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December 6, 2011

KLM lets you choose who sits next to you

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 11:46 am

After spying on passengers using Twitter and Foursquare to offer them gifts last holiday season, KLM is planning to let people choose the passengers next to them on flights using social media. They call it ‘social seating’.

The idea is to check Facebook or LinkedIn when you check in to pick where you want to sit according to people’s profiles. KLM believes that would be a good call for business flights and making contacts.

As far as ordinary flights are concerned, I’d be more inclined to eliminate who I wouldn’t want beside me, including any type of person who takes up too much space or makes too much noise, be it tall, big, with small children or a loud mp3 player. Of course, nobody would have to allow this kind of linking to social media, as it could also be used for evil.

What if some strange man who accosts single women during flights sits next to me? He picked me, but I surely didn’t pick him. Or a thief. Just saying.

Great idea for business, but I can foresee a lot of issues for anyone who is tall, big and has small children.

(Link:, Photo of a Lufthansa plane at Schiphol)

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November 16, 2011

Goose meat croquettes made from airport geese

Filed under: Animals,Aviation,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:47 pm

We’ve written a lot of croquette stories on this blog, made from meat leftovers, questionable vegetarian variants and about general croquette awareness.

A goose meat croquette sounds to me like a Dutch Christmas appetizer or even a fancy French one. However, the geese in question are some of 100.000 geese a year that are shot to stop planes at Schiphol getting geese in their engines.

Beach side café Beach Inn in IJmuiden, North Holland is serving goose meat croquettes made from the geese shot down at Schiphol airport. As I also saw recently on telly, a goose hunter for the airport said catching and releasing would mean hiring an army (they fly back to the airport anyways, a waste of time) and poisoning their eggs is just not done anymore and doesn’t really help.

The geese are usually destroyed or sometimes end up in cat food. Rob Hagenouw, an artist from Amsterdam, contacted some hunters, score some goose and worked hard at creating his own recipe. He says that with his croquettes, the flavours really come out.

Eating goose, or turkey for that matter, is not really a Christmas thing in the Netherlands for many reasons. First, many people do not have ovens due to a lack of living space. They have combination microwave and and oven devices that barely fit a decent sized pizza. Second, even if you do have an oven like I do, a goose or turkey won’t fit. Guineafowl or chicken is the best you can hope for. Another reason is that it’s just not a Dutch tradition to shove a big bird in the oven.


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September 8, 2011

100 years of Fokker airplanes and some beer

Filed under: Aviation,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:23 pm

Two weeks ago in Haarlem I popped into Dutch café in den Uiver, named after KLM’s Douglas DC-2 airplane, Uiver to have a beer and look around again at the cool Dutch airplane memorabilia on the walls. Lo and behold, that weekend besides Haarlem’s Jazz Fest, it was also the Centennial Festival of the Fokker Spin or ‘spider’, the flight of Anthony Fokker’s airplane ‘Spin’ that flew over St. Bavo Church 100 years ago, an aircraft he built and flew when he was just 20.

Although bankrupt in 1996, Fokker airplanes are still around today in KLM’s fleet and are an important part of Dutch aviation history. The Fokker Trimotor, as used by Richard Byrd to fly over the North Pole, is probably the best known of his planes.

For the occasion, Haarlem’s young beer brewery Jopen, of which I could go on about with many stories, brewed a Fokker Spin beer. In den Uiver had it on tap, and it had a proper bitter yet sharp after taste. But never ever drink and fly.


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December 27, 2010

KLM spies on its passengers to give them gifts

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 3:56 pm

“First job, find KLM passengers who have checked into their flight via one of KLM’s Foursquare locations or left a message through Twitter. Second job, search their social profiles, get to know them in a, er, discreet manner, to think of a personalised gift.”

Free stuff is nice and I guess this is an interesting marketing campiagn, but it does make me feel uncomfortable and I don’t see the use of it. Of course, if you tweet what you do or tell people on Foursquare where you are, you can expect anyone to be able to read it. However, wouldn’t it be better if KLM or any airline for that matter could just serve you better in general?

Although the goal was to see how happiness spreads, all I can think of is all the hundreds of people that were stranded at Schiphol airport recently. No gift can make up for that.

(Link: aboutfoursquare)

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December 7, 2010

An interactive history of KLM’s house-shaped genever bottles

Filed under: Architecture,Aviation,Design,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:29 pm

First you follow the link to the cute little Delft blue houses, and then you can click on any of the 91 bottles and find out what house it is and where. Most of them can be found in Amsterdam, but a few of them are from towns like Amersfoort, Delft, Breda and Schiedam.

I spontaneously clicked on number 81 and got ‘proeflokaal’ (roughly ‘tasting pub’) De Drie Fleschjes (The Three Bottles) in Amsterdam pictured above (here is what it looks like today). Ironically, it is a place to sample gin and have a drink.

What I thought was odd though is that there is the same house twice (11 and 23), another ‘proeflokaal’ in Amsterdam, Wijnand Fockink. I think the makers of the site made a mistake, as 90 is a much nicer number.

(Link and image:, via

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December 3, 2010

Direct flight Amsterdam-Miami to party using Twitter

Filed under: Aviation,Music by Orangemaster @ 11:03 am

Two dance music fans wanted to go to the Ultra Music dance festival in Miami in late March, but there were no direct flights to Miami in that period. The guys decided to challenge KLM on Twitter: if they could get 150 people for a flight, KLM would fly them to Miami. KLM agreed, but they had to have the people before 6 December. They started a website and got 285 people!

If this is not a creative use of Twitter, I don’t know what is. It also sounds like a Christmas tale. Well, OK, a little bit like one.

(Link:, Photo of an unrelated Lufthansa Canadair regional jet 900 (or 700?) flying to Munich out of Schiphol airport)

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December 1, 2010

Please remove the jet fighter from your garden

Filed under: Art,Aviation,Comics,History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:09 pm

Artist Marte Röling (often misspelled Martha) has a Lockheed F-104 starfighter in her garden in Uithuizen, Groningen that apparently has to be removed if she hasn’t removed it already. Although it has been sitting there since 1989, some boffins at the Ministry of Defense now think it could be slightly radioactive. Röling received the starfighter as a long-term loan art project. This reminds me of some Peter Tooms in Schoonloo, Drenthe who has a Russian MiG in his yard, although maybe it has been removed as well.

Back in 1976 Prince Bernhard (husband of Queen Juliana) cashed a US$1.1 million bribe from American aviation company Lockheed to ensure that the Lockheed F-104 would win out over France’s Mirage 5 made by Dassault for the purchase contract. Long story short, Bernhard refused to admit it, but after his death in 2004, it turned out to be ‘highly plausible’, but I don’t know if proven is the right word. Lockheed deposited large sums of cash into an account of some guy called Victor Baarn, a person that could never be traced. Co-blogger Branko tells me that Dutch comic strip artist Martin Lodewijk has been milking that story for ages, as in almost every Agent 327 comic book (a character loosely based on James Bond) the secret identity of Victor Baarn threatens to come out.

UPDATE: This was our 1,500th posting, hurrah!)

(Link: rtvnoord)

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September 15, 2010

KLM offering gay getaway to UK residents

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 2:41 pm

“How hot are you on your gay capitals?” is the the slogan of a KLM promotional website, Guess the gay destination and you could win a trip to a gay capital. I’m going to try it first and then write the rest of my posting.

(time lapse, 2 min)

I got all 10 capitals right, they all had pictures of the skyline and a choice of three answers, so it was too easy and terribly cliché. I’m outing them for you: Amsterdam, New York, Rome, Vancouver, San Francisco, Barcelona, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Cape Town and Nice.


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June 15, 2010

Dutch fly world’s first biofuelled helicopter

Filed under: Aviation,Dutch first,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 10:44 am

On Wednesday 16 June, the Dutch defense department will be showing off the very first helicopter that flies on biofuel. A Boeing Apache AH-64D helicopter of the Royal Netherlands Air Force will fly on biofuel above the military Gilze-Rijen Air Base, located in Noord-Brabant, between the cities of Tilburg and Breda.

During the demonstration flight, one of the Apache’s engines will run on a mixture of fossile fuel and biokerosene, of which 90% of this kerosene comes from discarded cooking oil and 10% algenol, biofuel made from algae that is still very new.

This is a picture of an Apache, most probably somewhere in the United States.

(Link: blikopnieuws, Photo of AH-64 Apache helicopter by nathanm, some rights reserved)


February 21, 2010

Man gets bike thrown at head from seventh floor

Filed under: Architecture,Aviation,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 2:41 pm

A man from Nieuwegein near Utrecht had to be taken to the hospital last Monday after being hit in the head by a bicycle thrown from an apartment building, Telegraaf reports.

A fight on the seventh floor which the 18-year-old victim had nothing to do with resulted in a bicycle being thrown off the balcony. The victim was about to enter a car for a driving lesson when the bike partially hit him and the car.

The victim has filed charges for attempted manslaughter. The suspect turned himself in on Wednesday and was arrested, according to the Utrecht police.

(Photo by Mike Porcenaluk, some rights reserved)

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