Sustainable Umeå

An interesting little video that shows some of the proactive things Umeå does towards being sustainable.


Thesis Research Trip to Brazil Part 2: The Research Part

For the actual research part, I flew from Rio to Sao Paulo, where I met up with a team from WWF USA/Brasil, to join them on a field trip through the state of Sao Paulo, visiting sugarcane plantations, co-ops, mills, etc. It was a great experience, as well as being educational, it was also just great to get out in the Brazilian countryside.

Brazilian countryside - Lots of great weather and beautiful pastoral rolling landscapes

Sugarcane as far as the eye can see

Peanut harvesting (ish?) - tractor turning the peanuts out from the ground. Peanuts are used as a rotational cover crop with sugarcane. Funny enough, they only grow them for one season and not longer, because the market for peanuts, well, earns them 'peanuts' (not much).

Deep soil management - some new and experimental-ish stuff

Freshly planted (uncovered) sugarcane

Sugarcane mill - we were there in the off-season, when the mill wasn't running, so less interesting

Unbelievable vistas

Fresh peanuts

WWF USA team - investigating and asking about sugarcane

Young sugarcane crops

Experimental sugarcane transplanter

Antennae tower for precision agriculture - planting the rows along the topography of the fields

Sugarcane Planter

Sugarcane harvester - modified for harvesting billets (short stocks of sugarcane used for planting)

Explaining roughly which part is used for billets

Sugarcane seedlings - in the nursery, ready to go for trial planting

Plantation living

Cachaça - the whole cellar, that's all it was


Thesis Research Trip to Brazil Part 1: The not-so-research part

As part of the research for my thesis project, I went on a field trip to Brazil, to try and get some good insights into small-scale agriculture (the general scope for my project, which was at this point still quite loosely defined). It was quite the experience, complete with catching some bacteria or parasite or something that had me sick for close to half the trip.
Unfortunately everything I saw and witnessed there will have little bearing on my project direction, but the process did help lead me along the path to the direction I chose.
It's always the journey that takes you there.

ARN - AMS - early morning flight from Stockholm to Amsterdam, already the 2nd flight on the journey to Brazil

AMS - GIG - same morning, pre flight from Amsterdam to Rio, before being stuck in a seat for 12 hour straight

Rio approach - about 5 minutes before landing in Rio, going over the beautiful Brazilian mountains

Ipanema beach at sunset - so apparently the way the sun sets on this beach over those mountains gets applause on a daily basis. This was my introduction to Rio, having arrived in 42C weather.

UID reunite - my gracious hostess, Camila and I on Ipanema beach. It was great to reunite with a fellow UID student alum on the other side of the world, and have her be such a great host for my trip and help me out with planning - Brazilian hospitality.

Rio de Janeiro - view from a hike up sugarloaf mountain 

Rio de Janeiro - view of the downtown from the sugarloaf

The infamous Copa Cabana Beach Hotel

These guys everywhere - love the prevalence of the VW beetles

And these guys everywhere as well - the VW Busses were still being produced in Brazil this year!

And these ones too - the pickup utility VW kombi's


Umeå 2014 European Capital of Culture

The official opening ceremonies of the European Capital of Culture 2014 in Umeå took place yesterday, complete with a visit from the Crown Princess, and an inauguration ceremony officially called burning snow.

Umeå Stads Kyrka



Moved.... again. Back to Umeå

Moved back to Umeå for the final term of my Masters'.

For anyone needing my new digits:
William van Beek
Stipendiegränd 8B, 0013
907 35 SE

Moving van - my rental (VW Touran) to move all my stuff (2 bikes) the 8 or so hour road-trip from Örebro to Umeå

Sweden was experiencing a very mild, snow-free winter until the moment I came back. I brought winter with me it seems. Even to Umeå.

Time for the final marathon/sprint.

Frosty morning Umeå - Sweden does do winter well


My Ride #6

So I seem to have a bicycle addiction, and followed up on my earlier desire to switch to belt drive.
I currently have 4 bikes in 4 countries.

Schindelhauer Siegfried - alu finish, aluminium fenders, fixed gear, with footstraps, then I pulled the Bike Porter from my Koga, and also switched out the saddle with the new Brooks Cambium which I ordered this summer, in anticipation that it would go on my next ride.


PD Design Summit

Toward the end of this past week we went to Munich with the Product Design team from Designit for a summit with the other Product teams from Designit. It was my first time in München, and of course we did some of the typical touristy things while we were there.

Hofbräuhaus - apparently one of the more (most?) well known brewhouses in Munich, with lots of tourists going in just to take pictures, let alone sit down form some food, and grab a LITRE of beer.

Camera fun with big beer glasses

Ein MaßWhat a 1 Litre glass of beer looks like (mind you I do have kinda big hands)

Peering into 1L of beer

Hofbräuhaus Maß

BMW Museum - (and BMW headquarters in the tower)

Rolls Spirit of Ecstasy - The special Rolls Royce exhibit on at the museum

British Green Rolls

A very handsome Rolls Royce Coupé

Classic Rolls wheel detail

Another handsome classic Rolls

Spare wheel detail

Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls Royce Ghost - The newest model

Front corner 3/4 - Rolls Royce Ghost

Wheel detail - Rolls Royce Ghost

Rear light detail - Rolls Royce Ghost

Exhaust detail - classic BMW Motorrad

Detail - classic BMW Motorrad

Single cylinder (pre war?) - classic BMW Motorrad

Side detail - classic BMW Motorrad

3/15PS - BMW Dixi, 1930

Classic coupé with interesting hood latch detail

BMW racing - looks like a bit of abstract art, or a rorschach

Rear detail - BMW racing

500cc BMW 'kneeler ' - ridden in a kneeling position set a world speed record in 1937 of 279,5km/h

'The predecessor' - to the 2002 and 3 series

Evolution of the 3-series - front ends

Kinetic sculpture - a cool kinetic sculpture

3 Series front corner detail - in clay

Classic roadster - BMW 328 from above, 1936

Bonnet detail - BMW 328 roadster

Front detail - BMW 328 roadster

Flank detail - BMW 507, 1956

Front corner detail - BMW 507, 1956

A classic reinvented - BMW Z8 roadster, 1999 (possibly one of my favourite modern BMW's, still)

Front detail from above - BMW Z8

Flank detail - BMW Z8

Rear 3/4 - BMW Z8, a very handsome car

1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia - for me, quite possibly one of the most beautiful BMW's ever

Front 3/4 - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

Front Detail - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

A beautifully sculpted form - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

Rear detail - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

Hood detail - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

Front detail - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

Even the wheels have a beautiful simplicity to them - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

Faired rear wheel - BMW 328 Mille Miglia

BMW i8 concept - the future vision of electric cars from BMW

Rear light form detail - BMW i8

An eclectic icon - BMW Isetta, 1955

Front 3/4 - BMW Isetta

BMW Welt (World) - experience centre with the modern current offerings from the BMW Group

Metro 40 street furniture, street advertising - BMW DesignworksUSA

Sculpted forms, tank detail - BMW R1200GS adventure

More sculpted forms detailing - BMW R1200GS adventure

Me growing more and more fond of motorcycles - on the BMW R1200GS adventure (feels about the right size)