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October 9, 2016

Trix the T.rex on glow in the dark coins

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 4:11 pm


The Royal Dutch Mint has produced silver proof coins featuring Trix the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, currently exhibited at the Naturalis museum in Leiden, South Holland. And they’re not just any old dino coins either, there’s one that glows in the dark, something the mint has done for the very first time. The coins are limited editions, with only 750 minted, a set of which costs 59,95.

How did the Naturalis score a T.rex in first place?

Back in 2012 researchers went hunting for a T.rex in the US, and found one in the state of Montana. The skeleton was carefully cleaned and prepared, and arrived in August 2016 in Leiden, escorted by the police and experts. The Queen of the dinosaurs, Trix is 12 metres long and her bones, muscles, claws and teeth weigh 6,000 kilos. You can visit Trix until 5 June 2017 after which the museum will be closed for renovations until 2018.

This T.rex skeleton is one of the three most complete ones in the world and obviously a great addition to the museum.

(Links: www.knm.nl (also photo), t-rex.naturalis.nl)

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October 7, 2016

Dutch students make dart containing Go Pro camera

Filed under: Film,Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 5:23 pm


Three students from the University of Twente, Nick Schijvens, Pablo Trautwein and Mark de Boer, have developed a big plastic dart with a Go Pro camera inside it, called ‘Throw your Go Pro’, made by their startup, AER. The idea was to get the most out of a GoPro camera and bring it onto the market, with some help from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The money seemed to be pouring in, with close to 59,000 euro as I write this – their goal is 70,000 euro in another 27 days, which sounds like it will hit the mark.

The gadget has a GoPro mounted into a flying dart which you can throw into the air to create cool aerial footage. Have a look yourself at what AER have shot on their instragram.

(Link: kennispark, Photo: AER)

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October 5, 2016

Top with tech corrects the wearer’s posture

Filed under: Design,Fashion,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:20 pm


Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen, who designed the full solar jacket for Wadden Sea walkers and a few other items, has now introduced the FysioPal undershirt, designed to correct bad upper-body posture by alerting the wearer when they are slouching, which helps correct their posture.

The top, which contains sensors that send information to a smartphone, measures the position of the neck, shoulders and back. The measurements are then sent to an app, which visualises the data and assesses the wearer’s overall posture. If it it detects slouching, the top will softly vibrate, alerting the wearer to change their posture.

It’s the modern-day version of having your parents tell you to stop slouching, but way cooler.

(Link: www.dezeen.com, Photo by paulinevandongen.nl)

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October 4, 2016

Kijkduin takes Pokémon makers to court over landmarks

Filed under: Gaming by Orangemaster @ 9:43 pm

This summer, the beach town of Kijkduin, South Holland made the news with, “hey, we’re the Pokémon capital of the country, come here and catch ’em all!”. Now after people came and messed up their protected dune areas, Kijkduin mailed Pokémon Go maker Niantic to get them to shut the whole thing down and received no replies whatsoever. The next level has Kijkduin suing Niantic, and that’s going down on 11 October.

According to radio station Omroep West, when a rare Pokémon shows up, a whole crowd of people run and bum rush the fences protecting the dunes, which also disturbs the protected wildlife. As well, it annoys people trying to chill on terraces, and there aren’t enough toilets to accommodate all the gamers – draw your own conclusions.

The idea would be to have the Delta Square in Kijkduin free of Pokémons between 23:00 and 7:00 local time, which is what will be recommended at the hearing where Niantic will be defending itself against the Dutch government who says they’ve put protected landmarks in danger. Policing local protected areas against gamers is costing the town some 1500 euro a week.

It is completely understandable to want to protect landmarks, but why on earth did Kijkduin think that it was a good idea in the first place to turn their village into ‘The Pokémon capital of the country’, hoping to reap the rewards but none of the drawbacks? How badly planned was that?

So far, Niantic hasn’t said anything in their defense, but Dutch newspaper AD has claimed that Delta Square, which featured four PokéStops, now has five, like a virtual middle finger salute from Niantic.

I often read the Dutch media slagging off the US as a ‘claims culture’, but amusingly enough Niantic hasn’t had a single American lawsuit, if we can believe the American media.

UPDATE: Niantic has agreed to withdraw its Pokémons

(Link: www.slashgear.com)

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October 3, 2016

Help! My mammoth takes up too much space

Filed under: Animals,History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:04 am

Online auction site Catawiki has all kinds of stuff up for grabs, and as of last weekend, there’s a Dutch person selling off a complete mammoth skeleton.

According to the auction site, there are seven complete mammoth skeletons in the Netherlands, and this was the only one not owned by a museum. Originally found in the North Sea, the bones are not from the same mammoth, and were carefully collected over time. The skeleton is 3.2 metres high and 5.5 metres long, with 270 bones and two tusks that are three metres long.

Catawiki expects the skeleton to fetch between 200,000 and 260,000 euro. As of last weekend the highest bid was 35,000 euro.

UPDATE: A German museum that wishes to remain anonymous has bought the skeleton for 120,000 euro.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo: Wolfgang Staudt, some rights reserved)

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October 2, 2016

Smog-free tower highlights clear air issues in Beijing

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 11:43 am

Daan Roosegaarde, who showed us the Netherlands as a network of light, has now installed a Smog-Free Tower in Beijing’s well-known 798 arts district, in a city that has become synonymous with smog.

Roosegaarde’s partial contribution towards a solution to the smog is a seven-meter metal structure that takes in smog and expels cleaner air, made up of 45 silver plates that look like window blinds, the tower contains an air-purifying machine that runs continuously. He says he came up with the idea for the tower after a visit to Beijing three years ago. His team of designers raised more than $120,000 online to help pay for the tower by selling metal rings with a clear cube that includes a bit of black carbon from smog.

However, it has been difficult to tell if the air was actually cleaner. An unscientific test using a handheld monitoring device throughout the day showed the air next to the tower was slightly cleaner than further away. Let’s be fair: it’s about the idea of showing that it is possible, as well as inspiring people to come up with solutions instead of doing nothing and hoping the government will magically care enough to do something about it.

(Link: phys.org, Photo of a particulate polluted Shanghai sky by Wikimedia Commons user Saperaud, some rights reserved)

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September 29, 2016

New letters and photos of Mata Hari published

Filed under: History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 10:17 pm


The Frisian History and Literature Centre Tresoar in Leeuwarden, Friesland have made public a gift of 48 letters and 14 photos never been seen before they received from the family of the ex-husband of famous Frisian exotic dancer, Mata Hari. The only thing Tresoar had to do in return was turn it all into a book, so that everyone could enjoy the discoveries. The book ‘Don’t think that I’m that bad’ (‘Denk niet dat ik slecht ben’) by Marita Mathijsen-Verkooijen should be out at least in Dutch any day now.

One of the letters written during Mata Hari’s life in Paris in 1904-1905 talked about her one day become a mother and how difficult her life was in general, while in another she talks about living in Nijmegen and having to sell her bike to be able to survive. Mata Hari’s life story is a great read in itself, and these letters will certainly help historians and fans find out even more about her turbulent life. Next year in 2017, the legal documents of 1917 about her execution by a firing squad just outside Paris for being a German spy on 15 October 1917 will be made public, so stay tuned for more.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Mata Hari in the public domain)

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September 28, 2016

‘Booze and Drugs’ is ‘Stoff und Schnaps’ in German

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:19 am


At the start of the summer, we told you about Americans trying to sing Dutch summer hit ‘Drank & Drugs’ (‘Booze and Drugs’) by Lil Kleine & Ronnie Flex. Now it’s time for the next level, the German version ‘Stoff und Schnaps’ (‘Drugs and Schnaps’), complete with lyrics and bouncing ball.

Ronnie Flex says he’d love to more songs in German because there’s “a market of 70 million people!” Actually, 80 million, but we get it, it’s not the Netherlands with its puny 16.8 million and a language dwarfed by German on the world scale as well.

The big question is, how’s their German accent?

(Link: nieuws.nl)

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September 27, 2016

World’s first official video refereeing, a Dutch affair

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 10:24 pm


September 21 saw the official world debut of a video assistant referee (VAR) in a competitive football game, starring Amsterdam Ajax vs Willem II of Tilburg (Ajax won 5-0). As well, Willem II midfielder Anouar Kali became the first player in the country to get a red card recommended by a VAR, after his yellow card in a Dutch Cup tie against Ajax was turned into a red one.

Staring at six video screens in a van, the VAR can review an incident when asked by the match referee as well as advise officials about incidents they may have missed. The International Football Association Board will probably decide in 2018 whether to authorise the use of video technology and incorporate it within the laws of the game.

The intervention confused fans of the Amsterdam-Tilburg game, as the change from yellow to red was not communicated to them, something that would have to be remedied. Other sports like rugby and hockey have been using VAR for a while, but football has been slow to join in. Video refereeing was tested again on September 22 with Rotterdam Feyenoord vs. FC Oss (Feyenoord won 4-1) , while I was in the pub for a quick visit.

The video referee communicates with the referee on the pitch within a few seconds of any incident. As well as advising on penalty and card decisions, they can help clear up cases of mistaken identity or infringements in the lead-up to a goal such as offside or foul play. If the on-pitch referee wants, they can also review the video footage themselves before making a final decision.

(Links: www.worldsoccer.com, phys.org, Photo of Football by Bramus, some rights reserved)

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September 26, 2016

Twente gets European drone testing area

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 10:21 pm

Enschede Airport Twente, close to the German border and little flight activity, now has a test location called Space53 for drones and UAVs. It’s apparently the first airport in Europe that allows drones to be tested in ‘complex environments and situations’. Nokia already plans to test Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Traffic Management systems (UTM) there.

Space53 is a collaboration between businesses and the public sector in the region of Twente. Besides an airport and various spaces for research, development and testing UAVs, schools and universities have joined in. They’ve already had some swarming tests where a bunch of drones fly together and collaborate in the event of a calamity.

Fun fact: When the notary public wrote up the transfer deed for the airbase after WWII, he apparently had had one too many and it accidentally wrote ‘Twenthe’ instead of Twente, which is still written this way today by the local flying club.

(Link: bright.nl, Photo of Drone by Karen Axelrad, some rights reserved)

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