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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July 15, 2020

Efteling music composer Hartveldt wins in court

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:19 pm

Composer Maarten Hartveldt, famous for composing the music heard throughout the Efteling amusement park, had his day in court recently and won one of the two battles he was fighting: getting paid more for his work. The other battle, claiming that his music was not akin to filling station music, he unfortunately lost.

For years Hartveldt had been paid a measly 198 euro a year for music that everybody associates with the Efteling and other locations, and decided that Buma-Stemra who is there to defend his rights was not paying him properly. The court decided that Buma/Stemra never should have paid Hartveldt as if it his creations were background music, adding that music in theme parks make up a significant part of the experience and atmosphere. However, the court also said that Buma-Stemra doesn’t have to expand its background music category, which Hartveldt fell under for so long.

Hartveldt’s music needs to fall under and be given the same consideration as music used for radio and television, based on the actual music used in the park. The music Hartveldt composed for the Efteling can be heard everywhere in the park by 5 million visitors each year since 2006 on almost 54,000 square metres of land.

(Link: bd.nl)

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July 2, 2020

French ban ‘fearmongering’ Dutch bicycle advert

Filed under: Bicycles,General by Orangemaster @ 2:03 pm

A television advert for Dutch VanMoof bikes has been banned from French television because it causes anxiety, which is illegal in France. In the words of VanMoof, ‘reflecting on the rat race of the past proves too controversial.’ In the words of France’s advertising watchdog it creates a ‘climate of fear’ about cars and uses non-car related elements to get its point across.

A French friend said there’s three reasons the advert was banned: Renault, Peugeot and Citroën, all three French car manufacturers. Twitter has more jokes about the banned advert as well.

Despite being aired on Dutch and German television, the Autorité de régulation professionnelle de la publicité (ARPP) said the ad for the VanMoof bike unfairly discredited the automobile industry. The advert features a shiny black car on which are reflected images of chimneys, the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and traffic jams. The vehicle melts away to transform into the Dutch company’s latest e-bike, accompanied by the tag line: “Time to ride the future”.

This comes at a time when the progressive mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo is turning big boulevards into bike paths, getting her much praise.

“Some images in the reflection of the car are, in our opinion, unbalanced and discredit the entire car sector,” the ARPP said in a letter sent to VanMoof. “The images of factories/chimneys and an accident create a climate of fear. So they will have to be adapted.”

VanMoof has accused the watchdog of wanting to protect the French car industry after sales plummeted during the health crisis. VanMoof is not going to edit the advert, and because television doesn’t have the weight it used to have, everybody is going online to view the video and find out why it was banned.

The French are saying the video is openly criticising the automobile industry which is a bad thing to do at the moment, while the Dutch are pointing out that there’s nothing wrong with encouraging cycling using imagery that implies cars as bad. Gotta love Europe.

(Link: theguardian.com)

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May 24, 2020

Dutch marbles make it to the big leagues

Filed under: Automobiles,Gaming,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 2:20 pm

Dutch brothers Jelle and Dion Bakker build and present elaborate marble races on their hugely popular YouTube channel Jelle’s Marble Runs.

Recently having lost their main sponsor, they tweeted out for help and fortunately for them it was John Oliver of American television show Last Week Tonight that answered their call. In the video below Olivier talks about them in a show on the current lack of sports. As Oliver said, remotely watching marbles duking it out is definitely something the world needs right now.

Not only has John Oliver given the brothers a huge boost, but will also donate 5000 US dollars to food banks and another 20,000 US dollars to an international help organisation ‘International rescue committee’ on behalf of winning teams. After having reached 1 million subscribers a few days ago, the brothers have announced that they are working on presenting a brand new tournament before the start of the Marble League 2020 on June 21.

The brothers are very close to joining the big leagues themselves as far as money goes. They’re able to pay the folks who work for them properly, making them a serious outfit. The voice of the marble races is American sports fan Greg Woods. You’ll notice that Marble Runs also use play on words of Formula 1 such as Marbula and F1 sounds with permission from F1 who are huge fans of the marbles as well.

Back in 2016 we told about what a ‘marble tsunami’ sounded like and I guess anything you watch on their channel will keep the entire family entertained these days.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Marbles by Meghana Kulkarni, some rights reserved)

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May 18, 2020

Dutch switch from ecstasy to meth with Mexican help

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 11:57 am

According to the Telegraaf newspaper, The Netherlands is producing a whole lot more crystal meth these days. The news reads like a Netflix series: Dutch drug traffickers are working with Mexican cartels to replace ecstasy labs with crystal meth ones because it’s more of a moneymaker and easier for the Dutch. The article goes on to say that the Dutch have the hardware, and the Mexicans, the recipes.

Funny, that’s exactly how I feel about Mexican restaurants in Amsterdam.

“The Netherlands is an attractive location given its good infrastructure, production facilities, and relatively mild prison sentences.” The country does have a reputation for being soft on drugs. However, crystal meth labs are being discovered and shut down, with busts worth up to 10 million euro. Last year a floating meth lab in Moerdijk was shut down.

(Links: nltimes.nl, Photo: DEA)

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May 10, 2020

City council meeting plague by porn

Filed under: General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:06 pm

The Dutch town of West Betuwe, Gelderland recently held online meetings of its city council using the popular meeting software Zoom. In the spirit of wanting to show its residents what they were up to, folks could follow the meeting by clicking on a link. Problem is, the wrong link was made public and city council was bombarded with racist slurs, fascist symbols and pornography.

It’s simple: city council supplied the wrong link to the public, but the Dutch media had fun blaming Zoom, hackers and everybody else but the officials who apparently didn’t know what they were doing. Of course, they had to cut their meetings short and need to figure out how Zoom works – Have they? They are considering going to the police as well since they had to deal with very nasty stuff.

Meeting in person like they used to is currently not possible due to the coronavirus. And it was also the first time citizens could watch. Now West Betuwe has a reason to figure out how online meetings work. However, I can imagine that it was a terrible experience for city council. It was so shocking that meeting again in person following Covid-19 measures is back on the table.

(Link: binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo of Paris Louvre facepalm by Phelan Riessen, some rights reserved)

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February 27, 2020

Dutch government loses track of 2.3 million workers

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:39 pm

Since 2014 the Dutch government has lost track of some 2.3 million seasonal workers, all foreigners who don’t have to register where they live if it they come over for less than four months, making them difficult to track down. However, that also means nobody can check whether they are being exploited or mistreated. They do have an identification number (in Dutch, ‘BSN’) to be able to receive their salaries in their bank accounts, but that’s it.

Have they stayed in the Netherlands, have they gone? No idea.

As explained by Dutchnews.nl, people planning to live in the Netherlands for more than four months are required to officially register with their local authority using a formal address. As explained by my personal experience of 20 years in this country, people make up addresses or use ones that have 20 people registered in it, which is illegal, but often goes unchecked.

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

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January 7, 2020

Father spots his kids damaging property with fireworks

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:04 pm

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After all the property damage, injuries, fires and even deaths related to people using fireworks in the Netherlands on New Year’s Eve, the issue of anybody using fireworks is finally being hotly debated at the national level.

One father in Enschede, Overijssel who I bet thought his children were good kids, found out through social media that his kids are destructive little shits. Football club Sparta Enschede put out a film of the destructive little shits trashing the club’s stands on social media and the father recognised his destructive little shits. He contacted the club to tell them that and agreed to pay the 10,000 euro worth of damages caused by his destructive little shits.

“Luckily there are still honest people who accept responsibility,” one of the club’s Board members said. Hopefully dad will set a good example for these destructive little shits and punish them accorgdingly. It has not been mentioned whether the destructive little shits are also members of the club. I can’t imagine they would be welcome any time soon even as spectators.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Football by Bramus, some rights reserved)

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December 31, 2019

24 Oranges Rewind 2019

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:29 am

The year 2019 in review for 24 Oranges starts with one of the coolest stories I have read in a while: microscope pioneer Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s original specimens were photographed by Wim van Egmond through one of the former’s original microscopes. Among the specimens were the optic nerve of a cow, a slice of cork, and ‘heavenly paper’, a matter that people in the seventeenth century described as paper fallen from heaven but that Van Leeuwenhoek brusquely identified as some sort of dried-out pond scum.

The cutest story must have been that of a kitten stowed away on a fishing boat that sailed from Harlingen, Friesland. The fishers took pity on the animal and let it gorge itself on fresh herring. They could swear little Katrien put on some weight during the trip.

Have you given up on the idea of a Huxleyan hell scape of soma and surveillance? Then we had some good news for you, yes you! In Helmond—because what is in a name?—you could get free housing for a year. The catch? Companies would get to record your every move using sensors, and harvest the resulting data. “Own your data”, they called it, because the scheme turned your complete lack of privacy into a handful of pennies.

You may have heard of a verbal agreement being legally binding, but Dutch law doesn’t have much to say about how you agree on anything, as an unnamed amateur football club from Rotterdam found out to its own detriment. A contract written on a coaster was enough to force the club to pay one of its players 11.000 euro in back pay.

In 1991 Manja Blok became the first female operational F-16 pilot in the world, and in 1993 she became the first Dutch Air Force pilot since WWII to engage in armed combat. We probably should write an article about her some day. Blok has left the Air Force long since and this is not that story. The days of a progressive Dutch Air Force and competent pilots seem behind us, now that Dutch fighter pilots actually shoot their own planes during exercises. In January an F-16 managed to catch up with the bullets from its own MA61A1 Vulcan Gatling gun at a military range on the island of Vlieland.

While Dutch universities closed their Dutch language studies, the Dutch tried their hand at seagull scream impressions. The Netherlands also experienced its warmest summer day in history.

Finally, for us at 24 Oranges HQ personally 2019 stood out mostly because of a short but sweet experiment in a different medium. We had our own radio show! From May to October we had a weekly programme on Broadcast Amsterdam called Happy Hour in which Orangemaster and I discussed the local news. Sadly, we had to give it up (doing the show took up Orangemaster’s only free night), but we had a great little run!

Related: last year’s review.

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