Taking Back Sunday Concert Review

By Jessica Foulger

Taking Back Sunday continue to impress the world with their music, and Norwich is no exception, as they conquer the UEA’s LCR.

Despite the show not selling out, Taking Back Sunday perform with the same youthful angst and zest that made them so infectious and lovable back in the early 2000s. It is safe to say I have revisited my teenage, ‘I hate the world’ self, whilst finding my older, more reflective self, deeply appreciating Taking Back Sunday’s recent, more mature artistry.

The five-piece from Long Island, New York are touring the UK and Europe in support of the 2016 release ‘Tidal Wave’ which sees them continue a more Rock/Pop sound with occasional heavy hooks whilst retaining melodic guitar riffs. It is a more mature, refined sound, with honest lyrics. The set opens with the fiery opening track ‘Deathwolf’, off their latest release. A perfect opening track with punchy guitar riffs that excite an eager audience, as lead singer Adam Lazarra screams the lyric ‘had a little bit and we want some more.’ Yes, Adam, we certainly want some more! It is clear TBS have so much more to offer in the world of rock music, with Adam’s lyrics as painfully honest in nature as they once were at the commercial peak of their career a decade ago but also possessing a contemplative and nostalgic quality. This is a band that aren’t ready to hang up the mic just yet.

Their set is a balanced mix of old and new and a couple songs in, the band get the crowd moshing and headbanging with ‘A decade under the Influence’ with the crowd screaming ‘anyone will do tonight’ right back at Lazarra and co. The nostalgia of the older tracks electrifies the LCR as fans revel in the pop-punk stage in Taking Back Sunday’s career. The band return to the new tunes with ‘All Excess’, a bouncy track with a damn catchy chorus, as of course the main purpose of this tour is to promote 2016’s ‘Tidal Wave.’

Lazarra takes a breather mid-set to explain the story behind the ‘Call Came Running’ music video. An anecdote about how his father came to the house to find blood all over Lazarra’s hands, bowing his head saying “Adam what have you done now.’ Lazarra concedes that the joke was funnier the last time he told it, but to be honest, I think the audience just wanted more belters to mosh and dance to. It is an awesome video, though, check it out!

I am thrilled that the band performed my personal favourite track off their 2014 release ‘Happiness Is’ entitled ‘Better Homes and Better Gardens.’ Lazarra becomes reflective about the meaning of the song admitting that it is emotional and hard-going to perform live. It is about his divorce during the writing of the record which becomes more real and hard-hitting, with the opening line of the track, ‘when you took that ring off.’ Despite the deeply personal and emotional nature of the song, it shows how mature Lazarra’s song-writing has become. This isn’t the same teenage pop-punk band that sung merely about girls, sex and friendship, but a wiser and older band that have experienced life and the turbulence of adulthood and fatherhood. The lyrics are beautiful; the guitars are raw.

As the set draws to a close, the band perform possibly the two most recognised and nostalgic Taking Band Sunday songs. Of course, the crowd pleasers are essential, but one tipsy bloke bellows throughout the whole set ‘MIAMI…MIAMI’, to a point where I feel like saying, mate, I’ve googled the setlist and there’s no Miami, I’m sorry. Anyway, when the opening riff to ‘Cute without the E’ kicks in, I can’t help but delve into the mosh pit. This song brings back so many memories for me and the nostalgia I feel is overwhelming as I and hundreds of others scream ‘And will you tell all your friends you’ve got your gun to my head.’ The set closes with ‘Makedamnsure’, the quintessential emo pop-punk hit as Lazarra yelps the sassy ‘I just wanna bring you down so badly’, executing his trademark microphone twist to perfection.

Well, boys, you’ve certainly brought down the LCR.

Image: “Adam Lazzara” by Dan is licensed under the CC BY-ND 2.0.

Is UEA’s ‘green’ status over?

by Rob Klim

The UEA campus has always been famous for its green space, environmental innovation and especially, the rabbits residing across the grounds. However, as the university’s green credentials begin to emerge as more troubling than they would appear to be, it may be that UEA are not doing enough to protect this status well enough.

We have all been prospective students here once – we were all assured of the environmental conservation policies and the amounts of money and effort put into projects such as the Biomass Centre and TEC buildings. This reassurance, however, falls short as Lewis Martin of People and Planet points out, UEA are “certainly not” keeping their word.

Martin, an activist within People and Planet – an organisation emphasising the importance of environmental sustainability and conservation – highlights the hypocrisy of the university:

“How can it claim that all the time it has £250,000 invested in fossil fuel companies, which have increasingly smaller returns, and has no money invested into greener renewable energies?”

It has also been revealed that when People and Planet sought to press the university to invest in renewable energies, the university has refused to budge. Helen Redeirmann, another activist, has emphasised further how far the university goes to avoid discussing the issue. Around six months have passed since UEA had begun to consider opening up a dialogue, and since then the investment in fossil fuels has doubled.

Martin also explains how other universities are reading much further ahead in an en masse divestment from fossil fuels companies, stating that “other universities are dropping their investments and they don’t even claim to be the “number one green university in the country”.

People and Planet’s University League – a league table ranking universities by environmental and ethical performance – has places UEA in the 48th place in the country, with a total score of 45.6%, and whilst the environmental policy is ranked at a 100%, ethical divestment and carbon reduction remain at 0%.

UEA’s investment in fossil fuels comes to nearly £300,000. All this money, could perhaps be better spent on research to help, not hinder, the environment.

To get involved, join a group of people every Wednesday in either the bar or one of the bookable rooms upstairs in Union House.

 

image courtesy of freestocks, at https://unsplash.com/@freestocks

 

Flatmate Diet Interviews -How Has Arriving at University Affected You? Part Two

By Jodie Bailey

1. Before arriving at UEA how would you have described your cooking skills?
I never really cooked much, but when I did it was like ‘HOLY F***’ – imagine Gordan Ramsay and Jamie Oliver had a kid together, it was incredible.
2. How would you say your cooking has changed since arriving at UEA, if it has at all? Basically I eat canned food and I don’t cook from scratch. Due to a lack of money I can’t afford fresh ingredients, also cooking is time intensive and you have to share kitchen space and wash up.
3. Do you have any special dietary requirements, if yes, then how does this affect your cooking style and the food you eat?                                                                                                N/A but I don’t like vegetables
4. How much do you spend on food each week roughly? £37
5. How much do you spend on food out (including takeaways)? £10-12
6. What are your cupboard staples/ the one food that you could not live without? Sausages and baked beans
7. How many fruit and veg would you say you eat each day? 0.1
8. What is a typical breakfast for you?                                                                                              Skip breakfast
9. What do you normally have for lunch?                                                                                      Cereal and then a can of soup or sausages/baked beans
10. What do you typically have for dinner?                                                                                  Super noodles or tuna straight out of a can, I eat a lot of burgers from the SU shop
11. How much alcohol do you drink each week and how much would you say you spend on alcohol?                                                                                                                                                      60 units, I don’t always remember, £20-30
12. Care to share any advice for future students regarding cooking or food at university? Buy paper plates plastic cups, plastic cutlery to save on washing up

1. Before arriving at UEA how would you have described your cooking skills?                       I had very little experience of cooking so they were very minimal
2. How would you say your cooking has changed since arriving at UEA, if it has at all? I have learnt how to cook independently for the first time, I eat more fresh fruit and veg as I find it’s cheaper to make my own sauces (which are healthier) for pasta dishes. I also eat less meat as it’s too expensive to eat each day.
3. Do you have any special dietary requirements, if yes, then how does this affect your cooking style and the food you eat?                                                                                                  N/A, but I am teetotal
4. How much do you spend on food each week roughly? £14
5. How much do you spend on food out (including takeaways)? £5-15
6. What are your cupboard staples/ the one food that you could not live without? Pasatta, chopped tomatoes, an onion, tomato/garlic/chilli puree, dried mixed herbs– with these they are the basis of a pasta or chilli sauce – add whatever veg you have or meat and you’re away.
7. How many fruit and veg would you say you eat each day?                                                Probably all five
8. What is a typical breakfast for you?                                                                                                    2 crumpets, sometimes cheesy scrambled egg done in the microwave alongside it or with toast
9. What do you normally have for lunch?                                                                                              If I’m out I will have made a lunchbox up in advance with a sandwich or crisps, some fruit and a cereal bar. Or if I’m at home I’ll make cheese on toast or pizza toast.
10. What do you typically have for dinner?                                                                                   Pasta with a homemade sauce or jacket potatoes with the classic combination of cheese and beans, what else could you need?
11. How much alcohol do you drink each week and how much would you say you spend on alcohol?                                                                                                                                                    I’m teetotal so I don’t drink any alcohol. If I go out I’ll order a J2O or mocktails/softails, at home I really like a glass of Shloer.
12. Care to share any advice for future students regarding cooking or food at university? Having frozen vegetables and tinned foods are great for emergencies when there’s nothing fresh to eat, but sometimes it is worth buying a nice loaf of bread or fresh veg if it’s something you really like and appreciate, plus fresh veg isn’t really that expensive. Also definitely invest in a student cookbook, you don’t have to stick to the recipes, be inventive and innovate.

Image: Self-supplied

What is the Student Leadership Review and how will it impact me?

By Tony Allen

An important series of changes were made to the UEA Students’ Union constitution this month, regarding the leadership roles that are held by students.

Perhaps the most contentious point was the implementation of a policy to limit the number of society committee positions one individual can have to three, including one presidency. Whilst there will remain no restrictions on society memberships, the measure aims to limit the workload individuals can place on themselves and allow more students to hold committee positions.

Societies will now also require some level of gender balancing in their committee, or be required to explain themselves to the Union and gain special dispensation from Council, which is expected to be the case for certain sports clubs and other societies, for example, the Feminist society.

Proposed by Campaigns and Democracy officer Amy Rust in four parts, UEA Union Council debated each as a separate motion and passed all four of them after a long, and at times boring and bitter debate that nearly didn’t even get going.

Repeated attempts were made by some councillors to postpone discussion of the proposals, and there was a very time consuming argument regarding whether the actual byelaws being changed required a 2/3 majority of assembled councillors as opposed to the regular half of votes plus one.

So, what is the Student Leadership Review and how will it affect you?

The review’s final report aims to “improve and standardise [the Students’ Union’s] promotion of, training of, and support for the breadth of student leadership positions in the future,” and “take steps to remove barriers to involvement for students.”

The hefty document can be condensed into its four key sections and summarised as follows:

1) “Tidying up” current byelaws. This included clearing up the byelaw which had effectively banned candidates campaigning together at election times, to improve safety and encourage more people to run. This part also included a pledge to hold an annual “student leadership conference” for committee members like the one held with great success last semester.

2) This was one of the most talked-about blocks of new legislation. It requires societies to “introduce a Vice President role that is gender balanced with the society President” meaning that one of the positions must be filled by someone who defines themselves as a woman or non-binary, unless they demonstrate to Union Council that this is impractical. Furthermore, “all student opportunity groups [must] elect a first year students rep” as part of its committee- in any role. The Students’ Union has also been mandated to support the Health and Social Care Society, create a strategy specifically to help academic societies and take a closer look at training for new committee members- ideally before the summer when they officially assume their roles.

3) This part concentrated on the creation of a number of “sub-committees” on issues like ethics and the environment, education, equality and diversity, and welfare, to take some power away from the central Student Officer Committee (SOC) which was seen by some as being too centralised and powerful, reporting directly to Council. Also, School Convenors will be elected to closer connect the Union and academic societies.

4) Finally, it was agreed to allow the Union’s Trustee Board to appoint members through Council rather than election to improve its diversity. The Board’s Equality and Diversity committee will similarly be changed. Also, societies will be created for liberation, plus international and mature students to better support them and hear their views.

Reflecting on the review, Amy Rust told us: “For a long time our research has shown that students think the SU is a closed and cliquey bubble- so when some students got a motion passed on opening up our structures we got to work. Given the SU’s size, scope and ambition, we decided we should expand the number of leadership roles available to students and form leadership committees/boards for different types of student and SU functions. “In the future this will mean far more opportunities for students to get involved – from being on one of the boards that looks after the LCR or the Advice Centre, though to getting more involved in campaigns around education or student welfare and wellbeing. This is all about people who want to get stuff done being able to take up a position without having to get too heavily involved in student politics “There are also changes coming that will see far more first years involved in the SU, and we’ll be taking steps to improve equality – for example this is a University with a majority of women but 70% of our society Presidents are men, and the changes will mean that student groups involve more students from a range of backgrounds in leadership roles”

Elsewhere in the meeting, new chair Jack Lewis was elected unopposed. He coped well with something of a baptism of fire for his first Union Council in the hotseat and should be credited for not allowing the persistent arguments over majorities required to pass legislation and Trustee Board reviews to take over the entire meeting.

Seven new society constitutions were approved including Big C Cancer and UEA Movement for Justice, before the Aerial Aerobics Society’s amended constitution was also ratified.

The length of debate over the Leadership Review meant that only two of the eight ordinary motions were discussed. Both passed: a motion to pledge to diversify union staff and another to push for free contraception on campus, backed up by a hilarious (if slightly rushed) speech from Jo Swo better suited to a Carry On film than Union Council, which lightened proceedings no end.

It has been decided that the motions which did not beat the 10:30pm cut off point, like Nightline’s search for a new home and the Music Society’s dearth of space in which to store their equipment, will be debated first at the next meeting, this Thursday.

 

Photo courtesy of Samuel Seller at https://unsplash.com/@samuelzeller

One Day Without Us Protest: A Protester’s View.

By David Winlo

On Monday evening, a group of people gathered in Anglia Square, off Magdalen Street, for a protest march through Norwich. This was part of the nationwide campaign ‘One Day Without Us’, which aims to highlight the contribution migrants make daily in the UK, as well as defending their rights and status in the country. As well as marching, there were banners and signs, and enthusiastic chanting throughout.

The chanting in particular garnered quite a response at several points during the march. A bus driver honked in rhythm with one chant, whilst other onlookers cheered and clapped for others, giving us protesters a great feeling of support. This was particularly welcome as the earlier stages of the march were not always met so warmly. At the end of the march we stopped near the marketplace, where, after some final chants, one of those leading the protest explained the importance of the protest to the onlookers.

Brexit has the potential to hurt many things: the economy, trade and other foreign relations, UK-based science, the environment, and, of course, the ability of students to put Marmite on their toast. But most importantly, after a campaign fought so unfairly and so heavily on misinformation and the human weakness of fear of ‘those who are different from us,’ it will hurt all migrants and refugees. The hate that saw a Romanian food shop in Norwich get its windows smashed and petrol-bombs thrown at it is widespread, even if it doesn’t always lead to such extreme action, it is a big problem and needs to be responded to, and dealt with, wherever it is found.

It is not too late to support migrants and refugees and make your voice heard where it isn’t already. Keep looking out for more protests to join, donate to organisations like the UN Refugee Agency and Amnesty International, support the migrants you know personally and sign e-petitions – they can work, with a good case and enough backing.

If you have experienced any hate or abuse because of where you’re from, you can contact the Norwich Nightline on 01603 597158, UEA security on 01603 456161 and of course you should tell your friends if you feel comfortable.

The protest has shown me that UEA and Norwich are welcoming places, and there will always be a friendly person to listen to you should you need it.

Image Courtesy of Natalie Froome

Do Something Different Week

by Rob Klim

From the mouth of the Undergraduate Education Officer Theo Antoniou-Phillips, “This [Do Something Different] week sets out to help out students who “work harder than students have ever worked”. This week helps to provide a break from the monotony of the tiresome balance of degrees, part-time work and looking for internships and undergraduate opportunities. It is still nonetheless painful to still feel limited in regards to the future as we all slave away in a specific field, day in, day out.

Theo expresses the “hope” that “this week gives you the platform to expand your opportunities, career, and also personal horizons”. The week’s events are there to help ease the worries about “our futures in an uncertain world”.

Don’t worry too, as for Undergraduates get access to a wide range of activities and event that will not cost you a pound out of our tiny student pockets. Exploit your 9-grand per year fees by taking full advantage of the extra-curricular activities on offer.

The week begins on Monday 27th with The Art and Science of Murder. This event is under the direction of none other than the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author – Ian Rankin. The story takes place across campus, creatively combining the real and fictional. It will make you look at a place renowned for its cute rabbits and docile lake as a crime scene for you to solve. The event will unfold throughout the week, with Dr Mark William from the School of Medicine leading an examination of how forensics can be used to capture criminals from the smallest pieces of evidence imaginable. Chapter five on Friday is a trial conducted with the UEA Law Society—where the story concludes. This too reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the events available during the week, providing and honing practical skills for students across a vast variety of subjects. This event along will draw in budding writers, future lawyers, and forensic scientists reflecting how there is something for everyone here.

Most importantly, as Theo outlined – when it comes to securing your future by developing skills outside of your curricular framework, events are available to do this. For example those who are going into teaching can attend Teaching English as a foreign language taster sessions. It aims to help explore approaches to teaching, completing a guided observation of a simulated lesson; furthermore, this workshop gives you the opportunity to be put into the shoes of a teacher, helping to hone crucial skills not necessarily available during your academic study.

Another widely applicable skills for those who want to go into any role working for museums, charity, Arts organisations or music festivals is the skills provided in the Arts Administrations Worksop. The Humanities (HUM) Team will focus on these areas such as what skills you need, and what roles to look for after graduation.

Another one applicable to pretty much anyone who wants to be noticed by potential employees would be the Brand Me event. In this event, experts teach you how to develop a positive digital profile, in this digital-centred age. This will help teach you the skills, as well as provide the know-how of how to start building the connections right now in your precious time left at university, to arm you to face the post-graduate workplace. Do Something Different Week can ease your pains in dealing with great anxieties for many humanities students in the fear of having to use the dreaded Excel on Microsoft through a workshop called Excellent Excel.

As academic study always takes centre stage in importance, Do Something Different Week also offers workshops on how to revise creatively and efficiently. For those who struggle with the age-old problem of revision this is the workshop for you. Furthermore a session is also available on how to deal with anxiety and thinking positively as an opportunity to ease your worries.

Events such as Travel the world @INTO offer the opportunity for you to break out of the confines of campus and gain knowledge on foreign cultures and cuisines from around the world. This event exemplifies the diversity offered by the opportunities available in this week, teaching you essential language and customs from China to Japan, to Nigeria or Russia.

Other workshops may be of great interest to economics students, such as: When financial markets go crazy. This workshop utilises the “General Theory” of John Maynard Keynes to understand, diagnose and cure symptoms of financial crisis. Such a workshop, like so many events on this week, is open to all. It concerns disciplines ranging from Psychology, to History and Economic sciences, which are all incorporated in understanding Keynes’ ground-breaking theory. Understanding Keynes is as important to our understanding our capitalist-centred world today, as it was when he published his major work in 1936. Bill Gates too states the importance of an understanding of economics for future employment success. I would probably listen to a man who is predicted to become the world’s first Trillionaire.

One of the ways this week can guide you into a safer and more familiar future is the Improve your Employability workshop. This workshop seeks to take account for the ever-shifting world of work, in which you need to be adaptable to survive. Like Bear Grylls, students in the workshop will be provided the skills necessary to thrive in any environment.

This week has something for everyone, and has the workshop avlaible to help you in the future career you want to pursue. Again, coming back to Theo’s inspiring words: “Do something that you wouldn’t expect to do at university. Do something different.”

 

Photo courtesy of: https://unsplash.com/@davidmarcu

Netflix Originals Reviews: A Series of Unfortunate Events

 

By Gabriela Williams

Following its massive success with Stranger Things, Netflix is adding to its collection of originals with a new TV adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events with a set of eight, hour long episodes ready to watch now.

The plot of each episode stays closely to the original plot of the books, unlike the film adaptation released in 2004. The episodes are all split into two parts and are titled The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window and The Miserable Mill. In splitting the episodes into these equal parts Netflix has made it very easy to addictively binge watch the whole series in one go. This is perfect for a weekend Netflix binge. The theme tune of the TV series was originally scored by James Newton Howard, famous for the score of The Hunger Games and many others. It does get a bit repetitive and you may well want to skip it before you start singing along.

Neil Patrick Harris plays the villainous Count Olaf, who plots to gain the Baudelaire fortune throughout each episode.  In the process, he disguises himself, sometimes humorously as a scientific assistant, a Captain and a secretary. I thoroughly enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf and certainly preferred him to Jim Carrey. If I have a favourite character in the series, it’s Count Olaf.

In the final episodes, Dr Orwell is introduced and is closely linked to George Orwell’s novel 1984 and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I enjoyed the allusions to these books and was haunted by the timing of the references to 1984 and the similarities in modern society. The other episodes have quirky references to literature as well as many unanswered questions about strands of the plot. This in turn gets quite frustrating as you passionately watch every episode, with the hope of finding answers. Much like the hope for the Baudelaire’s future, you soon realise that this is not a fairy tale with a happy ending or any of the answers you may want.

I thought that this series was absolutely worth a watch, especially as you can tell that the writers and the directors have tried to appeal to the fans of the original book series. I thought that the series length was just about perfect and that the plots of each episode weren’t too complicated to follow. There’s no gaps in the TV series, so those who haven’t read the books will still be able to follow as well.

Overall, this series on Netflix has the potential to be as popular as Stranger Things but might appeal to the fans of the original books more than anyone else. This was a very entertaining series and I would highly recommend that you invest in the characters, but keep in mind the inevitable sad and gloomy ending. Its overly negative storyline might be too disheartening for some and its miserable theme may open a window into a pessimistic outlook on life, like it did when I watched it.

Image: “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Claudia Gabriela Marques Vieira is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

2017: Films To Look Forward To

By Warren Tutt

2016 is now well and truly behind us, so it’s finally time to look forward to 2017 and the films that will have us grabbing our popcorn and heading to the flicks.

It’s hard to ignore the publicity placed on nominees for this year’s awards season. However, looking beyond La La Land, Lion and Moonlight, there’s a whole heap of promising and exciting films headed our way! 

Ridley Scott’s latest Alien franchise offering, Alien: Covenantarrives on the 19th of May. To counter the disappointment met by fans after 2012’s Prometheus, we are set to see more of what we loved from the original films in this new prequel-sequel. Namely body bursting aliens and dark corridors amongst silent and spooky spaceships.

Continue reading 2017: Films To Look Forward To

INTO Restaurant Review

By Mitchel Chan

An ever-present issue facing both UEA students and staff alike is deciding where to have lunch on campus. Whilst there may be some who are dedicated enough to bring food from home, the rest of us weak-willed souls must face tough decisions on where to fill our stomachs.

For those that do not know, INTO is a subsection of UEA that allows students to do their A-levels or foundation-level courses here on campus. It also contains a restaurant that serves hot food throughout the day, and everyone is welcome to eat there.

The INTO building is to the left of the UEA Medical Centre and the restaurant itself is located on the first floor of this impressively modern building. Upon first glance, the INTO restaurant evokes memories of a school canteen, with its heavy emphasis on self-service. However, rest assured that the food served here is much better than the dry fish fingers and soggy chips of days gone past.

There is a wide variety of food and drinks available, from cold sandwiches to a well-stocked salad bar. Without a doubt the main stars of the show, however are the lunch and dinner dishes that draw in large crowds. You are guaranteed to never be bored of the food, as the chefs rotate their menu every day. Each “menu of the day” follows the same format, with four main dishes consisting of three meat dishes and a vegetarian option. This is accompanied by the choice of four sides, which are rice, noodles, potatoes and vegetables. The cooking methods of these differ by the day, so you may be getting herb rice and roast potatoes on one day, to jungle friend rice and Lyonnaise potatoes on the next.

into-menu

One of the menus seen at INTO, with allergy advice.

Perhaps one of the main draws of having lunch or dinner at INTO is its attractive pricing. One main and two sides will set you back £4. If you fancy some juice and some dessert with your meal, you can add them to your meal for an additional £1. Furthermore, the restaurant provides Sriracha sauce and soy sauce. For those of you who haven’t tried these before, you should do so immediately. The Sriracha sauce, in particular is very popular with many customers, as it adds a tangy yet spicy kick to any meal.

On the day that I was there, I had the option to choose between Chicken with Mushroom and Tarragon Sauce, Steak and Kidney Pie, Roasted Pork Loin and Wok Fried Vegetables for my main course. I chose the first option, and had two portions of steamed rice as my side. The chicken was quite tender, and I was quite satisfied with the flavour of the sauce. It was rich and creamy, with the mushrooms adding a nice bite. There is not much to say about the rice, except that it was fluffy and filling.

As I was having lunch with my friend, I found his meal to be quite attractive, and as such asked if I could use it for the purpose of my article. He chose the same chicken as me, with the potatoes and rice. He also tried the broccoli and blue cheese soup, and took some extra broccoli from the salad bar. He found the soup to be quite “tasty”, and felt that the chicken was “delicious.”

The overall experience of having a meal at INTO is very pleasant. The vibe is very relaxed, and one can even watch live news broadcast on the multiple TVs available. The seating area is plentiful, and there is never a problem finding a table even during peak mealtimes.

Following our meal, we placed our trays on a trolley, before bidding farewell to this homely restaurant. I will definitely return to this place, and I hope that you too will try the delicious food at INTO.

Image: INTO Centre

Brexit means Brexit Talk

By Tony Allen

The Queen might have visited UEA last Friday, but the previous week the Thomas Paine Study Centre played host to political royalty as four speakers were invited to UEA as part of the Spring Public Lecture Series to give their responses to the question: “Brexit means Brexit, but what does that mean?”

The format of the free public lecture was that the four speakers each gave a short speech relating to their choice of Brexit-related theme, before a Q-and-A session with the audience and a drinks reception afterwards.

A plethora of respected political names had been invited to UEA for the event, the latest in a series of similar events. They included Prof John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde, Dr Jo Hunt from the University of Cardiff, Prof Michael Keating of the University of Aberdeen and UEA’s own Dr Nikos Skoutaris.

First to present was Prof Keating who discussed one of the most contentious and important conundrums of the referendum result: the debate over the Irish border.

The border is a matter of particular interest to me as it seems to embody the continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Much has been written about this but, in short, there is no way to control migration into (or out of) the UK, a pet fixation of many Brexiteers, if there remains no physical land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This is because EU migrants could enter the Republic, who of course did not vote on the EU, then travel to the North and take the short ferry to England. However, considering the relative recent successes of the peace process, a wall could prove catastrophic for the area, not to mention for those living near the border who regularly spend time on both sides.

Prof Keating discussed the Good Friday Agreement and Sewel convention, which state that the UK government needs to gain consent from devolved legislatures if they make certain changes that affect them. Prof Keating forecasted that a “constitutional crisis” would ensue if devolved administrations are not consulted on the terms of Brexit, something that it has since been confirmed would not be a necessity in the recent Supreme Court ruling.

Next, Dr Hunt gave a Welsh perspective. Despite a majority in Wales voting to leave the EU, the position of the Welsh Assembly as a devolved legislature was discussed. Dr Hunt examined the updating of the Government of Wales Act, soon expected to receive Royal Ascent, which changes the nature of Welsh government from being able to legislate on any issue they have not been told is Westminster’s prerogative (like in Northern Ireland and Scotland) to only being responsible for specifically delegated policy areas.

The dichotomy between Wales’ net benefit from EU subsidies and the nation’s referendum result was not something lost on Dr Hunt.

Prof Curtice was next to talk, using a presentation of electoral statistics, his area of expertise, to illustrate his argument that Brexit will not necessarily lead to a second independence referendum in Scotland, but could well do in the future. He made the interesting observation that although ‘Leave’ would gain support from those wishing to remain in the EU with Scotland as an independent member, some previous ‘Leave’ voters would switch sides to ‘Remain’ from 2014 because they believe that the union is a lesser evil than re-entering the EU. He noted that neither side could be confident of victory, so until the impact of Brexit is felt more clearly, there was no way a referendum would be called.

Prof Curtice also explored ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe’ a white paper which outlined the, albeit unlikely, preferences of the Scottish government for Brexit, which included freedom of movement being maintained, and Scotland at least being allowed to remain in the single market.

Finally, Dr Skoutaris gave a legal perspective from his position in the Norwich Law School. He elaborated more on the Irish question and pointed out that, when analysed in detail, the legal obstacles which stand in the way of Brexit are highly complex and by no means certain.

Afterwards, the academics answered questions about their Brexit predictions from interested members of the public, which is more than can be said so far for Theresa May. These included queries on the sway held by the other EU states, and whether the panel believed the devolved assemblies were being listened to in the formulation of Britain’s negotiation tactics. The final question asked whether there was any possibility of the UK not leaving, to which Prof Curtice replied that the public have not yet changed their minds enough. He noted, however, that another referendum was not impossible, reminding those in attendance that the recent vote was actually the second, after the previous ‘remain’ majority in 1975.

I think the final words of Prof Keating’s opening speech summed up the evening well: despite his eminence and expertise, even he has “no idea what the outcome is likely to be”. The path of Brexit is hardly any clearer than the morning after the referendum. The fact is that despite the bluster of certain politicians and May’s bullishness, still no one knows what is going to happen. The UK voted for uncertainty and more than seven months on with Article 50 still not having been triggered, that’s exactly what we’re getting.

Image from https://twitter.com/politics_uea

The Start to Your Health & Fitness Goals in 2017

By Warren Tutt

So after a grazing period of chocolates, cheese and monstrous leftover concussions we’re feeling a little uncomfortable heading into the New Year. Obviously hitting the gym three times a day and life of green tea and cabbage soup is the way forward right? …Wrong.

 The New Year calls for a change in lifestyle and habits, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither did everyone work at the same time. Plans had to be made, foundations laid and then building started from the bottom up. So stop the clean-living binge and start a functional evolution to a happier, healthier you.

The first thing you want to do is eat normal food. Sure raw, organic, dairy-free, sugarless meals are nutritionally rich and great for you, but your body will go into shock. My number one rule is if you can eat it, then don’t cut it out. Gluten free, dairy-free whatever it is, companies are brainwashing us with associating these foods with better lifestyles. Of course everything should be in moderation but if you’re not a coeliac (or gluten intolerant) then avoiding bread is only going to frustrate and lead to that fridge night-binge of pizza, garlic bread and sticky toffee pudding.

It takes our bodies up to 40 days to rid ourselves of habits, if you want to quit sugar or processed foods then I’m all for it. But accept cravings and mood fluctuations. Maybe you’re going to need bread to get past the sugar cravings, then once that’s fixed, work on the next food elimination. Don’t use your body past breaking point, it will only fail you and you’ll be back at square one, surrounded by Jaffa cake wrappers and spooning tubs of Ben and Jerry’s.

Now it’s time to hit the gym. Get under that rack and squat twice your body weight, then run four miles on the treadmill and swing the heaviest kettle bell over your head a good dozen times.

How about we slow it down, Mr Motivator.

A friend once told me going to the gym is like reading a book. You have to start with chapter one. Sure, others around you may be on chapter 12 or even on the next book, but they didn’t get there by skipping ahead. Head to https://bodybuilding.com and pick yourself a training programme, and be honest! Don’t put your fitness or experience ahead of reality, injuries are not worth the hassle and setbacks they can cause.

A great way to monitor progress is to take weekly pictures, the scales will always lie, depending on whose you use and your muscle-to-body fat ratio. A weekly picture can show you your progress and it’s something you don’t have to share with anyone. Training with a friend can also be another way to monitor your progress and ensure you actually go. Nothing motivates you more than knowing someone is relying on you to be there.

At the end of the day, you’ve made this decision for you. Ignore what anyone else is doing or saying. As long you are putting one foot in front of the other, thinking and making better choices with your diet and nutrition, then you’re on the right way.

Image from Unsplash