March 2, 2021

Nijmegen has dildos glued on mailboxes

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:34 pm


Nobody in Nijmegen, Gelderland seems to be fazed by someone who has been going around gluing various dildos to mailboxes, another combination of words that we never thought we’d use in our lifetime. It’s bad behaviour and funny at the same time.

Apparently, the mailboxes weren’t damaged, but the police was told about the dildos by postal workers. The Dutch call the person doing this a ‘dildo-plakker’ (‘dildo-gluer’) and nobody knows anything about them.

And why are they doing this? Nobody knows. Someone removed the black dildo in the above picture.

The ‘dildo-gluer’ is still around and has not been caught.

We will look back on this and realise the world has gone nuts, pardon the weak pun.

(Link and photo: indebuurt.nl)

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February 2, 2021

Iranian spy and terrorist stayed at Dutch hotel unencumbered

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:09 pm

Flag of Iran

Assadollah Assadi, a 48-year-old Iranian diplomat wanted by Belgian authorities for spying and terrorism, apparently stayed at a hotel in Meppel, Drente without any problems.

According to books in the hands of Flemish broadcaster VRT, Assadi stayed at Hotel de Poort, across the street from the Meppel train station. Hotel owner Henk van Duinen has not been able to find any record of the stay from five years ago. The Dutch authorities knew nothing of Assadi’s visit to Meppel either.

Assadi was arrested in Germany, and is facing a 20-year sentence. He’s been held in a Belgian prison awaiting the verdict in his trial next Thursday. It has recently emerged that while in custody he was visited by his superiors from Tehran. Apparently, he also gave other spies and terrorists instructions.

The Iranian frequented public spaces in many smaller European cities such as Meppel where he made appointments at tourist spots. The data reveal a predilection for meetings outside castles and fortresses. The only notable person I know from Meppel is my bookkeeper.

(Links: vrt.be, rtvdrenthe.nl, Image of Flag of Iran, some rights reserved)

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January 4, 2021

Dutch American Greg Shapiro’s 2020 in review

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 4:28 pm

Dutch American comedian, author and voice talent Greg Shapiro, best known as a member of the comedy group Boom Chicago and his viral Trump imitation, has produced two fun videos on the year 2020.

Yes, Greg does mentions that the Dutch will start vaccinating… as the last of all EU countries. And who gets vaccinated first keeps mutating as well. I think the Dutch government is phoning it in (‘making it up’) as they get pushed forward by the tide like a crushed sea shell on a deserted Dutch beach.

And this picture is a ski vacation nobody is having this winter.

2020 Year in Review – PART ONE | Greg Shapiro’s ‘United States of Europe’:

Dutch Late to Vaccinate? 2020 Year in Review pt 2 | Greg Shapiro’s United States of Europe

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December 31, 2020

The year 2020 on 24oranges – my favourite stories

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:55 am

Like every year I present you my favourite stories of the past twelve months.

As you might expect, there will be some coverage of the health crisis below. However, what might surprise you is that my top story is not a post, but a month. A virus makes a lousy protagonist, but a great prism. The things we take for granted can suddenly be seen in a different light. In April we only wrote covid-themed posts: about an artist stuck in the country because of the virus, about the impact on unsold potatoes and about the oldest survivor of the disease.

Another tale from the trenches was that of a Belgian beer store that suddenly found itself involuntarily included in a Dutch lockdown when Belgium closed its border with the Netherlands for non-essential traffic in May. At that time Bart Cuypers’ Bierparadijs could only be reached through the Netherlands.

Amsterdam and Utrecht have been inspecting their canal walls over the past year, and it was about time. In Amsterdam, one such wall actually collapsed in September. On the other hand, Utrecht ended up in the news when the city used ground-penetrating radar and found that there may be as many as 60 still undiscovered wharf cellars.

I don’t know which YouTuber taught me this, either Justin Rosniak or Not Just Bikes, but apparently it’s easier to find funds for large infrastructure projects (which require ribbon cuttings, flag placings and other assorted photo opportunities for politicians) than it is for day to day operations. That’s why things like the biggest bike bridge in Europe fill me with unease when I read about them. If we didn’t need such bridges before, then where did this suddenly spring from?

Other posts that tickled my fancy:

And finally, what should in a way be the ironic news of the year: Dutch shortage of medical devices on the horizon. Published in January, when covid-19 was still considered strictly a Chinese affair, the lesson here seems to be that we should not let capitalism be our only compass for value. Did we learn from it?

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December 25, 2020

Christmas time at 24oranges HQ

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 1:50 pm

What a year! Who doesn’t need a break? We really do.

As far as postings go, we had a tough time keeping up in general this year, but a lot stuff has been sorted to be able to post more regularly. We’ve upgraded a lot of things in the background.

It’s Christmas day now, and the plan is to eat easy-to-make yet but nice Christmas food and watch a few Christmas classics.

Like every year, co-blogger Branko will come up with a list of his favourite stories of 2020, which should be online at some point.

If you need very different Christmas music, there’s always our friends at Christmas a Go Go!

Happy Holidays from 24oranges HQ! Stay safe and stay sane!

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December 12, 2020

Tasteless supermarket advert to be pulled

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Health,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:09 am

Photographed at the entrance of the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam by Twitter user @vankarine, this advert from Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn featuring Dutch Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bars seems to be attempting to cash in on people’s covid-infused sleepless nights.

The sign says ‘These won’t make it to the holidays’, which is what is being said about covid patients in hospitals. It has caused some outrage, and rumour has it the signs are being pulled because they are in poor taste – shocker. I hope the person who thought this up has a few sleepless nights themselves, to be honest.

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December 8, 2020

Man found with heavy fireworks to be thrown out of home

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 9:53 am

A 39-year-old man from Winterswijk, Gelderland who was recently caught with 260 kilos of heavy fireworks, including illegal Super Cobra 6 flashing firecrackers in his shed, attic and kitchen, will have his home closed between 14 December through 3 January, putting him and his family out for the holidays. The police claimed on Twitter that had those fireworks exploded, they would have destroyed homes and more within a 400-metre radius.

Usually set off for New Year’s Eve, this year fireworks will not be allowed and therefore be illegal throughout the Netherlands. Businesses often selling fireworks as a source of extra income will not be able to sell any this year, and found out only after they’d already bought their yearly stock. That stock has to either be stored in specific storage spaces or businesses have to pay to have it destroyed – either way they will lose a lot of money.

Of course this also upsets many individuals who bought fireworks because they will be fined if they use them, which is already happening and even a source of police trouble in Urk, Flevoland where teens are throwing heavy fireworks at the police.

Back in January we told you about a father who caught his kids damaging property with fireworks, and this was before covid.

I for one am thrilled to have more peace and quiet for the holidays. The sheer amount of construction works near my home is maddening, and I can imagine many pet owners will be thrilled as well.

(Links: hartvannederland.nl, ad.nl)

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November 30, 2020

Why do old windmills turn left and new ones turn right?

Filed under: Architecture,General,History,Nature by Orangemaster @ 2:37 pm

Every once in a while it’s good to ask ourselves some deep questions, and this one popped up as news recently. Why do old Dutch windmills turn left and newer ones turn right? It has nothing to do with the wind or with most millers being right-handed – let’s get that out of the way now.

The material that older blades are made from provide a more precise explanation. The two rods that form a cross to which the blades are attached are made from a tree trunk. As it was growing and needed sun to do so, the trunk would rotate to the right because the sun rises in the East, then moves to the South and sets in the West, and the tree would follow.

By turning the blades to the left, counter-clockwise, it would turn avoid splintering the wood. The wood needs to be super solid and ideally be of high quality, which could sometimes come from trees that grow very straight in forests, but not all the time.

Taking physics into account, there is no reason why modern-day windmills should have a preferred rotation direction. For example, wind turbines are manufactured in factories that use the same type and angle of blades, making them standardised and so they turn the same way – to the right. They could all be made to turn left if for some reason the world decided to do so.

Old Dutch windmills were not standardised and unique, which makes them nice to visit.

(Link: nu.nl)

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November 15, 2020

Scooter rider misbehaves in Rotterdam, gets jailed in Italy

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:41 pm

On 14 November a woman decided to drive over the sidewalk in Rotterdam with her scooter, ending up ramming an automatic teller. As luck would have it, she got caught by the police.

Then, she wasn’t able to produce a driver’s licence for the scooter or identify herself, as she didn’t have any ID on her. In the Netherlands everyone over 14 year of age is obliged to identify themselves if the police asks.

When the cops figured out who she was, they also found out that she was supposed to be doing three years of jail time in Italy for a drug-related crime.

The moral of the story: don’t try and get caught if you’re trying to avoid getting caught.

(Link: ad.nl, Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

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September 1, 2020

24 Oranges stays on Flickr, but no longer as ‘Pro’

Filed under: General,Photography by Branko Collin @ 5:57 pm

In 2008 we joined Flickr, a photo sharing site that was also one of the first social networks. Shortly after we switched to their Pro account because it made sense at the time – back then it looked like we might soon be bumping into the limits of the free account.

Recently, the new owners of Flickr, Smugmug, have done us the honour and favour of stimulating us to re-evaluate how we want to keep using the service by raising the price of the Pro account by 300%.

We have decided to stay on Flickr, but switched to the free account. The effect on you, dear readers, should be limited. We have maxed out the number of photos we can post to Flickr, so we can no longer do that. In the coming months Flickr may also decide to delete our oldest 232 photos. Smugmug have said that they will not remove CC licensed photos, but it is not clear if they mean all such photos or just the ones that would cause a PR stink if deleted.

We have always distributed our Flickr photos under a Creative Commons license. Please rest assured that this license remains valid, even if you can no longer find the photo.

(As a tip for your copyright audits, you may be able to find the link between a photo and a permissive license on the Wayback machine, even after a Flickr user decided to change a license; also, Wikimedia Commons often copies photos, including their licenses, from Flickr.)

(Photo by Liz West, some rights reserved)

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