January 19, 2017

Mass mating dance in Utrecht for Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Animals,Art by Orangemaster @ 1:26 pm

Contemporary British artist Marcus Coates from London is asking single men to go to Utrecht Central Station at 4 pm on 14 February, which is next to city hall, to perform a mating dance. On a Tuesday when everyone works and goes to school.

Coates is planning to organise a makeshift dating show with the men doing the mating dance of the Eurasian woodcock, which involves running a certain route around the Netherlands’ biggest train station.

In the mean time, single women will be waiting at city hall to pick out a man by calling out to them, just in time to correspond with the mating season of the Eurasian woodcock.

Let’s unpack this, shall we? The first thing that came to mind is also the first comment I read: it’s heterosexist. Yeah, it’s about the birds and all, but still. And who’s paying for this? Won’t it be really busy at rush hour? And is this being done in the Netherlands so Coates gets a free trip over? Too many questions and not many answers in sight.

(Link: rtvutrecht, Photo of train by Flickr user UggBoy hearts UggGirl, some rights reserved)

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January 18, 2017

Cannonball from the 17th century found in Groenlo

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 8:21 pm

Archaeologists have found a cannonball from 1627 in Groenlo, Gelderland during an excavation along the A18
motorway. It weighs four kilos and dates back to the Eighty Years’ War when the Dutch revolted against the Spanish King, Philip II. Experts know what year it is from because the Dutch army had established a siege line in Groenlo to reconquer the town from the Spanish.

Although pieces of pots and jewellery have also been found, this is the most interesting find so far. And the good news is the archaeologists have until May to uncover more exciting finds, as excavations are taking place in 10 locations along the A18 motorway.

(Link: omroepgelderland.nl, Photo: BOOR Rotterdam)

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January 16, 2017

Fashion made from waste found in the sea

Filed under: Animals,Fashion by Orangemaster @ 1:53 pm

Delta works

The Deltapark Neeltje Jans, a Dutch theme park near the Delta Works, is currently hosting the Healthy Seas Fashion Exhibition, featuring fashion created by Greek students from waste found in the sea.

The exhibition tells the “journey from waste to wear, the problem of ghost nets, recycling, circular economy and see what fashion design students created from the recycled fishing nets”.

The Netherlands is home to the Healthy Seas organisation, and the combination of the Neeltje Jans and Delta Works gives the exhibition an additional dimension, according to them, as they also claim that 10 percent of the waste found in water is fish nets, which explains the fish net fashion.

Find out more about how it all came about (in Greek with English subtitles):

(Links: bright and healthyseas.org, Photo of Delta Works by Coanri/Rita, some rights reserved)

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January 15, 2017

Police uniforms delivered unsafely to employees

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 8:20 pm

In 2016, some 41 packages with police uniforms were delivered to the wrong people, possibly falling into the wrong hands as well. And Dutch police union APNV are calling this regular occurrence “the tip of the iceberg”.

A few days ago, a man who had quit the force came home to find a package on his doorstep from the police: parts of a police uniform, a package he was never supposed to have ‘received’ in the place. Received is a big word, because the package was left in front of the door in plain view.

Sloppy delivery, you say? For sure. And many of the uniforms are delivered to the neighbours instead or next to people’s dustbins.

Last November around Amsterdam there was a robbery involving criminals impersonating the police wearing actual police uniforms. Geez, I wonder how the baddies got their hands on the uniforms!

The police union wants to stop this type of unsafe delivery and get the police to pick up their uniforms at a police station, but the police claim say it’s too expensive in terms of logistics and personnel costs.

I had a casual talk with a criminologist yesterday who was worried about the police’s image in the media. I wonder if he realised how unbelievable ridiculous the police comes off in this country sometimes.

(Link: nhnieuws, Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

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January 13, 2017

Making money off pushy delivery people

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:02 pm

Doorsign

I work at home and often accept packages for my neighbours who like many people are rarely home to receive their wares. People who are often at home for whatever reason end up playing post office for the entire street. Once the delivery people know you’re at home often, you’re screwed. Sure you can refuse packages, but not without having to defend yourself against pushy delivery people. You get that ‘but you’re at home doing nothing’ look from the delivery person who is ‘just trying to do their job’. In fact, you’ll end up doing their job for them. For a woman in the link below, it was so bad she turned off her doorbell and still had delivery people banging down her door, trying to deliver their packages. And that’s harassment.

I’ve unofficially turned into the package delivery point, and since I believe in getting along with my neighbours, I don’t really mind. Of course, it was terrible when I was on crutches with a broken leg in 2012 and the delivery people would ring and bang on my door, but that was par for the course. It stopped being OK a few weeks back when someone tried to deliver a huge bouquet of flowers to a sick neighbour who wasn’t home. I told the guy I wouldn’t accept it because the neighbour in question had been away for a while and that the flowers would wilt. He tried to convince me that flowers are nice and I could enjoy them until she got back. I told him that if he expected me to deliver wilted flowers to a sick woman just so he could make his delivery, that he was a bit of a dick. He told me again how nice flowers are and I told him he’d better leave before I put in a complaint.

My front door has a sign that says ‘no salespeople, no donation collectors and no religion peddlers’ (see photo), which I thought covered the scope, but apparently not. The woman who was being harassed put a ‘no packages’ sticker on her door, which sounds like a good idea, but Michiel Nieuwkerk from Zeeland went much further and turned a common problem into a business opportunity.

Annoyed at having to get his packages from the neighbours who were never home in the evenings, he set up package pick-up and delivery points with willing neighbours on ViaTim.nl, which charges people for that service. ViaTim service now has 22 points in South Holland and Zeeland and is growing fast.

I’m off to ponder joining in on this.

(Link: waarmaarraar)

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January 11, 2017

Groningen to house asylum seekers in hotel ship

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:54 pm

In Groningen, some 112 failed asylum seekers and asylum seekers waiting on answers who are homeless will soon be housed in an old hotel ship, explains John van Tilborg, Director of the Inlia Foundation in Groningen that works with asylum seekers. They all have a right to a place to stay during the night as well as a shower and a meal according to the Dutch government, but that same government isn’t doing what’s needed to ensure they have an actual place to say, Van Tilborg explains in a recent radio interview in Amsterdam on BNR.

“The State decides whether someone can stay here or not. If someone can stay, they get a resident’s permit from the State and if they have to go, the State has to kick them out of the country or make sure they leave. If that doesn’t happen, then the city is saddled with the problem, like it is now […]. The city has to pay for a problem created by the State and the city has no influence on the situation”.

And the rest is all about cities not getting the money they need from the State to deal with these people who end up on the street. Elections are coming up in March and the outgoing Dutch government has stopped all funding to new housing projects for asylum seekers, leaving cities to figure it out for themselves.

(Links: bnr.nl, dvhn.nl, Photo of the Vluchtkerk church in Amsterdam that housed many asylum seekers)

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January 10, 2017

Dutch activist denied Swiss passport over cowbell row

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 11:48 am

The Swiss have hit back at Dutch vegan activist Nancy Holten who has been living in Switzerland for most of her life by denying her request for a Swiss passport for the second time. The local political party of her canton said no because they feel she “has a big mouth”, claiming that cows wearing cowbells was akin to animal cruelty and has been vocal about church bells being rung at 6 am in her village. And she’s not a fan of the local tradition of racing piglets, either.

In Switzerland, locals sometimes have a say in the naturalisation requests of people in their canton, and in Holten’s case, a majority were against it. Now her request is in front of the ‘Conseil d’État’, the council that decides on cantonal matters. Dutch site Joop.nl when relating this story told of a family from Kosovo who were refused Swiss nationality because they walked around their village in jogging suits and the locals didn’t like that either.

Activism aside, according to Swiss site 24heures, Holten is the ideal candidate and had been given a positive review in the beginning of the process. She’s been living in Switzerland for 34 years, speaks the local Swiss German dialect, provides for her three Swiss-born daughters and has never committed a crime. Holten says if her village is not going to let her get a Swiss passport, she’ll move down the street to the next village where the decision on naturalisation is made directly by a Board without any input from locals.

In the comments section of 24heures, the opinions range from ‘piss off back to the Netherlands’ to ‘the Swiss pride themselves on direct democracy only when it suits them’. And then not in a jogging suit.

(Link: 24heures.ch)

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January 9, 2017

Woerden can open its shops on Sunday

Filed under: General,Religion by Orangemaster @ 10:36 am

The city of Woerden, Utrecht has made local news for having the right to open its shops on Sunday thanks to the progressive political parties in their municipal council. The religious parties who were against it and have left (bye!) still live in an imaginary world were nobody works on Sundays except the help. This is just a reminder to anyone who still thinks it’s liberal heaven over here.

It’s extremely disrespectful to claim that Sunday is a day of rest when there are tens of thousands of people working in hospitals, restaurants, shops, public transport, trains, as well as the police, fire brigade, emergency services, ambulances, carers, bars, cafés, theatres, construction and so on. If you don’t want employees to have to work more on Sundays or even weekends, we understand, but if your sole argument is that you want a day of rest and you’re not even fighting for other people’s rights not to be exploited, then don’t go to the shops and please feel to step out of as many municipal councils as you can.

(Link: rtvutrecht)

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January 8, 2017

‘No more bike wheels stuck in tram rails’

Filed under: Bicycles,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 8:30 pm

A Dutch friend once told me about when he was a student in Amsterdam and went on a date, which involved the girl hitching a ride on the back of his bicycle (on the rack) and instead of having a typically fun and possibly romantic moment of her having to hold on to him, the front wheel of his bike got stuck in a tram rail and they both fell.

SafeRails solves the well-known problem of getting your bike wheels stuck in tram rails. Invented by two engineering students, Ward Kuiters and Roderick Buijs, SafeRails is a profile made from recycled plastic that can be inserted into existing tram rails. The idea is that bike wheels cannot get stuck in the rails and the tram can ride right over the profile as if they weren’t even there.

SafeRails is sustainable, durable and makes cycling safer. The guys’ goal is to start with The Hague, the political centre of the country, but first they need to win The Hague Innovators Challenge 2017 and are currently in second place. You can vote, too.

In Dutch with English subtitles:

(Link: www.bright.nl, Photo of the Kinkerstraat by Wikimedia user Ilonamay, some rights reserved)

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January 6, 2017

World record Game of the Goose in Dutch hands

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 6:32 pm

Ganzenbord

And it’s a wrap: the Dutch world record of playing Game of the Goose is now 80 hours and is in Dutch hands, getting the four guys who played it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

According to Omroep Brabant, the last few hours were exhausting and not much fun any more, but once they had broken the old world record, they got a boost to finish the job. Fighting against the will to sleep was the most difficult part of what they had to do, but they did it.

(Link and screenshot: omroepbrabant.nl)

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