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Entries for March 2013

Proud to be Canadian

Proud to be Canadian

Maybe it is just because I’m taking Canadian politics here and because it has caught my interest, but I have the feeling that Canada – the government and Canadians themselves -   is actively trying to create or influence Canadian national identity. Most of the emphasis is on the difference from America. Especially Canada&rsquo...

Breatharianism

Breatharianism

Every year I have this thing where I go on some kind –insert random hobby—trip. Back in high school, I was obsessed with making my own natural DIY beauty products, such as sugar wax, facial masks, scrubs, and even my own shampoo. I was under the scrutiny of my suspicious mother, who was wondering a) where on earth her basic kitchen supp...

Evacuation after lab spill

MAASTRICHT. Last Thursday, shortly after midday, a chemical liquid was spilled in the laboratory at the Department of Toxicology on the Universiteitssingel 50. The fire brigade evacuated five floors. Some 250 employees and students had to vacate the premises. “I dropped some stuff and I knew immediately: this smells so bad, I cannot clean th...

Looking for a bargain

Looking for a bargain

The Turnzaal at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is filled with clothes, jewellery and shoes on Wednesday 20 March. This is the fifth edition of Shop&Go Maastricht, a flea market organised by Arts and Culture student Isabelle Cruse. “The first one was in my living room. We started with twenty people and now two thousand were invite...

“All countries are on my wish list”

“All countries are on my wish list”

Chris Mercieca (20), a Maltese second-year UCM student who has seen 11 per cent of the world.   Only last month he travelled to the Balkans and now he’s packing his bags to go home, to Malta. Although some may argue that at 11 per cent, Chris Mercieca has already seen quite a lot of the world, he himself feels he still has a lot to do....

Home sweet home

I’m migratory. I can’t spend long in one spot; all too soon I get ants in my pants and I need a change of scenery. So every day, I pack my bag, make my lunch, and head off somewhere to study. First stop: the university library. I arrange all my things just so and settle down to work. But then I get cold – where’s that breeze...

Paashaas

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: the Easter bunny
The wearing of the green

The wearing of the green

Saint Patrick’s day: ‘a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on the 17th of March. It is named after Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.’ This quick Wikipedia description isn’t really in line with how I came to see St. Patrick’s day. To be honest, before I came here, I did...

“It’s actually quite admirable that people dare to drink this”

“It’s actually quite admirable that people dare to drink this”

Coffee – is there anything that people complain more about at Maastricht University? “Sorry, I can only offer you coffee from the machine”, is a much-heard apology. But is it really that bad? Or is the complaining just a habit, like grumbling about the weather? Observant asked three Italians – the world’s self-proclaim...
Pope Fiction

Pope Fiction

So while Italy is undergoing a severe political crisis, a blizzard in Hungary has left hundreds of people stranded in the middle of the highway for a day, China has elected a new Chairman…never mind that! We have a new Pope, and that’s all that matters—at least, according to social media sites and most major news agencies. It com...

“I am looking forward to Vienna and Venice”

“I am looking forward to Vienna and Venice”

Anouk Smits (20), a third-year student of Dutch Law from the Netherlands who has seen 7 per cent of the world The most beautiful trip that she ever made is not something that Anouk Smits has to think long about. “When my mother turned fifty, I went to New York with her, that was super cool. It was really special to be there just with her. We...

The essence of dementia

The essence of dementia

Who: Martin van Boxtel, associate professor at the department of Psychology and Neuroscience Book: Out of Mind, J. Bernlef Target group: students of Medicine and Psychology

Working as a solicitor in the UK

Students who aspire to work as a solicitor or barrister in England or Wales but don’t want to leave Maastricht can apply for a new programme in August: the Oxford Brookes–Maastricht Graduate Diploma in Law. The contract between the two institutions will soon be officially signed. The plan is to enable students with a bachelor’s de...

When cats become croissants

We all have our favourite forms of procrastination. But I am irritated when people post links on Facebook to artsy-fartsy, New Age-style fluff. Like those pictures urging you to repost them if you support nurses or love your dog. Less still do I condone films of bear cubs cuddling up to pandas, or that man catching a string of ducklings as they fel...

Marktplaats.nl

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: selling old stuff at marktplaats.nl

The ‘Caution! Wet floor’-sign effect

‘I accept that, by going on this trip, I may be exposed to the following risks: hypothermia, frostbite, heatstroke, sunburns, exhaustion, bone and joint injuries, head/spinal injuries, burns, bites, stings, falling, environmental illness, allergic reaction, injury from car or traffic accident, winter, rain, hail, or wind storms or other seaso...

Playing football in the sun, making cocktails in the snow

Playing football in the sun, making cocktails in the snow

A loud “Yay!” sounds in the Law faculty garden on Thursday afternoon, 7 March. Two girls run a round of victory. “3-5!” They have just played a game of football against a couple of guys as part of the Rag Week activities. During Rag Week - Wednesday 6 March to Wednesday 13 March - students collect money in Maastricht for a g...

Inkom extended to five days

Inkom extended to five days

Inkom 2013 will last five days instead of four. “We have grown very quickly, eleven per cent last year. We cannot handle so many people together at some activities,” says Rick van der Westen, secretary of the Inkom Working Group. The extra day (Monday) will make the schedule more relaxed. “The Tuesday was really a rushed day. Fir...

Mice

Mice

My life at the moment feels a lot like an episode of Tom & Jerry, only without a cat and a lot less violence—as of yet. These little critters may be cute up close, but they wreak havoc in the kitchen, destroying our trashbags, defecating everywhere, and causing psychological terror with their scratching sounds and squeaks. Not to mention ...

Swimming in the clearest water you have ever seen

Swimming in the clearest water you have ever seen

Ralph Stassar (21), a Dutch medical student and vice chairman of student association Tragos, has seen 9 per cent of the world   Ralph Stassar can talk for hours about his trip around Australia. “I experienced so many wonderful things.” When he was eighteen – having failed to get a place for Medicine in the lottery system &n...

Alcohol is the most harmful, by far

Alcohol is the most harmful, by far

What happens in your brain when you use drugs? Which drugs are helpful during exam week? These questions were raised Tuesday night at the drugs debate in bookstore Selexyz, which was packed with students. The debate, partly educational, was organised by two master’s students (Bob Vogel and Nena Pohl) and Studium Generale.
The Dark side of marketing

The Dark side of marketing

Who: Robert Ciuchita, PhD Candidate at the School of Business and Economics Book: Survivor (1999), by Chuck Palahniuk Target group: Business Administration students

‘Christ fucking shit merde!’

You know how in high school there was always someone cooler than you? Unfortunately, in graduate school the tradition lives on: someone, somewhere, will always have a cooler research project than you. The thorn in my side is a London researcher with the alarmingly titled paper ‘“Christ fucking shit merde!” Language preferences for...

Turn up the heat

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: 'March wags its tail'

Better safe than sorry

I woke up to the sun this morning. It didn’t snow, it looked warm. I thought: ‘It’s such a beautiful day, I won’t need a coat today.’ No, wrong. Big mistake. Going outside without a coat in early March is dangerous in so many ways.   It may look sunny outside, it may even actually be sunny, it may not snow. But ...

New UM sports complex

New UM sports complex

Almost all indoor sports concentrated in a single large sports complex: this should all be reality by September 2015. That is when the new sports centre that the UM is about to build, should be ready for use. Up until now, sports activities have been scattered across the city, or even the region. Climbers, for example, need to travel to Heerlen to ...

Blues, guitar and drum music, all in a student room

Blues, guitar and drum music, all in a student room

It’s Thursday evening, 28 February. Students cycling among shoppers on their way to one of the eleven acts to be performed during Stukafest – the student room festival. The first round starts at 20:30hrs, but just a few minutes before that, the room where the musician Mixendorp is to perform is not full. “Maybe people couldn&rsquo...

Hungarian mother

Hungarian mother

For the first time in my life, I tried my hands at a főzelék, a Hungarian dish. It is something between a soup and a stew, made with any kind of vegetable and typically some cream—after all, no Hungarian meal is complete without some kind of cream. Though főzelék is a typical comfort food, I had never thought of making it until I thought long...

Wandering through Germany

The story: Bavaria, 1945. It is almost the end of the Second World War. The Nazi parents of the fourteen-year-old Lore (short for Hannelore) abandon their family. When they leave, Lore’s mother instructs her to take her younger sister and three brothers to their grandmother in Hamburg. So the children embark upon a dangerous journey of hundre...

The life of a detective

The life of a detective

Who: Robert Horselenberg, legal psychologist Book: Änglavakter, Kristina Ohlsson Target group: Law and psychology students

Bicycle thefts in Maastricht

Political party D66 Maastricht is worried about the number of bicycle thefts in the city. “It’s a gut feeling,” says fraction chairman Bert Jongen, “but among my friends three people have had their bicycles stolen in broad daylight in the past three weeks. It was the same MO each time: two guys pull up on a moped, one destro...

“Losing weight through sports is difficult”

“Losing weight through sports is difficult”

Visits to the gym, cycling from home to university, anything from football to squash, slack lining or yoga sessions – sports are part of most students’ lives. What is the effect of regular exercise? Why exactly are sports beneficial? This is the fourth instalment in the series ‘Science of student life’.
“You have to match with your travel companion”

“You have to match with your travel companion”

Polina Putrik (29), a Russian PhD candidate at the Department of Health Promotion and Education who has seen 16 per cent of the world   Polina Putrik has quite some experience with travelling; she has lived in more than seven countries, sometimes for a couple of months, other times even for years. “I’ve studied or worked in vario...

But it’s good for us, right?

Last week the late-night talk show Pauw & Witteman had a segment on language policy. Usually I can’t watch things like this. Watching journalists (or worse, politicians) try to talk linguistics makes me throw things at the TV. After all, it’s thanks to journalists that I’m known – among a niche crowd, admittedly – ...

Austerity measures unwise during recession, says Labour leader

It would not be a good idea to make very deep cuts in government spending at a time of economic contraction, Labour leader Diederik Samsom told a radio current affairs show on Sunday evening. The current coalition government is made up of Samsom's party and the right-wing Liberal VVD and is faced with a budget deficit which breaks eurozone rul...

The origin of information technology

The origin of information technology

Who: Joël Karel, lecturer on Biomedical Signal Analysis at the Department of Knowledge Engineering Book: Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson Target group: knowledge engineering students  

Spring is here!

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: De lente is begonnen!

Timmie

It wasn't love at first sight. I didn't understand the excitement with which everybody spoke about you. But when everybody insisted, I tried it. I didn't really liked your taste. I wasn't convinced. You were not like the Italians, or the Dutch. Maybe slightly better than the Americans. But I couldn't get around you. You were ev...

Batavierenrace: run really fast and then party

Batavierenrace: run really fast and then party

It is the largest student event in the Netherlands: the Batavierenrace. A relay race from Nijmegen to Enschede; 175 kilometres divided into 25 stages. More than 8,500 students will participate in the race on 27 April, held for the 41st time this year. Many sports, study and student associations put together a team to join, but every university also...