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Issue 50 – Wednesday 31st October 2012
Lance Armstrong: The loss of a cycling hero...Page 12
A geek attempts to run, check out Adam’s hilarious column on Page 39
NEWS Referendum results Surrey will retain their allegiance to NUS.. Page 2
SURREY STUDENTS VOTE YES TO NUS
FEATURES Surrey, sex and shambles, check out our new column on... Page 11 OPINION & ANALYSIS Hallowe’en costumes: a form of partiarchal control?... Page 8
SCIENCE & TECH
© Stag TV
Felix Baumgartner, the supersonic man... Page 17
FILM Becky Richmond tells us why she loves Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s not just his looks apparently... Page 33
Results from the NUS Referendrum show a resounding support for Surrey contiuniung their allegiance with the NUS, see page....
LITERATURE Twitter fiction, a new trend? Find out more on.. Page 30
SECURITY SCARES AS BURGLARS PREY ON UNSUSPECTING STUDENTS
By James Brown, News Team and Rachel Thomason, News Editor Security has been stepped up around campus following a campus break-in on 3rd October. A laptop, a mobile phone and a digital camera were stolen from Battersea Court just after 9pm. The burglar, Robert Vince, 21, pleaded guilty and was sentenced last week to 8 months in prison. A second man, 18, was arrested along with Vince but has been released on bail pending further enquiries. The campus is not the only place where burglaries are affecting students. Two incidents occurred this week in the Ashenden Estate Area, both on Cherry Tree Avenue. One was a successful burglary on Monday afternoon. Students are therefore advised to be vigilant. A Surrey student whose house was targeted in one of these burglaries on 15th October described her experience: “I came home after lectures about 1pm and got into my room to find it ransacked. I went to the neighbours and then called the police,” “We worked out they’d broken in through the kitchen door at the side of the house by removing the lock from the door,” Continued on page 3...
SPORT Introduction from Natalie Nabi, your new Sports Exec Comms Officer.. Page 40
The Stag |
31st October 2012
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Landslide vote to retain NUS place
By Jack White, News Team
niversity of Surrey Students’ Union has voted to continue its membership of the National Union of Students. Asked the question, “Should The University of Surrey Students' Union affiliate to the National Union of Students (NUS)?” students returned a landslide of 86% in favour. The NUS referendum was the most well-attended in Surrey Union history with 1,120 students voting in total. This bucks a trend towards political disengagement over the last two decades. Prior to the referendum, the Union hosted the first of this year’s four Student Forums, at which the topic was debated. The speakers for and against were Liam Burns, NUS President and Jamie Fletcher, Surrey PhD Law student respectively. Many students saw the vote as a way of keeping hold of their prized NUS Extra card. This scheme gives the cardholder many discounts on consumer items all around the country. The Forum speakers tried to steer the debate away from commercial discounts however, with Mr Fletcher concentrating on the potential for the Union to engage Surrey students’ entrepreneurial pedigree and forge new
ways of funding Union activities. Mr Burns pointed to the wide-ranging concessions from Government that the NUS secures and cited efforts by Surrey students which have led to increased funding for poor students at colleges of further education, and to the introduction tenancy deposit protection schemes, which are now a legal requirement for landlords.
Stag TV covered the Forum on NUS membership. From left to right: ‘No’ campaigner Jamie Fletcher; Surrey Union President Dave Halls; NUS President Liam Burns.
Surrey looks at benefits of efficient appliances
By Melissa Raske, News Team
new study conducted by the University of Surrey has shown that although many householders are great at saving energy by doing the little things, they are missing out on the larger economical and financial savings. These savings could be provided by checking energy labels when buying a new appliance or something as simple as using a lower temperature setting on a washing machine.
Professor Matthew Leach, from the Centre of Environmental Strategy, led the study and spoke about the findings: “Cash and carbon savings from changing behaviour can be added to the savings from using more modern appliances to become something really significant.” According to the study, replacing a 5-10 year old fridge freezer with a new model could save 40-60%, whilst reducing the temperature of a wash and using a new washing machine reduced energy use by 48%.
According to AMDEA (The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances), the improvements made in appliance performance could have as much environmental benefit as double glazing on windows. Calls were made on 18th October for the government to work with the industry to encourage consumers to buy energy efficient appliances thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions and reducing their bills.
Letter from the Editor
very year, at around this time, there is a spate of burglaries on and off campus. I remember listening to advice about keeping my room locked and my stuff safe and thinking, ‘It won’t happen to me’. Except it did. I was lucky, I was in my room, but my next door neighbour had his laptop, wallet and camera stolen. Being burgled is beyond horrible, you feel personally violated and it makes you uncomfortable in your new home. This issue we’ve reported heavily on the recent burglaries on and off campus and we’ve contacted the police to provide you with tips to stay safe. You can read all about this on the front page. In other news, Mind Maintenance Week was a huge
The Stag is an editorially independent newspaper and is published by the University of Surrey Student’s Union. The views expressed in the paper are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the educational team, the Students’ Union or the University of Surrey. Trinity Mirror (South) 8 Tessa Road, Reading RG1 8NS The Stag reserves the right to edit all submissions and the right to decide which articles are published.
success, and has hopefully gone some way to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness. At the very least, you all now know how the Union and University can help you through any tough time you might be having. Also you got to see me painted blue! A definite win for the Union. Another win was for the NUS, we had a landslide vote to maintain allegiance with the NUS. Something which, I for one, am really happy about! Deadlines are now starting to loom, and November brings with it the start of the real work, but if you keep your head above water and just keeping plodding on I’m sure you’ll be fine. Enjoy October, it’s the last time before Christmas you can have a guilt free lazy day. I hope you’re all thoroughly settled and have a sufficiently spooky Hallowe’en. You may or may not see me dressed ridiculously in Rubix. No promises but I do like a good dress up party....
News Editor: Rachel Thomason | Copy Editor: Tina Morman
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Staying secure on Campus
Continued from page 1... “I’d only left a few hours ago and everything was normal. My first thought was that someone might still be in the house upstairs so I panicked and left immediately. The worst feeling was knowing that strangers had been through my room… And that we’d most likely been watched,” “Push landlords to get extra security measures, anything that might deter inexperienced criminals. Insure your most valuable stuff so if it does happen you won’t have lost everything, and back up your important files. Laptops can be replaced but essays and lost photos can’t.” Guildford Neighbourhood Commander, Chief Inspector Matt Goodridge acknowledged: “We have had an ongoing problem with burglaries on the university campus which typically peaks at the beginning of the academic year when the new students arrive.” Flyers were handed out by Surrey Police during the Freshers’ Fayre advising students on how to reduce the chances of a burglary. Locking windows and hiding valuables are key steps in preventing yourself from a being a victim of burglary, summed up by the slogan of ‘lock it, hide it, keep it.’ Marking up your belongings can also allow your items be identified and therefore linked back to you. Measures have been put in place to address the issue and Surrey Police have a dedicated Higher Education Liaison Officer, Emily Band, based at the university. Bakita Kasadha, VP Welfare, responded to these break-ins: “The safety and security of all Surrey students is of paramount importance to the Students’ Union. We work closely with the campus police officer and University security to educate students on safety measures,” “While there’s a low crime rate on campus, the majority of burglaries that do occur on-site are opportunistic. Students’ vigilance in safeguarding their property can therefore be the difference between being a victim of crime or not… I am currently working with Emily Band, our campus police officer to plan a safety and security campaign to further promote this important message.” A security gate has recently been installed along the campus’ perimeter, accessible during the day but secured at night. Chief Inspector Goodridge stated: “We have also stepped up patrols in and around the campus to target these opportunist thieves and as a result, we have seen the number of incidents drop by half.” Additional information on crime prevention can be found by obtaining the ‘safer more secure’ booklet from Court Receptions, Departmental Offices or the Security Office.
How safe do you feel on the university campus?
“I feel really safe... I work in Rubix and when I am walking back in the morning I feel very happy walking back by mself at around 4am.” - Samantha Pearce, International Politics “Yeah, I feel pretty safe. There has never been a time on campus where I’ve felt that I’ll be a victim of a crime.” - Jonathan Knapman, Politics with French “I do feel safe because when you’re on campus, whatever happens I know that someone will be there to help.” - Chryso Nikalaou, Microbiology
Police and Crime Commissioner Election
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Team
£20k incentive for computer science teachers
By Jack White, News Team
Plans postponed for new ‘Wonderland’ Club
By Hannah Craig, News Team
op graduates are to be offered £20,000 bursaries to train as computer science teachers. The move follows Education Secretary Michael Gove’s announcement of a radical overhaul in school teaching of computing. The new curriculum will place heavy emphasis on maths and programming skills which industry has for many years claimed are in short supply. The training courses will begin in September for graduates with a 1st or 2:1.
he much anticipated new Wonderland club planned for the Old Orleans restaurant on Bedford Road has been postponed due to police concern. We Are: Dance, who currently run the Casino venue, made an application for the new club but withdrew it after a police review of their current premises license in Onslow Street. The company believe that their application is now likely to be refused. Police wish to see Casino’s hours shortened, closing instead at 1.30 am as a result of over 174 incidents
being recorded since August 2011. Safer Neighbourhood support Sergeant Amy Buffoni said that a new club in the area would add to the increasing problem of violence in Guildford and police presence is already being stepped up. The legal battle commences regarding Casino’s current license with a decision expected in a month. Furthermore, We Are: Dance owner Steven Thomas plans to alter and re submit their application, proposing a themed bar and restaurant in the style of Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, instead of a nightclub.
he first ever election for a Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will take place on the 15th November. This is an election to designate an individual the responsibility to ensure the Chief Constable and the local police force represents the public’s views. The PCC will oversee how crime is tackled in the area, as well as making sure the police are providing the best service possible. Voting will commence from 7am on the 15th November across the borough, and Polling stations will close at 10pm. The election will use the supplementary voting system for the first time which allows the voter to cast two votes;
a first and second choice, from a complied list of candidates. All 11 districts and boroughs in Surrey will run their own Polling day and Count, and the Surrey Police Area Returning Officer will announce the winning candidate in Guildford on 16th November.
Success for Team Surrey in first BUCS competitions
By Sam Bradbury, News Team
Proposal for uni dentist’s practice
By Jack White, News Team
he University is planning to add an NHS dentist’s practice to the health facilities on campus. A proposal has been offered with to house the practice in the same building as the general practitioner. Specific conditions on the practice are that the campus and its students will have first priority over the public, and that all the cultures found on campus be accommodated.
The Old Orleans restaurant is the proposed sight for the Wonderland restaurant
eam Surrey is already storming the BUCS (British University College Sport) competitions after the season started on Wednesday 17th October . The year has kicked off with a fantastic start and with 35 teams from Team Surrey raring to go there is no doubt we will be seeing many victories. Women’s football won their match 10-0 against Reading, and the men’s 2nd Badminton team beat Royal Holloway 7-1. Jacob Pimenta-Richardson, the first time Lacrosse Goal
keeper, said of their match: “I could do with a little more practice, but well done Team Surrey for giving Cambridge all we had!” Surrey Sports Park is hosting a lot of the action so why not go down, check it out and support our amazing athletes.
If you have recently competed in a sports competition, contact our Sports editor at: sport@ thestagsurrey.co.uk
The Stag |
31st October 2012
100,000 workers Update: Change One Thing march in London
By Jack White, News Team By Jack White, News Team
nionised workers marched through London last week at a demonstration named A Future That Works. The march, organised by the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) was called to lobby Government to end its widely discredited programme of cuts and to do more to rein in the finance industry. Demonstrators cheered for a 24-hour general strike, called for by the leaders of Unite and Unison. The TUC however has struck a moderate tone. General Secretary Brendan Barber said, “I don’t hear very many people calling for that.” Labour leader Ed Miliband received a luke-warm reception at the rally which followed the march, when he cited the diverse groups that attended, including off-duty police officers. Miliband said, “They believe we do better as one nation – public and private sectors working together; North and South; trade unions and British business working together.” Members of Surrey United
Anti-Capitalists also attended. Marcus Trower said, “The march has shown that working people are still willing to show their disagreement with the Government attacks, even with the trade union sell-outs of the last year. However marching is not enough. We must strike and occupy until the Government is forced to not make us pay for their crisis.”
Demonstrators join in protest against government cuts
Student Shopping UK host night of student bargains
By Clowance Lawton, News Team
n Tuesday 16th October, Student Shopping UK came to The Friary Centre in Guildford to provide some great discounts and it seems to have lived up to expectations. With many shops offering 20% discount across the store, it was no surprise that the shopping centre was filled with students from the time of its opening at 6pm. GU2 and FTW, an up-andcoming boy band, provided musical entertainment and, in conjunction with the amazing discounts and the free alcohol provided by Ann Summers and Schuh, there was a pleasant, upbeat atmosphere Tamara Fenton, a second year student at the university, commented: “I’m really impressed with the 20% off in Topshop and the 10% off in Ann Summers, including the items already on sale.” She wasn’t, however, willing to divulge what exactly was
bought from the latter retailer. The company behind the event was formed in 2012 by Alex Ludlam, who studied at the University of Plymouth. Student Shopping UK’s website boasts that it aims to “revolutionise the retail and social experience for students across the UK.” The overall response to the evening was positive; second year student, Rebecca Owen said: “It helped eradicate autumnal student blues by offering justified retail therapy.” However, students did suggest that there could be some improvements, most notable that there should have been greater discounts but the slightly more expensive prices were only due to the higher pricing in Guildford. Others wanted to see the inclusion of other student focused shops in the high street, such as H&M and the shops in the White Lion Walk. Student Shopping UK returns to The Friary next year with the Student Fashion Fixx Tour.
ver the last year, the Union has had a poll on the front page of its web site, on exactly what your beefs with the campus are. The Stag talked to Union President Dave Halls about what action has been taken to sort out these problems. His own report can be read at http://tinyurl.com/9keepzh Amigo’s Prices Amigos is owned by Compass Group, which has traditionally run shops in hospitals. When they opened Amigo, the prices charged in hospitals were applied to our campus shop, causing widespread discontent. Dave says, “It’s an ongoing battle. They are cheaper than when they first opened. I’ve met with [the new manager] a couple of times and he seems very open. He takes a lot on board. They’re changing their offering, moving away from fast food. You can now buy fruit and veg – something a bit more substantial. It’s never going to compete with Tesco’s, but they send us through a list of 20 items every month, saying ‘This is how we compare with Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s.’” The Union is also interested in quality and value-for-money, but lower quality goods still sell well. Cheaper Prices in Rubix/ Channies According to the Huffington Post, the average cost of a student union pint in the UK is £2.20. At Channies/Rubix the average is £3.03. Dave says, “It’s a valid point, but wet trade – beers and wines – has plummeted with the rise
of pre-drinks (drinking at home before going out). Our volumes have gone down a lot compared to five years ago. But most of those unions charging a pound a pint are fully subsidised by their universities. This year we will have to make a surplus in commercial areas of I think £150,000 just to keep membership services alive. We’re about the same level as Wetherspoon’s.” Chancellor’s bar is now running a-pound-a-pint on a Monday evening. Food Variety at Channies The start of this term saw a new menu at Channies with a considerably increased array of meals. A Faster Union Website For several months after the launch of the Union web site last year, there was a big speed problem on the front page, due to the high number of database accesses that were taking place. The Union has now had the front page remade and it runs much faster. More Cheap Accommodation The Stag revealed earlier this term that the University has no
long-term plans to build any more accommodation, other than scheduled Band D flats at Manor Park. “This is something we’re constantly fighting the University for,” said Dave. “We’ve seen things over the last few weeks and months that suggests they’re beginning to take notice. They’re becoming more savvy.” The contract for ResNet is due for renewal within the next year and the University is looking at offering a free basic service, with the ability to pay extra for extras like adding a console to the network. The University has hitherto believed that students were looking for higher-quality accommodation and were willing to pay the price. However this year has seen a radical drop in students at the University and it has had trouble filling places at Manor Park. Dave finished, “We’re now hearing that Surrey and Battersea Courts are the ones people want. It’s a work in progress, but we’re getting there.” Bins by the Lake The Union has spoken to the University about a greater number of bins on campus, and Dave believes it is a matter of time. No action plan has been put in place yet. The Change One Thing section of the Union website is available on the front page when logged in with your University username and password. You can add your own items, so let rip and if you don’t see any changes, why not drop Justine a line at opinion@thestagsurrey. co.uk.
Surrey Police launch campaign for Halloween and Bonfire Night
By Rachel Thomason, News Team
urrey Police have launched a campaign this Halloween and Bonfire Night to decrease antisocial behaviour in the county. The campaign, called ‘scare yourself, not others', launched on Friday 26th October and encourages young people to watch a video called ‘The Slammer'. Anyone who watches the video can enter a competition with the prize as winning one of 16 pairs of tickets to Thorpe Park's Fright Nights. Over the next few weeks, police will step up their patrols in the area to prevent any incidents and pay visits to local residents to ensure people stay safe this Halloween and Bonfire Night. Local businesses are working
with the force to make sure that large quantities of eggs and flour are not sold if there is suspicion that they could be used to damage property. ‘No trick or treat’ signs are being given away by the local Safer Neighbourhood policing teams which residents can display in their homes. People are being asked to respect this request if they see this sign. The co-ordinator of the campaign, Superintendent Sharon Bush, commented: "We want people to enjoy themselves but Halloween does not legitimise bad behaviour or vandalism and youngsters need to consider how their actions can affect others.”
By Rachel Thomason, News Editor
Email alerts for event tickets
mail alerts are now available to notify students when tickets become available. The union’s classified adverts now have email updates when there are new posts on the site. Students can sign up to be alerted if a new ticket comes up for sale for an event that you have not been able to get tickets for. Other alerts can be set up for books and new houses upon logging into the union website. The classified website can also be used to advertise to other students anything that you want to sell. To access the classifieds page, visit: http://www.ussu.co.uk/ classifieds/Pages/Classifieds.aspx. From there just click Alert Me… for any adverts that interest you.
News Editor: Rachel Thomason | Copy Editor: Tina Morman
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Report paints bleak picture for housing
By Jack White, News Team
Guildford Book Festival 2012
By Sophie Vickery, News Team fter ten days of insightful talks and exciting events, Guildford Book Festival has been named a success. The festival commenced on the 18th October offering something for all interests, from crime and history, to cookery and humour. The festival began positively following the news that Peter James’ latest title, Not Dead Yet, had knocked 50 Shades of Grey off the top spot on the bestsellers list, giving him even more attention during his talk on 19th October. The opening itself featured food journalist, Prue Leith, introducing her new autobiography and John Suchet talking about his latest book which tries to untangle the fascinatingly complex character of Beethoven. On 20th October Reader’s Day was hosted by Guy Pringle from Newbooks magazine, involving a mini festival giving readers the opportunity to share inspiration and talk with the authors themselves. There were many visitors eager to share company with Mary Berry in the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on 21st October and Ben Miller’s event at the University of Surrey (one of the event’s sponsors) was also very successful. Miller spent the evening sharing his passion for science following his previous study of a PhD in ‘Novel quantum effects in quasi-zero-dimensional electron
report by a group of housing providers has shown an 86% rise in the number of renters on housing benefit in the last three years. The National Housing Federation (NHF) says that while 390,000 new households were formed last year, only 111,250 new houses were built. This difference between demand and supply is pushing house prices up and forcing would-be buyers into the private rental sector. One in twelve families is now on the waiting list for social housing. Private rent is also likely to outstrip the increasing purchase price of housing. The report shows rental prices increasing by 27% by 2017, having in the last
five years risen by 37%. By comparison the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation without housing costs, has risen by around 20% in the same time. Purchase of houses is also tackled, with a rise in house costs of 94% since 2001 and
in income of only 29%. The NHF says that in order to get a 75% mortgage on a house costing the national average of £236,500 buyers will need an income of £50,700 a year. In Guildford the average cost of a house is £424,000.
systems’. One of the event’s most unique offerings was the House of Horrors; 99 Dead Snowmen and other wicked cartoons. The display was the creation of Tony De Saulles, illustrator of the highly popular Horrible Science series. The wide variety greatly aided the festival’s popularity, but its director, Glenis Pycraft, also acknowledged the positive impact that social media has had for the event this year. Visitors readily used Facebook and Twitter to share their experiences and express their enjoyment. It seems the event will be eagerly awaited next year.
This house in Guildford is on the market for £330,000, requiring an income of over £50,000 to secure a 75% mortgage.
Readers enjoy Guildford Book Festival
The Stag |
31st October 2012
NUS Referendum - what does it mean?
Proof reading - the rules
write this week’s article not knowing the outcome of the NUS Referendum. But regardless of whether or not we’re still a member, the impact of this referendum has left me in awe, and pride in Surrey students. One of the hardest parts of this referendum, for me, has been remaining neutral; like many of you, I too have an opinion on our membership of NUS*. But it’s also been incredibly worthwhile to see the Surrey populace actively engaging in such a crucial decision; as I write this, we’ve broken through the 1,000 barrier for voting, which is a fantastic start to the year. It would be wrong for the elected
officers to try and suggest either way which way Surrey students should vote, you only have to look at the farce that is Southampton’s current referendum to see why that is true. We work for you, not vice-versa. This is your Union, and the whole raison d’etre is that you are the decision makers. Keep engaging Surrey, and wonderful things can happen here. I call Surrey a ‘non-controversial union’; we don’t fit the usual NUS mould, we don’t organise sit-ins in the Vice-Chancellor’s office, and we certainly don’t throw our toys out of the pram when things don’t go our way. We get things done, we represent students, we work with the University in a civil manner. We respect the university, and they respect us. The ‘Surrey way’ is what has led to a working relationship seeing union and
university storming up the league tables, making life better for Surrey students. This method has led to Surrey often being overlooked on a national platform at NUS. Not anymore. That a referendum had even been mooted at Surrey set off alarm bells up at NUS HQ. They were genuinely worried about the snowballing effect losing a union such as ours would have on their wider membership. They sat up and took notice of us. Whether or not we’re still a member as you read this, change is coming at NUS. They know it’s needed, and we’ve played our part in bringing that about. And that, Surrey, is just one more reason why I’m so proud to be part of this place. *If anyone’s particularly interested, come ask me, and now the referendum’s over, I can tell you.
Union Vice-President Education
t has come to my attention recently that many companies or individuals are advertising proof-reading services on campus notice boards. I feel like it would be good, just as you start assignments this year, to give you some information surrounding getting someone to proof-read your work. If your learning objectives do not specify that the work will be marked on the quality of written English, then getting your work proof-read in itself is not an offence, but it should be noted that as the creator of a piece of work, you are entirely
responsible for the “intellectual and conceptual content of the work”, basically the academic side of what you submit. If you have had someone proof-read your work, and this can include having had someone assist with the language, altering word arrangement, spelling and layout, you should declare this on the declaration of originality. Additionally you should keep drafts of your work, including one of before you had any input from a third party, to demonstrate what you had achieved before you sought assistance. My blog this week goes into greater detail on how to avoid some of the less obvious pitfalls when completing your assignments, go to www.ussu. co.uk all our sabbatical blogs are on the home page. Happy reading!
A night out with St. John’s Ambulance
Union Vice-President Welfare
Just want to play some sport?
ednesday 31st October was Drink Awareness Day at the Union and in preparation for it, I spent a couple of nights out with St. Johns Ambulance and the DGL Dorr Staff to get a different perspective
of a night out. We often think of how the night ‘gone bad’ has impacted on us, but rarely about the impact excessive drinking has on friends. What about friend whose night came to a swift end because they had to look after you? Remember it was them who had to sit for hours with you in A&E. It was them who carried you home at midnight and missed the last couple of hours of their night.
It was them who almost got caught up in a fight that you had started. As one St John Ambulance Paramedic explained, “It’s not about drinking, I drink. It’s about getting to that stage when you can’t hold your head up, can’t keep your airway open, and can’t keep yourself alive”. Understand your limits not only for health purposes but for your own safety and for the safety of others around you.
Union Vice-President Sport & Recreation
Drink 2 ciders 2 large wines 2 beers
Units 5.1 6.5 4.5
% of daily Units for men* 128-170% 163- 217% 113-150%
% of daily Units for women 170-255% 217-325% 255%
Calories 415 382 386
% of daily calories for men 17 15 15
% of daily calories for women 21% 19% 19%
*Daily recommended alcohol units: men 3-4; women 2-3
eeling a sudden rush of motivation to keep your mind healthy after Mind Maintenance Week, so decide to head up to Surrey Sports Park to keep fit with your housemates? There’s always that sinking feeling as you enter with your team of friends, as you forget you need an SSP membership. But do not worry! We now offer Play Sport sessions, social drop-in, drop-out, play as you wish sports, which don’t require a membership! If you need a bit of de-stressing inbetween that piece of coursework that is due in next week and lectures, or are stuck for ideas of what
to do on an evening with your friends, head to Play Sport Facebook page and find out what sessions we have running this semester for only a couple of pounds a session, sports include netball, badminton, football, basketball and now introducing Dodgeball! And we need your help, what sports would you like to see in semester 2? Email me at email@example.com a great chance to try some sports for fun and see what you enjoy! Varsity: is everyone getting excited? Well maybe it’s a little too soon, but do you have an idea for 2013s t-shirts? If you do drop me an email and maybe your slogan can headline the Varsity t-shirts! We’re Surrey and We Know It!
Tomorrow comes but the sunlight is never the same
International Students Development Officer
re you an international student at Surrey? Changing your country can be a really stressful period with an overload of information. Your world view changes, you might never have experienced an English
winter, or indeed, an English summer. No matter where you come from Surrey is your new home. Days might be stressful or filled with concern, but the unhappiness can be diminished if you consider the bright side of every day life. You wait tomorrow in your window, but the sunlight of tomorrow’s day is never the same. There is no way to get bored the excitement of tomorrow. Whilst experiencing student life here at
Surrey, getting to know your neighbour can be an opportunity to discover that we are all different but also so similar. Your neighbour might experience the same problems as you do, even though you come from different countries. Promoting cultural diversity awareness gives a great opportunity to widen our horizons to the multicultural magic of the world around us. Opening your eyes to new cultures can be a
great lesson, as it reveals a bit about what is around us. Making Surrey a real home for every student, enhancing community consistency and celebrating culture on campus constitute major factors of improvement constituting Students’ Union aims. It is your Union and simply we are here for you. What is our aim? Make your time here at Surrey extraordinary.
OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Opinion & Analysis
Police Commissioner elections will introduce even more corruption
for its closeness to power. By raising money by adding to Council Tax, the PCCs will be at the mercy of fickle voters who have little understanding of the operational requirements of police forces. In the year before an election especially, the PCCs will come under enormous pressure to cut their take of Council Tax, anxious to please voters. The effects on policing of course will be delayed as staff are progressively laid off across the year and more of them are kept in police stations instead of out on the beat. Worst of all is the fact that election candidates are not only selected by their constituents, but by their parties too. The upshot is that in order to retain their party’s approval, PCCs will be directing police attention to the issues close to the hearts of local party members. I’m sure it will be okay at first, but just you watch as more and more beat police become located in Tory/Labour/Liberal safe council wards and money is diverted towards areas of already low crime, towards policing political events and towards propaganda in politically sensitive areas. So I’m an avowed socialist and electorally I support leftwing Labour election candidates and candidates from parties left of Labour. But I’d rather have a corrupt Tory than a corrupt Labour commissioner. I’m sure my dissenting counterparts in the Conservative Party feel exactly the same way – rather corrupt Labour than corrupt Tory. Ultimately though, we all feel the same creepy unease and we all know that we’d rather just not have any corruption at all. But of course Westminster leaders, with their shabby expenses fiddling and cosy relationship with Rupert Murdoch don’t feel quite the same way.
Women’s Halloween costumes - does ‘sexy’ Jordan mean ‘sexist’?
his November, I will be breaking a trend and actively boycotting an election. That election is for the new elected police commissioners and the reason for the boycott is that these new positions are inherently corrupt. Britain has long had a guiding tradition of trying to separate the executive from the administration: that is politicians from public servants. It is this that has led to Britain not only having a historic lack of corruption, but also a historic stability. We have not had a civil war on mainland Britain since 1651. But these new Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) do have operational oversight of their respective police forces. They are reported to directly by their Chief Constable and are responsible for raising and setting budgets. This will bring even more politics into a profession increasingly criticised
n the run-up to Halloween, many of us will be scrambling around desperately trying to piece together something together with no idea what we actually want to be. We all enjoy dressing up as someone else for one night a year and deciding what to be is always part of the fun. However, debate has been sparked as to whether ‘sexy’ Halloween costumes are in fact sexist after the sudden popularity of a Tumblr blog named F**k No Sexist Halloween Costumes. The creation of this blog was prompted by the increasingly ridiculous selection of ‘sexy’ Halloween outfits offered by retailers- examples of which would be ‘sexy’ Nemo and Cookie Monster costumes for women. The blog contrasts the women’s
options with the male versionsmade with considerably more fabric. However, I don’t think that we should be condemning ‘sexy’ Halloween costumes. The real issue is that there are few more ‘modest’ alternatives for those who want them. There’s no denying that a lot of women’s Halloween costumes are oversexualized, but who are we to try to decide what women can and can’t wear? For a lot of women, dressing up in these outfits for Halloween is a lot of fun, and they should be allowed to express themselves in this way if they want to- Halloween, for many, is the only time it’s okay to do so in public. One word of advice, though - dressing up like Nemo is never, ever going to be sexy.
Wake up, Mr. Cameron
Justine Crossan Opinion & Analysis Editor
he idea of personal space is a strangely Western one. One of the places we mainly notice this curious phenomenon in our everyday lives is in lifts. Within this odd setting, confined within a small metal box, we cannot allow each other the room we would usually and so act in a very uncomfortable and awkward manner, shuffling around to try to keep the most space between all the occupants who do not know each other. However, we also see something similar when we pass each other
he speech David Cameron made on 10th October revealed the state Britain is currently in, not a good one. We are in a race against much more agile competitors globally, and so we must boost our entrepreneurial community and trade vigorously to maintain the same pace as others. However, it seems looking at the policy of immigration this is doing the complete opposite. David Cameron has made it so much more difficult in the past two years for students and foreign workers to enter into Britain, more people are leaving to pursue their talent and take up job offers in different countries
instead. Net Migration needed to be brought down by 116,000 by 2015 which is obviously going to be difficult, due to Britons and Europeans being allowed to roam freely in and out and asylum seekers being protected the number has been reduced by clamping down on students and workers, evidentially by the 21% student visa drop in one year. Students being the main potential for our future and economic growth in Britain this seems a strange idea, also the Visa application is extremely long and costly so work visas that could benefit smaller corporations
cannot deal with the hassle and so are missing out on opportunities to expand and grow. An influx of eastern Europeans that migrated to Britain last decade were apologised for by Ed Milliband even though they claim few benefits and contributed immensely to society’s wealth. The talented students abroad who would love to get a degree at our leading universities should be exempt from this immigration policy as someone who can make it to such a well-respected institution will be an asset to our economy. As we are in such a race against other prosperous countries we should jump at the chance to reel in talented people from abroad whose enthusiasm to enter Britain may diminish if we do not improve our policies and use our popularity to our advantage.
in a narrow corridor, especially if we are carrying something. Do you turn to face them as you edge past? Or turn into the wall? What is the correct way of behaving? As this country becomes more crowded, almost exponentially fast, it is one of the few social settings we physically find ourselves in on a daily basis without having the answer genetically or parentally - drilled into us.
Opinion & Analysis Editor: Justine Crossan | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming
The Stag |
31st October 2012
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Human vs. Animal An Englishman’s
he UK spends billions of pounds on charity every year, in fact, last year we gave a total of £7.1 billion to charities at home and abroad. The fact that the UK is able to achieve such a figure and host the Olympic and Paralympic games so successfully in a period of recession is highly commendable. However, looking at the figures of charity funds does raise some interesting facts. 14% of charity givers tend to give to animal charities such as the RSPCA or Dogs Trust. Also, it was discovered that the UK spend £14.9 billion on their pets every year, more than double that of what we give to charity in a year. The amount we spend on our pets is astonishing when we
then look at the breakdown of these costs as we will spend approximately £16,000 on a pet dog throughout its life, and £15,000 on a pet cat throughout its life due to aspects such as vet care, grooming, food etc. For all you second and third year students, that money would pay off your student loan instantly, and for all you first year students, it would pay for your first year, but that is still a significant amount. But what is even more shocking about this amount is how much this money would help charities which support human needs such as £5 helping to stop homelessness of a family with the ‘Shelter’ charity. But the most disturbing issue with how much we
spend on animals in this country is that in contrast to 14% of charity givers giving to animal organisations, only 11% give to disabled people when over 10 million disabled people live in the UK. Also, only 9% give to the homeless and 8% to the elderly. Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe in animal cruelty, not having any pets, or the extinction of animals. However the amount which we spend on animals is shocking in contrast to that of our own species. Is an animal really worth more than a human? Disabilities and homelessness are not uncommon and could affect any one of us, and the aging of our bodies takes place daily. So let’s all be more conscious about the amount we spend on our pets, and most importantly, the charities which we give to.
home is his castle?
he last few weeks have exposed a disturbing reality into how limited our free speech actually is: it now seems that being nasty or insensitive, termed “grossly offensive”, is now something that can put us in jail. These British censorship laws now span into our personal liberty, with both Azhar Ahmed and Matthew Woods being sentenced for posts they made on their own Facebook pages. I’m not going to rush to the defence of what was written, they were both tasteless comments which would be better left unsaid, but it’s another thing altogether to make this sort of thing a crime. Freedom of speech was never truly free; there must be laws against such things as direct threats or encouraging hatred and discrimination onto a certain group of people. However this is a step too far, criminalising something as subjective as offense can lead to some very dangerous outcomes. Freedom of speech isn’t just the right to be pleasant and produce positive outcomes, but also to be unpleasant, no matter how offensive or unfunny it might be.
It isn’t like these cases are in isolation either, Ahmed was charged for his comments against the British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, expressing his anger at the innocent civilians being killed in the conflict. The criticisms of Britain’s foreign policy can be heard by a whole range of people in the U.K and although we may not like what is being said about our armed forces, putting people in jail for expressing their opinion isn’t something our government should to have the power to do. This oppression of speech draws a very Orwellian outlook on today’s society. The interesting thing about this whole situation is that these types of comments, mainly Matthew Wood’s poor attempt at a joke, would be perfectly legal if they were for the purpose of a television show. Subsections (1) and (2) of the Communications Act 2003 state that these laws do not apply to anything done in the course of providing a programme service, which is why you can see the likes of Frankie Boyle reeling off this exact type of shock humour on his own Channel 4 show.
To say these blurs between not only what can be said, but who can say it are unfair is an understatement. This sort of vague legislation that the government have been putting out needs to be looked at more carefully, especially when it concerns censorship of how we express ourselves. I think the point is expressed well by Victoria Coren, who warns how easy it is to react when a well-loved musician or poet is censored in a faraway country, but when it’s a “revolting moron” down the road the point still holds, you can’t send someone to prison for saying something you don’t like. At the moment, there are various campaigns in order to reform these sections of government legislation that impede on our free speech, being pushed forward by public figures such as Rowan Atkinson. But until these laws have been reformed or abolished altogether, you should think twice about what you’re writing on your Facebook or Twitter pages.
t was back in 2010 when Michael Black and John Morgan, a gay couple, were refused a double bedroom at a Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire. They were not refused the room down to twisted and sickening homophobia, but down to the Christian faith of the owners, Mr and Mrs Wilkinson. Only now, two years later, the courts ruled that the Christian owners had discriminated against the gay couple. Mr and Mrs Wilkinson were ordered to pay £3,600 in damages for ‘injury of feelings’. In past history, there has been huge discrimination against homosexuals, consisting of burning, hanging, imprisonment, and torture. We should rejoice that we no longer live in a society like that. No one should ever be punished because of their sexual orientation. Instead, we
now live in a society with freedom and tolerance. Homosexuals are now free to participate in sexual acts, can celebrate their love through civil partnerships, and can adopt disadvantaged children in need of a stable home. However, we have now met a crossroad that puts the rights of others at stake. Increasingly it is the rights of Christians, who are having their religious freedoms trampled upon. Mr and Mrs Wilkinson were not being hateful bigots forcing their religion down other people’s throats. Instead they are goodwilled individuals, having religious beliefs that affect their daily life, rarely conflicting with the interests of others. Like millions in this country and billions around the world, Mr and Mrs Wilkinson were simply trying to pursue their religious freedoms, which are fundamental to all. Yet more importantly, an Englishman’s home is his castle. This might be
an old-fashioned saying, but it is felt very strongly by people up and down this nation. It means that we should control what happens in our own home and no one should tell us what to do with it. As observed, this is far from the case. Now, the freedom to allow who enters your home is in jeopardy. Mr and Mrs Wilkinson were not running a High Street hotel, but merely making use of their private home as a B&B. Individuals like these are no longer free to act upon their sincere beliefs under their own roof, living in fear and coercion of the law. Being a very controversial case, many agreed with the ruling, while many did not. However, there is one fundamental question we should all ask ourselves. A fundamental question that may conflict with the core values of this great nation. Is an Englishman’s home his castle or is this an outdated idea of the past?
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Get hooked on RAG
By Jake Willis, RAG Chair
Microsoft comes to Surrey
joined RAG way back in 2009 along with dozens of other clubs and societies at my Freshers’ Fayre. Some of these I attended, others I still receive emails from but have never actually set foot into a meeting of. RAG, however, is the one I stuck with. I wasn’t instantly hooked on RAG (that came following my first ever Jailbreak in 2010), but it did help me realise that being at University wasn’t going to be all about studying for a degree. I could actually make a positive difference. Yes, this is a schmaltzy article on why I love RAG, but it was RAG Week 2010 that got me hooked, and this year, while devising the lineup for RAG Week 2012, this is what I had in mind. This year, RAG Week has moved to November, and we’ve got everything you’ve come to expect and lots more. On the Monday, we bring you the Safer Sex Ball, back for its third outing in Rubix . This year, we’ve gone for a Seven Deadly Sins theme, and our Events Team
has been working especially hard to make sure it’s a night you won’t forget. Tuesday is our Big Bake Sale, held alongside the Baking Society in Rubix. We’ll also be hosting the first of our RAGS for RAG days, where you can bring along old clothes, which will be donated to Shooting Star CHASE, one of our Supported Charities this year. Wednesday is the Where’s Wally Bar Crawl, which will start in Chancellors, then and head off round town and end back in Citrus. We’ve also arranged a Scavenger Hunt for the evening with prizes to be won for those involved. Thursday is Race Night in Lecture Theatre J. Come along and take part in a night at the races, with some awesome prizes to be won – including a Surrey Sports Park Membership and Union vouchers. Friday is the beginning of our Challenge Weekend, with RAG Yourself taking place over the Friday and Saturday. This is your opportunity to do something and
get sponsored for it! Whether it be a sponsored silence, a sponsored human chain or something completely out of the blue, all you have to do is set up a JustGiving page, and let RAG know you’re doing it by emailing ussu.ragchair@ surrey.ac.uk. Finally, Sunday brings us LOST. In this event, we’ll be driving teams out to the middle of nowhere. The team that gets back to the Union quickest wins. However, you’re not allowed to spend any money. You can sign up for this event by heading to www.ussu.co.uk and heading to the RAG Page. RAG Week 2012 is a mix of everything we aim to do – holding fun, interesting and different events in order to raise money for charity. This year, all the proceeds will go to Shooting Star CHASE, the Barn Youth Project and Breast Cancer Campaign – three amazing causes. So, why not get involved and take part in something a bit different? You may just find yourself hooked on RAG.
Recent cube event at Cardiff University By Justine Duthaler, Microsoft graduate recruitment Student Brand Ambassador the chance to connect with their recruitment team – including their current intake of graduates and interns. There will be chances for CV help and interview skills advice. This event is open to students of all degree disciplines, as at Microsoft, it’s not how you’ll fit in with us. It’s about how we’ll fit around you; how we can make the most of your talents. Surrey Cube Event: 5th November 11am-3pm, outside the Austin Pearce building.
n the Fifth November, Microsoft Graduate Recruitment are coming to Surrey. Based outside the Austin Pearce building, they’ll be bringing the very latest technological gadgetry and wizardry for you to play with – there is even a chance for one student to win an Xbox Kinect. What is more, you will get
Halloween - Trick or treat?
By Laura Colledge, Features Team
ver since the autumnal air arrived (I know it’s difficult to distinguish between this and our “summer” weather) and we dragged our winter boots our from the back of our wardrobes, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of fellow students eagerly anticipating the fast approaching Halloween. It seems that the prospect of this particular festivity brings more excitement to them in their university years than when their parents bribed them into a pumpkin costume with the promise of sweets. But why is Halloween such a big deal to students? We can no longer get away with harassing our neighbours for free chocolate, unless you’re still as short as me, that is. Is it just another excuse for us to get drunk on Tesco Value Vodka? Or is it, as suggested in Mean Girls, ‘the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it’? It seems that students would never miss an opportunity to party, and with the added fun of playing
with fake blood and wrapping our friends in loo roll, Halloween is always set up to be a ‘big night out’. Unfortunately, parents of young children and older generations do not always agree with this statement. With the media often full of stories about houses being covered in eggs and flour, elderly ladies being tormented by teenage boys in Scream masks and drunken youths intimidating innocent children on the streets, it’s no surprise that Halloween isn’t everyone’s favourite night of the year. In 2010, an illegal Halloween rave in central London, resulted in bricks being thrown at riot police and a woman admitted to hospital after getting caught up in the chaos. So while Halloween is a great chance to get creative and party with your friends, just take a few minutes to remember the magic of being given free sweets by total strangers for a night, and appreciate that whilst your drunken impression of a vampire might be hilarious for you and your friends, it could be one scare too far for a small child.
Pumpkins and the mess they made after a wild Halloween on Tesco Value Vodka...
© hanna_horwarth - flickr
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Surrey, Sex & Shambles A gallery with a difference
My name is Tom. I’m your new shambolic BFF. We will be discussing the madness that ensues in my daily life and you’ll simply laugh and be entertained by me. Now that the dichotomy of our relationship is sorted let’s get on with our topic for this week...
By Tom Greenaway, Features Team tell you that I didn’t pull. I stumbled on back to my best friends’ where I was staying, also a single gay male; now I bet you know where this is going… Everyone has that stupid drunken story where they hooked up with their mate blablablah but he is different. The amount of potential times it could have but just never did, truly cemented our friendship, or at least so I thought. But being drunk/horny/stupid we did what any other self respecting gay person would do and fooled around. Don’t judge me you know you’d do the same! I think again this is just my simple one-track mind outlook on the world, but when I meet guys, straight, gay, it’s irrelevant, I always find myself thinking about what they’re packing. I can’t help it, I know it’s shallow, I know I’m a bad person but I just can’t stop myself. Maybe we all do think it but are just too ashamed/embarrassed to speak up? Needless to say with my friend I was pleasantly surprised and if I gained nothing from our night other than a drunken handjob, then I quenched my curiosity of what lurks beneath. I’m hoping with this Tease night coming up at the SU I’ll finally have some luck and if not I may have to face the fact that maybe it’s not Surrey, maybe it’s me. On a finishing note, I apologise for coming across crude, maybe if I was having more sex at Surrey I wouldn’t feel the need to write about it, so any complaints please send them directly to myself, then we can hook up and I’ll write about whatever you deem fit. All the best, your shambolic friend, T.
ex. We’re all having it, and if not, we all wish we were having it. The apparent lack of sexual activity in the university has already had an adverse effect on me and I’ve been here less than three weeks! So although I loved the short dressed girls at the SU, it didn’t particularly float my boat (if you catch my drift) so I whisked myself off to the wonderful gay extravaganza that is Brighton. Now being sexually frustrated is not something I’m used to, considering that I used to live in Brighton and when intoxicated (which is more often than I’d care to discuss) I have low to relatively no standards. So I digress, I went to Brighton pumped up and ready to pull and what happened? My ex was there (we travel in the same circles) being all mopey and ‘woe is me’ and to not seem like the shallow one track minded person I clearly am, I had to act in a rather compassionate manner. So need I
By Annie Driscoll, Features Team
s you walk into a surreal, Warhol- esque hallway filled with chattering students hauling rucksacks and cameras, art dealers armed with determined smiles and briefcases, you know you have made it. Be prepared to open your mind and lose sensation in your feet- welcome to Frieze. Being London’s largest annual art fair, consisting of both a contemporary and master’s section and sporting exhibits from over 170 galleries worldwide- this is the London Fashion Week of the art world. Held this year from 11th-14th of October, in the crisp brightness of Regent’s park- the event was truly one not to miss. Even to the most stubborn classics advocate, or the most dedicated of Emin fans, the endless white corridors adorned with an entire spectrum of contemporary art proves to be nothing other than
extraordinary. One may turn a corner to be confronted by the most hideous and disturbing works of Paul McCarthy, only to step next into the midst of a huge and eccentric wooden sculpture so called ‘dad’, before descending in relief upon the soothing, intense brushstrokes of Jenny Saville- all within arm’s length. Having myself taken a mere six hour run-around of the Frieze expanse, the possibility of boredom is far from likely. Immaculately dressed Londoners lounge about drinking gin and tonics, discussing their possible purchases. Whilst plumes of cigarette smoke fly from the numerous outdoor seating areas, the viewers allow themselves a much needed rest and sample the exotic food available. Students - please note - art food is wonderfully expensive; take a packed lunch! Take a stroll into the statue
garden to be enchanted by a field of heady incense or return once more to the white walled maze and once again open your mind to the expressive ponderings of renowned names such as Damien Hurst, Jeremy Deller, Marylin Minter, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Gilbert & George and many more. This is no marble floored, stuffy aired gallery thick with silence, this is art in motion; throngs of people, music, selling, buying, raising eyebrows and awestruck backsteps. Be enthralled by live screenplay’s, retro VCR, poetry scrawled on mirrors, interactive installations. One of the most significant of my personal memories of the event has to be when an infant was held by his parents beneath a beautiful mobile of taxidermied sparrows, and stared at them with a look of coy amusement. You do not have to be an art fanatic to attend, just join in and let your eyes feast!
An alternative guide to student budgeting
By Lily Pearson, Features Team
hopping is good for the soul. ‘How shallow!’ I hear you cry, ‘what a stereotype!’ feminists wince. As much as I deride the feminine cliché that I shamefully perpetuate with such a remark, and, as much as I abhor the thought of sounding even slightly like Carrie Bradshaw - retail therapy can brighten even the darkest of student days. Days which involve huddling in the living room, clad in as many layers as the cold nights are long, (no money for heating!) with only a questionable Pot Noodle for company (or nourishment!). We are incessantly advised on how to manage our rather hampered finances. Parents, University, advice columns: they all instruct us on how to live a financially harmonious life where
our rent is paid and our hunger satisfied - with money saved to boot. A practical approach, yes. But boring? Perhaps. For me it may be sartorial seduction that’s the agent for the ever-expanding abyss defeating my budget, but everybody’s got their own vice. Booze, takeaways, and even that Starbucks you convincingly assure yourself is necessary for every nine AM start are all, realistically, irresponsible purchases. But how fun is a life without a little reckless spending? In an age where the average university student graduates with a debt approaching a shocking figure that barely misses the £30,000 mark (a figure that is appallingly doubled for students beginning courses this year), money worries penetrate the thoughts of even the most financially secure. But a
time where life isn’t marred with the monetary issues that come hand in hand with adulthood (debt repayment, mortgages, and, dare I say it, parenthood) should be embraced and enjoyed, not fretted about and treated over-cautiously. I’m certainly not saying go out and squander your precious loan on double Vodka-Red Bulls, I do, however, advise you not to succumb to the sometimes overbearing pressure not to spend any of your money at all. Let the guilt that accompanies buying that new pair of shoes (and that subsequent week of self-punishment where you don’t allow yourself any proper meals), subside and be replaced with an attitude where you are entitled to a little fun. Because, and here’s another cliché, you are only young once.
Top tip - always carry stacks of pound coins to create the illusion of having lots of money
© J D Mack
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Loss of a hero
By Hannah Wann, Features Team
Is British TV really entertaining?
By Annika Gonnermann, Features Team
inner of 7 Tour de France titles, chairman of Livestrong, sports superstar, icon… fraud. The hearts of fans all over the world were broken last week when the most damning statement so far was given against Lance Armstrong and the doping allegations against him. A testimony against the sports hero, this time given by George Hincapie - a long-standing friend and teammate of Armstrong - was released as evidence by the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) last week, bringing it to a total of 11 fellow riders – and 26 witnesses – to confirm the doping charges. As well as evidence gathering to prove Armstrong’s use of banned substances and blood transfusions throughout his career and victories, he’s also accused of encouraging (in some cases forcing) other riders on the US Postal Service Cycling Team to cheat too, with an elaborate doping ring being established. Armstrong has not contested, or confirmed, the allegations. Despite the USADA first stripping him of his titles in August, it has not been until these recent testimonies and evidence that admirers of the cycling legend have been forced to finally accept that their hero is not in fact a hero at all. Armstrong’s incredible story of going on to make history in cycling after battling and beating testicular cancer saw him elevated to one of the most inspirational people in sport; his tale serving as a shining beacon of hope for
cancer sufferers and sports people alike. But the USADA’s recent mounting evidence against the sports star has seen him not only stripped of his seven titles and banned from competing for life, but also dropped by sponsor, Nike, and pushed to step down from his position as chairman of the Livestrong foundation, in order to avoid disgracing the charity. People all over the world are devestated by Armstrong’s fakery, and many are angry as well as upset; throughout his career Armstrong actively projected himself as a role model, and anyone from our generation that’s followed cycling or sport has grown up seeing him as a sort of superman figure. Beliefs have been shattered now that we all know where he really got his ‘super powers’ from. But I guess that is the problem with having heroes - celebrity heroes at least. Despite you reading their autobiography like a bible and celebrating their every achievement like your own, you don’t really know them at all. They may seem incredible, admirable, inspiring and on a completely different level, but they’re still people. Ones with flaws and who have every chance of letting you down. I’m just hoping that the Lance Armstrong scandal hasn’t completely made people lose faith in pro-level sport and the system, just in him. I heard him compared to Jimmy Savile on Radio 4 the other day, and I don’t think you can say he’s quite that bad. He’s just no hero.
iving in a different culture for the first time can be difficult: you have to cope with exotic place-names, unknown wildlife, prove that your stomach is able to master strange food and that you are not afraid of grumpy folks– well, welcome to England! My arrival in this exceptionally green part of God’s great earth lies four weeks in the past, and I’m still not used to certain things. One of the things I’m sure I’ll never get used to, no matter how long I stay here, is British TV series. Every time I turn on the television I find something that unsettles my belief in humanity. Just an example: on my screen appear Barbie-blonde housewives, talking about Botox, gossiping about other women with breast implants and philosophizing on seating arrangements. This scenario is spiced with statements like "I may be married to a plastic surgeon but I am 98% real." Hello?! There are people with real problems in this world. “The real housewives of Orange County” is sad and hilarious at the same time, but I decided that the time I’m not
spending on reading a novel for my seminar is better spent on another channel. I switch programmes. Next thing I see: two guys busy baking a cake. Just a cake. It looks delicious, fair enough. But it’s still a cake. And they are acting like the new James Bond car is going to be released. Even the Guardian wrote on this subject. I do not know if it is just me, but seriously, there is far too much attention focused on “The great British bake-off”. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to get the importance of the marzipan layer for a country like Great Britain. As I already think it could not become worse, I switch the channel once more. I was
obviously wrong: “The Only Way is Essex” is the climax of bad taste and vicarious embarrassment. Questions like “Did you know that Ireland was a different country to England?” or “What is a matador?” speak for themselves. Although I manage to watch it for an entire ten minutes, I do not have a clue why someone would watch this voluntarily every day. Is this supposed to entertain? Or to make you feel better? I really do not know. Granted, every country has its embarrassing TV-shows, its programme that makes you want to sell your TV license. But seeing this as a foreigner is even more shocking. Maybe I would be better off reading my books…
“Y’know what really grinds my gears....”
People who need alcohol to have a good time
accordingly. Sorry ladies, I know we’re meant to unite for feminism and against the struggle and everything.. but it’s a little embarrassing... just saying. But their male counterpart is just as bad, he’s the one who thinks he can pick up any girl in the club because he’s just that sexy. 2. The ‘touchy-feely’ drunk. That person who for some reason feels that once the sun goes down touching other people’s body parts (without permission) is perfectly now acceptable. 3. The ‘horny’ drunk’... Yeah. Not to be confused with the sexy drunk, the latter can be laughed at, while the horny drunk should sometimes be given a restraining order. 4. The drunk who’s always right. Oh those who feel that they can argue and reason in a logical and effective way and never realise that they’ve gone through one flawed point, over again for half an hour. 5. The drunk who thinks everyone’s their friend. Actually, it tends to be one of two extremeseither everyone’s a friend or an enemy... there’s rarely a balanced middle ground. 6. The ‘paranoid’ drunk. Who can then become the aggressive drunk who thinks that they can successfully take on door staff. Silly billy. 7. The ‘funny’ drunk who actually loses any sense of what entertainment actually is. 8. The drunk that doesn’t know when to stop talking. They never really read the situation too well. The persistence is impressive but they really need to learn when to go away. 9. The ‘crying’ drunk. If you are a repeat offender, please stop. It makes everyone uncomfortable and you just ruin nights out. 10. The drunk that isn’t drunk. This is the most annoying characteristic. Why do they never understand that if they knew their limits then noone would feel the need to call them drunk?
By Bakita Kasadha
Has Lance Armstrong destroyed the public’s faith in sporting heroes?
ow, there are some whose personality only really comes out after consuming large quantities of alcohol. Then these said personalities evolves into a stereotype which provides me with enough material to write a grind my gears. The annoying stereotypes that alcohol can create: 1. The ‘sexy’ drunk. The girls who think they’re the epitome of the word ‘hot’ and so dance
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Confessions of a magazine addict
By Ellis Taylor, Features Editor
miss my fashion magazines. You heard me, I miss my fashion magazines. All 80(ish) of them have been left in the South West awaiting my Christmas return and I have nothing to sit and flick through to inspire me. I sound a bit mental, right? Well, if you are that person who buys a nice magazine and rolls it up then stuffs it into your bag then I think that you’re the mental one. WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! Over the summer, myself and a friend were discussing what we would give a lecture on if we had to do one, she chose “how to use jazz hands in everyday life”, and I chose “don’t treat nice magazines badly”. I’m going to take this column as an opportunity to do this. A magazine is an object to be consumed, the information inside is there for you to gobble up with your pretty little eyes and to make your brain go “mmmm…fashion…. mmmm…culture”. Treat it with
some respect. It is shiny and full of nice pictures, and if it’s any good, it will have some thought provoking articles in there. What’s not to love? Now, I want to point out that I’m not talking about
gossip magazines, or ones that are filled with celebrity rubbish or Jeremy Kyle worthy ‘stories’, I’m talking about the magazine elite that makes you feel like it’s your
birthday or some other fantastic event when you open the first page. Normally, when I tell someone of my Vogue collection (it’s definitely a collection, I’m talking unopened perfume samples and dust free) I get the annoying response of “you spend £4 on a magazine, and it’s just full of adverts? You realise that right?” OMG WHAT?! I’VE BOUGHT A MAGAZINE AND THERE ARE LOTS OF ADVERTS IN IT?! I know. I open it. Why is this statement stupid? Because the adverts inside are incredible pictures that have so much thought and work behind them and they are so creative and a source of such inspiration. My favourites are the 3 part ones that fold out, those really make a day special. So next time you buy a pricey but pretty magazine, just think of it as a book of modern fashion culture, and for pete’s sake look after it.
By John Watkins, Director of Careers Service
Street Style: Out and About on Campus
By Lily Pearson, Features Team Annie Driscoll, English literature with Creative Writing, Level 2 Brothel creepers are wellestablished in the flatform trend, where comfort and that few extra inches can be simultaneously achieved. The leopard print combined with mismatched earrings mean this shirt and skintight jeans pairing is flawlessly accessorised. Mia Morlang, Chemistry, Level 2 There's one look that's been everywhere this season: Military. And nothing does military better than a bold camo jacket. Combined with River Island dungarees layered over a simple Topshop tee, Mia has executed a foolproof vintage and high street equillibrium.
t has been a very busy month for the team in the Careers Service, with well over 50 employer events, huge take up for advice on cvs and applications as well as information provision and invaluable career guidance. However, not everybody is engaging with the Service and I want to appeal to those who have so far not stepped foot in Philip Marchant building or made an appearance at one of the events. I could bang on about the reasons why you should but I’m taking an alternative approach that shows I want you involved irrespective of the purity of your motivation! Recent developments in Higher Education have strongly encouraged collaboration between universities and employers. Surrey has excelled at this for many years but in recent months we have found a very mutually beneficial way of extending this – the offer of prizes, rewards and other merchandise. You can see from the photo
taken at the Careers Fair that four students have benefited from Philips participation and all those that turn up for the Tuesday evening ‘Join John’ (now moved to Lecture Theatre A to cope with numbers) will be refreshed courtesy of a large assortment of Nestle products. BAE Systems, Logica, Enterprise rent-a-car, ACCA and Unilever are also formally engaged and we have others jumping on the bandwagon keen to offer student appealing rewards. We will be in a position to offer ‘student of the month’ prizes for engagement with employability initiatives and October’s will be announced on the day the The Stag comes out. So I’d love you to be actively involved for genuine reasons, but if you are incentivised by material reward, so be it – such is the real world! For a full list of events please go to the What’s On page of the Careers website which will take you to the calendar and online booking.
Jamal Gordon-King The autumnal hues of burnt orange and royal blue mean this textured knit works best with a crisp shirt. Worn with a fleckeffect trouser and patent red boots, the varied patterns create a look that is just as lively as it should be.
© Tilly Roseee - flickr
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
31st October 2012
The ‘Fraud Police’
By Pippa Tollow, Features Team
ou’ve weathered the first month at university, signed up for dozens of societies (and attended only two meetings), finally learnt the floor plan in Rubix, but still can’t work out the trick to spending less than 30 seconds swiping your card to get into the library. Your next challenge – ‘The Fraud Police’. On April 23rd 2011, at the New England Institute of Art in the US, Amanda Palmer delivered a speech that makes so much sense you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. She told the graduating class about a phenomenon that a lot of people will experience when
they enter the real world. She called this ‘The Fraud Police’. ‘The Fraud Police’ are a group of proper grown-ups who have sussed you out and worked out that you don’t have a clue what you’re doing. You were let in by accident and they know that you’re making it up as you go along. You fear that at any moment they will find you, shout at you, and then tell everyone. But believe it or not, everybody has these thoughts and they are completely normal. Whether you’re an undergraduate, postgraduate, or working, ‘The Fraud Police’ are a universal fear. No one believes that they got where they are based on genuine merit, and everyone doubts their own abilities – even when people are telling them that they’re doing well and everything
appears to be going fine. Amanda Palmer told the graduating class that one day the Fraud Police will find you (in your head or otherwise) and they’ll accuse you of being a fraud, but do you know what? You’ll be okay with that, because it’s true that you have no idea what you’re doing. In fact, everyone is making stuff up all the time. Despite that, everything is going well and the world keeps turning, so actually you have nothing to worry about. The times when you have no idea what you’re doing are usually the times that you learn the most (so long as you learn from it). Sometimes you have to just muddle through and do your best, but you still deserve every credit because you are out there doing it anyway.
Snuggle in with your very own Snuglin
By Ellis Taylor, Features Editor
Amanda Palmer would give ‘The Fraud Police’ a run for their money... especially on the eyebrow front
itting in my onesie, dressing gown, 2 pairs of socks and some slippers I thought to myself “How will I make it through the harsh winter months?!”. Being the stingy students my housemates and I are, we refuse to turn our heating on for any longer than 2 hours (frost must be on windows for this to happen), so naturally our house is like an igloo. I’m sure it’s the same for other second and third year students, god forbid we keep ourselves warm with money that could be spent on other fun stuff like stationary and big bars of chocolate (necessary when we cry our icy tears about the thought of going outside/doing an essay that counts). And then I got a snuglin. According to snuglin.com, this little heater in a cushion costs less than 1p an hour to run. My bank account was screaming with joy, but would it actually be any good? It provides a constant flow of warm air which sounds fab, but the heater looks pretty small so I had my doubts on whether I would be snuggy warm. What first struck me about the snuglin was the insanely long lead. It is powered by a mains plug, and on the one hand it’s great that the cord is so long as it means you can wonder about being all smug about having warm hands, but on the other hand I have gotten tangled up in it quite a few times already. What I next noticed was the rather loud buzzing noise the heater makes inside the cushion, but you really do get used to this, particularly if
Samantha, the new face of Snuglin, is loving hers you’re watching TV or whatever. Then the warmth. Oh my gosh, the warmth. This little bad boy really does get you toasty! What is really great is that you can take the heater out of the cushion and use it to warm your hands as you type out that horrible essay, or put it under your duvet before you go to bed (it’s like going to sleep in a hot air balloon). Another great thing about the snuglin is the cushion itself. I picked leopard print (what a surprise) and it is so squidgy and soft! But here’s the catch…it is slightly expensive, retailing between £49.95 and £54.95, however in the long run it could save so much on heating bills. It’s a fab little heater, especially if you really feel the cold on your hands and the fear of a large utility bill.
Once a Guide, always a Guide
By Lasika Jayamaha, Features Team
© Girl Guides
promise to do my best to do my duty......to help other people and live by the guide law’” I first made this promise as a nine year old ‘Little friend’ (Brownie) in Sri Lanka. Ever since I have been proud to be a part of the guiding family and continued to become a girl guide and senior guide. Girl guiding has given me the confidence, skills and life experiences that I needed as a young woman in today’s society and certainly became useful
when I relocated to England for university. During my guiding years I was mentored and guided by adult volunteers that gave up their time to ensure I got the best of girl guiding. Camping, cooking and singing were thingss I always looked forward to. I learnt to respect others, gain confidence in myself and develop as an individual. During the senior years I assisted the leaders running
weekly ‘girl guiding’ meetings. Girl guiding had been such an important activity in my life and I wanted to continue when I arrived in Guildford. I allowed a few months
© Dustin Diaz
to get used to life at Surrey and then found myself volunteering at the local Brownie unit in Guildford and continue to do so. It is such a rewarding experience and I enjoy helping out at the weekly meetings. Even while on placement, I managed to find a local Brownie unit and volunteer. I was inspired to volunteer for girl guiding UK as I have learnt
so much as a girl guide and I want girls and young women out there to have the same opportunity that I did. There are lots of units, from Rainbows right up to Senior Section in Guildford Division who need more adult volunteers. So, if you think this is something you will enjoy and can spare a couple of hours a week (or more) do have a look at our website www. girlguiding.org.uk to get involved. Your interest registered on the website will flow through to our local leadership team who would love to hear from you.
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Answers in the next edition of The Stag. Send correct answers to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a mention in the paper.
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Sci/Tech Editor: Alex Smith | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
31st October 2012
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Felix Baumgartner: Supersonic man
Science & Technology
©Red Bull Stratos
Felix Baumgartner standing in his pressurised suit 24 miles-high and preparing to complete the highest freefall ever recorded, the highest manned balloon flight, and breaking the sound barrier in the meantime. By Mike Colling, Science & Tech Team to the stratosphere. Following a further postponement and various technical difficulties, his ascent finally began on October 14th 2012, and was viewed by more than 8 million people according to YouTube. During the two and a half hour ascent, Baumgartner wanted to speak to only one man: retired US Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger. 84-year-old Kittinger acted as a radio link between the balloon and mission control back in Roswell, New Mexico, and has himself set records for high altitude skydiving. The gadgetry behind the mission is astounding. A custom space suit with its own “brain” to automatically adjust pressure at different altitudes, tailored especially for Baumgartner, was manufactured. One of the suit’s main roles was to prevent ebullism, a condition which causes the liquid in human tissue to turn to gas and expand dangerously above 62,000ft (an altitude known as Armstrong’s line). A pressurised capsule constructed from a mix of composite materials and steel alloys, as well as a 550ft tall polyethylene balloon, were also designed and formed the basis of the launch vehicle. The price of all this technology? No one knows – sponsors Red Bull are remaining tight-lipped about the cost of the mission. It looked at times as if the attempt would have to be aborted: problems with the heater inside Baumgartner’s helmet caused his visor to fog up, a concern he described to Kittinger as “very serious”. The team decided to press on and Baumgartner dived off the ledge of his capsule at 19:08 BST. The early stages of the jump went to plan. After 42 seconds, he reached a terminal velocity of 834mph (Mach 1.24), becoming the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. However, after having descended for only two minutes, Baumgartner entered an uncontrollable flat spin (footage of which can be viewed online). Using his experience of over 2500 jumps, he was able to recover from the spin and landed gracefully in the desert around Roswell nine minutes and three seconds after leaving the capsule. A celebratory punch of the air told the world that Red Bull Stratos was a success. At the time of writing, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale – the world governing body for aeronautic and astronautic world records – are analysing data from the mission. Their job is to verify that Baumgartner completed the world’s highest free fall and highest manned balloon flight, and that he truly is the first supersonic man.
n scenes reminiscent of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, millions of people around the world watched with bated breath as Felix Baumgartner leapt from his capsule and began the 24-mile plummet to Earth. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper was carried to an altitude of 128,100ft (39,000m) for the culmination of Red Bull Stratos – a mission to the edge of space to attempt the highest ever skydive. Launch was initially scheduled for October 9th 2012, but high winds threatened the safe release of the giant helium balloon which would lift Baumgartner up in
18 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Medicine and Physiology
By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team
The Nobel Prize
a major breakthrough and since have been a major part of research, particularly for the study of disease mechanisms and potential treatments. Human cells can be used in many ways, for example skin cells from an individual with a specific skin disease can be taken and reprogrammed and the differences between the diseased cells and healthy cells are then studied. By Ruth Smithers, Science & Tech Team
he 2012 Nobel Prize has jointly been awarded to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for their work with the reprogramming of mature cells into pluripotent cells.The discoveries that earned these scientists the Nobel Prize were uncovered nearly 40 years apart. Dr. Gurdon, born in Dippenhall, England in 1933, received his doctorate from Oxford University. He then spent some time as post doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology before moving to Cambridge University in 1976, where he remains today. Dr. Gurdon believed that specialised cells; those that are programmed to perform a specific function or make up a type of tissue, still had the ability to form a different cell in the same organism. In other words, they could revert back to being immature cells which can eventually go on to form any cell type. In 1962, he went on to support his theory using an egg cell from a frog and replacing its’ nucleus with that of a mature cell from
a tadpole. The result was a fully functional identical tadpole. His results were at first met with scepticism but as other researchers found similar results they became more accepted. However, it was still unknown whether an intact mature cell could go back to a pluripotent (immature) cell. Shinya Yamanaka, born in Osaka, Japan in 1962, received his PhD from Osaka City University before spending time at Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, California. He then returned to Japan and is currently a Professor at Kyoto University. Dr. Yamanaka was able to solve the issue of whether or not a whole mature cell could be reprogrammed. He was studying pluripotent stem cells isolated from mice and found that the genes which kept them immature were in their genome. He then introduced them into mature cells in an attempt to reprogram the cells and eventually found a combination of four genes that worked. His findings, published in 2006, were considered
his year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Brian Kobilka and Robert Lefkowitz for work which demonstrates how the cells in our body sense their environments. Their research successfully mapped how G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) work. This family of receptors includes those for dopamine, light, flavour, serotonin, adrenaline and odour; most physiological processes depend on GPCRs and approximately half of all medications act through them. GPCRs had previously been an enigma, yet despite scientists concluding that these receptors (which enable cells to sense chemical substances) exist, they were unable to locate them. Kobilka, an employee of Lefkowitz, proposed a method of isolating the gene, allowing researchers to analyse its code. They discovered that it was made up of seven helices, in a similar way to that of rehodops; the light receptor located in the retina. Lefkowitz knew that both receptors interacted with G-proteins inside the cell, and so proposed that there was an entire family of receptors which functioned in the same way. Since Lefkowitz’s initial discovery, scientists have a much greater understanding of GPCRs. However, the most impressive achievement of Lefkowitz and Kobilka was their attainment of an image of this receptor, previously thought impossible by those in the scientific community. The difficulty lay in the X-ray crystallography used to image the proteins; proteins located in the fatty membrane of the cell, as with GPCRs, dissolve poorly in water to form fatty lumps, and so getting them to crystallise proves a significant challenge. However in 2011Kobilka overcame this challenge and acquired an image of the receptor at the moment it transfers the signal from the outside to the inside of the cell. The knowledge gained from this achievement has significant implications, especially regarding the development of pharmaceutical drugs. Brian Kobilka is a professor in the department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Robert Lefkowitz, of Duke University, was awarded the National Medal of Science for his discovery of the seven transmembrane receptors.
Every year the world’s most prestigeous award, the Nobel Prize, is given to people who have made the highest contribution to their field.
By Ruth Smithers, Science & Tech Team
he winners for this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics were David J. Wineland and Serge Haroche for work which may prove to be the first steps towards the creation of a quantum computer. A quote from www.nobelprize. org suggests: “Perhaps the quantum computer will change our everyday lives in this century in the same radical way as the classical computer did in the last century.” While current, “classical” computers store their information in bits, which are either on or off, quantum computers store
information in qubits (quantum bits). These are two-state quantummechanical systems which can be on, off or a superposition of both states simultaneously. The nature of these qubits allows for quantum properties to represent and perform operations on data, resulting in a much greater computing power. The problem faced by scientists is upon observing the individual quantum particles, for which the laws of classical physics do not apply. Isolating these particles from their environment is key to observing them, as the slightest interaction with their surroundings could potentially change the state of the particle’s wave-function. A significant problem arose in successfully isolating the particles.
To measure the state of a qubit, it must interact with the outside world, where its state could easily be altered due to light interaction, and so direct observation was not possible. However, the work of Wineland and Haroche managed to successfully control and measure fragile quantum states through the use of photons. Where Wineland trapped ions, subsequently controlling and measuring them with photons, Haroche did the opposite by controlling trapped photons by sending atoms through the trap. Both were able to do this without breaking down the wavefunction of the particle. University of Surrey’s own Jim Al-Khalili said the award was “very exciting – this year’s Nobel Prize recognises some of the most
incredible experimental tests of the weirder aspects of quantum mechanics. The two winners have for some years led teams in Boulder Colorado and in Paris which carried out quite remarkable experiments that have demonstrated and confirmed phenomena such as quantum entanglement and decoherence. “Until the last decade or two, some of these results were nothing more than ideas in science fiction or, at best, the wilder imaginations of quantum physicists. Wineland and Haroche, along with their teams, have shown just how strange the quantum world really is and opened up the potential for new technologies undreamt of not so long ago.” Wineland, who works at the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) physics laboratory in Maryland, USA, is a member of the American Physical Society and the American Optical Society. His notable awards include the National Medal of Science in 2007 and the Schawlow Prize in 2001, with his work primarily based in optics. Haroche is a Professor at the College de France, where he holds the Chair of Quantum Physics. In 2009 he was awarded a gold medal by the French National Centre for Scientific Research and “exceptional contribution to the vitality and influence of French research”. He is also a member of both the American Physical Society and the French Physical Society.
Sci/Tech Editor: Alex Smith | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
31st October 2012
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Is madness not the loftiest intelligence? Technology round-up
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Team uestions like Edgar Allen Poe’s have always been raised about the link between creativity and mental illness, and over the years we have seen many examples in the lives of famous artists and writers. Famous examples include Van Gogh cutting his ear off, Sylvia Plath putting her head in an oven, Ernest Hemingway shooting himself, Grahame Greene who had bipolar disorder and Virginia Woolf who drowned herself. There have been numerous studies all suggesting the link, but lacking evidence thus far. This is what makes a recent study by a Swedish university so phenomenal; they have confirmed the link. A year ago the same researchers showed that artists and scientists were more common among families where bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is present, compared to the population at large. They have now found that bipolar disorder is generally more prevalent in people with artistic or scientific professions such as researchers and authors. Worryingly, they also found that authors were nearly 50% more likely to commit suicide than others and were at higher risk of anxiety and bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression, and substance abuse. Lead researcher Dr Simon Kyaga and his team at the Karolinska Institutet performed this large-scale study, tracking 1.2 million patients and their relatives. Kyaga concluded that people from creative professions were no more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders than other people; however they were likely to have a close relative with a psychiatric disorder, not only bipolar or schizophrenia but others such as anorexia and to some extent, autism. He went on to say that the findings suggested disorders should be approached differently by both doctor and patient in order to come to an agreement regarding treatment and cost, since certain traits of the patients’ illness might actually be beneficial. “A lot of creativity comes from a conflict somewhere in your mind,” said poet Luke Wright. Creative people see the world differently, often applying their troubles to written work, canvases or even making music. Expressing their creativity would seem to ease these conflicts, but sadly just not enough in some cases. Furthermore, poets are 20 times more likely to end up in an asylum than the general population, according to another study by psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison. Jamison’s study found that the incidence of mood disorders, suicide and institutionalisation was 20 times higher among major British and Irish poets between 1600 and 1800. Although it is apparent that mental illness is far higher in writers than other creative geniuses- it is still alarmingly common among the larger population. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 450 million people suffer from mental disorders and many more suffer with mental problems. By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
Spider silk could be used to make computer chips
pider silk is sort of an amazing material - stronger than steel, tougher than Kevlar, yet very flexible. Now researchers have been able to transmit a laser light along a short strand of silk on a chip. This means that information could be carried through these strands. If this is developed to have better transmission capabilities, we could use this to create biodegradable computer chips, internal imaging of the body and many other uses.
Sports bra which can detect breast cancer
A Step Closer to Preventing Our Nation’s Biggest Killer
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Team
ore people die from cardiovascular disease than any other illness. Unfortunately, it is only treatable and reversible in a minimal amount of cases. Now modern science is getting closer and closer to preventing it altogether. Earlier this year, researchers from Queen Mary, University of London and our very own University of Surrey found a protein inside blood vessels with an ability to protect the body from substances which cause the illness; a large contribution towards
research into prevention. The researchers discovered that the protein, pregnane X receptor (PXR), could potentially ward off cardiovascular disease by switching on different protective pathways in the blood vessels. According to Dr David BishopBailey, based at Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute, they can do this by sensing a variety of drugs, foreign chemicals and food products in the blood. “We’ve known for a long time that this protein has an important role sorting out waste products in the liver - now we believe it could have an important role in protecting
the body against cardiovascular disease,” he said. Dr Karen Swales, based at the University of Surrey, added to this, saying: “We knew if PXR played similar protective roles in blood vessels to those in the liver, it could protect the vessels from damage caused by harmful substances in the blood.” Using human tissue and blood vessel cells in culture, they found that PXR was present and active. They then introduced specific PXR activating drugs and saw a coordinated increase in metabolising and anti-oxidant enzyme pathways.
If further research allows them to manipulate PXR to turn on detoxification and antioxidant pathways in blood vessels, then PXR has the potential to provide protection anywhere in the body since blood travels everywhere; which could finally prevent cardiovascular disease all together. PXR would no longer be limited to only protecting through its actions in the liver. The findings have been published online in the journal Cardiovascular Research. As Dr Bishop-Bailey said, “…We may be a step closer to preventing our nation’s biggest killer.”
irst Warning Systems have created a bra that has temperature sensors in the cups that detect changes in temperature of the breast tissue. Software then assesses the temperature data and identifies patterns which may show a growing tumour. According to First Warning Systems, 650 women underwent clinical trials where the bra was able to detect tumours six years before traditional imaging systems with a 92% level of accuracy.
Bacteria “consumes” Carbon Dioxide to create Plastic
4G? That’s old news. We’re going for 5G!
By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
will admit that 4G, in my opinion, has taken far too long to make substantial inroads into the networks of the UK mobile operators with the first commercial launch of 4G LTE service to cover the Borough of Southwark in London in February. T-Mobile and Orange then launched the 4G service on 11th September 2012. If you compare this to other countries like the USA or the relatively close Norway and Lithuania, we have come into this playing field rather late. However, there is a silver lining in the cloud here. Since the infrastructure has not been fully and completely
implemented in the UK yet, engineers are looking to develop the 5th generation of mobile data communications - 5G. On this note, the funding bid made to the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) has been made by our very own university. The University of Surrey has been allocated £35 million from the government and key players in the mobile industry to develop a special 5G Innovation Centre to significantly increase expansion in UK telecommunications research, development, innovation and the provision of broadband mobile internet services. This will provide a trickling effect to boost economic growth.
At the current rate of mobile data traffic growth, we need new technology to make the most of out the available resources. “The global telecommunications industry, valued at $2.1trillion per annum, is already responsible for 6% of world GDP. Mobile communications data traffic is expected to increase to 1,000 by 2020, by which time there will be an estimated 50 billion Internet-capable devices,” says Professor Rahim Tafazolli, one of the UK’s leading communication experts. He continues, “‘the growth in the number of new applications running on the networks is accelerating, as ever more mobile devices become the preferred route for Internet access. Such
unprecedented data traffic growth requires the urgent introduction of new 5G advanced technologies that maximise the use of the limited available radio spectrum and provide for Greener technologies and solutions.” Apart from perhaps giving the UK and the world a new form of data transmission, we could once again be pivotal to a new form of cellular standards as we were with 2G (GSM), after falling behind with 3G and 4G. We could be a world leader in this technological advancement and along with this; there are various economic benefits to be reaped by the UK that could come from such a project.
esearchers have inserted a gene into bacteria which has made it into the most efficient plastic factory. The new form of bacteria absorbs carbon from the air and adds it to the ethylene molecules to form the common plastic we find. This saves about 6 tons of Carbon-dioxide emissions for every ton of ethylene created.
App-Connected toothbrush rewards you for brushing-up
toothbrush known as The Beam Brush plays music while you brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes and sensors in the brush track your brushing habits. It then syncs the information to the company’s app on your android or iPhone device with rewards being given for good oral hygiene. Rewards could be in the form of movie tickets, video games or deals on clothes and shoes.
The 2013 vInspired’s Nation
nominate them for a national award? Give them the recognition they deserve along with the chance to dress up for a swanky awards ceremony attended by some of the UK’s very best musical talent. The University of Surrey is home to thousands of young volunteers of whom we are very proud and we always jump at the chance to raise and praise them. Sometimes, however, we need your help to pick out the best of the best, those people who give and give and never ask for praise. This is one such request. They don’t even need to be a student at Surrey. Anyone who is under 25 and is involved in volunteering in the community can be nominated and considered for one of the following awards: - Best young volunteer - All round commitment to volunteering - Recognise efforts to bring communities together - Team activity - Outstanding contribution to youth volunteering by a youth worker - Most outstanding NCS Team If you know someone who is generous, selfless and passionate about making a difference in their local community, do the right thing and nominate them for a vInspired volunteering award. There are 3 ways in which to nominate someone; use the online form available at vinspired.com, tweet @vinspired explaining why your nominee is #vinspiring, or call 20 7960 7080 to request a paper form. Nominations are free and close on 2nd November 2012. Do you know an amazing young volunteer who is aged 11 - 25 and has made a real difference in your life or someone else’s? If the answer is yes, why not
StagTV and Stage Crew
Surrey Marrow Fresher’s Angels
nal Awards for Volunteering
Guildford Sport Relief Mile
With thanks to the Union Photographers for these images!
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Oxjam rocks Wates Cat Power
By Madelaine Isaac, Music Team
Live, local bands liven up Wates house in aid of the charity Oxfam By Tanya Noronha, Music Team sound for us.” He stated that Surrey Sound Crew also provided a PA System at late request, and that No Wave and Wates gave crucial support throughout, continuing, “There are, in fact, so many people to thank that I am bound to forget people. That is not deliberate!” Of course, he highlighted that the musicians themselves were responsible for creating a vibe where people felt free to enjoy the blend of styles and tunes the four bands brought to the table. Stallone were first to take the stage. Their Facebook page describes them simply as “Death Punk Est. 2011”, which was reflected in the generous dose of heavy metal they offered Wates. Their high-energy performance set the scene for Five Chambers Full, who brought the house down with their cover of Limp Biskit’s ‘Break Stuff’ in particular. Next to the stage were Pacer, the punk rock band from London, who provided a selection of tracks from their current album “Making Plans”. They describe themselves as being influenced by “Descendents, All, Bouncing Souls, Osker, Iron Chic blah blah” and offered up a fastpaced, guitar- heavy set. Finally, headliners Echo Park closed with their selection of sharply defined riffs and melodies which you walk away humming. Only founded in the past year, yet playing with the confidence of an experienced set of performers, the Guildford based band have already played an acoustic set for Eagle Radio. Mike perhaps summed up the spirit of Oxjam when he suggested “It just shows that in a time of difficulty music can actually go some way to making a difference. Of course, the bands helped cement this mentality. They all entered the spirit of the event in a full on manner, and managed to pull supporters out on what was essentially a cold and miserable evening.” The atmosphere in Wates during the gig itself was proof of that. People embraced the experience regardless of the weather, the cold and the setbacks and the turnout was large enough that some head banging did occur, especially during the heavier material! A total of over £200 was raised, minus cost of show production, which is testament to the fact that Guildford’s Oxjam was definitely a success.
xjam is a music festival held by the charity Oxfam throughout the entire month of October. They intend to raise as much money as possible through this U.K. wide event to support their continual fight against poverty. It aims to inspire local performers – be they indie bands, classical musicians or dancers - to band together and put on shows to raise money for the cause. The Guildford leg of Oxjam was organised in conjunction with No Wave by Michael Roke. Therefore, his band Five Chambers Full took to the stage in Wates House, accompanied by three other local acts, Pacer, Stallone and Echo Park. On the Facebook events page he stated that their aim was “to bring a smile to people’s faces.” However with continual heavy showers and an autumnal chill to the air, this was never going to be an easy feat. There were issues to combat until the last minute, as sound engineers were distinctly lacking until the day before, but Mike commented that “at the 11th hour Feargus Murphy stepped in and did a fantastic job of managing
fter six years of silence, Chan Marshall finally releases her ninth album. Although this is her first musical endeavour to prominently utilize synthesisers and occasionally Auto Tune, her music still bears little resemblance to the music on the radio. With a fairly intense start, the single ‘Cherokee’ introduces the bleak but deeply passionate undertones of the album. Despite the easy beauty of her voice and the mixed up backdrop of the break beat, I would personally say that this song plays with a world which isn’t for the faint hearted. After a recent, shockingly severe break up (from actor Giovanni Ribissi), this long awaited release seems to have transformed into her very own ‘Blood on the Tracks’ album. The opening lines ‘Never knew love like this…/Never, knew pain like this/ When everything dies’, instantly gives insight into the deeply painful topics which she approaches. ‘Ruin’, despite its upbeat and youthful musical backdrop is also tempered with this melancholia, voicing her struggle with the world. The messy, catchy beat of ‘3, 6, 9’ seems to tackle the question of her substance abuse, taking us through the struggle of her lows and the ease with which she slips away from control, revealing
maybe the darker side to renewed creativity. However, through the songs such as ‘Sun’ we do see a new founded independence and something more positive, through lyrics such as “Here is the day/ We are free, you and me, and we can finally run.” Now that guitar has been swapped for synths we can finally see a new path, maybe a ‘rebirth’ as Channing Marshall puts it. The real answer to her struggles and difficult life seem to be focused in the 11 minute long track ‘Nothing But Time’ which, despite the uneasy instrumental and faint wails in the background, the resounding major note sings through, voicing the message ‘never give in…’. And as fellow artist and survivor of personal struggles, Iggy Pop helps to end the song with a small but optimistic duet, the listener is left with a sense of both the light and the dark within this album. This sense of calm is then broken by ‘Peace and Love’ harking back to previous songs, revealing a more messy and uneasy progression, leaving the resounding message of struggle through untidy garage beats. Overall, I love this album, with its highs and lows, steps forward and steps back. Her collision of new sound and overly dramatic emotion show Cat Power to be an artist both interesting and fragile, an intriguing combination.
Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
31st October 2012
REVIEW: Tame Impala - ‘Lonerism’
By Elliot Tyers, Music Team
ame Impala’s second album, ‘Lonerism’, is one of those albums that you could listen to any random thirty seconds of any of the tracks and come out with a pretty good picture of what the rest of the album sounds like. But that’s only half the story; although on the surface ‘Lonerism’ seems like a (very good) homage to the heyday of psychedelia in the late 60’s, in fact a closer look tells of something much more textured and deep. The best way I can think to describe it is like one of those pictures of two women facing each other which, after a few minutes of looking at from a different perspective, you realise it’s a vase as well. Psychedelia is a paradoxical genre; the walls of overwhelming sound seem to reek of the weird and futuristic, but the fact that it all sounds the same, and has done for 40+ years… isn’t that a bit old fashioned? ‘Lonerism’ embraces the same influences, but, instead of just being a revival of what’s been done again, and again, and again,
it uses more electronic influences to fully embrace what psychedelia should be sounding like nowadays. Second track ‘Endors Toi’ perfectly captures this futuristic retro aesthetic; the swirling flange on the guitars, the controlled ascendant synths against the almost jarring roll of stabbing drums that happens just a tad too fast to have been done without a drum machine. The cumulative effect of this is that the listener is at once totally overwhelmed and relaxed. The melodies, for all they’re tactile and filled with distortion and phasers, are at the same time luxuriously simple in a way that reminds you of the Beatles at their LSD-filled best circa ‘I am the Walrus’, further emphasised by the fact that Kevin Parker (singer and everything else in the band) sounds eerily like John Lennon. This druggy, overwhelming feeling created by a mixture of industrious audiophilia and the simple, pop-y melodies is one that contributes to the overall theme of the album: isolation (which you may have guessed with a title like
‘Lonerism’). The soundscape makes the listener feel very passive and small amidst the walls of blaring sound, but rather than this being a negative experience it’s more about being in this world of sounds and appreciating their alien beauty. Aside from the intelligence displayed in the soundscape, Tame Impala is also just fun. There are no stand out tracks that would guarantee Tame Impala a place on the higher echelons of the festival scene, instead there are just fun moments; in ‘Apocalypse Dream’ the vast-dreamy groove builds to a peak, cuts off without any pomp and then restarts again with a more focused mix that utilises more cutting edge production. This willingness to play with the usual structures of songs makes it a genuinely enjoyable album listening experience and something that you rarely get these days. You don’t know what’ll come around next. Overall, it’s an album that brings together opposites; the huge sound against intimate vocals, the accessible pop against dense neoPsychedelia, being isolated against
being alone. Moreover, it does all of this with simple and brilliant song writing, and the ability to use the best of both the future and the past. It’s a strong second album, but the
highest compliment that I can pay is this: if The Beatles brought out ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ today, I’m certain it’d sound pretty close to this.
REVIEW: The Overtones - ‘Higher’
By Becky Richmond, Marketing Editor
f, when people ask you what kind of music you like, you say “Boyzone, 1960’s rock and roll and classic Motown” then The Overtones are for you! Their second album ‘Higher’, released at the beginning of October, went straight into the UK charts at a very respectable 6th position. Following a platinum selling first album, ‘Good Ol’ Fashioned Love’, a second album success was always going to be hard, but the British-Irish-Australian five-piece pulled it off. When I first started listening to the album I was a little bit disappointed; I felt they could have chosen a better opening song instead of ‘Loving the Sound’
as I was not loving the sound. It started off very boyband-esque, which is not what you want from, essentially, a barbershop group. But after this the boys get back into their old swing, literally. The album has a healthy mix of original songs and covers, including ‘Runaround Sue’ and ‘You Keep Hanging On’. The album can in no way be described as modern, but that is the beauty of it. Everyone loved listening to their parents’ music, and their grandparents’ music. The 60s were a wonderful time for music, with the emergence of Rock and Roll - although it’s not how we think of it today (The Overtones bear no resemblance to The Rolling Stones, for instance). Even if you don’t like this type of Motown
vocal group I dare you to listen to it and now tap your foot along to at least one song. It is such a feel-good album. Having said that, unless it is your type of music, and you love Motown and the swinging 60s, I wouldn’t buy the album. I’d just give it a listen to on Youtube, or any other free (legal) music streaming device, pick out your favourites and add them to your feel good playlist, and let the foot tapping and swing dancing commence! I’d give ‘Higher’ by The Overtones, a middle of the road, 3 Stag Heads.
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Live Review: Radiohead
By Becky Worley, Music Editor
Why I love...
elcome to the new music feature ‘Why I Love…’ which came about so people could enjoy blabbering away about artists they love and persuading you lovely readers why you should too. To be honest I found it so hard to narrow it down to one particular artist who jumps out as my favourite, so
meaning. Her song Hero (which is featured in the film 500 Days of Summer) literally moves me to the edge of tears in my more fragile, emotional moments. This contrasts so heavily with her upbeat, piano based song Us that you almost wouldn’t think it by the same person, apart from those entrancing vocals: her music’s unmistakable watermark.
“Regina Spektor has one of the most beautiful female voices I have heard coupled with witty and emotive lyrics”
instead I’ve chosen someone who I just can’t stop listening to at the moment. Regina Spektor has one of the most beautiful female voices I have heard coupled with witty and emotive lyrics across a diverse range of songs. She also plays piano, guitar and bass guitar, so in short she is music’s answer to Wonder Woman. Compared to some of the talentless female singers we are sometimes subjected to, Spektor doesn’t have to dance around in her pants to sell a song and her music has a little more depth and With albums ranging from 2001 to a recent 2012, Spektor has surely stood the test of time. Her music has evolved without losing any of its essential essence which made it so enjoyable in the first place. So please, I beg you, if you haven’t already give Regina Spektor a chance to infiltrate your music collection. I promise she’ll add fun, passion and extremely catchy music to your playlists. My personal favourite’s are Hero, Eet, Samson, Fidelity and Us.
Thom Yorke showcases his haunting vocals By Denise Bennett, Music Team work up a sweat throughout with additional percussion by the guitarists on porta-drums, who give us a climactic ‘There There’. This emphasises how far Radiohead have moved away from melody-driven music towards rhythm-driven songs, particularly showcased in the highly syncopated beats of ‘King of Limbs’. Three guitarists and two keyboardists combine in an intricate display of skilled musicianship. Johnny Greenwood is almost manic, on guitar, porta-drums, synthesizer and tambourine. In ‘Pyramid Song’ he plays his guitar with a bow, violinstyle. The set - a generous 24 songs leans heavily towards the recent tracks: 6 of the 11 tracks from KoL (‘Basement’ version) are played. The Grammy-nominated ‘Lotus Flower’ is perhaps too subtle an opener; a bigger cheer greets the press bashing song ‘Daily Mail’ - “A quality newspaper” Yorke giggles. This is the most traditional of this album’s songs. A lovely melody sung at the piano segues into a heavy rock finish. The lyrical ‘Nude’ from ‘In Rainbows’ is the high spot of the first section and Thom Yorke’s voice, occasionally whiny, is hauntingly beautiful here. We all emote with him, Oo-oo-oo-oo-ing along to the falsetto ending. ‘Idioteque’ and ‘Kid A’ are also crowd pleasers. We are rewarded with two encores, finishing with a full on ‘There There’ and finally, appropriately, with ‘Everything in its Right Place’. Despite all this there is an odd contrast of energy between audience and band. The fans, many in their teens and twenties, are fully absorbed and appreciative but also reserved (unlike the highenergy performers) confining themselves mostly to head nodding, occasional air-punching and jiggling; the seated crowd almost never off their back-sides. This prompts comments by Thom Yorke, first puzzled: “I’ve no idea how familiar you are with our stuff”, then plaintive: “Shout just to make sure we know you’re all there- not just cardboard cutouts”. Maybe I’m not the only one disappointed by the absence of ‘Creep’, their iconic first single, an anthem for the angsty outsider. Radiohead have moved on, but it is ‘Creep’ that we sing en-masse as we walk back to the tube.
his was one of only 3 UK dates supporting last year’s King of Limbs album. In their debut album, 20 years ago, Radiohead identified themselves with un-cool outsiders and weirdos. Now, still anti-corporate, antipress and retaining a fiercely creative, independent point of view, they are one of the biggest and most respected bands in the world. An ultra-commercial large venue like the O2 is not an obvious fit for their cerebral music. Stunning, classy staging helps. 12 square screens are suspended, with 6 fixed above. They move and tilt gracefully to new positions for each song; first beautiful rainbow colours and abstract shapes, then video-screening the band, next forming an elegant arched roof cocooning them. No pyrotechnics here. Thom Yorke, greasy hair scraped into a top-knot, makes an unapologetically geeky frontman dancing like a demented toddler on the propulsive tracks. Charismatic and goodhumoured he draws the crowd in. Two beefy, baldy drummers on individual full drum-kits
Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Sing for Up and coming your life artist: Nina Nesbitt
By Becky Worley, Music Editor here but you know what, I’m going to have a bloody blast.” For some, the illness was the push needed to live life for life itself, and pursue their love of singing. Over twelve weeks the group rehearsed they received a visit from Russell Watson, the opera singer who has battled with brain cancer from 2005, who gave them the inspiration for their last hurdle: a performance at Albert Hall. Their renditions of ‘It’s My Life’ by Bon Jovi and ‘(Something Inside) So Strong’ by Labi Siffre were moving to the point of tears; their emotions etched clearly on their face, telling of suffering as well as well as strength. Sometimes music is the only way to communicate feelings so raw. At the end of the process the health benefits reported were that their respiratory muscles had strengthened to allow them to breathe more freely, but the biggest impact was on their mental health and wellbeing. Quite simply, they were happier. As someone who has seen firsthand how cancer strips happiness and hope from people’s lives, anything which restores this and brings a smile to tired faces is a winner in my eyes.
ancer is an ugly word. A word which will afflict one in three of us in our lifetime and affect every one of us; a word which many people are campaigning for us to stand up against. Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK recently joined forces to bring us a series of programmes dedicated to improving awareness and raising money for treatment and research. As part of this partnership a documentary was filmed following a choir consisting only of people who had been afflicted with the illness and were either battling through or had been given the all clear. They were being monitored by healthcare professionals to see what affect being part of the choir would have on their wellbeing. What became obvious upon watching was that no matter what the health benefits were, the choir, named The Big C, was life changing for some of these individuals, just through being able to share their stories honestly and enjoy singing together as a group. The general mood was summed up by one singer when she said: “I don’t know how long I’m going to be
By Thea Spalding, Music Team
Radio DJ, Fearne Cotton was entranced by the EP’s infectious sound, playing it every day for a week until it was placed on the Radio 1 playlist. ‘The Apple Tree’ went on to fter first emerging on the music reach #6 on the ITunes download chart scene in only 2011, some would and the aspiring singer-songwriter say Nina Nesbitt has come a long was quickly getting recognised for all way (and fast) since wistfully singing the right reasons. songs in her bedroom. Over the After impressing a packed crowd past year, the 18-year-old Scottish at T in the Park in 2012, Nesbitt finally singer-songwriter has gone from signed a record deal with strength to strength since Island and recorded her first playing acoustic nights at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus, “people fall in love with her vulnerable tone and major label single ‘Boy’ that was released on the 15th and uploading videos to evident passion for music.” October, accompanied by a YouTube. seven date UK tour which Word of Nina Nesbitt’s mesmerising cover versions, including booked her to open three of his arena began in Glasgow earlier this month. ‘Boy’ is a typical teen love song David Gray’s “Babylon”, rapidly spread dates in September 2011, after hearing with people falling in love with her a stripped-down version of his song with a twist, showcasing storytelling lyrics such as “things kinda got dark vulnerable tone and evident passion ‘Stay Awake’. for music. The singer-songwriter’s By the end of 2011, BBC Introducing with you, I drunk your love up too real breakthrough came at an Ed had picked up on the ever-growing quick boy”. With the song boasting Sheeran gig in Edinburgh, where attention surrounding Nesbitt and a pop-ier sound with underlying Nesbitt was granted the chance to air-played her independently released beats and layered vocals, her fans are meet the rising star and sing privately debut EP, ‘Live Take’. But, it was her sure not to be disappointed. If one for him a rendition of her own song second EP titled ‘The Apple Tree’ that thing’s for certain, Nina Nesbitt is was released in April 2012 which gave undoubtedly the lady to look out for ‘Standing On One Leg’. in the charts in forthcoming weeks. Immediately impressed with her Nesbitt her real breakthrough. musical flare and determination, Ed Sheeran invited her to gig in Glasgow, before inviting Nesbitt to support him on his European Tour in 2011. Since then, there has been much speculation that the pair are romantically involved - which only adds to the buzz surrounding the quirky blonde. Soon enough, the A-lister’s were queuing to get a chance to work with the talented Scot, and Example
26 DANCE & THEATRE
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Move over horror films, horror theatre is coming through!
By Jessica Smith, Dance & Theatre Team
Dance & Theatre
have underlying comedy within the horror. This left the room in a constant state of tension as you’re not always sure whether something is funny or not. Although, there were definite moments where the whole room would explode into laughter and applaud. Particularly in ‘Representation by Mike McShane’, when the jibes at “those s**t well-loved series of vampire films” (sorry Twilight fans!) caused quite a stir. ‘Terror 2010’, the title ‘Death and Resurrection’, suggested performing a vampire horror story, yet there wasn’t one. This year’s however did involve the vampire cliché. As a result, I felt this year’s title ‘All in the Mind’ was not reflected well in the choice of plays. Although, this was the opening night for the festival, so whilst some of the performances may continue throughout the week, others will be replaced. Hopefully, as the week goes on, the theme of psychological fear will be increasingly recognised. Overall, ‘Terror 2012’ was a great evening. The mixture of humour from the cabaret and the chilling performances certainly didn’t make me consider sleeping with the light on. Although, I must admit the giant spider puppet by Flabbergast certainly did give me creeps! Sitting front row was not a good idea at this point! There is a distinct rise in horror theatre across the UK at the moment. If you want to experience this, ‘Terror 2012’ is on at The Soho Theatre until Saturday 3rd November or ‘The London Horror Festival’ runs until Wednesday 7th November.
at with a glass of wine, chatting to my friends, the tables behind us - also decorated with the afterwork drink - start to fill up. I am at the Soho downstairs theatre awaiting the ninth season of the UK’s only annual season of horror Theatre, ‘Terror 2012: All in the Mind’. However, I must admit I feel like I am waiting to watch a stand-up comic rather than a series of horror plays. This is a very different atmosphere to ‘Terror 2010: Death and Resurrection’ held at Southwark Playhouse, whose atmospheric space (The Vault underneath London Bridge train station) created eeriness for the plays to thrive off. But then, as the lights begin to fade, the slight sound of a ukulele begins to strum with a quiet voice that invites us to bring our fears to life. This year, the ‘Sticking Place’ uses a Cabaret style throughout not only to separate the four oneact horror plays, but to generate comedy from the different fears they want to explore throughout the evening. I particularly love the ‘Ouija Board Song’ which comically went through all the letters of the board and the supernatural beings beginning with those letters. It is songs like this and many others performed that add to the idea of it “all just being a little bit of fun”; juxtaposing childlike Halloween silliness to the macabre and psychological thrills of our individual fears and neurosis. Written by leading playwrights, such as Robert Farquhar and Mark Ravenhill, the plays themselves also
“Skulls; I use them for candy trays. Fear, my body wash. And Death is just a stamp on my passport.” from Representation by Mike McShane
triumphantly stopping on a pinhead resulting in X-Factor style cheering by the audience. Acosta performs with matching virtuosity, his dignified demeanor underlining the exciting choreography. Gentle Odette is more difficult for Osipova. Initially less shy and more ‘I’m just not that into you’, she seems unable to hide her natural vivacity. Once womanly love for the Prince develops, however, she fully inhabits the role, draping herself fluidly and beautifully around his body. She is utterly convincing as the betrayed doomed Odile, despair and acceptance in every line of her body. The sets are magical for the enchanted lake scenes, but overly busy for the others; the Act III backdrop seemingly a setting for a Halloween-themed fancy dress party. This is distracting, unsuitable and not classy enough for this elegant ballet. The evil spirit transforms comically from vulture-like owl into Transylvanian thug with a Mohican. Fortunately the 32 white swans in gorgeous shredded white chiffon rescue the production’s look, shimmering and gliding in perfect formation.
By Denise Bennett, Dance & Theatre Team
© Alice Pennefather
ince Natalia Osipova controversially left the Bolshoi Ballet in 2010, making international headlines, she has been in high demand as a guest ballerina by the world’s top ballet companies. Her first Covent Garden appearance would be also her first Swan Queen, causing much excitement in the ballet world. The Bolshoi had refused her precisely this role; she cited this as one of the reasons why she had left. Prince Siegfried is the experienced Cuban Carlos Acosta, a long-standing world-class guest artiste. There was much speculation about how this new partnership with the inexperienced, young and athletic Osipova would work. Physically, they look great together. It helps believability when the heroine is beautiful, and Osipova is exquisitely so. Her pale fragility is in lovely juxtaposition to Acosta’s dark, muscular masculinity. Most classical ballets,
as stories told through dance, rarely require much by way of character development through the performance. Heroines are saintly beauties, princes are brave and evil spirits/witches cast spells and meddle spitefully. Swan Lake’s narrative follows this format but differs in that both the gentle, shy white swan, Odette, and wicked black swan, Odile, are performed by the same ballerina. Her challenge is to switch between both characters and make the audience believe that the prince would love one and be fooled by the other. Osipova, unsurprisingly, excels as wicked Odile. Sexy, glittering, predatory; she is as irresistible as Angelina Jolie. Time slows while she is in the air and she lands exceptionally lightly. The choreography of this scene is notoriously difficult and the audience holds their breath during the consecutive 32 fast, en-pointe fouettés (turns), which regularly cause top ballerinas to stagger and even fall. Osipova spins,
Dance/Theatre Editor: Tiffany Stoneman | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
31st October 2012
DANCE & THEATRE
Under Her Skin
By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance & Theatre Editor
By Rebecca Tubridy, Dance & Theatre Team ohn Chapman’s comedy from the 1950s is easy going, light hearted and was listed in the National Theatre’s top 100 plays. When a dodgy bookie tries to make a quick £10,000 by swapping the favourite for a drugged-up horse, you assume it’s going to end badly. With secret doors, language barriers and slapstick comedy all included, ‘Dry Rot’ does make you chuckle, even if it’s a bit lacklustre. There were many familiar faces in the cast; Liza Goddard and Neil Stacy played their characters straight, making Mrs Wagstaff and Colonel very believable and extremely humorous. Steven Blakeley played the farcical character Fred Phipps very well and successfully made the comedy physical by straddling the sofa as if it was a horse. However, the performances from the rest of the cast were somewhat average. Gemma Bissix’s performance was almost cringe-worthy as she played Beth, the simple maid, but unfortunately she stood as if she were a hunchback. She
here is an old English folktale about a young man who falls in love with a beautiful, blonde-haired woman, whose skin glistens milk white like marble. Her secret lies in her love of the ocean and an iridescent brown pelt... ‘Under Her Skin’ is a collaboration between storyteller and musician, incorporating lively strings and stomping boots with intrigue, mystery, and sorrow. Debs Newbold and Laurel Swift have created a unique evening of entertainment, giving storytelling a new lease of life, and a new image. Swift plays the cello and violin during the 2-hour performance, providing the soundtrack and sound effects to this riveting, updated tale of love, loss, and magic, along with lively dancing reminiscent of a country knees-up around a fire. As the music begins to conjure images of a coastal house, rolling fields and circling crows, Debs Newbold starts to tell us a story. With a soft Birmingham accent, her voice drifts you into your imagination and paints the most incredibly vivid pictures of life on the cliffs and a bizarre family tale. The stage is
washed in hues of red or blue, with no set and no distractions, making this performance entirely focused on the words and the music. Interspersed with audience interaction and with an informal attitude towards lines, the fourth wall and ‘traditional’ theatre etiquette, ‘Under Her Skin’ is a wonderful exploration of theatre in an incredibly pure form – telling tales and making the audience believe. Those images of graceful seals, undulating rivers and a hopeful embrace will remain etched in my mind for a long time to come.
© Sue Swift
did keep her West Country accent very well, even though it seemed slightly out of place next to the other characters’ RP and cockney accents. Overall, the play is fast paced and witty, which produced some laughter from the audience. Nevertheless, there was much room for improvement and it felt slightly outdated – I wouldn’t rush to see it again.
Watch This Space: Arts at Surrey
The Rannel Theatre Company present a new show in their typical hip-hop comedy style, filled with physical set pieces, incredible skills, and a futuristic twist. “Two men... one room... who are they? How did they get there? How will they escape?” What: 2Deep Where: Ivy Arts Centre When: 7th November Cost: £5 (£10 full) Third Year Acting Students from GSA present Nicholas Nickleby, the classic tale by Dickens, reimagined to the 1950s with catchy ‘Skiffle’ music. What: Nicholas Nickleby Where: Ivy Arts Centre When: 14th-17th November Cost: £9 (£10 full) The Musical Theatre Society is proud to announce their first show of the year, a fantastic producion of musical numbers, song, and dance. What: Songs for a New World Where: Main Hall When: 6th-7th November Time: 7:30pm for pre-show events Cost: £5 Students, £2 MTSoc Members (£10 full)
28 DANCE & THEATRE
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Driving Miss Daisy
By Alexandra Vickerman, Dance & Theatre Team
or the film buffs amongst you, ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ is well known as the Oscar-winning movie starring the smooth-voiced Morgan Freeman. The film is an American classic which portrays friendship and prejudice in a beautifully understated storyline. It ranks as one of my favourite films of all time, so upon entering the Yvonne Arnaud last week the benchmark was set very high. I was fully prepared to hate the production and spend the evening grieving the absence of Mr. Freeman, but, I couldn’t have been more wrong. At an hour and a half long with no interval it’s a strange structure for a touring piece and I was sceptical at first, however, the timing made the experience very intimate and moving. If you’re unfamiliar with the film (in which case, go watch it immediately!) the story is set in Atlanta, Georgia and begins with an appalled Miss Daisy arguing with her son (played by Ian Porter) after he insists on a chauffeur to drive her around as she’s too old to drive safely. Despite persisting that she is not racist, Daisy is furious when her son hires Hoke Coleburn, an older black gentleman. The battles between the two are hilarious as the play follows the characters through 25years together, from 1948 to 1973. A particularly fabulous scene shows retired teacher Daisy wrongly accusing Hoke of stealing a can of salmon from her pantry. Waving the empty can in her son’s face - desperate to find cause for Hoke’s dismissal - Hoke enters and his startlingly good-natured honesty is shown to the disgruntled Miss Daisy. Upon realising
her mistake, Daisy’s humorous and indignant responses set the president for arguments and tiffs to come. Don Warrington superbly portrays Hoke, the longsuffering chauffeur whose kindness and patience is achingly beautiful. Credit must also be given to his ability to subtly and realistically age 25 years throughout the piece - an example of understated physical acting at its best. He is equally matched in Gwen Taylor’s performance as Daisy Werthan; witty, stubborn and exceedingly grumpy with moments of real tenderness portrayed with extreme skill. It has to be said that some moments in the storyline are overlooked and I felt that could have been developed - for instance the lovely scene where Daisy discovers Hoke’s illiteracy and she begins to teach him. This incident becomes a turning point in their relationship, however it is never mentioned again. But with such richly portrayed characters, nothing else mattered. Rarely do I completely immerse myself in a piece of drama as I did with this production. Director, David Esbjornson, has taken two conflicting characters and created a beautiful relationship that the audience couldn’t fail to love. Timed humour made the more sensitive moments of racial prejudice or a developing friendship even more poignant. The final scene in a nursing home, 25 years after their first meeting, is full of grace and beauty; the tenderness and raw emotion shared ensured there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. If ever you need an example of acting in its purest form, see this play.
Touring until the end of November. Book now!
All That Glitters is Not Gold
By Rachel Gildea, Dance & Theatre Team
ichard Alston Dance Company. The weight of his 40-year dance, making history and international success in the dance world weighs upon me as I sit through his debut performance at Guildford’s new G Live theatre. He has been reviewed a hundred times or more. The programme featured three pieces: ‘Shimmer’, ‘MadCap’ and ‘The Devil in the Detail’. It is ‘Shimmer’ that I will respond to. A duet between a man and a woman – dressed in delicate sparkling leotards which glittered charmingly against the deep backdrop of their muscular bodies. The movement, continuous and precise, appeared as points of light in the empty space. Their bodies wrapped around each other formally, in
careful selections of turned-out limbs, never getting too close. Other duets came, gliding across the black floor, perfectly rehearsed. The bodies carved the space and led us into a shimmering dream of poise, musicality and virtuosity. When ‘Shimmer’ was gone, the sugary rush of empty calories, it left me dissatisfied. The story of the glittering costumes, the balletic bodies, the man and the woman, the soft notes of the piano... There was nothing to hold onto or take away. It spoke of ethereality and wonder but I longed for something more real, more human. ‘Shimmer’ failed to make me blind. To me, dance is an art form that needs to ask questions and make us think. To speak of the world today and help us understand who we are.
Bits O’ The Bard
“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov’d with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils.”
– Lorenzo, Merchant of Venice, Act5 Scene1
Lit Editor: Emily Smart | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
31st October 2012
In conversation with Dr Stephen Mooney
Dr Stephen Mooney talks to The Stag about his new role as poet-in-residence at Surrey University
By Marilyn Johnston, Literature Team The Stag: Hi Stephen, thank you for meeting with me today. Could you firstly explain what your role as Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey involves and how it affects the students? Stephen Mooney: My role is to promote the experience of poetry. There’ll be performances, readings, publishing, which will present poetry as more dynamic, rather than something you simply have to read. There will be events where students will read not just their own poetry, but other poetry as well. Alongside the poetry festival, there will be little poetry nodes sprinkled about on campus throughout the year. for TS: What are your plans the poetry festival? figures, with some younger writers. It will be a little mad, wild and loud, but it the poetry will be focused and intelligent as well as challenging and contemporary. TS: I’m looking forward to it! Do you believe that poetry is as important in today’s society as it has been in previous generations? SM: Very much so, in fact it is probably more important because we’re in a time of crisis. Poetry is in a unique position where it can critique the economic stranglehold we find ourselves in. There is no money in poetry, and so it can afford not to be tame, to offend the wealthy, criticise banks and not worry about having it’s funding pulled because it already has been. TS: Is it still a relevant mode of expression? SM: Poetry has always been the most concentrated form of language and the most contemporary form of literary expression there is. What we’re finding is, particularly with younger poets, they really are making use of all these bizarre, visual, and sounds melding into what previously people would have been hard pressed to defend as poetry, whereas now we can say this is poetry. TS: Moving on, what was it that first encouraged you to start writing poetry? SM: It was simply something that needed to be done. Things needed to be said and that was the form in which it came out. TS: Have your inspirations changed since? How would you describe your poetic style? SM: I came to London in 1994. I did a degree in English literature to contextualise my poetry and I encountered a professor of poetry called William Rowe, who taught this course in Contemporary British poetry which opened the floodgates to a completely new experience of poetry, and new idea of what language can do. It was experimental, Avant Garde. I saw a real change of direction, and since then, that is the type of poetry I’ve been writing. I find the more the limits of poetry come into view, the more I want to push past them. In my view there are no limits. TS: Finally, do you have any advice to offer budding writers here at the University of Surrey? SM: Get involved in poetry, there’re all types of workshops. For the second half of the year, I’ll be starting a workshop for those interested in writing poetry. Introduce yourself at events like public readings and workshops. Don’t give up. If your work keeps getting rejected, that just means you haven’t found the right publisher yet. Don’t be afraid to be turned down, don’t let it dishearten you, just find somewhere else to send the work. Be open to feedback and be true to your writing style. TS: Thank you very much Stephen. We look forward to seeing your work over the year!
SM: The poetry festival will be in May with some quite unusual poetry; some more established
Stephen Mooney performing his poetry
Writing for peace: Syrian author receives PEN prize
By Annika Gonnermann, Literature Team
“Yazbek said that the prize for her book was an important sign to recognise the Syrian people’s struggle”
ometimes it takes courage to say something. And sometimes it takes even more courage to write something down; especially if the ruling class in your country opposes it. Western civilizations have long contested against censorship and oppression of writers, but the approach in Arabic regions is a different one. Syrian journalist and author Samar Yazbek was forced to leave her home country because she had written a personal diary of the events taking place in the Syrian revolution. Having offended both the Assad regime and her own clan by writing her book, she was forced to flee with her young daughter. For this courageous action she received the PEN/Printer Prize for her account of the revolution. The prize, which was first launched in 2009, is traditionally shared
between a British writer and an international “imprisoned writer of courage”. This year’s award winner, the English poet writer Carol Ann Duffy, chose to share it with Yazbek in recognition of her work “A Woman in the Crossfire”. Yazbek said that the prize for her book was an “important sign to recognise the Syrian people’s struggle” and that she was grateful to English PEN and Duffy for selecting her book. The prestigious prize has been given to many writers who fear persecution and were forced into exile. Last year’s winner David Hare, British playwright, prized the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, who, having written an exposé called “Gomorrah” on Italian mafia and its structure, is forced to live at a secret location and under permanent police escort to avoid reprisal attacks.
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Personal experience of the Man Booker Prize Ceremony
By Denise Bennet, Literature Team
was lucky to attend this ceremony in which the prize was won by Hilary Mantel for Bring up the Bodies; the second of a trilogy of Tudor historical novels. She is the first female double winner and the first to win with a sequel (Wolf Hall won in 2009). This prestigious literary award showcases the crème-dela-crème of British writing. The evening was the culmination of months reading and re-reading of works by the judges, who had that afternoon chosen the winner from a short-list of six. Overawed by the Glitterati, I had no intention of approaching any of these literary giants personally. However…… Hilary Mantel walked right by me so I tentatively asked her to clarify a particular difference in technique I’d noticed between the two novels. What a geeky question! (fellow geeks e-mail me for more info). Both novels dramatise the
lives of Thomas Cromwell, Mr. Fixit and Henry VIII, while Bring up the Bodies centres on Anne Boleyn. Ms Mantel confirmed that she had modified her technique in the sequel to make the story easier to follow, but volunteered that she had received complaints from some followers that they preferred the first more difficultto-read style. Even this double prize-winner can’t please all of her fans all the time! The chairman of judges, Sir Peter Stothard, spoke sincerely about the need to reward literary merit alone: “Someone accused me last week of not seeking novels that they could read on a beach. No. I merely wanted novels that they would not leave behind on the beach.” Hilary Mantel, accepting the award joked, “You wait 20 years for a Booker to come along and then 2 come along at once”. Finally all Cinderellas must go home. Shivering in the cold outside, waiting for my glass coach/pumpkin to arrive and
past the point of intelligent communication, a friendly lady fellow-shiverer engaged me in that typical British conversation topic- the weather. Moving onto books, I told her that although I had not read the short-list, I had read the winner. I cannot think now why I expected her to be impressed by this. I am blushing as I type. I asked her if she had read the short-list. “Yes”, she replied, “I’m a judge. I have read the shortlist. In fact, I have read all 145 submissions”. We had a laugh and if she didn’t think much of my reading preparation she kindly didn’t show it. She explained that all of the judges read all the novels submitted; roughly 3-4 per week. This is in addition, of course, to their day-jobs. She is a Professor of English Literature and Booker Prize judge and I am a first year English Literature undergraduate so…. I have a long way to go. But for a few minutes we were just two women sharing a friendly moment after a brilliant evening.
Stephanie Davies asks “Will university make you a famous writer?”
Twitterfiction: The 140 character novel
By Becky Richmond, Marketing Editor
We’d also like you to have a go at creating your own Twitternovel! Post your 140 character novels on our Facebook page and we’ll print the best in the next issue!
ost people find it hard to fit what they really want to say into just one hundred and forty characters when tweeting, let alone a whole novel. The Guardian has challenged twenty one well known authors to create ‘Twitternovels’ using only 140 characters. Although, not technically novels, the creations have been extremely clever; some are more like poetry and some are just Tweets, using a variety of hash tags. The cleverest Twitternovel would have to go to Rachel Johnson; ‘Rose went to Eve’s house but she wasn’t there. But Eve’s father was. Alone. One thing led to another. He got 10 years.’ This one stands out because, along with most of the other twenty, it opens up an idea for a longer, deeper novel. The
Twitternovels allow the author’s followers and Guardian readers a small glimpse of the genius in their heads. The limited number of characters forces the author to be imaginative and it removes a lot of the heavy description often found in novels. It is a creative device which allows the author to get straight to the point. Jackie Collins was also impressive, but hers is interesting and clever for a completely different reason; ‘She smiled, he smiled back, it was lust at first sight, but then she discovered he was married, too bad it couldn’t go anywhere.’ This Twitternovel doesn’t open up the concept to a fuller novel; it’s the only Twitternovel which has a beginning, middle and an end. You can find the full list of all 21 Twitternovels on the Guardian Website.
f we take a look at a list of classically recognised authors, despite the disparities between the content of their novels and their approaches to the task of writing itself, they seem to have one thing in common.; they all dropped out of university. Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, Jack Karouac and William Faulkner... these names never appeared on a graduation certificate. H.G. Wells, author of the sci-fi classic The War of the Worlds, was actually pulled out of school at the ripe old age of eleven. (That particular novel is set in Surrey, by the way. Pick up a copy from your campus bookshop today!) This journalist’s personal experience is testament to the fact that a first-class degree and winning smile do not automatically make you some kind of literary luminary. I graduated last year and am yet to receive my Orange Prize for Fiction. So does a university education actually provide an easier path to literary stardom? You would like to think so, and for contemporary authors it may seem to be the case. Both J.K Rowling and Stephanie
Meyers graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Even 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James studied history at Kent University. It illustrates that no matter what you study; university can give you valuable, transferable skills that a writer needs in today’s competitive fiction market. Things like meeting deadlines, developing your ‘voice’, and how to improve your use of language and syntax. But there are things that university can’t teach you, like patience and dedication. It can’t spark your individual passion to write – that lovely little fire has to come from within. At the end of the day, if you have an imagination the consistency of beef stew, no amount of education is going to help you because the sad fact is that the education system is not equipped to teach people how to be ‘creative’. If, however, you have the capacity to churn out some badlyworded Twilight fanfiction, you might just have the next bestseller on your hands. I guess the NUS discount would just be an added perk?
Lit Editor: Emily Smart | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
31st October 2012
The 100 greatest novels 21st century technology set to in the English Language? take over traditional library
By Shiri Shah, Literature Team
ow does one determine what a great novel is? According to Simon Winder, the publishing director for Penguin-the fastest growing publisher, it has to be enjoyable to the reader and as quirky as it pleases. But it must be timeless in itself and should influence other writers. The set of one hundred books, in chronological order, shows us how much literature has been influenced by previous writers. At the Guildford book festival on the 19thof October 2012 Simon Winder discusses exactly what he believes are the greatest novels. He included the entire works of Charles Dickens along with Bronte and Austin’s novels. But that raises the question, who else decides on this list or does it simply depend
on just one man’s opinions? He worked besides a team who questioned his choices and highlighted mistakes, such as missing “The Man Who Was Thursday”, which is a funny book on anarchism, bringing much enjoyment. Winder also said that a book’s design will influence readers as sales increase following more attractive covers. He continued, saying that “it’s amazing how many of these writers are women... women are geniuses who invent many of these forms”, giving an idea of the selection of books chosen. However, the list seems more personal than necessary as it was determined by one man. Details can be found on the website http://www.guildfordbookfestival.co.uk/ the-penguin-english-library
Literature stars are outshone!
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team
adame Tussauds, London, is a major attraction for tourists from across the globe. Originally established in 1884 by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud, London’s museum soon spread to nine other tourist hotspots, including New York, Shanghai and Amsterdam. Visitors can get up close and personal with incredibly detailed and accurate wax figures. However, it seems our writers have been dominated by Hollywood favourites, sports stars and the Royals. There are several zones within the museum including the A-List Party, Movie Room, Sports Zone, Royal Appointment, Music Megastars and World Leaders. Each are abundant in stars from Beyonce and Marilyn
Monroe to Princess Diana and Barack Obama. The museum also includes a Cultural Zone where Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare can be viewed, but overall the literature world lacks the focus it deserves, especially as writers merely share this space with the likes of Stephen Hawkins and Picasso. Meanwhile, other cultural worlds, such as film and music, embrace their own zones, yet the highly talented writers, who have brought true delight to young and old, remain under the ‘Culture’ title. Even stars much less known and arguably far less talented, such as Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and many Bollywood stars are featured. It is upsetting that the stars of literature, especially English Literature, are struggling to shine.
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team
he government has announced plans to review suggestions of introducing eBook lending to British libraries, in the hope that libraries can be modernised and closures reduced. Recent developments of ereaders and the internet have made it easier to access books, causing libraries to suffer, but the review could move libraries forward to the 21st century. However, the concept of ebook lending has already been met with criticism. Justin Tomlinson, chair of the committee on libraries, addressed an initial problem with the plans, claiming that eBooks will need a small charge, to be shared between publishers and the library itself. This
follows confusion surrounding volunteer libraries as some argue that they could be found in breach of copyright legislation, with uncertainty if and how they are to pay authors. Meanwhile, others reject this confusion, arguing that copyright legislation allows volunteering libraries, run by local authorities or councils to lend books, without being in breach of copyright. This also applies to educational and non-profit libraries. With this flexibility, the government’s review will be able to support eBook lending to modernise borrowing systems and bring a much-needed brighter future to British libraries.
The Stag |
31st October 2012
By Candice Ritchie, Film Editor
he best films, for me, are the ones which delve into real-life events and depict true history, and The Help does exactly that. Adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel sharing the same name, it concerns the life of black maids during the 1960’s civil rights era in America. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) is a young white woman who has just graduated from university and wants to become a writer. After landing a job as the ‘homemaker hints’ columnist in a well-respected newspaper, Skeeter, finding her own family maid Constantine (Cicely Tyson) gone, turns to her friend’s maid Aibileen (Viola Davis) for domestic advice. But she soon observes the brutal racism her friends subject their maids to, including evil Hilly Holbrook’s (Bryce Dallas Howard) proposal for separate toilets for the maids, in an attempt to avoid ‘diseases’. In a pledge for justice, Skeeter decides to write a book from the point of view of the maids, but this is far from simple. Encouraging the maids to speak up is hard enough, for any person caught trying to push for racial equality will face imprisonment. But when Hilly sacks her long-running maid
Minny (Octavia Spencer) for using the bathroom (and not her separate outdoors one) during a thunderstorm, and then makes it near impossible for her to find more work; the maids begin their stories. What unfolds is a sequence of revelations from Aibileen and Minny, and an ever-growing story for Skeeter. Emma Stone is, as ever, brilliant. Donning curly ginger hair and glasses, she adopts the cute-geek stereotype; a far cry from the sexy persona of Hannah in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Having only starred in subtle backing roles in the past, Miss Stone has more recently adopted leads, and don’t we know it. In addition to The Help, she also shone in the leading role as heroine Gwen Stacy in the 2012 newcomer The Amazing Spider-Man. I think she suits the maincharacter-thing a whole lot more. The portrayal of the dark discrimination faced by the maids serves to make The Help a deeply moving story. From the toilet segregation, to the illegality of white female nurses treating black men, and the demands placed upon the maids; it is truly horrendous to imagine such an ignorant society. In opposition, it is also refreshing to see the change which can emerge from one person’s beliefs, or when one sticks to their morals. As the film’s slogan depicts; change begins with a whisper.
Review: Ruby Sparks
By Daniel Brown, Film Team
uby Sparks confronts the idealism of romance while also exploring the challenges of the creative process, drawing an interesting parallel with the shared career of directing duo Jonathon Dayton and Valerie Faris. Along with co-star Zoe Kazan as the title character, Ruby Sparks spotlights teenage writer-genius Calvin (an exceptional performance by Paul Dano), struggling to engage his creative juices as an adult after drawing success from a high-school literary hit. Following his shrink’s instructions, Calvin writes of his dream-girl, unwittingly wishing her into being. As their relationship develops, Calvin must face the morality of his ability to manipulate, through his writing, Ruby’s thoughts and feelings. The directors’ previous effort, Little Miss Sunshine (2006), a sleeper hit for the duo, was their feature film debut. This came after working for almost two decades, creating music videos for some of the premier rock bands of the 90s, including Smashing Pumpkins (Tonight, Tonight) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (By the Way, Californication). One could speculate that the pair related to the creative struggles that Calvin faces as there are perhaps unnecessary expectations for
directors to live up to the merit of their previous creative output. While Little Miss Sunshine is subtly comical as the plot builds, culminating in a laugh-out-load, hilarious final sequence, Ruby Sparks is measured and amusing for the first two acts before vaulting to life in a grotesquely entertaining penultimate scene as the characters’ relationship dissolves.
“Kazan makes broad points about romantic expectation; well observed and ultimately truthful.”
As well as strong central performances from the two leads, Ruby Sparks has a fun supporting cast; an over-the-top Steve Coogan as Calvin’s literary mentor and the cartoonish pairing of Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas as Calvin’s parents are particular highlights. Ruby Sparks succeeds in engaging the significant moral issues faced by a writer who can manipulate a living person’s fate, much like its comparison piece, Stranger than Fiction (2006). Kazan makes broad points about romantic expectation; well observed and ultimately truthful. A strangely charming film.
Film Editor: Candice Ritchie | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
31st October 2012
My Favourite Actor
By Becky Richmond, Marketing Editor
mooth, versatile and ages beautifully. You may think I’m talking about wine or cheese, but no, I’m talking about the demi-god that is Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo (yes, we’re on a nickname basis) started his movie career as ‘kid fighting scout’ in The Outsiders but I’m sure nobody remembers him in that. The first movie I remember seeing him in was What’s eating Gilbert Grape? A beautiful (and ironically funny) film where he stars opposite Johnny Depp in what I consider his ‘break out’ movie role. He plays a mentally disabled young boy who depends solely on his brother, whose touching performance is even more heart breaking after the death of their morbidly obese mother. It’s a wonderful film. But what really makes Leo my favourite actor is that not only is he believable in every role he plays, he’s drop dead gorgeous; like I said, getting better with age. In Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet through to The Beach, Leo is in his prime (age wise, not gorgeousness wise!) he’s young, he’s gorgeous and he’s everyone’s Romeo. Then as he ages he takes on more mature roles, Inception through to J. Edgar where, as well as being more mature, he takes on a D.I.L.F persona, showing he’s timeless and suits any age. Catch Me If You Can (I know I want to) and Man in the Iron Mask (why would you put a mask over your beautiful face) are both amazing films. I mean, in Man in the Iron Mask, he plays twins. There’s two of him. What’s not to love? One thing I’d criticise about Leo (sorry sweetheart) is that I’d like to see him play a comedy role. But, the intense, dramatic performances will do for now. With two films in post-production and another half way through filming, I don’t see Leo going out of fashion anytime soon. So whether you’re a DiCaprio virgin or a DiCaprio whore, why not snuggle up with him and watch one of his many stupendous films.
Hit and Run
By Beth Goss, Film Team
it and Run is a supposed comedy, action and romance combination; all of which lead to a very confused movie. The premise of the movie is pretty simple. Former getaway driver Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) jeopardises his Witness Protection Plan identity in order to help his girlfriend Annie (Kirsten Bell) attend her job interview in Los Angeles. However, due to the stereotypically jealous ex-boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum), Charlie’s ex-gang are soon on their tracks. At times there was a certain feeling of Pulp Fiction with its combination of dark humour and sudden violence. Usually this movie’s dark humour would appeal to my sense of humour but even for me the laughs were few and far between. The bumbling rancher Randy Anderson (Tom Arnold) provided
a couple of laughs with his slapstick adventures, but more often than not you’re left feeling more embarrassed than entertained. I don’t know if it was because of my absent sense of humour, or whether it was down to the poor quality of the comedy in Hit and Run, but my only laugh out loud moment came with the mention of Alex’s (Bradley Cooper) unfortunate experiences in jail. The movie does feature some highly stylised chase sequences but none of them contain any drama or suspense and in fact they come across fairly boring. Now I feel that all I’ve been doing is talking Hit and Run down, but, if I’m perfectly honest the movie was not all bad, I just don’t feel comfortable referring to the movie as a Comedy. An Indi-Comedy maybe, but on the whole the movie feels like an action movie that has had a couple of laughs thrown in for the heck of it. It’s a real shame this movie turned out so weak because the elements were there for a fun movie.
Societies Editor: Shalini Thondrayen | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Hellenic and Cypriot Societies
By Nicole Constantinou
ellenic and Cypriot Societies of Surrey are the official representatives of Greek and Cypriot students in the University of Surrey. Greece and Cyprus are two of the most hospitable countries in the world, so are the members of the committee. For years now in the University we have welcomed many students and shown them how they can have fun the ‘Greek’ way along with their studies. Hellenic and Cypriot Societies organise a huge number of unforgettable events every
semester. They host the famous Greek nights, with RnB music, House and of course Greek music, which makes you want to party all night long. But that’s not everything… They organise souvlakia nights to let you experience the Greek cuisine and not only the way they party. Moreover, they arrange mpirimpa, poker, backgammon and many other card games competition. If you are an active person, you can participate in the football tournaments or come along and shake your body in our Zumba classes.
African & Caribbean Society
By Kyus Agu-Lionel
Fancy joining? Find us on the Student’s Union webpage and join the societies page. Join us on Facebook: Hellenic and Cypriot Societies of University of Surrey, to keep up to date with our latest news and events. Hellenic and Cypriot Events: 3rd of Nov: 90’s Themed party, Living Room
Juggling and Circus Skills Society
By Mungo Bain
et’s be honest: we’ve all been to a circus and sat there, openmouthed, watching someone juggle an impossible amount of balls. Or maybe you’ve walked past a street performer; juggling clubs and making it look like the easiest thing in the world. Maybe you’ve even tried to have a go yourself. Either way, whether you want to learn some new skills, or improve your current ones, the Circus Society is the place for you! We encourage juggling of every kind, as well as Diablos, staffs (for all you frustrated Jedi), poi, unicycling and even Hula hooping. But our society, believe it or not, isn’t just about showing
off: juggling has been proven to improve hand-eye co-ordination and spatial awareness, as well as actually increasing brain mass – not forgetting, of course, that it’s a great way to burn calories too. We meet every Wednesday at University Hall, from 8-10pm. You can turn up to just juggle (or whatever else floats your boat) with other like-minded people, or you can join in with games and have some informal tuition in whatever you’d like to learn. So: showing off, better hand eye co-ordination, a larger brain, better special awareness, better balance – can you afford not to join? If nothing else, it’ll help with that big student dilemma: juggling priorities!
Next ACS Event: Comedy Night, 20th November, Rubix
big hello from Surrey University’s African and Caribbean Society! A lot of you will probably have heard of us but to those who have not, welcome. We aim to, much like the BBC, inform, educate and entertain. The ACS feels that it is important to try to inspire and educate people during Black History Month, not just those of African-Caribbean descent but everybody. We’ve had themed weeks throughout the month: ‘Don’t Enslave Your Mind’ - about the abolition of slavery - ‘I Have A Dream’ - which covered Martin Luther King - and ‘Stand Your Ground’, which was about Rosa Parks. We will be covering a creative side of Black History: music, sports and inventions. We also hosted ‘The Great Debate Tour’ on the 16th, where a group of panellists came down and discussed with the audience of students different social and political issues. The event was a big success, the lecture theatre was full and hopefully everybody left at least slightly more informed than they were before!
Everybody is welcome. It will feature well known comedians such as A Dot, so it’s something that you will definitely want to check out. See you all there!
By Ali Norouzi
hlulbayt means the people of the house. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) called his daughter Fatima, her husband Ali, and her two sons Hasan and Hussain, his
Ahlulbayt. The Ahlulbayt society is formed to introduce the teachings of Islam through the holy book of Quran and the honourable thoughts, words, and deeds of Prophet and his household. They have taught us that: 'A Man is either your brother in religion or your brother in humanity.' Therefore, we welcome everyone to our society to promote interfaith harmony and the spirit of brotherhood. Throughout the year, we have a variety of regular and occasional programs. Regular programmes include weekly supplications, Quran recitation and interpretation sessions, and Arabic and English learning classes. Occasional events include lectures (mostly with
other societies) covering a wide range of hot topics featuring renowned scholars, academics and speakers along with Q&A sessions. We also hold other social events such as dinners, BBQs, picnics, trips, and sports activities. Join our mailing list by sending an email to email@example.com to receive information about our coming events like an occasional celebration program, paintballing, and a lecture on “Financial Crisis” Alternatively, you can visit our webpages on www.absurrey.wordpress.com, https:// www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/societies/ ahlul-bayt-society/, and our Facebook page “The University of Surrey Ahlul Bayt Society”.
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Doctors say brave teenager girl shot by the Taliban is “doing really well”
By Alexandra Dawson, Pensoc
Ingredients 125g/4½oz plain flour 25g/1oz cocoa powder 1½ tsp baking powder 150g/5oz caster sugar 50g/2oz butter, softened at room temperature 1 free-range egg 8 tbsp milk Cream cheese icing 50g/2oz cream cheese 25g/1oz butter, softened at room temperature 125g/4oz icing sugar, sifted ½ tsp vanilla essence Chocolate icing 25g/1oz icing sugar 1 tbsp cocoa powder
Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a muffin tray with 9 paper cases. 2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and butter and beat the mixture together until well combined. 3.Whisk in the egg and milk until the mixture is thick and smooth. 4.Divide the mixture between the paper case and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until springy to the touch and skewer inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. 5. For the cream cheese icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Beat in
the icing sugar and vanilla. 6.Spoon the icing onto the cupcakes, leaving a small border around the edge. 7.For the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of water to form a smooth, thick icing. 8.Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a fine nozzle. (Alternatively, spoon the mixture into the corner of a sandwich bag and snip off the corner, to form a small hole.) 9.Carefully pipe 3 concentric circles onto each cupcake. Run a toothpick from the centre to the edge of the cake, through each circle of icing, at 2cm/1in intervals to create a cobweb effect. 10.Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the icing to harden.
n October 9, 2012 Pakistani teenager, Malala Yousafzai, aged 15, was shot in the head by the Taliban in an attack which aimed to silence her. Yousafzai, despite being a child, was becoming both an education and women’s activist in her own right, as she disagreed with the Taliban’s control and banning of girls from attending school within the Swat Valley, the area to which she calls home. In early 2009, Malala became a blogger for the BBC. Writing under a pseudonym, she detailed her life under Taliban rule and the horrifying things she saw. Whilst detailing the horrific events that unfolded in the Swat Valley, she expressed her views on promoting equal rights for women and young girls, in regards to education. In a blog entry, Yousafzai described her frustration at not being able to attend school, “I felt hurt on opening my wardrobe and seeing my uniform, school bag and geometry box. Boys' schools are opening tomorrow, but the Taliban have banned girls' education.” As her prominence came to rise she was interviewed in a New York Times documentary. Her prominence despite its good cause for equal rights and opportunities for women’s education, the shooting that occurred was due to her “promoting secularism,” the Taliban were quoted. Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt, whilst returning home on a school bus. Miraculously, after the incident, her injuries slightly improved, allowing her to be flown to England to receive treatment. She is currently receiving intensive rehabilitation and treatment at the NHS Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The medical director of the hospital, Dave Rosser, said she was now able to write and appeared to have memory recall despite her brain injuries. He told reporters, “It’s clear
that she’s not out of the woods yet,” saying she had sustained a “very, very grave injury”. Despite her injuries and horrific circumstance, he ended his statement declaring “She is doing very well. In fact she was standing with some help for the first time this morning. She’s communicating very freely,” Despite the horrific act that occurred on 9th October, no one from the country’s religious conservative parties has yet condemned the attack. A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed responsibility on behalf of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP movement are for their restrictions of women's freedom and female education during the five years before late 2001 when they were in power in Afghanistan. Ehsan suggested reasons for the shooting to news agency Reuters, “She was pro-west, she was speaking against the Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader. She was young but she was promoting western culture in Pashtun areas.” Despite the Taliban’s attack, it is clear that the shooting will not silence Yousafzai, but only increases her
prominence and standing as a brave young teenager, sought on enabling young girls to have a right to an education. It is appalling such acts of violence still occur in our world today, yet it is even more horrific that such a young innocent victim must be harmed for us to take a stance. Not only is the events of that fateful day shocking because of its lack of motive, it also calls into question why do we still not have equal education rights for both genders? It seems so often here at university we can take what we have for granted. So often we hear, and contribute, in moaning about how much work we have, when our next assignment is due in, or how much work we have. But next time, when you complain about your upcoming deadline or an essay that you have only 3 days to submit, just remember how blessed you are that you have the opportunity to be educated and to learn in a safe and supportive environment. For many young girls and young women, the opportunity to be educated is still not an option.
Let’s get dirty!
By Jasmine Jakubowski, CRAFTsoc
RAFTsoc is for anyone who likes to get their hands dirty - in paint, paper-mache or whatever you like (within reason)! Try out new crafts that you may have never heard of before, practise your old hobbies or teach others and make new friends! Our society is incredibly new so we are open to shape the society to how YOU want it! We host a variety of craft workshops, with a different craft being taught every week.
We just had our Halloween Social on Friday 26th and we were busy this week making decorations (including carving pumpkins) and putting the finishing touches to our costumes during our weekly meeting on Monday! So far this year we have decorated our own china, crocheted up a storm and designed our own chalkboards. If you’re not interested in taking part in the weekly themes, you are more than welcome to come along and do your own arts and crafts in our company! CRAFTsoc is just as much about meeting a group of great people as it is about learning new skills! Our workshops are on Mondays in the Living Room at 7pm (unless indicated otherwise) so you're more than welcome to turn up on a whim and get CRAFTY!!
Societies Editor: Shalini Thondrayen | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
31st October 2012
By Jess Blake, Societies Team
GU2 in the running for Student Radio Award
By Sophie Smith
t's 7.45am on a crisp Thursday morning, and a substantial crowd of us are gathered in central London, dressed as giant boobs to take part in a rather special ‘flashmob’ - a sudden choreographed dance routine set to boob-related songs, with the aim of reminding any passers-by to get coppin’. So, one train journey and a tube hop later, here we are, on St Christopher's Place, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, determined to bring attention to CoppaFeel!. We were all sent an online link to a video of the routine which was choreographed by Zoe Jackson (founder of ‘Living The Dream’ Performing Arts Company) and a number of run-throughs later, in our minimal amount of floor space (student living!), donning our rather deflated boob costumes, we feel just about ready to take on the challenge. After a quick rehearsal, songs such as James Brown's ‘I Feel Good’ and ‘Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out’ by Freak Power start blaring out of the speakers and we’re off… It’s just before 9am and plenty of commuters pause, with
camera phones at the ready, to record a sea of boobs highkicking, clapping, twisting, grinning and, on occasion, whooping. Next time you hear ‘My Humps’ by the Black-Eyed Peas (another song we boob-boogied to!) and you sing the line “check it out!” remember ‘checking it out’ is, after all, what we are here to say, and the whole point of our flashmob!
If you fancy getting involved in events like these, or just fancy wearing a giant boob for the day please get in touch with your UniS Boob Team Leader, Jess Blake (jb00200@surrey. ac.uk) for more information. And don’t forget, for your free monthly SMS reminder to check your boobs, text ‘SURREY’ to 70500.
n the 10th of October, a mini-bus full of GU2 members made their way to the Orange Rooms in Southampton for the South-East regional Student Radio Awards Nominations Party. Every year, student radio stations across the country are invited to enter the competition, which features a range of categories celebrating every aspect of radio from Best Male/ Female Presenter to Best Technical Achievement. The nominations for this year’s awards were announced by Zoe from Capital South Coast’s Breakfast Show and GU2 is proud to announce that it has been nominated for… Best Marketing and Station Sound. The Student Radio Association outlines this category as recognising ‘stations with an increased awareness of on-air and off-air branding’ and Manager of GU2 Andy Smith is thrilled with the nomination.
"Being nominated for a Student Radio award is a great achievement and we're all really pleased,” says Andy. “We've now been nominated five years in a row so it's great we've managed to continue that”. The nominations party was also a great opportunity for members of GU2 to meet students from other universities and find out how student media varies outside of Surrey. Andy commented: “I definitely picked up some useful tips that I'll be using for GU2". GU2 will find out if it’s been successful on Thursday the 8th of November, when the Student Radio Awards Evening takes place at the indigO2 in London.
The Dance Music Society are pleased to announce their next METRO residency will be on 15th November with none other than Eddie Richards (Fabric London) as their special guest!
Do>More: Volunteering Fayre
By Katy, President
n the 4th October the Do>More society held a Volunteering Fayre in Rubix. With national and local charities and organisations in attendance the event was a massive success! We had a long list with National Trust; Christian Aid, Girl Guiding, Barn Youth Project, Surrey Sports Park, Oakleaf Enterprise and Shooting Star CHASE present. Students could sign up for a range of different opportunities and find
their perfect volunteering match. From AGE UK to Scouts to Surrey Police practically every sector was covered. We also had University linked volunteering; VP Welfare Bakita promoted her Welfare Warriors and we were informed about Academic Reps by Sam, VP Education. RAG gave students information how they could get involved in large scale fundraising. Surrey Marrow, the student led branch of Anthony Nolan recruited volunteers to help fundraise and
sign people up to the bone marrow donor register. Not forgetting the newly ratified CoppaFeel recruited volunteers to spread breast cancer awareness. And of course St John’s links promoted their First Aid training sessions. With the addition of Domino’s Pizza into the mix students left feeling not only full but fulfilled in the fact that they are helping the community and society. Don’t forget to Do>More and get involved!
Sport Editor: Anna Giles | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming
The Stag |
31st October 2012
Warsaw weather sends A geek… England fans home attempts to run
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team
n the night of 16th October 2012 we saw an England football match postponed for a day purely due to weather. Fair enough, a heavy shower before a weekend match in an amateur league at the weekend is understandable, however, in my opinion, a professional football match should never be abandoned due to weather conditions. The roof on the National Stadium in Warsaw, , which was built for Euro 2012 this summer, remained off despite the weather forecast predicting bad conditions. This was extremely frustrating for all involved – including those watching at home. You would think a newly built stadium would have an irrigation system to manage any weather conditions. Modern stadiums are built with the facility to handle adverse weather
conditions, yet the Polish FA chose not to do anything about it. Maybe this was decided upon by the Polish FA with the intention to slow the game down and stop England playing. The English football team is hardly known for its proficiency in passing the ball and being masterful in possession, so it would seem an odd choice if that had been their plan. Now, understandably the conditions in Poland that night were awful, and the pitch may well have been unplayable. However, so many more parties should be considered when considering the professional level, beyond those playing the game. You cannot help but feel sorry for the fans at the game who were made to wait an hour before the game was finally cancelled, especially the England fans that were forced to travel home again
without seeing a kick of the ball. It is especially frustrating as most would have paid out at a high cost for travel as well as somewhere to stay. Work commitments would have dragged most back to England before they could watch the game. You also have to think of how the extra day to play the game affects the clubs that the players represent. They will not have wanted their players to only have had a few days rest before some challenging fixtures in the Premier League this weekend. In the end, no professional sport and especially international fixtures should be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Sports stadia should have the facilities to handle extreme weather, especially if they know what’s coming. You have to feel for the fans most; after all, that is who the sport is played for.
By Adam Lodowski, Sports Team
his year I vowed to get involved with RAG; the Raising and Giving Society here at Surrey, and go along to their “Choose Your Challenge” meeting. Great! I thought, I’ll sign up for everything and everyone will think I’m a really nice, kind, generous guy... Then I saw the challenges on offer… I could climb Kilimanjaro, or cycle from London to Paris, ooh look, I could even do a fire-walk. Ahh, this all sounds fantastic. I’d love to go to Africa, but I don’t think I could get the time off work - best rule that one out. The fire-walk sounds cool but I do have really sensitive feet, maybe I’d best sit that one out as well then. Much to my embarrassment I never learned to ride a bike, so cycling to Paris might be a struggle. Wait. What does that leave?! I have to do something, but what’s left?! AHA! The running events. Great North Run, London Marathon, maybe even the New York Marathon (a boy can dream!) I walk 2 miles to work and back everyday - 24 can’t be much worse. It is. Believe you me it is SO much worse. I decided to try and run 10km the other day as a kind of pre-training warm up to see how out of shape I was after summer. That was a mistake. I honestly thought I was going
to die. Halfway through I was dripping in sweat, struggling to breathe and my legs felt heavier than Honey Boo Boo’s mum after an all you can eat buffet! Despite taking a litre with me, I’d run out of water ages before and was beginning to feel the consequences. I now get why Paula Radcliffe had to pull over halfway through her marathon to take care of her business. I was halfway down the Chase, desperate for the loo, and looking like the Loch-Ness Monster with sweat soaked hair falling into my eyes. Great. If this was a rom-com I’m sure I would have run into my crush but thankfully life isn’t a film and my friend lived just around the corner. A hot shower and a bottle of wine at her house later and I felt like a human being again. The moral of this story? I wasn’t built to climb Kilimanjaro or run marathons; best leave that to the professionals. If you need somebody to climb Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings Online or complete a gaming marathon of Zelda, I’m your man. But otherwise, I’m probably best just sponsoring other people! However, I’m not you. Prove you’re a better person! RAG always need volunteers and with RAG Week coming up there’s no better time to get involved. Just look them up on Facebook to find out how you can help.
The Stag |
31st October 2012
A Flamin’ good weekend
By Alex Beddoe, Sports Team
’ve been following the Guildford Flames for around 15 years now, rarely missing a home game. My aim is to tempt you into the world of Ice Hockey, a fast, exciting sport that makes Wayne Rooney look like a ballerina. There may even be some ticket giveaways in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled! This weekend, desperate to recover from a 5 game losing streak, the Guildford Flames proved they were not going to go down without
a fight, beating Peterborough Phantoms 7-3 on Saturday night, followed by a 6-2 win on Sunday against Basingstoke Bison. Considering the Flames are the current cup and league champions, this strong team has had a slow start to the season, but through integrating the young and fresh faces into the team successfully, things are starting to look up. With plenty of goals, big hits and a great fight (followed by Eagle Radio’s attempt to lighten the mood by blasting out “Kung Fu Fighting”),
the Flames proved to the crowd of around 1200 people that they were back and focused as a tight team who are ready to win. Mark Lee, Netminder (goalie) of the Flames gave a consistent game, not quite the shutout he has hoped for, but he saved goals in positions most guys would whimper at the thought of! It was great game, and not a bad way to spend your 21st Birthday either, meeting some of the players on the ice, a big cake and a Domino’s when I got home!
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team Surrey Mens 1’s: 2 New Buckinghamshire 1’s: 2
n Wednesday I saw the university’s 1st football team for the first time, and am pleased to report they played really well. The match was played in difficult conditions, with intermittent rain and gusty winds. Surrey had the best of the early exchanges between the two sides, with the wet surface suiting Surrey’s better ability in possession. As the rain eased off the game became more even, with both sides putting in committed challenges all over the pitch. Surrey scored first, with a weaving run by right-winger Neil Swann,
beating multiple players with the ball eventually falling to Ben Davidson who finished it neatly in the bottom corner. Throughout the first half, captain Matt King looked composed on the ball and Sam Odusina broke up play well. Jeremy Osei-Bonsu also looked dominant on centre back, meaning the goalkeeper had little to do. However, New Buckinghamshire scored late in the first half; their striker finishing well in the top corner from the edge of the box. Earlier in the first half, they scored a goal from a corner that was disallowed due to a foul. At the start of the second half, New Buckinghamshire looked galvanised from their goal late in the second half and not long after the restart their central
midfielder scored a fine goal. He hit a first time shot from at least twenty five yards and found the top corner. After this, Buckinghamshire had their best period of the game; playing in the Surrey half of the pitch for long periods. Surrey struggled to get going in the second half. New Buckinghamshire’s wingers were particularly troublesome, but were well shackled by full backs Liam Hart and Lewis Tuckett. New Buckinghamshire had another goal disallowed later in the game, this time for a foul on the goalkeeper from a long free kick. Generally, Surrey defended well throughout the game, pressing their opposition well. Late in the second half, Surrey started to dominate the match
once more as they looked for the equaliser. They were rewarded late on as Odusina headed in on Liam Hark’s drilled cross from outside the six yard box. The game ended in a draw which was most probably a reasonable result. However, it can be said that Surrey were the better side overall, they may have felt frsutrated considering they dominated the game for long portions of time. They deserved a win, and would have got it if it hadn’t been for the great second goal by New Buckinghamshire. Surrey 1s: Grilo, Hark, OseiBonsu, Panagiotou, Tuckett, Odusina, Rossides, King (C), Swann, Platt, Davidson
Introducing your new Sports Communications Officer!
arth calling sports fans, this is your new Sports Exec Communications Officer calling. I’ll be writing to you each issue to let you know what is ‘haps’ (that’s what the kids say nowadays right?) in University sporting life from now on. I may also throw in some national sporting snippets if I feel the time is right. For example: how about that draw with Poland last week? Oooosh. I actually have a real role on Sports Exec (that’s the team that helps VP Sports run this place) which is to utilise student media and amongst other things, to promote and communicate about sport and our clubs to the student and surrounding population. As a netballer who also plays cricket, football and is an F1 fanatic, you can trust I will have an entirely biased opinion on most sporting matters. However, my aim is to ensure all clubs get equal coverage, BUCS teams and not, because let’s be realistic, most people don’t really care about the latest football gossip involving John Terry.
The successful 2011/2012 Surrey Football Squad at Colours Ball 2012
If you have anything you want me to yell about; results, socials, taster sessions, or just a shout-out to your fellow team-mates, you can drop me an email at ussu.se.comms@surrey. ac.uk. Ciao for now!
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