StreetView Nederland


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:

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!


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!


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!


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.


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


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!