Hello readers!

Wow time flies by! Seriously, just three weeks ago the Tour de France started and I had little spare time between a project and the last study exams of the year, and now it is suddenly past half of July! Wow! Today a recap of the month of May, tonight a recap of the month June. And what I will write from Thursday on for at least a week…. that is a surprise!  But of course I hope you enjoy it and that it will be an inspiration for you! Or that it will bring up nice memories if you recognise it.

So how is it all going and what did I experience or enjoyed the past couple of weeks….

Lets start with the month of May!

In May the little spring holiday had ended so weeks of study lay ahead. But that’s in short the boring part. The nice part is all the things I visited in may!

If you follow my personal account on Instagram: @sophie.vda than you can see those photo’s, or now and then when my account is public. My public blog account on Instagram is @sophie.vda.blog

In May I have been to the following public events:

  • The Final of the Philips Innovation Awards
  • The Keukenhof – Tulips Garden in Lisse (Instagram photo)
  • The Feyenoord Championship festival in the city Rotterdam (Instagram photo)
  • The Rotterdam Starter Award 1st edition
  • Azië aan de Maas – Asian food and culture festival in Rotterdam
  • Library college human skeletons

And of course it was Mothers Day as well! 🙂 And I have been to a dear friend her birthday party and a double family birthday party.  Catching up stories about life with some dear friends was also part of the month of May. As soon as the exams and projectperiod of the previous trimester have ended it is catching up time with dear friends haha.

The IT related stuff: I have been working with PHP, JavaScript, SASS (and CSS & HTML recap), Python. I also worked with Statistics with R which I really like to analyse statistics in another way than with the common known SPSS analysis. All as part of a project and/or for selfstudy and the upcoming internship.

How has been your month of May?

Greetings by Sophie

Tour de France 2017 | Prologue

Prologue of the Tour de France 2017

Tomorrow start the first stage of the 21 Tour de France stages of 2017! I am looking forward to all the stages and to who will surprise and who will not surprise the crowd this year.

Sadly the Giro winner of this year, the Dutch Tom Dumoulin, is not participating in this years’ Tour de France edition, but maybe he will take part next year and will maybe be the follow-up of Chris Froome.

During these three weeks I will also be reading the autobiography of Chris Froom: ‘The Climb: The Autobiography’. 

Scorito Selection

There is one very popular app where you can select a team of cyclists that will probably score points in the Tour de France 2017. You get a virtual budget of €51.000.000 and every cyclist in the database has a value based on their skills and accomplishments in the last couple of years. You can select twenty cyclists in total for the whole tour and for every stage you select nine of those cyclists of which one is the leader of the day. These are all predictions and you have to make your selection for every stage complete prior to the start of the stage.

The official Tour de France 2017 map

Now you are wondering whom I have chosen to be in my Tour de France team of 2017.

The places from stage to stage

  • Stage 1: Düsseldorf (14 km, 8.7 miles)
  • Stage 2: Düsseldor to Liège (206 km, 128 miles)
  • Stage 3: Verviers to Longwy (202 km, 125.5 miles)
  • Stage 4: Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel (203 km, 126.1 miles)
  • Stage 5: Vittel to La Planche des Belles Filles (160 km, 99.42 miles)
  • Stage 6: Vesoul to Troyes (216 km, 134.22 miles)
  • Stage 7: Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges (214 km, 132.97 miles)
  • Stage 8: Dôle to Station des Rousses (187 km, 116.20 miles)
  • Stage 9: Nantua to Chambéry (181 km, 112.47 miles)
  • Stage 10: Périgeuux to Bergerac (178 km, 110.6 miles)
  • Stage 11: Eymet to Pau (202 km, 125.5 miles)
  • Stage 12: Pau to Peyragudes (214 km, 132.97 miles)
  • Stage 13: Saint-Girons to Foix (100 km, 62.14 miles)
  • Stage 14: Blagnac to Rodez (181 km, 112.47 miles)
  • Stage 15: Laissac-Sévérac l’Église to Le Puy-en-Velay (189 km, 117.44 miles)
  • Stage 16: Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère (165 km, 102.5 miles)
  • Stage 17: La Mure to Serre-Chevalier (183 km, 113.7 miles)
  • Stage 18: Briançon to Izoard (178 km, 110.6 miles)
  • Stage 19: Embrun to Salon-de-Provence (220 km, 136.7 miles)
  • Stage 20: Marseille (23 km, 14.29 miles)
  • Stage 21: Montgeron to Paris Champs-Élysées (105 km, 65.24)

The twenty cyclists

The cyclists I chose are sorted by team

  • Richie Porte (Team BMC)
  • Peter Sagan (Team BORA)
  • Rafal Majka (Team BORA)
  • Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
  • Serge Pauwels (Team Dimension Data)
  • Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha)
  • Rick Zabel (Team Katusha)
  • Maurits Lammertink (Team Katusha)
  • André Greipel (Team Lotto)
  • Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL)
  • Robert Gesink (Team LottoNL)
  • Alejandro Valverde (Team Movistar)
  • Simon Yates (Team Orica)
  • Marcel Kittel (Team Quick-Step)
  • Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)
  • Laurens ten Dam (Team Sunweb)
  • Chris Froome (Team Sky)
  • Luke Rowe (Team Sky)
  • Bauke Mollema (Team Trek)
  • Fabio Felline (Team Trek)

Who is gonna win the Tour de France 2017 do you think?

Greetings by Sophie

Sunny Sunday in May

It’s just a sunny Sunday in May and the upcoming day the weather will be good too in The Netherlands according to the weather forecasts.

The last couple of days I have been busy with study, travelling as a little tourist in my own country and family and friends. As well as going to some IT related events and speaking to some startup businesses. These days have been very inspiring and I am planning something to do during summer as a blog tour. Ideas ideas and ideas. And it is all noted in my new notebook – in the other little one was no space left for all my ideas while being travelling now and then. Are you curious for where I have been to the past couple of days? Take a look at my Instagram or LinkedIn for parts of the answer. The rest will be blogged about.

Have a nice sunny Sunday!

Greetings by Sophie

MTV Movie Awards 2017 | Best Actor winner Emma Watson speech

Last Sunday were the MTV Movie and TV Awards of 2017.

I remember watching this event as a teenager, ready in front of the television to see the highlights that were broadcast in The Netherlands. This year Emma Watson has won the first gender neutral award for best Actor in a film. She has won this for her acting in the film ‘Beauty and the Beast’.  Once again, Emma Watson has given an incredible speech. Let her inspire you!

Enjoy watching  the short video!

Emma Watson Accepts Best Actor in a Movie | MTV Movie & TV Awards

198,100 views | Likes 4K | Dislikes 474 |  | MTV

Published on 7 May 2017 | SUBSCRIBE 1.6M

Emma Watson accepts the award for Best Actor in a Movie for her role as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards. See more at http://www.mtv.com/movie-and-tv-awards/ #MTVAwards

A few favourite quotes:

  • “The first acting award in history, that does not separate nominees based on their sex. Says something about how we perceive human experience.”
  • “Empathy and the ability to use your imagination, should have no limits.”
  • “I am so proud to be a part of a film that celebrates diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy and love the way that this one does.”

She give thanks to:

  • The person who announced her and gave her the award
  • The writer of the original Belle
  • The writer of the book on what the animated film was based on
  • The actor of the original Belle
  • Every single person who voted for Emma Watson
  • The other nominated people alongside her
  • Anyone and everyone who had anything to do with giving Emma Watson this opportunity and for supporting her on that journey.

Let her speech be an inspiration for your own speeches

Greetings by Sophie

April 2017 | Life of an IT student

Time flies when you are…

… busy

… having fun

… living life

… studying hard

… working on your career

… improving and expanding knowledge

… being active and sporting

… and take some rest now and then of course

— ‘April 4th, 2017, written by Sophie van den Akker’

Life of an IT student

Hello readers!

Time really flies between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The last couple of weeks have been busy and inspiring, motivating by living life and having fun as well, and studying hard to improve my skills and expand my knowledge. Tomorrow is a big day – maybe I achieve my second Propedeuse at a University of Applied Sciences. This time in Software Engineering and I have already a Propedeuse degree in Media & Entertainment Management.

Today started a new project about making a Proof of Concept of an idea in ‘The Internet of Things’ sector. 
Have you ever heard of, or been in touch with, ‘The Internet of Things’ ?
. It seems like not even 50% of people worldwide have really heard about what it is – except for the terminology – and not even 25% has seen or experienced something – knowingly – about it. I will write about this project later on but I will not spoil the idea we have as a project group because we are also making this Proof of Concept for a real company. Tomorrow a final check of workshops before Girlsday. The day we promote coding among young girls a give a little workshop. I do this in the name of the organisation Dresscode Rotterdam, shortly Dresscode. Dresscode is a network of students that promote coding among young women and girls in high or primary or secondary school. We learn to give workshops as well and we design them. It is always a different experience and thursday on April 13th 2017 Girlsday is coming up throughout The Netherlands. Together with some fellow students we give some workshops from different parts of technical studies.

Let’s have a recap about the past two months:

February

In February the previous project was still part of that month. I did not like the project without frameworks, I have written about it in: January 2017 update | Life of an IT student .

The second week of February started with a new semester. This third trimester of the year that is still going on, started with Development Statistics with R and Analysis with Cyber Security. Both subjects are very interesting and different in learning and implementing.
I have also been a lot to the zoo these months because I had more free time and love to visit the zoo now and then when it is not too busy. I have also followed a tour ‘Behind the scenes of the Oceanium‘ in Diergaarde Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam. Another blog post will be written about this special tour. Meanwhile I was getting busier with study again but have also visited finally the musical ‘The Lion King’. Yes the Dutch version in the AFAS Circustheatre Scheveningen. But it was lovely and a really really good show! Another blog post especially about this musical visit will come up soon.

The video I made about a Polar Bear in the zoo. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

The photo of the entrance of the circus theatre in Scheveningen. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

The Ferris Wheel on the famous pier at the boulevard in Scheveningen. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

March

In march I have been to a concert in the famous ‘Concertgebouw’ , classic music hall, in Amsterdam. A special concert about not many times performed pieces composed by the composer Mahler and other pieces composed by the composer Elgar. The conductor was Sir Elliot Gardiner and the mezzo soprano was Ann Hallenberg. What a beautiful concert! Classical music is not reviewed before on my blog though I play the piano and the soprano and alto saxophone. I will write a blog post about this as well. The experience of the concert, some investigation about the composers, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the conductor and last but not least the mezzo soprano.

The concert in ‘Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam’. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

Further on in March I have had some big deadlines for study and another exam week, but that is something that is – until I am doing an internship – always the matter. As a new experience I have given a workshop for teacher training students and I have had several meetings with students and teachers about Dresscode. And last but not least, during the last week of March the Dutch Book Week started! I have been to two talks, one with writer Marcel Möring interviewing writer Connie Palmen. And the talk following up was the talk again hosted by bookshop Donner, writer Marcel Möring interviewing Sonja Barend – a Dutch famous former television personality. It was both lovely and inspiring and a blog post will be coming up.

The two book talks in bookshop Donner, Rotterdam. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

And as you see I have posted several photos on Instagram and share them now on my blog to have some visuals with my little updates.

How have been your February and March?

Greetings by Sophie

Dutch Parliamentary Elections 2017

The Dutch Parliamentary Elections of 2017

The Dutch Parliamentary Elections of 2017 | 28 Political Parties | 1114 Candidates | Rotterdam and Amsterdam. I voted! Greetings by Sophie

The results of the Dutch Parliamentary Elections of 2017

This is what I wrote ~kind of ~ on Facebook about the results of the Dutch Parliamentary Elections:

Also in Dutch known as: Tweede Kamer Verkiezingen 2017 or TKV2017

Rotterdam Dutch Parliamentary Elections Result 2017. The red bars are 2017 results!

Lots of media have probably written about it, and all the predictions and so on. I rarely write about politics, but I love to mention that I live as a student in a multicultural city named Rotterdam and together with Amsterdam, these are the two biggest and the two most multicultural cities of The Netherlands.

Yesterday we had the chance to vote on one of the

…. hold it….

28! political parties and after that decision…

we had to choose between one of the …

…hold it again…

one of the 1114! candidates. Yes that is over 1000 persons…

I made my decision and I voted!

In The Netherlands it is a jubilee because women’s suffrage exists this year for 100 years! Is it a coincidence that there are elections 100 years after those voting rights for women? After all what (politically) happened the past century? I am happy I have the right to vote! So I did!

Amsterdam Dutch Parliamentary Elections Result 2017. The red bars are 2017 results!

See the two big images: Rotterdam and Amsterdam

In Rotterdam the VVD is the greatest political party.

In Amsterdam GroenLinks is the greatest political party.

Two multicultural cities that will always remain multicultural.

And even though politics is not my thing, with such results, I find it ‘gezellig’, safe and challenging to continue to live during my studies in a multicultural city.

Diversity in cultures is nice. Nice to be part of it in the big city, nice to learn from it, nice to experience this diversity through f.e. little food festivals.

And diversity in politics, well it does not make it easier to govern, but sometimes diversity is considered and an inspiring brainstorming. I just think it is important to know about diversity, to respect diversity and trying to understand diversity. Not everything of the government will that way be viewed from the same angle, but highlighted by several angles and sides and they take in the design and implementation of the plans.

I am curious for the final outcome of ANP, the outcome of the electoral council on March 21st, which political formation will be formed and what will happen the next four years.

In general: The statistics we know now, are based on manual counts by the 388! municipalities. And gathered by our central press  facts checker: ANP.

At this moment, not everything is count yet (I write this at 01:55 (CET, so UTC + 01:00)).

The official result and recognition will take place at March 21st organised by the ‘Kiesraad’ which is an independent organisation by the government to check for faults by these manual counts by the municipalities. But ANP is very reliable and you can assume that they will be right with their results because they do this already since 1938 and if there will be a difference with the ‘Kiesraad’, it will be only as much as half a chair…or to say half a place for a party so no major difference.

The different parties

The political landscape: Left versus Right and Progressive versus Conservative. Yes politics is not simple in this little complicated country. This images is from the previous election results of 2012.

The parties and their translation:

  • VVD = People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy –> the most Right
  • CDA = Christian Democratic Appeal
  • CU = Christian Union
  • SGP = Reformed Political Party –> the most conservative
  • PVV = Party for Freedom
  • 50+ = 50Plus
  • D66 = Democratic Appeal –> the only combination Progressive and Right
  • GL = GreenLeft –> the most progressive
  • PvdA = Labour Party
  • PvdD = Party for the Animals –> Yes I love that the animals have a kind of voice too.
  • SP = Socialists Party

This year we could vote at special locations too. For example a view looking over Amsterdam, voting on one of the little uninhabited islands. And you could vote in the public libraries and on several train stations. I discovered even two voting areas in the central library in Rotterdam, wow I have never seen that before. And ques, ques and ques. Especially during rush hour when lots of people were done working for the day. And more than 80% of the people with voting rights, voted! I think we all encouraged each other to use your right to vote!

What did you hear about the Dutch Parliamentary Elections of 2017?

Greetings by Sophie

YouTube | Lindsey Stirling – Beauty and The Beast

Today I discovered this beautiful music video on YouTube from Lindsey Stirling.

The new film of Beauty and The Beast with Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast, had its première the 23rd of February in London.

It will be further released in cinemas on March 16, 2017 (Eastern Europe), March 17, 2017 (other parts of the world and USA), and in The Netherlands on March 29, 2017.

Why is it released so late in The Netherlands, or is it because of the translation…I don’t know…does not happen that often such a day difference. In Belgium it will be released on March 22, 2017.

Lindsey Stirling is a multi skilled artist: violinist, dancer, performance artist. She combines choreography with playing the violin.

And she is the upcoming weeks in Europe! (one mentioned per country, sometimes more events in a country; check it here)

European Tour

  • March 14, 2017: Jahrhunderthalle – Frankfurt, Germany
  • March 15, 2017: Hallenstadion – Zürich, Switzerland
  • March 17, 2017: O13 – Tilburg, The Netherlands
  • March 18, 2017: Rockhal – Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • March 21, 2017: Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, Belgium
  • March 23, 2017: Zenith – Lille, France
  • April 3, 2017 – Eventim Apollo – London, United Kingdom
  • April 5, 2017 – Vicar Street – Dublin, Ireland

Lindsey Stirling – Beauty and The Beast

YouTube description:

Beauty and the Beast – Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling | Published on 13 Mar 2017 | SUBSCRIBED 9M
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Happy Sophie’s Blog Anniversary!

Happy Sophie’s Blog Anniversary!

Two years ago, in the early days of March, I started with this blog. I love reading and writing since I can read and write. Being creative with poems about animals, people or just things that happen during a normal day. Writing little stories with those poems and writing little stories in diaries. Now and then I thought about writing a book. I specified all the characters to start with, wrote the first half chapter and then…probably…my inspiration was gone or I was distracted in so many other things that can inspire you when you are a teenager. I was back then.

Before this blog I had as a young little girl my own “magazine” written in Word, I think this was during my Elementary School years. During my junior High School years, I had some designed ‘pet pages’ on Neopets and my own ‘Kindertent’ website with a fan page of ‘Harry Potter’ – somewhere until around 2006. And after a few years I started with my own Blogger.com website. This was somewhere during the summer holiday after graduating in 2011. Sadly I have deleted this blog, well I have transferred it to another version I made on Blogger and so on. Two blogs on Blogger and even a Google Sites blog – to have more creative possibilities – later and a little break….and it was March 2015.

During 2014 I was experiencing a bit with WordPress because this was the biggest ‘other blogging option’ left after my previous – not satisfying enough – tries. It took a couple of days before I was satisfied with the layout and thought I had all opportunities maximized in use. And back then when I just entered my early twenties…I started this blog! Two years later I am still in my early twenties though haha.

And maybe you have noticed for this anniversary: an own domain name and a new layout! 🙂 Read on for the whole story about my blogging experience.

The Headers

Twenty Fourteen theme, first header 2014 experiencing

I started back then with the ‘Twenty Fourteen’ theme and this header above.

Twenty Fourteen Theme, header 2 2015 Later on Hemingway Rewritten theme as well – switched back shortly

Later on I changed the header into a more photographic one with a butterfly. I love the blue colour of the butterfly and the green differences in the background, not just one color but a bit lively.

Theme Hemingway Rewritten primary Switched to Twenty Fourteen theme shortly – 2015

During the summer of 2015 when I started with my Facebook Page: Sophie’s Blog , I  thought about making my own featured images in a header style to show the category of a blog post. This way every post from then on has a featured image with information that shows to which category the blog post belongs. This is still my method only the header – and therefore also all those featured images by category – has changed.

2016 – Hemingway Rewritten theme for a long time

Simple and minimal became the new thing. Not to bright, to colourful or a bit sloppy. I started experiencing with a black and white header and attached through Photoshop symmetric two flowers bound by a line that marked my blog title and subtitle. Yes, I called my blog ‘Sophie’s Web’ because it was me writing on the web and experiencing what to do with it. Will it become a blog with one single subject? Will it become a personal website?

New layout and an own domain

Here we are! Anno 2017 at the blog anniversary. A new layout and a new own domain! Welcome to the .blog world!

2016 – Hemingway Rewritten theme shortly | 2016 + 2017 Button theme for a long time | 2017 – March: Dara Theme and own domain name

It became a mixture: A blog with all my personal interests. Not a completely single subject – or three what you see often too – blog. Not a specific book blog, film blog, series blog, IT blog, Lifestyle blog, cooking blog, recipes, gadgets and so on….

This became my combination of everything I am interested in and the subtitle of my previous header was already present in my subconscious – only doubting how it all would result.

The way it is nowadays, designed by myself in simply black and white and a touch of a curly blue sign, I feel most content with. I did some research on signs and if some were religious or had other meanings. This one does not have a particular meaning as far as I discovered. But every time when I see it, I see a bit of a music key in it. For example a twisted simplified G-clef. And I love the font too. It has also its little semi curly effects by thick and thin and straight and italic combined. Took a while before I found a font I was satisfied with.

Maybe I seem a bit picky in every aspect that has to do with my blog – such as menus, social buttons, widgets, fonts, headers, colors, sizes and so on… .
Even after two years, I won’t switch to something else than WordPress. I won’t change my whole personal website and blog.

This is who I am as a blogger, and blogging and reading and broaden my knowledge is what I like to do. Together with writing and telling – ya, people who know me personally know I can talk now and then a lot – stories about everything exciting and positive I experience. In such a broad interest because I love many sorts of things in life and I appreciate every big and every small little thing. Do things that let you smile or just enjoy.

I hope I’ll be for someone an inspiration to do joyful things in life.
Enjoy the little things as well such as watching a film, reading a book or just watching an episode of a series.
Or appreciating a nice photograph or quote or a nice supporting comment.
Appreciate it when someone gives you advice, you can probably learn from it.
Stay always true to yourself.
My blog let’s me smile for already just being there, the space where I can write stuff, gather all my interests an where I can be creative now and then.

I just keep on enjoying the joyful things in life and writing about it.
Thank you for reading this long – personal blogging – story!
Thank you for being one of my true blog fans!
Thank you for your advises!
Just thank you!

Cheers to this Happy Sophie’s Blog Anniversary!

Happily greetings by Sophie

Today I have visited a small exhibition in the National Library of The Netherlands. Wonderful books are exhibited there, accompanied with information. Nice little lessons about books in The Netherlands.

The ‘Atlas Maior’ is the largest atlas ever made. In Dutch more than 9 volumes, Latin 11 volumes, French 12 volumes, German 10 volumes and Spanish 10 volumes. Written by Joan Blaeu and published in Amsterdam between 1662 and 1672. The atlas has 594 different maps and around 3000 pages.

This is one of the maps, do you recognise some places?

Belgica Foederata (de noordelijke Nederlanden) Atlas Maior, Joan Blaeu, 1662. Copyright Edugis.nl on Pinterest
Belgica Foederata (de noordelijke Nederlanden) Atlas Maior, Joan Blaeu, 1662. Copyright Edugis.nl on Pinterest

The pinterest post:

Soon I will write about my experience of the exhibition and upload some photo’s.

Greetings by Sophie

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