Editor Opinions: Things We wish We’d known Before Starting UEA

Freshers has arrived!

You probably feel more than a little nervous and definitely unprepared but don’t fear because we’re here to help.

Some of our editors have banded together to give you the tips you need before things start to get serious, telling you our top advice for surviving your first few weeks at UEA that we wish we’d known in our first year!

Continue reading Editor Opinions: Things We wish We’d known Before Starting UEA

How to Grocery Shop Like a Champ

By Ewa Giera

How many times have you gone to the shop just to pick up some milk and returned with nibbles for a family of five?

Or maybe you just can’t stop yourself from picking up that 3 for 2 offer off the shower gel shelf?

Regardless of how sale inclined you might be, here’s a handy guide on how to survive grocery shopping by yourself. Continue reading How to Grocery Shop Like a Champ

The Vegan Guide to Eating Out in Norwich

By Emily Vause

Earlier this week I wrote the Vegetarian Guide to Eating Out in Norwich and got a terrific response!

You all seemed to get a lot from it but had one question – what about the vegans?

Although I listed a few vegan suggestions in the original article I wanted to give the vegan community a more comprehensive, entirely vegan, list of places to try.

Continue reading The Vegan Guide to Eating Out in Norwich

Advice for Biologically Inclined Freshers Part 2: Where to Go in Norfolk to See the Best Wildlife

By David Winlo

September is drawing nearer, bringing with it your chance to explore the nature in and around UEA. In my last article, I gave some tips as to where to go on campus to experience some nature. This time, we’re going to stray much further afield, and see what there is to see in the rest of Norwich and Norfolk.

With the exception of the green areas at UEA, I will admit that Norwich isn’t the best place to go and see wildlife. That’s not to say that if you’re out in the city, you can’t get away from the busy shopping streets and find a nice park to visit. I recently visited Eaton Park a few nights in a row. This was not to watch squirrels leaping through the trees, as Eaton Park is definitely more geared towards giving humans nice grassy areas to ‘leap about’ in, and so doesn’t contain many trees away from the edges and boundaries between areas. I didn’t even go to try and spot the fish in the fishpond, though that can easily add a little something to any biologist’s visit. No, I went to see bats, and see them I did! Not only did the hand-held detector I brought along not really cease chirping for any length of time after a certain point in the evening, I saw many of the bats I was detecting as they flew over the fishpond catching insects. I hadn’t seen many wild bats before starting my project, but after a few visits to Eaton Park, I can safely say I’ve seen more than my fare share in recent weeks.

There are other parks with other attractions around Norwich. Whilst they may not be the most purely natural places you’ve ever visited, any green area in a city is a good place to go to look for wildlife or just be closer to it when out and about. There’s Heigham Park, Earlham Park (which is very close to campus and most convenient for residents of the student village), and Chapelfield Gardens, the last of which always brightens my walks into the city, and is a good spot for a picnic on a sunny day. If plants are your thing, Chapelfield gardens and Earlham park in particular have a good number of trees as well as open areas, and make for good venues for tree-identification contests – or is it just my friends who do those?

The aforementioned bat-recording was not just done for fun, it was for part of my course. You’ll soon find some great green areas in and around Norwich in yours. Be it Lusty Hills, Bure Marsh, or, Swaziland… your course can take you to some really interesting locations (these are just some of the ones you might go to as an ecologist). Take the second of these as an example, and let’s see where else it can take us. Bure Marsh has been an SSSI – that’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest – since 1991, due to it being home to some very rare plants and animals, invertebrates in particular, as one of the few places in Britain where the green-eyed hawker persists. This is a dragonfly which in this country is very rare, protected by law, and tellingly known as the Norfolk hawker. Bird fans can also hope to see bitterns and marsh harriers here.

SSSIs like this provide great opportunities for fascinating trips out while at uni, and we have a hundred and sixty-three of them in Norfolk! Among the largest of these, at 18,079 hectares, is Breckland Forest, a huge habitat for many interesting bird species, including the elusive nightjar, as well as various plant and fungi species. Only forty minutes’ drive from campus, it could make a nice temporary habitat for intrepid BIO and ENV students as well!

With all these places to explore, whether you’re coming from within Norfolk or elsewhere in the country or the world, you can be sure you won’t be short of relaxing, beautiful, and fascinating natural areas to explore.

ImageNorfolk or Green Eyed Hawker. Aeshna isocelesby gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Advice for Biologically Inclined Freshers: Where to Go on Campus to See the Best Wildlife.

By David Winlo

Hello and welcome to the University of East Anglia, and this, its online student life magazine, The Broad! If you’ve seen the university already on the internet or on one of its open days, you’ve probably seen an awful lot of concrete. Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy seeing the campus when I come in for lectures, but there can be times when particularly an ecology student like me, or another student of the BIO and ENV schools, can grow tired of man-made structures, and want to plan a little field trip for some respite.

Continue reading Advice for Biologically Inclined Freshers: Where to Go on Campus to See the Best Wildlife.

West End Girls: ‘Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour’ Review

By Tony Allen

In last week’s heat, all most of us wanted to do was relax outside with an ice cold bottle of lemon flavoured Hooch. Alas, the mercury spike didn’t halt the rampage of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour onto the West End, following successful runs in the USA, Australia, the National Theatre and at the Edinburgh Festival.

The basic premise of the musical play, based on Alan Warner’s cult novel The Sopranos and adapted for the stage by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, is that we’re transported back to the ‘90s in Scotland, where six Catholic schoolgirls travel from their quiet port town of Oban to Edinburgh to represent their school in a choir competition. But they are determined to lose, in favour of an alcohol-soaked, wild day out and the chance to get back to the port in time for the last dances (and maybe more) at their one grotty nightclub, the Mantrap. (Think, the Waterfront with a proper tiled dancefloor, a bit more Hooch and the occasional group of spunky sailors).

Continue reading West End Girls: ‘Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour’ Review

The Mountain Goats’ ‘Goths’ Builds on Under-Explored Elements of Their Musical and Personal Pasts.

By David Winlo

Search for ‘The Mountain Goats’ on the internet and you’ll find all the images and information you’d expect to find about the well-balanced, mountain-dwelling animals, but you’ll also discover a band, still surprisingly unknown after more than 20 years of music-making, who have just released their sixteenth studio album, entitled ‘Goths’.

Continue reading The Mountain Goats’ ‘Goths’ Builds on Under-Explored Elements of Their Musical and Personal Pasts.

Govroam – What Is It? What Does It Mean For Us?

by Tony Allen

Govroam, now dubbed a public sector answer to Eduroam, the internet roaming service we all know and reluctantly grew to love, is rapidly gaining traction in the UK following the success in the Netherlands and Belgium. I got in touch with the organisations behind govroam in Europe and the team working to roll it out in the UK to find out what the benefits are and what challenges they have faced.

Continue reading Govroam – What Is It? What Does It Mean For Us?

Books vs Films: Anne with an E

 

By Ewa Giera

Warning: This article contains spoilers

Every now and again, Netflix produces a series adapted from well-known classics. A Series of Unfortunate Events, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black. All of them are books which have recently been adapted for the small screen. This time, Netflix has released a new adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s internationally acclaimed book, Anne of Green Gables. A lot of people who have grown up with the books – including myself – have had some doubts about the new release after Netflix confirmed that the upcoming version was to be ‘gritty’.

Continue reading Books vs Films: Anne with an E

How to Learn Welsh – Useful Tips and Resources

by David Winlo

Welsh is a Celtic language spoken by around 0.7 million people, 5,000 of whom don’t live in Wales, or even the UK, but in the far-flung Chubut province of Argentina, known in Welsh as Y Wladfa. This is the first reason you might wish to learn Welsh, and this very reason is universal among languages – you’ll be able to talk to new people, not just in the country or countries where the language you’re learning is an official or main language. You’ll also be able to listen to Welsh folk music, and other genres, as well as reading Welsh books and poetry, as well as gaining a small amount of understanding with its related languages: Manx, Cornish, and to a lesser extent Scottish- and Irish Gaelic.

 

When learning Welsh, I would advise keeping the following in mind:

  1. Not all of those consonants are consonants. Welsh is famous for its distressing lack of vowels, in words like ‘chwech’ (six), ‘buwch’ (cow), and in various place names, such as ‘Amlwch’. Don’t worry about these. Certain letters which look like consonants are actually vowels, like the letter w in the above examples, which sounds approximately like an English ‘oo’, and y, which sounds a bit like a sound English speakers make when hesitating, namely ‘err’.
  2. Welsh is an X-Man of a language, a mutant. The letters at the start of a noun can change based on what is happening to the noun in the sentence, for example, ‘in Wales’ in Welsh is ‘yng Nghymru’, even though ‘Wales’ on its own would be ‘Cymru’. This means you might well recognise words that look similar to ones you’ve already learned if their ending is similar.
  3. Spelling, whilst initially seeming insane, makes much more sense than in English. Welsh has dropped some letters from English, such as k and x, but also has letters English doesn’t, which are made up of two characters, such as ‘Ll’, or ‘ll’ in lower case, and the above ‘Ng’, or ‘ng’ in lower case. Once you’ve worked out what these sound like, with a couple making sounds which don’t exist in English, Welsh is almost entirely phonetic in spelling, meaning words are spelled how they sound, something which non-native speakers of English would find very refreshing when trying to read words like.
  4. There are plenty of free resources out there for learning Welsh! Here are just a few: Duolingo, Omniglot, and various BBC materials.

I hope this is enough to convince or help you to learn Welsh. If so, pob lwc i chi!

Image ‘Welsh flag’ by Matthew Wilkinson is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.