‘Kidnapping Mr. Heineken’, a 2015 American film about the kidnapping of Dutch beer tycoon Freddy Heineken, is not only getting bad reviews from the international and Dutch press, but is also has enough mistakes to keep everybody busy.
Maarten Treurniet directed the 2011 Dutch film ‘De Heineken ontvoering’ (‘The Heineken Kidnapping’), staring a cast of actual Dutch people including Rutger Hauer, while Kidnapping Mr. Heineken apparently couldn’t be bothered with authenticity and casted mostly British and other non-Dutch actors. While the Dutch film set in 1983 Amsterdam has many anachronistic items from the 1990s and a few references to 1984, the American film messed up big time by showing the wrong coloured beer bottles, which should be brown instead of green.
NU.nl says that, “it is a weird mistake because the makers were attentive to very small details, even the police cars are from 1983.” The mistake was easy to make because Heineken has always exported its beer in green bottles, but in the Netherlands domestic bottles were brown, a ‘stupid mistake’. Even Dutch crime journalist and author Peter R. de Vries whose book was used to script the film was so displeased with the final product he couldn’t be arsed to go to the film’s premiere in the US.
If you like your Heineken humour on the absurd side, find out why a Dutch beer brand was a good choice for celebrating February’s Black History Month in the US a few years back.
(Link: www.nu.nl, Screenshot of The Colbert Report)
Tags: beer, Heineken, kidnapping
This week Dutch junior justice minister Fred Teeven signed an agreement for the Netherlands to rent out its ‘luxury’ prison cells to Norwegian prisoners, as Norway’s jails are quite full. The cells are considered fancy because they have nice views, prisoners can grown and cook their own food, they can enjoy a hobby space and better television that most regular people, and can also choose the colour of one of their cell walls.
The Norwegians will be moving into those cells in a deal that will make the Dutch state 25 million euro and take away the privileges of the Dutch prisoners current using these cells. The Dutch prisoners are pissed and are taking the justice minister to court, while the Norwegians are pissed because family visits will be a problem, costing a lot of time and money.
In the past some 550 Belgian convicts were housed in Tilburg, but that’s not too far to visit and the language is pretty much the same.
(Link: www.businessinsider.com, Photo by Ken Mayer, some rights reserved)
Tags: norway, prison
Last weekend thieves made off with what is being called the most expensive cheese slicer in the world worth 25,000 euro, made by Boska Holland. It was stolen out of the Amsterdam Cheese Museum and is studded with 220 diamonds, designed in 2007 by Argentine bling designer Rodrigo Otazu.
The cheese slicer was being showcased in a basement window that wasn’t much of a match for the thieves. CCTV may provide a clue as to the persons that looted the shop.
However, it anyone helps catch the thieves, the generous Boska have a big cheese fondue set and some cheese for you. Yup, that’s it.
Even though many people think the cheese slicer is Dutch (like the potato, tulips and Delft blue – none of which is Dutch), the cheese slicer is a Norwegian invention.
(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Cheese slicer by The Akermarks, some rights reserved)
Tags: cheese, cheese slicer
After the world found out about an owl terrorising the city of Pumerend and sending people to hospital, the city of Haarlem has decided to attack its annual seagull problem with drones, based on an American idea. Haarlem is a few kilometres from the North Sea, while Amsterdam is further away and seems more overrun by pigeons.
Forget hanging devices that make falcon noises to scare seagulls off. With a drone you can replace the camera part with the noisy device and scare the seagulls out of their nests, as long as it’s not too windy for the drones. Seagulls are a protected bird type, so scaring them away is the city’s best bet for now.
(Link: www.rtvnh.nl, Photo of Drone by Karen Axelrad, some rights reserved)
Tags: birds, drones, Haarlem, seagulls
As of 1 March, the Opium Law, which governs the use of cannabis, has made grow shops illegal throughout the country. The idea behind it was to stop grow shops that have a hand in the illegal growing of cannabis, such as supplying lamps, plant food and other supplies. The price for breaking the law is a maximum prison penalty of three years and a fine of 81,000 euro.
In October 2014 the court of Groningen handed down a historical verdict by refusing to punish two cannabis growers who ‘safely and responsibly’ carried out their work. The court refused to punish the growers stating the hypocrisy of punishing ‘the back door’ while turning a blind eye to selling through ‘the front door’.
Now, even though the shops are not technically growing cannabis themselves, the law is trying to shut the ‘back door’, while continuing to allow the selling of cannabis through the ajar and very lucrative ‘front door’.
Tags: drugs, marijuana
Dutch industrial designer Leonie Tenthof van Noorden, who uses 3D scanning to produce unique custom-made dresses, calls the technique she uses ‘digital tailoring’. She also claims that going to a shop that will scan you and make clothes for you is probably not that far off, either.
Her Master’s graduation project at the Eindhoven University of Technology ‘This Fits Me’ is called the way it is because the clothing is fitted specifically to someone’s body using 3D scanning techniques and generative design, explained in the video which was filmed in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week 2014.
(Link and screenshot: www.dezeen.com)
Tags: 3D, Eindhoven University of Technology, wearables
The Language Centre of the University of Groningen has received 20,000 responses from people all around the world wanting to take their free, online Dutch courses. The amount of people signed up was so unexpected, the university cracked open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate its success. The Dutch course was offered on futurelearn.com where millions of people browse through free courses offered by all kinds of universities.
According to the Telegraaf, people want to learn Dutch to find a job, because they have a Dutch partner or just out of curiosity. Asylum seekers and potential immigrants could also try to learn Dutch this way although they would need regular access to a computer with Internet, which for many of them is not a given. Another issue is that the course explanations are in English, so someone needs to be able to understand English first before they can go Dutch.
(Links: www.deondernemer.nl, www.telegraaf.nl)
Tags: Dutch courses, University of Groningen
The ability to receive information in one’s language is no longer a sufficient reason to hang a satellite dish from your flat when there’s access to streaming through the Internet, according to a court in Amsterdam. Satellite dishes are forbidden in many flat buildings because they are ugly yet homeowners’ associations still have problems forbidding them altogether because telling people to ‘go use the Internet’ has its own problems, one of them being it comes off as xenophobic and possibly racist. Dutch and other Europeans have quite a few channels available to them through cable television, but many other foreigners do not and so they use a dish.
The Internet is also not free, so that’s not a good argument to ban dishes and go against ‘the ability to receive information’ according to European law and human rights. The case in question is about a man who wanted to watch Portuguese-language shows. The law says that if there’s enough information in your own language available on the Internet then you don’t need a satellite dish. I’m wondering what kind of Portuguese? Angolan, European, Brazilian, what?
Who gets to decide what my language would be as a foreigner? The only television station with any Canadian French was TV5 Monde, which my cable provider axed a few years ago and it does suck. Would that mean I am allowed to set up a dish? Would the Dutch government tell me French from France is good enough even though they don’t report any Canadian news? What if I didn’t understand European French? Satellite dishes may be ugly, but they do have a purpose, especially if cable companies continue to cut down on foreign channels. Dutch provider Ziggo is about to axe France 2, which has upset the French community here.
(Link: webwereld.nl, Photo by Kai Schreiber, some rights reserved)
Tags: French, Portuguese, satellite dish
Talk show host Arjan Lubach has devised a Tinder-style voting app made for fun to help undecided voters for the upcoming States-provincial elections. The States-provincial or ‘Provinciale Staten’ in Dutch are the provincial parliament and legislative assembly in each of the 12 Dutch provinces.
With ‘StemTinder’ (‘Tinder Voting’) you can swipe left or right and find the political party match for you. It’s not the national elections, so why not vote on looks? And there’s nothing wrong with candidates trying to look trustworthy to win votes.
(Links: www.ans-online.nl, nos.nl, Photo by Photo RNW.org, some rights reserved)
Tags: app, Nijmegen, Tinder, voting
Gemalto, an Amsterdam-based multinational that produces 2 billion SIM cards a year, was hacked by US and UK secret services in 2010 according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Following the recent news, Gemalto’s stock price took a $470m hit. The company’s CEO Anne Jellema has called for an investigation into both countries’ secret services, including “a full and frank disclosure as to why they hacked a private company, and one headquartered in an ally country.”
“With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments,” writes The Intercept. Basically, the breach has given US and UK surveillance agencies the ability to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s mobile communications, who will now themselves be targeted by others for the same information.
Dutch Euro-parliamentarian Sophie in ’t Veld, who chaired the European Parliament’s recently inquiry into mass surveillance exposed by Snowden said, “governments are massively engaging in illegal activities. If you’re a student doing this, you will end up in jail for 30 years. Secret services are behaving like cowboys. Governments are behaving like cowboys and nobody is holding them to account.”
(Links: firstlook.org, www.theregister.co.uk, Photo: photo by Jeff Schuler, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, data, mobile phone, SIM cards