About elmine

Making more impact on fewer people through storytelling.

Gelezen (week 24)

Artikelen die mij opvielen vorige week:

Female nurse who played crucial role in IVF ignored on plaque

The name of a female nurse and embryologist who played a crucial role in developing the world’s first test-tube baby was excluded from a plaque honouring the pioneers of IVF despite objections from her colleagues, newly released letters reveal.

The Guardian

Waarom de crèche vrijwel altijd de moeder belt en nooit de vader

Jonge vaders voelen vaak een belemmering om meer vaderschapsverlof op te nemen. Ze durven het niet aan te kaarten bij hun leidinggevenden en zien te weinig financiële ruimte om meer tijd vrij te maken voor de verzorging en ondersteuning van hun pasgeboren kind.

De Volkskrant

The five: unsung female scientists

Vijf wetenschappers die onderbelicht zijn: Jean Purdy (IVF) (zie ook dit artikel), Jocelyn Bell Burnell (pulsars), Rosalind Franklin (DNA), Lise Meitner (nuclear fission uranium), Alice Ball (treatment for leprosy).

The Rage of the Incels

Incels aren’t really looking for sex. They’re looking for absolute male supremacy.

The New Yorker

Shockerend om te lezen hoe een hele kleine groep jonge mannen zich buiten de maatschappij voelt staan en dat ze oprecht denken recht te hebben op contact met vrouwen. Desnoods met geweld. Wat meer introspectie zou ik deze mannen toewensen.

By |2019-06-18T12:47:14+02:0018 juni 2019|gelezen, vrouw|0 Comments

De politieheli lijkt dol op Vathorst

In Enschede wist ik zonder de krant het internet er op na te slaan wanneer er een belangrijke voetbalwedstrijd was: het geluid van een politieheli die wat rondhangt boven de stad. Dat gebeurde niet heel vaak, en steeds minder vaak in de periode waarin de FC afstevende op faillisement en degradatie. De heli gaf weinig overlast, want ik woonde aan de oostkant van de stad en het voetbalstadion staat helemaal aan de westkant. Het gaf zelfs een veilig gevoel: ze houden het goed in de gaten!

Sinds mijn verhuizing naar Vathorst, nu twee jaar, is mijn verhouding tot de politieheli drastisch gewijzigd. Te pas en te onpas vliegt er hier één over de wijk. Waarom de politie hier zo vaak de heli nodig heeft is mij een raadsel. Irritant is het vooral op die heerlijke avonden dat je lekker in de tuin zit, zoals vandaag, en het gevoel krijgt dat je naar binnen moet vluchten, want ze zijn weer op zoek naar boeven. Gaf de politieheli mij in Enschede een gevoel van veiligheid, hier voelt het inmiddels alsof ik in een onveiligere wijk woon. Wat waarschijnlijk niet waar is (zijn er misdaadcijfers op wijkniveau beschikbaar?).

Toch een minpuntje.

By |2019-06-17T20:56:38+02:0017 juni 2019|deze dag|1 Comment

Cycling in Canada

Eleven years ago I was introduced to cycling in Vancouver through a friend of The Man who was an active cyclist throughout the city. Together with his then four(ish) year old son, we biked around Stanley Park. I remember it vividly, because there were so many weird things about getting on a bike that one day, at least from my Dutch perspective. First of all the price for renting a bike was outrageous. For the amount we paid we could buy two second hand bikes back home. Maybe more. Then the mandatory helmets. I’ve never worn a bike helmet, not even when learning to ride one as a kid. And apart from two halves of my front teeth (a helmet wouldn’t have saved my teeth) I survived (and so have all my friends). OK, I admit, the place I grew up in had no hills and all Dutch drivers are cyclists first, drivers second. Once we got on our highly priced crappy bikes, we had to navigate through traffic. Within a hundred meters we got ourselves into trouble and entered a road clearly not meant to host cyclists. Let’s just say our trip could have easily ended that very first day of our stay in Canada. Once in the park, with guidance of our friend, all was lovely and fine. We didn’t accept the invite to rent our bikes for a longer period though, knowing that it would be too much of risk for us foreigners.

Cycling along Stanley Park driveway
Me cycling behind our friend in Stanley Park

Fast forward to last week, when I visited Montreal for a day, I noticed cycling is a ‘thing’ in this city. I captured quite a few cyclists on camera during the few hours I walked the streets. Most notable were the two child seats I came across, one even from the Dutch brand Yepp, the same one I have on the back of my bike for my Daughter. While most cyclists looked comfortable enough it doesn’t take a specialist eye to notice the roads weren’t designed for them. I wouldn’t dare get on a bike here.

Biking in Montreal

Only a few days after I left Canada, my friend Peter, who’s unconference was the reason for me being in Canada in the first place, blogged about e-bikes. During the unconference lunch break on Friday, the group I had lunch with passed a bike parked on the side walk. I hadn’t noticed it since the shape of a bike is marked as irrelevant in my brain, but one of the others took a longer look at it. It wasn’t a regular bike, it was an e-bike! Apparently this is a ‘thing’ on Prince Edward Island. Of course, in The Netherlands e-bikes have been selling like crazy for a number of years already. In 2016 almost a third of all newly sold bikes where e-bikes. So these days I’m the slow one on bike paths, being surpassed by old people who are not even breaking a sweat.

In the context of PEI I can see the value of cycling, better than in Canadian cities. Considering drivers on the island almost always stop well in advance for pedestrians who MIGHT cross the road, they probably behave careful enough around cyclists as well. So I wasn’t surprised when Peter, the early-adopter of e-things, went shopping for one. What raised my eyebrows was his experience with bike shops and that he was pleasantly surprised finding a shop that let him go for a test ride.

With a request to leave my wallet behind as collateral (a request that gave me no pause given the aforementioned geniality), I was given a helmet, a brief tutorial about how to use the bike, and sent on my way for an open-ended test ride. This is the way that testing should happen; the “no rush” is key, especially when dealing with things that cost multi-thousands of dollars.

(From The Bicycle Shops of Halifax – Peter Rukavina)

I feel sorry for Peter to disclose this is standard service with any bike shop in my country. The last time I bought a new bike and made some test drives, they didn’t even ask for my wallet.

During aforementioned unconference there was some discussion on biking on the island. People think you can’t ride one during their long and harsh winters, therefore it doesn’t make sense in investing in the right infrastructure for cyclists. Ever since I visited Umeå, in the north of Sweden, I know this is not an excuse. Just add spikes to your tires, just as you would with your car, and you’re all set.

Umea winter 2010
Bikes parked during winter in Umeå – Anna Sircova

All in all my conclusion is that riding a bike safely in various parts in Canada is still a dream. From my Dutch perspective I seriously doubt if the places I visited ever will be able to be a dream places for cyclists. Canadian roads were designed for cars. It will take a tremendous effort to ‘un-design’ that. But it’s not just the roads that needs a redesign. It will take a generation to retrain everyone driving the road, both by car and on bike. The key to Dutch traffic is that you learn to ride your bike first, even get an exam the year before you enter secondary education. Going into secondary education usually means kids have to travel a bit further to school. They will do that by bike during rush hour without parents accompanying them. The exam checks if kids can ride safely. Only after ten years of taking part in traffic as a cyclist, you learn how to drive a car. So ten years of your own experience as a cyclist makes you a good predictor of other cyclists’ behaviour. That helps you navigate through traffic with bikes passing you left and right when driving through the city center of Amsterdam, on roads that were designed neither for cars nor bikes. I can’t see how Canadians will ever catch up on this.

By |2019-06-16T19:16:49+02:0016 juni 2019|flow|0 Comments

Saturday routine

Heading into town

There is nothing better than getting back into family routine after a week of travel. We had some shopping to do downtown so together we first went to Riposo to have lunch, Italian style. We love this tiny restaurant for its three or four course weekly menu. Since going out for family diner is not always convenient with a three year old that crashes around seven thirty, having extended lunch suits us much better. The Daughter loves going to a restaurant and she loves pasta. Riposo has it all.

Lunch at Riposo

Afterwards we did our shopping. Some new tea (Nilgiri green) and filters. A new moleskin and shoes for the Man (didn’t find the right pair he needs, but bought different pair as a lucky find). A new blowdryer for the girls (Solis Swiss made).

The Daughter helps fitting shoes.

All in all it was a lovely Saturday afternoon, just the three of us, chatting, walking, eating, observing. Just the way I like it.

By |2019-06-15T17:35:29+02:0015 juni 2019|deze dag|1 Comment

The never ending story of tweaking a theme

Even after all these years tweaking and fiddling with WordPress themes (it’s been like, what, fifteen years?) I still can’t get over the fact it takes so long to get the CSS right, despite the gained knowledge during that time. I blame it on the ever more complicated construct that WordPress has become accompanied with complex themes to reap its benefits.

By |2019-06-14T20:05:40+02:0014 juni 2019|deze dag|2 Comments
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