December 21, 2013

Traffic signs for the colour blind and other short stories

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles,General by Branko Collin @ 1:19 pm

A couple of short stories today.

cars-no-entry-new-2012-branko-collin cars-no-entry-old-branko-collin1. Starting October 2012 transportation infrastructure operators in the Netherlands were allowed to use new traffic signs that have been optimised for colour blind people.

The new signs were given white lines to increase contrast between red and blue elements and to increase contrast of signs with a red border when viewed against a green background, the Dutch government said. Infrastructure operators (‘wegbeheerders’ in Dutch) are free to determine if and when they will replace the old signs. The Netherlands isn’t the first country to introduce road signs for people with deficient vision, I found examples on Flickr of similarly adapted signs in Italy and France.

2. Orangemaster and I attended the opening of the Dutch Rail Lost&Found pop-up store we wrote about earlier. We kind of rushed through it, so I did not get many photos (there is one below), but The Post Online’s photographer spent some more time there.

3. In the 1970s, the Netherlands were rapidly on their way to becoming a car sick country. Mark Wagenbuur has created several videos about how protesters managed to turn this development around. His most recent video explores how school children helped raise awareness for their particular plight in the densely populated Pijp neighbourhood in Amsterdam.


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February 25, 2012

The American ambassador’s jewels have been found

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 12:25 pm

So this news was already covered two weeks ago by, but I thought it so remarkable that I felt it’d warrant another mention.

Six years ago Dawn Arnall, wife to then-US ambassador, sub-prime crisis architect and billionaire Roland Arnall, forgot her 9,000,000 US dollar jewellery in the lobby of an unnamed hotel in The Hague.

She reported the jewellery as stolen, though the press doesn’t say to whom.

Hotel staff found a satchel containing the jewellery, which was apparently so big and garish that they mistook it for costume jewellery.

Presumably neither the insurer (who paid out) nor the police bothered to check with the hotel, and the treasure went unclaimed for six months. It was then handed over to a cleaning lady who left it in her linen closet for five years, until her curiosity got the better of her.

The cleaning lady brought the jewellery for appraisement to a jeweler who, the police of The Hague joke, is probably still on artificial respiration.

She then brought the jewellery to the police, who sent it back to the US, whatever that is supposed to mean.

The jewellery consisted of a necklace containing a 4 million euro pink 5-carat diamond, and various other jewels worth 3 million euro. The finder is hoping for a reward, although it is not certain that anybody is obliged to pay one.

Since there are holes in this story big enough to park an entire zoo in, if our readers have any additional information I would sure like to hear about it.

(Photo of unrelated costume jewellery by GlitzUK, some rights reserved)

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