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A forgotten childhood observation was unveiled when I saw this video posted on Facebook. I was greatly intrigued by this phenomenon when I was younger. I was never scared that anything was wrong with me. Still, it is nice to know that I am not the only one seeing amoeba moving in my eyesight!

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The blog post by Bicycle Dutch, “Making a 1960s street grid fit for the 21st century”, nicely shows how the Dutch are making their cities bike friendly.

Picture by Utrecht Municipality

Urban street planning. “Left the original 1960s design, right the optically narrowed street with the centre line removed and with added cycle lanes.”

A video about the project:

Maps distorted by economic indicators visualise lack of balance in the world:

Picture taken from fastcoexist.com

GDP (wealth)

This picture is intuitive to understand: it shows an overweight US and Europe compared to very thin South America and Africa. Poorer countries are squeezed.

Picture taken from fastcoexist.com

Poverty

The Poverty map is counter intuitive, as it shows just a skeleton of the Americas, Europe and Australia.

Just came home from my parents, a bike ride away. Halfway between Nieuwegein and Utrecht it started raining. Once home, still raining, I decided to browse the internet. Came across this blog post on bicycle routes in Utrecht: the road I just took!

Once the sun is shining and these plans are realised, the route will be even better in the future…

Click on the picture to see the whole 30 minute bike ride by Urban Trajectories.

Click on the picture to see the whole 30 minute bike ride by Urban Trajectories.

The project Urban Trajectories by Aorta Architectuurcentrum (center for architecture) is researching the bike routes people take on their commute from and to Utrecht.

Video about the project by Urban Trajectories(in Dutch):


I read that there is an exhibition about the project at Architectuurcentrum Aorta until 27 September. Seems well worth a visit.

My co-worker pointed out this genius book from 1962: The executive colouring book.

Is this what important looks like?

Is this what important looks like?

He got me out of my mood of lunch time being almost over with the quote: “Color my underwear important”

What looks good, tastes better. That’s the magic about food. And if this can help us make children eat healthier food, this is all for the better.

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Packing healthier lunches for children becomes much easier with the inspiration from these Bento lunch boxes by Leukelunchbox.nl. Bento boxes are Japanese packed lunches that contain different layers of good food.

Another idea to make healthy lunches easy, is to make it a communal project. This was done by the Dabbawalla initiative by Waag Society. Like the Indian dabbawalla’s lunch delivery system, children and their parents took turns to create a meal for the whole class. Cutting costs, saving time, and sharing their culture and nutritional knowledge and tasty ideas as they went.

Ran into this shirt at the Vega Life shop in Amsterdam:

Picture taken from todayisagoodday.be.

Because all girls want to wear a fox around their neck?

I told a friend who commented that she had seen knitted foxes that refer to actual fox furs in fashion:

Picture taken from etsy.com - beeskneesknitting.

Knit your own fox – pattern by beeskneesknitting.

Later, at yoga class, I saw a girl wearing this tribute to Björk:

Picture taken from sheinside.

Shirt with swan print from SheInside.

So, what do we make of these? A tongue-in-cheek remark at our use of animals for fashion? Do the girls who wear them make a serious statement about the fashion industry? We could even say that you support the misuse of animals for beauty, because you approve of the idea to wear animals. Or are they just very cute?

How did I do this week?

Friday (30% vegan)
Dinner: lentils curry with coconut milk and naan bread

Sunday (30% vegan)
Breakfast: soy yoghurt with muesli (without honey)

Monday (20% vegan)
Breakfast: soy yoghurt with muesli (contains honey)

Tuesday (45% vegan)
Breakfast: soy yoghurt with muesli (contains honey)
Dinner: Indonesian stir fry with rocket salad and sesame seed. Additional vegetarian bits (contain egg protein) with peanut sauce and cassava crackers

Picture taken by me

Indonesian stir fry. Almost 100% vegan.

Wednesday (30% vegan
Breakfast: soy yoghurt with muesli (without honey)

Thursday (30% vegan)
Breakfast: soy yoghurt with muesli (without honey)

Result: 26% vegan this week.
Which means I did worse than in week 1. My biggest issues are using cheese and cream in dinners. Not to mention lunch at work which has only cheese or sugary bread toppings to offer for vegetarians.

February 1st was the beginning of the Vegan Challenge in the Netherlands. The Dutch Organisation for Veganism and Viva las Vega’s dare anyone to participate and eat and live naturally for one month.

Picture from veganchallenge.nl

The Vegan Challenge is on the whole month of February.

I was vegan for three years between 2007 and 2010. But I turned back to being a full-time vegetarian because finding food alternatives when eating out with others cost me too much energy.

I do still enjoy the things I learned during this time and support the ideal of a balanced consumer pattern. So I decided to monitor my vegan/vegetarian footprint during the Vegan Challenge month.

This is how I did the first week:

Friday (35% vegan)

Breakfast: soy yoghurt and muesli (honey free)

Dinner: used soy yoghurt instead of cream in the sweet bread recipe for desert

Saturday (70% vegan)

Breakfast: soy yoghurt and muesli (honey free)

Shopping: visited vegetarian shoe shop Vega-Life in Amsterdam and bought a new pair from Vegetarian Shoes

Dinner: in the Amsterdam Library with a vegan friend, fries with tomato ketchup and a salad without animal products

Desert: ginger flavoured dark chocolate

Sunday (60% vegan)

Breakfast: soy yoghurt and muesli (honey free)

Dinner: Indian tomato curry with rice, papadums and mango chutney

Monday (55% vegan)

Breakfast: soy yoghurt and muesli (honey free)

Shopping: soy yoghurt was sold out in the supermarket (by people in the Challenge?) so I eat real yoghurt for the rest of the week. Bought “blue mice” (a sugar and aniseed sprinkle Dutch people put on bread) because the blue and white version was promoted to be free of animal food colouring by the Vegan Challenge. Bought organic, vegetarian cheese.

Picture from VeganChallenge.nl

Biscuit with “blauwe muisjes”

Dinner: vegetables, baked potatoes with a Tuscan vegetarian with dairy

Tuesday (20% vegan)

Dinner: salad, vegetables and Corn fritters (with egg)

Wednesday (10% vegan)

Shopping: bought washing detergent and softener and maple syrup at the organic supermarket (good for the planet!)

Dinner: pizza with cheese

Thursday (10% vegan)

Desert: made a fruit juice from the Nike Training Center recipe I earned doing my work-outs

Result: 37% vegan this week!

What is the secret behind Hema’s simplistic design? You will learn about it if you click the image and watch…

Picture from in-soo.com.

Click to watch the documentary “Het geheim van de Hema” (in Dutch).

After working at Hema in September 2012, I was thrilled to get a closer look at the bigger ideas behind the Dutch company. This documentary gives an insight in the expansion abroad and outsourcing of the production of clothes to China and Turkey.

Tweets (Dutch and English)