Tag Archives: Netherlands

Poop knives, arachnophobic entomologists win 2020 Ig Nobels


Possibly this yr’s Ig Nobels, the spoof prizes for doubtful however humorous scientific achievement, ought to have been renamed the Ick Nobels.

An anthropologist who examined an city legend by fashioning a knife out of frozen human feces, and a person who discovered that spiders oddly give scientists who examine bugs the heebie-jeebies, are among the many 2020 winners.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday’s 30th annual Ig Nobel ceremony was a 75-minute prerecorded digital affair as an alternative of the same old dwell occasion at Harvard College. Even so, it managed to keep up a few of the occasion’s traditions, together with actual Nobel Prize laureates handing out the amusing options.

“It was a nightmare, and it took us months, however we bought it achieved,” mentioned Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Unbelievable Analysis journal, the occasion’s main sponsor.

This yr’s winners additionally included a group of world leaders who suppose they’re smarter than docs and scientists, and a group of Dutch and Belgian researchers who checked out why chewing and different sounds folks make drive us loopy.

Metin Eren has been fascinated since highschool by the story of an Inuit man in Canada who made a knife out of his personal excrement. The story has been advised and retold, however is it true?

Eren and his colleagues determined to seek out out.

Eren, an assistant professor of anthropology at Kent State College in Ohio and co-director of the college’s Experimental Archaeology Lab, used actual human feces frozen to minus-50 levels Centigrade and filed to a pointy edge.

He then tried to chop meat with it.

“The poop knives failed miserably,” he mentioned in a phone interview. “There’s not lots of foundation empirically for this improbable story.”

The examine is slightly gross however makes an vital level: There are lots of narratives on the market primarily based on phony or unproven science.

“The purpose of this was to point out that proof and truth checking are important,” he mentioned.

Richard Vetter received an Ig Nobel for his paper taking a look at why individuals who spend their lives learning bugs are creeped out by spiders.

His paper, “Arachnophobic Entomologists: Why Two Legs Make all of the Distinction,” appeared within the the journal American Entomologist in 2013.

Vetter, a retired analysis affiliate and spider specialist who labored within the entomology division on the College of California Riverside for 32 years, discovered in the course of the course of his work that many insect lovers hate spiders.

“It all the time struck me as humorous that after I talked to entomologists about spiders, they’d say one thing alongside the strains of, ‘Oh, I hate spiders!’” he mentioned in a phone interview.

He discovered that many bug lovers had had a destructive expertise with a spider, together with bites and nightmares. The truth that spiders are sometimes furry, quick, silent and have all these creepy eyes freaks out entomologists, he mentioned.

This yr’s Ig Nobel for Medical Schooling was shared by a bunch of world leaders together with U.S. President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Russian President Vladimir Putin for his or her angle across the pandemic.

“These are all people who realized that their judgment is best than the judgment of people that have been learning this their total lives, and had been extra insistent about it,” Abrahams mentioned.

Abrahams made efforts to succeed in out to the world leaders to just accept their awards, with no luck. “It might have been enjoyable for them to participate,” he mentioned.

Damiaan Denys and his colleagues earned the Ig Nobel in drugs for pioneering a brand new psychiatric analysis — misophonia — getting aggravated by noises others make.

Denys, a professor on the College of Amsterdam within the Netherlands and a psychiatrist who makes a speciality of sufferers with anxiousness, compulsive and impulsive problems, was impressed by a former affected person who turned so enraged by individuals who sneezed that she felt like killing them.

“I had lots of data about compulsive dysfunction however these complaints didn’t meet any current scientific image,” he mentioned in an e-mail.

With a view to maintain the custom of actual Nobel Prize winners handing out the Ig Nobels, organizers got here up with a little bit of video wizardry. Every winner was mailed a doc that they may print out that included directions on how you can assemble their very own cube-shaped prize. To make it look as if the true Nobel laureates had been handing them out, they handed their prizes off display, and the winner reached off display to tug within the one that they had self-assembled.

As typical, most winners welcomed the popularity that comes with the spoof prize — kind of.

Denys mentioned that whereas the Ig Nobels ridicule reliable scientific work, in addition they carry consideration and publicity.

Eren attended the Ig Nobel ceremony in 2003 when he was an undergraduate scholar at Harvard, so he was thrilled to lastly win one in every of his personal.

“To be sincere, it was a dream come true,” he mentioned.


Supply hyperlink

Dutch reinforce main dike as seas rise, local weather modifications


Rising up in a skinny line by way of the waters separating the provinces of North Holland and Friesland, the 87-year-old Afsluitdijk is among the low-lying Netherlands’ key defenses in opposition to its historical enemy, the ocean. With local weather change bringing extra highly effective storms and rising sea ranges , the dike is getting a significant makeover.

The Dutch authorities has launched into a future-proofing venture to beef up the enduring 32-kilometer (20-mile) dam. Work is already underway and is predicted to proceed till 2023.

Simply what the Afsluitdijk and the remainder of the world’s coastal areas must endure within the coming a long time can be outlined this week in a brand new United Nations scientific report on the affect of local weather change on ice and oceans.

The Dutch, whose low-lying nation is crisscrossed by rivers and bordered by the ocean, have been battling with water for hundreds of years. That problem will solely develop as hotter temperatures trigger sea ranges to rise. With that in thoughts, the federal government this yr established a “information program on rising sea ranges” that goals to feed experience into the nation’s ongoing program of constructing and sustaining its water defenses.

“The Netherlands is at present the most secure delta on the planet,” the federal government stated, asserting the brand new program. “We need to maintain it that approach.”

Boris Teunis, an skilled on emergency water administration with the Dutch water company Rijkswaterstaat, stated in a current interview that sea ranges have been rising for years “however what we’re worrying about is that if that’s going to speed up.”

Engineers are strengthening the Afsluitdijk, together with laying hundreds of custom-made concrete blocks and elevating elements of it. They’re additionally enhancing the freeway that runs over the slim strip of artificial land which lies between the shallow Wadden Sea and the Ijsselmeer inland sea and which, regardless of its identify, is technically a dam slightly than a dike as a result of it separates water from water.

The chopping fringe of the design work for the strengthening will not be being finished at a seaside or estuary, however in a protracted wave tank referred to as the flume in an industrial space of Delft, the historic metropolis greatest identified for its delicate blue and white china and painter Johannes Vermeer.

Engineers constructed a scale mannequin of a cross part of the Afsluitdijk within the tank and are pounding it with waves that they are saying ought to happen solely as soon as each 10,000 years. The purpose is to ensure the brand new design can survive the damaging energy of such a storm.

Mark Klein Breteler, a dike skilled and venture supervisor at Deltares, the water analysis heart that constructed and makes use of the flume, stated the brand new design of the Afsluitdijk must deal with all the things that local weather change throws at it.

“We learn about sea stage rise but additionally the storminess of this space is growing, so wind speeds are larger and we get bigger waves,” he stated.

This type of innovation and the fixed care wanted to take care of the Netherland’s hundreds of miles of dikes and levees doesn’t come low cost. The federal government has earmarked practically 18 billion euros ($20 billion) to fund such initiatives for the interval from 2020-2033.

However the return on that funding is extra than simply dry ft for the 17 million individuals who stay within the Netherlands. An trade group estimated that the nation’s water sector exports had been price 7.6 billion euros ($8.three billion) in 2018, because the Dutch promote their experience to different low-lying international locations and cities around the globe.

“The key problem is to take water and the altering local weather into consideration in all spatial planning” within the Netherlands, Delta Commissioner Peter Glas wrote in a report this month.


Corder reported from The Hague.


For extra Related Press tales about local weather change, go to https://www.apnews.com/Local weather


Supply hyperlink

Dutch police officer kills two children in double-murder suicide


A Dutch police officer shot and killed his two young children before turning the gun on himself on Monday night, authorities said.

The 34-year-old cop opened fire on his children, ages eight and 12, at a home in the city of Dordrecht, Dutch police said.

He also wounded his 28-year-old wife in the shooting, according to police.

The mayor of Dordrecht, Wouter Kolff said he planned to visit the scene of the shooting on Monday night.

Investigators and medics were still at the scene of the shooting Monday.

With Post Wires


Source link

LGBT pleasure parade in Amsterdam options boats as floats


Tens of hundreds of spectators are lining an Amsterdam canal to look at a parade of embellished boats through the Dutch capital’s LGBT pleasure competition.

Organizers stated 80 boats formally took half within the canal parade on Saturday, together with ones representing Dutch police, the army and an undertakers’ group.

Forward of subsequent years’ summer season Olympics in Japan, a vessel representing Tokyo’s LGBT neighborhood participated, too.

The annual parade is the spotlight of Delight Amsterdam, which ends Sunday. The theme of this 12 months’s nine-day competition was “Bear in mind the previous, create the long run.”

Like pleasure occasions world wide this summer season, the Amsterdam occasion got here 50 years after a police raid of a homosexual bar in New York, the Stonewall Inn, set off riots and catalyzed the trendy homosexual rights motion.


Supply hyperlink

Restaurant Bam Boa . Amsterdam, Netherlands . @hernamewascharlie •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀…


Restaurant Bam Boa 👀. Amsterdam, Netherlands 🇳🇱. 📷 @hernamewascharlie
#designrestaurants #restaurantdesign #amsterdam #netherlands #restaurant #restaurante #Амстердам #ресторан #дизайнресторана #design #designer #interiores #interiors #decor #designrestaurants_amsterdam #particulars #color #structure #arch #meals #bamboa #designasyouseeit



ADM considers ethanol spinoff as first-quarter profit falls on severe weather


CHICAGO/BENGALURU (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Friday it was considering spinning off its ethanol business after slim biofuel margins and Midwestern floods slammed the U.S. grains merchant’s profit, which tumbled 41 percent in the first quarter.

FILE PHOTO: The Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

ADM said it was creating an ethanol subsidiary, which will include dry mills in Columbus, Nebraska; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Peoria, Illinois.

The ethanol subsidiary will report as an independent segment, the company said, allowing options “which may include, but are not limited to, a potential spin-off of the business to existing ADM shareholders.”

Results were hit by the “bomb cyclone” blizzards that devastated the Midwest and Great Plains this year, causing massive flooding across Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, washing out rail lines and wreaking havoc in the moving and processing of corn, soybeans and wheat. One-sixth of U.S. ethanol production was halted.

In March, ADM warned Wall Street that flooding and severe winter weather in the U.S. Midwest would reduce its first-quarter operating profit by $50 million to $60 million.

“The first quarter proved more challenging than initially expected,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano, with earnings down in its starches, sweeteners and bioproducts unit. Luciano said impacts of the severe weather ultimately “were on the high side of our initial estimates”.

Ongoing problems in the ethanol industry added to the problems and “limited margins and opportunities” for ADM, Luciano said.

The ethanol industry has been in the midst of a historic downswing due to the U.S.-China trade war, excess domestic supply and weak margins.

ADM, which had been an ethanol pioneer, signaled to Wall Street in 2016 that it was hunting for options and considering sales of its U.S. dry ethanol mills. Luciano told Reuters this year that offers ADM had received for the mills were too low.

In addition, ADM said it planned to repurpose its corn wet mill in Marshall, Minnesota, to produce higher volumes of food and industrial-grade starches.

Other major traders are alsy trying to distance themselves from struggling ethanol businesses. Louis Dreyfus Company BV spun off its Brazilian sugar and ethanol business Biosev in 2013. Rival Bunge sold its sugar book and has sought a buyer for its Brazilian mills since 2013.

ADM, which makes money trading, processing and transporting crops, such as corn, soybeans and wheat, has been looking to strengthen its core business. Last month it said it would seek voluntary early retirements of some North American employees and cut jobs as part of a restructuring effort.

The company expects to lower 2019 capital spending by 10 percent to between $800 million and $900 million.

Net earnings attributable to the company fell to $233 million, or 41 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, from $393 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $15.30 billion from $15.53 billion. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 46 cents per share, while analysts on average had estimated 60 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio


Source link