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The Aberdeen University Student Newspaper

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4th October 2010

Dedicated followers of fashion: what is the deal with the trench coat? Life and Style, Page 8

Est. 1934

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Sports Union Battle for Financial Security AUSA Threaten to withhold portion of funding Stephen Armitage News Nearly 1,000 students have signed a petition against planned cuts to the Sports Union. The planned cuts are set to rock the sporting community and could affect Aberdeen University’s high ranking in sport. The cuts are likely to cause fewer fixtures, a lack of new equipment and coaching. Drew Leitch, Sports Union President, successfully secured an annual grant of £30,000 from the University to develop high performance sport. However, because of several financial agreements between the AUSA and the University this money was given to the AUSA, under the understanding that it would then be given to the Sports Union. Robin Parker, Student President and NUS Scotland Executive, is looking for extra finance for a number of projects, including a ‘NUS Demo-lition 2010’ campaign of the century against David Cameron’s austerity

measures. The Sports Union’s money is not ring-fenced and so Robin has the potential to argue for a share in the money intended for sport and use it, for example, on the anti-cuts demonstration. The Sports Union Committee set up a petition in support of their fight to secure the extra funding, reaching nearly 1,000 students willing to fight for their money. The Sports Union accuse AUSA of misunderstanding and misrepresenting their financial needs. Martin Kennedy, a member of the Mountain Bike Club, said: “The cuts will make it harder for us to compete in the British Championships later this year. We have to save hundreds of pounds per team we enter in the competition.” The Sports Union is an integral part of AUSA and provides support for important issues on student development and well being such as competition, team building, communication and healthy living. The Sports Union gives students an unrivalled access to sport, however this could alter if the Executive Committee

decides to spend the money elsewhere. Drew has indicated the possibility of taking the petition and a motion to the next AUSA Student Council to block Robin’s move and secure a ring-fence on the money. However, this won’t entirely stop the Sports Union budget being cut in the future. Drew explains: “The next step is to show the SA how much support we have and the clear voice that is being espoused by the members of the SU that we need financial stability. My main aim is to ensure that the correct funding is secured for the development of sport.” Robin gives us a clear picture over his financial position: “The whole of Higher Education in the UK is looking at serious funding cuts from the Government and there will be pressure across the board on what Universities are doing.” AUSA and the University are facing major cuts in the near future and both recognise key components will be squeezed, including sport.

AU Cricket Club say farewell to former captain Chris Parr News Page 3

Inside this edition >>>

Halls Problems Averted

For the first time in four years, the university avoids a crisis in housing its new students NEWS, PAGE 2

Interview With the Principal

Jospeh Blythe talks to Ian Diamond about his plans for Aberdeen University NEWS, PAGE 4

Have an Opinion?

Everything from drugs to virginity: a section full of heated debate OPINE, PAGES 6-8


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Gaudie

Editorial Team

Editors: John Braid, Joseph Blythe Head of Production and Photography: Leo Stockford News: Naomi Mills, Stuart Hewitt Opine: Jonathan Kerr Life & Style: Johanna Faust Arts: Anne-Claire Deseilligny Listings: Aaron Murray Sports: Ryan Ross Featured Columnists: Fanny Johansson, Eoin Smith, and Xander Brouwer Editor-in-chief: Robin Parker

Address: The Gaudie and ASR Office, Butchart Recreational Center, University Road, The University of Aberdeen

gaudie.editor@abdn. ac.uk

Editorial Welcome travellers, to the second edition of the Gaudie of the year. By now we hope our freshers will have mastered the art of drinking all night, not being able to sleep in your awful halls bedding, and still being able to get up in time for your morning lectures; and we hope that our returning students have found it easy enough to cope with increased workloads and less disposable income, as well as the horrible realisation that another Aberdeen winter is fast approaching. Here at Gaudie we’re settling in very well; our new editorial team are fast learning how difficult it can be putting the paper together, but also how much fun they can have at the same time, and we’re looking forward to building up a relationship with our roommates (of sorts) Aberdeen Student Radio. We’d like to unconditionally apologise about the late arrival of what should have been our fresher’s week edition. A problem with the printers (as well as both our chief editors taking late holidays, lazy cads that they are) meant that it didn’t come out until most of our freshers were already skipping their first lectures. If you give us the chance, we’d like to make it up to you over the rest of the year by making the Gaudie better than it’s ever been before. But we can only do that with your help! If you have an idea for an article, how we can improve a section, or just to tell us how good a job we’re doing, we want to hear from you! Email addresses can be found within the pages of this very paper, so don’t hesitate to give us a shout. (we especially like it when we get letters of adoration; just a heads up). Joseph Blythe and John Braid

Gaudie 4th October 2010

News News Editors: Naomi Mills, Stuart Hewitt

gaudie.news@abdn.ac.uk

Sinfonia Up the Tempo Leo Stockford The old gym in Kings Pavilion is an unlikely place for music. Situated above the swimming pool and opposite King’s pitches it looks too small a space for a band, let alone an orchestra. But this is exactly where the Aberdeen Student Sinfonia held their first practice of the year – a ‘come one, come all’ rehearsal. The president of the Sinfonia, Scott Matheson described the event as “a chance for anyone who’s thinking of joining the orchestra to take part in the rehearsal, get to know the other orchestra members and have some free cake!” The Sinfonia only started 2 years ago by a couple friends in the Conductor’s course who wanted to take their conducting a bit further but already, amongst the musical community at university, its reputation shines like a new penny. The rehearsal area has seating for at least 75 people, and whilst this wasn’t filled at the first rehearsal, the noise generated was more than enough to fill the room. With everything from a bassoon to kettledrums, the musicians chatted as they waited for the conductor to literally face the music. The feeling was relaxed and jovial, just as Scott had described it, and this carried through into the practice itself, with the conductor’s energy and enthusiasm seeming to flow from his baton and into the orchestra. The result was energetic music with a vivid vibrancy rarely seen at a first rehearsal of any orchestra. Whilst many might be tempted to make comparisons with the Symphony Orchestra, that’s not what it’s all about. Speaking to another conductor, Cole Bendall, the Sinfonia is there to compliment the symphony orchestra. Others echo his comments - the Symphony orchestra is more formal, performs at bigger concerts, and requires an audition to get into; whilst the Sinfonia is here for those that just want to be there and want to play for the fun of it. The result? A genuine feeling of excitement every time a difficult part is accomplished, and a brilliant experience, not just for the people playing, but also those listening. Even when they broke for tea and cake, music flowed from the back – the kettle drums pounded softly and the ripple of a violin percolated through the room. This is a student orchestra, but with the calibre and energy of something much bigger.

News in Brief

by Stuart Hewitt

Stuart Hewitt

Photo: Leo Stockford

DRACONIAN CUTS TO the future generation of our International Co-operatives PUBLIC SPENDING are country and should not be conference.

to be challenged by a new campaign launched this week with the help of the Student’s Association. Trade unions and organisations from across Aberdeen met yesterday as part of a Europe-wide day of action which also served to launch the ongoing ‘There Is A Better Way’ campaign. Sultan Feroz, Secretary of the Aberdeen Trade Union Council, said “the aim is to show a better way locally, nationally and internationally. To prevent the cutting of services and build a safeguard for the vulnerable people of our society.” Much of the days events were focused on advertising a national march and rally in Edinburgh on the 23rd of October which was organised to coincide with the detailing of the Comprehensive Spending Review at Westminster on the 20th October. Mr Feroz went on to say “Students are our first priority actually and it’s good to see the young generation behind the trade unions. Students are

deprived because of the cuts.” A weather-enforced change of venue meant around 40 attendees were crammed into the Trade Union Council Social Club for a series of speeches by all the organisations involved. The running theme which brought all the speakers together was a sentiment that austerity and cuts were not the ‘necessary evil’ which the coalition government have portrayed them as. In attendance, along with the more obvious trade union representatives, were a group of concerned parents from the ‘SOS Harlaw’ campaign which aims to highlight the looming closure of Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen’s West End. For more information on the ongoing campaign go to www. thereisabetterway.org

An enterprising group of Aberdeen

University students have showcased their innovative ‘veg bag’ scheme at an

Freshers Housing Crisis Averted This Year

The Aberdeen Veg Bag Cooperative featured at the two-day Solutions in Enterprise conference, the flagship event of a £109,000 University of Aberdeen project funded by the Scottish Government and the Economic and Social Research Council to raise the profile of cooperatives to students, graduates, and the wider community. The student cooperative operates by charging members a £6 annual joining fee, which covers the cost of two jute bags to carry the produce, and orders are then taken for vegetables on a weekly or fortnightly basis, at a cost of £6 per order. The students use all the money collected to purchase produce from the wholesaler and this is then divided into bags and collected from the University’s Butchart Centre. Casper Lampkin, treasurer of the scheme, said “It is organic and generally seasonal and, despite the view that the staple diet of students is one of takeaways and ready meals,

the scheme is proving popular with students, staff and the wider public alike. “We’re extending the service to offer a pick up point at Foresterhill campus and looking at the possibility of extending this to Hillhead Halls of residence if the demand is there.”

The Nintendo Wii Fit has been identified as a

beneficial exercise for some older people who are prone to falling, according to an NHS Grampian and University of Aberdeen study. Falls are the most common cause of accidental injury in older people and the most common cause of accidental death in 75 year olds and over. Fifteen volunteers - who lived in sheltered accommodation or in their own home in Aberdeen and who had fallen at least once in the preceding 12 months - were recruited onto the study. The Wii Fit also has the potential to improve their balance, though studies are ongoing.

The University has successfully met its commitment to accommodate all new students for the first time in four years. Previous years saw massive disruptions to incoming students with many being forced into temporary accommodation while beds were found. However, this year a slight drop in the number of new students in real terms, coupled with a ‘blockbooking’ agreement with Unite accommodation, helped pave the way for all 3,300 new students to be offered rooms in accordance with its guarantee to students. Around 100 of the Unite rooms booked by the University are currently lying empty and are being offered to returning students. Leith Forsyth, Director of Student Affairs at the University, said “It would appear that there has been an over-compensation this year. It is my understanding that the university have exceeded their admission targets by anywhere between 500-600 under-graduate students for this year. This would mean there are 400-500 less students this year because the admission target was exceeded by 1000 last year.” In other developments, many students were turned away from the recently converted self-catering halls at Hillhead. Work to convert the last of Hillhead’s catered halls was being carried out during the academic term last year with many students complaining of disruptions. As new students arrived on the Saturday morning of moving weekend contractors were still completing adding the finishing touches, forcing the new residents to wait until around three o’clock for entry. Further disruptions were caused as traffic lights at the junction of King and Don Street did not favour Hillhead-bound vehicles. In previous years, the council had arranged this but a mixup on their part led to a 45 minute journey from King Street to Hillhead. AUSA President Robin Parker said “this year has seen a massive improvement because the University has invested heavily. However, this investment must continue in years to come.” Photo: Despite the problems, Mr Southeallpakistanappeal. Forsyth went on to say “on the whole there were org no complaints from students.”


4th October 2010

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Gaudie

News

gaudie.news@abdn.ac.uk

A Cricket Club Tribute to Former Captain Fundraising Efforts Raise Awareness for Tragic Loss Naomi Mills News Editor The tragic death of former Aberdeen University Cricket Club Captain, Chris Parr, struck devastation in his friends and families during the summer. Chris passed away suddenly in the night, the day before he was due to go on holiday with his girlfriend, Philippa Hurst and her family. His life was driven by sport, having played for the university cricket club as well as his own hometown of Leek cricket and rugby clubs. His dad, Martin stated proudly that, “Chris was in sport as he was in life – a winner.” Chris was taking a year out after finishing his third year at Aberdeen University by undertaking a placement at IMed in Macclesfield to help bolster his degree in BioChemistry. Mr Parr senior commented on Chris’s decision to attend Aberdeen University saying, “We visited Edinburgh and Aberdeen universities on the same day, and I asked him which one he was going to apply for. He told me ‘I’m going to Aberdeen because it loves me and I love it.’ He was so happy in Aberdeen with his girlfriend Philippa.” Before his death Chris had never had any serious medical conditions, his mother Dianne commented on his health saying, “Chris hardly ever went to the doctor, he barely even had a headache. When they asked for his medical records they looked back and said, ‘is that it?” “Some days I wonder why it has happened. Why now? There must be a reason – I just wish I knew what it was.” The 21-year-old sportsman’s tragic death is suspected to be a result of Adult Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS.) The fatal illness is an umbrella term for different kinds of cardiac arrest that affects young people particularly. It causes unexpected occurrences from as little as six hours after a person is perceived to be in normal health and usually results in a virtually painless passing of cardiac arrest. Although Sport is not a direct cause it can be known to trigger underlying symptoms and result in a persons death. Chris’s death must live to support the awareness of

SDS. There are established organizations such as ‘Cardiac risk in the youth’ (www.c-r-y.org.uk) who offer subsidies for ECG screenings to young people who feel they may suffer from symptoms of SDS, such as breathlessness, fainting and palpitations. The Parr family have received more than £2,000 in donations for the CRY charity in memory of their beloved son. His girlfriend, Philippa is also hoping to participate in the Great North Run in support of the cause. Aberdeen University Cricket Club are hoping for huge support in their plans for a charity bike ride from Aberdeen to Leek, Stoke which is Chris’s hometown - this will see a collaboration of efforts from Chris’s home cricket team. The fundraiser is set to take place in Easter next year. Dianne Parr said: “Everybody wants to do something to help – at the university, the rugby and cricket clubs and all his friends. We have to think of the positives and try to help ensure no other parents have to go through the same ordeal.” Chris’s parents have been involved with the university in hope to establish a Chris Parr foundation with the hope of offering an internship at IMed. His Father said, “He would have gone on to great things, but we will always remember the 21 wonderful years we had with a fantastic young man.” The most important outcome in the tragic loss of Chris Parr is for all to give great support to every fundraising effort in order to ensure that his legacy will live on.

What they said... “Once you join AUCC you are a part of it forever, we will never forget Chris Parr, he truely was one our all time greats.” Peter Maksimczyk – AUCC “He was a very outgoing lad, who became an integral part of AUCC. On the cricket field, he gave his all, with many people mentioning how he kept whichever team he was part of going. Off the field, he was a committed student between the hours of 9 to 5, and a committed friend from then on, never one to let a buddy down.” Christopher Morrison – AUCC. “He would always be first to make light of any sour situation by making us all laugh, usually to the point where we would forget about what we were so down about in the first place.” Grant Jamieson – AUCC.

Top: in action on tour with the cricket club. Below: with friends at Butchart after an indoor intramural match

Captain Sticks to Parr’s Advice Andrew Wallace

It was always going to be an impossible task following on from such a charismatic, welcoming club captain. Now the task is indescribable. If anything, such a tragic event has actually pulled the club closer together as we all continue to share the burden of dealing with this

incomprehensible situation. However we all felt that it may not properly sink in until we returned to university and sure enough, come the first training session of the year, there was a definite absence of that familiar, friendly Stokey twang. The hall was silent in comparison. But Chris would not want us to wallow around for too long, he left us with too many happy memories for that. All we can do is live up to his

memory and continue to offer our support to those that were closest to him. Our thoughts still go out to his girlfriend Pip, his parents and of course our very own and former flatmate of Chris, Christopher Morrison. We are already planning a charity bike ride from Aberdeen to Leek; the money we raise will be donated to a charity of Chris’s parent’s choice. There are also a number of

memorial matches planned for the university team. We will be playing against both the former university members who knew and adored Chris, but also Chris’s local team, Leek Cricket Club, who are also to be involved in the bike ride. For now though we regroup, remember the good times and when struck with a dilemma if we ask ‘what would Parry have done?’ we won’t go far wrong.

“Never found wanting when spirits were waning. Never lost for words when encouragement was required. Always generous with support, always positive, always reliable. Regardless the situation Chris Parr was the ultimate team player, on and off the pitch. 

 CP joined Aberdeen University Cricket Club in 2007 and it was not long before he firmly embedded himself into the crowd with his charm, wit and expansive personality. One of the club’s figureheads, his Stokey twang could be heard dominating the airwaves at every club gathering, be it social or athletic. 

 His passion for all things cricket was an unbending force fixed deep within his system, immobile and ever present. He was a tough cricketer that loved the game as much as the associated drinking sessions: tense and competitive within the constraints of the boundary rope, laid back and relaxed outside. 

 Chris was a cunning offspinner who gave his all every fixture, be it a crucial University 1st XI tie vs. our Edinburgh rivals or a social intramural indoor sixes game with a bunch of hung-over fresher’s. Socially he was a demon; immensely friendly and amicable. Ready to talk but also ready to listen, to anyone, anytime. 

 You got what you saw with Chris. Never pretended to be anything he wasn’t. A hard working, sociable, honest, genuine, sport loving Leek lad, and if you didn’t like what you saw, tough. 

 Robbed of his life at too early an age, cricket has lost one of its true sons. Christopher Parr, you will be missed by all.

 AUCC salutes you.” Rene Van Oorschot – AUCC.


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Gaudie 4th October 2010

News

gaudie.news@abdn.ac.uk

Question and Answer with Ian Diamond Gaudie’s Joseph Blythe talks to THE new Principal about accomodation troubles, a rising number of applicants and the recession. J: I’ll just start by asking how you’re settling into your new position, and Aberdeen in general? D: It’s been great. Since I and my family arrived we’ve been made to feel incredibly welcome by everybody. J: When you were appointed you outlined your desire to make Aberdeen one of the top rated universities in the country, and eventually the world: “A great centre of international learning”. Can you tell me a little about how you plan to do that? D: I think a major part of that will be developing and enhancing the student experience, making sure that our degrees all offer both an exciting intellectual challenge and an understanding of more than one discipline, and a preparation of the skills that one will need for the rest of one’s career. I think that’s the most important thing we do, is to really ensure that the whole student experience both in terms of the intellectual side and the social and cultural side is incredibly strong, and that we work with the student body to make sure that they receive the education and the personal experience that they desire. . J: How do you feel about the opportunities that the new Butchart student centre will offer? D: I think the Butchart building is important but it is not a magic bullet. The Butchart offers an enormous amount of opportunity and we will seek to maximise that. J: In terms of improving the university and its standing in the international community, do you foresee

us hitting a sort of ceiling where we are the best we can possibly be? Can we realistically aim to be the best university in Scotland for example? D: I think as with anything in life what we must do is aim to be the best we can be, and we must challenge ourselves always to improve and to be better. If we do that then our position will look after itself, I don’t think we should worry too much about how other people are doing, we just concentrate on making sure that Aberdeen is the best it can be. J: Obviously in the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of investment, with the new library and the sports complex, as well as the accommodation at Hillhead; but still in the current financial budget cuts are a possibility. Is there any way in which you will be trying to avoid this, or deal with it when it happens? D: I think that cuts are a certainty. I think we just have to be realistic that the provision of public funds for higher education is going to decrease over the next few years. Therefore, it seems to me that we have one option, which is a combination of two things; firstly we must work hard to make efficiency savings, which reduces our expenditure, but at the same time we must work hard to diversify our funding sources, and to bring new funding sources into the university, to bridge the gap that will be brought in with a reduction in public funding. And that’s something that we will all need to work towards together. J: Your predecessor was widely criticised for having

quite a large pay rise during a time of recession. If staff at the university may be given real-term pay cuts would you accept something like that for yourself as well? D: I should say very clearly that senior staff at the university have not had a pay rise this year, and that we as a university are looking for cut backs in all areas of our activity which will enable us to maximise the amount of money we spend on teaching students and doing research. J: The university couldn’t accept clearing students this year due to higher numbers than usual applying. Do you think that this is a positive development for the university and its reputation? D: I think it’s very good that so many students see their future at Aberdeen. We need to work hard to maintain and to repay the confidence that they’ve shown in us by applying to us, and to make them want to encourage others to come here as well. That will allow us to continue to have students of the highest standard and for there to be a real competition to come to Aberdeen. J: But in the last few years we’ve had an accommodation crisis up at Hillhead, and also as you were saying the efficiency savings meaning potential cuts; is it not difficult to fit more students into an everdecreasing infrastructure? D: Well that is a challenge, but one we must take on in the way that we’ve taken it on before, and minimize the disruption and the difficulties over a short period of time at the beginning of the academic year.

AUSA elections cause controversy

It is that time of year again. AUSA has the autumn standing committee elections going on. In an increase compared to last year three positions are contested this year as well as the NUS conference delegates. However, AUSA would still like to increase the number of students entering the committees as some are extremely short on members. There is also plenty of criticism. Although the argument is not per se that the committees do not perform good work, it is far more that the AUSA does not advertise the existence or the work of these committees. During Freshers week, which would have been a brilliant time to involve new and returning students in the workings of the AUSA it looked as though no promotion was made to advance the entry numbers. At the moment 58 positions are still available on all AUSA committees except

for the charities committee. Since only three positions are contested it means that thirty-eight positions were filled up by people since nominations opened at the beginning of this term. All other positions were filled up in the May standing committee elections. Within the AUSA there is concern that AUSA does not promote the existence of the committees enough. Student President Robin Parker argues that the fact so many places are still available reflects “that our current governance system doesn’t work though, and that lots of students don’t understand how elections and so on work at AUSA.” Many would argue, however, that a change in the governance system will not change the understanding of students, mainly because the AUSA seems to put no effort into promoting these roles. Hopefully this will change in the future and AUSA will

make people more aware of the existence of committees. In the meantime follow Parker’s advice: “there are still lots of great opportunities if students want to get involved in AUSA, so please come in and have a talk to us.” And do not forget to vote this week from Wednesday to Friday. Committees with spaces left: The Sports Union Committee The Societies Union Committee ; The Welfare Committee The Equal opportunities Committee; The Education Committee The Entertainments Committee ; The Environment & Ethics Committee ; The Employability Committee ;w The Foresterhill Committee

J: So you don’t foresee any immediate problems in terms of accommodation again? D: I’m not going to say that I don’t foresee any immediate problems; I am going to say that we are working incredibly hard to minimize those problems and to ensure that any issues are dealt with very quickly. J: We’ve had a lot of discussion over the last few years over the issue of tuition fees, and the possible disparity between English and Scottish universities; do you have any particular opinion on the lack of tuition fees for Scottish students? D: Well I think that we want Scottish universities to be of the highest quality, and we therefore need to arrange a funding mechanism which enables Scottish universities to deliver, for Scotland, great education for the students, and brilliant research that will both enhance Scotland’s cultural and social life, and be the driver of the economy in the future. What is needed is a much bigger conversation about a holistic set of solutions, which we need to look at and then to advocate for the Government. J: You attended St Andrews for your education, and then spent many years working at Southampton University; can you see any major differences between the Scottish and English university systems, aside from tuition fees? D: One thing Scottish Education does, by having a four-year rather than a threeyear degree, is that it enables one to have a broader first 2 years. As well as learning

about a particular subject in enormous depth, you also have the opportunity to enhance your understanding of different areas, learn a language, or to learn a new skill or two. The Scottish system allows one to do that in a really exciting way, and that’s one of the reasons I was really pleased to come back to a Scottish institution. J: Finally, the idea of a merger with RGU is

something that has come up in recent years. Do you have any particular thoughts on that? D: I have already established very cordial relations with the acting principle at RGU, and I see over the next few months and years some very positive partnerships between this university and RGU, which will enhance the provision of education and improve both universities.

Honarary Degree Denounced By Former RGU Principal Donald Trump is causing a stir up in the area again. This time it is due to the fact that Robert Gordon University announced it will award Trump with an honorary degree. Former RGU principal Dr. David Kennedy (1987-1997) has vowed to return his Honorary degree to RGU in protest. Dr Kennedy said he was “shocked and appalled at the decision of the Robert Gordon University to honour Donald Trump” and that the decision constituted “an insult to decent people everywhere.” RGU acting-Principal Professor John Harper said “Given that business and entrepreneurship lie at the heart of much of the University’s academic offering, it is only fitting to award Mr Trump with an honorary degree. He is recognised as one of the world’s top business men, and our students – the entrepreneurs of tomorrow

– can learn much from his business acumen, drive and focus.” However, many seem to disagree with Harper on the issue. Councillor Martin Ford is a prominent detractor from Trump’s plans and in 2006 was chairman of the Aberdeenshire infrastructure committee. He cast the deciding vote in the committee’s decision not to approve Trump’s plans for the golf resort at the Menie estate and was subsequently removed from his position. In a recent statement he condemned the university’s choice to grant the honorary degree to Mr Trump. Councillor Ford stated: “This is certainly not the future I want to see. Nor is it the one I expect. Most people, especially those in business, recognise that if many more people behaved like Donald Trump, it would jeopardise both social cohesion and our

environment.” Donald Trump is set to receive his honorary degree on Friday the 8th of October at Robert Gordon University.

Student hardship levels for in Scotland are

at ‘crisis levels’ according to a comprehensive report on the student support system by NUS Scotland. The Still in the Red report surveyed over 7,400 students from diverse backgrounds. 62% of students said that not receiving enough money was having an adverse affect on their education and 36% said they had considered dropping out because of financial worries. Liam Burns, NUS Scotland President, said: ”Scottish students live with some of the lowest levels of financial help in the UK. They are being pushed into poverty simply because they want an education.”


Gaudie 4th October 2010

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Opine gaudie.opine@abdn.ac.uk

Opine editor: Jonathan Kerr

I’m not as think as you drunk I am Here at Gaudie towers, we know drinking is the only way to get through the day. But a recent Government paper proposed raising the legal age of drinking to 21. The proposal was rejected, but we wanted to know what AU students thought.

FOR Rosalind Stevenson

D

on’t get me wrong, I love a drink when I go out with my friends at night. But, being 22 years old, I know my limits. Most 18 year olds don’t and go out with the purpose of ‘getting as drunk as I can’. Nights out are fun but it can often end in tears. Whether someone has lost their handbag or mobile phone or that there has been a fight and they’re bleeding. What could cause such a thing? One word: Alcohol. This potent liquid fuels our anger and reacts with our emotions in a negative way. Yes we do feel wonderful, confident and happy at the start of the night before we’ve drunk anything but that quickly fades from our memory and beforesomeone ends up getting punched in the face and the police or an ambulance is called for. Unfortunately, it’s not just during nights out when there are serious incidents involving alcohol. Football matches are a prime example, winners or losers you’re going to drink. Most people act in a respectful manner but there are the oddballs who cross the line

and get out of control. However, bear in mind that it’s the tax payer who has to foot the bill for the police to deal with it. We shouldn’t have to be using the money on a young, drunken football supporter who causes a riot. It’s clear that the legal age for drinking alcohol should be raised to 21 because British people are being stereotyped abroad because a party culture has developed with cheap alcohol and late night parties. Think of the poor neighbours who have full-time jobs, children and responsibilities. What have they done to have drunkards running around, shouting, screaming and being a nuisance. In the USA, most states have a drinking ban on people under 21 and they’ve reported a drop in drink-driving accidents and unruly behaviour. We have one of the worst binge-drinking rates in Europe and every year the report of the number of drink – driving accidents, in which young people are killed, absolutely terrifies me. What a waste of a life. It’s become so extreme that children as young as 12 are drinking in the streets with their friends. There is a big problem with regulating alcohol so it would be easier to say 21 is the minimum age, especially if it could save lives. It’s important to consider that a 21 year old has more life experience than an 18 year old who, let’s be frank, wants to get pissed with his mates.

This is an awful attitude for young people to have and the rise would let them focus on other things like doing well at school, sports and socialising. When you graduate, do you want to be paying to look after someone who’s drunk too much? Then the legal age should be risen to 21 because you’re more responsible and know when to stop. Hundreds of people are killed on UK roads so isn’t that a good enough reason to raise the age?

AGAINST Elias Eiholzer-Silver

A

nyone relatively versed in the history of the alcohol market should, upon hearing any proposal to further limit the rights of adults to consume alcohol, react with an immediate gut instinct of horror. There are a variety of reasons for this, based on both human rights and economic necessity. However, I will not ignore my own bias – greatest love lies in reaching the bottom of a bottle. To begin with, it must be firmly established that the consumption of alcohol is a right, and should be de-

fended with tooth and nail against any sort of intervention that presumes to tell us what we can and cannot imbibe. There seems to be a perception in the Western world, originating from the post-Puritan atmosphere of the United States, that we are unable to judge for ourselves the substances we are able to consume. Bans on all sorts of drugs, from ethanol to THC to LSD, are basically the government telling us “you’re not responsible enough to consume this.” This implies that past-middle aged balding white farts in shiny suits somehow are responsible for controlling what we do. Well, why not go all the way then? Creating and reinforcing laws to stop individuals from consuming products that are potentially harmful to their well-being should, in that case, include bans on transfats, cell-phones, cigarettes, automobiles; hell, even stepping out of the house could be dangerous. We are being told that we are not intelligent or mature enough to be responsible for our own actions and to evaluate for ourselves the pros and cons of engaging in certain activities, be they the risk of a car accident on the freeway in exchange for transportation, the increased likelihood of oesophageal cancer by smoking in exchange for personal pleasure and feeling like James Dean, or the risk of severely damaging your liver in exchange for the beauti-

ful cocoon of safety that is intoxication. Being told that we are unable to make these decisions for ourselves is, at best condescending and offensive, at worst, it is a gross infringement of human rights that teeters dangerously close to a slippery slope. What other activities will we soon be deemed unfit to evaluate for ourselves? The question is rhetorical, I’m sure many examples will spring to mind. For the next point, we must look to the United States to see the consequences of a 21 drinking age. Alcohol is a cultural thing; it is not a big evil that turns men into beasts and women into whores. Like anything, it can be used to excess, yet like the American sexual education problem, blocking out the issue only harms young people’s ability to learn how to deal with it effectively. In the United States, because of the difficulty of acquiring alcohol, often teenagers will reach their 21st birthday completely ignorant of the proper way to deal with alcohol- they will not recognize the signals their body sends them when its had enough, and as a result are much more likely to go completely overboard. When I stayed in Scottsdale, Arizona, every weekend it seemed like someone had gotten alcohol poisoning at a frat party blowout or birthday. Granted, ASU isn’t really the picture of maturity or academic respect, but nevertheless, the point still stands. Instead,

like all adult activities, the consumption of alcohol must feature in family life in moderation, in order to ensure that children are familiar with its dangers and the correct method of consumption. Finally, not even the “bigger picture” argument carries weight in this topic. Again, we can look to the United States, using its period of prohibition as an example against any and all increased limitation of the sale of drugs, be they alcoholic or other. Without going into too much detail: when the US government banned alcohol, organized crime was immediately given a massive source of income, increasing its power and influence to unprecedented levels. The bottom line is that people will consume alcohol regardless (as is their right as self-aware, responsible adults to do), and if the legal source of alcohol is removed, they will simply move along to a source that is illegal, harming the economy in the process. There may be an alcohol problem in this country, true. But the way to deal with it is by proper education and incentives towards more responsible behaviour. An outright ban never solves anything, except this bored alcoholic iconoclast’s inability to find a comfortable target.

A Victory for the future of the Labour Party Alex Burrows

I

am so proud of both my party and of its decision.

Ed won. Ed Miliband. We call him ‘Ed’ because he is so personable. We- the volunteers of Liverpool Street. Because I worked for this victory. But I had to work hard, because Ed was the underdog throughout: too young- they said- and, to some, both inexperienced and delusional. Truth be told, now so late in the day, it still seems an inconceivable triumph. But he won. And no matter how big or small the margin, it’s a victory for the future of the Labour Party. I went to London to volunteer on Ed’s campaign, four times in total, and I got to meet him. And if it’s true what they say- about handshakes being a good measure of character- then his was kind. Ed is so amicable, he even drove cartoonist, Steve Bell, to make an unprompted apology recently in The Guardian: ‘I have met [Ed] a

few...times,’ Bell wrote ‘and he has been friendly, and even said nice things about my [caricatures] of him... The problem now that he’s leader is that I have to come up with a way to tease him – I hope he understands it is going to hurt me more than it hurts him.’ And one of Ed’s constituents, a dinner lady who, when asked about what she thought of her MP, said: ‘I’m not a politics person, but Ed’s a really lovely man.’ Neil Kinnock calls that a ‘chemical reaction’. Ed Miliband has a ‘chemical reaction’ with the voters. This man will connect. And if there’s one thing that will defeat the right wing press, it’s communication. That alone will bypass the jeers of ‘Red Ed’ and the rumours that he’s ‘in the pockets of the Unions’. And let’s just take that name, ‘Red Ed’. I’m sorry, but that’s just mendacious. Derek Simpson voted for Ed Miliband because he agreed with his policies- as did I. Derek Simpson didn’t vote for Ed Miliband because he wanted a leader that he could manipulate; what Simpson voted for was a strong leader

-as did I, as did everyone. Ed Miliband doesn’t have to support strike action in order to maintain the Labour Party’s strong ties with union members, as his ‘Living Wage’ campaign shows. But if you believe that Ed Miliband is ‘in the pockets of the unions’, then frankly, you’re a fantasist. Ed Miliband has made it abundantly clear that he is willing to cooperate with the coalition when they make sensible cuts to the public sector. But the right-wing must get over this idea that the unions are a cloth cap mafia. The unions are there to represent the voice of the working classes, those who - and let’s never forget this- would otherwise have no voice and no representation whatsoever. So if Ed Miliband supports the unions, within moderation, then that’s no bad thing. But who does David Cameron represent? Not the interests of the needy, but instead, the interests of Rupert Murdoch and his billion dollar NewsCorp. So could Ed ever replace Cameron, and make it to

number ten? The small office on Liverpool Street was run by students. Eager, politically vocal students. Not all of them party members. But they felt inspired by Ed so they spent a few days of their summer volunteering for him. In the past, our generation has been voiceless, held hostage by widespread apathy. Not even Tony Blair, pre-Iraq, could fire our senses. But now there’s Ed Miliband and his ‘new generation’. And in turn, comes our ‘new generation’ of voters. Keen and energized people with ideals. Think of what that dinner lady from Doncaster said, that she wasn’t political but she liked Ed- connected with him. That woman also said something else: ‘I think Ed really cares for our community’. Don’t the cynics realise, if we have a leader who has that ‘chemical reaction’ with the voters, then that’s the way in which we get the voters to listen to us- to realise that politicians care for their constituents. Gordon Brown was a man of profound substance. A great scholar at heart, but what was sadly

lacking was that ability to communicate. We can’t take it for granted that people will read our manifestos. Instead, we’ve got to convince the electorate that they’re worth reading. The leader of the Labour Party has got to be, in essence, the salesman of the

centre left. Substance is one half of politics, but style is ever increasingly the other half. And when our party trusts to that idea, we’ll win the next election. And with Ed Miliband as our leader, we’ll be sure to win it by a landslide.


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4th October 2010 Gaudie

Opine

gaudie.opine@abdn.ac.uk

Letters to the Editors Dear Editor I noticed a telling mistake in the freshers week edition of the Gaudie; the front page shows Robin Parker and friends enjoying a coffee in the new Butchart cafe. However the photo is credited to none other than... Robin Parker! Unless he has the perfect body double or has mastered the power of wormholes I’d say that this is a mistake. I’ve been a reader for a number of years now, and sadly such mistakes have been as much a part of Gaudie as out of date reviews and lousy spelling. Unless problems like these are adressed by this year’s editorial team I fear that we’ll never have a student newspaper that we can be truly proud of. Regards, Benny Harvey

Dear Editors, I am writing to express my concern about the general apathy towards rain, grey clouds, and so called ‘miserable’ weather in general. For me, rain is the perfect weather – there is nothing more joyous than walking down a street, arm in arm with a beautiful girl, and snatching a kiss whilst the heavens open, and the thunder claps in applause. Rain, dark clouds, and the like are nature’s way of slapping us in the face, and reminding us that it is still here. Furthermore, jumping in puddles is a simple pleasure that can be enjoyed by all. I merely wish to write to attempt to persuade people that the rain and bad weather isn’t as bad as it sounds. Regards, Leopold Byron

My dearest Editors, I, Caesar, when I learned of the fame Of Cleopatra, I straightway laid claim. Ahead of my legions, I invaded her regions, I saw, I conquered, I came. Kind regards, Andrew Jay Rowland If you, dear reader, have something you’d like to get off your chest (be it a complaint, a gripe against our writing, a correction for some daft wee mistake we accidently overlooked, or some kind of amazing love letter for one of our sexy editorial team) then please don’t hesitate to send it in! Email to any one of the section adresses contained within this paper, or to the head honchos at gaudie. editor@abdn.ac.uk. We couldn’t possibly express how much we’re all looking forward to hearing from you.

Kerr on the side of caution Opine editor on things that make him go kerr-azy

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n Englishman’s home is his castle. I’m pretty sure that sentiment can be extended to men, and indeed women, of all nationalities. Whilst I have not (yet) stocked my flat with ballistae or started to erect crenellations on the windowpanes, it is still a place of security and comfort for me. I feel comfortable with my neighbours. They seem like nice people. But something is getting me down. We’re not even a month into term; we’re on the second issue of our glorious organ but already I am tearing my hair out and blaspheming at the door.The source of this trouble in paradise? PR people who gain entry to the block of flats I live in and proceed to ring every doorbell and harangue every person in the block. Is this even legal? To gain entry to a building by deception and promptly force yourself on every inhabitant? Do they do this to random houses? Of course not. But because we are a targetrich environment we have to deal with the mess of leaflets stuck everywhere and people

knock-knocking on the door. I feel I should ask where they live and knock on their doors and offer to take them to fun events, like pig-wrestling or cheese-chasing. If you are a PR-person, or a rep, or a minion of Satan or whatever you want to call yourself I entreat, beg, ask you kindly to not knock on my door or to try to gain access to my building by deceit/ringing everyone’s buzzer until we become so frustrated that we let you in. Because I warn you now. I’ve got a catapult from Ikea and I’ll use it. (Once I’ve worked out how to put the bl**dy thing together.)

Brilliant news from Teesside, where boredom and vodka make a lethal mix. An electrician’s mate died after downing a pint of vodka in four seconds. I would dearly love to go on for the next two hundred words about the perils

of drinking and the level of idiocy that leads anyone to drink a pint of vodka (a pint, by the way, is 568ml, or just over 22.5 shots.) but quite frankly it’s boring. So briefly: I know we’ve just come out of Freshers’ week, and some of you will be those self-same Freshers. This is, therefore, a public health warning. DO NOT DRINK A PINT OF VODKA. YOU WILL BLEED FROM YOUR EYES. Incidentally but unconnected, I hope you (Freshers) had a great time last week. And to every whining, whinging, scrotum of a second/third/fourth year who felt it entirely necessary to screech “F*cking Freshers!” in a kind of weird, look at me, I’m clearly superior, ohplease-god-someone-lookat-me way, just go away. Go home. Drink hot chocolate and read your Daily Mail through your scrunched up angry eyes. It was Freshers’ week. If you couldn’t face the thought of hundreds of fresher (wheeey!) faced young people, eager to explore a new city away from their parents and meet their

peers, then for the love of all things good don’t go out for the seven days known as “Freshers’ Week,” because, astonishingly, you will meet Freshers. They will be lost, a little dim, and unaware that you’ve had a hard week, or a hard day, or just happen to be a belligerent little tit. And Freshers - I know your faces. If I see a single one of you lot giving the mouth next year, I will name and shame you. You are warned.

Internet piracy is a phrase which has lost all meaning. Downloading music for free is now so much a part of everyday life that to take the position I am about to take is seen as so otherworldly I may as well have started wearing my undergarments on my head. Regardless. Internet piracy is a crime. It is theft. You are taking for free something which has cost someone time and money to create. You may as well meander through the Tate and rip the damn paintings from the walls. Who the hell

do you think you are, to take something to which you have contributed absolutely nothing? Would you expect to be given your degree shortly after spending a year doing nothing? From a moral standpoint it is morally repugnant; economically it is just plain ridiculous. Who on earth would continue to produce anything, cars, books, music, pedigree dogs if one could procure them for nothing? It’s sheer nonsense. There is simply no defence for this. And I know that the adverts hardly encourage compliance. “You wouldn’t steal a car,” does rather the invite the pithy remark “I would if I could download it.” But then a car is a far more solid thing, and a lot more people in this country know of someone who works in the car production industry. If someone you know came home jobless because you’d stolen a car, and another, and another, perhaps you’d stop “downloading” cars. For the good of the music you love, please buy the tunes.

Maybe drugs are the answer M

exico is a country in trouble. It is now almost four years since Felipe Calderón, the president, dispatched 4,000 troops to his home state of Michoacán and initiated the clampdown on the trade of narcotics in his country. Since then 28,000 lives have been violently cut short. Nor are these deaths restricted to footsoldiers of the cartels or the military. During the week of August 16 2010, the mayor of Santiago was kidnapped and executed at the side of a road in the outskirts of his town. Elsewhere government operations have been bombed, journalists are routinely murdered. In September, one newspaper approached a cartel for advice on what it can and cannot publish. All the while, Mexico rises higher and higher up the FSI (Failed State Index).The war has warped former drug-trafficking outfits into full-blown insurgents. Mexico is a country in trouble. This is why you should care. Mexican drug policy is symptomatic of a madness that has gripped most of the world for over a hundred years. It is a peculiar madness. It caused Mr. Calderón to deploy his armed forces in his own country, against his own people. Likewise, it caused the United Kingdom to hemorrhage £16 billion in 2009. That madness is prohibition. For years we, America, and particularly Sweden have been in love with the idea of using prison and bullets and statutes, and then more bullets to stop their population from being exposed to the evils of drugs.

Joe Luksza Hell, use enough violence and the most potent white powder they might ever see is icing sugar dusting atop a fairy cream cake. Thank goodness you’re there to protect our poor, fragile interests, government. Only, that is not exactly what’s happening, is it? With such a huge outlay on one policy, one might be entitled to expect success. Yet is the UK is not drug free. Why? Because, like it or not, there will always be a market for drugs. And then making it criminal somewhat glorifies it; US rap stars would not likely brag about dealing, or having dealt, Calpol. It also pushes up the price, creating some enticing job prospects for those who want to

pirsue life in the trade, all the while being ostracised from ‘proper’ life. Add violent suppression to that mix at your peril. A lucrative trade is worth fighting for. Ask the British Empire. Mr. Calderón recently backtracked and opened the floor to debate the possibility of legalisation. California will vote this month on Proposition 19, the legalisation of cannabis. Should we follow suit? I’d rather get one thing out of the way first. There is one counterargument that always gets to me, the assumption that, given the freedom to do drugs, everybody would all of the time. There is certainly a belief in the naysayers of Prop 19 in California that this would be the case. The website announces that the Proposition would, for instance, allow bus drivers to operate vehicles with cannabis in their systems.

The implication, then, is that they would. You can also drive a car with alcohol in your bloodstream up to a point, but most people choose to abstain altogether. They also assume that people will begin to turn up to work utterly stoned. This idea is laughable. Alcohol is legal now: how many lecturers, doctors, engineers, bricklayers, plumbers and everyone in between do you know to turn up drunk for work? For the most part, people really are not as stupid as is assumed, so please, please give them some credit. Obviously legalisation is not a magic bullet, an instant, or even ideal solution, but it is the pragmatic one. It allows the substances used to be controlled in new ways. Many deaths from overdoses come from a complete lack of knowledge of the contents of the drug, sometimes even what the drug is cut with. Legalisation would allow produce to be checked for safety and quality, measured doses would prevent too much from being taken. Money can be spent on education instead of policing. In time, countries who have legalised drugs see addiction rates fall. Just look at Portugal. The argument that prohibition does not work has been repeated. This is only because it is true. It did not work with alcohol in America, it only lead to Al Capone and eventual repeal. Drugs are an important issue and need sensible solutions. Student groups such as Students For Sensible Drug Policy UK campaign for open debate. It is about time someone listened.


Gaudie 4th October 2010

8

Opine

gaudie.opine@abdn.ac.uk

The Virginity Myth Elias Eiholzer-Silver gets stuck into the slippery subject of sex The concept of sexual novelty, especially among the females of our society, has been idealized and glorified to levels of disproportionate importance in our social scheme, to the point of having it be a fulcrum for important social events, such as marriage or filial liberties. Why is it that a person’s private past sexual encounters have an impact on their social status? Where does the stigma attached to virginity come from? In a historical context, the importance of virginity has undulated in parallel with the pervasiveness of religion in society. This may simply be a coincidence due to the general trend of archaic worldviews being strongly correlated to religiosity, and the real reason for virginal pressure probably lies deeper within

human psychopathology. So is it biological? Perhaps virginity is desirable for its evolutionary advantages, such as a reassurance against STDs. However, the absence of instinctive methods to ascertain virginity among human beings (and animals, for that matter) constitutes a pretty solid reason for discarding any biological imperative as a reason. While it is true that deflowering will cause the hymen to break and consequently blood to flow, it is more often the case that the hymen breaks for unrelated reasons long before the revelatory intercourse takes place. The importance of virginity must, in that case, come from a purely anthropocentric source. And here, of course, is the elephant in the roomnamely the perception of virginity and its implied

values as societal and interpersonal dynamics. The notion that sexual inexperience is in any way preferable – terms like purity, chastity, and the like all having positive rather than negative connotations in language – and that by engaging in sexual activities one is somehow sullying or tainting oneself is, and I doubt anyone will disagree with me, rather absurd. It may seem like a relatively innocent thing- no father enjoys imagining his daughter in a dorm room somewhere re-enacting the content of James Joyce’s letters to Nora Barnacle. Yet the root of the problem is far more sinister, and the consequences far more damaging than merely an angry dad chasing a boyfriend out of the house. It becomes a power play, a way to control, assimilated

by the religious, the conservatives, and the “family values” nutjobs- people whose utopia is built upon the shoulders of Archie Bunker, Ronald Reagan and Joel Osteen. The biggest problem facing these people is the pure and simple fact that teenagers will eventually pop their cherries. With that as a given, the drive to maintain virginity needs to shift gears from “wishful thinking” to “scare the bejesus out of ‘em”. This is especially prevalent in the more religious areas (think the American Bible Belt), and is done via a deliberate feeding of misinformation and moral intimidation. STDs are used as an excuse to impress upon teenagers the dangers of promiscuity, conveniently overlooking the medical advances in today’s world that permit this

Rosalind A. Stevenson considers an apple flavoured future

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Apple, the gloriously white and shiny high street store has released a staggering number of gadgets this decade. But do we need them all? Are we not providing this manufacturer with the foundations to take over our lives? Music, Computer, Phones and Internet are all products of the company that have convinced us we need to buy them now. RIGHT NOW. What will they think of next?

zy for the latest craze. Now, when you go to buy a TV you must choose: Flat Screen, Blu Ray, LCD, HD, 3D. Huh, I’m lost? Great graphics though! Then you need the DVD machine, the replacement for the VHS recorder, to watch the films which not long ago were stored on big, clunky video tapes. DVDs are easier to adjust to and such an improvement! As were the mobile phones which, thankfully, turned from heavy bricks to slip-intoyour-jeans-pocket and go phones with internet, music and a camera. Not bad. Modern Day 2- Past 0

We students value all these products and use them every day, for study, leisure and occasionally procrastination. However, we should bear in mind that the technological world has developed this Over the last 70 to 80 years, far in a short period of time consumers went into a fren- and we are continuing at an

alarming rate. What of the future, will machines take over? Will there really be robots in our everyday life? Will we have everything at the touch of a button? Clearly, time will tell but we’re definitely on the right path. Even if we didn’t chose to sprint down it. Technology is a funny thing. It has helped us develop better medical care and it’s provided us with several space expeditions but it’s also made us lazier, more inactive and less creative. So, next time you’re walking to campus listening to music through those lovely albeit knotted and tangled white earphones just think, Apple already has something to replace these with. Something better. Something whiter.

rity and sexual jealousy, designed to limit and encroach upon the sexual liberties, rights and freedoms of women worldwide. By giving the absence of sexual experience a positive value, one is assigning a negative value to its presence. Sex has always been a rather taboo subject, seen as something unfit for decorous company and discussion, if not outright dirty and a cause of shame. Yet I find it utterly perverse that this be the treatment awarded to an activity that is not only medically healthy, but contains immense philanthropic value as being the most intimate, generous, loving and pleasurable activity two human beings can engage in together. It is a beautiful ability that evolution has endowed us with. Leave it to humanity to screw it up.

President Robin’s Corner

The future’s bright. Or is it? e all recognise the logo beaming above the shop doors, a welcoming beacon for shoppers who can wander around and listen to music or the troubled customers with malfunctioning equipment talking to the workers at the ‘Genius bar’.

sort of behaviour safely. “Abstinence only”, goes the choir, and impressionable teens fall for it hook, line and sinker. Even the media gets on board with it, with Disney teen sensations like the Jonas Brothers sporting so-called ‘purity rings’. The result of all this, however, is widespread ignorance about methods of contraception and effective protection from STDs- or, if one looks at the statistics (which you can google yourself should you doubt me), significantly higher rates of teen pregnancy and sexually related diseases among the more religious swathes of the advanced world. The problem, however, in my opinion, goes deeper still. It is my contention that the moral value assigned to female virginity is nothing more than the projection of male insecu-

Robin Parker Student President As the nights draw in and the days get even colder and wetter, you might expect that I would want to provide warming and soothing words in this column to make you feel better. Sorry. The next few years for higher education do not look like they will be warm and soothing. A perfect storm is beginning to build that will consist of a government set on ripping away chunks of public spending on universities and replacing it with higher fees. Here in Scotland we will be left in an un-desireable situation, as what happens in England forces the hand of a reluctant Scottish Government towards the same decisions. In just a couple of weeks time George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will reveal his Comprehensive Spending Review, with all indications pointing towards cuts of around 25% spending on universities by the Government. That is the kind of efficiency that I do not believe the University will achieve through doing things more cleverly, nor by simply cutting the grass less frequently. Discussions have already begun inside the university about how income cuts of 25% might be dealt with, and I cannot see students coming out on top. Then, it seems in just the next couple of weeks that Lord Browne will outline his review of Universities’

Funding. The latest reports suggest that he will recommend blowing the cap off of tuition fees in England, raising the limit from £3,000 to £10,000. This will be accompanied by only a hint of a nod to fairness, with the promise of more money for bursaries to help ‘the poor’ reach university. This will give England the highest tuition fees in the world. Now, of course, these are only the recommendations of Lord Browne and the decision will still remain with the Houses of Parliament. Almost all of the Liberal Democrat MPs, sitting in the coalition Government, signed a NUS pledge to vote against an increase in the cap; indeed, their manifesto said that they would aim to gradually phase out fees altogether. That now seems like a different planet, and one I would much rather be on. There is a genuine possibility that if we work together we will manage to create a large vote against the increase, but we shall have to wait and see. "Hold on", I hear you say; "that is all on only going to affect our poor colleagues down in Englandshire". Well, sorry, but the cold wind will all too soon be blowing north too. Through the Barnett formula, the Scottish Government will see the same scale of cuts as England, and the SNP cannot simply magic up money to deal with those kinds of

cuts. There remains a small chance that we will come out with a better deal, and that means a fairer way of students contributing for our education. I have been convinced of the arguments for a progressive graduate contribution as an alternative to upfront marketised tuition fees. Graduates would start paying back for their education when they begin earning more than the average wage here in Scotland. It would also be progressive, with graduates who see more of a benefit from their studies paying back a larger contribution in the end. It is a complicated option, not without its pitfalls(perhaps most importantly whether or not the Scottish Government would have the legislative power to implement it), but it seems like a less bad option for students than what will probably be proposed for English universities. There will be much to decide on over the coming months, and I urge you again to consider the situation and form your own opinion. There will also be the need to rally ourselves around this issue and ensure that students have their voice heard in the debate. Well, we can always go to Alfie's for a cheap cup of coffee, and the chance to sink into a comfy sofa and feel sorry for ourselves.


4th October 2010

9

GAUDIE

Sport

gaudie.sports@abdn.ac.uk

Sports editor: Ryan Ross

Commonwealth Games begin amid controversy

Where are we going?

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n what should be one of the largest and most inspiring events in a nation’s sporting history, the 2010 Commonwealth Games are set to start in New Delhi, India amongst a storm of controversy. As hundreds of athletes are preparing to set world records and continue preparation for the Olympics, India is panicking about trying to finish construction work on time.

Drew Leitch President for Sport

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n the last edition, I wrote about where we come from but what I perhaps should have told you first is what we do. The AUSA Sports Union is a major part of the student community offering a vast range of competitive and non-competitive sport and events to you all.

The first sign of crisis was when a bridge collapsed on Tuesday 22nd September, injuring 27 people causing widespread media claims that teams were contemplating pulling out of the event. Reporters were determined to put pressure on the teams to declare whether or not they would travel. A large shock came when triple-jumper Phillips Idowu posted on his twitter; “Sorry people, but I have children to think about. My safety is more important to them than a medal.” This was huge a blow to England’s medal hopes due to his recent great form and stature within his event. As the news of the bridge collapse broke, so did rumours of the appalling conditions the athletes would be living in. Scottish officials said, “They’re unsafe and unfit for human habitation.” After making this complaint, the Scottish team were moved to a brand new building. Yet these required, “Serious cleaning and maintenance.” Indian Officials said, “Concerns about cleanliness and maintenance will

Photo credit: IndiansUnite

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium: Will it be ready? be addressed urgently and properly. You have nothing to worry about.” It is not just the Scottish who complained, as New Zealand contemplated withdrawing from the Games entirely. Away from the accommodation issues there have been protests

against the Games’ organiser, Mike Hooper. Hooper is accused of making racist comments towards Indians, stating they have a “population problem” and of receiving exclusive State benefits. Protesters set alight an effigy of him and beat it whilst chanting “Hooper go back.” Yet the Game’s Executive has been

refusing to give interviews as he believes the media should be concentrating on the games themselves and sport. Amidst this entire controversy, Scottish cyclist Ross Edgar has been chosen to carry the Saltire and lead the nation during the opening ceremony.

Edgar has been to the Games on four occasions winning Gold in Melbourne 2006. The Scot said, “It’s absolutely great. I’m really honoured the athletes have chosen me to be flag bearer.” Edgar should use this as motivation to claim Gold and ensure we can all cheer a Scot onto victory.

A brilliant example is the famous annual Superteams event. Superteams is specifically designed to cater for ALL students whether they hold an interest in competitive sport or not. Last year’s phenomenal event saw almost 60 teams with well over 500 students in attendance. Students were tested both mentally and physically with activities such as Rock Climbing, Rowing, Sprints, Minibus towing, Giant Inflatable Twister and an Inflatable Assault Course. What more could you want on a lazy Sunday? Superteams is held this year on 6th March, don’t miss it! Intra Mural also provides a means to get involved. Alongside the 58 Sports Clubs we have individual leagues of Football, Badminton and even Pool. Intra Mural is an easy way to get a more active lifestyle enjoying sport purely for its fun and fitness. If you think you can take on Gangster FC, last year’s winners of the Football Wednesday 11s League or if you interested in any other of our IntraMural leagues please pop into the office at the ASV to learn more. Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Modern Olympic Games once said that ‘Sport is part of every man and woman’s heritage and it’s absence cannot be compensated for.’ I wouldn’t like to be quite as dramatic as that but Sport here at Aberdeen provides you all with a wonderful opportunity to take a break from studies, to make friends and lead a healthy lifestyle. With 57 different clubs from Triathlon to Rifle the Sports Union provides you with a vast choice of activities to get involved in. The Sport Union will be here to help, wherever it is needed but could not exist without you the members, the Sports Union Committee, the helpful support of the ASV, Kings and, of course, the University itself.


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Gaudie 4th october 2010

Life & Style

gaudie.features@abdn.ac.uk

Life & Style editor: Johanna Faust

5

MY TOP

Student Cards by Rosalind A. Stevenson

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NUS Extra The National Union of Students card is one of the most popular and widely accepted. They have a great website to tell you everything about it, including which shops you can get a discount from. It costs £11 a year and can be used everywhere, such as Amazon.co.uk, at Odeon cinemas, in JJB Sports and even on the Apple website. Check out more from the website below.

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ISIC This card is perfect for people travelling internationally as it’s the International Student Identity Card. It has your photo on it and costs £9. The majority of discounts relate to travel, such as 30% off Lonely Planet books, a third off 16-25 Railcards and many shops and restaurants both national and international. With 4.5 million users, you can’t go wrong with this one.

3

IYTC The International Youth Travel Card is ideal for anyone not a student anymore but still under 26 years old. It costs £9 and can be used throughout, not just travel. It’s not as common but it’s nice to know that when you graduate and no longer a student, you can still save some money!

4

Graduate Extra Card This is a sister card of the NUS Extra and allows Graduates to claim discount in a variety of shops. For example, Austin Reed, Virgin Media and even subscriptions to newspapers. Definitely worth a look. It is more expensive, at £30 but it’s valid for 2 years.

5

ITIC For all you future teachers out there, this is for you! It’s a card for full time teaching professionals and you must have a letter confirming you’re teaching at least 18 hours a week. It also costs around £9 and offers similar discounts to the others.

Email your top fives to: gaudie.lifeandstyle@abdn. ac.uk All entries are welcomed!

science.

From Carrot to Clinic: Vitamin A in Learning, Memory, and Depression Techfest 22/09/10 Jemma Ransom What links a polar bear to the humble carrot? The early Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson discovered the answer to catastrophic effect during his 1911 expedition to the South Pole. Unlike Scott who embarked on a race to the South Pole, Mawson set out to explore Antarctic in a scientific and methodical way. He and two colleagues Xavier Mertz and Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis formed a group which explored the far eastern coast immediately south of Australia. The group were 300 miles away from base camp when Ninnis fell to his death through an ice covered crevasse, taking all of the team’s food with him. With no rations left Mawson decided to race back to base camp using the remaining sled and huskies. Their only option was to eat the huskies that

collapsed from exhaustion in order to sustain them back to safety. However just days into their journey, the pair began to become profoundly ill. Mertz in particular suffered delusions and bouts of severe depression until he fell into a coma and died. Mawson himself suffered similar but less severe symptoms but made it back to base camp. So what is the illness that killed Mertz? Many authors have argued that both Mawson and Mertz suffered vitamin A poisoning. Animals at the top of the food chain such as huskies and polar bears concentrate high levels of this vitamin in the liver, more than enough to kill a human. Not only does this story highlight the dangers of vitamin A poisoning, it also gives an intriguing insight into its function in the brain. So what is vitamin A doing in our brains? Recent work in our lab has shed light on the role of vitamin A in a region of the brain termed the hippocampus. This structure is located in the centre of the human brain and is believed to be vital for learning. The hippocampus

shrinks in volume during depression, and lesions to this area render individuals unable to form new memories. A similar shrinkage is observed when retinoic acid, a metabolite of vitamin A is applied to this area indicating that the hippocampus is capable of responding to vitamin A signalling, and hinting at a role in neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons), a process peculiar to this region. Excitingly, research published this year has indicated that a lack of retinoic acid may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. This is a debilitating condition characterised by memory loss and cognitive impairment caused by senile plaque formation in neurons. Recent cell culture experiments have suggested that retinoic acid may reduce the formation of these plaques. It is hoped therefore that new treatments based on vitamin A will be clinically relevant to Alzheimer’s disease. We are all taught as children that vitamins as part of a healthy diet are essential for good health. Whilst this is obviously the case, too much of a good thing is nearly as bad as too little.

Faces From the Past Jemma Ransom

Art and science are often uneasy bedfellows; however facial anthropologist Dr Caroline Wilkinson of the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification seeks to bridge the gap between these two seemingly disparate areas of study. Speaking at TechFest’s Discovery Series Dr Wilkinson gave an insight into her work using forensic techniques to aid the identification of both contemporary victims of violent crimes, and long dead historical figures. In some police and forensic investigations, the common methods for identification of human remains prove unsuccessful. Most techniques rely on the comparison of DNA, dental records, or fingerprints from a known individual with those of the unidentified body. However in cases where there is little clue as to the identity of the remains, these methods fail and facial reconstruction is used to

narrow down the population from which the individual may be identified. As such Dr Wilkinson asserts at the outset that reconstructing the face of an individual does not in itself constitute a method of identification, rather it aids recognition of the individual by the public. The success of her work, she suggests, is therefore based on the rate of successful recognition from a reconstruction.The underlying principle of Dr Wilkinson’s work is that in the same way that no face is alike, no skull is alike, and the variations in each individual skull give rise to the unique facial characteristics that allow us to identify each other. We are all experts in facial recognition, and can identify people we know well with very little visual information. For example, Dr Wilkinson shows an image of 8 pixels and claims that this is a face of a well known individual. Five members of the audience are able to identify the face as that of US President Abraham Lincoln. Whilst we all have this incredible ability to recognise faces, very few people have the ability to recognise the skulls behind them.

Aside from her work on criminal investigations, Dr Wilkinson has reconstructed the faces of several high profile historical figures including the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and the ninth dynasty Egyptian Pharoah Rameses II. The principle question asked of historical reconstructions is “what might this person have looked like?” therefore a more artistic approach can be taken and details about the face not indicated by the skull including hair and eye colour can be applied. Historical reconstructions are usually performed as part of archaeological investigations, and anthropological data relating to the individuals’ social status are often used to create a more accurate representation of how a contemporary individual may have looked. Reconstructing faces from the past adds a real human element to historical investigations which can only fire up the imagination. In this way, Dr Wilkinson’s work brings together art, science, anthropology and history to give historical figures back their face.


4th October 2010

11

Gaudie gaudie.features@abdn.ac.uk

In America

The Trench Coat

Julia Korzeniowska

A

nd so the adventure begins…

I finally arrived in the USA, after hours of tourturous travel. No way back from now on!. I am overexcited, and I can see the positives in everything. I cannot believe that I am actually standingon the land that I know so well from the movies! I get to the campus, and it looks amazing as expected. The weather is wonderful too, which helps me to stay as optimistic as possible. Once I enter my dorm I am left feeling a little disapointed. No-one is there yet: I am one of the first to arrive! It’s so empty, so silent.,nobody to talk to. I am so lonely! I want to run away, to find some way to get back home... No. I have to pull myself together. I grab the Organisation Week schedule and I run to the first meeting point. To my delight, it is already crowded! So many people and every single one seems to be from a totally different world. Different cultures, different looks... Everyone is so interesting though! We slowly start breaking the ice. After a minute though, I am fed up with answering the same questions all over again: “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” etc. Everyone is so shy and cautious but we are all in the same situation, which I suppose bonds us in some small way. Now that I have met some new people, and we have all gotten along well, surely I should feel a lot better? But I am still feeling lonely. Of course, the first impression is very important so everyone is trying their best to be extremely kind. Fortunately, talking with these new friends becomes more natural as the week goes on. And of course, new people are moving into the dorms all the time now. The whole place is suddenly vibrant with life, which means even more people to meet!. The days are really well organised: they start very early in the morning and finish in the late evening. I try my best to attend all the activities with the same group of international students, and so after a while my classmates become my close friends. We spend so much time with each other, adjusting to a new place and new culture together; it seems as though we have now known each other for a very long time. What I find myself loving about America is its vast diversity in terms of ethnicity. Not only are there many people from different countries, but also there are those who come from completely different continents. For me – someone who had just left Europe for the first time in her life – it’s priceless to hear the life stories of people who migrated from Asia or Africa... Now I am sure that the stay in America will be one of the most interesting experiences in my life so far... But more on this next time.

Top 10 ways to get the most out of YOUR Gaudie Aaron Murray Listings Editor

1

Actually read the whole thing. Warning: this may cause a strange desire to contribute articles to future editions.

2 Pretend to read while

eavesdropping on the gossipers beside you. You might hear some perverted horror stories for the ‘Overheard at Aberdeen Uni’ Facebook group.

3 Find the page with the Photos by Rosalind A. Stevenson

Rosalind A. Stevenson

the officers wore for travelling. Now, almost 100 years later, it’s still around which makes it a fashion miracle.

In the fashion world, the wardrobe turnover is high and pieces rarely comeback twice. Until now. Every autumn, the same type of coat is strutted down the runways and instantly appears on hangers in shops worldwide: The Trench Coat. This coat first came into the spotlight in the First World War, as part of the uniform

The knee length material provides a certain je ne sais quoi. The somewhat sexy appeal of wearing with stilettos as well as the casual look with jeans and trainers makes it more desirable. What’s even nicer to know is that it suits everyone, the cute tie around the waist provides an hourglass figure and the length flatters both tall and short people. This season it’s being produced in

an amazing array of colours, the most popular, thanks to Burberry, is camel, but for those who want to brighten up their day, there’s purple, blue, red, the whole spectrum. To further the appeal, it’s a trend for men as well. Inspector Clouseau, the famous yet idiotic detective wore one, as did Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. Comic books regularly feature a mysterious character wearing one and it’s even more common to see them in SciFi programmes like the XFiles.

Let’s face it, Aberdeen is no Caribbean island, so what better jacket to wear than one which is waterproof, windproof and flattering! Waking up for a 9am lecture is never fun, especially when it’s raining and blowing a gale outside. Why waste time with an umbrella blowing inside out and causing an embarrassing scene? Wear a trench coat (and maybe a hat to keep the hair under control) and look effortlessly chic, like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You can’t get much cooler than that.

You are what you eat Aga Kartasinska

D

extrose, spice extracts, smoke flavor, sodium ascorbate, citric acid, sodium nitrate, garlic puree, starch, ascorbic acid, dried glucose syrup, cheese powder, yeast extract, natural flavourings, lactose, onion powder, monosodium glutamate, disodium ribonucleotides, hydrogenated vegetable oil, carbonated water, citric acid, Acesulfame K, Aspartame, E211, sunset yellow, ponceau 4R, ammonium ferric citrate… Delicious, isn’t it? Those are some ingredients of frozen pizza, readymade pasta and instant soup washed down with carbonated flavoured drinks. All that you can easily purchase in the nearest shop, or probably it is already waiting for you to be unwrapped and put in the oven or poured with water. Convenience – that’s what it

comes down to. Just add some water and you’ll have a soup, open a box and eat nearly home-baked cake. It not only saves time, but also looks and smells so appealing that it is hard to restrain yourself. But convenience is not the only thing that manufacturers put into food: Preservatives: • Sodium benzoate (E211) preservative widely used in carbonated drinks, jams, juices as well as… fireworks and silver polish. • Hydrogenated vegetable oil – look for it in margarine, cookies, bread etc. Process used to make hydrogenated vegetable oil create Trans fats, mostly known for their promotion of heart diseases and diabetes. Sweeteners: • Acesulfame K – used in chewing gum, baked goods, soft drinks etc. 200 times sweeter than sugar. Rat studies had found that this substance may cause cancer. • Aspartame – mostly found in diet sodas and low-cal food.

In 1970s it has been found that may cause brain tumor in rats, and more recent studies (2005) has shown that even a small dose increase the incidence of lymphomas in rats. Colors: • Sunset yellow (E110) - used in yogurts, sweets, soft drinks. Banned in Norway and Finland. The EC guidelines state that all the medicine containing sunset yellow should carry “may cause allergic reactions” warning, however there is no such warning on food and drinks, which are consumed in much greater quantities. • Ponceau 4R – used in sweets, soft drinks and other food and drink products. Banned in the USA but permitted for use in UK. Will I Spend My Life Cooking In The Kitchen? No, cooking a proper meal may take even less time than waiting for frozen pizza and is for sure healthier than eating processed food. Example? Cooking broccoli takes 10 minutes in the meantime just pan-fry some chicken breast!

All you will get are vitamins C, K, A, E, B1, B3, B5, foliate, potassium, magnesium, protein, calcium, zinc and great source of protein, niacin, selenium etc. Want to save even more time? Cook up a batch of food, cool it quickly and freeze in serving-sized portions. Use a lot of seasonings! Experiment and you will discover a whole new world of flavor free of preservatives and artificial coloring. Say no to “ingredients” in ingredients and watch out what you’re putting to a trolley. Choose a fruit and water separately instead of grabbing calories and sweeteners in a bottle. Still not convinced? Mark my words! You will see a difference in a couple of years with the first symptoms of the osteoporosis, sclerosis or diabetes. If you consider yourself a second Nigella, Gordon or Jamie we’re waiting for your quick and easy recipes to make Aberdeen students healthier!

most controversial article and use it as wrapping paper for your mum’s birthday present.

4 Shred it up and celebrate your own brilliance with confetti.

5 Use it as a baton to fend off ravenous seagulls and other large animals e.g. lions, tigers and/or bears.

6

Place it on a windowsill and watch in amazement as the colour fades really slowly.

7 Fashion yourself a Napoleonic hat and attempt to invade Russia i.e. your flatmate’s bedroom.

8

Crumple up the pages and stuff them inside your coat for added insulation for when it’s especially cold. Feel free to start right away.

9

Cut out individual letters from the headlines and write messages with them. For purposes entirely unrelated to blackmail, of course.

10

Pop it in a recycling bin so it may one day be reincarnated as a cup or, better yet, a pencil.


13

4th October 2010 GaudiE

Listings ww

gaudie.listings@abdn.ac.uk

Spotlight

Cinema

Bowling For Soup

New York, I Love You

Live Music/Gigs

Laurel Collective

Thursday 7th October @ Tunnels 7.30pm £5 entry

King Kurt

Saturday 9th October @ Cafe Drummond 8pm £10

Monday 18th October Beach Ballroom 7pm £18 advance + booking fee

The Grammy-nominated band from Texas make a pit-stop in Aberdeen on their UK tour.

The Delays

Tuesday 12th October @ Tunnels 7.30pm £10 advance, £12 on door.

The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked Aberdeen Art Gallery Starts Thursday 7th October Exhibition featuring the famous medieval chess pieces.

Vue Cinema Released Friday 8th October Sequel to Paris. je t’aime.

Charlie St Cloud

Vue Cinema Released Friday 8th October Zac Efron chick flick.

Despicable Me (3D)

Vue Cinema Released Friday 15th October Animated comedy with Steve Carell.

Marionettes EP Launch Party

Thursday 14th October @ Snafu 9pm £5 or free with guestlist on Facebook.

Societies Events

Intellectual Pursuits

Cafe Scientifique

The Social Network http://images.starpulse.com/Photos/Previews/Bowling-w

w

Vue Cinema Released Friday 15th October Drama about the founders of Facebook i.e. your social life nowadays.

Amy McDonald

History Society

“Sex N’ Drugs N’ Lute N’ Pillage”

Wednesday 20th October Music Hall £22.50 + booking fee

Thursday 14th October @ Tunnels 10pm http://www.f The Scottishlickr.com/photos/bestsinger/songwriter is on tour £3 gets you four hours of quality acous- 2buygames/4766060925/sizes/m/in/ to promote her second album, A Curious tic acts, DJs and banter. photostream/

Thalidomide - 50 Years On

Waterstones, Union Bridge Wednesday 13th October 5pm Speaker - Dr Neil Vargesson (UoA) Explore how this controversial drug changed the world - for better and for worse.

The Beakers and Bodies Project: New perspectives on death and burial in the Early Bronze Age of North-East Scotland

Thing.

Regent Building Lecture Theatre Tuesday 12th October 7.30pm Speaker: Neil Wilkin Free entry.

Medsoc

Beerienteering Monday 11th October @ Kirkgate Bar 6.30pm £10 a team or £2.50 each for your route maps.

Does your society have a night out or social event coming up? Get in touch with us!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/

Theatre

Footloose

Aberdeen Arts Centre, Kings Street Tuesday 12th - Saturday 16th October Wayward Tbeatre production of the popular musical. Tickets - £11

http://www.virginmedia.com/img/channels/music/vfestival/amy_ http://www.flickr.com/photos/best2buygames/4766060925/sizes/m/in/ photostream/

Weekly Radio Programme Guide

Club Nights

Monday

Annie Mac DJ Set @ Snafu Saturday 9th October 10pm The First Lady of dance music.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile=1&id=100001309494140#!/photo. php?pid=33870&id=100001309494140&ref=fbx_album

Octopussy @ Liquid

AUSA Climate Change Project Tuesday

SAVE THE RAVE

10:10 Day of Climate Action Starting at Hillhead, ending at JP’s Sunday 10th October 12noon - 1am Starting with bulb planting at Hillhead and finishing with the official launch party at JP’s University Bar & Grill.

Thursday 14th October 10.30pm The usual madness gets ravey.

Jellybaby @ Pearl Lounge Tarts & Vicars Party

Green Tuesday Film Night Taylor C11, Kings College Tuesday 12th October 7pm - 9pm Weekly environmental film night. week - Dirt! The Movie.

Wednesday 13th October 10.30pm Dress up and enjoy all those jelly shots.

Popcorn Party

Wednesday 20th October 10.30pm Two popcorn cannons + drinks promos.

10am – The Jazz Tour 12pm – ASR Daily Show 3pm – Bangers and Thrash (metal) 8pm – ASR Official Gig Guide 9pm – AU Electro Propaganda

All of the above are taken from promotional Facebook material.

12pm - ASR Daily Show 2pm - Time For Thomas 8pm - The Thomas Show

Wednesday

10am - Eoin and Emma Mixtape 12pm - ASR Daily Show 4pm - Shifty Rocker 5pm - Ezy Ryder 9pm - Mosh On The Radio

Thursday This

12pm - ASR Daily Show 2pm - Johnny Whitehead 7pm - Aylissa Octo Warm-Up

Herbal Medicine Workshop Friday Chaplaincy, Kings College 12pm - ASR Daily Show Wednesday 13th October 2pm - Euan and Joe Show 1pm - 3pm Learn about the healing properties of herbal medicine.


Gaudie 4th October 2010

14

The Arts

gaudie.arts@abdn.ac.uk

Arts Editor: Anne-Claire Deseilligny

music.

Kings Rediscover their Roots in latest release

‘Elmo-Gate’ Complaints Soar, But Why?

Kings of Leon Radioactive

Eoin Smith

Elias Eiholzersilver The Kings of Leon’s musical development presents itself like a tale of classic Americana. The family band from the south, with the modernized, poppy, smooth continuation of the southern rock lineage, grow through adolescence to find the cynicism and angst of coastal realism. If Youth & Young Manhood was their Tom Joad, Only By The Night was their move to the Big Apple, picking up a couple of urban novels and turning into Charles Bukowski. Only By The Night saw the Kings of Leon live the enthusiasm of New York City, with the bombastic melodies and massive hits borrowing from the metropolitan angst of the likes of The Strokes. Now, however, it seems that the boys have seen a little too much and are beginning to feel homesick. Radioactive, the first single from their upcoming album Come Around Sundown lacks the immediate hit potential of, say, Sex On Fire

Fit for kings: the Americans demonstrate maturity despite a return to a heavy Southern influence or Use Somebody, yet brings something subtler, more interesting to the table. The southern influence is back, more pronounced than before, yet without completely returning to their debut sound, as if their creativity had been

irreparably tainted by the jaded glitz of maturity. Radioactive feels like a harkening back to youth, and the angst produced at the awareness of the impossibility of escaping adulthood is all the more pronounced for that. The southern sound

brings along jangly twanging arpeggios, and uplifting, carefree chorus, and a lovely female choir section towards the closure of the tune- yet the grit is still there, giving it energy to retain the listener’s attention beyond the simplicity of rock n’roll.

Radioactive gives off a whiff of beautiful things to come on October 17th, when Come Around Sundown will be released. There is more than just music here; the Kings of Leon have a story to tell, and we are approaching a climactic chapter.

Flirting and autographed chests in Liquid Molly Burlingame

C

old, wind, and rain. Fabulous S c o t t i s h weather didn’t stop Swedish recording/dance artist and producer, Jonas Erik Altberg (better known as Basshunter), from luring a flock of fans into Liquid last Wednesday night. Indeed, by 11pm, the umbrella-inundated

Fans brave bad weather For Basshunter

queue at Liquid was long, cold, and, most unhappily, wet. However, dreary as atmospheric conditions were, the mob persevered! It seemed that running mascara, ruined heels, and frizzing hair were all a small price to pay for a glance of the notoriously ‘charming’ S c a n d i n av i a n responsible for UK chart hits such as “All I ever Wanted” and “Now You’re Gone”.

Before his midnightish performance, I met Altberg briefly in the VIP lounge. Fuelled by one too many of the lemonades, I was feeling just rock n’ roll enough to claw my way through the swarm of screaming girls, and bat my eyelashes to find out just how charming he actually is. “Are you enjoying Aberdeen?” I asked him with a sweet smile while slyly elbowing people to the right and left of me.

“I’ve actually been here before” he said. “I really love Aberdeen, I love Scotland!” “Any other plans while you’re in town” I asked. “I’m just going to get absolutely shit faced!” he said laughing. He was just showing me a picture of himself in a kilt when a busty blonde swooped suddenly in at my right. Immediately, I sensed his attention on me begin to wane. Time to flirt. “What

did you wear under your kilt?” I asked him cheekily, feeling like a complete sell-out (professionalism had died along with the second lemonade you see). Much to Blondie’s dismay over not getting her chest autographed, he turned back to me and I had once again won over Altberg’s undivided attention. Grinning, he leaned in close and said; “Nothing, of course!” Mr. Basshunter then

winked at yours truly and returned to the more pressing matter of doodling on fans. Later that evening, on a platform constructed in the heart of Liquid, he performed songs such as “Saturday” from his current album, along with earlier hit singles like “Now You’re Gone”. Basshunter a good performer? Yes, certainly. A charmer? Well, that just depends on your taste. Personally, however, at the end of the night, I

Following in the footsteps of future husband Russell Brand, American popstress Katy Perry is currently embroiled in her own scandal regarding a figure much loved by a generation. And the celebrity in question is, surprisingly, Sesame Street’s Elmo… Despite sounding like the set-up to a rather poor joke, Elmo-Gate has rocked America over the past week. During recent online previews of Sesame Street’s 41st season, American parents were outraged at Perry’s apparently low-cut top, branding it inappropriate for young eyes. The dress in question, however, was fitted with a flesh-coloured mesh worn up to the singer’s neck, similar to those worn by figure skaters. According to celebrity news website TMZ, outraged parents complained after the video – featuring a cleaned up version of Perry’s chartbuster ‘Hot N Cold’ – reached 1 million hits on YouTube. One angry parent even went as far as suggesting a new title for the show: “Cleavage Avenue”. In defence of the clip, a Sesame Street spokesmuppet said: “Sesame Street has a long history of working with celebrities across all genres [… and] has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult. We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver.” Despite this reasoning (and the fact that there is nothing at all wrong with the costume) Sesame Street producers have decided to cut the clip from the show. As the Simply Showbiz website quite rightly wrote, “Katy looks like she’s wearing a prom dress that could be seen at any high school. […] If  you  see anything sexual or inappropriate about this clip, you’re the one who’s not quite right.” Unfortunately, though, it seems that the fear of being sued has once again won the day. Surely, though, these concerned parents are missing one vital piece of information: whilst Katy Perry’s costume was deemed inappropriate for children’s television, did anyone notice that Elmo wasn’t wearing any clothes at all…?!


4th October 2010

GAUDIE

15

Arts

gaudie.arts@abdn.ac.uk

In 1987, greed was good. In 2010, things have changed

Sand castle city I put it to you

It ebbs, what’s left some stones and granules?

Money

Once intricate turrets for the little sand men

Gordon Gekko, the man who gave the world the mantra “greed is good”, is back. After being released from prison and left with nothing, Gekko (Michael Douglas) has carved a niche for himself as an analyst and consultant, watching the drama and conflict of the world’s financial markets from what seems like a safe distance. When he makes a mutuallybeneficial pact with his estranged daughter’s fiancé, Jake Moore (Shia Labeouf), Gekko is put in a position where he can attempt to defuse the looming economic crisis -- or make billions. Douglas is gleefully unrestrained as Gekko, and dominates every scene in which he appears with a ruthless charisma. Labeouf, on the other hand, gives a weightless, by-the-numbers performance, which would be easier to forgive but for the cameo by Charlie Sheen, in which we are bluntly reminded of how different things were in the first film. Next to Wall Street’s Bud Fox, Jake seems anemic -- and in the end, that is the problem with the movie as a whole.

by Adam El-Naggar

Mortality is a vice fulfilled by the tide.

Alistair Morris Film

Wall Street: Never Sleeps

Little Man

that will reside for a while at the close of my eye. The waves crash and break spume at the cusp of their lives, a Deluge of brackish cold reaches the gates, and they crumble Drown the little men, the survivors are humbled by the force of the world but by then it’s too late and they are left praying for good fortune, like yesterday. In any case After my sand castle is built I will reduce it to beach rubble and feel no guilt The original Wall Street was imperfect, but it was a story told with enough energy and insight that it became the most iconic vision of the crass and commercial 1980s. The sequel, in what may be seen as an indictment of the age

in which we live, is flashy and slick, but ultimately hollow; it fits together beautifully, as one would expect from an Oliver Stone film, but there is nothing beneath the glossy surface. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps will not change

your life, or even the way that you look at the world; what’s worse is the sense that it doesn’t really have anything to say. That said, there is much to enjoy, including Douglas’

performance and the technical excellence of Stone’s directorial style. Enjoy it as a posturing, swaggering popcorn movie, and try to ignore the nagging doubt that it could have been -- should have been -- much more.

I walk calmly away with the sun on my face and think how lucky a place to be blessed with a day.

A (very) quick (f ) word with Dirty Sanchez screaming. It’s proper dangerous shit. If you take too much of it, it’ll kill you. So when I did it, I was actually shitting myself. When it went into my system I just went ‘oooh shit’. It just totally mellowed me out. It was like opium. Fucking rotten. They burn your skin and it goes straight into your fucking blood stream in a matter of seconds.

Stephen Armitage

Josh Ricketts interviewed Dirty Sanchez boys Pritchard & Dainton in Yo!Sushi, after winning a competition we held over Freshers’ Week.

G.: What would you do if you didn’t have Dirty Sanchez?

Gaudie: What’s the craziest thing you guys have ever done?

P.&D.:Just skateboarding, fucking. We both work in the skate industry and are sponsored by skate companies. Yeah, skateboarding and working in the skate industry. Either that or an international chef. I’m a chef by trade.

Pritchard and Dainton:When we ran each other over, the very first stunt that we did. Broke my neck. The show is more funny than crazy. The stuff we do is either disgusting or fucking stupid. Or when Pancho had liposuction when we were in Bangkok. That was fucked up! All the fat was sucked out his belly into a glass. We played roulette and Dan had to drink it.

G.:Are your mums proud of you?

G.: What was the best high that you did on Sanchez Get High? P.&D.:When we took frog venom in Brazil. I was proper shitting it. I thought I was gonna get dragged into limbo kicking and

P.&D.:Probably in a weird way, yeah. My mum fucking texted me when we were filming the last series, when we were getting high and said ‘I’ve just seen your cum face’. I just went ‘oh my god’. It was fucking savage. It’s just another ordinary day for them...

‘‘All the fat was sucked out his belly into a glass. We played roulette and Dan had to drink it.’’

G.: How bad was that tattoo that you got on your dick? P.&D.:That was fucking bad like. Couldn’t be anymore painful. We’re gonna laser it off for the second movie.


Gaudie 4th October 2010

The Arts

Kings of Leon: a review of their latest single PAGE 14

gaudie.arts@abdn.ac.uk

Arts Editor: Anne-Claire Deseilligny

opera.

Sexy Spaniard Visits Elphinstone

Modern Art: yes, no or meh...

Anne-Claire Deseilligny Arts Editor

Me Myself and Art Fanny Johanson On the 5th and 6th October, Elphinstone Hall will be the setting of an extraordinary drama. Passionate, clever, and very sexy, ‘Carmen’ by Georges Bizet will be coming to Aberdeen in the hands of the Scottish Opera. This piqued our curiosity: opera? What on earth is that all about? Thankfully, the singer Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, who will be incarnating the main female character (Carmen) on stage, agreed to answer a few of The Gaudie’s questions. The Gaudie: My first question I suppose would be why opera? How did you end up singing opera and not R’n’B or death metal? Rebecca Afonwy-Jones: It’s an interesting question and annoyingly not one I have a simple answer for. I’m a sheep farmer’s daughter from Wales and I grew up in a very supportive family that would encourage me to be musical; but I did all sorts of other things before I became a singer. In terms of why opera [...] I enjoy acting as well as singing and in order to find a way to express yourself , opera was what I needed. I don’t want to sound elitist, saying that opera is the highest art form, but opera is the combination of theatre and music, and the combination of both blends itself in a very powerful way on stage I believe. […] G.: What is the most difficult part of the job, and what is the most fun? R. A-J: (laughs) I suppose the

Rebecca Afonwy-Jones as Carmen trying to charm her way out of her current predicament. Robyn Lyn Evans as Don José seems to be falling for it. Photo: Richard Campbell, Scottish Opera

most difficult thing at the moment is that I have just graduated myself [...], so one of the hardest things is that I have just finished being a student and I am taking the leading role for a national company, so initially it is a bit scary, it is hard not to feel judged. Another difficult thing is that while I am doing this, I’m preparing other roles for my next project. [...] It is also quite unsettling: you’re

on tour, away from things that are familiar to you. But that is also a really good thing because you get to see loads of Scotland. [...]So that is the best thing and the worst thing I suppose. [...] G.: My last question is about Carmen herself. Do you think she is as sexy and saucy as she is usually made out to be, or is there another aspect to her?

R.A-J: First of all, as a performer, you pretty much have to work with the parameters given to you by your director, and our director Ashley Dean was very keen for this not to be an obvious Carmen, overtly sexual, because she really believes that it should be very character-driven [...]. We have set this in the 1960s, during Franco’s regime, which can be quite interesting for university

students. I hope that we are delivering a combination of history, literature, and of course theatre and music. I know this might sound a bit silly, but I want to approach her from a proto-feminist angle: she is operating very much within a man’s world, […]so she needs wit and guile to get what she wants. I hope that that makes it a less obvious, more intelligent, and entertaining performance.

Things you should know about Aberdeen Arts

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ll right chaps and chappettes(?), here are some things you really should know by now. A handy list of good things in the art world, accessible to us in frozen Aberdeen! Google anything in Bold and it should come up with relevant information (or use your search engine of choice). Music: One-Up, on Belmont street. Bloody nice guys, bloody good tunes. Aberdeen music forums have lots of info on upcoming gigs, as do those lovely people at Aberdeen Student Radio. Aside from that, Youtube is a godsend, as is Hypemachine, Spotify, Last.fm, etc. Comics: Dr. McNinja, MegaTokyo, Dinosaur Comics, Something Positive, XKCD, QuestionableContent, and Penny Arcade are all excellent free online comics (each of which will introduce you to a dozen more of varying quality).

Ian Green Arts Great way to pass time between lectures on university computers (also, for anyone who debates the legitimacy of including this in the arts section, one word: Maus. Comprende?) Literature: The Old Aberdeen Bookshop on the Spital (just ask someone on campus) is a treasure trove of second hand books. Pick yourself up something far better than decent for less than £2, and generally impress all and sundry with your weathered and beaten copies of everything from Pushkin to Pratchett. For those with infinite budget, Waterstones or Blackwells can most likely sort you out. Bookends, the student run bookshop

upstairs in Butchart can be absolutely magical at having textbooks and esoteric classics for next to nothing. Also a great place to unburden yourself of all those old tomes cluttering up your life and your room! Online Literature: Too cheap to pay for books? The Awl, Timothy McSweeneys Internet Concern, Five Dials, and Pen Pusher for all of your literary needs. Short stories and whatnot are all over the intertubes, but these fine gents act as filters to siphon out the crap and leave you with some literary chunks o’ gold. Also, Granta is obviously still pretty hardcore literature but you need to pay, and where is the fun in that? The Gaudie should be keeping you up to date with all upcoming events and whatnot: also check out the Lemon Tree and generally keep your eyes, ears,

I will just come out and say it – I have never been one for modern art. I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t be one for anything fresher than perhaps a bit of Monet. And maybe a Dali. And the occasional Escher. The rest of it has always stirred in me a feeling of patrician superiority and slight contempt. After doing a Modern Art course in first year (a requisite for my History of Art degree) I changed my mind slightly as I slowly begun to glimpse an understanding of what contemporary art was about, what the artists were reacting to, the ideological world the works were being created in. Even though I can say that I’ve gained a morsel of understanding of the agenda of contemporary art, I still have to say I don’t really like it. This got me thinking, how much do we really need to know about art to be able to appreciate it? As I spoke to a dear friend who is a devoted modernist, I noticed that she had the same arguments against pre-Monet that I had against anything post-Monet – you have to know so much about it to understand it. The conclusion then has to be that it’s not that you need to know less to understand either kind of art, but that we all come to art equipped with different kinds of knowledge. Sure, you will get more out of Poussin’s ‘Selene and Endymion’ if you know your Greek mythology, but you can also just enjoy the colours and composition (that’s what I did for the first year of art studies). You also don’t need to know who Tracy Emin is to get something out of ‘My Bed’, but you will probably appreciate the power behind the simplicity and realism even more if you know a little something about the YBAs. I’ve never been very (although I find myself getting more and more) interested in what’s going on in the political world these days, but I have always been endlessly fascinated by anything historical. This has lead to me having more knowledge of life in the olden times, and knowing very little of the different ideological atmospheres of the 20th and 21st centuries. So all the arguments about contemporary art being all about not having to know anything to understand it go, as far as I’m concerned, right down the drain. It’s just a question of what knowledge you already possess.


Edition 02 - 4th October 2010