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TOP 5 NEWS STORIES............... P3 C HRISTMAS WITH THE SABBS.... P4 D IFFERENCE OF O PINION........ P6 THE PERILS OF GIFT GIVING.... P8 THE AWKWARD GIRL............... P9 THE FESTIVAL OF ANGELS........ P1 0 C HRISTMAS LISTENING............ P1 1 C HRISTMAS READING................ P1 2 FESTIVE FILM FRIGHTS............. P1 3 C HRISTMAS GAMES................... P1 4 NAUGHTY OR NICE.................. P1 6 C HRISTMAS PUDDING............... P1 7 FESTIVE SCIENCE...................... P1 8 C HEAPER GIFTS......................... P1 9 TOP 5 FUNNIEST POLITICIANS............................... P20

Hello and welcome to the second edition of the tastiest online mag around town! Campus has emptied considerably, leaving just the stalwarts to brave Christmas together in the face of inadequate portering. Whether you're back home, knee-deep in mince pies and family squabbles, or chilling out by the frosting lake and disgruntled geese, this magazine will warm your cockles with its chirpy commentary and indulgent nostalgia. YMagazine offers the perfect Christmas companion to those tireless festive pop smash hits and a glug of mulled wine. Even if you're not that-way-inclined (that is, you don't celebrate JC's big day), the magazine, with its widely ranging perspective and eclectic content, will still offer an enjoyable winter reading romp. So sit back, relax and let us take you on a wonderland whirlwind through the past year and the festive season. Thank you as ever to the incredible, dedicated team of contributors; and if you fancy getting involved with anything at The Yorker, just drop me an email any time. Happy Christmas! @lucehouse //


Catherine Munn // Alex Jackon // Lucy Whitehouse // Robin Nierynck // Chloe Farand // Tom Keefe // Katharine Wootton // Kitty Lam CONTRIBUTORS:


Helena Horton // Hannah Allies // Chloe Farand // Ross Parry // Katharine Wootton // Alex Jackson // Charlotte Fitzgerald // Louise Murphy // Jasmine Sahu // Richard Priday // Ellie Owen // Freddie Sands // Farrah Kelly // Megan Green // Imogen Breer // Serena Rudge // Louise Bond




There was a flurry of nominations for The Yorker’s 50 students awards, with mentions as diverse as Kevin the Cow, the Brass Band society and Fetish Society. In many cases the people on the list weren’t the BNOCs but people who actually did something that affected lots of students. The number who had done something positive was also impressive, showcasing much of what is best about York. Nominations for this academic year will be open Summer term.



York is very often involved with international politics, and when the campaign to get war criminal Joseph Kony hit York students reacted with speed. A viral campaign online led to considerable debate across campus as the international community woke up to years of child soldiers and other violations of international law going on in the heart of Africa. THE CHEMISTRY FIRE

We didn’t have the hottest summer in 201 2 but things were far from cold when Chemistry’s B block went up in flames. The fire caused severe damage and at the height of the fire eleven engines were fighting the blaze. The fire also knocked out the internet connections for parts of Derwent and Langwith (as they were).

©Gareth Summers





Like every other media outlet in Britain the Yorker has enjoyed the Freedom of information Act. The statistics on which courses at York were most likely to get a first, 2:1 etc proved somewhat controversial amongst students. Especially since when it emerged that the top five for a 2:1 or better were all arts subjects, and a chemistry student described their degree as “spoon fed”. There was a noticeable divide in the sciences, with Physics students least likely to get at least a 2:1 .


The successful efforts by a group of students to get a fetish society ratified was one of the more unusual headlines of the year, and was recognised by York Press at the Yorker’s annual awards. Despite accumulating a considerable amount of rather unpleasant remarks from some quarters, the society was ratified by YUSU. Starting with a few posters on campus the society now has a strong membership of likeminded and friendly people. We’re reliably informed the society is one of the most pleasant on campus.




HELENA HORTON gets the festive gossip from our YUSU team. HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR CHRISTMAS, ON A SCALE OF 110?

“A good 9, I can’t wait to hibernate with a pile of mince_pies. Charlotte Winter, Sports Officer: “1 0. I f**ing love Christmas, I got a mint advent calendar this year from my mum!” Chris West, Student Activities Officer: “A solid 8, as it is too early for a 1 0.” Graeme Osborn, Academic Officer: (very emphatically) “1 0!” Kallum Taylor, YUSU President: “1 0.” Bob Hughes, Welfare Officer:


Bob: “Jack Baker, the Langwith Chair” (He was in the office at the time Charlotte: “Jack Baker, he is an absolute babe” Chris: “Deffs Bob” Kallum: “Jessie J” Graeme: “Hayley, my girlfriend”


Charlotte: “Of course!” Bob: “Yes indeed.” Chris: “My dreams tend to be a little more exciting than that...” Kallum: “As long as my fingers and toes don’t get cold. I am terrified of getting cold.” WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS?

Bob: “A video message from Kate Bush.” Charlotte: “James Corden in a box!” Chris: “A rest.” Kallum: “A nice, long sleep” Graeme: “A walk-on role in Downton Abbey.”

" I'm terrified of getting cold! "

Kallum Taylor





Charlotte: “A carrot, because I’m ginger!” Bob: “Mulled wine, because I am warm and soothing.” Chris: “Cranberry sauce, I add colour and flavour to what is essentially a bland flavoured, large chicken. Kallum: “Trifle, as it has many layers and has all kinds of different attributes. It also goes very well with alcohol!” Graeme: “Christmas pudding, because I am hot and steamy!”

Charlotte: “I love tinsel!” Bob: “I wear tinsel a lot.” Chris: “Christmas crackers because I like the bang.” Kallum: “Candy Canes because they are cute and innocent” HOW CAN THE CHRISTMAS STORY INSPIRE US IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FEES AND CUTS?

Chris: “It’s a difficult struggle, like the journey on the donkey, and in the end they worked together, and they prevailed.” Bob:“David Cameron is like King Herod!” Kallum: “Because it brought people together. To achieve something great, we have to stick together!”



Charlotte: “Graeme, as he would be quite spectacular.” Bob: “It’d have to be Graeme.” Chris: “Graeme, as I bet he has a great Christmas wardrobe.” Kallum: “Graeme, he does special occasions very well.” Graeme: “Charlotte as she is the most festive.”



independent&online NEWS COMMENT ARTS






Christmastime has become a pretty secular affair, if the Christmas adverts of 201 2 are anything to go by, anyway. Marks and Spencer’s seem to be advocating that the festive season is all about children dancing en masse to Kool & the Gang whilst John Lewis has opted for the heart-wrenching storyline of a snowman’s plight for knitwear gift-sets. No baby Jesus in sight. HANNAH ALLIES And this, I think, can only be a good thing. It seems the British have ditched the pious façade over the holiday season – no longer are we pretending that the three wise men and a baby in a manger are filling our hearts with joy, when really we’re moved much more by 'It’s a Wonderful Life', mince pies and a bit too More pies than piety? much mulled wine. © Nick J Webb on Flickr Commons Because this is what the Christmas break is about - moderate tipsiness, warmth of the fire, generosity and woolly jumpers. These are the things that bring the British public together, regardless of religious belief. That, and an unhealthy preoccupation with the likelihood of snow (and a simultaneous countrywide euphoria and disillusionment when snow actually falls and causes havoc). In the US, the festive period is referred to by all as the Holiday Season. This may, to some, appear to be unnecessary political correctness, but I think it would make sense here, too. Our society is diverse with many religions co-existing, and whilst we won’t all be celebrating the birth of Christ this December, chances are we will all be enjoying the seasonal break in similar ways. This is because the spirit of the festive season is nationwide; the celebration of good will and loved ones with excessive food and twinkling lights to keep spirits high in the winter gloom. Next weekend my Jewish housemate will be hosting a fantastic Chanukah meal for atheists, Catholics, Anglicans and Agnostics alike. I can’t think of anything more festive, so why should our wintertime celebrations all have to be bracketed under an archaic Christian title? We won’t all be praying to the same gods, but we’ll all be adhering to what, I believe, is the true purpose of the season’s festivities: being together with those we care about.






Fairy lights in the trees, minced pies at Co-op’ and the smell of spicy mulled wine in Parliament square: and so it begins. Christmas is upon us. The shop windows shine with the usual scenes of piled up toys, sparkling dresses and kilos of turkey and sprouts. In this period of exuberant consumerism, not much is left of the religious celebration, and Christmas has very much returned to the pagan feast it once was.

Today Christmas is about the people you care for and love much more than it is about the birth of Christ. Truly, what matters is ensuring that people who want to celebrate Christmas are able to; the way they do it is, in my opinion, of no interest. In our traditionally Christian-based society, religious symbols, icons and carols are impossible to avoid around Christmas time because they're very much taken for granted and unchallenged by a society, despite its increasingly secular outlook. Yet, I don’t think enforcing political correctness by cutting out “Christmas” from the holiday title and prohibiting public nativity scenes will improve anyone’s festivities. The attempt to bring across religious respect as a key value of modern times has paradoxically led to increasing tension and contempt for Christian belief. However, as multi-cultural society, religious toleration applies to Christianity as it does for any other religion. Rejecting the heritage of Christmas as a religious festivity would end in the rejection of years of tradition without actually changing anything to the way people will celebrate the festive season.

The Nativity

© Amanderson2 on Flickr Commons

Light of life?

© Dan Beeler on Wiki Commons

Christmas is a cultural heritage. It is a celebration of the past as well as of the present; and it is a message of hope as the days lengthens and announce the coming of spring. The religious value of the festive season is so ingrained in society that trying to extract them would cause unnecessary disruption and satisfy only a few. If the religious features of the Christmas periods are really so unbearable, it is enough to stare at the tinsel making the world shine from greedily consumed lights. But maybe, if you look a bit further, you will find joy and gaiety.






There’s always one Christmas present that’s a bigger disappointment than the turn out for the PCC votes. You know the one, the (usually) small present that you make sure to open first with practiced fake joy. Who wouldn’t love this blender? Thanks grandma. This year, though, consider how much worse it could have been. I mean, those socks are pretty garish, but think of what it could have been instead. This is a brief list of the most jaw-clenchingly disappointing gifts the world knows. A star name – I can almost hear you groaning from my desk (and the future) that I’ve included this modern favourite in here, but let’s be honest… it is pretty awful. To those not in the know: yes, you can genuinely name a star for somebody. While this might seem romantic at the time, the novelty of naming a useless burning ball of gases that’s so far away you’ll never even see it without expensive and extensive professional help wears pretty thin, pretty quickly. On the plus side, a £20 price tag (for essentially nothing) guarantees that the gift buyer will be feeling the sting as much as you do.

Something useful – How often have you opened something that, while being genuinely handy in some respect, is an enormous disappointment? The worst thing with gifts like this is they often assume the shape of something really exciting: a big, hard, cuboid of joyously wrapped anticipation that turns out to be a toaster. So close, yet so far – We all know that our older family members have a tendency to get lost when it comes to ‘modern lingo’, but never is this worse than when they don’t understand what you’re asking for for Christmas. Ask for an iPhone, an Xbox 360 and a deadmau5 album and you might end up with an Mp3 player, a PlayStation Vita (shudder) and the board game Mouse Trap. The pang of despair is worst when the box is a similar size and shape before you open it. The moral of the story? Try your best to look happy with your Australian fridge magnets and your vest (does anybody wear those anymore?) because it could be so much worse. Unless of course, you got one of the aforementioned presents… then I sympathise, and wish you a happy New Year.




THE AWKWARD GIRL’S GUIDE TO… FESTIVITIES “‘Tis the season to be jolly!”: the mantra drummed into us from a tender age. From as early midOctober we are constantly reminded of the upcoming festivities. As much as I love an excuse to put on Christmassy jumpers and drunkenly wail along to “Fairytale of New York”, there are various aspects of the jolly season that bring me out in a nervous sweat.

" For all I know I’ll be watching Hootenanny when the clock strikes midnight. "

And to ease the bitterness that inevitably arises from the mince pie stand-off, you have the presents. THE PRESENTS. How do you show how much you value those closest you in material form? I am awful at buying presents. I end up buying things that I’d really like and hope to God the people I have things in common with will feel the same. It makes sense (sort of). And if they don’t like their presents, they could always give them back to me…?

Mistletoe. It’s never where you want it to be, and everywhere when you don’t. You know what Finally, it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m talking about. The mistletoe Every end to the year brings a will hang there, casually, doing massive set of expectations at its festive job of mouth just how to enter into the next. harassment acceptable, and Do you keep it chilled with a somehow you’ll end up under it quiet get together, or go wild in and suddenly be the subject of ©Richard Croft; a club, or take in the London leering and ogling. Mistletoe is a fireworks and bask in the hum magnet for unwarranted of anticipation? If you’re not advances. Your excuse of “But I Whether you celebrate careful the whole debacle could thought it was holly!” is simply Christmas with pretty much be a massive anti-climax. not adequate. It’s just not safe. everyone in your family Although, you’ve got to have (including second-cousins, invites to these things first. For twice removed) or you just all I know I’ll be watching Once you’ve safely distanced keep it close-knit, everyone Hootenanny when the clock yourself from such troublesome needs to get along. Should strikes midnight. plants, the problem then shifts get along. You’re family to others. As in, your loved ones. right? Blood’s thicker than However you spend it – have a water, and all that. Until, of Merry Christmas everyone (and The pressure to spend time with course, it’s matter of who stay away from the mistletoe). them without going slightly gets the last mince pie. insane.





ANGEL DELIGHT KATHARINE WOOTTON describes the wonders of York's annual Festival of Angels.

An ice surprise: the frozen sculptures at The Festival ofAngels.

As the tourists heave their way through the city streets, burrowing through the noisy crowds and clusters of carol singers, arms stretched with growing sacks of hidden surprises, Christmas in York can feel like a babbling, wriggling, Merry-Christmaswishing pandemonium. Yet each festive season, nestled in and amongst York’s cloistered cobbled streets, buried in the shadow of the Minster, a hushed winter retreat glistening with the enchantment of Narnia waits to claim under its spell the wandering and flustered Christmas shoppers and residents of York.

©Katharine Wootton

A highlight of York’s Christmas and Festival calendar since 2000, each year The Festival of Angels transforms York’s most evocative and Dickens-esque streets (Swinegate, Back Swinegate and Grape Lane) into a wonderland for all the family as glittering, magic-dripping ice sculptures emerge round every corner, snicket and alleyway. As York’s independent eatery hub too, there’s always ample opportunity to dig into some festive treats, sampling the tastes of Christmas al fresco in and amongst busy stalls, street entertainment, and (for those still dreaming of a White Christmas) a guaranteed sprinkling of snow courtesy of York’s ice gods.

The Festival ofAngels takes place in York on the 15th - 16th December, from 10am - 5pm.

You can follow the Yorker Arts team on Twitter @YorkerArts


The Festival ofAngels 2011 ©Katharine Wootton


independent&online Post Apocalypse Christmas! Gruff Rhys

White Wine in the Sun - Tim Minchin

A poignant look at commercialism, consumerism and atheism all feeding off a 2000 year old religion that many no longer practice. But, Christmas is still great for bringing the family together! Awww. (Think Rylan, only funny).

Well it only seems fitting in 201 2 to feature the end of the world Christmas anthem. We can still enjoy the occasion with this soothing little number from Gruff Rhys.

Rudolph - Jack Johnson

Fairytale ofNew York - The Pogues feat. Kirsty McColl

An acoustic version of an old classic, with less cheese and additional verses. Hurrah.

Every list needs the traditional Christmas classic. And this is ours. Take that Mariah. We don’t want you for Christmas.


Deck the halls and fire up Spotify, folks: ALEX JACKSON provies the essential Christmas listening guide for fun, rock’n’roll, and all things December.

Christmas Time - The Darkness

Merry Christmas – I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight - The Ramones

You know the scene. Someone burnt the stuffing, no one can talk in the Doctor Who Special, that innocent board game starts a massive argument. All manners of fights are paid homage to in this alternative Christmas classic. Because Christmas fights are the only ones we can laugh about afterwards. Well at least after New Year’s.

Someone recorded a rock mainstream Christmas song for number one before the Rage Against the Machine Campaign? And you didn’t buy it? Shame. This forgotten gem from the height of Darkness mania incorporates child choirs, jingle bells and guitars with just the right amount of cheese.

Back Door Santa - Jet

Baby Please Come Home Death Cab for Cutie

This cover of Clarence Carter’s soul classic gives it that added rock’n’roll ooomph that keeps it relevant for every moody angsty teenager across the nation that’s sick of those knitted Christmas jumpers and listening to nan reminisce on when Christmas was about the family.

Indie darlings don’t exactly conjure up the idea of a festive Christmas, but the serene vocals here are chilling enough for any winter season.

Happy Holidays - Blink 1 82

This 45 second testament to the madness of the holidays (wrapping presents, dodgy food and buying the right gift) never fails to raise a smile.

Christmas Lights - Coldplay


Just before Mylo Xyloto took off, this little ditty dented the charts as an emotional look at how Christmas has changed, and what the important things are in the festive season.



YOUR CHRISTMAS: BOOKED Whether you’re choosing books for a present for someone else or just need something to pass the time in between various meals over Christmas, CHARLOTTE FITZGERALD and LOUISE MURPHY have it covered with their essential reading list.

Moranthology - Caitlin Moran

Perfect for those of us craving something after How To Be A Woman, Moranthology is a collection of Moran’s columns which she has amassed whilst working for The Times. With topics ranging from holidays in Wales, to poverty, and inane conversations which she has with her husband before bed, there’s something in there to make you laugh and maybe cry.

The Bonfire ofthe Vanities - Tom Wolfe

A satire on the mores of America in the 1 980s, Tom Wolfe’s seminal work ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’ chronicles the fall of a self-styled Master of the Universe, Sherman McCoy, an archetypal WASP. A huge cast of characters vividly portrayed, cant and hypocrisy incisively exposed, the reader is left to decide who has right on their side. Witty, engaging, thought-provoking and highly recommended.

English Passengers - Matthew Kneale

An insight into the colonial and philosophical attitudes of the day, this is the story of the Sincerity, a ship bound for Tasmania in 1 857. Amongst its passengers are the scholarly Reverend Wilson, in search of the Garden of Eden, and brooding racial-theorist, Dr. Thomas Potter. Told alternately from the standpoint of the main protagonists and a brilliant supporting cast, this book is by turn dramatic and laugh-out-loud funny.

A Short History ofNearly Everything - Bill Bryson

A seemingly impossible undertaking - to tell the story of how we got here (and who worked out the answer) in one volume, engagingly, humorously, and in terms that anyone not blessed with a science doctorate can understand. Not so. Endlessly fascinating, informative and entertaining in equal measure, this book is a must for anyone with an inquisitive mind.

Delicacy - David Foenkinos

One of those easy to read and yet beautifully written rarities. It tells the story of perfect Nathalie, who, after her husband is killed in an accident, has to readjust to life and falls in love with a goofy, nerdy guy in her office much to everyone’s surprise - especially Nathalies’. Yes, it is a bit cheesy, but it’s a short read which will capture your imagination




F E S TI V E F I L M F R I G H TS Not a creature was stirring, except for … [insert suitable monster here]. JASMINE SAHU looks at cinema's inexplicable fascination with horror over the festive season.

It’s that time of year again – sleigh bells, gifts, of Horror and the mix of gore and fairy-lights has evergreens adorned with glittering decorations, an unmistakable charm to it. obscene amounts of food, family reunions, midnight However, some argue that we’re drawn to mass – the whole caboodle. Christmas is all about scary films because there’s something intrinsically good cheer, love and, naturally, rampant materialism. creepy about Christmas. All snuggled up and It’s supposed to be happy. So why, along with your warm at the heart of our families, we know we’re usual array of chirping children’s adventures, is the part of something mystically powerful – reality is seasonal film selection is full of Horror? suspended and, with the weather so “frightful”, it’s We’ve got psychoeasy to let your killer, ghosts, monsters and, "What is it about Christmas imagination get carried perhaps most disturbing of away. The best plan for that sets so many ofus all, your ‘Evil Santa’ motif. those in this mood is to But why? What is it about out old faithful. yearning for a good dose of break Christmas that sets so There’s a reason why many of us a yearning for a gore?" Charles Dickens’ A good dose of gore? Christmas Carol has The obvious answer would be that some folks spooked firesides for generations. Make sure you are just too contrary for their own good. Ba Humbug! choose the right adaptation though. For a truly As the most infamous member of this camp would chilling experience, either go classic with Alastair say. All that happiness is overwhelming, sickly even - Sim (1 951 ) or try the garish, visceral Scrooge there’s a great pleasure from turning the tables on all (1 970) starring Albert Finney. Ebenezer’s descent that cheerfulness, a thrill from incongruity! Films like into hell itself is a scarring. Especially if you’re 8 Black Christmas (2006), where an escaped lunatic when you see it. returns to his old house at Christmas and massacres Whatever the reason, there’s certainly no everyone there, are perfect for this crowd. With a tag shortage of movies catering to our fascination with line like “Let the slay ride begin”, you can expect the fear. And, with another ‘Evil Santa’ slasher Silent deaths to be suitably glorious (the holiday themed Night being released in the USA, there’s not likely snow-man cookies are particularly gruesome). Garish to be anytime soon. colour is the most essential ingredient for this kind




GIFTS FOR GAMERS RICHARD PRIDAY, ELLIE OWEN and FREDDIE SANDS compile their ultimate buyers' guide.

Ico/Shadow ofthe Colossus

If you’re looking for some quality for your PS3, consider a classic retro package. These HD remakes were released last year, but ongoing critical acclaim testifies to their lasting quality. Ico is a puzzle-adventure where the protagonist awakens within an atmospheric castle island and must escape with an imprisoned girl.

The Walking Dead

FTL: Faster than Light

FTL is a PC RTS (real-time strategy) ‘rogue-like’ game. Controlling a spaceship fleeing a rebel fleet, you navigate your way through the galaxy, fighting and managing resources and crew. A fantastic soundtrack complements the elegantly simple gameplay. Battles never last very long, so it can be played in a spare half hour, and is both exciting and calming simultaneously.

This point-and-click adventure is one of the most heart-wrenching games you will ever play. It’s going to be held up as the example of storytelling in games for a while. Following survivors of a zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead isn’t your typical zombie game. It’s focused on human drama and survival, and is a gripping experience throughout.

Spec Ops: The Line

Shadow of the Colossus is an action-adventure about a protagonist who must slay sixteen monsters to bring his love back to life. Both games were designed by the same team and feature similar themes; minimalistic landscapes and surprising emotional depth. These games are held up as a representation of the artistic merit of games, and there aren’t many games like them. FS

If you want a more traditional shooter experience that is a little different, pick up Spec Ops: The Line. It quickly unfolds into a game of ambiguous moral choices, and pulls apart the most popular genre of modern gaming. At a Christmas time dominated by Halo 4 and Black Ops II, here is something that will make you reconsider the soldier you play, and the actions you take. It isn’t the most festive of games, but I would not hesitate to recommend it. RP


Mark ofthe Ninja

A side-scrolling stealth game, available for PC and Xbox 360. Stealth games are difficult to perfect – they can either be ridiculously satisfying as you pick off enemies in gruesome ways, or horribly frustrating. Luckily, Mark ofthe Ninja gets the stealth just right, letting you feel sufficiently awesome but never invincible. It’s sharp and stylish, with expansive environments that are great fun to sneak around. EO




Need somewhere swish to take the parents while they're visiting York? Or how about somewhere to impress on your first date? Well, The Yorker knows a little place... The Lime House is an independent restaurant ideal for relaxed dining. The food is locally sourced, service is attentive without being intrusive, and the atompstphere is spot on.

Located a stone's throw from the Minster, on Goodramgate, The Lime House combines delicious European food with an extensive wine list. Having quite a few awards under their belt, and being the location for a fair few proposals this year, it's easy to see why people flock to this charming place from all over the world. Run by married couple Adam & Catherine Fisher, The Lime House knits a cosy atmosphere and great food together perfectly, resulting in this gem you'll be proud to recommend to your friends. Rumour has it Catherine married Adam because of his sticky toffee pudding- so make sure you give that one a whirl. Pop in for an unbeatable lunch and watch the world go by over a glass of wine during the day- their lunchtime menu is the best value in York- or visit them in the evening for a relaxed and sophisticated night of gorgeous food and candlelight. Set menus start from ÂŁ9.95 during lunch and ÂŁ1 5.95 in the evening, and their a la carte menu is constantly being refreshed to keep up with the seasons- showcasing the finest in Yorkshire dining. Booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment, and any dietry requiremnets are a welcome challenge for their head chef - just give a little prior warning to ensure your needs are met.


independent&online NEWS

NAUGHTY OR NICE? FARRAH KELLY lists a few reasons you wouldn't be on Santa's list

Have you been good or bad this year? Time to find out whether you’d better attach an apology on your letter to Santa; or else all you’ll get in your stockings are stale Willow prawn crackers. You slept with your flatmate. The ultimate university sin when living in halls. Not only have you made things mega awkward for the rest of your flatmates, you now have to endure the pain of awkward silences across your cornflakes each morning. Well done. You blew your loan in Willow. One way to guarantee your parent’s disappointment in you is by calling them to beg for money because you blew it all on questionable shots at a Chinese disco. Saint Nick is not impressed, big spender. You lied in a seminar. Your lecturer knows, your course mates know, and most of all you know that you’re spouting pure rubbish in your 9.1 5 seminar to cover up the fact you didn’t do any of the work.No one got out of bed this early after a long night in Kuda to hear your ramblings, so keep quiet and do the work next time.

Santa's little helpers. (C) Wikimedia Commons




CHRISTMAS PUDDING MEGAN GREEN presents her recipe for the perfect pud

This Christmas pudding comes out perfect, and I make it every year for my family. The earlier you make it in advance, the better it will taste. The day before steaming, mix the suet, breadcrumbs, flour, spices and sugar. Gradually add the all the fruits. Beat the rum, stout and eggs in another bowl. Pour over the other ingredients and mix until a sloppy consistency. Cover with foil and leave overnight.




S PI C E PINC H C N NUTMEG 2 2 5 G SOFINT NAMON DARK-B R 1 1 O WN SU 0 G SULTAN The next day fill the greased pudding basin G AR A S with the mixture. Cover it with two layers of baking 1 1 0 G RAISINS 2 75 G C URR parchment, a sheet of foil and tie securely with string. Steam for 8 hours - remembering to check 2 5 G C AND ANTS the water level. 2 5 G C HOPPIED MIXED PEEL 1 S M A LL C E D A LM O N D S Let it get cold, cover it afresh, and store it C HO PPE OO KING APPLE, somewhere cool and dark. PEELED AN D GRATEDDZE ST OF ½ On the day, steam for 2¼ hours. Slide a LE M O N O RANGE knife around the rim, turn onto a plate, douse in AN D ½ brandy & set alight! Tuck in (after blowing the 2 TABLESPOON 1 5 0 ML STO S RUM flames out!) UT




A SCIENTIFIC VIRGIN BIRTH? IMOGEN BREER weaves a tale of two chromosomes

As anyone who has ever For Mary (XX) to have a son (XY) her brother. attended a Nativity play well knows, would be impossible. However if Not literally of course, but if she had Mary became pregnant through Mary was in fact XY but displaying fused in the womb with a male twin, if would have left her a genetic Immaculate Conception; she was a condition called "testicular the virgin mother to Jesus. feminisation" (in which the genitals mosaic, carrying both the XX Virgin births are not an uncommon develop female due to a mutation on chromosomes to make her appearance female, and the XY phenomenon in mythology and the X chromosome leading to a "creative" historical stories -religious resistance to testosterone), then she chromosomes to pass on to her offspring. or secular. In fact figures as varied as would at least have the correct Mithras, Buddha and Genghis Khan chromosomes to pass on. This would The chances of either of these were all at one point reported as then require the mutation that left scientific possibilities happening and being carried by a maiden girl. her appearing female to reverse to actually leading to a pregnancy are so low that such an occurrence could Hypothetically, is it possible for a allow Jesus to pass as male. human to experience virgin birth? Alternatively Mary could have eaten be considered miraculous.

FESTIVE SCIENCE IMOGEN BREER offers tree-care tips

Artificial snow guarantees a white Christmas. Make it yourself by taking the absorbent liner out of a nappy, ripping it up and adding a little water. Nappies are about £5(yes I researched that for you), but a spray of fake snow is around £1 0. That’s a fiver more to spend on mince pies. Can’t deal with stray needles and wilting? You don’t need to get a plastic Christmas tree (ugh), concoct a "tree saving" growth potion for your new house plant instead. You will need: 5lt WATER 500ml GOLDEN SYRUP Biogenetics Laboratory, circa 0 A.D. (C) Creative Commons 4 tsp CHLORINE BLEACH 4tsp LEMON JUICE COPPER PENNY! Stir it all together, and make sure you keep your tree stand topped up, especially in warm rooms. NB Do not mix the lemon juice and bleach directly together, they may produce chlorine gas, add them into the large volume of water.




Santa's a rich man. And we're all living in his world (C) Creative Commons

HAVE YOURSELF AN INEXPENSIVE CHRISTMAS SERENA RUDGE provides cheaper gift ideas for penniless students

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there just isn’t enough money for Christmas presents. Yet even if the thought of shopping fills you with dread, there are ways to avoid being a Scrooge. Re-gift. Okay, so maybe that reindeer jumper isn’t exactly your style, but wouldn’t it look good on one of your friends? It doesn’t matter that it’s preloved: it’s the same as buying from eBay. Make something in a jar. Do a lot of people in your family like cheese? Are your friends all fans of jam? Chutneys and jams are easy to make, and doing it in bulk makes it

cheaper. Collect jars from your housemates and fill ‘em up. Search “homemade jam” or “homemade chutney” on for some ideas, or look through the ‘edible gifts’ section on the website. Get them your favourite book from Amazon or charity shops. There’s no better recommendation! Or scour the shelves with a particular person in mind, and wait for something to jump out. Charity shops are great for finding original presents, and although hunting trough them takes time, the end result will be worth it!




FIVE FUNNIEST POLITICOS OF 2012 LOUISE BOND presents a rogues' gallery of the humorous and hubristic.


Plebgate. © Creative Commons

Do you want your shoes left here, Mr Prime Minister? © Creative Commons

Nick Clegg hasn’t really done anything intentionally funny this year, and yet we find that he is, and shall remain for as long as he is in this coalition government, unintentionally hilarious. I don’t even know if David Cameron actually has his dry cleaning collected, his shoes shined or his arse wiped. But for the sake of humour let’s assume that he does, and that Nick Clegg is that guy. You would have thought that after two years in the coalition this joke would have run dry, but as 201 2 draws to a close we think that Nick Clegg is the joke that just keeps giving.


The Conservative Party have been doing everything in their power to brush aside that old-fashioned image that they are just a bunch of rich, entitled, old-Etonion Oxbridge graduates who don’t know the price of a pint of milk. In one fell swoop Andrew Mitchell knocked all of that rebranding back several years. This publication does not wish to get into whether or not Andrew Mitchell actually told police officers to learn their f***ing place, but it did enjoy sitting back and laughing as Conservatives across the country squirmed and hedged and ran to their bedrooms to push their numerous tweed jackets as far back in their closets as they would go.




What do you mean I can't be President? © Creative Commons


Spot the politician. © Creative Commons

Out of respect for my own sanity, I did not sit down to watch I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of here! this year. Or last year. Or the year before that. But it was still spectacularly fun to watch Nadine Dorries throw away her dignity, and potentially her career, for the shortest stint on a reality television show ever notched up by a politician. George Galloway might equate sexual assault to harmless flirting, but he at least managed three weeks in the Big Brother House.

Nothing short of fabulous. © Creative Commons

Don’t get me wrong, humour in politics isn’t always about the people who get us to laugh at them because they are inept, stupid, or shameful. Sometimes it’s about the people who are brilliantly funny and wonderful and enigmatic and charismatic, characters all too often absent from our leaders today. So let’s end this countdown with a man who’s funny in all the right places. Our dear Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He confesses to Gangnam Style dance offs with the PM and openly admits that he pays his workmen in cash. He recently released a book in which he recounts how he fell head first into the Duchess of Cornwall’s lap at the Olympic Opening Ceremony. While other members of the Conservative Party stuff their posh characteristics in a Pandora’s Box, Boris quotes Ancient Greek poetry at will. We can laugh at him, we can laugh with him. And for striking that perfect balance, he is our funniest politician of 201 2.


Mitt Romney was a serious candidate for a serious job. He genuinely believed, as did many commentators, that he would give Barack Obama a run for his money. In the end Obama won the 201 2 US Presidential Election with relative ease, and the election itself wasn’t that entertaining. Certainly not worth staying awake until 5am for (something I wish I had known then). The campaign, however, was a delight for anyone and everyone with a vague interest in politics. Romney provided so many comical moments that it was difficult to list just a few, but we managed to find some highlights. In an old radio clip he stated his belief that upon returning to earth Jesus will rule from the holy centre of the world, Massachusetts. He supported a woefully inaccurate advert, arguing that Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China”. He also thought he had a chance of becoming one of the most powerful men in the world, while at the same time believing that 1 90 years ago an angel showed a man some golden plates containing the testament of Jesus Christ, plates that only he could read and that no longer exist. That might be the funniest thing of all.


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