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Issue 67 – Monday 10th February 2014
Awards season is here - the film team have your guide to this year’s picks on Page 26
NEWS Guilfest is back Stoke Park will see the local festival make a comeback this summer... Page 3 UNION It’s Election Season why not run? Look at our centrefold spread for info on the full and part-time roles... FEATURES Your Happy to-do list The features team have solutions to kick the postexam blues... Page 13 OPINION & ANALYSIS Are women less ambitious than men? The lack of women in high profile jobs raises some questions... Page 8 SCIENCE & TECH The fracking problems The newest hope for the planet - but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Page 14 MUSIC Top 10 happy songs Load up this playlist and turn the volume up high for an instant boost... Page 30 SOCIETIES MADSoc are bringing Nottingham to Guildford... Page 37
10th – 16th Feb is GoGreen Week - look inside for tips and tricks to live greener
STUDENT ASSAULTED NEAR TOWN CENTRE
The incident occurred on the the footbridge leading from the Odeon Cinema to Guildford Train Station By Nicole Vassell, Editor cheek, which required treatment at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. The 19-year-old victim was involved in an altercation with a small group of men while crossing the footbridge leading from the Odeon Cinema to Guildford train station. Surrey Police then arrested two men from Guildford on suspicion of grievous bodily harm. The men, aged 20 and 27, were interviewed before being released on police bail until March 8 while the investigation continues. Although arrests have been made in connection with the incident police are still urging anyone who was in the area and may have seen this incident taking place to come forward. Anyone who witnessed the incident or with any information should call Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference 45140008663, or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
student has been seriously assaulted following a latenight altercation near Guildford Town Centre. Taking place between 3.10am and 3.30am on Tuesday 4th February, the unnamed student suffered a serious cut on his left
Inside: Happy Students
Awards Season Special
The Stag | 10th February 2014
REF: The Real University Challenge
Editor | Nicole Vassell firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief | Andy Smith email@example.com Deputy Editor (Head of Design) | Paul A Richmond firstname.lastname@example.org Design Team | Rebekkah Hughes, Siobhan Harris, Sophia Field Deputy Editor (Marketing) | Matilda Tasker email@example.com Marketing Team | Vacant News Editor | Shunayna Vaghela firstname.lastname@example.org Opinion and Analysis Editor | Sam West email@example.com Opinion & Analysis Team | Joshua Langley, George C. Mavrantonis, Ibrahim Sarwar, Katie Sands, Ting Wei Features Editor | Rebekkah Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org Features Team | Daniel Gautrey, Kyra Hanson, Saskia Parks, Joel Silver, Jas Smith, Amy Vitoria, Alex Watts Science and Technology Editor | Siobhan Harris email@example.com Science and Technology Team | Fahmid Chowdhury, Francesca Gillard, Ben Hartfield, Joanna Moch, Laurence Stant Societies Editor | Alice Wilkinson firstname.lastname@example.org Societies Team | Lizzie Andrews, Devon Ashley, Sophia Smith Dance and Theatre Editor | Vacant email@example.com Film Editor | Sophia Field firstname.lastname@example.org Film Team | Ankur Banerjee, Jordan Brackenbury, Daniel Mueller Music Editor | Candice Ritchie email@example.com Music Team | Leo Blanchard, James Campbell Literature Editor | Shiri Shah firstname.lastname@example.org Literature Team | Emma Hawkin Sports Editor | Santiago Avilés Sport@thestagsurrey.co.uk Sport Team | Gayathri Eknath, Adam Miller, James Lovell, Andy Vile Web Editor | Alistair Walker email@example.com Copy Editor | Harriet Knight firstname.lastname@example.org
By Nicole Vassell, Editor
niversities across the country will be waiting with bated breath throughout 2014 as the assessment process for the very first run-through of the REF exercise gets underway. If there’s one series of tests that an institution is aiming to excel in, it’s this one, as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) has the potential to greatly influence research funding, which goes on to affect a university’s ability to explore new ground, its reputation, and to an extent, the external value of the degree the students leave with. Run by the government, the REF is a process that assesses the quality of research in all higher education institutions in the country. Each university is required to submit information relating to research activity from 2008 – 2013 inclusive, to be examined by panel appointed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. A key aim of this framework is “to produce robust UK-wide indicators of research excellence for all disciplines which can be used to benchmark quality against international standards and to drive the Council's funding for research”. In short, the REF exists to establish standards of research that will determine research grant income, with effect from 2015-16.
“[The REF] can directly influence league tables”
Though many students aren’t too aware of the REF, its outcomes affect us all, both indirectly and directly. According to Professor Michael Kearney, Deputy ViceChancellor for Research and Innovation at Surrey, the results of the REF have two major implications: “firstly, the reputation element, as it tells you something about how you stand in relation to your peers and can directly influence league tables. Secondly, it directly influences government funding - so the higher the quality rating, the more money we get from the government for core research funding.” Every subject area gets assessed by appointed reviewers, largely from the academic community and public bodies. The areas will then receive a quality rating, allocated in the form of stars – with four stars being world-leading quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour and three stars representing quality of international excellence. Professor Kearney explains: “The REF gives universities a profile, which will tell you on a percentage basis how much of your work is in a particular category.” Instead of an overall number, institutions are told the percentage of their work that fulfils the criteria for a four-star grade, a three-star grade and so
on. In terms of Surrey, he goes on to state: “our strategy has been to identify research outputs we feel is worthy of three and four star ratings, but of course we have to wait and see if the assessment panels agree with our judgement of the quality of this work.” Though additional factors come into play, submitted research that receives two star ratings and below are not recognised for government funding at all, making high ratings all the more important. Though operating under a different system, there were a number of areas in the university that have previously achieved the highest possible ratings. According to Professor Kearney, the hope is that the areas that have traditionally shown considerable strength in the past will continue to do so. More generally, many other areas over the past few years have garnered a “very positive trajectory…generally, the feeling is that there have been very significant improvements in many areas of Surrey’s research since the last exercise”. An exercise of this kind has not taken place since 2008, when the method for assessment was the Research Assessment Exercise. A new criterion within the REF is that of impact, which assesses the effects or benefits that the research completed by a higher education institution has had to the world outside of academia. Impact does not mean the same thing for all disciplines - impact in terms of English Literature, for example, will not be compatible with the reverberations of research in the Management field. By the time of the next REF, provisionally in 2020, the impact criterion is likely to become more of a significant element as the government and the funding agencies are increasingly concerned to be able to demonstrate that the money they put into research has a tangible benefit for the world outside academia. In any case, Professor Kearney views impact as a positive intervention: “From Surrey’s point of view, we have some very good and strong stories about how the work that we do has impacted on society and the economy in all the areas. We can do a lot with these good news stories about how successful our research is and how it is changing the world for the benefit of the general population.” Before the final submission in November 2013, there had been at least two years’ worth of planning, with the bulk of the work taking place in the eighteen months before the deadline. Understandably, organising it was no easy feat. However, the large scale of this operation means that we won’t know how Surrey and all the other higher education institutions have fared until December of this year. So until then, we’ll have to wait and see; hopefully, the hard work that has taken place over the past five years will achieve stellar results and we’ll have yet another reason to celebrate Surrey.
Letter from the Editor
elcome to your first 2014 issue of The Stag! I’m Nicole, and I’ve introduced myself in here quite a few times – lo and behold, here I am speaking to you once again as the new Editor. A quick run-down of who I am: I study English Literature with Creative Writing, I’ve been part of the Stag since 2010 and I enjoy sweet potato fries, reading, and exercise in the form of Beyoncé dance routines. Nice to meet you! I think we’re a bit past the point where “happy new year” is appropriate, so this’ll have to suffice: HAPPY NEW SEMESTER! Exam period is finally over, and we’ve had reading week to recover from the stresses of revision, vending machine meals (KitKats can be dinner, right?) and the early morning rush to claim YOUR spot in the library. As a final year student, this was undoubtedly the hardest I’ve had to work in four years. It wasn’t easy, but I got through it, and so did you – congrats to us! As corny as it may sound, these past couple of months have really made me realise the importance of the little things that brighten your day, especially in the hardest of times. So this issue, we’re focused on one of the most important factors of our lives that we too often take for granted: HAPPINESS. Last week, The Stag Team went around campus to find out what makes the people of the University of Surrey happy and we got quite a range of answers – varying from make-up to potatoes. See if you can spot anyone you know on our centrefold spread! I’m so excited for the rest of the year as the Editor of The Stag – we have some big plans, so keep your eyes peeled! We’ll be at Refreshers’ Fayre on this Friday, 14th February – so make sure to come along and show us some love. Until next time, folks! (P.S. - Hi Mum!)
The Stag is an editorially independent newspaper and is published by the University of Surrey Students’ 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) St. Albans Road, Watford WD24 7RG The Stag reserves the right to edit all submissions and the right to decide which articles are published.
News Editor: Shunayna Vaghela
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Local, well-loved festival will make a comeback in 2014
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Editor
Guilfest to return
uilfest, a 3 day music festival held in Stoke Park, is set to return this summer. The event features a range of genres including rock, folk, blues, and pop. In 2006, GuilFest was awarded the title of “Best Family Festival” in the UK Festival awards. After 21 years, the Festival was shut down due to financial issues. However, Guilfest will be back this summer following Council approval of an application made by Trowfest Ltd. The company must meet a number of conditions over the coming months for the event to go ahead, but are optimistic about the return. Cllr Matt Furniss, Lead Councillor for Environment, says: “We recognise that Guilfest is a popular family event. It supports local musicians and attracts thousands of visitors to the town. We are pleased to accept the proposal for Guilfest 2014 and continue our support for live music in the borough.” Previous acts have included Motörhead, Tinie Tempah, You Me at Six and Chase & Status. The festival was last held in the summer of 2012
© Tom O’Donoghue
NUS responds to Rallying against Opportunity Fund cuts injustice
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Editor
he government is actively and imminently considering cutting the majority of the Student Opportunity fund paid to higher education providers in England in proportion to the number of students they take on from disadvantaged and poorer backgrounds. It is understood that the Treasury and the Cabinet Office are pressing for imminent reductions as part of the cost savings that are being imposed on the Department of Business,
support and generated through fee income. The institutions that currently benefit from the Student Opportunity Funds are those that recruit students least likely to attain higher education. Toni Pearce, NUS president, stated; “Cutting the Student Opportunity Fund is an absolute disgrace and, in the wake of cuts to the National Scholarship Programme, [it] looks like the Government is backtracking on its commitment to support social mobility in favour of balancing the books on the backs of the poor.”
The NUS takes a stand against woeful human rights in Russia
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Editor
“...the government is backtracking on its commitment to support social mobility” - Toni Pearce, NUS President
Innovation and Skills (BIS). Student Opportunity Funding is essentially different from access funding, the majority of which is spent on highly necessary student financial The NUS is urging for the government sector to reconsider the cuts and support students from poorer backgrounds.
he National Union of Students (NUS) have held their very own “sports gay” – a protest to highlight Russia’s woeful human rights record in time for the Sochi Winter Olympics. NUS held a traditional sports day with an LGBT twist outside the Russian embassy in London on Saturday 1 February, rallying LGBT individuals and allies to affirm that the community has a place in sport. NUS’ LGBT Campaign is calling for President Putin to pledge not to arrest or detain anyone who is shown to be supporting LGBT rights during the Winter Olympics, to lift
the 100 year ban on Moscow Pride, and aims for David Cameron, Helen Grant and other MPs to condemn the treatment of LGBT people in Sochi and across Russia. Sky Yarlett and Finn McGoldrick, NUS LGBT officers, stated; “NUS LGBT believes that Putin’s Russia has become a place of intimidation and violence for LGBT people. The international community and corporate sponsors can no longer stand idly by and ignore these human rights violations. It is grotesque to think that what is meant to be a celebration will be masking deep injustice for the LGBT community in Russia.”
The Stag | 10th February 2014
First UK Cannabis Death
Mother of three dies “as a consequence of the abuse of cannabis”
By Siobhan Harris, Science and Technology Editor
woman has been named as the first person in the country to die as a result of cannabis poisoning. Gemma Moss was a mother of three from Bournemouth. The post-mortem examination on Miss Moss revealed that she had moderate to high levels of cannabis in her system. The drug was reclassified from Class C to B by Gordon Brown’s government in 2009 after worries about its impact on mental health. The coroner, after extensive tests, has recorded that Miss Moss died as a consequence of the abuse of cannabis. The exact cause of death is uncertain – while it is thought that she may have gone into cardiac arrest triggered by the
cannabis, pro-cannabis group NORML UK called for a review of the circumstances surrounding her death “in order to determine what actually killed her” as they say that a lethal dose of cannabis (around 20-40,000 joints) would instead cause asphyxiation. Deaths attributed to cannabis abuse are “rare” according to a spokesman for the National Drug Prevention Alliance, but have been recorded in other countries. In the US and Canada, liquid cannabis is reportedly on the rise. While cannabis use has not been a serious cause for concern in the minds of most health professionals, this news is likely to make many re-think the potential effects of cannabis.
Welcome to the new alumni column!
LIFE AFTER SURREY
SAS veteran to give free motivational speech
n Tuesday 18th February 2014, the University will have the unique opportunity to hear about the experiences of Robin Horsfall, an ex Special Air Service (“SAS”) soldier, and war veteran. In a free presentation, Robin, currently an English Literature with Creative Writing student at Surrey, will speak about his experiences as a Paratrooper, SAS Soldier, Specialist Sniper, Bodyguard and Mercenary. Robin left school at the age of 15, with no qualifications, and joined the army, after a difficult childhood. He joined the Parachute Regiment at the age of 17, after passing through their arduous training regime to gain the right to wear the famous maroon beret. He then served with the Parachute Regiment in Northern Ireland on three tours of duty. He was “badged” as a member of the SAS at the age of 21 - at the time, one of the youngest troopers in the SAS. In 1980, he took part in Operation NIMROD, the famous SAS assault on the Iranian Embassy in London. Robin played a leading part in the assault, killing one of the terrorists. After serving with the SAS in the Falklands conflict in 1982, Robin then trained as an elite sniper with the Royal Marines at Lympstone. He left the SAS in 1984, subsequently working as a bodyguard for the Al-Fayed family, before serving President Hariri who was later to become the Prime Minster of Lebanon, in a similar role. In the late 1980s and early Record producer Peter Kelleher receiving his award ftom the Vice Chancellor By Rachael Lowe, Alumni Relations
1990s, Robin worked as a contract soldier in Sri Lanka and Mozambique, rising to the rank of Major. Robin’s motivational and inspiring talk should be of interest to those who have faced or who are facing difficulties in their lives. Covering his overcoming of numerous personal challenges through his professional and personal life, Robin will share how he has developed from an abused, bullied youth into one of the youngest soldiers of the elite SAS and, subsequently one of the world’s top martial artists.
ore than 90,000 people are part of the University of Surrey’s alumni network – Forever Surrey. In our new column we’ll share with you inspirational stories of former students and how Forever Surrey can benefit you. The aim of Forever Surrey is to keep you in touch with the University and your fellow students after graduation. It provides the opportunity to be invited to exclusive events, plus support with professional development. Just one of the events the alumni office runs is the Vice-Chancellor’s alumni award. The award is open to graduates who have made a significant impact in their field or to society in the last 12 months. This can range from an academic achievement, something that has had a positive impact on a large number of people in business, community, sport, or education, a charitable act or a breakthrough in industry. Alumni award winners’ names can be found on a plaque in the library by the book drop-off. This year’s winner is songwriter and record producer Peter Kelleher. Peter, who graduated from the Music and Sound Tonmeister course in 2006, is a founding partner of TMS (The Music Shed). In 2012, the world saw their song Read All About It beautifully performed by Emeli Sandé at the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony. Its success came off the back of another chart topper, No Regrets, co-written and produced by the TMS team and performed by fellow British rapper Dappy. In August 2012 they had their third UK no.1 single (co-writing and production) with Wings by X-factor stars Little Mix. On the strength of this, TMS worked as resident producers for the 2012 series of The X Factor. Upon receiving the award Peter Kelleher said: “I am incredibly flattered to be given this award. It’s a massive compliment and it tickles me that my name will be on the library wall where I spent many hours working. “Surrey and the Tonmeister course 100% raised my game intellectually and gave me invaluable tools in analysis and research that I use every day. Thanks to everyone for setting standards so high and nurturing such a learned culture.”
For further information on Forever Surrey please visit www. surrey.ac.uk/alumni
Friday 14th of February Rubix, Students’ Union 12 midday till 4pm
Meet your Students’ Union team Join up with Sports Clubs and Societies Find out about new Trips and activities Pick up your NEW Events Planner Refreshers 1 DAY ONLY merchandise deals Hot food and NSS FUN Fotos! Nandos and Dominos vouchers Pick up your Union goodie bag
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Student Beans Launches App
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Editor
tudent Beans, the university lifestyle brand, has launched new iOS app Student Beans ID. The app is a free digital student ID that allows users to unlock thousands of student discounts on the high street. This innovative new app will replace the need for traditional student discount cards that can cost up to £10. Students can claim discounts in store at high street shops, restaurants and entertainment
venues and they can also discover new places that provide a student discount in their local area. There are over 5,000 venues made up of local businesses and national chains across the UK that have signed up for free, including Jack Wills, Zizzi, French Connection, La Tasca, Cineworld, O2, New Look, Hotel Chocolat, Urban Outfitters, and Krispy Kreme, with more venues being added to the app daily. The app can be downloaded via the Apple Store.
Win for Info Centre
he Guildford Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is celebrating after recently winning Gold for Destination of the Year from the Tourist Network. The Tourist Network Awards recognise attractions and destinations that are committed to providing the best service and hospitality and, of course, a fantastic experience for visitors. Cllr Gordon Jackson, Lead Councillor for Economic Development, said: “We are delighted to have won and that Guildford has been recognised as a successful tourism area. Tourism is vital to the local economy, for both income and employment, and we hope this award will encourage more visitors to come to Guildford.” Lee Stevenson of Tourism Network, said: "With such a fantastic array of attractions, shopping, heritage and events, Guildford is a destination with a truly fantastic tourism offering. The town benefits from having such a proactive tourism team, dedicated to embracing visitors from near and far and sharing in Guildford’s wide appeal. It’s an enjoyable experience for all [who] visit, and a worthy winner of this category." A recent Cambridge Study, commissioned by Guildford Borough Council, showed that there were an estimated 315,000 trips to Guildford in 2012 where visitors stayed overnight. By Sarah Kendall, Hannah Roberts and Alex Tromp, Careers Ambassadors
New parking space?
by Nicole Vassell, Editor
Mr Dick Glover picked an unusual parking space
tudents were surprised by the unexpected presence of a yellow supercar outside of the Library and Learning Centre. The 12C Spider belonged to Dick Glover, the Chief Technology Officer for McLaren Applied Technology, who was the
4th keynote speaker at Surrey’s Postgraduate Conference on Tuesday 4th February. Mr Glover designed and engineered the piece of ‘automotive art’ and volunteered to bring it for students to fully appreciate at their leisure. Worth over £175,000, the 12C Spider had to be guarded for the duration of his visit.
elcome back – we hope exams went well and everyone’s ready to begin the new semester! A lot of changes have happened within the Careers Service since we broke up for the Christmas holidays. For one, we have expanded into the space next door to the Accommodation Office within the Philip Marchant building. This now means we are larger and more prominent within the University. For those who are yet to secure a placement, graduate job or would like some general advice, just a reminder that the Careers Service is open as usual; Monday – Friday 9-5pm and everyone is welcome to drop by. We also have a packed schedule of more than 50 events planned for you over the coming months with a fantastic array of employers so make sure to check out the Careers website and book your place onto an event - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/careers/. Our events are ever changing but to keep up to date with advanced information and relevant news, be sure to follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/surreycareers The Careers Service has also recently been shortlisted for an AGR Graduate Development Award under the ‘Preparation for Work by Higher Education’ category, which recognises and rewards best practice in graduate recruitment. The winner will be announced in March so keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page and within our newsletter to see whether we have won. Thanks for reading!
Student dies over festive period
he university community was devastated to learn of the death of a student over the festive period. Daniel Furey, aged 21, was found in Hazel Farm Accommodation on the 31st December. At the time of print, the cause of death of the first-year Biomedical Sciences student is unknown and is being treated as unexplained by Surrey Police. Noone else is believed to have been involved. Unfortunately, Mr Furey is the second Surrey student to tragically pass away in the space of two months. If you, or somebody that you know, has been particularly affected by this incident, please do seek support through the Centre for Wellbeing by calling 01483 689498, emailing centreforwellbeing@ surrey.ac.uk or visiting the health and wellbeing pages - www.surrey.ac.uk/currentstudents/health The Stag wishes its greatest condolences to his family and friends.
OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Opinion & Analysis
Reasons To Be Cheerful:
Happiness Is Chocolate Lollipops
things in life. Some may say that my joyous reaction to chocolate lollipops and spinach is juvenile, absurd even. I find however that loving the small facets of my day-to-day activities is what brings that constant idiotic grin to my face. In keeping with this train of thought, I often try to test my will and find happiness in trying situations. A slightly peculiar thing I do is try to be happy in the rain. It is hard and most of the time I fail miserably. Undeniably it is cold, depressing, wet, and all you want is to get home and dry so that you can feel good again. Although once in a while I can really embrace it. I walk with my head up, smiling like an imbecile, and thinking if I can be jovial in the rain than surely life must be pretty damn good. Although I have had only a short time on this earth, I believe that I am truly happy at this current moment. I understand that this could all change in an instant, for that is the way of life. Elation is fleeting and situations can turn bitter in an instant, but if you can find tangible pleasure in life, even once, I think you have overcome one of the crucial hurdles of being alive. Life is hard. I know it. And I know that I have yet to face some of the hardest and most testing times as it goes on. Although if I can experience more of what I understand to be true happiness along the way, then I know I will be content. Even if that happiness is found in something as simple as the various uses of pineapple.
2014 vs 1914
914 seemed like any other year to those that awoke on New Year’s Day, but by the year’s end, the European continent from Belgium in the West, to Russia in the East, and Turkey in the South, had been consumed into all-out war. Supposedly, the War to end all Wars, the four year conflict was marked by the use of outdated tactics and chemical weapons, and was followed by an outbreak of Spanish flu that caused millions more to die. One hundred years later, the world is not free of War; bitter ethnic conflicts rage in Syria and South Sudan among other places, but the scale of conflict across the world is nowhere near that of the so called Great War. Europe is no longer politically divided and despite what some in UKIP might suggest, the officials that sit in Brussels are not malevolent despots, but are committed to an ideal, that for more than 50 years has preserved peace. The EU is by no means a perfect organisation as the debt crisis has shown, but at least we now live in a continent that strives to solve differences through negotiation, rather than senselessly rolling around in the dirt of Flanders. We are also privileged in being able to go to university in a world where around 20% of people live on less than a dollar a day. Don’t get me wrong; this article is not a manifesto to why we should feel guilty about having more than some, that’s not my purpose. I simply want to point out in the depths of the winter, when life can seem depressing; that people have coped with much worse and have successfully come out the other side. The 2008 Financial Crisis undoubtedly reduced living standards across Britain and the world. Financial hardship is
something that students know all about and it is not a fun experience. As someone in the second year of University, I am one of the first who will be saddled with £9,000 a year in fees. But… we should take heart in the fact that this university has a first-rate graduate employment record, is so highly regarded in league tables, and has such good study and sport facilities. Hopefully, these aspects will mean that we will secure good jobs that will allow us to pay off our loans and if not, you have to earn more than £21,000 before paying it back, so there is no reason why we should all not be ok. Living in Britain is another reason to be cheerful. Yes, the NHS might be overstretched and uncostly, yes legal aid might be getting cut, and yes some people are being forced to rely on food banks to eat, which is truly terrible. But at least we have welfare services to call on, in times of need, unlike many places and this at least, is something we should be thankful for. The fact that all individuals over 18 now have the right to vote regardless of gender and social class is another reason. It is also worth considering technology. The level of technological advancement made in the last 100 years is profound and promises hope for future developments that will better the lives of millions. We now have antibiotics and X-ray machines, cars and aeroplanes, and Skype and Facebook. Moreover, the internet itself promises great new opportunities for communication across the world. It can spread ideas and support to millions across the globe, build strong friendships, and raise awareness of human rights abuses. I would like to conclude by saying that we live in a time in which the scope of human potential is vast. It is our responsibility to strengthen the good things in this world, and that starts by being aware of what these things are and considering our community in the University, Guildford, and the rest of the world.
hen I was given the two main themes of this issue of The Stag I was overjoyed. The one that particularly caught my eye was the word ‘happy’. A simple enough concept that seems to control so many of our lives. That all-consuming concept we chase throughout our existence; happiness. So many of us speak about our desire to have a happy life, and I am one of those many. Why wouldn’t I be? There is no better feeling than waking up and feeling content with your life. Bear in mind that I do not subscribe to the concept that we can be completely satisfied in every aspect of our lives. I in fact welcome the parts that are difficult, that hurt, for there is no better way in which we can measure our joy than in the face of sorrow. Rather than wallow and let the tougher parts of my reality fill the far reaches of my conscience, I use them. When you compare them to the things that make you feel glad, they seem less problematic. Sometimes they are even laughable. It is perhaps my coping mechanism of life, in order to take myself in the cheerful and light-hearted way that I do; I feel that I must have such a method. In fact, I feel that part of my ability to be blissful is that I enjoy the little
Are Women Less Ambitious Than Men?
profile roles, it is not enough to just open doors to women in the business sector. They will also need to open the minds of young women so they want to pursue an ambitious job in the first place. This gender gap starts much earlier than when women are planning a career path. Something as simple as having a female scientist doing a talk in schools might inspire more women to consider these career options. Even in schools, areas like maths, science and technology are considered ‘male’ subjects. In 2012, 12 times more boys than girls took computer studies at A-level. I think this is where the ambition gap starts. I know as a young woman myself I didn’t even consider a career in science when I might have had the intellectual abilities to pursue it, and no one in my school questioned my decision to stick to the humanities. I am not trying to say that all women should study science, engineering or these traditionally male spheres (I understand it isn’t for everyone and it certainly wasn’t for me). Yet, it would be nice if the social barrier wasn’t blocking women who would enjoy a career in these areas, from pursuing them, and for young girls to be told that these routes are an option. As a society, we need to raise the ambitions of young women who have the potential to succeed, and one day make the statistic of women in boardrooms way above the inadequate figure of 20%.
lthough job opportunities have increased for women, through initiatives like legislation for equality in the workplace, the rise of women in high profile job roles is growing considerably slower than expected. The proportion of women on FSCE boards (in the London Stock Exchange) has reached 20% for the first time this January, with two female directors recently appointed: Sherry Coutu and Joanna Shields. This weak figure hardly represents a workplace full of ambitious women aiming to compete in boardrooms. This made me think why, in a 2014 job market filled with positive legislation and more open doors for women than ever before, do women still barely appear to be competing against men? A friend of mine said to me that maybe women are naturally less ambitious than men and don’t want to be CEO’S. Maybe it suits women more to be the helper rather than the leader. Whilst I think that an ambition gap certainly does have a part to play in this inequality, I don’t agree that it’s a biological fact that women are less motivated. If the government expects more women in high
Opinion & Analysis Editor: Sam West
The Stag | 10th February 2014
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Bring Them Back: The Parthenon Marbles Debate
George C. Mavrantonis, Vice President of the Hellenic Society
FLASHBACK: Using the pretext of the Ottoman occupation of Greece, Lord Elgin decided by 1812 to remove core sculptures of the holy Parthenon monument in Acropolis. These were then transported by sea to Britain, and have been held at the British Museum for more than 200 years. In some occasions these are referred to as the ‘Elgin marbles’. It is claimed that in terms of legality, Elgin had requested a so-called firman by the Turkish authorities at the time, which would permit access to the archaeological site. Many historians contest this, arguing that the firman per se never existed or was fake. THE LONDON DEBATE: An interesting British perspective of the debate of whether to send the marbles back to Greece can be found on YouTube under the title ‘Send Them Back’. Two intellectuals stand for sending the marbles back to their birthplace, and two others, against. The quality of the recent debate is superb and the outcome is worth watching as the great majority of televoters vote to send the marbles back to Athens. TACKLING THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST SENDING THEM BACK: 1. ‘‘The marbles were not stolen but acquired legally by the then Ottoman authorities ruling Greece’’: Greece was under involuntary occupation for 400 years by the Ottomans. The permission/documents may have been real, but in equity’s eyes it is immoral and inequitable to deny sending the marbles back to their birthplace. The Parthenon (including the marbles annexed by Elgin) were created by the Ancient Greeks, not the Ottoman Turks. 2. ‘‘Greeks do not have a proper museum to host the marbles, and thus the British Museum is the best home for them as more people will view them here rather than in Athens’’: Since 2009 Greece has built the new Acropolis Museum. It is a remarkable building that holds thousands of ancient artefacts. The daily visitors of the British Museum are indeed tens of thousands. However, you may be surprised to learn that during the first two months of the opening 524,000 people had visited the Athens museum. The Acropolis museum has received the 2011 Award of Architecture issued by the American Institute of Architects, the 2011 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture, and the 2010 Best Worldwide Tourism Project awarded by the British Guild of Travel Writers. In any case, it should not be an issue of the number of visitors, but an issue of allowing the marbles to again form part of the original archaeological monument. 3. ‘‘Returning the marbles back to Athens will instigate a worldwide precedent of claims to return all archaeological findings back to their countries of origin’’: The difference between the Parthenon marbles held by the British Museum and other important pieces is the fact that the part annexed by Elgin was actually cut-off (in a destructive manner) from the Parthenon. The Elgin marbles form part of the Parthenon itself, and in both a historical and ethical perspective, these need to be reunited. Other historical artefacts found in museums, such as the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, have either been granted by permission, or comprise individual archaeological pieces. Nevertheless, even if this has not been the case, what should be done is what is right. And if in this case it is right to send back unethically-seized archaeological findings to their nations of origin, then so be it. HOW ABOUT THIS: As Melina Mercouri famously once said: ‘‘There is a Michael Angelo David. There is a Da Vinci Venus. There is a Praxiteles Hermes. And there is the Parthenon; not the Elgin marbles’’. To that extent, picture a large part of Stonehenge or the clock of Big Ben being chopped off and transported to a museum in Berlin. Wouldn’t that feel awkward and perhaps out of place? Would Stonehenge or Big Ben hold the same archaeological, cultural and national value as before the annexation? Wouldn’t it feel as if now having only half the Stonehenge or Big Ben monument? For the ethnos, Britain, that has inspired the doctrine of equity and fairness, I expect nothing less. I expect current and future British governments to do what is fair and just. I expect the British people whom I trust, just like in the aforementioned debate, to judge with what is right. To support the cause visit: www.bringthemback.org
10 OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Wild Animals, Double Standards and Elitism
Sam West Opinion Editor
ow, the best judge of a society is how it values life. Not just human life, but the life of animals. This isn’t to say that the right to life of animals is inalienable, because it isn’t. It is natural to eat meat, and although vegetarians may argue otherwise, it is generally accepted to be part of a balanced diet. I love a piece of meat, whether it be sausages, bacon, chicken, pork, gammon, turkey, duck, beef, lamb, or salmon. I bet most of your mouths are watering at the thought of it! But although we eat meat, which is justified, this does not mean we should abuse or kill them for fun. How can this cruelty be legitimately justified? It is concerning how some sections of our society hunt as a ‘country sport’. There are legitimate arguments for hunting, but how can it ever be for the reason of sport? There are legitimate arguments to kill fellow human beings at times of war, but we never regard it as a sport. If we agree with the war in question, we regard it as an unfortunate necessity, for justified and good reasons. The term ‘sport’ implies it
A Superior Civilisation Without Pollution - More Than a Pipe Dream
© Peter Grima
s a vegetarian, I was frequently asked about the reason for this self-torturing decision. Although my sincere explanation is as simple as “I don’t like the smell of animal’s bodies”, there are quite a few friends who tend to categorise me into the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) type, which lowers the carbon emission and contributes to a greener environment. My great concern, when referring to environmental problems, is the balance between mankind civilisation and the environment. Being the advanced species on earth, how can humankind build their society by bricks of science and technology, which is beneficial for us, as well as for other species? The importance of protecting the environment and pursuing a sustainable way of developing has been understood by most, yet few people are aware of the fact that there are two types of environmentalism; one being ‘people-oriented’ and the other being ‘environment-oriented’. The former is the common type, and the latter advocates returning the environment to its ‘natural’ (i.e. pre-industrial) state. Below are three reasons on supporting the ‘people-oriented’ approach. Firstly, every organism has an instinct to live, no exception to humankind. This instinct drives a living being or species, ignoring the benefits of others during the process of striving for a living. Furthermore, since human beings have chosen to be the dominate species of the world in this period of time by evolution, it is reasonable for humankind not to consider other species’ benefits in the primary stages of surviving. Therefore, it will definitely be people-oriented. Secondly, as the progressing of human society, the productivity needs to be synchronised with people’s
increasing demands. Then comes the industrialisation and its side-effect; pollution. However, this inevitable uninvited visitor can be dismissed or at least minimized to the most by a more advanced mechanism system in a factory, or by a new invention that fixes an old technique problem. In other words, pollution can be reduced or eliminated by science and technology, instead of curbing the trend of social developing. For example, during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th century in Britain, gas lighting replaced oil lighting. Then it became the major consumption of coal. However, that cold and ‘pea-souper’ December in Britain in 1952 raised an alarm bell on the massive consumption of coal by severe air pollution. Later it had been reduced by the Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968 issued by the government. It regulated the usage of smokeless fuels in factories. This process of modern development manifests the way people make use of natural recourses, and that it is advancing and transforming into a more sustainable way. The inventions of Maglev, zero-emission electrical cars, and solar-water heating systems, are all the evidence of a pollution-free industrialisation. Lastly, the belief of sacrificing human civilisation for an initial mode of environment, just like pressing a ‘reset’ button on your electronic devises, is infeasible and illogical. The first and utmost important reason for protecting the environment is for the dominate species on earth - the human beings’ own benefit. The reason why we take the responsibility of maintaining biodiversity is because we have realised the importance of a balanced ecosystem. But the ultimate beneficiary is always us. After all, who is the implementer of the act of ‘protecting’ the environment? In sum, the pollution problem should not be the hurdle of human being’s exploration of the world and universe. As long as we keep researching, inventing, and experimenting, we will have a highly civilised society together with a liveable environment, not only for us, but also for other species.
© Beau Considine
is a physical exercise for the purpose of enjoyment or entertainment. It was only a few months ago when a photo of Pippa Middleton and her friends was revealed, after killing at least 50 game birds. If the shoot was for the purpose of meat, then fair enough. But what was shocking was how they stood smiling and laughing side-by-side, with the dead birds laying at their feet. Was this really legitimate food production, or the exercise of country sport? I cannot imagine farmers smiling and laughing in this way every time they slaughter an animal. I might be wrong, but I cannot imagine it. It is fascinating how it is regarded as a ‘country sport’ when aristocrats go on a hunt. But imagine if an ordinary working class person killed a fox or pheasant. Would they be branded a sportsman, or a hooligan chav? Whether we are to have country sport or not, there must not be double standards. There must be a social rule of law which applies equally to everyone. There are legitimate reasons to kill animals for food and even pest control, but there is no justifiable reason to kill on the basis of ‘fun’ or ‘sport’. As the dominant species, we shouldn’t abuse animals just because we have the power to do so. Instead, we have a duty to protect animals. We should place value on their life, as we do our own.
Features Editor: Rebekkah Hughes
The Stag | 10th February 2014
COURSERA: Get the degree, not the fee
by Rebekkah Hughes, Features Editor
“College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either.” Mark Twain
by Kyra Hanson, Features Team
think it’s fair to say that any university student can relate to Mark Twain’s quote above. Many of us have stumbled into lecture halls half asleep and hungover. So we spend the next fifty minutes desperately trying to avoid eye contact when the lecturer pauses to ask us questions on texts we haven’t read. But hey, the lecture slides go up online anyway so why did we bother to turn up in the first place? Humour aside, the reason we attend – apart from our avid pursuit of knowledge - is that we’ve paid to be there. A friend of mine worked out how much she was paying for her contact hours which made me wince remembering all those times I’ve overslept. Based on fees of £3500 and a contact time of 7 hours per week, the amount per lecture was £22.72. Many UK Universities are now charging £9,000 admission fees. But what are students getting in return to justify the £27,000 minimum amount of debt that will follow them around for the foreseeable future? I don’t have an answer to this question but my guess is: not a lot more than they were getting before. With universities increasing their fees and not increasing the quality or quantity of services they provide, something was bound to come along that would knock our educational and governmental institutions off their high horses. That whirlwind set to destabilise the foundations of our education system is known as MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). It started in America with Coursera and in December of 2012, the UK started FutureLearn. The
premise for all MOOCs is to provide everyone (that is EVERYONE regardless of age, class, profession, income, etc.) with the opportunity to study courses with the world’s best professors at the world’s top Universities. All you need is time, enthusiasm and an internet connection. I can vouch for the benefits of Coursera because I have first-hand experience of how it works. During summer last year, I enrolled in two courses to supplement my degree. These are interactive online courses in which you can attend video lectures, do the readings, the essays etc. and you can join Signature Track for around £30, which provides you with official recognition of your achievements through a verifiable electronic certificate. These certificates have helped Coursera students obtain jobs, embark on new careers and can even count towards qualifications. For those of us at university who are feeling uninspired, uncreative or just have too much time on our hands (I personally have four hours of contact time next semester), get online, search Coursera, EdX or FutureLearn and find a course you’re interested in. I was able to learn more about and develop my own literary interests in ways that simply cannot be offered by conventional University programmes. MOOCs offer those who enrol the chance to be proactive about their learning, to escape the constraints of the lecture hall in order to realise potential that no exchange of money can provide. The age old saying “you can buy education but not intelligence” has never been more true.
he unfortunate reality is that students are tempting targets for thieves. Most student houses will hold several laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras, e-book readers, tablets and gadgets, or in other words, an absolute treasure trove of valuables. Often student houses can be terribly under protected, and more than often security can be one of the last things on your mind when juggling lectures, bills and assignments. Michael Fraser, a reformed criminal and the BBC’s ‘Beat the Burglar’ security expert, warns that a third of all students become victims of crime, mainly theft and burglary. Student properties that have been burgled before are at an increased risk of being targeted again, and student houses advertised on student estate agent websites are also more at risk. Fraser has said, “Many students don’t bother getting insurance which makes burglary a big financial blow. “Burglars usually choose houses that have little or no visible security which makes students so attractive. If your house does not look secure, seems unlived in,
or provides unobserved access, it could be a risk.” Especially post-Christmas, houses will be brimming with new technology and valuables to swipe. So, now is a perfect time to think a little more about the safety of your belongings: • One simple thing you can do is put a neighbourhood watch sticker in the window – a small and easy deterrent. • Ensure you have photographs of your room layout and belongings – if you are the unfortunate victim of burglary, you’ll know exactly what’s been taken. • Keep belongings out of sight – open blinds and windows with valuables out on display can sometimes be too much of a temptation… • You can always ask the landlord to fit a second, BS (British Standard) approved lock that will further deter potential thieves. • If you’re particularly concerned you can even SmartWater your valuables to deter and detect criminal activity. Although statistically 20% of student robberies occur in the first six weeks of the academic year, it never hurt anyone to protect your belongings and be vigilant with your security and safety.
© Images of Money
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Inspiration from Jim Carrey
A Punning Commentary
by Alex Watts, Features Team
by Jas Smith, Features Team
o exams are finally over and thank goodness for that! I hope everyone did well. But, as per usual, during revision period, my mind wandered and procrastination got the better of me. But, I stumbled upon a gem that I feel I must share: Jim Carrey’s website. Okay, so I know you’re probably thinking ‘so what?’ and I’m a fan of Jim Carrey as much as the next person, but I couldn’t believe I had never been on this website before. Let me start off by telling you: it’s insane. Absolutely insane. It’s an interactive website, and upon entering, you’re greeted by several Jim Carrey faces, each of them representing one of his characters, set to a background of bizarre music. I must admit that I was confused at first; what do you do with several Jim Carrey faces? The answer apparently, is click on them. Each ‘Jim’ you click on makes a different weird noise or gives you a quote. There are several pages like this and you can flick between them at the top and bottom of each pages. There are links everywhere in this
website. Nowhere you click is safe. Every picture does something. Every now and again, a little man pops up with a camera, and ‘takes a picture’ of you. If you click on him quick enough, you’re rewarded with a video or a picture of Jim, and a little ‘Jim Carrey Bird’ flies across the top of the screen, which if you click on, links you to his Twitter. But, my favourite part of the site has to be what I called ‘the tunnel’. On the home page, underneath Jim’s clasped hands, there is a tunnel screen saver. It is a repeated GIF, made to look like you are travelling down a tunnel towards a light. Words come out of the tunnel, saying things like ‘create ‘believe’ and ‘begin’. I must admit, this is a website full of surprises. I was not expecting to be inspired by Jim Carrey. But it was inspiring nonetheless, and strangely calming. It made me smile. So I suggest you check it out, while you have some time off! If the Jim Carrey website doesn’t surprise you today, I don’t know what will. I never thought Jim Carrey would get me through my exams! Thanks Jim!
he scrutinising assessment of our ability to copy and paste information by regurgitating dribble onto the exam paper is over. We can finally rest knowing that next time preparation won’t begin four days before the exam, despite the trickle of excrement clouding that statement. But of course, we mustn’t deny ourselves the pity of last minute fear as an excuse for failure. So now that it’s over, it’s time to be happy, and what better way to invite happiness into your house but with the wonders of pun. As an avid pun user and recycler, fulfilment is rightfully received in my day to day business, and as the famous saying goes, ‘fifteen puns a day, gets your friends to stay’. However, you must know your limits as the other famous saying states ‘sixteen puns a day, keeps the doctor in pay as he can’t leave because someone has got rather angry at your extreme punnage and has beaten the pun out of you’. If in fear of over pun, here are the five hazard levels. 1. Some scattered punning, Halloween becomes a night in which the visual representation of your pun is not enough and
you spend an evening trying to explain for a mere chuckle at best. 2. Punning at regular intervals, with some clear giggles – you start purchasing copious quantities of bread to carry around in case ever asked to make a toast. 3. Punning throughout the day – you have begun using puns to answer exam questions. The examiners are foolish enough to ask us to find the algebraic term ‘X’ when the fools have written it down in clear sight? 4. It’s probably best you don’t leave the house today, last time you left home, you bought a Mercedes and drove it into a lake. Gosh didn’t that make the water murky. Ha. 5. You’re drowning in your own blood after being pun-ched to death. You have ruined your unborn child’s life by naming him purely to gain a laugh. But hey, they don’t speak for at least a year. Until then, every time you see their face, your life will be just a little bit brighter. Don’t fret though, despite the loss of friends and respect, chocolate buttons will always be just a short trip away.
Are you actually happy? The UN certainly doesn’t think so...
by Joel Silver, Features Team
Lose Those Winter Blues
by Rebekkah Hughes, Features Editor
he long wintery nights, where all daylight seems lost by 4pm and it’s almost unbearable to wake up in the morning, are enough to deflate anyone. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern tending to occur at the same time each year, usually being winter. SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms of low mood and lethargy are more severe at this time of year. In most cases the symptoms begin to subside with spring before disappearing completely. However, in the most severe cases of SAD, treatment can include cognitive behavioural therapy, antidepressants and light therapy. The lesser-known light therapy involves sitting near a light box – a special lamp that produces a very bright light to mimic the sun. Scientists aren’t sure exactly what causes SAD, but they are led to believe that the lack of sunlight can affect hormone and chemical balances in the body. Ultimately, SAD can make you feel tired and unhappy.
It affects your general being and can lead to a lack in concentration – which isn’t exactly helpful for us students with exams. So, there are a few things you can do to try and avoid the more serious effects of the winter blues: • Even if you don’t feel like it, do something active: go for a fast-paced walk or jog, or take a class at the gym. Some physical activity will do you the world of good. • When the sun does make an appearance, make the most of it – get outside and soak up some of the rays. Around 15 minutes of sunlight will raise your levels of vitamin D and improve your mood. • As much as is it a struggle, get out of bed! Keep to your routine to make sure your making the most of the day, even if it isn’t all in daylight. You’ll feel productive and active. • Try to smile more – it’ll trigger a better mood and make others feel better too. • And if you’re feeling super keen, make yourself a decent meal – sometimes it seems that there’s nothing better than a stew with dumplings. Sit back and enjoy.
recent report published by the UN and Colombia University has claimed that the United Kingdom is the 22nd happiest place on Earth. In the context of the 156 country study this might seem quite high, but consider that Venezuela (20th), UAE (14th) and Costa Rica (12th) all place above the UK and the picture is not quite as complimentary. But it turns out Northern Europe is the place to go if you want to truly live a happy and joyful life, with Denmark, Norway and Sweden all placing in the top 5. In contrast, if you want to do all you can to live a sad and unfulfilling life, move to Sub-Saharan Africa; specifically Togo, which placed dead last on the scale. The 2013 World Happiness Report was commissioned in an attempt to diversify the ways in which quality of life are viewed on the international political stage. The study looked at
factors such as political freedom, social networks and presence of corruption to grant a much more holistic and in-depth viewpoint on human wellbeing than can be gained from the assessment of economic factors. Although this is not the first time an alternative approach to wellbeing measurement has been sought. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) runs the ‘Better Life Index’, which rates its member countries in terms of 11 key factors; including community, education, life satisfaction and health. On this scale, the UK performs marginally better, rating 10th out of the 34. Whether this revolutionary new way of measuring wellbeing will have a genuine impact on international legislation remains to be seen, but it certainly seems like a step in the right direction, even if it is another kick to the already floundering British selfesteem.
Features Editor: Rebekkah Hughes
The Stag | 10th February 2014
It’s Pamper Time To Do List
by Amy Vitoria, Features Team
by Saskia Parks, Features Team
f you’re looking for somewhere different to go this Valentine’s Day and are fed up of fine dining then look no further. On the corner of Poland Street, a quiet road stemming from the hustle of Oxford Street is Bodean’s. It’s exterior an unlikely combination of gothic meets retro; it’s entrance ordained with young adults, enquiring after tables. Having been to Bodean’s twice now I strongly suggest you book beforehand. The first visit I found myself sitting at one of the outside tables in a somewhat drizzly London, and the second I was waiting for thirty-five minutes and given only an hour to eat. Both of which I agreed to, and it was absolutely worth it. Bodean’s is a small chain in London, featuring four, soon to be five restaurants, in Soho, Tower Hill, Clapham, Fullham, and as of February, Balham High Road. It is a meat eater’s heaven and a testament to American BBQ food, with burgers, pulled pork and ribs dominating the menu and only two salad options. On my first visit I ordered a Soho Special, recommended to me by a regular. The burger consisted of what seemed like a whole pigs worth of BBQ pulled pork and came with coleslaw and fries.
The burger itself was delicious, and great value for money, however after a few bites the taste got a little samey. The fries were perfect, as expected from an American inspired restaurant and the coleslaw was the best I’ve ever had. My second visit almost lead to a meat induced coma after sharing the Bodean’s Platter for two. This featured two types of ribs, burnt ends, pulled pork and chicken thighs as well as coleslaw and fries. I personally preferred this to my previous meal as the different meats meant you could pick and chose between flavours. One of my favourite things about Bodean’s however, excluding the American-diner style interior is the drink selection. Their beer assortment is second to none featuring classics such as Budweiser and Coors Light, but also Craft Beers such as Brewdog and Pistonhead. The soft drinks contain specials such as root beer and Arizona Iced teas and there’s even a cocktail menu if you fancy it, including their own bespoke specials. All in all if you’re looking for somewhere quirky to go, with a friendly relaxed atmosphere, some of the best American BBQ food in London, and something a bit different to drink then Bodean’s is your place.
© John Loo
xam Period is long, hard, and tiring. Lack of sleep, too much junk food and stress, leaves you in dire need of some relaxation and a whole body pick me up. And if you’re like me and have spent too much money this month on quick sugar fixes from The Surrey Shop, then here are some homemade remedies to help detoxify exams from your body… Firstly, all that coffee you’ve been drinking over exams can now be put to another use. It can act as an antibacterial, exfoliating and stimulating agent. Brew a fresh pot of coffee, using 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds and 1 tablespoon of salt, then scrub the mixture all over, to leave yourself feeling fresh and renergised. Got any avocados lying around the house? Well if you mash them in a bowl, until it is a thick rich paste, it can be used as a moisturizing hair conditioner. All you need to do is spread the paste on your hair from root to the ends, leave for 20 minutes and rinse out.
It’ll leave your hair feeling moisturized, stronger and shiny. All that left over chocolate from late night cramming sessions in the library can also be put to good use. The cocoa in chocolate is rich in antioxidants such as iron, calcium and magnesium. It rejuvenates the skin, leaving it soft and glowing. So melt down some chocolate and mix it with Greek yogurt, honey, a banana and a bit of lemon juice, and you have the perfect facemask to remove those dark under eye circles and feel alive again!
by Daniel Gautrey, Features Team
appy February everyone! It's a little late for new years resolutions, so how about a few cures for the post-exam blues? I know, I know, POST-exam blues sounds like nonsense, but I think you'll find you have little to do with yourself after all that intense revision. Now there's no reason you can't use your time wisely, get ahead on reading for next semester or fly a kite or something. Personally I found a new way to make it through the exam period and give myself something to do afterwards. Brace yourself, seriously, this is going to blow you away: I made a list. Yes, that's right. A list. I wrote down a collection of things to do once I was done revising. I know it's tempting to hibernate for a few weeks before you have coursework again, but don't do that. Get active: do something fun! Here are my top ten suggestions for your list: • Actually try out those New Year’s resolutions you made and have already forgot about. • Learn to cook a little better: toast is not good enough for breakfast, lunch and dinner. • Get a pet Rock, name him Rocky, have a barrel of laughs. Done. • Learn a new language – this one will take the longest… actually maybe don't bother; this seems like a lot of work. • Get some new music: aren't you tired of listening to that same Ed Sheeran album from 3 years ago? He has a new album out soon, also there are other bands in existence. • Go shopping. The sales appear to still be on well into February so go and spend some cash. Clothes are good; people throw things when you're naked. • Learn an instrument; writing or just playing can be really soothing. It is also something women seem to go crazy for (unless your thinking keyboard), so keep that in mind. • Get your hair cut, do something new and bold. That's bold not bald, it is way too cold for that. • Buy socks. Socks are the key to happiness. I have Superman on my socks, and I’m happy. • Finally, relax. I know I said don't just do nothing, but you will need some recovery time so you don't freak out when you do have coursework again.
© Sharon Drummond
(Socks) © Christiane Struck
14 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Science & Technology
The Truth About ‘Fracking’
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Editor
ydraulic fracturing, known as ‘fracking’, is the glitzy new alternative to what are our everdecreasing fossil fuel reserves. It may seem like a quick solution to ensure that oil never runs out estimated 5 years within UK - and indeed, the USA have sported a good example. That is, until studies emerge revealing the true damage that drilling for shale gas causes to our environment and ourselves. The dangers are no secret anymore, and as global warming increases, and the world is drained of its natural resources, governments look for cheap solutions. Unfortunately, they usually bear dire consequences for our future. A new study by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) group from the Colorado School of Public Health expresses the devastating effects that the fracking wells are having on people living in certain areas where it is done. The study
looked at Colorado, where 47,000 gas wells are used to extract fossil fuels for the gas and oil industries. They found that women who live within a 10-mile radius of the wells are more likely to have babies with neural tube and congenital heart defects. Researchers analysed birth defects among nearly 125,000 births in Colorado towns with fewer than 50,000 people between 1996 and 2009. They found that babies born to the mothers who live in areas with the highest density of wells (approx. 125 wells per mile) were more than twice as likely to have neural tube defects than those living with no wells within a 10-mile radius. Children in those areas also had a 38% greater risk of congenital heart defects than those with no wells. The findings add to a growing concern by many activists and residents about the potential for health effects from the air pollutants. This news comes after a University of Missouri team found
that 11 chemicals commonly used in the fracking process are “endocrine disrupters” - compounds that can affect the human hormonal system and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and infertility. These chemicals, thanks to fracking nearby, are released into the Colorado River which is the most commonly used source of drinking water in the state. While it may spring to some minds that fracking should just take place away from neighbourhoods this is not realistic; as they will run out and then use habituated areas, which they already do. The answer is renewable energy - sadly an option that does not appeal to the big cats of the oil and gas industries who are looking for inexpensive ways to keep production going. Perhaps they will reconsider, when faced with the hard evidence for the effects fracking has on public health, whether or not they care about the environment.
No drill, no spill: Protestors fight to end fracking plans
Wake Up, Rosetta!
By Francesca Gillard, Science & Tech Team bated breath for confirmation of her awakening. They were not disappointed. Exactly on schedule, at 18:18 GMT, Rosetta replied. This was announced via the @ESA_ Rosetta Twitter account, which tweeted: “Hello, World!” ESA’s Rosetta mission manager, Fred Jansen, said: “This was one alarm clock not to hit snooze on, and after a tense day we are absolutely delighted to have our spacecraft awake and back online.” Launched in 2004, Rosetta began her 10 year mission to reach 67P/Chu r y u mov- Gerasimen ko, which involved three fly-bys of Earth and one of Mars. During this time she also passed close enough to two asteroids to take some important readings, asteroid Steins in 2008 and asteroid Lutetia in 2010. In 2011, Rosetta was finally on her way to 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko and was put into hibernation to conserve power until she reached her final destination. Now she’s awake, she plans to pull up alongside the comet in August this year. In November, a small landing craft called Philae will land on the snowy dirt ball and dig 23 cm into the surface, analysing the composition as it goes. Rosetta and Philae will then remain with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for a year as it journeys past the Sun, heating up and producing the characteristic ‘comet’s tail’. Formed far from the Sun, comets are dropped to temperatures low enough to produce ice and have remained unchanged since the beginnings of our solar system. Spectroscopy (the process of analysing light reflected by materials), has shown that there is water and possibly organic compounds in comets. This has led some scientists to believe they may have been the ‘seed’ of life on Earth, perhaps bringing water and the simple building blocks of life. Rosetta’s mission is to learn more about these fascinating objects and through her year long, in-situ study she plans to unlock the secrets contained within them. While we wait for Rosetta to arrive at her destination we can follow her journey via her Facebook page and the @ESA_Rosetta Twitter feed. She truly is a space probe fit for the 21st century!
omet Chasing: ‘the sport of flying 500,000,000 miles into the cosmos in order to catch up with a giant, speeding, disintegrating block of ice - with the intention of landing on said block of ice’. All for the sake of science.
Sound fun? Well, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) very own comet chaser, Rosetta, has recently been woken from her three-year nap and is ready to rendezvous with Comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko, in August this year.
(Rosetta is a 3 tonne space probe on a 1.1 thousand-million pound mission - not a person as the name may suggest!) On January 20th 2014, Rosetta’s pre programmed alarm clock chimed. ESA scientists waited with
Sci/Tech Editor: Siobhan Harris
The Stag | 10th February 2014
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Top 10 Positive Environment Stories of 2013:
By Ben Hartfield, Science & Tech Team 10. Sharks and Rays Win Protection in CITEs: Shark Fin soup has almost decimated shark numbers in recent decades and finally CITEs (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) have protected another 5 species of shark and 2 rays. This means trade is heavily regulated but not completely banned. This will do much to bring back the population count of these very slow-breeding animals. 9. REDD+ Approved (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation): REDD+ is a program that compensates tropical countries for protecting their forests. This means that the money goes into addressing drivers of deforestation like conversion into farms and measuring forest related emissions. 8. New Mega-Fauna Found in Brazil: Scientists in Brazil have discovered a new species of Tapir, although at 115Kg this Tapir is one of the smallest and is already being called the Dwarf Tapir. Talk about discrimination! The local indigenous population have been hunting this for thousands of years but the worlds 5th Tapir species hadn’t shown itself until now. 7. Colombia Announce Massive Rainforest Park: La Meseta de las Piramides is the name of the national park that the Colombian government has doubled in size. This includes an area where two uncontacted tribes are settled. The more of these parks go up, the greater protection the amazon rainforest has from cowboy loggers and illegal slash-and-burn practices. 6. Europe Bans Pesticides Linked to Loss of Bees: The EU has approved a 2 year ban on these potentially harmful pesticides in the hope that the bee population will rise and show proof of the harm they cause. Recent research has showed that the pesticides cause damage to the bee’s brain, causing unnatural behaviour and the eventual collapse of the bees’ colonies. 5. Google’s Forestry Map: This is a snapshot of the globe’s forests and it’s quite spectacular! It shows the change in forest cover from 2000 to 2012, with green being the forest, blue as new forest and red as lost forest. There may be a lot of red showing deforestation but there is also a significant amount of blue where work has been done to regenerate the forest. 4. Leatherback Sea Turtle No Longer Critically Endangered: Relentless conservation work has brought this magnificent
creature back from the brink of extinction. Now they are still very vulnerable and constant work must be done to maintain this new vitality, but a rise in population when their numbers have been falling so much in recent years is credit to the conservationists who make this happen. 3. First New Carnivore Discovered Since 1970s: This new mammal is called the Olinguito - go and look it up as it’s very cute! It was discovered in the
cloud forests in the Andes and it is part of the Olingo family, who are related to Raccoons. 2. CO2 Emissions Rise is Slower: The decade average of CO2 emissions is at 2.9% but in 2012 the rise was at only 1.1%. The global economy grew 3.5% which shows there may be less correlation between the two. 1. China Tackles Carbon Footprint:
The world’s largest consumer of coal has put in place many new initiatives to curb its growing emissions. It now has the most wind turbines in the world, the largest capacity for hydroelectric power and a rising nuclear programme. In 2013 china pledged $275 billion (£167 billion) over 5 years to cut its air pollution, and as they are already one the largest producers of greenhouse gases it is vitally important that China implements this radical plan.
Peace Within The Metropolis
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Editor
The view of London from Parliament Hill, Hamstead Heath. A beautiful spot to distance yourself from the buzz of the city and surround yourself with nature.
eople often associate happiness with winning the lottery, pay-rises, and even chocolate. Why not? I mean, they do make us happy, right? Well, yes… In the short-term. The key to happiness in the long-run is undoubtedly down to the people and more importantly, the places we surround ourselves with. Have you ever felt depressed by the constant hum of industrial estates, the swooshing of the North Circular and never-ending buzz of technology? Wherever you are in an urban setting, be it London, Guildford or elsewhere, it’s likely that it’ll get you down if you don’t take a break. Visit a park, go down to the lake on campus - surround yourself with nature. Scientists recommend it, as the increasing body of evidence that suggests green spaces are good for people’s well-being only gets stronger. The places that surround us are key to our mental health. For a long time we’ve known that people suffer less with depression in rural areas. The link suggested was that it’s because of the vast green
spaces. New evidence now shows that people living in urban areas with green spaces will have sustained positive effects - so don’t fear, there is peace within the metropolis too! Even if you don’t live near many, be sure to take advantage of the parks that in most cases, campaigners often work hard to preserve because of this vital link. UK researchers found that moving to a green space indeed had a sustained positive effect on the individuals they looked at, unlike pay-rises or promotions, which only provided them with a short-term boost. In fact, they also investigated a group of lottery winners who had won more than £500,000. You might assume they’d be happy for a lifetime - but the researchers found that after six months to a year, the positive effect had worn off. It was living in greener urban areas that really had a lasting positive effect on people’s sense of well-being. They found this out by analysing data from the General Health Questionnaire
from the Understanding Society survey which collects data on 40,000 households a year. They found that after three years of living near greener spaces, a vast amount of people still had better mental health for it. The results clearly indicate that access to good quality urban parks is beneficial to public health. The findings can be found in the journal Environmental Science and Technology - so check it out if you’re not convinced. This new research builds upon the findings of a previous study that showed people living in greener areas were displaying fewer signs of depression or anxiety. The team behind this have submitted an application for funding to carry out further research that will hopefully examine marital relationships in different areas and to what extent things like divorce rates and satisfaction levels differed. Logically, it makes sense - nature is where life occurs, technology is not. While technology may enhance life for us, it’s important to remember that nature is where life begins. So never forget that you can access green areas even in the heart of the metropolis ‘cause it’ll benefit you in the long-run.
©Noel Zia Lee
16 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Surrey’s New Astrophysics Talent
By Laurence Stant, Science & Tech Team
Top in Tech
By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
Facebook Celebrates 10th Birthday
he University's Department of Physics has a pretty comprehensive range of research areas. From quantum computing to medical imaging, stellar fusion to latex formation, they have it covered. However, throughout its many years of discovery - including revolutionary laser technology and modelling of exotic nuclei – there has always been an astronomical hole in the group. The new astrophysics research group, headed by Professors Mark Gieles and Justin Read, aims to fill that post. Armed with a growing team of experts from around the world, the group is looking to model our Universe on both large and small scales using cuttingedge computing technology. Each member of the team models and analyzes the cosmos at a different level – Justin Read looks at dark matter and galactic clusters, Oscar Agertz studies galactic interactions and formation, Mark Gieles applies models to star clusters inside those galaxies and finally Alessia Gualandris simulates the orbits of stars around black holes and other massive objects. This multi-scale approach that makes the Surrey group stand out amongst others has already provided many “exciting new ideas and projects that we
expect to bear fruit very soon” according to Justin Read. In under a year of existence, they have already won several research grants and are already applying for more. Mark Gieles previously held a post at the University of Cambridge where he was awarded a University Research Fellowship (URF) of the Royal Society. He is very happy to be part of the new group, “I’m
really excited that we’re exploring the overlap of different skills when it comes to astrophysical problem-solving, and working with people who are experts in their own field. I’m also looking forward to collaborating with Surrey’s Department of Physics. They already do great work on astrophysics, so our group fits well into their research community.”
The enthusiasm of the group was evident at their recent inaugural public lecture, where they presented to an audience of over 150 about their methods and goals. Attendees included academics and students, local school children and the Guildford Astronomical Society (GAS).
he world’s largest social networking website celebrated its 10th birthday on February 3rd. In the past decade, it has amassed 1.2 billion users and become a billion dollar company with its IPO.
Electric Car Charging Points to be Installed Across Cumbria
n a bid to help lower carbon fooprint further, electric car charging points are being installed across Cumbria. The project is funded by a government grant and should be useful for the future. It wil be beneficial to the environment.
EU Police Group Considers Remotely Stopping Vehicles
The new astrophysics group, from left to right - Prof. Justin Read, Kearn Grisdale, Noellia Noel, Dr. Oscar Agertz, Dr. Alessia Gualandris, Prof. Mark Gieles, Vincent Henault-Brunet.
Coffee Affects Long-Term Memory
By Joanna Moch, Science & Tech Team
enior police officers across the EU have considered the possibility of remotely stopping vehicles, if necessary, with a proposal suggesting it be standard kit in all new vehicles in the region. Among other benefits, it would help lower the rate of accidents and collisions caused by overspeeding vehicles.
NASA Engineer Builds Halloween Costume to Sync With Smartphone
ature Neuroscience - awesome journal published another fascinating article at the beginning of this year. Precisely, US leading scientists suggested that caffeine administration might affect our memory consolidation. The majority of previous studies showed only shortterm enhancement of memory in humans; any long-term effects were often inconclusive. This time researchers found that 18-30 year olds remembered pictures for longer, implying coffee might have an effect on our long-term memory. I suspect you would like to know more about the brain processes involved? Having only 500 words here, I shall make an attempt but you might want to google to find out more. Memory and learning are closely related: in a nutshell, we cannot learn without structures in the brain (e.g. hippocampus) associated with memory consolidation being intact – see Henry G. Molaison case. There are different types of memory/learning. Procedural (implicit) learning can be associative: classical or operant conditioning, and non-associative: habituation or sensitization which is associated with neural activity in autonomic and somatic reflex pathways. Declarative (explicit) learning
– investigated by the researchers above – occurs in the medial temporal lobe (hippocampus), diencephalon (thalamus and hypothalamus) and in the prefrontal cortex. Changes at the neural level in the above regions – triggered by caffeine for instance – could enhance performance on different learning and memory tasks. Physiological changes may include increasing or decreasing the activity of nerve cells, suppression or strengthening of synapses and alternations to DNA. There is a chance of physical changes like growing axons and dendrites, along with more receptors forming on postsynaptic membrane. According to Hebb’s rule when neurons are activated together the synapse between two neurons is strengthened: ‘Hebbian synapse’. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is the increase in the synapse’s strength over a long period of time, and long-term depression (LTD) is the decrease in its strength, and both can last for even a few hours. During learning in the hippocampus one can argue that the synapses between CA3 Schaffer collaterals (Scs) and CA1 cells – basically different parts of hippocampus – are Hebbian. Rapid series of stimuli move
from axon(s) of one cell (in CA3) to dendrites of another cell (in CA1) which leave the synapses more susceptible to new information of the same type due to glutamate and norepinephrine release. Glutamate and norepinephrine are the ‘excitatory’ neurotransmitters that are activated during learning – hope that helps. In English, coffee makes our brain excited and ready for building new memories through LTP. Precisely, the Nature researchers hypothesised that caffeine may affect the above neural changes indirectly by enabling norepinephrine release or acting on CA2 region of hippocampus – the one between CA1 and CA3 obviously. Perhaps I’m slightly exaggerating here, but this study made me think of other drugs like amphetamines that are taken to improve performance. So, is cognitive enhancement a fair advantage for students who are undertaking exams or employees working towards deadlines? Though it may seem like a quick and simple way to stay focused, beware - over time your neurons might not be able to perform as well as they did before, leaving your performance even more dependent on chemicals.
n engineer at NASA has come up with an exciting new form of Halloween costume. iPads are strapped to the back and front of the costume to create an impression of a gaping hole through the chest. Keep that in mind for later this year...
Google Glass Integrates With Prescription Glasses
oogle have announced that they intend to launch pairs of prescription glasses with their Glass technology. This comes as good news for those of you with the need for regular glasses. and fancy trying out the Google Glasses. The integrated model is set to be a winner for all.
What makes you happy?
The Stag | 10th February 2014
AWARD SEASON SPECIAL
By Sophia Field, Film Editor
The Wolf of Wall Street
elcome to a three-hour feast of sex, drugs, swears and Leonardo DiCaprio. And yes, it is just as fantastic as it sounds. The Wolf of Wall Street is the fifth movie by dream team Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, and it is the icing on a most delicious cake. They are unstoppable together, and this movie is no exception. Scorsese tells the true story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who finds his fortune and enjoys a privileged lifestyle, but a string of corrupt and questionable actions lead to his fall from the high life. The sheer magnitude of the movie is out of this world, with a $100 million dollar budget, it is no surprise that every scene is bursting at the seams. One of my favourite moments in the movie involves Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio taking a reckless amount of a powerful drug, called Lemmon, a type of quaalude. This results in hilarious and terrifying consequences as Leonardo attempts a never-ending homeward journey with absolutely zero lower body strength. As you can imagine, the sloth-like dragging of his man-size body is nothing short of hysterical, and this is made even better when he uses cocaine, as Popeye uses spinach, to get his body functioning again. The surprise performance of the movie was Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff. Whilst we have seen that he can act seriously in Moneyball, alongside Brad Pitt, his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street is a genius combination of this drama and the humour he is often associated with. Although his enactment was excellent, the character was often irritating and exasperating, with a stupidity only slightly redeemed by his admiration for Jordan. Margot Robbie is new to the Hollywood scene, after her break into the business in Australian soap Neighbours. She plays Naomi Lapaglia, a gorgeous but relatively soulless love interest of Jordan’s. Despite many reviewers only mentioning her in light of her nudity and obvious assets, she should be recognised for her fantastic performance in this role. The length of the film has been criticised by several viewers, with some finding the scenes stretching on for far too long, and questioning what else could have possibly been included in the 4 hour original cut (to be featured on the DVD release). Although some scenes could have been trimmed down, I felt that the length was worth it for the overall picture. The lack of female characters was also slightly deflating for such a blockbuster. Naomi is superficial, shallow and seemingly cold hearted, whilst other female characters are prostitutes, strippers, or willing to shave their head in front of 50 testosterone crazy men to earn $10,000 for a boob job. Whilst this is obviously representative of the over the top masculine energy and attitudes of the characters, it is a shame to see no real redeeming female representation. Overall The Wolf of Wall Street is a smash. DiCaprio hits it out of the ball park yet again and delivers an astounding performance, deserving of the Golden Globe he has already secured this season. He captures the shallow indulgence of Jordan perfectly, allowing the viewer to be so entertained by him, that we actually enjoy his hideous transformation. For Dicaprio’s sake, I really hope this one gets him the Oscar!
12 Years a Slave
By Jordan Brackenbury, Film Team
will admit that my expectations for 12 Years a Slave were sky-high. Upon its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, it was proclaimed to be “the new Schindler’s List” and in the months leading up to its UK release, the reviews had grown increasingly hyperbolic. 12 Years a Slave, along with Gravity, were probably the mosthyped films of the year, and for good reason! It’s the third collaboration between Director Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender. The pair’s previous collaborations- 2008’s Hunger and 2011’s Shame were lauded by critics. 12 Years A Slave has managed, somehow, to raise the bar which McQueen had already set so high. McQueen has made a name for himself by tackling difficult subject matters, and 12 Years a Slave is no exception. It’s difficult watch to say the least, but McQueen looks at slavery with an unflinching eye. The story of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, is an exceptional one. Northup, a free man, was abducted and
sold into slavery, leaving his family with no knowledge of his whereabouts. McQueen’s achievement lies in his masterful presentation of slavery as a system in which everyone, even those who showed kindness to Northup, was complicit. This is a part of the reason why 12 Years a Slave is so harrowing- it gives a real sense of Northup’s fear that he will never reclaim his freedom. Of course, credit must be paid to Chiwetel Ejiofor. Ejiofor has proven himself to be an incredibly talented actor and his performance in this film is no exception. He is backed up by a stellar supporting cast- in particular Michael Fassbender and Paul Dano. Fassbender is terrifying as the sadistic slaveowner Mr Epps, shown in complete contrast to Northup’s first master, Benedict Cumberbatch’s well-meaning yet ultimately cowardly Mr Ford. This is a film which is full to the brim with exceptional performances and that is what makes it so moving. Although it is difficult watch, 12 Years a Slave is definitely not one to be missed, and this is reflected in the nominations it has received in this year’s award season and its Golden Globe win for Best Motion Picture (drama).
Film Editor: Sophia Field
The Stag | 10th February 2014
By Sophia Field, Film Editor
Also, don’t miss…
Dallas Buyers Club
month fee and free drugs for members. Ron’s journey is truly heartwarming, as he sets out selfishly trading the drugs for profit but eventually becomes compassionate towards the people he would have previously abused. Jared Leto’s performance, as transgender character Rayon, is extremely moving. Rayon adds light moments to a dark subject matter through his unexpected friendship with Ron. Having allegedly taken twenty years to get to our screens, Dallas Buyers Club is not to be missed this season and is certainly one to watch, with award winning performances by both McConaughey and Leto.
Make sure you catch The Academy Awards on Sunday 2nd March and The BAFTA Awards on Sunday 16th Feb!
ou will probably have heard about the shocking weight loss that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto underwent for their roles in Dallas Buyers Club. In order to accurately depict AIDs sufferers, McConaughey lost 47lb and Leto 40lb. Yet anyone who has seen this film will admit that the changed appearance of the actors is of very little significance in such an enticing storyline. Dallas Buyers Club tells the story of Ron Woodroof, a vulgar, homophobic electrician, who indulges in every vice conceivable. When he is diagnosed with AIDs and given 30 days to live, he begins importing drugs into the country that are not FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved. Seeing a business opportunity, he starts selling the medication to other desperate sufferers under the guise of a ‘club’, with a $400 a
for the other side. David O Russell's most recent venture is a masterpiece of interwoven relationships, deceit, comedy, plunging necklines and wigs. Having already won the Golden Globe for best motion picture (comedy or musical) as well as securing Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence individual awards, it is a must see this award season.
hristian Bale once again transforms himself to play Irv Rosenfeld, an overweight con artist with a ridiculous comb over. He runs a successful investment scam alongside his sexy mistress, fellow grafter, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), but when manic federal agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) catches them, they end up working
speaks to him through an ear piece, and becomes much more to him that what she was programmed for. Although this may sound peculiar, it is a surprisingly real and comforting account of the human need to find compassion.
pike Jonze's new movie, Her, offers a futuristic and unique take on a classic love story. Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twonbly, a recent divorcee who falls for Samantha (voiced by Scarlette Johansson), an artificially intelligent operating system. Theo takes Samantha on dates, where she
August: Osage County
made abundantly clear by two hours of raging speeches and violent outbursts. Meryl Streep offers another fantastic performance in her role as Violet, the malicious, drug-addicted bully, as well as other cast members showing their shining potential. This movie is filled to the brim with drama, and although it may not be a front runner this awards season, it is definitely worth a watch.
ugust: Osage County is a black comedydrama film, based on a play by Tracy Letts, featuring incredible performances by some of the finest actors in Hollywood. Meryl Streep, in perhaps her most poisonous role as Violet Weston, has gathered her madly dysfunctional family together after the suicide of her husband, Bev. The family clearly resent being assembled together, and this is
The Stag | 10th February 2014
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The story of a man who regains confidence in himself through travel.
By Ankur Banerjee, Film Team
he Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a Ben Stiller film through-and-through, a somewhat whimsical and humorous story about a man who has a life changing epiphany while searching for love. Ben Stiller plays a lowly photograph processer at a lifestyle magazine called Life, and dreams about dating his co-worker Cheryl (played by Kristen Wiig). The story begins at a transitional phase in Life magazine, as it becomes a digital publication – thus making the cover photo for the final printed issue even more important than usual. The staff photographer, portrayed by a supposedly superhuman Sean Penn, sends a final reel of pictures for Walter to process. Unfortunately, the negative for the mysterious chosen picture, bound to end up on the cover, cannot be found and Walter Mitty must go on a quest to find it.
The first half of the film is littered with fantastical scenes of Walter daydreaming about how he would react to everyday situations but would never have the gumption to do. He then embarks on a journey that takes him back and forth between three continents, in search for the missing negative. The usual funny shenanigans one would expect in a Ben Stiller film are all there, but it nevertheless struck a chord with me because it is essentially the story of a man who regains confidence in himself through travel. The locales are stunningly beautiful and cinematography exquisite, and the feel-good story made me want to hit the road and go travelling again (it’s been a year since I’ve been anywhere exotic!). Perhaps the only jarring note in the film is the oft-repeated product placement for dating website eHarmony, in some of the most incongruous contexts.
Top 3: British television shows
By Daniel Müller
irstly it should be understood that British TV production is very different from the industry in Hollywood. Most importantly, while American series have 24 or 12 episodes in a season, British TV producers tend to prefer quality to quantity and split a script of a season into approximately 8 episodes. Furthermore there is a very big difference, as big as the North Atlantic Ocean, between British and American comedy. As Stephen Fry puts it, while the American comedian smashes a guitar on the head of one of the many idiots surrounding him, the British comedian wants to play the other part, where a guitar scatters into a billion little pieces on his own head. If you are from the UK it is very likely that you have heard about these series. If not, you might feel like you have found a goldmine in your own backyard. However, according to the 2008 Welcome Week survey, there is a 47% percent chance that you are not English. In order to integrate into British society, here are the top 3 British series you must watch.
This is the show that represents the delightful awkwardness of British comedy at its best. The main characters are a group of friends in their teenage years. We University students would easily call them geeks, but I’m sure on some level we can all relate to their stories. In every episode they take on a mission to shake off their labels, like getting alcohol or losing their virginities, although we already know that they are perfectly orchestrated to fail. Watching the social awkwardness of these British teenagers, probably resting our palm on our face or occasionally covering our eyes, we can’t help but to burst out in laughter. If you didn’t feel uncomfortable enough, keep in mind that most of these stories happened to the creators. (Note: Never watch the American version produced by MTV)
Making a sitcom about a group of University students sharing a house is not really a noble thought. It shouldn’t have been easy to pitch this idea, but Hallelujah! It worked. The show is already on its third season due to the rich characters, which are not only hilarious but in some way represent different parts of British society. I promise you that “Cup a tea”, “Posh twat” and “Oaight then” will be said at least twice in every episode. In a review by The Independent, the characters were described as “comically foolish but they arent (with some exceptions) contemptible”. Give it a try - after all you are the target audience.
This is the most unusual TV mini-series made by Charlie Brooker, who if I had to, I would compare to the love child of George Orwell and Christopher Nolan. In Black Mirror, each season features 3 independent dystopic postcards from the future. These episodes can be very dark, but they definitely make you think. If The Times says that Black Mirror is “one of the smartest pieces of drama to appear on television for a long time”, and you shouldn’t question their judgement. I am sure you don’t hear this often in the context of a series, but I advise you not to start with the first episode. You might just find it a little shocking.
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Top 10 Happy Songs
By Candice Ritchie, Music Editor
1. Pharrell Williams – Happy
hen it comes to the musical marvels of happiness, there’s a song to suit every situation – whether you’re heartbroken, grieving, stressed or angry, music is renowned for its remarkable consolation. But there are songs which make us happy no matter what position we’re in, giving us inspiration, reassurance and the encouragement to party. Here are the ultimate top ten ‘happy’ songs that will put a smile on your face (even in the cold winter, with copious deadlines):
These two songs are equally worthy of a place in the top ten, so I couldn’t pick just one. Both are filled with inspiration and courage, making us feel invincible and giving us belief; after all, we can be a mountain peak or a lion, or fly away and touch the sky!
7. R Kelly – The World’s Greatest/I Believe I Can Fly
The 56th Grammy Awards
By Nicole Vassell, Editor
8. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
One we’re all familiar with given its recent stint back into the charts, and equally as motivational. We all have those moments where we feel like something isn’t achievable, but this song tells us to never stop believing in ourselves and reminds us that we can do it!
Having been produced for the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and brimming with lyrics about happiness, it’s no wonder that this song has had us all smiling this winter. The perpetual ‘you can’t bring me down’ line, the image of floating away in a hot air balloon to forget our troubles and, not to mention, the continual reminder to be ‘happy’, make this song worthy of number one.
9. Kool & the Gang – Celebration
The perfect party track, no matter the occasion. Its incessant mention of ‘celebrating’ (and almost nothing else) reminds us that we’re all there to celebrate and ‘have a good time’ and gets everyone on the dance floor. This song’s sole intention is to get everyone partying!
2. Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
A favourite within the cheerful chart and appearing on many a person’s happy list, this song cannot be praised enough for its positivity. What brighter (and fantastical) imagery could there be than to walk upon sunshine - and ‘don’t it feel good?’
10. Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
When it’s time to ‘paint it up’ and ‘burn the roof’, there’s no better song to get you in the mood! It’s all about forgetting your worries and letting them go, because you’re set to have a good night – Will. I. Am has ‘got a feeling’ about it.
3. The Lion King - Hakuna Matata
What would a list of happy songs be without one popularised by Disney? It’s constantly stuck in our minds for its upbeat lyrics and catchy tune, and undoubtedly our wish for ‘no worries for the rest of [our] days.’ Plus, let’s face it, Timon, Pumbaa and Simba will always make us smile!
4. Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
This is by far the ultimate classic ‘happy’ song, if not for anything but its original lyrics of inspiration. Have you ever felt so good that you’re burning through the skies like Mister Fahrenheit? Or perhaps you feel like a tiger, defying the laws of gravity? This song makes everything possible, for there’s no stopping you if you’re having a good time.
5. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Perfect for a girl’s night out, when you just want to let your hair down - what better song to have fun to than a song about having fun?! This song is timeless when it comes to the list of happy-go-lucky tracks, no matter the age of the girl. Boys, feel free to dance along too!
6. Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World
Filled with beautiful imagery, such as blue skies and red roses, along with the joy of babies growing and friends shaking hands, this is a classic for reminding you that the world is a wonderful place. Perfect if you’re having a down day.
wards season is well and truly in full swing, with all areas of the entertainment industry handing out accolades for the work produced from late 2012 to late 2013. Sunday 26th January saw some of the biggest names in popular music gather at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles for an exciting night. In case your invitation got lost in the mail, here are some of the highlights: The show was opened by none other than Beyoncé with her new single ‘Drunk In Love’. The sizzling performance saw the 32-year-old megastar dance saucily on a rotating chair before being joined on stage by husband Jay-Z. The power couple showed that their chemistry was hotter than ever, with some parents even complaining afterwards that they wouldn’t allow their children to watch! New Zealand newcomer Lorde, winner of Song of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, also took to the stage with ‘Royals’. Katy Perry, yet to win a golden gramophone, performed ‘Dark Horse’ from her 2013 album ‘Prism’, with help from Tennessee rapper Juicy J. The trap-infused tune is definitely different from Perry’s previous singles, but is very catchy and sure to be a club hit. Pink gave an incredible vocal delivery of 2013 hit ‘Try’, while performing an acrobatic routine above a crowd of amazed audience members. When she loosened herself from the ropes, she sang ‘Just Give Me A Reason’ with Nate Ruess of Fun, from the safety of the stage. Though once again Pink did a great job, Ruess’ performance was strange to say the least; sporting a fuzzy moustache, he missed many of his notes. Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ premiered its promotional trailer during one of the show’s ad breaks. The 2014 film, based on the antagonist of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, is already highly anticipated, undoubtedly helped by Lana Del Rey’s haunting cover of ‘Once Upon A Dream’ – never has the song sounded creepier, or
more enchanting. The biggest surprise of the night came as Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar left the Staples Centre empty-handed, having won none of the seven awards for which he was nominated. A breath of fresh air in the hiphop genre, his 2012 album ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ failed to win the title of Best Rap Album as many believed it should have. Lamar, however, more than proved his talents with an explosive collaboration with Imagine Dragons. Combining his track ‘m.A.A.d city’ with the Las Vegas alternative rock band’s ‘Radioactive’ may not seem like a likely combination, but it definitely worked and resulted in many naming it as the best performance of the night. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had an extremely successful evening, scooping four awards – one including Best Rap Album, for ‘The Heist’. Their infectious single ‘Thrift Shop’ won Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Yet, their most memorable moment came when thirty-three couples got married during their performance of equality anthem ‘Same Love’, featuring Mary Lambert. Officiated by Queen Latifah, the couples exchanged rings before being serenaded by Madonna. The newlyweds all looked ecstatic and it was a touching moment for all. Album of The Year, arguably the most coveted accolade, was won by Daft Punk for ‘Random Access Memories’. Unluckily for Taylor Swift, nominated for ‘Red’, the cameras caught her slightly embarrassing reaction: hearing the ‘R’ sound of Daft Punk’s album, she thought her dreams had come true and got excited, before being – um – swiftly disappointed. All in all, the 2014 Grammys was a fun watch with some great performances that will not be forgotten in a hurry. Fortunately, there were no foam fingers in sight unlike 2013’s MTV Video Music Awards – with no nominations this year, Miley Cyrus chose to give the awards a miss and instead stayed at home to play Guitar Hero.
Music Editor: Candice Ritchie
The Stag | 10th February 2014
The Toniks - Rise and Shine Live at University Hall
Bred from the sown seeds of sixties popular music, comes the Guildford based quintet, ‘The Toniks’, with their take on rump pop with a plonky edge, on a mission to put the fun back into breakfast and make us grin like Cheshire cats!
By James Campbell, Music Team By Leo Blanchard, Music Team
fter making a slow ascent into the music scene, The Toniks have recently been creating waves with their debut album, ‘Rise and Shine’ and their newly established status as fully fledged popstars, not only as graduates from the University of ‘Happyology’. They have continued to lap up acclaim for strong live performances and creating loaded pop songs which grip steadfastly eardrums and listeners’ emotions. With the brainchild of vocalist/bassist Mark Taylor and guitarist Jez Parish, The Toniks have put together a vibrant array of happy-go-lucky sounding material for their debut album, ‘Rise and Shine’. Whilst waffling down a healthy bowl of cornflakes, (as subconsciously instructed by the subliminal advertising of the album artwork), I took a moment to soak up the jolly ditties and discover why their smile revolution might catch on after all… Title track, ‘Rise and Shine’, swaggers and strolls with a massive smile in its melodies, smothered with kisses by brass spawned sunspots. The upbeat pace quickens with the bouncy yet bewitching songs, ‘Won’t Let You Down’ and ‘You and I’, accompanied by the striking of staccato guitars and tinkling keys coaxing the imagination, crafting melodic hooks and melodies, which have a particular sparkle, destined to spread like contagion.
The title track, ‘Rise and Shine’, swaggers and strolls with a massive smile in its melodies, smothered with kisses by brass spawned sunspots.
Successive track ‘Simple Things’ eases in with a slow croon, a gentle composition, which caresses vocally and musically. ‘Weather’, a breezy ballad with plodding bass and emotive harmonies, is bound to be drooled over by pop lovers. ‘Secret’s Safe’ teeters on being the rockiest of the album’s repertoire, toying with essences of hits by The Jam and The Motors, buzzing with the energy and rampant charge in the melody lines. Next up, the album’s highlight ‘Scapegoat’, the thrashiest sounding track of the album, is fuelled with barbed melodic hooks, garbled bass, raw guitar licks and well placed, rasping vocals. The album’s denouement, ‘Wonderful Then’ features mesmeric
strings, the soft grumblings of cellos strings, evocative keyboard chords and voluminous backing harmonies. There can be no refuting that the song writing efforts of Taylor and Parish are evident throughout ‘Rise and Shine’, and The Toniks are well on their way to being considered real contenders to be crowned the kings of the current music scene’s pop quintet. However, it’s all very happy, perhaps a little too happy; their eagerness to be cast ‘an antidote for a rainy day’ is definitely no understatement, nor is there attempt to put the cock in Cockel-Doodle-Do. Your first listening enthusiasm might well wane after being treated to a perpetual, daily dishing of this album, with symptoms including being taken to your bed, pillow clasped around your head, licence to muffle. Putting personal taste and cynicism aside however, ‘Rise and Shine’ does exactly what it says on the album cover: it will put the fun back into being happy at breakfast again, washing away the haggard looks after a long night of partying, although I’m not sure it can make the prospect of revision any more appealing. A must have for all you pure pleasure pop seekers out there! ‘Rise and Shine’ is available for digital download via: http://www.thetoniks.com/riseandshine.php
nfortunately, a lot of students will have taken their exams in the University Hall during the recent exam period, but on the 8th of December, it saw Surrey’s best musical talent perform instead. The event was organized by the Department of Music & Sound Recording and saw a diverse range of acts each bringing their own unique sound to the stage, playing to an audience of Surrey students with high expectations. The presenter of the night stressed the ‘relaxed environment’, but the first band, Stitch, got the night going with an intensity more reminiscent of Muse’s livelier moments than anything relaxed. Greg Davies, the band’s frontman, showed a charisma and stage presence that gave an impressive energy to Stitch’s two original songs ‘Hopes and Fears’ and ‘Waste’. Iulia Tache’s covers of ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and ‘I Kissed a Girl’ sounded smooth and professional, but it was the original material she and her band played later in the night that left an impression. ‘Masks and Scars’ and ‘Charon’ both highlighted her band’s impressive musicianship as well as Iulia’s skills as a songwriter. Isabella Stocchetti’s haunting rendition of Arthur Hamilton’s ‘Cry Me a River’ contrasted with her own song ‘Hey Sunshine’ but made for a smooth transition to the music of John Morcom. The lone guitar accompanying him gave his two original songs a sparse and honest sound that drew attention to his heartfelt lyrics — the kind of lyrics worth reading into. Dazzling lighting and quick changeovers between acts gave
the night a professional feel and is a testament to the skill of the Department of Music & Sound Recording. Few other artists on the night matched the intensity that Andrew Munro, Jack Hill and Philip Joyce brought to the stage. Their thundering cover of Tame Impala’s ‘Elephant’ was brilliant, Munro’s vocals helping to do justice to the inescapable heaviness of the original song. Following this was the music of Grapefruit Moon, who presented a vision of life through a soft blur lens and sepia filter. Their unique take on ‘House of the Rising Sun’ marked them as a band to keep an eye on, going beyond the simple imitation practiced by many other bands. It’s hard to be unbiased when reviewing music you already love but the night’s closing performance, a rendition of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Dance Yrself Clean’, was successfully channeled in all its dance-punk glory. In a suit and tie like the man himself, Finlay shouted and sung James Murphy’s brutally frank lyrics, infusing them with his own energy whilst manning the synths. As the stage progressively became consumed with heavy smoke and bright lights, the night of music drew to a dramatic close. The stylistic range of artists that performed live at University Hall was wide to say the least, but the night definitely didn’t feel disjointed; instead, it felt more like a taster of the diverse range of the University of Surrey’s musical talents. Ultimately, the success of the night is owed to the Department of Music & Sound Recording whose dedication to their project could be felt through its sheer professionalism and seamlessness.
The Stag | 10th February 2014
This February in Guildford
The Ballad of Skinny Lattes and Vintage Clothing
‘This performance is a satire that charts the rise of a Revolutionary Middle Class as it struggles to regain control of its local neighbourhood. It’s a story of gentrification, anti-Semitism and austerity and how the financial and political turmoil of the 1930s have come back to haunt us...’ Described by Time Out as ‘A surprising and provocative performance. Be there or be unaware’. Ivy Arts Centre Monday 10th February, £10 - Standard £7 - Concessions £2 - Under 18 / Student 7.30pm,
Grease has maintained its everlasting popularity, and now it’s time to dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and take a trip to a simpler time as ‘bad boy’ Danny and ‘the girl next door’ Sandy fall in love all over again. £15+ (Available from the Yvonne Arnaud website) Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Monday 10th February, Tuesday 11th February, Wednesday 12th February, Thursday 13th Debruary, Friday 14th February, Saturday 15th February, 7.45pm 7.45pm 7.45pm 2.30pm & 7.30pm 8.00pm 2.30pm & 8.30pm
Songs for a New World
“I don’t want to philosophize. I just want to tell a story.” Neither musical play nor revue, Songs for a New World is closer to a theatrical song cycle, a very theatrical song cycle. £12 - Standard £10 - Concessions/Student (From the Electric Theatre) Electric Theatre Monday 7th February, Tuesday 8th February, Wednesday 12th February, Thursday 13th Debruary, Friday 14th February, Saturday 15th February, 7.30pm 7.30pm 7.30pm 7.30pm 7.30pm 2.30pm, 7.30pm
A short concert that fits perfectly with the lunch break. Come, relax and unwind with some stunning performances before heading back to the office, lectures or that essay-writing and lab-report business. PATS Studio 1 Wednesday 12th February, Wednesday 19th February, Free Entry 1.10pm 1.10pm
The Stag | 10th February 2014
In this cinematic and evocative production, Stopgap Dance Company creates a compact world of riddles that question our notions about unity and co-existence. Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape in a bash of riotous rock-n-roll. However, their wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals some uncomfortable truths. Ivy Arts Centre Wednesday 12th February £10 - Standard, £8 - Concessions £2 - Under 18 / Student 7.30pm
Surrey Sculpture Society Lecture
Given by Kate MccGwire, this lecture will look at Kate’s sculpture’s that she has created out of collected feathers. AP Lecture Theatre 1 Wednesday 12th February 7.30pm £3 - Standard, FREE for Students / SSS Members
Love Your Campus Day
Drop into Wates to work with artist, Alison Roche as she attempts to make artwork out of purely recycled material found around our campus. Firs Room, Wates House Wednesday 12th February Free Entry 10am - 4pm
Orchestra and Choir Concert
The University’s orchestra and choir return to the Cathedral to perform an array of works by Puccini and Umberto, as well as Puccini’s fabulous ‘Messa di Gloria’. Guildford Cathedral Saturday 15th February £12 - Standard £10 - Concessions £2 - Under 18 / Student 7.30pm
Love Your Campus Private View
Come into the Gallery to see works created by staff and students. A fantastic array of materials will have been used, and projects can be anything from paintings and collages to full sculptures. Lewis Elton Gallery Wednesday 19th February Free Entry 2pm - 7.30pm
Celebrating the musical and literary works of Ethel Smyth as part of LGBT History Month. Dr Chris Wiley leads a talk on Smyth’s work, and this evening includes a drinks reception and a free concert. PATS Studio 1 Wednesday 19th February Free Entry 5.15pm
Rush Hour Concert
Chill out and miss the rush hour traffic with one of our short and delightful concerts. Featuring a range of musicians and styles, this could include anything from Bach and Mozart to Herbie Hancock and Adele. PATS Studio 1 Friday 21st February 5.30pm Free Entry
Composers and Choreographers’ Concert
Our student musicians and dancers team together for a weekend of creating brand new pieces and dances from scratch. Come and see their final works in performance this evening. PATS Studio 1 Sunday 23rd February 7.30pm Free Entry
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Whatever you think, A Happy Book Review of Alexander McCall Smith’s series think the opposite
By Emma Hawkin, Literature Team
snoozing. It jumps out and throws the reader off guard and perhaps makes us think, maybe doing what we actually want to do as opposed to what we’re told to do will remedy whatever situation we’re in. Maybe. It’s not so much about “inner happiness,” but the blunt and dry humour Paul Arden employs here is provoking us to create our own successes, individually.
Because sometimes the conventional way to happiness is far more unsatisfying.
By Shiri Shah, Literature Editor
Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite,’ is a kind of self help book. Now, don’t close the newspaper in disgust because you’re thinking of a pseudo enlightening novella, just hear me out. This is actually one of the first few books I ever read because it had nice big bold fonts and pictures to keep me from
“It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.” “Be your own worst critic.” “When things go wrong it's tempting to shift the blame. Don't.” “Accept responsibility. People will appreciate it, and you will find out what you're capable of.”
hen asked to contribute to book review for Happiness Week I immediately thought of Alexander McCall Smith’s series The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. Having just released the 14th in the series at the end of last year, his novels are as popular as ever. Each story in the series is set in the beautifully described setting of Botswana, Africa where Mma Precious Ramotswe goes about helping “people with the problems in their lives”. Throughout the series, you follow Mma Ramotswe to track down missing, cheating and thieving husbands, as well as daughters, sons and witch doctors. Interlaced amongst the cases, are magical descriptions of the African land and culture, with little asides about humanity and life that radiate feelings of contentment and resounding optimism. Smith wondrously writes, “We don't forget [...] Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which came back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are”. Mma Ramostwe is a character very content with her life, intent on making those around her more at peace by figuring out the mysteries. Every one of Smith’s stories in this series is full of innocent charm, observational humour and the typical dialogue to make the reader smile, which seems to be fast becoming the trademark of his writing. All that’s left to do is grab yourself a cup of Red Bush tea (a staple of Ramostwe’s), curl up on the sofa and allow yourself to be immersed by the heat and life of a Botswanian detective. I’ll leave you with this heartfelt thought; “I am just a tiny person in Africa, but there is a place for me, and for everybody, to sit down on this earth and touch it and call it their own”.
Get Happy: Write about it
By Shiri Shah, Literature Editor
ife isn’t a bucket full of puppies and rainbows, and being at university gives us more ups and downs than a theme park ride. So why should we just drown ourselves in superficial cheer and ignore the problem at hand. Let’s take a couple of hundred words out and talk about how expressing yourself could get make you happier than binging on Tumblr or Netflix. I am NOT badmouthing Tumblr or Netflix I’m just saying maybe we could be productive about our dissatisfaction – if not then by all means reblog away, I’ll be doing that in T minus two minutes, anyway. Writing is a great coping
technique and can help offload a lot of emotions so you can concentrate on your reading lists and coursework (yay.) This is because it gives you the privacy you might want, and that means you can let rip on whatever’s been playing on your mind.
We all deal with things differently, possibly so we can acquire happiness, and writing is one way of dealing with it. Try it out. There’s always Tumblr and Netflix if not…
Societies Editor: Alice Wilkinson
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Rule #1 for a Happy 2014 : Get Coppin’! PEN Movie Night &
las, it’s that time once again when we all vow to make 2014 the year that we get fit, eat healthy, and spend every spare second that we have studying hard in the library. Let's face it, these are all things that we know we should be doing, but how long are they going to last? Give it a few months and those precious library hours may well be spent chilling out in Channies. So let’s change this. Make 2014 the year that you start the habit of a lifetime. All we’re asking you to do is to take five minutes out of each month to show your puppies a bit of attention, make your boobs happy and check them! CoppaFeel! Uni Boob Teams are on a mission nationwide to get students to check their boobs regularly in order to combat the late detection of breast cancer in young people. You don’t need a medical degree to do it! Just giving your boobs a once over every month is enough to know what they feel like normally. Therefore, if something changes or doesn’t feel quite right you are more likely to detect it and have the confidence to seek a GP’s advice. It’s simple, knowing your boobs could save your life. If you haven’t already, why not come and have a chat with one of the Uni Boob Team Surrey members, and make your New Year’s Resolution one that you can keep this year. You won’t regret it. Even better, text ‘SURREY’ to 70500 and you’ll receive a free SMS reminder to get coppin’ each month, so you’ll never forget to show your funbags some love. For more information about what your Uni Boob Team are getting up to this year in Surrey find them on Facebook and Twitter. www.facebook.com/CoppaFeelUniS @UBTSurrey Ussu.email@example.com
By Sophia Smith, President of PENSOC
ake an evening off your studies and come along to Surrey Student PEN’s free movie night at 19:30 on Thursday 20th February in 04AC03 to watch the Academy Award winning political thriller Argo. The film is set during the 1980 Iran Hostage Crisis and follows the story of CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) who attempts to rescue six Americans in Tehran by going undercover as a Hollywood producer and smuggling them out as part of his crew. If you haven’t been to a Surrey Student PEN event before, this is a great opportunity for you to come and meet us. We’ll also be selling cakes at the event so it is not to be missed! Surrey Student PEN supports the work of English PEN, a national charity that works to promote free speech, human rights and literature. Through various
campaigns, the organisation aims to end censorship and support persecuted writers and journalists throughout the world. As a society, we help by hosting a range of events that raise awareness of the cause. It’s free to become a member of Surrey Student PEN, just head to: www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/ societies/student-pen and click ‘Join Now’. For more details of our upcoming events, including ‘PEN Presents an Evening with Nikita Lalwani’, taking place on Monday 3rd March, like our Facebook page: facebook.com/ SurreyEnglishPEN and follow us on Twitter @SurreyPEN
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Myth 1: Switching lights on and off uses more energy than leaving them on.
FALSE: This used to be true years ago for old lamps, but now the energy used to switch a light on and off is less than that of leaving it on, so you’ll always save energy by turning off.
Lizzie Andrews, Go-Green Society
Happy Divestment; Surrey’s opportunity to invest in a happier and greener future
Myth 2: All of our waste just goes to landfill so it’s not worth sorting out recycling.
FALSE: All of our ‘general waste’ and ‘mixed recycling’ is sorted and as much as possible is sent for recycling (glass, paper, cardboard, metals, all plastics). The remaining waste is then sent to an Energy from Waste Plant where it is burnt to create green energy. Our food waste is collected separately and sent either for composting or anaerobic digestion. None of our waste goes to landfill.
Myth 3: Leaving the heating on overnight uses less energy than re-heating a cold building.
FALSE: A boiler that spends an hour heating up a room in the morning is working no harder than a boiler that is left on all night long.
Myth 4: Repeatedly turning computers and lights on and off reduces their lifespan.
FALSE: Leaving computers on when not in use actually reduces their lifespan, because moving parts wear out faster. Always shutdown when you’re not using your machine.
Myth 5: Fairtrade products are too expensive for students.
FALSE: Lots of Fairtrade items are similar in price to non-Fairtrade and some can even be cheaper. More and more supermarkets offer their own brand ‘Fairtrade’ items which are great value so you’re not having to spend any more and can make a massive difference to the people growing and producing the stuff!
he University of Surrey could be part of a global movement to encourage more sustainable investments. A group of students here at the University of Surrey are campaigning for the University to ‘divest’ from fossil fuels, meaning to remove assets, the opposite of ‘invest’, and reinvest their money into cleaner energy sources. ‘350.org’ are the global organization behind this campaign and ‘People & Planet’ are leading the implementation here in the UK. So far six universities in the United States have committed to divesting their money from the fossil fuel industry (People & Planet 2013). This is not only a political act to raise awareness among students and climate change but it is also a financial one. If fossil fuels run out so do profits. Burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas create CO2 emissions. Scientists have calculated that these harmful emissions will cause the global climate temperature to increase 2% by 2050 (IPCC 2013). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report in September 2013 stated that businesses and governments should make decisions dedicated to ‘limiting temperature rise that will make substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions’. The University of Surrey divesting fossil fuels will show students that business cannot carry on as usual. Concerned Surrey students have been in communication and meeting with the University’s Heads of PR and Financial teams. Ruth Anderson, Head of Finance at the University of Surrey believes the figure for investment in fossil fuel industry is currently between £155,000 and £340,000. Both parties believe the University of Surrey should amend its ethical investment policy to achieve the lower investment value. This would demonstrate that the University of Surrey would have a more positive approach to the
environment, society and governance. By divesting from fossil fuels, the University could reinvest more into students’ education on sustainable development and more into leading research on climate change. The students leading the Surrey campaign have so far suggested investments should be in local and commercial solutions to climate change such as making the University’s buildings and the student Halls of residence more energy efficient. The campaign also asks for more investment into renewable energy on campus. The University of Surrey has the ability to set a standard for students and to create a norm of caring about the future of our climate. Divestment sends a clear message to out about how, collectively, we can act to reduce our carbon emissions. Sign the University of Surrey- Divest from fossil fuels petition-http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/p/ Uni-Surrey
re you interested in gardening? Looking to get fit without shelling out for the gym? Or do you just fancy the idea of getting your hands on some cheap food? If you said yes to any (or all!) of these, then you need to get involved in our new campus garden project. The university have designated a plot of land near the Quiet Centre as a garden site for students and staff to come together and grow their own fruit and veg. This is part of the NUS “Student EATS” (Edible And Tasty Spaces!) programme, which is already well underway at around twenty other universities across the UK. If you would like to find out more about how you can get stuck in, then come along to our “Grow Green!” campus garden workshop on Monday 10th February as part of Go Green Week. At the workshop, which will run from 12-3pm in the Quiet Centre, you'll hear about other successful projects and hopefully get inspired to join in and get your hands dirty on our own site. There will be an opportunity to put your own ideas forward as we run two sessions on the design of the garden and the membership structure. There will also be a free veggie lunch on offer! It is a drop in session so even if you can’t make the whole 3 hours feel free to come along whenever you can. Following on from this, we are going to start running some regular workshops and activity sessions where we will be digging, building and planting. If you’re keen to find out more or join up, then contact us at greenteam@ surrey.ac.uk
013 was a big year for Daft Punk, selfies and Student Switch Off. Since October, a record breaking 20,800 students across the UK have pledged to save energy whilst living in halls, with over 500 signed up at Surrey alone! The Student Switch Off competition encourages students to have fun in the dark by rewarding the hall that saves the most energy and recycles the most by the end of the year. Don’t worry if you haven’t signed up yet – there’s still plenty of time to get involved and have the chance to win prizes like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, NUS Extra cards and club tickets. So How Does it Work? Easy - halls students pledge to recycle their waste and take simple actions to save energy like switching off lights and appliances, putting a lid on pans when cooking, only filling the kettle with the water needed and putting on an extra layer rather than turning on the heating. Collectively these small actions add up to big energy savings. Individuals can bag prizes all for themselves (and their flatmates if they like sharing!) by submitting photos in the Facebook competitions that run every few weeks. Just check out some of the awesome images Surrey students have already submitted! To be eligible to win you have to be signed up to the campaign, so make sure you join the mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. uk and ‘Like’ the Facebook page ‘University of Surrey Student Switch Off’ to find out when we are dishing out the prizes. So go on, sign up, save energy and win prizes. See, super easy!
Record Breaking Year for Student Switch Off
Societies Editor: Alice Wilkinson
The Stag | 10th February 2014
the following categories as a starting point: • Artwork created from recycled materials • The natural world All artistic creations should be brought to the Gallery between 10am – 4pm on Monday 17th February. The exhibition Private View and prize giving will take place on Wednesday 19th February from 2pm – 7:30pm. Please note that whilst the Gallery will try to accommodate as much of the artwork as possible, not all works of art will be selected for the exhibition. If you are intending to sell your artwork, please price it in accordance with the Gallery’s rate of 20% commission. For further details please contact arts@ surrey.ac.uk
information and organising events and activities. The group is an informal mix of staff and students and is open to anyone with an interest in Fairtrade. If you’re interested in becoming a member or you’d just like to find out more you can contact Victoria Johnsen, chair of the Fairtrade group, through email@example.com One of the first things you’ll be able to get involved in is planning promotions and events for Fairtrade Fortnight, a national campaign which takes place from 24th February – 9th March – watch this space for more details on what we’ve got planned! For more info check out our webpages at www.surrey.ac.uk/ s u s t a i n a b i l i t y/e c o c a m p u s / catering or visit the Fairtrade Foundation's ‘About Fairtrade’ page at www.fairtade.org.uk/ about_fairtrade.
f you’re feeling creative and you want to find a way to express yourself this year, then get involved with our Arts activities. The Arts team are always hard at work delivering a packed programme of events and you can find all the details on their website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/arts/ Additionally, as if that wasn’t enough, they’ve organised two amazing events especially for Go Green Week. You can join in the fun at the ‘Get Creative’ workshop on Friday 14th February, or be in it to win it by entering a work of art into the staff and student art exhibition running from 20th February. “Love Your Campus - Get Creative Workshop” Feel the Love this Valentine’s Day and join in the “Love Your Campus” workshop with artist Alison Roche. Alison will be creating a work of art made entirely from recycled materials collected up from around Stag Hill campus. If you would like to play a part in transforming waste into works of art, the workshop is taking place in the Firs Room, Wates House on Friday 14th February from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free. “Love Your Campus – An Art Exhibition with a Green Theme” Have you ever dreamt of seeing your work on display in an art gallery? If the answer’s yes, February could be your lucky month! University staff and students are invited to submit eco-friendly themed works of art into the Love Your Campus exhibition. The exhibition is taking place in the Lewis Elton Gallery from Thursday 20th February – Friday 14th March and University students and staff can submit films, sound installations and photography, as well as more traditional two and three dimensional works. Works of art will be judged and prizes will be awarded to the exhibits coming top in their categories at the Gallery Private View. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants work should use one of
urrey has been a Fairtrade accredited University since 2007 .This means that we buy Fairtrade certified items and that our campus cafes, restaurants and shops sell Fairtrade products like tea, coffee, biscuits and snacks. Fairtrade is about guaranteeing disadvantaged producers in the developing world a fair and stable price for their products so that they can support their families, send their children to school and invest in a better future. As part of our commitment to Fairtrade we are keen to get lots of interested staff and students involved with our Fairtrade Steering Group. The aim of this group is to make sure that the University maintains its Fairtrade status as well as raising awareness of Fairtrade more widely – by running campaigns, promoting and sharing
Robin Hood comes to Wates
By Devon Ashley, Secretary of MADSoc
Nottingham in the springtime is a splendid sight. So serene, prosperous and peaceful, even the peasantry have a spring in their step and a tune on their lips. A gentle king, a kind sheriff and a devoted population make this the most idyllic town in all of merry old England.” That’s what it says in the travel agents’ brochures anyway. In reality, Nottingham is rife with dissatisfaction, and the rumblings of rebellion can almost be heard over the rumbling of the peoples’ collective stomach. Times are hard, desperate even, and in need of some severe social change - one that cannot be brought about by strongly worded letters and peaceful demonstrations outside Nottingham Castle. But somewhere in the populace is a person who will stand up for what is good and just. A figure of hope for the poor and a symbol of fear for the selfish aristocracy. A good old-fashioned hero who will bring true peace and justice to the land! In the meantime, however, we have: ROBIN HOOD Beneath the canopies of Sherwood Forest, there live a ragtag lot of ruffians and scoundrels who have the nerves to call themselves outlaws, despite most of them never even having stayed up past bedtime. At their
head is the dashing (apparently), heroic (supposedly) and valiant (so they say) Robin Hood of Locksley. Meanwhile, behind the magnificent walls of Nottingham castle there dwells a proud king, an outgoing Fairy Godmother, an insidious sheriff and the beautiful Maid Marian, hounded by suitors from kingdoms near and far. Some desire her hand in marriage, others her beauty to gaze upon for all of time. Others, naming no names, seek only to seize her for themselves, and with her the lands, wealth and glory of Nottingham itself. And so there we have it folks, the ultimate battle between good, evil and comparative ambivalence! Action! Romance! Adventure! Intermittent strong language and mild peril! Dick jokes! Ladies being total badasses! Yes, there really is something for everyone. A wealth of wonder and amazement awaits you in Nottingham between the lush green forest of Sherwood and the looming majesty of the castle. The game is on, the plan is afoot and the story is underway, now all we need is you. Come along, friends. Eat, drink and be merry. 'Robin Hood' will be performed between the 18th and 20th of February, in Firs Room, Wates House. Doors 7pm, tickets £4 students, £6 non-students.
Sport Editor: Santiago Avilés
The Stag | 10th February 2014
Surrey Ultimate Frisbee
Goodbye To A Healthy Indoor Season, Hello to Fresh Air
By Gayathri Eknath, Sports Team
Surrey Boat Club
by Adam Miller, Sports Team
ltimate Frisbee has had a healthy Freshers’ Fayre recruit of over 250 sign-ups and two fun Active Freshers’ Fayre sessions with around 90 attendees. Ultimate currently have 50 paid members, beating last year’s recruit and making us the 8th largest sports club at Surrey. This semester has brought extremely successful results and Surrey Ultimate fights on to become one of the best Ultimate Frisbee clubs in the country. With determination to beat other Universities in the region, this indoor season the captains planned effective drills and encouraged sprint sessions and sport-specific fitness during training. Experienced players and beginners merged together to learn and practise the different throws. Ultimate Frisbee competed in three regional indoor tournaments: Open, Women’s and Mixed Indoor Regionals. Both the open and mixed division saw Surrey reaching 4th in the region and qualifying for nationals. The women’s team were awarded a plate as recognition for attaining 9th position within the region. The open first team went on to play at nationals and became the 26th best indoor University Ultimate team in the UK. The mixed first team have guaranteed a spot at division 1 nationals to become one of the top 16 teams in the country. Co-captains who lead the teams this indoor season state: “Throughout the first semester, we have seen our experienced and new players improve both their throwing and understanding of the game. The motivation from the club has been great; let’s keep it
up for the upcoming outdoor season.” We ended the indoor season by hosting our very own Christmas tournament, “Santa’s Surrey Slingfest”. Surrey has traditionally held this tournament for the past eleven years and 16 teams entered this year for some festive Ultimate Frisbee. Players flew in from Denmark, Italy, Germany and several other countries to participate in Slingfest and attend its customary themed party on the first night of the tournament. Slingfest has always been a good fundraiser for the club and a fantastic way to end the semester. Now, with the New Year begins the outdoor season of Ultimate, requiring extensive athleticism. Surrey members have been attending training sessions combined with the local club Guildford Ultimate Frisbee to gain more experience and strategic knowledge of the game. Alongside the focus on performance, Ultimate were also actively involved in the University’s ‘Movember’ campaign. Raising an impressive total of £791, Ultimate have made a strong effort to give a recognisable amount to organisations fighting for men’s health. We aim to participate in more charity runs in the future, including getting a team to run the Guildford Mile for Sport Relief. If you are interested to learn more about this unique, fast-paced sport, look us up on the union website. Alternatively, email ussu.ultimate@surrey. ac.uk and we’ll give you more information about our training sessions, with chances for new people to join as part of Get Fit Feb and Refreshers’ Fayre. Let’s begin outdoor Ultimate with a bang!
he University of Surrey Boat Club is now home to some of country’s top rowers after the most recent set of GB trials in Boston, Lincolnshire. The two-day event had the team undergoing the dreaded 2km Erg test – in which rowers row a set distance and try to clock the fastest time possible – and a 5km single scull time trial. Freshers Harry Glenister and Alastair Douglas who have already represented Great Britain at Junior level, really made names for themselves on the senior stage. Despite competing against others who were several years their seniors, they placed well on both days. Surrey rowers Jon Rains, Phil Elton and Rupert Graham also performed well, with Elton setting a new Personal Best. Novice and intermediate men and women competitors attended one of the four BUCS events in the rowing calendar year, the 2km erg. Surrey dominated in numbers at the St Mary’s sports hall, demonstrating just
how large the club has become. This was a great experience in competition for the Beginners, who all set new Personal Bests. The next competition for Surrey was Wallingford Head, which took place on the 8th December. Both the Senior and Intermediate squads put out 8s, with the stand out result being the seniors finishing 13th of 264 crews. Finally, members of the University of Surrey Boat Club put together a fundraiser to help raise money for the club and for a close charity. The event was a 24 Hour Row, which many may have seen taking place under the library between the 18th and 19th of December. Fifty percent of all of your kind donations will be going to JDRF, a charity dedicated to funding research towards Type 1 diabetes. 2013 was a fantastic year for The University of Surrey Boat Club, and with a dedicated committee and the incredible potential in all squads, an exciting and successful 2014 lies ahead.
World University Winter Games – Overview
By Andy Vile, Sports Team
he winter games came to a close on the 21st of December in Trentino, Italy. Team GB submitted a total of seven teams for the available twelve events consisting of Men and Women’s categories. A total of thirty nations competed, Russia, Poland and the Republic of Korea ranked top of the medals table.
Great Britain’s Mens team secured a Silver in Curling, beating the Canadian team in the Semis and Sweden in the Final. The Ladies Hockey team, consisting of one of our own from Surrey: Monica Petrosino , defeated Spain 3-1 to come in at 5th place. The 27th Winter Universiade will be held in Granada, Spain in 2015.
Russia Poland Republic of Korea
Gold 15 10 8
Silver 16 10 9
Bronze Total 19 50 3 23 7 24
Don’t forget your ‘Get Fit Feb’ Calendar in the centrespread!
The Stag | 10th February 2014
The Sabbs Dodge the Flab
By James Lovell, VP Sports and Recreation
ast year’s VP Sports & Recreation, Arabella, launched "Get Fit Feb" and challenged students to get off of Facebook and take part in some sport! After a long Christmas and Exam Period, February is a great opportunity to de-stress and get fit! This year, the Students' Union Sabbatical team hope to lead by example and use this month to focus on fitness. We will be dodging the Sabb Flab, choosing the salad instead of the burgers in Chancellors bar and taking part in loads of the free sports sessions open to all throughout February! On Thursday 30th January, all 5 sabbatical officers had fitness tests from the Surrey Human Performance Institute (SHPI) based at Surrey Sports Park, to measure our body fat, aerobic capacity and core strength. These are shown in the table below. Using these results, SHPI have given us training programmes that we can use to improve these results!
SHPI are offering 30% off to all students during February- contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. We will be blogging throughout February about all the activities we are taking part in and how we are getting fitter – and in March we will see how much we have improved! Sport and exercise is a great way to de-stress after a packed exam season and our clubs are opening up loads of sessions for you take part in for FREE! You can follow our progress as we work towards our fitness goals. I am training to improve my performance in my main sport, Rugby, while Priya is going to blog about how physical exercise can help your education. Tom will be giving you tips for improving your physical, mental and sexual health, and Maz and Em are going to try loads of different sports and show that exercise really can be great fun. Follow us at http://www.ussu.co.uk/yourunion/ blogs/Pages/default.aspx and get involved!
Sabb Em Priya Tom Maz James
Plank Test 3 minutes 3 minutes 3 minutes 2 minutes 2.5 minutes
Vertical Jump 22.6cm 24.9cm 30.9cm 31.3cm 23cm
Body Fat Percentage 25.31% 26.43% 15.64% 15.26% 18.55%
VO2 Max (ml/kg/min) 27.2 at 196 watts 31.2 at 200 watts 37.5 at 220 watts 42.1 at 226 watts 35.3 at 268 watts
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