Archive for March, 2008

REM – Accelerate

March 31st, 2008 No comments

The latest album from one of the greatest rock/pop bands of the late 20th Century has managed to find itself on my play list recently. Accelerate, the fourteenth studio album by this American behemoth, is somewhat different to their previous offerings of late. Far more upbeat and with what seems to be a reinvigorated sound, it is definitely not what I expected from the band. Having said that it is still very much an REM album, with the great mix of punk and rock – the driving guitar sound along with Stipe’s eponymous (pun intended) vocals. The second track Supernatural Superserious is one of the stand out songs on the album in my opinion. Very much a non-serious song with an incredibly uplifting beat and incredible melody.

There are some standard REM fayre on the album too. Die hard fans will be immediately drawn to the third track, Hollow Man, with its haunting vocal and depressing bass line. Even this track, though, has been touched by the new found joie de vivre of the album in general!

If I was going to give marks out of ten I would be tempted to knock a mark or two off for straying so far from their roots but the album just leaves me far to upbeat to care! I love this album and recommend it to all!

March 28th, 2008 3 comments

Chris was approached recently by the BHA about setting up a national body of student atheists/humanists etc and we came up with the idea of which currently consists of about fifteen member societies from across the UK.

The forums are slowly being populated and there are some really good ideas floating around and being bounced back and forth. I think that we could have created something really worth while!


March 28th, 2008 No comments

Well, to be honest, I think the title says it all….

It has been an incredibly frustrating week this week, all I seem to have done is chased my tail round and around. Rationalist Week is two weeks away and I am still fighting with our sponsor to get everything sorted out in time. Not to mention the fact that I am really starting to lose sleep and hair over the budget for the event too!

Liz and I are starting to fight more because I am so wound up, which is leading to even greater frustration and heartache. It seems I am constantly on edge and fighting the frustration. I think I need to take a break from a few things but I just don’t have the time at the moment.


Approaching Easter

March 14th, 2008 No comments

It is not often that St Patrick’s Day and Easter are in the same week! What’s going on here??!!

The end of the term is approaching, Easter break starts today and I have to say it can’t come quick enough. The last week has been a chore and I have developed an apathy for life that just isn’t healthy. The chance to recharge and catch up on reading, essays etc is well overdue!

The week started with Rocky Horror on Monday which went atrociously, A-Soc on Tuesday wasn’t much better – although it was a chance to see all four of the atheist characters (Dawkins, Dennet, Hitchins and Harris) sat round a table, Wednesday was School Disco (post to follow) and yesterday was a recovery day with One Life virtually being a non-event. Today has also been a write off, although I have managed to tidy quite a bit.

I hate this limbo period where my drive has gone, but it is not yet officially holiday!

Norman for Faith and Culture

March 12th, 2008 1 comment

I have decided to stand for Faith and Culture Rep within the union. This is my mnaifesto…

My name is Norman Ralph and I want to represent you as Faith and Culture Representative for the next academic year!

I am a 4th year student, currently studying Computing and Management. I have a number of years sitting on society committees and relish the opportunity to step up to this unique challenge.

I feel I have the skills and understanding necessary to best represent the diverse group of societies that make up this assembly. I realise the need to combine our strengths yet highlight out uniqueness. I believe that this is best achieved through a combination of inter-society cooperation and support for your individual events.

Why me?

l Vote for me and I will improve communication by:
 Replying to emails within 3 days.
 Becoming the point of contact for more inquiries.
 Working with the Development Coordinator to reduce the turnaround on requests.

l Vote for me and I will improve inter-society cooperation by:
 Ensuring that all societies can contact each other easily.
 Working with societies to increase the number of inter-society events.
 Setting up a Faith and Culture forum to share best practice.

l Vote for me and I will highlight the needs of our societies by:
 Vigorously representing your views at the Societies Executive.
 Ensuring fair and equal access to union facilities.
 Fighting for your funding.

Vote for me. Vote for your future.

Rocky Horror Night

March 11th, 2008 No comments

Dammit, Janet. I hate Rocky Horror.

Until recently I have always categorised Rocky Horror Picture Show as a kitsch film for kitsch people. I have never really had strong feelings for it either way – I could take it or leave it.

Last night we ran a Rocky Horror Night complete with props and audience participation in order to try and raise funds for Rationalist Week. However, we only sold 1/4 of the tickets we had, so ended up losing over £200 on the night! There were some small successes, a) we actually managed to pull the night off logistically and b) the people that turned up had a good time, especially at the after party at Fab Cafe (a chain of bars owned by Rocky creator Richard O’Brien).

The night post Rocky Horror was generally amusing, Chris got drunk, Sarann got chatted up by some weird stranger and Liz flashed everyone! The hardcore Rocky fans who came down to Fab were nice enough and we ended up having a decent night. The only real downside is that a large part of me wishes the night hadn’t happened in the first place.

The original plan was for us to hold two fundraisers this week, Rocky Horror was supposed to pay for the two events and School Disco was to earn the profits for Rationalist Week. Now, School Disco needs to sell out to make just enough money for us pay off the events costs and run a bare bones Rationalist Week!

The English Blues

March 9th, 2008 2 comments

I watched the Calcutta Cup (the annual rugby union test match between England and Scotland) and was once again embarrassed to be English. The performance put in by the lads was horrendous and offended me on more levels than I care to admit. There was no passion, no desire and most disappointingly they didn’t seem to have a clue what they were doing. I am fairly sure that my school’s First XV would have been able to put up a greater fight and probably performed better too. Scotland were outstanding, they played with heart and passion and deserved their win, more than that though, they earned their win. Having witnessed England’s performance against France the other week and having watched them grind out their victory I was astonished by the team that turned up on Saturday!

There was much discussion before the game about Danny Cipriani’s removal from the squad (Brian Ashton – the coach – dropped him after he was discovered in a nightclub late on Thursday night) but that doesn’t even begin to explain the bad performance. Wilkinson, although accurate with the boot from penalty kicks, looked like he hadn’t played No. 10 ever before! His kicking from hand was atrocious. It was a bad day weather wise, so it was no surprise that it was a scrappy game, but England had no idea what they were doing. Vainikolo carried well, but he needed the ball on the wing, not in midfield. Wigglesworth played well at the base of the ruck but was too often shoved out the way by the ‘senior’ forwards. he needs to demand more respect from the pack. He was also too often isolated by the Jonny wandering off and switching off. I have never seen Jonny play so badly. He doesn’t deserve the jersey against Ireland next week. In fact, if I had my way the entire team should be dropped with perhaps the exceptions of Wigglesworth – who played well – Paul Sackey and Lesley Vainikolo. My ratings for the players are below.

1 Andrew Sheridan 5
– scrummaged well but gave away too many penalties in open play
2 Lee Mears 4
– too often caught in open play, looked like he didn’t want to be on the field
3 Phil Vickery 7
– too quiet as Captain but played well otherwise
4 Simon Shaw 6
– usually a strong ball carrier but seemed to have left his hands at home, jumped well at lineout
5 Steve Borthwick 5
– good in the lineout and scrum, but didn’t carry the ball enough in the loose
6 Tom Croft 3
– not a good start, he is not a blindside flanker
7 Michael Lipman 7
– good in the loose, got to breakdowns quickly, one of the only decent performances from the pack
8 Nick Easter 6
– quiet game for the big number 8, still not convinced he shouldn’t be playing at blind side

9 Richard Wigglesworth 7
– a good game, needs to take charge of his pack to be at his best
10 Jonny Wilkinson 3
– an awful game, his kicking from hand was atrocious, he should be dropped
11 Lesley Vainikolo 6
– rarely touched the ball, needs to sort out his handling to keep his place
12 Toby Flood 6
– not a bad game, but doesn’t seem to have any spark or flair
13 Jamie Noon 5
– defensively strong, but offered nothing in attack
14 Paul Sackey 8
– a strong performance in both attack and defence, looks like the only sure bet for Ireland
15 Iain Balshaw 7
– turned up, which is a start, took the high balls well and did enough, will probably play against Ireland

V Festival 2008

March 7th, 2008 1 comment

I have just bought a day ticket to this year’s V Festival. Liz and I are going for the Sunday as Muse are headlining. We ummed and arred about getting weekend tickets but couldn’t justify the £150. There are some great bands playing on the Sunday though, including the likes of Muse, Stereophonics, Maximo Park, The Prodigy and The Kooks (see the full line-up here).

I can’t believe it is festival season already!

Welcome Seniath

March 7th, 2008 No comments

As Chris mentioned here, Si has finally joined the ranks of the bloggers. Check him out here, it is good to see that the last few members of the circle are succumbing to the lure of the blogosphere.

Only Sarann, MC and B left now!

Survivial of the illest

March 7th, 2008 No comments

Well I’m ill. Really ill.

I am full of some sort of sickness virus and have been in bed (and the room next door) for the last couple of days. I hate being ill, I’m not very good at it – I don’t sleep enough, drink enough and I forget that eating makes me vomit…

On a slightly brighter note I have managed to watch a season of Voyager and am now on the second season of How I Met Your Mother. The worst thing about being ill at the moment is that there is nobody around to share in my misery. B, as always, is at Chris’s and the rest of my housemates all have deadlines this week and next week which means they are at uni 24/7. Liz is back on Saturday in readiness for Rocky Horror and School Disco (tickets still available for those that are interested).