August 14, 2016

Four Days Marches lottery inconsistency proven by maths

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

Lottery-4daagse

Using probability theory, four students at the Institut Mines-Télécom in Paris penned a paper entitled ‘Failure is Also an Option’ to prove that the best chance of being allowed to participate in the 100th edition of the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen (aka ‘Nijmegen Vierdaagse’), which was held from 19-22 July 2016, was if one failed that year’s event.

The world’s most famous walking event attended by some 40,000 participants from around the world and featuring international armies and hardcore walkers alike, has a drop-out rate of about 10%.

Initially, the rules governing participation were the following: A walker who succeeds the n-th walk is admitted to walk at year (n + 1). Walkers who fail a walk enter a lottery. If they win the lottery, they get tickets to the walk. Walkers who fail two successive draws are admitted to the walk following the second lottery failure. In 2013, while computing our chances to be admitted to the centennial walk, we noticed a rather counterintuitive fact: By purposely failing the 97-th walk, walkers can actually increase their chances to attend the centennial walk.

We notified this inconsistency to the organisers and never got an answer, but the rules were subsequently changed.

(Link: www.improbable.com, image: www.ens-paris.fr)

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August 11, 2016

Heineken pretends to care about people, gets caught out

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 9:47 pm

Heineken is seriously thinking about getting bars owners in Amsterdam to serve its beer with tap water on the side to promote ‘responsible drinking’ and bars owners are not thrilled at the idea.

For those who don’t know, a large proportion of bars around the country are stuck serving Heineken because that’s how they pay for their beer-tapping equipment and basically stay in business. Being shrewd in business is one thing, pretending to care is totally ridiculous and hypocritical. Isn’t the goal to sell as much beer as possible?

Normally I’d brush this off but ever since Dutch athlete Yuri van Gelder went from being ‘Lord of the Rings’ (his discipline) to ‘Lord of the Drink’ in the Dutch and international media this week for having consumed alcohol and being kicked out of the Olympics for it, it’s time to call Heineken out on their bullshit.

The Dutch have this party tent idea they set up at the Olympics and other major sporting events called the Heineken Holland House: a bigazz orange party tent for the athletes and their fans to have a drink and watch Dutch athletes perform on TV. After a Dutch athlete has a win, they often pop down to the HHH and let people applaud them and probably have a drink as well.

Heineken’s response to the incident was that they don’t sponsor, they only facilitate a place to party. Hello? The Dutch Twitterati published Heineken sponsorship contracts to make their point clear after which the beer giant admitted to not have expressed itself properly – no kidding.

And if that wasn’t stupid enough, beer competitor Grolsch started making puns on Heineken’s slogan “Heerlijk Helder Heineken’ (roughly ‘Delicious Clear Heineken’) using Van Gelder’s name: ‘Heerlijk Van Gelder Heineken’, which sounds similar. And look at how they drove the point home, suggesting Van Gelder drink 0% beer instead (picture).

Back in 2010 Van Gelder was dropped from the Dutch team for the Gymnastics World Championships after he admitted using cocaine. After cleaning up his act, surely training very hard like all athletes and now breaking the rules, he’s been sent home from Rio.

The way Heineken handled its position was lame and attempting to push water to go with your beer as some sort of responsible drinking is super lame.

Heineken, shut up or go home.

(Link: at5.nl)

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June 10, 2016

The Dutch get behind Belgium and others for Euro 2016

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:32 pm

football_corner_flag

If you hadn’t heard the news, this is the first time since 1984 that the Dutch won’t be participating in the UEFA European Championship. So what’s a Dutch fan to do?

In Amersfoort, the city has decided to get behind Belgium’s Red Devils with a huge flag of Belgium hanging off a church tower, something you’d never see in any other context. Also known as the southern neighbours, Belgium seems to be the logical choice, although opinions differ.

A whole bunch of Dutch-Turks will just root for Turkey as usual, with countryman Oğuzhan “Ozzy” Özyakup being the only Dutchman playing in the competition, apparently. Some of my friends are cheering for whatever nationality their partner is that’s actually in the competition like Poland and France.

According to the Guardian’s Joris Luyendijk in a sad article about the state of the Netherlands this week, the Dutch national team’s proudest moment, “probably came in June 1988 when an ethnically mixed team of Dutch footballers won the European Championships, beating the all-white teams of arch-rival Germany and then Russia. It felt like the ultimate vindication of multiculturalism.”

Have a look at this English presentation of what it looked like when ‘Oranje’ (Team Orange’) killed it back in 1988.

(www.rtvutrecht.nl, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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June 1, 2016

There’s a Dutch rap song about Max Verstappen

Filed under: Music,Sports by Orangemaster @ 11:42 am

By now Formula 1 fans around the world have heard that Dutch-Belgian F1 driver Max Verstappen, the son of former Dutch F1 driver Jos Verstappen and former Belgian kart driver Sophie Kumpen, is the youngest winner of a Formula 1 race at age 18. According to Wikipedia, he’s had a bunch of other firsts before that, but some firsts are more interesting than others.

What better way to celebrate than with a song, which is exactly what Dutch rap duo Dos Hermanos decided to do, inspired by Max Verstappen. Dos Hermanos from Haarlem are currently participating in a talent search show and their assignment was to write an ‘anthem’. Apparently, they didn’t have to think about it for very long. “There’s one person who deserves an ‘anthem’ and could use one! That’s why we chose the young hero Max Verstappen.”

Even if you don’t speak Dutch, every speaks F1 motor noises.

(Link: 1limburg.nl, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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April 11, 2016

Football fans duking it out with graffiti

Filed under: Art,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:48 pm

Fans of Rotterdam football club Feyenoord and fans of FC Utrecht are entangled in a graffiti competition that involves dissing each other using street art. This video shows Bokito eating an army of gnomes, and there’s a whole bunch of other graffiti on film that was spotted in and around Rotterdam.

Another work of graffiti has Feyenoord Ollie, a spherical grey elephant, covering gnomes in pooh, apparently a response to some graffiti in Utrecht where a big Ollie is being attacked by an army of gnomes.

Bokito the gorilla made world news some years ago after attacking a woman at a zoo in Rotterdam, which seems fitting. The gnomes from Utrecht are drawn by KBTR, which sounds like ‘kabouter’, the Dutch word for gnome, many of which can be seen in Utrecht and in other parts of the country.

We used a KBTR picture only because last time we used a Bokito picture, we were almost sued out of existence.

(Link: www.rijnmond.nl, Photo by Aarnoot, some rights reserved)

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January 26, 2016

Alternative Elfstedentocht streams live from Austria

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 1:46 pm

On 26 January as of 7:30 CET you can follow a whole bunch of Dutch and other skaters live with commentary, interviews and Dutch music (they’re live now) who have successfully cut work and shimmied down to Austria to skate the Alternative Elfstedentocht on the picturesque Weissensee in Austria.

The speed skating crown jewel tour Elfstedentocht is a brand that’s stronger than the Olympics Games in The Netherlands where speed skaters like Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst are more popular than football players. Truth be told, the Dutch kick major ass at speed skating.

You don’t mess with the Elfstedentocht, even an alternative one, as skate fever knows no geographic boundaries: just move the show to the snow.

And if you’re not convinced or don’t quite get it, read the amazing story of Tinus Udding who kept a piece of his big toe he lost in 1963 while skating during a very harsh edition of the Elfstedentocht.

It giet oan. (Frisian for ‘it’s on’).

(Photo by Paul van Eijden, some rights reserved)

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January 5, 2016

The North turns into one big skating rink

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 9:09 pm

Today’s weather called for black ice in the North of the country, as the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) issued a code red with many accidents happening on the roads, albeit nothing fatal so far.

To quote Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff, “every disadvantage has its advantage”, as many people in places like Leeuwarden, Assen and Groningen were gripped by ice fever and took to skating on the streets (see video) because ice must be skated on when it’s there, a sentiment echoed by former world champion Renate Groenewold who ‘couldn’t resist it’.

There was even a fake event on Facebook, joking that the Elfstedentocht was going to be a tour of the motorways.

I scored a pair of free Dutch speed skates recently that I have not tried yet. These puppies really want to go outside now.

speed-skates

(Links: nos.nl, news.yahoo.com, Photo by Remko van Dokkum, some rights reserved)

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October 22, 2015

The Couch, a combined grandstand and clubhouse

Filed under: Architecture,Sports by Branko Collin @ 2:52 pm

the-couch-mvrdv

Tennis Club IJburg in Amsterdam has 10 clay courts, a tennis school, 1,100 members and now also a clubhouse designed by MVDRV for an undisclosed amount of money.

The clubhouse cleverly doubles as a roofless grandstand that seats 200 people. One wonders if MVDRV was perhaps a little inspired by a classic football stadium in their home town of Rotterdam, Het Kasteel (The Castle), which also has stands dipping around a space with windows.

The building was officially opened in August. The clubhouse has a bar, seating areas, and, to the side, dressing rooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and storage space.

IJburg is new land, which allows the Dutch a rare opportunity to experiment with lots of fresh architecture in one place..

(Link: Arch Daily, Photo: MVRDV)

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October 21, 2015

Sarcastic video urges refugees to choose Denmark

Filed under: Bicycles,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 1:09 pm

Screen shot 2015-10-21 at 12.55.06 PM

Why come to the Netherlands when you can go to Denmark? Dutch television show ‘Zondag met Lubach’ made a video called ‘Do not come to Holland’ in English with Dutch subtitles. Spoiler alert: no mention of drugs or prostitution.

Firstly, don’t call the country ‘Holland’, especially when a lot of refugees are settling in outside the provinces of North and South Holland. The locals will think you’re trying to co-opt their karma points.

The ‘Dunglish’ voice-over was done by someone who had fun switching from an American over-the-top movie trailer style voice to a fake posh British accent you hear in safety instruction videos on KLM. It’s also weird to hear someone faking a British accent and then using the word ‘soccer’ instead of ‘football’.

The Dunglish translation of ‘there goes nothing above Groningen’ is cringeworthy: try ‘Nothing tops Groningen’ for a proper translation or ‘There’s nothing above Groningen’ to keep the Dutch humour flowing. The video does make up for it with “Come to Denmark: it’s the Netherlands, but somewhere else”, which is the very polite version of the talk down the pub as far as accepting refugees in the country at the moment.

For any kind of social commentary on how the Dutch government has cocked up the welcoming of refugees, read the Dutch papers. Or don’t.

(Image: screenshot of ‘Do not come to Holland’ video)

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October 12, 2015

How not to interview a Dutch sports champion

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 10:26 am

Here’s something from the old box, as we say in Dutch: an American reporter of the NBC tries to interview Olympic gold speed skating champion Sven Kramer after his win in the 5000 metre event in Vancouver in 2010. Prefaced by a Dutch journalist saying ‘the interview started in a weird way’, Kramer tells the NBC reporter exactly what he thinks of her first question – watch the video to find out.

Part of me thinks, ‘wow, his answer was rude! And then he continues normally as if he hadn’t been rude’. The other part of me thinks, ‘wow, what an ignorant journalist asking a gold medal winner to identify themselves because if it were an American she would never have done that’.

This video fragment is like those pictures where depending how you look at them, you can see two different things, but never both at once.

(Photo of Sven Kramer by Mingo Hagen, some rights reserved)

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