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July 19, 2014

Dummies begging in the streets for charity

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 10:42 pm

homeless-badt-jwtBoing Boing wrote about this remarkable campaign for a charity in Amsterdam:

The Dutch homelessness charity Badt dressed mannequins as homeless people, sawed coin-slots in their foreheads, and seeded them around Amsterdam with signs soliciting donations. It’s a clever campaign, but it says something a little unpleasant, in that we are apparently more willing to give money to a doll with a slot in its forehead than an actual homeless person.

The campaign was created by JWT, the ad agency that is housed in the Hirsch & Cie building on Leidseplein in Amsterdam. According to Reclamewereld it took a week to create this campaign and the costs was less than 100 euro. Both the mannequins and the clothes came from donations.

(Illustration: crop of the video)

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July 9, 2014

Child made to pay for homophobic swearing

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:26 pm
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Parents of a nine-year-old boy heard their son use the word ‘homo’, which is a Dutch swear word equivalent to ‘faggot’ in weight and meaning, and made him pay for it. He had to pay 0,10 euro to COC Netherlands, the Dutch LGBT organisation.

The payment had an explanation from the parents: “Sorry for the odd amount, but this is a ‘fine’ for using the word ‘faggot’ as a swear word (9 years old). He understands what he did wrong now.”

A COC employee said that ‘faggot’ is the most popular swear word at Dutch schools. A gay friend of mine who teaches at a secondary school in Amsterdam recently disciplined a boy for calling another boy ‘faggot’ and had to explain why that was wrong. The issue was that the boy didn’t see the connection between an actual homosexual like his teacher and calling someone a ‘faggot’, but I’m sure he gets it now, too.

The swear word ‘homo’ in films by the New Kids (view the trailer at 0:28 and let it roll for 10-15 sec even if you don’t speak Dutch) is used more like ‘pussy’, which doesn’t really offend people somehow because the films’ characters are total white trash douches themselves.

(Link: www.lindanieuws.nl)

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June 23, 2014

Dutch newspaper calls all new moms MILF

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:55 pm

A Dutch newspaper has seemingly let one of their young male interns equate new mothers with their ‘bangability’ when calling them MILF in an article on the statistics of new mums going back to work after having had their first child. The title of the article is ‘New MILFs are working more’.

Luckily, Dutch women and men alike took this pathetic attempt at journalism in stride, but everyone was surprised to say the least. Many people claimed that not all mothers are MILF, and even if someone thinks they are, that’s some pretty vulgar language for a mediocre free ‘dead tree publication’. This also means that the newspaper thinks it’s OK to refer to mothers as MILF, which is 50 freaking shades of wrong.

It is remotely possible that what many imagine to be an idiot of an intern doesn’t even know what MILF means, which is almost up there with calling American performer Rihanna a n*****bitch, saying it was meant as a compliment. However, there are editors at a newspaper and obviously they think this is fine.

Are men and women as parents equal in the Netherlands? Not by a long shot.

UPDATE: According to real journalists on FB, the newspaper has claimed that “MILF is not a derogatory term”. I’m claiming ‘shitty newspaper’ and ‘shit intern’ are nicknames then.

(Links: m.spitsnieuws.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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June 15, 2014

Silly dilemmas on Tuesdays

Filed under: Comics,Weird by Branko Collin @ 12:16 pm

dilemma-op-dinsdag-marloes-toonen

There is this Facebook poll that proposes a silly dilemma each week for you to choose from. It’s called Dilemma op Dinsdag (Dilemma on Tuesday) and it seems to be a minor hit in that I see their dilemmas shared regularly.

The dilemma shown here: you either must read a Harlequin romance novel each week or change all your user names and e-mail addresses to wienerboy69 for the rest of your life. (The cartoon shows a business card for a government spokesperson called Jasper Jansen).

Some of the dilemmas of past Tuesdays were:

  • Nobody ever laughs about your jokes or you have to laugh every time somebody cries.
  • You have 100 almost identical keys on your key chain or you always give the third kiss on the mouth when greeting someone.
  • You never eat warm meals or everything you read, you read out loud.
  • Your clothes disappear once a month or you always have the hiccups when you wake up.

Dilemma op Dinsdag is made, it appears, by “some individuals from Utrecht and Amsterdam”, but the cartoons are drawn by Marloes Toonen.

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June 11, 2014

Government still misleads masses with digital ID system

Filed under: IT,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:39 am

For years local governments have been mistakingly pointing tens of thousands of citizens if not more to an advertising agency called Digi-D in Waalwijk, Noord-Brabant instead of to the Dutch national government’s digital identification system called DigID (no hyphen, and ID in capitals), indispensable for filing taxes and other matters nowadays. In October 2012 10,000 people sent their details to Digi-D. It’s June 2014 and the wesbite the agency set up to tell people about this serious cock-up counted 40,805 mislead people on 6 June.

Digi-D the agency has been around since 2002, while DigID started up in 2005. The government’s game plan has been to strong arm the agency into changing its name, but the agency claims that it would cost them 110,000 euro to change their name, never mind lawyering up for something they didn’t mess up. To make it worse, the agency is being forced to store all this data to prove that it is a nuisance to them, but if ever the data leaked, the government would blame the agency for it!

(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl)

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June 9, 2014

Amsterdam’s rich district Zuid throws money in the trash

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 11:08 am

coins-sarah-joyLast January garbage collectors found 46,000 guilders in old office furniture that most likely came from the offices of Amsterdam’s district Zuid (‘South’).

The money was found by an HVC employee in Hoorn who was busy compressing a container full of wood when money boxes started popping out, revealing the banknotes they had inside. The district told Parool that they never missed the money. The district ordered the money to be returned. The paper doesn’t say what legal grounds they have to do so.

Amsterdam Zuid is home to the richest residents of Amsterdam, so it’s quite ironic that they could lose tens of thousands of guilders without noticing it. Residents of some Amsterdam Zuid neighbourhoods are so wealthy that when they get fined for double parking, they prefer to call their expensive lawyers rather than paying a small fine.

The Netherlands replaced the guilder by the euro as its legal tender in 2002.

(Photo by Sarah Joy, some rights reserved)

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May 16, 2014

Student wins appeal for porno film internship

Filed under: Film,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:14 am

First it was ‘yes’, then it was ‘no’, now as of yesterday it’s back on: a female student who fought to do a media and entertainment internship with Dutch porn star Kim Holland finally got her wish.

When INHolland University said ‘no’ it came up with ‘it doesn’t suit our values’, for which Kim Holland and the student decided to fight the university. Back in 2011 INHolland University had managed to generate negative publicity all on its own, as they were involved in a scandal in 2011 regarding invalid diplomas (in Dutch).

The internship was tweaked to make it acceptable for the university, and now it’s enjoying free, more positive publicity this time.

(Link: www.nieuws.nl, Photo of film cans by tallfoot, some rights reserved)

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May 9, 2014

Guy fined for showing his junk at junk food chain

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 8:00 am

A 25-year-old guy was dared by his friends to show his cock and balls to the girls of the local rowing club while eating at the same junk food chain. The act is not only vulgar and asocial, mysogynistic even, but it’s forcing children and others to see something they didn’t ask for, which is why it’s illegal.

Poor bastard, an off duty cop was dining there and hauled him down to the police station, where he was eventually slapped with a 350 euro fine for exhibitionism.

(www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of burger by huppypie, some rights reserved)

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May 5, 2014

Rise and fall of a Netherlands theme park in Japan

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 1:36 pm

huis-ten-bosch-japan-veroyama

Michael Palin once said (as quoted by Spike Japan): “There is something almost transcendentally surreal about seeing a woman dressed in a large white bonnet, dirndl, black stockings and clogs riding a bicycle and at the same time playing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on a trombone.”

Huis ten Bosch (Hausu Ten Bosu) is a theme park near Nagasaki “more than three times the size of Tokyo Disneyland and still bigger than Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea combined”. Its theme is The Netherlands – all of it. Many of the famous buildings of the Netherlands have 1:1 replicas there that function as hotels and betting houses.

The park was built during an economic boom and consequently opened during a crisis. It has struggled ever since. Spike Japan visited it in 2010 and wrote an engaging, meandering and well illustrated three part ‘long read’ that will keep you entertained for an hour or so.

Softened by the passage of time and the accumulation of research, Huis ten Bosch is now in retrospect my most beloved example of a favorite kind of place, one like Seagaia that clings tenaciously by its fingertips to the cliff of life, against all odds. Of one thing we can be certain, though: until Huis ten Bosch, the greatest artifact by far of those crazy eighties years, finally fails or flourishes, the boil of the Bubble will not have been lanced from the body of Japan for good.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

(Link: Metafilter/MartinWisse; photo by Veroyama, some rights reserved)

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April 24, 2014

Student sells all his personal data for 350 euro

Filed under: Online,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:46 pm
privacy

Dutch student Shawn Buckles decided to sell his personal data to the highest bidder in an attempt to raise awareness about privacy. E-mail, diary, location, medical records and more were up for grabs. He claims he didn’t sell anything he didn’t own, and had a lawyer helping him out. Most of what he sold is available in bits and pieces on the Internet for anyone who would want to look for it, something we collectively noticed when the likes of Julian Assange were more prominently in the news.

In a radio interview with BBC radio Buckles said, “I’m trying to add more value to my privacy. Companies are making huge profits on this data trade, and I thought why not turn the tables and see what happens when a person tries to sell his data, to figure out how much it’s worth.”

On an auction on 12 April Buckles finally sold everything he could for € 350. Most people give away data for free in exchange for the use of a site, service or application. At least he made a few bucks. And anyone who really thinks their information is private is fooling themselves.

People don’t generally understand the value of their data, which is what Buckles was trying to draw attention to when he sold his. Oddly enough, there is no way an individual can sell their personal data on a market, but it may not be that far off. The health research sector, entertainment industry and insurance companies are interested in this kind of personal data.

The winning bidder was technology news company The Next Web, which Buckles says will use his data to highlight the issue of online privacy rather than to a more sinister end.

(Link: phys.org)

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