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April 14, 2015

Photo-realistic rugs by Moooi Carpets

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 11:19 am

Moooi-carpets_Milan-2015_dezeen_468_36

Breda-based Dutch design studio Moooi is launching a new company called Moooi Carpets with an inaugural collection of photo-realistic designs by Studio Job, Ross Lovegrove, Neri & Hu (as shown above) and many more.

Moooi Carpets explains that it uses advanced technology to print designs directly onto carpet at a higher definition than ever before. Its printing plant will be able to print everything from rugs to full-width fitted carpet as well as one-off designs. “It’s the reinvention of the carpet,” says Moooi CEO Casper Vissers.

“The carpets are produced using a giant machine that measures 100 metres long. Its size allows it to print designs up to four metres wide in unlimited colours, without having to change the dye injectors in its Chromojet printer.”

(Link and photo: www.dezeen.com)

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April 13, 2015

Drone with asparagus crashes and burns

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am

Having a drone deliver asparagus to your restauraunt to ring in the new season on 1 April was a novel idea and a great publicity stunt for restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant, but it didn’t go exactly as planned.

Plan B was landing the drone nearby in case of wind and then taking a walk to pick up the asparagus, but that didn’t pan out either, as the drone went with Plan C, which resulting in a crash-and-burn scenario.

The drone made a stop along the way to change batteries, which went well, but the takeoff afterwards eventually turned into a nose dive and a pile of flambé white asparagus.

I’m already curious as to what delivery method they are going to try next year.

(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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April 11, 2015

Dutch people may be tall because of natural selection

Filed under: Health,Nature by Branko Collin @ 2:46 pm

dutch-doors-metro-centricThe Dutch are among the tallest people in the world. According to the Guardian, Dutch men average a height of 1.84 metres and women a height of 1.71 metres.

Although no-one knows exactly why this is, it has long been held that health and well-being may have something to do with it.

Cue Gert Stulp, a 2-metre-tall Dutchman working at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who says the impressive rise of 20 centimetres in the past 150 years may have to do with natural selection. Writes Science:

[Stulp] and his colleagues turned to a database tracking key life data for almost 100,000 people in the country’s three northern provinces. The researchers included only people over 45 who were born in the Netherlands to Dutch-born parents. This way, they had a relatively accurate number of total children per subject (most people stop having children after 45) and they also avoided the effects of immigration.

In the remaining sample of 42,616 people, taller men had more children on average, despite the fact that they had their first child at a higher age. The effect was small—an extra 0.24 children at most for taller men—but highly significant. (Taller men also had a smaller chance of remaining childless, and a higher chance of having a partner). The same effect wasn’t seen in women, who had the highest reproductive success when they were of average height. The study suggests this may be because taller women had a smaller chance of finding a mate, while shorter women were at higher risk of losing a child.

The result is that if tall-making genes exist, they get passed onto the children of tall men.

See also: Why are the Dutch so tall?

(Photo by Metro Centric, some rights reserved)

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April 10, 2015

Dutch speed cameras rubbish with foreign plates

Filed under: Automobiles,IT by Orangemaster @ 10:16 am

Last year a friend asked me to check a series of fines he received from France in French (in error), stating he had to pay the maximum fine for speeding even though he never got the original fines, which were for a lot less. Although an administrative mess, at least French speed cameras can read Dutch license plates. It took the Netherlands until sometime last year to be able to properly read French license plates on speed cameras and stop being the laughing stock of French speed freaks.

However, we’re still laughing stock to anyone that doesn’t have a Dutch, French, Swiss, German or Belgian license plate: the software in Dutch speed cameras can’t read anything else. The Dutch government keeps making lame excuses, while other European countries seem to have figured out how speed camera software works.

This also means that Dutch speed cameras don’t fine the notoriously fast driving Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians and Latvians who probably know all this and not suffer the consequences. It also attracts comments about the Dutch ‘paying for everybody’s mistakes’, as it is easier to nail locals for speeding that trying to decipher a Polish or Latvian address and registration that cannot be easily checked on the side of the road.

Speeding is dangerous, and apparently the Dutch government doesn’t feel that road safety is a priority.

(Link: www.flitsservice.nl, Photo by Heiloo Online, some rights reserved)

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April 9, 2015

Ithaca, New York to build Dutch-style ‘woonerf’

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles,Design by Orangemaster @ 11:08 am

woonerf

After a few cities in Canada, it’s now the turn of the United States to embrace the building of a ‘woonerf’, a typical Dutch construct from the 1930s, an area where drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have to share the same space, but where pedestrians always have the right of way.

Ithaca, New York is building what they call a ‘living yard’ (‘woonerf’), with a low speed limit of no more than 10 or 12 mph (16 km/h to 19.2 km/h). Today in the Netherlands the woonerf speed limit is 15 km/h, although a few years ago it was still referred to as ‘stapvoets’, which is a old term from when people rode horses at a slow pace, which would be 6 km/h if it was really a horse, but not actually possible by car or bike without consequences. However, 15 km/h is still slower than what Ithaca has decided, which to me sounds too fast.

“The whole point is to encourage human interaction; those who use the space are forced to be aware of others around them, make eye contact and engage in person-to-person interactions.” As a North American, the car is always king of the road, but the woonerf forces drivers to realise that it’s not always their space just because there’s a road, which I think is a good thing to learn.

(Link: ithacavoice.com, Photo by Payton Chung, some rights reserved)

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April 8, 2015

Cat cafe to open in Amsterdam this month

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 11:06 am

catinbox

The idea of a cat café started in Taiwan in 1998 and got big in Japan, New York City, London, Paris, Berlin, and Copenhagen. This month it’s Amsterdam’s turn to have a cat café that will open on 22 April.

Amsterdam already has quite a few cats in their establishments to catch mice, but following international trends, it was a matter of time before the capital got an official hangout overrun with furry friends, which amusingly enough is not too far from 24oranges HQ.

The entire idea was crowdfunded with 975 cat lovers contributing 33,000 euro to the project.

(Link: www.nu.nl, Photo of Cat in a box by Hehaden, some rights reserved)

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April 7, 2015

App tells you to hurry to catch a train

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:26 pm

moet-ik-rennen-app-google-playCan I still catch the bus or train if I start running now? That is the simple question a new app poses. Its name, Moet Ik Rennen?, is Dutch for should I run?

The app, which saw its beta test launch today, uses the location services of your mobile device to find your current position. It then locates the nearest bus stops and metro and train stations, provides you with departure times and if you select a specific line it tells you if you should hurry.

Moet Ik Rennen? appears to be free and is available for iOS and Android. It was developed by four students (initially as a school project) with support from Dutch Rail. Go About is listed as the data provider.

If you still have to wait a bit for your bus (or train or subway), the app suggests a place to get snacks at a discount. Once you have stuffed your face with excess calories you no longer need the app. Yes, you should run.

(Illustration: Google Play / Moet Ik Rennen?)

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April 6, 2015

Smart liquid wound dressing could trigger rapid healing

Filed under: Health,Science by Branko Collin @ 10:19 pm

gel-henningklevjerA two million euro grant could see professor Alan Rowan of Radboud University turn so-called super gel into a band-aid on steroids (figuratively, of course).

The Nijmegen-based professor of molecular chemistry accidentally discovered super gel in 2013 when his team put a jar of polymers in the fridge. Instead of gelling, the polymers dissolved completely into water, but when the researchers took the jar out of the fridge, the solution turned into a gel again.

According to Kennislink the super gel “acts the same as the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the human body. This matrix is a network of molecules connecting the cells, providing fibres with both support and elasticity. The most important constituents of ECM are the natural polymers collagen and fibrin.”

Companies from all over the world sent professor Rowan their ideas of what the new gel could be used for, from letting sports bras firm up when the wearer gets warmer to slowly releasing pesticides after they have been sprayed on plants. “Companies want a finished raw material, but we did not know anything about the gel. We needed to know whether we can guarantee the quality, whether the polymer is poisonous, how long it lasts and if the human body can digest it.”

The two million euro grant was one of five grants awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) on 5 February.

(Photo by Wikipedia user Henningklevjer, some rights reserved; link: Radboud University)

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April 5, 2015

‘Cancer’ most hurtful word of abuse among Dutch youth

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 3:27 pm

flower-randy-robertsonThe top 5 of hurtful words in the Netherlands among 18 to 25-year-olds is, according to a recent study:

  1. Kanker (cancer)
  2. Godverdomme (god damn me)
  3. Hoer (whore)
  4. Neger (negro)
  5. Tering (tuberculosis)

The study was commissioned by Bond Tegen Vloeken. A whopping 71% of those interviewed considered the word ‘kanker’ to be hurtful.

Bond Tegen Vloeken is a Christian organisation that wants people to stop using their gods’ names in vain. In their press release they use the word scheldwoorden instead of krachttermen, a distinction the English language doesn’t seem to make to this Dutchman. The former means ‘words with which you abuse others’, the latter are words of pain or anger that aren’t directed at anyone in particular.

Of the top 5, the words ‘kanker’, ‘tering’ and ‘godverdomme’ are considered krachttermen, although the first two can easily be used in compound terms of abuse, e.g. ‘kankerhoer’.

(Photo of a delicate little flower by Randy Robertson, some rights reserved; link: Telegraaf)

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April 3, 2015

Elderly woman foils six stupid thieves

Filed under: Film,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:12 am

Facepalm

You’re part of a gang of six guys who have robbed an elderly woman aged 84 of her bank card: what do you do next? You and your mates go and catch the movie ‘Fast & Furious 7′ somewhere in Breda, paying with said bank card and get caught because you all share the IQ of a tree.

The woman noticed her bank card was missing after having bought groceries and probably checked online to see if her card had been used elsewhere, like at the local cinema. The police grabbed the stupid six at the cinema because they bought numbered seats, which is a thing in the Netherlands, along with drinking beer while watching a movie.

A bit like a bad car chase scene, one of the stupid six managed to flee and lock himself in the disabled bathroom only to get caught as well because the cops saw him run into it.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Paris Louvre facepalm by Phelan Riessen, some rights reserved)

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