At the two-day Offshore Energy 2016 Exhibition & Conference in Amsterdam this week, the Dutch Envinity Group from Den Helder, North Holland unveiled what they called “the world’s first giant outside air vacuum cleaner”, a large purifying system intended to filter out toxic fine particles from the atmosphere around the machine.
The system is said to be able to suck in air from a 300-metre radius and from up to seven kilometres upwards. It can treat about 800,000 cubic metres of air an hour, filtering out 100 percent of fine particles and 95 percent percent of ultra-fine particles, the company said, referring to tests carried out by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) on its prototype.
Fine particles are caused by burning wood and other fuels as well as industrial combustion, adversely affecting our health, according to the European Environment Agency. As well, about 90 percent of EU residents are exposed to levels of such particles, which can cause cancer.
On a much smaller scale, there’s also the smaller air-purifying system called the ‘Smog Free Tower’ that was installed in Beijing last month by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde.
In 2018 Arjen Boerstra from Den Horn, Groningen is planning to open a mobile fries shop in Antarctica, AD reports.
The artist started his first fries stand in 2004 as part of an art project sponsored by a local starch manufacturer. He took his stand to the potato fields of the north-east where he sold french fries to the only people there: potato farmers.
In 2007 he moved his wooden shack to the tip of the island of Terschelling where he entertained seals and seagulls and irritated hikers who felt he was disrupting the experience. One day a freight ship stopped 100 metres off the coast and sent a dinghy ashore to fetch fries for the crew of eight.
The next stop, Antarctica, started as a joke, but plans are now beginning to take shape. His stand will have to be outfitted with skis, the fries need to be pre-cut and he needs to think about how to heat the frying pan, “because butane gas freezes at 30 below zero. I think I will have to use a diesel jet burner.”
Boerstra does not yet know how long he will be running his stand there.
Dutch television station BNN, known for its edgier shows aimed at a younger segment of the population, is currently prepping a show that features cloned animals.
A bulldog in the Netherlands has been cloned, 12-year-old bulldog Joep from Rotterdam, by South Korean company Sooam Biotech. The cloning cost the broadcaster 50,000 euro, and a quick Internet scan tells us that an article on American site Refinery 29 mentioned 100,000 USD, which is about 91,000 euro, but the owner in question ended up with two clones of their dog. If you also include travel expenses in their case, it’s easily a lot more.
However, this was the first time ever a Dutch house pet was cloned. Cloning is prohibited in the Netherlands, but importing a cloned animal is perfectly legal. And the idea is to spark some debate. And what about abandoned dogs that need a good home and all that.
A lot of people were interested in cloning their dog for the show; I’m sure a lot of cat owners as well.
The owner of Joep the bulldog who has died, are apparently happy with their cloned dog that they got for free I imagine. “It’s not just the physical characteristics that are basically identical”, the couple said to De Telegraaf newspaper. “Daily we are amazed by the behaviour and character that are so similar to our old dog. That is unbelievable.”
All the big European cities have them, but for some reason the Netherlands has been very late to get with the program on this one, as the country’ first vegan supermarket opens today.
The honour goes to Groningen, that ‘way up North’ city full of bike paths and students, who are most probably the target market of the store located on Nieuwe Ebbingestraat in what used to be a former post office.
In fact, it’s mostly female students who are setting the trend in vegan food shopping according to employee Benny Lobo of the Vegan Super.
A man from Wanneperveen, Overijssel has been sentenced to nine months in jail with three months suspended sentence for trying to sell a painting by Vincent van Gogh using a collection of fake documents. He was trying to sell a preparatory sketch of the painting ‘The Harvest’ (close up shown here) for 15 million euro.
Someone who found out about the sale had the idea something was off and called the police. The man apparently had many dubious small companies in his name and already a bit of a bad reputation.
You don’t often see night-time photography on housing sites, but this real estate agent had a special reason. They are advertising their 16th century, 270 square metre farm house in Huissen near Arnhem as haunted.
Whether they are taking their ghoulish inhabitants seriously, remains to be seen. The advert quickly adopts a more serious tone. The house is currently the property of Dutch celebrity Johan Vlemmix who in the first decade of this century unsuccessfully ran for parliament in the hope of becoming Minister of Parties. He bought the house in 2008 from another serial celebrity, positivity guru Emile Ratelband (catch phrase: ‘Tchakaaa’).
Ratelband had to sell the house, or so the story goes, because his wife thought it was haunted. Vlemmix tried to use the publicity in turn by organising ‘horror evenings’ in the old farm.
Having had celebrity owners and having a built in bar and cinema is not helping much so far. In the past eleven months the asking price has already been dropped by 50,000 euro to 350,000 euro. That doesn’t strike me as much, so maybe it is a monster to heat. Whether the prospective buyer will get all the props that were used for the photographs is unclear, but Vlemmix promises to throw in six caskets.
Graphic artists Leanne Wijnsma and filmmaker Froukje Tan have created a product called ‘The Smell of Data’, a ‘grenade-shaped scent diffuser’ designed to alert Internet users of data leaks from their smartphones, tablets and computers. After all my recent reading on data security by Edward Snowden and Jacob Appelbaum (did you know he’s studying in Eindhoven?), you’d think a diffuser like that would be on almost constantly. Since most people don’t experience the consequences of a data leak, they don’t really care until something goes terribly wrong and by then it’s too late, a bit like carbon monoxide.
Wijnsma and Tan researched the human response to gas leaks, inspired by a 1937 explosion in Texas caused by an unnoticed gas leak. The incident prompted the government to artificially add an odorant to odourless gases (tert-Butylthiol, which smells like rotten eggs), making them more easily detectable. Carbon monoxide, also know as the ‘silent killer’, is a byproduct of combustion by stoves or heating not working properly in a home and is odourless, which makes you feel grateful for the smell of rotten eggs keeping you safe.
Launched in September 2016 at the Science Museum in London, The Smell of Data is meant to give people the same reaction as smelling a gas leak, hoping that people will finally take it seriously. Watch the video:
According to Johan Schmit, owner of Olivier’s cafe in Utrecht, his venue has the world premiere of selling Belgium’s strong Duvel beer on tap. Duvel needs extremely high pressure carbon dioxide on a tap to be served properly, something a normal tap cannot handle. And to be able to do so, the Duvel Moortgat brewery developed a new tap that Olivier has had the honour of trying out.
It could work or it could also not work, which is why no marketing has been done so far. And maybe fans will still want to drink it out of the bottle, who knows.
The beer in the picture is probably ordinary Dutch beer.
I avoided watching the actual debate and read the fallout, but having a laugh at the idea of Trump and Clinton singing a duet is a nice change from the violence of the entire entreprise. Van de Pavert doesn’t just put an entire new sound on top of a video, he lets any sounds that match what he’s going for permeate, which makes his work recognisable. He wasn’t thrilled with this one, but at least his point is well made, which is more than we can say for either candidate.
And if it makes you feel any better, the Dutch world heritage people have gone so far as to have a video campaign that says “Our world heritage is world-famous, soon to be famous in the Netherlands”, which is passive-aggressive speak for ‘how embarrassing, we don’t even know our own heritage’.
The underlying gripe in the Dutch media is that World Heritage sites in foreign countries are way cooler because the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and all that. I’m a foreigner who thinks there’s some great stuff to see here that even my family pushed me to visit years ago, which helped my score.