In IJsselstein, Utrecht, a man ready to propose to his girlfriend rented a crane. Unfortunately, the crane crashed down onto the neighbour’s roof. The neighbour’s daughter had just woken up and was out of her room when the crane came crashing through it.
While trying to lift the crane out of the way with another crane, the arm of the first crane crashed down on the roof a second time, trashing the roof in its entirety.
While the police, city and even the mayor have gone to the scene to assess the damage, the girlfriend did say ‘yes’ and the couple have gone off to Paris, leaving the mess behind them for now.
Tags: crane, Utrecht
In Drachten, Friesland the police stopped a wandering sheep that was causing problems on a local motorway. After a few calls, the police came and grabbed the animal and put it in the back of their vehicle.
The cops thought it a good idea to tweet a picture of the sheep, “as many people had requested them to do”. I’m sure cops don’t ‘arrest’ sheep every day.
The sheep was returned to its owner.
Tags: Drachten, Friesland, police, sheep
Today Muhammad Bin Talal, the grandson of Muhammad bin Talal of the Saudi Arabian Al Rasheed dynasty and its last prince, is a homeless man in Leiden who lives on a bench near Leiden Central Station.
Bin Talal came to the Netherlands in 1995 as a Master’s student in Social Communication at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and lived with a friend in Leiden. He also had a flush Swiss bank account thanks to his family’s fortune.
Life in Leiden was good until the family fortune had been questionably removed from his bank account by the Swiss, although he was left with some 35,000 euro from the 10 mln that was in it initially. Used to living in hotels, the money eventually ran out and he became homeless and an illegal immigrant, as his student visa ran out. He also doesn’t have a passport, but is not an asylum seeker. How he ever got his student visa is beyond me.
According to BN De Stem, his Saudi family has confirmed his back story, but they didn’t know he lived on the street. They offered him help, but he doesn’t want to owe them anything, a question of pride he says. People bring him food and he’s good with that for now.
(Link: bndestem, Photo of Leiden Central Station by harry_nl, some rights reserved)
Tags: homeless, Leiden, Saudi Arabia, Universiteit van Amsterdam, UvA
In the village of Nieuwe Pekela, Groningen a five-year-old girl in a playground with a pink tablet traded her tablet with a nondescript stranger for a bag of sweets. After the mother hadn’t seen the girl use the tablet for a few days and asked why, the girl confessed she traded it for a bag of sweets. The girl said she saw her mother selling some of her ‘old stuff’ and followed her lead. Mom was not amused and asked for the tablet back through Facebook, saying ‘that wasn’t the idea’. We don’t know at this time if it was returned.
What’s a five-year-old doing with a tablet (pink, no!) at a playground? Why not actually play and leave the tablet at home? What about not talking to strangers who try to give you candy? That could easily have been a paedophile testing the waters.
The Dutch say ‘van ruilen komt huilen’ (‘trading brings regret’), and in this case, it could have been far worse.
(Link: www.dvhn.nl, Photo of Sweets by Rool Paap, some rights reserved)
Tags: Groningen, Nieuwe Pekela, tablet
A woman in Florida faked slipping and falling on the floor at chain store Target in order to defraud her insurance company. Margaret Dagniewska, 38, told a Target employee that she injured her neck, back, legs and shin at the store.
First, the surveillance camera shows her sitting down and second – the funny bit – she called her mother in Dutch telling her that she was sitting on the floor. Little did she know that a store employee understood Dutch and made a right fool of Dagniewska.
When the paramedics showed up, they left Dagniewska sitting there to get up on her own. The woman was eventually jailed for fraud. Dagniewska is a known defrauder, and it is not know if she is a card-carrying Dutch or maybe Belgian national.
(Link: www.wptv.com, Photo of mop and bucket by Phil Parker, some rights reserved)
Tags: Dutch language, Florida, fraud
For the past three years citizens of Koewacht, a village straddling the Dutch-Belgian border, has been receiving anonymous hateful letters, but two weeks ago the perpetrator was caught.
Cristel was known to be a respectable woman, living a model life with her husband and dog in a detached house. However, behind those immaculate walls, AD says, the 51-year-old was busy writing letters to her neighbours signed with “a mother of three children” and “the group” in which she told the recipients that they were ugly, had ugly faces and big posteriors, and that she hoped their children wouldn’t grow up to be as ugly.
Don’t trash talk my children, a 32-year-old victim must have thought, and she contacted the neighbourhood cop who as it happens had also received hate mail from the same author. The police discovered about 15 people had received hurtful and sometimes threatening letters. Eventually the author was caught on 15 October and confessed immediately.
Last week during a meeting in the village’s only restaurant, ‘T Hoekske, the letter writer apologised to the victims. Her husband told people that his wife is undergoing treatment, although it’s not clear from the newspapers if it’s for her hateful tendencies.
Since none of the victims filed charges, the police won’t prosecute, much to the chagrin of the online peanut gallery who immediately branded her as a lunatic and a terrorist and clamoured for her arrest. This in turn led columnist Luuk Koelman to conclude that the woman’s biggest crime wasn’t writing hate mail, but doing it through the traditional post.
“On Internet forums it is custom to belittle everybody who disagrees with you. In real life the police may hunt you down when you tell a neighbour you think she is ugly. Online you can safely express your desire to see her dead or wracked with cancer. Nobody bats and eyelid at that.”
(Photo by Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, some rights reserved)
Tags: borders, commenters, hate, hate mail, letters, police, policing, post, Zeeland
Starting next year Ms Hennie de Haan will become the new chairperson of the Poultry Farmers’ Union of the Netherlands, Telegraaf reports.
In itself this is not interesting news, but if you understand Dutch you’ll realise her name means ‘Hen the Rooster’. Never was there a poultry farmers’ union’s chairperson with a more fitting name, I imagine.
Ms De Haan told AD that she hadn’t even noticed the funny pairing at first: “Well, I’ve had this name for 45 years now. You don’t often stop to contemplate your own name. My partner had to point out [how remarkable this is]. [...] Usually chicken farming is discussed in terms of the environment and the treatment of animals. If my name causes a smile [...] I consider that a bonus.”
A popular go-to person for the Dutch press whenever a plane threatens to fall out of the sky is the former chairperson of the Association of Dutch Commercial Pilots, Benno Baksteen, whose last name means ‘brick’.
Every year popular radio DJs Coen & Sander collect the funniest names they can find and crown one of them the ‘shame name’ of the year. Two weeks ago that award went to Wil Helmes, which sounds like the title of the Dutch anthem, ‘Wilhelmus’. Number 2 was Ben Bouten, which means ‘off to poo’. Third place went to Leen Kleingeld means ‘borrow small change’.
Tags: animal cruelty, chickens, farming, funny names, names, poultry, Wilhelmus
A man and a woman from Haarlem were arrested last Tuesday on suspicion of theft after the man had left his Facebook page open on the victim’s computer.
The pair had ‘befriended’ the victim earlier when the latter was walking his dog, Haarlems Dagblad writes. They rang his door, asked if the woman could use the facilities, and while the man suggested he would log in to Facebook to ‘friend’ the victim, the woman stole the victim’s wallet.
The two then stole a bike from the apartment building to make tracks.
(Photo of Haarlem city hall by J. Kunst, some rights reserved)
Tags: dumb criminals, Facebook
Why say sorry if you can sing it, make people smile and rip them off even more? That is exactly what Dutch Rail decided to do when they apparently hired jazz singer songwriter Baer Traa to pose (!) as fictitious train conductor Job van Gils.
Dutch Rail has been making a veritable fortune by not paying back any money owed to people who forgot to check out with their public transport chip card. Now subscriptions holders who forget their pass card and have had to pay a fine cannot ask for their money back either. Even the Dutch Rail employees are appalled and somehow somewhere Baer Traa dressed up as a train conductor got a gig telling people ‘sorry’, or in less polite and more accurate terms, how Dutch Rail is screwing them over easy.
Traa gives ‘peddling excuses’ a whole new meaning at Amsterdam Central Station in this video. He starts singing again at 1:08, as the beginning of the video was the end of one song. He actually tries to explain that Dutch Rail has a new policy that shafts more people than even before.
(Link: brekend.nl, Photo by Flickr user UggBoy hearts UggGirl, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, Amsterdam Central Station, Baer Traa, chip card, Dutch Rail, jazz, train
Needing an amputation, Leo Bonten wanted to keep his right leg after the operation because he wanted to make a lamp out of it, claiming it would help him deal with his loss. Ethical clinician Erwin Kompanje and pathologist Frank van de Goot have a discussion about it with Bonten in attendance (see video).
The hospital said ‘no’ to Bonten keeping his right leg, but the law actually has nothing to say about it, only what to do with corpses. Kompanje was surprised at the hospital’s answer, which was entirely baseless. “Your body is your property, unless you give it away,” he explains. The ethical clinician compares it to leaving the hair from your haircut on the floor at the salon: you give permission to have it sweeped up by leaving it there, while you could ask for it and bring it with you.
Van de Goot, who prepared the leg for amputation, says social safety issues must be taken into account like hygiene and infection, which Bonten agrees with as well, although not an issue in his case. Van de Goot agrees with Kompanje that Bonten could keep his leg. He tells of people keeping their baby teeth in a box or gallstones they have had removed, so why not a leg.
However, Bonten was told that he could only get his amputated leg back after it had been buried to follow the letter of the law, which was costly never mind a bit ridiculous. Bonten refused and was initially refused the amputation by the hospital. It was eventually sorted out, but Bonten had to fight for a right he already had to keep his own leg and make the lamp he wanted. “The hospital didn’t have a leg to stand on,” says Bonten jokingly.
The big unanswered question is, what constitutes a corpse, because this kind a situation could very well happen again and the law apparently has no clear answer.
Tags: amputation, ethics