Tuesday 27 September 2011
THE WHITE LADY Zeitgeist of St Andrews
Marine Conference to be held in Aberdeen pg. 5
The incurious case of Julian Assange pg. 8
The best wines under £10 pg. 14
Downton Abbey has returned for a second season pg. 19
Science Faster Than The Speed of Light Physicists around the world are amazed and confused at the results published by scientists at the CERN research facility in Geneva. Tests on the subatomic particles known as neutrinos have led to results that indicate that they broke the cosmic speed of light, something Albert Einstein declared to be impossible in 1905. If the results are found to be true one hundred years of accepted physics would come crashing down around us and new possibilities would open up in the realms of time travel. But the results published recently have been discussed by physicists in careful and considered tones before they are fully endorsed as a paradigm shift in the way we go about doing science. Scientists at CERN have asked for others to repeat their experiments and have opened up the debate on their findings in order to ensure accuracy. Antonio Ereditato, author of the report and scientist on the OPERA project at Cern, told the BBC: “We wanted to find a mistake trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects - and we didn't. “When you don't find anything, then you say ‘well, now I'm forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this’.” The OPERA project, or Oscillation Project with Emulsion tRacking Apparatus, tests the phenomenon of
neutrino oscillations by firing neutrinos from a particle accelerator in which they are created into a cavern underneath Gran Sasso, Italy 730 km away. The particles measured showed that they reached their Italian destination about 60 nanoseconds faster than it would take a light beam to cover the same distance. That amounts to a speed greater than light by about 0.0025 percent.
Still many physicists are sceptical of the results and John Ellis, a CERN theorist, has warned of the dangers of coming to conclusions too soon, “These guys have done their level best, but before throwing Einstein on the bonfire, you would like to see an independent experiment.” Despite the fact that the team at
CERN measured the travel times of neutrino bunches some 16,000 times, and have reached a level of statistical significance that in scientific circles would count as a formal discovery, they are looking for confirmation from similar projects around the world. Continued on pg. 3
Win two tickets to the Kate Kennedy Opening Ball Inside This Issue www.theopeningball.co.uk
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Editorial D ear Readers, We are back with our second issue of The White Lady and as you may have noticed, we have switched to a smaller weekly format. Last Week’s issue proved both provocative and controversial to many readers, as Facebook hummed with criticism and applause from different parts of the University. The most obvious criticism was the sheer amount of typographical errors present in the first issue, right from the first page. While no newspaper is perfect when it comes to scanning texts for typos, especially in the first issue as readers of Private Eye or a newspaper such as the grauniad will know, this doesn’t make up for the editorial failings and as editor of the newspaper, I apologise to you all for this. More important is the quality of the articles printed and I am glad our issue was able to stir debate amongst St Andrews students and bring to light some of the issues surrounding newspapers at our University. As editor it has been a rollercoaster of a journey from initial idea to writing and to getting it to print, with setbacks along the way. A week in the life of an editor has seen me distributing copies in the cold, being screamed at in the street and staying up far into the night begging writers to finish their pieces on time. In short it has been nothing but hard work and a lot of fun. One of the most frequent criticisms levelled by
readers is the anonymity of the newspaper, which has led some to call the people behind it ‘cowards’. It was an oversight on my part to think that this would not be an issue and that people might welcome the prospect of articles written solely for their merit and not merely for the prospect of an author seeing their name in print. I also thought it might seem a little arrogant of me to paste my name all over the newspaper and gain a form of minor celebrity at the University. As was rightly pointed out to me though, this meant that there was no-one to blame or hold accountable for the newspaper. To clear this matter up, I would like to say very openly that my name is James Lowe and I am a 3rd year student of this University. Those of you who have sent me emails will know this already and it has been already made very clear to all bodies of the University. The decision as to whether to print student’s articles with their names next to them has been trickier to deal with and not something I am sure I have the answer to yet. A number of students who have approached me with pieces have asked for their names not to be printed and I am still inclined to keep it this way. I stick by my statement that this newspaper is about articles not egos. That said, I also realise that people who wish to go into journalism will want to build up a CV from the work
they do for the newspaper. I am willing, therefore, to print names of regular writers who wish for me to do so. I can’t think of a fairer way of balancing the criticism and the value of anonymity in our newspaper. You all know my name now and as I said in the first issue, the buck stops here. This should be good enough for all articles that go to publication. I hope you enjoy this week’s issue of The White Lady and that it provides you with up-to-date news and features that keep you informed and entertained. We really do wish to serve the student body at large and so any submissions or feedback you have will always be welcome. Oh, and don’t forget to try the White Lady cocktail specially made by the Scores Hotel, and available for 2 for £5 at their bar – it really is delicious! And good luck to all of you who enter our competition to win two free tickets to the Kate Kennedy Opening Ball. Other than that, I wish you all the best with your academic studies this year and hope to hear more from you in the future. Yours faithfully, The Editor
We Want To Hear Your Voice We are looking for students who are interested in being part of our new media venture. Positions are available in a wide range of roles that offer hands on ecperience and can become part of your CV, including being part of the Editorial Team, the Business Team and also IT positions. So if you fancy yourself as an entrepreneur who ahs the skills to drum up business and manage assets or are handy with a computer emails us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in joining the editorial team, regularly contributing to our newspaper, or just want to send in articles please send your pieces to email@example.com. If you wish to beomce a regular writer or part of our editorial team, please indicate this in your email and we will get back to you with further details. We would also love to hear any feedback from our readers on this issue or indeed what you would like to see more of in future issues at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank-you once again for taking the time to read our newspaper. - The Editor
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
News 600th Anniversary Lecture: Ever to Excel Thursday 22nd September saw School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, play host to a special lecture in honour of the 600th Anniversary of the University of St Andrews. Dr. Norman Reid delivered the lecture on the University’s rich past and exploring our ancient motto ‘Aien aristeuein’, or ‘Ever to Excel’. Our University’s history is notoriously placed amongst changing religious and secular politics of late medieval Europe that had local, national and international effects on the events of six centuries. Having been shaped by generations of scholars and religious leaders, St Andrews still bears the marks of their achievements in its structure,
traditions and on its paving stones. The efforts of all those connected to the University, throughout history, have meant that it has been a place of learning
for all those at the forefront of the fields of human endeavour. Scotland’s oldest University might be steeped in history, but now more than ever has proven a chance to connect with our past and learn about its wider impact on society, religion, politics and intellectual thought. Dr Reid, the University’s Head of Special Collections, is author of ‘Ever to Excel: An Illustrated History of the University of St Andrews’. In his lecture, he helped to explain what the anniversary has to celebrate, talk about his own attempt to uphold the University’s motto, and his purpose and approach in writing the book. University of St Andrews Principal,
Professor Louise Richardson, commented, “In Ever to Excel, commissioned as part of our 600th anniversary celebrations, we gain an insight into the role the University has played across the centuries and in all areas of society on local, national and international stages. On a more human scale, we catch the enthralling glimpse of the lives of those upon whose shoulders our University still stands.” Dr. Reid’s lecture opened up the annals of history and provided insight into this glorious institution’s past, indeed it reminded us of why this University is a world-renowned seat of learning – as we are searching ever to excel.
Science Faster Than The Speed of Light (continued)
In 2007 Fermilab's MINOS collaboration reported results measuring the flight-time of neutrinos yielding a speed exceeding that of light by 1.8 sigma. The level of variation needed to declare a discovery on the matter is 5.0 sigma, the CERN experiment yielded a variation of 6.0 sigma. Spokespeople for both Fermilab and the T2K experiment confirmed their intentions to test the OPERA result in coming months. Fermilab noted in reaction to the OPERA announcement that the detectors for the MINOS project are being upgraded, and new results are not expected until at least 2012.
Just this small difference would open up the possibility of time travel and wreak havoc with long held principles of cause and effect. Albert Einstein, the author of modern physics, whose theory of special relativity established the speed of light as the ultimate limit, said that if you could send a message faster than light, “You could send a telegram to the past.” Alvaro de Rujula, a theorist at CERN, called the claim “flabbergasting.” But the team of scientists understands the dangers of what are known as ‘systematic errors’, which could
easily make an erroneous result look like a breakthrough. This is what has motivated them to publish their measurements. "My dream would be that another, independent experiment finds the same thing - then I would be relieved," Dr Ereditato told the BBC. But for now, he explained, "we are not claiming things, we want just to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result - because it is crazy".
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Independence for Palestine?
Barack Obama Ideally, he would have been hailing triumphant forward strides along the path to peace in the Middle East, or basking in the glow of a recently-inked peace deal. That was his goal two years ago when he first took the podium at the UN's headquarters on New York's East River, confidently predicting that what had eluded countless US presidents before him would be achieved within two years. Obama had it easy then. After eight years of George W Bush, who ignored the UN in launching the Iraq war and was consistently withering in his assessment of the institution's usefulness, the world was very ready for Barack Obama. As Stewart Patrick of the Council of Foreign Relations has written, Obama promised a "new era of engagement" and "had his audience at hello". Last year the talks between the Israelis and Palestinians were still alive, just, and Obama was still able to bask in the new atmosphere of co-operation between the world's only superpower and the rest of us.
Mahmoud Abbas There was much to celebrate yesterday: a resolute UN presence in the Ivory Coast which stood up to Laurent Gbagbo's attempt to ignore election results; The UN-led referendum that created South Sudan from the ruins of two decades of conflict, and of course the Arab spring. Twelve months at the same forum, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were all represented by now-departed dictators. It has, as Mr Obama said, been an extraordinary year. But not in the Middle East. All the president could do was stress his desire to achieve a Palestinian state while safeguarding Israel's security. As he has said so often before, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to "reach agreement on the issues that divide them". "Peace depends upon compromise among peoples who must live together long after our speeches are over, and our votes have been counted," he said. Noble words, but words he could well have uttered verbatim when he addressed the issue two years ago.
Benjamin Netanyahu United Nations - On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the ‘terrorist’ Iranian regime, deploring Ahmadinejad's ‘anti-Semitic rants’ and his repeated claims that the ‘Holocaust is a lie.’ Ahmadinejad had been speaking on Wednesday, and addressing the U.N. General Assembly's annual debate, Netanyahu denounced the Iranian leader's remarks. He said Ahmadinejad's comments were a disgraceful ‘mockery of the charter of the United Nations.’ He said people who listened to Ahmadinejad gave "legitimacy to a man who denies the murder of 6 million Jews, while promising to wipe out the state of Israel, the state of the Jews." "Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come and to those who left in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity, and you brought honor to your countries. "But to those who gave this Holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere, have you no shame? Have you no decency?" Noting that the United Nations was founded "after the
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he expected the Security Council to finish debating his nation's application for full United Nations membership in weeks, not months. Speaking to journalists on his plane back from the General Assembly in New York where he presented the request to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Abbas said Security Council members had initially appeared unenthusiastic about discussing the application. But the mood appeared to change after he made a speech to the General Assembly on Friday, pressing the case for an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, he said. The United States, Israel's closest ally, has said it will block the application. Both governments say direct peace talks are the correct way for Palestinians to pursue peace. Washington holds veto power in the 15-member Security Council. "We are talking about weeks not months," Abbas said of the Security Council deliberations, adding that the process could take a maximum 35 days. Lebanon's U.N. ambassador said the Security Council would convene on Monday to discuss Abbas's application. Abbas's statehood bid reflects his loss of faith after 20 years of failed peace talks sponsored by the United States, and alarm at Israeli settlement expansion in occupied land that Palestinians want for a state. Talking about a return to peace talks with Israel, Abbas said: "We will not deal with any initiative which does not contain a halt to settlement or the '67 borders." Apart from the U.S. veto threat, it was unclear if the required nine of the body's 15 members would support the bid.
carnage of World War II, after the horrors of the Holocaust, it was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events." "Nothing has undermined that mission. Nothing has impeded it more than the systematic assault on the truth." Netanyahu showed a copy of minutes of senior Nazi officials when they met to discuss how to carry out the extermination of Jewry and noted plans to construct concentration camps. Are such plans "lies?" he asked. As for the Iranian regime, he said it "is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries." He said "women, minorities, gays or anyone else deemed not to be a true believer is brutally subjugated," and he said "the most urgent challenge" facing the United Nations is "to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons." "Are the members of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom? Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and then gunned down Iranian protesters who died on the sidewalks, on the street, choking on their own blood? Will
the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?" He said Palestinians must have the power to govern themselves, but it must be "effectively demilitarised."
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
Warning Issued Against Releasing Pet Fish New research conducted by St Andrews biologists and in partnership with the University of the West Indies has found that the release of a single female guppy into the wild can generate entire new populations, even where no males are present. The research published on Tuesday 20th September demonstrates that the guppy is one of the world’s most invasive fish. Until now it was thought that the release of guppies into the wild was harmless at best, but with the exception of Antarctica these fish have been found in every continent in the world. The popular ornamental fish, originally found in Trinidad and the north-eastern fringe of South America, is to be found in over 70 countries throughout the world. The research shows that even the well intentioned release of discarded pets can lead to the loss of biological diversity, as a single female guppy fish can establish an entirely new, viable population. St Andrews lead researcher Dr Amy Deacon commented, “Our findings show that the guppies range has expanded dramatically since the early 1900s”. Having surveyed hundreds of fish biologists around the world, scientists found that the two most common methods of guppies ending up in the wild are the escapes of ornamental fish and the deliberate introduction of them as a means of controlling the larvae of mosquitoes that spread malaria. In places such as Southern India, guppies
Marine Experts’ ‘Clash of the Poseidons’ Experts with radically differing views on some of most critical issues facing the planet will be in Scotland this week at a major international gathering of 1,000 marine scientists. The World Conference on Marine Biodiversity has been brought to Scotland by the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews, and takes place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre between September 26th and 30th. Organisers are expecting a lively debate with controversial opinions on key topics such as the extinction of marine species, the impact on our oceans of climate change, the results of fishing policies and industry, and the conservation of sea mammals. French ocean explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer Jean-Michel Cousteau — son of famous underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau — kicked off the conference on the Monday morning at a hard-hitting session featuring video footage from some of the world’s most challenged marine environments. JeanMichel also give a public talk at Aberdeen Music Hall that evening to close this year’s Techfest In September science festival. Academic keynote speakers will include Professor Shahid Naeem of Columbia University, New York, who will put the case
are routinely released into water troughs, wells and small ponds for mosquito control. Although selfcontained at first, heavy rains and flooding mean that the fish eventually find their way to streams and rivers where they come into contact with native fish. Dr Deacon explained, “Usually only one or a few fish are released. We know that the vast majority of species introduced to a new habitat in this way are unable to survive, let alone establish a population, which left us with a huge question mark.” In an attempt to unravel the mystery, researchers conducted a simple experiment in which single wild female guppies were placed in outdoor tanks. After two years, researchers discovered that almost all the tanks contained populations of guppies, each founded by just one female. Dr Deacon explained how the finding might explain the guppy’s success as an invasive species, “Sperm storage is an excellent adaptation for living in constantly changing habitats, and it might also explain the guppies’ global success. Female guppies can store sperm in their reproductive tracts for many months after mating, and this enables single fish to establish populations, even when no males are present. “We also found that these populations kept all of the important behaviours that wild
guppies have, so they would be wellequipped for surviving in a new environment.” Dr Deacon continued, “Our study shows why we should be cautious when releasing exotic species. “Seemingly harmless activities such as a child freeing a few pet fish or a concerned
householder using guppies to control mosquitoes, can ultimately contribute to the reduction of biodiversity in freshwater habitats across the world.” The research, published by the journal PLoS ONE, was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the European Research Council.
for the decline in biodiversity as being the single most important challenge for our ecosystems. Dr Mark Costello of the University of Auckland will deliver a rather alternative take on the issue, and will present new data to show that there are far fewer species on Earth than widely believed – and it is possible to discover them all this century. Jeff Ardron of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, DC, will seek to connect science with policy and explore the issues around the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). While Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Forstjóri, Director General of Hafrannsóknastofnunin Marine Research Institute, Iceland, will give the Icelandic approach to fisheries industry in the North Atlantic, including quotas, conservation and whaling. Professor Terry Dawson of the University of Dundee will look at the hotly debated issues of climate change and its effect on the ocean environment. Meanwhile Anne-Helene PrieurRichard, Deputy Director of Diversitas, the international programme established to address the complex scientific questions posed by the loss in biodiversity and ecosystem services, will be placing international policy on the issue in the spotlight. Also presenting to delegates will be Richard Brock, film-maker and founder of
the Brock Initiative who produced Life on Earth and Living Planet in a 35-year career with the BBC Natural History Unit; along with communication and bioinformatics expert, Professor Phil Bourne of the University of California, San Diego. The Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, with its unrestricted award money of $100,000 made by The Tinker Foundation, presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica, was won by Dr. Jose Xavier of the Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the British Antarctic Survey in the UK. Also featured will be internationallyrenowned artist Lily Simonsen, who will create on a three-metre canvas her own impressions of the whole event. Awardwinning film-maker Emma Robins will be promoting Fair Trade Coral and the Plastic Oceans Foundation will be highlighting issues of marine litter and plastic in the ocean. Dr Martin Solan, from the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, is one of the conference organisers. He said: “There are few more critical issues facing our planet than the health of our marine ecosystems. And there are many differing views both on the interpretation of data, on the seriousness of the challenges, and the actions we should
take. We are excited to have this opportunity to bring together scientists, industry experts, interest groups and policy-makers from across the world to explore and debate these very controversial issues and hopefully to agree actions we need to take.” Co-organiser Professor David M Paterson, from the University of St Andrews, is keen to highlight the impact of human activity on our oceans, saying: “International marine crime and the cross-border cooperation we need to tackle it is also very much on the agenda next week. One of the evening events will be a public seminar on marine terrorism, the trafficking of humans, drugs and weapons, the dumping of toxic waste, and unregulated and unreported fishing. We are pleased to be hosting this at the University of St Andrews on Tuesday September 27th with our Principal and ViceChancellor Professor Louise Richardson in the chair.” Andrew Pratt, Ambassador Programme Executive at Aberdeen Convention Bureau, which helped to bring the conference to the city, said: “The World Conference on Marine Biodiversity is a great example of our Ambassador Programme in practice. We worked with the organisers to put together the successful bid to bring this event to Aberdeen and are looking forward to welcoming delegates from all over the world to our city next week.” The conference continues.
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
St Andrews' Second Founder Remembered Often referred to as St Andrews’ second founder, the life and legacy of Sir James Irvine will be celebrated at a symposium in Parliament Hall on Wednesday, marking the publication of a new biography of the man by his granddaughter Julia Melvin. Irvine, who was not only a respected Chemist, was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of St Andrews from 1920 until his death in 1952. Having first begun teaching at the University following his award of a Doctor of Science degree, he was appointed Professor of Chemistry in 1909 and Dean of Science in 1912. During his tenure as Principal, Irvine led St Andrews through a complete renovation and restoration of both buildings and traditions that set in motion the quality of academic study performed here today. As a man of science he focused on research-led inquiry that is integral still today in the University’s mission statement. Having masterminded the 500th Anniversary celebrations a century ago it is fitting that this biography and symposium should be held during the 600th
Anniversary celebrations, to honour the man who made St Andrews the world-class institution it is today. The new book, entitled ‘James Colquhoun Irvine: St Andrews’ Second Founder’ was written by his granddaughter and fellow St Andrews alumni, Julia Melvin. The symposium which is to be held on Wednesday will see speakers including the author, the chemist Tony Butler, Muniments Archivist Rachel Hart and he writer and commentator William Shawcross pay tribute to Irvine’s monumental achievements. But Irvine was more than just a Principal of St Andrews University, he was respected in his field and his influence stretched beyond the University’s ancient walls and into the British Colonies and the world. His discoveries as a pioneering carbohydrate chemist gave knowledge to chemistry of the previously unlocked ‘ring structures’ of the carbohydrates. His work also helped to inform developments in biology such as the discovery of DNA.
During WWI he and his team in St Andrews helped save the lives of thousands of troops. His use of natural sources such as dahlia tubers and seaweed enabled the protection of Allied forces against meningitis, the scourge of the campaigns in Asia Minor. Melvin’s new biography illuminates the life of this great Scotsman and may help extend his legacy. The author has pledged all royalties to St Andrews 600th Anniversary Campaign and its efforts to raise £100 million to nurture research-led teaching and inquiry across the Arts and Sciences. The Irvine Symposium takes place at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday 28th September in Parliament Hall, South Street, St Andrews. The event is not ticketed and entry is free of charge. It will be followed by a viewing of a special exhibition on Principal Irvine in MUSA where there will be an opportunity to meet the author, Julia Melvin, who will be signing books after the event.
In The Media Ed Milliband has announced plans to cap Tuition Fees at £6,000 if he comes into power. He has said that funding for the scheme will come from a higher interest tax on loans from those who earn over £65,000. Further funding would come from preventing the planned cut in corporation tax to ease what Mr. Miliband is calling the ‘burden of debt’ on students up and down the country. Reactions to the news have been varied with many saying that the leader of the Labour Party is simply trying to win the student vote that helped get the Liberal Democrats into power. Many ministers are pointing to the fact that it was Labour who brought in tuition fees in the first place. Furthermore, Ed Miliband had promised to bring in a graduate tax instead of fees, leading Universities Minister David Willets to ask if such a U-turn could be in anyway credible. Liam Burns, President of the National Union of Students was quoted as saying: ‘If they think this is going to be a manifesto policy, then I'm sorry - this isn't going to win support of students”
An Irish Coroner’s Court has heard that the death of Galway pensioner Michael Flaherty was due to spontaneous combustion. The verdict marks the first instance of such a verdict in Ireland’s history. After forensic scientists discounted the possibility of Mr. Flaherty’s death occurring from the small fireplace he was found laying next to, the coroner Dr. Ciaran McLoughlin found himself forced to give a verdict of spontaneous human combustion as the only possible likely cause of death. In the last 300 years there have been over 200 cases of reported spontaneous combustion with a notable modern cases being the death of American Mary Reeser, whose charred body was found in her Florida apartment in 1951. Her corpse was reduced mostly to ashes, but her home remained intact. The police report claimed the 67-year-old widow’s dressing gown had caught fire but no flame source or accelerant was ever found. Some scientists have suggested the ‘wick effect’ in which a person’s clothes act as a wick and their fat the fuel source, but no verified conclusion has ever been made as to spontaneous human combustion.
Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in municipal elections, the Gulf Kingdom's King Abdullah has announced. King Abdullah was quoted as saying that women would also have the right to be appointed to the consultative Shura Council. The news will be welcomed by activists and the progressive factions of society who have long called for greater rights for women in the ultra-conservative kingdom. The changes will take effect from next year having announced the decision in a speech opening the new term of the Shura Council, King Abdullah said, ‘Because we refuse to marginalise women in society in all roles that comply with sharia, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulama [clerics] and others... to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from next term’.’Women will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote.’ The news provides an extraordinary development for women in Saudi Arabia, who are not allowed to drive or leave the country unaccompanied.
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
Have you got something to share? Your article could be here. Email us at email@example.com. All forms of submissions and ideas are welcome.
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Comment The Incurious Case of Julian Assange This week marks the unauthorised, and thus unimprovably ironic, release of Julian Assange’s autobiography. The material originates from a series of interviews Assange gave to ghostwriter Andrew O’Hagan. Little comment has emerged from the high priest of (targeted) leaks himself, although he is said to have chirped unambiguously that ‘all memoir is prostitution’. Aha, well, indeed, voila. I really should consign my copy of Robert Graves’ Goodbye to All That, and perhaps even some of the finer war poems of Wilfred Owen, to the dustbin. What piffle these great works are Assange ought to know. After all, he knows everything he knows better than every world leader combined exactly what we ought and ought not to know, and when. I wonder if he extends this thoughts to biographies as well? Perhaps he has even dipped into Richard Ellman’s majestic biography of Oscar Wilde in search of inspiration for his unceasing stream of timeless aphorisms. I wonder further if the use of such a phrase better typifies his egotism or his self-delusion? Probably a strong combination of both. I personally can’t wait to snuggle up to the long and boring tales Assange must have told about his empty life. I’m running short on sleeping tablets and gather that this little gem is going to be quite cheap. Douglas Murray wrote in the Spectator after his powerful denunciation of him at this year’s Hay-on-Wye festival, that Assange’s conversation is like aural Rohypnol. This must mean that there is a strong likelihood not only of his ghostwriter having endured some life-denying tedium, but that the product we will be subjected to may itself set new standards for soporific inducement. The book comes out on the back of a load of leaks which Wikileaks didn’t themselves know were coming out. One must really take one’s hat off; they seem to be exceeding even their own standards in the professional unleashing of chaos. Charles Dickens wrote that ‘it is a melancholy truth that even great men have poor relations’. Sadly, Julian Assange has now conclusively illustrated that mediocre men suffer infinitely worse fates. Needless to say there are countless governments and organisations who are not particularly pleased with Mr. Assange’s conduct, yet there are even more disputes which Assange seems to have orchestrated with the newspapers he was hoping to be syndicated by. The Guardian and the New York Times have had a particularly bad experience. Assange often changes his mind and is unforgivably erratic. Nick Davies and Ian Traynor are the two Guardian journalists who first attempted to work with him in relation to the release of Afghan War documents. Not all parties saw eye-to-eye, for Assange was often too forthright and thoughtless even by the Guardian’s standards. One such disagreement arose when Assange gave the go-ahead to
post the names of Afghan civilians on the Guardian’s website. He claimed to be suing the Guardian for their take on his decision. He is not. Yet this was only a taster for what was to come. The following is just a one example of the plethora of Wikileaks’ unintended consequences. In July 2010, it was reported that the Taliban had issued severe warnings to any Afghans who were named as NATO-informants in the war logs released by Wikileaks. No fewer than 92,000 classified military files relating to the war in Afghanistan had been leaked. Admiral Mike Mullen, a top officer in the US military, suspected even before this that Assange may already have had blood on his hands because of his organisation’s reckless and self-righteous behavior. When confronted about the possibility that his leaks have incurred fatalities, Assange is usually point-blank unaware. Alternatively, he is prone to giving long and rambling speeches about the ‘greater good’ at which he is aiming. Nowhere has this greater good yet materialized, except perhaps in the warped worldview of Julian Assange, where any damage to America’s foreign policy network is progress of a kind by definition. Almost as charming is his tendency to take great credit while refusing any debits. Armed only with his unfailing cheek and audacity (Wikileaks is never armed with evidence of the ‘greater good’) Assange asserted of the Arab Spring that Wikileaks seemed to have ‘played a significant role in it’. In an interview with the Human Rights Lawyer Philippe Sands,
he even provided awe-inspiring detail, saying that at least 30 people had been killed in the Egyptian revolution. He was immediately corrected by Sands, who kindly steered him nearer the 300 mark. ‘I am not up to date with the death count’, he replied. For all the gusto with which he perpetrates them, Assange has always been unusually incurious about the consequences of his actions. It will be worth picking up a copy of this book, if only to get a whiff of the unpardonable stench emanated by Assange’s confused narcissism. With this odour in mind, you too might think twice before indulging in the guilty pleasures offered by his disorganised organisation.
All views expressed in the Comment section are the views of the individual authors and not representative of the views of The White Lady. If you have any views or wish to comment on any of the articles here please email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or go onto our website www.the-white-lady.co.uk.
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
The New Library With the cutting of the ribbon yesterday the St Andrews University Library officially re-opened this year. Inside can be found many cosmetic refurbishments and a new layout to better serve students’ needs. When it was announced last year that a major overhaul and re-build of the library was to be cancelled there was outcry from many areas of the student population. The library has been insufficient in suiting the needs of students for years now, as its capacity and quality has not kept up with the demand of a larger student body and the modern age. The £7m investment for refurbishment that replaced the initial development package was seen by many as insufficient. Now you have the chance to see where the money has gone. While many students will notice not only the difference in lay-out on level 2, the main entrance site to the library, they will also see the lack of refurbishment upstairs. Indeed very little, other than the toilets, has been changed at all upstairs. But it is the refurbishment of level two that should be focused on and seen as a promising view into the future image and functionality of our library. In just 16 weeks the team behind the refurbishment have managed to pull off a stunning job in redesigning the layout of level 2, to suit students’ needs. The larger entrance in the foyer allows for greater access in and out of the library, with a new system expected to come in during Reading Week that involves swiping your card for access. Of course, swiping your card for entrance to the library might seem a little much, but it will allow for display screens to inform you of your overdue books, books that are on hold and also how many books you have checked out, as you enter and exit. Furthermore, it will aid library staff to monitor the type of people that use the library so that they can adapt their services to those they serve. One of the most striking new features of the library is the cafe to the left as you enter. Serving you sandwiches, paninis, soup and coffee from as little as £1 the cafe seats around 70 people and is open from 8:30 am to 8 pm most days. Until now students have been forced to either bring a sandwich with them or venture out into the town to find food whilst trying to study. During exam periods this can often prove an unwelcome interruption from study. The new services should make it easier to grab a coffee to fuel the all night essay writing many a student has ended up doing. Speaking of all night essay writing, the new library
has also extended its opening hours with its self-service checkout and return available from 8 am to 2am Monday to Thursday. The weekend hours are 8am until midnight on a Friday, 10 am until midnight on a Saturday and 10 am until 2am on a Sunday. Longer opening hours, while not encouraging working into the early hours, does allow for students to look something up or get some work done during those periods. The book return system is also much easier to use with a new ATM looking machine that allows you to return books during all opening hours. You simply slide the book into the machine’s mouth, scan your card and the conveyer belt will take your book away to be sorted automatically; certainly making life easier for staff and students alike. Further improvements in terms of ease of access are the desks that are spread out throughout level 2, each with a centre piece that has multiple power points for laptop users. The spread of seating allows for the natural development of quieter and louder areas where norms will come into practice. There are also more private group rooms that can be booked with the library staff for group discussions. These rooms will be
equipped with screens for sharing information and will be accessed via a system of scanning matriculation cards and punching in a unique code to allow for ease of use. Other changes include improved ventilation and heating systems so that there will no longer be times of overheating or freezing temperatures. The new hold shelf is in the short loan meaning it can be accessed at all times but only those who have reserved the books may remove them from the area. The desks have been updated and comfortable seating placed with them that will provide nearly twice the formed seating capacity when the refurbishments are complete. Indeed, while there are a number of functions such as use of lockers, automatic gates, laptop storage and access to rooms that may take a little time to come in to place and get used to, the overall library refurbishment has proven to be a success. It sets out a good view to how the above levels will change next summer and though we didn’t get the library we wanted, the refurbishment has given the team a chance to review what is possible and have performed a very good job in delivering a very workable compromise.
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Clubs In St Andrews - A Short Introduction You may have seen them galavanting about town in their matching ties or crowding the bar at Number Forty. You might also have seen friendly girls with pristine smiles hosting a variety of enjoyable socials in popular places such as Ma Bells. St Andrews - for such a small town - is strangely populated with all sorts of private clubs, but what are they about and where do they come from? Some even come under fire from the student body, why so? The answer could be because most of these organisations maintain some level of secrecy. This often leads to the circulation of rumours and apocryphal stories which are not informative, tending to demonise these different clubs - often unfairly. These organisations, however, are generally much more straightforward than most people think. So here is a very short and entirely unexhaustive introduction, to some of our University’s Clubs:
The Kate Kennedy Club was founded in 1926 by students James Doak and Donald Kennedy in their efforts to re-introduce the Kate Kennedy Procession - an historical procession through the streets of St Andrews – which had been previously banned by the Senatus Academicus as it had slowly degenerated into a bawdy and unseemly spectacle. In its present incarnation, the KK continues to maintain the tradition of the Kate Kennedy Procession to a high standard, despite being disaffiliated from the University by Principal Louise Richardson. Its three stated aims are (1) to maintain the traditions of the University and town of St Andrews (2) Uphold and improve Town and Gown relations (3) Raise money for local charities. They operate the Opening Ball and May Ball – two of the most
prominent events of the student social calendar and all proceeds from these events are given to charities. Membership is restricted to males only and members can be easily spotted by their silver and red striped ties. Applications for membership are held yearly. All first year males are eligible for membership, and 9 Bejants are eventually selected after two rounds of interviews. The initial number of applicants is cut down to 20 after the first round, and a final acceptance ceremony then occurs known as ‘Short Leet’.
The Strafford Club was founded in 1995 in honour of Thomas Wentworth, the 1st Earl of Strafford who died protecting King Charles I. It is a dining club of which membership is available only to men and by invitation alone. The Strafford Club holds formal dinners – roughly six times every year – which take place in various restaurants around St Andrews. In fact, the student menu at Maisha, an Indian restaurant in town, displays a photo of the Strafford club enjoying one of their meals on the front cover. The Strafford Club is committed to the ideals of constitutional monarchy and its continuation in the United Kingdom and abroad. Members of the club are easily distinguished by their tradition of wearing academic gowns to formal dinners and by their blue and white striped bow-ties.
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
The Lumsden Club was founded in 2001 to commemorate the efforts of St Andrews alumnus, Louisa Lumsden, who was instrumental in the fight for women’s equality, notably in the sphere of education. The Lumsden Club is well-known for their yearly Pimm’s charity event which often sells out extremely quickly. The Lumsden Club also holds other social events – normally at bars in town – which also aim to raise money for charity. Membership is attained through two rounds of interviews and, after a vote by the whole club, ten First Year girls are accepted every year. Membership of the Lumsden Club is open to women only.
The Kensington Club
was founded in 2001 by student
Zacharias P. Pieri and is a male-only dining club. Members meet roughly once a month for formal dinners or luncheons which are held in either black tie or jacket and tie respectively. The Kensington Club is fundamentally a monarchist club but the main ethos hinges on the enjoyment of good food and wine and maintaining a high level of conversation and etiquette. Membership is by invitation only to all males who are residents of St Andrews – town and gown alike can be members. Membership is attained by being invited to a series of events and finally by personal acceptance by the Club President, where they are given their distinctive green, white, and red striped ties.
In addition to these clubs described, other groups and societies such as The League of St Andrews Brewers – a private club purported to make their own beer and alcohol - or The Elephants - a dining club where all members are said to wear evening slippers with golden elephants embroidered on them – are just some of the other organisations out there in St Andrews. Tell us about your Club? Or better still, simply create one!
12 OPENING BALL
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Opening Ball Do you want a chance to win two tickets to the Opening Ball?
Go onto the-white-lady.co.uk for more details
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
OPENING BALL 13
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Lifestyle Wine: Supermarkets today have a wide selection of wines - and choosing which one can be difficult. Here are the best wines under £10.
La Trour de Marrenon 2010 £4.00 Tesco
Henri Di Lorgere Macon Villages 2009 £ 4.99 Aldi
Toso Brut Argentina £ 7.99 Luvians
This is a light and pleasant red wine that can be drunk on its own or with a meal.
This is a refreshing white white that is crisp with a well-rounded sweetness. It is excellent with chicken and vegetarian dishes.
Toso is an Argentinian sparkling wine that tickles the palate. It is reminiscent of dry prosecco and very drinkable. It is excellent as an apertif.
It goes well with veal, lamb, and stews.
The Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes Ingredients
Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
2. Line two 12 hole muffin tins with cupcake cases
225g grated carrots 2 large eggs 130g caster sugar, 120ml Mazola Corn Oil ½tsp vanilla extract 2tsp fresh orange zest 120g plain flour 1tsp bicarbonate of soda Pinch of salt 1tsp Cinnamon
3. Mix the eggs and sugar and beat together until fluffy
Icing 175g cream cheese 450g icing sugar 125g unsalted butter, (at room temperature) Zest from one orange Equipment: 2 x mixing bowls 24 x cupcake liners Electric mixer (optional)
4. Carefully add the oil, vanilla extract and orange zest to the mixture 5. Sift the flower, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a separate mixing bowl
8. Put the mixture into the cupcake liners using a spoon, filling each case with about two thirds of batter 9. Place the trays in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. The cupcakes will be a dark golden brown when finished, and feel spongy to the touch. 10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before putting on a cooling rack.
6. Slowly add the flour-mixture to the sugar and eggs
11. Icing: place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat well until smooth and pale.
7. Mix in the grated carrots and stir well
12. Ice the cupcakes once they have cooled completely.
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
Fashion: Suit you, Sir! Our little bubble is full of its own quirks - and this is ever so true when it comes to fashion. The White Lady's style expert gives their latest tips on how to dress for the season, Bubble-style. The last hurrah of the Scottish ‘summer’ is drawing to its close as temperatures drop and we find ourselves steadily sliding into winter. It is probably about time to start thinking about wrapping up against the cold (of night at least). This is what we are looking forward to seeing being paraded down Market Street this autumn. IN Knitted ties – wear formally for a modern, textured look or casually for a quirky accessory to stand-out. Shawl-collared cardigans – combine with a t-shirt for a warm, relaxed look or dress it up with a nice shirt as an alternative to wearing a jacket. Suede shoes – take care when wearing around St Andrews; waterproofing advised! Patchwork pashminas – with so many colours together, these warm scarves go with just about anything and can be worn in many situations to add lots of colour to an outfit. Brown leather boots – a versatile part of any woman’s wardrobe which can be combined with jeans for a smart but practical day-time look. 'Boyfriend’ jumpers – wear an oversized wool or cashmere jumper to keep warm and cosy instead of a jacket. OUT Narrow lapels – jackets are starting to feature wider lapels despite retaining a fitted silhouette. Plaid shirts – the loud lumberjack look is finished. Why it even started remains a mystery.
St Andrews Uniform Help - The Barbour Jacket As you may have noticed after spending more than an hour out on the town is that St Andrews is populated by an astonishing number of Barbour jackets. It is undeniably a key piece in the unofficial 'St Andrews Uniform'. The Barbour jacket goes well with other signature St Andrews pieces. For example, it can be casually worn with red trou and a cigar or the equally stylish and practical Hunter wellies. Girls can match the Barbour with tan leather boots and snugly fitting jeans for a ‘cash’ yet country-glam look. Due to its versatility, the Barbour jacket is arguably one of the most important purchases for someone who wishes to blend into the town. It is the perfect form of ‘town camouflage’. However, the Barbour jacket will only keep you incognito as long as you remain within the bounds of the bubble.
Over-sized beanies – these supposedly Rasta-inspired hats look like a teapot cosy is being used as headgear.
For some reason loud trousers and Barbour jackets draw attention rather than repel if you venture out into beautiful Fife, or indeed most other places in Scotland. The reason for this is unknown to this author – should you find the reason why, please let us know.
Jeggings – they are not jeans and they are not leggings. Make up your mind and choose one.
Should you for some reason not own a Barbour jacket you can buy your own at any Barbour shop or www.barbourbymail.co.uk. Jackets can be bought significantly cheaper second hand – so keep an eye out in charity shops, or check out Amazon for a good deal on an authentic jacket. .
Ugg Boots – these are making an attempted come-back. If you are not sixteen, you probably should not be wearing them. Pale pink lipstick – wearers often appear to have lips made of plastic. Be wary of what shade you buy to avoid this.
The Barbour jacket is quite a good investment considering the cold Scottish autumn and winter. The wax jackets are both wind and water-proof and will keep you warm and cosy on dark and rainy days.
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Organic Food For Students Organic food is known for being environmentally friendly and giving various health benefits. However, as students there is a general perception that eating locally produced food means eating overly expensive food. But is that really true? The White Lady has investigated whether it is possible to eat well without it breaking your budget. On the 20th of September, the One World Society led a Slow Food Walk giving St Andrews students the opportunity to discover what local alternatives there are to supermarket chains such as Tesco and Morrisons. There are many benefits to eating organic and locally produced food. Most food that is sold locally comes from smaller producers. While not always the case, these producers typically use
fewer chemicals in their foods than their larger competitors, making it a healthier option. Furthermore, the short transports are better for the environment and ensure that the food reaches your doorstep fresh and full of taste. However, locally produced food is often perceived to be more expensive, and thus many students shy away from such products in favour of Tesco Value. Yet is the assumption that locally
produced food is always more expensive than their mass-Ââ€?produced equivalents really true? The White Lady has conducted a thorough investigation to ensure you value for your money. Comparisons have been made between supermarket products and their local alternatives for meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.
Meat Meat is significantly cheaper to buy in the supermarket than the local butchers, and they have an equally extensive selection of Scottish meat. However, one may question what accounts for the difference in price. One possibie reason is quality. Of the products that have been tested at the butchers, they have all been of an extraordinary standard. Those that are conscious of the quality of their meat may still find that going to the butchers is worth the few extra pounds.
Eggs and Cheese Eggs tend to be reasonably priced in the local shops as well as in the supermarkets. The supermarkets are marginally cheaper, however if one considers the many benefits of eating locally produced foods, it seems insignificant. Cheese, on the other hand, is notably more expensive in the local shops. However, as can be seen in the table, the supermarkets
* On Tuesdays there is a 10% students discount. Due to it only being offered on one day, this discount has not been taken into account in the table. ** 10% have been taken off of the prices to account for the student discount. Present your student card in order to receive it.
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
Fruit The UK may not have the right climate to grow bananas or mangoes, but there is still a wealth of fruit and berries, which can be grown locally such as pears, apples and strawberries. Apples are not cheaper in the local shops. This can be accounted for by the fact that they are many times imported from other parts of the UK. These products are therefore not local, and could just as well be bought in the supermarket. Locally grown berries, however, such as raspberries and strawberries are cheaper at the local fruit and vegetable shop. Keep in mind that fruit prices may fluctuate depending on the season.
Vegetables Depending on the product, vegetables can be cheaper or more expensive in the local shop. Broccoli, for example, is cheaper at John Birrell and Son than at the supermarkets. It should also be noted that the vegetables found in the local shop were typically bigger than those found in the supermarkets. It was also found that at the supermarkets, loose vegetables are cheaper than pre-‐packaged ones. Another option to look out for is Veg Boxes, organised by the One World Society. These offer crates of carrots, potatoes, onions, and seasonal vegetables worth £11 pounds at the price of £6. They are delivered from Bellfield Organics farm, and picked up at the union on Tuesdays. For more information, e-‐mail email@example.com.
Verdict While most products are cheaper to buy in the supermarket, for items such as eggs and fruit you can indeed get a better deal in the local shops. Furthermore, the local shops often offers a wider selection than the supermarkets within their field. It is worth checking out the bakery, the cheesemongers and the butchers - especially if you are concerned about eating food that is good for the environment. At times you can find organic food in the supermarkets. These are sometimes on offer, so keep an eye out for that. - A Third Year Student
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Hamlet Cut to the Bone (The Byre) 04/10/2011 7.30 pm £13 (£10/£8) FOB discount applies AB Paterson Auditorium David Keller’s lauded one-man interpretation of Hamlet that cuts to the bone of every character has reached St Andrews. Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (Lyceum Edinburgh) 16/09/2011 – 15/10/2011 £13-29 depending on seats Liz Lochhead’s take on the life and fate of two queens. Orpheus in the Underworld (Adam Smith Theatre Kirkcaldy) 29/09/2011 £14 (U-26’s £5) This opera, originally set at the court of Napoleon III of France, has been translated into a contemporary opera drawing parallels to our modern, media-frenzied world.
Colombiana (15) Daily 20:35 Crazy, Stupid Love (12A) Daily 17:55, 20:30 Harry Potter 7 2D (12A) Wed 28 Sep 23:00 I Don't Know how she does it (12A) Daily 18:10 Spy Kids 4 3D (PG) Sun 25 Sep 14:20 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (15) Daily 17:45, 20:25
American Gangster (2007) Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Josh Brolin Category General Movie/Drama ITV4 10:00pm-1:15am (3 hours 15 minutes) Tue 27 Sep Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005) Starring Sandra Bullock, Regina King, William Shatner and Heather Burns Category Comedy ITV2 7:50pm-10:00pm (2 hours 10 minutes) Wed 28 Sep Scarface (1983) Starring Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert Loggia Category Detective/ Thriller ITV4 10:35pm-1:55am (3 hours 20 minutes) Thu 29 Sep Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson and Larry Gates Category General
CLUBS & SOCIETIES
Wine and Cheese 27/09/2011 7:30-11:30 pm The Byre Theatre Members free, nonmembers £12 Enjoy a drink and some cheese with the Wine and Cheese Society! Philosophy Pub Quiz 27/09/2011 8:00-10:30 pm Aikmans Cellar Bar Free Get quizzing with PhilSoc SAS Social – Blue and White 28/09/2011 9:30 pm – 00:30 am MaBells Free Party it up with the Ski Sports club! Behind the Bike Sheds 30/09/2011 10:00 pm – 2 am Venue 1 Dress up in your school-uniform and celebrate the return to studying with a ‘back to school’ theme
Classical Music For Beginners
Review of Crazy Stupid Love
Live Rugby World Cup Canada v Japan (Kick-off 5.00am). Japan’s final pool fixture; Canada still to play New Zealand in Wellington. ITV4 04:30 am Tue 27 Sep Greatest England World Cup Matches The best moments of English world cup moments. ITV4 07:45 pm Tue 27 Sep Live NFL Dallas Cowboys v W a s h i n g t o n Redskins 01:30 am Tue 27 Sep Superbike World Championship 2011 Highlights of the two races at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. Channel 4 07:05 am Sat 1 Oct
TALKS & EVENTS
Farewell Reception – Rev Dr Jamie Walker Tuesday 27 September 4 pm Maritime Terrorism Evening Event Tuesday 27 September 7 pm Come and Play with the University of St Andrews Symphony Orchestra followed by Ceilidh Tuesday 27 September 6:30 pm Lunchtime concert: Jessica Leary (soprano) and Christopher Baxter (piano) Wednesday 28 September 1:15 pm A Symposium on the Life and Legacy of Principal Sir James Irvine (1877-1952) Wednesday 28 September 2:30 pm Principal’s Open Forum Meeting Wednesday 28 September 4 pm
The Return of Downton Abbey pg. 19
TWL - Tuesday September 27, 2011
TV Downton Abbey Sunday saw the second instalment of the long-awaited ‘posh soap’ come costume drama, Downton Abbey, return to our screens. Set two years into the war life at the Abbey is about to change and as many of its ‘downstairs’ characters remind us, and more than the ‘upstairs’ dare to think. The arrival of Bates’ wife and Matthew Crawley’s new flame add something new to the mix that is certain to provide a reason to spend Sunday nights at home. Written by actor Julian Fellowes, or Julian Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford DL, as he is now called, Downton Abbey is the series to be watching. Its first series aired last year and became an unprecedented hit among viewers, regularly bringing in audience of over 9 million an episode. Often compared to Brideshead Revisited, the charm of the series comes in its perpetual drama and intricate plot lines that twist and turn, leaving its viewers always wanting more. The star of the show is obviously Highclere Castle which provides the backdrop for much of the splendid scenery, as well as acting as the seat for the fictional Grantham family. The Earl of Grantham is played by Hugh Bonneville, known to many as Bernie from Notting Hill, and is a kindly paternalistic peer who sees it as his duty to protect and promote his dynasty and
his people – even if it means passing his estate to his distant cousin, leaving his daughters without their share. Nobler than the Earl, though not in titles, are the characters of Matthew Crawley, heir to the Grantham seat, and John Bates, the Earl’s valet. Both characters provide the love interests of the plot, but are often thwarted by their honourable ways and devilish female intervention. Indeed women play an integral role in the story of Downton Abbey, often being represented as both headstrong and wickedly determined. The Earl’s three daughters are all highly individual and therefore trying on the Earl’s patience. The eldest, Mary, who acts as Matthew’s love interest for much of the first series, is often seen causing intrigue with other men or terrorising her younger sister
Edith. Edith, the shy, slightly less pretty and often neglected middle daughter plays the boorish misfit whose main function seems to be in ruining her elder sister’s prospects of marriage. Left out of the sibling rivalry is the stunning youngest sister, Sybil, who spends her time becoming political and trying to ‘do something’ for the war effort, enlisting as a nurse. But above all females in both presence and dominance is the Dowager Countess played by Dame Maggie Smith. As the Earl’s mother, she often offers her unwanted opinions in the form short oneliners that leave the viewer in hysterics and her targets in shock. On the new heir, Matthew, informing the Grantham family that he should be able to run the estate on the weekend for instance, the
of course, until he meets Jacob Palmer, played by Ryan Gosling of The Notebook fame. With his toned physique and irresistible charm many a viewer, never mind the series of women he beds in the film, will fall in love with him. Taking Cal on as a project, Jacob manages to teach him how to dress to impress and bed the women of his dreams. Therein lies the problem, as the true woman of Cal’s dreams is his separated wife, Emily. The plot takes the predictable twists and turns as both men see their feelings of true love ignite at different points in the film moving
towards the final conclusion that sees even Cal’s son getting involved in the action. Crazy, Stupid, Love, for all its predictability and rom-com clichés, manages to hold its own and prove both funny and heart warming. Its little intrigues and foiled plans remind us of the wise saying ‘Life is what happens when you make other plans’. A film that would suit both sexes and would certainly be a good film for a date night!
Film Crazy, Stupid, Love. While we might be expecting the standard run-of-the-mill film from a Steve Carell film, Crazy, Stupid, Love comes off as a sweet romantic comedy that manages to pull it off for viewers. Cal Weaver (Carell) is stunned to learn that his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) cheated on him with co-worker David Lindhagen (Ken Bacon) and now wants a divorce. Soon he becomes the drunk at a local bar who whines about his life to whomever will listen to him before returning to his lonely apartment. That is
Dowager Countess innocently asks, ‘What is a weekend?’ Other aristocratic remarks include those made following the untimely death of their Turkish guest, Mr. Pamuk, during his visit to the family seat, from which the Dowager Countess concludes: ‘No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house’. The second season is underway and viewers can look forward to at least one death, marriage or sacking as it has been rumoured that two of its female cast members will not be returning for the third series. There are also plans for a Christmas Special after the season ends in November. Downton Abbey can be found every Sunday on ITV at 9pm or you can catch up on episodes on ITV player and elsewhere online.
Tuesday September 27, 2011 - TWL
Classical Music for Beginners Our classical music expert attempts to strike a chord with you as he gives you the information you need to get into the world of classical music. From indie rock to heavy metal, all forms of music find their roots in classical music, yet because classical music is such a culturally engrained concept (take Beethoven’s 9th Symphony for example), many never take the time to look at classical music itself. When people generally hear the phrase classical music their mind immediately conjures images of Mozart and Beethoven and the ubiquitous compositions that go with them, leading them to miss out on a world of beauty. What is generally considered to be classical music actually spans roughly from 1600 to 1900, in what is called the common practice period, which is specific to western classical music. The term “classical” did not come into use until the 19th century in order to illustrate the Golden Age of music during the 18th century. The common practice period began with the Baroque era which saw some of the most extensive transformations of music as harmonic forms were developed alongside the modern Major and minor scales, shedding the renaissance writing form of Modes. From these new harmonic scales counterpoint (playing two melodies against one another) was developed, shaping the music of the next several centuries. Baroque music is characterised by its heavy use of counterpoint and its heavy and ornate nature, the culmination of which came with Johann Sebastian Bach who perfected all aspects of Baroque music. The brief transitional period between the Baroque era and the classical is generally called the Rococo, and can be best described as “Baroque light”, which lead to the full transition into the “classical period” in the 1760’s with composers such as Franz Joseph Haydn. Haydn was in many ways the father of the classical period, having composed 104 Symphonies across his lifetime as well as scores of other compositions. In fact, his influence was so great that he taught legends such as Mozart and Beethoven, both of whom dedicated numerous works to him. The classical era’s music can be best described as far more homophonic (melody with a chordal accompaniment) than Baroque music and lighter in texture. This was helped by the advent of the fortepiano
It's The End of R.E.M As We Know It The legendary Indie rock group, R.E.M. have announced that the band is breaking up. The group
and then later during the early 19th century the pianoforte (more or less the modern piano). These instruments had the ability to be played softly or loudly and had a larger octave range, replacing the harpsichord as the main keyboard instrument in music. Moreover, the classical era is characterized by its outburst of piano works and the dominance of the piano in compositions. Beethoven illustrated this well by his volume of piano sonatas which are literally a map to the transition from the classical period to the Romantic. In fact, along with his contemporary Franz Shubert, Beethoven formed the foundations of what the Romantic period was. Romanticism is best characterized by an exploration of structures and forms, but with a heavier emphasis on emotion and harmony in the pieces. In general it encouraged song-like melodies and use of dischord to bring about a richer melody. This exploration of forms is in many ways why romantic music sounds so differently from classical and baroque, which both focused on structure and the forms within a specific and unbreakable structure. Frederick Chopin was allegedly a melancholy and unhappy man, something that can be sensed in his richly harmonic music. This emotional exploration is also what allowed for the creation of new genres of music: as composers began to explore and perfect older forms they became dissatisfied and they simply began to make new forms up, which more or less coloured the transition into the 20th century. Although in terms of terminology, 20th century music is not technically classical music, its association and evolution from the genre more or less make it part of classical music. As the 20th century went on classical music more or less began to fade as a concept and was simply replaced by imitations attempting to do something new, or movie music. No one is quite sure what sort of music you would call these new forms: they follow the structure and forms of classical music, yet are not part of any of the established genres today. At best guess, classical music as it stands focuses on minimalism and the exploration of tones developed from other genres such as pop or rock with classical structures. If you want to see this best in action, take a few minutes to go on YouTube and search for the Lady Gaga Fugue. The line between Bach and Gaga is thin, indeed it could be said that the Well Tempered Clavier was the Bad Romance of its day.
just posted an announcement on its website: ‘To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by
If you are new to classical music and aren’t sure who to listen to, try this list below to introduce yourself to each era and the composers that go with them.Baroque: Baroque music is a bit like finely aged stilton, so it’s likely to be an acquired taste. The music is quite ornate and busy and, strangely, is likely to give you a headache if you don’t tend to listen to things in a bustling atmosphere. If you don’t listen to classical music at all this isn’t a good place to start, but if you do decide to venture into the Baroque start with Vivaldi. Although it’s not very clever, it’s easy listening music (comparatively); from there you should try some George Frederic Handel for a taste of Baroque opera and then of course Bach for one of his sublime Cantata’s or his complex keyboard and organ works. There is never really an occasion that would call for Baroque music, so this is best done on your own in an adventurous mood. Classical: The Classical era is like a good red wine; it goes with most everything and almost everyone enjoys it. Its music is light, upbeat, and clear. It lacks the heavy and thick nature of the Baroque so you can listen to this anytime, especially when you want to relax or enjoy a good book. Mozart is the obvious choice to start with is more or less impossible to dislike and always sounds upbeat. For
our music, our deepest thanks for listening.’ R.E.M.'s announcement comes several months after the band released its best album in more than a decade, Collapse Into Now, and nearly 30 years after its 1983 debut, Murmur. Famous for such hits as ‘Losing My Religion’, ‘Everybody Hurts’ and ‘The One I Love’,
something less cliché go for Haydn and Schubert and enjoy a taste of late classical/ early romantic. You can try Beethoven of course, but his Sonatas tend to be for the more serious classical listeners. If you want to try for a classy dinner party, put on a string quartet during the meal. Romantic: Romantic music is a bit like brandy as it is deliciously complex, but not everyone will enjoy it. The dynamic nature of the music and the emotion they are meant to evoke generally mean you should listen to Romantic music when you are reading an enthralling novel, sipping some brandy or enjoying a few friends over for a quiet night of intellectual discussion. Chopin is a good composer to start with for Romanticism, and in a similar vein Liszt (generally considered the greatest pianist to have ever lived); for the pinnacle of Romantic music you should try Johannes Brahms. His deeply emotional and rich music is best enjoyed with a private night in reading some sort of tome such as War and Peace. Whatever you decide, make sure you take the time to listen to the music and begin to find your own way through the era, possibly even find your own favourites.
R.E.M. will have been a band most people would be familiar with as they grew up. Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M., is quotes as saying: ‘A wise man once said, 'The skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave. We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we're
going to walk away from it. ‘I hope our fans realize this wasn't an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way. ‘We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It's been amazing.’
Win two tickets to the Kate Kennedy Opening Ball www.theopeningball.co.uk
Win two tickets to the Kate Kennedy Opening Ball www.theopeningball.co.uk