Tweeting Pooliebirds swarm the Twittersphere

Hartlepool United fans were trending on Twitter between Saturday and Monday as they travelled to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday as news of their away day Thunderbird theme spread.

Both Hartlepool and #PoolieThunderbirds were trending on Twitter over the weekend as images of the Thunderbird Pools fans were posted all over Twitter.

Nearly 250 Hartlepool United fans travelled hundreds of miles to the bottom of the country to watch Colin Cooper’s men in action for the final away fixture of the season.

It was on the Saturday morning that “Hartlepool” was one of the hottest and most talked about topics on Twitter as endless updates were tweeted about individual fans exploits on their travels.

Alan Grocott, 61, was one of the 246 fans to travel down to Plymouth to witness Pools and Plymouth share the points in a 1-1 draw.

“It’s fantastic to see so many fans enjoying a day out and travelling such a distance to support the lads. Every season it’s a new idea and it’s great fun for both the away fans and also the home fans too.”

“As always, the fancy dress was a great success. It really makes a difference when neither team has much to play for as fans can really make the most of the final away day of the season.”

Hartlepool United fans in Plymouth on Saturday

Hartlepool United fans in Plymouth on Saturday

Pools fans were given even more publicity as Hartlepool United fanatic, Jeff Stelling, was seen wearing his own home-made Thunderbirds hat with his initials on during Soccer Saturday.

Stelling was at the crucial home clash against Morecambe on the previous Monday and saw his beloved blue and white army clinch League 2 survival, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 against all the odds.

With the nerves of a possible relegation battle put to rest, it made the trek to and from Plymouth much more relaxing, knowing league football was guaranteed for next season.


from Tside

WWE 2K14 Review

Game Title: WWE 2K14
Publisher: 2K Sports
Release Date: 01/11/2013
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5

WWE 2k14

WWE 2K14 is the first ever game in the main WWE game series to have been developed by the new owners to the rights of WWE Games 2K Sports.


While its predecessor WWE 13 by THQ featured an immensely-detailed and fun-to-play Attitude Era story mode, it was hindered by constant glitches and terrible AIs.

But has 2K gave us a game that’s hit Rock Bottom or did the game prove itself to be a showstopper?

WWE 2K14 presents a 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode, which gives players the chance to relive 46 of the greatest wrestling matches to take place at the biggest event in wrestling – Wrestlemania.

While that’s quite a lot of matches for the players to go through, there are many more Wrestlemania matches that were omitted from the game that players would love the chance to relive.

But for the matches that were there, 2K did a great job in capturing the drama of these iconic matches with great in-match cutscenes which will take any wrestling to a great trip down memory lane.

However, the story mode for “30 Years Of Wrestlemania” was nowhere near as detailed and as long as the story mode for the similar “Attitude Era” mode from WWE 13.

So for those that played the old game, this game may feel as under-developed with its story mode as WWE 13.

A new game mode called “The Streak” has also been produced as part of the Wrestlemania theme to allow players the chance to defend or defeat the legendary 21-0 Wrestlemania streak of the legendary Undertaker.

“Defend The Streak” mode gives the player a chance to be the Undertaker and fight of an endless amount of wrestlers who dared to challenge him.

This game mode gives players a really good reason to keep playing the game as the element of competition to beat as many wrestlers as possible will have them try again and again to better their score.

Alternatively, you can do the “Defeat the Streak” mode in which you are actually FIGHTING Undertaker at Wrestlemania and trying to break the streak.

But this match is NOT an ordinary match in WWE 2K14 as 2K have cleverly gave Undertaker’s AI a difficulty so high that players will have a tough time defeating the streak.

WWE 2K14 is based on the gameplay mechanics of WWE 13, with a few adjustments.

Firstly, 2K fixed an issue that ruined WWE 13 for so many wrestling fans last year and actually made it possible for players to get a two count in this match.

An error like this shouldn’t have even been in a game like WWE 13, but 2K have ensured that they didn’t make the same mistake twice.

2k also gave us the addition of catapult finishers, where a wrestler literally lifts up a wrestler in the air and catches him for a lethal finisher.

While it’s a nice touch and something new for the game, some of the finishers look incredibly unrealistic and takes away a bit of the legitimacy from the game.

But the game does give you quite a lot of new wrestling moves compared to last year.

The amount of wrestlers in the game including downloadable content is high.

However, a lot of them wrestlers in the game are actually duplicates of themselves with minor edits to the original which seems like a spot that could have been used to introduce other wrestlers like Rob Van Dam that were not put in the game.

Also, 2K did get a little lazy with is the wrestlers’ entrances with many of the wrestlers using the exact same entrances from last year.

Also, the dreary commentary that’s been recycled from the last two games is still present and lacks serious amount of enthusiasm from the commentary.

This takes away a lot of excitement away from the matches and makes it harder to appreciate the gameplay.

Creation modes in WWE has always been a key part of WWE games that made the game really fun to play and mess around with, and it’s obvious 2K know that.

They’ve improved nearly every creation mode in the game, with the amount of wrestlers that the player can create being doubled from 50 to 100!

Another cool addition to the game is that existing wrestlers like CM Punk and John Cena can have their attires and bodies complete edited with the feature of customizing the character.

So you can make completely new versions of your favourite and change them however you see fit!

What’s more is that with the online community creations, gamers have the chance to actually download content from other users or upload their own creations.

So if there’s someone that you can’t quite make yourself, you can download him/her from the community creation centre to help yourself out.

The returning Universe Mode from WWE 2K14 is as strong as it was in WWE 13.

The Universe Mode gives players the chance to create their own wrestling universe, given them the chance to make the matches, the shows and the rivalries for the games.

This didn’t really need much improvement from WWE 13, but 2K have done a good job in giving the player a lot more flexibility with what they can do and have even given them the chance to book all women’s shows for the first time.

WWE 2K14 really did suffer from the sale of WWE Games from THQ to 2K Sports in the middle of production, but what has been produced is a really fun game to play with many hours of gameplay for gamers.

While the game was sloppy in a lot of ways with the gameplay, it really did give the player plenty to do and a lot of fun ways to renovate their gaming experience.

While this game is obviously targeted at actual wrestling fans, this is a great game for any gamer to get their hands on.

So whether you trying to beat the streak or trying to win the King of the Ring, WWE 2K14 will be a great chance for anyone to lay the smackdown on somebody!

from Tside

The media hunting serial killers


SINCE 1886, when Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of London, journalists have played a role in the


Dennis Rader

BTK (Dennis Rader) sent taunting letters to the press during his long reign of terror.

capturing and torment of a serial killer on the loose.

The Zodiac Killer, BTK, and Jack the Ripper are just some of the notorious serial killers that sent their written taunts to the press.

Some would say that journalists hinder criminal investigations, whilst others would beg to differ.

Reporter, Sam Hawxwell, investigates why killers use the media, and what role journalists have in the capturing a serial killer.

On 4 August, 1969, at the San Francisco Chronicle, a letter arrives for crime reporter Paul Avery, signed from ‘the Zodiac’.

It starts a media frenzy as, with the help of police, they try to decipher the cryptic letters.

The letters are published in the newspapers around the world, as is the same with BTK’s letters and Jack the Ripper’s, though only one of the three have ever been caught.

The hype that stirred up with the press releasing these letters, and further information on other investigations, caused some investigations to go cold due to the killer being able to stay one step ahead, with the help of the newest reports.

When it comes to hindering the investigation, Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University, Prof. David Wilson, said: “A number of police officers have suggested that they have helped, and the training that is now given to police is about how to ‘handle the media’.

“I think that the media is, at the best of times, difficult to handle and during a murder investigation, almost impossible.”

So why do serial killers go to the media? One simple reason, they like to brag.

Infamous American serial killer, Ted Bundy, said, on trial, “You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body.

“You’re looking into their eyes.

“A person in that situation is God!”

Serial killers are often fuelled by one of three things; sex, money, and power, and the serial killers that crave power think that if they have the media in their hands, they have ultimate power.

A noted criminologist and expert on serial killers, Professor David Wilson, when asked about why serial killers would rather go to the media than the police, said: “They like the publicity!

“Never underestimate how serial killers – just like many in our culture – are obsessed with celebrity.

“With serial murderers we are also dealing with people who have usually got narcissistic personality disorder, and therefore there is also a clinical reason behind their need to write to the police, follow the press and so forth.”

Though the media may be seen as a hindrance to some, without the publicity, BTK would have never have been caught, some suggest.

In correspondence with the police and mostly, the media, BTK anonymously asked, through letter, if it was possible to trace a computer from a floppy disk, Dennis Rader (BTK) made the mistake of believing the police

Professor David Wilson

Professor David Wilson

when they told him it was impossible.

A floppy disk was sent to KSAS-TV where they were able to track the church which Dennis Rader was associated with.

A twenty year case was finally able to shut after help from the media, since BTK couldn’t help but chase his ‘celebrity’ status.

Jack the Ripper’s letters started a media frenzy and the world’s obsession with serial killers, even over 100 years later the public are still obsessed by crime.

Journalists will constantly be the go-between with power mad serial killers and the police, whether it’s a hindrance to the police or not.


from Tside

Teesside Cook-off

TEESSIDE STUDENTS have participated in a cook-off with a Spanish exchange student to prove the quality of English food.

Lucy Moody, 19, and Natalie Devonshire, 20, took on Andreu Roca in the challenge.

ENGLISH CLASSIC: Andreu gets ready to try a full English

ENGLISH CLASSIC: Andreu gets ready to try a full English

The girls chose to make a classic English Breakfast, whilst Andreu, originally from Barcelona, whipped up a Spanish Omelette.

The cook-off came about after Andreu, 23, claimed that English food is bad.

The Universitat de Vic student, said: “English food is no good, it’s a lot of junk food compared to back home.

“The food we eat in Spain is a lot healthier; more fruit and vegetable based, and I like it better.”

Despite these comments, the girls were confident they could change his mind.

Lucy said: “I’m not really much of a cook, but who can deny a good English Breakfast.

“We’re going to show him that not all English food is bad.”

Listen to how the cook-off went below.



from Tside

Durham Lumiere brightens up the North East

DURHAM hosted its bi-annual Lumiere Festival of Light this weekend and attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the region.

Elephant on Elvet Bridge: One of the most popular installations.

ELEPHANTASTIC: One of the most popular installations on Elvet Bridge

Over 100,000 people attended the event which lights up the historical city of Durham, with 25 stunning light installations spread across the city.

The event which ran from Thursday, November 14 until Sunday, November 17, attracted visitors from across the globe, with organisers claiming people had come from America and Australia just to see the festival.

Jane Neville, 47, an estate agent, traveled from Leeds with her family to see the festival and she said: “We came here last time it was held in 2011 and it was fantastic then but this year is even better.

“The children loved the elephant on Elvet Bridge and I loved the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels onto the Cathedral.”

Installations included a giant replica of the sun, exactly one million times smaller than the real thing, at Durham University.

Other attractions included an aquarium inside a telephone box in the cities marketplace, stickmen climbing over a nightclub on North Road, and Reliant Robins dotted around the city called the Greenhouse Effect.

A Durham County Council Spokesman said: “It’s been great again this year, the flow of people has been much better than previous years.

“We’re all thrilled with how it has gone.”

In 2011, the festival brought in £5.8 million for the local economy.

This year, Lumiere has been helped by “Festival Maker’s”, volunteers – just like the “Game Maker’s” of the Olympics, to help and direct the viewing public.

DURHAM CATHEDRAL: The Lindisfarne Gospels were projected onto the Cathedral

DURHAM CATHEDRAL: The Lindisfarne Gospels were projected onto the Cathedral

Jake Davison, a “Festival Maker”, 21, and from Durham, said: “I have really enjoyed being a Festival Maker this year.

“I’ve loved being able to see this event every night and helping people see the best Durham has to offer.”

Durham hopes to host the event again in 2015 and the event will be welcomed back from the public and businesses alike.

David Thorne, 35, a restaurant owner from Durham said: ”There was more organisation this year and business really boomed over the four days, I can’t wait for 2015 already.

“I’ve loved it, Durham is so pretty anyway and with these fantastic installations has really made me appreciate where I come from.”

DURHAM LUMIERE: The event hopes to be back in 2015

DURHAM LUMIERE: The event hopes to be back in 2015

from Tside

Holiday Out Of Term Time? Forget It!

THE SCHOOL holidays are the perfect opportunity for family time – trips to the park, to the seaside for fish and chips as well as paddling pools in the garden.

What the school holidays aren’t about however it seems, is taking the children away – because of the extortionate prices travel companies are charging for breaks that fall during school holidays.

Tside reporter NATHAN LEE reports.

IT’S an issue that’s reached parliament, with MP’s set to debate the high prices charged by travel companies during school holidays.

Paul Cookson, an aggrieved parent of one, from South Devon, harnessed public opinion on this after setting up an internet campaign claiming he was “sick to death” of being ripped off.

After initially posting a ‘rant’ on Facebook, Mr Cookson set up a petition to call for a stop on holiday firms charging more for people simply doing the right thing and trying to take their children away during school holidays. The petition gathered 160,000 signatures showing the strength of feeling on this.

FACEBOOK RANT: Paul Cookson with his post that sparked the debate.

FACEBOOK RANT: Paul Cookson with his post that sparked the debate.

As it stands, according to, parents face fines of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence of up to three months, for taking their children on holiday during term time.

Recently, a couple from Telford in Shropshire hit the headlines after being fined £1,000 by magistrates for taking their two children on holiday during term time.

Stewart and Natasha Sutherland were initially fined £360 by the school, but after failing to pay this, the fine was doubled and the couple were taken to court. The court ruled that they had to pay a further £1,000 in costs and fines.

Mr Sutherland, 39, told the BBC: “The people who make these laws and policies don’t live in the real world.”

So what choice do parents have? Many parents believe it is simply too expensive to take a family holiday outside of term time, and parents feel as though they are in a catch 22 situation.

Olivia Clarke, 34, an office worker from Peterlee said: “I have two kids and me and my husband work full time but we still can’t afford to take our children on holiday during half term or the summer holidays. We try to do the right thing yet we seem to be penalised by holiday firms for sticking to the rules!”

Young dad Brian Jenning, 28, a call centre worker from Seaham added: “It’s not really fair is it. Last time we went on holiday we won a competition so it wasn’t a problem for us, but I definitely couldn’t afford to take the kids away in the six weeks holidays.”

So what is the solution? Travel companies defend themselves by saying they have to charge more, as school holidays are their peak times and incur more expense.

Managing Director of Hays Travel, John Hays, told Tside: “Both school attendance and family holidays are hugely important to children, so I understand it can be difficult for people when the prices are hiked up around the school holidays.

“Here at Hays Travel we try to do everything we can to help families afford a break and that’s why we have worked with our local councils for more than 10 years now, offering discounts to families booking getaways within the official school holidays.”

RIP OFF: This shows the price changes holiday firms often charge.

RIP OFF: This shows the price changes holiday firms often charge.

One suggestion to overcome widespread price hikes is to stagger school holidays across the country so that not everyone is on holiday at the same time – and campaigners seem to welcome this.

John Hays agrees with this and added: “One thing I think would make a big difference is if the Government staggered school holidays the way France and other countries do, meaning we wouldn’t get such a steep peak.”

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who has raised this issue in Parliament, told Sky News: “Obviously parents are being charged a lot more for one part of the year compared to another part of the year … what matters is finding a way that people can go on holiday with their children and spend time with their children.”

According to the Facebook page set up by Paul Cookson, travel firms are generally charging three to five times more for holidays out of term time rather than in it.

It remains to be seen what will happen in parliament but if all goes well, that paddling pool in the back yard could well be swapped for a full-size pool in the sun coupled with a fight for a sunbed!

And that’s something we’d all welcome.

Below, I asked independent Travel Agent, Anita Smyth, for her views on the issue.

from Tside

The legend lives on: Doctor Who after 50 years

I WAS only four-years-old when my uncle visited me one night, sat me down in the living room, and put on what he said was the best TV programme ever made.

It showed a mad man with blond frizzy hair and wearing frilly cuffs, running around in a blue police box, saving the world from aliens that were made out of plastic.

This was ‘Terror of the Autons’, an old 1970’s serial starring Jon Pertwee, and the first Doctor Who episode I ever watched.

I was hooked from that night on.

Since that day, my childhood has been littered with Daleks, Cybermen, Silurians, the Master, Zygons, Time Lords, and many others.

And now that the 50th anniversary year is drawing to a close, I can say that as a fan it has been one of the greatest experiences in sci-fi fandom.

The show defines us as a generation and it widens our imagination as the Doctor explores the universe.

Attending the 50th anniversary convention at the Excel in London was the perfect way to celebrate.

Fans eagerly wait to go into the main auditorium.

Fans eagerly wait to go into the main auditorium.

More than 24,000 fans attended the three day event from across the globe, all to witness the Day of the Doctor in action.

There were monsters, merchandise, exhibitions, workshops, and even the Doctor’s wardrobe.

Other shows throughout the day included how to build a Cyberman.

Other shows throughout the day included how to build a Cyberman.

Past cast and crew held talks and stalls to advertise just what goes into making the show.

The day featured hundreds of special guests from the last 50 years, including recent incarnation Matt Smith, companion Jenna Coleman, and executive producer Steven Moffat.

Matt Smith looks on as thousands of fans pose questions to him on the anniversary special.

Matt Smith looks on as thousands of fans pose questions to him on the anniversary special.

Moffat, who has been head writer after taking over in 2010, said: “With Matt, he somehow manages to create an old Doctor, in those eyes, and in those mannerisms and in that mad old boffin he suddenly became.”

On the 50th, he said: “I’m bricking it. We’ll be watching in a whimpering huddle!”

Asked to give one sentence on his time as the Doctor, Matt replied: “It’s the best job, the best friends, the best chicks, and the best adventures.

“I got to play the big man and I’ll never forget it.”

But just how has the show survived for 50 years?

Matt said: “At its heart, simplicity, and the basic fabric of the show that you can travel anywhere in space and time.”

Jenna Coleman put the show’s success down to the support of the fans.

She said: “I have never seen fandom like it.

“We’ve got such an international crowd here from Turkey, France Mexico, Brazil, and meeting all these people that have travelled all this way just to say Happy Birthday, it’s great.”

For me, the day was made more special with the appearance of some classic doctors.

Icons Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy took to the stage in a special regenerations show to reminisce their time.

Peter said: “I wanted to maintain my association with the show because it’s such a big part of my life.”

But my personal highlight of the day was the appearance of the legendary Tom Baker, the 4th doctor from 1974-1980, and the longest serving actor in the role.

Talking about his experiences, he said: “I suddenly allowed myself to become a fiction, but a walking fiction.

“I wanted to live this kind of part!”

A new doctor now waits in store for us, along with new allies and foes, and new adventures to cart us into another 50 years of the show.

To Matt Smith, thank you for a fantastic four years, and hello to Peter Capaldi, the new Doctor, as he takes us into a new era about the time travelling madman in a police box.

from Tside

Fundraiser helps raise money for Childrens Trust

Thornaby Sport and Leisure Club.

Thornaby Sport and Leisure Club.

A SPECIAL night of music and fun took place in Thornaby in order to raise money for the Sick Children’s Trust.

Thornaby Sports Centre hosted the fundraiser on Thursday 17th to help raise money for the Newcastle-based children’s charity.

The night of entertainment included bingo and a Simply Red tribute act,  called Red Mick.

Red Mick, whose real name is Mike Bassett, said “Having an opportunity to be a part of something as worthwhile as this is a great thing and I was more than happy to help.”

The Crawford House at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle offers accommodation for the parents and family of sick and terminally ill children who are being cared for the in The Great North Children’s Hospital.

Red Mick performing live for the Sick Childrens Trust Fundraiser

Red Mick performing live for the Sick Childrens Trust Fundraiser

Crawford House, which offers up to 23 families the option of free accommodation, is funded entirely by donations the Sick Children’s Trust from the public

Carolyn Simpson, whose idea it was to hold a fundraiser, had a daughter who spent some time in the hospital and could not afford to stay in a hotel for months.

She said: “Crawford House was there to help me and my family in my time of need.

The help they offered me was incredible and I wanted to find a way to repay that debt to them

The fundraiser itself managed to raise over £1,000 which will go straight to helping Crawford House help other families that are in need, just like we were.”


from Tside

Teesside Journalism Lecturers Recognised

JOURNALISM LECTURERS Angela Rainey and Mark Handscomb have both been shortlisted to receive Star Awards.

Angela is up for “Most Outstanding Lecturer”, whilst Mark is nominated in the category of “Promoting Employability”.

OUTSTANDING LECTURER: Angela was nominated by her students

OUTSTANDING LECTURER: Angela was nominated by her students

Angela, who was originally nominated in five categories, sees this nomination as very special.

She said: “Last year I was nominated for a similar award; a staff award.

“However, the Star Awards mean that little bit more to me because you’re nominated by the students.

“They didn’t have to do it, but they did, and that’s the bit that matters the most.”

Angela has been a lecturer at Teesside University for the last three years and previously enjoyed a 14 year career as a journalist.

This took her around the world, giving her opportunities to interview big names such as Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake.

She admits that lecturing was something she fell into, but couldn’t be happier with her current job.

She said: “It wasn’t something I set out to do, but now I’m in the job I absolutely love it.

“I love my students.”

Mark has been at the university for four years, having previously worked for 25 years making documentary films for the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, Discovery and National Geographic.

HELPING HAND: Making students more employable

HELPING HAND: Mark is making students more employable

Through this work he traveled to Rwanda, Poland, Oklahoma, the Arctic Circle and many other places.

Of the nomination, Mark said: “I think it’s a great honour.

“I think it’s very flattering to be nominated by students who I’ve had the privilege of teaching.”

Mark has been vocal about the importance of making students more employable during his time at Teesside.

He said: “Employability is a big deal for any undergraduate.

“At the end of the day, one of the reasons students come to university is to earn more money in a professional career.”

Nominations for the eight categories in the Star Awards are now closed.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 22 May.



from Tside

Boho One hosts unique Digital Design Exhibition

Boho One, Middlesbrough's digital zone.

Boho One, Middlesbrough’s digital zone.

MIDDLESBROUGH’S digital zone is being brought to life with two unique forms of artwork designed specifically for the area.

Boho One, on Bridge Street, which is run by leading design company DigitalCity, is to host the new art installation.

With a number of locations throughout the northeast, Digital city have made Middlesborough the home of their unique brand of digital design and art.

They have also recently worked close with Teesside University in helping graduates get their foot on the design ladder.

The exhibition, named An Iridescent Ignition, which has been open since January offers two styles of art, ‘a collection of digital images based on the motherboards of old computer game consoles’ and ‘a collection of graffiti inspired canvas’s’

Part of the Iridescent Ignition exhibition by Steven irving.

Part of the Iridescent Ignition exhibition by Steven irving.

Steven irving is a freelance artist working in Teesside that specialises in painting murals, artwork and illustrations, who holds BA (Hons) in Creative Visualisation from the University of Teesside.

Steven who trained as an Art Teacher and has been teaching in Secondary School since graduating says; “ Art has always been a passion of mine and I have a wide variety of skills which I continue to develop on a daily basis.”

“I am happy working in both 2D and 3D, using a variety of materials. I am a keen amateur photographer and always on the look out for things that inspire me.”

An Iridescent Ignition is open until the 25th of April.


from Tside