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Browsing: Interview

Dr. Paul Cross is a senior lecturer at Bangor University and has studied a wide range of topics from illegal drug use to zoonotic disease. A few days ago I met with Paul to discuss the importance of British bees and how beekeeping might be beginning to alleviate poverty in sub-Saharan countries.  Why are British bees important? “Historically the British bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), was well adapted to conditions particularly in the UK (high winds, lots of rainfall, short summer, low temperatures etc…) and over millennia had adapted to the environmental conditions. However, beekeepers have been importing other races of…

It’s been a decade since The Enemy sprung into prominence with UK Number 1 record We’ll Live And Die In These Towns. Three albums, a handful of awards and a trip to Wembley – in support of Oasis – later, and the Coventry trio are ready to bow out. I talked to bassist Andy about the end of The Enemy, the radio industry and the future of bands. How difficult was the process of everyone knowing The Enemy was going to have to be brought to an end? Difficult, definitely. Not a nice conversation, but maybe a sensible conversation. We don’t…

Familiar fragments of Busted, Fightstar, Union Sound Set and More Dangerous Animals unify to form a sound that is utterly unexpected. Once Upon a Dead Man’s debut EP, Concepts and Phenomena, sees the Simpson brothers – plus an old friend – venture into the dusky underpass of musical uncertainty, only to come out the other side gleaming in a blitz of silk-lined electro-pop. Concepts and Phenomena is instrumentally impressive. No doubt. However, striking more immediately, is a resounding sense of liberation. Each track pours with the kind of expression often found absent in conventional pop music. This isn’t just the…

Dr Catherine Duigan currently works for Natural Resources Wales, which was formed in 2013 by the merging of the Environment Agency Wales, the Forestry Commission and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), where she was initially employed in 1992. A few days ago I met with Catherine in a moderately trendy café to discuss her journey from education to employment and whether she had any tips for recent graduates looking for a job within the environmental sector. What’s your role at Natural Resources Wales and how has it changed since you began? “My current role is leading a group of technical specialists, of about 30 people, who are…

Drones are an emerging technology within marine mammal research and are helping researchers to ID and assess fitness of individuals in the field at a low cost. Quiet and high flying, the drones avoid scaring, or ‘flushing’ the seals away, allowing for quick and easy detailed analysis. The UK’s Harbour Seal population has declined by 85% but no one seems to know why. The answers to this question, suggests Dr. Line Cordes, lies with drone technology. Listen to a discussion with Dr. Line Cordes and Dr. Jan Hiddink from the School of Ocean Sciences on the subject below:

For this month’s Seren, we have decided to explore the topic of sex. With that in mind, we thought that there would be no one better to interview than the lead actor from the recent Channel 4 show, Cucumber. Vincent Franklin, who plays Henry Best, very kindly agreed to answer Seren’s questions. How would you describe Cucumber for those who have yet to see it? Cucumber is a brutally honest, often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking show about sex. It explores our desire for, need for, hope for and fear of – sex. At its heart is Henry, a man driven by…

Hywel Williams, pictured at Bangor train station above, is a member of parliament for the Welsh national party Plaid Cymru and represents the Arfon constituency, which includes Bangor and the surrounding area. At two minutes to nine, on a surprisingly dry morning, I entered Plaid’s office on Bangor High Street. The office (obviously adapted old housing) seemed small. I was instructed to wait for Hywel on a row of chairs, which gave a sense not unlike being in a GPs consultancy ward. My thoughts of this comparison, however, were cut off as Hywel came in through the front door and…

SAORImôr is a weaving studio located just off Bangor High Street. The studio offers lessons in SAORI Weaving, a special type of Japanese weaving created just 40 years ago! Seren were invited by owner Rosie Green to go and try our hand at the Japanese art of SAORI Weaving, which we were more than enthusiastic to try, I myself have been bitten by the craft bug recently so this particular Seren excursion was right up my street! At first we weren’t too sure where the little studio was but as we rounded the corner by the railway bridge on the…

For Bangor City the 2013/14 season ended on a massive high when they defeated rivals Rhyl FC 2-0 and booked their place back in Europe. Seren took some time to catch up with manager, Nev Powell, back in May to find out how he felt about the season. It’s probably fair to say you had a bit of a tough start to the season, with a very young team. To end the season back in Europe must feel great, especially after not having such a great start? Yeah, we’ve always had quite a young side but at the end of…

You were here last year playing in Bangor in PJ Hall. How do you enjoy being in Bangor, and what’s it like as a venue? It’s a big venue and it has it’s own characteristics soundwise because of that. It’s always interesting do a sound check but people come in and change the sound. It has such great character, with all that wood and it’s beautiful, and nice people run it. But more than that I’ve spent a lot of time in Bangor myself, having fun and I have friends living here, so I do love coming back to Bangor.…

With the UK railway system covering nearly 10,000 miles across the country and over a billion journeys per year, the British Transport Police (the police force specific to the rails) has their work cut out for them. Seren Editor Becki met up with Sergeant Tony Stamp, PC Carol Stamp and PCSO John Steele form the Bangor Team to find out more about how they’re working to make travelling on the railways safer for students. What is the British Transport Police and what are its main aims? The British Transport Police is basically the national police force for the railway system…

When Jordan McKee first turned up on our screens we were unsure what to think of her. She had a trouble that meant anyone she touched would writhe in pain and quite frankly, with her being a member of the mysterious Guard, that was quite a terrifying prospect. It wasn’t long before Jordan won the fandom over, she was tragic and she was brilliantly played by actress Kate Kelton. Now in season four it looks as though we’re about to see a whole other side to the troubled spitfire in leather.  This week Seren’s LJ caught up with Kate to…

This month Seren decided to find out a little bit more about the winner of Seren’s Local Business Awards: Best Restaurant and met up with co-owner Mary Phillips.  How long has Noodle One been around? I think it’s been around for about five or six years now. It was quite well established which was nice. It made it easier for us. How long have you been in Bangor as a business? Well, we bought Noodle One in October last year but my partner, Iwan and I have both been previous employees here. We’ve had a good ten months so…

Will Self: Kafka’s biggest fan. You may know Will Self as a Grumpy Old Man, a BBC panellist, a writer, journalist or as a critic. He is the author of nine novels including ‘The Book of Dave’, centred around an unwell taxi driver and seven short story collections, notably ‘Grey Area’. Self is also quite possibly the biggest ever fan of Franz Kafka (1883-1924) and BBC Space is currently feeding his insatiable appetite for the Prague writer. The programme ‘Will Self’s Prague Journey’ is currently available on the BBC Space website, and it follows Self as he traces Kafka’s footsteps…

On Tuesday, 16th July 2013, Lancashire crime writer S.J. Boulton visited the bright lights of Leighton Buzzard to give a talk entitled ‘Folklore and Forensics’. It is fair to say she has something of a Bedfordshire following, set to grow upon the film release of her novel ‘Sacrifice’, currently in production in Hollywood. S.J. Boulton never thought she could write professionally; “My friend Ruth was far more able, and if either of us would ever become a writer, it would be her”, she modestly tells her audience of poised and intent bookworms.  Her first career was in PR, a life…

In September 2013, United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will enter a second term of Laureateship. On 19th June, 2013, Seren’s Culture Editor went to see her address a mainly American audience at London’s Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall. Composers start with chords and songwriters with an idea. In her poetry construction, Natasha Trethewey starts with a point in history and with “an historic al question that I will then attempt to answer through my poems.” Trethewey explains that she chooses to answer her self-set historical questions in order to “make peace with our own personal past and our country’s…