February 23, 2016

Elderly woman sews bags from abandoned umbrellas

Filed under: Fashion by Orangemaster @ 6:33 pm


After heavy wind and rainfall, Lil Jaunzems, 92 and from Amsterdam, goes out and collects abandoned umbrellas to make trendy bags out of them. When collecting umbrellas, newspaper Het Parool makes it sound like Jaunzems is out picking unwanted fruit that needs to be janked out of a branch or shell, saving the good bits to be brought home safely as raw material. People apparently look at Jaunzems funny when she’s out, like she doesn’t get that an umbrella is broken, but in true Amsterdam style, Jaunzems couldn’t care less and knows exactly what she’s getting up to.

Many of the bags have symbols of Amsterdam, from Heineken to cannabis and everything in between, so friends and family can ask for specific-looking bags. Before retiring Jaunzems used to sew jackets as a single mom with two children, but now she does this for friends and acquaintances for free and to pass the time.

(Link: www.parool.nl, some rights reserved)

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May 3, 2014

Measuring rain with smart umbrella invented by Rolf ‘MacGyver’ Hut

Filed under: Technology by Branko Collin @ 11:32 am

umbrella-55laney69Rolf Hut from Delft University of Technology wants to turn umbrellas into devices that help scientists measure rain, BBC reports.

Apparently measuring the old fashioned way using rain gauges has become too expensive. Dr Hut’s umbrellas will be outfitted with a piezo sensor stuck under the canvas to measure vibrations caused by falling rain and with Bluetooth capabilities.

The inventor told BBC: “Eventually every umbrella would come with this technology, or at least premium umbrellas would. And if you wanted to be involved, the moment you opened the umbrella, it would start sending data to your phone which uploads it to the cloud.”

It strikes me that there are all kinds of statistical problems with this idea. You’d first need to know when owners use their umbrellas. Some people may stay in during heavy rain regardless of whether they own an umbrella or not, some will use umbrellas in drizzles, some will use umbrellas in the sun.

In fact for a moment I thought this was a belated April Fools’ joke, especially considering the ‘uploading rain to the clouds’ comment above, but apparently the umbrella was presented in a Pooh bear prototype form to the general assembly of the European Geosciences Union which took place last week.

Dr Hut says on his university profile web page that his colleagues have dubbed him the ‘MacGyver scientist’ for coming up with innovative ways of measuring weather using off-the-shelf technology.

(Link: Bright, Photo: 55Laney69, some rights reserved)

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