This week in the news we are going to take a step back from the politics of the West and turn our heads towards the East. Hong Kong has been in a state of disarray for a while now, and things don’t seem to be getting much better. These protests started because of a bill which would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China. The people of Hong Kong were scared this would lead to China having more power over the city which boasts a high level of autonomy as it used to be a British colony. Additionally, they feared the Chinese would not give fair trails and would torture the prisoners/suspects rather than grant them basic human rights.
In a nut shell, the protests escalated because of police violence against the protesters, tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons being used against them. There are even pro-China groups attacking the protesters. More recently, however, a teenage protester was shot point blank by one of the police officers. The subway systems were shut down and people were urged to stay off the streets. It was even commented that if the people of Hong Kong did not speak out against the violent protests, they would only be encouraging it. This didn’t stop people from taking to the streets, even without the use of the subway system.
The protests are also making an administrative difference. Old laws that haven’t been used since the ‘60s, have resurfaced. This means that the authorities can produce new laws for the ‘common good’. One of these laws includes the ban on masks. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, argues that this ban is for the safety of the people, but it does not seem that way. Protesters express their distress, saying that the police are unidentifiable, they do not even show their ID numbers: how can they stand up against police brutality when they do not know which officers are guilty of it? And how can they protect themselves from arrest if they cannot wear masks? It is certainly a troubling turn of events.
For Rick and Morty fans on the other hand, good news is already here. For those who haven’t watched the show, it is a sci-fi cartoon with images bordering on the psychedelic and subject matter dabbling in the most far-fetched scientific theories. The good new you ask? The science behind Rick and Morty is now accessible. The Science of Rick and Morty: The Unofficial Guide to Earth’s Stupidest Show by Matt Brady is now available on Amazon. This book looks into what is actually possible out of the sci-fi series featuring, for no real reason, a pickled version of a mad scientist. Ever wondered how much of that show is real and how much is pure fantasy? Apparently enough is real to write a whole book about it. It may be a worthwhile read if you’re into quantum physics and multiverses. However, if you are a poor student, like myself, it might be best to stick to watching the series on our borrowed Netflix accounts.
Photo retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/28/world/asia/hong-kong-protests.html