The Stag - Issue 53 | Obesity | Body Mass Index

Newspaper of the students of the University of Surrey

Issue 53 – 16th January 2013

Em and Anna in Grand final of Open Mic UK! Page 4
NEWS Guildford International Music Festival returns, read all about it...Page 4

Photos to kick start your 2013, and make you feel warm inside

FEATURES Can your underwear help you pass your exams? Find out on...Page 10


UNION How much was raised for World AIDS Day?...Find out on... Page 7

SCIENCE & TECH Have we found the new Facebook? Probably not, but, check it out...Page 17

DANCE & THEATRE You’ve Been Tagged! Surrey’s best performance of the year?.. Page 24

MUSIC Cosmo Jarvis: an intimate interview after his gig on... Page 31
By Alexandra WIlks, Editor place later in the year. The Elections have been brought forward due to exams and coursework deadlines. Hopefully this will allow more students and staff to get involved in Campaign week. Campaign week will run from Monday 18th February to 22nd February. Campaign week is a chance for all candidates to get out on Campus and get their message heard, aiming to get students to vote for them. Voting will open at midnight on 21st February, and will close again the next day at 7pm. The results will be announced in Chancellors on Friday 22nd February. Contiuned on pg. 3

LITERATURE Twitter Novel: The latest installment.... Page 28


ominations for all executive positions will open on the 25th January. Nominations will shut on Monday 11th February. In previous years, the elections have been split between part time and full time exec, and have taken



The Stag |

16th January 2013

Editor | Alexandra Wilks Editor-in-Chief | Abbie Stone Deputy Editor (Design) | Hannah Roberts-Owen Design Team | Paul Richmond, Ankur Banerjee, Tina Morman Deputy Editor (Marketing) | Becky Richmond Marketing Team | Emily Gill, Natasha Cruz-Millheim, Georgie Wood News Editor | Rachel Thomason News Team | Kathryn Braid, Emily Hough, Beth Goss, Shunayna Vaghela, Hattie Elkins, Georgia Smith Opinion & Analysis Editor | Justine Crossan Opinion & Analysis Team | Melissa Bolivar, Edward Anderson, Ben Preater Features Editor | Ellis Taylor Features Team | Hannah Wann, Laura Colledge, Sophie Dyre, Ankur Banerjee, Lily Pearson, Katy Sawer, Rebekkah Hughes Science and Technology Editor | Alex Smith Science and Technology Team | Mike Colling, Saskia Wilson-Barnes, Siobhan Harries, Ankur Banerjee, Fahmid Chowdhury Societies Editor | Shalini Thondrayen Societies Team | Georgie Stewart, Laurence Williams, Clowance Lawton Dance and Theatre Editor | Tiffany Stoneman Dance and Theatre Team | Heidi Lesiw, Abigail Oscroft Film Editor | Candice Ritchie Film Team | Beth Goss, Megan Barnacle Music Editor | Becky Worley Music Team | Shiri Shah, Alan Hughes, Tanya Noronha, Ankur Banerjee, Literature Editor | Emily Smart Literature Team | Ankur Banerjee, Shiri Shah, Sophie Vickery Sport Editor | Anna Giles Sport Team | Adam Lodowski,, Connor Mcloughlin, Copy Editors | Sophie Vickery, Emma Fleming, Hannah Wann, Tina Morman, Tessa Morgan Webmaster | Andrew Smith Webeditor | Samantha Murray Photo Editor | Tessa Morgan Photo Team | Ankur Banerjee, Renata Axanova. Campus Marketing | Charlie Taylor

Race For Life comes to Surrey Sports Park
By Emily Hough, News Team


aving recently provided training facilities for the athletes of the 2012 London Olympics and ParaOlympics, Surrey Sports Park will now open its doors to the Cancer Research’s renowned Race for Life. For the first time since it began in 1994, the women’s only 5k race is moving from London’s Stoke Park to Guildford on its 19th anniversary. It is predicted that 6,000 women will descend upon the Sports Park to raise money for the research to prevent, cure and support those suffering from the disease. Surrey Sports Park is said to be “proud to be able to host the event” and to continue their support for women through sport and fitness, something which they have done through their hosting of the 2010 women’s rugby world cup and promoting women’s Superleague Netball and women’s

Lacross. Information on taking part in the race is available on the Surrey Sports Park website and Cancer Research’s Race for Life site.

Letter from Alexandra
elcome back to Surrey one and all, and I hope by the time this paper reaches you you aren’t completely loopy from revision (or, indeed, lack of.) January is the time of year where we tend to set goals, targets and resolutions for the upcoming year. And then promptly break them 2 weeks (or 2 days, if you’re like me) in. Apparently, according to Business News Daily (you can decide for yourself whether that is a reliable source) 88% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken in the first week of January. I would estimate it’s probably much higher. For your amusement and for my embarrassment I am now going to list a few of my resolutions over the years and how successful (or not) they were. 1) 2006, age 14. I will actually do something cool next year rather than attend a party with my parents. 2) 2007, age 15. Watched the New Year’s fireworks alone on my sofa at home, whilst my parents went out. 3) 2008, age 16. I will lose some weight. January 1st: Ate enough left over salmon and treats from my parent’s New Year’s party to sink a small ship. 4) 2009, age 17. I will stop forming unsuitable liaisons with inappropriate suitors. Kissed a thoroughly unsuitable suitor at midnight, and proceeded to get my heart broken by him for the next 6 (ish) months. Oops. 5) 2010, age 18. I will stop making resolutions I can’t keep (and try and save some money.) The January sales happened and £150 just sort of...disappeared into Topshop. 6) 2011, age 19. I will try harder to do my coursework on time. March 14th 2am, “Expletives I can’t print in the paper” and various books about Shakespeare around a library computer. So I gave up after 2011. If you really want to change something in your life (no matter how big or small) you will just change it. You don’t need a date to do it by. If you want to change it, just change it. On a different note, I am now going to tell you what I got up on a Saturday 5th January, because it is the most stupid


thing I have ever done: Because I am such a great person, nice friend, general goddess amongst humans etc. I decided I would pick my friend Ankur up from the airport when he arrived in Gatwick after his flight back to the UK. I asked Ankur for his flight number and date of arrival. I even prepared a little banner to take with me. I boarded the train to Gatwick from Guildford in good time, and arrived at the airport. I took the shuttle over to the North terminal. I’d even checked what terminal he’d arrive at! I then positioned myself eagerly at arrivals, jostling lovers eagerly searching for their other half out of the way, and set my banner up. I then decided I’d check in at Gatwick on Facebook, just to show everyone what a good friend I am. I tagged Ankur in my status and I settled back into my ‘Welcome back!’ pose. Then my phone beeped at me, so I jiggled it out of my hand bag and I saw I had a message from Ankur, “Did you go to the airport today?”, “Yes, where are you?”. Ankur replied, “I’m in India. My flight is tomorrow.” Now I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a girl on her own in Arrivals with a massive banner doubled up hysterically laughing, but I’m sure it’s quite a sight to behold. The anxious taxi drivers checking their watches, the blissfully happy reunited partners and even the yummy mothers waiting for their sons to come back from ski-trip all stared at me. And then I shuffled off and got the train home. Finally, I want to tell you a story. I have a niece, she’s 3 and she’s perfect. Anyway, I am dreading the day when she comes home and tells my sister that someone at school told her she’s not pretty enough, or she’s not thin enough or she’s too thin or her nose is too big. So I decided to set up this website: This website is full of unedited, unfiltered images of women with no make up on. Growing up on the internet is kind of terrifying. You can click on a thousand different websites and see images of fake boobs, fake hair, fake nails, fake skin and fake bellies. The internet is literally full of unreal images of women. So I wanted to create a site showing what real women look like, and what real beauty looks like. If you want to get involved you can Submit your own image to the site, just hit Submit. Spread the word. Good luck in your exams, and ‘til next time take care x

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.

News Editor: Rachel Thomason | Copy Editor: Tina Morman

The Stag |

16th January 2013



Could you be the next Dave Halls?!
Contiuned from Page 1 The positions up for election are President, Vice President Welfare, Vice President Education, Vice President Societies and Individual Development, and Vice President Sport. These are all full time positions. Part time positions are Union Chair, Postgraduate Development Officer, Communications Officer, Events and Trading Officer, Community Officer, Equality and Diversity Officer, Ethics and Environment Officer, and International Students Development Officer. RAG Chair and Editor in Chief will also be up for election. All candidates (for part time and full time positions) will attend Question Time in Chancellors. This will take place over 3 nights. Question Time is an open event, giving students a chance to quiz their prospective candidates. Question Time will also be broadcast live over the internet, so if you can’t get yourself down to Chancellors, you can watch from home. So could you be the next President of Surrey Student’s Union? Or do you see yourself more in a part time position? Reckon you’ve got some good ideas to get Rubix pumping, try your hand at Events & Trading Officer. Care about the Environment? Why not run for Ethics and Environment Officer? You don’t need to have any previous experience to run. Whether you spend all your time in the Union or you’ve barely stepped into it, as long as you swat up and do your research you could stand a chance! There are 20 positions up for election and you will need 8 nominations in order to nominate yourself.

Traffic conjestion eased around Research Park
By Hattie Elkins, News Team


For more information about Sabbatical and Part Time elections, check out Dave’s article on pg. 7

fter years of congestion and traffic chaos, a £4.5million scheme near the University of Surrey has been completed and is already reducing journey times by at least 35 minutes. The University and Surrey County Council funded the scheme to replace the old roundabout outside Surrey Research Park with a traffic light junction to improve traffic flow in Guildford. The new system has reduced the substantial traffic delays that used to occur in peak hours as people tried to reach the Research Park, the Royal Surrey County Hospital and Surrey Sports Park, as well as more than

140 other companies. Delivered on time and within budget, the project has already received great feedback from its users. With an investment of £2.5m from the university and £2m from the council, the removal of the roundabout has already been deemed a success. The need to adapt the junction had stemmed partly from the success and expansion of the Park’s site as companies took on larger properties and more members of staff. With Surrey’s roads being some of the busiest in Britain, the council have placed importance on improving roads to enable commuters to travel with ease.

NUS programme and local student make a difference
By Beth Goss, News Team

NUS comments on a further drop in university applications
By Georgia Smith, News Team


fter over a year of campaigning Warwick University student Courtney Giles, with the help of NUS run ‘I Am The Change’, have succeeded in halting the closure of Epsom Phab , a youth club for both disabled and nondisabled children. Epsom Phab faced closure in December 2010 after a decision made by Surrey County Council regarding finance. The main problem facing the youth club was finding a new location for the club to meet. Luckily, volunteer Courtney Giles heard of the NUS-run ‘I Am The Change’ programme. After hearing of Courtney’s struggle to keep her club from being closed, the NUS became involved last April. ‘I Am The Change’ started with students nationwide suggesting causes based on education, the community, the environment, personal development, health and wellbeing, careers or politics. However, it was Courtney’s ‘Save Epsom Phab’ campaign that saw the most student votes nationwide. NUS gave support to the Epsom Phab volunteers to help make their campaign successful. It took 6 months of lobbying but a team made up of Courtney, the NUS and attendees of Epsom Phab, finally managed to secure one extra year at the club’s premises in Surrey. However, this was not good enough for the highly motivated team and, after their victorious meeting on 22nd November, Surrey County Council have agreed to fund a new building for Epsom Phab, offering £500,000 of funding. Courtney described this achievement as “an absolutely amazing opportunity - it’s helped Phab and

more widely it shows you can make a difference even if you think it’s for something small.” Voting for NUS ‘I Am The Change’ 2013 closes on February 21st, you can vote or even nominate your own good cause via the website iamthechange.


he tripling of tuition fees in 2010 has led to a downturn in the number of people applying to study at university in England. Over the past two years, applications have fallen 23.6% compared with figures from November 2010 and November 2012 according to a UCAS report. Liam Burns, NUS President, said: “These are early numbers, there is still time for them to recover … We have always said that students and their families

aren’t walking calculators capable of working out how much they are likely to repay based on hypothetical future earnings … Students were always going to be deterred by £9,000 tuition fees. “Those who do make it to university are struggling to make ends meet. Financial support is not reaching the right students… we can’t let this debate focus solely on funding for institutions without also questioning how the system of student finance currently operates.”

Two men plead guilty to Guildford jewellery theft
By Rachel Thomason, News Editor


wo men have pleaded guilty to the robbery of the Cry for the Moon store in Guildford. James Roberts, 49, and John Saunders, 50, both pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm after they broke into the store in Tunsgate.

The two men stole £350,000 worth of jewellery during the theft on Friday 10th August 2012. A third woman, Samantha Weston, 43, has also pleaded guilty to money laundering offences and not guilty to robbery. The three offenders currently remain in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.



The Stag |

16th January 2013

Guildford International Music Festival returns
By Kathryn Braid, News Team


uildford will play host to the International Music Festival when it returns from March 8th to 24th 2013. The festival began in 1991 and attracts large and enthusiastic audiences. The University of Surrey’s School of Arts both organises and manages the festival with its Department of Music and Sound Recording. Guildford Borough Coucil and others also support the festival. The bi-annual event highlights include the Brodsky String Quartet who will be celebrating 40 years performing together with The Wheel of 4tunes: a group whose performance at the Olympic ceremony invigorated the crowds. The Dhol Foundation will also be

performing. Also featured are the London Community Gospel Choir and folk group Spiro. Guitar great John Williams will perform duo, solo and ensemble pieces featuring special guest Craig Ogden and a new composition form leading local composer and musician Steve Gross. The festival will include a wide range of venues throughout Guildford from the Electric Theatre to local churches. A new partnership with G Live provides a space for world class performers including Julian Lloyd Webber and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The Boileroom and the Academy of Contemporary Music sees the festival take to the pubs, restaurants and streets in the run up to and during the Festivities. The Hidden Heritage series

includes the intimate setting of the hilltop church St Mary-onthe-Hill which plays host to small ensembles performing Messiaen and Elgar. Also included are Elgar and Debussy on the harp, flute and viola at the Watts Gallery and a musical tour of the 400 year old pianos and harpsichords at the National Trust’s Hatchlands Park. There’s fun for the family in a free musical procession up Guildford High Street in Pied Piping and also featured is a Music Documentary film series. Box office opens January 21st Box Offices: 01483 444334 / 01483 444789 or 01483 686876 (University events only). Visit www.guildfordinternational for more information.

Sabb officer makes it to Open Mic final in London
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Team


m Bollon, Vice President Societies and Individual Development at our Student’s Union, has made it through to the grand final of the nationwide competition, Open Mic UK, along with fellow band mate Anna Haig. After captivating the crowds at the Area finals back in December, the duo have landed an opportunity to proceed to the finals, at the O2 Area in London. ‘Em and Anna’ had already competed against thousands of other acts during the auditions process, battling through the Regional round and then going on to perform live on stage at Reading’s Sub89 for the South West and Wales Area Final heats on Sunday 2nd December. They won

over the crowd with their rendition of Forever Young by Alphaville, with Em playing piano and singing vocals, whilst Anna rapped her own dynamic lyrics. When asked about how she felt about their achievement, Em said; “To have our music recognised and appreciated is a great feeling, particularly because what we do is a bit different – a female rapper and a female vocalist putting their own spin on different music genres. We’ve got something special lined up for our performance at the O2 so hopefully we’ll blow the judges away.” The duo will perform at London’s IndigO2 Arena, on the 19th January 2013, with hopes of being crowned winners of 2012’s search. There is over £50,000 in prizes up for grabs this year and the overall winner will be offered £5,000

cash to spend on the development of their music, with other cash runner-up prizes. The winners will also be given extensive publicity packages and have the opportunity to tour across the UK. The competition is divided into age categories; 16 and Under, 17-22 and 23 and Over. All types of singers, vocal performers, groups and acoustic singer/songwriters are invited to enter Open Mic UK. Already confirmed on the panel alongside Annie Nightingale is fellow Radio 1 DJ Ras Kwame, a representative from Universal Music Ivor Novello, award-winning songwriter and producer Mark Hill, Si Hulbert who has produced for Ed Sheeran and One Direction, University of Surrey Head of BGM, Michael King and Kiss Zipped Hoody JUST £27.50 FM Breakfast presenter Charlie Hedges.
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The Stag |

16th January 2013



Sabbaticals Say...

Surrey Decides
Dave Halls
Union President

What does 2013 have in store for the VP Education?
Sam Ratzer
Union Vice-President Education


hat it’s already January is a terrifying thought; the year flies by incredibly quickly, and myself and this year’s Union Exec team are fast approaching the halfway point in our terms. This time of year coincides with arguably the most important period in the Union’s ‘democratic calendar’: ELECTIONS! I know, I know; it barely seems yesterday campus was festooned with banners, jam-packed with people in brightly-coloured Primark t-shirts trying to earn your vote; explaining how they’d like to make your university & your union a better place. And that could

be you this year! Thanks to a pesky piece of legislation, which we’ll call ‘the Education Act (1994)’, that says this is the final year I can ever be a sabb again (two years anywhere is the maximum for any one person’s lifetime). Ample opportunity, you might say then, for someoneanyone at all- to be the next President. There’s been a growing trend over the last few years that it’s assumed a President needs to have been a VP first. This couldn’t be further from the truth; it really is open for anyone to do. Passionate about Surrey? Want to make it a better place for all students? Are you a current, full-time Surrey student? These are the only requirements for the role. This year, taking feedback into

account from previous elections, the whole process has been condensed to prevent it affecting students’ studies. Both sabbatical (full-time) and union (volunteer) exec officers will be elected together, and the time frame from nominations opening (January 25th) to results (February 22nd) is less than a month! More details will be released in the next fortnight or so, and watch out for an election preview in the next Stag. Watch out for announcements on the Union facebook, or on; and always feel free to ask any current exec officer about their role. In the mean time, start thinking about whether it could be you running the Union in 2013/14!


Because Resolutions aren’t just for January
Arabella Gilby
Union Vice-President Sport & Recreation

s soon as the Christmas, Birthday and New Year Celebrations were over and my Arsenal wall had been calendar replaced, my focus quickly turned to how I am going to make the most of my final 7 months as VP Education. There are many ongoing projects that will keep me busy during the early months of 2013, some that will no doubt affect you, here are a just a couple of examples: The academic timetable is to come under review over the next couple of months, the review will amongst other things look into the duration and structure of the working week, currently 9am - 6pm (Monday to Friday) the same model that has been in place for many years. Such

issues as how many hours of labs and lectures in a row a student should be allowed to have will be cast under the spotlight. There will be wide student consultation on the issue with my role in the process being to make sure that your views are effectively translated into the final plans. A second topic which I have been working on this year so far, and will continue throughout 2013 is that of Student Common Rooms. Do you use yours? Does your department even have one? Where do you spend your time before, between and immediately after lectures? These are questions that need to be answered by you, as various representatives from across the faculties and myself are looking to make recommendations on the provision of such spaces for the future. Get involved and help me to shape your Surrey :-)

Welcome to 2013! I hope you all had an enjoyable break and are looking forward to the possibilities of a New Year. Why not make this the year you keep those resolutions? Get Fit Feb is all about regaining some fitness after a busy winter holiday and a stressful, exam filled January. Grab some friends and destress by playing some sports, why not give something new a go, grab a water bottle and some trainers and

you're good to go, everyone has ‘try new things’ as a resolution right? And finally it is HERE, Inter Halls tournaments, why not switch who has the loudest parties into who has the best skills on pitch? Take on the University of Surrey’s Halls in this fun sporting environment! We have Touch Rugby on the 9th Feb, Ultimate Frisbee on the 16th Feb, Dodgeball on the 23rd Feb and finally 6-aside football on the 2nd March. Find a friend who lives in halls and sign up for just £12 per sport per team! That’s £2 each, it doesn’t get much better, teams all must be mixed apart from football

so head over to to find the application form or look out for posters in your kitchens and this edition of the Stag! Who will come out on top in 2013? Colours Ball tickets are also now on sale, contact your club committee to purchase a ticket, this is not an event to be missed out, £52 early bird tickets includes transport to Epsom and back, a three course meal and a night full of fun! 2013 is going to be a busy one for Team Surrey!

Bakita’s Welfare List
Bakita Kasadha
Union Vice-President Welfare


hope you have all managed to rest between revision and coursework writing. There are a few things to tell you about this week: Anti-social behaviour There have been a number of complaints from Guildford residents regarding the noise levels of their students neighbours. Please remember that antisocial behaviour is not only a nuisance to your neighbours, but could also result in facing a University disciplinary because a Surrey student’s bad behaviour brings the University into disrepute. Housing Awareness Week Housing Awareness Week

will be taking place on Monday 4th- 8th February. For now, concentrate on revision and coursework deadlines. Study now; sign later. Over the week there will be workshop, exhibitions and talks giving you house hunting tips delivered to you by the Accommodation Office and Students’ Union. Get fit Feb Over the month, there will the will also be weekly wellbeing themes- de-stressing; body image; safety awareness; healthy living. Tips on how to take care of yourselves will be coming to you over the next few weeks. World Aids Day Many thanks to the all who campaigned and/or donated for the World AIDS Day (Paint Campus Red) campaign raising £788.15 for the Children’s HIV Association! Your time/money/ support is greatly appreciated.



The Stag |

16th January 2013

Opinion & Analysis
Think fees are unfair? Tough luck.
Edward Anderson
ust before we broke up, there was another NUS demo against fees; presumably students believe money grows on thin air. The NUS make a lot of claims which I find spurious to say the least. On this demo there were two main ones trotted out under the slogan “Educate, Employ, Empower”. Firstly, £9,000 means students start their working lives loaded with debt. Secondly, the government is by having fees this high, putting off students from poorer backgrounds from attending university due to a fear of getting in that level of debt. The solution: A Graduate Tax. I am part of the first wave of students to “pay” £9,000 a year tuition fees and will leave university with a massive “debt” above £40,000 at a conservative estimate. Yet I will still say with absolute assurance of someone who ticks all the boxes of the NUS sob story (working class background/ was terrified of debt/ can’t work for free as intern meaning harder to get a graduate job.) the NUS is talking absolute rubbish. Here’s why. Firstly, it’s not your debt.


It is the debt of the government and therefore the taxpayer meaning working class people who are working 38 hours a week are subsidising a largely middle class intake of university students like you. Plus, you only start paying it back now if you are on £9,000 fees at £21,000 salary. The median average salary is £20,000 and if you earn this you will never have to pay back a penny of your debt. Let’s say you earn £22,000 when you leave university then you will be paying back the bruising some of, are you ready? £7 a month. For students from poorer backgrounds, this is a better system than £3,000 a year. Imagine that your Mum works in a supermarket and your stepdad is a binman. Imagine remembering that 300 pounds could be the difference between having a roof over your head or falling behind in repayments and ending up with nowhere to live. It only takes one accident at work, losing a couple of shifts and that’s it. Now someone comes up and says that University will leave you with £20,000 worth of debt. It looks like this if you’re from my background:

No one in your family ever went to University and you rationally have been fearful all your life about getting into debt. You would be terrified; I was and as a result had dismissed university of the preserve of the middle class. However, if we say contribution, where those who earn more pay more (which is what it actually is) and I wonder what the bloody hell is the problem? As Martin Lewis puts it: “Many say: “I’m worried my child will be £50,000 in debt when they leave university, I will do all I can to prevent it.” However, I’ve never heard anyone say: “I’m worried my child will earn enough to be a higher rate taxpayer after university, I’m saving up now to pay their tax for them.”” The problem is in fact that groups like the NUS are more than happy to scare people from my background than tell them the truth. The only reason the NUS and student movement is so outraged by £9,000 a year fees is because it finally hits the well-off middle class backgrounds they come from. There were mass protests involving several thousand poor little rich kids at the outrage of £9,000 fees. The well off yuppies are quite happy to focus on fees as a barrier

to working class opportunity (conveniently helping themselves in the process) but the real tragedy in this country is the GCSE results which destroy opportunity before kids get anywhere near a UCAS application. As the Spectator put it this summer “A pupil can look at their postcode, and see where it ranks in the government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation. If they live in a relatively prosperous area, they can be expected to have done fairly well. If they live on a sink estate, the odds are that they will have done badly.” We have an education system which selects by wealth not ability, have stated properties near the top 100 state secondary schools are worth 25 per cent more than the average for the wider region. So if you are wealthier your parents can buy you into a good comprehensive catchment area but if you are from my background, then you can work as hard as you want and be a higher achiever than your peers but you will go to the worst school. Why? Because you are poor. Anyone who thinks that all state schools are equal or even close is terms of quality is an idiot. The results aren’t hard to guess. In 2006 the Centre for Social

Justice stated that just 17 per cent of disadvantaged white boys attain 5 or more A*-Cs at GCSE compared to a 56 per cent national average. Disadvantaged black caribbean boys also perform well below the national average, with just 19 per cent obtaining 5 or more A*-Cs at GCSE. It hasn’t got much better (if at all) since then and as a result the attendance of working class children in proportion to middle classes attending university has widened in the expansion of university places, increasing the gap. To sum up, the NUS can spare me it’s bleating. If it really gave a hoot they would back selection by ability (Grammar Schools) and the closing of Universities which simply aren’t good enough but they won’t. So, as the voice of the most underperforming ethnic group there is, the white working class, I say: £9,000? Make it twenty thousand, why should I care? Virtually no one from my background is going to a decent University anyway. You’re worried about costs of rent, food, debt and not being able to find a job? Welcome to my world.

B.M.I - Big Meaty Illusion?
Melissa Bolivar


ccording to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), being a bit too pudgy may in fact reduce the risk of dying in a given period. Being overweight is defined as having a BMI between 25 and 30. People with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese. Dr Flegal and her colleagues observed that obesity was associated with a

higher risk of mortality in a given study period. Interestingly, those who were only moderately obese (with a BMI of 30-35) had a 5% lower risk of death than those of normal weight and those who were merely overweight had a 6% lower risk. The mortality risk was much higher for those with BMI of 35 or above—they had a 29% higher risk of death in a given period than those of normal weight. Just why this is true remains unclear. It may be because the overweight receive life-prolonging medical care, such

as treatment for diabetes and drugs to control heart conditions. It may be that they are better equipped to endure surgery. Among those who sought angioplasty for coronary artery disease, a higher BMI was linked with a higher rate of survival. Or, as Wolfram Doehner argued in 2010, chronic illness—of any sort, not just that linked to obesity—may be a metabolically demanding state, with the overweight having more energy reserves to meet that demand. Whatever the explanation, the

latest research highlights three important points. First, physicians must think carefully about diet advice for those who already have chronic conditions. Second, the study is yet another reminder that BMI is a poor measure of health. It just about works as a rough gauge of obesity, but does not account for sex, race, age or fitness. And BMI says nothing about the distribution of fat in the body. Third, the study may bolster the already strong case for governments to prevent even moderate obesity. Relatively

plump citizens may indeed pose a particular burden on the state. On the one hand, they run a higher risk than those who are less fat of developing chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes that require expensive treatment. On the other, corpulence may extend life, meaning such treatment may be needed for many extra years. Expanding waistlines could be making people live longer, but sicker.

Opinion & Analysis Editor: Justine Crossan | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming

The Stag |

16th January 2013



America’s own oil?
n a small state in America, North Dakota, there may be not much to see but it could be the place to lead America to independence from foreign imports of oil supplies. Political decisions in in 2013 will dictate the direction of this possible energy revolution and more conventional exploitation of oil and gas will allow America to source its own energy rather than “stealing” it from other countries. The key to this independence is the necessity of more drilling and finding enough oil and gas to make it sustainable and hopefully to use less of it in the long run. Domestic oil production is rising sharply but the gap still remains large. Private Landowners are enthusiastic about welcoming the drillers who will of course hand over a large amount of money for this privilege, but getting more will require more drilling on federal land. There is a lot more oil in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the Deep water Horizon disaster is set to surpass the levels seen before the oil spill. But parts of the Gulf as well as swathes of America’s east and west coasts have been off-limits. Barack Obama was not keen to lift

Justine Crossan Opinion & Analysis Editor
a moratorium on drilling in these waters, though most Republicans were. If both onshore and offshore oil and gas are exploited, with a bit of luck the gap between domestic output and consumption will close—particularly if gas exports offset oil imports in the calculus of primary-energy consumption (the sum total of all forms of energy). The president will have to decide whether to let the Department of Energy give the go-ahead for a slew of further applications to convert import facilities for export. The risk is that more exports will then result in higher gas prices at home, endangering the economic boost that cheap energy and a resurgent petrochemicals industry have provided for America. Yet having granted one licence it may prove difficult to deny others the same opportunity. Energy imports will also fall if, as seems likely, oil prices remain high for the long haul. This will boost purchases of more fuelefficient cars. Government can give a helping hand and set the tone. Mr Obama has proposed aggressive new fuel-economy standards. Optimists reckon that energy independence will come in a decade or so as America produces another few million barrels a day of oil, supplies the economy with lots more gas and cuts its historically wasteful rate of consumption. Whether that would be entirely good news is questionable. Energy independence and energy security are often conflated. Yet as Japan proved in the wake of the devastating tsunami of 2011, when it was quickly able to replace lost nuclear power with imported gas, energy security is better served by remaining a part of deep and flexible global energy markets rather than being detached from them altogether.

Where to be born in 2013?
Justine Crossan Opinion & Analysis Editor


As the dust settles...
lmost two years ago, a wave of democracy swept the Middle East. This revolution, what came to be known as the Arab spring, caught the eyes and the imaginations of people across the world. But all too often, when the cameras move on and the twitter feeds go silent the rot sets in and the revolutionary ‘heroes’ who once struggled for democracy become the tyrants they once fought against. From Lenin to Mugabe, Napoleon to Ho Chi Minh, this is a sad pattern of history and, now the dust has settled from the upheaval of the Arab spring, one that seems set to repeat itself yet again in Egypt. Since the fall of Mubarak the first elected president, Mohammed Mursi, has set about stripping away challenges to his power. While his attempts to curb the overly powerful Egyptian army are welcome and frankly long overdue, his more recent political manoeuvrings have taken

Ben Preater
a more sinister turn. On November 22nd, Mursi passed a declaration banning the Egyptian courts from challenging any of his decrees and granting him any necessary powers to “protect the revolution”. This move prompted widespread protests in Egypt and accusation of pronouncing himself the new ‘pharaoh’. It is upsetting to see, so soon after the last tyrant fell that a new one has begun to take his place. By putting himself above the law, Mursi has taken the first step along the road to stifling democracy in Egypt. Already he has perverted justice by forcing the retrial of Mubarak supporters during the revolution, a transparent attempt to subdue political opposition. The rule of law is essential to any democracy, and the courts play a hugely important role in checking executive power. By castrating them in this way, he has removed any credible threat to his power and set a dangerous precedent to the other fledgling democracies in the Middle East. The damage that an unchecked Islamist ruler and his party could do to a multicultural society like Egypt is terrifying, not least for the large Coptic Christian minority, a group who have endured open discrimination and sometimes execution in nearby Islamist states. The lesson to be learned from this turn of events is that the struggle for Arab democracy is likely to be a long one that will continue long after the last bullet is fired and the media moves on to the ‘next big thing’. The Arab Spring may have burst forth years ago, but it still demands close attention lest its waters become tainted.

he last year has seen an immense change on many levels regarding the prosperity of some countries. Those more economically developed have seen a decline in health and happiness in accordance to The Economist Intelligence Unit, and some less wealthy countries have seen a rise in prosperity indicating money may not be the route to happiness. The most prosperous place to be born has been measured by a quality of life index which links to 11 important factors, some which are fixed and some which can change over time. The life expectancy seems to be increasing steadily and so have political rights in areas of the Middle East which were lacking so before. The economic crisis has hit some areas, mainly the euro zone which is why in the top 10 countries to be born in 2013, only one is from the euro zone, the Netherlands. Topping the chart is Switzerland, with the USA as number 16 in comparison to ‘Where to be born 1988’ where the US was number 1 and
V - Suitable for Vegetarians H - Suitable for Halal

Switzerland 13. It is interesting to see how these countries have developed over the years, the U.S may come across as the world’s strongest power and economy of course but clearly the citizens do not replicate this strength in their own lives, the focus purely on finance, market and conglomerates rather than general well being of its people. Switzerland comes across as very stable in all aspects like crime and trust in public institutions. Seeing as Britain had once the strongest empire in the world and is a great influence in the international system, it is only placed 27th on the list below countries such as Israel, Kuwait, Ireland and South Korea. It seems we may need to concentrate less on the growth in GDP and more on trust in our public institutions and politics itself to ensure happiness within our society which will ultimately help economic growth, but we may be tackling these problems the wrong way round.

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The Stag |

16th January 2013

Sticking to your resolutions
By Laura Colledge, Features Team



hristmas is over, and we’re all lying on the sofa nursing overfed stomachs, thinking about how we really should be revising instead of nostalgically watching every Disney film being shown, or all the cheesy ‘best of 2012’ programmes. Sound familiar? And I’m sure you promised yourself 2013 would be different, that you would go to the gym more often, revise for six hours every day and stop shouting at your brother every time he talks over the ending of Finding Nemo.

This is the time of year we’re meant to say goodbye to all our bad habits from the past year, and look forward to a much healthier and happier year. Yeah, I’m not so convinced either. What is it about the change of one digit that means our life will suddenly be transformed? Nothing, is the answer to that, unless you do something about it. For the majority of people, if they didn’t have the motivation to do something in 2012, it’s unlikely their resolutions will last much longer than the

month of January. However, I’m not saying all New Year’s Resolutions are pointless and unachievable; if you set yourself small and realistic targets, a difference can be made. Here are my top tips to setting achievable New Year’s Resolutions: • Start off by thinking about what you did well in 2012. It’s important to recognise last year’s achievements, however small they were, and it’ll be easier to build upon and improve these things, as you know you can do them! • ‘New Year, New You’: Let’s

be realistic now, this isn’t going to happen, and doesn’t need to happen! A resolution to be more like yourself though, and not be so set on impressing others, is something worth having. Unless you’re the person I saw on facebook who wants to continue their reputation of being a drunken slut (I wish I was joking). • Don’t try and make yourself do things you hate. There’s no point making yourself sick trying to shove brussels sprouts down your throat when there are

plenty of other green vegetables to choose from! You’ll be much more likely to achieve your goals if you can enjoy doing them. You’re not going to be able to change your whole lifestyle overnight, so add things in reasonable amounts and don’t expect too much all at once. And if you had a brilliant 2012, then take our own features editor Ellis Taylor’s advice and resolve to ‘keep being fab’!

I hate sales
By Ellis Taylor, Features Editor

Grab the bargains before they go!”, “MASSIVE SAVINGS INSTORE” and “Hurry, sale ends soon!” are some of the many sale shopping phrases that are as unappealing to me as hugging a porcupine that has been stunk on by a skunk. This may seem a little surprising considering I am an avid shopper and a poor student, but I think sales are vile and traumatic. Why do people put themselves through such crowds and uncomfortable heat for the sake of saving money on something they didn’t think of buying before? Maybe my hatred of sales comes down to my dislike of large quantities of people and getting breathed on by (and generally coming in contact with) strangers. In any case, I want to point out why sales, January sales in particular, are events you should approach with caution. 1. You can’t browse properly. Everything is chucked on rails, the girl next to you is a little too close for comfort and there is stuff everywhere. A good shopper appreciates clothes and enjoys picking out the perfect piece, taking your time to figure out how it can be effectively worked into your wardrobe. Sales give you no time, a retail gun* is being held to

your head. 2. As an ex-retail worker, I know for a fact that a lot of the sale stuff is rubbish from the previous season that they couldn’t shift, and why didn’t it sell the first time? Because it is crap and ugly. Remember that. 3. The 2-trip-shop which results in nothing. Waiting outside a changing room for 20 minutes in a smelly and noisy shop as my boyfriend tries on a bazillion pairs of jeans only for him to take them back the next day is not fun at all. 4. The general lack of enjoyment. It’s so wonderful when you choose something lush, pay for it and then the assistant lovingly folds the item and pops it carefully in a bag…that never happens during sale time. 5. You are faced with temptation to buy horrible things just because they are cheap. My golden rule is this “if you wouldn’t consider buying something at full price, don’t buy it during the sale”. The only thing a sale is good for is if you have a specific need or there is a particular piece you have had your eye on for a while (in that case, go forth and find it!). Otherwise, tighten your purse strings and avoid the sales…unless ugly clothes and crowds of people are your thing. *by retail gun, I mean a metaphorical retail gun, not one of the price sticker things.

I failed my exam lucky knickers were in the wash!
By Sophie Vickery, Features Team


he eve of an exam requires preparation of the items required the following day; pens, calculator, student card, exam location, more pens and a lucky charm. For many students, a unique item, deemed to be lucky, is equally important as the pen when it comes to exam essentials. Such items commonly include bracelets, badges, keyrings and even knickers. When asked, students said they considered their lucky charms to be lucky because they were special or carried childhood memories.

It is perhaps worrying that students come to hold these items which such significance, believing that they can influence their exam results. A study conducted by Bristol university found that over 30% of students with charms felt their luck had improved. Therefore if the lucky charm is forgotten on exam day, many students would panic and burden their performance. However, what students need to remember if such a crisis occurs is that their items have gained a 'lucky status' because they are associated with success and this success has ultimately come from

the student themselves. In which case, the student can perform as effectively again even if they have forgotten their lucky item. Nevertheless, another way to avoid such a panic is to view an item which will always be present in the exam hall as a lucky charm. How about the stag? It is highly likely that someone will have a Surrey hoody on and the university's logo deserves to be regarded as lucky since it carries personal, positive memories for each Surrey student; see the stag and write your way to success.

Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan

The Stag |

16th January 2013



Why you need Twitter
By Hannah Wann, Features Team


witter sometimes gets a bad rep for just being a platform for people to tell the world about the mundane occurrences in their lives – ‘Missed the bus today’/ ‘Wow this salad is awesome’ /‘Can you believe this rain?’ - and tweet pictures of their food (guilty). But, as well as being an acceptable way to stalk your favourite celebrities and keep up to date with the world, it can also be an incredibly useful tool in the career market. I originally got Twitter for this reason, having being recommended by a contact in journalism (my chosen future field) that it’s a good idea, but I didn’t really have any idea just how much useful having a Twitter account would really be when it came to looking for opportunities and applying for placement year. Twitter is a particularly vital tool if you’re aspiring to a career in competitive creative and media industries such as journalism, publishing and fashion (especially), as a lot of work experience and unpaid internships are fundamental in eventually being considered for a job. Working for free in these industries is inevitable before you get anywhere, but it does mean that these industries tend to take on quite a few interns for shorter work experience placements - that

you can do in your holidays – rather than just graduate schemes or year placements like other industries. Twitter is one of the best places to find these internships. Companies will nearly always advertise their career opportunities on their Twitter account and its one of the first stops in posting new ones as it reaches a wider audience. So instead of having to trawl through twenty different company websites every day checking the opportunities they’re offering and if anything new has arisen, following them on Twitter means you’ll be automatically updated via your feed when they’re looking for an intern or a position becomes available. Companies looking for student ambassadors or freelance writers etc (work you can do parttime while still studying in the semesters at uni) often post on positions too. Now you just need to find the right people to follow. Twitter is an invaluable way to discover smaller or newer companies that you’ve never heard of. It really widens your scope of places to consider applying to, for say placement year, when you’re likely to be applying speculatively. Say you to start to follow one magazine/ publishing house/fashion brand, they’ll have links with many others similar companies, and might communicate over Twitter with

them or recommend you follow them on “Follow Friday” (#FF) - so keep an eye out. But Twitter isn’t just useful for those looking for a career in the media; all large established companies across industries now have a Twitter account – or several - and many such as Microsoft, Unilever and ASOS have one specifically for career opportunities. They’ll not just update you on job vacancies but when you need to apply to their placement and graduate schemes by. So really, if you’re serious about your future career, you need to get Twitter. Or if you have it, stop just using it to talk about how hungover you feel. What I’ve outlined is just the basic ways in which you can use Twitter to your advantage – it can also be used to network, build an online profile for yourself and get your work out there – and Twitter and its opportunities are constantly growing. So get involved. (P.S. I’d maybe recommend generally not tweeting about how hungover you are/other drinking related things, when looking for a job. You might not be too successful.)

By John Watkins, Director of Careers Service



t the Heads of Careers Service annual conference in Cardiff at the start of the month there were two overriding issues that appeared to be the new year priorities of the 100+ attendees – quality of careers service delivery and engagement with the unengaged. At Surrey the former category is hugely important, but I came away feeling greatly encouraged relative to almost all other institutions. Our plans for 2013 are around adding to and enhancing existing strengths – the starting point is solid. Given my confidence in the quality of the service, increasing its useage is particularly pertinent. If those that make use of the Surrey Careers Service derive widespread benefits, my challenge is to find the ways and means of expanding engagement so that others gain similar careers support. There is no magic wand and I clearly can’t force you, but if you have so far not taken full advantage of the expertise and enthusiasm of the team, please do give us a go in 2013. The support is wide ranging and includes information, quick queries, 1-1 advice, employer contact, online tools and vacancy service,

department based workshops and sessions. As the Heads of Service were repeatedly told in Cardiff, Careers Services are becoming increasingly central to many universities – the heart of employability – and our role is increasingly about making all stakeholders recognise this! On a personal level, Join John returns each Tuesday between 6 and 7pm, starting on January 29th, supported by refreshments from sponsor, Nestle. The programme is open to all and will involve some student led sessions as well as assessment centre type exercises and interactive employability workshops. It will culminate with an Easter networking event which will hopefully be an expanded version of the Christmas equivalent when 30 students and guests enjoyed an informal evening and first year, Hannah Roberts, was the recipient of a Nestle coffee machine in recognition of her employability development over the Autumn. 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, or pop in to the Careers Service, which can be found in the Philip Marchant Building and at

The Walled City of Old Delhi
By Ankur Banerjee, Features Team


ew Delhi – with its palatial houses, smooth roads, and manicured lawns – is the face that India likes to present to the outside world. What we now know as ‘New Delhi’ is actually just a tiny nucleus, founded by the British during the 20th century, at the heart of a much bigger region known as Delhi. The roots of the present city lies in a region called Old Delhi founded in the 17th century by emperor Shah Jahan – better known as the emperor who built the Taj Mahal. Old Delhi presents a fusion of architectural styles that is at once unique and evident. Monuments from the time of India’s Islamic Mughal empire – such as the walled fortress known as Red Fort for its red sandstone construction – coexist along with colonial buildings added in the 20th century along with more recent construction done in the past few decades. Tourists who do visit Old Delhi often give the street food a miss

due to food hygiene concerns, as food is cooked in the open. If you do give it a miss, you’ll be missing out on incredibly delicious food! Paranthewali Gali, a narrow street of eateries specialising in paranthas – fried dough flatbread usually with stuffing (common ones are potato, mint, lemon, onion; cashew nuts and raisin are among the weirder ones) – is a must-visit for any traveller. Most of these eateries can seat only a handful of people at any given time, so at busier times be prepared to munch on a freshlycooked parantha in the fashion of a really large cookie rather than off a plate. The neighbourhoods are best explored on foot as it affords you the opportunity to explore the open-air markets that seem to hug most roadsides. Let your senses be assaulted by the smell of street food and the cacophony of sales pitches while weaving through traffic – because sidewalks are usually taken over by makeshift shops. If

it gets too overwhelming, hire a human-powered cycle rickshaws to travel in a style that lives on from the days of colonial India. What’s Hot: A flea market for used books springs up every Sunday in the locality of Daryaganj. Due to its transitory nature, this is an attraction that many tourists miss out on. Sellers set up shop with books sprawled out in front of them on a stretch of road two kilometres long; it’s an amazing sight to behold. Books sell for bargain basement prices, so you can pick up dozens of books incredibly cheap. What’s Not: “Delhi Belly” – a commonly-used term for traveller’s diarrhoea – is a real concern for most visitors that can make you sick for days. Avoid drinking anything that is not heated or bottled, and you should be fine. The vector for most diarrhoea-causing germs is water rather than food, and being smart about what you drink will go a long way in keeping you healthy during your trip.

One of Old Delhi’s neighbourhoods: the open-courtyard architecture surrounded by houses on all sides is a style that has been carried over from the 17th century and exists to this day.


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Procrastination: How to beat the revision demons
By Katy Sawyer, Features Team of us procrastinate and the likes of Facebook and Twitter just make this easier. Instead of thinking of procrastination as a quick break, think of it as a thief of your time. Once you break concentration it takes up to 15 minutes to get back into ‘the zone.’ Think ahead and plan your time, make a schedule with allotted break times. Having breaks will also ensure that you eat better. Eating well and drinking lots of water will make retaining the information easier. Group revision? This always seems like a good idea until you and your friends find yourselves off topic. Try to find yourself a sensible work space away from your friends, perhaps in a silent study area if you find yourself easily distracted. There are many websites that will help block procrastination on social networking sites, you could also look at temporarily deactivating your account. Working until the early hours of the morning may work once or twice but continual disruption and deprivation of sleep can have serious side effects. Offsetting your sleeping pattern affects the brain’s cognitive function; it can cause irritability, headaches and an impaired immune system making you susceptible to colds and viruses. Don’t forget that once a piece of work is started you are on the road to completion and early bird revision will stop last minute panicking! Good Luck…


lthough most of us don’t admit to it, procrastination is a massive problem during the exam period. With deadlines looming many of us suddenly find that our old cupboards and drawers need clearing out and exercise may even become our friend. Food can also be a major distraction whether it’s constant snacking or a fast food binge. However, social networking is probably the most distracting tool for avoiding revision. Quickly checking Facebook can result in hours of scrolling through your news feed and deciding to update your profile and have an ‘unfriending’ session. According to an American study around 80%


Street Style
Nisha, Law, Level 3 To sartorially survive the winter months a versatile coat is a necessity. This Calvin Klein number remains simple yet on-trend with its oversizing. Nisha’s subtle look is perfected with a touch of red lipstick and a pair of beaten bikers.

Photos and Commentary by Lily Pearson

Out and about on Campus
Sam, Level 3 Business Management, The poloneck has been an unwavering presence amongst high street lookbooks and street style blogs of late. Sam teams this winter staple with a canvas backpack to complete his winter look.

Nicky, Internationial Financial Management, Masters Vogue recently described layering as the perfect excuse to combine a variety of your favourite prints and fabrics, and Nicky has embraced Winter's most practical trend. Brothel creepers add that little edge to the prim shirt and jumper combo.

Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan

The Stag |

16th January 2013



Random Acts of Kindness
By Rebekkah Hughes, Features Team


ather than set myself a New Year’s Resolution that will ultimately begin to waver, alongside my willpower after week one, the year of 2013 poses as a year that I’ll set myself a goal instead. I’ve decided that a goal will be more achievable, satisfying and will span not just this year, but into the far reaching future. Beginning in 2013, I will be more active in performing random acts of kindness. Before Christmas I found myself

having an emotional meltdown in the middle of Reading train station. As I waved off my mum and younger sister, homesickness overwhelmed me, not to mention them also being in floods of tears which only set me off more. After, maybe, two or three minutes of clearly audible sobbing and complete incapacitation (and what probably looked like hyperventilation), no one asked me if I was OK. Then, after regaining slight composure, a woman walked straight up to me and hugged me, without a word. She took a step back, teary herself, and told me all about her daughter

being at university and feeling exactly how I felt, and being so close to Christmas and all, it was complete reasonable to feel how I was feeling. She gave me a tissue, wished me a ‘Merry Christmas’ and put me on my train. Now, I’m not saying physically manhandle sad-looking people at any given opportunity, I’m saying have a little compassion: give up a seat on the bus if it’s rammed full of people or check if people are OK if they look lost or distressed. In the least clichéd way possible, make the world a nicer place where people can rely on the kindness of

another. I should probably mention, that there’s a chance the woman who restored my hope in the general public in Reading station missed her train because of me. Although her trains were frequent – “every 30 minutes or so”, if I remember her correctly, I felt awful because of it. I pleaded with her to go and catch

her train, but apparently it was more important that I “get back home in the warm, and try and feel better”. I have never experienced selflessness like this, directly to me at least, and from this New Year I’m going to strive to do the same, and not just in times of need, in random instances too.

If this idiot can manage to edit the entire newspaper you are probably way more than capable of joining the team. Can you write better than Shakespeare (or just reasonably well)? Are you a dab hand at photographing (or just like using a camera(? Do you have exciting marketing ideas (or maybe you like making posters)? Whatever your skill, we probably need you here. Unless your skill is juggling fire. I probably can’t do much with that. To be honest if you reckon you could make a better advert than this, then I definately need you!


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Science & Technology
2012: A year of very extreme weather
By Mike Colling, Science & Tech Team


he world may not have ended last year as the Mayans predicted, but it certainly experienced some extreme weather conditions. From Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean and North-eastern United States, to freezing temperatures across Europe, no continent has escaped the wrath of Mother Nature. Widespread drought affected the UK from the beginning of 2012 until spring. Politicians and water companies were so concerned that they imposed hosepipe bans and held water summits with farmers to address the issue. But then, during April, the rain came. According to the Met Office, 2012 has been the second wettest year on record in the UK, with flooding affecting large areas of England and Wales. Many properties and farms are still underwater as the New Year begins. Scientists believe that the

significant change in weather conditions was caused by an unusual movement of the jet stream; a high altitude, fast moving band of air which flows from west to east across the North Atlantic. In previous years, the jet stream has moved slowly from north to south across the UK over a period of about twelve months; however during 2012 it was positioned closer to mainland Europe. It is thought that this shift has dragged the wet weather usually found over the ocean and unleashed it on the UK. So, will 2013 bring more Sun? The Met Office refuses to speculate, but statistics show that the tendency for extreme rainfall is on the increase, and has been for the past 50 years or so. It seems that Great Britain will retain its reputation as a rainy nation for many years to come!


One man’s desperate attempt to salvage his belongings from his car during last year’s west country flooding, in a year of only 6mm less rain than the all time record back in 2000.

Response to: ‘Why do we spend taxes on space travel?’
By Alex Smith, Science & Tech Editor


ublishing an article that criticises government expenditure in the space sector, at a university with a strong science and engineering department (and with very close ties to the space industry) has, somewhat expectedly, caused a bit of a stir here on campus. So for impartiality’s sake, it’s only fair that an argument on the topic is presented by someone from science/engineering background – perhaps someone like me? You may be shocked to hear that I do think Alexandra (the Editor) has got a good point here. Spending less on space and more in other areas could be beneficial, especially at the moment with the challenges we face as a country (or as a planet). However, I do think we should be selective about what programs we cut. Ending things like the Mars Rover, which has relatively little science output for the investment, could be a good thing if the money was channeled elsewhere.

Energy security is a big talking point at the moment. With oil prices skyrocketing and resources running scarce perhaps it would be wise to invest in a new, clean energy source, which provides almost limitless power. I’m talking about nuclear fusion – ‘harnessing the power of the sun’ to fuse two lighter atoms together to make one heavy atom and releasing a ridiculous amount of energy in the process. Fusion power could be a way to lower domestic fuel prices, increase energy exports (raise income), and reduce our carbon emissions without any radioactive waste – all with one stone. Research into making this a viable alternative is still underway but the UK’s JET facility in Oxfordshire and the European-based ITER are already leading the way. The benefits of nuclear fusion could put us in a position to fund more science in the future, and yes my dear editor, even fund higher education or reduce national debt – which all need doing sooner rather than later.

However, cutting the space budget would be no garden of roses. Sunglasses, wireless headsets, cordless vacuums, solar cells, home insulation, cameras, and even some paints all have one thing in common – they were all created, based upon, or significantly improved by NASA which is taxpayer-funded. This is, of course, only a short list; you’ll probably find a lot of things on your desk, in your bag or with any luck in your pocket that were only made capable by the invention of NASA spinoffs. Things that maybe we couldn’t do without. Plus it’d be pretty awesome to have a base on the moon someday. So I’m not saying end space sector investment, even temporarily. Instead just redirect some of it from ‘showboat’ projects like Mars Rover to other areas of science where we can make a good return and, in the case of fusion reactors, provide the world with the endless power which we desperately need.

Go on, it’s Christmas!
By Saskia Wilson-Barnes, Science & Tech Team


ell it’s Christmas - it may well be a phrase you had heard throughout the holidays; however how much do we actually eat over the festive period? Past studies examined the Christmas diet and found that their subjects had an increased consumption of 6000 kcals per day (Rees 1985) over 5 days. This equates to 3 times that of a woman’s guideline daily amount! On average, subjects had gained 1.2kg by January, which is likely to be caused by “overeating, alcohol consumption and inactivity” (Reid 1998). An average increase of 1.5% in waist circumference in subjects was also a cause for concern. This is because an increased waist circumference is directly associated with Type 2 Diabetes and also an increased risk of cardio-vascular disease. Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom! Turkey is a low fat source of protein and most fat can be found in the skin; which can be removed. Alongside this, if you fill a third of your plate with vegetables

(boiled or steamed), your Christmas meal would be in compliance with the ‘eat well plate’ as set out by the Food Standards Agency. If you are wondering of ways you could improve your meals in 2013, there are ways that could reduce the calorie and fat content in your diet. This could include reducing alcohol consumption and switching your mixer to either a diet or unsweetened alternative. Another idea is to try dry roasting potatoes, using oil spray rather than goose fat. Or even using the water the vegetables were boiled in to make gravy rather than meat stock. Other simple methods include sticking to a shopping list and avoiding the temptation of deals offered by supermarkets on snack foods. It is the extras that can increase both the waist and calorie content of your day. It is stressed by the British Dietetic Association that Christmas should be allowed to be a day of celebration, but should not be used as an excuse to have a month-long feast.

Sci/Tech Editor: Alex Smith | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery

The Stag |

16th January 2013



Ultrasonic Invisible Scalpel Poses Future Possibility of NonInvasive Surgery
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Team


he time has come when ultrasound machines not only detect babies in the womb, break up kidney stones and ease muscles; they are now a step further in performing the impossible – non-invasive surgery. A carbon-nanotubecoated lens that converts light to sound can now focus highpressure sound waves to finer points than ever before. Researchers from the University of Michigan used the new nanotube lens to create an invisible scalpel which works by focusing sound waves tightly enough to generate heat. To achieve this, the researchers coated the lens with a layer of carbon nanotubes and a layer of a rubbery material called polydimethylsiloxane. The nanotubes absorb the laser light and respond by generating heat. That heat causes the polydimethylsiloxane to rapidly expand, which in turn gives a boost to the sound waves passing through it and amplify it. The beam of sound is then emitted

through the skin to a highly focused point within the body, resulting in sound waves with a frequency 10,000 times the hearing capability of humans. Following the discovery, the researchers experimented further and successfully drilled a 150-micrometer hole in an artificial kidney stone in less than a minute (see picture) to remove cancerous cells from an ovary. This is a remarkable turnaround as prior to this, even in the case of minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery; small incisions are still made in the skin. While it hasn’t been tested on animals and humans yet, the researchers say this type of ultraprecise ultrasound could be a new way to deliver medication to individual cells, fight cancers and tumours or even perform cosmetic surgery painlessly. Its beam is so finely focused that it can manipulate individual cells and could perhaps avoid coming into contact with nerve fibers meaning the patient wouldn’t experience any pain during the operation.

Gerraroom: The next great leap in social media?

Technology round-up
By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
Toyota and Lexus unveil autonomous cars


oyota and Audi are to follow in Google’s footsteps and reveal their own autonomous vehicles. In 2009 Google tried out their line of “driverless” cars which have clocked 300,000 miles. Now Toyota and Audi seem like they want to delve into this aspect of motoring which subsequently may change the way we think of cars in some years’ time.

Wakawaka Solar charger

Gerraroom’s sample room, demonstrating the use of drag-and-drop multimedia social networking. By Alex Smith, Science & Tech Editor the new social media service, based on purely University of Surrey technology and operating from the Research Park, which focuses on groups, sharing, and privacy. At the heart of it all is a ‘room’, analogous to a chat room with a maximum of ten people, who can share a potentially limitless canvas on which the users can collaboratively drag and drop files, display any kind of document, upload pictures, and even embed websites. And yes, they’re even working on a musicstreaming mixtape style service which can be shared amongst the group. All changes to a room are live and will update almost instantly on your friend’s or colleague’s computer and comes with an instant messaging service builtin; making this a great tool for brainstorming and sharing documents without overwriting someone else’s work accidentally. Mr Bansal hopes that Gerraroom will have widespread appeal and picks up where Facebook groups left off: “For example, say if a group of students are going to a music festival. They could bring up the festival site for the year, and they might want to plan their travel, they might go and put their photos on. At that point [the room] becomes a memento of what they did.” The service is free to use and open to anyone and there is even an iPhone and Android app in the works which is planned to be released when Gerraroom ends its beta phase and goes live early in the year.



A synthetic kidney stone with two holes punched into it using the ultrasound tool. The holes are 0.15mm across - demonstrating the superior accuracy of this tool to conventional surgical tools.

n a world engulfed by the rush of the information age we are finding ourselves increasingly dependent on online resources for work, chatting to friends or accessing media. Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have tried incredibly hard to intertwine the most popular uses of the internet into one simple easy-to-access service which millions (even billions) of people would use on a daily basis as their ‘go to’ page on the web. However, it is clear that groups and collaborative efforts on such websites are, in effect, somewhat impotent. All it takes is a quick click onto one of the many Facebook groups to see how limited the scope of a group is. Notifications for wall posts (with comments for discussions), image, links, static document sharing, and group events is essentially all the group can do on Zuckerberg’s 1 billion member social networking enterprise. Enter Tirath Bansal, founder and CEO of Gerraroom, who decided a new web-based service was needed, that would better serve groups and the new generation of media-savvy smartphone users. During a live demonstration for The Stag, Tirath said: “You’ll have Skype going, you’ll be BBM-ing, doing your homework, while having a bit of TV going on. All of that can go into one environment... all of them can be put into one place.” This was the foundation of

company have decided to create a charger which, when attached to the phone, will charge it using solar power and give you 8 hours of reading light too. This seems perfect for those of us who always seem to run out battery life! However, not sure how effective it will be in Guildford with the lovely overcast weather here…

Bluetooth key tracker


rovided you make the investment, gone are the days of wondering where on earth your keys have gone. A Bluetooth sticker, which can be attached to keys, laptops, cameras, etc. can communicate with your smartphone (provided you are in adequate range) to let you know where it is. A virtual leash could also work where your phone beeps if the sticker begins to get out of range.

Tablet that doubles as a charging mat


ulton Innovation have created a new way of charging our phones – charging using the battery life of a tablet. Many people nowadays have both a tablet and smartphone. However, a smartphone tends to lose its charge quicker than a tablet. In comes the innovation by Fulton. They have designed a way in which phones, such as the Nexus 4, can charge wirelessly off the back of a tablet. Nice for those days when your battery just can’t make it through.

©Hyoung Won Baac


The Stag |

16th January 2013

‘Pyongyang Racer’ – a video game that pushes North Korean propaganda
By Ankur Banerjee, Science & Tech Team


yongyang Racer is a bizarre game developed by the North Korean government where you race through the streets of the North Korean capital Pyongyang with the expectation that this would lure tourists into the country. Tourism to North Korea is heavily-regulated; limited numbers of tourists each year are allowed to visit parts of the country under guided supervision of North Korean guards. The graphics are reminiscent of old-school console games, and the game mechanics are laughable at best: it is a ‘racing’ game where all the other cars on the roads are stationary. However, the game does try to highlight the city’s tourist

attractions with fairly-detailed graphics. The game’s release drew much attention in online gaming circles, partly because gamers were fascinated to see a digital artefact come out of the isolated country. Access to the internet within North Korea is restricted to all but a handful of scientists, with the rest of its wealthier citizens being able to afford access to a cordoned-off domestic internet. Political commentary surrounding this release has focussed on how a digitally-isolated country was able to produce such a game, and whether this indicates an increasing openness on part of the dictatorship under new leader Kim Jong-un to be receptive to the idea

of ties with the Western world. This is not the first game to be sponsored by a government body to further an agenda. The America’s Army series of video games; which are full-fledged first-person shooter games, was developed by the US Army with the explicit aim of encouraging its citizens to sign up for draft. What sets Pyongyang Racer apart is the way in which a non-sophisticated game was able to go viral, thus fulfilling its aim of spreading North Korean propaganda on making the country a tourist destination. Perhaps it will set an example that other governments try to emulate as a way to connect with a generation that increasingly spends much of its time online.

Not the North Korea (as portrayed in the news) that you expected to see? Pyongyang Racer is designed to promote tourism in a country engulfed in blackouts, propaganda and a controversial human rights record.

Happy New Year!
©iamaphotog ©HOLLEROTON

A selction of pictures and photos to see you into the New Year and inspire you to great things!


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Dance & Theatre What To See This New Year
Your guide to London and Guildford based theatre this New Year
By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance & Theatre Editor


he Christmas break always seems to end far too quickly. The foil-wrapped turkey’s disappeared, those new socks that were “what I’ve always wanted!” are already missing, and the lights over the garage are only half blinking. That post-holiday slump is just about upon us, and as we return to campus in the grey Guildford drizzle, one can wonder how on earth this year is going to pick up, and what can one do to make it just a little bit better than last year. I have the solution. Over the festive period, theatres in and around London graced us with a fantastic line-up of traditional panto, bizarre puppetry and sinister alternatives to the usual Christmas shows. And 2013 is set to be another fantastic year for theatre. Here’s a rundown of five of the best productions that are up and coming over the next few months. Get out of your room, throw on a colourful scarf and soak up some culture. Feast @ the Young Vic: 25th January-23rd February 2012 brought one of the best selections of theatre at the Young Vic that I’ve ever seen, and this year is starting out with a bang with the brilliant production ‘Feast’, by Yunior García Aguilera, Rotimi Babatunde, Marcos Barbosa, Tanya Barfield and Gbolahan Obisesan. Three sisters are separated by a mischievous trickster and must cross continents and centuries to be reunited. With brilliant dance and music, this ‘once-ina-lifetime’ show is certain to get your heads bopping, toes tapping, and January blues well and truly left out in the cold. This House @ the Olivier Theatre: from 23rd February

Transferring over from the Cottesloe theatre following a sell-out run, ‘This House’ explores economy and politics, a hung parliament, and an anxious Britain. Sound familiar? But set in 1974, we’re transported back to such a time as this, but when the practical people worked behind the scenes to get the country back on track, rolling up their sleeves and getting well and truly stuck in. 2013 Season @ Shakespeare’s Globe: tickets on sale from 11th February Get ready to embrace the bard again this year, as the new season at the Globe includes ‘Macbeth’, ‘The Tempest’, as well as three new plays receiving their world premieres at the theatre on the river; ‘The Lightning Child’, ‘Blue Stockings’ and ‘Gabriel’. Keep an eye out for what is bound to be another great year. Surprises @ Yvonne Arnaud: 23rd January-2nd February Alan Ayckbourn’s love stores with twists of realities and an uncertain future grace Guildford’s most successful stage. Newly written and directed, Ayckbourn questions the lengths and depths of love and lust in this new comedy, embracing the past and future in a mess of hearts and minds. BalletBoyz @ GLIVE: 26th February A brand new show filled with incredible and explosive modern dance, the hugely successful ‘BalletBoyz’ comes to Guildford to thrill and inspire, featuring internationally celebrated choreographers Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett. Keep an eye out for an upcoming interview with them too, explaining how they’ve made it so big and what advice they have to those of you studying, about to graduate, or with big plans in mind for the future.

British Producer Faced Ugandan Jail for ‘Gay Play’
By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance & Theatre Editor


bit of theatre news for you buffs out there: this month, British producer David Cecil managed to escape a two-year jail sentence in Uganda for putting on the play ‘The River and the Mountain’, written by Beau Hopkins, despite attempts to stop it by media regulators. The play is a story about a young businessman who attempts to get on with his life as a gay individual in the homophobic African country. The production was stopped by the media council and the National Theatre of Uganda refused to stage the scheduled performances. However, several shows ran at smaller venues, leading to Cecil’s arrest at being charged with “disobeying lawful orders”. A petition was signed by more

© Mark Schenkel

than 2,800 people including Simon Callow, Sandi Toksvig and Steven Fry, appealing to the Ugandan authorities to drop the case. In early January, the magistrate dismissed the case stating that despite appearing in court four times, prosecutors did not have adequate evidence against Cecil to set a trial date. Speaking to the Guardian, Cecil described the decision as an “unexpectedly swift end to proceedings” and stated that he was very relieved. People in Uganda are still battling with the threat of homophobia within its government, with punishments being sever to the extent of death. The work of Cecil is one step towards exposing and dealing with such matters.

© Hugo Glendinnig

Dance/Theatre Editor: Tiffany Stoneman | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann

The Stag |

16th January 2013



Watch This Space: Arts at Surrey


t’s a New Year, a new semester, and a new season for Arts at Surrey. Check out what’s coming up this year.

What: Jerry Springer the Opera When: 4th-9th February Where: Electric Theatre Cost: £9 (£10 full) GSA present the Olivier Award-winning musical based on the notorious TV talk show. What: Dance Double Bill When: 6th February Where: Ivy Arts Centre Cost: £5 (£12 full) Featuring dance artists Joe Moran and Theo Clinkard, you’re in for a treat with this night of new choreography and dance speciality.

colours ball 2013
saturday 11th may epsom racecourse tickets on sale
ballet variation from Carmen, portraying the title character through a performative story executed with beautiful strength and grace, followed by a traditional Kathack duet adding a cultural element to the evening’s performances. It was completed with poise and articulation as the dancers highlighted and decorated the space wearing traditional costumes and bells. Josh Tyas was back with an emotionally charged yet pacey performance, and, although hilarious, the subject matter seemed to have a true political message hidden within, telling us about our unfair society yet how we should still ‘LIVE OUR DREAMS’. The final two performances contained strong, poignant themes. ‘Birdspeed Battle’, a solo performed by an MA Dance student, confronted the audience with a blindfolded female exploring the themes of racial politics and feminism through a collaboration of the old and new. It was a beautiful portrayal of communal spirit and the relationship between new and old traditions through a new dance style ‘krumping’ - an American style looking into releasing anger in a non-violent way. The final piece in the show had a strong celebratory feel. Created by Actual Size, ‘Fitzpleasure’ interspersed small group performance with the feeling of freedom. Strong lighting and silhouettes emphasised the atmosphere of festivity, with an array of talent exposed and a fluid execution of group and partner work. This piece rounded off the whole evening effortlessly, emphasising that each element of the show created a deeper meaning that floats beyond the boundaries of performance. This annual show reminds us that Christmas is a time for giving, a time to celebrate our achievements whilst providing a strong communal spirit. I think it is fair to say that all the months of hard work truly paid off and, without the talent and enthusiasm of all staff and students involved, the show just wouldn’t have been as spectacular as it was on that cold, crisp December night.


eep your eyes peeled for new productions from TheatreSoc, MADSoc, and MTSoc including the much-anticipated FAME!

Lots more to come this year for all things theatrical.

The School of Arts Christmas Show
By Heidi Lesiw, Dance & Theatre Team he School of Arts annual Christmas Show is a much anticipated event, packed full of festivity and joy whilst celebrating specific examples of students’ recent works from the past semester. This year produced an explosive and diverse collaboration of dance, theatre, film and music performances. Upon entering the performing arts building from the cold outdoors, we were greeted with a warm welcome of mince pies, mulled wine and live performance from the University’s Gospel Choir. However, this year was more than just a celebration of created works, but also how they shed a warm glow on themes and issues that are sometimes ignored at this time of year. Highlights included Team Surrey Dance Squad with a fully energised piece created by award-winning choreographer Bly Richards, an explosive ending to the first act, and the faculty was also honoured to welcome internationally renowned StopGAP Dance Company into our midst. StopGAP state that their “…evocative and vivacious work [gave] a kaleidoscopic view of the world. The surprising shifts of images connect[ed] with our audiences to ignite their curiosity.” Opening the show with an exploration of the five senses, beginning with silence, entered into a bright and fun piece that contained collaboration between dancers with and without disabilities. It was truly inspirational as it reminded us to celebrate who we are and to be proud of what we can achieve. The show continued with strong performances by our final year theatre students containing a fusion of scenes from ‘Tom and Viv’ through action, song, poetry and multi-roling. The following two pieces blended together seamlessly with a short film ‘Feel’ - where a prominent feeling of gloominess and depression glazed over the audience - continuing into a piece by Actual Size Dance Company, ‘Dropout’, where the use of cold blue lighting and experimentation with space, levels, and fluidity retained a feeling of isolation. I value a performance that can make you think beyond the boundaries of the visual images that are being portrayed on stage and can instead raise an awareness of the issues at hand. Although I do not like to ponder thoughts of despair, Christmas is a time to remember those in need and what better way to raise awareness of this than through performances that allow us to trigger new ways of supporting those most in need. To lighten the mood, Josh Tyas aka ‘Joshy Scribbles’ enlightened us with his stand-up comedy. Poetry about an ex-girlfriend and a Japanese Geisha girl made us cry with laughter and it was a great way to break up the first half with contrasts of light comedy and sensitive issues. The second half opened with a piece created from a dance workshop from a performance called ‘Desert Crossings’ by State of Emergency. Being very physical it evoked spiritual messages through abstract and bold movements. Another film questioned what music is, the whole movie giving an almost awkward and eerie vibe and the sounds were quite overwhelming and disturbing which made me feel, at times, claustrophobic. It seemed to ask questions of art being a form of escapism and how we are able to break free from the familiar. Personally, it made me start questioning what the familiar is and my curiosity of what music means to me. The following two pieces brought us back to the familiar, a solo


The Stag |

16th January 2013

You’ve Been Tagged!
By Alexandra Wilks, Editor hamefully, I’d never seen a MADSoc production before I watched ‘You’ve Been Tagged’. But this impressive, exciting and innovative performance completely won me over. Written by third year English Literature student, Laurence Williams, the script was slick and full of innuendo and razor sharp wit. The play follows the journey of Andy, as he becomes involved in a protest, although the protesters aren’t exactly sure what they’re protesting. Andy’s relationship with Steve, an older man with military history, opens him up to issues he wasn’t previously aware of. There are lies, sex, intrigue, love, gossip, illness and even death - enough to keep even those with the shortest attention spans happy. Plus, there were more twists and turns in the water-tight plot than your average theme park ride. At turns hilarious, and at others truly heartbreaking, this is what theatre is all about. Williams’ script was incredibly impressive, but what made the play such a rip roaring success was the talent of the cast. There wasn’t one weak link in the chain, and I felt like I should have paid a lot more than £3 to watch this wonderful show. Trying to fault this production is incredibly difficult, so I probably won’t try. It’s a shame they didn’t have a longer run and I eagerly await the next MADsoc production, because if ‘You’ve Been Tagged’ is anything to go by, it’ll be one to watch!

Bits O’ The Bard
“When you do dance, I wish you A wave o’ th’ sea, that you might ever do Nothing but that.” – Florizel, A Winter’s Tale, Act5 Scene4

Post-Show Syndrome
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Film Editor: Candice Ritchie | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery

The Stag |

16th January 2013



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
By Candice Ritchie, Film Editor



or the last two years, speculation has been sky-high regarding the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit. Film fans globally have been eager with excitement about what Peter Jackson was going to bring next, and filled with uncertainty as to whether it would match up to the incredible standard set by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. An anxiety well wasted. The Hobbit is nothing but pure brilliance, even if it is a bit long! Despite being the Lord of the Rings’ sequel in the film industry, The Hobbit is set sixty years before its predecessor, when the infamous Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is only a young hobbit. Persuaded by Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo accompanies a large group of dwarves on an adventure through Middle-Earth in an attempt to reclaim the Lonely Mountain after it was invaded by Smaug the dragon. Despite the differences in mythology (Hobbit to Dwarf) and the initial source of the quest (the destruction of the ring to the reclamation of a homeland), the film came across as largely similar to the Lord of the Rings in its formation - the group element, the Orc battles, and even the three-part trilogy, which will continue up to 2014. The Hobbit is even set in the Rings’ story when it begins with Bilbo seated at his desk writing his account of the last 60 years for his nephew Frodo. Who knew a film with such similarities could be so equally excellent? These parallels simply serve to remind us of the greatness that is the Lord of the Rings and the superb direction of Mr Jackson – who, almost tragically, only directed the film after his collaborator Guillermo del Toro left the project in 2010. Lest we forget the actors – Ian McKellen is, yet again, outstanding as Gandalf. His sheer immersion in the character makes him strongly believable as the grey wizard, so much so that I often forget he is nothing more than fictional. Richard Armitage, who stars as Thorin; leader of the dwarves, resembles an almost Aragorn-style character, with convincing bravery and leadership throughout (and dark, rugged handsomeness, of course). I must admit, however, that I was slightly disappointed to see Elijah Wood and Ian

Holm appear only at the beginning of the film – I would have liked to see a little more of the classic characters! Maybe I’m just too stuck in the Lord of the Rings and haven’t yet become accustomed to the true greatness of The Hobbit characters? After all, we were still graced with the presence of Galadriel, Saruman, Elrond and the legend that is Gollum! Without a doubt, credit must be given to both the special effects and costume crew. From the dressing of the dwarves to the creation of the Orcs, the two teams make the entire mise-

en-scene convincing throughout – trust me, compare the appearance of one’s character to their real-life photography, and you will be nothing but astounded! As the sixth highest film in box-office earnings in 2012 and the 44th highest of all-time, one can only predict that Peter Jackson’s second trilogy will become even more renowned than the first. With the upcoming releases of The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again, the next two years will decide – I, for one, am very excited!

Life of Pi - “Faith is a house with many rooms.”
By Megan Barnacle, Film Team


s a fan of Yann Martel’s novel I feared the worst as I entered the cinema; 3D glasses in hand. Having seen the trailer several times (it was hardly avoidable following its persistent advertising before every film and on every double decker bus), I was sceptical that the Hollywood blockbuster could portray the importance of storytelling in the same way that Martel does. Unfortunately, I was correct in that aspect. Although Irrfan Khan is beautifully spoken as he depicts Pi’s life at sea, I felt that the importance of storytelling within religion (which is a main element of the novel) is all summed up in one sentence at the end of the film - almost disregarded. Don’t get me wrong, religion is a key focus in the movie, but something feels lost at the end of this film in comparison to the novel. However, as a movie and a story about a boy who survives a shipwreck and life with a tiger, I would highly recommend it. Visually stunning throughout, director Ang Lee manages to display nature at its best from the vibrant scenes in India to the beautiful mysteries of the Pacific Ocean. Whilst Pi is at sea you go through a mix of terrifying emotions; from the horrifying loneliness of a still ocean (not dissimilar

to some of the scenes in Rime of the Ancient Mariner), to the near fatal Pacific storms. Not to mention Pi’s feline burden, Richard Parker, wonderfully displayed with a mix of animatrix, CGI and a real-life tiger; not once did I think to myself that it wasn’t a real animal. The film is breath-taking and leaves you on the edge of your seat the whole time. But whilst it remains very loyal to the novel’s prose, somewhere along the line, I felt the depth of Martel’s story was lost.

“Faith is a house with many rooms.” “But no room for doubt?” “Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful; it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.”


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Gerard Butler
By Beth Goss, Film Team

My Favourite Actor


ow, when asked to pick my favourite Actor many people would think from the posters decorated about my bedroom that I would say teenage heartthrob Taylor Lautner. Sorry Taylor, but let’s be honest here; if we’re talking real Actors I’m going to have to go for Gerard Butler. He has to be one of the most versatile actors I know, having starred in pretty much all of the genres out there. The first film I remember watching which starred Butler was Phantom of the Opera in 2004, and I have only recently realised that it is the same man who I’ve seen shouting ‘THIS IS SPARTA!!!’ and sporting a rather dubious looking sixpack in the action-packed 300 in 2007. I’ve been moved to tears in reaction to his performance in PS I Love You in 2007 and had my funny bone tickled whilst watching The Ugly Truth in 2009. But personally, my most memorable Gerard Butler performance- (by the way, did I mention he also voiced Stoick the Vast in How to Train Your Dragon in 2010?) - would be in his serious Drama/Thriller roles as seen with Gamer and Law Abiding Citizen both in 2009. Law Abiding Citizen has to be one of my all time favourite movies, mainly because it takes a lot these days to keep me guessing and interested during your typical Thriller. Yet, not only did the twists during the movie keep me surprised but actually made me question my own views on a couple of important issues. Unfortunately, Butler has been struggling with several serious addictions and has been in and out of rehab for the last 2 years. However, I await with baited breath his next, sure to be, Blockbuster.

Hereafter (2010)
By Candice Ritchie, Film Editor


hen Hereafter begins, it is hard to know what the film is truly representing and what the storyline actually centres around. It opens when young, French journalist Marie (Cécile de France) is caught in the midst of the 2004 Asian Tsunami – Ok, a film about the after effects of the disaster? Wrong. Then comes two twelve year old twin boys, Marcus and Jason (Frankie and George McLaren), living in London with their alcoholic mother, and soon we are introduced to clairvoyant turned factory worker George (Matt Damon). At first, I was nothing but confused – how were these people’s lives intertwined? As the film progresses, we realise that all three groups have been affected by death in similar ways, and the story follows them as they deal with their issues of communicating with the dead. I know what you’re all thinking – Matt Damon as a clairvoyant? True, it is a far cry from Mr

Damon’s conventional role as action-hero (The Bourne series, the Ocean’s films), yet he plays the character of George with such sincerity; taking a real emotional grip on George’s past troubles and current issues. Not just a one-trick pony after all, eh? The McLaren boys are also excellent in what is their first ever movie-appearance, adopting acting traits that would be expected of those twice their age. Despite its initial confusion – and without giving too much away – the film becomes a tragic but heart-warming story about death and the ‘hereafter.’ In a world surrounded by doubt about whether an afterlife exists, Hereafter provides hope and solace for a possible reunion with loved ones. It communicates the idea that in finding the right psychic, we can communicate with a person whom we have lost. Expect a few tears, though - it is a truly touching film. But with Clint Eastwood as director, and executively produced by Steven Spielberg, we shouldn’t expect anything other than brilliance!

Whether you prefer Cannes, Hollywood or just your local Odeon, we are looking for you! Get involved and become part of The Stag, just by reviewing releases new, old or obscure. Get in touch through

Interested in films?

Lit Editor: Emily Smart | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery

The Stag |

16th January 2013



Banned books of 2012
By Emily Smart, Literature Editor s we enter 2013, I think it is the right time to take a look over the most popular books of 2012 which have been most challenged due to their controversial nature. Throughout the first week of October, American celebrated Banned Books Week; marking its 30th anniversary. According to The Charleston Gazette; the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, a record of over 10,000 books that have been challenged. To challenge a book, a written complaint must be issued requesting the text to be removed; usually from the academic curriculum or public libraries. The most requested books are usually those classed as children’s fiction, however this year there was a variety of genres on the list.



The top ten list included the very popular and extremely successful trilogy of 2012, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It was included following the complaints regarding its violence, insensitivity, offensive language, satanic mentioning and the list goes on. This was perhaps surprising considering its success in reaching the top ten while being enjoyed by many across the world and becoming a feature length film. The second surprise is the classic and well known story by Harper Lee Collins, To Kill a Mockingbird. This text is studied throughout education, ranging from GCSE to University level and is a text which many believe to help remove prejudice from a child’s mind at the early stages of education. However, it has been challenged due to its offensive and racial language. Other titles include Brave New World by Huxley being

sexually explicit, racist and for expressing a religious view point and My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide by Dori Hillestad Butler. This children’s book to help them through the process of their mother’s pregnancy was challenged for being unsuitable for its targeted age group, for containing nudity and for also being sexually explicit. Although the amount of challenges have vastly decreased from 762 titles reported in 1995, to 326 in 2011, there are still many titles which readers are finding fault with. What will 2013 bring? To see the full list of books banned in 2012 please visit

Find out if you have read one of the most challenged books of 2012

Lamb by Christopher Moore, reviewed
By Ankur Banerjee, Literature Team


antasy comedy writer Christopher Moore could not have picked a more controversial topic for his novel Lamb. Inspired by Soviet author Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita (which, in my opinion, is one of the best Soviet literary works because of its satirical nature), Lamb is a retelling of the life of Jesus Christ “through the eyes of his childhood pal, Biff”. The fictionalised account is a first-person narrative from the perspective of Biff who is brought back to life in the present day to write a gospel that tells the “whole story behind Jesus’s life”. This artistic license arises from the fact that gospels in the New Testament do not cover the early life of Jesus. I was also surprised to learn while reading the novel that much of the commonly held beliefs about

Nativity are, in fact, folklore that has been added in relatively modern times. The novel begins during Jesus’ childhood, tracing his journey as a teenager as he realises that he is the Son of God. As they grow up, Jesus and Biff depart on a spiritual journey that takes them across the world to study with three Magi, who incorporate a wizard living in Afghanistan, a Buddhist monk in China and a sage in India. The basis for this is the now mostly-debunked scholarly theory that Jesus travelled to or was otherwise influenced by Buddhism. Regardless, the novel borrows theology heavily from other religious texts such as the Torah (frequently quoted by the characters), the Gnostic Gospels, the Bhagavad Gita, and the works of Eastern sages such as Lao Tzu and Confucius. The overall tone – the closest

parallel I can think of is Monty Python’s The Life of Brian –is somewhat irreverent but at its core, the story is respectful of divinity of Jesus. The controversial aspect of the book arises from the fact that it considers both the fictional Biff and Mary Magdalene as close friends of Jesus, albeit it stops short of calling them apostles. Mary Magdalene, especially, as she plays the role of Jesus’ love interest. If you’re willing to look past this, Lamb is a rollickingly funny novel that still manages to give food for thought on what morals we should have as human beings. It depicts Jesus fighting demons, being on first name terms with a Roman legionnaire, rescuing sacrificial kids in India and making friends with a yeti. In the words of the author, the book has an answer to the ‘eternal’ question: “What if Jesus had known kung-fu?”

© DML East Branch


The Stag |

16th January 2013

The Dropout by David Gee
By Emily Smart, Literature Editor


riter David Gee’s newly published novel titled, The Dropout, is a book specifically aimed at you, the student. The story follows a recent dropout from Midlands University on a journey to find a job and more importantly, a girlfriend. The novel contains a whirlwind of issues ranging from a “problem vagina,” gay admirers and a desperate cougar to a public suicide after receiving rejection. Polari Magazine describes the novel as “a highly-absorbing, entertaining and ultimately satisfying read and one which I would unhesitantly

recommend.” The author behind this novel, David, originally allocated to the Methodist Mission Field, now resides just outside of Brighton. His other novels include Shaikh-Down, Jason Howl and The Bexhill Missile Crisis; which have all received great reviews. The Dropout is now available in paperback and as an eBook, however, if I have not encouraged you thus far to pick up a copy of your own, why not check out the two chapters which are uploaded to David’s website. See for more information.

Sophie Vickery discusses reading to smell
veryone can remember the scene: teacher hands out new text books and all the students eagerly open the pages to...smell them! We all know (and love) the smell of a new book. Even more strange is the nation’s love for old books. The library offers a world of nostalgic pleasures for the nose among its shelves of ageing paperbacks. So, why do we love the smell of books old and new? A team of chemists from University College London describe the old book smell as ‘grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness’; hardly a smell which sounds pleasurable and upon observing the science behind the smell, it’s appeal becomes even more irrational. Books are made with a variety of papers, inks, glues and fibres which react to heat, light and moisture. This releases odours which are then enhanced by other smells outside the covers such as cigarette smoke. The reality is that old books smell of death. Yet we still find ourselves leaning closer to the whiff of those yellowy pages. Perhaps it is the aura of the book itself; the smell shares the story’s mystery. Meanwhile, new book smell compliments its glossy front cover and crisp pages. The smells even hold the power to effect the reader’s persona; old book is smelt and we become transported to the past, making us feel like literary scholars. New book smell is smelt and we feel academic, organised and motivated to study. A books smell increases its value with a power to surpass its words and engage another sense. Meanwhile, this aids the paperback in its modern day battle with the non-smelling, plastic e-book.

David Gee’s new published novel, The Dropout - “a highly-absorbing, entertaining and ultimately satisfying read “

Novel offer for return of writer’s pet dog
By Emily Smart, Literature Editor

A quick lesson in speed poetry
By Shiri Shah, Literature Team What is your favourite smell of book - new or old?


rime novelist Dennis Lehane has become a bestselling author with several successful novels including Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone and many of his texts being transformed into films. However the writer has recently turned detective after losing his beagle, Tessa, on Christmas Eve. Despite being an everyday occurrence for many pet owners, Lehane's predicament has attracted a vast amount of media attention, which He

encouraged by offering a rather unusual reward for the return of his pet pooch. He promised that whoever returned Tessa would become a central character in his next novel. He stated that “I can't say whether it'd be a hero or a villain, but it'd be noticeable.” For avid crime fiction lovers and fans of Lehane, this reward is truly priceless. However, disappointment is setting in as there is still no sign of Tessa and the chances of her being found are shrinking.


peed poetry is poetry that has to be uttered in a small amount of time with another poet countering their own piece to each prior line. This bequeaths a continuous, fast rhythm while being performed which keeps the audience entranced by the lyrical improvisation. For example: Pizza. (30 second speed poetry) person 1) scourge of fine cuisine person 2)when you enter my pait person 1) my midriff explodes person 2) eloquent turpiloquence (source – Urban dictionary) If you have any ideas for speed poetry or want to get it going at the university then get in touch with The Stag!

The Stag’s own twitter fiction
Markting Deputy Editor, Becky Richmond continues this week with The Stag’s own Twitter fiction. Here is a reminded of the latest tweet: “I was trapped in a body that didn’t feel like
mine. What is this tail?! Where were my eyebrows and hands?! I needed a wizard or something... “

But this is real life, no wizards, I’m running from real life problems. Money, friends, love. Too much of some and too little of others.

© Peter Gasston


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Becky Worley interviews Sam and The Womp


By Becky Worley, Music Editor


am and the Womp brought some crazy womping sound to the Students Union in 2012, filling the dance floor with bass and trumpets; a unique sound which creates their atmosphere of fun pop made for dancing to. The Stag caught up with the elusive band to find out a little more about them. The Stag: Hey, thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for The Stag newspaper. Recently you performed at our students union (Surrey University). How was the experience? Do you feel a different atmosphere performing to students?

Sam and the Womp: We loved playing at the uni and know that students have a good idea how to party! We enjoy playing to all audiences especially those up for getting their dancing shoes on! TS: What can people expect from your live performances? S&W: Our live show is very energetic with full 7 piece band. Sam’s trumpet leads the party with lady Oo’s delicious vocals and skanking keys. With full power brass section and Aaron Audio Womping the synth backed by impressive drummer and bassist to keep you constantly moving. TS: What is your favourite





S&W: ‘Bom Bom’ is amazing to perform live as the audience all sing along and that is very special. We are loving our current outro at the moment- are you partial to some drum and bass? TS: What has been your favourite venue to perform in? S&W: We loved playing at The plug in Sheffield and at the beginning of our uni tour. We feel at home playing festivals and loved playing at Club Dada in Glastonbury last year. TS: Your music has a very fun sound, what other artists influence your song writing?

S&W: We have a broad spectrum of influences from The Skatalites to Knife Party, Goran bregovic to Roots Manuva, Tom Waits to Will Smith, Louis Armstrong to Dizzee Rascal! TS: Give three reasons why our readers should go out and buy your album when it’s released. S&W: Well our album will be out next year - it’s gonna be a Summer Dance Massive Eclectic Brass, Bass and Beats infested Monster to make your heart dance and fall in love with us forever! Is that 3 reasons? TS: What has been the most embarrassing moment when performing live?

S&W: Most embarrassing moment was when we blew the speakers up on our warm up show at Glastonbury and had to play without power! But everyone kept on dancing to the brass n drums for a good 10 minutes! WOMPING x TS: What exactly is the ‘Womp’? S&W: The Womp is the sound the bass makes- visualise it ! It’s the space between the bass and your face. To do the ‘Womp’ dance Embrace the bass! Bring your hands towards your chest then extend your arms with the music then back to the chest!

Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann

The Stag |

16th January 2013



The Stag interviews:

Cosmo Jarvis
By Shiri Shah, Music Team Upcoming indie singer/song writer/director/actor and man of all things wonderful, Cosmo “Harrison” Jarvis, performed an entertaining and capturing set at the Boiler Room, a local, quirky music bar with an oasis of a smoking area and bar staff who brightens your day right up. The venue is a vibrant and quaint place, decorated with alternative and vintage posters; it is very intimate and friendly with the advantage of a low stage which allows close contact for those lucky fans. His set was rhythmic and had everyone swaying; his husky voice is quite soothing with deep meaning behind his lyrics and powerful instrumentals. The songs performed were the full things, not just snippets and “Gay Pirates” (a favourite among fans, and a song which was awarded a thumb up and a tweet from Stephen Fry) made the crowd go even wilder than before. I had the opportunity to talk to him after his set for a while over a cigarette and my note book. The Stag: How are you? How’s performing in Guildford been? Cosmo Jarvis: I’m alright thanks; I really like performing here, the venue has a lot of protocol on the walls, it’s kinda weird and I’ve been playing at a lot of venues. But everyone here was really cool, they gave us curry and everything – there’re a lot of students around here, isn’t it? TS: Well we are a student town. (We both laugh) Steven Fry tweeted great things about your song “gay pirates” and posted a link for all to see. How did that make you feel? CJ: It was so great, obviously I’m a big fan of his, I was pretty honoured that he even watched it. That made me feel really, really, really good so, thank you, Steven Fry! [laughs] TS: You’ve also played alongside Muse and Gym Class Heroes. How was that experience for you? CJ: I didn’t meet them, but the show was great even though my now ex-bass player threw the show pretty much. He knew he was going to be my ex bass player so just decided to ruin it. It threw me off and effed up the gig for me but everyone really enjoyed it. It was a show in Tinmouth, tens of thousands of people were there so it was pretty heavy and vital that it was a good show – and thankfully it was. Gym Class heroes didn’t really mix with the support acts, they kept themselves to themselves and seemed like cool guys. The experience was

Why I love...
By Alan Hughes, Music Team For those who are unfamiliar with LA art-rockers Warpaint, think the xx with more women. Think 60s Motown girl groups with more reverb and teen angst. 3 songs into Warpaint’s debut full-length album The Fool, you suddenly wake from the lull created by the slightly slow, meandering tracks and notice that the girls’ beautiful voices are chanting “Now I’ve got you in the Undertow...”. And they have. Warpaint are a band whose songs lure you in like sirens with their shimmering vocals and echoey guitars, before trapping you with musical complexity and catchy, nay unforgettable, melodies. Currently formed of joint lead guitarists/frontwomen Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman, bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg and drummer Stella Mozgawa, the band claim to have formed on Valentine’s Day 2004. They released their debut EP Exquisite Corpse in December 2007 (mastered by Red Hot Chilli Peppers legend John Frusciante) and followed this with fulllength album The Fool in October 2010, both to critical acclaim. In my opinion, while the former is the more musically diverse collection, it lacks the cohesion of The Fool, where the songs follow each other beautifully without becoming repetitive. As their pseudo-cover of the Smokey Robinson classic My Guy (entitled Billie Holiday, from EP Exquisite Corpse) shows, the girls are always pushing new boundaries, effortlessly able to turn classics into something truly their own. The song consists of a softly picked acoustic guitar and the letters “B.I.L.L.I.E.H.O.L.I.D.A.Y” chanted in a tantalising melody, before segueing into My Guy (but not quite My Guy). The song creeps up on you, and before you know it your ears are surrounded by crashing drums and cascading 3-part harmonies. The highlight of The Fool is undoubtedly its debut single, the aforementioned Undertow. Lyrically challenging (“Nobody has to find out/What’s in my mind tonight”) and musically captivating, it follows the pattern of many Warpaint songs by starting slowly and dragging you in. Yet the combination of the staccato, off-rhythm guitar intro, melodic bassline and enchanting vocals ensure that this stands out as one of the best songs of the year, and a jewel in the crown of The Fool. Their recent appearance at Bestival, which I was fortunate enough to attend, showcased some of the new material from their eagerly awaited 2nd album. Like much of their catalogue, it was difficult to get a grasp of the intricacies and complexities of their new songs upon a first listen, but this only increased my appetite for the album’s release, scheduled for next year. However, Bestival certainly didn’t show Warpaint at their finest due to its very nature – a large festival on a beautiful sunny day, when the girls’ ethereal sound is far better suited to the kind of small, dark, intimate venue I saw them play in 2011, perhaps the finest gig I’ve ever attended. Warpaint, with their hypnotic, swaying melodies and simply gorgeous three-part harmonies - not to mention accomplished musicianship – are not yet the finished product. But if they can maintain the same sort of quality and inventiveness in their next few records, they are a band you’ll be hearing a lot more about.

a good one because it got more people to know about my music. TS: Who are your main influences? CJ: Everything; everything and everything; you heard my reggae tonight played just after an acoustic set. I like to incorporate all the music that I enjoy into my work. TS: What has been your favourite live performance? CJ: I played this gig in Newcastle, I can’t remember the name of the venue but it was cool, the sound there was awesome and everything went so well. TS: You were born in America, have you toured there? Is it different to the UK? CJ: I’ve done a few shows in Texas and New York. It’s such a massive place to it’s hard to crack your way in there, the sound and material is good but you can’t help but feel like a prat for putting your all into a show where you’re performing for around 6 people. The vibes between the UK and USA are incomparable, really, I feel so much more acknowledged and appreciated over here. I put my all into my work and I think that the message behind it is more important than anything else.

Cosmo Jarvis’s new album Think Bigger and new movie The Naughty Room is out for sale. For more information on him please go to his website

nickpckles ©

Mia Kirby ©


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Album Review: Arc by Everything Everything

¡Dos! the second Greenday album live up to the hype?
By Tanya Noronha, Music Team Greenday have followed through on that considerable promise. Between September and December of 2012, they managed to release not one, not two, but three albums in short succession, each with a completely different feel. Where ¡Uno! perhaps felt a little like a warm up, ¡Dos! feels like a party. The album is full of heavy drum beats, song titles along the lines of ‘Makeout Party’ and ‘Wild One’, and it makes you want to turn up the volume until you irritate everyone you live with. ‘F**k Time’ shows off Greenday at their edgy best. The clean riffs and simple beat mean the track stays in your head for several hours after you’ve heard it. ‘Nightlife’, also, stands out, based on the fact that it shows yet another side to Greenday. It’s one of the darker tracks on the album, atmospheric and tense. It features Lady Cobra (the lead singer of Mystic Nights of the Cobra) rapping the verses, and her input to both this song and to her own, separate track later on the album, take this record in a slightly new direction, which isn’t a bad thing. Final track ‘Amy’ is also a touching tribute to Amy Winehouse, and rounds off the record nicely, as it’s by far the most thoughtful, chilled tune of them all. As with ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! has charm, and it has a couple of tracks which are exceptional. It definitely builds on the good work of the previous album, but ¡Tré! will have to work wonders to ensure that nobody accuses Greenday of quantity, not quality, in terms of new material. The issue with releasing three albums in short succession is keeping the music original, and with a back catalogue as impressive as Greenday’s, being innovative is tough. Tracks such as ‘Ashley’ and single ‘Stray Heart’ are catchy, but they don’t do much that the band hasn’t done before. That said, the album is a good soundtrack to a fast drive down the motorway, a house party, or a long session at the gym, because as a whole it’s still well worth a listen.

By Becky Worley, Music Editor


f you like your indie pop music, then Everything Everything is the band to look out for in 2013 with their new album out on January 14th. The quirky, upbeat new single ‘Cough Cough’ first bought the band Everything Everything to my attention. Although boasting a debut album which was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2011, an appearance at Radio 1’s big weekend as well as supporting Snow Patrol in the same year, I hadn’t heard anything by them. Which I soon found out was a travesty on my part, because when I listened to the new single ‘Cough Cough’ for the first time, I couldn’t stop pressing repeat. The sound of coughing actually features in the track which, although it may seem repulsive, actually weirdly works, adding to the irregular beat which runs underneath lead singer Jonathan Higgs’ sometimes ethereal, sometimes punchy vocals. This is definitely a song to be turned up loud and sung along to, especially as the lyrics are brilliant. Seemingly about the frustration of society and capitalism which forgets living life for life instead of money: “Yeah you’re ravenous; you’re champing at the bit. Just a cog next to a cog next to a pit. I would burn to break

away and waste my years: No more ladder no more solace in arrears.” A message which I think resonates with many of us Uni goers, looking to the bleak working world with perhaps not much hope (unless that’s just me). As the The Who would say, they’re just talking about their generation. My favourite thing about it though, is how the song chops and changes the beat and vocals for a really unique sound without losing continuity. It’s definitely a promising single to release to introduce the new album ‘Arc’. ‘Arc’, with a lot to live to, does the job nobly. The second single to be released, ‘Kemosabe’, really makes use of Jonathon Higgs’ vocal range, reaching notes most choir boys would be proud of, with plenty of bass from Jeremy Pritchard to balance it out. ‘Torso of the Week’ adds a more guitary, rock sound to the equation, but without losing any of the indie pop style which makes them such easy listening. ‘Feet for Hands’ is another cracker as well at the album title song ‘Arc’. So, I am well and truly sold on this band. This February, Everything Everything are touring with the new album songs, hopefully live they add a new dimension to an already inspired album, catapulting this band into deserved indie stardom.

SEASFIRE 'We Will Wake' EP
By Ankur Banerjee, Music Team Bristol-based band SEASFIRE first made a splash early last year with their track Falling. They are back, this time with an EP release titled We Will Wake. The eponymous track We Will Wake has a quality that is at once eerily disturbing and soothing. Much of that quality is replicated across other tracks in the EP – Human Sacrifice and Undone in particular stood out for me – which all conjure the imagery of a fever dream. The band has said it's not rushing to produce an album any time soon, which is good because they produced this tightly-focused EP instead.

First music video shot entirely on Instagram
By Ankur Banerjee, Music Team


he first I heard of Mexico City-based band The Plastics Revolution was when they released their music video for single Invasión last year in December – which they claimed was the “first music video ever to be shot entirely using Instagram”. Well, not quite. This becomes apparent when you watch the music video, as in one scene the shots are underwater. Turns out it was shot on a DSLR as a series of 1905 still shots, imported onto an iPhone, edited using Instagram and then finally stitched together into a video. I don’t buy the claim that this is the first ever music video to

be formed from Instagram shots. This is a technique that has been used by at least three other artists that I know: Father Tiger’s Shell, Ellie Goulding’s Anything Could Happen, and (most prominently) The Vaccines’ Wetsuit. Each of these were produced by stitching together thousands of fancontributed Instagram shots. It’s a trick that’s a win-win for everyone but one that’s sure to get dated once the novelty factor wears off: fans get a fuzzy warm feeling to get a shot at having their pictures incorporated into the work of an artist they like; video directors get to cheaply produce a music video that at first look is visually different from other music videos; and artists gain additional press buzz for attempting “something

through social media”. What works nicely for The Plastics Revolution music video though it was designed with the development process in mind. I expected the music video to be gimmicky...but it does actually look visually stunning. Using still photographs gives it the quality of a stop-motion animation film, with the characters in it appearing to move around jerkily like clay dolls. This ties in well the ‘story’ of the music video too as its about a guy dream about his lover, which complements the cutesy tones of the track. Sadly, the rest of their album – titled King Bono vs Los Flight Simulators – is nothing to write home about.

Do you love music? If so, why not write for the Music section of The Stag. Email Becky at for more information

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Societies Editor: Shalini Thondrayen | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann

The Stag |

16th January 2013



2013: The Year Of The Boob
By Jess Blake, CoppaFeel! UniS Boob Team Leader a much better position to notice any changes if they do arise in appy New Year to you all! So, the future and demand further how many of your resolutions investigation from your doctor. are still going strong? If you’ve Breast cancer is still very rare in young people, but CoppaFeel! snuck in a cookie when no one are on a mission to stamp out late was looking, or missed a few gym sessions already, I have an idea detection and misdiagnosis, so that will reinstate your faith once please do your bit and give those again in self-control… boobies some attention! This semester, CoppaFeel! Just once a month, while UniS Boob Team have a lot in store you’re washing your bits and bobs for you, so keep a look out for in the shower, give your boobs our giant boobs around campus! the once over. It’s simple. You don’t have to know exactly what There will be more cake sales, a you’re looking or feeling for, just Valentine’s Day treat, a Boob Ball get to know what they’re like Tournament and lots more, not to mention some of us taking part in normally and make it a habit of the Bath Half Marathon (turns out a lifetime! That way, you’ll be in training after consuming copious amounts at Christmassy feasts is harder than you think!). If you would like to get involved, please like our Facebook page for regular updates (www., follow us on twitter (@ UniSBoobTeam) or send us an email (ussu.coppafeel@surrey. for more information! And don’t forget, for your totally FREE monthly SMS reminder, you can text SURREY to 70500 - so there’s no excuse for breaking, what could be, your most worthwhile New Year’s resolution this year!

Too hot, too spicy? Hot! Hot! HOT!
By Fiona Buckland, VP Culinary Society


et again, things are hotting up in the Culinary Kitchen, but there’s no need to call the fire-brigade. These flames are chilli. Chilli con Carne that is! Our chefs were feeling hot, hot, hot when they rolled in from the chilly weather to the Living Room on the 20th November. Our very own Rory Miles was on fire, cooking up his chilli extravaganza. Now if your attempt at this delicious dish was chilli con carnage, or you are in desperate need of a hearty, full-flavoured winter warmer, we have got help for you! All it takes is two simple ingredients: chilli and meat. Sounds complex, eh? That may sound just as exciting as ‘meatballs and veg’ (insert strong Yorkshire accent here), but there are plenty of witty ways to spice it up! Chuck in some plump peppers, diced onions, tasty tomatoes, copious cups of kidney beans - because they’re cheap, wholesome and filling - and even cumin and chocolate if you want a ‘sweet n smoky’ slant to it. And it only takes 30 minutes to prep and cook! Bish, bash, bosh. Tasty nosh! If you think you can handle the heat, then join our Facebook page by searching for ‘University of Surrey Culinary Society’ or email us on to keep up to date with this hot societies’ upcoming events!

Me and my boob.


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Jazz Orchestra Gig & Barbershop Battle

LGBT: Arts Night
By Alexandra Wilks, Editor


University of Surrey’s Jazz Orchestra in full swing. he University of Surrey Jazz Orchestra played deep into the night on Tuesday 4th December. The band played a varied and eclectic set - from well-known standards to ‘feel-good’ tunes. Recently formed in early October, with the addition of talented musicians from across campus, the band played with confidence, maturity and a real conviction for the music they played. A true highlight of the evening was the barbershop ‘sing-off,’ featuring the Rupert Road Rude Bois and....The Fourmen. The standard of this epic battle was high, featuring traditional four-part-harmony to popular songs of the nightclub (enter Calvin and Taio). The Fourmen stole the show with their pop-song mashup and left Wates House victorious! Overall, the night was an incredible success, not least for music students Amy Le Rossignol and Jimmy Whitcher, who both wrote pieces for the orchestra to play. ‘Tight, jazzy and very snazzy!’ We have lots on the agenda for the New Year, so make sure you don’t miss out! By George Stewart, Jazz Orchestra President


ppleseed has become a microcosm of cool on Campus. There’s always something exciting going on, like Liam Bell’s book signing last summer, but Arts Night on 4th December took things to the next level. Arts Night was a brilliant collaboration between the LGBT + Society and Appleseed bookshop, and it was unlike anything that has come to Surrey before. The first thing I noticed when I stepped into the shop on the night was just how different it looked. The organisers (Stephanie Davies, Katherine Hubbard, Frankie Stein and Clare Butler) had completely revamped the place and it was lit by vintage lamps and fairy lights. Bunting adorned the walls, along with innovative and beautiful art work. There was a table covered in zines, and even a cute rug. It looked amazing - plus the wine and nibbles were very welcome! The night kicked off with three academic speakers; particularly engaging and very funny was Churnjeet Mahn’s talk ‘Lesbians: Commodity and Censorship’. Mahn is always enjoyable to listen to and this talk was no exception. There was a short interval after the academic speakers, allowing the audience to check out some of the art. I found Paul Knight’s collection of photographs particularly interesting; from the first day Paul met his partner Peter in 2009 he began taking photos of their time together. The photographs are an intimate and frank look at a relationship, some are funny, some are cute

and some are just downright dirty, but all are moving and resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love. After the break, we reconvened to hear some poetry, including a reading from Surrey’s Poet-in-Residence, Stephen Mooney. Mooney’s poetry is very different from the stereotype, it’s a million miles away from the stuffy, rhyming couplet type stuff we’ve become used to and I thoroughly enjoyed his reading. The best was saved until last though. Frankie Stein ended the night with a mind blowing acoustic performance. Frankie is one of the most exciting artists I’ve heard in Surrey, or really anywhere. S/he has this wonderful melancholic fragility to hir voice, but by ‘fragile’ s/he is by no means weak. Hir voice sent shivers down my spine. I would implore you to check out hir music because there’s no one quite like hir. Hir lyrical talent is formidable, and s/he obviously knows what s/he’s doing with a guitar. Beautiful. An amazing event from Appleseed and LGBT + and a massive well done to the organisers!

MADSoc wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
By Laurence Williams


fter an already successful term under our belt, this year’s MADSoc is ready to celebrate the nonapocalypse by offering you some great goodies this new semester! Last term saw the campus plastered in smiley faces for the highly-acclaimed, sell-out original production ‘You’ve Been Tagged’, as well as a huge variety of flash-mobs and fundraisers. Adding to this was MADSoc’s participation alongside many other fantastic art societies in the hugely successful Surrey Arts Live. But this term, things are about to take a turn. First up, running right through exam period, we have more drama and creative writing workshops; the bar has been set and with new games, challenges and styles, these workshops promise to be the perfect break from revision. In February, we have our 24HOUR PLAY in which an entire show will be conceived, written, directed and performed in the space of

one day. A brilliant experience for all involved and a superb forerunner to the upcoming performance of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in March. Set in the swinging 60s, this naughty comedy will be a great way to welcome spring. Following this will be MADSoc’s Variety Show, in which we shall showcase all the musical, dancing and comedic talent MADSoc has to offer in one night of hilarity - the perfect send off before the Easter holidays. The Variety Show will also showcase one other thing: a preview of MADSoc’s upcoming May Musical, ‘The Witches of Eastwick’. With auditions in February, keep your eyes peeled for this award-winning, blockbuster musical full of frights, sex and show-stopping numbers that guarantee to put you under our spell. Before all that, come on down to LTA every Tuesday night for our laidback drama workshops at 6.30pm, or TB19 on Sundays at 2pm for our relaxing creative writing workshops. Come along, you do not want to miss out!

Societies Editor: Shalini Thondrayen | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann

The Stag |

16th January 2013



Litsoc’s Christmas Party and Poetry Reading
By Clowance Lawton


itsoc’s last event of 2012 was an outstanding success! Held at the Stoke Pub and Pizzeria, the Christmas party and poetry reading was a merry evening, where students and lecturers alike were entertained by both the witty and dramatic performances given by all. Additionally, we were fortunate enough to enjoy the pleasure of being read to by lecturers Paul

Vlitos and Heidi Lunig, as well as the university’s poet in residence Steven Mooney, who greatly amused the audience with extracts from their work. Moreover, as the evening progressed, students who had previously been adverse to reading found themselves taking part. Athina Christou (second year, English Literature student) comments, ‘I really didn’t think I’d want to read, I just came to see the society but after seeing how easy it

was I ended up reading part of the Ning Nang Nong! Hopefully more people will get involved in the new year’. This jam-packed night saw the pub filled with over fifty people who enjoyed good food, drink and company, and needless to say there was very little left of the free pizza and buffet which was kindly provided for the evening by the staff. Shiromi Bedessee (second year English Literature student) said ‘it

was so good to have such a relaxed atmosphere! I was so impressed with the turnout of Litfolk and outer society people – everyone was so involved. The lecturers were great and everyone did a fab job of expressing the material they chose. Many thanks to the team at the Stoke for their signature pizza and welcome.’ 2012 was a great year for the departmental society; it achieved its highest number of members to

date, saw the involvement of more and more university staff and most importantly saw a dramatic increase in the regularity and popularity of social and academic events. Litsoc continues to grow and go from strength to strength. 2013 looks to be no exception with an abundance of exciting events in store for the New Year. For more information on up and coming events join the Litsoc facebook page.

Sport Editor: Anna Giles | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming

The Stag |

16th January 2013



A Geek tries... Just Jhoom!
By Adam Lodowski, Sports Team



ot that I’m trying to impress you but apparently I have particularly excellent lotus hands, and let me tell you, I am the king of screwing in light bulbs. I don’t mean any of this literally of course, they’re all terms in the latest dance fitness craze to sweep the country, Just Jhoom! (The exclamation mark is part of the name I’m not just really over excited throughout this article). You’ve probably heard of Zumba which is South American Latin dance combined with aerobics to create a fitness class. Just Jhoom! is very similar, but it’s Bollywood dance combined with aerobics. The motions are all forms of traditional dance and the soundtrack is taken from modern Bollywood films and contemporary British music. Indian British music that is, you don’t whip out some Bhangra moves to One Direction’s latest hit (although that is a good idea…). Unsurprisingly the last thing I expected to be doing on my final afternoon before heading home for Christmas was learning Indian dance, but it was surprisingly fun. The moves were relatively easy to pick up and they all have nice easy names so you know what you’re doing. Our instructor, Heidi, went over it plenty of times as well and I had it by the end… Kindof. Two moves. ‘Rising Sun,’ where you spread your arms in a circle outward and ‘Setting Sun’ where you bring them back in again. Two simple moves god dammit and I must have mixed them up over 100 time. I’m not a natural dancer by any means; picture Russell Grant when he was on Strictly, then

imagine him wearing roller skates and you’ve got it about right. It didn’t help that I decided to do the high impact version. The instructor clearly said “I’ll be doing the high impact workout but feel free to tone it down, particularly if you’re a beginner” but my pride got in the way. I was the only guy in there so some masculine part of my brain kicked in and told me I couldn’t wimp out. That was an enormous mistake. This seems to be something I write every time but it wasn’t long before I was a complete mess! My rising sun had turned into a damp squib. Then to add insult to injury I noticed an elderly lady who looked to be in her 70s or 80s was doing the whole thing perfectly and without even breaking a sweat. Now I don’t want to undersell the class here. It was a bloody good workout, most of us were in our 20s and we still found ourselves running to our water bottles every break but, oh no, not this lady. Calm as anything she just carried on stretching! I’ve never done a dance fitness class before and while I still haven’t found my talent, yet again I found myself actually enjoying exercise. When I first got steps wrong I kept looking around to catch people sniggering but it was a really nice atmosphere, nobody really cared that I looked like a toddler dancing at a wedding, or if they did they were nice enough not to say anything out loud! It’s definitely something I’d recommend trying out, particularly if you’re a fan of Zumba and other fitness classes. You can try out Just Jhoom! at the Sports Park on a Thursday at 12:15pm which is free if you have a student membership so there’s nothing to lose!

The latest fitness craze?
Just Jhoom! is a new Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness workout which marries aerobics and Bollywood dancing (drawing on a range of dance styles from classical Indian to Bhangra with dashes of hip-hop, jive and jazz). It is energetic, fun and very tonguein-cheek – all set to the latest Bollywood tracks. It suits people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. In one class you can have an 18 year old, Jhooming side by side with a 70 year old The class starts with exercises to warm you up from your eyes to the tips of your toes. The routines then get faster and faster, increasing your heartbeat until you are working to your limit (which varies from person to person). Gradually your heartbeat is then brought down and the class finishes with a yoga-inspired stretch session. A unique aspect of Just Jhoom! is the use of hand gestures– namely flag, fist, bee and lotus – which get people exercising their hands. Each exercise has a unique name – sunshine, bumbling bees, waterfall lunge – all invoking the sights and sounds of India. Fitness benefits of Just Jhoom!: Complete workout: Just Jhoom! is a complete mind and body workout – exercising everything from your eyes, to the tips of your toes and your hands. Just Jhoom! benefits proprioception, hand and eye co-ordination, and flexibility, as well as increasing general fitness levels. Burning fat and toning stomach muscles: Dancing, in general, is a great way to burn fat and tones muscles. Thanks to the isolations, hip movements, twisting, turning and bends involved with Just Jhoom! routines, this latest trend in exercise is also great for toning the core and flattening the stomach. Just Jhoom! also contains yogainspired body stabilising and flexibility exercises which help in lengthening and strengthening the torso – and hence toning the stomach. Toning the upper body: The arm movements in Just Jhoom! means that the arms are constantly used – from the shoulders to the tips of the fingers,helping with toning the upper body and improving posture. Developing balance: Just Jhoom! contains exercises and steps to help with balance – over time in classes, people have noticed their balance improving. Burning Calories: In a Just Jhoom! fitness class you will typically burn between 450-500 calories per hour. Depending on your fitness level and learning style you can choose from 3 formats of Just Jhoom! • Just Jhoom! Fitness is a fast, energetic class which moves from routine to routine in quick succession – the emphasis is on dancing – with no need to remember the choreography. • Just Jhoom! Cardio Dance is a non-stop dance aerobics class – where the emphasis is on getting the heart rate up and working up a sweat! • Just Jhoom! Dance is a more technique based class where people can take more time learning steps and performance skills. For further information visit: email or call 01483 271059

For more information about Adam’s experience at Just Jhoom! read his interview with Heidi Harris, the class instructor. Get down to SSP to try it for yourselves as an exam stress-relieving treat!


The Stag |

16th January 2013

Surrey Men’s Football

Men’s 1s vs. Reading
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team


he 21st November saw the men’s first football team faced with another game against University of Readings first team, this time in the league. Playing a four four two rather than the usual four three three. Looking to avenge the defeat in the recent cup fixture against Reading, Surrey was fairly slow out of the blocks. However, neither side particularly dominated the early exchanges possibly due to the heavy rain making it difficult to control and keep hold of the ball. Reading struck first as they scored what can only be described as a screamed, with an outrageous free kick from about 35 yards. Despite Surrey looking far more defensively sound than in previous games, Reading scored again. This time with a quick break from a Surrey corner. Surrey also looked better going forward but Reading

defended well limiting the home side to shots from distance and half chances from corners. Surrey again started slowly at the beginning of the second half. Reading went 3-0 up when a cross from the left back travelled across the box before bouncing into the goal off the far post. Through the early part of the second half Reading controlled the game well, keeping the ball without really creating any clear-cut chances. They scored their fourth two thirds of the way through the second half. It involved a neat through ball, beating the back line and being slotted into the corner of the goal by the striker. Despite the poor result there were some upsides to the game for Surrey. The front two, Ben Elgar and Paul Platt, combined well on numerous occasions but were unable to score any goals. They also looked more comfortable playing four four two and having the two up top did make them look more dangerous going forward.

Beckham’s next career move
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team


avid Beckham has announced that he will be leaving LA

Accusations against Mark Clattenberg finally proved false
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team

Galaxy, his current club in the MLS, at the end of this season when his contract runs out. This has obviously led to mass debate on where he may go next, as Beckham has made it clear he wants to continue playing. Of course Beckham does not have the physical ability to go back and play at the top level on a weekly basis. Or at least you would think he could not, he is now in his late thirties. However, he has kept his conditioning very good for a player of his age. Many clubs could come in for him; he will probably make cost of his wages back in shirt sales and the like. He

may look back and learn from his previous experiences. He signed his contract at LA Galaxy 6 months before he left Real Madrid. In those last six months Beckham played some of his best football and proved that he did still have enough to play at the top level in Europe. He is one of the few players in the world who are followed by fans, regardless of what club he is playing at. He is a truly global superstar, and he represents something far more than football. His star status is what makes him loved by people all over the country, and not just people who love football. There are whispers of a possible move to Paris St Germain but he is unlikely to get much game time if that happens. David Beckham has stressed he wants one final challenge and that’s why a move to Australia is far more likely in my opinion. It is something new and a challenge, and it would also give Beckham a chance to grow his brand somewhere new, and that could well be the decisive factor in where he chooses to go.

Just Jhoom!


s I have written about previously, in Octorber, Chelsea Football Club accused referee Mark Clattenberg of racially abusing their players during a home loss against Manchester United. This was two counts, one of which was dropped and one which has now been found by the FA to be false. Clattenberg was then cleared and reinstated to referee Premier League games. There are multiple factors that need to be looked at in reference to this. Firstly, should Clattenberg go after some kind of retribution? At the time of writing Chelsea have yet to apologise for their false accusation. Now, bearing in mind that the club properly went after Mark Clattenberg, you would think this could be the least they could do. They not only went after Mark Clattenberg on a professional

level, accusing him of not being capable of doing his job, they went after him as a human being. They accused him of something that is seen as fundamentally wrong and corrupt in society – a racist. In my opinion, Chelsea should not be able to get away with this. Already, John Obi Mikel has been charged by the FA for his role as the accuser in the whole saga. Yet, it must not be forgotten that Chelsea executives Ron Gourlay and Bruce Buck were the ones to lead the accusations. It seems they will be let off completely. They attacked Mark Clattenberg with a completely false accusation and they made his life extremely difficult. This is something that hopefully the FA can address in some shape or form. However, with the complex and twisted power structures that are present in football in the Premier League means this is highly unlikely, probably not even possible.

An interview with Heidi Harris
By Adam Lodowski, Sports Team


fter our Just Jhoom! class, the instructor, Heidi Harris, was kind enough to sit down with me and do a quick interview about what it’s like to be a dance fitness instructor. A: Hi Heidi, phew! I didn’t realise Bollywood dance was going to be such a good workout! H: (laughs) yes, people often say that, particularly after their first class. We mix up the dance with a lot of traditional aerobics moves so everyone gets the best workout. Have you ever seen a Bollywood film? It’s certainly energetic! A: The same could be said of you. You never stopped talking or bouncing once. How do you stay so passionate and motivational for the whole class?

H: I’m not really sure but coffee helps! Most of the time it’s not a problem, but occasionally, like anyone, I can struggle to get out of bed. Cheesy as it sounds though the second I’m in the studio and I hear the music it wakes me up and I’m back to my usual bouncy self. A: Dancing like that everyday must really take it out of you. H: It’s fine most of the time but on a Monday I teach classes all morning from 8am and spend my afternoon teaching children in a local school. With an evening class as well I don’t finish Jhooming until nearly 10pm! A: There’s a lot of very active people at the University of Surrey who might like to become a fitness instructor when they graduate. How did you get into it? H: I pretty much just fell into it to be honest! I studied dance at university and moved to Guildford soon after. I tried out a few Just Jhoom! classes and

then completely out of the blue I was asked to join Va Va Jhoom!, the Just Jhoom! performance squad. I did that for a few months before the founder of Just Jhoom! personally asked me to train as an instructor. That was in 2010 and I haven’t looked back since! A: that’s fantastic! So is this something you want to do permanently or do you have any plans for the future? H: It may sound a bit odd for a fitness instructor but I absolutely love baking! Probably not the healthiest hobby but I’d love to become a chef or run cookery classes. I’ve always found nutrition interesting, particularly creating healthy alternatives to some guilty pleasures. Shameless plug but check out Nutridance on Twitter where I post some of my favourite recipes. A: Thank you for your time.

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