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February 2, 2016

Police train eagles to attack drones

Filed under: Animals,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:31 am

Instead of scaring off seagulls with eagle noises like in Haarlem in 2015, the Dutch police have stepped up their game and are now training eagles to knock out ‘enemy’ drones out of the air. The idea was to find a way to get rid of drones that are not allowed to fly in certain spaces, such as protected airspaces. The video below tells of a trauma helicopter not being able to land because some moron was flying a drone and blocking the way or another moron flying their drone next to busy Schiphol Airport.

Finding the drone pilot can be very difficult and take a long time, a policeman explains. The eagle in the video grabs the drone with its talons, which are designed to carry things as opposed to just having claws like many other animals. There’s also less impressive tools they plan to use such as casting a net over the drone somehow. “The eagle sees the drone as prey and wants to bring it to a safe location and protect it from outsiders”. The trainers are not worried about the propellers hurting the animal, although opinions might differ on that point. The eagle may even get special gear for protection.

It’s in Dutch, but it’s all about watching the eagle catch the drone.

(Link: www.theverge.com, Photo of Drone by Karen Axelrad, some rights reserved)

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January 10, 2016

American crayfish, a nuisance and a delicacy

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 4:38 pm

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There’s a few different kinds of crayfish that can be found in The Netherlands, but the ‘invasive’ Procambarus clarkii, aka Louisiana crayfish, the one associated with Cajun cooking, has become a pest in De Groene Hart (The Green Hart) area.

The quick and muddy explanation is that those suckers dig and destroy, bully indigenous European crayfish and eat indigenous species of amphibians for starters. So why can’t my dream of having Cajun cuisine in this country come true? In recent years, fishers, chefs and food specialists have been trying to get people to turn these pests into food, but crayfish isn’t often on the menu here despite their abundance.

You’ll find crayfish in streams after rainfall and sometimes in people’s gardens. They have this famous aggressive look that says ‘back off or maybe it’s ‘halleluia’ with a southern American accent. The expert in this video (Dutch) will even tell you what the male genitalia looks like and everything.

It’s free food, people, let’s get some Cajun cooking going. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

(Links: www.waarmaarraar.nl, rivierkreeft.files.wordpress.com (PDF), Screenshot from the above-mentioned film from Omroep West).

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December 23, 2015

Guinea pig gets serious styling session

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 11:44 am

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Thalia de Jong from Rotterdam likes fluffy animals. In this film she presents Golden Boy, a prize-winning guinea pig that has a really elaborate hair routine in order to look perfect for his shows. Truth is, he looks more like Albert Einstein’s hair went solo.

In her work, she tries to capture the essential quality of a subject, from fluffy guinea pig to the quirky look of a ceramic vase. “I keep the concept simple and smart, but love losing myself in the details of making something so minimal.” The cuteness factor and the music are good reasons to watch this video.

GOLDEN BOY from Thalia de Jong on Vimeo.

(Link: thecreatorsproject.vice.com, Screenshot of the film)

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December 17, 2015

Colourful wasp makes first Dutch appearance

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Nature by Orangemaster @ 10:18 am

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A new type of gold wasp, the rainbow wasp, was spotted for the first time this summer in the woods of Limburg. It took a while to identify it, but with the help of an Estonian expert, the colourful critter was found to be a Chrysis equestris, part of a family of wasps called ‘cuckoo wasps’.

Besides their beautiful colours, these incandescent wasps are ‘kleptoparasitic’, laying eggs in others insects’ nests, hence the cuckoo reference. The baby wasps then eat the eggs or larva in the nest, a bit like crashing a banquet.

The Netherlands has 57 types of wasps flying around.

(Links: www.naturetoday.com, www.nltimes.nl, Photo: sploid.gizmodo.com)

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December 11, 2015

Slaughtered, infected chickens now design objects

Filed under: Animals,Design by Orangemaster @ 6:24 pm

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Not a month goes by in the Netherlands without some sort of animal-related scandal. Why not then be a glass hall full kind of person and take bird flu-infected chickens to create an urn, for starters?

Dutch designer Emilie van Spronsen researched that if you heat a dead, infected chicken up to 70 degrees celsius for just three seconds, you’ll kill the H5N8 bird-flu virus it has. The country has killed a lot of chickens to prevent this disease from spreading, but Van Spronsen felt like the dead chickens might be of some use. “I brought a last homage to these H5N8 bird-flu chickens by transforming them into design materials and ultimately by designing objects with the materials.” Her work was displayed in October during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

The H5N8 urn was printed in 3D using a combination of ash collected from cremated chicken remains and clay, and features a spiky exterior that resembles the virus as seen under a microscope.

Back in 2009 we wrote about a book that lists 185 uses for a dead pig.

(Link and photo: www.dezeen.com)

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November 27, 2015

Westland bat bridge wins architectural award

Filed under: Animals,Architecture,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

Bat-bridge

Last October the ‘Vlotwatering bridge’ or ‘bat bridge’ was opened in a nature area called Westland in South Holland, designed by NEXT Architects of Amsterdam and picked up an ARC15 Detail Award, given to them unanimously by the jury. The bridge is in Monster (yup, a Dutch town) and it was applauded for its ‘eye for detail and attention to biodiversity’.

According to NEXT Architects, the bridge was designed to house bats in as many ways as possible. The bridge has three specific bridge components that provide roost for different bat species throughout the entire yea, intended to constitute the ideal habitat for various species of bats, so that a large colony can grow around the bridge.

(Links: www.naturetoday.com, www.archdaily.com, www.nextarchitects.com, Photo: www.nextarchitects.com)

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November 24, 2015

Brussels lockdown cat photos Dutchman’s idea

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:39 am

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Starting last week during a high level threat against Brussels that is sadly ongoing, Belgians journalists and others tweeted pictures of cats to follow instructions from the Belgian federal police of not spreading pictures or information on Twitter that would give terrorists an edge as to what the police were doing.

On November 22 Dutch cameraman from Zwolle Hugo Janssen kicked of what was to be a huge collection of cat tweets. Carrying the hashtag #BrusselsLockDown he posted a picture of his cat Mozart, saying ā€¯Instead of tweeting about the police’s movements in Brussels, here’s a picture of our cat Mozart”. Google ‘#BrusselsLockDown’ and you’ll get Star Wars cats, ordinary cats, wild cats, cats in boxes and the usual fare of Internet felines.

The Federal Belgian Police tweeted “For the cats that helped us yesterday, here you go!” with a picture of cat food, as seen above. The current situation is of course no laughing matter by any means and far from over.

(Link: www.focusnl.nl)

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September 27, 2015

Money for dogs exists! It is used by Dutch customs to train sniffers

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 11:22 pm

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This fake bank note is what Dutch customs officers use to train their sniffer dogs for detecting large quantities of cash.

According to the customs’ Facebook page, where we found this photo, “we’ve been using special training bank notes since 2014. The ink and paper are the same as those of real bank notes, so that the dogs are still able to make a positive match.”

The customs department uses fake money because some of the training sessions are performed in the wild. Using large amounts of real money would be risky in those cases.

(Photo: Facebook / Douane Nederland; link: Vice)

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August 17, 2015

Boy find bones of prehistoric cave lion

Filed under: Animals,History by Orangemaster @ 10:44 am

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Ten-year-old Enzo Smink from Wekerom, Gelderland has found part of the jaw of a prehistoric cave lion, according to the director of prehistoric museum De Groene Poort in Boxtel, Noord-Brabant, who said a find like this only happens about every 20 years.

The boy had found the bones back in 2012 while swimming with his father near Oosterbeek, Gelderland, but nobody had realised what he had found. The bones then ended up in a box at his grandmother’s house. It was only when he decided to bring the bones to school for show and tell earlier this year did his mother take a picture of them and send it off to experts.

“The Eurasian cave lion commonly known as the European or Eurasian cave lion, is an extinct subspecies of lion. It is known from fossils and many examples of prehistoric art.”

Today the bones will become part of the De Groene Poort’s collection. They have been restored and one would imagine they’ll be on display soon enough.

(Links: dearkitty1.wordpress.com, www.gelderlander.nl-1www.gelderlander.nl-2, Photo of Panthera leo spelaea in Vienna by FunkMonk, some rights reserved)

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July 31, 2015

Overijssel home to rare three-colour calf

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:16 pm

In the very religious town of Staphorst a three-colour calf (link to picture) has been born, which is said to be very rare. The Dutch called it a ‘lapjeskoe’, or ‘quilt cow’. The mother and father of the calf were white and black, but the calf also has reddish brown in its coat.

The Netherlands has about 10 ‘quilt cows’. In Noord-Brabant there is also a three-colour calf that people come and visit from far away just to take pictures, called Toos55:

(Link: www.rtvoost.nl)

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