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July 16, 2016

Man has travel chip implanted in his hand

Filed under: Technology,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:37 am

Tom van Oudenaaarden from Utrecht has has a public transport chip implanted in his right hand. The photos of it are nasty because the work has just been done, but the chip works fine, as this very short video proves. So far he has only used his implant to check in and out of ports, and has yet to encounter train staff who would need to check what would normally be a chip card in a handheld device to be sure he’s paid his fare.

And Van Oudenaaarden is no stranger to implants, piercings or tattoos either. He’s had a LED-lamp implanted in his arm and has implanted chips that will start his motorbike and car, open his laptop and his shop. The idea was to get rid of his wallet and a big bunch of keys and show what technology can do.

If you’re wondering, his chip is good to go until 2021. Listen to more about it in Dutch.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo by Franklin Heijnen, some rights reserved)

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July 15, 2016

World’s biggest green façade on Venlo building

Filed under: Architecture,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 7:49 pm

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Rotterdam architectural firm Kraaijvanger has built the new city hall in Venlo, which claims to have the greenest façade in the world measuring two thousand square metres.

A greenhouse above the building purifies the air and can deliver heat to the entire building. The green façade purifies air from the nearby road and railway. According to Kraaijvanger, tests in labs of the Eindhoven University of Technology have proven that the façade filters 30% of nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the air.

As well, the building has applied many sustainable techniques such as using the parking garage to either warm up the air or cool it down, depending on the weather. It also catches and filters rainwater before flowing back into the Maas river and makes optimal use of daylight.

Venlo’s new city hall is entirely energy neutral and has been built following the cradle-to-cradle design concept.

(Link: www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo: Kraaijvanger)

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July 14, 2016

Police copy uniform design, then pressure choir in giving theirs up

Filed under: Fashion,Music by Branko Collin @ 11:57 pm

politie-uniform-2016At first it seemed a joke to Bravour, a shanty choir from Woerden. When the Dutch police introduced a new uniform in 2014, it turned out to be the spitting image of the choir’s uniform, dark blue with broad yellow bands across the chest.

“We’ve suddenly gained tens of thousands of new members”, the choir’s chair person Ad de Goey quipped in Algemeen Dagblad that year. “The local police also thinks it’s funny. Well, they’re all welcome to join as far as I am concerned.”

But in November that year the joke turned sour when the police let on that somebody was going to have to change their uniforms—and the somebody wasn’t going to be the police. Although the article doesn’t mention it, the police actually had the law on their side—impersonating a police officer, even if it is only by dressing like one, carries a maximum prison sentence of three months.

The shanty choir were all good sports about it. Not only did they come up with a new uniform, but on 26 February 2016 they invited the police choir from Gelderland to the Cross Church in Woerden for a joint performance. As Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On was played over the tannoy, Bravour members performed a striptease in which they tore off their old uniforms, revealing the new uniforms underneath. From now on the shanty choir will perform in dark blue with a broad, light blue wave.

See also: The Netherlands has finally become a police state

(Illustration: these people may dress like a bunch of entertainers, but they are actually Dutch police officers; source: politie.nl)

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July 12, 2016

Hospital fends off Pokémon gamers

Filed under: Gaming by Orangemaster @ 8:37 am

A few days ago when Pokémon Go launched, some Dutch fans took to a police station in Amsterdam North to try and catch some Pokémons where the cops were not amused in the slightest. Apparently in Australia and the United States, police stations have been ‘overrun’ by gamers trying to catch whatever it is that is hiding at the cop shops. A possible reason why it’s not that bad here yet is because the game is only available to people with an American Apple ID and not yet officially in the Netherlands, which should be in a few days.

If that wasn’t inconvenient enough for the police, the AMC hospital in Amsterdam is said to have a sick Pokémon in their basement, where groups of people have been spotted even though they have no authorisation to be there. The situation is bad enough that security has been alerted in case gamers show up in sick people’s rooms. The hospital said, “if we find the sick Pokémon, we’ll take good care of it”, which is doctor speak for ‘please piss off and let us do our job’ on behalf of the hospital.

Back in 2009 one of our most popular stories ever was about a gamer in a hospital basement playing Silent Hill and shutting down all the electricity in the building.

(Link: www.at5.nl, (Photo of the old building of the Sophia hospital (1884) by Wikimedia user Arminiuzz, some rights reserved)

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July 11, 2016

The fresh faces of the Dutch art scene

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 3:30 pm

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Last week marked the graduation exhibitions of the art academies of Amsterdam and The Hague, and since I had the Wednesday off, I grabbed my camera and raced through the labyrinth that is the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in two short hours.

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My time there was way too short to form any solid impressions—I saw maybe a quarter of all the works on display. I dare say that there seemed to be minor themes running through the exhibition. A lot of works were displayed in relative darkness. The psychological phenomenon of hoarding came up a couple of times. The bedroom from hell was also something that seemed to have inspired a number of students.

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Art blogger Niek Hendrix noticed something else:

Certain fashionable trends are copied almost verbatim. […] The boundaries between Instagram photos and well thought-out art works is getting thinner and in some cases, you can already speak of proper kitsch. KABK looks like Rietveld in that its artists will seamlessly find a spot in the commercial circuit.

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Apart from Niek Hendrix the bloggers of Mr Motley and Trendbeheer have also visited the nation’s art academies to return with bushels of words and armfuls of photos.

My photo report can be found on our Flickr page.

(Photos from top to bottom depicting works by Daniel Dmyszewicz, Mateusz Tkaczeń, Azra Sudetic, and Olivier Turpin)

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July 9, 2016

Christmas music terrorises Arnhem shopping mall

Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

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There’s this weird tradition at camp sites where I’m from in Québec called ‘Le Noël des campeurs’ (‘Campers’ Christmas’), which is basically celebrating Christmas in July at the camp site, where some of us spent our entire summers because that was the family vacation. I especially remember Santa Claus on the back of a pick-up driving slowly through the camp site throwing candies at us kids, not unlike the Pieten do at Sinterklaas.

The Netherlands doesn’t do Christmas at the camping, but shopping mall Rijkerswoerd in Arnhem has been forced to listen to Christmas music for three weeks now, which is horribly annoying to customers and shopkeepers alike. Thanks to the incompetence of a manager in solving the problem and a florist seeking media attention to get it fixed, the entire system was replaced and there’s normal hits coming out of the music system as of today.

After three weeks of chanting ‘we’re looking into it’, the manager in question had announced that the problem had been solved on Thursday, but on Friday, Jingle Bells and Last Christmas were back in full swing. On Friday afternoon, cables were yanked out of the system to be repaired to make sure Driving Home for Christmas hit a brick wall of silence before the florist got too creative.

Mood Media, the company who supplies the tunes, has apologised for the music terror and placated the shopkeepers with actual Christmas-themed gifts, which went over well.

(Link: www.gelderlander.nl)

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July 8, 2016

Dutch students set world record with solar-powered boat

Filed under: Dutch first,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:03 pm

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This week, the Delft University of Technology’s Solar Boat Team has set a world record of 50.5 kilometres per hour on Day 5 of the Dutch Solar Challenge in Drachten, Friesland. There wasn’t any previous record, making this a sweet victory for the students.

This world record will also be added to the Guinness World Records as the first record ever set for a solar-powered boat. Second place in the challenge was 42 kilometres per hour set by a team from Leeuwarden, Friesland and 30,3 kilometres per hour was clocked by a team from Slochteren, Groningen.

The Delft team also won ook the innovation award thanks to the technology it used, which included two hydrofoils placed one behind another instead of next to each other, which had the boat ‘skating over the water’.

(Link: tweakers.net, photo: www.solarboatteam.nl)

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July 6, 2016

Opening the racist door: Monsieur Cannibale part deux

Filed under: General,History,Music by Orangemaster @ 9:02 am

The ball of this story got rolling back in 2014 when an American journalist was ‘shocked’ at an amusement park ride from De Efteling called ‘Monsieur Cannibale’ (French – new and improved explanation coming up) that features a black cannibal-like character with a bone through his nose cooking up unsuspecting children.

The racist door has now opened up as the Stop Oppressive Stereotypes (SOS) group published an open letter to the amusement park accusing it of featuring racist rides, one of which is Monsieur Cannibale and the other Carnaval Festival that features Asian stereotypes. However, Efteling asked SOS for a sit down and SOS haven’t responded yet – to be continued.

One side is telling the other to get a life and ideally a job and the other is having a ‘hey’ we never really saw things that way and it makes us feel uncomfortable moment, akin to the debate about Zwarte Piet. The Efteling says it mostly gets complaints about serving unhealthy food, but not about racist stereotypes.

I love Sacha Distel, the French singer and guitarist who sang this 1966 racist and sexist song that the Efteling chose to subject to children: it matches the ride perfectly in its bad taste. Distel’s song is about a white man captured in Africa by black cannibals who thought he was a spy, trying to politely plead the head cannibal (hence addressing him as Monsieur) not to eat him, but negotiates his way out of it by offering him porno magazines. The head cannibal laughs, brings the guy back to his harem for a week after which the guy lose 20 kilos and refuses to leave. The man basically shagged all the presumably black ladies who were all “hungry for it”.

Here’s a version of the song with a decent Dutch translation:

And since the French playback performance I posted in the original post was removed, here’s the same offensive performance sung in Spanish. He still pulls his eyes sideways to indicate the Chinese language at the beginning, so the Asian stereotypes are conveniently addressed by Distel as well.

(Photo: Photo of an Efteling dragon by Jeroen Kransen, some rights reserved)

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July 4, 2016

Dutch robots win Robocup 2016 on penalties

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:32 am

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Eindhoven’s Tech United team has won the Robocup 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, a team that keeps on supplying us with stories of victory thanks to their sweet robotics.

Their match up was against the Chinese team ‘Water’, defending their 2015 title. Eindhoven was ahead 2-1, and after regulation time, it was tied 2-2. In overtime both teams made it 3-3 and much like some games in Euro 2016, it came down to penalty kicks.

However, Water missed all five shots, nicely stopped by Tech United’s goalkeeper, while Tech United putted one in for the win.

(Links: www.bright.nl, www.nu.nl, Photo of RoboCup2013 in Eindhoven by RoboCup2013, some rights reserved)

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July 2, 2016

KLM to serve Heineken draught beer on flights

Filed under: Aviation,Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 8:42 pm

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Two years ago Heineken developed the Brewlock tap system, which addresses the issue of delivering draught beer at the right level of carbonation. And if KLM is to serve beer high up in the air, it needs to be tapped properly and not spray out of the keg due to a lack of carbonation.

The system will be fitted onto a trolley for serving and will be pre-cooled before takeoff and then kept cool for a maximum of eight hours with insulating material. KLM plans to serve beer on tap on a few selected flights and then eventually roll it out.

Roll out the barrel, and we’ll have a barrel of fun – in the air.

(Link: www.telegraaf.nl, photo by Steven Straiton, some rights reserved)

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