State of the Maas | 27 April 2015

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Ah, it’s that time of year again. Motivated by the sunny weather and by seeing the pros in Maastricht during the Amstel Gold Race last weekend, the amateur cyclists have taken over the roads. These individuals might very well be perfectly normal human beings while working their daily job, but as soon as they strap on a helmet, the rules of the road no longer apply to them. They scream at other cyclists, occupy at least 50% of the entire road, and in general act like they are Lance Armstrong in his doping-fuelled glory days. Luckily, there is a movement going on right now to bring them back from the throne upon which they placed themselves, called “chicked”. This essentially boils down to female cyclists overtaking these men, and while doing so, put a sticker on their back which says “I’ve been chicked”. Ladies, we encourage you to get on your bikes this week.

Who has also been “chicked”, is the mayor of our city, Onno Hoes. On Friday it was announced that he will be succeeded by Annemarie Penn-te Strake, who is currently working for the Public Prosecution Service in The Hague. Since Penn-te Strake isn’t expected to officially take over before July 1, current mayor Hoes will still have the chance to enjoy some of Maastricht’s finest events during spring and early summer. One of those events took place today, when King Willem-Alexander’s birthday was lavishly celebrated throughout the country, including Maastricht.

King Willem-Alexander is not the only one celebrating though. Earlier this week, one of the most famous inventions of the 20th century had a very solitary birthday party, somewhere in outer space. The Hubble Telescope celebrated 25 years of high-resolution space pictures, and in its honour, NASA published a best-of photo album on their site. They furthermore announced that the telescope is expected to stay operational for a maximum of 5 more years, before breaking down and crashing back on earth. To prevent casualties though, they are planning a “controlled re-entry into the atmosphere” mission.

One of the Hubble’s pictures showed a heat map of Earth, and on various locations, extremely high temperatures were detected. Apart from some Avengers who are fighting and flying their way into cinemas worldwide, the first one appeared in Afghanistan, where several divisions of the German army were stationed. Apparently, all the brave German men and women who are trying to secure the safety of the locals, have been equipped with guns which overheat so quickly, that the German Minister of Defence has now declared them obsolete, because a er firing 60 bullets, it is nigh on impossible to hit anything on purpose.

Another area which lit up on the Hubble’s heat map, was Chile, where the Calbuco volcano erupted for the first time in over 40 years, resulting in the evacuation of 2000 people and these lightning-filled, fiery pictures.

However, nothing could beat the temperature of the red-hot cheeks of the Buckingham Palace Guard who slipped in front of hundreds of tourists during the Changing of the Guard, while his colleagues marched on as if nothing happened. You got to feel sorry for him.

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