All posts by TheBroadEntertainment

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review: Does it Live Up to the First?

By Natalie Froome

The second instalment of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy has been long awaited, but it was worth it. In ‘Vol.2’ The band of unlikely heroes are back again, saving the galaxy from a threat that’s much closer to home.

Continue reading Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review: Does it Live Up to the First?

On the edge or cutting edge? What does UEA think of the new library statue?

By Natalie Froome

UEA have hit the headlines with the controversial placing of a new Anthony Gormley statue.

The art installation is a human statue, which has been placed on the very edge of the library roof. Some are calling the statue ‘edgy’ and think it a great addition to UEA’s sculpture trail, while others have berated the University for their bad taste.

We talked to UEA Students to get the picture of what students think about it… Continue reading On the edge or cutting edge? What does UEA think of the new library statue?

Art forms, Storytelling and Video Games

By Ewa Giera 

As we all know, storytelling has been around for a pretty long time. Over the years, it’s moved on from oral tradition, early forms of written, phonetic English, Shakespeare, over to the modern novel and short stories, and as some seem to believe, ending at film. However, the public is largely split over whether film is the endgame for artistic storytelling or whether there’s something more waiting for us to get noticed.

Continue reading Art forms, Storytelling and Video Games

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.

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

Netflix Originals Reviews: How to solve a problem like Luke Cage

By Warren Tutt

 The super strong, steel skinned ‘hero for hire’ of Harlem. This is Netflix’s title character for their newest offering for their Marvel serial slate, Luke Cage. However, after more than a century of super humans and demigods triumphing over alien attacks and evil scientists, do we really need another thirteen hours of it? Yes, as it would turn out.

 By focusing on the limitations of his powers rather the concrete smashing, bulletproof nature of Luke Cage’s abilities, creator Cheo Hodari Coker finally captures a believable hero. Ditching Cage’s traditional yellow shirt and golden ‘tiara’ allow him to blend into a modern Harlem, balancing protecting the vulnerable from criminals whilst still having to pay rent. Reality constantly being re-established by Luke’s annoyance at having to buy new clothes every time someone thinks shooting him will have any impact on him.

 With great effect a whole ensemble of supporting characters are given the time and imagination to develop as individuals. A family of corrupt business owners and politicians lead the onslaught to keep Harlem under a tight grip whilst detective Misty Knights deals with the consequences of an exploited police force. Perhaps learning a lesson from predecessor Jessica Jones, female characters in the drama are given more screen time than any Marvel product before. If there’s one think bullet-proof skin can’t protect you from, its the colliding of strong, un-alterable female characters who will do anything for what they believe in.

 After the success of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is another step before the next instalment Iron Fist, released early this year, sets the franchise up for The Defenders. Hoping to match the popularity of The Avengers, Netflix and Marvel will combine all the heroes of New York to form another super hero team up. Here’s hoping Cage keeps his individual flavour and style and isn’t wrestled into comic book spandex!

Image: “Luke Cage” by Miguel Angel Aranda is licensed under the Public Domain.

The Science of Christmas

By Luke Farnish and David Winlo

It’s that time of year again. Secret Santas are being set up, house Christmas dinners being planned, and many a slightly frozen student is heading to Unio for a seasonal hot drink. In other words, it is December, and Christmas will soon be upon us. Here at The Broad we celebrate Christmas in various ways, and we scientists are no different. So here is a scientific explanation of some, if not all things Christmas.

1. Santa is on his way, and what a way it is!

Even if we discount the children of parents from non-Christmas-celebrating backgrounds, Santa is going to have to deliver to around 700,000,000 children in a single night. Then we need to divide those children by household and assume even distribution of those households around the world, otherwise we’ll still be calculating by New Year’s. Now with 1.47 km between each house, Santa has a journey of 342,510,000 km on his hands, and we haven’t finished yet.

If Santa travels so as to maximise the length of the night of Christmas Eve, he has 32 hours. To travel over 342,000,000 km in that time will require him to really push his reindeer, as they’ll need to pull him along at 6,650,808 mph, or 10,703,438 kph, about 167 times faster than the fastest-moving machine ever made, the Voyager 1 space probe. So spare a thought for the poor guy and his reindeer, and leave them a mince pie and some cherry.

2. Christmas has its origins in religion.

For Christians, this time of year is about the birth of Jesus, and now, this is true for many physicists and astronomers. The bible writes that Jesus’ birth was accompanied by a new star in the sky and, what’s more, it’s not the only source from the time (5BC, a date even many high ranking church members agree with) to mention such an event. We call three of the visitors of Jesus the ‘three wise men’ but their true name is the Magi, followers of an ancient religion whose beliefs are focused on a single God and that contact may be made through the stars. They were astronomers! Texts of the time record the stars in fantastic detail and most scientists believe that there truly was a temporary ‘star’. But what was it? There are some strong contenders.

In 1614, Johannes Kepler, one of the most famous astronomers of all time, suggested a conjunction (overlapping from the perspective of Earth) of planets. It can be calculated that were a number around this time. However, they are not always very bright and many occurred in the wrong place for the Magi to follow. A supernova, an exploding star, can be VERY bright, even brighter than the moon. But, supernovae leave a trace, that being a nebula, a huge cloud of gas. No nebula of the correct age and position has been found, but, the Andromeda galaxy, our own galaxy’s neighbour has many nebulae and could have been in the correct place.

Another big contender is a comet, a large ball of ice that circles the sun in a huge orbit, meaning they can only be seen every few hundred years or so. Chinese astronomers noted one in 5BC that remained stationary in the sky for 70 days. What’s more, comets have huge tails of ice that could easily ‘point’ to the ground, much as in the Christmas card depiction of the star. The only major issue with this theory is human nature of the time, where comets were seen as bad omens. Perhaps we will be trying to work out what the ‘star’ was for many years to come, and perhaps that, to an astronomer, is the best sort of Christmas present.

3. The Nativity story.

Another Christmassy source of scientific intrigue is the Nativity story, in particular, the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary. What by many is held to be a highly significant miracle can be interpreted very differently by looking back through the translations of the Bible. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, a form of the language no longer spoken natively. The writer of Matthew, the book which contains the Nativity story, referred to a passage from the Old Testament, saying ‘a parthenos shall conceive and bear a child’. ‘Parthenos’ is the word which translates to ‘virgin’ in the English translations of the New Testament, but can also simply mean ‘young woman’, which was the meaning of the Hebrew word ‘almah’ used in the passage the Greek author refers to.

Whilst Mary giving birth to Jesus may not have been an example of parthenogenesis, the scientific word for a virgin birth, there are plenty of animals which are. Among them is an animal likely to be seen on dinner tables across the nation this 25th of December – the turkey. In most cases the egg either doesn’t develop at all, or doesn’t develop normally. But some other animals, including various sharks, lizards and invertebrates, have been documented as being capable of parthenogenesis as a successful method of reproduction, though not a sole one.

4. On a rock band’s Christmas wish…

In 1973 Wizard told the world that they ‘Wish it could be Christmas every day’. Well, it can be, but only in one place, Christmas Island! Technically a part of Australia, despite being over 2,600 km (about 1,600 miles) from Perth near West Java. It’s not a big place, just 19 by 14 km with a population of about 2,000, the majority of the island’s inhabitants being of Chinese descent. Much of the island is made up of protected wildlife areas with the mining of guano (hardened bird faeces) for use in fertilisers being a well-known trade on the island since its initial colonisation.

It’s interesting, however, that Wizard mentions ‘every day’ because there is, in fact, a second Christmas island whose days are rather special. Kiritimati (pronounced ‘Christmas’ and previously spelt ‘Christmas’) is about 10,000 km (about 6,200 miles) east from Christmas Island and part of the Republic of Kiribati. It’s a fascinating place. The whole island is now a nature reserve (although much of its internal area is taken up by a lake), but in the 1950s the area was used for nuclear tests by the UK, leading to still detectable damage (many locals have suffered as the people of the island were not removed during tests). The towns of Kiritimati have rather unimaginative names including London, Paris (now abandoned), Poland and Banana, sometimes called Banana wells. But perhaps the most interesting fact about Kiritimati is its days. Christmas comes early here as Kiritimati is the only country in the UTC+14 time zone, meaning that a day starts for them 14 hours before it does in London (that’s the London in the UK, not their London!). This enabled the islands to trade more easily with other Pacific nations. So, not only is it Christmas every day, but for some, Christmas comes early.

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas from the both of us (and everyone at The Broad), and hope you enjoy all the science articles in 2017. ¡Feliz Navidad!

Image “Red Crab” by David Stanley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

UEA Society Spotlight: Egg Box

By Tony Allen and Olivia Minnock

As a society, Egg Box began in 2015 as the less intriguingly titled ‘UEA Publishers’. We started off having two distinct sections dealing with the experience of the professional publishing process, such as publishing the annual Undergraduate Creative Writing Anthology, self-publishing and the “fun” side of print, like holding Zine workshops.

So why Egg Box? Originally, Egg Box was an independent publisher as part of UEA’s publishing project, which worked in partnership with students to publish the annual anthologies among other works. It was run by UEA’s very own lecturers, Nathan Hamilton and Philip Langeskov, with the help of students in editing. However, they were keen to hand more of this over to students, to give us an opportunity and to breathe new life into the label.

And that’s exactly what we did.

We rebranded Egg Box, with a funky new logo and style, and amalgamated it with the original society so members could be part of both.

This also meant that we could work more closely as a society with both the professional side and the self-publishing side being sold together at markets, readings and on our brand new website! As the start of a new generation on an existing label, we’ve inherited a large following and the help of those more experienced than us. This pairs with the creativity and enthusiasm offered by students to balance out the original and dynamic with the established and respectable. We hope that this will enable us to organise more successful careers and publishing events as well as increase the sales and exposure for anyone who wants to get published!

As a society as well as a business, Egg Box publishing hopes to include each and every student at UEA who might be interested in the publishing industry. Whether you’re hoping to boost your CV and get an internship, or you’ve got some artwork or writing knocking about that you want to put into a booklet, we’re here to help.

So what are we up to at the moment? Tony, our new Union rep, explains why he loves being a part of Egg Box:

“Perhaps the best thing about Egg Box is the freedom to express yourself in print in whatever way you wish. The society as a whole produces a collaborative monthly zine on a broad theme (our first was on ‘maps’, we are currently putting the final touches to our Christmas edition). Under these themes, submissions are welcomed of any format, for example poetry, creative writing, illustrations, photography or any other type of art.

All are welcome in Egg Box, and the diversity of work produced by the society means that there is something that everyone can get involved with, be it contributing, editing, designing, marketing or selling.

In addition to the collaborative zine, and sessions to guide submissions organised by our brilliant workshop co-ordinator Emma, the society also assists people with any aspect of self-publishing and printing or preparation for a career in the industry. For example, help and advice is available for those wishing to create and sell their own publications. We regularly sell our wares, for example at the recent ‘student pop-up market’ in the Hive, and will be attending the Christmas market there too. As well as selling the collaborative zines, this is also a platform to sell individual society members’ own self-printed publications too!

A big part of our work is centred around the creation of chapbooks, containing the writing of students, and we have now also taken responsibility for editing and publishing the end-of-year undergraduate creative writing anthology. Submissions have just opened for this and we can’t wait to start sorting through them all!

The society organises lots of social events to inspire the would-be publishers and printers of tomorrow. For example, I recently took part in a visit to the On Paper festival which showcased some of the best printers and graphic artists in the world, right here in Norwich.

Egg Box enjoy collaborating with other societies too. We have recently completed a joint publication entitled ‘PROMPT’ with Octarine, the UEA’s creative writing periodical. In the past we have collaborated with both the Feminist and Creative Writing societies. If you are interested in finding out more, or your society is interested in working with us, please drop us an email to ueapubsoc@gmail.com!”

We hope to hear from you or see you at our office hours, 12.00-2-30pm in Unio every Wednesday.

Christmas Films You Can’t Go Another Year Without Watching

By Sophie Lurcuck

It’s that time of year again. Not just the run up to Christmas, but the run up to deadlines. Therefore below are the Christmas films that are worth watching, so if you only have a short amount of free time to feel festive, you will choose the movie that will make that well-deserved break worthwhile.

If comedies are your thing then Christmas with the Kranks is a must see because, it is quite underrated compared to other Christmas comedies, but well recommended. With the actor who voices Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and actress who plays the principal in Scream Queens (Jamie Lee Curtis) it has a great comedic cast. They play a couple attempting to skip Christmas on a suburban street praised for their annual festivities, leading to some sticky situations and laughs, making it an easy-going and merry movie to enjoy.

A darker Christmas comedy is Bad Santa, which entails, as the name suggests an unorthodox mall Santa, who is an all-round delinquent that breaks the law with the help of his elf co-worker. Although not the traditional light-hearted Christmas film, it is a refreshing break from children aimed films, if you prefer more adult themes and criminal action. One to watch out for is Bad Santa 2, which is in cinemas now with the same alcohol fuelled and unsaintly antics.

If your stress levels are really high, then take a trip on the Polar Express and be transported elsewhere. Alternatively, it features the voice of Woody (Tom Hanks) who plays multiple characters, including the conductor of the train that transports children to the North Pole.  The story follows the journey of a young boy embarking on this magical adventure in his dressing gown, where he discovers friendship, courage and Santa Claus.

Lastly, Love actually is a film that everybody should see at least once. With an all-star cast, it follows the intermingled lives of several different characters over the holiday period, including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy. It is a heart-warming British comedy which explores love, loss and different types of relationships, making it the perfect accompaniment to this cold weather.

Image: “Snowman” by Digidreamgrafix is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

By Beth Papworth

This magical spin off of Harry Potter is well worth a watch, it captures the hearts and minds of fans that are enchanted by the wizarding world. Directed by the esteemed David Yates, who does not fail to impress, we are introduced to wild and fantastical beasts like the Niffler and Occamy. The film follows  busy body Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne), who protects his magical creatures in his suitcase and helps fend off dark magic.

Soon we are transported to 1926, where Scamander arrives at Ellis Island with a bottomless suitcase full of illegal “livestock”, ranging from a naughty Niffler (a mole that loves shiny objects and money) to a giant storm-causing Thunderbird. You can’t help but love the adorable Newt with his particular idiosyncrasies and adoration for magic. It is his encounter with Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a factory worker who unleashes a dozen magical creatures onto the streets, that we witness a budding friendship.

Eddie Redmayne is the perfect casting for the lead role. He’s kind, awkward and quintessentially British. The chemistry that unfolds between him and Katherine Waterson, who plays auror Tina, keeps the audience hooked. Jacob is the comedic legend of the film, who is utterly besotted with flapper Queenie (Alison Sudol).

It’s a real rollercoaster ride through New York City in the jazz age. Entertainment fills the screen with wild beasts on the loose and heroic Newt bravely on the hunt to catch the escaped creatures. Visually, the film is impressive with its tall buildings, squalid city streets, and realistic looking beasts. Audiences will warm to the Niffler, in spite of its mischievous antics and crazy escapades around the city. A creative, charming and enchanting film that would be a shame to miss if you’re a fan of all things magical.

Image: “Eddie Redmayne” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.