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July 1, 2015

Church unlawfully fires woman for being transgender

Filed under: General,Religion by Orangemaster @ 1:19 pm

Transgender woman Rhianna Gralike, 56, has been wrongfully dismissed from her job as treasurer of a Catholic parish in Flevoland for nothing else than being a transgender woman. A few months ago she was called into the pastor’s office and was told that “being transgender goes against the Church”, a ‘message’ he was asked to pass on from the archbishop. Gralike plans to fight her dismissal even if she has to go to Rome to do so, which I hope is not necessary, considering there are laws in the Netherlands that supersedes any religion-based gut-feeling of an excuse to fire someone for their gender.

The Parish council is on Gralike’s side, saying the dismissal doesn’t match changes in society (an odd way of putting it), and her lawyer says the Church has no grounds to fire her whatsoever. The archbishop refuses to discuss the matter with Gralike, and so we’ll keep you posted.

(Link: www.welingelichtekringen.nl, Photo by Johan Wieland, some rights reserved)

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June 29, 2015

Sisters swap exams, get caught and fail

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 4:01 pm

In Utrecht a girl wanted to help out her sister pass her French exam by switching places with her during the exam and signing her name on the test. Since the older sister had been held back once before, both sisters were able to take the exam at the same time. However, the teacher noticed that the names on the test didn’t match the handwriting on the exam and eventually failed both pupils.

The mother of the two tried to appeal the decision, but the decision stands, and so far there’s no indication of either pupil being able to take the test again now. The youngest daughter had been selected to study medicine, but that’s probably not going to happen any time soon. C’est la vie.

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl)

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June 22, 2015

Dutchman best looking model of 2015

Filed under: Event,General by Orangemaster @ 6:48 pm

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The 2015 winner of the 8th edition of the Men Universe Model Pageant is Rogier Warnawa, 24, from Eindhoven, crowned best looking model at a ceremony yesterday in the Dominican Republic. Warnawa was up against some 40 men from all around the world. He currently studies International Business & Management in Eindhoven and should soon be graduating. He also into mixed martial arts and has talked about getting into the film industry.

“Say hello to the new Mr Universe!” he told everyone on social media. In May, when he had been chosen to represent the Netherlands, he had told Telegraaf newspaper that, “he was still just a ‘cheese head’ from Eindhoven”, in true level-headed Dutch style.

(Links: www.nieuwsblad.be, www.telegraaf.nl, Photo: www.fontys.nl)

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June 21, 2015

Henry the sign painter (video)

Filed under: Design,General by Branko Collin @ 11:43 pm

henry-sign-painterHenry van der Horst from Zeewolde hand letters signs for outdoor markets all over the Netherlands.

Two graphic designers met him while he was out working and partnered up with him last year. They built a website to sell his signs (his “5 Euro Super Deal” costs 39 euro) and created the video above (subtitled in English). Check also another video of Van der Horst creating a magazine cover.

(Link: Trendbeheer; photo: crop of a screenshot of the video)

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June 18, 2015

Government subsidies for psychics training under fire

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:25 am

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Back in 2011 the Dutch government already fought over subsidizing astrologers for job seekers, and now companies offering to train ‘psychics’ are under scrutiny.

The contested training is geared towards ‘spiritual consultants’ and ‘hypnotists’, and has been approved for years, a training that particularly attracts the jobless aged 50 and over. Considering the discrimination faced by that age group as being expensive to hire, I’m not too surprised. A dozen people have taken the almost 1000 euro course. They learn about tarot cards, angel cards and reincarnations, the latter could be why the religious political SGP party was the one to complain about these courses recently.

After successfully completing the course, people can start up their own call line and make 0,29 euro a minute predicting the future, helping with relationship and financial problems.

(Link: nieuws.tpo.nl)

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June 14, 2015

Waterloo Square in Amsterdam turns 130

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:07 pm

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On of my first visits to Amsterdam as a child we went to Waterloo Square, and what an impression it left on me.

You could buy everything at the daily flea market. Pins and suits and sabres and boat lamps, it was like walking around in a Tintin story. It was bigger then, before the city of Amsterdam decided to ban the market in 1977 for 11 years so that it could build its monstrously ugly city hall there.

Waterloo Square (Dutch: Waterlooplein) was where the merchants from the nearby Jewish quarter were told to ply their trade from 1885 onwards. Last Saturday I visited the festivities surrounding the 130th anniversary. A lot of the stalls these days offer the same knickknacks you can get from every generic tourist shop in Amsterdam, from wooden tulips to gable shaped fridge magnets, from T-shirts with marijuana leaf print to colourful chullos. You can still find something special there if you know where to look, but politics and the likes of Lonely Planet seem to have done a number on the flea market I remember.

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Update 15-6: I added 9 more photos to our Flickr page.

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June 8, 2015

Google, KLM and government favourites with Dutch students

Filed under: Aviation,Food & Drink,General,IT,Technology by Branko Collin @ 10:09 pm

klm-plane-steven-straitonSwedish marketing agency Universum has been polling Dutch students on who they want to work for after graduation.

A whopping 12,000 students from 32 universities and polytechnics were asked about their career preferences. Major Dutch companies such as Philips, Shell, KLM, Heineken and Endemol were named, but large American companies such as Google and Apple also made their appearance.

Both law and arts & humanities students named the national government as their preferred employer, followed by Google for the former and KLM for the latter. Business students like KLM and Google the best, engineering and physics students prefer Google, followed by Philips.

Compared to last year, TNO, Coca-Cola, IKEA and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek failed to make the top 5 in any of the categories.

(Link: ANS, photo by Steven Straiton, some rights reserved)

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June 4, 2015

Record number of Chinese for one Dutch visit

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 2:20 pm

The Chinese cosmetics company Perfect has recently sponsored 4,500 of its employees to vacation in the Netherlands, making it the biggest group visit to the country ever, according to Dutch media.

Their entire visit has brought in close to 8 million euro. The Chinese visited places such as the Hoge Veluwe National Park, Roermond outlet centre, the congress centre in Utrecht, and the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, while having to stay in different cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, and Utrecht.

Many of them were spotted enjoying Chinese food the most, which could be the typical Chinese-Indonesian food the Dutch usually serve. The group will most probably help attract even more Chinese visitors to the Netherlands with their word of mouth advertising.

(Link: rt.com)

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June 3, 2015

Dutchman declared ‘persona non grata’ in the Philippines

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:07 pm

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Dutchman Kees Koostra (possibly Jan Kees Koostra) who has been living in Puerto Galera, the Philippines for some time has called his new home town ‘Puerto Basura’ (roughly ‘Puerto Rubbish’) after having posted a picture of the local tourist destination White Beach with “uncollected garbage contained in black plastic bags, with worms crawling on them” on Facebook. Appealing to the local authorities to do something about it, they instead decided to black ball him for his concerns, a move that surprised locals and foreigners alike. Koostra is locally active in tourism and environment-related projects.

Since Koostra’s post, the shorelines of White Beach have been cleaned up by the municipal government. The Puerto Galera Business and Tourism Entrepreneurs Association (PGBTEA) and other groups also expressed their support for Koostra, saying the decision is unfair. “He is a law-abiding citizen and he was just expressing his constructive comments on the present state of the environment of Puerto Galera.”

Koostra has sailed around the world twice in his own yacht. “Out of the 68 countries I travelled, I chose the Philippines to live in permanently. And I chose Puerto Galera to stay,” Koostra said.

(Link: manilastandardtoday.com)

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May 25, 2015

Student awarded 9,500 euro for university failing to register him

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 5:31 pm

A Dutch court has ordered the University of Amsterdam to pay almost 10,000 euro in damages to a student who failed to register for his first year in 2012.

A technical malfunction of the university’s website on the last day of the registration period caused the student to have to wait a semester before he could start his studies, Parool reports. The student argued in court that the study delay would cause him to enter the job market half a year later than he would have if the registration system had worked properly. Dutch law suggests statutory damages for such delays through a ‘Directive for study delay related damages’.

The university argued that the student should have contacted them to clear things up, but the court wiped that argument off the table, saying the university had aggressively advertised the fact that “no registration = no education” and was therefore not in a position to shift the blame to the student.

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