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 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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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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April 10, 2020

Oldest known Corona patient, 107-year-old Dutch woman, cured

Filed under: Dutch first,Health,History by Orangemaster @ 2:59 pm

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), The Netherlands’ ‘Tante Cor’ (‘Aunt Cor)’, real name Cornelia Ras from Goeree-Overflakkee, South Holland, is said to be the oldest Corona patient in the world to have been cured of Covid-19. Although the actual age of a number of elderly patients has not been determined, chances are that Tante Cor is the oldest, with a 104-year-old man from Oregon, Unites States coming in second place.

Tante Cor contracted the virus during a church service in her nursing home, now known hotbeds of contamination in many parts of the world. Forty other people were contaminated as well, ten of which have died, sadly not a unique occurrence.

A few other hundred-year-olds in The Netherlands have also recovered: a 101-year-old woman from Capelle aan den IJssel, South Holland as well as a 103-year-old man from Steenbergen, Noord-Brabant.

(Link: nu.nl, Photo of random old people by Flickr user Freeparking, some rights reserved)

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February 10, 2020

Dutch shortage of medical devices on the horizon

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 11:52 am

After a very long period in 2018 without being able to buy birth control pills due to a situation that was nothing short of a clusterfuck, there’s a looming shortage of medical devices waiting to happen in a few months and it seems many people are going to watch it happen.

Due to newer and stricter European rules that will apply as of May 26, thousands of medical devices people depend on will not be re-approved on time, causing a severe shortage of things like breast implants, artificial hips, knee prostheses, and pacemakers, putting healthcare at risk.

“Manufacturers draw their own line and do not indicate where the problems are. As well, manufacturers blame the inspection authorities. In the end, the patient may become the victim.” explains Ad Melkert of the Dutch Hospitals Association. In the Netherlands Melkert is synonymous with ‘Melkert jobs’, make-work projects that were meant to provide certain social classes with ‘busy work’.

“The products need a lot of certifications and there are too few organizations that can deliver that,” explains Erik Vollebregt of Amsterdam law firm Axon, representing medical companies struggling with the regulations. “Smaller manufacturers in particular are the victims. Large manufacturers are given priority over the small ones. It leads to preferential treatment for manufacturers who are willing to pay more for timely approval.”

I think the victims will be people, but what do I know.

(Link: nltimes.nl)

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October 26, 2019

The Netherlands still a major drug hub

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 11:09 am

According to a study published this week, The Netherlands makes the top of the list for the highest rate of MDMA (aka x, xtc, ecstasy and molly) use. The study is the ‘largest wastewater‐based epidemiology study ever performed in terms of cities (120) and countries (37) involved and of the monitoring duration (2011–17).’ Scientists from around the world sampled wastewater for drug residue, which is said to be an increasingly popular method to track patterns in the global illicit drug market over the past decade.

Different places have different favourites as well. Results showed that overall drug use was most prevalent cities such as Antwerp, Amsterdam, Zurich, London, and Barcelona, while cities in Greece, Portugal, Finland, Poland, and Sweden had the lowest rates of drug residue in wastewater. I bet the latter drink instead, but that’s an uneducated guess. And there’s no denying that people do come to Amsterdam to do drugs despite any city marketing spin to the contrary.

Cocaine was most popular in London, Bristol, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, St Gallen, and Antwerp. While the Netherlands had the highest rates of MDMA use, the drug was also popular in Helsinki, Oslo, Brussels, Dortmund, Zagreb, Zurich, Geneva, and Barcelona.

Not only is the use of MDMA a public health issue, the amount of chemical dumping that apparently goes on in Noord-Brabant is terrible for the environment. Basically, anybody taking MDMA is also indirectly contributing to this problem. The study also states that MDMA use was big in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam.

More background on why the Netherlands is a drug hub:

‘The Netherlands is the cocaine hub of Europe’

Dutch cities do well as drug capitals

(Link: vice.com, Photo: DEA)

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September 3, 2019

‘Wonder phone’ plays music for dementia sufferers

Filed under: Health,Music by Orangemaster @ 12:09 pm

Eighteen-year-old Dutchman Niek van Weeghel together with collaborators Herbert van Til and Peter Fidder have modified some 55 old fashioned dial telephone to play songs for the elderly suffering from dementia.

“It’s nice to see how the elderly react when they pick up the ‘wonder phone’, Van Weeghel explains. “First, they are quiet and then you see that they recognised the song. Then they sing their hearts out along to it.”

A person picks up the phone, dials a number (something, if we believe YouTube, kids don’t even understand because they’ve only seen mobile phone) and then hears a song they would recognise from their younger days.

The team is also collecting old phones to make more wonder phones, which now costs about 30 euro each to make. And since it hit the media, many homes have asked to get their hands on some.

There are about 280,000 people suffering from some type of dementia in the Netherlands. In 25 years this figure is expected to reach more than 500,000.

Maybe they can also make phones that play music from other cultures for specific people.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo: Photo by Macinate, some rights reserved)

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July 30, 2019

Dutch cable installers save lives with AEDs

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 11:26 am

This past year, installers of Dutch cable company Ziggo who drive around with Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in their vans and know how to use them have been able to respond to 50 emergency calls while working. With some 75 installers able to assist the emergency services, they assisted 30 times, either reanimating or keeping people away from the victims so that paramedics can do their job.

In practice, paramedics are not always able to get to people in the first few moments which is crucial, while an ambulance ride is at least 10 minutes. On occasion, a cable installer can actually help, as they can be reached by WhatsApp.

Despite me not being a fan of the cable company, I have to say this is a nice initiative that very much deserves to be mentioned. Since Wi-Fi is seen more and more as a lifeline, Ziggo was smart to combine Wi-Fi with having AEDs at the ready and personnel trained to use them.

According to the Dutch heart foundation Hartstichting, about 17,000 people have heart attacks outside hospitals, the amount of citizens who can help in such situations rose by a third to 225,000, and the amount of available AEDs has increased by more than 45% to almost 18,000. Trained citizens arrive 2.5 minutes earlier to scenes than emergency services and can start reanimation right away, saving lives.

(Link: vodafoneziggo.nl, Photo by Jacek Szymański, some rights reserved)

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June 12, 2019

Educated Dutch men drink the most

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health by Orangemaster @ 9:06 pm

Every country seems to have different guidelines as to what people should and should not drink. In the Netherlands last year, 4 out of 10 Dutch people heeded the advice of the Dutch Health Council to not have more than one glass (no idea of the quantity or the unit) of alcohol a day.

Last year some 80.4% of all Dutch adults drank alcohol, with highly educated men drinking the most. Out of the highly educated, 7 out of 10 Dutch people didn’t follow the Health Council advice, while for folks with a lower level of education, it was 5 out of 10. The older Dutch people are, the more they follow the council’s advice.

Dutch men drink more excessively on a regular basis than women: 14 glasses a week for women and 21 for men. Again, no clue how much alcohol is in a glass. Heavy drinking is seen as at least 4 glasses a day for women and 6 glasses a day for men. Four or even six glasses is a night down the pub for me, but then not every day or even every week or month.

According to this illustration, the excessive drinkers are aged 20-24 and 65-74, while the heavy drinkers are 20-24 followed by 18-19. I’m guessing the older ones are retired – good on them.

I drink less than I used to, but I have to say the cheap price of alcohol in general lets me drink more than I did in Canada. You can buy half a litre of beer for € 0,50 and a litre of wine for € 1,50. Granted, it’s not the good stuff.

(Link: foodlog.nl)

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