Tomorrow’s meatball

16 Dec

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Even if you’d know what they are made of, these meatballs still look quite tasty. And that is exactly the idea. The Danish designlab Space10, also known as the “external Innovation Center” by Ikea, wants to examine whether it’s possible to make sustainable food like algae and insects more attractive by putting them in a familiar form. In this case, the form of a meatball, which makes it no surprise that the project is called: Tomorrow’s Meatball.

Many people have noticed that our current eating habits aren’t very sustainable. Our meat production consumes huge amounts of clean drinking water. It also significantly contributes to global warming. Combine this with the strong growing world population in the coming decades and we can conclude that the future probably won’t be that bright. Therefore, the Space10 team questioned itself: what kind of meatballs will we be eating in about twenty years?

However, the team is aware that some creations might not look very appetizing. Still, Kaave Pour, the creative brains behind the initiative, is convinced that effective design can help to overcome the first thresholds. Take sushi. That’s a good example of how design can encourage people to get to know certain foods. Since sushi has become popular, we think it’s perfectly normal to eat seaweed, algae or raw fish, and I think the design of sushi has played a crucial role in there. Inspired to this, Space10 designed a series of design meatballs where you probably would like to take a bite out of, even if you would know what’s actually in it.

meatball 1The first meatball is made of artificial meat that’s grown in a laboratory. That may not sound so tasty, but there won’t be many people complaining about anymore if half of our planet will be under water as a result of climate change.


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The Wonderful Waste Ball is designed as a response to the large amount of food that is thrown away, even though it’s still good to consume.



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The Mighty Powdered glove Ball is so rich in nutrients that you can almost replace it with an entire meal. It contains vitamins, minerals, proteins and unsaturated fats.



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This nutty meatball is full of proteins and looks delicious. It seems to be completely ready to be packed some environmentally friendly wrap to put it on the shelf of an organic grocery store.



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Algae are very nutritious and can grow almost anywhere, without using too many resources.



meatball 6This meatball looks almost too good to eat. Thanks to the 3D printer, we can now get protein from food that initially doesn’t looks so delicious – such as insects – and turn that into a delectable meal.


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In 80% of all countries it’s normal to eat insects, so it seems only a matter of time before the other 20% (read: the Western world) follows.


I think these meatballs might not improve people’s quality of life at first sight, but it will definitely affect it. I do think that people find the new kinds of meatballs interesting, but they might react a little shocked when they hear what’s really inside. Maybe, if you wouldn’t tell them, they’d just try it.

One time I saw an experiment on TV where they gave 2 guys a bonbon. For them it was just a delicious white chocolate sweet, but what they didn’t know was that it was made of something else than chocolate. I don’t really remember what it was, but I think something like mashed potatoes could be an alternative for the inside of a white chocolate bonbon. So, they put the sweet in their mouth, expecting the taste of the chocolate. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t see this one coming. When they tasted ‘the other thing’ instead of the chocolate, they were pretty shocked. Afterwards they told the host of the show that if they had known it was something else than chocolate, they could’ve been prepared to this and wouldn’t have found it as disgusting as they thought now. This shows that food that looks like something else, misleads people. This can ward off their trust in the new kinds of food that looks like food they already know. On one hand I can see why Space10 wanted to create something that looks familiar to people, but on the other hand I think, by misleading them, they wouldn’t give them their trust in the future when it comes to ‘new food’.

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Easy & delicious Christmas

16 Dec

With Christmas in the prospect, I’m already thinking about what we’re going to eat. Raclette is something we Dutch people do when we gather around with friends and family for a nice and delicious meal. It has become so popular the past few years, that nowadays 1 out of 3 Dutchies use raclette to complete their Christmas party. But what is raclette exactly? Raclette is cooking on an electric Raclette grill, which is positioned in the middle of the table. Everybody gathers around and gets their own small pan to cook the kind of meat and vegetables they want. But, in the eyes of the connoisseur, raclette may be nothing more than vulgar tradition. Not only your clothes are getting smelly, but even your house has to ventilate for a few more days after it. And, even though the food itself is delicious, there aren’t a lot of vitamins in it.

This greasy Christmas tradition we have due to two chefs: Huub Oudshoorn and Ton Boer. They traveled together through Holland from the late 1970s until somewhere in the 1990s to give raclette demonstrations to housewife associations and schools. Preparing your own food at the table exists in many cultures – Korean barbecue, Chinese hotpot or Swiss cheese fondue – but the Dutch raclette tradition was coined by these two gentlemen as an advertising campaign for butchers. To avoid confusion: they have not invented the phenomenon of raclette, but they introduced it to the Dutch people.

In 1977, the Meat Information Office noticed that cheese fondue became very popular. Holland is a land of dairy, but if it continues like this, cheese will become more popular than meat in the future. To avoid this, Oudshoorn and Boer got the assignment to come up with something which would made consumers eat more meat.

Raclette was a perfect solution for butchers to sell more meat. With this, they could show people how to prepare meat and make sure they would buy more meat. Because, instead of one piece of meat per person, you eat three times as much as you’d normally do while doing raclette. From then on, they started to travel the country four times a week to demonstrate the raclette with small pieces of meat, which were made by local butchers. They added different cocktails sauces themselves. By doing this, they introduced raclette to thousands of people. And that’s the reason why we still love to raclette during the holidays.

The secret of raclette is hidden in a few things. It’s typical Dutch: easy and conviviality. You hardly need to prepare and if you take a seat, you don’t need to get up anymore. Another advantage of raclette is that there’s no one to blame when something fails, because you made it yourself.

Even though raclette became much more popular over the years, Oudshoorn and Boer are sorry that supermarkets trumped the butcher with their ready-to-eat gourmet dishes. At the beginning, butchers gained their profit from raclette, but all that cheap meat from the supermarket has conquered the market. However, they want to make people aware of the huge quality difference between meat from the supermarket and meat from a butcher. The second one has more quality, is more sustainable and has a better taste.

After typing this post, I started to think about raclette. I’d still love to do it upcoming Christmas, because I like the way the food is prepared and it’s just really innermost to do with family and friends. However, I’m doubting meat from the supermarket. We always use this meat for raclette, but I get curious what’s the different in taste between this meat and meat from a real butcher. I might go to a butcher this year to buy my groceries for my Christmas meal.

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But in which way does raclette contribute to people’s quality of life? At first, it became more and more popular over the years, which means that people like it. And even though the food isn’t that healthy, the experience of raclette increases people’s QOL. By doing it together, they create a feeling of emotional wellbeing for themselves, which also encourages their quality of life.


Things I find beautiful

9 Dec

The other day, when I was looking through Facebook, I noticed an article about a social experiment. This experiment was invented by 18-year-old photographer Shea Glover from Chicago. In May this year, she started a video project where she filmed ‘things’ she liked. That’s exactly what she told her fellow students. She was curious about people’s reactions when she told them they were beautiful.

There were many different reactions to the message of being called beautiful. You can notice a lot of emotions, feelings and thoughts in people’s reactions. Some of them were positive, like happiness, joy, exuberance, modesty, shyness or being flattered. Other reaction were not so positive. For example, disbelief, indifference, defenses or even anger. As you can see, a range of human reactions were expressed by this simple experiment.

It’s very clear that people have different reactions at a compliment like this. These reactions are representations of how they see themselves. If you don’t think you’re pretty, your reaction can be incredulously or maybe even angry. You can feel fooled or maybe even offended. However, if you do like yourself, this remark can feel like a confirmation or a compliment. It can even give someone who is uncertain about his or her appearance a sense of certainty. It loosens comments, depending how the other person thinks about himself.

While I was watching the video, I caught myself with a huge smile on my face. Seeing people getting shy, happy or even angry about a simple compliment as being called beautiful was so nice, but also very interesting to see. It just made me wanted to smile, just like most people in the video.

After watching I began to think about compliments. What would I do if I got a compliment like that? Probably I would blush with modesty, but be very flattered as well and take the compliment with proud. It’s not that I think of myself as a very pretty girl, but hearing others do would give me a great feeling. But also, knowing from personal experience, everybody gets a lot happier when you just take the compliment instead of saying ‘no, that’s not true’.  This shows that you’re probably not confident enough about yourself to take a compliment or just believe the person who gives it to you. It also gives the person who gives you the compliment a bad feeling, because you didn’t accept her or his meaning. In a certain way you can offend him or her by rejecting the compliment. So, next time someone gives you a compliment: smile, say thank you and just be happy that someone confirms your beauty.

This post says a lot about people’s health. By giving someone a compliment, you can put a smile on her or his face. If you manage this, you’ll increase their mental health. For a moment, they’ll get a feeling of happiness. And believe it or not, this smile you just gave this person could make his entire day. This inner confident boost will make them feel happier, more confident and stronger. It also increase their physical health, because, if you feel good on the inside, it will be shown on the outside.

The final conclusion of this post is simple: give some compliments now and then. It will not only make the receiver of the compliment happy, but it’ll also give you a great feeling of making others happy by complimenting them. Just give it a try!




Green to go

8 Dec

Even though I don’t ride my bike as often as I should, there are many people who still do every day, even when it’s raining. Of course, Holland is known for its bike riding and everything, but the seduction of taking the car when it’s raining becomes much bigger when you finally get your driver’s license.

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But, for those diehards wo still take the bike, moving from one destination to another ASAP is one of the most important thing when it’s raining. However, this can be difficult. Especially in the city when there are lots of traffic lights. For us cyclers, this is one of the biggest irritations; the endlessly waiting for a traffic light while all these dry motorists drive along. To make cycling in the rain a little more pleasant, in the city Rotterdam they’ve developed traffic lights who turn to green faster when it’s raining.

The city is getting better at responding to cyclists through things as wider cycle paths. Now they’re trying to enhance the bicycle experience even more. On a crossroad within the city they set up an experiment. They placed a sensor which notices when it’s raining.

Where bicycle lights are up to a maximum of three minutes on red, it gets adjusted to a maximum of about 40 seconds when it’s raining. This means that motorists, who are in their dry cars anyways, have to wait a little longer. A smart innovation for cyclists, but maybe an adverse change for motorists.

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For now, the sensors are only placed in Rotterdam. The municipality already suggests to expand these plans within Rotterdam. When it becomes a success, the idea will be transferred to other cities as well. It sounds like a great plan, so let’s hope it becomes a success so we all benefit!


Like a pearl in my hand

4 Nov

Who opens the book Like a Pearl in My Hand, wouldn’t see anything but black pages. But if you lay a hand on any of the pages, your body temperature will drive out the darkness. Suddenly there are portraits visible of blind or very bad seeing Chinese children. In this way, you can ‘see’ the images by using your hands, just like the children have to do by themselves every day.

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The children are portrayed by the Dutch photographer and artist Carina Hesper. They live in a shelter for orphaned children with visual impairments, which was set up by a French couple. Thanks to the one child policy in China, most blind and disabled children end up in an orphanage.

Disabled children are seen as a problem. They aren’t able to make money and thus cannot provide for their parents. And these often can’t even pay the medical costs. Disabled children in China are also seen as a punishment for the shortcomings of their parents; a restriction there is something to be ashamed of.

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The portraits in the book are covered with heat sensitive ink, and only become visible at a temperature of 25 degrees. On a cold day, only the part of the picture underneath the hand will be visible. On a hot day the picture will be fully visible, like a normal book. People sometimes even work together to see the whole picture by putting multiple hands on the picture.

The inspiration for this technique goes back to Hesper’s own youth. As a teenager, she had a mug with a picture of a mountain on it, which changed into an erupting volcano when a hot drink was donated in it. Years later it came back to her mind and she would to work with it as an artist. The ink provides a very direct, physical experience, and the story of ‘Like a Pearl in My Hand’ is a good project therefore.

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It is not a cheap book to produce. That is mainly due to the cost of the heat sensitive ink. 30.000 euros (half of her budget) needs to be spend to bring the book on the market. To collect this amount of money, Hester started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. She probably wouldn’t get any profit out of it (she hopes to get her own investment back) but that doesn’t stop her from making a portion of the proceeds to donate to the shelter.

Like a Pearl in My Hand has already been shown on several exhibitions in the Netherlands, including in the eye hospital during the museum night in Rotterdam, UNSEEN and the Unfair art fair.


Who would have known.. – dreams

12 Oct

When you were a kid, you probably never wanted to go to sleep. You tried everything to stay awake: very slowly drinking, being as quiet as possible so you’d hope your mom would forget you were even in the room or choosing the longest story in the book, just to stay up a little longer. But now you’re older, sleeping is often the only thing you want to do after a long, exhausting day.

Even though we just love to sleep, which we do about 1/3 of our lives, we don’t know much about it. Because the things we do while sleeping, like dreaming and talking in our sleep, are very complex things.

Let’s start at the beginning. You just went to bed and you are about to fall asleep. But, suddenly it feels like you’re falling down hundreds of meters and you just kick your foot out of nowhere. OK, what just happened..? For a moment you try to figure out what just happened, but within a few seconds you fall asleep.

This weird convulsion after falling down is called a hypnic shock. This is an involuntary convulsion from the muscles, which only happens between the moment of being awake and falling asleep. It all sounds very complicated, but actually it’s just a dream 1neurological struggle between the brains, who are awake, and the muscles, who want to relax so they can go to sleep. This happening is pretty normal, but if it happens more nights in a row, you might have to check for some factors. If you’re overtired or don’t have a comfortable sleeping position, this convulsions can get worse. Also drinking lots of coffee, smoking or medicines like Ritalin can cause this hypnic shock.

Now, after you’ve finally fell asleep, you can start dreaming. Not everyone dreams every night (people who never have dreams have a higher risk on a personality disorder) but when it happens, we try to remember what our dream was about. Unfortunately, five minutes after we woke up, we already forgot half of our dream and within ten minutes, 90% of our dream is gone. But sometimes, when we’re lucky (or better not..) we can still remember some parts of our dreams. Now it happens to be, that some dreams do have actual meanings. Psychologist Dr. William Braun explains the seven most common dreams and their meaning.

  1. Let’s continue falling. Number one is falling into an abyss. One moment you’re standing before an abyss, the next moment you fall over the edge and you start falling.

Dreaming that you’re falling may indicate a feeling of losing control or being overwhelmed or it can mean that you’re feeling unsafe. But also the kind of falling matters. When you’re falling into an abyss means something else than falling because the floor under your feet is been pulled away. It’s important to look at the context when you’re falling.

  1. Screaming without voice. How scary is it to lose your voice so you can’t scream for help..

This might not only be just a dream. It can also be a symptom of sleep paralysis. We’re dreaming while we’re in the REM-sleep. At the same time, our body gets paralyzed to avoid us from moving while we’re dreaming. Between this paralysis phase and the phase of waking up, some people can be ‘half dreaming’. This means that we’re conscious of the fact that we can’t move and talk in our sleep. By the way, did you know that even deaf people do sign language in their sleep.

  1. Being naked in public.

This dream is quiet embarrassing.. And that’s exactly what it means. It means that you’re ashamed and vulnerable. If you don’t feel any shame at all in your dream, it means exactly the opposite. You want to be seen, appreciated and admired by others.

  1. Suddenly, your teeth are falling out..

This can be related to accumulated anxiety, which can be expressed by this dream. It’s possible that you don’t have enough trust in your own ability to express yourself to the world. This dreams can also mean that there’s a lot of change going on in your life.

  1. You’re being chased by something or someone.

This all depends on what exactly is chasing you. Often, people get chased by a monster. This monster can be a metaphor for clumsiness, an addiction or a debt. If you’re being chased by someone familiar, it has more than one meaning. The association you have with the person who’s chasing you and the feeling that gives you, says more about your dream than about the person. Don’t forget that people in your dreams can be a symbol for other people, or even for parts of ourselves.

  1. Dreams about the day. When you have dreamed about a particular moment of the day or a place where you’ve fallen asleep.

This is a good example of ‘day residue’. Often we process the things that’ve happened during the day in our sleep. These memories come even more alive when we’re asleep. By dreaming, we’re structuring our experiences in our head.

  1. You’re the best! You’re in a mighty position: you’re the boss, president or king.

When you think this dream is all about power, you might be wrong. It often means the opposite: people with these kind of dreams don’t feel in control. The dream is a desire for control and power and it compensates the powerless feeling in real life.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely can relate to some of these dreams. To be honest, I’ve asked myself many times what they could’ve meant, but I really had no idea. After founding out myself, I’m a little more reassured, knowing that I’m not the only one having those dreams.

That’s why I think this post also improves others quality of life. It gives you information about the meaning of some of the most common dream, which I think many of you would’ve had at least once. For me, it certainly did. I hope this post cleared up some things for you so you can go to sleep with a rested feeling.

Sweet dreams!

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Your best Bud-E

8 Oct

Your friends are coming over within an hour to watch the game, so you quickly take a look in the fridge to be sure you still have enough cold beers. Oh no, just 4 beers left. If you’d known this before, you would’ve had enough time to go to the store and to make sure the beers would be cold before your friends come over.

beer 1To prevent this (especially for men) ‘huge’ problem, Bud Light is introducing a connected mini fridge that monitors and displays the number of bottles inside the fridge. This Bud-E Fridge also sends out an alert when low on beer via an accompanying app and even lets you know when the beers inside are the optimal temperature for consuming. How ideal!

But, hold on, that’s not all. The Bud-E Fridge and its accompanying smartphone app, developed together with Bud Light, Linq IQ and Buzz Connect the opportunity for sports fans to program their favorite teams. Now they can be kept up-to-date via the app with upcoming games. Of course you need to have enough beers before the game, so the Bud-E Fridge checks the number of beers. If there aren’t enough inside, Bud Light updates the stock level in real-time. The app is integrated with beer delivery service Saucey, which allows consumers to order Bud Light for home delivery.

When you finally have enough beers in your fridge, a countdown timer will indicate when the beers will reach optimal serving temperature. When they’re cooled down below 32 degrees, they’re good to go!

beer 2This smart fridge shows information from its inside to its consumers via their mobile devices. This kind of technology can be used in the future for more general fridges inside homes, so people will know what kind of products they need to purchase.

The constant quest for innovation will lead to enhanced experiences for the consumer. With the Bud-E Fridge, they’ve created something that shows how we constantly push the boundaries in technology and innovation. Especially for the connected home of the future, but in this case to provide beer drinkers new ways to enjoy Bud Light with their friends.

Obviously, this product will improve people’s quality of life. Especially people who love beer. Of course it’s not a life changing concept, but I’m sure it will prevent a lot of frustration and ensures nights and nights of relaxing, watching games and drinking beer!