Category Archives: Random

Smashing the Glass Ceiling Part II: Hitler’s Thoughts About Women in Boardrooms

I recently wrote a post about the proposal to implement a quota to increase female participation in boardrooms after a mere 24 companies signed up to a voluntary pledge.
It now seems that the news of a quota has also made its way into the boardroom of the Führerbunker. In case you don’t know your internet memes, which I don’t believe for a second but still, I’ll give the video below some context: One scene of the film Downfall, in which Hitler launches into a furious rant, is frequently parodied by placing new subtitles to the footage. Initially YouTube blocked all Downfall parodies after complaints by Constantin films, but they are currently only placing advertisements on some of the uploaded videos as most parodies are viewed as fair use cases, which means that I won’t get into trouble 😉

Observations by a Dutchman in Australia: Why Cycling is Not Taking Off in Sydney

After starting a new job in the Sydney CBD four weeks ago, I have been enjoying cycling into work every morning. My trip takes me over the Anzac Bridge into Pyrmont, after which I slalom around tourists while cycling through Darling Harbour into the city. After biking it to work for a month, and getting fined for not wearing a helmet two days ago, the time has come to share my observations.

Firstly, what’s with all the lycra people? 80% of all commuting cyclists in Sydney dress up as if they’re a team mate of Cadel Evans. The pre-9am exhibition of clean-shaven and steel-cabled calves gives me the impression that I have taken a wrong turn and have unwillingly entered a stage in the Tour Down Under. And the serious expressions on those faces! Waiting at the traffic light is like waiting for the start of an individual time trial. Believe me when I say that it is not a good look. Apart from this being an aesthetical observation, I also truly believe that this way of dressing, and the display of attitude that apparently goes with it, is keeping cycling from being accepted as a normal mode of transportation in Sydney. Continue reading Observations by a Dutchman in Australia: Why Cycling is Not Taking Off in Sydney

The Horror and Embarrassment: Dutch Attempts at Speaking English

There aren’t many things that make me laugh and be embarrassed at the same time. Something that does this to me however is hearing Dutch people speak English. The Dutch, although usually complimented because of their excellent knowledge of the English language, have a tendency to speak English with the most horrible accent imaginable. Surely not all of us do, but 9 out of 10 times when I encounter a Dutchman abroad having a conversation in English, I am an unwanted witness to something that sounds extraordinarily ridiculous. Unfortunately it’s not only the accent. Although a Dutch person’s vocabulary usually isn’t too bad, English sentences are usually constructed by translating them straight from Dutch. This doesn’t only apply to grammar, but also to the words used, which are literally translated without keeping the context in mind. Continue reading The Horror and Embarrassment: Dutch Attempts at Speaking English

Addiction: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Just what is it that is so extremely addictive about running? Other sports can be addictive, like football (soccer, for those who use the term football for kinds of sports where relatively little contact between the ball and feet occurs, see John Cleese’s rant for this), but running seems to be up there in a league of its own. It is the oldest and simplest form of exercise known to man and already featured in various forms at the ancient Olympic games. And it is to the Greeks after all that we owe the term marathon

I suppose that we could go even further back and argue that running might even be coded in our genes. Walking upright was a significant accomplishment for early hominids, and in order to survive it is not unimaginable that speed and agility were beneficial factors. There is no doubt that speed in the animal kingdom can mean the difference between life and death. And aren’t humans animals after all? Lot’s of spoofs exist of the image that depicts the evolution of early hominids to todays human beings, usually ending with a human sitting behind a computer with its back arched. Interestingly enough, I have never come across one such images that depicts a running individual. Continue reading Addiction: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner