February 26, 2017

24 Oranges has been around for 10 years

Filed under: General,History by Orangemaster @ 4:19 pm

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As of 24 February 2017, 24 Oranges has been around for 10 years. Ten years. We have no idea where the time went.

However, instead of a story today, we’re hanging out at 24 Oranges HQ with food and drinks, and working on a video we hope to be able to present to you soon enough.

If you have any questions you’ve always wanted to ask us, now’s the time! Drop us a note in the comments and we’ll see what we can do with it in our video.

As you know, there’s only two of us trying to keep up with the Dutch world around us, but even if we skip a day or two sometimes to catch up on sleep or travel, we plan on continuing to pressing Dutch things for your pleasure.

Thanks for all of your tips, help, advertising and comments so far. Cheers!

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February 20, 2017

Fun stories about Dutch street names

Filed under: History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 1:35 pm
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From the old box, as the Dutch say, a photo of the Amsterdam street name that nobody checked, which should have read Groenburgwal.

Then again, the country has that neighbourhood named after Lord of the Rings characters and Fart street, and many more stories and fun facts that author René Dings is compiling for a book about street names in the Netherlands.

The longest street name is Ir. Mr. Dr. van Waterschoot van der Grachtstraat in Heerlen, which deserves an English explanation. The Dutch have a title for engineers, ‘Ir.’, Mr. is for ‘Mister’ and ‘Dr.’ is for Doctor and yes, you can compound them. ‘Ir.’ is fading because having taking over the Bachelor’s-Master’s system from the English-speaking world in recent history means dropping titles that are not used in English.

And then there’s more modern day funny names like Mickey Mousestraat in Almere or Eendekotsweg (‘Duck Vomit Street’), Poepershoek (‘Shitters’ Corner’) and Windgat (‘Wind Hole’) in other places, to name a few.

Dings tells the story of a street in Schiedam named after a mayor who got caught doing something wrong, and then you’re stuck with a controversial street name that you have to wait 10 years to change. He also tells about how older cities like Delft deserve more classic names than a relatively new city like Almere. The book is called ‘Over straatnamen met name’ for the Dutch fans.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of a misspelled street name in Amsterdam by Herenlunch)

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February 16, 2017

Computer searches for composer of Dutch national anthem

Filed under: History,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:22 pm

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According to Wikipedia the melody of the Dutch national anthem, the ‘Wilhelmus’ (‘the William’) was borrowed from a well known Roman Catholic French song titled “Autre chanson de la ville de Chartres assiégée par le prince de Condé” (YouTube song), which made fun of the failed Siege of Chartres in 1568 by the Huguenot Prince de Condé during the French Wars of Religion. The Dutch Protestants basically took over an anti-Protestant song, slowed it down like pros, and adapted it for their own Protestant agenda. And stealing songs back then was all very rap battle like and cool.

However, nobody knows for certain who wrote it, but now there’s a computer trying to figure it out by analysing a huge body of text. So far Petrus Datheen (1531-1588) is the frontrunner and while we’re at it, it has yet to be determined where, when and why the anthem was written. The oldest version of the anthem was written in German in 1573 and the oldest surviving Dutch version is 1576.

Here’s a lovely rendition of the modern-day Wilhelmus with subtitles. The explanation in the video’s comments lets you find out even more about other unanswered questions surrounding the Dutch national anthem.

(Link: nemokennislink, Photo by Quistnix, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

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February 14, 2017

Bookshop owner wins in court over Hitler’s memoirs

Filed under: History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 8:27 pm

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Michiel van Eyck, owner of the Totalitarian Art Gallery in Amsterdam has won his case against the Dutch Jewish Federation about selling a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s memoirs, ‘Mein Kampf’.

According to the Supreme Court, Van Eyck was selling the book as a historical item and not to spread hate. While the sale of Mein Kampf is banned in the Netherlands under anti-discrimination laws, it can easily be found online and in libraries, making the ban absurd and outdated.

(Photo by Adam Jones, some rights reserved)

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February 12, 2017

The Republic of Catan has a Dutch connection

Filed under: History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 8:20 pm

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There I was talking to a British guy about the snow we’re having in Amsterdam and he told me a story about having to call up the Republic of Catan for work and how nice they were. I thought he said ‘Qatar’, but no, he meant Catan.

Nope, nothing to do with most of your Google searches that will tell you about a board game. According to my digging, the Kingdom of Catan is the smallest nation in the world to claim full sovereign independence.

The Republic of Catan is a micronation, founded on March 10, 1999 by James Klaassen-White who is also King James Klaassen-White I who speaks English, French, Dutch and Spanish. I’m thinking one of his parents is Dutch. My British guy told me their first ever King a woman and that they always have a King regardless of gender, which I can’t confirm, but that’s pretty cool. Their ‘Patron Saint’ is King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, the area claimed is 3 square kilometres with a population of 14 in the UK close to Leeds.

And besides finding very little information and constantly reading ‘its’ as ‘it’s’ in at least three websites about Catan, I’m done searching. Oh, and Foreign & Kingdom Minister Booner announced that the Catan Government will put aside €48,000 to assist the new Dutch Government fund for International Groups who support abortions, so they have some money apparently.

(Links: micronations, kocatan.eu, Flag of Catan)

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February 6, 2017

Unique Jewish Frisian wedding caught on film

Filed under: Film,History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 12:37 pm

A film of the only known footage of Frisian Jewish life from before the Holocaust is currently doing the rounds, and “comes amid a wave of popular interest in the Holocaust, including in films and series with record ratings and in the construction of monuments – most recently with the opening last year of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.”

This unique black-and-white, silent document from 1939 shows the wedding of a Frisian Jewish couple who escaped the genocide, and was shown on Frisian public broadcaster, Omrop Fryslân. In late January the film was placed on YouTube by the Frisian Film Archive. The film reel was discovered by the couple’s children in their late mother’s suitcase in 2008, but they needed all those years to process its content.

Just a year after filming, the people in the movie would come under the Nazi occupation that decimated the Frisian Jewish community, along with 75 percent of Dutch Jews — the highest death rate in occupied Western Europe.

The Dutch government’s policy of storing information about its citizens enabled the Nazis to efficiently murder as many Jews as possible. Against all odds, this couple survived. Watch images of the wedding of Barend Boers of Amsterdam and Mimi Dwinger from Leeuwarden, Friesland.

(Link: timesofisrael, Photo by Jacques Lahitte, some rights reserved)

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January 23, 2017

Funny video explains the Netherlands to Trump

Filed under: Food & Drink,History by Orangemaster @ 12:05 pm

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Here’s some Dutch humour from Arjen Lubach’s show ‘Zondag met Lubach’, similar to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in the United States.

The English video below introduces the Netherlands to Donald Trump in a way he should be able to understand: with someone who talks just like him. You’ll notice the Dutch crowd laughing when the narrator pronounces Dutch stuff properly. It also makes fun of the Dutch, which might account for quite a few dislikes on YouTube, but it also takes a good stab at the Dutch government, which is always a crowd-pleaser.

Since facts are going to be more important than ever this year, let’s again note that Trump vodka is made in the Netherlands, in Rotterdam by the Wanders Distillery.

Oh, and without giving away any spoilers, the word ‘pony’ in Dutch means ‘bangs’. Watch the video, it will makes sense.

(Link: parool.nl)

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January 18, 2017

Cannonball from the 17th century found in Groenlo

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 8:21 pm

Archaeologists have found a cannonball from 1627 in Groenlo, Gelderland during an excavation along the A18
motorway. It weighs four kilos and dates back to the Eighty Years’ War when the Dutch revolted against the Spanish King, Philip II. Experts know what year it is from because the Dutch army had established a siege line in Groenlo to reconquer the town from the Spanish.

Although pieces of pots and jewellery have also been found, this is the most interesting find so far. And the good news is the archaeologists have until May to uncover more exciting finds, as excavations are taking place in 10 locations along the A18 motorway.

(Link: omroepgelderland.nl, Photo: BOOR Rotterdam)

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December 30, 2016

Branko’s favourite postings of 2016

Filed under: Bicycles,Food & Drink,General,History by Orangemaster @ 1:30 pm

It’s that time of year again where we look back and tell you about some of the things we wrote about, and this year we had one clear theme that stood out and that, sadly, was ‘tastelessness’.

First the weird junk food combos:

Spring: the discodel

Summer: frikandel ice cream

Winter: smoked sausage and kroket

Dear Dutch snack bars, please follow our neighbouring countries and sell halloumi, and stop mixing crap already.

Next up, we have a tasteless escape room with Anne Frank as a theme.

The entire year saw some tasteless bashing of Ukraine. What did Ukraine ever do to us? Oh yeah, they gave back stolen Dutch paintings to a museum to show how classy they are.

As well, we found out in 2016 that supermarkets sell fertilised eggs, chicks prove it, we saw a food bank snub the poor over a Facebook like and had a good laugh at this organic fries truck stuck at a junk food chain drive.

And then to move towards some more classy bits, here’s the bicycle tunnel built in a single weekend in Utrecht, police training eagles to attack drones and a woman as the world’s first ever Professor of Fatherhood.

To finish off, here’s a story that went from classy to tasteless, an elderly woman sews bags from abandoned umbrellas, but then a few months later is pushed off her mobility scooter and robbed of her gold chain.

We’ll leave it at that, thanks for all your comments, and a reminder that next year is our 10th year anniversary in February, so I guess we should think about doing something special.

Happy New Year!

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December 14, 2016

Almere misspells historical Dutch street sign

Filed under: General,History by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am
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This street sign is from Amsterdam in 2007, with an extra ‘r’, wavering between ‘brug’ and ‘burg’.

A lot of people don’t care about spelling unless it’s their name being butchered. The city of Almere messed up the last name of former Dutch Prime Minister from 1973-1977 Joop Den Uyl by going with ‘Uil’. It was noticed by a politician of the Labour Party, of which Den Uyl was a member – he’s now deceased.

The park where the ‘path’ (‘pad’) actually is, is called ‘Den Uylpark’ where there’s a statue of Joop Den Uyl with what I’m sure is a plaque with his name also written as ‘Joop Den Uyl’.

Almere apparently has a reputation of messing up its colourful street names. In 2011 it took the city three tries to get ‘Chicagostraat’ right: first it was ‘Chigacostraat’, then ‘Chigagostraat’ and finally ‘Chicagostraat’. In 2008 ‘Popeyestraat’, named after the American cartoon character Popeye was ‘Popeystraat’, and the character ‘Marsipulami’ from the Belgian Gaston Lagaffe comic strips was first ‘Marsipulamihof’ instead of ‘Marsupilamihof’.

(Links: nos.nl, nu.nl, Photo of a misspelled street name in Amsterdam by Herenlunch)

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