0908-Solar energy

As per 31 October 2020 (UTC+1):

SUN: sunrise: 07:30am; sunset: 05:09pm; daylight: 9h 39m.

PRODUCTION: started: 08:00am; ended: 04:45pm; time span: 8h 45m.

Monthly report: October 2020:

  • 103.732 KW produced; present total: 5,777 Mw.
  • € 20.03 earned; present total € 1,087.84.
  • 41.32 Kg CO2 emission saved; present total 2,261.60 Kg.
  • 1.23 trees planted; present total 67.5 trees.


Find an internship

I have to find an internship. That is difficult in these times. For newcomers in the Netherlands, doing an internship is not only a matter of completing assignments and applying knowledge. Above all, it takes getting used to the corporate culture and getting to know the new words we encounter in the workplace.
“I barely learned anything during the last internship,” a Syrian friend said to me. He had to work from home because of Corona. “I’m thinking about staying home from school for a few months like you,” he said.
Because I had completed my five-year study as a lawyer in Syria, I received a five-month exemption here. I could use this time to graduate earlier, but I won’t. It means that I sit at home, do assignments at the computer, and meet online. The Dutch are good at that, but I am not. I need real contact to be able to signal the glassy looks of the Dutch when I say something again that is not correct in Dutch. Then I can correct myself and explain better what I mean. With gestures, some English words, and then it works.
I have decided to stay at home for six months and prepare for my graduation internship. But above all I want to give myself space to recover from the past years. From the war, from fleeing, from the first years in the Netherlands.
“Take time and rest to process the images in your head”, I often hear. If I do have to do that, I’d rather be at home alone. Nobody will be surprised if it makes me scream. Now is a good time, and not when I have a job soon.
Getting fired for screaming at my computer doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

0906-Dutch marines break UK record.

Mariniers verpulveren Wereldrecord Speedmars

Dutch (former) marines in military combat uniform took the world record speed march in Den Helder on Saturday. They took over the title from the British naval soldiers, the Ministry of Defense said.
The world record of the Royal Marines was changed considerably by the Dutch team. The British ran the marathon in 2016 in the record time of 4.16.48. The (former) marines took more than fifteen minutes from that. They came in at 3.58.55.
The team of 21 (former) Marines ranging in age from 22 to 54 years trained 6 to 8 times a week for a year to break the record set by the British Royal Marines, the ministry reports. The participants carried, among other things, a backpack weighing 18.1 kilos and soldier boxes at their feet.

The team actually wanted to attack during the Rotterdam Marathon on April 4 this year, the ministry writes. The corona virus put a line through that plan. Ultimately, a specially mapped out course was chosen at Den Helder Marine Base. During the marathon, money was collected for the Doe wel wel, and don’t look back! It helps (former) colleagues who suffer from cancer.


0905-Winter time

Komende nacht gaat de klok een uur terug.

Tonight we turn the clock back an hour: for the very last time?

We can sleep an hour longer tonight, because our country is switching back to winter time. At 3 o’clock we turn the clock back an hour. It may be the last time. Last year, the European Parliament voted in favor of the abolition of the change of hours in 2021. But whether we will then switch definitively to summer or winter time has still not been decided. Winter time is the standard time. On the shortest day of the year, December 21, it gets light around a quarter to nine and the sun sets around half past four. At the end of March, the clock is set one hour ahead in all EU countries. On June 21, it will be light around 5:30 PM and the sun will set around 10 PM. This so-called summer time is set to better match the hours that it is light in the summer months with the hours that people are awake. For example, it would save electricity, because it stays light for an hour longer in the evening.

Disturbed rhythm
Opponents doubt this and many people say that the time shifts physically suffer: it disrupts the biological clock. It is therefore expected that the six-monthly resetting of the clock will come to an end in the long term. A majority of the European Parliament wants it from 2021. The EU member states can decide for themselves whether to switch permanently to summer or winter time afterwards, but the parliament has adopted a postponement clause to prevent a tangle of different times. For those who prefer to skip the cold winter months, it sounds promising: a few months in hibernation. Professor Rob Henning (University of Groningen) researches the process behind the special mechanism of hibernation and examines how we can apply this knowledge to countless diseases.

0904-Life with a walker

0903-Building blocks for Zambia

This is the story of the initiator of the program:

I am Xavier Friesen. I am now 18, and I completed the Stedelijk Gymnasium in Nijmegen last summer (2020). Just started my studies at Leiden University College in The Hague: international relations and international economics. I love to travel. When I was 11 years old and in group 8 of primary school (in 2014), I wanted to go on a long journey. But not just to go on vacation. I also wanted and want to do something for children who have fewer opportunities than I do. That’s why I wanted to travel to Zambia. A country that needs help, and I want to help a little bit too. I have already been there in February and March 2014 and again in the summer. I first worked there as a volunteer. I was a teacher at a school. More about that in a moment. I was allowed to leave my primary school and the Education Inspectorate during school hours. My mother, Ietje Friesen, went with me. And .. I went back in July and August 2014. To open the school! Really. In February 2017 I went to Zambia for the third time. Together with my brother, Gabòr, who took care of a Dental Care project at the Linda Blind Farm School. I have seen with my own eyes how well the money is being spent. And in May 2018 I had the opportunity to go to Zambia for another month. With again special goals and wonderful results. In short, that resulted in that I went back again in December 2019 / January 2020 to put the finishing touches on the construction of the second school, the primary school.

While Xavier Friesen talks about his foundation Building blocks for Zambia, he prefers not to talk about his health. Due to the rare muscle disease and the bone abnormality that he has to contend with, he has been frequently found at the Radboudumc in recent years. “Technically speaking, my muscles are thinner due to a gene abnormality. When I stop exercising, I lose my muscle mass. In eighth grade I had pain 24 hours a day as a result. The growing protrusions on my bones have to be removed from time to time.”
Because of the disorders, Xavier missed many lessons. Despite the many absenteeism, the Stedelijk Gym stimulated his other passions as well; membership of the Dutch core team Bridge and his work for Building Blocks for Zambia. “Most years I have only followed 40 to 50 percent of the lessons. I think looking at students in this way, giving them every opportunity, is really typical of this school. And then they have also launched numerous actions to support the construction of the school in Zambia. Really amazing.”

Copyright photo and video: X. Friesen

Copyright upper text part about the program: X. Friesen

Copyright lower text part about Xavier Friesen: “De Gelderlander”



De Russische oppositieleider Aleksej Navalny (l) en de Russische president Poetin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has personally authorized opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be treated in Germany. “After this citizen’s wife appealed to me, I immediately ordered prosecutors to see if it was possible to let him go abroad,” Putin said, according to Russian media.
Navalny, one of Putin’s most outspoken critics, fell seriously ill aboard a Russian domestic flight in late August. He initially ended up in a hospital in Omsk, Russia. After a few days, the authorities gave permission for the politician to fly to Germany. International experts later determined that he had been poisoned with a novichok nerve poison. Putin argued that he would never have allowed Navalny to go to Germany if his government had had him poisoned. The opposition leader, who survived the poisoning, does hold the authorities in his home country responsible for what happened to him.

Alexei Navalny claims the Russian president is behind his poisoning. He stated this in an interview in the German magazine Der Spiegel at the beginning of October, his first interview since his poisoning. According to him, Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron that the Russian opposition leader had poisoned himself. Navalny became unwell on a flight from Siberia to Moscow. He was taken unconscious to a hospital in Siberia. There, doctors stated that no traces of poison had been found in his blood. He is said to have a metabolic disease caused by low blood sugar, the reading. The German Cinema for Peace organization offered assistance and sent a private jet with doctors to Russia to pick up Navalny. Navalny’s wife, in a letter, pleaded with Russian President Putin to let her husband leave. The doctors in Omsk initially banned Navalny’s transport because his condition would not be stable enough for such an ambulance flight. A day later they agreed to fly over Navalny.

Wat zijn Novitsjok-zenuwgassen? En: heeft Rusland het gedaan? - New  Scientist

Secret address
He was admitted to the Berlin Charité Hospital. There, the Russian awoke from an artificial coma in early September. He was allowed to leave the clinic on September 23. Since then he has resided at a secret address in Berlin. Last week, according to German media, he turned up in the German Black Forest. He stayed with his family in a village not far from the border with Switzerland and France. A few days earlier, Navalny had himself photographed on a beach on what appeared to be the Baltic Sea coast. For Germany it is clear that Navalny was poisoned with the nerve poison novichok. The German government said it had “unambiguous evidence” of the poisoning based on its own test results. Independent labs came to the same conclusion. Navalny stated that he was completely undressed before leaving for Berlin. “They took off all my clothes and sent me to Germany completely naked. Considering that an industrial chemical has been found on my body and most likely transmitted through contact with my body, my clothes are very important evidence.” He is demanding the clothes back from Russia.


No more photos.

My mom sent me a picture of my brother and me when we were very young. She found it with my aunt. She was devastated because she has no other photos of us from the past.
I remember how we gathered with my family every week to view photos from the past. Photos of my parents when they were little. How different everyone looked in their youth! Photos are a great way to bring back memories of the past. After our house was bombed, all tangible memories are gone. Now there are only the memories in my head.
Here people often ask me what my childhood was like. I have nothing left to show. Then I describe the photos I remember from early ones, or I try to show photos of Syria on the internet. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make any sense, because when I search for something about Syria on Google, I only get photos of dead people and broken houses, not of the Syria I know from the past. The Syria where I played on the street with a homemade paper ball. I was so happy with that ball that I could almost hear the laugh out of the picture. The Syria, where we played with the sheep in the summer with my grandmother in the countryside and where we climbed the fig trees to eat the ripest figs. The Syria where my brother never left my side, no matter what mischief we got into.
How can I later tell my children that their father had a childhood without war, if there are only pictures of the war? Later, when I am a father myself, I make sure my children grow up happily. I make sure that I take a lot of photos and I print them out. I also store them in the cloud and on an external hard drive. I will not let a moment of them fade away.

0900-Royalty – Excuses

Willem-Alexander and Máxima say sorry for a Greek holiday trip.

The royal couple has released a filmed statement about the commotion surrounding the autumn holiday, which the Oranges wanted to spend this week in their villa on the Greek coast. In it they apologize.

Personal message from the Royal Couple:

With regret in my heart I turn to you.
Our trip to Greece has provoked strong reactions from many Dutch people. It hurts to have betrayed your trust in us.
Even though the trip was in line with the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society.
Our own decision to return was made with the realization that we should not have gone.
From the start of the corona crisis, we have done our best – within the boundaries of the corona policy – to find space and to be there as much as possible for everyone looking for support in uncertain times.
It is a difficult time for everyone. A time of lack, limitations and worries. From fear, anger and insecurity too. We have heard the poignant stories in many encounters, in person and digitally. We feel connected with you and with all those people who have been directly or indirectly affected.
We will continue to work with you to get the corona virus under it. So that everyone in our country can then resume normal life as soon as possible.
That is now the most important thing and we will continue to do so, to the best of our ability.
We are involved. But not infallible.

0899-Royalty: Scandal cont’d.

Princesses Amalia and Alexia only returned from Greece tonight: “Sequel to painful file”

Princess Amalia (16) and Princess Alexia (15) arrived home around 8.30 pm tonight. The eldest daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima arrived by car at Huis ten Bosch palace. The princesses had to stay longer in Greece because there were not enough plane tickets for the whole family, a spokesman for the Government Information Service confirmed to this site. The royal couple arrived at Huis ten Bosch palace on Saturday evening. Daughter Princess Ariane had traveled back.

Royalty expert Marc van der Linden says he is “baffled” about the entire course of events. “It threatens to get completely out of hand. The umpteenth unnecessary follow-up to an already painful file. This again shows a lack of openness.”

Image damage
Willem-Alexander decided to immediately end his holiday in his country home in Greece after he had received a lot of criticism. Politicians, but also others, did not think it was possible that he and his family would go on holiday abroad while the cabinet calls on the Dutch to be careful because of the corona virus and to stay at home as much as possible. Now it appears that the Government Information Service and Prime Minister Rutte have not told that the princesses were left behind. Only full disclosure can help to limit further image damage, says Van der Linden. “This requires quick answers. Why did the boss of the Government Information Service not know where the king was? Why was the government aircraft not used for return? How full was that KLM flight really? Why were two passenger flights not rebooked so that the princesses could still join? And so I can go on and on.” Van der Linden finds it remarkable that Willem-Alexander left his two daughters in Greece. “A king should just keep his children with him. I understand that those children are trying to find distraction. Especially in this day and age. But in view of the fuss that has arisen earlier, the parents should have said that it is not wise for now.”

“Rutte had to report this”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, responsible for the actions and statements of members of the royal family, will have to explain to the House of Representatives about the royal couple’s desire to travel. He was aware of the King and Queen’s vacation plans. Private journeys of the king are covered by “privacy”, provided due account is taken of the “public interest”. If there is any doubt about this, it is up to the prime minister to raise this with the king, Rutte explained on Sunday. The RVD has announced that it will not make any further announcements. Member of Parliament Joost Sneller of D66 tweets that Rutte “should have reported it immediately”.