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January 12, 2015

‘My first day with my drone’ goes viral

Filed under: Technology,Weird by Orangemaster @ 5:10 pm

Zwier Spanjer, 26, was playing with his new DJI phantom drone for the first time and it all went South, which you can see and hear on the video at about 0:26 when it starts to sound like a swarm of killer bees descending on an unknowing Dutch village.

At the moment of writing this, the video had over two million hits on YouTube and according to Vice.com some 7 to 8 million hits on Facebook and other social media. Be sure to watch the 15 second ‘love edition’ as well.

(Link: www.vice.com, Photo of Drone by Karen Axelrad, some rights reserved)

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January 11, 2015

Baby hatches to open across the country

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 9:44 pm

About a year ago Dordrecht opened the first modern day baby hatch for women in dire situations to be able to drop off their unwanted babies safely as foundlings. Online news source Dichtbij.nl says that Groningen and Papendrecht each have one as well. The provinces of Zeeland and Noord-Brabant will soon be opening baby hatches, and there are plans to open some in more prominent places such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Maastricht.

Currently Dutch law forbids abandoning babies for them to be adopted as foundlings and Child Protection Services agrees, claiming children have the right to know who their parents are. The government has no plans to close down, stop or pursue anyone who would abandon a baby in these places, so the government will remain inert on the issue for now.

Sadly, an alternative that occasionally makes the news is when a child has been left in the forest or in a rubbish bin.

(Link: www.bbc.co.uk, Illustration by Leonardo da Vinci)

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January 10, 2015

Things the Dutch do while riding a bike

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 1:58 pm

dutch-cycling-marken-wagenbuurCycling is an everyday mode of transport in most of the world, but nowhere do people choose to ride their bikes to work, school, football practice and bars as much as in the Netherlands.

This preponderance of cycling has led to many habits that have become a part of the fabric of life in this country. In the video above, Mark Wagenbuur shows examples of cycling hand in hand, of cycling with suitcases, of rear rack rides and of transporting large objects with your bike.

The video is part two of a series of two, so if you cannot enough of this sort of thing, part 1 is here. In a separate blog post Mark Wagenbuur talks a little about the background music he uses for the two videos.

(Photo: crop of a frame of the video)

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January 9, 2015

2014 a record year for Dutch organ donation

Filed under: Science by Orangemaster @ 3:45 pm

Last year was a record year for the number of organ donations from the deceased in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch Transplantation Foundation. The count was 271 people, 11 percent more than in 2013. The number of people who donated part of their liver or a kidney for transplantation while alive was 533 in 2014 as compared to 522 in 2013. Since 2007 the number of donors has risen by 20 percent.

Over the past year, organ donation has made headlines a few times, particularly in 2007 when hoax reality television show
The Big Donor Show fooled people around the world into believing that a terminally ill woman was prepared to donate a kidney to one of 25 people who needed one. Although shocking to many, the goal to achieve greater awareness about the urgent need for organ donors obviously had some effect, as did, I’m sure, many other regular campaigns.

Recently, a man from Almere with kidney disease found a kidney donor after an appeal on Facebook about a year ago. The transplantation apparently has a 90% chance of succeeding.

(Link: nos.nl)

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January 8, 2015

Old school waterboarding, Dutch colonial style

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 12:42 pm

waterboarding dutch

British geography professor and author Miles Ogborn’s book ‘Indian Ink: Script and Print in the Making of the English East India Company’ has an image of a Dutchman performing waterboarding on an English pamphlet of 1624. The image depicts an English merchant being restrained while a Dutchman pours a jug of water over his cloth-wrapped face.

Wikipedia explains the Dutch-style waterboarding in more detail:

“It consisted of wrapping cloth around the victim’s head, after which the torturers “poured the water softly upon his head until the cloth was full, up to the mouth and nostrils, and somewhat higher, so that he could not draw breath but he must suck in all the water”. In one case, the torturer applied water three or four times successively until the victim’s “body was swollen twice or thrice as big as before, his cheeks like great bladders, and his eyes staring and strutting out beyond his forehead”.

In colonial times Dutch and English merchants fought over spices in the East, giving rise to acts of torture, with both sides publishing pamphlets to try and discredit the other, like a 17th century flame war. In 1623 on the island of Amboyna In the Molucca Islands, the Dutch East India Company led by Dutch Governor Herman van Speult was said to have tortured and executed English, Japanese and Portuguese prisoners. English pamphlets featuring ‘gory frontispieces’ were refuted in turn by Dutch publications, but the affair was never settled. Van Speult thought that English merchants together with Japanese samurai mercenaries and possibly some Portuguese planned to kill him and overwhelm the Dutch garrison once an English ship arrived for support, justifying his actions.

(Link and image: resobscura.blogspot.nl, thanks Greg!)

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January 7, 2015

Annoying Dutch adverts: pretty pans and superfluous sloths

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:42 am

‘Mooi’, the word repeated in the video below means ‘nice’ or ‘pretty’ — you get the idea. The problem with this advert is near the end when the man says, ‘they’re all really nice pans, but where can I find (buy) them?’ His tone is irritating, as if he’s imitating a stereotyped middle-aged Dutch woman or possibly a gay-ish man. The woman, who sounds more like a Dutch man, answers ‘fonq’, a brand name pronounced a bit like ‘funk’. ‘Are you going to cook, then?’, she says in an insulting manner, implying the man doesn’t do any cooking. ‘No, I’m going to bash your brains in with them,’ a retort that is meant to be funny, but falls flat like a pancake on the floor.

A wok shown in the middle was the Boomerang Wok, designed by Dutch designer Nicolai Carels.

The pan advert was recently nominated for Most Annoying Dutch Advert 2014, the ‘Loden Leeuw’ (Lead Lion) 2014 by television consumer program Radar, but
lost to a health insurance company that features animated sloths who save so much money on their health insurance they get unnecessary cosmetic surgery, as would Dutch celebs with too much time and money on their hands.

(Photo of a cooking class kitchen by Jana Gumprecht)

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January 6, 2015

World’s largest Rubik’s Cube solved in 7.5 hours

Filed under: Gadgets,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

Rubik's cube-fake

Designed by Dutchman Oskar van Deventer, the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube, known as the Over The Top 17x17x17, was solved last November by American Kenneth Brandon.

Besides solving puzzles, Brandon also shoots time-lapse videos and made a six minute one of his solution here below. He also mentions that he has a 7.5 hour version floating around for his hardcore fans.

The Guinness World Records awarded the ‘largest order Rubik’s magic cube’ to the 17×17×17 cube made by Van Deventer in 2011. Van Deventer has all kinds of puzzles for sale, made with 3D printing technology.

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo: Rubik’s Cube knockoff)

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January 5, 2015

Design graduate creates long-lasting bioluminescent lamp

Filed under: Design,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 12:50 pm

bioluminescent

In the video below, recent graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, Teresa van Dongen presents her graduation project called ‘Ambio’, an ambient lamp using a glass tube filled with bioluminescent bacteria, usually found on octopuses, in a saltwater solution. Once pushed the Ambio will swing for 20 minutes and emit light as long as it moves. The bacteria can survive for about two days, but Van Dongen has managed to push that to three weeks so far. The goal is to develop a way for the bacteria to survive for longer and find actual practical applications for such ambient lighting.

Before turning to design Van Dongen studied biology, which explains her interest in using bioluminescent substances. She’ll also explain why waves such as the one in the picture above emits light the way it does.

(Link: www.dezeen.com, Photo of Bioluminescent wave by slworking2, some rights reserved)

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January 4, 2015

Gamers build life-size Amsterdam in Minecraft

Filed under: Architecture,Online by Orangemaster @ 4:33 pm

Minecraft

Started in May 2013, but currently gaining momentum, a bunch of Dutch gamers have decided to build a large part of Amsterdam on a 1:1 scale in Minecraft using Google Maps and Google Earth.

“People called us crazy when we decided to build our own City Amsterdam on 1:1 scale. We started out with a giant map we built with World Painter. After that the building begun.” The group has completed Central Station, Dam Square and the Nemo museum and have about 90% more to go.

If you want to help out, ‘hop into the creative server’, say the makers on www.planetminecraft.com and start building typical Dutch Amsterdam houses.

(Link: www.at5, screenshot: www.planetminecraft.com)

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January 3, 2015

Dutch activist demands less cowbell in Switzerland

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 7:36 pm

Dutch vegan activist Nancy Holten living in Switzerland has apparently upset the Swiss by claiming that cows wearing cowbells was akin to animal cruelty. The Swiss media was straight up in their answer and told to move back to where she came from if she didn’t like their culture. Holten has been widely labelled as a complainer since just before Christmas, she complained about church bells being rung at 6 am – too early in her opinion – in her village.

According to Wikipedia, cowbells have been around since the Iron age and have been used on cattle around the world. However, in September 2014 Swiss researchers did conclude that cowbells are often too loud and too heavy. The problem is that having foreigners complain about your traditions is not always the best way to go, something the Dutch deal with six months out of the year before Sinterklaas.

(Link: frontpage.fok.nl, Photo: Dutch cows sans cowbell)

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