Bangor Students’ Union’s English Language Newspaper
Issue No. 220
THE END OF AN ERA
October Issue 2011
The low down on Movember! St David’s College
• University of Wales ends amid new scandal • Degrees braced for impact on reputation Jez Harvey
ast week the University of Wales, an institution that until 3 years ago our own university was part of, closed its doors in a flurry of scandal and shame. The move came after the university was subject to an undercover investigation by the BBC, which unearthed some serious fraudulent activity happening at one of its university colleges: Rayat London College. Staff at the college, including the senior Registrar, were caught on camera explaining to overseas students how to cheat on exams to receive diplomas so they could apply for a UK visa. The College then took a fee for this ‘service’ & the student was able to apply to work in the United Kingdom, thanks to their qualification. The University of Wales comes unstuck in all of this because the College was issuing qualifications in their name and the university was legally responsible for ensuring that teaching qual-
ity and granting of awards was up to standard and in line with regulations. This is the second such embarrassment for the University of Wales, after it was recently revealed that the head of one of their validated colleges in the Far East was in fact a pop star, with two fake degrees. The news of the scam came a day after the university unexpectedly announced that it would stop validating all degrees delivered through other providers and focus on its own students in Trinity St. David’s & University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. The fall-out from the revelations has not been pretty. After criticism from the Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews, who said that the institution deserved “a decent burial” and that it had “let Wales down”, others followed. A statement from the Saint David’s Day Group, the vice-chancellors of Bangor, Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea, stated that they were appalled at the revelations and wanted the name scrapped as it brought disrepute on to the other universities in Wales.
However, the University of Wales released figures showing that almost all the other universities in Wales have benefitted financially from the university, and argued that it was staff from institutions such as Bangor and Newport who were directly responsible for the validation and monitoring of both the high profile scandals. The figures released showed that Bangor benefitted by far the most from the validation system, making over £2.2 million between 2004 and 2011. A spokesperson for Bangor University stated that “Bangor University as an institution plays no part whatsoever in these validations or moderations”. This drama obviously has implications for graduates of the University of Wales, many of whom will have graduated from Bangor with University of Wales degrees, and will be looking to their alma matter for some guidance on the perceived value of their qualification. Bangor University currently has at least 200 students registered on courses with the University of Wales and Jo
Caulfield, Students’ Union President is keen to see these students are informed of thir rights. “I have made representations to the Vice Chancellor and other senior University staff about the importance of reminding all those students currently studying on University of Wales courses that they are entitled to switch to a Bangor University award.” she said, “our concerns were listened to and the University now inform me that all those students eligible to switch degrees have been contacted.” It is fair to say that this controversy will go down as a sad day for higher education in Wales and the rest of the UK. For decades, the University of Wales was a leading light in the provision of higher education to those previously thought of as too poor to deserve it, and it should be remembered as such. If you have concerns about your degree programme or wish to clarify which institution you are registered with, contact the Academic Registry at Bangor at: www.bangor.ac.uk/ar/
The latest album reviews! Rowena climbs Snowdon!
October Issue 2011
Welcome to Seren’s second issue of the year, and what an issue it is! A massive 40 pages full of all the wonders and delights you could possibly imagine. My own personal highlight has to be the picture of our Travel Editor Rowena on page 36, words cannot describe the joy our team had when working on the issue. I also quite enjoy the Film and TV pages in this one; we have two copies of Bad Teacher on DVD to give away so be sure to enter the competition to be in with a chance of winning! We have some new features in this issue, our Classics page (17) features cool book reviews from some of your favourite authors, and our Environmental page (36) has some interesting articles and we’re also giving away a book from there too! We spoil you rotten! Don’t forget to check out the centrefold either, there’s a massive feature on Movember, the huge yearly campaign in which you boys can grow some pretty snazzy facial hair whilst helping to raise money and awareness for men’s health. Now we want you all to get involved with Seren, whether it be writing articles, helping us design pages or proofreading the pages. If you want to get involved, our weekly meetings take place in the Students’ Union every Wednesday at 6pm. I hope to see you there! I’m going to ﬁnish by saying that Florence and The Machine’s new album is very good and it has gotten me through the all nighters. See you next month!
News 3-5 Politics 6-7 Comment 8-9 Features 10-11 Societies 12-13 Union 14-15 Creative Corner 16 Breaktime 17 Centrefold 20-21 Food & Drink 22-23 Film 24-25 Music 26-27 Fashion 28-29 Health & Beauty 30 Advice 31 Games & Gadgets 32-33 Travel 34-35 Environment 36 Sport 37-39
The Seren Team
Editor: Aaron Wiles Deputy Editor: LJ Taylor News: Steven Freeman Politics: Anna Hatﬁeld Features: Rosie McLeod Creative Corner: Gemma Ellis Music: Joe McNally Food and Drink: Joe Russell Film & TV: Heather Boyles & Amy Westlake Music: Joey McNally Fashion: Kaden Wild Health & Beauty: Emily Tearle & Sara Royle Advice: Ashleigh Garnett Travel: Rowena Nathan Sport: Tom Knott Secretary: Luke Dobson Design: Dan Turner
This month’s contributors Jez Harvey Jack Armstrong Alex Thomson Yousef Cisco Gemma Ellis Matt Ison Adam Morris Katrin Lloyd Tom Sayer Adam Farrand Rachel Helsdown Sean Talbot Matt Cox Matt Jackson
Will Osborn Georgia Mannion Rob Young Joe Horne Bob Chatterley Nicola Hoban Rhys Dart The Sabbs: Jo Caulﬁeld Danielle Buckley Danielle Giles Rich Gorman
October Issue 2011
Man Charged After Attempted Skate Bowl Opens To Kidnap Of Bangor Student Commemorate Teenager Steven Freeman
round 10.30PM on 27th September a female student was followed by a car along Ffriddoedd road to the corner of Belmont Drive, where she was confronted by a male who tried to abduct her. The student, who wishes not to be named, managed to shake the man off, obtain a good I.D. on the vehicle and alert the police. Friends told Seren “She is recovering well from the incident but she would like to urge fellow students of Bangor to be vigilant when out at night”. The police identified him as Eifion Wyn Royle, 45, who was already known to the police for similar offences and they swiftly arrested him for at-
tempted kidnap and suspected sexual assault. During a brief hearing before magistrates in Holyhead, prosecutor Diane Williams applied for the case to be sent to the crown court and that Royle be remanded in custody. Royle will receive his preliminary hearing for the next stage of the trial on October 7th. DCI Iestyn Davies has said that North Wales Police are pleased with the arrest but urged anyone with any information to contact North Wales Police on 101. As the nights draw in, it would be wise to remember to be vigilant when walking in the dark. Try not to get distracted by wearing
earphones and remember it doesn’t hurt to be wary. It is also advisable to travel in groups at night, and if you’re tempted to walk alone in the dark, why not get a taxi instead for the sake of a few pounds? Remember there are martial arts societies available to join and the Greek pub in Upper Bangor has a gym and advertises karate classes. Maybe it’s worth enquiring about when you are next there with your friends? Whilst this incident may come as a shock, we must remember incidents like this are very rare in Bangor, and that it still has one of the lowest crime rates in the UK, and is still one of the safest university cities.
Olympic Torch Comes To Bangor Uni With Help From The Students’ Union
ith the Olympic Games just around the corner, Coca Cola have kicked off their Olympic Torch tour with Bangor being one of only twenty cities to be visited. On Thursday, 20th October the bus pulled up on the university’s halls of residence, Ffriddoedd Site, to give students and locals alike a chance to hold the torch. Not only did Bangor Students’ Union arrange for children from local schools to take part but shuttle buses were running from Dean Street in Lower Bangor to not only transport students to the bus but locals too. “I think that the Olympic bus was a huge success in joining both the community and the students together under one agenda. We hope to continue working with the schools this year on promoting the Olympics.” Said Danielle Giles of Bangor Students’ Union. Amongst the school children, students and locals making their way up to Ffriddoedd to see the bus was the Mayor of Bangor, Councillor Hugh Williams, was also in attendance. “I applaud the university and its students for getting the Olympic Torch to Bangor, especially since its one of only twenty universities to do so.” He said. Another attendee was Bangor University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor John Hughes, who posed with the torch on the day. “It’s great for the University and the city to have a part in the Olympics. We’ve actually been working quite hard to see if we can get a slick of the Olympics next year, perhaps with a big screen” he told Student Cut Films at the event. Student Cut weren’t the only one
of the Students’ Union’s societies to get in on the action, music for the day was provided by Storm FM who were situated up on the top deck of the bus blasting out tunes to keep the crowd entertained. The dedication of the Students’ Union to bring the torch to Bangor not only provided a memorable day for many who took part but was a prime example of how it’s not always just to big cities that get the attention. Bangor Students’ Union President, Jo Caulfield, spoke on the university’s website about what being chosen
meant for Bangor; “The arrival of the Olympic torch at Bangor University is a truly historic occasion for us. It is a privilege for our community to be part of this torch journey which serves to promote world interest and passion in all areas of sport and physical endeavour”. Following the torch’s visit Bangor Student’s Union will be continuing to promote next year’s Olympics through a range of different sporting events, along with taster sessions for school children to get involved in.
new skate bowl has opened on group of skaters saw great success in Bangor’s Beach Road in mem- getting plans approved for the skate ory of an inspirational Bangor park and work started on the building teenager Darren Rhys Frost. of the park in August after supporters Darren who was aged 18, died for the project worked incredibly hard whilst cycling home from work on to get the park opened as quickly as boxing day in 2009 after he had moved possible. There are to his fathers house in further comShrewsbury to m e m or at i on s to be added find employment after he to this memorial after the had found project managno success in Bangor. er in charge of the bowl from Since her Wheel Skate bereavement, Skate Parks died D a r r e n’s 3 weeks prior to mother Hazel has been busy A friend of the family speaking the bowl offifundraising cially opening for the skate at the opening said that “Out of in a motorcycle bowl and has bad things happening, something accident. The concrete had much sup- positive has risen from the ashes skate bowl is port from lo- for the young people of Bangor”. cal businesses one of a kind and received many donations to that in the surrounding area and there has been positive feedback from the skateffect. Family, friends of Darren and a ers who have so far used the facility.
pon returning to Bangor, students may have noticed a new appearance on the high street. Just across from where The Works sits, lies Grazia, and for those of you who’re wondering, it’s already been and gone. Opening in late June, some students may have had a chance to check out the sandwich bar, and many of the locals became familiar with it over the summer. Offering well priced, high quality food and drink, Grazia became a favourite amongst the remaining students and locals alike, and additionally, proved itself to be highly profitable. Much of its success was owed, no doubt, to the two owners/managers, a Ms Aleena Taylor, and a Mr. Matthew Humphreys, both locals of the North Wales area, and the business grew to the point where additional staff were required. So why did it close so abruptly? Before most students even had a chance to become familiar with it? On Friday 23rd of September, a sign appeared in the window of the premises saying that it was closed due to staff illness, and employees were informed via text message that they would be contacted with regard to whether they would be working the next day. Since the owners did not contact staff, on Saturday, Becky Owen and Jack Armstrong turned up for work to find the shop still locked and deserted. Matt and Aleena were nowhere to be seen, nor were they answering their phones. Employees assumed that the owners had family problems, and at this stage had no reason to be overly concerned. The following Monday, the situation
remained the same, the shop was again locked and deserted, and nobody had been successful in contacting Matt and Aleena. The employees met on the Monday to discuss their concerns. By this time they were worried, and decided to go to the police in case some misfortune had befallen the owners. Jack Armstrong and Danny Shaw proceeded to the police station to file a report, and were told that they’d hear back later. In an encouraging display of the efficiency on the part of the North Wales police, they were contacted very quickly, and informed that in the Locality, Matthew Humphreys and Aleena Taylor owed just over £10,000. And that all signs pointed to them having ‘done a runner’. Additionally it was discovered that they’d done this before, in Liverpool. Essentially, they set up a business, saw how long they can go without paying overheads, i.e. rent, bills, and then left without paying the last set of wages, resulting in a sizeable profit. The staff should all have been paid on the previous Saturday, and since they were paid monthly, they were owed over £2000 between them. Staff were then told by the police that it was a civil matter, so they contacted citizens advice. They can take their former employers to court, but that’s dependent on them finding them first. The lesson? Be very careful when getting employed by an independent business. If possible, get paid weekly, and be careful in whom you place your trust.
October Issue 2011
Dale Farm: A Rocky Journey
ou may have heard of news about Dale farm but be unsure of what was really happening, so here is a descriptive timeline of the story of this traveller site so far. Dale Farm, located in Cray’s Hill, Essex, at its height housed over 1,000 people, the largest Traveller concentration in the UK. It was essentially a lack of planning permission, which is the permission required in the UK in order to be allowed to build on land, or change the use of land or buildings which is granted by a local authority, that caused a stir in proceedings. For half of the Dale farm site there was planning permission granted for the travellers and this was not an issue. It was for the other half of the site which is covered by the Green belt policy, a policy preventing building work to be carried out for environmental reasons, which caused issues as the travellers had breached planning regulations. You need planning permission to pitch caravans on a permanent basis which was what the travellers had done, so the travellers were living illegally on the site. The travellers were warned by Basildon Council that they were there illegally and that they should move on, and in the process, the council made preliminary plans for the eviction of
the travellers. The travellers then applied for a judicial review. A judicial review is a procedure in which a court examines an action or decision of a public body and decides whether it was correct and has the power to change the decision made, if they deem it necessary. The travellers however lost the judicial review with the judge believing that the council did have the legal right to evict them; they then went to the appeal court to appeal against the judgement of the judicial review, which again, caused delays to proceedings. The judge at the Court of Appeals also believed that the judicial review was indeed correct but delayed the fi-
nal judgement in order for the council to give a clear plan of how it would carry out the movement of the people and the taking down of the existing structures on the illegal part of the site. The council finally got the judgement that it was fine to go ahead and could carry out the eviction of the travellers, and thus proceedings went ahead to do this. This is just a roundup of the year’s action on the site, there has been a site since the 70’s which was mired in legal difficulties with the government and local council, but most recently, this is how the situation stands in more simpler terms.
A public inquiry is held. Dale Farm travellers hold a vigil outside Westminster as the government discusses new guidance on gypsy and traveller sites.
2006 Travellers are ordered to leave Dale Farm after a planning inspector declares the development illegal. Basildon Council votes to bring enforcement action, but a travellers’ delegation goes to Number 10 Downing Street and a twoyear reprieve is granted.
2007 Basildon Council votes to evict 14 families on the site that were currently living there illegally.
Travellers celebrate the opening of a new community centre in defiance of Basildon Council and its rulings to try and evict the travellers.
2009 The Court of Appeal rules that an earlier judgement in the High Court which quashed Basildon Council’s decision to take enforcement action - is flawed. Lord Justice Pill ruled the decision to clear the site is lawful.
Man Murdered In Brutal Attack Yousef Cisco
olice in Ayrshire, Scotland are investigating the murder of Stuart Walker after his burned body was found near an industrial estate in Cumnock. It is thought that the 28-year-old was beaten and burned. Contrary to speculation in the local community there has been no evidence to suggest that this is a homophobic crime but detectives refuse to rule the possibility out. Det. Insp. John Hogg, of Strathclyde Police, said “There have also been reports that Mr Walker was tied to a post, this is not the case.” Although details about the cause of death have not been released, the police have said that “it was an extremely violent crime and our focus at this time is finding
those responsible and bringing them to justice.” Mr. Walker was last seen alive by a family friend two hours before he was killed. The police are appealing for help in piecing together the final hours of his life. Detectives are checking CCTV footage and making door-to-door enquiries in an effort to trace Walker’s last movements. The death has shaken the local community. Adam Ingram, the SNP MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, said that “Stuart was a very nice young man, very popular and wellknown within the Cumnock community, and their thoughts and hearts are going out to the family at the moment.”
£1bn To Be Spent On British Army Warrior Vehicles Steven Freeman
A Step By Step Account: 2005
Basildon Council votes to go ahead with the eviction. The Council is backed up by Prime Minister David Cameron, who says it is an illegal development and “those people should move away”, but Ed Milliband (Labour leader) believed that the Council hadn’t made any attempt to help the people to find alternative accommodation. The government agrees to pay for part of the eviction process carried out by the council.
2011, July Eviction notices are served by Basildon Council. The council gives residents occupying 51 unauthorised pitches 28 days to vacate the land.
2011, August Lawyers for the travellers fail in a High Court bid to halt the eviction.
2011, 21 September Travellers flee the site amid fears of eviction with some staying and the longer the Court action goes on the travellers begin to return in belief that they will be allowed to stay.
2011, 19 September Bailiffs and the police arrive at the main gate of Dale Farm to start the eviction of the travellers living on the unauthorised plot on Dale Farm. But then the residents win a last-minute injunction preventing the council from clearing structures from the site pending a further court hearing.
2011, 26 September Residents win a temporary pause in their long-running battle to stay on the site. A judge rules that residents are entitled to an extension of an injunction stopping their evictions until the courts have ruled on the legality of their proposed removal.
he government has announced plans to fund £1bn for the army to upgrade their Warrior armoured vehicles. The plans were announced when the Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond visited Lockhead Martin UK, in Bedford, which is the company that will be primarily in charge of the upgrades. The Prime Minister announced that he hoped the upgrade would help see the vehicles to be used in service until 2040 and beyond. This news provides reassurance to the army that defence cuts are not necessarily so stringent, and the big £1bn budget to spend on the Warrior upgrades are warm welcomed by the MoD who are constantly asking for new vehicles and equipment. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said that “Not only is this fantastic news for the Army, it also represents a great boost to British industry
- sustaining jobs, skills and capability within the UK’s armoured vehicle sector.” The Warrior has, throughout recent history, played a major part in British warfare and Mr Cameron has praised its usefulness and crucial presence in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. The new upgraded Warrior will boast a larger 40mm cannon on a turret that is designed for more accurate shooting whilst the vehicle is in transit. The Warrior will also have a varied array of new armour systems, which the MoD can adapt to suit fighting conditions, terrain etc. The announcement comes at a time when government spending cuts worry many public services, but the MoD will for a while be happy with the fact that the government still realise the importance of not cutting defence spending by such drastic measures.
2011, 17 October Residents are refused permission to appeal against a High Court ruling that gave Basildon Council the go-ahead to evict them.
2011, 19 October
Supporters clash with bailiffs and riot police as the planned eviction finally gets under way.
The British Warrior Vehicle in action. It’s agile but sturdy nature makes it a neccessity for the MoD during war.
October Issue 2011
End Of An Era For Libya As Gaddafi Is Given An Inglorious Burial Steven Freeman
ibya’s ex leader Muamar Gaddafi was earlier this received an inglorious burial. month killed by rebel forces and most of Libya celeThe NTC said they were following religious laws and brated the joyous occasion, were bound by a FATfor their oppressor was now well WA which prevented and truly quashed. Gaddafi from being The news came after Gaddafi buried in a Muslim continually lost his hold over the cemetery for fear of a country to a point where his supshrine being created in porters were extremely outnumthe light of an evil dicbered. tator. It had been thought that GaddNevertheless, Gaddafi may have fled Libya after the afi has been buried and rebel forces had taken the capital the NTC are glad that Tripoli, but the death of GaddLibya can once again afi on Libyan soil has surprised be a nation free from many around the world. fear and ruthless dicSince his death at Sirte on 20th tatorship whilst the October, the National Transifuture of Libya looks tion Council have been quizzing promising. about what to do with the body of Gaddafi , his sons and advisors, as the NTC needed to take many measures to ensure that his burial did not become a shrine. It was decided that Gaddafi was to be buried at a secret dessert location and on the 25th October, and NTC officials Libyans celebrate Gaddafi’s death and an end to a generation confirmed that Gaddafi of brutal dictatorship.
Weird and Wonderful:
Devastation Hits Turkey As Earthquake Ricochets Through The Country
n Sunday 23rd October an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck the Ercis region of Turkey causing havoc and devastation. The quake is thought to have killed 432, at the time of print, and 1352 casualties have been reported injured. Turkish emergency rescue services are in full operation and are attempting their best effort to try and rescue survivors as time races on. Sniffer dogs, cranes and other specialist equipment along with much manpower have descended upon the crisis area and Turkish emergency rescue services are systematically trying to get through the rubble. Miraculously, a 14 day old baby was found alive and well, along with her mother and grandmother, after being trapped under her fallen home for 48 hours. The baby had been protected by the mothers cradling arms. Shortly after the baby and her mother were rescued the grandmother was pulled out from the rubble and all have been re-united with one another. For those whose homes have been
demolished in the quake, refuge shelters and tents are being set up throughout the cities of Ercis and Van, and Turkish authorities have said that a further 12,000 tents would shortly be on their way to the region. This devastation comes at a time when political unrest is present in Turkey and opposition politicians are taking every opportunity to criticise the Turkish government’s actions in dealing with the crisis. Some citizens of the region are reported to have complained that help is not reaching the region quick enough. Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay commented that by Monday the region had all the best resources possible. The region is rather prone to earthquakes because of its position in relation to geographical fault lines, but nevertheless, it is foreseeable that the rescue operation will take much longer yet and the restoration even longer. For rescue services, it’s a race against time. For the families of those affected, they wait and pray that their loved ones will be safe and ok.
Man Gets Mummified In The Name Of Science
A taxi driver from Torquay who was diagnosed with terminal cancer decided to allow his body to be mummified after his death to help with medical and archaeological research. Alan Billis, who died in January, is the first person to be mummified in around 3000 years and it seems Alan and his wife Jan seemed to be excited by the idea, being fans of historical documentaries as they are. The procedure was performed by Dr Stephen Buckley of York University, and watched closely by Archaeologist Dr Jo Fletcher. The procedure was also filmed and
a documentary series showing the ancient Egyptian techniques of mummification is to be released sometime in the near future. Alan found out about the search for a donor to be mummified in an ad in a newspaper and said that since he saw it, he was intrigued by the idea and wanted to donate his body for this purpose. Despite having a terminal illness, Mr Billis seemed in good spirits when interviewed by Channel 4, the producers of the documentary and he said “It was a shame he wouldn’t be around to see it”.
Mummified Alan Billis with Dr. Stephen Buckley.
He also said that it would be a good story to tell the grand children and during the process, his grand children drew pictures of him as a mummy to leave next to his body, and this surely took some of the sadness away from the death of their grandfather. During the procedure, his brain was left in place as Mr Billis wished for this to remain, but other organs such as his lungs and intestines were removed from a small cavity in the side of his body. His body was then covered in specialist oils and immersed in a salt bath for a month to withdraw the remaining water from his body before he was then wrapped in linen, to protect his corpse from light and insects. After 3 months, the process was complete and Mr Billis’ corpse represented one of a pharaoh from over 3000 years ago. Such a marvel episode in medical and archaeological history may prove to be of great use in the future regarding the understanding of mummification, and such academics have Tutan-Alan, as he is being dubbed, to thank for this.
Turkish citizens try to pull the trapped from the rubble.
Kenyan Police Arrest Man Caught With Grenades Following Bomb Blasts In Nairobi Steven Freeman
enyan police have arrested a man caught with a cache of grenades and a gun following blasts in the capital on 24th September, which killed 1 person and injured 20. The blasts are thought to be linked to Somalia’s Al Qaeda military links, however, Kenyan police have not confirmed this at this time. In downtown Nairobi, security measures have been stepped up in the fear that another attack may be imminent after the Somali paramilitary group launched an offensive on Nairobi over 10 days ago.
Citizens are fearing for their lives and scared to go out in crowded public places, meaning that day to day life in the city is coming to a halt. Reuters reported that a Halloween Festival due to take place in the city at the weekend has been cancelled for public safety reasons given the current situation and there is definitely a feeling of threat throughout the city. The future is uncertain, but the Kenyan Police and Army seem to be dealing with the matter and Kenyan troops have been dispatched across the border in pursuit of Somali militants.
October Issue 2011
Name: Philip Hammond Position: Secretary of State for Defence Since: October 2011 – succeeded Liam Fox Age: 56 Marital Status: Married with 2 children Background: Studied at Oxford’s University College Relationship to Leader: Former Minister for Transport Expenses Scandal: Claimed mortgage interest of up to £2000 per month Extra: He is worth around £9 million
A European Referendum? The European Union question has been gathering apace in the Westminster. Monday October 24th saw the House of Commons faced with a vote on whether there should be a referendum on whether the UK should stay, leave or renegotiate Britain’s membership of the European Union. The vote follows on from a petition for a referendum signed by 100,000 members of the public. However the petition was not welcomed by all of the Commons. David Cameron issued a statement to his party calling for them to reject the motion – if deﬁed any government positions held would have to be resigned. But why such hostility? Surely the Conservatives are known to be the most Euro sceptic? This is true, however David Cameron has said how this is not an appropriate time for such a referendum when the Euro zone is in crisis. He even went as far as to say that it “could cause great uncertainty and could actually damage our prospects of growth”. With this clear and decisive action taken by the PM, the Conservatives, and all Parties for that matter, went into the vote knowing that their leaders were in deep opposition to its very existence. Yet 111 MPs still voted in support of the referendum, compared with 438 who voted against. Ed Miliband has immediately cast doubt over Cameron’s support within his party and his ability to lead over unruly members, saying that “If he can’t win the argument with his own backbenchers, how can the country have conﬁdence that he can win the arguments that matter for Britain?” Even with the threat of forced resignations in the air for Conservative MPs, two parliamentary private secretaries, Stewart Jackson and Adam Holloway still deﬁed their leader and have since been “removed” from their unpaid government roles. This demonstrates Cameron’s strength in his actions yet also indicates the strength of MPs belief in withdrawing from the European Union. In total, 81 Tory MPs, 19 Labour MPs, 1 Liberal Democrat, the Green Party MP, all 8 DUP MPs and an independent supported the petition for a European referendum. But, even after Cameron calling for his party MPs to oppose the petition, why did 111 decide to start such a mutiny? Well, membership of the European Union has always proved a controversial topic, with many calling for a referendum over the years, as they see Britain’s deeper integration into Europe and the loss of sovereignty to the EU as an undermining of British law. Despite this ongoing opposition, with the Eurozone embedded with severe economic problems, it is not the right time to be questioning our membership, but once everyone is in recovery, this issue should not be forgotten.
Shadow Defence Secretary
Name: Jim Murphy Position: Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Since: 2010 Age: 44 Marital Status: Married with 3 children Background: President of NUS 94-96 Relationship to Leader: Came in with Ed Expenses Scandal: Claimed mortgage interest and food Extra: He left his degree half way through to work for NUS
his has not been an excellent few weeks for the Conservative Party in terms of decent press. First off, the ill feeling between two Cabinet Ministers, the Home Secretary Theresa May and Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary. Then the Defence Secretary’s best mate was found to be both a lobbyist of right wing lobby groups and an attendee at official meetings he held. And if that weren’t enough Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Officer Minister and one of the major ‘brains’ of the Party, was photographed dumping official documents in park bins. Not the most sensible move. It all started at the Conservative Party Conference a few weeks ago. Theresa May stood up and announced that “I
the government or the Party. He was, however, funded by several secret groups (including financial backers linked to Israel and a private intelligence firm) to travel with Mr Fox on some of his visits. Funnily enough, this hasn’t been viewed in the most generous light by the Labour Party and the press, nor, unfortunately for the now former Defence Secretary, as an inquiry into the case has been launched. And finally Oliver Letwin, a man with a PhD who has been referred to as “Gandalf ” for his central role in the 2010 General Election, was roundly criticised after being photographed on 5 different occasions over a period of months dumping official Government
am not making this up” – and then unfortunately was a little economical with the truth. Talking about perceived problems with the immigration system and the Human Rights Act she referred to the case of a man a judge refused to throw out of the country because he owned a cat. Sadly for her, this wasn’t the case. Even more sadly for her, Ken Clarke knew that this story wasn’t true and at an event made a few jokes at her expense. It being conference season, this was taken as a sign of fractures in the Cabinet. As opposed to just two ministers at opposite ends of the Tory Party who have never really liked each other. And in the interest of Coalition partnerships, Chris Huhne (the Lib Dem Energy Secretary) was found to be secretly pushing the story to a Guardian journalist to try and embarrass them both. Then we come to the case of Liam Fox. Since becoming Defence Secretary last year his best friend, former housemate and best man at his wedding Adam Werritty had visited Mr Letwin at his office 22 times and joined the Secretary on 18 overseas trips. As well as that, he had been handing out business cards to people describing himself as an Adviser to the Secretary, despite him not being an employee of
papers into park bins near Downing Street. On one occasion he handed the documents over to a park warden to bin them for him. I don’t think it needs to be explained how this probably isn’t the most sensible thing to do, regardless of how confidential or not the papers might be. Political scandal, especially scandals based largely on stupidity such as these, is nothing new or limited to any political party. However, to have three occurring in such short order is nothing short of embarrassing for David Cameron. The big pitch of his leadership campaign and the General Election campaign was that the Tory Party had turned a new leaf – no more ‘nasty Tories’. If he had won the election outright, these stories would probably have less attention paid to them and have less of an impact on the voters. The election results show however that most people still can’t shake that image of the Tory Party from their heads. The latest poll from Populus for The Times carried out after these scandals shows support for the party down to 33%, their lowest figure since coming back into government. Unless Cameron can do something to finally shake this off, even if the economy miraculously recovers, will people give them a second term? Seems not.
ctober seems to have been the month of change in Cabinet politics! Despite Liam Fox’s resignation as Secretary of State for Defence, his was not the only change, with two high profile Labour ministers stepping down. John Denham and John Healey, both senior Labour politicians left their roles as Business and Health Secretaries respectively early on in October. There was great speculation as to who would take over from their roles, particularly as they are such respected and weighted politicians. However, through the Party Conference, the rule that Cabinet members were re-elected every two years and that they were chosen by a ballot of party MPs has been removed, meaning that Miliband has complete freedom over who he chooses in his Cabinet. And how his choices have proved controversial! To replace long standing Denham and Healey he has reshuffled and appointed new MPs Chukka Umunna as Business Secretary and
Rachael Reeves as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The new cabinet re-shuffle has seen 11 out of the 27 positions taken by women, including Deputy Prime Minister Harriet Harman taking over as Culture, Media and Sports Minister alongside her existing duties. Not only have women become a more prominent feature in Miliband’s Cabinet but he has also appointed 6 MPs who were only elected in 2010. His response to this radical shake up ‘’My decision to appoint half a dozen members of the 2010 intake shows the talent that Labour has and the way in which this new generation can join us in taking Labour’s agenda forward.” Yet this is another reshuffle, despite only winning the leadership last year. Despite only taking over last year, Miliband has repeatedly been besieged with problems amongst his ministers, with Alan Johnson being appointed Shadow Chancellor despite admitting his economic knowledge was minimal, only to resign due to his wife’s indiscretions with a former police protection officer.
Contemporary Historical Issues and Politics Society Interested in Politics, Debating or Current Affairs? Get down to Main Arts Lecture Room 1 on Tuesdays at 6pm. We talk about anything and everything from current issues both domestic, and international to problems in the past.
October Issue 2011
The Conservative Party Conference, held in Manchester this year from 2-5 October, saw Cameron, Osborne , Hague and the Tory heavy hitters deliver speeches which proved successful and heartfelt. May’s speech proved most controversial with her desire to scrap the Human Rights Act in favour of a British Bill of Rights culminating with a spat with Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, as the example she used, about a man being kept in Britain as he had a cat who depended upon him, was slapped down enormously by Clarke. This sparked rumours about the state of Conservative consensus politics and became the memorable moment at Conference. Yet Cameron’s speech was interesting as he talked about the Unity of the UK and what we have to offer the international community. “Some say that to succeed in this world, we need to become more like India, or China, or Brazil. I say: we need to become more like us. The real us. Hard-working, pioneering, independent, creative, adaptable, optimistic, can-do. That’s the spirit that has made this United Kingdom what it is: a small country that does great things; one of the most incredible success stories in the history of the world.”
The Labour Party Conference took place on the 25-29th September in Liverpool. The memorable moments from the Labour Party Conference this year includes Yvette Cooper being named “leader in waiting” while Ed Miliband suffered embarrassment when he was unable to name a senior Scottish front runner. Yet Ed’s speech was a much more lighthearted affair than Cameron’s or Clegg’s with references to the rift with his brother David and to his “nose job” as he calls it. “I had a deviated septum and it needed repositioning.Typical Labour leader. He gets elected and everything moves to the centre”
This year the Liberal Democrats met in Birmingham from the 17 -21 September. The highlights include Andrew George MP warning that the NHS Reforms could turn into a “catastrophic train crash” if the Coalition is not more careful. Nick Clegg pledged to defend the Human Rights Act against the Tories and, most memorably, told his party that their electoral collapse will be worth it to save Britain’s economy. “We’ve lost support, we’ve lost councillors, and we lost a referendum. I know how painful it has been to face anger and frustration on the doorstep. Some of you may have even wondered: Will it all be worth it in the end?” With all three Party Conferences over for another year, the key note speeches will be forgotten and life will continue as normal for all party politicians and members. Yet with the economic situation worsening and the position of the European Union still unknown, alongside the Middle Eastern discord, the next year will really turn the Party Conferences into a talking point once again as people will continue to refer back to what the Leaders said about the economy, about Europe and about international politics
Iranian Politics How does it work?
Despite making the headlines over its wars, its nuclear weapons and its oil, not a lot is known about Iranian politics and their form of government. Never fear, Seren is here to give you a breakdown of some of the main structures and positions within Iranian politics. Don't say we never try to educate you...
Supreme Leader The main executive power in Iran is their Supreme Leader, which is not an elected position. Since the revolution in 1979 which saw the end of the Iranian monarchy and the start of the Republic of Iran, there have only been two Supreme leaders, Ruhollah Khomeini and his successor and current leader, Ali Khamenei. The supreme leader of Iran has many posts and responsibilities, including being the Commander of the Armed Forces alongside the post of Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcaster. Not to mention his role as President of various national security councils. With such large responsibilities, the Supreme Leader is the most pivotal in Iranian politics yet it is undemocratic and unaccountable to the Iranian people and their parliament.
The President Next in line after the Supreme Leader is the President. To firstly nominate yourself to run for the Presidency you must be on the Council of Guardians, a board of Judges, whom the Supreme Leader helps to pick. Once they have been approved to run, they are directly elected by the Iranian people but even after being democratically elected they must be appointed by the Supreme Leader. This overrides the general election result. The Presidency has many similarities to our Prime Minister, with the roles of electing ministers and supervising them in the Council of Ministers, whilst also ensuring that the constitution is being upheld. However, there is no supreme leader in the UK which overshadows the work of the PM, as here, David Cameron and his government hold all executive power. There are currently 21 ministers in Iranian government. But it is not only Cabinet Ministers who share the power. Iran also has 12 Vice- Presidents who have responsibility for organisations related to the Presidency.
Parliament Unlike Britain which has both a House of Commons and House of Lords, Iran only has one legislative chamber, which is known as the Parliament of Iran. It has 290 members who are elected on a four term basis. Its powers include approving the national budget and ratifying international treaties. But all Parliamentarians must be approved by the Council of Guardians.
Council of Guardians With all this power, of deciding who is allowed to run in Parliament and who can run for the Presidency, it is a vital political organ in Iranian politics. The Council comprises of twelve jurists, 6 of whom are picked by the Supreme Leader and the remaining 6 are elected by the Iranian Parliament.
So the Supreme Leader is equivalent to a reigning monarch with full executive power, with his President beneath him. Alongside these are the Vice Presidents, the Cabinet and lastly the Parliament. It has a great many members at its political centre, yet, with the Supreme Leader effectually having absolutist power, are these people just there to show the international community that Iran does have democratic elements? Yes, the people are able to elect Parliamentarians and vote for their Presidents, but only after they are vetoed first. So to what extent is the Iranian Parliament democratic? Lets just say it is on the long road to full freedoms and it is only at the beginning.
The Rise or Demise of the Gay Village?
October Issue 2011
And our students said... Aaron Wiles “I think it’s vital that we have a safe haven where same sex partners can walk freely without fear of discrimination which is still prevalent in society today”
Sara Royle “Originally I think gay villages were built for the wrong reason – to boost the economy with the pink pound. I think gay villages should be outdated because it shouldn’t be an issue anymore. Being gay is as normal as being right or left handed.”
Are ofﬁcial gay quarters outdated and unnecessary or are they the LGBT stamp on an otherwise ‘straight’ society?
s Leeds residents push to establish
an ‘official’ gay quarter in the city Matt Cox centre Seren considers whether “I think there is deﬁnitely a gay subculture gay villages are really in the past or the so it makes sense for there to be a gay future. quarter too just as there has been for a lot Most of us are familiar with the concept of a ‘gay quarter’, an area which usually of other subcultures in the past.”
Luke Dobson “I still ﬁnd gay villages a little intimidating but I understand the need for them in larger cities. If gay villages pop up that’s ﬁne but I don’t think we really need to ‘build them.’” Kaden Wild “I like the music and atmosphere but ﬁnd myself not enjoying certain attitudes whilst there. I do enjoy gay villages and think they are important but think people exploit them.” Eleri Holmes “I personally love the Manchester Village, though that may be because of the various, slightly fuzzy but very happy memories.”
houses gay friendly bars, specifically gay shops and restaurants and attracts LGBT people from across the UK. Manchester’s Canal Street and Cardiff ’s Charles Street both boast thriving gay quarters heaving not only with the LGBT community but also wider society. The success of these existing villages has recently encouraged the residents of Leeds to campaign for an area of the city to be formally named the ‘gay’ area, to officially mark Leeds’ support for the LGBT community. While Leeds city council considers the proposal from residents, Seren considers the divided opinion on the subject. We have two considerations for you: The first is, are gay villages really necessary? In 2011, with an increasingly tolerant and educated society do we need a specific area to feel represented in our community? Does creating boundaries and outlining specific districts encourage a ‘them and us’ attitude? There is an underlying fear here that by labelling parts of
a city as ‘gay’ instead of just letting gay bars and restaurants be that we may in fact be contradicting the integration into ‘straight’ society that most of us strive for; the kind that encourages equality. Pre 1960 the concept of a gay village was unheard of, we had very little in the way of real representation or safe spaces in which to just ‘be’. Thereafter of course, the gay village became the concrete LGBT stamp on an otherwise ‘straight’ landscape and served a highly important and worthwhile purpose. Now however, it seems that some members of the gay community feel the gay quarter is an outdated and unnecessary accessory, but is that really the case? Even as an openly gay woman there are still times when I think twice about holding my girlfriend’s hand in public or giving her a kiss in the street and not because I am ashamed or in fear but because every now and again I feel uncomfortable. I mean, society has come a long way but I’m not sure I feel fully comfortable outing myself in front of the older generation or a group of young males. So is this where the gay village comes into its own? Is it the sacred essential for our community? The one place we can feel 100% comfortable? I recently read an article in Diva maga-
zine which suggested that gay villages increase LGBT visibility and allow gay people to actively seek out a safe haven when visiting a new place and this point got me thinking. I realised that not only have I visited local promotionally gay areas but I HAVE sought them out. I revelled in the opportunity to be the majority and was pleased to see gay and straight people in the village. Gay villages are a popular destination for more than just the LGBT community now, with hen parties being the obvious example, so has their place in the city really become outdated? Surely as an increasingly popular destination for straight parties as well as the LGBT community, gay villages are just beginning to thrive with a gay majority and support from our straight neighbours. Not to mention that as unique energetic areas, gay quarters are great for the economy. So the residents of Leeds appear to be campaigning for a good cause and while some believe that we do not need to ‘officiate’ a gay area to make it so, formally naming an area makes it more visible not just to the gay community but to the wider straight one too, which can only be a good thing.
HOUSING: STUDENT HELL?
think it’s fair to say that a lot of student housing is either barely liveable, or totally inhumane. But why? Student housing probably brings in the most revenue for landlords and ladies and so they should reinvest some of that money into the house shouldn’t they? Well, the fact of the matter is, that half the time they don’t. They seem to think that students are some lower life form and that we can live in damp, cold houses, which could be described as the slums of the 21st century. I mean, yes ok, maybe that’s a bit over exaggerated, but you get what I mean.
There are large 5-8 bedroom houses in some cases that are still with original Victorian features, not because they look nice and are period, but because in most cases the landlords cannot be bothered to take a slice out of their profits to brings properties into 2011. Personally, I think it’s disgraceful. I mean if a large family was to live in a 5 bed student house I bet the council would be on the landlord like a tramp on chips to severely improve the property. And yes, some landlords may say, well we’re not going to provide luxury, modern living spaces because students
will only ruin them. But this is jumping the gun a bit and throwing all students into one pot. If for whatever reason, (house parties etc.) the nice living conditions did get a bit battered or ruined, well then I think any student would realise that obviously, they’re not getting their full deposit back, surely? In many cases however they just expect us to live in often squalid conditions, and we have to lump it or leave it, because what’s the alternative option? I guess we could try and find nicer accommodation, but I’m convinced there is not enough nice student hous-
ing to accommodate everyone. It seems this is not just a problem that affects Bangor. I have a friend at Reading Uni who lives in a 5 bed property and her house pays £360 rent per person, per month and their house is no palace; they don’t even have central heating! These sort of conditions are what gets me mad, I mean central heating is no luxury, it’s really a bare essential. But still, landlords think they can justify not installing central heating and think they can stall for a few more years without making improvements. It’s like a waiting game for them.
For example, in my house last year, we had no adequate kitchen flooring, just a concrete surface, which the landlord said in September that it would be sorted within a week. When we moved out in June it had still not been done, even after the council had told him he had to sort it out for hygiene reasons. Luckily, I now live in a much nicer house though there is still room for improvement. But I think many students will understand where I’m coming from and will be stuck in this catch 22 situation, which quite frankly, shouldn’t be happening!
October Issue 2011
The Cost of Dale Farm The most recent ﬁgures show that 90% of planning applications from travellers are rejected - as opposed to the average of 20%
he recent history of travellers in the UK is one that, when considered against the history of other groups that have suffered discrimination, should cause us all shame. Civil rights and equality have come a long way for black people, women, gay people and a host of others. Travellers are one of the few groups who, if anything, are actually in a worse position than they were several decades. Local councils previously had a legal obligation to provide sites for travellers to set up their sites on. Whilst this wasn’t a perfect solution it ensured that councils had to take account of both the travellers needs and that local people could raise objections under certain circumstances. In 1994 however the law
changed and councils no longer had to perform this act. Since then, travellers have found themselves consistently moved on away from sites. Apart from being fairly discriminatory, this can have negative effects on the education of their children and access to healthcare. The case of Dale Farm is complicated, certainly more complicated than Basildon Council or certain parts of the press would have it known. The council’s case is that the camp is illegal; it has no planning permission and is in a green belt area (i.e. new buildings are highly restricted). However, this argument is not a particularly strong one for the council. In 2008 the County Council spent £12,000 on a community cen-
tre, built on the site, with no planning permission either. It is important to remember that the Council doesn’t dispute that the travellers are the legal owners of the land, just the building of properties on half the site. The estimated costs of dealing with the ‘problem’ over the years currently stands at roughly £18 million; it has required the use of over 100 riot police, led to criticism from a raft of national and international human rights groups and has left 400 people, including 100 children, without homes. All for the breaking of a law that the Council itself seem to disregard.
Critics of the camp, and of travellers generally, argue that travelling is a way of life that has had its day and that the camps lead to a rise in crime and antisocial behaviour (such as fly tipping). Whether or not there is truth to the accusations, and whether it is possible to generalise an entire group is debatable what is not however is that these accusations ignore the deeper problem. The case of Cottenham in Cambridge is a good example of this. Prior to 2003 there was a small travellers site on the outskirts of the village that had been there for decades. During 2003 though, a large number of new families joined the camp, causing anger amongst the villagers. The travellers argued that they had Farm
“It is impossible to think of another ethnic group where it would be so acceptable to treat people so poorly”
A home ablaze after supporters and riot police clash in the battle for Dale
nowhere else to go, and the statistics show that they have a point. Since the change in the law, whilst the number of travellers has increased, the number of legal plots for them has decreased significantly. Arguments that the travellers should club together and buy cheap plots of land make little sense, as they’d still require planning permission. The most recent figures show that 90% of planning applications from travellers are rejected - as opposed to the average of 20%. It is impossible to think of another ethnic group where it would be so acceptable to treat people so poorly. It is understandable perhaps that a group so discriminated against by society see little issue in acting anti-socially. The government must reintroduce the duty to councils to find sites for travellers, or enforce some fairness into the planning system. Further instances like that of Dale Farm will do nothing to improve relations between wider society and without an improvement, problems will only increase. What will benefit the travellers will benefit society at large. As ever, all that need happen for the situation to improve is for prejudice to be left behind.
The View From The Queue
hen I was seventeen in 2006, my 6th form ran a prospects day, where, with hindsight, my school attempted to shoehorn the majority of us into universities. A nice lady from Leicester’s De Montfort University came and extolled upon her impressionable audience the virtues of higher education. She said many nice things, but the message indelibly scraped on my brain was this: “People who go to university will earn on average £400,000 more than those who don’t.” Such a statement was designed to both whet our youthful capitalist appetites and also instil in us a sense of profound arrogance and you can rest assured, I felt incredibly smug. At the time of writing, I am claiming £106 per week in jobseekers’ allowance. I have a 2:1 degree in Journalism and Media Studies, two years as manager of Storm FM and a year as a sabbatical officer in the students’ union. Writing from the dole queue is so-
bering. I can assure you it’s not through a lack of aspiration or motivation either. I am currently searching for work; trying to end this unemployment blip and do something that plays simultaneously to my impeccable eloquence and dashing good looks. I joke of course. I’m just jobless and bald. The process has been both insightful and draining. I first visited the Job Centre in late August in the midst of a fire drill. Standing in the rain with the other unemployed folks evoked in the mind’s eye scenes from 1930s films where dockworkers arrive to see if they have work for the day. Following this was a phonecall where I was required to
give everything short of an anal swab and to have my finances scrutinised for over a n hour.
It would be a colossal fib to say I didn’t feel ashamed, particularly after having worked in some capacity since the age of thirteen. What frustrates is the government’s cavalier attitude to unemployment. We have David Cameron, who has never had to claim jobseekers’ allowance in
his life, and then we have Iain Duncan Smith as Work and Pensions Secretary. Their approach to unemployment thus far has been seemingly to tell people, “If you don’t have a job, just get a job.” This comes nearly a year on from George Osborne’s announcement of more than 500,000 public sector redundancies and huge graduate unemployment. It is challenging to fathom how these people, who are so profoundly and proudly divorced from real people, can be elected into an office wherein they have the power to gamble with the lives of others. That said, the use of the word ‘divorced’ would imply even a semblance of a relationship to be begin with. Iain Duncan Smith, presumably towing the Big Society line, has tried to ease jobseekers into employment through voluntarism. The kicker here
is that if you do more than sixteen hours of voluntary work per week, you are deemed by the state to be in employment. Of course, any smug preconceptions I had about higher education have now been shattered. I don’t see higher education as the be-all and end-all, but at the same time there is still obscene prejudice towards anyone considering anything with the slightest whiff of being vocational. The key is to offer choice, not to stigmatise and that goes for both education and employment. Providing comfort at the moment is the realisation that I’m actually good at housework and the mantra of my girlfriend’s family: “What’s for you will not go by you.” It may be strange placing things in the hands of fate, but I’m still positive and I’m still looking. Offers would be graciously received.
October Issue 2011
Features Dylan Thomas; Wales’ national poet
his 27th October would have been Dylan Thomas’ 97th birthday, or as the very man himself would call it, his “97th year to Heaven”. Born in Swansea, Glamorgan and a pupil of the local grammar school where his father was the headmaster, Thomas was a contributor and later editor of the school newspaper. He carried his wordsmith abilities over the threshold into the adult world: he left school at the age of 16 to work for the South Wales Daily Post. His poem ‘Before I knocked’ is about a child in utero and is not the only Thomas poem to be published when its author was still in the neo-childhood teenage years. This poem uses clever imagery of ironmongery and nature to convey coming into being; “The leaden stars, the rainy hammer”. Here, the references to ironmongery symbolise a traditional male adolescence in “rainy” Wales, for they conjure up an image of the household tools that will later replace the childhood toys. This is an example of expressionism, a poetic approach which Thomas used unabashedly. Childhood is also the subject of Thomas’ famous short story, A Child’s Christmas in Wales. It can now be said that he wrote of a traditional British childhood; the childhood of his generation in the post Great War era. This
is made evident by his extremely pictorial references to the low-budget “useless presents”, smoking pipes, attending church on Christmas morning and “the same uncles at Christmas”. Thomas, in this piece, conveys with undertones of complaining the very fine line he senses between the traditions of British life after the First World War and the monotony (and, by attachment, boredom) inevitably carried therewith. However, a reader of today would have to be either a complete philistine or über-technophile to read this piece and not visualise with fondness, desire and affection the traditional British Yuletide that Thomas paints with his pen. Therefore, this piece causes a reader of today to question whether we in Britain really are any happier with more variety in our lives. It is curious how a poet who writes so fondly and at length about childhood was a prodigy, wise beyond his young years. He must have had a child’s thought process for a very short time span. His prematurely developed adult mind was able to gage, assess, beautifully define and express the experiences of childhood that most children simply undergo unawares. Thomas said of the expressionist and surrealist movements; “I let an image be ‘made’, emotionally in me and then apply to it what
intellectual and critical forces I possess; let it breed another, let that image contradict the first; make of the third image, bred out of the other two together a fourth, contradictory image, and let them all with all my imposed formal limits, conflict.” In his poem Prayer and Vision, the lines of words take the shape of a diamond. The critic Edith Sitwell, writing in 1936 maintains; “the form of many of the poems is superb.” Here, form may refer to either formation or syntax and layers of words in the poem. In both cases, Ms Sitwell is most certainly correct in her assessment. It is no secret that Dylan Thomas was an infamous alcoholic and adulterer, his famous last words being; “I’ve had eighteen straight whiskies tonight. I think that’s the record.” His wordsmith abilities evidently had the ability to form not only expressionist verse but also unique definitions that many dictionary writers would fervently dispute; “An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do” is another of his most famous quotations. However, we must not allow these words, though highly amusing, to overshadow those that make up the lines of his landmark poetry.
The Manchester Museum
t may be in a rainy and industrial city, but inside you could be escape into a huge Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) colanywhere; Ancient Egypt, the Bronze Age, the jungle or un- lection, featuring butterflies from all over the British Isles as der the sea are just four possibilities. The Manchester Museum well as a display of every beetle under the sun. The museum holds displays on all manner of things from ancient and far away has seemingly made great efforts to acquire a stuffed version worlds. It exhibits not only arevery animal and Mummified bodies and mummification cases, of tefacts from the natural world bird on this earth, but also the relics (literally, in papyrus bearing the original, artistic hieroglyphics from a tiger displayed some cases!) of human history in hunting mood to are waiting to greet you from yester- millennia. Terry parrots and owls, as Deary, (below left) who wrote well as their skeletons. the Horrible Histories books and has made a fortune from an ability You can additionally enjoy an extensive array of replicated sea to hold the attention of young history pupils, greets you with a wel- urchins. You can get lost in the collection of living animals; come talk on a modestly-sized cinematic screen as you enter. What some scaly and slimy greets you thereafter is an Ancient Egypt exhibition; mummified reptiles are waiting bodies and mummification cases, papyrus bearing the original, artis- to welcome you such tic hieroglyphics that as frogs of all colours the Egyptians used for and sizes, chameleons everyday writings and and snakes. You can some very primitive- find it on Oxford Road though easily identi- and the opening times fiable- kitchen equip- are 10am -5pm Tuesment. It is nothing Sat. Do something short of breathtaking cultural of a weekend and my year six his- for a change and just go tory came flooding -entry is free. back to me like the Rosie MacLeod Nile Flood upon alluvial silt. Memorably, there is the skeleton of elephant that was Terry Deary: Author of the an bought for £30,000 Horrible Histories books in Scotland. You can
WELL DONE ROSTRA! O
n the 7th and 8th of October, backstage in JP Hall, the warmth of actors’ pre show conversation (“Good lu- I mean break a leg!”) and last-minute run-throughs once again spread over the cold of falling autumnal Welsh eventide. This was Rostra’s first show of the year; a sketch show entitled Bang On! There was theatre already being practised by the cast as the audience entered. I’m not sure whether this commencement that led seamlessly on from the audience’s arrival helped to cure or intensify the nerves of the actors backstage, knowing the show had already begun. The
sketches were all self-written by the group (by members long since graduated, past and present) and included an idiot too stupid to be an idiot, carrying on the tradition of anarchic and Young Ones-like humour favoured and by the group. Confusion is an emotion on which most of the sketches drew for comic effect and included a car mechanic bewildered by fixing Dr Who’s TARDIS and, in a sketch set amid the recent riots, a gangster perplexed by the health foods his gang members had sought fit to “loot”, in a curious situation in which carrier bags had been supplied to “looters”. Special mention
must be made of the show’s longest sketch, about a batty and terribly Eeeenglish (sic!) “admirable admiral”. David Lorminer, the writer of the sketch, shone as this mad Englishman, whom he played as a caricatured collage of General Melchett in Blackadder, UKIP and Gilbert & Sullivan. The admirable admiral’s fervent upholding of tradition causes him to stumble over his words as he curses the French and takes tea and cake angrily. Rostra’s upcoming shows include the pantomime Dick Whittington and Dr Faustus. Stay tuned!
October Issue 2011
Poetry Please: Back How peculiar... in the USSR
Curious scenes from the northernmost region of our archipelagic nation: Here’re some strange sights your Features editor snapped on a summer walkabout of northern Britain.
Find love in Edinburg
n Tuesday, 18th October, Blue formed first by its creator in their native Sky Café played host to an ex- language and then in English translatremely atmospheric evening tion by an interpreter. Hearing the poof poetry from Eastern Europe. The etry performed by its creator means the published poets attended in person and audience was able to hear exactly how hailed from two regions of Eastern Eu- it is intended to sound. For this reason, rope: Latvia, a former USSR member even if, or perhaps because, there exists state and Macedonia, a regional area a language barrier between listener and that includes the Republic of Macedo- reader, the poet becomes utterly mesnia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Kos- merising and hypnotic, so much so that ovo. They travelled to Bangor via Man- every member of the audience feels as chester if they are ‘‘Given the recent troubled history of the regions, alone with airport and a these themes were particularly poignant and hard- the recitl o n g ing writer. delay at hitting, and all poems were read with emotion’’ The emoChestion in ter station to share their poetry with which the poem was written and the the poetry lovers of North Wales. Dur- tone in which it was intended to be ing the ‘90s, the areas of Eastern Eu- performed are rendered transparent. rope were notorious in news headlines Therefore, the need to imagine this is for being very troubled lands and, for removed, thus drawing more attention anyone who remembers this period, the to the content of the poetry and, when names of some of the aforementioned coupled with a translation, its message. countries still carry severity and bleak For poetry lovers and those whose connotations. In their work, the poets minds run on translation alike, the touched on issues such as homeland, evening was extremely enjoyable. travel and melancholic solitude. Given Rosie MacLeod the recent troubled history of the regions, these themes were particularly poignant and hard-hitting, and all poems were read with emotion; some in anger, others moroseness. This cerebral selection of poesie and verse was per-
tement of Just in case the exci head! (Again.) Glasgow goes to your North Wales mania sp reads to the Scottish capital.
ation? Edinburgh Waverly St at s er en ht ig ra st ir Ha otRail. rvice provided by Sc Just another great se
We don't allow faster than light neutrinos in here, said the bartender...
A neutrino walks into a bar
any geek points to anyone who gets the joke, but for those who don’t, read on. First, some background; scientists at Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy recently detected neutrinos, subatomic particles, travelling just faster than the speed of light (0.0025% faster, actually) from the CERN laboratory in Switzerland, where they were created. This might all sound fairly dull and certainly not newsworthy, but it’s got scientists around the world very agitated because, as Brian Cox put it; it’ll require ‘a complete rewriting of our understanding of the universe’. The reason is this; nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity says as much, and weird things happen
when they do. Travelling faster than light essentially means travelling back in time, making the cause and effect theory completely obsolete. It’s been likened by Adam Frank, astrophysicist at the University of Rochester, to ‘being shot before the trigger is pulled’. Time travel also flies in the face of an old favourite of philosophers, the Grandfather paradox. This states that, if time travel were possible, you would be able to go back in time and kill your grandfather, before he and your grandmother could ever conceive children, but this would mean you, yourself, could not have been born and therefore could not have travelled back in time to commit the act. Mind-bending stuff. Creepy paradoxes aside, this dis-
covery has spurred scientists to come up with a few alternative explanations. It’s possible, for example, that the neutrinos passed into extra dimensions on their passage to Italy, making it simply appear that they were faster than light, or maybe they move faster through Earth than through space, it’s even been suggested by scientists at King’s College, London, that the speed of neutrinos varies with their direction and the time of day. Or, maybe, they’re just wrong. Professor Jim Al-Khalili from the University of Surrey thinks so; "If the neutrinos have broken the speed of light, it would overturn a keystone theory from the last century of physics. That's possible, but it's far more likely that there is an error in the data. So let
me put my money where my mouth is: if the CERN experiment proves to be correct and neutrinos have broken the speed of light, I will eat my boxer shorts on live TV." And even in such top-notch institutions, an error is not impossible. Ronald van Elburg at the University of Groningen has suggested that special relativity, the very same rule it was supposed to break, caused the clock synchronisation between the two labs to get messed up, meaning the neutrinos would appear to arrive 64 nanoseconds early, almost precisely the time difference observed. Proper science depends on checking your results obsessively, as well as waiting for someone else, somewhere else, to get the same results you did.
As Antonio Ereditato, coordinator of the experiment at Gran Sasso puts it "We are very much astonished by this result, but a result is never a discovery until other people confirm it.” So while a repeat experiment gets underway at Fermilab in Illinois to test the theory, we are left wondering, do these results herald a new era in science? In which the Einsteinian rulebook is torn up and time travel becomes possible? As CERN physicist Ignatios Antoniadis sums it up “For the moment, we don’t have an answer. That doesn’t mean an answer doesn’t exist”.
October Issue 2011
Student Cut Films
ast year Bangor University’s film making society, Student Cut Films, won the award for Best New Society at the 2011 society awards for their constant work and effort at bringing their society to people’s attention. Now, the society has decided to embark on free student screenings every few weeks to promote their society even further. After a few successful screenings last year, Adam and his committee decided to provide somewhat of a mini cinema for Bangor staff and students. “Obviously we are predominantly a film making society but not everyone wants to make films. By hosting a number of screenings we get our name out to those who have no interest in the production side of things” says Adam, chair of the society.
Student Cut Films plans to screen five films a semester, free of charge. The society kicked off their screenings with a showing of the documentary ‘Senna’ and look to follow suit by continuing screenings every few weeks. The society currently has the following screenings planned: 3rd November, 7:30pm – Monsters 16th November, 6:30pm – X-Men: First Class 23rd November, 6:30pm – Secret Cinema 7th December, 6:30pm– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 All of the screenings will take place in the Main Arts lecture theatre and will include a raffle for prizes donated to the society by Momentum and Paramount Pictures. “Momentum and Paramount kindly donated a number of things to us including DVDs, posters, t-shirts and film merchandise so we are looking at raising money by giving these things away as prizes” says Adam who found the sponsorship via twitter. Looking to the future, Student Cut films hopes to carry on the screenings into Semester two and hopes to screen films such as ‘Drive’, ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ and ‘Warrior’. These
Student Cut Films plans to screen five films a semester, free of charge. screenings are yet to be decided but the society members will chose three of the screenings and the final two will be decided by facebook polls. After a triumphant first year, the society hopes to continue their success by bringing in a new audience with these screenings.
n 1998, a transgender woman called Rita Hester was found murdered in her Boston apartment. There was an outpouring of grief in her community, where she was known as a performer and a civil rights activist, and 250 people attended a candlelit vigil to remember her and express their grief and fury that her life was taken based purely on her gender. We may have made enormous legislative strides against homo/biphobia and transphobia since her death, but have we changed anything that would have saved her life? Despite stronger laws against hate crime, it’s no secret that it’s on the rise; as is often the case in times of hardship, some communities turn in on themselves and those who are different are often the ones that suffer. Between 2008 and the present day, there have been 681 recorded trans*- related murders, and experts believe the true figure could be far higher. 116 of those murders took place in 2011 alone. It’s clear that the law alone is not enough to prevent this abuse. Changing hearts and minds, tackling the ignorance and bigotry at the heart of our bureau-
cratic systems and society at large is the best tactic we have to save trans* people from what they suffer at the hands of the violent. As well as educating people in our immediate circles, there is something else that we can do to remind the world that we are watching. We can remember them. Rita’s vigil has grown and metamorphosed into something incredibly special. Friends and families of victims, along with their supporters, were inspired to hold their own vigils to commemorate those we’ve lost, and the growing global movement became known as the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is observed every November, with similar vigils held all over the world. Attendees hold candles and read out the names of every transgender individual murdered in transphobic attacks over the past year, to remind their friends and family that we care about their suffering. Unity will be holding our own vigil on November 20th. We hope to see you there.
Calling all societies! Seren provides you with two pages every issue for you to tell us all what you’ve been up to, so why not use them? You can keep Bangor students up to date by sending articles to: email@example.com.
Everyone is welcome to attend the screenings and spread the word about Student Cut Films being the most successful film society that Bangor University has ever seen.
The Conwy Feast
O Transgender Rememberance
nce again Bangor University societies turned out in force to take part and strut their stuff in the extremely popular Conwy Feast Festival. Bangor University Medieval Re-enactment society, BEDS (Bangor English Drama Society) and the Cadi Ha Morris Dancing Troupe were all invited to the festival after the highly successful Medieval Day Out in Beaumaris at the end of last week. There were a wide range of activities and things to see and do throughout the weekend, and aside from the university society’s participation, there were many other dance, music, performance and re-enactment groups providing entertainment and education for all. Not forgetting, of course, the abundance of food stalls selling great food and drink from local and far and wide which really seemed to usher in the warming winter feeling. Bangor University Medieval Re-Enactment Society set up a living history camp inside Conwy Castle and lived for the weekend in authentic 15th century style. From dressing in period
fashions, to cooking authentic recipes there was no shortage of educational displays to get the public involved and teleport them back in time. On top of the living history, there
was of course the battle and combat demonstrations which fuelled the atmosphere with adrenaline and allowed the public to see re-enacted battle situations and tournament fighting. BEDS, who were street performing at the festival, had an array of acts going on throughout the town, and were dressed in true fairy tale style and were as dramatic as ever. From telling jokes to selling relics they lightened the spirit and brought a laugh to the festival. The student who had organised t h e in-
volvement of the societies in the festival, Anthony Butcher, told Seren “After an amazing intersociety event in Beuamaris last May, we were personally invited to take part in the Conwy Feast - a massive food festival that takes over Conwy for a weekend, drawing in up to 30,000 people.” He also commented about BEDS saying, “All of the actors have done an amazing job, weaving a tale of misdeeds, entertaining families, and selling relics.” Daniel Goodall the Captain of the Medieval Re-enactment society quoted “Our guys have done amazingly well and CADW officials were extremely impressed with our displays and educational entertainment at the castle”. Overall the event was hailed a huge success for Bangor SU societies and the level of community partnership between students and the local population of north Wales only continues to rise.
October Issue 2011
Students Go Green For Gwynedd
reener Gwynedd is a conservation project within the Bangor Student Volunteering society. Greener Gwynedd carries out conservation tasks in the local area, working with local groups and organisations throughout the year at various sites around Anglesey and Gwynedd. It is organised by two project leaders who recruit between 5 and 15 volunteers for each conservation task. We have been running since October 2010 and volunteer with local groups such as the Snowdonia Society,
Anglesey Area of Natural Beauty and the North Wales Wildlife Trust as well as creating links with the conservation society at our neighbouring university, Aberystwyth.
tree growth and to create habitat piles. We also started putting in a fence to prevent sheep grazing on the coppiced stumps and new growth. Coppicing promotes growth which reduces the
This year we are planning more work with the North Wales Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, the Aberystwyth Conservation Volunteers and the Countryside Council for Wales. Our first task of this year was on the 9th October where we went and worked alongside Gwynedd County Council at the Morfa Aber Nature Reserve, on the coast near to Abergwyngregyn. Here we did hedgelaying which involved coppicing willow to stimulate the
nutrients in the soil. In this area the soil contains too many nutrients, for the ground to be healthier the level of nutrients needs to be lowered so a seemingly destructive action such as chopping down trees is actually beneficial for the area. We go out most if not every Sunday equipped with wellies, tea and biscuits with the aim of having lots of fun in and around Bangor whilst putting something back into our local communities. In the past we have tree-felled, litter picked, built footpaths, laid bridges, removed tree guards and much more. Last year we saw the introduction of cows as a conservation management technique, which prevents the development of scrub and encourages biodiversity, at the
In the past we have tree-felled...built footpaths, laid bridges...and much more.
North Wales Wildlife Trust nature reserve, Mariandyrys. This term we have a residential at the Felin Uchaf on the Llyn Peninsula, a community orientated environment centre which will involve sustainable building techniques, mud walling and a spot of organic gardening! Here we will be staying in the beautiful roundhouses built by volunteers. We will also be out every Sunday in November where we will be doing scrub clearance at the North Wales Wildlife Trust nature reserves and building a willow tepee with the RSPB as part of their children’s environmental
No Slowing Down for Bangor Comedy Society! T S o, just over a week ago we were on stage with the wonderful Phill Jupitus in Venue Cyrmu...and what a show it was! Not only was it one of our best shows ever, Phill was amazing, friendly and up for anything. We played some of our favourite games, resulting in: a happy ending in a hairdressers, a party guest “made” of ghosts, and Phill & Phil parenting a parasitic growth on Phil’s face. Then, at the end, Phill (that’s the famous one) introduced a brand new game so complicated that we don’t even know how we managed to make it work. Just to clarify for those who were lucky enough to get tickets – we had never, ever seen or heard of it before! If you didn’t get a chance to see the show, or just want to see it
again, the whole thing is on our YouTube account, and will be posted on our facebook page. There’s also some great photos, and a lovely behind the scenes shot of us, Phill and the £933 we raised for St. David’s Hospice. So, what’s next? Well, lots more comedy! By the time that you read this we’ve done another two shows – but there’s plenty more to come! We’ve got another show in The Menai on Monday the 7th of November – so if you’re stuck up in Bangor for your reading week, come
along for some time off from the library/pub/bed. Then on Friday the 18th of November we’ve got our first full length all-singing all-dancing show in JP Hall – always one of the best shows in our calendar, and it’s only £3! We’re also making an appearance at the Academi comedy night on the 24th of Nov, and then Saturday the 3rd of December see’s us welcoming some exstudents and their 5* reviewed comedy show from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in MALT, with lots more comedy thrown in. We’ve also got our first stand up night, and a gala showcase of everything funny at the end of the year. For more info, more shows and videos like us on facebook ( w w w. f a c e book.com/ bangorcomedy), follow us on twitter (@bangorcomedy), or just come and have a chat with us after a show! Facebook also has info on all of our sessions – improv, sketches and standup – so if you want to give it a go, why not come along? See ya round!
hough it’s taken a while to re-establish Amnesty Bangor we are back in business. We’re going to be running Amnesty’s monthly campaigns as well as running larger events in the coming months. If you want to get involved then find Amnesty Bangor on facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org This month Amnesty International is campaigning to put an end to the death penalty in the USA, Iran and Belarus. This comes after the state of Georgia decided to finally execute Troy Davis against international pressure to reconsider the case after serious doubts about his guilt surfaced. People sentenced to death are normally poor or marginalised from society. People from poorer backgrounds are less likely to be able to afford good legal representation and so will most likely be assigned overworked and underpaid legal representatives. Although the USA is first to condemn human rights infringements around the world it still allows some states to carry out the death penalty. In 2010 46 people were executed. Over the years there have been 39 miscarriages of justice where people were wrongfully executed. Proponents of the death penalty argue that it can be a good deterrent, this is not true. Studies have found that the number of violent crimes is higher in states that have the death penalty. Iran is currently reviewing their penal code and Amnesty is campaigning for them to remove the death penalty and particularly stoning. In Iran stoning is still a legal method of execution
education projects. After Christmas we plan to start conservation tasks on the first weekend in February. If you fancy giving it a go on a free Sunday afternoon check out our timetable, which can be found on Facebook – just search ‘SVB’s Greener Gwynedd Project - Prosiect GMB Gwynedd Wyrdd’ and drop us an email to sign up for the task when it is advertised: email@example.com. ac.uk. Or sign up to the SVB mailing list where you will be kept informed of all of the volunteering opportunities that Bangor has to offer!
and although a ban on stoning was declared by the Head of Judiciary in 2002 it is still used as a method of punishment. Iranian law specifies the size of the stone to be used during an execution. Article 104 of Iran’s Penal Code states that “The size of the stone used in stoning shall not be so big as to kill the person by one or two throws, nor so small that it cannot be called a stone.” A Stoning is usually done under medical supervision and can reportedly take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours. Belarus is the last executioner in Europe and the former Soviet Union. The whole process of the death penalty is shrouded in secrecy which means there are no official statistics on the number of executions that take place. Some information has been leaked over the years and statistics on death sentences have occasionally been provided to Amnesty International. Prisoners on death row are told they will be executed only moments before the sentence is carried out.
October Issue 2011
university challenge trials your chance to get on tv with paxman!
fancy yourself as a bit of a brain box? come to our university challenge tryouts and your beautiful face might just make it on tv! Bangor Students‛ Union and Bangor University are looking for the brightest of undergraduates and the smartest of postgraduates to represent us on national television! Our University Challenge tryouts give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get yourself on the nation‛s most prestigious quiz show in the name of your very own university. Come along as a team of 5 or just show up on your own and show us what you‛re made of!
15th november powis hall, main arts - 7pm @Bangorstudents
Bangor Students Union
October Issue 2011
t who teaches? Are you a PG studental k to you! ...then your SU would like to
We’re looking to run a focus group about the experience of Postgraduate students who teach in addition to their studies. We’re really interested in how it’s been for you, . what works well and where you’d like to see improvements The focus group itself will take no more than an hour and we’ve got some free food to coax you in... If you’re interested, email SU President Jo Caulfield on: firstname.lastname@example.org Please do!
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October Issue 2011
Meeting you for Coffee Sunshine with a chance of falling in love under a corktree the perfect weather for free-verse poetry. Not haikus or sonnets structured forms should be kept in your antique locket for a rainy day. I stop and wait halfway between where I keep my shoes and you keep yours always tied up neatly like the end of a Hollywood movie. “Take your umbrella” you said “it’s fourteen line weather our there.” Poem by
Catching The Wind
“How do we catch it?” “Dunno.” “And what we gonna do with it?” “Dunno.” “It was your idea!” His eyes rolled. “Well if you’re scared…” “I’m not scared.” “Go on then!” “I’m thinking.” “Nobody got anywhere by thinking.” His stupidity lingered. Leaning forwards, he tried catching the wind.
I am in free fall. There are only seconds left. Why am I here? I didn’t need to take this train. I should have stayed home. The rusty rails tripped the train and toppled it on the bridge. There was no chance I’d survive. My heart, a wet brick, is ricocheting frantically inside my chest. Everyone around me is calm. I want to be anyone else. My tongue feels ﬁercely foreign: its last words were wasted, worthless. I stand still, at a standstill, expecting, any second now. “Yes” She throws me a parachute. Safe landing, somehow. Short stories by
October Issue 2011
How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
aitlin Moran, despite also working for 18th birthday, so I can have your room. Only 5 Seren’s lower quality rival The Times, is years to go now! Unless you die before then! Love one of my favourite journalists writing Caz”), she displays an unqualified level of love today. Despite her stuff being locked away behind and affection for her family. the mighty Murdoch paywall I take the chance to Those of you who are squeamish may want to read her work whenever I can, so I was massively skip the first chapter, but the rest of us are treated pleased when I heard that an entire book of her to two coming-of-age stories that are definitely particular wit and wisdom was being released. not going to become the focus of an eight part Called How To Be A Woman, this book acts as multi-million movie franchise with the new a memoir for the first part of her life and a chance generation of Harry Potter wannabes. Do not for her to lay out her stall on the state of feminism attempt to eat a jam doughnut for the first 100 in this day and age. This is no dry, jargon laden pages is all I will say about them. polemic or mother-earth diatribe, though she Despite it hitting all the high points of what does like to shout at times. This book is funny. you might expect from a book that describes itI made the mistake of reading it in a station and on a train and reThis is no dry, jargon laden polemic or mother-earth peatedly had people asking me if diatribe, though she does like to shout at times. This I was feeling ok. book is funny. Starting at age 13 (“I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at self as being part of the fifth wave of feminism me when they see me”) to 35, it covers a relatively (underwear, being fat, children, abortion, marsmall amount of time, but packs in a lot. The eld- riage, sexism all have chapters dedicated to them) est of eight children in a small council house in this isn’t, as I made clear above, the standard femWolverhampton and home schooled from age 11, inism text book. I have yet to read any other book she began writing for Melody Maker (previously on feminism where the author states that she a rival to and now a part of NME) at age 16 and likes the word ‘flaps’ as a word for vagina because a column in The Times at 18. Despite it seem- it’s funny, but not ‘bush’ because, “the band of the ing relatively obvious why she might want to be same name are tiresome. The vegetation has spiself-sufficient sooner than most young people ders in. No”. She takes this theme and eventually (her 13th birthday card from her sister read “Re- ends with, when referring to good times involvmember, you promised you’d move out on your ing the “number one vestibule” that “the mist is
really rolling in on the Mull of Kintyre tonight”. And yet, you can’t help but be drawn into her arguments about abortion, body politics and the whole plethora of gender politics. It is fascinating, insightful and always, always realistic. Why was it so difficult for Melody Maker to get more women featured in the early 90’s? Because women had sod all to say apparently. Why didn’t women discover the Americas? Because there was no treatment for cystitis then. Not that this was the fault of women of course, nor is it the fault of women today that there is still inequal-
ity at all levels of society. But nor is it the fault of men. This isn’t a call to arms for women, not against men at least. If anything, this book is about what equality really is. No one, she says, is arguing for the whole world, just their share. As she points out, after 100,000 years the patriarchy is probably a bit tired by now. The world wouldn’t necessarily be a better place if we were all just human, but there’d be more tea breaks. How To Be A Woman isn’t so much a book about feminism, or even the biography (and I hope the first of a few) of a particularly oddball and hilarious woman, but about what life should be. “Everyone being polite to each other”.
Snuff by Terry Pratchett Y
o u would think that by the 39th novel in a series the setting would be tired and stale. You would think wrong. Sir Terry Pratchett’s latest addition to the sprawling Discworld series, Snuff, is simultaneously a splendid, hilarious and thoughtprovoking romp. As with every other book in the series it is not necessary for you to have read any of the previous stories. Indeed Pratchett’s writ-
ing has always been very embracing in its treatment of newcomers. case isn’t helped by the fact that their religion requires them to It is to be noted, however, that many of the characters featured in store all bodily excretions in jars (for sensible living only snot and Snuff have a lengthy history in the Discworld canon and it does toenails areusually considered in need of being stored). build upon the story if you have made a previous connection with The world view which Pratchett presents in the first few pages is them. almost immediately overturned by the deft writing as he destroys The main character, for example, is Commander Sam Vimes of each prejudicial barrier held by the characters for these creatures. the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Having gone from a drunk, loner Through Vimes’ unwaivering moral compass and his investigapoliceman to a happily married Duke across the course of the se- tions into why he was framed we build a picture of a vastly misunries, Vimes is here being sent away from the city that he loves in derstood species and Pratchett manages to subtly wag his authoorder to have a holiday in the rial finger at you for It is a testament to a writer who has a virulent form of countryside. ever feeling prejudice Alzheimers yet keeps producing wonderfully crafted stories Vimes is a streetwise city against those you did dweller and rural areas do not understand. not, as he puts it, get on with him. He much prefers walking the He has been known to do this quite a bit throughout the series streets as a copper rather than being dragged to Balls or whisked as he presents a modernising world slowly integrating oft disreaway to the desolately boring country. Of course it doesn’t remain garded species and destroying old views. We’ve had dwarfs, trolls, boring for long. Vimes soon realises that you are never not being vampires, golems and orcs all becoming accepted because of the watched by someone in the countryside and whenever he meets actions of a small number. the local upper classes they appear on edge. Something has hapThough his works are, at their core, humorous works of fantasy pened and that something is still having repercussions up until they have progressed over the years into satirical works of fiction Pratchett’s deeply moral yet tarnished hero is framed for murder. which entertain and educate. From here on out the story turns from a comedy of dislocation into Snuff is, then, the culmination of over twenty years of character, a darkly funny moral play about the subjugation of a species which setting and authorial development. It is a testament to a writer who had been considered vermin by the citizens of the Disc. has a virulent form of Alzheimers yet keeps producing wonderGoblins, as is revealed in the first pages of the book, are lowly, fully crafted stories that will be loved until the written word has disgusting creatures who seem to exist to scavenge, and make de- gone the way of the dodo. Luke Dobson cent upstanding folk feel dirty even thinking about them. Their
World Book Night 2012
Last year saw the establishment of a project with the sole aim of propagating the love of reading. World Book Night works as a joint operation between everyone involved in the industry of books. From the author and publisher right down to the average reader, the whole system was based upon spreading good books as far as they could go so as to interest more people, be they children or adults, in the pastime of sitting down with a book and getting lost in its pages. This year will be little different, though the date will be changing to coincide with the UNESCO international day of the book. So, how does this actually work? Authors and publishers donate hundreds of free copies of their books to the project and the good people at WBN take it from there. A few months before the actual event, the application process opens on the website. If you want to be one of those whose job
it will be to make sure the books are disseminated then you can choose one of the 25 books and apply to give out copies of it. Titles this year include Good Omens, Misery, Notes From A Small Island, Pride & Prejudice and a collection of Roald Dahl stories among many more. If you are selected it will then be up to you how you get the copies out into the world. You can leave them in coffee shops, donate some to schools or hand them out to strangers on the street; the point of the project is that anyone can and should be able to read. Indeed in the back of the each book is a space where each successive reader can put their name as the books are designed to be read and passed along, like a geographically complicated game of pass the parcel. Why is Seren writing about this now if it isn’t happening until April next year? Well, the application process is open now.
To enter you merely have to register as a ‘book giver’, pick a book you have a particular affiliation for and write a 100 or so words on why you feel they should pick you to hand out copies. Go to www.worldbooknight.org now because if you love books what other incentive do you need ?
October Issue 2011
1. Manâ€™s felt hat (7) 5. It was (4) 8. Radical (7) 9. Wool fat (7) 10. Spendthrift (7) 12. Loud, rushing noise (6) 15. Encroach (5) 18. Instructed (6) 20.Yorkshire town (7) 23. Rotate (7) 25. Thin coating of metal (7) 26. Pace (4) 27. Nightgown (7)
1. Empty (6) 2. Morning (4) 3. Unfasten (7) 4.Valleys (5) 5. A tenth part (5) 6. Removing faults (8) 7. Erodes (5) 11. Agreement (4) 13. Cloudy (8) 14. Sharpen (4) 16. Dividing into two equal parts (7) 17. Silhouette (5) 19. From that place (6) 21. Scrimp (5) 22. Inert elemental gas (5) 24. Ultimate (4)
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YOUR STUDENTS’ UNION VENUE
Welsh Bar Talk for DUMMIES A few simple phrases to get you going…
Shooting the Breeze
Hey, how you doin’? Hei, sut wyt ti?
2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps. Dau beint o lager a phaced o grisps.
(Hey, sit oot tee?)
You look good on the dancefloor! Ti’n dawnsio’n dda! (Teen downshaw’n tha!)
One of those please. Un o’r rheina plîs.
(Een or rhine-nah please.)
Playing Nice Thanks Diolch Good night Nos da No worries Croeso (Croysaw)
YOUR OFFICIAL STUDENT NIGHT CLUB
2Oth SEPTEMBER 18th OCTOBER 8th NOVEMBER 6th DECEMBER
Doors open 9:00pm
£4 / £3 NUS
Doors open 9:00pm
£4 /£3 with AU card
Doors open 9:00pm
SUPPORTING AND ENTERTAINING BANGOR’S STUDENT POPULATION WITH THE WIDEST VARIETY OF NIGHTS IN THE CITY.
Come find us on facebook
THURSDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER 6th OCTOBER 20th OCTOBER 3rd NOVEMBER 17thNOVEMBER 1st DECEMBER 15th DECEMBER
Wednesday night is the biggest night of the week. Anyone who is anyone is there. Come celebrate your success or commiserate your loss with other athletes and students at our AU night. All door takings go directly back into the AU clubs to further improve our sporting achievements.
Fruit Salad is Bangor’s longest running LGBTQ club night. Boasting some of the most eclectic sounds of any night out with a relaxed atmosphere and an attitude-free ethos. unitybangor.co.uk
Fancy a Supa Dupa night out? Supa Dupa brings you the very best of the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s with the best tunes from the times and songs that rocked their era. We’ll be playing the best of the best, nothing more, nothing less.
13th OCTOBER 10th NOVEMBER 8th DECEMBER
29th SEPTEMBER 27th OCTOBER 24th NOVEMBER
Doors open 9:00pm
Doors open 7:00pm
SATURDAY Doors open 9:00pm
£4/ £3 NUS
Doors open 10:00pm
£4 /£3 in fancy dress/ UMCB Card
An evening of Welsh music with a different fancy dress theme to every night! Every other Thursday night during term time. A very busy and lively evening, so come and enjoy an excellent night with a great
mix of music in both Welsh and English – there’s something for everyone’s taste and if you’re not familiar with the Welsh rock scene then this is your chance to have a taste of it.
PROJECT Unique club nights will be playing a massive selection of music. There will be a mix of alternative tunes to suit all ears so get your dancing shoes on and start the weekend in style.
Doors open 9:00pm £4
The return of Mayhem brings around a new age of metal goodness, no cheese, no chart fluff, just quality metal all night long. Gods of metal be praised.
Bringing you the latest and greatest stand-up comics on the UK pro. circuit with special appearances from Bangor’s own student comics. Prepare yourself for some side splitting sketches with these comedy geniuses.
Play is the pinnacle of weekend club style. Overflowing with the latest dance floor fillers and chart toppers, this is the place to dance the night away in style.
23rd september 14TH oCTOBER 4TH NOVEMBER 25TH NOVEMBER 16TH DECEMBER
7th OCTOBER 28th OCTOBER 18th NOVEMBER 9th DECEMBER There will be a mix of alternative tunes, dubstep, electro and drum’n’bass with a guest appearance from exclusive DJs Andy & George at Loud Candy’s end of term party.
R BE EM BER T O P SE OCT th 30 21st Lost Property is Bangor’s Indie Electro night, playing an eclectic mix of classic alternative anthems and brandnew electronic tunes. We love it, we reckon you will too, so come and join us for a night of musical appreciation!
R BE EM BER V NOECEM th 11 nd D 2 Loved for its festie
vibe and independent music policy Racubah has become a feature at a number of UK music festivals. From Funk, Soul and Latin to ‘Reggae’, ‘Ska’ and ‘Dancehall’, Vintage ‘Jazz’ to ‘Electro Swing’, Bollywood Beats to Balkan Brass, Tropical heat to African ‘bump and hustle’... If it’s hot it’s in the pot! Find us on Facebook to stay in the loop...
Drink Responsibly www.drinkaware.co.uk
October Issue 2011
uring November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. From what started as a small idea in Melbourne, Australia, Movember grew to become a vastly inspirational worldwide movement with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland and is currently being expanded into Germany. In these countries alone there are over 1.1 million Mo Bros annually growing well-groomed wonders to raise both funds and awareness to support numerous men’s health causes. Movember’s main goal is to change the attitudes that men have concerning their health, aiming to increase the chances of early detection and treatment of testicular and prostate cancer; ultimately resulting in higher recovery rates. However, contrary to popular belief Movember also aims to raise awareness about other health issues that men face, for example mental health. In Movember 2010, over 112,000 UK Mo Bros participated and managed to gather a hair-raising £11.7 million. On Movember 1st, guys start with a clean-shaven face. On Movember 2nd at the first AU night of the month and for the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts. Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. At the end of the month, Mo Bros and their friends celebrate their gallantry and valour at the last AU night of the month. Pictures of all the great tashes will be taken on the night to show our Bangor pride and the true magnificence of this effort.
FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS
EACH MO BRO MUST BEGIN THE 1ST OF MOVEMBER WITH A CLEAN SHAVEN FACE.
FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MOVEMBER EACH MO BRO MUST GROW AND GROOM A MOUSTACHE.
THERE IS TO BE NO JOINING OF THE MO TO YOUR SIDE BURNS. (THAT’S CONSIDERED A BEARD)
THERE IS TO BE NO JOINING OF THE HANDLEBARS TO YOUR CHIN. (THAT’S CONSIDERED A GOATEE)
EACH MO BRO MUST CONDUCT HIMSELF LIKE A TRUE WELSH GENTLEMAN.
FACTS ABOUT M 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with
Only 26% of men go to their G
1 in 4 men in the UK will experien at some point in
1,990 men aged 20-50 were diagnos
October Issue 2011
Movember 1st Shave it all off and register online at movember.com join the Bangor University network
Centerfold EVERY MO BRO SHOULD KNOW
WHAT SHOULD YO
Your diet and lifestyl the most important t HAVE AN ANNUAL CHECK-UP
Find a doctor and make a yearl physical. Men typically don’t se they feel sick. Getting regular c the most important things you —
If you do smoke. Stop! Compar are about 23 times more likely about 90% of lung cancer death —
BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
If you are not already physicall a minimum of 30 minutes of m of the week. —
STAY AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Movember 2nd AU Night at Academi 9pm Register your baby face
Balance calories from foods an through physical activities.
You don’t have to wait until you are sick to see a doctor; the fact that in the UK 40% of men are Get your hands on some cash over diagnosed with cancer for your tash in their lifetime, Ask your friends to sponsor you should highlight the importance of staying on top of your Buy a Movember t-shirt game when it comes On sale in the SU and on AU nights to your health.
With each decade of so that you can be aw
Testicular cancer - it’s the most comm affecting young men Skin cancer Weight and blood pressure Cholesterol
Harmful alcohol, tobacco and other d Suicide Sexually transmitted diseases
Mental health: depression and anxiet
Men are 40% more likely to die of cancer than women, and 16% more likely to develop the disease in the first place even though men live, on average, 4 years less than women. — S In the UK death rates among men suffering from the most deadly form of skin cancer have doubled in the last 30 years. — A man’s life span is affected by genetics (24%) and modifiable risk factors (75%). Evidence suggests that about a third (39%) of the 12 most common cancers in the UK could be prevented through diet, physical activity and body weight. — Two thirds of British men are overweight or obese – increasing their chances of many diseases. — Prostate cancer More than 5 men die prematurely each hour from potentially Colorectal cancers preventable illnesses. 1 man will die every hour in the UK Weight and blood pressure from prostate cancer. Blood cholesterol and glucose (diabet Blood tests to check kidney/liver func — iron Every cigarette you smoke takes 8 minutes off your life. Tetanus booster (every 10 years) Smoking a pack per day for 20 years reduces your life Eye checks for glaucoma and other co Find a doctor and make a yearly appointment each Mental health: depression and anxiet expectancy by 13 years. Skin cancer — Movember for a physical. Men typically don’t see a doctor Men account for two thirds of alcohol related deaths. for — an annual check or when they feel sick. Getting regular 40% of menand drink immunisations more than the recommended daily checks are amongst the most important limit of four units at least once a week – which can lead things you can doandtoliver stay healthy. to long term brain, heart damage and increased risk of cancer. Some guys need a bit — to look out for each o 75% of suicides in the UK Stop! are by men. If you do smoke. Compared to non-smokers, men — who about 23 cardiovascular times more likely to develop 80% of smoke people withare diabetes die from diseases. PICKlung UP THE PHONE One of the early symptoms of d — cancer. Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths situations.in If you haven’t heard Only 26% of men go to their GPs for regular check ups. pick up the phone and check in
Movember 30th What should you do 50 AU Night at Academi 9pm Your diet and lifestyle choices can Show off your tash and bring all dramatically infuence these statistics. your friends Regardless of age, the most important
£1 for every person will be donated things you can do to stay healthy are... to the Movember Foundation Have an annual check-up
Snap a picture of your tash with a copy of Seren and email it to email@example.com
BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
prostate cancer in their lifetime
GPs for regular check-ups
nce a mental health problem n their lives.
sed with testicular cancer in 2007
TAKE THEM FOR A KICK-ABOUT
Or run or ride, or whatever spo of boxes – catch up with mates hormones. —
If you are not already physically active, start small and INVITE HIM OUT People who are experiencing d work up to a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical attend. If you’ve noticed your m social activities with no good r activity most days of the week. —
STAY AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT
LOOKING OUT FOR
CHECK IN AS A FAMILY
Dads and sons are often best m uncle or brother to be aware of
any concerns. Balance calories from foods and drinks with calorieshaveyou burn off through physical activities. FURTHER INFORMATION
EAT A HEALTHY DIET
The Prostate Cancer Charity prostate-cancer.org.uk
Fill up with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and eat lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts and eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sald (sodium) and added sugars.
DRINK ALCOHOL ONLY IN MODERATION Alcohol can be part of a healthy balanced diet but only if it’s in moderation, which means no more than three or four units of alcohol a day – that’s the equivalent of 1.7 pints.
BE AWARE OF YOUR FAMILY HISTORY Make sure you take the time to find out about the medical history of you family; a number of health issues are hereditary and being informed can make all the difference.
The Inst of Canc icr.ac.uk
Restaurant Review: Blue Sky Café I
don’t like umbrellas. Not because of their ability to make the person walking round with one look priggish for having the foresight to bring one out just in case. I dislike them because they fly the flag for rain. As soon as you see one in October, you know you’re embarking on months of miserable, interminable rain. Suddenly you can’t leave the house without covering your head; you constantly run the embarrassing risk of smelling like a wet dog and most importantly, you’re consigned to staying inside as much as possible. It was this fact, the need for shelter during rain, that brought me to the Blue Sky café on Bangor’s high street. After finishing uni for the day, a friend and I made the journey down to Bangor with the intention of going to 1815, a competitor of Blue Sky’s. However, on the way down, the heavens unreasonably opened and poured scorn on those designs. 1815 was full, full of people wanting shelter from the rain, looking for somewhere warm to go. Where to now? I’d heard about Blue Sky café before; it’s the only eatery in Bangor that’s listed in the Good Food Guide (a fact they’re rightly proud of - seeing several editions of the guides’ dotted around the café, post-it notes on their page ‘n’ all reminded me of seeing an actor desperately plugging their new film.) But I’d almost been reluctant to go because of its price. The food isn’t cheap; breakfasts such as a Belgian waffles with
bacon and bananas sell for £5.65, a home baked chicken, chorizo and tomato sandwich for £5.85 and a salad of locally smoked duck breast with fennel and orange with a sesame dressing will cost you £7.25. Drinks aren’t cheap ei-
ther. Speciality teas all cost £2.25 and a bottle of beer or cider costs around £3.50. But, predicament prevailed and we decided to get out of the rain and took the stroll up the alleyway (it’s well sign posted so you can’t miss it) to the café. Situated in the heart of Bangor, this café epitomises everything that is fantastic about local produce. Wales has some of the best ingredients in Britain and eating at Blue Sky, you fully appreciate just how outstanding this quality is. Indeed, Charles, the Prince of Wales, is an advocate of Welsh producers and such is the loyalty of Blue Sky to use these sources, I’d imagine it’s the sort of place he’d enjoy to eat in. As soon as you read the menu, you realise the commitment to local ingredients - duck from Llan-
dudno Smokery, feta cheese from Anglesey and bread from local bakers are all prepared in a visible kitchen surrounded by beautiful chairs and the warmth of a crackling fire. Hell, they even use local salad leaves, what’s not to like? It may be an increasingly tiresome sentiment but eating fresh and local food really is better. The standard of food was fantastic. We opted for the Blue Sky platter, which consisted of organic smoked salmon, smoked duck breast with homemade red onion chutney with little flecks of dried fruit running through to combat the fattiness of the duck. Then there was an intense arrangement of feta cheese with olives and confit garlic to rub over your bread and butter. The fact that (except the chips - good chips) little of this was cooked in house shouldn’t diminish Blue Sky’s reputation as a powerhouse of Northern Wales cuisine. I must confess, I probably wouldn’t come here for a quiet coffee - not because the ambience isn’t perfect (it really is better than any other café I’ve been to in Bangor) but because it just isn’t affordable to do so. This is more of a ‘parent’s visiting’ place or if you’re going on a date. All I’ll say is when you’re soaking wet and looking for somewhere to cheer you up, Blue Sky café might be what you’re looking for. 8/10: You’ll struggle to find a better café in Bangor.
Pay What You Can Restaurant
Rock star and all-round good egg, Jon Bon Jovi, opens a ‘pay what you can’ restaurant in New Jersey.
October Issue 2011
he Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, located in the heart of New Jersey, is a community kitchen built upon the premise of serving food to locals that can’t afford to eat out. Customers are encouraged to pay what they can but if, like many in America, they can’t afford to eat in restaurants, they can work as a volunteer in lieu of any cash arrangement. Of the restaurant, self-professed by Bon Jovi to be the “hottest-looking restaurant in town”, the lead singer of Bon Jovi said: “One in five households are living at or below the poverty level...this a restaurant whose time has come.” “This is a place based on and built on community - by and for the community.” The menu, aimed at offering something different and healthier to the usual fast-food eaten by Americans, includes dishes such as pork chops with fig and apple chutney and homemade carrot cake. In essence, it’s a soup kitchen owned by a very rich man with very honourable intentions. If all goes well, this venture may set a precedent for other high-profile figures to replicate. Will we be seeing a Danny Boyle soup kitchen in Bangor soon?
Food and Drink
Bangor Take-Away Guide: Upper Bangor
Upper Bangor is the hub of Bangor student life. It’s also home to some take-aways. Here, we look at some of those places:
Pizza House (Tŷ Pizza)
ocated next door to Paddy’s Bar and the post office on Holyhead Road, Upper Bangor. Whilst Bangor plays host to a Domino’s (down by Neuadd Willis past the train station) it’s always best to support local, independent companies and Pizza House probably represents better value for money. Whilst Domino’s will undoubtedly be offering special deals this Freshers week and throughout the rest of the year, Pizza House is invariably the cheaper option. Like Domino’s, it delivers to your door. Unlike Domino’s, the menu consists of burgers, too. Offers such as Tuesday specials like buy one get another half price (10” or 12”)
ne of two Chinese takeaways in Upper Bangor, it beats its competitor Ying Wah on the sole premise that I can only vaguely remember one of the latters dishes – lemon chicken that had an unpalatable washing up liquid flavour (that aside, Ying Wah does offer some good lunch time offers that are worth checking out). Tai Sing finds itself nestled between the crêperie and health food shop on Holyhead Road. Inside, you’re likely to be greeted by the delightfully
cheery front of house, mumsy character that takes orders. The menu is vast (no duck options, unfortunately) and awash with Chinese takeaway favourites – chicken and sweetcorn soup is okay with things picking up through dishes such as crispy chilli beef but dropping again with a one dimensional Wonton soup. Honourable mentions go to Singapore noodles and beef curry which are hopefully more indicative of the menu’s overall quality.
The University Plaice
acky fish puns aside, The University Plaice is a takeaway located on Holyhead Road, Upper Bangor. Not as heavily populated as local rival Bella Bella, the food is very typical of most kebab-centric takeaways; a range of meat kebabs served with the typical salad and choice of sauce are fine but little more. Indeed, on my last visit, I arrived just before closing time (often around midnight) and received an extra portion of lamb kebab on the house. There’s nothing particularly wrong here, it just isn’t as good value as Bella Bella and for that, it will always be in its shadows.
As far as ordering food online is concerned, websites such as justeat.co.uk is a commodity that has yet to reach Bangor. As far as I’m aware, there are currently no takeaways that use any service like it but with Bangor’s gradual improvements, that day is hopefully on the horizon.
THE MADNESS OF THE MICHELIN GUIDE Guide printed for second time in a year to little fanfare.
complement the great value of their standard prices. A 10” pepperoni pizza from Pizza House will cost you just £4.50. Its 9.5” brother from Domino’s will set you back a cool £12.49! Pizza House has its own Facebook page where there are several messages eulogising Bangorians’ love for this small pizzeria.
he reputation of the restaurant industry’s most respected guide, the Michelin Guide, is coming under increasingly vociferous threat as a legion of food critics question the point of it. The 2012 guide brought few surprises - Tom Kerridge’s Hand and Flowers in Marlow became the first pub in Great Britain to be awarded two Michelin Stars, joining Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham as the only two notable changes to the guide. For a chef, the Michelin Guide is still highly important. Indeed, it can make or break an establishment’s reputation and has been known to reduce hardened chefs to tears (in an extreme example of how Michelin affects people, a French chef called Bernard Loiseau infamously killed himself due to rumours his restaurant was to lose its third michelin star.) Japan currently leads the way with 26 three star restuarants, one ahead of France, the country that ‘invented’ the guide. Great Britain currently has four, all of which retained their stars in the 2012 guide. The nearest Michelin starred restaurant to Bangor is Tyddyn Llan, an hours drive away in Denbighshire. A three course set lunch there costs £23.50 and could include dishes like confit of duck with braised butter beans or roast plaice with leek risotto and a red wine sauce.
October Issue 2011
Pub Review: The Antelope Inn
ub food is very much hit and miss. There are some pubs that serve great food - The Tap and Spile opposite Bangor pier has a reputation for serving a very good version of the classic ‘stottie’. So good, in fact, is some pub food in Britain that the Hand and Flowers in Marlow was recently awarded its second Michelin star. At the other end of the spectrum, it can be a pretty dire affair. The Antelope is neither of these - it’s floating comfortably somewhere inbetween. Set in a beautiful location next to Anglesey, it isn’t actively bad food but it does leave you slightly disappointed. It has everything going for it - perfect positioning next to the Menai Bridge, surrounded by brilliant ingredients ready to be served by the warm staff but it falls foul of the mistake so many pubs make. I’m always a little bit sceptical of pubs or restaurants that have special offer promotions - two for £10.99 being The Antelope’s. Very often it’s a sign that the food won’t be cooked fresh on site instead being brought in and warmed through for service. The scampi and chips with tartare sauce and beef burger with onions paid testament to this. The food was fine. Nothing wrong with it but nothing right beyond a ‘meh’ appreciation. The chips weren’t homemade, nor were my beef patties. The scampi was served in a sweet, mock fryer with a little handle to boot but the gimmick didn’t make up for its mediocrity. The table next to us seemed equally dissatisfied by the meal. In response to finishing his chicken main course, one of the men eating summed up the dish and pub perfectly: “It’s just a bit average, really.” I can forgive things like these. After all, it is maybe a little remiss to expect fresh food when you’re not paying too much. However, any remaining affection for this lovely little pub diminished with desserts. A sticky toffee pudding with custard was exactly that - comforting stodge, and good stodge at that. But a
Food and Drink
Belgian chocolate and clotted cream cheesecake was ruinous. It came with, as the menu describes it, a ‘chocolate flavour sauce’. Not chocolate, chocolate flavour. So basically a little bit of chocolate powder and an abundance of sweet rubbish to bulk it out and cheapen its production. The cheesecake itself was served with ice cream. The ice cream was warmer than the cheesecake which was stone cold the fork wouldn’t go through it when it did, it shattered the clotted cream mixture into a texture reminiscent of snow. Our meal of two main courses, two desserts and two drinks came to £24. If you’re lucky enough to get a table over-looking the bridge and the Menai straits, this price is probably just about justifiable. But, without scenery, you’re left with an empty feeling, one borne out of the lack of good food inside you. The Antelope is a bit of a walk outside of Bangor and if food’s what you’re after, it isn’t worth the journey from what I experienced. There is better, and by some distance, pub food to be found within the immediate vicinity of Bangor town centre. If you’re walking to Anglesey, however, and find yourself in need of a drink or a snack, The Antelope is a good destination. The interior is nice, the walls are adorned with historical images from Bangor’s past and they serve local ales. But, I went there for a meal. Not to look at the walls. 4/10: Not deserving of the walk there.
using ntral, the focus is on ce e cip Re of on iti In this ed that will es to produce food qu ni ch te ch en Fr ic class a cold November. warm you through
imrs, there is no dying the improved over recent yea el, more comham Béc s much as British food has d. foo of ld wor has had on the d pact that French cuisine h century and has been use ce, was invented in the 17t sau ite ent wh plim as wn com to kno ial nly ent mo such is its pot marks the advent of winter important adoringly ever since. Its use gna and moussaka. It’s so lasa as h suc es dish ing arm l flavour. rt-w rea hea in any in nd fou ing urs lack flavo en they can be floury and Oft ce. sau el ham béc d to make a goo
avour into your 1) Begin by imparting fl add in one bay k, mil of t pin one milk. To and a clove of on oni d leaf, half a choppe and immediately l boi the to ng Bri lic. gar er with a lid for take off the heat and cov half an hour. in a saucepan. 2) Melt 25g of butter equal quantity an add , When fully melted with the butter. in mix and our fl in pla of too fierce or the Make sure the heat isn’t five minutes 5) Simmer the sauce for flour will burn. e thick, simlittl a s feel it If . . oth oth smo smo il unt mix is have the 3) Stir briskly until the you il unt k mil re ply add in mo when you can’t ilar to a It will probably be ready sim be desired texture (it should . At this point smell flour from the pan ). ake ksh mil d’s tech McDonal sic French you have a ‘roux’, a clas nique. to full and grad- Difficulty : 4) Turn the heat back up through the ting bea k, ually stir in the mil ng to the boil Bri go. you as mix ter but ed and season once all the milk’s been add with salt and pepper.
Big Competition For Local Bakers H
igh street bakery Greggs is to open its doors on Bangor High Sreet, much to the bemusement of established local rivals. The shop, due to open on the 3rd December, will be located in a free space directly opposite Topman. For the high street’s clout, it’s a great coup; Bangor still has a relative dearth of brand name high street giants and in its field, Greggs is undeniably the biggest. Of the opening, Bangor councillor Doug Madge, said: “It might prompt other big chains to come to the High Street.” “You have got to look for the long term.” Local bakery’s such as the Castle bakery may struggle to cope with the popularity of Greggs. Hopefully they are established enough to fend off opposition but given the cheap food on offer at Greggs, it may force them to change tact and business approach. A taste test will be in the next edition of Seren with breath baited as to the whole of Bangor wonders - whose steak bake is better?
Chicken Thighs with M armalade and Soy
hicken thighs are norma lly lauded for their ability to impart much more flavo breast meat. Here, they’re ur than the blandness of a necessity and not just for white their cheaper price - the strong tastes like the um darker meat can compet ami-rich soy and sweet ma e with rmalade, making it perfect for this dish.
• Two chicken thighs (sk in on) • Two tbsp marmalade • 250ml warm chicken or vegetable stock • Four baby shallots, pee led and cut in half • Two tbsp oil • Salt and pepper • Two tbsp soy sauce
1) M Preeth -heatod your oven to 1600. Heat your oil in a heavy 7) based saucepan (preferably If you have any hard her one that can be put in bs like rosemary or thyme the add them now. , oven). 2) Season your chicken 8) Bri ng the liqu id to with salt and pepper and the boil till the quantity place duced by half has rein the hot pan, skin side and thickened. Then add down. Don’t be tempte in the rest of d to your stock. move it. It’s ready when it comes away from the surface 9) Put your lid with ease. It should tak on the top and place in the e two minutes to get a oven for twengolden ty-five minute brown skin. s. 3) Flip over and cook 10) Taste the liquor after for thirty seconds. Place cooking and adjust the bal your of soy and marma ance chicken onto a plate and lade to your palate. turn your heat off. 4) With the pan still on 11) Serve with either braised the hob, add your onions lettuce or mashed potato and . garlic along with a little bit of salt. 5) Once the onions are translucent, turn the hea t back on and return your chicke n to the pan (skin side up) . 6) Top each thigh with a tablespoon of marmalad e and Di add 50ml of your warm fficulty: stock and your soy sauce.
October Issue 2011
ith a long list of reboots, re-makes and re-franchising happening within the film world, Footloose adds to that list as the latest film to be given the Hollywood re-make treatment. For those who haven’t see the original film, Footloose follows the story of Ren MacCormack as he moves to a small town. After the deaths of some local teenagers, the town bans dancing and Ren’s rebellious side shakes up the town as he tries to bring back dancing. Kenny Wormald (You Got Served) takes the place of Ren
MacCormack alongside Julianne Hough (Burlesque, Dancing With The Stars) as Ariel Moore and Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow) as Rev. Shaw Moore. With this being a re-make, it is clear to see that the director is trying to aim Footloose at a completely new audience. The film has a feel of films like Step Up and Stomp The Yard and brings an R&B feel as well as introducing new country versions of the original songs. Overall there is an ultimate mix of musical genres throughout. Elements of the original film are present
and the new cast helps to refresh the initial idea. The director injects a light-hearted atmosphere to the story and doesn’t alienate fans of the 1984 version. Overall each actor gives a strong performance and Jullianne Hough’s first lead role grows and grows throughout. The dance scenes are great to watch and the songs add to the new feel. Audience will enjoy the rebirth of this classic and an old dance film has found its place within a new and younger generation. Amy Westlake
Are Re-Releases The Way Forward?
n the midst of Hollywood remaking already established films, another trend has come to light: The Re-Release. While the Re-Release isn’t an entirely new concept, it seems studio bosses have put their thinking caps on and decided that showing a film to a new audience can be a profitable move. In 2002 when Disney reissued The Lion King in IMAX, the decision proved successful as it bagged the film an extra $15 million. The Lion King was once again re-released in October 2011, this time in 3D, and it again proved to be profitable as it grossed another $79 million. It seems Hollywood have two main reasons for reissuing films: to make use of new 3D technology or to support a digitally remastered Blu Ray release. Whilst The Lion King falls into both of these categories, there are some films that follow one reason rather than the other. In October 2010, Back To The Future found a new home in the form of a 25th anniversary 2D re-release on the big screen. Only a few months after this, the original trilogy was digitally remastered and released for the first time on Blu Ray. A similar thing happened in September 2011 when, Jurassic Park was given the glossy redo and showcased on the silver screen once again. Whilst Simba and the rest of Pride Rock may have only been re-released to support its Blu Ray release, Disney have pulled the trigger on even more 3D reissues and soon we will see Beauty & The Beast, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo & The Little Mermaid re-released. Even George Lucas is on board with the reissues as the entire Star Wars Saga will be coming back to cinemas starting in 2012. The decision to reissue Star Wars in 3D was made in 2010 when Lucas announced that The Phantom Menace will be hitting screens
in February of next year. The re-releases also mark the first time the films will be released in the cinema, in chronological order. That’s right, forget about arguing with your friends about which order the films should be screened in, the 3D versions will be released in numeric order. Some light has also been shed on the 3D conversion process as it’s reported that each of the Star Wars films takes a whole year to be converted. While Hollywood may have their own decision to re-release (Blu Rays & 3D) it seems cinema chains are willing to make their own decisions. Earlier this year, Cineworld screened Dirty Dancing on Valentine’s Night and they haven’t stopped there. The Rocky Horror Picture Show made its triumphant return to the big screen as part of the chain’s Halloween festivities and it has recently been announced that the company are looking into a Mid-Nov one off screening of Ghostbusters. Cineworld aren’t the only multiplex chain to screen classic films as ODEON have been well known for hosting various clubs such as Senior Screen & Director’s Chair which feature films returning to the screen and also some special one off screenings to appeal to older audiences. Say what you will about re-releases but it’s evident through the money they make that it is a wise decision. There’s also nothing wrong in giving a new audience an old film but with an added dimension.
For your chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Bad Teacher on DVD, just answer the question correctly and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org Cameron Diaz recently starred in which other movie? 1. Green Wasp 2. Green Hornet 3. Green Bee
rive tells the story of a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver. When a heist goes wrong and a contract is put on him, the tables are well and truly turned. Ryan Gosling stars as the unnamed driver who falls for his neighbour, Irene (played by Carey Mulligan) who is bringing up her son whilst her husband is in prison. It is no argument that Drive is a beautifully shot film and comes across as a neo-noir masterpiece. It is a slick and brutal twenty first century Hollywood thriller which is driven entirely by Goslings stand out performance. With a great supporting cast and great performances from Mulligan and Bryan Cranston (Shannon, the drivers employer) the film stands out from anything being shown at your local cinema. At one hour and forty minutes long the film flows nicely but does take a
while to really get into the overall story. The first forty minutes of the film simply introduces the audience to this mysterious driver and the world he lives in. Even though we spend all of this time getting to know the main character, it is questionable if we really need to know all of these aspects of his life. The last hour of the film is by far the most memorable but beware that it is slightly gory and possibly unexpected from what we first see. To find something extremely wrong with this film would be picky and unnecessary. Overall the audience is presented with a beautiful piece of film, which is a masterpiece of style and substance. Ryan Gosling plays the driver character brilliantly and the audience is bound to fall for his broody and emotional side. The film is accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack, which adds to the beauty of the overall film. It’s already sitting at
number 128 in the IMDB top 250 films so if you get chance to see Drive then I suggest that you snap up the chance.
October Issue 2011
rom the creators of Peep Show comes a comedy drama series on Channel 4 about the hilarious and often painful truths about being a student. After failing to get into Uni halls, freshers Kingsley, Vod, Howard, Oregon, Josie and JP are all put into a University house together. The vast majority of us at Bangor were lucky enough to get guaranteed accommodation in halls of some variety, making it easier to quickly make friends. Imagine if you hadn’t had that? To begin your only friends are your housemates. No popping over to your course mate’s flat for drinks, no party invites. Well this is what our Freshers in Fresh Meat find. They all struggle to make decent social lives and only slowly start to get along. We may all very well recognise characters or situations within the comedy. Howard is the weirdo of the lot, preferring to stay in his room and an ultimate nerd, but hilarious. J.P played by Jack Whitehall is a stereotypical public schoolboy who will do anything to look cool. Zawe Ashton is Vod, a self confessed junkie, who manipulates people into getting what she wants sometimes, she looks and acts scary, but has a her heart in the right
lee returned to our screens in September, airing on Sky One much to the outrage of many non-Sky customers. I’m sure however fans have found other means of watching the new series... The season opened revealing who out of the club are seniors and juniors, meaning that not all are going to graduate at the end of this season. With a large section of the cast graduating soon it does call for new blood. In episode 1, we met Sugar, a talentless girl with self diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome, who is determined to become a star even if Mr Schue won’t let her in to New Directions. Fans of the show may have seen or heard about The Glee Project, a reality show that aired over the summer on Sky to find Glee’s new stars. The show’s director Ryan Murphy, decided the final 4 contestants were too talented to choose from. Joint winners were Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen who were awarded 7 episode story arcs with runners up Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell with 2 episode story arcs. In episode 1 we saw Lindsay perform a number to Rachel and Kurt as in intimidating N.Y.A.D.A applicant. Winner Samuel Larsen’s character according to Ryan Murphy is “a man’s man” and rumoured to ar-
place when it comes to more serious issues. Josie played by Kimberly Nixon (Wild Child, Cranford) is the slightly more normal of the girls, she also will do her best to look cool, including sleeping with a random guy she meets in a pub on the first night, that turns out to be J.P her fellow housemate...he just hadn’t found the house yet. Joe Thomas you might recognise as Kingsley, a character who isn’t that far from his other alter ego Simon from the Inbetweeners. Bit of an underdog he falls hopelessly for housemate Josie. After finding out she has a boyfriend, he’s willingly seduced by Ruth, a drama student, who even persuades him to change courses. Finally there’s Oregon. A good student in private (she got straight A’s at A level) she sees University as her chance to completely reinvent herself. Rebelling in every way she can while not getting that bad a reputation, she tries to follow in Vod’s footsteps, but does something Vod wouldn’t and starts to have an affair with a lecturer. Tune in to Channel 4 Wednesdays at 10 to sympathise with misunfortunate students and laugh as you recognise your friends.
ookie’s back! America’s bloodiest television series exploded onto America’s screens during the summer for a fourth serving of fantasy goodness. The show brings together a concoction of fantastical creatures varying from vampires, werewolves, fairies (not the regular, nice kind) and all manner of other-worldly beasts. If you’ve never watched an episode of True Blood and are now imagining a Twilight-esque fairy-fairy tale, think again. The quiet town of Bon Temps is shaken to its very core this season with more cliffhangers and gruesome deaths than ever before. The series kicks off with Sookie (Anna Paquin) being forced to face the reality of her new fairy lifestyle, that her new fairy friends aren’t as perfect as they seem and are actually
attempting to lure her into an eternity in their realm. It is only when Sookie is reunited with her long lost father that she realizes the peril she faces and escapes. On Sookie’s return, however, everything has changed. She has been missing for a year, her brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is selling her house and Bill (Stephen Moyer) is president of the American Vampire League. As a whole,
rive as a relative of Puck. As for Damian we’ll be seeing his character in the next episode “Pot O’ Gold” due to air 3rd November in the UK. He’ll be keeping his Irish charm as an Irish foreign exchange student Rory. Why the 4 week break? Well when episode 3 last aired the cast and crew were still frantically rehearsing and filming episode 4, so in other words they’re making us wait while they catch up. What better point to make us wait too before the arrival of an eagerly anticipated new star. Director Ryan Murphy has revealed this season will be concentrating more on character storylines, with only 1 tribute episode “with an artist we’ve been trying to land for two years.” Could Coldplay have finally said yes? Everything’s not plain sailing for Klaine with the new arrival of gay Warbler Sebastian who Murphy hints may be a new rival for Kurt for Blaine’s affections. What’s going to happen to Mercedes? After being fed up of not getting the spotlight, last episode she shocked viewers by leaving New Directions and turned to the dark side. Missing Trouty Mouth Sam? Well it turns out Chord Overstreet is miss-
ing Glee too and is in talks to return later in the series. One thing’s for sure this series is shaping up to be the meatiest series of Glee yet.
this series was equally as satisfying and entertaining as the last three (and significantly better than the second). There are multiple continuous story lines to keep viewers hooked, shockingly unexpected deaths and a few unwanted returns from previous series. My only criticism is the whole Sookie, Eric and Bill love triangle thing, which has gone on far too long now and really everyone is just praying that Sookie finally sees the light and gets with new, shiny Eric who is far superior looks and personality-wise, come on woman! I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy with a dark twist.
October Issue 2011
Music Editor, Joey McNally, brings you what’s hot and what’s not in music this month
Charlie Simpson- Cem- LMFAO- Sexy and I etery Know It Good song, even though it does sound suspiciously like Embrace’s ‘Ashes’, but aside from that, good solo effort from the Fightstar frontman.
WU LYF- We Bros
This is an absolute travesty of a song. The joke is well and truly over.
Beyonce- Countdown I’m not Beyonce’s biggest fan as it is, but this song is a jumbled mess. It sounds like 4 different songs have been mashed together.
This band are scarily good. Not everyone’s cup of tea admittedly, but an exciting band in a dull industry. They even recorded their album in an abandoned church!
Noel Gallagher- AKA… What a Life! Excellent song, probably the best thing to come from a Gallagher brother since ‘The Hindu Times’.
Cher Lloyd- With Ur Love Apart from the frankly offensive spelling of ‘Your’, this song has literally no heart, and no soul. A bit like the X Factor.
Featured Artist: T
he Subways hail from Welwyn Garden City (no, I don’t know either), and offer their own unique brand of punk infused rock, managing to ﬂirt between soft ballads and crushing anthems effortlessly. The lead singer Billy is ably assisted by bassist Charlotte on backing vocals (they used to be married, but don’t mention that), and drummer Josh completes the set. They’re a band you need in your life, and as they’ve just released a third album, the time couldn’t be better to grab yourself a piece of the action.
Best tracks: Oh Yeah Rock N’ Roll Queen Turnaround
For fans of: Ash The Vines
Green Day- American Idiot T
his album changed modern protest music forever. If that doesn’t get your earbuds tingling, then maybe the fact that this turned Green Day from a great pop-punk outﬁt who looked done and dusted into globe-straddling megastars will. An epic in every sense of the word, this album is one that will deﬁne our generation in years to come. Simply outstanding.
For fans of:
Holiday St Jimmy Letterbomb
ihanna stunned Manchester earlier this month with her Good Girl Gone Bad brand of hard-edged pop to a sell-out crowd who were lapping up every on-stage bump, grind and grope, of which there were plenty! RihRih arrived on stage in a circular metal lightbulb looking contraption, which revealed the raunchy popstar wearing a bright blue raincoat to belt out ‘Only Girl In The World’, the crowd were screaming out the lyrics, and the atmosphere was pretty intense! With the sweltering heat of the Arena on the Sunday night, raunchy Rih inadvertently picked the most sensible ensemble in the place as she revealed a bikini covered in liquorice allsorts. Hit after hit followed; the likes of Disturbia, Shut Up and Drive and Man Down got the crowds grinding on each other. Rihanna then head back onto stage for the more risque segment of the show that included a slipping and sliding romp through her naughty single S&M. The 23-year-old goddess worked her sensuality
on stage, to a point where she picked a woman out of the audience and grinded on top of her. “This isn’t the Cute Tour, this is the Loud Tour,” shouted out a fired up Rihanna as she was performing. With RihRih seductive-
ly mincing around a stage that included metal cages, huge pink tank guns and a quasi-sex dungeon, I don’t think we were ever going to mistake this for cute! She showed she can bring a sense of humour to it all when she then turned up on stage riding a huge pink tank to Hard, complete with military-style dancers. And then it was on to the emotional songs, dressed in a glamorous floor-length yellow
gown she belted out Unfaithful, Hate That I Love You and California King Bed, which I hate to admit I started crying to (I LOVE Rihanna). Midway Rih had a little chat with her the audience which she likes to refer to as the “Rihanna Navy” and mentioned her latest number one ‘We Found Love’, the collaboration with Calvin Harris who performed an excellent DJ support slot at the show, with the mass singalong of Cheers (Drink To That) in which she chucked out the ray-bans that sat on her face for that song. She topped off the show with her biggest UK hit Umbrella, and as much as we heard it all over the place on the radio, tv etc it felt like I was listening to it for the first time again. Umbrellas went up in the crowd in a rather fitting salute to the amazing Rihanna.
Rancid The Ramones
wo years after their second studio album, ‘Attics to Eden’, Chicago rock four-piece Madina Lake return! When bassist, Matthew Leone, was injured after intervening in a domestic violence incident back in June last year, doubts began to surface around the future of the band and the release of their next album. Following tremendous support from fans and fellow musicians alike who raised money to pay for Matthew’s hospital bills, the bassist is finally back on his feet and ready to continue what they started back in 2007 with their debut album ‘From Them, Through Us, To You’. The band’s first album set up the fictional 1950’s town of Madina Lake and the story arc of Adalia, one of the town’s most renowned socialites, going missing; World War III is the concluding chapter. The concept, which many of the
songs relate to, focuses on the band’s dislike for the media’s obsession with fame. WWIII introduces a rougher edge to the often pop-rocky style of Madina opening with
the aggressive ‘Howdy Neighbor’; something I have to admit took a little while to adjust to. It’s the second track on the album, ‘Imagineer’, that really shines through though. With just the right mix of anger, rhythm and political ambiguity it’s the epitome of Madina Lake. As the album progresses the songs become calmer and reminiscent of the previous
two albums in that they seem a lot different and not necessarily in a good way. ‘What It Is To Wonder’, the eighth track of the album, however brings us right back to the angsty ambiguity we’ve come to expect quite nicely. My main criticism of WWIII though, is simply that at least four of the tracks had been previously released through the band’s website or 2010’s EP ‘The Dresden Codex’ and so I felt I wasn’t really getting all that much new material. All in all World War III is a good album, admittedly it did take me a few listens to adjust to but once I had it was on par with everything else I’ve heard from this young band. Now that the three album spanning Adalia concept is over though one has to wonder what new direction the next release will bring. Whatever the future holds I know I’ll be pushing my way to the very front of their gigs for a long time to come, continuing this November as they begin their UK tour.
he unwitting darling of British folk music, Laura Marling, is currently enjoying a love affair with her adoring fans - it seems she can do no wrong, and her ability to be so overtly poetic and beautiful without true reveal saw her claim this years’ Brit award for Best Female Solo Artist. ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’ is a selfprophetic title; it implies, especially given her notority as a tentative interviewee, that we’ll never truly know who Laura Marling is. And yet, listening to this album, you realise that you don’t really need to know who she is. Lines such as ‘I count no one, hold nobody’s ear...I don’t stand for the devil’ resonate more than any superfluous
October Issue 2011
question and answer session about her favourite cat or brand of the floor and let the song do everything. But now, like this album, there is visible progress and a sense cigarette could. It’s her voice, the power of her Leonard Cohenesque turn in Night After Night and the constant references to a that Marling is now comfortable with her age and position as the ‘beast’ crowding the album, that really catches you. Indeed, this voice of folk music in Britain. With roots in America, ‘The Muse’ was Marling’s apparent intention. Asked how the album was pro- finds itself opening a collection of songs that travel through difduced, she said: “I’ve got the confidence now, I know what I want ferent emotions in a brave new world. Previous albums took you it to sound like, so before anybody else gets their grubby mits to England on a bitterly cold, often depressing December but now, on it, why don’t I put my stamp on it?” That much is clear. The ‘Salinas’ et al provide you with a refreshing change of scenery. ‘A Creature I Don’t instruments are definite garnishes to Know’ concludes with the the main event - Marling. ‘Such is the power of this album, the disparity Such is the power of this album, line ‘Now all my rage been between the words and music is more gone I’d leave my rage to the disparity between the words and cavernous than ever before’ the sea and the sun’. For the music is more cavernous than ever before. The music - the folky soft thousands of fans going to guitar at the end of ‘Night After Night’ to the jazzy undertones see her on her tour in cathedrals around the country this month, in ‘I Was Just A Card’ - could quite easily forge a career as eleva- there is no doubt that for the good of British folk music, Laura’s tor music whereas ‘Alas I cannot Swim’, her debut album, was an time at the top can’t end here. More rage, please. even balance of gentle words with backing music paying attentive homage to pop. Joe Russell It’s not just in ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’ that this new-found assurance manifests itself. I saw Marling perform at the Cambridge Folk Festival this summer and there was nary a whisper from the crowd other than the very generous ripple of applause and respectful sing-a-long. Performing a solo ‘The Muse’, you could genuinely hear the noise of nature around you as the audience found themselves captured by the illuminating intensity of Marling. A criticism often levelled at Marling was her inability to look at the crowd while performing, instead preferring to look at
passionate and atmospheric start that certainly gives the album lift. Sadly this strong lead is let down by the input of what feels like stale, Oasis leftovers. ‘Dream On’ doesn’t fall far from the tree, somewhat similar to ‘Lyla‘, it’s a catchy, repetitive tune described by Noel himself as “pop for pop’s sake”. It is a stark contrast to the following track, ‘If I Had A Gun’, which, making the similarities to Oasis ever more apparent, sounds hat would you hope for from a solo album by the true suspiciously similar to ‘Wonderwall’. This mastermind behind one of Britain’s most successful bands? A new direction? A new sound? Or more of slow and powerful entry is certainly lost the (morning) glory days? After listening to the self titled, first between the bland and up-tempo beats of solo album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds it would seem ’Dream On’ and ’The Death of You and Me’, but is nonethat Noel himself was unsure ‘It comes across both haunted by the past theless a song to of which direction to go in. It listen out for. The and yet gifted with new freedom’ comes across both haunted by new sound and the the past and yet gifted with new freedom, but is this not to be expected? After all, this is Noel’s fresh feel that the album longs for fully music, he’s been writing stuff like this for best part of 20 years and comes alive with (and follows) ’AKA… it’s what he does best. Still, any fan of Oasis will notice a divide in What A Life!’, which gives you a taste of the album. Many songs would suit (and actually cry out for) Liam’s what can be done without sibling rivalry vocals and would fit right into previous Oasis records, yet others holding you back, and it certainly leaves have a freshness and a brilliance to them that give this solo career you wanting more. If this single is anything to go by, Noel’s solo career will cergreat promise. This album has been brewing for two years now; Noel choos- tainly be high flying. However, for now, I’d say Noel has ing to take a slower approach to his solo debut than the younger Gallagher brother, and it shows. The opener is an instant hit, a definitely took off. And If it weren’t for
the cautiousness and inability to drift far from Oasis, this great attempt at a first solo album could have been brilliant. But with another album already announced, a collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous (AKA… The Future Sound of London) , you should definitely watch this space.
own style. They inject a bit of Northern Soul into proceedings (Good For Nothing), play about with ELO-esque pianos (Killer Sounds) and out-funk Prince (Sweat). They even get techno, with the chaotic anthem that is ‘Fire in the House’. Admittedly it will be (as it always has been) hard for people to accept this album as anything but another offering from a band ometimes, it’s easy for a band to pass you by. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Seahorses slipped past me almost that is always there, but never at cenunnoticed, and then there was a magical day where I re- tre-stage. However, it would be a disalised what I’d been missing. Hopefully, today will be that day aster if you were to let this album go unappreciated. My personal favourwith you (yes, you) ite song on and Hard-Fi. I know, I ‘It’s worth persevering with this album, as it’ll of- the album, know, slightly patronfer you pleasant rewards for doing so.’ ‘Give it Up’, has ising to suggest that shot into my top 25 most played you haven’t heard of songs on my iPod, mainly due to Hard-Fi (of course you have), but have you really given them a chance? I mean, really given them a chance? I urge you to do so, me listening to it repeatedly for about 3 days. It’s worth persevering with this album, as it’ll offer you pleasant rewards and this album should be what you start with. Hard-Fi have torn the rulebook up on this album. Gone are the for doing so. That’s not to say the album is perfect though. With a differformulaic indie-synth pseudo-anthems that permeated their past albums, and in are swaggering, confident songs, each with their ent style emanating from each song, there are a couple of tracks
where the quality dips ever so slightly. ‘Feels Good’ and ‘Love Song’ are both unoffensive songs, but overall they do serve as the filler. Also, the album can be slightly tricky to listen to in one sitting, as the quality of individual songs is somewhat marred by the fact each track is so markedly different from the last. It’s still Hard-Fi, but not as you know them. Overall though, this is an album that you really should buy, if only to restore your faith in mainstream guitar bands. Bands such as the Vaccines, Mona and Viva Brother have been clamouring for your attention this year, but it can sometimes take the return of the old guard to make you realise what was good about modern indie in the first place. Sometimes a break of a few years can do the world of good for a band, and it seems to have made all the difference to Hard-Fi. Far from being a band content with making good music that their fans will like, they’ve changed their direction, and are appealing directly to you to sit up and listen to them. Don’t ignore them.
October Issue 2011
Breakfast AT TIFFANY’S
I could hardly believe my eyes when we saw this pic of Lady Gaga. It would seem the meat dresses and lobster headdresses are on hold while she channels an unlikely style hero – Audrey Hepburn. Donning an LBD, long gloves and, most importantly, a whole load of bling, Gaga looked rather amazing. We love this new look on Gaga – her signature quirks are still present, like the leather gloves, bug-eye sunnies and green streaks in her hair, but overall she is giving Audrey Hepburn a run for her money. Breakfast At Tiffany’s anyone?
Kate Moss for Louis Vuitton ready to wear Spring 2012. Serene, all white, carousel in the background, super cool.
The expecting Beyoncé has been lucky enough to represent both the American and UK covers of Harpers Bazaar for the upcoming September issue! Both very different and beautiful. So if there was a Beyoncé inspired war between the UK and US editions of Harper’s Bazaar, who’d win? You may not agree with us but we believe that the UK version (Left) has that extra push! Her outﬁt looks nicer and her make up looks ﬁerce! Tyra would be proud of our Beyo here as she sure is working those eyes!
for Versace for H&M:The Review
Viva La Diva MRS PIGGY IN STYLE
With all the news surrounding the long-awaited new movie, The Muppets, Miss Piggy is making her comeback in a big way! In the November issue of In Style, featuring Gwen Stefani on the cover, the beloved puppet siren puts all previous high-fashion centerfolds to shame with looks by designers like a feathered ﬂapper dress by Jason Wu, a romantic LWD (little white dress) by Parabal Gurung, and many more! It’s been a whole twelve years since we saw the Muppet crew on the big screen, but Miss Piggy is making every effort to steal the show, especially after an impressive 35 years in the entertainment business. In the magazine, she discusses her relationship with Kermit, her fashion sense, what it was like to ﬁlm with her old friends, and exactly what she thinks about her costars Jason Segel and Amy Adams. Not to mention that all of the looks that the famous pig models were custom made for the diva, including strappy leopard pumps by Brian Atwood, goldplated jewelry by Philip Crangi for Giles & Brother, a ﬂoral belted Suno dress, and sweet Opening Ceremony halter dress with ankle strap heels.
The collection hits stores Nov. 15, but dont go expecting it in the Bangor s t o r e . However if you plan on heading to any big city stores to get your hands on a piece of the collection you can bet there is going to be a stampede. The collection will also be a va i l a b l e online, but only limited stock will be allocated to the website. On to the collection, the bright baroque patterns and sexy body-conscious cuts reﬂect the signature of the Versace brand in its heyday in the 1980s and ‘90s. The mixed tropical prints on skintight pants and minidresses are right on trend for spring. (Until the weather warms, shoppers may have to rock their Versace for H&M on the dance ﬂoor instead of the street.) The collection is a greatest hits of sorts, with the slinky black gown with gold hardware repping for Gianni’s famous safety pin dress from 1994, made famous by Elizabeth Hurley. The collection also features garish print dresses and cardi’s heavily
The accessories are pretty fun, including chunky bracelets and chokers, sculpted ﬂower rings, silk scarves and purses with heavy chain handles and palm tree prints. Moving onto the men’s stuff, you’ll have to be pretty daring to try and pull off the menswear collection! I dont think I could manage it, although the more I look at the black and white print outﬁt the more I actually like it. Other vibrant beauties in the menswear collection include a tight palm tree print top and some leather glad biker pants and buckled boots. I will be opting out of the biker clad but will certainly opt for the print boxers! Will the collection be as big a seller as Lanvin for H&M in 2010 which Seren wrote about? Possibly. But Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz’s designs were more forgiving. H&M makes clothes for the masses, and not all the masses have the bodies for a Versace body-con. Kaden Wild
October Issue 2011
Discover a new take on autumn dressing and layer up pieces in an assortment of texture and prints- more is more! Pile on Aztec prints, blanket capes and faux fur shawls adding textured coat to finish off the look!
£80 £90 Coat by Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti; sweater and skirt by Emilio Pucci; earrings by Versace and Isabel Marant; necklace by Erickson Beamon; ring by Oscar de la Renta.
WhatWere They Thinking?
SWAGGER JAGGER DISLIKE! The usually fashionable but very boring Taylor Swift looked vile in this lace number at the Rodarte Spring 2012 fashion show during MercedesBenz Fashion Week. Bad move Swifty! Matches your personality mind!
Seriously what is this?! Jared Leto, the man that never ages attended the Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy runway show during Paris Fashion Week wearing a string vest. WTF! Buy some nice clothes with all your millions!
River Island Clutch £25 Heels £65 Dress £35
Swagger Jagger is our brand new feature! It brings you student style from stores in Bangor! You can get inspired by our fashionable students or you can just go to River Island or TopShop and “Jagger their Swagger!” Our ﬁrst ﬁttie is Ashleigh Garnett, a law student at Bangor! She is 22 and probably the loudest person on the Seren Team! Check out our shopping trip with Ash!
“I have to suck in my belly because I had a vast amout of doner meat last night!”
£10 £45 £22
River Island Clutch £25 Wedge Shoe £45 Denim £32 Top £30
TopShop Beanie £14 Wedge Shoe £68 Denim £38 Knitwear £28 Coat £70
October Issue 2011
Health & Beauty
4 Speedy Tips for Great Skin
Make up bag must haves...
After all, you are what you eat...
Max Factor Max Colour Effect Gloss Cube in Sweet Cassis £5.99
Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara £9.99
Not only is porridge a great start to the day thanks to the slow release energy it provides, but it’s fantastic for your skin too. Combine it with a strawberry smoothie to help combat unwanted blemishes before you’ve even brushed your teeth! Grab some sushi for lunch and you’ll be helping your skin, too. Oily ﬁsh contains essential fatty acids and avocado is rich in vitamin E. Sorted! Radiant skin just in time for that big night out!
Seren Loves... We’ve always loved Simple’s Kind to Skin Facial Wipes, and thanks to their charitable efforts this November there’s even more of an excuse for us to stock up!
Simple are donating 10p to Macmillan Cancer Support for every pack that they sell of these essential face wipes. If that isn’t enough of an incentive to buy the wipes, TOWIE star Lauren Goodger is reportedly a big fan. If they can get through all that slap, then they can do anything!
Purity Skincare Organic Conditioning Cleansing Lotion £4.99
Revlon Nail Enamel in Smokey Canvas £6.29
Bourjois Smile Enhancing Gloss £8.99
Farewell Lynx... Hello Ladies!
Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss
Un Jardin Sur Le Toit by Hermès
Elegant without being overpowering and can be worn any time - formal or informal.
A perfect unisex daytime fragrance with enough identity to make it stand out.
£29 for 50ml.
£55 for 50ml.
D&G 11 La Force A perfect blend of spice and bourbon that’s perfect for the day or a night out. The driving note of this scent is pimento. Pimento. Google it. £38 for 100ml.
October Issue 2011
It’s been about 6 weeks since you arrived at the glory that is Bangor University, you feel that you should be completely settled and panic free at this stage, not always the case. So here are 3 main worries or issues that may arise during the ‘settling down’ period which may be at the back of your mind. We are here to help so take a pew, put those young fresh feet of yours up, get a cup of Tetley’s and read on. Have a problem you’d like me to help answer? Whether it’s tips for a successful ﬁrst date or wondering what the heck that rash on your ‘lady garden’ is; Ashleigh’s always here to help. Just send me an email: email@example.com
ou’re eight years old, you run like Forest Gump to get that Screwball ice cream from the Ice Cream Van and you fall over and scratch your tiny young knee on the angry, rough concrete and your mum cleans the scratch and makes you better. ‘I want to help ﬁx people when I’m older’ you say. So ten years later, you’ve hurled the entire contents of your life up four ﬂights of stairs to your shiny new halls room, 6 weeks of lectures in your Nursing degree have passed, you have three essays around your neck and you then decide you’d would rather be an electrician, bit of a difference. The initial truck load of Uni work may be reason for your drastic change in occupation, but ‘do not fear, the SU are here’, well, the advice centre of the Students’ Union are there on the second ﬂoor in the building next to Ffridd site, so that’s pretty much ‘here’. You may be hoping to change course or might just want a few extra days completing that essay, either way the
advice centre give free expert, impartial and conﬁdential advice on lots of issues including studies, accommodation, ﬁnance, personal issues and many more. One idea to help ease the worry of deadlines is to ‘buddy up’. Yes, I know you’re not twelve but in my experience meeting up with a friend (preferably not in Academi at 11pm mid-consumption of a Kryptonite cocktail) in the library in your free time to go over notes. Another person you can always go to with any problems or worries you have is your Personal Tutor, they are there to help you and can be found in their ofﬁce or via e-mail if you don’t feel comfortable approaching them initially, these are the bodies you should try contacting ﬁrst. Visit the Student Union website for more details on the advice centre, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01248 388015.
ou’ve just ﬁnished a full day of lectures, you haven’t eaten for hours and all you want to do is whack a pizza in the oven and sit reading a magazine in the kitchen, but no, no chance of that. Sticky Peach Schnapps stained kitchen chairs, tomato sauce on the ﬂoor squelched into the bottom of your sock and furry coleslaw stinking out the fridge. A nightmare you say? No no, just another day living with seven newly parent-free students. Another yellow note perches itself amongst the crusty unwashed dishes; ‘Once again this mess in unacceptable and I will be back to check tomorrow at 7pm to make sure it is tidied’. You’ll probably be missing out on this joy if you’re lucky enough to have the parents cleaning up after you if you commute. How do you solve this? Do you take two hours out of your life to engage in a Monica Gellar from Friends style cleaning frenzy? Do you refuse to tidy another’s mess and cook on a festering hob? Due to my recent memory of scraping three day old mayonnaise off the kitchen window sill, I am going to help you! Here are some tips on getting around this kerfufﬂe;
they may even offer you a permanent weekend position, Yey! The best places to go for job vacancies are; Jobzone (link on Bangor University website), Job Centre Plus (jobseekers.direct.gov.uk) and check out local shops websites as a few advertise positions only on their websites. If you want to ﬁnd stuff to do in the meantime, then check out the Students’ Union’s page on volunteering where there are endless schemes to choose from to get you going and will look great on your CV too! If your nine pence chicken noodle sandwich is satisfying your needs then that’s ﬁne (not ﬁne for your arteries) but if you want to learn a skill like team building or meet new people then a part-time job or volunteering is where you need to hunt.
1) It may seem easier just to suck it up and clean up their mess, but if you carry on cleaning up after them, they will let you continue to be their slaves so this will be a bad move in the long run. 2) Try bringing it up in conversation as a joke while there’s a few of you in the room and hope for your sore, dry, washing-up liquid-ridden hands that they get the hint. 3) A tip I used was to wash up your things as soon as you’ve ﬁnished with them, this saves you time when making another meal, makes sure your stuff doesn’t start growing things on them and also shows your ﬂatmates that you respect them because they don’t have to eat around your mess. 4) And ﬁnally, if this ridiculousness continues, have a quiet word with your warden the next time you pass them or give them a call and have an informal chat about it. Explain that it is not your mess and perhaps they will suggest a little meeting with all your ﬂatmates to see how things can be sorted without causing any rifts. My mother always used to say to me; ‘A clean home is a happy home’, but surely it’s just nice to not skid on spilt bean juice when you arrive home right?
Anonymous Letter: Trust
I’ve never realised the importance of trust and being aware until a few months ago. To think that one of the people you consider a friend and someone in a position of trust, would do something so serious and frightening, through violence and force. Humans, we are all simple beings. Made of the same stuff and deserve a chance to be equal and trusted. But what happens when a person, a friend, abuses that trust? Trust is a funny emotion. Take something like trust away from someone and it takes time to rebuild. Someone broke my trust, leaving it in pieces and me feeling ashamed and alone. The frightening situation I managed to get myself in, led me to be held around the neck while someone took advantage of my
Part Time Jobs.
ou may well be enjoying your new jobless freedom as a university student but those Cheeky Vimto’s are not going to buy themselves, well they might do if you’re Megan Fox. The kind of jobs available for students at the moment in Bangor are retail, bar and waitingon staff and these don’t always require previous experience meaning you can go straight into them if you haven’t had a job before and they will teach you the way. The majority of these positions are weekends and evenings meaning you can still ﬁt in university work without the worry of it interfering in your studies. Lots of places have temporary jobs over Christmas and summer periods which can be ideal for those Aloe Blacc’s who ‘need a dollar, dollar, dollar is what you need’, and if you work your butt off then
body. I had no reason not to trust this person and couldn’t help but blame myself; ‘what if I hadn’t been so trusting’. Then with help from the police and counsellors I came to realise that no one has the right to ignore the word ‘No’ at any point. The lesson I have learnt is how important safety is. I always used to roll my eyes when people gave me the same lecture, but after going through such a frightening assault with someone I considered a friend I now strongly preach the same lesson to you. I didn’t tell anyone immediately, but now I have also learnt that there is always someone to talk to if you or someone you know is in same situation. You never fully know what someone is capable of and it is true
that trust takes years to build and seconds to destroy. Just be careful. Yes, university is a chance to let your hair down, get drunk and stumble home in the early hours- but just remember you never know who is around. Always let someone know where you are and just always be careful off putting yourself in positions where you are on your own with someone. The important thing is with the right help I will get through this and not let him win and will hopefully come out a stronger person, but I would never wish it on any of you and urge you to just stay aware.
October Issue 2011
n a society where video games are quickly becoming the biggest money making industry, GAMEfest was always going to be a hit. Hosted by Europe’s largest games retailer, GAME, the event was the first of its kind to take place on British soil. Seren took the opportunity to attend the event back in September to get a sneak peek at what you gamers have got to look forward to in the coming months. With exhibitions ranging from the highly anticipated Call of Duty MW3 to Rage and Sonic and Mario at the Olympics we were not short of choice. Arriving in Birmingham on the very first day of the event, to get the first pick at all the freebies of course, we were surprised at the scale of the festival. It was the first time either of us had ever attended an event of this kind and had no idea what to expect. Of course GAMEfest was never going to be on the same scale of the US’ Comic Con or E3 but it was impressive nonetheless. Taking place at the Birmingham NEC the event, which has already taken off in Spain, looks to become a regular appearance in the diaries of British gamers. As we entered the hall, the first game on display was a stand dedicated to the upcoming Sonic Generations. This title will
The Reveal Trailer: 2-11-11 www.rockstargames.com
seek to recapture some of the magic the Sonic series has lost by remaking levels from previous games in both 2D and 3D, and what we played - the City Escape and Green Hill Zone levels was delightfully nostalgic. Delving further into the hall we found some more impressive technology. A state-of-the-art 3D television showcased the remastered HD remakes of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, both of which benefitted hugely from the upgrade. These two were somewhat overshadowed, however, by what was next to it; a dramatic display dedicated to Uncharted 3, designed in the image of the plane hull from which Nathan Drake has been shown hanging from in various trailers for the game. Inside there was a disappointing lack of a single-player demo; however, the multiplayer we played instead was still very good. Though in many ways similar to its predecessor, it seemed more polished, easier to control. Obviously, Seren won the game, finishing first and second. That’s how we roll. A variety of interesting-looking Kinect games and a decent demo for the new Goldeneye Wii game followed, before we moved on to Rayman Origins. This played similarly to the classic 2D Rayman from the mid-90s, but it included drop-in/ drop-out co-op and neat set-pieces that could not have been accomplished on the PS1. We finished with a playtest of Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, which was as solid as ever, and a look at a variety of fighting games including Street Fighter X Tekken. This mish-mash of two time-honoured beat-em-up favourites was very accomplished, and incredibly sharp graphically. All-in-all GAMEfest exceeded the expectations we had coming in. It showed higher production values than we could have anticipated, particularly the aforementioned Uncharted 3 set, as well as an impressive display for F1 2011 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Content-wise it was not lacking either, with all the big upcoming releases represented at the event. The month of November 2011 has long been shaping up to be one of the most high-quality of this generation, and what we saw at GAMEfest indicates it will not disappoint.
Matt Cox and LJ Taylor
e followed the pursuits of Altair as he fought the Templars and rose in the Assassin’s Order. The adventures of his ancestor, Ezio, took us to historical Italy and have so far spanned two games and now it’s time for the end. The end for Ezio at least. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, the fourth in the series, brings together all three protagonists to have spanned the series so far. Desmond’s story in the modern day is continued as he searches for even more clues from his ancestors’ past in order to defeat the contemporary Templars. Ezio’s story continues in the Renaissance period as he travels to Instanbul in search of the old Assassin’s stronghold in which he discovers is hidden an ancient artefact. The artefact, it is said, can finally end the war between the Assassin’s and the Templar’s. Sounding familiar? Isn’t that what the Piece of Eden from AC2 and AC: Brotherhood was meant to do? Either way fans of the first game will be happy to learn that Altair, the original’s protagonist, will not only be back in spirit but will also be playable for certain memories throughout Revelations. Expanding on 2010’s Brotherhood, Revelations equips Ezio with a new weapon called a hookblade. With the hookblade, likely designed by Ezio’s good friend Leonardo Da Vinci, the assassin can grip his enemies and pull them to him for assassination or even zipline across the vast expanse of the cities featured in the game. Along with the hookblade Ezio now has a number of bomb’s at his disposal. Multiplayer has become a must have for most games these days in order to increase the replay value and last year’s Brotherhood was the first Creed game to feature it. The multiplayer was imaginative but sloppy and in all honesty left a lot to be desired. Repetitive was a word used to criticise the first Assassin’s Creed, Brotherhood’s multiplayer unfortunately brought it back into play. The multiplayer in Revelations, however, promises much
more with a number of new locations, characters and gameplay modes. Due for release on November 15th, on both Xbox and Playstation 3 (with a Windows version to come on the 29th), Assassin’s Creed Revelations comes in a variety of different editions. The Animus edition flaunts an in depth encyclopaedia which spans the entirety of the Assassin’s Creed universe. The Collector’s Edition comes complete with a 50 page art book and the Special Edition with exclusive artwork and in game downloads. The fourth instalment of Ubisoft’s award winning series promises to wrap up the story of Ezio Auditore De Firenze which only brings a lot of questions to mind. Who will be the next assassin we’re introduced to? What will they bring to the war with the Templars? Where in the world will they be fighting from and when?
October Issue 2011
Steve Jobs: Businessman, Entrepreneur, Inspiration.
o many people Steve Jobs is a genius; a creative mogul, a visionary and an inspiration. However the former Apple CEO and Pixar co-founder sadly passed away on the 5th October. Widely recognised as the creative inventor of the iPod and iPhone, Jobs contributed many revolutionary ideas in an already saturated market whilst managing to keep Apple a forerunner in the computer market; presenting themselves as the only real contender to Microsoft and Windows. One thing often overlooked when talking about the career of Job’s is what he did for the way in which in we use computers. The first Macintosh (128k) was the first computer to use a mouse as its input device, as well as being the first mass market, commercially successful computer to use a Graphical User Interface as the main way of navigation; making computing much easier to be used in the mass market. Jobs’ time at Apple however was not always fun, games and success. In the mid 1980’s Mac sales were being out done by the Apple II and staff became increasingly frustrated with Jobs and his relations with then CEO John Sculley were at an all time low. This eventually led to Sculley removing Jobs from his post as head of Macintosh and, 5 months later, the resignation of Steve Jobs followed. In 1995 at the Stanford address Jobs described leaving Apple as “the best thing that could have ever happened to him”. Following his departure from Apple Jobs started a new venture called NeXT Computers, taking several key figures from his Macintosh team with him. However once again for Jobs things did not start particularly well with Apple accusing their co-founder of
stealing their technology. Steve Jobs’ next major break came when he decided to purchase part of Lucasfilm’s graphics group as part of his next computing adventure, the initial focus for Pixar was to sell the Pixar Image computer to the authorities however this almost put the company out of business. It was Jobs’ decision to not shut down Pixar’s struggling animation studio that eventually paid off though when a deal was struck with Disney, this would finally realise Pixar’s dreams with a blockbuster film made entirely on computers. The result of this deal was Toy Story for which Steve Jobs received a credited title of executive producer. Jobs decided it was time to take Pixar public following the release of Toy Story, this is a move that would cement him not only as a creative genius but as a serious businessman, whilst he was still a multi-millionaire the decision to take Pixar public and renegotiating of profit distribution made jobs a billionaire, and Pixar, well Pixar was now worth millions as opposed to the huge debt that had followed it prior to Toy Story. This paved the way for new deals with Disney. 1995’s release of Window’s 95 started the path for Jobs return to Apple, Microsoft hadn’t quite had the pull of Macintosh before then but this easier to use GUI version of Windows was an instant hit. Jobs’ NeXTSTEP OS was everything Apple needed and Jobs’ himself miraculously managed to convince the Apple giants that it was worth $400 million. This reunited Steve Jobs with the company he left in the 1980s and eventually led the Apple board to offer Jobs the CEO role once again.
1998 saw Jobs unveil the iMac; the first personal computer to use USB. It also was the first Macintosh computer to reject a floppy disk drive and only supported CD-ROMs. This is where we started to see the new style Steve Jobs releasing more and more innovative products for apple. Then we all know when Jobs and Apple hit the big time, global competitor, with those small music players no bigger than a pack of cigarettes; the iPod. This saw Jobs and Apple launched to the top of the portable music market. Steve Jobs was unfortunately diagnosed with a rare form of Pancreatic Cancer and this was announced to his employees in 2004, since then he was forced to take time off for medical reasons before eventually stepping down from his CEO post full time a mere 6 weeks before his death. This in itself shows how determined Steve Jobs was, that he decided to stick to working for one of the world’s major digital companies for so long after being diagnosed. Following the announcement of Jobs’ death several high profile digital age and world leaders took to their twitter to offer a tribute to such a great man. Barack Obama said “He transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.” Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and once Job’s main market competitor said “Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.” He then went on to add “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come”.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
very year, Google release a new Nexus device; the top of the range Android phone that sets the standard and shows just what they are capable of.
Android’s Very Own Siri
ho are you? “I am Iris. Yeah that is Siri in reverse” replies the new Android app set to rival iPhone’s critically acclaimed voice recognition software. Following the release of Apple’s latest flagship phone, the iPhone 4S, and the praise that they have received for the innovative Siri; a small team of developers at Dexetra decided to give it a go too. In just 8 hours the team, who had originally started it as a joke, had a good layout and voice input had been added, as had text-to-speech functionalities and what they claim to be ‘a lot of heuristic humour’. The application, whose name stands for Intelligent Rival Imitator of Siri, still needs quite a bit of work to get it up to the same standard as its Apple counterpart. What the team at Dextera have achieved in so little time, though, is impressive to say the least. Iris is now available on the Android Market as an early alpha release and will no doubt soon be receiving a number of updates. Will this free (at the moment at least) app provide Android with just what they need to stop the iPhone 4S dominating the mobile market? Only time will tell.
This year, Google has partnered with Samsung, and they’re taking it seriously. With the iPhone 4S just being released, they knew they’d have to deliver impressively and it looks like they may have pulled it off with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. With a 720p HD Screen, a 1.2Ghhz Dual core processor and brand new software, this phone has a lot of potential, but how does it stack up? Display The screen on this phone features a massive 4.65 inch 720p HD screen, the first of its kind in the world, challenging the iPhone’s retina display for both accuracy and colour. By using an AMOLED display, they are able to provide greater contrast with even less power consumption, meaning better pictures for longer Speed The 1.2Ghz dual-core processor is one of the fastest available and can easily handle everything from day to day tasks to running intense games and programmes. Memory The Galaxy Nexus will come in two flavours, 16GB or 32GB. This should be enough most people’s music and photos. Sadly, the phone doesn’t let you expand the memory with an extra memory card. Size Although it has a huge screen, the phone itself is slim, squeezing in at only 8.9mm thick, even thinner than the iPhone. Although not the slimmest phone on the market, it’s still more than slim enough for your pockets. It’s also one of the lightest high end smart phones on the market, weighing in at only 135g Camera The 5MP camera on this phone isn’t the best on the market, but will shoot 1080p High Definition video and has scored well in early reviews of the device. This is particularly good as it was an area that was lacking
in previous android phones.
Connectivity As well as the now standard Wifi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity, the Galaxy Nexus sports 4G connectivity (Although we don’t have a 4G Network in the UK yet) and Near Field Communication (NFC). This technology allows you to transfer information quickly over short distances, sending files between phones and even soon being able to replace your credit card with your phone thank to upcoming Google Wallet. Software The Galaxy Nexus boasts the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) 4.0. This is the most intuitive and advanced version of the software yet, allowing for easier multitasking and simpler layouts, as well as completely new features such as supporting facial recognition for unlocking your phone. Early reviews of this software praise it highly and say it is a huge step from Androids “geeky” past. This phone clearly stands out as a leader in the market and it looks like Android has finally developed to the point where it not only matches iOS devices but actively challenges them. It may not be the very fastest or the slimmest Android phone, but for a pure Android experience, with fast updates and all round features, this is a great device and for early adopters it is very tempting.
October Issue 2011
Students’ Summer’s We look at what you guys have been up to this summer
Scotland - Walk About
he physiognomy of the Scottish capital is not only very beautiful but also highly atmospheric; the décor of the main street, Prince’s Street, is extremely ornate and baroque. The town clock, the gilded tops of buildings and statues would fit in perfectly in Vienna or York. St Giles Cathedral, near the castle, is home to some beautiful artwork and stained glass windows. The University area is, too, very picturesque and definitely worth a visit. This city is the site of many stylish yet affordable cocktail, music and wine bars, not least in the Lothian Street area, which also has some top music venues. Leith, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is home to
spent this summer working as a ski instructor in Perisher Valley, Australia. (Yes there is snow in Australia!) I had the most amazing time there, and met the most amazing people. Before I could go anywhere I first needed to get a work visa. The application process is fairly simple online, but it can be a lengthy process. If you are planning on working abroad make sure you look into the work visas with plenty of time as you may need to supply evidence of who you are and what you are planning on doing. However once I had secured my visa, and was offered a posi-
the Roseleaf cocktail bar, which serves cocktails in teapots and jam jars (sic!). Edinburgh Castle is built on the site of an extinct volcano. Entry for students is £15 or £11.20 off-peak. At its summit, you can see all over Edinburgh and enjoy the breathtaking views. You can get lost in Scottish history by looking at the Honours of Scotland, if your eyes can actually focus on the fiercely glinting gold and jewels of the swords and crowns. There is a poignant yet mesmerisingly beautiful war memorial in the castle to all the Scots who died in both World Wars and the One o’clock gun is fired every day (except Sundays). You can take a moment of peace in St Margaret’s Chapel before enjoying a
tion with the ski school I started to get excited and plan my whole trip. After a twenty-three hour flight I arrived in Sydney. I had a few days in the city to explore and re-live some of my memories that I have as a child, (I spent a great deal of my childhood growing up there). It was also a great opportunity for me to meet some of the other ski/snowboard instructors that I would be travelling down to Perisher with. All were around the same age and as equally excited. These people have now become my lifelong friends. So after a 4 hour coach ride down
history lesson from the mannequins in The Royal Palace, where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to her son, James, in 1556. The peak that is Arthur’s seat is to be found in the Holyrood Park area. If the weather permits (and that’s a BIG ‘if ’ in Scotland!), it makes for a relaxing day’s climbing; steady slopes and lush grass. Climb as much or as little as you like; you will still be able to gain a beautiful Edinburgh view so take a fully charged camera. Getting there: Edinburgh Direct train lines from Manchester Piccadilly, Crewe and London King’s X. All train lines will call at both Edinburgh Haymarket and Edinburgh Waverly stations. Edinburgh Waverly is the further of the two by a matter of minutes. It is far more central and will exits onto the main area of Princes Street, Glasgow. The Kelvin Centre is a free museum next to Glasgow University with displays on all manner of topics,
including radio, natural history and the popularity of country and western music in Scotland. The artefacts are so diverse; the range of the artefacts is just as breathtaking as the very form they take. The displays are also not afraid to confront very sensitive issues such as sectarianism and domestic violence in Scotland. There are some great and reasonably priced places to go out in Glasgae (sic!). This city is the home of the tallest Cineworld in Europe, (it has three [yes, three] escalators), a must for all film buffs! The restaurant DiMaggio’s, named after the baseball player himself, is very popular with students. Buchanan Street boasts the statue of Donald Dewar (apparently wearing a pair of Lennons!) and many a TARDIS, I mean police box. Although you cannot travel in the police boxes,
to the slopes we were immediately sent to meet the head of Perisher, who gave us a welcome talk and instructions for the season. We were then sent off to get our uniform, which felt great to be in! I was due to start work on the Sunday which gave me a few days to settle in and get to know the slopes a bit before teaching. So on Sunday morning bright
and early I set off to the meeting point where we were given our groups who we were teaching for the week. I was given a school group of all beginners who had travelled down from Sydney. They were a mixed group between 1316 years old. My entire group seemed pretty nervous, but then again so was I. However when the week was up we were all very close and I was very proud of the progress they had made. I feel that my most memorable group, other than my first group of the season was a small group of 6 year olds who knew no fear. They were all so cute and I loved every second of teaching them. When teaching younger children I got to become a child myself again, always the best excuse! Other perks to being a ski instructor is the lifestyle. I had such a fast paced, relaxing, best three months of my life
Lyon - Learning a New Language
his August I spent four weeks in Lyon on what was part French language course; part ultimate holiday. That’s not to say that the language learning wasn’t fun, nor that going to an international school in the middle of a fantastic cosmopolitan city didn’t create ample opportunity to be eternally occupied. Obviously for me the educational side of the trip was the primary reason I went to Lyon in the first place and although expensive (it cost me
last year’s 3rd loan instalment and two month’s wages to afford the cost of my course, accommodation, and spending) it was entirely worth it. The course (with ESL), taught in a beautiful old building between the Rhône (one of Lyon’s two magnificent rivers) and the city centre, was both incredibly well taught and excellent fun. Of course, you may have absolutely no interest in taking a French course as a holiday and if that’s the case you can ignore the previous paragraph. With that ignored, Lyon is still one of the most exciting cities I’ve ever been to. Being just small enough for everything to be in walking distance yet with a metro system so excellent (punctual, clean, and 25€ a month for a student) that should you be feeling particularly lazy you can always get anywhere you want in no time at all. Lyon is famous for many things: as well as being France’s second city it’s
considered the food capital of the country – having many signature dishes and many incredible, and reasonably priced, restaurants in “Old Lyon.” It was the home of the Lumière brothers, two of cinema’s great innovators, and one of Lyon’s many museums, which happens to be in their grand house, documents their life and work. As well as the Lumière musem there are a number of other excellent museums, perhaps the most interesting of which is the Roman amphitheatre on which construction began in 15BC. There’s also the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, built high up on the hill overlooking the city, this incredibly beautiful building has a fascinating history and is also a key location to Lyon’s Festival of the Lights every December 8th. If you’re looking more for a party atmosphere then Lyon still has plenty to offer. Many of the best bars are boats on the Rhône, docked against a grassy bank
Glasgow’s answer to the Underground, the Subway, is a very clean and efficient mode of transport. Getting there: Direct train lines from Crewe and London Euston, both to Glasgow Central.
Australia - Working Abroad
usually full of people drinki n g , t a l k ing, and generally enjoying the night, and look across the river to the beautifully lit city. Drinks are admittedly quite expensive (between 4€ & 6€) in the bars but as you can buy 26 bottles of beer for 10€ in the supermarket it’s usually pretty easy to cope. As well as those on the river there are a number of great bars in the city centre, each with its own distinct party atmosphere – Cosmopolitan, a New York themed bar, does a euro a drink night on a Monday, featuring great music, and many, many people dancing on any elevated surface. Lyon features a great number of shops and markets to spend hours hunting for fresh food, original art (at the weekly artist market
out there! I could ski every day, push myself as a teacher and a skier, and try things I have never done before. One of these was to do a 180 ° twist in the air, land backwards and not fall over. But I came across a problem. As an instructor if you ever got caught falling over you had to pay a one dollar fine into the ‘idiot’ box, which went straight to the staff party. So after about fifty dollars later, and few bruises I landed my jump and finished the season on a high. I do not have one bad word to say about my experience working abroad as I loved every minute of it! So if you ever get the chance to work aboard I would say definately take it, you will have the best time of your life, or I can guarantee you will be saying “what if ” the rest of your life.
on the river), cheap beer, old books, great ice cream, and the latest fashions. For the football inclined, Olympique Lyonnais are frequent high flyers in both France’s own football league and the Champion’s League. For 15€ you can get a ticket for any of their home games and experience good football, a great atmosphere, and Lyon’s famous Stade de Gerland. Getting to Lyon is fairly cheap and very easy. Most of the UK’s budget airlines fly to Lyon and once there the Rhône express drops you right in the city and right by the metro station for less than 15€.
October Issue 2011
Gone in 60 minutes
Each issue I will be travelling to a place within one hour from Bangor and telling you the places you must visit before you leave this city!
s I am now in my third year at Bangor, I feel that this is my final chance to go out and explore what is on our doorstep.
I chose to come to Bangor because of its beauty and stunning surroundings, and yet I have not gone out and seen any of this. So in my final year I am planning on going to see the best sites around Bangor that you have to see before you leave. I will be starting my travels with the most obvious one, Mt Snowdon. In my three years here I have never been up and seen the views from the summit. So when an opportunity arose to head to the summit I took it. I was booked onto the 12pm train, (yes, ok, so I never walked up it, I took the train). The train started in Llanberis and pushed up the hill with a rear coal powered engine. I was pretty excited by this point and eager to see what I had been missing out on. Now during some months of the year the train cannot travel to the summit - it must stop half due to the snow on the tracks, so if you are planning on going up by train make sure you know
you will be able to reach the top, or it will be a steep climb to the summit. The whole trip on the train will last two and a half hours. One hour up and another back, with thirty minutes at the stop to soak up the majestic views the Snowdonia range has to offer. This time, looking back, flew by. On the journey up there was a commentary with some interesting facts about the
unusually clear weather conditions. But one great fact is that the first snacks were sold on Snowdon in 1838, see you wouldn’t get that if you walked! On this particular day that we travelled up Snowdon it was a clear sunny day, perfect conditions to the journey. On the way up on the train you will pass the 1/4 mark loop in the track at Hebron. At this point you will be able to see a small
mountain range, and Snowdon itself. There were also some rather awful jokes. One of which consisted off the conductor saying “We often get asked how many people fall of the mountain? Well normally we find it is just the once.” A ripple of laughter filled the carriage I was in, however my parents (this is why I couldn’t walk up, I went with my parents) and I weren’t overall impressed with this particular one. However the majority of the commentary was good, for example did you know that Snowdon is the oldest mountain in Wales and that in theory on a very clear day you can see the bottom of Scotland 144 miles away in the distance. How e v e r this will require
r u ined Chapel at Hebron which held its last service in the 1950’s. Its name still lives on. You will also pass the majestic waterfall, which is a beautiful sight to see. As you then head further up the mountain you will begin to see the mountain in all of its glory. You will next reach the half way point. At the half way point on the mountain your train will move into the second loop in the track and this is where steam locomotives will take on water. There are three passing points on the mountain in addition to one each at Llanberis and at the Summit. The journey between each loop takes approximately 15 minutes. After this brief stop, the train will make its final ascent up the steep Rocky Valley. This is where, if you were walking, it would be the most difficult part of your journey. Beyond halfway rises the black volcanic rock face of Clogwyn du’r Arddu. The Station at Clogwyn is the termination point prior to the Summit opening. From March to the end of April trains will normally stop at Clogwyn due to the snow on the upper mountain. The
views looking down Llanberis Pass are no less than spectacular and the views from the train as you are carried along a ridge to the Summit are truly breathtaking. You will have one of the world’s most spectacular panoramas at your feet. On very clear days at the Summit you can see as far as the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland and the Isle of Man. You are now at the summit of Snowdon. The cafe at the top provides relief for the walkers who have successfully made it. However the train cannot take you completely to the summit, so most people will disembark the train to walk the very short distance to the summit which, on this particularly clear day, held some unbelievable views, including someone proposing!
If you become the person who takes Seren furthest ‘Around the World’, then you will win a fantastic meal for 2 at a selected restaurant in Bangor, including a bottle of wine! All entries made will automatically be entered into the draw. The winner will be announced via email after the final Seren of the year! So get going, and see how far we can get Seren ‘Around the World!’
Setting off for summit of Mt Snowdon, with some unbelievably amazing views along the way! But yes it was absolutely freezing up there, so please ignore my face!
Around the world with or the new issue of Seren we have decided to set a to you, the readers of our newspaper, a challenge. As you already may be able to see we want to see how far we can get Seren away from Bangor. So no matter where you are travelling to take a copy of Seren, your camera, some mates and join in. So even if you’re going up the road to the cinema or travelling back home to Scotland, we want you to take Seren with you! It can be just you, or with your mates, but make sure there is a sign or something in the background to indicate where you are. Once you have then taken your picture send it to us here at Seren, with your name, location and why you are there to: email@example.com This issue I have travelled not too far away,
So before you leave Bangor I would highly recommend that you make the journey up Snowdon. If you want to ‘cheat’ like I did, a return ticket will cost £25pp. However if you would like to join the millions who have walked to the summit, then there are six different paths you can take. For more information on that, go to the Snowdon web page where there is a lot of advice given on ‘choosing the right route for you’. Or if you want, why not check out Bangor’s Walking Club, who walk up Snowdon and many other mountains in the surrounding area. Top Fact: The Welsh name for Snowdonia, means “Land of Eagles”.
This issue of Seren has made it to...
Connah’s Quay but set a bench mark with 58.3 miles for the next issue. I travelled to Connahs Quay, North Wales. The small town is just over an hour drive away from Bangor. It is the largest town in Flintshire, North Wales, lying on the river Dee and near the border of England. It can be accessed by road from the A550, by rail from the nearby Shotton station and also lies on the National Cycle Network Route 5. It is situated near the region’s industrial centre, Deeside Industrial Park. The major part of Corus Steelworks lies on the town’s border on the north bank of the River Dee. Wepre Woods, an ancient woodland in the town, is controlled by Flintshire County Council’s Ranger Service and includes Ewloe Castle which dates from the 13th century.
58.3 miles away from Bangor!
We’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat!
Why Jaws is more scared of us than we are of it.
here has been a smattering of stories this summer of “killer sharks” attacking holiday goers around the world. (I’d like to point out that the word “killer” is unnecessary in describing any carnivore as it is necessary for their survival and something of a tautology.) Oh what could be causing these attacks? The idea that large, wild animals might kill something for food in their own environment – which even includes our holiday beaches! – is apparently unimaginable. These tragic occurrences are sadly predictable. We overfish the oceans to the point of no return (removing the natural food supply); animal carcasses are thrown from ships near busy beaches (because it’s just easier for us that way); we don’t think to find out what’s in the water where we are (because who’s going to deter lucrative tourists with a sign saying “Warning: sharks”?) Speaking of informing the public: Do you know there are sharks in the Menai Strait? Not always, but they’re definitely around. They likely won’t be too interested in you if you go for a dip though. We also have the second largest shark in the world in our waters. Basking sharks more than 40 feet long have been seen in Europe, although not recently; but again, they won’t consider you appetising either. There is a real ignorance about sharks among the seaside-loving public; this leads to both frightening holiday encounters and the depressing abuse of shark populations. Sharks are fascinatingly well evolved. The bizarre sawshark has existed since the Jurassic period. Sharks have barely had to
October Issue 2011
evolve over millions of years because they’re so effectively designed, so why do we think we own the oceans? Sharks should be admired and thriving, doing a good job of keeping fish stocks healthy, but they’re being slaughtered (much like their food supply) at an astonishing rate, mostly for shark fin soup. For every human killed by a shark we kill 8,571,428 sharks in return. It’s like that scene in Jaws where the whole of Amity Island gets on boats and starts stabbing at the ocean, but on a mind-blowing scale. However this isn’t some 1970s gore flick; the majority of sharks are killed for their immensely profitable fins. It must be said, most animals don’t get an especially fair deal out of meat production but I would say sharks have it pretty bad comparatively speaking. Their fins are cut off as soon as they are landed and, still alive, they are thrown back into the ocean to drown in the sea they are designed dominate. Without their fins they can’t swim to get water flowing through their gills and they drown. It takes a number of years for sharks to mature to reproductive ages and they cannot compete with the rate at which they are being fished. The ecological impact of overfishing, finning, and human influence (both industrial and holiday) on our oceans (and on the public’s perception of sharks) mean that one of the Earth’s greatest engineering feats may simply be pushed to extinction. To find out more you can head to sharktrust.org.
o Impact Man is the story of Colin Beavan’s year-long experiment to have no negative impact on the environment. That is, he, his wife and two year old don’t use any transport that isn’t self-propelled, they don’t use electricity and they create no waste; not even toilet paper. Yes that’s right, no toilet paper! This isn’t a gruesome step by step guide to how to have your friends avoid you and your bathroom habits, nor is it the preachy guilt tripping clip round the ear that I half expected it to be. The truth is that this book is really heartwarming. Beavan doesn’t know that much about the environment when he starts this mission, other than that he is worried about the polar bears. That’s the real hook. He’s honest and at first he bumbles around wondering what the hell he’s gotten himself into. His writing style is almost conversational in the way he talks about his exploits, not skimming over the rather embarrassing details but also looking back with reassuring wisdom about the what happened in the end. He’s not smug or a know it all. He’s like you and me but he’s in the middle of New York City and
ags have been a big concern to environmentalists for a while now with the amount people were using. Major stores around the country have been charging a small price for stronger, longer lasting carrier bags for a number of years and, recently, their use has become increasingly encouraged. In a further attempt to increase the amount of bags re-used the Welsh Assembly passed a law that means that all retailers in the country must charge at least 5p per bag, with all proceeds going to charity. The motion came into effect on October 1st and has been received with mixed responses. “I think it’s a great idea, we’ve got to start somewhere.” Said one Bangor University student on the changes. It seems that a lot of people do seem happy with the charge, understanding the reasoning behind it and happy to pay just 5p if they need to. Of course it’s not everyone’s opinion. Since the charges have been implemented Asda, Llangefni have reported that they had forty baskets stolen by customers who could simply not be bothered to pay for a bag or bring in their own. This has resulted in security tags being put on all the baskets in the store causing even more problems. The self-scan tills at the store are also struggling with the new practice. To ensure that customers pay for their bags the staff are having to provide them upon request and verify them rather than the customer being able to just pick up a bag and scan it themselves. A number of customers are taking
has decided to take a reusable jar to Starbucks instead of getting a paper cup. The baristas may laugh at him but sometimes they give him free coffee for it. Beavan explores the idea of the “good life” and whether you can have it (whatever it is) at the same time as having no negat i v e impact on the planet. H e finds t h e b a l ance f o r himself but admits it is different for ever yone. You might think you can’t live without making at least some rubbish, but have you ever tried? Do you even want to? This is the whole point of his experiment; to push the boundaries of what is
the bags from where they are stored and some are even pulling old ones out of the bag recycling bins that the store provides. “What about China?” Asks Seren’s very own Features Editor, Rosie McLeod, “For poorer countries such as China the lower demand for bags will result in higher rates of unemployment.” Some larger retailers have somehow managed to evade the charge up until now. Zara, the clothing brand, was not charging for bags in their Cardiff store as of October 23rd. Whether they have found a loophole or they are willing to take the consequences, they are a sign that not everyone is willing to conform to the new law. This decision isn’t about profit making at least, but about the environment. Due to their once disposable nature the plastic bag has become a huge environmental mess. As it is well known, plastic does not degrade for thousands of years and the process by which they are made is highly toxic. It is a good, albeit slightly naïve, sign then that studies show that this new measure should cut the use of bags in Wales by 90%. Another pro is that most retailers will be donating the profits from bags to charities of their choosing. Whilst the Welsh Assembly have not stated that retailers must donate they have suggested it is what they’d prefer. It may only be a tiny step but it does seem to be a step towards helping the environment but whether it will work however is yet to be seen.
possible, what is comfortable and what you can honestly expect people to do. Some of my favourite parts of this book are when he talks about his family. His two year old daughter cries when it’s raining and he’s carrying her home under an umbrella. He feels a crushing guilt because he can’t get a taxi and keep his daughter from b e i n g rained on. He soon realizes she wants to be rained on and is crying because she doesn’t want the umbrella up. He stops and lets her splash around in puddles and they laugh and get soaked through while people rush past with n e w s p a pers on their heads, jumping into yellow cabs. This, he claims, is the life people miss when
they rush to and from places. This book is easy going. It’s not full of statistics or banal details of daily routine. His stories of his wife Michelle’s work scooter and his oblivious and gung-ho daughter are genuinely interesting, funny and touching to read. I thought I lived a fairly ecofriendly life before reading No Impact Man but it’s inspired me to strive for something better because it’s possible and a challenge and totally worth it. If you’re proud of riding your bike to work, your turtle bags or your efficient recycling you have to read this book!
Seren is made from 100% recycled paper so get in on the action and recycle me when you are done!
WIN! In the book, Colin’s family can only buy second hand things or get them from Freecycle. What’s your best 2nd hand find? Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. ac.uk and the best will win a copy of No Impact Man. Good luck!
October Issue 2011
NEW ZEALAND END 24-YEAR WAIT FOR WORLD CUP
tralia provided the closest contest in opment of second and third tier rugby the quarter final stage, with a typi- nations has closed the gap considerably cally physical Springbok side being between the top flight and lower levels he knockout stages of the Rugdominated at the breakdown by the of international rugby. by World Cup 2011 began in Wallabies with flanker David Pocock’s New Zealand went on to beat AusWellington, New Zealand, becontribution in particular leading to an tralia 20 – 6, the hosts dominating the tween an Ireland side with a sporadic early exit for the winners of the 1995 Australian team in all aspects of run of form and a Wales side that had and 2007 tournament the game with Australian flybeen steadily improving half Quade Cooper seem“France’s 9 – 8 victory over Wales was marred winners, meanthroughout the tournaing that no team ingly unable to settle into ment. by the controversial sending off of the Wales his rhythm. France’s 9 – Buoyed by a victory captain Sam Warburton in the 18th minute” has yet won the Webb-Ellis trophy 8 victory over Wales over Australia in the pool in consecutive tourwas marred by the stages, Ireland entered the knockout controversial sendstages with confidence. A youthful forced errors and the untried combi- naments. ing off of the Wales The last quarter final saw the Wales side proved too much for them nation of Jonny Wilkinson and Toby captain Sam Warburton in in their quarter final matchup however, Flood at Fly-Half and Centre respec- end of the Argentina’s campaign the 18th minute. Wales continwhen Warren Gatland’s team stormed tively landing the team on an early at the hands of the favourites ued heroically for the rest of the their way to a 22 – 10 victory and their flight back home while Marc Lièvre- New Zealand, though the match but were unable to breach first semi-final in 24 years. “Some peo- mont’s France deservedly progressed to Argentinean contribution the French defence and missed the semi-fi nals. to the RWC 2011 has ple thought I was being funny when I The Webb Ellis Trophy several crucial kicks, eventuSouth Africa’s fixture against Aus- shown that the develsaid that we were coming here to win it, stayed in New Zealand but I wasn’t,” said Welsh winger Shane Williams. England’s matchup against France went less well for Martin Johnson’s team, whose campaign has been marred by well publicised (and often exaggerated) antics off-field, with un-
ally going on to finish the tournament in fourth place behind Australia while France prepared for a final against hosts New Zealand. The final at Eden Park was an almost exact duplicate of the inaugural Rugby World Cup final in 1987, from the participants to the stadium, even down to the result. The tournament favourites didn’t have the easiest time of it however, with an obstinate French defence and several probing runs threatening to prevent the All Blacks from ending a remarkable 24 year long wait for the Webb-Ellis trophy. Denied the opportunity to play their usual freeflowing game, an under-strength All Blacks side ground out a 8 – 7 victory over France, running out the clock in the last five minutes of play to win the RWC 2011.
DRAMATIC DERBY DAY AS UNITED AND CHELSEA SUFFER Thomas Knott
his antics; fireworks in the bathroom for the first one and two excellent goals nce the last day of the Premier providing the catalyst for United’s unLeague season rolls in May expected downfall. It wasn’t all Balotelthe footballing world will li’s show though; United’s own defence probably still be looking back on this also played a starring role. Jonny Evan’s Sunday as one of the most dramatic was sent off shortly after the restart days this term. Old Trafford hosted for a silly challenge on (who else, but) its second shock result of the season, Mario Balotelli as he got through on the first being United’s 8-2 thrashing goal. With that it only went from bad of Arsenal. This time saw Ferguson’s to worse for United as they hit the selfmen on the wrong side of a battering, destruct button, forever throwing playgoing down 1-6 to local and title rivals ers forward against a playing at their Manchester City. A team featuring the unstoppable best. The defeat leaves United five points ever perfectly timed Mario Balotelli who this week has set both his house behind City at the top of the table and and the city of Manchester alight with although it’s still early days there’s no doubt about who’s staked the first claim. F u r ther south in London there was the Chelsea vs QPR derby. A game people expected to be heated and entertaining; one United’s De Gea can only watch as the City fans celebrate they expect-
ed to showcase plenty of aggression and passion; one they did not expect to feature 2 red cards, a penalty, and some incredibly suspect refereeing. It was definitely a game of two halves: The first 45 minutes were QPR’s for the taking with 10th minute penalty giving them the lead and Chelsea being down to nine men by the end of the half. Come the 90th minute Loftus Road should have been dreamland, but as it was Chelsea’s nine men took the game by the horns. Despite running out defeated by Helguson’s first half goal it seemed as though they were going to take all three points as a valiant performance was topped off with a beautiful flowing move culminating in David Luiz’s bicycle kick being deflected over the bar by an unlucky Frank Lampard. Referee Chris Foy had some very big decisions to make, and whilst it can be argued he got them right, it was his inconsistency that had Chelsea manage Villas-Boas furious at the final whistle. Didier Drogba’s red card was undoubtedly the right call as the Ivory Coast international flew in two footed against QPR’s Taarabt. The others however, were less clear-cut; Bosingwa saw red as the last man for dragging down Wright-Phillips although it did seem to be 50/50 as both players fought
for the ball. The problem with the penalty for most was not the decision to give it – the unnecessary shove in the back from Luiz was probably deserving – what irked many however was Foy’s incon- Drogba is dismissed for his two-footed lunge on Taarabt sistency in sion, blaming Villa-Boas’ age for his the opposing box as David Luiz and Frank Lampard comments against Foy. QPR did incredibly well, holding both felt that they should have been on until the bitter end to for three awarded penalties for being hauled points few would have expected them down. Come the final whistle in a derby to take. But it was nine man Chelsea, hotly contested by both teams, Chelsea who put in the shift of the weekend had received 7 yellow cards to follow and earned their pride if nothing else. the 2 red, whilst QPR had received just It’s unfortunate that the headlines and 2 yellow cards for their troubles. The talking points will all be focused on the post match interviews were equally in- red cards, the penalty, and the unexteresting as Villas-Boas slammed Foy, pected result. Villas-Boas will find out perhaps fairly, for his inability to keep on Wednesday whether the FA have control of the game, and Neil Warnock charged him for misconduct for his displayed some managerial tunnel vi- comments after the game.
Nigel Worthington saw fit to call time on his management of Northern Ireland following their poor qualifying campaign. Poor results against Estonia and two defeats to Serbia put paid to their chances of qualification – a far c r y from their heroic 2008 campaign in which they beat eventual winners Spain 3-2. Two wins from ten games this time around however, means Worthington’s resignation leaves them looking for a replacement that can make a better attempt at qualification for the 2014 World Cup.
Victory over third-placed Armenia has ensured Ireland a playoff spot for Euro 2012. Their chances of automatic qualification were damaged by two draws w i t h Slovak i a , though with Ru s s i a going through a s group w i n ners, second is a more than respectable finish for the team unlucky to miss the World Cup. Ireland face Estonia in a two legged fixture, with the games taking place on the 11th and 15th of November. A first international tournament for ten years beckons for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men.
UNLUCKY FOR SOME: EURO 2012 QUALIFYING DRAWS TO A CLOSE
England gained automatic qualification to next summer’s European Championship with a characteristically nervy ending to their qualifying campaign. Despite letting a two goal lead s l i p to draw 2-2 in M o n tenegro they sealed t h e i r place in Poland & Ukraine, finishing unbeaten at the top of Group G. Pre-emptive crisis talks have already begun however, as Wayne Rooney takes a three game ban to the tournament. Whether he boards the plane or not is yet to be decided despite the expected national debate.
Scotland’s faint hopes of a Euro 2012 playoff place were dashed in a 3-1 away defeat to Spain, with the Czech Republic picking up second place in their group. It w a s n’t a negative c ampaign, d e spite some o d d formations, and coming up against the world champions need three points is a big ask. The Scots will rue a number of missed chances throughout their shaky campaign. Scotland play Wales in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers next year.
After winning three of their last four competitive games, Wales’ future looks bright once again under manager Gary Speed, Wales have now jumped to 45th in the FIFA w o r l d r a n k ings - a considera b l e achievem e nt considering their being an embarrassing 1 1 7 t h back in August. W i t h promising young talent coming good within an already fair squad, the Welsh fans will await the World Cup qualifying campaign, where they will face Scotland, with newfound and entirely justified optimism.
October Issue 2011
Football Fans Ayre Their Grievances Amid Slew Of Proposed Changes To English Football Matt Cox
sickeningly self-serving; put forward solely because of personal bitterness that they have been supplanted at the top of English football by the money of Chelsea, Man City and to some extent Man Utd, and fueled by a desire to “fix” things. This plan would certainly give them the money to compete - it’s surely no coincidence that Liverpool would be the ones that have the most to gain from this. Right now, it’s comparable to a nev-
Lewis is wearing knuckledusters. In this case, it doesn’t really matter how Suggested changes to the Premier many steroids the local guy takes. All League setup have been met with it does is help him take the punches a anger from fans and managers alike. little better. Alright, so it’s pretty grim in either t seems all at once football reached case, but at least right now there’s still a the twisted future that every fan chance for change. Knuckleduster Lendreaded.First, Liverpool Chief Exnox turns the entire thing into a dull, ecutive Ian Ayre said he wants Premier uncompetitive procession. The gap will League clubs to be able to sell their TV widen further and at that point Gartrights individually. side’s two-tiered Premiership might not Discussing everything wrong with be such a bad idea. this would take an unholy Fortunately the proposal amount of time, but I’ll try was shunned by both Man anyway. Firstly, Ayre brings Utd and Chelsea, which up a comparison to the Spanwould indicate it is off the ish model, where Real Maagenda - at least for now. But drid and Barcelona currently this is just the warning shot. make billions on selling their Ayre says it’s a “debate that TV rights abroad. They are has to happen”, and, inevitatwo of the hottest tickets and bly, it will. biggest draws in the sport, so After that we have Richsubsequently foreign stations ard Bevan claiming that forpay vast sums to secure the eign owners want to put an rights. Ian Ayre’s proposal is as self-serving as they come end to relegation. This has The result? In the last two been far more widely shunned seasons Real Madrid and Barcelona have finished over 20 points above er-ending fight between Lennox Lewis and is less of an immediate threat. Dave everybody else in the league, with them and Audley Harrison. The best Harri- Whelan, chairman of Wigan - a club both getting over 90 points. In com- son can hope for is that he gets some that would certainly benefit from there parison, the 90-point barrier has only medical excuse to legally pump himself being no relegation - said he would been breached six times since the Pre- full of steroids (read: a massive cash in- pull Wigan out of the Premier League mier League switched to a 20-team, 3 jection like Man City and Chelsea re- if it was removed. Much like the discussion over TV points-per-game format. Real Madrid ceived); something that might redress and Barcelona have done it 4 times be- the balance a bit between the two com- rights, this is in no danger of happenpetitors. ing in the immediate future, but the tween them in two years. If Ayre’s proposed changes were to mention of it by a higher-up like Bevan Ian Ayre’s TV rights proposal is a self-serving as they come. That Span- be introduced? It would still be like indicates that there has been some sort ish model really keeps a league com- Lewis/Harrison, but now Harrison’s of discussion on the subject. The total petitive, doesn’t it? Ayre’s plan is so arms are tied behind his back and
rejection of the idea by the footballing still tended to undervalue players. For community is probably what forced instance, Tottenham’s purchase of John such rigorous denials by the foreign- Bostock was marred in controversy. owned clubs involved, but it will sur- One of Crystal Palace’s most promisface again, maybe in one year, maybe in ing youth prospects in years, Bostock ten or twenty. was valued (after various add-ons and You can see the logic; look at Ameri- clauses) at around £4m by Crystal Palca’s system. The NFL, essentially a league ace. The tribunal set the fee at a mere of superteams, is almost sustainable by £700,000. I will freely admit this was definition. From the pure moneymak- farcical (it even led to Chairman Simon ing perspective it makes some sense. It’s Jordan’s departure from the club), but just sad that, when it gets to the point this propsed system would likely do that clubs are so desperate to stay in the even more damage to Football League Premiership to secure their own long- clubs. term The most f u - It was farcical but the proposed system would damning part of t u r e , like do even more to damage Football League this vote was not when simply the piticlubs t h e ful numbers that Football League becomes that hazard- football league clubs can now expect ous to a club’s self-sustainability, the for their best young players, it was this: Championship and below will be cut “Had clubs rejected the plan, the off. Premier League would have withheld Almost as if to expediate this proc- their funding for youth development ess, the last and probably most dis- – a fee currently over £5m per season.” heartening story - though the one that This is essentially blackmail, a seemed to receive the least coverage - “know-your-place” jab. Admittedly, the will almost inevitably lead to major in- Premier League was never obligated to frastructure changes in a lot of Football provide said youth funding, but that League clubs. the Premier League can bend over the The Football League has overhauled rest of the Football League by simply the system by which young players are threatening to take their ball and go bought and sold. The tribunal system home is indicative of the twisted nature - whereby a tribunal would decide the of money in football. fee for a youth player when another Yes, it would be foolish to ignore all club wanted to buy him - has been the advantages of these ideas. Sadly, scrapped. though, those advantages all seem to Now, the tribunal system itself favour the moneymen rather than the wasn’t perfect - it was still flawed and common fan.
NFL Wembley: Still Going Strong
drawn between it and Rugby, the nonarmoured European equivalent, however, the two sports are completely merican football is a fast different. growing sport in Britain, furA game of American football thered by the introduction consists of 4 quarters of equal 15 of a single league game every season minute periods, despite only technibeing played at England’s Wembley cally being an hour long games tend to Stadium. American football is a mixlast for up to and beyond 2 hours. This ture of sports and a show, with enterstop start nature can put people off tainment being one of the key parts the sport, yet, the short bursts of enof the sport. Previously the use of arergy which can be witnessed in these mour as been scrutinised in the UK periods can be incredible to watch and Europe, with comparisons being and consist of crunching tackles to incredible runs that game quickly d r a w s crowds in. The Wembley fixture is probably one of the most highly anticipated games outside of the Superbowl The Wembley game has proven a massive success with UK fans. final, since
being introduced in 2007 there is an average of half a million people that apply for tickets to the NFL visit annually. The teams that put the show on this year were the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay coming across the pond for a second time since the annual slot began. Tampa Bay went in to the game as probable favourites having started the season with a 4-2-0 run, which is 4 wins, 2 loses and no tied games, whereas the Bears went in 3-3-0, a further reason why the Buccaneers may have wanted the win is due to events in English football earlier in the day where Buccaneer’s owners, the Glazer family saw their other investment Manchester United face a crushing 1-6 home defeat to bitter rivals Manchester City. Things seemed to g o from bad to worse for Glazer owned Tamp a Bay as they saw themselves 21 - 5 down going into the final 4th quarter with 3 Bear touch downs and 1 point conversions
in each previous quarter. IN true American Football style the game wasn’t over as the Buccaneers rallied in the 4th quarter scoring 2 touch downs to get within 3 points of the Bears, until a late field goal made the final score 24 - 18 to the Bears, who went on to gain their second win in a row and seem to be turning their season around, albeit still early on. In other American football news the Green Bay Packers gained a 7th successive win to start there season with a record of 7-0-0, whilst Detroit Lions who started brightly with a 5-0-0 suffered a second close loss in a row despite the newly found Ford Field energy to sit in second place in their conference with a
of 5-2-0. On the flip side of these bright starts is the unfortunate start to the Indianapolis Colt’s season as they suffered an embarrassing 7-62 loss against the New Orleans Saints, to give them a 0-7-0 record, no wins, 7 loses and no tied games. This season promises to be one of the most interesting of recent seasons, with all eyes set on making the Super Bowl now.
Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Reciever Arrelius Benn at Wembley
October Issue 2011
BASKETBALL TEAM HONOUR LATE TEAM MATE
lot to the team and to Andrea’s parents.” The Bangor Basketball team won approximately 65% of their games last year, playing he Bangor Basketball girls’ team hon10 games during the BUCS season annually, oured late team mate Andrea Watton as well as any friendly matches they managed last week in a charity Basketball match. to schedule. Raising money for Llanberis “Andrea was an incredible person. We want to thank everyone who Training takes place three Mountain Rescue, the team times a week on Mondays at played against the University turned up to the event and supported us. I know it meant Normal Site (7.30-9.30pm), of Central Lancashire on Tuesa lot to the team and to Andrea’s parents.” Tuesdays at Maes Glas (7day 18th October in an effort to 10pm), and Saturdays at Maes raise money for the charity in Glas (2-4pm), combining a mixture of exerrial matches as well as taking part in sponsored remembrance of Andrea, who passed away last summer. Even though the team lost 64-63 after backpacking, sponsored silence, and 3-on-3 cises, drills and skill work, and have weekly going into over-time, they still managed to raise tournaments. The team have also set up a web- socials which the team find extremely enteran amazing £300 at the match, which over 500 site where members of the public can go and taining, and would welcome any newcomers who wish to join. Anyone wanting more people attended to cheer on the girls, including place donations, which so far has raised £170. The coach of the girls Basketball team, Vicky information can contact the Girls Basketball Andrea’s parents. Andrea, who had been a student at Bangor Gottwald, who previously used to play for the team coach Vicky Gottwald at pep601@banUniversity for two years studying Sports Sci- team alongside Andrea, said of her: “Andrea was gor.ac.uk or go along for one of the sessions. ence, sadly passed away in an accident at 21 an incredible person. She loved basketball and Also anybody wishing to donate money years of age whilst on a mountaineering ex- was passionate about sport and mountaineer- to Llanberis Mountain Rescue can do so at pedition gathering data for her third year dis- ing. She died doing something that she loved. http://www.justgiving.com/Andrea-Watton. sertation. At her funeral, her parents started We want to thank everyone who turned up to the event and supported us. I know it meant a
fundraising for Llanberis Mountain Rescue in memory of their daughter, and the tradition has taken hold with the members of the Basketball team, who last season managed to raise a staggering £1000 for the charity, playing memo-
Andrea Watton was honoured in a charity match last week.
ATHLETICS UNION BUCS RESULTS: 19TH OCTOBER
Badminton: Men’s 1 5-3 Badminton: Men’s 2 7-1 Badminton: Men’s 3 6-2 Badminton: Women’s 1 1-7 Basketball: Men’s 1 69-39 Basketball: Women’s 1 64-63 Fencing: Men’s 1 113-114 Fencing Women’s 1 134-85 Football: Men’s 1 4-2 Football: Men’s 2 2-2 Hockey: Men’s 1 13-0 Hockey: Women’s 1 5-1 Lacrosse: Men’s 1 7-4 Netball: Women’s 1 53-32 Netball: Women’s 2 24-29 Rugby League: Men’s 1 10-18 Rugby Union: Men’s 1 5-19 Rugby Union: Men’s 2 0-60 Squash: Men’s 1 2-3 Table Tennis: Men’s 1 0-17 Tennis: Men’s 1 0-12 Tennis: Men’s 2 4-8 Tennis: Women’s 1 0-6
Manchester 3 Salford 1 Salford 2 Sheffield Hallam 1 MMU Cheshire 2 Central Lancashire 1 York 1 Liverpool 2 MMU Cheshire 3 MMU Cheshire 4 Central Lancashire 2 Manchester 3 York 1 Salford 1 Central Lancashire 3 MMU Cheshire 1 Keele 1 Central Lancashire 2 Manchester Met 2 Liverpool 2 Leeds Met 2 Liverpool 3 Central Lancashire 1
HOME AWAY TEAM TEAM
Quarter pounder move over!
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