Monday, 29 December 2008

TV Preview: The Krypton Factor

Cross Mastermind with Gladiators and the result is likely to resemble something close to The Krypton Factor.

Yes that’s right, the bright coloured tracksuits, 3-D logic puzzles and army assault course are back after a 14 year hiatus from our screens.

The previous incarnation, with George Burns at the helm, was always a dull low-key affair where nerds revelled in the brainteasers and mind bending problem solving. It’s a Knockout it certainly wasn’t.

Now Ben Shepherd takes up the reins, in what promises to be a more glamorous affair as a new set of contestants attempt to put their minds and bodies to the ultimate test.

Expect baffling questions and the always-amusing sight of boffins tackling an assault course, as ITV try and breath new life into this old family favourite.

TV Preview: Celebrity Big Brother

Is this wise? With memories of Shilpa Shetty’s infamous time in the house just about faded into the past, Channel 4 are set to dance with the devil once again with the return of Celebrity Big Brother.

After last year’s mundane Celebrity Hijack, programmers are certainly taking a risk, in bringing back what many see as an ailing concept especially after the furore caused during its last outing.

This time round though there won’t be a Goody in sight, as Davina McCall returns to play host, as do the unnecessary army of spin off analysis shows Big Mouth and Little Brother.

In this year’s Celebrity (a term used loosely), Vorne Taylor (Mini-Me from Austin Powers films), Ulrika Johnson and Ben Adams (of boy band A1 fame) have all been tipped to enter the House.

But whoever does feel that their career can go no lower and choose to participate, producers will certainly be hoping that the contestants will be slightly less controversial than the last batch.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Opinion: Bournemouth's student problem...

This story makes me particularly sad. I've been a student at Bournemouth for three years now and the record has never changed, students in Bournemouth are a social menace and counter-productive to the area.

My feelings have been exasperated by a recent meeting hosted through the Winton Community Forum where over 100 residents (few were students I may add) packed into a hall to complain about the "student epidemic".

And as much as I hate to admit it, they've got a point.

I live in the student hub of Bournemouth, Winton, and the problems are plain to see. Front gardens are a mess, bins lie dormant outside homes after collection (or not collected at all), cars are parked bumper to bumper. And this is just on my road, which must be at least 70% student housing.

Things get worse at night, where parties go into the early hours, the undesirable sport of trying to fill up taxis (that can never be done quietly...) is a regular occurrence and of course there's the drunken shouting in the return from the clubs.

The issue is so bad, that families (if not already) will soon no longer wish to live here. One person I know in his 30's trying to sell his house lost his potential buyer on Stanfield Road, while fellow church goers are scared to go out into town at night because of the thriving club scene and notorious anti-social student behaviour.

Everyone in the area has an opinion on this subject, but there's a distinct danger now that there's now going to be a student witch hunt from local residents; a blanket stereotype on all who study at the Uni.

The outcome of the meeting was that the Uni, the police and the community were going to work cohesively to solve the ongoing issues.

The open welcome meeting set up by BU for December (in a bid to improve the relationship between the Uni and local residents) is certainly a good start, although I would argue that there will be a poor showing. Residents are happier to complain about the problem rather than attempt to have an open mind and try and change it, as the problem is the students living on their street, not the Uni.

What can be done is even more frustrating equation. The solution ultimately lies with us, the students. It's commonsense to take your bins in and keep your front garden tidy, its commonsense not to let off fireworks at 4am, yet its happening.

What I would say is that its not all of us who are guilty of such practice. It's wrong to just generalise students as anti-social entities with nothing to offer other than noise; we're not all bad. This isn't just a Bournemouth problem, every Uni town in the UK has this very debate, which if anything heightens the need for change to happen and fast. This town is a new University town, the residents aren't used to having so many students on their doorstep and their behaviour to boot. But why should they have to put up with it?

If students don't change (and I'm sad to say that I feel they won't) then original residents who moved here will be alienated forever, and believe me, as uncompassionate and dis-respectful as we may appear, no student would want that to happen.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Opinion: Why WWE have got it wrong with their recent firings

WWE recently released Paul London, Kenny Dykstra and Elijah Burke from their respective rosters. This announcement speaks volumes about the stagnation that the company is currently experiencing and the stale product their producing across their brands. 

Obviously, as outsiders it's always difficult to know what's gone on behind the scenes. For all we know, these guys have played up behind the scenes, no showed, and just generally been counter-productive to the company. The mystery over Lance Cade's (another guy who was looking destined for the top) aeroplane seizure is a clear example of this. 

But as a fan its infuriating to see these younger guys being stifled and not being allowed to progress. Especially when there is such a dull rotation of talent at the top of the card on Raw and Smackdown. 

Kenny of course was a member of the infamous Spirit Squad, a brash group of upstarts, who although had an irritating gimmick, were at least something new and innovative to the industry. But they were quickly extinguished when older faction DX unceremoniously dumped them out of the company. 

Why would you remove five talented young guys from your roster, thats your future mid-high carders five years down the line. It was encouraging when Kenny was re-hired. He moved well in the ring, and his mic skills were promising, but he's been released in favour of older more established names. 

Paul London worked wonderfully well with Brian Kendrick in a team that was essentially just thrown together, why was London just left to languish in the doldrums when the pairing was split? Kendrick has been nothing short of brilliant since he turned heel, why was the equally talented London allowed to dwindle into obscurity? Similar can be said for Elijah Burke, who has hardly appeared on our screens since the Royal Rumble. 

What WWE has to be aware of is that  it doesn't fall into the same trap as WCW did when it folded. WCW relied heavily on older established names to push the main events, but didn't allow the younger stars to come through. They had Jericho, Meysterio, Benoit and Eddy on their books and left them  stranded on the mid-card. 

WWE have similar talent. Evan Bourne looks an exciting prospect. Shelton is improving all the time. Mr Kennedy is solid, when he's not injured. It was great to see CM Punk win money in the bank, but he's been left to dwindle since. These guys have to be given more attention at the top of the card soon, otherwise the WWE will follow the same disastrous path WCW did. 

And no-one surely wants to see that.        

Monday, 17 November 2008

Wimborne 10 race report

Local athlete Nigel Leighton took home the honours in the Wimborne 10 mile road race at the weekend.

The Bournemouth based VOTWO club runner, led the near 500 strong field from start to finish, crossing the line in a time of 52:54, just a dozen seconds ahead of Poole Runner George Miller.

And it was Poole Runners who dominated the front of the field, filling four of the top ten positions, with returning Willard Chinhanhu (3rd, 53:22), Lee Rodriguez (4th, 53:49) and Martin Lewis (6th, 55:59) ensuring the club took the team prize.

Lewis though was forced to succumb to Bournemouth AC club captain Jon Sharkey (5th, 55:43). Fresh from guiding Dorset to Bronze last week in the South West Inter-Counties championships, Sharkey’s strong finish was enough to snatch 5th place and retain his County road running title.

Bournemouth AC’s Steven Way also enjoyed a good outing, finishing 10th in 58:33, a mere two weeks after his New York marathon exploits, where he was first British male home in 2:35:12.

Team mate Dawn Broom was the only local runner on the women’s podium. A year best time of 1:04:36 took second behind race winner Melanie Ellis of Shaftesbury Barnet (1:01:13).

In the team competition Littledown Harriers were triumphant with Heather Khoshnevis (9th, 1:08:46) spearheading the scoring trio, while colleagues Janice Chapman (11th, 1:09:20) and Jacqueline Goldsmith (13th, 1:12:35) were in close attendance.

BU athletics team off to a flyer

The Bournemouth University athletics team has got their winter season off to a flying start with athletes enjoying success as far afield as New York as well as closer to home.

The team’s home event, the AECC Dashback road race, was well supported and it was Carley Rose who led from the front to take the 10km women’s title.

The 19 year-old Chiropractor College student, cruised round the Boscombe based course, heading the 100 strong field in 43:31; seven seconds clear of her nearest rival.

Ally Hanks (46:53), SUBU clubs & societies co-ordinator, gained a top ten berth to place ninth, while Henny Olofsson debuted at the distance to clock 49:11 for 21st.

Paul Hindle also grabbed a podium placing in the men’s category, finishing third in the 5km race, despite being more accustomed to shorter sprinting disciplines.

The team also enjoyed success in their cross-country fixture of their winter programme in the Hampshire league at Goodwood.

Again it was Carley Rose who was first home for the Uni in the women’s race, with a solid run of 23:32 for 25th over the tricky 6km course.

Michelle Pank (36th, 24:11) provided good support and Sarah Bolton (44th, 24:32) completed the scoring trio to ensure the team finished an impressive sixth out of the 24 clubs competing.
In the men’s race, Laurent Kelly was 86th out of the 253 competitors.

Meanwhile, swapping continents, Max Lutostanski completed the New York marathon three minutes under the five-hour mark.

With such a solid start to the season, the club will now look to build on this early momentum ahead of the BUCS indoor athletics championships in March.

Monday, 31 March 2008

BU @ The BUSA Indoor Athletics Championships 2008

Bournemouth University's athletics team at the BUSA Indoor Athletics Championships in Sheffield on the 15-16 March.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

BU stalwart dies

Bournemouth University’s oldest ever graduate has died, aged 91.

Harry Cracknell, who was a grandfather, gained a Masters degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management three years ago.

He also gained a BA Honours degree at Bournemouth in International Hospitality Management in 2002.

Having recently successfully recovered from a quadruple bypass operation, he soon re-discovered his love of the classroom.

Cracknell has long been a stalwart of the University, joining on the first day it opened as catering production manager, as well as working as a part-time lecturer.

Indeed during his life, Cracknell has achieved some remarkable things, including working in the kitchens of the Savoy and Dorchester hotels.

In addition to this, in 1979 he teamed up with another university lecturer to produce a full translation of the world famous Auguste Escoffier's Guide Culinaire, often described as the "Culinary Bible".

He also enjoyed a brief stint as a television chef in the 1960s on the programme Woman’s Hour.

Cracknell died peacefully at his home on the 14th March.

Drugs in Sport - Radio Feature

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Earth Charter chance offered to council

Bournemouth may become one of the first towns in the world to become a member of the Earth Charter.

In an impassioned speech at the Bournemouth Council meeting last week, Rabbi Neil Amswych stated: "There is a difficulty facing local government, in that everything has to be solved in the short term. The Earth Charter offers a long term solution to problems that may get over looked".

The Charter was set up to promote justice and democracy across the world. It also urges for a peaceful co-existence along with a respect for life, and outlines this under 16 major principles.

Rabbi Amsych, from the Bournemouth Reform synagogue, also added: "The Earth Charter is a long term social vision that more people want to see more than any other. We can be one of the first towns in the world to be a part of this and we can take that step together".

Many religious groups and organisations have signed up to the Earth Charter, but few towns have agreed to the charter.

After the meeting Rabbi Amsych told the Inquisitor that the initial signs are positive for the council to adopt the Charter.

"I don't know how the Council will respond. Early indications are positive, and I've had a request to bring it to Poole Council".

The decision will now be deferred and the decision will be revealed at the next full council meeting on the 21st February.

The Inquisitor is a student based newspaper at BU

Art is a splash for school children

Boscombe library’s facelift is complete, thanks to new water inspired artwork created by local schoolchildren.

Pupils from Bethany School, Kings Park Primary School and Sharp school created the specially designed panels.

The artwork stretches along the exterior of the library and is the length of the building.
Lead artist Peter Dunn told the Inquisitor: "The artwork is a based upon the reflections made when near water".

He added: "It acts as a metaphor for people reflecting on their lives, what it means to live in Boscombe, and what the library means to them".

The glass was also specially pressed and polished to add to the effect of creating a reflection in water.

The project was privately funded by the East Dorset Housing Association, Bournemouth council, the Housing Corporation and Arts Council England.
The Inquisitor is a Student project newspaper at BU

You rally got me going

The 2008 MSA Gravel Rally Championship has announced they will stage an exhibition of vehicles at the Littledown Leisure centre.

The demonstration will be held in conjunction with the annual Turbo Mechanics Rallye Sunseeker event between the 22nd-24th February.

It is the first time that race organisers have included such an event in the race itinerary, which is now in its 23rd year.

With the exhibition in the afternoon, the drivers will then begin their race on the Friday evening, starting from Bournemouth lower gardens and finishing on Boscombe sea front.

The rally then moves onto further stages in Wareham, Ringwood and Somerley Park.

Published in the BU Student Press

Apprentice candidate to speak at BU

Former Apprentice candidate Dr Sophie Kain is set to give a business lecture to Bournemouth University students early next year.

The quantum physicist will provide a business innovation talk to entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.

The 33 year-old shot to fame on the BBC reality show, with her energetic and determined approach to the tasks set by Sir Alan Sugar.

The talk is a series of lectures hosted by the University’s latest society "Business Mania".
The business-based society is set to fill a gap in the University’s Clubs and Socs listing, which are mainly sporting and socially oriented.

Business Mania President Maris Kuklis said, "We’re all about helping students to start up and grow their own business. We offer advice and help provide links with local businesses so they can get a foothold in the community".

The Tourism Management student added, "There is nothing like this around at the University at the moment. So we decided to set ourselves up to appeal to those students who want to take their first steps into starting their own business".

The latest series of Business Mania events is the "START Programme" lectures run by the University Innovation Centre.

Rhyannan Hurst, Enterprise assistant at the Centre of Research and Knowledge Transfer, said, "The aims of the START programme are to provide a practical introduction to key disciplines required to successfully run a business, along with business mentorship, support and advice.

She added, "We would like this society to form a hub for students to discuss and share their skills, ideas and experiences".

To see Sophie Kain in action on The Apprentice and find out more about Business Mania visit