Culture Focus: Madrid

By Hanushka Karnani – Last weekend whilst walking around the old Madrid, or as the Spanish call it, ‘El Viejo Madrid’, I noticed those little details in the town that make this vivacious…

By Hanushka Karnani

Last weekend whilst walking around the old Madrid, or as the Spanish call it, ‘El Viejo Madrid’, I noticed those little details in the town that make this vivacious capital a city that allows you to escape from your daily reality and indulge in a beautiful history and a vibrant culture. From picturesque cafes to fill up your Instagram profiles in the chic and quirky area of Chueca, to slick rooftop bars where one can properly embrace the stunning views of the capital alongside a cheap glass of wine or a ‘cana’ (beer).

Although it may be cold during the autumn season, the fallen leaves of all different shades of orange and green, paint the colours of the city. The endless and delicious tapas bars the city has to offer will never keep you from a good meal with great laughs, booze of course and lots of Serrano Ham. The streets in the ‘Viejo Madrid’ are completely chock- full of these Spanish delights and every place you will come across with will bring you its own unique enchantment and atmosphere. Art galleries, museums and theatre are also some of the other exciting ventures one can get up to when exploring this urban city.

Despite students needing to be on a budget, this should not exclude you from taking a weekend off your university work and fly out to one of the many wonderful European destinations there are on offer. For cheap travel, you can visit StudentUniverse, Sky Scanner and STA Travel.

Travelling isn’t only for Instagram updates and Facebook posts. It’s a chance to meet new people, broaden your horizons and gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself as a person.

Image Credit: Hanushka Karnani and Lavina Karnani

‘Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution’ (2017) – Documentary Review

By Bethany Mattocks – It’s the centenary of the Russian Revolution this year and so it’s a good time to learn about this important event in history…

By Bethany Mattocks

It’s the centenary of the Russian Revolution this year and so it’s a good time to learn about this important event in history!

This is a documentary that has a countdown to the Russian Revolution showing events day by day until the revolution occurs in October 1917. It explains why the revolution happened and why this is important. The revolution was very important it showed how the people could take power and get what they wanted. It showed a big change in history and affects how the world is today.

This documentary explains the Russian Revolution in a simple yet informative way so even if you have no previous knowledge of Russia you can understand it. It explains the key figures: Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Kerensky and more using historians to get in-depth profiles on them. Also, because of the use of many different historians, it offers many points of view and you do not get bored of hearing the same voice constantly.

I also love all the use of film to depict historical reconstructions as it really illustrates what is being said and makes the documentary incredibly fascinating as it is trying to represent a previous event in history to a contemporary audience.

This year in my studies at university this year I have taken a module about Russia and therefore I find this interesting to see to support the knowledge that I already have, however even if I was not a History student I would be interested. It is amazing how Lenin and the Bolshevik gained the support of the majority of the population and were able to spread his message of creating a Socialist Russia. The people wanted a change after living in such bad conditions, there was mass famine and many lives had been lost in the war. After the Tsar is forced to abdicate there is a Provisional Government created which fails to answer any of the people’s many questions and so when Lenin comes along and establishes himself as a leader the people follow with the hope of change.

Watch this documentary on BBC IPlayer because it is important to learn about our history and understand just why things have happened to prevent the same mistakes being committed.

Revolutionaries3o

Image Credit: Lenin Image
Image Credit: Countdown to Revolution Image: British Broadcasting Corporation

Nintendo Switch Console Review

By Kiana Rad – So although the Nintendo Switch came out all the way back in March 2017, I have only just managed to get my hands on one; and do I have a lot to say about it…

By Kiana Rad

So although the Nintendo Switch came out all the way back in March 2017, I have only just managed to get my hands on one; and do I have a lot to say about it! So if you don’t already know, the Switch is the newest gaming console released by Nintendo since the Wii U and it has lots more key features added to it to make it a console for everyone. Not only is it a handheld console you can take anywhere much like many consoles Nintendo are famous for, but it also has a docking system you can plug it into for a seamless transition to playing on a television with friends and family. The two remotes that can attach and detach from the console screen can also act as two separate remotes which have similar point-and-click functioning to the classic Wii remotes. The remotes can also slide into a controller frame that comes included and be made into one classic gaming controller if that is more comfortable.

So there are many ways in which the Switch can be played but how is the functionality of the console? Well, in my opinion, it is one of the highest functioning handheld consoles on the market right now. The one negative I may express is that not a whole lot of well-known games are available to the Switch at the moment, but as there is a whole line up being announced for the upcoming year I have no doubt in my mind that this will change very soon. Besides this, the gaming experience is unlike anything else I’ve seen. Here are some key features that make it a smart gaming buy.

The Display

The Switch’s console screen is a large 6.2 inches and also includes a 1080p by 720p LCD display with added touchscreen features, making the gaming experience fully immersive and very high quality.

Battery Life

Although there have been a lot of complaints about the battery life being too short on the console, I believe that for a larger handheld console with the much larger screen and higher display quality than its predecessors it is sufficient enough. Plus for the first time, a USB-C charging port has been added to the console for a faster charge as well as more seamless connectivity to the docking system.

Easy Multiplayer  

Now, this console may not be good for people who don’t like lots of different pieces and add ons, but the two ‘joy-cons’ attached to the console having the ability to detach and become two separate remotes actually work in favour of gamers who prefer multiplayer. For the first time, we see a console that comes with a single controller when attached to the console or controller frame, and can also transform to become two smaller ready to use remotes when detached. It clearly shows that the Switch is meant to be shared.

Lots of Potential Memory Space 

A little add on which will come in very handy as your game collection grows is the ability to save game software on a micro SD card. Behind the kickstand feature is a little slot for the card and can add up to an extra 128gb of storage (if you really need it). This way you can download your physical copies on there as well as many digital downloads from the Nintendo eShop.

Take it Anywhere 

This is the most important and greatest feature by far on the Nintendo Switch. You do not have to be bound to the TV and can take the console anywhere you like and play on the go. Even with just the console screen you can play 2 player or hold the remote separate to the screen like you would on a TV if that is your preferred gaming mode. Simply pop the kickstand open and place it on a flat surface and get playing!

All in all, there aren’t very many negatives about this console at all. It works to give a high functioning and immensely fun gaming experience for everyone of all ages.

Hopefully, very soon I’ll be able to give you guys a little review on some of the most popular games out on the Switch right now but until then thanks for reading and happy gaming to you all!

Image Credit: Kiana Rad

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993) – Film Review

By Bethany Mattocks – November is a prime time to watch this movie because of the is it a Halloween film or Christmas film debate. Therefore, if you watch it in-between the two…

By Bethany Mattocks

November is a prime time to watch this movie because of the is it a Halloween film or Christmas film debate. Therefore, if you watch it in-between the two then you can’t go wrong!

Tim Burton brings yet another creepy, yet cool, film through the story follows Jack Skellington, [Danny Elfman] the King of Halloween Town who is tired of Halloween being the same every year, unlike his town who still loves the celebrations. Sally the ragdoll girl [Catherine O’Hara] is the only one who notices and their relationship develops from there through bonding over people misunderstanding them, she just wants to escape her house and Dr Finkelstein and he wants to escape his duties. He finds Christmas Town and forms a plan to bring Christmas to Halloween Town but the people don’t really understand and kidnap “Sandy Claws” and it all goes downhill from there!

I love how this is a Christmas and Halloween movie as it’s the worst when you feel you can’t watch a film more than one time of year and feel like there’s some sort of bad luck involved if you watch it at the wrong time. With this film, I feel it can be watched any time of year with the combination of seasons involved. It even involves Easter when they kidnap the Easter bunny by accident! Truly a whole year-round film!

One of the best features of this film is the use of music, ‘What’s This’ and ‘This Halloween’ is among the best, absolute classics for Halloween lovers and have had countless covers, for example, Fall Out Boy did an amazing cover of ‘What’s This’ in 2006 as did Panic! At The Disco of ‘This is Halloween’. ‘Jack’s Lament’ is another one of my favourite songs mostly because of the scene on the hill in front of the moon, it looks so pretty! Plus, the line where he takes off his head to pretend to be Shakespearean holding his head in his hand is hilarious!

The characters in this film are so cool! Not only because of the amazing Claymation but the sassiness of the Oogie Boogie man [Ken Page] and the mayor with the turning head depending on his emotions are great, there’s such a range of monsters in Halloween town it puts the classic going as a cat for Halloween to shame!

The film is a Claymation and so would’ve taken a very, very long time to film; it baffles me all the work that must have gone into it but it was very worth it becoming a classic to date! It took a group of around 100 people three years to make the movie and for one second of film up to 12 stop-motion moves had to be made!

So, see this film if you haven’t already but if you have, watch it again it’s prime time!

NBC FI

Cambridge Live’s Fireworks and Bonfire Night

By Hollie Luck – The 4th of November saw the return of the annual fireworks and bonfire night at Midsummer Common thanks to Cambridge Live, a not-for-profit charity…

By Hollie Luck

The 4th of November saw the return of the annual fireworks and bonfire night at Midsummer Common thanks to Cambridge Live, a not-for-profit charity that brings the best cultural and creative experiences to Cambridge. And I must say, they definitely didn’t disappoint!

The atmosphere all the way through the event was great. Walking towards the viewing area there were people selling light-up wands and glow sticks, which the younger children were enthusiastically waving around, the vans selling hot food and sweets smelled amazing and the sound of excited screams came from the brightly lit fairground rides. Also walking around were the smiley volunteers asking for donations. Whilst entry to the event is free, they encouraged donations as Cambridge Live relies entirely on donations to keep events like the fireworks going! This year they partnered with the East Anglian Children’s Hospice (EACH) and at least 10% of all the donations received will go to the hospice.

The firework display was described on the night as the ‘biggest free fireworks in the east’ and it certainly lived up to that name! The crowd seemed very impressed with the intricate display of different coloured and sized fireworks and I heard a few disappointed moans when it ended. My pictures don’t do the fireworks justice, you had to be there to have the full experience! The evening wasn’t over however, the fairground rides continued and the massive bonfire was lit.

I would say the night is definitely worth going to next year if you missed it this year. It’s a great spectacle and if you’re a student, it’s a fun and cheap evening out!

Image Credit: Hollie Luck

Settling Into Student Life

By Laura Vogel – As an international student or a fresher, November is all about getting settled. Not in the sense of buying new furniture or home goods, no that is what you already…

By Laura Vogel

As an international student or a fresher, November is all about getting settled. Not in the sense of buying new furniture or home goods, no that is what you already should have done in September. The autumn is about settling into the city, finding your feet as a student and making Cambridge your new home.

You are finally not getting lost when it starts to get dark outside because every house looks like. No – now you know the quickest routes and like a real Cambridge person, you race your bike through them. You also know where to get the best beer in your surroundings and to be honest, that is a skill you are voluntarily trying to improve by trying out new bars and pubs every now and then. Blue Moon, The White Swan. The Tram or 196 on Mill Road are definitely worth checking out.

I imagine you have also started exploring more of the town and surrounding areas; less like a tourist, more like a native. Checking out cute little shops, going on tours around the city and trying canoeing instead of punting should be on your to-do list of being a new resident. Also, the days of awkward small talk are counted. You have probably started to bond more with your colleagues and flatmates, either getting to know them over a late-night chat about “god and the world” or a sneaky round of “never have I ever”.

You see, you have already done the baby steps. But why talking small when you can go big? London probably already called and you enjoyed visiting the City of City’s and its tons of attractions. But it is not just London. Also places like Ely, Grantchester and maybe even Oxford seem to be worth the visit. Remember to travel in groups though.  It is safer, way more fun and also cheaper because of group discount programs from railway companies and as students, we always appreciate discounts. You can get these discounts with your NUS card, which you can purchase with your Books Plus card!

But where am I going with that? The essence of this article is to courage you as a student and new resident of Cambridge to make the most of your stay here. It might seem like a contradiction but actually, exploring can help one feel more settled. If my ongoing rhetoric did not sound familiar to you, be brave and start checking these things of your list. Time is passing by quickly. And the winter waits for no one. So get out there now, before it is too cold and you are glued to the couch!

Image Credit: Laura Vogel

‘The Battle of the Sexes’ (2017) – Film Review

By Ben Jones – The modern political climate is an interesting one, to say the least. On the one hand, our current society is the most advanced and progressive it’s ever been…

By Ben Jones

The modern political climate is an interesting one, to say the least. On the one hand, our current society is the most advanced and progressive it’s ever been. Yet when we turn on the news, it can often feel that we’re moving backwards. A film like BATTLE OF THE SEXES reminds us how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go, whilst also being just a jolly good time at the cinema.

In the early 1970s, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) was the US number-one female tennis player, but the prize money she was expected to win was only an eighth of the male players’ prize. As an act of defiance, King and her fellow female players quit the Association of Tennis Professionals. But King faces distraction from her flirtatious hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough).

Meanwhile, ex-champion player Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) is struggling with a gambling addiction that threatens to break apart his marriage. Instead of trying to give it up, Riggs comes up with a bet that will get him back in the public eye; a match between him and King, to prove which gender is the best at tennis.

The way the film takes the personal lives of these two characters, and runs their stories parallel alongside the central plot, is not groundbreaking, but brilliant nonetheless. Even if you know how the final match turns out, you don’t know which result would be best for their respective private struggles. That adds a whole new layer of drama to the already-infamous story, making the whole thing more cinematic.

The script is excellently funny, particularly for Carell (whose character can’t even resist playing cards in a therapy session regarding his gambling). There are also some really sweet, tender moments, particularly for Stone and Riseborough, whose relationship feels genuine and very sensual. The direction is often beautiful, including a wonderful shot of King’s husband in a hotel corridor. He’s just received some bad news; in silhouette, backlit by the hallway lights, you can see his belly moving up and down, his breathing quickening from shock. It’s a simple touch, probably done in countless films before, but it’s very effectively done.

Perhaps the most amazing thing is the cast. On top of Stone, Carell and Riseborough, the film co-stars Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming and Natalie Morales, and features cameos from Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell and John C. McGinley. Normally, a stuffed cast like that suggests the filmmakers were more focussed on star-power than storytelling. On the contrary, everyone on screen is giving one of their strongest performances to date. The only one who could be accused of phoning it in is Cumming, whose gay costume designer is camp and clichéd to the extreme. But it’s Alan Cumming. All of his lines, even shots of him when he’s not saying anything, are the biggest laughs of the film.

This genre – if you could call it a genre – of feel-good comedy-dramas, based on true stories of social justice, is tremendously successful. Films like THE FULL MONTY (1997) or PRIDE (2014) have been pleasing crowds (and bringing them to tears) for decades. On the downside, there isn’t a specifically unique selling point to set BATTLE OF THE SEXES aside from those films. It follows the formula to a T. On the upside, it might be one of the finest executions of the formula so far.

Also, if you are a little tight on money – why not consider becoming an Arts Picturehouse Member? It’s discounted for students and has so many great perks! Plus the cinema also hosts the C4 Slackers Club which also includes free tickets occasionally to new films which haven’t been released yet. Find out more here.

Image Credit:  Cloud Eight FilmsDecibel FilmsFox Searchlight Pictures 

Expanding Your Horizons and Long-term Employability Planning  

By Elle Haywood – For many of us, January will mark the halfway point of the academic year, with a few deadlines and exams chucked in for good measure. But you are also…

By Elle Haywood

For many of us, January will mark the halfway point of the academic year, with a few deadlines and exams chucked in for good measure. But you are also in the midst of a long break from university. Many people take the new year as a chance to start fresh – and this should also include students. Especially as we have a few weeks break before classes start again. You can rejuvenate, catch up with family and have a well-earned rest. But don’t let the motivation to work slip entirely – it’s good to keep thinking of the short and long term future. It’s the perfect time to start doing extra-curricular work to improve your long term prospects, and you should start thinking about that now. But we know it’s not always as simple as that.

Many adults will scoff at us knowing about our long winter break and endless summer moths, whilst throwing out a few ‘part-timer’ privileged kid statements our way to justify their contempt at our holiday time. But what they don’t realise is the time at university for many students in the current age is not so laid back as it is portrayed in the media, and so having such a long period without structure can be slightly detrimental.  Yes – freshers is a week of binge-drinking, accidental flat-mate hook-ups and getting used to your new watering hole. There are also loads of socials throughout the year, themed events at the SU and frequent club nights every day of the week. However,  the rest of the time is filled with assignments, dozens of books to read every week and furiously studying to get good grades so that the £27,000 debt actually feels worth it. Subsequently, this has a huge impact on students during the breaks who suddenly find themselves back home with so much time on their hands and having no idea how to utilise it!

Coming back home and leaving your new university family is intrinsically difficult and emotionally conflicting. Life doesn’t quite make sense anymore. Your family have just carried on their same old lives whilst yours has been practically flipped around. Many friends are travelling or hanging out with new mates, and your experiences at university have changed you all and made you grow up. Fridays at the pub used to be filled with all the local gossip, and have been replaced with intense debates about the political climate, rent prices and if your degree will actually guarantee you a job. And for many of us, it can lead to insomnia, anxiety and depression because of your lack of purpose.  You sit alone in your old room, freaking out about the future and not actually feeling like you have a place in society yet. And sadly a bottle of wine doesn’t actually make you feel any better. The notion here is that universities need to start pushing students to fill up their winter breaks and especially summer holidays with things to do and make them feel like people again. Being pro-active and doing that yourself is possible, but some need a slight nudge in the right direction. Many of us are partially qualified and willing to work for crumbs which makes many of us ideal candidates for work experience, especially if you already have a part-time job. You have to begin to start thinking long term – you’re likely to be far more employable if you’ve gone and gotten yourself a 2-week internship at a local company in your subject field, instead of being buried under a duvet binging Netflix. Yes you do need downtime, but your time is also very precious and shouldn’t be wasted.

It is so important to fill this empty space with prospects and things to look forward to. Saving up money can mean planning festivals with your university chums, finding charity work to do in other countries or seeking out work experience. The ARU Employability Service is a great place to visit if you need a head start: http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/student_services/employability/index.phtml. And if strict work doesn’t sound quite right for you, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities that will look wonderful on your CV whilst also giving back to the community. Currently: ‘42,000 higher and further education students across England volunteer their time regularly, and these external skills help to boost their employability‘.  (Guardian, 2016). It’s not just a degree that gets you a job, bosses are interested in what extracurricular work you do also. You can check out some opportunities on the ARU Student Union Website: https://www.angliastudent.com/volunteering/.  Most departments actually email out bulletins with placements so it’s worth logging onto your uni website – but also emailing personal tutors or lecturers who have connections in the industry. But you can also fill your time with more creative outlets. We’re always looking for new writers and reporters for the Ruskin Journal (as an ARU student you can sign up here: https://www.angliastudent.com/socs/19359/) or try your hand at blogging / vlogging or writing. Maybe attempt amateur photography or taking a cooking class. The Cambridge Union membership is open to everyone in the city and so you could even attend lectures and seminars by industry professionals and engage in debates and conversations.

Do look after yourself, your physical and mental health included. Just don’t let yourself become so idle that you miss out on all the wonderful opportunities that are available within and outside the university. Being in higher education means that you are bright and motivated and have a passion for a subject. Utilise this motivation and go try something new – it can have a wonderful effect on both your professional and personal life.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock License

Meditative Media

By Ben Jones – As Week 4 of the Semester dawns on many of us at University: some of you reading this may already be feeling stressed. Stress will be a familiar emotion to many…

By Ben Jones

As Week 4 of the Semester dawns on many of us at University: some of you reading this may already be feeling stressed. Stress will be a familiar emotion to many in higher education. There are a lucky few who experience it very rarely, and of course, some who experience diagnosed daily anxiety. But all of us, to some degree, have felt stressed. So what do we all do to feel better?

One thing that can be helpful is the media we consume. As much as the media is made up of large corporations seeking our money, it is also the stories, music and characters that we love. These can all be a comfort when the real world gets a bit too tough.

I put out a survey on Facebook, asking people for their preferred forms of media, which help them calm down when they’re stressed or anxious. Here’s what they told me, with a few of my own ideas thrown in – if you have your own suggestions of films/TV shows/music/etc. that help you calm down, leave them in the comments!

TV

One of the most popular methods of relaxation in the survey was to escape into an episode (or a binge-watch) of our favourite television shows. A lot of people specifically chose cartoons. This makes sense, as these are child-friendly, limitless worlds that are unlikely to drag us back to our Earthly responsibilities. Examples include the surreal Adventure Time (suggested by Jac Williams), or the classic anime Pokémon, which contributor Rosie Waite especially loves for the opening credits: “Nothing eases stress like singing along to an awesome theme song”. Very true, Rosie. Very true.

However, one surprising show given a shout-out was the Batman prequel Gotham (suggested by Rosy Hunt). The show seems to be a dark, gritty exploration of Batman villains when they were younger, tracing their falls from grace. It might be surprising to learn that relaxes somebody! But so long as it distracts your mind from what was causing distress, it doesn’t matter what you watch.

Music

This was the most popular answer, chosen by over 60% of people taking the survey. Sometimes, music is all you need to transport you away from your troubles. If it’s from a film soundtrack, then you already associate it with being transported to another world. One anonymous comment said they favoured “Historical movie soundtracks”, which presumably means films such as Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000). These films tend to have rousing-yet-peaceful orchestral soundtracks, and whether you like the film or not, the soundtrack may still be your relaxation weapon-of-choice.

Other than film soundtracks, people suggested a wide variety of artists, all of whom produce quite soft, sincere music. One contributor named Nina chose the indie stylings of Bon Iver. Other suggestions included the soulful R&B of Frank Ocean, the hip-hop rapper Logic, and the legendarily smooth Stevie Wonder. But another contributor named Helena posted that it didn’t matter what the song was; so long as she listens to it on repeat, it “focusses [her] thoughts again” and calms her down that way.

Film

Films are similar to TV shows, whereas an episode of a show is just one chapter of a story, a film is a whole, often-epic tale in one go. For some, a lighthearted superhero blockbuster, from the likes of Marvel or DC, is their go-to for relaxing escapism. Nothing too heavy (although they have their moments), provide you with plenty of mindless destruction and funny quips.

For others though, the more emotional the movie, the better. Helena writes that having a cry at a film is “therapeutic” as it “releases the stress and anxiety”. It could be a happy cry, at the end of an empowering ‘true-story’ film like Pride (Matthew Warchus, 2014), or a full-on ‘ugly-cry’, at something like The Notebook (Nick Cassavetes, 2004) or most any film by Disney and/or Pixar.

Video Games

This one may not have occurred to as many of you, but since it requires your interaction, a video game can be the best distraction from stress or anxiety. One suggestion was the adorable and non-threatening Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012, 3DS). We also had some more surprising suggestions from Rosy Hunt, including the post-apocalyptic Fallout 4 (2015, PC/PS4/XBOne), (in fairness, a wasteland can be very peaceful), and any game from the infamously tense horror-zombie franchise, Resident Evil. Again, whatever works for you!

Final Thoughts

In spite of all this, it is important to mention that nobody who helped write this article is a medical or psychiatric professional. Just a few students who understand the importance of healthily dealing with stress and pressure. Sometimes, a serious panic attack may take hold of you, in which case a movie soundtrack might not be enough. Otherwise, I hope some of you can take something away from this article and sample some of the suggestions left by other students. Please do leave a comment if you have your own suggestions of media that relax you!

Image Credit: Editor license from Adobe Stock

Disclaimer: The information in this article is from surveys and personal opinions, and does not constitute professional, medical or psychological advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions, or if any of the issues in this article affect you. Anglia Ruskin University has its own counselling and wellbeing service, you can find out more information here: https://www.anglia.ac.uk/student-life/health-and-wellbeing. 

The research undertaken in this article was conducted on a Facebook Survey where participants would be given the option to remain anonymous, and those mentioned in the article gave consent to have their names published. If there are any issues, please contact the editor: elle.haywood@student.anglia.ac.uk 

The Dark Reality of Technology

By Beth Clark – We live in a world where technology is quite literally taking over our lives. On average we spend 2 hours a day on social media, which over our lifetime equates…

By Beth Clark

We live in a world where technology is quite literally taking over our lives. On average we spend 2 hours a day on social media, which over our lifetime equates to 5 years 4 months. From here it gets worse, in our lifetime we spend 7 years 8 months watching TV, to put this into perspective that’s more time than we spend eating and drinking. When you think about it, we can’t do much without it. Technology is relied heavily upon to make our lives run as smoothly as possible.  Due to this, there are so many things that are becoming obsolete; books, DVDs, and CDs to name a few. When you look back at all the things we used to have, there really aren’t that many that are still needed today. Over a period, all things are developed and improved upon: the record for example. This simple idea has transformed over the years, developing into the cassette and CD. While all these are still available to buy many people now use apps to listen to music.

Long gone are the days of reeling the tape back into the cassette and having to flip it over if it was really long. If you talk to children now most won’t have a clue what a tape even is. They have become so accustomed to everything being on their phone or tablet, so reliant on technology, that if for some reason technology disappeared or stopped working, would children of today even be able to entertain themselves? If we gave a group of children a tape and cassette player, I presume that most of them wouldn’t be able to figure out how to play it. Taking this into consideration if you were to give the same group of children and brand-new phone or tablet, most of them would be able to set it up by themselves and then continue to be able to download apps.

Thinking into the future, paper copies of books will also soon become an item of the past. With eBooks being more popular than ever, books will soon end up in the same place as all our old tapes and CDs, buried in a box somewhere and shoved in some dark forgotten corner. The development of eBooks is a positive thing, they are helping the environment due to no trees having to be cut down to produce them, unlike with a paper copy. As they are generally cheaper to buy, it won’t be long before the book disappears altogether.

With the internet; humans have become very lazy. There is no need to leave the comfort of your sofa, everything you could possibly need can now be ordered online. 87% of the UK has brought at least one product online in the last 12 months, with companies such as ASOS having more than a quarter increase.  Many items are becoming available online, almost every store and popular websites such as Amazon and eBay use online shopping. It will not be long before we never have to leave home again. We are now able to do everything online from food shopping to organising events. Even to do exercise we don’t need to leave our homes, games have been made to encourage exercise, and gym equipment, although expensive can be placed in a house. Leading on from this most people can now work from home, with of course the exception of some professions. With advancing computer software, we can easily contact anyone we need to. Should you need to have a conference call then programs such as Skype can be used. For education, online courses are available meaning schools and university’s will not be required.

There is a downside to everything being done on the internet and the advancement of developing technology, including potential job losses.  Once technology reaches the stage where robots can take over almost every job, we will have nothing to do. Without our jobs, we ultimately would not be able to support ourselves, which could lead to the downfall of society. Following this, assuming that paper is a thing of the past, if the internet went down nothing would be able to be done. It would be the same if phones, tablets, and computers all crashed. Without them working it would be extremely difficult to do work in society today. In fact, it would be difficult to do anything without any form of technology, so I ask you this: is it worth relying on technology so much?

Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Statistics Credit:

ARU Student Films at the Arts Picturehouse 

By Kiana Rad – First of all I’d like to start by saying a massive congratulations to all the Anglia Ruskin Film and Media students for their great efforts in their final projects last year…

By Kiana Rad

First of all I’d like to start by saying a massive congratulations to all the Anglia Ruskin Film and Media students for their great efforts in their final projects last year. There was a fantastic range of creative and thoughtful pieces throughout all the year groups with captivating themes such as ‘portrayal’ where second-year students such as myself were asked to create a short film based around an inspirational or fascinating person in their lives.

On the 21st September from 10am you can get the chance to see a selected 14 short films from our students at the Arts Picturehouse in town. This programme is free as a part of our Welcome Week here at ARU so gather your friends and support our university’s talented young filmmakers. The films will be screening in screen 3 from 10am onwards and the names and filmmakers screening on the day are:

Chapter One – Simon Poggi
Telegames – Alex Fryer and James Mearns
Solitude Within Multitude – Catarina Rodrigues and Daniela Florez
Heart-Shaped Box – Lee Renwick and Charlie Bassett
Reach – Joshua Vallely
Head in the Clouds – Jacob Wong
Iconic Film Scenes – Ben Crisp
The Wild – Elliott Skilton
Penguin – Demi Goodwin
Living Through War – Kiana Rad
True Colours- Sharmin Yousuf and Gloria Sylviana
Helen – Fraser White
Nous – Anna Kyriazidou
Low Battery – Harry Pull, Tom Goodridge and Matt Cairns

We hope to see you there!

Image Credit: Arts Picturehouse Cambridge

Moving in to Student Housing – What to do and Knowing Your Rights!

By Hollie Luck – It’s that time of year again where you have to fork out a load of money on a deposit and haul all of your things into your new place. Now going into my final year of university…

By Hollie Luck

It’s that time of year again where you have to fork out a load of money on a deposit and haul all of your things into your new place. Now going into my final year of university, I’ve just moved out of one student property and into a new one, and so I thought it would be useful to give a guide on what to do once you’ve moved in, and your rights as tenants.

First off once you get the keys to the property you will need to complete the inventory form. This should list what furniture and white goods belong in the property and in what condition they are in. You should look through this carefully and make sure anything that is in poor condition or broken when you first moved in is written down on the inventory so the landlord can’t blame it on you when you move out! Anything that is broken should also be reported so that the landlord can fix this for you.

Next up is organising bills, it can be a little tedious at times but it needs to be done! If your bills aren’t included in your monthly rent then it is up to you to organise your water, electric, gas and wifi. Using comparison sites are the best way to find the cheapest supplier for each of these, saving you some money for Mid-Week Mashup!

One bill you shouldn’t be paying for whilst you are a student is council tax. Providing the council with a Student Status certificate (which you can ask for from the iCentre) will ensure you are exempt from paying the bill.

Once you’re all settled in, it’s important to know your rights as tenants. Put simply, if you break something then you pay for it. However, general wear and tear on the property is not up to you to pay for. If white goods randomly stop working or a pipe burst (and you didn’t block the drain) then you are not liable to pay to replace it. Things, like losing your keys or leaving a big stain on the carpet, is your responsibility though so be careful!

Furthermore, although you do not own the property, the landlord or letting agency isn’t allowed to enter the property without your knowledge and giving you 24-hour notice that they will be paying a visit, this is a legal requirement that they must uphold.

At the beginning of your tenancy, you should be informed that your deposit has been placed into a tenancy deposit scheme, again this is legally required by the government. You should ask for confirmation of this if it hasn’t been mentioned already. At the end of your tenancy, your deposit should be given back to you in full unless there is something wrong with the property that you are liable for. A written explanation of what is wrong with the property and how much will be taken from your deposit should be provided to you so you can dispute this with the landlord or letting agents if you feel money has been taken from you unfairly.

For more information about your right as tenants visit this website for more information.

For impartial advice, you can also send in your questions to the SU Advice Team here.

Image Credit: Elle Haywood

Calling All ARU Filmmakers! Submissions For the Annual Watersprite Film Festival Are Now Open

By Elle Haywood – Are you a budding student filmmaker and believe that your work is award-worthy? The Cambridge-based Watersprite Film Festival is calling for students across the globe…

By Elle Haywood

Are you a budding student filmmaker and believe that your work is award-worthy? The Cambridge-based Watersprite Film Festival is calling for students across the globe to enter their work into the 8th international competition.  This has helped initiate so many careers for young filmmakers and start to assert themselves in the industry. It has also attracted speakers such as Eddie Redmayne, Olivia Colman, and Lenny Henry to chat with students at the festival.

The submission entry is open until 15th October 2017 – so you have plenty of time to add finishing touches and perfect your work.  In the past, there have been over 300 submissions from 40 countries, with those numbers looking to expand next year. The festival’s philosophy is that:

‘Talented, budding filmmakers should be rewarded for their hard work, no matter where in the world they are. For that reason, if an entrant’s film is nominated for an award, they will be flown over to Cambridge, UK – for free – to attend the Award’s Ceremony held at the Watersprite Film Festival in February 2018.’

So if any of you at ARU feel that your work could be worthy – why not submit it and see where the competition may take you! The competition is open to all films under 20 minutes in length and created by students.  The awards range from original film scores to animation, and even the prestigious Filmmaker of the Future Award – a film that tries to make a difference in the world. The winner is then invited to participate in a producers workshop at the Cannes Film Festival. Last year’s nominee of the FFA, Pietro Novello, says:

‘To all of you in the same position, I’d like to say, believe in yourself, first of all, that’s the first thing, and take advantage of the great opportunities that are out there for us young filmmakers, Watersprite is definitely one of these.’

So if those words have given you a burst of inspiration, head over to the Watersprite website for more information, and get your entry submitted.

Good luck to all those who enter!

Maximo Park (Cambridge Junction, 2017) – Concert Review

By Elle Haywood – Maximo Park stormed the stage in Cambridge on Monday 15th May ’17 with a sold-out venue for the launch of their new album: Risk to Exist…

By Elle Haywood for Cam FM 97.2 – Head of Publicity

Maximo Park stormed the stage in Cambridge on Monday 15th May ’17 with a sold-out venue for the launch of their new album: Risk to Exist. The Cambridge Junction was tightly packed with fans in anticipation of the new record, as the edges of the crowd fringed with new listeners: making the atmosphere exciting and intense.

The English Indie-Rock group have had 4 Top Ten albums since their formation in 2001, with the first two albums reaching Gold and winning a Mercury Prize. The new album definitely has a new euphoric vibe, married with powerful vocals and pounding bass.

The quartet began their set in a fairly relaxed manner with the 700 or so fans happily bopping along to tunes, echoing vibes of The Libertines and The View. The top tracks of the evening included their well-known single ‘Books from Boxes’, the electronic-fuelled ‘Velocity’ and the poignant ‘The National Health’. They became more dynamic as the evening progressed, with frontman Paul Smith’s confidence showing no signs of wavering. They were clearly incredibly comfortable in front of the audience, as they dominated the stage with a sense of familiarity.

The band, which also includes guitarists Duncan Lloyd, drummer Tom English and Lukas Wooller on keys, suggest that they make music to promote unity, protest crumbling political systems and expressed their love of performing.

With the bold multi-coloured lighting and a show that captivated the whole room, I highly expect the band to receive a lot of praise for the new album. Their singles have also been played on a few of Cam FM’s indie-genre shows over the years. They are scheduled to perform in various European festivals this summer including Germany and Switzerland.

Image Credit: Elle Haywood

Has Student Apathy Towards Politics Started to Decrease?

By Elle Haywood – It has been evident for many years now that there is a certain level of apathy within the UK’s youngest eligible voting group: and there are many factors as to why this is…

By Elle Haywood

It has been evident for many years now that there is a certain level of apathy within the UK’s youngest eligible voting group: and there are many factors as to why this is. A vast majority of today’s youth do not see the point in voting as many find it difficult to relate to any of the political parties, or perhaps they just haven’t been educated in politics during their schooling years. Some choose to spoil their ballot as a protest to the current political system, with others just choosing to follow suit by voting for who their parents support. An IPSOS study published figures showing that the 18-24 turnout for the general election in 2010 was only 40%, which suggests a high level of disengagement with politics on the whole.

However, this snap-election could suggest that the tides are turning, and there might be a much larger turnout than first assumed. Due to the popularity and constant usage of social media, young people have been able to gain more access and information about all the political parties and their leaders. As a result, politicians are now more than ever being held to account and are forced to be transparent about their policies. Everything from their voting records, to their expenses, are available online – and so people are able to judge them for their actions, and not just what the spin doctors publish in the papers.

This is especially relevant to the younger demographic because this online exposure could encourage young adults to get involved in discussions, debates and voice their opinions as to their democratic right. The 2016 EU Referendum turnout was unprecedented, with 64% of 18-24-year-olds voting according to LSE. Although, this percentage is only from those who are registered to vote, so this figure isn’t as impressive as it seems. Despite this, it clearly shows that even with referendums, young people are starting to display more of an interest.

Although many are not doing the traditional door-knocking and signing up to become members of a party, they are becoming increasingly vocal on social media and attending televised debates to voice their grievances. It is forcing political parties to start paying attention to this demographic, as their turnout could swing the election result. Even on the registration deadline day, over 250,000 young people signed up last minute, which goes to show how important our voices are.

And now it is in our hands. As young adults, and as academics, it is crucial that we exercise our democratic right to vote and have a say in how our country is governed, as this directly affects our future. So if you love Tim Farron’s rhetoric of recalling Brexit, have faith in Theresa May’s plan to tackle terrorism, or are joyous over Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to scrap tuition fees – just make sure that you go out and vote. Your vote does count, so stand in solidarity with the student population and make sure your voice is heard by voting in the General Election on Thursday 8th June.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock