Monday, 30 April 2018

Poem: Portcreek Junction

by Cordelia Hobbs







Bask in the sibilant splendour of this sparkling gold stream
Indulge in its effulgence
As it smirks and swerves it’s way to the Solent

“Nothing gold can stay”
for when the sun sinks below the sea,
what's left is not gleaming
the river is seething
waiting for sunrise to invoke in it, again,
that sense of feeling


I wrote this poem in response to a specific view that offers me a rare moment of tranquillity on my painful commute. It stuns me every morning and evening and I am often lucky enough to capture it during the turning of day, making it even more decadent. Portcreek Junction is a railway bridge that runs over a body of water running parallel to the A27 and the Havant bypass. If you are travelling along the Southern Railway line to London Waterloo via Guildford as I do twice a day, you cross the bridge, otherwise known as Portcreek Junction, just before arriving at Hilsea station. I believe my bizarre attachment to this bridge and the view it brings is founded upon two things. Firstly is the fact that the train becomes silent, the wheels cease to click upon the rails and you discover a new blissful silence rather than the monotonous rattle that turns into white noise you had become immune to after 36 minutes of a commute.  The second is the misplacement of and unexpected breath-taking brutal beauty of it. As picturesque and lovely as the area of Hilsea is, it’s not quite a Claude Monet. The view itself is framed by Colas civil engineering works on one side of the bridge and Hilsea station itself on the other. Portcreek Junction is stark, unexpected and mesmeric and then gone in a flash of warm gold. It remains as one of my fondest views and probably one of the most beautiful. It is worth getting up for.

The poem as it stands will always be, on a personal level, about Portcreek Junction, however it will always be open to interpretation, as all artistic mediums are, and is more thought that went into it. The idea of light giving the water life and that without out it, a body of water is angry or often sad but mostly numb. It waits all night for “a sense of feeling”, i.e. light on and through the water. This can be applied in a more vast sense to us as people. Without a guiding light, whatever that may be, we are left to trudge on slowly into the vast and claustrophobic sea without ever revealing an effulgent potential or without ever conceding to a warm and golden feeling of worth that can transform someone's life into something hugely meaningful.

The quotation “Nothing gold can stay” is a poem by American poet Robert Frost. Frost was known to write about landscape and the power of beauty in nature, his poetry is very effortlessly thoughtful and I like it a lot. Here it is:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


Sunday, 29 April 2018

How Sexuality is Presented in Literary Texts

by Poppy Goad





The constraints of gender follow the precedent of culture and civilisation. Our sexuality can define who we are and how we are perceived by society. Moreover, it is society that dictates how our sexuality should be revealed; thus this stunted separation of gender has cultivated a sexual repression of both male and females alike. More specifically, female repression has been a prevalent issue throughout time; female sexual expression has traditionally been regarded as sinful and monstrous.

Sexuality can also be seen not merely as a construct of society, but as identification, an establishment of a self. However, this façade can lead to corruption and sexual identity can lead to madness. In Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea, we watch as the protagonist Antoinette loses her identity and sexuality through the repression she faces in the imperial landscape dominated by white men. A retelling of the life of the madwoman ‘Bertha’ in Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea focuses on her dissolve into madness. Rhys choses to contrast to Bronte’s painting of Rochester as the tragic hero, who is seen as restricted and plagued by his mad wife in Jane Eyre, alternatively presented him as the tragic villain, who drove his young wife to madness through the oppression he commanded. We begin to see differences in the characters of Antoinette and Jane: although both are oppressed by the dominant sexual gender, Jane fabricates a resounding stubborn courage that adheres to the feminist theme of the text. However, Jane is faced with physical boundaries, her hardship and suffering is visceral and concrete, whereas Antoinette faces psychological struggle and torment. The ideology and implicit expectations of femininity are now the faces of oppression, rather than the physical difference and treatment of her gender. This creates a repression that is more potent and dangerous, through its psychological battleground:For Antoinette, even happiness is not real and elicits fear’, Rhys elaborates. In the face of this, Antoinette is described as virtually helpless. She seems to invite her suffering in, rarely protecting herself from the absence of love and humanity she receives from those around her; both from her mother and from Rochester (who is never explicitly named).

The irony of Antoinette’s situation resides in the fact that her fear of the masculine imperial world becomes the very thing she comes to rely on. As Maggie Humm comments, ‘All women characters in Rhys’s fictions are mercilessly exposed to the financial and gendered constraints of the imperial world’. Antoinette’s helplessness derives from an unloving childhood, the lack of communication she received resulting in her own identity to become easily malleable by others. One observation of this is how she conflates ideas of sex and death. Following Antoinette’s hyperbolic assertion that she will surely die if Rochester says to, Rochester suddenly exclaims ‘”Die then! Die!” I watched her die many times…Very soon she was as eager for what’s called loving as I was – more lost and drowned afterwards’. This shows how Antoinette does not show the stereotypical hesitance or fear that clouded sexual intercourse for women at the time. This sexual promiscuity is presented almost masculine in its eagerness for sexual gratification. Rochester earlier observes how ‘She threw like a boy, with a sure graceful movement’. Antoinette’s lack of stereotypical femininity for the time period correlates with Rochester’s dismissal of her love. It is clear that he sees her as merely an object, a possession: ‘I did not love her. I was thirsty for her, but that is not love. I felt very little tenderness for her, she was a stranger to me, a stranger who did not think or feel as I did’. Sex and lust becomes the only form of communication between Rochester and Antoinette, this carnal devotion creating a void which love does not fill. As Barbara Ann Schapiro notes, ‘Both characters are furious at being unrealized by each other’, which correlates with the idea that to transcend deep-set gender norms in a patriarchal society is hopeless; the difference of male and female sexuality cannot be breached. As the text progresses, Rochester begins to call Antoinette ‘Bertha’, foreshadowing the tormented ‘man-woman’ that her future has planned and alluding to Rochester’s impending erasure of ‘Antoinette’ and a disintegration of her own identity and sexuality.

A Timeless Reflection of Human Selfishness: 'All My Sons'

by Ellie Williams-Brown


All My Sons gave Arthur Miller his breakout success, convincing him, after the failure of The Man Who Had All the Luck, which lasted only four nights on Broadway, to continue to pursue being a playwright.

The play is set during World War Two and focuses on Joe Keller as he faces the consequences for not fulfilling his social duty in a time of war - letting his lust for money overcome his civic duties. Joe lives peacefully, with his son, Chris, and wife, Kate, who is tormented by the death of her other son Larry, who was declared missing in action in the war.

The story’s tight construction has echoes of the style of Henrik Ibsen; it details the perils of idealism and focuses on two business partners where one takes responsibility, both legal and moral, for the other. Miller also draws on Greek tragedies, mirroring the structure of a previous offence  coming back to haunt a character, resulting in the protagonist's suffering.

The play takes place across a day and a night, the short time frame allowing for tensions to be revealed within the Keller family, contrasting with the style of Death of a Salesman. Although, much like his other masterpiece, the message at the heart of All My Sons is a criticism of the American Dream, with Miller exploiting one character to show the failures and hypocrisies of such an idea.

All My Sons tears apart the American Dream, revealing the American nightmare it so often is, albeit in a larger scale than the average family. This criticism was one of the reasons that during the Fifties Miller was called to appear before the House of Un-American Activities Committee, especially as the original stage version was directed by Elia Kazan, a former member of the Communist Party.

Goodbye, Arsene – But Who’s Next?

by Alex Gibson



After 22 years as the Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has decided (after enormous amounts

of pressure over recent years) to step down from his role. His legacy will remain for decades to come - having won 17 trophies, including three Premier League titles and taking charge of the legendary ‘Invincibles’ in the 2003-2004 season - he is the most successful Arsenal manager. However, his reputation has been tainted in recent years due to increased disruption amongst the fans (especially through social media), a lack of investment in players (despite this perhaps being the fault of the owners) and an inability to seriously mount a title challenge. Speaking to Arsenal fans and looking at the response across social media, the hope is to bring in a younger, hungrier manage who will reinvigorate the team and hopefully lead them to more success. This has led to several candidates emerging and, in this article, I profile some of the more desired figures.

1. Diego Simeone


Now in his seventh season as the manager of Atlético Madrid, Diego Simeone has an impressive record in a league dominated by the powerhouses of Real Madrid and Barcelona, winning both the La Liga title and the domestic trophy - the Copa Del Rey. However, what has really made the Argentinian stand out is his form in European competitions: winning the Europa League and reaching two finals in the Champions League. This is surely something Arsenal must be looking at for all potential candidates as their success in Europe has been non-existent recently and experience in the competition is a must, one would feel.


What would he bring?

Passion - so much passion. Simeone has to be one of the most entertaining managers to watch in Europe, whether it be his animated debates with officials or jubilant celebrations when his team scores - both seen in the first leg of the Europa League game between Arsenal and Atlético where he was sent to the stands early on and reacted brilliantly to Griezmann's late equaliser. I think this emotion is vital for Arsenal at the moment to help lift the atmosphere inside the Emirates and ensure full capacities as many boycotted Premier League games this season in protest of the manager and poor performances.

In addition to this, his style of play is extraordinarily unique. Defensively, Atlético Madrid are one of the best in Europe, conceding only four times at home in the league and having the overall best defence in the Spanish top-flight. However, this is where my issue lies. Arsenal’s backline has come under criticism for many years now (with the latest example of why being in the game against Atlético where some would say the goal could have been prevented) and so, with the players they have in that position, I don’t think it is right that the Gunners (if they appointed Simeone) adopt this backs-to-the-wall defending that we’ve seen from the Argentinian’s side, as it will most likely prove to be ineffective due to the lack of quality seen this season. This is especially the case when looking at the attackers at the manager’s disposal. With the likes of Ӧzil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette and Aubameyang, surely the best course of action is just focus on going forward and try to outscore the opponent?

2. Carlo Ancelotti

Dismissed early on in the season by Bayern Munich after a Champions League defeat to PSG, Carlo Ancelotti has to be considered in the running for the Arsenal job. One of the most successful managers of recent times, the Italian has won the domestic league in England, Italy, Spain and France as well as three Champions League trophies and so is no stranger to victory.

What would he bring?

Experience. As mentioned previously, he has won different competitions in different countries but most importantly, he has won trophies in England with Chelsea. Although the game has developed in recent years, one would assume Ancelotti would quickly adapt back  into the Premier League and be able to win games with his side. As a man-manager, personally I think he is terrific: he has managed players with huge personalities (such as Ibrahimović and Ronaldo) and often helped players find their best positions, thus interacting with the likes of Ӧzil would not be alien to him (especially as the two have had dealings before at Real Madrid). Unlike Simeone, the Italian does not have a specific style of play, one could say it is more pragmatic and focuses on attack, which may suit the London side best. 

Review: 'Push' by Derren Brown

by Claudia Bishop



I always love it when my brother comes home in the holidays from University in Lancaster, not only to see him, but he always has something to show me and my family. This Easter holidays he made us watch Derren Brown's “Push”. It was really interesting and I really recommend it for anyone who likes to rethink the way humans are and why we do what we do.

“Push” is all about social compliance; following an unsuspecting man in an experiment about how far we will go to “fit in” in society. It begins with him simply taking orders from the manager of a charity that’s having an event. As the event goes on, the demands get higher, including (spoiler alert) hiding a dead body and eventually pushing a live man off a building to his death.

Social compliance by definition is usually a response or submission made to a particular request. In social compliance, the target usually doesn't realise that they are being brainwashed or made to act in a particular way as it is human nature to do as much as we can to make people like us.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Poetry: Stones

by Lucy Albuery


You’ll say you’ll remember,
And I’ll trust you that you'll try,
As you stand in Cathedrals,
Wearing pathetic, paper flowers.
You’ll remember a few numbers,
Maybe a few names
Or just those graves you once saw on a school trip.
But for all you do to not let us fade away You can’t bring yourself to apprehend, that We’re already gone.

Never another noise will shake us,
Yet through the silence, blares
Rows and rows of what we became:
White rectangles, tattooed
With some numbers and a name.
A name that you claim to enshrine,
And numbers you pretend to have meaning to you.
But they’re not what matters.
Because all that did has withered,
Into the cold soil we sleep.

You don't know who I was,
So how do you insist you remember
What you never knew?
I am love
I am fear
I am all that I’ve lost
And all the scars that defined me,
All I gave
and all I took.
I am hope
I am loss
All the tears that escaped.
I am what I showed the world
And all I hid from it, too.
All I am you will never know
By a name and some dates.

You don’t remember me.
You remember a stone.

The Business World Has Changed and We Can’t See It

by Georgia McKirgan



Despite all the discussion about the problems of Globalisation, it is undeniable that market competition and globalised supply chains have driven bigger improvements in human development in the last 30 years than in the last 300. Look at measures of hunger, absolute poverty, illiteracy, pollution  and childhood mortality. We haven’t seen anything like this in human history.




The central premise of this phenomenon has been competitive markets but the advent of tech titans like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon has fundamentally challenged this premise. These companies are all near-monopolies in the markets in which they operate. They have a scale and synergies that make it virtually impossible for competitors to enter their markets. Not only do they use their size to deter competition (do you know anyone that uses Bing instead of Google?) but they attack other markets. When Amazon announced they were buying the upmarket grocery chain Wholefoods, Amazon’s share price jumped by more than the purchase price. The market was actually PAYING Amazon to make the deal. At the same time, the value of all the other grocery chains declined by the same value. When Amazon announced they were getting into selling healthcare products, within 30 minutes, the market value of listed healthcare stocks declined by over $30 billion.

Investors have made so much money investing in these ‘network monopolies’ that companies with other business models have struggled to get investment. In the US, new business formation has been halved in the last 40 years and the number of companies listed on the stock exchange has declined by two thirds. These changes are also changing the way the economy looks...and not for the better. In 1980, the four largest companies in the US by market capitalisation were Exxon, General Motors, Ford and Mobil. Now 7 of the top 10 are Tech companies (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Tencent, Alibaba and Facebook). Three of the titans of 20 years ago, P&G, Unilever and General Motors now have market capitalisation of $100 billion and 200,000 employees but Facebook alone now has a market capitulation of  $500 billion but only 25,000 employees. When Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, it only had 45 employees.

So consolidation and market concentration is stifling entrepreneurialism and competition with real effects on the economy but there is a solution and it has worked before.

Antitrust action. Government action to break up companies when they get too much market power.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Photography: Snail Dining on a Fig

by Nicola Watson





Photography: Bloom

by Tony Hicks







Ithaka Prize Winner: 'The Art of Medicine'

Imogen Ashby is the winner of the 2018 Ithaka Prize. Here, Imogen explains how she explored two areas that are of particular interest to her: medicine and art.  



For my PGS Extend I chose to combine two distinctive areas, Medicine and Art, which I would not have had the opportunity to do otherwise. I was intrigued about where, and if, these fields both overlapped, and came to the conclusion that there could be neither without the other. I created my own psychological tests, and I also researched lots of information about different types of Art therapies. Art therapy is a unique field that combines artistic and scientific components yet does not fit one single mould as its identity is continually evolving to help each individual's unique way of thinking and learning. For the PGS Extend, the sketch book became my art therapy, and I became my own case study.



Below is a copy of the speech I read at the Ithaka evening. I am honoured that I won, Thank you so much to all that came to listen and supported all the PGS Extend projects.




From the Archives: The PGS Boater


An occasional series highlighting interesting items from the school archive.

by Benedict Blythe



This is an original boater hat from the archive. The boater was introduced in 1960 initially for sixth formers only with a different coloured band denoting prefects. The story made the front page of the local newspaper. It was soon made available for fifth formers.


Monday, 23 April 2018

Mock NFL Draft 2018: More Predictions

by Jake Austin



The NFL Draft happens every year in April, and it is where the teams pick in order of worst to best for the best college players in America. This event is crucial in building a championship roster and so every year analysts give their views of how the draft will go. With this, I tried to give my own prediction of how the draft will go.


  1. Cleveland Browns
Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Browns find their superstar future QB who can sit behind Tyrod Taylor to develop

2.            Buffalo Bills (Trade)
Josh Allen, QB
The Bills trade up to assure they get a franchise QB and can address their O-line problems in the following rounds of this strong lineman draft, allowing the Giants an opportunity to fix their depleted O-line

3.            New York Jets
Baker Mayfield, QB
The Jets get their franchise QB in Mayfield to push the Jets to the next level

4.            Cleveland Browns
Maurice Hurst, DT
The Browns replace Danny Shelton and match Hurst with Myles Garrett to create a dominant D-line

5.            Denver Broncos
Bradley Chubb, DE
Chubb gives the Broncos a dominant pass rush with Von Miller on the opposite side, keeping this defense elite

6.            Indianapolis Colts
Josh Jackson, CB
The Colts need defensive help and their secondary is strengthened with Jackson

7.            Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Saquon Barkley, RB
Tampa resurrect their running game and replace Doug Martin with Saquon

8.            Chicago Bears
Quenton Nelson, OG
The Bears provide invaluable protection for Trubisky to help him take the next step with his new receiving core

9.            San Francisco 49ers
Tremaine Edwards, LB
The 49ers add a player with huge upside to a young defense, who can accommodate for the possible loss of Reuben Foster

10.          Oakland Raiders
Harold Landry, EDGE
The Raiders get a player with elite talent to create an awesome pass rush pair with Khalil Mack

11.          Miami Dolphins
Lamar Jackson, QB
The dolphins find a franchise QB to reignite their passing and running game

12.          NY Giants (Trade)
Josh Rosen, QB
The Giants trade down 10 spots and still get their future QB to eventually replace Manning

13.          Washington Redskins
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB
The ‘skins get a stellar slot corner and elite safety to pair with Josh Norman

14.          Green Bay Packers
Michael Gallup, WR
Green Bay replaces Jordy Nelson with arguably the best receiver in the draft

15.          Arizona Cardinals
Calvin Ridley, WR
Ridley is brought in to replace Larry Legend but doesn’t have to be the #1 receiver right away

16.          Baltimore Ravens
James Washington , WR
The Ravens receiving core is still shallow and weak but Washington solves it

17.          Los Angeles Chargers
Vita Vea, DT
The Chargers create an elite D Line with Vea’s inside pressure complementing Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa’s pass rush

18.          Seattle Seahawks
Denzel Ward, CB
Ward replaces Richard Sherman and can match with Shaquill Griffin to try and maintain the Legion of Boom

19.          Dallas Cowboys
Derwin James, S
The Cowboys don’t draft a receiver as they can rely on their elite running game so they invest in a defensive piece in James who will improve this poor secondary

20.          Detroit Lions
Josh Jackson, CB
Detroit gets a playmaker opposite Darius slay for Matt Patricia to upgrade their pass defense


21.          Cincinnati Bengals
Frank Ragnow
The Bengals add to the addition of Cordy Glenn with Ragnow, who can play either Guard or Centre, to solidify their O-line

22.          NY Giants (Trade)
Isaiah Wynn, G
The Giants start to help the worst component of their team with Wynn, a talented Guard

23.          New England Pats
Roquan Smith, LB
Smith, the best coverage linebacker in the draft, goes to New England to help revamp the Linebacking core

24.          Carolina Panthers
Marcus Davenport, EDGE
Davenport becomes the long term replacement for Julius Peppers, and can develop and strengthens the Panther’s pass rush

25.          Tennessee Titans
Arden Key, EDGE
The Titans rejuvenate their aging pass rush of Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo with Key

26.          Atlanta Falcons
Da’Ron Payne, DT
The Falcons get interior pass rush and run defence with this pick and replace Dontari Poe

27.          New Orleans Saints
Leighton Vander Esch, LB
The Saints solidify their defense with Vander Esch, a playmaker who provides blue chip talent

28.          Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Hughes, CB
Hughes compliments Joe Haden and adds strength to the secondary

29.          Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Goedert, TE
Jacksonville add a more athletic tight end to help Blake Bortles in the passing attack

30.          Minnesota Vikings
Jamarco Jones, T
Jones protects Cousin’s blindside and can move inside if needed

31.          New England Patriots
Sam Hubbard, DE
The Pats get a technically sound pass rusher to help heal the loss of James Harrison and help the New England pass rush

32.          Philadelphia Eagles
Mark Andrews, TE
Andrews replaces Brent Celek and Trey Burton as the Eagles tight end alongside Zach Ertz

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Poem: The Entire World is a Book

by Emily Holroyd-Smith



A modern reworking of Jacques' Seven Ages of Man speech from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It'.



All the world is a book.

Seven chapters. Men and women merely words. They have their pages. One sentence can change the story. So the story begins.

The story starts with chapter one. An infant. Crying and screaming in the night. Waking their mother and father, without a care in the world.

Chapter two. The school kid. Whining at even the thought of school. Protesting at everything. Their shining rucksack reflecting the sun.

The third chapter is the teenager. Sneaking out when ever they have the chance. Disobeying their parents at every opportunity. Making us turn a page in our book.

The fourth chapter is the university student. Parties all night. Lectures all day. Choosing their careers. Making choices. Taking a turn in the story.

This chapter has definite surprises. Chapter 5. You’re all settled down. Could be married? Maybe even kids. You might have a good career. You have your whole life on the right tracks. But maybe you could have nothing. No one knows.

The sixth chapter, you’re at the retiring stage. You have grand-children. You’re a grand-parent. But maybe you are deteriorating. You are not what you used to be, especially your eyes and your ears. However, the fun is not over yet. You are still trying to make the most of your life.

The seventh stage, the final chapter. You are still clinging onto the last sentence of the story. The last words. But then…Slam! The book is shut. You are gone. Gone forever.




Photography: Breeding Season

by Tony Hicks





Friday, 20 April 2018

Poem: The Glacier

by Rafe Crane-Robinson







Aged roller,
Starting its lengthy journey at a ‘cirque’,
High up in a mountain, a bowl of snow.

Turquoise power,
Don’t be fooled by the enticing blue,
An intense force can pluck huge boulders.

Fluffy carver,
A light dusting of snow, so light, you think,
Will compact to hard ice and push mountains aside.

Gentle beast,
A icy river, not fast, just cold,
Slip to your death, an accumulating monster.

Purring lion,
Soft and friendly, but moving stealthily,
And cats have claws perfect for striations.

Smooth hider,
Vast oceans of flat, silky clouds,
But hidden are crevasses deep as can be.

  Magnificent abrasion,
A mass of beautiful grandeur so splendid,
Abrasion takes place, scratching below.

Extended traveller,
Ends up after its tiring journey,
At a grand and superb ‘piedmont’,

Why Staples are Underrated

by Katie O'Flaherty




The humble staple. Not given a second look in day to day life, we all too often overlook the small triumphs of engineering that make our lives so much easier, and our paper so much more organised. After my surprisingly passionate (to the extent if surprised me), exclamation to the defense of staples after a classmate stabbed themself on the tiny piece of steel that ‘staples are awesome’, the confusion and amusement of my classmates led my thoughts to wander to those of what does make staples so ‘awesome’. The obvious answers, that they can come in many sizes, with larger staples being used with a hammer, and smaller from a small, simple mechanical stapler, or from a ‘staple gun’ (arguably the coolest way of dispensing staples), and thus the many uses that come from that could be enough to qualify them as ‘great’ or ‘useful’, but certainly not ‘awesome’. The use of staples in medicine to close incisions and wounds, thus healing and potentially saving lives, could be seen as ‘amazing’ from a certain perspective, but still not mainstream ‘awesome’.

Maybe the design and engineering of the staple will shed light on their ‘awesomeness’. The ‘crown’ (the top of the staple) provides a larger surface area for the pressure exerted on the stapled object, thus reducing the likelihood of tears, which is especially useful in thinner materials such as paper. The legs can also be used to wrap around an object without puncturing it, the crown being used to pin the object, a quality used in situations such as when fastening electrical cables to wood frames.

For me, however, the real beauty lies in the Chemistry, and the simplicity behind it. Modern staples are usually made from zinc-plated steel wires, with more expensive staples available in copper and stainless steel. Copper’s malleability allows the staples to bent into position relatively easily, a basic chemical property from the uniform rows of copper atoms being able to slide over each other. Zinc-plating on the steel prevents oxidation (rust) by forming a barrier, and can act as a sacrificial anode is this barrier is damaged. The zinc oxide formed does not damage the steel’s surface or structural integrity, thus if undisturbed, the zinc oxide can act as a barrier to further oxidation, thus protecting the hidden inner steel staple, and safely keeping the paper together.

Review: The Simple Science of Flight

by Jamie Bradshaw




The Simple Science of Flight offers a beginners introduction to the world of aerodynamics. Defying the conventional logic of avoiding equations in published books, the author includes around 35 in order to help explain his reasoning. Through the use of these simple equations and physics reasoning, the book explains the mechanics of flight in a way that is easily understood, using various biological and machine examples.

The author unifies the flight concepts so that they can be applied to anything from a jackdaw to a Boeing 747, one of his favourite aircraft. The concepts are explained in a simple way that can be understood by anyone with a basic grasp of physics and algebra. The author correlates all the flight data from both mechanical and biological sources to create a graph he calls the great flight diagram, which shows that all flying things bow to overarching laws dictating things like wingspan, takeoff weight, and speed. This helps the reader to get an overview of the concepts involved and is a very useful diagram to have to hand as the book progresses. The author then begins to explain flight power and efficiency, along with fuel costs and economy of flight versus other modes of transport. The pages are dotted with various graphical representations of birds and aircraft, and included with each are some key aerodynamic properties such as the wingspan and mass of the flying object in question.

The author then goes on to briefly cover the theory of aerodynamic control, and more advanced concepts such as induced drag due to wingtip vortices, which is caused by pressures above and below the wing interacting and creating a vortex at the end of the wing. The pair of wingtip vortices interacts and force each other down, creating a downward stream of air known as a downwash both in front of and behind the wing. This downwash in front of the wing means that more power is required, in the same way that climbing a hill needs more power than walking on flat ground. This extra power is called induced power and is the rate that the wingtip vortices are supplied with kinetic energy. Since power is equal to drag times speed, the induced power divided by airspeed gives the induced drag, which is essentially a loss of energy to the wingtip vortices.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Review: 'Mary Stuart'

by Daniel Hill


Mary Stuart is a play that was originally written by Friedrich Schiller and has since been adapted by dramaturg Rob Icke who also directed this performance. With design and costume by Hildegard Bechtler it really is an admirable piece of theatre that has tension flowing from the moment that the actors walk on stage. It stars Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams who take part in a coin toss at the beginning of each performance to determine whether they will play the title role or Elizabeth I. This tension created at this moment leaves the audience in silence as they are eager to know the result. I am lucky enough to have seen it both ways round, although I will be focusing on Juliet Stevenson as Elizabeth and Lia Williams as Mary Stuart as this is the performance I most recently saw at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

The play is based on Mary Queen of Scots life and is set within 24 hours. It includes scenes within her jail cell and run up to the moment at which we see her death. The play includes a fictional moment as well when she meets with Elizabeth I who is currently on the English throne which is where Mary wishes to end up. It weaves through many exciting moments and although a fair amount of dramatic licence is used, the plot stays alongside the true events.

The stage at the Duke of York’s Theatre matches that of the Almeida stage; a large concreate wall has been built as the backdrop. This helps to conserve the original rawness of the production and makes sure that the intimacy is not lost during this transfer to a proscenium arch stage. The bareness of the production puts a certain pressure on the quality of acting, but this pays off with passion from every actor on stage. The costumes also provide a crucial part of the play, with the immediate differentiation between the two queens who enter identical being one leaves without shoes, a jacket and a ring. This moment of violence that Lia Williams went through is seen to make her feel weaker as Mary, Queen of Scots. The distinction created through the use of costumes for other actors make some characters’ traits seem clearer. This is particularly visible through Mortimer, who is wearing a purple suit which both matches his Catholic faith and loyalty to Mary, who he believes is the rightful queen. Many Lords are seen in darker clothing to reflect their alliance to Queen Elizabeth, yet one is dressed in a lighter colour which stands out to the audience. This suggests a support towards jailed Mary Stuart.