The executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have voted by secret ballot to eliminate wrestling from the Olympic Games, beginning in 2020. This decision comes as a bit of a shock to this writer – and not this writer alone. I mean, wrestling is one of the few Olympic events with any real connection to the ancient games. Including both the ancient games and the modern re-incarnation of the Olympics, wrestling has been absent only once. So the decision taken by the committee has taken many a fan – of both wrestling and the Olympics themselves – by complete surprise.
The few who still believe that there can be a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbours were struck another blow in the Israeli elections on January 22nd. The largest party remains Binyamin Netanyahu’s right-leaning Likud-Beitenu party who took 31 of the 120 seats up for grabs. Though since 2009 Mr Netanyahu has failed to push for negotiations with the leaders of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel’s economy has weathered better than many others and although his party lost almost a quarter of their seats the most likely situation is for Mr Netanyahu to retain his place as Israeli Prime Minister. Unfortunately, what may be keeping him in power is an unpleasant new set of allies, even less keen than the outgoing coalition was on seeking a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.
There’s been some, although not a lot, of talk recently about the Queen and price Charles use of the royal veto. The royal family have been shown through the release of Cabinet Office papers to have amended or vetoed at least 39 bills in recent years. (It should be noted of course that the cabinet office tried their very hardest to stop this information from being released.) As well as an affront to democracy this revelation highlights the downright absurdity of the British Houses of Parliament. These traditions are largely archaic, unnecessary and all representative of a house of commons completely out of touch with the people. Below you will find some of the more bizarre traditions of the British institution.
Over the last few years QM members have travelled as far afield as Egypt, Alicante & last year two groups got to Poland; all without spending a penny of their own money. They achieved this through taking part in QM’s Annual Jailbreak. The principle behind Jailbreak is simple, get as far away from the union as possible in 48 hours, the team that gets furthers “as the crow flies” is deemed the winner; the only catch being that you must achieve this without spending any of your, or anyone you know’s, money.
Interested? Want to know more? We asked some of our previous participants some quick questions to give you a better idea of what to expect from one of the best weekends of your uni life.
So it’s football’s turn now.
After Lance Armstrong’s disgrace shamed cycling, and spot fixing embarrassed cricket, the pendulum has swung back to football as the current sport to be associated with cheating.
We’re all guilty of using “Americanisms”. My friend from Aberdeen is the spokeswoman for DUDE, I revel in the AWESOMENESS of everything and even my dad is partial to throwing in a BUDDY every now and then. The biggest explanation as to why we’ve adopted so much American slang is surely the influence of US film and television. For example, the main character in The Big Lebowski is The Dude- everyone wants to be The Dude, he made milk cool again, for God’s sake. Thanks to Mean Girls we were both reacquainted with “skank” and introduced to “skeez”, and programmes like Friends, a show that plays several times every day in syndication and has done so for nearly twenty years, are responsible for the “Oh my God” and “like” pandemics that spread across the English speaking world. Diablo Cody, the writer of Juno, has been praised for the way in which she managed to engage with and portray the way American teenagers actually speak, and because of the movie’s worldwide success, we have picked up some Juno-isms like “food baby” and wanted to be as smart, witty and irreverent as she can be. While we might not all go around repeating every new word we hear on this week’s episode of Girls or chronicling the way Jersey Shore cast members speak, the language and phrases British audiences are exposed to by the US media definitely have the ability to shape the way we talk.
Remember, if you will, the following: you’re back in first year, and Freshers’ week has just passed, leaving you blissfully happy and rolling in new pals, but also with an only semi-functioning liver, not a lot of dignity and absolutely no cash. Some of the more carefree souls among us might stock up on Tesco Value canned pasta and wait for the sweet relief of Loan Day. Others will have enough willpower to trawl through Gumtree and start looking for a part-time job. And some will have to swallow their pride and phone up Mum and Dad and politely ask for more funds. What if, however, all of the above mentioned options were not available to you? No student loan, no scholarship or any funding whatsoever from your home government, no eligibility to work in the UK (yet…), and parents who barely have enough money to support you as it is. Such are the problems faced by Bulgarians and Romanians studying in the UK.
Ever wondered why your fingers turn wrinkled and pruned in the bath? Well now we know why, thanks to the new research done by scientists at Newcastle University. According to the study that the team of evolutionary biologist have published in the Royal Society journal, Biology Letters, pruning fingers helped our prehistoric ancestors gather food from wet vegetation or streams.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday played host to this year’s instalment of the grandest show in town: Superbowl XLVII – that’s 47 to the uninitiated. The American Football Conference (AFC) champions, the Baltimore Ravens, took on the champs from the National Football Conference (NFC), the San Francisco 49ers for the right to be called the best football team in the world.
Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 9th February, £12
The story of Balthazar’s formation goes some way towards giving you an idea of what they’re all about. Twin frontmen Maarten Devoldere and Jinte Deprez busked as teenagers on opposite sides of the same square. They didn’t know each other, but became aware that they were in competition, and that they were both rinsing and repeating a three song set. The union came with the realisation that two three song sets would become a six song set, and that two voices opened the potential to harmonise. Having become infinitely more successful buskers as a result of teaming up, they have come a long way since.