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September 13, 2014

Church gets new life as trampoline park in The Hague

Filed under: Religion,Sports by Branko Collin @ 1:56 pm

trampoline-park-mephis-cvbA trampoline centre in The Hague is the latest in a long list of businesses in the Netherlands to open in a former church building.

Planet Jump opened in the Martelaren van Gorcum church in The Hague earlier this month. Cheekily dubbed a ‘trampoline paradise’ by Den Haag Direct, they are open seven days a week. Have a look at the photos on their website.

Repurposing a ‘holy’ building may seem a little irreverent, but as we wrote earlier, it seems that people prefer repurposing over tearing down. These buildings have memories of baptisms, weddings and funerals attached to them, after all.

Also, in what other church could you achieve so many instant ascensions in an hour?

The name Martelaren van Gorcum means martyrs of Gorcum and refers to 19 catholic officials who were killed in 1572 by Dutch Protestant freedom fighters.

See also: The man who sells church interiors

(Photo of a trampoline park in Memphis by Memphis CVB, some rights reserved)

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September 11, 2014

Translation error set back Dutch baseball a few decades

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 11:02 am

For almost half a century the Dutch were pitching baseballs incorrectly due to a translation error of the rules from American English into Dutch. Adults were pitching as soft as small boys and that was not to their advantage.

A Dutch book entitled ‘Sportlegendes’ (‘Sport legends’) has a chapter on baseball player Han Urbanus from Amsterdam who travelled to play with the New York Giants in 1952, the first European to do so, although he only trained with them.

The Americans watched Urbanus throw and didn’t understand what he was doing. The strictly interpreted Dutch rules Urbanus played by said that the pitcher ‘needs to keep contact with the rubber on the mound and may not lift their support leg until the ball is thrown’. Lifting a foot while pitching comes naturally, which normal in the US, but not in the Netherlands, and meant a ball speed loss of some 40 km/h.

Back then there was no real way of knowing this besides reading the rules or seeing it live and maybe catch some TV in the US and Canada. Urbanus had to learn how to throw all over again, although he said that after two weeks, he had it figured out. The Giants gave him some rolls of films to show his team back home how the game was played.

Tomorrow the Dutch will be playing in the 2014 European Baseball Championship held in the Czech Republic and are a big favourite to win. They were last tournament’s winner as well as having won the World Cup back in 2011.

(Link: nieuws.thepostonline.nl, Photo by John Martinez Pavliga, some rights reserved)

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August 19, 2014

Protesting free Wi-Fi that doesn’t even work

Filed under: Sports,Technology by Orangemaster @ 3:04 pm

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With a banner that probably made international news because it featured the word ‘fuck’ on it and was written in English, PSV Eindhoven supporters were recently sporting a banner at a game that read “Fuck Wi-Fi, support the team”.

After paying good money to attend a football game, the last thing many fans would be caught doing is staring at their mobile phones. The thing is, free Wi-Fi is great because you can take pictures and post them to social media about all the fun you’re having. You can also throw the score up on Twitter and check if the media has more news on the player they just carried off the field than you would get at the stadium.

Omroep Brabant has claimed that the Wi-Fi connection is crap, which is not good advertising for a tech region made famous by brands like Philips and ASML.

However, many of us in the Netherlands can just turn on 4G and ride the interwebs. Banning something that is free and doesn’t even work seems like a waste of time, but we do get the point that it’s about joining in and not being a douche with your phone.

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

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August 2, 2014

Louis van Gaal makes club owners richer already

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 3:22 pm

louis-van-gaal-paul-blankThe football season has yet to start, but new Manchester United head coach Louis van Gaal is already giving the club’s owners plenty to be happy about.

The six children of late American entrepreneur Malcolm Glazer are about to make a load of money by selling 5% of their shares in British football club Manchester United, Yahoo! writes. The share price rose steeply after the announcements of both Louis van Gaal as head coach and Adidas as main sponsor, going from 14 USD to 19.31 USD last Wednesday, raising the value of the club to to approximately 3.2 billion USD.

The Glazer family will make an estimated 155 million USD on the sale and will hold on to the majority of shares. In order to underline their intentions, the shares they are selling have reduced voting rights.

Earlier in his career Van Gaal won major awards with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern München. In his previous job as coach of the Dutch national team, he managed to reach third place at this summer’s World Cup, the more impressive considering that most his players came from lesser leagues such as the Dutch Eredivisie.

Manchester United’s prospectus warns buyers that the club’s worth largely depends on successes in the European campaign, according to The Independent.

Photo by Paul Blank, some rights reserved.

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July 24, 2014

Dutch robots made the RoboCup 2014 semi-finals

Filed under: Sports,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:06 am

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Just like the Netherlands did in Brazil during the World Cup, the robot team from the Eindhoven University of Technology have made it to the semi-finals of the RoboCup 2014, the World Cup for robots, also being held in Brazil.

Eindhoven had a difficult game against China this past Monday when all five robots on the field decided they all wanted to be goalies. After a reset of the robots, the designated goalie did its job and Eindhoven won 3-0.

Later today Eindhoven will be playing the final against I have no idea but not China or Japan, after scouring the Internet and the official but not updated RoboCup site. I will update you as soon as Twitter works its magic.

This picture was taken at RoboCup 2013, which was held in Eindhoven where they lost against China, proving that the world is indeed round.

UPDATE: Here’s the schedule for the final.

ANOTHER UPDATE: They won the final, congratulations!

(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl, www.omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of RoboCup2013 in Eindhoven by RoboCup2013, some rights reserved)

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July 5, 2014

Mexican and Dutch dames duke it out with ukuleles

Filed under: Music,Sports by Branko Collin @ 6:16 pm

football-is-fun-karlijn-rietkerkAfter the Dutch national football team beat Mexico in an exciting last ten minutes of an elimination match at the World Cup last week, in which the Oranje came back from behind with two goals, a fifteen-year-old Mexican girl called Dizzy Miss DC uploaded a song to YouTube in which she blew off steam by hurling a stream of invectives at the Dutch players and the Dutch nation and even at Europeans.

Last Thursday a 20-year-old woman from Drenthe called Karlijn Rietkerk responded. She addressed the Mexican girl (both women accompanied themselves on a ukulele) and berated her for her use of strong language (“didn’t your parents tell you that it is inappropriate?”). In her short song Rietkerk asked, isn’t football supposed to be about fun?

“F is for football
And we kicked your ass
[...]
U is for you suck balls
N is for never winning the cup…
Played a good game but it wasn’t enough.”

At 24 Oranges we like a good bit of trash talking and this world cup has certainly not disappointed us, but we need to give the victory to Karlijn Rietkerk on this one. Dizzy Miss DC’s frequent use of homophobic language disqualifies her entry from these ukulele wars. The Mexican tried to defend herself in a written coda, saying: “In my case, those words had no power at all, because I didn’t mean them. Why did I say them then? Mexican humour. It’s complicated.” Even back in 1979 Lester Banks had something smart to say about using words that have no meaning at all: “No matter how you intend them, you can’t say them without risking misinterpretation by some [bigot]; your irony just might be his cup of hate.”

(Illustration: cropped screenshot if Rietkerk’s video at YouTube)

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June 20, 2014

Boisterous café blames limiter for loud music

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:51 pm

Café Goos in the South of Amsterdam decided to party on with some music after the Netherlands won 5-1 against Spain in the World Cup on 12 June. However, the music was too loud for the neighbours who complained and the café owner was given a warning: pipe down or else it will cost you 5,000 euro next time.

Dutch cafés are required to have limiters on their music installations, often dedicated mp3 players or computers, in order not to exceed legally allowed sound levels. However, the authorities claim that Café Goos’ setup using an iPad was just not working properly. The owner blames the limiter for not working properly, as if he had no control over it, which is lame and will still cost him 5,000 euro if he can’t sort it out.

A football win is not an excuse to make more noise than usual although I am sure many people in Amsterdam would tolerate it if it were a semi-final or a final. Cafés are very often at odds with neighbours over noise in major Dutch cities and is a top complaint around the country. Amusingly enough, the Amsterdam district with the least noise problems as of March 2014 is the South.

(Link: www.parool.nl)

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June 17, 2014

Dutch parody of Chilean football commercial upsets Chileans

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 10:44 am

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The 33 mine workers of Chile who were stuck underground for 60 days in 2010 have produced a dramatic commercial to support the Chilean football team where they mention parts of their terrible ordeal and what they were able to withstand. Recently, some Dutch comedians decided to make a parody of it, which has apparently annoyed many a Chilean if we believe the media.

Instead of seeing it as an amusing parody of ¢ Chile World Cup commercial, some people see it as Dutchmen taking the piss out of the miners, which I actually find offensive. The way they used the miners to shoehorn a message about Chilean football comes off as over the top and exploitative to me in the first place, and opens them up to criticism regardless. If the miners had made a documentary about their ordeal and the Dutch had parodied that, it would have me leaning more towards the Chileans, but not in this case.

Here is the Dutch parody of Chilean World Cup commercial (with Dutch and not so good English subtitles):

And here is the original, which is much shorter:

UPDATE: I asked an expat friend in Santiago about the parody and he said a Chilean friend had actually sent him the link to the video.

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

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June 13, 2014

Girls don’t do enough sports, too often aimed at boys

Filed under: Health,Sports by Orangemaster @ 7:30 am

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Sport experts from the University Medical Center Groningen and the University of Groningen have concluded that girls between the ages of 13 and 19 don’t do enough sports at school. The problem is that the emphasis is on sports that require balls (football, basketball and volleyball, etc.) and not on what girls actually would like to be doing like dancing, zumba or horseback riding (not all that posh here). Schools seem to be pushing competitive group sports and the girls seem to want individual sports, at least in this article.

What do some experts suggest? Separating the boys and the girls for gym class, which goes against many principles and proper social integration.

Here’s a crazy idea: what about offering something girls would actually like and making the boys follow suit for a change? Is pushing an outdated agenda that makes girls unhappy but keeps boys busy really a proper option?

If I had my way, I’d get all the girls and the boys who want to join on roller skates because it’s super fun and trendy. Or more skip rope, if that is not already being done because boys can pretend they are training to be boxers and girls can show off and even play in groups like at recess.

More co-ed suggestions? Boxing, kick boxing, aerobics, yoga, capoeira, ice skating, you name it.

But for the love of future generations experts have to stop acting like what boys do and want is normal and what girls want is some sort of problem to be solved. I won’t even get into the boys who would rather do something else for a change, either.

(Link: www.bndestem.nl)

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June 1, 2014

Roy Donders banned by Barneveld bible bashers

Filed under: Fashion,Religion,Sports by Branko Collin @ 11:32 am

juichpak-jumboThe king of tracksuits, media phenomenon and self-proclaimed stylist Roy Donders, has gotten himself in a spot of bother over his last name.

Donders is involved in a loyalty scheme for the Jumbo supermarket chain that lets football fans save up for a garish orange tracksuit (dubbed cheering suit) as part of the commercial frenzy leading up to this year’s World Cup and has lent his name to the slogan “We geven ze op hun donders” (‘let’s give ‘em hell’, except that ‘donder’ means ‘thunder’).

This, according to Telegraaf, angered shoppers in the bible belt for an as yet unexplained reason. Citizens of Barneveld asked the local supermarket to remove all advertising for the scheme. The store manager gave into their demands.

Ma Donders was furious, Omroep Brabant wrote: “I don’t know what kind of faith these people have, but Donders is our last name. You cannot change that.” Meanwhile the issue has become moot because of a run on the hideous tracksuits—Jumbo claim to have run out. A spokesperson told Omroep Brabant that sales felt like “Christmas in May”.

See also: Tracksuit king Roy Donders quits his house parties

(Photo of Donders holding his track suit’s jacket: Jumbo.)

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