December 4, 2020

Time to vote for the Worst Dutch Slogans of 2020

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 3:04 pm

Regardless of the state the world’s in, some things march on, and one of those things is voting on the worst Dutch slogans of 2020.

There are 10 in the running, but let’s pick the raisins out of the porridge, as the Dutch would say. And if you follow the link below, you can cast your vote as well.

First, the obligatory dirty joke that’s surprisingly not misogynistic, from animal protection group Gaia: ‘Laat je poesje knippen voor ze begint te wippen’ (roughly, ‘Get your pussy fixed before they start reproducing’, but rhyming and a bit funnier. ‘Wippen’ here is Dutch for ‘having sex’ and amusingly enough it means ‘see-sawing’, which the Dutch associate with the act.

Then, there’s the quintessential ‘poop and fart’ joke, from Rennie, pills that help against flatulence and stomach acid: ‘Liefde maakt blind, maar je neus ruikt nog steeds een wind’ (roughly, ‘Love is blind, but your nose can still smell a wind’. Sadly, ‘blind’ (blind) and wind (wind/fart) rhyme in Dutch, but not in English.

And there’s always the Dunglish joke, that you need to know Dutch and English to understand, and that would be ‘O my goot…’ (‘oh my gutter…’) from a roofing company. ‘Goot’ is Dutch for ‘gutter’, and of course the slogan is trying to say ‘Oh my God’ in English, which in Dutch would be ”Mijn God’, with ‘God’ and ‘goot’ sounding very similar.

UPDATE: ‘Laat je poesje knippen voor ze begint te wippen’ from animal organisation Gaia won.

(Link: sloganverkiezing.nl)

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December 3, 2020

Dutch Christmas song ‘Flappie’ gets American version

Filed under: Animals,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am

Rabbit

‘Flappie’, the song about a Christmas rabbit written and sung by Dutch comedian Youp van ‘t Hek, a celebrity who has coined many catch phrases, has recently been covered by major American music figure Todd Rundgren who apparently likes to cover ‘obscure’ songs.

‘Flappie’, has become ‘Floppy’, which is a great name for a rabbit in English. I have not been able to find out the translator is as they’ve done a fine job, even according to Van ‘t Hek. Rundgren, who has performed in the Netherlands countless times according to music magazine Oor, is said to have made his version more dramatic than the original. One online criticism was that the new song was musically too busy, but I think it matches the story.

All I want is to know who the translator is to admire their work since translators are too often ignored.

Here’s the English version by Todd Rundgren:

Here’s a nice live version of original Dutch by Youp van ‘t Hek:

(Link: oor.nl, Photo of Rabbit by J Ligero & I Barrios. Some rights reserved)

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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)

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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)

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July 27, 2020

Horse helped determine law in the age of the Internet

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:48 pm

It was 1914, there was a world war being fought, and a clever man thought he had found a way to smuggle a horse.

In that year, exporting horses from Azewijn, in the neutral Netherlands, to warring Germany was illegal. As local newspaper De Graafschap-bode told the story at the time:

L. Lueb, 32 years of age and farmer in Klein Netterden (Germany) is being tried for exporting a horse on 7 September 1914 from the municipality of Bergh across the border at Klein Netterden, by pulling said animal through the water of said canal towards the place from which he was pulling whilst standing on the German side of the border canal while the horse was on the other side of said canal, with clear intent and by means of a rope tied around the neck of said horse.

People used so many words in those days…

The courts could just smell that Mr Lueb was guilty, but legally, a whiff is not enough. A law needs to be found by which to convict a person. But more than that, they had to agree they had jurisdiction. The law rarely determines that somebody can be tried for something they did in another country.

The result was that the case ended up before the Dutch supreme court.

The original court held that not the location of the perpetrator, but rather the ‘exportable object’ determined the location of the crime, Haal Je Recht writes.

The appeals court disagreed and came up with a post-human solution: the rope is an extension of the arm, and the arm was on Dutch soil at the time of the crime. The Dutch supreme court reworded the verdict, but came pretty much to the same conclusion: one can use an instrument to act in a different place from where one currently is.

In our current day and age, it has become much easier to use an instrument to act in a different place. The supreme court referenced the Case of the Horse of Azewijn as recent as last year when it convicted skimmers who had tried to plunder Dutch bank accounts from an ATM in Milan, Italy.

In 1915, Mr Lueb was convicted to a prison sentence of three months. What happened to the horse, I don’t know.

Photo of he German – Dutch border canal near Netterden by Pieter Delicaat, some rights reserved.

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September 10, 2019

Transavia refuses service dogs, ruins girls’ vacation

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 5:21 pm

airplane1.JPG

A while back we told you about a gym that refused a man with his service dog, and now Dutch budget airline Transavia is feeling the wrath of social media for refusing two girls on board with service dogs.

The two friends were on their way to Pula, Croatia from Rotterdam with their two dogs and their foster mother, but the airline refused to board the two dogs the day before. One of the girls said that they had booked the tickets in April, and that they have it on paper – the most important condition for them to be able to go away – that Transavia was fine with having the dogs on board. The day before their departure, the airline said that the dogs would have to go in the hold, and that led to this story making the papers.

Transavia said rules have changed and that too many people ask to have their dogs on board, which they wanted to put a stop to. “Some people will be negatively affected by this”, a spokesperson said. To add insult to injury, to make up for their crappy last-minute decision, the airline decided to give them dinner coupons. Problem is, the two girls both have eating and anxiety disorders, which is why they have service dogs in the first place.

Enjoy your negative PR, Transavia.

(Link: telegraaf.nl)

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July 24, 2019

Dutch heat record broken today

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 3:58 pm

The weather folks have measured 39,1 degrees in Gilzen en Rijen, Noord-Brabant, breaking the record of 38.6 degrees set back in 1944 in Warnsveld, Gelderland. We also broke some records last year – imagine if this trend continues over the years to come. On 23 July 2019 as well the country had its warmest 23 July ever, at 31.7 degrees.

The country has invoked the National Heat Plan, which kicks in at 27 degrees and involves keeping an eye on the elderly and the sick (breathing issues, dizziness) and anybody working in hot conditions (water, cooling, breaks).

Since the Netherlands is not big on air conditioning, finding a cool place to be can be difficult. Everybody can always drink lots of water, especially if they are dizzy, which means they haven’t been drinking enough water in the first place. Wiping your cat or dog’s forehead with a wet cloth is a good tip, as is eating fruits like watermelon.

UPDATE: We’ve hit 39.3 in Eindhoven

(Link: nu.nl)

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June 19, 2019

Residents of Lelystad chase down swan thieves

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 9:12 pm

Some 20 residents of Lelystad have started a group to hunt down thieves that have been stealing swans for reasons unknown. The Netherlands has quite a bit of swans, and it is the nests that are mainly being robbed as of late.

Group leader is Wido Nuijens, and he has said that they are going to clamp down on thieves and call the police”. The swan patrol drives around and takes note of any suspicious activity, then reports it, if need be. Apparently, Bulgarian cars are often spotted near gaggles of swans. One person from the group explains that swan meat is a delicacy in Bulgaria. I have no clue if this is true or not, and will ask when I have a chance.

Although there are swans all over the country, for reasons unknown Lelystad is a hot spot for swan robbers.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of swan: public domain)

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April 14, 2019

Most Dutch people talk to their pets

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 11:34 pm

Assocation of language lovers Onze Taal (‘our language’) has published the results of an informal poll that suggests that 95% of all Dutch pet owners talk to their pets.

The type of pet and whether or not the animal is deaf doesn’t seem to matter. People address their pets in their local dialect.

Popular ‘conversations’ are: admonishments, compliments (“Who is the cutest kitten in the world? You are!”), sharing what the owner is going to do (“Mummy is going to the pet store”) and, apparently, deliberation (“Is it OK if I move your bowl over here?”).

People don’t just talk to pets, but also inanimate objects. Furniture gets apologised to when bumped into, and encouragements are uttered towards blocked robotic vacuum cleaners and bent trees.

The poll was held in January among the visitors of the association’s website.

(Photo by Eddy Van 3000, some rights reserved)

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March 28, 2019

Dutchman wins Belgian seagull scream champs

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:23 pm

Black-backed

In the Belgian town of Adinkerke, a Flemish village close to the French border, 30 men and women did their best to imitate the scream of a seagull at a European Seagull Screaming Championship. We say men and women because there were two winners, one for the men and one for the women: a Belgian woman from Hasselt won her gold and the gold for the men’s was won by a Dutchman from Limburg.

Last year, 31 people participated in the Belgian Championship, and this year, it was time for a European version. The jury said that the level was ‘quite high’ and that part of the goal was to show appreciation for the seagull. I have friends on social media who cannot get enough of posting stories about seagull ripping food like fries out of people’s hand, but to each their own.

Our Limburger winner explains that he gives sport lessons outdoors and hears seagulls a lot, and was always impressed by the sound they make. He heard about the championship through friends and thought it would be fun to join in. “It was totally worth the 2.5 hour drive”, he added.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Great black-backed gull by Robert Eliassen, some rights reserved)

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