Friday 12.10.12 Volume 61
What’s ‘Muhammad pineapple’ in Freshers’ Fayre causes controversy, press coverage inside? ing and telling us to remove the pineapple... Though these students mainly engaged in discussion, one removed the label from the pineapple without our permission”. RAHS refused to change what they were doing on grounds of free speech. A student (or students) then reported the problem to Reading University Students’ Union, which is the body in charge of running Freshers’ Fayre.
RUSU cited its policies regarding equality in ejecting RAHS from the tent The Daily Mail’s coverage of events Calum Mcintyre Rogers
An apparently trivial occurrence during Freshers’ Fayre snowballed into a minor media storm last week. The facts known to us are that the Reading Atheist and Humanist Society set up their stall in the marquee (the primary recruitment venue for student societies during Freshers’ Week) on Wednesday 3 October. On that stall they placed a pineapple with a note on it saying “Muhammad”, obstensibly to promote one of their own events, a ‘debate over we
should respect religion’ - although they later claimed (quoted in the Huffington post) that “[their] intent in displaying a pineapple labelled ‘Mohammed’ was to draw attention to cases where religion has been used to limit freedom of expression and other fundamental rights.” Muslim students asked that it be removed on grounds of rudeness - RAHs’ own press release states that “a group of five students, some of whom self-identified as Muslim[s], approached the stall and began to criticise us, ask-
After referring to their Equality Policy , RUSU delivered an ultimatum to RAHS that either “the pinapple goes or [RAHS does]”. Upon this RAHS left the marquee and instead tried to recruit directly outside of it, before security then removed them from the site. RAHS then apparently reported the event to website studentrights. org.uk - a website which purports to challenge religious extremism on campus - who described themselves as “deeply concerned” at the ejection of RAHS from the marquee. The story was then in turn picked up by the Huffington
Post (who tagged the story under ‘UK comedy’) and the Daily Mail. The story appears to have received no attention from Islamic communities, online or in reality. The news organisations which did cover the story do not seem to have interviewed or otherwise contacted any of the students who were offended by the occurrence.
RAHS left the tent after refusing to remove the named pinapple RUSU released a statement shortly after, which said (in full): “Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU) is dedicated to promoting an environment in which all students feel welcome and included in all of our activities, while at the same time being committed to our members maintaining a culture of free speech. “Our Equal Opportunities Policy and our Behavioural Policy (which all clubs and societies agree to be bound by), state that RUSU will create a culture based on the principles of fairness, respect and of valuing difference. The events did not comply with these ideals and we took the action we felt necessary to maintain the culture that we exist to promote.”
Reading in top 1% of world universities Hugo Sheehan
The University of Reading has reaffirmed its place in the in the top 1% of the world’s universities. According to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2012 which were published on 4 October, Reading ranks as the 176th top university in the world. Vice-Chancellor of the university Sir David Bell said: “The University of Reading has been an international university for more than a century. Our research is making a significant contribution to addressing issues of global concern, from
the importance of food security to the causes of and consequences of international conflict. Our students rate the quality of the teaching they receive highly, which, in turn, encourages the most talented students from future generations to come and study with us.” In order to calculate these rankings, universities are rated across five main categories: teaching, research, citations (research influence), industry income and international outlook. In order to break into the top 1% the university has to score highly in all of these areas, however
research is arguably Reading’s main strength, having received numerous awards from research councils.
Reading is undoubtedly ‘on the up’ Signs of ambition such as the University of Reading’s Malaysia campus that will be opening in 2015, along with the high standards of research and results will help to build on an already established international reputation . Sir David Bell went on to say
“Retaining a world top 1% ranking in an increasingly competitive international HE environment is an accolade for the University and a tribute to the talent and expertise of our staff. Partnership with many of the other top higher education institutions in the world and major initiatives such as the development of the University’s Malaysia campus are clear signs of the University’s ambition to build on our established international reputation.”
Should the pineapple have been allowed to stay?
15 Music Interview with the Dj Duo
Think you have what it takes to win £270?
Is this the end for Lance Armstrong?
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Henley Business School goes up The Economist’s tables Maxamillian Smith
The Henley Business School has climbed up fifteen in The Economist’s ‘Which MBA?’ feature - a ranking scheme for those considering where to study business. HBS is now ranked 12 in Europe, and 42 in the world. HBS scored particularly highly in the ‘potential to network’ and ‘student quality’ (which would of course not surprise a reader of this paper). Also of particular pride was HBS’ score in ‘personal development and educational experience’, in which HBS improved from 15 to 13.
Henley ranks as best in the world for student quality in the table as well as networking potential School Dean, Professor John Board, commented “not only do these results confirm the Henley Full-time MBA as one of the world’s finest, with world-class faculty and students, excellent links with industry and an in-
ternational alumni community, they prove that Henley remains a leading player in a complex global MBA market. This news testifies to our continuous commitment to improve the all-round quality of the MBA experience.”
The results could secure Henley many more applications Chicago University - US President Obama’s previous employer - is number one, alongside eight other US institutes. Perhaps ironically a Spanish school at the University of Navarra is ranked ninth. In the United Kingdom (in the Economist’s feature), Henley is ranked fifth. Henley received particular praise for its broad alumni network - this was also key in securing its international connections, in South Africa and now in Malaysia. Henley’s rankings were affected by the UK economy, as ‘job opportunities’ was a key criteria in The Ecoomoist’s survey. Although how the Spanish school managed to climb so high, then, no-one knows.
Carcinogen chips Avnita Shergill
It would seem that many of us students are oblivious of the amount of harsh chemicals and ‘genotoxic carcinogens’ found in frozen foods (like chips) when we are in a rush for a quick, cheap meal. However a new study conducted by the scientists in the department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University has uncovered new facts about the presence of a chemical called acrylamide which is found in a vast array of fried food. Acrylamide is a natural compound found in foods rich in starch and cooked at high temperatures.
The University has uncovered new facts about a chemical in fried food The research was led by Professor David Mottram, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences. There is no way to completely eliminate the presence of acrylamide in food, but as a result of the
extensive research carried out at the university, ways have become available to substantially reduce the amount we consume. It all lies in the way it is cooked. This is an important find especially for major fast-food chains that rely heavily on large amounts of frozen chips. This could potentially alter the way they are are cooked in order to create healthier meals for consumers.
“There are ways to reduce acrylamide in potato products” Some research carried out on Acrylamide states that it has specific links to cancer by interacting with our DNA. So being exposed to a lot of it for a considerable amount of time may have a lasting effect on our health. Professor David Mottram, said: “ There are ways to reduce the presence of acrylamide in potato products and we hope that this will address some of the continuing concern about acrylamide”.
University recruits new Sustainable Tech Professor Jon Hulks
In late September the University of Reading appointed Professor Li Shao. He is a pioneering researcher in sustainable development, as Professor in Sustainable Technologies for the Built Environment. His research so far has specialised in adapting buildings to cope with the consequences of climate change, which includes developing a concept which aims to “replace or supplement automatic energy controls with systems that would inform and empower users to control or influence the greeness of their environments.”
He will focus on the “adaptation to future climates” While at the University, Professor Shao’s research will focus on the “adaptation to future climates, for example through better understanding the thermal performance of trees and green spaces, in an urban, built environment context.” Despite only being appointed last month, Professor Shao is already
impressed with the innovative en-
ergy initiatives at the university. On joining the university, Professor Shao said: “I am delighted to join the University of Reading and look forward to working with colleagues from many parts of the university and partners beyond the campus to deal with some interesting and pressing challenges facing us today and tomorrow.” Professor Shao will be working with the Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments (TSBE) Centre, part of the School of Construction Management and Engineering at the University. The school is internationally recognised as a leader in innovation and received the top rating of 5 in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.
Professor Shao led an investigative project researching into low carbon buildings As the author of over 90 papers published in journals and international conferences, some of Professor Shao’s more notable ac-
complishments include leading an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council project on retrofit technologies and pathways for airport buildings, as well as being the lead investigator for a project researching into low carbon buildings for green manufacturing.
Has a strong established reputation for his research on energy systems in buildings Li has previously worked as Chair in Building Energy Systems and the Head of Research at the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development at De Montfort University, as part of a distinguished academic career beginning in 1993. Professor Stuart Green, Head of the School of Construction Management and Engineering, said “We are delighted to welcome Professor Li Shao to our expanding research group. He brings new ideas and enthusiasm to a research group which is already internationally recognised.”
UoR heads new research into autism Chayya Syal
A team of scientists, doctors and educational researchers met at the University of Reading on Friday 28th September for the launch of a regional network for autism. The three hour launch event was a huge success with more than 100 clinicians, teachers and individuals with autism and their families attending. The Berkshire Autism Research Network (BARN) met for the first time at the the University to talk about new ways to help people with autism and research how it affects them and can be treated. It is hoped that BARN will help researchers and people with autism to discuss the condition. There are over half a million people in the UK with autism. Statistics show that autism touches the lives of 2 million people everyday which includes their families. They also show that two-thirds of adults with autism in England do not have enough support to meet their needs. Autism is a spectrum of mental inclinations that affects a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others. Instead of being a disability, it is increasingly recognised as a ‘neurodiversity’ instead
of a mental disorder (Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla are both suspected as having been autistic). Dr Bhismadev Chakrabarti organised the event. He is also an assistant professor at the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN) at the University. He said: “As well as finding new ways to understand and treat autism, the network will help to inform people with autism spectrum disorders and Asperger syndrome, to hear about and take part in the latest research projects.” During the event, speeches were made by professors such as Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, direc-
tor of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University.
Autism is not a disability - simplified, it is a spectrum of atypical behaviour Organisers still want to get in touch with people living with autism spectrum conditions. For more information visit: www.reading.ac.uk/pcls/research/BARN. aspx for more information.
Spark* Friday 12 October
RUSU and university praised This clearly shows the strong presence the university has when looking at the pure quality of the student experience, which is highly important when choosing a place that most of us will spend 3 years of our lives.
88.5% of students were satisfied with their course
The University of Reading’s students union performed well in the National Student Survey. Student satisfaction levels among the best in the country. The University received 82.1% Satisfaction rating from students, showing the great student experience the university has to offer.
The University received
The 2012 National Student Survey (NSS) is a student survey taken by 287,000 final year students at institutions all over the UK. The assessment measures student’s views of the student experience they have received. Factors such as teaching, assessment and feedback, learning resources and satisfaction of the Students’ Union all taken into account.
Reading University Student Union was
ranked highly, at 6th in
rating from students
The University scored highly in course satisfaction, with 88.5% satisfied with their course, a drop by only 1% from 2011. Although we failed to rank highly in this aspect, to put it into perspective, we still came above other well established institutions such as, UCL, LSE, Bristol and Warwick to name but a few. The 1994 Group, of which we are a part of, is mainly comprised of small campus-based institutions, scores most highly among the mission groups, achieving 88.7 per cent on average, just ahead of the Russell Group of large researchintensive universities at 87.4 per cent. Year after year, University of Reading students have rated the quality of teaching on their courses highly.
In 2012, their replies to the survey have rated staff as good at explaining things (91%), the enthusiasm of the teaching staff (89%), their courses are intellectually stimulating (88%) and staff make their subjects interesting (84%). Three of the University’s departments - Archaeology, Clinical Language Sciences and Mathematics, scored 100% satisfaction levels. A further 14 departments being rated at 90% or above such as Typography, Art History, Classics, Philosophy, Law, English Language, English Literature, German, Management, Real Estate and Planning, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geography and Environmental Sciences, Statistics and Electrical Engineering.
17 departments were given a rating of 90% or over James Fletcher has vowed to, “Make sure the library, careers service and other learning resources are brought up to the £9k standard”.
David Miliband to debate at Reading Kitty ruskin
On November 7 Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell will go head-to-head with Labour’s David Miliband. This is the beginning of the first in a series of conversations with leading national and international political figures. Miliband may take a leading role in the Labour Party’s 2015 General Election campaign.
Miliband may take a leading role in the Labour Party’s 2015 General election campaign He briefly retired from frontline politics in October 2010, after losing the leadership of the Party to his brother, Ed Miliband. Prior to this, Mr Miliband’s political career has included acting as Tony Blair’s Head of Policy, majorly contributing to the general election manifesto of 1997, and becoming MP for the Labour stronghold of South Shields. He was then appointed School Minister in the Department for Education and Skills in 2002. His ties to education remain – currently acting as a part-time volunteer at the secondary school he
attended, teaching A-Level Politics and Government. Miliband became a full member of the Cabinet after the Party’s third consecutive electoral victory in 2005. Since, he has acted as Environment Secretary under Tony Blair – calling for all twenty-seven nations of the European Union to back proposals to cut harmful emissions by 30% by 2020. He also held the post of Foreign Secretary under Gordon Brown, during which Mr Miliband was involved in calling for a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Army’s 2008/09 offensive against the LTTE. On 12 May 2010, backed by 15 MPs outside the House of Commons, at the height of his career thus far, the Party member announced that he would stand for election as the leader of the Labour Party. He, however, lost in the final electoral round to his brother, Ed Miliband, who remains leader of the Party. The Party has achieved a significant poll lead over the Conservatives as a result of the recent party conference in Manchester. Here, the Labour Leader announced policies such as the repealing of the NHS bill, which proposes to give greater control over care budgets and commis-
sioning decisions to GPs and other health professionals. In addition, the denial of government contracts to companies that do not pay apprenticeships. Ed Miliband has also announced that young people would be able to take vocational qualifications, and that pupils would be required to study English and Maths until the age of eighteen.
Pupils would be required to study English and Maths until the age of eighteen He most strikingly adopted the ‘one nation’ political idea, drawing inspiration from previous Conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. He stated: ‘It is right to move on from New Labour. We must be a one nation party to become a one nation government to build a one nation country.’ The discussion between Sir David Bell and Labour’s David Miliband will take place at the Students’ Union on Whiteknights Campus at 12:30 on Wednesday 7 November. Admission is free but places are limited. To book a place contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0118 378 4313.
Labour party leader Ed Miliband and Reading Vice Chancellor Sir David Bell are due to duke it out on November 7
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
VC and RUSU President sign Student Charter Sophie Elliott
Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading and James Fletcher, President of Reading University Students Union (RUSU), signed the Reading Student Charter on behalf of the University and RUSU on Wednesday morning. Sir David said: “For everyone to get the most out of their time at university, it is vital that universities and students unions work in partnership.
“It is vital that universities and students unions work in partnership” “The Reading Student Charter will ensure that students know what they can expect of the University, as well as what the University can reasonably expect of them. “I would like to pay tribute to both former and current RUSU sabbatical officers, as well as University staff for producing such a great joint commitment which clearly sets out the partnership approach to learning at Reading.” James Fletcher, President of RUSU, said: “RUSU and the University work in partnership
on a wide range of projects that ensure that the student experience is at the heart of the University. The Reading Student Charter is an ambitious document that outlines responsibilities and also where we want to get to. He continued: “We will review it regularly to ensure it remains a relevant and live document, which underpins the Reading student experience.” Outlined in the previous issue of Spark*, the document is not a legally binding contract, but does
New Spark* Newspaper stands Thanks to the Alumni Annual Fund. Spark* were able to purchase five new newspaper stands this year. They are currently located in the Palmer building, the Library, the RUSU building and HUMSS. A spare dispenser is yet to be deployed; nearly every new bin
set out expectations of both the University and its students. The President informed us directly that he will talk to students about their satisfaction with the charter. New students will also be given copies of the charter alongside their campus cards. The Charter was a campaign promise of previosu RUSU President Karl Hobley. For more information you can refer to the article in the previous edition of this paper, in print or online at sparknewspaper.co.uk.
Nothing whisked, nothing gained: Baking Society visit Lakeside elderly care centre Johann Ovenhurrst
Qu’ils mangent de la brioche; on October 4, the Reading University Baking Society dropped in to Lakeside Care Home on Whiteknights Road to provide a day of fun and freshly baked cakes for elderly residents.
This was the first of RUBS’ trips out to Lakeside, scarcely yards from the campus RUBS inform us they intend to make this a regular event, with this visit functioning as a ‘trial run’. Three RUBS students (all committee members) and 20 residents got involved hands-on, making four different Victoria sponge cakes and hosting a ‘Great British Bake-Off’ event. RUBS took great satsfaction to see so many people enjoying themselves. RUBS’s mission statement is “to be philanthropic with cake, and to
spread happiness through baking throughout the local community”. RUBS next plan on making a wedding cake for a member of university staff; they’ve already catered for tea parties and a grand ‘crown cake’ for the diamond jubilee.
RUBS really enjoyed seeing the Lakeside residents having fun making Victoria sponges Sadly the cakes were kept in reserve for pudding and RUBS didn’t get to stick around to see the results. The future of their society will likely depend on it. If you think making cake, bread or biscuits is the thing for you then consider joining RUBS - they meet weekly on Wednesdays, and accept bakers of all abilities. Find them on Facebook or RUSU’s own website.
has been emptied within days of distribution. The new units were selected after Spark*’s old ones were noticed to strongly resemble garbage bins, and look seriously tatty. The new units will hopefully increase the profile of the paper by removing the need to bend over to pick up a copy from floor level.
Campus based job raising money to support students Becky Mckinlay
An exciting opportunity to work on the University’s 17th fundraising telethon. Calling Alumni all over the world, you will act as an ambassador for the University whilst raising important funds for the University of Reading Annual Fund. Over £3.2 million has been raised to support students through innovative teaching projects, extra-curricular activities and essential student support through bursaries and hardship grants.
Over £3.2 million has been raised to date · Pay is £7 an hour with potential bonus · Learn great transferrable skills · Fundraise to support your University · Speak to Reading Graduates all over the world · Campus based job · Short term five week contract For more information or to apply, visit www.reading.ac.uk/TCApplications.aspx
Spark* Friday 28 September 2012
INTRIGUED BY A JOURNALISTIC OR OTHER MEDIA CAREER? Spark* is Reading’s premier student media group. Whether you’re looking to take your first step into the media workplace or consolidate your previous experience, get down here and get your stuff in print Go to the letters page (35) and contact an editor you want to work with. There is no application process for Spark*; whether you’re a Pulitzer contestent or barely capable of spelling ‘crayon’, get in touch
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Fortnightly Media Blog what’s going on? Lianna Pim RU:ON
‘Ding’s Got Talent’ is Reading University’s answer to programmes like the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent- with a twist- it is in support of two children’s charities: The Children’s Society and Hanna’s Orphanage.
‘Ding’s Got Talent’ is Reading University’s answer to the X Factor If you want to audition and didn’t make it along to our live auditions on the 18 and 19 October in The Lounge, then you still have a chance to submit your own minutelong audition tape for Friday 2 November (week 4) on our website so make sure you’re quick.
All the audition tapes will be uploaded on our website All the audition tapes will be uploaded on our website which is www.thedingsgottalent .co.uk/ and on Monday 5 November (week 5)
VOTING OPENS- so make sure you have fingers at the ready and get behind your mates!
in support of two children’s charities: The Children’s Society and Hanna’s Orphanage Plus if you are interested in helping out behind-the-scenes, which
looks fantastic on a CV go to our contact page on our website too. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter- you know the deal. But most importantly make sure you watch our shows and donote to our two charities using our JustGiving Text Codes.
Next time... More from Junction 11 and find out how RU:ON progress with ‘Ding’s Got Talent’.
Mojo’s Bar, RUSU
Quiz and Karaoke
Mojo’s Bar, RUSU
UniTrash Big Bang Tour
next issue of Spark* out:
Friday 26 October 2011 across the students’ union
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
VP BLOGS #DEMO2012 Ceri Jones
VP Democracy and Campaigns
This is your chance to debate! What is our education worth in 2012? What should your Students’ Union, your University, the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Government be doing to ensure that your education and future is the best it can be?
the NUS think that the government is letting a generation down At the NUS’ Annual conference this year, they voted to hold another National demonstration in London on November 21st 2012. The NUS believes that you should march to highlight to the government the risk that they are putting your future in. With rising youth unemployment, increasing levels of student debt and the removal of grants, the NUS think that the government is letting a generation down.
‘Should RUSU march on the NUS Demo this year?’ At the last demonstration in 2010, RUSU took over 500 students spending £8,000 to fight against the cuts and rise in tuition fees. Reading students had a great impact on the march, but we didn’t achieve our aims. So is the demo what we should be spending our money on
and support it with all the risks it could entail? Here are some of the views you gave us at Freshers Fayre in answer to ‘Should RUSU march on the NUS Demo this year?’ YES • Student’s rights are being attacked left right and centre. We need to send a message that this is not on! • Upholding students voice • Politicians should be held to their promises, They lied! • Yes, we should do it fees are outrageous NO • Important ideologically but more effective ways of demonstrating • During class time! (Science classes) • NO, there are more efficient and effective ways of demonstrating • It won’t be safe and won’t change legislation We think this decision is so important that it needs to be decided by YOU! We will be holding a debate on October 16 at 6.00pm in Cafe Mondial followed by an online referendum.
So is the demo what we should be spending our money on? If you want to hear more or be on the debate panel? Email Ceri Jones, VP Democracy and Campaigns. So… the choice is yours! WILL WE MARCH?
R U Speaking Up?
Pay later taxi scheme
VP Welfare and Representation
VP Academic Affairs
I now officially declare the Course Rep voting open! Students across the University have elected themselves to represent you. Now you have your say as to who you want! Course reps are academic representatives who speak on behalf of their course year group. By keeping the lines of communication open they are the first port of call for you. Course reps canvas for suggestions as to how their course can be improved, any problems the students are having, things that are working really well and feedback on their experience generally.
The RUSU ‘Pay Later’ Taxi Scheme has been launched from Monday 8 October 2012. • Ever been left alone on a night out? • Ever gone home early on your own? • Have you been stuck in town with no money and lots to carry? • Left your debit card at home? • Did you spend that emergency tenner on a pint? It’s so easy to end up stuck with no money and no way to get home, but thanks to RUSU’s new ‘Pay Later’ Taxi Service you can now travel home without cash.
Now you have your say as to who you want!
a ‘Pay Later’ card can be used in payment for your taxi ride home
The main requirement of course reps is for them to be representative of their peers. This is why they need your vote. Those elected will be representing you at the Student Staff Liaison Committee and Course Rep Conventions so make sure you get online and back the person you want speaking up for you!
they need your vote If you are a first year then you may need to register on the website first but all it takes is a few minutes to do so then cast your vote at rusu.co.uk. Voting is only open for one week!
VP BLOGS 7
Reading University Students’ Union has teamed up with local taxi firm Top Cars to bring you this brand new initiative in which a ‘Pay Later’ card can be used in payment for your taxi ride home. Your ‘pay later taxi card’ is FREE and allows you to enjoy safe travel at any time without having to worry about immediate payment. This service is only available when using our co-operating cab company Top Cars. Why is this scheme good for you? •The focus of this scheme is student safety. We aim to ensure that no student feels unsafe in town or on campus, or is stranded without money and forced to walk home.
• The scheme offers students taxis at the standardised competitive rate of £6 per journey to popular student areas. •This is a reliable 24 hour service, with a company who have pledged to make students priority customers. Therefore you can always expect the best quality service. How does it work? • Pick up your free taxi card and pre-pay for your first journey from the RUSU Hub • When you need a taxi call Top Cars on 0118 944 2222 and quote the ‘RUSU Pay Later Taxi Scheme’ • Arrange a safe meeting point with your taxi • The driver will text you on arrival with the vehicle registration and cab colour. Pay for the journey by handing over one of your two ‘Pay Later’ cards.
This is a reliable 24 hour service Terms and Conditions • Larger taxis may require two cards as payment • Each student has two cards because drivers only return cards on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so when your card is being held at the taxi rank, you always have a spare. • We ask for a pre-payment for each card which is the equivalent of one taxi journey (that’s £6 per card) • Any outstanding money on cards will be returned to you at the end of the year Have you used this service? Let Spark* know.
Spark* Newspaper is now online! Follow us @SparkNewspaper ‘Like’ our Facebook page at facebook.com/SparkNewspaper Visit our website at www.sparknewspaper.co.uk
Friday 12 October 2012
RUSS interviews Lucy Rose I’ve got a question from Dan Junction 11 - what made you give up your university offer and go to London and just do your music?
I suppose I did give it up eventually - I deferred it. I was going to have a year in London - trying to do music - and then, when it came round to taking my offer, [for me] it didn’t feel like it was worth spending that much money on something which I wasn’t 100% sure about. I was really happy doing music and it just never felt like the right time, things are going so well, now, and I hope that they keep getting better!
things are going so well, now, and I hope that they keep getting better Let me ask you about your songwriting process – how do you go about it, do you do lyrics first and then a tune or the other way round?
My lyrics are the last thing that come. I normally work out the chords, the structure, the ideas and then I’ll have some melody ideas for the lyrics, some lyrics will come automatically, and then I work out the arrangements. Finally, the lyrics are completed at the end.
Photo: © E. Ellwood
Reading University Singer Songwriters Society
Reading University Singer Songwriters is a relatively new society which was began to provide a platform and community of singer songwriters and music lovers at the University of Reading. Lucy Rose was interviewed by RUSS member, Sam Arbon, during the summer break, in the Oxford Jericho Tavern. What was the first CD you bought? I think it was Aqua. I can’t remember what the CD was...doctor somebody Who are your musical influences and inspirations?
Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, Carol King - all the obvious classics and then... everything inspires me, there’s nothing in particular - books, films, other
music, personal experiences. On this tour have you had a favourite venue? I don’t know about favourite venue but my favourite show was... Leicester was really great and Bath [in June] was really great! What mades them memorable? There was a really great crowd; the crowd makes the difference for me! Have you played the Jericho before? I’ve played it a couple of times once supporting BBClub and once supporting Ben Howard. You’ve been on a few tours with BBClub, are there any other artists who you really enjoyed touring with? I had the best time supporting Noah And The Whale - that was only a few months ago - I had great fun and they were like the nicest, most welcoming, boys ever.
How’s the debut album coming? People often say recording is frustrating, tiring...
It’s finished! Yeah, we finished it a while ago - a few months ago now so we’ve just got final tweaks to be made and things. I thought it was going to be a lot harder and more frustrating than it was and, actually, it was brilliant! I loved every moment of it.
[debut album] It’s finished! What do you to unwind/come down, after a gig?
I’ve a bad tendency to go over the gig and everything that possibly went wrong so it doesn’t happen again. It’s a bad habit. Really? Does it not improve things?
I think it’s good but it’s probably a bit annoying for the others.
What do you miss most when you’re on tour and what do you enjoy most about tour?
I miss my friends - the guys I’m playing music with whoever I’m away with - I miss them the most. I miss being on the road and having a routine. Having the feeling that every day feels very productive is really nice, though! What have been the highlights and lowlights of your career so far?
I don’t know what the highlights have been so far, I don’t think I can say that. I went and did a gig in Mexico City, this February, and there was alot of people in the crowd who knew the words to my songs; I was in Mexico city and it genuinely like blew my mind, like I couldn’t believe it, it was the most surreal thing that’s ever happened to me. I understand you’re a self taught guitarist – when you started learning guitar, what was the first thing that you could properly play?
The first song I proper learnt was Goo Goo Dolls, that song – I don’t want the world and that was the only thing I ever learnt and the rest was self-taught. We’ve got quite a few people who really want to go far with their music at RUSS where we try to provide a musical platform. What advice would you give someone with musical ambition?
Determination. Good songs-great, great songs. Songs –it’s the only important thing really. If you’ve got a great song, you know, that’s literally the key to everything. We spoke to Benjamin Francis Leftwich and he said pretty much the same thing.
The most important, I think, is surrounding yourself with people and musicians that you trust and that are going to help you take your music in the right direction. There are a lot of different paths to take. If you write a song in your bedroom there are a lot of different ways that that song can be interpreted and I think the most important thing is finding the right people to take it to where you want it to go and not be led. I had a very strong image of what I didn’t want. Finding the right people to be around you, and being yourself, is so important. Once you have the song it’s finding the right sound to surround it and creating unique sound, too.
finding the right people to be around you, and being yourself, is so important I read that you’re doing your own blend of tea, you used to sell them at your merchandise. Yeah! Do you have a favourite blend? This tea I’m selling is my favourite blend it’s a mixture of Earl Grey and ordinary tea and it’s absolutely delicious. Do you use tea leaves? No... Why do you not? It’s a bit messy to clear up – I’m only in the house now and again quickly. Tea leaves are quite a ‘Sunday afternoon’ [thing] when you’ve got quite a lot of time to clear out you tea pot afterwards. I don’t have a lot of free time.
Is there anyone who’s not quite made a name for themselves but you’d recommend having a listen to?
Lucy Rose’s debut album, Like I Used To, was released on 24 September on Columbia Records. She’s also performing at the Reading Minster on 17 November.
There’s a lot of people that I think are making a name for themselves that are still great. I think Rae Morris an up and coming singersongwriter on the piano, there’s also a guy - who supported us in Narberth - called Harry Keyworth and I thought he was fantastic, as well. And obviously Nathan Holme who’s supporting us tonight.
RUSS are a very active society at Reading University, providing a platform for musicians to perform and enjoy live music. Find “Reading University Singer Songwriters” on Facebook for details of their forthcoming events.
What has been the most important thing you’ve learnt from your career, so far?
“Listen, play and sing with RUSS!”
It’s about the song, at the end of the day.
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
So just what have your Comment and Debate want JCR done for you? YOU! Sophie Harrison
As you may have read in the last edition of Spark*, the debate page featured the question “Paying JCR fees: Are they a waste of money?”. As one of the editors of Comment and Debate I spent a considerable time reading both sides of the argument and over the last week have formed my own opinion; I shall not be paying my JCR fees. I am a returning student to my halls of residence and last year paid up without considering where my money was going or what I would see in return for it. As a fresher you tend to follow the crowd, do what everyone else is doing and generally try not to do anything wrong or embarrassing.
I’ve lost my £40 once, I won’t be doing it again This year, however, I’ve wised up. I’ve lost my £40 once, (a decent week’s worth of food, I’ll add) I won’t be doing it again. At this point I shall take the opportunity to point out that I am in no way trying to undermine the “No” section of last week’s debate section. The arguments put forward for paying JCR fees were convincing and if everything that the President promised was delivered then I believe it is a worthwhile cause. In my experi-
ence though, this has not been the case. Speaking to a member of my JCR I asked if they had any tickets available for a union night and they asked me why I didn’t want to go to the prearranged club night in town. Explaining that I was a returning student and most of my friends would be at the union I was told “well we are here for the freshers”. Ok. That’s fine. They won’t want my JCR money then.
It seems the focus of the JCR’s efforts are firmly on alcohol related activities I also noticed that on the Facebook page a JCR member had uploaded a post reassuring those who don’t drink that there will be plenty organised for them but since then, apart from a couple of sporting events (one of which was cancelled) I have seen nothing suitable organised for somebody who does not drink. It wouldn’t take much to organise a film night or a trip into town to have lunch, but it seems the focus of the JCR’s efforts are firmly on alcohol related activities. Perhaps this was best demonstrated when I was talking to a fresher from my halls in the union the other night. I was told how
he went to the JCR office to ask a couple of questions about how to get his shower fixed and where he can watch the football – genuine questions that many Freshers may want to know - and found, mid afternoon, the JCR members in the office were too drunk to assist him.
I was told “well we are here for the freshers” So far this freshers week (or freshers fortnight as our JCR are calling it) has convinced me that the JCR fees being paid by students are not being spent with all students in mind, instead being spent by the JCR purely on what the JCR want. If the JCR were elected with the sole responsibility of organising nights out then they have probably done a great job. However, that is not their only role, they are here to support students in many aspects of their life in Halls but I’m yet to see them do anything else except party. Most likely I’ll end up being asked to pay my JCR fees and I have been told that if I haven’t paid by the end of the year the money will be deducted from my deposit. But every time I’m asked to part with my money I will ask: “What have my JCR done for me?” and I urge you to do the same.
Have you always wanted to write for a newspaper? To see your name in print? Or just have an opinion on something that you want heard? Well if so Comment & Debate is the section for you! Here at Comment & Debate we are always looking for opinionated, new writers to get in touch and involved in our section. Perhaps you want to write but don’t know what about, or maybe you have an idea for an article but are not sure how to start it, whatever your situation we are keen to hear from you.
The great thing about Comment & Debate is that we cover a huge range of subjects. If you feel that something is of interest to students or relates to student life then it usually means it will fit in perfectly with this page! You don’t need to be an English student either as many people think, as long as you have something interesting to say the go for it. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure all the spelling and grammar is correct - after all, that’s what editors and proofreaders are for! If you’d like to get in touch then send us an email at comment.
Removal of RAHS’ pineapple at the fayre was wrong together a community of atheists may openly claim that God does not exist, if that is what they believe. And if they are not believers in Allah or God, then they have no reason to have the same respect towards Mohammed as the Muslim Society has.
So the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society (RAHS) got thrown out of the Fresher’s Fayre for displaying a pineapple call Mohammed. Was this the right decision? I definitely think not. Whilst I agree that it was perhaps a provocative gesture designed to create controversy, and was not particularly sensitive to those societies that were offended, I do not think that the Atheist society owes sensitivity to other societies. If the University Muslim society can claim on their website that ‘He is Allah, the One and Only’ and the Christian Union may say ‘We
I do not think that the Atheist society owes sensitivity to other societies want to be a CU that serves God on campus by telling as many people as possible about Him’ then surely the society created to bring
I completely respect the Muslim society and the Reading University Christian Union for bringing together groups of people with the
same beliefs, and have no problem with being given leaflets or seeing posters claiming the existence of Mohammed or God, but surely these societies owe the same level of respect towards RAHS for openly advertising what they believe.
Atheists need not respect religious figures I find it shocking that a group of students thought they had the right to surround the stall and remove the name tag given to the pineapple. I walked around Freshers’ Fayre and had a good time, but I would never have dreamed of defacing someone’s stall, whether
I agreed with what they stood for or not. These students were not inciting hatred, or insulting anyone, and so had the right to be left in peace. If you are not an atheist and do not wish to join the society, then walk past it, just like I did with the Women’s Rugby Society (because I hate sport). But I’m very glad they are there, as I am sure there are plenty of people in this University who love rugby. Discussion and debate about religion needs to be encouraged within the university, and no preferences should be given to any one society. To my mind this incident is just yet another form of prejudice.
TU 285x330.pdf 1 29/08/2012 11:47:54
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
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Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
Let’s get wasted!
Is there too much pressure on Freshers to drink? Yes No
It is worth starting with the clear assertion that Freshers can feel pressured to drink. This is widely recognized and easily observed; but as to whether or not this pressure is excessive the answer is less clear. I contend that the pressure is unnecessary if not wholly negative and that, while the culture of it might benefit many who are likely to drink anyway, it can negatively affect those who are not so invested in drinking alcohol as a pastime. I readily concede that a degree of this is rooted in misconception but these misconceptions are rooted at least partially in truth. It is, in many ways, selffulfilling. It may be that people see Freshers ostensibly cajoled into drinking (and all manner of other [often poorly considered] things) and consider this to be evidence of too great a pressure being placed upon them. This doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny though. I’ve personally been a Fresher twice and can confirm that groups of marauding students don’t seize you mid-dream from your bed, carry you to a club and force you to drink Jagerbombs until you can’t remember where your ears are. People make an active choice to buy into this mentality, aware of the probable debauchery that will slowly intrude by way of foggy memory on the next day’s activities. And they (mostly) enjoy it. The pressure exists but in some ways people consent to being pressured at the point at which they have made the decision to partake in the events that seemingly require drinking. This isn’t, therefore, my argument. People who are less interested in getting drunk can feel that their only option for making friends is to go out and participate in the club nights etc. They may also believe that they will in essence be forced to drink either by direct peer pressure or as a result of the feeling that they will be viewed negatively if they don’t. The latter is of course usually not the case (unless they are unlucky enough
to live with a particular brand of completely fatuous Fresher, the type of which should be put in a dark box and thrown down a never-ending hole). Alas, false or not, this perception exists for many and thus the pressure exists and what does it achieve? Well, for those who are less outgoing and less confident in their ability to make friends the answer is often that they either reluctantly go out and drink or they do other things and feel like they are somehow abnormal for being disinterested in the fabled Fresher “messiness” or whatever people like to call it. In essence, then, experience tells us that there is too much pressure but that this pressure is born of collective insecurity. For the most part, nobody actually cares if somebody decides not to drink and people will not view others negatively for making that decision and people can participate in all of the perennial mainstays of Freshers week and still have fun and make friends but many people have the real fear that these things are not true. I suppose there is an argument to be made for the value of creating bonds in the first few days by virtue of jointly having no idea what happened the night before until you are tagged photobombing people dressed as a monkey, but really this doesn’t constitute pressure as much as a decision. In conclusion, while excessive pressure does certainly exist and while it is something that would be better off not existing, the blame for the situation cannot be laid easily at the feet of anyone who can really change it. It is perhaps unfortunate that a culture of all-in drinking has grown up around Freshers Week and sometimes it is pernicious but the majority of people are just trying to have fun, and frankly being drunk is (often) fun, so hopefully the pressure will be eroded over time as people realise there is no stigma attached to not drinking and that not doing so in no way inhibits them being involved fully and with the degree of abandon they feel is appropriate!
People make an active choice to drink
This pressure is born of collective insecurity
There are plenty of non-alcoholic activities to do
One of the inevitable experiences which occur in University is drinking. Alcohol, that is. This is strongly encouraged from the outset by JCRs, events put on by RUSU, and cheap alcohol deals available in bars on campus and clubs in town. It seems that there is a general consensus that drinking alcohol is ingrained into our conscious brains, especially during Freshers Week. Of course, drinking is considered to be a social event in the context of a University, but it does not make you a social faux pas if you rather not drink. Everyone has their own reason why; it could be that they simply don’t like the taste of alcohol, they might just prefer to drink a soft Coke than a Vodka with Coke or, for some, there could be religious reasons involved. Others might be concerned about the effect of alcohol on their health, or maybe they have had bad personal experiences with alcohol (such as seeing the effects of alcohol on their drunkard uncle). But whatever the reason, remember there is no pressure if that is your personal choice. Of course, whether you are in a playground or in a University, there is always that longing to fit in with your peers. During Freshers Week it can be a very nervous and daunting experience to make friends, and one of the reasons why alcohol is so popular during the early days of University is because it allows students to “loosen up” with strangers. Therefore, if a person appears to be teetotal, then it could give the suggestion that they are not as friendly or sociable as people who do drink. But that is obviously not case. Drinking is essentially used as a substitute for getting people in a sociable mood. But that’s not to say a person who chooses not drink will instantly become a boring, lifeless fresher. The great thing about university is that there are so many more things to get involved in compared to when you are at school. So although some activities are definitely centred around drinking, there
are so many different people that whether you drink every day or don’t drink at all, you are bound to find like-minded people who enjoy the same things as you do. There are plenty of non-alcoholic activities to do such as joining the Breakdance Society or even Reading’s “R U Not Drinking” Society, which provides other socialising events, such as going to the cinema. This is definitely better than school or college, where you might have felt pressured into drinking because there was a smaller pool of people and so therefore you might have been the odd one out if you decided not to drink. This is not the case at university though. (Along with the numbers game, there is also the added benefit that people have matured since school and college, and don’t judge people so much on factors such as how much they drink.) And the good thing about Freshers Week is that if you don’t fit in with one group of people then you can move on to the next. A lot of pressure is internal pressure. It is not the case that most Freshers are so shallow that they will not look twice at someone who makes the decision to go out and refrain from drinking alcohol, but there is sadly a fear within a lot of students that this might happen, and so a lot of pressure can be put on oneself - so I would argue that there is not too much pressure on Freshers to drink, but rather a perception of too much pressure, which can only be solved by the individual themselves, and is not the responsibility of clubs, bars, RUSU, or JCRs. As a Fresher, I can see that there is so much more to do and get involved in at University that is not alcohol-related; it is ridiculous to assume that all students have on their minds is where they are going to get their next Tequila Slammer from. The fact that you can still have fun without feeling the need to drink alcohol also means that you might gain a lot of respect from your peers. So whether you enjoy drinking alcohol or not, remember: “to each their own”.
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Sinister: Mr Boogie is coming... Directed By: Scott Derrickson Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson Running Time: 109 Mins Genre: Horror Jonathan Edney
The past ten years has seen many horror films grace the big screen, most notably the Paranormal Activity franchise, but Sinister could easily become the scariest of the lot. Although there are echoes of The Ring as well as the aforementioned franchise, this film manages to balance human drama with the scares more effectively as well as scaring the living hell out of you whenever night falls around the house that holds Ellison (Ethan Hawke), a crime writer, and his family. Ellison has chosen to move his family to this house because the disturbing murder of its former inhabitants inspires his new book. However, he discovers a box of home movie reels that depict the lives of different families before showing the gruesome
murders of their members. Every member…except one. The sight of these Super 8 reels is enough to make your stomach churn and sets you up for the rest of the film’s horrors. Many of the scares are jump scares while some are more restrained while nonetheless terrifying. All of them are heightened by Christopher Young’s screeching score that builds, then fades, then stabs out of the screen, all leading to an unbearable amount of tension that at one stage had me watching the film through my coat.
Ethan Hawke is excellent as the crime writer who seeks justice by creating theories into cases where the perpetrator was never found. You feel his obsession driving him, even when the house starts to have an adverse effect on his children and his wife begs him to stop. He is a complex character who you sympathise with even though he has uprooted his family for the sake of a book. Scott Derrickson (writer and director of 2005’s The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) has many moments of human interaction and touches upon the effect of moving house on Ellison’s children. The film’s climax is shocking because of its nature and it couldn’t necessarily be predicted halfway through the film. Derrickson has proved himself to be a master of horror, which considering his upcoming films include a remake of Poltergeist (1982) suggests that there may be many more effective and chilling scares to come. Sleep may be difficult for the next few nights…
Dredd 3D: a beautiful, psychotic work of art Director:Pete Travis Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey Run Time: 95mins Genre: Action/Sci-Fi Nathan Taylor
Judge Dredd is arguably the single most successful comic-book character to ever come out of Britain. His first film was released in 1995, starring Sylvester Stallone, and was so gut-wrenchingly awful that it took the best part of two decades to persuade Hollywood that a reboot was in order. I suspect we won’t have to wait quite as long for the release of Dredd 2. The film is an action/sci-fi set in a dystopian future where crime has risen to such a degree that police officers have been granted the right to pass sentence on criminals on the spot (hence the name “Judges”), eliminating the need for due process. The film follows one of these Judges, the eponymous Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) as he evaluates the potential Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), who
possesses psychic abilities. Her evaluation becomes significantly harder when the pair stumble onto the drug-running operation of slumlord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and she seals them inside a skyscraper with a horde of well-armed drug addicts in an attempt to keep her operation under wraps. Predictably, mass violence ensues. What’s impressive about it is that, in a film containing at least half an hour of action scenes, the writers never repeat themselves. Dredd is equipped with a diverse
range of killing equipment, ranging from stun grenades to highexplosive pistol-rounds, and he works his way through all of them as he ascends the skyscraper floor by floor. This is actually a key plot-point: When all of his varied ammunition and grenades is exhausted, he finds himself struggling to make each of his few remaining shots count, all while the seemingly endless force of junkies and thugs remain as armed and dangerous as ever. This attention to detail is not the most impressive facet of Dredd, however. That title goes to the innovative use of the 3rd dimension. Throughout the majority of the film, the 3D effects are muted and remain in the background, serving only to improve immersion and make the scenery more visually attractive. However, the drug around which the plot revolves, Slo-Mo, causes users to view time occur at a fraction of its normal rate. At key points during the film, action scenes are presented from the perspective of the criminals under the influence of Slo-Mo and the 3D effects become truly impressive. Bullets travel lazily through the air leaving sparkling
rainbow trails in their wake, heads slowly pop open like balloons full of pretty, red paint and teeth casually roll towards the screen like a moth towards a flame. All in all, a simple shootout lasting a matter of seconds becomes a twisted buffet of wonderful eye-candy. Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby make the perfect acting-partnership. Urban portrays the stoic, unflinching, supercop who never strays from the law (and has gravelly voice that doesn’t sound ridiculous to the audience. Christian Bale should really take notes). Thirlby, by contrast, is the frightened rookie who has to steel herself before each shootout and becomes jaded by her orders to shoot criminals who’ve surrendered and the brutality displayed by her adversaries, portraying a nice character development that Dredd lacks. In conclusion, Dredd 3D sounds like just another Hollywood Blockbuster, but it views like a carefully painted work of art. Also, both of the female leads are remarkably attractive. For this, I award bonus points.
The Top 10 Amy & Rory Moments
To commemorate the loss of the Doctor’s most recent companions, Charlotte Coster takes us through their top moments in Doctor Who 10.Space (Red Nose Day Ep 2011) A hilarious special with some great banter from all three characters! 9. The Pandorica Opens (Series 5. Episode 13) A heart-breaking moment, because just when Amy finally starts to remember who Rory is…ZAP, he kills her! 8. Amy’s Choice (Series 5. Episode 7) It was here when Rory saw the true attachment that Amy had for him. 7. Let’s Kill Hitler (Series 6. Episode 8) The depiction of the young Amy and Rory, totally endeared you to the pair of them, showing Amy to be very much in charge from the beginning. 6. The Big Bang (Series 5. Episode 13) Amy has to be one of the best companions in history, purely for her line of ‘…And you are late for my weddinggggg-ah! 5.The Girl Who Waited (series 6 Episode 10) Again, it was just a line which made this moment: ‘I am not sad you grew old, I am sad we didn’t grow old together.’ 4.A good man goes to war (Series 6. Episode 7) A stricken Amy is admitting that their baby has been taken, but then Rory comes in with her in his arms… 3. The Asylum of the Daleks (Series 7. Episode 1) I think every fan died a little inside when they saw that the Ponds were getting a divorce. But they made up in a satisfying way. 2. A good man goes to war (series 6. Episode 7) The point when Rory shows his true colours and strength is when he faces a whole battalion of cybermen, demanding to know ‘Where. Is. My. Wife?’ 1.The Angels Take Manhatten (Series 7. Episode 5) After this episode, the love between Amy and Rory can never be doubted again with beautiful acting
FILM NEWS IN BRIEF - Taken 2 took a whopping $50million in its opening weekend alone; the third-highest October opening of all time! Taken 3 please?
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
TV spotlight - Doctor Who season seven (part one) Starring: Matt Smith, Karen Gillen, Arthur Darvill Episode list: Asylum of the Daleks, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, A Town Called Mercy, The Power of Three, The Angels Take Manhattan Jack Marshall
Doctor Who burst back onto our screens at the beginning of September for a short run of five episodes in the run-up to the departure of the beloved Amy Pond and her dutiful Centurion husband Rory. Now that this sequence of movie-style episodes has concluded and we’ve bade a tearful farewell to the Doctor’s most recent companions, it’s time to look back over this small segment of season seven. It all kicked off with what is undoubtedly the best Dalek-centric episode since Russell T Davies rebooted the show back in 2005. Crammed full of twists and surprises (including a special appearance that no one was expecting!) the episode fulfilled the desires of fans across the world as the Doctor plunged into the Asylum of the Daleks on a mission to shut it down on behalf of the ever-cowardly Dalek Council. This episode also presented us with the first glimpse
A sad farewell from The Doctor to the Ponds of the Pond’s fractured marriage; it appears in the wake of travelling with the Doctor (they now only join him every few months for an adventure after settling into a ‘normal’ life) their marriage has deteriorated to the point where divorce papers are almost signed… but behold, with an emotional confrontation their relationship is ignited again - along with the Dalek Asylum.
It was a fantastic run of episodes Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is just one of those episode where you can tell that the title was conjured up before the actual story – not
because it was a terrible episode, but because it has to be the best title of any TV episode ever! The Doctor is joined by a mis-matched team in his bid to stop a spaceship that is hurtling towards Earth – bearing a very precious dino-cargo – from being shot down and destroyed by the Indian Space Agency. The guest appearance of Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter film series) as Rory’s Dad provided the bulk of the comic elements for this episode which set the overall tone as one of fun and excitement. This contrasted nicely with the next episode; A Town Called Mercy, which delved into the Doctor’s darker side and explored the consequences of him travelling alone.
Despite this theme, this episode is easily the most forgettable of the 5; whilst the plot is entertaining and the gunslinger villain a brilliantly British Terminator, I just failed to engage as much with this episode, though found it enjoyable nonetheless. Episode four; The Power of Three, was a story told from the perspective of Amy & Rory. Having decided to settle into a normal life, when ‘the slow invasion’ of small, nondescript cubes that suddenly appear overnight occurs, the Doctor is forced to stay behind and patiently wait with them for a year in order to track the development of the cubes. Episode four was a really nice set-up for episode 5, which was to conclude the story of Amy & Rory Pond. By glimpsing into their life for a year, we come to understand and truly appreciate the relationship that they have and just how much they mean to one another.
have done the Ponds more justice with their departure; it serves to demonstrate everything that is good about their relationship and just how strong they are together. After the events and revelations of season six, it wouldn’t have been right to bid farewell without having River Song around, who was as sassy and sexy as ever. To bring back the Weeping Angels in this episode was a good move; and they did well to crank up the tension and scare-factor amidst a very emotional episode of Doctor Who – the likes of which have not been seen since perhaps season two when Rose Tyler became trapped in a parallel universe. It was a fantastic run of episodes that together have shown us that Amy Pond and Rory Williams were absolutely fantastic companions.
Steven Moffatt couldn’t have done the Ponds more justice with their departure So that by the time the end of episode 5 (The Angels Take Manhattan) comes along, it’s pretty difficult not to be touched by the turn of events! Steven Moffatt couldn’t
Retro Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
This fortnight at the RFT...
Director: Blake Edwards Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal Running Time: 114mins Genre: Romance/ drama
The Reading Film Theatre was established 40 years ago as an independant cinema with a policy to show the best films from around the world. With a mix of mainstream films and independant cinema, as well as foreign-language films, there is something for everyone and all are welcome. Below is a listing of showings for the upcoming fortnight...
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a phenomenal film whose timeless mystique and class transverses many generations. In a time where cinematography is lacking and special effects are nil, it achieves greatness not through the combination of thrills and action, but as a product of exceptional directing and clever acting. Set in a world away from our own – 1960s inner city New York, its significance and deeper meanings carry sway with a wide range of audiences as each scene and comment captures a subtle charm from an apparently by-gone era. Digging below the superficial plot however reveals significant parallels between the one portrayed in the film and our own. The main thrust is a slowly developing love story between a young fashionable socialite, Holiday Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), living in a relatively empty
apartment, and her new neighbour – a struggling writer, Paul Varjak (George Peppard), who survives mainly on the monetary and social titbits thrown to him by his wealthy, bored, matronly lover, Emily Eustace Failenson (Patricia Neal). Holiday and Paul have simple aspirations to establish peaceful, quiet lives for themselves through an honourable job that is merely self-sufficient, both understand however that on a tough scene like the one that was prevalent in Manhattan at the time, the most obvious way forward is often incredibly self-deprecating. This has resulted in an adoption of an escort lifestyle for them both. As the plot unfolds, the initially simplistic plot is revealed to be a slightly sinister web of mystery. Holly, for all her cravings, parties and connections with the wealthy upper-class, lacks a peace and settlement which prevents her from buying more than a scattering of possessions. At the same time, she unknowingly embroils herself in more than a few scrapes through her socialising with a wide variety of chauvinistic men, including the godfather of the NY-based mafia, as she receives considerable finan-
cial contributions for her time – money that she unfortunately lacks the commonsense and skill to save. So begins an enchanting tale that takes the viewer through a complex of emotions from sorrow as we emphasise with her loss, abandonment and complete overwhelm at the inevitable progress of life, to curiosity as to whether looks can actually provide a sustainably lucrative income that is equally glitzy and avoids the tedious humdrum of office work. Centred on the fabulous riches and promise of Tiffany’s, America’s oldest and most beloved jewellery store, we learn that although a glamorous lifestyle that seems to epitomise everything we yearn for as commoners, this may often be a scandalous and incredibly trying existence in comparison to the reality and depth we experience as the average Joe, far from the prying eyes of the media and those who would seek to belittle the aristocracy.
Student Tickets: £4.50
Tuesday 9 October (19.15): A Royal Affair (15) Wednesday 10 October (19:00): Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (PG) Thursday 11 October (20:00): Moonrise Kingdom (12A) Tuesday 16 October (19:45): The Source (15) Thusday 18 October (20.00): Shadow Dancer (15) Tuesday 23 October (20.00): Monsieur Lazhar (12A)
Members £4.50 Non-members £6.00
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
The Campaign: 60% of the time, it’ll make you laugh- everytime Directed by: Jay Roach Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis Running time: 85mins Genre: Comedy Zoë Annabel Richardson
The Campaign, featuring two of the biggest comedic actor of the past decade, promises lots of laughs and, especially with those involved, you would assume a laugh fest akin to The Hangover or Anchorman. Sadly, like the politicians it lampoons, it fails to deliver on its promise. It is, however, quite a well made film and some of the gags do work very well.
for the international audience, a lot of the jokes and references to political events are lost on us The Campaign is about an election for the new governor of North Carolina, with Ferrell as the womanising incumbent, Cam Brady, and Galifianakis as his
Stay classy, Will Ferrell. innocent, camp, pug-loving rival, Marty Huggins, thrust into the political world by his wealthy father whose loyalty is tied to a corrupt string-pulling company. Huggins is thrown into a cruel world in which Brady will do anything to win, and
Huggin’s campaign manager will change every aspect of his life in order to get that “appeal” to the American voter. What is interesting is that the sympathetic character is the Republican candidate, when the Republicans are so often portrayed, in both films and in real
life with prolific members such as Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, as rude, arrogant and out of touch, usually with views about seventy years out of date. With so much surreal, wacky characters in reallife politics, the ones created for the film seem rather mundane and lacklustre in comparison. However, one of the bigger problems with The Campaign is that, for the international audience, a lot of the jokes and references to political events are lost on us. It seems like, for the American audience, a lot of the humour derides from experiencing political campaigns in action, or from famous humorous events of real life politicians. However, whilst the digs and references are clever and funny, the writers know that they will be lost on many members of the audience and, o compensate, they have resorted to some puerile humour. It’s a shame, because, by not really deciding who the film’s audience is, it risks losing a large portion of it.
A few of the gags
worked and provide very good laughs but What saves the film is, unlike recent comedies, there is a story to be told, and you really do feel sympathy for Huggins, and how he’s being forced to change his pleasant ways to partake in a ruthless world. It has a rather concise runtime which means there is no sense of dragging in the film, or pointless filler scenes. Every scene plays a point to the overall story. It’s to no extent a bad film, just quite forgettable with not many stand out moments. A few of the gags worked and provide very good laughs but these moments are few and far between making the humour aspect, overall, disappointing.
these moments are few and far between The Campaign, especially via the casting of two of the best ensemble comedy actors of the past decade, should have been a lot funnier but let down by an unusual setting that can confuse the international
Untouchable: this film will touch your heart! Directed by: Eric Toledano Starring: Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, Clotilde Mollet Running time: 112 mins Genre: Comedy
The car scene at the beginning of the film shows some of the classic Paris sights at night from the point of view of lifetime Parisians. This view of night-time Paris from the roads around the city is a continuous sequence throughout the film which again emphasizes the Parisian touch to the film.
The majority of British cinema audiences probably wince at the thought of a decent new French comedy film. Le ‘humour francaise’ is so far removed from the comedy us Brits are used to. However, ‘Untouchable’, classified simply as a French comedy is so much more than that – it is entirely in a league of it’s own, steering clear of the ferocious slapstick we usually associate with Western continental humor.
It is purely a lighthearted comedy with a touch of charm Quadriplegic millionaire, Philippe (Francois Cluzet), hires young man
Untouchable carries a certain poignancy to every scene
from the Banlieues, Driss (Omar Sy), to be his full-time carer. The film charmingly follows the pair as they form a warm friendship, as Driss is introduced to a lifestyle so different from his own. Despite a rather simplistic, corny storyline, Untouchable carries a certain poignancy to every scene accompanied by the beautiful score by
Ludovic Einaudi (This is England, Black Swan). It could very easily be a much darker film, however, it still remains to be light and very easily watchable. The expected ‘friendship’ montages from the arguably cheesy storyline are surprisingly not corny in the slightest and are simply heartwarming and delightful.
Those of you searching for several underlying themes and messages should simply take the film for what it is. Welcome the warmth of the story, acting and overall beautiful cinematography rather than read too deeply into the film or take it too seriously. It is purely a lighthearted comedy with a touch of charm that puts it above others in the same genre.
FILM NEWS IN BRIEF - It has been revealed that Tranformers 4 is set to have a brand new cast of robot characters! The film is slated for a 2014 release...
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
Guy and Howard Lawrence are around the same age as most undergraduates, and they’ve been making music from 16 and 18 respectively. This year things really kicked off for the pair with sets at Ibiza and Leeds Festival closing off a stellar festival season, playing to crowds in the thousands. It seems like the stuff of surreal pipe dreams for the pair of guys who only played their debut show at the start of the year. With a new single - Latch - having just been released and a debut album prepped for 2013, brothers Lawrence are in the midst of their steady climb to prominence, so Spark* deemed it a good time to talk to the duo. So you’re putting finishing touches to the album or are you really in the thick of it at the moment? Guy: Yeah we’re right in the middle of it. We put finishing touches on the first single and it’s just getting mastered right now, actually. We’re still writing and everything. We’re not looking to put it out until March next year so we’ve set aside some time to write it. You played Leeds festival last weekend at midnight, to a pretty big crowd, how was that? Guy: Yeah it was amazing, I think that was the only tent still open at that time. Everyone just piled in. That’s had a really good reaction on twitter actually. Out of a lot of shows we’ve done this summer, people are still chatting about it now which is mad. What’s the biggest crowd you’ve played to this year?
Spark* chats to DJ Duo Disclosure following on from festival season
Howard: I think the biggest one was in Ibiza, as part of a radio 1 takeover. Guy: Yeah we only played fifteen minutes which was a bit weird, but with 8,000 people and millions on radio 1 listening, that was quite big. It you count radio 1, that’s an audience of a few millions. And you only played the Old Blue Last just over a year ago and that was your first show? Guy: Seems like a long time ago now. That show was probably the most nerve wracking one that we’ve done. When you first play it’s like ‘oh my god, what’s gonna go wrong?’. The hardest part of playing live is working out how to actually go about doing it. The actual playing of it is ok. Building your live set is so difficult. Howard: At the moment we’re redesigning the whole live show for next year. We’re gonna completely take it apart and put it together in a different way. We’re basically giving ourselves the same problems we had last year (laughs) Guy: Yeah, just starting over again. We’re just adding a lot more synths and drums and vocalists. So it’s all about incorporating live elements to it, making it a more realistic experience? Guy: Basically yeah. We’ve seen a lot of people who say they play live and they just turn up with an Ableton controller. It’s like mate, you’re doing fuck all. There’s nothing wrong with having a backing track here and there. We like making it visual for the crowd. The best show we played this summer was in Ibiza at Space and it was so amazing because we were
in the middle of the room because the whole crowd was around you. It was so much better than being a DJ in a booth with everyone looking up. That time round the crowd could see exactly what we were doing. Did you ever read that blogpost from Deadmau5 saying that all he does is turn up and press the space bar? Both: Yeah (laughing) Guy: Everyone knows that anyway. It’s the opposite of what we wanna do. I was chatting to people the other day about David Guetta and how he fake DJs. I kind of understand it now, though. If you’re getting paid hundreds of thousands of pounds per show, which he is, it’s like if you mess up, then it’s so much money you’re liable for. Whenever he plays he relies on backing tracks. For the difficult bits, he just doesn’t do anything. I feel a bit sorry for him in a way. There’s so much pressure. I assume when you get bigger you’ll have to be confronted with that issue. Guy: We’ll just have to learn to play the space bar. It must’ve been nice to get out of London, progressing quickly from the capital. Guy: Yeah we always make sure we don’t play too many London shows. It’s not good to play too many. We just got really lucky with Europe, I think. The Europe shows are always the nicest. Whoever you are, if you’ve got (UK) next to your name on a lineup, people will turn up to see you. We’ve played some weird places right out of the way, places like Slovakia and Estonia. And they’re the greatest: They sort you out with the nicest places to stay in and they treat you so well. Howard: Europe is so grateful for the quality control of music in England. Out there, there’s a lot of shit that comes out and it gets to a lot of people, it gets really pushed, for some reason. Whereas if you’re in the UK it’s unlikely you’re gonna get huge. Although, looking at the charts, maybe not. So it’s like an anything goes approach there? Guy: They just love getting people over from the UK. Especially with us being a live act, they were so intrigued to see us. They always bring a crowd, even if they’ve never seen you before.
When you first came out a couple of years back releasing singles with Moshi Moshi and Transparent - were you under any pressure at all to go straight into the route of playing live? Guy: I don’t know. We were definitely under encouragement. Our management knew that we played instruments. We’re not just programmers. Most techno producers are just programmers, they work machines, they’re good at mixing. Whereas playing instruments such as guitar and piano meant that it’d be silly to avoid using them. We don’t ever write songs with the live aspect in mind. You’ve also mentioned before that you’ll be working with lots of female vocalists on the album. Guy: Yeah that’s been really cool but we’re also gonna start singing as well. The first single’s got a male vocal on it, so we’re trying to mix it up a bit. Our managers are really really good at pulling people in to do vocal takes. They’ll often show us a Youtube video of this kid singing and we’ll be like ‘oh my god, how did you find this?’ So the single that’s about to come out, I think everyone’s gonna be pretty amazed at this guy (Sam Smith)’s voice. And no-one’s even heard of him yet. We definitely enjoy bringing in unknown names into the world. I think acts like yourself work as a very positive platform for vocalists. Howard: Yeah I mean, similarly SBTRKT brought in Jessie Ware with his debut. What’s it been like seeing Jessie Ware skyrocketing since the album’s been out? Guy: Literally the last couple of weeks, it’s like ‘wow, you’re actually famous now.’ It’s a bit weird. To us she’s just our mate. We’ve been to Ibiza with her three times this summer. Now she’s on BBC Breakfast. Howard: I think it was two weeks ago, I was in Kingston and I called Jessie and asked if I could come to this show that she was doing in Banquet records. I came and talked to her and all of a sudden these flocks of people would come in shouting ‘Oh my God! Is it Jessie Ware!?’. Guy: We were like, ‘you’ve gone famous, what’s going on here?’ I saw her album in the chart at number 5. It’s great to see a credible artist in the charts all of a sudden.
Out of all your remixes, the one for Jessie’s ‘Running’’s still being played non-stop. Guy: We try not to do too many remixes but literally since we started - 3 years ago - we’ve been producing. What did you make of the explicit, unofficial video for ‘What’s In Your Head’? Guy: Yeah we didn’t have any part in making that. It was just a random guy from Poland. But we saw it on Youtube quite early on, when it had a few hundred hits. We were tempted to take it down because we didn’t wanna offend anyone. Went to bed, woke up and it had 30,000 views. We’ve had a few emails expressing disgust, with people saying ‘your music should speak for itself’. But it’s like ‘shut up, mate’. It’s pretty great really, when you think about it. I take it you haven’t shown your parents that one though? Guy: Yeah! Our mum found it and it was all ‘jesus christ, oh look at that’. Do you ever get irked by the fact that people always ask you about your music in reference to your age? Howard: Sometimes in interviews, even nowadays, there’s people who’ve read our first press release and they start by saying ‘So Howard, you’re fifteen years old’. No, no, I’m 18. Guy: We don’t mind being asked about our age. But I get a bit frustrated when you do an interview and the person just hasn’t got a clue what he’s saying, quoting that we’re 15. I’ll be interested in seeing when people stop talking about our age. It’ll be a sign that we’ve gotten old! Howard: We’re still referred to as young newcomers to the game even though we’ve been around for three years.
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
do, it will grow on you and will most probably become one of your favourites.
“I implore you to stick with this album”
Animal Collective Centipede Hz Domino
Forget any existing memory you had of Animal Collective. Forget the sweeping, sparse synths and dotted bleeps of their 2009 release Merriweather Post Pavilion, and while you’re there, forget what you think the future of music should be like. The band have already looked into their crystal ball and have put what they saw on record. At first, you will feel like there is just too much going on, and at some points it does sound like a bit of an over zealous mess. After the first listen you may, like I was initially, be pining for the Animal Collective of old, with their graciously crafted melodies and annoyingly catchy vocals. But I implore you to stick with this album. If you
Mumford & Sons Babel Island
There will always be the myth of the ‘difficult second album’ for any band, regardless of the scale of first album success. Mumford & Sons can’t escape this, requiring a show-stopping second album to follow a debut album that went 4 times Platinum in the UK and achieved the Brit Award for Best British Album in 2011. No pressure then. From the opening notes of Babel, the powerful and bold opening
With their 9th studio release the newly reassembled four piece (with Deakin sitting out Merriweather) have forged what, in short, can only be described as a brilliant piece of work. A completely different body from anything they have created previously, Animal Collective have mutated from the outfit they were with their last release – taking all of the highlights of Merriweather and merging it with darker, intense material. Right from the off the band are firing you head first out of a cannon with the opener Moonjock. Mixing a deep, sludgy bass; sharp, punching snare drums and heavily oscillated synth hooks, the band set out their stall for what you can expect to hear from the rest of the record. Building on this foundation is the second track, and first release from the album, Today’s Supernatural, with the listener is urged to just ‘let go!’ Like the previous album, the record goes through heady peaks and more delicate troughs, with the first of these coming in the alias of Rosie Oh. Similar to their older songs, like the headrush of track as well as the album title, it’s pleasing to hear they haven’t lost their folk charm. That’s not to say their music hasn’t progressed, as their time in Tennessee seems to have influenced them and given a different edge to their wellrecognised folk style: Some songs appear more ragged and rough around the edges, out of purpose more than coincidence. I Will Wait, the first single to come from Babel, has already proved to be a hit, with the infectious “I will wait, I will wait for you” hook that begs to be sung by the festival crowds. Broken Crown echoes the theatrical and dark point in Sigh No More, giving Babel the variety it needs to match the success of their debut.
“There’s no denying the band have progressed” But it’s not all fast, live-inspired tracks. There are moments where the album slows right down, and an offering of peace is given. Ghosts That We Knew is a chance to sit back and reflect for five minutes, and admire how good Mumford & Sons really are as both musicians and songwriters, as Marcus
previous album closer Brothersport, these lighter songs highlight the band at their best, with even a sense of fragility felt in Father Time with its mellow steel drum melody flowing throughout its duration. Despite the abrasive quality of the album, it’s often these quieter moments where Animal Collective excel. Other clear stand out tracks featured on the release include Applesauce, with its catchy, addictive vocals; and the closing track Amanita, with its oriental guitar licks and tribal drum patterns: All unconventional at face value, but they fit nicely in Animal Collective’s ethos as a whole.
“This is darker, more intense material” Overall, the latest release from the space aged New Yorkers may initially fly over head - or worse, have you tempted to hit the ‘off’ button in an instant - but don’t be put off. Persevere with it and you will reap the benefits; with the Collective taking you on a voyage to the future of music.
HHHH Mumford pleas “just promise me we’ll be alright.” Babel hits an even better note, when these slower tracks are combined with the energy of I Will Wait to create something like Lover’s Eyes, that builds to a triumphant and riling climax. More ambitious and transatlantic writing and recording sessions, as well as the introduction of the 10 song game during recording, where each band member has to write 10 songs in a certain time period - all of this has led to Babel. The result is a bigger album, with more instruments and surprisingly, a slightly less polished and glossy sound. Although Babel doesn’t offer anything particularly new or outrageously different from what we’d expect, there’s no denying the band have progressed leaps and bounds, and that this is a great album, from the opening energy of Babel down to the closing calmness of Not With Haste.
Top 10 Girls Aloud songs
Girls Aloud are counting down the days until they announce their 10th anniversary on Friday. To celebrate, here’s a countdown of the best songs by Britain’s best girl group. Nia Thomas
Muse The 2nd Law Warner
Many attest that Muse have taken an unfamiliar path with their sixth studio album. The name is proof enough, not being the most conventional, but in my opinion, I’d say that that such a change in direction is positive. The band are clearly not novices when it comes to the industry, but they can only be congratulated for keeping things The album flits from genre to genre presenting songs which are true Muse in style. The opening song Supremacy for example, is nothing short of grand. Comparable to that of a Bond theme tune, it is the strong guitar melody and Bellamy’s distinctive falsetto which heightens its impressiveness. The album is a rollercoaster of sound, each song differing from the next. Madness, the band’s second single release is immediately entrancing, merging a soft rock vibe with traces of dubstep in its bass. Other songs on the album have the same feel. 2nd LawUnsustainable, for example is a somewhat alternative sidestep for Muse, reminding me of something that the Prodigy would produce. Though the band have taken some stick for such bold choices, they have been undeniably experimental, finding elements of sound everywhere and anywhere, even in the heartbeat of Bellamy’s unborn child which features in the song Follow Me. On a final note, I cannot review the album without mentioning the single, Survival. Representative of London 2012, both the prelude and the song itself masterfully merge sounds which signify the epic scale of the Olympics for us as a country. Muse may not have had whole hearted praise for their album, The 2nd Law. However, in my opinion the album should be congratulated. Its range in genre and sound could clearly suit any listener, of any age and that, is not easy to achieve.
10. Untouchable All of Girls Aloud’s single have charted in the Top 10... except for this one. The album version is almost 7 minutes long and it’s the highlight of their fifth album Out of Control. 9. Something Kinda Ooooh! Only Girls Aloud could pull off this unconventional title, the puzzling lyric “jumping on my tutu” and a terrible video. 8. Love Machine Introducing a different style for Girls Aloud this was also covered very well by Arctic Monkeys. 7. No Good Advice Girls Aloud were quickly written off as reality show one hit wonders that would quickly disappear. The catchy melody and awful foil outfits are etched in their fans’ memories forever. 6. Swinging London Town The most experimental song from their third album Chemistry, it describes a London wannabe’s fall from grace. 5. Sexy! No No No Autotuned to oblivion, this manic song throws together all kinds of synth elements in a whirlwind of shouting and effects. 4. Sound of the Underground It broke the winner’s song trend by being brilliant. The boyband that rivalled them for that Christmas No.1 never had a chance and are now long forgotten. 3. The Promise The typical Phil Spector-produced 60s girl group influenced their biggest single which gave Girls Aloud their first Brit. 2. Biology When it was first released the Guardian described it as “the best pop single of the past decade”. Its unique structure showed that their producers Xenomania were willing to push boundaries of what people would expect from a pop sing. 1. Call The Shots This melancholy, mid-tempo single about coming out of a relationship stronger than ever is their most subtle and elegant.
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
The themes that are regarded as the best, most memorable James Bond themes, sung by the likes of Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey, usually have a tremendous voice backed by a massive orchestra. It lets the vocals shine while babbling nonsensical stuff about the wonderful and fearless Mr Bond. So, what luck for the Bond producers to have an absolutely perfect
James Bond and Adele – Double Oh Heaven or Double Oh Dear?
fit for this type of song in Adele and for Adele to be at the top of her game as the most popular artist in the world at this moment in time. Lately the themes have had different spins to them. Madonna’s Die Another Day was an icy electro number. Chris Cornell was given a chance despite his solo career being as popular as calling a pineapple Mohammed at a Freshers Fayre. Neither stand
out in the Bond theme canon, proving that the theme is not as much of a crucial part of the film as it had been in the past. On the other hand, Skyfall has garnered 15 million views in three days showing that there is considerable interest in the project and that the stakes were high for a Bond/Adele collaboration. As the collaboration seemed like a dead cert, would Adele’s Skyfall fall in to the trap of being too predictable?
Skyfall is understated and stringladen, similar to Nancy Sinatra’s You Only Live Twice. It builds and builds where Adele usually holds back, unleashing an inner diva on the second half of the song. The way it combines Adele’s unassuming style and the history of Bond divas and their string orchestras places Skyfall alongside some of the best Bond themes of all time. As an Adele song, it’s more underwhelming, as she usually has a deep emotional connection with the lyrics, which reflect on her past. Skyfall on the other hand feels far more shallow, reeling off cliches, going on about standing tall together. It’s likely that it will chart at No.1 this weekend, and will go on to do well worldwide. This is a coup for the James Bond producers as it will be excellent promotion for the film and the most popular Bond song for decades. It’s not as crucial for Adele’s career and it will not be regarded as one of her better songs, in years to come, just like Madonna and Jack White’s respective Bond themes have already been brushed under the carpet. Skyfall is riding on Adele’s coat tails while we await Adele’s amazing post-baby comeback.
fun. take to London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire for their biggest show to date. times though, lyrics verging on the words of a motivational speaker, and their overly smiley personas at points meant the act seemed to lack depth. But it pleased the throngs of 14 year old girls and was a good warm up for chartbusters Fun. to follow.
“The whole group seemed genuinely awe struck”
fun. Tuesday 2nd October 2012 Rosie Knight O2 Shepherd’s Bush, London
The first striking thing about fun. was how myself and my friend seemed to be the oldest people at the gig by about 5 years. This sense of being ever so slightly out of place helped set the tone for the support act; four piece group Walk the Moon from Cincinnati,
Ohio. A super pop group releasing their namesake album October 8th, Walk the Moon have gained recognition in the last few years supporting notable acts such as Weezer, The Kaiser Chiefs and Panic! At the disco. Disputably classified as “indie rock”, the group play catchy pop numbers and are quite something to watch; covered in face paint, bouncing all over the stage, Walk The Moon were energetic and hypnotic. Their performance did become cheesy at
Fun., in their first tour of the UK, sold out the O2 Empire at Shepherd’s Bush and it was easy to see why. Nate Ruess, the charismatic front man on the New York group, has an outstanding voice and is a stage persona absolutely captivating to watch. Ruess, dressed like a part of the cast of Oliver, is an attention commanding frontman whose family background in Broadway was very clear. Their whole performance is like watching a big musical production, the theatre-esque venue of the O2 Empire the perfect setting for a show. Fun.’s songs tell stories, with big harmonic choruses and jaunty
saxophone and trumpet additions. With blackouts between songs, and heavy finishes with lights, drums and confetti, the whole show kept momentum from big pop chorus songs like All The Pretty Girls to ballads like The Gambler. It felt like a performance; like some bit budget show in the West End or Broadway come to fruition with a breahtaking soundtrack. Unlike their support act, personal lyrics (Ruess informs the crowd The Gambler is about his parents) and slow tempo ballads meant the music didn’t feel too cheesy, catchy songs like All Right proving very popular with the crowd, the band performing acoustically for several numbers. Big harmonies such as Why Am I The One? show the talent of the whole band, and the other musicians had due attention.
“They go beyond their one hit wonder.” Their varied set included what seemed like a Broadway version of the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want and as predicted, the summer chart hit
We Are Young. The whole group seemed genuinely awe struck to be in London, as Ruess proclaimed to the audience it was the biggest show they had played since forming in 2010, which seemed hard to believe considering their international success this year., where any holiday visit across Europe and beyond would be immediately sountracked by the sounds of the Janelle Monae featuring breakthrough single: This worldwide success was replicated in London, where the single, released in January, gradaully grew into one of the most universally celebrated tracks of the year. Unexpectedly, the band go for beyond the one hit wonder We Are Young and are enjoyably quirky throughout the rest of their set. However, if you don’t enjoy big productions and musical theatre - as in: If Glee makes you change the channel or throw inanimate objects at the tele - they’re probably not for you. As a pop band, they do exactly what it says on the tin – fun.
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Oxjam is a name you may have heard before. It’s a music festival held by Oxfam all over the country and on October 20th Reading will be hosting its very own Oxjam festival for the first time. Sixty bands are playing in six of the best music venues in town. Tickets are only £10 and they give you access to all six venues which are all within a few minutes walking distance of each other. The day begins at 12pm and ends at midnight, with DJs continuing in to the night at Oakford Social Club.
Sixty bands are playing in six of the best music venues in town It brings together some of the best acts from the Reading area and it gives a taste of the local music scene. It offers those students that are stuck in the campus bubble an introduction to venues that they haven’t ventured to yet, only making an exception for Revs, The Oracle and Nandos. It also offers other options for those that aren’t keen on the typical student-heavy places. All six have a completely different atmosphere so you are bound to like at least one. These days it’s really easy to feel connected to your favourite bands just by staying in your room
Oxjam - a taste of Reading for a tenner
with your laptop. Downloading is easy, gigs are streamed online and bands upload new pictures daily on Twitter and Facebook. You can discover an amazing new band from the other side of the world with a few easy clicks. This is a wonderful thing that should be celebrated but it isn’t the only way of enjoying music. Supporting your local music scene can be really fulfilling and it’s one of the easiest ways to make friends that are passionate about the kind of music you enjoy. It also makes it easy to meet people who can help you put on events of your own, collaborate with other musicians or design posters and artwork for artists and venues. While acts like Lady Gaga or Radiohead may not be performing in any of these venues soon Lady Gaga toiled away in New York’s dingiest clubs until she was noticed, while Radiohead performed for years in pubs half an hour away in Oxford. I grew up in the small town of Aberystwyth, which is at least three hours away from any big city. The only well-known band that have been willing to perform there are Goldie Lookin’ Chain. This meant that opportunities to see the biggest bands in the country were sparse but it didn’t stop me from seeing which musical offerings were on my doorstep and while the bands varied in quality
I went to as many gigs as I could, whether they were held in church halls, back rooms of pubs or in the promenade’s bandstand. My favourite local band were called Radio Luxembourg. They were a few years older than me at school and they performed regularly in those aforementioned venues to very few people at the beginning. These days they’re called Race Horses and they’re touring Europe with Bat For Lashes. Their debut album was given an 8.0 by Pitchfork, the world’s biggest, most influential independent music website, and it received similarly positive reviews by NME, Q, Uncut and Mojo. They’re not filling stadiums but they’ve reached a far wider audience than I could’ve ever imagined watching them play their bilingual, psychedelic pop songs in my school hall at lunchtime. It’s at these gigs that I first met people that shared my passion for music and made friends for life. Reading’s population is ten times bigger than Aberystwyth so similar opportunities await you in far nicer venues with many more people.
Supporting your local music scene can be really fulfilling There are a variety of artists performing at Oxjam to cater to everyone’s tastes: Jazz singer Rebecca Poole’s (pictured left) upbeat songs are perfect for those whose soul belongs in the 40s. The Reaper (pictured right) are a metal band who’ve played alongside Guns N’ Roses, yet their oldest member is only 14. Tribute acts including Open The Doors (The Doors) and The Jason Hendrix Experience (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) are there for those who want to hear more familiar songs. Oxjam is a great way for students to discover a side of Reading they may not have seen before, to meet all kinds of people and give to charity. The six venues involved are: Oakford Social Club, Milk, The Rising Sun, The Purple Turtle, Pavlov’s Dog and The Red Lion. Tickets are available from: http://www.wegottickets.com/ event/179702 or you can buy them on the door.
FULL LINE-UP Hold the front page! We’ve got an exclusive on our hands. Spark* is the first publication to publish the full Oxjam line-up so take a copy of Spark* with you on the day to know who’s playing where, and when. Oakford Social Club
23:30 Onwards DJs - Adrian Pye & Dave Howard 22:20 - 23:20 Private Jet 20:55 - 21:55 Open The Doors 19:40 - 20:25 Borderline Fire 18:35 - 19:15 Natalie Gray 17:30 - 18:10 Shout Timber 16:25 - 17:05 Subverts 15:20 - 16:00 Airlocked 14:15 - 14:55 Dirtbags 13:10 - 13:50 The Reaper 12:05 - 12:45 The Papers The Rising Sun
22:00 - 00:00 DJ - Edd Rimmer 20:55 - 22:00 Nick Heyward 19:40 - 20:25 Rebecca Poole 18:35 - 19:15 Tiger Lilly 17:30 - 18:10 Kayleigh Ramchand 16:25 - 17:05 Tom Longhurst and Lizz Harman 15:20 - 16:00 Lee Switzer 14:15 - 14:55 Joshua Gwilt 13:10 - 13:50 Alex Ferguson / 12:05 - 12:45 Steve Morano Pavlov’s Dog
22:45 - 23:45 Handle with Care 21:20 - 22:20 Fictions 20:10 - 20:55 The Jar Family 19:00 - 19:45 Inside Info 17:50 - 18:35 You Win Again Gravity 16:40 - 17:25 Ashlea Pullinger 15:30 - 16:15 Mercia 14:20 - 15:05 We Are Lost Boys 13:10 - 13:55 Dusk Til Dawn 12:00 - 12:45 Sundara Karma
22:40 - 23:40 Dezzie Daunt 21:20 - 22:05 We Caught The Castle 20:10 - 20:55 Swarm 19:00 - 19:45 Violet Class 17:50 - 18:35 Formby 16:40 - 17:25 Trailing Wake 15:30 - 16:15 Anaemic 14:20 - 15:05 Sylvan Souls 13:10 - 13:55 Lonesound 12:00 - 12:45 The Patient Wild
The Purple Turtle 21:05 - 22:00 Jurassic Clock 19:40 - 20:35 A & T 18:35 - 19:15 Shoot For The King 17:30 - 18:10 The Nevertones 16:25 - 17:05 The Zone 15:20 - 16:00 High Top Heroes 14:15 - 14:55 The Longfellows 13:10 - 13:50 Kachaan 12:05 - 12:45 The Exchange 12:05 - 12:45 Take
The Red Lion 22:05 - 23:00 drix Experience 20:55 - 21:40 Beasts 19:40 - 20:25 18:35 - 19:15 17:30 - 18:10 16:25 - 17:05 15:20 - 16:00 14:15 - 14:55 13:10 - 13:50
The Jason HenKinky Boot The Virtues The 20 Club / JaygillyMac Jason Boyd Smash Robots Talulah Kills Vinewood Rollers
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
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Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Arts&BOOKS Book addiction English extravaganza The Fix Book Review Damian Thompson William Henderson
Girls: one last sugary lump of calories in the evening, before a night out where you might just drink a little bit more than you can handle? Lads, which will it be: another round of COD or another round of FIFA? Either way, if you can put down your smartphone, I’d like to welcome you (back) to university, an environment in which more potentially damaging behaviours are available than in any other, and it’s for this reason that I cannot recommend enough to you that you read Daily Telegraph columnist Damian Thompson’s new book.
The book is as entertaining as it is well-researched and well-argued. The Fix: How Addiction is Invading our Lives and Taking Over Your World maintains that our commercially motivated environment is encouraging us to adopt all sorts of compulsions, ones which range from socially unacceptable at best, to life-destroying at worst. Controversially, the book also argues that addiction is not a pathological disease, but a behavioural disorder, with the donkey of our brain’s dopamine reward system relentlessly chasing the carrots of its satisfaction: whether sugar or cocaine, video games or alcohol, the boundaries between different forms of addiction are becoming increasingly blurred.
The book is as entertaining as it is well-researched and well-argued. To read that the brain can become addicted to its natural opioids brought about by eating sugar – in exactly the same way it forms an addiction to opioids such as heroin and morphine – is frankly terrifying.
English Society Ellen North-Row
Whether you’re more 50 Shades of Grey than Great Expectations, or choose J.K Rowling over Thomas Hardy, the English Society is the place for you!
Joining the English Society can actively involve you in events tied with other societies and allows you to make contacts with other students who participate in the many other societies the University of Reading has to offer- Spark*, RUFAS (Reading University Fine
There is a small joining fee but the benefits of joining far out way the small initial cost! It looks great on your CV, gets your closer with your course friends and increases your socialising whilst giving discounts and entry to our fabulous events and trips. We look
Arts Society) and RUDS (Reading University Drama Society) to name a few. We have subsidised socials at many of the classic Reading clubs with VIP areas on student nights, as well as making use of our renowned Student Union 3Sixty.
forward to sharing memorable social events, culture and helping to guide you through the next three years of your University of Reading experience. So come along and sign up even after Freshers Fair…you do not want to miss out!
Controversially, the book also argues that addiction is not a pathological disease In addition, the book is formed by the author’s cardinal experience: Thompson is a former alcoholic who formed an unhealthy relationship with drink while at university which, like all addictions, he describes as “replacing people with things”. His own incidents with alcohol are candid and yet poignantly funny, and the contention that the disease model of addiction should not be an emotional crutch onto which people can defer their problems gives the book a refreshingly honest feel. A compelling and persuasive read.
One of the best things about University is the opportunity to join a society. Returning to Reading or one of our Freshers’? The English Society is a fantastic way to meet your new course friends and to socialise with new and like-minded people! We are a sociable society for not only pure BA English Literature and Language students and combined humanities courses but for anyone with an interest in literature and the arts!
The English Society is a fantastic way to meet your new course friends and to socialise with people!
Craft corner Tardis Chocolate Box Hui Chow
A gift for a Whovian friend, made from 80% recycled paper materials (cardboard, cereal cartons, catalogue papers, etc.), inspired by another photo making its way around the internet, of an adorable TARDIS chocolate box by Michelle Quinn. The walls are made of four pieces of rectangular cardboard, held together by sturdy cardstock wrapped around them and painted dark blue. The boxes (including
the three stacked squares making up the roof) are stiff cardstock folded into origami boxes and glued together where appropriate. The little light at the top was made using a stiff plastic sheet, cut to shape, scored and folded before adding the roof and gluing it all in place. I added the little details, like the ‘POLICE BOX’ labels and the notice outside the door (all handwritten), and the tiny door handle made using thin, twisted wires. This was then given a few coats of varnish to seal in the paint and give it a smooth appearance.
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
Phantom phenomenon! Phantom of the Opera Review Lucy Snow
Wow! It took me a moment to absorb this outstanding masterpiece; I knew I had witnessed something special. World class. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s creation had excelled on so many levels; it is no wonder thousands of theatre-goers flock to experience this beautiful play every year.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s creation had excelled on so many levels I felt truly lucky to be a member of the audience whom roared with applause. We had ventured into the world of the Paris Opera House and survived the Phantom, but begging for more! If you’re debating which WestEnd show to tick off next, this is it. The symphony of mesmerising music, breathtaking stage craft and outstanding acting are magically mixed together in the potion of a tragic love story. Tasty theatrical ingredients are jam-packed into a breathtaking three hours that you will never forget. Set in late Nineteenth Century, the play is predominantly acted within the Paris Opera House which is haunted by the existence of the Phantom (Peter Joback) who is lurking in the shadows. The gargoyle-faced genius feared by all is besotted by the beautiful Christine Daae (Sofia Escobar) whom he cannot resist. It is through the magic
of singing, (Escobar’s vocal range was incredible) and arguably the Phantom’s plotting that brings a musically harmonious but forced relationship between the two.
Prepare to be amazed The most famous and my favourite scene, ‘entering the labyrinth’ on water really captured the Phantom’s passion for his Angel of Music, but also the gorgeousness of the Gothic genre as they enter his forbidden world surrounded by dramatic candelabras and smoke. Christine must now make her eternal decision: select the fanatical Phantom or her childhood sweetheart, Raoul (Killian Donnelly)
in an intense and truly ardent fashion. Lloyd Webber’s music and plotting techniques never fail to impress! So, does the Phantom deserve an eventual happiness or is he just a possessed creature? Furthermore, will the Paris Opera House survive and learn to obey the Phantom of the Opera on this whirlwind of an adventure.... Simply take your crimson seat and prepare to be captivated by theatre at its best.
The symphony of mesmerising music, breathtaking stage craft and outstanding acting
Reading- your brave new world Reading Review
What do you need to know if you have just moved to Reading and you are starting a new life - an academic journey and a period of selfdiscovery? Apart from knowing where the best pubs are one thing is sure: you need a sense of place! If you wonder ‘what Reading is all about and what can you do here’ I suggest you start with Cormac McCarthy’s observation from the novel Cities of the Plain: ‘The world to come must be composed of what is past. No other material is at hand.’ Knowing the past of a place means understanding a spatial and cultural territory. Here is a deal: I will tell you about Reading’s past and its present (a very, very brief history) and you can use this material to build up your own ‘world to come’ in Reading. Reading’s Anglo-Saxon name was Readingum (around 871) but the first important date that you need to know is 1121, the building of
The Abbey which is mentioned in the Domesday book. Near the Abbey Ruins is Reading prison where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned and wrote the famous ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’. There are other interesting sites in the central area of Reading: The Maiwand Lion in Forbury Gardens which is the unofficial symbol of Reading that commemorates the fallen soldiers of the 66th Berkshire Regiment at the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan in1880 (history repeating itself?), the Caversham Bridge and Caversham Court Garden, The Reading Museum which displays an excellent copy of The Bayeuax Tapestry which commemorates the Norman invasion of England, The Museum of English Rural life which has great connections with the University, the Malmaison Reading which is the oldest railway hotel in the world designed by a team of architects led by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. But enough with the past! If you want more informa-
tion about the history of Reading I recommend www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/reading. What about the present? What can you do in the long weekends that you do not have deadlines, exam preparation and you checked out all the pubs in Reading? I can tell you that there is an incredible array of things to do in Reading – forget all these people who told you that Reading is only an industrial city, a dormitory to London and is only famous for the 3 Bs (Biscuits, Bulbs and Beer). Reading has an extraordinary cultural life; it has two lively and intimate art centres: The South Street Arts Centre and the Rising Sun, a very good theatre –The Progress Theatre, a multi venue hall for the arts –The Hexagon, The RISC Global Cafe where the Quaker and Founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn used to worship, etc. For more information about the present see: www.livingreading.co.uk and www.heritageopendays.org.uk
There are a number of exciting events this Autumn that you can attend. First there is a regular monthly poetry evening at the South Street Centre (www.readingarts.com/southstreet) where you can read your own poems or listen to other poets; the Poets’ Cafe is run by the centre’s resident poet A.F.Harrold – the first time I saw A.F.Harrold performing, many years ago, was at Cafe Mondial in the Students’ Union. Secondly, there is the Whitley Arts Festival which is a platform for new work, the arts, discussions, workshops, film and awards; the artistic director of the festival, Edmund Harcourt, is always looking for volunteers and performers – last year Reading University Fine Art students were involved in the Whitley Arts Trail (www.whitleyartsfestival.co.uk). The last big event that I would like to mention is an exhibition in November of a selection of art works of the finalists of the Department of Fine Art from Reading University, at the
Keep on Oxford Road. The Keep was built in 1877 as the armoury and gatehouse of the Brock Barracks and today houses the OpenHand OpenSpace’s Artists Studios (www.ohos.org.uk). Interestingly almost half of the current artists form the studios are graduates form the Department of Fine Art at Reading. The Keep is a one of those amazing places that have emerged in the last few years as a centre of creativity in the arts. It hosts a number of cultural events, from regular contemporary art exhibitions that involve current members and guest art groups to talks and workshops (see the Artspeak list for the SeptemberDecember calendar). These are only three choices that spring to mind when thinking about the Autumn cultural calendar in Reading but I have probably missed a lot of other enchanting events. Now is your turn to discover and explore the cultural map of your new temporary home town!
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
FASHION Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model Katey Watkins
Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model has sadly come to an end for another year. So, we had a chat with our favourite throughout this cycle, Anita Kaushik, who finished third in the competition. We are still adamant she should have won! We thought you were a sure winner, how did you feel about leaving the competition so close to the end? I was absolutely gutted! I think with some of the girls they hid their emotions very well when they got eliminated, but you could see all over my face how upset I was to be leaving, so close to the final aswell! I knew that it would be me going as soon as Elle said ‘we’ve made our decision from this photoshoot alone’... I kind of hoped that the fact that I’d gotten photo of the week 3 times and never been in the bottom 2 would work in my favour, but it shows that that doesn’t always matter! What was your favourite and funniest parts of the experience? This is such a difficult question because as cliche as it sounds, i’ve loved every minute of it! I’d probably say my favourite part was getting to travel all around the world to places that I would have only dreamed of going to before! Toronto isn’t a place that I would have visited before but its such an amazing city, i would definitely
reccomend it to anyone! And Dubai was just WOW! My least favourite part was definitely being on the CN tower... I hated every minute of it! I thought when we had the tarantulas that was the worst thing they could do to us... i can honestly say i would rather do the tarantulas 100 times over before ever going on the CN tower again. One of the funniest times i had in the house they didn’t actually show in the series! I don’t know if I should really be saying this... but one night (just before Maddie left) we were all a bit bored and me Roxie Emma and Lisa were in the kitchen messing about and started doing impersonations of all the judges! Me being Elle, Rox being Tyson, Emma being Julian and Lisa being Whitney, with Letitia occasionally jumping in as Paul Schulfor! Anyway, we got so carried away we actually put on outfits that we thought they would wear (we weren’t being very flattering at all!) and then started judging all the girls! Lets just say we had a great time being very rude and cheeky about the judges of BINTM!
Will you be keeping in touch with Lisa? We loved Lisa too! Me and Lisa skype and text all the time! I really love that girl she was definitely my favourite person in the house because she’s so nice and really knows how to have a laugh. We formed a little bond in the house and were dubbed Dobby
and Master (me being master obviously) because she used to help me do everything, from cooking to showing me how to do my washing! She was really my rock in the house and having her there definitely made my time better! I’m currently trying to persuade her to move to England so she can carry on with the modelling, but we’ll see!
Who was your favourite judge? To tell you the truth i actually really like all the judges! They were all different which made you like them for different things. Elle is just really knowledgable and especially towards the end really got involved with the girls and helped us. Whitney is just so blunt which I love because I’m exactly the same! And everything that Whitney said made sense, and watching it back you realise how much input she actually had! Julian is just crazy! And he really knew how to make it fun. Tyson is so hot! And he really made us all feel at ease in the photoshoots and elimination rooms! I think out of all the judges Tyson and Julian had my back, it seems like they really rooted for me! I still can’t believe we got to work with amazing supermodels and designers! Will you be carrying on with modelling and will we being seeing you soon? I will definitely be carrying on with modelling, I don’t really know how much I’m allowed to say at
the moment but a lot of doors are opening for me! I told you when I got eliminated that this wouldn’t be the last you’d see of me, and I’m keeping that promise!
“I loved every minute of it!” What was the best piece of advice you have been given? This wasn’t actually said to me it was said to one of the other girls but it really stuck in my head. Elle said when you come and see us in eliminations, the way you walk up to us can completely change our minds about whether you’re going home or not. For example if you walk up to us with confidence and determination we still have a reason to keep you in the competition. If you see your picture and say you don’t like it then how can you expect anyone else to like it? From that, every week I always made sure I looked confident even if i was feeling the pressure. That might come across as over confident, or even cocky to some people, but in this industry theres no room for being downhearted! And whenever I was asked I always said I loved my picture! I suppose with this they were training us in the real world because when you go to a casting you get 2 minutes to prove that you’re what they’re looking for and there’s no room for mistakes or to feel your not good enough!
What to buy... staple, statement or fad? Samantha yates
A woman’s wardrobe should ideally divide into three simple categories: the trends, the aweinspiring and the classic. Or, in fashion terms, the fad, statement and staple. This quick guide aims to tell you where to buy and how much to spend on clothes and accessories to keep you in the stylish loop of campus fashionistas. Fad or trend pieces are the in and outgoing pieces that survive one season at a time, often decades apart. Spend your absolute minimum on these (anything over £30 is a waste) if you can’t ignore them completely and want to stay on trend. The neon trend is possibly the best trend any of us could have followed this summer. Last seen in the 80s and even resurfacing briefly during the early Spice
Girls period of the 90s, for a total low-cost raid elder relatives wardrobes, if that fails, find any small accessory you can. Go for a neon yellow or pink for maximum output for minimum input, H&M earrings, or a Primark satchel should satisfy your trend craving for a teeny price, with the bright colour blasting any outfit into 2012 with a bang. Speaking of accessories, the category where “statement” gets thrown around a lot. A study was conducted into how many times a street style blog used the phrase “statement necklace” it happened more frequently than Nick Clegg manages to disappoint. Embellished clutches, engineering-required earrings and extravagant arm parties are a safe bet, but I’m a firm believer in shoes. Make a good shoe a statement piece and it doesn’t matter what else you’re
wearing. Budget £30-£70, see Topshop and River Island for the ultimate in outrageous yet wearable style. Finally, transcending trends, understated but timeless, see: staple wardrobe. Like a staple diet, we’re talking your basics, your can’t-live-withouts. How to tell if it’s staple or fad? It would suit anyone from Marilyn Monroe to the Cheeky Girls (believe it or not). Yes, yourbasic staples should consist of t-shirts, jeans, leggings etc, but cut the boring stuff, we’re only interested in one thing. No budget, it’s priceless. No specific store, once you find it, you’ve found it. Flattering on any shape or size, designed with power and sexuality inmind, the symbol of eternal glamour. The only staple piece a woman needs is her little black dress.
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
Pink Mothballs lauched RUSU clothing lauren armour
Freshers week is over for most, and bank balances are decreasing rapidly, but there is no need to worry about expanding your overdraft or wearing the same dress two nights running! An iPhone app has finally been created to help girls keep up with the latest fashion in these tough economic times. Pink Mothballs is free to download on the app store and means you can look through your friend’s wardrobe without leaving your bedroom. Users can upload photos of clothing items to their Pink Mothballs wardrobe, or uploading one from Facebook. They then add information about the item to specify the brand, colour and size so friends view-
ing the page can narrow down the choices through the refined search function. The app was founded by 25year-old designer Amanda Baker, who was encouraged by her bank balance to begin borrowing and lending clothes more often: “It’s the cheapest way I can keep up with all the trends. I try and avoid wearing the same thing more than once, but I always feel that urge to buy something new... I don’t have the money to buy new outfits all the time, so I borrow them instead!” Pink Mothballs is a fantastic way of helping girls expand their wardrobe without expanding their overdraft and also to encourage items being worn more than once. Amanda concludes: “Borrowing
and lending clothes is something we all do with our friends when we have nothing to wear and when money is tight. I just wanted to create something useful that makes it easier and more fun to do!” The app launched in style, with a night full of cocktails, sweets and an awesome dressing up box. They even had a cake wardrobe! Pink Mothballs are offering the chance to win a £200 gift card to spend at The Oracle in Reading! All you have to do is download the Pink Mothballs app, create a profile and upload some photos to your online wardrobe and a winner will be picked based upon the biggest and most stylish wardrobe.
Mix things up with prints Cicely groom
From startling poppy-prints in vibrant shades of red and cobalt to elegant lace juxtaposed with graphic monochrome designs, the catwalks at London, Milan, New York and Paris were a technicolour haze of vivid patterns and prints. Leading the fashion pack was Mary Katrantzou, a newlyemerged designer for whom prints have become a signature style. Her loosely-structured and elegant shapes were adorned with intricate patterns in pastel shades, set against a backdrop of pearly white. Also channelling monochrome were Peter Pilotto and Balmain, with the latter combining graphic diamond prints, textured paisley and the statement Balmain shoulders. Pilotto’s collection demonstrated not only the longevity of the peplum but also its compatibility with the print trend. For a flattering look that’s bang on trend, pair a structured peplum top with a pair of printed trousers, the bolder the better. These ones from H&M are a great start, and at £24.99 you can’t really afford not to. Dolce & Gabbana were more focussed on colour, with their warm-hued patterns evolving naturally from the golden opulence of autumn’s ‘Baroque’ trend. Taking inspiration from the market-lined
streets of Sicily, D&G threw the rule-book away when mixing their prints. To replicate this style dayto-day, stick to a vibrant palette of orange, fuschia and cobalt and don’t be afraid to try unusual combinations. This dress from River Island ticks every box: a geometric monochrome design that Mary Katrantzou would be proud of, a touch of D&G’s Sicily AND all finished off with an elegant peplum. A true conqueror of the print-trend; at £31.50 from asos. com, this is an affordable dress that is bound to rack up some serious style miles. Finally, to complete the printtrend trend, give bold, head-to-toe floral patterns a whirl. Poppies seemed to be the designer’s favourite this season, with DKNY leading the way with this startling crimson and cobalt creation. To tone this look down for everyday style, look no further than Dries Van Noten, who slung slouchy grey knits over their graphic floral designs to create the perfect lowkey look. Combining prints may seem too vibrant for the dusky neutrals that are normally seen outside of Spring and Summer, but this is not always the case! See Peter Pilotto’s combination of a more autumnal palette, in the featured picture, which is perfect for the up-andcoming cold seasons.
Reading University have recently launched their new clothing line for students which will be sold both online and in the campus store, available to purchase now. Reinventing traditional University clothing, these designs are more similar to other high street varsity brands such as Jack Wills, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. This new clothing range has also come into line with other high street clothes shops, as they will have new lines coming in throughout the year to ensure that there will be a variety of seasonal designs and an element of originality, unlike the old trademark hoodies that felt a bit uniform.
For the girl who doesn’t turn to trends seen on the catwalk and looks to herself for fashion inspiration; say hello to PonyChops. A world away from Jimmy Choo’s, Manolo Blahnik’s and Christian Louboutin’s, PonyChops is a fun and friendly approach to footwear, available to be personally designed to your specific taste. Created out of a love for art and fashion, colour and customisation, PonyChops aims to translate people’s personalities and interests into wearable art for them. Be warned though, this footwear is not for the faint hearted. With handpainted patterns varying from ice creams on black and white striped brogues, to girls and cats on purple and white moccasins, this footwear is guaranteed to draw you some attention and get your footwear noticed. After looking on the website, there is a vast range of items which have been ‘ponychopped’, not just shoes. Russian dolls have been painted in different themes;
There is a fair trade cotton clothing line available made by Epona, ranging from t-shirts to sweaters to gillets, which enables you to invest in both fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world as well as in your own student’s union. (As seen in the picture) the gillet is the perfect addition to your winter wardrobe and is likely to be a popular choice, so make sure you purchase yours soon! Another additional bonus of investing in this new clothing range is that the money spent on the clothes goes to RUSU, which in turn provides more money for the students, so it is beneficial for everyone and there is no reason not to get involved.
one set is cute and girly, portrayed in soft pastel colours and would not go amiss in any girl’s bedroom. Yet there is another set which is eerily dark, showcasing a set of Russian dolls with skulls for heads, something to appeal to your more gothic side. High heels and wedges are also available, as well as the ever popular hi-tops. With such a huge range of footwear there is surely a shoe to suit everyone, with it totally up to you how you design it, PonyChops is the perfect way to let your creativity shine through. So what’s next for PonyChops? The creator behind the whole scheme has revealed that a dress line and a range of fabrics should be out within the next few months. A dress with ice creams on; sounds good enough to eat… To think, it all started out of boredom, and a pair of plain brogues! PonyChops products are available to order online through the website www.ponychopsshop.etsy. com. For more information and news about the brand, follow @ PonyChops on Twitter.
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
FASHION Prepare for the takeover The best jackets Samantha yates
Firstly: get informed! Like “The Oracle Student Takeover” Facebook page and secondly sign up for queue jump by RSVPing to the event. If you don’t you’re guaranteed to be left standing out in the cold while watching all the people who planned ahead snap up the free Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Like a far more glamorous Freshers Fayre, there are lots of freebies, opportunities to win spot prizes (£10 vouchers? Every little helps!), even complimentary cocktails. Time to get your Carrie Bradshaw on and shop, shop, shop! Do not forget to check in at the HMV entrance to the Oracle, without your exclusive discount card how are you going to get that bag you’ve been eyeing up for weeks? The ones you need to know:
Topshop and Miss Selfridge (concession in Debenhams) are both offering 20%, which is double their regular discount, so persuade yourself that the jacket you’ve always wanted isn’t that expensive now, what are student loans for anyway? For ultimate bargains, and topping up your A/W12 wardrobe with trend pieces at rock bottom prices, hit up Republic and New Look. Again, both offering 20% off. The big name and one of the busiest stores on the night, run over to H&M first to ensure you grab the sizes you want before they’re all gone! Cheap, good quality and stylish, we’d buy the whole shop without the extra 20% off but this makes it so much sweeter. Top tip: queue upstairs? There’s a till point downstairs in the kids section, swing by that one to avoid any unnecessary wait-
ing; use the time saved enjoying a complimentary facial in Lush. Now onto shoes, my weakness! Office are offering 20% off for one night only. Last year I left with a pair of fringed, suede stilettos which became my favourite statement winter piece. Nothing says Christmas like red fringing! If beauty’s more your thing, Urban Decay are offering 10% off while the Body Shop are offering 20%! Who said we can’t pamper ourselves now that we’re students. Above all have fun! This is a free event totally different to any freshers activities, with live music and an electric atmosphere it’s a great way to get to know a different side of your new friends as well as their wardrobes. I went with three friends last year who I now live with, so remember, students that shop together stay together.
The denim jacket This is a treasurable piece that can be worn with any outfit! I particularly like this one from Boohoo.com as the spikes around the shoulders create an edgy rock chick vibe which I haven’t seen before, and also loving the washed out colour.
The cape The cape is definitely set to be a big trend-setter when the weather kicks in as we haven’t seen that many being worn. I love the selection Dorothy Perkins have to offer. This one was my favourite; with a fur collar and black detailing, it is a great option for these chilly months. Wear with skinny jeans, and black studded boots.
The fur jacket They can be a difficult find as some of them can look tacky and cheap; however H&M have some beautiful ones on sale right now. They are definitely perfect for this chilly autumn weather whilst still looking and feeling stylish.
The parka This has got to be one of my favourites this year! They come in all sorts of quirky, cute and fashionable designs – and this one doesn’t disappoint (ASOS). Definitely a durable jacket for this autumn/winter.
Mens’ student clothing 101 Zachary Atkins
With the autumn term well underway now is a good time to fill in the gaps in your campus wardrobe. With a few well chosen items that will see you through the coming months, and if you invest in them now some may last you years. With the sales approaching you can add new pieces to your wardrobe that will compliment your current clothes and enhance your style. First on your list should be a good winter coat. This is an absolute essential. You will need it when you walk around campus,
and for those horrible 9 am lectures. You’d be amazed how many lecture theatres are freezing cold, even in the middle of the day during the autumn term. It will also serve you well when temperatures start to drop in December. It is always good to stock up on the basics like socks and underwear. You’re going to be on a tight budget so it makes no sense to be doing a wash just for these when you have enough clean clothes left upstairs for the next week. Another great investment at this point in your life would be a suit. One good all-purpose suit in grey or navy blue is a great investment,
because there is going to be an occasion where you will need it. Having one of these stashed away at the back of your wardrobe will help you stand out from the crowd and give you an air of sophistication. Though not at the back of the wardrobe, obviously. You really are going to need a pair of boots. These are great for when it’s raining and cold outside or when you have to face long walks to the shops to stock up on baked beans. With these items you should be able to dress for any University situation. So best of luck andd I hope you all have a great term.
Comment of the week Gok Wan told me he loved my tie From our very own Vice Chancellor Sir David Bell during the signing of the Student charter on Wednesday.
Coming up soon... Campus Style Are you stylish and fashion-loving? We’ll be sending out our top style spotters to find you on campus!
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Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
BEAUTY Splurge, spend, steal!
To BB or not to BB? Jessica Headdon
Splurge – Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (£17.00)
Spark* Beauty needs YOU! Email - beauty.spark@reading. ac.uk FB Group - Spark* Fashion and Beauty Section 2012/13 Twitter - @SparkBeauty
Get Naked! Elle Turner
For months I avoided splurging on the cult Naked Palette by Urban Decay, sure it looked dazzlingly bewitching with its “long lean seductive case” and spectrum of beautifully pigmented neutrals, and sure it came complete with the widely raved about eye primer potion, and cruelty-free Good Karma Eyeshadow Brush, but at £36 and with a student budget in tow, it took me a while, and some courage to take the plunge… but boy am I glad I did! Now, it’s become a solid staple of my everyday makeup routine and the massive selection of colours mean I can adapt my eye makeup to every occasion, with shades ranging from “delicate champagnes to dark, gritty gunmetal”: light and simple? Try Virgin and Sin. Sexy and smouldering? Give Smog (my personal favourite) and Darkhorse a go! Plus the differing textures mean you can keep it plain with a matte look or add a bit of sparkle with the shimmery shades. At £36 it’s quite an investment, but divided between the 12 gorgeous shades, each shadow works out at a bargainous £3, which is a steal when comparing it to the price of buying the shadow’s individually (at a whopping £14 per shade). So girls, take a look at this sexy little number and be the envy of all your friends.
If you read magazines or have an interest in beauty, you will have heard of this product. The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner has certainly made an impression on the beauty scene, winning the Glamour ‘Power Product’ Award as well as ‘Best Liquid/Gel Eyeliner’ in InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys 2012. It isn’t hard to see why. The gel eyeliner comes in a 3g pot, which can then be applied with a brush, giving the feline look of liquid eyeliner but with the feel and strength of a gel. It’s water resistant (great for our English weather), and once it dries it’s also transfer resistant, so no smudges as you tiredly rub your eyes whilst in lectures. It also comes in a range of 14 colours, all of which can be purchased from www.bobbibrown.co.uk, and although at £17 it’s the splurge price…it’s worth it!
Spend – Max Factor Masterpiece Glide & Define Liquid Eyeliner (£6.99) Although it’s slightly less pricey (and therefore we may think not as good) as the Bobbi Brown version, Max Factor’s own take on the liquid eyeliner is also a good buy. It comes in a different form, a pen rather than a gel pot, but the application with this pen is surprisingly easy. This is because Max Factor has made the nib of this pen the perfect thickness (or I should probably say thinness), meaning that you can use just the end of the pen for a thin flick, or use repeated strokes to build up a more dramatic look. It also dries quickly, great for if you’re in a rush. The main downside of this eyeliner is that the nib can tend to go quite dry after a number of uses – maybe Bobbi Brown had the right idea with his gel pot after all.
Steal – 2true Effortless Eyeliner (£1.99) It has to be said – this eyeliner is the ultimate steal. And even better, it works! In fact, I think this bargain might even be better than the Max Factor Glide & Define. Yet again another form of eyeliner, this one comes as a pot with a brush in the lid, and is even thinner than the pen used by Max Factor. Again this makes it simple to glide over your eyelids and create the perfect look, whatever the occasion. Also, the fact that the nib is so small means that it’s easier than ever to get an accurate line – great if you’re not blessed with a steady hand, which can be a problem in make-up matters. Overall I think this eyeliner is a great buy. It does the job just as well as other competitors and for a fraction of the price…which is always handy for students, especially before the loans come in!
Youtube star Macbarbie07 describes the Smashbox Cameraready BB Cream, as “it’s kinda like a tinted moisturiser, but… kinda not”. And that’s exactly it… a beauty balm is a little bit of everything we need, without actually being it. The craze has been in Asia for years, but appeared on British markets within the last year. Supposedly performing several requirements in one- the BB is a variation of: foundation, moisturiser, spf, whitening/tanning, primer and a blemish/wrinkle treatment. This would all seem ingenious, if I didn’t find myself thinking there’s a reason we keep all these things separate… If your skin’s dry, you may as well forget the idea of a BB cream- none give enough ratio of moisturiser to everything else as would satisfy. Rather defeating the object of convenience. Accordingly, most BBs give a flat, matte texture- one which does mature complexions no favours. And a personal hatred of my own- I neither need nor want a spot and wrinkle treatment on my face all day.
“it’s kinda like a tinted moisturiser, but… kinda not”
Kontour like Kim! Sabina Rouse
Kim Kardashian is often the subject of many a heated debate, yet one thing’s for certain; the woman knows how to apply her make-up. Her skin always looks flawless, make-up is perfectly intact and her cheekbones and jawline are always highlighted immaculately, showing the best side of her face. So when Kim tweeted the picture of her face half done, the twittersphere went crazy. Whilst the image of the Kardashian sister with concealer all over her face does appear on the extreme side, the final product will convert even a non-make-up wearer to contouring with concealer. In order to get Kim’s glowing skin, there’s no need to apply concealer everywhere; a little will go a long way. Bourjois Paris
Healthy Mix Concealer is a great product at not only contouring, but also for everyday use, for hiding dark circles under eyes and giving the skin an alluring radiance. Apply a line down the bridge of the nose and a small line on the chin and forehead. Next, gently dot the concealer under each eye, right up to near your hairline. Finally, to give your face some structure, apply some concealer across each cheekbone and softly pat in. To ensure the product lasts all day and stays put, gently sweep some loose powder over the areas which have been concealed, as this will brighten it whilst making it last longer. No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder is a great choice as it contains light reflecting pigments, adding to the effect of the concealer. So whilst slapping concealer all over your face may seem too far,
Kim may be on to something… Bourjois Paris Healthy Mix Concealer and No7 Perfect Light Loose Power are available at Boots.com or in selected stores.
This being said, I caved recently. Garnier were one of the very first brands to introduce BB creams in Britain, so I figured, who better to try it with? I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t as light as I’d expected, and was too dark for my very fair complexion (I had chosen the lightest shade in the range). But other than that, plus generous added moisture, the result wasn’t [surprisingly] half bad. From a little research, I’d say that Garnier is one of the best, and at £7.49 isn’t badly priced either. If you want the original, and best, searching for Asian brands often brings rewards- Skin79 are infamous on ebay, and priced around the £10 bracket. Clinique’s Age Defence SPF30 BB cream [£25] has been raved about often, as has Stila’s Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm [£26]. Honestly, I’d much rather stick to my regular routine. But as we still cling onto the last weeks of summer, and the last squeezes of tinted moisturiser, I now see nothing wrong with trying a little BB instead.
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
HEALTH Suffering a little? Try Spark*’s hangover cures Hannah Ford
We have all been there and uttered the words ‘I’m never drinking again’. Once the room has started to sway we all know there is no going back. As we deal with the sickness, dizziness, severe dehydration and hair that rivals that of Edward Scissorhand’s we wonder - will ever feel normal again? I have to confess now that there is no absolute cure for a hangover but this list will hopefully make the next day a little easier. By the end of this article you will be able to drag yourself out of the foetal position and actually contemplate doing it all over again. (N.B. there is no cure for embarrassing flash backs of what you did the night before). 1) Eat before you go out. No one wants to pre-party spew. Fatty meals are preferable as well as a glass of milk to help line your stomach, slowing down the absorption of alcohol and reducing any irritation that may be caused. Remember it’s not cool to peak too soon. 2) Drink a pint of water before you go to bed. This will rehydrate your body throughout the night and prevent you from getting a
throbbing headache the next day. If you haven’t done that, don’t panic, you can still be saved. 3) Take a shower and chill in bed. This will help reduce any nausea. Remember you’re a student so don’t feel too guilty about lazing about - it’s a student’s right. Staying in will also reduce the chance of bumping into people that find it a pleasure to go ahead and inform you about your latest drunk escapades. 4) Hit the painkillers! Aspirin and ibuprofen will help with any muscle pain and headaches. You are advised not to take them if you are feeling nauseous or experiencing abdominal pain. In that case stick to water. 5) Don’t overdo it on the caffeine front. An initial shot of caffeine will help you feel more alert and give you a quick boost of energy but any more and you will find yourself becoming even more dehydrated and saying hello to a lovely headache. 6) Eat sugary foods and indulge in some deep fried goodness. Nutritionists may be cursing at this but a full English has been touted as the mother of all hangover cures, and I can personally vouch for this. Maybe the thought
of eating something fried makes you heave so try eating some bland food like crackers or toast to initially line the stomach. Nutritionists will argue that it’s best to avoid a fry up which contains sausages and bacon as you are not providing your body with the nutrients it craves after a night out, so try increasing your egg intake as they contain cysteine,
Food swap: Greggs
menu, so enjoy this beef, gravy and pastry bake as an occasional treat rather than making it an every day habit.
Located just off campus and offering cheap, filling food, Greggs is an obvious stop-off for students to grab lunch. Here’s how to navigate the menu to make a healthier choice.
Eat this Tuna Mayonnaise and Cucumber Sandwich - 400 calories, 23.5g protein, 49.5g carbs, 11g fat, 1.8g salt.
Or that Sometimes all you want is a bit of pizza – but Gregg’s snack size version proves that indulging don’t have to be too naughty either, with a very respectable calorie, fat and salt content. Pair it with some fruit or a side salad for a more filling lunch.
Cornish Pasty - 500 calories, 13g protein, 39.5g carbs, 31.5g fat, 2.2g salt.
Not that Steak Bake - 430 calories, 16.5g protein, 28g carbs, 27.5g fat, 2g salt.
With a good serving of protein from the tuna, and added fibre in the oatmeal bread, this sandwich makes a balanced meal that should see you through until dinner.
Or this Chargrill Chicken Pizza - 310 calories, 17g protein, 39.5g carbs, 9g fat, 1.7g salt.
Obviously pastries aren’t designed to be the healthiest options on the
a substance that can help break down acetaldehyde, a toxin associated with alcohol metabolism and hangovers. 7) Neck a smoothie. They are a healthy way to balance out your lost electrolytes and help your body regain its energy. Banana milkshakes are notably the best as the potassium in them will help line your stomach.
Calm down in minutes Sarah Lienard
Stressed? Try these five minute tricks to destress.
Brew a cuppa
Sounds weird but it’s true – studies have shown that the ritual of making a cup of tea is psychologically relaxing, although it’s unclear exactly why. Peppermint and chamomile are well known for their stress-busting properties, but no matter what type of tea you drink, just taking a break to pop on the kettle can really help.
Grin and bear it Although the filling of this pasty contains chunks of steak and beef mince, it actually provides least protein off all four options, as well as the highest salt content. With all the red meat and the puff pastry case, it also contains nearly half the fat the average person should be eating in a whole day – in just one meal. So if you’re looking for a healthier option, pick one of the other alternatives on the Greggs menu - there’s plenty of choice!
8) Try following the old fashion saying “hair of the dog”. Make yourself up a Bloody Mary to stop your stomach churning by mixing tomato juice with vodka adding a dash of lemon juice and Worcester sauce and add a stick of celery which will provide some of the nutrients your body is lacking. Most say this will only prolong your hang over and it’s not exactly pleasing on the eye to everyone. If you have been a good student and drunk the last of the vodka go for a Virgin Mary. It’s thought that as your body deals with the new alcohol it will ignore the old. 9) Give it time. This is the greatest healer, and thankfully as students we have plenty of time to detox. If you know you have an important day ahead try matching every drink with a pint of water as your body will thank you for it the next day and maybe there will be a few less embarrassing photos of you on Facebook. It’s advised to wait 48 hours before drinking again after a heavy night, but hey most of you are fresher’s and I’m sure your livers will bounce back, right? So pull yourself together and down it Fresher!
You might want to try this one alone, but faking a smile can actually affect your hormones, making you feel happier in the short term. Just watch it’s not too forced, or your flatmates might call security.
It might seem counter-productive, but making a list of everything that you need to do can actually help you feel less overwhelmed – provided that you’re realistic. Try breaking each task down into manageable chunks that you know
you can achieve, and set aside a reasonable amount of time to tackle each step individually.
Watch something funny
Laughing reduces stress hormones, relaxes your muscles, lowers blood pressure and can even strengthen your immune system. With only five minutes to spare, Youtube is the perfect solution - so start searching for something to get you giggling.
Work up a sweat
Exercise releases mood boosting chemicals endorphins and anandamine, which help to relieve anxiety and help you de-stress. Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day, but the effects start to kick in after just five minutes, so get moving!
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Food Reading - go bananas for Fairtrade Sarah Lienard
Choosing to buy Fairtrade may be one simple decision for me and you, but it can be a life changing opportunity for someone else. It is now easier than ever, particularly here at Reading, to choose to buy Fairtrade products rather than other alternatives – and often with very little difference in cost. As a movement, Fairtrade ensures that the producers are paid a fair price for their goods, while also working towards better working conditions and local sustainability in developing countries. That means that any product carrying the Fairtrade Mark has to meet with international Fairtrade standards that not only guarantee a minimum price to be paid to the producer, but go a lot further, promoting social, economic and environmental development in the communities themselves. The Fairtrade mark ensures that products have been produced humanely, by workers who are provided with good working conditions, and by producers that prohibit forced and child labour. Any ‘premium’ earnt on a product (money that goes above the minimum agreed price for the products) goes back into the commu-
nity to develop social and business projects such as youth scholarship programs, education, health care, and access to clean water.
Food for less Sarah Lienard
drink for £10
Eating out on a student budget doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s Spark*’s pick of the best restaurant deals at the moment.
Bella Italia – 2 for £12.50 on piz-
Zizzi - 25% off total bill
Yo Sushi – 25% off food bill
ASK- 2 main courses for £12.95 Pizza Hut – Any main for £5 and unlimited salad
Pizza Express - Starter, main and
zas, pastas and salads
Café Rouge – 25% off food bill
Visit the Spark* website to get links to these vouchers at www. sparknewspaper.co.uk. Terms and conditions may apply, so check before you visit the restaurant.
Fairtrade also encourages the use of environmentally sustainable methods of farming, helping to improve the environmental
impact of large scale production. But these goals aren’t just about improving economic conditions and environmental impacts – they really change people’s lives. Conventional banana plantations rely on pesticides and fungicides to produce ‘perfect’ fruit, but these chemicals are toxic to humans and have a severe impact on workers’ health. Since the workers often live within or just outside the plantations, their homes and families are exposed to the pesticides, which are sprayed aerially from aeroplanes over the plantations. When ingested, these toxic chemicals cause respiratory problems, loss of eyesight, skin infections, depression, sterility and cancers in the workers and their families. They have also been shown to affect fertility and foetal development. A study by the Health Research Institute at the National University of Costa Rica found that women in the country’s banana packing plants suffered double the average rate of leukaemia and birth defects - all for the sake of producing prettier, more perfect bananas. Under Fairtrade regulations, farmers are taught how to improve the health and safety of their workers, and are helped to buy ba-
sic equipment, such as face masks. Producers are also encouraged to implement more organic farming methods, which are, in turn, safer for the workers themselves, as their exposure to toxic chemicals is reduced. Fairtrade products aren’t hard to get hold of at all, with major supermarkets stocking a range of ethically produced goods. The Fairtrade Foundation currently certify 19 categories of products, including coffee, tea, dried fruit, fresh fruit (such as bananas), fresh vegetables, juices, honey, nuts, oils, quinoa, rice, spices, sugar, wine, and of course, cocoa and chocolate products. There are also non-food products such as beauty products, cotton, flowers, sports balls and even condoms (now available in the campus shop). Reading University’s Fairtrade Commitment means that Fairtrade goods are promoted in campus shops and cafes, and Fairtrade tea and coffee is provided in all meetings - so there really isn’t any reason not to choose Fairtrade whenever you can. For more information, visit www. fairtrade.org.uk, or to get involved with Reading’s own Fairtrade Society, email fairtradesociety. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marinated lentils Ebba Fredriksen
This is an easy recipe that you can use to pimp your salad, have as a side to meats and eggs, or, with my favorite cheese, the Cypriot halloumi. You will get quite a lot of marinated lentils, not to worry, they survive a long time in the fridge. This recipe uses Beluga lentils, which are slightly more expensive than other lentils but tend not to get as floury texture as other types sometimes do. I’ve also included a chilli pepper, but of course, if you don’t like the heat you can just skip it out - it still tastes delicious!
Ingredients 1 cup of Beluga lentils 1 clove of garlic 1 chilli ¼ cup of olive oil A bunch of parsley or herb of your preference The juice of half a lemon Salt and pepper
Take one cup of beluga lentils and put in a pan with cold water, bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a light simmer and leave for about 15 -20 min. While the lentils are cooking, cut the garlic, chili and parsley in tiny bits. Put it in a large bowl and add 1/4th of a cup of olive oil. When the lentils are done strain them and wash them with cold water, this will get rid of any excess starch, and add to the olive
oil marinade. Mix it all around; add some salt, pepper and lemon if you want a fresher taste. You can eat it straight away but it will be nicer after a night in the fridge. The great thing about these lentils is that they create almost no washing up, they keep for ages, they’re delicious and they’re really good for you. They also compliment a huge range of Mediterranean flavours and textures - so get experimenting!
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
In Patnership with www.ZiiP.co.uk
Artemis: Ship Bridge Simulator Boldly go where everyone secretly wants to go Iain Farquhar
We all, at some point, have leapt up from the sofa to shout at the TV because the crew of the USS Enterprise were doing it wrong. From needlessly sacrificing underlings to not knowing when to back down from a superior foe, star fleet’s best and brightest have never been perfect in our eyes, or mine at least. Well, now you and between two to four friends can fulfill your hidden desire to dress up in a elasticated jump suit and boldly (pretend) to go where no man has gone before, with Artemis. Artemis: Ship Bridge Simulator is a space ship flight sim that allows up to 6 friends to take the role of a deck officer of a space ships, each with their own systems and responsibilities. These roles can range from Weapons, Comms, Navigation, Engineering or Science officers, and of course no ship would be complete without the Captain. Each crew member has to work together to ensure that the ship can move, shoot and see where it is going. But you might want to wait before you all start fighting over who gets to wear the command gold, because being the Captain is rather more limiting than you might think. The Captain doesn’t get to have a console, or even a computer. Infact, the Captain in completely helpless. Instead they have the ship’s ‘main screen’ and a limited range of information can be shown there, but even this is controlled
by the crew. This means that the captain has to quickly learn what information they need to know, who to ask and when they need to start shouting at someone because they were not listening to orders. This forces the crew to work together to ensure that the Captain is kept up to date with all the relevant information and that all the different crew members are communicating efficiently. This emphasis on communication and cooperation means that this game has the potential to be an incredible team building tool.
Missions try to deliver a more story based experience For example, the Weapons officer: From his console you control selection of deadly toys, ranging from the mundane lasers all the way up to ECM missiles and Nuclear warheads. But despite all of this power, the game encourages cooperation with the other stations. Working with the Science officer means that the weapons officer can tune his lasers to the enemies weakest shield frequency for maximum damage, while engineering can assist boost the power to various systems to get the best performance. Learning how to work together to get the best out of all the different stations is one of the most unique multiplier experiences I have ever come across and is completely different
depending on what role you are fulfilling at the time. No matter what role you end up doing this game never failed to be incredibly fun. Zooming around your sector at warp 5 only to be ambushed from within a nebula never failed to cause panic and chaos until the Captain managed to restore order and work out exactly what happened. And the feeling you get after you manage to turn the ambush and wipe out the enemy fleet with a barrage of well placed torpedoes and laser fire is an experience everyone should experience. Setting up a game is a walk in the park and can be done over the internet or a Local Area Network (though both the game’s developer and I recommend that you play over a LAN for that full Star Trek experience) and is as simple as entering the IP address of the game server. The server can run of a laptop or desktop and doubles as the Captain’s screen. From there you can pick your role and the type of ship you be serving on. These ships range from fast but fragile light cruisers and scout ships all the way up to the lumbering Dreadnoughts. Though each ship has its own characteristics, we found that it tended not to make much of a difference to how we played, although this might have changed with time and experience. Artemis only has two different game modes. Invasion or missions. Invasion is your basic horde mode, and tasks you with defending a
She might not look like much, but she’ll do warp five if you give her the beans
The crew of the Artemis prepare to defend freedom, free speech and intergalatic free love number of space stations from marauding enemy fleets. While this can be quite dull on the lower difficult settings, on the higher levels this is a frantic scrabble from station to station as you try and defeat wave after wave of drones, destroyers and other nastiest. Missions, on the other hand, try to deliver a more of a narrative experience, with a mission goals and updates delivered via the communications console as a audio log (complete with static and interference). The structure of the missions does still need a little bit of work, as the mission we played forgot to explain how to use a key mechanic, despite the constant demands of mission control. Unfortunately, with only 5 official missions and 4 custom games created by fans, Artemis will not have a long play through time, which is a bit of a disappointment as there is a lot of potential for long, inversive story based campaign. Despite the game’s almost bi-monthly updates, this continued lack of more missions does raise concerns about the game’s replayability. If you play through all of the missions and are looking for something else to do then Artemis does have something rather special: The reasonably added Game Masters console. Using this console, a player can interact with the game world and create new missions and scenarios, like the Dungeon Master from Dungeons and Dragons. This addition to the game
means that you and your friends can create a universe of your very own, complete with backstory and conflicts... if you can get it to work. When we tried this feature, we couldn’t find any instructions or hints on how to work it. Even if your friends get bored, you can just recruit another crew member. A single DRM-free copy of the game allows you to install the game on up to 6 computers. And if that wasn’t enough this game will play on almost anything. The one and only hardware requirement is that the computer be able to run DirectX 9, and most PC’s can do that in their sleep. But despite this, the game is not without faults. The game server disconnected randomly with the loss of all progress, and while it took only a few minutes to get everything back up and running it was still rather frustrating. Artemis: Ship Bridge Simulator is a labour of love, and this shines through in the amount of variety and the sheer scope of the games ambition. If you only want to make a single risky game purchase this year, I can not think of a better game to fulfill that And seeing as there is a free demo and a moneyback-if-not-completely-satisfied guarantee on the full version, you would be a fool not to give this game a chance. Artemis: Ship Bridge Simulator is avalible from the develpoers website for $40 (£25).
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Games you might have missed: Bastion Iain Farquhar
Bastion was one of the best games of last year , both in my opinion and in the opinion of a number of other reviewers. And strangely not many people have actually played it. And that is a situation that need correcting immediately. So what makes this game so great: Gameplay? The combat mechanics? The music? Well... yes, but one thing that makes it game stand out is the narrator. Yes, the narrator. Bastion is the story of the a world plunged into chaos due to a initially unspecified ‘Calamity’ that has destroyed the world, and the struggles of “The Kid” as he struggles to rebuild the world that he once knew. And when I say
rebuild, I mean exactly that. The Calamity has caused huge chunks of the world to fall away and your job is to magically re-connect all of the pieces. While the story is nothing new, the way that the story delivers this back story is incredibly engaging and watching all of the pieces as they drop back into place
is a strangely relaxing experience. Until the monsters show up. Then things get a little bit frantic. The game is also gorgeous to look at, with a outstanding, hand drawn, isometric art style that looks completely unique. The combat is also feels great, with responsive controls and a huge range of weapons that means you can tailor your playing style in any way that you want. A mortar and a spear? You can do that. Fancy keeping your foes at a distance? How about a pair of revolvers and a rifle? All the weapons can be selectively upgraded as well, allowing even more tweaking and tinkering. Now, on to the narration. Almost every action that you do in the game is described, and commented on, by this astounding voice over. The narration made me want to repeat even the most tedious and repetitive acts on the off chance that the narrator would reveal more of the surprisingly dark and
grim back story of the game. Not only that, but every single second of the sound track fits perfectly with the tone of the game, even as the story rapidly becomes darker as past crimes are brought to light. In conclusion, This is a game where a single line of harmless dialog shocked me almost to my core. And for that alone Bastion gets a glowing recommendation, especially when it is £11.49 on Steam. But pay a little extra and get the soundtrack bundled with it. You will not regret it.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown As the XCOM commander, you will defend against a terrifying global alien invasion by managing resources, advancing technologies, and overseeing combat strategies and individual unit tactics. The original X-COM is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made and has now been reimagined by the strategy experts at Firaxis Games, and will expand on that legacy with an entirely new invasion story, enemies and technologies to fight aliens and defend Earth.
Steam Price: £29.99 ZiiP prices: £27.99
Sleeping Dogs Sleeping Dogs catapults players into the role of undercover cop Wei Shen, tasked with taking down one of the world’s most fearsome criminal organisations from the inside... the Hong Kong Triads. As players explore the bustling and crowded Hong Kong island, through its neon-lit side streets and sprawling street markets, an incredible story unfolds of loyalty and betrayal, where Wei begins to question his own motives as he is sucked in deeper than he could ever imagine.
Steam Pricing: £29.99 ZiiP Pricing: on sale at £18.99
Compete in the Grovsventor Casino Fifa 13 Tournament for a chance to win a cash lump sum
Fifa 13 has been described as a evolutionary leap forward for the series.
Introducing the ZiiP Gamestore The student gamers’ new best friend It gives me great please to intoduce the ZiiP Gamstore, the new patner (and sponsor) for the Spark* Gaming Section. Run by gamers for gamer, ZiiP was formed in 2011 in retailation to the faceless high street retailers and aims to provide a high quality and personal service, tailored for the age of digital distribution. Fed up of waiting for your game to arrive through the mail? ZiiP can help with that: They offer a service where they will email you the game’s registration or CD key before posting the physical media, so you can download and play the game through steam before the postman has even got out of bed. You even get free delivery within the UK. Don’t want to have a house full of cd boxes and disks? ZiiP can sell you either a boxed version or via a digital download key. They’ll even reduce the price of your game, as there is not need for packaging. ZiiP will happily deliver games to anywhere, in Europe or even further afield. So if you are ever in Australia and don’t want to play the local prices, take a look at ZiiP and see if they can make you a better offer. So if you want a change in how you buy your games, why not go to www.ZiiP.co.uk and see what it is like to be a person again, rather than a just a order number.
Fancy a chance to play your way to riches?
Think you are better than your friends at computer games? Are you ready to take on all comers to prove your superiority? Well, now you can. Grovsvenor Casino Reading is offering Fifa 13 players a chance to enter their latest Fifa tournament for the chance to both finally prove their superiority over their friends, as well as competing for a fairly substantial cash prize. In order to enter, all you have to do is email sm_gc-reading@rank. com (don’t worry, we’ve put a link on the facebook page so you don’t have to remember that mouthful) and pay a £10 entry fee at the door. Why an entry fee, you might ask? Because all of the entry fees go to the victors, with last year’s winner collecting an impressive £270 and the runner up taking £90. You even get a free £5 bet so you can try your hand at a wide range of other games. The tournament will be played on Xbox’s and will follow a standard elimination setup, with all players guaranteed at least 3 games and the best eight going on to the quater finals. So if you think you are better than this guy, put your money where your mouth is.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die
Prepare for a new, despair-inducing world, with a vast, fullyexplorable horizon and verticallyoriented landforms. Prepare for a new, mysterious story in world of Lodran. But most of all prepare to die. You will face countless murderous traps, grotesque monsters and gargantuan and supremely powerful demons. You must learn from death to persist through this unforgiving world. And you aren’t alone. Dark Souls allows the spirits of other players to show up in your world, so you can learn from their deaths and they can learn from yours. Steam Pricing: £29.99 ZiiP Pricing: £14.99
Last year’s winner was Cameron Humphries. Fancy taking the title?
SCIENCE&TECHNOLOGY email@example.com 31
Friday 12 October 2012
SCIENCE&TECHNOLOGY Editorial Hello Science & Technology readers. I’m Vinay, one of the editors for this section (profiles pictures at the bottom). I got the chance to meet and talk with a lot of you interested in this particular section over freshers week. It was a lot of fun and I hope I was interesting enough get you wanting to write for us. As a side note, you don’t need to be studying a science or technology related degree to write an article for this section (although the article itself should be vaguely science and technology related). Anyone is welcome! For this issue we have a piece by Frances, looking at whether science moves forward evolutionary or revolutionary. Such talk meant a very necessary excuse to put in a picture of Archimedes in a bathtub. It had to be done. We have also have something a little new to this section, a natural sciences piece. Third year zoologist George studies the wildlife on campus and will be profiling a few of them over the course of the year. So you’ll be able to know the latin name of that ‘thing’ that leaps out at you and then scuttles away screeching whilst you’re walking to lectures. Add to that a somewhat follow up piece on space junk, and one company’s quest to stab them out of existence. Also the possibility of getting to Mars in only three months. Hope you enojoy the section, and as ever if you need to contact us our email is across the top. Thanks for reading. Vinay Vinay Chauhan and David Thai
Evolution or revolution. Spark* asks what is the real route to scientific discovery? FRANCES MCKEAN
I once asked a close friend of mine where they did their best thinking. She told me that, always without fail, her best ideas came to her in the bathtub. She’s not alone in her thinking; the Greek philosopher, Archimedes, was the first to discover the Principle of Buoyancy. Apparently, whilst he was sitting in the baths, pondering the issues concerning the principle, the penny dropped. Archimedes suddenly jumped out of the bath and ran through the town naked shouting “eureka” (“I’ve got it”). But are advancements in science really based upon these spontaneous enlightened moments, or does such knowledge only really evolve through modifying and reviewing already established theories? Fundamentally, is scientific theory based upon the evolution or the revolution of facts?
But are advancements in science really based upon these spontaneous enlightened moments? Before combustion was understood, Stahl, in 1703, proposed that flammable substances contain a physical substance (termed ‘phlogiston’) that accounts for the substance’s flammability. Stahl proposed this process was reversible: phlogiston recombines with the burnt residue (termed a ‘calyx’) upon reheating, restoring the original substance. At first, the theory gained support, but contradictory evidence accumulated. Firstly, despite claims that phlogiston was released from substances making them lighter, some metals gained mass upon burning (now known to be oxidation). Secondly, experiments conducted by Lobonov disproved the recombination of phlogiston with the calyx; no change in the substance mass was recorded.
Despite evidence which disproved the very foundations of Stahl’s theory, the theory remained. Instead, scientists suggested explanations in keeping with Stahl’s theory: perhaps phlogiston had a negative mass, or was lighter than air, and that was why substances gained mass when burnt. Similarly, others refuted Lobonov’s findings simply as incorrect. The theory was still not rejected until Lavoiser, in the eighteenth century, used closed vessels to prove that gases have mass, and that not only are some of these gases required for combustion, but can also be used to account for mass gain and loss during combustion. These findings lead to the rejection of the phlogiston theory for Lavoiser’s caloric theory, heralding the foundations of modern chemistry. Clinging to a theory and bending the findings to ‘fit’ rules, until a more consistent theory is introduced- as occurred with Stahl’s theory- was termed by
Thomas Kuhn as a ‘Paradigm Shift’. The history of combustion theories suggests that scientific knowledge can be revolutionary; theories seem to jump from one extreme to another. However, upon closer examination, the accumulation of the facts between each ‘shift’ makes for the science to be evolutionary; the facts are deposited together, although not initially used, until somebody comes along and pieces together the fragments of information so that the revolution can take place, in the form of a ‘eureka’ moment. So can scientific discovery ever be revolutionary from the outset? The story of Archimedes would suggest so, as his brainwave lead to a solution to his set task. Similarly, the discoveries of geologist James Hutton and Charles Darwin may be interpreted as the ultimate ‘eureka’ moments in science. However, their discoveries were not received well by the general public, as they conflicted with
their religious beliefs. And here we enter a new problem in advancing scientific discoveryscience can be fashionable, and if there is little desire by the majority to focus on an area within science, further work on it may be halted, until values change and people are prepared to spend time and money on it. One could argue that the western world only started researching anti-HIV drugs when it became a problem in economically advanced countries. Perhaps one could argue that the idea of ‘science fashions’ is the bigger problem in today’s world compared to that of paradigm shifts. It would seem many paradigm shifts are examples from very early times, when science was more a philosophy, and such individuals had very little knowledge in the first place to advance further understandingmany philosophers were ‘in the dark’ , leading to erratic swings in theories. Conversely, looking at finding an anti-HIV drug in the 21st century, and although we accept progress is slow, we have a wealth of knowledge and technology initially to prevent us from ‘swinging’ from one theory to another. So perhaps in today’s society, we no longer practise the kinds of bad science that have previously led to paradigm shifts in the past, but instead the new challenge to advancing science is raising awareness of the area we wish to pour time and money intothen, perhaps, advancements can evolve. One thing’s for sure though- as students we can all recall finally ‘getting’ something: when we experience Archimedes’ ‘eureka’ moment. We know that this is the ultimate in academic experience. But a word of warning: if the penny drops- and you happen to be in the bath- hold back on some of that excitement and remember your towel before running through the campus shouting.
32 SCIENCE&TECHNOLOGY firstname.lastname@example.org
Wildlife on campus: profiling the Jay George holliday
The jay (Garrulus glandarius) is a species of bird belonging to the crow family. They are very striking and immediately recognisable due to their pink colouration and blue wing patches. These likely play an important role in communication, as birds can see a much wider colour spectrum than us, so to another jay would be very noticeable indeed. This is because they have a higher density of rod and cone cells- which determine colourin their eyes. Jays will admit a loud, low pitched screech if disturbed, but are also very good at mimicking, so if you think you’ve identified a bird by its call, then it might be a jay. They are seen frequently on campus at this time of year, where they are busy stockpiling energy-rich foods such as acorns to last them through the winter months. The centre of campus is a good place to spot them, in my experience. Elsewhere, jays are common in oak woodlands throughout the northern hemisphere, although they are generally shy birds. Nonetheless, they play an important role in the
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Warping to Mars vinay chauhan
Well not quite. While proper warp drives have their status as theorically possible, it’s not happening at the moment or anytime soon. However, cutting the journey time to Mars to around three months is a very real possibilty, and one that could actually happen soon. The plan is to use fusion fuel and it’ll double up on current speeds. Boeing, Nasa and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are creating this new faster engine at the University of Huntsville in the US.
Image: http://www.1000birds.com/reports_UK_Eurasian-Jay.html germination of oaks, as when they store acorns in the ground to see them through winter, some are inevitably forgotten about. Their bills are tough enough to tackle most nuts and seeds, which are rich in essential fats. Despite having a taste for acorns, jays are not picky eaters, and will eat anything from seeds and insects to eggs and baby birds. They, and other crows, are the heaviest members of
the passerines, often referred to as “perching birds”, due to specialised leg muscles that will automatically tighten to prevent the bird falling off a branch. This allows them relative safety. at night as they can rest out of the reach of most predators. If you want to find out more about wildlife on campus then check out the following website: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/ whiteknightsbiodiversity/.
‘Charger-1 Pulsed Power Generator’ The fuel store won’t come light either, as it’ll likely need a few tons of materials to fuse together. It should be noted that at the moment fusion has not been successful in producing a net gain of energy. Although there have been some promising recent developments in the realm of cold fusion that may show the future is closer than we think. The actual engine, at the moment called ‘Charger-1
In space, no-one can hear you ...harpoon?
Last year we ran a story about space junk and the possible dangers it posed to everything just above earth. Well it seems progress is being made on tackling the issue by... well harpooning it. As ridiculous as it first sounds, it does have a sound theory behind it.
The possibility of shooting through a fuel tank or similar is very real The idea is to fly up next to the offending piece, harpoon it with so called ‘chaser satellites’, then drag it toward earth ending its threat by it being burned up on re-entry. Think Jaws, but in space and no need for a bigger boat. There is some element of danger however; the possibility
of shooting through a fuel tank or similar is very real, satellites can tumble around making targeting a little harder. And shooting through a fuel tank would create the complete opposite effect by producing lots more space junk that are smaller and harder to catch. This was expertly shown by the Chinese when they decided to missile their decommissioned weather satellite. It’s thought that there are more than 22,000 items that are easy to see and track, with that figure rising to 500,000 for small particles between 1-10cm. The problem is thought to only get worse when the pieces start to actually collide en masse, triggering a large scale domino effect, but in space.
The harpoon is being designed by the UK based Astrium UK, but being the largest space
manufacturer in Europe it means that they are also pursuing other methods in their other research.
A possible three terawatts of power could be generated
Image: Science Photo Library
Want to Contribute to Spark* Science & Technology? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch: scitech.spark@ reading.ac.uk and also our facebook page https://www. facebook.com/ groups/scitech. spark/
Think Jaws, but in space and no need for a bigger
Pulsed Power Generator’ will have to be fully constructed in space. The reasoning is because no-one really wants to send a fully working fusion generator through the atmosphere. Well not the first one at least. A possible three terawatts of power could be generated, potentially creating speeds of 100,000kmph. Which is really fast. One killer point to note though, is that since this research is making use of repurposed US military equipment, the ball really is in the army’s court as to whether this will see any light of day in a way that benefits the world as a whole. The idea of of commercial entities using the technology might not happen.
Image: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/63245000/ jpg/_63245475_diagram.jpg
Friday 12 October 2012
trAvel Rediscover Derby and the Peak District SIMON TRUSCOTT
If you have ever passed through the Midlands by train, you will probably have stopped for a moment at Derby station. Upon explaining where I’m from, people often say: “ah yes, I didn’t get out at that stop - why would I?” or ask: “Is that near Nottingham?”. You see what I’m getting at? Derbyshire as a countyjust isn’t held in very high regard when compared to its neighbours. But there is so much to be seen and to be visited it doesn’t deserve its reputation as ‘that train stop on the way to the North’.
“People no longer seem to say: I didn’t get out at Derby - why would I?” Firstly, kicking off in Derby itself, a recent and huge regenaration program has ensured that shoppers are no longer required to take the bus or car to Nottingham to find a good selection of shops. Similarly, the Cathedral Quarter area has benefitted from a massive tidy-up in the form of new open squares, landscaping, and advertising to attract custom like never before. The nearby council house is undergoing a multi-million pound modernisation and opposite it, the Quad arts centre provides
an educational and alternative cinema experience to the otherwise dominant ‘Vue’ cinema in the shopping centre. Fears that the once-buzzing St.Peters Street would become defunct due to the developmnts in town proved unfounded as the two ends of town (the Westfield shopping centre and the Cathedral Quarter) rely upon St. Peters Street as a vital pedestrian link between the two areas and so shops survive - although in a changed form. The age-old debate as to whether the Derby area is in the North or South can be answered very simply. As a resident, on my way back from Reading University each term, I drive up to (but importantly, not past) a huge sign which proclaims ‘THE NORTH’ and I veer off into the Midlands!
I drive up to (but not past) a huge sign which proclaims ‘THE NORTH’ However, and unavoidably, friends from the North of my home will tell me I’m a Southerner, and vice versa with friends from the South calling me a Northerner. Areas of interest near Derby vary depending on your direction of travel. If you take the bus/ train/car North to Belper, Crich
and beyond, you will find both the architecture and landscape very different to that of the South Derbyshire area. For a start, this is due to a long history of quarrying in the area. To me, it always feels like a holiday to visit the Peak District from Derby - everything really does look different. In the past, this must have been in the minds of the locals as they diversified their trade to tourism and leisure.
The locals diversified their trade from quarrying to leisure and tourism ‘Gulliver’s Kingdom’ theme park, Crich tramway museum (a working historical village set up on old quarry land) and the Heights of Abraham (a cable car which takes visitors up to a leisure park and limestone caverns set into the hill) are all excellent choices of Derbyshire destinations. Perhaps I’m fond of them because I went to all of these as a child, so none of their apparent tackiness or shortfalls bother me too much as a local! In any case, Derby and its Shire are all too often overlooked. Next time you think of driving past, drive right in! For this article and more Travel pieces, visit www.sparknewspaper. co.uk.
Autumn Travel Gear
Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS Watch VANGO BAG COVER
Now we’re not going to try and make this look like the most exciting bit of travel gear, but we can see it coming in handy up a wet mountainside this Autumn, keeping your bag, and therefore all your precious kit nice and dry.
Hunter UNISEX WELLIES
These are the original and perhaps best wellies on the market. Reliable, reassuringly unaffordable and totally sturdy. However, a pefectly good set of unbranded green boots are about £10. Up to you!
Part of us here at the travel section wants to shout: “what’s wrong with a map and a signpost?” however, this Garmin GPS is designed specifically for walkers and ‘outdoorsy’ people. Might come in handy - and is something to brag about.
Our top five: 3. DERBY QUAD ARTS CENTRE
1. CHATSWORTH HOUSE
Located in the very heart of the peak District, Chatswort is still lived in and its famous gardens, grotto, fountains and glasshouses were all layed out by Joseph Paxton, who later went on to design the Crystal Palace in London. There’s also a riding school and regualar art exhibitions are held in the vast expanse of parklands.
A cinema, restaurant and theatre, this is a new addition to Derby’s skyline.
4. BLUE JOHN CAVERNS
The Romans first discovered the unique blue stone of these caverns. Now visitors can look around!
2. EYAM PLAGUE VILLAGE
After a cloth or peice of hessian was brought up from London as part of local’s luggage back in 1665, the Great Plague that had devestated London quickly spread around this small and unassuming village in the Peak District. Now a museum, the village is still inhabited and hosts numerous festivals each year.
Sailing, cycling, woodwork courses, windsurfing - Carsington allows the visitor to get very hands on and back to basics in the plain air. It is a nature reserve as well - with 120 species of birds reported to inhabit the waterside forests here.
We’re always on the look out for contributors, whether you’ve written much before or not. If you have a story to tell about your ‘gap yah’ or family holiday, or a quirky trip within the UK, contact us at:
34 SOCIETY SPOTLIGHT
Friday 12th October 2012 Spark*
In this feature, Spark* investigates one of the many societies at the University of Reading This issue: Reading University Welsh Society Nia Thomas
The Welsh Society is a free society that aims to bring anyone who’s Welsh, or loves Wales, together. Wales may only be a hundred miles away but there are times when you need to be surrounded by people who understand what you mean when you mention Priestland or Pobol y Cwm. We have a variety of socials coming up and we’ll have at least one a month this year.
We have a variety of socials coming up and we’ll have at least one a month this year
Above: the pictuesque Snowdon Below: one of Wales’ many multicoloured harbours
We’re looking forward to getting together to support the Welsh rugby team throughout the year. Last year, watching the Six Nations in different locations in town was a lot of fun especially since Wales won every match. Watching Wales beat England in a packed Mojos was especially memorable since there was so much tension in the room. It was great getting a reason to celebrate afterwards, unlike the previous year where a Welsh loss was rewarded with a sad walk
home with plenty of abuse from England supporters. This year we are hoping to go to Cardiff or Edinburgh to support the Welsh team for one game whether it’s in the stadium or out on the town.
This year we are hoping to go to Cardiff or Edinburgh to support the Welsh team We’re also hoping to start a Welsh Society football team. It won’t be taken seriously so everyone’s welcome. Contact us on the Facebook group if you’re interested in joining in. The first social of the year will be on October 19, starting at Park
Bar at 8.30 then heading to Evissa at 10 with a dress code of “Anything Welsh goes” whether it’s Welsh colours or fancy dress. Hope to see you there! The first social of the year will be on October 19th, starting at Park Bar at 8.30 then heading to Evissa at 10
The first social of the year will be on October 19th Join our Facebook group where we’ll be able to keep you up to date with any big events or casual pints we’ll have planned throughout the year! Search “Reading University Welsh Society” on Facebook.
Next time... The Ecology and Conservation society talk to Spark* about their experience volunteering in the peak district. Would you like your society or team to be featured in Spark*? Get in touch at email@example.com Top left: the Welsh flag Left: the Welsh rugby team winning the 2012 RBS Six Nations Below: Millenium Centre, Cardiff
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
Letters & Events
A letter from the Alumni office Spark* is now online! Hi everyone On behalf of the Development and Alumni Relations team, I hope you’re having a great autumn term so far. As you know, this term marks the start of a new fees era, whereby tuition fees at Reading have, like many other universities, risen to £9,000 a year. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of ‘10 reasons why Reading is a world-class institution’ – an article which you can read below in this edition of Spark*. We hope it reassures you that providing the very best stu-
dent experience is at the forefront of the University of Reading’s agenda… and of course, we hope it makes for inspirational reading when you are losing the will to embark on yet another piece of coursework! In other news, we recently enjoyed the company of over 200 Reading graduates at the House of Lords Alumni Reception in Westminster, London. It was a wonderful evening, complete with drinks, canapés and conversation in full flow. Guests also had a rare chance to explore the magnificent
House of Lords and House of Commons. When you leave Reading and become a member of the alumni community, make sure you book on to this annual event – it is definitely an experience to remember! In the meantime, see what our graduates are talking about on our Facebook page (search ‘University of Reading Alumni’) and on our Twitter feed (@UniRdg_Alumni).
Follow us @SparkNewspaper ‘Like’ our Facebook page /SparkNewspaper Visit our website at www.sparknewspaper.co.uk To be involved in the paper, contact the paper using the emails below.
Laura Garman Development and Alumni Communications Officer
10 reasons why Reading is a world-class institution This feature is an extract from the latest edition of Connected Online – the email newsletter which is circulated to University of Reading graduates. 10 reasons why Reading is a world class institution We were thrilled to hear that the University of Reading has climbed yet another acclaimed University league table in the summer, as The Times Good University Guide 2013 (published in June 2012) confirmed that Reading is among the top 25 universities in the UK. The University of Reading was ranked 24th – a jump of nine places from 2011. This is the fourth league table that we have climbed this year. As far as the University of Reading is concerned, it seems that the only way is up. But what makes us such a respected institution? 1. First and foremost, we are a top 25 University in the Times Good University guide. A key element of the rankings is graduate prospects - and employability for Reading graduates is at its highest for a decade. Almost 70% of leavers are in graduate jobs or embarking on further study and 92% are in employment, further study or volunteer-related positions. 2. It’s not just what happens after University that counts either; the student experience is just as important. And it seems that our students hold the quality of teaching and the facilities at Reading in very high esteem, as the recent Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey placed Reading 12th - out of 105 UK universities! 3. Another reason why our stu-
dents love Reading could be down to our beautiful campus, which spans 130 hectares of parkland and boasts a lake, green open spaces and plenty of trees and wildlife. Many of our graduates tell us that they fondly remember the ‘community feel’ that campus had when they studied here, and it seems that current students concur! 4. We host a vibrant international community of students from over 130 countries. Including the Henley Business School, the University now has 20,000 students studying here. Reading clearly remains a popular place to study – while it was reported that University applications were down this year in England, the University of Reading bucked the trend with applications up almost 11%. 5. The University has four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes under its belt – the most prestigious form of recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution. The University has been awarded prizes for: a Shakespeare production project with the Globe Theatre in London (1998); its Department of Meteorology (2005); the Department of Archaeology (2009) and, most recently, The Department of Typography and Graphic Communication (2011). 6. The University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2011. The rankings are based on 13 performance indicators, including a university’s academic reputation for excellence in teaching and research.
7. We conduct outstanding research in areas such as climate change, cardiovascular disease, mental health, wildlife conservation and food security. The University is ranked in the top 20 for the number of awards it has received from research councils for 2010/11. In total, we received 38 awards, placing us at position 20 out of 218 institutions. 8. The University has enjoyed great fundraising success over the years, and it’s all down to our 6,000 (and growing!) donors. In the last eight years, our generous donors have given £3.2 million to the Annual Fund to support hundreds of current students; be it through providing bursaries, scholarships, the latest technology to enhance the learning environment or through extra-curricular projects. 9. The University’s Henley Business School is world-renowned for developing outstanding business professionals and leaders. Henley Business School is one of the only business schools worldwide to hold triple-accredited status and was recently named a Business Superbrand. 10. Our graduates are hugely responsible in upholding our world class reputation. Our alumni go on to make a great difference in the world through their various careers and ventures, and they play a significant role in mentoring current students, supporting our events and representing the University of Reading overseas. We are very fortunate to have such a lively alumni community of over 100,000 graduates worldwide.
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Design editor: Spark* is written, designed & typeset by students at the University of Reading. Printed by Newbury News Limited, Newspaper House, Faraday Road, Newbury, Berkshire. RG14 2DW. Published and funded by Reading University Students’ Union firstname.lastname@example.org. Spark* is completely editorially independent. Complaints should be made to the Editor, in the first instance, and thereafter to RUSU. All complaints should be made in writing. All articles, letters etc. must include a name, address, and contact number/e-mail address. These may be withheld from publication at specific request. Spark* or RUSU can take no responsibility for products or services advertised herein. Spark* reserves the right to reject or edit any submissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the Editor. The views expressed in Spark* do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor, particularly those expressed in the comments pages, which are often the opinions of the specific authors. Photographs in Spark* are copyright to the photographer concerned.
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
CAREERS Spark* asks ‘what are employers really looking for?’ Part One – the CV ‘An employer decides after just a couple of seconds whether they like your CV or not’ Each vacancy receives bundles of CVs with every one claiming they are the next big thing or they have a set of skills the length of their arm. So you need to set yourself apart from the rest and make yourself heard, a little hard through a piece of paper maybe. But there are several things you can do to help make your voice heard. The skills mentioned in the job advert Examine the job advert and analyse what the role is really requiring. There can sometimes be hidden requirements in the lengthy job description so analyse it and take out key points. Then simply place these skills (providing you actually have them) in bullet point format in a specified section, preferably the top of your CV. Examples of what you claim you can do It is no use just simply saying you can do something without backing it up. So provide a quick example of why you can do that certain task. Providing real life examples not only supports your claims but also demonstrates you have real life experience of it. Relevant work experience Keep your work experience relevant to the role. Sure it’s nice to tell the future employer that you helped at the local nursing home or that you sell cakes to raise money for your local charity. However if it does not demonstrate a similarity to the role you are applying for then remove it. GRB suggest putting experience like this in bullet point format under ‘additional activities’. Avoid generic templates It’s far too easy and simple to take a quick search online for a template of a CV. Sure use it to get you started and to build upon, but don’t by lazy and use it as your CV; it will be spotted immediately and thrown out. Do a spell check and proof read! You need to ensure that you thoroughly go through your CV to find any of those spelling mistakes or poor grammar. The CV is a shop window for the employer into how you present yourself and your professionalism. So make it count, if
you are misspelling simple words and misplacing grammar then it will inform your interviewer you don’t show much care! Emphasise a second language (if you have one) Organisations are crying out for a second language, as the world’s becomes smaller and organisations start to trade more internationally, a second language has become ever more important. If you have that vital second language then make a point about it on your CV! It can only look good. Show a passion Demonstrate on your CV in ‘Bio’ or ‘Introduction’ that the role you are applying for you have a passion for. Organisations become more and more sceptical, in such an economic climate, that people are applying for jobs for the sake of applying for jobs rather than because they have a passion for that role. Emphasise why you like the role and why you will be good in the role. Send your CV early Stay one step ahead and prepare your CV ready for when an opening may be arising, organisations usually recruit in certain times of the year. DO your research on when the organisation last hired and when they are likely to hire in the future. Then when they come to hire you can be one the first CVs in their mind. Not only will they notice that you are keen but also be the bench mark for how they will grade the next applications. Ambition – but not too ambitious Show ambition for be successful in life and within the new role. But don’t show too much ambition that may tell the potential employer you may simply jump from role to role until you achieve what you want to achieve. Remember the economic climate pressures the employer to hire the right person first time round. So they will be extra vigilant ensuring the candidate is the right person for the role for the long term future. Your moulding and shifting your CV ready for the application to the role you have dreamt of. But wait, what do you do when you get the interview? Below we talk you through about how to make a good first impression ready for the interview.
Part two – the first impression at the interview ‘Seven seconds to set the first impression’ The first seven seconds will either give you a relaxed walk down the hill or a mountaineering venture up Kilimanjaro. A good first impression will lead you down a much easier next 45 minutes where you have allowed yourself some slack for potential hiccups. A poor first impression has only made your hard interview an even harder challenge to accomplish where any potential hiccup will be exaggerated. So, how do we provide an outstanding first impression? Let us show your our top tips of gaining that all important first impression. Dress to impress Treat every interview as if you are being inspected from head to toe. Go to impress in professional attire for any type of role, this includes suit tie and shoes! Ensure your clothes are fully ironed out and crease free. Your interviewer needs to see that you are taking everything seriously in order for your interview to be taken seriously. However don’t go in there dressed ready for the cat walk drowning in your favourite fragrance, there will be some over kill and possibly cause some gagging on your interviewers part. Your professional attire needs to be complimented by a professional manner and a professional posture. Open body language OK, so you have arrived nice and early for your interview in expectance of gaining additional recognition, the standard procedure. However you need to be able to entertain yourself without showing a negative or unprofessional image. It is likely you will be waiting in the reception with the receptionist who is likely to feedback to your interviewer how you present yourself when not under the spot light of the interview. As such keep your body nice and open, avoiding crossing those arms, sitting up straight in your chair to avoid being given the kid status. There is likely to be a few booklets about the organisation on the table in front of you, pick them up and read them. This additional reading not only demonstrates you have interest in the organisation but also allows you to add to your
knowledge of the organisation, so it’s a win-win situation! Smile Any member passing through the reception could be your interviewer, you just won’t know which one until they come and approach you. So, what do you do? Smile at every person that you make some form of eye contact with. Sure, you will smile a lot of people who aren’t going to interview you but when your interviewer comes out you will have a smile ready and waiting to greet them. The handshake Stand up and shake that hand! Make that shake work for you and introduce yourself making eye contact. Provide a firm shake to show your confidence and readiness for the interview. A timid handshake is likely to show a lack of self-confidence or extreme nervousness which never bodes well for the first impression. You need to show some confidence otherwise there will be doubts over whether you will be confident within the role itself. Most jobs require team work and cooperation which is achieved through being capable of confidently communicating with your colleagues. From here on in it’s down to you to answer the questions correctly and continue your great first impression on your interviewer. Pick up your next issue to find out how to best work the interview process and make the most of the opportunity! This guest post has been written by Dan Hawes on behalf of The Graduate Recruitment Bureau (www.grb.uk.com)
Next time in Careers... We will be launching a partnership with the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre. Find out the latest job opportunities, have a look at case studies from Reading alumni and get tips on how to get ahead.
There are plenty of events coming up through the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre over the next couple of weeks – for a full listing, as well as booking and location details, visit My Jobs Online – linked from the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre website www.reading.ac.uk/careers/events.
Events 15 October, 1pm Headstart: Where to find term time and campus jobs 16 October, 10am-4pm Lidl Careers bus tour - Summer internship scheme 2013, (no booking required) 16 October, 5pm Musgrave Graduate Programme 16 October, 1pm Microsoft Presentation, 17 October, 12 - 4pm Part time jobs fair, 12pm-4pm in 3sixty (no booking required) 19 October, 1pm Successful applications with PWC 22 October, 1pm Tesco.com - Graduate opportunities presentation 23 October, 1pm College of Law: Is Law for You? For non-law students 24 October, 1pm Headstart: Interview skills - presented by Logica
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
fun&games Can you spot the difference?
Sudoku Last weekâ€™s answer...
This weekâ€™s Sudoku
answers coming in our next issue!
In the second image, there is: A T-rex on the horizon, A greater cloud shadow on the bottom left, Amother leaf coming in from the right-hand side, There is no longer a river on the right side of the mountain, A small island on the river has vanished.
The Great Escape!
Double puzzle: Unscramble the clue words. Copy the letters in the numbered cells to other cells with the same number
Cryptogram Fancy getting involved in our (very) Fun and Games section? get in contact at
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Solve the phrase from a famous movie
Friday 12 October 2012 Spark*
Spark* Friday 12 October 2012
Lance Armstrong labelled ‘serial cheat’ Seven time Tour de France winner reputation ruined after evidence of ‘sophisticated doping programme’ Cameron Humphries
An inspiration to many, seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has been labelled ‘a serial cheat’ and stripped over his titles from 1998 by the United States Anti-Doping Authority. Usada’s report claims that Armstrong’s seven tour wins were achieved off the back of ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.’ Indeed the evidence against the former cancer sufferer seems damning, with over a dozen former teammates and members of the cycling community testifying against him. Throughout his career Armstrong has always denied doping and his lawyer Sean Breen has attacked Usada’s evidence, staing that the report was a ‘taxpayer-
funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories.’
The most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen Armstrong has yet to speak publicly since the report was published but did take to Twitter, writing ‘What am I doing tonight? Hanging with my family, unaffected, and thinking about this’, posting a link to his Livestrong charity page.
Former teammates that testified included George Hincapie, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton who helped contribute to a report that came in at over 1,000 pages.
University of Reading Sports
Throughout his career Armstrong has always denied doping It remains to be seen where Armstrong will go from here however the Texans’ lawyer has already stated that he will not contest the charge, wishing to concentrate on the ‘many other things he wants to accomplish in his life.’ The report tarnishes a a significant period of the sport and one of its greats in history, after a summer in which cycling has been viewed so positively in the British press, many will hope that
Armstrong has been viewed as one of Cycling’s all-time greats the sport can stay clear of doping revelations in the coming years.
Over the coming weeks we will always try our very best to cover Reading Knights University teams. We are looking forward to reporting on yet another successful year for the University of Reading in the BUCS tables. If any teams know that they have exciting matches lined up, and would like to be featured in Spark*’s sports section, all they have to do is drop us an email at sports.spark@reading. ac.uk.
Improved Reading give McDermott hope the ball through dropping over his head most would have expected an attempt at control with one touch and a shot with the second, not on this form. Ba hit the ball clean on the run and Alex McCarthy was left with no chance.
Reading 2-2 Newcastle Kebe 56’ Ba 57’ 83’ Hunt 60’ Cameron Humphries
In a pulsating second half Demba Ba scored twice for Newcastle United to snatch a 2-2 draw and deny Reading a first Premier League win this season. After a drab first half the Madejski came to life when Jimmy Kebe gave Reading the lead just before the hour mark. However, less than a minute after the restart Newcastle were level, with Demba Ba’s first time volley from Cheick Tiote’s lofted through ball silencing the home support.
The Madejski came to life when Jimmy Kebe gave Reading the lead Noel Hunt capped a manic five minutes by giving Reading the lead, glancing his header past Steve Harper. It was Ba that would have the last laugh however, the Senegalese striker scoring with what looked like a header with seven minutes remaining. A closer inspection of the replay would reveal it had in fact come off the front man’s arm and despite Reading’s protestations, Andre Marriner and his assistants allowed the goal to stand.
Demba Ba’s volleyed response was sublime
Demba Ba: The Senegalase striker scored a volley of the highest quality and has 6 goals in 7 games this season In a frantic finish Harper brilliantly denied Jason Roberts’ before McAnuff hit the post with one of the final acts of the match. Before the match the newly promoted Royals would likely have settled for a point, however on the balance of play manager Brian McDermott may well feel his side were hard done by to only walk away with a share of the spoils. For Newcastle it was a stark reminder that last season’s impressive fifth place finish will be tough to repeat. The opening periods if the game signalled how much of the first half was to be played, it was scrappy and disjointed and both
teams struggled to create clear cut chances. The stand out player for Reading was Pavel Pogrebnyak, constantly bring others into play and worrying Newcastle with his intelligent running. Indeed it was the Russian striker who brought the first save of the match from Steve Harper, his header impressively tipped over the bar after half an hour. Pogrebnyak would be involved again in the build up to the first goal, cleverly bringing McAnuff into play who in turn found Kebe who finished well for his first Premier League goal. If Kebe’s goal was well worked Ba’s response was sublime, with
McAnuff once again turned provider, whipping a superb ball onto the onrushing Hunt’s head to give Reading the lead and send the crowd into raptures. After 70 minutes Alan Pardew turned to Shola Ameobi and Shane Ferguson to turn the game for the north-east side but Reading remained in the ascendancy with Mikele Leigertwood firing over their best opportunity.
Then came the low blow to the home side, Shane Ferguson burst down the left and put a delightful ball into the six yard box that Ba finished in the most controversial of manners.
Ba’s second was finished in the most controversial of manners Jason Roberts was then denied by a sensational Harper save before McAnuff thought he had won the day when he curled an effort against the post in the final minute. Reading were left to settle with a point and remained in the bottom three.
Calling all writers Do you love all things sport and have a flair for writing? Then why not write for the sport section here in Spark*. Email Cameron Humphries at sports.spark@reading. ac.uk or join the Spark* Sports Writers 2012/2013 group on Facebook! Regardless of what sport you play or are interested in, get in contact with us, Spark* Sport would love to hear from you! Cameron Humphries, Sports Editor
Friday October 12 2012 Spark*
SPORT The Big One: Men’s Rugby Inside... Reading Vs Newcastle
Lance Armstrong Report: doping controversy
Early promise quashed as Knights lose opener Reading 12 - 35 Bristol James McGill
Reading Knight’s first game of the new season ended in disappointment on Wednesday as they were beaten 12-32 by Bristol. An impressive defensive display combined with some assured kicking from Toby Sparks’ saw the Knights go into half time with a 12-5 lead. However, the second half was very much a one-sided affair as Bristol ran over four tries and ultimately chalked up an unassailable tally. In what was billed as the first ‘Big One’ of the year, Reading enjoyed a fantastic spectator turnout. Hundreds of supporters lined the touchline for the duration of the game, and their backing was telling as the Knights responded to put in a very professional first 40 minutes.
Hundreds of supporters lined the touchline for the duration of the game After overcoming some early Bristol pressure, the Reading forwards stood firm to offset a number of early charges at their line. Gradually the Knights pushed the Bristol line backwards, with some impressive mauling and rucking in numbers eventually nullifying the Bristol threat. Reading deservedly won themselves a penalty after nine minutes which Sparks’ duly converted. This smash and grab seemed to give Reading newfound moti-
vation as they charged forward with determination and forced a knock-on immediately from the restart. Just after this, however, David Campbell succumbed to an injury he sustained in the early exchanges and was forced into a substitution. Nevertheless, Reading maintained their high tempo. Despite not enjoying much possession or territory, they again forced the Bristol players into mistakes, again winning a penalty after the Bristol number 15 was sent to the sin bin for persistent holding onto the ball. Just as Reading seemed to be comfortable, Connor Diplock was given a yellow card for a high tackle. This was telling as it allowed Bristol the space they needed to score the opening try. Using their one-man advantage, Bristol were able to put men out wide at the breakdown on the Reading try-line, and with most of the Knights drawn into the centre, a long pass to the Bristol winger allowed him a free run into the corner. Reading contrived to finish the half strongly, with further impressive tackling and a great breakaway run from Will Clarke allowing Sparks’ two more kicks at goal. A 100% kicking display from Sparks’ gave Reading a fantastic platform on which to build in the second half. Conversely, the second half got off to the worst possible start, as Reading conceded a needless penalty straight from kickoff. One more Bristol laid siege to the Reading line from the off, and for 10 minutes the Reading forwards put in another masterful tackling
There was just enough time for Bristol to add insult to injury by running over a fifth try in the dying minutes. A spirited Reading backline did well to hold Bristol up, but ultimately succumbed as the Bristol winger dove into the corner.
Reading University Knigths 2011-12 1st XV - 4th Place
display. However, on 50 minutes the unrelenting Bristol pressure finally told and the ball was bundled over the line from a rolling maul. Whereas in the first half the Knights had been solid with their ball retention in line-outs and scrums, mistakes began to creep into their game, and Bristol enjoyed possession for large spells inside the Reading half. A serious looking injury to one of the Reading players in the 67th minute meant that two Knights were hospitalised, alongside Campbell who departed in the first half.
Tensions boiled over soon after as a brawl arose in the centre As the Reading side began to tire the Bristol backs sensed their opportunity, and twice within five minutes ran unopposed from inside their own half to score two more tries. Tensions boiled over soon after as a brawl arose in the centre, but it was quickly broken up and play continued.
Nonetheless, there were numerous pluses to be taken from the performance It was a disappointing loss for the Knights in a game which they looked at times to be controlling. Nonetheless, there were numerous pluses to be taken from the performance, and the team has the potential to embark on a fulfilling and successful campaign.
Knights’ Team 1 Conor Diplock 2 Ben Sawbridge 3 Henry Redshaw 4 James Hughes 5 Will Lund 6 Ed Saunders 7 Dave Synnot 8 David Campbell 9 Will Clarke 10 Jack Harrison 11 Isaac Kibirige 12 Seb Lear 13 Nigel Gumbleton 14 Will Rasbridge 15 Toby Sparks
Ryder Cup2012: Europe 14.5 USA 13.5
A review of one of the most sensational Ryder Cups ever played after Europe fight back from 10-4 down to claim the most dramatic of victories. Cameron Humphries
In future debates about the greatest piece of sporting theatre we have a new contender. Step forth the 39th Ryder Cup from Medinah Country Club.
In future debates about the greatest piece of sporting theatre we have a new contender. The Ryder Cup usually brings a high level of sporting drama,
this year it could be argued it was unrivalled. Graeme McDowell, the man who sunk the winning putt two years ago, teed off on day one and from that moment to the moment Martin Kaymer drained his putt to ensure Europe would retain the Ryder Cup this was three days that even the finest of Hollywood scriptwriter’s would struggle to replicate. Leading 10 – 6 going into the final day’s Team USA only needed 4.5 of the 12 available points to win the Ryder Cup. However an extraordinary comeback led by the indomitable Ian Poulter allowed
Europe to claim a famous 14.5 – 13.5 victory on American soil.
An extraordinary comeback led by the indomitable Ian Poulter Only once in Ryder Cup history has a team recovered from such a final day deficit, the USA’s memorable, and controversial, comeback at Brooklyn in 1999. The memories of that defeat most certainly still haunt Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal and
many others connected with Team Europe. Calling on the spirit of the legendary Seve Ballesteros and led by Poulter this Europe side did not accept defeat. After turning the scoreboard a sea of blue early on Sunday slowly but surely Olazabal’s men hauled themselves’ back into the contest. Donald beat Watson, Poulter beat Simpson, Mcllroy beat Bradley before Rose extraordinarily beat Mickelson having been one down with two to play. By the time Garcia snatched a victory over Furyk on the last the
comeback was no longer a dream, it was a reality. In the end it came down to Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker on the 18th green. Kaymer given two puts to retain the Ryder Cup. The German has struggled for form in recent months but was ever reliable here, after missing his first putt the second went true into the middle of the hole. Europe had retained the Ryder Cup and the celebrations and manner of the comeback will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it.