November 16, 2020

World premiere: Bob Ross exhibition in The Netherlands

Filed under: Art,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:31 pm

Last weekend Marketing and Communication Specialist Ellen van Slagmaat of Museum MORE and Mauritshuis Restorator Abbie Vandivere were both on Dutch radio show ‘Spijkers met Koppen’ to talk about the very first solo exhibition of American painter and television personality Bob Ross.

Bob Ross was famous for his television show ‘The Joy of Painting’ that showed millions of people in the United States and Canada how easy it was to paint, and did so with one of the most soothing voices on public television. Not only did he paint very quickly, but for each show, he made three or four of the same landscape paintings, Vandivere explained on the radio. Ross had 381 episodes of his show, so that’s a whole lot of paintings of ‘happy little clouds’ and ‘almighty mountains’.

Although parodied and admired for decades, he is now being taken more seriously and being appreciated much more, which is why Van Slagmaat worked hard to set up the exhibition, the world’s first ever solo exhibition of Ross’ works. The exhibition will open in the spring of 2021.

Here’s an episode of Bob Ross painting some Northern Lights:

(Link: hartvannederland, Photo of Bob Ross at his easel, some rights reserved)

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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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June 25, 2020

New wharf cellars discovered in Utrecht

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first,History by Orangemaster @ 11:58 am

According to Utrecht city council, some previously unknown 60 wharf cellars have been discovered in the city’s centre. The council says that there are some 200 addresses with cellars of which the state of disrepair is unknown and that they are planning to look at more closely. An inspection should provide the best possible idea of the state of wharves in the city and what preventive and safety measures are needed.

Covid permitting (always check first), visitors can take a walking tour of canals and wharf cellars. As well, this latest discovery could make the tours even more exciting.

According to Wikipedia, Utrecht has 732 wharf cellars built around 1150. They were originally used as storage and other spaces for goods to be transported over water. One cool fact about them is that they can be found under roads.

(Link: www.rtvutrecht.n, Photo of Utrecht Nieuwegracht wharf by Japiot, some rights reserved)

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April 10, 2020

Oldest known Corona patient, 107-year-old Dutch woman, cured

Filed under: Dutch first,Health,History by Orangemaster @ 2:59 pm

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), The Netherlands’ ‘Tante Cor’ (‘Aunt Cor)’, real name Cornelia Ras from Goeree-Overflakkee, South Holland, is said to be the oldest Corona patient in the world to have been cured of Covid-19. Although the actual age of a number of elderly patients has not been determined, chances are that Tante Cor is the oldest, with a 104-year-old man from Oregon, Unites States coming in second place.

Tante Cor contracted the virus during a church service in her nursing home, now known hotbeds of contamination in many parts of the world. Forty other people were contaminated as well, ten of which have died, sadly not a unique occurrence.

A few other hundred-year-olds in The Netherlands have also recovered: a 101-year-old woman from Capelle aan den IJssel, South Holland as well as a 103-year-old man from Steenbergen, Noord-Brabant.

(Link: nu.nl, Photo of random old people by Flickr user Freeparking, some rights reserved)

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February 29, 2020

The Letter for the King gets the Netflix treatment

Filed under: Dutch first,Literature,Shows by Branko Collin @ 1:59 pm

On 20 March 2020, Netflix will start running its mini-series The Letter for the King based on the 1962 children’s book of the same name by Tonke Dragt.

Set in the middle ages, knight-in-training Tiuri is tasked by a stranger to deliver a letter to the king and save the world in the process. The adventure spans six episodes. Dragt wrote a sequel to her book, The Secrets of the Wild Wood, so who knows? If this series does well, they might commission another.

According to an interview with Dragt in Trouw last year, this is the first Dutch book that is being turned into an international series by Netflix. Dragt, now 89:

I immediately said no to a couple of [changes Netflix had planned]. No torture! They wanted to remove shield-bearer Piak from the story but I said: Piak stays. And they wanted to make Tiuri’s background more interesting, but I was against that—he is a regular boy. Children must be able to think: that could happen to me. Will I keep the promise [to deliver the letter]?

I had never heard of [Netflix]. So now I need to stay alive for a little while longer, until I have seen at least the first episode. Will it be good or disappointing? I will decide then if I will watch more of it.

Dragt’s stories often revolve around dualities, about finding that crack in the middle to slip through. Tiuri gets the tough choice: do I follow the formal steps that will get me knighted or do I throw that all away so that I can behave knightly?

In De Zevensprong, a so-called seven-way junction is the starting point for a mystery: there are only six roads. The book plays with the notion that a fork in the road is where a single road splits in two—or are they three roads meeting? The duality must be resolved to find the key to the mystery.

And Dragt’s The Towers of February posits that today, Leap Day, is the only time you can slip between realities.

See also: The Dutch like Dutch children’s literature the best

(Illustration: Netflix)

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December 24, 2019

Frisian villages have first ever Frisian supermarkets

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 10:47 am


As of 20 December, the villages of Eastermar and Damwoude both have the ‘Dutch’ premiere of opening the first ever Frisian-language supermarkets. The Alles onder één dak (Everything under one roof, in Dutch) in Eastermar and the Albert Heijn in Damwoude have their advertising and signs all in Frisian, thanks to the support of the Afûk foundation that helps promote Frisian language and culture.

Fokke Jagersma of Afûk explains that the products are all in Dutch with Frisian explanations, which is not as exciting as having it all in Frisian for locals and tourists alike. However, the staff speaks Frisian, a language spoken by about 400,000 people in a country of 17.5 million. And apparently, tourists want to see Frisian when they go to the province of Friesland, so who knows what the future may bring. As well, there’s talk of a visit from the Ministry of internal Affairs in February.

(Links: nos.nl, eastermar.nl, Photo by Rupert Ganzer, some rights reserved)

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September 12, 2019

Dutch are official test market for Disney+

Filed under: Dutch first,Film,Online,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:04 pm

As of today, The Netherlands has become the exclusive test market for the new Disney streaming service, unadventurously called Disney+. The country will be able to enjoy the new service for free until November 11, after which ‘The House of Mouse’ will charge 6,99 euro a month for it. On November 12, it will also be made available in the United States and will have more productions added to it. Other countries in North America, Europe and the rest of the world will surely follow.

People in The Netherlands can also watch their Disney favourites on Android and iOS devices as well as PS4 and Xbox One. According to the screenshots we’ve seen on Twitter (see screenshot), Disney+ is offering Marvel films (Avengers’ Endgame will only be available in December), Star Wars (all the films including Solo and The Last Jedi – a big deal because the first films are not Disney productions), Pixar and National Geographic.

Although all in English, some of the productions also have Dutch audio. No other languages are available yet. By testing Disney+ first in the Netherlands, Disney wanted to weed out issues, which sounds more like beta testing. According to one Dutch journalist on Twitter, the search function does not work, and I agree after having seen the screenshot of random suggestions, based on two or three letters, not even in the right order.

Reactions are mixed, but quite positive, ranging from ‘Why do I have to pay for another streaming service?’ [you don’t, but North Americans pay for many services for the same shows we all get on Netflix], ‘If I buy this for my youngest son for his birthday, I’ll be spending more money on him than my other two kids and that’s a dilemma’ to ‘I don’t need a bunch of remakes’ and ‘it’s all Disney princesses anyway’.

Free is always nice, but the true test is who will stay on after it’s no longer free.

(Link: nu.nl)

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August 15, 2019

From Ghetto to Parliament: Dutch documentary features Bobi Wine’s Uganda

Filed under: Dutch first,Film by Orangemaster @ 11:33 am

From Ghetto to Parliament, directed by Dutchman Thimaud de Driesen which premiered in March of this year, is a documentary film about Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, a successful reggae artist and Ugandan freedom fighter.

Wine worked his way up from the ghetto to become an elected representative of parliament, where his outspokenness makes him stand out and gets him into trouble, as in he is regularly arrested in an attempt to stop him from protesting. In a country where corruption, violence and intimidation are rife, the journey of Bobi Wine had been receiving international media coverage as he posts uplifting messages on social media aimed at his supporters.

As De Driesen says in this trailer, the story is not just about Bobi Wine, it’s the story of Uganda. Have a look at the trailer:

(Link: Movies That Matter; photo: Enca)

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August 7, 2019

Newly discovered mushroom in NL gets a Dutch name

Filed under: Dutch first,Nature by Orangemaster @ 12:43 pm

In the Drents-Friese Wold National Park in the province of Drenthe, mycologists have discovered a type of mushroom never seen before in the Netherlands, the Pycnoporellus fulgens. It’s currently being referred to by its Latin name because there’s no Dutch name for it yet, but it won’t stay without a name for very long.

Normally, this type of mushroom is found only in old spruce wood forests, something more akin to Scandinavia than here. It is also odd that the Pycnoporellus fulgens has not appeared in the neighbouring countries of Germany and Belgium. The Dutch Mycology Association is not only trying to figure this mystery out, but also wants to give the mushroom a name, and are leaning towards ‘oranje sparrenhoutzwam’, or ‘orange spruce wood mushroom’.

(Links: nu.nl, Photo: naturetoday.com)

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August 6, 2019

Biggest bicycle parking in the world in Utrecht

Filed under: Bicycles,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 7:40 pm

Back in 2013 we told you that the world’s biggest bike garage was to be built in Utrecht. Although it was open for use in November 2018, we never talked about it again, so it’s time to do that.

Located under Utrecht Central Station, also the country’s biggest train station, there’s a huge bicycle garage that can fit 12,500 bikes, but does not already. In 2018, when 7,600 spots were opened, the garage was full in no time and people couldn’t park their bikes.

In the summer of 2020, if all goes well, the garage will add another 4,900 spots to the now existing 7,600 for a total of 12,500. There are now 22,000 public places to park your bike around the station, and another 11,000 will be added in nearby businesses and the former post office a few hundreds metres away with another 700.

The three storey bicycle garage was part of a wider redevelopment of the Central Station area, which is really impressive and so much nicer than the Hoog Catharijne shopping mall annex train station used to be.

(Links: designboom.com, ad.nl, Photo: designboom.com)

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