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EST. 1936

Redbrick Friday 27th April 2012 | Volume 76 | Issue 1412 |

To flashpack or to backpack? Redbrick Travel offer inspirations on how best to spend your summer, p.22 and 23

School of Nursing and Physiotherapy at risk Kerrina Gray News Editor

Students have expressed concern to Redbrick about the uncertain future of their degrees in Nursing and Physiotherapy. A review of Nursing and Physiotherapy has taken place over the last year, and now students have been informed that all possible options for the future of the course will be considered at an appraisal. Students have been sent a number of emails concerning the fate of their course and were invited to attend a meeting this Tuesday in order for the University to set the record straight. Furthermore an article has appeared in the Nursing Standard about the

University of Birmingham with the headline 'Nursing school under threat after reduction in SHA commissions'. Students are confused and

It's a massive shock and seems to have happened really fast. I am worried for the future.

worried about the implications of the changes for their course and one student has written a letter to Steve McCabe, MP for Selly Oak requesting support and help. Second year nursing student Ruth Parkes said, 'It's a massive shock and seems to have happened really fast. I am worried for the future. Some of my favourite lecturers have left and I will be really upset if the course finishes as it is well respected in Birmingham and it will not only have an impact on students and lecturers but Birmingham's healthcare as well.' A University spokesperson has said, 'Nursing and Physiotherapy (N&P) within the School of Health and Population Sciences is currently undergoing an options appraisal on its future

52 Pritchatts Road which houses the School of Nursing and Physiotherapy

configuration where all possible options will be considered. 'The appraisal of all the possible options for N&P will be undertaken inclusively and transparently, involving staff and students. The University will also ensure all relevant external stakeholders, including local NHS partners, are communicated with regularly throughout the process. 'During this process we are continuing to make offers to applicants to the Nursing and Physiotherapy undergraduate programmes for entry in September 2012. While there may be some changes to these programmes, we can confirm that, subject to successful completion of the course, all current and new students will be eligible to be awarded the University of

Birmingham degree that they applied to study.' The outcome of the review is due in June this year, however student applications to start the course in 2012/13 are still being accepted. Professor John Heath, Pro Vice Chancellor (Estates and Infrastructure), told Redbrick, 'The Nursing and Physiotherapy Options Appraisal Group (OAG) has recommended, and University Executive Board endorsed, that all students currently on course, or in receipt of an offer for 2012, will graduate with the University of Birmingham Degree they enrolled for. 'The OAG, in addition, is not considering the transfer of Nursing and Physiotherapy education to another HE provider.'

Freddie Herzog


News feed

Redbrick Editorial Editor Glen Moutrie Editor Elect Raphael Sheridan Deputy Editors Victoria Bull James Phillips Owen Earwicker Lexie Wilson Digital Editor Chris Hutchinson Art Director Alexander Blanchard Multimedia Editors Rian Lennon Owen Earwicker Photography Editors Freddie Herzog Anna Kirk News Editors Kerrina Gray Rhiannon DoyleMaw Patrick McGhee Freddie Herzog (Online)


27th April 2012

Food Editors Izzy Gibbin Sophia Attwood Josh Oxley (Online) Life&Style Editors Sophie Cowling Lucy Whife Megan Nisbet Megan Jones (Online) Travel Editors Emily Booth Chloe Osborne Will Spence (Online) Technology Editors Ruth Bradley Sam Atkins Andrew Spencer Dan Lesser (Online) Sport Editors Sam Price Raphael Sheridan Joel Lamy (Online)

News Shorts compiled by Ryan Jones




Search continues for Madeleine McCann

Woman dies in London Marathon

Anders Breivik denies insanity

Police have released age enhanced images of Madeleine. Scotland Yard is calling for the investigation to be reopened after suggestions she may still be alive, although the team is following an equal line of inquiry that she has died.

37,500 participants took part in the 32nd London Marathon on Sunday. One marathon runner, Claire Squires, sadly passed away; donations to her online site have now surpassed £648,000. She is the 11th participant to die since 1981.

Breivik has claimed that psychiatric reports that branded him 'insane' were based on 'evil fabrications' intended to make him appear irrational and unintelligent. Breivik showed no remorse when hearing the testimonies of injuries he caused.





Protests during Bahrain Grand Prix

Double – dip recession

Church calls for student signatures

Hollande on top in French elections

The Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain took place at the weekend. Protestors in the troubled nation took to the streets in 'Days of Rage'. The race itself took place without any disturbance as Sebastian Vettel won the race.

The UK is now in the first double-dip recession since the 1970s. At 9.30am on Wednesday the UK re-entered recession after the first quarter GDP came in at -0.2%. Construction output has dropped by 3%, the greatest drop since 2009.

The Roman Catholic church has written to every statefunded Catholic secondary school in England and Wales, 385 in total, asking them to encourage pupils to sign a petition against gay marriage. See Redbrick Features page 7.

Presidential elections in France have taken place over the weekend. After the first round, the socialist Francois Hollande emerged as the leader after receiving approximately 28% of the vote. Nicolas Sarkozy only received approximately 26%.

C&F Editors Oscar French Elisha Owen James Dolton (Online)

Crossword Editor John Rizkallah

Arts Editors Lexie Wilson James Kinsey Rebekah McDermott Anna Lumsden (Online)

Editorial Assistants Ellie Jarvis Isabel Mason Sarah Musgrove Ravina Khela Ellie Smallwood




Murdochs appear at Leveson enquiry

New Boeing 787 test flight

Less than 100 days until Olympics

Online Editorial Assistants Josh Taylor Eimear Luddy

Both James and Rupert Murdoch have been giving evidence this week at the Leveson enquiry. After James Murdoch's evidence, there was significant pressure upon the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, over his dealings with News Corp.

The revolutionary new Boeing 787 Dreamliner made a test flight from Manchester Airport on Tuesday. The plane is made up of composite materials and is said to use 20% less fuel. Over 10,000 people went to the airport to see the new plane.

It was announced last week that the motto for the London games will be “inspire a generation”. The 100-day countdown was marked by the unveiling of the Olympics rings in flowers at Kew Gardens. See The Lion for more on the Olympics.





Sydney shootings spark outcry

Reality star accused of drug use

Experts express mosquito fears

The shuttle Discovery retires

The shooting of two Aboriginal teenagers by police in Sydney in the early hours of Saturday morning has sparked widespread calls for an independent inquiry after activists have publicly accused the institution of racism.

Twenty-three year old Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews has been accused of snorting cocaine at the show's after party. The accusation comes in the same week that the E4 show was been nominated for a Bafta Award.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito could bring tropical diseases to the UK. Causing outbreaks of infection, the insect has spread into Europe, and breeds in water-filled tree holes. Experts believe it can withstand Europe's milder winters.

The shuttle Discovery was transferred to its retirement home in a museum last week. Its final journey was televised and involved a dramatic flypast the capital Washington. The shuttle was the world's most travelled space ship.




Music Editors Tamara Roper Jonathon Milnes Josh Holder (Online) Television Editors Charlotte Lytton Russell Webb Charlotte Goodwin Abigail Salter (Online) Film Editors Natasha Lavender Aisha Bushby Josh Taylor (Online)

Senior Editorial Assistant Kate Selvaratnam

Junior Art Directors Lauren Wheatley Sophie Rogers Akhil Kothari Proofreaders Sian Stanfield Owen Earwicker James Phillips Victoria Bull James Dolton 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 Redbrick is printed through 300667.

Claims over Shake- Cannes judging panel announced speare co-author 08451

Advertising: Contact Lakhvinder Sira in Guild Marketing on 0121 251 2524

Academics are arguing that William Shakespeare had a cowriter for All's Well That Ends Well. Professor Laurie Maguire and Dr Emma Smith from Oxford University discovered the writing style of Thomas Middleton in the First Folio.

The jurors for this year's Cannes Film Festival panel have been announced this week. The panel, whose job it is to award the prestigious Palme D'Or, includes actors Ewan McGregor and Diane Kruger, and director Alexander Payne.

Mein Kampf to be published Mein Kampf will be published in Germany for the first time since 1945. Adolf Hitler's autobiography, previously banned throughout Germany, will be available in 2015. It will be annotated and made available in audio and e-book formats.

Student Guide to Selly Oak pubs Gun Barrels

Pint of Lager


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News 3

27th April 2012


Soft Drink


Glass of White Wine


The Goose

Pint of Lager


Soft Drink


Glass of White Wine

£1.55 Urban Village Pint of Lager


The Soak

Pint of Lager

Soft Drink


Glass of White Wine


£1.00 £1.50

e n , d t s g

Soft Drink Glass of White Wine


Indie Lounge

Pint of Lager


Soft Drink


Glass of White Wine


Bristol Pear

Pint of Lager


Soft Drink


Glass of White Wine


Redbrick have investigated the drinks prices in six pubs and bars throughout Selly Oak concentrating on the Bristol Road. (Promotional discounts excluded.) More data on other drinks is available online at including an interactive map of Selly Oak

Hello, Goodbye Raphael Sheridan Editor-elect

The Beatles will forever be the world’s greatest band, yet for a short time in 1965 they were finished, boring, over. The reason? They’d stagnated, after playing it safe with five albums that were, by and large, the same. Having been the quintessential pop/rock band of the early 60s, they had failed to spot the shift in attitude towards music. The result was Help!, an admittedly brilliant album, but one ‘pop’ album too many for the musically diverse 1960s. In the United States, Herman’s Hermits (of all bands) became the best that Britain had to offer, and in the UK The Rolling Stones were bigger and braver in their music, their words and their presence. But The Beatles’ genius lay in their reaction to this. Having initially panicked and with the dream now almost certainly over, they decided to reinvent and, in December 1965, produced one of the 20th century’s great albums: Rubber Soul. It was bold, brave and used Dylan-esque stories throughout. In short, it was the first album that was a complete whole. The Beatles emerged kicking and screaming with their new found creativity, and the experimentation of the ‘Fab Four’ created whole genres of music never heard before. Over the Atlantic, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys heard the album and emerged with a reply: Pet Sounds, a modern American masterpiece. It didn’t stop there. The Beatles kept on experimenting (with a healthy supply of drugs), and repeatedly emerged with not just great - but exceptional - albums despite barely functioning as a single, agreeable unit. Even the White Album, a weird cacophony of sounds mashed together amidst arguments and infighting, deserves every scrap of praise it receives. Abbey Road, recorded in the summer of ’69 when the band knew their time was over, is a personal favourite. Fast-forward to 2012: we’re in a world where print has seemingly stagnated and newspapers are rapidly going out of fashion. The revolution happening this decade with news is, albeit very loosely, what happened with music in the 1960s and newspapers look lost in an increasingly digitised, fastmoving and interconnected world. But like the 1960s, the only longterm remedy is originality and experimentation. Every paper should look like a work of art; a consistent theme should run through it; and front pages should become creative statements. Sgt Pepper’s front cover is one of the most expensive ever produced, but even today it remains a bold statement to its potential listeners: just look at it and you know what to expect before you hear the opening riff. Sure enough, each of the tracks on the album belong together and relate to each other, and it’s unsurprising that the mythical Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band open and close the show. There’s a symmetry and rhythm at work, and there’s no reason why newspapers can’t follow this example. It takes a lot of bravery, but next year if we in the student media experiment, use our creativity, accept the risk of failure and succeed more often than not, then the one word we shouldn’t need is Help!

4 News

27th April 2012


LIBRARY FACEBOOK POLL Redbrick asked on its main Facebook page: 'Will you use the 24 hour opening times at the main library this fortnight?' A total of 82 people voted.









Guild room changed to job agency in reallocation Freddie Herzog Online News Editor

Student groups are likely to lose the only bookable ground-floor room in the Guild of Students if a room reallocation goes ahead. The University and the Guild want to set up an on-campus job agency to centralise all university jobs in one place. However, as the existing Job Zone in the Guild is too small for extra staff members to be accommodated in, it is likely that the Harvey Milk room will be used for the new job centre, as it is close to the membership area and of an appropriate size. The Harvey Milk room is currently used by a diverse range of societies and groups including Watch This, the Tea Society and BUSAG (Birmingham University Scouts And Guides). Steph Green, the President of Watch This (one of the Guild's drama societies) said, 'Room bookings between drama societies especially are fierce. The Harvey Milk room became synonymous with our 'improv sessions' every week last term, it's a great space for big workshops.

It will be a shame to lose it, but we support the VPAD to make the best decision for societies.' The announcement about the possible loss of the room was sent in an email to all student groups in the holidays, by Fliss Cross (VicePresident for Activities and Development). Cross said in her email, 'The trend of SU job shops across the country is that many are being absorbed by the uni or struggling to continue due to the recession. Due

The Harvey Milk room being used by a society

Another Tesco to be built in Selly Oak Owen Earwicker Multimedia Editor

A new Tesco Express will be opening opposite Aldi. Its situation will hope to capitalise on diverting the significant numbers of students shopping in the budget store. However questions are raised of its need in the area. The store will be opening approximately 300 metres from the nearest Tesco Express, situated on the Bristol Road/A38 junction outside South Gate. This close proximity has led some students to ask why the store is opening in the first place. On facebook, Redbrick News asked 'Does Selly Oak need another Tesco store?' 56 people answered no and 13 answered yes. Amy Fitzpatrick (@AimlessAmy) tweeted in response to the news 'that could not be more ri-

The existing Tesco in Selly Oak

to this, there are fears that if we do not get the on campus job agency in the Guild then the Job Zone may have a limited lifespan in which the Guild gets to dictate the terms and conditions of which jobs are advertised.' In exchange for the loss of the Harvey Milk room, groups will be guaranteed the space currently occupied by Fresh Asia, the Asian supermarket in the basement of the Guild, because they have surrendered their lease and cleared out of

diculous. There is already a Sainsburys nearby, an Aldi, and oh yeah! Another Tesco express!!' Students will now face considerable choice along Bristol Road. Fears have been raised that saturation will force local businesses to go bust. Emily Behen (@ emilybehan) tweeted, 'Boycott it. Otherwise it may well put the local shops up that end out of business. We owe the area more than that.' However there has been some positive response to the announcement. Sarah Musgrove (@sarahvmusgrove) 'The other shops in that area are incredibly overpriced! Tescos, woop woop!' The store will bring more jobs to Bristol Road, but the question of whether this balances out the potential saturation of supermarkets in the area remains to be answered.

Freddie Herzog

the space. Cross told Redbrick, 'By having the Job Agency and the Job Zone in a centralised space it will become a fantastic hub for students to find part time work whilst studying at the University. As stated in my original email, parts of which have been quoted, I was unable to consult student groups earlier because the offer for the Harvey Milk room was not confirmed to me until this point. When I first heard of this possible offer a few weeks prior

Freddie Herzog

to my email I was aware that negotiation with the University was still on-going, which meant that I was unable to consult students at any other stage.' The University have already started recruiting for the new agency and as part of the agreement with the Guild, if the agency cannot be set up in over the summer at the latest, then it will be set up in competition to the existing Job Zone. A director in the Guild told Redbrick that as of Thursday this week, the space previously occupied by Fresh Asia will be available for student groups to book on the Guild's booking system. Owen Earwicker, President of the Tea society said, 'The Tea Society relies on the Harvey Milk Room because of its water supply. It is deeply regrettable that this decision was made without any consultation. We will be able to continue, but not in the way most beneficial for our members. I just wish that student groups had been properly consulted and involved in the decision-making process from the beginning. We feel let down.'

Significant breakthrough in cancer treatment made at UoB Rhian Lubin Reporter

The University of Birmingham and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has made a significant breakthrough regarding treatment of patients who suffer from bladder cancer. The study, co-led by Professor Nick James, Professor Of Clinical Oncology of the school of Cancer Sciences, has found that adding radiotherapy to chemotherapy can nearly halve the chances of the cancer relapsing at a later stage. Professor Nick James of the University of Birmingham, coleader of the study, commented that, 'Removing the bladder is still one of the most effective treatments for invasive cancer that has spread into the muscle of the bladder. But in practice we know many patients are too frail for such radical surgery.' 'The alternative is to give radiotherapy, but around a third of these patients will go on to relapse with invasive disease and will need their bladder removed anyway. So these results really provide a lifeline for those too old or weak for surgery and mean that, in future, fewer patients will need their bladder removed.' One of the major causes of the cancer is smoking due to the chemicals present in cigarette smoke Even though it can take many years to develop bladder cancer, once the

chemicals are in the blood stream they are then infiltrated into the bladder, which filters urine. The chemicals from smoking damage the cells that line the bladder. Early bladder cancer is when the disease has spread only to the inner lining of the bladder, whereas invasive bladder cancer spreads into the deeper walls of the bladder. Bladder cancer is most commonly found in people over 40 and in males. The research provided by the University means that removing the bladder from the patient is no longer necessary in every case. Removing the bladder can have

severe health consequences, particularly for weak and frail patients who cannot undergo surgery. In the study, 360 patients were tested and 46% of those patients who had radiotherapy alone relapsed within two years, whereas patients who had radiotherapy and chemotherapy combined, the relapse rate was at a lower 33%. Although there was still evidence of the cancer relapsing after the treatment, the percentages still demonstrate a decline. This research features on the main page of the University website, where more information can be found.

The University's Cancer Research building

Freddie Herzog

News 5

27th April 2012


NUS National conference elects new NEC that declared support for Pete Mercer. Liam Burns was re-elected to Current Vice President for Educathe position of NUS President with tion Edd Bauer has come third in 57% of the vote in the final round of an election for the position of Vice counting. Once re-elected, Burns President for Welfare on the NUS said, 'I am delighted students have National Executive Committee, put their trust in me and re-elected losing out to Pete Mercer, who has me to serve a second term as NUS held the position for the current President.' He added, 'With the academic year. government's abandonment of the Pete Mercer came first in proposed higher eduthe contest, which took place on cation bill, scrapWednesday at the NUS National ping of EMA, and Conference in Sheffield, in the presiding over first round of voting, and was record youth duly re-elected to the position for unemployment, 2012/13. Mercer was re-elected so many of their with 388 votes, while Sean Rillowrong-headed reRazka came in second with 145 forms are taking votes. Bauer received 78 votes. place behind the Mercer stated in his manifesscenes and to, 'A year ago I stood on we will a platform and promised continue to give the welfare zone to vigorteeth. This year, I've ously worked to give a firm contest direction for welfare, them based on the needs of out in our students.' t h e Zuki Majuqwana open.' was photographed The VPHC sporting Mercer t-shirt at the conference NUS National Conference Live Stream wearing a t-shirt Patrick McGhee News Editor

Rachel Wenstone was elected to the position of NUS Vice President Higher Education in the final round of voting. Commenting on her win, Wenstone said, 'I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me over the last four or five months. I cannot wait to work with some of the most incredible officers I have met, and to get the campaign going.' The NUS has also confirmed that Dannie Grufferty was reelected as Vice President Society and Citizenship for 2012/13 after beating her opponent Jamie Woodcock. Guild President Mark Harrop has attended the conference, along with VP for Welfare Luke Reynolds, VP for Housing and Community Zuki Majuqwana, VP for Democracy and Resources Hugo Sumner, VP for Education Edd Bauer and VPE-elect Simon Furse. NUS delegates Anisa Ather and Shabaana Kidy also attended. The conference has been streamed live on the NUS Connect website, which states that the conference 'sets policy for the year ahead in each of the 5 zones and elects the President, Vice Presidents and Block of 15 representatives on the

National Executive Council. It is also where the budget for the year ahead is decided through the Annual General Meeting (AGM).'

The NUS winners President: Liam Burns VP Welfare: Pete Mercer VP Society and Citizenship: Dannie Grufferty VP Higher Education: Rachel Wenstone VP Further Education: Toni Pearce VP Union Development: Vicki Baars

VPE faces Trustee no confidence vote Patrick McGhee News Editor

The Guild has confirmed in an online statement that the Vice President for Education (VPE) Edd Bauer has been the subject of a vote of no confidence in his position on the Board of Trustees. The Guild was responding to an announcement Bauer made on his blog, where he also published a confidential letter sent from the Guild informing him of the vote. In the statement, the Guild President along with the VPAD and VPDR, apologised for some of the content of the letter, which suggested that Bauer could face a vote of no confidence in his position as VPE in addition to his Trustee role. The Facebook statement said, 'Due to an admin error, the letter that has been sent to the VPE states that two votes of no confidence will take place at the meeting the VPE has been invited to. This is an incorrect portrayal of the meeting and the only vote to take place will be that in the Trusteeship of the VPE on the Board of Trustees in light of recent events.' The statement added, 'Unfortunately, there was further error in the letter. The issue of the removal of the VPE from University committees was brought to the meeting for consideration but decided not to bring forward as the student and sabbatical trustees felt that more information was needed. We would also like to apologise for this inclusion in the letter and can confirm that this will not be brought against the VPE.' The statement said that the Guild would investigate the admin error. Writing on his blog in reaction to the letter, Bauer said that the Guild of Students had 'called an emergency meeting of the Trustee Board for April 21st to vote on my removal.' He described the move as 'a raw coup not just against me, but against all those in favour of a Guild truly being run by and for students', adding, 'This follows

the University expelling me from all committees, which along with my open letter to Vice Chancellor are amongst the reasons the Guild seek to remove me for.' Bauer went on to say, 'I will not concede to any demands for secrecy. I am making all the allegations against me public so that those I truly work for, the student body, can decide for themselves whether I should be removed from office.' In a later post, Bauer requested that the Trustee Board 'defer this matter to Guild Council or referendum for students to vote on.' He also encouraged Guild Council to hold a vote of no confidence in him, stating: 'By the Guild's own bye laws it usually requires 25 guild councillors to request a vote of no confidence at guild council.' 'However, I am aware that the trustees are not able to find 25 guild councillors to support a motion on the grounds of ridiculous & flawed charges against me. As such I also request that the Chair of Guild Council allows a vote of no confidence in me at the next Guild Council, despite the lack of democratic support so this matter can be settled democratically once and for all.' Earlier this month, Bauer posted a blog statement in which he said that the University was expelling him from his university committee positions pending a disciplinary hearing. Bauer described his expulsion as 'without any due process' and 'entirely without any legal grounding other than the say so of the University.' In the same post, Bauer revealed an open letter to the Vice Chancellor David Eastwood, in which he said, 'You don't treat the student body seriously, you choose to ignore and shut down any voices critical of your policies, not just from your own ears but from the ears of any committee that could set a different direction.' Bauer also accused the Vice Chancellor of seeking to 'avoid any engagement' with him, adding, 'You have decided not to

engage critically with the plurality of opinions on your campus, instead you have chosen to only listen to the portion student opinion that concurs with your own.' Responding to Bauer's comments, a spokesperson from the University told Redbrick, 'The University of Birmingham very much values student engagement and representation. We have a very high level of student representation on our committees and working groups, including University Council, (the most senior decision making body within the University) and the Senate which has responsibility for all academic matters and on which in addition to the Sabbatical Officer there are five student representatives.' The spokesperson added, 'The University is unable to comment on this particular case. However where investigations are ongoing and after careful and considered deliberation the University reserves the right to temporarily suspend any committee member pending the outcome of those investigations. If for any reason a student is unable to fulfil their committee duties we will always ask the Sabbatical Officer Team to nominate an alternative student representative to attend in their

place.' Bauer was ejected from the Bullring shopping centre late last month, along with current VPEelect Simon Furse, after attempting to occupy a Vodafone store. He was also recently found not guilty of causing traffic to road users after unfurling a banner at a protest at the Liberal Democrat party conference last year. Because of this, he was suspended from his role as VPE for three months while he was the subject of a Guild investigation. The Sabbatical Officer team have said, 'The Sabbatical Officer Team were highly concerned at the unprecedented decision of the University to suspend the VPE from University Committees. We then followed this up with a meeting with the University to discuss this, which the VPE chose to illegally record.' 'This was then brought to the attention to the University as the meeting proceeded. The Sabbatical Officer Team were extremely disappointed about this behaviour as the breach of trust has reinforced the University's stance against the VPE and undermined our attempts to revert the decision.'

Failure of the week: KONY 'Cover the Night' Rhian Lubin Reporter

The 'Cover the Night' event on behalf of US charity 'Invisible Children' failed to produce a large number of posters at the University of Birmingham and the city centre on Friday night. The 'Kony 2012' campaign video was launched on YouTube earlier in March this year and reached 100,000,000 hits within six days. However, almost a month later, campus was silent at 9pm with no sign that there had been any attempt to cover the old redbrick buildings in Kony 2012 propaganda. A Facebook group had been set up after the launch of the video, 'Kony 2012 – Cover UoB', which contained 538 members, yet the last post on the group is dated the 16th March and is a link to an article about the controversy of Invisible Children's co-founder masturbating in public in Los Angeles. Many of the other posts on the page display negativity and scepticism towards the cause itself. Birmingham city centre was also fairly quiet at around 9.30pm, and there was no sign whatsoever of people meeting to cover the city. There were many different Facebook event pages dedicated to organising cover the night on the 20th April, all with very vague information on where to meet and what resources to bring. The morning after 'Cover the Night', the #KONY2012 trending on Twitter was predominantly people questioning whether any posters had gone up, or slating the campaign on its failure. The campaign seemed to lose its momentum once it was met with widespread scepticism.

Freddie Herzog

Comment Raphael Sheridan Sport Editor

Bauer in his office

Freddie Herzog

Social networks might appear to have the power to instill mass movements: look no further than the Arab Spring which had a strong Facebook presence in north Africa in early 2011, but it remains a new phenomenon. The Invisible Children charity has learnt an important lesson: the size and strength of a first wave doesn't necessarily mean that follow-up attempts will be as successful. Such stories, in this new media, are still 'events' rather than 'campaigns'.


27th April 2012

Comment & Features


The Undateables: A producer's playground Rebekah McDermott Arts Editor

There is something quite fascinating about watching a person search for love. Especially if they have lost their aesthetically pleasing peak, have forgotten or never known how to make decent conversation or are disabled. Channel 4 have realised this and exploited it. The Undateables is a three part documentary aired by Channel 4. Nine 'individuals' with 'challenging conditions' have been chosen and these people hope, through being

part of this programme, that they will fall in love. Not one of them is in it for a why-not date, a fling or a free meal. They have given consent to reveal their bodies and minds to the nation in a desperate endeavour; this is a trade-off. Channel 4's agenda was not to 'produce a programme where people who want to find love, are helped to find love'. Instead, as Channel 4 states, it 'explores the realities of looking for love in an image-obsessed world'; there is a conflict of interest. The participants are given a third of a forty five minute programme that's fifteen on-screen minutes

of trying to find a soul mate. They are given one, or at the most, two dates. The purpose appears to be to produce a documentary which will shock, regardless of whether that shock is combined with mocking awe, disgust or pity. Shaine, a 31 year old poet with a learning disability, says 'I love you' to a woman, through text, days after he first meets her and describes his feelings towards her as 'magical'. The woman, who also has a learning difficulty, seems indifferent towards Shaine, stating that he is a 'nice man'. Shaine honestly believes that

Views from the internet Guardian: 'The Advertising Standards Authority received 21 complaints that the ads were offensive towards disabled people, implying that they were "inevitably dateless and incapable of having a personal relationship".' The Independent: '...they are part of pseudo-social experiments, the guinea pigs for improving ratings.' The Telegraph: 'We’re all nervous on first dates, terrified about saying the wrong thing, agonised over our bodies. Yet there’s something uncomfortable in treating the experiences of the disabled as exaggerated versions of an able-bodied person’s inner turmoil.' Channel 4: 'The title is a reflection of society’s own percepTweet us your tions and intended to challenge stereotypes and encourage thoughts debate.' @RedbrickFeature

the date has gone well and is heartbroken when she just wants to be friends. The producers have created a situation in which Shaine will be emotionally hurt in order to entertain. His endeavours, by being presented as normal, are simply mocked. No one tells him that the woman in the DIY store smiling at him probably isn't a 'come and get me' smile or that telling someone he loves them before he knows them might not lead to the kind of romance he has spent his whole life hoping for. His abnormal behaviour is exploited and the whole escapade is cruel. Shaine does not realise that by going on national television people will pity him. If the title The Undateables was supposed to be posed as an optimistic, kind and revolutionary question then it has failed. Sympathy is publicised in a pitying, superior manner – the programme's narrator comments, 'Justin has never had a girlfriend' and 'Sam has never even kissed a girl', in a tone comparable to that of somebody talking to a child. Justin has neurofibromatosis type 1; his face is distorted with tumours. He says he would like someone 'to have a chinwag with, someone to go out with at the weekend'. Justin is not delusional; yet his loneliness is quite clearly preyed upon in order to create low quality entertainment. Again, he is pitied, not understood. Channel 4 has been clever. Five of the nine 'undateables' have physical impairments; four

of the nine do not. The producers have masked the difference between those who are physically disabled and those who are mentally disabled. Mental disability, such as having a learning difficulty or Asperger's Syndrome, impairs both judgement and social awareness. They are therefore at a much higher risk of being taken advantage of. Because they are included within the filming of people who have a physical disability, and who know exactly what they are doing, the judgement is subconsciously made that they do too. It perhaps even suggests that it is their own fault that they are 'undateable' because of the way that they interact with their dates. This type of media entertainment contributes nothing valuable, if anything, it fuels negative perceptions towards those, within society, who do not conform. What is alarming is that one of our leading television channels successfully managed to air this programme and tried to positively advertise it. Regardless of whether these 'undateables' managed to become 'dateable' or not, they should not have had to participate in a television show in order to do so; the fact that they thought they had to raises questions about how these individuals with disabilities have been treated prior choosing to be on national television. Once again, our media world is sadly put to shame. The Undateables, in my opinion, is no better than a televised Victorian freak show.

27th April 2012


Comment & Features 7

Disaster Tourism The Titanic's Centennial Celebrations

Caroline Mortimer Commentator

When people talk about the purpose of studying and commemorating the past, the conclusion is to honour the victims of previous mistakes. Accordingly the centennial Titanic celebrations concluded with several commemorative efforts, from a ship's whistle sounding in the North Atlantic, to commemorate the precise place where the ship struck the iceberg, to plaques and memorial wreaths thrown overboard. The sinking of the Titanic was one of the most deadly peacetime disasters in history, killing around 1500 people. After striking the iceberg it took approximately two and a half hours to sink and due to the alleged poor management of the ship's Captain many people,

a lot of them in second and third class, missed the lifeboats. Such a horrendous tragedy on this scale deserves a certain level of commemoration, however is the level of attention it has received due to a public will to remember the people who die in tragic circumstances that don't involve wars, or because James Cameron made a movie about it fifteen years ago? As a History student I'm all for commemorating it, reliving it and getting the general public involved with it, but I object to using the tragedy as an excuse for disaster tourism. Giving that there was a noticeable amount of people on Twitter remarking 'I didn't know the Titanic was real, I thought it was a film', the Titanic Real Time Twitter account run by the History Press is a distasteful example of the way people can view the past as a remote spectator sport, rather

than something that really happened to real people. The disconnection between the past and present allows people to take a voyeuristic look at the final hours of thousands of people, without having to acknowledge the terror and pain they must have gone through. Time is too often used as an excuse to dehumanise past figures into merely names on a passenger list. The point of a Real Time Account is to make the user feel like they are there. But why would you want to be there? Trapped inside a hunk of metal in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and spending the last two hours of your life knowing that you're going to die slowly and painfully? Given that it is likely your body will never be found wouldn't you want some peace in the knowledge that your memory will respected,

'The disconnection between past and present allows people to take a voyeuristic look at the final hours of thousands' not poked and prodded for entertainment value? They say that the past is another country but in the same year as the Costa Concordia disaster in which there were thirty two deaths, it seems surprising that people do not recognise that the people who died were the same as the rest of us and deserve the same amount of respect. What if someone had created a real time account for Costa Concordia? Would people have joined in and retweeted it or

condemn it for its poor taste? The fact that 100 years separates these two events does not mean that the people involved in Titanic do not deserve as much dignity in death. The reason people do not value History is because they see its figures as remote historical actors that have nothing to do with the modern era. By recognising that our ancestors had the same worries and emotions as us will help us to see the past as more than just a distant entity.

'Upgrade' to Marriage Rachel Moriarty Commentator

With government plans to make civil marriage available to samesex couples in England and Wales, we can see a step in the right direction towards inclusion and equality of rights. Same sex couples that are already in civil partnerships will even be able to 'upgrade' to the status of civil marriage. But why is one institution seen as an upgrade of the other? Both forms of union between two people are legally recognised by the state and give couples the same rights and responsibilities, and yet the state itself deems marriage to be somehow superior. Since the difference is not in the legalities, the elevated status of marriage must come from social ideology. Despite the fact that marriage has been around for longer than Christianity, discourse regarding marriage in this country has held religious connotations until fairly recently. Although the state recognises religious marriage and civil marriage as being separate institutions they have the same legal value, and the terminology of the latter means that it retains these connotations, implying a certain idealistic regard for marriage. Indeed, Cameron has never kept his views on the importance of marriage and family a secret, but in

an increasingly secular society we must question why marriage remains the social ideal. Why do we see something that is associated with religion in terms of its discourse as being more legitimate than a separate, though still staterecognised, union, even if we do not value religion in itself? Marriage as an explicitly religious union has also remained an ideal for many. None of us are strangers to the idea of non-religious couples undergoing the necessary procedures in order to get married in a church, such as attending mass for a given amount of time. We only have to watch Don't Tell the Bride to see that church weddings seem to have widespread idealistic appeal. Is it because getting married in a church is traditional or romantic (what could be more romantic than pretending to have different beliefs so that you can emerge from the church in wedded bliss to 'Guide me O thou great redeemer')? Or do the prevailing ideas of legitimacy with regards to marriage remain with religious union? Whilst the government continues to insist that any new legislation will not affect religious marriages, which will remain a separate institution, we cannot help but wonder what prompted a move towards inclusive marriage, rather than another form of inclusive civil union. If the government

For more on gay rights head over to

opted for one form of state-recognised union available to all, which dropped the 'marriage' label, they could legitimise an inclusive institution, which is not in any way associated with or seen to endorse an institution that excludes certain groups of people. It may seem insignificant to simply change the terminology of civil unions, and doubtless religious leaders might still raise issue with any form of matrimony between same-sex couples. However, since the state is not controlled by the church, complaints about new legislation would be much easier to disregard if those that make them could no longer rely on 'thedefinition-of-marriage-is‌' type arguments, which, if nothing else, remind us that marriage is still strongly associated with religion in public consciousness. In an ideal world, homophobic outrage at same-sex marriages would not occur, but tackling the non-inclusive nature of religious denominations is a different matter – one that the government seems to want to stay away from. An inclusive state, if this is what we are aiming for, should be promoting a form of union that is inclusive in terms of its practice, its legalities and its social connotations. However, I don't think our current prime minister will willingly relinquish his hold on the value of marriage just yet.

8 Comment & Features

27th April 2012


Opinion Matrix Spare the Rich Views on the News


Tom Cooper Commentator

Return to recession It's back. As of Wednesday, the UK economy is officially in a 'doubledip' recession. In the first three months of 2012, the economy shrank by 0.2%. Blamed on a fall in the construction industry, the announcement was apparently a surprise. But the current situation for people up and down the country has not changed. 'Double-dip' means nothing to the average working Briton who has to deal with pay


Conflict with human rights F1 holding the grand prix last week in Bahrain was a fine example of the West's relationship with oil kingdoms of the southern Middle East; 'Provide us with pleasure and

freezes and VAT increases. The problem is ongoing, and has been since we were last in recession in 2009. This term is purely political. For parties to be grandstanding in the House of Commons purely shows yet again how out of touch mainstream politics is. you can tyrannise your people'. Staging a sporting event in a country where human rights protests rage and leading dissidents continue a hunger strike now lasting well over two months is the most obvious case, followed by a stream of tourists into slave-labour built hotels and an apathy for nations where people are abused under antiquated laws. As long as they dress quaintly and don't have any expansionist aspirations (other than funding terrorists such as Bin Laden, Tony Blair's idea of a 'friend of the civilised world') we're fine.

LAW Hunt becomes the hunted The Leveson inquiry took a sickening turn on Tuesday when James Murdoch's evidence suggested that culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, the man tasked with assessing the merits of the BSkyB takeover bid had acted as Murdoch had been supporting the News Corporation bid. This included passing over information to James Murdoch about his speech in parliament, an action that even a News Corp executive


Consequences of defeat The first round result of the french general election suggested Incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy will be defeated by Socialist rival Francois Hollande.

described as 'Absolutely illegal'. Hunt swears that he 'strictly followed due process' but given that the pressure on him is so hot that his special advisor has resigned, it would take a Herculean effort of weaseling and spin to worm out of this situation with job intact. Hollande has already promised to re-negotiate the fiscal pact with Germany, which ideologically binds the Euro-zone together. The prospect of another summer of negotiations in Brussels has already sparked fear into Eurozone investors. This has resulted in the Euro falling to just 80 cents to every pound; the lowest in 20 months. For the sake of the Euro's survival an accord must be achieved between these two central sates, something that will prove impossible given Hollande's attitude.

George Osborne's latest 'Omnishambles' budget was not short of controversial new policies. Indeed Labour claim the new charity cap will reduce charitable donations by up to £500 million. The laughable pasty and church taxes have also sparked concern, even from conservative backbenchers, while the 'granny tax' has been widely condemned as unfair from all corners. It is no wonder that at the latest prime minister's questions the opposition leader Ed Miliband resembled a child in a candy store, unable to decide which policy to attack first. Mr Miliband must know however that in these times of austerity, even his own government would be forced to make similarly harsh decisions in the name of deficit reduction. It was a shame therefore that the scrapping of the 50p tax was only briefly discussed as here is a question which brings out genuine ideological divides between the parties and the general public. The 50p top rate of tax was introduced by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling in April 2009 as a temporary measure during the height of the banking crisis. The policy had a dual function; to recover public money spent on bank bail outs, and for the ethical purpose of holding those millionaire bankers who were seen to have caused to crisis accountable for their greed. It has fulfilled neither of these roles, however. Tories have always hated the proposal arguing that it d i d

lasting damage to the economy since, by not sufficiently rewarding success, enterprise and entrepreneurship were discouraged. This is especially true given that the latest figures illustrate that the increase raises only a few billion pounds worth of extra revenue, much less than predicted, while potentially damaging growth. At a time when the coalition is most under pressure to deliver growth to a stuttering economy, it is understandable considering these reductions. However, this has not stopped the labour leader Ed Miliband arguing that the reduction is symptomatic of the coalition's favouritism towards the rich at the expense of the poor and elderly. But the figures simply do not bear out this accusation. Currently, according to HMRC statistics, the top earning 1% of UK individuals contribute a staggering 26.6% of all income tax revenues. Furthermore the top 10% of income earners alone pay more than 55% of all income tax. Indeed, the bottom 50% of all UK workers, contribute just a little over 10% of the money that income tax brings in for the government. Few argue that this distribution is wrong, but this surely debunks the myth that the rich are not paying their share. It is not surprising that the government prioritises the needs of the wealthy highly, considering that not only do they generate wealth and jobs we need for growth, but they are also responsible for so much of the government tax revenue. The top level of tax applies to around 274,000 people who earn over £150,000 a year. About 13,000 of these earn over 1million pounds a year. It is these people who are most affected by the 50p tax, and, as demonstrated, it is them who matter most to the British economy. The significant factor is that there is no upper tax limit, so

for those people with vast incomes an increase of 10p for every pound earned makes a massive difference to their already colossal tax bills. It is no wonder that such people would consider moving there multi million pound business to another country. The 50p top tax rate gave us one of the highest tax rates in the developed world. This was a massive discouragement to anybody wealthy seeking to live or do business here – the very people we need most to boost our economy. We simply need the rich too much to start punishing them just because we don't like them. David Cameron rightly recognises that tax levels should represent what is economically best for the country, not a moral attempt to dictate what is fair or who deserves what. The scrapping of the 50p rate is surprising, but only in that the government did not go far enough to spark enterprise. Returning to the original 40p rate would have been a better way of ridding ourselves of this impotent and highly destructive policy, leaving everyone better off.

Budget Highlights

Pensioners: Personal income taxes lowered to be brought in line with working people Business: Corporation tax cut to a rate of 24% VAT: Exemptions for hot takeaway foods and sports energy drinks

MEDIA Mary faced with misogyny This week presenter of 'Meet the Romans' and professor of Classics at Cambridge University, Mary Beard, has been publically savaged by A. A. Gill, the man already infamous for referring to BBC presenter Clare Balding 'a dyke on a bike', in his Sunday newspaper column. The article sees Gill branding her too ugly for tv , even going so far as to suggest she should 'be kept away from cameras all together'

The abolition of the 50p tax rate is a welcome decision

and that she belongs on Channel 4's The Undateables. It seems despicable that in the twenty first century such blatantly ignorant and misogynistic remarks should even be uttered, yet alone be permitted by editors to be immortalised in print.

Written by Owen Earwicker, Giles Longley-Cook, James Dolton, Tom Cooper & Lexie Wilson

Income Tax: Personal allowance to be raised to £9,205, making 24 million people £220 better off Cigarettes: Duty to be raised by 5% above inflation , the equivalent of 37 pence on a packet.

27th April 2012


Comment & Features 9

Homeless hotspots: the new innovation Xander Ross Commentator

Last month a marketing company in America carried out an 'experiment', which used homeless people as Wi-Fi hotspots. The idea has attracted criticism; however, is it such a bad idea? There is a strong need for new innovative methods to help the homeless. Whilst this concept may have its flaws, it shows that there is scope for development. The old system needs to be revitalized. Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), the company behind the scheme, equipped 13 homeless people with 4G WI-Fi devices in Austin, Texas. It suggested the public pay $2 (ÂŁ1.30) for 15 minutes' access. People opposed to the project have described it as being a 'shameful, hideous, patronising, dehumanising idea'. It has been compared to how the homeless were treated in the Victorian era, where they were made to hold advertising boards. However, others have praised the idea, arguing that it is an opportunity to create a 'positive interaction between the public and homeless people.' The company responsible has argued that its project has raised the issue of homelessness in America. It seems to have done the job more globally, looking at the responses and discussion that it has caused over here in the UK. It also noted that each of the 'hotspot managers' would keep the money that they earned. This is one benefit of the project: it provides those without any

'It marks the beginning of a new approach to the complex issues surrounding dealing with the homeless.' earning prospects an opportunity. Another controversial idea that could be adopted is that part of the money that the participants earn is given to them as food vouchers. Some have claimed that it is prejudiced (suggesting they are going to spend their earnings on alcohol or drugs). Others state that it encroaches on the liberties of the individual to spend their money as they wish. However, I would argue that the benefits outweigh the negatives. It ensures that they are receiving at least one decent meal a day. To me, providing support to those below minimum standards of health is more important than their liberties. Without their health they cannot enjoy the liberties they have. By paying via a PayPal link this is a do-able venture. Perhaps there are ideas for this and, the event has been described a 'beta test', which might later be 'adopted on a broader scale'. The idea had been pitched as being a modern take on street newspapers, such as the Big Issue. The company stated that '[whilst] the model isn't inherently broken, it's simply the output that's archaic in the smartphone

age.' I agree; sometimes I do buy the Big Issue, but rarely do I read much of it. To be successful the product has to be desirable; in the information rich era, a magazine is not going to generate as much money as easy access to the internet. The internet has so much more to offer. It is something that many people constantly want access to - the Big Issue just does not compare in potential. Searching through the reviews on the internet showed that early respondents seemed impressed – but others mocked it. 'My homeless hotspot keeps wandering out of range,' wrote one before going onto add, 'by literally labelling the person as a 'hotspot', you are priming an affluent, iPadtoting public to think of that person as a commodity'. Another added: 'Helping hipsters check their email is not charitable, in fact it's potentially dangerous and detrimental to the situation the people on the street are facing.' In an interview with the BBC, John Bird, co-founder of The Big Issue, expressed mixed feelings about the project. 'If all BBH are doing is turning these people into an aerial and asking them to stand still, then they are just treating homeless people the same way the Victorians did when they asked them to hold posters.' However, an interview carried out by the company responsible with one of the participants, Melvin from Ohio, was quoted as saying: 'I would say that these people

are trying to help the homeless and increase awareness.... We get to talk to people, maybe give them a different perception of what home-

current programmes out there are stagnating; there is still place for the Big issue and the likes, but it is time to be more dynamic. It is

Dusty, a homeless hotspot

lessness is like.' The jury is still out on whether this sort of idea is a good one. I for one think it is good idea. Whilst it may have its flaws, it marks the beginning of a new way to approach the complex issues surrounding dealing with the homeless. The

about time that the methods used to help the homeless were brought into the digital age. With development, new ideas like these will be beneficial and if developed could provide better ways for people to escape the plight of being homeless.


Arts Naked Brum

Tamara Roper Music Editor

Vice magazine is often difficult to describe to those unaware of its presence. Often one step away from crossing 'the line' - morally, legally and professionally - Vice regularly erases 'the line' altogether, as articles entitled 'I Was Abducted by Gypsies' and 'Beware the Porn Trolls' might suggest. Yet it's one of the most popular free magazines in the world, associated with bands and brands internationally and with over 500,000 fans on Facebook. Vice writers are often heralded for their witty writing and boundary-pushing investigative journalism, often venturing to parts of the world to write up stories both sickening and fasci-

nating. With this in mind, think about the scale of people who must have seen Brum-based photographer Alex Dean's set of images entitled Birmingham is a Paradise, published on the Vice website on April 12th. Featuring nearly forty photos of the grimier side of our fair city, Dean has now faced a fair amount of criticism in the form of tweets and comments on the set. He's keen to put the haters to rights. 'There are a number of comments attacking the photos for portraying Birmingham in a negative light - however, they fail to understand that I am only showing one side of the city. The Vice team did not say “give us a photo essay of how you see Birmingham." Of course I don't think this is the only side

World Book Night To celebrate this years World Book Night on the 23rd of April, Arts editor Rebekah McDermott reviews Ken Dornstein's shocking memoir.

Ken Dornstein's non-fictional memoir The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky is not about what happens when your brother dies. It is about what happens when your brother is killed in a terrorist attack and all you are left with is his diaries, which you will read until you are so immersed that the boundaries between his identity and your own become very thin. In 1988 David Dornstein de-


27th April 2012

'I think sincerity was my sole aesthetic and realism my experimental technique.' Edmund White In an exclusive interview, Birmingham-based photographer Alex Dean reveals his intentions behind his controversial new project Birmingham is a Paradise. Through exposing the city's seedy under belly, with glimpses of a humorous silver lining, Dean shows how laughter can question a grimy reputation.

of Birmingham'. If given the opportunity to take the photos again with his personal input, Dean claims that he wouldn't shy away from the danker corners of Birmingham, but would also 'show the positive and the negative, the humorous and the sombre'. The photos are scattered geographically around the city, though Digbeth and the city centre feature heavily. Shots of used needles and heavy graffiti are likely reasons why Birmingham is a Paradise has been criticised, though Dean justifies his photos. 'I wasn't sure whether to include these as they took away from some of the humour of the other images - however, I felt that they needed to be shown.' The used syringes and someone's porn stash in particular

are shocking, though Dean makes a good point: 'I think this is a problem that needs to be highlighted: just across from a building that cost millions of pounds [Digbeth coach station], in an area that is supposed to be being rejuvenated, is a waste ground full of people injecting themselves.' Not every shot is humourless, Dean is keen to add. There are some gems in between the traces of the underside of society, like the photo of a man dressed as Spiderman being pram wheeled down Kings Heath High Street. 'I think the guy is brilliant, a real character. He has so many different get ups you could do a photo essay on him alone'. The absurdity of the photo adds a glimmer of light into a selection of photos that in for the

most part show a solidly depressing side of Birmingham. Finally, I asked why Dean stayed away from the haven of take aways, pubs and decay that makes up Selly Oak. Surely the landscape that we've become used to seeing every time we open our front doors would have been perfect for a satirical photo of Birmingham. The reply I got surprised me: 'Ha, I lived in Selly Oak for four or five years, it's not too bad. I did come and look round but didn't see anything that made the grade.' If Birmingham is a Paradise teaches us but one thing, it should be that apparently, B29 could be worse.

cided to fly from Heathrow to New York, on the Pam Am Flight 103, three days earlier than he had intended. The 'Clipper Maid of the Seas' exploded over Scotland and 259 passengers were killed; it became universally branded as the Lockerbie bombing. David Dornstein's corpse was one of the last to be recovered, due to the collapse of a garden wall. However, as the memoir develops, it is clear that, although thoroughly noted, how David died is not something that is dwelled upon. David is not defined by the way that he died - if anything, that is the least anyone could know about him. The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky is about a boy that fell into the arms of his grieving brother.

Ken submerges himself in David's notepads and diary clippings and through this David's brief taste of life is smacked across every page of this memoir. What it is to be a writer, to never have enough words and to panic at the sometimes needlessness of it all is fused with what it is to grow up in the coffee shops of New York and the corridors of Brown. Ken's life mirrors David's: they study at the same college and they fall in the love with the same girl, who Ken ends up marrying. It takes years for the relationship to feel real rather than a ghost of what could have been. It is apparent that this isn't particularly healthy but also painfully obvious that it is not supposed to be. We are surviving in a time of consum-

erist drive, of social eminence and intellectual hierarchy. David is not concerned with materialistic gain, only with how he might use materialistic objects to know and create writing that pinpoints and strips away the circumstance of existence. Ken perfects his brother's thoughts. David needed Ken to edit and make sense of everything that he previously spent his life trying to make sense of. This is a journey of self recovery. Ken finally realises, through writing this memoir, that he cannot keep obsessing about what happened twenty years ago. He experiences closure through the imprisonment of Taufiq Ahmed, not through resentment but through pity. If you have ever experienced grief, read this book.

Alex's photos can be seen in full here: birmingham-is-a-paradise


27th April 2012




ts:The Shadow Bo

Article 19 presen

Lexie Wilson Arts Editor

Bonnie Robert's adaption of The Shadow Box was not an easy play to watch. 'At its core about people', it unapologetically submerged the audience in a world where the tragic has, for the most part, become the everyday. The play sees three families attempting to wrestle with a tentative grief, living in the shadow of a terminal diagnosis. The 'patients' have been allocated cabins on hospital grounds, where they live with their loved ones and all are encouraged to speak to an unseen 'interviewer' about how they are coping, providing the audience with the most overt glimpses into their psyche. Cabin One saw husband and father Joe, coming to terms with his own mortality, rendered entirely human by Alan Wilyman's skilful depiction of both a machismo humour and honest trepidation, surrounded by his family Maggie, Zoe Fabian, and Stephen, Tom Mackley. Cabin Two also amalgamated sombre themes with flashes of fun and light-heartedness, as we're introduced to Brian, Tom Williams,

an aging academic; his young partner Mark, Will Amott and his fabulous ex-wife Beverly, portrayed flawlessly by Annie Fawke. The third and final cabin was inhabited by the wheel-chair bound Felicity, whose vulnerability and anger were captured perfectly by Elena Voce Siriani and her daughter Agnes, Eve Parker. From the opening to the closing moments, Roberts' close direction saw that every actor on stage played their part with an immense sense of sensitivity and truth. The characters' entire worlds are condensed perfectly into the three cabins and each is constantly visible throughout the action. The continuous staging of so many strands of private pain did, at times, run the risk of bullying the audience into a voyeuristic position, rendering it on occasions truly uncomfortable to witness. However, such a bold and emotionally taxing text demands this style of brave direction; anything less would have been entirely inadequate. Whilst by no means an easy play, in the capable hands of its cast and crew, The Shadow Box transcended into something important and entirely real.

: Road

Stage 2 presents

James Grady Critic

Jim Cartwright's Road is regarded as a cult classic. First performed at the notorious and politically subversive Royal Court Theatre in 1986, it is an angrier, edgier, homage to the angry-young-men plays of the 1950s, complete with the defining class satire and explicit, shocking content. In the 1980s it did for theatre what John Cooper Clarke did for performance poetry, in that Cartwright made the form appeal as being refreshingly punk – a vital part of fringe culture. It's fitting that Road be restaged here in Birmingham during a time of grim austerity under recession and rising unemployment. On entering the Crescent's auditorium it was a shock to discover that Stage 2 is an all-youth troupe! It was a bizarre moment of realisation. It was a cast of school kids performing a play rife with sexually explicit scenes, deliciously filthy language and not to mention an unrelentingly bleak tone. There is no moment of redemption or reconciliation at any point, Road starts depressing and ends with the characters either miserably de-

spondent or (spoiler alert) dead. Highlights included George Hannigan and Anna Gilmore as a young couple on an existential hunger strike. Both of their monologues were particularly affecting, especially given their initial lighthearted exchange. Indeed the playing off of hilarious pathos with the tougher scenes had the effect of making the heavier moments feel even more sincere and earned throughout; something largely in debt to the strength of the young actor's performances. There is a chanting scene in the denouement of the last act, which in this production ended with the entire cast and chorus, surrounding the audience and screaming 'Somehow, a somehow might escape!' It was oppressive and chilling in an unexpectedly Lord of the Flies kind of way. The exuberance of the performances and the uncompromising production of a challenging play had the culminating weight of both uplifting and exhausting the audience, as they left seeming somewhat shell-shocked. Road provided a truly immersive evening of theatre; unpretentious, funny, sad, and brilliantly played.

Jojo Remeny's Crossing boundaries Birmingham Conservatoire 13th May


GMTG presents: Cabaret The Deb Hall 1st-5th May £6

The REP presents : 1984 & Animal Farm AE Harris Building 27th – 28th April £3



27th April 2012


Check out our review of Yakuza: Dead Souls at:

The Gadget Show Live 2012

Technology Editor Sam Atkins sums up this year's highlights

Making our way towards the NEC for this year’s Gadget Show Live, the Redbrick Tech Team were hoping to be amazed. We wanted to be blown away by some inventive piece of hardware that would redefine our preconceptions, but perhaps our expectations were just little too high. Now in its fourth year, The Gadget Show Live has become the UK’s leading consumer technology event. Its mixture of future product demonstrations and showcases of the best tech currently on the market makes it a diverse show, with exhibitors from just about every offshoot of the industry showing their wares. The emphasis here is on consumers and, while there were plenty of opportunities to get hands on with some intriguing new devices, most of the time the products are made to be sold to the people attending. Booths from LG, Acer and Kodak showed their products in the TV, Laptop and Camera markets respectively and fans of shiny new products could find a lot to

love. Even the smaller companies were showing their best products. Robotic and fully manoeuverable arms for industrial tasks were seen just two feet away from huge propeller fan backpacks to aid parachute control. Gaming played a large part of course, with the sorts of games that are perfect for consumer shows taking up most of the space. Our team had a go on Star Wars Kinect, though the controversial dancing minigame was nowhere to be seen, and while the game was already available in shops, being able to use Kinect without shelling out for one was enjoyable. We got the chance to play a few upcoming titles too, with Spec Ops: The Line providing the shooting quota for the day, and driving with DiRT Showdown. Though neither was a huge exclusive debut for the show, last year’s GameFest at the same venue featured the UK’s first look at Mass Effect 3 and Modern Warfare 3 for instance, it was nice to see some games not on shelves

yet that visitors could spend some time with. Of course the effect of Apple on the show was evident in just about every booth. Product after product was using either an iPhone or an iPad to function. We saw stylus accessories for tablet devices, one in particular designed specifically for a Crayola game for kids. With arcade units to play Pong and board game pieces that work with iPad apps, it feels like this £400 machine is being used to replicate much cheaper products. It's a weird way to enjoy one of the most technologically advanced devices on the market when you could simply use an actual board game for a fraction of the cost. Everywhere you looked there were expensive screens with PR reps clutching 3D glasses next to most of them. 3D has been the main attraction for the last few years at these sort of events, and while it’s obvious to notice that the technology is impressive, the best uses of it at the show weren’t for displaying 3D images. The best thing we saw was this technology used to play split-screen games where each player see only their screen on the display. Without a pair of glasses on, it looks like two images layered on top of each other, and seeing the transition from this into a single high definition image was impressive. Overall the show was well worth attending, though the consumer days would have been much busier. There may not have been any revolutionary shocks at this year's show, but as a celebration of all things tech few events match the scale of The Gadget Show Live.

Review: Journey

Ruth Bradley sees what all the hype is about Journey is a little indie game that has been receiving huge amounts amount of critical attention recently, and with good reason. For a short game, with game only taking about two hours to complete, it managed to grab our attention and stays with you once you've finished. The story is truly epic as you have to travel across a desert and climb to the top of a mystical mountain, although it's never explained exactly why you are doing this. But this doesn't matter. You get so attached to your character that you just want them to succeed in their mysterious goal. And this is all despite the fact that your character is a faceless, armless figure who can only communicate through whistling. But it's not the beautiful graphics, the simple yet compelling story or the charming character that makes the game so good. If you play online you will occasionally encounter other people who have been dropped into the desert with you. But unlike many online multiplayer mode, your companions remain completely anonymous and silent, expert for the odd whistle. Despite this, they will become your best friend and you will constantly find yourself checking to see if they are still with you. Overall a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. !




Sniff out a new cinema experience with smell-o-vision technology

Andrew Spencer Technology Editor

Media Technology is on the verge of another major breakthrough. TV and film are great but the watching experience could become even more immersive. We already have 3D, interactive and 4D versions of films. The next step is to add smell. Picture a scene in a film where a woman is spraying on her perfume, or a house that has just been set on fire. At these moments in a film, the viewer subconsciously feels cheated because there is no smell to accompany such events. Currently, there’s no sweet scent of rose filling the room, or the worrying stench of burning to keep people engaged. Yet, imagine if the cinema walls or even the home television set could emit smells throughout the film or

TV programme. It would create a truly immersive and spectacular experience. Holiday pictures capture a single moment in time, perhaps with the most beautiful scenery and people, yet still can’t quite capture the true experience of the photographer. Imagine being at an exotic foreign marketplace, where divine scents drift all around. What an amazing thing it would be to be able to pull out a camera and record the scenery and its smell and then to send it to family and friends halfway across the world so they can view it on their smell-ovision TV. The same smells could then fill the room bringing any snapshot to life. It seems like this technology is a long way off but actually that’s far from the truth. A new device called

‘Smellit’, produced by French company Olf-action, could be about to revolutionise TV and gaming like never before. Furthermore, in an attempt to bring something new and exciting to the world of film, film director James Cameron may be considering including smell in the next Avatar Movie. Of course, only a selected number of cinemas currently have the equipment necessary in order to show a film with its respective smells. Research into adding smell to film began at the beginning of the 20th century, even before sound was added, but problems with releasing smell around the whole cinema at the right times and then clearing smells quickly become a major obstacle in the development of this concept. Attempts to advance throughout the 1900s failed. Companies such as DigiScents have tried to make a breakthrough in the past 10 or so years but have closed down or gone bankrupt in the process. So, while some companies are still researching and developing potential products like Scentscape, Olf-action has finally jumped ahead of its competitors with something truly special. Olf-action has taken into account a whole range of problems when creating their consumer device, Smellit. Already, they have created smell-o-vision for various cinemas so they have a lot of experience in the industry. Their home

device has been carefully considered. It is very much like a printer except the ink cartridges are filled with odours instead of ink. A DVD compatible with Smellit is inserted into the DVD player and the DVD is read as normal. However, the smells are released between 10 and 20 seconds ahead of the right scene in the film to allow time for the smells to reach the viewer. 118 smell cartridges are loaded into the device but, supposedly, the cartridges are easy to change and last for 100 feature-length films which is fantastic. The Olf-action website contains a list of example odours. These include 'The Smell of Cut Grass', 'The Smell of Cake',

'The Smell of horses', 'Atmosphere at the Dentist' and 'African Atmosphere' to name just a few. The French site also has a list of films that have now been encoded with smell information for their existing smell-o-vision devices. They range from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Shutter Island and although few films are available at the moment, if this really kicks off, there could be a huge increase in smell-coded films. Judging by the amount of effort and expertise invested in this device, this could really impact on technology of the future so keep your eyes, and noses, peeled for further announcements.



27th April 2012


Nicki Minaj rejoins Twitter after a 9 day hiatus. A few of her 11 million followers upset the rap star last week causing her to delete her account. As a result her followers have dwindled to less than 1 million!

Emili Sandé @ HMV Institute Jonathon Milnes Music Editor

Over the past few months Emili Sandé has become somewhat of a household name. Having won the acclaimed Critics Choice Award at this years Brit Awards, which in the past has catapulted the likes of Jessie J into the limelight, big things are expected to come from the Scottish songstress. Her tour is unsurprisingly sold out up and down the country, and last week it came to Birmingham's HMV Institute. Donning her signature hair style, Sandé opened the set with her second single 'Daddy' to a wanting crowd. Immediately, her voice bellows around the theatre. One thing is for sure, this girl can sing. Every note is hit with exact precision, every lick executed with tremendous accuracy and every lyric sung with vivid meaning which results in a truly compelling spectacle. Somehow, Sandé's voice effortlessly grips every member of the audience and creates a sound that communicates with everybody, regardless of age or sex. As the set progresses, so does Sandé's talent as she accompanies her own remarkable instrument by taking to keys, and it is here where she most seems at home. She remarks that all her songs start at the piano, and it is here where they do sound best. Her voice gently glides over a series of arppargiaic chord progressions with a confidence that provides a comforting reassurance for her avid fans. It is incredible how the 24 year old can hold an entire theatre in the palm of her hand using just her own pure talent. Admittedly, by the end of the set, the procession of powerful ballads begin to become rather tiresome and the objective listener may find it hard to distinguish between some of the tracks, but what is clear is that Emili Sandé will be around for a while longer.

With the sprawling LA hip-hop collective having recently released its third record as a group, only to have his necklace, t-shirt and shoes ripped from his body – he seemed the only memand the internet hype machine buzzing over it, it goes without saying there was a lot of excite- ber showing any genuine enthusiasm. There was also no sign of Earl Sweatshirt, the group's ment in the room prior to Odd Future arriving on stage. From the moment the members that prodigal son and perhaps its most naturally gifted lyricist. He had been present at the first had bothered to turn up ambled on stage, however, it was clear that this was not going to be couple of dates of the tour in the USA, having recently returned from his stay at a Samoan one of their classic shows. The boys’ (Syd tha Kyd was notably absent) reputation for on-stage boarding school on his mother's orders. It was particularly disappointing for him not to have madness and exuberance seemed, on the evidence of this performance, to be on the wane. been there, and the discontent was tangible in the room. This was made even more annoyThroughout the set the crew mainly ambled about the stage, with Taco the only animated ing – and farcical – when Tyler, The Creator performed 'Orange Juice' alone, just letting the performer, dancing madly before and during the performance. That he was on stage at all, track play for Earl's vocals. This showed a level of contempt for their fans that I really wasn’t however, is expecting from testament to Odd Future, and the shoddy surprised and preparadisappointed me tion that in equal measure. Odd FuDespite the obviture had ous shortfalls of put in to the set, the their percrowd was alive formance. with exciteRather ment from the than the moment peousually ple began to highly enter the polished venue. This DJ permight, howformance that Syd tha Kyd contributes, Taco merely played the actual, ever, have had something to do with the fact that the average age of attendNathan Lightman non-instrumental versions of the tracks from his laptop. The sound quality ees was at most 16. There was a sea of Golf Wang t-shirts and Supreme caps, Music Critic was atrocious, with it frequently being unclear which song it was; even 'Yonwith all the children worshipping at the altar of O.F. like some kind of bizarre kers' took a while to register with the crowd, such was the lack of clarity. hipster cult. Even for a very liberal-minded chap as myself, it was strange to Tyler, The Creator did not even appear to be particularly interested in performing his biggest see a 12-year-old boy moshing hard, with a bleeding nose and shouting about rape and arson. hit, which might have been understandable if the whole of the rest of his performance hadn't Let’s hope that this was just an early tour blip from rap’s brightest young stars, and that they’re been blighted by the same seeming lack of care. Even when Left Brain leaped into the crowd – back to their best before too long. They owe it to themselves – and their fans – to be better than this.

Essential Albums #24... Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys Raphael Sheridan Sport Editor

In the summer of 1966, The Beach Boys songwriter Brian Wilson received a phone call. 'We just wanted to tell you', said a Liverpudlian voice, 'that Pet Sounds is the greatest album we’ve ever heard. You’re a genius.' 'No, you’re a genius.' replied Wilson. And, after a few minutes' pleasantries, Wilson said goodbye to Paul McCartney and carried on with his day. In some senses, Wilson had achieved everything he had set out to do with Pet Sounds, and its importance in popular music can never be overestimated. The very essence of what an album was changed enormously in the mid60s: 'fillers' and cover tracks that had been incorporated by all artists (including The Beatles) began to become unfashionable. Albums instead began to be seen as works of art - not merely a mishmash of different songs. The revolutionary first album was The Beatles' 1965 Rubber Soul; their first to contain wholly original work. To understand Pet Sounds, one must understand Rubber Soul, for the former is a reply to the latter. Wilson heard their album, realised its implications for music, and rushed home to his wife. 'Marylin, I'm gonna create the greatest rock album ever made!' he exclaimed. And so it began. Wilson, the great experi-

menter, had been influenced by Phil Spector’s 'wall of sound' technique and set out to create intricate, complex, symphonic works in a desperate attempt t o move the Beach Boys beyond their nasal and formulaic sound. For months Wilson toiled, and emerged the following May with Pet Sounds. It's an astonishing accomplishment for one individual to achieve. The complexity of the music is matched by the psychedelicinspired lyrics, smacking at once of desperation, isolation and loneliness (look no further than t h e pessimistic 'Here Today' for the

perfect example). The instrumental, dreamy and escapist 'Let’s Go Away For Awhile' showcases Wilson at his creative best, before snapping into a lush cover of 'Sloop John B'. And it's on this album that the well known 'God Only Knows' and 'Wouldn’t it be Nice' live and prosper with their like-minded, multidimensional neighbours. It finishes with the masterful, if melancholic, 'Caroline, No'. 'Break my heart, I want to go and cry', the Beach Boys sing. 'It’s so sad to watch a sweet thing die. Oh Caroline, why?' It remains one of the greatest compositions of the popular music era, yet always carries with it an air of sadness, for it virtually ruined Wilson. The radical new sound created irreparable rifts between the band members, who had returned from their holiday to find a virtually finished masterpiece. Yet 'Dont f*** with the formula', was Mike Love’s advice when he heard the album. The follow up to Pet Sounds, entitled Smile, was to be even more bold, but remained unfinished after Wilson broke down amid a haze of pressure, stress and drugs. It would remain unfinished for 37 years. And as The Beach Boys collapsed under the creative weight The Beatles brought out Sgt Pepper, and music moved on.

16th March 2012 27th March 2012

14 Music Redbrick

Josh Holder

Online Music Editor

The Bestival team were tasked with the difficult job of assembling a string of headline acts capable of topping the stunning set The Cure played at last summer’s event. Fortunately the organisers have found the perfect solution: Stevie Wonder. Bestival is the 25-Grammy Award winner’s only UK festival appearance this year, and it’s set to be a stunning end to the three days. Not only is Bestival a very rare opportunity to see Stevie in action, but it’s also the perfect excuse to visit the Isle of Wight. There’s no need to worry about travel expenses, the Isle of Wight is linked to the mainland ports of Lymington, Southampton and Portsmouth by low cost vehicle ferries, high-speed passenger catamarans and hovercraft. The Wishing Tree is just one of the surreal additions that garners Bestival its cult status. Other acts on the line up include New Order, who will be headlining the main stage on Saturday, and are sure to play a myriad of hits. Also set to play are The XX, who are currently in the process of finishing their sophomore album, Sigur Rós, Friendly Fires, Hot Chip, The Horrors and many more. This is all before the remaining acts are announced, including the Friday night headliner! Of course, Bestival is more than just a music festival. Its last-

Tamara Roper Music Editor

If you’re too poor to go abroad, or spend on average £300 on a weekend bathing in mud, then head to east London. Seriously. Field Day is the big brother of the hugely popular Underage Festival, sporting a chocked one-day line up that for a meagre £45 has one of the best condensed line ups Britain will see this summer. Think of Field Day as an after exam treat. Nicely timed for the 2nd of June, having revision to do is a poor/completely invalid excuse for missing out on Victoria Park’s finest selection of electronic, house, dubstep and the tiniest smidgen of indie. 2012 is the festi-

ing cult appeal is down to several creative outlets. For example, within the ‘Wishing Tree Field’ there is a comedy and cabaret tent, an inflatable church, a swamp shack and lantern lit treetop walk. Ever wished your favourite festival had a helter skelter? No problem, Bestival does. If you've run out of normal clothes by Saturday, then improvise, as this years fany dress theme has yet to be announced. Student tickets are £170, and allow entrance from Thursday onward. Prepare for long ferry queues and a train packed with tents, but the most other-wordly feeling you'll get this side of Middle Earth.

Jonathon Milnes Music Editor

Every summer, music loving Brits travel nationwide to various festivals in search of live music, good company and plenty of alcohol. But of course, don’t forget your wellies! Each year, the same images appear of washedout tents, mud clad teenagers and fields comaparable to the WW1 trenches. We all know the rain in the UK is unavoidable, no matter what time of year it is. So, Redbrick presents to you a slightly less wet alternative. with just a hop-skip-anda-jump across the channel to sunny Spain, you will find one of Europe’s best loved music festivals. Now in its 18th year, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim as it is locally known, sees the likes of The Stone Roses, Katy B and none other than the legendary Bob Dylan flock to the Spanish shores, and more great acts are bound to be added closer to the event. Located between Barcalona and Valencia it is undoubtedly far more exotic and appealing than Leeds or Reading and is quite frankly a brilliant excuse to get away from both the parents and the UK during the summer break.

For more details visit: val's fifth birthday, and to celebrate, curators have got an impressive selection of bands, DJs and artists on the bill. The line up includes Scotch big hitters Franz Ferdinand, Brooklyn hype machine favourites Friends and producer of ‘an explosion of technicolour post R’n'B’, Hudson Mohawke. Other acts to definitely catch will be house master Julio Bashmore, house mistress Maya Jane Coles and jangle noise pop duo, Sleigh Bells. Amongst the fan-


tastic transatlantic line up there are some worthwhile home grown acts worth catching too. The Vaccines, who are selling out venues over the country for the price of a Field Day ticket alone are on, as are SBTRKT and the highly recommended live Metronomy. The selection of acts alone is so vast for such a compact festival, and for less than 50 pounds it’d be rude not to indulge in a post

exam shake down. Field Day has sold out every year since its creation, and with a line up as eclectic as this, the chances it will again are high. Victoria Park, where the festival is held is far prettier than Selly Park, so see the day as a chance to picnic, get out and see a different part of the

British songstress Florence & The Machine is also headlining this year's festival and is bound to provide an unmissable peformance. And if the music does get too much, there are plenty of other forms of entertainment taking place throughout the week. If you’re scared your loan won't stretch far enough, there's no need to worry! Benicassim tickets cost as little as £155 for 4 full days of music, over 100 acts and 3 stages. What’s more: if you feel like making a holiday out of it, your pass entitles you to a full 8 days camping. Not only does Benicassium offer more than any other UK festival, the tickets cost about £30 cheaper than the likes of Leeds, Reading or V festival. If you're savvy enough, and as students I expect you are, this also comes at little expense. Return flights to Valencia can be found for as cheap as £40 from airports across the nation, including Birmingham. So, if it’s a post-exam treat you're in search of, or maybe you just need to inject excitement into your summer break, Benicassim has all the answers. Come and join over 50,000 others to witness one of the greatest music events of the year that we promise will be blessed with non-stop sunshine. For more details visit: capital and enjoy some of the freshest talent around. Starting early and finishing late, Field Day is an all day party that doesn’t involve retreating back to a tarpaulin cave at the end of the day. Train or bus tickets to London and back from New Street are less than a tenner if you book in advance. So get booking, sharpish. For more details visit:



27th April 2012


'Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it.'

American Beauty (1999)

Unjustified: Shaky Cam

Film News

Steadfast critic Alan Smithee implores filmmakers to hold the camera still

A new style of camera work has emerged in action and occasionally horror films in the last decade or so. That style is 'shaky cam', which is exactly what it sounds like: the camera is in constant frenetic motion, predominantly during actions scenes. Coupled with rapid fire editing, barely a second per shot, this can have irritating and occasionally nauseating effects. It's the equivalent of buying a top of the range, high definition camera, waiting for a once in a million years planetary alignment and giving the camera to a hyperactive child to film it. This style grew out of the found footage subgenre of horror films, which essentially began with Cannibal Holocaust in 1980 and was made popular by 1999's The Blair Witch Project. Found footage films often imply that what they are showing you is real and filmed by amateurs, hence

the camera work is often shaky, particularly during chase scenes such as in Cloverfield (2008) where our group of boring protagonists are ambushed in the streets of New York by a part-shrimp, part-bat, partw h a l e m o n ster.

Arguably shaky camera is excusable, no m a t ter the quality of the film, when it can add to the

idea that what you are watching is real. When executed well it can be really effective. Take for example Lake Mungo (2008), in which a dramatic reveal is achieved by pausing a single frame of footage shot on a mobile phone, leading to one of the most unsettling scenes from a found footage film. So, shaky cam in found footage horror films can work. However, when it comes to action films that are not found footage, shaky cam can be disastrous. The Bourne Identity films are known for their use of this style and although it works occasionally, some set pieces become a confusing mess. However, that mess is nothing compared to the opening car chase in the Bond film Quantum Of Solace (2008). Each shot barely lasts a second and the camera darts around like a rogue ping-pong ball.

Some say it's immersive, bringing you closer to the action. Others say it's confusing, leaving you with no sense of what just happened in the scene other than that a car plummeted down a quarry wall for some reason. Set pieces in action films should serve the story and if the action is unintelligible, so is the story. So much time and money goes into action set pieces, not to mention the often incredible work of stunt men and women, that to frame, film and edit it so that it becomes a barely understandable tangle of punches, gunfire and explosions seems like a waste. Not every shot in a film needs to be a Kubrick-like masterpiece of tracking, steady camera work, but if you're making an action film, show off the action and to do that, just hold the camera still.

Scarlett Panem Critic

Cannes Festival The line-up of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival has been announced to the excitement of filmgoers all over the world. In less than a month it finds Argentinean-born BĂŠrĂŠnice Bejo hosting the opening and closing ceremonies after the success of her starring role in The Artist last year. Other highlights include the debut of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, an independent film set in the 1960s, and the commemoration of Marilyn Monroe on the 50th anniversary of her death. The festival is set to begin on 16th May.

Five of the Best: Animated Adaptations Book buff Aisha Bushby lists her favourite animated adaptations of popular literary classics

Fantastic Mr. Fox



George Clooney voices the charming Mr. Fox, a thief turned family man. Directed by Wes Anderson, this quirky, stop-motion animation pays tribute to the creative mind of Roald Dahl. We see Mr. Fox become the target of the surrounding farmers after continually stealing their produce. Soon a whole myriad of creatures become involved, as trouble ensues in this wonderfully whacky comedy.



What begins as a classic story of a mistreated orphaned boy turns into an adventure around the world from the inside of a giant magical peach. James and his array of insect companions embark on an adventure to New York City. The mixture of live-action and stop-motion creates a good pace, as James follows his dreams with his makeshift family in this Roald Dahl classic.

The Avengers The European Premiere of The Avengers Assemble saw the lineup of star-studded superheroes taking over Westfield's Shopping Centre for the day. Directed by Joss Whedon and written by Zak Penn, the action-packed film features a culmination of familiar and beloved faces, including: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo and Samuel L. Jackson. The film is set to hit UK cinemas on Thursday 26th April.

Watership Down


Based on the novel of the same name by Richard Adams, Watership Down follows a group of rabbits in search of a new home, led by two brothers, Fiver and Hazel who believe danger is imminent. The ominous theme carries throughout the film as the group stumble across, sometimes, fatal obstacles. The simplistic style of the introduction is reminiscent of a children's fable, but the realistic animation therein portrays many adult themes. Humankind plays a villainous role, full of destruction and a disregard for nature, causing us to question our own humanity.

Hunger Games Bambi


assembles to watch books, the story #5 comic #3 tures the birth of the fawn, follows Tintin and his A whole forest of crea-

Based on a series of

Bambi. Disney recreates this beautiful tale based on the book by Felix Salten. We follow his life as he overcomes tragedies, falls in love and becomes 'The Great Prince of the Forest'. Winning an Academy Award for Original Score, the music subtly compliments the many tensions and triumphs of the plot.

dog, Snowy, as they unexpectedly venture around the world. Tintin stumbles upon a model ship, not knowing the secrets it holds. Directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 3D, the animation combines a classic tale with modern CGI. The perfect platform for this adventure-comedy, Tintin is loved by children and adults alike.

A post-apocalyptic film based on the trilogy by author Suzanne Collins, finds its sequel handed over to Francis Lawrence, director of I am Legend and Water for Elephants. Following its success, the release date of its predecessor, Catching Fire, was pushed forward by Lionsgate, a task current director, Garry Ross turned down after stating that he could not finish the film in time. After a worldwide debut of $214.3 million, it is no wonder Lawrence snatched up the chance to work on this project.


Film 17

27th April 2012

Reviews The Pirates!





Director: James Cameron Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart Cert: 12A


Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt Cast: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton Cert: U Pirates! sees Aardman Animations return to our screens in an adventure featuring luxuriant beards, booty and a monkey butler. Hugh Grant voices the aptly named Pirate Captain, a good-natured pirate with big ambitions: to win the Pirate of the Year Award given to the pirate with the most booty. Desperate to prove his many critics wrong, the Pirate Captain and his loyal if slightly incompetent crew


Silver Screen: Titanic

Margaret Brown

Edward Teach


set off to scour the ocean for ships to plunder. After a spate of bad luck, they stumble on a disheartened Charles Darwin (David Tennant) in the midst of a quest for the scientific discovery of the era. When Darwin meets Polly, the ship's unusual 'parrot', it seems that the scheming scientist and luckless pirates have struck gold. They head to London to present Polly to the Royal Society, but find themsleves in hot water when notorious pirate-hater Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) learns of Darwin's priceless discovery. The creators of Wallace and Gromit have delivered another gem full of clever jokes, stunning sets and plain good fun. The backdrops

demand a closer look, with Aardman artists delivering the small details fans have come to expect. A mixture of enjoyable silliness and good-humoured in-jokes, the film manages to stay light-hearted without boring its audiences. A minor issue is the disappointingly short screen time given to some enjoyable characters, but the stars are such brilliant caricatures that this can be forgiven. Imelda Staunton is on form as the most formidable Queen Victoria in film history, and Hugh Grant is at his bumbling best as the enthusiastic Pirate Captain. Full of Aardman's usual energy, imagination and sparkling humour, Pirates! marks a superb and welcome return for the best of British.




For anyone who has not yet witnessed this meeting of disaster movie and period romance, the story is fairly simple. Modern-day treasure hunter Brock Lovett is searching the wreck of Titanic for a priceless blue diamond. Known as the Heart of the Ocean, it was a gift from wealthy passenger Caledon Hockley to his fiancée, socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater. In an audience with Lovett, the elderly Rose recounts the story of tragically impoverished yet charmingly upbeat artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), who wins his ticket for the world's most extravagant ocean liner at a luckyhand of poker. A very lucky hand, or so he thinks, for onboard he meets Rose, then a headstrong-

teenager desperate to escape the restrictions of her repressive society. A friendship based on spitting, beer and Irish dancing leads to love, but little do they know that the ship is heading for disaster. When Titanic hits an iceberg, relationships are tested and true natures revealed as the majority of passengers are left to the mercy of the freezing Atlantic Ocean. The highest grossing film of all time until it was ousted by the horrendous Avatar, Titanic is notorious for its cheesy dialogue and cringey theme song. However, it also includes creditable action sequences showing the devastation to the ship and its passengers, such as the flooding of the famous staircase. Titanic historians will appreciate the close attention to detail, and the film also conveys the overwhelming human loss of the disaster. A must-see given the recent centenary, Titanic uses a touching love affair to tell the story of a real tragedy.

The Beginner's Guide To... Marilyn Monroe Natasha Lavender reveals the highs and lows in the Beautiful, blonde and much brainier than was frequently believed, Marilyn Monroe was more than just one of the most iconic faces of the twentieth century.

A Cinderella Story

Born Norma Jean Mortenson on 1st June 1926, Marilyn was discovered by a photographer while working in a parachute factory. After a successful modelling career, Norma Jean divorced her first husband James Dougherty and decided to follow her dream of becoming an actress. Her famous stage name combined her mother's maiden name with that of 1920s actress Marilyn Miller. One of Marilyn’s earliest roles was in Marx Brothers film Love Happy (1949). Although it was only a minor part, the producers were so delighted by her magnetic screen presence that they sent her to New York to help promote the film. After a few more bit parts, Marilyn landed a small role in The Asphalt Jungle (1950). Despite the short screen time she was well-reviewed by critics, which led to a stream of mildly successful comedies including All About Eve (1950). The public was entranced by Marilyn's beauty and Cinderella story; she never knew her father and was raised by various family friends when her mother was sent to a psychiatric hospital. She quickly became a celebrity, presenting an Oscar in 1951 and appearing on the cover of Life in

1952. That same year, nude photos taken when she was struggling to find work emerged in the press. Marilyn admitted to the photos but explained that she had needed the money to pay her rent, winning herself more public sympathy. In 1953, Marilyn landed the lead role of murderous femme fatale Rose Loomis in Niagara. Most reviewers focussed on the sexual nature of her performance, with some also criticising the figure-hugging dresses she wore while promoting the film. Marilyn encouraged these attitudes when she posed for a 1953 cover of Playboy, which also included nude photographs of her inside.

Blonde Ambition

Monroe's next film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), saw her playing a sweet but ditsy blonde hunting for a rich husband. It was a popular hit with audiences and critics, and featured her performance of 'Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend'. There followed a string of films which typecast her in this 'dumb blonde' persona, such as The Seven Year Itch (1955). This includes the famous scene in which Marilyn's character stands over a subway grate while the air blows her skirt around her hips. When Marilyn's second husband, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, saw her filming the scene surrounded by a large crowd, they argued publicly. A fortnight later, they were sepa

tumultuous life of one of the world's most famous blondes rated. Desperate to escape this typecasting, Marilyn created Marilyn Monroe Productions and attended acting lessons, which were also intended to overcome the stage fright which would plague her all her life. She then went on to star as aspiring singer Cherie in Bus Stop (1956), winning praise for her intelligent comic performance. Marilyn had become reliant on acting coach Paula Strasberg, whose presence on the set of her next film, The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), frustrated director Lawrence Olivier. Olivier commended Monroe's comic abilities, but grew irritated at her lateness and inability to remember her lines. The film's turbulent production history is portrayed in My Week With Marilyn (2011), starring Michelle Williams as Marilyn.

Something's got to give After a year's gap in which she suffered a miscarriage, Monroe returned to Hollywood in 1958 to begin work on Some Like It Hot (1959). She

became increasingly unreliable, showing up late, if at all, and was unable to remember even simple lines. Her antics infuriated both cast and crew, and when filming finished Marilyn suffered another miscarriage. Despite the torturous filming process, the film was a resounding success, and Marilyn won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. Written by Marilyn’s third husband Arthur Miller, The Misfits (1961) was to be her final completed film. Her health had deteriorated over the last few years and she was becoming reliant on sleeping pills and alcohol. She was rushed to hospital and remained there for 10 days, although the nature of her illness was undisclosed. Marilyn's relationship with Miller had also become strained, as she believed that he had used her personal problems to inspire one of his characters. When filming finished, the couple separated. Despite these problems, the film has become a classic, thanks in part to Marilyn’s superb performance. Monroe suffered further health problems before and during the filming of her incomplete final film, Something’s Got to Give (1962). After reportedly feeling better, she died from an overdose of barbiturates and was found in her LA home on the morning of the 5th August 1962. Still an inspiration for filmmakers today, Marilyn's beauty, charm and troubled life have seen her popularity continue even 50 years after her death.


27th April 2012



Check out Russell Webb's review of A League of Their Own at

A night to remember!

Abbie Salter speaks to costume drama star Rebecca Night about her career so far and new projects Why did you get into acting? When I was little I was always away in my imagination, so I had always wanted to do something with it without realising. When I was about eight I went to this small middle school and the head teacher was really into drama, and that was when I thought, oh this is really fun. I wasn't always, but I did have a tendency to be quite shy and acting made me not afraid of anything. I loved becoming other people, and I think I knew then that [acting] was what I wanted to do. One of your most recognisable roles is playing Fanny Hill in the BBC adaptation, how did you prepare to play such an explicit character? I think I went Oh My God how am I going to play this, but then I thought it is Andrew Davies, so I am just going to have to knuckle down and get on with it and not think about it too much. There was also lots of interesting stuff to play, character wise - the transformation from working class orphan into this grander lady who has lived this crazy life of pleasure. So by thinking about that, and the other actors that I would be working with, it was okay because it could become about the scenes rather than worrying about taking my clothes off, which was scary in itself. You’ve starred in quite a few period dramas, such as Lark Rise to Candleford and Wuthering Heights; do you prefer acting in period pieces or is it just coincidence? I think for a while it was a coincidence and casting directors thinking that I looked okay in a corset. But I have been doing a few more modern things lately, which I’ve really been enjoying. But when you are doing a period drama there are

more things to think about: you have to research the period; what they would have worn; how they would have stood, so it kind of gives another layer to it. And normally the characters in period dramas are more oppressed, and they can’t convey what they feel easily. I like to try and mix it up. You have also appeared on stage in The Importance of Being Earnest, do you prefer stage or television work? They are both really different, and I would love it if I could keep mixing between the two. I love theatre, but I think if I had to pick I might pick television and film as it is different every day. There is a higher resolution to TV, because if the scene is in a house you are actually filming in a house, but if you’re on stage it's just a wall. But there is something magical about doing theatre. I would like to keep doing both. Do you prepare differently for your characters on stage than you would for television productions?

Have you got a character that you've most enjoyed playing? I did really like playing Catherine Linton in Wuthering Heights, partly due to the dark stuff that happened to her her fight against it. I enjoyed running around bare foot on the moors, she's very earthy, and I found it really interesting to play. It's quite fun being shouted at by Tom Hardy. I would like to do another meaty kind of role similar to that. Are there any particular actors or actresses you would like to work with? I would like to work with Meryl Streep, she's amazing. I do feel very lucky though, as a lot of the actors and actresses I've worked with I've grown up thinking, wow you're amazing. I just want to be able to keep working with inspiring actors who I can learn from. Gary Oldman would be pretty cool too.

I guess in a way, for theatre you have four or five weeks to work your character through from beginning to end with everybody, and you are ready in time for press night. But for television you maybe do a read through, and then suddenly you are in, possibly filming the final scenes of a movie first so there's more guess work. You're figuring out the journey of the character as you go.

How do you cope with fame, and people coming up to you? To be honest it doesn't really happen very much, and when it does happen it's always quite sweet. But it's fine, I can go about my day-to -day life pretty unnoticed. I guess if you're in a costume drama you look quite different too. Do you think that fame has changed

you at all, or if any of the characters you've played have affected you when you come off camera? I think at the end of Wuthering Heights I felt quite blue, as it's such a melancholy, dark, fierce sort of novel and script, you're kind of shouting at each other a lot and it's quite miserable. But I don't know if it really changes you, I suppose you keep each character inside you, and I do have a fondness and think of them from time to time as though they were real for a moment. What's been your most surreal moment in your career? I used to be massively obsessed with Kevin Spacey when I was growing up, and thought he was amazing. I ran into him when I was 17; he sweetly had a chat with me, and then I worked with him at The Old Vic last year which was fun. Can you tell me a bit about your upcoming projects? Starlings is coming out first, it’'s eight one hour episodes for Sky it's a warm family comedy drama. It's lots of us living in one house, and the quirks of family love and how each family is a bit weird and different, but how you all still love each other. I had quite a fun journey in it becoming a mother in Starlings, which was interesting for me trying to see what motherhood is like having not experienced it myself. After that Suspension of Disbelief is next, which is Mike Figgis' movie that he has written and directed. That's more of a dark, possibly erotic thriller. They were both quite contrasting ones, being part of a warm family, and then in the film a dark messed up family with a strange past, there's still love in there but it's a bit hidden and weird I suppose. I really enjoyed playing the part though.

Top 5 BGT moments of the series Laura Megatli casts her eye over the acts that have made us laugh, cry and cringe

Jonathan and Charlotte

Ashleigh and Pudsey

Before you say 'it’s just because he's fat' no it's not. The opera duo had the wow factor. It was totally unexpected, especially by Simon Cowell as we all heard when they stepped onto the stage. Jonathan made me all weepy when he stood up for his partner and wouldn't go solo.

That is 4. DOGGIE!! all... There have





been some spectacular dog acts on this show in the past, and we all know that they are what Simon wants to find. This year he may actually have found one capable of winning that spot on the Royal Variety.

The Zimmers

Zipparah Tafari

They promoted the saying 'you're only as young as you feel' with their rendition of (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!). They had me in fits and wondering whether to get my Granny a hoodie for her birthday in the hopes that they might accept her into their crew.

'Where me keys, 1. ing where me phone?'

Ryan O'Shaughnessy This Irish cutie won

hearts of every 3. the female in the audi-

ence when he sang his song. If he is still single it's a crying shame. Most acts that come on performing their own song are buzzed within the first few bars, but not this charmer. Who wouldn't want a song written for them?!


Zippy had me ask-

for days on end. My sister and I now have the dance down to a tee. Yeah we're cool, just not as cool as Zippy. Have ya ever been in dat situaaay-shun. This annoyingly catchy tune saw Zippy through to the next round.

Telly Talk Anna Hughes Critic

Since 2003, reality television show America’s Next Top Model has entertained millions, featuring controversial modelling challenges, crazy cat-fights and its presenter and creator, the frighteningly insane Tyra Banks. However, news broke last week that three of the current judging panel; 'Noted-Fashioned-Photographer' Nigel Banks, 'Runway-Diva-CoachExtraordinaire' Miss J. Alexander and creative director Jay Manuel are to be axed from the next series. As anyone who has watched even a single episode of ANTM before knows, this is devastating news. While all Tyra seems to do every week is strut around taking photographs of herself for 'inspiration' and talking about her big forehead, it was Mr and Miss J. who provided feedback which was actually constructive. The three judges in question were also qualified to give advice, unlike Tyra, who seems experienced only in wearing underwear and making up words (smize, anyone?). These firings are not the first in ANTM's history. Tyra famously booted Janice Dickinson off the judging panel in 2005, seemingly because Janice was a million times more entertaining than her. Paulina Porizkova was also let go in 2009, apparently because Tyra thought that she had an 'ego-problem'. It seems that whenever a fellow judge threatens to usurp Tyra as the main focus of the show they are shunted – fast, and it's true that every series of ANTM becomes more and more Tyra-obsessed. The house the models live in is plastered in photographs of the presenter, meaning that almost every shot on the programme creepily features Tyra's face in some way, just as a reminder who the real star of the show is, as if we could ever forget. Tyra also has a worrying tendency to dress up in slutty costumes (favourites include a nurse, a princess, and disturbingly, a small child) and tell the contestants what to do whilst holding a magic wand. It's absolutely mental and great TV, but ANTM is rapidly sliding away from credible modelling show and more and more towards a great big plug for whatever Tyra is doing at the time. The models have had to star in her music video debut, appear on her talk show and mention new book releases at every opportunity. Even the opening credits have become one long montage of Tyra thrusting in bondage gear. Even for a hardcore (yet ashamed) lover of America's Next Top Model it seems that the latest act of Tyra-madness is a step too far. Yes, Nigel Barker was slightly seedy, and Mr and Miss J. definitely unhinged, but that's what made the show brilliant, and I wonder how long it will be until Tyra just gives up the show altogether.

Television 19

27th April 2012


Simon Cowell: A Celebrity Profile Jenna Kirby gives us a detailed look into the life of one of TV's most talked about men The recent publication of Tom Bower's scandalous tell-all book has hurled Simon Cowell well and truly right back into the limelight. Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell is still yet to be released, but its extremely shocking revelations have been plastered all over the tabloids and have been recently widely documented. The supposedly 'unauthorised' book claims that Cowell had a series of sexual liaisons with fellow X Factor judge Dannii Minogue back in 2007. Neither of the accused have denied this claim, and it seems a convenient time for such gossip, raising Cowell's profile just as Britain's Got Talent goes head-to-head in the ratings war against the BBC's new talent show, The Voice. Simon really needs to get televsion viewers on his side after he has realised how much of a hit the BBC's show has become, and ITV and himself have had to make the decision to move the new series of Britain's got Talent back in the viewing schedule on Saturday nights to get more viewers. So who is this famous music mogul who the papers love to gossip about and is rarely off our TV screens? Simon Cowell was born in Lambeth, London in 1959 to Eric Cowell, who was also involved in the music industry, and his ballet dancer wife, Julie Brett. His penchant for dating beautiful, famous women began

when he dated model Paula Hamilton, aged just 17. Cowell worked a number of menial jobs after leaving school but clashed with colleagues and bosses; his entrance into the music industry came when his father, who was an executive at recording company EMI, managed to get him a job there. Cowell worked his way up the career ladder at EMI, and left during the early 1980s to co-found E&S Music. Despite the company being based in a converted public toilet, they produced several hit records before Cowell left a few years later. His first taste of success came during the eight years he worked at Fanfare Records; the first act he signed was Sinitta, the singer who went on to be his girlfriend and then become infamous for wearing costumes made of leaves when she helped Cowell choose his acts for The X Factor. Cowell relentlessly promoted Sinitta's first hit 'So Macho', until it finally broke into the Top 10 Singles Chart in 1986. In 1989, Cowell moved on to work for BMG where he signed several successful acts such as Westlife and Robson and Jerome. Cowell first appeared on our TV screens back in 2001 when he became a judge on the first series of Pop Idol, which brought us Will Young and Gareth Gates. This is where he developed his on-screen reputation for being 'the nasty judge', and pretty soon his role became synonymous with high-

waisted trousers and scathing criticism. In 2002, Cowell became a judge on American Idol and set up his own record label, Syco Music, affiliated with Sony BMG. Although only two series of Pop Idol aired in the UK, Cowell didn't leave American Idol until 2010. The X Factor, which Cowell created using his company, Syco, began its first series in 2004 and has become a fixture of British TV over the past eight years. Every winning act, including Leona Lewis, Shayne Ward, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry and Matt Cardle, have been signed to Syco Records, making Simon a whole lot of money. The successful show has had its fair share of controversy, including feuds between the judges and protest over its inevitable domination of the UK Singles Chart at Christmas. Cowell left the show as a judge in 2011, when he introduced a new lineup: Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos. Barlow's return has been confirmed in the last few days, but it remains to be seen which of the other judges pulled off a good enough performance to return for the next series. Alongside the success of The X Factor, Cowell co-created America's Got Talent, which debuted to enormous success in 2006. Britain's Got Talent followed in 2007. The show gained inter-

national publicity in 2009, when Susan Boyle's surprising talent made viewing figures skyrocket. The sixth series of Britain's Got Talent is airing on ITV at the moment, in intense competition with The Voice, with which it shares a primetime Saturday night slot. Cowell, who is known for his friendship with a string of ex-girlfriends, surprised the press when he announced his engagement to makeup artist Mezhgan Hussainy in February 2010. However, it appears he is not ready to settle down just yet as they split earlier this year. Furthermore, the cause behind his good friendship with

his exes was revealed in 2011, when, during an interview with The Guardian, Cowell admitted to paying his ex-girlfriends huge amounts of money after the relationship ends. TV presenter Terri Seymour, whom Cowell dated for six years, apparently got a 'parting gift' of around ÂŁ6million following their break-up in 2008. But seeing as Cowell is worth a massive reported ÂŁ200million, making him the sixth richestperson in the British music industry as of 2011, what's a few million here and there, if it means holding off scandals such as the ones revealed in Bower's book?

Reviews: This week's hottest shows Grandma's House Lucy Mulgrew Critic

Whenever I have spoken to people about this week's second series of the show Grandma's House, most people have never seemed to have heard of it. This, for me, is such a massive shame. The first series of the award winning comedian, presenter and screen-writer Simon Amstell's self-reflective comedy-drama must have garnered enough of an audience to warrant a second though, and the comedy aspects seen in the first series definitely have con-

2 Broke Girls Abi Salter

Online Television Editor

Unless you really have been revising over Easter, you can't have missed E4's continual advertisement of new American sitcom 2 Broke Girls. My enjoyment of Made in Chelsea and One Tree Hill was diminished by the irritating fake laughs adorning the ad for 'America's hit series!' I tuned in to see if it lived up to the hype that E4 claimed. Within the first 10 minutes of the show's debut, the majority of clips used in the promos had al-

tinued into the second series! Simon has a new promotional strategy (he has been taking to Twitter extensively and has appeared in a number of videos on The Guardian website) to hopefully get new viewers to watch the show, as well as sustain all the old viewers of the show. Hopefully, this brilliant little show will reach an even wider audience. The comedy show gets off to a hilariously awkward start in which Simon finds himself in bed with his cousin's 16 year-old friend. Even more fun ensues as he tries to fight off the attentions of the amorous young teenager, keep it a secret from his family gathered downstairs and all the while trying

to fix a precarious shower. Simon's comedy is rooted in real life, as he reveals he has got a new job playing a character, much like himself in a sitcom. His mother asks 'do you need more acting lessons?'. You can't help but believe that every one of his mother's jibes and his aunt's awkward comments must be real too. The comedy is sharp and intelligent, the cast are brilliant (Amstell does just make the show though!). The plot, though minimal, serves the show well, hopefully the rest of the series keeps up the high standard, with many more laughs to come. You can catch it on BBC 2.

ready been shown, and I was left wondering what was left of the 20 minute pilot. The first episode introduced us to its two female protagonists; cue Max, a Brooklyner with her acid tongued one liners, and new girl at the diner Caroline rich girl turned poor. The character of Max plays on the stereotypical Brooklyn girl, working two jobs to afford her rundown apartment and looking down on Upper East Sider Caroline, whilst simultaneously offending the majority of the patrons at the diner. Stereotypes appear to be the main source of comedy for producer Michael Patrick King as we

have the immigrant owner Han Lee changing his name to Bryce Lee and the perverted yet harmless Ukrainian chef Oleg. However, my favourite stereotype was definitely the Manhattan 'mom' of twins Brangelina. The script only provides a few cheap laughs and it didn't really entice me to tune back in. The first episode gave me the impression of a TV version of a cheesy pop song, you can cope with it when it's on and there's nothing else to watch. I won't be excitedly waiting for next week's instalment. But if you fancy an easy distraction from revision then I'll let you off for watching it. E4, Thursday 9pm.




27th April 2012

Sophie Cowling asks Fluorescent PR for their top career tips:

Vogue Festival 2012: Christopher Bailey, The Man, The Legend

Megan Jones

Online Life&Style Editor

Christopher Bailey is often described as the saviour of Burberry, and rightly so. Since his appointment at the British house in 2001, along with CEO Angela Ahrendts, he has transformed the company from what he described as a “trodden diamond” into the internationally renowned, luxurious and innovative brand that we see today, whilst still remaining true to its British heritage. In an interview with Vogue last year, Bailey noted how upon his arrival, 'Burberry was just in an old rut', a 'company based on past glory'. After targeting a younger market through the aid of digital

media, the brand has just recently reached record sales of £1 billion after an increase of 18% in the last six months. British stars including Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne and Cara Delevingne have all fronted some of the company’s campaigns while Samantha Cameron, Kate Bosworth and Keira Knightley are amongst the many celebrities wearing Burberry designs. Speaking at Friday’s Vogue Festival, Bailey presented himself as the antithesis to the ruthless figure one sometimes associates with success in business with his humble, down to earth and incredibly normal persona. He discussed how he’s a sucker for Masterchef, loves Downtown Abbey and can’t wait to catch up with The Voice; a huge Will.I.Am fan, apparently. Despite being an international name, Bailey stays true to his British roots. The Yorkshireman chatted about how he loves English weather; one minute it’s sunny, then hailing, then raining, then thundering. 'It was lovely waking up this morning and feeling instantly uplifted by seeing the sunshine, but there’s something very poetic about the rain. There is something magical about the British weather', he explained in coversation with Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman. Afterall, it was the gabardine raincoat that established Burberry and remains its most iconic piece.

In the house’s most recent collection, the show closed with models parading down the catwalk clutching umbrellas, very fashionable ones of course, as a storm started on the soundtrack and rain ran down the tent’s walls. His most recent venture, well one of many seeing as Bailey oversees every last detail of the brand, involves the opening of the Burberry’s biggest ever store on London’s Regent Street. His main aim across the stores? 'I want Burberry to feel welcoming and inspiring, not intimidating or uncomfortable'. He doesn’t want visitors to feel they are unworthy of the brand and

Career Q&A with an Elite Model Scout Sophie Cowling Life&Style Editor

L&S speak to Martina Kobesova, Director of Scouting, for her top industry tips ahead of the Elite Model Look competition launching at the end of this month... How did you get into the industry? I was a model myself; therefore I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet the right people for me to start my career as a model agent and scout. Do you have any advice for students wanting to pursue a career in model scouting? There is no particular advice but you have to train your eye and it's imperative to have your finger on the pulse of the fashion industry to know what the current ‘look’ is. You will also need to be aware of the demographic you are looking for; newly scouted models tend to be 16-21, so you will need to identify suitable places to find your demographic. How does Elite work with brands - do the brands choose the models they want themselves or does the agency provide who they think is best for the job? The Agency will always provide suitable models based on client’s

request, the skill of a booker is being able to identify what models suit which client and the type of job. What's a typical day in the life for a model scout at Elite? Part of my job is spent at the agency as a booker but every available moment I get is spent at various scouting opportunities. As a scout you are always alert and looking for the next big thing! You don’t really ever switch off, but as soon as springtime arrives, it is a lot more enjoyable to be out and about searching for fresh new faces. How similar is the Elite office to that of Premier Model Management, shown in the E4 documentary ‘The Model Agency’? Is it as hectic and dramatic? Although every agency is very different, we all share a passion for the industry we work in and are constantly striving to exceed expectations, this can sometimes lead to tensions running high, however the Elite team has a great energy and we always work very well together. Elite Model Management have discovered models like Nyasha Matonhodze, Constance Jablonski, Sigrid Agren, Ming Xi and Fei Fei Sun. What’s your relationship with these models when they become such big celebrities – do they stay in the agency?

Nyasha and Fei Fei were both New Faces when I started at Elite, so I had the opportunity to watch both girls grow and see their careers blossom. They are both very lovely, hard-working girls. Nyasha was our first winner of Elite Model Look UK in 2009, so it has been fantastic to watch her develop from a schoolgirl to the super model she is today. The majority of the top girls (i.e. Constance Jablonski, Sigrid Agren, Ming Xi) travel to the UK twice a year for London Fashion Week, and occasionally throughout the year for jobs. Communication with them is always lovely and they always come to say hello when they have some free time during their busy schedules. Does your criteria for what makes a potential model differ year on year? Not drastically, there is always a basic criteria of what we look for in a model which will remain same, but of course you have to watch trends. We do, at the end of the day, work in fashion!

thus wants them to browse and explore the store, aided through its iPad collection, even if they have no intention of purchasing an item. The shop shouldn't just be a 'vanity project', but a chance to immerse yourself into the brand. The company’s brilliant website and Facebook page are another way fans worldwide can absorb all things Burberry. Not only can you browse collections (Womenswear, Menswear, Childrenswear, Beauty, Fragrance, Accessories, Home&Gifts) but you can see a timeline of the brand’s history, discover new music through Burberry Acoustic, create your own bespoke trench and see the classic coat on customers from all corners of the world with 'The Art of The Trench'. Though the company is growing by the minute, comprising currently of around 9,000 employees, Bailey ensures that his team stays extremely connected and informed about everything Burberry. Through their internal social media site, Burberry Chat, they aim to keep everyone in the know so that the inner-Burberry world stays small, no matter how big the brand becomes. It seems there’s no stopping this talented individual who shows that, to make it in this business you need talent, hard-work and ambition, but most importantly, a smile.

Desert Island Beauty Product April Shacklock

Senior Life&Style Writer

This foaming cleansing gel is a 3 in 1 solution designed to remove all make-up, hydrate and soothe skin. The cleansing wash is easy to apply so it’s a perfect, time efficient beauty regime to undertake even when coming in from a night out. All the ingredients, which include antioxidant moringa and aloe vera, are organic which is why your skin feels so naturally balanced after use. Areas prone to redness or uneven complexion are visibly reduced after just one use! As this cleansing gel is also designed to remove eye make-up, it is incredibly gentle and won’t sting your eyes when applied. The aim of this cleanser is to thoroughly remove all make-up without stripping the skin. So although it is a slightly pricey £14.00, I have never used a cleanser which gives such beautiful results so quickly.

What's your top-tip for aspiring models wanting to break into the industry?

Fierce Sarah Murray Writer

Bullring Student Lock-in - Last night's student event in the Bullring was a huge success: student discount galore. Thank you, loan! Latest Zara Collection - Punchy prints and summer basics have had us lusting after everything in the store. Mulberry Del Ray - Get your name on the waiting list. As if we needed another Mulberry bag to drool over. The Olympics Kit - Team GB in Stella McCartney, definitely fierce. Summer Plans - Student loan = holiday, right? Marc Jacobs' Make-Up Line - One of Life&Style's favourite designers (who celebrated his 49th birthday last week!) has announced the release of a makeup collection. We can't wait. The London Marathon - A huge congratulations to TOWIE's Arg who completed the Marathon last weekend in an incredible 6.01 hours. All that hard work paid off! Shirt Dresses - Comfy and casual, these flattering dresses are said to be bang on trend this summertime. The Engagement of Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie - Congratulations to the Hollywood couple, who have FINALLY agreed to tie the knot!

Finished Revision. - Enough said. Getting Caught in a Downpour - You think it's sunny, but as soon as you leave the house it pours with rain. Spencer on Made In Chelsea - Even his good looks won't sway me. Team Jamie all the way. Leopard Print - According to those in the know it's all about Snakeskin right now. Rumours of Topshop bridal range - As huge fans of Topshop as we are, we're a little sceptical of a Bridal collection. Rihanna's Tweets - '@This bitch I'm wiz iz thik az PHHHUCK' '@ Ridin' round wit a bitch named Keisha smoking on Keisha' No RiRi, stick with the music. Prince Harry & Mollie King's Romance - Rumours that Prince Harry has taken a liking to the blonde singer from The Saturdays. Absolutely gutting.

Don’t take yourself too seriously, keep grounded and work hard. The Elite Model Look competition launches on the 25th April 2012. For further details and to take part visit

Fierce & Finished

Stella McCartney's at Vogue Fest - The stylish designer offered one lucky audience member work experience during her interview at Vogue Festival. Well jel - if only it was that easy for the rest of us!

Life&Style 21

27th April 2012


It's All Gone Pear Shaped: The Summer Style Guide Sophie Hay Writer

My sister and I have always struggled with our body shape – both being rather ‘bootylicious’ (as our mum, so sweetly, puts it) in the bottom department and rather non-existent on top, it’s often a struggle to find clothes to fit us. After a recent near-meltdown situation staged by my sister as she struggled into some skinny jeans in the River Island changing rooms, I decided it was time for us juicy pears to embrace our protruding rear-ends and listen to the wise words of Freddie Mercury: ‘fat-bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round’. Yes, we pears may suffer from saddle bags and cellulite, but at least we have (relatively) flat stomachs and toned arms. We fall under the same category as hotties like Kim Kardashian and Mischa Barton – who could complain about that? The trick to making the most of your pear-shaped figure is all in the style of clothes you wear and so, my big-bottomed beauties, here’s a guide to the most figureflattering summer items (and a few styles to avoid) to help you showcase your curves…

Mad Men Fashion Craze Megan Jones

PEAR-FRIENDLY… High-waisted floaty skirts are our best friend and lucky for us, they’re everywhere this season. They’ll pull you in at the waist, accentuating your best feature, whilst skimming over your wider hips and thighs. Don’t be afraid of colour BUT avoid fussy patterns on your bottom half. This flippy skirt is £30 from Topshop and comes in a variety of colours. Peg-leg trousers are a great shape for pear-shaped girls and a brilliant alternative to skinny jeans. This shape can cinch in your waist and skim over hips – the tapered ankle-grazer will balance out your lower half, drawing attention to the smallest part of your leg and putting your figure into proportion. Longer-length tops are a good way to skim over your hips. A swing shirt is a brilliant shape because it avoids any tightness around your lower half and, if paired with skinny jeans or leggings, disguises the hips and bum to show off the lower, slimmer

part of your leg. Go for a halter-neck top to draw attention to your shoulders and balance out your hips. With swimwear, make sure you draw attention to your top half with a bikini top that has heavy detail and keep the pants simple. PEAR-MARE... Avoid tops that fall slightly above the widest part of your hips – a top that sits above this point will merely draw attention to your hips and make you look out of proportion. This season short tops are everywhere but don’t be tempted to buy one! Crop-tops are an option (don’t be afraid to show off your waist or midriff) BUT compensate by keeping your bottom half floaty. Be wary of cropped jackets – a jacket that finishes above your hips will cut you in an unflattering place. Cropped denim jackets will work with floaty skirts or dresses but not with skinny trousers – instead, try a light boyfriend blazer in a summery shade which finishes mid-thigh. Avoid body-con styles unless you’re super-toned – tight clothes

can be the enemy of even the skinniest of girls but if you do have any wobbly bits, body-con will be your worst nightmare. Instead, try the skater dress which is bang-ontrend this season – the tighter top and cinched in waist will accentuate your tiny top half and the floaty skirt of the dress will disguise your bum and hips, transforming your figure. This turquoise Miss Selfridge number is the ideal dress for pear shaped girls – the pleat bodice and cut out detail draws the eye to the smaller half of your body. Once you know the styles that suit you it can be really easy to find clothes to flatter your figure. The most important thing is to not get too hung up on sizes – you might feel like some sort of mutant buying a size eight top and a size twelve jeans but nobody will be able to tell if you buy the styles that give the illusion of an in-proportion figure. It’s normal to have moments when you detest your pear-figure but when you’re at crisis point just remember… no one can do the Beyonce booty-shake quite like you!

Online Life&Style Editor

The most stylish show on TV is back. Mad Men returned for its fifth season this Easter and not only have the story lines not faltered after almost 18 months off the air, neither has the styling. As the show progresses into the latter end of the decade, 1966 to be exact, we get a glimpse of the fun and frivolous 60s which have thus far not been seen inside the walls of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Lengths are definitely shorter than the previous season to reflect the more relaxing era; a trend which Don’s new wife, Megan, embraces the most. She sports a black mini with sheer flowing sleeves and an embellished high collar as she sings the eccentric yet catchy 'Zou Bisou Bisou” at her husband’s surprise birthday party. The apartment’s minimalist and modern setting acts as a background for another trend of the period: vibrant prints. Jane Sterling wears a loose-fitting orange and white swirl print dress, Trudy Campbell opts for a high collar floral dress and Cynthia Cosgrove chooses a diamond-print for her ever popular shift dress. Even the men make a statement in some brightly-checked blazers.

'So Tell Us, Theo Paphitis, Are You a Romantic?' Boux Avenue

Lucy Whife & Sophie Cowling Life&Style Editors

'So Theo, tell us.. Would you describe yourself as a romantic?', was probably not an opening question Dragon and business extraordinaire, Theo Paphitis, is not used to being asked at the beginning of an interview, but we like to ask the hard-hitting questions. In this case, however, it was an appropriate context for the question as we were attending the press launch of Mr Paphitis’ new, luxurious (and romantic) lingerie store, Boux Avenue, which opened last month in

the Bullring. The answer to this question was of course, yes, with him admitting, 'I could sit and listen to Adele all day long, shed a few tears!' ( to all his business opponents it appears we have found a weakness!). Theo Paphitis, one of Britain’s most successful businessmen, is famous for his appearance on the BBC series Dragons’ Den, as well as his business ventures in Ryman’s Stationary and La Senza (which he sold in 2006). He has come back fighting with a new lingerie line. We asked him how this store would differentiate from his work with La Senza and other current shops on the high street. He explained, 'Boux Avenue will only be a 20 to 25 store chain. It’s all about modern technology and modern retail concepts, but still linking with traditional values.' His comment on technology is evidently true; on arriving in the store, customers find small electronic screens continually changing to show latest promotions and offers, prices and lingerie previews – a modern touch that very few retail stores have taken advantage of. Similarly, all the fitting rooms offer customers the choice of three light settings, so you have the

chance to see how you will look in a night, dusk or light setting, as well as a small speaker to send through any questions to the sales assistants on the fitting rooms. It is very fancy! Indeed the light settings was one of our favourite aspects of the store and Theo explained the logic behind it: 'In January, ladies, without a tan, wearing underwear, under a great big bloody fluorescent strip you’re not going to be looking at your best are you?' A bold statement, but we have to say, very true. Theo believes that 'it’s all about the customer, and making you feel good in lingerie in January is surely the best kind of customer service there is? The sales assistants also echoed this ethos of attentive customer service and were knowledgeable about the brand and products. They were keen to explain to us Boux Avenue’s VIP reward system; as you shop in the store you gain points, and with points you receive exclusive offers, discounts and a chance to preview collections before anyone else. As for the products themselves, Boux Avenue offers a selection of lacy and romantic lingerie, as well as more practical pieces like t-shirt bras, slippers and dressing

gowns. We also spied one piece of underwear that looked suspiciously like a re-make of the infamous ‘Bridget Jones pants’ – let’s hope they’re making a comeback. With prices varying from £10 bras to more expensive £48 corsets, it accessibly combines high street prices and boutique exclusivity, whilst further appealing to students with a 10% student discount. So join Theo on his latest ‘romantic’ business venture by visiting Boux Avenue (he’s a lovable Dragon really).

Such trends continue in the office as Megan accompanies her husband to work in a coral shift dress with a matching zig-zag print cardigan. Other office attire of the new Mrs Draper includes a monochrome polka-dot shirt with frill detail and a monochrome above the knee skirt, pointing to the 60s’ love for black and white.


27th April 2012


Random Travel Quote:

'Travelling is the ruin of all happiness. There's no looking at a building here after seeing Italy' Fanny Burney

Discovering the Marrakech madness in the heart of Morocco Hannah Detheridge explores the ancient city's souks and tagines.

Walk along any road in Marrakech and you take your life into your own hands. It's a good place to start if you want to experience the diversity of the city; cars, vans, motorbikes all veer wildly, fighting for space with horse drawn carriages and overloaded carts dragged by donkeys or mules. The general idea seems to be that anywhere a person can walk, a motorbike can ride. Trying to avoid being run over is quite a feat; they squeeze themselves through the tightest of passageways, regardless of how many people may be shopping there. The great square of Djemaa elFna is filled with snake charmers, women huddled together offering henna tattoos and men thrusting monkeys at eager tourists. As night gathers, great crowds accumulate, drawn to the marquees where the waiters fight for your custom and you can eat hot kebabs cooked in front of you. Bonfires are lit and people are drawn to the traditional music that is playing live every night. Chefs fan smoke across the square to cook their food as quickly as possible and everywhere there are hagglers, beggars, dancers, hecklers and travellers, lending the city a carnival atmosphere not unlike being at a festival. From the square you head into the labyrinth of the souks, where you can find dentists setting up shop next to open air butchers. Walking through the maze of the medina you are confronted by the seething virile life of the city, the reek of expensive leather, the rows upon rows of dusty silver jewellery, rainbows of silk scarves and carefully piled up fruit and vegetables. Some stalls resemble jumble

sales whilst others must not look very different to how they did a thousand years ago. There's undeniably something magic about the city, and there is a perceptible collision between ancient African culture and the rapidly modernising Arabic world. Marrakech never stops, from the people to the shopping to the streets, which all move at a frantic pace. It's well worth considering a few days out of the city to appreciate it even more on your return. For those of you who like outdoor activities the only place to go is the exciting peaks of the Atlas Mountains. For the thrill seekers among you, the best place to visit is Imlil, easily reachable by taxi and where most of the treks start. Agree the price before taking the taxi, as you can get there for four hundred dirhams if you're firm with the drivers, which is roughly 40 euros regardless of the number of passengers. The tiny village of Imlil clings to the sheer mountain face, and I cannot recommend the Dar Adra lodge enough. With homely rooms, some of which have their o w n miniature log fire and a welcoming atmosphere, it is run by the wonderful Mohammed, who organises treks up to the summit of Mount Toubkal for those who are

so inclined. Being possibly the most unathletic person you could ever meet, I was perfectly happy curled up in the lodge for a few days eating enormous amounts of home cooked food, which had to be the best I've ever eaten. Moroccan food is cooked in Tagines; special clay pots that cook food slowly to release the flavours.

The food in Morocco isn't overl y spiced, just remarka b l y well flavoured. Next door to the lodge a col-

ony of goats had set up residence, and throughout the day and night whether in the city or the mountains the call to prayer echoes across the valleys. To wind down from the frantic city life, a visit to the beautiful Jardin Majorelle is absolutely necessary. For 25 dirham you can wander the sculpted gardens and marvel at the electric blue buildings and impeccable water features, square ponds covered with lily pads, and teeming with a healthy population of terrapins.

Masses of flowers hang low over the well kept paths and the noise of the city is wondrously blocked out, even though it is just a wall that separates you from the bustling city outside.

Yves Saint Laurent's ashes are scattered there, who when alive, dedicated much time and money to the gardens and co-owned them from 1980 with Pierre Berge. You can visit his memorial in a quiet corner of the garden, a discreet pillar mounted above a marble memorial slab inscribed with the words 'In Memorium Yves Saint Laurent, Couturier Franรงaise' and his birth and death dates. It is a peaceful resting place, and there is a tiny gallery where hang the 'Love' postcards he sent to his loved ones every New Year for decades. Someone said Marrakech is the closest you'll get to Kathmandu this side of Dubai, which is true in a sense; though perhaps it is a little cleaner. The country is steeped in ancient culture; the food, shopping and sights are all completely unique, but it's not for the fainthearted. As a word of warning to female travellers, don't make my mistake and pack half your girly dresses into the suitcase; in the city centre in particular it will make your life a lot easier if you show as little skin as possible. Haggling is the norm for most shopkeepers but they'll try and charge you astronomically if you let them, so pick the price you want to pay and stick to it at all costs. They generally back down if you show signs of losing interest. Above the gates to the city, eagles nest precariously on the tops of the pillars, well worth trying to catch a sight of if you can. Visit the old town and catch glimpses of camels lounging in car parks. Morocco is undoubtedly a diverse, thriving place and there is something for everyone here, no matter who you are.

Home Photo of the Week

Malaysian Madness Will Spence discovers how, as far as holiday destinations go, Malaysia has a myriad of options to suit all

tastes, budgets and ages. It's culture separates it heavily from the unpredictable nature of nearby Thailand and Vietnam, but at the same time has that quintessential Asian feel to. For the keen trekker or the beach fanatic, Malaysia can give you what you want.



The Shangri La, Rasa Ria Should you have saved up an extra few pennies during the year, staying at the Shangri La is a definite must while in Sabah, Borneo. Situated on its own stretch of beach, the only thing surrounding it is the huge golf courses and the monkey calls from the nearby jungle. The Shangri La is immersed in nature while possessing that hint of eloquence and sophistication that has made its brand so famous. Relaxing on the beach with a book, or fine dining in one of its several huge buffets, it's a world away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur.

The hawker stalls in Kuala Lumpur In a city so cosmopolitan as Kuala Lumpur, or KL as the locals have it, you're never far from a huge range of restaurants to eat at. It's easy to splash the cash at some of the fantastic restaurants here, but if you really want to experience traditional Malaysia, visit the hawker stalls. The cheaper the plastic seat, the cheaper the beer, but the food quality is completely the opposite. From saucy seafood to crackling chicken, and with service like something out of the Ivy, this is a must if visiting Malaysia.



Climb Mt. Kinabalu Two miles from Kota Kinabalu in Borneo, the climb up Mt. Kinabalu is an interesting one, posing a challenge to those feeling the effects of their beer bellies at 3am in the morning and 4000 metres up. In the rainy season, the walk up to base camp is something similar to gorge walking; the early morning 1am rise to reach the summit brushing the sleep out your eyes with temperatures as low as minus one degrees. Not one for the faint-hearted.

photo by JRWebbe on Flickr

Bamburgh Castle

photo by Emily Booth

Travel 23

27th April 2012


Flashpacking vs Backpacking: Who Wins? Gemma Fottles Travel Writer

When people talk about travelling, what often springs to mind are the stereotypical images of scruffy, 20 year olds bumming around the world with an equally scruffy, massively over sized backpack weighing them down. This is clearly not the ideal way to see the world for everyone, and this stereotype could put a lot of people off the idea of extensive travel. However, travelling doesn’t always have to involve the dirty grittiness of cliché backpacking. Flashpacking is the new luxury backpacking. Forget living off poorly cooked rice in a 12 bed shared dorm at £5 a night hostels, flashpacking is all about seeing the world in a socially acceptable state that your parents wouldn’t be ashamed of.

too, though. Aside from potentially saving a huge amount of money overall, the whole backpacking exercise can result in a multitude of experiences you may not have even known about if taking the somewhat easier road of considerable comfort. Staying in a shared dormi-

this form of transport over a comparatively tame taxi drive is arguably one of the highlights of the city, and something that people with more access to money may avoid. On the other hand though, staying in more expensive places and spending a decent amount on

Staying in good hotels and eating in nice restaurants means that you often miss out on taking part in the true culture of the country

Travelling doesn't always have to involve the dirty grittiness of cliché backpacking Staying in private rooms, eating out at restaurants and being able to take regular – and sanitary – showers are just some of the perks of flashpacking, and although ultimately a lot more expensive, it is an increasingly popular way to travel for the more cleanliness-conscious nomad. Backpacking, in the more traditional sense, does have its perks

include a more complete immersion into the surrounding culture. Staying in good hotels and eating in nice restaurants means that you often miss out the true culture of the country. Whether this means the type of food you eat, or even how you travel about, budget backpacking often results in ex-

YHA Rowan on Flickr tory, for example, isn’t the most pleasant type of accommodation but the people you meet can often become friends, who in turn share tips and advice about the various places they have visited. This kind of information is more often than not exclusive; practical tips and hints that you won’t find in the guide books. Other perks of backpacking

periencing the way the locals live, and can be an eye-opening and exhilarating experience. For example, having very little money in Bangkok means, if you need to get across the city, you’re probably going to have to get in a Tuk-tuk – a terrifying cross between a motorbike and a rickshaw. Opting for


Away Photo of the Wee

food throughout your trip can be safer, easier and generally more reassuring than staying in dodgy but cheap areas and eating solely from street vendors. Although it is not common to feel threatened in hostels, the added security of a hotel definitely helps to ease concern in particularly dangerous parts of the world. While the more hardcore and traditional of nomadic backpackers may look at the new generation of wealthier and modernised flashpackers with a slight sneering smile of superiority over their 10p noodle soup, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to travel. If the only way you’ll be happy touring the world is with a few added home comforts, then so what? There are many ways to travel, but the most important thing is that you find the one best suited to you.

Worldwide May Maharashta Festival: The large economically powerful Indian state of Maharashtra celebrates it's achievement of independence each year on the 1st of May, with festival parades and colourful shows, and a ceremonial parade held at the Shivaji Park in central Mumbai. The Riding of the Bounds: The Riding of the Bounds ceremony takes place each year at Berwick-upon-Tweed on the 1st May. Around 70 local residents of the town ride on horseback around the Berwick boundaries to remember the historic scouring of the Scots from the area. Verzaubert Film Weekend: The annual gay and lesbian film festival tours Germany's major cities, and will be in Munich in midMay. This year the festival celebrates the changing dynamics of love politics and gender identities. Fiesta de Cuasimodo:

Photo of Frejus, France by Chloe Osborne

The historic Chilean Fiesta de Cuasimodo is celebrated each year on the first Sunday after Easter. Colourfully dressed knights follow the priest to sermon, in memory of a priest who was assaulted by knights in his quest to reach God.

Travel Rant:

Should've stayed at home Chloe Osborne Travel Editor

Ever had one of those holidays where you get back, and realise that you wish you’d just stayed at home in the first place? These holidays tend to fall into a particular bracket, including the 'family' holiday, the 'rained all week' holiday, and the 'caravan' holiday. Whilst the first of these holiday pitfalls, the 'family holiday', has one particular advantage to it, i.e. that it’s normally free, it also has the enormous disadvantage of, as the name suggests, being in close proximity to your family. The 'rained all week' holiday is fairly self explanatory; your dreams of a tan come to nothing and you sit inside watching TV for the duration of your holiday in a manner not dissimilar to every other day at home during the Easter break. The 'caravan' holiday in the meantime is a tricky one. The best and worst times can be had in these prefabricated claustrophobia sheds; sadly though the best times tend to be the ones where neither the family nor the rain are involved. Not to suggest that there are not exceptions. Even I have had the odd fun holiday that can fall into not one, or even two of the 'regret-the-holiday' categories, but into all three. Rainy family holidays in a caravan can be great! The sad truth is though, that the age when you find these holidays less than painful seems to have an expiry date, which I think might in fact be at about the age of 15 (if your parents are lucky). With this in mind, why, at the age of 20, I agreed to go on a caravanning holiday with my parents and two teenage brothers, is a total mystery. All I had wanted was a bit of sun and a quiet environment to pretend to do some revision in, whilst eating food and drinking copious amounts of cheap French wine that was all paid for by the parental unit. The French Eurocamp we were staying at sadly left much to be desired. We had expected sun, sea, culture and relaxation. What we got was a drained swimming pool, a gym closed for the season, bike hire at about 30 Euros a day, and a restaurant that any health inspector would have had a field day in. I have stayed in my fair share of international hovels and am not at all squeamish about insects in the shower, cockroaches in the bed, and even the occasional hair in my food, but rat droppings in the salad is a bit much even for me to stomach. After a week of sunless, swimming-less, salad-less (and sleepless, after sharing a bed with my 12 year old brother for a week) misery, returning home was, for once, a relief. So if you're anything like me, the next time you're invited for a break with the family on a potentially rainy caravan holiday, heed this warning. No amount of free food and drink is worth it. Stay at home and use fake tan.

Travel fact of the week: The royal family never travel on the same aeroplane, in case of a crash!


27th April 2012



Food Fact

The earliest evidence for the consumption of soup dates back to 6000 B.C; it was made out of hippopotamus!

Spotlight on Birmingham's Bullring Market Elizabeth Hewitt Writer Right in the heart of Birmingham City Centre lies the Bullring Market, which plays host to a variety of different traders and stalls including meat, poultry, fish and horticulture. It contains the once famous Bullring Food Hall and boasts that it 'provides the best range of fresh meat, poultry and widest range of fish anywhere Josh Oxley in the country as well as fresh fruit Online Food Editor and veg from all over the world'. Open six days a week from 9am to 5.30pm, there is a busy There is a store called Aldi, and vibrant atmosphere at the In the heart of Selly Oak, market with the stalls ranging That I rely on badly, from jewellery and shoes to a 'ye Because I'm always broke. olde' sweet shop, although arguably the market's greatest asset is the range of food on offer. From buying pre-drinks for Fab, Amongst the various stalls you To stocking up on food, could find pretty much anything An Aldi shop is never drab, you were looking for. Butchers are It always gets me in a happy on hand to offer your fresh cuts of mood. meat, starting with your everyday chicken fillets, duck breasts and so on. If you're looking for something Forever sprinting round the store, you may not find on the shelves Fearful of bumping into a friend, of Tesco then this is definitely the Barely avoiding the stains on the place to come; rabbits and quails floor, are products you may not be used Which may well bring my life to to seeing on a meat counter if you an end. usually shop at big supermarkets, but here they are skinned and available for purchase with the Yet we run into each other midbutchers happy to give you advice shop, Our secret exposed to the full, But buying drinks at the bar has got to stop, As we just can't afford a vodka Red Bull.

A poem

So, on I shop, laden with drink, And humming a tuneful song, But at the checkout my heart starts to sink, As every queue is thirty metres long. Suddenly I hear that joyful ring, Causing my spirit to burst free, The flowers bloom and the birds sing, Because Sue has just opened till three. I make a bid for the front of the line, Feeling like I have won the race, But before I can claim sweet victory as mine, I must pack at an extraordinary pace. I start to panic under Sue's cruel stare, Whilst other customers go insane, Stashing my items without due care, A pretence of cool to maintain. At long last I can now pay the bill, With my food for the week secure, The low cost as ever giving me a thrill, Oh, how I love that delightful store.

on which one to choose or discuss their products. You can't beat the atmosphere because it's so obvious that these people love what they do and want to help you. I asked for a duck at a stall that didn't sell them, but the butcher proceeded to walk around the market shouting to the other vendors 'I need a duck! Have you a duck?' – needless to say, I got my duck in the end.

In the style of those truly passionate about their food, nothing seems to get wasted here with vendors selling you as much of the animal as they can. Tubs of pig ears sit next to chicken feet, cow stomachs and tongues, all ready to go in a stew or some other delicacy. Similarly the fish stalls all have fish heads nestled in among the fresh salmon, halibut and tilapia. It's all caught fresh that

morning from the English coast, one fishmonger tells me, yet still the value is vastly superior to that of the supermarkets. If you're not yet a dab hand (no pun intended!) at de-scaling fish, they will do this for you whilst you wait. Years ago the markets sold livestock: hens for eggs or dinner, kittens and puppies as pets but now the only live animals you may find are the live crabs and eels kept on the fish stalls. If you want to try before you buy, there is a separate stall offering their own take on a fast-food van with hot fried crab and lobster. The fresh fruit and vegetable stalls offer all different sorts of fruit and vegetables depending on the seasons; at a glance, they include dragon fruits, purple potatoes, and plump asparagus. Birmingham is a city made up of many, many different cultures and it's wonderful to see them all represented here. Market trader Jack Jones talks with regret of the people who 'go the supermarket and pay higher prices than the market' simply because they don't realise the accessibility and choice that the markets have to offer. Being just a stone's throw away from New Street Station and the Bullring, visiting the market should be on the top of your to-do list next time you're in the city center. The Bullring Markets are situated adjacent to St Martin's Church and the Bullring.

Festival Food: You're Not Fooling Anyone. Izzy Gibbin Food Editor Ah, the festival season, beckoning and gyrating wildly in our direction once again, much like Iggy Pop in those deeply questionable perfume adverts. Every year hundreds upon thousands of British teenagers gather in fields across the country, gleefully embracing the ever-diminishing distinction between picnic area and public latrine. It's all good fun and games, but my only gripe would be this: it's six o'clock, you're feeling a little peckish, so you decide to sneak off to the hot food stands

whilst Damien Rice is treating the crowd to his latest snoozefest. You rock up to a stand that reads 'Posh Pizza'. Posh pizza, eh? Great! But what's this? Fifteen pounds for a pizza? Oh well, you reason, it is posh pizza, so obviously bound to be delicious. Unfortunately your youthful optimism doesn't pay off, and you're handed a pizza that's straight out of some sort of Lynchian nightmare. The only way this pizza could feasibly be described as 'posh' is if, in fact, it was being likened to the results of Victoria Beckham's rather dubious plastic surgery. Now, I don't want to get on my high horse too much about this, because catering to the needs of thousands of inebriated festival-goers is no mean feat. But come on now,

let's call a spade a spade: no amount of adjectives could convince me that 15 pounds is a reasonable price for a meal that looks like it's been stepped on. I'm looking at you, 'Katie's lovely little vegetarian delights café'. It's nice, after all this culinary poncing about, to get back to the homely, high-calorie comfort of Rooster House and Adam's Place. There are, thankfully, better ways to overcome this problem than by whining about it in your student newspaper: -If you're the type to bring a gas stove to a festival, then basic

staples such as pasta and noodles will see you through the weekend. Aldi's 39p sachets of flavoured couscous are particularly handy as they don't require any effort: just rip open, cover in boiling water, and eat. -Cook a load of oven pizzas before you leave, slice them up and bring them in tupperwares. Cold pizza tastes good even a couple of days on. -To keep your energy up bring tubes of Pringles and some sesame snaps – both of which have the added bonus of slowing digestion, meaning less visits to the youknow-what. -Freeze a loaf of brioche then bring it along for breakfast. It's so sweet that you won't need jam or spreads.

27th April 2012


Food for Thought: Meals to Boost Your Brain Cells Sophie Attwood Food Editor

Did you know that when resting the brain uses 20 per cent of the body’s energy? So whilst you’re trying to get your head around Maths equations or the language of Chaucer, that percentage will be sure to rocket. During exams it’s really important to eat regular, nutritious meals. However the changing trends of food can get confusing: one day, tomatoes a miraculous elixir of life; the next, they’re a sure fire means to premature wrinkles and acne. With all of this exaggerated in the news it’s easy to just give up on healthy eating and opt for a pizza and some chocolate. But, with exams looming, the brain needs quality food to ensure optimum performance. So, we’re offering you some simple, brain-enhancing recipes to try at home. With that said, we do advise a little revision alongside relentless gorging... Breakfast They say you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper; it's an old cliche, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Whilst most sugary cereals won't provide you with long-lasting energy, there's no reason why you can't enjoy a delicious breakfast with this recipe.

Yoghurt granola parfait: In a tall glass, begin to layer your parfait. Start with a layer of yoghurt, then a layer of granola. Repeat this until you reach the top then top with some prunes or blueberries. You could use pumpkin seeds and diced apricots for a different taste and drizzle with honey for a sugar boost to prepare for the day ahead.

which can only be good news amid exam season. Fish also contains lots of iodine, which is known to improve mental clarity. Crispy Salmon Fingers: Set the oven at 200C. Mix some chopped chives or parsley with some packet breadcrumbs and spread them over a large plate. Wash two skinless salmon fillets and dry them with kitchen paper – then slice them into strips. Place the fish in a beaten egg and then toss into the breadcrumb mixture, coating the surface completely. Place onto a baking tray and cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Serve with boiled new potatoes.

sionally. Add 900ml of vegetable stock, 150ml of orange juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer the soup to a food processor (or use a stick blender) and puree until smooth. Heat it in the pan again gently and then serve. Dinner After a long day in the library it can be difficult to switch off and relax. Choosing a dinner containing carbohydrate-rich foods like potatoes will encourage your brain to produce chemicals that make you feel relaxed and sleepy.

Spicy Carrot Soup:

Lunch Avoid foods high in sugar or simple carbohydrates. They offer instantaneous energy but then leave you feeling sluggish, unmotivated and in a little bit of a daze. A light, nutritious lunch will help you resist the urge to take an afternoon nap. Fish is also key to maintaining a healthy mind. The essential omega 3 fatty acids are found hiding in oily fish. These acids are crucial to the health of our nervous system. Low levels of them have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Omega 3 improves your memory,

Heat some oil in large, non-stick saucepan. Add a chopped onion and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Add some garlic, ginger, chilli and 750g

Food 25 another 3 minutes and then add 400ml chicken stock and 200ml coconut milk along with seasoning. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 225g frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve your curry with boiled rice. This recipe will make enough so you can freeze a few portions for a quick meal later. Couscous and Roasted Vegetables: Preheat the oven to 200C and place a variety of vegetables onto a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and season to taste, then place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes (peppers, onions, and tomatoes are particularly delicious when roasted). Meanwhile, put 100g of couscous into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Wait until the couscous has soaked up all the water, adding more if necessary, then fluff up with a fork. Serve with the roasted vegetables,

Chicken, potato and spinach curry:

of peeled, chopped carrot. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occa-

Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add a chopped onion and cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes. Roughly chop 4 skinless chicken breasts and add these to the pan with garlic, 4tbsp curry paste and 500g of new potatoes. Cook for

Kipper Birmingham's Own "Great British Bake Off" In Defence Of....The popular kinds like salmon and Hannah Rowe

Sian Silverstone Writer

The Baking Society may sound twee and cutesy, but it’s also a fun and interesting way to meet new people and enjoy a new hobby. The likes of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off have brought baking to the forefront of British cuisine and now there’s a chance for you to get involved too. Thus far the meetings have taken place in the Oasis Lounge in the Chaplaincy. The style is informal, with people congregating round tables and all getting their hands dirty together. At first I was a little scared by this, rather fancying myself a bit of a champion where any sort of cooking is concerned and nervous about relinquishing control. But as the meetings progressed it turned out that it was a great way of learning new techniques and ways of get-

ting the assigned bake completed. Each session also has a theme whereby everyone can bring something along for everyone else to try. Past themes have included international, pastry and valentines –cue lots of pink and hearts- to name a few. This tasting session is perhaps my favourite part of the meeting, partly because I don’t have to buy dinner for the night, but mostly as it enables us to sample different things that perhaps we wouldn’t have had another opportunity to try. The first meeting I went to was internationally themed which meant we got to make pizza. But the array of food to be sampled was what I found most exciting: flat Middle Eastern spiced cheesy flat bread, Italian Biscotti and oaty Anzac biscuits from New Zealand. So, what else do we do? Well, as well as having our fortnightly bake, we also do special one off

events. We’ve had a visit from Bake Off’s Jason White who provided us with a great demonstration of a chocolate and banana tray bake. This event culminated in our very own 'bake off' with the winning cake being a stunning honey, almond and pear sponge topped off with crystallized fruit. Planned trips for next term include the national cake exhibition, and working with local primary schools to bake with them. BakeSoc will be having a stall at Valefest on June 2nd and we’d love to have more bakers to be involved and showcase your sumptuous goods - if you can manage to drag yourself from the inevitable hangover slump after the last day of exams, that is. We’d love to have people bake sweet or savoury goods. If you’d like to be involved, search for "BakeSoc" on Facebook or find @uobbakesoc on Twitter.


Call me a wet fish but my current food hero is the humble kipper. Yes, that’s right, the supper of choice for an aged fisherman (as my housemate informed me upon seeing Saturday night’s dinner) actually ticks all the right boxes for s t u dents. F i r s t and foremost they are incredibly cheap. I had a pack for 86p from Sainsbury and that gave me two meals. Secondly they are easy to cook. Buy the boil in a bag option and all you have to do is whack in a pan of simmering water for 15min and Bob’s your metaphorical uncle. Thirdly they are very good for you, being an high in omega 3, making them great brain food. Environmentally, kippers (herrings when they are not smokedyou can’t see a kipper swimming around, it’s the process that makes it a kipper) tend to be a much more sustainable fish than other more

cod. The important thing is the taste and I’m not going to lie, their beautiful, tangy smokiness is an acquired flavour. If you like mackerel and smoked salmon, chances are you’ll like kippers. They also have a lot of tiny little bones, most of which are so small it’s not worth pulling out. When I cooked them the other night I just boiled them in the bag and served them with buttered bread, broccoli and topped it off with a poached egg. The next day I still had half my kippers l e f t so I mashed them up with a couple of spoonfuls of cream cheese, a dash of lemon juice and twist of black pepper and then spread it on toast for a wonderful makeshift pate. For all you fashionconscious foodies, kippers are actually making a come-back on a larger scale than just my own kitchen. The Guardian reported at the beginning of April that sales of kippers were on the increase in major supermarkets following endorsements by top chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Marco Pierre White. So there you have it, the unassuming kipper: tasty, easy and great value for money, I cod you not.

26 Sport

27th April 2012

Sport James Phillips Deputy Editor

Speaking on the recent BBC programme, Sexism in Football?, the former Northern Ireland and Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez put his neck on the line by declaring his belief that 'there will be a female manager in the Premier League within the next ten years.' Unfortunately for him, he won't find many people in agreement as the institutional sexism within the game means that the possibility of that happening remains minimal for the foreseeable future. Women account for 25% of the crowd at football matches these days, yet they are still few and far between in the various careers surrounding the game. When Richard Keys and Andy Gray kicked up a storm with their various sexist comments resulting in their departure from Sky Sports back in January 2011, the ingrained attitude towards women from many 'football men' was brought to the public arena more prominently than ever before. Doubting a woman's ability to understand the offside rule has been a standard 'men's' joke for many years, but when Gray mocked,


The Lion: an Olympic Special Turn to the middle pages for Redbrick Sport's exclusive eight-page full colour pullout which focuses on London 2012 and seemed to seriously doubt, a qualified Premier League official on the basis of gender he undermined everything that women in football have strived to achieve. As men and women can't share the playing field, due to obvious physical reasons, it can be assumed that there will always be more men than women involved in the game. However, there is no reason why women should not be able to make further strides in the many administrative, managerial and officiating positions around the men's game. Clearly, a separation must be made between 'women's football' and 'women in football'. The former is continuing to grow, with last year's advent of the Women's Super League and the success of the UEFA Women's Champions League, which was won by Lyon at Craven Cottage in 2011, although it remains light years behind the men's game in terms of finance and heritage. However, the sexism which has proved to be a barrier preventing well-qualified women from progressing around the men's game is inexcusable. Last year, Manchester City's Vicky Kloss, a senior executive, was banned from the tunnel at Notts County's stadium in a cup

tie simply because she was a woman. An employee who worked for Kloss had been let through ahead of her, and even when she said this to the member of County's staff who wouldn't let her through she was still denied access. Other women in football have also been banned from areas of stadiums, including press briefings, simply because of their gender. This out and out prejudice is clearly ingrained into the attitudes of some senior staff at football clubs and the fact that it is preventing women doing their jobs is unmitigatedly outrageous. Regarding management, several factors seem to be preventing Sanchez's statement from becoming reality any time soon. Primarily, the position of manager is much, much more prominent than any other club officials. As they would be directly in charge of a senior team of men they would have to command respect which can usually only be earned through experience in the game. Therefore to have a female manager in the Premier League there would need to be a groundswell of female managers and coaches working at the lower levels of the game, but this is far from being the case. A quick search of Google

only turns up one case of a woman managing a men's football team in England, and this seemed to be little more than a publicity stunt by non-league Fisher Athletic in 2009, who let a turnstile operator take charge of one match. In fact, if you focus on the women's game more, problems come to light as of the eight clubs in the top flight Women's Super League, only two are managed by women. This lack of female managers even in the women's games makes Sanchez's claim look even more outlandish, as does the fact that only two female managers in England – England ladies boss Hope Powell and Everton ladies Mo Morley – have the UEFA Pro Licence required to manage a topflight club in the men's game on a permanent basis. Personally, I believe the day will come when women will manage top flight clubs in Europe. However, until the pathetic attitudes of banning women from parts of stadiums and questioning trained female officials' abilities changes then it will be impossible and I can't help but feel it will be much, much longer than ten years before the circumstances are in place for a female manager to lead out a team in the Premier League.

Sexism in Football Following a BBC documentary this month that highlighted the barriers facing women in football, James Phillips examines institutional sexism in the higher echelons of the game, while Hollie Moisey provides a perspective from a female making her way in the sport, and Online Comment and Features Editor James Dolton examines the harmful attitudes associated with a game dominated by misogynist ideals.

Hollie Moisey Sport Writer

When I first started refereeing there were only a few female referees in my county, so going to games was always a daunting experience as many players had never been officiated by a female before. There were always a few players or spectators who didn't agree with women in football but I took that in my stride and it spurred me on to prove them wrong. The biggest scepticism I have come across within the game was in 2008 when I was part of a team of three female officials to take charge of a semi-professional male game. There was a lot of media hype around this and many spectators came to the match hoping to watch us fail, but we were deter-

mined to do our job to the best of our ability and we were congratulated at the end of the match. Some people even remarked that we had done a better job than men usually

I have been to some games where people have asked me, 'Is Andy Gray coming to watch?'

do. Of course the local media were looking for sexist comments to be made by the players, but they focused on their game and allowed us to do ours. It was in fact sexist discrimination that encouraged me to take up the whistle after volunteering to run the line for my local team. After ruling a player offside he commented, 'What does she know, she's a woman?' This made me question whether I would get this treatment every week, so I decided to take qualifications so that I could prove I knew what I was doing. Even on the refereeing course there was a bit of a surprise when I turned up and out of 30 candidates there was only one other female. Nowadays, there are also female-only refereeing courses so that females who wish to qualify

can do so without worrying about any prejudice on the course. Obviously in light of recent problems it has become harder to officiate. I have been to some games where people have asked me, 'Is Andy Gray coming to watch?' but I personally take this as light-hearted banter. It is a hostile environment to go into, even for male referees, but last week we had news that three more females had been promoted to level three of the Referees' Association's promotion structure. There will also be an all-female team of officials for the Women's FA Cup Final for the third successive season. I am confident that very soon we will have female referees in the Premier League (we have already seen female assistant referees) and that they will be there on merit and not just because they are female.

James Dolton examines the myth of 'the working man's game' Sexism has always been rife in football. It has been dubbed the 'working man's game' since the Industrial Revolution and has some fairly pre-historic attitudes attached to it. Female assistants such as Sian Massey are met with snorts of derision, and if they make an incorrect decision it is assumed not to be a mistake or an error of judgement but solely because they are a woman, and thus incapable. Paul Jewell's pointed remark after a penalty decision went against him that 'every man in the ground could see it was a penalty' preposterously went unpunished. Such women, however, cannot win: should a decision be made correctly they receive sycophantic patronising pats, such as Richard Keys' claim that he was 'delighted for Sian Massey' after she correctly flagged Micah Richards for offside against Swansea. Being involved in football for many is an aspiration, and many men will likely feel a kind of jealousy at seeing a woman being involved in, and seemingly doing better at, a job they have perhaps always dreamed of. This envy is rationalised into heartfelt pleas that women should be kept out of football so as not to muddy it as 'a working man's game.' What is most ludicrous about such Neanderthal claims is that they are, in all respects, patently untrue. The general perception of the modern footballer is a slick pretty-boy. The true 'stars' of the modern games are those who are stylish on and off the pitch, such as Freddie Ljungberg, David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo. It seems that modern prolific footballers are not battered warhorses but skilful creatures of elegance. Football obviously still requires strength, historically a fact given to dismiss the ability of all female footballers, but as well as the hilarious assumption that women are incapable of possessing strength, this totally ignores any other skills required to be a successful footballer: balance, poise and pace, things which can also be possessed by anyone of any gender. The women's game is met by perfectly reasonable people who would not regard themselves as misogynists with suspicion or even derision, yet the facts are that the less powerful, more technical style that permeates the international game is one that is perfectly suited to, and has indeed been employed in, the women's game for years. Opposition to the worth of women's football is based on a number of intrinsically flawed premises and it is frustrating that these attitudes continue to dominate fans who – to their credit – have made great leaps in almost all other areas of understanding. Football is starting to mature and grow, with its increasing numbers (though still infuriatingly too few) of female coaches, female linesmen and even talk of female officials. Perhaps those that watch it need to grow up also, and abandon their outdated and unsubstantiated ideas about just who football belongs to.

Sport 27

27th April 2012


Netball girls move one step closer Netball

Northern Premier Playoff

Birmingham 1sts


Edinburgh 1sts


Tom Cooper Sport Reporter

After a stunning season which has seen them win the Midlands 1A division, the netball girls faced a strong Edinburgh side in a crucial Premier League playoff. With only moments of the crucial netball playoff match against Edinburgh remaining, Birmingham seem certain of a comfortable victory. Edinburgh come forward, eager for some conciliation, but the robust Birmingham defence sharply intercepts once more and within moments a burst of energy and a few rapid passes have the home side back in the opposition box. The yells of fans and screeching of shoes abruptly halts; for a fleeting moment the gym is silent while the Brum attacker steadies herself to shoot. A final desperate lunge from the last defender is not enough as Birmingham sink their 57th point of the game. ‘We had narrowly missed out in the cup earlier in the season’, captain Laura Price reminds me, but we’ve had such a good season we just had to come away with something. We really wanted this.’ The final whistle sounds and Price emphatically has her wish with a score of 57-25. The home team were better prepared than their rivals, and it showed. ‘We have not trained together in over a month’ lamented the defeated captain Clare Gaskell. ‘If we had then I am sure the game would have been much closer.’ Birmingham had prepared with a friendly a few days earlier. ‘The focus was on keeping our passing flat and fast while maintaining possession, even if it meant going backwards. The plan paid off perfectly!’ reflected Price.

From the first whistle the home side proved quicker in possession and more forceful without it, showing great focus and determination while playing some tremendous netball. Despite this the first quarter ended with a precarious 13-8 lead that didn’t reflect the home sides supremacy. ‘Our attackers Laura Brocklebank and Hannah Kennedy were a bit nervous at first, but as they settled down their form improved dramatically’, remarked Price. The stats indeed show that in this quarter Brum converted only 58% of their goal attempts, compared with a success rate of the final quarter of over 90%. In the second quarter Birmingham really made their dominance count, stretching their lead to an unassailable 27-11. A frustrated Edinburgh made silly errors while the virtually impregnable Birmingham defence of Rose Walker and Sarah Bishton bullied opposition attackers, making numerous key interceptions and initiating new attacks constantly. Brocklebank and Kennedy were now proving lethal up front, interchanging passes with a seemingly telepathic understanding that left opposing defenders grasping at thin air. Brum had converted 14 of their 21 shots at this point in the game. A beleaguered Edinburgh team were picking up scraps though with their three goals coming from just five attempts. From here on in it proved plain sailing for the home girls who seemed to overrun the visitors, whose defender Kath Freeman worked tirelessly to keep the score down. ‘I am proud of my team’, remarked the visiting captain Gaskell. ‘We gave it everything and really enjoyed ourselves in spite of the result.’ As the aggression of this intense competition subsided it was all smiles for the home side. Team hugs, high fives all round and a quick chorus of ‘I love my Birmingham’ from the lively 50 strong crowd bring a pleasant end to this hugely fast and competitive match. ‘Everyone says they are

The Redbrick Crossword

Only Newcastle now stand in Brum's path as they march towards promotion surprised by how forceful Netball games are’, says Price. ‘We are all such good friends that we even have to get ourselves angry beforehand to make sure we are in the

Mordo Nahum Puzzles Editor

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

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

Scribble box



1. William _____, politician (5) 4. Whitney _______, singer (7) 8. Abraham _______, politician (7) 9. _____ Hilton, socialite (5) 10. Dominic ____, cricketer (4) 12. Christopher ________, explorer (8) 15. Jack ______, author (6) 16. ______ Bonham Carter, actress (6) 19. Antonio ________, footballer (8) 20. Clark ____, superman (4) 22. Ross _____, comedian (5) 24. Olivia _______, actress (7) 26. James _______, politician (7) 27. Johnny _____, comedian (5)

1. Spiral shaped (7) 2. Alcoholic drink (3) 3. Greek god of love (4) 4. ______ cab, a horse-and-cart (6) 5. Not trimmed (8) 6. Bitumen (3) 7. Young birds live in these (5) 11. Of the kidneys (5) 13. Eight beats in 4/4 time (5) 14. Game similar to softball (8) 17. Writers (7) 18. Sty (6) 19. Animal-produced toxin (5) 21. One from Eastern Europe, perhaps (4) 23. Sprout; friend (3) 25. Old cloth (3)

right mind-set!’ A true team performance form the Birmingham girls who now have two weeks to stay smiling before psyching themselves up once more for their

Charlotte Wilson

next match against Newcastle. A win for Birmingham would seal promotion into the Premier North, and cap off an outstanding season for the netball club.

1_2_3=4_5_6_7 _=_=_=_=_=_=_ 8______=9____ _===_=_=_===_ 0_a_=b____c__ _=_=d=_=_=_== e_____=f____g ==_=_=h=_=_=_ i_______=j___ _===_=_=k===_ l_m__=n___o__ _=_=_=_=_=_=_ p______=q____

28 Sport


27th April 2012


Sexism in Football Redbrick Sport tackle one of the taboo subjects in football. Why are there not more women in positions of responsibility in the modern game? p24

Lions blown away by Hurricanes American Football


Birmingham Lions


Hertfordshire Hurricanes


Josh Hunt Sport Reporter

After comprehensive victories over the Derby Braves and the Southampton Stags to reach the national final, the Lions were determined to avenge last season's heartbreak. Birmingham Lions arrived at South Leeds Stadium on Saturday looking to banish the memories of last year’s agonising one point defeat, but once again fell short at the final hurdle, as the Hertfordshire Hurricanes took a deserved 37-19 victory in the British Universities American Football League (BUAFL) finale. Birmingham started the game looking much the better side, forcing the ‘Canes to go three and out on the first possession of the game before finding the end zone on their opening drive. Dan Conroy moved the chains on a short fourth down. Three plays later starting quarterback Jonny Glover executed a perfect play action pass and hit Paul Zinkus for the first score of the contest. Hertfordshire tied the scores

on their third possession. Having previously looked toothless against the Lions’ defence, Nicholas Bagnall was given too much space in double coverage to make a big catch over the middle and take the ball home for a 49-yard touchdown, turning the direction of the match decisively into the Hurricanes’ favour. Birmingham’s reply was cut short after just two plays when Glover threw a pass which was acrobatically intercepted just before the defensive back stepped out of bounds. What Brum needed more than anything was a solid defensive effort to get possession back and they should have done so when Greg Freeman picked off Joe Thompson’s third down pass. Instead, Freeman fumbled the interception return and Dom Husband was there to recover the ball and keep Birmingham’s defence on the field. It was to prove a costly error; Thompson threw a completion to Husband and then exploited a big mismatch in the end zone, letting his tallest receiver, Andrew Harrison, come up with a jump ball in single coverage. Birmingham did briefly retake the lead; a big completion to Jason Grundy was the catalyst for Birmingham’s second score of the fixture, a six yard touchdown pass to Andrew Newiss who took advantage of good blocking in the screen set up for him. The extra

point was added for the first time in the match and the Lions took a one point lead. This was as good as it got for the Lions. Joe Thompson began to look every inch the MVP he was named at the end of the match, breaking off a 20 yard run and completing passes far more consistently than he had in the first quarter. Another Hertfordshire fumble, one of three, two of which were recovered by the Hurricanes, didn’t result in a turnover of possession and the inevitable conclusion to the drive came thanks to the same mismatch that had cost Brum six points on the last Herts drive. The score was the last before half time with the match finely balanced at 18-13. Sadly, it was the southern

MVP Hertfordshire's Joe Thompson was the star of the show at the John Charles Stadium. The Hurricanes' number five dominated the rushing and passing yardage, and took the majority of the carries in the option offense, running the ball three more times than the combined total of Hertfordshire’s running backs.

team who dominated the second half. Hertfordshire had extended their lead inside of two minutes, recovering Andrew Newiss’ kickoff return fumble and then making the most of good field position. Thompson was responsible for most of the yardage, holding onto the ball three times and rushing for a 12 yard touchdown that was converted to give his team a 12 point advantage. Sope Dirisu replaced Glover at quarterback and cut the deficit to 7 points on with his second opportunity. Yet again the screen play worked to perfection but this time it was Zinkus who was the beneficiary, doing much of the work himself with big yards after the catch to give the Lions hope of overturning Hertfordshire’s lead but it was to be Birmingham’s last points of the game. Herts finished the third quarter in good position thanks yet again to Thompson’s ability as a dual threat quarterback and the connection between himself and Husband in the passing game. The fourth quarter started in the worst possible manner for the 2011 finalists, who could have no complaints when they were called for pass interference against the prolific number 10. With the ball on the two yard line, James Howell was given the carry and punched his way over the goal line. At 31-19 Hertfordshire could just run the

clock down and elected to do just that up to Birmingham’s 13 yard line, at which point Thompson threw a strike to Husband for a thoroughly deserved touchdown. Credit has to be given for the way Birmingham fought, even with the match out of their reach, finally recovering a fumble with their opponents letting the clock run down. With the football in the offence’s hands inside the final two minutes, a consolation TD was the best Brum could realistically hope for. Instead, it was the Hurricanes’ most dominant defensive player, Dom Gould who left his mark on proceedings in the last meaningful action of the contest, stripping Dirisu of the ball and recovering possession for Thompson to take a knee and end the game. Despite the one sided score, it must be emphasised that this was not an awful Birmingham performance. Birmingham were a 10-0 side going into the match and against any other side they would probably have been 11-0. Hertfordshire are simply a high quality outfit led by a gifted quarterback capable of destroying a side with his arm or his legs. A tweet from the Birmingham Lions Twitter page is perhaps the best way of summing up; ‘we set the bar 2 years ago, it’s now been raised’. Birmingham will need to reach those heights if they are to avoid a third season of heartbreak next year.

Statistics table by Akil Kothari

Photos taken by Mike Hinton


Turn to page 27 to find out how the Netball first team fared in their Northern Premier League playoff against Edinburgh

Redbrick - April 27th 2012  
Redbrick - April 27th 2012  

Issue 1412