advertisement

July 22, 2016

Unicode accepts rainbow emoji flag petition

Filed under: General,History,Online by Orangemaster @ 1:51 pm

Thanks to lots of people including Amsterdam resident Maurice Beljaars who asked for a rainbow emoji flag, Unicode has approved the request for the flag. It won’t be ready for a while or in time for Amsterdam’s Gay Pride, but then people can use hashtags #EuroPride, #AmsterdamPride and #Joinourfreedom for Gay Pride from Saturday 23 July through 7 August.

According to Emojipedia, the gay pride flag features in the top 30 emoji requests collected on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo of Gay flag by sigmaration, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , ,

July 18, 2016

Lambertschaag sets new pole-sitting record

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 6:39 am
tulips2.jpg

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)

Tags: , ,

July 6, 2016

Opening the racist door: Monsieur Cannibale part deux

Filed under: General,History,Music by Orangemaster @ 9:02 am

The ball of this story got rolling back in 2014 when an American journalist was ‘shocked’ at an amusement park ride from De Efteling called ‘Monsieur Cannibale’ (French – new and improved explanation coming up) that features a black cannibal-like character with a bone through his nose cooking up unsuspecting children.

The racist door has now opened up as the Stop Oppressive Stereotypes (SOS) group published an open letter to the amusement park accusing it of featuring racist rides, one of which is Monsieur Cannibale and the other Carnaval Festival that features Asian stereotypes. However, Efteling asked SOS for a sit down and SOS haven’t responded yet – to be continued.

One side is telling the other to get a life and ideally a job and the other is having a ‘hey’ we never really saw things that way and it makes us feel uncomfortable moment, akin to the debate about Zwarte Piet. The Efteling says it mostly gets complaints about serving unhealthy food, but not about racist stereotypes.

I love Sacha Distel, the French singer and guitarist who sang this 1966 racist and sexist song that the Efteling chose to subject to children: it matches the ride perfectly in its bad taste. Distel’s song is about a white man captured in Africa by black cannibals who thought he was a spy, trying to politely plead the head cannibal (hence addressing him as Monsieur) not to eat him, but negotiates his way out of it by offering him porno magazines. The head cannibal laughs, brings the guy back to his harem for a week after which the guy lose 20 kilos and refuses to leave. The man basically shagged all the presumably black ladies who were all “hungry for it”.

Here’s a version of the song with a decent Dutch translation:

And since the French playback performance I posted in the original post was removed, here’s the same offensive performance sung in Spanish. He still pulls his eyes sideways to indicate the Chinese language at the beginning, so the Asian stereotypes are conveniently addressed by Distel as well.

(Photo: Photo of an Efteling dragon by Jeroen Kransen, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , ,

June 28, 2016

Dutchman petitions Unicode for rainbow emoji flag

Filed under: General,History by Orangemaster @ 6:00 am

Amsterdam resident Maurice Beljaars had first petitioned Twitter and then Unicode for a rainbow emoji flag, which would add a nice touch to any LGBTI-related news, instead of just using an ordinary rainbow.

Beljaars explains that the rainbow flag has been the international symbol of the gay community since the late 1970s. Unicode has already felt it was important to add recent emojis such as the croissant, cowboy and selfie, so why not the rainbow flag? Google employees have also recently made requests for emojis that better represent women in actual jobs rather than in superficial beauty situations and not too long ago many emojis with people in them became available in different skin tones.

(Link: www.nu.nl, Photo of Gay flag by sigmaration, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , ,

June 15, 2016

Shops open until 10pm in Eindhoven goes too far

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 10:24 am

Having some shops open until 10pm is something many people in the Netherlands, especially expats, don’t know the uphill battle it was and may have helped push through without knowing it. The fight to have any kind of shop open past the regular Dutch hours of 6pm was won about 10 years ago when Albert Heijn decided to have supermarkets in major cities open from 8am to 8pm, something if I remember correctly political party D66 (Democrats), a party that traditionally caters to expats, were very much in favour of. At the time it upset a lot of smaller shops that claimed they could not compete, the same argument used for shops not being open on Sundays, but without the sorry Christian excuse that usually comes with it.

Rob van Gijzel, the Mayor of Eindhoven (Labour) would love to accommodate the expat population of his city by having all matters of shops in the city centre open until 10pm. His goal is to make Eindhoven more attractive to ‘knowledge workers’ who come from cities with millions of residents and who aren’t used to shops closing at 6pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends, with the exception of ‘late night shopping nights’ until 9pm, usually Thursdays or Fridays. And of course this means the Dutch get to shop more conveniently as well. But the stakeholders are against the 10pm opening hours, saying “it’s a bridge too far”.

Back in 1996 when I came to work here as a PA for the summer, I lived in Delft and worked in Hoofddorp. I finished worked at about 17:30 and it was completely impossible to buy any supermarket food after 6pm: there were no Albert Heijn To Go’s at train stations back then. The Dutch would tell me to buy all my food for the week on Saturdays like everyone else, but how could I buy seven days’ worth of food for two (I had a roommate – we switched weeks) without a car or even a bike, never mind that our small student fridge couldn’t fit all the food? He had time during the day as a student – I didn’t.

Here’s what I had to do to get food for dinner: I would take the train to Hoofddorp as usual, but get off in Leiden since my connection was always a 25-minute wait. Supermarket chain Via (now defunct) was right next to the train station and open at 7am. Opening early was the trick back then to avoid the arguments about being open late. I would have 25 minutes to shop for dinner and catch my train to get to work. Then I would go to the office’s restaurant and ask to use their fridge to store my food. They laughed, but understood my logic. I’d bring the food home in the train and have food for dinner.

When I told my roommate how retarded opening hours were as compared to what I knew he said it will change some day, and it did. It could change some more though, so yes 10pm for at least food would make a lot of our lives easier and provide more jobs to people. Yes, some supermarkets are open until 10pm now, thanks to Albert Heijn and expats whinging about it. Go Eindhoven!

(Link: www.deondernemer.nl, Photo of an endive potato mash with meatless sausage by Jasja Dekker, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , ,

June 14, 2016

Expats find it tough to befriend the Dutch

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 7:48 am

dutch_flag.jpg

An online survey carried out by rtlz.nl and Dutchnews.nl with 1,123 respondents (including myself) revealed to anyone who hadn’t heard this before that expats find it really difficult and even ‘almost impossible’ to make friends with the Dutch, and tend to stick with other expats, which doesn’t help them integrate.

Many expats in the Netherlands come from Germany and England, two thirds of which are men and have an average age of 34, often considered an age at which people already have their groups of friends. An additional explanation is that since many expats don’t stay for long (three to five years), the Dutch won’t bother making new friends with people that won’t be there in a few years.

Work remains the number one place to make friends and sports clubs, the second. In fact, the Netherlands is often compared to a big sports club you need to be a member of in order to integrate. And of course learning Dutch will also help any expat loads, although when everyone around them constantly switches to English, it’s a major obstacle.

Rtlz.nl brought up a nice cultural example, which was if a Dutch person invites you over to their place at 8 pm, many expats expect it to include dinner because many of them eat at 8 pm or later, like the Spanish. The unwritten rule is that the Dutch eat at 6 pm and have had dinner, so don’t expect a meal. The funny thing is, the trains are full of Dutch people not eating dinner at 6 pm, so I dare say this unwritten rule needs to go. I was recently invited at 8 pm by Dutch folks, ate dinner before I came over and then was unexpectedly served dinner again because they wanted to accommodate the non Dutch folks, but hadn’t told anybody. I guess communication is key, but let’s call it an improvement for both sides.

(Links: www.rtlz.nl, www.dutchnews.nl, Photo by Quistnix, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

Tags: , , ,

June 6, 2016

Parts of Zeeland cut out of Dutch map

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am

Even though the Netherlands is a small country, many institutions apparently don’t know what their country looks on a map, seeing as they have cut out the region of Zeelandic Flanders four times in one year. The mistake has been spotted with a rugby union, a funeral insurer, a website for beach hangouts and more recently amusement park De Efteling.

According to Wikipedia, “Zeelandic Flanders (‘Zeeuws-Vlaanderen’) is the southernmost region of the province of Zeeland in the south-western Netherlands” and is “bordered to the south by Belgium”. Barely any trains go there and you’ll need to drive or take a bus to get to part of it, but that’s still no excuse.

In an attempt to encourage Chinese tourists to come to De Efteling, Zeelandic Flanders was left out (see what that looks like) of a video, although they’ll correct their mistake soon. For them it was painful because one of their newest attractions, The Flying Dutchman, named after Willem van der Decken, hails from Zeelandic Flanders. As well, the rugby bond omission is also painful since it was made by a club from Middelburg, the capital of the province of Zeeland.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Mussels by HarlanH, some rights reserved)

Tags: ,

May 11, 2016

Van Gogh painting replicated using plastic bottles

Filed under: Art,General by Orangemaster @ 1:41 pm

A painting by Vincent van Gogh, ‘The Starry Night’, has been replicated by a Taiwanese company using four million colourful plastic bottles with the goal of promoting recycling.

Taking up 53 hectares of the Starry Paradise park on the outskirts of Keelung City, the installation was opened to the public early this year to mark the 125th anniversary of van Gogh’s death.

“We were thinking of combining the idea of environmental protection with PET bottles and this landscape to create a piece of art, so that everyone can get to know another side of recycling,” explained Aisin Yeh, of the Unison Developing Co. Ltd, which undertook the project.

The project cost USD 2.6 mln and took four months to complete, according to the video. Have a look:

(Link: www.reuters.com)

Tags: , , ,

May 3, 2016

King’s Day was also about collecting urine

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:41 am
Urilift

Some 23,000 litres of urine were collected at three locations during King’s Day in Amsterdam this year in order to make phosphate fertiliser. The urinals were placed at the Nassau Festival, Kingsland and in Vondelpark, and the old 1928 Olympic Stadium collected some urine as well. The urine was then brought to a phosphate factory in Amsterdam-West.

By collecting urine in urinals where no additional water is used, the urine stays ‘pure’. The phosphate is needed to produce fertiliser, which is apparently becoming increasingly more difficult to acquire from natural sources, so much so that urine may one day be the only solution.

And so the urine produced after – I’m just guessing here! – the drinking of quite a bit of beer by men is being turned into manure. Phosphate in Amsterdam has been collected from sewage since 2013, enough to fertilise some 10,000 football pitches.

(Link: nos.nl, photo: urilift)

Tags: , , , , , ,

May 2, 2016

John Cleese opens Silly Walks tunnel in Eindhoven

Filed under: Architecture,Art,General by Orangemaster @ 3:34 pm

SillyWalks

Hundreds of fans of British comedy legend John Cleese huddled in the cold today to greet the man who played a bowler hatted civil servant working for the The Ministry of Silly Walks. Handshakes and autographs were handed out by the 76-year-old actor, invited by Studio Giftig to officially open the renovated Dommel tunnel where graffiti artists have painted all kinds of references to the famous Monty Python sketch.

Cleese showed up in some sort of Australian slippers with no socks, having said that nobody would show up to such a ‘meaningless event’, but he was apparently surprised by all the fuss. Cleese didn’t perform any silly walks himself, also claiming he never was a fan of the sketch in question. Don’t let that rain on your parade and watch the full sketch.

(Link: www.ad.nl, Screenshot of YouTube sketch)

Tags: , , ,

Older posts »