Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Planet orbiting in the habitable zone discovered just 12ly away

A planet with conditions that could support life orbits a twin neighbour of the sun visible to the naked eye, scientists have revealed.
The world is one of five thought to be circling Tau Ceti, a star just 12 light years away that is almost identical to the sun.
Astronomers estimate the Tau Ceti planets to be two to six times bigger than Earth. One of them, with five times the Earth's mass, lies in the star's "habitable zone".
Also known as the "Goldilocks zone", this is the orbital region that is neither too hot nor too cold to allow liquid surface water and, potentially, life. Details of the discovery are to appear in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

How Programmers Read Code

From the article How Do We Read Code?
I recently got to participate in a psychological experiment for programmers. A friend of mine, Mike Hansen, is doing research on how people comprehend programs. The goal is to figure out some way of measuring what features in programming systems help programmers understand what they are doing, and how this can be used to make systems that lead to higher quality software. Mike is currently running an experiment where he shows people several short Python programs and asks them to tell the output of the program. The test subject is sitting in front of an eye tracker, so afterwards Mike can see where you were looking at various times during the experiment.
I recommend pausing the video for a second and studying the code yourself and then watch the eye-tracking as the participant solves the puzzle. Quite interesting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bus kan niet wachten...

Als reactie op mijn klacht bij Connexxion over een bus die 3 minuten te vroeg vertrok (en mij een half uur liet wachten),

"Een bus kan altijd iets te vroeg of te laat vertrekken. Doorgaans adviseren wij onze reizigers om minstens vijf minuten voor vertrektijd bij de halte te arriveren om het missen van een bus zoveel mogelijk te voorkomen."

Handig te weten dat ze vijf minuten te vroeg wel ok vinden. Dat betekent dat je meer dan een dag per jaar voor niks staat te wachten als je met de bus naar werk gaat.

Als innovatieve suggestie heb ik maar ingestuurd om de bussen voortaan te laten wachten bij de halte tot de vertrektijd is aangebroken. Net als treinen.

Monday, December 10, 2012


This is an ongoing project to entirely restore an official Star Trek Next Generation Enterprise Bridge set that Paramount created in the late 1990′s to be used for display, after the ORIGINAL TV Set was COMPLETELY DESTROYED in the film STAR TREK:GENERATIONS. This replica set was created under the supervision of Herman Zimmerman and Michael Okuda.
Check out their website, it's amazing.

The Kickstarter they were running is already 200% funfded.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Nationale wetenschapsquiz 2012 1/5

De wetenschapsquiz is er weer!
Je inzending moet binnenzijn op 29 december 23:59, de uitzending is dan op 30 december 22:10 op Nederland 2.

Vraag 1: Jij en een vriend houden allebei een open fles champagne vast. Je 'vriend' slaat met de bodem van zijn fles op de opening van jouw fles waardoor de champagne uit jouw fles spuit. Hoe komt dit?
A. Stof en vlokjes van de zijkant komen in de champagne
B. Er ontstaat een lage druk bij de bodem en zijkanten
C. Microbelletjes van de luchtlaag erboven komen in de champagne
Vraag 2: Twee metronomen met een net iets andere frequentie staan op een platform. Dit platform hangt aan veren en kan alleen horizontaal bewegen. Na enige tijd gaan de metronomen synchroon lopen. Hoe hoog zal dan de gemiddelde frequentie zijn?
A. Lager dan het gemiddelde van de twee startfrequenties
B. Exact gelijk aan het gemiddelde van de twee startfrequenties
C. Hoger dan het gemiddelde van de twee startfrequenties
Vraag 3: Waar komen de minste steekvliegen op af?
A. Wit paard
B. Bruin paard
C. Zwart paard
Op ons forum kunnen we eea bespreken zonder dat iedereen onze foutloze inzending overneemt.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

One Trippy Profile Pic

It made my brain hurt. And this guy looks a a bit like tha Douche

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amazing Northern Lights Time-lapse

Desperately want to see them in real life some time. 2013 is solar maximum, who's up for a trip? :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Global Life Expectancy and Health

This site also has very detailed information on the causes of death in each country.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reële huizenprijzen

Huizenprijzen in Nederland, gecorrigeerd voor inflatie,

VS en Nederland,
En de prijzen aan de Herengracht, Amsterdam, in bijna drie eeuwen,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Broccoli" patent hearing cancelled

Taking into account the ruling of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO that methods for the production of plants which comprise conventional breeding steps as well as technical ones are not patentable under the applicable European patent law, the patentee has proposed to limit its original patent by excluding the breeding methods. Thus, only the broccoli plants as such remain protected.
French company Limagrain and Swiss group Syngenta filed notices of opposition to the patent in 2003 and maintained their challenge in subsequent appeals. They allege, among other things, that the patent protects an essentially biological method of breeding plants excluded from patentability under the European Patent Convention (EPC) binding on the EPO. The technical board of appeal hearing the two appeals stayed the proceedings and referred questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) with a view to obtaining clarification of the term "essentially biological processes for the production of plants (or animals)" and the associated exception to patentability.
'Broccoli' patent found here, same issue with the 'Tomato' patent.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Intel's roadmap to 4K displays

I guess we'll have to wait another year to get those sweet 8 megapixel screens

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hungry Birds

Timelapse of birds in our garden. Shot with my Galaxy S3 and Lapse It Pro. Speed 20X. Watch full screen and HD. Too bad the great spotted woodpecker I saw this morning didn't show up. Also the huge wood pigeons are missing.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mind blowing animatronics

I had no idea they could do this, thought it was all really good CGI. Much better work than I've ever seen from any robotics lab trying to emulate animals and movements. This should be very applicable to future androids. My guess is it will be used for sexbots first :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Drone camera captures Argentina's #8N protests

Hooray they are finally doing what we were thinking about quite some time ago. Too bad they didn't have these in Egypt. From this article:


Friday, November 09, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Utrecht Centraal Station from the Air

Ultimate screen

We were recently talking about what the ultimate screen should be like. We concluded it had to be a paper-like display to work well outside. This screen seems to do that. While it's obviously still lacking in framerate and color it does seem to be on the right path. You'd only need to add a small backlight for viewing in dark conditions.

Monday, November 05, 2012

NASA astronauts performing gymnastics aboard Skylab

Skylab had a much wider room than the ISS has which allowed the astronauts to do all these maneuvers. First part is from the great documentary When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Saturday, November 03, 2012

More than a sundog


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Photocrome pictures of Utrecht 1890-1900

I found these amazing pictures on this site. Amazing how little has changed actually. These are not true color photographs but created by the photochrom process.

Here is a much higher resolution version of the above picture I found.

Digging deeper I found the original source of these pictures and a few more which has very high resolution TIFFs. I put the high resolution photos together in an album here.

I also found out that in 1908 a tram line was built through the city that actually passed under the Dom tower.

Reggie Watts @ TED

For those who haven't seen it yet.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Burger photoshoot

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Brouwers stoppen met thuistap

AMSTERDAM - Het einde van de thuistap lijkt in zicht. De verkoop van de hervulbare biervaatjes in de supermarkten is fors gekelderd en dat is voor Grolsch en Bavaria reden nog dit jaar te stoppen met de productie van hervulbare biervaatjes. Enkele jaren lang was de thuistap nog een hype, maar de consument lijkt nu toch de voorkeur te geven aan flesjes en blikjes in plaats van een vers getapt biertje. „Het thuistapsegment heeft zich niet ontwikkeld zoals wij en andere merken hadden gehoopt”, laat een woordvoerster van Bavaria weten. Veel supermarkten hebben de fusten van Bavaria en Grolsch al uit de schappen gehaald. De thuistap, die onder de naam Perfect Draft in de markt is gezet, kan bij het grofvuil. Heineken zegt wel door te gaan met de Beer Tender, maar meer succes lijkt weggelegd voor de wegwerptap. Bron: Telegraaf

Monday, August 13, 2012

Google getting evil

 Google's Changing The Algorithm Again
Under a certain amount of pressure Google has announced that starting next week it will be changing the ranking algorithm. The aim is that those who are presenting other people’s copyrighted material will turn up lower down in the search results.
I think I might want to switch search engines. I heard DuckDuckGo is a good alternative. Annom can you write a script that takes a search term uses two search engines and displays them side by side in one browser window? :)

Also this happened when I searched for news. Coincidence? Better get my tinfoil hat.

Annom seems to be right and it's a good thing

Very interesting report. Atheism on the rise.
The WIN-Gallup International ‘Religion and Atheism Index’ which measures global self-perceptions on beliefs is based on interviews with more than 50,000 men and women selected from 57 countries across the globe in five continents. The survey also provides trend data for shifts in attitudes since 2005.
Interesting fact, China is the most atheist country in the world:
14% religious, 30% non-religious, 47% convinced atheist, 9% don't know / no response

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Shifting religious identities, US, 1990-2008

We talked about the religious trends in the United States recently, so I tried to find some info. I found these stats for the the trend over the last ~20 years, from a 54000 people survey. I think these are change in percentage points.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Corporate Slogans on Condom Wrappers

Print the corporate slogan on a condome and they may look a lot dirtyer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The predecessor of modern forms of football

I've mentioned this game before, but thought I'd give a source and some context.
Medieval football is a modern term sometimes used for a wide variety of localised football games which were invented and played in Europe of the Middle Ages. Alternative names include folk footballmob football and Shrovetide football 
These archaic forms of football, typically classified as mob football, would be played between neighboring towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people struggling to drag an inflated pig's bladder by any means possible to markers at each end of a town.
By some accounts, any means could be used to move the ball to a goal, as long as it did not lead to manslaughter or murder.
 Shrovetide is still played in one British town.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cool and innovative packaging

I love it when a product packaging after use don't become useless (except for thermal recycling) but can be transformed into something useful. Such as these 2 examples:

View source 

View source

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lets not go to Dubai...

Briton jailed for four years in Dubai after customs find cannabis weighing less than a grain of sugar under his shoe
A search by customs officials uncovered a speck of cannabis weighing just 0.003g - so small it would be invisible to the naked eye and weighing less than a grain of sugar - on the tread of one of his shoes. 
A 25-year-old Briton who was found with a similar speck in one pocket as he arrived on holiday has been awaiting sentence since November. 
One man has even been jailed for possession of three poppy seeds left over from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow Airport. Painkiller codeine is also banned.

Quite likely that there will be a speck on one of us. So unless we buy a complete new wardrobe and bags I wouldn't want to go into the country.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Rainbow People

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vertical Video Syndrome

Friday, June 22, 2012


I don't really have an internet porn addiction, but I do have internet novelty seeking addiction..

Monday, June 11, 2012

America can't be considered a civilized country - Part V

The School of the Americas, the CIA and the US-Condoned Cancer of Torture Continue to Spread in Latin America, Including Mexico

While the whole article is an indictment to the disgusting and evil foreign politics the US conducted and still does in Latin American one part got to me in particular, rarely do I read something that scars my psyche as bad as this excerpt:
In fact, Everardo, Harbury discovered, was kept in a body cast to keep him constrained while he was tortured for more than two years before being executed, all the time with the full knowledge and likely operational involvement of the CIA.
Such a short paragraph that elicits such terrible imagery and suffering in my mind. Though I had considered it, I had never read about this kind of torture actually being carried out. A full body cast, so zero movement for two years, while being tortured even more in unspecified but undoubtedly horrible ways. The horror, I would actually prefer rat torture over this.

See the previous installments of this series on why the US can't be considered a civilized country here.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Google Maps can now generate 3D feature from bird's eye view satellite images

Super impressive, no need for people to make the city 3D anymore. Now I hope they will make efficient use of the GPU to render this smoothly.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Glowsticks + toilet = awesome

Friday, May 25, 2012

A tasty meal?

click for more

Monday, May 14, 2012

Delightful propaganda

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Space Soundwaves

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Finnish Education 
But there’s something wrong about that teachers’ pay point. Teachers’ pay across countries is detailed here. On a PPP basis (that is, adjusting for different prices in the different countries) teachers’ pay in Finland is half that in the US and two thirds that in the UK.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Designer vs. Engineer

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Revision control for non-programmers

"Revision control, also known as version control and source control, is the management of changes to documents, programs, web sites and other information stored as computer files."

Revision control software is mostly used and created for software development, but I think almost everyone working with digital projects (from thesis/research to website or graphical design) can benefit from learning a revision control system. Problem is that all tutorials and examples focus on more advanced functions used in software development, which makes it harder for non-programmers folks to learn.

Revision control creates a snapshot (revision) of all your selected project files when you decide to "commit" (update) changes made since the last snapshot. You also provide a short log message about what has changed and why, for later reference.
This creates a history with comments of all major changes. You can easily switch between different snapshots, for example, when you fucked up.
It's like wikipedia page history, but for you project files. 

Revision control software has reached a mature third generation. Most are free, cross-platform, open source and with a nice graphical user interface.

TortoiseHG, interface for Mercurial.

It is easy and useful to use for your local projects. The full power kicks in when you work in a team, then you can all work on the same files, at the same time, and have a complete history of who changed what and when. With a few clicks you can host a server such that others can get your project, make changes and commit these back to the server.

It is a bit difficult to get the terminology and full concept when you are new to it, but should not take long and it is simple in the end, like riding a bike. It's a must use for programmers, but it may be very useful too in other fields (science/research, engineering, graphical design) , while used very little.

You may not want or need it right now, but I think it's good for many of you to know there are excellent revision control solutions available that I enjoy using. It's pretty cool to see a full timeline of your thesis project, when you were most active, or were stuck in problems. And it can save lots of time when you can switch to a previous working version. In teams it creates a central point, communication and traceability.

Do any of you already use some sort of revision control? See any need for it? I like Mercurial with TortoiseHG best at the moment. These applications will improve and last for a long time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tenacious D - To be the best

The first track of their new album 'The Rize of the Fenix'

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The rules of the game are very simple

"It is hard to believe. It is incredible! In fact, most people don't believe that the behaviour of, say, me is the result of lots and lots of atoms all obeying very simple rules and evolving into such a creature that a billion years of life has produced.

There is such a lot in the world, there is so much distance between the fundamental rules and the final phenomenon that it’s almost unbelievable that the final variety of phenomenon can come from such a steady operation of such simple rules.
The truth is so much more remarkable." - Richard Feynman

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rainbow Nuke

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I like hiking

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Als een nacht met duizend sterren - Joeri Boom

Het boek waar ik het gisteravond over had. Ik heb het nog niet uitgelezen maar ben nu op ongeveer 2/3e en heb tot op heden elke keer moeite gehad om het boek weg te leggen.
In Als een nacht met duizend sterren toont bekroond journalist Joeri Boom hoe ingewikkeld het is om de krankzinnige werkelijkheid van een oorlog te vatten. Zeker als daar militairen uit eigen land bij betrokken zijn, en voorlichters over je schouder meekijken. Tijdens de Nederlandse missie in de Afghaanse provincie Uruzgan (2006 – 2010) ging Boom mee op levensgevaarlijke patrouilles en zocht hij vergeefs naar resultaten van opbouwprojecten. Hij raakte in de ban van het soldatenleven en worstelde met (zelf)censuur en de eenzijdigheid van embedded-verslaggeving. Pas toen het hem lukte los van Defensie in Uruzgan te werken, merkte hij hoe onvolledig zijn beeld van de missie was geweest. Met pakkende en schokkende voorbeelden laat Joeri Boom zien wat er allemaal verborgen ligt achter het zinnetje: 'Dit artikel is gecontroleerd door Defensie, er is niets in gewijzigd.'
Over de schrijver: Joeri Boom

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gino Mode Broken

It caught on!

We did it! No idea how, but we did!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Water use

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Counting the number of days since the last prominent homophobe was caught in a gay sex scandal. Briliant site...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Warehouse Automation

We had a discussion about how Amazon warehouses work and it seems pimp was right. There are still a lot of humans walking through the aisles and picking orders at least in Amazon's case. However this video is from 2009, maybe they are busy updating it.

Because now it seems there might be better solutions:

Amazon gets KIVA

Amazon, of course, began experimenting with methods to improve pick-and-pack efficiency early in its existence. But the Web retailer never bought a solution from Kiva Systems--at least not directly. As it happens, two companies Amazon recently decided to and been Kiva users. Through those buys, Amazon now owns four Kiva-powered warehouses ( has three, Zappos one).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Because playing with sand always is fun

A simple but fun Game

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hunter S. Thompson, John Cusack, and Johnny Depp

I have no idea about the context of the image, seems like it must have been a hell of night though :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What (not) to do with a dead whale

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

We really need to go to Hamburg

Not just for the Reeperbahn, but also for this:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sugar Stacks

Ever wondered how much sugar is in your food? Sure, you can read the label and the amount of sugar inside your food, but this doesn't tell you how much this looks like. Sugar Stacks is a website where sugar cubes are used to visualize the amount of sugar. Check out the amount of sugar cubes you're consuming everyday on Sugar Stacks

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Banking blog

I've been reading the banking blog of Joris Luyendijk at the guardian and want to share it with you. Joris is famous (in the land of the Nethers) for his book on journalism in the middle east, but has now started writing a blog on the financial world of London. Perhaps some of you are interested as well in an anthropological study on bankers:
Bankers: an anthropological study What happens in the City of London affects everyone, but most of us know very little about the people who work there – or what they do all day. The Guardian is launching a new project: an anthropological study of the Square Mile
You can find Joris' blog at the guardian