News - November 1, 2018

Flip a coin in The Spot

Roelof Kleis

The coinage of the commemorative coin will be accompanied by the presentation of The Royal Dutch Mint’s new gadget: the Flip a coin machine. The five-metre contraption will be placed in Orion for six weeks.

The Flip a coin machine (Dutch: Kop of munt-machine) is a five-metre-high wire-mesh column standing on a 2.5-metre-wide platform. At the bottom lies a coin half a metre in diameter. The platform has inset computer screens upon which the player must enter a dilemma. At the push of a button, the coin is flipped and provides the player with a solution.

Life choices
‘The dilemma machine playfully brings attention to our commemorative coin’, says Door van der Sloot, Project leader Centennial. ‘The dilemma can be anything; from life choices such as whether to get married or whether to follow a study programme to trivialities like who pays the next round.’ The machine is a promotional product of The Royal Dutch Mint. According to money makers, coins are flipped to make decisions all around the world.

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Chance plays a significant part in science as well. Fundamental laws of nature are dictated by chance. Important discoveries are often made by chance. The first dilemma to be entrusted to the machine will be one by former Minister and Wageningen alumnus Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The game can be played in The Spot, as well as anywhere in the world where internet is available and a connection can be made with the website of The Mint.

Screw press
The machine will be heralded with the second official coin to be stamped on Friday. Chair of the Board Louise Fresco and Dijsselbloem will join forces to do this. The former Minister will have the opportunity to produce the official first commemorative coin by himself before that. The coining is an event in itself. For this occasion, The Mint will ship its 2400‑kilogramme screw press to campus. The activity will take place in a tent outside Orion, as the heavy press would go right through the floor if it were placed in the building.

The commemorative coins are already available through the website of The Mint. The coins will be delivered after Friday. WUR staff will receive the 5-euro coin as a gift from the employer in early December. There are also special editions of the coin which cost hundreds of euros, such as the commemorative 10-euro coin that costs nearly 380 euros. Those who had hoped to get their hands on the set with the three coloured coins are too late. The 500 sets that were available have already sold out.

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