November 30, 2020

Why do old windmills turn left and new ones turn right?

Filed under: Architecture,General,History,Nature by Orangemaster @ 2:37 pm

Every once in a while it’s good to ask ourselves some deep questions, and this one popped up as news recently. Why do old Dutch windmills turn left and newer ones turn right? It has nothing to do with the wind or with most millers being right-handed – let’s get that out of the way now.

The material that older blades are made from provide a more precise explanation. The two rods that form a cross to which the blades are attached are made from a tree trunk. As it was growing and needed sun to do so, the trunk would rotate to the right because the sun rises in the East, then moves to the South and sets in the West, and the tree would follow.

By turning the blades to the left, counter-clockwise, it would turn avoid splintering the wood. The wood needs to be super solid and ideally be of high quality, which could sometimes come from trees that grow very straight in forests, but not all the time.

Taking physics into account, there is no reason why modern-day windmills should have a preferred rotation direction. For example, wind turbines are manufactured in factories that use the same type and angle of blades, making them standardised and so they turn the same way – to the right. They could all be made to turn left if for some reason the world decided to do so.

Old Dutch windmills were not standardised and unique, which makes them nice to visit.

(Link: nu.nl)

Tags: , , , ,

November 27, 2020

Right-wing Dutch social media uses Luxembourg flag

Filed under: Animals,Architecture,Online by Orangemaster @ 2:19 pm

For anybody new to The Netherlands, and more specifically right-wing Dutch social media, there are a few symbols you’ll come across, usually used together. Here’s what they tend to mean.

First, if you see an owl, it’s a reference to the Owl of Athena [Greek mythology] or the Owl of Minerva [Roman mythology], and has been a symbol used by one of country’s extreme-right parties that is currently falling apart.

The second emoji, also used by the same party, is the classical building that is part of their logo.

The third one is the Dutch flag, which in itself is just a flag, but when used in combination with the above-mentioned ones, more often that not means the account will feature right-wing politics in one way or another. The funny thing is, many of these accounts use the Luxembourg flag, as they don’t seem to know the difference.

Of course, it’s always good to remember that sometimes an emoji is just an emoji, but not in the case of the Luxembourg flag being used by what I imaginen is a Dutch person. I wonder if there are any people from Luxemburg using the Dutch flag by mistake.

As this video points out, “while the two flags are almost identical, they are unrelated in the origin of the colours.” For the fun with flags nerds, both the red and the blue are different, which is also the case with the emoji, and the official size is different as well.

(Image: Screenshot of the above-mentioned video)

Tags: , , , , ,

November 25, 2020

Robbers auction off 300 stolen cheeses

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:03 pm

A cheese farm in Lievelde, Gelderland was recently robbed of 300 cheeses in the middle of the night. Soon after, the cheeses were being sold on Dutch auction site Marktplaats. In connection with the robbery, the police caught a man and a woman (insert Bonnie and Clyde cheese joke) who were probably not the masterminds behind the operation, and have been let go.

The robbers caused between 30,000 and 40,000 euro worth of damages to the shop that thankfully is insured. Back in 2016 there was a wave of robberies in the same area, with at least six cheese farms robbed of 10,000 euro worth of cheese, including the one in Lievelde.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Gouda by Jon Sullivan, released into the public domain by its author)

Tags: , , , , , ,

November 24, 2020

Dutch artist Streetart Frankey unveils huge car pick

Filed under: Art,Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 1:23 pm

You know those ‘paper picks’ you might have seen in real life at a dinner or in a movie featuring a dinner where after the bill was paid, an employee would put it on a paper pick?

This new outdoor piece by Streetart Frankey does the same, but with cars, a nod to when there were more cars than green space at the art installation’s location. The artwork can be admired on the corner of Hondsrugweg and Hettenheuvelweg in Amsterdam Zuidoost, the city’s only exclave. Amusingly enough, I saw it this morning from a bus, but was not quick enough to snap it.

The general area features many large businesses like the big Swedish furniture warehouse and the Johan Cruijff Arena. Soon the are will have a park, surrounded by 5,000 new homes, which are sorely needed in Amsterdam.

The cars are what the Dutch call ‘old timers’, which means cars that are at least 25 years old in this case DAF cars, a Dutch brand.

(Link and photo: parool.nl)

Tags: , , ,

November 20, 2020

Dutch tech journalist crashes secret European meeting

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 7:26 pm

Dutch tech journalist and author Daniël Verlaan, who recently hacked the lights on Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge, has now crashed an online secret meeting of the European Ministers of Defence.

Verlaan popped in and people started laughing. The President of the Council, Spain’s Josep Borrell Fontelles, said “Somebody has gone into the system! Who are you?” The President made a crack to the meeting participants about ‘having to invest in secrecy’, which is spot on. Verlaan said hello, identified himself as a Dutch journalist, said sorry, and quickly left.

Before he left, he was told “You know that you have been jumping into a secret conference?” (sic) […] It’s a criminal offence!” said Fontelles.

How did Verlaan do it? Dutch Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld had posted a picture on Twitter where five digits out of the six digits of the meeting login code was visible, and the last one was found ‘in just a few tries’. Apparently, there wasn’t any additional security, either.

The meeting was then stopped because it was no longer confidential. Cue a good rant about online security.

(Link: rtlnieuws.nl)

Tags: , , , , ,

Dutch TV show scores work by Adriaan de Lelie

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 12:42 pm

The Dutch version of British television show ‘Antiques Roadshow’ called ‘Tussen Kunst en Kitsch’ (‘Between Art and Kitsch’) – apparently unscripted as compared to its British counterpart – has uncovered a gem by eighteenth century Dutch painter Adriaan de Lelie valued at 100,000 euro (not the image shown here).

The painting in question depicts Dutch painter Charles Rochussen as a baby. De Lelie mostly painted portraits of contemporaries in Dutch cultural life and many interior scenes, which this painting supports. Expert Willem Jan Hoogsteder is convinced that this portrait is the work of De Lelie.

Although the TV show’s record dates back to 2011 for the most expensive painting (250,000 euro for a painting by Joost van Geel in 2011), the De Lelie painting valued at 100,000 euro shares fifth place with a work by Jan van Kessel de Jonge for the same amount.

In 2015 the show uncovered a Karel Appel sculpture.

(Link: nu.nl, Image in the public domain Photo of Portrait of Jan Nieuwenhuyzen, a Dutch Mennonite teacher and minister, who in 1784 founded the Maatschappij tot Nut van ‘t Algemeen)

Tags: , , , , , ,

November 19, 2020

Dutch data award for major bird database

Filed under: Animals,Science,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:51 am

Led by Antica Culina and Marcel Visser of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Studies of Populations of Individuals (SPI-Birds) is a network of researchers who collect, secure and use long-term breeding population data of 1.5 million individually recognisable birds, an amount that keeps increasing. SPI-Birds have recently been awarded the Dutch Data Incentive Prize for the Medical and Life Sciences and very recently published their first scientific paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology, which coincides with them receiving the award. They’ve got the wind under their wings.

“Behind the paper describing our initiative, there are around 120 people and 1.5 million individually marked birds from 80 populations and 19 species. And an army of people who have been collecting these data, in sunshine and rain, adding up to over 2000 seasons of fieldwork.” explains Culina.

Having access to this database means preventing lost data and increasing future data quality with a community-supported standard. “SPI-Birds is important, because it allows comparative studies among populations by making the data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). Converting the various data formats into a single standard data format, especially, really facilitates the use of the data.” says Visser.

The first SPI Bird paper aims to describe the network for new members and stakeholders, and its ‘lessons learned’ in order to inspire other communities. “We hope SPI-Birds will serve as an encouragement to other research communities to create their own standards,” Culina adds.

(Link: phys.org)

Tags: , ,

November 16, 2020

World premiere: Bob Ross exhibition in The Netherlands

Filed under: Art,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:31 pm

Last weekend Marketing and Communication Specialist Ellen van Slagmaat of Museum MORE and Mauritshuis Restorator Abbie Vandivere were both on Dutch radio show ‘Spijkers met Koppen’ to talk about the very first solo exhibition of American painter and television personality Bob Ross.

Bob Ross was famous for his television show ‘The Joy of Painting’ that showed millions of people in the United States and Canada how easy it was to paint, and did so with one of the most soothing voices on public television. Not only did he paint very quickly, but for each show, he made three or four of the same landscape paintings, Vandivere explained on the radio. Ross had 381 episodes of his show, so that’s a whole lot of paintings of ‘happy little clouds’ and ‘almighty mountains’.

Although parodied and admired for decades, he is now being taken more seriously and being appreciated much more, which is why Van Slagmaat worked hard to set up the exhibition, the world’s first ever solo exhibition of Ross’ works. The exhibition will open in the spring of 2021.

Here’s an episode of Bob Ross painting some Northern Lights:

(Link: hartvannederland, Photo of Bob Ross at his easel, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , ,

November 15, 2020

Scooter rider misbehaves in Rotterdam, gets jailed in Italy

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:41 pm

On 14 November a woman decided to drive over the sidewalk in Rotterdam with her scooter, ending up ramming an automatic teller. As luck would have it, she got caught by the police.

Then, she wasn’t able to produce a driver’s licence for the scooter or identify herself, as she didn’t have any ID on her. In the Netherlands everyone over 14 year of age is obliged to identify themselves if the police asks.

When the cops figured out who she was, they also found out that she was supposed to be doing three years of jail time in Italy for a drug-related crime.

The moral of the story: don’t try and get caught if you’re trying to avoid getting caught.

(Link: ad.nl, Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , ,

November 14, 2020

Amsterdam featured in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 1:42 pm

For those who don’t game, Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise from American company Activision.

Everything I saw and heard in the trailer below featuring Amsterdam is very realistic: the Dutch radio talk in the background at the very beginning, dog sounds (with the right reverberation) and police sounds.

That is some spacious apartment they start shooting in though, but it does fit that part of town. And there are actual police chases (not shoot-outs!) on rooftops in Amsterdam, I know a witness to one personally.

Set in part in the Red Light District, there’s also some joking around about ‘bitterballen’ (Dutch ragout filled balls, usually served when having beers) all in Dutch, with a joke about ‘balls’, as you do.

Have a look at Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War – we don’t own any shares (my co-blogger is more of a cavalry-and-musket type):

(Link: ad.nl, image: YouTube screenshot)

Tags: , , , ,