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Editors letter Cry Wolf team blogs Don’t go ‘bananas’ Cry Wolf myspace Student mob Why commuting is crap Books you must read before you leave uni Future or bust? Rex boyd Skinny latte fo you madam? Shopping Soaps i’m a student, get me a life! Launch night, Highway 61 Drugs Reviews Extreme sports @ uni Interview with Antonis, founder of the ReActors Untitled musical project interview Megs pasta recipe Sabbatical officers blogs Adverts Facts and jokes
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As the editor of Cry Wolf magazine I must firstly thank my dedicated team for their efforts and contributions to the magazine. Also I’d like to thank Jas for her help and Darsh for his help in editing the magazine. Cheers guys! I would also like to say thanks to anybody who’s read the last issue and that any feedback positive or negative is much appreciated. You can direct your feedback through our cry Wolf MySpace and Facebook. Also if you want to get involved in the magazine your welcome to come along to our meetings that occur on Wednesdays at 1pm. Another item that I feel obliged to address is the complaints about one of the jokes featured in the last issue. (Good start eh! The students take over and look what happens). The joke made reference to dyslexia and this obviously caused offence to a couple of readers, for this I apologise. However, and in no way in defense of its publishing I thought I might highlight that the joke was written by a dyslexic individual. If you want to front your own opinion on the subject the joke is printed below in really small print, so if you’re easily offended ignore it, if not get a magnifying glass.
A guy I know died of dyslexia, he choked on his own vimto.
Joking aside I hope you enjoy this issue, we have some new reporters working for us and I hope you aren’t too offended by it. Make music not war, Peace Out, Jon Gray, Editor Cry Wolf Magazine 2
Well what to say? Apart from it’s all about the fish finger sandwiches. I’ve been recycling this week, three boxes in and still not all the empty bottles are gone from my room. Ah to be a student and a casual alcoholic, talk about hand in hand. Stephen Green I once went a week without drinking alcohol. Although my five senses returned to normal and I was able to remember past experiences with general ease, it also enabled me to engage in lucid and rather boring conversations and see the world and how it truly is. It wasn’t worth it… My organs hurt. Andew Heaton Howdy! I’m Anna, a second year English Language and Media and Communications student. I have an unhealthy obsession with soap operas, Brendan Fraser and the sitcom Frasier. I believe Jimmy Carr is god-like and that the Mighty Boosh is amazing, although I’m not entirely sure why. I’ll be entertaining you with my randomness. Peace out and love for geeks! Anna Maria Clark My name is Yvonne. I am 22 and a 2nd year student of English Language & Linguistics. Besides snowboarding and eating sushi, my other addiction is [ɹa t ŋ evɹ θ ŋ n fənet k skɹ pt]. Yvonne Skalban
cry wolf team
One in four students in the United Kingdom will have mental health difficulties at some stage in their lives. And despite the fact that you are more likely to murdered by someone you know than somebody with mental health difficulties, there is still a lot of usage of terms such as nutter, psycho and dangerous when referring to people suffering from these serious complaints, particularly in the popular presses. As well as attempting to debunk these myths, we at the University of Wolverhampton Student Union are running a campaign in order to promote methods in order to maintain good mental health. We are running the campaign across all four campuses during the dates above. There shall be postcard tips on maintaining good mental health and debunking popular myths about mental health, recipe booklets encouraging you to eat a healthy and balanced diet, stress toys, a workshop on managing your time and exam preparation, details on organisations inside and outside the university on where to go should you have any difficulties. However, it’s not simply about your diet, and making sure that you manage your time properly, we want you to have some fun also and do things that you enjoy doing such as sporting activities, we have some tokens so that some of you can enjoy free exercise classes in the week beginning the 10th March (Contact ? for details of this) and nights out too so Honeytrap and Paparazzi are on side too. In conjunction with Sport Relief the university is holding a sport relief mile at the Walsall campus, so you can run either 1, 3 or 6 miles for the charity, and enjoy the event with stands on Sunday 16th March, and maybe even try out a new activity. For any more details and information about these events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or come in and see a member of the executive committee in the meet the exec room just off the main student union concourse, and check out the other articles in Crywolf magazine. Sarah Keddie
I feel a certain degree of shame and sadness that we have had to cave into contemporary Internet trends and create a Myspace page for Cry Wolf. It’s a sorry state of affairs I hear many of you scream at the page, but it’s when one steps away from personal pages and moves into the whole ‘networking’ side of an otherwise tacky social website that one (why have I just turned into the Queen?) realises the inner potential of said tackiness. Anyway check it out at http://www.myspace.com/ucrywolf
is it a ninja! Oh no it’s just a student giving it to the Man!
On tuesday 22nd April at 6.00pm the whole of wolverhampton is planning to flash mob Asda. The idea being that we all go there and purchase one item (the most random getting multiple cool points). A secret sign has been set up, this will be a rub of the right ear lobe which can be followed by a chin rub if your are unsure (because you know it’s so easy these days to pull on your own ear and get addmitted into a secert cult), so we can tell if the weird looking fellow in the milk section is in or out. For more information go to the CryWolf facebook page and follow the posted link. One rule, every one most wear black.
I’m writing this on the 50 bus which is stuck in traffic in Moseley. Oh woe is me! I go through this ordeal four days a week. Why not move to Wolverhampton? I can answer that. The cooking expertise of my Mom, Virgin Media and lack of rent payments. My bus, which happens to smell like crusty old man underwear, (N.B. just an assumption, not from personal experience) and Charlie Red is full of school kids who are fuelled on chocolate and arrogance. My next port of call is the beautiful New Street station. The décor is enough to make me quit uni and take a full time job within the demolition industry. My favourite train, if that’s possible, is the 21 minutes past from platform 4C. This is the Liverpool Lime Street train. Drinks are served. All is well. The journey is one you would find in the Chronicles of Narnia. Oh the sights, the magic, and the obnoxious chavs who wish to share their ever-so inspiring music with me… in the quiet zone. I don’t mean to criticise commuting, but it is cr*p. But many of the students here commute and every day we get on the bus and the train, same time, same place. It’s just routine. One good point, it gives you time to do all that reading you were supposed to do before your lecture. Bostin! Anna Maria Clark
why commuting is cr*p
books you must read before you leave uni
as voted by the cry wolf team if you have any alternative suggestions let us know…
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Everyone’s read 1984, that’s a safe assumption. But not everyone has picked up a copy of Animal Farm. Don’t let the fairytale structure lull you into a false sense of security, this book is actually a bitter and scathing account of Stalin’s Russia. It relishes in the idea of animals running their own community, only to have it corrupt by those have designated themselves as the leaders. This is an important book about how power can turn a person sour and how quickly greed can overtake the integrity behind those who set out to create a better world.
Don't Hassel the Hoff: The Autobiography
Is there really a need to say anything? An obligatory read for all Germans. He will always remain in our hearts as the man who single-handedly crushed communism, brought down the wall and reunified Germany. How could any woman not jump in his car? The book supplies you with everything you ever wanted to know about the Hoff, who has officially been nominated the most watched TV star in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. Just like Michael Knight he went on a crusade to save the world - but ended up having to save himself... Bless!
Disco Bloodbath by James St James
Disco Bloodbath by James St James –This story of drugs, murder and extravagancy is the perfect read for any student interested in the lifestyles of the famous Klub Kidz in the 1980s. The humour conveyed contributes to the overall cynical tone which makes this book a page turner. Chicken suits, special K (not the cereal)… need I say more? Well, if you can’t be bothered to read it, Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green star in the film version, Party Monster.
Anna Maria Clark
future or bust?
Everyone dreams of escaping to paradise, living a carefree life away from the troubles of everyday life. Thousands of miles away from western civilization with just the land to live off, will you be the next to join the tribe? In April 2006 Vorovoro Island, one of Fiji’s 333 islands became the centre of attention, when it was announced that a social experiment was about to take place. Travellers from around the globe would live together in a “utopian”, sustainable and democratic community alongside the Mali tribe. A hard fact to accept when only a month ago, if you approached somebody in the street and asked them where Vorovoro Island was, many would just shrug their shoulders. But this isn’t just an island where people go for a holiday, it’s a community in reality and online. Similar to Myspace.com’s online network, you can subscribe and interact with people from around the world in an online environment. The difference is that online tribe members can pay £120 a week and spend up to 12 weeks living out their tribal fantasies on this alluring island. This isn’t just a question of how many online friends you can add, this is a way of life for over a thousand people across the world. Both the website and the island are run democratically, with online votes deciding who is the next chief on the island. Tribewanted.com have leased Vorovoro Island for three years from real-life chief, Tui Mali, who lives on the island with his family. The majority of the Mali community live on the neighbouring island, working alongside the foreign tribe to create a sustainable community, a far cry from our westernised Starbucks filled streets. When I first heard about this project my mind was overridden by Danny Boyle’s portrayal of paradise in The Beach, with a sun-kissed Leonardo DiCaprio and a beautiful French couple “living the dream”. This begs the question do they actually survive? Well, the answer is yes. Unlike in
the film where people are savaged by sharks, over one thousand members make this community far from a disaster. Although living in paradise may seem to like a dream, Tribewanted.com have had their fair share of trouble on the island. When the idea was first introduced the media scrutinised the project claiming that it was merely a timeshare or another online scam. In today’s society, it is easy to create fear amongst the public when it comes to online scamming. Especially with articles such as Jem Report’s scrutinising online review circulating, it may make prospective viewers think twice about joining the tribe. Yet Tribewanted.com appear to have overcome this, proving that they aren’t just another Castaway or Big Brother, creating a self-sufficient multi-national community. After a five-part BBC documentary that was aired in January this year, it is obvious that the island will attract more travellers seeking the desired eco-friendly existence. The question that rests on everyone’s minds is whether the project can survive any longer? It is clear that the project is viable and the Mali community are happy living alongside the foreign tribe. The lease for the island will run out in 2009, then it is up to the Chief Tui Mali as to whether the project will continue. As more people sign-up to the online community, seeking to travel to the island, it is not out of question to say that there is a possibility that this is what the future of eco-friendly living holds. It is what connects our Internet obsessed culture with an eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle. If you would like more information about the island and online community go to: www.tribewanted.com or catch the BBC 5-part series on BBC iPlayer : www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/ To read more about the Jem Report’s article: http://www.thejemreport.com/mambo/content/view/260
Rex started his stage life at 16 in school plays, he then went on to do open mike nights in his hometown of Kansas before moving to simply setting up on the street and getting his comedy out there. He then came to England and went to university for a couple of years before going to a drama school (explains the juggling) but he didn’t feel confident so he left a year out and did comedy mostly at nearby students unions who were advertising for acts at a comedy night. He then came back with his newfound confidence and took drama and dance. In possibly a shameless attempt to get us on his side Rex reckons that students are cool and are always good to perform too. He likes playing both sizes of venue, with the larger ones you get a massive buzz and a big response, but with the smaller more intimate ones there well more intimate and you can talk to the audience more, actually having a conversation with them. It took Rex a while for Rex to get into his groove, his own particular style. He says the best thing to do is just gig and gig and gig and you will get better. We asked him if you need think skin to be able to do stand up, he told us that you almost have to go up there and fail a few times, he recalls one time when he went on and nobody in the bar even knew there was stand up on and the whole gig he was basically shouting ‘hey look over here!’, what’s worst though is when a really good guy goes on first and hecklers are yelling out ‘go home the first guy was way funnier’. He loves the huge buzz you get from stand up, he points out that it’s better than working all day. In the beginning Rex only did stand up to see if he could, that’s lasted twenty years now, the last time he had a proper job was working as a stagehand for the university. Visit Rex at rexboyd.co.uk or watch his stuff on youtube.com.
Whatever happened to the good old sayings “size doesn’t matter” and “good things come in small packages?” With the rise of the size zero trend and increasing popularity of new ‘curvy’ figures they seem to have faded away like last summers tan. Now I’m all for the anti-size zero campaign, it’s dangerous, stupid and far from healthy. But I would like to just take a minute and give a little shout out to all those young girls and women out there who are naturally slim, without the aid of seaweed shakes and a grape for breakfast. Now I have nothing against the curvier figure, but for once I would like to go into a shop and easily find a top in my size. Instead, I have to wrestle with the clothes rail to get to that solitary Size 8 jumper at the back, covered in fluff, with a questionable stain. Speaking of Size 8, since when did it become so frowned upon? Reading a magazine the other day there was a celebrity discussing her weight who said she’d rather have a ‘healthy, curvy figure’ than be a ‘skinny size eight.’ Am I wrong to find that slightly offensive? I mean a healthy curvy figure is perfectly fine, but I don’t think being
for you madam?
a Size 8 makes you unhealthy. I’m certainly not about to send for the doctor. It seems to be acceptable to joke “Oh you’re so tiny; you’d slip down the plug hole” or “look at you all skin and bones.” But would the comments “Oh I bet you’d get stuck in the plug hole” or “look at you all round and chubby” be met with the same hearty laughter?...I don’t think so. Also why do people assume that if you’re slim you don’t eat enough? You wouldn’t catch me missing a meal! I eat cookie dough ice cream, I have whipped cream on my hot chocolate, and I enjoy plenty of other calorific naughties. The curvy style is a healthy body image, but if some slim people don’t have the curves to join the group it doesn’t make them any different. So no Mr Waiter-man, I won’t be having a Skinny Latte, I’ll be having a normal cup of coffee please, and you can make it anyway you want, small, regular or large. After all, size doesn’t matter.
It’s Saturday morning, 0900 hours, you’ve worked hard all week at Uni (well sort of) and now you’re preparing yourself for the shopping ahead. Your friends have called, the time is set and the destination is Wulfrun Shopping Centre and surrounding high street. Purses will be jingling, bargains will be brought, clothes will be flying off, and shoes will be hunted. It may get messy, it may get violent, and it will most probably be expensive, but this is your mission…and you’ve chosen to accept it. What might seem a simple shopping trip is actually conducted with military precision. It can start with choosing the shoes you’re going to wear (comfortable and able to withstand prolonged queuing), or deciding on the handbag to take (large, but not too bulky). As you enter each shop you become determined and focussed, scanning the layout and deciding on an appropriate shopping structure. Perhaps starting from one side of the store and working your way around to the other, not forgetting the middle of course, or the jewellery section in the corner. Some students will brave it alone, carefree and leisurely browsing from shop to shop, and there are those who hunt in packs hitting Topshop, River Island and Next one by one leaving no shoe un-turned. They take their time, they know what they’re looking for, and they get the job done. What’s more, armed with their trusty NUS Student Cards they can get the job done very well and with 10% off too – guilt free shopping at it’s finest! At some point however batteries will need to be recharged and any casualties attended to, so a frothy coffee and chocolate brownie is more than adequate. Here the perfect opportunity arises to discuss shopping tactics or possible strategical manoeuvres (such as hiding that dress you’re not sure about behind a rack of jumpers, so it’s still there if you decide to come back and buy it). Several more hours spent marching through shops and department stores, and eventually it’s time to halt. Your shiny, big bags are starting to weigh you down and your friends have fallen behind. After loading yourself into a taxi (it’s only 10 minutes to your student house, but desperate times call for desperate measures), you collapse onto your sofa. Bargains were brought, shoes were hunted and purses did jingle…at ease soldier, your mission’s complete.
I’m a student,
I, like millions sit down and watch this poo. Crap it maybe, but it’s oh so addictive. I’m already battling against my Facebook addiction, which has already lost me hours from my glorious MSN. You see, soaps are very similar to good ol’ sex. You do it because you feel you have to, but when it stops you want more. My good and dear friend Yvonne has also pointed out that a soap will usually last longer. Good observation. I have worked out that I religiously watch over seven hours of soaps every week. Those hours could be spent working on a bibliography (they take longer to write than an essay) or I could watch a documentary which analyses the economic state of Peru, or really anything other than this genre. The soap opera has a magnet-like force similar to how teenage boys are drawn to the chest area belonging to Jodie Marsh. As an avid viewer I guess I’ll just have to realise that I’m destined to be forever interested in the collection of earrings owned by Pat Evans, the sheep of Emmerdale and that great institution known as Roys Rolls.
Anna Maria Clarke
get me a life!
Cry Wolf made its presence known at the Students Union re-launch, because not only are they back, we are and we’re aiming to be the best we can be. The first issue was just a tester with our new team which thanks to our opening night has grown. We have got into the swing of things now and will be going from strength to strength bringing into the murky light of day everything you, the students, need to know. What can I say folks? Our opening night was a blast, we dominated the indie rocks room (I’m dimly aware that they may spell rocks with an ‘x’ but I have principles.) throwing out lollypops left right and centre like some kind of ... well so kind of lollypop spreading machine I suppose. Because we are so nice and kind and great and awesome and modest we even put on a band for you, because we firmly believe in supporting local music, the superbly talented Highway 61 playing classic rock tunes with one or two of their own thrown into the mix, they didn’t falter one jot aside from an unfortunate broken string. They didn’t let this get to them though and were back with even passion after a short break belting song after song, including ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Nothing else Matters’ and ‘House of the Rising Sun’ among others. Each with their own particular twist. I immensely enjoyed their set, the stand out for me being a cover of Radioheads ‘Creep’. The crowd seemed well impressed and the room was packed from the start of their set till the end, they defiantly went down well and I am proper looking forward to seeing them again. A big thank you then to Juliana, Dave, Nathan and Tim and I leave you with sage words of wisdom which may or may not contain a hidden message to the band. Next time, you can carry your own amps. Stephen Green 7
Street names: Abyssian Tea, African Salad Street price: £4 a bunch. UK users: 40,000 UK deaths per year: none recorded
Street names: Flatliner, Golden Eagle Street price: £1-f8 UK users: unknown UK deaths per year: 0 recorded
19. Alkyl Nitrite
Street names: poppers, liquid gold Street price: £2-6 a bottle UK users: 400,000 UK deaths per year: none recorded
Street price: £2 and up UK users: 30,000 UK deaths per year: 5 0-60
Street names: E, love drug, hug drug Street price: £1 -E8 a pill UK users: 500,000 UK deaths per year: 27
Street names: Dope, Hash, Bob Street price: £40-E10 per ounce UK users: 3 million UK deaths per year: 1
Street names: Liquid Ecstasy Street price: £5 a dose UK users: Not known
16. Anabolic Steroids
Street price: £20 for 100 tablets UK users: 42,000 UK deaths per year: 0 recorded
Street names: Vitamin R Street price: £15 a hit UK users: 40,000 UK deaths per year: 0 recorded
Street names: Subbies, Temmies Street price: £2 a dose UK users: unknown UK deaths per year: 2
14. LSD Street names: Lucy, Trips, Paper Mushrooms Street price: £1-5 a tab -‘ UK users: 83,000 UK deaths per year: 0
Street price: £5+ UK users: 10 million UK deaths per year: 114,000
Street names: Speed, Whizz, Dexies, Billys Street price: £8-E12 a wrap UK users: 430,000 UK deaths per year: 35
7. Benzodiazepine (Valium)
Street names: Benzos, Downers Street price: £1 a dose UK users: 100,000 UK deaths per year: 406
4. Street Methadone
Street names: The precious, slime, green Street price: £10 per lOOmi UK users: 33,000 (illegal users) UK deaths per year: 295
6. Ketamine (Horse tranquillisers)
Street names: Special K, Vitamin K Street price: £15-E40 a gram UK users: 100,000 UK deaths per year: 1
Street names: Pink Ladies, Red Devils Street price: £1 -2 a tablet UK users: unknown UK deaths per year: 20
Street price: £1 upwards UK users: 40 million UK deaths per year: 40,000
Street names: Charlie, Coke, Base Street price: £30+ powder £10+ crack rock UK users: 780,000 UK deaths per year: 214
Data obatined from: www.bbc.co.uk/horizon
Drug policies in Britain have remained largely unchanged over the last 40 years. The ABC systen?.vas introduced in 1971 after an explosion of recreational drug use in the 1960’s. Over several years, scientists and members of the government’s drug advisory committee have been looking at whether this classification system is outdated and irrelevant, and guess what... it is! They compiled a list of the top 20 most dangerous drugs, helped by a team of psychotherapists and specialists. If the current system was retained, alcohol would be considered a class A drug and tobacco a class B. However by their analysis, these substances are more dangerous than ecstasy, LSD and cannabis. Ecstasy is currently a class A drug but considering the amount of fatalities caused by the drug, (there are around half a million users of ecstasy each year and fewer than 10 deaths) alcohol should surely be considered way more dangerous, considering that one adult dies every day from acute alcohol poisoning. The boffins are now putting pressure on the government to scrap this outdated system and introduce a new one, which better reflects society’s drug use. Read on for the top 20 most dangerous drugs, I guarantee you will be surprised! Lisa Rose
1. Heroine Street names: Brown, Skag, Gear, Smack Street price: £10-20 a bag UK users: 300,000 UK deaths per year: 700
guitar hero 3
I stand legs apart and braced, the neck of my Kramer feels sweaty in my palm, my bassist beside me flicks back his hair and readies himself as the drums kick in and the first notes of ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ ring out…. But no I’m not onstage at Bar Korova (bonus cool points if anyone knows where that is) but in the much less glamorous setting of my room, I am of course talking about possibly the best and defiantly the most addictive console game of our generation. It is Guitar hero III. The latest installment builds on the popularity of the earlier games and adds a few new touches, the best being the new co-op career mode allowing you and a friend to claim notoriety as guitar wielding b*st*rds from hell. The only problem with this mode is the fact one of you will have to step back and accept the role of playing bass as not enough songs have lead and rhythm parts. The boss battles are a cool, though at times frustrating tough nothing can ever beat the massive ego rush you get from beating Slash. For your money you get an impressive array of over 70 songs including bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and surprisingly The Dead Kennedy’s to name but a few, also if your lucky enough to own an Xbox 360 you get the option to download yet more songs via Xbox Live. Where Guitar Hero really excels is as a party game, nothing beats getting drunk and playing really loudly and very often really badly, the downside is to play effectively at a party you’re going to need two controllers for some head to head action to go down and these are not cheap. Hopefully you know someone with the game or can get hold of a second pad wise, if you can I urge you get the beers in get the mates round and have a guitar hero party! Now I’m going to say something that may shock and scare some of the hardcore Guitar Hero fans among you, but here goes, I prefer Guitar Hero II. Boo, hiss etc... I really do prefer it and no not just because its easier (which I have noticed it actually noticed I was wonder why I was sh*te on III but pretty handy on II, so I played one then the other and the notes attack you faster on the latest version) but because I believe the tunes are just so much better, that may just be the electro-pop robot in me but excuse me while I go play ‘Less Talk More Rock’ for the twelfth time today….
After watching the very impressive ‘Cloverfield’ I started thinking about the whole idea of giant monster movies (or Kaiju as their known in Japan) and how the creature always seem to contain a metaphor, the film having a moral or a warning to it. Now its not just giants that do this back in the 50’s every well behaved invading Martian was a communism, Starship Troopers was a fascist film and Lord of the Rings could been seen as a film that rails against unchecked industrialism and it’s a fantasy representation of the first world war. But now what you have been waiting for on to the big guys.
This is the 9/11 monster, the first you know of him is his now legendry decapitation of the statue of liberty, what better way to attack the American ideal of freedom.
This radioactive killer lizard is the embodiment of America and its nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I can’t help but to think that America missed its mark when it remade it in the 90’s though. Taking it completely out of context a bit and rather charmingly blaming the creation of the beast on France.
The original big monster is meant to show the animal savagery of the remote corners of the world, poignant when it first arrived to the cinema not so much now that pretty much every corner of the world has been explored to death.
Now this film is meant to show the evils of capitalism. Perhaps the way it was made has become more famous, with everybody’s favourite dictator, Kim Jong-Il, kidnapping a South Korean director and forcing him to make it.
henry rollins: Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Monday 28th January 2008
It’s important to remember that what you are seeing here is not a stand-up show. Granted Henry is able to make the audience laugh with the grace of a professional comedian but the show is titled “Henry Rollins: Spoken Word”. And that’s what it is; a 3 hour show comprised of the man himself regaling the audience with whimsical tales and amusing anecdotes from his own life. And yes you did read that right…3 hours! With no interval! You don’t get that with many shows. That’s value for money right there. You wouldn’t think that a huge, square-faced hard man would really have anything interesting to say to an audience, but you’d be wrong. So very very wrong. His anecdotes and tales lead one to suspect that he has lived a rather interesting life. From his gigs in South Africa to waking up one morning and suddenly deciding to visit parts of Asia, Henry is never stuck for something to say. And if that little story happens to make the audience explode in to laughter, then that’s all the better. He also has no shame in telling people about his past achievements, everything from fronting Black Flag in the 80’s, to publishing 16 books and to owning his own radio show conveniently titled The Henry Rollins Show. His opinions (as well as his stories) entertain, inform and make people laugh. And this goes back to what I said earlier about the importance of understanding that this is more than a comedy gig. Henry has a lot to say about the world and some of it from a political stand point. Hmm…a big American guy talking politics, this can only lead to jokes and rants about President George Bush. Again with the wrongness. Although he makes reference to the Bush administration and gives insight into his own personal opinion about the war in Iraq, he doesn’t mould parts of his show around that in the hopes of gaining audience sympathy which is something that a lot of comedians fall into because, quite frankly, it’s a cheap and easy way of getting laughs. The good thing about Henry Rollins and his spoken word show is that you don’t specifically have to know a lot about him in order to be able to get what he is saying. He’s coming from a different angle with this tour so anyone who attends (whether fan or otherwise) is sure to be entertained by him. Maybe even a little inspired. Maybe. Andrew Heaton
I don’t wish to nag. And I don’t want to come across as being a cynical moviegoer. But when it comes to having certain expectations about a film, and then having those expectations confirmed, I can’t help but feel a little smug. You forgive me, right? My expectations for this film: A sub-standard interpretation of a classic piece of literature that has no (or little) artistic merit and is produced by a group of cigar-smokers with dollar signs for pupils. And in this instance Hollywood proved me right. I Am Legend is another attempt at cashing in on the horror/thriller franchise whilst doing not a lot of justice to the original source it’s adapting. Richard Matheson’s 1954 classic sci-fi has – perhaps unforgivably – been given a makeover. A 21st century upgrade, if you will. This is by no means a bad thing if you want to appeal to a demographic that watches Pimp My Ride and is sponsored by Apple Computers. It does make me wonder if, somewhere, at some point, prior to production, a board meeting was held were a discussion took place about whether or not to rename the film iAm Legend. Okay I may have been slightly over zealous in those first couple of paragraphs. The film itself is not actually that bad. It’s by no means awful, but it definitely dominates the whole “could have been so much better” slice of the pie chart. It did have some good moments in which I will come to in due time. Patience children. Patience. I’m also not going to spend a lot of time comparing this to the novel, simple because I haven’t read it in a few years so my memory of it is fuzzy. However, I will try to make comparisons from what I can remember. As the last man alive, it is mainly a story about survival in an isolated environment. His struggle as he tries to continue living with the rest of the world hunting him down at night as vampires is the entire essence of the story which is kept well in this version. What gets me is this should have been a lesson about being able to cope with loss of technology and companionship and all other things that we mere mortals take for granted. But the film seemed to miss this point entirely.
One thing that did perplex me, however, was their choice to cast Will Smith as the protagonist Robert Neville. An action hero who raps about “getting’ jiggy wit’ it” (whatever the hell that means) and shoots aliens with middle-aged Caucasians is not the kind of person I would’ve personally picked to play the last man on Earth. But as the film progresses you do see the reasoning as to why they chose a muscular specimen to play the role; what with all the hunky action moments and bulging, glistening bicep parts. And therein lies the problem. As far as I can recall, Matheson’s idea of Robert Neville is not some health conscious, tee-totalling, everyday exercising being living in a giant apartment complete with perfectly fitted barricades and an arsenal of weaponry. This fully protected and capable hero unfortunately took away some of the more tense moments of the film as I didn’t really feel that he was in any danger due to his knowledge, expertise and calmness. Did I say rippling biceps already? As I said earlier, as a stand-alone film it’s not actually that bad. Of the few action sequences that took place, they were not too elaborate (apart from maybe one) that they made a mockery of the original work and turned the whole film into just another action flick. The quiet, tense scenes were also quite enjoyable but – as is the case with a lot of contemporary horror films – rather predictable. A lot of the scenes that take place show Neville’s progression throughout his days as a loner who is obviously trying to lead as normal life as he can, whilst at the same time coming face-to-face with this rather abnormal scenario. How the hell do you cure 6 billion people of the lesser-known disease vampirism (suckius-lots-o-bloodious to give it its Latin term)? I’m sure Calpol would no doubt be on the case had they not all been turned into vicious creatures or died in horrible horrible ways. In general the bad points seemed to outweigh most of the good points about I Am Legend. It’s clear even from the outset of the target audience for this film and was not made as an attempt to honour Richard Matheson or his work. Perhaps they felt the wagon for Sci-Fi / horror movies (see Resident Evil and Silent Hill) was still very much ripe for boarding. Perhaps I’m just being a spiteful twat. Either way I would only see it once. Possibly when drunk. Andrew Heaton
This is your non-standard film review. Rather than give an intricate account of my experience of the film itself I will run you through four main reasons why Cloverfield does NOT suck.
1) It is largely an unhappy film
3) Unconventional filming style
Whenever we watch a film in which something frightening or dangerous is happening to the characters, we can usually sit back in our comfy chairs safe in the knowledge that – although what we are seeing on screen is bad – we are protected by the 4th wall. Not in this film. With the only point of view being entirely from one mans camcorder the 4th wall is broken when we are taken on the main character’s journey through danger. This makes the film a lot more personal and intimate as well as making the encounters with the monster a hell of a lot more intense. And say what you will, but this made Cloverfield so much more terrifying than any horror film I have seen in recent years.
This may seem like an unusual reason to enjoy a movie. Where’s the lovey-dovey ending where all the characters’ predicaments are resolved at the last minute and they all skip off into the sunset to get ice cream as a cartoon ferret or something winks at the camera in an “everything’s going to aaallllright” kind of way? Well, f*ck that! I’m a bit tired of Hollywood style endings that bring the characters out on top in what is blatantly an impossible situation to get out of. If you want to see a film where the protagonist realises his/her (let’s face it, it’s generally men anyway) heroic potential and saves the day just in time for the inspirational orchestra music to kick in and the credits to roll by, then go see a f*cking Disney film.
2) No details given about the monster
On a serious(ish) note now, this is a great aspect to Cloverfield. Think about it: What’s worse than a giant monster destroying your home city indiscriminately? A giant monster destroying your home city indiscriminately that you (that’s “you” the viewer) have no background information on. We know nothing of its name, where it came from, where it’s going, what it wants or even how it came to be. This leaves the mystery of the monster open to interpretation by the audience. Seriously, films don’t have to spoon feed you every sordid detail so you don’t have to think about things in order for it to be good. Use your f*cking brains for once.
4) No logical conclusion. No closure.
Again this all ties in with the ambiguity of the film and the monster itself. The ending is abrupt and sudden and leaves the audience guessing as to what happens. This was too much for some moviegoers as they were not smacked in the face with tied up loose ends and an ending and thus left the cinema with the intent of complaining to the staff about the film (something my girlfriend actually overheard someone say). As for the film having no closure, I disagree. Maybe not on a grand scale but in terms of the main character (Rob) and his journey there is an element of completion in his sense. Think about it.
eXtreme uni sports @
Did you ever think that you would like to learn climbing, skiing or snowboarding but for some reason you never got round to doing it or just didn’t know where to start? Are you looking for a new challenge? Are you already experienced but want to take your skills to the next level? Do you want to meet like-minded people at university? If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, the Recreational Activities Society might be just right for you! ‘ReActers’ is a society for everyone interested in outdoor activities, such as climbing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, etc. Everyone is welcome, regardless of level of ability. Members encourage and push each other but also give you a helping hand when you are face down in the snow and there’s always someone to reassure you when the vertigo kicks in. ReActers organise excursions and socials, such as the regular jaunt to the climbing centre in Wolverhampton, or to the dry slopes in Telford or the snowdome in Tamworth. The highlight so far and the reward for all the hard practice was the society’s big ski trip to Vars, France. Due to the size of the group, the ReActers get very attractive discounts for many activities. Yvonne Skalban
“The society has been running for about a year now and counts 60 members.”
founder of the ReActers:
How long have the ReActers been running for and how many members are there? You have just returned from a skiing trip to France...
“Yes, it was our first big skiing trip. 16 people went and because we were such a big group, we got a really good deal; we paid £350 altogether. It was a lot of fun.”
And you are already going on a second trip in March/April?
“Yes, from 28th of March till 5th of April 2008 we are going to Saalbach in Austria with the BUSC, the British Universities Snowsports Council. About 2500 students from universities all over Britain will take part. Saalbach is well-known for its good snow conditions, diverse slopes, a picturesque village and thriving nightlife, so we will surely have an amazing time.”
What activities are planned for the future?
“As soon as the weather improves we are planning to go camping for a weekend, maybe Wales, to do all sorts of outdoor sports like rafting and cycling.” If you fancy an adrenaline kick, don’t hesitate to join the Recreational Activities Society! Email email@example.com or check http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9943488988 for further information.
Some useful links:
http://www.abc-of-snowboarding.com/ http://www.abc-of-rockclimbing.com/ http://www.abc-of-skiing.com/ Really good websites with nicely animated tutorials, equipment guides and anything else you need to know.
What have you guys been up to lately?
Drinking, eating, sleeping, writing and getting UMP 2.0 road worthy.
Birmingham based Untitled Musical Project have been playing around the local circuit, throwing their noisy, energy fuelled music at whoever stands in their way. With a recent line-up change and a current tour I caught up with lead singer Kieran Duffy, to see what the guys were up to. What has been the highlight of playing so far?
Hard to say really it’s all rather a blur.
…and the worst part? Did you find the new album a challenge to record?
No, it was a fairly painless experience due to the fact that Dan Swift is probably the funniest man alive. Playing bad gigs in general due to our equipment being cheap and knackered is really frustrating.
If you can describe your music in three words…
Fast, Rambling and Sweaty
Are you going to film any more videos for your new tracks?
Probably not for any tracks that we have released so far. I’m sure we’ll have some sort of release before the years out, which will require us to do another.
If you could play alongside anyone, who would it be?
Probably the Pixies as they were my later teenage years obsession.
How are things working with the new drummer?
Really well, it helps more than I would of thought having a drummer who likes to drum. No disrespect to James but he just didn’t want to be in a band anymore and it was showing. He’s still involved helping us record demos and such, so we haven’t quite got rid of him.
What are your plans for the future?
Write.Record.Gig.Repeat. Listen: www.myspace.com/untitledmusicalproject
If you could compare yourself to any band, who would it be?
When we started we aimed to sound like a mix between Pixies/Jesus Lizard/Ikara Colt/Mclusky. We’ve moved away from that towards something between The Fall, Beastie Boys and Mclusky. Admittedly that’s 3 bands but oh well.
Buy: Untitled Musical Project at www.play.com
Live: 1 March – Kasbah, Coventry 16 April - The Yardbird, Birmingham.
• Some pasta. • Some salt. • Some oil. • A tin of chopped tomatoes, or two if you’re cooking for four people. • A tin of tuna or a packet of ham, whichever you prefer. • Some cheddar. • Some Parmesan. • Some mushrooms, and onions too if you want.
Right, first, I have to explain a few things. I am not a chef. In this recipe there will be lots of phrases such as “bung a bit of this in” and “lob a bit in”. If you have trouble understanding with this, please, replace them in your head with your own alternatives, such as “place the mushrooms lovingly in the frying pan”, or whatever you do to mushrooms. Secondly, my pasta sauces contain whatever I’ve got lying around in the cupboard, and so never turn out the same twice. Hopefully, you’ll experiment with yours too.
1) Grab a saucepan, and ensure (or assume, it’s up to you) that it is clean. 2) Put some salt in the saucepan, along with a little bit of oil. A LITTLE bit, otherwise the pasta will end up like some form of slimy fish. Eew. 3) Add hot water to the salt and oil, and pour enough pasta for however many people that you’re cooking for. I can’t give you measurements, cos I always bung in whatever I think I need, I’m afraid. 4) Grab another saucepan and into this, lob the tomatoes and the tuna/ham. While this is heating through, grate some cheddar, and then throw that in too. Make sure you keep stirring this, otherwise it goes a bit burnt in places. 5) Slice up the mushrooms and onions, then suddenly remember to stir the pasta. That’s what I normally do anyway. 6) Grab a frying pan (did I not mention how much washing up this creates?) and put into this the chopped up mushrooms and onions. Fry until a nice brown colour. Not black. Black means they are burnt. Add these (when brown) to the tomato/ham/tuna/cheese mixture, which should be boiling nicely by now. 7) By this time, the pasta should be done, so tip this into a colander or sieve to get rid of the water, then rinse with some boiling water to get rid of the oil that will have attached itself to the pasta. Put the pasta back in the saucepan, and then throw the contents of the other saucepan in with it. 8) Mix the pasta and sauce together well, keeping it on a low heat, otherwise you end up with someone with a pile of tomatoes and someone else with a bowl of plain pasta. 9) Serve out into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. 10) Eat it. Run out of the kitchen before someone comes in and asks why you’ve used all of the saucepans. Megan Hellowell
What you will need:
Yet again my time spent ‘blog writing’ has been limited so here’s an update on what I’ve been doing lately. I suppose my biggest project has been on one of our smallest campuses! With the help of some of our permanent staff, last month was spent renovating Telford’s bar. I previously had been described as old, a working men’s club and outdated but miraculously I is now a bright shiny new bar. It will be open throughout the day for coffee very soon and a whole host of new activities ranging from yoga to self defence to African drumming. You tell what you want and we’ll make it happen! On the subject of telling us what you want, some of you may have seen my ‘fill us in’ posters have gone up now. This now needs you to give us feedback and tell us what you like, don’t like or what we should be doing better. I need your help on this one so please get in touch, and don’t forget to leave a contact on there!! I promised that I would compare us to other unions and I’ve certainly made a good start to that carrying out valuable research at Warwick, Birmingham, BCU, Queen Mary’s, Leicester and Loughborough, not a bad start!
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Hello all, as if we are on issue 4 of the year! Its brilliant! I am still having a great time in office and achieving really good things. The university have committed 250k to CCTV on and around our campuses which is great. We also received a cheque from the University to symbolise the 1.3 million pounds of unspent bursary money. The University spent it on student matters, including the CCTV. I have loads to tell you and cant wait for Don’t go “Bananas” to start. My full blogs can be found at www.wolvesunion.org under the meet your exec section. Love to you all!
It is the beginning of my final semester at Wolverhampton and as I look towards the future, I will tell you what I have been doing in the past month or so.
I have written to our MPs for City (Rob Marris) and Walsall (Bruce George) to register my disgust at the government’s decision to withdraw funding for students studying equivalent and lower-level qualifications. I am attending ‘the great Higher Education funding debate’ in London on March 18th to make sure that the voice of students from institutions such as Wolverhampton are heard in the impending 2009 fee review. We need to start acting now to make sure that the government do not raise fees higher in 2010.
The usual routines of Wednesdays over at Walsall are starting to draw to a close. This year has been exciting and my 2006/2008 manifesto predictions of Female sport ruling supreme have been confirmed. The Girls have grace Walsall football pitches and I have been over there to see them qualify for the knock out stages of BUSA as well as other teams such as The Basketball Women’s and Netball 1st. Both the Basketball and Netball managed to get through their first round however unfortunately the Girls football fell at the final hurdle as they lost in extra-time, it should be noted they were missing their new English Female representative Cloe as she was training with the English team. I have continued with member of the AU to tackle on going paper work and held discussion regarding the relationship between the Union and its sports scholars. The A.U have recently booking members of The Track and Field team to the upcoming Indoor National competition over the Weekend of the 16th of March. The track team will be taking a number of scholars with them and will be hoping for much succsess. If you see them around please wish them luck. Cheers
I have been starting to put together the Student Written Submission for the University’s upcoming audit this year. I will be contacting student reps over the next few weeks to see if they agree with my conclusions – after all it is important that any report written by the Students’ Union mirrors the view of students at the University. All the best for the upcoming semester,
5 fun broccoli facts
In this world where Slim Fast rules all and Atkins kicks the carbohydrate ass in all of us, I say forget all this nonsense of fad diets and let us do it properly with a good solid diet and plenty of exercise. Now I know that as students you probably won’t want to do this, therefore I have compiled 5 fun facts about our friend Broccoli to try and change your fickle minds. After all broccoli is a rich source of blah blah blah and it looks like a mini tree. 1) The real name belonging to the broccoli is Brassica oleracea botrytis asparagoides 2) George W. Bush famously stated “I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.” So there! 3) Broccoli consumption has increased over 940% over the last 25 years 4) It was introduced to England in 1720. Wow! 5) Studies have shown that intake of broccoli can help reduce the chance of getting cancer. Hippocrates believed that food is your medicine and stated “Your food will be your remedy” Anna Marie Clark
12 to do with an things easter egg
1. Convince a naive child that if they stare at it for long enough it’ll hatch into a chocolate chicken. 2. Paint it black and white and convince the same naïve child that the egg is a misshapen football. 3. Cut one in half and use as an edible bowl. 4. Make a hole in each end and use as a rubbish telescope. 5. Bunch loads together and pretend you’re a pixie surrounded by poo. 6. Clap two halves together in quick succession to create the sound of a horse trotting (see Monty Python & The Holy Grail). 7. Melt it down and smear it all over your body, pretending you’re some kind of chocolate jellybaby. 8. Smash it over someone’s head, just for the lolz. 9. Make yourself a giant Kinder Egg by opening it and putting a toy inside. 10. Epic Easter Egg hunts. 11. Use as a substitute for coconuts and make a coconut bra. 12. Eat the b*st*rd thing. (Though not if you’ve previously done number2 or 8).
A man takes his seat on a plane and notices the guy next to him has a massive black eye, ‘Crikey, how did you do that?’ he asks. ‘Well’ the man begins ‘you know that busty check in girl? I meant to say good morning but said good tits instead’ ‘oh dear’ the first man replies ‘you know I did something like that once, I meant to say thanks for the lovely tea to my wife, but instead a said I hate you and you have ruined my life’.
pubs of the future