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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…


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.


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.


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. .


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


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.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Perth & Kinross

Friend of missing US tourist Susan McLean flies to Scotland to renew search

July 20 2015

A friend of Susan McLean has travelled to Scotland in a bid to reignite the search for the missing American tourist. Lorna VanderZanden has known the 61-year-old for almost 30 years. The retired US Army veterinarian flew into the UK from her Virginia home on Sunday, nine weeks after Susan from Pennsylvania was last seen in Aberfeldy. The horse riding instructor disappeared on May 17 and was last seen on CCTV at 7.45pm outside the Moness Resort. Lorna learned her friend was missing after calling her phone and having Susan’s husband, Donald, answer a conversation that left her feeling “speechless and numbed”. She plans to spend up to a month in Scotland, talking to locals and searching the area around Aberfeldy. The 62-year-old said: “I am hoping my presence will bring Susan’s disappearance back into the news, possibly encouraging someone who might know something to step forward. “Even if people are not sure if they saw Susan, even if they only saw something that might be related, please report anything that might help us find Susan. “I hope to pull together a community meeting with hikers, dog walkers, estate managers anybody who is out and about in that area. “I think that openly sharing bits and pieces might lead to an accumulation of insight that takes us down the right path to finding Susan. “This will be my first visit to Scotland searching for Susan is such a sad reason to be here.” Lorna said she believes her friend has suffered an accident, and ruled out the possibility of suicide. She said: “I’m thinking that she likely slipped off the side of a trail, falling and injuring herself. “I’ve thought of her possibly being abducted but it seems so unlikely because she’s 5ft 9in, 180lb, and very strong from 55-plus years of managing and training horses, hauling feed bags, tossing hay bales. “She would be capable of giving any potential abductor a real fight.” She said Susan had a long list of events planned into the new year, making it unlikely that she had planned to take her own life. Lorna is encouraging anyone with any information to call Police Scotland on 101.


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.


City looks forward to Duncan of Jordanstone degree show

May 6 2010

Dundee’s economy will receive an estimated £1.5 million boost from the annual degree show by students at Duncan of Jordanstone college of art and design. Last year the exhibition attracted 11,000 visitors many from outside the city and organisers at Dundee University are hoping to match that total. The work of over 250 students will go on display at the college in Perth Road, featuring fine art, illustration, animation, textiles, jewellery and film. Duncan of Jordanstone is one of the top art schools in the UK and many of its graduates go on to become renowned artists. One of them, Susan Philipsz, has just been nominated for the world-famous Turner Prize. Professor Tracy Mackenna, the college’s acting dean, said she expected this year’s show would prove a great success. She said, “What we see, year after year, is that our students continue to push the boundaries of art and design and to challenge convention. “I am confident that everyone who visits will leave hugely impressed by what they have seen.”