Europe

StreetView Nederland

haarlemmerstraat

A new find!  Street view of the “home stretch” of my bike ride home when I was studying abroad in Amsterdam.  Reaching this kaas-kaas place meant I was almost home…  I wasn’t a fan of cheese then so I never went in this place; what a shame.  I did, however, do my grocery shopping at the Albert Heijn next door, parking my bright red bike along Haarlemmerstraat.

Related pages:

http://www.streetviewnederland.nl/

http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/2009/03/dutch-street-view-gallery.html

http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/2009/03/dutch-website-using-street-view.html

http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/2009/03/street-view-now-in-uk.html

I took a lot of pictures in the Netherlands, but it’s incredible how being able to pan around such an “unremarkable” street brings back a flood of great memories.  I wish I could understand Dutch!  That would make navigating this site a lot easier!

grote_bickerststraat

Ahhh… Now THIS was home…  This red brick building on the left…  Google street views never cease to amaze me…  (Oh, and I was trying to find a Thai restaurant that I ate at my first night in Amsterdam…  Couldn’t quite find it, but didn’t try very hard.)

And… More of the Luxor in Rotterdam!

rotterdam_luxor

Random TSA Factoid of the Day

I’ve put a lot of miles on my shoes – mostly from walking around Europe last summer and more recently, over the past couple of days, from walking around Boston. I love these shoes. I don’t have my camera right now, else I’d take a picture of them! I actually paid full price for them; I love them THAT much.

Sadly, after so many miles in a short amount of time, I might have to retire these soon. To prolong their lives – the lives of my left and right Rocket Dog shoes – I want to get gel shoe inserts. And I would get them here in Boston, but it’s too much of a hassle!

Plus… I wouldn’t be able to wear them onto the plane either. Yes, I could check them in, but that’s too much of a hassle, too.

Did you know that you can’t carry on gel shoe inserts? Yes, I read this on the TSA website before I flew to Boston. Interestingly enough, you CAN carry on (ie, wear!) gel-filled bras! The injustice! The inequity!

Really!:

Gel shoe inserts – Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, but shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed and must be removed and screened. Read more on our shoe screening policy.

Gel-filled bras and similar prosthetics – Gel-filled bras may be worn through security screening and aboard aircraft.

The lesson? If you have nefarious intents, hide your gel of choice in a bra that you’re wearing??? Though… If chosen for a strip-search, a guy wearing a bra might be suspect… For one reason or another…

Oh wait. Maybe I shouldn’t be publicizing this! I don’t want to put ideas into your head, dear reader, and expose our nation to more danger!

But, if you have maleficent, malevolent intents, there’s always a way to thwart security measures, so I don’t see how prohibiting my wearing of gel shoe inserts would make our nation safer. In any case, I won’t buy them until I get back home. Too much of a hassle.

Hrm.

So what if I took the gel shoe inserts out of my shoes and stuffed them into my quart-sized liquids/toiletries bag? THEN is it okay to carry these on???

Of course, I wouldn’t do that. That’s disgusting!

Re: detecting anomalous things on the person…  I was amazed that the machine at Schipol Airport (in Amsterdam) detected the passport/document pouch around my waist that I had forgotten to remove!  Amazing!  I haven’t seen that machine anywhere else since then!  It must x-ray the body somehow!  Used instead of a metal detector (or in addition to?  I can’t remember…).

Probability: Smart Cars, Architects, and The “Color” Black

smart_car.jpg

Waiting for the bus in Roma, Italia, May 2007.  Smart Cars stopped at a stoplight.

What’s the probability of photographing 3 Smart Cars in a single (non-panoramic, fairly close) shot without being at a Smart Car dealership

In Europe that probability is as high as the probability of five architecture students independently walking into a room with each wearing a black shirt!  Which is VERY high! 

That’s what happened last summer when I studied in the Netherlands with fellow architecture and landscape architecture students.  A few of us were in the common kitchen area of our flat, and somebody pointed out that two people in the room were both wearing a black top and jeans…  I looked down, and I was wearing the same thing!  And looking around the room, another black shirt-jeans combo!  Another person entered the room…  Black top, jeans!

Hypothetically, if 5 students each had two shirts in his/her closet, a black one and a non-black one and blindly grabs one to wear, the chance that all five would wear black is (1/2)^5 or 1/32 or 3.125 %. 

Of course that’s a hypothetical situation.

If that black to non-black ratio were actually GREATER than 50% (as in the case of an architect student’s closet!), then chances are greater than 3.125 %.  (Eg, being conservative, (0.80)^5 = 32.768 %.)

So…  That strange occurence of virtually everyone in the room wearing the same black top-jeans combo is actually statistically very likely!  As is the likelihood of seeing 3 Smart Cars on the road next to each other in Rome!