VIEWS: 279 PAGES: 24

									    ISSN 1755-7585                                                                        Issue No. 203                                                                   December Issue 2008

                      FFRIDD SH*T£?

                      Students firmly unhappy with new build -
                     but are your complaints being listened to?
          re you forced to put up with noise    ter being brought to the attention of sta       with Ffridd students having not received a      O ce and the residents. At the very least          no complaints.
          roughly equivalent to an aircra       at the Ffridd Halls O ce. However, ongo-        de nite end date for the building and re-       residents should be informed as to why                   ere have been some concerted ef-
          turbine* for six days out of seven?   ing complaints concerning levels of noise       furbishment.                                    the work is being carried out, how long the        forts on the part of Estates and Facilities
Are you tormented by night terrors consist-     and dust at Ffridd have now centred on              Idwal has also been subject to ground       work will be going on for and I think an           to resolve certain issues. Internal phones
ing of relentlessly accelerating construction   the Idwal block – the block is supposedly         oor ooding – the ground oor is to even-       apology for the inconvenience caused is the        are hopefully being installed soon but the
trucks and hyperactive pneumatic drills?        designated as Ffriddoedd’s ‘quiet block’, but   tually be used for administrative purposes,     very least the students deserve”.                  cost of replacing swipe cards (currently at
Are you bere of an internal phone with          has experienced more than its fair share of     as well as containing shop space – and ex-          He went on to comment, “I am current-          a rather extortionate £15) for Halls entry is
which you can put across these encroach-        noise problems.                                 cessive noise related to the strengthening      ly putting together a report which will be         apparently not up for debate.
ing fears to Estates sta ? en commisera-            Most of these related noise complaints      of the building’s interior structure. Com-      presented directly to the Vice Chancellor at
                                                are linked to the proximity of Idwal to         plaints have also been of a very speci c        the next Student Forum (05/12/08). Whilst
tions, as you are almost certainly a disgrun-
                                                Ffriddoedd Road, Bar Uno, and the main          nature: one visually-impaired student has       we understand the current re-development
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stephen Davies
tled resident of the Ffridd site.
    First, some background for the unini-       pedestrian entrance, which has prompted         had di culty utilising specialist audio fa-     is essential for the long term future of the
tiated and those fortunately una ected by       questions of the suitability of Idwal’s quiet   cilities because of the wider noise pollution   Fridd site, it should not come at the ex-             *Disclaimer: is is by no means a sci-
the ongoing saga. Originally, complaints on     block status.                                   issues.                                         pense of those currently residing there.”          enti c comparison and Seren stresses the
Ffridd site in September and early October          A recent Student Forum Meeting (held            Spencer George, Deputy President of             It is not fair however, to tar all of Ffridd   adverb roughly in this description so as to
were linked to building work commenc-           October 10th) had sta representatives –         the Students’ Union said: “I have raised        with the same (probably rather noisy)              avoid confrontation and scary legal rami-
ing at 7am in the morning. (Construc-           including Director of Estates and Facilities,   these issues at several meetings and despite    brush. Residents of other Ffridd halls              cations. Seren also bruises rather easily,
tion was then put back to 8am). Internet        Mr Mike Goodwin, who stressed at the            the small success we have had in getting the    seem to be pretty happy with their humble          and hasn’t been in a ght since it was six.
issues related to the ine ective operation      meeting that he was attempting to mediate       contractors to start work an hour later in      abodes. When John Jackson and his team
of ResNet were resolved fairly quickly af-      with students and the building contractors.     the day, I am disappointed by the apparent      of sabbatical o cers roam around Ffridd,
                                                Evidence points to the contrary, however        lack of communication between the Halls         the majority of students they speak to have

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                                                                                                                                                                 December Issue 2008

December Issue 2008
                      So here it is....
Patrick Stephens
Georgia Mannion
  Rhodri Barker             …bloody Christmas! Ok so,
   Iain Dalton          am   quite a bit of a Scrooge when
                        it comes to the festive time
  Emily Collins         year, but I’d be lying if I said that
                        making this Seren look seasonal
  Liz Stephens          hasn’t been fun.
     Joe Firth               As the first semester of this
                         academic year draws to a close
 Matt McCullagh          it’s really quite bizarre to think
                         that nearly 3 months have
    Matt Ison            passed since we all got back to
                         made our debut in Bangor. Time
  Bettina Heller          does fly… but such is life and
 Willow Manuel            as we get older I’m sure this
                          apparent bend in the spac
 Sophie Griffiths          time continuum will appe
                          to happen more quickly. THE
   Mike Walsh            JOYS.
                             Ok so, on to this issue. There
   Tom Durkin            is loaaaads for you to feas
                         those wonderful eyes upon
   Dave Lewis            including a letters section
    Peter Cox            (“ooh!”), Willow Does Medieva
                          Reenactment (“ahh!”), the low
 Kenneth Padley           down on those spam ema
                          (“grr!”) and much much mor
 Frances Birkett          (“wo   op de do!”). I bet you
                          literally cannot wait. In fact,
  Megan Tapper            I wouldn’t discourage you
Kirsten Kennedy           from completely disregarding
                          the rest of this (really rather
Sion Wyn Laszek            laborious) editorial and
                                                                   Christmas Seren 2008. After
                                                                                                 this next paragraph that is…
                           strai ght through to the wonders of                                          lly capitalise, but I felt this anno
   Aaron Wiles                 SER  EN HANDPAINTED MUGS NOW
                                                                         IN STOCK. Yep, I do not usua
                                                                           can see from the picture to the
                                                                                                             right, these mugs are unlike
                                          y worth an exception. As you                                                 mug
   Jack Sexty              was definitel
                            you have seen before. Painted
                                                               by the fine hands of your very
                                                                                              own Seren team, this
                                                                                       r. Yours for only £2!
                                                    life that you are yet to encounte
  Robert Mann               will bring joys to your
                                                                   Get in touch – editor@seren.
Rosie MacCloud                 Want one? Of course you do!
                                                              better get on it.
                            We’re starting a trend, you’d
  Liam Randall
                              Lots and lots of love
Hannah Meachin
Charlotte Bewley             Jo, the best editor this side of
   Dave Lloyd
  Matthew Cox
  Richard Laba
   Sam Evans
 Andy Peterson
    Cat Prince
    Don Kelly
  Ellie Sutcliffe
Kevanne Sanger
                      Seren is Bangor Students’ Union monthy newspaper, however we
                      do have editorial independence from both Bangor University and
                                                                                                                                        TEAM SEREN
                                                                                                                                      BRINGING NEWS TO YOUR CRIB.
                      Bangor Students’ Union. Seren is written by students for students
                      and we’d love you students to get involved!                                                                       Editor           Jo Caulfield
  Helen Waller        Send an email to the editor ( to a                                                    News             Stephen Davies
                      relevant sub-editor (sub-editor’ The                                               Features            Bianca Murray
 Gareth Roberts
                      other option is to add us on Facebook and get in touch!                                                           Music            Emma Dixon
  Aaron Wiles
                      The next issue of Seren goes to print on in                                                                        Film            Mark Varley
    Proof reading:    February - the date is currently under review, but                                                               Books             Emma McColl
  Tom Hecht           if you want to know, get in touch.                                                                               Travel            Stef Black
Spencer George                                                                                                                         Sports            Will Varley
Georgia Mannion       Much love, peace out.                                                                                            Design            Dan Turner

                      RECYCLE                                   Here at Seren, there’s nothing we love more than Mother Nature and d’ya know
                                                                what she loves? Recycling! After you’ve finished with us, can you put us in your
                                                                blue box and make sure we get made into something else? Thanks very much.

                                                                 As Craig David once said: RE-E-CYCLE. WHEN
                                                                     THE CROWD SAY ‘BO’ SELLEEEECTA
December Issue 2008                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS
Rising concerns over student safety in Bangor
Are we really living in one
of the UK’s safest cities?
            angor prides itself on being a safe     a rst year from Walsall recalls the en-       addition, last week one
            city. All over the University pro-      counter with some young locals during         student reported this
            spectus is the quote “Bangor is a       Freshers’ week “we were coming back           to us: “my boyfriend’s
   safe place to live - one of the safest cities    from Yellow and they started talking to       car was parked in front
   in the UK” from and              us. It seemed like nothing was going to       of Gwynant and his
   it’s a very important factor for potential       happen, but then they began threaten-         mirror got smashed
   students when choosing their univer-             ing us saying they’d ‘bang us out’ I think    o .      ere’s also a gi-
   sity city. However, in the past few weeks        it was because of my accent. ey le us         ant dent in the bon-
   Seren has been made aware of numer-                                                            net.     ey tried to get
   ous attacks and assaults on students in                                                        the other mirror too,
   Bangor and from the sheer number of                “I was smacked                              nightmare”.
   incidents reported to us, it seems this
   city isn’t as safe as it once was.
                                                     in the side of the                               Seren spoke to the
                                                                                                  Students’ Union Dep-
        One 3rd year student found himself            head and hit the                            uty President, Spencer
   in the wrong place at the wrong time on
   the morning of Sunday 5th October. “I
                                                       concrete face-                             George to ask what he
                                                                                                  thought of the recent
   had le the Railway Institute a er a club                 first”                                 incidents: “ e Stu-
   night and was heading down Caernar-                                                            dents’ Union is very
   fon Road. A man who had also been                                                              concerned about the
   at the club with me running in and out           alone once we got onto the Ffridd site        recent spate of attacks
   of the road wearing just a white t-shirt         though”.                                      on students and is dis-
                                                                                                                              Glanrafon Hill: never will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy
   and jeans (bear in mind that it was rain-            Since these events, more reports of       appointed that the in-
   ing, and the downpour was torrential at          violence in Bangor have reached Seren.        cidents have not been                      is within walking distance, wandering living in houses but no such informa-
   this time of night) when, for seemingly          A few weeks ago, one young student            reported to us at the relevant welfare                                                   tion has been delivered to the Ffridd
   no reason, another man verbally at-              (who wishes to remain anonymous) was          meetings that myself and other sabbati-                                                  site which is the most densely popu-
   tacked him and looked ready to throw             chased home by 3 homeless men a er a          cal o cers attend. Needless to say both                One student                       lated student area of Bangor (besides
   a punch. Conscious of this, I stepped o          night out, but luckily escaped. e po-         John Jackson (SU President) and I will         narrowly escaped the bars). With kitchen notice boards
   the pavement whilst walking past him,            lice were called, however it seems they       be seeking a meeting with the Univer-                                                    plastered with signs reading “how to
   believing this would prevent any possi-          could do very little.                         sity’s Police O cer and Head of Security          when teenagers                         use the vacuum correctly” and no in-
   ble confrontation. Wrong. Next thing I               It seems it’s not just people being at-   to discuss the issues further. In the mean              threw glass                      formation on general wellbeing, can
   know, I’ve been smacked in the side of           tacked; property and vehicles are also a      time we would encourage students to                                                      students be blamed for forgetting that
   the head and I hit the concrete face- rst.       prime target for violence. On the 13th        report all similar incidents to the local           bottles at him                       this is a city and that they aren’t invin-
       e man, walked on, seemingly having           of November a group of local teenag-          authorities and I would like to take this                                                cible? You might suggest that students
   been calmed down by his friends. I pre-          ers broke into the back of Neuadd Peris       opportunity to remind students that                                                      would nd that information more rel-
   sume alcohol was involved but I couldn’t         and used washing powder and a re              the Advice Centre do sell attack alarms, home alone doesn’t seem to be an is-          evant that how to use Henry, when was
   verify this.”                                    extinguisher to create a sudsy explo-         should you wish to purchase one.”          sue like it is in other cities. We wouldn’t the last time you heard a student say “I’ll
           is is not an isolated incident. An-      sion and set o the re alarms. Bubbles             Although the crime rates in Bangor     dream of walking home alone in Man-         just whip round with the hoover”?
   other student narrowly escaped when              were reported to be owing down the            are believed to be amongst the lowest chester or Liverpool, so why do it here?
   teenagers threw glass bottles at him in          staircases while they made a noisy exit       in the UK, no city is without its share of    Vague lea ets on safety in Bangor
   a completely unprovoked attack. Aaron,           and were swi ly swept up by security. In      feisty residents. As everything in Bangor have been received by some students                   Georgia Mannion

                     Do you feel safe in
YOUR VIEWS          and around Bangor?

  I don’t actually feel                               I feel more secure                             Generally yes I do,                          Nothing scares me,                            I do feel safe, in
that Bangor has got                                than if I were in a                            but now and again                             I am a man of steel.                          comparison to oth-
signi cantly     more                              big city but when it’s                         it can be a bit in-                           However, sometimes                            er places. However,
dangerous since I                                  dark - I do feel a bit                         timidating walking                            you hear stories that                         don’t feel very con -
came here, back in                                 daunted, especially                            home from Time or                             should make you                               dent walking home
the mists of time.                                 if it’s the weekend.                           Academi. During the                           think twice before                            alone in the dark.
                                                                                                  day is usually ok.                            stumbling home
Chris                                              Syada                                          Will                                          Sion                                           Sian
Post-graduate Psychology                           1st year French with Film                      1st year Media                                3rd year Religious Studies                     Masters Psychology
                                                                                                                                                                                               December Issue 2008

Robbing Barstewards?
Anger as Academi charges societies & clubs for SIN nights
       lubs and societies across                  societies hosting it. However, now the         that Academi was making on these               Seren asked Ms Lacey how much          reveal that at least 8 student group
       the students union have                    Academi bosses will take a cut from            nights.” She went on to say, “SIN           an external company would expect          nights (and possibly even more than
       been feeling the pinch this                the door money. How much they take             nights were introduced as a service         to be charged for Academi hire.           that) this semester have been subject
semester in the wake of changes                   depends on how many people attend              to students, not as a big money             She said: “The student rates are          to fees.
to the Academi SIN night                          the SIN night in question.                     spinner, but without the venue fees         extremely low in comparison with             It is important to note that these
scheme.                                              The announcement caused a stir              there would be no SIN nights. People        the competition and our non-student       charges should be an effective way
   The new system, introduced after               amongst group members because                  just don’t realise the fixed costs           rates… we use student discounted          of ensuring clubs and societies are
Academi made little money from SIN                of the implications such a scheme              associated with opening the venue           rates for the SIN’s as the venue          motivated to put some effort into
nights last year, could                                                                                                                                                                their SIN nights and really work on
see some groups lose
up to £200. In the
                                                    “Seren can reveal that at least 8 student group nights                                                                             the promotion. However, whether the
                                                                                                                                                                                       tiered system is the most effective
past, all money
paid on the door
                                                       this semester have been subject to these fees”                                                                                  (and fair) way of doing this remains
                                                                                                                                                                                       to be seen by many.
for a SIN night                                   has on their yearly budgets. Each              such as music royalties, SIA licensed       fee for non-student venue hires are          We spoke to one society head (who
has gone straight                                 year, your club or society is given a          security, license fees, management          considerably higher, with [some           wishes to remain anonymous), they
to the clubs                                      grant from the student union and this          and staff.”                                 clients] paying up to £250 per night      said of the charges: “It’s downright
a n d                                             money helps with day-to-day running                                                        - the true cost of renting out a venue    greedy for [Academi] to take this
                                                  costs, publicity, the provision of                                                         of this size”                             money from our society when
                                                  regular socials and the organisation
                                                  of SIN nights.
                                                                                                      The charges                                We also asked what she thought
                                                                                                                                             of clubs and societies losing money
                                                                                                                                                                                       we already struggle to meet our
                                                                                                                                                                                       overheads. For some societies, SIN
                                                      Club and society grants were
                                                  decided back in May, long before
                                                                                                 Attendees                   Price           due to these costs. “We have left
                                                                                                                                             the opportunity for groups to have
                                                                                                                                                                                       nights are the only way to raise funds
                                                                                                                                                                                       and it may be that membership fees
                                                  the Academi SIN night charges were
                                                  introduced and as such, this cost
                                                                                                     0 - 50                  £200            the venue for free if they get over
                                                                                                                                             351 customers through the door -
                                                                                                                                                                                       have to increase because of this. It’s
                                                                                                                                                                                       a sad day when the SU’s own venues
                                                  wasn’t taken into account when the                51 - 75                  £100            which MOST groups have managed            start penalising students, when we
                                                  figures were decided.                                                                       this year. Most student groups are        already have enough to pay for”.
                                                      Debbie Lacy, Academi’s manger                76 - 200                  £60             very positive and are grateful of the        Last year some SIN nights were not
                                                   who introduced these costs, takes                                                         opportunity to continue to run a night    properly promoted, and SIN nights
                                                   a different view: “Venue fees were             201 - 350                  £30             and make a substantial amount of          can be difficult to arrange. Getting

                                                                                                      351+                   free
                                                   introduced this academic year as                                                          money for their group.”                   your night to stand out from the rest
                                                   a necessity to make the SIN night                                                             Although Ms Lacy maintains that       is a big part of the challenge.
                                                   viable. We were considering stopping                                                      most groups have benefited from a
                                                   the SIN nights due to the losses                                                          free SIN night, Seren can exclusively      Patrick Stephens

        ***!!!ROOM AVAILABLE!!!***                                                                                                                                              ’s
                                                                                                                                           SPAM COUNTDOWN!
                                                                                                                                           IN AT 5...
                                                                                                                                           Cutting the crap, this student takes the direct approach with:
                                                                                                                                           “I agree,piss off, I’ll find a room if I want one, your mail is junk..”

                                                                                                                                           IN AT 4...
      Email spam makes students want to eat their own eyes                                                                                 This email bends time and space to bring us:
                                                                                                                                           “Now I think about it there’s a large 4 bed room with Sept 2005 rent paid
                                                                                                                                           for, only $50 a week, full service history on request...”

             rilliant room, with a sea view,      last month; to a point that some students     ly a number of emails advertising Bar
             5 minutes from Main Arts,            are beginning to complain, using the          Uno have crept into our inboxes, which

                                                                                                                                           IN AT 3...
             NOVEMBER RENT PAID,                  same method of university-wide email          seems rather hypocritical in the wake of
    with lovely housemates, get in touch!!!       system to do so.. An email sent to all        a SPAM warning message.
       Sound familiar? Many students who          students joked of someone willing to sell         When students leave halls and nd
    have accessed their Bangor University         their inbox (boasting it has the ability      accommodation for the following year       Internet services step in with a completely ineffective:
    email accounts lately may have noticed        to nd many choices of rooms to rent),         there are many factors which are needed    “Please use discussion/noticeboards to target your message to
    the dramatic rise in emails from stu-         whilst another read “I would also like        to be considered and if they are unhappy   interested others rather than sending emails to lots of people across
    dents looking to ll the spare room/ take      to sell my inbox… however, mine has           where they are and want to leave, they     the University.”
    their room in local houses.                   November rent paid… AND has a new             would need to nd someone to take
           e level of spam on these email ac-     kitchen!” Many responses to this issue        their room. is is di cult and obvious-

                                                                                                                                           IN AT 2...
    counts is becoming slightly ridiculous        worked their way around the interweb,         ly it would be impossible to a ord two
    and because of these spam emails some         but then the joke started to wear o a         rooms, so emailing everyone in Bangor
    students are avoiding loging into their       little with one email reading: “So now,       might seem like a good option, although
    inboxes. One note on the intranet board       not only have we got to deal with the an-     those on the receiving end might not
    reads “I’ve got to the point I hardly check   noying room for rent spam, but also the       think so...                                Taking the high ground it’s:
    my Uni emails anymore”.                       complaints about it.”                                e IS department, located in Dei-    “Adopt the position of anti-anti-anti-spam spam (i.e. spam that is against
                                                                                                                                           my spam, which is itself opposed to the spam emails that have arisen in
       Another comment says: “I suggest                It seems that Internet Services have     nol Library, are working hard to resolve
                                                                                                                                           opposition to the original spam. Which, if I recall
    the University administrators enforce           nally taken note of the ludicrous nature    this problem and sent an email out ex-     correctly, was about renting something. Who can remember, really?)”
    some policies where only sta members          of these emails by sending a message to       plaining how to properly advertise to

                                                                                                                                           IN AT 1...
    have the ability to send emails to entire     all students detailing the ways in which      the student community. is email was
    mail lists. ose emails [sic] lists are pre-   those looking for a housemate can target      shortly followed by another room for
    compiled for a reason, I doubt spam is        people who want to hear it. is email          rent email.
    one.”                                         ended with a note reminding all stu-              With all the rooms in Bangor, it
                                                                                                                                           We felt this had to go to the email that started it all:
           ere is a place to market these         dents to “Please use the discussion / no-     seems it will be a while until they are
                                                                                                                                           ***INBOX FOR SALE***
    available rooms: the University notice        ticeboards… rather than sending emails        all lled and our inboxes can nally get     “Due to high level of internal spamming I’m offering my email inbox for
    boards.                                       to lots of people across the University.”     some rest.                                 sale. It has many positive features: 1) You are guaranteed to find some
           e amount of emails entitled ‘Room           However it’s not just students who
    Available’ has increased vastly over the      are guilty of abusing this feature; recent-
                                                                                                 Mike Walsh                                accommodation within Bangor through it.”
December Issue 2008                                                                                                                                                                                           NEWS
      If it wasn’t for those                                                                                                                    Psychology staff and
                                                                                                                                              students look ridiculous
        pesky socialists...                                                                                                                     for Children in Need
 In the wake of problems with Students in
 The Red protest, President John Jackson
denounces referendum policy as “ludicrous”
       ocialist Students have garnered
       rather a lot of publicity of late.
       Aiming to maintain their current
high pro le among the student masses,
they put their weight behind NUS’ na-
tional     e Day in the Red campaign.
   is would have provided an excellent
opportunity for Socialists to work with
NUS and campaign against student fees.
   e only problem was that not many
students seemed to be incredibly inter-
    Amid a urry of nger-pointing and
much playing of the blame game, ac-
cusations were levelled at the Students’
Union Sabbatical Team. ere have been
some who have blamed the Sabbatical
Team for doing a poor or insu cient
job of promoting the Students in the
Red. Posters to advertise the event were
only printed a day beforehand and the
campaigners were tucked away on Ffrid-
doedd Site, far away from the majority of
the student population. Was this purely
a silly bumble, or should the Students’
Union take its place rmly in the corner
of shame?
    When questioned, Students’ Union
                                                      Socialist Ian Fred Dalton and President John
President John Jackson was really rather             Daphne Jackson at war over a Mystery Machine
forthcoming: ‘ e SU publicised this day         policy is ridiculous!’                         year, it was voted and agreed upon that
in the same manner in which it publicises           Mr. Jackson made it clear in October       the Students in the Red demonstration
any other events, the vast majority of          that Sabbatical o cers would not voice         could only take place on Ffriddoedd Site.
which are well attended. I think the more       any opinion on the referendum until af-        When asked what e ect this had on the
likely reason for a lack of attendance          ter the event. is was done in order to         day, Mr. Jackson answered, ‘It would have
could be that a lot of students are just not    avoid in uencing the vote one way or the       impacted quite considerably, but Senate’s
interested…’                                    other. With that period now long-gone,         reasoning behind this was sound - they
    He added that students could have           the President can now give the bottom          felt that to shout about debt on the High
‘been put o getting involved in this sort       line: ‘the Sabbatical o cers of Bangor         Street, especially in the current economic
of thing by the result of the recent ref-       Students’ Union are not members of the         climate, would have been detrimental to
erendum. I have had complaints from             Socialist movement and I personally be-        any future public support or opinion of           The Wheldon building: where life is one big party
many students about the ‘fees policy’ of        lieve that the resolves of the policy passed   students.’

the SU, and I would like to take this op-       at referendum are ludicrous and o en
portunity to be quite frank and clarify to      nonsensical.’
                                                                                                 Matt Ison                                             his year for Children in Need,        and waxing event, which looked rather
any doubters that I completely agree - the          At the rst Senate meeting of the                                                                   Psychology students went a bit        painful and has le Matt Ison, the sta-
                                                                                                                                                       creative.                             tion manager, really rather bald. All in
                                                                                                                                                     e fundraising target was set at         all then, Bangor did Children in Need

Did Carnage disappear in
                                                                                                                                               £1,300, and a a small selection of students   proud this year and Seren would like to
                                                                                                                                               and stad promised they would dress up         extend a well done to everyone who got
                                                                                                                                               for the day if this gure was reached.         involved!

 a puff of its own hype?
                                                                                                                                                   Although it was looking shaky for a
                                                                                                                                               while, they managed to hit jackpot and
                                                                                                                                               as such, all of the Psychology department
                                                                                                                                                                                               Patrick Stephens
                                                                                                                                               got the opportunity to point and laugh at

        angor’s night of Carnage, held          praised by a number of students nation-        themed Fancy Dress. Admittedly, this            their colleagues and fellow pupils.
        earlier this month on the 4th           wide for simply being a more organised         theme is largely related to the t-shirts and        Among the fund raising activities
        of November, came equipped              version of the pub crawls that they o en       its provocative six-point checklist, but re-    which got them to the target, sta at the
with bacchanalian tales of excess from          go to through student societies and other      ports of bared breasts and extensive nu-        School have been auctioning their skills.
other parts of the country and rumours          themed nights.                                 dity (nationwide that is, Bangor appears        Head of School, Oliver Turnbull has auc-
of near-legendary drunken exploits.                Notwithstanding, there was appar-           to have been relatively well-behaved in         tioned an a ernoon’s golf tuition, while
   e fear that the Students’ Union and a        ent concern for the same event that took       this regard) are likely to attract a certain    other ‘gi s’ auctioned included cleaning
number of students held, was that its ar-       place elsewhere the following week. For        type of male bystander - as does coverage       a student’s kitchen, baking cakes and
rival on Bangor’s doorstep would damage         instance, as Carnage was scheduled for         in Nuts magazine - and brings in another        ironing. e fundraising activities were
relations between Bangor residents and          an appearance in Norwich on November           moral dimension to the event. Namely:           organised by Mandy Shanks, supported
the student population, and also stretch        10th, emergency services were put on           is the crawl simply encouraging risky           and encouraged by Hazel Frost and other
security resources charged with handling        alert. Catherine Quinn, general manager        sexual encounters, and is it perpetuating       sta and students at the School.
students at the end of the night to break-      of Norwich’s Varsity nightclub was quot-       female objecti cation?                              In addition, Storm FM raised £100
ing point.                                      ed as saying, “It is very responsibly run          It may be di cult to judge on the           in a Children in Need hair shaving
       e experience of those who attended       and there are only four or ve [Carnage         former – as this is largely down to per-

                                                                                                                                              Bangor’s Got Talent!
appears, however, to have been largely          events] that have happened that have           sonal responsibility - but on the latter
positive. One psychology student who            been a bit shocking, which is hardly any       point the event does appear to be guilty
attended the Bangor night went so far           considering the amount they do”. How-          of playing up to chauvinist stereotypes.

as to call it “one of, if not, the best night   ever, the implication from the event’s de-         With the event’s return rumoured to                   n Sunday 23rd November 2008,        and a er a quick wait, and some discus-
I’ve had out in Bangor”. Another student,       tractors is that this number could grow,       be occurring in February, Carnage’s po-                   one of Bangor’s own went to         sion over the fellow contestants, Rachael’s
Sarah Staples, commented on the relative        with students attempting to outdo them-        tential problems and moral ambiguities                    Manchester to Audition for Brit-    number was called out and the audition
safety of the night in question, adding         selves in feats of drunken bravado.            have to be weighed up against the surge        ain’s got talent! Rachael Green, a 2nd year    underway. Rachael taught herself to sing
that the event “shows o Bangor students            Added to this potentially combustible       in popularity this event has recently en-      psychology student sang ‘Black horse and       and play guitar only two years ago. We
in a positive light”.                           mix of drink and impressionable stu-           joyed among Bangor students.                   the cherry tree’ by KT Tunstall in front         nd out the result of her audition early
    Nights held on the same week around         dents, are the overtly sexual nature of the
other University cities were similarly          events and its central “Dirty Porn Star”
                                                                                                 Stephen Davies                               of the show’s producers. Myself, Rachael       next year! Watch this space...!
                                                                                                                                              and Charlotte Edwards arrived at 10am
                                                                                                                                                                                              Bianca Murray
                                                                                                                                                                                                              December Issue 2008

                  Bringing you the best in news, views,
Gay Times
        by Emily Collins                        Left Leanings
            ooking at some of the groups
            of people who have been un-
            fairly discriminated over time      A socialist perspective from Iain Dalton
    – black people, women and currently
    Muslims – there is a recurrent theme;

                                                Civil War in the
    fear of the unknown.
        Black people were once treated
    as slaves and white people were

                                                Congo yet again
    afraid of an unfamiliar skin colour,
    women were not allowed to vote and
    were treated as second class citizens.
    Muslims are currently discriminated
    against because of the actions of a

    few extremists. Many people fear the
    Islamic religion and even those who                N THE last few weeks over 250,000         United Nations (UN) 2007 gures there
    ‘look’ like they might follow it.                  refugees have ed from North Kivu          are around 350 rapes a month, although
        I am not so naïve as to think that             province in the east of the Demo-         local gures suggest over 800 in April
    gathering every person with a fear or         cratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formerly        2008 alone.
    a grudge together and asking them to          Zaire) near the border with Rwanda. is             It is the country’s rich mineral re-
    ‘talk it out’ would solve the world’s is-     brings the total of internal refugees in the   sources (particularly diamonds, copper,
    sues. However, I do think that women          region to over one million.                    zinc and coltan – the latter being used
    have many important opinions on                   Rebels in the National Congress for        in mobile phones and computers) which
    matters outside of the kitchen which          the Defence of the People (CNDP), un-          have been fought over in the civil war
    could have been positively in uential         der the control of ethnic Tutsi, Laurent       with various companies backing warlords
    on past events and I know for a fact          Nkunda, have been advancing on gov-            with arms to facilitate their plundering
    that Islam actually preaches peace to         ernment strongholds in the province –          of the country. A UN report named 85
    its followers.                                particularly the regional capital Gomu.        multinationals that it believed to be vio-    groups and aid agencies are still calling      bat the abuses of militias, rebels, govern-
        In addition to the aforementioned             Although this con ict has only been        lating ethical guidelines – such as Anglo-    for intervention by foreign troops. For        ment troops and ‘peacekeepers’ alike are
    groups, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and            major news headlines for the last few          American, Standard Chartered Bank, De         example, Johann Hari in the Independent        democratic, working class-based defence
    Trans people are constantly misun-            weeks it has been ongoing since Nkunda         Beers etc.                                    (30/10/08) suggests that UN peacekeep-         organisations that can cut across the
    derstood and misrepresented. Some             rebelled against the DRC army in 2004.             But it isn’t just multinational compa-    ers will need to be kept in the region to      ethnic divides and build up the mass re-
    people discriminate against LGBT                     e con ict has been a disaster for       nies. Regional powers are also in on the      ‘stabilise’ the country and that a coltan-     sistance of workers and peasants to both
    people out of simple ignorance; be-           the people of the Congo. Since the pre-        act. Zimbabwe, one of the backers of          tax should be created to fund this.            militia-backed warlords, multinational
    cause their parents said they were            vious period of civil war began in 1998        the Laurent Kabila regime, was granted            But MONUC, the current UN peace-           companies and the major capitalist pow-
    bad or because they heard a bad story         over ve million people have been killed,       concessions in the diamond industry for       keeping force, has over 16,000 troops in       ers.
    once. I have even heard that some             life expectancy is only 45.8 years in the      example; whilst Rwandan forces control        the country and is blatantly failing to            It is only ideas such as taking the min-
    people are afraid to be around LGBT           country as a whole, and in North Kivu it       some mines in the Kivu region that the        stop the abuses. Indeed UN documents           eral resources into public ownership to
    people in case an attraction occurs;          is 43.7 years; 73% of the population are       country borders that are protected by the     disclosed by Human Rights Watch dem-           use for the common good of society and
    apparently they feel that appearing           in poverty.                                    RCD it backs.                                 onstrate how UN peacekeepers in Congo          not to fatten the pockets of warlords and
    attractive to another person is a nega-           Additionally the region has seen large         Imperialism and capitalism have dev-      took part in weapons trading with rebels       big business, which can provide a way out
    tive thing! Some people are just so           usage of child soldiers and North Kivu         astated the DRC and it is ordinary peo-       and smuggling.                                 of the nightmare for the workers and the
    ba ed by the ‘politically correct’ so-        province itself is the worst area for sex-     ple who are su ering. However, many               As with Iraq, what is needed to com-       poor in the DRC.
    ciety nowadays that they feel it’s bet-       ual violence in the world -according to        journalists, international human right
    ter to ignore than to unintentionally
    verbally o end someone.

                                                                                                         Freshers’ Hangover
        I have one simple solution to the
    above: an LGBT amnesty.
        Just like a knife or gun amnesty
    (when the police will accept your ille-
    gal weapons with no retribution) this
    event will allow you and all of your
    friends to come and ask whatever you
                                                                                                                       What happens when the parties stop?
    like of our volunteers and we will an-
    swer as truthfully as we can, without                                                                         Although now a er           need and want something to do to ll our        tattoo parlours and although I personally
    getting o ended, complaining or ‘tell-                                                                    a few weeks back, I have        precious little time, and though we may          nd tattoos extremely fascinating, they
    ing you o ’.                                                                                              come to realise that a er       be content with a pub-meal and a few           don’t entertain me unless I’m getting one
        If you’re unsure of some facts or if                                                                  Freshers week, there re-        drinks or more, not all of us can nd that      done.
    you want to discuss your opinions and                                                                     ally is nothing to do in        entertaining for long, (however I have             Another interesting point is; how of-
    discover what some LGBT people are                                                                        Bangor. I guess one of          met many people that could do that for         ten are there gigs in this city? Now I’m
    like then you should come along to                                                                        the reasons this impres-        an eternity.)                                  not expecting Phil Collins to hit Bangor
    Main Arts Lecture eatre on the 8th                                                                        sion is held by most of             Anyway, to get to my point and it          any time soon but a decent venue couldn’t
    December at 7pm. For that evening,                                                                        the Bangor students             must be rather apparent by now, there          do any harm in bringing in a wider range
    MALT will be turned into a ‘safe                                                                          is because there is so          is really not very much to do in Bangor,       of live bands on a more consistant basis.
    zone’ for your questions. ere will                                                                        much to do in Fresh-            and it’s leading many people to too many       Now, Llandudno may be a big city, but it
    be LGBT volunteers willing to answer                                                                      ers week, only a hyper-         hangovers, of di erent sorts. at which         hasn’t got the numbers, especially in stu-
    anything you can come up with, and                                                                        active fresher can take         involves the consumption of alcohol and        dents. Still, in the not too distant future,
    there may even be biscuits!                                                                               most of it in. A er 2           that which turns us students into unmo-        Pendulum and Enter Shikari are two
           is event is intended to remove                                                                     years of almost constant        tivated vegetables. I’ve personally chosen     bands of gracing the Llandudno Arena
    the taboos surrounding sexual orien-                                                                      drinking, I nd my liver         to destroy leeks in the hope I won’t turn      stage.
    tation and gender identity, to stop the                                                                   complaining a er just a         into one.                                          Would it not make sense to have a
    stigmas associated with it. I believe                                                                     few days of it.                     With eatr Gwynedd now closed, an-          similar arena closer or in Bangor so the
                                                   Being sociable can be such a drag sometimes...
    that if these things can be openly spo-                                                                       Obviously the sur-          other source of entertainment is lost, and     students of the university can spend their

    ken about it will lead to understand-             o now I sit here, part way through                      rounding      areas    of       believe me, I’m not one to moan about          loans on the local community, instead
    ing and then, hopefully, acceptance               my third and nal chapter of uni-      Snowdonia are amazing and o er every-             this loss just because it has disappeared. I   of having to venture as far as Llandudno
        Anonymous questions can be                    versity and I nd myself rather un-    one something to do, but when lectures            can honestly say I have been a decent cus-     and Manchester to spend their money
    emailed to LGBT.commitee@undeb.             ful lled by the city of Bangor, again. Af-  begin and work mounts up, venturing               tomer over the past 2 years (a er all I am     instead?,uk or 07786200690 (start          ter spending my summer in the amazing far from Bangor can be rather expensive                 a keen movie viewer & maker). It will now          Ultimately, improvements in Bangor
    your message with the word ‘lgbt’)the       Llanfairpwll I could not wait for the fun   on time and cash. Although we may be              take a twenty minute train journey to get      are coming - the new Students’ Union will
    address if you         packed University year to begin and mov-    bookworms when comparing ourselves                to the nearest cinema, and you may have        be refreshing... unfortunately however, I
    prefer, but you need to attend to hear      ing back to the fun- lled Bangor a er a     to the drop-outs we know back home, we            noticed that the trains in Bangor don’t run    won’t be here to see it.
    the answers! I hope to see you there.       year out in the sticks. And, just like many can’t be expected to read and work all the        all the time like many of the cities we have
                                                of you readers, I was getting more excited time, especially for three years or more...        le to come here.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Matt McCullugh
       Emily Collins is LGBT Pride              with every second that passed.              On our weekends or free weekdays we all                  e high street is being taken over by
               Campaigns O cer
 December Issue 2008

reviews and some blue suede shoozse
                 Lost in TranslatiÖn:                                                                                                                                                      Life, the
                                                                                                                                                                                         universe and
                   experiences of a German in Bangor                                                                                                                                     whatsitsface
                                                                                                                                                                                       The world according to Joe Firth

                                                                                                                                                                                                     orried? You should be. You’re
                                                                                                                                                                                                     probably too fat or thin, lan-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     guishing in thousands of
                                                                                                                                                                                        pounds of debt, drinking too much alco-
                                                                                                                                                                                        hol and spend too much time in front of
                                                                                                                                                                                        a computer screen. And that’s only things
                                                                                                                                                                                        that a ect you . You should also be wor-
                                                                                                                                                                                        rying about the fact over 200 thousand
                                                                                                                                                                                        people go missing in Britain every year,
                                                                                                                                                                                        there’s only 3 Chinese yangtze turtles le
                                                                                                                                                                                        and Mrs Dobbins can’t a ord to feed her
                                                                                                                                                                                        cat.    at’s before you even start worrying
                                                                                                                                                                                        about Ray.
                                                                                                                                                                                               roughout everyday life there’s cause
                                                                                                                                                                                        to worry too, in the shower you smother
                                                                                                                                                                                        yourself in all those cleaning products

           hen I was told by a friend that movie…first time I got lost in Bangor I        to the normal door.                     people around me talking to each                       which contain chemicals that are appar-
           I would get the opportunity     ended up at Hogwards. And honestly                Soon after arriving in Bangor I had other either in Chinese or Welsh.                      ently safe but does parenethenol sound
           to spend an exchange term       – I felt a little bit like being stuck in a   to realise that my “German” feeling     Shocked as I was I decided to take                     like something you really want to be
in Bangor the first thing I did was to      slap stick comedy with myself being           for cold was not exactly the same as    part in a Welsh class. I figured out                    putting in your hair? Better eat breakfast,
scream out loud. Which was pretty          the main character… Bangor might              it is for the natives. How everybody    that this would also help me to finally                 otherwise you won’t concentrate all day,
embarrassing as I was sitting on the       not be a big city but still was a little      looked at me when I entered a club      remember my Welsh address and be                       but then bear in mind some cereals have a
train at the time. The second thing I      bit confusing for me in the beginning.        and started to take off my scarf,       able to pronounce it the right way. –                  carbon footprint the equivalent of driving
did was look it up on the map; with        So came that I was spending about             cap, gloves, coat, sweater… I guess     I have to say, German tongues are                      5 miles. And frankly, if you are driving,
my friends reaction being “you’re          half an hour standing in the cold air         British people make up for their lack   not made for this! I don’t think I will                you might as well be shooting polar bears.
going to the UK, great, whereabouts?       in front of the street lights listening       of warm clothes with having a lot of    ever be able to make my throat use                     At least when you’re sleeping you can’t
Baangohr? Nice…”                                               to the sounds but         drinks.                                                     those “ll” or “ch”                 worry about anything, yet if you sleep too
-       embarrassed “I figured out that being unable to see                                   But except for the                                      sounds.
silence - “where?”                                             the green light. Until    cold way back home           “I guess British                   After   all   I
                                                                                                                                                                                        long you’ll die young, too little you’ll wear
    Already on the everybody crosses I figured out that
                                                                                                                                                                                        your body and brain down.
train to Bangor I
                                                                                         in the middle of the
                                                                                                                   people make up for can say that it’s                                     However fear not this being the mod-
realised that my the street without the street anyway
                                                               everybody is crossing     night I just loved                                          the little things
                                                                                         the atmosphere in their lack of warm that make the                                             ern world, there are countless companies
school          English   giving any atten- without giving any                           the pubs! You nearly                                        difference for me.                 out there to ‘help’. Insurance companies
won’t do – I had                                               attention     to    the   won’t find any pub clothes with having Sure,                           everyday
no idea what to tion to the lights... lights… or cars.                                   in Germany, which I           a lot of drinks”              life is not exactly                 Get one of those squishy
say when when the                  or cars”                        Perhaps      some     think is quite sad.                                         the same as in                        balls to relieve your
conductor told me                                              of you remember               A few days later                                        Germany,        the                 anxiety... Forget it, you’ll
“cheers my dear!”                                              the fire alarm at          I had to admit that my ‘language-       architecture looks different and                         probably end up with a
after seeing my ticket. Coming into        the library on September 29th at              problem’ was not in speaking not        supermarkets are huge…still it’s
Gwynedd I suddenly felt like driving       10am. Well, that was me taking the            well enough everyday English…the        Europe and I got used to everything                     repetitive strain disorder
through the Shire…you know this            wrong door out. Which makes me                problem rather was that somehow         pretty fast.
lovely little landscape where Tolkien´s    think about the sense in putting the          no one else would speak English.
Hobbits live. But cut – swap: next         “Attention! Fire Exit!” door right next       Like sitting in my business class with
                                                                                                                                              Bettina Heller                            play on our fear of accidents, even if
                                                                                                                                                                                        they’re highly unlikely. Extended guaran-
                                                                                                                                                                                        tees on products means we don’t have to

                                                                                                                                                                                        worry about breaking our gadgets. Vita-

                                                                                                   t’s that time of year again folks –      ash or expensive enough. Even more
                                                                                                   Christmas. Love it or loathe it, you   disturbing is receipt culture - including     min pills means we just need to pop 5 a
                                                                                                   can’t avoid it. It’s only November     the receipt for people whose present          day to prevent certain malnutrition.

IT MUST BE CHRISTMAS!                                                                        and yet the unsuspecting population          ‘didn’t t’.                                       Of course worrying itself isn’t exactly
                                                                                             are already being bombarded with (not            But it’s not just presents. Inside the    healthy, in fact it can be deadly. Excessive
                                                                                             so) subliminal advertising, encourag-        house, outside the house, windows,            anxiety can trigger the ancient response
                                                                                             ing even the most miserly to part with       doors, gardens, cars, streets, work, pets     system ght or ight, and as worrying
                                                                                             their cash for this year’s must have         (that might be stretching it, maybe) –        doesn’t necessarily involve doing either of
                                                                                             gadget.                                      all must be decorated brand spanking          these, anxiety levels build like magma in a
                                                                                                  Why lament so? One would imagine        new every year. It would be far simpler       bulging volcano, eventually you implode.
                                                                                             being used to this advertising bonanza,      just to pin the money to the walls – it       And that won’t be a pretty sight.
                                                                                             being accosted with what to buy, where       would save time for a start.                       So what can you do to avoid defrag-
                                                                                             to buy, when to buy, how to buy. So              Saddest of all though, is the e ect       menting yourself? Perhaps take a holiday
                                                                                             why complain like a broken (but must         that this ‘buy, get, have’ mentality is       to some exotic destination and lie on a
                                                                                             have – it’s 50% o ) record? Because          having on the next generation. Ask the        beach. Wait, that involves getting on a
                                                                                             every year, it gets progressively worse.     average ve or six year old why we cel-        plane, allowing plenty of time to worry
                                                                                             Not to mention earlier – who cares if        ebrate Christmas, and their response          if that shi y looking bloke next to you is
                                                                                             it’s August? Put your 6 snow e ect           would probably be something to do             going to hijack the plane. Perhaps escape
                                                                                             up – you probably paid enough for it.        with celebrating the life of the man          the modern world and live with an Ama-
                                                                                             And every year that it does, spontane-       who invented the Wii.                         zonian tribe. Well, you’ll probably bring
                                                                                             ity and generosity is sacri ced in lieu of          at said, there are those who           in some Western disease and kill most of
                                                                                             consumerism.                                 greatly enjoy and bene t from Christ-         them o . Get one of those squishy balls
                                                                                                  Let us consider the year. Valentine’s   mas. Mr. Stuart Rose et al, please step       to relieve your anxiety and distract your
                                                                                             Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, even        forward. Celebrities being paid a bun-        thoughts. Forget it, you’ll probably end up
                                                                                             Easter, orchestrated and executed by         dle to act like idiots in the hope it ogs     with a repetitive strain disorder.
                                                                                             the card and gi industry. ere’s bare-        a jumper, please step forward. And                No, worrying is good. If Louis Pasteur
                                                                                             ly a minute to breathe without another       just watch their piggy little eyes swell      wasn’t particularly worried about people
                                                                                             ‘holiday’ or ‘event’ set to drain your       up while tills ring non-stop, as brain-       dropping dead from diseases he may nev-
                                                                                             purse. Wouldn’t you prefer someone           washed Britain buys buys buys.                er have come up with vaccines. Like with
                                                                                             buying you a present just because they                                                     most things (excluding chocolate) mod-
                                                                                             felt like it, not because Mr. Hallmark                                                     eration is key, worrying just a little won’t
                                                                                             said they should? But woe betide you           Liz Stevens                                 harm you. However, if you are chronically
                                                                                             if you don’t buy anything; you’re just a                                                   worrying please don’t implode next to me,
                                                                                             penny pinching prude if a present isn’t                                                    I don’t want to have to worry about wash-
                                                                                                                                                                                        ing my clothes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                December Issue

    DEAR ...
    Since our first issue this year, you guys have been getting in touch with emails and Facebook messages, so here are a selection in all their glory!

                                                                                                                                        Bishops and the like...
                                       od thing!
             Why YES isn’t always a go
                                                                                                                    really enjoyed reading your artic
                                                                                                                                                       le in the Freshers’ Issue of Sere
                                                                                                                    the next Bishop of Bangor (‘Ho                                        n about the election of
                                                                                                                                                     ly War!’). It was well informed
                                                                                      can be educated                  Given this, please excuse me                                      and accessibly written.
                                               could live in a world where we

                                                                                                                                                      for making one of those really
            t is a wonderful idea that we                                 and for free! Unfortunately           which must drive press edito
                                                                                                                                              rs up the wall. Your article says
                                                                                                                                                                                        hair-splitting comments
            well, get a good degr  ee, setting us up for a good life                                            no longer part of the Anglican                                     that “The Church in Wales is
                                                                                  g to be as simple.
                                              re such things are never goin                                                                     Church in Britain” This is not
            we live in the real world, whe                                                able to vote         became CONSTITUTIONALLY                                           correct. The Church in Wales
                                            stud    ents of Bangor University were                                                             SEPERATE from the Church of
           On the 16th November the                                                         forward by         own will) in 1920. We are how                                       England (largely against its
                                         student fi     nance. A petition had been put                                                           ever, very much part of the wide
      in a referendum concerning                             This shows the first problem
                                                                                               with the        Britain and around the world.
                                                                                                                                                Each provincial or national Chur
                                                                                                                                                                                     r Anglican Church, both in
      the Socialist Society of a 150                               students, the fact that a petit
                                                                                                     ion       is bound into the worldwide ‘Ang
                                                                                                                                                  lican Communion’ by a shared
                                                                                                                                                                                    ch has legal autonomy but
                                         with around 9,000
      referendum; in a University                                           osed by under 2% of the               Why am I banging on about                                           history and faith.
      that will affect the lives   of all those students can be prop                                          to avoid any impression that
                                                                                                                                                 this - what possible differenc
                                                                                                                                                                                  e could it make?! I am keen
                                           ulous.                                                                                              we are a closed or breakaway
       student population seems ridic                                                  General Meeting        in Bangor the Anglican Chap                                         faction. On the ground here
                                                 s to have been left to the first                                                              laincy on Princes Road (and
            Any debate on this issue seem                                                   n. Why this       in the city) are open not just                                   the Church in Wales churches
                                          the first      time the issue was widely know                                                        to people from Wales - or inde
       of the year, which was about                           in which anyone could have
                                                                                              come and        find people from every corner
                                                                                                                                                of Britain and from all over the
                                                                                                                                                                                 ed just to Anglicans. You will
                                          rate meeting,
       debate was not left to a sepa                              g, especially with the importan
                                                                                                   ce of      other events.                                                          world at our services and
                                               s a bit confusin
       put questions to both sides seem                                  wed too close to the General
                                               m seems to have follo
       the issue at hand. The referendu                                        informed decision.               Revd Kenneth Padley
                                          ents enough time to make an
       Meeting also, not giving stud                                            that the SU follow a            Anglican Chaplaincy (Church
             The referendum, for thos      e who missed it, proposed                                                                        Hostel)
                                                                                       and privatisation
                                            defe   nd against raising top up fees
        “Campaign to Defeat Fees” to
        of universities.                                                            Union for this. They
                                                 I do not blame the Students’
             I would just like to qualify that                            h their policies to be bent to
                                           , but had to sit and watc
        did all they could on the issue
        the will of the Socialists.                                                  and contradictions.
             The manifesto for the “Yes”
                                              campaign was filled with flaws
                                             dum     ping all student debt and all stud
                                                                                          ent fees, all at                         A rememberence rant
         Firstly the manifesto proposed                     omic crises as it is, without the
                                               ugh econ

         once! This country is going thro                         one to pick up the cheque.                         n Sunday the ninth of November, I attended the annual
                                             orities, with no
         of debt on the banks and auth                                              “Free, High quality,             Service in Bangor Cathedral with a few friends. It was a
                                                                                                                                                                              pleasant service and
                                                  osed that we should have
              Secondly, the manifesto prop                                   able to get the high quality            it was good to see a cross-section of people there, including
                                                                                                                                                                                     war veterans,
                                      .” There is no way we would be
         publicly funded education                                                ey alone. Universities      elderly people, students , active service men and women and various groups and
                                              ifesto proposes on public mon
         higher education that this man                                               tax payer’s money       representatives (including our very own SU President and
                                                                                                                                                                        Deputy president) from the
                                                 dy, without having to rely on
         are struggling with money alrea                                                                      local community. Many who attended the service then braved
                                                                                                                                                                            the rain outside at the
          to fund them.                                                                 n was even more                                                                  was good to see so many
                                                     ” campaign, the “No” campaig                             War memorial to observe a minute’s silence. I thought it
              Aside from the flaws of the “Yes                         event that has most annoyed
                                                                                                              people honouring what should be considered as one of the
                                                                                                                                                                          most important dates on
                                                  ence. This is an
          flawed, in that it was not in exist                             paign has denied students the        the calendar.
                                               of an actual “No” cam
          about the whole affair. The lack                                            ed the referendum,          However, two days later, on the actual ninetieth anniversary
                                                                                                                                                                                    of the Armistice which
                                               on the issue and so has invalidat
          ability to make a proper choice                                            the General Meeting      ended the First world War, not one of my lecturers were
                                                                                                                                                                                 wearing poppies and no
                                               m had not been so close upon
           in my opinion. If the referendu                                                                    one minute silence was scheduled for 11 am. We did have
                                                                                                                                                                                  a minute’s silence, but
                                                    a possibility.
           a “No” campaign may have been                       voted in, with only 4.2% of the
                                                                                                  Student     it had to be requested by one of the students. I was very
                                                                                                                                                                                  disappointed with this.
               Unfortun ately the “Yes” campaign was                                                 voted                                                                     g over, I think that some
                                                 . It is presuma     bly a safe bet that people               Even though my lectures were in the process of swappin
           community turning out to vote                                 rehand, and so voted for the         arrangement should have been made to make sure the silence
                                                                                                                                                                                   was, firstly, announced
                                                  issue properly befo
            without having considered the                                                                     and secondly,     actually carried out.
            pocket full of dreams.                                                     y for free and get                                                                         time that a member of
                                                 we could all come to universit                                    I also heard from a friend who was in the library at the
               It is a wonderful idea that                                                s lucky enough      staff came in to the room a few minutes before 11 to announc
                                                                                                                                                                                    e that there would be
                                                   we    have not considered ourselve
            our degrees. But it seems that                                                  ees. My Mum        a minutes silence and then again to tell them when it was
                                                                                                                                                                                time to begin. I was glad
                                                 at univ   ersity, studying for our degr
            already, with the fact we are                          as a free lunch”, despite wha
                                                                                                      t the
                                                                                                               to hear that at least someone was on the ball, but then
                                                                                                                                                                              found out that, despite the
                                              no such thing
            always taught me “There’s                                                                          good    intentions of the staff in announcing the silence, a group
                                                                                                                                                                                        of students in the
            Socialists may believe.                                                                                                                                                                 why the
                                                                                                               library continue  d to talk through it. These people might like to look up exactly
                                                                                                               silence is held. If they  are already aware what it is for, then they should have enough
             Yours sincerely,                     Note from Editor: The Students’ Union General                                                                                       the silence. It is one
                                                                                                               respect for the people that fought for their freedom to observe
                                                  Meeting is a forum for all students to attend, raise                                                                               not to stay quiet then
             Peter Cox                                                                                         minute out of your life and if someone is disrespectful enough
                                                  issues and ask questions. Both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’                                                                                shown at the Cathedral
                                                                                                               it is a pretty sad state of affairs. It’s a shame that the respect
                                                  campaigns were in attendance (the ‘No’ campaign
                                                                                                               on Sunday could not be found elsewhere in Bangor.
                                                  consisting of Wes Streeting, President of NUS and
                                                  Ben Gray, President of NUS Wales) and there was
                                                  an hour of discussion around all aspects of the                 Yours Sincerely,
                                                  referendum.                                                     Dave Lewis

                                                                                                                                    Sometimes Seren ventures out into
                                                                                                                                          the wild. See if you can spot
December Issue 2008                                                                                                                                                                                   UNION

                                                    THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK
      A day in the
        life of a
                                                                                                                                                                  FACT:                                     FACT:
                                                                                                                                                                  Eve r y year
                                                                                                                                                                £25 bil                                Up to o
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ne in th
                                                                                                                                                              spent o on is
                                                                                                                                                                      n alcoh
                                                                                                                                                                                                             are at r ee
                                                                                                                                                                                                            l relate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      isk of
                                                                                                                                  use                            in the U                                            d
                                                                                                                           skulls o d the
                                                                                                                                                                            K                              disease liver
                                                                                                                        enemie     f their
                                                                                                                               s as dr
                                                                                                                             vessels king

                                                A few words from                                                                                                                 FACT:
    2       Spencer George
           Deputy President                     Spencer George (again)...                                                                                                      Fizzy m
                                                                                                                                                                                 are abs
                                                                                                                                                                                    r into t
          Morning                                                                                                                                                                            he

                                                      hristmas, for many, is about kicking back, relaxing and                                                                     tream t

   Unlike Rob I don’t don my trainers
                                                      finding chance to socialise with friends and family. Whether its
                                                      Christmas dinner in your halls of residence, a get together in                       FACT:                                shots.

                                                the pub or a night out on the town, Christmas offers the chance to                     The No
                                                                                                                                     word fo wegian
and go for a run, instead I don my
                                                have a good time, look forward to the new year and forget about the
dressing gown and watch BBC                                                                                                                  r hango
Breakfast to catch up on the latest             hours of coursework you’ve endured in semester one.
                                                                                                                                         transla     ver
news headlines before heading into the             For the majority of students Christmas is also a time to drink and
                                                                                                                                      as ‘car    tes
                                                be merry. A glass of mulled wine here, a drop of sherry there, what                           pen
                                                                                                                                       in the h ters
Union. Bright eyed and bushy tailed I
start my day off by reading through             harm could it do? Most of the time, not a lot.
                                                   Nonetheless there will always be the minority that will use the
the copious amount of emails received
over the weekend whilst sipping a cup           festive period to drink excessively. As a result, some students may
of tea provided by the lovely ladies in         lose their inhibitions and this can lead to all sorts of potentially
the Advice Centre. A quick catch up             harmful situations. Abuse, fighting and lewd behaviour are just a few
with the other Sabbatical Officers is            examples. However the ramifications of these actions often stretch
essential before usually heading off to         far beyond the individuals involved. Whether its neighbours who are
a meeting of one sort or another.               disturbed late at night, the police officers having to break up fights or
                                                the nurse in the A&E department having to cope with a higher level of
                                                patients, their actions can often affect a large number of people.
                                                   Over the next few weeks the Students’ Union, in conjunction                                l is est
                                                                                                                                      to be re         ima
                                                with the University will be running a ‘Sensible Drinking’ campaign to
                                                                                                                                               sponsib ted
   After making time for a spot of              highlight to staff and students the consequences of excessive drinking                33,000            le for
                                                                                                                                         UK eac s in the
lunch (Either a sandwich from M&S               during the festive period and beyond.
of spaghetti hoops on toast) my                    Through various medium including Storm FM, Seren, our own                                      h year
afternoons are usually filled with               website ( and a postcard distribution
catching up on paper work and                   funded by Gwynedd Council, we hope to raise awareness to this issue.
because of my open door policy I                We are not telling staff and students to become tea total and give
usually get a number of students                up drinking over the Christmas period. We are simply encouraging
visiting to discuss various topics. I like      them to know their limits, be a conscientious drinker and to not let
to think it’s my endearing personality          their pleasure be somebody else’s pain. For more information and to
that attract students to my office               get involved with the campaign please email
rather than my tea making ability.    
Although I’m assured it’s actually the
other way round! I also make time in
the day to pop down and see Pearl

                                                  SU SENATE
and Jackie in the shop and purchase
the best chocolate bar known to man,
the Wispa!

   Like most of the sabbs I often
don’t leave the SU until late evening,
catching up on minutes and agendas
or attending meetings such as SU
Senate or University council. Most
Tuesdays I can be found presenting
the SU Quiz in the Basement (8:30pm
onwards!), otherwise I like to head
home, grab some food and relax in
front of the TV. That’s if I can get
access to the remote!

                                                          Here’s what happened at the last one:
             ark was the night, cold was the    forward, a measure that could potentially    from bureaucracy at its heart. Admitting      vision ran counter to previous e orts to    of the trumpet against the monstrous
             ground when Senate last met on     link to the War Memorial. Concerns           that budgets had not been accounted for       distance the Union from association and     regiment of Policy Lapses. Of the forty
             a chilly Tuesday in the rst week   ranged from those over the soundproof-       properly and sta ng had previously been       may put volunteers at risk. e overrid-      motions put forward only three (the
    of November.                                ing of the building; to whether or not the   misguided, she announced an improved          ing consensus however, was that the pro-    NUS Wales Communications Policy, the
        A er granting Mike Goodwin, Di-         four- oor li system presented a real im-     Trustee Board proposal.         rough the     vision should be an exception to uphold     Postgraduate Representation Policy, and
    rector of Estates and Facilities speaking   provement for disabled access at the SU,     announcements of ve ‘Focus Zones’, it         as paramount the safety of the signi cant   the Radio Station Broadcast Policy) were
    rights, he gave a comprehensive presen-     and how long students would have to put      was announced by Ms. Dalton that these        numbers of students attending the event.    kept.     e remainder were lapsed, but
    tation that put the proposed Arts and       up with a temporary shelter as nightclub.    zones would provide greater specialisa-           From this, policy motions were passed   some, such as the Closure of Gwynedd
    Innovation Centre at the head of a ten-        Following this, Katie Dalton, Women’s     tion in terms of NUS action. To this end,     that put forth Union support for the        Museum Policy, were lapsed due to irrel-
    year strategy for the estate. Mr. Goodwin   O cer for NUS Wales, spoke up about          the Autumn Extraordinary Conference           Fairtrade Society’s attempt to inculcate    evant details in the Motions themselves,
    stressed the provisional nature of the      the proposed NUS Reform, which would         (12th November) would provide a plat-         Bangor as a fully Fair Trade University     but are likely to return at future Senate in
    concepts and designs shown on the night     be referenced at Extraordinary Confer-       form to raise issues for female and mi-       as well as a motion promoting the selling   subtly re-dra ed formats.
    but among the most eye-catching were        ence (more on this later). She spoke of      nority students.                              of Organic Fairtrade Clothing on Union         People were thanked for their contri-
    proposals to link up auditorium space       how NUS Reform had been on the agen-            Up for discussion next was the provi-      premises. Following this, Alex Gordon       butions… and we’re out.
    between the theatre and the lecture halls   da since the April 2007 National Con-        sion of minibuses that was taking place       was elected as Welsh A airs Committee
    through the medium of a moving wall.        ference and that any reform would have       on the night of Carnage that night. Some      Deputy Chair.
    An increase in civic space was also put     consultation and a desire to break away      senators present raised the issue that pro-       Senate then sounded the rst blast
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stephen Davies
                                                                                                                                                                                              December Issue 2008

               ROSTRA                                                                  Conservation, Gambia style!
               DO HAMLET
       new semester means a number         ghost of Hamlet’s father behind a
       of things for the various           curtain and shining a spotlight on
       clubs and societies of the          him was absolutely genius. For an
Students’ Union, new members, new          amateur dramatic production the
challenges to face and new teams to        standard was very high, particularly
compete against; for ROSTRA a new          impressive were the characters of
intake of students and a chance to         Hamlet and the grave digger (random
host performances of classic English       I know but he injected some well
theatre.                                   needed humour into the piece.)
   ROSTRA are Bangor University’s             For those in the audience like I
oldest drama society and are well          who were very familiar with the story
known throughout the University for        of Hamlet, ROSTRA’s adaptation of
their high standard of performances        this was one of the better I have
and diversity of both comic and tragic     seen. Despite a fairly professional
play choices. Members of ROSTRA            performance the one element missing
are not only actors but are involved       from the performance was something
in many different roles within theatre,    fairly simple, a programme! I felt it
such as directors, set and costume         would have been nice to know who
designers.                                 was playing which character and to
   ROSTRA hosts a variety of               give recognition to those who worked
performances       throughout      the     behind the scenes.
academic year, including regular              The    performance     itself was

appearances at the prestigious             excellent, showcasing a wealth
Edinburgh Festival, I had high             of talent within the society, even                 his Bon re Night you may have        an organisation to help Gambians develop       It wasn’t all work as the students were
expectations of the performance.           though Hamlet’s sword snapped in                   been down at Dickies Boatyard        small businesses, and GIG (Gambia Is        able to take in Gambia’s culture through
Hamlet was no exception to their           the middle of the duel, and the body               watching reworks wrapped up          Good) taught men good farming practis-      presentations of traditional dances, music
stellar reputation of performances,        of Polonius being dragged off stage        with scarves and jackets. However, 16 Zo-    es as women in Gambia normally do the       and storytelling. Even though breakfast
hosted over two nights in JP Hall the      by his feet. Moments that probably
                                                                                      ology & Conservation students were out       manual work. ese centres also taught the    was early, they were able to eat outside by
second of their performances of this       weren’t meant to be humorous but
academic year promised to be nothing       were perceived by the audience
                                                                                      studying in Gambia. Between the 1st and      students how existing community projects    the pool with temperatures in the high 30s.
short of the dramatic sensation that       to be that way. In short a good            the 8th of November, second-year students    are run.                                    Miss Ferris chose this module because it
ROSTRA is known for, and I was most        effort by ROSTRA to communicate            studied local wildlife and visited local        According to one of the students, Lucy   “sounded like an amazing opportunity and
certainly not disappointed.                a classic piece of literature to a         community projects. is opportunity was       Ferris, Gambia is a popular conservation    it was di erent to any of the other mod-
   The piece was staged in a very          modern audience, though tragic the         part of an optional module to see how con-   destination. e 20 year old also said that   ules” as it was more hands on. e eight-
modern way, minimalistic in terms of       original text may be, parts of this        servation works in practise.                 Gambia was also good for studying hun-      day trip cost £600 and has only been run-
costume and set, however I felt that       performance implemented a certain             Everyday at 6:30, the students woke       dreds of species of birds. Tanji Bird Re-   ning for two years. It is worth it however as
this worked really well as it made for     level of comedy that made the              up to travel around Gambia and visit         serve is just one of Gambia’s parks where   Miss Ferris commented that it was “amaz-
fewer distractions for the audience        overall piece all the more enjoyable
                                                                                      conservation centres and parks. Several      someone can study these birds. Bijilo       ing all-around”.
and allowed them to focus on the           to watch.
                                                                                      farms and organisations were also educa-     Forest Park, Abuko Nature Reserve and
performance. For example the idea
                                              Bianca Murray                           tion centres. A reptile farm was in order    Matasuko are homes to a variety of birds,
                                                                                                                                                                                Frances Birkett
of putting the character playing the
                                                                                      to educate Gambians about snakes. Asset,     primates and insects.

                         Christmas for a quid (or two)
                                                        Do-it-yourself festivity
                                                year again. Christmas trees                 Romantic ideas                                       B
                e’ve arrived at that time of

                                                                                                                                               to e su
                                                               are flicking on
                are beginnin g to appear, minor celebrities
                                                                      try, and
                                  s light switches all over the coun
                                                                                                                                             pr do re
                glorified Christma                                           for                 Those   of   you     who   are
                                        d a small fortune on presents
       everyone is preparing to spen
                                                                                            romantically      involved    with
                                     t peop le are; but for students that isn’t
       friends and family. Well, mos

                                                                                                                                                  d, me
                                                                     and give               someone are generally thrown into
                                       are forced to “get creative”
       really an option. Instead, we               et.
                                                                                            a panic as December approaches
                    considerate gifts – on a budg
       thoughtful,                                                                          however, the best option is often
                                                                                            the cheapest. Try making a

                                                                                            scrapbook with photos of the two

       Chocolate                             Gingerbread Men                                of you, tickets from dates at the
                                                                                            cinema, and written anecdotes
                                                                                            of times you have shared.
                                          Instead of the usual pair of socks this           Alternatively, you could make a
                                          year, why not try baking something special        CD with their favourite songs on
        Instead of opting for the                                                           it, and play it when you are with
                                          for Dad or Grandad? Gingerbread men
     Ferrero Rocher like you do                                                             them, possibly over a homemade
                                          are delicious and really quick and easy
     every year, why not unleash                                                            meal of student favourites such as
                                          to make. And, once they are baked and
     your     inner   chocolatiere                                                          pot noodles or spam.
                                          cooled, you can decorate them to your
     and make your own box of
                                          hearts content! Biscuits and cookies have
     delight? Gather a load of
                                          the same mouth-watering effect and are
     tasty ingredients that can be
                                          sure to impress.
     covered in chocolate (nuts,
     dried fruit, pieces of toffee,
     wafers, marshmallows etc.)                                                                  Not only will you be saving
     Buy some milk, dark and                          Salt scrub                              money by making your own gifts,
                                                                                              it shows that you have really
     white chocolate. Melt in a
     bowl over some hot water                                                                 took the time to do something
                                          Got a sister who loves to pamper herself?           special. Your family and friends
     and dip your ingredients
                                          Surprise her with some home-made salt               will be well impressed and
     into the choc, one by one,
                                          scrub. You may need to buy a pretty jar to          as long as everyone is happy
     using a skewer. Place them
                                          keep it in (or wash out an old jam jar – I’ll       at Christmas, that’s all that
     on     grease-proof    paper.
                                          leave you to decide that one!). All you need        really matters. After all, it’s
     Add drizzles of chocolate
                                          is sea salt, baby oil, the scented oil of your      the thought that counts and
     for decoration and leave to
                                          choice and water. Mix a cup of sea salt with        perhaps they are the pressies
     cool! Once your chocolates
                                          half a bottle of baby oil. Add water to create      that will be remembered in a
     have cooled, you can put
                                          a malleable texture and then add as much            year to come!
     them in a box of your own
                                          scented oil as you see fit! Mix it up, pop it
     design for a really personal,
     sweet present!
                                          in the jar and hey presto – a gorgeous and              Megan Tapper &
                                          thoughtful idea that will put The Body Shop
                                          to shame!
                                                                                                  Kirsten Kennedy
December Issue 2008                                                                                                                                                FEATURES
                A Make-Up Shake Up
                                                                                                                                                                      Comedy on Tap
                                                                                                                                                                           or most students, Tuesday is
                                                                                                                                                                           usually a pretty boring night
                                                                                                                                                                           of the week, you’re either still
                                                                                                                                                                      suffering the effects from Time or
                                                                                                                                                                      gearing up for Octagon or Trash on

                                                                                                                                                                         But there is something to brighten

           What are we really putting on our skin?
                                                                                                                                                                      that dreary night spent sitting in your
                                                                                                                                                                      room, and it wont break the bank
                                                                                                                                                                      either. Paramount Comedy Night in
                                                                                                                                                                      Academi. Hosted on the last Tuesday

         omen have used make-up          largest users of make-up in Europe       cheap petrochemical by-product, “It        individually, but not when they’re       of every month Paramount Comedy
         for centuries. Millenniums,     but I bet most of us wouldn’t be         just creates a barrier, it doesn’t have    mixed together. They become              on Tap has been a staple event within
         even. In the Victorian era,     able to name one ingredient of           any benefits for the skin at all.” and      paraben cocktails, it’s a toxin          Bangor Students’ Union for many
women would apply thick white lead       our favourite moisturiser. We don’t      ‘Phalates’ a group of chemicals used       overload.”                               years.
based paint to the face to achieve       really know what we’re putting on        in nail polish and hairspray used to           So, how can we ensure that we           Comedy on Tap brings to its
the pale and delicate look deemed        our faces.                               create the ‘film’ effect, which are         stay beautiful and also healthy?         venues the brightest new comedians
‘fashionable’ in the era. Looking back      Worryingly, there is a whole host     “detrimental to skin and disruptive        As not all products that claim to        from across the British Isles; but
to those so obviously dangerous          of legal but dodgy chemicals used        to the hormones” according to              be organic actually are, look for        not only do they showcase up and
regimes today, people say “They          in even the most popular of brands.      Joanna.                                    trusted brands that bear official         coming comedians they also search
didn’t know what they were putting       As we gradually get more and more           Each of us uses, on average,            stamps of approval, for example          for the Nation’s Funniest Student, a
on their skin in those days!”. But do    aware of the nasties in our beauty       between five and fifteen products            the Soil Association symbol. The         competition that offers a prize that
we really know what toxic nasties        products, more women are switching       a day from shower gel, shampoo,            Organic Pharmacy website, www.           money just cant buy; an opportunity
may be hiding in our own beauty          over to organic products.                soap, concealers, mascara, lipstick,, provides         of guaranteed gigs with Off the
regimes?                                    But, not all products that claim to   perfume… the list goes on and so do        a list of chemicals, and their harmful   Kerb Productions and the chance to
                                                                                                                                                                      develop your very own comedy sketch
                                                                                     Many products
                                         be organic, actually are. Rachel and                                                properties, found in our make-up
    Shockingly,                          Joanna Kelly are sisters who started                                                bags and bathroom cupboards. The         with Paramount Comedy. Previous
                                                                                                                                                                      winners have performed at prestigious
   many of the
                                         their own business, Earth Mother, a
                                         store in Ramsbottom which stocks              are tested                            key is to read the ingredients list on
                                                                                                                             products and look out for them.          comedy events such as the Edinburgh

    most-used                            only certified organic products.
                                         “Many of these products are just
                                                                                    individually, but                            But what about the impact on your
                                                                                                                             bank balance? “Organic products
                                                                                                                                                                      Fringe Festival and the Comedy Store
                                                                                                                                                                      in London.

 products contain                        labelled that way, they aren’t 100%       not when they’re                          are not always more expensive.              As a regular at Comedy on Tap for
                                                                                                                                                                      me the nights are always a success.
                                                                                    mixed together.
                                         certified. All of the products we stock                                              Perhaps the most quality, certified
   carcinogens,                          have the official stamp of approval,                                                 products may cost slightly more, but     The comedians are sharp and witty,

                                                                                   They become... a
                                         completely organic and safe.” says                                                  even some of the most expensive,         even when there are hecklers in the
 which are known                         Joanna.                                                                             designer products on the market          audience, most of the stand ups are

 to cause cancer                            Shockingly, many of the nations
                                         most     used      products    contain
                                                                                     toxin overload                          contain the very same chemical
                                                                                                                             toxins as the cheap stuff. Detoxing
                                                                                                                                                                      able to work them into their act,
                                                                                                                                                                      making it all the more hilarious.
                                         carcinogens, which are known                                                        your make-up bag doesn’t have to            So when you’re sitting at home
   My Nanna was right when she           to cause cancer. One of the key          the toxins. The skin absorbs 70%           be expensive at all”, says Joanna.       staring at the four walls wondering if
told me that once you start using        ingredients to avoid, are parabens.      of what is topically applied to it, that       As more is discovered about the      the pub is a good idea, get yourself
make-up, you always will. I can’t        Parabens are preservatives that          includes nasty ingredients. Though         benefits or organic products, more        down to Academi, and for £3.50
even leave the house now without at      were introduced in the 1920s and         there may be legal guidelines on           are becoming available on the high       enjoy a night of quality entertainment
the very least a bit of mascara and      are used in all kinds of products,       how much chemical is added to              street for example, organic choices      with the possibility of a surprise
bronzer! A survey by New Woman           including food, shampoo, cosmetics       each product individually, as we           include Dr Hauschka, Korres, REN,        performance from a well known
magazine in 2006 revealed that           even baby products.                      continually apply more and more            Origins and websites such as www.        comedian from the British Comedy
British women spend £3,000 a year           Other     avoidable     ingredients   of them to our bodies, it’s unknown, www.thorganicsalon.       Circuit. But if you think you can do
on beauty products and treatments,       include ‘Parraffin Liquidem’, a           how much damage this is doing              com feature ranges of the best           better, post your clip online at www.
with 81% of women wearing make-          lubricant emolioum found in many         when combined.                             brands                          who knows
up every day. British women are the      moisturisers and creams that is a           “Many     products     are    tested                                             we may have the next Dylan Moran or
                                                                                                                              Megan Tapper                            Alan Carr in our midst.

                         Charlee’s Fashion Fix
                                                                    ell guys, it’s that time of        not as cheap as they used to be!
                                                                    year     again...Christmas    is      I have a confession, I am a bit of an
                                                                    approaching, and loans are         impulse buyer and once I fall in love with
                                                         rapidly running out! I have now got to        something, I have to have it! To cut a long
                                                        the point where I will go without food         story short, a belt, Dress and Necklace
                                                        only to save up those copper coins for         and £200 less well off later, I was a
                                                          a drink in Rascals! But it seems that        happy girl! But looking back I could
                                                          not all students will be suffering this      have played it better! Now my new
                                                           Christmas. Upon my wanderings I             FAB idea was to show you some
                                                            came across some students who              designer clothes and then show
                                                            caught my eye. (Poor things, I do          you how to get them for less than
                                                            apologise for running after you-or         half price! So, pick your favourite
                                                            scaring you!) These students seem          designer shop, I’m a sucker for
                                                            to have no worries about the current       Miss Sixty. Pick your Item, and then
                                                             credit crisis, and are still happy to     look on the websites of high street
                                                               shop at their favourite shops, from     shops and search for a match.
                                                               Topshop to Burton. This gave me            No more skinnies!
                                                               a new idea for this issues article, I      I can’t tell you how happy I am
                                                              think it’s fantastic that the students   to announce that Skinny Jeans are
                                                           I nabbed care about Fashion and want        finally OUT of fashion. No more do we
                                                         to look good, but even me, a complete         have to hold up our trousers when we
                                                       shopaholic (yes I admit it) needs to cut        bend over, or be paranoid that there might
                                                       down on the spending, but this doesn’t          be a hole in the crotch area. So tuck into
                                                       mean we can’t look fashionable! First of        those Christmas Turkeys! Flares are back
                                                       all let me introduce you to my victims and      and there back with a vengeance! Bring on
                                                       where they like to shop...                      the soggy jeans in the wet whether!
                                                           Notice how they ALL have chosen top            A big thank you to this issue’s models,
                                                        high street shops?! I asked them how           and who knows...Next time it could be
                                                        much the maximum they would spend              you!
                                                        on an outfit and they told me it would be          Have a great Christmas and a Happy
                                                       around £50. Now I’m sure this is pretty         New Year!
                                                       normal to the rest of you as clothes are
                                         This issue A
                                                      isling Mcken
                                        invited us to              na kindly
THROUGH                                                witness the
             THE                        festive joy th             hub of
                                                       at is her Ffr
                                        bedroom.                     idd site

                                       If you have tr
                                       mess to imp
                                                      affic cones g
                                                    ress get in to
                                                                    alore or

                                                                                              Seren Mugs
                                                                                               Hand painted by
                                                                                               us for
                                                                                               you! Get
                                                                                               own for
                                                                                               guarantees the
                                                                             ol or             best brew you’ve
                                                            Graffiti isn’t co
                                                                clever, kids                   ever had.

                                                                                                How many do
                                                                                                we have in this
                                                                                                issue? It takes
                                                                                                the Ffridd.

                                Yes this tree
                                                                                               Kaiser Chiefs
                                              is real and
                                no her warde
                                               n doesn’t
                                    know it’s ther
                                                                                               Just when you
                                                                                               think its safe to
 A bathroom Christmas present
                                                                                               listen to Radio
                                                                                               1 they’re back
                                                                                               with a brand
                                                                                               new single!
                                              Is this you? Do you know who it is?              Great.

                                              If so, then get in touch and you’ll win a
                                              HANDPAINTED SEREN MUG!                            Spam
                                              What more could you want?                         Emails
                                                                                                Inbox full of
                                                                                                because of the
                                              Last Month                                        unacceptable
                                                         ’s W inner :                               levels of



                                                                               is with the
                                                                               first ever
                                                                               Seren mug

                                  SEREN STUDENT CENTREFOLD
The guide to a student Yuletide
       hristmas is a time for           at home. Your parents may be           you. Twiglets, sweets, crisps, Coke      and give you money at Christmas,
       goodwill to all mankind,         annoying ringing you while you’re      with Santa on the bottle. These          which enables you to enjoy life
       unless you live in one of        partying hard and not working at       savoury snacks and bottomless tins       frivolously     throughout January
those families when at Christmas        university, but they care and that     of dairy fudge should see you well       until you hit a poverty stricken
the embarrassing <insert relative       200 quid you needed for a course       into February!                           February. So whatever you do be
here> turns up, drinks too much         trip because you spent all your           Booze, (for those of you who          charming, smile and pretend those
and decides to tell you stories about   money on a games console didn’t        don’t drink replace with the             socks from Aunty Mavis are the
the sixties and that time they met
<generic celebrity here> at a disco
                                        come from nowhere. They bailed
                                        you out so you owe them. The least
                                                                               equivalent in J2Os) essentially your
                                                                               parents will be having parties, but
                                                                                                                        best thing since sliced bread.
                                                                                                                            All that’s left to say is Merry
                                                                                                                                                                     Tom Panah
in London. Or instead of freaking       you could really do is be pleasant,    they don’t normally drink (not by        Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza        or
out due to being stuck at home          don’t take their lovely money for      our standards anyway) so they            whatever holiday you celebrate
with the family (despite how much       granted! (You shallow individual,      buy the 3 for a twenty quid boxes        and make the most of fresh clothes
you love and adore them, grate on       you)                                   of Stella or Carling. Guaranteed         and home-cooked food, ‘cause in
you when you’re in close proximity         Food. There are always tins         there will be a box spare and will       January its back to Bangor for hard
for too long) use this handy guide      of Celebrations, Roses and other       be given to you so you can take it       work... or partying, your call!
to maximise your Christmas and          various    packaged    Christmassy     back to university, thanks mum and
help you enjoy all the festivities.     goods that wont last until the next    dad! Relatives, don’t annoy them.          Dwight McCarthy
   Firstly, appreciate the time spent   yuletide, so mum will give them to     They send you care packages

                                                                                                                        They a
 Bangor’s unsung heroes!                                                                                                       ffe
                                                                                                                       on a da ct your life
                                                                                                                         do you
                                                                                                                               ily basi
                                                                                                                                        s, b
                                                            By Rhodri Barker                                                     really k ut
                                                                                                                      enough             now
                                                                                                                               about t                              Birthday:
                                                                      ouncers, it seems, generally get a
                                                                                                                 toilets                                            10th February

                  Got any
                                                                      bad rap. The image of the uptight,
                                                                                                                 or bars, helping
                                                                      heavy-handed    meathead
                                                              which regrettably persists amongst the
                                                                                                     is   one
                                                                                                                 to find lost items, or dealing with                 Hometown:
                                                              general public. But really, these men and          injuries (Paul himself witnessed the terrifying    Kidderminster

                  ID love?
                                                                                                                 stairwell fall at Trash). You know when you’re
                                                              women aren’t out to ruin your night. Quite
                                                              the opposite, as I found out during a night        ‘the sober one’ and all your friends are           Studying:
                                                              manning the doors and dance floors of               crying/puking/falling over/talking complete        History
                                                                                                                 rubbish? Remember how annoying that is?
                                                                  In fact, they’d prefer it if you didn’t call   Imagine doing it most nights of the week,          Year:
                                                              them ‘bouncers’ at all. The term is seen as        but your friends number five hundred. “If a         Second
                                                              outdated, a hangover from the days when            fight starts, you’ve not done your job”, says
                                                              men were employed purely as ‘muscle’.              Paul, emphasising the pre-emptive element
                                                                                                                 needed for effective security. At the first
                                                                 “‘Bouncer’ will always stick, unfortunately,
                                                                                                                 signs of trouble, door staff will move swiftly    A lot of metal and rock
                                                              but we prefer ‘door staff’”, says Paul Maclean,
                                                              head doorman at Academi. The ‘door staff’          and inconspicuously to nip it in the bud. “As
                                                                                                                 a doorman, you’re somebody’s dad, you’re
                                                              of today are a much more professional
                                                                                                                 a social worker, you’re a policeman, you’re       American Beauty
                                                              outfit, highly trained and legislated (“rightly
                                                              so”, as Paul points out), and with their own       a vicar – during the night I’m wearing all of     Ironman
                                                                                                                 those hats, trust me”, says Paul.
                                                              regulatory body, the Security Industry
                                                                                                                    Of course, sometimes things get more
                                                              Authority. The industry has even adopted
                                                              management-speak: door staff are engaged           serious. Paul told me of his worst experiences:   The Notebook
                                                              in ‘customer care’, ‘damage limitation’ and        “When the rave scene first started, you had
                                                                                                                 a lot of rival drugs gangs bidding for control    Groups:
                                                              ‘conflict management’.
                                                                 That’s not to say that any of the               of the Octagon, and they’d turn their anger       I hate walking up bitch
                                                              doorman’s charm has disappeared. There             on the door staff; our vehicles were getting      hill, Jeremy Clarkson
                                                                                                                 smashed, we were getting followed home.
                                                              remains plenty of banter and I lose count
                                                                                                                 One night, a group of guys from a certain         should be prime minis-
                                                              of the number of times customers rub Paul’s
                                                              head (must be good luck, I guess).                 area appeared outside the Octagon mob-            ter
                                                                                                                 handed, they actually had a machete with
                                                                 The affection is clearly mutual. Paul, who
                                                                                                                                                                   The anti-daily mail coa-
                                                              also works in security at the University,
                                                               speaks fondly of the students: “Certain              His proudest moment is no less scary:          lition, Bangor history
                                                                people in Bangor can be very narrow-             “Outside the Octagon one night, I saw a           students – we may be
                                                                                                                 guy drop to his knees out of the corner of
                                                                 minded, but here you’ve got people from
                                                                                                                 my eye. He hadn’t been in the club that           geeky but at least we
                                                                  all over Britain. That’s why it’s great to
                                                                  work in that environment.” Tonight, that       night, but I went over, and the guy was in        do a real subject.
                                                                  culture mainly involves drinking VK and        a pool of blood. They reckon he’d lost two
                                                                  dancing to Sum 41, but it’s heartening         pints of blood, after he’d been smashed
                                                                  to     see
                                                                                genuine      bouncer-student     against a car headlight. The side of his face
                                                                                                                 was hanging off. The paramedics said if we        Tom’s acceptance
                                                                   It’s in the doorman’s interest to make        hadn’t acted as we did, he would have died
                                                                                                                 from loss of blood.” Keeping a dying man

                                                              sure you have the best possible night, and
                                                              that’s exactly what they do. According to          alive – customer care doesn’t get much                Cool!    I’m
                                                                                                                                                                                      honoured    to
                                                              Paul, ninety-nine per cent of this involves        more extreme than that.                               be Seren’s friend of the

   This               n
                                                              ‘customer      care’;    directing people to                                                         month! It’s good to know
                                                                                                                                                                   government’s money is bein


                                                                                                                                                                   well spent and all my hour
                                                                                                                                                                                               s of
                                                                                                                                                                   watching Scrubs and Holly

                                                                                                                                                                   have finally paid off!

       Ac adem       curity
        hea d of s                                                                                                                                                  Fancy a bit of
                                                                                                                                                                   this? Add us on
                                                                                                                                                                   Facebook to be
                                                                                                                                                                    in the running
                                                                                                                                                                     next month!

                                  SEREN STUDENT CENTREFOLD
                                                                                                                                                                                                December Issue 2008

                                                                                                                                                              This year, Seren’s
                                                                                                                                                         roving reporter, Willow
                                                                                                                                                          Manuel, is dedicating
                                                                                                                                                        some time to trying out
                                                                                                                                                     Union clubs and societies.
                                                                                                                                                                    Here’s what
                                                                                                                                                      happened when she went
                                                                                                                                                        for Women’s Rugby and
                                                                                                                                                        Medieval Reenactment

                                                                                                                                                                                  All photos of Willow
                                                                                                                                                                                    in action taken by
                                                                                                                                                                                         Helen Waller

Women’ s Rugby Reenactment
                                     iversity’s least likely
                                                             all girls Rugby conten
                                                                                       ders I decided to rise
                                                                                                              to the
                                                                                          ge of societies on offe
                                                                                                                  r in     T     he first rule of medieval
                                                                                                                                 re-enactment is that you do not talk about medieval re-enactment, the

       erhaps one of Bangor                                     a few of the wide ran                              n.
                                        editor, of trying out                                Rugby taster sessio           second rule of medieval           re-enactment is that you do not talk about medieval
       challenge set to me
                               by the                                 went to the all girls
                                              bull by the horns I                                no muddy scrums,          re-enactment      and    the         third rule is that there are no rules.
       Bangor Un iversity. Grabbing the                                   ter session hence
                                                    ing during the tas                            p two balls on the          I received quite a shock              when I discovered that medieval re-
                           ent it was not rain                             l skills (always kee
    To my disappointm                             n we learnt basic bal                                   Rugby field       enactment was actually about               sword fighting and not about dressing up,
                        g the training sessio                                 les sons not just on the
 unfortunately. Durin                                   which are valuable                                   sped or
                           slip ) and tackling skills                           a hal f, none of which I gra               I began to feel slightly unnerved              when an email from the medieval re-
 hand...oops Freudian             rning the basics for
                                                         about an hour and                 rules and only realise
                                                                                                                  d in     enactment secretary stated that he                looked forward to fighting me and
 but in life as well. Aft
                          er lea                                 I was at a loss to the
                       an actual Rug     by game. However                                                                  am now getting slightly curious as to why            the societies suggested
 mastered, we play                                 k and run forward.                           Rugby experience.
                                                                                                                      It   by the editor involve incredible risk...
                       t we had to throw bac                            enjoyed my all girls
 the last second tha                         hin dsight I thoroughly                               topless).                  I never thought that my youth spent as an               air-cadet would
     Battered, tac kled and bruised in                people (and watch    ing Rugby lads play
                          ping fit, meeting new                                                                             come in useful again; I thought even less that it             would come
  is a great way of kee                                                                                                    in handy for a session of medieval re-enactment;                 however
                                                                                                                           we started off the session with some knee-bending                  with a
                                                                                                                           stave (marching with a big stick). This seemed relatively
                                                                                                                           harmless, despite the fact that we were preparing for battle,
                                                                                                                           but someone did get hit on the head with a big spear.
                                                                                                                              Following this we had a civilised tea break and I was dressed
                                                                                                                           up as a skirmisher (warrior in a big hat), seven stone heavier
                                                                                                                           from a chain vest and metal gloves I commenced my lessons
                                                                                                                           in sword fighting looking somewhat like a hobbit. During my
                                                                                                                           lesson of sword fighting I learnt not to hit the opponent on
                                                                                                                           the head. This was followed by another tea break after which
                                                                                                                           everyone battled amongst themselves using pick axes, swords,
                                                                                                                           knives... however I have been urged by the medieval re-enactment
                                                                                                                           society to state that this society does not promote violence at all.
                                                                                                                           The holes in the floor were also apparently caused by the flower
                                                                                                                           arranging society who also use the community centre.

                                                                                                                                   “I commenced my lessons
                                                                                                                                    in sword fighting looking
                                                                                                                                    somewhat like a hobbit”
                                                                                                                              After people had been bashed across the face or head and
“I only realised in the last                                                                                               I had only lost one limb we ended our three hour medieval
                             second that                                                                                   re-enactment session. I found it really fun, if not somewhat

we had to throw back and                                                                                                   dangerous and I received a very good reception from everyone in           the

                             run forward”                                                                                  society and would thoroughly recommend this society, particularly if you suffer
                                                                                                                           from stress...
December Issue 2008                                                                                                        UPDATE
                                                                                                              Moulin Rouge Nigh        of suits, bowler hat
                                                                                                                                                                s, corsets, feathers,
                                                                                                                                                                                         fish net tights

                                                                                                                  magine a room full                                                       ed Student
                                                                                                                                                                   any one who attend
                                                                                                                                        course this is what                                  With the
                                                                                                                  and high heels. Of                                   e been a part of.
                                                                                                                                            SIN night would hav                                  st on
                                                                                                                      unteering Bangor’s                                  French boudoir twi
                                                                                                                  Vol                           ge, the night put a
                                                                                                              raunchy   theme of Moulin Rou                      ranged from     sexy lingerie, to a
                                                                                                                                     demi. The costumes                            spectacular and
                                                                                                              the ever-faithful Aca                       every costume was
                                                                                                                               e and cane, each and                                     nce Club
                                                                                                              floor length cap                                   a great night. The Da
                                                                                                                                    od for what was to be                                    the
                                                                                                              definitely set the mo                                 oyed by everyone, and
                                                                                                                                         night, which was enj                               club
                                                                                                               did a display during the                           dy  Marmalade’ got the
                                                                                                                                       tune for the night ‘La
                                                                                                               always-popular theme                dirty.
                                                                                                               bouncing   and getting down and                     year raising an eno

  SVB Project profile:
                                                                                                                                         successful than last                       jects such
                                                                                                                   The night was more                     towards the SVB pro
                                                                                                                                  £880 which will go                                  Out and
                                                                                                                                                            ‘Splat and Splodge’,
                                                                                                                                   as children’s club’s                                 . Each

   BeSaturday h , National Trust clean
                                                                                                                                                                RAG to name a few
                                                                                                                                    About, Tea Party and

     n ac 16th
                                                                                                                                                             t in peo  ples lives and so any
                                                                                                                                     project plays a par

                                                                                                                                      extra help is gratefully             ded to everyone
            November        the                                                                                                           Lastly a BIG thank you is nee
                                                                                                                                                                                the night
            Beach        Clean                                                                                                          who helped     before, on and after
                                                                                                                                                                                      d by
                                                                                                                                            and their effo    rts were appreciate
    project leaders took a
    group of volunteers on a                                                                                                                   everyone who
    mission rather different                                                                                                                    attended.
    to that which they are
    used to. No sand, no
    sea, no rubbish? What
    were we thinking?
         Instead,            we
     chopped down invasive
     Rhododendron          from
     taking over the beautiful
     mountains of Snowdonia.
     Since many hundreds of                                             native Welsh plants
                                      ish species has driven out the
     years ago the fast growing Turk                                                plant was
                                    near Crafl  wyn Estate in Beddgelert. The
     that covered the mountains                       Gardens of a near by Manor but
                                     planted in the
      supposed to stay where it was                        ability to germinate.
                                     due to its superior
      quickly covered the local area                                        and that’s where
                                          Trust site is being replenished
          Craflwyn Estate, now a National                            with bow saws in hand,
      we, Bangor University, com  e in. A group 11 strong went
                                                                      ping these GIGANTIC
                                    and quickly went about chop
      not the usual litter pickers,
                                     day arou  nd a lovely warm fire.
      beasts down and had a great                                         of leaving the sea
                                         Beach Cleaners are thinking
          So much fun was had that us                       Trust to bring back the roots
                                        with the National
       air a bit more often by working                         Cleans will still be organised,
                                     forgetting ours, Beach
       North Wales.But, we won’t be
       so we hope to see you there.

                                                                                         What can clubs and societies offer me?
   CWPAN NADOLIG                                                                                 What do clubs do?
                                                                                                                                                                 Clubs & socie
                                                                                                                                                                                ties play a vi
                                                                                                                                                                to get stuck                   tal role in al
                                                                                                                                                                                into the socia                lowing you
                                                                                                                                                                involved w                       l scene and
                                                                                                                                                                            ith your St                           become
                                                                                                                                                               all every clu               udents’ Un
                                                                                                                                                                              b & society                 ion. Best of
                                                                                                                                                               everyone;                      is open to
                                                                                                                                                                           whether an                        absolutely

  5-A-SIDE FOOTBALL                                                                                                                                            proficient ac
                                                                                                                                                               novice, ther
                                                                                                                                                                              tor, rugby
                                                                                                                                                                            e’ll be somet
                                                                                                                                                                                            amateur ph
                                                                                                                                                                                             veteran or
                                                                                                                                                                                           hing that ap

      XMAS CUP
                                                                                                                                                           What do societies do?
               07/12/08                                                                    Clubs are part of the Athletic
                                                                                           looking to compete or take part
                                                                                                                            Union; whether you’re

    10yb/am, Maes Glas
                                                                                                                             purely for recreational
                                                                                           purposes, then you’ll find som
                                                                                                                          ething to suit you! Many
                                                                                           of our clubs compete regularly
                                                                                                                          against other university
                                                                                          teams on Wednesday afternoon
                                                                                                                             s, whilst others enjoy
                                                                                          our unique location at the foot
                                                                                                                            of Snowdonia National
                                                                                          Park. Club activities provide
     £1 y                                                    £1 per                       chance to meet new people and
                                                                                          for life.
                                                                                                                           social opportunities, a
                                                                                                                             perhaps make friends

    person                                                   person                       How to join...?
                                                                                                                                                                                            e of the Athletic Union
                                                                                                                                        check out the      So you’ve taken a fancy to som
 Gwobrau i’r                                         Prizes for                           Get on to www.bang
                                                                                          lists of societies
                                                                                                             and clubs, then get
                                                                                                                                  in touch with them
                                                                                                                                       ernatively you
                                                                                                                                                           clubs but what abou
                                                                                                                                                           the AU sets the spor
                                                                                                                                                                                t the non-sporty societies? Whil
                                                                                                                                                                                   ting scene, there are over
                                                                                                                t details listed. Alt                                                      wide-range of activities
tim buddugol                                        the winners                           through the contac
                                                                                          can pop into the SU
                                                                                                                 and speak to Tom Hecht
                                                                                                                                                 ) and
                                                                                                                                                           societies at Bangor offering a
                                                                                                                                                               you to get involved with.
                                                                                                                 or Rob  Samuel (AU President              for
                                                                                           and Events Officer)               t direction.
                                                                                                                in the righ
                                                                                           they can point you
        Cofrestrwch eich tim ymlaen llaw drwy anfon e-bost at
                Enter your team in advance by emailing

                                                                                                                                                                                               December Issue 2008

Snow Patrol -
  A Hundred Million Suns
                                                                                              Girls Aloud -
                                                                                             Out Of Control
                                                                                                   ou’re gonna make me make
                                                                                                   me love you - yeah you are!
                                                                                                   Girls Aloud return with their
                                                                                             fifth studio album Out Of Control
                                                                                             and show us why they’re still the
                                                                                             biggest girl band currently around,
                                                                                             and rightly so. You’ve heard ‘The
                                                                                             Promise’, you know: went to
                                                                                             number for a few weeks, possibly
                                                                                             the catchiest song of the year and
                                                                                             best song on the album, but that
                                                                                             doesn’t mean the rest is rubbish.
                                                                                             ‘The Loving Kind aka Call The Shots
                                                                                             part two’ features glistening vocals
                                                                                             and a laid back feel, a song you
                                                                                             could relax to yet maybe even dance

                                                   not what most people would associ-        to. ‘Love Is The Key’ kicks off with a
         Hundred Million Suns for me has
                                                                                             male church choir and then Sarah’s
         been one of the most anticipated      ate with the band, however this is much
                                                                                             voice kicks in, full of attitude and
         albums of 2008. Still riding high     the case for most of the album; songs like    smart vocals, with another catchy
on the success of their two previous studio    ‘If ere’s a Rocket Tie Me To It’ is very      chorus that’ll have you singing it
albums Eyes Open and Final Straw this          much classic Snow Patrol of slow ballads      forever. ‘Untouchable’ is stolen by
album had a lot to live up to. With Eyes       like ‘Chasing Cars’. But other tracks such    Nicola, often overlooked by other
Open selling 4.7 million copies and Final      as ‘Please Just Take       ese Photos From    members; it’s hard to dislike her
Straw going four times platinum in the UK,     My Hands’ and ‘Disaster Buttons’ see the      voice which is soft, beautiful and
as well as the established success in the UK   band branching out of their comfort zone      very addictive. ‘Live In The Country’
                                               and producing some quality songs that will    has been described as being Drum
the band have also enjoyed widespread
                                                                                             ‘N’ Bass. It’s not. Dodgy lyrics and
success in the USA with the song ‘Chas-        without a doubt have earned their places
                                                                                             weird farm animal noises means this
ing Cars’ being featured in a number of big      rmly on their set list for their upcoming   is the weakest song on the album.
American dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy         UK tour starting in February. From me this    However this is a little distraction
which earned them a Grammy nomination.         album gets 10/10, ve stars and everything     from what is an excellent album,
   ey are without a doubt one of the most      else in between. Songs to skip to are ‘Take   all five members proudly show their
successful bands to come out of Northern       Back the City’ and ‘Take ese Photos’, for     pitch perfect voices over addictive
Ireland, rivaling success of bands like Ash.   more of the Snow Patrol you’re used to try    pop tunes, and the 60’s feel in some
    For any Snow Patrol fan this album is      ‘If ere’s A Rocket’. So folks if you only     songs works wonders, a definite buy
                                               ask for one album this Christmas, A Hun-      and a well deserved number one
most de nitely not a disappointment, still
characterised by their trademark style their   dred Million Suns is de nitely the one to
third major studio album manages to have       ask for.
a di erent edge to it.    e rst single taken                                                   Aaron Wiles
from the new album ‘Take Back the City’ is      Bianca Murray

  Razorlight - Slipway                                                                                                                                                                         Decade
  Fires            R
                                                                                                    azorlight’s Johnny Borrell is
                                                                                                    no stranger to hyperbole,
                                                                                                    his criminal record including
                                                                                                                                       with the next track supporting this
                                                                                                                                       thought. However ‘London Trash’
                                                                                                                                       returns to unusual waters and an
                                                                                                                                                                                        fter sticking it out for well
                                                                                                                                                                                        over ten years now at the
                                                                                                                                                                                        pinnacle of post-Oasis Britrock,
                                                                                                                                                                                 Stereophonics have decided to mark
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           of th
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the f
                                                                                             claiming to be a better singer/           odd Clash hybrid, which leaves you        their glittering career so far with a     could
                                                                                             songwriter than Bob Dylan and             feeling that something is slightly        ‘Best Of’ collection, entitled Decade     the S
                                                                                             declaring himself a genius. However,      lacking, a theme that resonates           in the Sun. The compilation includes      nume
                                                                                             behind all the pomp and arrogance         throughout the following tracks.          hits from all six studio albums           listin
                                                                                             on show you have to admire                This is an album at war with itself,      released by the band since 1997,          grow
                                                                                             Razorlight’s capabilities displayed       you want to like it, but it presents      plus two new tracks that manage to        both
                                                                                             on their first album, full of ripping      you with too many problems and            stand up next to the countless huge       anthe
                                                                                             guitar and catchy numbers such            contradictions. For instance whilst       anthems included, if only just. As an     mom
                                                                                             as ‘Stumble and Fall’, which placed       apparently seeking to be original         owner of the whole Stereophonic’s
                                                                                             them as a firm favourite with the          and innovative it adopts too many         studio back catalogue, I was pleased      “
                                                                                             indie crowd. Indeed their second          styles of times bands gone by. The        to hear pretty much every big hit I       heav
                                                                                             album proved they were no one             indie edge which established them         could think of by the band, and for
                                                                                             trick ponies offering mature if more      so well is gone for the main part         anyone who has been living under          stran
                                                                                             pop orientated song writing, shifting     despite some gems in ‘You and The         a rock for the last ten years or so,      Jone
                                                                                             over a million copies to boot. So         Rest’ and ‘Burberry Blue Eyes’, but       this album will definitely suffice in
                                                                                             it’s with much anticipation that          even these tracks sound watered           introducing you to the band’s sound           Th
                                                                                             Slipway Fires arrives, with one early     down. Songs which contain great           and their best known tunes from           to so
                                                                                             reviewer (one J. Borrell) stating “it’s   melodies are tainted with lines           over the years. You definitely can’t       medl
                                                                                             sounding f***ing brilliant!”.             about a hot-bodied girlfriend who         accuse this album of not doing what       and
                                                                                                               The album opener        helps me spend my cash and other          it says on the tin, and in this respect   argu
                                                                                             ‘Wire to Wire’ displays a further         questionable lyrics.                      this undoubtedly is the definitive         punc
                                                                                             removal from previous albums than               Slipway Fires is not a terrible     Stereophonics ‘Best Of’ if you’re         Vest’
                                                                                             perhaps expected, although this           album, but everytime it looks like        looking fundamentally at the band’s       Thief
                                                                                             isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The        waking you up it seems to fall short,     success in the charts and their most      with
                                                                                             mixture of melodic piano and the          indeed ‘The House’ sees the album         memorable tunes.                          the a
                                                                                             desperate cry of I’ve been looking        end with a whimper. This could’ve             The album kicks off with ‘Dakota’,    clash
                                                                                             for someone to believe in/Love me,        been the album to propel Razorlight       Stereophonics’ only single to reach       Jone
                                                                                             again and again certainly make for        to greatness, you feel it wants to        number one on the UK charts, and              Fr
                                                                                             a striking and profound opening.          be an album like U2’s The Joshua          again fans who have followed the          stard
                                                                                             After the first two slow burners we        Tree, but in the end it leaves all but    band since their early days may be        villag
                                                                                             get a welcome shift of pace and           the ardent fan longing for the old        disappointed that their Best Of should    Stere
                                                                                             reminiscing of the band’s indie roots     simplistic catchyness of ‘Rip It Up’      begin with a post-Stuart Cable song,      the S
                                                                                             appears to be in evidence with the        and co.                                   as the long departed original drummer     one o
                                                                                             riff laden ‘You and the Rest’, one                                                  played a vital part in shaping the        last
                                                                                             of the highlights of the album,                                                     band’s sound and cementing them           conti
                                                                                                                                        Liam Randall                             as one of the biggest acts in the UK;     back
                                                                                                                                                                                 however Cable is deservingly well         relea
                                                                                                                                                                                 represented throughout the rest of
                                                                                                                                                                                 Decade in the Sun, with all but six         Ja
            December Issue 2008
           Chairlift –         Leadbelly -
              Does You Inspire The Blues and Much
                               Much More
                                                                                                         ometimes I drift
                                        C                                                                into some of the
                                                                                                         more        obscure
                                                                                                                                                                                      Justice - A Cross The
                                                                                                                                  Rev um
                                                                                                 realms of musical history,
                                                                                                 and root through the                                                                 Universe
                                                                                                 cracks and crevices of               iew
                                                                                                 old blues from as early                                                              Right now Justice seems to be
                                                                                                 as twentieth century                                                                 doing to dance music what the
                                                                                                 America. This is how                                                                 punk movement did to guitar
                                                                                                 I came across Huddie                                                                 music, except a whole bunch
                                                                                                 William          Ledbetter,                                                          more stylish (though both feature
                                                                                                 known to his peers as                                                                leather jackets). The live CD half
                                                                                                 ‘Leadbelly,’ who is one                                                              of this CD and DVD package is well
                                                                                                 of my favorite all time                                                              worth it if you are a fan of french
                                                                                                 blues and slide guitarist                                                            electro have enjoyed the similar
                                                                                                 from this period.                                                                    live mixing heard on Daft Punk’s
                                                                                                     Admittedly, it’s not                                                             Alive 2007. It does as much justice
                                                                                                 often that I do spare the                                                            (pun slightly intended) to the
                                                                                                 time to even begin to                                                                atmosphere of a real Justice show
                                                                                                 look into the past of an                                                             as an audio recording can possibly
                                                                                                 old      not-so-well-known                                                           achieve. Their frantic overdriven
                                                                                                 musician, but with a                                                                 DJing style makes things exciting
                                                                                                 nickname like Leadbelly, I                 background that makes his music           and big tunes like ‘We Are Your
                                                                                                 could hardly resist. Legend has it, that   so full of it. On some of his lesser      Friends’ and ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ bring the
                                                                                                 his name was coined after being shot       known tracks the only instrument          fun into their mashed-up set. The

                  his trio from Brooklyn set out to   electronic feel about it.                  in the gut as many as three times, but     present is his moody deep voice.          DVD is not actually a video version
                  make music for haunted houses           On their MySpace they cite             still lived to tell the tail. A somewhat   It is however his unique, delicate        of the concert but a documentary
                  so not surprisingly their debut     ultraviolet, fantasia and sitting on       different type of character from the       underwater-like slide tone that really    of their 3 week tour in America
           album has a bit of a creepy feel to it,    the floor as influences which gives          front men of today’s indie orientated      bends my ear drums. Tracks Like ‘CC       earlier this year. Heavy drinking,
           but that’s definitely not a bad thing.      you some idea of the bizarre and           music scene don’t you think?               Rider’ and ‘You Don’t Know My Mind,’      sex, mansions, fights, guns, police,
           The first single ‘Bruises’ is known         playful attitude of the album. It’s              Other interesting anecdotes and      would seem so timeless if it wasn’t       and even Las Vegas weddings all
           for the catchy chorus I tried to do        definitely a good start and the band        urban myths about the artist include       for the poorer recording quality they     feature, so if you thought it was
           handstands for you which shows the         made an appearance on a 6 Music            him murdering several people and           had back in the nineteen hundreds.        just rock bands that got up to all
           poppy, upbeat side to the album.           hub session as well as being featured      also being released from jail from a            Any wannabe blues guitarist of       the crazy antics then Justice prove
           ‘Evident Utensil’ is another happy one     in The Guardian, possibly because of       murder sentence after serving only         today should definitely listen to the      that DJs can do it even better.
           with good lyrics and a beat which will     its accessibility. It’s not a hard album   seven years, because he wrote a song       multi-talented, slightly mysterious and   It’s interesting, cool, a little dark,
           have your head bobbing as you listen       to get into, especially if you like        to the prison guard, pleading for his      dangerous Leadbelly and embrace his       confusing, excessive, and you
           to it. Songs like ‘Don’t Give A Damn’      Yeasayer, Camera Obscura, Voxtrot          release. There is no question though,      music, but not so much his lifestyle...   won’t be able to take you eyes off it.
           and ‘Territory’ have an eerier feel and    or Lykki Li.                               despite all the shards of bullets that     Hell! give him a listen even if you’re
                                                                                                 he may have had in his stomach,
           ‘Earwig Town’ is enough to make you                                                                                              not. You won’t be disappointed.
           squirm. You can hear undertones of                                                    Leadbelly sure did have a lot of soul.
           The Cure and 80’s pop throughout            Georgia Mannion                           Sometimes I feel that in a way, it
                                                                                                                                             Tom Durkin                               Kitsune Maison -
           and generally the album has a warm,                                                   is this dark and rather harrowing
                                                                                                                                                                                      Compilation 6

           phonics                                                           Christmas Songs                                                                                          W
                                                                                                                                                                                               hen you’ve exhausted
                                                                                                                                                                                               every mp3 blog on your
                                                                                                                                                                                               favourites list but still

           in the Sun                                                                                                                                                                 can’t stop trying to find amazing
                                                                                                                                                                                      music that no-one has heard of
                                                                                                                                                                                      yet (someone is counting the indie
                                                                                                                                                                                      points, right?) then trust Kitsune
    well   of the twenty hits included being                                                                                                                                          to sort you out with a truckload
 t the     from his time in the band. Despite

                                                                                                                                                                                      of it with every new compilation
 trock,    the fact that ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ and                  hristmas is only a few weeks away, not that I’m countingof course…so is it ok to listen to                             they make. Last time around you
  mark     ‘Superman’ (tracks six and seven),                  Christmas music yet? If you’re anything like me you’re too poor to spend much time in shops                            may have been lucky enough
with a     couldn’t be more different, Decade in               these days so you’ve narrowly escaped the onslaughts of Cliff Richard, Slade and Wizzard thats                         to have heard Foals and Crystal
 ecade     the Sun still flows effortlessly despite                                                                                                                                    Castles months before they hit
                                                         been going on since early September.
cludes     numerous instances of unusual track                                                                                                                                        the front pages of the NME so rest
 lbums     listing, bound by Kelly Jones’ raw            Starbucks have cracked out their gingerbread latte and there are more xbox game adverts on TV
                                                                                                                                                                                      assured some of the talent here
 1997,     growl that he applies eloquently              than ever before it seems. Maybe it is time to prepare for the build up? The obligatory and traumatic
                                                                                                                                                                                      is destined for recognition soon.
age to     both to the band’s straight-up guitar         shopping trips, spending time with doddery relatives, being force fed Christmas cake (“Mum I don’t                           Personal highlights include young
   huge    anthems and their more mellow                 like marzipan! Aaah!”). If ‘White Christmas’ does to you what it does to me (convulsions and nausea)                         Ladyhawke-in-waiting La Roux,
  As an    moments.                                      then you need a completely new soundtrack to get you through the next few weeks of inevitable glad                           the ever amazing Digitalism, a
  onic’s                                                 tidings and good will to all men (even Russel Brand and Jonathan Ross).
           “...the ambience and                                                                                                                                                       very dancable song from We Have
                                                                                                                                                                                      Band (my bet on whats going
g hit I    heavy production clashing                     Georgia Mannion                                                                                                              to be everywhere in the near
nd for     strangely yet brilliantly with                                                                                                                                             future) and the post-Alice Glass
 under                                                                                                                                                                                pixalated candy sweetness of
 or so,    Jones’ voice...”                                                                                                                                                           HEARTSREVOLUTION.
fice in         The two new tracks manage not
 sound     to sound like fillers in between the                    Twelve alternative festive tunes for an easier Christmas:                                                            Lee, x.
   from    medley of hits they are up against,
   can’t   and whilst ‘My Own Worst Enemy’
   what    arguably doesn’t pack as much                        ‘Merry Christmas’ – The Ramones                               ‘Winter Wonderland’ – Diana Krall
espect     punch as ‘More Life In A Tramps
finitive    Vest’ or ‘The Bartender And The
you’re     Thief’, ‘You’re My Star’ is up there
                                                               ‘Its Christmas (Baby Please Come                                ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ – Surfjan
band’s     with the best Stereophonics ballads,
                                                             Home)’ – U2                                                    Stevens
  most     the ambience and heavy production
           clashing strangely yet brilliantly with
akota’,    Jones’ voice.                                                                                                       ‘Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland’
                                                                ‘Better Days’ – Goo Goo Dolls                               – Grandaddy
 reach         From their unlikely rise to
 , and     stardom beginning in the small
 d the     village of Cwmaman in South Wales,                ‘Little Drummer Boy’ – Lou Rawls                                  ‘I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day’
 ay be     Stereophonics show with Decade in                                                                                – Pedro The Lion
 hould     the Sun that they are undisputedly
 song,     one of the defining Indie bands of the               ‘Santa Claus Go Straight To The                               ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’
 mmer      last ten years; let’s hope they still             Ghetto’ – James Brown                                        – Coldplay
 g the     continue to add to their impressive
  them     back catalogue with further studio                                                                                ‘Silent Night/7 O’Clock News’ – Simon
                                                              ‘God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ –
 e UK;     releases in the future.                                                                                         & Garfunkle
                                                            Barenaked Ladies & Sarah Mclachlan
y well
est of       Jack Sexty
 ut six

                                                                                                                                                                                             December Issue 2008

 Quantum of Solace
                                                                                        Eastern Cinema
                                                                                       A Bittersweet Life

                                                                                            un-Woo (Lee Byung-Hun) at             well developed (by Western
                                                                                            first glance, is an everyday ho-       standards, anyhow), and then
                                                                                            tel manager, but within the first      it all comes to a head when
                                                                                     five minutes of meeting him we soon           he’s about to follow the boss’s
                                                                                     realise he is in fact an enforcer for        orders but takes a split second
                                                                                     the local mob and a very efficient one        to realise that he is in fact about
                                                                                     at that. The story goes that his mob         to kill just a couple of kids.
                                                                                     boss Kang is seeing a younger girl,          This new found sympathy and
                                                                                     Hee-Soo, but suspects her of infidel-         humanity is both his redemption, after     old. And the humour of Korean film,
                                                                                                                                                                             as black as ever, is married yet again,

                                                                                     ity so assigns Sun-Woo to watch her          years of no-questions-asked killing,
       uantum of Solace is the 22nd         change of pace for the film.                                                                                                      perfectly with the harsher tones of the
                                                                                     while he’s out of town to see if she is      and simultaneously his damnation.
       Bond movie picking up half               Performances from the leading                                                                                                movie. The direction is accomplished,
                                                                                     indeed a dirty little harlot , and if so,        It is time for the big fight. He gets
       an hour after the end of the         characters were all solid. I was                                                                                                 borderline cheesy but seeping with
                                                                                     for him to “take care of it”. Of course it   buried alive to show him his boss
previous film (Casino Royale) and            pleasantly surprised by the main                                                                                                 undeniable style.
                                                                                     wouldn’t be much of a film if our anti-       means business, and when he digs
essentially follows Bond (Daniel            villain, Dominic Greene, played by                                                                                                  And as for the action? Well it’s as
                                                                                     hero chose to follow orders and we’d         himself out it is only to show him
Craig) on his quest to avenge the           Mathieu Amalric, his war cries during                                                                                            relentless as any other Korean film
                                                                                     be finished within a half hour so natu-       further that the boss wants to give
death of Vesper Lynd. This was an           the final fight scene are entertaining                                                                                             you’ve seen to date. The martial arts
                                                                                     rally he takes pity on the girl and her      him another chance. But he has seen
interesting change of direction for         and should be listened out for! Judi                                                                                             are impressive and a nice change
                                                                                     fancy man, thus kicking off all kinds of     how easily they disregard people if
a Bond movie, being the first time           Dench was excellent as always and                                                                                                from guns and explosions of most
                                                                                     events which include, but aren’t lim-        they make one misjudgement so vows
one film has had a direct link with          Craig and Olga Kurylenko, the new                                                                                                action epics, while Lee Byung-Hun,
                                                                                     ited to, having his former mob friends       to take them down. His burial and
another.                                    bond girl, were convincing but did                                                                                               obviously a natural for it, relishes in
                                                                                     and boss out to kill him.                    subsequent escape is a mud-drenched
   Craig is a great James Bond as           lack the on-screen chemistry that                                                                                                showing off his skills. The amount of
                                                                                        But before we get onto that,              rebirth of Sun-Woo.
we saw in Casino Royale and they            Craig shared with Eva Green in                                                                                                   blood and screams will satisfy even
                                                                                     let us talk about Sun-Woo, he is a               Director Kim Ji-Woon shows real
are developing the franchise in an          Casino Royal.                                                                                                                    the most cynical of action film lovers
                                                                                     fascinating creature. He is unarguably       flare behind the camera. The imagery
interesting way. To start off with,             All in all, I found Quantum of                                                                                               while provide an injection of originality
                                                                                     cool about everything, see bar fight          of Korean cinema has always appeared
the opening car chase is exhilarating.      Solace very enjoyable and liked the                                                                                              and freshness into a genre so over-
                                                                                     and road rage, he gets the job done          so much more sharper, as well as
The camera angles make it fun and           fast pace and gritty style, although                                                                                             run with mediocre efforts.
                                                                                     without breaking a sweat and casually        visceral. The use of classical music
exciting to watch-although at times         the ending seemed to be rather
                                                                                     walks off. He’s always alert. For an         against an otherwise distressing event
(such as during a later foot chase          abrupt and not as well-rounded as                                                                                                  Richard Laba
                                                                                     action flick he is uncharacteristically       is employed yet again without growing
scene) the constant flicking between         previous offerings. Bond purists may
one angle and another can make it           not enjoy this film but if you are like
hard to follow what’s actually going        me (thankful we no longer have to

                                                                                                                            DVD Review
on. The rest of the action in the film       put up with ridiculous gadgets) I
is intense and gritty. Director Marc        think you will like it. It has a good
Forster’s style has been widely (and        blend of storyline, incredible action
rightly in my opinion) compared to          scenes and stunts, and also good
that of the Bourne films-the fight            performances by the whole cast.
scenes are fast and hard-hitting,           Daniel Craig has proved he was a
even more so than Casino Royale,            great choice for this role.
but there is an interesting change of        Matthew Cox
style during a shootout at a concert
which was very stylish and a nice

               Body of Lies
          hen actor Russell Crowe           deceptive boss who is thousands of
          and director Ridley Scott         miles away. Thus, Ferris sets about
          first collaborated in 2000         on his own to track down the terrorist
on ‘Gladiator’ the result was widely        but Hoffman seems to be one step
regarded as huge success. However,          ahead all the time.
subsequent collaborations ‘A Good              One     thing     that   must    be
Year’ and ‘American Gangster’ haven’t       remembered when going to see ‘Body
been nearly as well received with the       of Lies’ is that it is not a popcorn
latter mainly receiving acclaim for         movie. Those who will appreciate it
the presence of Denzel Washington,          are those looking for a film that will

                                                                                                                        Mamma Mia!
rather than Crowe. Their latest film         make them think, as this film is very
together, Body of Lies is the latest in     intelligent and thought provoking
a long line of Hollywood movies with        with a very complex storyline. The
themes relating to the war on terror,       intricate plot is too over-complicated
and considering that virtually all of its   and the various plot strands don’t

predecessors haven’t struck a chord         come together in a wholly satisfactory           o, the eagerly anticipated            however as Sophie’s Mum (Meryl            expect all the cheesy dancing and
with mainstream moviegoers, the big         way. Also, while the film has a lot               “Mamma Mia” hit the big               Streep) had many affairs before her       acting that you would see in a
question is whether this film is any         to say, it is all presented in a very            screen this year and left cen-        birth. It turns out her father could      theatre performance. She does
different, the answer definitely a no.       messy and incoherent manner, so            tre stage, packing out cinemas with         be one of three men. Enter the            well with what little talent she has
In the current climate, films such           much so, that only the most watchful       people all ages singing along. If you       three men; Harry (Colin Firth), Sam       working with the big name stars,
as this are really not what casual          of viewers will pick up on everything      were a “Super Trouper” and went to          (Pierce Brosnan) and Bill (Stellan        as half of them look like they’re
moviegoers want to see, and this film        that is going on.                          see the film you would have noticed          Skarsgard). Unsure who the real           wondering why they are in a film
isn’t going to change anyone’s mind            The film is also too long-winded         all the golden oldies reminiscing           “Dad” is, she invites them all to her     like this? Especially Pierce Brosnan.
about that.                                 and slow-paced, severely lacking in        of their younger days as “Dancing           Greek island begging the question             The film does run nicely and
   Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio)         the action department, with only a         Queens” while the new kids on the           “Does your Mother know”. Much to          there’s never a moment where I felt
is a deep cover CIA agent based             couple of action sequences to speak        block were simply falling in love           her dismay, she doesn’t.                  it was “Slipping through my Fingers”,
in the Middle East whose job is to          of and then only very brief ones,          with the likes of Dominic Cooper and            From this point onwards the film       particularly with a song breaking
track down terrorists on ground             even though they are well-staged           Pierce Brosnan. Such a variety is           basically runs around in circles,         out every 5 minutes, but that’s just
level. His boss Ed Hoffman (Russell         and very thrilling while they last.        rare to see these days; you wouldn’t        leaving us to question who can be         “The name of the Game”.
Crowe) is based at Langley where            The saving grace of the film comes          catch your Grandma in the recently          the real father on so many occasions           “Take a Chance on Me” when I
he monitors all ongoing operations          from the acting, with both Leonardo        released “Zak and Miri make a por-          that by the end we don’t really care.     say that in order to enjoy the film
from afar, taking all the credit for        DiCaprio and Russell Crowe delivering      no” now would you? If you’re one            A song then comes along to wake           you’re going to have to be one of
their successes. When a new terrorist       completely convincing performances         of those softies that are in love with      us up again and rekindle that plastic     those softies that really likes a chick
begins orchestrating attacks against        of entirely believable characters,         the film before you’ve even seen it          grin that will actually appear at times   flick every now and again…. luckily
civilian targets throughout Europe, it      even though it is DiCaprio who really      because you love musicals or adore          during the film. Don’t get me wrong        I do. I really enjoyed the film and it
is up to Ferris to track down those         steals the show. It’s just a shame         ABBA, then you’re in for a treat.           it is an enjoyable film, with its heart    left me with a big smile on my face
responsible. However, Ferris finds           that the overall film isn’t up to the          The film centres around Sophie            in the right place, but “When all is      as it will undoubtedly do to you as
his operation being compromised at          quality of their acting.                   (Amanda Seyfried) a twenty-                 said and done” it doesn’t pull much       well.
every corner, as Hoffman is carrying                                                   something in a search to find her            out of the ordinary.
out his own side operations. With                                                      real Dad so he can give her away on             Directed by original stage show
time running out before more attacks          Robert Mann                              her wedding day. This is a problem          director Phyllida Lloyd, you can             Sam Evans
are carried out, Ferris finds that he
can’t trust anyone, least of all his
            Christmas Film Special                                                                                                                                                                                     19
December Issue 2008                                                                                                                                                                                  FILM

                                                                                                               The Family Man
                                                                                              ack Campbell (Nicolas Cage)          Christmas    presents.    Naturally        supporting turns from the ever
                                                                                              has to make a life changing          Jack freaks out and runs out of            reliable Don Chealde and Jeremy
                                                                                              decision at an airport with his      the house and is bemused that he           Piven as Cage’s best buddy. The
                                                                                         college girlfriend Kate (Tea Leoni).      doesn’t own a Ferrari. He drives to        film is really carried by Cage’s
                                                                                         Does he take the road to London           work in a people carrier to find he         performance whose transition
                                                                                         to begin a wealthy and luxurious          doesn’t have a job on Wall Street          from heartless business man to
                                                                                         career or stay in New York to live a      and people he knows don’t know             devoted family man is entirely
                                                                                         life with Kate. He chooses London         him. What Jack is experiencing             convincing.
                                                                                         and on Christmas Eve, thirteen            is a ‘glimpse’ given to him by a              The Family Man is a great change
                                                                                         years later, we catch up with him         guardian angel (Don Chealde)               of pace for director Brett Ratner
                                                                                         living life as a lonely, though super     to show what life would be like            (Rush Hour Triolgy) who brings
                                                                                         rich Wall Street investment broker.       if he had stayed with Kate those           pace to proceedings and doesn’t
                                                                                         He enjoys his life of money making        thirteen years ago.                        give the film an over sentimental
                                                                                         and one night stands with any                The Family Man is very much             feeling. The ending is poignant
                                                                                         glamour model he so chooses.              a modernised ‘It’s a Wonderful             but hopeful and is a perfect climax
                                                                                             On waking up Christmas Day            Life’ and better in my opinion. It         to a sweet, witty and thoroughly
                                                                                         morning, Jack finds himself not            has the latter’s charm, warmth             entertaining Christmas fantasy.
                                                                                         in his penthouse suite, but living        and poignancy and career best
                                                                                         in New Jersey suburbia with Kate          performances from Niocolas Cage
                                                                                         and two kids frantic to open their        and Tea Leoni. There’s also great               Mark Varley

                                                                                                                                                             The Long Kiss

   Die Hard

        or me, Die Hard is a great            the quick wits of New York cop John

        Christmas movie; an iconic            McLane (Willis) holding them back as                      ike     Die   Hard,      Renny      here on Samantha is teamed up           Again, like Die Hard, The Long
        action film that continues to be       he takes them out one by one.                             ‘Cliffhanger’ Harlin’s actioner     with private eye Mitch (Samuel          Kiss Goodnight has a tongue in
   an influence to the genre and also                Amidst the blood, bullets and                       is a rather violent, but an         L Jackson), to find her real             cheek tone and witty script from
   one that propelled Bruce Willis to         explosions lies a witty screenplay                  exciting and explosive treat set          identity. We know quite soon            Lethal Weapon writer Shane
   international stardom. The thrilling       that gives even Alan Rickman’s                      at Christmas time.                        that she may be a Government            Black. All in all, whilst not in the
   set pieces always knowingly reminds        villain of the piece Hans Gruber some                   Samantha (Geena Davis) is             assassin, but it’s not clear why        same league as Die Hard, this
   you that it’s all happening during the     memorable one liners. Alan Rickman’s                living a comfortable lifestyle in         she is wanted dead by multiple          underrated film will please those
   merry season and, for me, is the           scene stealing performance and the                  the suburbs with her husband              agents and old enemies giving           who like non stop action. Plus,
   reason why Die Hard should be an           film’s tongue in cheek tone is what                  and      daughter.    Trouble      is,    her chase.                              anything with Samuel L Jackson
   essential watch at Christmas, if ‘It’s     makes Die Hard such an entertaining                 Samantha suffers from amnesia                It’s all really silly, but moves     is always a bonus.
   a Wonderful Life’ isn’t your sort of       thrill ride that still stands proudly on            after a serious car accident. It’s        at a breakneck pace and the
   thing.                                     its own after twenty years as one of                not long before the past she can’t        explosive action is delivered with
      You all know the story by now I’m       the finest action movies ever made.                  recall catches up with her. From          exuberant energy from Harlin.             Mark Varley
   sure but nevertheless, in a nutshell:
   Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles is
   taken over by terrorists with only
                                               Andy Peterson

                                                                                                                                                           full   protest    by    perfectly captures the contrast

          lf is Ferrell’s only successful                                                                                                                  his mother, has         between Ralphie and his younger
          comedy that children can enjoy                                                                                                                   his sights set on       brother’s excitement at Christmas
          as well as the funnyman’s usual                                                                                                                  one       particular    to that of the stress and hard
   target audience of teenagers and                                                                                                                        C h r i s t m a s       work of their parents.
   adults. Elf follows Buddy (Ferrell) who,                                                                                                                present: “a Red            There are many classic scenes
   as a baby in an orphanage, climbs                                                                                                                       Ryder       carbine-    such as the father’s determined
   into Santa’s sack one Christmas and                                                                                                                     action     200-shot     ’attempt’ at decorating the tree,
   is taken back to the North Pole. Here,                                                                                                                  range model BB          family meal times, unwanted
   Buddy is raised with elves and now                                                                                                                      gun     air    rifle.”   presents on Christmas morning,

   as a thirty something, makes toys in                                                                                                                    However how do          the Christmas dinner turkey being
   Santa’s workshop. Problem is, Buddy                                                                                                                     you convince both       eaten by next door’s dogs and the
   is not aware that he is different to his                                                                                                                 parents, and your      family trip to the shopping mall to
   fellow elves. He’s well over six feet
   tall, can’t stand in the showers and
                                               than expected. Highlights include
                                               him crossing the road without the
                                                                                                        A Christmas Story                                   school teacher for     visit Santa: “You’ll shoot your eye
                                                                                                                                                            that matter, that      out kid” is the answer a dejected

   has a tiny bed. Making all the toys         assumption that he may get hit, a                       hink back many years to                              wanting an air rifle    Ralphie gets after having told
   up there, you’d think his fellow elves      great moment on an elevator and a                       a Christmas when you                for Christmas is a good idea and        Santa that he wants an air rifle
   would have made him a bed by now!           brilliant confrontation between Buddy                   unwrapped     the   present         that there is absolutely no danger      for Christmas. If you want to see
   Only now does Old Saint Nic decide          and a businessman who is a dwarf                  you’d been hoping to find                  of “shooting your eye out”?             a fun, clever and witty Christmas
   to send Buddy to New York where his         but who Buddy believes is an elf. A               under the tree. Maybe it was a            Needless to say he is constantly        film that all can enjoy then ’A
   father lives.                               great comedy fight ensues.                         new bike, computer console or             warned by his mother and teacher        Christmas Story’ is the film for
         Most of the film’s comedy comes               Elf has charm, wit and warmth              board game. Bob Clarke’s 1983             that this will happen!                  you. It’s available on DVD and
   from extended montages in New York          that not many Christmas films can                  festive comedy, set in 1940s                 Narration throughout the film         should not be missed!
   City following Buddy getting used to        achieve nower-days. Elf should go                 America, centres on one family’s          is provided from the perspective
   the new surroundings. This may sound        down as a modern Christmas classic.               preparations for the big day.             of an adult Ralphie, looking back
   clichéd but Will Ferrell puts through a                                                          Nine year old Ralphie, with            over the fond memories of a              Will Dangerfield
   charming and hilarious performance                                                            full support from his father and          childhood Christmas. The film
   which makes these scenes funnier               Dan Jones
                                                                                                                                                                               December Issue 2008

            Top books for
                                                                                                                          “An alcoholic is someone you don’t
                                                                                                                         like who drinks as much as you do”

 Christmas this year                                                                                                     N
                                                                                                                                 ot my words, but those of        to our cracker prizes of today!
                                                                                                                                 Wales’ national poet, Dylan          Radically, he emphasises the
                                                                                                                                 Thomas, whose accent and         repetitiveness of the season, a
                                                                                                                         poetry were deemed “inseparable”.        far cry from Dickens’ “God bless
                                                                                                                         A drinking session with him would        us every one!” stance. He does,
                                                                                                                         likely prove fatal, but the prospect     however, beautifully describe what
                                                                                                                         of curling up by an open fire with a      every child does want on the 25th:

                                                                                                                         copy of his poem entitled ‘A Child’s     a white Christmas. Thomas paints
                ow we all know that it’s getting to that point of the year were we have
                                                                                                                         Christmas in Wales’ could only           a masterpiece in words. Using
                to start trolling around all of the shops trying to find those all important                              be delightful. This poem expertly        fantastic imagery, he highlights the
                Christmas presents for the family and friends, and as we know, help                                      captures post-WW2 Britain. “The          verisimilitude of both a fire and a
          is always needed at this time of the year. So here are a few book ideas for                                    [then] greatest living poet in the       cat spitting.
                                                                                                                         English language” reminisces about           So when you’re blaming other
          Christmas presents:
                                                                                                                         his own childhood Christmases of a       people’s drink problems for the
                                                                                                                         “little world” wherein Christmas for     long wait at the bar this Christmas,
                                                                                                                         children was far less commercial         remind yourself of this article’s

 For the car nut:                                                     For the chef:                                      than any of our generation
                                                                                                                         remembers; the “useless presents”

                                                                                                                                                                   Rosie MacLeod
                                                                                                                         of the 1950’s are alarmingly similar

                                                                                                 his year the must

                                                                                                                        The Model Wife
                                                                                                have cooking book
                                                                                                is the latest from
                                                                                           Jamie Oliver: Ministry of
                                                                                           Food. This cooking book

                                                                                                                                                                  by Julia Llewellyn
                                                                                           is inspired by Jamie’s
                                                                                           mission to get all of the
                                                                                           UK eating more healthily

                                                                                          and learning to cook better         very fairy tale has the             Many arguments and tears later,
                                                                                          food. From the basics that          enchanting             beginning,   Luke leaves his wife and moves in
                                                                                          we all know and love, to            wonderful middle and the            with Poppy. Life seems perfect for
                                                                                          new and exciting recipes,     happily ever after, however Poppy         a while, until the first Mrs Norton,
                                                                                          this book is perfect for      soon realised her fairy tale              Hannah, decides to take revenge,
                                                                                          anyone who enjoys some        only had a good beginning,                                through her article
                                                                                          kitchen action.               if you can call it that. After                            in the paper, entitled
                                                                                                                        many years of working as a                               ‘My Ex and the Bimbo’.
                                                                                                                        model, work dries up and                                 This leads to a number
                                                                                                                        Poppy is forced to take a                                of tales told and Poppy

                                                               For the soppy one:                                       job at the local café so she
                                                                                                                        can pay her rent. This is
                                                                                                                        where it happens, where
                                                                                                                                                                                finally     decides
                                                                                                                                                                                needs a life and gets
                                                                                                                                                                               her own column. But

                                                                                                                        she meets her prince                                   does this spell disaster?

           he best book this Christma                                                        great      book            charming, Luke Norton,                                 Will Poppy and Luke get
                                           s for                                                                 this
           anyone who loves their cars                                                       Christmas     for          the local anchorman for                               their happy ever after?
                                              is                                                                  the
           the latest and greatest from                                                      romance lovers is the      the Seven Thirty News.                                Or is Luke still having
     other than the king of cars                                                      wonderful and uplifting new       He was perfect in Poppy’s                             affairs, even after he left
                                     , Jeremy
     Clarkson. His latest book, For                                                   novel by Maeve Binchy,            eyes; good looking, kind                              Hannah for Poppy? This
     Out Loud, is already being dubb                                                  entitled Heart and Soul. This     and loving; he only had                              is the perfect feel good
                                          ed as
     his best ever. So if you know the                                                is for all of those who love to   one downfall, his wife                               story, with a number of
     person who loves their cars                                                      curl up on the sofa, in front     and children. After many promises         twists; you’ll still be guessing about
                                    , sarcasm
     and reading exactly how Brita                                                    of a roaring fire when all the     of leaving his wife, Luke manages         what will actually happen until the
                                     in should
     be, this is perfect.                                                             awful weather ransacks the        to woo Poppy, but all goes wrong          last page.
                                                                                      outside world. A warm and         when she falls pregnant and Luke
                                                                                      very funny novel, this is the     wants her to have an abortion.             Emma McColl
                                                                                      perfect gift for your mothers
                                                                                      or sisters, or even you.

                                                                                                                        Seren recommends...

 Peter Pan
 by J.M Barrie
                                                                   Cat’s class
                                                                                                                           Chocolat!                               by Joanne Harris

 P                                                                                                                        W
       eter Pan is considered by most              adventures in the dangerous world of                                            e all know that a              render redundant his preaching
       people to be a “Children’s Classic”         Neverland varying from                                                          nondescript       box     of   Lenten abstinence.
       rather than a legitimate adult              saving    Red      Indians                                                      chocolates     is    enough         Instantly, Vianne is disliked
 book. However after finding myself part            to    fighting     pirates.                                             to turn any tough cookies into          in the village; her business,
 of a discussion in the pub between 6              Overlooking the blatant                                                squabbling children. Joanne Harris’     compared to the sinful gluttony
 post-graduate students where Peter                sexism and racism of                                                   best seller, Chocolat, melts the        of ancient Rome, is accused of
 Pan was the main topic of conversation,           writing of this period,                                                themes of society’s expectations        bringing disorder and her family
 I thought it more than deserved a                 Peter     Pan       hasn’t                                             and the difficulties of self restraint   situation is branded “illegitimate”.
 mention.                                          dated, it’s still a great                                              into one rich, irresistible recipe;     As a riposte, the calm Vianne
    Many people are introduced to Peter            idiosyncratic, escapist                                                think Hansel and Gretel coated in       uses the magic of chocolate to
 Pan by the various adaptations that               fantasy story where                                                    a thick layer of social critique.       wean the parishioners off petty
 have been produced ranging from                   anything could happen                                                     The first day of Lent in the          morals consistent with society’s
 Disney to my personal favourite of                and probably will.                                                     fictional French village of Lansquet-    restrictive expectations, and onto
 Spielberg’s Hook. Yet many people                    You may wonder                                                      sous-Tannes, sees the arrival of a      a new open-mindedness. Her
 (including myself until recently) haven’t         why I’m recommending                                                   mysterious single mother, Vianne,       business becomes an enchanted
 read the book that the story originally           you read a ‘fairy story’                                               a kitchen witch, who sets up a          support group. There, mercilessly
 comes from.                                       and whether adults                                                     chocolaterie, La Céleste Praline,       scapegoated gypsies are accepted
    The magic begins when, whilst                  would want to read                                                     (The Heavenly Praline) directly         and a beaten wife finds the
 chasing his shadow one night, Peter               about a boy fighting                                                    opposite the Catholic Church. The       courage to leave her re-offender
 flies through the window of the                    pirates; but the story                                                 religious overtones in her choice       husband, new attitudes which
 Darling’s nursery. While there he meets           is    captivating     as                                               of its name are no coincidence,         the curé vehemently condemns.
 Wendy, John and Michael Darling,                  you are an outsider                                                    but a direct jibe and this theme        However, the early hours of Easter
 teaches them to fly then takes them to             looking     into     this                                              of Christianity versus Paganism         Day reveal he is not the whitest
 Neverland. Readers are asked to close             magical world... and                                                   thicken the plot. The very sober,       truffle in the box after all!
 their eyes and they will be transported           there is a part inside                                                 absolutist curé is vexed by the            Interpretable as a parody of
 to Neverland, where Peter lives with his          every one of us that                                                   arrival of this enterprise which        Eve and the (somewhat healthier)
 band of ‘Lost Boys’ who battle the Red            will never grow up.                                                    goes against everything the             apple, this confrontation of bitter
 Skins, fight pirates, and are friends with                                                                                Church and society stand for: It is     societal hypocrisy has a very
 the mermaids that live in the lagoon.                                                                                    owned by a secular spinster who         sweet aftertaste.
    The novel follows a series of                   Cat Prince                                                            dares to trade on Sundays, and
                                                                                                                                                                   Rosie MacLeod
                                                                                                                          its tempting nature is enough to
   December Issue 2008                                                                                                                                                                TRAVEL
                                                                                                         Prague: A City with Everything
                                                                      fat man in a red
                                   t’s that time of year again. A

                                                                   e, eating our food             astern Europe is become an ever more popular holiday destination
                                   suit is breaking into our hous
                                                                       our living room            for holiday goers. From the beaches of Bulgaria to the streets of
                                   and unloading his sack all over
                                      .what’s not to love?                                        Slovenia, it is stead fast becoming the norm to visit these places
                                                                    ie, not even this      rather than the traditional Spain, France and Italy. And if your thinking
                                   But for the true travel junk                   uring
                               festive holid   ay will stop them from vent                 of venturing off to Eastern Europe there is one place I would say that
                               further in the worl   d. So for you all I have included     should be top of your choice; Prague. The capital of Czech Republic, it
                                                                  your travel juices       is situated about 20km southeast of the modern city airport; Ruzyni.
                               an article hopefully to get
                                                                  y weather and give       Flights fly daily with Bmi Baby from Manchester and Birmingham to
                               flowing over this cold and frost
                                                                      Britain. Also, as    Prague for as little as £24.99 returns. From Liverpool you can fly with
                               you   an alternative to freezing in
                                                                              City; this
                                promised   , is a review on a European                     flyglobespan from £29.99, so getting to Prague is easy and cheap.
                                issue Prague    is the choice and I am sure that                 Once there in the centre of the Czech Republic you will be amazed
                                reading it you will   want to take a cheap flight over      by everything Prague has to offer. It is a modern, vibrant city which still
                                                                                           holds its heritage close to its heart. From the buildings to the bars there
                                to this amazing city.
                                    Happy travelling!!                       Stef          will be something for everyone to experience about Prague.
                                                                                                 Accommodation is reasonably cheap, although prices are starting to
                                                                                           increase with the popularity of the city as a short break or holiday desti-
                                                                                           nation. With a wide choice of hotels to suit all price ranges you will easily
                                                                                           find somewhere to stay. Hotel Axa, Hotel Central, Hotel Lunik and Hotel

                  A Snapshot of Cologne:                                                   Belvedere are all priced at about £130 for three nights stay, depending
                                                                                           on time of year.
                      A Christmas Dream                                                        If you want something a bit more extravagant then The Crowne Plaza
                                                                                           Prague, on the outskirts of the city, is your best choice. With only a ten
                                                                                           minute tram journey to the centre, you can get a little bit of heaven for
                                                                                           a reasonable £80 a night for a standard room. However if money is is
                                                                                           on a budget then Prague has a good choice of cheap and friendly hostels
                                                                                           that would be perfect for your stay. Hostel Alia, Hostel Strahov and
                                                                                           Hostel Vesta are all within the city centre and would provide you with a
                                                                                           pleasant stay.
                                                                                               You will never be lost for things to do in Prague. The Castle, situated
                                                                                           on top of Petrin Hill, it is the largest ancient castle in the world. The
                                                                                           walk itself up Petrin Hill is something amazing as you look over the en-
                                                                                           tire city, or you can even jump on the cable car that takes you right to
                                                                                           the top. A sight not to be missed is the famous Charles Bridge. With its
                                                                                           30 gothic statues, the bridge is lovely to walk across day and night and
                                                                                           look up the Vltava River and onto the lights of the city.
                                                                                               If castles and bridges aren’t your thing then Prague has a growing
                                                                                           shopping district and rising nightlife. From the street markets selling
                                                                                           antiques and traditional Czech tapestries, to the designer heaven of
                                                                                           Pariska Street; with the likes of Dior, Dolce and Gabbana and YSL on

        pen air ice-rink, fairy lights,      chitectural eye, there is the magnifi-         choice. The new town does come alive at night with bars and restau-
        mulled wine, music...and to          cent Cologne Cathedral. Built in the          rants busy with locals and tourists alike. Even the nightclubs are slowly
        top it all off...snow. Sounds like   Gothic style, it boasts one of the tall-      rising in popularity for all who visit the enchanting city.
a dream Christmas. Something Cliff           est spires in Europe, and is open to              Prague really is a place you can visit anytime of year but if you are
Richard would have sung about back           the public for tours.                         into your music then The Prague Spring International Music Festival
in 1988.                                           Traditional German hospitality          might be something different to experience. For the most picturesque
   But no. This is a typical December        means everything will be taken care           time to go then you must go in winter. Although very cold it does have
day on the banks of the river Rheine.        of. Drinks, food and hotels are a plen-       a tendency to snow and lie for days. There is nothing more amazing
   Every year, the northern German           ty. But don’t for a minute think that         than walking the streets of Prague with snow on the ground, bright blue
city of Cologne plays host to its world      you will be spending all your savings         skies, and the sun shinning through.
famous Christmas markets. Drawing            on this one trip, because for just over           Prague really is a must go on any travellers list, and hopefully you
in thousands of visitors from all over       a hundred pounds, you could have a            now see that you really need to visit the magic that is Prague.
the globe, it certainly has plenty to of-    weekend in a hotel, and a ferry over                                                                  Stef Black
fer anyone who visits.                       (if you drive). If not, then don’t wor-

                                                                                                    Christmas with a twist
   The markets themselves offer a            ry. The nearest airport, Köln-Bonn,
huge range of handcrafted goods,             is only a short taxi journey from the
ranging from paintings to candles and        city. Again, with flights from only £35,
even boomerangs! Along with that             there will be plenty left for you to
goes the traditional German dishes,          spend over there!
including hot cherry waffles, and cur-
ried sausage.                                                       Don Kelly
   For anyone with a historical or ar-

         Planning on camping in
                the USA?
     f like me, you spent your summer        experience was like, here’s what a few
     working without a holiday you           of the participants from last summer
     probably thought it was the most        had to say about their experiences at
boring eight weeks of your life.             Camp America:
    Well my fellow students fear not            Alexandra Harkness “Words cannot
because I have an answer: Camp               describe how much I miss Camp and
America! Every year, 7,500 people            everybody I met there. It truly was
take the opportunity to work in the          one of the best times of my life and I

USA in summer camps for children             really cant wait to return next year!
                                                                                                    ell the first semester is al-      Many just want to get away from the            If a cold city break Christmas isn’t
that cater to every need. A wide                Jonny “Thanks Camp America! They
                                                                                                    most over and everyone is         busy Christmas shopping and all the        for you then how about spending De-
variety of choices are offered from          sent me a certificate and a golden
                                                                                                    heading home for the holi-        hustle and bustle of the festive sea-      cember 25th on a beach in Tenerife
sports, arts and crafts and faith based      rubber chicken in the post for being a
                                                                                           days. We’ll be slipping on our snug        son; you have to admit, sunning it         in temperatures of 28 degrees. Al-
camps. You can choose to stay for            top ten forum poster and blogger! Im
                                                                                           pyjamas, filling up on sweets and           up in Spain does sound slightly more       though many places such as the Ca-
nine to fifteen weeks of your summer;         so proud!”
                                                                                           probably watching a Muppets Christ-        appealing. Although we all love our        naries and mainland Spain do not
and now for the question everyone                So there you have it, an amazing
                                                                                           mas Carol, all from the comfort of our     Christmas dinners and sitting next to      celebrate Christmas to the same ex-
wants to know; how much? £500. As            opportunity to work abroad, meet
                                                                                           living room sofa. But what if there is     the tree to open our presents like we      tent as we do, so you’re unlikely to
Simon Pegg would say how’s that for          new people, gain new skills and have
                                                                                           an alternative to that type of Christ-     were five again, that shouldn’t put         eat turkey for your festive meal, the
a slice of fried gold?                       a cracking good time. I have my
                                                                                           mas, what if it’s not all about the tree   you off going away for Christmas.          idea of drinking Margaritas while in a
    A large number of the staff working      interview for Camp America in two
                                                                                           and the turkey, but rather having a        Visiting somewhere at Christmas will       bikini by the side of a swimming pool
in the Camp America offices have been         weeks time so wish me luck! If you
                                                                                           slightly different type of festive cel-    be completely different that at any        does sound slightly tempting.
to camp themselves and through the           are interested in becoming involved
                                                                                           ebration.                                  other time of the year.                          Christmas is all about tradition
application process. As I am currently       visit       for
                                                                                                The traditional types of travelling       In New York you will be dazzled        but maybe it would be best if we
applying I have to say there is no           more information.
                                                                                           you do at Christmas are usually visit-     by an abundance of festive lights,         started our own little traditions, like
question too big or small to ask them;
I have honestly never dealt with nicer                      Bianca Murray                  ing your Gran and Granddad. How-           Christmas displays like no other and       jetting off to the sun for two weeks,
                                                                                           ever we don’t have to be limited to        an ambience to the city that can only      or visiting a different state of America
or more helpful people in my life. The
                                                                                           a car journey 2 miles down the road.       be felt at this time of year. Shops        each year just to see how Christmas
online application is very effortless;
                                                                                           Whether it is shopping in Manhattan,       take their window displays to the          is really done. Sometimes it’s not all
plus the benefit of completing it online
                                                                                           skiing in Switzerland or lounging on       Christmas extreme, The Rockefeller         about the turkey and the presents
is that over 900 camps across the
                                                                                           a beach in the Canaries, there is a        Centre has one of the largest trees        but rather just having some fun do-
States can access your file 24/7 to see
                                                                                           travel destination that’s sure to make     in the city lit up in all its glory, and   ing something different, that’s where
if you are right for their camp.
                                                                                           your Christmas more memorable              if you’re lucky enough for it to snow,     real festive spirit comes from.
    There are a multitude of different
                                                                                           than ever before.                          you can bear the cold and take a stroll
roles you can perform within the
camps. To give you an idea of what the
                                                                                               Going away at Christmas is be-         through Central Park; which really is                          Stef Black
                                                                                           come ever more increasingly popular.       at its prettiest.
SPORT                                                                                                                                                                               December Issue 2008

                                                                                                  A word from the AU President

Rugby League                                                                                                A
                                                                                                                     s we approach Christmas the sports season is well underway. There have been
                                                                                                                     competitive matches galore on Wednesday afternoons, with all the teams putting
                                                                                                                     in strong performances. It really is great to see the passion and enthusiasm all
                                                                                                               the club members show on fixtures day! As well as Wednesday afternoon fixtures we

 team top of
                                                                                                               have a number of clubs competing in local competitions, and have also been sending
                                                                                                               teams away to weekend championships, such as the BUCS Swimming Championships
                                                                                                               and the BUCS White Water Racing Championships. Again, Bangor Students’ Athletic
                                                                                                               Union had strong representation in all of these events – and from what I’ve heard

  the table
                                                                                                               everyone has had loads of fun too!
                                                                                                                  Obviously I can’t forget the non-competitive clubs, who have also impressed me
                                                                                                               this semester. Bangor University Mountaineering Society (BUMS) have been growing
                                                                                                               hugely as a club, and are going from strength to strength. Similarly our other outdoor
                                                                                    activities clubs have also been attracting lots of members and creating great opportunities for people to
                                                                                    try something new, and sometimes unique, whilst at Uni here in Bangor. If you want a full list of clubs visit

The Season so far:                                                        
                                                                                       All that’s left for me to say really is have a great Christmas, and I hope you are looking forward to the Athletic
                                                                                    Union’s healthy living week to be launched at Serendipity 2 on January 30th. Their will be lots of activities for
                                                                                    people to enjoy throughout the week, including a POOL PARTY (how cool!!) so make sure you keep an eye out
                                                                                    for the posters and check! Oh, also don’t forget the 5-a-side football Xmas cup on
     Tensions were high before          favour but the second half would            Sunday 7th December. If you want to enter a team email me at
 the opening game at Chester,           see their defence work as hard as
 given that two matches had             their first half attacking display.           Merry Christmas!
 already been postponed due             Tom Garland tackled relentlessly
 to waterlogged pitches, and it         in the heart of Bangor’s defence

                                                                                 A little big
 showed as the home side took the       and the newcomer earned his

 lead in the opening few minutes.       Man of the Match award for his                                                            adies Night at the Menai proved a huge success on November 10th
 Bangor gifted Chester their score      efforts. A nail biting finish saw                                                          and thanks to the women of Bangor we raised nearly £1000 with
                                                                                                                                  money going to the Rugby League Benevolent Fund Charity which

                                                                                 thank you
 on the back of two penalties but       Bangor repeatedly gift Liverpool
 this merely awoke a sleeping           possession and conceded a try                                                        helps severely injured rugby players cope with their disabilities.
 giant as the visitors soon ran riot.   but thankfully they had the grit
 Bangor’s Captain Danny Wright, in      and determination to hang on for                                                       Will Varley
 usual fashion, bulldozed the home      the close 14-10 win.
 defence and scored four tries;             Next for Bangor was a scenic
 helped along by Luke Donovan who
 scored twice through a crumbling
                                        trip to Aberwystryth. Bangor’s
                                        day started in unlikely fashion
                                                                               Homophobia in Sport - will it ever change?
 defence. Thomas Mottram, in            when the team kit was left behind
 his fifth playing year for Bangor,      resulting in the emergency trip                raeme Le Saux had excellent        “it wouldn’t stop me. I
 scored twice and added four            to Sports Direct to purchase a                 track record in his chosen         enjoy playing the game
 conversions whilst fellow centre       set of Welsh international rugby               profession of football. During     so no matter what people
 Will Varley recorded his first hat-     union shirts! (Pictured above           his eighteen years in professional        say I will continue to play.”
 trick for the club in the second       is the Bangor team in their full        football he played 400 matches and        So, perhaps it is mostly
 half. Chester kept fighting ‘till the   ‘international’ strip).                 gained 36 international caps. He          the “bantering” element
 end as rugby league is relentless          Bangor, off focus at the kick       also has a wife and two children, yet     of team sports that proves
 and quit is no option. Bangor’s        off, let Aber take advantage of         he suffered abuse from opposition,        too malevolent for some
 Ian Skinner finished with two           their ill discipline with only a fine    fans and even team members as a           gay and bisexual members.
 tries, fresher Nick Brown and Man      last ditch tackle by Tom Garland        result of incorrect rumours that he       English rugby star (and
 of the Match Rhodri Davies also        saving the day. Bangor’s Thomas         was gay. It is easy to see, from this     Sunday Times Number One
 scored once during an impressive       Mottram claimed two tries and           example, why Le Saux has dubbed           Gay Icon) Ben Cohen stated,
 debut performance at full back.        eight conversions to take his           homosexuality ‘sport’s last taboo’        “my impression is that it
 Max Bracken slotted over two           match tally to 24 points. Man of        (2008). Being openly homosexual           would be fine to be able to
 conversions of his own to leave        the Match Will Varley completed         or bisexual in sport is not widely        "come out" in rugby. Most
 the end result at 14-72.               a hat trick and Luke Donovan            accepted; discrimination is evident       rugby players are cool about
     Liverpool University travelled     continued his hard work in the          from all parties; the media, fans         it and think that people
 to Bangor with a reputation as         forwards with two tries.                and other players. It can destroy         should be allowed to live
 large as a student’s debt. They            Aber managed two tries of their     an otherwise booming career and           their lives how they want to.
 had already been involved in           own to set the final score at 64-        compromise a player’s focus.              After the first bit of banter,
 two hard fought matches against        12. Special praise must go to Tom          There has only ever been one           things would calm down.
 teams of considerably more calibre     Garland and Nick Brown who, in          publicly gay professional football        We all take banter all the
 than Chester so this is where the      their first year at Bangor, showed       player - Justin Fashanu – and his         time about different things.
 Welshmens first real test would         their dedication to the team by         story includes being banned from          This is the 21st century;
 surely lie.                            catching (very) early trains from       team training, being disowned by his      the players and fans would
                                                                                                                          be more interested in his         Now,    what would Colleen say?
     Bangor dominated possession        back home to return especially            “There has only ever                    standard of playing.” But
 with a formidable display by the       for the game and returning                                                                                                      As far as policy is concerned,
 forwards with Danny Wright,            afterwards.                               been one publicly gay                   is ‘banter’ going too far when it          almost all professional football
                                                                                                                          gets so personal? Le Saux said, “If
 Gethin Francis and Liam Morton             Captain Danny Wright gave his          professional football                  you look at anything, whether it is
                                                                                                                                                                     and rugby clubs have an anti-
 all running their weight. Will         account of the season so far: “I’m                                                                                           discrimination     policy  in   place;
 Varley opened the scoring for          really proud of the whole team;
                                                                                   player and his story                   racism or homophobia or whatever,          Manchester City even signed up to
 Bangor followed by a superb short      of all the commitment and heart             includes... suicide”                  as if it is just a laugh that can be a     the Stonewall Diversity champion’s
 pass by Max Bracken that sent          that the lads have put into Bangor                                                very serious issue. I'm all for a good     programme, which promotes good
 Chris ‘Wolfie’ Thompson through         Rugby League. Playing teams like        brother and ultimately his suicide.       laugh but when you offend someone          practice regarding sexual orientation
 out wide to score his first try for     Cheshire shows how much guts            In contrast there have been many          and you are damaging relationships         in the workplace.
 the club in his second year and his    and determination a team needs          high-profile lesbian sports people         then it goes way beyond being a               The Football Association's director
 delight at scoring really lifted the   to win and we’ve got it in heaps!       such as the tennis players, Martina       laugh.” Perhaps finding the line            of Corporate Affairs, Simon Johnson
 team.                                  I’ve never been prouder to captain      Navrátilová and Billie Jean King.         between traditional sports-banter          says, “The FA is leading the way on
     Liverpool were not to be           such a brilliant group of lads and      Both of these women were extremely        and offensiveness is the key.              tackling homophobia in football and
 taken lightly however and they         here’s to maintaining our 100%          successful on the court and currently        Ian Roberts managed an eight-           our work is becoming recognised
 were capable of toughing it out        record and winning the league for       actively fight for LGBT rights.            year career in Australian Rugby            across Europe. Abuse of any such
 too with powerful surges down          a third time!”                             So why is there such a lack of         League after ‘coming out’ as gay in        nature can now be tackled by the FA
 Bangor’s right sided defence that                                              support for gay and bisexual men          1995, the same year that Mianne            via sanctions and potential bans".
 kept them in the game. The half         Will Varley                            in team sports? Individuals such as                                                       Perhaps it will only take a few
 time score was 10-4 in Bangor’s                                                Chris Morgan (power lifter), Nigel          “Perhaps finding a line                   more ‘out and proud’ high-profile
                                                                                Owens (Welsh Rugby Union Referee)
                                                                                and Orlando Jordan (Professional
                                                                                                                             between traditional                     people to convince those abandoning
                                                                                                                                                                     their sporting dreams that they
                                                                                Wrestler) are successfully ‘out’ as           sports banter and                      are able to brave the gauntlet of
                                                                                well as excelling in their respective           offensiveness                        professional sports whilst staying
                                                                                careers. As Ian Wright – former
                                                                                Arsenal and England striker – said in             is the key”                        true to themselves. Maybe once the
                                                                                                                                                                     world of sports sees that a person’s
                                                                                2006: “Homophobia is unacceptable                                                    sexuality or gender identity does not
                                                                                in an office so should not be              Bagger transitioned from Male to           affect their skills then the changing
                                                                                advocated on a football pitch.”           Female prior to forging a successful       room ‘bantering’ and opposition
                                                                                   In a recent interview a local gay      golfing career with the Women’s             abuse will cease. Then professional
                                                                                footballer in Bangor, who wishes to       Golf Association and playing in both       sports will finally catch up with the
                                                                                remain anonymous said, “[Football         the British and U.S. Women’s Open.         rest of the working environments
                                                                                Clubs] go on about equality, but at       Both faced almost equal amounts of         to become a welcoming place for
                                                                                a professional level it doesn’t take      acceptance and discrimination and          everyone.
                                                                                much for opposing teams to use            Mianne Bagger explains, “As much as
                                                                                homophobic abuse. I have heard a          my main focus is on golf, controversy
                                                                                few comments off the pitch.” When         and media focus tends to be a part           Emily Collins
                                                                                asked if this would discourage him        of my life and golfing career, and is
                                                                                from continuing the sport he replied,     something I need to balance.”
December Issue 2008                                                                                                                                                          SPORT
   Bangor University                                                              Success in Women’s Fencing
   Riding Club start
                                                                                      n my first year I was elected
                                                                                      Women’s Team Captain not

  2008/09 at a gallop!
                                                                                      because of my skill (I’d never
                                                                                  fenced before University) but
                                                                                  because I was the only female
                                                                                  student in the club. I’m now in
                                                                                  my third year, coming to the point
                                                                                  where I have to train someone else
                                                                                  up to take over the position, and it’s
                                                                                  absolutely amazing how different
                                                                                  the position of Women’s captain
                                                                                  had become.
                                                                                     Bangor University Fencing club’s
                                                                                  reputation has grown a lot in the
                                                                                  last few years and, with our first
                                                                                  women’s entry into BUCS this year,
                                                                                  I feel that we’ve really cemented
                                                                                  our respectability. We are currently
                                                                                  placed second in the league, winning
                                                                                  four matches to one loss (against
                                                                                  Liverpool 1st) which, considering
                                                                                  four of our six fencers are home-
                                                                                  grown, and having only started
                                                                                  fencing at Bangor, it really shows the
                                                                                                                            and in coaching. Whoever becomes
                                                                                                                            Women’s Captain next year will be
                                                                                                                                                                     Kevanne Sanger
                                                                                  heart and dedication that everyone
                                                                                  is putting in. We’re also lucky that
                                                                                                                            inheriting a team brimming with          (Women’s Fencing
                                                                                                                            potential. I wish them the very

       he Bangor University Riding       and the stunning beaches of              several experienced fencers have
                                                                                                                            best of luck. (Pictured here are the     Team Captain)
       Club successfully ran its         Anglesey on which to ride, and we        joined the club in the last couple of
                                                                                  years, helping us both in matches         Bangor fencers).
       first ‘funday’ on Saturday         offer mountain and beach riding,

                                                                                      Sports Personality Of The
22nd November. Organised under           as well as lessons, fundays and
the Student’s Union ‘Give-it-a-          competitions, all at subsidised rates
go’ scheme, the day was aimed            for Riding Club members. We also

                                                                                       Year arrives once again
at beginner, novice and nervous          have two teams entered into the
riders who wanted to try horse           BUCS competition league this year
riding for the first time or else         and training, organised by our team
get back into the saddle. The day        captain, Alice Gadsby, is going

was held at Gadlys Farm Riding           well.
                                                                                         oon to arrive on our TV sets       in Japan this year, the victory shots   physical achievements. For this
School in Caernarfon and activities          We are a very friendly and
                                                                                         for another year is that           with his proud mum) and no-one          and more, both candidates deserve
included a grooming and tacking up       sociable club and we meet every
                                                                                         pre-Christmas shindig and          denies the sheer physical toll of       strong consideration.
masterclass, a horse riding lesson       Sunday night at 6pm in Rascals bar
                                                                                  “pretend-you’re-mates” schmooze           tearing around Silverstone et al,          Along with Hatton, England
and gymkhana games in the field.          (Upper Bangor). So come along and
                                                                                  that is the BBC Sports Personality of     though we should perhaps detract        rugby-union fly-half Danny Cipriani’s
Despite the Welsh weather not            see us on Sunday, have a drink, find
                                                                                  The Year 2008. It’s been a bumper         points for the entire emissions         ‘laddish image’ – a bust-up with
being at its best, everyone enjoyed      out more about what the club has to
                                                                                  year for British sport, most notably      output of F1 racing having a            team mate Josh Lewsey, dating Kelly
themselves and got stuck in. No          offer, book a ride, or simply come
                                                                                  through storming performances             carbon footprint the size of India.     Brook - has given him a number of
one went home empty handed – all         and have a chat with likeminded
                                                                                  at the Olympics and Paralympics,          In a different field entirely, Welsh     column inches away from his day-
participants received a rosette for      people who won’t switch off after
                                                                                  and though the preclusion of a            swimmer David Roberts capped            job and has ensured he meets the
their hard efforts.                      five minutes of “horsey talk” like
                                                                                  domestic team at Euro 2008 has            a world-record breaking year in         personality side of the equation.
   This year Sharon Smithurst and        your partner or parents do!!!
                                                                                  no doubt made it harder to single         freestyle events with four Gold         Love him or hate him, at least he
myself (Ellie Sutcliffe) have taken          Pictured above with their rosettes
                                                                                  out footballers for the plaudit,          Medals at the Paralympic Games,         provides a talking point. But… not to
over as captains of the club and our     are the participants of Bangor
                                                                                  there has still been a wealth of          ensuring a tally of eleven Golds in     let the question go begging, who is
aim is to create a fun and friendly      Riding Club’s ‘give-it-a-go’ funday,
                                                                                  individual achievement in a variety       his Paralympics career total, and       the smart money on? Well, if I had a
club that welcomes riders of all         with the 2008-09 club captains,
                                                                                  of forms from sailing to tennis and       providing a euphoric pivot upon         crisp tenner to spare, I’d pop down
abilities – from those who have had      Ellie Sutcliffe (far left) and Sharon
                                                                                  even gymnastics, courtesy of Louis        which BBC coverage rested.              to Ladbrokes and place it on a certain
their own horse and competed at          Smithurst (far right)
                                                                                  Smith, the first black man to win a           Just a few weeks earlier, Chris      Ms. Adlington. Hopefully though,
a high level, to people who have
                                                                                  Medal in Olympic gymnastics.              Hoy was putting the exclamation         the awards will be a celebration of
never sat on a horse before and
would like to “give-it-a-go”! We are      Ellie Sutcliffe                             So, who deserves to take home
                                                                                  the plaudits for the year? And on
                                                                                                                            point on a successful week of indoor
                                                                                                                            track cycling winning a trio of Gold
                                                                                                                                                                    the range and diversity in British
                                                                                                                                                                    sport. Should be fun, especially if
very lucky in Bangor as we have the
                                                                                  what criteria should the decision         Medals at the Olympics, to add to       me and Hatton* are there in the
beautiful mountains of Snowdonia
                                                                                  be made? Should the award                                                             same room.

                                                                                                                             “Perhaps detract
                                                                                  belong to athletes who have                                                              *Seren    is   in   no     way
                                                                                  pushed their sport forward in a                                                       attempting to initiate conflict
     A Remembrance Day                                                            purely physical sense: among
                                                                                  them Andy Murray? Those who              points for the entire                        with Messr Hatton, unless it’s
                                                                                                                                                                        being screened on Sky Box

    to forget for Bangor F.C                                                      have gone out of their way to
                                                                                  raise the profile of British sport        emissions output of                          Office and we receive at least
                                                                                                                                                                        25% of the profit.
                                                                                  and facilities? Or should we
                                                                                                                            F1 racing having a
                                                                                  credit instead the consolation
      angor City Football Club’s clash   Williams     added,                                                                                     Stephen Davies
      with Rhyl on Remembrance           “As soon as the
                                                                                  prizefighter; true ‘characters’ of
                                                                                  sport such as last year’s runner         carbon footprint the
      Day was marred by fan              police    arrived,
violence during the first half of the     the disturbance
                                                                                  –up Ricky ‘stand-up routine’
                                                                                  Hatton? (This of course leads
                                                                                                                               size of India”
top of the table encounter. The          was     quelled.”
                                                                                  to the circular question of how
fact that the match was played on        Indeed that is
                                                                                  best to define the nebulous concept        successes by female counterparts
November 11th did not matter for         often the case
                                                                                  of British sport’s ‘spirit’, often        Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca
the fifty or so ‘fans’ who brought        once the police
                                                                                  embodied in the plucky loser. Stand       Romero, capitalising on the shift in
shame on Bangor F.C as a mass            arrive.      There
                                                                                  up Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards).            the fulcrum of power from French
brawl broke out on the terraces.         were no arrests
                                                                                      As the great Queens, NYC hip-hop      cycling to British cycling that had
North Wales Police inspector Steve       and one fan was
                                                                                  trio Run DMC once proclaimed, ‘It’s       begun at the World Championships
Williams confirmed: “We attended          allegedly injured but with Rhyl set
                                                                                  Tricky’, and the pundits often tend       earlier in the year. Away from his
a large scale disturbance between        to return to Farrar Road for a Welsh
                                                                                  to shower with praise the biggest         bike, Hoy has proven a spirited and
rival fans where 50 people were          Cup fourth round match on January
                                                                                  tangible success stories and tag          ebullient advocate for encouraging
allegedly fighting.” One eyewitness,      31st, FAW chief John Deakin is
                                                                                  them as early favourites. Top of this     cycling in the UK. Nicole Cooke’s
who wished not to be named, gave a       taking no chances, “I think games
                                                                                  list, arguably, is youngest-ever F1       role has been markedly similar,
more accurate account of the events:     played behind closed doors should
                                                                                  champ Lewis Hamilton, whose dash          the Olympics Road Race champion,
“There was a bad atmosphere from         be considered.” Deakin went on to
                                                                                  towards the end-of-season finale in        in a recent Observer interview put
the start and the air was thick with     say, “I’m absolutely appalled really
                                                                                  Brazil with runner-up (and home           forth an eloquent case that women’s
tension. The trouble started as          that amongst a relatively small
                                                                                  favourite) Felipe Massa, provided         cycling offered a visual spectacle
coffee was being thrown around           group of people (709 spectators
                                                                                  more heart-in-our-throat moments          the match of any male equivalent
and a drum belonging to a Rhyl fan       attended the match) a number of
                                                                                  of sheer drama than a DVD boxset          contest,      while       responding
was kicked; once it kicked off things    them can’t behave themselves and
                                                                                  of Wacky Races (Who were your             admirably to the preconceptions of
got out of hand very quickly, and it     spoil the occasion for everybody.”
                                                                                  favourites?, mine were Lazy Luke          those attempting to stir up a rift
was lucky that no-one had a knife or     Unfortunately football violence is
                                                                                  and Blubber Bear in the Arkansas          between indoor/outdoor cycling
some glass, because someone could        often the downfall of the British
                                                                                  Chuggabug).                               in camp GB. Both athletes
have been very badly hurt.”              game and it now looks to have
                                                                                      Hamilton’s story has the much-        have displayed stoicism and a
    Security was heightened for the      rooted itself in North Wales.            needed      human    element     (the     formidable intelligence that will
fixture, but stewards and security
had to sort out the problem before        Will Varley                             metaphorical near-miss of the ’07
                                                                                  season and the physical equivalent
                                                                                                                            prove invaluable for British cycling
                                                                                                                            in the long-term as much as their
the arrival of the police. Inspector

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