October 5, 2015

Watching paint not dry and move around to music

Filed under: Art,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:56 am


Dutch band Jo Goes Hunting’s latest video ‘Run Away’ features models covered in paint by Amsterdam-based material designer Shai Langen.

Langen was asked for something ‘less conventional’ and came up with models dripping of paint, an effect that was not easy to achieve: a mixture of wallpaper paste and acrylic paint chosen as a simple technique that would let the material itself create movement.

The headpieces were made from lacquered and reinforced cardboard, and although one of the oval-shaped pieces shown is almost as large as the model’s body, many of them were scrapped. I can imagine they didn’t stay in place that easily, either.

The black and white patterns created on the models has a quality that makes you want to look and see what the next pattern will be. ‘After applying paste, I smeared paint onto the models’ bodies using cocktail sticks and rollers to create various patterns,’ explains Langen.

(Link and photo:

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October 3, 2015

Fairphone 2, more expensive but easier to repair

Filed under: Sustainability,Technology by Orangemaster @ 8:27 pm


In 2013 we told you about an ethically sourced smartphone, the Fairphone. Today the Fairphone 2, which runs a customised version of Android 5.1, sells the idea that it is ‘as repairable as a modern smartphone gets’.

Owners can replace the screen, microphone, speaker, camera, and main circuit board using nothing more than a screwdriver, with all the replacement parts available directly from Fairphone. The new phone has gone up in price from €325 to €525 and is concentrating on turning into a movement rather than just being a product.

The company’s founder and CEO Bas van Abel says that the most ethical smartphone is the one you already own. The fact that the phone can easily be take apart is quite the party piece.

(Link:, Image, screenshot of video)

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October 2, 2015

Van Nelle in Rotterdam gets its own coin

Filed under: Architecture,Design by Orangemaster @ 11:51 am


Former coffee, tea and tobacco factory Van Nelle in Rotterdam is getting its own coin, the fourth in the Dutch UNESCO coin series. The factory is also the 10th Dutch site to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, a list that also includes Utrecht’s Rietveld Schröder House and the Kinderdijk windmills in South Holland.

British-Dutch designer Kianoosh Motallebi was inspired by the building’s characteristic style and the goods it traded. Acclaimed architect and photographer duo Robertson and Yerbury called it ‘a poem in steel and glass’, while Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier once praised its ‘purity and uncompromising clarity’.

Three different versions of the coin are available, a Proof .900 fine gold €10 coin (1,500 coins), a Proof .925 fine sterling silver €5 coin (12,500 coins, shown here) and a Brilliant Uncirculated silver-plated copper €5 coin (250,000 coins). The coin features King Willem Alexander on one side and the factory on the other.

If you travel by train to Rotterdam from Amsterdam or Leiden, you can see the factory on your left, on the Delfshavense Schie waterway.

(Links and photo:,

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September 30, 2015

Dutch centuries-old bond keeps paying interest

Filed under: History by Branko Collin @ 3:43 pm


Two weeks ago Timothy Young, a librarian from Yale University in the USA, travelled to the Netherlands to collect 136 euro and 20 cents in interest from the water board De Stichtse Rijnlanden.

The interest was paid on a bond issued for 1,000 guilders in 1648 by the predecessor of the current board to fund the building of a groyne. At the time, the Netherlands was going through its Golden Age and the navigability of important trade routes like the main rivers was a priority (German link).

Interest on the bond must be collected at least once every generation, Yale News reports. The bond (issued by the water board of Lekdijk Bovendams) remains one of the oldest known living financial instruments in the world as long as interest is collected—the reason that Yale, which paid 24,000 euro for it in 2003 according to Bloomberg, is keen to collect those payments.

The document is a bearer bond, meaning the issuer needs to see it before paying out interest. The issuer will then write the payment date on the document. This would have provided a bit of a problem for Yale, because carting around a 367-year-old sheep skin across the airways might be detrimental to its health. Luckily, space on the bond proper already ran out in 1944 and in the same year an allonge was attached to it for keeping track of the payment dates. The water board allows the bearer to simply show the allonge.

The water board has records of five other bonds that still generate interest payments. The oldest of these was issued in 1624 for 1,200 guilders, also by the water board Lekdijk Bovendams. The same water board issued bonds for a total of 300,000 guilders in the first half of the 17th century after the 32-kilometre-long eponymous dike burst numerous times, the water board writes.

Water boards are a type of parallel local government that have been around since the Middle Ages. They take care of dikes and dams, among others, in a country of which 55% of the surface area is susceptible to flooding from either the sea or from rivers. Some of these boards belong to the oldest continuous governments in the Netherlands. The water board of Lekdijk Bovendams was founded in 1323 by the bishop of Utrecht and was later managed by the king, until 1971 when it was merged with a number of other water boards into the water board Kromme Rijn, which itself was later merged into the current water board De Stichtse Rijnlanden.


(Photo of groynes at the Bovendamse Lekdijk by E. Dronkert, some rights reserved; photo of the bond by Yale University)

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September 29, 2015

New type of butterfly spotted in the country

Filed under: Nature by Orangemaster @ 11:34 am


On September 28, the association that has time to watch butterflies announced that the southern small white (Pieris mannii) of the Pieridae family has been spotted and photographed at Fort Sint Pieter near Maastricht, Limburg. Hardcore butterfly enthusiasts knew this day was coming, as this species was slowly making its way north.

The big question was whether it would show up in Belgium or the Netherlands first. The cosmos amusingly forced a compromise by having a Belgian man discovering the southern small white in the Netherlands.

According to Wikipedia, the southern small white is usually found in South Europe, Asia Minor, Morocco and Syria.

(Link and photo:

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September 27, 2015

Money for dogs exists! It is used by Dutch customs to train sniffers

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 11:22 pm


This fake bank note is what Dutch customs officers use to train their sniffer dogs for detecting large quantities of cash.

According to the customs’ Facebook page, where we found this photo, “we’ve been using special training bank notes since 2014. The ink and paper are the same as those of real bank notes, so that the dogs are still able to make a positive match.”

The customs department uses fake money because some of the training sessions are performed in the wild. Using large amounts of real money would be risky in those cases.

(Photo: Facebook / Douane Nederland; link: Vice)

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September 25, 2015

Around the world in 80 days on an electric motorbike

Filed under: Automobiles,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 12:20 pm


In a race inspired by French author Jules Verne’s book ‘Around the World in 80 days’, students of the Eindhoven University of Technology are getting ready to go around the world in 80 days on an electric motorbike. On October 1st, the students will unveil their new design featuring a battery that can last twice as long as existing electric motorbike batteries.

The entire point of the trip is to prove that sustainability is an option for the future. Find out more about the the 80 day race here. As explained by team member Texas van Leeuwenstein, electric mobility sometimes has a dull image and they really want to kick that out.

Here’s an interview with Van Leeuwenstein, explaining the work on the prototype leading up to the race:

(Link:, Screenshot:


September 24, 2015

Classic 1974 Dutch police Porsche to be auctioned

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 12:50 pm


On 9 October a 1974 Porsche 911 Targa will be up for grabs to the highest bidder at Bonhams’ Zoute sale in Belgium (and not the Netherlands, as the source claims). The classic car used to belong to the Algemene Verkeersdienst (AVD – traffic cops) and was one of the few European states to use the Porsche for motorway patrol. They also had their own uniforms, white instead of the usual blue and orange helmets (see short photo session video).

According to Autoweek, before the Targa model was available, the AVD used Porsche 356 cabrios, but the 911 Targas remained in use through 1993 when the unit switched to Volvos. The AVD preferred the Targa model to the 911 coupe as it allowed for a greater range of visibility and officer passengers could stand in the car to give traffic directions in emergencies or while moving slowly.

This car was restored with as many original parts as possible and is known as ‘Alex 12:85′. It is expected to fetch between €98,000 and $143,000.

(Link:, Photo: Bonhams)

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September 23, 2015

Another batch of 3D printed shoes by United Nude

Filed under: Fashion,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:04 pm


In 2013 3D printed shoes by United Nude were unveiled during Paris Fashion Week, and this time ice block inspired shoes have been recently launched during Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out in Taipei, Taiwan. The shoes will be on display there until 28 September and feature a live 3D printing installation.

United Nude’s creative director Rem D. Koolhaas said that 3D printing allows them to experiment with new shapes much quicker than before without big development costs and for very small quantities. The shoes have eight-inch heels and were were printed on a CubePro desktop printer using plastic PLA filament.

(Link and photo:

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September 22, 2015

Drone films Dutch cyclist on their merry way

Filed under: Bicycles,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:14 pm

Drone enthusiast Paul Haerkens has captured himself cycling near Den Bosch, Noord Brabant, filmed by his Yuneec Q500 drone camera in ‘watch me’ mode.

You’ll see Versaille-like miniature gardens, bollards stopping cars from parking on the side walk, flat trees, hints of traffic circles and very little traffic. The film will give you an impression of what a Dutch neighbourhood in the middle of the country looks like: no canals, no bike paths (!) and no bustle.

The catchy music is the intro music to Paul Verhoeven’s classic ‘Turks Fruit’ (‘Turkish Delight’), composed by heavyweight Rogier van Otterloo and performed by Belgian jazz legend Toots Tielemans, all three of which come highly recommended.


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