Dutch company MetaSensing has developed a way of taking images using two satellites in tandem to view the Earth’s surface from slightly different angles. Rather than using radar satellites with single instruments, their novel way apparently offers a unique 3D view of the landscape. This airborne experiment using radar satellites orbiting in tandem was carried out for the first time above the flat landscpe of the Netherlands.
The process involved two aircraft flying in very close proximity to each carrying a radar instrument, something that will be replicated in Belgium next month. “While flying two aircraft sounds relatively straightforward, in practice it is a technical tour-de-force calling for well-trained pilots with strong nerves to fly with very little space between each plane”. Christian Barbier of the Centre Spatial de Liège in Belgium explained that by using this tandem method, they could map the movement of glaciers in 3D, improve crop mapping and even create 3D maps of the world’s forests.
Now Dutch company Mars One has unveiled its first try at a space suit to protect humans on the red planet. “Made from material similar to that used for NASA’s astronauts when exploring the Moon [like the one in the picture], the suit’s design also takes into account new challenges, such as the omnipresent red dust”. I still have strange red dust from a hike on Crete on one pair of shoes, so I can only imagine what their issues are. The suits are also to protect against killer radiation and needs to fit different people. Some 3D printers will ensure new parts can be made. WIl there be a 3D printer to repair the 3D printer, I don’t know.
Have a look at what Mars One has been planning to do:
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.”
The Dutch are not a food country: the motto here is food as fuel, like the hearty cheese sandwiches I’ve grown accustomed to over the years. However, like most humans, they love tasty food and as of late, are flexing their great trading skills by trying to combine junk foods and also trying to counter food waste.
I just read a letter sent in to newspaper Trouw in which a couple actually believe that ‘normal’ food is poisonous and expensive organic and bio-organic food is the dog’s bollocks. I’m thinking they did not grow up with organic and bio-organic food because it’s not been readily available for that long, and read something somewhere about it and now act as if they are in a higher social class. I’m picturing a white Dutch couple with some education, 30s, where the woman cuts off the man when he’s talking, especially since he’s the only one making sense, as you’ll see. And he’s going along with it because he can’t be arsed to find another partner at the moment and I bet eats dirty poisonous food when she’s away at her mother’s.
The couple wanted to know if it is OK to ask their friends to cook them organic food at dinner parties and wonder if it’s not too annoying for them to ask for ‘non-poisonous food’. The man thinks it’s inappropriate, while the woman has asked friends before and it has gone well, but still they get invited less. I hope they realise their friends fed them normal food and are going to avoid them like poison in the future until the guy splits up with his girlfriend and finds a new shiny one who eats everything under the sun.
The answer the couple got starts with: “it is quite arrogant to ask your friends to serve you expensive organic/bio-organic food. […] Your menu demands are very different than those of vegetarians or from people with a specific allergy because normal supermarket food is not poisonous.” It goes on to say there’s no scientific proof whatsoever that normal food is poisonous and called the couple ‘bonkers’ to conclude that their friends serve them ‘poisonous meals’, which is horribly arrogant and incorrect. The author would invite them over, serve them normal food and never invite them again, too, with a smile.
The man of the couple believes that being with friends is more important than the food they eat, but his partner isn’t getting the message. I think food and dinner party etiquette isn’t this couple’s biggest problem.
In 2006 Dutch scientist Bart Knols observed that malaria-carrying mosquitoes are attracted to smelly human feet, convincing fellow scientist Renate Smallegange’s to follow in his smelly footsteps devising mosquito traps using human foot odour. Knols figured out that when standing up, mosquitoes would go for people’s feet, prompting Smallegange to zoom in on this discovery. At Wageningen University she collects people’s smelly socks to carry out research on trapping mosquitoes who transmit malaria through their bite, affecting millions of people every year.
According to this radio interview, carbon dioxide is what first attracts mosquitoes to people, however since 2006, we also know that smelly feet do that as well. She explains that clean socks are not attractive at all to mosquitoes, smelly socks are very attractive, but when you add carbon dioxide, you could trap roughly 45 to 75% of all malaria-carrying mosquitoes. And the sock only needs to be worn for a day!
No, foot odour doesn’t work on ‘regular’ mosquitoes, and yes, the idea is to design traps with a specific built-in odour, not some African villager’s dirty socks or shipping socks over to Africa.
Girls’ brains develop faster than those of boys, and as a result boys aren’t always ready when it is crunch time in college, a literature review by researchers of Maastricht University and the University of Amsterdam concludes.
In 2009 Dutch institutions of higher education were given the right to ‘fire’ students with low grades (iudicium abeundi). The researchers fear that this measure unfairly disadvantages male adolescent students because their studying skills are less developed than those of female students of the same age. The study finds the non-cognitive brain functions favoured in today’s education, such as motivation, initiative and a talent for introspection, develop earlier in girls.
The study also finds large differences in non-cognitive skills within each gender, which is why the researchers recommend that interventions be aimed at both boys and girls. What these interventions could look like is too early to tell, the study reports.
Dutchman Frederik van den Broek who died last month of cancer was key in helping neurologists build MindApp, being dubbed as the world’s most advanced mobile-based app for cancer patients.
Available for Android and iPhone, MindApp will help users track and update appointments, manage their doctors and the quantities of pills they need to take, and much more.
Van den Broek said that he had received a printout from the hospital of all the appointments, medicine and information, but then lost the printout within an hour. “These things happen when you’ve lost a large part of your brain and your short-term memory has gone to pieces,” he explained.
According to neurologist Jaap Reijneveld of the Free University Medical Centre (VUMC) in Amsterdam involved in building the app, patients have a massively complicated treatment schedule, and this app will help them remember things and give constant feedback to doctors on the patient’s condition.
Find out more about what Van den Broek started MindApp in this video.
The Eindhoven science museum Evoluon had to close its doors in the 1980s, but a 12-minute-long promotional film made in 1968 provides a fascinating insight into the experience for those who never got to see the real thing.
Visitors would enter a UFO-like building perched on top of a glass frame, pay at turnstiles and take an elevator to the saucer section. There they would be greeted by exhibits about motion, magnetism, engineering, the human body, sound, light, society and more. The basement had a popular electronic speech synthesizer that could be made to say the word ‘koffie’ (‘coffee’) using different inflections.
A lot of the exhibits were operated by the visitors themselves.
The film would find an unexpected audience in the UK as it had been selected by the BBC as one of its 158 colour trade test films which were broadcast during intervals in the regular BBC2 programming. The idea was to give electronics store owners a chance to show off their colour TV sets to shoppers.
One of the most remarkable buildings of Eindhoven is the former science museum Evoluon. The building was designed by architect Leo de Bever who died last Friday, and ‘light architect’ Louis Kalff.
De Bever came from a family of architects responsible for many buildings in Eindhoven. He worked on banks, hospitals and schools all over Noord-Brabant. De Bever studied architecture at the Academie voor Bouwkunst in Tilburg and at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. In 2007 he and his brother Loed sold their architecture business to Leo’s son Stefan and to Heleen van Heel.
The Evoluon building housed Philips’ science museum from 1966 to 1989. When Philips started with cutbacks in the 1980s, Evoluon was, as a non-essential part of the home electronics giant, a logical victim. Keeping the exhibit up-to-date was considered costly and was highlighted as an important reason to close the museum. Since then Evoluon has operated as a conference center, but its lasting futuristic appeal has not gone unnoticed. In recent years, Evoluon was home of Kraftwerk concerts, Tedx conferences and science exhibitions.
London-based Dutch designer Frank Kolkman, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, has built an open-source device that could enable ordinary people to perform keyhole surgery on themselves, aptly entitled ‘Open Surgery’.
This DIY surgical robot was made using 3D printing and laser cutting technologies, and would be suited to do surgery on the lower abdomen, procedures including prostate surgery, appendectomies or hysterectomies. The device would normally be controlled by a person and in this case, using a PlayStation 3 controller to be able to move in all directions.
“Open Surgery investigates whether DIY surgical tools outside regulated healthcare systems could plausibly provide a more accessible version of healthcare,” Kolkman explains. His idea is to demonstrate that medical innovation can come from outside the medical field, as more and more people from first world countries turn to medical hacks that can be found on YouTube.
It cost Kolkman 5,000 USD to make the device, and at the time of filming, he claims that an appendectomy in the US costs 10,000 USD, while a professional surgery robot costs 2 mln USD.