University clarifies power cut points

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The University has spoken to Insite about an article we had published recently entitled ‘Students inconvenienced by power cut during resit’. The article spoke about how FEMA (Faculty of Economics, Management and Accounting) students complained about power cuts during a resit exam.

Insite was informed that students in that exam had to change the venue from SLT to ALT in the middle of the exam.

“The venue was changed from SLT to ALT prior to the start of the exam,” a University spokesperson told Insite. “Students were not allowed to enter, let alone sit, in the original venue. The reason for changing the original venue was because at that point in time the SLT had no power, while ALT did.”

Insite was also informed that ‘since the electricity was coming and going constantly, the transformer burnt out meaning that the generator could not be used’.

“There is no generator in SLT or ALT, and hence it was not the fault of any transformer,” the University said.

Insite apologizes for any confusion caused.

Posted in News

Airport Impressions headlining Campus Fest

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Airport Impressions, the hit-makers behind ‘Walk With Me’, ‘Berlin’ and ‘Elusive’ will be the main musical guests of Campus Fest on October 10. Also included in the line-up are The Crowns, Relikc and The New Victorians.The University Students Council (KSU) today publicly revealed the line-up of the Moroccan themed event that will mark the end of Freshers Week.Last year’s concert was a considerable success after a well-received performance by Ira Losco.

Two other bands will be able to join these acts on the University stage if they win the Bands Competition being held during Freshers Week.

In a collaboration between KSU and 89.7 BAY, student bands will compete in live gigs throughout Freshers Week for a chance to play during Campus Fest. What’s more, the winning bands will get exposure and radio time on the station, and might even have a chance to perform at the Bay Music Awards later this year.

Insite will be bringing you exclusive backstage interviews with the artists on Friday October 10th.


Posted in Culture, Music

Dancing around the chess board: Malta’s record breaker

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Knowing how to place chess is one thing. Winning a chess championship four times in a row and representing your country abroad is another. Insite talks to Jake Darmanin about his recent victories and his future challenges.

When I heard the news that Jake had actually broken a Maltese record in chess, I admit I was only slightly surprised. For you see boys and girls, the last time I saw Jake play chess against someone, he didn’t just win; he obliterated his opponent with a conviction so strong and astonishing that when he curtly and duly asked “Who’s next?”, nobody dared respond.
And yet, for a person so tactical and so ambitious in his game, you’ll be amazed how shy and introverted he is. Thank God I only asked him for a coffee, and not a date!
By seven years of age, Jake already knew the basics and the moves regarding chess, yet it was somewhere during his teens where the road to Chessville properly started: “At twelve I started playing Chess regularly; at thirteen I entered my first school chess tournament, and from then I never looked back.”
Jake recently equaled the national record of winning the U/20 Chess Championship four times. What’s more, he was the first person ever to manage such a quadruple consecutively. His chess exploits also took him to Scotland, to represent Malta in the Scottish and Commonwealth Chess Championship in 2014. “Having played and won against opponents seeded higher than me was something that I can never forget; the highlight was when I managed to win against an International Master rated 500 points above me.” Oh, and he soared up seven places in the final rankings.
Not bad at all…
And yet the road is still long for Jake. He is going to take part in the Malta Championship for the first time next October, and hopes he can do well. “In tournaments such as this, you can lose and win immediately in the first few moves you make; time constraints are also placed on you, and trivial situations, such as ending with two pawns on the same chess file or exposing your King so openly and so early, must be avoided at all costs in order to win, especially since the stakes are that higher now.”
His style of play? “I consider myself pretty aggressive: If given a clear cut choice between attacking the opposition or securing my defenses, I always go for the former; yet this can be suicidal if done at the wrong time, so I must always take into consideration the game’s state of play.” His list of role models is also pretty big: From Judit Polgár to Bobby Fischer, the list goes on.
What I asked next was a pretty cliché question: What is your favourite chess piece? His response totally caught me by surprise though: “Knights: even though the Queen is undoubtedly the best, the Knights are tricky, as they tend to dance around the chess board

Posted in Interviews

MMSA organise World Heart Day events

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The Malta Medical Students Association will hold their annual World Heart Day events on 28 September at Bugibba Square.

“This is one of the biggest public health events that we organise,” the MMSA said. “Through it, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of having a healthy heart by promoting a healthy lifestlye through healthy eating, anti-smoking, and physical training.”

The events will include free pressure, blood glucose and BMI tests, health talks on cardiovascular diseases, fitness sessions, nutritional information and a kids area

For more information, visit their Facebook event page at:

Posted in Events

Venus in Fur Review

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Roman Polanski is a man whose personal scandal seems to be better known than his own work, which is a pity, because Polanksi at his best is a genius film-maker. My personal favourites, Rosemary’s Baby and The Tenant, are skilfully made psychological thrillers filled with an ominous atmosphere and a thick streak of black humour. However, at his worst, Polanksi can be very very dull, a case in point being the Johnny Depp-starring ‘The Ninth Gate’, a perfectly good alternative to anaesthesia. So entering any Polanski film is an uncertain experience.

However it would be hard to imagine any material better suited to Polanksi than Venus in Fur, based on a play adapted from the 1870 erotic novel which deals largely with sadomasochism. It seems to tick all the boxes of Polanski’s favourite themes: psycho-sexuality, insanity, a claustrophobic setting and cross-dressing. The story takes place in an old theatre where a director ( Matthieu Amalric) is looking to cast the female lead his in stage adaptation of ‘Venus in Furs’, and in walks Wanda ( Emmanuelle Seigner) who at first seems airheaded and brash, yet reads the part surprisingly well and gradually reveals to know far more about the source material than the theatre director originally gives her credit for. The audition stretches out over a night and becomes more and more intense, with the lines between play and reality begin to blur.

What’s initially striking about the film is how much the character Amalric plays looks like Polanski. The actor already resembles the director, and even his hairstyle is much like Polanski’s circa the Tenant. It’s unlikely this was just a coincidence, and it suggests that Polanski sees Amalric’s director as his stand-in. This is strengthened by the casting of Emmanuel Seigner, Polanski’s wife and regular collaborator (they’ve worked on three films together before) as the muse in the film. Polanski clearly sees this as a personal project, and with source material that has so much of his signature style, one would think that this would be the ultimate Polanksi films.

However the film is disappointingly dull. It would be easy to say that the reason it’s boring is because it has only two characters and it’s set in one room, in real time. However there have been great films which tackle both those limitations well. Before Sunset only featured two characters, while Buried was all set in a coffin, and both were gripping films. There’s no excuse for Polanski other than inferior storytelling, and the fact is the film becomes very repetitive very quickly.

Firstly the film is clearly aiming to be a character comedy, a clash between two disparate yet oddly similar characters, yet it’s never funny enough to be that. Secondly much of the dialogue is discussion between Amalric and Seigner over the novel ‘Venus in Furs’, about its meaning and the true intention of the author. Perhaps if you were a fan of, or at least familiar with, the novel this would be hugely enjoyable, but as someone who doesn’t know much about it, I felt oddly out of the loop, and the film does not manage to make me as interested in the book as the characters. It raises interesting themes such as dominance between men and women, and the swapping of roles, yet is vague in what it wants to say. Meanwhile the idea of an adaptation where ‘life imitates art’ is certainly not a new idea; we’ve seen it before in David Cronenberg’s M. Butterfly and Michael Winterbottom’s excellent A Cock and Bull Story.

That’s not to say the performances aren’t great, because they are, and they both have great comic timing and inhabit their characters, and the transformations they undergo, believably. However, like a play, a film relies on both good performances and a good screenplay, and I can’t say it has the latter. Would it have worked better in its original play form? I’m not sure. But it does feel like a missed opportunity. In an age where 50 Shades of Grey is selling millions of copies, it would have been fun to see Polanski de-construct our perception of BDSM in a sharper funnier way.

Posted in TV

University discouraging nursing students with change in laws

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We’ve all seen the billboards in our national roads. Billboards intended to encourage people to join the nursing community. A campaign that is supposedly intended to help the Maltese people be given the appropriate care when in need in our hospitals. A campaign that was introduced because the health care community claimed that we are in great need of nurses. Undoubtedly, the job of a nurse is not the type of job a child would be dreaming of at an early age. A job not quite popular with the masses, and so the small percentage who do pursue this career should be encouraged to continue their studies…right? After all, these people will be caring for us, the Maltese population.

But there’s a new change in the bye-laws…
Diploma Nursing students need to complete 3 years of studies; it has been this way for a few years now. Like any other course at the University of Malta, students undergo exams at the end of their first semester in January and again in June, at the end of their second semester. Also like any other course in the University of Malta, students who fail any of these exams are entitled to undergo a resit in September. This is what the majority of people think is fair.
However, in 2013 the University decided that second year nursing students who fail their January exams will not be allowed to continue their studies. They will have to wait until September to sit for their resit exam. If they pass, they will have to wait until the following January so that they can continue their second year of studies exactly where they left off when they had failed the exam a year ago. This change in bye-laws basically means that a student who fails an exam in January will lose an entire year of studies…
Numerous complaints emerged as soon as nursing students heard of this law change, and most of the staff nurses, doctors, midwives and other health care professionals were concerned too. A lot of hospital staff fear that this law will drastically decrease the number of new nurses appointed as staff nurses each year, as well as discourage potential applicants to apply for the course. This will ultimately mean that Malta’s problem in the shortage of nurse will only get worse.

The Diploma Nursing course employs approximately 70 new nurses each year (which are still not enough to meet the needs of our hospitals and clinics). The in Nursing course is another course intended to qualify individuals with a Nursing Degree. It employs about 25 new nurses each year, a number which, when combined with that of the Diploma in Nursing is still insufficient to serve the Maltese Health care community. So why introduce this change? We should be improving our educational courses in such a manner to improve our country as a whole, no? This should not be the solution if we want to encourage more people to enter the nursing community. This should not be the way to improve health care in our country. However, it may be the solution to increase the constant stress our doctors, nurses, specialists and other health care professionals already suffer from in an average day of work.

Posted in Comment, Features, Health & Beauty