Tuesday October 9 2012 | Week 4
S I N C E 1887
T H E U K ' S O LD E S T S T U D EN T N EW S PA P ER
Grad employment figures optimistic
Welcome to Edinburgh
Activists plan for next march through capital >> News P5
Business courses acutely oversubscribed Students forced out of classes in Business Studies school as course experiences rise in popularity
OVERENROLMENT IN the University of Edinburgh’s Business Studies course has led to students who picked the subject as their outside choice being forced out of the course. Business courses at the University have seen unprecedented demand this year, with some pointing to the current economic situation as explanation as students seek out courses to reinforce their employability.
It is still uncertain how many people were forced out of the course as a result of this change. The Student was told by current Business students that initial lectures were full beyond capacity, with some students forced to sit on the stairs or leave altogether. The students who were most at risk of being forced to switch outside courses were those in the School of Engineering, according to Steven Harwood, a Business Studies lecturer. The demand to switch courses came in the form of an email sent out to students at the end of the first week of term. A student enrolled in Business and Politics told The Student, “The solution was really simple, we were told that emails would be sent out by the end of the week telling people to find another course. We were told to meet with our
personal tutor if Business was only our outside course and discuss our options.
I do appreciate that for some students it will be a disappointment not to be able to take the course and we will explore ways to avoid this situation in 2013." Sarah Cooper, course organiser for Business Studies “There were no public executions and no-one was called out and kicked out in the middle of a lecture.” The process was finalised by the be-
ginning of the second week of term. Sarah Cooper, the course organizer for Business Studies, told The Student that while the situation was regrettable there was no viable alternative. In a statement to The Student, she wrote, “Not wanting to let students down we did look at alternatives and explored using a live feed to another lecture theatre, but decided against it as we feared technical hitches might make it problematic and were concerned that students in the remote location might not feel suitably engaged in the learning process.” Instead, the Business School capped the number of people in the course. With concern to the future, she added, “I do appreciate that for some students it will be a disappointment not to be able to take the course and we will explore ways to avoid this situation in 2013.”
NEW STATISTICS released by the Scottish government show that almost 95 per cent of Scottish students are in employment, training or studying, a year after graduating. The figures, which refer to students who graduated in 2011, reveal that 56 per cent are in permanent jobs, 8.9 per cent are in temporary jobs, 19 per cent are studying or training, five per cent are working abroad and 5.9 per cent are unemployed. However, only three-quarters of those in work have a graduate level job, the remaining 26 per cent are in a job which does not need a degree. Education Secretary Michael Russell was positive about the statistics, commenting that, “These figures confirm the value of our universities and a Scottish education. The most recent statistics from the UK on graduate destinations showed that Scotland has the best outcomes for those leaving higher education with a qualification. “Information from Ucas also shows that many students from England and Wales view our universities as the right place to study and our institutions also continue to do well in world rankings for academic excellence. “The information being published today is further evidence that studying in Scotland gives students, regardless of where they’re from, a firm footing to take up employment or further studies.” The education spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, Liam McArthur described the figures as “encouraging statistics” which demonstrated why more needed to be done to widen access to higher education. “Students from a broader range of backgrounds should be able to benefit from these opportunities,” he said. Margaret Lynch, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), said that underemployment was still a problem for graduates. “The number of graduates out of work is still far too high, and our own research earlier this year revealed that 56 per cent had experienced some unemployment since graduating. “In addition, a quarter of graduates we spoke to said they were in non-graduate level jobs, making it even harder for other young people to find work.” CAS undertook its own survey on Scottish graduate employment earlier this year. The report, titled Degrees of Insecurity, which was published in July, showed that 56 per cent of those who took part had experienced some unemployment since graduating while 24 per cent were currently underemployed, working in jobs they were overqualified for.
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
The Student Newspaper | 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDINBURGH BUCKS NATIONAL RANKINGS SLIDE p 5
Charlotte Brady explains that Edinburgh has climbed in the world university rankings whilst the rest of Scotland has slipped
Thurston Smalley and Rhia Lyon give differing views on the leganisation of same sex marriage
ARE YOU SAFE IN YOUR OWN FLAT p15 Jennifer Smith asks whether students care enough about saftey in their flats
MORE THAN JUST A TRIM p17
Alasdair Drennan pays a visit to Edinburgh’s newest barber shop
SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT » p20-21
SOCIETY'S WEED p20
Ryan Morrison and Maithili Mehta debate the impact of marijuana on society
THEY PROBABLY KNOW THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL p28 Rebecca O'Doherty reviews the latest single from One Direction (even though the Big Cheese won’t play it)
FILM »p29 IS HE FUNNY ENOUGH p29 Melissa Lawford asks if Seth McFarlane can perform as Oscars host
EDINBURGH OLYMPIC HERO RETURNS TO UNIVERSITY p32 Sally Abernethy sees Sir Chris Hoy return to the university to receive the Alumni of the Year award
EXTRACURRICULARS: Higher Education Achievement Reports will take a holistic approach to performance
Edinburgh joins new report card scheme
THE TWO hundred year old honours system is to be replaced with an electronic record, which aims to give a more detailed record of a student’s achievements in higher education. The Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) accounts for membership of sporting clubs, volunteering work and awards a student has won in addition to the final degree award. More than half of the universities in the UK have applied the new HEAR system, including the University of Edinburgh.
Speaking to the BBC, David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said of the new system, “The achievement records are all about students. Giving students a full record of what they’ve achieved in higher education recognises them as partners in their education. “As importantly, the achievement records give employers much richer in-
formation about the skills and expertise of students - helping them to make more informed choices about who to employ, rather than relying on degree class alone.” The HEAR will be given to all students graduating from the University of Edinburgh from summer 2012 onwards in addition to their degree certificate.
The aim of HEAR is to provide the wider picture of a student's achievements." Sir Robert Burgess, Burgess Implementation Steering Group Vice-chancellor of the University of Leicester and chairman of the Burgess Implementation Steering Group, Sir Robert Burgess, said, “Our previous report identified the damaging obsession with first and upper-second degree classifications and it is now clear that this is not enough detail for students and employers. The aim of the HEAR is to provide the wider picture of a student’s achievements.” Burgess claims that the electronic record will be beneficial for employers and graduates alike, and stresses the fact that these are competitive times. The record will also seek to give a clearer indication of where a student’s abilities lie. Burgess said, “We are producing information that drills down to modular level and indeed indicates whether a student does better at timed examinations, projects, dissertations, all those type of things”. University College London was the first UK university that replaced the honours system with an HEAR “grade point average”.
Fully Funded Study in the USA Up to TEN awards, each with a total value of approx US$80,000 per year, covering tuition fees and living expenses, including travel in the USA, will be available (for one or two years) from 1st September 2013 for candidates who wish to pursue a postgraduate programme at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. Applications are invited by 5pm on 1st November 2012 from UK university graduates, including forthcoming summer 2013 graduates, who are British citizens normally resident in the UK Thouron Awards were created by Sir John and Lady Thouron for the promotion of academic exchange and experience in international friendship between the UK & USA. For further details visit www.thouronaward.org in association with or contact Jennie Eldridge, Award Administrator on +44 (0)20 7848 3376 quoting ref TA12.
THE QUESTION OF GAY MARRIAGE p 11
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
ward because I think that the university should foster free and open debate, and that it should use its resources responsibly. The university has over £200 million of investment, much of it sourced from donations, and it should be careful about how it uses them.”
Should EUSA support the motion submitted by Margo Macdonald MSP to the Scottish Parliament calling for Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes?" EUSA referendum question proposed by Beti Scott EUSA President James McAsh, who represented the union during this section of the debate, emphasised that “the term ‘unethical’ is very subjective”, but would not say whether he thought any of the university’s current investments were ethically principled or not. The fourth issue debated, ‘Should EUSA boycott The Sun newspaper until it ceases to publish Page Three girls?’ prompted lengthy discussion. Kirsty Haigh, the proposer for the question, told the audience, “Page Three normalises the objectification of women in the media and in popular culture. If The Sun wishes to be taken seriously, then it needs to stop including these images just to increase readership. It’s simply outdated and not in context
HARD DEBATE: Speakers discussed each of the referendum questions in turn
anymore. “As Lord Leveson said – ‘it’s not okay to have lewd pictures on your office wall or before the watershed’ – so why is it okay to have them in Britain’s national newspaper.” Whilst there was no official opposition speaker, excerpts from the questioning of Sun deputy editor Dominic Mohan during the Leveson Inquiry were played and questions were taken from the floor. One audience member asked, “I’d like to know where the line would be drawn with regards to the freedom of the press – which I think is very important – and with regards to the boycotting of other papers and tabloids.” Max Crema, vice president services for EUSA answered that, “EUSA is not the state; it can’t prevent anyone from buying a paper in other areas. EUSA is a democratic organisation that responds to the will of its members.” The penultimate question, ‘Should EUSA boycott G4S and lobby the university to do the same?’ was proposed by Andrew Ash. He said, “We should boycott G4S as it is an unethical company with a poor human rights record and because it has a record of violating international law.” He cited the company’s detention centres in the UK and the death of an asylum seeker who died in the company’s care, whilst he was being deported from the country. “Also of note is G4S’s involvement in Israel and Palestine, where it operates six prisons”, he said. Whilst there were no opposing speakers, Burnie, who spoke on behalf of EUSA, noted that the University of
Edinburgh does not employ G4S in any capacity and, “We only contract them for cash transit services – they take cash from our outlets and deliver it to the banks”. Burnie stressed the fact that G4S are currently the only company in Edinburgh equipped for this service. The final question, ‘Should EUSA disaffiliate from National Union of Students (NUS)?’ was put forward by George Lerner. Lerner claimed that “the NUS is an insidious Labour Party fiefdom used to maintain control of the student body.” McAsh, who spoke against the question, replied that, “We can’t fight major issues alone, and membership of the NUS allows us to wield greater influence in the wider world and a bigger voice, so we can tackle the issues that matter to our students.” He also cited the fact that EUSA’s membership of the NUS saves the union huge amounts of cash by allowing access to the NUS’ drinks procurement consortia NUS Services Ltd. Through its membership of the NUS, EUSA saves more than £223,000 annually. If EUSA were to use the rival consortia The University Caterers Organisation, it would lose £223,916, and if it purchased drinks through Northern Service, it would lose £211,356.
You can cast your vote for each of the referenda this week. Voting opens Tuesday 12pm and closes Thursday 12pm.
LIVE AUDIENCE: The RefQT event trended nationwide on Twitter
STUDENTS AND members of the public attended a debate organised by The Student and FreshAir Radio on questions submitted for the upcoming Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) referenda. At its peak, the event became the top trending topic on Twitter in the UK with the hastag #RefQT. Held in the Pleasance Theatre last Wednesday, both proposers of referendum questions and their opponents met to discuss the issues surrounding each question live on air. The four EUSA sabbatical officers were present to provide information on how the results of the questions could affect the union. The broadcast lasted two hours, and during that time each of the six questions submitted to EUSA for the referendum were discussed. To submit a referendum question, proposers had to collect 100 signatures from students in support. The first question debated was ‘Should EUSA support the motion submitted by Margo Macdonald MSP to the Scottish Parliament calling for Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes?’ Beti Scott, the proposer of the question, argued that, “As a union, we boycott unethical companies and unethical products. Why not extend that treatment to Blair, and support this motion? “We understand the importance of engaging with issues outside of campus, and that’s why it’s important to vote for this question supporting Margo Macdonald’s motion to try Tony Blair”.
George Melhuish, who opposed the question, told the audience, “it is right that EUSA – a union with over 30,000 students – has a voice on international students. But I don’t think that this question will achieve any goals. It is outdated, irrelevant and will not help our union or its members, nor will it show solidarity with anyone.” When Melhuish alleged that the question represented a personal attack on Blair, Scott replied, “It’s not a judgement on him, it’s just a request for a fair hearing.” The second question debated was ‘Should EUSA investigate workers’ rights in the supply chain of electronic procurement?’. Hugh Murdoch spoke in favour of the question, standing in for proposer Louis White. He said, “The reason I think that EUSA and Edinburgh students should support the investigation of our supply chains is that EUSA is a responsible and ethical organisation, and we should be mindful of inequality in the UK and around the world.” Whilst there was no opposing speaker, EUSA Vice President Academic Affairs Andrew Burnie told the audience that, “We don’t actually procure our electronics – the majority of the electronics that we bring into EUSA come from a Higher Education-sector wide procurement consortium that is coordinated by the Scottish government. ” Next up, the audience heard the arguments for and against ‘Should EUSA call for an investigation into the university’s ethical investment policy?’ Nick Dowson, the proposer of the question, said that, “I put this question for-
Referendum debate kicks off campaign season
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
THE UNIVERSITY of Edinburgh has listed a painting on the online auction website eBay in a novel charity effort to raise money for student bursary funds. The 18 x 30 inch painting by awardwinning Glaswegian artist Gordon McDowall depicts Edinburgh Castle and the city’s skyline from Blackford Hill. The 10-day auction represents the university’s first foray into both the online market and the art world. It is expected to garner £5,000 once it concludes on 18 October. Edinburgh graduate Mark Astaire, who described the university as “a particularly fine place to be a student,” commissioned and donated the painting himself in an effort to give back to the institution. The donation was borne as much out of devotion to the school as to McDowall’s work. In a statement to The Student, Astaire explained, “When I first saw Gordon’s work I felt immediately that he got the essence of Edinburgh’s beauty. For me the city has a sweeping grandeur but also it’s made by its detail. “There are few places that have so
many beautiful small as well as large buildings. It’s forever fascinating to me.” McDowall, a two-time Sunday Times Watercolour of the Year winner whose works have been exhibited in the The Royal Glasgow Institute and the Royal Scottish Watercolour Society, praised the charity effort. “I feel hugely privileged to be asked to be involved in the project,” he commented in a statement. “A lot of hard work and detail went into it; however, my efforts would be more rewarded if a student was to gain financial support to help attend Edinburgh University.” Edinburgh’s access bursaries cover up to £2500, and are designed to help students handle living costs while studying at the university. The bursaries are used to lessen the financial burden of tuition fees and accommodation costs to students from lesser economic means. A university of Edinburgh spokesperson told The Student, “A key strand to the University of Edinburgh’s Campaign is increasing the availability of Access Bursaries and Scholarships to the brightest minds, “Our vision is to be able to offer a bursary to every talented student who
WATERCOLOUR: McDowall's painting is expected to make around £5,000 at auction has been offered a place here at Edinburgh, and has demonstrated a need for assistance.” In the past 2011/2012 academic year, the university received 524 applications for 212 access bursaries.
The university declined to comment on whether bursary applications were rising with the recent tuition hikes. The University of Edinburgh is currently the most expensive higher learning institution in the UK.
“The University is always looking for new and innovative ways to raise funds for access bursaries and the Development and Alumni Office would welcome student participation,” the spokesman concluded.
Faster mobile data network to launch in Edinburgh Alasdair Keane
THE UK’S first 4G phone network is set to launch in Edinburgh on October 30 this year. The move by telecommunications company EE, the parent company of T-mobile and Orange, comes five months ahead of schedule and will see the network available in 10 UK cities including Manchester, Glasgow and London. Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE said, “This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for
the first time. “We are very proud to be pioneering, innovating and leading our industry in launching 4G for our nation through our new EE brand.” 4G network speeds which are five times faster than 3G will allow uninterrupted internet use while roaming as well as faster download of HD films and streaming of television programmes without buffering. However there are still only a limited number of phone models compatible with 4G including new models from Samsung, HTC, Nokia and Huawei as well as the new iPhone 5. The company also hope to expand the network out across other towns
and cities across the UK, aiming to have 4G coverage for 98 per cent of the population by 2014. The announcement came following crunch talks between Ofcom, the communications regulator, and network operators who threatened legal action over EE’s decision. EE will be able to use extra airwaves they already own to launch 4G ahead of other companies, including Vodafone and O2, who must wait for further spectrum to become available later in the year. The extra space on the radio spectrum will be auctioned off by Ofcom in early 2013. Culture Secretary Maria Miller
welcomed the announcement, “Delivering 4G quickly is a key part of our economic growth strategy. I am grateful to the mobile operators for their co-operation in bringing forward vital 4G services,” “By speeding up the delivery of 4G in the UK, the Government is creating enormous opportunities. It is up to the operators to now deliver the services that businesses and consumers expect and we are confident they will succeed.” Many countries including the United States and South Korea already have 4G networks. The announcement by EE came as City of Edinburgh Council opened
talks about widening the Cities Wi-Fi hotspots. The scheme will see free Wi-Fi rolled out across popular areas of the City including Princes Street Gardens and Leith Links as well as the Cities buses and trams. Edinburgh already has at least 1,780 Wi-Fi hotspots but new devices will be fitted to lampposts to increase connectivity as well as boosting 4G signal. The scheme is expected to be particularly beneficial during the festival and Hogmanay when existing systems struggle to keep up with demand. Rollout of the service is expected to happen in mid 2013.
Scientific discovery could protect millions from tropical infection Alex Shaw
A JOINT research project between the University of Edinburgh and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US has yielded a scientific discovery that could protect millions worldwide from a tropical infection. The project, led by University of Edinburgh professor, Malcolm Walkinshaw, created a compound that inhibits the parasite responsible for Leishmaniasis, a disease that can lead to severe illnesses including Black Fever. The compound, known as a ‘suicide inhibitor’, works by preventing the Pyruvate Kinase enzyme from converting the parasite’s food into energy, starving the parasite. Structural tests by researchers at the Centre for Translational and Chemical Biology at the
university confirmed that the drug had disabled enzyme activity. Researchers identified around 1,000 active molecules that reacted with the enzyme, some of which formed an irreversible chemical bond with the enzyme’s active site, preventing it from functioning. Over 300,000 possible drug molecules in total were tested over five years with the collaboration of the NIH Library in Maryland, USA. Because the targeted enzyme is common in most organisms, including humans, scientists say that the results of the project can be applied to developing new classes of drugs for a variety of diseases. Figures from OneWorld Health state that 500,000 new cases of Black Fever are reported every year with 60,000 deaths resulting from the dis-
ease per annum. The disease is spread by the bite of female sandflies and currently has no vaccine. Black Fever is transmitted in tropical and subtropical zones, and is a major presence in the developing world. Over 90 per cent of Black Fever cases are reported in India, Bangladesh, Sudan, Ethiopia, Brazil, and Nepal. Symptoms include anaemia, nausea and the swelling of the liver or spleen, where the parasite multiplies, overwhelming the immune system. Dr. Linda Gilmore, who co-authored the report, told The Student, “There are existing medicines [...] but these need to be replaced with better medicines.” The most common treatment for Black Fever is sodium stibogluconate which can itself kill due to its high toxicity. Growing resistance to the
drug and its long treatment period are major problems, with reports from Médecins Sans Frontières stating at least 65 per cent of patients may be resistant. Alternative drugs such as Pentostam are expensive, costing £169 per patient. “Current treatments for black fever suffer from many drawbacks ... and there is a desperate need for new affordable, efficient drugs” Dr. Gilmore added. A 2006 report published in Nature by Nwaka and Hudson highlighted the need for a cheaper, widely available medicine to combat the impact of Black Fever on the developing world. Poor sanitation levels and waste management provide parasite-spreading sandflies a favourable environment, with high prices of limited medica-
tions restricting citizens’ access to healthcare. Although the findings of the report, published in the Biochemical Journal, are a significant discovery in the development of medicines against Black Fever and related infections, the research team remains cautious. Dr. Gilmore said, “There are quite a few steps in order to make our discovery into a medicine ... The optimised compound would then need to be subjected to stringent rounds of testing to obtain approval for use as a medicine. I am sorry to say that none of these steps will be able to happen very quickly.” The study was supported by the Biotechnical and Biological Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
University auctions painting to raise money
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Edinburgh moves up Times rankings
THE UNIVERSITY of Edinburgh has been ranked top in Scotland according to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The list for 2012/13, which was published last Wednesday, saw The University of Edinburgh placed 32nd in the world, sixth in Europe, and fifth in the UK. Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, the university principal said, “Edinburgh’s position in the Times Higher Education rankings highlights the University’s standing, both in the UK and the wider world, and recognises our excellence in teaching, research and graduate employability. “The rankings indicate that Edinburgh is one of the great Universities in the world, of which our staff, students and alumni should be justly proud.”
The University of Edinburgh has climbed 4 places since the 2011 rankings – the only Scottish University not to experience a slip. This year’s results saw the University of St Andrews fall from 85th to the 108th spot and the University of Glasgow plunging 37 places to 139th. The University of Aberdeen fell 25 places to 176th, while the University of Dundee dropped from the top 200 altogether. The drop down in rankings is affecting not only Scottish Universities but Universities across the UK. It is believed they are losing out to wellfunded institutions in Asia. Phil Baty, Editor of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, responded to this year’s findings by saying; “Some Scottish institutions have fallen far. While there are current policies protecting investment in universities there, they
are unlikely to be enough to meet the challenge posed by massive spending in the East [Asia].’ Universities Scotland’s director, Alastair Sim appeared to share his sentiments as he said, ‘…Scotland’s universities are competing in a brutally competitive global marketplace.’ The disappointing results this year, however, are also linked to the uncertainty with regards to the future of funding within Scottish higher education institutions. Scottish Labour MSP Hugh Henry called for “…an open and honest debate about how Scotland’s universities can compete internationally whilst properly funding Scotland’s colleges.” While many UK Universities saw their positions fall this year, the UK remains second only to the USA in terms of the best represented country in the top 200 world universities. Meanwhile, the California Insti-
tute of Technology held on to the top spot in the study for the 2nd year in a row. The method behind the Times Higher Eduaction rankings involves 13 different performance indicators which can be categorized more broadly under the headings of teaching, research, citations, industry income, and international outlook. Responding to the University of Edinburgh’s prominent position on the list, Bethan Coles, first year student in International Business with Spanish told The Student, ‘With the current economic climate so uncertain, I am inspired by the job prospects which will arise following a degree from such a prestigious University which consistently ranks highly world-wide.’
N p r
Plans begin for third national demo
THE EDINBURGH University Students’ Association (EUSA) last Wednesday hosted an open and informal meeting to plan various logistical elements of its contribution to the planned November demonstration against £9,000 fees, lack of job opportunities for graduates, and general government-imposed austerity. #DEMO2012, as it has been dubbed, will see up to five buses ferry as many as 250 University of Edinburgh students from Edinburgh to London for a day of protests, scheduled for November 21. Tickets costing £10 are currently on sale. The event, which is expected to cost
up to £7,500, will be heavily subsidised by EUSA, with EUSA president James McAsh estimating the full cost of attendance for one person at £30, a full £20 more than the cost of a single ticket.
“It’s quite a broad kind of demo, largely about austerity, about the fact
that education has been marketised, that tuition fees are rising, people are struggling with debt, once you graduate - or if you don’t go through higher education at all - it’s very hard to find jobs, there are people working for free through unpaid internships, that graduate jobs don’t exist: that’s kind of broadly what we’re talking about,” James McAsh told the meeting during his opening address. “In total, it will cost us around £7,500, which is quite a lot. That’s five buses, some accessible transport, because none of the buses we can find are very accessible. “Broadly speaking, the budget we’ve proposed was that £3,500 would come from EUSA’s campaigning budget, then of the remaining £4,000, we’d be
as competition from other doughnut retailers, notably Dunkin’ Donuts. A reported 240 chains were closed in the USA between 2004 and 2009. However, these declining fortunes in the US have spurred the company to diversify its shop portfolio, with Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the Middle East and the UK among the targeted areas for growth. Krispy Kreme UK was separated from its parent company and launched in 2003, and there are currently 45 stores across the nation. In 2011, Alcuin Capital Partners, a private equity firm, snapped up the company in a £25 million management buyout, swiftly announcing their intention to open 35 new UK stores over the next six years. Scotland is in line to be a key focus of this UK expansion, with a spokesman for the company telling STV Local that “cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow would be perfect locations for Krispy Kreme”. Krispy Kreme’s investment in the UK has been hailed as an important stimulus for growth and jobs, with an
estimated 600 jobs to be created by the company by 2015. Jeff Welch, president of the company’s international division, said, “There is a lot of excitement and energy around the Krispy Kreme brand and our products in the U.K. Our franchise partners in the U.K. are seasoned operators, and we look forward to continued success in that market.” Unsurprisingly, news of a Krispy Kreme drive-thru opening in Edinburgh sparked excitement among many Edinburgh residents. On Twitter, @sean94ross admitted it was ‘fair to say I’ll be stopping there every day before uni’, while @ArchibaldPhotog tweeted that ‘santa has come early’. On the other hand, some locals were primarily concerned for their health: @sophie_dent claimed that the opening of Krispy Kreme in Edinburgh will be ‘the day I get obese’, while @robster38 tweeted ‘Oh no. Be gone temptation.’ It is hoped, however, that the doughnuts will be enjoyed in moderation.
It's quite a broad kind of demo, largely about austerity, about the fact that education has been marketised" EUSA president James McAsh
able to raise £2,500 by selling tickets for the bus at £10 each, which is of course still hugely subsidised, but is still a cost.
But even that still leaves £1,500 that we have to raise in the next six weeks. So that's the task ahead of us." EUSA president James McAsh “And I think one of the things we need to think about is ways in which
we can ensure that people who can’t afford that bus are able to come while still emphasising that if we don’t raise this money that we won’t be able to take nearly as many people. “But even that still leaves £1,500 that we have to raise in the next six weeks. So that’s the task ahead of us.” The meeting then split into two groups, one of which discussed approaches to advertising the demonstration, the other of which discussed fundraising. The advertising budget was pegged at £250, with the promotion emphasis placed on shout outs during lectures. Publicity and promotion of #DEMO2012 will commence on October 15.
Krispy Kreme has announced that its first Scottish outlet, a planned drive-thru at Hermiston Gait Retail Park, will open in Edinburgh in 2013 as part of a nationwide expansion of the popular chain. The retail park has received a £4 million overhaul and is being promoted as a retail hub, already attracting chains such as KFC, Poundland, and now Krispy Kreme. The American doughnut company, founded in Kentucky in 1937, is famed for its warm glazed doughnuts, and has developed into a global phenomenon, with over 660 stores employing 3,900 staff in 21 countries. It has recently launched a worldwide expansion, stating that it intends to run 1,000 shops internationally by 2015. This follows a turbulent period for the company, which fell into financial troubles in the mid-2000s following a multi-million dollar legal dispute in 2005, coupled with the rise of healthy living trends as well
Krispy Kreme comes to Edinburgh
TASTY: Edinburgh will host Scotland's first Krispy Kreme outlet
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Comment 7 #EdUni
When is an election not an election?
BELARUS, ARGUABLY the last dictatorship left in Europe, has, much to the disappointment of spectators and onlookers, provided no surprises in its recent elections. As predicted, and expected by President Alexander Lukashenko, 23rd September delivered a flawless landslide election result which keeps his control of the 110 strong lower house.
Since 1994 there has not been an election considered 'free', by outsiders, or many insiders for that matter." Since 1994 there has not been an election considered ‘free’ by outsiders, or many insiders for that matter, as Lukashenko has transformed the role of the democratic lower chamber of deputies into little more than a formality. Within the lower house opposition hasn’t been present since 2004, and following 2010’s ‘elections’ Lukashenko has been banned from travelling into the EU for his violent suppression of opposition parties. Opposition leaders, such as Andrei Sannikov and Vladimir Neklyayev, were arrested and imprisoned, making them ineligible to stand last week due to either ‘criminal’ records, or continued imprisonment. Despite supposed improvements to Belarus’s election laws made for the
recent elections, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has said of the elections that they were “not conducted in an impartial manner”, and went further to say that, “A free election depends on people being free to speak, organise and run for office, and we didn’t see that in this campaign.” Of course not everyone agrees with the OSCE; another observer from the Commonwealth of Independent States headed by Lukashenko’s ally Russia, commented that the elections of last week were “transparent and open”. Somehow, it seems that many will still be on the fence about this issue.
It's hard to believe such blatant and sickening suppression is occurring only on the other side of Europe" A weak opposition in Belarus was furthered by the decision of the two main parties to boycott these elections. Instead of turning out to vote, the United Civic and Belarusian Popular Front parties encouraged the electorate to go fishing, visit relatives, pick mushrooms and perhaps make some soup. This may border on the comical, but it is hoped that with the posting of such activities on YouTube, as an alternative to voting, a point might be
made. Had these parties risen from their deckchairs of protest to put together a serious campaign, they would have been thwarted by the state controlled media anyway. Regrettably, when it came to the transmission of five minute election slots on Belarusian TV for opposition parties, surprise technical difficulties or other farcical problems meant that it wasn’t possible to make the broadcasts. It is hard to believe that such blatant and sickening suppression is occurring only on the other side of Europe, the unflinching grip that Lukashenko seems to have on the country is disconcerting: the media, parliament, opposition; and what’s more he shows little sign of letting go. It is questionable whether the opposition’s boycott is likely to have much effect. Lukashenko argues that they are “cowards” too afraid to stand in front of the electorate; they claim however to be trying to undermine Lukashenko’s regime by removing electoral legitimacy. Without a media in Belarus to inform the people on the nuances of the opposition, their point is only being made to a helpless western media. They have called on the EU and US to not recognise these results, which is likely anyway, but whether much of this will filter through to many Belarusians is dubious. Instead this feels much more like a final attempt at demonstrating, to outsiders and themselves, that opposition is not entirely futile.
James Taylor analyses Belarussian dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s fit of fake democracy and the lack of the opposition in Belarus
The boycott by the two largest parties will hopefully draw some serious attention. It’s true that the impact will be difficult to quantify, though following these elections it will be interesting
to consider the number of hits they get on YouTube, not to mention any increase in the fish, mushroom and soup output of Belarus – that is if such figures are to be released.
Kirchner’s silver tongue is cheap talk
Scott Dickson suggests that Cristina Kirchner’s spat with the IMF is the latest Peronist temper tantrum scapegoating foreigners THOUSANDS OF protesters are banging pots and pans outside the presidential palace, demanding a change of leadership. This isn’t a scene from Argentina in 2001, when a huge economic crisis forced the masses onto the streets. Neither is this the 1970s, when the country was run into the ground by dictatorship. This is actually a scene from September 2012. These protests have been provoked not only by financial mismanagement like the protests of a decade ago; they are also a stand against the growing megalomania of Argentina's leader, Cristina Kirchner. The protests coincide with a stern rebuke from IMF leader Christine Lagarde due to Argentina’s controversial decision to refuse an IMF audit, making them the only G20 country to do so. Furthermore, Lagarde was unimpressed with the growth and inflation figures presented to her by the
government, saying it would face a “red card” if it did not supply accurate data. Kirchner responded in her typically flamboyant style, stating, “My country is not a football pitch. It is a sovereign nation which makes sovereign decisions,” before quipping that the head of FIFA was performing better at his job than Lagarde was at hers.
The government is gradually tightening its hold on the media" Despite her attempts to deflect attention from Argentina’s worrying economic state, it has become increasingly obvious to observers that Kirchner is not being honest. The IMF is right to be sceptical of the government’s data; while it has estimated an inflation rate of ten per cent, private sector economists have suggested that 24 per cent is
the correct figure. Similarly, the government has projected optimistic growth figures, predicting economic growth of four per cent next year despite the ongoing global economic crisis. Kirchner passed currency control legislation to try and stem the purchase of the US dollar, which is far more stable than Argentina’s peso. Whilst it is difficult to decide who is being more truthful, it is worth noting that the Argentinian government have begun restricting the information available to the public. Anyone who publishes economic information that contravenes the official state line is liable to be fined. The government is gradually tightening its hold on the media, specifically targeting Argentina’s main newspaper printing company, Papel Prensa, by dictating how many papers they are allowed to print. Freedom House commented on this unfortunate trend, saying that there has been a significant
deterioration in press freedom in recent years. On top of this, a law was passed at the end of 2011 which widened the definition of terrorism, meaning a run on the banks or social protests could be considered terrorism.
It seems like voters are beginning to see through the veneer."
Kirchner is an unashamedly populist leader, whom many accuse of leaning towards totalitarianism. However, there is no denying she is still the most popular politician in Argentina. Her economic policies promise to serve Argentinians first, and she runs on a platform of greater public investment, yet doubts have been expressed at the sustainability of these policies. Furthermore, it remains uncertain who Argentina will turn to if it needs finan-
cial support in the near future if this dispute with the IMF continues; an increasingly likely scenario. Instead of engaging with her critics meaningfully, it seems like Kirchner is ignoring them and wilfully trying to stifle them. Unfortunately, Kirchner’s attack on the IMF is a recurring theme of her leadership, as is inciting public anger towards foreign bodies to deflect attention from her policies at home. This can be seen with the UK over the Falkland Islands; hardly a pressing concern for ordinary Argentinians. It seems like voters are beginning to see through this veneer judging by her decreasing popularity; she has fallen in the polls from 30 per cent in August to 24 per cent in September, with financial concerns rating highly as a reason. If this aggressive style of leadership continues, with no efforts being made to deal with Argentina’s economic problems, there could be dark days ahead for the country.
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8 Comment #EdUni
Twilight of the 50 per cent
Stephen Maughan argues that structural problems in Spain are exacerbating chronic youth unemployment
MITT ROMNEY, the Grand Old Party (GOP) nominee, spent a week with his team in New England before last week’s crucial presidential debate honing the two skills that had eluded him during his campaign: talking and thinking. To many people’s surprise, it worked. Mitt successfully painted Obama as a big government liberal seeking to impose regulations on business whilst pointing out the weaknesses in the Affordable Care Act. However, much of this was lost. As in most poor debates - with Jim Lehrer proving to be an even poorer moderator - the loudest, most bullish and self righteous debater won; Mitt “the Mittsta” Romney has really come into his own. The Mittsta came in confident, coming across energized and coherent. A pivotal moment came late in the first third of the debate when the Mittsta declared that if he is elected the 45th president of the United States of America he would see to it that non-essential items be cut from the budget. Big Bird – a weekly programme adored by approximately five million American children - is directly in the line of fire. As always, the Mittsta had the rationale behind his decision: “I’m not going to keep on spending money on things [we have] to borrow money from China to pay for.” Of course, all this mattered little as a wave of unconsciousness swept across America just minutes into the debate. The few that remained awake for its entirety agreed it was the most tedious presidential debate in recent history. Even Obama, who came out with some tidy arithmetic, could do little to enthuse a nation on the brink of an unexpectedly early night. Notably, and to the dismay of many, the Mittsta failed to launch his much-trumpeted “zingers”, which he had spent much of his precious time memorising, according to an aide who informed the New York Times. Known for his ability to land a potent blow, including claiming that Palestinians are culturally inferior to Israelis and declaring that 47 per cent of Americans are welfare leeches, it is just as well for Obama that the Mittsta was unable to land any of his rhetorical haymakers. Romney may have lacked any big haymakers, but he was able to pepper that pesky moderator with some Romney Style hits. Regardless of who 'won', that man definitely lost. Thomas Grant
clusive, near-impenetrable world of work which often rests on nepotism, cronyism and general aversion to employing young people. Connections and money are vital when it comes to getting a job in Spain which means many ambitious young people are effectively exiled to a career abroad. This means young earners are not contributing to the Spanish economy. This problem, which has been termed amiguismo or “friendism” by Spaniards, regrettably seems to reoccur far too frequently in the vast majority of Spanish job sectors. The journalist John Carlin spoke to one Spaniard living in the UK who started out as a waiter and became,
in only six years, an operations manager of a successful restaurant chain. Speaking of his progress, he said, “To have got ahead the way I have in London I’d need an uncle with good connections. I didn’t, so I left.” The second person Carlin spoke to works in the digital film industry, a position he earned through winning a film competition, coming out on top against several major British film companies. He remarked that the odds of getting a job of this sort, solely on merit, was unthinkable in Spain. Even getting a job in academia proves difficult without knowing the right people. One young, aspiring academic that I spoke to said that she
CHAOS: Scenes that are all too common on the streets of Spain
Romney struts his stuff
IN THE past few months, the eyes of Europe have been focusing intently on Spain. It seems implausible that anyone could not have heard at least something about biting austerity measures, huge spending cuts, rocketing taxation and just to complicate matters, a growing demand for secession in the Spanish region of Catalonia. One consequence of these grim circumstances is that large numbers of protesters have taken to the streets, reaching a climactic stand off last week when protesters violently clashed with police outside the Spanish congress in Madrid. Emotional imagery of peaceful protesters subjected to an unprovoked, brutal assault by riot police quickly became widespread. However, officials and journalists on the scene reported witnessing protesters attempting to destroy barriers blocking entry to the congress, seemingly with motive to enter which is deemed a serious crime, meriting prison sentences of over five years. As with many protests, the distinction between reality and fictional propaganda has been blurred and few insightful deductions can subsequently be made. Interestingly however, the vast majority of protesters in Madrid last week were young people. This fact has been dismissed as insignificant and even irrelevant, yet it exposes a more deep-seated social problem which threatens to inflict further damage upon Spain’s economy for the foreseeable future. Young people are stifled by an ex-
is part of the most overqualified generation in Spain and is on the way to attaining qualifications that in other countries would most likely win her a teaching post at a university. Qualifications, however, are insufficient and her prospects in Spain appear bleak. “Universities in Spain just don’t want to or can’t employ young people; they just stick with their long standing staff and don’t invest in recruiting new employees.” Of course, the economy-crippling debt crisis which is currently gripping Spain means that, in simple terms, no one has any money. The government, businesses and employers lack the necessary cash to resolve the country’s employment problems. They have insufficient funds to take on extra employees and are consequently drawing away from recruiting new staff from the 16-24 demographic. These poor circumstances are made perfectly clear by simply going to a shop in Spain. While being served by a young person behind the counter is a common occurrence in the UK and other European countries, this is incredibly rare in Spain. In many cases, Spain simply cannot offer young people, particularly qualified young people, a life they deserve, barely allowing them a foothold on the career ladder. The job market in Spain clearly fails to reward the talent, energy, and capacity for hard work the young Spaniards have to offer and instead has cultivated an angry, restless group which took their frustration out on the Spanish congress last week.
Feminists, topless, in Paris
Abi Samuels thinks that just stripping off isn’t the most effective way of advancing the feminist movement ‘LET’S GET naked,’ reads one of many campaign slogans plastered on the walls of a former public washhouse in a rundown district of northern Paris. On closer inspection, the Ukrainian-based feminist group Femen’s first international boot camp seems to mirror its decor: bold and brash, yet essentially meaningless.
As one of the world leaders in sex tourism and prostitution, being rooted in Ukraine places Femen in an extremely powerful position" This new generation of feminists, famous for topless demonstration, trains members to protest while avoiding security forces by way of a very physical induction process. What message is central to such a seemingly ironic campaign? Alexandra Shevchenko, one of Femen’s founders, told The Guardian, “There is an ideology behind protesting topless, but we quickly realised that if we took our tops off and screamed and shouted loudly it was a good way to get
attention.” And scream and shout they do. In August, a semi-naked Shevchenko wielded a chainsaw and chopped down a large wooden Orthodox cross in Ukraine, in support of the jailed Russian feminists Pussy Riot, and only last week Femen activists staged a topless demonstration under the Venus de Milo statue inside Paris’s Louvre in an anti-rape protest. Stripping off has certainly ensured a constant stream of publicity, but to what avail? Using nudity to rail against female exploitation appears somewhat inconsistent. In the weeks that have seen photographs of a topless Duchess of Cambridge being banned, such protests were certainly topical, yet they have failed to advance the feminist cause. Few women’s rights movements make their way into The Sun, but it is no surprise that Femen was an obvious exception. Getting naked to show they have no weapons except their bodies seems a rather demeaning attempt to gain any serious publicity. What they call a campaign of ‘peaceful terrorism’ comes across as attention-seeking for all the wrong reasons, a slapdash attempt at best. The group’s tactics reinforce the idea that women are sex objects
whose only value and means of getting attention lies in their appearance. This touches on a serious issue in Ukraine, the movement’s birthplace, where the prime minister, Mykola Azarov, felt he could defend his all-male cabinet by saying, “Conducting reforms is not women’s business.” As one of the world leaders in sex tourism and prostitution, being rooted in Ukraine places Femen in an extremely powerful position. And yet, while its members can (and do) scream and shout all they want, the movement is ultimately a poor attempt to confront one of Europe’s biggest open secrets.
It is not the tastelessness of the Femen mantra that is its main flaw, but its lack of meaning and its obvious inconsistencies."
It is not the tastelessness of the Femen mantra that is its main flaw, but its lack of meaning and its obvious inconsistencies. Sexual exploitation, dictator-
ship and religion are deemed the three major evils of a ‘patriarchal society’ by Femen activists. However, for a movement so opposed to the methods of such a patriarch, adopting warrior tactics and the language of combat seem an unusual means to go about their mission. Their recent protest during the London Olympics against ‘bloody Islamist regimes’, featuring women dressed as Muslim men and the chanting of ‘No Sharia’, seemed equally trivial. Sure, for a feminist campaign to be taken seriously is a rare occurrence. However, it seems impossible for Femen to earn any sort of respect if it continues to pursue a confused policy that is controversial for the sake of controversy. Femen’s goals are “to shake women in Ukraine, making them socially active” culminating in what they hope will be a 21st century Women’s Revolution. The means by which this admirable end is achieved has proved to be vastly more important. Femen must start to make headlines for the right reasons and stop taking all publicity to be good publicity. Its cause is admirable, but if the movement continues to pursue a policy of screaming and shouting it may never truly be heard.
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Comment 9 #EdUni
Ed embraces Milibanter
Andrew Neville argues that Ed Miliband's recent speech has given his public image a much needed facelift there were even jokes thrown in, some of which were even funny. The country as a whole will see little of this speech, though voters will absorb political turning points like this one by osmosis. He still looks a bit weird; his eyes never seem to close and he bears a striking resemblance to Wallace with his uncanny arm gestures (which is admittedly better than being likened to Gromit). Although lately he’s been fixedly sporting the expression of a junior doctor who’s just been handed a chainsaw and told to perform a vasectomy, Tuesday was different; Ed Miliband seemed to be enjoying the limelight.
Tuesday was different; Ed Miliband seemed to be enjoying the limelight." Despite the lack of policy talk, a nifty political idea that has served the Conservatives well in the past was put forward. It relates to the feeling that Britain is divided between the rich and the poor, and that it’s the government’s job to unite them into ‘One Nation’. This
phrase accurately summarises Labour’s perspective on the issue, as they stand for the squeezed middle class as well as the poor. This has seen Labour move to the centre of British politics, an area which Miliband claims has been vacated by the Conservatives.
It will be interesting to see how all the big items that will involve spending cuts, such as welfare reform and the NHS, will fit into the 'One Nation' model." However, many politicians including Tony Blair and David Cameron have already claimed this idea during their respective rises to power. There’s also a risk that ‘One Nation’ will become a catch-all phrase, which will encompass all policies and dilute its meaning to refer only to the policies favoured by Labour. There were no new policies unveiled, but that was a strategic decision; Miliband doesn’t want to reveal his hand too early
before an election so that it can be copied or trashed by the opposition. It will be interesting to see how all the big items that will involve spending cuts, such as welfare reform and the NHS, will fit into the ‘One Nation’ model. For months, the Conservatives have been saying privately that Ed Miliband will be their “secret weapon” at the next general election. After this speech however, Labour now has a strategy: to keep the policy detail light and to hammer the Tories as a party who backs the rich. Yes, cheap – but more than likely, effective. They also now have a resurgent leader who is growing in stature and gathering momentum. They began this week as a party with some hope of winning a general election and a leader with little chance of convincing the public that he was fit to be prime minister. By focusing on personality, Ed Miliband took a huge gamble and succeeded in proving many wrong. Whether he can impress equally with his policies on the economy and other issues is less clear, but he has cleared one crucial hurdle. If Ed Miliband can change himself so completely, perhaps he really can change Britain. Maybe the geek can inherit the earth.
IMAGINE THAT it’s May, 2015. We’ve just held our General Election. Imagine now, the most famous black door in the world with a man standing outside. That man is Ed Miliband. The reaction of many will no doubt be: ‘Ed who?’ After watching coverage of the Labour Party Conference it’s striking how many people hadn’t a clue who the Labour leader was, never mind had an opinion on him. The reply of one man was, “He’s a [insert bleep].” Do you know who he is? “He’s that Tory”. When it was pointed out that Ed Miliband is the Leader of the Labour Party, “he’s still a [bleep],” was the response. Others will remember him as that geeky bloke who beat his brother a few years ago. Arriving at his party’s conference, this was Ed Miliband’s primary concern; not policy or the economy, but his own public image. Speaking for over an hour without notes, but with bravura many had forgotten he possessed, Miliband impressed his party by finally asserting himself as a true leader, albeit two years late. Granted, the speech wasn’t laden with policy, but it has silenced critics from both inside and outside the Labour party who argue he is simply too weird to be prime minister. He looked like the boss,
WELL, THANK God for that. The markets had a nice week, after last week’s European inspired turmoil. I’m really glad Belgium isn’t involved in all that silliness; it might imperil my supply of Stella. Then again, I’m having no problem getting my occasional hit of Estrella (don’t tell the boys down the Stag’s Head – I’ll be lynched). In a generally positive week, Tesco did absolutely blood rubbish. After declaring that their profits were down 10.5 per cent their stock price crunched 6.15 per cent this week. I smell fear among the weak. Tesco is still a cracking buy, especially now, no one can struggle to maintain their market lead with that level of unethical practice – ask Goldman Sachs! International Airlines gained an enormous boon this week, following a boost in traffic for British Airways, which IA owns. Fresnillo also had another fantastic week, the Mexican miner continued to hit its ambitious production targets. As with every week, if you lost money this week. Whoopsy! If you made money, be a pint! DanielSwain
Teenage highs getting low
Jasmine Xie delves into statistics to deduce whether teenage rebellion in Britain is coming to an end be a major factor in this sociological phenomenon. Acceptance from peers no longer comes from hanging around in groups on the street experimenting with booze and narcotics; nowadays, teenagers spend more of their time exploring the ever expanding realms of the Internet. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter provide an alternative haven where individuals can attempt to boost their social status. Being “cool” is no longer defined by how much beer you can drink, but rather by how many friends you have on Facebook.
Has the era of teenage good behaviour finally dawned upon us?" This change in attitudes towards drink and drugs may also be attributed to the rising competitiveness of the educational system, which has incited a greater desire amongst students to become successful. In keeping with Maslow’s hierarchal theory of self actualization, teenagers seem more motivated to make it big. We often hear the lyrics of popular rap songs extolling the glories of fame and money, setting the bar for achieving success even higher for younger generations. Teenagers are beginning to realize that in order to achieve such high standards of living, one needs to excel in education or social involvement. Teenagers have become more disciplined than ever in an attempt to cautiously avoid discrediting themselves by meddling with drugs, alcohol
and tobacco. Who would risk blowing the chance of becoming student council president or football captain by making the foolish decision to dabble in drugs? However, while online social networking and increased competitiveness in education are may be responsible for falling drug and alcohol abuse statistics, we cannot ignore the possibility that the teenage desire for fame, success and popularity may also have negative consequences. Social networks and increased Internet usage may actually make the average teenager more susceptible to advertised alcohol and drug abuse in the media, while increasing academic pressure may lead people to turn to drugs and alcohol. Regardless of these negative undercurrents, there is no denying that the
rise of the Internet and a greater emphasis on educational success are linked to this recent decrease in teenage rebellion. Facebook and a globalized system of education are modern developments which came into play long after the schooldays of older generations, who turned to drink and drugs to amuse themselves and felt less pressure to be high achievers at school. It is tempting to believe that these statistics are evidence of a new idealism being realised, but it would be a mistake to think that teenage drug abuse will ever completely cease to be a problem. However, the positive results in the Home Office and NHS surveys in 2012 are encouraging evidence that these problems are becoming less pronounced in modern society.
The Top 3 Tweets of the Week
#EdUni Massive congrats to @chrishoy for being awarded alumnus of the year from #EdUni, was an honour to see him receive it #inspiring #unipride - @gurlintheburgh from presenting a global radio show to an algebra tutorial. Only when your part of student radio! @sra @freshairradio @UniofEdinburgh #EdUni - @alex_rata I'm not at #RefQT, but if I was, I'd probably scoff a bit and do a football accumulator. #EdUni - @SILLYCIVILIAN
TEETOTAL: Are we witnessing the end of teen rebellion?
THE TERM “teenager” when mentioned in the presence of adults often sparks nostalgic reminiscence of the good old days; drinking beer and smoking in secretive corners of the parking lot. We might assume that successive generations will follow in their parents’ footsteps, finding new ways to have fun through experimentation with drugs. However, this is a common misconception. Just last week, the Home Office issued an survey which concluded that only 38 per cent of today’s 16 to 24-yearolds have ever taken illicit drugs. This is a remarkable decrease in comparison with a similar investigation conducted in 1998, which showed that 54 per cent of the same age group had been exposed to drug usage. A supplementary study also shows that the percentage of 11 to 15year-olds using drugs has dropped from 29 per cent to 17 per cent in a decade. The NHS has also conducted an investigation which suggests that three-quarters of 16 to 19-year-olds in England have never smoked before. The NHS also reports that 48 per cent of teenagers today say that they consume alcohol at least once a week, a far lower figure in comparison with 71 per cent in 1998. When compared to figures from 1998, these statistics are evidence of significant progress in the struggle to eliminate drug and alcohol abuse. Has the era of teenage good behaviour finally dawned upon us? Could this be the growing trend which will spare millions of parents sleepless nights of worry? The introduction of modern technology and social networking could
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
10 Comment #EdUni
An Abe from the past worries Japan WITH THE nuclear crisis from last year’s earthquake forever plaguing Japan, the problematic row over the Senkaku Islands with China that has resulted in political and economic ramifications, as well as Japan’s stagnated economy, the land of the rising sun doesn’t need any more bad news. What they need is a glimmer of hope. However with the election of Shinzo Abe as the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on September 26th, it seems unlikely that Japan will be able to pull itself onto its feet. Abe is a familiar political figure in Japan. In 2007, he was elected prime minister after former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi stepped down, instigating a long series of failed prime ministers who have not been able to keep office for more than fifteen months. His term consisted of multiple scandals regarding his cabinet ministers and further economic decline, and ended with him resigning for ‘health reasons’. In 2009, for the first time since 1955, the conservative LDP lost the leadership elections to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), who had promised change to the Japanese people. However, amidst the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the devastating tsunami (which Japan continues to recover
from) and continuing decline in the economy, the DPJ have failed to meet the expectations of the people. After prime minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that he will call for elections soon, the likelihood of the LDP being elected seemed rather high. Yet Koichi Nakano, a professor of political science at Sophia University in Tokyo, doubts that the Japanese people will elect the LDP with Abe as their leader. “For ordinary Japanese who are not ideologically leaning one way or another, I think they’ll say, ‘Really? That’s the guy who quit and left Japan in limbo,’” he told Japan Today. Additionally, with Abe’s nationalist views, the row over the Senkaku Islands and the fragmentations in Japan-China relations will prove more difficult to resolve. After being asked for his opinion on the issue over the islands, Abe stated that he will take “a firm action to protect the islands and the territorial waters around them”, whilst insisting that there are “no territorial disputes over the islands: They unquestionably belong to Japan.” He also stated that, “China didn’t deserve to be a part of the international community if couldn’t protect Japanese citizens in China.” I don’t believe that the Japanese
citizens would elect a man with such extreme views, who would bring more conflict with the biggest economic nation in the world. Stephen Harner, contributor to Forbes Magazine, also doubts Abe’s ability to lead Japan once again. He described Abe’s prime ministership as, “A fruitless and scandal plagued tenure.” He also reported that, “His completely unexpected, unprecedented, and shocking resignation unquestionably dealt a devastating psychological and reputational blow to his party […] How could such a party put a man so weak and mentally unstable at the country’s helm?” The unforgiving and not so forgetful nature of Japanese society will also not allow Abe’s ascent to a leadership. “When a person in a position of trust and responsibility lets people down,” stated Harner, “the person is almost always disgraced and branded for life, without prospect of ever regaining a position of trust.” Harner has his bids on Noda for the next prime minister, but I wouldn’t be so optimistic. Noda has achieved a lot during his term as prime minister, particularly with the triad of disasters in March 2011, and his party still maintains the majority in the Japanese diet. However the DPJ have become much weaker
CONFIDENT: Abe casting his vote for the leadership of the LDP and smaller than they were in 2009, after veteran politician Ichiro Ozawa formed a new opposition party, taking 48 MPs from the DPJ with him. With the purchasing of the Senkaku Islands authorised by Noda, ultimately
resulting in the rupture of relations between Japan and China, the loyalty of the Japanese people is now difficult to determine. Either way, Noda or Abe, it will be a grim future for Japan. But they must decide.
Lisa Kobayashi predicts a grim future for Japan following Shinzo Abe’s election as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Comment 11 #EdUni
Debate: legalisation of gay marriage
Thurston Smalley argues for the legalisation of gay marriage, claiming that separate marriage systems merely deepen discrimination
We are fortunate to live in a country that champions expression. Independence and gay marriage may represent two of the most significant and sensitive proposed changes to Scotland in our generation, and the fact that free debate of these important issues can occur concurrently - can occur at all is a credit to the power of free speech and to the tolerance of the people of Scotland. But every coin has two sides, and though it is heartwarming to hear Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon proudly tout their plan for equal marriage, it is disheartening (and tedious) to listen to opponents of the UK’s roadmap to equality recycle the same anachronistic, and often religious, arguments against affording more rights to more people.
Because, in the end, that is what this debate is about: extending more rights to more people. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less." And anyway, this is not a debate about respecting the church; gays who want to get married in places of worship (though many would be satisfied with being allowed to marry anywhere) do respect the church, and it is entirely possible to respect an institution without agreeing with some of its basic premises. Gays respect the church; why, in the 21st century, can’t the church reciprocate this respect?
tutions is unfair because it ignores the views and policies of the religious institutions that realise that they are in the unique position of reconciling the turbulent relationship between gays and religion for the good of all involved. Opponents of gay marriage should look at themselves in the mirror and ask, “What have gays ever done to me? Why do I believe I have a vested interest in depriving a sizable segment of society from indulging in an important, meaningful construct based solely on the sexual preference they were born with? And what on earth has convinced me that I should object to extending
I would have serious difficulty finding opponents of gay marriage who also believe...that non-virgin brides must be executed."
But that’s an unfair question; some Christian denominations do actually accord gays the same respect they show to straight Christians. The Episcopalian, Unitarian, and Quaker Churches of the United States even include gay clergy and, in states that permit gay marriage, happily marry gay couples and count them as welcome and valued members of their congregations. To promote a religious argument that attempts to speak for all religious insti-
Rhia Lyon argues that legalising gay marriage would be insulting to religion IT IS generally claimed that those opposing same-sex marriage are Tory gay-bashers. Well I would suggest the fact that Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron has vowed (no pun intended) to legalise same-sex marriage by 2015 rather disproves that point.
Same sex couples are not being discriminated against; they are simply being told they cannot distort the convention of marriage." Although I firmly believe that samesex couples are entitled to some form of official union, marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. It is a religious practice and we must respect the teachings of these religions. I suggest that allowing same-sex couples to marry in a church is equivalent to allowing someone to stroll into a temple and swig away on a bottle of wine. It is downright disrespectful to the customs and beliefs of religious institutions. This is a question of trashing the
religious principle of marriage, not a question of equality. Indeed, couples engaged in civil partnerships have their union legally recognised and enjoy exactly the same legal rights as married couples. According to FindLaw UK, ‘a couple who form a civil partnership have the same legal rights as a married couple’. Furthermore, DirectGov states that couples involved in a civil partnership are treated in the same way as married couples on a number of legal matters including taxation, employment benefits and cases concerning immigration and nationality.
If homosexual couples truly were religious, they would appreciate that same-sex marriage undermines the teachings of many religions." Therefore, same-sex couples are not being discriminated against; they are simply being told they cannot distort the convention of marriage. I person-
more rights to more people?” Because, in the end, that is what this debate is about: extending more rights to more people. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less. For too long, this discussion has been framed in terms of semantics - “marriage is between one man and one woman, and the union of people of the same sex must be called something else.” But that is not equal; that is a cop-out, a second-best solution, an insult to the dignity and societal contributions of gay and lesbian citizens, a new attempt at separate but equal. And it will not suffice. It is just not good enough.
ally do not believe in religion, let alone believe in the importance of God blessing one’s partnership, but I still recognise that marriage in a place of worship is reserved for heterosexual couples. And I respect that. What many people fail to understand is that if homosexual couples truly were religious, they would appreciate that same-sex marriage undermines the teachings of many religions, and therefore would not attempt to change them in the first place.
Many seem to be missing the point that couples do not need to be married in a church to be in a loving committed union." Preventing same-sex couples from marrying is not a violation of religious freedom. Homosexual couples are allowed to worship and practice their faith in the same way that heterosexual couples are, the only difference is that they cannot have their marriage spiritually recognised. This is not a matter of merely changing the law, it’s renouncing the deep-rooted beliefs and
GAY MARRIAGE: Human right or a distortion of religious practices? principles of religion. Furthermore, many seem to be missing the point that couples do not need to be married in a church in order to be in a loving, committed union. I simply cannot understand why civil partnerships aren’t good enough. If couples were purely concerned with being able to make an official commitment, they wouldn’t be jumping up and down claiming ‘discrimination!’.
I find it tiresome that the general public continually see the need to rescue a group claiming discrimination." Indeed, many high-profile homosexual figures do not support same-sex marriage either. As Elton John stated, “Heterosexual people get married.
We have civil partnerships”. I find it tiresome that the general public continually see the need to rescue a group claiming discrimination. Same-sex couples are being compared to suffragettes and enslaved African-Americans, but there is a fundamental difference. These groups experienced little, if any, freedom, whereas same-sex couples are at perfect liberty to legally commit to one another. Is it really necessary to relinquish the religious custom of marriage in order to satisfy a group of people who are simply victimising themselves? I think not. I find the attitudes to marriage of those dismissing the beliefs of the vast majority of religions simply unreasonable; if this truly were a case of minority discrimination, homosexual couples would not be able to partake in civil unions. But the fact is, same-sex couples enjoy every feature of marriage aside from the religious blessing. We’re not all homophobic fascists. It’s called respect and compromise. Get over it.
Opponents of gay marriage...should admit that their opposition is groundless and directly contributes to prejudice."
Opponents of gay marriage, whether or not they believe in a substitute-type union for same-sex couples, should admit that their opposition is groundless and directly contributes to prejudice. Marriage is not owned by the church: I could get married in the county courthouse by a judge or town clerk tomorrow, provided my partner was female. This is called civil marriage, a ceremony entirely devoid of religion yet still open only to straight couples, something that opponents of gay marriage seem to have forgotten. Nor is religious marriage an untouchable or unchanged tradition. After all, there is little doubt in my mind that I would have serious difficulty finding opponents of gay marriage who also believe the biblical tenets that rapists are obligated to marry their victims, that one must marry and have children with one’s brother’s widow, that nonvirgin brides must be executed, or any number of other equally obsolete examples of marriage that opponents of gay marriage so conveniently ignore. Clearly, marriage has actually changed a lot over the years despite religious dogmas; if Christians are free to selectively ignore such biblical teachings, why can’t they also ignore the terribly offensive and damaging teachings that condemn gays? Those who promote a biblical argument against gay marriage should, well, read their bibles, and the rest of us should recognise that it is fully legitimate to a) dismiss their arguments outright, and b) understand that, by trying to pass off arguments that are so easily refuted simply by a cursory glance at the history of marriage, proponents of these argument are insulting our intelligence.
WHILST THE British and Scottish governments’ commitment to legalising gay marriage is a welcome step in the direction of equality for gays and lesbians and, without a doubt, highly encouraging, the dialogue that such an important step fosters can be anything but. Gay and lesbian citizens may rejoice at finally being afforded by their governments a measure of the dignity for which they have long waited and fought, but the discussion of an issue that to many seems so just and so common sense can be painful and revealing.
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Editorial: The Student discusses prospects for the future
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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.
WITH THE Careers Fair taking place this week, the pressure is mounting to find something to do next summer or, for those in their final year, something to do after graduation. It’s also the time of year that careers advisers pop up in lectures to tell you everything you should be doing to get a job. It’s really easy to ignore their advice and then get to May and have nothing to do. We don’t want to add to the pressure, but last summer we had some amazing experiences and we’d like to encourage you to do the same. We hope that our stories might be a bit more interesting than being told by prospects.ac.uk that the best thing to do with a history degree is being an academic librarian. Last week The Student reported that EUSA vice-president services Max Crema had returned to work following his period of suspension in an article which said Crema had been suspended over tweets directed at EUSA staff. According to Crema, this was not the case and we would like to apologise if this information was incorrect. Crema did not respond to our request for a full on-the-record clarification of the current situation at the time of going to press.
I spent this summer working in Boston for the National Trust for Scotland’s American fundraising arm. I set up their blog and launched a series of online advertising campaigns for them. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, I met so many fantastic and enthusiastic people in Boston who are prepared to support me in my career after I graduate. Having the opportunity to spend three months living in another country was nothing short of brillian. When I left for Boston, I really had no idea about what I wanted to do when I graduated but on coming back I’ve now got a much cleared vision for my future. I’m also so much more aware about the number of different opportunities that will present themselves after graduation. I applied for this through an organisation called the Saltire Foundation that works to provide opportunities for university students to gain experience in business. There were almost 100 students from Scottish universities in 33 cities around the world this year. Whilst I would personally encourage everyone to apply to Saltire this year, it is just one of the thousands of opportunities out there that will give you the experience you need to help launch a successful career after university.
This summer I spent two weeks interning on ITV’s breakfast programme, Daybreak, before spending a month working for the British Council in Zimbabwe. At Daybreak I had lots of handson experience of what goes into putting together a programme for television. By the end of my time there I had gained a real understanding of what working in broadcast journalism as a career would involve and what I’d have to do to get into it after graduating. I also spent a month in Zimbabwe working for the British Council. Working abroad, and particularly somewhere as diverse and potentially challenging as Zimbabwe, provides the invaluable experience of a totally different working environment and is a great thing to be able to say you’ve done. I got both these internships through emailing around my CV and asking for work experience. When it came to the British Council I had interned at their London office in 2011 so that certainly helped, but I didn’t have any experience with ITV before going to Daybreak and I got most internships I’ve had in the past by emailing the relevant organisations and asking for it. Most people won’t reply, but it’s always worth trying for the times you do get an offer because it will give you a fantastic platform for life after university.
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
No laughing matter?
THE CHANGING FACE OF FEMINISM: Rebecca West and Caitlin Moran BROADCASTER AND Times columnist Caitlin Moran has seen her public profile rocket since the publication of her book How To Be a Woman. Comedian Tina Fey, who recently released her autobiography Bossypants, has also enjoyed a great deal of success in the public arena. But what do both of them have in common? Both are women, both are funny and both, according to Slate columnist Katie Roiphe, are part of a new brand of feminism which is “wisecracking” in contrast to the “deadly earnest” feminism of the past. But what are the ramifications of this new brand of feminism for the feminist movement? It is certainly true that we are seeing more and more women in comedy. The success of films like Bridesmaids and of hit new show Girls suggests that women are challenging the ‘girls aren’t funny’ stereotype. And, like both Moran and Fey, the women in these often identify themselves as feminists. Roiphe’s piece seems to suggest an inherent opposition between ‘earnestness’ and humour, when in fact as far back as the 1900s there is
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TOP TO BOTTOM: YEVONDE MIDDLETON, CHRISDONIA
Charlotte Ryan looks at the evolution of feminism and the role that humour has to play
evidence of feminists using humour to promote their aims.
This new wave of young, cool feminists who use social media and the internet to spread their message have been christened 'third-wave' feminists" In The Freewoman in 1912, Rebecca West addressed the common belief that all feminists needed was a husband, saying, “[I]f all we brazen hussies who are suffragettes and feminists became converted to Mr Owen’s belief that every woman ought to throw up her economic independence and get some man to keep her! Think of us rushing about, trying with all that vitality we are at present misdirecting in clawing policemen and wrecking the home to attract men … We will paint the town red!”
This use of humour only served to highlight the ridiculous attitudes on display and thus make a very serious point. However, it could be argued that the brand of humour used by today’s feminists is more cutting and ironic in tone. In a tone reminiscent of criticism of the suffragettes, Roiphe describes this new style of feminism as being like “the bitchy girls in school”. This new wave of young, cool feminists who use social media and the internet to spread their message have been christened ‘third wave’ feminists and have attracted criticism from older proponents of the movement for ‘sexing up’ the image of feminism. Certainly Moran, with her unadulterated glee in describing both sex with her husband and the experience of being a mother, differs from the radicals of the 60s and 70s who saw sex with a man as betrayal of the cause. But she herself sees the movement in much simpler terms, saying, “Do you have a vagina? And do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.” For Moran, humour is simply a way of making a very important and serious message more palatable to the women of today. So why are we seeing a trend towards this‘funnyism’?Aspreviouslymentioned, the new brand of feminist is younger, has a different set of preoccupations and, importantly, is more media-savvy. The prevalence of ‘zines, blogs and online magazines undoubtedly shapes the new feminist dialogue. One of the wonders of the internet is that it makes a wealth of information available to anyone with a computer and this has resulted in a shift away from academia towards social media as the main focus of feminism. Blogs such as Guerrilla Girls as well as Slate’s own feminist section are undoubtedly involved in bringing the feminist dialogue to a new audience. However, as Roiphe noted, they do so using the language of the web which is often drier and more sarcastic in tone. Roiphe’s criticism of the ‘wisecracking’ tone of these new feminists is part of a wider criticism levied at third wave feminists. In focusing on more ‘trivial’aspects of feminism, many old-timers feel that the movement risks giving the impression that feminism has already achieved all of its goals. As one friend said in a discussion on the topic, “Feminists don’t need to be as serious as they once were, they have already achieved almost everything.” But in a world where women are on average paid 20 per cent less than men and still struggle to break the glass ceiling, many people have a problem with
this division of feminism into then and now. The use of humour relates to this as it suggests that today’s problems are more trivial and the solution to them is not to protest, or to rouse others to action. It is rather, as Moran says, to “counter the awkwardness, disconnect and bullshit of being a modern women not by shouting at it, internalising it or squabbling about it – but by simply pointing at it, and going ‘HA!’ instead”. A recent article by Shifman and Lemish in the journal Information, Communication and Society provides an interesting study of this new phenomenon of ‘postfeminist humour’. The article, “Between Feminism and Funnyism”, defines this as a humour in which women become sexual subjects rather than objects. But its findings are interesting in that the study seems to suggest that, although women are now more often the ones making the jokes, the material hasn’t changed. Gender stereotypes are still rife and the ‘dumb blonde’ archetype is still very much in existence. This is one of the anxieties that Roiphe’s piece seems to express; in seeking to be in on the joke, feminists may instead find themselves once again the butt of it.
Everyone seems to be missing the vital point: that feminism is and remains a concern for women today. This in itself is surely worth celebrating." Is using humour to convey such a serious message selling out on the ideals of feminism? Some would argue no. As Moran acknowledges in her book, women today often feel a great deal of reluctance to actually use the ‘f-word’, with all its connotations of bitter spinsters chaining themselves to railings because they haven’t got a husband to keep them occupied. This attitude is everywhere and exemplified by the fact that none of the friends I asked- young, independent girls enjoying a university education thanks to the fight of Sylvia Pankhurst and company- were willing to identify themselves as feminists. Humour is therefore a powerful tool in attempting to change this stigma, and showing that feminism is not dead, as a 1998 issue of Time magazine claimed, but just as relevant to today’s society as it was in the swinging 60s. Isn’t Roiphe’s criticism of the ‘funny feminists’therefore just another variation
on the infamous Christopher Hitchens’s “Women aren’t funny” article? If feminism is about gaining equal rights and representation for women, why shouldn’t that include the sphere of comedy? If two powerful, admired and funny women are standing up and saying they are feminists, isn’t it likely that their humour will attract more women to the movement and thereby increase its power? The polemic springing up around both Fey and Moran’s books is indicative of a tendency within the movement in general; namely, the desire to make feminism a sort of members-only club where the only women welcome are those who fit certain, often wildly differing, ideals on what a feminist should be. As The New England Law Review expresses concerns about “what passes for feminism today”, it is bizarre that a movement so concerned with equal rights for women exhibits this fixation on who is in charge within its own ranks. As the old guard of feminists express their concern over the new direction the cause is taking, everyone seems to be missing the vital point: that feminism is and remains a concern for women today. This in itself is surely worth celebrating. Furthermore, using comedy to make a serious point is not an unknown political tactic, and indeed provides the meat of practically every good comedian’s routine. From Chris Rock to Joan Rivers, comedians have always played up to stereotypes to highlight the hypocrisy of these conventions while also making their audiences laugh. Recent LGBT marches gained online coverage because of the array of humorous slogans on display. The marchers were no less serious in their intentions and may well have gained more coverage than they would have with an earnest tone. The simple truth is that in today’s fast paced, media obsessed society, comedy can make a serious message easier to swallow. Why should this be any different when feminism is the issue at stake? Roiphe’s criticism of the ‘funny feminists’ reveals an implicit opposition between the ‘wisecracking’ new feminists and ‘earnest’ older ones, but there is no reason why today’s movement can’t be just as effective and indeed, just as serious. Today’s society is different from that of the 60s and 70s and it is natural that this change be reflected in the movement. In the 70s women met in focus groups to spread their message; the internet is our generation’s equivalent and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be used just as effectively. So what if the media is currently embracing this new generation of funny, ironic feminists? Maybe the movement should do the same.
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Frustrations with feedback Christopher Massie examines one aspect of Edinburgh’s student satisfication woes
The University of Edinburgh’s persistently dreadful feedback satisfaction ratings in the National Student Survey make the problem too glaring for the institution to ignore. “It isn’t an elephant in the room,” says Paul T. Nimmo, a lecturer in the divinity school who used to teach at Cambridge (which has average NSS feedback ratings in the 70s and 80s). Over the past three years, to the statements “Feedback on my work has been prompt”, “I have received detailed comments on my work”, and “Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand”, students have agreed 40, 42, and 41 per cent of the time (2010); 42, 44, and 42 per cent of the time (2011); and 40, 44, and 42 per cent of the time (2012). According to Andrew Burnie, the Edinburgh University Student Association’s vice president of academic affairs (and a former Informatics student here), “The University has recognised the problem for the last five years. We just haven’t found a solution.” Hence, he says, referring to this prestigious university’s NSS standing compared to other UK institutions, “We’re at the bottom.” Poor feedback frustrates students throughout the university, many of whom are unaware of the disturbing statistics recorded by the NSS. Jennifer Tambe, a third year single honours law student, complains that, though her pre-honours law classes were graded solely based on an exam at the end of the semester, individual exams were not granted their own comments. Instead, law students are presented with “generic feedback”, a broad appraisal of the tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses of all exams submitted by all students in that class. “It’s difficult to know which comments apply to you, but it’s not completely useless” was Jennifer’s lukewarm summary. (The law School’s 2012 NSS feedback approval ratings: 35, 34, 31 per cent.) In math (52, 29, 45 per cent), Sierra Saitta-Zelterman claims she receives comments of inconsistent quality on her ungraded weekly assignments, but her exams, which account for her whole grade, receive no response but the numerical verdict. Her professors yield no indication of what she got right and wrong or how she might improve. In humanities subjects, essay comments always vaguely mention the good and bad parts of the paper. Some go no further, concluding after three or four terse sentences. Others remark on structure, word allocation, or omissions, usually in general terms, occasionally with specific tips that are, themselves, occasionally helpful. No review of one of my essays (I’m a third year history student) has ever invited debate or discussion by contradicting one of my arguments or adding a new perspective to it. Of the instructions professors are given on how to write feedback, Pontus Odmalm, the director of undergraduate teaching in the politics and international relations department (2012 NSS stats: 41, 50 and a measly 29 per cent), says, “We have the school marking guidelines which apply to all subject
areas” within the school of social and political science. Beyond these, which he admits are “sort of broad”, he points to a reviewing process meant to ensure that the “written feedback corresponds to the mark that’s given”. (When it doesn’t, Odmalm explains, a fellow faculty member can propose to the original marker something along the lines of “clarify this point here”.) The school’s website suggests that a similar feedback moderation process exists in history, classics, and archaeology, but adds that “there is no requirement for moderation to take place prior to work being returned to the student”. It is unclear if a student would receive new comments if moderation deemed those he originally received subpar.
This failure is primarily derived from the university's ill-fated quest to set standards of challenging breadth for the hundreds of academic disciplines it teaches." Gillian Black, director of undergraduate studies in law, tries to compensate for the lack of a formal moderation process in the law school. “I keep an eye on things,” she says. “If colleagues are giving insufficient feedback, I go back to them and say 'you need to give more feedback on this' and also, when essays are submitted by students and it’s time to start giving out feedback, I have a bundle of anonymous samples of excellent feedback that I give to colleagues and say, 'This is what we’re looking for'.” Black, who has been in her post for two years, has also designed a new feedback form, now used at the honours level. The form, however, has not been an all-curing elixir. While Black credits her colleagues who have historically given good feedback as using it “excellently”, she recognizes that those “who are perhaps more reluctant” (“the minority,” she diplomatically reminds me) “will do it because it’s required of them, but don’t necessarily put in the effort that you might hope they would.” The question of how to motivate pedagogically unenthusiastic professors has crippled efforts to enhance feedback throughout the University. EUSA VPAA Andrew Burnie’s diagnosis: “I think what’s happening is that some of the best feedback has gotten better, some of the more innovative stuff has gotten more widespread, but the places where the feedback has been rubbish have stayed rubbish.” (An innovation Burnie cites is video feedback in the veterinary school, which allows students to watch their professors as they mark their papers, with the professors explaining the marks as they’re doing it.) He argues that this failure is primarily derived from the university’s ill-fated quest to set standards of challenging
breadth for the hundreds of academic disciplines it teaches. The schools of law and history, classics, and archaeology, among many others, have adopted these university-wide standards — with their trite decree, in language conspicuously correspondent to the language of the NSS, that feedback be “prompt”, “informative”, and “helpful” — interpreting them independently, but not completely transforming them to suit their unique needs. The key, Burnie believes, is to learn “where people want their feedback”, “where there’s good practice”, and “where’s there’s bad”, which entails “taking a school by school approach”. There are signs that schools are gradually beginning to cautiously reform themselves (ambiguity intended). Aside from the previously mentioned changes, Professor Black says that, this year, the law school added marked assessments, which will receive comments addressed to their individual authors, to many of its pre-honours courses. She hopes a compulsory third year course introducing students to law at the honours level (where both essays and exams are already administered), to be inaugurated next year, will facilitate peer feedback and “reflective practice”. In courses that remain substantively the same, she claims the school is asking professors to develop “different types of assessments with different types of feedback”. Professor Odmalm reveals that the school of social and political science is contemplating assigning mark “indicators” for particular subject areas (like politics and international relations or social anthropology), as opposed to the school-wide guidelines currently in place. “It’s about providing some predictability so that the students can write toward something,” Odmalm says. Current students ought to temper their expectations, however: “That’s in its very early stages, it’s a work in progress, and that might take some time.” Paul Nimmo says the divinity school has been “vigorously trying” to return essays in two weeks. “We’ve been very successful at doing that,” he proudly reports. (65 per cent of surveyed students in theology and religious studies agree that their feedback is “prompt” and the other ratings, 72 per cent — a whopping top score at this university — for “detail” and 64 per cent for clarification, are also respectable.) Nimmo accredits the feat to concerted effort, efficiency, and “awareness of how important it is to students”, an uncomplicated combination of virtues all schools should aspire to. Nimmo, who won the 2011 EUSA Teaching Award for Best Feedback, wrote a two-page outline entitled Reflections on Feedback, which he delivered to his divinity school colleagues this past spring. Two traits stand out among the intuitive maxims he espouses: transparency of purpose and earnest pedagogic determination. As he said to me, “One negative way of looking at feedback is that the feedback process only starts when you’re sitting in front of a pile of essays. Feedback goes back way beyond that, to the way the course
is delivered and to the way the course is even designed to start.” It is no coincidence that Nimmo, who has not yet been promoted to professor, won a teaching award.
When students consistently receive apathetic feedback, they assume it to be an indication that the faculty at large is not focused on their progress."
“It’s really the teaching that I find the most satisfying and motivating part of the job,” he explains. His essay comments span structure to footnoting, but, he says, when critiquing a students’ engagement with primary and secondary sources, “I regularly go into further details about how they’ve read or misread a text…I’d like to think that’s precisely the heart of my feedback, on the content of the essay.” When teachers fail to volunteer such passion, students are advised to proactively pursue better feedback: “If you feel you have inadequate or
confusing feedback on your work, be prepared to raise this with the person who marked it,” reads a statement sent to me by e-mail from the advice place. “Go and talk to the marker,” Professor Odmalm recommends. “But also try and view feedback in terms of the tutorial — feedback during office hours. Go and talk to those teachers and to the course convener when you’re planning the essay as well.” This advice is not wrong — students should take the initiative and do these things — but it misunderstands why most don’t. When students receive no feedback or feedback that seems to take little interest in their work, they assume that to be an indication that the marker does not care about them. When students consistently receive apathetic feedback, they assume it to be an indication that the faculty at large is not focused on their progress. “The students who get the most out of the degree and are happiest at the end of it are the ones who have engaged with the law school,” says Professor Black. This is no doubt true in all schools. The onus, however, is on the faculty to invite student engagement, not just by telling us to engage, but by making us feel that it will be worth it if we do.
Explore a variety of career paths
Careers Fair 2012
Tuesday 9th & Wednesday 10th October 1.30pm - 6.30pm
Over 100 employers with jobs & internships Different exhibitors each day - attend both days All students welcome - particularly final & penultimate year
Adam House, Chambers Street Full list of exhibitors at: www.ed.ac.uk/careers/fairs www.ed.ac.uk/careers
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Donâ€™t leave it to chance agencies face a mountain of security and safety requirements before even leasing a property to unsuspecting students. â€œThere isnâ€™t really too much room for error, safety-wise, in student properties,â€? says Ben Alexander, who works in customer service at the popular Edinburgh letting agents, DJ Alexander. â€œWe make sure that our tenants are familiar with their boilers, gas and electricity meters when they move in, but weâ€™ve never had to deal with a major breach of safety. By living up to the legal requirements, most student properties are well equipped to ensure their occupantsâ€™ safety.â€? But of course, there are still some risks. The most threatening of which, perhaps, is a house fire. The best way to avoid one is not to forget about candles or casseroles in the oven and refrain from smoking inside â€“ easy peasy, we think. But, as such things lead to around 350 eyebrow-singed students every year, best not leave it to chance. If, like in my case, the obligatory fire extinguisher doesnâ€™t live past your first flat party, there are other ways to save yourself (and your deposit) from going up in flames. The most reliable is a smoke detector.
AT THE beginning of each academic year, students hurry back to Edinburgh to excitedly reunite with last yearâ€™s friends and party through the first month of term until their livers and bank accounts say â€œno more!â€? At which point, the town goes a little quiet. Sick of the constant hangover and in dread of work ahead, we retreat to our student digs for some much needed R&R. Once inside our Ikeaclad flats, most of us think ourselves out of harmâ€™s way; we light up candles and microwave to our heartsâ€™ content, with little thought to the possible dangers surrounding us. After all, what could really go wrong in a student flat? By and large, we do OK and get through the year scarred only with a few bacon fat burns from the spitting frying pan. But with an estimated 30 per cent of students falling victim to crime or accident throughout their time at university, itâ€™s not always smooth sailing. Though aware of personal safety when weâ€™re out and about, should we do more to look after ourselves at home? The good news is that in rented accommodation, landlords and letting
Third Day: More than Profit
Careers Event Thurs 11th October 1-4pm @ Adam House
Take your career prospects into your own hands!
15 Features.indd 1
STAYING SAFE IN THE KITCHEN: No matter how good a chef you think you are, you should always take precautions As it is the responsibility of the landlord or letting agency to install smoke detectors in rented property, make sure there is at least one per floor in your student house or flat when moving in. They should also be at least 30 centimeters away from a wall or light. Though there are many models around, it boils down to whether the detector is an Ionisation or an Optical alarm; the first is cheaper and can detect a flaming fire before its smoke becomes too thick. The latter detects slow-burning fires such as those started by overheated electrical appliances or forgotten about cigarettes. Whichever model you choose, make sure that it meets British Standard 5446 and carries the British Standard Kitemark. Itâ€™s recommended that they be tested every week (press the test button until a sound is released) and that the battery is changed annually. With over a half of home fires started in the kitchen, this is where most care is needed. When cooking on the hob (a rare student ritual), make sure the surface is clean of built up dirt or foods, and keep tea towels and oven mitts out of the way. In the case of a fire started by electrical appliances (microwavers listen up), do not try to extinguish with water: this will cause an explosion and burn off eyelashes, beards and ponytails. The only thing to do is step back, call for help and hope for the best. Where possible, use a fire blanket to put out any kitchen fires â€“ all rented properties should be equipped with one. The website direct.gov recommends that no person should cook whilst drunk or on prescription drugs, and with a quarter of kitchen fires occurring between ten pm and four am, this should be adhered to no matter how much â€˜drunk munchâ€™ you had planned. Though if you donâ€™t quite trust yourself not to set the place alight, take out a contents insurance policy. Whilst this may seem like an awfully grown up and complicated thing to do, itâ€™s really quite simple; by paying
a monthly premium, your most prized possessions are protected and can therefore be replaced in the event of a burglary or accident. This may seem an unnecessary expense for someone who can barely afford a Pot Noodle by the end of the month, however, as the average studentâ€™s room contents are worth ÂŁ4,000, itâ€™s a sound investment. And by shopping around a little, reasonable deals can be found: Ensleigh Insurance offers a student premium of ÂŁ10.99 per month to cover a laptop worth ÂŁ750, and room contents worth ÂŁ4,000.
The best way to avoid [a house fire] is to not forget about candles or casseroles in the oven and refrain from smoking inside" If a package isnâ€™t suited to you, though, thereâ€™s the option to build your own (I was quoted a monthly premium of ÂŁ9.71 to insure room contents of ÂŁ3,000 and a laptop valued at ÂŁ1,000 by the same company). If youâ€™re unsure, ask your landlord or letting agency for some tips; â€œWeâ€™d always advise new tenants to take out contents insurance and are able to point them in the direction of Jeffrey Associates, who can arrange an attractive monthly premium for our customers,â€? says Alexander. Such an insurance policy will not only protect you from fire, flooding and burst pipes, but will enable you to replace any stolen possessions in the event of a burglary. Despite our modest ways, students have been labelled â€˜vulnerableâ€™ to break ins and burglaries. With this in mind, and as the Meadows and Morningside branch of the Lothian and Borders Police have already responded to 45 break ins this year, itâ€™s wise to take
With the new term underway, Jennifer Smith considers how to stay safe in student flats
protective measures. The obvious way to scare off burglars is, of course, by locking your doors properly. Make sure the locks on your front door and windows are of a good standard and can only be opened with keys â€“ whilst being able to let yourself in by swiping your student card down the side of the latch is handy in moments of desperation, itâ€™s an open invitation to unwanted imposters. If (or when) you do lose your keys, have new locks fitted and present your housemates with new sets. Local locksmiths will change your locks at the cost of around ÂŁ25 â€“ a small price to pay to prevent someone else using your lost keys to get into your home. Itâ€™s worth mentioning here that though useful for frustrated taxi drivers on late night journeys, keys labelled with your address arenâ€™t such a good idea. To be extra careful, you can install a burglar alarm, but making sure doors and windows are locked when out and asleep will keep most threats at bay. The only thing left to chance is the risk of carelessness; as many a teacher and parent has told us before, we are often a danger to ourselves. Though we hate to admit it, our forgetfulness can often get the better of us and induce sudden moments of panic when we realize that the oven has been on all night. So when even the simplest of safety precautions is wiped from our memories, thank goodness for the airbag flat mate whoâ€™s always there to amend our mistakes. Without them, all the smoke detectors and singing alarms couldnâ€™t save us from ourselves. This leads to the realisation that, as thereâ€™s safety in numbers, itâ€™s a good job most of us canâ€™t afford to live alone. So this year, make a vow to stay safe at home â€“ though weâ€™re unlikely to follow through on the upkeep, having it at the front of your mind is half the battle, as any real procrastinator will know. With any luck, we might all make it through another term.
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
SO WE are now about a month into first semester – freshers have realised that the student loan only comes so many times a year and everyone else has memorised the layout of Lidl. We students are skint and we know it. As we artfully dodge the leafleting guys at Bristo Place, we will often avoid looking the bucket collectors in the eye. Perhaps we see that the girl busking outside Tescos is not exactly Jessie J, and we almost unconsciously decide that all our bus money can stay staunchly in our pockets.
Young people are in fact much less generous than older generations ... giving six times less to charity than the oversixties." Recently, a report carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation and Bristol University found that young people are in fact much less generous than older generations, with under-thirties giving six times less to charity than the oversixties. It might be easy to sit back and assume that older people are richer, so it’s no really big deal. However, this is not always the case, with many people
no longer able to guarantee their job security or finding that nest eggs they put aside in reality do not stretch that far. We could argue that the student loan is meant for student life, but it would be just as easy to maintain that the pension was meant exclusively for the pensioner. It may come as something of a shock that our generation should be called less generous considering the number of people we meet who volunteer, participate in sponsored events, run bake sales, work on community projects, go charity shopping or otherwise attempt to save the world. It seems that some people are indeed doing their bit to chip into the Big Society. The Big Society, however, may be something of an idealistic concept, without anything like a universal grounding in reality. It sounds like some magical, rainbow-ridden world, which the majority will be plain unconvinced we live in. Since the beginning of the recession, over two thirds of charities have simultaneously experienced an increase in demand and the negative effects of cuts in government funding. The charities suffering the greatest impact are those trying to stop anyone falling through the cracks in state support, such as those for homelessness, cancer charities and hospices. The fact is, we need charities for the very reasons that they exist. The state does not - perhaps cannot - provide all that people need.
A WEALTH OF OPTIONS: Getting stuck in with charity work does not just mean a donation This is where Big Society, however idealistic, may have a part to play. At Edinburgh University, we have numerous societies dedicated to charities, projects or fundraising, and where moral inclinations end, the promise of experience acts as an extra incentive to involvement. Such experience may be cultural and gratifying, building clinics with EGP Uganda, or it may be cash handling experience in the Oxfam bookshop. It might be fundraising or even conducting one of the most famed student activities – the pub crawl – for charity.
Giving to charity does not have to be conventional, or boring, or guilty and grudging." There are so many ways we can get involved, and while the easiest step is probably just to go ahead and open our wallets (or perhaps join a society),
Rachael McKeown explores student attitudes and contributions towards charity work
mucking in does not just mean a donation. Perhaps this is the reason the statistics suggest our lack of generosity as a generation, as they do not necessarily account for contributions of a nonmonetary nature. Giving to charity does not have to be conventional, or boring, or guilty and grudging. It can be innovative, exciting and totally worth your while. Even without strongly advocating Big Societies or even giving up our bus money, we can do amazing things, and charity can actually become the catalyst.
Swigged, not stirred?
HERE'S JOHNNY: Product placement creates new images for brands seeking reinvention
Susan Lechelt discusses the surprising ubiquity of product placement in the media For many, thinking Bond — James Bond, to be precise — conjures the image of a man shrouded in suaveness; he drives a sleek car, dons dark sunglasses, and sips a martini — shaken, not stirred. For over 50 years, the Bond enterprise has worked to build this iconic image, and it may not come as a surprise that the announcement that Dutch lager Heineken would make a cameo in the new Bond move, Skyfall, resulted in massive, if perhaps unwarranted, outcry. In today’s highly consumerist society, brands are tools for building self-identity. Carrying around an Apple computer or wearing a jumper sporting the words ‘Jack Wills’ or ‘Hollister’ can foster belongingness in a facet of society. Given this fact, for writers and producers, using brand name products can help make a character appear more realistic and relatable. Conversely, it can also create an image for a brand seeking reinvention or a new niche audience. Product placement, or the hidden advertisement of products by means of mass media, is becoming more prevalent with the advent of the Internet and television recording technologies, which allow audiences to skip pesky advertisement breaks. It has also been well documented as one of the most effective means of advertising. According
to D. Jasun Carr of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, consumerism has become “a phenomenon of social desirability, wherein the individual attempts to conform to the expectations of the group as a whole, drives those who engage in consumption to simultaneously engage in conspicuous consumption, transforming it into a performative act.” The success of product placements can be accounted for by their power to form associations between a brand and desirable social roles. Even critics tend to agree that, if the product is tailored to the story, rather than vice versa, the relationship can be beneficial to not only both parties of the deal, but also to the audience. Given the importance of badges of recognition in society, including a tangible product can make the story feel realistic. However, if unnatural dialogue is created to advertise the product, or if the product does not fit into the setting of the movie, audiences may feel betrayed by the entertainers. Many see Skyfall’s pairing with Heineken as an example of the latter situation. The Independent believes that the pairing of Heineken and Bond is a “near heresy” for exactly this reason. When an enterprise trades in the cores of its image (i.e., the Bond martini) for monetary gain, it can lose its reliability
in the eyes of the consumer. Still, MGM has argued that the £28 million deal with Heineken was essential in making Skyfall meet the expectations of the audience. In an interview with Moviefone, Daniel Craig stated, “the simple fact is that, without them, we couldn’t do it. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it is. This movie costs a lot of money to make, it costs nearly as much again - if not more - to promote, so we go where we can.” Film is not the only form of media getting in on product placement. Television series and video games are also known to use brand names to fund production costs. The most striking industry to get in on the game, however, is the writing industry. Although not to the same extent as technology industries, some novelists have promoted brands in their works. One writer, Fay Weldon, was even commissioned by Italian jewelry company Bulgari to write a novel entitled “The Bulgari Connection.” While movies and television series are widely regarded to be pure entertainment, literature is synonymous with knowledge and wisdom. If corporations are allowed to penetrate even such sacred ground, is there ever to be a line drawn on the extent to which consumerism infiltrates society?
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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A grand hair-raising success
Culinary Criticisms Gastronomic Gods or Food Phonies?
THERE IS no shortage of choice when it comes to hairdressers and barbers in Edinburgh. You can have your hair completely shaved off for less than a fiver in a barber shop on Nicolson Street, or you could fork out more than £50 in a trip to a George Street salon. Neither of these options are ideal. The cheap one-size-fits-all-clipper approach isn’t particularly attractive, but neither is the prospect of blowing a month’s student loan sheepishly sitting in a salon surrounded by copies of Heat and Glamour. The city’s latest offers a truly unique experience that fills the gaping void between these two extremes. “Ruffians aims to change the perception of barbering. It’s for men who want more than just a quick cut, and don’t enjoy the feminine environment of a salon,” explained Ian Fallon, Manager and head barber at Ruffians on Queensferry Street. He continued, “We’re offering men
the choice to make their grooming experience something to make them feel relaxed and confident, not a chore.”
It’s for men that want more than just a quick cut" Ian Fallon, Ruffians manager
Inside, Ruffians looks incredible. Dark colours and a matte finish give it a manly feel, but there are smaller touches that make the experience even more special. There’s an iPad waiting area; a great selection of music playing and your coat is stored in a heated cupboard, perfect for a predictably cold winter. Ruffians also has the worlds first built in vacuuming system, which is used at the end of the haircut to remove all hair clippings at the end so you don’t leave covered in hair.
DEDICATED: Manger Ian Fallon takes great pride in his profession Both the haircut and hot shave were outstanding. Ian was very knowledgeable and took a lot of time and care over both the cut and the shave – he explained everything he was doing as he went along and at the end took a great deal of time explaining what to do at home to replicate the style. He also made sure to cut the hair in a way that would make the style last. Ian explained, “People often say to me ‘cutting men’s hair must be easier than cutting women’s…’ It’s a huge misconception. The structure of the haircut is more important as most men cannot reshape a haircut with a big blow dry. “You have to look closely at the structure of the hair, face shape, growth patterns, what product the customer uses and their lifestyle to reach a result that will last at least four weeks. It goes without saying, making people feel good about themselves, twelve times a day is a brilliant job to have.”
MAN PALACE: Inside the award-winning barber shop
Alasdair Drennan visits Ruffians to take a look at the changing face of men’s hairdressing
In spite of the fact it only opened in March, Ruffians has already proved to be a hit. It was awarded best newcomer in the British Hairdressing Business Awards this year, the first barber shop ever to do so. Ian explained that it was thanks to the hard work of Ruffians’ founder Andrew Cannon that the shop has been such a success, “The work Andrew has put in over the last two years to build Ruffians into a reality, at the standard it has and to market the brand is exhausting to hear about. The man is a machine. “Winning the award is a huge result for us because they’re national and focused on women’s salons. We’ve made the industry stand up and see what we’re doing, making a positive change in direction for men’s hairdressing and grooming.” Ruffians offers a discounted rate for students.
A student’s kitchen nightmares
Chloe Ride takes us through some of the simple dos and don’ts of cooking at university WHEN I first became a student, one of the things I was most excited about was moving into self-catered halls and learning to cook for myself. Three years on and heading into my fourth and final year, I see learning to prepare and cook food as a massive part of my university experience. Being a student means having the time to immerse yourself not only in your studies but also in your hobbies, enriching both your personality and outlook on life after university. With so many willing subjects to try both my successful and unsuccessful cooking experiments on, I’ve been able to do this fully and have learned valuable lessons along the way. DO make food a sociable thing. When you’ve just moved from home, eating dinner together can be one of the best ways to get to know people. You don’t have necessarily have to be eating
the same thing avoid spending each meal alone and in front of your laptop. What would your mother say? Aim to eat in your communal space at least once or twice a week. DON’T fall into the trap of paying for everyone else’s food. If you do end up cooking together, try to use something from everyone’s cupboard, or meet your friends at the supermarket, asking everyone to chip in when buying ingredients. DO make large quantities when you have a little extra cash, particularly at the beginning of term. You can freeze extra portions to enjoy on your poorer days. DON’T defrost incorrectly, or you could end up wasting food or making yourself sick. Always read the packet instructions and if you’re really not sure, Google it/call your mum! DO have a store cupboard full of
dried ingredients for when funds are low, such as tinned fish, pasta, tinned tomatoes, beans and noodles etc. In my first year, I survived off of spaghetti with tuna and onion for about a month after my student loan evaporated in Topshop. DON’T leave a potato at the back. Another classic fresher mistake.
Eating dinner together can be one of the best ways to get to know people" DO your washing up as you go along. DON’T leave it. Trust me, this is the easiest way to annoy your flatmates. It’s not just your kitchen, and there’s nothing worse than being really hungry,
wanting to cook but without any clean dishes/pans/cutlery/glasses available. DO ask your mum for a few of your favorite recipes from home. After a long day of lectures, there’s nothing better than some comfort food, and she’ll take it as a massive compliment too. DON’T tell her that your food is better than hers. DO take inspiration from your favorite TV chefs. You eat with your eyes and your mouth; so if you like the look of something, try making it yourself! DON’T think you need to follow recipes to the letter. Popular chefs often use very expensive ingredients; so don’t be afraid to make substitutions like replacing meat with cheaper ingredients such as beans to bulk up a stew. Sweet potato is a great ingredient for this, as it tends to soak up all the juices of the dish, adding plenty of flavour.
THERE WAS a time when it was enough for a student to simply heat up some baked beans or, when feeling particularly fancy, throw some pasta and tomato sauce together. These days are long gone. While parents may continue to tease us about living on a diet of only pot noodles and worry about the risk of scurvy, students are becoming increasingly experimental with their everyday dishes. No longer is the student synonymous with ‘an individual unaware of the kitchen’s functions.’ Several of my peers whip up dishes rivalling those of their parents and can feed their families - who may have even been living on Cheerios since the cooking prodigy left home. These domestic gods and goddesses continue honing their skills throughout the semester; hosting four course dinner parties and preparing Nigella-esque baked goods. Of course, not all students live like this. That would be as much of a generalisation as the stereotype of the guy who lives solely on cherry Bakewell tarts. We can’t ignore, however, the increase of domestic deities in the student scene. Not only women, but several male students are getting just as passionate in the kitchen, debating the merits of almonds versus pistachios in their brownie recipes. They are excellent people to live with and there is nothing like coming home to a tray of freshly baked scones and the charming words “Help yourself!” scrawled on a post-it note beside them. Unfortunately, as well as putting the pressure on some of us lesser beings, it has also led to some unfortunate kitchen mortals into believing that they can play on the same culinary field as these divinities. Baking is a common arena where these false chefs can really be found. I find myself boiling with internalised rage after being tricked into gulping down a burnt lump of sugary batter. So please, take some time to evaluate yourself and if you come to the conclusion that you could be guilty of these kitchen crimes, do like the original domestic goddesses (the Women’s Institute ladies of ‘Calendar Girls’) and buy a preprepared dessert from Marks and Spencer. Amelia Sanders
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Click-jacking killed the cat
CHARLIE SHEEN found dead in his house! Explicit Cheryl Cole video leaked by ex-boyfriend! Japanese tsunami launches whale into building! See this link. Like this page. Click here. And then suddenly you have to prove your age by completing a survey that promises to enter you in a prize draw for a purple iPad (purple? I thought Apple only made them in black or white) that asks for your email address, phone number and age. And somehow you never do get to see that amazing exclusive video of Miley
Cyrus, Justin Bieber or Emma Watson caught in that compromising situation by the paparazzi. You’ve just been the victim of a click-jacking scam. By clicking on a link specifically targeted at your age group you trigger an invisible ‘like’ that unintentionally sends the link out to all your friends, opening them up to the same mistake. A mistake you don’t realise you’ve made until you see a pointless survey come up on your computer screen that takes information to target you for future scams. Online scam artists and virus spreaders have been getting more and more common as the internet and social networking sites become more central to our lives. This particular breed of scam, called click-jacking, earns commission for the scam artists every time a gullible sod fills in a survey hoping to see Justin Bieber being taken down by an angry bear or Miley Cyrus throwing a tantrum at a photoshoot. But not only that. Just as real pathogenic viruses don’t simply cause disease in their host, but also release infectious agents in coughs and sneezes, your tricky little scam also hides an invisible ‘like’ on their Facebook page when you click on it, so the tagline you fell for pops up on all your friends’ newsfeeds
as well. This often happens by the link imitating a YouTube video player (though often you can spot that it says FouTube, FbTube or YoTube) but actually if you click anywhere on the screen you trigger the invisible ‘like’ as well as redirecting yourself to a nosey survey. And if you aren’t directed to a survey, you may be asked to approve the app gaining access to your information, which can directly download malware to your computer or redirect you to a convincing ‘Facebook login’ page. And once they have your Facebook login, they can set about doing even more damage, from identity theft to simply sending the scam to more of your friends. As they have been for the last decade, computer viruses and scams continue to adapt and evolve in the everchanging internet environment. Some scammers are merely bored computer nerds who just take pleasure in annoying you, some earn commission from the surveys, but some can even do serious damage to your computer and bank account. Recently Facebook has announced that it will be extending its ‘Promoted Posts’ feature so ordinary users will be able to pay to promote their posts as businesses and page promoters do.
Metal Gear: sold
Nina Seale investigates the shady world of Facebook scams
THIS JUST-IN!: Would you fall for this Facebook scam? This has given fire to quite an old scare that Facebook is going to make users pay for membership, reminiscent of all the chain emails that went around proclaiming that MSN and Hotmail would delete your account unless you sent the chain email on to at least thirty of your friends. This is a good example of the way these scams target the public’s fears or interests. Here are the most common scams you should be on the lookout for: See who viewed your profile (You have a stalker, Find out who fancies you, You’ll be shocked!); Add a dislike button (which we’ve all been praying for); Free gift card/shopping vouchers (A year’s supply of MacDonalds? Come on); Win a Free iPhone 5 (thinner, lighter, faster- the Kate Moss of phones wasn’t even out when this particular scam started); a private message from a Facebook friend: Help I am stranded in [location] and need help and money (think about it, would they really be
messaging you through facebook?); This child has cancer. Facebook is about to donate 3 cents for every share (as real as the equivalent chain letter emails). So what can you do to avoid these social networking snares? By using free browser plugins like NoScript for Firefox, you can protect your computer against these scams. If you have already been hit by a rogue App scam, you should remove any posts it may have added on your behalf from your newsfeed and revoke the App’s rights to view your profile through Account> Privacy Settings> Applications and Websites. If you have given any surveys your personal details, especially your phone number, you should double check your phone bill to make sure no extra charges have been added. To keep up to date on these regularly evolving scams, join the Sophos Facebook page, a page dedicated for users to share the latest threats and news on internet
Alex Shedlock eats snakes, walks peace and liberates sons in this updated high definition Metal Gear Solid collection
‘AGE HASN’T slowed you down one bit’. These legendary opening lines from Metal Gear Solid, as much as I hate to say it, don’t fit seamlessly with Konami’s new Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, as great as it is. This box set brings together the two MGS titles from the Playstation 2 era of the series; Sons of Liberty, Snake Eater, as well as Peace Walker from the PSP, all on the one Blu-Ray disc. After you boot up the game you are confronted by a screen with the three titles laid out for you in the order of the series’ own chronology; the timeline will remind you of how ambitious (and often convoluted) the series is. Each of
these games have their own ethos and gameplay approach unique to the era they are set in, be it the 60’s with its jungle spy adventure; the 70’s with it’s political upheaval and globetrotting agenda; or the late 00’s with it’s slick information-age espionage. If you’ve played these games before, this screen displaying the game’s covers, now highly defined, and with a surprisingly useful blurb for each, will hit you with so much nostalgia. Regarding the games themselves, MGS 3: Snake Eater has been a joy to replay, and easily retains its position in my top 5 games of all time. It’s huge and deep and complex and beautiful. The writing is as ridiculous as always, but somehow stronger than the other games in the series; the James Bond vibes, deeply explored theme of loyalty, and realistic jungle setting visuals help it along. It’s definitely the most grounded game in the series. Playing it on Extreme or European Extreme difficulty, Snake’s stamina decreases constantly, so the player genuinely has to hunt animals to survive, forcing Snake to eat crabs or rabbits or frogs (or snakes) as well as avoiding or neutralising Russian soldiers. The game’s design is just as sublime now as it was back on its first release. One
forgets how it toys with every situation it puts you in, subverting it’s own rules: from the sniper battle with The End which sees you creeping through jungle vegetation to spot the old man, counter sniping him, tracking his footsteps and breathing, keeping yourself stocked with food; to the intense moment where eight Spetznaz soldiers surround the cabin you’re hiding in and you’re left to deal with it in any way you want.
Every gamer should own this collection." MGS3 is constructed of these ballsy moments of design, and brilliant tension and release pacing. It’s undoubtedly the finest game on the disc. The other two games are greatbut the jump in age and hardware really shows. I still, guiltily, haven’t finished Peace Walker, Snake’s most successful handheld outing. I can still say with confidence that it’s a refreshingly different sort of gameplay; the focus is on doing globetrotting short missions, rather than the series’ typical singlelocation adventures, and building up a mercenary base. Building the merce-
nary base is a mixture of Pokémon and Sim City, the player capturing soldiers or prisoners of war in the action of the missions, then assigning the new captives to roles in ‘Outer Heaven’, your base. This lets you develop new or upgraded items, maintain morale, and get money from overseas missions. It’s an addictive system, and items or members you’ve worked to improve can also be traded with other players online. In a first for the series, players can also play missions co-operatively online. Sadly, I had great difficulty finding many players or any quality games. Some of Peace Walker’s levels last under a minute, literally. And thus the cracks begin to show: Peace Walker is a handheld game, and while it’s fairly compelling and quite fun on a big daddy console, its shortcomings are at times too obvious, it feels too superficial. So we’re left with Sons of Liberty. This game was born on the transition between the first 3D consoles of the Playstation era and the more powerful ones of the Playstation 2 era. As such, MGS2 feels clunky. Unlike Snake Eater, It never quite fulfills its potential. We get the Substance and Subsistence versions of MGS2 and 3 on this disc, with all their extras, yet while Snake
Eater gets the phenomenal third-person free camera of MGS4 and Peace Walker, changing the game for the better tenfold, MGS2 feels restricted and clunky with it’s top down and isometric camera angles. Don’t get me wrong, MGS2 is still a masterpiece in its own way, incredibly ambitious and brilliantly clever in its lengthy adventure (despite an awfully convoluted and uninterpretable plot), but age has slowed it down. The controls often lead to confusion and ‘the wrong thing’ being done, like tackling a guy instead of crouching to slink away, via the same button; and some elements of design, like arbitrary vision cones or cheap bosses, give away the game’s true DNA, leftovers from a bygone era. Still, I'm in no way complaining about the package overall. Every gamer should own this. Three of the best, most ambitious, deepest games from the last ten years, all for a cheap price and all on one disc. To newcomers, the melodrama and hours of cutscenes may be a bit much, but stick through them and get to the gameplay and you will be justly rewarded. To old fans, there has never been a better opportunity to climb back into Snake’s skin.
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Wellbeing Week 15 –19 October EUSA’s week long campaign to look after your mental and physical wellbeing. Check out our events at Facebook.com/EUSAWellbeingWeek2012
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Science debate: marijuana, aye or nay?
LISA LANGE AND REBECCA CHAN
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
THERE ARE two types of peer pressure associated with cannabis: one, the familiar, “You really should try this,” from your mates; and two, the institutionalised peer pressure of illegal cannabis, that thrives on exaggeration and slander about the drug and its users. Those who are uninformed may succumb to the wrong pressure, so make sure that whatever you decide, you have judged with the facts whether the benefits outweigh the risks, and should apply the same rules to alcohol or tobacco (although these come with extra dangers such as violence or accidents under the influence).
Alcohol was considered to be more than twice as harmful as cannabis to users, and five times more harmful as cannabis to others” Imperial College London study
Medical marijuana use is not just an excuse for obtaining it legally for recreational use; it has been proven to be helpful against glaucoma, migraines, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s and pre-menstrual syndrome. Discussions over cancer are varied with some components of the drug such as cannabidiol shown to prevent the spread of breast cancer, relieve inflammation, nausea and anxiety.
However, a soft drug doesn’t mean soft money. You have to be mindful of who you are paying for your stash as it can be a source of income for criminals, and therefore have a detrimental effect on society. Despite this, researchers from Imperial College London commented in a report that, “A direct comparison of alcohol and cannabis showed that alcohol was considered to be more than twice as harmful as cannabis to [individual] users, and five times more harmful as cannabis to others (society).” As for those concerned for their studies, consider this, the lack of a hangover, the reduction of stress and lower price than entry to Opal means you can relax and enjoy what the astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan describes as, “always reflective, peaceable, intellectually exciting, and sociable, unlike most alcohol highs” without worry of being unable to work the next day. And, unlike alcohol or some hard drugs, there is not the danger that over-consumption or lack of experience will result in being hospitalised: you may get hungry, or fall asleep. Picking specific examples isn’t of great scientific value, but I would just like to mention some people who smoked marijuana and weren’t ‘slackers’ or ‘unproductive’ as is the perpetuated stereotype: Michael Phelps, Miles Davis, and Barack Obama. The hypocrisy of people who say you shouldn’t smoke and not respond to peer pressure, are those simply following an institutionalised peer pressure without adequate reasoning. ‘Just say no’ to an unjust law.
HASH: A weed by any other name...
Ryan Morrison defends the medical benefits of smoking cannabis while Maithili Mehta warns of the harmful effects MANY OF us have experienced that fleeting moment of euphoria; the inhale, the anticipation, the exhale, followed by the all-too callous light-headedness. The buzz. The inertia. The beautiful sensation of being free. But ever wondered what’s inside the joint that your friend just rolled for you? In all probability, it’s cannabis (a.k.a. weed, marijuana, hash, pot, and a host of other names in different parts of the world) with a hint of tobacco (nicotine) to assist burning. And although nicotine has definitely been accused (and proven guilty in the court of science) of many medicinal crimes, studies show that its much less notorious cousin cannabis might not be innocent either. For one thing, cannabis affects short term memory, attention, and motor skills for the duration of intoxication (“I don’t remember what happened last night” – sound familiar?). This might not seem like a cause for concern; alcohol has much the same effect and no one’s making a hue and cry about it. But don’t be fooled by the obvious symptoms; cannabis can be quite cheeky with its less noticeable (and therefore more insidious) side effects. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active constituent of the drug, is known to increase heart rate by 20-50 per cent within an hour after inhalation, so it comes as no surprise that one is 4.2 times more likely to suffer a heart attack within the time span. Besides, the long term effects are not exactly promising. While alcohol affects liver cells, which have the potential to regenerate, cannabis (much like nicotine) affects lung tissue, which once scarred is hard to replace. Hence the association of cannabis with
chronic bronchitis and bullous lung disease. Another shocking discovery is the remarkable susceptibility of certain groups of people to the negative side effects of the drug compared to others. Smoking cannabis during adolescence increases the likelihood of becoming addicted, and in males of all ages, cannabis is known to lower testosterone secretion, and impair sperm production, motility, and viability. This could have a tremendous impact in terms of fertility and reproductive ability, which though negligible today might be quite conspicuous in a decade’s time.
Cannabis affects short term memory, attention, and motor skills for the duration of intoxication” Last but not least (and this is the most convincing verdict against cannabis in my opinion) is the vast void in our understanding. The average THC content of cannabis has increased from 0.5 per cent 20 years ago, to 5 per cent in modern day Britain, and 10-11 per cent in “Nederweed” (a variety smoked in the Netherlands). And yet, despite the ‘might’s, ‘maybe’s, and ‘could be’s in our knowledge of the mechanism and effects of THC, we continue to consume cannabis, as if it is acceptable to be oblivious. Innocent until proven guilty it seems; it could be that by the time we have concrete evidence against our ‘offender’, the damage will already have been done.
Bugs that go bump in the afternoon
Maddalena Vierbuchen informs on the latest news from the battle against malaria, a new vector species of mosquito
In 2010 there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide, 655,000 of which were fatal” Preventative drugs are available and often provided at low cost in countries where malaria is endemic; however, the supply can be patchy, there can be harmful side-effects and people may not take them regularly. Drugs for the treatment of malaria should be available for free in most places as part of international aid, but are
often stolen or useless because of improper storage. Because of these problems, the cheapest and most effective way to control malaria is to control the vector by which it is spread: the Anopheles mosquito. This mosquito tends to bite inside and late at night, meaning that bed nets and house spraying are the usual front line defence against malaria infection. But all this could change. Last week, scientists from the University of Notre Dame announced the discovery of a new mosquito species in Kenya capable of carrying the malaria parasite. This mosquito bites during the afternoon and late evening and primarily outside, rendering bed nets and house spraying useless. Although there has yet to be a recorded incident of this species actually transmitting malaria, tests showed that captured specimens were carrying the parasite. So what does this mean? Maybe nothing. Since scientists have been studying the Anopheles mosquito genus, countless new species have been identified, some of which could potentially carry malaria,
but are not capable of actually transmitting it. Then again, malaria is caused by a rapidly evolving parasite that has achieved drug resistance many times in the past few decades alone. This could be its latest adaptation: moving into a vector that can infect people during the day, away from the protection of bed nets.
This mosquito bites during the afternoon... rendering bed nets and house spraying useless” This kind of research into vector diversity is invaluable as it provides insight into where malaria might go next and can prepare us for the need to develop new control measures. If the new mosquito species does become a vector, it will cause a great upheaval in the way we manage malaria, and may ultimately provide scientists with new, unexpected avenues of research into the elimination of the disease.
NEW THREAT: This unnamed species could be malaria's answer to bed nets
LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE AND TROPICAL
MALARIA IS one of the world’s biggest killers. The World Health Organisation estimates that in 2010 there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide, 655,000 of which were fatal. In addition to this, the World Bank estimates that malaria reduces Africa’s GDP by twelve billion dollars annually, perpetuating the cycle of poverty in the Third World.
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Science & Environment 21
Arctic ice survival served on the rocks
A significant proportion of the sea ice is now seasonal, forming and disappearing in the same year"
ON THIN ICE: Warmer oceans are leading to unprecedented rates of melting ing events - the last six years marked the six lowest summer minimum extents on record - a significant proportion of the sea ice is now seasonal, forming and disappearing in the same year. This first-year ice is much thinner and thus more prone to breaking and melting away. And as it comes to dominate the sea ice sheets, the even bigger melting events are inevitable. But why should we be concerned about some ice melting? According to NSIDC, ice-covered Arctic acts as a giant air conditioner, cooling the Earth. The warmer the ocean gets, the more water is evaporated into the atmosphere which then leads to more common but more extreme and less predictable precipitation events in lower
Even more unnerving is the fact that the 2007 record was broken three weeks before the ice cover was supposed to reach its lowest extent. In other words, in 2012, not only was the magnitude of melting enormous but it also occurred at an unprecedented rate. Scientists believe that it’s the quality of ice itself that fuels this fast and largescale cover loss. Due to recent big melt-
latitudes, affecting us all. Losing all that ice will only make it that much harder to catch up with the running away climate change. But wait, there’s more. We’re losing sea ice at faster rates than anyone has predicted. The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) estimates that the Arctic ocean might be ice-free in summer at the end of this century. But based on the rapidity and extent of melting of recent years, some scientists now believe that we might be looking at the disappearance of summer ice by as early as 2020. Having an interest in climate change is not merely scientific. It is alarming that
most people know very little about what’s currently happening with our climate. But perhaps a lack of knowledge isn’t surprising given that even the record Arctic sea ice melting barely made the news, not to mention front pages. Moreover, some people see melting of Arctic sea ice as a good thing. Oil and fishing industries are eyeing the opening passages to start exploratory drilling and exploitation of new fisheries. Shell stopped its Arctic drilling programme for 2012 but it could be renewed next year. Oil spill in the region with such harsh and highly unpredictable weather will be likely to have even more devastating consequences for biodiversity and local communities than the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
We're losing sea ice at faster rates than anyone has predicted" The Arctic and its inhabitants are in great danger from climate change, oil drilling and territorial conflicts. Various NGOs are working towards ensuring international protection for the region. Several days ago Greenpeace announced that over two million people have signed their online ‘Save the Arctic’ petition. While it might be too late to stop the extreme melting, declaring the Arctic a global sanctuary might be a step in the right direction.
INTERVIEW CORNER: CORALBOTS PROJECT
CORAL REEFS are often called the ‘rainforests of the oceans’ because they harbour the highest marine biodiversity. Although beautiful, coral reefs are extremely fragile and can be easily damaged by deep-sea practices, water pollution and climate change. They are able to regenerate naturally, but it takes corals decades if not centuries to create reef structures. Fortunately, the new project initiated by the Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology at Heriot-Watt University provides a smart solution for helping to repair coral reefs around Scotland in the form of intelligent robots, or ‘coralbots’. The Student spoke to Dr Lea-Anne Henry, marine ecologist and the lead scientist on the project. How do coralbots work and carry out their mission to restore damaged ecosystems? We aim to use existing autonomous undersea robotic platforms at the Ocean Systems Laboratory at Heriot-Watt University and modify them as ‘coralbots’. A photographic and sonar survey of the damaged reef will first be performed to cre-
ate a video mosaic of the reef, and we will visually inspect this to determine where coral fragments should be transplanted. Following this, a ‘swarm’ of five to eight robots will be deployed either from shore or boat. Each robot will follow a simple set of ‘micro-rules’ like the ones bees, ants and termites use to build 3D structures like hives and nests, thus the robots are highly bio-inspired. A lot of work needs to be done to modify manipulator arms on the robots, but this is an exciting challenge for our engineers. How did the Coralbots Project get started? Coralbots got started as a collaboration between myself (a marine ecologist) and Professor David Corne (an artificial intelligence mathematician) during a series of workshops hosted by the Heriot-Watt Crucible programme, which also hosted many University of Edinburgh staff and students. The idea of Crucible is to bring scientists from widely different disciplines together to see if there is some common ground that could spawn innovations. We plan to use the Crucible funds we received to develop and simulate the swarm intelligence and computer vision. Future trials of existing robotic platforms are expected to take place in Scotland in the next year. We also hope to have computer simulations ready by the spring for the 2013 Edinburgh Science Festival. How does the Coralbots project differ from other coral reef conservation techniques? The unique advantage of Coralbots
is that they replace human mediated transplantation. Divers can take weeks to months to transplant fragments, usually from a coral nursery elsewhere, with varying levels of success. These methods can be successful, but humans are limited to the time spent underwater, and they can never achieve reef restoration in the deep-sea where we also have coral reefs like the ones off Scotland. Thus, undersea robotics have a distinct advantage, working 24 hours non-stop with no danger to humans, at least until battery power runs out. Working as a swarm, it also means that even if one or two robots malfunction, the others continue to work. What are the future prospects of implementing coralbots on a large scale? The idea of using swarm robotics to
restore ecosystems is very exciting, and as far we we know, nothing like this has ever been achieved. But it is easy to speculate that the technology could help re-plant forests or seagrass meadows. What are the most interesting and exciting outcomes you found for yourself through the Coralbots Project? The most exciting outcome has been the outpouring of global public support from our television appearances, radio and newspaper interviews, blogs and tweets, so we are starting up a crowdfunding site on the US website Kickstarter to get more funds. The most interesting outcome has been watching the excitement and support given to us across disciplines, biology, mathematics, computer science and engineering.
INTO THE DEEP: An innovative army of robots aiming to save Scottish coral
Alua Suleimenova interviews Dr Lea-Anne Henry, marine ecologist
MARS ROVER UPDATE
ARCTIC ICE cover is at a record low due to rapid ice melting this summer, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has revealed. Rates of ice melting have surpassed predictions, leaving climate change experts concerned about the effect this will have on global temperatures. This year at its minimum sea ice covered 3.41 million square kilometres - the lowest seasonal extent since satellite recording began in 1979. That’s 17 per cent below the minimum reached in 2007, a previous record year, and 49 per cent, or an area about the size of India, below the 1979 to 2000 average.
Kristina Simonaityte explains the crisis facing Arctic ice and why what happens at the poles shouldn’t stay at the poles
FOR LIFE as we know it to exist, there must be liquid water. Without these little polarised molecules, this universal solvent, we would not have flowing blood, nor functional cells, nor anything we could recognise as a form of life. This, then, is why when the Mars Rover Curiosity discovered evidence of a running stream once existing on Mars (in the form of traversed streambed gravels) on 27 September, we moved one small step closer to finding our own origins. Liquid water has always been recognised to exist on Mars at one point in time; from the solid ice encompassing the Martian polar caps, to the remnants of ancient lakes now dried by a matured atmosphere. This recent discovery, however, gives us a medium to directly analyse the properties and attributes of these missing bodies of water; to give us an indication of the speed, pattern and range of these mysterious lakes. By interpreting the shape and position of these streambed stones, scientists can deduct and design an alien stream, a potential habitat: another factor suggesting that we are not unique in the universe. Our existence, as the progress of technology and space exploration gains momentum, becomes slowly less abstract as we wait for a sign of life, a mirror of our own identities, in a place so alien. That is the main point of these findings: we are intrigued by our existence, and our place in the universe. It’s like the story of a tree falling in the woods; if no one hears it, it is as if it never fell. If we are alone in this universe, and no one acknowledged our existence, well we truly are but just ash and dust. Once our polar caps melt, our lands flood, our atmosphere dissipates and our sun finally climaxes in death, we might as well have never existed. We will have been lonely in the black canvas of space. It’s these questions, which threaten the norms of our morality and philosophy, that keep us waiting patiently for an answer. As the Rover continues its journey to the slope of Mount Sharpe, in hopes of finding preserved organic chemicals, we can but ponder the implications of this mission. Fraser Chang
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
22 Crossword & Horoscopes
OS R O
H Magicky Merlin Last week,
P O C
Dual Crossword No. 18 BY PICUS
Merlin was just your local pilates instructor with an unusual passion for fancy dress. HOWEVER, that was before he became Wizard of Earth with the mission to subtly save the planet through vague predictions that would discretely influence Earthlings’ actions, sometimes.
This week, you get so frickin hipsterhippy that you turn your entire flat into a community compost warehouse. After a brief honeymoon period when all seems well, albeit humidly, you are eaten in your sleep by worms.
This week, your prat of a flatmate, Gerard, fills the hallway with soil to 'save the earth'. He launch into preachy tirades about Mother Nature whenever you complain about not being able to find your belongings/dignity through all the detritus. Make clever retorts with ‘Your Mother Nature...’ jokes.
You’ve observed the shell-suit wearing beings who flock to your local Poundland and Lidl, and are seriously impressed by the ‘cool’ they bring to the High Street. This Friday you ditch your chinos and jacket combo for similar attire. You feel liberated. As the nylon rubs your thighs, your silly middle class aspiration of employment is lifted and you realise that the State can fund your entire lifestyle. You start your new life by renewing your Sky TV subscription.
This week, inspired by Ed Miliband, you decide to speak mainly through your nose and repeat statements 48 times in order to make otherwise fairly banal comments sound vaguely interesting and significant.
Your hangover lasts an unusual amount of time, and keeps getting worse. As does the caustic smell following you around. You go to the doctor and get a Brain Scan Thingy, which reveals that it’s just as you thought: another of Saturn’s bloody drunken hi-jinks! It turns out that while you were all playing Rings (Saturn’s favourite drinking game), Sat got you totally wasted and then Shat inside your brain. Typical!
It’s easy to find Jupiter on a Thursday because he’s usually down at the Brass Monkey, reclining on one of their beds with Venus and her mate Prudence. Follow Jupiter’s lead and invite a couple of friends over to your alloy primate themed bar. Girls love that.
Mars can’t get enough parsley this week, he bloody loves it! ‘Hey, Mars, haven’t you got enough parsley in that coffee?’ ‘No! I really really like it!’ You retreat to your room and furiously watch French existentialist classics in an effort to cancel out your vapid peers As you do so you can’t help but wonder why all your coffees now taste slightly herby.
It turns out that Grant Management’s advertisement, ‘Rent boy wanted’ was actually as dodgy as it first looked, and wasn’t indicative of a benign need for a boy to go round flats collecting rent. Pleasantly surprised, you sign up for another week.
A wave of death and destruction courses through the third plough of the Ossidamer Galaxy when you decide to don the purpley eye shadow, not the slightly-less-purpley one your Gran bought you. You throw back your head and cackle with joyous, reckless abandon. Don’t eat grapefruits this week.
Barry has weedled his way into the cryptic crossword this week. Puzzle fans beware of his wiley way with words! Stay alert and don't be fooled by 7 Down.
Arghh! Oh no! Aquarius this is a bad week for you. I don't want to say too much... Don't step near any high ledges.
Will you join my Mili-band? No. Don't worry though Pisces. There's plenty more fish in the sea.
The Chambers Dictionary (2008) is recommended. Comments, questions, complaints etc can reach the compiler via the editors.
ACROSS 5 A lady’s maid (7) 7 The Ram (5) 9 Supermarket offer (1,1,1,1,1) 10 American State (7) 11 Firearm (3) 12 He investigates flying saucers (9) 14 Monastic apprenticeship (9) 17 Policeman (3) 18 Time at the crease (7) 20 Artificial fabric (5) 21 Secluded recess (5) 22 Whale (that puffs) (7)
DOWN 1 Primitive language form (6) 2 One lacking skin pigment (6) 3 An English length (4) 4 Hindu Festival of Lights (6) 5 Cathar (11) 6 To blame (2, 5) 8 Clever clogs (11) 13 All the South Sea Islands (7) 15 City of canals (6) 16 Allocate, appoint (6) 17 Religious leader (of Islam) (6) 19 A Caledonian turnip (4)
Solutions to Dual Crossword No. 17 ACROSS 1 SAD Sad (ie) 3 HO CHI MINH compound ana- gram [Hi-ho the Minches]* [ ‘ these’ + Ho Chi Minh ]* 8 INUIT 1 + nuit (French) 9 AQUIFER if for central ‘ e ’ of A qu (e) er 10 TIDE RIP (pried it)* 11 PORTE Port + E (spaña) 12 DYED IN THE WOOL Dye + din + the wool (stuff ) 15 TAILS initial letters “Heads or tails” 16 HAMPTON ton for ‘ER’ of hamp (er) 18 EWE-LAMB E-W + blame* (2 Sam 12:3) 20 TOOTH contained Blotto Otho (tush = tusk)
A bit about cryptic clues
Last TIME we saw that Kebab clues, give us “extra” items to be used (fodder), and indicators that tell us how to use them, adding them all together like bits of lamb on a skewer - to get the same answer as that given by the definition part of the clue. Indicators come in many forms and guises. They may tell you to put this bit of a clue inside that bit (or vice versa), to reverse an item or to take its odd (or even) letters and put them somewhere. X enters / Y (or just ‘X in Y’) may mean take X (or a synonym) and place it inside Y. X round / includes / contains / about Y
21 AUTHENTIC Au + then + (en) tic (ed 22 LOP L + op cf lop-eared
ACROSS 5 Biblical handmaiden and wife is a great bother (7) 7 God of war seizes Italy as a sign from heaven (5) 9 Supermarket offer announces rude dismissal (1,1,1,1,1) 10 State on (and in) North Ameri- ca (7) 11 Scuppernong unloaded - though some of it often isn’t (3) 12 Soldier-saint tracks fuddled up per-class fool. I track flying sau- cers (9) 14 Refusal to invalidate a period of apprenticeship (9) 17 Canine Order of Preachers be comes the (secular) arm of the law (3) 18 Time spent playing in pubs, cra- dling gin in a daze (7) 20 Thread that links New York and half London (5) 21 It’s pleasant to include Henry in specialised area (5) 22 Gregory’s first cat (with no tail), swallows ram - and a whale! (7)
DOWN 1 Crude language from pickpock- et tripping over snare (6) 2 Abnormally pale Italian com- poser abandons Northern Ire- land (6) 3 Cart reverses in enclosed space (4) 4 One law I had overturned for the Festival of Lights (6) 5 French heretic bails out Scot with hidden knowledge (11) 6 A blend of fat ultimately is to blame (2, 5) 8 Clever dick mistreated stray MP and workers (11) 13 Church supports love (and top less mania) in Pacific islands (7) 15 Vera, dumping artist on French resort, arrives at Italian one (6) 16 Allocate gains improperly, im- plicating Saint (6) 17 Religious leader may be con- verted to hail political correct- ness (6) 19 Scottish turnip born quietly (4)
DOWN 1 SAINTED instead* (catchphrase ‘Oh my sainted aunt’) 2 DRUID DD round (RU + I) 3 HIT OR MISS [Rosi (e) Smith]* 4 CHAMP AT THE BIT (Chat round a MP) + the bit (young girl) 5 IOU contained Obviously furious 15 THETA the + TA 6 INFERNO 2 definitions 17 TROLL t + roll 7 HORSE shore* (‘parade’ is impera- 19 ALE (t) ale tive) 11 PNEUMATIC “new attic” * = anagram of the preceding material round M “ .... ” the word in the clue and the word in 13 EXIGENT exit round gen. the answer are homophones 14 LONG HOP op after long + h means that Y (or synonym) goes inside X X”
X returning / in retreat means “reverse
Y goes / comes / is / lies / after X means “place Y (or synonym) after X” and so on. A word that’s an indicator in one clue may have a different function in another clue - it may be part of the fodder (or the definition). Anagram clues are common and need an anagram indicator. There are umpteen possibilities. A word such as ‘breaks, moves, changes’ etc in the non-definition part of
the clue (or just ‘out ’) may well mean “rearrange the letters of the indicated item”, Compilers try to choose anagram indicators that blend with the surface meaning of the clue. Tory means to dissolve religious community (answer MONASTERY) uses ‘to dissolve’. (Henry VIII did just that) Put out a stained sheet for laundering (13), - a Times clue. Answer ANAESTHETISED. ‘for laundering’ is the anagram indicator. On the other hand Tim eats meat he minced Answer AT THE SAME TIME uses ‘minced’
COMMISSION #5: Gosia Smolenska
Gosia Smolenska is a painting student at ECA in her final year. She is interested in textures and creating surfaces in paintings; exploring new ways to imitate mould, dirt and decay through a range of techniques in oil and acrylic paints. The inspiration for this work came from objects and forms that have been affected by the natural environment, decaying and eroding their surfaces over time. The most important aspect of the work for her is the ambiguity of the forms, allowing the viewer to interpret the work in new and abstract ways.
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Theatre buff? Review it!!
Making mourning funny
Alice Hunter Johnston enjoys the charm and wit of Keith Waterhouse’s Good Grief at the newly refurbished King’s Theatre King's Theatre Run ended
««««« he newly refurbished Kings Theatre reopened its doors to the public less than two months ago, therefore Good Grief, with it’s unfashionable central theme of widowhood, seems a surprising choice of production. In fact, fewer than half the newly installed seats were filled on Tuesday, but this was Edinburgh’s loss. Writer Keith Waterhouse handles the morbid topic refreshingly and wittily, whilst television acclaimed Penelope Keith carries off the starring role with ease, balancing poignant moments with wry humour. Originally adapted from Waterhouse’s novel of the same title the play deals with June Pepper’s readjustment to life after her husband, Sam’s, recent death. She seeks immediate relief through alcohol whilst attempting to evade the condescending and controlling sympathies of her stepdaughter Pauline. After meeting a man wearing her late husband’s suit the two strike
ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST Bedlam Theatre Run ended
edlam Theatre Company were sadly not up to their usual standard in this re-imaging of Dario Fo’s classic satire. Based on the true story of an anarchist who ‘jumped’ from the fourth floor window of a police station in Italy in the 1960s, the play is a farce with serious political undertones which gave the cast plenty of opportunity to flex their comedic muscles. However, while there were some genuine laugh-out- loud moments the production was marred by a sense that it was all a little unprofessional. Cast members addressing comments to the technical team, or pointing out when their co-stars had come onto stage from the wrong side, only drew attention to trivial errors which would have other-
JOURNEY AND POSTCARDS FROM... Gallery on the corner 'til 3 Nov
ourney and Postcards from… transforms this small gallery space, located in New Town, into an exciting venture into the lives of artists who suffer from mental or physical health conditions. The exhibition is part of the Edinburgh mental health arts and film festival.
SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET: June Pepper unamused by revelations about her late husband
up an unusual but mutually beneficial friendship. June’s intimate opinions and feelings are revealed to the audience through
wise gone largely unnoticed. As someone who has seen this company perform before and been impressed by the level of talent on display, I left this production feeling slightly cheated. Furthermore, in an audience made up almost entirely of friends of the cast I couldn’t escape feeling like a gate-crasher at a preview of a show that was nowhere near ready for performance. That is not to say that this piece was without any redeeming features. Despite their tendency to over-act there were some very funny moments from the cast, most notably from Craig Methven playing the maniac and Joe McArdle and Will Hearle as the junior police officers. Martin McLennan’s gruff Scottish superintendent also provided a good antidote to all of the farcical aspects of the show. I just wish that this talented cast had taken the great script of the Accidental Anarchist and invested a little more time in rehearsing it. Charlotte Ryan Journey, as the title suggests, provides and interesting insight into the character of eight artists as they display their memories and personal struggles using a variety of techniques from lino prints to gauche on paper. These colourful and captivating snapshots into the mind of these individuals are displayed on the white wash walls of the gallery. Fee Dickinson and Anna Reid take the viewer on a journey up the Scottish coastline, exploring the bold blues and dark greens of the landscape. Others like Lynda Frame were inspired by a more emotional journey
thoughts of the Northern character with the desperation and anger of a grieving wife - though ensuring the comedy was never lost, her drunken account of a French restaurant proved a particular gem. The understated charm and simplicity of ‘The Suit’, played by Christopher Ravenscroft, compliments June’s outspokenness well. This intimate friendship is helped by the cosy staging of the pub where the meetings take place, neatly revealed from under the staircase of June’s spacious house. Playing Sam’s work colleague (Eric), Jonathan Firth is wonderfully arrogant if slightly superficial, but Flora Montgomery is less convincing as Pauline. Her delivery is too sophisticated for the troubled stepdaughter, though she was not helped by the script, which, for Pauline’s childhood letters, includes language far beyond the level of an eight year old. The twist at the end is also superfluous and sadly belittles the earlier developments of the characters’ relationships. Despite problems with the improbable plot and the less developed smaller roles, the Keith-Waterhouse double act decisively dispels these issues.
her ‘Dear Diary’ asides to Sam, somewhat reminiscent of Shirley Valentine’s ‘wall’ addresses. Although she appeared to be nervous at first, with hints of her
own upper-class accent creeping in, Keith quickly took control of the stage and audience. She perfectly conveyed the mundane and occasionally crude
ANDREAS KARL SCHULZE
novelty of Schulze. It takes some time to familiarise oneself with the piece which, with its rigid grid structure, seems almost as bare as the white-washed, neon-lit room in which it is on display. Schulze’s art is one of extreme reduction and the result of rational thinking rather than that of emotion. The piece is interesting because it contrasts and combines the planned regularity of its layout with what Schulze says are “accidental” successions of colours and patterns on the squares. Both static and fragile, the installation allows you to view it from different angles as you walk around and explore its seemingly infinite number of colour combinations. Although the installation overall succeeds in being a rational thought experiment, it fails, however, to move and challenge the viewer.You cannot help but feel that Schulze’s installation leaves you emotionally unsatisfied, and even though the simplic-
ity of the piece shows an undeniable beauty, the work as a whole falls short of capturing your attention.
science’ springs out from behind the counter. This is certainly the highlight of the exhibition and reveals the long tentacles of an octopus reaching out from underneath the frame, resembling a dramatic theatre set. Postcards from… is presented in a separate space. It is the result of 200 artists designs created on rectangles of MDF the size of post cards. The relatively small room is dotted with postcards which display an array of international identities from highland cows in kilts, the unmistakable blue white and red of the French flag and the leaning tower of Pisa. The
artists all demonstrate talent and creativity, one even going as far as to make a postcard out of glass mosaic. The apparent absence of some postcards shows the success of the exhibition as a fundraising effort as one of these postcards can be yours for £15. The symphonies of colour on every surface give the exhibition a cluttered atmosphere but what kind of journey would be complete without a little chaos. Journey and Postcards From… are definitely worth a visit Emily Carruthers
Sleeper Gallery 'til 31 Oct
ndreas Karl Schulze’s exhibition is a single-room installation in the basement of the Sleeper gallery, consisting of a set of geometrically arranged threads hanging from the ceiling, with hundreds of stamp-sized paper squares attached to them. Schulze, a German artist, has been experimenting with coloured squares for over two decades – a technique that brings to mind Gerhard Richter’s colour chart paintings from the 1960s and 70s. This piece, specially assembled for the show, differs from his earlier work in which he arranged larger canvas squares on walls. While most of the new pieces are in striking colours, some have scribbled patterns on them or remain white, another
The symphonies of colour of every surface give the exhbition a cluttered atmosphere but what kind of journey would be complete without a little chaos" revealing their intimate reflections and thoughts. William McEvoy’s almost life like ‘The battle of the con-
Both static and fragile, the installation allows you to view it from different angles as you walk around and explore its seeminly infinate number of colour combinations." Simplicity is an inevitable part of minimalist art, but with this installation Schulze cannot completely avoid its almost inevitable by-product: monotony. Tim Sommer
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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STAR RATING Michelangelo's DavidFlaunt itPerfectly comfortable Put some clothes onAwkward
Lene Korseberg explores the human body through Naked Touch, Gavin Evans’ latest exhibition ticipants are far from anonymous; by allowing them to decide how to pose, and where to place Evans’ hand, their distinct personalities shine through. In this way, the nakedness itself becomes less important and you are left with recognizeable individuals, not merely naked bodies.
The Institute Gallery 'til 14 Oct
he photographer Gavin Evans is well-known for his portraits of stars like David Bowie, Björk, Daniel Craig and Sir Ian McKellen. However, for the last couple of years Evans has been working on his artistic project Touch in which he explores the nature of human connection and the relationship between a photographer and his subject. It is a further expansion of this project, Naked Touch, which is now being shown at The Institute in Marchmont.
To look, explore and reflect upon their attitudes towards nakedness." In Naked Touch, Evans sets out to investigate the relationship between the self and the body. The participants were told to place the photographer’s hand in the frame, making it the only prop that they had to work with when posing for the camera.
MY SHRINKING LIFE Traverse Theatre Run Ended
lison Peebles is a remarkable woman. After training at the Edinburgh College of Art she hung up her paint brushes to pursue a career in performance, since then she has worked to become one of Scotland’s most revered actors, writers and directors. In 2001 she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, My Shrinking Life is the remarkable account of her attempt to come to terms with her illness, to negotiate her way through
KNOCK OUT: Exhibition that packs a punch However, he also invited them to go further by removing the final physical barrier between themselves and the photographer – their clothes. By doing so he aims to challenge both the participants and the viewers to look, explore and reflect upon their attitudes towards nakedness and their own bodily boundaries.
What first strikes you about the photos is their humorous and relaxed nature. Whether it is because most of the participants seem relaxed and comfortable or because the photographer’s hand is actually present in the photos, the viewer is left with a feeling of intimacy and familiarity. Unlike most nude photos, the par-
life despite her deteriorating nervous system, to overcome the envy she feels towards those who take the ability to walk for granted, and to accept the fact that she will never again swan into a room in a pair of killer high heels. The production poignantly captures the prejudice society harbours against the sick and disabled. It also highlights the headstrong narcissism of young people, who despite their beautiful, able bodies so often flounder in their search for elusive ‘happiness’. A compelling young actress plays Alison as a child, representing an inspiring, ageless optimism that MS will never defeat. The piece also stars two lithe dancers whose grace and quality of movement contrast Peebles rapidly deteriorating physical condition.
In her frank closing speech Peebles muses, ‘I bet your wondering when she will get to the point?’ But getting to the point is not high on her list of priorities. As far as she is concerned every second with us is precious.
The production poignantly captures the prejudice society harbours against the sick and disabled " Perhaps the most shocking moment of the piece was the bow. Peebles, aided by her cast members, descended from the stage where, supported by crutches, she bowed at audience level.
By allowing them to decide how to pose their distinct personalities shine through." It is also interesting to see how the different subjects approach Evans’ hand. Some use it to cover up their bodies, making the hand the center of the image, others seem more comfortable about their nakedness and allow their bodies to be in focus. You cannot help but reflect upon how you would have taken on the task of posing, and by doing so, you automatically challenge your own attitudes towards nudity and bodily boundaries. When living in a society that almost expects us to be dissatisfied with our bodies, it is a relief to find an exhibition that explores the concept of nudity and yet still leaves room for the individual. There was no curtain drawn on the reality of her illness. Multiple Sclerosis is not a role she can merely execute brilliantly, add to her CV and move on from. It is a daily, inescapable reality. My Shrinking Life is a heart wrenching example of how powerful theatre can be as medium of communication. It serves a purpose, it challenges, it enlightens, at times it horrifies. Rather than obliging us with easy answers Peeble’s piece prompts us to ask some uncomfortable questions of ourselves: do we value our health? How do we really view those living with illness and disability? And regardless of our circumstances, can we find genuine fulfillment during our time on earth? Eva O'Connor
THE POETRY DOCTOR with Isabella Flanders his friend to sit and relax with him and “sink into a dream/ Of quiet thoughts”, which is the ultimate antidote to a few nights of scandal (especially if you have gossip to catch up on). In fact, a little bit of playing away from your friends will reinvigorate you, and you can feed this new energy back into your old friendships. So keep your old friends even as you make new ones, but beware your networks doesn’t expand so fast that just to keep up with everyone you’re having three lunches a day. Got a problem? We can cure you! All problems will be treated confidentially. And ever so seriously. Email us at poetrydoctor.studentnewspaper@gmail. com.
icket price inflation is one of those topics that never seems to be out of the papers for long; be it the West End or Edinburgh Fringe, it is a stubborn spectre of a topic that refuses to leave. Following the publication of some rather gloomy statistics, including the average top-priced seat in the West End now costing £70 (reported in The Stage), it has come to the fore once more. A host of individuals, including London Old Vic’s artistic director Kevin Spacey and the National’s Nick Hytner, have spoken out, citing this as a key factor driving the younger generation away from the theatre. After all, with so many forms of entertainment available why would young people invest such a substantial sum in one evening’s entertainment? Still, let’s not be too dramatic. Although the face value of tickets are rising there is an array of discount schemes available – especially for young people. To focus on London for a moment: many theatres, including The National, The Royal Opera House and The Donmar, offer various cheap ticket schemes; they may be slightly more effort but you’re getting a substantial amount of money knocked off so it’s hard to complain. Further to this there are the discount booths around Covent Garden and Leicester Square, plus websites such as lastminute.com and theatremonkey.com to help you get to the theatre for less. Locally, Edinburgh theatres offer very competitive ticket prices and some fantastic schemes including £10 student standby tickets. So young people of Edinburgh go forth, wave your student cards around and take advantage of these opportunities. The cost of putting on theatre is rising and unfortunately, therefore, so must ticket prices. However, with discount schemes cutting tickets to as little as the price of two glasses of wine, young people should not feel they cannot go due to extortionate costs. Whether todays productions are more attractive to our generation than two glasses of wine is another topic, for another column.
Look oot for... Summerhall's new season of exhibitions, kicking off with a range of art including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Chopin inspired works.
Conventional agony aunts might call you an inconsiderate, flighty commitment-phobe for contemplating dumping your friends in this manner. However, it is clear that you retain a strong affection for your friends which is suffering because you have no outlet for your inner drama queen. Until you’ve satisfied her you’ll be thought-
cheating on your friends anyway. Try joining new groups and dip your toe in the hot tub of scandal, but don’t stay long enough for the bubbles to clear, revealing that everyone’s actually quite pasty. Like “The Whistling Girl” of Dorothy Parker’s poem, celebrate being footloose and feckless. Parker’s girl doesn’t care that she is wickedly irresponsible as she sings “better a heart a-bloom with sins/ Than hearts gone yellow and dry!” In your case, a balance of drama and peace might be advisable. Don’t neglect your old friends as they can give you a refuge of stability and respite from the hedonistic lifestyle you seek. Above all avoid losing the people that you actually care about. Wordsworth appreciates the value of long-familiar companions in the poem “Travelling”. He invites
This week: Hedonism, boredom and fickle friends
Dear Poetry Doctor, I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. The social groups I was involved in last year all seem to have dissolved or gone stale. While I have some good friends, I don’t feel the same excitement about seeing them as when we all first met. Last year was filled with gossip and intrigue but now we are all too used to each other. Should I ditch them and find new friends or remain loyal but live in boredom?
This week's cultural spectrum.
Are Inflated prices deflating audiences?
Scottish Ballet Autumn season at the Festival Theatre. A triple bill including work by William Forsythe and Hans van Manen. The premiere of our brand new Literature Section.
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
A message from the EUSA president James McAsh encourages students to fight for a fairer future IF YOU were born after 1979 then you are part of the first generation who can expect to grow up poorer than their parents. In the nineteen eighties the government sold off its social housing stock and stopped building more. The private sector never picked up the slack so today we are left with a housing crisis. Our parents were the beneficiaries of this policy – they bought these houses at subsidised rates and watched as their value rocketed over the decades. The result today is that few people under thirty can afford to buy a house. Instead we pay huge chunks of our pay check or student loan to landlords who make a living out of owning our homes. Or alternatively, we spend our twenties living with our parents, unable to make that massive first step into independence. The situation in higher education is similar. Governments and universities are cutting education and research budgets, squeezing stipends, wages and pensions, while
drowning us all in a sea of fees and personal debt. Courses and departments are being closed, universities privatised. This commercialisation of education is worsening a tiered university system, keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. Our cabinet of millionaires all benefited from free university education, so it’s a massive kick in the teeth when they try to take those rights away from us. Of course, this is not just a generational issue. Above all, it is a question of class. The very richest in society do not need to worry about this withdrawal of welfare. Those who have the money to pay inflated prices for housing will continue to do so. Those who can afford private medical treatment will live longer. And those from the most privileged backgrounds are much more likely to go to university and/or get a well paid job. These are the reasons why EUSA is supporting the National Union of Students’ national demonstration in London on November 21st. Just like
Paid for by the Edinburgh University Students’Association
our parents’ and grandparents’ generations before us, we need to stand together and demand a fairer future. Education should be available for all, free of charge, and paid for through progressive taxation. There should be decent jobs for all – well paid and fulfilling. Student debt should be scrapped immediately. International students should be treated as valuable members of society, not cash cows and potential criminals. We must demand a fair political system where we have genuine input into decision-making at all levels – not a ‘democracy’ where politicians fail to keep their promises. Now is the time to stand up and have our voices heard. March through London with thousands of over students on 21st November. James McAsh can be found at @eusapres, www.facebook.com/eusapresident and firstname.lastname@example.org Transport down to London for the demo can be purchased for £10 from the EUSA Online Shop www.eusa.ed.ac.
uk/shop. If you want to be more involved in the campaign come along to our planning meeting on Sunday 14th October at 2pm in the Potterrow Dome.
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Tugging at the harp strings
Laura See falls in love with the melodies of Andy McKee, Preston Reed and Jon Gomm at the Pleasance
ANDY MCKEE: with his harp-guitar. Or Huitar. Or Garp. or several years now I have adored F Andy McKee’s music. Since the very first YouTube video I saw of him per-
ture of people who chose to attend: the young, the old, avid guitarists and students were all present. Yet no divisions prevented the collective appreciation of Andy McKee’s exceptional skill and performance. The performers' amiable and charming personas made the audience even more responsive, with McKee, Reed and Gomm each chatting confidently and entertainingly between songs. After the performance, all three of the guitarists came and greeted members of the audience who were dedicated enough to wait (yes, I was one of those), which I found extremely heartwarming and made me like them even more as people, as well as guitarists. McKee showed impeccable talent in creating beautiful, harmonious lines
weird.” It does go from dreams to just plain dreamy with mutterings about houses in tiny villages and the like, but it’s still far from cryptic.
forming the infamous “Dreamcatcher” I was enthralled by both his technical skill and the beautiful sound he created on the guitar. When I heard that he, Preston Reed and Jon Gomm were collaborating together on my very own student union stage I wasted no time in purchasing a ticket, and I am so glad I did. Andy McKee was simply stunning and lived up to all my expectations. The ease with which he played was breathtaking and his striking use of guitar for percussion, harmony and melodic lines was ingenious. The Pleasance Theatre was packed and I was taken aback by the vast mix-
RICHARD HAWLEY Seek It PARLOPHONE
unny and beautiful, Richard Hawley’s “Seek It” isn’t quite like anything else – and it’s certainly much, much better than any grudgingly-written simile could convey. There is something completely knowing about this song: the lyrics, in particular, are so self-consciously transparent they could practically be part of a musical number in a comedy routine (albeit a finely orchestrated one). Witness the opening lines, “I had a dream and you were in it/We got naked/Can’t remember what happened next… It was
It goes from dreams to just plain dreamy... charmingly oblique" And yet "Seek It" remains charmingly oblique. It’s as lovely on its fiftieth listen as on its first, and after mornings of being woken up to it on the radio, that’s saying something. Listen and listen; new details of the lush orchestration appear to sweep you away even when you think it has given all it can. Anna Feintuck
of melody such as in “Roslyn”, where he also chose to explain the meaning of the song to the audience. Dedicated to a very close friend of McKee's, the song was blisteringly moving. Whilst McKee’s songs were incredibly beautiful, it is clear that he was inspired by the man who began this whole style of guitar playing, the genius that is Preston Reed. I thought it was great how all three guitarists, whilst using the same finger-tapping technique, all had their own unique style of playing. Reed’s set could be seen as a lot more challenging and focused on incredible percussive technique. He even said, when introducing one song, that it could easily be described as a ‘percussive song with some guitar’ instead of vice versa. It was a privilege to
ELLIE GOULDING Anything Could Happen POLYDOR RECORDS
fter the astounding success of Lights A and a performance at the Royal Wedding, Ellie Goulding certainly has
a lot to live up to with her second album, Halcyon. Luckily, the debut single, “Anything Could Happen” immediately suggests she is definitely on the right track. The high pitched vocal samples in the introduction combined with Goulding’s distinct, haunting voice and lyrics such as “After the war we said we’d fight together/I guess we thought that’s just what humans do” make this record effortlessly beautiful. The catchy chorus and repetition of the line “Anything
watch Reed play. The impressive hand stamina of all three players is something that must be noted. They whack their guitars with such speed and strength; it amazed me that they managed to play in that manner for three hours. However, Jon Gomm was the unexpectedly pleasant surprise of the night. Unlike the other two, I had little knowledge of his music, so was intrigued to see what he had to offer. His vocals were simply haunting. He filled the auditorium with passionate and overwhelmingly evocative songs, lyrics and harmonies. His guitar playing also encompassed a technique which I had never seen before, where you adjust the tuning pegs while playing. He did this with incredible ease and at such speed
that it was truly fascinating to watch. Following this performance, his album is now at the top of my shopping list. The whole evening was rounded off with all three of the performers collaborating in one final set, which involved them playing one song composed by each of the artists. Here, the highlight was definitely Preston Reed’s, which they all admitted was the “most fun to play”. It was exhilarating to witness and built up the concert to a massive send off. All three of them displayed tremendous stamina and exemplified guitar acrobatics at its best. Be there in the audience again when they decide to do their next tour; this was nothing short of magical.
could happen” add a certain memorable quality to the track, ensuring it will not be easily forgotten. A mix of electropop and folk music, Goulding described her latest single as “a song of realisation”. Listeners will realise what remarkable talent the twenty five year old has.
this single is unmistakably formed from the same mould as their previous album. Yet it appears to be a new chapter of the same book opposed to a replica of their previous hits.
DOG IS DEAD Talk Through The Night YOUR CHILDHOOD RECORDS
he folky-fivesome returns with T their new song, “Talk through the Night”, a tender tribute to teenage
love and friendship that will reside at the top of any indie pop lover’s playlist for this October. For Dog is Dead fans
A tender tribute to teenage love"
The song opens with a soft guitar instrumental before their trademark chirpy rhythm sets in, accompanied by the unforgettabley jaunty “we’re gonna talk through the night”. With a Noah and the Whale-esque charm flowing from their nostalgic lyrics and their charmingly disjointed rhythms, it’s impossible to write Dog is Dead off as just another indie band. Turn this up, wind down the windows, and enjoy this all autumn. Lucinda Ross
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
STAR RATING Sgt. Peppers Lonely Harps Club Band Total Eclipse of the Harp Harpbreak Hotel Harp Shape Box What Becomes of the Broken Harped
LIVE WHILE WE’RE YOUNG SYCO RECORDS
RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS LOVE OF YOUR LIFE WARNER BROS
WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER WBIG MACHINE RECORDS
FOOD & LIQUOR II ATLANTIC RECORDS
been an incredible eighteen riving in the sunshine with a light merican sweetheart Taylor Swift’s ot long ago Lupe Fiasco was one Itiont’smonths for the boys of One Direc- D breeze sifting through and the A new single “We Are Never Ever Nof the most gifted and dynamic and this song perfectly captures ambient sound of The Red Hot Chili Getting Back Together”, for those rappers around. He had released two the fun they’ve been having. People may turn their nose up at One Direction but this song is an absolute tune that the majority of our university girls will sing along to at the top of their voices when it comes on in The Hive, even if they say they won’t. Beginning with a riff that’s a bubble gum pop take on The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go,’ the boys deliver suggestive lyrics that are sure to make those guilty One Direction fans swoon. Despite sounding a bit similar to their previous releases and having a ridiculously cheesy bridge, it’s still a bouncy, feel good track that you can’t take too seriously because that’s not what the boys are about. It’s clear they’re just living while they’re young and by God, are they making the most of it.
Peppers is a wonderful combination. To all their fans, the band seems to have been playing it quite cool in recent years. Most of their newest sound is good, but has a large twang of pop mixed in and tends to sound all the same. “Love of Your Life” and “Never is a Long Time” are the third instalment of a single series Red Hot Chili Peppers released on October 2nd. The rhythmical guitar riffs, upbeat drumming and Anthony’s sweet voice promises a new love of life, but whether this is comparable to their recent singles, I’m not sure. The songs come across as too safe and easy-listening for this alternative rock band. They lack that extra oomph: the oomph that puts the red and the hot into the chilis.
stupid enough not to get the title, tells the heart-breaking tale of how her boyfriend ticked her off (again). In short, this single is the epitome of everything that is hated about 21st century teenage girls. As far as the lyrics are concerned, they are so frightful that I panic for those who are overexposed to it. I mean, how many times can you listen to the word ‘ever’ before you go a little bit insane? Yet there lies a great nasty temptation to listen to it over and over again. I want to say this single is bad. However, in all begrudging honesty, with its sassy beat, if someone blotted out the words, or maybe made them a little bit more poetic, it could be half decent. Oh dear, I think I’m coming down with a minor case of TaylorSwift-ism.
acclaimed albums, displaying a lyrical dexterity and intelligence sorely lacking amongst his peers. Then followed record label disputes and a seemingly interminable delay before a fan petition secured the release of his third album Lasers. Although his most commercially successful record to date, the album was a pop-rap embarrassment, showcasing none of Lupe’s best qualities. It consequently feels that this record, the long postponed sequel to his excellent debut Food & Liquor, needs to represent a return to form to assuage the perception that Lupe has been living off past potential. The trouble is he seems all too aware of this and as such no longer knows when less is more. The album title itself is indicative of this. Whereas Food & Liquor II would have sufficed, he felt the need to add the self-aggrandizing subtitle: “The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1”. With 16 tracks, most of which exceed four minutes, the album is far too long and
ERRORS NEW RELICS ROCK ACTION
TAYLOR SWIFT: Another album of boyfriend hating hits
NO LOVE DEEP WEB NO LABEL
acramento’s experimental Hip-Hop S trio Death Grips are undoubtedly one of 2012’s most talked-about bands
for their inventive social media strategies and seriously abrasive material. Featuring MC Ride shouting his confrontational lyrics over futuristic production handled by Hella’s Zach Hill and Flatlander, they have gained a cult following off the back of an astonishing mixtape – 2011’s Exmilitary – that led to a signing to Epic. Having released one stellar album this year already in The Money Store, the band leaked their mysterious new record, NO LOVE DEEP WEB, on Monday after Epic’s refusal to release the album in a media frenzy lead
to their website being blocked. While it’s easy to view No Love cynically (made easier by the outrageously NSFW cover art), listeners will find that this record demands replaying and proves itself as the culmination of an unbelievably productive year for Death Grips, being a fully-formed modern classic that equals its predecessors in creativity and direction. Those new to Death Grips might be taken aback by the sheer intensity and aggression contained in these tracks, but while the band make deliberately complex music, they always find time to fit in a killer hook and make their beats instantly memorable. The rattling percussion on “World of Dogs” and the synths-on-synths “Deep Web” make for some of the best productions of the year, while MC Ride’s flow is becoming more and more intricate, displaying DOOM-level vocal dexter-
s lush waves of sonic bliss fade into A your consciousness and build to a tension that never quite releases,
ity on the post-trap album highlight “Bass Rattle Stars Out The Sky”. Those already subscribed to the cult of Death Grips will need no persuading that this album is as much of a modern classic as their last two. NLDW is the best introduction to Death Grips, being subtler and less of a constant aural assault. However, they always provide a thought-provoking and harrowing listen, with Ride being one of the most original voices and engaging storytellers (see opener “Come Up And Get Me”) in hip-hop, backed by always danceable beats. If you found the new Mumford and Sons record a bit too edgy, maybe give it a miss, but if you’re looking for an eye-opening and accomplished listen, there’s no reason not to cop the free download. Emmett Crudas
Errors welcome you into the cosmic playground that is New Relics. Described as a ‘mini-album’ and containing only 8 tracks (but still coming in at forty minutes in length), the Glaswegian trio, are signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action label, and now onto their fourth record. Although it does not have the immediate accessibility of its predecessor Have Some Faith In Magic, it initially seems to more than make up for its lack of floor fillers with sheer experimentation. Early tracks “Ammaboa Glass” and “Grangehaven” have a certain Arabian flair, reminiscent of Django Django, subtle though it is. In the later track “Hemlock”, New Relics swerves towards the short lived (and sometimes much ridiculed) ‘chillwave’ phenomenon of a few years ago. This aspect is present in some form for the remainder of the album, and while
forgettable songs like “Heart Donor” and “How Dare You” could easily have been disposed of without any overall detriment. Lupe has always been full of contradictions and the unnecessary length of the album conflicts with the bold plain black cover, giving the sense that this is an artist struggling with his identity. However, Lupe’s lyrical gifts thankfully shine through on numerous occasions. On “Put Em Up”, he boldly combines images of Stephen King’s Carrie, The Flintstones and “Gaddafi over Lockerbie” yet his flow carries it off. The album is invariably at its most exhilarating when Lupe concentrates on social concerns. On “Around My Way [Freedom Ain’t Free]” he effortlessly moves from discussing “emaciated models” to “human-body sandbags” created by Hurricane Katrina in a forceful display of his skills. It is therefore a shame when Lupe indulges in insipid pop-rap ballads like the latest single “Battle Scars” with Australian singer Guy Sebastian. Fortunately, such tracks do not dominate this album and while this record does not fully deliver on the promise of his early material, it is at least a timely reminder that Lupe still has something worthwhile to say. Jack Skelton not necessarily a bad thing, it brings out some of the continuity problems in New Relics. Errors appear to have focused on creating atmospheric, dreamlike soundscapes rather than shaping actual songs here, which many bands do to incredible success – you only have to look at their label bosses to find that out – however to make it truly work, an album must have something of a direction. This is what Errors are lacking. As the final blips and beeps of “Pegasus” fade out into the hazy abyss, the overwhelming feeling is that while Errors really enjoyed experimenting on this album, that enjoyment doesn’t quite carry on with the listener. While experimentation should always be encouraged in contemporary music, if it doesn’t gel then you just have some pretty weird materials rather than a piece of actual art. Errors sit more in the former camp on New Relics, but as we have seen over the years through their brilliant back catalogue, they are sure to come good on this new direction soon.
DEATH GRIPS: Breaking the internet
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Oscar fun for all the family? Melissa Lawford discusses whether Seth MacFarlane will succeed in walking the tightrope of Oscar wit
he role of the Academy Awards T presenter has been changing in recent years as producers struggle to
MacFarlane has the potential to explode in a mushroom cloud of political incorrectness." There was certainly little risk that Crystal that would offend anyone. In contrast, the Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, announced last week as the 2013 Oscar host, has the potential to explode in a mushroom cloud of political incorrectness. Whilst he undoubtedly has the charisma factor, becoming TV’s youngest ever executive producer aged 24 and
LIBERAL ARTS DIRECTED BY JOSH RADNOR oody Allen meets (500) Days of W Summer and goes back to college. This more or less summarises
Liberal Arts. Not that the movie isn’t original. How I Met Your Mother veteran Josh Radnor, who wrote, directed and stars in Liberal Arts, may have included a number of clichés in his film but the result nevertheless deserves some credit.
Liberal Arts has a lot in common with other indie movies, but departs enough from them to come across as new" The story of 35-year-old Jesse (Radnor), who visits his alma mater, wishes he was still there, and falls in love with sophomore Zibby (Eliza-
prevent viewing statistics from their gradual descent down the slippery slope. The main worry seems to be the show’s appeal to younger audiences. Although Justin Bieber’s cameo appearance in Billy Crystal’s 2012 awards, announcing ‘I’m here to give you the 18-24 demographic’, was nicely ironic, it failed to counterbalance the veteran’s aged routine. That was Crystal’s 9th time presenting the Oscar’s and it is safe to say that it will probably have been his last. However, whilst criticised for failing to bring anything new and engaging to the show, Crystal was a fairly prudent bet for Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the ceremony’s producers.
AN UNLIKELY OSCAR HOST?: The voice of Brian becomes the face of this year’s Oscars directing Ted this summer, a film that produced the highest weekend gross in history for a R-rated comedy, MacFarlane’s sense of humour is regarded by many as offensive. Family Guy has received a series of criticisms from the Parents Television Council for its high use of expletives and supposed vulgarity. Gay novelist Brent Hartinger has also referred to the show’s use of trans-phobic comments as ‘shockingly insensitive’ and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have expressed serious concerns regarding the series’ atti-
tudes towards homosexuals. It seems, therefore, that MacFarlane will be treading a dangerous line in pr senting such a prestigious event. Of course, the majority of viewers would rather see a big blundering social faux pas than have to sit through Anne Hathaway and James Franco’s dreadful attempt at presenting in 2011 again. Hathaway appeared as some sort of pantomime school girl, squealing lines such as ‘Oh my God you’re all real!’ while Franco stood dazed on stage, apparently half asleep. In fact, as Ricky Gervais has dem-
beth Olsen) has a lot in common with many indie movies, but departs enough from them to come across as new. Liberal Arts is a delicate movie about the beauty and unease of being young and at college, and the sense of purposelessness of being an adult but not feeling like one. Radnor weaves a web of characters at different stages of their lives, all somehow dissatisfied and all subtly mirroring some aspect of Jesse’s character. The only character that falls a bit flat is Nat (Zac Efron) who is too wacky for words. But, hey, it’s perhaps Efron’s first interesting role, so let’s be forgiving. Elizabeth Olsen, on the other hand, is so good that even the cheesiest lines go unnoticed when she delivers them. With its classical music soundtrack, the many literary references and the numerous exclamations of “You love books? Me too!!”, Liberal Arts is on the edge of being pretentious and somehow elitist. But the likeable characters and the colourfulness of the whole thing save it. Just about. They still quote William Blake and John Keats quite a lot.
Overall, Liberal Arts is a gem. It will especially resonate with those of us in their last year of university, and with those who have already left and wish they could go back.
Radnor weaves a web of characters at different stages of their lives, all somehow dissatisfied and all subtley mirroring some aspect of Jesse’s character " On the one hand, Liberal Arts is terrifying, in that it confirms that life after graduation can actually suck, on the other, the protagonist eventually learns that there is no point in wishing to go back. As he says, turning back the clock simply doesn’t work, and life as a 35-year old can be good after all.
Reviewed at Cineworld
onstrated in his performances as the host of the Golden Globe Awards, offensive can be great. Despite insulting pretty much every person in the film industry at the 2011 ceremony, most notably Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, Gervais increased the show’s viewing ratings. He expressed an aphoristic sentiment in a press statement regarding the decision for him to host again in 2012: “It depends on whether [the producers] care about fifty delicate egos in the room or the 200 million watching at home who want a laugh.”
TAKEN 2 DIRECTED BY OLIVIER MEGATON or those of you who haven’t seen F Pierre Morel’s Taken, it may be one of the best action films of the last decade.
Taken 2, directed by Olivier Megaton, doesn’t even come close. The film begins with an unfortunately clunky opening. The bad guys turn out to be the relatives of the men our hero, Bryan (Liam Neeson) killed in the first movie. Meanwhile, his daughter (Maggie Grace), is still annoyed at her father’s over protectiveness (you think she would have learned by now), and Bryan’s ex-wife is finally divorcing her husband and warming up to the beloved brooding Irish man again. Following a reunion of sorts, they all decide to have a little family time together in Istanbul and conveniently that’s when the Albanians come for them. This time though Maggie Grace has to do a little more legwork and Neeson’s character is more Bambi than badass, at least for the first act. What follows incorporates all the
The issue with Gervais’ methods of presentation is that they completely outshine the awards themselves. The Golden Globes were mocked rather than celebrated by their host. While this meant that all of the entertainment boxes were ticked, the old sense of pomp and importance disappeared. But then awards presentations, especially the Oscars, are like weddings: they’re great at the time but in the long run the only thing anyone really cares about is what went a bit wrong. It’s probably a universal given that most people would like to go to a wedding where Peter Griffin was the father of the bride, Stewie was best man and Brian was going to make an appearance as the drunken cousin. This is primarily because these ceremonies are performed so often that audiences crave something refreshing. Dignified traditions are all very well, but, in the present day, there are far too many of them and they get pretty monotonous, failing to succeed in pulling in the punters. The problem here though is whether the general public will recognise that MacFarlane is probably the man who can deliver something new to their living rooms and whether they will make the effort to tune in. This should be recognised as the biggest risk that Zadan and Meron have taken: MacFarlane is a big name if you’re in the know, but he’s not a big face if you’re not, and these things are all about appearances. Silly really, as funny people are far more entertaining than pretty people. trademarks of an action flick: a couple of explosions, foot chases, car chases, and a pretty high body count. All this culminates in basically the arcade game equivalent of a boss fight. It’s a given that Bryan is a little more crafty than the average action hero and in this sequel Neeson gets to show off a little more of his martial arts skills than in the previous film. The fact is, however, that this is a franchise that should have never become a franchise in the first place. Taken 2 is a film made purely for box office profits and with no obligation of telling a good story. The things that made the first film great are completely absent here. There is no emotion in Bryan’s quest, and of course Neeson’s acting ability is wasted. Furthermore the action sequences, which made Taken feel so fresh, are much less interesting here and sloppily cut in places. So if you were ever even considering seeing this film, just YouTube ‘Neeson Season: The Musical’ instead, and forget that anyone ever brought this film into the world.
Reviewed at Cineworld
Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
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Watch immediately Pretty good It'll do Passable Complete rubbish
’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers kids’ TV being brilliant. I certainly used to watch it far too much when I was younger. There was a time when I spent every Saturday morning glued to the screen. Every weekday after coming home from school I would dive onto the sofa to watch Arthur, Hey Arnold! or whatever else was on. I recorded every episode of The Simpsons with almost religious fervour, only to be disappointed when it was yet another rerun. Those things probably go some way to explaining my general laziness and social ineptitude, but I’m not going to let that get in the way of nostalgia. Kids’ TV was great. Still, times have moved on. Everyone enjoys reminiscing about how great Scooby Doo was and how much they loved Disney, but it doesn’t change the fact that we just aren’t the target audience anymore. We need to move on, start watching gritty sci-fi action, harrowing drama, and vacuous reality programmes. CBBC, Cartoon Network, CITV: these are no longer for us. We’ve grown up now. But does it have to be that way? Over the summer I got hooked on a show called Teen Titans, which I had previously never heard of, as a result of a friend waxing lyrical about how much she had enjoyed it years ago. I expected it to be painfully childish and cartoony, but I actually found it refreshingly self-contained and undemanding, and as a result I started checking out other shows aimed at younger audiences. Most of my childhood favourites had lost none of their old magic, but it was the quality and variety of the current crop of children’s programmes that really took me by surprise. Idly channel-hopping between different kids’ channels revealed sci-fi, fantasy, gameshows, nature programmes, comedy and even historical drama. That’s not to say it’s all great: there’s still too much Tracy Beaker, and shows like Horrible Histories and Dick and Dom are as obnoxious as ever. It’s just a matter of figuring out which shows we enjoy and which shows we don’t, just like ‘regular’ TV. Kids’ programmes might not make for intense viewing, but that’s no reason to rule out whole channels of scheduling just because we feel compelled to act our age; there’s some quality stuff out there. I don’t think it’s me just refusing to grow up, either: I think most of us could benefit from shelving our cynicism for an afternoon. The best thing is, it isn’t going to go away. It will always be there, ready for when you get tired of everything being dark and edgy, or cast members sharing unnecessary sexual tension with every other cast member. We didn’t let age ratings stop us watching 15s and 18s when we were younger, so why shouldn’t it work both ways? Lewis Brown
Don’t make a reservation
Lindsey Crawford checks out Channel 4's latest reality show which aims to help the unemployed HOTEL GB Channel 4 4oD
elevision executives have thrown themselves behind a myriad of perplexing reality formats over the past few years. The noughties saw the likes of the talent-barren Soapstar Superstar, the barnyard japes of Channel Five’s The Farm, professional grappling in Celebrity Wrestling, untrained lock-chopping in Celebrity Scissorhands and the now marginally infamous awfulness that was Love Island. The ubiquity of this genre of shows is no more, but Channel 4’s latest offering is up there with the weirdest of the last decade. Hotel GB takes a selection of celebrity gurus from Channel 4’s high profile roster and lets them run a swanky London hotel for a week in competing teams of girls and boys. However, those observing the omnipresent adverts publicising the series could be forgiven
UNZIPPED BBC3 Wednesday, 10pm
The suckers gave us a second series!” exclaims Greg James at the start of this week's episode of Unzipped, BBC Three’s chatshow/gameshow hybrid, using a term that by the end of the episode, feels like a rather concise description of the channel’s commissioners. Fronting the show alongside James is the immaculately coiffured, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Russell Kane, and the pair appear to have struck up quite the blossoming bromance, a sort of metrosexual Baddiel and Skinner. Though it would appear that the chemistry is genuine, it is often way too overbearing, and results in the show becoming somewhat of a vanity project for the two presenters. This is partly a problem that stems from Unzipped’s haphazard format. The show, billed as a humourous exploration into the more discreet aspects of behaviour in Britain, moves from a sit down chat with its celebrity guests to several rounds of quizzing on a weekly theme, in this case 'honesty'. This aspect of the show is fine, and pretty funny, as we find out some weird (and quite disturbing) facts about the psyche of the population, but it is too often interspersed with superfluous prerecorded footage and dull audience interaction that only serves to disrupt the rhythm of the show. Trying to fit so much into a 45 minute episode results in everything being awkwardly crammed together, and subsequently the show progresses
for not realising that it has an additional dimension. It also happens that Hotel GB is tackling a very topical social issue as well. Whilst the celebrities are running the hotel, they are also helping a selection of young unemployed people and apparently providing them with “a year’s work experience in a week”. This notion is not necessarily new, borrowing from other high profile shows such as Jamie’s Kitchen, but what stands out is that never before has an equal number of celebrities and members of the public essentially competed for airtime. So who are the famous faces offering up their supposed service industry expertise? The two general manager roles fall into the hands of Gordon Ramsay (predictably helming food and drink) and Mary Portas (making her mark in reception). Other well-suited appointments include former beautician Katie Piper heading the spa and How Clean Is Your House’s Kim Woodburn as head cleaner. Beyond this selection, it all begins to get rather more dubious. Dr. Christian Jessen holds the fort in the gym perhaps owing only to his buff bod, glorified esat a frenetic pace leaving this week's guests, Olympic boxer Anthony Joshua and Radio One veteran Sara Cox, barely any chance to make an impression. As a show to stumble across after coming home from the pub, it’s not unwatchable; there is just about enough substance behind its self-consciously edgy style, but after three quarters of an hour of non-stop ‘banter’, it is a bit of a relief when they finally zip it... Joe Patten
IAN HISLOP'S STIFF UPPER LIP BBC2 Tuesday, 9pm
ot too far into Ian Hislop’s Stiff N Upper Lip: an Emotional History of Britain we are told the tale of James
Boswell, a graduate of our fair university, who moved to London in 1762 in an attempt to work his way into the capital’s high society. It was a mission doomed to failure, and the account of his celebrations of King George III’s birthday give an indication why. He started the night by picking up a prostitute in St. James’s Park, downed three bowls of punch, got into a public brawl with some soldiers and had his way with two more prostitutes before returning home. Which, to be fair, doesn’t sound that far off a typical Edinburgh student night out, minus a few slices of battered pizza and a trip to The Hive. So maybe we haven’t always been so restrained? This first episode covers a lot of ground, taking us from medi-
HOTEL GB: Anyone for a 'Goktail'? tate agent duo Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer serve as concierge and maître d’ and most oddly of all, Gok Wan runs the bar… er, because 'Goktail' is a half decent pun? I’d love to tell you more about the people they’re training up, but we learn so little about them in the first programme that it barely seems worth trying. Instead we focus on staged scenarios with the various celebrity managers. We are limited to some brief and inconsequential insight before it cuts to Kim Woodburn comically straddling Dr. Christian in the
gym or Katie Piper discussing a back, sack and crack wax with Gordon Ramsay. The show doesn’t really know what it wants to be and this is its primary downfall. However, in its defence, it is most definitely entertaining, even if only in an unashamedly low rent manner. Additionally, all of the profits and tips from the hotel are going to unemployment charities and two candidates named Gun and Emily have secured jobs with Gordon and Mary. It’s just a shame that the audience barely knows who they are.
eval times (in which the English were apparently known for their exuberance – especially the women), through the rise of 18th century sentimentality and 19th century stoicism in the face of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Such a tenuous topic as a country’s emotions could have easily ended up in a mess of a show, but Hislop makes a good guide, charting an interesting path through the years while still leaving time for the little details like Boswell’s big night out. The time period covered here inevitably leaves the episode a little lacking visually, though. There’s a lot of panning across paintings and shots of Hislop walking around various locations, but not much else. However, given the trend for overblown dramatic reconstructions That has been plaguing documentaries of late, a more understated approach is rather refreshing. Indeed, the entire show has an unassuming feel about it, shunning the pomp and posturing of recent big budget documentary series to put across the facts with restraint and a wry smile. If only more documentary makers could follow suit and develop stiff upper lips of their own.
her team stealing a businessman’s suitcase (full of classified information,no doubt) in Morocco. Gunplay, hand-tohand combat and extended chase sequences naturally ensue. All very much a day’s work for Sam - until she’s shot in the stomach by a faceless, nameless gunman. Incapacitated, it’s all she can do to slaughter the lot of them and escape without a trace. After spending a year off the radar recovering, Sam returns to her organisation’s headquarters in London, convinced that someone in her own team set her up. Her welcome-back assignment is to infiltrate the household of multimillionaire Jack Turner (Patrick Malahide), who’s been tampering with the water supply in Pakistan; unsurprisingly, someone wants him dead. She becomes a nanny to Turner’s grandson Eddie, after attracting the attention of his widower son Stephen (Stephen Campbell Moore). Again, all in a day’s work. Meanwhile Sam is fending off advances from Aidan, her ex-flame, who delivers gems of dialogue such as, “Ask yourself why you don’t trust me. Is it because you don’t love me anymore – or because you’re afraid you do?” Despite my sarcasm, the first episode isn’t all bad. Dodgy dialogue aside, the episode does firmly establish the show’s premise and introduces a set of interesting subplots ready to weave through the rest of the season. There are also some genuinely intriguing moments, particularly the revelation that Sam was pregnant with Aidan’s child when she was shot. With a successful team of producers (The X Files and Spooks) it’s easy to see why the series has potential. However, there is certainly room for development. Michael Hannan
HUNTED BBC1 Thursday, 9pm
am Hunter (Melissa George) is a S spy working for a private security company. The opening scene depicts
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Tuesday October 9 2012 studentnewspaper.org
Focus: Women’s football
TAKES A WRY LOOK AT THE WORLD OF SPORT
The girls are ready for the season, but can they reach their goals? Natalia Equihua investigates
This year I expect us to match last season and also raise standards both on and off the pitch." Edinburgh coach Mike Ross
During three weeks in September, one hundred girls went through a series of try out sessions from which only eight were selected to participate in this year’s team. “We had several sessions where players were given the chance to play small sided and 11 vs 11 games against different players,” Ross said. “I wanted to see the new talent up against last year’s players and see how they compared. I then selected the girls who I thought could make a difference.” But will a new coach and a meticulous selection of players be enough to achieve this season’s goals? Ferguson believes that with a new twice-a-week
No coincidence that QPR bottom of the league and Marseille top. Just imagine when I actually start playing! #inspiration
READY: Edinburgh's Women's Football Team 2012/13
training scheme and a wave of fresh new talent A theystrong will be able to finish top in attempt BUCS Scottish 1A. toLast remove trophy week thethe women’s team had their first taste of success with a win 4-2 from Glasgow's grasp over the University of Aberdeen. Even though the result not assince decisive as for the firstwas time last season’s scoreline of 10-2, the result 1985Ferguson, wouldwho provide pleased highlighted that the team is still developing a sense of grounds for optimism" unity. “As a new team you cannot expect to go out and get good results immediately,” Ferguson said. “First of all the team still has to get together.” This Wednesay the team will play against University of Abertay, Dundee, and at the end of this month will face the current leader of the Scottish 1A conference and the team’s biggest rival, Robert Gordon University. “Last time we played them we lost
because many of the girls had classes,” said Caitlin Johntson, second year student and captain of the team. “However the second time around the final score was closer, although it was the match that decided the winner of the league.” The expectations are high, and each of this season’s wins will take them one step closer to clinching the BUCS MARS Trophy, which last year they lost in quarter finals against Durham University. Although the road ahead is no easier than last year, Coach Mike Ross is determined to help the team reach the highest level: “This year I expect us to match last season and also raise standards both on and off the pitch. We have a very committed group of players who want to achieve and do well and this is matched by my ambition to take the team as far as possible.”
Tackling sport’s greatest taboo
INSPIRATION: Vincent Pericard during his playing days cious cycle of loneliness, self-doubt and destruction in the lives of those affected and those around them. Nothing highlights this danger more than the tragic case of Robert Enke, the German goalkeeper who took his own life in 2009, after two separate battles with crippling depression. The stunning biography detailing his fight, A Life Too Short, highlighted the unique pressures of being a goalkeeper and his perennial fear of failure. As a player, Enke was respected throughout Germany as a solid, reliable keeper, unlikely to make mistakes or fall short of what was asked of him. Fatally, however, the assumption was made that these on field qualities defined him as a man off the field too. When depression struck, Enke was
reluctant to share his issues with anyone outside his small circle of family and friends, for fear that if coaches and fans got wind of his mental difficulties, they would doubt him as a goalkeeper too. The most troubling part of the entire book comes towards the crushing end, when Enke’s circle attempted to disguise his condition from the German national set up and media for fear it would jeopardise his position as no.1 ahead of the World Cup. The guilt and loneliness this forced on Enke would ultimately prove fatal. Thankfully, Enke’s case was a watershed moment for German sport, which now has a significantly better understanding of the psychological pressures on sportsmen and women and a support
Phil Smith says Stoke City's example must make us wake up to the role of depression in sport WHEN WE talk of our sporting heroes as role models, we often focus on their dedication, success and commitment. Of course, these are desirable virtues; ones which we all hope can filter down through generations. However, we also have a tendency to talk of sportsmen and women, particularly the most successful ones, as though they are in some way superhuman, entirely immune to pressure. Take Roger Federer, for example, widely referred to as the ‘iceman.’ Or Steven Gerrard, Liverpool’s very own ‘Roy of the Rovers’. When we discuss the sporting elite in this manner, it builds a mystique around them that they operate on some kind of different level to us, that mental strain and illness could not possibly affect them. It has only become clear in recent years just how dangerous this can be. Firstly, the sportswomen and men themselves are put in severe danger, as when depression, an unpredictable and volatile illness, strikes. They see it as a weakness on their part, a failure of their mental strength as players and as people. Thus, speaking out and seeking help becomes almost impossible, for fear of the impact it may have on their careers. There is always the worry that those in the sporting fraternity will view their talents and abilities in a lesser light because of it. What starts out as a treatable medical condition becomes a vi-
compromise so they can still study but also help the University on the sports pitch.” Coach Ross believes that there is potential in last year’s performance that should be exploited this season: “We have a good core of players and the plan this year is to keep that but add some new talent to complement what was achieved last term.”
IT’S A Friday evening, and one of Peffermill’s football fields has been invaded by the frantic sound of footballs being kicked and 26 pairs of boots running up and down the field. Despite a tiring week of studying and training, this is where these girls want to be. Last year Edinburgh University women’s football team came very close to becoming both conference champions and winners of the BUCS MARS Trophy. This year, they aim to clinch both titles. The club have put in major efforts to ensure that the problems they suffered from last year do not recur this time around. Last season, the team’s most decisive match, a loss against Robert Gordon University, highlighted one of the team's biggest issues: a lack of players. “Having matches away is difficult for the team since many of the students have lectures or exams,” Charlotte Ferguson, goalkeeper and secretary of the club, tells The Student. “We were unable to complete the team [against Robert Gordon] at the last moment.” This season, Mike Ross, the team’s new coach, has a new strategy at hand: He expects to solve the problem of away games not only with a bigger number of players, but also by balancing their school activities with the sport. “Players’ studies are most important,” Ross says. “Hopefully the players who have classes can speak with lecturers ahead of time and try and come to a
system to complement this. In Britain however, we are much further behind. It is, then, encouraging news that Stoke City have become the first club to allow access to Elite Welfare Management, a charity set up by ex-player Vincent Pericard (who retired at age 29 after a career-long fight with depression). The charity provides confidential advice and support to players. As a wider society, it is now time to confront one of our biggest taboos. One in four of us will be hit by depression at some stage in our lives, yet it is currently inconceivable to think that all who are affected will be able to seek help; such is the web of misconceptions around the illness. It is time for society to accept that depression is an illness, not a weakness. Sport can have a crucial role in this, with the stories of Robert Enke and Vincent Pericard hopefully breaking stereotypes and lifting the cloud on the topic. It is up to us however, to reform our idea of what sporting role models should be like. If we can accept in our heads that they are stronger, and not weaker, for facing up to depression, that they are powerless to prevent it occurring, then perhaps we too can accept that we are stronger, and not weaker, for seeking help when we need it. As sports fans, we always highlight the positive impact sport can have on society, and here is another chance to show it.
Cole needs to keep his trap shut. Deserves a 12 match ban #bigmouthstrikesagain @ashleynumberoneleftbackcole Come back when you’ve read Voltaire mate. @marksparkyhughes Cheers for the loan move mate. Yeah Marseille does seem a pretty nice place to retire - lots of beaches. Why you asking? #awkward So much hatred on here RT @dalailama “A happy society must be created by people themselves, not through prayer alone, but by taking action” Praying @RichardBVirgin would sod off my tele. Clues in the company name #prayforfirstrail No place for me in the England squad again #joke #milner Fuming about my one England cap. Reckon I’d be a shoo-in for the French squad otherwise #nasriwho? This 12 match ban is giving me loads of time to soak up the Marseille culture. Off to the museum! #culturevulture Just want to apologise to anyone who witnessed my encounter with the prehistoric section today. Lost my cool #violenceisnevertheanswer “There are no facts, only interpretations” – bet Nietzsche never tried telling that to the gendarmerie! #misunderstood #aheadofmytime Wish those “pundits” on MOTD would stop questioning my future after every slight altercation I have with a woolly mammoth. @garylineker @alanshearer “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever” People, stop over-reacting! Never threatened Mr Nice Guy or his boring pal Shearer. Just quoting some Orwell. #readordie Off to bed before i say something i regret @michaelowen I’ll haunt your nightmares you f***ing bench-warming c*** Tom Kinney & Geraint Ellis
Tuesday October 9 2012
Ready for kickoff
Natalia Equihua interviews the players and staff at Edinburgh’s women’s football club 31
1s triumph in intra-club clash
Edward Fyson watches the University’s two top hockey teams go head to head in their first match against each other Edinburgh 2nd 2 Edinburgh 1st 3 EDINBURGH MEN’S Hockey first team began their BUCS Scottish 1A league campaign with a 3-2 victory over Edinburgh 2’s last Wednesday afternoon. After trailing 3-1 going into the second half, Edinburgh 2’s managed to pull back to within a goal for the final minutes but could not quite erase the deficit in front of an enthusiastic Peffermill crowd. Stuart Fraser, captain of the 2s, said he was “encouraged by the final score”, claiming that, “In this David versus Goliath match, our slingshot aim was just off.” His team had fallen behind within three minutes, thanks to good interplay between Alfie Cary and Craig McCrossan, with McCrossan opening the scoring. The 1s maintained pressure and held the majority of possession, and were awarded a couple of short corners a quarter of an hour in. After being unsuccessful on his first attempt, Callum Duke, who captained the 1st team last year and has been selected to play for Scotland, doubled the lead with a low drag flick into the bottom corner. Only five minutes later, the 1s made the score 3-0 from another short corner, this time taken by Andrew Campbell and deflected into the net. Late pressure in the first half led to a goal from the 2s, scored by Scott Duncan, making the score 3-1 heading into
half time. The second half saw a more open game, with both teams having early chances. Conor Bond prevented another goal for the 1s with a goal line stop. However, tiredness caused some bad tackles, and both teams had players awarded yellow cards and temporary suspensions.
BUCS Standings 1st Edinburgh 2nd St Andrews 3rd Glasgow
The game was positive for the club, showing a high standard of hockey and competition..." Conor Bond, club captain and 2's player
With five minutes remaining, Will Eden pulled a goal back for the 2s, and as time ran out, pressure mounted on the 1s’ defence, which ultimately managed to hold out for the win. Tom Swarbrick, captain of the first team, said, “Credit must go to the 2s. They were clearly pumped up for the game, and made it a difficult task for us to win. However, it’s a great start to take three points from our first game.” Club captain and 2s player Bond commented that, “The game was positive for the club, showing a high standard of hockey and competition between our top teams. It provided a great experience for the younger players and I look forward to the away fixture.” The anticipated return match will take place on November 21st with the 2s hoping to claim revenge and better their chants of “one-nil in the second half ”, which could be heard at Malones Bar late on Wednesday night.
RIVALS: Edinburgh's top two hockey teams in action Edinburgh 2nd 2-3 Edinburgh 1st Edinburgh 2nd: Berndsen, Learmonth, Douglas, Fraser (capt), Walker, Hayes, Pugh-Smith, Hunter, Adams, Bond, Over, Eden, Duncan, McGowan, Kock, Wates Scorers – Duncan, Eden
Edinburgh 1st: Furse, Baverstock, Pathmanathan, Edwards, Crookshanks, McCrossan, Swarbrick (C), Campbell, Homer, Kemsley, McCrossan, Jamieson, Cary, McNiven, Greenhalgh, Duke Scorers – McCrossan, Duke, Campbell Umpires: William O’Brien, Alistair Munro
Hoy wins university award HOY: Greeted in the CSE ficials, CSE and Sports Union staff as well as representatives from University sports clubs and current performance athletes come together to celebrate
Sally Abernethy watches former Edinburgh student Sir Chris Hoy collect his latest accolade EDINBURGH’S OWN Sir Chris Hoy visited the CSE last week to receive the 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award. The award is given annually to former students for services to the community or achievements in arts, sciences, business, public or academic life. Hoy graduated from the university in 1999 with a degree in Applied Sports Science and went on to become a sixtime Olympic champion, winning a total of seven medals at the Games. The presentation saw University of-
431 341 331
Edinburgh Points Breakdown 1st Hockey 143 2nd Netball 75 3rd Tennis 66 4th Football 51 5th Lacrosse 50 6th Rugby Union 28
Hoy’s success. The principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, heralded Hoy as “Britain’s greatest ever Olympian”. O'Shea recognised Hoy as the inspiration behind the sporting success enjoyed at the University of Edinburgh, going on to remind everyone that the university was the most successful in the UK at the London Olympic Games earlier this year. Upon receiving his award, Hoy thanked the university for supporting him throughout his degree, claiming
the institution was ‘crucial’ in his sporting development. After congratulating fellow alumnus Katherine Granger on her recent success at the Games, Hoy went on to offer some words of encouragement to the next generation of performance athletes, telling them to “keep working hard and keep enjoying your sport”. As the Sports Union commences its BUCS campaign with the aim of climbing the UK university rankings, Hoy’s encouraging words will have given our athletes a great boost.
Hockey BUCS Scottish 1A Wednesday 3rd October
Wednesday 3rd October Results Edinburgh 1st 15-5 St Andrews 1st (Women's Water Polo) Heriot-Watt 1st 49-65 Edinburgh 2nd (Women's Basketball) Aberdeen 1st 2-4 Edinburgh 1st (Women's Football) Aberdeen 1st 2-1 Edinburgh 1st (Men's Football) Aberdeen 1st 2-4 Edinburgh 1st (Women's Hockey) Glasgow 3rd 6-6 Edinburgh 3rd (Men's Tennis) Edinburgh 4th 2-1 Glasgow 2nd (Women's Hockey) Edinburgh 4th 0-1 Glasgow 2nd (Men's Football) St Andrews 1st 9-3 Edinburgh 1st (Men's Lacrosse) Stirling 3rd 10-2 Edinburgh 1st (Men's Tennis) Edinburgh 2nd 2-3 Edinburgh 1st (Men's Hockey) Edinburgh 2nd 21-23 Glasgow 1st (Men's Rugby) Edinburgh 2nd 10-2 Strathclyde 1st (Men's Tennis) Edinburgh 3rd 3-4 Strathclyde 1st (Men's Football) St Andrews 2nd 0-12 Edinburgh 1st (Women's Tennis) Aberdeen 1st 1-15 Edinburgh 2nd (Women's Lacrosse) Wednesday 10th October Fixtures Stirling 1st vs Edinburgh 1st (Women's Tennis) Abderdeen 2nd vs Edinburgh 2nd (Women's Lacrosse) Aberdeen 1st vs Edinburgh 2nd (Women's Tennis) Edinburgh 1st vs Abertay 1st (Women's Football) Aberdeen 3rd vs Edinburgh 4th (Men's Hockey) Glasgow 2nd vs Edinburgh 3rd (Men's Hockey) Heriot-Watt 1st vs Edinburgh 4th (Women's Hockey) Edinburgh 1st vs St Andrews 1st (Men's Tennis)