A woman in Florida faked slipping and falling on the floor at chain store Target in order to defraud her insurance company. Margaret Dagniewska, 38, told a Target employee that she injured her neck, back, legs and shin at the store.
First, the surveillance camera shows her sitting down and second – the funny bit – she called her mother in Dutch telling her that she was sitting on the floor. Little did she know that a store employee understood Dutch and made a right fool of Dagniewska.
When the paramedics showed up, they left Dagniewska sitting there to get up on her own. The woman was eventually jailed for fraud. Dagniewska is a known defrauder, and it is not know if she is a card-carrying Dutch or maybe Belgian national.
(Link: www.wptv.com, Photo of mop and bucket by Phil Parker, some rights reserved)
Tags: Dutch language, Florida, fraud
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Bob Schiller has launched Epo bicycles with the hopes of seeing bicycle manufacturing make a come back in the Netherlands. His goal was to design a bike that could be both built and used here. “Even our prime minister uses his bike to get to work. Cycling is part of our culture and it has been for centuries. However, an affordable, contemporary Dutch bicycle disappeared from our streets.”
True, most mass-produced bicycles are manufactured in Asia as labour costs there are lower. Gazelle and Batavus brand bikes are Dutch and there are more, but yes, the fancy new ones are usually expensive designer bikes like Vanmoof or BlackStar Bikes and not the kind you ride to work every day for fear of them being stolen for starters.
It’s a nice idea, but unless labour costs go down, which they won’t, many designer Dutch bikes will continue to be a luxury item.
(Links: www.dezeen.com, www.madpac.nl)
Tags: Batavus, BlackStar Bikes, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Gazelle, Vanmoof
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology together and the University of Central Florida, report in the journal Nature Photonics the successful transmission of a record high 255 Terabits/s over a new type of fiber allowing 21 times more bandwidth than currently available in communication networks. This new type of fiber could be an answer to mitigating the impending optical transmission capacity crunch caused by the increasing bandwidth demand.
The new fiber has seven different cores through which the light can travel, instead of one in current state-of-the-art fibers. This compares to going from a one-way road to a seven-lane highway. Also, they introduce two additional orthogonal dimensions for data transportation – as if three cars can drive on top of each other in the same lane. Combining those two methods, they achieve a gross transmission throughput of 255 Terabits/s over the fiber link. This is more than 20 times the current standard of 4-8 Terabits/s.
(Link: phys.org, Photo by Mephisto, some rights reserved, based on a photo by Daniel Mayara)
Tags: data, data transmission, Eindhoven University of Technology, fiber
I went to check out a small art fair today that I was told had photos by Danielle van Zadelhoff (not the exhibition I wrote about last week, but also in Amsterdam).
Zadelhoff’s photos weren’t there, but instead I saw photographs by Ellen Schippers, Bas Bogaerts, Gabriele Vierte and Janet de Graaf. I may show you works by the latter three later, but today I recommend you check out the works of Ellen Schippers (some may be NSFW).
Schippers makes photographic portraits that have a painting-like quality because everything is blurry without being out of focus. I don’t know how she creates this look, but if I had to guess I would say she positions her subjects behind fogged up screens. The work shown here is called Snow White. I am not sure if this a photo or a still of one of her videos, but does it matter?
Ellen Schippers is a multi-disciplinary artist from Amsterdam who started out as a performer in art galleries and theatres.
Tags: art galleries, Ellen Schippers, performance, theatre, video
For the past three years citizens of Koewacht, a village straddling the Dutch-Belgian border, has been receiving anonymous hateful letters, but two weeks ago the perpetrator was caught.
Cristel was known to be a respectable woman, living a model life with her husband and dog in a detached house. However, behind those immaculate walls, AD says, the 51-year-old was busy writing letters to her neighbours signed with “a mother of three children” and “the group” in which she told the recipients that they were ugly, had ugly faces and big posteriors, and that she hoped their children wouldn’t grow up to be as ugly.
Don’t trash talk my children, a 32-year-old victim must have thought, and she contacted the neighbourhood cop who as it happens had also received hate mail from the same author. The police discovered about 15 people had received hurtful and sometimes threatening letters. Eventually the author was caught on 15 October and confessed immediately.
Last week during a meeting in the village’s only restaurant, ‘T Hoekske, the letter writer apologised to the victims. Her husband told people that his wife is undergoing treatment, although it’s not clear from the newspapers if it’s for her hateful tendencies.
Since none of the victims filed charges, the police won’t prosecute, much to the chagrin of the online peanut gallery who immediately branded her as a lunatic and a terrorist and clamoured for her arrest. This in turn led columnist Luuk Koelman to conclude that the woman’s biggest crime wasn’t writing hate mail, but doing it through the traditional post.
“On Internet forums it is custom to belittle everybody who disagrees with you. In real life the police may hunt you down when you tell a neighbour you think she is ugly. Online you can safely express your desire to see her dead or wracked with cancer. Nobody bats and eyelid at that.”
(Photo by Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, some rights reserved)
Tags: borders, commenters, hate, hate mail, letters, police, policing, post, Zeeland
Are the Dutch goody two-shoes or do they merely possess a strong sense of civic duty? I’ll leave that for our readers to decide.
According to Z24 last Thursday the Dutch and the Fins are the best at paying their value added tax (VAT).
The European Commission compared the expected VAT with the VAT that was actually collected in 26 Member States in 2012. Finland and the Netherlands had a VAT gap of 5%, closely followed by Luxembourg at 6%. Romania had the largest gap at 44%. The average VAT gap for the European Union was 16% which translates to an estimated 177 billion euro in lost tax revenue. This lost revenue is borne by the governments and by the entrepreneurs who actually do pay VAT.
The way VAT works is that it is collected for the government by the businesses at the point of sale. It is a consumer tax, so businesses get to deduct the VAT they themselves paid from the money they send to the government.
Tags: btw, consumers, European Union, Finland, fraud, taxes, VAT
In 2011 we had a story about a Dutch bike path with solar panels to be built in Krommenie, North Holland by SolaRoad in 2012, but apparently construction is happening right now in October 2014.
A straight stretch of 70 metres of bike path is being fitted with a concrete base, topped with a 1 cm thick layer of crystalline silicon solar cells. The solar cells will be protected by a thick, heavy-duty glass surface strong enough to drive a truck over it.
The Netherlands’ 140,000 kilometres of bike paths could be built out of 400 to 500 km2 of solar cells, which would provide a much bigger surface than the total roof surface of all Dutch houses, to give you an idea of future possibilities.
(Link: motherboard.vice.com, Photo: SolaRoad)
Tags: bike paths, solar cells
Bristol, UK now has their very own ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ revisited by Banksy and called ‘Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’, which has already been defaced. The earring is an alarm box.
(Link: www.independent.co.uk, Photo of Banksy’s Cleaner by Dan Brady, some rights reserved)
Tags: Banksy, Bristol, graffiti, Vermeer
“In ,’7685 Frames of Netherlands’, filmmaker Pengcheng He documents the beauty of the old cities of the Netherlands in a charming series of tilt-shift time-lapses. He shot the video in Delft, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.”
Many people don’t see Rotterdam as one of the old cities, mainly because few old buildings were left in the city after the WWII. Delft and Amsterdam join cities like Haarlem and Nijmegen as old cities.
Amsterdam’s IJ river ferries kick it off, then the Stopera, but I’ll let you play guess the city on your own because I could possibly describe the entire video location by location (yes, that is a bit scary) having lived extensively in all three cities. Sometimes, the film even has a miniatures feel to it.
(Link: laughingsquid.com, Photo of Rotterdam, KPN building by Roel Wijnants, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam
The court of Groningen handed down a ‘historical verdict’ last Thursday by refusing to punish two cannabis growers who ‘safely and responsibly’ carry out their work, only selling to coffee shops and even paying taxes. While the court found the growers guilty of cultivating weed, it refused to punish them for doing so, underlying the Dutch hypocrisy of punishing ‘the back door’ while turning a blind eye to selling through ‘the front door’. Weed sold in coffee shops is ‘tolerated’ and still illegal, but it continues to be supplied illegally, which is often challenged.
“Coffee shops must supply themselves and so cultivation must be done to satisfy these demands,” the Groningen court said, “but the law does not state how this supply should be done.” What growers do is illegal, but allowing the sale of cannabis since 1976 in coffee shops is very hypocritical and blatantly encourages crime.
The government enjoys the tax money it gets from legitimate businesses like coffee shops, and now the back door has now been left open. Other growers could also soon go unpunished, en route to the legal supply of cannabis for coffee shops.
(Links: phys.org, www.voc-nederland.org)
Tags: cannabis, coffee shops, Groningen, marijuana, weed