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March 26, 2015

Park in Utrecht dumps trash for team building

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am

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A park in Utrecht that apparently didn’t have enough trash in it had some trash added to it by the city to make sure that beer giant Inbev could have a proper team building session picking up rubbish.

Imagine being a neighbour watching city employees dump trash into a park for the sake of some company’s team building outing and busloads of white collar employees having fun picking up the trash like problem youth doing community service.

The city of Utrecht admitted it was a bad call to dump more trash in the park, although they still did. They are probably only saying this because they got caught doing it. The idea of putting trash into a park to then have it picked up again is retarded.

To make things worse Inbev claims it knew nothing about the extra trash and would not have gone through with it if they had known, which is plausible. Either way Inbev was stuck dealing with a load of rubbish. The employees, who were geared up to do a good deed, can now team build on the feeling of having been screwed over.

(www.welingelichtekringen.nl)

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March 25, 2015

Are women afraid to use the self-scanner?

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:26 pm

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It is a tendentious question, but what on earth is Rosie the Riveter being used to encourage women folk, who are the main food shoppers, that they too have enough brains to use the relatively new self-scanners at the supermarket? It says ‘We scan ourselves!’. If they had a picture of a tough guy saying ‘I can use a scanner, too!’ it would be condescending. The scanners also work in other languages, so the insult isn’t lost on the non-Dutch crowd.

Hang on: the message with a woman is condescending towards women! Retro is cute, but not like this. Rosie deserves a hell of a lot better.

This lame message is quite typical of corporate Dutch passive-agressiveness: use the fokkin scanners ladies, as we’d rather have our cheap students (mostly female by the way) lose their jobs to a self-scanner over time. Yes, it’s mainly boys that stock shelves because, well, boys. I bet Rosie could kick all of their asses.

As a representative of women folk, I don’t always use the scanner because when I buy alcohol, an employee needs to come over, verify my age and swipe their magic card through the scanner so I can get on with it.

If you don’t agree that the poster is insulting to women, fine. But you should agree that it’s fokkin unoriginal.

(Photo: Mariëlle Verbeek)

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March 24, 2015

National alarms to be phased out in 2017

Filed under: General,Online by Orangemaster @ 6:38 pm

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The first Monday of the month at noon is when the entire country gets to listen to a modern-day air raid siren, a test to make sure it’s all working in the event of a flood or if zombies ever become a thing. The government wants to replace it with NL-alert, which was the world’s text message-based emergency broadcast system, as well as use social media, websites and the radio to warn people, probably in Dutch only.

Webwereld.nl points out a host of problems with NL-alert: it still doesn’t work with 4G mobile phones and doesn’t always work if your phone is too new, too old or not configured to receive NL-alert. If your mobile network breaks down, you won’t get a warning, either. If you don’t own a mobile or if something happens in one town and you work in another, which is most of the Dutch population, you won’t get a message until your commute home and it could be too late. If you’re driving in your car where it’s illegal to use your phone and you’re not listening to the radio, you’ll find out much later as well. If you’re a person that turns off your mobile at night to get some decent sleep you also won’t get the message, as disasters would then really need to happen during the day.

And if you’re a visitor or a tourist with no mobile or a foreign network, the zombies will get you first.

Sure, if enough people know something bad is happening you’ll find out as well, but it’s still patchy. The current alarm system seems to be the only ‘old school’ way to warn almost everybody, but it does cost 4 million euro a year and doesn’t always work, either.

(Links: www.parool.nl, webwereld.nl, Photo of Air raid siren by Tim Geers, some rights reserved)

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March 14, 2015

Election video shows tweeting turd and its adventures

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:34 am

drolly_21Waterschap Zuiderzeeland has animated a tweeting turd, Drolly_21, to create interest for the water board elections in the Netherlands next week.

We follow Drolly on its way from the toilet bowl to the fertilizer plant. Drolly gets stuck in the sewer behind a balloon animal, but a crew of the city government and the water board quickly take care of that problem. Even when turned into phosphate, Drolly keeps tweeting the most inane messages: “I’ve become feritilizer!”

Water boards form a parallel local government that controls water ways, water barriers, water quality and sewage treatment, amongst others. The water board elections are held simultaneous with the provincial elections.

(Video via a Dutch knock-off of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, Zondag met Lubach)

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March 7, 2015

Questionable Dutch Kickstarter projects

Filed under: General,Music,Technology,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:24 pm

Of course, there are some amazing ideas floating around in the Netherlands, but there will always be some ‘non-starters’ because anybody can ask for money for anything. Just the spelling mistakes are like bushwhacking through a forest of flies. Here is a small selection of Kickstarter projects that make you wonder:

– A workshop space only for men and ‘males’, but freely using the world ‘everybody’.
Half blind boy.

– A female-fronted metal album because just a band would mean it was ‘male’ and automatically good.
How to hit the wrong chord.

– A self-cleaning shower cabin – I want to believe!
‘Only a man would come up a way not to clean’ cliché.

– An app that shows you all the places Michael Jackson has been. Are you LOL, too?
Give me Elvis instead.

– Someone is building a TARDIS!
This could actually be pretty cool.

(Link: www.kickstarter.com/discover/countries/NL, photo of a lightbulb by Emil Kabanov, some rights reserved)

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March 4, 2015

Dutch luxury cells to be rented out to Norwegians

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:16 pm

This week Dutch junior justice minister Fred Teeven signed an agreement for the Netherlands to rent out its ‘luxury’ prison cells to Norwegian prisoners, as Norway’s jails are quite full. The cells are considered fancy because they have nice views, prisoners can grown and cook their own food, they can enjoy a hobby space and better television that most regular people, and can also choose the colour of one of their cell walls.

The Norwegians will be moving into those cells in a deal that will make the Dutch state 25 million euro and take away the privileges of the Dutch prisoners current using these cells. The Dutch prisoners are pissed and are taking the justice minister to court, while the Norwegians are pissed because family visits will be a problem, costing a lot of time and money.

In the past some 550 Belgian convicts were housed in Tilburg, but that’s not too far to visit and the language is pretty much the same.

(Link: www.businessinsider.com, Photo by Ken Mayer, some rights reserved)

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March 1, 2015

Grow shops now illegal in the Netherlands

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:05 pm

As of 1 March, the Opium Law, which governs the use of cannabis, has made grow shops illegal throughout the country. The idea behind it was to stop grow shops that have a hand in the illegal growing of cannabis, such as supplying lamps, plant food and other supplies. The price for breaking the law is a maximum prison penalty of three years and a fine of 81,000 euro.

In October 2014 the court of Groningen handed down a historical verdict by refusing to punish two cannabis growers who ‘safely and responsibly’ carried out their work. The court refused to punish the growers stating the hypocrisy of punishing ‘the back door’ while turning a blind eye to selling through ‘the front door’.

Now, even though the shops are not technically growing cannabis themselves, the law is trying to shut the ‘back door’, while continuing to allow the selling of cannabis through the ajar and very lucrative ‘front door’.

(Link: www.at5)

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February 25, 2015

The Internet doesn’t replace satellite dishes

Filed under: General,IT by Orangemaster @ 12:51 pm

The ability to receive information in one’s language is no longer a sufficient reason to hang a satellite dish from your flat when there’s access to streaming through the Internet, according to a court in Amsterdam. Satellite dishes are forbidden in many flat buildings because they are ugly yet homeowners’ associations still have problems forbidding them altogether because telling people to ‘go use the Internet’ has its own problems, one of them being it comes off as xenophobic and possibly racist. Dutch and other Europeans have quite a few channels available to them through cable television, but many other foreigners do not and so they use a dish.

The Internet is also not free, so that’s not a good argument to ban dishes and go against ‘the ability to receive information’ according to European law and human rights. The case in question is about a man who wanted to watch Portuguese-language shows. The law says that if there’s enough information in your own language available on the Internet then you don’t need a satellite dish. I’m wondering what kind of Portuguese? Angolan, European, Brazilian, what?

Who gets to decide what my language would be as a foreigner? The only television station with any Canadian French was TV5 Monde, which my cable provider axed a few years ago and it does suck. Would that mean I am allowed to set up a dish? Would the Dutch government tell me French from France is good enough even though they don’t report any Canadian news? What if I didn’t understand European French? Satellite dishes may be ugly, but they do have a purpose, especially if cable companies continue to cut down on foreign channels. Dutch provider Ziggo is about to axe France 2, which has upset the French community here.

(Link: webwereld.nl, Photo by Kai Schreiber, some rights reserved)

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February 23, 2015

Tinder-style voting for States-provincial elections

Filed under: General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:16 pm

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Talk show host Arjan Lubach has devised a Tinder-style voting app made for fun to help undecided voters for the upcoming States-provincial elections. The States-provincial or ‘Provinciale Staten’ in Dutch are the provincial parliament and legislative assembly in each of the 12 Dutch provinces.

With ‘StemTinder’ (‘Tinder Voting’) you can swipe left or right and find the political party match for you. It’s not the national elections, so why not vote on looks? And there’s nothing wrong with candidates trying to look trustworthy to win votes.

(Links: www.ans-online.nl, nos.nl, Photo by Photo RNW.org, some rights reserved)

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February 8, 2015

Robbers leave prints in the snow, get caught

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:59 am

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Earlier this week the police in Haarlem caught two robbers by following their footprints in the snow, a bit like an old fashion television cartoon. A woman called about her shop being broken into in the middle of the night and when the police got there, they saw fresh footprints in the snow. They followed the footprints and found some of the loot the robbers made off with. They walked all the way to the suspects’ house, arrested the men and confiscated their shoes.

The men will now probably hate snow more than most people.

(Link: www.politie.nl)

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