Enschede Airport Twente, close to the German border and little flight activity, now has a test location called Space53 for drones and UAVs. It’s apparently the first airport in Europe that allows drones to be tested in ‘complex environments and situations’. Nokia already plans to test Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Traffic Management systems (UTM) there.
Space53 is a collaboration between businesses and the public sector in the region of Twente. Besides an airport and various spaces for research, development and testing UAVs, schools and universities have joined in. They’ve already had some swarming tests where a bunch of drones fly together and collaborate in the event of a calamity.
Fun fact: When the notary public wrote up the transfer deed for the airbase after WWII, he apparently had had one too many and it accidentally wrote ‘Twenthe’ instead of Twente, which is still written this way today by the local flying club.
(Link: bright.nl, Photo of Drone by Karen Axelrad, some rights reserved)
Tags: drones, Twente, UAV
First the the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, North Holland gets five paintings back from Ukraine and now the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden is getting back a portrait of etcher Leopold Löwenstam by Dutch-born British painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (aka Lourens Alma-Tadema), shown here.
The lost painting showed up on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, as the owner explained that their great-great grandfather and the artist were close family friends and their great-great grandmother was the governess of Tadema’s children. According to the show, Alma-Tadema holds the record for a Victorian painting at US$36 mln (about EUR 32 mln) for an enormous picture sold in New York a few years ago, but this painting is smaller and would be worth less, with no estimation suggested.
The painting has been restored and will be part of the upcoming touring exhibition of Alma-Tadema’s work at the Fries Museum as of 1st October. The portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1884, and went on display again in Liverpool in 1913, after which it hadn’t been seen until now.
UPDATE: the BBC showed aired, and the painting was valued at 230.000-346.000 euro.
(Links: www.telegraph.co.uk, omropfryslan, Photo of Lourens Alma-Tadema by John Boers, some rights reserved)
Tags: Alma-Tadema, BBC, Fries Museum, Friesland
Women make less than men – check, white people make more than others – check, and in the same vein, Dutch people who speak with a regional accent get paid less, according to economy professor Jan van Ours of Tilburg University. Van Ours noticed that age, level of education or coming from a village or a city didn’t make a difference, but accents did.
Van Ours, who grew up with the dialect of Goeree-Overflakkee, South Holland, says nobody had ever done research into the economic impact of speaking with a regional accent before. While 40% of the Dutch have grown up with an accent, it is possible and plausible that people are discriminated against because of the way they speak. He also says that someone with a heavy Limburg accent working at a call centre could be more difficult to understand than someone who speaks standard Dutch (‘Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands’). I admit I called Dutch Rail once and hung up on someone who had an accent I couldn’t place that was so thick, I had no clue what they were saying. And sometimes when co-blogger Branko is tired and speaks to me with his Limburg accent, I have no clue, either.
There’s enough prejudice going around that if someone speaks with a heavy regional accent they are perceived as being dumber – I get this as a foreigner and it’s normal. Confirming this prejudice, foreigners and migrants also take lessons to get rid of their accent and sound more like standard Dutch speakers, including born and bred Amsterdam residents who speak with the city’s dialectal accent. Some people from areas like Het Gooi, North Holland have a specific accent, but because it’s a rich part of the country people don’t point out their accent as quickly as they do others.
24oranges HQ is run by two people with regional accents, but I don’t see us doing anything about it anytime soon.
(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)
Tags: Dutch Rail, language, Limburg
Professional bekeeper Leo Gensen from Wijk bij Duurstede, Utrecht recently drove a truck with an adapted trailer full of half a million bees down to the southwest region of Dordogne in France to ensure their winter survival.
“The biggest problem for bees is that there’s often not enough food for them in the Netherlands” he explains. Gensen has a friend in France who is an amateur beekeeper and a pensioner, able to take care of the bees this winter.
In mid-October another one million bees will take the same 1100-kilometre trip. Chances are this is the first time this has ever been done.
(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of swarming bees by quisnovus, some rights reserved)
Tags: bees, France
Back in 2011 designer Martine Poot from Vlaardingen of Studio Martijntje Cornelia started producing rings made from real cotton candy, which have been shaped by the environment.
“Changing to the wearer’s daily lives, the accessory reacts to sunlight or water, enabling it to uniquely change its form and color. Hand-made, each ring is unique and the transparent base emphasizes the pop of colour.” The rings are made from candy floss (aka cotton candy) and resin.
Poot also sells a cotton candy side table that “will adapt to your interior”.
(Links: www.designboom.com, Martijntje Cornelia)
Tags: cotton candy, jewellery, Vlaardingen
On 7 October, Ukraine is giving back five masterpieces stolen from the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, North Holland 11 years ago. Twenty-four Dutch Golden Age masterpieces and 70 pieces of silverware were stolen from the museum on January 9, 2005, which back then had an estimated total value of 10 million euro.
In Ukraine earlier this year four Dutch Golden Age masterpieces were recovered in dubious circumstances while a fifth painting was handed back to Ukrainian authorities by an Ukrainian art buyer, also under dubious circumstances. The five paintings were ‘A Peasant Wedding’ by Hendrick Boogaert, ‘Kitchen Scene’ by Floris van Schooten, ‘Return of Jephta’ and ‘Lady World’ by Jacob Waben, and ‘Nieuwstraat in Hoorn’ by Isaak Ouwater.
To celebrate the return of the paintings, the museum will let people in for free as of 8 October for a week. The bad news is, ‘A Peasant Wedding’ and ‘Kitchen Scene’ are in very bad condition and will need crowdfunding to pay for their costly restoration estimated at 100,000 euro.
(Links: au.news.yahoo.com, wfm.nl, Photo of Westfries Museum, Hoorn by Fnorp, some rights reserved)
Tags: Hoorn, North Holland, paintings
Today Rotterdam is celebrating Park(ing) Day, which sounds like a lot of pun fun. The city of Rotterdam is letting people take over a parking spot for free and camp out on it, as if it were a park. And to sweeten the deal, the rules of a park apply to the parking spot.
Park(ing)Day is part of Happy Streets, yet another let’s-use-English-rather-than-Dutch named event (where ‘happy’ often sounds like ‘hippie’ when some Dutch people pronounce it) lasting the entire weekend in order to promote ‘sustainable mobility and a better use of public spaces’.
The city will also feature yet another let’s-give-it-an-English-name-to sound-cool event called Walk’in Rotterdam, where people can take a stroll along various uncommon parts of the city with a knowledgeable guide who I bet will tell their stories in the country’s main language.
And Sunday is another why-use-Dutch-go-for-English event called Open Streets when streets will be car-free and feature other merriment.
Yes, this is a picture of Amsterdam.
Tags: parking, parks, Rotterdam, streets
On 31 August, two people spotted an angular crab on the eastern part of the island of Ameland. The discoveries were independent from each other, but it was probably the same crab. One of them put the crab back into the sea.
The same type of angular crab had been spotted in 2003 in the North Sea elsewhere, but never on a beach. The crab has finally decided to check out dry land.
Angular crabs live in the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea in places with a clay sea floor. Apparently, due to global warming affecting the North Sea, the crab can be found in the Netherlands.
Tags: Ameland, beach, crab, North Sea
From 13 September through 17 September from 11:00 to 17:00, Amsterdam artist Pavèl van Houten will have a shop open that is actually an art project on the Mercatorplein in Amsterdam West selling worthless junk. You’ll be able to browse through and purchase stuff like bottle caps and plastic bits for ‘flutten’, fake money that derives its name from ‘flut’ meaning ‘trash’. The shop will be housed in a wooden structure not far from 24oranges HQ, so we’ll pay it a visit and report back to you.
The more useless the item, the more ‘flutten’ you’ll get for it. The fun stuff collected by the shop will be exhibited by Van Houten in the Waardeloos Museum, which will open at the public library on the Mercatorplein and two shops nearby. The shop of useless junk has already done the rounds in Breda, Leeuwarden and Vlieland. Items such as coloured plastic, expired public transport tickets, crooked nails, flattened beer caps and broken water balloons are very popular.
Challenge accepted: we’ll going to try and top that.
Tags: Amsterdam, junk, Mercatorplein
In the wake of the 1886 Eel Riots in Amsterdam, Dutch newspapers filled their columns with reports about the event, but it was French magazine l’Illustration that came out with these drawings by M. de Haenen 10 days later.
Fait sur place, these illustrations tell the story of the Palingoproer (eel riots), the bloodiest case of Dutch police brutality in the 19th century.
On Sunday 25 July 1886 a great mass of people gathered on the Lindengracht in Amsterdam to watch a cruel spectacle. Fish sellers had tied a rope between numbers 184 and 119 across what was then still a canal and a live eel had been tied to that rope. Men in small boats had to try and pull the eel from the rope—the winner would get the princely sum of 6 guilders, almost a week’s wages. This sport was called palingtrekken (eel pulling) and by that time already outlawed.
Four officers from nearby police station Noordermarkt decided to put a halt to the spectacle. They entered one of the houses to which the rope was tied and used a pocket knife to cut down the rope. Apparently the rope hit one of the spectators who started thwacking the police with his umbrella as soon as they left the building. Fast forward a couple of hours and a full blown riot was going on with police using their sabres and rioters throwing pavers.
Nightfall came and a drizzle helped to cool tempers. The next day, however, rioters stormed the police station which led to the army getting out their guns. As soon as the smoke had cleared (smokeless powder had only been invented two years earlier and was being introduced slowly to European armies), 26 rioters lay dead and observers (reporters, essayists, historians) started to explain what it was that just had happened.
Right-wing rags Algemeen Handelsblad and NRC, and the mayor of Amsterdam, tried to blame the socialists for being the instigators, but the public prosecutor thought that conclusion was preposterous—royalist inhabitants of the nearby Willemsstraat had even thrown red and black flags into the canal that the socialists had quickly brought to the scene of the riots.
Two thousands rioters were given prison sentences, police officers were treated to cigars and in 1913 the eel that involuntarily started it all showed up at an auction where it was sold for 1,75 guilders and was never seen again.
(Images: VKTV.nl / M. de Haenen)
Tags: animal rights, police, police brutality, republicanism, sabres, Socialism