring's property, with a security presence remaining around the Bullring square. Edd Bauer said, 'with the small number of people we had we decided the best thing to do was to do a peaceful sit in protest at the tax dodgers Vodafone in the Bullring'. A group of around five or six protesters were seen carrying a cardboard coffin around the University of Birmingham campus with the words 'R.I.P Higher Education' written on it earlier in
Freddie Herzog the morning. The group then joined another group of protesters from Birmingham City University in the city centre. Hattie Craig, the new president of the Broad Left society at the University of Birmingham said that the protest continued the fight against higher education cuts. 'The £9,000 fees aren't going to make up the gap and people are going to see things like a reduction in contact hours, increase in seminar sizes and all this is to the detriment of the quality of education we're going to receive and it could also devalue our degrees in the future.' Furse said that he felt the government would be unlikely to listen to the message of the protest. 'I think the government is very set on what it's doing and I think it takes serious action of large numbers of people to change anything.' The walkout on 14th March was part of a week of action to highlight concerns about high fees, hidden course costs and a lack of bursaries, all of which are 'pricing students out of education', according to the NUS. It is plan-
Other sabbs decline to take part ning to lobby Parliament on 18th April to raise awareness of the issues. The VPE believes that the protest would have attracted much more attention if it had been promoted and marketed more by both the Guild and the NUS. He said, 'The fact that the NUS and the Guild didn't mobilize for this meant that people didn't come out. Massive numbers of students take part in protests on campus so there is clearly a massive demand for this kind of thing, but when it's not advertised or promoted by the official organisers then people won't turn up and won't take it seriously.' Bauer added that the protest was 'an absolutely shocking failure on the part of our elected representatives. The Guild was mandated to support this protest with two motions through Guild Council, one in December and one last month. It wasn't until yesterday at 5 o'clock when two of the sabbs finally just posted the event to their Facebook profiles.' Hugo Sumner, Vice President (Democracy & Resources), said, 'The Guild is not mandated to sup-
...his successor, Furse, ejected moments later port the NUS Week of Action, there has been no Guild Council motion asking us to do so. As this was an issue concerning Higher Education, the Vice President (Education) saw it fit to attend, however because of the hospitalisations and arrests at the protest last month, which was organised by the Vice President (Education), the rest of the Sabbatical Officer Team did not feel it appropriate to attend.' Earlier this year, Edd Bauer was found not guilty of intentionally causing danger to the public and conspiring with others to do so, after spending ten days in Birmingham prison last September. Simon Furse was elected to succeed Bauer as the Vice President for Education for 2012/13. When Redbrick went to print, a motion was about to go through Thursday's Guild Council calling for the name of the education officer to be changed to education and campaigns. Check out the Redbrick website for yesterday's coverage of Guild Council at www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/guildcouncil.
Simon Furse's manifesto: •
Take back your campus: more student involvement in decisions made by the university Defend your education: fight to defend against loss of contact hours, course closures and cuts Work to keep your cost of study and living down: tackle all student costs from printer credits to campus food
Redbrick Editorial Editor Glen Moutrie Deputy Editors Victoria Bull James Phillips Online Editor Chris Hutchinson Art Director Beth Richardson Multimedia Editors Rian Lennon Owen Earwicker email@example.com Photography Editors Freddie Herzog Anna Kirk firstname.lastname@example.org News Editors Kerrina Gray Rhiannon DoyleMaw Patrick McGhee Freddie Herzog (Online) email@example.com C&F Editors Oscar French Elisha Owen Owen Earwicker (Online) firstname.lastname@example.org Arts Editors Lexie Wilson Alexander Blanchard James Kinsey Anna Lumsden (Online) email@example.com Music Editors Tamara Roper Jonathon Milnes Josh Holder (Online) firstname.lastname@example.org Television Editors Charlotte Lytton Russell Webb Charlotte Goodwin Abigail Salter (Online) email@example.com Film Editors Genevieve Taylor Isidore Sanders Natasha Lavender Aisha Bushby Josh Taylor (Online) firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Editors Izzy Gibbin Sophia Attwood Josh Oxley (Online) email@example.com Life&Style Editors Sophie Cowling Lucy Whife Megan Nisbet Megan Jones (Online) firstname.lastname@example.org Travel Editors Emily Booth Louise Spratt Chloe Osborne Will Spence (Online) email@example.com Technology Editors Ruth Bradley Sam Atkins Andrew Spencer Dan Lesser (Online) firstname.lastname@example.org Sport Editors Sam Price Raphael Sheridan Joel Lamy (Online) email@example.com Crossword Editor John Rizkallah Senior Editorial Assistant Kate Selvaratnam Editorial Assistants Ellie Jarvis Isabel Mason Sarah Musgrove Ravina Khela Ellie Smallwood Online Editorial Assistants Rosie Pearce Josh Taylor Eimear Luddy Junior Art Directors Lauren Wheatley Sophie Rogers Akhil Kothari Proofreaders Amy-Melissa Saul Lucy Haffenden Catherine Holding Faye Simpson Nicola Barton Rachel Ashe Elizabeth Waind Community Manager Sophie MurrayMorris
Designed and typeset by Redbrick. Copyright (C) Redbrick 2012 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. Redbrick Guild of Students Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham B15 2TU 0121 251 2462 firstname.lastname@example.org Redbrick is printed through www.quotemeprint.com: 300667.
16th March 2012
Advertising: Contact Lakhvinder Sira in Guild Marketing on 0121 251 2524
Camleford water poisoning
Unemployment rises to 2.67 million
Police attack autistic boy
A coroner has stated that the Camleford water firm is responsible for risking 'as many as 20,000 lives'. Camleford's water was poisoned in July 1988 when 20 tonnes of aluminium sulphate was tipped into the wrong tank.
UK unemployment rose by 28,000 during the three months to January. Unemployment among women accounted for most of the increase, although the government has said data showed that the situation was 'stabilising'.
The Metropolitan Police (Met) officers have breached human rights by assaulting a 16-yearold boy with severe autism by forcing him into leg restraints and handcuffs during a school trip. The boy was awarded ÂŁ28,250.
Protests over higher education changes
Belgian coach crash kills 28
Brother accused of murder
Lord attacks animal rights groups
Protests were held in England on Wednesday in protest over tuition fees and hidden course costs. The National Union of Students encouraged students to walk out of their lectures and participate in marches across the country.
28 people were killed when a Belgian coach carrying 52 people crashed in Switzerland on Tuesday. 22 children were among those killed, and a further 24 children were injured. The crash took place in Valais, near the Italian border.
Gemma McCluskie's brother Tony McCluskie, 35, has been remanded in custody, accused of her murder. Her headless and limbless body was discovered floating in the Regent's Canal in Hackney, East London, last week.
A former science minister, Lord Drayson, has criticised animal rights groups for preventing the transport of animals used for scientific research. PETA claims that 90 per cent of medicines tested on animals prove ineffective when used by humans.
Santorum beats Romney in south
Discovery Channel sacks Bear Grylls
Care homes fail to meet patient needs
US Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum won the Mississippi and Alabama primary contests this week, defeating the current favourite to receive the nomination, Mitt Romney, who came third in both elections.
The Discovery Channel has sacked television presenter and survival expert Bear Grylls due to an ongoing contractual dispute between them. Grylls' publicist said that a 'mutual agreement on new programming' could not be reached.
New research from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said that care homes in England are not adequate to provide medical care. The RCN general secretary has said that the situation has 'significantly worsened'.
PM visits US for talks Stephen Fry defends 'Hobbit' pub with Obama
BBC accused Iran of Argentina changes abortion law 'cyber-attack' The BBC has suggested that Iran is linked to 'a sophisticated cyber-attack' on the BBC Persian Service. Director General Mark Thompson has described the attack as 'suspicious', after previously saying that Iran has intimidated employees.
The Supreme Court in Argentina has unanimously ruled that the country will no longer prosecute women who have abortions after being raped. It is thought that 500,000 abortions take place illegally in the country each year.
Prime Minister David Cameron visited the United States on Wednesday to discuss Afghanistan, the situation in Syria and the economy, with President Barack Obama. The two leaders also watched a US college basketball game together.
Stephen Fry has expressed his support for a pub named 'The Hobbit' in Southampton that has been threatened with legal action. Saul Zaentz Company, which owns a number of Tolkien brands, has accused the pub of copyright infringement.
Primary schools to take more pupils
Panetta in surprise Afghanistan visit
Edinburgh Festival acts revealed
Many UK primary schools will take on as many as 1,000 students due to a birth rate increase. The Department for Education has announced that it is providing ÂŁ4 billion for regions 'facing the greatest pressure'.
The US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta visited Afghanistan this week for talks with the country's president Hamid Karzai. The visit comes in the wake of the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a lone US soldier, but had been planned earlier.
Several acts due to take place at the Edinburgh International Festival were announced on Wednesday. A new adaptation of My Fair Lady, in addition to a Polish performance of Macbeth, are due to feature in the event.
e n , d t s g
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
In Hindsight Glen Moutrie
Age: 20 years old Course: Political Science and International Relations (2nd year) Home City: Leeds Best known for: President of Jabsoc (Jazz and Blues Society) and Chair of UoB Liberal Democrats Manifesto Points: David 'talk to' Franklin promised better entertainment, better value and a better library Results night: Franklin fainted both before and after his acceptance speech.
Leander Jones VPDR elect 3rd year Political Science student Best know as: Non e Sabb Community n Action Officer , d t s g
Simon Furse VPE elect 2nd year Economics and Political Science student Best known as: Open place Guild Councillor
David Franklin President
Vice-Presidents Katherine East VPW elect 3rd year Law student Best known as: Events Officer for Law
Ollie Consentino James Hughes VPAD elect VPS elect 3rd year Political 3rd year Geography student Science student Best known as: Best known as: Vice-President of co-founder of Northern society BUAC Cool Runnings
James Robertson VPHC elect 3rd year Business Management student Best known as: Chair of DofE award society
e n , d t s g
Overheard on... Results Night
Election in Numbers
'Future president already buckling under the pressure!' 'You may not like the new sabbs, but at least the cardboard has gone!' 'I am going to love walking to the library knowing the journey will be peaceful!' 'I know he is a protester and everything but you'd think he'd have thrown on a tie!' 'So vote match didn't work...'
43% of students 'don't care' about the Guild election results A poll on the Redbrick Facebook page asked: 'Are you pleased with the results of the Guild Elections 2012?' 197 people voted.
Guild Election Tweet Feed #guildelections12
Looking back on the last year for me there has been a somewhat constant conflict between deontological ethics and consequentialism both within the Guild and for decisions in Redbrick. That is the conflict between doing what you believe to be right irrespective of the outcome, and acting with the sole intent of achieving a specific goal. At an immediate glance it would seem that holding moral absolutes, and siding with the deontological school of thought would be the harder and most valiant choice. To stick to your basic principles even when the outcome can only hurt is not easy and can often be seen as heroic. Yet at times I can only find it to be nonsensical, foolish and at times even selfish. For example, it is very easy to argue that cuts to education, particularly to individual courses, is morally reprehensible as learning for learning’s sake does have a benefit to both the individual and society. This does not really address the problems that are present in today’s debate around education. The tougher argument is to try and acknowledge a world where learning has to somehow be financed. This forces a more useful debate to take place, evaluating the actual utility of individual topics, resources and other such factorssomething that is critical now that cuts are a certain eventuality. It does mean letting go of the principle of no cuts whatsoever, but there must come a point where dogmatically holding onto that principle is so harmful that it almost becomes useless and perhaps even selfish. Within the microcosm of the world that is Guild politics, I have found that the first reaction of many students is to protest, occupy, publicly critique and attack issues that are seen to be principally wrong. At times it can be both brave and necessary, but all too often it has come across as a form of unnecessary bravado when the same, if not better, result could have been achieved without some form of ‘grass-roots’ uprising. It seems to me that all too often relatively complex issues are confused with moral absolutes, where rational discussion suddenly deteriorates to argument ridden with hyperbole that ultimately achieves nothing. I do feel somewhat ambivalent about this topic. To be consequentialist almost seems to be synonymous with a loss of the idealistic outlook that comes with youth. An extreme argument would be to say that it is akin to the squandering of principles. The conclusion that I have reached is that in the current field of politics a higher degree of pragmatism could have a significant benefit. Within Redbrick I have frequently found myself pushed to choose the better outcome for the society in the long run over the short run, an easy choice that can initially appear to be the more principled choice. It is a choice that every editor faces; balancing the content we publish against the consequence of what we publish and the impact that has upon the society as a whole. This almost always forces us to be more consequentialist about what we choose to print. I would challenge the next editor to do different.
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Does the University of Birmingham deserve its place in the Russell Group? The University of York, the University of Exeter, Durham University and Queen Mary University have entered the Russell Group this week. Redbrick asked students if the University of Birmingham deserves its place in the group.
IAA department comes under review Tom Byrne Reporter
Redbrick can report that the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity (IAA) is currently undergoing a college review. Students have been notified that the formal review is to take place on 4th April 2012. Items to be considered during the review include academic activity undertaken across the School, and the directions in which research and teaching might be taken in the future in order to maximise the reputation of the department on an international stage. There are three members of IAA staff on the review panel, which include Professor Ken Dowden (Director of the IAA), Professor Lesley Brubaker and Professor Simon Esmonde-Cleary. In addition, Dr. Ken Wardle and Dr. Gareth Sears have been asked to liaise with the
reference are vague and the speed of the process is unprecedented in University terms. There is a feeling amongst staff that this review will result in significant job losses, which given the speed of the process, can be implemented before the start of the next academic year. Such an outcome would have a significant impact on student choice and experience.' The review has come at a crucial point in the academic year, when students and staff are already under pressure with deadlines and the upcoming exam period. Second year Archaeology and Anthropology student Sasha Legge added, 'I think it is a real shame that Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History are all facing cuts. I personally believe that they are courses that are just as useful as modern history for example, with the same skills gained through
'I think it definitely does. There are research studies constantly being conducted at the University. Many significant medical studies we learn about were done at Birmingham.' Sunchit Madan, 1st year, Medicine
'Yes, because the majority of teaching here is of a very high standard. They say the research is world leading!' Chris Grange, 1st year, Geography
Printing prices vary widely over Russell Group universities Zahra Damji Reporter
Redbrick has investigated the price of printing across the Russell Group. Compared to other Russell Group universities, printing at the University of Birmingham is cheaper, with black and white sheets costing 4p each. Prices at Cardiff, Warwick and Nottingham stretch up to 6p, while the University of York and University College London charge 5p for the same item. However, Imperial College London charges only 3p, while the University of Edinburgh charges 3.5p. However, many universities offer discounts or offers on printing. UCL, the University of Nottingham and Kings College London give students an initial credit at the beginning of the year, which can then be topped up as needed over the year. At UCL, this amounts to £12 worth of printing per year. A different system implemented at Manchester offers an overdraft in printing credit for each student of £2 in case of emergencies, benefiting students who may not have
with them the cash or time immediately needed to print. The University of Birmingham has failed to offer deals on printing in the past. However, students in the School of English, Drama and American Studies, have recently been given £10 in free printing credit. There are discrepancies be-
We asked students 'Do you think prices of printing at the University of Birmingham are fair?
tween departments however, with printing being free in the Medical School. Ed Gilbert, a second year History student said, 'I think it is unfair that certain departments are privileged, in terms of free printing credits. History students have a lot to print and don't get any free printing credit.' Other students suggested that University printing was inconvenient anyway. Shannon Greaney said, 'There aren't always computers free to print from. They should let us print from our laptops.' A scheme such as this exists at universities like Cardiff, Bristol and Warwick, where students can use university printers to print work from laptops and mobile devices by connecting through a university wireless networks. Some students have expressed support for the printing facilities on campus. 'Although it's probably cheaper to print at home, it is good quality printing at University', said Jo Mings, a fourth year Business and French student. A Redbrick poll showed that out of 80 students, 86 per cent are unhappy with printing prices.
Vote of no confidence against Guild Trustee member rejected The IAA department
Dominic Jackson Senior Reporter
student body. The correspondence between staff and students regarding the review has encouraged some students to attend fortnightly meetings to update them on the progress of the review. Students have also been encouraged to air their own views on teaching within the department. These views will then be taken into consideration by the review panel. However, a number of students have expressed concern with the degree of uncertainty surrounding matters such as staff redundancies. Speaking to Redbrick, IAA student Georgia House stated: 'The review panel have told us that they cannot confirm nor deny whether there will be staff redundancies, so therefore they cannot make any promises that our degree programme will not be affected. One of the best things about the IAA is that the staff are so passionate, so to lose even a single member of the teaching staff would be detrimental to our degree programme.' A spokesman for IAA said 'The majority of IAA staff feel that this review lacks objectivity and is exceedingly prejudicial. The terms of
study. I suppose with the introduction of new fees it was bound to be in an ambiguous position, as it does not lead to direct employment.' A University spokesperson said 'It is not possible or appropriate to speculate on the outcome of a review before it is complete. However students have been assured that the quality of their degree programmes and the opportunities currently open to them will not be affected. Undergraduate and postgraduate students within IAA are being involved in the review process. They have been invited to provide views of what the IAA does well, the areas in which their programme is excellent and areas that could be improved to members of the Review Panel. Mark Harrop has also contacted student reps and groups and individuals may also choose to express their views through the IAA Staff Student Committee and The Guild.' Mark Harrop commented, 'I have attended the open consultation with students. I am currently in discussions with the University for there to be a Guild representative on the review panel'.
A second petition for a vote of no confidence in a trustee of the Guild of Students, Andrew Whitehead, has been rejected by the Guild's Scrutiny Panel. In a meeting on the 27th February, the Committee reached a decision that the petition should be rejected on the basis that Whitehead was 'appointed to the Trustee Board in a personal capacity and that… he had no connection whatsoever with the injunction commissioned by the University'. Redbrick has learned that it took only 10 minutes for the Scrutiny Panel to reach this decision. Guild Councillors submitted the petition in response to the University's decision to take out an injunction to prevent 'occupationstyle' protests from taking place on campus. Birmingham law firm SGH Martineau, at which Andrew Whitehead is a senior partner, was involved in assisting the University with obtaining the injunction. The petition argued that Andrew Whitehead's position as a Trustee of the Guild of Students was 'no longer tenable due to his association with Martineau'. The Scrutiny Panel consists of a student trustee (who also chairs the meeting), a University nomi-
nee, a lay trustee and a member of staff employed by the Guild of Students to take minutes. Both parties were invited to provide further evidence to support their positions and to attend the Committee meeting, but both parties chose to decline this opportunity. As a result, only the evidence originally presented to the panel with the petition was considered when the panel was making its decision. Some Guild Councillors and Sabbatical Officers have complained that this is the second time in an academic term Guild Council has been denied an opportunity to hold a debate on the issue. In an
online blog, the Vice President for Education (VPE) Edd Bauer commented on what he believed were spurious grounds for the petition's rejection, remarking that 'the motivations for clique who are in control of the trustee board protecting some of their key members are obvious'. In early February this year, a petition calling for a vote of no confidence against Guild President Mark Harrop was rejected by the Scrutiny Panel 'on the basis that some of the petition points were either inappropriate or unreasonable in respect of the evidence provided.'
The Guild of Students
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
''The University of Birmingham is still one of the best universities in the country so it deserves its place within the Russell Group' Abbi Schule, 2nd year, Geography and History
Yes, I think it does. It has a proud history, one that deserves to be upheld. Those who study, research and teach here are passionate about education, and I think that they all deserve recognition. Ed Gilbert, 2nd year, History
'I think that when you work so hard to get into an outstanding university, you expect it to be part of the Russell Group!' Bianca Baum, 2nd year, Psychology
Yes of course it does! Although it appears to have slipped down the league tables the past few years, Birmingham's still ranked one of the top in the country and has a high employment rate even though it has become increasingly hard to get a job.' Karen Pickering, 2nd year, Economics
ELLIE students turn to external academic staff James Phillips Deputy Editor
The English Language and Literature in Education (ELLIE) course, which is due to end in 2013, is already suffering from the consequences of the course closure as current students are requiring assistance from lecturers who are no longer employed by the University of Birmingham. An email sent to all ELLIE students on 6th December 2010 from Professor Cillian Ryan said, 'Please be assured, this does not affect anyone currently studying towards a BA English Language and Literature in Education and your current studies will in no way be affected by this review.' However, it has become evident that this is not true as, due to the departures of staff members Nic Dunlop and Helen Sauntson, the course has been considerably affected. Sauntson, now employed by York St John University, informed Redbrick of the problems which have arisen since the scheduled course closure was confirmed. Firstly, some of the specialist
optional modules previously offered by the School of Education for final year students can now no longer be offered to the current second years. Furthermore, their choice of third year dissertation topic will be more limited than in previous years. Secondly, current third years working on dissertations have had their dissertation supervision disrupted, and this has meant that Sauntson and Dunlop have had
to continue supervising students as visiting lecturers. Unfortunately delays in providing contracts, caused by Human Resources, meant that some students were officially without a supervisor for over three weeks at a crucial period. Although this has now been compensated for with a three-week extension to the dissertation deadlines. As well as this, some students no longer have an allocated aca-
View of the School of Education from Muirhead Tower Freddie Herzog
demic tutor (a position which is responsible for writing references as well as providing academic and pastoral support for students). Teaching on modules previously taught by Dunlop and Sauntson has been covered (by remaining School of Education staff and visiting lecturers) but tutorial provision on some modules has been reduced or withdrawn. At a meeting between current students and staff in September 2011, students raised concerns that staff may leave during the current academic year and they were assured by Head of School of Education Professor James Arthur and Professor Ryan that this would not happen. Dunlop and Sauntson confirmed their departure in January 2012. As Sauntson put it, 'An inevitable consequence of staff being placed at risk of redundancy is that they start seeking alternative employment.' Professor Richard Dunnill, current Director of Education told Redbrick, 'With nearly 3,500 members of academic staff it is not uncommon for staff members to leave or join the University dur-
ing the course of a year. When this happens the University always aims to ensure that the quality of students' academic experience is not affected in any way. In this case the staff involved have agreed to continue to provide on-going supervision for their existing dissertation students and the University is extremely grateful to them for doing this. Day to day support for these students is being provided by the Programme Leader. One way in which she is doing this is to use the extension process as a further way of providing students with additional time and support in a way which recognises their needs in such a situation.' Dunnill confirmed that the decision to have a three-week extension for dissertation deadlines was undertaken by himself and Kathryn Simpson, the remaining lecturer, on Monday 12th March. He also said that he is 'working to support Kathryn, as people have to work together in these circumstances. [Dunlop and Sauntson's] new universities have agreed for them to help our students, so people have put themselves out big time.'
Redevelopment plans Alumni able to vote in the for Selly Oak unveiled Guild officer elections 2012 Rhiannon Doyle-Maw News Editor
Selly Oak may undergo a restoration development that could lead to the creation of around 3,000 jobs. Sainsburys have submitted a revised planning application for the development of the former Battery Park site in Selly Oak to the council. The supermarket Sainsbury's have designed the new plans for a city store that will include restoring the historic canal and its surrounding area. The acre site will allegedly get a doctors' surgery, a shopping and entertainment complex with restaurants and bars, student flats, a new major superstore, and a low energy combined heat and power generator. Plans will be shown next weekend after revision based on
A CGI of how the scheme will look
consultation with residents during last Autumn. Neil Carron, of Land Securities, Sainsbury's partner on the development stated that, 'Thanks to the initial consultation we have been able to identify aspects of the plans that needed to be reviewed. 'This has resulted in a revised proposal which will transform Selly Oak into a vibrant destination, while also creating 3,000 much needed jobs.' There will be a new road layout, a canal link revising the historic Lapal Canal route, improvements to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal basin, fewer shops and more places to eat and drink, environmental improvements and a new doctor's surgery. The Selly Oak Library and Bournebrook recreation ground may also be improved.
Kerrina Gray News Editor
Redbrick has uncovered that a glitch in the voting system for this year's Guild elections allowed some alumni of the University to vote. Whilst we are unsure of exactly how many students were able to vote in the elections, Redbrick has spoken to two former students who did manage to submit a vote. This was later brought to the attention of the Guild and the voting system was checked for votes cast by nonstudents. A fault in the voting system is to blame for these votes. Each University of Birmingham student is automatically generated a voting link containing their user ID and an encoded string of letters based on their ID. However anyone with access to the my.bham student home page could be given this link and my.bham access does not usually cease until October after graduation, therefore elections early in the academic year, for example bielections like that for postgraduate non-sabbatical officer, could be accessed by graduates. Furthermore, the generated link is never changed so if an ex-student has bookmarked the link then they could vote in the elections. Sam Harrow, an alumni of the University of Birmingham voted in the 2012 Guild elections due to the latter reason, he said 'I know that one student who graduated last year still (for some reason) has my.bham access, and he was able
The campaign teams for Guild elections 2012 to vote as the link appeared to him, and when I mentioned [the fact that I could vote] on my Facebook I had several responses from others saying that they had tried and succeeded using my.bham. 'I'm shocked that the election system was so insecure and that no method of checking student status was built in; I hope the Guild takes steps to improve the system before any more elections take place. I also hope that they have been able to ensure that any erroneous votes (including mine) were removed from the count due to the close results in some positions.' Another alumni of the University of Birmingham Christopher Richardson Wright said on Facebook 'That awkward moment when you sign back into your alumni account and find that you can vote in the Guild elections....' VPDR Hugo Sumner said, 'It was brought to my attention last
Monday that an alumni who graduated last year was able to access the e-voting page. This was obviously a significant concern and a matter I began resolving immediately. It turned out that the unique key given to us every year had not been changed by our web provider. This enabled a graduate, who had saved the exact URL address from the 2011 election to access the 2012 page. 'We asked the University to cross reference the list of students who had voted, with a list of registered University of Birmingham students. It turned out that nobody who was not a student had voted. This means that although the impression of being able to vote was given, the vote had not registered because of the fact they were no longer a student. Obviously this is an issue that we will make sure does not re-occur in next year's elections.'
16th March 2012
Comment & Features Feature
This week, Redbrick explores the big issues affecting university campuses. Alex Blanchard examines student censorship, Elisha Owen discusses the nature of contrarianism and Owen Earwicker protection for student journalists.
Free Speech for Students
Photo by Freddie Herzog
Alexander Blanchard Arts Editor
One reason for disliking T. S. Eliot – as if his racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and haughty literary criticisms weren't reason enough for that already – is for the way he actively tried to thwart the publication of Orwell's Animal Farm, lest the novella should offend Stalin. Writing on behalf of Faber & Faber, as one of its directors, Eliot opined that he had 'no conviction… that this is the right point of view from which to criticise the political situation at the present time' (Eliot then went on to make the rather fatuous suggestion that what was needed wasn't more communism, but more 'public-spirited pigs'). Ultimately Orwell was vindicated and his name has been commandeered by the English language as a by-word for a state of censorship, obscurantisms and obfuscations. Still, it is important to keep an example of censorship such as this to hand for it reminds you that, whilst those who censor genuinely believe themselves to have honest intentions, censorship will, in appearance, seem rather banal.
In fact Orwell knew of this banality all too well. In a fine essay, The Freedom of the Press (meant as a preface to Animal Farm but for unknown reasons – though hardly inconceivable ones – was surreptitiously dropped) he examines how official censorship need not be at work for its effects to be had. The simple fact of most censorship, Orwell tells us, is that it is voluntary; it is self-imposed. 'At any given moment', he writes, 'there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden but it is 'not done' to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was 'not done' to mention trousers in the presence of a lady.' It is this 'not done', this commonplace but salient voluntary censorship, which we see in campuses and institutions of higher educations across Britain. Today's activists and dissidents – and I use those terms in their loosest possible sense – won't face the gibbet or a dingy cell of the Bastille, but they will face the obloquy of their peers and the weight of their university and their guild of students. The University of Sheffield served an injunction against its own student before having it repealed. Our own university has done the same, invoking a highcourt injunction that potentially criminalises all of its students simply to avoid 'future disruption', and 'on grounds of health and safety'. It's yet to be repealed and was an action which received condemnation from, of all institutions, Amnesty International. Our own Guild hasn't exactly handled recent events well either; suspending a sabbatical officer for investigatory purposes and insisting on the removal of campaign signs detailing statistics for sexual assault. This last case being a move that totally wiped victims of sexual abuse from the university's discourse – odd for a Guild
that endorses the 'NUS zero tolerance of sexual harassment' policy. And, whilst the relations between the Guild and the University seem strained by this or that sabbatical officer to the point of nearly breaking, it is simply 'not done' to make certain criticisms (just as the Guild has shown in the past that it is 'not done' to criticise particular international conflict). In particular, it is imperative in this atmosphere of self-censorship, and this climate of anxiety, that one does not criticise the upper echelons of our university – this is a sad state for any member of the Russell group to be in. If one cannot criticise the head of an institution then there cannot, in effect, be any real criticism of that institution. There are, however, ways of fortifying oneself against this stultifying orthodoxy. There is some misconception that the recent agitations amongst the student population are part of some battle. Yet, if this were a battle, it would have been lost after Cameron began his crusade of cuts, or after parliament voted to triple tuition fees. Students may be self-absorbed, but they are by no means delusional. Small-scale, sporadic agitations aren't going to recapture the consensus which has, for so long now, been underpinned by the right's agenda and its bleak morality. Instead, student protests and demonstrations are designed to challenge perceived norms rather than overturn them. Only the disenfranchised can see that to replace one orthodoxy with another is really to do nothing. These agitations are the pricklings of a conscience – a healthy challenge to those that decide the education and opportunities of thousands. As long as there are still those who can see that 'it is done', Britain's universities will continue to be the most exciting places in the country. It is important to keep this excitement alive, if only to avoid
being infantilised. Keep making satirical digs; flail around once in a while, if only to show that the quotidian consensus is yet to suffocate you. Revel in your indignation that future students will have to pay triple the tuition fees for even less of a time table. Question the moral integrity of anyone who tells you to grow up, remembering
all the while that many a matter of principle seemed trivial. And if your voice is subdued, rest assured knowing someone else will be using theirs. Eventually the world-view of an older generation will drop like a brick flung from Old Joe, and at that point you might well be vindicated.
Comment & Features 7
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Contrarianism: the art of disagreement Elisha Owen Comment and Features Editor
There is nothing quite as disheartening as complacency; to remain stagnant, in both psyche and form, is to fester. The apathetic attitudes that occasionally plague the student population are inarguably reflective of our nation as a whole. If one considers the austerity that marked the first year of David Cameron's Conservative–led coalition in Britain; the increased inequality, rapid impoverishment, corruption in the media, police force and political arena and destruction of public services, it is a wonder that Britons from pillar to post haven't stormed the gates of hell/Downing street and demanded at least a ride on Rebekah Brooks' horse. Disagreement is a necessity if society is to progress. A trait innate in all of us, ideas and principles are there to be challenged. Hence Bolshevism, Anarchism, Fascism, the abolitionist movement, Women's suffragette, among many others. Side-stepping in this instance whether or not their intentions and actions warranted praise, the key thing to note is that opposition to perceived injustice is inevitable. It is impossible to find a more suitable reference in this regard than the late Christopher Hitchens. An unequivocal genius whose life encapsulated the notion of contrarianism, he wrote in his inspiring book Letters to a Young Contrarian, 'Only an open conflict of ideas and principles can produce any clarity.' In our microcosmic world this is a quote we see forcibly enacted on a daily basis. Our 28,000 per-
son arena is a hub of intelligent men and women from all over the world, with opposing and communal views on politics, religion and life in general. The unique aspect of this environment is its propitious tendency to advancement. As a University, this is a place to learn and while we may often feel wise beyond our years, life in essence is just beginning. Thus we are forming our views and allowing and disallowing others to promulgate theirs. The polemic aspect of student debates are distressing however. When a debate or opinion leans toward personal attack of a person, as opposed to the discussion at hand, there is a serious problem. It cannot be denied that frustration promotes hostility, however it is inexcusable to separate your expectations that people will tolerate your beliefs from your vehemence towards those with differing opinions. This term we have had an endless barrage of less-than-constructive criticism, but it is not the skepticism surrounding the writing and presentation of articles that I find fault with; it is the manner in which it is presented and furthermore the personal attacks by people that do not know the subjects of their scorn in any capacity. Society has not yet reached the point where face-to-face contact is obsolete. It is crucial, therefore, that we don't leave our objecting to the confines of our room. To hide behind the Internet is cowardly but furthermore reflects a worrying disparity between action and words that are initially strong but when only sent into the viral world are not too dissimilar to ones of apathy. In addition, disagreement
should never be based on ignorance. This calls to mind the infamous 'Intelligence Squared' debate between Hitchens, Stephen Fry and Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop Onaiyekan, debating whether the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. By the end of the debate those in favour of the motion were truly 'Hitch-slapped and deep-Fryed', as the terms were later coined, by men who weren't blindly appalled with the motion but understood intrinsically the logistics of the organisation in question. British philosopher and Bertrand Russell's godfather, John Stuart Mill, once said that 'even if all were agreed on an essential proposition it would be essential to give an ear to the one person who did not, lest people forget how to justify their original agreement'. This centralises what contrarianism is about. It is the refusal to listen to the opinions of others that hinders progress. It was for this reason that forums like the 'Better Guild forum' were created; for how can change be made if policies aren't open to debate? Problems occur, however, when people digress from informed discussion and find themselves in a tirade of mindless ranting. This leads no-one anywhere, except in a vicious cycle, right back to where it began in the first place. As Hitchens' states, to be a contrarian is not simply to be 'an angry young (wo)man,' but rather to present one's views in a manner that reflects personal integrity. The semantics of this word often leads people astray, but integrity is not about self-righteousness, but rather your ability to look at the entire picture and respect oth-
Equal treatment for student politicians and journalists alike
Photo by Freddie Herzog
Christopher Hitchens ers, while maintaining your own beliefs and principles. The word stems from the Latin adjective 'integer', meaning to be whole and complete and it is this definition we must grasp; to disagree is not to eradicate the opinions of others but rather to build a consistent and 'whole' value system within oneself. Owen Earwicker Online Comment and Features Editor
During the elections, we continued the shift in our focus to covering, in a more substantial way, the affairs of the Guild. Naturally this shift in focus caused much more scrutiny on our work. As writers, we take on the chance to publish our opinions into the public sphere, in the full knowledge that people will disagree. One thing that has been an obstacle for the student media is the barriers that were put in place against publishing negative opinions about candidates' campaigns or policies. Our only attack on policy was made before we even knew what the manifestos contained – a complete guess. Recently, one of our commentators, Andy Peck, wrote an article about the need for negative campaigning in these elections, on account of us all being mature enough to deal with it ('Guild Elections: we're all adults' – see online). There is clear logic in this; if national politicians are able to campaign negatively against each other, why should we mollycoddle Guild candidates who are willing to take on the responsibility to represent nearly 30,000 students on the national stage. This point is entirely justifiable, but for us as journalists, the attitude is wholly contradictory. At Redbrick, we received considerable criticism over the work we did. As volunteers who give up their free time to a student society, a lot of what was said was
Too often we want to attack and change the world without internally reflecting upon the inconsistencies of our personal ideologies. Cynicism is validated only when partnered with a healthy dose of self-criticism; after all, isn't that what reinvigorating the dialectic is all about? unreasonable and quite personal. Although it was unfair considering the circumstances in which we make Redbrick, much of the criticism we learnt from. It was an experience in the kind of attack journalists face in the big bad world. Why can't candidates face that kind of criticism from the media too? The current situation is that the politicians are protected but the reporters are not. This is unsustainable if we as voluntary journalists intend to keep on covering important Guild issues so comprehensively. If candidates are to be protected from us, journalists must be protected too. Nobody could argue this point for national politics – The Guardian, The Times and all the nationals each have their own agendas, their own causes to promote and at the end of the month, they receive their wages. Redbrick does not pay its members; they choose to contribute. Conversely, if it's the case that this kind of criticism is the reasonable price we pay for focussing on Guild affairs, then the candidates must not be allowed such protection. They won't face it in the real world; they should not face it here. The simple matter is we were attacked for our work, but we in turn could not attack policies during the election period, policies which could potentially change the Guild for the next year. The issue is one of double standards. If we accept that the Guild is in its own little bubble, than we should work to protect everyone involved. If, however, we think the Guild works as a microcosm of wider national politics, we should not be so protective.
8 Comment & Features
Opinion Matrix Views on the News
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
The Crisis Centre
HEALTHCARE Government reform The controversial health bill took another step forward this week as parliamentary votes opposing the reforms were defeated. Health policy experts have condemned the legislation, suggesting it removes any absolute entitlement to free healthcare, pushing privatisation 'through the back door'. The bill, which would see decision-making powers placed in the hands of GPs, has been criticised by a vast
The Future of Print This week it was announced that after 244 years of existence, going all the way back to 1768, the Encyclopedia Britannica was going out of print. The 32-volume 2010
number of health professionals, including (appropriately enough) GPs. Nonetheless, Cameron seems determined to force it through, and in all likelihood, it will have been passed this time next week. The NHS as we know it looks to be confined to the history books, like cassette tapes or Nick Clegg. edition was to be the last physical copy made, with all future editions existing exclusively online. However, whether or not that is completely true remains to be seen. Despite the age of digital literature, there are still many people in the world who prefer the use of physical books to those stored on a computer or tablet device. Much like how radio has survived long into the age of television, people will always desire the tactile nature books. One day, the Encyclopedia Britannica may well return in print, and so it should.
Cameron's US Visit Cameron's visit to the US this week is being portrayed as confirmation that the 'special' Anglo-American relationship still exists. But it seems to me to be more confirmation that Britain is the junior partner in the transatlantic alliance – this visit is for Obama's benefit, and little else. It is not a coincidence that the invitation for this official visit was extended in the run up to the election, or that the PM
Brooks re-arrested Disgraced former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was arrested again this week , on suspicion of 'conspiring to pervert the course of justice'.
will be welcomed aboard Airforce One in order to be flown down to the crucial swing state of Ohio for some prime photo opportunities with the President. It seems that in 2012 this relationship is only 'special' if, and when, it suits America. How tediously predictable. The management of the affair is an increasingly damning indictment of the Metropolitan Police Service. Nearly a year since the hacking scandal's initial revelations, which included allegations of bribery and an inappropriate relationship between the police and press, no case has been brought to court and no judicial sentences given. The Met were portrayed as impotent Murdoch-sycophants then, and this continued deference when all evidence suggests they have acted illegally with impunity for almost a decade is pathetic.
ETHICS Euthanasia Debate The ruling of the high court judge to permit Tony Nikilson to proceed with his 'right to die' case has reinvogarated the age old debate of euthansia ethics. Evidently, this is a momentous moral issue, aand one cannot help but sympathise with the wish of individuals like Nikilson to end their life at a time of their own choosing. However, it is imperative to consider the implications of this law change. It is a
well worn argument, but there is a realistic danger that such changes could set a precdent whereby more and more severely disabled or elderly people feel pressured into ending their own lives. This is simply a risk society cannot take, there is no slipperier slope.
Written by Matt Hewson, James Phillips, Sarah Pullen, James Dolton & Oscar French
Photo by Katrin Busch
Andrew Peck lifts the lid on risk culture in the City of London We all know the world is in a pretty poor state financially. Current UK government debt, that which is the most commonly cited, is around 64% of GDP while provincial, backwater places such as Greece, Portugal and the United States with 159%, 93%, and 102% respectively make the UK seem fairly solvent. This, unfortunately, is the good news. There is a powder-keg beneath the UK economy and it's name is the City of London; it is here that another major debt crisis is in the making. The figures are unclear due to most banks engaging in a form of 'Enron Accounting' hiding liabilities from balance sheets and giving the impression of being solvent and prosperous when often neither is is true, but the most conservative estimates puts the UK's total debt, including government, private and financial debt at 500% of GDP, the highest at about 1000% and the majority, about three fifths, of this is owed by the financial sector. This has been allowed to happen due to the unique lack of regulation regarding rehypothecation. Hypothecation is an agreement between the debtor and creditor that while the debtor may use the asset, such as a car or a house as if it were his own, it is 'hypothetically' controlled by the creditor who can seize it if loan payments cease. So far, so good, but the worrying trend that has emerged is that of rehypothecation in which the banker reuses the collateral that is hypothetically his, to make trades and investments of his own. Worse, being as banks are permitted, by law, to loan amounts of between nine and thirty times the value of the assets held by the bank at the time depending on the type of loan, potentially a bank with only £666 in assets can provide the capital for a car costing £20,000 essentially creating money with the click of a mouse, the bank can then re-lend this £20,000 and this can be relent by somebody else and you have a £20,000 car providing the physical collateral for potentially millions of pounds worth of speculation and investment. Most countries, sensibly, have limits on how much banks can relend in this manner, the US, for example, puts the limit at 140% of the value of the collateral. The UK is unique however in not having a legal limit. If that was not bad
enough, the absurdly low interest rates posted by the Bank of England, which, thanks to quantitative easing mean the actual figure is negative, even if it is nominally 0.5%, provides incredibly cheap credit which encourages the risky but hugely profitable speculation over careful investment in actual businesses with tangible assets. This debt based on debt based cheap credit means of fuelling economic growth leaves the UK economy hugely susceptible to an economic crash in the form of a so called 'Minsky Moment.'A Minsky Moment is the point in a debt fuelled economy at which debt levels that had been increasing reach a critical point at which it just cannot increase further, the increasing debt that was providing capital for economic growth stops, and instead decreases as over-indebted investors are forced to desperately sell assets to repay loans or go bankrupt. Rather than having increasing debt fuelling economic expansion, the situation turns to shrinking debt bringing about economic contraction, which causes further decreases in debt in a vicious circle. While these things are impossible to predict, the UK economy could face a Minsky Moment at any point and one is certainly overdue. When the US sub-prime mortgage crisis caused the financial system to implode in 2007, the last example of this 'Minsky Moment,' the US financial sector debt was of 120% of GDP. The UK financial sector debt is currently between 300-600% of GDP; when the crash comes, it will be phenomenal and as to austerity and hardship, we haven't seen anything yet.
Cause of the Financial Crisis 1979-1981: Thatcher and Reagan are elected, vowing to end the economic decline brought on by Keynesian economics and start implementing neoliberal economics. 1999: Sections 16 and 21 of the Glass-Steagall Act are repealed in the US Congress, allowing banks to trade more freely than before. 2001-2007: Poorer US homeowners are told to buy their homes through subprime mortgages. These mortgages are collectively repackaged and sold on by banks in a process called 'securitization'. 2004-2006: An oil boom, weakened dollar and rising inflation causes interests rates to rise in the US. 2006-2008: Low-income US homeowners, start defaulting on their repayments, unable to afford the higher interest rates. September 2008: Major US bank Lehman Brothers declare themselves bankrupt; others suffer crises; no longer sure what their assets are worth (because of securitization). Government bailouts begin almost imminently.
10 Comment & Features Spotlight
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
The spread of liberal values Tom Cooper Commentator
Ethical and Environmental: One officer â€“ two roles?
Rachel Moriarty Commentator
On Saturday evening, Alice Swift was elected over RON as the 2012/13 non-sabbatical ethical and environmental officer. She gave an impassioned (though perhaps somewhat unanticipated) acceptance speech which, if nothing else, should fill the eco-warrior in us with confidence that she truly is devoted to the position. However, the nature of this role requires further clarification. Since the environment is an issue that concerns everyone, many would agree that an officer dedicated to the university's environmental concerns is necessary. But it is the twofold nature of the role that concerns me. What are we to understand by the 'ethical' side of this position? The fact that ethics have been given a position at all implies that the ethics of the Guild needs to be mediated in some way. However, mediation in the form of a non-sabbatical officer seems to be somewhat insufficient for the job since these roles are perceptually more marginalised in their very nature than the sabbatical positions that would require mediation. Arguably, the democracy of the Guild and the possibility for students to voice their opinions on the Guild Officer team provides the 'ethical' mediation of guild antics. We have certainly seen this through the proposal of votes of no confidence and other such measures. If an officer acts unethically, or in any way that sparks controversy, it is usually picked up upon fairly quickly by those involved in the Guild. So what does this leave for the ethical officer? The fact that it is part of a two-fold position undermines its role in the sense that prevalence, as demonstrated in Swift's acceptance speech, is usually placed upon environmental concerns. Perhaps ethics would be better served as part of the Welfare officer's role, or perhaps the concept of an ethical officer is simply too difficult to define for it to be a role at all. Indeed, the environment and ethics are conceptually very different. While the environment is relatively specific, ethics is a much more versatile concept that can be applied to many specific areas (including the environment). In a Redbrick interview, Swift mentioned 'social justice' as being included in her concerns, but this is certainly not exhaustive of all that could be considered an ethical issue. The notion of ethics can also be applied to all roles within the Guild. So why do we marginalise such a universal concept to part of a particular position when it is one that we would hope and expect to pervade all officer roles?
For thousands of years mankind has been searching the ideal system of governance, the system that would bring the greatest levels of happiness, freedom and prosperity. Some have doubted the existence of such a mythical political order but if it does exist the events of the Arab spring go some way to illustrating what form that might take. In 1991 the political philosopher Francis Fukuyama famously declared that the fall of the Soviet Union had brought us to the 'end of history'. By this it was not meant that the entire of human history had come to an end, instead the 'end' referred to history's goal or purpose. In this way history is viewed as a progressive process towards a utopian point; the final stage in man's political development. For Fukuyama the fall of communism marked the fall of the last serious rival to liberal democracy left in the world. Democratic Liberalism, he predicted, would now spread around the world unchallenged as the most efficient system for allocating resources. The critics of Fukuyama, of which there are many, point to the rise of fundamentalist Islam, 9/11, the gulf wars, anti-globalisation movements and the rise of China as evidence that liberal democracy remains far from victorious in the fight for global supremacy. Indeed the very idea that history is progressive or has an 'end' point
has come under doubt with some arguing that a clash of ideologies will forever be an inevitable part of society. However, for the many people who are alarmed by this thought or who remain concerned by the latest events of the Arab Spring, the words of Fukuyama surely offer some hope. It was never going to be a swift revolution but it is clear for all to see now that the world is indeed moving inexorably and unavoidably towards a consensus of liberal democracy. In this globalised world the internet and western media are now available to all, accelerating the spread of liberal values. The palpable desire for freedom from tyrants and unelected authoritarian rulers apparent in the Middle East demonstrates this. In the Arab spring we see more evidence that the clash of civilisations that the critics of Fukuyama point to has been won; not by the military servicemen of George Bush but by the pervasive power of liberty to inspire. The folly of the Iraq invasion seems even more evident when considered against the democratic uprisings that have permeated its neighbours since. If only we had waited freedom was already on its way.
Without the need for US intervention the people of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain and many more have spoken and what they want is a democratic system in the image of those in the West that they apparently fight against. The new regimes may not yet be fully democratic and there remains a danger that the revolutions may be abused for the use of authoritarian Islamist organizations.
However the revolts are about more than
just regime change. For the first time the Middle East has been forced to confront the failures of tyranny, shedding blood for the values of liberty and justice, something that shall not be forgotten quickly. The need for a compromise between the apparently conflicting forces of democracy and Islam is now understood meaning an oppressive theocracy would last little longer than Assad will. In time the Middle East will join the league of democratic nations, just like South America did in the 1970s and Eastern Europe did in the early 1990s. Fukuyama was right after all, liberal democracy is the end of history
a n d though we are not there yet the Arab spring shows that it rivals, one by one, are admitting defeat and joining the west.
'Guild President stands up for democracy'
16th March 2012
Jenna Kirby looks at the Top 5 TV couples of all time at redbrickpaper.co.uk
Thomas Turgoose: from skinhead to jarhead Charlotte Lytton talks to This is England star Thomas Turgoose about growing up in the spotlight
A fond farewell Charlotte Lytton Television Editor
When This is England took the silver screen by storm in 2006, its young star, Thomas Turgoose, immediately became the poster boy for a lost generation. Playing the role of disillusioned pre-teen skinhead, Shaun, Thomas was quickly propelled to fame. But, six years and two television series later, the industry hasn't changed him: 'I live in Grimsby, and because it's so small and I've been doing what I've been doing for several years now, no one really cares anymore. I'm not really bothered by fame: going to London always feels a bit crazy, so it's nice coming back home where no one really cares who I am!' And he has friends and family on hand to keep him grounded, 'If I ever tried to be someone I'm not, my friends would probably smack me, and my dad would too! The thought of not being nice to people does not appeal to me.' Acting wasn't Thomas' first career choice, but after being spotted at a youth centre by This is England's casting director Des Hamilton, he decided to change his plans: 'Before the film, I'd never thought of acting. But now I love it, and when I'm on set with Shane
(Meadows, creator and writer of This is England), there's nothing else I want to do.' Thomas is still at the agency he signed with at the age of nine, and juggled school with acting a he grew up. Recently, Thomas ditched the skinhead look and took part in the BBC's adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' novel, Birdsong. 'Filming the show was mental; I was with a different cast in a different country, and the budget was much bigger than it is with the This is England franchise. It's great to experience both sides of the spectrum, big budget productions being filmed abroad like Birdsong, and working with Shane in Sheffield. It's crazy.' But Shaun remains close to his heart, and Thomas sees similarities between the character and himself: 'We've both lost a parent at a young age which is obviously not easy to deal with. When I'm preparing for a dark storyline, or something that I really have to tap into my emotions for, I need ten minutes to myself with my earphones in. I listen to songs personal to me, such as music played at my mum's and some of my friends' funerals, and that helps me to fo-
cus on the scene.' have met acting royalty including Some actors get bored of the Johnny Depp, but there is only roles that made them famous, but one occasion where it all got a bit Thomas says, 'I don't think I will too much: 'The only time I've ever ever tire of Shaun. It's obviously been starstruck was when I met such a great pleasure to be on the Les Battersby from Corrie!' And set with Shane and all the guys, from A-listers to aspiring actors, too. Shaun's such a great character Thomas has some sound advice for and means a lot to me, so I don't anyone in the trade, 'Go for audiplan to leave the show any time tions, make sure you've learnt your soon.' This is good news for fans lines, and don't try to be someone of the franchise as the wheels have different. Joseph Gilgun, the actor already been set in motion for This who plays Woody in This is Engis England '90, another mini-se- land, always says that you should ries following the characters' lives. be who you wish to see, so just Both the film, This is be yourself. I always keep that in England '86 and This mind.' is England '88 have enjoyed huge critical acclaim, and Thomas remains surprised by The only time I've ever what a hit it has become: 'The success been starstruck was of it all seems crazy; when I met Les I don't think anyone expected how well it Battersby from would do.' Playing Coronation Shaun also earned Street! him the British Independent Film award for Best Newcomer at the age of just 14, but being at a ceremony with Helen Mirren didn't overwhelm him. He may
Top 5 stage to screen stand-up stars Television Editor Russell Webb looks at stand-up stars who have made it big on the box
The floppy haired comic found his big break on Live At The Apollo, going on to host his own stand-up series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow. He also judged on Britain's Got Talent and was unlucky not to be invited back for another series.
Rhod Gilbert The angry Welsh-
has graced our 4. man screens away from
stand-up comedy with his own panel show Ask Rhod Gilbert in which panelists, including Greg Davies (strangely Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners), must find the answers to burning questions from the audience and celebs.
The cheeky Northern comic recently acquired his own Saturday night show. However, he is most well known for playing Lee in Not Going Out alongside Tim Vine. The sharp and witty writing coupled with impeccable delivery has produced four hilarious series.
shows in1. own cluding Phoenix
Alan Carr Having hosted the
and Sun3. Friday day Night Projects
he is now the ultimate chatty man and has hosted his own chat show for seven successful series. His laid back interviewing style and globe full of drinks ensures interesting and often candid revelations from his guests.
Kay starred in his
Nights. Kay has also been successful as his alter ego Geraldine who won the parody show Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice.
There are many things I will take away from my university experience: a pile of overpriced books I've never read, a number of 'customised' bar crawl t-shirts and, perhaps most importantly, wonderful memories of Redbrick. I'm certainly not one for excessive sentimentality, but following in the footsteps of my previous co-editor Amber, who signed off in a similar fashion, I would like to spend a few words reminiscing about this fair paper and my time at the helm of this section. I approached my first Redbrick welcome meeting in 2009 with no idea what section to join and how far my involvement with the paper would run, and decided that I would foray into the light hearted (and pretty low commitment) TV section. After over a year as a writer, I was appointed as co-editor of the section, and was genuinely excited by the prospect of getting much more involved. The Redbrick office can certainly seem like a daunting place when you don't know many people there, but look beyond the gaggle of girls singing along to S Club and the broken chairs and it genuinely is a pretty fun place to be. Yes, getting used to Mac software was not the world's most enjoyable task, but the good times have definitely made up for it. As both a creative and a social outlet, it really is second to none. There is a time and a place to be self-deprecating in life, but one thing I am proud to extol the virtues of is Redbrick's TV section. It has come so far over the past year, and the number of exclusive interviews and fantastic reviews we've had have been, in my opinion, second to none. I have put a lot of love into this section (mostly at the expense of my degree), and with the help of an excellent team of writers, it has become something that everyone involved can be really proud of. If that hasn't made you reach for the sick bucket quite yet, I'd like to thank everyone who has given their time to the TV section in any small way over the past year. As a not-for-profit organisation, Redbrick is completely reliant on the willingness of others to make it what it is, and the dedication so many people show is a testament to the high esteem in which we hold it. When I started university, I certainly didn't imagine I'd have written for all 11 sections of Redbrick, that I'd have been a member of the editorial team for over a year and that I would have enjoyed it all so much. I cannot encourage people enough to get involved, and if your experience is anything like mine, you'd wish you could do it all over again. It's undoubtedly hard to leave something behind that has been a big part of my life for so long, but I'm glad I can say I made the most of my time here at Redbrick. And if people have enjoyed reading this section as much as I have enjoyed editing it, then my work here is done.
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Reviews: Hottest shows of the week White Heat Jenna Kirby Critic
Despite the dramatic title, this new BBC drama contains no gang violence, scorching deserts or drug dealers. Instead, it opens as the main character, Charlotte, is informed she is the executor of the will of an old college friend. The show follows her return to the
Awake Eliott Rhodes Critic
Meanwhile, in America, Michael Britten (played by Jason Isaacs) has awoken from a car crash involving his wife and son to find that his son has died. He mourns the loss with his bride and talks to his psychiatrist about how he is coping with the sudden and shocking loss.
The Sarah Millican Television Programme James Moore Television Editor
Sarah Millican shot to prominence after winning Best Newcomer at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Beginning on panel shows she has made the transition to a televi-
Free Speech Jenny Porter Critic
BBC Three launches its new live debating show, giving young people the opportunity to talk about issues they care about. It provides a refreshing contrast to the previous show Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents with fresh perspectives on controversial and relevant issues. Presenter Jake Humphrey ad-
university house she used to share with six other students in the 1960s. She soon becomes inundated with memories which lead to flashbacks of her youth. You get to see '60s student life from the perspective of each of the tenants. The plot is absorbing and the flashbacks and flashforwards illustrate the disparity between their youth, hope for radical change and the bleak present. As the seven students come together from very different backgrounds,
and struggle to forge their way in a completely new environment, you realise that perhaps student life hasn't changed all that much. Jack, the most promising radical of the group, is a mysterious character, with his dead body being found two weeks after his death. Although this series is definitely something that those older than us can appreciate, it is still interesting to watch from the perspective of a modern-day student.
He goes to sleep every night, waking up to an alternate reality in which he finds that his wife has died in the car crash and his son survived. In this reality, he also has another psychiatrist and must cope with the loss of his wife with his quiet son. Hoping to cash in on the novelty of a British star in an American drama, like Hugh Laurie in House; Awake really plays on the heart strings of Isaacs' character whilst trying to solve two simultaneous cases: a kidnapped child, and the murder
of a taxi driver. Things take a turn for the worse when Britten realises that the two cases share named places with different landmarks and uses information in the opposing reality to solve each case. This is a harrowing, emotional drama that is bizarre at first, but then tragically poetic at the end. It becomes apparent that as the series develops Britten will have to choose which reality is real. He can't and won't choose between his wife or child. Would you be able to?
sion show of her very own. From the jaunty opening music to the casual hosting, the show fits Sarah Millican's personality like a glove. It focuses on her own love of television – this week centering on dating and nature shows. The host excels at the stand-up feature for obvious reasons. The show also features weekly guests; this week it's Springwatch's own Chris Packham, who adapts surprisingly well to the comedy genre despite Sarah's teasing about the best way to kill
a spider. The naturalist did get his own back, however, by telling Millican that, in the UK, the animal we have too many of is the domestic cat. The second guest was 'sexpert' Tracey Cox who took Millican through a guide to flirting. With a superb blend of genres, The Sarah Millican Television Programme carves its own niche in an already overcrowded market. If the rest of the series is as good as the first episode it should be well worth a watch.
mirably keeps the debate on track, refereeing the vocal panel, including MP Esther McVey and selfmade millionaire Dominic McVey. The show has the promising set-up of a live audience of young people; and the interactive power bar, fuelled by viewers tweeting #yes or #no to any of the panelists. Topics up for debate included the young workers scheme; providing free labour or valuable work experience, as well as the sexualisation of women on lad's magazines – especially relevant
as Dominic McVey set up his own edition. Finally, most controversially perhaps, is the death of soldiers, exemplified by the recent tragedies. Can we really justify the war in Afghanistan? Although aiming to provide a voice for young people, the show often focuses on the views of four adults. Perhaps the intensity of the show means it's just as well it's monthly, but it's certainly worth the watch, as you often find yourself drawn in, wanting your own say on the issues discussed.
Dancing on Ice champion Sam Attwater talks to Redbrick Anna Hughes gives former EastEnders star and skating rink pro Sam Attwater a grilling What made you want to go back on tour again with Dancing on Ice? They tend to ask the winners to come along for the tours to make it a bit more interesting. I think it's just to add a new element to the show. I was really pleased to come back! Are you looking forward to getting back on the ice? I am looking forward to it. I haven't really skated since last year's tour so I've got lots of work to do, I need to try and get on it! I wanted to carry on with it last year, but it's finding the time to fit it in around other commitments. Have you been watching this series of Dancing on Ice? I've seen a couple of episodes and I went into the studio on the third episode. I thought that the standard was really high this year so it will be interesting
when we go on tour.
else's student days!
Who are you backing to win? I've got a hundred pounds on Jorgie. I thought Matthew was good, but I think Jorgie'll win it.
Were you a good student? I got alright grades, but I didn't really do any coursework. We were supposed to hand in a big file at the end of our course but I didn't do one, so the night before it was due I got all the girls to do it for me. It got me a pass grade so it worked out.
Have you got any other hidden talents? Yes, puppetry of the penis. No, just kidding! Acting is the thing I'm focusing on and that's what I will be pushing at the moment. Would you be up for going on any other reality shows? Well, I've actually been asked to go on two in the last two weeks! I've had offers from The Bachelor and Celebrity Big Brother. I'm not up for it at the moment though! You went to Italia Conti Theatre School. How were your student days? I went out a lot and I slept a lot; so basically the same as everyone
What was your big break? I started singing in a church choir when I was about nine and then I started going to Saturday school to do more performing and acting. I graduated about seven years ago from college and have been working in bits and pieces ever since then really. You've done a mix of television soaps and stage performing, what do you prefer? Well my first love was stage, but now I've done some television work I've found a great love of
that as well. They're very different – when you're performing live there's a live audience and the adrenaline you get from that is incredible, but I also really love television – I enjoy them both hugely. What have you got lined up in the next year? Well, I'm possibly doing a musical towards the end of the year which I am really excited about and then I'm doing some castings so we'll have to see what comes of it. I am quite booked up this year so it's tricky finding the time for new projects. Would you ever consider going back to EastEnders or any other soaps? It's definitely something I'll always consider. Until the offers come in I can't say whether I'd say yes or no, it would depend on the storyline and character.
e n e M chem S
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A little Madness in the spring Is wholesome even for the King.
– Emily Dickinson
and Juliet eo m o R t: n se re p s G U B 3
James Dolton and Elizabeth Waind Critics
Modern re-settings of Shakespeare's plays are common: a sad reality of an age where we have essentially run out of original plots, however total theatrical reimaginings are somewhat rarer to come by. This was not so much a rendition of Romeo and Juliet containing scenes of street dance, but a physical theatre version of the bard's classic tale. This showed commendable ambition of director Tom Everatt and choreographer Jake Nwogu. There were several notable scenes of street-dance. When the Montagues arrived at the Capulet soirée they enacted an impressive gyrating group performance under throbbing neon lights, whilst the acrobatic battle between Dan Burke's enraged Tybalt and Michael Radford's Romeo was punctuated by frenzied strobe lighting and a crescendo of dance music. Beyond these explicit examples the play abounded with physical theatre, aided by a minimalist use of props. The same stylised motif performed by Romeo and Juliet every time they met
16th March 2012
gained new significance with each new context, and all of the play's striking violence was beautifully arranged. The cavernous setting of the Vale's Fusion certainly lent itself to the dramatics of these physical scenes, and action regularly spilled almost into the rows of seats arranged about the centre, drawing gasps from the audience. This spatial liberty unfortunately had the added effect that some scenes seemed somewhat distant. The death scene, whilst powerful, could perhaps have projected more intimately from the floor. The casting throughout the ensemble w a s s u perb.
Pensée artistique Leo West had a short but incendiary performance as Lord Capulet and Bill Pasterfield's friar was typically sombre but still generated an amusing moment with the lines on the importance of 'herbs' with vast spliff in hand. Of course, the eponymous lead's performances are crucial to the audience's appreciation of such a familiar story, and Michael Radford as Romeo and Hannah Genesius as Juliet were both up to task. Radford's emotional and impassioned performance in both the death scenes brought the excellent choreography to life, whilst Genesius as Juliet was at times hilarious, but at others heart-wrenching. In all, the 'two hours traffic' of this thoughtful and striking production passed in an instant. Who knew that Shakespeare and street dance should blend so seamlessly?
James Kinsey Arts Editor
Daffodils bringing colour back to campus as Spring reveals its regenerative face have rekindled a certain dislike for the world's most notorious artist; Damien Hirst. Hirst will soon be exhibiting a retrospective of his life's work at the Tate Modern, promoted as a map of the artist's life. It may reveal a mellowing of the controversial artist. In a recent Guardian interview he appeared somewhat subdued. 'It's mortality, mate', he says. 'I'm getting older. I'm not the mad bastard shouting at the world any more'. Where once he provoked the art establishment with macabre works such as Two fucking and two watching and A thousand years, now he appears to be far more restrained. Mortality and death, the themes that encompass his controversial work, are still his motivation for a new reflective outlook on life. The works have received a smorgasbord of criticism, most notably the label of ambitious entrepreneur. Indeed, when his art sells for millions of pounds, adding to an estimated fortune of £215 million, it really is difficult, in his own words, 'to see the art for the dollar signs'. The distasteful consumerism in his art, most obviously seen in For the Love of God, the diamond-encrusted skull, does not fit well with arts supposed anathema with money. I can't say I am
a fan of art sullied by consumerist branding, yet it is his art itself I have a more serious objection to. Hirst has an obsession with death. Works such as A Thousand Years depicting maggots and flies feeding off a rotting cow's head, and Mother and Child Divided which portrays a cow and calf cut into sections exhibited in separate vitrines, have been criticised as distasteful and lacking artistic skill. But the issue goes beyond artistic merit and taste. The themes of these extreme pieces: ugliness, horror and death, all negate life. Arguably, they depict the allure of death, and are a veiled longing for the end of life. Compare the recent artistic protests in defence of the artist Al Weiwei which offer the antithesis of this. In reaction to a Chinese governmental smear campaign accusing Weiwei of spreading pornography, contemporary artists have taken pictures of themselves without clothes. The most striking shows a row of nine unclothed women and one man, with images of Al's head superimposed over their genitals and nipples. Contrasted to Hirst, these artists have unleashed their artistic flare to unveil the desire for freedom and the continuation of life. Perhaps destruction is a form of creativity, which has its place in the art world. Yet such a theme can only ever bite at the heels of art which seeks to transcend death.
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
botomy of Marco
ts:The Lo Watch This presen Hollie Jones Critic
Who would have thought a schizophrenic, with only one personality; a pyromaniac; an insomniac; an obsessive compulsive, and a bipolar sufferer, would make for such a formidable cast? The audience are welcomed into the office of the Warden of the Atomicus Lunatic Asylum, which has been commandeered by these patients for one night, to celebrate the life of their friend Marco Leroux. Pillows and cushions are provided as seating for the audience which, coupled with the small venue, only increases the intensity of the performance. Whether a conscious decision or not, this set-up cleverly facilitated the compulsory audience participation which is an element of the performance unbeknownst to many audience members until they were called upon to contribute, with hilarious consequences. Undeniably Steph Green’s performance as the schizophrenic Bourbon was a highlight of the show. Demonstrating perfect comedic timing in her delivery of hilarious dialogue with the rest of the cast, this character provided light
hearted relief in what is essentially a rather black comedy with a twist. It should be noted that the entire cast put on an unfaltering and emotive performance. Alex Parker’s original, intelligent and bittersweet story of the life of Marco Leroux fully engaged and entertained the audience from beginning to end. The collaboration of the colourful, lunatic hosts reveals the life of a young man plagued by fear and misfortune whose grieffuelled yet well intentioned actions to protect himself and the woman he loves result in his committal to the asylum. When the reason for Marco’s committal is revealed in a shocking and heart-breaking twist, the grief stricken lunatics shriek at the audience to leave, for any further dwelling on the unfortunate Marco Leroux is too much for them to bear. Standing outside the theatre space among fellow shocked and slightly shaken audience members; The Lobotomy of Marco Leroux, we unanimously agreed, is nothing like we’ve ever seen before. This alone speaks volumes for the level of talent of both the cast and the creative team.
otnotes meets Fo
ts: Fo Footnotes presen Emily Priestnall Chief Critic
As De Montfort’s opening act joked – they are not from a university in the south of France but from Leicester and they brought a burst of energy to the stage in Selly Oak’s very own TC’s. This night of stand up comedy was moved from joke to anecdote by the charming comperes; Matt Saull and Michael Brownlee who filled comedic interludes with tales of racist grandparents and political mishaps – let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Opening the night was Chris Bates, highlighting his hatred for bloggers with a tendency to post Laura Marling lyrics and Facebook fiends; agreed, nobody needs to see a photograph of your fine dining skills or marginally cute pet. The night continued in a similarly cynical manner with the Birmingham boys mocking their own middle class backgrounds and lack of success with women to a borderline embarrassing extent. However, Chazz Redhead got some hysterical laughs when quoting from a dating handbook which began with the opening advice of reading the book in order;
needless to say a wave of chuckles trickled around the room. It must be noted that the winning moments for our Brummy Footnotes came from Jack Toop’s hilarious songs – with my personal favourite being the gem of a musical creation about being force-fed by his grandma. Toop’s musical skills were hidden by the comedic lyrics, but praise must be given to this talented musician. With a slightly contrasting style, not dissimilar to Jason Manford at times, the De Montfort boys hit us with anecdotes about sex, TV and thieving owls. Begrudgingly, I cannot deny that their stage presence and energy did get the slightly intoxicated audience at TC’s giggling in their seats.De Montfort’s Jack Campbell perhaps stole the night but the Birmingham Footnotes definitely put up a sterling fight. So, side-stepping over a few awkward moments, it was an evening of pleasant comedy; the Footnotes get better every time I see them and I thoroughly recommend giving them a try. Stand up comedy is truly one of the most difficult things to pull off, and both universities did themselves proud.
Infinity presents: Closer The Amos Room 20th - 22nd March £5
Article 19 presents: The Shadow Box 21st - 23rd March £5
Great Expectations The Crescent Theatre 22nd -24th March £10
16th March 2012
' Death is... whimsical... today.'
Interview: Fran Kranz
Charlotte Lytton talks Shakespeare and the joy of Joss Whedon with the Dollhouse actor You're most recognisable from Dollhouse. What was it like working on such a popular show? It was great. It was my life for a good two years. The friends I made there are friends for life and obviously my relationship with Joss is something I cherish. Apart from being brilliant and an original, he's also a great leader. He's inspiring and makes you want to be your best. Can you tell me a bit about The Cabin in the Woods and your role in the film?
herbs, Marty. He appears to be your typical stoner/slacker/wisecracking type that occasionally philosophises, but he's very loyal and possesses more courage than you might think. Marty and his friends take a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods. It turns out to be a very bad weekend for us and a lot of other people. There is a lot of blood. And I think more people die in this movie than in any other movie ever made. Seriously. You're also in the upcoming adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Tell us about that. This project was so much fun. It came about in such a casual way that I never considered it would receive so much attention and interest. Joss often does play readings at his house, but he told us this time he wanted to film one. We started having rehearsals at his house, it was like
What I can say is that I play a lover o f
a real movie. But I still thought just that, 'it's like a movie but we're still screwing around, right?' This is not the kind of Shakespeare on film you are used to. It is not all grand production value and epic backdrops. It is not period. It is not in colour. I'm not going to say I have perfect scansion. There may be a lot of ruffled nit pickers calling out bad meter. I hope not. We did all try. Now I walk around saying, Yeah I did a movie of Much Ado About Nothing last year. We're thinking Cannes or Venice. Something fancy. The final product though, I believe, will be a very fresh take on Shakespeare and a lot of fun. It's a great play. You've worked with Joss Whedon on several projects – do you hope this collaboration will continue in the future? 100 per cent. I can't imagine ever saying no to him. He's original. That's the best, right? What did you study at Yale and what was your experience of being a student there like? I was a Humanities major. It's es-
sentially the oldest major at Yale. I knew I wanted to be an actor but I didn't want to major in it. So this was the perfect major for me. I love art history and literature. There's plenty of food for acting there too. What is your favourite film of all time? Star Wars. Need I say more? You've acted on stage, television and film – which is your favourite and why? I like them all. Ultimately it depends on the story you're telling. I've been lucky with my two professional plays. Film and television are wonderful too though. Film is the culmination of all the arts. It's infinite. The worlds we've seen in cinema and more and more in television one so meaningful to everyone so how could you not enjoy making them? Plays are ephemeral but film, we hope, is forever. The movie Cabin in the Woods is so great I believe that I could die tomorrow and be proud of my film career.
Five of the Best: John Cusack Films
Nicolas Marriott looks at a man who has survived aircraft hijacking and the end of the world
Grosse Point Blank
this starts with the of Nick Hornby's #4 aptation #2 list, concept of 'assassin goes British break-up novel
The coolest film on the
This Chicago-based ad-
to his high school reunion' and runs with it from there. Decked out in black and shades, Cusack's gun for hire Martin Blank runs around trying to rekindle his romance with high school girlfriend Minnie Driver, whilst avoiding other killers and the FBI. The supporting cast are brilliant, as is Joe Strummer's soundtrack.
won over sceptics and gained new converts. Cusack's broken-hearted record store owner divides his time between music elitism and reflection on past relationships, in a film which is equally moving and and hilarious. Also of note is a performance from Jack Black before his pompous acting style began to wear thin.
Online Film Editor
A Star Is (Re)Born
Clint Eastwood is in talks with Tom Cruise to play the lead in his upcoming A Star Is Born. The remake of the classic will be the fourth version of the film since the 1937 original. Should Cruise land the role he will star opposite Beyoncé, playing a fading star who falls for a young musician on the rise in the industry. It is still early days, and babies and busy schedules have slowed the project's progress, however, Cruise would apparently relish the opportunity to work with Eastwood on the film.
The Lone Ranger
The first photos have emerged from the set of The Lone Ranger, starring Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Johnny Depp, with the traditional cowboy attire of a dead bird on his head. Evidently Depp is looking to bring his own style to the role of Tonto, but we'll have to wait until 2013 to see if he has struck the same gold he found with Captain Jack. Unsurprisingly, given Depp's involvement and the Tim Burtonesque look, Helena Bonham Carter is also involved.
Lorax vs. Carter Con Air is the kind of action film Michael Bay wishes he could make. The film partners Cusack with Nicolas Cage as they work together to try and stop a prison plane which has been overtaken by America's nastiest maximum security prisoners. The characters are complete caricatures and the action is preposterous, (I counted four scenes of people walking away from explosions unharmed) but it doesn't matter because both the audience and everyone on screen loves the film for its originality.
Cusack moves from assassin to puppeteer in Spike Jonze's directorial debut. Written by Charlie Kaufman, Being John Malkovich is part Inception, part Alice In Wonderland. Cusack's Craig Schwartz becomes a filer on the mysterious 7 1/2th floor, but when he finds a portal which takes him into John Malkovich's mind for 15 minutes, his life quickly slips out of his control. A work of genius.
Not to everyone's taste; those who can overlook the poor script and hackneyed characters will find much to enjoy in Emmerich's disaster movie. It demands viewing on the biggest screen possible. Little is asked of Cusack beyond running away with family in tow, but he rises to the occasion. Highlights include a limo escape from a crumbling LA, and a collapsing Basilica.
John Carter may be able to jump really high, but the film couldn't jump to the top of the box office. For the second week in a row, The Lorax has claimed the top spot, grossing just under $40 million to keep its status as the biggest box office film of 2012. The star-studded sci-fi epic was forced to settle for second place, grossing $30.6 million, although the jury is still out as to whether it will be able to make back its $250 million budget. Could Edgar Rice Burroughs ever have suspected that his hunky hero could be taken down by a fluffy orange cartoon character with a haystack for a moustache?
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Reviews Hunky Dory
Director: Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod Cast: Robert Pattinson, Uma Therman, Christina Ricci
Director: Marc Evans Cast: Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Danielle Branch Cert: 15 In the long, hot summer of 1976, a class of Welsh teenagers are grappling with homework, each other, and a production of The Tempest; set to the music of such legends as Bowie and The Beach Boys. Led by their foul-mouthed, chainsmoking teacher Vivienne (Minnie Driver), they rehearse frantically, but not without some drama and life-lessons along the way.
There is a lot to love about this film. The young cast seem almost giddy with excitement, delivering enthusiastic performances which add to the film's sincerity, a trait missing from many films today. The musical numbers are tributes to the classics of the era; Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World is given an optimistic twist by Tom Harries, and Aneurin Barnard and Danielle Branch bring out the poignancy of The Beach Boys' Don't Talk. Harries stands out as Evan, who is struggling with his feelings for dreamy leading man Davey (Barnard), going for subtlety rather than a camp caricature. One of
the most intense performances is from Darren Evans as Kenny, an outcast caught between his own sweet nature and the pressure from his violent brother. Evans carefully portrays Kenny's conflicting loyalties, brought to the fore in a scene between Kenny and the headmaster (Robert Pugh). Hunky Dory raises issues, including sexuality, divorce and class conflict, which it then ignores; relying on a fairytale ending to carry the day. However, it is a breath of fresh air in a film industry dominated by sterile money-spinners, and will leave you longing for summer, sun and the seventies.
Set in Paris in 1890, Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) is a broke and lonely ex-soldier, who has an unhealthy taste for the high life. Georges bumps into an old friend Charles Forestier (Philip Glenister), who owns a successful newspaper. Charles sets Georges up with a writing job, and is soon introduced to the high social circles of Parisian society. Georges becomes a figure of temptation to the rich and influential women, and finds himself toying between Madeleine Forestier (Uma Thurman), Virginie Walters (Kristen Scott-Thomas) and Clotilde De Marelle (Nina Ricci). Georges, the 'Bel Ami', uses the women for their contacts and
social status, leaving his greed for sex and money to overpower his moral judgements. Pattinson's performance is decent enough, but sometimes his facial expressions are over the top and startling. The cast of the film on the whole was successful, in particular Uma Thurman and Kristen Scott-Thomas, who really bring out the worst in Georges' character. Also, whilst there are some expected sex scenes, the raunchiness is seriously toned down when it doesn't need to be. Whilst the film is enjoyable, the plot comes across much better in the novel than it does in the film. The plot is intriguing and unpredictable, and its conspiracies and complications come across well to the audience. However, the second half of the film becomes repetitive and stale, in comparison to the more impressive start. Bel Ami is worth a watch, but the plot fizzles and the ending is an anti-climax.
New & Old: Horror Films Fearless Luke Jones unveils the classics that inspired recent horrors 'They don't make 'em like they used to'. It's a cliché as old as the movies it references, and unfair to the often excellent and daring cinema that has been produced in modern times: Inception, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Senna, just to name a few. Yet there is one genre that seems to have taken a backwards step in the 21st Century: horror. But do not despair gorehounds! Here are a few suggestions for horror classics that should be checked out if you enjoyed their more recent offspring...
The Woman in Black – The Haunting The Woman in Black has been doing phenomenal business in the UK thanks, in no small part, to the presence of the boy who lived, and effective shocks courtesy of some ghosts that didn't. Yet the definitive ghost story remains 1963's haunting classic, The Haunting. On-thenose titling aside, director Robert Wise (in between overseeing West Side Story and The Sound of Music) doesn't put a foot wrong with his less-is-more approach to horror. A basic story (a group of people enter an old house, get haunted) is raised by an unsettling, melancholic tone and chill-
ing set pieces. Plus it is in black and white: ghost stories should always be in black and white.
The Devil Inside – The Exorcist Even after countless parodies, The Exorcist still stands as the benchmark of demonic possession flicks. Many have praised its performances and direction, and thematic undercurrent of good vs evil that gives it heart even amongst the pea soup vomit. Yet at its core is a horror movie engineered to turn your trousers brown. The Devil Inside, The Last Exorcism, [Rec]... the shadow of The Exorcist looms large over all as not only one of the finest horror movies ever made, but one of the finest movies, full stop.
Paranormal Activity 3 – The Blair Witch Project
Ok, so Blair
Witch is only
13 years old. True, it is also far from the first horror movie to use a found-footage style to give it a sense of authenticity. Yet it was the first horror film to to use the Internet effectively, not only to market the movie, but to expand upon its mythology and keep audiences suspending their disbelief for just a little bit longer than they otherwise might have. Of course with hindsight it's easy to laugh at the belief that Blair Witch was anything more than a well-designed fake snuff film. But for a viewer watching it for the first time it remains effectively disturbing, and the lack of name actors and late 90s clothing help to make it feel like a document of its time rather than fantasy. While there have been a lot of Blair Witch copies (Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, even Chronicle to an extent) none have moved the formula on significantly, and even a sequel failed to re-ignite the magic that made the original so creepy.
Beth Ditzel Critic
Director: Andrew Stanton Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe Cert: 12A John Carter is a film 100 years in the making. Literally. Originally written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912, the series is said to have influenced every sci-fi epic to date, from Star Wars to Avatar. The film marks director Andrew Stanton's first venture into liveaction after his Oscar winning Pixar contributions; Finding Nemo and WALL-E to name just a few. Our eponymous hero is a disillusioned Civil War veteran, on the run from the law and a band of Apaches, who stumbles upon a device that takes him to Mars (or Barsoom as the Martians call it). On Mars he has increased strength and the ability to leap great distances, meaning that he can do a lot more than your average earthling in a fight. He finds himself in
the midst of warring tribes, a beautiful princess, green men with four arms, a very pale and bald Mark Strong and a race of warriors that look like they've been swimming in fake tan. You have to keep in mind how long ago the story was published; the ridiculous names (Kantos Kan anyone?) and outdated science of Barsoom should be taken lightly. However, the film doesn't do much to try and make itself any more believable; in a short space of time you are expected to completely understand an entire new mythology, and keep up with the often incomprehensible plot. The film's civil war plot line is clearly trying to say something about racial tension on our own planet, but just doesn't quite manage it. If you didn't like sci-fi epics before, this film won't convert you. John Carter is a fun showcase in visual effects that packs the punches but falls short when it comes to storyline and depth.
16th March 2012
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This week, Redbrick presents our very own music awards special. Our team of writers and some of the University's music societies have come up with the alternative prize winners: those who we feel were overlooked this awards season. Music Editor Tamara Roper looks at the relevance of this year's ceremonies. THE first few months of spring; leaves on trees, lambs in fields, red carpet blunders and show mongering a-plenty. Of course, I mean the annual awards ceremony season. In what seems like no time at all, those considered the most critically acclaimed artists, musicians and all round wunderkinds again shed tears, throw fits and flick the golden finger to millions internationally. Regular as clockwork, this onslaught of poor outfits and questionable winners produces an annual flurry of gossip column inches and huffy music critics. This year's extravaganza was sadly no exception, with award shows being hyped up and then quickly deflated as concentration remained defiantly on the failures, rather than triumphs of the respective shows. Across the pond, America sadly dealt with the untimely death of one of its favourites, Whitney Houston. Opening the Grammys, a pious LL Cool J led the crowd in a prayer for 'our fallen sister', as moments before, woman of the hour Nicki Minaj had stormed
the red carpet dressed in a papal gown with her very own Benedict the 16th doppelganger in tow. Winners included Bon Iver for Best New Artist, (despite having two albums and a huge global following) and home-grown favourite Adele, triumphing in what seemed to be almost every other category. The pomp and ceremony of the Grammys sadly lacked a little at the BRITs. In what seemed to be an awards show dedicated to
'The BRITs have been neutered somewhat' X Factor alumni, the only flush of extravagance was old Adele, the six gong heroine of the Grammys having her acceptance speech cut off by a bashful James Corden. The now ubiquitous photo of an infuriated Adele shoving up the middle finger is perhaps a metaphor for what the BRITs has become. In an interview afterwards, the voice behind Someone Like You covered her tracks by blaming the powers that be for her moment of obscenity, claiming 'the suits' made her do it. It seems like 'the suits' have a lot to do with
awards ceremonies these days, although Adele appears to be one of the only artists to care, as the one with the silly hair from One Direction proved. Harry Styles added a 'big thank you to Radio One' for the help in voting for 'That's What Makes You Beautiful', when in fact it was the listeners of Capital FM who'd secured their award. He may be a young, foolish cougar hunter but Styles' ignorance is somewhat ironic. There was little innovation behind the behemoth of a ceremony - in fact, bar Adele's little moment of rage, the BRITs were mediocre. The big act of the evening, Blur, failed to impress with their montage of hits â€“ Alex James and Graham Coxon looking substantially bored as Damon Albarn flung himself around as if to make up for his bandmates' overwhelming nonchalance. Rihanna's builder-cum-paintballer performance paled in comparison to Nicki Minaj's mock exorcism at the Grammys, and Ed Sheeran was, well, Ed Sheeran. After a quick Google we found lists of previous BRIT Awards where occurrences like Jarvis Cocker ambushing Michael Jackson's performance of Earth Song put Adele to shame. Perhaps the point I'm trying to make is that, recently, the BRIT Awards have been neutered somewhat. Musicians don't care enough to
complain, record companies are too keen to keep up appearances, and the general public are more interested in who wore what rather than who won what. America are certainly steps ahead in terms of showmanship, but both sides of the Atlantic need to realise what credit is due where. And next year, can we please see Adele having to be forcibly dragged from the s t a g e , rather than being tamely asked to leave. Bring back bad antics, I say.
Redbrick's Top 5 BRIT Moments
Spice Girls Debut
Excess sequins, leopard print jumpsuits and of course that infamous dress. The Spice Girls may have already released a few singles and were huge in the UK, but it wasn't until this performance that they were catapulted onto the global stage. With 'girl power' in abundance, horrendous choreography and mimed vocals, they managed to win the world over. It may have been 15 years ago, but with rumours of an olympic reunion, the Spice Girls continue to be Britain's best loved girls.
Jarvis vs. MJ It's 1996, and Michael Jackson is still alive. He's standing on a raised crane-like podium, clutching onto the sides, convulsing with emotion. He's got a choir, people are standing up in the audience, probably crying. Suddenly, Jarvis Cocker appears on stage, pouting, and then waggling his bum around in the most ironic/seedy way you've ever seen. He gets about 20 seconds of glory before being apparently escorted from stage by a conspicuous looking bouncer.
Liam throws award
The Gallagher brothers have never been scared of causing a controversy. At the 2010 award ceremony, instead of thanking his fans after Oasis won the coveted 'Best Album of 30 Years' award, Liam decided to use a slightly alternative way of showing his appreciation. Hurling his BRIT into the crowd, even the presenter, Peter Kay, called him a 'knob head'. Two years on, despite not talking to each other, the boys continue to hurl abuse at each other via the media. Will they ever learn?
Arctic Monkeys slam BRIT school
Oh my, Alex Turner, you're always so devastatingly cool. Even when the four scallys from the Arctic Monkeys proceeded to turn up to the 2008 BRIT Awards dressed like they'd escaped from Last of the Summer Wine they still managed to mantain their status. That said, BRIT managers weren't too happy when snarky Mr Turner started taking the michael out of the students of the actual BRIT School, who were sitting directly in front of him. Cue speech cut off.
Adele's Breakthrough For a full three minutes she had the whole world captivated. With just a piano and microphone, Adele's BRIT performance was what made her the artist she is today. Only one year on, she has six Grammy's to her name, as well as countless numbers of records sold. Over the years, the BRIT awards have been blessed with some amazing performaces from some of the world's best known artists, yet they've all been topped by the BRIT school graduate and her amazing voice.
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Best Band – Bombay Bicycle Club
Sam Orbaum Critic
Bombay Bicycle Club do exactly what bands should do. They play music. No pretences, and no gimmicks, just raw musical talent. Having released their third album A Different Kind of Fix in August 2011, they embarked on their biggest UK tour to date and delivered mind-blowing performances up and down the country. With all three of their albums containing their own distinctive sound, no other current band will offer an audience so much variety so successfully. After the debut album I Had the Blues But I Shook
Best Lady – Laura Marling Laura Schofield Critic
Not only is she the woman of this year, she's the woman of every year! The talented Miss Marling has been pleasing our ears with her folksey/heartfelt sounds for six years now – she's only 22 and she shows absolutely no signs of stopping anytime soon. Winning a well-deserved BRIT award last year, she's now entered the popular stream of conscious and a much deserved, wider fan base. This feat is even more impressive when you consider how truly unique she is as an art-
Rarely do people pay good money to see, and thoroughly enjoy, a gangly man in his 40s gyrate wildly whilst singing songs about sex and the working class (and with equal ardour). God bless the 2011 Pulp reunion. The regular observations about Jarvis Cocker's eccentric geography teacher pretence, which transpires so wonderfully on stage, can be made - however
Best Dancefloor Anthem – SBTRKT – Wildfire Jonathon Milnes Music Editor
We left this award up to you, faithful reader. By putting a (shortlived) poll online, we gave the readers of Redbrick the chance to vote for which song made them get down and dirty the most. And, after a bit of squeezing in last minute, SBTRKT came out on top. Featuring the lovely Little Dragon on vocals, 'Wildfire' has proved that the alternative can come up trumps. SBTRKT is a tip of the hat to the often under appreciated voice behind the decks.
'No pretences, and no gimmicks, just raw musical talent' shocked fans with the release of their acoustic album Flaws. The third album shows a continued de-
velopment of the band's sound and while the catchy singles, Shuffle and Lights Out, Words Gone, ensure a certain degree of mainstream popularity, it is the lesser known tracks such as 'Still' that not only display the impressive vocal control of front man Jack Steadman, but also display the band's maturing attitude to composing songs. The versatility of the band comes across clearest in their live performances with beautifully crafted acoustic numbers such as Ivy and Gold or Rinse Me Down integrating themselves perfectly into a set that is otherwise crammed with bass driven, melodic Indie. Bombay Bicycle Club offer a unique experience for any listener.
Best Gent – Jamie XX
ist and as a performer. She is not the synthesised, plastic pop star that dominates the charts, she's a normal girl, who (cliched as it might sound) sings about growing up and other problems in a raw and honest way. She goes on stage dressed in jeans and a jumper; she says very little, but manages to engage and charm her audience, effortlessly. Truly a well deserving winner. I wish I was her.
Tamara Roper Music Editor
Jamie XX was a controversial choice for Best Male of the Year. He doesn't have an album out as of yet, and there are only a couple of his own original tracks knocking about out there. His input in the XX is certainly going to take the front seat this year, as the trio are re-
Best Live Act – Pulp LUMSOC Membership Sec.
Them Loose earned the band the NME: Best New Band award for 2010, Bombay Bicycle Club then
turning to the studio and hitting the festival circuit. With this in mind, we still didn't care. His main triumph has been in his handling of the late great Gil Scott Heron's soul album I'm New Here. Completely remixed and polished, Jamie XX added his own touch of garage, post-dubstep and electronica to an already classic album. Innovative and groovy.
Best International – Nicolas Jaar
only Pulp's unique formula can carry this off. Every one of Pulp's songs is an anthem, which is equally relevant to today's crowd as an audience 15 years ago: when Pulp performed Joyriders at Reading Festival last summer, Cocker dedicated it to the mindlessness of the London rioters. It's this fusing of Cocker's energy and vigour on stage, with the songs to justify and enhance it, which immortalises Pulp as the best live act.
Sam Orbaum Critic
Best Music Video – Lego House Alice Weleminsky-Smith GTV Production Manager
After making the video to his first single, 'The A Team' on a budget of £10, Sheeran decided to spend a little more on his newest single by hiring one of the most well-paid gingers in history; Rupert Grint. The similarities between the two allow for a retelling of Eninem's 'Stan' video, but hilarious scenes of Grint storming the stage pretending to be Sheeran make this story of the fan one of the most talked about and entertaining videos of 2011.
Best O.A.P. – Bruce Springsteen Lexie Wilson Arts Motherhen
He's been writing those monumental songs since before you were born ('Born in the USA' and 'Dancing in The Dark' lit up 1984) but The Boss' seventeenth record and ninth number one album, Wrecking Ball, released in March 2012, make him the uncontested winner of Redbrick Music's 'OAP of the Year Award.' Lyrically as relevant now as he's ever been, lead single 'We Take Care Of Our Own' is passionate and gutsy and entirely deserving of your respect.
Chilean-American Nicolas Jaar is a testament to youthful achievement. January 2011 saw him turn 21 and release his first studio album, Space Is Only Noise, after a steady stream of EPs since 2008. The debut landed heaps of critical approval for its shuffling, dialled-down beats and ruminative outlook but also some legal
Best Breakthrough – King Krule Pieter Colpaert IndieSOC Member
King Krule – formerly known as Zoo Kid – looks like a male version of La Roux, but sounds more like James Blake with a guitar and some actual talent. This 17year old Londoner came out with his first EP (The Noose Of Jah City) full of grubby but gripping and highly personal songs, which manage to sound familiar but completely unique at the same time. One to watch!
backlash for its use of a sample of Ray Charles' 'I Got A Woman'. A shame, as the album features some of the most inventive samples since 'Flying Lotus', most notably marrying pattering raindrops with falling pingp o n g balls. If you are not familiar with Nicolas Jarr we think And I Say ft. Scout Larux is Nicholas Jarr at his best!
Worst Moment -Lana Del Rey Nick Williams Burn FM Overlord
The problem with Lana Del Rey is no one can hand on heart say that they enjoy listening to her; she has just been forced upon us through aggressive advertising until people are bought into the illusion of liking her. Now you may think that Lana is weirdly mysterious, her lyrics ironically simple and by contrast her melodies beautifully multi-faceted. But you'd be wrong. She is as deep as a crepe, albeit as tasty looking.
16th March 2012
April Shacklock discovers why men are more attracted to ladies dressed in red, online at: www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/category/lifestyle
Fierce & Finished
Fashion world vs. Real world: What's in it for men? Amy Wakeham Writer
Menswear has, for a long time, been the forgotten black sheep of the fashion world. For the girls there has always been Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Grazia and a plethora of other fashion magazines to get our teeth into, and from which to decipher the twists and turns of the latest trends, the newest 'it' bag and the hippest new beauty look. So where were all the boys going for their sartorial inspiration? Quite frankly, it may be that no one will ever know. But then, as Dylan sang back in the 60s, 'the times they are a changin', and in recent years we have seen a monumental increase in interest in male fashion. New mags such as Port and Fantastic Man have launched to diversify the male magazine industry; Jamie Hince, Mr Hudson and Alex Zane all sat on the front row at Topman on Menswear day at the last London Fashion Week, and not least the esteemed blogger and photographer, Scott 'The Sartorialist' Schuman, who celebrates and exhibits male street style on a day to day basis. However, where's the average UOB male going to start when it comes to being style savvy on a budget? Here's just a few of the hottest trends of Spring/ Summer '12, translated to the high street for you to start off with.
First up: Sportswear inspired separates. The Olympics isn't just going to be about the 100 metre sprint and watching the women's volleyball at Horse Guard's Parade, you know. Filter into your wardrobe a sporty parka, some deluxe running shorts and a hitech fabric such as neoprene, and you have as good as won the gold in the style stakes.
The juxtaposition of dark basics with pops of colour will be another huge trend this summer. Note the very sporty jacket in this pic, which is an example of ticking two trend boxes with an outrageous fluoro, silken jacket. In the real world: go for some bright, cobalt blue chinos like these featured here, £25 from Burton.
And finally, a look that is exceptionally hot for girls as well as boys, this summer – tribal prints. Maybe you could match your Aztec patterns? This Topshop Design jersey jumper can easily be replicated on the high-street. This simple tee can be found online at asos.com. at only £15.
'Pretty is what you are, beauty is what you do with it.' This is the new slogan for the 'Be a Force of Beauty' Campaign from make-up brand Bare Escentuals. T h e y wanted their n e w prom o tion to encourage women to be more than just a pretty face, and encourage women to see that everyone is beautiful in their own way. To find the right women for their campaign, Bare Escentuals conducted a blind casting. Initially they asked more than 270 women to complete a questionnaire aimed at getting an insight into their personalities. They then whittled down the applicants to just 70, based entirely on the answers they had given. The next stage was an interview, but even this was conducted behind a screen so that the judges couldn't be influenced by the appearance of the women; they wanted to make a choice entirely based on personality. Nowadays, all the images we see in magazines and on television are photo-shopped and edited. We are presented with an image of a 'perfect' woman that is completely
Lexie Wilson Arts Editor
Beth Ditto's collaboration with MAC – One of the world's coolest women, with a self-confessed passion for make-up, teaming up with one of the best brands around can only signal a collection bursting with vibrant colours. The Return of the 4am Project – On the 15th April this global project returns for its third year encouraging everyone to take photos of the world around them at 4am. Follow them on Twitter to see this year's results. Sienna Miller – Pregnancy is obviously agreeing with her; next month's Vogue cover is so glowing and gorgeous it hurts. Wanderlust – With The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its stunning scenes of the Indian countryside lighting up cinema screens around the country, being stuck in Selly Oak is less and less appealing. Topshop's Pastel Chiffon Skirts – Exquisite and so ontrend. It's worth stretching the loan just that little bit further. Hell, it's worth financial suicide. Jeckyll & Hyde Cocktails – Delicious cocktails served in jam-jars on Steeljar Lane. We recommend the Pear Drop or Lemon Bon-Bon. Much more sophisticaed than a Mechu jagerbomb!
A step backwards in beauty advertising? Sarah Murray
unattainable because she is just not real. Bare Escentuals are attempting to combat this via their new campaign. The blind casting meant that they focused on the inner beauty of the girls they were casting – they were looking for role models. Their final campaign posters are not edited at all. I applaud their efforts, of course, but there is one issue. As I mentioned they conducted a blind casting: the women invited to the casting, however, were all models and actresses. This meant that Bare Escentuals were only interviewing women
who were almost guaranteed to be confident and attractive. I think the campaign would have been much more effective if they had used everyday women. If they had truly called for people from all walks of life and then conducted the interviews with them. If they had chosen representatives for their brand based entirely on inner beauty this campaign would have been revolutionary. It's still a big step forward, and I'm not trying to undermine their efforts, but we still have a long way to go.
We are presented with an image of a 'perfect' woman that is completely unattainable because she is just not real.
Sarah Murray Writer
Nicola Kirkbridge publishes daily outfit posts that are both insightful and humorous, easy to read and full of fashion inspiration. Her style is comfortable and easy to wear but always has an edge, whether that be a statement necklace or sky-high heel. A Fashion Management student at Aberdeen, 22-year-old Nicola initially started her blog as a course requirement and then just kept going. She now has 1,300 subscribers and it's obvious why. Nicola has enviable fashion sense and she gets all her clothes on the high street. This means she is completely relatable to; shopping on a student budget. The added bonus being if you see something you like, you can just go and buy it for yourself. Perfect.
Finished Marni for H&M – The best pieces sold out before we could blink, and the rest is overpriced or unwearable. Easter essay deadlines – It's becoming impossible to get a cup of coffee in the ilounge without tripping over a thousand other students as essay-stressed as you are. The Alexa Chung/Harry Styles/Caroline Flack love triangle – Two of the UK's most stylish women squabbling over a seventeen year old boy? Come on, ladies. No matter how adorable he is, you're getting borderline embarrassing. Grey skies – The tease of sunshine this weekend has made the grey skies forecast for the week even harder to bear. Role on sunglasses and jugs of Pimms outside. Take Me Out: The Gossip – Anyone else becoming irritated by TOWIE's Mark Wright and Zoe Hardman on the Take Me Out after-show? Unfunny and uncool – L&S are not impressed. Barry M Marker Pen Eyeliner – It may only be £5 but do not invest your very valuable student loan into this one. A huge waste of time and money!
Semester Two – Easter has arrived and the revision period looms...
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Life&Style Guide: The best of Brummie boutiques April Shacklock Senior Life&Style Writer
Vintage shopping can be tricky; online has the disadvantage that you cannot try before you buy and on-the-high-street vintage shops are often in hard-to-find locations. This week I have been on a hunt around Birmingham for the best vintage shops we have, so instead of giving up and buying a 1920sesque dress from Topshop, you can have the real thing! Forgotten Vintage – Unit 9, Great Western Arcade Forgotten Vintage is new to the Birmingham vintage scene. It is a vintage shop with a difference; it is a charity shop raising funds to support homeless services across the city, run by SIFA Fireside and Reach the People Charity. The shop has clothing and accessories for men and women set in the elegant atmosphere of the Great Western Arcade. The staff of Forgotten Vintage are exceptionally friendly, and they are there for their love of vintage and dedication to charity. Beadesaurus – 8 Piccadilly Arcade
Founded by a graduate of the School of Jewellery in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, Beadesaurus is nestled in the Victorian Piccadilly Arcade. As you walk in the door you are instantly put in the mood for retro shopping with the 1950s style music. Although it is not technically vintage, Beadesaurus offers vintage style and superbly kitsch jewellery, retro clothing and bags, as well as quirky homeware with a vintage influence. This is the perfect place to come to buy someone a unique present as many of the statement pieces of jewellery come in gift boxes. Urban Village – The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth Urban Village has been on the Birmingham vintage scene for a while but has recently been updated. Stocking vintage clothes for men and women from the 1940s to the 1980s, specialising in the 1960s. Urban Village also stocks vintage records, artwork and any other memorabilia they can get their hands on. Urban Village is a must-visit as it has a larger collection of accessories and records than any other vintage store in Birmingham.
We found love in a hopeless place: should we go back? Megan Nisbet Life&Style Editor
'@Nat_Cassidy – @bigfatnastyaunt domestic violence is NOT OKAY. I am with Adam because he has stopped drinking. Please do not think I'm stupid' When Natalie Cassidy recently tweeted this, I can imagine the world was split in two withtheir thoughts and feelings. Her friends spoke out that she 'usually doesn't take sh*t from anyone, saw the best in everyone and believed in giving people a second chance' but it hardly screamed role model to anyone that's suffered from domestic abuse and is trying to get back up on their feet again. Betrayal is an awful thing and it comes in all shapes and sizes – whether the one you thought you loved has simply got up and left, cheated on you or at the very worst physically abused you, it is hard to even think of trusting somebody new. For example, Cheryl Cole's turbulent relationship with cheating ex hubby – Ashley Cole, is a classic case of somebody who just 'cannot let go'. The once furious nation has become bored with her tedious game playing, but anybody who has been in her position will know that it's very hard to try
again with somebody new. Making it work with an old flame is easier than beginning a new one, especially if you don't feel completely burnt out. But is this foolish? It is as they say, leopards cannot change their spots, and although sometimes it's hard to let go of somebody you wholeheartedly trusted, I think once the damage is done and the spark is gone it's very hard to regain that. These girls should be fighting back with a vengeance, not falling at the knees of these worthless men.
The Oasis – 110-114 Corporation Street, This is a very different kind of treasure trove and it is especially unique to Birmingham! The Oasis hosts a range of alternative and vintage clothing stores for a broad spectrum of clientele, departments include: Editions, Shop!, ACS Birmingham Ltd, Revival and An Octopus's Garden. The Oasis has been in Birmingham for almost 40 years and has recently undergone refurbishment. They are always looking to acquire new departments to become even more varie; a great starting point for vintage shopping. All the stores have fantastic blogs on their websites about everything stylish and vintage! Cow Vintage – 82-85 Digbeth High Street With stores in Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham, Cow is probably the vintage store in Birmingham you have heard of before. They trade hand-selected vintage clothing and accessories from all eras at affordable prices. Set away from the hustling Bullring, the Cow warehouse is a chance to enjoy fashion history, the eclectic
and unique merchandising offers an extraordinary shopping experience. A word of warning, the store is fairly large so allocate plenty of time to Cow as you don't want to miss a single vintage treasure. I can guarantee you won't walk out empty handed! Decades Vintage – 22 St John Street, Lichfield, A beautiful vintage boutique based in Lichfield, but it is oh-so-worth the journey. Outfitting both men and women, Decades Vintage wants you to literally feel as if you have stepped back in time when you walk into the Grade 2 Listed building. There are even vintage newspapers for you to dip into when you need a break from trying on everything from the 1920s to the 1980s. If you still haven't ingested enough vintage atmosphere, play some popular vintage games or listen to old vinyl on the turntable. Decades Vintage also have a selection of books to give you inspiration in creating your vintage look. And to finish off the experience, your purchases are wrapped lovingly in tissue paper.
Harvey Nichols: Spring/Summer Fashion Victoria Gardener Writer
This weekend saw a series of exhibition fashion shows and the first ever usage of the Fashion Theatre in The Mailbox, courtesy of Harvey Nichols. Presenting their Spring/ Summer 2012 collections in style, they invited the fashion-conscious of Birmingham to come and enjoy the show with a flute of champagne and a canapé in hand. Arranging the looks into ten different trends (including Trailer Trash, Whiter Shade of Pale, Futuristic and Girls go Glam) gave the show a narrative, and supplied the audience with inspiration for creating outfits using the designer apparel they sell. These designers included the likes of Dolce and Gabanna, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Acne, Yves Saint Laurent and Burberry. Top items of the day and the ones that will be making a formal pit stop on my wish list for 2012 were the array of Jeffrey Campbell heels (£95-£150), Paul Smith dusted pink jacket (£400) and shorts (£160) and a beautiful embellished By Marlene Birger dress (£790). However, it wasn't just the females who strutted down the catwalk; several (very) handsome male models also showed off next season's looks. Though in general the men's clothing was more spe-
cific to a confident, risk taking and somewhat flamboyant niche of men, there were several dressed down, more casual looks as well. Favourites of the menswear included a No Tomorrow t-shirt (£45), PRPS chinos (£245) and Montcler high-tops (£285). Stay locked in with your finger on the pulse for future Harvey Nichols events by keeping an eye on their website and The Mailbox website, while Redbrick Life&Style will of course keep you updated.
Mother's Day: Save, Spend, Splurge Sarah Musgrove Editorial Assistant
Save Penny-poor, but still full of love for your Ma? Try this sentimental but thrifty idea: first, find a nice photo frame. Paperchase do a great range in all sizes (this silver, springthemed number is only £4) and then hunt on Facebook/through old Christmas and holiday albums for a good picture of you and your Mum. Nip to Boots with your USB stick to print it off – if you give them your email address online, you can get 40 prints for free – before wrapping nicely and popping in the post. Et voila: a thoughtful present for under a fiver that lasts longer than a Thornton's gift box. Spend A magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving! Possibly – as a devoted worshiper of all magazines, ever – I am biased. But still, considering that subscriptions range from around £15 to £60 a year (if you're looking at a glossy weekly, that is), you can really work this gift to your budget. Obviously it's advisable to do some detective work and find out your Mum's preferred read first (or at least genre – fashion? Interiors? Lifestyle? Gardening?), but when your decision is made, it's a simple matter of entering the addressee's details online. This is a gift she will remember All. Year. Round. And sometimes it pays to have your Mother remember how much she loves you. Your love manifests as a 'thud' on the doormat e v e r y month; hopef u l l y hers will come in the form of Tesco shops a n d homecooked meals. Splurge For a less girly offering, however, we love the personal touch available from Smythson. With diaries ranging from £42 for the gorgeous, emerald 'Panama', all the way up to £180 for the 'Nile Blue Portobello', all Smythson stationary can be gold-stamped (at £6.95 a letter) for a truly unique gift. Yes, it's pricey, but with quality leather like this, it's go big or go home.
Photo by Victoria Gardiner
16th March 2012
For an update on the SOPA/ACTA situation check out the website! www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/tech
Swiftkey triumphs at mobile app awards
Online Technology Editor
On Tuesday 28th February, at the same time Apple released invites to their iPad event, awards were being handed out at the Mobile World Congress trade show, in Barcelona. Mobile World Congress is one of the biggest events of the tech calender, as it's where mobile companies, both big and small, show off their latest and greatest products. The awards in question
were the Global Mobile Awards, and although many people are unaware of them, they maintain Oscar-like status in the industry. It's always a great moment when a minnow takes down a giant, and when British start-up SwiftKey beat giant-of-giants Google to win the award for Most Innovative Mobile App, it was a special moment indeed. SwiftKey is a company that primarily develops apps for Android devices. Their main consumer product is SwiftKey X, a virtual
keyboard that uses an artificial intelligence engine to predict words and sentences before you've even typed them. Since launching over 18 months ago, their app has been downloaded over 5 million times, and is one of the most successful paid apps of all time on Google Play (the new name for the Android Market). To them, though, the background technology is more important than the product itself, which is why their award means so much to them. Other winners of this year's GMAs included Samsung, whose massively successful Galaxy SII took Best Smartphone, and mobile-messaging service WhatsApp, which won the Judge's Choice for Best Overall Mobile App. Unsurprisingly, the Best Mobile Tablet award was won by the iPad 2. You can find SwiftKey X on Google Play for £2.49, or £3.49 for the tablet version.
Check out our interview with Ben Medlock, SwiftKey's Chief Technology Officer, on our website: www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/tech
Light Fields Captured by Lytro Camera
Andrew Spencer Technology Editor
The Lytro camera, now available for consumers all around the world, is the first of its kind. It is the first commercially available camera to capture light fields – light travelling in all directions through every point in space. It is these light fields that model a scene perfectly. The Lytro Camera contains technology that captures information about a light field including colour, vectors and intensity and can then build up an image based on this. As a consequence of this technology, the Lytro can do something no other consumer camera has been able to do before. The
Practical research modules introduced on Bio-Science courses Ellie Fewings Writer
The University of Birmingham department of Biological Sciences has recently become one of the only departments in the UK to offer practical classes that teach research techniques to students. Instead of being an extension of the lecture theatre, these sessions are taught by volunteer postgraduates on any topic of interest. This allows the sessions to cover a broad range of science: from microphage infection models to zebrafish. The sessions were sprung from postgraduate training in which demonstrators had to create a lesson plan. Leanne Smith, a PhD student at the university, realised these sessions could be taught to students in one afternoon which
would give students invaluable experience; not to mention faceto-face time with people who have already tackled a postgraduate course. Fortunately there was no shortage of PhD students and post docs willing to volunteer their time to share their experiences and interests with students. The sessions currently cover a wide range of topics which relate to modules covered by students in all years. These include primary cell isolation from blood, Biolistics (a study of firing genetic material into microbes), reporter genes, plant pathogens and the techniques and ethical issues of using mice as research models, to mention just a few. These topics are based upon current research projects within the department, giving students the opportunity to see the
iPad 3 – Release Details Sam Atkins
The new Apple device is equipped with a retina display much like that of the recent iPhone 4S, with 1 million more pixels than the average HD TV. The new iPad also features a A5X processor designed specifically with the display in mind. You can record and view 1080p video too, with an upgraded 5 megapixel camera on par with the 4S as well. The new iPad will support 4G LTE networks. With a 10 hour battery life, and just an hour lost when connected to 4G, this is a powerful device. It's as thin as ever too, at just 9.8mm and just a little heavier than the iPad 2 at 1.4 lbs. The new iPad (the device doesn't have a specific name) comes in the usual 16, 32 and 64 GB models for a price
between £399 and £559 for the Wi-Fi only unit. The 4G version will cost between £499 and £659: the same price range as the current iPad 2, which in turn will be available from £329. Upgrades and new versions of a variety of apps were shown too, the main iLife collection now complete on iPad with the release of iPhoto. iMovie and Garage Band are set for upgrades too. A new Apple TV was shown off as well, allowing users to stream 1080p video from iCloud. The new iPad is now available in shops.
inner workings of the department that they are a part of. It is often the case within departments that the student world and the research world are separated; a loss to both sides. Students who can become a part of their department develop the qualities to help them outside of the university when looking for a job; experience, contacts and most importantly an insight into the world they will be thrown into. Departments that embrace their students are able to pass on interests to the next generation of scientists. The sessions were created to embrace 'science for the sake of science' says the creator of the scheme, Leanne Smith. This is a welcomed concept for students who can volunteer to expand their interests without the worry of add-
ing assessments to their schedule. Leanne Smith advised students 'anything that you have done, simply because you were interested ,will look fantastic to a potential employer'. Those students who have already taken part will soon be able to reap these benefits. The new scheme will help students with a passion for science to embrace their interests while they are still in a place to learn. It's already an interesting way to learn, but the fact that it provides more than simply a space filler on a CV is an added bonus. Using the resource of post graduates to teach and inspire students is a prospect that should be considered by other departments throughout the university. Hopefully we will see schemes like this one appear in other science based degrees soon.
New Toshiba printer uses erasable ink
Andrew Spencer Technology Editor
By creating unique printer toner cartridges that print on any paper using erasable ink, Toshiba have made a much needed breakthrough in the printing industry. When the toner and the appropriate printer are used, the ink that is produced on the print out can be reheated and the page will become blank again. This will effectively enable users to reuse paper over and over
again, simply removing the ink on the page each time. There are limitations though. The idea that the ink is removed is somewhat incorrect. The ink does seem to disappear but, in actual fact, the heat just causes it to lose colour. It is still there, just not visible. This means that paper can only be used a maximum of 5 times. Furthermore, for the same reason, using the toner for printing personal information in the hope that the page can simply be wiped clean is not recommended because the information will still be obtainable with the right tools. For draft printing this could be extremely useful though, being cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Additional useful features of the machine include the ability for the printer to save a digital image of the page before it is erased as well as being able to sort reusable and non-reusable paper into separate trays.
user can change the focus on an image at any time after taking the photo. For example, the user can tap something in the foreground on the digital photo and this will become clear while the rest of the photo will become unfocused. The user can then shift the focus by tapping something else, and the Lytro will use the light field information to render the photo again, bringing the new object into focus. This incredible way of capturing a picture means that there is much greater depth to photos because each photo can be viewed from multiple perspectives. The potential for light field photography does not end there though. The ability to change a photo from 2D to 3D after taking is also simple to do. An 8 gigabyte Lytro Camera can currently be purchased from the website for $399 or 16 gigabytes for $499. No UK release news yet, but we can hope this announcement comes soon. To have a play around with the focus of sample images that were taken with the camera, it's well worth a visit to the picture gallery page at: www.lytro.com
Joshua Unsworth Writer
Last week the internet was awash with rumours that Valve was developing a new console, nicknamed the Steam Box, after an article posted on technology website The Verge claimed the company was moving into hardware. The article came after Valve co-founder Gabe Newell mentioned in an interview that if Valve had to make the jump to hardware, they would. Reactions to the rumours were varied, with some claiming it to be a glorified computer and others heralding it as something that would change the world of gaming as we know it. Within a few days there were system specs for the new system being thrown around, with an impressive 8GB of RAM and a Core i7 CPU making it more than capable of holding its own against the XBOX360 and PS3. In his new statement, Marketing Director Doug Lombardi denied the Steam Box rumours without ruling out the possibility of a move to hardware in the future. Valve already has a couple of patents; a new controller with interchangeable parts for instance. However, one must wonder if the amount of attention the Steam Box gained in so short a time has made Valve pause to think; it's clear that people would be interested. For the near future at least, the Steam Box is going to stay as it is; a distant hope for those of us that would like to see a new competitor in the console wars. Now then, back to complaining about the lack of Half-Life 2: Episode 3…
16th March 2012
The world's biggest potato was grown by amateur gardener Peter Glazebrook, and weighed an enormous 8lbs 4oz.
Five ways with the Humble Potato
Healthier Snacks: Graze Boxes Emma-Clare Dove Writer
James Dolton Writer Granted, the potato may not be the most exciting ingredient, but it is a vital staple of student cooking. Easy to store, with a long survival date and extremely cheap to buy in bulk, it should be a staple used with far more regularity and creativity than its simple 'jacket' or 'mash' derivatives. In an attempt to inspire further usage of this excellent vegetable, here are five interesting and easy to make dishes with potatoes as their main ingredient: all the recipes marked herein are for one person, but the amounts can be easily multiplied to make a meal for more. Simple Saag Aloo Much easier and tastier than it sounds: chop up two small potatoes into roughly bite-sized pieces and boil them (with skins off or on; either works). In another pan, take roughly 100g of washed fresh spinach leaves and steam over a cupful of boiling water. Add around 50g of tinned chopped tomatoes to the
potato pan and heat until simmering, before adding the spinach and stirring it all together: healthy and wholesome. Crispy Wedges The simplest of the lot: cut up several potatoes into roughly twelve segments, in the style of a chocolate orange. Two medium sized potatoes should be enough for one person. Place on a baking tray but don't worry about them not overlapping: they will all be cooked through. Drizzle liberally with oil before sprinkling on a large amount of salt and pepper, a teaspoon of chilli powder and a tablespoon of mixed herbs. Cook in the oven at 20oºC for 40 to 45 minutes; the end result is a dish far superior to the traditional student staple oven chips and produced at a fraction of the cost. Dip in garlic mayonnaise for added flavour. Bubble and Squeak Cakes Select two small potatoes and boil them for approximately ten minutes. As you do this, chop up any combination of two mushrooms, a small pepper, large carrot or leek.
The Doggy Bag: a step too far? Izzy Gibbin Food Editor Whilst asking a waiter to bag up leftovers from a meal may be common practice in the strange and exotic USA, Brits still have a curiously divided attitude to the doggy bag. I can painfully recall many meals out with my Grandma who, with scant regard for my already crippling fear of embarrassing social situations, would scoop the remainder of her dinner into a small plastic bag, ostensibly 'for the cat'. Yet, capable though I am of extolling (at great length and to the immense boredom of my long-suffering peers) the virtues of limiting food waste, I would rather eat myself to the point of actual medical danger than follow in her admittedly sound example. So why this strange aversion? For me it all stems from the term
itself: doggy bag. Though its origins actually lie, according to Wikipedia, in the 'euphemistic pretence that the food will be given to the diner's pet', the sad fact remains that it unavoidably likens the contents of the bag, however delicious it may be, to dog waste (finding a euphemistic way to say that was surprisingly tricky). What I propose, then, is that we stop all this silly dog nonsense, put our heads together and find a nice, socially acceptable term for the takeaway bag that is bearable even for the most socially awkward. 'Binge bag' would probably be the most accurate given my propensity to eating leftovers in a guilty midnight frenzy, normally after stumbling home from the pub, appetite still intact, though my dignity sadly misplaced. For your views on doggy bags, check out http://www.redbrickpaper.co.uk/food.
If you do use carrot, add to the boiling potatoes five minutes into the boiling time. Fry these in butter with pancetta cubes or two rashers of finely chopped bacon. Once the potatoes have boiled, mash them in the pan, adding around 25g of butter and cheddar cheese. Don't mash too much: the intention is not to make mashed potato, just to break them up a little. Add the fried vegetables and bacon and mix together. Form firmly into small 'cakes' of about 10cm diameter and lightly fry in the pan for three to five minutes. The outside should take on a golden crispy texture with the creamy mashed potato and vegetable inside. Diced Potato Grill If in need of an extremely speedy snack, this dish is excellent. Simply dice a large unskinned potato into cubes with sides of around a centimetre in length. Fry in butter on a high heat with a teaspoonful of sugar and a generous splash of balsamic vinegar with an onion cut into similarly small pieces, making sure to stir regularly. After ten minutes the onion should have caramelised. Serve the now crunchy
grilled potato and softened onion with lettuce and around half a tin of chickpeas or kidney beans for a wholesome snack. Crisps Love those high-end Kettle Chipstyle crisps (the ones that always have whimsical adjectives before all the nouns like 'hand cured sea salt and Italian cracked black pepper') but hate their equally highend prices? Using only potatoes, vegetable oil and seasoning, it's simple to make your own. Simply peel a potato, then using the same peeler, run lengthways along the potato to make extremely thin slivers. It is easy to make ten or twenty of these 'crisps' from one medium sized potato. Oil a baking tray and place these slices upon it, before adding your seasoning of choice (salt, pepper, vinegar and chilli powder are all excellent). After five to ten minutes in a preheated oven at 180ºc. Depending on thickness they will be ready and delicious to eat both hot at the time or cold if you can stand the wait! These homemade beauties are a lot healthier than their store-bought counterparts.
Plates for a pound Chris Hancock Writer Butternut Squash Soup Peel and de-seed one squash and cut into small pieces. Coat lightly in oil, season liberally with salt and pepper, and place in a roasting dish. Roast at 180ºc for roughly 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, fry chopped onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Blend the squash, onion and garlic in a food processor with vegetable or chicken stock until you reach soup consistency. Season to taste. For extra flavour, whisk in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Oven Fried Chicken Get the taste of Rooster House without all the unbearable guilt with this cheaper, healthier alter-
native. Get two chicken quarters for a pound from Aldi and then you can either freeze one or treat a friend. Split into thigh and drumstick pieces and toss in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. Place the chicken on a greased tray, bake for 35-40
minutes at 200ºc or until completely cooked through.
Few things in life bring me as much hope and pleasure as the sound of a Graze box being pushed through my letterbox and landing on the doormat. As a concept, Graze boxes have a lot going for them. They encourage healthier snacking and the use of all natural ingredients, and they'll introduce you to tons of new and exciting flavours. They often have lots of discount codes for you to look out for. Befriend someone else who has bought a Graze box and your first one will be free. Just the other day I got a message telling me to fill in a little survey and my next three Graze boxes will be half price! One more reason to get stuck in: they have a school of farming in Kabubbu, Uganda where students are taught how to grow and harvest fruit from trees. All of these reasons should make you feel great about buying a Graze box, and the nutritional benefits will make you feel equally as good! So what exactly are Graze boxes? Well, they are a selection of four nibbles which are handselected according to your taste and delivered to your door in a box made of recycled cardboard. You can pick which box you want to receive, from the 'eatwell box' which describes itself as having 'the odd treat' amongst healthy goodies, or the 'light box', which is all low-calorie snacks. The snacks vary from breads and flapjacks to dried fruit, nuts and olives, and you can state your preferences so you'll always end up with something you like. I know what you're thinking –you could always just buy dried fruit and nuts from Aldi. However, the real beauty of Graze lies in their inventive treatment of basic snack staples such as these, infusing them with flavours such as cinnamon, vanilla or lime. Once you try the vanilla infused sunflower seeds or the 'pina colada' dried fruit mix of dried mango, dried pineapple and coconut flakes, you'll be hooked. You could even substitute them for that bag of Doritos you have for your next film night! At £3.79 (including delivery) they are a little steep for the average student's budget, so you could always try making your own with ordinarybut-healthy raisins, sultanas, almonds and dried mangos etc in the supermarkets. However, it'll give you a moral ego boost to consider the ethical considerations behind your Graze box, and frankly, they're too delicious for me to even try and resist.
16th March 2012
Travel quote of the week: 'Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it' – Cesare Pavese
Can Uganda really be considered a new holiday destination? Will Spence promotes visiting Uganda, despite its infamous reputation and war-torn status
Mark Jordahl on Flickr For all those who have spent the last week or so filling in their time on Facebook rather than finishing, or starting, that essay that's in for tomorrow lunchtime, you're guaranteed to have viewed a post, link or status related to 'Kony 2012'. The somewhat unknown warlord has turned into an overnight celebrity; albeit an infamous and brutal one. Anyone who watches the videos or reads the stories to do with the horrific atrocities performed by this man will be shown shocking images of the crimes committed. Unfortunately, this has left a stain in the mind of many people about the country of Uganda itself; with the natural tendency to see it as a war-savaged country, plagued with desolate mud hut communi-
ties and no natural sense of law and order. Without suggesting that it's a saint-like country full of harmony and timidness; Uganda is certainly not the hell-hole that the Kony campaign might suggest to you. Described by Winston Churchill as the 'Pearl of Africa', you'll find more variation in the geographical landscape than in a neapolitan ice cream. Its capital, Kampala, has all the traits of a typical hustle-andbustle African city, yet misses out on the horrendous road rage found in Lagos or Nairobi. The jungle to the south and the Sahara to the north really offer a climate for all travellers, and while it may not have the tourist infrastructure found in Kenya or even Tanzania, there is certainly more
of an authentic edge to Uganda because of this. Nature lovers will have a field day in Uganda with the flora and wildlife bordering on spectacular. Home to the endangered mountain gorilla; trips to see these beautiful creatures are available albeit at expensive prices, with a long booking needed. This isn't due to corruption or greed, but the Uganda Wildlife Authority understand that too many humans will turn the jungle into a zoo and scare off the gorillas into the mountain. Should you enlist on this trip, which will set you back a healthy $750, know that 80% of the money goes into helping the environment, with the rest paying for the staff who help keep away the poachers from these near-ex-
Your weekend break sorted this Easter Olivia Ball explores some of London's most famous attractions Trips to London may be few and far between for many of us. If you consider seeing the tourist attractions just as important as getting sore feet from shopping on Oxford Street, then read on for how best to spend just a few hours in the capital. W i t h the end of term nearing and deadlines looming, my visit
last weekend to London resulted in a 24-hour whirlwind trip. Such a short stop over needed major organisation. Plan a few weeks ahead to save yourself some money on train fares – check out www.trainline.com for tickets from Birmingham to London Euston starting at £5 each way, off-peak. If you're arriving at midday, there are plenty of places in Euston to grab a bite to eat; or take a 10-minute walk to Tottenham Court Road. Make the most of all photo opportunities and head to London Bridge, crossing over to the London Eye. Prices for the Eye are £17 and booking ahead is advisable, but the cost and queues are worth it. If you're on a tight budget, take a stroll along the South Bank and watch the street artists before browsing the unique shops of the O X O tower and taking
tinct animals. Getting up close and personal with a gorilla is exhilarating enough, but should you need a further fix of adrenaline, rafting on the famous River Nile is also available. From tranquil family rides in a comfortable boat to 5-star rapids in a tiny rubber dinghy, there's something for everyone, although the crocodiles are optional. You wouldn't have the true Ugandan experience without meeting the locals, however. 'Kony 2012' would have you believe it's a tribal place full of brutes and war-savaged people, where a westerner would be in a certain degree of hell. Similar to the Cambodian people under the tyrannous reign of Pol Pot, it's true that the people have come under attack through-
out history from their own leaders; however they have come out with their smiles intact and friendly inquisitiveness as their language. It's even been suggested that the capital is one of the safest African cities to walk through alone at night. Exploring the markets will definitely allow you to experience the exquisite hospitality of the locals, with some even offering bewildered tourists the chance to come back to their houses for tea. The campaign to catch Joseph Kony is a fantastic one, and he certainly needs to be stopped, but don't let him destroy your entire view of this beautiful and exhilarating country. A true cultural gem awaits all who are willing to journey to the wonderful country of Uganda.
Photo of the Week
the lift up to the top for views over the city. Make the most of the many free attractions available by walking through from Downing Street to Horseguards and up the mall to Buckingham Palace. From here you can take the tube from Hyde Park Corner to Covent Garden and wander around the quaint shops before grabbing dinner in one of the many pubs. For those who don't know friends with any floor space to crash on after a jam-packed day, hostels in London for one night may not be as expensive as you may think. Check out the Astor Museum Inn in Bloomsbury for prices around £20 a night (www.hostelworld.com).
Musicians in Dijon, France
photo by Kimberly Faria
16th March 2012
season best swims
University records set
Silver lining for Brum's swimmers
Coach Gary Humpage has revolutionised the swimming since he came to the University 16 years ago. When he joined, the team were facing the prospect of relegation from division two. Now they're one of the best teams in the country, and finished second in the 2011 BUCS finals. James Newbon watched them this year.
The swimming has commenced an exciting two weeks of BUCS Championships ‘This is the one we train for all year.’ Those were the words of swimming head coach, Garry Humpage as he led his two teams into Sheffield’s Ponds Forge for the BUCS Team Championships. His teams were to reap the rewards of their training as they walked away from the competition with 29 personal bests (pbs), 10 seasons bests, five new club records and, for the second team, a set of silver medals. When pressed for his aims prior to the competition, Humpage was looking for medals but more crucially stressed the need for personal bests stating that, ‘we can only focus on what we can control.’ And, whilst the 1st division team may only have finished in fifth place, they certainly delivered the personal bests he asked for. Personal bests were also on the agenda for the second team who finished runners up in their division. Race wins for Birmingham were in short supply. Alessandro Lazdins won both the second division 50 and 100 metres freestyle events and in doing so became only the second University of Birmingham swimmer to go under 52 seconds in the latter. ‘I’m very pleased, I wasn’t expecting that. Last year I did 53.1 and I expected around a 52.5 this year so that was incredible,’ said a delighted Lazdins, even admitting he could have gone faster were it not for mistakes made on his turns. The team’s other win came for the team of Sian Evans, Holly Gunner, Paige Jepson and Danni Pryor in the second division women’s freestyle relay. But the im-
pressive achievements of this day did not centre on winning events. Humpage totalled up the number of seconds taken to swim all the races and compares them to last year’s results. His findings show that the division one team were a total of 9.81 seconds quicker than last year while the division two team were 28.24 seconds quicker. Considering the team’s improvement, the lower finishing place than last year is a disappointment and shows how the standard of competition has increased. The mixed emotions could be seen from club captain Chris Taylor. ‘The team did amazingly,’ he said, ‘it was an improvement on last year and it’s frustrating that the results didn’t reflect that. It’s disappointing not to get a medal but individually the improvements were amazing,’ said the captain. Frustrations at the lower placing aside, it was a buoyant team that left Sheffield as the swimmers came away delighted with their improvements. Kristina Paige, Chris Buchanan, Joe Marsh, Steffi King and Phil Hodgson had all broken club records while many others had seen large improvements on their times. ‘Overall it was a fantastic performance. It was a tremendous set of swims with big PBs. There’s nobody that didn’t do themselves justice,’ enthused Humpage at the end of the competition. His words at the start of the day had been correct. His team couldn’t control the raised standards from the other clubs but they could control their own personal improvements. In that regard they had delivered.
What the statistics reveal Birmingham's performance in the swimming reveals some interesting facts. They performed better than last year (where they finished second) but didn't bring in the expected medal haul this time round. The explanation is clear: the other universities have upped their game from last year. However, the women's seconds have 850 seconds improved massively in this year's finals, outdoing other universities. Having cut almost 20 seconds off 840 their culmulative times compared to last year, the graph on the right hand side helps explain why Ev- 830 ans, Gunner, Jepson and Pryor won in the freestyle 2012 2011 team event. Even taking into account the its history, the club has had a top year. Silverware, as Humpage (perhaps tentatively) Club Record 10% suggests, isn't everything. The pie chart below University best: represents the club's 'personal best count' 8% in Sheffield, and includes almost 60 different times. Of those, 21% were the best times of the club's swimming season, 10% of the Season's best: 21% weekend's times broke the club record, and 8% broke the University record; a phenomenal achievement.
Man in focus: Gary Humpage:
Gary Humpage is a Brummie through and through. He trained with the City of Birmingham squad as a youth, training alongside world class performers. He became a coach, although not after he had reached the British Finals as a swimmer. It was in the mid-90s that he came to Birmingham, during a time when the team was floundering and with the reality of relegation to the third division looming large. Humpage revolutionised the club, and was awarded the Athletic Union Coach of the Year Award in light of his achievements. He is, of course, aided by a superb coaching team: Andrew Fieldhouse, Chris Ross, Caroline Roberton and Paul Brice.
Team improvement since 2011 (in seconds)
Seconds The team performed well despite a lack of Brum wins
RECORD BREAKERS? We've consulted the record books to find out when in history some of Brum's 2012 swimmers would have been world record holders in the long course.
Sept 1958 Sebastian Bukowski’s 100m butterfly time (59.8) would have stood until 1960 when Lance Larson took to the pool.
Oct 1962 Holly Gunner’s 100m freestyle time (59.93) would have broken the world record in a month noted more for Cold War tensions than swimming records
Aug 1968 Joe Marsh’s 100m butterfly time (55.54) would have beaten swimming legend Mark Spitz's time and taken the world record in the 'year of protest'
Aug 1973 Georgie Smith’s 100m backstroke (65.2 seconds) would have beaten Ulrike Richter's record, but only for a month
Feb 1980 Joe Marsh’s 50m freestyle time (23.27) would have broken the previous record of 23.66 seconds
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Birmingham finish with a flourish
Sport Shorts Korfball Bronze
Birmingham's Korfball first team took part in the BSKA National Championships last weekend, performing impressively to come home with bronze medals. Brum reached the quarter-finals following a 9-3 win over Leeds and then a dominant 16-2 victory over Reading. The team then booked a place in the semi-final after tri-
Alexander Blanchard Arts Editor
Women's Rugby Union
In their final league game in the Premier North division, third place Birmingham played fourth place Loughborough. The last time Birmingham and Loughborough met in a local derby, Loughborough were decidedly enfeebled with half their firsts out in Dubai. Yet, Loughborough’s accusations of complacency against Birmingham before the start of the match, and admonishments from injured captain Jess Robinson that Loughborough were back on form, seem retrospectively to be the desperate construction of a veneer of confidence. Surely, no single side has suffered such a devastating defeat since the Romans decided to pit Lions against Christians in their magnificent colosseums. Now, the colosseum was the Bournbrook playing fields, and Birmingham, it seemed, were the roaring lions. Birmingham made a strong
start with captain Garnet Mackinder – much vaunted by the Coach as one to watch before the start of the match - meeting early expectations and placing a try within the first three minutes of play. The England player Mackinder showed herself to be Birmingham’s harbinger of success, not only invigorating her team and rousing a decent sized crowd, but scoring four tries and setting up a further two. Birmingham found themselves preferring to play wide, the wingers constantly putting pressure on an embattled Loughborough whose defence was far too shallow and narrow to act as an effective bulwark against a well organised opponent. Though that is not to overlook the fact that Bir-
Every Loughborough attack was met by a swarm of red Michael Drury mingham were equally effective they never managed to shake the down the centre also. Fran Strong, conservative play of their first half, the number 8, played up to her and looked nothing but lethargic. name and was to her team what Birmingham struggled from Manchester was to England during set play, failing to capitalise on the Industrial Revolution – a commany a line-out and finding it plete and absolute power-house. hard to get low enough whilst in Strong showed herself unstopthe scrum. Nevertheless, they kept pable, drawing in Loughborough’s the pressure on Loughborough, outer defence and creating gaps with 80% of the match spent in for, amongst others, the spritely their opponents' half. Ultimately, number 11, Sophie Staniforth. Birmingham played magnificentFinding themselves nineteen ly, and the 43-5 score line is testapoints down at half time, Loughment to a team that has ended the borough managed to compose season on top form. themselves and pushed through to find a single try. Though really,
Stirling stop Brum Biathlon brilliance Men's Golf
Daniel Beattie Golf Correspondent
The golfers finished their league campaign as unbeaten champions last week. In the cup they faced a Stirling side known to have an extremely strong golfing set-up. The quarter-final was played under cold and misty conditions at Edgbaston golf club. The University of Birmingham struggled to keep up with Stirling in the morning foursomes with Sam Botham and Matt Jones losing 6&5 in the top game. This setback was further compounded by defeat for Gareth Jenkins and Dan Beattie who lost 3&2. Tom Jessamine and Owen Edwards provided a glimmer of hope by playing a fantastic back nine, which included birdies from the 14th onwards to secure half a point for Birmingham. With backs against the wall, spirits still remained high heading into the afternoon singles in the fight for six valuable points, Birmingham
needing a minimum of four for a playoff. Botham lead the team off and played a competitive game however could not edge out his +4 handicap opponent, finally losing 3&2. Jessamine played some outstanding stuff and clinched a crucial win on the 17th to level the singles tie. Beattie struggled to get going on the front nine but managed in the end to get a half, missing a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th for the win. Matt Jones and Owen Edwards were all square heading into the 16th and 17th holes respectively, but both ended up losing one down. Gareth Jenkins improved, finding his usual consistent stride and easing to a 4&3 win. The final result saw Birmingham lose 6-3, which slightly flatters Stirling as coming down the last nine holes things were very tight. It would appear that Stirling’s golf scholarship scheme and campus golf practice facilities are paying dividends as individuals are receiving the same amount of funding individually as Birmingham does as a club. It was a David v Goliath scenario, and unfortunately this year it wasn’t meant to be for Birmingham. Despite this the first team should be congratulated for their 10 game unbeaten run in the premier league. Elise Ashby
umphing over Edinburgh 10-6. A strong Nottingham team awaited, and unfortunately this was a step too far for Brum as they went down 14-7 to their Midlands counterparts. However, the team bounced back in the third-placed playoff, thrashing Sheffield Hallam 8-3 to secure bronze. Jess Beale finished the tournament as both female MVP and top goalscorer to cap a successful weekend's work.
This weekend sees the culmination of the BUCS Championships, and Birmingham have plenty of teams in actions in Sheffield. Members of the judo, karate, climbing, fencing, volleyball, squash and badminton. Redbrick will be running a live feed with regular updates and reports from all the action in sheffield; find it on redbrickpaper.co.uk/bucs
Other Results 14th March 2012 Men's Rugby 1sts beat Durham 2nds 41-30 Men's Football 1sts drew 3-3 against Northumbria 1sts Sam Pictor
Birmingham took a formidable force of competitors to Oxford for the BUCS Biathlon finals, where the squad hoped to translate hard work into medals and BUCS points.
Last Saturday saw Birmingham triathlon club travel down to Oxford to successfully compete in the BUCS Biathlon championships, a race consisting of a 1500m run followed shortly after by a 200m swim. The run took place at the very track where Roger Bannister famously broke the first four minute mile and was hotly contested by a competitive field. Birmingham’s Sam Petty took first place in the run finishing in 3:59min, followed closely by newly converted Birmingham triathlete Andy Ridley in second. In the women’s competition Emily McLoughlin put in a fine performance to place third in the run followed closely by Sophie Tabor in seventh. Birmingham’s fine form was transferred to the pool as strong
swims were put in across the board. Sam Petty put in another fine performance swimming a 2:03min 200m to secure a win in the swim and overall gold medal. There were also strong swims from Tom Adams and Matt Iceton to win the team silver, only just losing out to a strong Leeds Met team. In the women’s competition, Emily McLoughlin secured a strong silver medal overall, receiving great support from Sophie Tabor (fifth overall) and Sophie Edge (11th overall) to secure a fantastic women’s team gold. Top positions were reinforced as Birmingham displayed fantastic strength in depth, producing 24 competitors in total to dominate the field. All five men’s teams placed in the top ten, and Birmingham’s asserted themselves as a team to be reckoned with as the season ramps up for the summer. The day, the performances, and the results were a testament to the growing strength and team spirit of the triathlon club this season under coach Louise Barren and captain Nick Smith; the club now start their training for the sprint triathlon on 5th May and the Olympic triathlon on 27th May.
Men's Hockey 1sts beat Nottingham Trent 1sts 5-1 Men's Basketball 1sts lost 102-66 against Cambridge 1sts Men's Golf 2nds beat Loughborough 2nds 8-1 Netball 2nds lost 32-22 against Nottingham 2nds Netball 3rds beat Nottingham 3rds 41-32 Netball 4ths beat Derby 1sts 46-28 Men's Rugby 2nds lost 41-5 against Coventry 1sts Men's Rugby 3rds beat Coventry 2nds 49-7 Men's Hockey 4ths beat Oxford Brookes 2nds 4-0 Women's Hockey 4ths drew 1-1 against Loughborough 4ths
This week in... 1989 Iconic grey horse Desert Orchid won his only Cheltenham Gold Cup under a superb ride from Simon Sherwood. 'Dessie' trailed outsider Yahoo approaching the final fence, but pegged him back to win a race that was voted the best of all time in a Racing Post poll.
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
This week on the Redbrick website... Wednesday Debate
Formula One Preview
Heroes... Women's 4x400m
In this week's debate Redbrick approach the sacking of Andre Villas Boas from four different angles. Was the debacle the fault of Villas Boas himself, owner Roman Abramovich, the dressing room or simply a result of the prevailing football climate.
2003 Birmingham hosted the 9th World Indoor Athletics championships at the NIA. Great Britain took two gold medals; Marlon Devonish in the 200m and Ashia Hansen in the triple jump.
Blayne Pereira looks ahead to the 63rd season of Formula One racing. Can Sebastian Vettel build on last year's dominance to join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fango as the only drivers to win three consecutive titles?
This week, host Joshua Reynolds is joined by women's lacrosse player Ayesha Bansal following her team's BUCS Championship final. The topic in focus this week is the beginning of the new Formula One season.
Couldn't make it up
Where are they now? Weekend Wager
Man United to beat Wolves by 4 or more goals (11/2)
World Indoor triple jump champion Yamile Aldama had her British nationality change approved last week ahead of the championships in Istanbul. Aldama has already competed for Cuba (where she was born) and Sudan on the world stage. How does that work?! Referee down! A Ryman Isthmian League match had to be abandoned in the 31st minute last week after referee Ashley Slaughter was stung by a bee, and suffered an allergic reaction. Slaughter failed to live up to his imposing surname and had 30 minutes of on-pitch physio treatment, but recovered.
133 days to go
Willie Davenport claimed a gold medal for USA in the 110m hurdles of the 1968 Mexico Olympics, setting a World Record of 13.3 seconds in the process. Interestingly, Davenport also participated in the 1980 Winter Olympics as a runner for the US bobsleigh team.
Since retirement, British sprinter Linford Christie has appeared on I'm A Celebrity and started a sports management company called 'Nuff Respect. His children have also made the headlines; daughter Rachel was crowned Miss England in 2009, while son Liam has recently appeared in court over drug-dealing allegations.
Training Times (Munrow)
Triathlon as a competitive sport is not for the faint of heart, but luckily the club is open to any level and participants can gear their training to any of the specialist sports: running, swimming and cycling. The club have been very successful in BUCS competition, including last weekend where they came back from the BUCS Biathlon with four medals. The club have accredited STAR status due to their high standard of training. The head coach is Louise Barron.
Spinning - Monday 5.15-6.15pm - Friday 6-7pm
The Redbrick Crossword
Group Ride - Wednesday 1.30pm - Sunday 10.30am
Mordo Nahum Puzzles Editor
Completed crosswords to be submitted to the Redbrick office. (Redbrick Office located in the basement of the Guild)
Name: Email Address: Phone Number:
1. Cease (6) 4. Polite (5) 8. Small glass vessel (5) 10/12/23/14/25/30. "Always toward absent lovers, love's tide stronger flows" (7, 5, 3, 5, 4, 6) 11. Name meaning "clear" in French (5) 12. See 10 13. Test (4) 14. See 10 16. The First ____, Christmas carol (4) 18. Japanese martial art (4) 19. Audible art form (5) 21. Language spoken by an African tribe of the same name (4) 22. Mapbook (5) 26. Japanese rice-based dish (5) 27. Liberate (7) 28. Lukewarm (5)
29. John _____, American actor with a distinctive walk (5) 30. See 10
1. Chemical made in the brain (8) 2. Expensive looking; oil spill (5) 3. Onomatopoeic word (6) 4. Coffin (6) 5. Island nation in the South Pacific (7) 6. Welsh national emblem (4) 7. Region of the North Atlantic containing lots of seaweed (8, 3) 9. Type of beer (3) 15. Think about (8) 17. Without difference (7) 19. Change (6) 20. Dictator; actors (anag.) (6) 23. See 10 Across 24. Molecule such as cholesterol (5) 25. See 10 Across
After a difficult 2011 in which Wiggins crashed out of the Tour de France with a broken collarbone, the versatile cyclist and 2012 medal hope made history last week by becoming only the second British rider to win the Paris-Nice time-trial race.
Rock On Ruby
In one of the most impressive wins of the festival, 11/1 shot Rock On Ruby gave champion trainer Paul Nicholls his first ever win in the Champion Hurdle. The winner received a fine ride from Noel Fehily to pull clear from Overturn and hot favourite Hurricane Fly.
Running -Thursday 6-7pm (track) - Saturday 10am (park)
University of Birmingham Triathlon
The flanker scored a superb solo try for England who put their World Cup demons firmly to rest with a 24-22 victory over France, as they continued their steady improvement under Stuart Lancaster.
Swimming - Tuesday 7-8.30pm - Saturday 5-7pm
This week's prize is a ÂŁ5 Waterstones Gift Voucher
Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword into the Redbrick office.
YouTube search: Dejan Savicevic v Barcelona Milan 4-0 Barcelona? Surely not? This was how it went in the 1994 Champions League final. Fabio Capello's Milan were dominant, and Dejan Savicevic scored the pick of the goals with a wonderfully timed volley from the corner of the penalty area.
Club President: Nick Smith
Wolves are heading towards relegation and morale appears to be at an all time low. Expect Manchester United, featuring in-form Wayne Rooney, to inflict further damage on them, and to beat them by at least four goals.
Club in Focus... Triathlon
Great Britain came back from the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul with a record haul of 11 medals. The highlight was an unprecedented gold in the 4x400m. The team of Shana Cox, Nicola Sanders, Christine Ohuruogu and Perri Shakes-Drayton edged out the USA in a thrilling finish.
The linesman during Fulham's 2-1 defeat of QPR last weekend dropped a clanger. Clint Hill's header at 0-0 was way over the line, yet the man with the best view didn't give the goal. Pollock will no doubt be hoping QPR aren't relegated by a single point at the end of the season.
1_2_3_==4_5_6 _=_=_=7=_=_=_ 8__9_=0______ _=a____=_=_=_ b____=_=c___= _===d____=_=e f_g_==_==h___ _=_=i___j===_ =k___=_=lmn__ o=_=_=p____=_ q______=r____ _=_=_=_=_=_=_ s____==t_____
16th March 2012 redbrickpaper.co.uk
Women's Rugby Union The women's rugby firsts today played rivals Loughborough, who sat just three points below them in the Premier North division. Alexander Blanchard reports on page 26
Farnworth's four fires Brum into cup final Men's Football
Conference Cup SF
Felix Keith Sport Reporter
Birmingham's team, in second place in Midlands 3A, play a cup semi final against Staffordshire, who are in the fourth division
A brilliant second half display ensured that two goalkeeping errors wouldn't deny Birmingham men's 2nds a route to the conference final, as they deservedly ran out 5-2 winners against Staffordshire 2nds. Four goals in 20 minutes from Adam Farnworth completed a score line that was more reflective of gulf in class between the two sides. The first half was a cagey affair in which free-kicks provided most of the opportunities to attack. David Heaton came close with a dipping effort and a nicely worked short corner as the pressure grew. On 26 minutes Birmingham deservedly took the lead with an excellent counter attack. The ball was easily cleared from a free kick down the right channel and Michael Roche showed great determination to reach it before sliding it in for Neil Grant to poke past the on-rushing keeper. A minute later however the away side equalised when again from a free-kick goalkeeper James Sherry came way off his line and got nowhere near the ball, allowing Daryl Charman to head over him. The first half continued in a scrappy fashion, with both teams relying on long balls. The second period would prove to be a much better spectacle
for the now populous home crowd however as Brum came out of the blocks quickly. Within five minutes of the restart a ball inside the right-back was reached by winger Josh Furnace who got to the byline and put it on a plate for Farnworth arriving at the back post. Again however the hosts contrived to throw it away as two minutes later Sherry unnecessarily brought down an opposition player going away from goal; the penalty was confidently put away, again drawing the away team level. The home team never looked like giving it away from here on as Farnworth took control; first converting a penalty after the keeper clipped Roche then scoring a brilliant chip a few minutes later, latching on to a perfectly weighted through ball to complete his hattrick. He wasn't finished there though. Only a few minutes later Roche got to the left by-line and crossed for Farnworth at the near post who volleyed in it with aplomb. The away side's high line of defence was being exploited time and time again, and Birmingham could have scored more as they ran rampant in the final 20 minutes. There was still time, however, for two sending offs as first opposition player Andreas saw red and then substitute Greg Stewart completed a short stay with a needless high foot, but this did little to sour the great second half display from the home side. Coach Mathew Rodney was very pleased with his team's performance saying that training hard was the key, 'we scored some quality goals which were undermined by a couple of silly mistakes at the back.' This win sees Birmingham into the final to face either Loughborough 3rds or De Montfort 1sts, with every chance of winning the trophy.
On the hunt Birmingham's swimming team took the plunge in Sheffield and started two weeks of BUCS Championship finals. Find out how they did on page 25
Birmingham scored four goals in a crucial 20 minute spell
2012 Olympics special Inside Redbrick on Friday April 27th