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May 13, 2015

First-time spotting of nesting gull on Texel

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 4:10 pm

Black-backed

The Society for preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands has recently found a nesting great black-backed gull on the island of Texel, officially the first time this bird has decided to nest there.

The great black-backed gull is the largest gull in the world with a wingspan of about 170 centimetres and a huge beak, which usually breeds in Scandinavia when in Europe. When the gull does decide to pay a visit to the Netherlands, it chooses Groningen where no more than 10 breeding pairs per year have been spotted. The first great black-backed gull nesting in the Netherlands is said to date back to 1993.

(Links: dearkitty, www.ecomare.nl, Photo of Great black-backed gull by Robert Eliassen, some rights reserved)

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May 12, 2015

World record for Dutch hydrogen fuel cell car

Filed under: Automobiles,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 11:33 am

TU-delft-race-car

Dutch racing driver Jan Lammers recently had the honours of racing the Delft University of Technology’s Forze VI, a student built hydrogen powered racing car on the world-famous Nürburgring racetrack in Germany. Lammers completed the 21 kilometre-long endeavour under 11 minutes, a world first for a hydrogen fuel cell powered car.

Although the Forze VI reached top speeds of 170 km/h around the track, the 50 students who have made this car a reality believe it can do so much more. Besides getting the car to reach the theoritically possible speed of 220 km/h, the Formula Zero Team Delft plan to race against combustion engine powered cars in various races, with the ultimate goal being the 24 hour Le Mans.

(Links: www.bright.nl, www.formulazero.tudelft.nl)

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May 11, 2015

Dutch Marine Corps slow accepting women on submarines

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:22 am

Submarine-helm

A quick search shows that the UK started allowing women on submarines in 2013, and the US will be up to speed in 2016. The UK used to quote the build-up of carbon dioxide to exclude women, while the US was mainly concerned about women’s privacy. These reasons faded once new submarines were built and now the Netherlands wants to finally get women on board submarines as well — in 2025.

Why is the Netherlands so slow? The privacy issue as it relates to closed quarters and showers is still an issue because the Netherlands Marine Corps does not allow women to become marines. This also means that adapting submarines for female personnel has never been a priority. According to the link below on Dutch ships, it’s not possible to move alongside another person on a submarine without touching each other, and the Dutch marines have no interest in a women’s only submarine.

The first countries in the world to allow women on submarines were Norway (1985), Denmark (1988), Sweden (1989), Australia (1998), Canada and Spain (2000), which makes the Netherlands about a slow as a row boat without oars on the matter.

(Links: www.rtvnh.nl, marineschepen.nl, Photo of Submarine helm by Geert Orye, some rights reserved)

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May 10, 2015

Restaurant for ‘nearly possible’ meat

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 11:32 am

in-vitro-bistro

Bistro in Vitro is a fictional restaurant with an online presence.

The site shows you what can be done with lab grown meat. Why would anybody create a restaurant for food you cannot eat yet? “Before we can decide if we ever want to eat lab grown meat, we need to explore its impact on our food culture”, the FAQ says.

Some of the dishes on the menu are cubes of celebrity, in vitro ice cream (made from polar bear DNA), undead fish teppanyaki and “the grey area between a sea anemone and a sex toy”. The project clearly tries to explore what it is exactly when we say ‘meat’.

The site appears to be a continuation of the crowdfunded The In Vitro Meat Cookbook which was published in 2014 and which won a Dutch Design Award that same year.

(Illustration: screenshot of the website)

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May 8, 2015

Vanity mirror of clay and leds by Baas & Pot

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 7:51 pm

leds-clay-baas-den-herderLEDS Clay is the name Maarten Baas from Den Bosch and Bertjan Pot from Rotterdam gave to a series of LED and clay based custom products they designed.

Shown here is one of two mirrors, but the series also contains a number of lamps. Design Boom says all the works were hand-molded. The on-line magazine talked to the designers at the Milan Design Week 2015.

Den Herder Production House, formerly known as Baas & Den Herder, was responsible for the production of these ‘luminaries’. It’s unclear to me if you can actually buy these objects, but if you give Den Herder a ring, I am sure they can enlighten you.

(Photo: dhph.com)

May 7, 2015

Emigrating down the street to Germany

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:53 am

Kerkrade

As people are moving from Kerkrade, Limburg to the connecting city of Herzogenrath, Germany due to cheaper house prices, Kerkarde discusses how it could ever become a true European cross-border city with a mix of Dutch and German rules and regulations. It’s one thing to regroup a bunch of Dutch cities into a collaboration like Parkstad Limburg, which includes Kerkrade, it’s another to run a city within two countries that have their own laws, language and culture.

In 2012 two-third of emigrants in Herzogenrath came from Kerkrade, sometimes even on the same street: Nieuwstraat in Kerkarde, Neustrasse in Herzogenrath. And if you move down the street to another country, you’re still an emigrant. Even your mobile phone provider doesn’t know where you are half the time, and I’m often told that the border people speak dialect on both sides and understand each other perfectly.

The mayor of Kerkrade Jos Som has to deal with the differences in legislation every day: “Sometimes we use Dutch law, sometimes German law, and sometimes no law at all”. He explains that it can be rewarding or frustrating because after all it’s Europe and we still have to do things together.

For true border complications there’s always Baarle-Nassau, with its collection of Belgian enclaves that put Google Streetview to the test.

(Link: www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo of Kerkrade by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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May 6, 2015

Nijmegen to get a bunch of public pianos

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 3:51 pm

After the Pentecost holiday on May 24 and 25, Rhea Elise Khoeblal expects her plan to have the city of Nijmegen place 12 pianos around town to be approved and carried out. The city is still dealing with the permits, and the pianos will stay put for three weeks.

Last year the city had five pianos around town and it was such a success that this year they want to have more pianos at locations such as the Radboud University, the Van Schaeck Mathonsingel, in Brakkenstein parc, the Dukenburg shopping mall and at the Honig food company.

Amsterdam Central Station, Utrecht Central Station and a few other train stations have pianos, which attracts all kinds of happy onlookers. In 2011 Tilburg let pianos take over the streets much to the delight of local residents and visitors.

(Photo of piano keyboard by Adam Henning, some rights reserved)

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May 5, 2015

Spanish museums feuding over Bosch painting

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 7:32 am

Two Spanish museums, both located in Madrid, the Prado Museum and the newly built Museum of Royal Collections, are having a ‘Mexican standoff’ that involves fighting over four paintings, including the world-famous tryptich ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Dutch medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch. The new museum is scheduled to open in 2016 and has been told by many experts that it won’t attract the number of visitors expected with the pieces it currently has in its possession.

The Spanish royal family have owned the Bosch painting since 1593 and had it restored in 1933 then stored at the Prado in 1936. The painting has been on loan for a long time, but now that the Museum of Royal Collections wants to have it, the Prado won’t budge. The chairman of the Prado’s board said that if the country’s public heritage agency who owns the painting wanted to have it for its new museum, they’d have to “wait until hell freezes over”. Other museums around Spain are on alert because some of their paintings could be next.

(Links: www.nytimes.com, www.omroepbrabant.nl, Illustration: fragment of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Conjurer)

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May 4, 2015

Rotterdam train station attracts gate jumping

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 11:45 am

RdamCS-poortjes

On May 1st Rotterdam Central Station proudly announced that only travellers who check in with their public transport chip cards are allowed in the hall of the train station, which until then had been open to nearby employees out to grab some lunch and the likes. Safety was the main reason given, since crimes against train staff have been on the rise for a while and this was supposed to help. Watch the video below though if you want to see train station staff attacking the press.

Due to the low height of the gates, anyone who excels at gate jumping can get by without paying a fare very easily, as no attempt is made at stopping them in the video below. Yes, it does look like jumping hurdles. Problem is the limber people jumping the gates in the evening and taking trains are the baddies who attack train staff. Other major stations have much higher gates, but then the trick is pushing through them at the same time as someone else who has checked in, which doesn’t seem to make things any safer.

Anyone who properly pays their fare might feel screwed over for following the rules while others cheat the system and can move about the station as they please. A good point made in the video is that you can only use your public transport chip card at a train station if you have a balance of 20 euro or more on your card, which is not a requirement with other public transportation. Maybe if that amount were lowered less people would feel inclined to jump over, but it could also be, as they say in Dutch, ‘mopping up with a running faucet’.

(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo of Gates, Rotterdam CS by Passetti, some rights reserved)

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May 3, 2015

Homemade lollipop kit with your own ingredients

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 9:59 pm

Something-Sweet-by-Tessa-Geuze_dezeen_468_6

Dutch designer Tessa Geuze presented a lollipop-making kit during Milan Design Week 2015 a few weeks ago as a member of the The Tomorrow Collective, a group of students who showcased a range of products and tools ‘inspired by past knowledge of how to grow, make and be’.

Geuze’s ‘Something Sweet’ kit features the components required for a miniature sweet factory including aluminium lollipop moulds, scoops, heat-proof mitts, and a display stand that also serves as a storage box for the utensils. She produced the kit as a way for people to make lollipops using ingredients they know without preservatives and additives like the ones listed on the wrappers of store-bought sweets.

Making your own sweets is something I picture parents doing with their kids or creative people doing for a theme party, but I wonder if most people would go through the trouble of making their own sweets instead of buying the lollipops with preservatives and additives. However, it does look like fun.

(Link and photo: www.dezeen.com)

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