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Entries for November 2011

The flying spaghetti monster

Last week I went to a talk by Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and God of all atheists. During question time, a philosophy student asked what Dawkins makes of the ideas of Descartes – what can we really know as true, without any doubt? – and Bertrand Russell – how do we know that we weren’t put on the Earth five minutes ago, with fossils in ...

Partying for a better environment

Making pubs in Maastricht greener. That is the aim of a new project, called Green Drinking, initiated by Sife, a student organisation that wants to inspire sustainable change by creating economic opportunities. The students will make sure that enough people turn up, the owner of the pub where the party will be held promises to invest part of the ta...

Magic Music Matinee, Thanksgiving and Flea Market

Magic Music Matinee The first of a series of Sunday afternoon concerts is on Sunday 27 November in the Magisch Theatertje. Irish singer Declan de Barra will perform songs from his latest album. Supporting act is Jimmy Dee & Friends. The show will start at 15:00hrs. Tickets are €10 if you book in advance. For reservations, please visit www.magi...

Green light for parking regulation

From 1 December, foreign students commuting to Maastricht every day may (again) use a permit to park in the neighbourhoods around the city centre. This was decided by the Maastricht city council last Tuesday.
The little boy from downstairs

The little boy from downstairs

David Darler, 31, from Lincoln, UK, master’s student of Globalisation and Development

Language Centre’s future

Collaboration with Hogeschool Zuyd, with the RWTH Aachen University or with other institutes in the Euroregion? The UM’s Language Centre is currently drawing up a strategic plan for the future. Everything is possible, rector Gerard Mols said last week during a meeting with the university council's I&S committee, who put the future of the Langua...

Waiting for the international classroom

Integration between the various nationalities at the UM is not successful yet, concludes the DOPE student fraction in the university council. What is the Executive Board doing to improve this? And what about the influx of Dutch students? Are the target figures (50 per cent in the bachelor's and master's phase) being reached?
Renew yourself!

Renew yourself!

Wise lessons for entrepreneurs from Dutch theatre producer Albert Verlinde
Plea for liberal arts

Plea for liberal arts

Is there a crisis in higher education? Are students being ‘made’ into citizens who are only after the latest iPhone and a really well-paid job? In her latest book - Not for Profit. Why Democracy Needs the Humanities - American philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues for broad bachelor's studies with a good measure of philosophy, art and literature. Thes...

27800,500,000 hours

People are getting smarter, and this is irritating. You used to be able to make smug comments like “You know, I read somewhere that [insert wildly inaccurate fact here: Geert Wilders was raised in a madrasa, Nederland is an Old Saxon word meaning ‘poor of weather but stellar with cheese’, etc.]”. Now, people want to know your source, and God forbid...

High costs, long travelling times, lots of transfers

Public transport to and from Maastricht is not great, according to a majority of students and employees who completed the university council’s quick scan last week. For sixty percent of them, the high costs, long travelling times and the many transfers are a source of aggravation.
This café called Borsa

This café called Borsa

Samar Saad, 24 from Assiut, Egypt, master’s student in Globalisation and Development

“There’s room for improvement”

How sustainable is Maastricht University? This is the question the Green Office – which initiates and coordinates ecological, social and economic sustainability projects and aims to raise sustainability awareness at UM – asked in its Climate Action Report. Their conclusion: “The first steps have been made, but the road to an ideally sustainable uni...
How to introduce a product to the market?

How to introduce a product to the market?

Wednesday morning in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. A low buzz comes from the lobby, where students are gathering for the second day of the Make a Move Career Week. For the first time, Make a Move has organised a day focused on German students and companies. “The students who come to this career week are mainly studying at the School of Business and Econo...

Showtime, Global Culture Festival and Rocco

Showtime! ‘International students and their way of art’ is the theme of this year’s Open Day at the Bonnefantenmuseum on Sunday 20 November. The programme – called Showtime! – includes performances, guided tours and workshops. For instance, drama club Alles is Drama will perform a special play for the Open Day in the room showing the work of Sol L...

How would you rate the connection home-Maastricht?

If you have to take the bus or train to visit your parents, how would you rate the connection? If you think the connection is poor, why do you think so? These are two questions from a survey that the university council placed on Facebook and the Maastricht University website this week.
“It is an indispensable instrument”

“It is an indispensable instrument”

Can the law protect the environment?

Sinterklaas, Design Academy and Arab Autemn

Sinterklaas Sinterklaas, the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, is coming to town. On Saturday 12 November he will arrive at 11.00 at the Kesselsekade with his Zwarte Pieten on his steamship full of presents. Mayor Onno Hoes and hundreds of children will be there to welcome him, after which Sinterklaas will take a tour through Wyck and the city cent...

Very good research quality at Fasos

The overall quality of the research at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is ‘very good’. The relevance is even excellent. This is the conclusion of the international external review committee that visited the faculty in mid-September. Nonetheless, the committee identified a few weaknesses, one of them being the relatively low rate of success...

Copulating beetles

Last month, Maastricht’s own Professor Herman Kingma was granted an Ig Nobel Prize for his work on why discus throwers get dizzy. The Igs – an alternative to the real Nobel Prizes – are awarded annually at Harvard University to celebrate unusual (if not downright wacky) research. Further Igs were awarded for research on why Australian beetles try t...

Unused data costs energy

Unused data costs energy

Making additional copies of files, keeping useless e-mails because the inbox limit is infinite anyway, sharing photos with friends online, we all do it. “What people do not realise is that storing this data requires energy,” says Chiung Chang, who works at ICIS. We are talking about data stored both on your computer and on a server. “Your computer...

Jupp, the barkeeper of my favourite pub in Düsseldorf

Jupp, the barkeeper of my favourite pub in Düsseldorf

Lukas Jochum, 24, from Düsseldorf, Germany, master’s student of Globalisation and Development Studies.

Mr Wilders’s heartland

What kind of city is Maastricht, asks The Economist
Present generation is becoming globally interconnected.

Present generation is becoming globally interconnected.

It is the end result of having been Dutch youth representative for the United Nations: addressing the entire UN. UCM student Dirk Janssen was able to do this on 4 October, exactly one year after he was chosen as youth representative.

World Press Photo, Vollanog and Soap

World Press Photo Friday 4 November will see the opening of the World Press Photos 2011. Over 170 photos will be shown in the Maastricht exhibition, in categories like news, art, entertainment, nature and sport. At 13.30 there will be an English-language guided tour (cost: €3) with information on the photos and the photographers. The exhibition wi...

No UN for Schuivens

UCM student, Lauren Schuivens, failed to become the new Dutch UN youth representative. In the finals of the UN&me congress on 23 October, she lost to Kirty Matabadal from Leiden. CF

Large-scale fraud committed by Tilburg professor

Dismissed because of fraud, Tilburg professor of social psychology, Diederik Stapel, ruthlessly used his PhD students and employees. At least thirty publications in prestigious journals contain made-up data.

Austria: “Country of origin should pay study costs”

If it is up to Austria, a student’s country of origin will have to pay the cost of his/her study. According to the current EU regulations, the host country pays for the study of a foreign student. Maastricht University's dean of internationalisation of education, Tom van Veen, does not think much of the Austrian plan. “It is so un-European.”

Innovation can also be harmful

This year's Tans lecture (10 November) will be held by professor Luc Soete, economist and innovation specialist. Soete set up research institute Merit from the economics faculty in 1986, focussing on innovation and technology. His lecture is therefore about innovation, but not about the rewards, quite the contrary.
Your entire DNA on a USB stick

Your entire DNA on a USB stick

What good is the human genome to us?

I will not be silent

I am a slogan t-shirt geek. I like them nerdy, like one belonging to my friend, a chemist, which lists in alphabetical order the elements of a human body (65% oxygen, fyi). I like them political, as in “That's ok, I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway”. I’m a particular fan of the feminist kind, with a picture of [insert your choice of Germaine ]...