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Monday 27th April 2015, 19:32 BST | Cambridge,UK

News

Labour tops Varsity poll

13 days before the general election, a Varsity poll of over 1,000 Cambridge students – the largest poll of this demographic conducted thus far in the run up to 7th May – can exclusively reveal the political leanings of the student community.

Conducted between 2nd March and 10th April, students were asked which party they would vote for if a general election were held tomorrow, with respondents able to change their answers throughout the duration of the polling period.

Among the 1,063 participants in the Varsity survey, Labour topped the poll, with 32 per cent intending to vote Labour.

Perhaps[Read full story]

Comment

Private schools’ homophobia problem

I came out at school because I was bored. Impending A Levels and the monotony of exam term in my last year at a small boarding school in northern England just wasn’t cutting the mustard at what numerous well-meaning middle agers were telling me was the prime of my life.

My confidant pulled off being simultaneously the most outrageously homophobic yet confusingly supportive person I have ever met. Once I’d told him, he willingly did the rest.

Summer fishing brought along the inevitable ‘do-you-want-my-rod-McConnel?’ jokes. I learned to describe exams as “difficult”, not “hard”, and a handful of girls decided[Read full story]

Culture

Spoiler alert

A lecturer reminded me of something very important the other week: you only get to read a text for the first time once – so relish it. Clearly this applies to all art forms: the first time you listen to a song, the first time you see a play, the first time you read a book; these are all special experiences should that, song, play or book, become something you cherish for the rest of your life. Yet, while the same can be said to an extent about film, our current ‘trailer culture’ is rapidly changing that. Ever since YouTube[Read full story]

Science

Green space: plants in zero gravity

NASA is looking to increase the production of crop-plant gardens on the International Space Station (ISS) in order to investigate possibilities for both future station management and missions that delve further into space than man has ever gone before. It is well established that a green environment gives us a more favourable mental state, but do we really know the extent to which plants enhance our health?

The first seed-to-seed cultivation of plants in space was achieved on the Russian space station Mir in 1997, and ever since there has existed a space garden in which crop experiments have been[Read full story]

Reviews

While We’re Young

“We said our vows in an empty water tower in Harlem.”

While We’re Young is a film in which middle-aged meets hipster. A coming-of-age story for those post-forty, writer-director Noah Baumbach’s latest work (following on from Frances Ha, Greenberg, and The Squid and the Whale) features a documentarian, his wife and their chance meeting with a young married couple that inspires them to cling on to their youth.

Unsurprisingly full of snappy and quirky dialogue (Baumbach has frequently co-written with Wes Anderson), this film is reminiscent of Annie Hall and Manhattan, plunging artistic and intellectual characters into the absurdity of[Read full story]

Features

The Crisis in Rural Nepal

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday morning can only be described as a ‘nightmare waiting to happen’. Only once every 80 years does a mega-quake of this magnitude occur, such as the disaster of 1934 in which almost 9000 people were killed. Visiting Nepal last year, I learnt that the possibility of another devastating earthquake was a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. Yet despite this Nepal was in no way prepared for it. Rapid migration into the Kathmandu valley has occurred in recent years, with people living in hastily constructed buildings. Building regulations exist, but a relatively new[Read full story]

Sport

Why prioritise rowing when we lose?

“We can’t recruit like Oxford do,” bemoans Cambridge men’s rowing coach Steve Trapmore MBE after this year’s disappointing boat race performance. “We’re academically the best university in the world, it’s often hard to get the right balance between academics and sporting prowess.” Cambridge has been trotting out this line for decades whenever faced with the question – why at one of the richest institutions in the world is sport so underfunded?

Cambridge’s suggestion that commitment to sport must be sacrificed in the name of academia is contrary to all of the evidence, not only with regard to the effect of[Read full story]

Theatre

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Soft diaphanous blinds hang elegantly from the imposing white arches of the open windows of Big Daddy’s ranch and there is a stifling smoky haze still clinging to the warmly lit stage. The Combined Actors of Cambridge’s fiftieth anniversary adaptation of Tennessee William’s Pulitzer Prize winning canonical work Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is mesmerisingly reminiscent of Richard Brook’s 1958 film adaptation. As the action unfolds though, one glaring, and for me ultimately insurmountable, incongruity emerges; no one has managed to nail the accent. There is a slightly cringe-worthy and ultimately distracting effort to shape resistant cheeks into unsettling[Read full story]

NEWS

Interview: Jeremy Paxman

Interview: Jeremy Paxman

Following his grilling of the party leaders, Elissa Foord talks politics and politicians with this former Varsity Editor

Past papers back online after 'technical difficulty'

Past papers back online after ‘technical difficulty’

Past exam papers across subjects have been reinstated on Camtools, after reports of ‘lack of funding’ were contradicted by a university spokesman

Cambridge in the nationals

Cambridge in the nationals

The full stories behind Cambridge’s parliamentary candidates

A game of tutors

A year on from CUSU’s campaign to instigate tutor training, Sarah Sheard explores whether chance still plays a role in being assigned a competent tutor

Election Profile: Patrick O’Flynn

The last in Varsity’s series of interviews with all of the major prospective parliamentary candidates for Cambridge

CULTURE

Interview: Wolf Alice

Interview: Wolf Alice

Asia Lambert speaks to the ‘most blogged about band’ of 2013

Spoiler alert

Spoiler alert

Trailers are ruining our cinema experience, says Will Roberts

Be unbreakable

Be unbreakable

Rhiannon Shaw on the much-appreciated optimism of Netflix’s new funny woman

Modern heroism

Lucrezia Baldo on Printmaking and the legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte

What’s On: Easter Term

All the culture highlights you need to cope this Exam Term

COMMENT

Private schools' homophobia problem

Private schools’ homophobia problem

Why we can no longer ignore homophobia in private education

Editorial: A swinging town

We are one of the few deciding seats left, and this is an election where there is a lot to be decided

Millie Brierley: How to pretend that voting is exciting

TV surely holds the answer to making the election bearable

Life in the UK after May 7th

It is two months after the election, and the country has changed for the worse…

Homertonian Blues

A political lament for Cambridge from the far reaches of Homerton

SPORT

Why prioritise rowing when we lose?

Why prioritise rowing when we lose?

Neglecting ‘minor’ sports damages Cambridge’s sporting ethos

Why youth rugby is too dangerous

Why youth rugby is too dangerous

George Ramsay tells us why youth rugby needs to change

It is high time we boycotted FIFA

It is high time we boycotted FIFA

Radical action is needed to change football’s corrupt governing body, says Zack Case

Cambridge wins British University Handball Championship

Just two years after forming, the Men’s Cambridge Handball Club win the British Championships

Cambridge crushed as Dark Blues dominate in Boat Races

With Oxford’s clean sweep of victories on an historic day on the Tideway, Peter Rutzler questions the future of Cambridge sport

FEATURES

The Crisis in Rural Nepal

The Crisis in Rural Nepal

Megan Blade reports on the critical situation in Nepal after the recent earthquake

Cambridge Incorporated

Cambridge Incorporated

As an increasing number of the university’s graduates find work in the corporate sector, Varsity investigates the tensions fostered by the expensive corporate recruitment strategies which subsidise so much of student life

World of Warcraft: Confessions of an Ex-Gamer

World of Warcraft: Confessions of an Ex-Gamer

Exposing gamer addiction in Cambridge and the path to recovery

Grave revelations

Dan Hepworth speaks to Craig Cessford, the leader of the Archaeological dig that led to the recent finding under St John’s Divinity School

An evening with the President of Peterhouse May Ball

More than Guardian sponsorship: the man behind this year’s Peterhouse May Ball

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