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Computers monitor bus drivers for sleepiness

Posted on January 28th 2006 by Arthur in Life in Holland, News, Science & technology

This week a Dutch bus touring company in Noordwijk confirmed that it is testing an automated system that observes drivers with small cameras and sensitive sensors for signs that may indicate that the driver is nodding off. The new system is intended to reduce the number of accidents caused by bus drivers falling asleep. More »

Top 10 Funny Dutch Place Names

Posted on January 27th 2006 by Arthur in Life in Holland, Top Lists, Travel

There are over 7,000 different towns in the Netherlands and some of them have very funny names. Here are some of my favorite ones (in random order). More »

Bats in the Netherlands

Posted on January 23rd 2006 by Amy in Life in Holland, Nature, News

I think bats are very cool. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen one here since I moved to Holland seven years ago. According to (“the network for information about bats in the Netherlands”), 21 different bat species have been seen in the Netherlands. More »

The two types of soda bottle cap rings

Posted on January 22nd 2006 by Arthur in Life in Holland, Shopping & Stuff

Speaking of soda bottles, I have never understood why there are some plastic soda bottles (especially here in Europe; I have never seen them in the U.S.) that have caps with rings that do not come off. The half-stuck rings are sharp, always in the way and they are just plain annoying. Check out these comparison pictures. More »

Coke screws environment for better market share

Posted on January 19th 2006 by Amy in Life in Holland, Nature, News, Shopping & Stuff

At the end of this month, Coca-Cola in the Netherlands will offer their products in a new type of bottle. Currently PET bottles are used, and then recycled to be used again by various bottling plants. The new bottle is meant for one-time use only. The bottles will have a deposit on them; after being returned to grocery stores the bottles will be recycled. Material from the recycled bottles will be used to make new PET bottles or other plastic products. More »

Google: “We’re sorry, but this video is not available in your country”

Posted on January 12th 2006 by Arthur in Life in Holland, Pop culture, Television

This week’s newly launched Google Video Store has been very badly received by the press and the blogosphere (“So far it’s just a really crap web site,” writes The Register‘s Ashley Vance). Personally I am very disappointed that the TV shows available in the new video store (CSI, Survivor, Star Trek, to name a few) are not available outside the United States. More »

Steaming flood in Rotterdam

Posted on December 24th 2005 by Arthur in Life in Holland, News

In Rotterdam today a subterranean shopping area flooded with 600 cubic meters of boiling water from bursted pipes. Six people were brought to the hospital for second and third degree burns on their feet. Here are some photos. More »

Dolphin stranding at Oostvoornsemeer

Posted on December 22nd 2005 by Arthur in Leiden, Life in Holland, Nature, News

This week a White-beaked dolphin stranded in the Oostvoornsemeer, a lake south-west of Rotterdam here in the Netherlands. It is a very popular spot for diving schools, and it is where we finished our PADI Open Water Diver course this summer. Two bird-watchers spotted the dolphin and called the Eerste Hulp Bij Zeezoogdieren (EHBZ), or First Aid for Sea Mammals, who think the dolphin swam into the Rotterdam harbor last weekend during a storm. More »

Smoking bans in Europe

Posted on December 21st 2005 by Amy in Life in Holland, News

Last week, the Spanish Parliament voted to implement a smoking ban in public places such as restaurants and work places. The ban will go into effect on New Year’s Day. More »

Driverless robot buses crash, Part 2

Posted on December 17th 2005 by Arthur in Life in Holland, News, Science & technology

The crash between two driverless robot buses in Rotterdam on Tuesday 6 December was caused by a human error, reports Connexxion. More »