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May 27, 2014

Turkish inspired BBQ pot for better outdoor meals

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:21 pm

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Conceptually based on the Turkish güveç, a sort of earthenware pot used to prepare stews on barbecues, and designed by Casper Tolhuisen, the Barbecue Pot lets you cook all kinds of noms on the BBQ as a change up to the usual sausage and burger affair. The pot is filled with ingredients (meat and veg or simply vegetarian), including something specifically aromatic like a lemon, then sealed and cooked. The idea is that something like a lemon will act as a mini-steam cabin and cook the stew, giving it a nice barby flavour.

The stoneware Barbecue Pot comes with two recipes and has a blog where people can exchange recipes and tips. Dutch online design store SoonSalon sells the item for 69 euro in a few different colours.

(Link: studiocaspertolhuisen.nl, via www.bright.nl)

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May 15, 2014

Junk food workers on strike? Not in the Netherlands

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 2:31 pm
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Today in over 30 countries around the world, from New Zealand to the United States, fast food chain employees are striking to demand better wages because their full-time jobs don’t pay the bills, which has been the case for ages. “On May 15, we will be taking action together around the world to demand that McDonald’s—the second largest private sector employer in the world — respect its employees’ work.”

However, the Netherlands cannot be bothered. Just last week the Dutch FNV union claimed that fast food workers were the worst paid in the country, two euro an hour less than cleaning personnel who strike often and have been on strike for a while as I write this. The biggest difference is probably that the cleaners, due to their age and experience, know when they are being screwed by The Man, while the youth thinks it’s normal.

For starters, mostly people under 25 work at fast food chains, many of which still live at home, which is very different than in other countries where they are trying to make ends meet. The wages the Dutch make is more pocket money or tuition money than rent money.

Second, fast food jobs in the Netherlands are deemed temporary jobs for students or young people, while in the United States and elsewhere, you’ll see people over 50 working at a chain. Since the Netherlands openly practices ageism and not same pay for same work, every age group, from 18 to 25 gets a different salary, and someone above 50 would be way too expensive.

(Links: www.nrcq.nl, www.at5)

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May 13, 2014

Another world cup, another women’s fashion controversy

Filed under: Fashion,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 8:15 am

Back in 2010 Bavaria beer was caught up in controversy during the World Cup in South Africa because of its Dutch orange dresses. The dresses were seen as advertising another beer brand than the main sponsor and some good looking, thin blondes wearing the dresses got arrested, which turned out to be a great marketing stunt if ever there was one.

And now, some shop in Noord-Brabant that sells clothes for bigger women has managed to secure its own bit of free marketing by claiming that this year’s ‘HolánDress’ (cost:12,99 euro), which comes in sizes 34-40 (XS, X, M and L), excludes bigger women when such a garment should be bringing us all together. Apparently, the average Dutch woman weighs 80 kilos and wears size 42, which still means that a whole lot of women and girls will fit into that dress.

The dress is a marketing stunt, a knick-knack. They’ll be more of them as well in the future and they won’t get bigger unless someone makes it a stunt of making one for ‘big gals’. Then there might be whining about being singled out as a fat person from some shop somewhere, mark my words.

How’s about taking the bullshit by the horns and wear a nice orange dress or top (or even a blue, red and white ensemble) that suits you instead? How low on self-esteem does one have to be to want to follow a beer brewer’s fashion statement? Get proactive and shut up. Nobody gives a rat’s ass what you’re wearing in front of the telly. And you can always get off the couch and lose some weight if your life’s ambition is fitting into cheap stunt dresses.

(Link: www.elsevier.nl)

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May 11, 2014

Netherlands has second best beer-to-income ratio

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 4:39 pm

beer-income-reddit-adiluReddit user Adilu made this fun map of Europe which shows how many beers the legal monthly minimum wage buys you in Europe.

It turns out the well-paying beer-loving countries are the Germanic ones—no surprises there. The minimum wage of a Belgian buys you 1028 pints of beer, whereas the Dutch can purchase at least 761 pints with their monthly salary. Germany comes in third with only 521 beers.

Adilu based their pint prices on a crowd-sourced database aptly called pintprice.com, according to PolicyMic, which has a thing or two to say about purchasing power and minimum wage if you’re interested.

(Illustration: Reddit user Adilu)

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March 24, 2014

Drunk Segway operator loses driving license

Filed under: Bicycles,Food & Drink,Weird by Branko Collin @ 8:00 am

segway-facemeplsA 45-year-old man from Ootmarsum in the province of Twente lost his driving license yesterday after getting caught Segwaying under the influence.

According to the local police a breathalyser test showed that the man had a blood alcohol level of 995 µg/l, which is far above the legal limit. Segways are considered a special type of moped in the Netherlands. They aren’t allowed to go faster than 25 kilometres per hour and driving them doesn’t require a driving license, but the law says that if you get caught operating any type of motor vehicle while under the influence of a certain amount of alcohol, the police may still take your car driving license.

If the man had been caught while riding a bicycle, the police would simply have sent him walking with his driving license still firmly in his wallet. It will be at least 13 days before his license is returned to him, unless the public prosecutor decides the drunk Segway driver is such a menace to society that he must be brought before a judge. In that case, the public prosecutor gets to hold on to the license a little longer.

(Photo by FaceMePls, some rights reserved)

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March 20, 2014

The Hague launches ‘Bitcoin boulevard’ just in time for spring

Filed under: Art,Food & Drink,Online by Orangemaster @ 9:29 am

Today, 20 March at exactly 17:57, when spring will officially start here, the city of The Hague will open ‘Bitcoin boulevard’ along a canal, framed by the Dunne Bierkade / Groenewegje / Wagenstraat / Uilebomen streets, also known to locals as Avenue Culinaire for its selection of international cuisine. An art gallery is also said to be joining in.

Software entrepreneurs Hendrik Jan Hilbolling and two bitcoin fans were able to convince restaurant owners, including a one Michelin star joint, of their project, which probably wasn’t easy considering some of them had no idea what a Bitcoin was. The boulevard project will run for two months with a possible extension. The initiators themselves won’t profit from it financially, Bitcoin or otherwise.

On a smaller scale, shops in other Dutch cities accept Bitcoins.

(Links: www.coindesk.com, www.denhaag.nl, www.emerce.nl)

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March 10, 2014

Giant Red Saunders photo made into picnic bags

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink,Photography by Branko Collin @ 8:22 am

treaty-of-utrecht-red-saunders

As part of the celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, the local centre of the arts (UCK) commissioned British photographer Red Saunders to create a large piece depicting the signing of the treaty.

The 200 square metre photo was displayed in front of the city hall, but when it had to come down there was no place large enough to continue to exhibit it. The photo banner was given or sold to Jongkruit, a company whose sole business seems to be to turn festival banners into bags. According to Oranje Flamingo, you can buy one of these for a picnic at the festival on Liberation Day later this year. (It would appear that only some buyers will get a Red Saunders bag.)

The Treaty of Utrecht ended the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 in which a great number of major European powers were involved.

(Photo: Metro Imaging / Red Saunders)

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February 26, 2014

Play beekeeper at home, inside your house

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:00 am

Just as spring began in 2012 we told you about how European bees are disappearing from the urban landscape, although many things are being done to counter this. As an unknowing consumer, I’ve noticed that the honey I buy has a lot of ‘non-EU’ honey in it, which means it’s probably from North America or the Middle East.

You could imagine that although keeping bees at home to gawk at (I like to try and spot the queen bee) and take their honey sounds really cool (pics), it has a hipster vibe to it. Back in 2011 Philips designed a beehive that you can place indoors, while the bees enter the hive from a sort of flower pot outdoors, so no bees flying around the house.

According to Philips, their urban beehive is a sustainable, environmentally friendly product concept that has direct educational effects. The city benefits from the pollination, while humans benefit from the honey and therapeutic value of observing the bees. As global bee colonies are in decline, this design contributes to the preservation of the species and encourages the return of the urban bee.

This sounds great if you’re up to smoking out the bees when you want the honey because you’ll need to do so eventually and you’ll need to have your own house to make those kinds of holes in your walls.

(Link: www.design.philips.com, Photo of Bee swarm by quisnovus, some rights reserved)

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February 19, 2014

North Korean hostesses cover traditional Dutch song

Filed under: Food & Drink,History,Music by Orangemaster @ 5:29 pm

Two years ago, a North Korean restaurant (now closed) in the West of Amsterdam had caused quite the commotion having been accused of spreading propaganda and all that jazz. But at least there was after dinner singing.

Now in the East part of town restaurant Haedanghwa features North Korean food with traditional after dinner songs sung by North Korean girls in traditional garb. The fun part is, they sing their rendition of the Dutch standard ‘Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten’ (roughly, At the Canals of Amsterdam) that they apparently worked very hard not only to sing, but to understand. They practiced for a few weeks and now you can enjoy the video.

(Link: www.vice.com, Photo of Pyongyang restaurant by Comicbase, some rights reserved)

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February 5, 2014

Tourist film about the Dutch keeps it white and cheesy

Filed under: Art,Film,Food & Drink,History by Orangemaster @ 2:49 pm

The tourist video ‘Going Dutch’ premiered in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam last November and yes, it is well shot. I very much like the voiceover with its impeccable pronunciation, as it has the right tone for that in-flight video feel. In fact, if you wanted to convince some friends and family abroad to visit the country this video wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The film does focus heavily on Amsterdam, which is often the first place people visit and then unfortunately associate with the entire country. Although you may learn something, I mostly saw stereotypes being reinforced like a dam with a leak in it.

Some 5 minutes into the film when basking in the past glory of Dutch football accomplishments, they actually mention that ‘women’s football has been given a boost in recent years’ although let’s face it, nobody here gives a rat’s ass about it. At about 7 minutes in we get into Dutch art, which again relies on the classics, but that is to be expected.

We continue on to 10 minutes in and ‘Dutch craftsmanship’ pushes top Dutch brands Philips and Bols — music and booze if you will. About two minutes later at 12 odd minutes, the ‘Dutch water’ bit focuses on in and around Rotterdam, with dams and shipping containers. At around 15 minutes, it’s about Dutch food and it shows herring and haute cuisine side by side, which doesn’t reflect reality at all. However, the cheese tour makes up for it and the white blonde Dutch narrator dares call himself a ‘cheese head’.

The testosterone-induced business atmosphere of the Zuidas, where a few wannabee skyscrapers are clustered, doesn’t work for me at all, but then it is often forced into every business film to make it look like we have a proper financial district. Speaking of getting down to business, Dutch music gets its bit at 20 odd minutes in after having used a picture of internationally famous singer Caro Emerald but completely ignoring her and skipping to classical music on the one hand and Dutch dance DJs (all men) on the other. By then I’ve seen three visual references to Tiësto, then finally a female DJ is on screen, but oh no, she starts praising the success of her male colleagues abroad.

In the end, the narrator is in what I think – and I am guessing here — Monnickendam, giving two blonde women passing by a badly acted once-over, as he says “come see for yourself what the Netherlands has to offer.” [Insert facepalm here].

Don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t be writing this blog if we didn’t think the Netherlands (the entire country, not just Amsterdam) had tons to offer, but giving the impression to foreigners that everything is mostly done by white men in 2013 is scary and unrealistic. The only time ethnic minorities are shown on screen is when they plug the tolerance cliché and the muliticulti one (filmed in Amsterdam) because ethnic minorities don’t seem to be of any use otherwise, not even in the food part.

It’s safe to say that history is basically repeating itself.

(Link: www.rtvnh.nl)

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