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Vol. 78. Issue 1436. www.redbrick.me
Students accuse UoB of not delivering on pledges News / Page 5
Charley Ross remembers the life of the legendary Lou Reed Music / Page 13
Tasha Son looks at the current racism row in football Sport / Page 30
Beth Carney analyses the chemistry of fireworks Sci&Tech / Page 25
Photograph by Louise Warren
Russell Brand: a revolutionary? "We need these celebrities to stick up for us, because they have the power of mass communication" Sam Dix
Daisy Follett asks whether a fifth series of Misfits is really needed
"Brand is very comfortably within the 1% that he claims are exploiting the masses"
TV / Page 26
Comment / Pages 6-7
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News This week in Redbrick
International story of the week The head of US intelligence has told law-makers that knowing what foreign leaders were thinking was critical to US policy-making
Tweet of the Week
Captured on Campus Photography 'Escape to London Zoo' by Charlotte Wilson Society of the Week
Redbrick's Online Pick
WWI Photographs Digitised of UoB http://www.redbrick.
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Guild Photography by Michael Jevon
Women's Association join Reclaim the Night March Members of the Women's Association speak about their involvement in London demonstration Zahra Damji News Editor
37 members of the Women’s Association at the University of Birmingham joined this year’s Reclaim the Night march. Organised by the London Feminists Network, the march is held annually in London ‘to shout a loud NO to rape and all forms of male violence against women’ and to give ‘women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night on a safe and empowering event.’ This year’s event followed the London Feminist Network’s Feminism in London Conference earlier in the day. Protesters then assembled outside the Institute of Education in the evening before marching through the centre of London. One of the attendees from the University of Birmingham, Natasha Turner, told Redbrick that, ‘By taking over the streets of the capital, the march is a platform for women’s voices and demands justice and an end to the silence surrounding violence against women. It provides solidarity and support for essential women’s services, and fundamentally, it demands that change be made politically, socially and ideologically’. Mae Rohani, the Women’s Officer at the Guild of Students, spoke to Redbrick, saying that the Women’s Association had been involved in the march ‘to condemn sexual, domestic and gendered violence, and call for safe streets’. She commented, ‘It was an amazing experience, so much solidarity [with] everyone there and all the women who have been affected by any form of harassment, abuse, violence, who have ever felt unsafe walking alone at night, or who have ever been blamed for what happened to them.’ Discussing the lower rates of reporting
sexual abuse at universities, Turner said, ‘Reclaim the Night is a crucial event in awareness-campaigning around these issues. With this in mind, the members of the University of Birmingham Women’s Association joined the ranks of hundreds of women marching through the streets of London. Easily the largest delegation in attendance, and sporting creative banners and placards, the women from Birmingham caught the attention of many onlookers and demonstrators alike.’
"By taking over the streets of the capital, the march is a platform for women’s voices and demands justice and an end to the silence surrounding violence against women" Although admitting that ‘Reclaim the Night is not without its problems, such as [lack of] inclusiveness and disparity in generational ideologies’, she concluded that, ‘overall the Women’s Association deemed it a success and would encourage future involvement from self-defining women students at the University of Birmingham.’ In an online blog post, the University of Birmingham Women’s Association also talked about dancing in the street, ‘bellowing a unique rendition of "Women Got the Power" to the disgruntled amusement of the police and wardens’. The post went on to say that, ‘By the time that this had descended into a loud and repetitive shouting of the word ‘power’, I think it’s fair to say that most people knew that students from the University of Birmingham had attended the demo. Which of course can only mean one thing: Birmingham women, we have got the power’.
Guild Forced to Extend Election Process Due to Voting System Failure Sabrina Dougall News Reporter
After a number of students complained about not being able to vote in the latest Guild Councillor and College Rep Elections due to technical issues, the Guild was forced to extend the voting period. Students complained about being unable to login to the system or being told they were ineligible to vote. A statement on the Guild of Students website says ‘This decision has been made because we are aware that some students have been unable to access online voting for the whole voting period, and we would like to ensure that students have every opportunity to vote.’
"I seriously considered not voting because it was that much of an effort" One student complained about the experience on a facebook group saying, ‘I seriously considered not voting because it was that much of an effort.’ He also added that ‘I would rank that as my worst voting experi-
ence of all time.’ Responding to these criticisms, Vice President (Democracy & Resources), Tom Wragg, explained on the Student Development Forum online that the issues arose out of ‘teething problems’ with the new system of voting, which is run by NUS Digital. He said that ‘Student Voice have been asking NUS Digital to ensure the service is ready and is the best it can be. BAM (the previous provider) are in decline and so cannot provide a service to students for voting etc.’ He explains that the officer team first raised their concerns about the system in April this year but ‘decided to go ahead with an all for NUS Digital strategy, hoping that this will prove to work out in the longterm.’ He also added that ‘I was pretty vexed in a meeting with NUS Digital to find that they had totally developed the commercial aspects of the digital platform before voting systems, participatory online development, calendar systems etc.’ Another student, who although able to vote eventually, described her experience, saying ‘I couldn't login because my account was locked, then when I got it unlocked by clicking a link in the email it sent, it then said I was logged in to the Guild site. I then
clicked the link to vote again and it told me
"I was pretty vexed in a meeting with NUS Digital to find that they had totally developed the commercial aspects of the digital platform before voting systems" to login, and when I tried to do that it told me my account didn't exist. I eventually managed to vote after the elections person told me to authorise my email address, but it wasn't exactly an easy and seamless experience.’ There were further problems after voting closed, because of the need for ‘unforeseen checks... to be made to the system overnight’. Because of this, the turnout could not be announced as previously planned on Tuesday evening after the end of the extended voting period. The Guild have, however, insisted that, ‘All votes cast are safe and stored within the system until the count has been completed’.
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Snobs Move to New Address Soﬁa Kattunen News Reporter
Birmingham’s oldest nightclub, Snobs, has recently confirmed news of a move to a new address. The building currently home to Snobs and Athens Greek restaurant in Paradise Circus Queensway will make space for a new hotel development. In a statement released on 24 October 2013, Snobs Birmingham said they have decided ‘a relocation is the best possible way to secure the future of Snobs’. The move will mark an end to their 41-year old history at the current premises. The club is transferring to the site of the former Vudu club on Smallbrook Queensway close to the Arcadian.
Wayne Tracey, one of the owners of Snobs nightclub, said that the company will work hard to ensure that the atmosphere in the current venue will be replicated in the new location. The new club is meant to have the same music, the same prices and all the hallmarks of Snobs including some of the décor. The construction plans are still pending final approval from Birmingham City Council but the £2 million move is expected to double the club’s capacity and create new jobs. In the announcement, Snobs reassured club-goers that they are going to remain open as normal on every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday until the move in April 2014.
New Street Redevelopment Plans Stalled
Birmingham City Council and Network Rail announced last week that Birmingham New Street Station’s £600 million shopping complex redevelopment will not open until 2015. The redevelopment will see an additional 40 new shops and 20 restaurants brought to the city centre, adding to the variety already available in the Mailbox and Bullring centres. Steph Kelly, 2nd year Chemistry student says, ‘It’ll be a great thing to have once it’s finished but at the moment it seems to be taking a very long time’. John Lewis originally planned to open its doors in autumn 2014 in order to coincide with the run-up to Christmas. Andy
Current view of New Street Station
Artist impression of Grand Central
"80% of the shops and restaurants have been allocated which will create 1000 new jobs" Street, Managing Director of John Lewis said on announcing the delay: ‘We understand and support the decision. It is disappointing that potential shoppers will have to wait a little longer, but we are determined to work with colleagues on ensuring this is the best opening possible.’ Despite the opening being pushed back a year, 80 percent of the shops and restaurants have already been allocated, which will create 1,000 new jobs upon completion. The White Company and L’Occitane are just two of many ‘high-brand’ chains setting up residencies in the Grand Central
development. Those behind the redevelopment are keen for Birmingham to be put on the map as a tourist and a shopping destination. ‘Nearly 70 percent of UK and international consumers coming to Birmingham already rank shopping as one of their favourite activities here, and this accounts for 60 percent of all expenditure in the city’s visitor economy’ says Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham. Many of the restaurants and shops
"Supporters are keen for Birmingham to be put on the map as a tourist and shopping destination"
planning to open in the new centre are the first of their chain to be launched outside of the South East. Vietnamese chain Pho is expanding to regions other than London, including a new restaurant in Grand Central. Those behind the project hope to attract more London-based brands and chains when the complex finally open its doors. Jonathan Cheetham, chair of Retail Birmingham added, ‘the news that further high-end stores are committed to investing and trading in Birmingham is testament to the reputation of the city as one of the UK’s premier retail destinations.’ The decision to delay the opening came after the completion of the first phase of works. An announcement on the opening date will be made in late 2014 when the developers have a more certain picture of the project’s schedule.
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Students reveal University 'Hypocrisy'
Photography by Louise Warren
'Hypocrisy Exposed' campaign uncovers truth behind UoB policy Sabrina Dougall News Reporter
Students, led by Guild of Students Community Action Officer, Roz Burgin, have organised a visual campaign in support of the University College Union (UCU) strike held across campus on Thursday 31st October. The campaign, known as ‘Hypocrisy Exposed’, consisted of students posing with boards of information and pledges from the University’s website in a number of areas including diversity and environment policy, alongside statistics demonstrating apparent discrepancies. The students posing in the pictures include the Guild Vice President (Education), Hattie Craig, and Women's Officer, Mae Rohani. Burgin commented, ‘The University should start adhering to its promises.’ She explained that the campaign was not a protest’, but rather held to raise awareness of the University’s business links. She added, ‘As the University becomes more and more privatised, it cares less about the morals of [the companies] it is investing in. We think the University should be run as a public service, not a business’. Former Ethical & Environmental Officer, Alice Swift, who also attended the photoshoot, explained that there is growing disquiet amongst students regarding the University’s record on the environment and workers’ rights. She cites the decision of the University
of Birmingham to honour former CEO of BP Tony Hayward with a 'distinguished leader award' in March of this year as being completely at odds with the University website’s claim that it ‘makes a significant contribution to sustainable development’. Ms Burgin too echoed this, saying, ‘There’s a Shell Lounge in the Civil Engineering Building. That says it all’. She went on to say that the University has a responsibility ‘not to treat students as customers’. Ms Burgin did nonetheless point out the positive initiatives that UoB has thusfar undertaken. She pointed to the University's cooperation in the Fossil Free campaign as well as it's decision to sign the Workers’ Rights Consortium this year, ensuring that University garments are not produced in sweatshops. She explained that change could also be affected by students and staff working together with the University. Russ Whitfield, Branch Administrator of UCU, who was present that afternoon, spoke in support of the student-led event. He said the UCU are opposed to the ‘marketisation’ of the University. He hopes the industrial action will encourage UoB to operate with ‘an increased social and civic responsibility with students and staff at the centre’. Whilst conceding that University decisions are heavily influenced by government policy and economic factors, Mr Whitfield praised the solidarity of students supporting the UCU, emphasising that ‘students are part of the process of inflicting political pressure'.
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A New Brand of Revolution Music Editor Sam Dix believes Russell Brand could hold the answer to the nation's political apathy
Russell Brand has caused outrage in a recent interview with Jeremy ‘beard' Paxman by suggesting the world isn’t perfect. Here’s why he’s actually got a point. Guest editing the new edition of political magazine, New Statesman, he used his editorial to lay out plans for a worldwide revolution in cultural and political thought, which bore all the hallmarks of a classic Brand polemic. Russell Brand is not a politician. He is a comedian, and occasionally appears as himself in films, so you cannot possibly expect him to devise a water-tight utopian super-system where we can all live happily. That is like asking your butcher to paint your walls. Or, for fear of excluding the entire student community with unnecessary middle aged references this early on: like going to an off-license for your post-Fab takeaway. Paxman attacked Brand for not being specific about his idea of revolution, for not having the answers. However, answers aren’t that important, certainly not for a man who’s famous for 3 things: Taking drugs, having sex with women, and then talking about taking drugs and women on stage. What is more important is that he is asking the questions. The moment we stop questioning, the day we cease to kick the ankles of those in charge, is the day we cease to exist as human beings. How can we sit back in apathy and blindly take in all we are fed by what is essentially an extension of the Bullingdon Club (plus a few others who snuck in a back door somewhere and have just about managed to keep their head down long enough for no one to throw them out yet)? It’s not so much the overarching, large scale ideologies that we find so irritable, it’s the little things, like watching the Labour cabinet trying to buy a pasty and looking in utter bewilderment as if they’ve just been led into Hogwarts for the first time. It’s those things that drive us to apathy. Brand has a personal wealth of around £15 million so many raise the point, if you care about equal distribution of the wealth dear Russell, why don’t you spread some of it around, eh, eh? For every rich 'Russell Brand style’ celebrity who raises concerns about capitalism that we are all too swift to reprimand, there are hundreds more that happily live out their pampered lives and don’t give two monkeys about how everyone else lives. They probably wouldn’t even give one monkey. They probably own a monkey.
And yet they are the ones that are okay? Brand cited Paxman’s appearance on TV programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ where he cried at the inequality his ancestors faced, and argued that this moment should not be ignored, that there could be something learned from it: 'If we can engage with that feeling, instead of some moment of lachrymose sentimentality trotted out on the TV for people to pore over...If we can change things, then why wouldn’t we?' Maybe it’s because, deep down we enjoy our British cynicism and love taking a pop and pointing a finger at whichever celebrity decides to turn their attentions to a good cause. Perhaps it’s because a lot of people don’t like Russell Brand. Maybe it’s because a lot of people are morons, because, essentially, here we have a man who has said there are inequalities within our current political system, and that something should be done about it. Hardly Das Capital, now is it? 'But Russell’, They cry, 'how can you complain about the state of the world and still charge £40 a ticket for a gig where you essentially flex your sesquipedalian lexicon and wobble about on stage, giggle and say tits a few times?' Well, it’s bleedin’ hard not to be a hypocrite these days, even for us mortals who can’t claim the fame that our friend Russell has. Ever bought a Starbucks then moaned about bankers? Hypocrite. Ever moaned about reality TV then proceeded to watch an entire series of Made in Chelsea in one night - despite the fact you were definitely watching it ironically? Hypocrite. It seems unless Brand shaves his head and sits in isolation on top of a mountain - a position in which he wouldn’t be able to make these statements - then we aren’t allowed take any social statements he says seriously. We need these celebrities to stick up for us, because they have the power of mass communication. The power to speak to a generation who feel disenfranchised and left behind. A generation where the only current alternative to the current three party shitstem is UKIP, of which it is hard to tell what is more worrying: the fact that their entire manifesto seems to revolve around Nigel Farage (rhymes with garage) drinking beer, or that it seems to be working. Paxman may feel he is smashing the system enough by growing facial hair. Brand has grown enough hair already. Now he’s growing balls. Siobhan Palmer. The Bake-Off is a dangerous, narcissistic exercise in national mind-control. WHY. Why do I love the Great British Bake Off? Why, after working an 8 hour shift on a Tuesday evening, crawling up the stairs and into bed at 1am, shattered, do I still need to catch up with another week of people making snacks in a tent full of bunting? It’s a pathetically patriotic ‘GREAT BRITISH’ gimmick, an obvious attempt to make us forget about spying governments and tax loopholes by showing us repeated images of biscuit tins and squirrels and Mary Berry. It’s unsettling and dystopian. Soundtrack it with Beethoven’s 5th and it becomes a patriotist version of Clockwork Orange, with added strudel. I don’t even like cake. But I have to tune in.
EMPLOYMENT Dan Baird. More than one million 16-24s in the UK are classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment of Training). In one sense this is a stark warning about the availability of employment or training available to young people today but also an increased risk to their health. Being out of work in the longer term increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke. This a problem that desperately needs to be addressed by the government before the develop into long term problems. The UK is behind other European countries on female life expectancy, deaths of children under five and child poverty. Public health in UK is of particular concern, the cost to the NHS in the long cost could be disasterous.
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Russell Brand, Practice What You Preach
Editor Josh Holder is sceptical of the motivation behind Russell Brand's calls for revolution Over the past couple of years, Russell Brand has attempted to shift the public’s opinion of him, away from that of an outspoken twerp, and slowly towards being respected as a serious political commentator. By any standard, he has had a good degree of success, and his recent appearance on Question Time saw him pose as the antithesis to the self-perpetuating Westminster politicians. He came across as a patron for generations who are disenfranchised from the current political system. After guest editing left-wing political magazine New Statesman and being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman for BBC Newsnight, Brand-fever has seemingly gripped the nation. Look beneath his grandiose vocabulary though, and you’ll find Brand is back to his usual trick of saying a lot without saying anything at all. In his 4800 word New Statesman piece, Brand outlined his desire for a ‘total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system’, without actually specifying any pragmatic ideas for this new world order. The closest we get to an answer came as the result of extensive questioning by Paxman in his Newsnight interview, to which Brand fessed up to wanting a ‘socialist egalitarian system based on a massive redistribution of wealth, heavy taxation of corporations and massive responsibility for energy companies’. When questioned on the logistics of electing a government, or ‘admin bods’ as Brand would prefer them to be called, to run such a system, Brand of course returned to his safe and familiar world of comedy to cover up the holes in his half-baked ideals. Brand may believe all politicians are ‘frauds and liars’, but the system he is proposing would require a vastly empowered state to operate. With our government recently revealed to be grossly overstepping the line in regards to mass public surveillance, the mere concept of handing over even more of our fleeting freedoms should ring alarm bells. The best case scenario would be for these revolutionist rants to inspire a real left-wing alternative, rather than for the despondent population to blindly follow Brand’s extreme views as the ticket to a brighter future. Yes, Brand undeniably covers numerous real issues that exist in the world, one of which is the growing economic disparity, but to suggest that the only solution is to radically wipe the slate clean is, frankly, dangerous. The millions of Edward Teach. The music industry are fighting a losing battle against piracy. UK Internet Service Providers have been given yet another list of websites to block customer access to but, as these websites are blocked, new websites are popping up. In particular, attempts to restrict access to The Pirate Bay are laughable: the torrent website is simply opening more and more proxy addresses, all easy to find on Google. Additionally, as access to Internet improves and free content becomes easier to find, it is more and more likely that internet users are going to turn to piracy. Unless you're a super-ethical person, you're going to choose the free option over paying, surely?
James Phillips. Some typos really do make a difference: this is what Lamenda Kingdon discovered last month when Avios, her travel company, accidentally booked her onto a flight to Grenada in the Caribbean rather than Granada in Spain. This rather humorous mistake was only noticed when Ms Kingdon was mid-flight to the exotic destination. Her trip to Granada is part of an attempt to complete her 'bucket list' after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and a brain tumour. Fortunately for her, the company demonstrated enormous generosity and corrected their mistake, allowing for her to return to Gatwick (after a stop-off and some champagne in St Lucia) and board a flight to her preferred destination the following day.
British citizens who currently decide not to vote don’t need their apathy vindicated, they need inspiring within our current political system; a democratic system where change can be enacted and which has seen huge success in doing so over the past 65 years, with the introduction of the NHS, paid sick leave and the minimum wage, amongst other accomplishments. Change under a democratic system often takes time, but there’s currently no better alternative. Revolutions may sound exciting, and they certainly match with Brand’s admission that ‘first and foremost I want to have a fucking laugh’, but recent uprisings in the Middle East offer an invaluable insight into the instability that follows such movements. Besides, Russell Brand’s decision to bestow himself the position of the nation’s political saviour is difficult to swallow. It’s surreal to hear him talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 99% and growing economic disparity; after all, with his net worth estimated at over £10 million, Brand’s very comfortably within the 1% that he claims are exploiting the masses. The hypocrisy of regarding profit as a ‘filthy word’ and claiming that ‘wherever there is profit there is also deficit’ whilst simultaneously charging exuberant ticket prices to hear him speak is seemingly lost on Brand. He may have grown up in a working class area of Essex, gone to a standard comprehensive and picked up a heroin addiction, but his £1.3 million LA mansion and £30 per ticket world tours mean that he has very little to lose. He’ll almost certainly never be homeless or hungry, or persecuted in the way that the visionaries of the 20th century were. If Brand is really as angry as he claims to be about the current political and corporate system, then he needs to put his money where his mouth is and stop being part of the problem. It’s a sad example of modern society’s obsession with ‘celebrity’ culture that it has taken an outspoken comedian to elicit a response on the issues of bankers’ bonuses, the state of the environment and the growing apathy towards politicians. These are all real and pressing issues, so it’s useful that they have been brought into the public consciousness by a highprofile celebrity, but this political movement needs to be headed by someone with the desire and intent to see it through, not someone who’s just in need of publicity during his worldwide comedy tour. Otherwise, the revolution will be televised, at £30 a pop.
Robert Scott. In an overwhelming vote in the United Nations 188 countries have called on the USA to lift its 53 year trade embargo on Cuba. The total cost to the Cuban economy is estimated to be $1.1 trillion dollars but just as important is the human cost of the sanctions. He sanctions had been classified as 'genocide' under the Geneva Convention of 1948. This would seem like a fairly straightforward case, Cuba and the USA used to be at loggerheads during the Cold War but just haven't quite thawed out yet. The US believes that they are simply being scapegoated to draw attention away from internal issues in Cuba such as government corruption. Sanctions whilst sending a good political message also have real impacts on the people of a country, its time for this cold war to end.
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Should students care about staff issues? Deborah Hermanns argues that students Samiha Sharif argues that the strike was should support staff calls for higher pay unwarranted and unfair on students The pay ratio on our campus is one of the highest in the country, with the ViceChancellor having earned over £400,000 per year in recent years, while the lowest paid staff have only recently seen an increase of pay to the living wage. Senior managers, including the Vice-Chancellor, have seen pay rise after pay rise in recent years, and yet academics will have suffered a realterms pay cut of 13% since 2008. For the past year there have been negotiations between academics and universities on a national scale, reaching no agreement over ways to tackle casualisation, workloads or the continuing gender pay gap and topped off with a pay offer of only a 1% rise, signalling yet another real-terms cut. Consequently, members of Universities and College Union (UCU) decided to take strike action along with UNISON and Unite. This strike is now on our doorstep and we, as students, should support it in any way they can. We should not attend our lectures, or seminars. We should not cross the picket line. We stand at the picket line with our academic staff. This is not just their struggle, it is our struggle too. We should support the strike, not in spite of, but because of our anger that we will miss out on lectures. We are missing out on valuable lecture time because of the actions of the university. UCU have made the decision to strike after months of negotiations and the offers given by the university would mean, if accepted, a tangibly worse quality of life for vast numbers of staff. It is the university that chooses to invest our tuition fees of £9000 (and more for international
students), in marketing, extortionate salaries for senior management, and overseas investments, rather than entirely in your education and staff. It is the university that chooses profit before people, while our lecturers have to fight to protect their workspace and the quality of our education.
"It is the university that chooses profit before people while our lecturers have to fight" We should support the strike because it would not only mean supporting staff but also supporting our fellow students: postgraduates. They constitute some of the lowest paid academic-related staff at the university, with the weakest contracts – and make up a huge swathe of our teaching staff. We should support the strike because it really does make a difference: it boosts the morale of staff who are under a lot of stress and who put their career prospects at risk by participating in these actions. In addition, a struggle fought by staff and students also increases the pressure on the university as the successful student-staff led 361 campaign showed last year. There are many more reasons to support this strike, so talk to your lecturers about their problems, hear what they have to say and form your own opinion.
On Thursday the 31st of October, the lecturers of the University of Birmingham held a strike over a disagreement on pay; the unions refused a pay rise of 1% stating that this results in a 13% pay cut in real terms since October 2008. Many lecturers will strike but only a small number, less than 50%, voted in the ballot. These strikes have been supported by the Guild, with the Sabbatical Officers refusing to cross the picket lines and attend any meetings with the University. However, lecturers earn more than one would presume, for instance in 2012, a Freedom of Information request was sent to several top institutions around the UK; University of Birmingham had the highest average pay for lectures at £50,222 per annum, whilst the pay at the University of Leeds was almost £10,000 less. In fact, many others in the public sector such as the NHS continue to face a pay freeze. Nurses, carers, and other professionals in the health field, continue to devote their lives to improving the health of their patients. They work just as hard if not harder than the lecturers, but they are facing a pay freeze, in comparison to the lecturers who are receiving a 1% pay increase. However, these individuals in the NHS do not intend to strike; they realize the nature of the economic ailment that faces this country and are accepting these changes. If a nurse’s average pay is less than half the average pay for lecturers at the University of Birmingham, how can they qualify their reason to strike? Furthermore, lecturers state that they are providing a public service to
educate the next generation but by striking they are contradicting their reasoning. How can they give their students value for money, if they deduct one working day? It has to be remembered, thousands of students are paying £9,000 per year for their education, not to mention the undergraduate international students, who pay substantially more. They are not providing the esteemed education experience that they continue to boast about as the University of Birmingham was awarded Times University of the Year 2014.
"How can they give their students value for money if they deduct one working day?" Moreover, there are many other options which the lecturers can select to further their case. These options would not harm the students’ education and consists of various measures like petitions, persuading those in power, such as the Vice-Chancellor, to support the movement, demonstrating outside working hours, and encouraging the media to champion their protest. Finally it remains unlikely that this strike will change the mind of the politicians; the lecturers receive a one day holiday, and the politicians can rant about the irresponsibility of lecturers. No-one heeds a thought to the actual losers in this case: the students.
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Treatment of the Elderly, Disgrace Is our attitude to the elderly indicative of societal attitudes as a whole? Emma McCarthy Commentator
Getting old, it will happen to all of us one day, yet our neglect of the elderly is a cause for debate that is often pushed aside. Last week health secretary Jeremy Hunt called the treatment of the elderly in our society “a disgrace” and “the nations collective shame at ignoring the emotional needs of the elderly”. He is absolutely right, as a nation we pride ourselves on being compassionate and able to provide a certain level of care for the most vulnerable in society. Nevertheless we are failing to shelter our elderly family members from the sting of loneliness, the indignity of care homes and 15 minute care visits. Our capitalist society has become so obsessed with individualism, some lonely elderly people don’t want to burden the family. We are told from a young age that you should rely on yourself and be individual. This is not natural; relying on other people is human, wer'e meant to live in clans, not
fending for ourselves. Years ago people who found themselves in unfortunate circumstances and had no family were looked after by close-knit communities. The last few years has seen a breakdown of these communities particularly in and around cities, the elderly have become ever more isolated. To me there is something wrong within a society when volunteering projects such as the one offered here at Birmingham Uni, advertise for ‘buddy a granny’, take the job that the family are neglecting, attending to the emotional needs of an old person and easing loneliness for a few hours a week.
"Our capitalist society has beome so obsessed with individualism" Many families use the excuse that they do not have time in their busy lives to provide adequate care for elderly relatives. However, not all elderly need around the
clock care and can carry out basic around the house day-to-day activities independently. It is emotional support being around their
"Many other cultures such as in India and South East Asia have much more respect for the elderly" families and being treated with dignity they need. For those who do need more care, visits can be arranged in the same way that they already are, but in the family home. There could be tax breaks for families that keep their elderly relatives and help for those who cannot afford it or need more space to do so. This money could come from the lack of need for state funded all inhumane care homes that would be created. All we need to do is make some sacrifices in our lives.
Many other cultures such as in India and South East Asia have much more respect for the elderly, it is expected that the younger generation look after the older. Mr hunt was reported saying that “if we are to tackle the challenges of an aging society then we must learn from that”. He is very right , to me it doesn’t seem natural to have an elderly person living on their own with television as the main source of company. Where capitalism and money seeps into a society changing the nature of its culture then people seem to not want to take responsibility for care. Earning takes over and moral values are left by the wayside. We have become too wrapped up in our own lives to sacrifice some of our time and effort to looking after elderly family members, ensuring they are part of the family and are not left to loneliness. We avoid this issue as most of us know that deep down we could do more. If families and communities were encouraged to do more be it through financial help or cultural shifts then what is spent on elderly care could become more efficient.
1st - 14th November 2013
We Need to Talk About the Daily Mail Tom Cooper argues that we must engage with the views of the Daily Mail 'They are just typical Daily Mail readers', sneered a classmate of mine, making little effort to hide her clear contempt for this obvious underclass of intellectually unenlightened people. I cannot tell you how often I hear this – it really winds me up. I am very lucky; I went to a private school and I speak with a middle class accent, so few people guess at the humble origins of both my parents. My family are mainly Daily Mail readers - if they read the paper at all. Daily Mail bashing is an odd type of snobbery then and it is one which I had little experience of either at home or school before arriving at university. It isn’t the liberal views that irritate me. No, I am pretty liberal myself - at least more so than my Dad who tells me, with a rueful smile, 'I was a liberal at your age' - and perhaps with a
point as well. No, I am pro same-sex marriage, promulticulturalism, pro-foreign aid, and all that. It isn’t even the boringly homogenous liberal lefty views everyone seems to have here that get to me. Though I swear there were a more diverse set of opinions at my all-male exclusive private school than this university. It is a bit of an echo chamber here. No what really gets to me is the arrogance; the elitism in fact. Whether we like it or not the Daily Mail’s views on topics like immigration and welfare often reflect the majority view. We should at least attempt to listen and try to sympathise with the origins of these positions, even if we politely choose to disagree. Surely, for example, we all know that the negative aspects of immigration (they do exist) are disproportionately
felt by working class people who already have things tough? The same is true of welfare, and many other things.
"Middle class lefties act so disparagingly to these genuinely legitimate concerns" If, like my family and millions more, you are from working-class Hull or Wolverhampton, the world looks different and the Daily Mail starts makes sense. That should not be ignored no matter how enlightened and self-righteous our liberal views make us feel. It does wind me up then when well to-do middle class lefties act so disparagingly to these genuinely legitimate concerns.
No Place for Racism in Football Jonathon Simpson Commentator
Racism no longer has a place in sport. Since the 70s and 80s, the fight against it has come a very long way, particularly in our national sport: football. Black players no longer need fear the repugnant abuse which used to befall those of an ethnic minority in the UK, one of the many off-field reasons that the Premier League deserves to be cited as the best league in the world. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for football clubs abroad, which, due to the international nature of the modern game, are often visited by our black players who have the safety of a sheltered racism-free zone that our nation has proudly become. Like the 1% of bacteria that Cilit-Bang apparently just can’t kill, racism still hangs in the
air at some sporting locations in Eastern Europe. That foreign menace was given a face and a name earlier this month when Yaya Toure was allegedly called a monkey during Manchester City’s Champions League away game at CSKA Moscow by Russian 'fans.' Toure has since called upon other high profile black players to boycott the 2018 World Cup, which is set to be held in Russia.
"Racism still hangs in the air at some sporting locations in Eastern Europe" He’s making a mistake. A stronger message would be to go to the World Cup, play
well to help his country into the knock-out stages and use the second largest sporting event in the world to raise the issue of a lingering racist issue which stains a wonderful game. In not going to the tournament, players will be disappointing fans the world over, which is a terrible shame for all those who spend money on going to games and indirectly pay their extortionate wages (don’t even get me started), and they will be letting down their countries who will presumably have to go to Russia regardless. And, anyway, if any protest were to be made, would it not resonate more loudly with the masses if it were the white players who refused to play, to deter the foul abuse that their friends have to suffer? Would it not announce a more united and unanimous zero-tolerance attitude towards racism? I would love to see world-renowned players such as Ronaldo, Messi, Bale, Iniesta, Van Persie and Torres (all of whom are white, for
These attitudes are particularly unforgivable as these tend to be the exact same people who are the first to bleat about the snootiness of the upper class politicians. 'Cameron is completely out of touch with ordinary people,' and Daily Mail readers are 'idiots'. Do they listen to themselves? I am tempted to write a few Daily Mail-esque articles for this paper just to wind a few people up! 'Immigrants are stealing our jobs' perhaps? Seriously though, regardless of my personal views I do feel a duty to offer a little political diversity to a drearily clichéd student newspaper. Maybe people will even learn to take these opinions seriously and engage with them rather write them off as undeserving of attention. I would be so idealistic as to hope for such maturity and tolerance though – but I'm just a daft liberal.
those who aren’t as hopelessly addicted to the sport as myself) celebrating goals with a message inscribed on their t-shirts underneath their team shirts which said (and yes, I may be borrowing from Stonewall's antihomophobia campaign) 'my friends/teammates are black. Get over it.' Sport trumps politics. The games should always be played, even in the midst of international distrust and cultural difference. In fact they make it more important that the games are played at all. Our players should absolutely go to the World Cup in Russia and promote the welcoming environment of the English game. It should be the case that people from all corners of the planet can come together and enjoy watching the best players in the world compete for the ultimate footballing prize, while being exposed to a setting in which the game should be played. It may be the last push to once and for all kick racism out of football.
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1st - 14th November 2013
Redbrick Meets: Sub Focus Dave Charles VPHC
2013 has quite possibly been the crowning year for Nick Douwma, better known by his stage name Sub Focus. He achieved his first UK top 10 single with 'Endorphins' featuring Alex Clare which quickly became one of the biggest tracks of the summer. Shortly after the song's release, Sub Focus spent the summer on the festival circuit, taking both Global Gathering and Glastonbury by storm, before headlining the Radio 1 Dance Stage at Reading & Leeds. To round off arguably his best summer yet, Sub Focus released second solo album Torus at the start of the academic year, improving 40 places on his last album release and narrowly missing out on a top 10 position in the UK album chart.
Album Review: Cut Copy - Free Your Mind Ludo Cinelli Music Critic
Cut Copy’s 2011 album Zonoscope moved them away from their rock influences, towards a more dance-oriented sound. Their latest effort Free Your Mind confirms that transition, but it isn’t always for the best. It might be the lack of innovation that brings this album down. Nothing really sounds unique; at times classic Daft Punkisms take over with decent bass riffs, at times 80s synthpop comes up to completely throw the already scarce guitars away, and at times trying-really-hard-to-be MGMT psychedelic pop appears. No song really feels new, and the band have a difficult time creating a sound they can call theirs. This is not to mention the lyrical blandness of most of the tracks. There is a lot of ‘seeing’, ‘believing’, and going ‘into the night’, all dance clichés which you might excuse someone like Delorean for (there is more than a tinge of Balearic beat on this album, see the title track), but being Australian and not Spanish like the latter, the unmatched expectations are higher.
"Cut Copy prove they have a great ear for pop tracks" Additionally, the 14 titles on the back of the album are misleading, as two of those are an intro and an outro, and another three are interludes which could easily have been an extension of the tracks before them. This feels like an unnecessary attempt to stitch the songs together, and it does not work because of the fundamentally different genres emulated on each track. On the other hand, Cut Copy prove they have a great ear for pop tracks. Despite the repetitive song structure, the tunes organically grow to satisfying and catchy final thirds. Tracks like ‘Take Me Higher’ and ‘Footsteps’ showcase this quality, with a delight in all the synth and piano hooks coming together, and occasional bongo parts lovingly stolen from LCD Soundsystem. Overall, it is difficult to say this album is not enjoyable. The pastiche of different dance and dance-related genres works to create some fun, albeit largely meaningless music on this derivative record.
Dave Charles:You've been producing music for 10 years now and the scene's changed quite a lot over time, but who has been a major influence in the direction you've taken your production? Sub Focus: I started producing in my spare time at about 13, with it being very much on the side whilst most of my time was spent playing in a rock band at school. It wasn't until my 20s that I started to produce and send off my own demos, with my first proper sets being at the SU at Surrey University in Guildford. Around that time I guess I looked up to and took a lot of direction from the early jungle scene and also work from the Chemcial Brothers, Daft Punk and the early sounds DJ Fresh was putting out. With the new album I've been influenced by various types of music but just naming a few; any influential playlist would have to include a range of sounds from Jamie XX through to the Friendly Fires.
DC: The tour has taken you all over the country with Nottingham being a major show just the other day, how've you enjoyed being on your UK solo tour this year? SF: I'm a big fan of the small intimate clubs like (Nottingham's) Stealth. The live show is designed to be very different to what other producers are doing and from the usual DJ sets, so there's a lot of use of synthesizers and various different instruments for a unique sound. I've taken the tour down a fully electronic route so (tonight) you'll see me use custom made motion sensor boxes that allow me to use my hands in the air above to control the futuristic sound of many of the new tracks. It also lets me have full control over, and synchronise the tracks with, the lighting and effects I use. Also the tour lets me perform live in front of a slightly younger audience as most venues are 16+, as opposed to much of what I do which is in the clubs. We did the live stream from the set at the Roundhouse so everyone can enjoy the tour.
DC: The tour draws from both the new album and your extensive back catalogue, do you have a particular favourite track? SF: 'Tidal Wave' is a huge crowd pleaser with it's distinctive beat, but over the summer 'Endorphins' has been killing it. It gets a huge sing along, so for the tour I've had to build in a special feature that lets me turn off the vocals to really let the crowds go for it with their version. DC: My personal favourite of your entire collection has to be Let The Story Begin, will we be hearing it tonight? SF: I've been encore-ing with that a lot, it's always gone down well over the years. It conistently gets the biggest buzz out of the crowds, most people at festivals know it. For this tour it's something special as it lets me finish the night showing off the new motion technology and lazers.
DC: You've done several trips to the states to showcase your music, what was it like and who did you tour with? SF: I did some early stuff with MC Verse (who now works with El Hornet to tour as Pendulum DJ), back when we were both very underground and didn't have much following; there's a special kind of buzz and excitement you get when you get on stage at the venues you've seen in films and on TV. For the North America leg of the Torus tour I'm being supported by Delta Heavy. When you pick support, I think you need to pick someone you're tight with! Touring means you're on the on the road for a long time with very few people.
Album Review: Los Campesinos! - No Blues Joseph Fuller Music Critic
A cursory glance at the track list of Los Campesinos!'s fourth album No Blues reveals references to both The Smiths and James Joyce, Gareth Campesinos!'s lyrics are poetically personal and often death-fixated whilst the music within finds the band even more comfortable with embracing the slower tempos and deeper textures explored on previous album H e l l o Sadness. With a trajectory
that's seen them go from playing Reading's Festival Republic stage to opening up The Main Stage (sound tracking a Budwesier commercial along the way) it feels like more eyes are on Los Campesinos! than ever, but the aforementioned features of No Blues show that this band are, and always have been, in this for the long run. Now that the glockenspiel chimes of debut album Hold On Now, Youngster...
"The music within finds the band even more comfortable with embrasing the slower tempos" have truly glimmered away, the sugar-rush of the band's early days has truly given way to some brilliant songwriting. The band's evolution from the sprawling, loveable Romance Is Boring and slow-burning but rewarding Hello Sadness has seen them hone their craft is fantastic fashion: each song on No Blues is bursting with personality, embellishments and unique musical and lyrical turns of phrase. All the band are on top form throughout with bright, fuzzy guitar tones, perfectly-sussed harmonies (Gareth Campesinos!’s vocals now really belong at
the forefront and Kim Campesinos!'s voice is now a great, distinctive force) and a varied palette of keyboard tones whilst drummer Jason Campesinos! is a real revelation, knowing exactly how to temper these twists and turns with both subtlety and heft. Craftsmanship doesn't always equal an enjoyable listen but thankfully, No Blues has hooks in spades. 'Let It Spill' stands as the band's perfect straight-ahead pop song, all bright percussion and warm guitar, single 'Avocado, Baby' throws in a surprise cowbell-assisted hook that resurfaces as a cheerleader-assisted chant and 'What Death Leaves Behind' has a soaring middle-eight that stands as one of the band's defining moments. Elsewhere, the band continue to explore longer forms with finale' 'Selling Rope (Swan Dive To Estuary)' ramping up layers of sound until frontman Gareth Campesinos! sings a morbid refrain that Why?'s Yoni Wolf would surely approve of: 'No ticker tape, no golden gate/No carnival and no parade/Just one for sorrow'. Central to the album is 'Glue Me' which may very well be the band's finest song yet: a rich rumination on the important stuff (love and death) atop the band's most beautiful backdrop to date. That Cardiff Cougars cheerleading squad turn a once-howled refrain into an airpunching hook during 'Avocado, Baby' is neatly indicative of No Blues as a whole: through their songcraft, Los Campesinos! are a band who can turn morbid preoccupation into winning songs and continue to validate their cult following's fandom.
1st - 14th November 2013
Tweet of the Week: @SimonJCLeBON: #LouReed Don't for god sake say RIP, coz we all know he's a'walking, & we all know which side he's walking on.
Redbrick Remembers: Lou Reed Charley Ross Deputy Editor
This week, Lou Reed officially became one of the few exceptions to a general rule of thumb - rock 'n’ roll stars die young. At the age of seventy one - only six and a half years below the UK life expectancy for men - Reed more or less adheres to what experts expect of the average human being. Except he wasn’t average. Not by a long shot. After studying at Syracuse University in New York and working as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records, Reed moved to the Lower East Side with John Cale. The duo, along with Reed’s college acquaintance Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker formed a rock group that undoubtedly changed the landscape of lyrical and musical thinking. But of course, they didn’t know that at the time, and neither did anyone else around bohemian Brooklyn. In 1967 The Velvet Underground & Nico was released to all-around indifference, surrounded by an astounding culture of drugs, sex and underground Brooklyn antics with Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. The quartet, along with Warhol and German singer/model
Nico, personified the underbelly of the arts and the substance addiction it bred. Reed’s ‘Heroin’ in particular was a brutally honest and shocking revelation of the undeniable pull of one of the world’s most dangerous drugs
"Reed's most admirable quality in his songwriting was his deadpan honesty" ‘Heroin, it’s my wife and it’s my life’. The five years that The Velvet Underground recorded and selfdestructed together may not have seemed like a pivotal period at the time, but - like all the best pieces of art - their music went on to meet astronomical acclaim. The Velvet Underground & Nico has since been named by Rolling Stone as the thirteenth most influential album of all time, musician Brian Eno famously remarking that despite selling a mere 30,000 copies originally, every album purchased inspired someone to start a band. Reed was not afraid to be dark, or rude to starstruck journalists, so his spiky persona, combined with his revolutionary fusion of
European and American rock elements, set him apart as a revolutionary figure in 20th century music. An array of contrasting, but by no means uninteresting, projects followed, with Reed touching on slightly more commercial missions, perhaps in the hopes of higher success. These projects included collaborations with David Bowie in 1972 with ‘Transformer’ and much more recently with Metallica for 2011’s ‘Lulu’. Solo pursuits such as ‘Berlin’, ‘Sally Can’t Dance’ and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Animal’ throughout the 70s met minimal, if slightly incredulous acclaim. Reed’s most admirable, and perhaps most destructive quality in his songwriting was his deadpan honesty. His tackling of his experiences of electroconvulsive therapy as a teenager to ‘cure’ his bisexuality in his 1974 track ‘Kill Your Sons’ matured in terms of reception over time as society matured and became more liberal. The majority remained ignorant to his talents and stories, but fourty years on both are deemed legendary by many. So what does this extraordinary, but by no means modest man leave behind? A rock ‘n’ roll legacy, sure, but also fantastic poetry, and sentiments as well as a pioneering movement in culture and storytelling.
1st - 14th November 2013
Swap your BBQ for a Bonfire Food writer Safiyyah Gareebo evokes the fun of al fresco dining for the winter months cooking indoors, as it reduces time in the oven, keeping costs down and still ensuring a fluffy texture!
Saﬁyyah Gareebo Food Writer
For something even more indulgent...
As the winter draws in, bonfires are a great way to get together and enjoy great food, as well as providing a last ditch attempt to keep warm before finally turning the heating on! As you all huddle around with sparklers and soak in the warmth whilst it lasts, why not give a few of these ideas a go, making sure that you'll have a hearty meal ready by the time you all get back inside!
S'mores For an English take on the American classic, try sandwiching marshmallows between two chocolate digestives and using tongs to heat them in the flames. Other biscuits such as Rich Teas can be spread with Nutella instead, but, whatever you choose, don't skimp on the gooey loveliness of melting marshmallows!
"Dont skimp on the gooey loveliness of melting marshmallows" Baked Apples Sweet, buttery and spicy... after some simple preparation, these make a delicious dessert. Prepare the apples first by slicing off the tops and setting them aside. Use a sharp knife to remove the core of the apples, making sure you don't cut all the way through. Fill each apple with 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tbsp cinnamon or mixed spice and nuts or raisins. Then put the top back on and wrap it in foil, making sure the entire apple is covered before throwing it onto the bonfire.
Jacket Potatoes By far the easiest of these ideas, you can reduce oven costs by cooking the potatoes in the microwave before wrapping in foil and
putting on the bonfire. A top tip is to make a double fold in the foil before wrapping the potatoes, to allow for them to expand as they cook, without splitting the foil. Cooking in the microwave is also a great idea when
Banana Split Make a lengthwise slit down an unpeeled banana and fill it with a mix of chocolate chips, chopped nuts, marshmallows, fudge pieces or anything else you can think of before wrapping the entire thing in - you guessed it - foil! Pop these into the bonfire after the potatoes to have a dessert ready for when you're safely back inside! For something even more indulgent, top the bananas and apples in ice or fresh cream, and sprinkle with any leftover fillings for added texture. Always be careful when taking your foil parcels off the bonfire, either use tongs from a safe distance or pour water over the embers once the flames have died down and use an oven glove to cautiously pick them up.
Food Fights: The Winter Warmers Our writers go head to head in a conflict over coffee houses. Costa versus Starbucks...which would you choose? Millie Walker
Food Editor millicent_x Today, I moved to the dark side. I’ve done it before, and I shall do it again. Eating chocolate when I know I ought not to; borrowing clothes from my sisters without asking; pencilling in the crossword answers before my Dad has had chance to see it.Things I’m not proud of, but still do for the small hit of devilish satisfaction. Today, though, I chose the dark on a more serious matter, and it won't be so easy to forgive myself. Starbucks vs Costa - there’s no middle ground. You choose your side and you stick with it to the bitter end. Today, however, I abandoned my hometown, tax-paying favourite. Today, I sullied my soul in its cowboy of a cousin.
"A 'Winter Warmer' should heat your hands against a cruel wind" This year, Starbucks have a Spiced Pumpkin Latte and a Salted Caramel Mocha as their winter specials and, truthfully, the first sips of my latte were great. The shot of caffeine was perfect for clearing the last layers of sleep from my mind and the spice of the cinnamon powder was perfect. Moving onto the mocha, I was certainly pleased with the salty tang of the caramel, though the intense sweetness was too much for me. The cream and chocolate powder (Costa do real chocolate sprinkles) make it a
luxurious evening drink; however I’d not rush back for one first thing in the morning. Returning happily to my latte, I was disappointed to find that, without the cinnamon, the artificial pumpkin flavour was all but drowned under the milk, which was a shame. I would be interested to know how the flavours might come across in a cappuccino, though I’m nervous of being disappointed a third time. A ‘Winter Warmer’ should heat your hands against a cruel wind as you hold it close to your face and inhale the spiced steam; then, when you’ve taken your first sip, it should warm you from the inside and lead you on a whirlwind tour of sensory winter recollections. I needed that from my drink this morning and so I was genuinely sorry that the Starbucks specials didn’t impress. In the interest of fair play, I shan’t now praise Costa’s superiority; I would simply have been better purchasing a Starbucks Chai Latte with an espresso shot and enjoying the wintery flavours for less money and fewer calories.
Rosie Twells Food Writer
There are certain choices in life that are heart-wrenching, pain-stakingly difficult. Pushing you to the very extreme, those choices are the ones that require you to consider their consequences and, indeed, question yourself as to whether you’ve made an informed decision. With that thought firmly in mind, here is the biggest competition between two rival coffeehouses that this season will witness: Starbucks and Costa Coffee go head-to-head in a winter warmer beverage battle. My firm, and extremely valued loyalty, rests entirely on the shoulders of Starbucks. For me, there is simply no better place to embrace a taste of autumn and winter for 2013. However, for the purposes of this trial, I was encouraged to switch my allegiances and be exposed to the mocha medley that Costa offers. Despite the Chocolate and Orange Mocha Latte striking me as a drink better associated with the Christmas festive season, I was determined for this not to affect my judgement on taste. The rich, smooth, velvety chocolate combined wonderfully with the tangy orange contrast and the delicate topping of whipped cream was just right. Although, what this drink accounts for in taste is certainly matched by its outrageous nutritional value. I was shocked on discovering that this small size cup contained 423 calories and 25.9g of fat. This would have to be a treat for embracing the autumn weather, but is definitely one well worth savouring the flavour for.
From their Autumn Collection, Costa’s second hot beverage to try was the Toffee Nut Caffè Caramella. My first sip led me into a sweet sensation overload – the crisp and nutty undertones were unfortunately overpowered by the toffee and caramel sauce generously drizzled on top. The Caramella certainly had a strong coffee kick to it and would be perfect for those mornings when you need something to spring you into action. Indeed, this provided a much more satisfying taste of autumn than its companion in the collection did. Having fairly tried and tested Costa’s drinks, the decision for me to choose between the two was still clear. The beverage battle was drawn to a close. Costa certainly packs a few punches, but unfortunately it was never going to be a knock-out. In this case, Starbucks retains its heavyweight title as the coffeehouse king for winter warmers.
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Mixing Event – ‘Finding Housemates and a House! Mixing Event – ‘Finding Housemates and a House!’
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1st - 14th November 2013
Life & Style
The Young People's Fashion Festival V&A's Youth Collective Life & Style Writer Natasha Woolf attended the young people's Fashion Festival, devised by CreateVoice, the Victoria and Albert Musuems youth collective. Fashionistas assemble. Amongst a lot of black clothing, some quirky outfits and a whole load of great handbags; there I was at the fashion festival at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Having randomly seen it advertised on Twitter, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but knew the day culminated in a talk between Laura Weir (Fashion Features Director at the Sunday Times Style) and the legend that is Henry Holland. Advertised as an event for people aged 16-24 in order to give an
insight into the fashion industry whilst presenting an opportunity to engage in workshops to develop skills, it did itself justice. There was a variety of talks from industry insiders, including PR managers from the British Fashion Council, Editors from ASOS and fabulous designer Maria Grachvogel. The event culminated with the highly anticipated ‘In conversation with Henry Holland’. The festival was completely free (perfect for the majority of
the audience, who were students), and as a result all the talks and demonstrations were based on a first-come first-served basis. This meant a lot of queuing was involved, but that didn’t dampen things and it was a great day all round! In a time where there is more competition than ever before to get into the fashion industry, a day like this, with the purpose of giving not only practical but also realistic advice, was certainly appreciated by all that attended.
Online this week: Charlotte Spence talks frankly about safety on a night out. Rosie Arnold tells us how to wrap up warm on a rainy day. Jaffrina Jahan reveals the ins and outs of the Bloom-Kerr split.
Get Well Guide
The deadly cold is upon us. Life & Style writer Grace Walker gives up tips on how to stay healthy in the onslaught on winter. Grace Walker Life & Style Writer
We all feel that first sneeze or tickle at the back of the throat that signals the beginning of the cold season. This winter we’ll each go through between two and five colds, every fluey spurt lasting an average of nine days. That could add up to forty-five drowsy, sniffling days us Brits accept as a winter norm. And aside from giving us something to complain about (along with the weather), the cold only materializes in grumpy, bunged up students. So, is there actually anything we can do to avoid catching the legendary winter blues? Well, contrary to popular belief, the answer is yes. There’s eight key points to remember, and if followed properly, you should find yourself healthy, bubbly and cold-free all winter long!
1) Get plenty of sleep Your body recharges itself at night so it’s essential you get into a regular pattern and get all your well-deserved snoozing.
6) Take a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement daily Let’s face it, student living means very few of us get the infamous ‘5 a day,’ so this is a quick, simple solution.
2) Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day Water helps your body assimilate nutrients and convert food into energy; staying hydrated is a must.
7) Clean hands Germs are picked up easily, so
3) Exercise regularly 30 minutes of exercise helps boost the metabolism and your body’s ability to fight illness.
"This winter we'll each go through between two and five colds."
4) Avoid sugary foods Food high in sugar content makes your immune system become sluggish. Ditch the sweets and fizzies.
make a hand sanitizer a handbag staple.
5) Eat a healthy balanced diet Include protein to protect and build your lean muscle, and plenty of carbohydrates and vitamins from fresh fruits and vegetables
8) Reduce stress and think positively Yes, happiness has in fact been proven to help your health! Reduce stress and think positively. Your mental state has more of an impact
on your body's immune system than many people realize. Mental states such as depression directly effect the hormones released into our bodies. These chemicals (eg. cortisol) also depress the immune system. Being optimistic, happy with life and generally easygoing is part of being healthy. 9) Dress for the occasion We know those tartan skirts are the height of fashion, but maybe invest in a tartan scarf to match. Winter warmers are a necessity in this weather, but don't fret, the high street is already awash with those wooly jumpers, vintage scalves and fluffy mittens which will easily match your winter wardrobe.
1st - 14th November 2013
Kate Bosworth for Topshop Life & Style writer Lizzie Green discusses Kate Bosworth's new collection for Topshop. Say ‘Hello!’ to Kate Bosworth’s second collaboration with Topshop, which arrived online and in store on the 24th of October. Described as ‘a mix of masculine and feminine, oversized and fitted’, actress and model Kate Bosworth’s second collection for Topshop has not disappointed! The collection can be described as nothing other than an ultra-chic capsule wardrobe, which includes 46 pieces that range in both style and price; from £18 patent leather belts to a £595 boyfriend-fit sheepskin jacket (a price-tag that’s sure to break the bank!). Here are some of my favourite pieces in the collection;
Fierce Kate Moss & Johnny Depp reunited Our favourite 90's power couple have been reunited. 15 years on for Sir Paul McCartney's latest single, this will be a music video not to miss.
Jay-Z & Chris Martin on the Tube Following in the footsteps of Rihanna, its nice to see these celebs ditching their private helicopters for the tube!
Kate Bosworth for Topshop The much-anticipated second collection has been unveiled. Must-have pieces for that luxurious minimalist look.
Prince George The royal christening photos emerged this week with Price George stealing the favourite royal spotlight!
Kimye's engagement Another gem of the collection is this stand-out white leather a-line skirt which is both versatile and unique. The interesting geometric shape and retro material is sure to add a 60's flare to anyone’s outfitexpensive but seriously edgy!
We just love these dangerous black stilettos, versitile for almost any occasion (providing you can cope with those 4 inch heels). Pair with baggy boyfriend jeans and a white T for a Hollywood take on casual chic.
Finally, with a more modest price-tag (phew!) this beautiful fuchsia dip-hem t-shit is a simple yet effective addition to the collection. The unusual use of bright summer hues is a different yet welcome addition to any winter wardrobe.
What to Wear, Where? Mechu & COY This week Pippa Rice advises us on what to wear to the classiest nights in Birmingham. The mud-ridden converse and the Jäegerbomb covered denim shorts which appear on oh-so many of us at Stupid Tuesdays are to be a thing of the past. With the long-standing popularity of Minted at Mechu and the emergence of the up-and-coming night COY, it’s time to suit up and be prepared to complain about the five inch heels, as Monday and Thursday nights transform the students of Birmingham into what can only be described as members of the Made In Chelsea cast.
With a 15 carat diamond ring, and casually renting the San Francisco’s AT&T Park for the night, there was nothing understated about this engagement to Kim Kardashian.
Madonna Banned from a US cinema chain for texting throughout a show in New York's Film Festival, not cool Madge!
Stormy weather With cold winds, constant rain and the worst still to come! Lucky us!
Fancy Dress Theres been a few too many Halloween parties this week, so it's nice to know we have a year-long breather from the relentless array of slutty cat outfits.
Rihanna’s selfies After being kicked out of a Mosque in Abu Dhabi for taking snaps of herself, Rihanna’s insta-obsession has to stop!
Miley Cyrus’ tongue It is everywhere, it is disgusting. Put it away Miley!
Dark nights Now that the clocks have gone back, winter is officially here with those dark nights getting earlier!
By Daisy Holden Girls, it’s dress up time. Statement jewellery is the thing to look for when piecing together your outfit. This New Look necklace £9.99 spices up this sleek and simple Motel skater dress £38. Team with some killer heels such as this ASOS £40 pair, and you’re good to go.
Boys, it’s time to dig out that blazer that appears at most big family occasions; this River Island number at £25 should inspire you. If you really want to find your inner Spencer Matthews, pair with those staple Topman burgundy chinos £24 and these Bertie beauties £85.
1st- 14th November 2013
Rodriguez: Hollywood's Mariachi Master director, writer, composer and... chef? Jacob Ingram pays tribute to the original guerrilla filmmaker
Review: One Chance
Details Release date: 25th October 2013 Director: David Frankel Cast: Jemima Rooper, Julie Walters, James Corden Running time: 103 minutes
´´´´´ Beth Coveney Critic
Rodriguez stands out from a generation of filmmakers that sat in cinemas from dawn 'till dusk, throughout the 70s and 80s and learnt how to make films from the screen itself. A generation defined by the ever repeated quote of Quentin Tarantino, 'When people ask me if I went to film school, I say 'No, I went to films.'' Well Rodriguez did go to film school, but he got there by making films...
"It is in El Mariachi that Rodriguez first shows the definitive style that penetrates his films." He began his career in 1990 with a short film titled Bedhead. Its entrance into a local film festival and the consequent recognition that it received gained him the place on the University of Texas film programme that he had been denied years earlier. Armed with a camera that he had acquired free with a VCR, he began to pioneer low budget independent film making. His first feature was the famously cheap El Mariachi (1992), the winner of the Audience Award at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. Its acclaim was recognised and it was picked up by Columbia Pictures who then spent tens of thousands of dollars in post production to distribute the film. It is in El Mariachi that Rodriguez first shows the definitive style that permeates his films. Much like his frequent collaborator and friend, Tarantino, Rodriguez uses a
highly stylistic aesthetic reminiscent of the golden age of low budget cinema. Quick cuts, fast zooms, handheld camera and home made special effects have become a staple of the Rodriguez style, even as his budget and recognition have climbed ever higher. The 70s and 80s saw the emergence of cheap, morally and artistically ambiguous genre pictures, branded 'exploitation movies'. These were shown in grindhouses, burlesque theatres converted into projection rooms. From Dusk 'Till Dawn (1996) was the first of Rodriguez' films to show him emulate this aesthetic, he offsets intense violence, themes of crime, sexual exploitation and rape with an absurd pseudo-horror plot placing vampires in a strip club. This paralleling of the comedic with the ultra-violent is a technique made popular to modern English speaking audiences by Tarantino and Rodriguez himself. He has even sustained this technique in his most recent 2013 feature, Machete Kills, and its 2010 prequel, Machete. His 2007 film Planet Terror, released in conjunction with Tarantino's Death Proof, was a definite throwback to the grindhouse. Just like From Dusk 'till Dawn, it places adult themes of sexual exploitation, discrimination and rape within the context of a highly stylised and enthusiastically violent zombie apocalypse. Admittedly, this all sounds very unappealing to casual film fans, but the enjoyment lies in the 'so bad it's good' element of his pictures. Gunshots cause heads to explode, arms can be bitten off by zombies and men can be torn apart by vampires as unrealistic blood coats the sets. These movies are undoubtedly made by film fanatics for film fanatics.
Born from this freelance, low budget style, Rodriguez has always been a strong supporter of independent cinema and goes by the philosophy of a 'one man film crew'. His book, Rebel without a Crew outlines his self coined 'mariachi' style of film making, where he states that a film's issues can always be solved, not with money, but with creativity. It is for this very reason that he often has not only writing, directing and editing credits, but also composing, camera operation, and in the credits of Planet Terror
"He states that a film's issues can always be solved, not with money, but with creativity.." (2007), being his own personal chef. To outline his directorial philosophy, Rodriguez has released a series of cheap film making tips in the form of the Ten Minute Film School (1998-2004) shorts that are released with his films. If you doubt his skills, along side this he has released a Ten Minute Cooking School (2004) in which he teaches how to make a breakfast burrito that he often cooks for the crew on long days of filming. For all of this, Robert Rodriguez is worth attention as a director. Although his outlandish stories and graphic style may not be to everyone's tastes, he has sustained a DIY approach to film production in an industry saturated with colossal budgets and special effects.
We’re all aware of those cheesy inserts in TV talent shows where we learn all about the contestants’ backstories - One Chance is the next step up that essentially turns a ‘sob story’ into a full-length biopic. It tells the story of Carphone Warehouse manager turned opera singer Paul Potts (James Corden), first winner of Britain’s Got Talent, and his rise from the grimy depths of Port Tabolt to fame. Opening with a sequence based in 1985 Port Tabolt showing Potts’ life aged nine, Corden provides a voiceover describing his life as an opera of ‘singing, bullying, bullying, singing’, and it’s a theme that takes up the majority: the tragic pitfalls of life before Britain’s Got Talent. A particularly heartbreaking moment comes with Potts going all the way to a Venice singing school only to be rejected by his hero Pavarotti.
"Corden seems to struggle to suppress his natural laddish swagger." The casting of comic actor Corden as shy, vulnerable Potts is an odd one, and limitless imagination is needed to believe it as even Corden seems to struggle to suppress his natural laddish swagger in favour of self-consciously lip-syncing ‘Nessun Dorma’. It’s made up for by the rest of the cast though – Julie Walters and Colm Meaney balance each other out as the doting, supportive mother and snide father, while Alexandra Roach gives an adorable and convincing performance as love interest Julz. One Chance has an endearing charm that’s only to be expected from Marley & Me director David Frankel – there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Potts’ BGT audition was recreated – but it’s just about as predictable as it gets. A bit like Britain’s Got Talent itself really. It’s a light-hearted, feel-good film that’s hard to hate – but almost equally difficult to love.
1st-14th November 2013
Film News Hannah Skolnick Critic
Following the box office success of the three testosterone-fuelled Expendables films, Millennium Films are working on a feminine spin-off- The Expendabelles. Despite the awful pun, this film has attracted some big Hollywood stars, with no less than Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz and Milla Jovovich attached to the project.
Replacing Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Dornan has been cast as Christian Grey in the now infamous film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Dornan was welcomed to the project by an excited E.L. James who tweeted; ‘Stow your twitchy palms ladies our man is here’.
Review: Ender's Game The fate of planet Earth rests in the hands of young spaceship commander Ender, in this book to film adaptation of a popular Sci-Fi classic
Details Release date: 25th October 2013 Director: Gavin Hood Cast: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld Running time: 114 minutes
´´´´´ Charlie Moloney Critic
Fearing the threat of annihilation at the hands of the Formics, an ant like race that nearly destroyed the Earth 50 years ago, the human race puts all of its hope in young wunderkind Ender (Asa Butterfield). He’s one of many young cadets who are intensely trained in war games which prepare them to become the leader of the human fleet in the seemingly inevitable battle. Ender is closely monitored by military leader Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford), who sees that he is “the one” (a line that fills the theatre with groans). The only problem is that Ender has a violent side, brought about by his violent and competitive older brother, and he claims
that when he has an enemy he will inevitably “destroy” them. As he rises through the various stages of the military academy and wins the respect of his fellow cadets, he begins to question himself, and the morality of violent conquest, even in the face of the apocalypse. Gavin Hood has been acclaimed for his Oscar winning Tsotsi (2005), but his subject matter is far away from the slums of South Africa now, and the touching drama gets lost in all the sci-fi nonsense. Ender’s Game has a lot of big ideas, and at times the film is smart in a flattering kind of way. In an era of drone strikes and internet ‘trolling’, a film which questions the ethics of attacking people from behind a computer screen is nice and relevant. Butterfield is appropriately intense as the complicated prodigy Ender, and he plays the child who can see through all of the military nonsense about the absolute nature of victory. However, even though the film makes you think, it is very poorly put together. Apart from Butterfield, the acting is terrible, particularly from Ford who looks like he has better things to do. The dialogue is horribly cliché and the script has been patched together using pieces from countless other films, which means that all the big one liners are about as dramatic as a glass of water. For a prestigious actor like Nonso Anozie this film could well be the low point in his career, even if he’s walking away with his pockets nicely lined, he gives a terrible performance as the poorly conceived and generic Sergeant Dap, who demands push ups for disobedience in a really stupid way. Although the film starts out by promis-
ing us the battle for Earth, all that really happens is we watch children go through Hogwarts-style trials and tribulations whilst also learning valuable lessons about themselves and each other. By the time we’re half way in you already know Ender is going to be “the one” and you’re far more interested in seeing the epic space battle that Harrison Ford is constantly raving about. Despite watching endless simulations, battle classes, and training montages we see very little in the way of real action. The most painful part of the film is that we constantly have to watch the cadets duel in a laser tag style war game which has absolutely nothing to do with battling space ants. What this film really needs is some soul searching editing, and a more compelling script. Whilst Butterfield is good to watch, there are only so many scenes that we need with him proving that he’s a genius. Particularly his dream sequences and tantrums we could do without. The story is set over a very long period of time and you feel the tedium of the drills so that sometimes all that keeps you interested is the prospect of it wrapping up. In fairness the ending does raise a lot of questions, and even if it’s predictable it’s still powerful. Unfortunately this film only stays afloat by throwing around lots of big ideas and then failing to come to any conclusions. Based on the subject matter of controversial author Orson Scott Card, whose opposition to gay marriage has earned this film a boycott, Ender’s Game doesn’t have any opinions of its own. Even though the CGI is stunning, what film with a budget of $110 million doesn’t have good CGI these days?
Tom Hardy is all set to be propelled on to our screens as Elton John in his biopic, Rocketman. The project will start filming next year, and will be in cinemas in 2015, so although ‘it’s gonna be a long long time’ the wait for this ‘Tiny Dancer’ should be worth it.
As is apt to do at this time of year, Empire have recently compiled a list of ‘The Complete 666 Greatest Horror Characters’. The top ten includes Norman Bates, Dracula, Hannibal Lecter and Freddy Kruger- but piping them all to the post is Ash, the iconic, ‘groovy’ hero of The Evil Dead trilogy.
1st - 14th November 2013
Holidays: DIY vs Package Do-it-yourself
Matthew Greenhill argues that your way is the best way....
Eleanor Pugh tells us why to opt for the all inclusive...
Why settle for someone else’s idea of a dream travel experience, when you can make it your own? DIY holidays offer you the flexibility to decide the whole itinerary yourself, and while this may seem like a lot of hassle, you can book it over the internet just as easily, and from the comfort of your own home! Package holidays restrict you to travelling at certain times, whilst those in North India, for one example, tend only to offer the cliché choices of ‘The Golden Triangle’ and the ‘Forts of Rajasthan.’ What if you want to take an overnight train to the spiritual riverside abode of Varanasi? And what if you didn’t want to see Delhi at all? From my own experience travelling in the country, I found that choosing the places I wanted to visit, trains I wanted to catch and hostels I wanted to stay in was not only a far more exciting experience, but a more rewarding one too. Taking a spontaneous ride in a tuk-tuk to the nearest market. Dashing down the platform to find your train that leaves in two minutes. Haggling with hotel staff to negotiate that all important, life-changing difference between three pounds and three pounds fifty. These are the moments which will give you the lasting memories of your time abroad, and the trip you deserve – not a walk around the Taj Mahal before it’s ‘time to go.’ You will also find that planning the holiday yourself is extremely cost-effective. On a DIY holiday, you can usually find cheaper airlines going straight to your destination, and stay at the same hotels as those
offered in the package deal at a cheaper rate by contacting them directly and arranging a price. You can even do this on the move. Many places in India compete for the tourist trade, so there is little pressure on you to find a place to stay prior to travelling, because so few places get booked up. Package holidays cost a lot more in comparison. Companies like Exodus offer 10 days of flight-included travel from £1,299 to £1,899, covering Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, and Jaipur. I managed to do two weeks of travel (including flights), visiting not only the same places, but other parts of Rajasthan, comfortably within a budget of £1000.
"Ultimately, by doing it yourself, the power is in your hands." Having your money go towards commission is the worst when you find you could have booked it yourself for less! So have the confidence in yourself to do it right – a little planning goes a long way. As for your typical beach or ‘lads’ holiday’, I’d book a package deal every time as it’s not about the places you see, or people you meet. But for something so fundamentally life-changing as travelling halfway across the world, in a place that you may only get to see once, it’s important that you have the time of your life. Ultimately, by doing it yourself, the power is in your hands. And your experience should be just that – unique. It should be yours.
When planning a holiday, the daunting flash-thought of forgetting that ‘one crucial thing’ is enough to persuade many first-time travellers to take a trip to the travel agent, regardless of whether the trip planned is a girls’ or lads’ holiday, or a first time backpacking venture across to Asia. Admittedly, when writing this article, I doubted the saintly package holiday and questioned that someone else doing the work for you must inevitably result in the unnecessary parting with additional money. However, when looking at the benefits, the results are pleasantly surprising. The simple thought of a package holiday evokes feelings of ease and relaxation. With transport, accommodation and food booked all in one, the stress release begins before the holiday has even started. Leaving yourself to deal with the stressful process of pulling together the strings will obviously make the concept of relaxation do a three hundred and sixty degree turn and walk in the opposite direction. Now this doesn’t necessarily have to mean extra cost: with European beach holidays, package is often cheaper. Visiting a travel agent with a handful of people for a week on a Greek or Spanish island can result in a good deal (my flatmate relishes in reminding me that his one week lads’ holiday to Zante set him back a mere £244). If backpacking is more your cup of tea, a package holiday often provides more than just the warming feeling that nothing is forgotten: it provides a safety net too. Thailand, for example, often daunts first-
Brum students abroad
time travellers. But packages like ThaiIntro and RealGap are run by companies who have British-based offices, provide airport pick-ups, accommodation and transport around the country. Admittedly, they are slightly more expensive than ‘DIY’, but the knowledge that there is a tour guide to help if something goes wrong provides that sometimes much-needed sense of security. Kara, who runs her female-angled backpacking blog Heels In My Backpack, argued for the ThaiIntro tour, pressing that it provided her with ‘peace of mind, some great experiences and brand new friends’, something more than worth the ‘extra hundred’ that you could save if you planned the trip yourself. From my own experience travelling around New Zealand, a package bus tour (www.kiwiexperience.com) was a lifesaver as, apart from hiring a car, travelling around the country is incredibly difficult. The company even organises your hostel spaces for each night. I would warn of the minor ‘school trip’ you might feel, but having a tour guide in the form of your bus driver is ridiculously helpful. Furthermore, the company sorts out (and offers at discount to the usual price) everything from bungee jumping to whitewater rafting along the way. Evidently all is not as it seems with package holidays. With beach holidays and transport packages, there is the added benefit of actually saving money. And in the case of Asia, for example, where you pay a bit more, your own peace of mind and mental relaxation is so incredibly worth it.
In this week's year abroad column we hear from fourth year student Lauren Carradice about her adventures last year... Strasbourg. As soon as anyone hears the name, I always receive the standard 'Ooo is that in Germany then?' No, no it isn’t. But admittedly when I first stepped foot in Strasbourg, it did feel like I’d been dumped in a small town in the middle of the Black Forest because of its little huts and cute architecture. Strasbourg did provide an excellent year abroad. Not only did the Alsace region offer one of the most beautiful and quirky regions of France, it also provided some fabulous wine drinking opportunities of the local Riesling, which was often bought at only €3 for pre-drinks(absolute bargain!). I visited many local spots including a town which was home to an old concentration camp from the Nazi era. I also met some German people (who
thankfully weren’t bitter about losing Strasbourg to France) who persuaded me to do a generic Erasmus trip to Oktoberfest in Munich. I could not recommend this enough! This was definitely the highlight of my year abroad. There is nowhere else in the world where wearing tight leather pants drinking litres of beer whilst slurring (or at least trying to slur) the words to some local Bavarian tunes would be acceptable. Italy was also a must on my Erasmus list. So I decided to brave a 15 hour overnight bus journey to Florence to visit a fellow year abroad-er in Siena. And the zero sleep I got and putting up with a new Italian friend who didn’t speak a word of English except ‘house’ was definitely worth it. Siena is a fantastic place and even has a clock tower very reminiscent of Old Joe. I
ate excessive amounts of ice cream, pasta and pizza and came back about a stone heavier than I left (I was only there for two days.). Et voila l’année Erasmus!
"The generic Erasmus trip to Oktoberfest in Munich was the highlight of my year abroad."
1st - 14th November 2013
Volunteering abroad: helping them or helping you? Travel Editor Elizabeth Waind shares her thoughts on the international volunteering debate... Volunteering abroad is becoming increasingly popular amongst young people as part of a gap year or during the summer break, and you probably heard a record amount of, 'I went to Africa and built a school' or similar on your return to Selly this September. But I’m not one to talk when it comes to being fed up of hearing about your housemate’s do-gooding in Asia whilst you were getting drunk back in the Shire with your old school friends. Having been on two such international volunteering escapades myself since leaving school, I’m not sure when the stories of my own travels will cease to drive my friends deranged. Still, I’m sure the majority of you would put your desire to lock all international volunteers up for good down to the jealousy that their ever re-told experiences evoke, rather than due to a disagreement with international volunteering itself. Right? The international volunteering debate is in fact becoming rife. As the number of people embarking on volunteering trips increases, many take the view that volunteering abroad is entirely selfish and only hinders the communities in which western volunteers with no knowledge of international development and only a desire to ‘see the world’ are sent. These volunteers, who turn up in their expensive walking boots and zip-off hiking trousers swan in only to take the much-needed jobs of local builders who could do a much more efficient job alone. Precious learning time is taken away from underprivileged schoolchildren whilst untrained volunteers attempt to teach in a language which the students cannot understand. These volunteers take out their flashy cameras as they intrude upon the everyday lives of the local people, and then wash off the dirt to return to the comfort of their smartphones and central heating back at home. However, such arguments can be entirely naïve and based only upon assumption. Of course, some of the larger companies that you might find online, charging thousands
"The local people can learn as much from interaction with the volunteers as the volunteers can learn from the local people" of pounds from each volunteer and offering an unbelievable amount of projects in a ridiculous variety of locations, are worth being wary of. It’s probably fair to assume that such companies are more in it for the money than for the benefit of the communities in which they operate. But, if you do your research and find an NGO with which you can communicate directly and see exactly where your money is
being put to use, international volunteering projects can be extremely worthwhile for both the volunteer and for the community. NGOs which have a genuine concern for achieving their aims in developing countries around the world take in volunteers as part of achieving these aims, putting their fundraising in places where other funding does not exist but is greatly needed in order to improve the lives of the local people. And of course, when it is only the fundraising of a group of volunteers which allows a new development to go ahead at all, you can hardly argue that these volunteers are taking the jobs of local builders. You might then ask: why not just send the money rather than paying to send the volunteers? Surely it would be much more cost effective to put the money spent on flying people over towards the development project in question. However, half of the reason for having international volunteers is to give the people in developing communities the opportunity to meet individuals from western societies; to learn from them as well as about them. The local people can learn as much from interaction with the volunteers as the volunteers can learn from the local people, and it would be a great shame to remove this aspect from the work of NGOs. Meeting the people who send the aid to struggling societies makes such aid far more meaningful for the local people, far from being patronising, as many would argue. Having volunteers visit the places which require their aid is part of an important learning process for all involved. On top of this, where international volunteering involves teaching, for example, children and adults get the opportunity to learn from native English speakers; the level of English of local teachers in small, rural schools varies greatly, and the opportunity to learn from a native speaker can make all the difference. It would be somewhat narrow-minded to suggest that having English language as a skill wouldn’t dramatically broaden the horizons of the people in these struggling communities. It is often the case that it is in fact the skills of the volunteers alone, and not their fundraising efforts, which are needed abroad. VSO, Voluntary Services Overseas, is one example of an organisation which asks for skilled professionals to volunteer in their area of expertise where it is needed abroad. This may be during times of urgency, for example in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, or
in order to pass skills and knowledge on in areas where they are essential yet exist in a great minority. Here, the work of international volunteers is vital, and without their help, improvement could scarcely be made. Knowledge and experience does not grow on trees – if it is not taken from place to place then it simply cannot spread. If volunteering abroad is something that you have been unsure about, then do your research to ensure that you’re committing yourself to a worthwhile project. Avoid the larger, flashy-looking websites which charge you the sum of one term’s student loan and look for the smaller NGOs which really need your help in their development projects. If they are genuine and aim to make a real change, they will have nothing to hide; strip them for all you’ve got before you send them the precious money that you’ve worked hard to raise, and make sure that it and your skills are going where they’re really needed. Your time spent volunteering is something that neither you nor the community in which you choose to work could ever look back on. To get involved in ethical international volunteering with the university, get in touch with InterVol, your very own International Volunteering society, which works directly with trustworthy NGOs to organise worthwhile volunteering projects for students. Intervol.co.uk facebook.com/groups/intervolbirmingham firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biggest Bonfire Night celebrations in the UK Rebecca Maynard Travel Writer
Staying Local - The Vale 07/11 The annual Vale Fireworks night is legend. Turn up at 7pm to have a drink and enjoy the funfair. Fireworks start at 9pm. The event is open to everyone so bring friends and family.
London - Alexandra Palace 02/11 The biggest bonfire night in London returns after a four-year hiatus. A winter festival from 2pm with rides, ice skating, oompah bands and a German Bier Festival makes it a day out to remember!
Sussex - Lewes Bonfire Celebration 05/11 The largest bonfire celebrations in the country - this is not one but six bonfire groups all with their own bands, parades, bonfires and displays. Plan your day out in advance to avoid disappointment as crowds are huge!
Cardiff - Sparks in the Park 02/11 Held in Coopers Field, it’s the biggest annual fireworks event in Wales. A ‘beast’ of a bonfire, funfair rides, live entertainment from Capital FM, food stalls, licensed bar and the mother-of-all pyrotechnic is promised.
Manchester - Heaton Park 5/11 Take your little brothers and sisters along to this fun-fest in Heaton Park. The stunning fireworks display kicks off shortly after they light the bonfire at 7.30pm. Best of all - the event is free!
1st - 14th November 2013
Ed Byrne in his 'Roaring Forties' Stuart Found and Matt Bullin review Ed Byrne's latest tour at the Birmingham Symphony Hall Ed Byrne: ‘The Roaring Forties’ @ Symphony Hall - 25th October 2013 Bounding onto the huge stage and addressing an audience of nine hundred, popular comedian and television panellist for ‘Mock The Week’ Ed Byrne performs his latest tour entitled ‘The Roaring Forties’ at Birmingham’s very own Symphony Hall. The show, as you can guess from the title, is centred on Byrne’s thoughts about himself hitting forty and embracing everything that comes with it. Whilst his opening icebreaker displayed clear charisma and set the tone for a generally successful ten minute skit, the universally relatable nature of such material was sadly rare. Support act Ben Norris was the first to draw attention to the diversity of the audience’s age: profiting from dedicating minimal time to a short, separate commentary on each generation as a prelude to his suggestively daring material. It was a breath of fresh air to see a comedian deliver implicitly inflammatory jokes without resorting to extreme crudeness or fearful retraction. Byrne’s return featured some of the night’s standout material, including the unfortunate appearance of a hernia and the resulting anaesthetic, as well as an interesting take on sibling rivalry. Unfortunately though, these welcome deviations from his main material were incidental and so the set suffered from varied success. Like many popular comedians’ recent shows, the crux of the humour centred around the comically dysfunctional household of a young family and this well-covered topic made the majority of his act feel disappointingly safe. Nothing went over the line, or even got close, and even though his jokes were unquestionably entertaining, there was nothing laugh-out-loud hilarious to share with friends. At various moments Byrne excelled with different sections of the audience but, outside of his amusing introduction, he struggled to unify the laughter. This is perhaps indicative of a set drawn up from experience-led observations on aging. His best moments came from his departures on the theme. That said, overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, with Byrne showing why he’s one of the most prominent comedians on the UK circuit, once again illustrating that comics can definitely continue in this line of work long after after ‘growing up’.
Book To The Future The Mermaid and The Lion Alice Matthews Critic
The work of Sarah Taylor Silverwood currently on show in the Bramall Music Building is more complex than it seems. Eminent figures from Birmingham's past are transformed into superheroes in the etchings and their recorded conversations become comic book adventures. They are, however, far from simple cartoons. Every face carries such detail in expression and light that popular graphics and formal portraits appear to come together with striking effects. These people are brought into the modern day and their stories are made much more accessible than any written biography could manage. Some of Silverwood's pieces use small blocks of text with the sketches, a biographical note or a quotation. They are like newspaper clippings, framed and surrounded by blank space, highlighted by their isolation. Others are more complex such as John Hall
Edwards’ strip, shrouded in darkness as the background is entirely filled in. Lady Barber's portrait by contrast is a montage of images, showing the great lady looking over her shoulder, then laughing girlishly, resulting in a formal profile sketch reminiscent of a Victorian silhouette. Silverwood contrasts light and dark by outlining each Lady Barber with a thick black line. Perhaps even more interesting are the landscapes, printed separately but hung side by side, which leave no blank space but incorporate layer upon layer of shading and meticulous detail. To the right of this collection is a large print given to the University by Silverwood and Bobby Nixon, both resident artists at UoB in 2012-13. The print is a stylised map of the campus based on the University's Museum Collections. A crudely drawn road map spreads like a web beneath intricate sketches of buildings and recycled images from other pieces in the exhibition. Old Joe stretches upwards from the centre dwarfing the buildings that encircle it. Outside the
inner circle are larger sketches of key buildings, such as the Barber Institute with portraits of Joseph Chamberlain among others. In his respective speech bubble, he states his hope that these buildings become 'the best of their kind in Europe, perhaps even the world.' The canal runs up one edge like a ribbon with a tiny boat bobbing on W shaped waves. The artists used a framewithin-a-frame to create this collage of images. In the top left a two-headed lion roars, baring two sets of fangs. The figures above the Aston Webb building appear twice, labelled in the style of the 'Horrible Histories' series and in the bottom right a man is shouting with his hands shackled, spit spraying in all directions and a great vein popping on his temple. This piece, entitled Map, stands out above the rest perhaps because it is a collaboration, perhaps because it features so much depth. Silverwood's work creates mythology around the University, and shows us the places we see every day with a fresh perspective.
Creative Minds: Jamie McKendrick Ellicia Pendle listened to Jamie McKendrick's personal account of his poetry at the Elgar Concert Hall. On Thursday 24th October, award-winning poet Jamie McKendrick delivered a moving, poignant personal account of his work to the assembled audience at the Elgar Concert Hall and so began EDACS’ ‘Creative Minds at Birmingham’ as the first guest of their Writers and Artists Distinguished Speaker Series.
"When someone close to you dies, you remember all the things you didn't say and all the bad things you did" Before reading each hand-picked poem, McKendrick explained the history and inspiration behind them - illuminating their content to the audience, describing the collec-
tion Ink Stone, shortlisted for the 2003 T. S. Eliot and Whitbread Poetry Award, as a ‘sequence of elegies’ following the death of his close friend.From this he moved to the poem Singing Lessons, in which he recalls mocking his friend. Before reading it McKendrick noted that ‘when someone close to you dies, you remember all the things you didn’t say and all the bad things you did’. He also spoke the meaning behind the title of his collection, Crocodiles & Obelisks, as Italian and Russian terms for newspaper obituaries, with their connotations of shedding false ‘crocodile tears’ and glorifying the dead. This sense of insincerity is explored in his villanelle ‘Unfaded’, which repeats the refrain ‘the dead are villains we pretend to love’. He confessed that he dislikes the form as it is too difficult, comically commenting that ‘you need two very good lines - I had one. I like to think of it as a limping villanelle.’
In conclusion it seemed that he, as poet, occupies a ‘middle zone’: his poems are neither dramatic monologues nor his own views, rather anonymous explorations of the issues he finds interesting. Indeed, his talk inspired the audience to explore the nature of death, regret and memories to name a few - and isn’t that what poetry’s all about?
"[In poems] you need two very good lines I had one." Fiction writer Bernard McLaverty is the next speaker in the series and will be sharing his work at the Barber Institute on Thursday 21st November. Tickets are now available online free for staff and students.
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Illuminate @ Birmingham Southside Ciaran A-Campbell Critic
@ Elgar Concert Hall
Katherine Keegan Arts Editor
'Performance poetry,' I hear you scoff. 'What a load of rubbish'. But before I start let me just say something: ‘Rap’ stands for ‘Rhythm and Poetry’. So rap is just poetry with a beat. This means that artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West and Eminem are all poets...in some sense. If you fancy telling Kanye that what he does is 'a load of rubbish' then be my guest... But if I were you, I’d respect the man and, in turn, respect poetry. UniSlam! is the first ever inter-University Spoken Word competition and was held here in the Elgar Concert Hall. Writers Bloc (The creative writing society) took a chance and hosted UniSlam! to discover how popular performance poetry is becoming across the country – turns out it’s a pretty happening thing! Teams from all over the UK came to compete; from Bath Spa, Gloucestershire, Birmingham City, Edinburgh, Manchester Metropolitan, De Montfort, Goldsmiths and Cambridge, as well as our own home team from UoB. Nine teams, four judges, three stages of competition, one trophy... This was UniSlam! Beginning with three heats with three teams in each, only the top two teams would survive to the semi-finals. As is customary to poetry slams, there was a 'sacrificial poet' (a poet who reads a piece, but is not scored) in order to warm-up the audience and judges. Once the sacrifice was over, it was time for the competition to commence. The heat pitting Bath Spa against University of Birmingham against Gloucestershire was an
"Once the poet sacrifice was over, it was time for the competition to commence" intense three-way stand-off. Poets spoke about a wide range of topics, from American society to observations on relationships, graphic descriptions of abortions to poetry about vajazzles. Yes, for real. The hard-hitting turned to the humorous as the poets fought to wrack up the points for their team. Each poet had their own unique delivery making every poem gripping and whilst some went for the ‘unexpectedly touching’ (simply standing and reading) , others went for ‘acting to the max’ - one poet did a rather accurate portrayal of a cocaine addict. He assured us this was not based on personal experience. And just to clarify, neither was the vajazzle poem. Once all the poets had
each read a piece of their work there was nothing more they could do except sit and be wait in unbearable anticipation as judge Helen Monks (who was poet laureate at the age of 13 for Birmingham) carefully deliberated on her results. Sadly we lost Gloucestershire but this meant that UoB and Bath Spa were through to the semi-finals! Catching-up with the Bath Spa team as they prepared themselves for the next stage I asked them about what they thought of the event, 'We’re so happy that an event like this has been promoted' They all agreed that it was amazing to share this experience with other students with a passion for the spoken word.
Bath’s tips for performance poetry: 1. Keep in the flow – if you feel inspired don’t let anything distract you 2. Let someone hear it – letting other people watch you is constructive and also boosts your confidence 3. Speak it aloud to yourself – it sounds strange but getting used to your own voice is important As the semi-finals loomed, the audience were introduced to the judging panel – Helen Monks, Matt Windle, Martin Glynn and Luke Kennard. Semi-final one was a fierce scrabble between Goldsmiths, Bath Spa and Manchester Metropolitan and the range of styles only got broader, with some poets singing sections of the poetry and others miming along to their piece and even beatboxing from a poet from Goldsmiths in his piece on getting out and living because 'Remember that you’re going to die'. The second semi-final pitched the home team against Edinburgh and Cambridge. All the poets gave confident deliveries and in the atmosphere of the hall the fact that this was a competition became completely pushed aside and suddenly it became much more about sharing work with your peers in such an environment. The level of understanding on the topics discussed was apparent. A poet from the University of Edinburgh performed a piece about the rising tuition fees and this was met by much applause and appreciation from the audience. The sense of coming from a common ground seemed to unite the poets and spur them on to bigger and better performances. Once all the poets had read the reality
that this was a competition was once again realised as the scores were calculated. It’s worth mentioning here the team of Roundhouse Poets that came up from London to perform during the intervals. The Roundhouse Poetry Collective is a group of 15 poets from across London between 18 and 25 years old who meet once a week to develop their material and share their passion. And the results were in... Only two teams could go head-to-head to win the inaugural UniSlam! After much hand-clapping, thighslapping and feet-stamping it was announced that the final would be between the University of Edinburgh and Manchester Metropolitan. After both the semi-finals I managed to get some time with the judging panel, and it soon became clear that they were 'completely taken in by the poetry'. All the judges agreed that the huge variety presented in the room was unbelievable and the way that the poets 'brought their own style and understanding' to their readings was inspirational. Helen Monks picked up on how poetry was being used 'as a platform for beliefs' and how this is just a continuation of the ancient tradition of spoken word. This was it. The finals had arrived. Tension was mounting. But the lack of rivalry between the teams was astonishing! The amount of support and appreciation they showed each other was heart-warming. As Manchester Met went on to perform they told me how genuinely surprised they were to have made it this far but warned 'next time bring a bigger audience because there is so much more to give'. I think I would agree with that. The final was not one to be missed. Poets getting up on the stage put everything they had into the words they were speaking. And the audience loved every word. The final was just as diverse – topics of sex, baby names, mental health, technology, stereotypes, God and comic books all included. But there had to be an end, a point where nothing more could be done. The poets returned to their seats in a state of exhaustion and elation and the hall turned to stare at the judging panel calculating final scores for the day. The results were handed to our compere who drew out the wait even longer to keep us all guessing, but there were only so many jokes he could crack before he had to reveal the winners... The University of Edinburgh were victorious! It was a well-deserved win for their team, although the standard was so high enough that anyone could have claimed it. Catching up with the team now proudly holding their gleaming trophy, I asked them how they felt 'Speechless, which as a poet, is a first!' They were gracious winners congratulating the other teams and giving a special thank you to the University of Birmingham for hosting the event. Edinburgh poet, Rachel Rankin, summed it up: 'It’s not about the winning, it’s about hearing poetry'.
Though, to many, Southside is just an area near New Street with a few markets, the Chinese Quarter and the Birmingham Hippodrome, attempts have been made in recent years to re-brand the area as a ‘Cultural Quarter’. Enter Illuminate, a set of installations based around the theme of light, specifically designed to raise the profile of the area.
"As night falls the bodies of the Terracotta lanterns start to glow against the darkness" Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors (pictured) is the furthest out of the four installations. Currently in a converted car park on Hurst Street it has come to Birmingham from Shanghai, where it was created for the 2008 Olympics. It's a large exhibit. The lanterns are shaped like the statues of the Terracotta army with men, horses, even women and children; all larger than life-sized and bearing a different facial expression. At the press release and during the day, the exhibition looks like a charming oddity. But as night falls the bodies of the Terracotta lanterns start to glow against the darkness. Further up Hurst street in the Arcadian Centre is Body in Motion, a small igloo tent with a 360 degree projection inside showing a number of short films throughout the day. The animations are typically about ten minutes long ranging from panoramic films of Olympic divers, to specially written and animated children's stories. There's no central theme to Body in Motion, a shortcoming considering how clearly thought-out the connections between other parts of Illuminate have been. However it is the general surreality of Body in Motion that manages to keep it so engaging. Outside the Hippodrome the duo of fire-dancing circus performers FlameOz tick all the right boxes for danger, but don't really stand out. Even though there's a plethora of complex movements the act seems a little tame, particularly considering we were asked to ‘gasp loudly’ at the scary, amazing or never before seen. Sadly this doesn’t happen. Though Illuminate is too spread out and a little strange, it's a good reflection on the inclusive nature of the Southside. The real advantage here is that it's free. If you happen to be around in the city this weekend, its worth taking a walk down to the Hippodrome just to explore.
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Science & Technology
GSK vaccine bites back? Monique Laudat discusses the potential for a new malaria vaccine. Chuck the insect repellent, mosquito nets and antimalarial tablets, they’ve found a malaria vaccine! Or have they? The global health company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), injected masses of excitement into the scientific field and world news with claims they were developing a vaccine against malaria. The potentially fatal disease is predominantly caused by the parasite Plasmodium Falciparum and is most prevalent in Africa. When we are bitten by infected mosquitoes, malarial parasites enter our bloodstream. Upon entry, the parasites invade our circulating red blood cells and reside there, hijacking and remodelling the cells for their survival. They then migrate to the liver, where they reproduce asexually, generating thousands of parasites. Periodically the parasites burst from the constraints of the red cell by lysis and invade neigh-
bouring cells. The infection is characterised by symptoms of fever, headache, sweating, chills, diarrhoea and vomiting. Sounds very much like flu. So why the fuss?
"Effective vaccines are critical for those currently living at risk of contracting malaria daily" According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria caused 660,000 deaths in 2010 and is inextricably linked to poverty. So thank goodness for the lifesaving vaccine. Well not quite. The RTS,S vaccine is only approximately 50% effective when administered to children over 5 months
of age and 30% protective when given to younger infants. It is also known as a leaky vaccine, since it only provides protection against a limited number of infectious bites. Not particularly reassuring in hyperendemic areas where you can be eaten alive by mosquitoes. Furthermore, the protection of the vaccine is said to wane over time, with re-immunisation thought to be required as frequently as every three years. Let’s not lose all hope. It may not be perfect but it is a work in progress. Even modest protection will undoubtedly avert a significant number of malarial incidences, saving thousands of lives. Effective vaccines are critical for those currently living at risk of contracting malaria daily as well as those of us who enjoy travelling. So for now, hold on to those antimalarials while GSK return to the drawing board.
ey l P k o n i i n H t C e h t dea s e l o m d Eliot Jan-Smith
You will most likely have heard that the Government has signed a deal with energy firms to build a new nuclear power plant in Somerset, but what are the implications of this deal? Why has the government agreed to it so soon after the Fukushima incident? And what are the main objections to this deal? The deal is to build the UK's first new nuclear plant since 1995, to be called Hinkley Point C, which is hoped to have one reactor operational from 2023, eventually operating a second one too. At full capacity the government predicts it could supply 7% of the UK's total electricity consumption, and would have a life expectancy of an estimated 60 years. Hinkley Point C would represent a truly gargantuan project, with some predicting the creation of as many as 25,000 jobs during its construction alone. But with the shadow of Fukushima still looming over nuclear plants worldwide, the question for many is: why now? Aren't there more pressing things to do? The reality is that the government
is running out of time. Having committed to the hugely ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% in 2050, they are only now doing something about it. Last year emissions rose by 3.5%, largely due to an increased use of coal power. Coupled with the fact that most of Britain's remaining nuclear plants are due to reach the end of their working life in the 2020s, it becomes apparent that this is not a moment too soon. If they are to honour that target, they will have to build more than just the one plant, and hurry up. But what about the safety concerns? Surely it would be madness to build a nuclear plant in Somerset after what we saw just over two years ago in Japan. Well, not really. The new plant at Hinkley Point would be one of a new breed of reactor, t h e European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), set
to be safer and more efficient than ever before. Additional cooling and containment measures in case of meltdown would be incorporated, and 2.6m thick concrete walls should be able to withstand even air-borne terrorist attack. Lessons have been learnt from the Fukushima disaster, and it is understood the new plant would incorporate additional safeguards in case of flooding. The risk of anything occurring comparable to Fukushima would be negligible. With recent complaints in the press about the lack of investment in our energy infrastructure, this new power plant would represent a £16 billion outlay, along with high waste disposal costs. There is, however, one crucial difference from previous projects: this would be the first one paid for entirely by private investment. The energy secretary Edward
Davey was keen to point out that it would be built "without money from the British taxpayer". All investment will be from EDF and two Chinese companies, CGN and CNNC. The deal also ensures that waste disposal and decommissioning costs are covered by the operator of the plant. So why, then, would anyone object to this? We're getting a brand new, safe and high tech plant paid for us by private enterprise, helping us meet CO2 emission targets along the way. Well, it's a bit more complicated than that. There has been some contention over the concessions David Cameron has made to the power companies, notably the "strike price" he has agreed with them. This represents a fixed price for the electricity generated of £92.50/MWh, almost twice the normal price. This would be linked to inflation and fixed for 35 years after the plant begins generation, meaning the government would be trapped in the contract, held ransom by the inves-
tors. Some have also criticised the fact that foreign companies will be the main beneficiaries.One thing to take into account, however, is that this would still be untested technology. No EPR plant is running across the globe, and the ones under construction have been characterised by setbacks and delays, with expected dates of completion repeatedly being pushed back. This will have an effect on budgets and timescales, and may well mean that the plant won't be finished until after several others have closed, potentially leaving a dangerous gap. Another important consideration is where waste would be stored, especially since Cumbria Council rejected proposals to build a new facility there in January. This is something that needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later. But these are all minor concerns compared to the main issue: this deal is not enough. Nuclear power is a near-ideal solution to our problems, but a single plant simply won't make enough of a difference.
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Chemistry of the fizz and bang! Beth Carney explains the chemistry behind fireworks. Just why do we see them before we hear them?
The nights are drawing in and the smell of bonfires and burning gunpowder is soon approaching...
We will be watching the bright lights and loud bangs as rockets start to liven up the night’s sky. But how is the colour controlled, the shape of the explosion and that loud bang created? It's chemistry, of course! The main component of a firework is black powder. It was invented thousands of years ago by the Chinese and its composition has remained very much unchanged. It contains potassium nitrates, charcoal and sulphur. It’s a very stable compound and, therefore, fireworks can be stored safely for several months. Black powder is packed in the tube of a rocket along with pellets, which are called stars. In the stars are a vital mixture of metal salts, oxidising and reducing agents. This composition is then held together by a binder, which has a paste-like consistency.
The bright colours we see in fireworks are carefully produced by packing the right metal that burns a specific colour into the star. As the metals burn, their molecules are excited and emit wavelengths that belong to a small portion of the visible light spectrum. There are three chemical processes that happen to create the incredible light show fireworks provide; incandescence, atomic emission and molecular emission. Incandescence occurs when a hot body is heated up, and as a result of the increase in temperature, light is emitted. As the substance is heated up it produces shorter wavelengths and moves from the red end of the visible light spectrum towards the blue end. Sometimes very bright white lights are seen to have a hint of blue enhancing them and
this is due to the shift towards the blue end of the spectrum. Atomic and molecular emissions both involve the promotion of an electron to a level of higher energy. As the electrons fall back to their ground state it reemits energy as an electromagnetic wave, producing colour. The whistling sound you can hear as a rocket takes off is produced by compounds in the rocket burning one layer at a time and producing a gas. This gas can only be released in rapid pulses as the rocket tube is very narrow. The loud bang you hear as fireworks explode is a sonic boom. This shockwave is a result of a rapid release of energy and air expanding faster than the speed of sound. That is why we see fireworks before we hear them!
No psychosis for new antidepressant Rachel Taylor looks into a promising new drug for depression sufferers. Psychosis, in the category of mental health problems, has been a long-standing issue with those who take antidepressants such as ketamine. It is one of the major side-effects from this drug and can cause severe hallucinations and delusions “that stop a person from thinking clearly”, according to the NHS. As a result, they can no longer tell the difference between reality and their imagination. Fortunately, due to some new research led by Yale University’s Gerard Sanacora and the work of Mike Quirk from the pharmaceutical and biologics company, AstraZeneca, sufferers may be able to switch to a different, less damaging drug. The drug in question is lanicemine, developed to
treat epilepsy, yet targets the same receptors in the brain as ketamine. It boosts the level of glutamate transmitter instead of serotonin transmitter, meaning that any degenerate brain cells will grow new and healthy replacements. During the study, 152 people with moderate-to-severe depression, who did not respond well to other antidepressants, were either given lanicemine or a placebo drug over a regular period of time. Even two weeks after the lanicemine treatment had finished, there was still a significant improvement on the participants’ level of depression compared to those who were given the placebo. However, lanicemine is not a ‘miracle drug’; a common side
effect amongst participants was dizziness, and it took two to three weeks into the treatment for any visible effects, compared to keta-
"More than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression" mine which takes effect immediately. This delay, the research team says, could be due to other medications that participants could be
using at the same time. Further trials are ongoing to determine the true rate of improvement of the symptoms and the length of treatment required before there are any advantageous effects on the participant. The eventual hope for this team is to offer lanicemine as a better alternative to other antidepressants. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression, which makes it the www.redbrick.me/tech leading cause of disability worldwide. Hence, the results @redbricktech of this study are immensely important for people all over the world.
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1st - 14th November 2013
It's Back... Misfits
This We BBC Worldwide has confirmed plans to screen the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode in 400 cinemas across eight countries. The special episode will feature former stars David Tennant, Jenna-Louise Coleman and Billie Piper, as well as current Time Lord Matt Smith. The episode entitled 'The Day of the Doctor' will be screened in cinemas on November 23rd in London, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Doctor Who's 50th anniversary will also see an expected 20,000 fans gather at London's ExCel centre for the official celebration event.
X Factor runner up Olly Murs has been dropping hints that he is next in line to replace Gary Barlow as a judge on the show next year. Murs has been tipped as a favourite to take Barlow's place and has admitted he has been waiting for Simon Cowell's call. Murs said, 'When Simon calls and wants you to do something, it is very hard to say no. I'd love to do it. I came from the show, I know exactly what the contestants are going through and I think I've had enough success to be credible.'
The fifth and final series promises to turn the Misfits into 'proper' superheroes, but is it pushing viewers a series too far? Daisy Follett Tv Editor
Misfits annoys me because it feels like it’s in a constant competition to out-weird itself, trying to reassure viewers that the writers haven’t run out of zany ideas yet. This first episode was the epitome of that, somehow cramming a gay sex scene, Satan worship and at least one murder into its 45 minutes, with an AIDS joke for good measure. Kudos to them for jumping straight into it, I suppose, but talk about setting a bar. Fans of Alex 'the handsome barman' will be relieved to see he’s making a full recovery, and he's been given perhaps the most twisted power yet; he can literally shag people’s powers out of them. This seems unfair given that Seth from the previous series could take a person’s power just by holding their hands, but whatever works. It’s definitely a double-edged sword for Alex; he wakes up in the first scene to a woman beg-
ging him for sex, but the decision he's faced with at the end of the episode is hardly enviable: would you shag your mate to save his life? Meanwhile, little Finn gets suckered into a cult and suddenly finds his inner-badass. I won’t spoil it for you, but there’s a lot of dead chickens involved. Unfortunately, Jess
"When Nathan died in series 1, the nation mourned. When Alex was stabbed in series 4 it was more of a collective 'meh'"
and Abbey add nearly nothing to this episode and, to be honest, Jess’s only contribution is as the generic moaning woman. I know she’s supposed to be all straight talking and no nonsense, but after a while you just feel like telling her to give it a rest. This episode revealed a few pointers for what we can expect in the rest of the series, and the most intriguing plotline centres on Rudy (Joe Gilgun) . One of his split personalities has joined a help group deep in the community centre (which seems to have more rooms every series) and his fellow members are rather dubious. They include the mental case who thought his life was a
videogame and went on a killing spree in Series 3, an old lady who knits the future and, err, a tortoise. I assume he’s a member; he has his own chair. The humour remains as black as ever, with one particularly unrepeatable line about a girl scout, which is lucky as it’s always been one of Misfits' greatest features. People seem to regard Rudy as the new Nathan because he took over his position as resident joker, but here Finn definitely nicks some of the best lines. His impression of a 'cheeky little scouser' will be hard to top. It’s still funny, violent and completely bizarre, but Misfits will never regain the standard of its BAFTA-winning past unless it puts in the leg work. Some character development, a back-story - anything to make us actually care about the ever-changing crew. When Nathan fell off the roof at the end of series 1, the nation mourned. When Alex was stabbed at the end of series 4, it was more of a collective 'meh'. With this series set to be the final one, there’s definitely pressure to bring it to a worthy close. Misfits deserves to go out on a high; let’s hope series 5 is hilarious, warped and disgraceful enough to do the job.
Don't Miss... The Wrong Mans For some reason this comedy-thriller has slipped under the radar, which is a pity because its one of the funniest and most original programs the BBC has produced in a while. This is mostly thanks to James Corden, who both co-wrote and co-stars, and is hilarious from start to finish. The premise is ridiculous; two office bods, working a dreary 9 to 5 for the council have their lives turned upside down by a case of mistaken identity. Think Pegg/Frost but with a bit more violence. The last episode aired on Tuesday on BBC Two, so there's still time to catch the whole series on iPlayer. Definitely worth a look.
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eek in TV We've all loved it but, after eight years, Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model has finally got the chop much to latest host Dannii Minogue's disgust. Sky Living has pulled it from schedules in favour of Naomi Campbell's new fashion show The Face. The news came as an enormous blow to Dannii who turned down a £1 million offer from Simon Cowell to return to The X Factor as a judge in favour of Top Model. A source from Sky said, 'Top Model has done good business for Sky but all good things come to an end.' Unlucky, Dannii!!
Man Down Jo Kendall Tv Editor
Britain's Got Talent producers have agreed to build a creche for the judge's children for the new series of the show. The competition's panel Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams are all set to return, but have requested on site accommodation for their little angels. All four judges will have children by the time the next series launches, with Cowell bringing up the rear with the expected birth of his first child with girlfriend Lauren Silverman.
Man Down is the new Channel 4 comedy starring and written by stand up comedian Greg Davies (most famously known as Mr Gilbert from Inbetweeners). Davies plays Dan, a childish idiot trapped in a man's body. Living in the annex to his parents' house, where his mum still washes his dirty underpants and his wilfully crazy father constantly tries to prove his 'love' for his son through random acts of insanity (dressing up as a bear and attacking him being one of his preferred choices), Dan is the perfect protagonist for a new British comedy. Episode one opens with Dan's world on the verge of collapse: his girlfriend Naomi, having run out of patience with his inability to cope with the
real world, leaves him; Dan himself has lost his only pair of work trousers; and, to top it all off, the school he works at are making him do work experience visits. The first episode is primarily used to 'set up' the various characters and give the viewer a taste of what can be expected from the series and, from this first half an hour snippet, it has to be said that I have high hopes for what is to come. As we are introduced to the world of Dan we also meet his best friend Jo (played by Roisin Conaty) a ditzy, loveable blonde who appears to have only the loosest grasp on reality. It is this pairing that forms a vast majority of the episode's humour and Jo and Dan stumble from one disaster to another, solving any problems that occur through song, with the ultimate 'sad' song being 'Chiquitita'. Jo and Dan rely heavily upon Brain, a straight-laced financial advisor
who is constantly burdened by the idiocy of his two friends, but somehow always manages to get dragged into their current life dramas. A personal favoruite revolved around Dan's failing career as a drama teacher. Instead of planning lessons, Dan takes his students on imaginary adventures to space where they must fight intergalactic wars and defeat aliens. This scene was pure genius Perhaps some of the gags were a bit obvious - Dan mistaking a bag of his mums clean underwear for his own and getting caught in red lacy panties in a changing room - but despite anticipating some of the punch lines, they made me laugh none the less. If you are looking for something easy and entertaining to watch that takes no brain power, but will provide a half hour break from studying, then this is a definite watch for you!
As the series finishes, it's time to explore why such a simple show is hitting so many of the right buttons
Shannon Carey Tv Critic
Lessons in crowded classrooms. Corridor fights. Canteen meals. These are all experiences that we've all shared at secondary school - and it is these that Educating Yorkshire broadcasts each week. Following on from the 2009, Educating Essex, Educating Yorkshire follows the staff and students of ‘Thornhill Academy’ in Dewsbury and shows the everyday challenges of school life – this series' issues alone have ranged from girly fallouts and expulsions, to stammering students and teachers’ struggle to ensure their pupils strive for the best. While a documentary set in a school may seem completely uninteresting at first – after all, everyone has experienced school life for themselves – the use of such a familiar environment is actually ingenious. The show brings on a sense of nostalgia that, as I watched it myself, I actually found myself – dare I say it – missing secondary school. Even if you hated your own school days, Educating Yorkshire is a show that forces you to appreciate Britain’s school system. The teachers are hardworking, dedicated and seem determined to get the best of their students – some of the key members of staff include Mr Mitchell, the school's stern yet approachable headteacher, Mr Moses, the unlucky-in-love head of year
nine, and Mrs Marsden, the ‘mother’ figure of the whole school who seemed to sum up the job entirely in the show's finale when she said, mid-tears, 'Working in this place is like extreme highs and lows. There’s nothing bloody in between!' The portrayal of this committed group of staff will make you do either one of two things: you will automatically think of one of your own teachers and feel incredibly grateful, or you will wish that you were lucky enough to have a teacher like the ones Thornhill Academy boasts. It is these teachers that also make the audience so captivated by the pupils and their journey as they progress through the school, whether they’re a year eleven looking to pass their GCSEs or a year seven that simply needs to learn to behave before it’s too late. The series seems to have created quite a few stars among the pupils of Thornhill: who can forget year ten girl Bailey or, more importantly, her immortal quote: 'I’ve shaved all my eyebrows off'? Another one of the most memorable pupils was 13-going-on-40 Ryan, who won over the audience in the first episode when he campaigned for a role on the student council in pursuit of his dream to become Prime Minister (or, if failing that, an actor). He showed such a wisdom beyond his years that it actually made me quite hopeful that, in twenty or so years, we would see him in charge of the country. And the show definitely went out on a high with the introduc-
tion of year eleven Musharaf. Musharaf, otherwise known as ‘Mushy P’, was born with a stammer that saw him go through intense bullying from year seven, and struggle with the challenge of speech as he approached his college interviews. However, the final episode showed the ever-dedicated staff going above and beyond to help Musharaf overcome his stutter – and that he did, ending of the series with an emotional, ‘The King’s Speech’ style monologue about his love of Thornhill that barely left a dry eye in the house. If this ending moment doesn’t show you all that is good about secondary school and the relationships you form there, nothing will. It’s clear to see just why Educating Yorkshire, despite its basic premise, has reached out to its four million viewers – it seems that we ourselves have been educated by this show. School days are easily taken for granted in today’s world, and it is shows like these that embody the idea of school being ‘the best days of your life’. It is rare for a documentary to see an entire audience rooting for previously-unknown eleven-tosixteen year olds, to admire the work of everyday teachers and to feel every high and low that a secondary school has to offer. Yet Educating Yorkshire does this perfectly, and definitely seems to have resonated in the heart of the British public. Thursday nights will be bare without this show – and I for one cannot wait to see which part of the country will be educated next.
1st - 14th November 2013
Brum continue perfect start with a win over Edinburgh
Birmingham 1sts Edinburgh 1sts
James Difﬂey Sports reporter
Wednesday’s match saw Birmingham men’s rugby 1sts cruise to victory against Edinburgh’s 1st’s in a one-sided encounter. The home side were a cut above the opposition in all aspects of their attacking and defensive play, and ultimately proved too powerful and technically polished for Edinburgh. The game was characterised by the physicality of both sides, as hit after gruelling hit was dished out. Edinburgh’s outside centre was forced to leave the field of play after damaging his own nose in a particularly exuberant challenge. Birmingham opened the scoring within 20 minutes thanks to cohesive rucking on
behalf of the forwards. Dan Wood’s conversion bounced in off the crossbar, making it 7-0 to the hosts. Wood’s kicking was impressively consistent throughout the game as he hit seven out of the eight available conversions. Just two minutes later winger Wiltshire was able to touch down on the right wing following a scorching run and selfless pass from outside centre Sam Corlette. The home side were gaining momentum and struck again in the 23rd minute through number eight Moore, who was outstanding all game, whether he was punching through the away side’s line or orchestrating turnovers in the ruck.
"The home side were a cut above the opposition in all aspects of their attacking and defensive play" Edinburgh’s only real threat in the first half came in the form of a penalty, but it flew wide of the posts. The home side
defended well, utilising an aggressive kick and chase policy which saw them gain territory time and time again. In the 37th minute Moore struck again following an offload from scrum half Fred Gulliford, putting Brum 26 points in the clear. Following yet another try in the 40th minute, Birmingham went into the break leading Edinburgh 33-0, looking very comfortable. The home team had a slightly shaky start to the second half however, with Corlette having to knock the ball into touch to prevent an Edinburgh try following a tenacious kick and chase by the away side. Edinburgh were eventually rewarded for their offensive efforts, getting themselves on the board with a try in the 47th minute. Throughout the second half the Birmingham’s fullback Keith performed impressively. He was able to orchestrate a successful defence with a series of accurate kicks, which found touch with great precision or enabled the team to chase down the receiver. Birmingham’s forwards rose to the challenge when it came to resulting lineouts, winning ten to Edinburgh’s six. The physicality of the game was never
"Even the referee felt the force of tackles and had to recieve treatment to the side of his mouth" more prevalent than in the second half. Even the referee felt the force of tackles and had to receive treatment to the side of his mouth when he was struck by a flailing arm during a particularly fiercely contested ruck. The final phase of play saw Birmingham end on a high with a spectacular try. Winger Andy Matthews producing a tantalising offload which was juggled before being touched down under the post. The match ended 57-7 in favour of Birmingham. The home side appeared well drilled and rehearsed and seldom missed a tackle. Birmingham 1sts now top the table, having been victorious in all four of their matches so far, and will no doubt look towards their next match against Sheffield Hallam with optimism.
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Birmingham frustrated by tough Loughborough Birmingham 2nds
Constaninos Akviros Sports reporter
Birmingham women’s football 2nds faced Loughborough 2nds at the Metchley pitches wanting to continue their winning run. In their previous games the women’s 2nds had beaten Bedford 1sts 2-1 and also thrashed Coventry 1sts 4-0 in the opening match of the 2013-14 season. However on this occasion they came up against tougher opposition, and had to settle for a share of the spoils, after a 0-0 draw. The game got underway and Loughborough won an early free-kick only a few metres away from Birmingham’s box.
Loughborough were unable to make the set piece count however, as the hosts’ keeper caught the ball easily. The visitors dominated the opening encounters as Brum struggled to assert themselves. A Birmingham corner could have resulted in a goal, but nobody could manage to find the net. With both defences on top, neither side could find a breakthrough and the game found itself bogged down in midfield. Both teams fought for each ball hard, which resulted in a scrappy game. After half an hour Loughborough had a
"Both teams fought for each ball hard, which resulted in a scrappy game" huge chance with the ball falling to the opposition attack inside the penalty area. The effort though was weak with Birmingham’s keeper easily able to grab the
ball. One minute later the away side had another chance to take the lead, missing this time from outside the box. Birmingham began to pressurise and launched a counter attack. The hosts’ strikers reached the edge of the opposition’s area from a great long pass but they could not create a clear cut chance, and the opportunity was wasted. The second half followed a similar rhythm to the first, with both teams battling hard, but failing to break each other down. Birmingham started the second half promisingly and came close to scoring within the first five minutes. Unfortunately consecutive shots failed to trouble the Loughborough keeper. The away side had a few chances for the opener, but further opportunities went astray. A shot from the edge of the penalty area flew past the upright, with Birmingham forced to defend deep and try and hit Loughborough on the break. Loughborough pressed the hosts well up the pitch in their attempt to find the winner. However the last twenty five minutes pro-
duced little excitement as both teams cancelled each other out. The hosts could have stolen victory late on, but a header from a corner failed to find the net. The game was a hard fought contest
"Perhaps a draw was a fair result as neither team really did enough to warrant the three points." focused around the centre of the pitch. Perhaps a draw was a fair result as neither team really did enough to warrant the three points. Loughborough dominated the whole first half with the home side coming back into things in the second period. Both sides battled hard and played with passion, but ultimately the game lacked a cutting edge from the attackers on both sides. Birmingham’s next game is against Worcester 1sts next Wednesday.
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Sport View The Racism Row After Yaya Touré made allegations of racism following Manchester City's game against CSKA Moscow, Tasha Son looks at whether boycotting the 2018 Russia World Cup is a viable option.
Is racism ever going to be ‘kicked out’ of football? Last week the racism row erupted again when Manchester City took on CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. During the match Yaya Touré was repeatedly subjected to racist monkey chants from the Russian supporters. Despite the various campaigns against it, racism is evidently still a major problem in football worldwide.
"Despite the various campaigns against it, racism is evidently still a major problem in football worldwide." Earlier this year, new measures to prevent racism were put into place which included fines for minor offences and even expulsion or relegation for any serious racial attack. In the past, referees have even decided to abandon matches as a result of racism. However, Touré reported the abuse to referee Ovidiu Hategan and he did not act. Kick
It Out chairman Lord Ouseley has criticised the referee for not stopping the game. It can be argued that if referees fail to act in circumstances such as these they are not setting a deterrent for future racist incidents. Furthermore, what has become increasingly shocking is CSKA claiming to be ‘surprised and disappointed’ by Touré’s allegations. Racist chants were clearly visible on the televised coverage of the match, yet the club denied any wrongdoing from their supporters. UEFA have now charged CSKA Moscow for the racist behaviour of their fans and the case will be investigated by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body on October 30th. Speaking after the match last Wednesday, the Manchester City midfielder said ‘it is a real problem here, something that happens all the time, and of course they need to sort it out before the World Cup. Otherwise, if we are not confident coming to the World Cup in Russia, we don’t come.’ His suggestion that black players could boycott the 2018 Russia World Cup has proved highly controversial. José Mourinho has said that boycotting the World Cup is not the way to tackle racism in football and urged players not to punish ‘billions’ for the ‘disgraceful behaviour’ of thousands. He reiterated the importance
of black players in regards to the history of the game and said the World Cup without them would not be the same - ‘You go to the World Cup, the World Cup is the biggest expression of national team competitions races, people from different parts of the globe, people from every continent. And the black players are very, very important for that.’ Arsene Wenger also spoke out on the issue and agreed that a boycott would be the wrong action to take, especially until evidence of the abuse had been proven. Kick It Out trustee Garth Crooks responded to the two managers by questioning ‘how many more times are black players going to have to suffer this nonsense in order to play football?’ Hull City manager Steve Bruce agreed
"People need to see action taking place, which is why the referee should have suspended play last Wednesday." that action such as a boycott may need to take place in order to illustrate the severity of the issue and move forward in the fight to eradicate racism from the sport.
Some may feel that a boycott is extreme, yet the issue of racism seems to be a recurring problem in football across the globe. The imposition of fines on a club can be seen as a weak punishment as it fails to address racism amongst the fans directly. People need to see action taking place, which is why the referee should have suspended play last Wednesday. So far this season UEFA have imposed full stadium bans on Dinamo Zagreb, Legia Warsaw and Budapest Honvéd for racist behaviour by fans, while five more clubs have had partial stadium closures imposed. Punishments such as these, as well as expulsion and relegation are what people need to see more often, as they act as more of a deterrent. People would surely stop this horrific racist chanting if they knew severe repercussions such as relegation would follow. However, what is becoming increasingly clear is that until people are able to see that strong steps are being taken to confront the problem of racism, it is certainly not going to go away. Therefore, a boycott of the 2018 World Cup in Russia is perhaps the big statement that the world needs to see, that will finally show that racism will not be tolerated.
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Things to look out for this weekend 1. Two of the Premier League's early pace setters Arsenal and Liverpool will face each other at the Emirates on Saturday. Will either be able to strike an early blow to the other's title hopes? 2. England's autumn international fixtures begin on Saturday when they face Australia at Twickenham. The heroes England's 2003 World Cup triumph will be present, will they inspire a home win? 3. Who will start as Manchester City's goalkeeper when they take on Norwich this weekend? After yet another mistake, Manuel Pellegrini refused to publicly back Joe Hart. Is it time for Costel Pantilimon to be given a chance?
Performance of the week
Tweet of the week @Tyson_Fury 'I'm gonna get a bath then go to the tip. After that I think I'll go see my mate Dave.'
Photo of the week
The lighter side of sport
Australia's ODI captain George Bailey scored 156 against India this week. His recent form with the bat and as captain has been exceptional, with Australia hardly missing the injured Michael Clarke as a result. He's made over 50 in every innings of the current ODI series as well as marshalling his bowling unit and field placements extremely well. Has his form in the shorter format put him in contention for an Ashes call up?
1. Ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Fabian Barthez was this week crowned champion of France's GT motor sport series. He stormed to victory, finishing on 174 points, 21 better than his nearest rival.
42/1 With there being a number of close looking matches in the Premier League this weekend, these represent excellent odds for three draws in the games between Arsenal v Liverpool, Everton v Tottenham and Fulham v Manchester United
2. Sunderland can put last week's derby victory over Newcastle down to divine intervention. Club chaplain, Marc LydenSmith, presented Pope Francis with a Black Cats shirt prior to the game to help inspire them to their first win of the season.
Sport quiz 1. Who is taller, Chris Tremlett or Ivo Karlovic?
Online this week
2. Which sportsman is running for President of his country? 3. At what speed was the quickest men's tennis serve clocked? 4. Which baseball side is the film Moneyball based on? Tuesday debate: After nine games of the season, Redbrick Sport writers ask who win the title this year.
Sebastian Vettel Nicola Kenton reflects on the German driver and Red Bull's dominance of the F1 season so far.
5. How many of the current Premier League teams were in its first season? 1.Ivo Karlovic 2. Vitali Klitschko 3. 156mph 4. Oakland A's 5. Eleven
Top 5: After Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography caused a stir last week, Tom Dodd, chooses his favourite sporting memoirs.
The Aquatic Redbrick Crossword This week's prize is to share a half drunk bottle of wine with Editors Dan Baird and Susie Dickey whilst R Kelly's Bump and Grind plays softly in the background. Crossword by Susie Dickey and Dan Baird. THEY HAD A BLOODY GOOD TIME DOING IT.
Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword to the Redbrick office. Name: Email Address: Phone Number:
1. In a bit of a spin, brand of washing machine (9) 5. Bottom of the feet (5) 6. I'll never let go Jack (7) 7. South Asian carp (4) 11. Name means 'river horse' (12) 14. Florida coral ____ (plural) (5) 15. Birmingham gondola (6) 18. Sea unicorn has them on its face. (4) 19. Location of Chapora river (3) 20. RELEASE THE ________ (6)
2. Genus of large sturgeons from Eurasia (4) 3. Location of Mekong River (4) 4. One of the Great Lakes of North America (7) 5. Soggy Seabiscuit (8) 8. George Harrison's lesser known song.______ ďŹ sh. (6) 9. 'By the beard of Poseidon!' (7) 10. King Henry I's bane. (7) 12. Aphrodisiac that gets you places. (6) 13. Hanging on the end of your rod, if you know what I mean ;) (6) 16. Robbie William's favourite ďŹ sh. (5) 17. If they stop swimming they might die, no guarantee. (5)
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1st - 14th November 2013
Rugby match report
P28 - James Diffley reports as Birmingham men's rugby 1sts continued their fine start to the season against Edinburgh
Brum outclass lacklustre Loughborough Birmingham 1sts
Billy Proudlock Sports Reporter
Birmingham men’s football 1sts added to their strong start to the season as they cruised past Loughborough’s 2nds 4-0 at the Metchley 3G pitch. Three goals in the first half, followed by one more in the second, ensured that the team carried on from last week’s impressive performance against Oxford’s 1sts. The opening exchanges were tight, with chances few and far between for both teams. The tempo was frantic in midfield as both sides came to terms with the smaller than average sized pitch. The home team’s midfield trio of Declan Kirby, Sam Graham and Charlie Connor soon dominated proceedings though as the visitors struggled to hold onto possession. Flanked by Seb Bowerman and the relentless Matt Thomas, with Will Richards performing the old school number nine role so well, Birmingham’s attacking line-up overawed Loughborough’s defence. The first real chance of the game fell to Loughborough. A long ball down the right wing wasn’t cleared, but Birmingham ‘keeper Johnny Piggott was quick to race out of his goal to deny Loughborough forward Gabi Ali. 25 minutes into the game, Loughborough thought they had opened the scoring with a header from a corner but it was correctly ruled out by the referee who felt Chris Chambers had fouled a Birmingham defender in the process. This was the last real chance Loughborough would have for the rest of the game as Birmingham began to make their dominance show soon after. From the resulting free kick, Birmingham broke away down the right-hand side with Richards leading the counter-attack. He reached the by-line and pulled it back to Thomas who stroked it into the net with his right foot from six yards out. This was just reward for Thomas for his play throughout the game as Loughborough’s defence struggled to cope with his movement and pace. Birmingham asserted their authority on the game by dominating possession and making several crunching tackles, notably from midfield anchorman Kirby and Thomas, with the former receiving a booking, whilst the latter was lucky to avoid one for a thigh-high challenge. The home team
"Birmingham asserted their authority on the game by dominating possession and making several crunching tackles" made it 2-0 shortly before half time after a long ball to target man Richards was laid off to Bowerman, who crossed for Graham to score at the second time of asking, after his initial effort was blocked. Brum made it 3-0 within a minute of their second goal as the Loughborough defence stood still appealing for an offside decision which never came. Graham scored his second as the static away defence watched on. Loughborough’s goalkeeper was understandably furious with his defenders, but not as angry as the coach who beck-
oned his team to the dressing room for a dosage of the hair-dryer treatment. Whatever was said at half time did no favours for the visitors as they soon began to lose their discipline. Right back Joe Doyle, who had struggled to contain Thomas all match, cynically took him out on the edge of the box. Then Loughborough captain Dave Heaton was given his final warning by the referee for dissent, shortly before Brum made it 4-0 in the 57th minute after a Thomas cross was powerfully headed in by Richards from six yards out. Even at 4-0 up, left back Greg Shone epitomised Birmingham’s desire to get more goals as he launched a counter attack from his own area before being tackled just as he was about to shoot. The game soon wound down as the home side made the pitch as big as possible and kept possession easily, as the east-midlands outfit tired and
grew frustrated at the referee, their coach and each other. This emphatic victory could have been even greater had Richards been more composed in front of goal and had more players been making runs into the box to make the most of substitute John Pikett’s teasing crosses. It is telling that Loughborough mustered only two shots on target all game and their only attempts in the second half were from their centre-half from more than thirty yards out. Both shots were wildly ambitious - one of which hit the corner flag. Will Richards, who took the Redbrick man of the match award said after the game, ‘We are aiming to win the league. A team like Birmingham should really be in that top premier division.’ On this evidence, they really should be. The race for promotion is well and truly underway.