Earlier this week, Dutch fishing boat ‘Our Anna’ set off from Harlingen, Friesland to Danish waters when they heard a strange sound on board: it was a tortoise shell cat, hiding near the fish rinsing machine. They called her Katrien or Spikey and fed her a herring a day and gave her some water.
The kitty was scared and lost, but she’s fine now. The fishers are convinced she gained some weight on her trip as well.
Tomorrow the boat comes back to port, and with the help of the animal ambulance, they will sort out who the cat’s owner is because the cat cannot stay on board.
Amsterdam will get the world’s first fleet of autonomous boats, ushering in a new chapter in the international push for autonomous vehicles thanks to ROBOAT, the world’s first large-scale research that explores and tests the possibilities of autonomous systems on water. A collaboration between America’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), the ROBOAT project will have a round of testing in Amsterdam’s canals in September 2018.
“This project imagines a fleet of autonomous boats for transporting goods and people that can also work together to produce temporary floating infrastructure, such as pontoons or stages that can be assembled or disassembled in a matter of hours,” explains Carlo Ratti, Professor of the Practice of Urban Technologies in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
ROBOAT will also deploy environmental sensing to monitor water quality and offer data for assessing and predicting issues on public health, pollution, and the environment.
Here’s a smaller version zipping around Amsterdam’s canals:
Off the coast of the Netherlands near Wijk aan Zee, North Holland someone has apparently spotted and filmed Dutch-built yacht Oceanco Y712, the second biggest sailing yacht ever-built in the world, which looks like a modern-day pirate ship when its sails are out. Someone also took a video of its maiden voyage last February in Hoek van Holland, South Holland, which has that pirate feel as well, thanks to the weather.
The Y712 is 106 metres long (or 105 metres depending on sources), and earlier this year was the biggest yacht ever built until it was surpassed by the Jubilee Y714, which looks very different and is 110 metres long, making it the biggest yacht ever built in the world.
The rumours were that someone super rich was taking the Y712 out for a spin, but nobody knows who that was. I can tell you that Oceanco’s website is in English and in Russian, which gives you an idea of their clientele.
UPDATE: Now called the Black Pearl, the yacht belongs to a Russian man.
As if trying to change things for the better by voting wasn’t appealing enough, some Dutch cities have come up with amusing ways to convince their residents to vote tomorrow in the Dutch general election.
Hilversum is going to give people a condescending-sounding ‘voting diploma’, as if they were children learning how to swim, but swiftly make up for the condescension by giving them a free bluetooth speaker, so they can annoy people in the train during their commute.
In the village of Losser, Overijssel, they thought it would be a good idea for the mayor to get into a limo and pick up people all day long to go and vote. The goal is to encourage first time voters aka young people to vote, so apparently those questionable music videos have been sending the right message all along.
The big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague will use schools as polling stations to get the kids to do their civic duty by them not having to go far to vote. No limos for you!
And then if cycling, walking and rocking the limo isn’t doing it for you, there’s always taking a boat to the polling station in the region of Marker Wadden north of Amsterdam, which, I can tell you from personal experience, is an absolutely delightful place to visit by boat.
And then if transport and a bluetooth speaker is not your jam, imagine some good old-fashioned cupcakes, tea and coffee in Zeist, Utrecht, accompanied by live piano music. The goal here is to attract older voters that need to make an extra effort to vote. No transport for you.
Half of 24oranges HQ can vote and the other half will just hope for the best.
American Robert McDonald, a former Hollywood stunt man now living in the Dutch town of Emmeloord, has built a 45-foot replica Viking ship made of millions of wooden ice cream sticks and more than a ton of glue. It will set sail on Saturday for London at the start of its voyage to America along the same route taken by the Vikings. The ship took five years to build with the help of 5,000 Dutch school children and 15 million sticks.
McDonald named the ship the “Mjollnir” after the hammer of the mythic Norse god of thunder, Thor. After the 13-ton boat was lifted into the water by crane, McDonald stood calmly on the stern as a team of volunteers rowed the apparently sturdy vessel around the IJ River behind Amsterdam’s Central Station.