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May 11, 2015

Dutch Marine Corps slow accepting women on submarines

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:22 am

Submarine-helm

A quick search shows that the UK started allowing women on submarines in 2013, and the US will be up to speed in 2016. The UK used to quote the build-up of carbon dioxide to exclude women, while the US was mainly concerned about women’s privacy. These reasons faded once new submarines were built and now the Netherlands wants to finally get women on board submarines as well — in 2025.

Why is the Netherlands so slow? The privacy issue as it relates to closed quarters and showers is still an issue because the Netherlands Marine Corps does not allow women to become marines. This also means that adapting submarines for female personnel has never been a priority. According to the link below on Dutch ships, it’s not possible to move alongside another person on a submarine without touching each other, and the Dutch marines have no interest in a women’s only submarine.

The first countries in the world to allow women on submarines were Norway (1985), Denmark (1988), Sweden (1989), Australia (1998), Canada and Spain (2000), which makes the Netherlands about a slow as a row boat without oars on the matter.

(Links: www.rtvnh.nl, marineschepen.nl, Photo of Submarine helm by Geert Orye, some rights reserved)

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May 7, 2015

Emigrating down the street to Germany

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:53 am

Kerkrade

As people are moving from Kerkrade, Limburg to the connecting city of Herzogenrath, Germany due to cheaper house prices, Kerkarde discusses how it could ever become a true European cross-border city with a mix of Dutch and German rules and regulations. It’s one thing to regroup a bunch of Dutch cities into a collaboration like Parkstad Limburg, which includes Kerkrade, it’s another to run a city within two countries that have their own laws, language and culture.

In 2012 two-third of emigrants in Herzogenrath came from Kerkrade, sometimes even on the same street: Nieuwstraat in Kerkarde, Neustrasse in Herzogenrath. And if you move down the street to another country, you’re still an emigrant. Even your mobile phone provider doesn’t know where you are half the time, and I’m often told that the border people speak dialect on both sides and understand each other perfectly.

The mayor of Kerkrade Jos Som has to deal with the differences in legislation every day: “Sometimes we use Dutch law, sometimes German law, and sometimes no law at all”. He explains that it can be rewarding or frustrating because after all it’s Europe and we still have to do things together.

For true border complications there’s always Baarle-Nassau, with its collection of Belgian enclaves that put Google Streetview to the test.

(Link: www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo of Kerkrade by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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May 4, 2015

Rotterdam train station attracts gate jumping

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 11:45 am

RdamCS-poortjes

On May 1st Rotterdam Central Station proudly announced that only travellers who check in with their public transport chip cards are allowed in the hall of the train station, which until then had been open to nearby employees out to grab some lunch and the likes. Safety was the main reason given, since crimes against train staff have been on the rise for a while and this was supposed to help. Watch the video below though if you want to see train station staff attacking the press.

Due to the low height of the gates, anyone who excels at gate jumping can get by without paying a fare very easily, as no attempt is made at stopping them in the video below. Yes, it does look like jumping hurdles. Problem is the limber people jumping the gates in the evening and taking trains are the baddies who attack train staff. Other major stations have much higher gates, but then the trick is pushing through them at the same time as someone else who has checked in, which doesn’t seem to make things any safer.

Anyone who properly pays their fare might feel screwed over for following the rules while others cheat the system and can move about the station as they please. A good point made in the video is that you can only use your public transport chip card at a train station if you have a balance of 20 euro or more on your card, which is not a requirement with other public transportation. Maybe if that amount were lowered less people would feel inclined to jump over, but it could also be, as they say in Dutch, ‘mopping up with a running faucet’.

(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo of Gates, Rotterdam CS by Passetti, some rights reserved)

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April 29, 2015

Lamppost caves under dog urine, injures woman

Filed under: Animals,General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:18 pm

This week on King’s Day in Zoetemeer, South Holland, a lamppost came crashing down on a woman while she was cycling by with her young daughters, giving her a concussion. The kids were a bit shocked to see mum bleeding from her head, as the event was as unexpected as could be. Passers-by called the emergency services and all is well.

The lamppost was fastened onto cement tiles by a metal plate with screws, but came crashing down because its base had been eroded by dog urine.

I hope the kids aren’t too scared of cycling anymore and yes, the lamppost could have done even more damage to the children. The question is why did that lamppost give way and could others do the same? We’ll keep you ‘lampposted’.

(Link: www.omroepwest.nl)

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April 27, 2015

King’s Day 2015: good weather, good spirits

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:32 pm

KD-2015-wellies

Everybody was worried it would rain, but it was sunny and dry all day on the second edition of King’s Day, replacing the previous tradition of Queen’s Day. The person who left their rubber boots for the rubbish heap at the end of the day was indeed ready for rain and King’s Day.

At 24oranges we’ve always been into the rummage sale side of things and very much enjoy picking up a lot of stuff people leave behind at the end of the day, which never fails. Why buy Trivial Pursuit when you can just pick up a free game at the end of the day from someone who can’t be bothered bringing it back home? Exactly.

I talked to a Frenchman selling stuff and he had just heard of King’s Day a few days ago, and wondered why he hadn’t heard of it before. I answered that not all countries celebrate their national holidays in July.

Amsterdam has also reached a tipping point as well: the amount of British people who come just for our national holiday sounds like it has increased. Even rubbish bags featuring weird Dutch-style passive-aggressive messages aimed at Brits could be found around town. The other thing with foreigners celebrating King’s Day is that it makes the party in Amsterdam look more like a Dutch royal themed Halloween. ‘Just wear orange, you’ll fit it’, is about right.

KD-205-rubbish

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April 21, 2015

Women’s mag peddles clichés about ‘dark men’

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 2:06 pm

Politely called ‘shortsighted’ on the one hand and ‘racist’ on the other, but mostly referred to as ‘disgusting’, Dutch women’s magazine Viva has started a controversy by publishing an article called ’10 reasons to date a dark man’ full of predictable stereotypes. Dutch news magazine HP/De Tijd made an excellent point: Viva assumes all their readers are white, which represents the ‘eternal status quo’.

According to Viva, a ‘dark man’ has ‘dance moves’, will give you beautiful ‘half-blood’ children, has ‘big lips’, all have family living in ‘warm countries’, have more passion that Dutchmen (because ‘dark men can’t possibly be considered Dutch’ in their world view) and have bigger penises. And I left some stuff out.

Viva have taken the post offline after the editor-in-chief realised that all kinds of people were pissed at the posting and attempted to apologise. The editor-in-chief hadn’t read the posting. Maybe it’s time to double check your work.

(Link: forum.viva.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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April 5, 2015

‘Cancer’ most hurtful word of abuse among Dutch youth

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 3:27 pm

flower-randy-robertsonThe top 5 of hurtful words in the Netherlands among 18 to 25-year-olds is, according to a recent study:

  1. Kanker (cancer)
  2. Godverdomme (god damn me)
  3. Hoer (whore)
  4. Neger (negro)
  5. Tering (tuberculosis)

The study was commissioned by Bond Tegen Vloeken. A whopping 71% of those interviewed considered the word ‘kanker’ to be hurtful.

Bond Tegen Vloeken is a Christian organisation that wants people to stop using their gods’ names in vain. In their press release they use the word scheldwoorden instead of krachttermen, a distinction the English language doesn’t seem to make to this Dutchman. The former means ‘words with which you abuse others’, the latter are words of pain or anger that aren’t directed at anyone in particular.

Of the top 5, the words ‘kanker’, ‘tering’ and ‘godverdomme’ are considered krachttermen, although the first two can easily be used in compound terms of abuse, e.g. ‘kankerhoer’.

(Photo of a delicate little flower by Randy Robertson, some rights reserved; link: Telegraaf)

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March 26, 2015

Park in Utrecht dumps trash for team building

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

giro_trash

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

Rosie

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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