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Home » Archive for January 2006

New Dutch RFID passport easy to crack

Posted on January 31st 2006 by Arthur in Life in Holland, News, Science & technology

The Netherlands government is introducing a new passport in August 2006 with an embedded RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip that contains digital information about the holder, such as name, birthday, fingerprint and pass photo. However, a company from Delft demonstrated on Friday on the TV show nieuwslicht how easy it is to read (or destroy) the biometric data on the chip from a distance of around 10 meters. More »

Nationaal Park Zuid Kennemerland

Posted on January 29th 2006 by Arthur in Life in Holland, Nature, Travel

On this cold but beautifully sunny day we visited the closest national park to our home: Nationaal Park Zuid Kennemerland. The 3800 hectares (~ 1500 acres) park was opened in 1995 and is one of 20 National Parks in the Netherlands. The park runs for 7 to 8 km along the North Sea coast and consists of dunes, beach, forest and historical estates. More »

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 »

It is final: Disney buys Pixar

Posted on January 25th 2006 by Arthur in Disney, Leiden, Movies, News, Pop culture

After a lot of rumours it is now official that Disney acquires Pixar for $7.4 billion. I think this is a great deal for both companies. I was disappointed a few years ago when Michael Eisner let go of Disney’s contract with Pixar, but now it looks like Disney will continue to distribute Pixar’s films as it has for the last 12 years. 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 »

Rickshaw drivers guide at India bird sanctuaryexternal link

Posted on January 23rd 2006 by Arthur in Nature, Travel

Over 300 species of birds can be found in the Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur, India. As no motorized transport is allowed in the park, tourists who don’t wish to walk or cycle themselves can opt for a cycle rickshaw. More »

Hidden security tags in Old Navy jeans

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

Yesterday when leaving the Praxis DIY store, their security alarm went off, so they asked me to empty my pockets, and take off my jacket, shoes and belt. But the thing kept beeping. After ten minutes of walking back and forth through the damn security gate and showing them over and over again that my pockets were all empty, they decided to let me go, probably thinking I swallowed a tool from their store or something. Back home I discovered a hidden sewn-in (!) security tag in my new Old Navy jeans. 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 »