Geoengineering op z’n Hollandsch

April 1st, 2017

Het is weer de eerste april. De dag waarop smakeloze grappen op een zekere mate van vergeving kunnen rekenen. Een bekende zoekmachine staat er bekend om die kans aan te grijpen om stof te doen opwaaien. Zo werd in 2004 aangekondigd een datacenter te openen op de maan, wat een stortvloed aan sollicitatiebrieven veroorzaakte. Dit herhaalde zich in 2008, toen een soortgelijk project op Mars werd aangekondigd – terwijl in 2016 de mic drop juist zorgde voor een soort van ontslaggolfje doordat mensen geheel onbedoeld erg onbeschofte mailtjes rond gingen sturen. Ook naar mensen die daar de humor, terecht, niet van in konden zien.

Dit jaar is het een tandje tammer. Je hebt een misentrope tuinkabouter die een tuin net zo smart belooft te maken als een home al smart kan zijn. Die is best grappig, en als deze echt zou bestaan zijn er zelfs best een paar nuttige toepassingen voor te bedenken.

Veel minder grappig zijn de filmpjes die doelbewust zijn overgoten met een Oudthollandsch sausje dat een wel heel onwelriekende spruitjeslucht verspreidt. De zelfrijdende fiets leent wel heel erg veel van de beroemde eenaprilgrap van automerk Tesla uit 2015, waarin een foutparkerende auto zelfstandig een paar blokjes rond gaat rijden om zodoende een parkeerbon te ontwijken – en nog veel dubieuzer, zelfs tenenkrommend, is het filmpje waarin een plaatjesdraaier aan de voet van de Leidse museummolen De Valk vertelt dat Nederland best leuk zou zijn als het wat minder zou regenen – wat op zich klopt – gevolgd door een nogal kinderlijk filmpje waarin de molens van Kinderdijk wolkjes voor de zon wegblazen op dezelfde manier als dat bij de Teletubbies gebeurt. Dat verklaart meteen waar de inspiratie vandaan zal zijn gekomen.

Geoengineering op z’n Hollandsch… terwijl wereldwijd belangrijke initiatieven worden ontwikkeld om de verwoestijning van het land en de acidificatie van de wereldzeeen een halt toe te roepen, de gevolgen van overbevolking een beetje te temperen en deze planeet uberhaupt leefbaar te houden verschijnt er een quasi-lollig filmpje waarin de suggestie wordt gewekt dat geoengineering alleen nut heeft om de Rijndelta in een soort subtropisch vakantieresort om te bouwen.

Het beste aan 1 april is dat het maar 1 dag duurt.

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DAB+

January 20th, 2017

Het is vandaag zeven jaar geleden dat Arjen Grolleman overleed bij een ongeluk in zijn eigen huis. Vijf dagen later, op 2 januari 2010 om drie uur ‘s middags, op het moment van zijn crematieplechtigheid, draaiden radiozenders in het hele land het nummer Tears Run Rings van Marc Almond. Grolleman hield van de radio, en die liefde was wederzijds. Alleen al door zijn rol binnen KinkFM een groot pleitbezorger van een meer pluriform radiolandschap. Helaas is ook nu, zeven jaar later, het via de ether verspreide zenderaanbod nog altijd schraal en monotoon – zelfs nu DAB+ de norm is geworden voor de verspreiding ervan. Jammer.

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Blue Monday

January 16th, 2017

Vandaag is het Blue Monday.

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Schrikkelseconde

January 1st, 2017

Niet vergeten nu de klok te verzetten

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Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

January 1st, 2017

Nog de allerbeste wensen…

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Squirrel bridge

December 6th, 2016

Squirrel bridges like these also amount to the apparent 6000 wildlife crossings internet memes tend to brag about.

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The country of the future

November 30th, 2016

Recently, someone pointed me to a video on Facebook praising The Netherlands for being the country of the future, backed by 7 facts. Sadly, a lot of these facts are mixed with fiction to such an extent it is safe to call them a fabrication or the result of wishful thinking.

1 The video states that The Netherlands is the only country in the world without stray dogs.
Although stray dogs are rare, stating it is the only country without stray dogs equates to jumping to conclusions.

2 There indeed is a solar powered bike lane which was opened in 2014. It has become common practice all over the world to fit all kinds of surfaces with solar panels.
The SolaRoad in Krommenie might indeed be the first purpose built cycling path equipped with solar panels, but one of the main reasons therefore lies in the fact it is not common practice elsewhere in the world to even build specific roads for cyclists only in the first place.

3 The video states there are charging points for cars every 50 meters.
In The Netherlands, there are roughly 18000 charging stations for cars – on a total surface of 41.5 square kilometers.
You don’t need to be a math geek to figure out hundreds of thousands charging stations would be needed to find one every 50 meters – unless, of course, you’re patient enough to charge a car by using a regular wall outlet.

4 There are no cars on some of the Frisian Islands, and in some small towns like Giethoorn and Orvelte. This is, however, exceptional. The Dutch are glued to their car to an extent it’d require a thermal lance to separate them from it – even if other means of transport are faster, cheaper or more economical or efficient, the car remains their preferred means of travel.

5 In April 2016, motion was backed by a majority of the House of Representatives calling to strive for merely selling zero-emission cars by 2025. This does in no way mean diesel or gasoline powered cars will be banned, or that they will no longer be available by 2025. The Dutch government has neither the intention nor the ability to sign a ban on combustion engines into law.

6 The video states 19 prisons had to shut down due to low crime rates.
There were plans to close 26 prisons between 2013 and 2018 and build 2 new ones. A majority of these have indeed closed their doors.
Though statistics do prove there is a decline in crime and there are significantly less people imprisoned than a decade ago, the closures lined out in the Masterplan DJI 2013-2018 are mainly meant to cut costs. As facilities close, electronically monitored house arrest is on the rise and it bacame common to house two detainees in one prison cell rather than one person per cell. All these measures add up, so it is an exaggeration to state dozens of prisons had to close because there is less crime. That’s just one single piece of the puzzle.

7 The video states there are 6000 wildlife crossings. This statement is accompanied by an image of an impressive ecoduct, spanning a 6 lane motorway.
In reality, 68 so called ecoducts are (being) built. Aside from those, there, obviously, also are simpler animal crossings in use, like squirrel bridges, toad tunnels and level deer crossings. Even if you take all these into account, the number 6000 is a blatent overstatement raising false assumptions.

Though parts of the aforementioned video are flattering, on a whole, exaggerations and misrepresentations of facts does more wrong than good.

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2121

November 28th, 2016

The Belgian brewer Brussels Beer Project recently wrote out a competition in which people are invited to suggest new kinds of beer.
The ones I have suggested are these;

Beerdrop
http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1727

Porter brought to taste with licorice, aniseed and caramel, giving it the aroma and flavour of licorice. In The Netherlands, this candy is referred to using the word drop and the average Dutchman munches away 2 kilograms of it per year.

Nat Neuzeke
http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1729

Another wildly popular candy are cuberdons, also known as Gentse Neuzekes. The candy consists mainly of sugar, gum arabic and raspberry.
In beer, it would resemble a framboise with a mildly higher viscosity than usual, to recreate the mouthfeel of actual cuberdons.

KBAC.eu
http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1730

In the former Soviet republics, kvass is a more popular softdrink than Coca Cola.
It is made from old bread, yeast and water. Due to the absence of hops, kvass is not considered beer, yet it is closely related, and, though an aquired taste, it deserves more appreciation in the West than it is currently getting.
KBAC is the homogryph of kvass written in the Cyrillic alphabet.

MMXVII
http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1731

Cervesia inspired by the recipe the Romans used 2017 years ago.

Until November 30th it is possible to vote for one or all of these suggestions by following the aforementioned links, and leaving a rating of 1-5.
If I win, I promise to buy a round of drinks :)

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De bierwedstrijd

November 24th, 2016

Brusselse bierbrouwer Brussels Beer Project heeft een prijsvraag uitgeschreven waarin wordt gevraagd naar creatieve suggesties voor nieuwe biervarianten. De suggestie met de meeste stemmen wordt straks daadwerkelijk eenmalig gebrouwen.
Hartstikke leuk, natuurlijk, en daarom heb ik besloten mee te doen, en in te zetten op wat meer uitgesproken smaken als tegenhanger voor de tegenwoordige vaak zo allesoverheersende hopbitterheid. Mijn inzendingen zijn deze;

Beerdrop.
Een rijke porter met een dropachtige afdronk dankzij de toevoeging van zoethout en steranijs.

http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1727

Nat Neuzeke.
Een fris lentebier die dankzij de toevoeging van frambozen qua smaak wat lijkt op Gentse cuberdons.


http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1729

KBAC.eu
Het West-Europese antwoord op de on Oost-Europa ongekend populaire dorstlesser kvass.
KBAC is het homogrief voor de Cyrillische spelling van kvass.


http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1730

Speciaal voor de gelegenheid is deze pagina ook bereikbaar via KBAC.eu en KBAC.nl :)

MMXVII
Geschiedenis in een fles. Cervesia zoals de Romeinen het 2017 jaar geleden al maakten.


http://www.beerproject.be/en/contest/1731

Stemmen kan via de bovenstaande links. Iedere inzending kan beoordeeld worden met 0-5 kroondoppen en er is geen maximum aan het aantal beoordelingen dat je mag geven.
Natuurlijk zou ik nóóóóit bedelen om stemmen, maar iedere klik wordt gewaardeerd, en mocht ik iets winnen dan geef ik uiteraard een rondje :p

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Vrijdag de dertiende

May 13th, 2016

De laatste hand willen leggen aan een perfect verwoorde email, en door een misklik het hele tekstvak selecteren en vervangen door een spatie. Da’s vrijdag de dertiende.

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Jakarta

February 12th, 2016

On the first morning of my stay, I join my host on her way to work. This involves a ride on the back of a moped, two short hauls aboard a minivan and a trip in her colleague’s car. We’ll have breakfast in the local market at a stall going by the name ibu Rita. Food containers with ready made meals are on display, and upon request they get served on a plate. Delicious. Then, breakfast gets washed away with delight black coffee from a fully operational roaster named Rosso. Java often is associated with coffee, and that’s for a reason. My tastebuds shamelessly feasts on this cup of black gold. What a delight :)
From here, I am helped onto an express bus taking me to central Jakarta. Though, well, Jakarta is so spread out, even the center is rather large. It is nice and impressive to walk amidst its colossal cityscape filled with shiny highrises. After some walking, I reach the landmark of the city, better known as Monas, which, indeed, means National Monument. A proud arrow shaped statue, rising up into the sky and housing a museum in its base. A museum which, sadly, appears to be closed.
To stay hydrated, I buy a small bottle of soda on a nearby market. Two guys try to persuade me into playing a game that involves throwing woorden rings toward packs of cigarettes. I kindly dismiss their offer, stating I’m a non-smoker.
In the park surrounding the Monas several other statues are found. One of the most striking ones is a statue showing three Javanese women, of which one is dancing and another breastfeeding a child.
From here, it is my intention to visit a Padan restaurant. Fate had other plans, though, and some heavy tropical rainfall caused me to look for shelter at a coffee place that also proved to serve beer and food. Not what I had in mind, but still rather good, and a good way to mentally prepare myself for the way back home. The first leg of that trip proved easy and convenient. The new Transjakarta bus system uses designated lanes, allowing it to zoom past traffic, and all that’s needed to ride it is opening a gate by gently tapping it with a smartcard, deducting 3500 rupiah from the balance stored on it.This brought me to Blok M fast and in a convenient fashion.
The rest of the trip proved a bit less convenient. Having to go to a part of the city not yet served by transJakarta sentenced me to using MetroMini. Small orange and blue buses equipped with seats that’re officially too small to accommodate me. My upper legs are simply too long to fit in between my own seatrest and the one in front of me. Traffic is dense and only moving forward slowly, and the interior of the bus is rather noisy, due to driving with opened doors and street musicians jumping in here and there to play a short set and walk around the bus carrying an empty foil bag, collecting money. The noise and the smoke has a noticable effect. My eyes sting, my throat hurts, my head aches and you can actually taste the carbohydrates in the air. Compared to this, the very last leg of the trip is easy. At There are lots of intersections where motorcyclists casually seem to hang out, but when passing by their true intention becomes obvious. These are ojeks, working as an informal kind of taxi service. Hitching a ride is easy, and before you know it, I’m back where this day started.

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Dubai

February 11th, 2016

After a miniature pub crawl through terminal A of DxB, it’s time to move toward the gate from where my flight to Jakarta will depart. I pick up the local English language newspaper, with the intention to read it aboard the plane. From the gate, a bus drives us onto the tarmac to a Boeing 777 parked in a rather remote location.
Again, the plane is not filled to capacity, and again I’ve got three seats at my disposal to nap on. THE magic trick to prevent jetlag.
Despite sleeping throughout most of the flight, my onboard data usage proved rather high. The explanation; one of the apps on my phone has the tendency to backup all photos taken to cloud storage, _if_ it is night, connected to a charger and a wifi network. In this day and age of transatlantic fibre optic cables, it feels kinda oldschool, knowing my photos are now relayed via satellite for a change.
Interesting when taking into account I only bought a data package for this leg of the flight in order to look up the address of my sponsor, to fill out on the immigration form.
Once in Jakarta, it took me some time to find the right line to enter the country through, but eventually I found the booth where I could get my visa stamped. After the usual rituals, involving withdrawing money in local currency, toilet break, gathering luggage and purchasing a local SIM card with a pleasantly bulky 4G data allowance. Just no not run out.

Then, it is time to take a first breath of sultry, humid tropical air. Mixed with exhaust fumes, but still, the warmth and waving palm trees, knowing people back home still experience winter is a delight.
Two of my acquiantances are coming to pick me up. First thing they do as we leave the parking lot is the huge billboard, announcing the solar eclipse. This looks promising.
Afterward we opt for coffee. This brought us to a rather generic mall away from the city, but it’s always a good thing to share food and beverages in good company. My first ever visit to Indonesia has officially started.

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Schiphol

February 10th, 2016

As much time you may or may not dedicate to packing and heading to the airport, eventually you do end up feeling rushed. In this event, I blame Microsoft for that. Before leaving, I wanted to perform the recomended monthly test of the ground fault circuit breaker I so often end up skipping, before switching off all circuits except for the one feeding the fridge. Yet, my laptop decided it was a good time to install updates and service packages just as I made my way to the circuit board and I decided it would be better to leave it powered for the time being and wait until it finished. This actually bought me some time to take out a last bag of trash, so Johan Cruijff was right when he said “Elk nadeel hep z’n voordeel”

Though I had already checked in online yesterday, it does give peace of mind to have dropped off all checked luggage and be cleared by customs. Arriving at the railway platform minutes after the train left and having to wait for another to arrive did, obviously, not bring me any closer to this peace of mind – but it should, yes should, be manageable to be at the counter before it closes. And indeed, I did arrive at the counter more than one and a half hours before the scheduled departure of the flight, and after being greeted by ecceptionally friendly ground staff and dropping off my luggage, it is time to go through customs. Beside the booths where humans perform the passport checks, there are now some automated gates, apparently able to optically read out passports and
match it with the info on the RFID chip. It appears The Netherlands secretly seceded from the European Union, though – because, when I tried it, a message popped claiming these gates are only to be used by EU citizens. Which, to my best knowledge, I still am…

Not feeling any urge to shop or visit a cafe, I decide to manage some last emails and such near the gate where the gracious little bird that’ll bring me to Dubai is already parked. The difference in size is striking, compared to the Aeroflot jet at the adjacent gate. Obviously, I take some pictures. I still have that awkward hobby of wanting to snap an image of every plane I’ve ever flown on. Why? It just happens to be one of the things you start doing and never stop with.

As the gate opens, the same ground stewardess who initially printed my boardung pass and issued the claim ticket for my bag also is the one scanning my boarding pass and granting entrance to the gate. It takes significantly less time to embark the plane than the previous time I flew to Dubai, but the reason behind that is that the economy class of this flight is not nearly filled to capacity. I’ve got an entire row of seats aboard this A380 at my disposal, which proves a great opportunity to get some rest. As much as I dislike reclining seatbacks, that much I appreciate being able to occupy three or four seats at once and turn them into a makeshift bed. though they offer literally thousands of things to do or watch aboard this flight, nothing beats getting some sleep – or, well, sleep, and the ability to connect to the internet throughout the flight. What happened to Justine Sacco in 2013 has become a thing of the past :)

In Dubai, there’s a four hour layover. Leaving plenty of time for some food and drinks. The airline issued a meal voucher, which bought me a sandwich and a soda – and afterward, my creditcard bought me a delightful cup of coffee, and a Lebanese lager to pass the time until the gate opens for my flight to Jakarta.

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Nog 120 jaartjes slapen..

October 7th, 2015

Op de kop af 120 jaar na vandaag, op 7 oktober 2135, zal er eindelijk, voor het eerst sinds 1715, weer een totale zonsverduistering zichtbaar zijn in Nederland! Ik kan haast niet wachten!

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Weird Al Yankovic

October 1st, 2015

Wie een goed gevoel voor humor heeft, heeft zich gisteravond uitstekend kunnen vermaken bij het optreden van Weird Al Yankovic in de Melkweg. Het is zelfs niet nodig er heel veel woorden aan vuil te maken. Het was gewoon twee uur lang feest op het podium, met heel veel kostuumwisselingen, hoogtepunten uit een oeuvre dat vier decennia omspant en veelr ecent werk, een uitstekende begeleidingsband, en het begin van het optreden zal zelfs indruk hebben gemaakt op mensen die n´&eaucte;t bij het concert aanwezig waren. Een optreden beginnen, door middenop het Leidseplein het eerste nummer in te zetten, quasi casual daarvandaan naar de zijingang van de Melkweg te lopen en daarna, al zingend, het podium letterlijk te beklimmen. Vanuit de zaal allemaal zichtbaar op de backdrop achter het podium, maar toch ook zeker geen onopvallende verschijning voor de terrasjesmensen op het Leidseplein en de mensen die voor de ingang van de Sugarfactory in de rij stonden voor het optreden van Lou Barlow.
Weird Al Yankovic is geen baas, maar een ware grootmeester, en hij verdient niet alleen een standbeeld, maar ook een heel museum.

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