Just like the Netherlands did in Brazil during the World Cup, the robot team from the Eindhoven University of Technology have made it to the semi-finals of the RoboCup 2014, the World Cup for robots, also being held in Brazil.
Eindhoven had a difficult game against China this past Monday when all five robots on the field decided they all wanted to be goalies. After a reset of the robots, the designated goalie did its job and Eindhoven won 3-0.
Later today Eindhoven will be playing the final against I have no idea but not China or Japan, after scouring the Internet and the official but not updated RoboCup site. I will update you as soon as Twitter works its magic.
This picture was taken at RoboCup 2013, which was held in Eindhoven where they lost against China, proving that the world is indeed round.
UPDATE: Here’s the schedule for the final.
ANOTHER UPDATE: They won the final, congratulations!
(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl, www.omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of RoboCup2013 in Eindhoven by RoboCup2013, some rights reserved)
Tags: Brazil, Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology, robots
After the Dutch national football team beat Mexico in an exciting last ten minutes of an elimination match at the World Cup last week, in which the Oranje came back from behind with two goals, a fifteen-year-old Mexican girl called Dizzy Miss DC uploaded a song to YouTube in which she blew off steam by hurling a stream of invectives at the Dutch players and the Dutch nation and even at Europeans.
Last Thursday a 20-year-old woman from Drenthe called Karlijn Rietkerk responded. She addressed the Mexican girl (both women accompanied themselves on a ukulele) and berated her for her use of strong language (“didn’t your parents tell you that it is inappropriate?”). In her short song Rietkerk asked, isn’t football supposed to be about fun?
“F is for football
And we kicked your ass
U is for you suck balls
N is for never winning the cup…
Played a good game but it wasn’t enough.”
At 24 Oranges we like a good bit of trash talking and this world cup has certainly not disappointed us, but we need to give the victory to Karlijn Rietkerk on this one. Dizzy Miss DC’s frequent use of homophobic language disqualifies her entry from these ukulele wars. The Mexican tried to defend herself in a written coda, saying: “In my case, those words had no power at all, because I didn’t mean them. Why did I say them then? Mexican humour. It’s complicated.” Even back in 1979 Lester Banks had something smart to say about using words that have no meaning at all: “No matter how you intend them, you can’t say them without risking misinterpretation by some [bigot]; your irony just might be his cup of hate.”
(Illustration: cropped screenshot if Rietkerk’s video at YouTube)
Tags: Drenthe, homophobia, irony, Mexico, satire, trash talking, ukuleles
Café Goos in the South of Amsterdam decided to party on with some music after the Netherlands won 5-1 against Spain in the World Cup on 12 June. However, the music was too loud for the neighbours who complained and the café owner was given a warning: pipe down or else it will cost you 5,000 euro next time.
Dutch cafés are required to have limiters on their music installations, often dedicated mp3 players or computers, in order not to exceed legally allowed sound levels. However, the authorities claim that Café Goos’ setup using an iPad was just not working properly. The owner blames the limiter for not working properly, as if he had no control over it, which is lame and will still cost him 5,000 euro if he can’t sort it out.
A football win is not an excuse to make more noise than usual although I am sure many people in Amsterdam would tolerate it if it were a semi-final or a final. Cafés are very often at odds with neighbours over noise in major Dutch cities and is a top complaint around the country. Amusingly enough, the Amsterdam district with the least noise problems as of March 2014 is the South.
Tags: Amsterdam, football, noise
The 33 mine workers of Chile who were stuck underground for 60 days in 2010 have produced a dramatic commercial to support the Chilean football team where they mention parts of their terrible ordeal and what they were able to withstand. Recently, some Dutch comedians decided to make a parody of it, which has apparently annoyed many a Chilean if we believe the media.
Instead of seeing it as an amusing parody of ¢ Chile World Cup commercial, some people see it as Dutchmen taking the piss out of the miners, which I actually find offensive. The way they used the miners to shoehorn a message about Chilean football comes off as over the top and exploitative to me in the first place, and opens them up to criticism regardless. If the miners had made a documentary about their ordeal and the Dutch had parodied that, it would have me leaning more towards the Chileans, but not in this case.
Here is the Dutch parody of Chilean World Cup commercial (with Dutch and not so good English subtitles):
And here is the original, which is much shorter:
UPDATE: I asked an expat friend in Santiago about the parody and he said a Chilean friend had actually sent him the link to the video.
(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Football by Bramus, some rights reserved)
Tags: Chile, football, World Cup 2014
Sport experts from the University Medical Center Groningen and the University of Groningen have concluded that girls between the ages of 13 and 19 don’t do enough sports at school. The problem is that the emphasis is on sports that require balls (football, basketball and volleyball, etc.) and not on what girls actually would like to be doing like dancing, zumba or horseback riding (not all that posh here). Schools seem to be pushing competitive group sports and the girls seem to want individual sports, at least in this article.
What do some experts suggest? Separating the boys and the girls for gym class, which goes against many principles and proper social integration.
Here’s a crazy idea: what about offering something girls would actually like and making the boys follow suit for a change? Is pushing an outdated agenda that makes girls unhappy but keeps boys busy really a proper option?
If I had my way, I’d get all the girls and the boys who want to join on roller skates because it’s super fun and trendy. Or more skip rope, if that is not already being done because boys can pretend they are training to be boxers and girls can show off and even play in groups like at recess.
More co-ed suggestions? Boxing, kick boxing, aerobics, yoga, capoeira, ice skating, you name it.
But for the love of future generations experts have to stop acting like what boys do and want is normal and what girls want is some sort of problem to be solved. I won’t even get into the boys who would rather do something else for a change, either.
Tags: football, girls, Groningen, roller skates, University of Groningen
The king of tracksuits, media phenomenon and self-proclaimed stylist Roy Donders, has gotten himself in a spot of bother over his last name.
Donders is involved in a loyalty scheme for the Jumbo supermarket chain that lets football fans save up for a garish orange tracksuit (dubbed cheering suit) as part of the commercial frenzy leading up to this year’s World Cup and has lent his name to the slogan “We geven ze op hun donders” (‘let’s give ‘em hell’, except that ‘donder’ means ‘thunder’).
This, according to Telegraaf, angered shoppers in the bible belt for an as yet unexplained reason. Citizens of Barneveld asked the local supermarket to remove all advertising for the scheme. The store manager gave into their demands.
Ma Donders was furious, Omroep Brabant wrote: “I don’t know what kind of faith these people have, but Donders is our last name. You cannot change that.” Meanwhile the issue has become moot because of a run on the hideous tracksuits—Jumbo claim to have run out. A spokesperson told Omroep Brabant that sales felt like “Christmas in May”.
See also: Tracksuit king Roy Donders quits his house parties
(Photo of Donders holding his track suit’s jacket: Jumbo.)
Tags: Barneveld, Jumbo, Roy Donders, supermarkets, World Cup 2014
On Tuesday April 29 crowdfunding website Kickstarter now features a page for the Netherlands. Before then, Dutch residents with good ideas had to register their project through another country like the United States. Since then, about 30 new project ideas have popped up on the Dutch page, while the rest are projects that were around when they had to circumvent the country issue. And just like in other countries, Kickstarter takes 5% off the top when and if projects achieve their financial goal.
One of them was more fun than anything else: the ‘Fish on wheels’ (on Kickstarter). Other projects include lots of board games, music, tech, film and inventions.
Tip to the lightbulbs: please let someone check your English if you want to be taken seriously.
(Link: www.bright.nl, Photo of Lightbulb by Emil Kabanov, some rights reserved)
Tags: games, inventions, Kickstarter
Today the national swimming organisation (KNZB) has introduced its own swimming certificate, as they said they would last year. They believe in teaching children the front crawl (aka free style) and the back stroke, as opposed to the breast stroke, which is what children usually learn when they go for their national swimming pool organisation (NPZ) certificate.
The biggest difference between the two organisations is that the latter is all about swimming as a safety measure and the former is all about swimming as a sport. The KNZB claims children were not being taught properly and has developed a system that also helps children obtain their certificates faster, something I’m sure will please many a parent. However, having to choose which certificate is better for your kid will most probably come down to the price tag. A quick tour of the Internet tells me a Dutch swimming certificate costs somewhere between 200 and 1000 euro depending on many factors, like how many weeks a course takes.
If I had to shop for a course and it was just about swimming or safety, I would opt for one that taught swimming as a sport. In Canada, I learnt both how to swim and how to save someone from drowning, and if I remember correctly, it was part of the same course. The idea that Dutch children are taught the breast stroke to swim to safety, but are possibly taught nothing about helping others, even how to properly throw a lifebuoy, makes me uneasy. And I did put those skills to use once when I was about 8 and a smaller child’s floaters clicked off while they were in the deep end of a very slow day at the pool and mommy had popped out for some cigarettes.
(Link: trouw.nl, Photo looking across the nearby Wolderwijd from Harderwijk to Zeewolde, Flevoland, by Sjaak Kempe, some rights reserved)
Tags: certificate, safety, swimming
Presented at the YES!Delft Network Event a few days ago, the Delft startup EXO-L has invented an ankle bracelet that stops sprains. It is custom made (even the colours) and contrary to tape or a brace, you can continue to move.
Inventor Marcel Fleuren has ankle problems himself, and tape and braces were not working for him, either. Since he wanted to continue playing football, a sport with a multitude of sprained ankles, he invented an alternative during his studies at the Delft University of Technology.
Using a 3D scanner, the EXO-L is made to measure as it comes off the printer.
Listen the testimonial of a young football player (in Dutch).
Exo-L Testimonial Micha from Exo-L on Vimeo.
(Link: www.omroepwest.nl, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)
Tags: Delft, injury, sprains
The 10th annual Swim Cup Eindhoven, held from 10 to 13 April, will feature the world premiere competition use of the Omega Backstroke Start Device (video in English).
Backstroke swimmers will no longer have to worry about their feet or toes slipping at the start of a race, which has been an issues for ages.
Starting platforms for swimmers are constantly being adapted so that swimmers don’t slip, so I can imagine it’s about time the backstroke crowd got their ‘starting device’ as well.
(Link: www.ed.nl, Photo of Olympic pool by diamond geezer, some rights reserved)
Tags: Eindhoven, swimming