Where bicycle bells end up: wedged into the road surface

If you are walking around the Netherlands, it is not super rare to notice a bicycle bell stuck in the asphalt or jammed into a paver.

Nobody knows how they got there but it is reasonable to assume they fell off a bike and then got fixed into the road surface by passing cars.

Several people have started documenting this phenomenon:

Fietsbellen.com has been posting photos (see illustration) between what appears to be 2005 and 2013. I do not know who is behind the site.

In 2016 Henry Cutler blogged about a ‘Diswasher’ Pete Jordan project of documenting these fallen bells, and discussed the process of photographing them.

In 2020 artist Pim van Halem actually displayed his photos of bike bells as part of an exhibit called Van de Straat in Schiedam.

Also, in 2017 bloggers Daisy and Patrick published a post called 7 Secrets Even The Dutch Don’t Know About Utrecht in which they discussed the hidden bicycle bells of the road and six other secrets.

(Illustration: screenshot of fietsbellen.com)

The truth about Coronavirus: USA, Brazil, Russia, UK and India suffer the worst

Almost 5 months after coronavirus COVID-19 was confirmed to be human-transmittable, a pattern begins to show which countries have been paying attention and which haven’t.

Countries in Western Europe such as Germany, France, Spain and Italy were initially caught unawares, but have been able to stem the spread.

Meanwhile the governments of countries such as the United States of America, Brazil, Russia and India, and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom, have shown little intention to stop the deadliest disease since the 1918 American Flu.

[The United States lead the group of most-infected countries by a wide margin]

On 16 June 2020, the US had 2.2 million confirmed cases of the virus, followed by Brazil (932 thousand), Russia (545 thousand), India (354 thousand) and the United Kingdom (298 thousand).

Conservative US president Donald Trump, known by his most ardent followers as a straight-talker, suggested not too long ago that his citizens inject themselves with bleach – an approach Beezels.net would like to stress you do not follow!

Conservative Brazilian president Bolsonaro encouraged his citizens earlier this month to storm the COVID-19-stricken hospitals of his country.

[Deaths per million citizens in the ten most populous countries in the world.]

Russia has been faring slightly better than the USA, the world’s worst stricken country, a fact that right-wing Russian president Vladimir Putin has been ghoulishly gloating about. Russia is however doing considerably worse than most of the rest of the world.

Observers have been wondering about the low mortality amongst the Russians, something that may however be explained by the fact that Russia does not have a lot of old men, the group most vulnerable to the current strain of the virus. A virus cannot kill those that are already dead.

In the late 1990s, around the same time Putin came to power, the average life expectancy of Russian males plummeted to below 60 in what has since become known as the Demographic Crisis of Russia. Although the Russian life expectancy has recovered a little since then, it is still well below that of modern, democratic countries.

Of the ten most populous countries, the US, Brazil and Russia have suffered the most deaths per million citizens.

Illustrations: Our World in Data, some rights reserved; NIAID, some rights reserved.

See the surprise John Oliver prepared for this 16-year-old Syrian refugee

In last week’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the host discussed the Syrian refugee ‘crisis’ in Europe. After seeing 16-year-old refugee Nujeen Mustaffa confess she spoke English so well because she used to watch Days of Our Lives, an American soap opera, Oliver got the soap’s cast to record a scene especially for her.

Mustaffa’s favourite characters were Sami and E.J. who had been written out of the show, but who made a reprise for Nujeen Mustaffa.

The scene starts at 15 minutes and 36 seconds into Oliver’s show.

A visibly emotional Mustaffa told BBC from a German refugee camp: “I am so happy. I just finished my go with E.J. and Sami. This is my lucky day.” Mustafa, who suffers from cerebral palsy and who is wheelchair-bound, wants to become an astronaut.

(Video: YouTube)

This supermarket manager is a mensch, empties shelves for refugees

A supermarket manager from Jüchen, Germany, gifted shelves full of food to Syrian refugees who had just arrived in his village.

(Image: Tobias Huch / Facebook)
(Image: Tobias Huch / Facebook)

A note taped to one of the shelves explained the situation to shoppers: “Dear customers, because of an unexpected arrival of several buses with refugees, many of them babies and toddlers, we have given our goods to the aid workers on Wednesday. This was an immediate emergency. We have ordered fresh supplies and hope for your understanding. Thank you.”

The photos of empty shelves that local politician Tobias Huch shared to his Facebook page today went virally ballistic (or ballistically viral, whichever you prefer). They were shared well over 18,000 times at the time of writing and liked more than 150,000 times.

The supermarket Rewe Ermer, named after proprietor Michael Ermer and part of the Rewe chain, is known for its sympathetic actions towards refugees. According to assistant manager Patrick Pfeifer, “we are working in close cooperation with Malteser [a refugee aid org] and when there is an emergency, one of us always delivers food and drinks to the aid workers.”