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July 23, 2016

King’s palace open to public for the first time

Filed under: Dutch first,History by Orangemaster @ 3:09 pm

Screen shot 2016-07-23 at 3.08.07 PM

On Saturday 23 July and the next two Saturdays after that, the palace of Noordeinde where the King and his family live, will open its doors to the public for the very first time. The public will be able to see a number of areas, such as the Grand Ballroom, with its gold chandeliers and marble walls. The rooms also feature the royal family’s impressive art collection and antiques.

As of 26 July and for four days in the week, the royal stables will also be included in the tour, where visitors will be able to see the family’s horse-drawn carriages. The visit will costs 6 euro because if they didn’t charge anything people wouldn’t come, according to the reasoning of the Netherlands Government Information Service (AIVD).

Although the palace being open is very special, its Princess’ Garden is accessible daily for free.

(Links: www.omroepwest.nl, us.hellomagazine.com, Photo: Twitter screenshot)

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July 18, 2016

Lambertschaag sets new pole-sitting record

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 6:39 am
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On 17 July, 15 guys from Lambertschaag, North Holland came down from a pole where they had just spent the weekend sitting on, breaking the village’s pole-sitting record.

We conce wrote about a pole-sitting record in Friesland that was 60 hours, but with bathroom breaks. All 15 guys in Lambertschaag stayed sitting for 52 hours and 32 without any bathroom breaks. It had been 45 years since all participants made it until the end.

I have no clue why it’s only for men in this case, beside it being a tradition. If anybody knows, please enlighten us.

Here are some great pictures of pole-stting in the 1980s by Jaap Woets.

(Link www.rtvnh.nl)

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July 8, 2016

Dutch students set world record with solar-powered boat

Filed under: Dutch first,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:03 pm

Solar-Boat

This week, the Delft University of Technology’s Solar Boat Team has set a world record of 50.5 kilometres per hour on Day 5 of the Dutch Solar Challenge in Drachten, Friesland. There wasn’t any previous record, making this a sweet victory for the students.

This world record will also be added to the Guinness World Records as the first record ever set for a solar-powered boat. Second place in the challenge was 42 kilometres per hour set by a team from Leeuwarden, Friesland and 30,3 kilometres per hour was clocked by a team from Slochteren, Groningen.

The Delft team also won ook the innovation award thanks to the technology it used, which included two hydrofoils placed one behind another instead of next to each other, which had the boat ‘skating over the water’.

(Link: tweakers.net, photo: www.solarboatteam.nl)

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July 2, 2016

KLM to serve Heineken draught beer on flights

Filed under: Aviation,Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 8:42 pm

klm-plane-steven-straiton

Two years ago Heineken developed the Brewlock tap system, which addresses the issue of delivering draught beer at the right level of carbonation. And if KLM is to serve beer high up in the air, it needs to be tapped properly and not spray out of the keg due to a lack of carbonation.

The system will be fitted onto a trolley for serving and will be pre-cooled before takeoff and then kept cool for a maximum of eight hours with insulating material. KLM plans to serve beer on tap on a few selected flights and then eventually roll it out.

Roll out the barrel, and we’ll have a barrel of fun – in the air.

(Link: www.telegraaf.nl, photo by Steven Straiton, some rights reserved)

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June 30, 2016

Biggest bakery in Europe being built in Aalsmeer

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 4:46 pm

aalsmeer-old-flower-auction-branko-collin

Belgian company Montea from Aalst, Belgium, which specialises in really big warehouses, is currently building the biggest bakery in Europe in Aalsmeer, North Holland, a city known its world-famous flower auction and proximity to Schiphol Airport.

The bakery will be the size of eight football pitches, use 8000 m3 of concrete and cost 40 millions euro. Construction should be done in October and family business Borgesius-Bakkersland, two recently merged Dutch companies, will start producing some 600,000 loaves of bread and pastries to supply supermarket chain Albert Heijn.

One of Montea’s last big Dutch jobs was the development of the biggest Internet pharmacy in Europe located in Heerlen, Limburg, of which the warehouse was a “mere” 14,800 m2.

(Link: www.lecho.be)

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June 23, 2016

Amsterdam abolishes discriminatory youth minimum wage

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:23 pm

Amsterdam is the first Dutch city to finally put an end to the discriminatory practice of paying employees between the ages of 18 and 23 only 45% of the adult minimum wage.

The Netherlands is one of the few European countries where this practice was commonplace, something that is illegal in many Western countries. The city will start by adjusting the salaries of younger people who work for the city. Although the city of Zwolle, Overijssel started doing this before Amsterdam, Amsterdam is making more serious adjustments according to the youth workers’ union who has been pushing hard for change.

In April of this year the Dutch government decided to lower the youth minimum wage from 23 to 21, but yeah, that’s still discrimination. I have yet to hear a good argument besides exploiting young people for this wage discrepancy.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo of the VOC HQ (East India Company) by Josh, distributed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

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May 23, 2016

Plane spotters rush to Leeuwarden for European JSF debut

Filed under: Aviation,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:29 pm
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In about four hours, the city of Leeuwarden, Friesland will be welcoming two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which will stay in the Netherlands for three weeks. The JSF is the successor to the F16 (shown here), which has been flying in the country since 1979.

The Ministry of Defense says it’s time for the residents near the airfields of Leeuwarden and Volkel, Noord-Brabant to experience what they sound like because in 2019 the first bunch of F-35 will be coming to stay. According to the Ministry, it is the first time this type of aircraft has been flown from the United States to Europe, which is why Leeuwarden expects one or two thousand plane spotters from around Europe to come and watch the show.

For all of you who can’t make it, watch it live thanks to this handy stream brought to you by the Ministry of Defense:

(Links: www.lc.nl, www.defensie.nl)

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April 18, 2016

Watch the dearly departed being cremated

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:20 pm

2016-04-14-Zorgvlied-Crematorion-opening-0351-Kopie-586x391

Already operational last month but recently opened by city officials, the Zorgvlied crematorium in Amsterdam features a unique teepee shaped building that has room for cremations and an audience watching the cremation – a Dutch first.

In fact, the design of the place was all about giving bereaved families and friends a chance to be with the dearly departed right until the end. The upwards swirling style of the crematorium gives the impression of going towards the heavens.

Cremation is more popular than burials in Amsterdam, for reasons of space and functionality, and its popularity continues to increase. Budget surely plays a role in this as well.

You can actually visit the crematorium on Sunday 29 May and Sunday 5 June between 12:30 and 17:00, follow the link below for more details. Last Sunday attracted 400 people curious to see what it looks like.

(Links and photo: www.uitvaartmedia.com-1, www.uitvaartmedia.com-2)

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April 13, 2016

Dutch woman is world’s first-ever Professor of Fatherhood

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 10:04 am

In a few days Professor Renske Keizer of the University of Amsterdam, 32, will become the world’s first and only ‘Professor of Fatherhood’. Mother of three children herself, she researches the effect fathers have on children in different family configurations and opposes the ‘glorification’ of motherhood in the Netherlands, which constantly downplays the role of fathers in Dutch families regardless of their contribution.

Keizer explains that fathers of low income families play a lesser role than those of high income families and that a lack of affordable childcare, lack of paid and unpaid paternity leave and many other 1950s relics skew the balance between mothers and fathers, with fathers getting the short end of the stick. While Dutch fathers have voiced a desire to want to work part-time like most mothers do but cannot because they are expected to work full time and Dutch working mothers making less than working fathers, it’s tough to foster any change without taking a hard financial hit.

Dutch women entered the job market in the 1970s, decades later than their western counterparts, and the obstacles facing them today stem from the ingrained idea that women don’t need to work to support their families or develop themselves. “Men work to take care of their family, that’s their role. Many women see work as something that conflicts with what they do at home, clean and take care of the children. That’s Dutch culture. You’re a bad mother if you bring your children to daycare more than three times a week, but not a bad father. Society needs to make a change.”

Keize is attempting to see if being a father contributes to raising children in a unique way, but warns that maybe it does not. She explains that generally fathers speak to their children more like adults, while mothers tend to speak to their children more on their level in part because mothers tend to know their children’s capabilities better. However, fathers play a major role in increasing children’s vocabulary. The same goes with reading bedtime stories, something Keizer admits high income families do way more than low income ones: a mother reads a story as it is in the book, while dad makes stuff up as he goes along, triggering children’s creative thinking.

Keizer is also researching LBGTI parents and is very aware of the differences between white Dutch folks and other ethnic groups, hoping that she can attract more diversity to her study.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo by Eelke Dekker, some rights reserved)

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April 8, 2016

Self-driving trucks in first-ever cross-border convoy

Filed under: Automobiles,Dutch first,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:18 am

Dutch-truck

A small convoy of six self-driving trucks arrived in the Port of Rotterdam this week after an experiment organisers say will “revolutionise future road transport on Europe’s busy highways”. Some of the trucks in this convoy came from as far as Sweden and Southern Germany, and some of you may have even passed them without knowing it.

This ‘truck platooning’ involves two or three trucks that autonomously drive in a convoy, connected by wireless with the leading truck determining route and speed. It it is said to ensure cleaner and more efficient transport. Dutch Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen also explains that self-driving vehicles contribute to road safety because most accidents are caused by human failure.

The trucks drive at a constant speed, maintain the same distance between them by braking at the same time, while standardisation will allow trucks from different companies to ‘talk to each other’.

The Netherlands currently holds the EU presidency and plans to hold an informal summit in a few weeks to discuss changes to regulations needed to “make self-driving transport a reality.”

(Link: phys.org, Photo of Dutch Daf & Flower Trailer by Lewis William Harris – Transport, some rights reserved)

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