The Tilburg University is back in the news with another PhD student making up research. Mohammad Nazar Soroush obtained his PhD with research into the lives of young Salafists in the Netherlands. However, he was caught faking conversations as well as visits to mosques that never happened, but may keep his PhD title. Professor Ruben Gowricham who helped Soroush can no longer be involved with granting PhDs and Soroush’s doctoral advisor has been reprimanded as well.
Gowricham has a business that makes money from doctoral candidates such as Soroush to the tune of thousands of euro a year. As well, Gowricham would receive 35,000 euro from Tilburg University per successful doctoral candidate. Two Islamist associations complained about the PhD, saying things in it were fabricated. Soroush used a supposed Salafist logo that is in fact not used by Salafists, and more of these kinds of details raised many red flags.
Although Soroush may keep his title, he has been asked not to distribute his thesis. He has also been asked to publish the fact that his thesis is based on insufficient evidence. People are surprised that he can still keep his title at this point, but the university claims that revoking it goes a bit too far. His credibility is definitely questionable, which will follow him around for a long time.
A supermarket in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant has ended up with fake 2 euro coins, according to the police. They are easy enough to spot: there’s no inscriptions or marks on the side of the coin when there should be, something most people don’t bother checking, but now you know.
Back in 2012 we told you about passing off Thai coins [baht] as euro coins, and when I clean out my junk drawer, I’m reminded of a few other odd coins from either Africa or South America I ended up with after a long night down the pub.
A school in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, together with the parent-teach association (PTA), voted and agreed on letting children drink only water at school, but are now complaining about it. No energy drinks, no lemonade, no fizzy drinks: water. And if school staff feel children are eating sugary foods, they’ll send them home with a note about it for the parents. One kid had brought apple juice and a piece of butter cake to school and got such a note.
Parents are upset for various reasons. They feel their kids eat well at home, one kid’s parents says their kid doesn’t like water and came home crying, and there’s the parent that said “water is for dogs”. I’d say the first two comments are socially acceptable, but the last one is silly and ignorant.
The picture I used for this story is one we used a previous story entitled ‘Badly chosen picture with health article’, showing a teenager eating ontbijtkoek (gingerbread full of sugar and fat) and a vending machine full of similar sugary granola bars. And the article quoted was about ‘healthy eating’.
Some of the parents feel the ‘ban’ on juice should apply to the fat kids, not theirs – ouch. In Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district, which has a lot of obese children, there was even talk of banning fast food places close to schools a few years back. Instead, schools encourage and teach drinking water and eating proper food, and apparently that’s working. Surprise: encouraging works better than shaming.
I understand parents should decide what their kids eat, that’s their job. But when a parent says “water is for dogs”, then something’s wrong. I was brought up on juice because in 1970s we were told that was good for you, and I also hated water. Today I drink mostly water because we all know better now.
Water is not only for dogs, it’s for a healthy human existence.
Instead of environmentally unfriendly plastic trinkets, the city of Tilburg will have the honour of welcoming the royal couple this year on King’s Day waving handkerchiefs, if the Textile Museum gets its way.
On 27 April King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit Tilburg on King’s Day, which is also Wim-Lex’s 50th birthday. The idea is to wave at them using specially designed orange handkerchiefs, echoing the city’s former textile manufacturing glory.
People will be given free embroidered handkerchiefs instead of crap like the environmentally unfriendly plastic crowns seen above. Sure it’s good publicity for the Textile Museum, but then crap like those crowns are sponsored by lottery companies who prey on vulnerable people. And if you visit the museum, they’ll embroider a golden crown on it for you and you can even use them until 11 June to get into the museum for free.
In 2009 some angry welfare recipient had to be removed by the fire brigade from the roof, and last December someone wrote ‘waste of money’ on the roof, while in 2008 someone has written ‘a food bank would be better’.
The rotating house cost 348,000 euro, which apparently many people thought was an expensive use of tax payers’ money. It seems to me that since the artwork looks like an overpriced house (as in for 348,000 clams in Tilburg you’d get something bigger) has made it an easy target.
Back in September 2011, a project entitled ”Play Me, I’m Yours” by English artist Luke Jerram at Tilburg’s annual Incubate Festival featured 101 pianos
all over the city that people could play, painted in all kinds of colours and styles.
The pianos have been through all kinds of weather and are not functional anymore, but they make great conversations pieces and you can bid on them online. The proceeds will go to the foundation No Guts No Glory, which raises money for cancer treatment.
A project entitled ”Play Me, I’m Yours” by English artist Luke Jerram at Tilburg’s annual Incubate Festival will feature 101 pianos scattered around the city between September 12 and 18. Anybody can go and play the pianos in the parks, squares and at train stations. And they’ll surely be painted all kinds of pretty colours.
Some 200 musicians and music students have already showed a keen interest in giving concerts. And with so many people wanting to go and play the pianos, the city of Tilburg will surpass Jerram’s previous projects that took place in major cities such as New York and London.
Incubate donated the pianos and volunteer residents will babysit and care for the pianos during the event. Pet pianos, if you will. And with all this rain, that sounds like a good idea although all the rumours point to fantastic weather in September. And there will be music, too.
When mayor Vreeman of Tilburg goes to Changzhou in China next September, he will present the sister-city with a so-called Socialsofa, reports Brabants Dagblad (Dutch). The Social Sofa is an invention by local comedian Karin Bruers who wants the outdoors to be a place where people talk to each other again.
Meanwhile real Tilburgers shun the English, marketing-friendly name and call the thing ‘benkske’ (little bench).
The Socialsofa is made of concrete, weighs about 1,550 kilo, and can be illustrated using paints or tiles. The bench in the photo is one of eight placed in The Hague in October last year.
(Photo by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved. Design of this bench’s mosaic by Wouter Stips. The text reads “If You Love I Hope It’s Me.”)
Architect John Körmeling has just won (Dutch) the pitch for a new bridge to the Pius harbour in Tilburg, beating two other agencies. His open design has a large, rotating counter weight house and big friendly illuminated letters that spell the name of the area. City hall thinks the view from the counter weight house will be “attractive.” Körmeling is the man from Eindhoven who designed and built the controversial rotating house artwork in Tilburg.
Building of the bridge should start in 2010. A small exhibition of the design will be displayed starting next Tuesday at Hoevenseweg 2 in Tilburg, near the other bridge across the harbour canal.