Who got a flu shot?

Posted by Amy in Life in Holland

Last week I got a flu shot. For the first time it was offered to all employees at my company, at no charge. Okay, so the shot isn’t going to protect me from bird flu. There are still good reasons that young, healthy people should get the shot: More »

December 7th 2005 | 5:39 pm CET | 3 Comments »

Bird watching in the city

Posted by Amy in Birds, Nature

We live close to the center of Leiden. Our back yard is very small and paved with bricks. The idea of attracting feathered friends to our garden is a bit misguided, as there are dozens of pet cats prowling through the neighborhood. Last year we put up a substantial bird feeder in the middle of the yard, but on the first day a cat jumped into it. More »

December 7th 2005 | 12:50 pm CET | No Comments »

Driverless robot buses crash

Posted by Arthur in Life in Holland, News, Science & technology

Two driverless shuttle-buses crashed in Rotterdam this morning causing a lot of damage. No passengers were inside at the time of the accident. More »

December 6th 2005 | 8:28 pm CET | 3 Comments »

More TV on the Internet

Posted by Arthur in Pop culture, Television

Apple today expanded their selection of TV shows on their iTunes Music Store. ABC’s Lost and Desperate Housewives have been available since October, but today new and old shows from NBC, Sci-Fi and USA were added. Also this week CNN started online television with their new CNN Pipeline service, with four commercial-free live feeds for $2.95 per month.
More »

December 6th 2005 | 8:11 pm CET | 1 Comment »

Counting down the days

Posted by Amy in Life in Holland, Personal

Someone has been playing Sinterklaas in my office. Last Friday, everyone found a chocolate letter sitting on his or her desk in the morning. This morning we were all surprised with an advent calendar; a small chocolate treat waits behind each door for the countdown to Christmas. More »

December 1st 2005 | 12:50 pm CET | No Comments »

Confessions of an iPod zombie

Posted by Amy in Life in Holland

Lately, on weekday mornings, I have been waking up at about 5:45, give or take 10 minutes. My alarm is set for 6:00. This has been going on for a few months now and it’s a bit disconcerting. It doesn’t matter when I go to bed; my internal clock somehow still beats the electric one. With such an early wake-up time, I have been able to arrive at work at around 7:20, which means I can leave at 4, which is great. Well, it would be great if there was a bus to catch at 4:10. But the first bus is scheduled for 4:27 and more often arrives after 4:30. More »

November 30th 2005 | 9:19 pm CET | 1 Comment »

Interview with a robot

Posted by Arthur in Science & technology

I recently sat down with Encarta Instant Answers, a new Artificial Intelligence robot from Microsoft that works through MSN Messenger. I asked it about what it’s like to answer millions of questions of thousands of strangers. More »

November 30th 2005 | 6:00 pm CET | 57 Comments »

Google Map details outside US and UK please

Posted by Arthur in Websites & Tools

One of the biggest hypes on the Internet this year has been Google Maps. The ability for web designers to use the Google Maps API free of charge and use the real-time satellite and map imagery software is just brilliant. Thousands of sites are using it, and I’m amazed that Google’s servers can cope with all the traffic. It’s dead-easy too — I had a play and set up this map of our travels fairly quickly. But what’s with the lack of map details outside the US, Canada, Japan and the U.K.? Not even capitals (like Paris, Rome or Sydney) are marked. More »

November 28th 2005 | 8:58 pm CET | 3 Comments »

Beware pirates!

Posted by Arthur in News, Pop culture

It’s well over two months after Talk Like A Pirate Day, but pirates are a hot topic at the moment. While Disney has been working all week to keep spoilers of their two Pirate sequels off the web, the set of Pirates of the Carribean (see the brand-new Dead Man’s Chest trailer!) has been visited by real pirates. The production has come to a halt after four robberies in which $20,000 worth of cash and equipment were taken from the set, and two cast members were “forced to flee for their lives”. More »

November 28th 2005 | 8:14 pm CET | No Comments »

NOVA National Film Festival 2005

Posted by Arthur in Life in Holland, Pop culture

My brother, film-maker Patrick de Wolf, has won a bronze medal and the special award of film-maker with a promising future for his 12-minute short Tarot at the Netherlands NOVA National Film Festival 2005 for amateurs this weekend. More »

November 27th 2005 | 9:34 pm CET | No Comments »