Problably best known for Puckipedia, 13-year-old Puck Meerburg from Delft has been coding since he was six. Meerburg has developed apps for a range of different mobile platforms already, including iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
Although Puck hasn’t quite mastered the art of giving interviews, which is maybe a lot to ask from a 13-year-old, he speaks better English than many of his adult counterparts. I like the way he ‘slags’ Apple for him not knowing how many copies of his apps he has sold. Apple lets people offer them apps that costs them no money at all to develop, which has hundreds of thousands of people (let’s cut the PC nonsense: mostly boys and men) around the world working day and night like slaves in the hopes of being picked up by Apple who apparently takes a whopping 30% off the top.
The Next Web tells us that, “His latest release, CatStacker is based on the growing hype around, you guessed it, placing items on a domestic cat and sharing them via photographs posted online.”
With a population of some 16.6 million inhabitants, the Netherlands still topping the list of most bicycles owned is not very surprising. However, when it comes to calculating the actual amount of cyclists, this quirky list has some issues, as not everyone who owns a bike is necessary a cyclist and other leaps of logic.
I also noticed that the picture used to represent Amsterdam was not right, and now I see it is Delft (to the right of the train station is my guess), a major student city.
In the Netherlands 27% of all trips and 25% of trips to work are made by bike. About 1.3 million bicycles were sold in the Netherlands in 2009, at an average price of 713 euro each. Amsterdam, the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world, with 400 km of bike lanes and nearly 40% of all commutes in Amsterdam are done on bike.
And no, we don’t do bike helmets and yes, please get over it. You didn’t point that out about Asian countries now do you? Reads like a major cultural bias to me. The Belgians who cycle a lot as well have to wear bright yellow vests to get around and if you’re ever cycled in Brussels or Antwerp, you’d be wise to do the same, especially considering the constant construction.
I had to laugh when a good friend from Canada suggested that cycling was a great way to meet new people and that I should do it to. I told her that would be like her driving a car to work to meet people. We had a good laugh.
Two engineers from Delft, Paul Breur and Adnan Tunović, have finally solved decades of issues that men have had with using condoms. The Wingman condom is easy to use with one hand that doesn’t even touch the condom, it’s extra thin and it’s safe. The 30 second film doesn’t need any voice over or music to get its message across and even in the dark you cannot put it on the wrong way.
The condom was invented almost 100 years ago and very little has been done to make its use easier or more pleasant. All the colours, textures and scents have done absolutely nothing to improve condoms. Now, the use of the ‘wing’ to roll down the condom means no more condom odour on your hands. You still need to open the package with two hands, but they claim to be working on that bit. They have one size available, but will be launching the Wingman in more sizes once it takes off.
Filed under: Art,Music by Branko Collin @ 10:56 am
Delft based klezmer band L’Chaim uploaded a video of their song A Goet Vol Glezele to Youtube last month. The video was recorded at coffeehouse Uit de Kunst, which is also the site of the country’s smallest art gallery, Voor de Kunst, housed in an old phone booth.
Why a phone booth? Owner Tijn Noordenbos explains to Bright.nl: “The quay had collapsed, which caused a tunnel to the houses to be exposed. When it turned out that I had to pay for the repairs, I decided that I got to determine how those repairs were going to be executed. [There is now a hatch covering the tunnel.] You don’t throw a phone booth as easily into the canal as you do a flower box.”
First you follow the link to the cute little Delft blue houses, and then you can click on any of the 91 bottles and find out what house it is and where. Most of them can be found in Amsterdam, but a few of them are from towns like Amersfoort, Delft, Breda and Schiedam.
I spontaneously clicked on number 81 and got ‘proeflokaal’ (roughly ‘tasting pub’) De Drie Fleschjes (The Three Bottles) in Amsterdam pictured above (here is what it looks like today). Ironically, it is a place to sample gin and have a drink.
What I thought was odd though is that there is the same house twice (11 and 23), another ‘proeflokaal’ in Amsterdam, Wijnand Fockink. I think the makers of the site made a mistake, as 90 is a much nicer number.
If you want to become a CEO or a supervisor of one of the 25 Dutch companies that make up the AEX, the index of the country’s most actively traded securities, you’d better study economics in Rotterdam or civil engineering in Delft, Z24 reports.
Together, both universities have produced the majority of current CEOs and supervisors of AEX companies. The oldest university of the country, that of Leiden, and the largest universities, those of Amsterdam and Utrecht, play lesser roles in supplying large Dutch companies with their management. Fifteen of the 25 CEOs are graduates of either Rotterdam (8) or Delft (7).
Mecanoo architects came up with this combined railway station and city hall for Delft, a small and otherwise picturesque city near Rotterdam. The ceiling in this photo is made of Delftware. I am thinking: hobbit on crack with a porcelain fetish, but hey, to each their own. I am certainly not adverse to good ceiling porn, this just doesn’t seem to be it. The railway is going partly underground in order to connect the two city halves, which I think is a good idea.
A couple of years ago the city council figured they had an image problem (Dutch), and spent 1 million euro of tax payer’s money to make it go away. One of the solutions they seem to have found was to make Delftware more prominent (Dutch).
For comparison, here’s the current railway station:
One of only three surviving silver microscopes of the Father of microbiology, Renaissance scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), will be sold on April 8 at an auction at Christie’s in London, writes De Telegraaf (Dutch). The auction house expects to sell the silver device for somewhere between 75,000 and 105,000 euro.
The other two surviving Leeuwenhoek microscopes are at the Deutsches Museum in Munich and the Museum Boerhaave in Leiden.
Van Leeuwenhoek built his own microscopes, superior to what was available at the time (the first microscope was invented in Middelburg seven years before his birth), but kept the secret to his lenses meticulously hidden, and only in the 1950s did scientists manage to reconstruct them. It turned out that rather than grinding lenses, Van Leeuwenhoek seems to have used a glass fusing method, which allowed him to quickly make a microscope, of which he constructed around 400 during his lifetime.
The Internet Archive has The Select Works of Antony van Leeuwenhoek, translations into English of Van Leeuwenhoek’s many observations, unfortunately without his drawings. Fascinating stuff, almost like being alive in the 21st century.
The silver microscope that will be sold at Christie’s was used by Van Leeuwenhoek to discover sperm cells. The current owner found it during the 1970s among old laboratory equipment.
Portrait of Van Leeuwenhoek by Jan Verkolje (1650-1693).
Dutch guitar giant Jan Akkerman, former astrounaut Wubbo Ockels and Delft University all worked together to come up with this tiny concert in the Stadspark of Groningen last year. The reason? The electrical power was delivered by a prototype of a so-called Laddermill, an invention by Wubbo Ockels that is currently being developed at the University of Delft, and that consists of a chain of kite-wings that act as kites when going up, and as wings when going down.
Laddermills should be able to deliver from kilowatts to megawatts of power, enough to provide neighbourhoods and cities with electricity. According to the Guardian, laddermills are especially useful in The Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Ireland “thanks to the high-speed jet stream.”
If you’ve never heard of Akkerman before, check YouTube for “focus hocus pocus.”
Today at 4 pm, 13-year-old Boyan Slat from Delft will shoot off 102 water rockets at the sports pitch of his school, the Grotius College in Delft in an attempt to break some records. Slat built the launch system all by himself. Since 2005, he has been experimenting with rockets, using natural raw marerials like baking powder and vinegar. He calls his system the Bazooooka Mk6. The address of this spectacular show with music and special effects is Juniusstraat 8 in Delft and is free.
If someone scores some pictures, let us now!
The smart kid also has his own website: wetenschapvoordummies (Science for dummies). Here it says 101 water rockets.
Somehow, I expect him to attend the Delft University of Technology later on.