Tuesday November 27 2012â€‚ | Week 11
S i n c e 1887 â€ƒ T h e U K ' s O ld e st S T u d ent N ews pa p er
DEMO2012 descends on London
The Edinburgh University Students Association sends a delegation of over 200 students to London to protest fees, cuts, and austerity
The Student full coverage P5
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
The Student Newspaper | 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
#DEMO2012 p 5
Francesca Mitchell, Yasmin Morgan-Griffiths, Rhia Lyon, and Charlotte Ryan report from Demo2012 in London, like a journalistic version of Charlie's Angels
WANTED OR NEEDED? p 7
Thomas Lacey looks at International Men's Day DEPRESSED: Edinburgh residents are among the unhappiest in the UK, according to a new survey
features »p9-11 A COUNTRY OF CONFLICT p10
Sofie Ejdrup Larsen examines the role of the military in Israeli soceity
LIFESTYLE »p14 FUDGE BUNNIES p14
Are not as innocent as they first appear, writes an anonymous individual who we suspect is Gossip Girl xox
SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT » p15-17 OWL OR COCKEREL? p17
Anastasiya Kishkevich reports on what makes you a morning or a nght-time person
MUSIC »p26-27 ENTER SHIKARI p23
Laura Cain interviews Enter Shikari
TIRED OF LOOKING p28 Kate Amos reviews new Buddy Cop movie End of Watch
MANAGEMENT SCIENCE p31 Nina Seale takes a scientific approach to looking at the effect of management changes upon sports teams
Edinburgh scores poorly in wellbeing survey
Jimena Villar de Onis
A report published by the New Economics Foundation has ranked Edinburgh among the bottom ten geographic areas in the UK for general wellbeing. In the UK, areas such as Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles ranked on the top of the happiness and life satisfaction survey. These areas’ scores have given rise to the idea of a ‘Scotland effect’ which is considered to be tied to strong feelings of community and proximity to areas of natural beauty. The New Economics Foundation has claimed that one of the reason for the ‘Scotland effect’ could be that more people north of the border are employed by the public sector. In fact, public sector workers answered with a greater sense of happiness and life satisfaction than those in the private sector. This is less true in Edinburgh as
the city council has had to tackle issues ranging from the politically toxic tram project to legal action such as the court case over equal pay for workers. Edinburgh had the fourth smallest proportion of the population scoring well on each question with 23 per cent compared to the 41 per cent Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles scored. The results have surprised some members of the community. Steve Cardownie, Deputy council leader, said: “The result surprises me as Edinburgh always does very well in other surveys, and all the indications we have say the city is continuing to grow. People wouldn’t be moving here and sending their kids to school here if they didn’t like being here.” In fact, at the University of Edinburgh many students claim to be enjoying their student life in the city. Students are impressed with all the opportunities both the university and the
city have to offer them. Craig Stoddart, a third year Law student, told The Student that on top of being pleased with the social life he is delighted with the possibilities he was given by the University of Edinburgh Sports Union. Stoddart said, “The variety of sports at uni is fantastic, you have the opportunity to take part in sports that you never thought you could have, personally I never dreamt that I’d have the chance to play ice hockey before I came to Edinburgh.” Nevertheless, many students do feel that some aspects of Edinburgh can make the city depressing. Lian Kim Selby, third year International Relations student, told The Student, “Edinburgh can be depressing with the weather! The horrible winds and the fact that you can look outside and see sunshine and the minute you leave the house it starts to rain.”
children than they had enjoyed and 73 per cent of parents with children aged 18 or under believe that they face a difficult future. The policies of the Government also came under fire in the survey as 67 per cent believed that recent policies had made it more difficult for their children to attend university.
adults including parents and nonparents, the economy represented the main issue of concern, with 64 per cent of those surveyed stating this as a major influence on their voting decisions, ahead of other key issues such as immigration (41 per cent) and health (32 per cent). Liam Burns, the President of the NUS and the figure behind the research, told The Guardian: “Politicians who took advantage of the opportunities that education brings have pulled the ladder up after them and left the next generation stranded.” Referring to the student demonstration taking place in London against tuition fees and government university policy, Burns added: “Students from across the country will be marching through London on Wednesday to protest against a government which has disempowered a generation by abdicating its responsibility to ensure access to education and employment.”
Parents fear for children's future
A survey has revealed growing concern from parents over the economic future of their children due to the impact of the difficult national economic conditions. The YouGov survey, commissioned by the National Union of Students (NUS), revealed that 79 per cent of parents feared that their children would take longer to leave home than they had. The survey of 2025 adults asked questions relating to the economic future of the country and the effect that this would have on respondents’ future voting preferences. Within this group, 478 of the respondents (24 per cent) were parents, who were asked a series of further questions about the future for their children in light of the current economic downturn. The results also found that only 16 per cent of parents believed that there would be more opportunities for their
Politicians who took advantage of the opportunities that education brings have pulled the ladder up after them and left the next generation stranded" Liam Burns, NUS President Within the general survey of all
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
State school students wary of elite universities
High-achieving state school students are avoiding applying to the most selective universities in the UK, a report has shown. The report, jointly commissioned by the Sutton Trust and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, highlighted inequalities between state and independent school application rates to the most selective UK universities.
At the heart of the University's admissions principles are commitments to fair admissions and to widening access" Spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh Over 13,000 students, predicted to receive grades BBB+ at A-level or equivalent, were surveyed. A lack of advice and low “self-efficacy” – students’ confidence in their own ability – were identified as the two main reasons state school application to selective universities was lower than that of independent schools. “Confident, competitive and assertive” students with beneficial “home, social and institutional environments” who were willing to challenge themselves were attracted to selective universities. Such students were most common in independent schools, which exhibited the highest application rate to selective institutions (73 per cent), followed by grammar schools (53 per cent) and state schools (42 per cent). University prestige and league table position remained strong factors
influencing student choice. State school students were found to take greater consideration of living costs and job prospects when determining university choice. The findings follow a report on higher education and social mobility by Alan Milburn, Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty that found that higher education has a significant impact on social mobility. The Russell Group, the association of 24 British public research universities, features 12 of the 13 most selective universities in the UK.
There is no simple solution to this complex problem and offering financial incentives and offering financial incentives... fails to address the root cause"
Spokesperson for the Russell Group In response to Milburn’s report, a Russell Group spokesperson said that the group was aware poorer students are underrepresented in universities. The group maintained: “There is no simple solution to this complex problem and offering financial incentives to take students from disadvantaged backgrounds fails to address the root cause of the problem.” Universities already invest millions in widening participation and weight funding to students according to how many are recruited from disadvantaged backgrounds. Professor Dame Julia King, ViceChancellor of Aston University, told The Guardian, “It is crucial that
OXFORD UNIVERSITY: high achieving state school students avoid applying to Britain's top universities [students] are given information about the variety of courses on offer at a wide range of universities – not simply pushed towards the ‘13 most selective’.” Dame King told The Student: “[The Sutton report] will not lead to a new wave of social mobility. Rather, it will fail to unlock the talent, initiative and creativity of the majority of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the ability to attend university but simply need support, encouragement and mentoring. Helping a small number of bright young people from disadvantaged
backgrounds to get into a small number of universities is not a bad outcome; but it is an inadequate one.” Student opinion on the matter is mixed. A first-year student at the University of Edinburgh, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Student: “I went to state school and chose Edinburgh because of its job prospects. With the rise in fees, students have to shop around to get more for their money.” “[Universities] should be doing all they can to let in pupils from poorer backgrounds,” they said. Another student interviewed felt
differently. “I know lots of public school guys with all A*s who did not get into Edinburgh and many state school ones who got in with much lower results. It’s important to make university inclusive, but not at the expense of the most deserving students,” they said. A University of Edinburgh spokesperson said: “At the heart of the University’s admissions principles are commitments to fair admissions and to widening access... This is underlined by our package of bursaries, which is the most generous in the UK.”
Britain's top flight universities fail to fill places Charlotte Brady
Britain’s elite universities failed to fill 11,500 places at the beginning of this academic year due to changes in admissions rules. Professor Sir Howard Newby, vicechancellor of Liverpool University, said at the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) annual conference in Liverpool, “One of the startling unintended consequences is that currently, this year, there are about 11,500 empty places in Russell Group universities.” A spokesperson for Edinburgh University said they “wouldn’t respond to questions about the Russell Group’s activities” but told The Student, “The University’s 2012 entry intake population will be finalised on 1 December. However, early indications suggest that we will have filled, or very nearly filled, our SFC-funded places.” Professor Sir Howard Newby is
thought to be the first vice-chancellor from a Russell Group to recognise the issues faced by top universities this year.
We believe in the Russell Group certainly, we could have a further round of empty places next year." Professor Sir Howard Newby, vice-chancellor of Liverpool University
He said the “downward pressure on A-level grades meant that there wasn’t as many [students] around to recruit [and] there was some slacking of demand in certain subjects, mainly humanities and social sciences”. Sir Howard went on to assert that
this “certainly wasn’t the intention” of the reforms. It is believed that universities suffered a fall in admissions this year and analysis by Times Higher Education suggested that the number of mainstream students who were set to start higher education courses in England this year was down 17 per cent on last year’s figures. The 2012 reforms to the admissions process allowed universities to charge up to £9,000 in tuition fees, following a steep decline in direct state funding. Universities charging more than £7,500 – including every leading university – had to give back a certain number of fixed student places allocated by the Government. These were then spread among institutions with the lowest fees. Leading universities were also able to accept an unlimited number of students with at least two As and a B at A-level. This change was intended
to create more competition in higher education and plug gaps created by the previous system.
If it was... to protect their brand and their name that kept them out of clearing then they have missed out on a lot of really good candidates." Hilary French, head of Central Newcastle High School and President-elect of the GSA Sir Howard, however, commented that fewer students achieved high grades at A-level in the summer and as a result, some top universities struggled to fill spaces.
Next year, ministers have said that universities will be able to take on as many students with an A and two Bs as they like. But Sir Howard said, “We believe, in the Russell Group certainly, we could have a further round of empty places next year.” The Russell Group represents 24 universities including Oxford, Cambridge, University College London and Edinburgh University. Hilary French, head of Central Newcastle High School and presidentelect of the GSA replied to this notion by suggesting Russell group universities make their remaining places available through clearing. She said, “If it was purely wanting to protect their brand and their name that kept them out of clearing then they have missed out on a lot of really good candidates.”
Tuesday 27 November 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Recent analysis by charity the Sutton Trust has found that one third of the UK’s elite graduated from either The University of Oxford or The University of Cambridge. Furthermore, the report suggests that 44 percent of leading personnel were privately educated. Sutton Trust researchers carried out studies into the backgrounds of 8,654 people, drawn from the birthday lists featured in national and Sunday newspapers last year. They were aided by the Institute of London, approaching their subjects via direct contact, or through a number of public sources, including Who’s Who, official websites, and media profiles. University information was found for 8,112 of the entrants, of which 2,511 - or 31 per cent - completed their further education at Oxford or Cambridge. Sutton Trust universities, including the University of Edinburgh, were responsible for 20 per cent, whilst 22 percent of those surveyed did not attend a higher education institution. The researchers also examined the composition of university graduates within professions. Oxbridge graduates feature most heavily within the diplomatic service - at 62 per cent - also having a significant presence within the law - 58 per cent - and financial sectors, with 47 per cent of City workers surveyed having attended Oxbridge. The other aspect considered by the Sutton Trust research team was
secondary education, with statistics pointing to four in ten of Britain’s elite coming from private school backgrounds. Eton College alumni - including high-profile figures such as David Cameron and Princes William and Harry - alone make up four per cent of the elite, with 330 entries on the birthday lists last year. Also featuring highly are Westminster School, which Nick Clegg attended, and St Paul’s Boys’ School, which is the alma-mater of Chancellor George Osborne. With regards to comprehensive schools, the highest-ranked was Haverstock School with six entries, where former pupils include both of the Miliband brothers, as well as Oona King, Baroness King of Bow. Holland Park - where all of Tony Benn’s children were educated- also featured with six names. In light of this most recent research, Sutton Trust chairman Sir Peter Lampl has continued to stress the need for leading private schools to open their doors to a wider demographic, in order to improve British social mobility. In a statement, Lampl said, “This analysis shows how dominant leading universities and schools remain across the professions in Britain. That’s why it is so important that access to our leading schools and universities is on the basis of ability alone.” The Sutton Trust celebrated its 15th Anniversary on Tuesday 20th October, and continues to campaign for equality in education, particularly in regard to lobbying the government over ‘open access’ independent schools.
Rachel Coleman finch
Oxbridge graduates dominate UK elite
CAMBRIDGE GRADUATION DAY: Oxbridge graduates make up around 31 percent of UK elite
The National Union of Students (NUS) has announced that the UK university dropout rate has soared in the past year, warning of a worsening ‘epidemic of dropouts.’ In Britain, the number of students dropping out before graduating increased from 28,210 to 31,755 last year – a rise of almost 13 per cent. A recent NUS survey of 14,404 students revealed that 42 per cent of students had seriously considered leaving their course, of which half blamed financial difficulties. 47 per cent of all the undergraduates surveyed said that financial concerns made it difficult to focus on their studies and cope with university life. This comes as thousands of students took to the streets of London last Wednesday to protest for a fairer education system, claiming that the government had endangered higher education opportunities by “slashing undergraduate teaching funding, increasing tuition fees, introducing draconian restrictions on international students, cutting funding for postgraduate students, and hiking fees for adult learners looking to gain basic skills.” Some argue that the government’s
austerity programme is seriously hindering Britain’s higher education system, as cuts in government spending on universities are said to be lowering the quality of academic institutions. Coupled with the soaring expense of higher education and looming unemployment, students are now seriously questioning the value of higher education. NUS president Liam Burns said young people have a “sense of desperation” about their futures. Today’s students know they are going to be “tens of thousands of pounds in debt before they even graduate and they know there’s little prospect of graduate employment. They’re slowly seeing opportunities being taken away, and are powerless to do anything about it.” A recent report by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) also highlighted non-financial factors in dropping out, which include poor choice of programme, lack of personal commitment to study, teaching quality, lack of contact with academic staff, and inadequate academic progress. This comes just months after The Sunday Times ranked the University of Edinburgh the worst in the UK for teaching standards, with teaching quality scoring just 68.7 per cent. Low student satisfaction together
with financial concerns due to the negative economic climate has been blamed for the university’s significant dropout rate, with 3.7 per cent of Edinburgh students failing to graduate. James McAsh, President of the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA), told The Student, “It’s a disgrace that students are dropping out for financial reasons. The University is improving financial support but more needs to be done. Let’s tax the rich and expropriate the banks to provide sufficient funding for grants and free education for all.” Oxbridge and St Andrews University topped the table of lowest dropout rates, while Edinburgh was ranked 21st. The University of the Highlands and Islands was the worst in the UK, with a staggering 32% of students dropping out, followed by the University of West Scotland and the University of Bolton, with a 21% dropout rate. In Scotland, the drop-out rate was 9.4 per cent compared with nine per cent in Wales, 8.4 per cent in England and 8.3 per cent in Northern Ireland. With the advent this year of the first £9000 fees causing further financial concerns for many students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, these dropout rates look set to increase in the coming years.
Student dropout rates soar at British universities
PENNILESS: Rise in dropouts has been linked to financial woes
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Francesca Mitchell, Charlotte Ryan, Yasmin Morgan-Griffiths, Rhia Lyon
Last Wednesday, thousands of students marched through central London to demonstrate against the rising costs of higher education. The National Union of Students (NUS) stated that around 10,000 people took part in the march, which started at Temple Place and ended with a rally in Kennington Park, South London. ‘Demo 2012’ was organised by NUS, with support from other groups such as the University and College Union. Students were also protesting against the lack of job opportunities for graduates and the loss of the education maintenance allowance. The demonstration is thought to have been partially provoked by last year’s student movements in Quebec, where the government’s plan to increase tuition fees by 82 per cent was defeated as a result of the movement. The Student asked protestors if they thought the march would be successful, and many cited the Quebec demonstrations as their inspiration. The march comes two years after the student protest against tuition fees in November 2010, which attracted 50,000 students. In preparation for this year’s march, NUS President Liam Burns told The Student that the demonstration would be “very different, but in a very exciting way. Usually, when we take to the street, it’s about stopping a specific action that is on the government’s agenda. This is very different. This is about setting the agenda in the run-up to the 2015 election.” However, he added that “the demo won’t make change in and of itself: it is one of a whole range of tactics that we have to use within a broader campaign”. When questioned as to his attitude to potential violence and radical tactics, Burns cited the importance of public support, stating: “I have never heard of anyone who has come away thinking
better of our campaign after the use of more radical tactics, compared with demonstrations that are peaceful.” Protestors gathered at Temple Place in Central London from 11am, along with rallying speakers from the National Student Socialist group and other organisations, ready for the start of the march at 12pm. The demonstration began at 12pm, initially heading east away from Temple Place, but soon turning to march westwards along Victoria Embankment towards Parliament. Protestors carried various placards, with some carrying the NUS Demo 2012 slogan ‘Educate, Employ, Empower’, but many others representing more radical demands and decrying the government and world capitalist system. A popular sign was provided by socialist organisations, projecting the explicit message: ‘F**k Fees’, while others were significantly less serious, with one banner reading: ‘Dumbledore didn’t die for this’. Also present was a strong element of pro-Palestine sentiment, and numerous calls to end the current conflict in Gaza. One protestor from City University, London, described the interconnectedness of this issue with students’ concerns as “all part of a wider struggle against global capitalism and neo-imperialism”. The atmosphere was initially peaceful, but tensions began to rise as protestors approached Portcullis House and Parliament at around 1pm, with antiNUS sentiment running high. An NUS representative giving instructions was soon shouted down by more radical protestors with megaphones, and there was a strong presence of smaller groups promoting autonomously led student campaigns. Sarah, from an independent pressure group known as ‘Imaginary Party,’ told The Student, “I feel constantly let down by the NUS. Even today’s march is going from nowhere to nowhere and ending up in a park in South London; it’s not a particularly strong message.
CROWDS: Protesters numbered over 10,000
Students take to the streets of London
DEMO: Protesters carried anti-cuts signs provided by the NUS and student socialist groups “I’d say for [NUS members and Liam Burns] it’s more of a platform for them to start their careers and not much more than that. It seems like they’re not very interested in actually starting a movement and making something happen.” This sentiment of dissatisfaction with the NUS’s abilities to organise a strong protest movement was felt when a picket line of protestors held a sit in on Westminster Bridge, stalling the progress of the march and fuelling widespread indecision about whether to remain at Parliament. Contrary to the original planned route, which would have had demonstrators turning left onto Westminster Bridge, a group of around 150 people attempted to break away from the mainstream protest and infiltrate Par-
liament Square. Eventually, a trickle of protesters advanced slowly across Westminster Bridge following rumours that a group of protestors were being kettled after their attempts to enter the square were foiled by police. Heavy rain set in as protesters marched through Lambeth towards Kennington Park. By the time protesters reached Kennington Park for the rally, numbers had decreased from an estimated 10,000 students to a few hundred. The rally included speeches from comedian Josie Long, author and commentator Owen Jones, and NUS president Liam Burns. Speakers such as Owen Jones got a positive reaction from the remaining crowd, but anti-NUS sentiment continued. This sentiment reached its peak when Burns took to the stage, with his call for unity among the student movements all but drowned out by increasingly loud chanting. He was then pelted with eggs and a satsuma before a group of about 40 anti-NUS protesters stormed the stage. He attempted to continue his address from the crowd with a megaphone, before eventually giving up as people dispersed. Among protesters leaving Kennington Park the mood was defeatist. Joanna from the University of York told The Student, “Politicians aren’t going to care. [But] If I don’t do this, what’s the next step?” With a more peaceful protest seeming only to equate with a dramatic reduction in coverage, questions are being raised over what the next step is for students in the fight against cuts. Since the march on Wednesday, The Student has become aware of postmarch controversy over the decision by some Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) representatives to endorse a separate feeder march that differed with both the proposed route and the slogans of the main NUS march.
EUSA Representative James Beaven told The Student, “I was very dissapointed with the conduct of our sabbatical officers on last week’s demonstration - they misled students by not giving them the full information about an alternative march that they took EUSA buses to the start of. “Many people were unaware that this demonstration was organised separately to the main march or that it opposed many of the principles of the NUS march. The stance this march took meant that it directly opposed the mandate for funding the march to the tune of thousands of pounds as well as the mandate of the sabbatical officers. “Students were told this march was optional, but no provision was made to help students get to the NUS demo without going on the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) march. While EUSA was not directly responsible for students once off the buses, it shows a lack of concern for the rights of students to choose as well not caring about welfare, to not provide any options, especially since bus leaders offered this service. “I should note I attended the march but decided to march with NUS Scotland, one of the 3 EUSA members that did.” Echoing this sentiment, an anonymous source told The Student of concerns that EUSA had put students at risk by encouraging them to attend a feeder march that was not subject to the stringent health and safety concerns and regulations of the main demonstration. EUSA President James McAsh responded to criticisms, telling The Student, “EUSA gave people the option of going on the feeder or not. I encouraged people to join the University of London Union (ULU) feeder under the slogan of “tax the rich to fund education” which is consistent with EUSA and NUS policy.”
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Geek-chic: Is smart really the new sexy? www.one-hand-clapping.blogspot.com
Abi Samuels explores whether nerds are in fashion after an online petition in Sweden to change the definition of the term
GEEK CHIC: Nerds like Brian Cox suggest ‘losers’ are the new winners I am a Nerd!” comes the triumphant and rousing declaration of Gilbert, the protagonist of the 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds. Life is hard for Gilbert; an outcast and misfit who, over the course of this rather shabby yet nostalgic movie, employs hightech warfare against the likes of jocks and cheerleaders in an attempt to gain respect from his classmates. While cartoonish, the film does reveal the nuances of a specific cultural backdrop. To be a ‘nerd’ used to mean being socially awkward, or even socially infe-
rior. Subject to the ridicule of those at the top of the social food chain, nerds suffered as the intellectual yet hopeless, whose attempts to subvert the hierarchy proved sufficient grounds for comedy. And yet, the tables have turned. The dawn of ‘geek-chic’, the omnipresence of heavy black-rimmed, often lensless, glasses and the success of sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory, suggest a re-appropriation of the once derogatory connotations of being a nerd. As a student in Edinburgh, it’s hard to avoid
garish promotions for ‘geek nights’ at all clubs across the city (yes, even The Hive) where to be neatly buttoned-up (or not, in the case of The Hive) and bespectacled is encouraged and celebrated. Are the labels ‘nerd’, ‘geek’ and ‘dork’ really taking on a more positive, even ‘cool’, meaning? Campaigners in Sweden say yes. Enraged, self-proclaimed nerds in Sweden have launched an online petition dubbed Nördupproprt (‘The Nerd Appeal’) in an attempt to change the dictionary definition of ‘nerd’ that currently reads “a simple-minded and laughable person” to something more positive. With nearly six thousand signatories and counting, the Swedish Academy, responsible for the offending definition, has said that they will consider a change. Is this the success story that nerds, geeks and dorks alike have been hoping for? Can someone truly remain a genuine nerd if the implication is that of a cool, contemporary hipster, rather than an awkward, bumbling drip? The triumph of the nerd is not exactly a new trend in pop and film. DJs, for example, have undergone a significant social shift; they were not always the music figureheads we know today, rather
embarrassed music-techno experts. In Revenge of the Nerds, they fulfilled the unfortunate role of the protagonists’ allies.
DJs, for example, have undergone a significant social shift" Such evidence suggests that the evolution of the nerd has been a long time in the making. Perhaps a process of reappropriation is in fact more common than first thought. Take, for instance, the way in which many words, such as ‘queer’, have been altered and redefined in terms of homosexuality. In calling for a reassessment of what truly constitutes a nerd, are we simply touching on the complex evolution of social norms? Such fluctuations in definition undermine the ingenuity and contemporary coolness of movements such as Nördupproprt; we have seen all this before. There are countless examples of successful, interesting and even attractive nerds today; Brian Cox, Mark Zuckerberg and David Mitchell to name a few. In the latest Bond film, Skyfall, gadget
guru Q has transformed into a slick computer nerd, while Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, was met with rapturous cheers at the London 2012 opening ceremony. However, do such examples merely mark exceptions to the rule? The hugely popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory, while unusual in the sense that its nerdy characters take centre stage rather than cowering from the limelight in true nerd style, does ultimately get its laughs at the expense of these characters; we are rarely laughing with them. It’s all very well to pout at dictionary definitions, but there is no denying the timelessness of a true ‘old-school’ nerd, whose identity remains untouched by the likes of hipsters and well-groomed geek-wannabes. The social awkwardness characteristic of nerds will never become a popular trend, as the connotations of the word are intrinsically anti-social. In the same way as the iconic heavy rimmed glasses are central to geek-chic, we are merely trying on this new trend for size, only to see it discarded in a few years as a mere fad. True nerds will remain true to their esoteric passions and their inability to fit into mainstream society until the bitter end.
Pressure to change policy for lobby groups
James Fredrickson argues that lobby and pressure groups which are almost totally state-funded are dangerous for democracy
UNDEMOCRATIC: State-funded lobby groups endangering democracy The ‘pressure group’ has become a significant cog in the UK political system, regularly taking action to highlight their cause and put pressure on Westminster by influencing voters. Such efforts are difficult to avoid: whether it is a flyer handed to you in the street, an e-mail asking you to sign a petition, public demonstrations to grab your attention or even a representative on Newsnight, you are bombarded by their efforts to convince you. At face value, pressure group activ-
ity seems legitimate and is arguably the product of an active, healthy democracy. Such groups would not exist without private donations from members of the public; their policies and aims, therefore, have at least some public support. It may then come as a surprise to know that most anti-smoking and neo-temperance campaign groups are primarily funded by the state. For example, private donations to the very active charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) only make up
around two per cent of their income. They are heavily reliant on grants from the state in order to push for a society free from the harm of tobacco. Between 2008 and 2011, for example, they received £572,500 of taxpayer’s money to fund their campaign. Their goal does not seemingly resonate with the general public at large, yet it is the public’s money which continues to fund them. Whilst this is a particularly telling example, this phenomenon is not limited to anti-smoking campaign groups. Many think-tanks are partially funded by the involuntary contributions of the UK taxpayer. It is no wonder, then, that those dependent on state funding have a tendency to call for higher taxes. The European Parliament, for example, has offered roughly €50 thousand to the International Union of Socialist Youth, a supposed Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that supports the development of socialist policy in the EU. These pressure groups are receiving government funding to then go on to lobby government. Yet, the taxpayer has no say in their money being used in this way. Such activity is alarmingly undemocratic. The logic of the pressure group is that it acts as a means for private
individuals to come together around a particular issue to voice their concerns, in the hope that the government will take notice. For the government to then fund certain of these groups distorts this picture, as it is effectively acting to lobby itself. This creates an image of a government reacting to a collective voice of its citizens, whereas the reality is a state reacting to its own echo. Such action also ‘locks out’ other viewpoints, as pressure groups with conflicting views rarely receive equal backing. This then limits the public debate and gives government the ability to set its own agenda, rather than listen to the genuine concerns of voters.
Such groups would not exist without private donations from members of the public" Fortunately, efforts are now being made to combat this phenomenon; unfortunately, they are taking place in Australia, not the UK. The state of Queensland has legislated that Non Governmental Organisations who
rely on taxpayers’ money for more than 50 per cent of their income ‘must not advocate for state or federal legislative change’. Whilst some have called this legislation ‘gagging’, it actually acts as a sensible solution to this problem. It seems reasonable to argue that if an NGO is unable to acquire private funding for at least half of its income, it cannot be considered to be truly separate from the government. They should then be considered as similar to any other branch of the state bureaucracy and so expected to act in a politically neutral manner. The dangers of state-funded pressure groups cannot be stressed enough. Their existence embodies the intrusive nature of government. By funding some pressure groups and not others, the government effectively wields a microphone; giving a voice to those it wants to listen to and comparatively silencing those it wishes to ignore. Whilst there may be legitimate reasons for state funding of NGOs, such as their provision of socially beneficial services, heavy reliance on such funding must come with the caveat of political neutrality. Without this, government will have the ability to ‘create’ their preferred public opinion.
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Comment 7 � #EdUni
Hey! Men have problems too
Since an unjust anti-abortion law led to the the death of a woman in Ireland and Steve Moxon told a Parliamentary Select Committee that women are incapable of competing with men in the workplace, women’s rights have once again captured the country’s attention this month. In this same month, however, International Men’s day (IMD) was held on November 19 to contemplate and reconsider the need for men’s rights. Male empowerment is a highly controversial subject and is seen by many to be a backlash against feminism and the emasculation of the modern man; yet, this campaign identifies many pressing concerns. Although, as Ally Fogg states in his article, every day seems to be International Men’s day, it would be wrong to see this day as another attempt from a male-dominated society to subjugate women’s rights and their drive for equality. A statistic that conveys the need for immediately re-evaluating men’s rights is that at least one male an hour is the victim of a sexual crime in London, yet only 11% of sexual crimes against men are reported to police. This reveals a clear need to consider male rights alongside women's. The date has been recognised as International Men’s day since 1999
Thomas Lacey discusses the importance of acknowledging men's issues in achieving gender equality
EQUALITY: Men argue that their role as parents is often played down when it was established in Trinidad and Tobago, although it has only been celebrated in the UK since 2008. The traditional strand of men’s rights is based around fatherhood and the gender inequality of parenthood. IMD takes men’s rights further than this and seeks to readdress the gender balance in all aspects of life. As the IMD website states, “Men make sacrifices every day in their place of work, in their role as husbands and fathers, for their families, for their friends, for their communities and for their nation.” The day is as much about recognition as it is empowerment and rather than providing a male opposition to International Women’s day, it aims to serve as an equivalent.
To segregate issues into strictly gender-defined boundaries is to negate the inextricable bonds between men and women. One of the main arguments, as mentioned earlier, is that equal rights for parents of both genders are required. This could be partly achieved by giving fathers paternity leave in addition to maternity leave for the mother. Currently, the mother’s rights take precedence and the government fails to acknowledge a father’s different but equally important role in a child’s life. Studies have shown that children who have a paternal role model throughout their early developmental stages fare better both academically and socially. This combination of views and the
removal of the stigma attached to postbirth leave benefits both genders and demonstrates the necessity of a wider ranging assessment of gender rights. In spite of this, it is difficult to separate the extreme male rights activists such as the website theantifeminist.com from the more moderate movements such as the National Conference for Men and Boys. The former is a hysterical reaction to feminism which often presents the government and the media as male-hating, militant feminists, intent on destroying what little manhood the male gender has left. They argue this and opt to ignore the fact that these institutions are, for the most part, presided over by men and instead focus on how they victimise the male gender. The latter party aims to make sure “equality works for everyone”, including men and boys. This is a modern and insightful way to readdress gender issues and see how they affect both men and women; this approach is taken by International Men’s Day and strives to bring about total gender equality. In a world which has been dominated by men for centuries, gender equality is clearly a necessity. However, male rights must not be ignored as this will only hinder the drive for true equality of the sexes.
The Catalonian catastrophy catalonianewstate.blogspot.com
Jonny Ross-Tatam argues independence could prove disasterous for both Catalonia and Spain
PRIDE: Catalan independistas rally to promote a break from Spain On the November 25, Catalans, who inhabit the north-eastern Spanish region of Catalonia with a population of 7.5 million, are to have a quasiplebiscite on their future in the Spanish state. If the conservative Convergence and Union party (CiU) win, then the Catalans will have supported the promise by its leader, Artur Mas, of an independence referendum in four years. Yet despite the flag-waving, nationalistic fervour which has recently erupted in Catalonia, independence holds bleak implications for both Catalonia and Spain. The main argument adopted by the 'independistas' (supporters of independence) is an economic one. They point in particular to Catalonia’s fiscal deficit of 16 billion euros, the difference between what it pays to Madrid
and what it gets back, which makes up eight per cent of the region’s GDP. The cost of independence, however, would be greater. Due to stringent EU membership regulations, there is likely to be a significant time period between Catalan independence and their entry into the European Union. The fear of losing the benefits of EU trade tariffs, therefore, has caused many multinationals to consider moving away from Catalonia if independence is secured. Catalan business leaders have already voiced warnings against independence, for example Josep Pique, chairman of Barcelona based Vueline airlines, who has even said it would be a “disaster for companies”. This view seems to be affirmed by the business confederation of Tarragona, a city in the south of Catalonia, which believes that GDP
could decline by 20-30 per cent as the loss of the EU trade tariffs would reduce competitiveness. It is also likely that the Catalan economy would suffer a Spanish boycott on all their goods, as happened in 2004 due to Catalan separatists’ opposition to Madrid’s Olympic bid. Furthermore, amidst all the antiSpanish rhetoric, the independistas have seemingly forgotten that the Catalans had to rely on the financial aid of the central government in Madrid, who gave them five billion euros earlier this year, in order to stay afloat. The Catalans could expect no such help if they were to go it alone.
The arguments seem so stacked against Catalan independence that it is difficult to believe that Artur Mas genuinely desires it.” Catalan independence also harbours detrimental consequences for Spain. She would lose her industrial heartbeat and most affluent region, which makes up around 20 per cent of the national economy. Such a loss, as economists at Deutsche Bank have pointed out, is likely to tip the Spanish economy over the edge, forcing her to seek aid from the European Stability Mechanism – Europe’s permanent bailout fund. Such an event would not only be damaging to Spain, but also to the whole of Europe, by prolonging the Eurozone crisis. It could also be conjectured that Catalan
independence may trigger a domino effect that would lead to the collapse of the Spanish nation. As Luis Garicano of the London School of Economics says, “Once Catalonia is out, the burden on the other rich regions increases, and they will want out”; España, therefore, risks becoming ‘Ex-paña’. Secessionist politicians in the Basque region are aware of the implications for their own independence drive; the senator of the Basque nationalist party (PNV) has said that Catalonia is “smoothing the way” for the Basque region. The unwavering opposition to Catalan independence from the central government in Madrid suggests that they are also aware of the bleak implications it holds for the rest of Spain. The foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, has even said that a Catalan independence referendum would be an “illegal coup d’état”, conveying the seriousness of the situation. The arguments seem so stacked against Catalan independence that it is difficult to believe that Artur Mas genuinely desires it. In fact, it is likely that Mas does not want independence at all and that he is shrewdly riding on the crest of nationalist fervour in order to ensure victory in these elections. Indeed, he only decided to support independence after seeing 1.5 million independistas turnout on Catalan national day on September 11. This nationalist fervour has been a useful smokescreen in deflecting public anger over the austerity measures onto the ‘Madrid bureaucrats’ and ‘lazy’ poorer regions.
Indian textbook tenderises meatlovers In India, a newly released textbook named New Healthway has sparked controversy with its flatout ridiculous content. The book is aimed at those entering secondary school and is designed to help them learn important things like how to keep healthy and hygienic and, you know, other general ‘life stuff ’. It aims to do this by making statements such as “[meat eaters] easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight, turn to violence and commit sex crimes”. This chapter, entitled “Do We Need Flesh Food?” certainly has some interesting opinions. Opinions being something that probably shouldn’t feature in textbooks. No ethnicity is safe from the textbook’s bizarre and downright fallacious comments. In a good old spot of Brit-bashing, the textbook states, “the Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work.” Eskimos are said to be “lazy, sluggish and short-lived” due to their reliance on meat for subsistence. Despite being a country where Hinduism makes up 80 per cent of the religious demographic, the textbook also throws in a fundamentalist Christian attitude towards omnivorism, asserting that Adam and Eve lived only on fruits and nuts. Perhaps more worrying are comments made by online readers which potentially reveal true western perspectives regarding this issue. On the United Press International website, the anonymous individual 'Dan' states: “I’m a meat eater, and it pretty much describes me to a T!” The worst part of the entire story? India’s government has refused to take any action. They argue that schools can use whichever texts they want (though admittedly this text is not an obligatorily curriculum-assessed one). This apathetic approach to misinformation is unsurprising: while the entire population density of Europe doesn’t even come close to paralleling India's, the education budget of England alone is around ten times greater than India’s at £62 billion. On a more positive note, the publisher has discontinued the textbook and issued a press release apologising for the controversial content. Although they do note that the writer was a Principal and Education Director at a school in Tamil Nadu, the 11th largest of India’s 28 states. Good education can’t trickle down fast enough. Alex Shedlock
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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8 Comment #EdUni
Tweets and twits: the fine line
When unverified witness reports enter the public sphere as fact, Twitter can become dangerous." Thanks to its capacity to keep information flowing constantly, Twitter has become one of the most popular forms of social media. Thanks to its simplicity, the average citizen can potentially break major news stories sometimes even before big news corporations can. Twitter has redefined the idea of a witness report as important tweets are frantically re-tweeted, meaning word spreads faster than it has ever been able to before. However, when unverified witness reports enter the public sphere as fact, Twitter can become dangerous. It is hard to confirm the accuracy and cred-
ibility of every tweet, which is why journalists will often state on their Twitter accounts whether or not their tweets are officially backed by their employers rather than representing their own personal viewpoints. This is why Twitter and legal action are becoming increasingly related. Libel cases surrounding tweets are now settled in court, the first involving the singer Courtney Love. There was also the ‘Twitter joke trial’ fiasco where a man was initially convicted of using Twitter to send a “public electronic message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003,” a
conviction which was later quashed at the third appeal. Now a new case against Twitter users has arisen on a whole new scale, as Lord McAlpine seeks to sue around 10,000 tweeters for defamatory comments which incorrectly linked him to child abuse allegations following initial investigations made on BBC Newsnight. Having agreed to a payout of £185,000 compensation from the BBC and currently negotiating a similar payout from ITV following a live gaffe by presenter Phillip Schofield with the Prime Minister David Cameron, McAlpine and his legal team are now targeting the 1000 original tweeters who named and
It is clear that Twitter is far more than just a social networking site that you and I can use to get closer to Lady Gaga and Barack Obama. 500 million of us are on Twitter, and we all follow an array of other Tweeters in search of a diverse range of information. It could be breaking news, sporting updates or what Stephen Fry has lined up for the afternoon. Some would query how much information you can actually get from a 140 character tweet, but judging by the number of Twitter users, it seems that you can speak volumes.
LEGAL ISSUES: Controversies sparked by Tweets can lead to a court case
shamed him online as well as the 9000 that subsequently re-tweeted those posts. If successful this could result in the largest number of defendants in the history of the British legal system for a single case. This highlights where it can all go wrong on Twitter. Twitter has no legal responsibility to represent or protect its users, but equally this does not mean that Tweeters should take any less responsibility for their own actions. Twitter makes us all publishers, but average citizens can literally not afford to take the risks that media broadcasters and corporations can. By getting involved in a de-facto witch-hunt, you are only asking for trouble, as those in the McAlpine case are discovering. They might have got lucky this time and will likely escape with having to apologise and make a £5 donation to a children’s charity. In future however, similar punishments could be much more severe. Much of what is said on Twitter is absolute rubbish, but there still has to be an awareness of what is being said or implied. It is often difficult to judge whether a comment has been made in jest or not, as was the problem within the Twitter Joke Trial. The McAlpine case should be taken as a lesson in selfrestraint for tweeters, the moral of the story being that if you have no evidence, it is best to say nothing. As is the case in many other realms of the online world besides Twitter, exercising caution is no bad thing. If this doesn’t happen, online defamation law could grow into a handy industry for all the lawyers out there.
Mismanagement of Indian aid Yasmin Morgan-Griffiths discusses the implications of Britain's decision to withdraw aid to India India is a country that can be viewed as something of a dichotomy; 29.8% of its 1.2 billion population live below the poverty line, and it counts for nearly half of all global child deaths due to poor healthcare, nutrition and sanitation. On the other hand, it is one of the world’s fastest expanding economies, whose welfare programmes have led to a sharp decrease in poverty levels since 2004.
Not all foreign aid is properly managed in its transition through various levels of government bureaucracy." These encouraging statistics led the UK’s International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, to make the recent announcement that the UK will withdraw aid to India from 2015. Needless to say, the announcement received mixed responses. Charities and humanitarian organisations, many of which witness the struggles of poverty stricken people in India firsthand, have collectively described the withdrawal of aid as “premature”. Phil
Bloomer, director of campaigns and policy at Oxfam, expressed concerns at the time scale of the withdrawal, stating that India remains “a hugely divided country with extreme levels of poverty and inequality.” Increasing numbers of Indian billionaires appearing on the Forbes list and the fact that India now devotes £780 million pounds a year to its space exploration programme would suggest that the country feels confident in its economic growth. So why does a vast proportion of India’s population still live in abject poverty? It is not solely the fault of emerging billionaires and flashy development projects that money fails to reach those who need it most. In India, governments of individual states often focus more on alleviating poverty than the Indian national government. However, not all foreign aid is properly managed in its transition through various levels of government bureaucracy. Corruption is rife at a grassroots level, with one particularly illuminating investigation by Bloomberg revealing that $14.5 billion worth of food aid has failed to reach Uttar Pradesh’s main anti-poverty programme, the Public Distribution System, due to corrupt middlemen keeping the cash for themselves. This would suggest that the solution to alleviating poverty is not
simply to continue throwing money at India which is then lost within its bureaucratic labyrinth, but to increase the transparency of transactions between national and local bureaucracy and keep a closer eye on subversive moneylaundering from local officials.
The UK will eventually need to take a step back and let India shoulder the burden of caring for its own poor." Returning to the question of British involvement in resolving these problems, it would appear that one conclusion seems to resonate clearly despite pressure on Britain to maintain its economic obligations. The UK will eventually need to take a step back and let India shoulder the burden of caring for its own poor. Despite the humanitarian crisis, Britain believes that its own struggling economy, rather than Indian poverty, is a more urgent problem that needs to be addressed. The Indian economy has expanded at the staggeringly swift rate of 8% per year since 1991, facilitating countless
development projects in many areas, including health and education, with such programs having lifted 60 million people out of poverty since 2006. Indeed, India’s Prime Minister Pranab Mukherjee adequately described the total proportion of British aid within the social security system as “a peanut”. Perhaps the time-scale for the withdrawal of British support is a little ambitious, but evidence suggests that India is well within its means to resolve its poverty problem. Furthermore, the UK will reportedly continue to donate £30 million in the form of technical support and advice. This is a well-informed decision that recognises where the root of the problem truly lies and means that Britain is not abandoning what is viewed as its ‘colonial obligation,’ but acknowledging that India has truly come into its own over the past decade. A renewed focus on trade may be the key to enhancing Britain’s future relationship with India, creating a means of support which will put the two countries on a more equal footing. Ending poverty should remain a top priority for both countries, but the methods used to tackle this issue need to be fundamentally changed. We would do well to grant India its independence once again – this time on a financial level.
Andrew Neville argues that twitter users have to exercise caution when tweeting unsupported claims
Well it looks like I’m starting to recover from the little illness that I developed at the end of last week. I’ve crawled out of bed and just about managed to go about my daily business, albeit coughing and spluttering slightly. I’m feeling a bit sensitive at the moment and keep trying to fit in with all my friends. I was a bit upset that my French buddies got downgraded and rather more annoyed that the Greeks wouldn’t accept the Euro gang’s money to buy stuff with. But as the week went on I got some help from my Chinese mates down at the factory and Uncle Sam realised there was more to life and backed away from the edge of the cliff, which made me feel much better. Vodafone was down 1.35 per cent and according to one of my doctors it has much more to offer than BT, so I’m giving everyone an opportunity to get in cheap. After 10 months of flirting it looks like Xstrata has finally hooked up with Glencore and soared 7.27 per cent on wedding gifts. SAB Miller fizzed up by 7.26 per cent because I classed up and started drinking Peroni instead of that filthy Stella. Maybe that’s why I’ve been feeling better? #conjecture Dan Scott-Lintott
The Top 3 Tweets of the Week
Couldn't understand a word that the Psych building security man said to me but what I did make out was "Ireland forever" #scottishlad #eduni - @NaimhLeo Over-heard two first years complaining about how hard uni was today. Guys, I'm sorry, but I have some bad news... #eduni - @danieldavies89 Right so not only is learn unavailable but so is the service which tells me if learn is supposed to be available or not. #EdUni - @emmettcruddas #EdUni Tweets Join the Conversation
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Just child's play?
Lauren Tonti looks at how toys can be both a reflection of out-dated societal values and a way to change them the tinkering bug in a business climate where females run only three out of 100 technology start-ups. The genius behind Goldie Blox is the combination of verbal and spatial learning, the perfect hybrid to engage the minds of five to nine-year-old girls. Like any good student, Sterling did her homework before going to the drawing board. Child development and gender differences research reveals boys’ penchant for spatial tasks and girls’ flair for verbal tasks, both of which are incorporated into her design. After a year of investigation, Sterling was prepared to let loose her idea on some of the most ruthless test subjects – kids. In collaboration with researchers from Cornell University, Sterling she tested her prototype on 100 children, with remarkably positive feedback and enthusiasm. Following consultation with the makers of Pictionary, Goldie was born. Before launching the Goldie Blox prototype on kickstarter.com, Sterling funded the research and prototype manufacturing with her life savings, proving her investment in every sense of the word. With 5,519 backers pledging $288,581 to date, Sterling has ex-
ceeded her original $150 thousand seed money goal, and has sent Goldie into wide-scale production. Sterling’s burst onto the market confirms the role toys play in the transmission of social constructs to young children. Mattel, Inc., makers of the Barbie doll, quickly realised its power in the perpetuation of gender stereotypes.
Society today has become disenchanted with Barbie’s employment as supermodel and secretary, when the modern woman allegedly has her choice of jobs" The company came under fire for producing digitised Teen Talk Barbie, who spoke phrases such as, “Math class is hard.” Barbie, an interpretation of the modern female, has been scruti-
Why do all the girls have to buy princesses?” After four year old Riley Maida asked what might have once been a rhetorical question in her viral YouTube diatribe, toy manufacturers can finally give her an honest answer – they don’t. The alternative is about to come onto the market in the shape of Goldie Blox, an interactive construction toy geared to whet young girls’ engineering appetites. The brainchild of Stanford educated engineer and entrepreneur Debbie Sterling, Goldie is a female engineer who works to solve everyday problems. By following the story in the book, players can build alongside Goldie with their very own figurines and plastic tool construction set. Goldie Blox is not just a craft project, players work through interactive and integrated iPhone and iPad scenarios designed to accomplish tasks. Using the tagline, “More than just a princess”, Sterling launched her San Francisco based start-up company to promote the Goldie Blox toy prototype with every intention of altering some heavily gendered ratios. Sterling aims to skew the 89 per cent male engineer statistic by infecting young girls with
STUMPED?: The stereotypes that have excited in toys for young girls are starting to be challenged by some
nised for her body image and career choices over the last fifty years. Society today has become disenchanted with Barbie’s employment as supermodel and secretary, when the modern woman allegedly has her choice of jobs. Barbie has come a long way since parents started clamouring for the shift from buxom blonde to Ms FixIt, thanks to Mattel’s quick reaction to market research. Polls expressing consumers’ desire to see Computer Engineer Barbie on the shelves mean that you can head into the nearest Hamleys to find Barbie with her very own laptop in shiny pink plastic glasses. Joined by Architect Barbie, Barbie now attempts to convey the message that girls can grow up to have careers in male-dominated fields, in a world where binary coding trumps cake baking. Mattel is not the only organisation to recognise the potency of play. In 2003, the Saudi Arabian government outlawed the sale of Barbie dolls in the country on the grounds of violating Islamic ideals. In attempts to eradicate western influences, Iran has jumped on the Barbie-ban bandwagon by instituting similar laws. These Middle Eastern countries instead promote sales of the Fulla doll, Barbie’s Islamic counterpart. Created by Dubai manufacturer New Boy FZCO, Fulla arrives in conservative dress, packaged with a headscarf and prayer mat. Fulla’s occupation as doctor or teacher and her willingness to listen to her parents embody valued traits for Saudi and Iranian daughters. Sterling’s efforts to encourage girls to trade in their crowns for compasses is a step toward taking the gender out of playtime, especially to mums like Carrie Goldman and Cheryl Kilodavis. Goldman asks “retailers to eliminate gender-based marketing” after her daughter ‘Star Wars Katie’ was teased at school for her ‘boy’ Star Wars thermos. Kilodavis, after discovering her son Dyson’s affinity for ‘girl’ dressup clothes, wrote the children’s book My Princess Boy to preach acceptance across gendered toy aisles. The change in sentiment toward gendered play, with lines now blurring between GI Joes and Polly Pockets, has elicited a commercial response. Harrods has installed a new toy department, organized not by gender, but by theme. “They are deliberately nongender-specific, because we felt that was an antiquated way of looking at toys,” said Shed Design’s Matt Smith, creator of the Toy Kingdom. Of the sections – Big Top, Enchanted Forest, Wonderlands, Odyssey and Reading Room – he commented, “I think in-
creasingly kids are playing with an array of different toys and we wanted to give that balance.” Harrods is now fosters an environment where no ‘wrong’ aisle exists, whether boy or girl.
If marketing targeting the elementary demographic has done its job, kids will have been conditioned to think pink rhinestone tiaras are for girls only" However, society demands more than an appeal to both sexes. Manufacturers must commit to changing their message, as Sterling does. Goldie Blox will be the rival of Lego because Sterling aims to expand the horizons of female minds. Toy companies will have to do better than having a blue and pink version if they hope to keep up, just as Lego failed in its attempt at creating a ‘girl’ Lego world with “Friends”. SPARK, a female-powered activist group dedicated to ending sexualisation in the media, gathered 47 thousand signatures on their petition highlighting the inequalities between boys and girls versions of the new “Friends” line of pastel Legos. In their petition they criticised the building block company for “sending girls the message that they stay home, hang with friends, and make themselves pretty and nice, while boys go out and have fun and adventures.” Setting up a beauty parlor, horse stable, and cafe when pirate ships, Mars, and sports fields are in another part of the store just falls short. Lego retorted that the toy was based on research into what little girls like. But if marketing targeting the elementary demographic has done its job, kids will have been conditioned to think pink rhinestone tiaras are for girls only, and that no other choice exists. Change the message, change the value. Set the bar high, and girls will rise to meet it. Or build a crank to help them get there. In 2012, gender stereotyping has become child’s play. With Sterling's significant accolades from the World Maker Fair held in New York City, Goldie Blox is stiff competition for Computer Engineer Barbie. Her pal the architect had better make some room in that Dream House, because a new engineer is about to arrive in Malibu.
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Sofie Ejdrup Larsen examines how and why the military is so integral to Israeli life
OFF DUTY: Some of the Israeli army that have made up such a crucial part of their society since 1948 relax Today, three years after he finished his military service, Ori is 24 years old and studies Geometry at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, southern Israel. Raised in Ashdod and now living in Beersheba, Ori is quite used to the rockets. Both cities are relatively close to Gaza and Ashdod is often target of Hamas’s rockets. He described how quiet the university campus had become since the rocket fire had increased, calling Beersheba a “ghost town”. On the morning of Friday 16th November, he was summoned: “They called. Wish me luck.” Young Israelis combine the normal struggles of being young with serving in the military for several years, a task undertaken when most of them are in their teens. Due to the many conflicts and wars throughout the last 60 years, the military has gained a significant position in Israeli society and, in the mentality of Israelis, serves important practical and social purposes.
three to five weeks a year until they turn 55. Since everybody has to do it, military service is generally perceived as a ‘collective duty’ by Israelis and has become a more or less integrated part of most people’s lives. A soldier in the Marine Corps stated, “I feel like it’s my turn to watch over the other’s back. They did it for me then, now it’s my turn. I can defend myself with my gun, but how are the old people gonna defend themselves?” The institution of the IDF is characterized by a complex hierarchy. Most posts of higher rank are held by soldiers serving their military service who elect to do a ‘commander course’. This way, a 19 year old can have the rank of a commander and be responsible for platoons of as many as 200 people. Above the commanders are the officers: soldiers that have chosen to serve an additional year, often in their early 20s. Due to the massive immigration of Jews from all over the world through-
Young Israelis combine the normal stuggles of being young with serving in the military for several years, a task undertaken when most of them are in their teens" How did the IDF become such an important actor in Israeli society? Where does this national ‘military mentality’ come from? A key element in this development was the Zionist movement. Specifically, David BenGurion, one of the Zionist leaders in Palestine before the formation of the
state of Israel and, later, Israel’s first Prime Minister, played a crucial part. According to several historians, Ben-Gurion was from an early point in his political career convinced that the only relationship possible with the Arab indigenous population was a military one. Shortly after the Arab Revolt which took place in 1939, he said, “We and they want the same thing: We both want Palestine. And that is the fundamental conflict.” In his eyes, the conflict between the Jewish settlers and Palestinians could not be solved diplomatically since the Palestinians would continue to fight for as long as they retained any hope of preventing a Jewish state in Palestine. Only war would be the solution. This conviction seems to have had an enormous impact on Israeli military strategy and attitude towards their neighbouring countries in general. When Ben-Gurion founded the IDF in 1948 by uniting the various Jewish militias into one army, he managed to shape not only a major part of the institutional foundation of Israeli society, but to some extent the Israeli national identity as well. Last week, truce negotiations took place in Cairo. In the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, representatives from Palestine and Israel finally talked in diplomatic terms and decided on ceasefire. An actual war was once again averted, at least for now. After more than 60 years of fighting, peace seems like a utopian dream. With the support of the radical, orthodox Jewish minority, Benjamin Netanyahu and his right wing coalition government continue the aggressive military strategy launched by Ben-Gurion back in the 1930s. For Israel, in a time of such continued uncertainty and the constant threat of conflict, the militaristic elements of its society remain as important as ever. An armed nation seems convenient in times of war.
Due to the many conflicts and wars throughout the last 60 years, the military has gained a significant position in Israeli society and in the mentality of Israelis serves both important practical and social purposes" After graduating from high school, all 18 year old Jewish citizens must enter the IDF, unless they are occupied with full time religious studies. Women serve for two years and men for three years. After this, all men and some women become part of the reserve troops and are called in for training
A few weeks ago, the conflict between Israel and the governing party of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, broke out yet again; for about a week rockets were fired, bombs were dropped, and as a result more than 150 civilians lost their lives. This time, the violence was triggered by an increased number of rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas into southern Israel, killing three Israelis. In response, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) launched Operation Pillar of Defence, attacking Gaza in an air offensive and killing Hamas militant chief Ahmen al-Jabaar. This only led to further attacks, and Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were, for the first time in more than 20 years, targets of Hamas’s rockets. The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reacted to these events with more aggression, calling in 30 thousand soldiers from the reserve force in a ground offensive. A few days later, as Hamas continued firing rockets into Israeli territory, an additional 45 thousand soldiers were sent to the borders of Gaza. An Israeli invasion of Gaza was alarmingly close to becoming a reality. In the midst of this, one young Israeli man, Ori, was called to the front. Like any other citizen of Israel, Ori had had to serve in the military for three years after graduating from high school. As a soldier in the Engineering Corps he specialized in bombs and mines: disarming, planting and detonating. During the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2008, known as the Gaza War, he was stationed in Gaza for some weeks and lived in a tank. Back then, the Gaza War was sparked off by rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. The IDF answered with attacks on targets in Gaza; the Palestinian militant groups continued firing rockets; the Israeli forces increased their attacks, and so on. After three weeks of this, the conflict finally came to an end. Under international pressure, Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire and Hamas did the same shortly after.
out the last century, the population of Israel is characterised by a large amount of heterogeneity. In the army everyone wears the same uniform and obeys the same rules, no matter what social background one has. This way, social and cultural differences are erased and a feeling of equality is created. The IDF helps integrate different groups of people and to some extent shapes them; surveys show that most people leave the military more right wing than they were before entering. The military has an essential security function in preserving the Israeli state. Moreover, it is deeply rooted in Israeli society and is understood as an integral part of life and self-conception for the majority of Israelis. It functions to homogenise a highly multicultural population, and shapes the Israeli youth, generation after generation. By doing this it transforms the people of Israel into one nation with a common mission: the protection of Israeli citizens and the preservation of the Israeli state.
RESISTANCE: Israelis have an equally passionate foe in the form of Hamas and its supporters
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
When good causes go bad As the freezing winter months encroach, spare a thought for the children of Norway, freezing and in dire need of donations of heaters. This is the message of the charity single recently released by Norwegian group, RadiAid, which has just launched an appeal, complete with a Band Aid style music video, for African countries to ship radiators to Scandinavia. Yes, you did read that correctly. The unusual ‘Africa for Norway’ appeal is – needless to say – highly satirical, and despite any comedic or ironic value it may be seen to have, it launches a serious and arguably overdue critique of misguided development and aid campaigns and the western media coverage that often accompanies it. Radi-Aid, which was created by The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), with funding from The Norwegians for Development Cooperation (Norad) and The Norwegian Children and Youth Council (LNU), seeks to challenge traditional aid campaigns and depictions of Africa that rely on stereotypes of extreme poverty and hunger.
The current picture presented to the majority of western audiences is far too simplistic"
EXPLOITING STEREOTYPES: Western media is guilty of exploiting images of African children for aid campaigns changes and progress in their respective locations.” Radi-Aid states explicitly that, “Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on,” and that, “If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.”
Africa should not just be something that people give to, or give up on"
Indeed, Radi-Aid’s demands are
The ethos behind the campaign is summed up by Radi-Aid’s official line, which says, “Imagine if every person in Africa saw the ‘Africa for Norway’ video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway? If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that’s mainly what you hear about.” As the organisation clearly points
out, it is true that the majority of western media coverage – and especially televised or written appeals – tends to focus on and exploit stereotypes of extreme hunger and poverty across the African continent, to the extent where this is often the chief association made with Africa by westerners. A researcher from Illinois State University recently concluded that, “An analysis of the western news media demonstrates that structural biases and operating frameworks perpetuate negative attitudes toward Africa and Africans. The media primarily focuses on crisis news while positive representations are delegitimized. Statistical analysis demonstrates Africa is not only misrepresented, but it is underrepresented in international news coverage.” Indeed, for many years, the principal depictions of Africa have been in fundraising campaigns which have shown the western world images of starving children with flies in their eyes, images which may be effective in temporarily engaging donors, but ones with which Radi-Aid, amongst other organisations, take issue with on several grounds. A major concern is that such pictures create an impression of perpetual poverty, and that as a consequence people in the west simply ‘give up’ on Africa because it seems like nothing is getting any better. Radi-Aid stresses that there are many positive developments in African countries, which it believes should become known in the wider world, and that the current picture painted to the majority of western audiences is far too simplistic, limiting knowledge and understanding of the continent due to paternalistic assumptions and a distant and removed sense of pity. Raymond Tarek Balleh, a prolific blogger on the subject of representations of Africa, supports this assumption, writing that, “The western media continues to have a field day at Africa’s expense, doing a great disservice to the efforts of many Africans who have made significant
EU humanitarian aid and civil protection
Francesca Mitchell discusses misguided and exploitative representations of Africa in western media
‘FROSTBITE KILLS TOO’: A Norwegian group has launched an appeal for radiators from Africa for Norway
focalised on the need for improved media coverage of African affairs, and an end to fundraising tactics which rely on the exploitation of stereotypes. They argue that audiences become tired and desensitised to excessive depictions of poverty and pain in the world, and that in order to change anything on the ground, a change in representation is necessary. “We want better information about what is going on in the world, in schools, in TV and the media,” they explain. “We want to see more nuances. We want to know about positive developments in Africa and developing countries, not only about crises, poverty and AIDS. We need more attention on how western countries have a negative impact on developing countries.” The question of respect shown by the media in these campaigns is a difficult and uncomfortable one. Ethical standards in reporting are arguably more lax in African coverage: few – if any – publications would print a photograph of a starving white baby without permission, but no such rules seem to be applied to African children, who are frequently held up as poster boys and girls for fundraising campaigns designed to entice audiences to donate out of pity or guilt. Such double standards in terms of ethics and the violation of privacy are widespread, and can justifiably be harshly criticised in a society which purports to support equality and human rights. Balleh takes this as a more fundamental problem, arguing that, “This pattern of news coverage is a carefully choreographed mechanism designed to give the western viewer a sense of comfort and superiority over other peoples and nations.” His comments, however radical, raise profoundly uncomfortable questions for the west’s understanding
of itself: possibly in a paternalistic sense that is unnervingly close to the colonial attitudes of yesteryear. These observations and concerns – as all are keen to emphasise – are not to say that Africa is a continent without problems, nor to undermine the severity of the hardships faced by huge numbers of people there. Instead, organisations such as Radi-Aid and thinkers such as Balleh are seeking to challenge western perceptions and attitudes in order to bring about real and lasting change and development that is unhindered by the baggage of oft-exploited stereotypes. Radi-Aid, along with various other groups, believes that this change cannot be brought about by aid alone, but jointly through cooperation, investment and structural changes - and it is for this reason that they are calling for the maturation of western attitudes towards the developing world.
Few – if any – publications would print a photograph of a starving white baby without permission, but no such rules seem to be applied to African children" In a culture of ‘gap yahs’ and charitable causes, none of which should necessarily be thought inherently wrong, Radi-Aid and its sympathisers make an important statement for the future of aid in the developing world: aid must be based on real needs, not just good intentions.
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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12 Editorial In the wake of the successful Greek-Latin American night (it was siiiiick) The Student recommend seven other nights EUSA should put on. (We'd also love to help!) 1: A Weekday chart night
It's absurd that there isn't one of these already. EUSA has the marketing presence to push one in a gap in the market. Tuesday for example, has no big chart night outside of George Street. Certainly nothing marketed at students. The Big Cheese should stick to the 90s and a handful of particularly necessary big numbers (#gangnamstyle #onedirection) and let EUSA have a separate chart night.
2: A mash-up night
The Student is always looking for budding reporters, reviewers, illustrators and photographers to join us. We’re also hunting for recruits for our marketing and events teams.
3: A traffic lights night
If you’re interested, here’s how to track us down:
Mash-ups are amazing. There is literally nothing better than hearing a Tiesto drop turn into a Justin Bieber song. The bars could do mash-up drinks (rebranded cocktails made with less skill), and people could wear mash-up outfits - I don't know what they are, I'm grasping at straws at this stage. The music alone will carry the night.
Heavily inspired by “Green Light”, the popular song by Hip Hop megastars Roll Deep (not really). On a traffic lights night people dress in either red, orange or green depending on their preferences for engaging in dull chat with potential suitors. Those in green are mad for it, those in yellow are tentative, and those in red are either married or Mormons.
4: Pool party at the gym
» In person: Meetings every Tuesday in the Teviot Debating Hall at 1.15pm
This requires precisely zero explanation.
5: Drunken Dodgeball tournament
Whilst this may warrant a thorough health and safety assessment, it would definitely be worth it. EUSA could employ a Lance Armstrong impersonator to give down and out team captains advice, and a squad of sick commentators to throw barbs at lacklustre performers. It could even be broadcast live on Fresh Air. EUSA could offer a range of costumes for competitors and sell pizza (for obvious reasons).
This would be so cool. Take over Teviot for a day/night and turn it into everyone's favourite childhood house game. (I don't think that that's a thing.) Once again, this may need a thorough health and safety assessment. A no-running rule on the spiral staircases would be essential. Teviot could even serve sardines on toast! (Perhaps not.)
7: Eating Contest
Carefully straddling the line between awesome and disgusting, this event would bring a competitive element to the idea behind the Teviot Daddy Nachos. Drunken idiots could make themselves vomit by consuming outrageous amounts of food. Everyone else could drunkenly watch. Genius.
Dear Louise, The Student would like to thank you so much for your lovely tweet, it really brightened our Sunday up! If you ever want to be involved with the paper just let us know, we think you'd be a great Lifestyle writer! Thanks again, Nina and Daniel xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox The Student receives a letter from Hugh Murdoch about #Demo2012
Earlier the same semester, EUSA chose to spend thousands of pounds to put on buses to the NUS demonstration against fees and cuts to education. Nearly 200 students got on those buses down to London, excited to be involved in the NUS demo. However, despite having passed motions and spent thousands supporting the NUS demo, EUSA sabbatical officers directed the buses to the start of a separate “feeder” march that directly contradicted the message of the main demo.
The organisation of this counter-march was primarily bourne out of a question of semantics -- the organisers didn’t like the slogan or the route of the main march -- and they blew this difference of opinion up to display division in the student movement on a day that we should have been working together to make the case against this government. EUSA sabbatical officers supported this in direct contradiction of the mandate they’d been given. When we ask why the student movement has been unsuccessful in achieving its aims over the past two years, we must see that the constant infighting and inability to unite are a major cause. Supporting this feeder march is a part of that: when we have a common cause and a common target, why focus
6: Giant game of Hide and Seek in Teviot
Dear Editors, Earlier this semester Edinburgh students voted overwhelmingly to stay in the National Union of Students. We did so because we believe that we’re stronger as a part of a national movement and we have a voice that we would otherwise not have.
on fighting each other? The NUS is a democratic organisation: EUSA sends delegates to conferences every year who spend days debating and voting for policy and officers for the year ahead. The debates in our movement should happen there, on our campuses and in our student unions. When we are intent on showing disunity with the eyes of the media and government on us, we loose an opportunity to apply pressure and work towards our ends. We must ask questions of our EUSA sabbatical officers who worked against the mandate given to them to choose to make EUSA’s presence on the march about fighting NUS rather than fighting the government. Regards, Hugh Murdoch
A quick history lesson...
The Student was launched by Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887 as an independent voice for Edinburgh's literati. It is Britain's oldest student newspaper and is an independent publication, reaching more than 10,000 University of Edinburgh students every week. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Kitchener, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill are a few of the famous people who have been associated with the paper. In the early 1970s, Gordon Brown worked as a news editor and diary columnist, working alongside Robin Cook who at the time was in charge of film and concert reviews.
The Student welcomes letters for publication. The editors, however, reserve the right to edit or modify letters for clarity. Anonymous letters will not be printed but names will be witheld on request. The letters printed are the opinions of individuals outwith The Student and do not represent the views of the editors or the paper as a whole. Similarly, comment articles represent the views of their writers and not The Student. EditorsNina Bicket and Daniel Swain
News Charlotte Brady, Alistair Grant, Thurston Smalley Comment Stephen Maughan, Yasmin Morgan-Griffiths & Charlotte Ryan Features Cameron Taylor & Francesca Mitchell Lifestyle Katherine Nugent & Marissa Trew Science & Environment Nina Seale & Katy Sheen Tech Alasdair MacLeod Crosswords John Wakely Culture Madeleine Ash, Troy Holmes & Lene Korseberg Music Emmett Cruddas, Stuart Iversen & Geraint Lloyd Ellis Film Dan Scott Lintott & Sally Pugh TV Hannah Clapham-Clark & Jack 'Muazzah' Murray Sport Piers Barber & Phil Smith Head of illustration Jalen Vasquez Photo editor Elizabeth Doucette Commission Sarah Burch Production editorsChristopher Sladdin & Ben Shmulevitch
Head copy editor Melissa Geere Copy editors Joey Everett, Elinor Smith, Charlotte Wagenaar, & Helena Wilson Advertising Rachel Barkey, Matt McDonald, Kirsten Weir Distribution James Wood Marketing Dan Scott Lintott Social Media Kelly Meulenberg President Anna Feintuck Secretary Rebecca O'Doherty Treasurer Katy Sheen Social Secretary Thomas 'Aussie Tom' Grant
Student Newspaper, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ. Tel: 0131 650 9189. The Student lists links to third party websites, but does not endorse them or guarantee their authenticity or accuracy. © The Student Newspaper Society. All rights reserved. No section in whole or part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmited in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the publisher. The Student is published by the Student Newspaper Society, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ. Distributed by RJM Couriers, 3 John Muir Place, Dunbar EH42 1GD. Tel: 01368 860115. Printed by Print and Digital Associates, 01332 896525, on Monday September 10 2012. Tel: 01228 612600. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office.
A night of ceilidhing, haggis, and all things Scottish! Debating Hall Ceilidh New Amphion Haggis, Neeps and Tatties Lounge Bar Live Music
b e l e C
s n o i r at
30th November 2012 8pm
Tickets £6/£5 students (online and Potterrow Box O∞ce) www.eusalive.co.uk
The ‘Fudge Buddy’ Sex is a funny ol’ thing, when you think about it. It involves someone putting their genitals into someone else’s genitals, and then thrusting...again and again. Sounds rather horrible, doesn’t it? Except when a woman is made love to, her body supposedly produces these hormones that make her fall in love with the thruster. Rule number one: Do not, repeat, do NOT fall in love with your fudge buddy. I call them this because the more common term is just so crude and makes one feel just a little bit whorish. Anyway, there are a number of other rules in place in order to avoid such a predicament, the main one being: don’t be a stupid ho. Keep your wits about you and don't let yourself be sucked into thinking that things may mean a lot more than they do. That way, you won’t find yourself crying your eyes out on a Friday night because he didn’t ask you to go see Skyfall with him. Like you totally didn’t make yourself completely available. Also, keep this arrangement a secret. That way, when it doesn’t (surprise, surprise) turn into a fullblown romantic relationship, your dignity will remain intact, and you legitimately don’t have to include him on the List – because nothing ever really happened between the two of you. Your flatmates will surely become accustomed to your late-night dashes to the ‘library’ and three-hour long ‘gym sessions’, which will explain your chronic fatigue and slightly rumpled appearance. Can girls really do this? Yes, if you genuinely believe the wise words of Carrie Bradshaw and her friends in Sex And The City. They give the impression that a girl can go out and have sex with any guy and then analyse it later, purely for her own amusement. But we forget that we have hearts, and feelings, and that Sex and the City is a bloody television show and we’re not, nor will ever be, Carrie Bradshaw. The fact remains that for the majority of women, sex is a precious and meaningful thing. It is an intimate experience and some feel that for every guy that they ‘do it’ with, they lose a delicate part of their soul. So yes, your heart will probably break at some point if you engage in non-committed intercourse. But even when you’re battling with an aching cardiac muscle, you should be relieved to find that sex still means something to you. We’re not just about sex. And sex isn’t either. The artist formerly known as 'Anonymous'
Hairstyles worth dyeing for Sophie Craik combs through this winter season's wonderfully unconventional hair trends
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STYLE IN REVERSE: When working backwards is fashion-forward Trends are a fickle thing. Without meaning to, it can be easy to buy into one and then almost immediately it feels like the whole world has moved on and you’re stuck with it, just like the poncho craze of ‘07. This is particularly true when it comes to hair. We can’t all afford to, or have the confidence to, change up at a moment’s notice to the next big, or blonde, or short, or long thing that’s taken the world by storm,
but when it’s time to, it’s sometimes hard to know where to go next. Now that L’Oreal has made a DIY dip dye in a box, it feels that maybe this is one trend in need of an update. Reverse Dip Dye Seen at Jean Paul Gaultier's AW 2012 show, the colour was sprayed onto the roots of the models’ hair rather than the ends. This is, of course, quite demanding in the upkeep department,
which is why spraying the colour on is certainly easier for a temporary look rather than committing to it by bleaching your roots and using a toner. If you have dark hair, a really cool idea is to use a metallic spray and focus it on the roots – it gives a very space age, post-apocalyptic look. Glitter Dip Dye The owner of the super cool hair salon in East London responsible for the boom of the dip dye in the first place, Bleach, took to the catwalks to do hair for the Markus Lupfer collection, and took ombre hair into intergalactic dimensions. By starting with a very smooth pony tail, the ends were then coated with gel and dipped in glitter. This is a great statement look, and one that, again, updates your style without a huge commitment or cost. If using actual glitter is too messy for you, you could use the trick of sprayin hair colour from Jean Paul Gaultier but instead use a glitter hairspray and concentrate it solely on the ends. This won’t look as bold as it does at Markus Lupfer, but is an easy way to try out this futuristic style. You will need to let it dry between sprays and do quite a few coats to ensure maximum coverage. Remember to wear old clothes/a towel you’re not attached to! Wild Streak Sometimes all it takes is a hint of colour to bring out the daring side of your hair. As seen at Mulberry with mint green streaks, and most recently at Peter Som with pastel tie dyes, a flash at the side of your hair can be a re-
ally interesting look and is a great way to ease yourself into courageous colour without leaping too far. If you’re going for a multi-coloured streak, don’t try to do all the colours at once in case they bleed into each other. Instead, put the colour on to the highest part first, and then wash it out. It’s time consuming, but worth it for the right effect. If you’re going for light or pastel colours in particular, this will of course mean bleaching your hair to the lightest it can go, but if you only do a streak of it then minimal damage will occur. I would always recommend Directions semi-permanent hair colours, which are available at Applejack on South Bridge as well as online. A little less permanent If you love the idea of colourful flashes in your hair, but don’t like the sound of bleaching, why not dye extensions instead? You can also buy them pre-dyed from amazing places like dawntroversial.com, a Glasgowbased brand, from £25, or Hair for Heroes (available online) that does full wigs too. The trick with colourful or quirky hair is that it can still look polished and ‘high-fashion’ rather than grungy, depending on your look, as long as you always keep your hair well trimmed and conditioned. Often, less is more, so if you’re going for colour, try to keep your cut simple and classic to really make it stand out. No matter what style you experiment with, the best colour for you is the one that makes you feel confident and happy.
The pasta of prostitutes
Ben Lebus brings us back to basics by tossing some hearty Italian tagliatelle putanesca about Tagliatelle putanesca – a traditional Italian dish. Putanesca is ‘prostitute’ in Italian; the dish has this infamous name because it was a quick meal a prostitute could eat between jobs. Food has always been something I have found a true affinity with. My earliest memories are largely closely related to food: the fruit platters my mother would prepare for my brothers and I, the oozing, thick chocolate cakes I would devour at my birthday parties and the warming, simple pasta dishes my father cooked for us to eat when watching the football on television every Sunday. At secondary school my love for food directed me away from the normal Pot Noodle and doner-kebab path of the average teenager. The idea of a lump of sweating meat (if you could call it meat) was never appealing to me. Similarly, some powdery noodles floating flaccidly in a bowl of warm water was about as enticing as drinking a glass of expired milk. I made the culinary decision to spend every day for five years in what is, in my eyes, the greatest restaurant
in Britain, possibly even Europe: Cibo. It was here that my love for food, and more specifically my love for Italian food, developed. I began to develop a deep appreciation for everything about the Italian culture. The long afternoons I would spend with a bowl of olives, a couple of warm shards of focaccia and a doppio espresso, in the company of my Cibo companions Milo, Alfie and Sebastian, are what have inspired me to write about my love for good food. The endless pollo picantes, casareccia salsiccias and cuatro staggione pizzas only helped to strengthen this appreciation, and encouraged me to cook using the fresh, healthy ingredients that have been a part of my diet for the last five years. All the recipes I will write have their foundation in the time I have spent in both Cibo and in Italy, and are recipes that can be easily replicated by even the most humble home cook. This dish symbolizes the heart of Italian cuisine, consisting of sweet bursts of cherry tomatoes, the saltiness of the anchovies and the penetrating
heat from the chilies. The amalgamation of all these flavours leads to a truly orgasmic eruption on the taste buds. Serves 4: Cloves of Garlic – 2 Anchovy fillets – 5-6 Capers – 1 tablespoon Dried Chilies – 1 pinch Black Olives – 10-15 Cherry Tomatoes – 20 Tinned Tomatoes – 2 tins Fresh Parsley – 1 handful Tuna – 1 tin (optional)
Firstly, prepare all of your ingredients. Finely chop the garlic, the anchovies and the capers. Halve the cherry tomatoes and chop the fresh parsley, which will season the dish at the end. Heat a pan and pour in a generous glug of good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Once this has had time to heat up (roughly one minute), throw on the chopped garlic, the anchovies and the chilies and let this fiery mixture cook until the garlic shows signs of browning. Following this, quickly add the chopped cherry tomatoes, followed by
the tins of tomatoes. At this point you should leave the sauce to simmer and bubble for around five minutes. Fill a pan with water and put in a generous pinch of salt and a small drop of olive oil. Then bring this water to the boil in order to cook the pasta. After the sauce has simmered and reduced for five minutes, add the capers and give it a stir. Now you can put the tagliatelle into the boiling water. At this point the pasta is cooking away and the sauce is nearing it’s salty completion. Only at the end do you add the final touches; throw the olives and the tuna into the sauce and season with a lot of pepper. Putanesca doesn’t really need any salt added to it due to the saline qualities of the anchovies and the olives. Let everything simmer together until the pasta is ready to be drained. The tagliatelle normally takes around ten minutes but keep testing to be sure. Once it is all ready, mix the sauce in with the pasta and add the finely chopped parsley. I like to enjoy this dish with a tall glass of Malbec, but that’s just me. Buon Appetito.
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Science debate: Should pandas be saved? Background extinction levels have been around since the dawn of time so why worry? The answer lies with sheer rate at which these levels have accelerated; in 2003 the World Conservation Red List considered 120 thousand species as being at risk of extinction, and that’s only out of the 400 thousand species assessed. The current rate of species loss due to habitat destruction and other human activity has been likened to burning down medieval libraries without even taking the care to catalogue the contents. This is where the panda comes in. Pandas come under the umbrella of charismatic megafauna, which essentially means that they look adorable on t-shirts and posters, and by virtue of this, can be used to highlight conservation issues, whilst also protecting other lesser known species. The panda is an ideal candidate for the pin-up of conservationists. As a large mammal it needs a wide habitat; the Yangtze basin, which is home to a plethora of other species including the golden monkey and crested ibis. Therefore, panda conservation not only results in the protection of the pandas itself, but also brings conservation interest to the area. The benefits do not even stop there, as by raising the status of conservation through the headlining efforts to protect the panda, benefits can be reaped by other areas of conservation. Put it this way: most of the money spent on pandas is not wrestled from the clutches of conservationists touting the benefit
of the high sex drive or unfussy eating habits of their own endangered species, but rather is generated by interest in the pandas themselves. From the Chinese government ploughing over $100 million into creating habitat corridors to maintain the population of its famed species, to the tourists who flock to Edinburgh Zoo to catch a glimpse of black and white, these sleepy creatures are unwittingly raising the profile of conservation around the world. The efforts to conserve pandas has already begun to show results as only 50 years after the first panda was rescued and taken to the original Chengdu zoo, six of the 108 residents at Chengdu have been moved to Dujiangyan Field Research Centre for reintroduction into the wild. The step towards the reintroduction of these creatures is testament to the Chengdu based breeding programme which has led to the births of 161 pandas in captivity. Efforts to conserve the panda habitat can also be seen in the fact that the number of panda reserves have more than doubled in less than three decades, providing protection for other animals that also share the panda habitat. You could use the utilitarian argument as to the use of pandas to humankind, however that raises the question as to why anything should be preserved which has no direct benefit to mankind, say a Van Gogh or an original Beatles vinyl. It is because some things are innately valuable and irreplaceable, and for these reasons it is important to preserve them.
“I would eat the last panda if I could have all the money we have spent on panda conservation put back on the table for me to do more sensible things with.” These are the controversial words of naturalist Chris Packham. You may wonder how someone who does not fall at the feet of the cutest of nature’s doomed creations could possibly have ended up a conservationist, but the truth is that Packham has a point. None of us conservationists want to lose any more species, but the global problems facing conservation have surpassed the point where we can realistically hope to conserve all the remaining species on Earth – the money that conservationists have to spend must be directed at achievable goals, and sadly we have to accept that there are going to be some losses. If it had not been for the cuteness factor these poor bears would have gone extinct long ago. In the eyes of evolution, giant pandas are a bit of a mess. Not only have they gone herbivorous, but their picky palettes have selected one of the most foolish food sources they could have selected in their Chinese habitat: bamboo. Not only is bamboo very difficult to digest, taking up a lot of energy to break down (the adorable round faces of pandas are due to the enormous cheek muscles required for them to chew bamboo) but very little nutrition is gained from each stem that is crunched down and digested. New studies have shown that bamboo plants are now under threat from climate change, and an unusual reproductive cycle means that bamboo is very slow to adapt and will
struggle to manage to evolve a response. Another problem for panda conservation is their ridiculous reluctance when it comes to mating. Female pandas are only receptive to mating once every year for a brief 72 hours, and within that there is a ‘fertility window’ of 24-48 hours where they can be impregnated. Not only this, but as these poor bears have very short penises, they must mate in a very specific position for the female panda to get pregnant… and many captive pandas seem to be ignorant of this position. So millions of dollars are pumped into programs to force these reluctant bears to have sex, while their habitats continue to shrink under the pressure of the huge Chinese population, and reintroduction programs for captive pandas that have managed to mate have so far been unsuccessful. It is not for lack of trying, but the money these bears bring in could be better spent on conserving other habitats that desperately need attention. Pouring money into the Chinese forests that hold the handful of remaining wild pandas benefits all the critters and creatures hiding within its depths, but perhaps taking Packham’s advice and letting them go with a degree of dignity will help us redirect conservation efforts for the long term. They are not a keystone species; their decline has shown no significant effect on the forest ecosystem. Their value lies in their appeal to the human eye. Though it is an awful truth, losing the giant panda would really wake up the world’s population to the dangers that our fellow creatures are facing. They may be worth more dead than alive.
The chemistry of kitchen catastrophes
Should you eat your burnt toast? Ada Kozlowska explains the science behind your culinary mishaps and those tasty triumphs In the kitchen, like in the lab, everything is determined by simple laws. Unfortunately it is mainly Murphy’s Law: everything that can go wrong will go wrong. But whether you’re wearing an apron or a lab coat, whether you’re using pots or beakers, in the end it all comes down to chemistry.
Burnt toast can be good for digestion: the charcoal is thought to help in gas absorption" The most common kitchen disaster is burning food. The unappealing black colour of burnt food is caused by the presence of charcoal, a leftover residue of burning organic material. Some people claim that they like the flavour of burnt food, but they should treat it with
caution as it can have dangerous health implications. Charcoal contains carcinogens, substances that damage DNA and can potentially cause cancer. On the other hand, burnt toast can be good for digestion: the charcoal is thought to help in gas absorption and ease pressure in the gastro-intestinal tract. If you do burn your food and decide not to eat it, you could always start your own collection in the name of science, following in the footsteps of Deborah HensonConant, who founded the Museum of Burnt Food in Massachusetts. Most dishes require high temperatures for different reasons. First of all, a temperature of 71º celcius is needed to kill bacteria and other pathogens in meat. At high temperatures, protein molecules in the meat lose their structure due to the breaking of hydrogen bonds, a process known as unfolding. Different proteins can withstand different temperatures before they unfold. For example, within muscle fibres, a
protein called myosin unfolds at a lower temperature than another called actin. There is a hypothesis that people have a preference for steaks that have a certain ratio of myosin to actin unfolding, which gives only a narrow window for finding the perfect cooking time.
Protein unfolding is also the reason why we can enjoy fried eggs: albumin, the main protein in egg white, unfolds during frying" Protein unfolding is also the reason why we can enjoy fried eggs: albumin, the main protein in egg white, unfolds during frying and then entangles with other molecules. This tangled structure
is what turns the egg white into a solid. It is not just high temperature that can ‘cook’ proteins. This effect can also be obtained by acid treatment. Acidity, or low pH, irreversibly damages the structure of the proteins by breaking bonds within the molecule. Ceviche is a seafood dish originating from the coastal regions of South America. It is prepared by marinating fresh raw fish in lime or lemon juice for a few hours. Citric acid not only enriches the taste, but also prevents bacteria growth and unfolds the proteins in the fish. Acids can also affect the uniformity of some foods. Milk goes bad when lactose is converted into lactic acid, causing the proteins present in milk to unfold. As they lose their structure, the protein molecules stick together or coagulate, forming the lumps you see when milk curdles. The same effect can be achieved by heat treatment, although in that case the proteins assemble in layers rather than lumps.
Food also reacts with the surface of cooking utensils, a fact you are probably familiar with from scraping burnt food from pans that you’ve left on the heat for that one minute too long. Teflon frying pans are ‘non-stick’ because their surface does not interact with the food. They are made of a substance containing fluorine, which has a high electronegativity. This means it forms very strong bonds with carbon and is very unlikely to react with the food.
We are all chemists, whether we like it or not." We are all chemists, whether we like it or not. Maybe experience gained in the kitchen could even help in laboratory work or vice versa. The trick is to embrace the possible failure and try again!
Eleanor Drinkwater and Nina Seale debate whether these charismatic creatures are worth their cost to conservation efforts
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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16 Science & Environment
Scientists prove they have the X Factor Lydia Heinrich investigates FameLab, the international talent show that celebrates the innovative communication of science
Chemistry? I used to hate that at school!” That’s the reaction I often get when I tell people my degree. I then usually change the topic to something not degree related, to avoid being seen as nerdy and weird, which I am afraid might happen if I tried to explain to people why chemistry is the most awesome subject in the world.
On Wednesday, an event called FameLab took place in Teviot Dining Room. It is a competition for scientists, in which each participant gets three minutes to communicate their projects, work or subject to the audience. The five Edinburgh speakers proved that it is possible to bring across very specific research in an informative and interesting way. The public perception of what science is and what scientists do is often skewed.
famelab international 2011
The event is set up in a style similar to television talent contest The X Factor, with a panel of four judges giving immediate feedback and witty comments."
SCIENCE IDOL: Michael Babic used tennis balls in wigs to win in 2011 This is partly due to the negative stereotypes that exist, but also in a large part because scientists are not always amazing at communicating their work. It is one of the beauties of being a scientist that what you do counts more than how you talk about it, but the importance of communication to people other than those directly involved in the research cannot be denied. It is always a key part of gaining funding of course, but it is also important to achieve a good under-
standing and acceptance of researchers’ work in the wider public to help earn respect and to attract more people to the field. FameLab was set up in 2005 by the Cheltenham Science Festival to address exactly those needs. It takes place once a year all over the country, with the winners of each town progressing into regional finals, in this case on December 1 in the Edinburgh Stand Comedy Club, and eventually competing on a national
level. The event is set up in a style similar to television talent contest The X Factor, with a panel of four judges giving immediate feedback and witty comments. However, winning the competition is not the most important outcome. Both by participating and by listening to other talks, a lot of experience can be gained in terms of science communication. So how do you make talking about your specific research fun? On Wednesday, the participants managed it impressively, with the style of the talks varying as much as the subject areas. Idea one: make it intriguing. For Example: Cooking makes us smart! How do we know that? The clue is in the size of our brain, as it is way too big in proportion to our body. We would never have enough energy to run it if we weren’t able to take up rich food easily. How do we do that? By cooking it, of course. A second way is to employ unusual analogies that everyone can relate to. Bacteria are like Cheryl Cole – much more famous for their individual work than for what they do as a group – but should be seen as Girls Aloud – greater than the sum of their parts. This led to an enthusiastic account of how bacteria build their own little cities, complete with water channels, and are prepared to self-sacrifice for the greater good. A third strategy is to use a pub anecdote, turned casually into a very
visual description of the function of both halves of the brain. Another idea is to tell a scary tale, of stars being killed by black holes. They aren’t just swallowed, they are stretched until they snap in two. One half then disappears while the other flies back into space.
Bacteria are like Cheryl Cole – much more famous for their individual work than for what they do as a group" Last but not least, talk about something everyone wants to know. A physicist explained in his three minute slot that fudge and toffee have the exact same ingredients but are different due to their crystal structure. But most importantly, he also described how to make both of the sweet treats. Overall, the event was both informative and fun for everyone involved, making it an ideal way to address shortcomings in a positive manner. Personally, I would recommend attending the finals in Edinburgh next week, and for any scientist who wants to gain experience in public speaking to participate next year.
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Science & Environment 17 transport scotland/headland archaeology
Wakey wakey, rise and shine
Not a morning person? Anastasiya Kishkevich looks at what is making you hit your snooze button
Your alarm clock rings. What could be more annoying? At least ten per cent of us find getting up in the morning extremely difficult. And now we know that our genes are to blame. Researchers from the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School) have found that only one change in DNA determines whether you are a night owl or a morning lark. The gene in question is known as ‘Period 1’ and varies in night and morning people. ‘Period 1’ belongs to a number of genes that are responsible for all biological ‘clocks’: rhythms of physiological changes in organisms.
species. The importance of circadian rhythms for animals is huge. Imagine an animal that is active at night. Unlike humans that can rely on trusty alarm clocks, the animal doesn’t know when the sun will rise. But its biological clock acts in coordination with external factors – so-called cues – allowing it to be prepared for oncoming events. It is able to sense subconsciously when it is time to head to shelter, due to factors like light levels. Biological clocks can also be self-sustaining and act independently from external cues. Temperature changes, for instance, do not affect the work of the clocks. Humans are unique animals. We do not fall asleep immediately after dark-
ness and we can stay in bed till noon. This is because humans can override their biological clocks cognitively – we can intentionally and consciously make shifts in our sleep-wake cycle. Differences in our DNA make these timings even more complicated, and circadian rhythms can also be disturbed by shift work, rapid travel across time zones or illness. Disruptions to our biological clocks can lead to a variety of mental and physical disorders and have negative impacts on safety, performance and productivity. That is why sleepless nights of essay writing will not lead to your best work, and why good sleep is absolutely necessary before an exam.
So what can a student do to maintain their health? To fall asleep easily, you should avoid watching TV or using a computer an hour before going to sleep. Instead, drink a cup of warm milk and read a boring book. You will need to eliminate all the light because when light comes into contact with your skin, it inhibits the production of the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin and triggers production of the ‘awake hormone’ serotonin. But if you put an eye mask on and close the curtains too tightly, you are greatly increasing the probability of oversleeping through your classes the next day - your body won’t realise that morning has come.
Only one change in DNA determines whether you are a night owl or a morning lark"
Our sleep habits are determined by these clocks, which respond to the change from day to night by synchronising physiological processes of an organism with its external environment. This synchrony appears to be critical for an individual’s well-being. Biological clocks, also known as circadian rhythms, are known for most
When light comes into contact with your skin, it inhibits the production of the 'sleep hormone'
TICK TOCK: Your biological clock determines your sleep-wake patterns
An alarm clock is the obvious solution, but that snooze button is only a click away. An alarm clock that emits light 10-20 minutes before it goes off may be the solution of the future, allowing you to wake up more naturally. Come to King’s Buildings and get acquainted with some student engineers. We’ll see what we can do.
INTERVIEW CORNER: OF MICROBES AND MEN
Maithili Mehta interviews Dr Charles Cockell on life in extreme conditions
How did you get interested in studying life in extreme environments? Life in extreme environments is a very specific but at the same time a very important area. It tells us about how life has managed to survive many catastrophes like asteroid impacts and volcanic eruptions, and yet persist for three and a half billion years, possibly longer. The question is: how does life do this? In particular, how do microbes do this? I got into this field because I am interested in biology as well as space exploration: looking at life in extreme environments is the obvious connection between environmental sciences on the earth, and discovering space. What makes these microbes more durable than us humans, even though we are made of billions of cells? One of the key things about microbes is that they are single cells. It is much easier to adapt the biochemistry of a single cell to an extreme environment than it is to adapt a very complex organism which depends on an interaction between many different types of cells. So when you go to
extremes on the earth (be it extreme pHs, extreme temperatures, or extreme pressures) you tend to find that large complex multicellular organisms disappear: what you end up with is microbes. There are microbes that can tolerate temperatures as high as 121º celcius. A complex multicellular organism would not be able to maintain communication between its cells at such elevated temperatures. The cells in a multicellular organism are specialised at different functions, and these have different types of biochemistry. There is no reason why a specialist cell shouldn’t be adapted to an extreme condition but getting all the cells in a body to operate at a very high temperature or a very low pH is a very difficult thing to do; I’d say it is actually so difficult that in fact multicellular organisms can’t do it. Your lab focuses on a few ‘extreme environments’ – one of these is volcanoes. Why is this a good model of an extreme condition in terms of the physical variables involved? Volcanic environments in their very early stages of formation don’t have many nutrients, just rocks. We are trying to understand how and why microbes might colonise these rocky environments. Some microbes extract elements such as iron from rocks, actually making a living from the food and energy they so derive. This tells us something about how life might have colonised and derived nutrients from early environments on earth. You are involved with the European Space Agency in designing a new space experiment, the Bio-Rock, to study the
response of microbes to a space environment. How do you plan to artificially engineer these conditions? We are looking at how microbes can be used to extract elements from rocks. We're growing microbes in the presence of rocks in liquids. We want to see whether very low gravity in the space environment changes the ability of these microbes to grow off rocks. We are going to create small reaction vessels which will go up onto a space station. We will also replicate the experiment on earth, using centrifuges to simulate conditions of zero gravity, lunar gravity and normal gravity on Earth. We want to observe how gravity affects the way that microbes grow in space, and how microbes mix with the rocks and liquid. We can then potentially use this knowledge to improve our ability to use microbes to mine rocks. Do you think it is acceptable to mine the moon? I do accept that there is an ethical dilemma involved: some people wonder whether we should be commercially mining the moon. I think if we are going to expand humanity beyond the earth, we need to get resources from somewhere. It is very expensive to launch resources from the earth into space, and more so, why would you do that, when you’ve got a universe full of resources? It is much more sensible to mine resources where you are actually trying to establish a settlement. What do you think the implications of such space studies could be? I think humanity can stay on the
earth for the foreseeable future, for a long time. But I don’t think it’s a good choice. I think a much better choice is to solve environmental problems on the earth, and to expand into space. Learning about how things can survive in space conditions not only tells us something fundamental about the biochemistry and physiology of organisms, but it also has practical applications. If we are going to establish a permanent human presence beyond the earth, we want to understand how microbes can survive in space, and how they respond to extreme conditions. You have written a number of papers on ‘extra-terrestrial liberty’. Could you explain what you mean by this term? This is actually a spare-time political philosophy interest of mine. On the earth, our government cannot deprive us of what I would call ‘environmentally sanctioned freedoms’ – for instance, the air we breathe. But in space, something as fundamental to life as the air you breathe is the result of a manufacturing process controlled by someone else. This made me start to think: what is the nature of freedom beyond the earth? What is extra-terrestrial liberty, and what would the core parts of that freedom be? What would constitute tyranny beyond the earth? From a physiological point of view, microbes are ‘freer’ than humanity, because they might be able to survive in space without the aid of artificial manufacturing processes. They can adapt to a wider degree of conditions, and this limits the constraints on their freedom.
Remains of Ancient Home unearthed north of Edinburgh Scotland’s oldest house has recently been discovered in a field on the outskirts of Edinburgh. In preparation for the building of the Forth Replacement Crossing in Echline, South Queensferry, a routine survey of the site was being conducted and turned up some very surprising results. A large oval pit, approximately seven metres in length, was uncovered by the team. This pit, which marks the remains of the ancient home, was dotted with postholes – features which were used to hold surface timber or stone which would then support the walls and roof of the building. Archaeologists can use the presence of these postholes to plot the layout of former structures that once stood at the site, as the holes may define the corners and sides of the original construction. It is thought that the roofs were probably covered in a turf-like material. More than a thousand pieces of flint were also unearthed along with other artefacts such as arrow heads and various tools that would have once been used by the ancient inhabitants. Further clues into other aspects of the dwellers lives, such as diet, were also provided as large quantities of charred hazelnut shells were found scattered on the ground. Analyses by the archaeological team revealed the site to be a staggering 10,252 years old and radiocarbon dates went further in confirming it to be the oldest of its type to be discovered in Scotland to date. The age of the compound dates it to the Mesolithic period and the humans that once lived in the house would have been amongst the first settlers in the area after the last Ice Age around 10 thousand years ago. The building also featured evidence of several fireplace hearths once made by the Mesolithic occupants, although archaeologists do not believe that the house would have been occupied on a permanent basis. Instead, they predict that the early humans lived in the house on a seasonal basis primarily during the cold winter months – an ancient holiday home, perhaps. This surprise discovery constitutes an invaluable source of information which will help to develop the understanding of how early prehistoric people lived along the Forth in these times. Gradually, a picture of the Mesolithic lifestyle is being brought together using the data collected from similar sites that have been unearthed all over Britain. With analysis of more data collected from the site still being carried out by the archaeological team working on the project, the findings will no doubt hold great importance in building a more detailed picture of Scotland’s ancient history. Hannah Dean
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Is it going to be another Hit, man?
THIS JUST-IN!: Would you fall for this Facebook scam?
Alex Shedlock steps back into the shoes of IO Interactive's bald, barcoded killer, and is ‘absolutely’ enthralled titles like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, that a mechanic which lets you lock to a surface to stay hidden and creep around only enhances stealth, rather than compromises it. Slight quibbles like button mapping get in the way, but aren’t significant. The button you press to enter cover becomes the button to make you roll to different cover, which is sometimes awkward. Even when you get up close to a bad guy, IO have fixed game-spanning issues like close combat. A really, really nice system is employed where the player presses the attack button and we enter a minor quick-time-event where the opponents’ punches get a button placed over them while they come flying, and the player has to hit said button to execute savage strikes. At times it captures the flowing badassery of the Batman: Arkham series. Probably the most significant change to the series is to the game’s structure. While the previous entries followed an absolutely rigid progression of large levels, each consisting of one segment which was the hit, Absolution has ‘gamified’ things. To a great effect. Surprisingly. Each ‘level’ is now typically made up of three checkpoints (give or take) which take the form of the familiar open areas that the series is known for: a multi-roomed hippyrun penthouse apartment level, a hotel lobby complete with underground complex, the wide grounds of an orphanage. Each area being divided into segments actually allows for more replayability and fun, frankly. If you mess up, there’s less ground to recover. The levels are opened up for exploration and experimentation. You only have to replay the last third of the mission upon each failure. My style is to constantly test for non-violent, non-lethal approaches, creeping through the levels
Walking the walk
HARSH CRITICS: Just like in reality, the cops don't take too kindly to amateur art
Can't tell what's going on in this crowd? Neither can the guards. to nick disguises and infiltrate the various establishments 47 must penetrate. However, each time I’m spotted, I just descend into a killing, mass murdering frenzy. And it’s fun. And when I die, I just load back the last five minutes of gameplay. IO have found a great balance here. The only questionable aspects of Absolution are clearly elements of creative contention, rather than technical ones. The game seems bug-free as far as I’m concerned, and controls are fine, even if the AI is sometimes hard to predict. Voice acting and writing in the gameplay is great – fantastic actually, it really captures an atmosphere. The same can’t be said for the cutscenes. Cutscenes are wooden and often hammy, the organic animations of the gameplay somehow disappearing under weird FMV graphics. These moments emphasise IO’s roots as a game developer, not a narra-
tive developer like most high-budget teams. Indeed, Absolution’s gameyness is refined further than any previous Hitman game. As well as all of the aforementioned improvements, the title is loaded with an ingenious and rewarding scoring system, which pushes creative and flexible playstyles, and compares your scores and approaches to your friends online. In addition to this is the unexpectedly successful ‘Contracts’ mode whereby players create custom missions, shared online, by playing campaign missions and creating their own mission rules by playing a certain way before they reach the exit. Create-your-objective mode, basically. All in all, the strength of this package are stunning, and displays a return to IO’s mastery of the series which arguably peaked with Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. A perfect hour-sink for many a winter’s eve spent indoors.
Alasdair MacLeod confesses his sins and looks forward to the second season of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead
I didn’t shoot the woman at the beginning of Starved For Help. It’s funny, but out of all the terrible things I’ve had to do over the past seven or so months,
all the terrible things I’ve seen others do, that’s the one thing that’s haunted me the most. I’ve amputated limbs and seen the wounds fester. I’ve doled out rations of food, knowing full well there wasn’t enough to go around. I’ve fought and lied and screwed up, and yet, it always comes back to that helpless, screaming woman and my stubborn refusal to act. This was far from the most tumultuous choice Telltale put before players in The Walking Dead. This wasn’t a cliffhanger plot-point foreshadowed by the threat of far reaching ramifications and repercussions. I wasn’t fighting for the lives of my companions, or even struggling for my own. In fact, in an incredibly rare moment for this series, I was under no pressure at all. No direct danger. I had the choice
to reach out to a stranger with kindness and a bullet, or to let them suffer just to make my life a little easier. Part of why this scene struck me so hard is that, grimness of the scenario aside, I had time to think. Time to weigh up the pros and cons. So often, The Walking Dead throws rapid-fire, split-second decisions at you. Do you save A or B? Do you fight or flee? Without time, you can only go with your gut instinct. You often have to choose quickly, or not at all, and this pressure can almost justify your actions, in retrospect. That could have gone better, if I’d had more time. I could have saved everyone, if I’d only had more time. And here I had all the time in the world. All that time to decide which was the lesser of two evils. I could shoot the woman. That would have been the right thing to do.
One clean, simple click to save her from a grisly fate at the grasping hands of a crowd of monsters. A crowd of monsters that she would soon rise to join. And yet, I held my fire. Because every second she spent alive and screaming was another second they weren’t chasing us, another second for us to go about our desperate business unmolested. I held my fire, and by God, I'd do it again. The Walking Dead is a triumph for Telltale Games. It’s a trip down three treacherous avenues. It’s an attempt at once-more imbuing unnatural life into the rotting cadaver that is the modern-day Adventure Game genre; it’s an attempt at an episodic model of distribution; and it’s an attempt at creating a spin-off game based on a major multimedia franchise. Any one of these is usually enough to spell doom for any
The Hitman series has always had its issues. Mostly, the problems were of control and animation. While each level – each ‘hit’ – was a vast area populated by realistic non-player characters, one of whom was your hard-to-reach target, the eponymous deadly baldy Codename 47 never interacted with the world very realistically. Get into a gunfight and he became a bullet soaking scarecrow whose lead tore through enemies like paper. Worse, get into a fistfight and he flailed wildly and imprecisely, killing in one hit. Dragging dead or unconscious bodies around was a strange exercise in rigid figure and ragdoll animations. As time wore on, things certainly improved. Blood Money, the fourth iteration released in 2006, added marginally more physical freedom and the ability to push bad guys off ledges and such. Six years later, Hitman: Absolution has come along and rewritten the whole rulebook. Codename 47 doesn’t just engage with his environment like a real person, he looks damn good while doing it. To say Danish developers IO In-
teractive have stepped up their game is an understatement. Especially after the disappointment of Kane & Lynch 2, of which I was a passing fan, Absolution a stunning piece of work. Visually, the levels are more detailed than ever before, more realistic and more lively. Crowds in marketplaces flock and chatter, faces are imbued with character and life, tenement rooms, streets and sewers are chock full of minor detail, the lighting is bloody beautiful. Also, in a key improvement for the series, the camera has been refined. Players get a better view of 47 than ever before, the modern mechanic of switching shoulder is present, and climbing ledges or creeping over objects is handled with cinematic smoothness. Dragging bodies no longer swings the camera about as the killer does the same to a corpse. The camera pulls in and widens its angle, while 47 holds onto the body as one would in real life, a heavy straightline process. It all marks a distinct movement towards better player-world interaction, something which IO have clearly focused on. In this generation of games emulating movies, IO have tapped into this new aesthetic without compromising the depth of Hitman’s seminal gameplay. While in the earlier titles entering a gunfight led to an experience of scarecrow 47 ploughing through every bad guy in the level with ease, Absolution’s gunfights are a whole other beast. They feel like something out of a film noir classic. Every gunshot racks the screen and spits smoke, bad dudes stagger and flail realistically when hit and the game pops a moment of slow motion whenever you kill-shot a problematic opponent. Part of what helps is a fairly effective cover system, which your enemies also make use of. Absolution again proves, along with
studio foolhardy enough to attempt them, and yet Telltale come through handily in all departments. As a rare treat, this Walking Dead does not simply retread the same ground walked by the comic book or television series that came before it. Telltale tells a story that runs in parallel and apart from its sibling franchises, breaking new ground and all the richer for it. Sure, The Walking Dead might seem like yet another zombie game, but with its tightly focused narrative, and liberal application of the moral dilemma, it has no problem standing out from the slowly shambling crowd. It's bleak. It's emotional. It's fascinating. I didn’t pull the trigger. Don’t make that same mistake here. Don’t let this game slip past.
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
20 Crossword & Horoscopes
OS R O
P O C
Dual Crossword No. 25 by PICUS
ACROSS 6 Quiet Scots woman receives a warning before unusual events (9) 8 Without speechifying laboratory weaves clerical garb (3) 9 Frenzied attack grabs Belgium (5) 10 Best-seller in which fish swallows part of Bible character’s head ? (3, 4) 11 P-peer’s dam seen in decorative inlay (6-2-5) 14 But Squire Odo rashly accepts pound for a bet (6, 2, 5) 17 Indian breaks into Jain pub (7) 18 Well-known Muse after an age, comes to .... (5) 20 …. show bum endlessly. Silly woman! (3) 21 Time wasted by castanets clattering round Iodine ranches in Mexico (9)
Taco Timothy is HOT! On a cold Edinburgh day, Timothy wraps up in meat and jalapeños and heads out with his psychic sombrero. Give him a traditional Mexican wave and he'll predict your future quicker, and more accurately than you can say 'no soy estupido.' Before becoming a full time mystic, Timothy was a woman.
This week your flatmate passes a ruling giving her full powers over the entire flat. Although you hold protests in the large civic square outside her bedroom, she remains inside playing various hits from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. You despise this trivialisation of important world events.
This week, as you walk down the Mound towards the Christmas Markets you hear one of the self-styled ‘Germans’ laughing about his Glühwein. “Itz drei partz Pritt Stick zu eins partz PVA. Lolz.” You are shocked, and then to add hyperbolic cliché to injury he says: “zat’ll teach zem für ze war.” What a classic German.
This week you pretend to be a tram. Your tasteful livery, considerable leg room and capacious baggage facilities are extremely convincing. But as you slay cyclists, close down shops, raise the cost of public transport, ruin Edinburgh’s city centre, and realise that a service doing exactly what you are going to do already exists, you hang your light-rail head in shame.
You can’t believe that Christmas is coming again. You’re going to have to change the sheets.
You are a little surprised this week when, after reading your essay, your tutor bends over and shits on the cover page. “There you go,” he says proudly, “feedback.”
When Venus comes knocking make sure you put the kettle on (it really suits you). She’ll give you her fax number and insist that you send hastily scanned images of your genitalia on the hour, every hour, until next week when she can deliver a less crude horoscope.
This week, you forest two young ethnic children and see them grow into young saplings before they are taken from you by the local council due to your radical political stance on the importing of conifer seeds.
In an anonymous vintage clothing store this week (it rhymes with ‘Farmstrongs’), you make an excellent find of a red corduroy jacket (there are only a few bloodstains on it, and the patchwork is otherwise immaculate). Use the dead fingers you found in the inside pocket to haggle the price down with the shopkeeper, then use them to serve condiments.
Whoa! Keep your wits about you this week, Leo. Something evil is rising to the East. And don't share your soup with Barry. Even if it is carrot and coriander, and he tells you it's his favourite.
Hot darnit! This week you finally perfect your recipe for goulash after months of culinary efforts (you’ve been really hungry for Hungary’s national dish)! Who could have guessed the missing ingredient would be paprika? Not you, dumbass.
This week, you fall down three wells. Well, well, well.
This week you eat your own bodyweight in Crayola.
CONCISE CLUES (same answers) ACROSS 6 Extraordinary happenings (9) 8 White vestment (3) 9 Raging mad (5) 10 It sells well, presumably (3, 4) 11 Nacre (6-2-5) 14 A gambler’s gamble? (6, 2, 5) 17 One from NW India (7) 18 Famous crossword Muse (5) 20 Low (3) 21 Mexican ranches (9)
DOWN 1 Part of speech (4) 2 Pasta, fool (6) 3 Portable computer (6) 4 Famous female spy (4, 4) 5 Competent (4) 6 Egyptian monument (7) 7 He studies racial groups (11) 12 Around which a cannon pivots (8) 13 Scripture readings (7) 15 Not so fat (6) 16 New York borough (6) 17 Shoe : interrogate (4) 19 Around which anything pivots (4)
Solutions to Dual Crossword No. 24 ACROSS 1 DOE-EYED “I’d” after “dough” 5 GOBI (Big O)* 7 HUNTER 2 defs and (her nut)* 8 NEGUS sun (rev) round eg (‘as’ = such as) 9 SLIP 2 definitions 10 OBSOLETE O.B. + (steel O)* 12 JACK AND JILL J (sailor), J (female ferret) 14 DIVIDERS cf “divide and rule” 16 FIGS F(francs) for ‘p’ of pigs 17 TOSCA coast* 19 ICECAP (ace pic)* 20 ADIT contained Hadith 21 CHEETAH Che (Guevara) + heat*
DOWN 1 DOUBLE-JOINTED (double + ed) round joint 2 ECTOPIC EC + topic 3 YARD OF ALE (do a Farley)* 4 DUN 2 defs and d’un (Fr) 5 GOGOL Googl (e)* 6 BUSH TELEGRAPH Bush + (Daily) Telegraph 11 SIDESWIPE swipe round ides 13 INFLECT lect. on (after) inf. 15 INSET in + set 18 ABC 2 definitions
DOWN 1 Part of speech deposited in Hanover Bank (4) 2 Fool portrayed in new edition of L Doone (6) 3 Computer operation underpins US city exercise programme (6) 4 Mrs Campbell MacLeod, spy and mother, with gitana’s heart and curly hair (4, 4) 5 Clever, but second-rate when drink’s about (4) 6 A solid figure, not to be trusted when buying (7) 7 Thon Leo badly needs sense : he studies racial groups (11) 12 Nino takes turn to blow up part of cannon (8) 13 The French issue Scripture readings (7) 15 Comic poet full of new energy is not so fat (6) 16 Elizabeth, Mary, Anne perhaps seen in part of New York (6) 17 Cinderella’s coach-maker throws out family to get slipper (4) 19 Wartime powers have a boundary overturned (4) The Chambers Dictionary (2008) is recommended. Comments, questions, complaints etc can reach the compiler via the editors.
* = anagram of the preceding material (rev) = reverse the preceding material “ …. ” the word in the clue and the word in the answer are homophones
A bit about cryptic clues We’ve been looking at the surface meanings and underlying structure of cryptic clues. How the compiler may use the surface meaning to disguise which is the definition part (DP) of the clue and may also try to mislead you about its meaning by using particular words in the non-definition part (NDP) of the clue. Try and eat stewed rabbit (6)
The definition is rabbit, meaning to talk a lot (rabbit and pork – Cockney rhyming slang). You can see how the compiler leads you towards the idea of rabbit as food, by using eat and stewed in the NDP.
The underlying ‘telegraphese’ is: [The letters of ] Try (and) eat when re-arranged (having been stewed) give the answer: rabbit. Entrance to the pit, described in the Hadith (4) ADIT The definition is Entrance to the pit, and by using the Hadith (a religious text) in the NDP the compiler leads you to think of the pit as being hell, when it in fact means mine. The ‘telegraphese’ is: [The answer is] Entrance to the pit which is contained (described qv) within the Hadith.
So, cryptic clues have a definition part (DP) consisting of a word or phrase, and a non-definition part (NDP) to give the same answer by a different route (the internal cross-check). The NDP contains material to be worked on and indicators to tell you how to do so. In today’s first clue stewed is an anagram indicator. In the second clue described in is an indicator for a contained clue. When solving cryptic clues you soon learn to ignore surface meanings and to look for the definition. Then look at the rest of the clue, the NDP, for indicators, to find the type of clue you’re dealing with.
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
A great night at the opera
Theatre buff? Review it!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Lene Korseberg left the Festival Theatre impressed by the Scottish Opera's production of The Magic Flute The magic flute
all associate with opera. Add to this an often hilarious dialogue and you have got yourself a good mix of humour, drama, excitement and awe.
Festival Theatre Run ended
Add to this an often hilarious dialogue, and you have got yourself a good mix of humour, drama, excitement and awe"
or many people, going to the opera is a big event. The excitement was therefore high when the doors of the Festival Theatre opened for the Scottish Opera production of Mozart’s popular work, The Magic Flute.
Through the genre of Singspiel this piece tells the tale of a handsome and brave prince, Tamino (Nicky Spence), who is rescued from a serpent by three Ladies. They tell him that their Mistress, the Queen of the Night (Mari Moriya), promises him her daughter, Pamina (Laura Mitchell), if he manages to rescue her from the evil
feral landscape Edinburgh Printmakers 'til 22nd Dec
eral Landscape, Edinburgh Printmakers’ largest annual members exhibition, is constructed around a theme that often inspires artists: the interplay between man and nature. This theme provokes the fusion of wildness and domesticity that evokes ambiguous spaces and creates multi-layered artworks. The conflict between man and nature and our complex relationships with neglected land, growth and decay are challenged in the artworks shown. These ideas of tension and uncertainty are evoked through the technique of printing itself. As a mechanical process, initial images are produced like industrial parts. Bold shapes are imposed on paper just as man imposes on natural habitats. Yet, as is beautifully done in Gill Tyson’s work, these impositions can be refined, reprinted and overworked; each image steadily given new depths over time. As landscapes are layered and evolving, so the print’s layers reflect a delicate, shifting balance between man and nature. Each work is itself a feral, ambiguous landscape.
This opera was originally written for a mass audience rather than the elites of the day, a tradition which is carried on by Scottish Opera in this production" A HANDSOME PRINCE: Nicky Spence as the brave Tamino in Mozart's famous opera, The Magic Flute. Sarastro (Jonathan Best). On his way, he is joined by the colourful birdman, Papageno (Richard Burkhard), who reluctantly agrees to help out, bringing with him only a magic flute and some bells for protection. Andrew Mackenzie’s etchings clearly reveal this same motif. Solid colour blocks are scraped away leaving what appear to be echoes of branches. These are dissected and overlapped by sharp lines; pylons and cables are cut into the surface. The result is bold, yet fragile. Mackenzie perfectly invokes the simultaneous threat and beauty of nature. The process is an important part of the art and is central to the Printmakers’ exhibition concept - showcasing some of Scotland’s leading print artists. The exhibition literally overlooks the printing workshop below, through a glass dissection of the gallery wall. The art is given immediacy and the artists given significance. Rather than a hollow space removed from creativity, the gallery is physically part of the process. The works feel fresh and contemporary, despite the somewhat off-putting price tags and prominence of the shop. The pieces and the gallery itself, with its opportunity for interactive workshops, seem alive and responsive. Like the landscape that changes over time and the works that develop and layer, the entire effect is one of movement and evolution. The gallery and its artists are not static, but progressing: perhaps not ‘feral’, but not tame either.
This opera was originally written for a mass audience rather than the elites of the day, a tradition which is carried on by Scottish Opera in this production. Filled with Scottish references and performed in English (as opposed
to its original language, German), it allows the audience to relate to the storyline and the characters. However, this familiarity is balanced by fantastic costumes and an amazingly majestic set, which preserves the grandness we
The right attitude to rain
third book in the series and finally begins to flesh out Isabel’s character and set it out against the many practical considerations that surround her.
ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH Abacus 2006
lexander McCall Smith’s name and fame have come to be synonymous with Edinburgh, the city in which he lives and works.
The Right Attitude to Rain is the third book in the series and finally begins to flesh out Isabel’s character and set it out against the many practical considerations that surround her" His Isabel Dalhousie series, the books about the editor of a Philosophy journal and part-time detective, may not be as widely read as his other series but does, for what it is worth, paint a very pretty picture of Edinburgh. The Right Attitude to Rain is the
The major stumbling block in this novel is that it is touted as dectitive fiction and part of a mystery series. However, as far as about 200 pages into the book, the mystery is hard to find" In the book Isabel sets out to purchase a house for her housekeeper, comes to conclusions about her niece Cat’s new boyfriend, tries to sort out her feelings for Jamie – a significantly younger friend and confidant who just so happens to be Cat’s ex-boyfriend – and attempts to figure out whether the tourist couple from the US are really in love. The major stumbling block in this novel is that it is touted as detective fiction and part of a mystery series. However, as far as about 200 pages into the book, the mystery is hard to find. Unfortunately, the book is also overrun with clichés, including a rich oil baron
The performances were strong across the board, but particular mention must go to Mari Moriya’s Queen of the Night. When performing what is perhaps The Magic Flute’s most famous aria, “Hell’s vengeance boils in my heart”, the audience held their breath as the soprano soared to reach high notes most of us could never dream of hitting. Special mention must also go to Richard Burkhard as Papageno – his almost desperate wish to find a girlfriend is portrayed beautifully and provides comic relief as the story darkens. All in all, this production of The Magic Flute was well worth the time. With a fantastic set and convincing performances, Mozart’s famous opera was truly brought to life in the Festival Theatre. from Texas and his social climber of a fiancée – the only mystery that seems to come through from this is whether she loves him or his money. Isabel herself would be easier to relate to if she were not so wealthy or not so completely without any character flaws. The tone of the book reads like a sleepy stream running through a shaded dell and may have a similarly somnolent effect on the reader. On the flip side, the descriptions of Edinburgh are spot on – the city comes to life between the pages of the book and the love of the author for this almost fairytale-like city is very apparent.
Isabel herself would be easier to relate to if she was not so wealthy or not so completely without any character flaws" The book will be very disappointing to those who expect the robust wit of Smith’s other novels. The humor in this book is subtle and soft, rather like the heroine and, indeed, philosophy itself. Read the book if you want to see a different side of McCall Smith and Edinburgh. Amrita Bakhshi
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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A piece worth reading Prima Donna Verdi good Carm-en collected Ai-need-a drinkLa Travesty
This week's cultural spectrum.
Kat Moir is intrigued by both the seemingly mundane and the divine in Fuller's New Selected Poems poems I again felt a deeper connection to Fuller as he does not play down his search for knowledge and truth but makes it the focus of his poetry.
new selected poems 1983-2008 JOHN FULLER Chatto & Windus 2012 http://www.poetryfoundation.org
ohn Fuller’s most recent collection of poetry draws from eight original publications spanning some 25 years from 1983 to 2008. Possibly best known for his poem “Valentine”, one of the nation’s favourite love poems, Fuller is an underappreciated poet whose work should be much more widely known than it appears to be.
These are not earth-shattering tragedies but everyday situations turned into beautiful verse" The selection taken from The Grey Among the Green (1988) prove very effective in conveying Fuller’s insightful view of the seemingly mundane. Titles like “Lawn Games” and “Breakfast”
ECA Main Lecture Theatre Run ended
nd it goes on and on and on and on…” explains the main character in this play, a nameless girl in a red dress, after the enthusiastic chorus greet the audience with repeated cannon sequences about the pretence of being okay. And sadly, that is exactly what the play does. The chorus, made up of a crowd of grey, babble over each other in scenes about the normality of life that
JOHN FULLER: British poet, novelist, critic, editor and children's writer convey the normalcy that Fuller writes about; these are not earth-shattering tragedies but everyday situations turned into beautiful verse. These poems are inspiring because they make the reader think differently about the ordinary events of life and reconsider what is normally passed over with little notice or concern. By 1996, with his collection Stones and Fires, Fuller turned his hand to longer works of poetry, including the well-known “Star-Gazing”. With these
poems, Fuller concentrates on bigger issues; struggling to find meaning in life while looking at the creation all around him. “Alpha to Omega is more/ Than we shall ever have. Three score/ And ten concludes our self-devotion,/ While the stars dash upon the shore.” In this collection it seems as though the world is inconceivable to Fuller; from the beauty and harshness of nature to the divine and its portrayal through music and travel, all is yet unknown and waiting to be discovered. With these
combine together to create a montage that comments on all the aspects of a boring, suburban life.
of the group to show that they have camouflaged their individuality within the herd. There are two characters that stand out from the grey ensemble – a girl who breaks out from the crowd and reveals a red dress underneath her grey garments to show that her passion sets her apart from the rest, and a man at the back of the stage who hides behind a huge paper moon for most of the performance, but bursts out with manic energy in the final scene. Their brief dialogue is delivered well but it still fails to give the play any kind of direction. This introspective play examines society and relationships, and seems to conclude that being okay in this life is
What makes you okay? Having friends, acquaintances, falling in love..." What makes you okay? Having friends, acquaintances, falling in love, having your head, chest and feet, showing your smile, having a job. Each of these is given a scene that lasts a touch too long and is a little too repetitive, with the occasional character stepping out of place, sneezing, or rushing out
In this collection it seems as though the world is inconceivable to Fuller" Fuller has been described as a “playful but philosophical writer, always interested in telling a story” and this analysis definitely rings true from a reading of New Selected Poems. This collection is well-written and manages to focus the reader’s attention in an atmosphere which seems relaxed. Fuller’s work will make sense to any novice poetry reader or academic and will only improve on further reading. Allusions to poets such as Coleridge and Skelton cause greater enjoyment for those who recognise them while not destroying any hope of appreciation for those who do not. All in all, Fuller’s collection is definitely worth a read. It’s interesting, insightful and will look great on your bookcase. made up of false confidence, following others, being constantly busy and not standing out from the grey entourage. Being okay requires being grey, blending in with the others around you.
This introspective play examines society and relationships" The problem with this abstract montage of ‘being okay’ is that the audience is left with the same feeling of mediocre enjoyment as the characters seem to be getting out of their nondescript lives. Nina Seale
THE POETRY DOCTOR with Isabella Flanders
This week: The Poetry Doctor shows you how to ace your exams and still enjoy the Christmas season
The shepherds probably felt guilty about abandoning their sheep on the hillside when they went to visit baby Jesus. And thus the great tradition of slacking off at Christmas began. It’s such a gloomy month, we have to seek out any light we can. Thomas Campion describes the kinds of activities the season was made for in “Now Winter
Nights Enlarge”. “Let now the chimneys blaze/ And cups o’erflow with wine,” he enthuses. At a time of year when leisure has been practically mandatory for centuries, you should be embracing the Yuletide spirit; be it mulled wine, spiced rum or Jack Daniels. “The world is cold without/ And dark and hedged about/ With mystery and enmity and doubt,/ But we must go”. Charlotte Mew speaks on behalf of all festive merrymakers in “The Call”. Reluctant as you may be to leave the fireside, other obligations eventually come knocking . Yet Mew philosophises that such interruptions aren’t always unwelcome: forays into the blizzard can have unanticipated felicitous outcomes. It is worth bearing this in mind when attempting to drag yourself back to your books. Get into the habit of switching from the excitedly quivering mass of
cranberry jelly that Christmas turns you into, back to the sensible, year-round you. Try imagining that you’re a nun, escaping frivolity for the calmness of contemplation. Your mantra is Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “Heaven-Haven”, a poem which makes cloistered life sound surprisingly inviting. These periods of solitary study can be both fulfilling and profitable; plus you’ll find your heart grows three sizes each time you leave the library to rejoin the revelry. Above all, Christmas is a time for miracles. Maybe this will be the year you will ace your exams, build an igloo and get that kiss under the mistletoe. Got a problem? We can cure you! All problems will be treated confidentially. And ever so seriously. Email us at poetrydoctor.studentnewspaper@gmail. com.
ast week, David Hockney got rather upset when he discovered that his beloved ‘totem’, a dead tree stump on the Hockney trail in Yorkshire, was spray painted and mangled with a saw. He’d noticed the stump years earlier and requested that it be left alone for his artistic use. Perhaps this was a defiant act of artistic renovation? As Hockney doesn’t own that dead stump, it struck me as odd that this was even news, but such is the art world. From my perspective, the stump has been revitalised. Admittedly, the pink spray paint is messy and garish, but the statement remains the same (that is, assuming the person who vandalised the wood was making a statement at all – part of me wonders whether this was simply the work of a few bored, stoned teenagers). That statement could be deciphered as a reaction against Hockney, his work or perhaps his megalomaniac sense of ownership over nature. This reminded me of the many other vandalised art works in modern history. There was recently the attack on a Rothko piece in the Tate Modern in October, which caused a bit of a stir. A Cy Twombly piece was damaged back in 2007, not by a violent attack but by an adoring fan. While hung in France, a woman kissed Twombly’s white canvas leaving lipstick stains smeared on the work. Various Banksy works have been added to by graffiti artists, arguably improving some of his more banal works. Then there was the infamous attack by suffragette Mary Richardson on the Rokeby Venus, where Richardson slashed the Velazquez with a blade in protest of Emmeline Pankhurst’s recent arrest. But while the art world gasps and then quickly moves on, in some respects, the acts themselves and what remains of the art (or …tree stumps) are just as valid artistically. And on some level, why shouldn’t we be allowed to interact with art? It is so often held under lock and key or behind bulletproof glass that the public is so disconnected from it. I’m not trying to encourage you to take a trip to the National Gallery and start ripping canvases, but maybe take a little something from that rebellious spirit. Troy Holmes
Look oot for... National Book Week is on this week. Also, don't miss your chance to see the infamous Gifted Book Sculptures at the Scottish Poetry Library between Novovember 24 and December 8. Anthonie Chiu Smit
Dear Poetry Doctor, I saw the Christmas market being set up on Princes Street yesterday and ever since I’ve been feeling all Christmassy inside. I just can’t wait till exam time when I can watch Love Actually, drink mulled wine, wear my garish jumper and hang tinsel over everything. However, I realise it’s called exam time for a reason and the wonderland I’ve been anticipating is unrealistic. How do I prevent Christmas spirit from encroaching on my muchneeded revision?
Cinderella at the Lyceum from November 29 to December 29. A twist on the classic tale to get you in the Christmas spirit. If you’re already feeling Christmassy, then check out some of the Christmas exhibitions to get you in the festive spirit. In particular, the Torrance Gallery Christmas exhibition which starts on December 1.
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Culture 23 it is hard to believe that the work is an oil painting at all. Is this a photography exhibition? While this realism and extreme exactitude provides an important focus on skill, there is very little expression or feeling present to bring such pictures alive. In contrast, Tim Benson’s ambiguous “92 Years” reveals thick, painterly marks. This expressive style seems to communicate a lot more about the sitter, a message conveyed within the very surface of the work as well as in the overall effect.
bp portrait award Scottish National Portrait Gallery 'til 27 Jan 2013
has been hosted by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Set up in 1979, the aim of the Portrait Award was to encourage and invigorate Britain’s most commercially and historically significant genre. Since then it has broadened into an international competition and for the last 23 years the exhibition has been sponsored by BP — a move not without controversy. Last year the exhibition’s opening in London was targeted by climate activists claiming that the oil giant was using the arts to mask its impact on the environment. Similarly in 2010, BP sponsorship at the Tate Britain attracted protesters who spilled oil and feathers at the building’s entrance. Whatever the attitudes surrounding its sponsorship, the National Portrait Gallery believes that, especially in times of governmental cuts to the arts, the global company’s support has been and will continue to be beneficial. The announcement of this year’s winner also sparked controversy in
12 dancers/ deliberance Traverse Theatre Run Ended
he first visual we get is of 12 suits standing with their backs to the audience. The men turn around one by one and we are introduced to our dancers. A short, stout man with white hair and a moustache, a young Asian man, a guy with dreadlocks and a bald, middle-aged man with glasses are among the 12 characters about to launch into a dramatic and athletic performance. The premise is that they are strangers who have been brought together to decide an unknown fate in the jury room. The middle aged, glasses wearing suit launches into an energetic breakdancing routine producing titters from the audience. He’s not slick but he knows what he’s doing as he fearlessly throws himself around. The dancer is Allan Irvine, breakdancing connoisseur, and owner of award-winning dance company Fresh Mess. Similarly unexpected is that the rotund, white-haired man will glide across the stage in a technical ballet routine. His movement is slow but calculated, demonstrative of a rawness and sweetness that pervades the entire
twelfth night St Augustine's Church Run Ended
welfth Night: a Shakespearean classic. Cross-dressing, confusion, comedy, and some of the most famous stockings in theatre. It has it all! As with many of the great comedies, it has been tirelessly adapted and transformed, and here Charlotte Productions switches courts for the gentleman’s club, and Illryia is replaced with the croquet and cucumber sandwiches of upper class
alternativebarnsley.wordpress.com - Ivan Franco
rganised by the National Portrait O Gallery in London, this is the fourth time that the BP Portrait Award
CHEER UP LOVE: Ivan Franco's stark and photographic portrait is the grumpy face of contemporary realism the media. Aleah Chaplin’s portrait, “Auntie”, is part of a series of female nudes that the artist has known all her life. Chaplin says of her subject, “The fact that she has known me since birth is
extremely important. Her body is a map of her journey through life.” Revealing a mastery of technique, the portrait is an intimate depiction of an elderly woman entirely at ease with herself — a wor-
thy winner. Indeed this picture shows something of the soul of the sitter, an element lacking in many hyper-realistic portraits. For example, looking at David Eichenberg’s portrait, “Devan Atmys”,
performance. Each of the dancers in the piece has been hand-picked by the choreographer Andy Howitt who undertook 12 Dancers/ Deliberance as a celebration of his 30th year in dance. Disagreement and animosity build between members of the jury as they try to reach a decision: guilty or not guilty? The dancers perform various Capoeirastyle combat routines. Daniel Aing and William Thorburn, two of the younger dancers, specialise in this Brazilian martial art form and they display an impressive agility and sharpness of movement. The gruelling jury process is expressed through repetitive, episodic routines which become increasingly distorted and neurotic throughout. Time and the urgency of their decision is referenced throughout and in one dramatic episode, the dancers morph into manically ticking clocks. The strength of 12 Dancers/Deliberance lies not only in the unexpected element but also in the emotive performance of the dancers. There’s an electricity in the air which is further enhanced by the live band accompaniment. Howitt is right to punch the air in mock victory as the dancers return for the final bow. Verity Keen
The salem witch society
authorities to deal with. This forces the main characters to place themselves under the radar and above the law.
Despite the detrimental effect the setting has on the plot, aesthetically, 1912 is wonderfully reproduced" For any Shakespeare-ite it’s particularly interesting in adaptations to see which characters and plot points have either been pulled to the fore or put away entirely. The struggle of power between men and women is very neatly
K N SHIELDS Sphere Coming Jan 2013
prostitute is found brutally murdered and a stolid police marshal and a maverick detective must work together to uncover a dark conspiracy of witchcraft, corruption and cliches. The consummate skill of the detective, Perceval Grey, allows them to trace a breadcrumb trail of clues tying the Salem Witch Trials both to older witchcraft legends and to the temperance movement of the late 19th century.
A stolid police marshal and a maverick detective must work together to uncover a dark conspiracy of witchcraft, corruption and cliches" The storytelling in this novel is competent despite the fact that you have your usual excessively obstructive
reproduced with the ladies’ involvement in the Suffragette movement, whilst the eradication of Olivia’s marriage to Sebastian at the play’s end removes the most dubious aspect of the original. However, unfortunately the adaption is not entirely successful. Due to Viola losing her brother only briefly “in the fog” (and therefore stumbling across Orsino’s gentleman’s club) rather than being separated from him in a shipwreck, there is no underlying dramatic tension in the play, nothing to push the drama forwards. There is no worry for Sebastian’s life, and therefore no need to reunite Viola with him, leaving the focus of the play to entirely
There is a dramatic build-up to a genuinely tense showdown" As if this wasn’t enough, you have a rather cliched antagonist and whenever he is summoning Satan you can kiss any moral complexity goodbye. Appealing to something as proverbially evil as witchcraft and the devil always seems a slightly cheap way of providing a villain. Unfortunately, the relationship between Grey and his sidekick is clunky and unconvincing. Grey is also a determined materialist and refuses to accept any possibility of supernatural powers. However, this rational approach, as unoriginal as it is, is inconsistently applied. He refuses to accept some obvious deductions but will accept other incredibly tall conclusions with next to no evidence on the following page. The most grating element of the novel was the constant ripping-off of Sherlock Holmes. The similarities are uncanny: the story is related by a steady yet unimaginative Watson-type figure and the character of Grey is an intelligent outsider, capable of absurdly
shift to Orsino and his lovelorn pining. Likewise, the inclusion of main plot elements from the original seems rather forced. Tying Malvolio to a garden chair at a garden party is confounding at best, whilst the cross-dressing and mistaken gender of Viola is a brief joke and has little to no real relevance. Despite the detrimental effect the setting has on the plot, aesthetically, 1912 is wonderfully reproduced. The costumes are gorgeously made, and the touches of vintage set were very well done; not to mention the upper class accents which were simply divine, darling. Whilst the acting was impressive
Estudillo's portrait is a refreshing change from the vast aray of uninspiring, rather dull realistic portraits" A striking feature of the exhibition is the youth of the winners. Chaplin is just 26, whilst second prizewinner Ignacio Estudillo is only a year older. His monochrome portrait of his paternal grandfather is one of the most creative portraits on show, a refreshing change from the vast array of uninspiring, rather dull, realistic portraits. The youth of these winners hopefully reflects the optimistic future of creative, soulful portraiture. Laura Harwood contrived deductions and an offensively condescending manner. The similarities continue with a climactic sequence in which the protagonist is caught in a fist fight on the edge of a high stage. Speaking of the climax, the pacing seems slightly awkward. Whilst avoiding spoilers, there is a dramatic buildup to a genuinely tense showdown. But it isn’t the finale. It fizzles out, provides a plot twist and then attempts to build the tension all over again for the real finale.
The character of Grey is an intelligent outsider, capable of absurdly contrived deductions and an offensively condescending manner" Ultimately though, The Salem Witch Society is an entertaining read. It’s competently written, atmospheric and weaves fact and fiction into an intense whodunit. Sadly, the characters are uncomfortable and shamelessly derivative, and the plot is morally simplistic. Lewis McLellan across the board, I particularly commend the actors playing Orsino and his bantering brandy-fuelled band of gentlemen, who could not be faulted. Likewise Orla Murray as Olivia was excellent, providing more emotion and depth to the character than she is normally attributed. And so, whilst being a rather marred Twelfth Night adaption, as a lighthearted play in its own right it was very well acted and presented. And yes, the yellow stockings were wonderfully hideous, which is all that matters to any production of Twelfth Night, really. Peony Gent
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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At the cutting edge for centuries At one time, a student of Trinity College Dublin had a legal right to demand a glass of wine, during examinations, provided he was wearing his sword. While this law was never actually repealed, our students have gone on to display cutting edge abilities in other ways, from winning the Nobel Prize for literature, to splitting the atom and beyond. You will have the chance to cross swords with great minds in Science, Technology, Arts and Humanities at our Postgraduate Open Day. Please join us in the Public Theatre, from 4 to 7pm, on Thursday, January 24th, 2013. Look sharp when you come to Ireland’s edgiest university.
Visit www.tcd.ie/graduate_studies to see what you could become.
COMMISSION #11: poster girls POSTER GIRLS is an artist collaboration between Ellen Wilson and Louise Kernaghan. Using their own imagery from across the American West they create billboard style works featuring repeated use of the word ‘GIRLS’. They play on the tension between text and image – the supposed delicate femininity of ‘girls’ contrasted and layered with blown up photographs of dramatic wilderness. For them, wild spaces can be considered masculine and through their work they intent to explore a female ownership of the landscape. By using bold, italicised, uppercase lettering, they subvert the sometimes derogatory associations of ‘girl’ and attempt to empower its meaning. The style is bold and graphic, but the intricate layers have been been sensitively composed. This is the mix POSTER GIRLS wants to achieve – being female in an un-girly, un-pathetic way. Watch out for more POSTER GIRLS work on display throughout Edinburgh soon!
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Laura Cain speaks to Matt Corby at his Electric Circus show
King Animal REPUBLIC
The Daily Telegraph
with most of the recent Ibeennrockcomparison reunions, Soundgarden’s has conducted with little fanfare and
MATT CORBY: On his way to achieving great things in the UK? n November 17 I had the opportuO nity to sit down with singer-songwriter Matt Corby before his gig at the
Electric Circus. Soft-spoken and genuine, he comes across as a musician who is truly impassioned by what he does. Corby is a 22-year old singer-songwriter hailing from Sydney, Australia. Former contestant on Australian Idol, he is currently signed to Ben Lovett’s (of Mumford & Sons) label Communion which prides itself on being a friendly platform for independent artists. His latest EP Into the Flames (out this week in the UK) has already gone multi platinum in Australia. Mixing indie rock with stunning falsettos, Into the Flames offers a break from its folky predecessors with a venture into blues on the song “Soul's a Fire”. I asked him if this new musical direction was intentional. “I try to make a decision not to do that. I have always wanted to write that type of music. But I try as best as I can not to let it head down that avenue. Too much blues can be a bit overbearing.” The Australian is definitely noncommittal when it comes to defining his musical genre. “I write whatever I feel. If I want to write a blues song, I write a blues song. For me, it’s finding that cross-genre balance in the songs.” Trained classically as a child, Corby started touring in a five-piece vocal
group at the age of 13. He tells me that he’s always placed particular importance on his singing voice. “I trained and practiced for years and years. It’s always been my number one instrument”. His vocal control is definitely put on show during his live performances where it ranges from low and husky to surprisingly high and powerful, particularly on “Brother”, which Corby agrees has “different elements and dynamic, jumping notes”. In fact, friend and musical act Passenger (who is currently supporting Ed Sheeran on his Autumn tour) asked the singer- songwriter if he would collaborate with him on his track “Golden Thread”. “He’s a beautiful human being. We recorded that song when I had no money,” confesses Corby, “when I was bumming around Sydney not doing anything and he just got me to do these twirly vocals on it. He even paid me which I thought was the sweetest thing ever.” I purposefully avoided asking him about his experience on reality TV, but there still seems to be a lingering grudge against the current music business. “People have to like it, market it, and distribute it”, he says, concerning his debut album to be recorded in January. “It’s not really in my hold. Musicians don’t run this industry, funnily enough. I’m just trying to write music that’s timeless, so it doesn’t really mat-
ter when it’s released.” And writing music always seems to follow a certain creative pattern for him, describing how he always hears the melodic structure of the song “then you’re honing it to lyrically what you mean to say. There’s a thousand ways to say one thing. But there’s only one or two great melodies that would fit with the words. “I love singers that have a proper message, even if they say the simplest thing ever. Ryan Adams [American singer-songwriter] gets away with so much. He has blatant, obvious lyrics, but he’s so incredible. I don’t know how you can get away with saying something that honest.” What would be his perfect collaboration then, if he could choose any musician in history? “There’s people I would want to collaborate with just because I would want to see them work and people that I would want to collaborate with because we could do something great. I’d be interested to see what would happen if me and Tom Waits got into a room together. He’s one of the best songwriters ever.” Certainly Matt Corby is one to watch. After success down under, all signs lead to him becoming a sensation in the UK. Into the Flames is well worth checking out for avid listeners of Ben Howard, Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver.
certainly appears to be a genuine attempt to build on their legacy, not just cash in on it. This is reflected in King Animal, their first album in sixteen years, which thankfully steers clear of the brainless power rock of “Live to Rise”, the band’s recent contribution to the Avengers soundtrack. Instead the album incorporates a lot of what has always made listening to Soundgarden so rewarding: Kim Thayil’s intricate riffs and lines that are simultaneously heavy and melodic, the groove of Ben Shepherd’s bass, Matt Cameron’s complex time signatures, all capped off by the roaring power of Chris Cornell’s voice. It is this last aspect that makes the Soundgarden reunion most welcome – Cornell’s voice is finally back where it belongs after a patchy time with Audioslave and a diabolically awful Timbaland-produced solo record. All these elements are recalled as soon as Thayil’s snarling riff kicks in on knowingly named opener “Been Away Too Long”. Whatever you read into Cornell’s lyric “I never really wanted to stay”, the track is an impressive statement of intent. Yet it is second track “����������������������������������� Non-State Actor�������������������� ”������������������� that truly unites all of Soundgarden’s best qualities as Shepherd’s menacing bass line and Cameron’s tight rhythm provide the perfect platform for Thayil’s dominating riff and Cornell’s devastating wail. “By Crooked Steps��������������������� ”�������������������� rounds off a strik-
EXAMPLE The Evolution of Man MINISTRY OF SOUND
or artists, changing their genre of music is often a big leap and they either fall or fly. Example floats between the two in his fourth album, which he has claimed is his rock debut. For any rock music lover, this is by no means a ‘rock album’ and Example has applied the same formula from his previous three albums to The Evolution of Man and added a few guitar instrumentals along with a bizarre oriental melody which flows throughout several songs. The album appears to be an apology for his overuse of drugs and cocky behaviour over the past years which make the fun from his previous albums unable to shine through. On a positive note, tracks such as “Say Nothing” and “Come Taste the Rainbow” succeed in delivering catchy lyrics and an upbeat rhythm which makes you want to stand up and dance along to it from the very first listen. Surprisingly, his remorseful lyrics of ‘come in at five, fight until sunrise’ and elements of (attempted) rock don’t
ingly strong opening in a commanding display of heaviness backed by rhythm. Other tracks demonstrate the band’s versatility and range of influences. “A Thousand Days Before��������������� ”�������������� makes use of Indian and Eastern inflections whilst “Attrition���������������������������� ”��������������������������� recalls the punk facet of their music. So by the time the refrain of final track “Rowing���������������� ”��������������� fades out you are left feeling that Soundgarden sound like they never went away.
An immensely impressive album that demonstrates Soundgarden’s remarkable musicianship"
However, this is also the main problem of the album. It leaves you with the indelible thought that this is essentially the album they would have released after 1996’s Down On the Upside had they not broken up the year after. At times there is a slightly procedural air to some tracks. The two consecutive acoustic inflected tracks “Black Saturday������������������������������������ ”����������������������������������� and “Halfway There���������������� ”��������������� are failed attempts to recreate the sound of Down On the Upside’s highpoint “Burden in My Hand����������� ”���������� . Overall King Animal’s second half falls away badly in comparison to such a stunning opening. In terms of a comeback record, this is an immensely impressive album that demonstrates Soundgarden’s remarkable musicianship and, at times, reminds you of their brutal and imposing best. However, whilst it certainly does not tarnish their legacy in any way, nothing on this album is as immediate and striking as their seminal works Badmotorfinger and Superunknown. Jack Skelton
create a ‘woe is me’ melancholic cry for help but provide a basis for a potentially good hit.
By no means a 'rock album'” “Snakeskin” starts with a soft guitar riff and a strong Nirvana-esque drawl, but Example's attempt to abandon his sing-song rap to create a legitimate rock song inevitably fails as it evolves into a bouncy dance tune. It would appear as though Example woke up and thought “I’m going to make a rock album” and decided to ditch this thought halfway through the song after a half-hearted attempt, which makes it impossible to take his new album seriously. It seems somehow like a forced attempt to create a rock album, but he’s constantly being pulled back with his inconsistency and inability to let go of his trademark electro beats. Despite the disjointed rhythms of switching between rock and hip hop, this creates an unpredictably endearing rhythm so we can forgive Example for his musical faux-pas. However, if he doesn’t ditch the drums and stick to what he is good at, it will surely be “rock” bottom for Example. Lucinda Ross
Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Into the eyes of the Panther
Lia Sanders tries something new as she allows herself to be dragged along to see hair metal rockers Steel Panther
the baseballs Good Ol' Christmas Warner Music
ith voices as smooth as silk and W so warming they’re almost alcoholic, it’s time to get all Christmassy
with The Baseballs. In their Christmas album Good Ol’ Christmas they cover all the favourites from “Let It Snow” to “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”, so that there’s something for everyone. It’s not your traditional Christmas voices like Sinatra, but there is something in their soothing vocals that means they fit in anyway.
Little mix DNA SYCO
ertain track titles on the debut alC bum by Little Mix seem hell-bent on tempting fate. “Pretend It’s OK” and “Going Nowhere” seem to mark out this album perfectly as a launchpad for yet another X Factor winner’s short-lived story. Despite the cringe-worthy overuse of the ‘girl power’ theme, which frankly should never have outlived the Spice Girls, we must give credit to Little Mix for their presence (albeit sparse) in the writing credits, a very brave thing to do. But it seems Little Mix have gotten
Even more incredibly, most of the women complied with the demands and by the time that a heap of girls are dragged up on stage it became hard to convince them to keep their clothes on and their hands off the band. The artists were visibly discomforted by this – they are not the sex maniacs that they pretend to be but 40 year old men, one of whom is a former teacher – but keen
At times however, The Baseball’s signature upbeat and bouncy rhythms should leave beloved Christmas songs alone. In “Winter Wonderland” – a usually relaxed tune – it’s mixed up with clunky vocals along with an oddly paced backing track. It just sounds messy. Even the most ‘bah humbug’ amongst us would disapprove. In tracks such as “Silent Night”, the mix of retro rock sounds with classic vibes is unique, but without their electric guitars to liven things up, an already slightly dry number is made worse. Track after track of Elvis-esque numbers makes you slightly confused that it isn’t the king himself singing. It all makes the album seem a little predictable. Basically, Elvis could have done this exact same album a few decades ago and it wouldn’t have sounded any different. It’s
a shame considering the band usually provides pleasant and chirpy alternate versions of pop favourites, but maybe extending this to festive occasions is simply going too far. In their highlight track “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, the band goes some way to redeeming themselves as it is more what you would come to expect from The Baseballs and gives bounce to the album. Despite their somewhat different versions of the classics, you find yourself forgiving any musical felonies as soon as you hear their voices. In all their charm, the band seems to pull off the tracks on the album, but not to any great standard. Maybe it’s just a little too early to be thinking about your Christmas soundtrack but The Baseballs leave you feeling a little deflated about the whole occasion. Kate Walker
a little, er, mixed up lyrically speaking. Take the nonsensical “I remember the day when we rowed all night” as just one of many examples. They also combine Spanish guitar with the decidedly unromantic lyrics, “Sick of you playing on that Xbox thing”. Parts of DNA sound closer to a collection of veteran divas in a warbling contest than a young, timid group of girls, especially in recent single “DNA”. It’s an enormous shame, because it makes you picture Little Mix as a bunch of wild, pent-up, cynical girls when they’re probably really quite nice. Although the record suffers somewhat from the clunky ineloquence of the lyrics, there’s no denying the music itself is good. With a lot of nods to 90s R&B vibes floating through its seams, there’s taste in abundance in the production, but DNA lacks excitement and contrib-
utes nothing new of its own. Undoubtedly the most disappointing moment is “Red Planet,” which features T-Boz from TLC, a fact that means the song is approached with high expectations, but sounds obnoxiously straitlaced rather than ‘CrazySexyCool’. Given DNA’s failure to spark a girlband revolution, and the impending dissolution of the masters of the form, Girls Aloud (sorry guys, it’s highly likely), the question must be asked: is there a real future for the manufactured female pop act, or are Little Mix with their cousins Stooshe and The Saturdays a sign of the subgenre’s downward trajectory? On the basis of this album it would appear Little Mix are indeed just the newest, unfortunate victims of the dreaded ‘winner’s curse’ after all… like we didn’t all see that coming. Elsie Ward
Steel panther pr
quote; not even one the size of a ladybird. Nothing. Nada. Yet I ended up being the accompanying party to see Steel Panther chiefly because it was felt that my shocked reaction to their obscene lyrics would be hilarious to watch. If you are not familiar with this parodic hair metal band a small sample of titles should give you an idea – “Asian Hooker”, “Party All Day (F*ck All Night)”, “Golddigging Whore”. I really didn’t know what to expect of a gig filled with metal-heads but in my worst imaginings (don’t tell my friend) I envisaged being the victim of some sort of crime. When we arrived there was a whole range of different types of audience goer. There were the proper middleaged metal fans, still wearing the same jackets that Ozzy Osbourne had spat out bat blood on; the younger Opium types; those who adored Steel Panther and had gone to ridiculous lengths in emulating their leopard print lycra costumes; and many who were really quite normal looking and clearly planning a night out. This reflects the nature of Steel Panther. Considered by some to be better than the hair metal bands that they mock and simultaneously idolise, they attract hardcore metal fans, mainstream fans looking for a great show and those who just enjoy a lot of crudity.
The support band caused me plenty of hilarity, however. Falling Red were exactly how I would have imagined a metal band with a lot of completely incomprehensible screaming, some Russell Brand-esque hair and people on stage who had apparently forgotten the need to wear a shirt underneath their leather jackets. The crowd was clearly unenthused and they passed with the whimper of a discordant guitar cord rather than the bang of a drum roll. With the entrance of Steel Panther the atmosphere was visibly different. The stage was a campy triumph of colour and flashing lights. Their shows seem to be successful because they are such works of performance. Conversations during the breaks between songs are as rehearsed as the music but yet still receive huge responses from the audience. Their stage personas are foul-mouthed and overblown caricatures. In a way, it has the over exaggerated and slightly ridiculous feel of a panto. I was fine with the ridiculous sexism until women on their boyfriend’s shoulders started getting heckled at to take their tops off. At this point I was clinging very hard to the idea that it is all a very clever mockery of the worst misogyny of the genre, although the idea of any female being yelled at by entire room of people to remove her clothes is one that I still find deeply unsettling. Has everyone quite grasped the parody? This is still a joke, right?
STEEL PANTHER: Dude looks like a lady. not to drop character they gently stop the women from going too far. All this nudity made me start wondering about who was really in control and begin to ponder the power of the male gaze. Despite this one blip, though, I found the whole thing surprisingly and hugely enjoyable. It turned out that my biggest danger was the risk of being crushed by the weight of a 15 stone man
who looked rather similar to my old art teacher as he jumped up and down with sheer joy. By the end, I found myself shouting “One more tune” with the rest of them, amazed that it wasn’t more of an endurance test. Perhaps I’ve realised that, like the teacher turned lead guitarist, there is more to this genre that at first meets the eye or the ear.
Little mix pr
et’s get one thing straight: I have L never wanted to get a tattoo. Not a witty one, not an intensely personal
LITTLE MIX: Facing the winner's curse.
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Star Rating Giant Sand Big Deal Regular John Little Mix Tiny Dancer
GLASGOW CATHOUSE 17/11/2012
the last few years, a strange pheIsomennomenon has been happening to of our old punks. The fires are
still there but rather than going out and screaming and shouting about it they are picking up an acoustic guitar and turning to folk music to get their point across. Chuck Ragan is one of these punks. The frontman for Hot Water Music now tours the world with his brainchild, The Revival Tour, which takes together a selection of musicians to play folk music and have a great time. The first thing that is clear about his tour is just how different it is from others. There is no hierarchy here with the headliners hiding away until their set. Instead, everyone joins everyone else
ENTER SHIKARI INTERVIEW fter the release of Enter Shikari’s A third album, A Flash Flood Of Colour, earlier in the year and just be-
fore they begin their UK December tour, The Student caught up with front man, Rou Reynolds who chatted about Thailand, festivals and the future. First things first, how did you come up with the band name? We were aware of the word because my uncle had a boat and it was called Shikari, which means The Hunter in various Indian languages, and yeah, when we first made the band it was quite an atmospheric alternative from punk and it kind of fitted.
ROC MARCIANO Reloaded DECON
ake no mistake – Roc Marciano M is a talented MC and producer. When everything syncs together his
technical and free-flowing style of rapping is impressive and even hypnotic. Reloaded, Roc’s follow-up to the also excellent Marcberg, follows the trajectory initially set out in the 90s by MC’s like GZA and Talib Kweli while seemingly ignoring the last decade of hiphop production. Not that Roc’s style sounds derivative – he has an incredible way of bending language to his will to make strings of monosyllabic rhymes sound very slick indeed and gratifying when spit over the downbeat samples that phrase this album. He is at times limited by the breadth of his lyrics, though, which can become boxed in by the usual hip-hop tropes (expensive cars, beautiful women, celebrating both with expensive booze). This can lend it a sometimes insincere vibe on an album which is otherwise honest and revealing. Roc expresses both his pride in accomplishment and disillusionment with his trade in the very first song ‘Tek to a Mack’. “I love the art but it’s a business / D’s trying to pin us / Cause what I do with the pen is stupendous”. Punctuated by sound-bites of self-destructive pimps and prostitutes alike Roc often takes on the part of half philosopher – half hustler on Reloaded. The more interesting material in this album focuses on our MC’s dissonance with the lifestyle
on stage and there is a constant rotation of musicians appearing to delight the audience. Chuck himself turns up at least once in nearly every set and you can’t help feeling this is how music was meant to be played. There is no down time between sets as one musician just introduces the next and everyone here appears to be pulling in the same direction. Opening up the bill was Cory Branan who starts things off with aplomb. Obviously of the belief that this kind of set is more built for storytelling than speaking down to an audience he regularly moves away from his microphone to allow only his voice to provide amplification, a process that he takes to its extremes with his final song when he unplugs his guitar and does his entire last song unamplified, turning the Cathouse into a tiny room
as everyone strains to hear. Up next is Emily Barker who many in the audience may have seen support Frank Turner last time he was in Glasgow and joining him when he opened the Olympic opening ceremony with her band the Red Clay Halo. Tonight she is mesmerizing as she runs her way through a selection of delicate, beautiful songs that must mean nearly everyone in the audience falls madly in love with her. Set highlights like 'Blackbird' show just how talented this Australian born musician is. Following Barker may seem like a tough job but Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash fame manages to do it. He opens without an instrument himself, instead taking all his backing from Joe Ginsberg, Jon Gaunt and The Dead Coast (who provide backing music to everyone throughout the night) .
He sings his way onto the stage in a way that instantly catches your attention. Finishing up with an old Trinidadian protest song there is a moment that perfectly sums up tonight as Rocky Votolato misses his moment to come in on the harmonica and the whole stage (which includes most of the other musicians by this time) freezes while they wait for it before bursting into laughter. Rocky does manage to make it onto stage for his own set and his selection of acoustic tracks continues the theme of the night, which is near perfection. Finally, Chuck Ragan hits the stage to a hero’s reception for his own set and launches into a selection of tracks mainly taken from his latest album Covering Ground. Ragan is a natural stage presence and as he leads the audience through tracks like 'Valentine'
and 'Wish on the Moon' they are in the palm of his hand. His brand of folk contains enough of that punk rock spirit to keep an audience, who seem to be more used to witnessing Ragan in his day job, interested and when everyone else from the tour joins him on stage for the encore it feels like a party that we have all been invited to. There is something special about the Revival Tour. Instead of feeling like a military organised event it instead just seems like a group of friends who have been kind enough to invite you to watch them jam and have fun. Make sure you are there next year. Stuart Iversen
You brought out A Flash Flood Of Colour at the beginning of the year, did you have a particular inspiration for that album? It’s hard to pin it down because it’s not like we just sat down or some event happened or we wrote about something specific. The music and the lyrics reflect our lives in general and our thoughts; the things we want to say. Musically we were inspired by everything from punk to classical to house to drum and bass, all sorts of stuff.
only saw the village that we were staying in which was a picturesque fishing village completely untouched by tourism. It was really nice, a good location which allowed us complete concentration without any distractions from the outside world and we could get our heads down.
just everyone’s out to have a good time. You can’t really beat it!
Do you have a favourite venue to play in the UK? When you literally play shows three hundred days a year, the venues start to get very blurry and hard to remember and it’s difficult to differentiate between each one, there’s so many good venues! Sometimes it can be the sweaty shitholes that can be the funnest shows!
You recorded A Flash Flood Of Colour in Thailand. What was that like? Had any of you ever been there before? No, I’d never been before. Rob had been there before. He did a travelling trip over there so he was very dead set on us going. Thailand is incredible, we that rewards him while providing little for those around him. In fact this album is quite dense - those looking for Kanye style hooks or anthems best look elsewhere. The samples that are spread throughout further the album’s dark and often downbeat vibe. Many are based on solo instruments playing jazz lines which if they were not being rapped over would sound more at home on a Miles Davis B-side for a French film noir flick (Check out the lazy trumpet line on ‘20 Guns’). At times this can make Reloaded a little unapproachable – but those who stay for a few listens will be rewarded by Roc’s unique blend of incisive hip hop. James Tuchel
GIRLS ALOUD Something New POLYDOR
he girls are back in town and they T come bearing possibly the best pop song of the year. After a contender
for the worst opening lyric of all time in “Go girls g-g-go-go-go”, the track recovers and its lovely layered verses build up magnificently to its immediately infectious chorus. After their hiatus, 'Something New' feels fresh, while at the same time harking back to the more edgy empowered side first displayed in 'Sound of the Underground'. They aren’t exactly overhauling their winning formula, but the club-like synths and sirens hint at, well, something new.
Do you have a favourite festival to play? Well I mean, Reading and Leeds, that’s the one we went to as kids so that weekend has a special place in our hearts. There are so many good ones. Sziget in Hungary is always really good fun. It’s a hard one! Pretty much all the European festivals this year, it’s the best bit about being in a band really. You get away, you get to play with all these incredible bands on one bill and just that festival vibe as well you know,
We were inspired by everything from punk to classical" Can we expect to see you at any festivals next summer? Probably, we don’t know which yet. That’ll be when we’re coming to the end of our touring cycle so we’ll probably be doing a few festivals. Which has been your favourite band so far to tour with? Either you’ve supported them or they’ve supported you? Well we toured with The Prodigy, which was a dream come true for us. It was amazing. So yeah, The Prodigy.
You are about to embark on your UK December tour, are you all excited? Yeah, yeah, we can’t wait! We’re on a support tour at the moment in the US and we’re already starting to plan, doing all the production and planning the set, so it’s starting to get really exciting! Laura Cain
With their three year absence filled by the likes of The Saturdays and Little Mix, Girls Aloud have well and truly put them back in their place with a brilliant piece of pop; their closing lyric “We’re the leaders of the pack” proving especially apt. Tom Kinney
RUDIMENTAL Not Giving In WARNER MUSIC
udimental, the quartet who rose R to fame with 'Feel the Love', have something more to them than a normal
chart topping dance artist. There is a lot of substance and diversity to 'Not Giving In'. It begins with the raw, soulful voice, an addition of Ronson-style jazzy brass, alongside a crescendo of drums which foreshadow the track’s dance genre. This crescendo ends with a stable military beat to accompany the soulful second verse, where the voice is forever pushing the boundaries of a conventional verse to chorus division; it sounds live and spontaneous. The diversity begins with a slow piano part, where a drop yields an electro dub-step section. The track’s ending harmonies divert from the dance sounds, giving the track explosive, powerful closure. Overall, this track shows Rudimental are capapble of much more than some usually forgettable club dance tracks; they are capable of surprising us. Courtney Paynter
THE REVIVAL TOUR
ENTER SHIKARI: Catch Roughton and co. on their December Tour
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Is this the best test to put sexism to rest?
Nina Seale uses the Bechdel Test to discuss the extent to which today’s films support sexism in the cinema atasha Romanoff: sexy, leather clad N spy in The Avengers. Selina Kyle/ Catwoman: sexy, leather clad cat burglar
The Bechdel Test is a measure of the significance of women within films. It is not a test of how feminist a film may be, or of how sexy the women are, but it gives an indication of whether there is a fair balance between genders within the plotline. To pass the Bechdel Test, a film must have two or more named female characters that talk to each other about something other than a man. It is surprising how many films manage to fail these simple requirements, even when the female protagonist takes up most of the screen time. Within the past year
End of watch Directed by david ayer e’re the police and we’re here to W arrest you”, are the words used to open David Ayer’s incredible new cop film and, where Ayer’s other films might, End of Watch does not disappoint. Punchy from the opening line to the very finish it takes the audience on the journey through the eyes of two members of the LAPD.
Where other cop films all have generic plot lines, this film explodes into a complex series of events." Officers Brian Taylor ( Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) work on the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles, “the hardest divi-
BOYS, BOYS, BOYS : These women don't just talk about men, they also love rings, dresses and handbags.... there have been a surprising number of failures, with female characters as token as the few people of colour that accompany the gang of white males that dominate today’s movies. Having said that, credit can go to the blockbusters that have developed female relationships, such as the mother and daughter bond in Brave, Katniss’ relationship with her family and fellow tribute Rue in Hunger Games, the hatred between Snow White and the Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman and last year’s hit The Help, which centred around the relationship between a young white sion in the LAPD”. With the help of the partners’ clip-on video cameras we follow the pair into car chases, gunfights and burning buildings. On what seems to be an ordinary day's patrol, the pair stumble upon a human trafficking operation controlled by a cartel and get themselves involved more than others would like. Where other cop films have generic plot lines, this film explodes into a complex series of events from the start, however, it still manages to centre itself around the friendship of the two partners, Taylor and Zavala. It may seem disjointed to the viewers, but it is clear that the bond between these officers is strong. Gyllenhaal and Peña’s performances are outstanding; a true bromance if ever there was one. While watching the film, it feels like you personally know the characters, emphasised by the use of the video cameras they take on patrol with them. When they say that they would take a bullet for each other, it doesn’t seem cheesy or forced, you genuinely believe it, which is quite an achievement.
woman and two black maids during the civil rights era in the US. So why is this still a problem? Women have equal rights to men in western society, female employment has risen significantly during the past decade and they are protected under anti-discrimination law. However, the role of women in society does not seem to be reflected by how they are perceived and this is what the Bechdel Test is for. Natalie Portman complained in her 2008 interview with Time magazine that “it sickens me how many scripts I get where the woman is a stripper or a
prostitute. I also have this sort of goodgirl image – it’s such a virgin-whore thing with female roles.” Despite being seventy years on, this reflects Freud’s Madonna-whore complex, where women can be sexy and degraded or sexually repressed and respected. Luckily these days it is not so black and white, but the female characters that develop fighting skills and badass comebacks are still usually alone within the action genre – a love interest thrown in with very little back story and usually an incredibly sexy leather costume. The truth is that some of the most
The truth is that some of the most popular mainstream genres are male-orientated... fuelled by violence." So, although most of us see the feminists’ fight as being over, there is still a battle over the way women should behave and be portrayed. The trade-off between being attractive and being assertive still seems to exist within the fantasy world of film. Perhaps, however, it is not very fair to blame the filmmakers and scriptwriters for the way women are portrayed, as they are just moulding their work to what society wants to buy tickets to see.
The Bechdel Test is a measure of the significance of women within films... not a test of how feminist a film is."
in The Dark Knight Rises. Gwen Stacy: high school girlfriend of Peter Parker in The Amazing Spiderman. Gloria: the bossy hippo in the Madagascar gang. Jane Carter: gun-toting IMF agent in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Marilyn Monroe: the most famous sex symbol of all time, portrayed by Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn. Whether or not you think these characters have any depth or intelligence beyond the virgin/whore stereotype of women depicted in films nowadays, they all star as the female leads in movies that have failed the Bechdel Test.
popular mainstream genres are maleorientated. Action films are fuelled by testosterone and violence, so of course the cast is going to be dominated by muscly male leads. In the audience men envy these protagonists and women want to be with them. It is rather more shameful that the romantic comedy genre has risen up out of an almost entirely female viewership and yet is still completely obsessed with men. A recent example of this was the blockbuster Bridesmaids, which starred six named female characters. Thankfully this Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated film does pass the Bechdel Test, but the plotline still revolves around relationships – the characters would have nothing to say to each other if it wasn’t for their desires to find and marry a man.
BUDDIES FOR LIFE : He'd take a bullet for him, but Jake Gyllenhaal can't get over MIcahael Peña's awful driving The use of the documentary style video cameras also helps to build tension throughout the film. Rather than watching from an outsider’s perspective, the audience is right in the middle of the action as it unfolds. You never get to see the bigger picture, only what they
themselves see. End of Watch truly does give the audience an authentic view of life as an LAPD officer. It’s a gritty, heartbreaking tale of two friends and is not to be missed.
All films were reviewed at cineworld
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Star Rating Messiah Eats Papaya Pandamonium at Passover Commotion at the Crucifixion Danger in the MangerFrom Fulham to Jerusalem
SILVER LININGs PLAYBOOK Directed bY DAVID O. Russell
him discharged from a psychiatric ward and back in the real world. Because, after assaulting one of his colleagues for sleeping with his wife, Pat Solitano (Cooper) has lost everything. He is now living back with his parents (portrayed by an enjoyably remorseful Robert De Niro and a hilariously wideeyed Jacki Weaver) and desperate to find a positive side to his life.
While often absurd, the comedy rarely gets out of hand thanks to very solid, precise performances." Under the illusion that he can save his marriage, Patrick quickly befriends widow Tiffany (played by an excellent Jennifer Lawrence) who has just come off Prozac after sleeping with “everyone in the office”. For reasons of her own, she decides to act as a proxy between
GAMBIT Directed by michael hoffman
n this new remake of the 1966 film, Colin Firth stars as Harry Deane, an art curator and employee of multimillionaire Lionel Shahbandar (Alan Rickman). Shahbandar is an art collector and is obsessed with obtaining a certain lost painting by Monet. With the help of Texan rodeo girl PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz), Deane plans to fool his employer into buying a fake copy of this painting but all does not go according to plan. The audience is drawn into the story early on and the ‘dream sequence’ towards the beginning of the film showing us Deane’s intended plan works well to set up the events that follow. There are some funny and tense
Cameron Diaz's character is twodimensional and relies on a stereotype... there seems no reason for Firth's Harry Deane to be inspired by her." moments as we watch the adventure unfold; travelling to Texas to meet the hardy cowgirl Puznowski, Deane losing his trousers whilst scaling the Savoy and tackling a guard-lion in Shahbandar’s mansion. These silly moments in the film are likely to get a giggle from younger members of the
he cop movie really is a genre in T its own right. It dances around in the realms of the thriller, fraternises
ok, I’m remaking myself ” mutters Iaftert’sa flustered Bradley Cooper minutes Silver Linings Playbook has found
WHAT SILVER LINING?: Jen is not best pleased at Brad's decision to hang a random family's portrait on the wall him and his wife as long as Patrick accompanies her to a dancing event. Though hardly original, this platform allows the film to step into undeniably sensitive territory, and somehow deliver lighthearted comedy and surprising honesty. While often absurd, the comedy rarely gets out of hand thanks to very solid, precise performances, and due to the fact that the film is comfortable in its own skin. The small cliches that one would expect to produce a cringe rather than a grin, actually work and usually ring true. Silver Linings excellently plays audience and overall the film is light and humorous. Alan Rickman plays Deane’s abusive and intimidating boss superbly. Firth and Rickman work well together on screen and although clearly the ‘bad guy’, Shahbandar is not altogether unlikeable. Firth plays his part well, however chemistry between him and Diaz’s character is often lacking. The subplot involving Deane’s jealousy of Shahbandar and his seduction of the rodeo girl comes across as cliched, unnecessary and unconvincing.
Firth and Rickman work well together on screen and although clearly the 'bad guy', Shahbander is not altogether unlikable." Diaz’s character is two-dimensional and relies on a stereotype; if we as the audience do not warm to her, there seems no reason for Deane, an educated Englishman with taste in fine art, to be inspired by her.
There are some funny and tense moments." Puznowski’s age is also ambiguous; in the film Diaz looks as if she is playing a character a lot younger than herself, making her even less believable. The film has an unexpected ending and explains its story well, however apart from a few funny moments and slapstick comedy involving Firth, there is not much to watch.
with the notion that everyone has a bit of mental illness in them and delicately addresses important issues, avoiding excess or sentimentalism.
The film delicately addresses important issues, avoiding excess and sentimentalism." It is therefore a little too disappointing when, in its second half, the film falls right into the abyss it has so care-
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger Directed by Debbie Isitt hristmas is upon us; surprisingly C this film wasn’t released in midOctober when Christmas really begins in the eyes of the media. If you haven’t had enough of Christmas already with every other television advert (with the exception of the glorious John Lewis advert) and shop window embracing the festivities then this film is as full of Christmas ‘cheer’ as Santa is with mince pies. As far as Christmas films go, Nativ-
Laughs are aplenty throughout, it is difficult however to decipher whether one is laughing at an intended joke or at the sheer implausibility of the whole situation." ity 2 is most certainly aimed at younger children, at a stretch an underdeveloped teenager. The plot revolves around Mr Peterson (David Tennant) who arrives at a chaotic school as the fourth in a line of short-lived teachers including the previous film’s teacher Mr Maddens (Martin Freeman); none it seems could handle the pressure of the manic classroom assistant Mr Poppy, played by Marc Wootton. The children are keen to enter this year’s ‘Song for Christmas’ competition and Mr Poppy is going to do everything in his power to make the
fully evaded. Just when you’re thinking that the film’s anticipated love story is somewhat satisfying in its sincere naivety, Silver Linings goes and ruins it all with a dance competition. It seems that the writers just couldn’t resist giving their audience the conventional Hollywood kissing-on-the-street ending. Fortunately, by the time this happens the film will have probably lured you in with its irresistible lightheartedness so that even the cruellest of cynics will find it hard to judge too harshly and will probably smile, even if it’s despite themselves. Pavlos Maniatopoulos school and Mr Peterson go along with the children’s wishes.
Even those with a soft spot for David Tennant will find the film wearing as the immature humour and festive cheer becomes too much to bear." Laughs are aplenty throughout, it is difficult however to decipher whether one is laughing at an intended joke or at the sheer implausibility of the whole situation. It is this implausibility that is the film’s crowning achievement, no mountain is too high as children are seen abseiling down sheer cliff faces, performing vocal performances worthy of any auto-tuned star and yes, even laying a chocolate fudge dragon in their pants.
This film will leave you in a good mood." Although this film will leave you in a good mood, it certainly drags on. After initial enjoyment one will find themselves sitting through an entire episode of The X Factor as the ‘Song for Christmas’ competition ensues. Even those with a soft spot for Tennant will find the film wearing as the immature humour and festive cheer becomes too much to bear. We must remember, however, that this is a film for young children. So, if like me, you are a sloth after Christmas lunch this would be a good movie to throw in the DVD player, but don’t go out of your way to see it. James Wood
with action and sometimes has a little love affair with the romcom, but ultimately, it’s its own man. Or, rather, it’s two men. Generally, it’s the chemistry of a kick-ass duet that really pulls these films through the thick and thin of their plot lines. The bromance between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Starsky and Hutch (2004) is the film’s driving force. They fall out when Starsky accidentally kills Vince Vaughn’s pony, there’s tension when Hutch succeeds in having a threesome with two cheerleaders: no one follows their actual case. 21 Jump Street (2012) follows another developing relationship. Channing Tatum fits neatly into the dumb but hot cop stereotype, playing Greg Jenko, while Jonah Hill, as Morton Schmidt, fits into the traditional role of the brainy but chubby nerd. Enemies at high school, the pair bond in police academy and finally graduate as partners. The progress of their bonding is the movie’s real moral purpose. The Brits too can work with the duo scheme just as well. Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz (2007) sources its comedy from the interplay between the ambitious Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) and his naive partner, PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). They are brought together through cinematic feats of engineering, such as “the Battle of Somerfield”, and, to the audience’s delight, become the ultimate murderous villager fighting team. The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese, however, manipulates the tradition to create a dark, psychological take on the genre. Pitched against one another, Billy Costigan (Leonardo diCaprio), as a police mole within the mafia, and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), as a mafia mole within the police, battle together to try and re-establish their true identity. Yet Eddie Murphy, it seems, needs no one to cover his back. He can make the ultimate cop movie all by himself, as shown in Beverley Hills Cop, the film that catapulted Murphy to stardom in 1984. Severed from his sceptical department, he prowls around fighting crime as a lone wolf. However, arguably in this case he has a metaphorical partner in the form of the film’s celebrated theme tune. Remixed by Crazy Frog in 2005, “Axel F” reached number one in New Zealand, Australia and most of Europe and is cherished in the hearts of millions. So Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena have a lot to live up to. Hold your breath and see if they can deliver in the newest cop film on the block, End of Watch. Melissa Lawford
Tuesday November 27 2012 Follow us on twitter @TheStudentPaper or on Facebook at facebook.com/TheStudentNewspaper studentnewspaper.org email@example.com
Adam Buxton Jarvis Cocker Steve LamaqHuey MorganNemone
’m convinced that Limmy’s Show! is a work of pure unadulterated genius. But tragically like many great artists and their masterpieces, it looks as if it may well go unappreciated in its own time. Brian ‘Limmy’ Limond, writer, director and star of the show, is the Vincent Van Gogh of BBC sketch comedy. Neglected by the corporation, he is cast out on BBC Scotland as a comic pariah, and his surreal, quirky and often bleak skits are seemingly destined to be viewed only amongst the discerning Scottish public (and those who stumble across it on iPlayer of course). The high quality of the first couple of episodes of the currently airing third series has again got fans and critics alike asking just why the powers that be at the BBC have decided not to expose the show to a wider audience. The show is conspicuous by its absence across the national schedules because it’s not as if there isn’t a recent precedent for successful Scottish comedies to be aired nationwide, a fact proved by last year’s national exposure for popular BBC Scotland comedies Gary: Tank Commander and Burnistoun. Limmy, who has picked up a Scottish BAFTA for the show, is consistently lauded by figures of the comedy establishment. Little Britain’s Matt Lucas, Father Ted writer Graham Linehan and fellow sketch show comic Peter Serfinowicz are all admirers of the show, and he commands a cult leader status amongst his fans, especially on Twitter, which he uses relentlessly. Unfortunately, I suspect that his use of the social networking site might be the underlying reason behind the BBC’s hesitancy to broadcast across Britain. For Limmy is, by his own admission, a Twitter troll, and an incident last year brought him to a larger audience than his show has to date. A couple of ill-advised, provocative yet clearly ironic, tweets relating to Margaret Thatcher posted by Limmy were soon picked up by the voice of reason and rationality that is former Conservative politician Louise Mensch, and a Twitter controversy subsequently ensued. He soon apologised for the tweets, but the episode certainly won’t have done his standing much good amongst the higher echelons of the BBC’s hierarchy, and with the broadcaster engulfed in its current quagmire, you’d think that there would be very little chance that they’d be willing to abandon the safe Michael McIntyre style of comedy that is increasingly defining its comedy output. It seems unlikely that they will take the risk on a subversive Scottish comedian with the ability to grossly offend, which is a shame, because Limmy’s Show! is a fresh and bold sketch comedy, and they don’t come around too often. Joe Patten
Sofa slobs of the world unite Jack Murray examines the return of the BBC's quiet hit which looks at love, warts and all Him and her BBC Three Sunday, 10pm
itched in a key of normal, Him and Her crawls out of bed for its third series. Retaining the gorgeous mix of gravitas and grossness that lifts it out of generic expectations and into a different sphere of skewed beauty, it’s an adorable belch of relationship reality and a smart peek through the keyhole of Unambitious Britain. Picking up where series two left off, in the squashed squalor of 20-something unemployed couple Steve and Becky’s flat, this opening double header seeks to set up what the central narrative arc of the series will be. Steve, played with the dopey charm of a monkey in a bow tie by Russell Tovey, has purchased a ring and is ready to ask Becky (Sarah Solemani) to go one step further than co-existing on a diet of crisps and morning sex, and marry him.
the secret of crickley hall BBC 1 Sundays, 9pm
ow do you avoid cliches when filming a haunted house thriller? The BBC’s new drama, The Secret of Crickley Hall, doesn’t even try. Old, large and isolated house: check. Nice new family moving in: check. Creepy cellar: check. Eerie rattling cupboard: check. Dog sensing evil spirits before the humans do: check. Barkeep retelling a local legend… I could go on. The strange thing about Crickley Hall is that, despite the cliches, it still manages to be both frightening and deeply intriguing. The story is based on the 2006 novel by horror legend James Herbert, directed and adapted by Joe Ahearne. When Eve Caleigh (Suranne Jones) takes her son for a walk in the park, she mysteriously falls asleep on a bench and awakes to find her son has vanished. One year on, the still grief-stricken family move into Crickley Hall, located in the village where dad Gabe (Tom Ellis) has found a new job. Weird things soon start to happen - of course. Doors open and close of their own accord; wet footprints creep across the floor and up the Hitchcockian twisted stairs. A psychic connection between Eve and her son seems to be broken when he disappears, but when the family moves into Crickley Hall the connection is re-established, preventing viewers from shouting ‘why don’t you just leave?!’ at the screen. The family cannot leave the house when Eve can hear her son calling to her from within its walls;
Once he’s bumbled through the obstacle course of flat invading cranks that is. Perennial hangers on, Paul (Ricky Champ) now moustached and childishly astounded by his new place of burly solace: ‘the gym’, and his pregnant fiancée Laura (Kerry Howard) who has a squawking venom and a blooming kleptomania to accompany her viviparous state provide a serious stumbling block in Steve’s plan to propose, whilst also representing the perfect antithesis to his and Becky’s adorable bond. They’re snappy, cold and narcissistic with an uncomfortable craving for compliments and alongside the warm, languishing and mainly horizontal relationship of Steve and Becky, they stand for the reactionary version of modern love that wants a round of applause for a dinner dined without murder and a party thrown for an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, this sitcom, though its grubby aesthetic and penchant for the crude and the not-so-euphemistic might potentially melt it’s message into base vulgarity, is in fact a compressed consideration of 2012’s various branches
a clever plot device. The story cuts between 2012 and 1943, when the house was an orphanage run by sadistic, cane-wielding Augustus Cribben, played with brilliant psychotic fervour by Douglas Henshall, and his weird sister Magda, played with sinister iciness by Sarah Smart.
The acting is consistently stellar, the deep, rumbling music effectively goosebump-inducing, and the plot zips along at a satisfying speed, drawing you deeper and deeper in." When intelligent young schoolmistress Nancy Linnet comes to teach at the Hall, she bravely sets out to rescue the orphans from the Cribbens’ reign of terror. The acting is consistently stellar, the deep, rumbling music effectively goosebump-inducing, and the plot zips along at a satisfying speed, drawing you deeper and deeper in. The first episode left lots of questions unanswered: why the particularly brutal treatment of Jewish orphan Stefan? What happened in the flash flood of 1943? What’s the significance of the local myth regarding the Devil and Crickley Hall? I, for one, am eager to find out. Jacqueline Thompson
phil fisk/bbc/big talk
HIM AND HER: Who says romance is dead? of LOVE: Steve and Becky’s complete adoration, Paul and Laura’s hopeless trudge of forced civility and permanent pyjama wearer and creepy neighbour Dan’s ( Joe Wilkinson) blossoming romp of dainty naivety with his timid beloved Shelley (Camille Coduri). Crucially, each branch is trodden on by the other, as a spike of minimalist farce threads through the fabric of Becky and Steve’s life; with spontaneous picnics, uninvited half-brothers
and clumsy plasterers all colluding to stop the joyous squints of sarcasm and hallway hugging that they share when they’re alone. This is a shame, because it’s in these moments of quiet mundanity that Him And Her is most impressive, it’s in the silence of idle romance that the slick script of delicious wit can take a momentary backseat and let the universality of the show’s sentiment do the talking.
the adam and edith show
gressed, and the content was certainly better received on my second, less anxious listen via iPlayer. Bowman’s interview with Buxton’s obnoxious long-running character Ken Korda was undoubtedly the highlight of the show, offering some nostalgia to fans of Adam and Joe in its similarity to a recurring segment from their Channel 4 series. Ultimately, the show failed to reach the heady heights of the aforementioned pairing but is equally undeserving of some of the vitriol and constant comparisons observed online. Adam and Edith admitted on air that they are quite unfamiliar with one another and therefore their chemistry will always fail to match that of a long-term friendship and comedy partnership.
BBC 6 Music Saturdays, 10am
or fans of comedian Adam Buxton, the year and a half since he last graced the BBC 6 Music airwaves has been a long one. Despite his guesthosting stints on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and a TV version of his live show BUG, 6 Music just hasn’t been quite the same without ‘Dr. Buckles’. The radio presence of his long-term comedic partnership with Joe Cornish has become gradually more piecemeal as Joe has concentrated on his burgeoning film career. This has theoretically left Buxton at something of a loose end. He has flown solo before, fronting the rather enjoyable Big Mixtape amongst 6 Music’s brilliant Sunday line-up. But with the real prospect that Cornish is permanently uninterested in returning to radio, Buxton and 6 Music have apparently brainstormed other approaches. The result is The Adam and Edith Show. Many fans of Buxton and his work, received the news of DJ Edith Bowman’s appointment as his co-presenter with trepidation. Her vaguely humourless ‘too cool for school’ attitude most irrittatingly noticeable during her stint at Radio 1, was seemingly incompatible with the happy go lucky Buxton. The now dubbed A&E debuted on 6 Music in a noticeably reserved manner. Both presenters seem aware of the slight bizarreness of their set-up and approached their debut show cautiously. Procedures picked up as they pro-
Bowman has fitted into her role smoothly, cleverly neither entirely playing the straight man nor trying to match Buxton comedically." Moreover, Bowman has fitted into her role smoothly, cleverly neither entirely playing the straight man nor trying to match Buxton comedically. It seems likely that it will improve with time as the two get to know each other better, but the longevity of the pairing still remains highly doubtful. For now, this listener will continue to enjoy the always fantastic Adam Buxton operating in his element. Lindsey Crawford
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Tuesday November 27 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Sport 31 �
Should coaches be in the firing line?
takes A WRY look at the world of sport
Studying sport using science and statistics may feel completely detached from the sweat and strategy of the game itself, but it is inevitable that people try to plan and predict sport outcomes when there are such high betting stakes, as well as (let’s face it) emotional ties. When a favourite team starts to do poorly, one of the first instincts is to sack the coach. This past month has seen the Scottish Football Association (SFA) sack Craig Levein, Roberto Di Matteo’s two year contract with Chelsea terminated and Mano Menezes, coach of five-time world champions Brazil, fired by the Brazilian Football Confederation. This decision is justified by the need for a change of approach, as well as the sponsors and fans wanting to see proof of attempts to turn results around. But a study of college football teams by the University of Colorado and Loyola University Chicago has concluded that replacing the head coach mid-season for performance reasons is a bad decision and that on average the performances suffered in the aftermath of the management changeover. The groups of teams studied were similar except for one set of teams that replaced their coach to increase performance during the Football Bowl Subdivision between 1997 and 2010. An average of 10 per cent of FBS teams fired their coach each year within the study, the reasons being poor performances on the scoreboards. The teams’ performances were assessed for the four years following the coach replacement and the findings showed that on
Nina Seale questions the wisdom of sacking the coach when results don't go to plan in sport
SACKED: Craig Levein has lost his job as Scotland's football coach average if a team had been performing poorly, replacing the coach caused a brief improvement in results. However, this change was shortlived, and the records of mediocre teams (that had been losing about half their games in the year prior to coach replacement) deteriorated after their coach was asked to leave.
On average, performances suffer in the aftermath of a management change." Scott Adler, co-writer of the study published in Social Science Quarterly, commented that, “For every team that does better following a change, there is
another that sees a dip in performance. Moreover, there is just as much volatility in win/loss records of teams that do and do not replace their coaches.” This does not mean that there are no exceptions, but Adler says their findings demonstrate that “on average, replacing a coach in an attempt to boost performance is not a winning proposition.” As national football teams start to scramble for places in Brazil’s 2014 FIFA World Cup, some countries are jumping to hasty decisions to attempt to better their chances. Following two draws and two defeats in their first four qualification matches, on November 5 the SFA decided it was time to ask Levien to leave. With three qualifying matches scheduled for next year, it is clear SFA are still hoping that Scotland will manage a strong finish to their
campaign. Scotland is not the only country that has made the decision to sack its current coach in preparation for the World Cup. Indeed, host country Brazil has just fired Mano Menezes as coach for their national team, a decision that has split supporters and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in half: those who have been calling for Menezes’ dismissal and those who believe that changing the direction of the team now may have adverse effects on their chances of winning the World Cup on their own soil. Whilst coaching Brazil’s national team Menezes oversaw 21 wins, six draws and five defeats, but their attempt to win Olympic gold disappointed supporters and Brazil has fallen to 13th in the current FIFA world rankings, causing CBF president Jose Maria Marin to make the daring decision to remove Menezes from his position. Often the wisdom behind such a decision can lie in the potential replacement. It was surely no coincidence that QPR owner Tony Fernandes sacked Mark Hughes as Harry Redknapp, a man with a proven track record of avoiding relegation, looked set to leave the market and head for Ukraine. Pep Guardiola is rumoured to be interested in the Brazil post, a prospect to excite not just Brazilian fans but the rest of the world, too. With Scotland, however, the list of replacements seems unlikely to bring in a coach of a significantly higher calibre than Levein. Only time will tell whether this study will be proven correct in the case of Scotland and Brazil.
Cricket authority tests boundaries The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come under renewed fire this week after it banned photographic agencies from covering the first test against India. The criticism comes at the end of a year when many have questioned the hegemonic power it holds within the world game, brought into sharp focus by the Decision Review System (DRS) issue. The BCCI’s decision to lock out Getty Images, Action Images and two Indian photo agencies from covering the current India-England series has lead to Thomas Reuters, AgenceFrance-Presse and Associated Press all suspending text and photo coverage of the four Test series. British newspapers have in turn been utilising file images and spoof cartoons in online and print editions, after refusing to publish live pictures. This is not the first time that the BCCI has been under heavy public scrutiny this year. On the contrary, their decision not to adopt the Umpire DRS and centralisation of power and dictatorship with regard to rules in terms of the IPL has gained much current media attention. India have held a defiant stance against the most contentious aspect of the DRS, predicting the path of the
ball for leg before wicket (lbw) decisions, despite the recommendation of “universal declaration of the DRS” put forward by the ICC at their conference in Malaysia earlier this year. A report of the DRS system compiled by Dr Ed Rosten, an expert in computer vision technology based in Cambridge, was presented at the conference earlier this year. According to the ICC, Dr Rosten had “tested the accuracy and reliability of ball-tracking in a recent Test series and concluded that the results were 100 per cent in agreement with the outcomes produced from his assessments”. However, even before the last recommendation was put forward by the ICC, the secretary of the BCCI, Sanjay Jagdale, stated that despite the numerous recommendations, India’s stance on the matter remained unaltered. He stated that, “The BCCI continues to believe that the system is not foolproof. The board also sticks to its view that the decision on whether or not to use the DRS for a particular series should be left to the boards involved in that series.” The ICC has recognised that finance could be a factor in the use of DRS in countries such as Sri Lanka, but that is not an issue in India. In 2011, the
Amanda Scribante criticises the BCCI decisions that remain a bad influence on world cricket
SAY PLEASE: Indian cricket has criticised the DRS system BCCI’s estimated value was said to be £1.5 billion, making it one of the richest sporting organisations in the world. Harbouring such financial power has lead to claims that the BCCI has too much power in the cricketing world and that it acts as a dictator to the ICC. Michael Holding, former West Indies fast bowler was quoted in 2011 stating that, “They [the BCCI] have too much power. I do not believe any country should be able to dictate to the rest of the world. Only the organisation
that runs the sport should dictate its path. Individual boards are dictating certain things and that’s something I can’t agree with.” With Kevan Gosper, chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s press commission, amongst those to have criticised the BCCI stance, a final prominent question that should be asked is whether the above-mentioned series of events could hamper the chances of success of an ICC proposal for Twenty20 cricket to eventually become an Olympic sport.
Roman’s at it again
At the beginning of last week it looked as though November may pass without any managerial casualties – Premier League owners having had a strange bout of good will so far this season – but such is the nature of this dreaded month that two sackings quickly came along at once at clubs whose fortunes could not be any further apart. Abramovich held his nerve just long enough in this game of managerial chicken to ensure he only just pipped Tony Fernandes at the line. Chelsea will once again be able to present their own manager of the year prize at their end of season awards with at least two nominees already. As a result of Roman’s actions, Roberto Di Matteo will be sitting at home, Champions League and FA Cup medals in tow, crying into his ridiculously large severance package and waiting for the phone to ring with his next managerial approach. Oh how we should pity Robbie – the success of last season could only provide him with a stay of execution and now he is just an obscenely wealthy addition to the ever-increasing British unemployment statistics. Perhaps Mark Hughes’s sacking will touch a few more of your empathetic nerves. Several million pounds and the chance to spend Christmas with your family instead of spending weeks on end worrying about where QPR’s first win might come from may be difficult for the Welshman to take. It was merely 18 months ago that the former striker walked away from his rather boring role of keeping Fulham as a constant mid-table club and sprinted into the more excitable position of trying to make Rangers dead-certs for the drop. Having failed to relegate the club at the first attempt last season with Joey Barton as club captain – and despite seemingly being on the right track to succeed this year with numerous red cards, very few goals scored, lots of goals conceded, no wins and Adel Taarabt installed as the club’s MVP – Fernandes has decided that Harry Redknapp would be better suited to seal the deal. The vocation of a Premiership manager may seem glorious whilst it lasts, and in Robbie’s case he may have felt that his position was secure after his triumphs last season, but as Guns N’ Roses very succinctly put it, “nothin’ lasts forever, even cold November rain”. Nigel Adkins, Paul Lambert and Co. beware – the November rain, and the urge of Premier League chairmen to make managerial changes, has not quite passed over just yet. Chris Waugh
Tuesday November 27 2012
Firing a blank?
Nina Seale on whether sacking the coach is always the best move
Jones adds new string to her bow
Archer Naomi Jones claims impressive victory at the Face2Face tournament, report Hope Greenwood and Phil Smith BUCS Standings 8th Manchester 9th Edinburgh 10th Newcastle
Wednesday 21st November Results
CHAMPION : Naomi Jones claims her prestigious prize
Green army goes the distance
It was a performance that highlighted Edinburgh's dominance over Scottish cross country." There were therefore high expections expectations when the ‘Green Army’ arrived in Stepps, Glasgow on Saturday 17th of November, and these were emphatically met. The ladies set out first with two laps of the course, 7.5 km in total. The Haries created a sea of green with 19 ladies competing for the club, by far the larg-
eu hare and hounds
Ben Stevenson watches the Hare and Hounds dominate the Scottish University XC Championships A week after dominating Braid Hills cross country, Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds reached similar heights at this year's Scottish University XC Championships. Last year, the ‘Haries’ won the women’s team title from previous winners Dundee University, whilst completing a five year winning streak of the men's team title. Overall, the Haries have never lost the championship cup since their introduction to the competition in 2002.
GREEN ARMY: Edinburgh's runners dominated the field est turnout of any university. They took to the front straight away and remained there for the rest of the race. Rhona Auckland had no fear as she opened up a considerable gap during the first lap over former Commonwealth Games athlete Morah MacLarty of Dundee University. This lead continued to grow over the second lap as Auckland left Dundee University speechless. She finished over a minute faster than the runner who placed second. It was an incredibly dominant performance from the 19 year old, who now has her sights set on the European trials in Liverpool on November 24. Second Harie over the line was Christina Rankin in fourth place who also
1155 1037 1118.5
Edinburgh Points Breakdown 1st Swimming 150 2nd Hockey 133 3rd Fencing 100 4th Volleyball 86 5th Lacrosse 84 6th Tennis 82
previous World Cup champion Albina Loginova to make it into the finals on Sunday. Then in the semis Jones took on and beat world record holder Kristina Berger 4-3 to advance to the gold medal match. In the final, Jones faced previous tournament champion and current world field champion, Ivana Buden, coming from 2-0 down to win 4-2 with some intense one arrow shoot offs. Jones, who is a member of the University of Edinburgh Individual Performance Programme, adds this title to her impressive record from the past year, which has seen her take silver at Face2Face 2011, become British Indoor Champion, win two world bronze medals at the world championships in Las Vegas in February and representing Scotland at the GB open. Jones now turns her attention towards defending her national title in December .
Edinburgh University Archery Club and Scottish Squad member Naomi Jones continued her meteoric rise by taking victory at the prestigious Face2Face tournament; a competition in which four of the world's top ten took part. Jones took home a three thousand dollar prize and a significant boost to her prestige having proven she's now capable of competing with the world's very best. Jones said of her triumph, “it is fantastic to win this tournament and be the first British female to do so in my division. It exceeds my two bronze medals from the world championships, which I did not expect to do so soon.” Jones had a tense couple of early rounds, snatching the final qualifying place after the first round and ranking 11th of 12 after stage two. She came into her own in the final rounds, though, beating Camilla Soemod and
produced a very strong run. The ladies team was completed with Sarah Potter finishing strongly in 5th place. It was therefore no surprise that the ladies team thrashed the rest of the field with a total of only 10 points. Their rivals, Glasgow University, finished second with 26 points. Edinburgh’s B team would have finished joint second if secondary teams were allowed to contend for medals with Jenny Dybeck (6th), Megan Crawford (8th) and Steph Lawrie (12th) also finishing with a combined total of 26 points. There was a sense of deja vu as the men’s race followed shortly with more success for the team in green. Michael
Crawley led right from the start of the 10.7km course and never looked like he could be beaten. No one else came close to contesting for the gold as Crawley finished with a lead of one minute over Kerrick Hesse of Glasgow University. Edinburgh brought home the bronze medal as well with James Waldie finishing shortly behind. Patryk Gierjagowicz, another Harie, secured fourth place despite his best efforts as he chased down third place in the finishing straight. The Edinburgh men’s team's triumph was then completed with Tom Martyn coming home in 6th place. This gave the team a total of 14 points, once again thrashing the rest of the field. Much like the women’s B team, the men would have taken the silver medal if it were possible as Max Ralston (8th), Arjuna Sivakumaran (10 th), Ben Stevenson (14th) and Callum Mason (17th) finished with a total of 49 points. These two team victories meant the Haries once again brought the overall championship cup back to Edinburgh. Their performance highlights their dominance in the Scottish universities cross country scene. All is looking very much green at the moment as BUCS looms on the other side of New Year.
EEdinburgh 2nd 71–70 Glasgow Caledonian 1st (Mens Basketball) Edinburgh 1st 4–0 Edinburgh 2nd (Mens Hockey) Edinburgh 3rd 3–2 Napier 1st (Mens Hockey) Edinburgh 1st 17–36 Loughborough 1st (Womens Rugby Union) Edinburgh 3rd 0–12 Glasgow 2nd (Womens Tennis) Edinburgh 3rd 7–0 Edinburgh 4th (Womens Hockey) Edinburgh 1st 6–1 Aberdeen 1st (Womens Hockey) Edinburgh 4th 3–2 Glasgow 3rd (Mens Hockey) Edinburgh 1st 1–3 Glasgow 1st (Mens Football) Edinburgh 1st 126–113 Durham 1st (Mens Fencing) Edinburgh 1st 135–103 Manchester 1st (Womens Fencing) Edinburgh 1st 29–15 Loughborough 2nd (Mens Rugby Union) Edinburgh 1st 4–18 Durham 1st (Womens Lacrosse) Edinburgh 1st 96–34 Dundee 1st (Womens Basketball) Edinburgh 1st 11–3 Aberdeen 1st (Womens Football) Edinburgh 2nd 6-6 Stirling 4th (Mens Tennis) Edinburgh 3rd 0-1 Dundee 1st (Mens Football) Edinburgh 4th 2-0 Stirling 4th (Mens Football) Edinburgh 2nd 2-2 Napier 1st (Mens Football) Edinburgh 1st 8-4 St Andrews 1st (Mens Tennis) Edinburgh 3rd 10-2 Strathcylde 2nd (Mens Tennis)