Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The End for UKIP?

by Henry Percival


Recently, things haven’t been going well for UKIP. They won a single seat in the 2015 General Election, Nigel Farage resigned, rejoined and then resigned again. Dianne James ruled the party for 18 days and only just last week Paul Nuttall lost out on a chance to become an MP in the Stoke-on-Trent by election.

The defeat in the by election was quite a significant one from a political point of view. UKIP placed as 2nd favourites to win the election by bookmakers. This is due to Stoke-on-Trent having one of the highest ‘leave’ percentage for constituencies across the UK in the EU referendum last year. Almost 70% of people voted ‘leave’. With this in mind, many people, including myself, expected UKIP to win the seat. Then when it was announced that their leader, Paul Nuttall was going to stand I thought that they had every possible chance of winning. 

This wasn’t to be however, with Labour’s Gareth Snell winning the by-election and taking the seat in House of Commons. The result continued the streak that UKIP have never had a leader in the House of Commons. Following the result of the by election, Nuttall decided to jet off on holiday, missing an interview with Andrew Marr. At the moment, the only way that Paul Nuttall can get into the House of Commons is if he goes on a tour of Parliament - once he’s back from his vacation that is.  

Another problem for UKIP is that they haven’t really got much to stand for now. Their main ideology is Euroscepticism. One of the main reasons for the recent EU referendum is due to the work of UKIP. But with the result of the referendum going UKIP’s way, what can they campaign for now? Could they become the United Kingdom Party? To me that sounds like another BNP type party and we don’t really need or want another one of those. Well UKIP have answered this question. When Paul Nuttall was elected as the new party leader, he said that he wanted UKIP to become the new party of the working class. This was a clever move from Nuttall considering the disarray that surrounds the Labour party at the moment.

Why Every School Should Have a Girls' Rugby Team

by Edith Critchley



My rugby icon is truly extraordinary. They are the most capped England player of all time, with 115 caps as of November 2016. They have played for England in the 2010 World Cup and the 2014 World Cup also. When the England forwards used my club as a training base late last year, this player lifted our under-20s prop on their own shoulders. Furthermore, of course, they were awarded an MBE for services to rugby. This world cup winner is called Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Clark.

She is currently playing with the England women's squad in the six nations as loose head prop, and if you have been following them you will be aware of their amazing results, winning 63-0 against Wales. The current world champion squad, England women won the World Cup in 2014. They are record breakers too: the only team to have never conceded a try in a six nations tournament, as well as being a dominant side in almost every 15s tournament in the last 10 years.

So why, despite all this women's rugby success, do girls not get the option to play it at school?


Rugby is an extremely diverse sport, with Rocky Clarke saying ‘It's a game for all shapes and sizes’ which is different to most sports played by girls in schools, which require mostly speed and agility. Even though these qualities are needed for some positions in rugby as well, there are also positions that need strength, teamwork and endurance. So they are appropriate for people who feel like they can't get involved in sport because they're not fast enough or can't throw far enough. Rugby can be their perfect sport.

The Deception of Blue

by Izzy Sambles



In nature you can find a spectrum of colours which are predominantly caused by biological pigments known as biochromes. These include chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, and carotene, a pigment which produces the colours red or orange and can be found in carrots and other plants and animals. Specifically, for creatures colour can be a huge advantage in terms of survival and passing on of characteristics, as it can help you mate, as well as camouflage you in your natural habitat.

However, not all colours that we see are produced by pigments.

There is another way in which colours can be produced in nature and this is known as structural colour. Structural colour occurs at a nanoscale scale; harnessing the physics of light and causing particular waves to be absorbed and only emitting certain colour waves.

An example of this in the environment is the Morpho butterfly’s inner wings, which appear an iridescent blue. Although their wings are physically brown, because they have tiny scales on the surface of their wings, which come in layers of overlapping rows, their wings look blue. Each scale has ridges on its surface, which in turn have microscopic cross-ribs attatched to them, these diffract the light (the light waves spread out as they pass through the wings’ structure), similar to a prism, and cause constructive interference (when certain colour wave lengths are intensified and reflected) to occur. The constructive interference occurs in the spaces between the ridges whilst at the same time other colour wave lengths meet and cancel each other out (destructive interference).

Monday, 27 February 2017

Short Story: The Face

by Hannah Millerchip

Nature's autumnal litter swirled along the footpath. Rustling as they fluttered around, crunching and crumbling to nothingness when stepped on. The fragments, firey russet, were lifted to the skies, then blown their separate ways by the unstoppable winds. Perhaps a little twig would fall from thekijv  canopy overhead, its dull brown figure snapping in two when the unassuming foot laid down. When an acorn ventured past the securities of home, not even its tough shell could help it. Shiny chestnut amidst pale auburn and cloudy brown, standing out, begging for the birds that screeched above to feed on its wholesome body. Purple stained the dust around the base of bushes, where the carcasses of berried deemed unfit by the consumers lay. Mercilessly, the bullfinches barked and the crows cawed. But, like most things, they too were watched over. You'd rarely ever see a bird's dead body. The killers would swipe them up too fast, trying to keep hidden from the keen eyes that saw every single movement.

Sally loved her walk to school.

The leaves crackling as she pranced around, humming with the faint, cool breeze that made the trees dance and the bushed wiggle. Since she got up so early, she was able to spend her time that she would've spent sleeping dreamless dreams playing around in the woods. There were no words to describe how much she enjoyed the forest's company. There were endless things to explore, but she preferred to stay on the path. She knew every crack, every turn, yet everyday something was different. The bushes might be full of berries one day, the next they were all eaten up. Sally giggled as she trotted around a little in a stream, but when the water level suddenly rose and splashed the ends of her dress, she quickly got out and tried to wring her clothing out. It was useless. The water had made the red heart on the bottom of the creamy white cotton bleed, making it look like she'd just suffered at terrible incident, or spilt her jam sandwich filling everywhere.
“Great.” Sally muttered under her breath. Her mood was thoroughly ruined as she thought of her Mum's reaction. As she plodded stiffly to school, excuses flew around in her mind. Trying to find one what would seem like it wasn't her fault, was believable and seemed like something that would happen to her was hard. Finally, her responsible side set in and she decided she would tell the truth. Just as she made up her mind, she found herself through the school gates and getting her stuff into her tray.

Something made her shudder. A slow, icy finger trickled up her spine and she felt eyes preying on her. Vulnerable. An easy target. The feeling made her stomach convulse, her body hair stand on end and her eyes fly open as-
“BOO!” A ear-splitting shriek came from Sally's mouth as she whirled round to see her attacker.
Jamie. A smug expression on her face, a smirk plastered on her lips. “Damn, I got you good, didn't I?” A slight chuckle bubbled into a laughing fit. “Haha, this makes up for seeing a dead fox on the way to school!”
“That was mean, Jamie!” Sally whined as she playfully swatted her friend on her gold arm, ignoring her friend's remark about the fox. Jamie had a weird fear of them for some reason, she thought they looked ready to kill at any moment. Jamie's short, coffee boy-hair was unbrushed and swept to the left, using an almost invisible black clip to pin it there. However, it was untamed and free, ignoring the clip's rules. Her wolf-like eyes, slanted upwards from the cheeky grin on her plump raspberry lips, and her button nose decorated with freckles made up her face. Her bronzed skin, still tanned from her summer in Spain, coated her tiny body as navy leggings wrapped around her legs and a tight t-shirt with a video game character on it covered her torso. Though she wasn't the tallest person in the class, people generally tended to keep out of her way. A school fight happened once, Sally remembered, and Jamie simply walked in between them, shot a glare so scary it could kill, punched one in the face and kicked the other one right in the stomach. From then on, if a fight happened, all Jamie had to do was appear and the two parties were apologising and wishing each other a good day. Though that did have repercussions. Like a three-week suspension.

Sally sighed as she helped her friend up, her dusty blonde, almost brown, curls rolled down her back. Her pale hand took Jamie's as she pulled her up. It took some effort, as Sally's light frame was better at agility than strength. Her sapphire eyes were wide-rimmed with curiosity and innocence, her long, fair eyelashes fluttering as she sighed at her friend's antics. Being the responsible one, she always carried bandages and antiseptic wipes in her cute kitten bag. As she pulled out the medicine, she wrapped an injury Jamie had created on herself from the laughing fit. To keep it in place, she took the red, glittery ribbon that tied her hair in a high ponytail and secured the cloth bandage that she'd carefully sheathed Jamie's elbow with. “We'll be late to Maths if we don't hurry up...” Sally frowned as she finished the bow.
“C'mon then!” Jamie raced off.
“W-wait!” Sally took after her, snatching her pencil case.

What’s That on your Head?

by Tom Fairman

As a young Catholic teenager, Ash Wednesday, or more specifically the priest making an ash cross on your forehead as a sign of repentance, presented two main issues. Firstly you had to make sure you hair was not in the way; you did not want the ash in your fringe. The hair also had a double purpose of hiding the smudged mark on your way out of church in case someone stopped to inform you that you had something on your forehead. Secondly there were the time constraints; what is the minimum amount of time you had to leave it on for? You could try to touch it and rub it off discreetly during the rest of the service, but it definitely had to be removed before coming into contact with others who had not been in church.
There was an overriding fear that this physical evidence of having been to church may have been seen by someone from school. Yet this is an easy act compared with Old Testament repentance. One example is when Jonah went to Nineveh to proclaim their destruction. The King of Nineveh immediately got off his throne, put on sackcloth and sat in ashes and not content with his own repentant act, he ordered every man and beast to put on sackcloth and have no food or drink as well! This is an example of what any parent would describe as saying sorry like you mean it.
The act of saying sorry is a major part of repentance; it allows you to ask the forgiveness of the person you have wronged. To be truly sorry you need not only the elaborate gestures of repentance but also to look the person in the eye and ask for their forgiveness. The Catholic church has the Sacrament of Reconciliation for this, other denominations have spiritual directors or someone you are accountable to. The early Christians used to have public confessions in front of the whole community.

The Mandela Effect

by April Ironside



The Mandela effect is a term for where a group of people all mis-remember the same event, detail or physicality. It gets its name from an instance where a large group of people all shared the same memory that former South African President Nelson Mandela died prior to his actual death, in 2013. They actually believed that he passed away sometime in the 1980s. The memories from the people about Mandela dying years before he really did included media coverage, South Africa mourning and even a broadcast speech from the late president’s wife.

It intrigued me from the start and I soon found that there were plenty of other instances that people have believed that something had happened/was a certain way and eventually, it turned out that it wasn’t actually the way that they so believed. There are plenty of examples of The Mandela Effect in films and lines that different characters say. One famous line – from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is when the Queen says “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” – this is a line that people, including myself have known that way for a long time – however it turns that  the Queen in that movie actually said “Magic mirror on the wall…”

Gender Pay Gap - Have We Closed It Yet?

by Georgia McKirgan


How do we change this mindset?
A recent presentation at school by the Institute for Economic Affairs got me thinking about gender equality in the workplace. First things first. The law in this country requires that men and women should get paid the same for doing the same job but there is still a 13.9% difference in the pay of men and women. 

Why is this? 

While there are still some cases where women get paid less than men for doing exactly the same job as men, the law is working to eliminate these differences. Where there are still differences, they tend to be found among older workers. The gap for women under 30 has almost disappeared.

So why is there still a gap between male and female pay?

The first reason is the fact that women have children. Recent research shows that unfair treatment of new mothers remains common. Every year, 54,000 women are forced to leave their job as a result of poor treatment after they have a baby. This can have a long-term impact on their earnings. There are also many obstacles that lead to new mothers leaving work earlier and returning to work later after giving birth than they would like. Beyond childbirth, women  continue to play a greater role in caring for children, as well as for sick or elderly relatives. As a result, more women work part time, and these jobs are typically lower paid with fewer progression opportunities. Often, as women return from a break to raise children, they find that their male contemporaries are being promoted ahead of them. So improvements in childcare are social care options may help to address this situation but I want to look at the problem in a wider sense.

We have a divided labour market.

Women are more likely to be in low paid and low skilled jobs, creating labour market segregation. Around 80% of those working in the low-paid care and leisure sectors are women, while only 10% of those in the better paid skilled trades are women. Women also make up 60% of those earning less than the living wage and men continue to make up the majority of those in the highest paid and most senior roles – for example, there are just five female Chief Executives in the FTSE 100. For the non-financially literate, that means there are 95 male Chief Executives out of the top 100 British companies.

Why Leicester City Were Right to Sack Claudio Ranieri

by Julian Davis



Last season, Leicester City completed one of the greatest accomplishments in all of sporting history, winning the Premier league, going from relegation fighters to champions. At the heart of this monumental triumph was Claudio Ranieri, a man who had never won a division title, suddenly winning one in the most improbable fashion - at 5000-1 odds. Yet now he’s been sacked.

In one sense it was a huge injustice, to achieve something so extraordinary, then just to be sacked nine months later; one could argue that he had merited the chance to keep his side up. However, the board of Leicester City felt they couldn’t afford to take that chance, couldn’t afford to be relegated. Both Hull City and Swansea City had sacked their managers and had a significant uplift in their fortunes, with Swansea winning 4 of their last 6 games since hiring Paul Clement, including an impressive win at Anfield.

It was this so called ‘new manager bounce’ that the board had decided to take their chances on, because Leicester need to turn around their season. They have failed to score a single goal in the Premier League during 2017 and are one point above the relegation zone; for the defending champions this is inexcusable. The players were publicly rebelling against the managers and, without the backing of the players, any manager's position becomes untenable. In a way Ranieri follows a pattern stretching back the last five years, with a manager leaving the season after winning the league, demonstrating the fiercely competitive nature of the Premier League.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Photography Club: Small World



Short Read by Sofia Findlay Pacheco

Tic-tac People by Jazzy Holden

Mini-Man by Sofia Callender

Short Story: These Four Walls

by Lucy Albuery



What is about school that makes it so much scarier at night? Every door groans a whisper louder and every breeze is a goose bump colder. Each lonely chair seems to mourn the absence of a child and each display seems to be a relic, grafeetied to immortalise a past life of a past people. Everyone of the clock’s ticks echoes through the air, being suspended there for a little infinity and the floorboard squeak and moan louder than thoughts; and Karen was stuck in the middle of it.

She had forgotten her book so she sheepishly tiptoed through the corridors of the cold, stone building she had spent so many hours in. She walked up the stairs, turned corridors she knew by heart, slowly rotated the brass door handle and strained the rusty hinges of the door to Miss. Brown’s English classroom. Gingerly, she crept in; weary of every pin-drop and every, ever so slight, change in the still, unfamiliar air that surrounded her. The blinds had fainted down to the bottom of their panes and her book stared at her from the desk. On Miss. Brown’s desk, a pile of books stared at her too. Miss. Brown had clearly been marking them but only half the pile had her red pen scribbled over them. Karen couldn’t help but wonder what had happened. Why were only half of the books marked and why did her teacher not take them with her, like she always did? That wasn’t like her. Karen took a few more restrained steps towards her book, picked it up and heard a noise.

It was the door slamming behind her. She slowly pivoted to face it. Karen knew it was the caretaker, right? He had just locked up all the classrooms for the night and didn’t realise she was in there, right? So she yelled trying to get his attention, “Hello, I’m in here.” But there was no reply. She tried again, “I think you locked me in by accident, can you let me out? Please!” Still no answer came to her. She began to worry, and worry a bit more. Karen grabbed the door handle, the cold brass chilled her hand and delivered shivers up her arm, and she turned the handle with no success to open the door, and turned it again and again, and again nothing. The chilling realisation wafted over her and every fibre in her body like an electric shock, form a thousand volts: she was stuck.    

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Searching for Joy

by Tom Fairman


Of my children who can express an opinion, there are none that have expressed a strong interest in football. Recently there has been some attendance at after school football sessions, but football on the television or radio is actively rallied against. With this in mind, it came as a massive shock when my littlest one decided to take his first independent steps.
As a parent, the first steps are a huge moment and often highly debated. There are the hand held, but only for guidance first steps, followed by the falling down whilst stepping first steps until they actually make a decision to move without provocation. The first time I saw my youngest take these unsolicited steps was to try to kick a ball that was slightly out of their reach. Kicking things or stamping on them whilst holding onto a chair had been a favourite hobby for a while so the surprise which arose in me when I saw this was unexpected. It was followed by a moment of happiness that I may have a kindred spirit for my football interest, that lasted only a moment before the obligatory collapse on the floor and tears that follow an unintentional step-over accompanied by hitting your head on a cupboard.
It was a moment that lasted only for a split second and the joy that accompanied it lasted for just as long. This seems a little bit cold hearted but let me explain. When something like this happens, particularly when it takes you by surprise, there is an initial pause to take stock of what has happened. Did I really just see that? Did it actually happen? The reality goes further once it has cleared this initial hurdle and takes a direct path to your heart. It touches something deep inside of you, making you feel, to take the words of better men, fully alive. You feel as if you will burst with a mixture of happiness, bliss and pride; some people cry, others stop in awe and yet the feeling goes deep and feels stronger than anything else.
It is beyond the satisfaction of achieving something you have worked hard for. It is more than the happiness or relief of your team winning. It is passed the amazement of finally getting the gift you always wanted. It is all of this and more, bound together and if you excuse the inaccuracy, multiplied by infinity. This joy is on a completely divine level, but it is a rarity. No sooner has the feeling touched the core of who you are, then it is attacked by thoughts that guard our hearts. What have you done to deserve this? Were you this happy when the others walked? Will others be jealous that this this happened to you? Then the moment has gone, the joy is stolen away from you.
A lot of the time, particularly in our leisure time, we search for this elusive moment of joy. We do the things that make us feel good, we search out the experiences in the past where we came close to this feeling before. Think about what hobbies you choose to do and why you do them. Are we searching for something in the past that can not be reclaimed? This true joy is real, but if you are anything like me, as soon as you find it, it goes away for a long time.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Photography: Spring!

by Tony Hicks














Poem: She Knew the Crime

by Lucy Noble



A cold winter’s breeze shivered through her skin.
She stood dead in her tracks
Noticing the blood stained blanket of snow.
As red as roses, the squirrel
Squashed to its bitter end.
The question rang through her head
“Who could have done this?”
Softly caressing the silky skin
She dragged her fingers across the wound.
The sharp jagged edges,
The glossy bones,
The shiny organs
Were nothing compared to her pain.
At nine years-old she could not understand.


Driving slowly,
The deer lay still in the middle of the path.
At sixteen years-old she could understand
The horror which lay before her.
She knew the victim,
She knew the criminal.
She knew the crime.

Labour: Weak Leader or Weak Party?

by Aladdin Benali (OP)


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised heavily for failing to lead the party. But could Labour's failure arise from far deeper issues within the party?
Under former Labour Leader (2010-2015) Ed Miliband, the Refounding Labour project was established to expand the party by strengthening local supporter representation in the party. After the Collins Report, the leadership vote was reformed meaning votes cast by Labour MPs, Party members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters were counted equally under the new ‘one member, one vote’ (OMOV) system. As such, any Labour candidate may be nominated provided he/she receives at least 15% support in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).
This new system successfully gives equal voice to each member. However, the OMOV system has shown to foster division in the PLP.
Indeed, in the leadership election last September, after securing only 15.5% of PLP nominations, left-wing MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected Party leader with 59.5% of the vote, over 40.5 percentage points above that of the runner up, Andy Burnham MP. Consequently, Corbyn has faced a 172 to 40 motion of no confidence from the PLP, following 25 Shadow Cabinet resignations/dismissals, including those of long-standing senior Labour figures, such as Chris Bryant MP and Hilary Benn MP. The result of the subsequent leadership election was an increase of Corbyn’s share of the vote from 59.5% to 61.8%, against opponent Owen Smith (38.2%).
On policy, this division within the PLP was demonstrated most clearly in the Trident Nuclear Programme. Trident is an operational system of four Vanguard-class submarines armed with ballistic missiles (Trident II D-5) containing thermonuclear warheads. When a motion was presented (moved) to extend the programme’s life until the 2060s in parliament last July, Labour was split in two. While 147 to 47 Labour MPs supported the Trident renewal (76%), Corbyn, with majority of the Shadow Cabinet, opposed the motion.
Source: UK Parliament

Monday, 20 February 2017

The Dangers of Drinking During Pregnancy

by Katie O'Flaherty


FASD - Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. They affect 1% of the population, which in the grand scheme of things is a significant proportion of the developed world. FASD is is caused when a woman drinks during pregnancy. The placental barrier does not prevent the alcohol from entering the developing baby's bloodstream. Unlike the mother, the unborn baby does not have the enzymes required to break down alcohol. Added to this, the blood-brain barrier is underdeveloped thus the alcohol directly damages the brain. Depending on the stage in pregnancy, and thus the part of the brain developing at the time dictates the nature of the brain damage caused. In some cases there are physical features to this, such as a shortened nose and railroad ears. However, often these are not present, hence it can be seen as an invisible disability.

FASD can cause primary characteristics such as dysmaturity (often present as a mental/social age that is lower than the person's actual age), impulsivity, slower processing pace, memory problems, difficulty forming links and association (cause and consequence), and an inability to think in an abstract sense. Often FASD goes undiagnosed (with symptoms often being attributed instead to conditions such as ADHD), thus the primary symptoms go unsupported. These can lead to the development of secondary characteristics, such as frustration, low self-esteem (or self-aggrandisement), aggression, depression, and isolation, which, like the primary symptoms, are often irreversible once they have materialised.

Frequently, children with FASD end up in the social care system, and adoptive families often do not know of the child's alcohol exposure in-utero. This puts a huge amount of strain on the adoptive and foster families when the primary and secondary characteristics of FASD begin to materialise. In the UK, there are only two places for FASD suffers to get a diagnosis on the NHS (Exeter and Surrey), whereas in any other areas the person will have to pay privately to get a diagnosis ~ a fee which many people cannot afford. Unless a proper diagnosis has been obtained, access to the anyway-limited support systems is almost impossible.

Due to the nature of FASD, people with the disorder are far more likely to struggle functioning in day-to-day life. 60% of FASD sufferers will contend with the criminal justice system at least once in their life. It is believed that 23% of the prison population of North America have FASD, however this is widely considered to be an underestimate. 12.8 years old is the average age for FASD suffered to have their first contention with the law. Those are children who are just starting senior school; Year 7s.  The number of people in the criminal justice system at any given time whose FASD has been a significant factor in their unlawful activity is impossible to estimate, however the cost of this is inescapable. Not only is this a potentially productive and healthy life now spent locked away behind bars, but also the cost to the taxpayer. It costs £40,000 per prisoner per year to be incarcerated. Over £2.8bn is spent annually simply on prisons. Imagine how that money could be spent elsewhere if just a fraction of the yearly total cost was spent on effective preventative measures.

Poem: Sailing to the Horizon

by Claudia Bishop


The salt sea air was thick and warm,
Seagulls shouted overhead,
The crisp blue sky was beaming bright
The teal blue water glistened in the sun
We boarded the rib all together
And in time we were off and away
Sailing out as far as we could
Into the Solent happily.
The engine started
The sea straight ahead
The wind in our face
The sound of the gust in my ears
My hair flying up
I couldn't of been happier.
We reached the Isle of Wight
The engine ground to a halt
Steadily we stood at the friend of the rocking rib
Gaining our balance
Ready to jump
3,2,1
I hit the sea like fish going home


The days I look back on happily
When I could swim in the sea freely
I was a mermaid
The sea was my home
No cares in the world

Sailing to the horizon

Photography: Leap

by Jazzy Holden



Who Are My Enemies?

by Tom Fairman


When Donald Trump declared that “the fake news media were not his enemies, but the enemies of the American people”, he makes a interesting point. Who are our enemies? The term enemy has very strong connotations though; it is indelibly linked to hated and conflict. Although you disagree with someone does it necessarily make them your enemy? When the Daily Mail called the High Court judges enemies of the people, it had the added effect of drawing a dividing line in the ground; you are either with us or with them. Therefore by labelling your enemies, you can make sure you are on the right side of the fight. It becomes literally comical, seeking inspiration from super heroes and super villains, a battle until death. It is all part of the hyperbole of social media news reporting, the instant ratings hit that comes from controversy.
Yet this is not a new phenomenon; enemies have always played a part in human history whether it be the enemies of a whole country, to individual grudges held. If an enemy is too harsh a term to apply to our lives, it is worth considering who we harbour hatred for in our hearts. Although if hatred is still too strong for you, there are always some people who annoy you and know how to push your buttons. I would like to give a few examples if you would humour me in as non- judgemental way as you think I deserve.
We recently treated ourselves to a trip to Disneyland Paris with the children which was a wonderful experience, but as with any trip with small children and a pushchair it has its moments. Attractions are not always the easiest to get around with a pushchair particularly when the place is busy, so having people stop in the middle of a path to take a selfie is an unnecessary extra obstacle. The thing about a selfie is that you can not actually see what is behind you when you are taking it so stopping in random places at unannounced times is incredibly irritating. Also queuing with small children can be painful, but when you are queuing to meet Spider-Man and there are groups of twenty year olds waiting in front of you to see a man dressed in a super hero costume, certain feelings are hard to repress!
I am not a person to say something, but a few grudges began to be formed and these inconsiderate individuals had become unknowing enemies of mine. Yet even as merited as these feelings were, the Lord had warned Moses not to bear hatred in our hearts for our brothers and to cherish no grudge against anyone Lev 19:17-18. This sounds like a New Testament forgiveness policy straight from Jesus’ mouth but it actually has been part of the plan all along. I would love to say I realised my error and prayed they had a great holiday in that moment, but it takes a little longer for me to come to that point!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Review: The Dresser

by Daniel Hill


Last week I saw ‘The Dresser’ at Chichester Festival Theatre. This is the same production that has recently been on the West End and starred Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith. Not knowing much about the play, I went in with an open mind hoping for the best.

After I had purchased a program I read about how it had been speculation that the playwright had based the two main characters on himself and the actor whom he had dressed previous to becoming a playwright. It was clear that this was very possibly the case, although the playwright has responded by denying the claims.

The play is about a respected actor named Sir (Stott) who has recently been caught by age and edging nearer to his death. His dresser named Norman (Shearsmith) was doing his best to keep Sir alive. Stott and Shearsmith worked brilliantly alongside each other and created the on-stage friendship which was needed for this character.

The show was stolen by Reece Shearsmith who arguably had the better character but was strong throughout the play. The character Norman went through a journey of many emotions and personalities. The one-liners were delivered with conviction and often gained audible laughs from the majority of the audience. Shearsmith brought an amazing characterisation, especially when Norman slowly began to breakdown towards the end of the play. The line that ended the play was delivered by a tearful actor but I did not feel that the line itself had much relevance. I thought this was a shame as after a superb performance this sent me away considering the importance of this line and how I thought it was not the best choice to end the line. After considering this for a while ideas popped into my head. The line was the same as a line the Fool says in King Lear. I wondered whether this could be suggesting that Norman had realised that he had in fact played the Fool in Sir’s life which makes the choice of the line quite poignant.

Have a Heart, Give a Kidney

by Kendall Field-Pellow



In this article I shall talk about my beliefs and opinions about organ donation, and predominantly my experiences regarding blood donation - with as few statistics as possible.

Organ donation and donation of tissues is a crucial part of modern healthcare. It is a completely voluntary and easy process that results in increasing the quality of life of a person who was suffering from a disease that prevents them from having or producing the healthy cells, tissues or organs themselves. My belief is that knowing I have perfectly healthy organs and tissues, some of which I can live without, I feel is it a moral obligation of my own to donate blood regularly and join the organ donor register, especially since I would readily accept blood or an organ if I was in need myself. It is shocking to know that that majority of the population are able to give blood but less that 5 percent of us actually do.

My decision to be a blood donor and organ donor has always been completely up to me and they have always been causes that I fully support, however, I was influenced to join the blood donor register as soon as I was 17 due to my persuasive friend. Before then, I presumed I was too young; however, anyone can donate as long as they’re between the ages of 17 to 66 (with a few exceptions). My friend and I have donated blood together ever since, and despite being pierced by a needle, I must say that I thoroughly enjoy the experience. I donate blood every 3-4 months and I am in fact due for my next donation at the end of this month; which I am looking forward to. Since donating, I've found out my blood group; O+, which means anyone with Rhesus positive (RhD +) blood can accept my blood, regardless of the presence of A or B antibodies, since O means that there are no antibodies. For general information, O- blood group is called the “universal donor” since there are no A or B antibodies and no presence of the RhD antigen (also called the Rhesus factor), hence it is Rhesus negative. Individuals of the O- blood group are very strongly urged to donate blood since even the rarest blood groups (AB+) can accept this type of blood, including anyone in a life-or-death situation where their blood group is unknown! And for those of you who take a particular interest in biology, the ABO blood group system is an example of a phenomenon called ‘codominance’ in alleles for blood antigen proteins.



 A few days after the session of donating, you receive a text alerting you to which hospital the blood is used at. The first time I donated, my blood was sent to the Queen Alexandra Hospital which is incredibly close to home. The feeling that someone in my community now has a slightly better quality of life because of a small amount of blood I donated is very heart-warming (no pun intended).
The main benefit I have reaped from donating blood is that before I donated, I always felt slightly queasy at the thought of needles and injections, however now I have completely overcome this anxiety! I think this is one of the best examples of a philosophy; by helping others, you also help yourself.

There are multiple types of tissue donation available in today’s medically advanced society. Some of these are more well-known than others:

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Photography: Red Kiss

by Lilah Atkins





Locked Doors

by Cicely Podmore

In the western world, we maintain a particularly selfish view of our own property. This can easily be attributed to the constant investment which our homes demand with extortionate housing prices, mortgage burdens, renovation expenses, decoration fees, maintenance costs... In the current housing market, where house prices rose by 5.8pc in 2016, there persists a feeling that something so hard earned should be kept to oneself. And because they are so precious to us, we protect them, installing locks and alarms to keep them safe, but also, consequently keeping others out. In past decades, it was not uncommon for neighbours to pop into each others' open doors. Nonetheless, a recent survey has reported that 1 in 3 Britons cannot name even one of their neighbours.

What's more, we have a growing homelessness crisis in Great Britain, with the figure of people living on the streets exceeding a quarter of a million at the end of last year. Whilst other countries are obliged to offer housing to every citizen (the Netherlands, the Seychelles, and even developing countries in Latin America such as Argentina, Columbia, and Uruguay), Great Britain has no such promise of accommodation. One of last week's news stories, about the removal of a group of squatters occupying an empty London property, struck me in its unfairness. By no means am I in favour of breaking into houses with malicious intent, but finding shelter in an unused home instead of suffering these inhospitable winter nights (often sub-zero in temperature) merely seems like common sense. It was disappointing to hear of the owner's fury on being informed of these squatters, instead of investing some of his vast sums of money (he is a Russian oligarch) into helping solve this issue.

In places where houses are smaller, less valuable and empty of consumer objects, it is noticeable how warm heartedly you are welcomed inside. My mother has often fondly recounted stories of her trip to India where it is considered rude to enter a house and not accept a cup of tea. Additionally, having recently started learning Russian, my teacher has told me how a Russian person will never speak across their doorframe, instead ushering their guest inside immediately. Whilst this is certainly due to the practical reason of avoiding lost heat in Russia's climate, it is also a demonstration of friendliness and generosity.

Whilst looking for ways to Interrail on a budget this summer holiday, my friends and I have explored the website 'www.couchsurfer.com' which offers rent-free accommodation, staying with your host as you would with a friend. This site seems uncharacteristically welcoming and is therefore very appealing. Indeed, The Guardian has written an article about one man who offers his home both for free on 'couchsurfer.com' and for a fee on 'AirBnb.' He explains that he would rather that his guests stayed via 'couchsurfer.com' by describing how it is a demonstration of people 'putting themselves out there at the whim of human kindness in a way most of us stop doing as adults.'

Photography: Global

by Saif Shihadeh






Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Boys Are Back: Neo-Nazis Return

by Rhiannon Jenkins



Originally known for his eponymous role in the Disney Channel show Even Stevens, and
action franchise Transformers, Shia LaBeouf has grown in fame through his eccentric social media presence. His recent credits have included; performance art videos, such as the ‘just do it’ meme; the 2014 war film Fury, for which Rolling Stones cited his individual role as “outstanding”; and Sia’s music video for ‘Elastic Heart’. Even more recently, LaBeouf began a four year live-stream video which will run until the end of Donald Trump’s Presidency. It is more than just a live-stream though, it is an active protest and rejection of Trump’s publicised ideology, despite the fact the Museum refuses to label it as an anti-Trump protest. The protest, entitled ‘He Will Not Divide Us’ has gained a lot of publicity but, not just because of the ideology behind it. As it is a public livestream with apparently no security, anyone is allowed to feature in the video, located at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image. For the most part, the stream has been used for its purpose of protesting Trump and delivering the message that there will still be union amongst the people, aimed at criticising some of Trump’s more extreme policies, like his Muslim Registry, the wall on America’s border with Mexico, and his stance on immigration.

However, it has also provided a platform for those who support Trump. Due to its aforementioned public nature, anyone can address the camera, and subsequently anyone can be broadcast worldwide. The first incident was released on January 22nd, and has since been circulated around the internet. The condensed clip shows a white male approaching the camera, next to Shia LaBeouf and whispering “1488” into the camera. To many people, this would have no meaning. This is not to say though that it has no meaning. In fact, it is the combination of two White Supremacist symbols, the “14” standing for the ‘14 Words Slogan’ which, unabridged, is ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children’, and the ‘88’ standing for ‘Heil Hitler’. At first LaBeouf has no reaction and then, a few seconds later, he can be seen following the man and bringing him back into the frame. Labeouf shouts the protest’s slogan in the man’s face, non-violently, whilst the man continues to preach White Supremacist slogans. LaBeouf follows the man around to the back of the ground after a bystander intervenes to separate the two. Whilst they are out of sight, another person approaches the camera and holds up an American note with Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ written on it. This has not been the only altercation. On one occasion someone ordered a large amount of pizzas to the protest, with no one to pay for them. The latter is probably one of the tamer incidents.

Another neo-Nazi approached the camera at a different time and whispered the phrase “Hitler did nothing wrong” repeatedly into the microphone, before asking the viewer to “investigate the Holocaust like you investigate 9/11”, referring to the many conspiracy theories that arose following the terrorist attacks in 2001 in New York. However, it is another clip taken on a mobile that is believed to be the reason LaBeouf was taken into custody on Thursday 25th by New York Police. The arrest occurred on the livestream in the late evening/early morning, following the release of a short video in which LaBeouf reacts to a fan’s comment. The video starts innocently, a male fan asking LaBeouf to come over and say hello. The fan then says “Hitler did nothing wrong”, directly to LaBeouf. In reaction, LaBeouf shoves the fan and walks away, the fan asking “why did he attack me?” as LaBeouf leaves. Many believe this altercation to be why LaBeouf was charged with assault.

The 85th Birthday of a Cinematic Legend

by Joe Brennan


 WARNING: I say the word "iconic" an unhealthy amount of times in this article.

Today marks the birthday of a real hero of mine (when it comes to movies) and I would like to share some insight into the genius behind so much we've come to love.

There are hundreds of individuals who have influenced and shaped the world of cinema who will forever go down in history for what they did. From Hitchcock's introduction of reincorporation to Disney's passion to entertain and front runner of the animated world, the number of iconic geniuses to leave their mark on the world keeps growing.

But I don't think any have had such an impact on pop culture, geek culture and the world as a whole than the man I'm writing about today. A man whose work is known by the majority of modern civilisation. A man who I attribute the success of some of the most important movies of all time to. A true hero of cinema, and I would argue that his legacy will rival that of Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney.

Imagine a world where Star Wars never exploded into success. Imagine if it was nothing but a stand alone movie from 1977. No sequels, no prequels, no merchandise. If the decision for that film had been to follow the trend of 60s and 70s sci-fi soundtracks and have electric and "futuristic" sounding beeps and boops (see early doctor who soundtracks) I doubt it would've had a cultural impact. Almost anyone can hum the themes from Star Wars and I don't think that is due to how successful it was but, in fact, the other way round- the success of Star Wars owes a lot to John Williams and his score. A soundtrack can speak to us on levels visuals and dialogue can only scratch the surface of.

If one was set a task to name some of the most legendary musical themes from movies, I can't think of many that wouldn't be composed by John Williams.

I feel as though to get my point across fully, the best thing to do would list the films he's provided his genius for. A similar list could be titled "Best Movie Scores Of All Time".

Europa 2030: Welche Zukunft Erwartet den Europäischen Kontinent ?

by Naeve Molho



Heutzutag in Europa gibt es viele Veränderungen in der Gesellschaft. Wir erfahren viele Probleme mit der Politiker, Einwanderungs Krise und die Brexit Krise.  Jedoch, in diesem Artikel werde ich die Zukunft aus Europa erforschen.

Die Einwanderungs Krise ist ein wichtig und Weltweit Probleme besonders in Europa.  Millionen auf Einwanderer wurden von der terroristische Gruppe ‘ISIS’ gezwungen zu fliehen, jetzt die Länder müssen aus Europa helfen.  Jedoch, helfen anders Länder mit unterschiedlicher Methode.  In Deutschland gibt es viele böse Menschen weil Angela Merkels ‘Politik der offenen Tür’ über den immigranten. Es gibt eine bestimmte Gruppe die Angela Merkel hassen und es heißt ‘Der Alternative für Deutschland’ (AFD) . Außerdem sind die deutsche Menschen verärgert weil sie über sechsunddreißig Milliarde auf den  Einwanderers bezahlen!  Die Einwanderungskrise hat einen großen einfluss in München. In München kann man viele Subkulturen sehen und es ist schwierig das echte Deutschland zu finden.  Auch die Situation ist sehr unterschiedliche als München.  Wo In der Vergangenheit war es das faschist System.  Die Einwanderungs Krise hat schlimm folgen zumal mit die helfen von der medien.  In Großbritannien hassen viele Menschen die Einwanderers weil sie die Einwanderers stehlen die arbeits glauben.  Diese Stellungnahmen sind schlecht für die zukunft Generationen .

Die Brexit in Großbritannien ist ein wichtig Probleme in Europa, besonders mit den Jüngen Generationen.  Viele junge Leute fühlen die Entscheidung ist ungerecht weil die älte Menschen die Zukunft entschieden haben und über fünfundsiebzig Leute zwischen achtzehn bis vierundzwanzig wollen zu bleiben.  Die Mehrheit auf der junger Leute wollten ins Europäisch Union zu bleiben. Jetzt ohne die Europäisch Union ist Großbritannien isoliert mit vieler Leuter fühlen unverbunden.  Die Brexit ist ein groß Problem für die Sprache studente weil vielleicht ERASMUS halten ist.  ERASMUS ist ein Schema für Sprache studente mit leben und arbeiten ins Ausland zu helfen. Aber nach die Brexit ist die Zukunft unbeständige für alle studente in Europa. Laut eine aktuelle Studies hat ERASMUS über zwei hundert tausend studente in England und Ausland geholfen. Auch macht Brexit Großbritannien ein nationalistischen land dass nicht die Zukunft Generationen repräsentiert.  Heutzutage gibt es viele Ärzte , Lehrer und andere Fachleute dass in England arbeiten also zeigt dass wir sind ein multikulturelle Gemeinschaft und die Brexit zeigt ein schlecht Figur für die Gesellschaft.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Generation Z

by Lana Watt



First came Generation X, then Y (the Millennials) and now Z. Also known as the Post-Millennials, Centennials or the iGeneration, we are the children born in the late 1990s to early 2000s and make up over 27% of the global population and are usually the deciding factor between Generation Y and Z is whether or not you are old enough to remember 11th September, 2001; if you can, you’re a Millennial, if you can't, you’re a Centennial. But what does this mean for us? We are the generation of the future, so what happens to us now will affect what this future will look like.

As suggested by our name, iGeneration, we have become obsessed with technology; we have grown up learning how to swipe, tap and pinch. But how has this impacted us? Around 80% of American teenagers use some form of social media, but since the launch of platforms such as Snapchat, there has been a regression in the use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which took off during the adolescence of the millennial generation. We have become so focused on not leaving evidence of our activities and being able to keep things 'off the record' that most teens are preoccupied in disabling their geolocation on their phone and favoring forms of communication that self-destruct or disappear such as Snapchat.

Our obsession over technology, the constant need to have the latest, greatest gadget has also impacted our mental processing. Studies have shown that 16 year olds today are more apt at thinking in 4D, meaning our space-perception is enhanced so we are more concerned with ‘how’ things work (processes) compared to the baby-boomer generation who were occupied with ‘what’ is in things (content). The change in our use of media has also affected our processing speed. We process information much faster than millennials, but our attention span is significantly less than the previous generation's. This may be due to faster apps such as Snapchat and Vine, where a message is conveyed in a matter of seconds.  

The use of instant social media has led to a more ambitious generation. Roughly 72% of teenagers say that they want to start and run their own business one day. But it has also created a generation where we never settle for one thing. It we do not get instantaneous results, we are dissatisfied and are more susceptible to feelings of failure. This may affect more than just our work lives, though; a Future Forecast study predicts that throughout our lives Generation Z will have roughly 17 jobs and move house 15 times.