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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Dundee Degree Show 2011 attracts high-profile guests

May 16 2011

Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz and Pixar founder Alvy Ray Smith head up the list of VIP guests attending this year's Dundee Degree Show. The exhibition, which will be open to the public from May 21 to 29 at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Degree Show celebrations will begin two days earlier when Susan, a DJCAD graduate, and Alvy appear in Dundee to meet students and take in the exhibition during a special associates reception and preview night. Susan last year's winner of one of the most prestigious and controversial art awards will talk to students about her work in the Dalhousie Building from 3-4pm on Thursday followed by a lecture by Alvy from 5pm to 6pm. While Susan's talk is a students-only event, some free tickets to Alvy Ray Smith's lecture are available to the public from www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk. Alvy is a pioneer of computer graphics who co-founded animation giant Pixar. A showreel of work from students on the animation programme at DJCAD will precede his talk. Last year's Degree Show was viewed by around 10,000 visitors and it is thought the show raised around £1.5 million for the local economy. For more information visit www.dundee.ac.uk/djcad/degreeshow


DUSA Media standing by ‘How to be an art student’ author

November 14 2013

A student magazine has come under fire for an article which describes art students in a derogatory way, branding them lazy, unwashed and untalented drug users. The supposedly humorous ‘How to be an art student’ feature has resulted in a furious online backlash after it was published in the Dundee University Students Association (DUSA) magazine, The Magdalen, and DUSA Media website. Written by student reporter Katie McIntyre herself an art student the article had a disclaimer stating it was intended as a joke, but its many offensive comments left some far from happy. The outrage reached beyond the university with some former teaching staff, graduates, and business owners expressing their disgust and claiming the piece devalues the renowned art school. Notable graduates of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) include international fashion designer Hayley Scanlan and 2010 Turner prize winner Susan Philipsz. University alumni and former DJCAD staff member Steven James Herd said the piece was “host to a series of ignorant, tactless and offensive remarks relating to a huge number of talented individuals.” Dylan Drummond, owner and director of Dundee production house Son of the Sea, accused the writer and editor of “cyber-bullying”, while Lauren McCorkindale, designer and maker at Starryeyed Crafts, added: “DUSA Media cannot be allowed to print stuff that alienates its students.” In a joint statement citing freedom of speech, the magazine’s editor-in-chief Danielle Ames and the manager of DUSA Media’s website, Felix Reimer, said they stood by the author, who had become a victim of online threats after the publication. They said: “Over the years, DUSA Media has covered many groups on campus in both serious and humorous ways. “We stand by our author, just as we have stood in the past with contributors across all our outlets who have expressed their views on a wide range of issues, and we will continue to do so in the future.” Iain MacKinnon, president of DUSA, said: “The editor of The Magdalen and the DUSA Media online manager, along with our other two media managers, have independent editorial control and we would not seek to censor them except in extreme cases. “Articles are not commissioned by DUSA, but rather suggested by students themselves. In this case, the author of the article is a DJCAD graphic design student who wished to write a self-deprecating humorous piece. “I have discussed this matter with all our media managers and I am sure they will take all feedback, both positive and negative, on board when publishing future content.” Dundee University declined to comment.


Missing Susan Reid: Family issue new appeal to find Newport woman

February 3 2014

The family of missing Newport woman Susan Reid have issued a personal appeal through Police Scotland for any information regarding her disappearance. Susan was last in touch with her family on Tuesday January 21, but has not been seen or heard from since. Police are continuing their search for the 56-year-old and have urged anyone with information as to her whereabouts to come forward. In a statement released via Police Scotland, Susan’s family said: “We are desperately worried for Susan who has been missing for the last fortnight. “She has never gone missing before and we would urge anyone who may know where she is to contact the police immediately.” Police in Fife Division are investigating three reported sightings of Susan, who had previously lived in Aberdeen, in the Tay Street/High Street area of Newport on Tay from Wednesday January 22 in addition to the physical searches in the Newport and coastline areas. Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale said: “We are working closely with Susan’s family, keeping them informed of enquiries to date. “The reported sightings of Susan on the Wednesday morning in the Tay Street/High Street area, all between 9am and 11am, are being investigated and I would appeal to anyone who may have seen Susan in this area on the 22nd, or at any other time during the week commencing January 20 to contact the Police. “Specialist officers are continuing to search the open land and coastline areas in and around the Newport area. “While our searches remain focussed within Newport on Tay, I would also ask that friends and family of Susan currently residing in the Aberdeen area also remain vigilant in the event she may have travelled up north.” Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or the charity Missing People, where information can be passed by calling, emailing, or sending a text to 116 000. The service is free, 24 hour, and confidential. For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Courier or try our digital edition.


VIDEO: Duncan of Jordanstone students still show a degree of innovation after 125 years

May 16 2013

May is always a nerve-racking and exciting time for students at DJCAD. Over the past months and weeks, they have been working towards constructing their degree show exhibitions ready for examiners to ponder. There will be a preview before the exhibition opens to the public on Saturday. But that’s not before another celebration, this time of 125 years of the institution itself. Alumni of the college will gather at DJCAD for events to mark the milestone. Tens of thousands of artists and designers have trained and graduated over the 125 years, including Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz and nominees David Mach, Louise Wilson and Luke Fowler.

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


Alan Alda to receive honorary degree from Dundee University

May 19 2017

Legendary actor Alan Alda is to receive an honorary degree from Dundee University. The actor, who shot to fame playing Hawkeye in the critically-acclaimed television series M*A*S*H, has since gone onto to star in a range of movies and television series, including Woody Allen films Everyone Says I Love and Manhattan Murder Mystery. He also starred in the acclaimed US series The West Wing and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Martin Scorcese's The Aviator. His most recent film appearance was in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies. Others to receive honorary degrees this year are Olympian Katherine Grainger and Perthshire film director David Mackenzie, who graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College. Another Duncan of Jordanstone graduate, Turner Prize winner Susan Phillipz will also be honoured, as will two other university graduates: Judge Tim Eicke QC, and David Cunningham, chief executive of The Archie Foundation. They will also receive a Doctor of Laws (LLD) at the university's graduation ceremonies, which take place between June 21 and 23. Alda is being honoured for his work as an ambassador of the communication of science. He helped found The Alan Alda Center for the Communication of Science, which is an international partner of the university's Leverhulme Centre. University principal Professor Sir Pete Downes said: “Our Honorary Graduates this year once again represent some of the highest achievers in their respective fields. "In choosing our honorary graduates we look for people who will inspire our students and staff and this year’s group have displayed excellence and achievement in abundance. “The achievements of our honorary graduates reflect the wide ranging nature of the impact the University has on society, and in this special anniversary year it is fitting that we have illustrious alumni such as Susan Philipsz, Tim Eicke, David Mackenzie and David Cunningham returning to receive honorary degrees. “I look forward to welcoming the four of them, Alan Alda and Dame Katherine Grainger to Dundee this summer.” During his time in Dundee Alan Alda will also discuss his passion for communication and exploring new knowledge and technology when he delivers the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science Public Lecture as part of the Graduation celebrations. An evening with Alan Alda takes place at the University’s Dalhousie Building at 6pm on Wednesday, 21st June. Free tickets can be obtained here. The university is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend. .

Alex Salmond

Story of Stavanger’s oil kids exposes Treasury’s disastrous stewardship of the North Sea

March 30 2015

Susan Ormiston is one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s senior foreign correspondents. Her career spans more than 25 years reporting from hot spots such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Haiti, Lebanon and South Africa. Last week she filed a major report on Norway and oil, contrasting the position of the province of Alberta with that of Norway. They are both oil producing areas facing up to the oil downturn. She was full of admiration for our near neighbours across the North Sea and had some tough comments about what their experience should teach Canada. Susan pointed out that Norway today sits on top of a £600,000 million pension fund established 20 years ago to handle the huge returns from oil and gas. That capital has been invested in more than 9,000 companies worldwide, including more than 200 in Canada. It is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. But Susan’s report was not just about facts and figures. It was about people. She interviewed ordinary Norwegians to ask what they thought about their country’s approach to oil. She interviewed some of the so called “oil kids” of Stavanger, the Norwegian Aberdeen, about the lifestyles of these wealthy second generation beneficiaries of Norway’s offshore oil riches. “If you compare to our parents or grandparents who built this country, I think we’re a little bit spoiled,” admits Bjorn Knudsen, whose father worked for a large North Sea oil company. “We are extremely lucky,” says Bjorn’s wife, Kristin Alne, a production engineer for Det Norske Olijeselsksap, an offshore oil company. “There are only five million of us and someone several decades ago was really smart to deal with the income from the oil industry to generate the welfare of this country as a whole.” Susan’s report was comparing Norway with Alberta. It is a good job for the London Treasury’s less than dynamic duo of George Osborne and Danny Alexander that she was not comparing Canada with their suicidal stewardship of the North Sea. In this newspaper last week Osborne demanded plaudits for relieving taxation on the industry. He omitted to say that he was largely just reversing the swingeing tax increase he imposed in 2011. The investment allowance was welcome but the exploration incentive for the future is inadequate. Meanwhile, Alexander wants credit for helping oil workers. He seems oblivious to the fact that oil workers are being sacked right now because this desperate duo at the Treasury forgot to gain assurances on employment from the oil companies before they agreed the tax concessions.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk


Family accept body found in Tentsmuir Forest is ‘our darling’ Susan Reid

March 28 2014

The family of missing Newport woman Susan Reid have accepted that the human remains discovered in Tentsmuir Forest on Tuesday are hers. The family are still waiting for formal identification. Police confirmed that the post-mortem is likely to take place today or Monday and formal identification will follow. However, Susan’s sister Lesley Coull, who lives in Aberdeen, said on Facebook: “Most people will know by now that a body believed to be that of my sister Susan Reid was found in the Tentsmuir area not far from Susan’s home. Just waiting for official identification but we do know this is our darling Susan.” On behalf of the family she thanked her Facebook friends for their “shares, likes and love” during the two-month search for her sister. She added: “Susan, I will simply miss you with all my heart.” The human remains were found by a walker at a remote spot just yards from a popular coastal path in Tentsmuir Forest on Tuesday. The discovery was made between the ice house, south of Tentsmuir Point, and a bothy. Susan has been missing from her home on Kerr Street, Newport, since January. It is understood Susan had been looking after her husband, who suffers from MS. The final posting on her own Facebook site in December was of a sunset at Tentsmuir Forest.