Avatar is a self-actualization "technique" created by an ex-Scientologist named Harry Palmer, who defected from the "church" in 1986 to found a lookalike multi-level-marketing version where he serves as a commission-earning "upline" from practitioners who teach his high-priced "courses" -- his Scientology-alike borrows heavily from the original cult and even used some of its symbols until he lost a trademark suit to Scientology.
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Dutch left-leaning daily de Volkskrant has published a remarkable -- but thinly sourced -- report claiming that a Dutch spy agency called the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) hacked into the network of a notorious Russian spy group called "Cozy Bear" or APT29, thought to be an arm of the Russian spy apparatus, and obtained direct evidence of Russian state involvement in the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 US election campaign.
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Wim Kruiswijk of the Netherlands has been finding messages in bottles that have washed ashore at the Zandvoort coast since 1983. He now has 1200 of them in his collection, which is roughly 35 bottles a year! While this short documentary doesn't go into it, it seems that the coast of Zandvoort is known for its beach-combing discoveries. In fact, the local museum has a display of washed-up finds, including some message in bottles. Read the rest
Garnet Hertz is the designer/scholar/provocateur behind the amazing Disobedient Electronics project ("Building electronic objects can be an effective form of social argument or political protest"); though he is normally based at British Colombia's Emily Carr University, he's currently touring Europe with the Disobedient Electronics book on a Disobedient Electronics protest tour, with stops in London, Southampton, the Hague, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Madiera. Read the rest
Virtually every cent raised by Geert Wilders, a notorious Islamophobic candidate in the upcoming Dutch elections, has come from a clutch of secretive American millionaires, led by David Horowitz, who calls Wilders "the Paul Revere of Europe." Read the rest
As U.S. headlines bombard us with proof of how low humanity can go, here's a look at a happy, peaceful, and prosperous country -- The Netherlands -- to remind us that it is actually possible for the human race to get it right. If people want to change present circumstances through liberal ideals, it's helpful to look at a liberal, politically stable country with a strong and open economy. Also known as Holland, the country does not have the same history and culture that creates the inherent social and economic problems in the U.S., but it is clearly moving in the right direction -- forward.
It's a great destination for liberal ex-patriates looking for a place to live and work -- especially in the tech sector -- that already has its shit together, in case you really are now considering moving out of the country. Staying or going, it makes sense to see what a liberal society looks like and how it works.
We've compiled a list of facts about The Netherlands to show you what humans can do when they're not fighting en masse on Twitter:
The Dutch government plans to ban the sales of petrol and diesel-powered cars in 2025
Healthiest country in the world for diet
Keeps closing prisons due to a lack of prisoners
First to legalize same-sex marriage
Highest concentration of museums in the world
Highest English-proficiency in the world where it is not first language
Highest population density in Europe
Home to more bikes than people
Cycling in the Netherlands is the safest in the world
Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport offers more direct flights than any airport in the world
83 percent of the population live in urban areas but there are few high rises
Largely secular country: up to 40 percent of Dutch say they have no religion, 30 percent are Catholic, and 20 percent are Protestant. Read the rest
The Atomteller plates update the Dutch tradition of plates that feature windmills with more up-to-date power-generation -- nukes: "Monuments of error - hope of yesterday - folklore of tomorrow." €39 each, 20cm in diameter. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest
Coming to San Francisco's SF in SF reading series this Sunday, July 17: Richard "Sandman Slim" Kadrey & Thomas Olde Heuvelt, the Dutch author of "The Day the World Turned Upside Down," the first translated work to ever win a Hugo Award. Read the rest
Jongha Choi's Master's thesis for Design Academy Eindhoven involved the creation of "De-dimension" furniture, which collapses into a flat, easily stored form when it's not in use -- but when it's in its flat form, it looks like a perspective drawing of its expanded shape. Read the rest
Dutch designer Etienne Reijnders rescues discarded shopping trolleys made by Wanzl, purveyor of the world's largest trolleys, and remakes them into beautiful, minimalist pieces of mid-century-modern-inflected furniture. Read the rest
Rotterdam wanted to honor the history of its public market by creating a space that felt open even though it was enclosed. The resulting Markthal has a beautiful vaulted ceiling adorned with bright murals of food. Read the rest
Studio Drift's Dandelight uses a "stem" of copper that mounts directly to a 9V battery, and its halo of dandelion seeds are hand-plucked from a real plant and glued, one at a time, to the business-end. Read the rest
Just look at it. Read the rest
Theo Jansen's amazing, wind-walking Strandbeest (featured in my story the Man Who Sold the Moon) can be had as a 6-inch-cubed snap-together, 80-piece, chunky "rhino" kit: assemble and blow on it and it will walk across your desk with the odd majesty of the Strandbeest. Read the rest
A promo video from Pinkroccade, a prominent IT contractor to Dutch local governments, makes the case for spying on wearables (if your heart-rate rises because you're about to be mugged, the police could be alerted, and get GPS from your phone, find nearby phones belonging to people with criminal records, check the view from your Google Glass, and respond -- case closed).
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Ton Siedsma, a lawyer for the Dutch civil liberties group Bits of Freedom, volunteered to have a week's worth of his phone's metadata collected and analyzed by researchers from Ghent University and by Mike Moolenaar. Read the rest
Niklas Roy's DIY particle accelerator contraption is based on vacuum-cleaner-powered pneumatic tube technology, installed in a beautiful glass pavilion located in the middle of a roundabout in Groningen, The Netherlands.
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