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April 1, 2015

Anne Frank died earlier than recorded

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 3:23 pm
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Anne Frank and her sister Margot probably died a month earlier than previously recorded at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. According to Erika Prins, a researcher at the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, her death was placed in February instead of March. Both girls died of typhus, with most typhus deaths happening some 12 days after the first symptoms.

Anyone who knows the story of Anne Frank often has the feeling that if she had held on a bit longer, she could have been liberated, which was never really the case, but now even less so.

“The new date of her death changes little about the tragic lives of Anne and her sister Margot, who went into hiding with their family in an Amsterdam canal house but were eventually betrayed, sent to Nazi concentration camps and died in the Holocaust along with millions of other Jews.”

Jews hid in many places across the country (in Dutch). You can also see Anne Frank on YouTube in a film fragment, the only time ever apparently. As well, many people think Anne Frank was Dutch, but she was German.

(Links: phys.org, www.nu.nl, Photo of famous chestnut tree: annefranktree.com)

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March 31, 2015

Eurovision gets Dutch pop singer Trijntje Oosterhuis

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 3:06 pm

With no controversy or mudslinging in sight, pop and jazz singer Trijntje Oosterhuis is going to represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Festival 2015 in Vienna with the song ‘Walk Along’. The lyrics were written by pop singer Anouk who represented the Netherlands in 2013 with the song ‘Birds’ and took ninth place. The music for ‘Walk Along’ was written by Swedish-born California-based heavyweight songwriter Tobias Karlsson.

Last year’s second place win ‘Calm After the Storm’ by The Common Linnets, which received its share of criticism, is now the one to beat. Unfortunately, there’s nothing special about ‘Walk Along': it sounds like typical Dutch radio music, it’s well interpreted by Oosterhuis and some say it’s a bit catchy. However, the chorus is too repetitive (‘ay ay ay’). I think it’s going to flop because it’s sound like everything else on the radio in many countries.

The song that popped in my head when I heard ‘Walk Along’ was Natalie Imburglia’s ‘Torn’, originally written and recorded by American band Ednaswap, which I had to look up and realised that version was way better.

I was wrong last year about The Common Linnets whose song went down really well abroad and the Internet has a lot of positive comments for Oosterhuis, so judge for yourselves:

(Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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March 30, 2015

Drone to deliver asparagus, ringing in the season

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:55 pm

One-Michelin-star restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant likes to make a splash in spring once white asparagus season kicks off and what better way to do that than having a drone deliver the white gold to your door.

On 1st April (no joke), a drone with a 15-minute battery that needs to fly 12 minutes avoiding all kinds of buildings and bridges according to many rules will drop off a crate of asparagus at the kitchen door of the restaurant. There’s a backup battery and a Plan B to land nearby if the wind is too much.

It’s not the first time De Zwaan and its owner Roland Peijnenburg have marked the start of asparagus season by creating a buzz. They’ve also used a hot air balloon carrying the town mayor and once had an asparagus relay race.

When you mention asparagus in the Netherlands, people think white asparagus and not green asparagus first. Here’s a white asparagus cocktail appetizer recipe for you as well.

(Link: www.deondernemer.nl, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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March 29, 2015

Warehouse echoes Rietveld’s famous weaving mill

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 8:25 pm

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The jagged roof of this warehouse and office space in Meppel, Drenthe was designed by Dutch architect Arnoud Olie to reference a 1950s weaving mill, Weverij de Ploeg (photo) in Bergeijk, Noord-Brabant thought up by world famous Dutch architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld.

Olie wanted to avoid the traditional ‘square box’ buildings that are typical for the region and therefore went with an upgraded Dutch design classic.

(Link and photo: www.dezeen.com)

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March 27, 2015

Dutch spies thwarted by German windmills

Filed under: Sustainability,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:58 pm

don-quixote-gustave-dore-pdGerman windmills are disrupting the proper spying on Dutch citizens by the Dutch military secret service MIVD, or so the latter complains.

The Ministry of Defence has complained to the municipality of Vreden (Germany) about the fact that it allows the placement of wind turbines so near to its spying antennas (14 kilometres), Ravage reports. Vreden has already limited the height of its turbines and is currently amending its rules for the placement of new turbines.

According to Webwereld, 25 Dutch citizens lost their jobs in 2009 and 2010 when the Ministry of Defence destroyed their employer’s business model of providing medium distance, high speed wireless internet (wimax). After the ministry had told Worldmax that it was forbidden to roll out its services in the entire north of the Netherlands, the wimax provider had to close its doors, losing dozens of millions of euro in the process.

Vreden is planning a farm of 24 wind turbines in or near the Crosewicker Feld nature reserve and is getting some resistance from its citizens, according to Münsterland Zeitung. The locals don’t share the concerns of the Dutch military, but are unwilling to have to look at the turbines all day. They want the distance from the turbines to their house increased from the proposed 400 metres to at least 500 metres. (This has led to an interesting legal paradox where the council members who live too close to the proposed wind farm are not allowed to vote on what constitutes ‘too close’. The Germans call this conflict of interest Befangenheit.)

Illustration: renowned windmill fighter Don Quixote by Gustave Doré, 1863.

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March 26, 2015

Park in Utrecht dumps trash for team building

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am

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A park in Utrecht that apparently didn’t have enough trash in it had some trash added to it by the city to make sure that beer giant Inbev could have a proper team building session picking up rubbish.

Imagine being a neighbour watching city employees dump trash into a park for the sake of some company’s team building outing and busloads of white collar employees having fun picking up the trash like problem youth doing community service.

The city of Utrecht admitted it was a bad call to dump more trash in the park, although they still did. They are probably only saying this because they got caught doing it. The idea of putting trash into a park to then have it picked up again is retarded.

To make things worse Inbev claims it knew nothing about the extra trash and would not have gone through with it if they had known, which is plausible. Either way Inbev was stuck dealing with a load of rubbish. The employees, who were geared up to do a good deed, can now team build on the feeling of having been screwed over.

(www.welingelichtekringen.nl)

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March 25, 2015

Are women afraid to use the self-scanner?

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:26 pm

Rosie

It is a tendentious question, but what on earth is Rosie the Riveter being used to encourage women folk, who are the main food shoppers, that they too have enough brains to use the relatively new self-scanners at the supermarket? It says ‘We scan ourselves!’. If they had a picture of a tough guy saying ‘I can use a scanner, too!’ it would be condescending. The scanners also work in other languages, so the insult isn’t lost on the non-Dutch crowd.

Hang on: the message with a woman is condescending towards women! Retro is cute, but not like this. Rosie deserves a hell of a lot better.

This lame message is quite typical of corporate Dutch passive-agressiveness: use the fokkin scanners ladies, as we’d rather have our cheap students (mostly female by the way) lose their jobs to a self-scanner over time. Yes, it’s mainly boys that stock shelves because, well, boys. I bet Rosie could kick all of their asses.

As a representative of women folk, I don’t always use the scanner because when I buy alcohol, an employee needs to come over, verify my age and swipe their magic card through the scanner so I can get on with it.

If you don’t agree that the poster is insulting to women, fine. But you should agree that it’s fokkin unoriginal.

(Photo: Mariëlle Verbeek)

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March 24, 2015

National alarms to be phased out in 2017

Filed under: General,Online by Orangemaster @ 6:38 pm

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The first Monday of the month at noon is when the entire country gets to listen to a modern-day air raid siren, a test to make sure it’s all working in the event of a flood or if zombies ever become a thing. The government wants to replace it with NL-alert, which was the world’s text message-based emergency broadcast system, as well as use social media, websites and the radio to warn people, probably in Dutch only.

Webwereld.nl points out a host of problems with NL-alert: it still doesn’t work with 4G mobile phones and doesn’t always work if your phone is too new, too old or not configured to receive NL-alert. If your mobile network breaks down, you won’t get a warning, either. If you don’t own a mobile or if something happens in one town and you work in another, which is most of the Dutch population, you won’t get a message until your commute home and it could be too late. If you’re driving in your car where it’s illegal to use your phone and you’re not listening to the radio, you’ll find out much later as well. If you’re a person that turns off your mobile at night to get some decent sleep you also won’t get the message, as disasters would then really need to happen during the day.

And if you’re a visitor or a tourist with no mobile or a foreign network, the zombies will get you first.

Sure, if enough people know something bad is happening you’ll find out as well, but it’s still patchy. The current alarm system seems to be the only ‘old school’ way to warn almost everybody, but it does cost 4 million euro a year and doesn’t always work, either.

(Links: www.parool.nl, webwereld.nl, Photo of Air raid siren by Tim Geers, some rights reserved)

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March 22, 2015

Boijmans van Beuningen to build special satellite

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 8:00 pm

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To be designed by Rotterdam architecture firm MVRDV, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam wants to build a € 50m private art depot to display its artworks along with the ones of private collections. This would mean an additional 145,000 artworks could be seen, which otherwise would stay hidden from view.

The museum sees this as a great way to fund itself. “We are stimulating the market and taking a piece of the market back to the museum,” director Sjarel Ex explained at a presentation at the Tefaf art fair in Maastricht on 13 March.

The ‘collection building’ does look like a bit like a salad bowl and would be built next to the existing museum. Some 10% of the space would be rented out to private collectors. The museum also plans to facilitate loans, produce condition reports and provide other collection management services.

Rotterdam’s city council will vote on the proposal on 20 May and it it is approved, the depot would open in 2018.

(Link: www.theartnewspaper.com, Photo: collectiegebouw.boijmans.nl)

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March 21, 2015

Toy shop sells mirrors for assaulting women

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 7:37 pm

Mirror

A distant cousin of the 1970s T-shirt ‘Sex inspector first lesson free’ that was once funny but now icky, this wonderful gadget called the ‘Extendable inspection mirror’ could be used as a toy to find things stuck behind furniture, but the image on the box suggests otherwise.

The image conveyed here is that it is OK for young boys (what is up with those glasses?) to sexually assault women because it’s funny. Although I’m glad Dutch folks on Twitter blew the whistle on this one, the typical ‘we thought it was odd too, but we stacked in the shelves anyway’ response from the shop shows how much critical thinking some employees have, which is none at all. The toy shop in question is busy scrambling and pulling the item from their shelves after it hit the media because they were too stupid to come to that conclusion themselves.

(Link and photo: nieuws.nl)

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