A 40-year-old man from Knegsel, Noord-Brabant is going to jail for five years for having built an underground drug lab. After spotting a manhole on his property, the police found a fully equipped drug lab with traces of MDMA and speed. Guns were also found on his property, and since the man had a prior conviction for growing weed and possession of weapons, he was given five years.
During the hearing, the man claimed that his drug lab was a ‘bomb shelter’ and a surprise gift for his girlfriend. He also claimed that he had found all the equipment in the woods and brought it home. The drugs found in his lab were from men who told him to hold it or they would kill him. And if you think the man’s lies couldn’t get any more pathetic, he also claimed that the entire operation was to develop a new medicine against Parkinson’s disease.
(Link: www.crimesite.nl, Photo: DEA)
Tags: drugs, MDMA, Noord-Brabant, xtc
Don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent Dutch films out there, some of which even helped me learn the language before I immigrated here many moons ago. However, if Dutch distribution companies and cinemas think a film is so bad they call it ‘a low point in Dutch film history’, then it must be some 50 shades of shitty. Surprise, it’s a total ’50 shades of grey’ rip-off if we believe the media because I already planned to ignore the original for as long as I live.
The film is called ‘De Overgave’ (roughly ‘The Surrender’) and here’s the trailer if you must). Major cinemas in Amsterdam have snubbed it, arthouse cinemas who are known to appreciate an underappreciated film have turned it down and the film’s Amsterdam distribution company only made 5 or 6 copies instead of the planned 50 or 60 because it’s, well, shite.
The directeur Paul Ruven is apparently well known for writing books about how to copy Hollywood film successes. Gosh.
(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo of film cans by tallfoot, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, cinema
With a banner that probably made international news because it featured the word ‘fuck’ on it and was written in English, PSV Eindhoven supporters were recently sporting a banner at a game that read “Fuck Wi-Fi, support the team”.
After paying good money to attend a football game, the last thing many fans would be caught doing is staring at their mobile phones. The thing is, free Wi-Fi is great because you can take pictures and post them to social media about all the fun you’re having. You can also throw the score up on Twitter and check if the media has more news on the player they just carried off the field than you would get at the stadium.
Omroep Brabant has claimed that the Wi-Fi connection is crap, which is not good advertising for a tech region made famous by brands like Philips and ASML.
However, many of us in the Netherlands can just turn on 4G and ride the interwebs. Banning something that is free and doesn’t even work seems like a waste of time, but we do get the point that it’s about joining in and not being a douche with your phone.
(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of Football by Bramus, some rights reserved)
Tags: Eindhoven, football, PSV, Wi-Fi
Have you ever gone to a music festival but got too drunk to remember which acts you saw?
Yeah, me neither, but apparently now there’s a solution. For the price of whatever was left of their privacy, visitors of the Lowlands festival last weekend could get a ‘free’ wristband that allowed them to keep a diary of sorts.
Every time you held the Nedap-developed wristband against a scanning station, the station would register your ID, time and location in order to be able to present you with a slew of data on the spot or afterwards. The data contained the location of both you and bracelet-wearing friends, the bands that played nearby, photos of you and your friends, ‘spotified’ set lists, and so on.
According to the video below by Face Culture, some people ‘hacked’ the system by trying to get into the top ten of the people that scanned their bracelets the most. Other advantages mentioned were the ability to remember the names of obscure bands you saw and not having to trawl through 20,000 photos online before finding yours. One person complained that she still had a sliver of privacy left: she wanted more scanning stations so that she could also see when she had gone for a burger.
A Campign Flight to Lowlands Paradise (its full name) is an annual festival held near Biddinghuizen in the province of Flevoland.
(Photo of Waldo at Lowlands 2008 by Gabe McIntyre, some rights reserved; if only he had worn an RFID tag, you would have spotted him instantly; link: AD)
Tags: cloud computing, Gabe McIntyre, Lowlands, Nedap, privacy, RFID, social media
African Junctions is a series by Amsterdam-based photographer Lard Buurman about the ‘overcrowded and chaotic cities’ in Africa.
Buurman’s photos are manufactured, doctored collages. His viewpoint is always the same, but he mixes different exposures together so that the end result is much busier than what originally happened in front of the camera. Sometimes you even see the same person appear several times in the same image.
The series is also a book published in Germany by Hatje Cantz.
(Link: Holly Moors)
Tags: Africa, Lard Buurman
ProRail is planning to use lasers to burn off the leafy mulch that coats rails in the autumn, Z24 reports.
The experiment is a collaboration between ProRail (network), Dutch Rail (operator) and Delft University of Technology. In another test, suggested by a train driver and also held this autumn, ProRail will wet rails to prevent leaves from sticking to them.
A similar trial with lasers was done in 2006 in the UK. At the time, ProRail felt the technology was not good enough. Industrial Laser Solutions has an interesting article about the technology.
In the autumn falling leaves form a mulch that cause train wheels to slip and slide. As a result, both braking and accelerating go slower, causing delays in the service.
Tags: autumn, Delft University of Technology, Dutch Rail, leaves, Prorail, railways, seasons, trains
On 14 August Egbertje Leutscher-De Vries, the oldest inhabitant of the Netherlands, passed away at age 111. Born on 22 October 1902 in Uffelte, Drenthe, she claimed her secret to a long life was eating a boiled egg every day for breakfast, a detail she told the media on her birthday last year upon receiving a telegram from King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. She has also donated her brain to science.
(Link: www.elsevier.nl, photo freegeorge.us)
Tags: age, longevity
Although it looks like a beginner’s art installation, someone snapped a picture of a toilet at Dutch supermarket Jumbo that lets people try different kinds of toilet paper. The assumption is that the toilet could be for employees rather than clients, while many people are surprised that there are rolls and have not all been stolen.
(Link and photo: www.neatorama.com)
Tags: supermarket, toilet paper
A 97-year-old man from Groesbeek, a village well known for its WWII cemetary, received two medals 70 years after WWII in the mail.
Arnold Nijenhuis wasn’t one to talk about the war, but recently started talking about it, telling stories. In one of his stories, his son Vincent understood that his father was put forth for a medal, but never received it. Vincent found a document in a pile of old papers to claim the medal and sent it in asking the Ministry of Defense to finally honour his father.
Almost like subscribing to a magazine, Arnold Nijenhuis was sent not one, but two medals, roughly translated as the War Memorial Cross as well as the Decoration for Order and Peace, again, in the mail.
(Link: www.gelderlander.nl, Photo of Ereteken voor Orde en Vrede 1947 by Robert Prummel, some rights reserved)
Tags: Groesbeek, medals, WWII
There are people addicted to using their smartphones, and maybe you’re one of them. Fear not, you can buy or ask someone to buy you the NoPhone, so you can finally have conversations with humans instead of checking your phone the whole time.
Dutch creatives Ben Langeveld and Ingmar Larsen together with a couple of New Yorkers thought up the 3D printed NoPhone, a black rectangular bit of plastic that feels like a smartphone in your hand, but isn’t one.
According to them, a person touches a smartphone about 150 times a day, significantly reducing a person’s real-life interaction. The NoPhone is like the pen a smoker puts in their mouth to ease cravings.
I bet people would buy the NoPhone for someone else as a huge hint that watching them stare at their phone is annoying. In fact, Langeveld and Larsen made the NoPhone with that specific type of addict in mind.
(Link: www.adformatie.nl, Photo: NoPhone)
Tags: 3D printing, Smartphones