October 23, 2017

Training crows to pick up cigarettes butts

Filed under: Animals,Health,Technology,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:34 pm


According to Statistics Netherlands, in 2016 about 24% of the Dutch population over 25 smoked and many people who still do continue to act as if the world is their ashtray and litter everywhere. To counter this serious problem, a Dutch designer has come up with a way to pick up their butts up that involves training crows to do it.

A start-up called Crowded Cities set up by designers Bob Spikman and Ruben van der Vleuten plans to manufacture and install ‘crow bars’ in the urban landscape. The idea is to teach crows to pick up cigarette butts in exchange for food that is dispensed by the same device.

The video below also mentions that some research will have to be carried out to see how making crows do litterbugs’ dirty work will affect the crows on the long term. You can be sure animal activists will keep an eagle eye on that development.

Spikman explains that their machine will not dispense food if the bird were to put a lollipop stick on the delivery platform, and the video also mentions that the food is only dispensed once the butt is on the delivery platform, as that would make it quite an expensive bird feeder.

Getting people to pick up after themselves has clearly failed and any ideas the pair had over a type of vacuum machine to pick up butts weren’t feasible, so they’ve gone with crows. Even biodegradable cigarette filters aren’t an option because plastic and chemicals still end up polluting the ground and nature.

Watch the first six minutes of this video in English to get a feel for the crow bar.

(Link: trouw.nl, Screenshot of video)

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September 20, 2009

Made from pig

Filed under: Animals,Design by Branko Collin @ 11:34 am

Christien Meindertsma documented 185 products contributed to by a single pig in an exhibition at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam last year, and in a book (also available in a pigskin bound version, of course). Pig 05049 won her one of the five 2009 Index design awards in August.

The list of good things coming from a pig includes bacon of course, yoghurt, pudding, paints, enamels (bone china!), cigarettes, brakes, bullets, and washing powder. The distinct smell of crayons is pig.

The Index Award prize money, 100,000 euro, will go in part to making the book available on the web, but if you want print copies you can buy them via Amazon and so on. The print version shows all the products life-sized.

(Via Jason Kottke. Source photo: Indexaward.dk.)

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March 7, 2009

Grootveld funeral

Filed under: Art,History by Branko Collin @ 5:12 pm

Today Robert Jasper Grootveld was buried in Amsterdam. The day started with a ‘happening’ at Spui square, followed by a service, after which Grootveld, one of the leaders of the 1960s Provo movement, was sailed to the Zorgvlied cemetery on top of a styrofoam raft for burial. 24 Oranges was present at the happening and also took photos of the boat ride to the cemetery.

At the Spui Grootveld was carried around the Lieverdje statue three times while people shouted “hi – ha – happening” and “uche uche uche” (cough cough cough). In the mid-Sixties Grootveld, self-proclaimed ‘anti-smoke magician’, would hold happenings in the square in which he would circle the statue that had been put there by cigarette manufacturer Crescent .

Later today I will upload more photos to our Flickr stream.

Update: photos have been added to Flickr.

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October 6, 2008

Major art sale due to cigarette factory closing

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 8:03 am
Cigarette ban

Over the last 50 years, the British American Tobacco (BAT) factory in Zevenaar, Gelderland has built up a large collection of modern art. The factory will soon be closed and the artwork in the Stuyvesant collection will be auctioned off, albeit not as a one lot.

“At the end of the 1950s, factory director Alexander Orlow started hanging works of art among the cigarette-making machines. The workers needed something interesting to look at to stave off boredom and increase their productivity, he felt. Orlow went for modern, avant-garde art – large, colourful and mainly abstract paintings.

In collaboration with the directors of the Rotterdam Boijmans van Beuningen museum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, it acquired over 1,500 pieces, 150 of which are often loaned to major exhibitions. But on August 15 this year, BAT announced that it would auction off the total collection.”

The commotion surrounding the sale is due to the fact that the cigarette manufacturer tried to find a buyer who would keep the collection together and accessible to the public, but had been unable to do so. Mayor Jan de Ruiter, who has been trying to save the collection since 2006, spoke to the BAT executive in London and mobilised the Dutch state, the provincial government and the Mondriaan Foundation. He spoke to Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum about the possibility of an annex in Zevenaar. He had calculations made on how much a Stuyvesant Museum would cost. Everyone was helpful yet all his efforts failed.

Neither Sotheby’s nor BAT want to comment on the total value of the art (which includes paintings by Karel Appel, Corneille and Anton Henning), but it is believed to be between 15 and 25 million euro.

(Link: nrc.nl (In English))

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July 14, 2008

Smokers to get smell of cigarettes back in cafés

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 10:55 am

With the ban on smoking in cafés comes the inevitable stink of us non-smokers. We reek of sweat and of not knowing how to have a good time, just the way our Protestant government wants it. A company in Groningen wants to remedy the former. Rwin Showtechniek rents out a device that will spread any of an array of 150 scents across a room, including the smell of a good Havana, and of cigarettes. Shown here is the Multi-Scent 1, which can disperse one scent through a room, but Rwin Showtechniek claims to be able to spread multiple scents at once, which probably means they also bought a Multi-Scent 3 or 6.

Via Z24 (Dutch).

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June 30, 2008

Last call before the smoking ban

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:12 am
Cigarette ban

This past weekend in and around Amsterdam and probably throuhgout the rest of the country a number of smoking parties were held where people could smoke just about anything including marijuana and haschsch where normally etiquette dictates that that is more of a coffeeshop thing. A DJ friend over at Ghetto Restaurant on the Warmoestraat played music about smoking and cigarettes, and cigar aficionados had get togethers all over town, if I can believe all the flyers I saw. We all know that the French, Irish, Canadians and Americans all run out outdoors in packs to smoke one, even two cigarettes in a row and then get back to their food and drinks left with the friends who don’t smoke. The Dutch also know that tomorrow, 1 July, Big Brother won’t necessarily be coming by to check and see if everyone has radically changed their habits.

Predictions are fun when they are not taken seriously, so here are some predictions for the upcoming month as regards the smoking ban.

1) The first major fine from a respectable establishment will make the news.
2) Some places will pay the fines and let people smoke in protest, at least for a while.
3) All kinds of private clubs with membership will cash in, as the ban on them will not apply.
4) Any kind of weirdo initiative will make the news, especially anything related to coffeeshops.
5) More establishments than expected will either close or change hands.
6) There will be clashes between smokers who persist and non-smokers who feel they have won the war.

Let’s wait till the smoke clears.

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