Vinkensport (finch sport), or vinkenzetting (finch sitting) is a Belgian, primarily Flemish, sport involving a box, a bird, and a counting stick. The bird that sings the most times in an hour wins. Here is a short and somewhat doubtful documentary.
In 1879, a French gynecologist / knee expert suggested that a tiny but very important body part existed. No one seemed to be in any hurry to test his hypothesis, although there was some desultory interest shown in the 1970s and 2000s. This Tuesday, two Belgian researchers (Steven Claes and Johan Bellemans) confirmed that the anterolateral ligament (ALL) exists and that about 97% of us have it. (Press release; abstract.) "The doctors wanted to know why some patients with ACL tears suffered from pivot shifts, or knee collapses, even after successful reconstructive surgeries. ... Patients with ACL tears were likely suffering knee collapses because of ALL injuries." [more inside]
Westvleteren is considered among many to be the holy grail of beers. Produced by 22 monks in a secluded Belgian monastery, it is one of the hardest beers to obtain in the world. It's now going on sale in the US for a very limited release (apparently to raise funds to replace the monastery's roof). Despite the $85 per six pack price tag, fans are lining up all over the country to obtain this legendary beer.
Toon Hertz: digital creations or mixed illustrations of children and films of monsters, dark culture and surrealism. Toon Hertz was born in 1967 in Liege in Belgium. These remind me of The Corpse Bride and a little of Edward Scissorhands.
A Town Called Panic. (MLYT)
The lost town of Goverthing. On Governor's Island in New York City, a lost hamlet and all of its strange artifacts has been unearthed by Belgian archeological team. (Unfortunately, it's really just an art project.)
Le réseau - Starting in the late 19th century, Belgian Paul Otlet envisioned the basics of a human powered Wikipedia and Google. He created a 12 million item database on index cards and accepted queries via mail or telegraph. The article describes his work and the Mundaneum museum in his honor. Be sure to watch the video. There is a full documentary on Otlet as well.
Club Little Gun, a bunch of tiny guns built into things from rings to crosses. Eat your heart out, Indiana Jones, the whip pistol. via [more inside]
Ever get the giggles at the most inappropriate time? It will never compare with the day this Dutch interviewer spoke to a man who tragically lost his testicles following a surgical error.
Home improvement Twenty years saying nothing but "Hello" and "Goodbye" to the neighbours, all the while fixing to kill people after you're dead ... this man deserves to become the sixth famous Belgian.