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October 9, 2014

Rembrandt now has 70 more paintings to his name

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 9:10 am

Yesterday at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam Ernst van de Wetering, head of the Rembrandt Research Group, gave a sixth and final presentation of a sizable catalogue of Rembrandt’s works in which 70 ‘new’ paintings have been added.

Determining whether or not an artwork is the real deal is a science that either devalues or upgrades paintings, changing history in the process. Before saying it’s a Rembrandt or an artwork of one of his pupils or contemporaries, the paintings had to undergo the scrutiny of X-rays, infrared, checking the layers of paint, varnish, canvas, and anything else that would prove that it was authentic.

Rembrandt’s oeuvre now consists of 340 paintings, much to the delight of museums such as the Louvre in Paris and even the Rijksmuseum that now has more real Rembrandts on display. The painting in this posting, ‘Old Man with Beard’, was added to Rembrandt van Rijn’s portfolio in 2011.

Ernst van de Wetering’s catalogue is entitled ‘A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings’, the definite guide for now until technology might make restorers and others reopen the case.

(Link: www.telegraaf.nl, Image: Old Man with Beard, from 1630)

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October 8, 2014

Film of Alkmaar painstakingly compares 1914 with 2014

Filed under: Film,Photography by Orangemaster @ 12:48 pm

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Dutch photographer Frits de Beer, along with Tara Rikkers and Michael de Vreugd have created a movie depicting their native town of Alkmaar, North Holland where the old (1914) and the new (2014) are shown side-by-side and shot-per-shot for a wonderfully precise comparison between the two eras.

“After identifying many locations that remained relatively unchanged over the past century, De Beer went out with a camera to recreate the shots. In each one, he aimed to match up the exact angle and framing that was captured in the 1914 film.”

Alkmaar 100 jaar, www.fritsdebeer.nl Tara Rikkers, Michael de Vreugd from fritsdebeer.nl on Vimeo.

(Link: www.dutchdailynews.com, Photo: petapixel.com)

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October 7, 2014

Five top Dutch DJs adorning postage stamps

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:49 am

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During the now world-famous Amsterdam Dance Event that runs from October 15 to 19, five Dutch DJs will receive their very own set of Dutch postage stamps with their faces on it. PostNL, who issues Dutch stamps, considers these five DJs to be, “leading names in the dance music world,” and it would be hard to disagree with that considering the monies they generate.

Then again, since DJing is too often synonymous with dance music, many other Dutch DJs probably deserve a stamp, which is what VICE argues, a few of which have inspired the ones that made it onto the stamps.

The multicoloured faces of Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Hardwell and Tiësto are the ones on the stamps, while VICE suggests other major names like Dimitri, Antal and Joris Voorn. It’s simple: you’re famous and rich because you’re known outside the country then stamp, you’re great, but remain a domestic or European affair, no stamp. And of course, there’s the glaring lack of women such as Isis and maybe some from this list.

(Links: www.nu.nl, thump.vice.com, Image: www.postnl.nl)

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October 6, 2014

Wok Agreement keeps Asian chefs in the Netherlands for now

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 5:30 pm

chin-ind-restaurant-branko-collinAsian restaurants in the Netherlands will receive 3,150 work permits for the next two years.

This may be good news for the 400 or so chefs that are currently unemployed because their permits ran out. Originally the permits were not renewed because the Dutch government thought the restaurants should hire European chefs. Government departments did not agree with the restaurant sector on how difficult it is to cook with a wok.

Frank Chan, vice-president of the Association of Chinese Hospitality Entrepreneurs, told VICE that as a result of the original work permit reduction a hundred restaurants had to close shop. It’s not clear whether this is in addition to or including the restaurants that closed because young Dutch-Chinese entrepreneurs prefer running hotels.

A new agreement between the Dutch government and the sector, already dubbed the Wok Agreement, states that restaurants get a period of two years in which their number of work permits will remain at the current level on the condition that they start training European chefs.

Kaji But of the Sea Palace restaurant in Amsterdam thinks more time is needed. Dutch chefs don’t speak Cantonese and Chinese chefs tend to learn the trade while working in the kitchen but not through formal education, he says. VICE adds that last summer a seven-day course for Asian chefs was introduced to the country which includes a nasi bami bootcamp.

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October 5, 2014

Con artist leaves Facebook page open; arrest follows swiftly

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 10:28 am

town-hall-haarlem-jan-kunstA 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)

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October 4, 2014

Fruit grower blames Russians for publicity

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 10:59 am

imageIf you want to get cheap apples, starting today you can get them in Zeeland for 50 cents per kilogram. Martin Duivekot from Vrouwenpolder has 80,000 kilogram Jonagold apples and nowhere to put them, or so newspaper PZC claims.

Apprently now that the Russians have closed the borders to European fruit, traders won’t touch his apples. The apples need to be harvested, Duivekot says, in order to make sure his trees still produce fruit next year. The European Union will buy his apples for 6 cents per kilogram, but having them picked professionally costs 10 cents per kilogram. I am sure you see the problem there.

That’s when Duivekot stumbled on the solution of letting consumers pick his apples for him. Considering though that picking your own fruit is a service offered by many farmers around the world even outside times of international tension, one might entertain the possibility this is little more than a publicity stunt.

(Photo by Alessio Maffeis, some rights reserved)

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October 3, 2014

First-ever formal speech in Dutch sign language

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 12:30 pm

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Next week, the Universiteit van Amsterdam will hold its very first formal speech in Dutch sign language, which will be translated into spoken language (no confirmation of which ones) by two interpreters, something that does happen in countries like the United States.

Fluent in sign language but not deaf, Professor Beppie van den Bogaerde sees this event as a gesture towards the deaf community. Usually people give speeches and have it translated into sign language, but this time it will be the other way round. I still don’t get why two interpreters are needed, but my best guess would be either they relay each other or there’s a Dutch and English version.

Van den Bogaerde points out that the deaf have each other’s full attention when they communicate because they have to look at each other, which she feels gives the deaf and hard of hearing a better sense of the here and now. My personal take on this from university is that we can speak about 150 words a minute but can understand 450 (three times as much), which means although we are easily distracted, it explains how interpreters can listen and talk at the same time.

The Netherlands has five sign language dialects because they five different schools decided to do their own thing. Based on French sign language, Dutch sign language is not officially recognised and is different than Flemish sign language, which has an unclear origin.

Enjoy a video of Happy by Pharrell Williams, performed and translated into sign language by the American Deaf Camp.

(Link: www.trouw.nl, Photo of Universiteit van Amsterdam by NiederlandeNet, some rights reserved(

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October 2, 2014

Dutch Rail sings to shafted train travellers

Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:18 pm

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)

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October 1, 2014

World’s first microbe zoo opens in Amsterdam

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 11:38 am

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Next to Amsterdam’s Artis Royal Zoo in the East of the city where you can sometimes spot the heads of giraffes moving slowly in the distance you’ll find Micropia, billed as “the world’s first interactive microbe zoo”, opened yesterday by Queen Máxima.

And instead of looking at sizable animals like giraffes, the goal of Micropia is to display “micro-nature,” says director Haig Balian, who believes microbes have been underestimated ever since Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, known as ‘the father of microbiology’ observed these microscopic creatures in the 17th century.

“Much of the museum looks like a laboratory, complete with rows of microscopes connected to giant television screens. Visitors can look through a window at a real-life laboratory where different kinds of microbes are being reproduced in Petri dishes and test tubes.”

To get you started – or off your lunch – here’s an A to Z of lots of microbes.

(Link and photo: www.news24)

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September 30, 2014

iPads are ‘means of communication’, not computers or phones

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:44 am

In late 2012 a Dutch court ruled that iPads were not phones and that angered broadcaster RTL Nederland because that meant they would owe back taxes to the tune of 323,687 euro on 664 iPads with Vodafone subscriptions given to their employees for Christmas.

RTL appealed the ruling at the time, and yesterday a higher court overturned the decision and ruled that not only are iPads not phones, they are also not computers: they are “means of communication.” The clincher is that the law also prescribes categories of devices that are applicable to be taxed, including “phones, Internet and such communication devices.”

The iPad is a fancy tin can with a string attached to it that is not primarily used to do all your work on, giving RTL a reason to pop open some champers.

(Link: webwereld.nl)

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