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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 111

Date:- 09 August 2003

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ESA fund to give students hands-on experience on Space
Report with thanks to UK SEDS and ESA.

A SPECIAL day for ESA marks the launch of the SMART-1 spacecraft on be launched into space heading for the Moon on August 28 is to be combined with a new scheme that encourages external participation from governments and international organisations to open the new ISS educational fund.

The International Space Station Education Fund (ISSEF) has been set up to help ESA in its aim of encouraging students from its 15 member states to study, understand and support science and technology in the future by using the exciting resources of space. Space is regarded as a resource for future discovery to capture the imagination of young people as they develop an understanding of science and technology.

The Fund will support the ISS Education Programme that develops and produces teaching materials in all 11 ESA languages for primary and secondary school students. Special efforts are being made to target girls and boys aged between 12 and 15. The Programme will also facilitate the implementation of research experiments, initiated by university students, to be carried out on board the ISS, or on other carriers, particularly in the fields of life and physical sciences and their applications in space. 

The ISS Education Fund was legally established in July 2002 to complement the ISS Education Programme. Almost 1m euros of seed funding, and administrative support, has been provided by ESA to the Fund. With the formal opening of the Fund on 28 August - ESA will be actively seeking additional contributions from appropriate organisations, and is offering a range of strategic, tangible and targeted benefits in return. 

The programme on the day includes the formal Board meeting of the Fund, including both honorary and funding participants. Close to 50 entrants to the 2002 SUCCESS Student Contest will attend the event. These students have been competing for an internship at ESA to prepare for their proposed experiment for an actual flight on the International Space Station. A ceremony to announce the three winners will be held during the afternoon in the presence of press and astronauts.


The Thrills So
Much For The City
(Virgin Records)
By Dominic Bonner

SUMMER albums often serve as cues for many a memory of people spending hazy days beer-drenched amid a heatwave. But the main question for The Thrills to answer is could their consistency of singles sit naturally on an album released long after their initiation to the world of pop?

Breaking from the trends of current popular bands like Coldplay and Radiohead, this album forges its own path similarly to that of Grand Drive who made their headway with 'See the morning in' in recent times. Ignoring the Singles such as 'Santa Cruz', the crux of this soft slow sunset cut appears to rely much on 'Don't steal on our sun' and 'Deckchairs and Cigarettes' as the rest of the album meanders a minor bumpy ride with Deasy predominating the affair. 

As for many bands, maintaining originality has always been a problem especially when there is tinges of Prefab Sprout splattered on 'Say it aint So' and 'Your love is like Las Vegas'. Accusations of the Beach Boys in this album appear rather unfair, but to the hardened music critic, it is fairly obvious that this Dublin based outfit has elements of Scritti Politi's frontman Green and Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy's 'Black Velvet' with his former band The Lilac time run riot over this album.

Certainly it is a class album with romance, rock and lazy dreamy americanised songs set the scene well for So much in the city. Capturing an atmosphere of love and the travel of the road, it seems the blend Deasy has conjured for this debut album provides the mocha latte for the hearts and minds of students and women. But like many great records of this nature, so few hit the mark, and even the greatest ones often are destined to gather the dust of the archive. It remains to be seen if The Thrills can achieve a serial of follow up albums, so often a missing ingredient for many Irish bands.


Three out of five!

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