Alcohol banned in elevators from today: An April Fool’s roundup

A new variety of tulip that is resistant to tourists, a tracking cat that works for customs, and an odor detection app that can track drug locations: April 1 brought a stream of jokes again this year. A selection:

Prommenz, a consulting and engineering firm, says it has been working on the “first-ever traffic circle in Formula 1” in recent times. According to Prommenz, the traffic circle promotes road safety and allows drivers to “overtake in a completely new way. This makes the races even more spectacular.”

The Elevator Institute will ban alcohol on elevators. “From this date, it will no longer be allowed to enter the elevator with an alcohol level of more than 0.5. That’s the equivalent of about two glasses.” According to the Elevator Institute, it is a regular occurrence for residents of dormitories, for example, to jump into elevators under the influence of alcohol, resulting in elevator accidents.

Leiden University has announced new research on dinosaurs, with two researchers moving into a replica nest of the oviraptor for three months. This was a dinosaur with a beak and bird-like feathers. The two researchers must work together to find their food in the wild and take turns incubating eggs. “It’s obvious that the general public thinks dinosaurs are relevant and important. As educators, we can no longer ignore that.”

PPINK, the professional association for childcare workers, has come up with a solution to the staffing shortage in the sector: teaching robots. The robots last more than 10 hours and are equipped with facial recognition. “To make a long story short: We are just correcting the last programming errors,” says PPINK’s director. For example, the after-school robot still raps with swear words.

On Saturday, Customs announced that it is undergoing a “world first” with a pilot project to use sniffer cats. The Customs cats are specially trained and also have an advantage over dogs, according to their new employer: They are more nimble and agile, making it easier for them to crawl between suitcases.

The UvA is launching a trial of smart drones that can enforce the smoking ban on campus. They detect cigarette smoke and can “accurately determine where the smoke is coming from and from which target based on current wind measurements, geo-fencing technology and facial recognition.” A precision spray in the drone is then used to extinguish the cigarette in a student or staff member’s mouth.

The Netherlands Bureau of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) has collaborated with a research institute to develop a tulip that is resistant to humans. “Dutch flowers are world-famous, and so millions of visitors from home and abroad visit Dutch bulb fields every year. Visitors are often unaware that they are unknowingly causing damage to the fields as soon as they enter them. The Flores Touristia will be presented on Saturday.

And, to help people save energy, Coolblue is introducing a ‘savings assistant’. The application called Yamuda provides (unsolicited) advice via the Coolblue app. For example, Yamuda advises to put on a sweater if you try to turn up the heating, according to the explanation. “She takes so much work off my hands,” says the mother of one Thijs, a Yamuda user.

Reporting by ANP

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