January 29, 2020

Dutchman fails test 10 times, needs it to graduate

Filed under: Online,Science,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:44 pm

For the past couple of years 22-year-old university student at the Eindhoven University of Technology keeps failing the same two exams over and over, stopping him from graduating. The exams are calculus and ‘some kind of algebra’, whatever that means. Both exams are from his first year, and he’s now in his fourth year.

He’s not too worried, but his friends think it’s amusing. On Heeft Daan calculus al gehaald (‘Has Daan finally passed calculus?’) you can check his progress. His friends helped build the site.

In the Netherlands grades go from 0 to 10, and on Daan’s last attempt at passing the calculus test, he got a two. “I felt like shit,” he said. In a way, I want to Daan to pass because he’s very much the underdog, and in another, I’m glad he’s not studying to be a doctor or a dentist.

There’s another Dutch concept that’s good to know, it’s called the ‘zesjescultuur’ (‘sixes culture’, as in 6 out of 10, a passing grade) and for many people that’s enough.

Daan’s the poster boy for it now.

(Link: www.nhnieuws.nl)

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December 23, 2019

Longest Dutch street name sign disappears

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:43 am

In Early December, not too long ago in a land not too far away – Duiven, Gelderland in the East of the country which some of you might know for its big Swedish furniture store – was able to claim they had the longest street name in the country: Laan van de landinrichtingscommissie Duiven-Westervoort (roughly, ‘The Duiven-Westervoort land use committee lane’).

However, the 2.6 meter-long sign disappeared or was removed two weeks after it was unveiled. It is unclear why the sign is gone: theft, repairs, who knows. And nobody knows if the city of Duiven is planning to make a new one. My money is on ‘stolen’ simply because the sign is so unique. The street had technically been around since 2010, but only recently got its own sign. Easy come, easy go.

Talking about signs always reminds me that an entire Dutch neighbourhood has street names based on Lord of the Rings.

(Link and sign: nos.nl)

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November 26, 2019

Dutch supermarket asked minors for pics in underwear

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:10 pm

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It started off as an fun opportunity for employees of Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn in Nijmegen, Gelderland to be the first to sport new uniforms, but quickly turn sour and went viral. Albert Heijn employees, which includes minors, were asked to send in pictures of themselves using an app either in their underwear or ‘tight fitting swimwear’ to be able to get their clothing size right. The idea behind the inappropriate photos was that an algorithm could decide what size the person needed – why they couldn’t just tell their boss what size they were like normal people is beyond most folks.

Albert Heijn quickly stopped it was doing although after the media caught wind of it. Not only is this morally wrong and illegal, it also goes against a bunch of privacy laws like the GDPR. The chain is calling this ‘a misunderstanding’, with, if I read correctly, the shop manager blaming head office and head office blaming the shop manager and their communication. The shop manager apparently told employees sending in the pictures was “essential and obligatory”, while Albert Heijn’s head office said it was “voluntary”. The thing is, when a boss who has power over you tells you something is essential and obligatory you do it, and if they say it’s voluntary, you also do it because it’s your boss asking.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority called this “bizarre”, saying Albert Heijn had no grounds to ask or oblige their employees to provide such pictures, since employees are never in a position to give consent without being under pressure, which goes against the GDPR for starters.

(Link: tweakers.net, Photo of Albert Heijn bag by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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November 18, 2019

Nine-minute flight between Netherlands and Belgium

Filed under: Aviation,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:49 pm

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Definitely classified as a ‘weird flight’ in the best case and possibly ‘useless flight’ for other reasons, Qatar Airways will be scrapping a nine-minute cargo flight from Maastricht, Limburg to Liège, Belgium.

The entire flight is 38 kilometres, carried out by a Boeing 777 aircraft. It caught the eye of Belgian politicians who used this as an example to express their concerns about the environment. In the Netherlands, stopping flights of less than 100 kilometres is also being discussed, and even on Twitter, folks are saying that anything trips of less than 750 kilometres can be done by train rather than by plane when it comes to people moving around, not cargo.

The flight is a charter flight, ordered by one company who wants their cargo delivered directly to Liège rather than having to pick it up in Maastricht.

(Link: rtlz.nl)

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November 11, 2019

Dutch town smells like poo because of trees

Filed under: Nature,Weird by Orangemaster @ 8:31 pm

It has gone quite wrong with planting gingko biloba trees in Valkenswaard, Noord-Brabant. The female trees are dioecious, with separate sexes, and the female trees produce seeds that contain a type of acid that ‘smells like rancid butter or vomit’, although the residents of the city say it smells like poo.

The goal was to plant male trees that look slightly different and don’t have an odour, but that got messed up, and some streets apparently smell really disgusting. Residents are cleaning up the seeds, but even after putting them in the bins, they continue to stink the place up. The trees will not be replaced, but the seeds will be cleaned up by the city more often.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Ginko biloba tree by BM Begovic Bego, some rights reserved)

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July 26, 2019

Rotterdam police asks robbers not to run, too hot

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:28 pm

politie-uniform-2016

Rotterdam police has posted on Twitter that they’d like potential robbers not to run if told to stop because the cops won’t run in this heat. Cue jokes about fitness, but then we don’t have ‘donut shop cops’ here, cops look quite fit. But it’s too darn hot.

“Should the temperature drop under 20 degrees, we’ll run again”, they added. That’s going to take a while.

Their tweet probably won’t help. I wonder want those teenage girls helping the police catch pickpockets in Rotterdam are doing these days.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, image politie.nl)

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July 10, 2019

People stuck in car park during Iron Man race

Filed under: Automobiles,Sports,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:12 pm

Hoornmuseum

As if parking garages were not scary enough on the best of days, a bunch of people about to drive off found out they were locked in during an Iron Man race happening in Hoorn, North Holland a few days ago.

Parking garage Het Jeudje was closed, but still had people in it when that was decided. In what sounds like a calm manner, one woman said at the time “We can’t get out and we don’t know when we will be able to”. Hoorn residents didn’t know anything and got locked in after they entered.

They had to wait 30 minutes, and everything was fine after that. But imagine if they had needed any help, that would have been bad news. Apparently, residents were partially informed about the accessibility issues of their city centre during the race, but not as well as they should have been. The city claimed it sent letters ‘that did not reach everybody’, as it was not able to inform some people who have a ‘no-no’ sticker on their doors, meaning they refuse to receive any unaddressed mail.

As well, the ‘internationally oriented website’ didn’t make getting online info any easier, which I must decode as, it’s in English or Dunglish and not the info residents were looking for. And then you get locked into a car park.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Westfries Museum, Hoorn by Fnorp, some rights reserved)

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June 2, 2019

Guinness record for tall people in Utrecht

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:58 pm

A few days ago, some 850 tall people in Utrecht broke the world record for the most tall people in one place, a record previously set by Australia, with 136 tall people. The Guinness Book of Records still needs to approve the Dutch attempt – they had three observers going around measuring people’s height.

Tall is meant to be about 1,80 metres for women and 1,90 metres for men. Knowing that the Dutch are the tallest people in the world, I guess it was just a case of getting them a lot of them together in one place. People came from all over Europe and even the United States and Canada to participate.

The record attempt was organised by the Klub Lange Mensen (the Long People Club) who have 3,500 members, and who recently made sure the minimum height of entrances to building in the Netherlands was increased. The club also works with Dutch Railways to make sure tall peole can sit comfortably in their trains.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Dom Tower, Utrecht by Massimo Catarinella, some rights reserved)

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May 27, 2019

Dutch UFO spotters freak out over satellites

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 8:58 pm

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Dutch UFO reporting website www.ufomeldpunt.nl was swamped with more than 150 sightings, with fervent UFO spotters describing a “bizarre train of stars or lights moving across the skies at constant speed”.

Instead of anything alien, it was a string of some 60 satellites launched by businessman Elon Musk’s SpaceX hours earlier as part of its ‘Starlink’ constellation. A lot of Dutch folks staring at the sky had no clue this was going to happen, so you can imagine the commotion it caused.

One of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida last Friday, and an hour later began releasing the satellites at an altitude of 450 kilometres. The satellites then had to separate and use their thrusters to take up their positions in a relatively low orbit of 550 kilometres. Starlink will become operational once 800 satellites have been activated, which will require a dozen more launches.

Dutch astronomer Marco Langbroek noted on his blog that he calculated where the satellites would be orbiting, and waited with his camera. The result is a spectacular one: a string of bright dots flying across the sky, prompting people to report UFOs.

Here is Langbroek video of the event:

(Link: phys.org)

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May 20, 2019

Dutch students put in quarantine during exams

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 8:49 pm

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