February 4, 2018

Groningen Rhapsody, protest song about earthquakes by Maartje & Kine

Filed under: Music,Nature,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 4:37 pm

The ninth largest gas field in the world is located under the Dutch province of Groningen and extensive exploitation has led to an instability of the ground. In 2015 local comedy duo Maartje & Kine wrote this parody of a famous rhapsody in which they lament the troubles the region has seen.

groningen-rhapsody-maartje-kineThe lyrics are in Dutch, but you could try your luck with YouTube’s automated translation. Here are some quotes to get you going.

“Open your eyes, look at your barn and see… [a crack].”
“Our cows only produce milkshake these days.”
“He is the minister, evil and sinister.”

Last month, Groningen was hit by a gas exploitation induced earthquake that registered 3.4 on the Richter scale. It was the strongest quake in Groningen since 2012 and the fifth quake that month. As a result, 3,000 citizens filed insurance claims, on top of the 100,000 claims made earlier.

(Illustration: partial screenshot of the video, YouTube / Maartje & Kine)

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October 14, 2016

Diffuser alerts Internet uses to data leaks

Filed under: Design,Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

Graphic artists Leanne Wijnsma and filmmaker Froukje Tan have created a product called ‘The Smell of Data’, a ‘grenade-shaped scent diffuser’ designed to alert Internet users of data leaks from their smartphones, tablets and computers. After all my recent reading on data security by Edward Snowden and Jacob Appelbaum (did you know he’s studying in Eindhoven?), you’d think a diffuser like that would be on almost constantly. Since most people don’t experience the consequences of a data leak, they don’t really care until something goes terribly wrong and by then it’s too late, a bit like carbon monoxide.

Wijnsma and Tan researched the human response to gas leaks, inspired by a 1937 explosion in Texas caused by an unnoticed gas leak. The incident prompted the government to artificially add an odorant to odourless gases (tert-Butylthiol, which smells like rotten eggs), making them more easily detectable. Carbon monoxide, also know as the ‘silent killer’, is a byproduct of combustion by stoves or heating not working properly in a home and is odourless, which makes you feel grateful for the smell of rotten eggs keeping you safe.

Launched in September 2016 at the Science Museum in London, The Smell of Data is meant to give people the same reaction as smelling a gas leak, hoping that people will finally take it seriously. Watch the video:

(Link: www.dezeen.com, Photo of grenade by macspite, some rights reserved)

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