The Popcorn Monsoon by Dutch designer Jolene Carlier consists of a pair of small yellow bowls placed on a wooden base: one heats to pop the corn while the other collects it, a design inspired by the 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’. A curving glass tube fixed to the larger of the two receptacles delivers the popped corn into the small serving bowl.
Popcorn is a blast to listen to when it’s being made, or maybe that’s just because I still make it on the oven and the sound is the only thing to guide you. I had a twentysomething person over once who had never seen popcorn made on the oven before, as he thought it could only be made in a microwave.
I like this design a lot, with the exception of the popcorn flying out of the bowl.
Birdwatchers are thrilled to have spotted a flock of five flamingos in Amsterdam, which is a rare sight. They’re not from a zoo, as they’ve not been tagged. They’ve probably come from southern Europe and are staying as they can find food easily. The birds should stay about three years. German flamingos are often seen in the Netherlands, but are tagged and usually go back home.
Dutch robotics expert Professor Edvert van Henten from Wageningen University is developing a robot that will help egg producers help put a stop to wasted eggs. “The hens have to lay their eggs in nests, but 30% are laid on the floor. They cannot be sold as quality eggs and encourage other chickens to lay there as well so the farmers have to collect them by walking through twice a day, which is challenging.”
The technology is not yet available, and much like milking machines in the dairy industry, much needs to be done to make them commercially available,” says Van Henten.
Why is there a feather on the eggs in this picture some North Americans readers may wonder. Because the rest of the world believes in the natural protective coating placed on eggs by hens and that washing them straight out the chicken forces North Americans to wash and then refrigerate their eggs, which has been proven to be more susceptible to bacteria.
Dutch sexy story site sexverhalen.com (‘sex stories’) has made some changes in order to appeal to the blind and visually impaired, apparently a unique concept in the Netherlands.
First major tweak is having the story read by a sultry female voice instead of the computerised voice of the user’s software. I’m guessing this specific tweak is mainly aimed at men after a quick look at the titles of the stories. If you prefer to listen to a story instead of reading it, then anyone can enjoy the audio version of the stories provided a sultry female voice works for you.
This is a great ‘Zoek de Nederlander’, or ‘Search for the Dutchie:
Are you of Dutch origin, single (21-45) and looking for true love? Have you been raised abroad with (a bit of) Dutch blood in your system? Let one of the biggest TV channels in The Netherlands help you find love. Dutch TV network (Blue Circle) is looking for singles from the USA of Dutch origin who want to take part of a new heartwarming television show about Dutch love.
Apply on Blue Circle’s website. It’s probably for straight people and we’ll wave at you if you make it on television.
Earlier this week the police in Haarlem caught two robbers by following their footprints in the snow, a bit like an old fashion television cartoon. A woman called about her shop being broken into in the middle of the night and when the police got there, they saw fresh footprints in the snow. They followed the footprints and found some of the loot the robbers made off with. They walked all the way to the suspects’ house, arrested the men and confiscated their shoes.
The men will now probably hate snow more than most people.
Researchers Claudia Vinke and Ruth van der Leij of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University have studied why cats like to get into boxes. It appears that hiding in a box significantly reduces the stress level of a cat, although many cats just like to play in them, as proven by the multitude of Internet videos.
Studies were carried out in an animal shelter to monitor cats’ behaviour in quarantine for two weeks. Half of the cats were given a box to hide in and the other half was not. The stress level of the cats in the room with a box was significantly lower than the ones without a box. Cats with a lower stress level get used to their new environment more quickly, and a more relaxed cat also does not get sick as quickly. Boxes are good for cats.
On a related note, one of Amsterdam’s cat related attractions is the ‘Poezenboot’ (‘Cat boat’), a cat shelter on a houseboat in one of Amsterdam’s main canals founded back in the late 1960s.
During a smoking ban check last week, a cafe owner in Rotterdam was asked by a city inspector to stop playing vinyl records, claiming the music was too loud. Too loud is if people cannot have a conversation because the music is not background music anymore, which is a subjective measure and a distinct possibility. An objective measure is a dBA loudness meter with a display that cafes are not required to have.
The owner Jos Hoebe claims the inspector was looking for an excuse to nail him for something since nobody was smoking inside and decided that spinning records was ‘live music’ and therefore the cafe needs an extra permit to stay open longer. If the inspector fined the cafe for loud music, that would stick, but exacerbating the problem by singling out records as live music made Hoebe go to the media. It seems the inspector is taunting the cafe owner and in the case of the records, the inspector was making it up completely.
The inspector could have given the cafe a warning or had a productive chat instead. Hoebe asked if he could play CDs to which the inspector said that was fine, then Hoebe asked what the difference was and didn’t get an answer. Hoebe plans to see the municipal music aficionado in court.
Back in 2012 artist Peter de Koning of Steenbergen, Noord Brabant made a statue to protest the way a police officer had treated his daughter: a big wooden penis. The artwork also had the name of the offending officer on it, considered at the time to be ‘insulting an officer’ and was confiscated.
‘Dick artist’ De Koning has now been accused of libel for reposting a picture of a police offer taking an outdoor wee on a public road, which is illegal. De Koning claimed this was the police officer that had given his daughter a hard time, but apparently it’s not. De Koning’s lawyer is having a field day with this law suit, saying it’s ridiculous, as the photo was taken by somebody else and reposted by many other people. The court case is due on 29 April, so we’ll keep you posted.
De Koning is already thinking up a new protest artwork, one that expresses how he feels, but that won’t be confiscated.
Sure, it’s been done before (I recommend ‘Metal musicians with their cats’), but once Dutch television shows started plugging Sliedrecht’s animal rescue shelter’s calendar featuring naked Dutch men with cats, the money started rolling in to the tune of 6000 euro so far. Keep up with them in Dutch on their Facebook page.
The men range from 19 to 54 and the shelter actually chose them for their looks as well as their love of animals. The money raised will go to taking care of unwanted cats, which, like in all Western countries, are still being dumped and abandoned.