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Issue 56 – Wednesday 27th February 2013
Check out the Section Editors’ #MyEmbarrassingMoments and get involved on Twitter
NEWS Two band members killed at G Live when a metal door falls while preparing for a concert... Page 4 UNION Union chair Charlie Eastaugh gives a behind the scenes look at Surrey Decides... Page 6 FEATURES Were you spotted for University of Surrey’s street style? Turn to Page 11 to find out! SCIENCE & TECH Are you an avid “app” fan? Have a peek at Science & Tech’s new “App Corner”... Page 16 DANCE & THEATRE Tiffany Stoneman provides insight into stewarding for the BBC... Page 18 MUSIC Foals fans should read the review on their latest album ‘Holy Fire’ ... Page 29 SPORT Win tickets to Surrey Heat! Just answer the simple question on the back page ... Page 36
Next week is International Festival Week! See the centrespread tional nterna I l for more information on the ationa Intern l ationa fantastic upcoming activities Intern
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The newly elected Sabbs, minus Tom Windibank (VP Welfare), from left to right James Lovell (VP Sports and Recreation), Maz Hussien (VP Societies), Em Bollon (President) and Priya Jhand (VP Education)
President - Em Bollon VP Education - Priya Jhand VP Welfare - Tom Windibank VP Societies and Individual Development - Maz Hussien VP Sports and Recreation - James Lovell Union Chair - Hannah Waterhouse Events and Trading Officer - Peter Smeed Communications Officer - Alex Smith Ethics and Environment Officer - Ian Kugler Community Officer - Kieran Smith Equality and Diversity Officer - Taku Parvin Postgraduate Development Officer Chris Dighton International Development Officer Calvin Jor Editor in Chief - Andy Smith RAG Chair - Dannah Dionisio
• Results are in from Union elections with 3,233 • Em Bollon, current VP Societies, wins the role votes cast this year of President
By Rachel Thomason, News Editor
urrey students have voted for their next team to run the Students’ Union next year with an increased voting turnout to the previous year. In total, 3,233 students voted
in this year’s elections with a total of 2,733 votes cast for the role of President. Nominations closed on Monday 11th February with 32 candidates being put forward for the fifteen positions. The following week saw the candidates launch their campaigns
to secure your votes with banners and flyers appearing all around the university. Question Time ran for three consecutive evenings in Chancellors from Sunday 17th February to Tuesday 19th February which allowed students to question candidates on
why they should have your vote. Across the three days, StagTV’s live streaming of the event was watched by over 2,000 people who tuned in to the broadcasts. Voting finally opened on Continued on page 3...
The Stag |
27th February 2013
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My most embarassing moment is really quite awful.... Basically, when I was 17 I went out drinking with my friends. I was rather inebriated and I was being carried over a bridge near my house by a boy I had a serious eye on. He was tickling me, and I hate being tickled. Essentially, my bladder exploded. I pissed myself. On him. He dropped me to the floor, appalled. He was in my Theatre Studies class at college, and the next day I rocked up at college, hungover with a coffee in hand. My teacher asked me if I needed the toilet... I looked at her blankly. And then everyone burst out laughing. For the rest of college I was known as the girl who pissed herself on Rupert W. So, Rupert, I am eternally sorry for covering you in my golden shower.
At the tender age of 14, when even blowing your nose in public is embarrassing, something terrible happened to me. I’d just like to point out that it was the god-awful fashion statement of 12-inch-wide flared jeans that was the cause of the disaster (and is possibly the most embarrassing element of this whole story). Mum had asked me to buy some milk or stamps or cotton wool or something equally as unnecessary while she waited in the car, and asked me to be quick so she didn’t get a parking ticket. So I ran off, as a good daughter should. Unfortunately, half way up the busy high street, in front of a large cafe whose walls consist mainly of glass, my trendy “flares” decided to catch on the front of my equally trendy trainers, and I nosedived onto the pavement. Mortified, I hastily got up while a crowd gathered, and off I ran again, desperate to get back to the car and have a little humiliated cry to myself.
So a couple of years ago I had to have a colonoscopy, sorry too much information already. Anyway, I had to be sedated for the procedure, so I’m laying on this bed and I’ve been sedated so I start to feel really woozy, at which point I start shouting at the nurse asking her if I have a nice colon, ‘Is it nice? Is it the best colon you’ve ever seen? I’m very proud of my colon!’ She nicely assured me it was a nice colon. But, my friends, it gets worse, I go to the Tesco afterwards to pick up my prescription but I’m still pretty woozy, so my sister pushes me in a wheelchair, every time we turn a corner I make ridiculously loud car noises! I’m pretending we’re a race car going around this shop. Safe to say at the time I wasn’t embarrassed but when my family told me afterwards I was pretty mortified! Lesson of the story, don’t go to public places when sedated!
Letter from the Editor
urreyDecides was fun, frenetic and a real rollercoaster of emotions! I hope you enjoyed the live tweeting from ‘Mission Control’ (Youngs Kitchen) from The Stag. StagTV stole the show though, with their amazing coverage of the event. GU2 also provided insightful and frankly hilarious commentary on all three nights. It was great to have all of us working together and having fun. Best of luck to the new team, you have all worked very hard and deserve this success! Commiserations to those that were pipped at the post, you also worked
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.
hard but maybe it’s just not your time this year. As for any bitchy comments, you know what, that’s democracy. And if you don’t like it, go in live in ----- (I can’t say that or I’ll get sued.) But in all seriousness, Surrey Decided, majority wins, get over it. We never did find out who the elusive Susan was, but who knows? Maybe she’ll surface next year. Her presence (whether you loved or hated her) certainly made the elections that bit more enjoyable. If you’re reading this Susan, thank you for giving me a good laugh. Although, her ‘predictions’ did turn out to be wrong in most cases. That’s the fun of the elections, you never can tell who’ll win! And, as requested in the Poll we’ve all supplied our most embarrassing moments. Why don’t you tweet yours to @TheStagSurrey, #MyEmbarrassingMoment...
News Editor: Rachel Thomason | Copy Editor: Tina Morman
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Students have voted for their new Sabbatical team
Continued from page 1... Thursday 21st February and closed the following day on Friday 22nd February with the results being announced the same evening. Due to technical issues, voting had to be extended until 7.40pm with the election results announced in Chancellors from 9.20pm. Charlie Eastaugh, current Union Chair, presented the results to an animated audience at Chancellors. He said of the election results: “I am sure the new Sabb team will do a great job, at what is an interesting time for the Union.” The five full time Sabbatical positions were announced with VP Sports and Recreation revealed first. James Lovell took the position with 918 votes and VP Societies and Individual Development went to Maz Hussien with 1,004 votes. Tom Windibank won VP Welfare and Priya Jhand was voted VP Education. Finally, to complete the five full time positions the third and final round, by 1,365 to 1,090 votes the next President is Em Bollon who told StagTV: “Thank you to everyone that voted, well done to all the other candidates and everyone who won a position,” “It’s been an absolutely amazing period of time and I’m really excited about finishing off the role of VP Societies for the rest of the year.” Current President, Dave Halls, spoke to StagTV: “Massive congratulations to every single
“Thank you to everyone that voted, well done to all the other candidates and everyone who won a position.”
candidate. Those who didn’t win put in so much effort and they deserve to be applauded too, they should be really proud of their efforts,” “It’s never easy going for the elections and obviously, a massive well done to those who did win. You’ll have a great year. Enjoy it because it goes incredibly fast but you’ll all do great! Congratulations everyone.”
Probably my most embarrassing moment was when I was chosen to waitress for a really important and posh dinner. Not only did I start off the evening by reading cumin on the specials board as ‘come-in’, but I then proceeded to pour a bowl of olives over a poor gentleman which landed all in his lap. Only concerned with the growing anger on his face, I didn’t even think twice when I grabbed a nearby napkin and started dabbing at his lap. Yes, right where you think. As the table went quiet, I suddenly realised the colossal mistake I had made and backed away apologising profusely. Needless to say, I didn’t fancy waitressing much after that. But I guess I’m just lucky he didn’t press charges!
County Councillor holds surgeries to hear your concerns about the local community
By Kathryn Braid, News Team
County Councillor Fiona White is holding surgeries to allow students to raise concerns with local issues.
ocal County Councillor Fiona White is visiting the university campus monthly to hear your views on local issues. The Councillor will be available at a surgery once a month on a Thursday in order to discuss with students what they would like improved in their areas such as potholes in roads, street lighting, anti-social behaviour, graffiti and any other issues that might be present in the local community. The surgery was previously held before Christmas and more recently on 7th February. Fiona was at the Union market from 10 am to 1:30 pm answering student
queries and providing her contact details along with those of fellow Councillors Steve Freeman and Tony Philips. Fiona has been a Councillor for eight years but it was only recently that the university and surrounding area were transferred to her division. Fiona’s County Council division also includes Park Barn. Students should look out for the next Union President’s email update email for information on Fiona’s next visit. These surgeries provide an important opportunity for students to voice their concerns and to be heard in their local community. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to improve safety in your area.
Refreshers’ Fayre 2013
By Sophie Vickery, News Team
niversity of Surrey Students’ Union hosted a fun-filled afternoon as the university’s clubs and societies filled Rubix with colourful stalls on Friday 15th February for Refreshers’ Fayre. A total of 80 societies attended the event to offer students the opportunity to try something new as semester two commences. The union also used the event to promote the latest trips and activities, events planner and election information. Many students were keen to sign up to societies which would fill their free-time with fun and develop their skills to improve
employment prospects. Meanwhile, students enjoyed collecting lots of freebies from pens and key rings, to chocolate and vouchers. The event was also attended by national corporations such as Nandos, Access Self Storage and GBK, while the universities businesses also offered students exclusive offers for Heart&Soul and Surrey Sports Park. Refreshers’ Fayre was also very beneficial for the many societies. Gemma Quayle, positioned on the Do>More stall, valued the opportunity to re-iterate how students can get involved with volunteering both and off campus. She said: “Since the Volunteer
Co-ordinator at the Union has now left, it was also important for us to inform students that individual volunteering opportunities are still very much available.” She added: “It formed the perfect end to a big week for Do>More as we were able to shout about our efforts for National Students Volunteering Week, and show how volunteering not only develops important skills for the future, but is loads of fun too.” Those running in this year’s elections also seized the opportunity to promote themselves to students by spreading details of their campaigns and sporting promotional t-shirts and posters.
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Spotted: University of Surrey Library Facebook page due to shut down
By Shaneezah Ally, News Team
he Spotted: University of Surrey Library page on Facebook is due to shut down after a Surrey Police officer has claimed that some of its content could be considered inappropriate. The Spotted page was set up at the beginning of January and racked up an impressive 3,149 likes. The page was aimed at creating harmless humour for students around the university. If students had seen something funny or something you couldn’t help but share then students could message the page privately. It was a chance for students to share
hilarious stories for all to enjoy. However, Surrey police officer for the University of Surrey, PC Emily Band, suggested that some of the comments were offensive. In response to one of the latest posts, PC Band claimed that some of the “comments on this site could constitute an offence such as harassment or hate crime”. Although the police support the rights to freedom of speech, she continued, they want to ensure that students are aware that offensive comments would not be tolerated. PC Band under the University of Surrey Beat page, urged students to “Please think about your future and how
a comment you make could affect this. Also take a moment to think about the effect these comments could have on the people you are targeting”. Emily Band also asked if the post could be left up to protect students from getting into trouble. Although the page states that all posts have no link with the University itself, it was confirmed shortly afterwards that the Spotted page would be shut down which sparked a variety of conflicting opinions among students.
Two band members killed at G Live event
By James Brown, News Team
Go Green for 2013
By Emily Hough, News Team
rom the 11th to the 15th February, Surrey’s Go Green society held a week of activities to show the benefits of becoming greener and highlight the importance for both the University and students to make such improvements. The week included a range of activities, including a talk on urban sanitation in Africa delivered by the university’s own Dr. Steve Pedley, as well as Dr Moore’s discussion on the importance of nutrition. The week also consisted of tasty cake sales, a Channies Challenge and viewing of Wall-e for ValenTins day. On Friday, the society hosted a full day of events including a fashion show with clothes made from recyclable materials. Together with Waste not Wednesday, the event exhibited the potential for materials which are often found simply discarded in the bin. The week was a massive success for the society and has been congratulated by many; Surrey student,
Nicole Constantinou, posted: ‘Well done Go Green Society! Amazing effort this week’. The society also attracted support from the Going Greener campaign in their petition for the university to use £5 of every student’s tuition fees to create a sustainability fund.
revor Grills, a singer for the sea shanty group Fisherman’s Friends, has died after being trapped under a metal door at the G Live theatre venue in Guildford on 9th February. Mr Grills, 54, suffered severe head injuries from the steel door which had collapsed in the loading bay where the group was preparing for a concert. The Cornish based group’s tour manager Paul McMullen suffered horrific leg injuries and was killed at the scene. Mr Grills, husband and father of three, was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting but died two days later. The group issued a statement saying: “Trevor was a much-loved and valued friend to all of us and was an integral part of the Port Isaac community.” G Live also issued a statement commenting: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and community of Port Isaac.” The group, made up of fishermen, tradesmen shopkeepers,
a potter and a farmer, were due to perform that night as part of a tour. Appearing in Port Isaac, members of the group thanked its fans for their support, with hundreds of tributes having been posted on the band’s Facebook page. Mr Grills sang tenor with the Fisherman’s Friends whose sea shanties became a pop success. The ten-strong group had been singing together for 15 years in Port Isaac, Cornwall, where the majority grew up before they were signed by Universal Records to a £1 million recording contract in 2010. Their debut album, Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, made the Top 10 and the group have appeared at the Glastonbury Festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall. In 2011, the group was awarded ‘The Good Tradition Award’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for keeping folk music alive and bringing it to new audiences. Surrey Police are currently investigating the accident with assistance of the Health and Safety Executive.
© yellow book
The Stag |
27th February 2013
NUS National Conference 2013
Culture & charisma
Festival! International Festival is our week-long celebration of culture on campus; a week full of colour and charisma. Try your hand at sushi-making in Young’s Kitchen, participate in our International Summit and meet some weird and wonderful animals at the International Exhibition. This is not just any festival. This is International Festival. Please see the middle-page spread for more information, and some beautifully written paragraphs, from your fellow students, in a variety of languages!
o elections to the Union Executive for 2013/14 are over, the new team’s elected, and what a team it’s going to be. Thank you to everyone who took part, whether as a candidate, supporter or a voter. You have played your part in continuing your Students’ Union to be as representative of Surrey students as it can possibly be. But that’s not the last piece of democracy that’ll take place in the Students’ Union this year. It’s now time to elect your NUS Delegates for the 2013 NUS National Conference! National Conference is the annual gathering of all NUS member unions to debate and decide what national policy of the UK student movement should be
for the next year, as well as electing the NUS National Executive for the coming year. NUS takes on the national campaigns for things that matter to students nationwide, with a further-reaching resource and capabilities beyond that of individual students’ unions. Earlier this year, in our largest referendum turnout ever, Surrey students overwhelmingly voted in to re-affirm our position within the national body. This year’s conference, then, is Surrey’s chance to have our voice heard on a national scale, in the company of colleagues from across the country. Each Union is allowed a certain number of delegates depending on the institution size, and Surrey is entitled to five delegates to represent your views to the rest of the country on the 8th-10th April 2013, in Sheffield. Any Surrey student can put themselves forward to be these
representatives; with four places up for grabs (one place is always reserved for the President of the Union). Last year, Surrey’s motion to mandate the NUS to lobby for greater student loan weightings for universities on the periphery of London was the only motion passed without amendments. Unlike many other unions, Surrey doesn’t participate in ‘block voting’; each delegate is free to make their own mind up as to what we should support, and which candidates to vote for. As such, these are three days when you really can have a massive input as to the direction of the national student movement, and it’s a great experience to be had.
Watch out on www.ussu.co.uk and www.facebook.com/surreyunion for more information about the NUS Delegation elections, coming very, very soon!
Union Vice-President Societies & Individual Development
urrey resides equidistant from Southampton, home to one of our major ports, and London, our vibrant capital city. And in the county town of Surrey lies our University. Our home. Here at the University of Surrey, over 100 nationalities are represented; from French to Nepalese; from Greek to Japanese. It’s time to celebrate the diversity we posses within our united student community. It’s time for International
On Surrey Decides, behind the scenes from the host
By Charlie Eastaugh, Union Chair
NSS: Rate your University and earn a few quid
Union Vice-President Education
he University, whether you feel it or not, embraces student feedback on a daily basis, through various means all collected data and comments are taken on board and acted on at a departmental level or University wide. The latest opportunity for you to engage in is this year’s NSS (National Student Survey) campaign, of which we are now
three weeks into. The NSS is a 23 question survey for final year students that gives them chance to reflect on their academic studies, and is the 3 rd largest survey conducted in the UK, after the Census and the Further Education equivalent. For something that can take as little as 3 minutes to complete, the power of the NSS cannot be overstated, as it not only forms part of departmental action plans looking at how subjects aim to improve each year, but also the results from the NSS are a
composite part of national league tables ranking Universities relative to one another. If as a final year student you haven’t taken the opportunity to fill it out yet, take a few minutes today, tomorrow or this weekend to play a big part in Surrey’s future; letting the world know of what you love about the learning experience here, as well as informing the University constructively of improvements that your department are overdue making. There’s a £3.50 campus voucher waiting for you too.
More on the International Festival from Maria!
t is the time of the year that the international festival comes, a great celebration of international cultural exchange bringing the
globe on campus. Promoting culture diversity awareness, enhance the muliticultural environment of campus and open a window to new cultural horizons is what defines the international festival. The festival has a wide range of events such as International Exhibition, Home
Away from Home, International summit and the International gala, which gives an opportunity of getting an insight to new cultures and of discovering different ways of thinking. Let’s celebrate culture on campus!
This is the first time since September 2009 Bakita ‘Masala’ Kasadha hasn’t submitted a Stag article! Get well soon Bakita. The Stag loves you very much!
hree evenings, fifteen positions, thirty- one candidates, hundreds of tweets and thousands of online viewers. The massive interest in Question Time demonstrated that 'student apathy' is at best an over-expanded excuse for poor engagement and at worst a myth. With total viewing figures at over twenty-five hundred, half of which came from oncampus computers, plus over a hundred involved in person on the night, Surrey students showed last week that the elections did matter to them in some way. Whether you cared about the winners, or more to the point even voted, what this level of interest proved is that the Students' Union (beyond the doors of Rubix) remains at the centre of University life at Surrey. Perhaps enticed by the #SurreyDecides aficionados or just the catchy (or not so) campaign videos, Twitter came alight for one week with an overabundance of search results under that tag. As Union Chair I had the privilege of co-hosting Question Time with Alan Sutherland, an experience which is difficult to explain in such a short article. Sitting under glaring lights courtesy of stage crew and the
StagTV cameras, with The Stag, GU2 and Mike Frazer's pundits commenting on our every move, it was daunting to say the least. But that was just my ordeal. I can only admire and applaud the candidates for their candour in submitting to the trial-byordeal that is Question Time. With no knowledge of how they were being received by the viewers, how many retweets RON had collected during their answers or whether Susan approved, the candidates were left at the whim of two underrested hosts. So why do people choose to go through this process? Six of the fifteen positions are paid, so perhaps that is understandable, but the remainder are not. Whether as a CV-booster, to 'make a difference' or just to enjoy a new experience, only those who put themselves forward will ever really understand why. What can be said with certainty is that there will always be candidates for these elections and there will always be a large proportion of Surrey students willing to listen to what they have to say. I just had the fortune of asking the questions and annoucing the results.
Opinion & Analysis Editor: Justine Crossan | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming
The Stag |
27th February 2013
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Opinion & Analysis
My most embarrassing moment happened this year when I was on my way home from the Living Room after a night out with a group of friends heading to an after party. Even though we were only going to Guildford Park Avenue (which is a two minute walk from the car park) I decided to take a short cut, by jumping onto a lampost and garage rooftop. I followed my more agile friend but my shoes were too fat to fit on the lampost ledge and I dropped off it. Without realising anything had happened, I was about to try again when my friend started crying and pointing at my knee, as I looked down I could see my KNEECAP and the cartilage showing, I had literally sliced my leg open and the skin had separated in a V shape about an inch deep. MADNESS. I had to get picked up by an ambulance ASAP and get stitches & missed the party, PEAK!
A View from The Shard Modern day
ith its short-lived fame of being the tallest building in Europe, the Shard is an up and coming tourist attraction of London. Its magnificence has not gone unnoticed with a large amount of tickets selling out in advance, making it virtually impossible to make a spontaneous decision to visit one of London’s most outstanding buildings. That is, unless you have £100 per person lying around your bag, so that you can gain immediate access. Putting aside the fact that with the cost of two (advanced booked) adult tickets you could dine at a reputable restaurant in Central London or book a flight to one of Europe’s capitals, the Shard is still worth the £24.95 per person – even
if just once in your life. The experience of the Shard starts from the moment you enter the ground floor. As you step into entrance, a screen displays eye-catching images of some of London’s attraction, creating a sense of excitement as you dwell more into the sights that you are shortly going to be observing. Taken by the momentum, you are hurdled to airport like scanners, ensuring maximum security of the visitors. After quickly recomposing yourself, a picture is taken (which, you have the option of purchasing at the end for the cost of £22) and you quickly join another queue where you are directed to the lift. To reach the viewing gallery, the visitors have one more requirement: a two-part lift
journey taking a minute, followed by climbing stairs to reach the viewing gallery, level 69. On arrival, you are welcomed by a suave atmosphere ensued by the classical music that accompanies you through your visit. Reaching the viewing gallery is followed by a draw-dropping reaction. Never has London looked so beautiful - especially if you go in the evening: the bright lights of the city contrast with the dark sky creating a euphoric moment. You can spend as long as you want in the viewing gallery, with the option to go to level 72, where you can feel the bitter cold February weather brushing your face. The choice is yours. The Shard might be a costly London attraction, but it is certainly worth the money. Not only do you have a full 360° view of the capital city but every aspect has been thought out: from the music playing to the interior design. The Shard, then, provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the city and to visit one of the U.K’s most modern landmarks, making it also a perfect date-spot!
e live in a fast-paced, changing world where we are increasingly dependent on technology. Almost all of us own smartphones, tablets and laptops which results in a change in nature in the way we interact with each other, for instance, in the area of romance. It was found that around 40% of women reported that their partners were rarely or never romantic. Call me old fashioned, but should letters be replaced by texts; walks in the park replaced by a Skype chat; poetry replaced with copied song lyrics; or even a meal out replaced by watching movies on your laptop using LOVEFILM. The generations which did engage in these romantic activities tended to remain in stable relationships for longer periods of time. Some may argue that this change is to do with other factors such as new laws concerning allowances for divorce. Nevertheless, it is a strong possibility that the change in the pace and style
of relationships may also be a contributing issue. Due to the growth in feminism, some men have taken the view that the decrease in chivalry is just a step towards complete equality. However, this should not result in a lack of politeness or thoughtfulness, not just from males but also females. As both sexes are generally involved in employment and domestic duties etc then equality should also be expressed in romance and chivalry. This may not be buying him a bouquet of flowers but maybe getting tickets to a big game or making his favourite food. Modern day romance may not achieve the extents of Shakespearean poetry, but a degree of thought and chivalry can go a long way.
© Peter Castleton
OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Stag |
27th February 2013
The wrong brand of Lightning strikes Feminism the Vatican twice
ecently, BBC Panorama explored a very contentious issue in ‘The Great Abortion Divide’. It was revealed that here in the UK, 200,000 women each year have an abortion, 98% of which are for ‘mental health reasons’. However, do we really live in a society where every woman is on the edge of mental collapse? No we do not. There is a consensus that this 98% is predominantly made up of women pretending to be on the verge of a mental breakdown, and doctors pretending to believe it. This goes against the Abortion Act 1967, with the original intention being to prevent backstreet and self-induced abortions in England, Scotland and Wales. Without much debate, it can be agreed that we now live in a society where abortion is free for all. Within the 24 week (5 and a half month) time limit, have you ever heard of a woman being denied an abortion because she is too mentally well? Of the 98%, there may be some who are genuinely on the verge of mental collapse, but most are perfectly healthy individuals. This doesn’t mean that they are outright liars. Perhaps they are under the illusion that it is impossible to raise a child. Under the illusion that they cannot handle it. Under the illusion that if they do, they will end up in a mental institution. Perhaps this illusion comes from the modern feminist movement. For years and years, feminism has emphasised the rights of
women in society. There has been a special emphasis on the career prospects of women, which is vital in a developing society. However, instead of advocating the idea that women can do anything, modern feminism today promotes the complete opposite. Women are now being told that they have to choose between a family and a career, with it being impossible to do both. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, women can do both. Saying they are incapable is nothing but downgrading and patronising. After all, it is women who are applauded for their multitasking skills. In regards to this great talent, why are modern feminists always the last ones to give a standing ovation? It is modern feminism which has led to the rise of abortions. When many women fall pregnant, they think, ‘I can’t do this. My life is over’. Instead, women are entirely capable of doing it. It would be hard work, but nothing is beyond impossible. At the end of the day, it is a woman’s right to choose how to live her life. While some choose to be mothers and others choose to have a job, it is still entirely possible to do both. Women should be embraced for their capabilities, rather than being told they are riddled with incompetence.
earing of the pope’s resignation I have a lot of respect for his decision. As he is getting on in life, 85 to be precise, he has decided it’s time for a more youthful, able candidate takes his place. However, some may see this as something which takes away from the spiritual component of religion, makes his position appear so much more like a job and not a way of life and spiritual path. Some Catholics may see this as a betrayal of his divine mission that he has left his ‘flock’ without a ‘shepherd’ (ha!) Personally I think this was a brave move as he has been the first pope for almost six centuries to resign. Some people have suggested his resignation is due to his loss in faith, but I think he is considering what is best for the church and its followers and strength of mind and body is necessary to carry out such a demanding role. Speculation also began over the increasing pressure over the Vatican’s decades’ long protection
of priests committing child abuse, the growing scandal over Vatican banking and finances, and intense infighting between the conservative and progressive wings of the Catholic Church. The flood of allegations, lawsuits and official reports into clerical abuse, which reached a peak in 2009 and 2010, may be the defining episode of his pontificate. Maybe he felt he could no longer represent that kind of institution while it was under so much scrutiny? One crazy event was that there was footage of lightning striking the Vatican later on in the evening of the Popes resignation; could this have been edited footage to spark conspiracy theorists or religious radicals or this could be viewed as an actual act of God?
© Filippo Monteforte
The Stag |
27th February 2013
A student’s guide to housing
By Sarah-Jane Gregori, Features Team
ousing Awareness Week has just passed, so I hope a good number of you made great use of the information on offer. However for those of you who weren’t listening, or are simply a little bit behind on what’s happening on campus these days (this is usually me), here are a few of my tips from experience. On choosing housemates: By second or third year, I bet you feel you have a pretty good idea of who your true friends are. This is even better if you have friends that you feel share the same values as you in terms of cleaning, sharing and your place on the sliding scale of money vs. comfort. But once living together, you might find you’re not so similar after all. People have different ideas of what is clean or how often cleaning should be done. If problems do arise, try to solve them face to face rather than leaving irritable notes! If you don’t feel comfortable being honest with the friend in question, then question whether you are going to be comfortable being housemates. This doesn’t mean however that this questions a good friendship! On finding a house: Find out what is important to you in terms of location to university and shops, ease of access to transport, the price and
the amount of space. Be prepared to make compromises with your housemates. Then you can start looking for a house that will suit everyone. Try to not get distracted by the current tenants’ belongings – look out for evidence of mould or damp, whether the house has adequate locks for security and the temperature of the house – how and will it keep you warm in winter? Ask what furniture and appliances will stay in the house when the current tenants move out and what you might want to supply yourself with once you are moving in. Check whether any bills are included in the rent; water bills usually are. On landlords: If you have trouble communicating or negotiating with a landlord, the Student Advice Centre is really helpful source for answering queries and giving you a clear idea of the usual procedures. They might also know a bit about the landlord to inform you on what they are like. Meanwhile, it’s been fun browsing through the estate agent brochures that come through the door, imagining what I might do with that £3m+ house in Godalming or Haslemere. I wish you the best of luck on your housing adventure!
If anyone has ever been the Mediterranean biome at the Eden Project, you will know it is quite quiet. My body seemed to think it was the perfect place to start hiccupping very very loudly. I’m talking to the level that people were turning around saying “ooh, do they have exotic birds in here?”. I even had a delightful elderly couple laughing at me whilst suggesting hiccup ‘cures’ they had heard on the radio. It was a very cringe-worthy 10 minutes.
What on earth is A.L.L?
By Phil James, Library and Learning Centre
ecently, I was asked to discover who the A.L.L.s are and what they do. Reluctant to do any real work, I decided to just ask friends at the bar on what they knew about these mysterious people. Hearing that there are eight of them, and A.L.L. stands for Academic Liaison Librarian, left me none the wiser. So the next day, I set out to meet them myself. With the scrutiny of Leveson thankfully behind us, I decided to rely on traditional journalistic techniques of trickery and deception to discover the truth, but after finally finding them in the Library (Level 2), I was disappointed to find them welcoming and keen to respond to queries. I had hoped to practise my good cop/bad cop routine, where I play the bad cop who’s so bad, the good cop won’t work with him anymore, but they were frustratingly eager to answer all my questions. I didn’t even have to threaten them with a sip of my disgusting vending machine coffee to learn their secrets; it
tasted so foul that I scowled and shook my head while they talked anyway. RIP: Reference in peace The A.L.L.s are skilled professionals, trained to support your studies, and provide subjectspecific support and guidance for learning, teaching and research. They are approachable experts who can guide you through the maze of accessing and using the Library’s e-resources, and even teach you to use the Internet effectively, though they did refuse to do my online shopping for me. Perhaps you may have more luck, but I think that’s probably pushing it. They also told me they offer Information Literacy training. I didn’t have the guts to ask what that meant, and if you’re similarly shy about publicly admitting your ignorance, why not arrange a oneto-one appointment with your A.L.L.? It could be the ideal way to find out how to use that damn database that every other person on your course already seems to understand. Or if like me, you find any kind of human contact to be vaguely
unpleasant, contact them by phone or email instead. Guardian angels Each subject taught at the University of Surrey is looked after by one of the A.L.L.s. They regularly attend meetings in your Faculty and Department to find out what you need from the library. They’re even happier to talk to you to find out what you think about the resources the library provides. They were unfazed by either my shocking ignorance or remarkable lack of common sense. In the face of all this disturbingly helpful friendliness, I was forced to conclude that the A.L.L.s are like guardian angels: whether you know it or not, you have one and they’re on your side. The big difference is, they’re not invisible and they won’t stand on your right shoulder, despite persistent requests. Trust me on that one. Want to know which one is yours? Find details for Catherine, Ellie, Evi, Gill, Karen, Jean, Miriam and Ruth at http://www.surrey. ac.uk/library/subject/alls/
Life in halls - Semester one complete
By Jas Smith, Features Team
he biggest question I think that any Fresher will ask is: ‘What is it like to live in halls?’ For most freshers, it is more than likely this will be their first time they have been away from their parents, but it is also more
than likely that it will be their first time moving in with complete strangers. It’s now been four months that I have been living in halls and I can honestly say it has been a positive experience. In September when I first moved in, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I think I was most worried about my flatmates – was
I going to like them? Would they like me? I moved in with 13 other people, and that’s a lot of people to meet in one go on your moving in weekend. However, I could not have asked for better housemates, and once I got used to how life worked in halls, they became a surrogate family, complete with laughter, tears, and
pranks galore. It takes a while to adjust and get to know people, and to respect their space, but once you’re through the first few disorientating nights, it can only get better. Adding a personal touch to your room really helps to make it feel a little bit more like home. Moving in can give someone mixed feelings. For most, it is the first time they will have ultimate freedom away from their parents. However, there is the worry of
paying rent and feeding yourself. I found that once I learnt how to budget, life became easier and there is always support available from the Court Life Mentoring Team. So what is it really like to live in halls? It’s one of the most terrifying things I have ever done, but crazy. It’s fun, and it’s exciting, and I wouldn’t change the experience for the world.
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
27th February 2013
International Women’s day is approaching
By Lasika Jayamaha, Features Team
nternational Women’s Day was first celebrated in the early 1900’s as the fight against inequality and oppression which led to active campaigns for change. 1908 saw 15,000 women march across the streets of New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. However, during the second International Conference for Working Women held in 1910 in Copenhagen, Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an ‘International Women’s Day’ that was received with unanimous approval from participants. Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland celebrated the first Women’s Day on the 19th March
1911 with more than a million women and men rallying for rights of women like the right to vote and to be treated equally in the workplace and be able to hold public office. Thereafter, Russian women celebrated International Women’s Day at the end of February for the first time in 1913. Subsequently, 8th March was chosen as International Women’s Day following some discussion and has remained so, as it stands today. Throughout the decades that followed, the symbolism of International Women’s Day as a celebration and recognition of women has grown from strength to strength since the birth of the socialist movement. This day is celebrated by many developed and developing countries alike
and is sometimes a holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. However, the truth is that women are still not paid equal to their male counterparts or represented equally in businesses or politics as one would have hoped. However, women’s education and health have increased and so as women we should be proud of what we have achieved and continue to strive to the challenges before us.
Street style: Out and about on campus
By Lily Pearson, Features Team Robert Levinson, Media Studies, Level 2 The bomber jacket was a ubiquitous presence upon the catwalks of Spring/Summer 2013. Robert's elementary choice is ideal for transcending seasons, and layered over a staple denim shirt and paired with trainers completes the faultless casual look.
By John Watkins, Director of Careers Service
Tara Kitchingham, Literature, Level 2
Clowance Lawton, Literature, Level 2
Tara poises the monochromatic hues of her speckled polo neck and leggings against dashes of camel and tan. The double-breasted jacket brings a dimensionality that refuses to let the on-trend monotint go unnoticed.
Here we can see a mastered execution of the oversize trend. Through her cocoon-shaped coat, shopper-size bag and bug-eyed sunglasses, Clowance has skilled the art of the Winter-Spring transition. A faux fur stole keeps the chill off.
his week was no ordinary week. A trip to Buckingham Palace was a first (well to the inside anyway.) The trip was to represent the University of Surrey and hear all about The Duke of York’s continued focus on promoting entrepreneurship. His Royal Highness has been working across a wide range of fronts to support initiatives that give better access to capital for entrepreneurs whilst the government recently launched a pilot scheme to make it easier for young people with business ideas to achieve their ambitions. The Start-Up Loans programme seeks to provide affordable loans and business training to young people who have a viable business plan. This scheme is aimed at 18-30 year olds who are living in England and looking for finance to start a business. The average loan size is expected to be around £2,500; this being provided by the government. James Caan is chairman of the body that has been established to oversee the allocation of the loans. Further information about Start-Up Loans is available at: http://www. startuploans.co.uk/ The Duke of York believes
that the scheme provides a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in the startup scene. However, there have been some difficulties in making potential entrepreneurs aware of the scheme which is disappointing because StartUp Loans offer an attainable and viable funding option for entrepreneurs at the seed stage – a time when it can be difficult to access more traditional capital. Start-Up Loans are launching The Student Ambassador Programme; a pilot designed to promote Start-Up Loans amongst university communities. His Royal Highness believes that promoting the scheme amongst students in the university network will hopefully present an alternative career pathway to graduating. The launch event at Buckingham Palace earlier this week was designed to raise the profile of the scheme amongst the university network and I’m delighted to be able to begin the promotion via The Stag. For this, and all careers enquiries please come to the Philip Marchant Building, or visit: www.surrey.ac.uk/careers w w w.facebook.com/ surreycareers
The Stag |
27th February 2013
On the road with Ankur
By Ankur Banerjee, Features Team
Who wears the trousers? YOU should
By Ellis Taylor, Features Editor
y knowledge of Vietnam – I believe much alike to public perception – came from Hollywood films about the Vietnam War, until I went there. In Vietnam they call that period of time the ‘American War’ because they believe the US brought that war to their land. The war memorial in Saigon is an eyeopening look into the atrocities of war, especially the American usage of chemical warfare that has left generations of Vietnamese crippled. It’s the story that never gets told. Parts of the story from the Vietnamese perspective are, admittedly, communist propaganda, but it is worth hearing about. High on the list of any visit to Ho Chi Minh City – formerly known as Saigon – is the Cu Chi Tunnel memorial that preserves the tunnels ‘Viet Cong’ resistance soldiers fought from. Operated by the local government, it can only be accessed accompanied by authorised guides; in our case, a farmer who was drafted into the resistance. The experience is akin to a visiting a zoo where tourists are herded from one exhibit to another showing how the Vietnamese built booby traps, how they lived, where they had to give birth in, and fought from tunnels barely wide enough for a human to crawl through. Tourists can crawl through an actual reconstructed tunnel. It’s an incredibly claustrophobic and frightening experience to crawl the whole stretch of around half a kilometre with no lights and barely enough space to crawl lying flat on your belly. As horrified I was to hear those stories, I could not bring myself to let go of the opportunity to fire off rounds from an AK-47 rifle and an M-60 machine gun. I was ashamed to find myself elated afterwards, with adrenaline rushing through my system at
having lived out something out of a video game fantasy. Travelling by boat up the Mekong River Delta, stopping every now and then to cycle through paddy fields on a bicycle to visit villages, throws up strange customs, such as wine made with dead snakes bottled inside. Ho Chi Minh is not stuck in the past though. On the surface, it is a busy metropolis full of expat bars, but stray slightly off the beaten path and you might be invited to join a family for dinner on makeshift dining tables that spring up on pavements every evening with a locally brewed beer like bia hoi to wash down pho noodles. Pho is a staple dish, and you can even go to a restaurant where Bill Clinton ate and order the same menu of dishes he did. Perhaps the best foods though are the French baguettes served from round-the-clock roadside carts. South Vietnam was a French colony before unification and these baguettes can be served with bacon (and chocolate, if you want!). What’s Hot: Ha Long Bay (up north, closer to Hanoi), a place of thousands of misty islands that look like oddly-shaped rock formations. There is an odd sense of calm that pervades the atmosphere there, as you travel around on rickety boats flitting from island to island. If I had to pick one place in all my travels as the one place that’s the best, it would be this. What’s Not: It is likely that whilst walking down streets late at night in big cities, say after a night out, that you will be accosted by people on scooters or motorcycles trying to pimp out prostitutes. Often, it’s the young girls’ own mothers who are driving around trying to pimp them out. The depths of poverty a family has to be in to be reduced to doing that is unimaginably sad.
o you know what the time is? It is trouser time, my friend. Jeans, skirts, dresses, shorts are so 2012 and now cigarette and tapered trousers (preferably printed) are ready to become the core of your outfit. A piece that is a little frightening at first, but once you try a pair you won’t want to take them off, trust me. The printed trouser is one that, in theory, should not work on anyone who does not possess a model like physique, so thankfully for us regular folk, it defies the written laws of fashion and it looks blimmin’ awesome if styled correctly. It’s all a matter of fit and pairing. If you’ve got some
curves then go for a small print with a dark colour palette. Slim legs can be a bit bolder in colour choice, and a big print can help add shape if that’s what you’re after. Short legs? Make sure the bottoms just touch the ankle; this is a crisp and sharp trouser look so no ankle crinkles! Anything slightly cropped will make legs even shorter, so only try that length if you’re tall. Shoe wise, elegant and plain is the way to go, there’s enough going on in the leg department without throwing in some crazy shoes. So you’ve picked out the perfect pair (definitely try them on before buying; this is not a ‘pick up and go’ buy), the shoes are sorted, but what about the rest?
We have two options here. Either you go for all out androgyny and pair the new love in your life with a classic, block coloured shirt, or you keep it casual with a basic t-shirt in a colour that complements. Grey is an easy to wear shade that will work with most prints, but try to think outside the box and match with a bolder colour, such as a vivid green or pink. Try everything and anything, but be wary of print clashing, it is a tough cookie to crack. You are now ready to go out into the world of shopping and indulge in your first pair of printed cigarette trousers. Go forth and enjoy, they’re pretty darn fabulous.
Diary of an Erasmus student
By Nicole Vassell, Features Team
ne of the best things about studying abroad is the countless opportunities that are thrown at you. For example, I'm writing this while sat on a highspeed train from Amsterdam to Berlin and I won't make it back to Heidelberg for another two-anda-half weeks. Since the academic year in Germany is structured differently to the UK, lectures and classes stop from February to April. Hence, lots of students take at least a few weeks of this time to fill a rucksack with jumpers, socks and teabags and haul it around Europe. Though I used to chuckle seeing exhausted young'uns stumbling all over train carriages with people-sized bags on their back, I'm now one of them. My backpack is called Bartholomew. I didn't know this before, but it is much easier than I expected to get around Europe by train. Three friends and I bought a pass that gives us 22 days to travel between thirty countries for around £200. Up until the start
of this year, the most I'd seen of Europe was a family holiday to Barcelona. By the end of this trip alone, I will have ticked six new countries off of my list. For someone who's never been further north in the UK than Birmingham, this is a huge deal! Though I've always wanted to travel, it probably would have taken me years, if ever, to make an investment with time and money. But the thing with being in a network of hundreds studying outside of their home country is that you're very likely to be around others who are willing to take advantage of the bundles of free time and being in mainland Europe. Plus, many universities cater for international students wanting to explore their new country by running affordable, regular excursions to various cities. So to conclude, if you're a wannabe traveller who always finds an excuse to watch TV rather than to go out and enjoy the world, going on a year abroad is the first step to getting your passport some action.
Scoot-scoot! Motorcycles and scooters are ubiquitous in Vietnam.
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Is there a-neigh-thing to worry about?
By Katy Sawyer, Features Team
he recent horsemeat controversy has plagued the food markets with dishonesty and confusion. Traces of equine DNA was found in ‘beef’ burgers after subsidiaries of the ABP Food Group supplied it to supermarkets across the country. Over ten million burgers have been removed from supermarket shelves and the deep hole of food fraud keeps growing. Shortly after this, Findus beef lasagne was found to contain up to 100% horsemeat. Since then ready meal after ready meal has been removed from shelves and the EU ordered a random DNA testing of processed meat. The FSA has subsequently stated that no new products are involved in the gross contamination. People have been outraged over the last few months, but is this really an issue to sweat over?
It seems that this is more than just a small factory mistake; producers have been knowingly passing off horsemeat as beef and thus ignoring food regulations. We will never know the extent of people affected by the food fraud and we have clearly been unknowingly eating horsemeat for years, so does it really matter? Members of the general public clearly don’t like being lied to, and people have lost faith in retailers. This brings back the aged old argument of whether cheap food can really mean quality. Some may argue that this is a consequence of over consumption of processed food. We have been fed the line that value meals full of processed meat could form part of a balanced diet, however with hospital and school dinners being affected by the scandal the consensus view seems to be changing. This may pave the way for the return of
independent butchers to the high street. Ultimately, there are no health risks from eating horsemeat and it is even considered a delicacy in many countries. However there have been some health concerns over the presence of bute (Phenylbutazone) in horsemeat. It has been found that it could be dangerous to humans when consumed in large amounts. The chemical is used to treat pain and fever in animals and although there is a very low risk to the public, any animal that is given the drug is not meant to be slaughtered for consumption. In a small number of cases bute can cause aplastic anaemia; a blood disorder. With the full facts now coming to light, I know I’ll think twice before buying processed meals and meat in general!
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Answers in the next edition of The Stag. Send correct answers to email@example.com to get a mention in the paper.
Issue 55 Solutions Wordsearch Sudoku
3 4 2 9 1 6 8 5 7 2 3 4 8 7 9 1 6 5 8 6 9 5 4 1 7 3 2 7 1 5 6 3 2 9 4 8 5 2 6 1 8 4 3 7 9 4 7 8 3 9 5 2 1 6 1 9 3 2 6 7 5 8 4
D L E L L O F E B R U A R Y A G O T R P E D U B C U D R E I Y M U O I Q U U M B I G H T N N O V A F A J C E E N Y V H E J T A D W D K A C A O J A Y W L I K R H C E R E J M U L K S T V L A I H A E J R I I E A E A A I G L O V E E W N D N E M E T N E L C O R B K A A T U E U I K I Y O U S A H T B I O S W O E O E L I A D G I N N B T
9 8 7 4 5 3 6 2 1
6 5 1 7 2 8 4 9 3
S N D E R A S M U S O O E D E
T P I U A T W E G D N O S J R
Y I N A C E G R S L S C F L U
S P R I N G K U O P N C H S R
MOTIVATION ERASMUS VALENTINES CHOCOLATE
LOVE ROAD RAGE FEBRUARY LINKEDIN
CAREERS NOMINATIONS NEW SEMESTER SPRING
5 2 1 9 2 3 1 6 9
2 6 5 1
4 5 9 2 7 5 3 5 2 1 5 7 4 3 4 9 8
A H U E Y E A F H E A X L U T
G L I B R A R Y I A D C A I U
H L E M B A R R A S S I N G O
T W O N E I E G U N J Z H Z F
J O P Y N T U H M M E T E O R
D M Q T U H P A R L L Y E X E
Y E T R O K E L E C T I O N S
S N H A S L C L S E O P R M A
T S A V I D M S U T H O J A P
O F S E L Y K O E P O E L E T
P V T L O B U T R O U S E R S
I H E H A J E I A E S R Y U U
A V I E T N A M D Y I U U I R
N I U O A U L O E J N F P Q I
G J E P S T Y L E M G N O R L
LIBRARY HALLS HOUSING VIETNAM
DYSTOPIAN EMBARRASSING TROUSERS WOMEN
STYLE ELECTIONS TRAVEL METEOR
Sci/Tech Editor: Alex Smith | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
27th February 2013
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The sky is falling...
Science & Technology
As we prepared for the sub-lunar passing of comet DA14, we were taken by surprise and hit by a meteor. Central Russia was hit hardest with window shattered by the booms. The search for any fragments continues. By Alex Smith, Science & Tech Editor tearing doors completely from their frames. The collateral from the sonic booms alone caused more than 1,100 casualties – the highest number recorded of any meteor in human history (previously 1 dog was killed by one in Egypt) and hospitalized 50 people. The damage is expected to have cost 1 billion roubles (£33 million), although no meteorites have been confirmed to have made it to the ground (as of writing). The meteor, which shattered into fireballs that spanned the sky, was heavily recorded on driver’s dashboard-cameras. On film, you can see the terror of the apocalyptic-style event as the sky glows red, people begin to panic and offices are almost swept away by the force of the shockwaves. It’s no wonder some people, including the Russian Lib-Dem leader, claimed it was a US weapons test and not the wrath of the universe. There was also talk of this meteor-strike being caused by the arrival of asteroid, 2012 DA14, which just missed the Earth 10 hours later by only 17,200 miles (0.1 lunar distances), although such talk was later dismissed by scientists, including those from ESA, who found the asteroid and meteor arrived perpendicularly to each other, not from the same direction. DA14, the size of an Olympic swimming pool, had been first been identified as ‘on-approach’ in early 2012. By the time it got to Valentine’s Day, we were fixated on its near-arrival and completely oblivious to the Russian Meteor which came from the direction of the sun. In true ‘Deep Impact’ style following the events, people were wondering why no one tried to shoot down either of the giant space rocks. Although, scientists were quick to point out how little an effect it may have had on the rock or on preventing the booms. However, two US physicists have come up with a novel idea of how to attempt to stop the arrival of any incoming debris; by building an orbital platform that could harness solar power and channel the energy to a high-powered array of phased lasers, the scientists believe they could evaporate or deflect potential threats. DE-STAR, Directed Energy of Solar Targeted Asteroids and Exploration, could be built in various sizes, although the size of the array would ultimately determine how big a target could be ‘dealt with’. Alternatively, they believe it could be used to propel spacecraft at high speeds, but without funding this project is unlikely to get off the ground.
or heaven’s sake, please don’t think I’m trying to scaremonger and get you all to panic-buy, because a curious thing (or two) really did happen two weeks ago. On the 15th February over the Ural Mountains in Russia a 10 ton meteor, previously undetected, was spotted across the sky, travelling at least 33,000 mph and effectively exploded at about 20 miles above the ground. The series of sonic booms created (heard 2 minutes and 30 seconds later), damaged 4000 buildings; shattering windows across 200,000 square miles and
I’m gonna be honest - I don’t have many moments I find embarrassing, but when I do they’re probably the best in the world (and under the influence, sadly...). This year’s highlight comes from new years at a house in London. It involved me, a bottle of the world’s leading brand of whiskey, an unintended amount of straight consumption, and then the collapse of social boundaries. Lets just say you should never try to do up a lady’s bra in public, decently, through a t-shirt. Also you should never reject bread a sweet German lass tries to feed you and compare this force-feeding to a certain tyrannical oppression. And finally, when passed out under dining table chairs, don’t randomly shout “Terry Wogan” in your sleep - Or just don’t drink... Yeah, that...
16 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Angry Birds - Star Wars
By Alex Smith, Science & Tech Editor
Roll up, roll up! The latest installment of Angry Birds is definitely one you shouldn’t miss. As with previous versions, you still find yourself on a crusade against little green piggies, but this time (dressed as Stormtroopers), you find yourself following the story of Star Wars (episodes 4 through 6). Just like the original, new birds are introduced as you progress, but this time you bump into birds like Old Ben who can use the force to propel pigs and blocks, or the Han Solo bird that gets three blaster shots as it flies across the length and breadth of your smartphone. Clearly endorsed by Lucas Arts, this game has a lot of detailed content to keep you busy (outside lectures, of course…), and although it’s as repetitive as the ‘traditional’ Angry Birds, it still brings a great experience to the franchise.
©Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
Of Mice and Men
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Team
Survival of a species
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Team
link between the quality of maternal care in the first two years of a young elephant’s life and long-term consequences, such as reduced growth and delayed maturity, has been suggested by researchers at the University of Stirling. Published in the journal Biology Letters, Professor Phyllis Lee and colleagues suggested that the first two years of an elephant’s life can affect their survival over 40 years. This has been found in the case of inexperienced mothers giving birth too young, or without the social guidance of a knowledgeable matriarch. Professor Lee said that inexperienced mothers often provided ‘inappropriate care’. While female elephants can give birth as young as 10, males do not reach sexual maturity until aged 25-30 years. However, despite their ability to give birth so young, the babies
of the young mothers are unlikely to survive. Firstly, they are still too physically small to provide the resources the calf needs and secondly, those that actually survive are at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives, especially the sons which “grow up to be shorter-than-average adults.” As a result of their reduced growth, they will also experience a delay coming into their reproductive state known as the ‘musth’. This refers to a period when male bull elephants’ temporal glands become swollen and they become aggressive and sexually active. The age of sexual maturation for males is due to a need for them to be strong and big enough before they can reproduce. If their growth rate is hindered by a poor upbringing, their reproductive success may be significantly reduced or even nonexistent. According to Professor Lee, not only is there increasing worry over
the species’ survival due to cases of maternal inexperience, there is also the impact of unpredictable environmental changes and human-induced mortality. Inevitably, there are higher mortality rates for both sexes as a result of maternal inexperience, however hope is not lost for the vulnerable offspring as Professor Lee has observed an ‘exception to the rule’. In cases where the calf and its mother have a tight social bond with another experienced mother or the matriarch of the group, their survival rate is automatically increased - much like us humans! While attention to this issue is only just being brought to the forefront, it is still the larger environmental and humaninduced pressures that have the potential to change the dynamics of elephant populations and jeopardise the long-term future of the species.
illions upon millions of pounds is being spent worldwide curing mice of illnesses – but are they really the best test-subjects for humans, or are we making a huge mistake in distributing mice-tailored medicines to humans with potentially fatal illnesses? The implications could be enormous; both financially and for the sake of human survival. An underlying concern about the strength of genetic similarities between human and lab mice has existed for a long time, and now a study consisting of nearly 40 researchers from various institutions across the U.S. has emphasised exactly why mice are a wrong substitute for humans in finding a cure for some of the most serious (and fatal) diseases. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these scientists have reported that mice have different molecular responses to trauma than humans do. They therefore believe more attention and money should be put towards studying disease in humans themselves rather than on mice. The study’s co-author Ronald Tompkins says that too often, researchers make a discovery in mice and assume that humans will react in the same way. Other scientists strongly disagree, arguing that if this research becomes enough of a hot topic for policy makers to make changes, then biomedical research will decline rapidly. “Without the mouse, progress is going to be slowed to a standstill,” says mouse geneticist, Derry Roopenian. In this new study, the researchers looked at gene activity in the blood of 167 people with sepsis (an overreaction of the immune system against trauma – potentially fatal), then
compared the results with gene activity in the blood of mice with similar injuries. What they found was fundamental; barely 50% of mouse genes changed activity in the same way that humans’ did. A gene activated by trauma in mice was suppressed in the human body, meaning a drug founded on this mice-based research could be catastrophic if used on humans. These results indicate that humans and mice react differently to traumas that often land people in Intensive Care Units, meaning serious consideration is needed as they need to be giving the correct treatment to humans, not treatments tailored to mice. No consideration of the genetic differences between mice and humans is currently being taken seriously, says another co-author Whenzhong Xiao. Roopenian counters Xiao’s point by saying no one expects the two species to match exactly, but the differences between them might actually inform research, not hinder it. However, Tompkins believes basic research on mice should continue, but its relevance to human disease is still risky, describing it as a ‘leap of faith’. In some cases, extensive research proves mice are still a good model for humans. The evidence shown in this study already highlights the need for closer consideration and the implications of using cures for mice on humans. Whether there is a better substitute than the lab mouse is still uncertain. It might even be that scientists need to evaluate molecular models more closely when choosing test subjects. Anyway, the conclusions of this study are making news worldwide, but will anything change? Plus, will scientists ever be able to find a suitable replacement? Watch this space…
f you have a keen eye for interesting news stories from the world of science and technology and want to get involved in writing as part of a proactive, enthusiastic team, then today is your lucky day. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could have your news stories printed in The Stag!
Interested in science journalism?
Eeek... Testing medicines on lab mice neglects the genetic differences between us.
Sci/Tech Editor: Alex Smith | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
27th February 2013
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The new Microsoft Office 2013 is a sign of things to come
By Ankur Banerjee, Science & Tech Team
By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
Dress which turns clear when you’re turned on
very few years, Microsoft release a new version of apps for editing documents as part of their Office suite and this January, they launched a new version called Office 2013. Unless you are a using it on a tablet, Office 2013 (which introduces user interface optimisations for touch devices) does not introduce many new features that will be of use to many, other than the fact that it now supports editing PDF documents. This is the perennial problem with Microsoft’s update to Office: the basic workflow for many users has not changed much, to the point that most are still happy using Office 2003. Each new version typically introduces a revamped user interface, which feels like putting a slightly-different coloured lipstick on a pig and selling it. To be fair to Office 2013 though, the new-look, inspired by the “Metro” design language, feels cleaner and more sophisticated than previous versions. Microsoft has typically been known to not care too much about making welldesigned software in the industry, and Office 2013 is a huge step in changing that. In fact, the new design looks downright gorgeous and its new typing interface, where words and the cursor glide smoothly while typing, feel much more inviting when writing a document. However, what really sets Office 2013 apart is that it is part
ow’s this for being transparent on a date; a Dutch-based fashion designer has created a high tech dressline that turns transparent when you urm… get excited. This uses LED and wireless technology amongst other things to make it happen. Another spin off is a suit which turns transparent when men lie. Wow...
Playstation 4 prototype surfaces
Microsoft Office 2013 with it’s new, tablet-oriented, Metro design - bringing the package in-line with Microsoft’s Windows 8. of the global software revolution; instead of selling users a software outright, companies are trying to sell subscriptions. Rather than spending hundreds of pounds to download the software, or getting it on DVD, Microsoft is also offering a subscription to using Office in buckets of years. Stop paying your subscription, and all the user is left with is a stripped-down version of the software that can only be used for the most basic tasks. Another significant change in Office 2013 is that it now comes with deep integration with Microsoft’s cloud storage service SkyDrive – similar to Dropbox. The push towards using SkyDrive is done quite subliminally, as the default save location that Office 2013 offers is now SkyDrive. The intention is to get the user hooked and as their cloud storage needs to grow, they will then upgrade to paid subscription plans with more storage. The benefits the software industry touts for this push towards ‘software-as-a-service’ is that it allows users to easily access their bought software across multiple devices, but the underlying reason is more practical; with falling PC sales, a trend that has been going on for the past five years, software makers are finding their revenues suffering, and a move to a model where people pay for subscriptions ensures lock-in and continuing revenues. And it isn’t just Microsoft, everyone from Google (with Google Docs / Drive) to Adobe (with its Creative Cloud version of Creative Suite apps) are pushing towards this future, so that their profits are not dependent on whether a new version of the software finds enough buyers. While the software-as-a-service model has become popular in niche use cases and in the business-tobusiness market, Microsoft’s Office 2013 will be the bellwether that tests whether consumers would be equally keen on the benefits of subscribing to software as opposed to buying them.
o all the gamers (like myself) out there; the Playstation 4 seems to be a reality. A prototype has been seen online of the controller. It is quite a while since Sony released the Playstation 3, but this year should bring us Playstation 4. The controller looks like a big upgrade on the current controller with it seemingly integrating a touchpad, earphone slot and more “trigger like” R2 and L2 buttons.
2013: The year of the transparent smartphone
Quality AND quantity: AMH predicts IVF success
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Team
wedish researchers have found that women with a high blood concentration of Anti-Müllerian Hormone stand a better chance of conceiving and giving birth after in virtro fertilization treatment. AMH is known in animal studies to indicate egg quantity in the ovaries, but now it is suggested to correlate with the health of the eggs too. Women with higher levels of AMH are two and a half times more likely to have a pregnancy and live birth compared with
women of a similar age who have low levels of the hormone. AMH, which is produced by the ovaries, can be a predictor of successful IVF cycles says Thomas Brodin of the Uppsala University in Sweden. It is the first study to demonstrate that AMH levels are directly connected to birth and pregnancy rates, regardless of the number of eggs retrieved. He says, “For women who are struggling to get pregnant, a high AMH level should be very reassuring.” Previously, research has only shown AMH to be an indicator of the number of eggs remaining in woman’s ovaries.
Now these researchers believe that the higher the level of AMH, the greater the quality of the eggs there is remaining to support a pregnancy. The study tracked 892 women in Sweden who underwent IVF cycles between 2008 and 2011. AMH levels were measured prior to IVF treatment and the study showed that women with above 2.94ng/ ml had the highest birth rates and that IVF success rates dropped substantially as AMH levels declined. Furthermore, the study also gave women polycystic ovaries new
hope as these are associated with infertility and irregular ovulation. However, the study found that these women in fact had high AMH levels and were therefore likely to be successful candidates for IVF. The researchers concluded that high AMH levels are associated with successful IVF treatment because the hormone levels reveal important information about the quality as well as the quantity of eggs left in the ovaries. The findings will be reported by Brodin and colleagues in next month’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
ith Samsung already having shown off their bendable screens at a tech conference, Polytron Technologies is trying to make the dream where one can use a smartphone which is, in essence, transparent. It has started making prototypes of a dual touchscreen which, when switched on, conducts electricity to create text, icons, etc. Polytron’s general manager hopes that by the end of this year, such phones may be unveiled by a phone maker. Anyone remember Ironman’s phone?
Supercomputer to simulate the human brain
supercomputer has been developed to try and simulate the human brain. As we know (or don’t know), the human brain is an intriguing mystery to scientists. It is hoped that with new supercomputer mapping and simulation more will be understood of our brains, yet it will take 10 years to map out the brain completely by computer.
Tο Πανεπιστήμιο μας όπως κάθε χρόνο φέτος οργανώνει το δικό του International Festival. Οι διοργανωτές, μας δίνουν την ευκαιρία να διαφημίσουμε κάποιες όχι και τόσο γνωστές αξίες του ξεχωριστού μας πολιτισμού. Ας τους δείξουμε λοιπόν ότι δεν είμαστε το Έθνος της οικονομικής κρίσης, αλλά η Ελλάδα και η Κύπρος της πρωτοπορίας και της παγκόσμιας πολιτισμικής ανέλυξης. Το παρακάτω κείμενο διατυπωμένο στην Αγγλική, δείχνει μόνο λίγα από το τι πρέπει (ή θα έπρεπε) να μας κάνει περήφανους.
Treasurer of the Hellenic Society
The Hellenic and Cypriot Societies are proud participants of this year's International Festival. Our Union gives us this unique opportunity to mingle and in this way learn and share in a casual and friendly manner, the different cultures that are part of our University life. The essence of Greek history, culture and civilisation is not about a much badlyadvertised recession - let's not forget that financial crises throughout the centuries have struck-and-left dozens of leading nations of the world. Did you know for example, that Greek is one of the oldest languages spoken today by 14 million people and that most English words that
start with 'ph', 'ps', 'pneu', 'pho', 'cha', 'chem', 'pan', 'phil' and 'mono' are of Greek origin? Did you know that Greece has more archaeological museums than any other nation and it was first to create a municipal garbage disposal in 500 BC? Furthermore, did you know that when Cyprus became a province of the Roman Empire in 45 AD, it was the first country to be governed by a Christian and that 140 Cypriot flora species cannot be found anywhere else? Did you know that according to Interpol, the low crime rate in Cyprus makes it one of the safest places in the world?
Chair of the Societies Executive
Kang Shen Ooi
Culture plays in an important role in maintaining the identity of a society or community of people. It not only involves languages, but songs and dances, festivals as well as beliefs. It has been passed on from generation to generation and dates back as long as a few thousand years. It is the culture that brings us together, strengthen the bonds between us and make us who we are today. To be able to be part of a culture and spread it to the world so that its beauty can be seen by others is something everyone should do. iFestival provides the platform where students of different cultural background can promote their cultures and be proud of it. Making sure that a culture is passed down from one generation to another is not the work of you and me, is the work of all of us. So let’s work together to promote as well as preserve our culture so that the younger generation is able to enjoy it as much as we do.
President of VietSoc
International Exhibition, 6pm-9pm, Rubix
esident Sri Lankan Society
The International Festival has always been a highlight on campus for me as it celebrates the diversity of culture on campus and you learn a lot about different countries, their traditions and food. Last year was the first time the Sri Lankan Society was involved in the event and received great reviews and feedback. This year we hope to make it even better, so look out for our spicy food and traditional dancing at the iExhibition and iGala!
Chancellor’s Challenge: International Edition, 8pm, Chancellors
Sushi Making Sessions 1:30pm-3:30pm, The Living Room International Football Tournament, 12pm-5pm, 3G Pitch Spanish Society Film Night – Pan’s Labyrinth, 6pm-8pm, location TBC
“…Một thế giới nơi mà mọi sắc màu đều sống động hơn, cảnh vật thì sắc nét hơn, bờ biển thì đẹp mắt đến ngoạn mục, lịch sử đầy sức hấp dẫn, mùi vị thì tuyệt diệu còn nhịp sống thì nhanh nhẹn hối hả”, trích từ trang Lonely Planet trong một bài viết về Việt Nam. Thật vậy, với hàng ngàn điểm du lịch bao gồm cả văn hóa, thiên nhiên, khám phá mạo hiểm, thủ công và ca nhạc truyền thống, những công viên quốc gia mang tầm cỡ thế giới, những ngôi làng cổ được thế giới đưa vào danh sách bảo tồn, những di sản thiên nhiên thế giới cùng với bề dày lịch sử trải dài trên mảnh đất hình chữ S, Việt Nam là một điểm đến vô cùng quyến rũ với những ai yêu thích khám phá và vẻ đẹp á đông. Hãy đến với Ngày Hội Quốc Tế để được thưởng thức “Một thoáng Việt Nam”. “…a world where the colours are more vivid, where the landscapes are bolder, the coastline more dramatic, where the history is more compelling, where the tastes are more divine, where life is lived in the fast lane”, said Lonely Planet site, in an article about Vietnam. Truly so, having thousands of attractions including its cultural aspects, nature and adventure, crafts and traditional music, world- recognised national parks and globally-preserved ancient villages, World Heritage Sites and its enriched history along the S-shaped land, Vietnam is an extremely charming destination for those who desire discovery and Oriental beauties. Come to International Festival and enjoy “A Glimpse of Vietnam”.
“Home Away From Home” Workshop, 5pm-7pm, The Living Room
“Tastes of the World” with Baking Society & Culinary Society – all day, Rubix Farmers’ market International Summit, 6pm-8pm, LTE
International Gala, 7pm-11pm
Inter-Uni Dance Competition hosted by the Nepalese Society, 2pm-7pm, University Hall
For more information email Em Bollon, VP Societies & ID at email@example.com
20 DANCE & THEATRE
The Stag |
27th February 2013
atthew Bourne’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ is an eagerly-awaited contemporary reworking of the much-loved classical ballet. Bourne was virtually deified for his sensational Swan Lake (1995), particularly remembered for its powerful male swans and the exciting, original choreography. It remains a worldwide success; the production included a parodic scene to deliberately ridicule the conventions of classical ballet. It is ironic then that Bourne’s choreography for ‘Sleeping Beauty’, though pleasant enough, is unoriginal to the point of modern cliché; the production’s vivacity lies instead in its wonderful staging and clever plot-update. Bourne exploits the current passion for the vampiric with a clever, gothic twist on the original
Dance & Theatre
story. Opening in Victorian England, the royal baby is attended to by mischievous fairies including Ardor, Feral and Tantrum, whose gifts enable her to grow into a wild-child teen Princess. She frequently outwits her parents and romps behind the bushes with Leo, the handsome palace gardener. Leo’s love-rival is Caradoc, son of the evil witch Carabosse, who has cursed the royal family. Gardenerprince-Leo acquires supernatural longevity in the gothic vampirebitten tradition and, with Caradoc, survives the 100 years sleep spell. As usual, Bourne beefs up the male roles, giving us Count Lilac in place of the Lilac Fairy, whilst Caradoc - the dangerous and powerful second love interest - is a new part completely. The staging is fabulous. A naughty puppet baby-princess runs rings around all the adults, provoking belly laughs from the audience. The opulent, black-gold set of marble, drapes and a huge window provide a classy, clean backdrop for the drama, avoiding the fussiness of set which is often associated with classical ballet. Later, a huge moon silhouettes slender trees amongst which the dancers weave and leap. A sexy S&M-themed nightclub is a sinister, erotic setting for the climactic resolution of the Aurora-LeoCaradoc conflict. The costumes are heavenly, particularly those of the fairies - all shredded dark chiffon. It is clear that most of the production budget went on the staging, leaving nothing for the music. The use of pre-recording for such a high profile dance event suggests a cynical assumption of an unsophisticated audience. Tchaikovsky’s score is the pinnacle of the classical composition for ballet and Bourne’s status is such that he could employ an orchestra, rather than muzak-flat tapes. The quality of dance performance throughout is excellent but the dancers are never given truly inspired material. Bourne references classical choreography at the start, and glosses Swan Lake’s ‘Dance of the Little Swans’ charmingly. Unfortunately, this highlights that the subsequent modern choreography is unoriginal to the point of banal, and has been seen many times before on TV shows such as the US version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. Quality contemporary ballet - such as that choreographed by Russell Maliphant for Sylvie Guillem - moves audiences to tears. But, despite the sublimity of Tchaikovsky’s composition, Mathew Bourne’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’, whilst highly stylish, slick and entertaining, ultimately fails to enrapture.
By Denise Bennett, Dance & Theatre Team
Glimpsing the future
By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance & Theatre Editor
© Simon Annand
niversity is a place for opportunities. It is not just a way of gaining academic skills and earning that degree that employers seem so desperate for; it also provides you with the time and contacts to get out there and try different things. In the theatre and dance worlds, connections are vital and it really is more about who you know; if you can leave uni with a book of names and numbers, you’re putting yourself in good stead for the future. One such opportunity presented itself to me last month. Our department received an email from BBC Bristol, asking for stewards for the filming of Flog It! at Guildford Cathedral. I’d just finished a similar opportunity as a steward for RHS Garden Wisley, and as the BBC boasted it being a full paid day, I thought I might as well give it a shot. Not only would it look good on my CV but it would provide incredible insight into the workings of the BBC as a film company, and the way in which such film crews work on a day to day basis. So, I applied, peppering my cover letter with subtle compliments and
skilfully (if I say so myself) steering all my experience to benefit their criteria. A week later, I had a phone interview, which I’d not anticipated, but all seemed to go well and everyone appeared friendly. Shortly after, I got confirmation that several of my course mates and I had been successful in gaining a place as a steward for the day. It would be a 8:30am till 7pm day, on your feet, but it was paid, at the BBC and during the last week of January when we had nothing else to do. It was an early start, and we nervously awaited people whose names we knew but faces we didn’t. There was no reason to be so apprehensive. Adam and Charlotte, the runners in charge of us, were incredibly friendly, immediately reassuring us and making us feel comfortable. Rather swiftly we had a tour of the venue, put on our branded polo shirts and met the crew (at least 20-odd people of varying importance). Then it was out into the cold to chat to the already growing crowd of eager public. Here’s the important thing to realise – working for television is not glamorous. My first job was meant to be indoors but I was asked to help handle the queue; luckily,
just as my hands were turning blue, a cameraman offered me his coat as he was heading inside. The majority of the day was spent on my feet, making sure the public sat in the right places, chatting to them, finding out where they’d come from and what they’d brought and generally maintaining a cheery and helpful disposition. Following lunch, my next job was on the director’s table. That was the really interesting part. I got to see them filming the various items, viewed the shots from the monitors and I got a real sense of the detail and technicality behind the 30-minute shows. In this role I was a runner, carrying the antiques to and from the wrapping room and being on hand to help out the crew whenever they needed. Surprisingly, I only made one cup of tea the entire day! Which I deem a grand success. The biggest challenge of the day was maintaining energy levels; there was a lot to do and a lot to think about, but it consisted of many hours standing, answering the same questions and having the same smile. But as I said before, the crew were fantastic and supportive; you never felt like you were searching for something to do, and
initiative was praised. It was an insightful day of just how complex such orchestrations are – in our 9hours of filming time we saw over 800 people with their antiques and recorded enough footage for 5 episodes. The BBC is a huge organisation and I was working for just one show in just one branch of the corporation. But whenever I was asked about my plans for the future, I explained my degree, my interest in journalism and my hopes of broadcast experience – for people interested in stage work, learning about the screen is just as important as it is an ever-growing medium that has much worth.
My biggest piece of advice to those of you interested in a vocational career – whether it be in the media or the arts – is to take up every single opportunity that you possibly can. Every day you spend working for someone new is another name you have for the future, another line to your CV and another chance for you to impress someone. It’s about the experience, so when you do finally get that job, you won’t be walking into it blind. Instead, you’ll have an understanding of industry, professionalism, and above all... how to make that perfect cuppa.
© Matthew Fang
Dance/Theatre Editor: Tiffany Stoneman | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
27th February 2013
DANCE & THEATRE
Watch This Space: Arts at Surrey
s you can see, MTSoc’s FAME! is almost here. Get yourself ready for a dazzling set, incredible musicality, and a well known story of love and the arts. What: FAME When: 27th February - 2nd March Where: Main Hall Cost: £5 (£10 full)
usicals not your thing? Then how about a classic novel reimagined onstage in a spectacular production by Rachel Wagstaff (adapt.) and Alastair Whatley (dir.). What: Birdsong When: 25th February - 2nd March Where: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Cost: from £15
f you missed BalletBoyz at GLive this week, never fear! They’re coming to London soon as part of their The Talent Tour. Keep an eye out in the next issue of The Stag for a review of their show too. What: BalletBoyz: The Talent 2013 When: 8th-13th March Where: Sadler’s Wells, London Cost: from £12
Bits O’ The Bard
“An honest tale speeds best being plainly told”
- Queen Elizabeth Richard III, Act 4 Scene 4
The Stag |
27th February 2013
The Lucky One Friends
By Candice Ritchie, Film Editor
uring the last decade, Nicholas Sparks has had the same number of film adaptations as JK Rowling. Ever since A Walk to Remember, and the infamous The Notebook, every adaptation tagged with his name has brought high expectations in the romance genre and, needless to say, satisfaction. So, when I heard that The Lucky One was yet another film adaptation of Sparks’ novels, I knew instantly that I would like it – and instantly that I would cry. Whilst serving in Iraq, US Marine Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) finds a photograph of an unknown young woman, which he deems to be the good luck charm that keeps him alive. Spotting clues in the photo which suggest she is from Louisiana, he heads there after finishing his tour in the futile hope of finding her. Here he finds Beth Green (Taylor Schilling) and, being too anxious to reveal his reason for coming, she assumes that
he has seen the advertisement for a helper in the dog kennels. Soon, Logan’s presence at the kennels becomes perpetual, and he begins to build a close relationship with both Beth and her son, Ben. But Beth’s exhusband is not going to make things easy; neither is the secret of the photograph. Many have begun to slate adaptations based on the novels of Sparks for their similarity in plot – the repeated loss of a loved one, and the same relationship dynamics. They even go as far as to suggest that the films don’t live up to the books; perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it – I haven’t read the original. But the general consensus is that these adaptations are cheesy, predictable and repetitive. My answer; aren’t all romance films? Not one of these films has failed to make me cry, but that’s why I love them – they’re tearjerkers, and that’s what they set out to be. Wouldn’t it be more controversial if the book was melancholy but the film
contained nothing but content? It was clear in this film that Zac Efron has grown up. Long gone are the days of Troy Bolton and his baby face in High School Musical, or the man who could act a teenager in 17 Again. With rugged facial hair and a bigger build, Efron’s aesthetics are finally manly. He doesn’t quite match up to the previous male protagonists of Sparks’ adaptations; however he has a long way to go before he can rival Tatum and Gosling. I felt that Efron’s acting was also a grade higher than previous works; perhaps because he plays a more serious character than his typical high-school role. He was much more connected to Logan, and I often found myself pining for the distance between him and Beth to close. Overall, it’s nothing new, but if you’re expecting innovation when you begin a romance film in today’s society, you’ll have a long wait. Accept it for what it is – a good old chick-flick, with a few tears.
By Becky Richmond, Marketing Editor
o I stumbled over this movie whilst trying to find a nice, lovey-dovey romantic film so I could swoon over the main male character, and oh boy, this film did not disappoint. Absolutely hilarious, I laughed so hard at some points (baby diarrhoea, need I say more?) and my heart wept at others. Adam Scott is so insanely gorgeous and loveable; you will instantly fall in love with him. Megan Fox was, as I always find her, extremely annoying. Token hot girl, who snowboards and plays Xbox, we get it, you’re gorgeous and cool - bleugh. But, it sort of adds to the film; I’m not sure if you’re meant to dislike her character so you root for Adam Scott’s and Jennifer Westfeldt’s characters to get together, but it definitely has that effect. Westfeldt also did a
wonderful job at writing and starring in the film. Probably one of the best Rom-Coms I’ve seen in a long time, and trust me, I’ve seen a lot of RomComs... The film essentially features around three couples who all have kids, but through three different situations One couple is happily married with two children. Another discover that marriage and children aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and finally, there’s Jason and Julie who are best friends from college and decide to have a baby together so they can fulfil that aspect of life without disappointing marriage; but, it doesn’t quite work out that way. It’s such a wonderful film, and I do urge you to watch it, maybe in the come down from Valentine’s Day you can still feel the love! Plus, just an added bonus, the baby Jason and Julie have is super-super adorable.
Film Editor: Candice Ritchie | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
27th February 2013
By Ankur Banerjee, Film Team
Zero Dark Thirty
ero Dark Thirty is a curious film that tries to walk a fine line between being a documentary and an action film. Much has been written about the controversial nature of the film for its depiction of torture techniques. Setting that aside and judging the film based purely on its artistic merit, I found it coming up short. The first half of the film is a major drag; the plot progresses slowly and I found myself disinterested in the machinations that it went through in representing the backstory of how Osama bin Laden was tracked down. Despite devoting a lot of screen time, the film hardly spends any time on meaningful character development or in making any kind of cogent political arguments. Dan (Jason Clarke), the only slightly-interesting character, is taken out of rotation early on and the rest is spent on making Maya (Jessica Chastain) appear “spunky” by dropping expletives in a meeting with top CIA brass. Mark Strong’s acting talent is wasted by giving him a bit role in the film. The pace picks up with the last quarter of the film devoted to the actual military operation - ‘Operation Neptune Spear’ - which took down Osama bin Laden. It is here that Kathryn Bigelow’s direction works its magic in portraying the tension of the soldiers modestly; similarly to the iconically-understated manner in which she portrayed the sniper ambush in The Hurt Locker. The dialogue in one particular scene – where a Black Hawk helicopter crashes at bin Laden’s house – is sure to remind viewers of Black Hawk Down. I was glad that the focus was kept on the teams in battle rather than relying of the crutch of cutting back to situation rooms far away with satellite imagery to explain the battlefield narrative as many war
films tend to do. Zero Dark Thirty feels like a film where Bigelow is relying on the goodwill of The Hurt Locker to score points with critics and the audience. I couldn’t help comparing Zero Dark Thirty to other genre films such as Syriana and Body of Lies that do a better job (in my opinion) of character development while keeping the pace consistently snappy. In a word: disappointed.
Interested in films?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Butterfly Keith Lemon: The Film Effect (2004)
By Beth Goss, Film Team
’m usually very fussy when it comes to my choice of movie, meaning I don’t take movie recommendations lightly (I understand the irony in this statement). So it was with great trepidation that I bought, yes bought, a copy of The Butterfly Effect (2004) and settled down to watch. And for once my scepticism was misguided! This Sci-Fi/ Thriller kept me entertained until the very end- of which there is technically two, by the way. The ‘true’ ending was considered too controversial for every day watchers, meaning that a second ‘air plane’ ending was also filmed. Now doesn’t that make you want to watch The Butterfly Effect? I mean, how many
movies have to be forced to refilm their final sequence? I’ll give you a quick overview of the plot here. The Butterfly Effect follows the life of a young man, played by Ashton Kutcher, who has a habit of blocking out harmful memories throughout his life. As he grows up and enters college, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and, inadvertently, alter his life. Now let me just say that this movie is not for the faint hearted. Some pretty serious subjects are brought up during the course of the moviesuicide being a prevalent thread. Though there are a couple of light-hearted scenes dotted about, The Butterfly Effect remains a serious thriller film.
By Candice Ritchie, Film Editor
any films that stem from TV series seem to work; think The Inbetweeners, The Muppets, or The A Team. Even those that are based on TV characters, such as the infamous Ali G or comedy legend Mr Bean, appear to create success. But Keith Lemon: The Film is an exception. Full to the brim with cameo appearances and over-thetop comedy, it doesn’t come much cheesier than this.
The plot follows Keith Lemon (Leigh Francis) as he attempts to make his new invention, the securipole, a success. After failing to attract any attention at the Invention Convention in London, and accidentally ordering over a million units, Keith is in great debt to Evil Steve. As a get out plan, he decides to market the new mobile phone given to him as a gift, which becomes an overnight sensation known as the ‘Keith Lemon Phone.’ However, Keith’s success is short-
lived when the phone is found to have a technical fault, causing one’s mouth to drop and giving them a speech impediment. While writing a synopsis of the plot, I realised how ridiculous it sounds. It is as though Leigh Francis and Paul Angunawela paired up to create anything that would fill eighty-five minutes. Angunawela’s direction is awful – everything seems thrown together, and the script is all over the place. The film certainly lacks the comedy value it sets out to achieve. It was clear from watching the trailer that all things cheesy were going to aggregate, but after finding Francis’ character funny on Celebrity Juice; I was expecting to find him at least amusing in the film. The only thing I can say about the endless cameos is that they were aggravating and pointless. They were simply there to be there, did nothing for the plot, and made the film seem like a directory of celebrities. To name a few: Tinchy Stryder, Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton, Billy Ocean, Jedward, Paddy McGuiness, Ronan Keating, Gary Barlow, Mel C, Emma Bunton, David Hasselhoff; the list goes on. I need not mention Kelly Brook, whose acting is as awful as ever. The only person that stood out for me – and probably because he’s one of the only true actors in the film – was Verne Troyer. All I can say is I’m glad I didn’t pay for this film - thank god for DVD rental services. It truly is the worst film of 2012.
Lit Editor: Emily Smart | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Celebrate International Women’s Day with a good book
By Shiri Shah, Literature Team
ith International Women’s Day quickly approaching, it is time to start re-reading those classic literary texts that represent women’s identity, power and control. The day has been observed since 1908; a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Great unrest and critical debate was occurring among women which and by 1963 Betty Friedan had produced her feminist text The Feminine Mystique, inspiring women to make an independent change. The days of the domesticated housewife are long in the past and there could not be a better time to celebrate International Women’s Day. This year there will be
many events to commemorate the day, each based around the theme of “gaining momentum” and looking towards a more sustainable change. An inspiring event revealed on the website describes the chance for schoolchildren from Gloucestershire to enter a competition to name their heroine. This could be by drawing, painting or writing, and gives children the chance to really think about what, and who, inspires them. They can then question why they find such figures inspiring and the competition also encourages creativity. Meanwhile, you can experience the power of the movement right here on campus as Professor Marie BreenSmyth will be giving an inaugural lecture entitled “When the past is present: the Casualty, the Body, the Politics.” Or you could just get your nose into some really good feminist
fiction. This is fiction where feminism is the primary theme, and they are mainly stories about people challenging and overcoming sexism, gender roles and discrimination. Some of the best writers are women and feminists, for example we have Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath and the Bronte sisters. I would recommend The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Orlando by Virginia Woolf. However, if you fancy embracing literature with a more international flavour, you could try Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody and Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara. Happy reading and International Women’s Day! We can all appreciate how far women have come in the fight for equality and how much work is left to be accomplished.
Surrey New Writers’ Festival
By Emily Smart, Literature Editor
Happy 200th Birthday Mr Darcy
iterature readers of The Stag, it is time to start purchasing your tickets for the upcoming Surrey New Writers’ Festival. This annual festival, affiliated with the creative writing programme here at the University of Surrey, will take place on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th March, and is available to both students and the public. This year, the festival will focus on celebrating Guildford’s historical connection with the well known writer of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll. Alongside this, it is also providing numerous events that are of great interest to former, current and potential Surrey students. The events range from a drop-in writing surgery with our very own Paul Vlitos for those budding creative writers in need of that extra push, to a chance to
find out more about the world of poetry and publication with David Ashford and Stephen Mooney. Or, if you are looking for something a little bit more lighthearted, why not attend the ‘humour and writing panel’ with Tim Miles or grab a spot of lunch with author Liam Bell. These are four of over twenty different events occurring during the two day festival which promises to be something not to miss out on. Tickets are just £3 for students and some of the events are even free, so what is stopping you? If you do attend, be sure to let The Stag know what you thought of it! If you are interested in finding out a little more about the festival or wish to purchase a ticket, all details can be found on http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ arts/literature/events/surrey_new_ writers_festival_2013.htm
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team Austen described her novel, Pride and Prejudice, as “my own darling child from London” and what a darling book it was; engaging readers of all ages and remaining an imperative and popular part of today’s literature. The novel’s success has been explained following its incorporation of theme which has been relevant across history from love and marriage, to money and power within family settings. It really is a ‘truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife’ and there is no doubt that society’s prejudice and personal motives play a role in our everyday lives. But it is Austen’s astute perception and satirical humour which brings the characters
alive as Mr. Darcy has become a household name and despite being 200 years old, there are few modern women who would decline a date at Pemberly. Meanwhile, the story itself inspired the popular BBC TV series, a 2005 film starring Keira Knightly and even a Bollywood version; Bride and Prejudice. Not forgetting the Bridgette Jones adaptations of course! Colin Firth certainly owes the majority of his success to Austen’s work. Even in the First World War the novel was given to soldiers sent home to recover from shell shock. Austen’s novel has marked cultures throughout history and is commonly incorporated in education syllabuses, showing that this is not simply a love story, but a true masterpiece of witty and complex intuition which refuses to retire from our bookshelves anytime soon.
I would have to say that my most embarrassing moment since being at university came on my 19th birthday. DJ Tim Westwood announced to the whole of Rubix that I was “available” whilst obliviously and happily dancing in the middle of the dance floor, alone.
The Stag |
27th February 2013
The Teenage Dystopian Revolution
By Alexandra Wilks, Editor
ost-apocalyptic dystopian narratives are literally taking over our book shelves. But these narratives are not marketed at adults, but teenagers. A few years ago, vampire books were the big sellers. After Stephanie Meyer’s ridiculous success with the Twilight saga, vampire books erupted across the Young Adult section of every bookshop. All books had a white, black or red cover and numerous authors enjoyed some success with weak re-hashings of Twilight, Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series I’m looking at you. However, since the release of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy (which is one of the best books I’ve ever read), dystopian fiction is taking over the average teenagers’ bookshelves. Collins deserves all the praise she gets, The Hunger Games is gripping, innovative and wonderfully original. Plus, the film by far exceeds the epic cringe fest that is the Twilight films. And I like Twilight.
The post-apocalyptic explosion is really exciting, but why are teens engaging with these stark, dark and often terrifying narratives? Being a teenager you often feel completely alone, surrounded by adults who are boring and chronically out of touch, big world events pass you by and often you don’t really understand them. Post-apocalyptic narratives feed directly into these feelings. Adults are jumping on board too, both my parents have read The Hunger Games, and I’ve seen many, many copies floating around on the tube during rush hour. The financial crash of 2009 has shaken our Western world. It still seems a shock that banks, those trusted and often feared structures, could get it so horribly wrong. With the High Street dying around us, and more and more people rejecting the commercialisation of just about everything, the latest obsession with post-apocalyptic fiction seems oddly apt. Here are three young adult books you should read if you think end-of-the-world narratives might be the thing for you:
Fancy an easy read to get you started? 1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The book that started off the whole phenomenon. Set in the fictional Panem (which bares subtle similarities to North America), the trilogy is centred around a corrupt Capitol which requests that 2 under 18s from the surrounding districts take part in the deadly Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is televised for the enjoyment of the Capitol, and the purpose is for one victor to kill off all other contestants. 2) The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda. The human race has been almost entirely eradicated and eaten by the ‘new’ people, blood thirsty, vampiric like beings who cannot stand sunlight, and have little or no emotions. The narrator, 17 year old Gene, is one of the only humans (known as hepers) left. 3) Delirium series by Lauren Oliver Love is a disease and a cure has been found. Humans are ‘fixed’ so they cannot fall in love. Lena is about to be fixed when she meets Alex. Fancy something a bit more grown up? 1) The Road by Cormac McCarthy Set in a post-apocalyptic North America, The Road is the harrowing tale of a Father and Son’s doomed journey across blasted landscapes. 2) Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart A clever, hilarious, and thoroughly original novel about love, morality and the breakdown of North America. Ambitious, bold and brilliant. 3) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Widely regarded as a classic (and deservedly so), Atwood’s tale is set in a dystopian society in which relations between men and women are strictly controlled. A fantastic science fiction tale, with an interesting moral message.
The fault in ‘The Fault In Our Stars’
By Ankur Banerjee, Literature Team ohn Green’s latest novel, The Fault In Our Stars, does everything right on paper; its plot has universal appeal and has garnered much critical acclaim to boot. The book was destined to become a bestseller. The story is of a 16 year old girl, Hazel Grace Lancaster, who suffers from cancer and meets a guy called Augutus “Gus” Waters through her cancer support group. She falls in love with him, and the story tells the machinations of this romance throughout the months they spend together. A major subplot revolves around an alcoholic author called Peter van Houten who lives in Amsterdam – Hazel’s favourite author – whom the two end up meeting in a quest to find the ending to his (only) novel. To say that I was massively disappointed with this book would be an understatement. I expected it to be similar to Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper – a book that moved me to tears with its story – but in the end I found The Fault In Our Stars to be lacking in pizazz. The plot is only slightly more original than a story that you might read on the back of a box of breakfast cereal. Every cliché that you can think of (and then some more) is thrown into the mix, to the point that every single page is utterly predictable. If it was supported by proper character
development, the novel would still be salvageable, but alas this is something it fails to do so. It’s easy to forget how much of the buzz around John Green’s books stems from legions of adoring fans who flooded the Web with positive reviews. For those who are unaware of his background, John Green is a major Internet celebrity; he converts to four-sevenths of a real-life celebrity at current exchange rates for pioneering the concept of ‘vlogging’ (video blogging). With just about a million subscribers on YouTube and 300 million views on his videos, Green’s fans are a highlyeffective PR juggernaut that many publishing executives can only wish for. Lest someone accuse me of being biased against John Green, I immensely enjoyed one of his previous novels Paper Towns. I used to avoid the whole young adult novel genre like the scourge until Paper Towns showed me that a genuinely witty novel aimed at younger readers that did not have flying wizards or law-andorder leprechauns could be written. The genre as a whole has progressed so far in terms of being insightful yet relevant to the younger generation. Unfortunately, The Fault In Our Stars signifies everything that I see wrong in “dumbing down” books to appeal to young readers.
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Review of Money by Martin Amis
By Joseph Harrison, Literature Team
uch is John Self’s vision for when he finally goes to California to get the body re-think he’s promised himself; just as soon as he really gets in on the money that is. John Self is the protagonist and narrator of the novel Money: a Suicide Note, by Martin Amis. He is a successful director of commercials, but uses his wealth to fuel his endless appetite for pornography, prostitutes, junk food and alcohol. When the film producer Fielding Goodney invites him to work with
marks an important mile stone in his literary career. It is significantly longer than his earlier novels (being virtually twice the size) and was – in his own words – the novel where ‘he stopped trying to behave’. Whilst he was writing, he invested most of his energies into the voice of John Self and admits to having been worried that he hadn’t pulled it off. However, it has come to be critically acclaimed for its use of language during characterisation and it is a novel brimming
Alexandra Wilks discusses ‘sick lit’ and racist language in children’s fiction
“I can see me now ... I move confidently among the technicians, the ideas men and creative consultants, the engineers and fine-tuners. Someone shows me the rough of my new ears and nostrils.”
him on a pornographic film in New York, the novel’s tragic-comical story is set in motion. Self is in a relationship with a stripper called Selina Street, but they both know and accept that it is a money-sex relationship and he suspects her of having an affair. A ‘Frank the phone’ haunts the story, watching John without his knowing and phoning him up late at night to condemn the excesses of his behaviour. Fielding Goodney is a sharply dressed gogetter in his mid-twenties, with dazzling teeth and a seemingly endless supply of money. As the novel progresses, Self’s grand plans to get the perfect body (even complete with new ears) seem more and more absurd and darkly comical in how they jar with the reality of his lonely, hedonistic and morbidly obese character. Just how absurd, becomes clear towards the novel’s end, but I won’t spoil that for you. Money (published 1984) is Amis’s fifth novel and it with Amis’ trademark darkly entertaining satire and word play. ‘Self’ is an apt surname for the lonely, self-destructive protagonist, and the key talents for Goodney’s porno have names like ‘Spunk Davis, of course. Admittedly, it’s a rather long book, and could be about half the length without any real sacrifice to plot. However, I would definitely recommend it following its engaging examination of the relationship between money and culture, not to mention its narrative style. Amis’ rich prose draws you in to the obscene, hilarious and at times nauseating world of John Self and the novel’s conclusion will likely surprise you as much as it does John. Self-obsessed and at times violent, he’s certainly not a loveable guy, but his vulnerability means that you can’t really hate him either.
Racy Reads winner announced
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team
orraine Kelly’s breakfast show has announced the winner for her Racy Reads competition. The programme is looking for the next erotic romance to hit the shelves this year with the help of an expert panel of judges. Romantic best-seller Jackie Collins, author Victoria Fox and actor William Roache were impressed with the lustful entries and after much deliberation selected Anouska Knight as the winner with her novel Cake. The novel combines naughtiness with cake and Knight reveals that there is one particularly steamy scene which involves cake decorating. The novel also bequeaths a gripping story of conflicted characters struggling to reconcile with tragedies which have occurred in their pasts and the judges commended the novels expansion beyond just sex scenes. Humour also finds its way into the novel and the judging panel were entertained with the descriptions of a cake involving a stiletto heel stuck into a testicle. The competition’s impressive prize will publish the novel this summer, while Knight will be flown to Los Angeles to meet Jackie Collins. Knight said she was “overwhelmed” with the prize and thanks Jackie’s advice to “write about what you know”, saying “and I may not know much, but I know cakes”. Knight had to close her cake shop last summer and found writing as an outlet. She says winning has given her the confidence to say “you know what girls I’m not going to come out for a glass of wine tonight because I’m writing a chapter.”
The judges also praised the novel’s addictive element; the competition only allowed entries of 1000 words, yet within this limited space Knight offered a unique writing style to truly grip the reader. Meanwhile, Collins and her fellow panel suggested women are better at writing sex scenes than men since they incorporate emotional elements and set the scene in a much more patient manner. Here is a sneak preview of the winning novel: ‘We were locked into each other, the slick covering of sweat we had each bestowed upon the other the only relief in what would otherwise be a crushing frenzy of need. I didn’t care. I wanted it to reign down on me like an insatiable creature, to devour me, to gobble us both up and force us harder into one another until the lines between our writhing bodies were no more.’
eenage and children’s fiction has been hitting the headlines hard of late. With columnists furiously arguing over whether racist language is appropriate in Children’s books or whether teenagers and young adults should be allowed to read ‘sick’ lit. Sick lit refers to books aimed at teenagers about fellow teenagers with terminal illnesses. The Daily Mail’s Tanith Carey described these novels as ‘mawkish’ and ‘exploitative’. The racist language debate is altogether more nuanced, with children complaining about the use of the word ‘nigger’ in certain books. All the arguments stemming from the words on a page take us back to the age old question, ‘How much should we protect our children?’. As a child I read voraciously, devouring almost every novel that I could. I read things that disturbed me (Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected, for one), things that made me cry (Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman) and things that opened my eyes to the world
around me (The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini). I honestly think without these formative experiences I would never had ended up studying English Literature at University. It is through reading that I have learnt so much about the world around me. Death is a part of life, and reading about terminal illness in a book is a brilliant way for teenagers to begin to think about these more dark facts. Racist language, however, is more difficult. One could argue that if it upsets children, then it should not be in children’s books. However, give me one child who loves Biff and Chip. Children are not separate entities, and like adults they want to be challenged, they don’t want to read happy, boring, cliché stories. One wonders how much of all this fuss is coming from complaining children and how much are over-protective parents appalled by the modern edgy children’s story. In the end, perhaps certain columnists and indeed parents would do well to remember if a book offends you, simply close it and move on.
The Stag’s own Twitter fiction
In the last issue, Becky Richmond wrote the additional piece to the Twitter story. Here is a reminder “Or am I? I don’t know. I’ve never known. I’m very off topic! I don’t know if I’m chasing something or running. I’ve somehow deceived myself...” Alex Smith, Science & Tech Editor will now continue the story...
“But I don’t blame myself. Instead I just run away
Lorraine Kelly on her morning show discussing racy reads
from judgement. Escaping the clutches of old, veering towards a forest of new beginnings.”
Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
27th February 2013
The Foals - ‘Holy Fire’
When I was asked to write up one of my most embarrassing moments, only one thought stuck in my mind. I could have gone down the funny but slightly flattering route; however this would just not be truthful. I have discovered recently that I am in fact lactose intolerant, a slightly boring and annoying allergy to dairy. This is perhaps in part due to the crippling fear of cows which I hold deep inside me: Satan’s two horned, evil-eyed, chasing you down creatures. One evening, on a cliff-top stroll on holiday, a thick fog began to roll in around me and my boyfriend. By the time we were headed back down we could only see a metre in front ourselves. It was then I began to get painful stabbing sensations in my stomach with every step. I tried to act normal until black spots appeared in front of my eyes and I had to abruptly lie down. “Hey what’s wrong?” “I don’t feel too good. Get away from me before I’m sick on you.” (I am a charmer) I proceeded to writhe around on the floor in agony with visions of cows appearing from the fog like some twisted nightmare. After what seemed like hours I was walked back down the hill to dash into the nearest public toilets. Now I’ve been with my boyfriend a long time, but I still know a passion killer when I see one, and emerging from the loo with mud and grass all up my back after ejecting my stomach contents was one of them.
By Elliot Tyers, Music Team
Bastille - ‘Pompeii’ Single Release
By Becky Worley, Music Editor
astille are a relatively new band from South London, only forming in 2010 and being signed in 2011. They are currently supporting Two Door Cinema Club on their tour, and that is a good comparison to begin with. They share the same catchy indie-pop sound, which has really caught on as a genre. Their single ‘Flaws’ first bought my attention to the band, with its fairly simplistic style and the vocals featuring heavily, with male harmonies in the background. This is echoed in their new single ‘Pompeii’, which was released on the 24th of February. It begins with these male harmonies to create an atmospheric beginning then moves into a simple electronic beat and
vocals. This stripped back style is then added to with a military drum beat and the male harmonies then build in the chorus. The verses stay stripped back and again move into a crescendo chorus and ending. The lyrics themselves are catchy, and even after the first listening you find yourself bopping along and singing away, and it is clear the vocals and lyrics are the centrepiece of the song while the beat, harmonies and simple electronic tune serve as a background. Dan Smith, the lead vocalist, is definitely the prominent member or the band, also being the only one to feature in the video for this song. With a new album out on the 4th of March, maybe this is another London based indie-pop group to look out for.
oals for me have always been one of those bands that I’ve wanted to love but found it difficult to do so. Since their debut album ‘Antidotes’, I’ve thought of myself as a fan, mostly for the fact that they seemed to be doing something different to everyone else; tracks like ‘Cassius’ skitter schizophrenically across start-stop guitar lines whereas the stadium rock championed by the likes of Kings of Leon was hitting its most formulaic best. This eccentricity was something that struck me as a bit hit-and-miss; some of the lyrics came across as purposefully vague and obscure, some of the track constructions came across as deliberately difficult to listen to. All of it was very impressive and intelligent, but the main problem was that it was trying to impress with said intelligence. I’m always hesitant about using the term “album track” in a disparaging way as I tend to think that, just because a track isn’t as commercially viable or as different to the bands usual sound, it shouldn’t dismissed on those grounds. That said, follow-up album ‘Total Life Forever’ could best be said to be made up, for the most part, with album tracks. One of the few bright points on that album was ‘Spanish Sahara’ the 6-minute track is a slow building, chilling track that managed to touch on an emotional core that is somewhat lacking from many of other Foals tracks. It’s that emotional evolution that stretches into their third album ‘Holy Fire’, something that I think is for the better. That said, fans hoping for more of the same when it comes to Foals may be in for a somewhat unpleasant surprise. The first proper track on the album, ‘Inhaler’, casts aside the intellectualism of the past two albums for something that’s much more muscular and raw. It builds slowly across the first couple minutes into a crescendo of well-produced stabs of guitar and bass lines that doesn’t let up in
intensity until the final minute, which features some trademark Foals guitar licks. The message is a pretty simple one: We’re bigger than before, stupider than before and better than before. That punch in the gut sound is something that carries on throughout the album, giving the entire album a sense of fun which is lacking in the Foals’ past efforts. Other benefits of this album’s progression is that we get to see the full vocal talent of Yannis Philippakis, especially on the fantastic track ‘Late Night’, and a much more intense level of production to previous albums. However, this more violent approach to producing tracks doesn’t mean a total change in direction; tracks like ‘My Number’ still have that very ‘Foals-ish’ sound of scattering complex guitars, showing that they haven’t totally given up on their old sound. For all of the highs about this album, it isn’t all positive; I sadly have to use the term ‘album track’ again to refer to songs such as ‘Out of the Woods’ and ‘Stepson’ which don’t really do anything except beef up the time length of the album. Another complaint is that a lot of the elements of this album that were lacking in Foals back catalogue; a ‘bigger’ sound, more muscular production and so on could suggest that this is a somewhat cynical move to push Foals up to the status of a headliner act. Although that isn’t something that I’d complain about seeing, it doesn’t really ring true with the fact that, for me, Foals were always a band who tried not to walk the beaten path. Despite this, ‘Holy Fire’ is still a quality album. It’s maybe not one that ‘hardcore’ Foals fans will appreciate but is something that could definitely push Foals into the big time.
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Old Dogs, New Tricks
Neil Young & Crazy Horse: ‘Americana’ and ‘Psychedelic Pill’
By Dan Davison, Music Team
Why I love... Why I love... Warpaint The Smiths
By Alexandra Wilks, Editor
s some of you may recall from last year, I ran a regular series which focussed on the albums released later in life by long-established icons. After a considerable hiatus, I am pleased to announce that ‘Old Dogs, New Tricks’ is back. For this issue, the spotlight is upon one individual who has certainly made his name as a longrunner in the music industry. That individual is Neil Young. Known for his distinctive, guitar-driven sound on such enduring solo works as ‘Harvest’ (1972) - as well as his group efforts with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - in the past year the Canadian legend has joined forces with his former band Crazy Horse to bring us two new albums: ‘Americana’ and ‘Psychedelic Pill’ (2012). Released in June 2012, ‘Americana’ largely consists of traditional folk songs, reinterpreted in a hard rock style. In several respects, this concept is commendable: many of these traditional songs have a sombre or darkly humorous edge, which is often lost upon modern audiences. For instance, despite its frequent inclusion in children’s books, how many are aware that the folk ballad ‘Clementine’ ends with the narrator forgetting his deceased love after a kiss from her younger sister? Such forgotten aspects are brought to the forefront in ‘Americana’ by the ominous pounding of drums and the metallic edge of electric guitars.
Nonetheless, for all of the album’s conceptual brilliance, it frequently encounters issues of execution. Whilst the band’s characteristic stomp is often in-keeping with the foreboding atmosphere clearly intended for the songs, at other times it becomes outright cacophonous. This is especially problematic when combined with Young’s often weak and unsupported vocals. Although this does not detract too substantially from the album’s shorter moments of bleak humour
- such as the traditional piece ‘Gallows Pole’ (previously given the hard rock treatment by Led Zeppelin in 1970) - it can prove grating after extended listens. Nevertheless, ‘Americana’s faults are largely redeemed by the other side of its coin, ‘Psychedelic Pill’. Released in October 2012, ‘Psychedelic Pill’ is to a great extent the product of the band’s jam sessions during the recording of ‘Americana’. This is especially evident from its marathon-length tracks, such as the 27-minute opener ‘Driftin’ Back’, which progresses from gentle, folkinspired strumming to the psychedelic lick of electric guitars in a manner evocative of Young’s older material. Other appreciable moments are brought by the lyrics to ‘Twisted Road’, where Young recounts the inspiration invoked by his Sixties contemporaries: ‘First time I heard “Like A Rolling Stone”/ I felt that magic and took it home’. Meanwhile, in ‘Walk Like a Giant’ has a continuous unrelenting grind of guitars, punctuated with catchy whistles and blistering solos. In summary, neither ‘Americana’ nor ‘Psychedelic Pill’ will bring any new converts to Neil Young’s following. However, if all you need is a healthy dose of undiluted rock n’ roll, this pair of albums can deliver it directly.
have spent much of my life feeling like a complete outsider. I’ve always been a socially awkward loner. Social interaction makes me sweaty. Modern music doesn’t really address these intense feelings of social desperation for me; I am not a ‘firework’ and although I am without a doubt ‘insecure’ I do not ‘turn heads when I walk through the door’. The Smiths, however, is the perfect music for anyone who’s ever felt like a complete and total loser. Morrissey’s desolate whining, ‘Please, please, please let me get what I want this time’ could have been an inner monologue in my own sad little brain. Even Johnny Marr’s riffs, which are slightly off with the lyrics, add to that intense feeling of being different and not fitting in. The Smiths aren’t just depressing losers though. Their lyrics are sharp and incredibly funny, as well as, at turns, political: ‘England is mine and owes me a living’. Plus, there’s a strange uncomfortable nature to almost everything Morrissey ever penned; ‘If a double decker crashes into us, to die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die.’ The first time I heard the dulcet and beautiful tones of The Smiths I was thirteen years old. ‘There Is A Light That Never
Goes Out’ was playing in a shop, I can’t remember which one, and it caught me off guard. Previously, my musical diet had consisted of Now...CDs and whatever was playing on Capital FM. It sounds incredibly odd, but I’ve already disclosed how odd I am, so I ran up to the shop assistant and practically shouted, ‘What is this music?’ The Smiths, they replied. I then sprinted to HMV (RIP) and bought ‘The Queen is Dead’. I would estimate in the last eight years that I’ve listened to this album over 1000 times. ‘I Know It’s Over’ (my favourite song on this album) is the most played song on my IPod, with over 500 plays. This song encapsulates every emotion I’ve ever felt; ‘I know it’s over, and it never really began, but in my heart it was so real.’ If you’ve ever fallen asleep with your laptop on your bed beside you, and woken up to its warm glow, thinking for one deliriously delicious moment that there was a real living loving person in your bed, then The Smiths are the band for you. Intense loneliness, over inflated sense of self worth, coupled with accurate self hatred, causing inner conflict? The Smiths. A desperate need for human interaction, but a complete ambivalence towards almost everyone in your life? The Smiths. Basically, a loser with an ego? The Smiths, every single time.
Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
27th February 2013
2 new releases to look out for:
By Jhora Sangha, Music Team
James Blake - ‘Retrograde’
Retrograde” is the first single off James Blake’s new album ‘Overgrown’ and it does not disappoint. James Blake delivers his very own unique twist on electronic music with ghost-like vocals over warm synths. This is trademark stuff from the singer, who provides a truly refreshing futuristic sound, which cannot be compared to any other artist’s work.
Alternative pop: contradiction or innovation?
By Joe Trueman, Music Team
‘Overgrown’ is expected to hit stores on April 8, and we can’t wait.
Justin Timberlake - ‘Suit and Tie’
ustin Timberlake is back with his debut song ‘Suit and Tie’, which features none other than Jay-Z and production by Timbaland. It’s a classic signature sound from JT who has also revealed the song will be on his forthcoming album ‘The 20/20 Experience’. The video for the song is worth checking out too; it’s full of cigars, glasses of scotch and some random girl splashing around in a puddle. What more could you want?
‘The 20/20 Experience’ will be released on March 19th
Tegan and Sara - ‘Heartthrob’
he recent wave of solo female pop artists with socalled “indie credibility” have opened discussion on where the boundaries between mainstream and alternative music lay – or if they need lie anywhere. I’m referring to artists like Sky Ferreira, Charli XCX, and Grimes - although grouping them together is not to imply that they’re indistinguishable. They’ve been grouped together by music critics precisely because they’re unconventional – they’re inspired by people like Britney and Mariah, but they also seek to subvert typical pop aesthetics and sounds, gaining attention from alternative music enthusiasts. It’s become difficult to differentiate between top 40 and alternative. Bands like Haim, who the BBC recently hailed as the Sound of 2013, purport an “indie” aesthetic despite major label backing and money being thrown at them. Even Solange, Beyoncé’s sister, exemplifies these blurred boundaries. She has as many links to the mainstream realm as she does to indie circles – her 2012 release from Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear’s independent label was critically acclaimed. The label “indie” doesn’t mean much, especially when what is supposedly individual becomes
precisely what the mainstream desires. An alleged problem that comes with associating major-label backed artists like Sky Ferreira and Charli XCX to an independent act such as Grimes (according to critics such as Grimes’ tourmate Elite Gymnastics) is that you’re equating acts that work with producers and songwriters with artists who write, produce, and perform everything themselves. But writing a song doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best person to sing it. Some covers are better than the original, and some songs you hear and just think: let’s face it, this would be better sung by Beyoncé. Perhaps the problem isn’t artistic credibility, but money. Music is an industry, and major label artists drowning in money are better positioned to appropriate ‘DIY’ underground trends (as has been accused of Charli and Sky) and profit by appearing unique, while indie label artists inspired by the mainstream aren’t praised for it - Grimes claims to lose followers every time she tweets about her love of Justin Bieber’s music. It’s not only more difficult for an independent artist to find success without a team of publicists, but also to gain respectability when they flirt with the mainstream. Music critics generally remain
unwilling to view mainstream pop and alternative music on equal levels of respectability. This isn’t just because of money it’s all part of a public mentality. People strive to create and listen to unique music despite the fact new bands and artists can’t be described without referring to the fact they sound like something that has come before. It’s about time both alternative pretension and mainstream assimilation are abandoned. Music should, as far as possible, be looked at unpretentiously and objectively. Does major-label backing lessen the quality of good music? Of course not. Does a ‘DIY’ background enhance an artist’s credibility? Not necessarily. While it is respectable for an artist to produce something incredible independently – if an album is poor, it’s poor. The musical directions that these ‘alternative pop’ acts are exploring should really be enjoyed, not scrutinised. It’s certainly more exciting to see popstars providing something experimental and fresh than for the mainstream to continue churning out singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran, Adele and Emeli Sande - who somehow derive most of their support from their supposed ‘authenticity’ and ‘credibility’.
By Alexandra Wilks, Editor ’ve long loved Tegan and Sara, the lesbian sister duo act, whose catchy hooks are coupled with genius lyrics. Their album Heartthrob was one I eagerly awaited. But I’ve been left a little disappointed. The catchy riffs are still there, but Heartthrob is too poppy for me. I have nothing against pop, but the thing that really worked about Tegan and Sara’s earlier works was their folky rocky sound coupled with the kind of tunes that would make the most ardent pop artist jealous. The trouble is Tegan and Sara have taken those ‘stuck in your head’ pop chords and layered over voices that sound more auto-tuned than ever before, the folk rock stuff is all but lost.
The real problem with this album is, it’s not a great pop album. It’s an OK pop album. Easy to listen to, but easily forgotten. Tegan and Sara are not Katy Perry or Ellie Goulding, they aren’t really that talented as popstars. Tegan and Sara are brilliant lyricists but it’s all kind of lost over an electro beat. If you like your pop a little angsty, you’ll probably like this album. But if you like Tegan and Sara’s earlier releases, you may feel slightly betrayed by this album, which clearly is seeking a different type of fan. Stand out tracks Now I’m All Messed Up and How Come You Don’t Want Me are a good ones, with echoes of the old Tegan and Sara. Avoid Love They Say it’s a very poor man’s Taylor Swift.
The Stag |
27th February 2013
After being asked to write a short article on one of my most embarrassing moments, I found myself flashing back to so many, but there was one that stood out the most from the rest. I’m hoping some of you guys can somehow relate. If you don’t: then I guess things like this only really happen to me. Let me set the scene. It was in Year 1, during moving out weekend. For some, this was a sad day. Moving out of your first home away from home. All the good times and growing up, all happened in this very place. But for me, I clearly hadn’t learnt anything that year. After drinking copious amounts of alcohol the night before, I woke up the next morning still drunk and wanting food. Of course, everyone had eaten/chucked away most of their food that week so my only option was to rummage through the freezer. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t now. I made whatever I could find (partially burning it) and returned back to my room ‘to pack’. An hour later, the girls decided we should meet up at ‘the spot’ outside Stag Hill reception to give back our keys. My friend Amelia came first and sat with me while we waited for the others. There were lots of students moving out with their parents following them with luggage and boxes. Before I knew it, I was barfing all of the freezer food I had just eaten, in front of all those people, in broad daylight. I couldn’t control myself. I was so embarrassed, and I think I made Amelia wish she wasn’t sitting next to such a mess. She was shocked as I was, and ineptly said “Oh, Panini pie”.
Think you could handle WhiteOut II?
By Ben Johnson
ampus is packed with societies and clubs. They offer experiences often considered invaluable in keeping students sane during their degrees. Surrey Snowsports are very proud being a large part of this culture. It’s been a transitional year for the club as a whole, with a huge leap in to focussing on developing new talent and love for the sport as well as some major cosmetic changes to the club branding. The members have responded well to the risky upheaval of what was a very rooted culture and this has been reflected no more so than in our socials. Yes, I realise that many reading this will have thought it was a midyear review of our society, but that was just a front to lure in the more intellectual amongst you. As a Social Sec of one of the largest clubs on campus, I feared the day that I would have to run my first infamous WhiteOut! bar crawl. Now those of you that have been here a while know how fondly our members regard this event. It’s a two-part extravaganza that takes
place once each semester and it is not something to be messed up. Th a n k f u l l y, through the hard work of the committee, WhiteOut! was biblical and we’re not ones to exaggerate. Honestly, ask anyone who went. We like to think that the club has been more accessible to members than ever this year and that this stretched across lessons, training, competitions and socials. Those of you that know me will know that I love to waffle and this is no different, but rather than waffle I’ll leave you all with one final paragraph. To the members of my club, I say thank you. Without you we are merely eight students spending far too many hours in a union office, playing pretend, and that’s just weird. To all of those who attended our events, I say fair play. You are
a bunch of nutters and I love every second of the carnage you cause. To all of those reading who aren’t members, I say get involved. There’s still time to get a taste this year and be ready for the next. So there it is, a little bit of background in to why we’re so big, so loud and so much better than you (in joke between members, don’t be offended). WhiteOut! 2 is on Thursday 14th March. You know what to do. #WhiteOut2
Valentine's fun & games for the boobs
By Lauren Parker
n Wednesday 13th February, Roots Bar was the place to be for CoppaFeel!’s Valentine’s pre-drinks! With ‘slippery nipple’ shots and the chance to ‘pink your drink’, Roots Bar staff stepped up to the boobie challenge, and so did the guests! Flirty fun included hula hooping and remote-control car racing, as well as team games and chocolate finger licking (cheeky!). For those not involved there were some tasty cupcakes
in exchange for donations for CoppaFeel!. At the end of the night our winners, Tom Ryan White and Spencer Hastings, were crowned Valentine King and Queen... they even have the crown to prove it! Watch out for more boob news and info about our Boob Ball Tournament which will take place at the start of May. And don’t forget to text SURREY to 70500 for your FREE monthly reminder to check those boobs!
P.S. Could you be our next Boob Team Leader? Or part of the boob team next year? To find out more, visit www.uniboobteam.com or like our facebook page (www.facebook.com/ CoppaFeelUniS) for further details.
Valentine King and Queen; Tom Ryan White and Spencer Hastings.
Societies Editor: Shalini Thondrayen | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
27th February 2013
PenSoc: Re-Freshers Fayre
Hannah speaking up that she doesn’t love Raymond.
“Marriage is a wasteful institution”
Sending a big thank you to everyone that participated to make Surrey Student PEN’s Refreshers Fayre a great day! The Surrey PEN society aims to make people here at the University of Surrey aware that free speech is not something easily attained, and shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, we are highly privileged here in the UK with the ability to speak our minds; this is not the case in many countries across the globe. PEN works to support and campaign for political prisoners condemned for their words and to raise awareness of such issues that simply cannot go ignored. At the Refreshers Fayre, we asked you to ‘confess’ things you would perhaps otherwise feel less inclined to say. The answers we received were enlightening to say the least, ranging from the classic, “I actually really like One Direction”- definitely keep that one to yourself next time - to claims that “marriage is a wasteful institution”. Don’t forget to tag yourself on our Facebook page! If you appreciate the capacity to speak liberally and remain unpunished for your words, you are the right person to take part in the action and the events of Surrey PEN. It perhaps should be brought to your attention too that free wine receptions are a common thing for us free speakers. Get involved!
By Annie Driscoll
Imi confessing her love for the Hairy Bikers.
“I confess I want to do the Harlem Shake”
Chris Dighton confessing his guilty pleasure, hashing that tag.
Dave Hall’s being cheeky.
The Stag |
27th February 2013
The most embarrassing thing that’s happened to me recently was at the first Zumba class I’ve ever been to. I thought I was on time, but walked into Studio A at SSP to be greeted with rows upon rows of women already dancing around to very loud music, mirroring every move of the pretty, slim, blonde (hair untied – why?) woman at the front. Straight away I was overwhelmed. I scuttled to the back, naturally, and tried to keep up. I can’t dance. At all. My sister is on a dance course at a Performing Arts school and is hoping to dance as a career, so you’d think I must have SOME degree of dance ability or rhythm. Apparently this is not the case, I was basically laughing out loud to myself as I made up my own moves throughout the entire class. At ANY opportunity to turn in the wrong direction, I did, bashing into everyone around me. After a little while, however, I realised my biggest mistake of all. When the pretty, hair-swishing lady at the front had been making a cowgirl-style, lasso movement with her arm, all “yee-haaa” like, I was mirroring her, and doing my best cowgirl impression, relieved to have found one move I could do without injuring my surrounding Zumba-goers. As it turns out, this lasso-like move was actually Zumba code for “turn around”… not “do a cowgirl impression” like I had been doing. The fact that the other thirty women in the room had been spinning around was something I didn’t notice until a solid twenty minutes into the session.
Beckham making the right moves?
By Connor McLoughlin, Sports Team
© Yahoo Pressebilder
he end of the transfer window saw David Beckham as the highest profile mover – despite no money being transferred. This is obviously due to the fact he left LA Galaxy and was unattached to a club. Much has been made of Beckham’s move, including only a six month contract and choosing to commute to Paris from London. However, the signing makes sense for everyone – except Beckham on the pitch. On the surface everyone is seen to be winning with this move for Beckham. Paris St Germain win because they get a player who brings a lot of commercial weight, who will shift shirts and make the club a lot of money. Beckham also brings publicity to the club from the international media which may lead to the club being seen as more viable option by the best players in the world. Beckham comes out of it looking great, particularly as he will be giving his wages to charity. Whilst this seems to be a great act of kindness, which I am not trying to take away from, it is also unsurprising. In France, footballers are taxed at 75% of their salary which is usually paid by the club on
top of what their wages are agreed at. Beckham will be paid in some respect, whether this is a share in the club or a cut of the commercial money that he brings in. However, on the pitch there won’t be much chance for Beckham to actually play for multiple reasons. Firstly, he doesn’t really fit the system that PSG adhere to. The only reason the move makes sense is that the French club can offer Beckham a genuine chance of trophies, with PSG capable of winning competitions on multiple fronts. This may actually be one of the most deciding factors in why Beckham chose the French capital. Whenever he has finished his time at a club, whether it be Manchester United, Real Madrid or LA Galaxy, Beckham has played his final games and ended them with winning a trophy. This is a reflection of the brand Beckham represents and is something that is extremely important in the image he is trying to portray. Underlining the business of Beckham over the last decade and a half sees that nothing has mattered but that of his image.
Sport Editor: Anna Giles | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming
The Stag |
27th February 2013
University of Surrey Boat Club
Bronzed Boys at BUCS
By Tom Hopkins, USBC
he weekend of the 16th and 17th of February saw the University of Surrey Boat Club’s Men’s Four – Rupert Graham, Ashley Epps, Rob Sherry and Jon Rains, coxed by Anna Yong – seize a decisive result at BUCS Head that left Durham feeling more sore than Peter Griffith’s mystery girl after Valentines Day. With weather prompting a last minute change in venue to Peterborough, questions were raised – how would they get there? Where would they stay? Fortunately, after a quick phone call and parental bank transfer, Rob Sherry was able to provide a Cadillac for means of transportation, as well as lend some monetary assistance towards their accommodation. Although Ashley Epps’ hopes of staying somewhere that was also home to Peterborough’s lovely ladies of the night, the humble B&B hosted a room for four in which the evening was said to have been more intimate and even more intense than Men’s Captain, Nathan O’Rielly’s right hand. But Sunday morning was soon upon them. The sun shone brightly, a shimmering glow surrounding Jon Rains as
they glided towards the starting line. When coming to a stop, a gentle breeze whipped past, gently lapping at Rupert Graham’s firmly erect nipples as they keenly waited the order to go. Over a distance of 4.5km, they battled with pain, rage, high levels of flatulence and Rob Sherry’s unique ability to dismantle his rigger with 100m to go. Yet still, they made it, and had only the nervous wait for the final results. The news soon rolled in – they had won Bronze! The phone networks went wild, with loved ones and teammates all ringing in to congratulate the boys on their triumph. It has been said that even coach Ben Lewis had to take a moment to sit down whilst shedding a tear at the joyous news of a truly astounding moment in USBC history. This result will certainly help to continue the ongoing trend of the Boat Club’s prominence amongst other universities, with the club now looking to make their mark at the BUCS Regatta in May for some monumental wins. For furher information about the University of Surrey Boat Club, like the club on facebook, email: email@example.com, or visit www.sureyboatclub.co.uk
2012 - the year of the fallen sporting heroes?
By Connor McLoughlin, Sports Team
t the end of last week news broke that shook South Africa, an immensely proud and successful sporting nation, to their bones. Olympic and Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius is in the process of being charged with murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. This was after she was found shot dead in his home in Pretoria with gunshot wounds to the head and arm, in the home of the man colloquially known as ‘The Blade Runner’ for his prosthetic blades he runs in. In terms of Paralympians, Pistorius is the most famous in history. He won a legal battle to compete against able-bodied athletes in 2008 and led the way last year to became the first
amputee sprinter ever at the 2012 Olympics. In 2012, Pistorius was perceived as the finest in history by the British after the success of the Olympics, but this will now forever taint Pistorius and may taint the year of 2013 as the year of the fallen hero. His feats as an athlete will be easily forgotten whether he is found guilty in the end or not. This is after the start of January where Lance Armstrong revealed he cheated throughout his career as a cyclist, which whether you like it or not, has and will continue to negatively impact his charity Livestrong – despite their phenomenal fundraising of over five hundred million dollars over the years. This could be the year of the fallen hero; a year which opened
with these two tragedies for sport. Pistorius and Armstrong were both more than sportsmen; they were creators of hope. Armstrong, as a cancer survivor gave hope to all who thought there was no chance of coming back. Whilst Pistorius was the embodiment of all there was to love about Paralympic sport; showing immense competitiveness and battling against all odds. Both of these men were, at least until 2012, supposed to be transcendent in their sports. They were the shining lights that were supposed to be remembered long after they finished their time in their respective fields. They were heroes. Now, they will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
By Jordan Brackenbury, Sports Team
inally there has been some good news for all the Rafael Nadal fans out there, he’s back on the circuit. Last week, after nearly 8 months away from the circuit, former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal made his return to professional tennis. He did not, however, come back with a bang. The Spanish No. 5 chose to test the water at a series of small clay-court events- his favourite surface- in Chile and Brazil in the lead up to the French Open, where he has conquered 7 times. Nadal has been taking time out since his shock 2nd-round loss to world no. 100 Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June, after which he revealed that his troublesome left knee tendonitis had returned. He then pulled out of the 2012 Olympics, the US Open and the Australian Open, which lead to his steady slide down the ATP
rankings, to be replaced as number 4 by his countryman David Ferrer. The 11-time Grand Slam winner’s return has not been as smooth as he had hoped, with a loss in the final of the Chile Open, his first tournament back, to the world number 73 Horacio Zeballos- the Argentine’s first title. Zeballos has joined the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in becoming one of the few players to ever beat Nadal on clay at an ATP event. More encouraging, however, was Nadal’s result at the Brazil Open, the week after his loss in Chile. He beat David Nalbandian 6-3 6-3 in the final to claim his first title since his injury became apparent. With a further clay tournament scheduled in for February 25th in Acapulco, Mexico, Nadal should be able to gain some more vital experience before the all-important French Open in Maysometimes it just takes a while to get back into the swing of things.
© David Ian Roberts
The Stag |
27th February 2013
Interview with Surrey Heat coach
By Adam Lodowski, Sports Team
dam Lodowski caught up with the Surrey Heat coach, Creon Raftopolous. A: I’ve been hearing good things about Surrey Heat. How do you feel about the team’s performance this season? C: The season is almost six months long. It’s important to remember that it’s a marathon not a sprint. We started really well by winning almost every home game before Christmas. However, injuries are causing issues at the moment. We’re currently sitting in the top four on the leaderboard which is a great achievement. A: Sounds like it’s going well. How does a normal day’s coaching break down for you? C: It tends to be a really long day. I start in the morning by checking up on the guys who have strength and conditioning before spending the rest of the morning in various meetings about our community projects. In the afternoons I like to get stuck in and coach some school and junior teams to find the rising stars. In the evenings it’s straight off to coach the professional team. Sometimes it can be a 16 hour day, from 7am -11pm. On top of that,
in my spare time I watch videos from our games, and our rivals’ games, to see what we can improve. Generally it’s 6-8 hours preparation for every single game but I love my job. When you find something you’re passionate about it doesn’t seem like work. A: So what’s your favourite part of being a coach? C: It’s almost impossible to pick one but there’s nothing better than being in a team environment. Seeing people improve and better themselves is a great experience - whether they’re a beginner, just learning to shoot or a professional improving their strength. I love it all! A: There’s more to Surrey Heat than just the premier league basketball team then? C: Oh yes. We run community projects for disadvantaged children around Surrey and we also have youth and school teams. If you have a passion for basketball, whether it’s coaching or playing, there’s almost certainly some way you can get involved. A: What’s a Surrey Heat game like? Is it accessible if you haven’t been before and don’t understand the rules? C: Definitely! Games are really
easy to get the hang of and the atmosphere at our home games at Surrey Sports Park is so much fun. Our home games involve a full programme of entertainment – from the fast-paced basketball, street dancing during time out breaks and plenty of spectator participation. The only way to really understand what a game is like is just to come down and experience it for yourself! A: Does it make a difference having a large home crowd then? C: The secret to success is having fans in the crowd. They give us a massive morale boost but it also works the other way. If there aren’t enough supporters in the crowd it can be very disheartening for the players. We love seeing fans screaming and cheering whenever we have the ball! A: Thank you for you taking the time to talk to me Creon and I wish you the best of luck for your game this weekend. Dates for Surrey Heat home games in March/April are: 3 March vs. Phoenix 16 March vs. Leicester Riders 31 March vs. London Lions 7 April vs. Plymouth Raiders
University of Surrey Netball
Fantastic season for Surrey netball
By Katy Iliffe, Netball Club President
Win tickets to Surrey Heat!
Come and experience the excitement of a home game for yourself. Win a pair of tickets to Surrey Heat’s home game against Leicester Riders at Surrey Sports Park on Saturday 16 March at 7pm. Simply answer the following question:
How long does it take Creon to prepare for each Surrey Heat game? A) 1-2 hours B) 2-4 hours C) 6-8 hours
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 22nd March For further information about Surrey Heat or to buy tickets, visit www.surreyheat.com
etball has had a fantastic season so far this year. Wednesday 13th February just proved how hard the teams have been working; securing four wins also resulted in capturing the top of all four BUCS leagues. With a newly created 4th team this year, they have stormed into action, defeating Westminster (previously top of the league) with a score of 36-8. The 3rds defended top place position against Reading scoring 40 goals to Reading’s 33, whilst the 2nds fought hard to claim the top spot in their league in
a highly contested match against Chichester, triumphing with a score of 36-26. The 1st team who had a contentious match playing Brunel in phase 1 fought hard to win 60-32, continuing their unbeaten season. With excellent commitment and a possibility for all four teams to be promoted (making Team Surrey history), it is no wonder that all the girls are going out for the final few week’s worth of matches fighting for that top position in the leagues. I am extremely proud of everyone’s efforts over the past months. Now, as Tamsin Greenway says: ‘Let’s go play’.
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