October 9, 2016

Trix the T.rex on glow in the dark coins

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 4:11 pm


The Royal Dutch Mint has produced silver proof coins featuring Trix the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, currently exhibited at the Naturalis museum in Leiden, South Holland. And they’re not just any old dino coins either, there’s one that glows in the dark, something the mint has done for the very first time. The coins are limited editions, with only 750 minted, a set of which costs 59,95.

How did the Naturalis score a T.rex in first place?

Back in 2012 researchers went hunting for a T.rex in the US, and found one in the state of Montana. The skeleton was carefully cleaned and prepared, and arrived in August 2016 in Leiden, escorted by the police and experts. The Queen of the dinosaurs, Trix is 12 metres long and her bones, muscles, claws and teeth weigh 6,000 kilos. You can visit Trix until 5 June 2017 after which the museum will be closed for renovations until 2018.

This T.rex skeleton is one of the three most complete ones in the world and obviously a great addition to the museum.

(Links: www.knm.nl (also photo), t-rex.naturalis.nl)

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October 3, 2016

Help! My mammoth takes up too much space

Filed under: Animals,History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:04 am

Online auction site Catawiki has all kinds of stuff up for grabs, and as of last weekend, there’s a Dutch person selling off a complete mammoth skeleton.

According to the auction site, there are seven complete mammoth skeletons in the Netherlands, and this was the only one not owned by a museum. Originally found in the North Sea, the bones are not from the same mammoth, and were carefully collected over time. The skeleton is 3.2 metres high and 5.5 metres long, with 270 bones and two tusks that are three metres long.

Catawiki expects the skeleton to fetch between 200,000 and 260,000 euro. As of last weekend the highest bid was 35,000 euro.

UPDATE: A German museum that wishes to remain anonymous has bought the skeleton for 120,000 euro.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo: Wolfgang Staudt, some rights reserved)

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September 20, 2016

Dutch bees move to France for the winter

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 9:44 pm


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)

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September 14, 2016

Rare crab lands on Ameland beach

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 11:35 pm

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.

(Link: www.ecomare.nl)

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September 11, 2016

The eel riots of 1886 ended with 26 people and 1 eel dead

Filed under: Animals,History by Branko Collin @ 8:30 pm

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)

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September 6, 2016

Granny swats the daylights out of Pokémons

Filed under: Animals,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 9:48 pm


A health insurance company active in the east of the country has recently made a video (see below) that is really only made to watch an elderly lady treat Pokémons to the business end of a flyswatter.

Then there’s other Dutch business that have carved out a piece of the action using Pokémons. A Dutch sex toy shop asks on Twitter ‘What Pokémon is this?’, showing a dratini that’s more of the vibrating kind. Then there’s someone who claims Dutch Rail has a train running late because of a Snorlax on the rails. And then there’s more serious stuff like the World Wide Fund using a meme of a rhinoceros saying in English ‘Don’t catch ’em’.

The video is for fans and haters alike, so check it out.

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August 29, 2016

Turning a cow into a flying machine

Filed under: Animals,Art,Technology by Orangemaster @ 5:22 pm

After Orville the helicopter cat, a badger submarine and a few others, controversial Dutch artist Bart Jansen is currently working on a flying cow.

Together with his collaborator, engineer Arjen Beltman, they are taking deceased animals to the next level by creating something they can fly in themselves, which reminds me of the flying moths from the 1990s science-fiction series, Lexx.

“If I’m going to fly, I want to fly in something weird. So we’ve been thinking about animals that are big enough to fly in. We have a cow at the moment – it’s at the tannery right now. It’s going to be like a bovine personnel carrier, but airborne,” Jansen explains.

If you guys want to get weirder, check out Lexx’s main ship, a huge flying insect that talks to its crew, as inspiration.

(Link: www.telegraph.co.uk)

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May 25, 2016

Dutch company prevents mass death of male chicks

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 10:23 pm


Dutch biotech start-up In Ovo from Leiden has perfected a large-scale technique for determining the sex of day-old chicks, which could soon end the practice of killing millions of male chicks in the Netherlands after eggs have hatched.

According to founders Wouter Bruins and Wil Stutterheim, In Ovo is the first company to be able to determine the gender of an unhatched egg in a matter of seconds, while other techniques for doing so, such as measuring the level of estrogen in the egg, takes four hours and is very expensive.

In Ovo has identified new substances that indicate the sex of an egg as early the ninth day of incubation. These substances are fast and quite easy to detect, according to Bruins. The technique has been tested at a Dutch hatchery, where the company was able to hatch roosters and hens separately on several occasions. The method is also fast enough to separate large amounts of eggs automatically, and so the first prototype for a sorting device is currently being developed.

The company’s video explains that around the world 3.2 billion roosters are killed each year. Besides an incredible amount of animal suffering, determining the gender of chicks would mean hatching less eggs, which means lowering energy consumption and CO2 output.

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May 15, 2016

Dutchman snaps shop cats in China

Filed under: Animals,Photography by Orangemaster @ 12:42 pm


Dutchman Marcel Heijnen, originally from The Hague, lives in Hong Kong, China and likes to take pictures of shop owner’s cats. You can follow him at @ChineseWhiskers on instagram.

Surprised at how successful his cat pics are, he is planning on publishing a book, called ‘Hong Kong Shop Cats’ this September, with a book on Hong Kong market cats to follow by the beginning of next year. Both books will feature a haiku by Singaporean poet Ian Row, as well as an essay by Hong Kong-based British writer Catharine Nicol.

Shop owners have told Heijnen that they keep cats to repel rodents, but then they do that in The Netherlands as well. Heijnen, who previously lived in Singapore, said he is always careful not to identify the specific location of the businesses he visits so they are not bombarded with visitors.

(Link: www.scmp.com, Photo: @ChineseWhiskers on instagram)

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April 9, 2016

Cow films its own spring dance in the field

Filed under: Animals,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:10 pm

Watching the cows finally go outside in the spring is a great Dutch tradition, and now that tradition was taken to the next level with some fine bovine camera work.

Entitled ‘it’s Cow or Never’, a play on words of the Elvis song ‘It’s Now or Never’ (a cover of the old Neapolitan song O Sole Mio), you can pretend you’re a dancing cow and watch yourself from above and below thanks to the power of editing and two GoPro cameras attached to a happy cow.

The cows come from a cheese far in Dronten, Flevoland. The farmer claims the cows were jealous of the cow with the new gadget, because the filming cow’s cameras ended up in the mud after 15 min due to some head butting.

Check out the sniffing, nuzzling and head butts for yourself:

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl)

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