’Cow toilets’ in Netherlands aim to cut e-moo-ssions

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Cows stand in a field near the village of Hargimont, Belgium August 11, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Courtesy: (Hanskamp)
Updated 31 March 2019
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’Cow toilets’ in Netherlands aim to cut e-moo-ssions

  • The Netherlands is already introducing stricter rules on emissions of ammonia, which can cause atmospheric pollution and irritate the eyes in humans

THE HAGUE: Teaching cows to use the toilet is not the easiest task, but a Dutch inventor is banking on a new bovine urinal to help cut emissions that cause environmental damage.
Tests have started on a farm in the Netherlands on the device which collects some of the 15 to 20 liters of urine that the average cow produces a day.
That produces huge amounts of ammonia in a country like the Netherlands, which is the world’s second biggest agricultural exporter after the United States.
“We are tackling the problem at the source,” Henk Hanskamp, the Dutch inventor and businessman behind the “Cow Toilet,” told AFP Friday.
“A cow is never going to be completely clean but you can teach them to go to the toilet.”
The way the toilet works is “udderly” ingenious.
The urinal is in a box placed behind the cow, while in front is a feeding trough. Once the animal finishes eating a robot arm stimulates a nerve near the udders, which then makes it want to urinate.
The cow toilets are currently being tested on a farm near the eastern Dutch town of Doetinchem and seven of its 58 cows have already learned how to use them without the need for stimulation.
“The cows have got used to it,” Hanskamp said. “They recognize the box, lift their tail, and pee.”
“The stables have become cleaner and the ground is drier. Less damp ground is better for the health of the cows’ hooves,” Jan Velema, a vet who took part in the tests, was quoted as saying by De Volkskrant newspaper.
The Netherlands is already introducing stricter rules on emissions of ammonia, which can cause atmospheric pollution and irritate the eyes in humans.
The chemical can also be implicated in the creation of environmentally damaging algae blooms when it mixes with water.
Hanskamp, whose company develops agricultural machinery, says it could “reduce by at least half the amount of ammonia produced” were the cow to urinate on open ground.
The company aims to have them on the market by 2020, he said.
 


Bum move: Kardashian ‘kimono’ shapewear sparks Japan debate

Updated 26 June 2019
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Bum move: Kardashian ‘kimono’ shapewear sparks Japan debate

  • The pop culture icon unveiled the new ‘Kimono’ line on Twitter
  • But the announcement garnered mixed reaction both at home and in Japan

TOKYO: American television star Kim Kardashian has sparked debate in Japan by naming her new line of shapewear “Kimono,” prompting some to accuse her of disrespecting the traditional outfit.
The pop culture icon unveiled the new “Kimono” line on Twitter, revealing she had been working for a year on the underwear to offer “solutions for women that actually work.”
But the announcement garnered mixed reaction both at home and in Japan, with some offering their criticism on Twitter using the hashtag #KimOhNo.
“She’s been to Japan many times. I’m shocked. She has no respect,” tweeted one user in Japanese.
“I like Kim Kardashian, but please pick a name other than kimono if it’s underwear,” wrote another.
“The Japanese government should file a protest against Kardashian,” wrote a third.
Kimono literally means “something to wear,” while Kardashian’s use of it appeared to be a play on her first name. The new line’s website offered no explanation, and Kardashian has yet to respond to her online detractors.
And not everyone was opposed to the name, with some users arguing it could offer a chance to promote a traditional outfit that is declining in popularity even in Japan.
Once a standard of the Japanese wardrobe, the kimono is now often reserved for special occasions, such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies, and is mostly worn by women.
And while the elaborate outfits might appear to have little in common with the snug garb being offered by Kardashian, kimonos are not only often hugely expensive but known for being hard to wear.
Women frequently hire experts to dress them in kimono because the outfit requires seemingly endless nipping, tucking and strapping.