The Maastricht Diplomat

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  • Leilani Radaideh

Wait, the week’s over already?

I thought this week was quite boring news-wise to be honest, and it all went by so fast, so all I knew that ‘happened’ was Blue Monday- which really started the week with a bang. BUT, little did I know that a whole asteroid passed by? Why did nobody tell me about this? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…or asteroid. So, if you’ve been completely oblivious to everything, like me, then let me help you crack down on some of the main events from this week.


Health: Blue Monday

“Tell me, how do I feel? Tell me now, how do I feel?” – New Order, Blue Monday


This week Monday, being the third Monday in January, marks the dreaded 'Blue Monday', AKA: the most depressing day of the year. It's known as the day when Christmas’ financial pressure hangs over us most (unless you don’t celebrate and have been granted the exception of hyper-consumerism in celebration of God- another topic), the weather’s at its worst (depending where you are), and work/university is officially in full swing (if you go to univ- ok there are a lot of variable factors here). However, believe it or not, there’s nothing scientific about it and in fact has been labeled as a ‘load of rubbish’. The real cherry on top, businesses have taken this day as an advertising opportunity to get sales and holiday bookings up.


But- on a brighter note- this day has been used to open up discussions on the more taboo topics relating to mental health and calls have been made to change the day to ‘Brew Monday’, where the Samaritans (a mental health charity), suggests we start using the day to converse openly with our dear ones over a cup of tea: a cuppa and a catch up.


Space: A Kilometer Wide Asteroid Passed by Tuesday

"Here am I floating 'round my tin can, Far above the moon, Planet Earth is blue, And there's nothing I can do" – Starman, David Bowie


If you're reading this, then the asteroid has definitely not hit Earth. Cool.


‘So what exactly happened?’, you may ask, well it passed at around 10:51 pm CET and the rock is called 7482 (1994 PC1). It was sized up to being a kilometer in width (approx. 3,450 feet). For dramatic effect, it has been comparable visually to having been twice the size of the Empire State Building and is bigger than any building we have on Earth (such as the Burj Khalifa, which measures to 2,716.5 feet). But not to worry- in hindsight- as it has safely passed and did so five lunar distances away from the Earth. More so, thinking about the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, that was significantly bigger at 12 kilometers in width and traveled around 27,000 mph (43,000 km/h) (as according to Gulick, research professor at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics). Ultimately scientists have said that in order for an asteroid to completely wipe out life on our planet it would need to be around 96 km wide…just an interesting fact for your Sunday.


If you missed watching it live, check out this video for a quick look at it, or this one for more of an in depth explanation by Italy's Virtual Telescope Project.


Law: German Court Sentences Syrian Colonel For Crimes Against Humanity

“Hell on Earth” – BBC


Anwar Raslan, has been slammed with life imprisonment for the convictions of rape, sexual assault, 58 murders, and mass torture of at least 4,000 victims at a prison in Damascus.


He served as part of Bashar al-Assad’s security services in the prison. This case is significant because it is the first trial concerning the state-led torture that has been carried out underneath the Assad regime. Moreover, these crimes committed have been officially acknowledged as against humanity by the German court. This court has used the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows for serious crimes committed in other countries to be tried in another country. This case has also serve as a difficult form of justice, as many victims have either been tortured, silenced or killed.


Fashion: André Leon Talley, Fashion Trailblazer and Former Vogue Creative Director Dies at 73

“So far, it's been a bleak streak over here in America! You know what? It's a famine of beauty. The famine of beauty, honey! My eyes are starving for beauty!" – Talley


The extremely talented and influential fashion journalist Talley has passed away this week. He was best known for his work at Vogue and Air Mail. Talley’s most defining characteristics were known to be his extravagant outfits, humor, and height as he was around 6’7!


More of his achievements can be found in journals such as W and The New York Times. On screen, Talley was a prominent judge on America's Next Top Model and the center of his documentary The Gospel According to André. On top of this, he also wrote two memoirs detailing struggles he faced throughout his life, such as the sexual abuse he endured as a child, his complex relationship with Anna Wintour, race, and sexuality in the fashion industry. He was a visionary that could see the immense power fashion holds in society as well as the need for more diversity in high fashion.


Media: Euphoria Season 2 is Breaking Records

“If season one was a house party at 2 am, season two should feel like 5 am, way past the point at which everyone should have gone home.” – Levinson


Euphoria has been rolling out season 2 episodes every Sunday, and so far the hit HBO show has broken the streaming site’s previous rating records, as over 2 million viewers watched the first episode- not even counting all those using pirated sites (*wink wink*). It’s popularity lies in three main factors: drama, drugs, and a lot of glitter. The darker content of the show has created a re-emergence of macabre themes that have been stylistically played with using color and film style; as this season has been shot using the Kodak Ektachrome film. This gives it a nostalgic feeling, so a sort of remembrance for highschool rather than a current day to day living it feel. And it’s been clear that people are responding to it, as the second (and most recent episode) has gone up in views by 9%.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s summary, and good luck for next week. (P.S: If there’s another asteroid coming- do not count on me to tell you. Seriously. Still not over it.)

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