Today, the first ever gender neutral passport has been issued to the 57-year-old Leonne Zeegers of Breda, Noord-Brabant. Instead of having a ‘v’ (‘vrouw’ = woman) or ‘m’ (‘man’, same as in English) in their passport, they have an ‘x’, making them the first Dutch person to have such a passport.
The issuing of this passport comes after a court decision earlier this year in Roermond, Limburg, claiming that gender was a question of gender identity and not of sex characteristics. When Leonne was born, the doctors were not able to determine with any certainty if they were a boy or a girl, and as such was an intergender person back when the term was not used as it is today. Back in the day, the parents had to pick a gender, so they went with male ‘because it was easier’. Later in life, Leonne realised they didn’t feel like a man, and switched their gender to female, but that didn’t help because they really felt like neither, a choice that didn’t exist back then.
Hopefully the move will also encourage many other Dutch instances to scrap registering gender for no actual reason than force of habit. According to Dutch interest groups, some 4 percent of the Dutch feel like Leonne does.
Tags: Breda, gender, passport
BioscienZ, an applied microbiology startup Biotech company from Breda, Noord-Brabant, has been successful in producing chicken egg protein without chickens using fungi.
Egg protein is used in a multitude of foods and replacing it with a plant-based option seems like a much sought-after solution. The process involves having a genetically engineered fungus call ‘GRAS’ produce ovalbumin, the main component of chicken egg protein. And the reason it’s such a big deal is because GRAS has been producing twenty times more ovalbumin than the current world record.
BioscienZ expects to be able to produce the protein commercially within 4-6 years from now using sugar beet, sugar cane or grain-based sugars.
Tags: Breda, chicken, eggs, protein
A six-meter-high Inflatable Refugee, an art project by Dutch-Flemish duo Schellekens & Peleman, will be floating around the waters of Breda, Noord-Brabant as of today, after having done the same in big cities such as Venice and Copenhagen.
The refugee is made of the same material as the rubber boats used by human traffickers to transport refugees. As Schellekens & Peleman explains, the rubber is too fragile for the sea, making this figure extra vulnerable.
Will the refugee arrive safely on land or will he pushed away? The size was very deliberate, representing how the Western world looks at the refugee problem. Does he represent an opportunity or a problem? The goal was to start a discussion.
(Link: omroepbrabant.nl, Photo from Facebook)
Tags: Breda, Noord-Brabant, refugees
Photo by Peter Cox
Dutch radio station 538 is asking their listeners to vote on the ‘Ugliest artwork of the Netherlands’. The nine nominees include a ‘pooping skater’ in Pijnacker, the awkward arch in Amstelveen and something I actually like, the ‘Big Funnelman’ (their spelling, not mine) in Breda.
Click here to vote!
(Link: amstelveenz.nl, Photo of ‘Big Funnelman’ by Peter Cox)
Tags: Amstelveen, Breda, contest, public art, radio
The theme of this year’s well-known Valtifest festival in Amsterdam is ‘On Fire’, and they are planning to let in some 500 people for free as long as they have natural red hair, which occurs in a small percentage of the Western European population.
Besides upsetting a lot of people who don’t fit the bill, it discriminates against a whole of people whose genes do not lean towards presenting with red hair, like a lot of non white people.
The joke on the festival’s website “don’t shave your pubic hair because we may look in your pants” isn’t going over well either, apparently. An appointed hairdresser downtown needs to check your hair first as well on specific dates, as you can’t just show up at the festival.
For the real red heads who just want to hang out with other red heads, the city of Breda still holds the Red Head Day in the fall, and this year it will be on 3 September 2016.
(Links: trendingvandaag.eenvandaag.nl, www.entertainmentbusiness.nl, Photo of last years visitors by Eddy Van 3000, some rights reserved)
Tags: Breda, red hair, red heads
Breda-based Dutch design studio Moooi is launching a new company called Moooi Carpets with an inaugural collection of photo-realistic designs by Studio Job, Ross Lovegrove, Neri & Hu (as shown above) and many more.
Moooi Carpets explains that it uses advanced technology to print designs directly onto carpet at a higher definition than ever before. Its printing plant will be able to print everything from rugs to full-width fitted carpet as well as one-off designs. “It’s the reinvention of the carpet,” says Moooi CEO Casper Vissers.
“The carpets are produced using a giant machine that measures 100 metres long. Its size allows it to print designs up to four metres wide in unlimited colours, without having to change the dye injectors in its Chromojet printer.”
(Link and photo: www.dezeen.com)
Tags: Breda, carpets, Moooi
You’re part of a gang of six guys who have robbed an elderly woman aged 84 of her bank card: what do you do next? You and your mates go and catch the movie ‘Fast & Furious 7’ somewhere in Breda, paying with said bank card and get caught because you all share the IQ of a tree.
The woman noticed her bank card was missing after having bought groceries and probably checked online to see if her card had been used elsewhere, like at the local cinema. The police grabbed the stupid six at the cinema because they bought numbered seats, which is a thing in the Netherlands, along with drinking beer while watching a movie.
A bit like a bad car chase scene, one of the stupid six managed to flee and lock himself in the disabled bathroom only to get caught as well because the cops saw him run into it.
(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Paris Louvre facepalm by Phelan Riessen, some rights reserved)
Tags: Breda, dumb criminals, theft, theives
Late November’s opening of the temporary exhibition ‘Sense of Smell’ of the Avans Hogeschool in Breda, a research project entitled ‘Famous Deaths’ featured a metal morgue-like box with the smells depicting the last five minutes of four famous people: Whitney Houston, Princess Diana, Muammar Gaddafi and John F. Kennedy.
“Those wanting to experience Houston’s final moments are transported to a bathtub at the upmarket Beverly Hills hotel where the diva died in February 2012. To the sounds of splashing water and Houston’s voice, a visitor first gets a whiff of generic cleaner, used in hotels around the world, followed by the olive oil the singer used in her tub. Then a strong chemical odour, similar to that of cocaine fills the box, grabbing its occupant by the throat, followed by the sound of rushing water and then silence.”
The metal boxes were completely dark inside and rigged with pipes leading to bottles containing pressurised smells. A soundtrack is played and on queue different scents are released into the box to recreate a specific final moment.
Avans mentioned that other institutions showed interest in the installation, so who knows what dead person we may have the chance to smell in 2015.
(Links: www.bndestem.nl, www.businessinsider.com)
Tags: Breda, celebrities, death, smell
A two-metre-tall wooden penis was found to be insulting by a judge in Breda last Wednesday. Artist Peter de Koning of Steenbergen in Noord Brabant had made the statue to protest the way a police officer had treated his daughter. The officer had allegedly groped the girl from his car under the pretext of searching for marijuana late last year.
A note attached to the statue read “Protest statue, Nico van den Wijngaard, Steenbergen police”. Insulting the police is illegal in the Netherlands.
The court has sentenced De Koning to a suspended fine of 1,000 euro and also declared that the statue should be returned to its maker, BN De Stem reports. The police have yet to comply with that part of the verdict, according to Algemeen Dagblad.
In the meantime Van den Wijngaard has been transferred to a different patrol territory, for the second time in two years.
(Photo by Alan Woo, some rights reserved. Video: YouTube / Omroep Brabant)
Tags: Breda, Peter de Koning, police, statues, Steenbergen
The biggest gathering of red heads in the world took place in Breda yesterday, netting the city on Noord-Brabant a fresh mention in the Guinness Book of Records.
Some 5,000 gingers from over 60 countries descended upon the city for its annual Red Head Day. To break the old record of most natural red heads gathered in a single enclosed space, Breda had to collect more than 892 of them. In the end 1,255 red haired people did the job. The old record was established in 2010.
Brabant’s cities seem to like these record attempts. In 2007 Tilburg set the world fire breathing record, and later that same Breda set the record for cola fountains.
RTL Nieuws has a couple of photos of the event.
(Link: De Stentor. Photo of last years visitors by Eddy Van 3000, some rights reserved)
Tags: Breda, gingers, Guinness Book of World Records, hair, record breaking, records, red, red heads