kottke.org posts about The Netherlands
The roads in The Netherlands are getting a boost. Starting in 2013, experimental designs that glow in the dark will be installed on a couple hundred meters of road. The design, which uses a special powder that 'charges' in the sun and can glow for about 10 hours. Other concepts involve powders that display different designs based on weather, which could be used to remind drivers of icy conditions.
The Smart Highway by Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure management group Heijmans won Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Awards, and has already gone beyond pure concept. The studio has developed a photo-luminising powder that will replace road markings -- it charges up in sunlight, giving it up to ten hours of glow-in-the-dark time come nightfall. "It's like the glow in the dark paint you and I had when we were children," designer Roosegaarde explained, "but we teamed up with a paint manufacture and pushed the development. Now, it's almost radioactive".
The idea is to not only use more sustainable methods of illuminating major roads, thus making them safer and more efficient, but to rethink the design of highways at the same time as we continue to rethink vehicle design. As Studio Roosegaarde sees it, connected cars and internal navigation systems linked up to the traffic news represent just one half of our future road management systems -- roads need to fill their end of the bargain and become intelligent, useful drivers of information too.
Matthew Dent's new coinage for the UK was pretty great, but this Dutch commemorative coin is a fully contemporary chunk of wow.
On the front, the names of famous Dutch architects form an image of the queen while some Dutch architecture books on the back form an outline of The Netherlands. The design was done using free software running on Ubuntu/Debian. (via design observer)
Most of the town of Baarle-Hertog is in Belgium but some spots are in the Netherlands, sprinkled into the Belgian majority like chocolate chips, not divided neatly by a line.
The border is so complicated that there are some houses that are divided between the two countries. There was a time when according to Dutch laws restaurants had to close earlier. For some restaurants on the border it meant that the clients simply had to change their tables to the Belgian side.
An interview with Ootje Oxenaar, who designed a whole range of Dutch banknotes in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. "On the 1000 guilder note, it became a 'sport' for me to put things in the notes that nobody wanted there! I was very proud to have my fingerprint in this note - and it's my middle finger!"
I thought that said "Netherlanders"...I was ready to put that in the "odd things I didn't know about the Dutch" column.
Fire at a fireworks factory = lots of explosions. I went to a fireworks display when I was a kid and about 5 minutes in, the structure they were launching them out of caught on fire and the rest of the display went off in the space of 2-3 minutes. Best fireworks I've ever seen...
Update: Wikipedia has more on this explosion, which occurred in The Netherlands in 2000. (thx to the dozens who sent this in)
Ran across Karin-Marijke and Coen on their SE Asian trip...they were parked in Bangkok near Khao San. They've been on the road from the Netherlands since May 2003.
I posted a link on Friday to an article discussing neat words in non-English languages (taken from the new book, The Meaning of Tingo) and cited the Dutch word "plimpplampplettere" as my favorite. The article says:
But it's those fun-loving people in the Netherlands who should have the last word -- the phrase for skimming stones is as light-hearted as the action: plimpplampplettere.
Several Dutch have emailed to say that there's no such word in their language. Language Log says we should take the book with a huge grain of salt:
De Boinod is no linguist (he's a researcher for the BBC comedy quiz show QI), but he claims to have read "over 280 dictionaries" and "140 websites" (or, according to his publisher's site, "approximately 220 dictionaries" and "150 websites" -- take your pick). It's safe to assume that the fact-checking for such books is rather minimal -- if a website says it, it must be true, right?
The lesson here is don't believe everything you read on the web about books based on what someone read on the web.
20 unusual non-English words sent in by readers of the BBC Magazine (in response to this article about a new book on unusual words). Plimpplampplettere, the Dutch word for skipping stones, is sublime.