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November 21, 2016

Dutch-born Republican to head CIA

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 4:33 pm

Peter-Hoekstra

In a special post-American election edition of ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ (‘Find the Dutch person’) where the Dutch media finds remote Dutch connections for the sake of a story, Groningen-born, Republican Pete Hoekstra is being touted as the new big cheese of the CIA. Hoekstra, 63, who lives in Michigan and may or may not speak a few words of Dutch, claimed he worked hard on Trump’s campaign and knows which direction he wants to take the United States [insert all of the jokes right here].

Hoekstra is an American who emigrated when he was three, which is why ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ is always a sad attempt by the Dutch press to remain internationally relevant, the same press that treats long-time Dutch folks of other ethnicities as if they didn’t count when it suits them. Other attempts at finding ‘Dutchiness’ have included Britney Spears, Tiger Woods and Dave Benton. On the opposite end of the scale is Anne Frank who was never Dutch (she was German), but many people think she was or enjoy saying that her not being Dutch was ‘just a formality’.

(Link: nos.nl)

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November 19, 2016

Meeting the Mayor of Amsterdam: what that’s like

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:43 pm

VanderLaan2

A local elementary school filled with local residents of all kinds had a friendly, tea-drinking, homemade baklava-eating hour to ask Eberhard van der Laan, the Mayor of Amsterdam, their pressing questions. Right before, the mayor walked around the recently renovated playground across the street to talk to all ages of youngsters and take part in a mannequin challenge that I joined in on if anybody finds it online.

The questions that were raised, were classics: dust particles emanating from the motorway nearby, promises of building new houses that never materialise, cheaper sports hall for getting unhealthy youngsters to move and a few others that hit home with everyone.

Van der Laan used to be a lawyer as well as the minister for housing and immigration, so his answers mostly pleased the crowd. Some things he had an aide write down as matters he could do something about like not getting any answers from city bureaucrats, other things he explained had so many parties involved that he couldn’t exert much influence on as one person, which is a good thing he said because that would be dictatorial.

I found out he’s well-versed in the art of pull-out quotes. Asked about what will happen to people with polluting vintage cars being banned from the city centre Van der Laan said “old things don’t have a future”. He admitted that lack of housing is one of the biggest problem in our country, as well as in Amsterdam. He also believed that it was good policy to build the nice schools in the poorer neighbourhoods, as we were standing in a newly renovated school, and admitted to those complaining about lack of funding for many things that “when money is taken away, good things are always lost”, which he said is often a national decision he can’t do much about.

In true Dutch straight talk fashion he did tell the crowd that “Amsterdam wasn’t an ATM”, and explained to a nine-year-old girl that, “yes there’s graffiti you want removed near your house, but let me teach you a big word first: ‘nannyism’. That means we can’t tell people what not do to all the time, but give me an email address and I will look into it”.

My only complaint is that he was talking about schools and mentioned “white and dark parents”, alluding to what is still referred to as ‘white schools’, (Dutch, with some money and assumed to have more of a future) and ‘black schools’ (anything that looks foreign although Dutch, is usually poorer and assumed to have less of a future). I hope we stop using those terms very soon because “old things don’t have a future”.

All in all Ebehard van der Laan is a great communicator who made all the attendees, especially the children, feel like they had been heard. He’s the father of five children himself and his interest in what they had to say was genuine. He’s also going to be around for quite a few more years, so it’s good to have met him in person.

VandeLaan1

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November 18, 2016

Dutch company Mars One makes suits for Mars

Filed under: General,Science by Orangemaster @ 9:55 am

The Dutch are already involved in trying to get to Mars, whether it’s growing food for the trip, simply wanting to take that one-way trip or being the first at having a reality show on Mars.

Now Dutch company Mars One has unveiled its first try at a space suit to protect humans on the red planet. “Made from material similar to that used for NASA’s astronauts when exploring the Moon [like the one in the picture], the suit’s design also takes into account new challenges, such as the omnipresent red dust”. I still have strange red dust from a hike on Crete on one pair of shoes, so I can only imagine what their issues are. The suits are also to protect against killer radiation and needs to fit different people. Some 3D printers will ensure new parts can be made. WIl there be a 3D printer to repair the 3D printer, I don’t know.

Have a look at what Mars One has been planning to do:

(Link: phys.org)

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November 15, 2016

Fish stall stuck in traffic opens on the motorway

Filed under: Automobiles,Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:58 am

traffic_jam

This summer a guy stuck in traffic for ages due to a major accident decided to pull out his drum kit and jam, and a few days ago, a fish stall owner decided to pop open his stall right in the middle of a motorway that was also jammed up due to a major accident.

Being stuck in traffic that isn’t moving instead of having a hot dinner on a cold, rainy, supermoon day of a Monday has to suck, but then grabbing a bite of fish helped quite a few hungry commuters keep their wits about them.

Fish stall owner Terence van de Mheen was on his way home when he got stuck in traffic. “I had two choices: stay sat in the car or pop open the stall”. I guess he made the right call and some money as well, good on him.

(Link: www.rtvnh.nl)

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November 12, 2016

World’s most sustainable uni building in Eindhoven

Filed under: Architecture,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 11:08 pm

644_HGB_TUE_CamEntree

The main building of the Eindhoven University of Technology plans to have “the most sustainable university building in the world” and it will be called ‘Atlas’. Once it is entirely renovated in the summer of 2018, the building’s previous gas connection will have been replaced by a geothermal system which will work with solar panels to provide energy to supply most of the building’s power.

The building will also feature smart LED lighting, controllable by users by way of an app, as well as a triple-glazed curtain wall paired with interior sun blinds, and a ‘night flush’ system that will side windows outwards during summer nights in order to cool the building and purify the air.

(Link: www.archdaily.com, Image by www.tue.nl)

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November 11, 2016

Artists upset about ‘foreign’ art on their wall

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 9:46 am

Screen shot 2016-11-11 at 9.38.30 AM

HW10 artists’ workshop in Nieuw-West, Amsterdam has had one of their walls painted without having been consulted by an American artist who lives abroad in what looks like a guerrilla action.

The 30-odd artists of HW10 want the rogue art removed, but the neighbours, who you think would complain about something they were also not consulted on, want the art to stay because they like it. It features a contemplative woman who appeared a month ago painted overnight by well-known artist Nils Westergard, a stunt set up by one of the neighbours. Westergard does a lot of spontaneous things in a lot of different places, many of which seem to feature pensive people.

The neighbour claimed that even though it was a bold move, he arranged it because there’s nothing in his area, no coffee places, no art and only the workshop that they never see the inside of, and that the art spruced up the place. It feels as if the artists should have done something with the wall first, but then again I wonder if either side of the story had the right to paint on it.

The majority of the 30 artists of the workshop have voted to have the wall scrubbed, but the neighbour wants the artwork to stay, and the city council of Nieuw-West is busy listening to both sides to resolve the situation.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Screenshot from Nils Westergard’s Facebook page)

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November 8, 2016

Amsterdam-Zuidoost to get its first coffeeshop

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 9:22 pm

While Amsterdam is busy closing down coffeeshops – the ones that sell marijuana and hash – the district of Amsterdam Zuidoost is going to get its very first coffeeshop, and I bet many people didn’t know that they didn’t have any in the first place. I didn’t know and I’ve lived there.

The coffeeshop will be close to the Bijlmer Arena station and will probably be called ‘Roots’. The city gave the green light for a coffeeshop there in 2000, but the rules regulating its eventual location were still an issue and it took a long time for it all to get sorted. The new business is not in a residential area or close to schools, so it should be fine.

(Link: at5.nl)

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November 7, 2016

Dutchman breaks Rubik’s Cube record again

Filed under: Gaming by Orangemaster @ 9:06 pm

Rubik's cube-fake

Mats Valk, a 20-year-old business analytics student from Amsterdam, recently broke the world record for solving a 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube at a tournament in Indonesia with a time of 4,74 seconds. Three years ago he had also broken the world record with a time of 5,55 seconds, then someone eventually beat him with a time of 4,90.

At home practicing for this tournament, Valk was able to score a time of 3,81, but it all depends on what the cube is like at the beginning, he explains. Valk has his own line of cubes, called ‘Valk3’. In Indonesia he played on a special version of his Valk3 with magnets for more stability.

Check it out and don’t blink, you’ll miss it:

(Link: www.parool.nl)

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November 6, 2016

Ajax FC send 27 crates of beer to Scots

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sports by Orangemaster @ 11:55 am

Amsterdam’s football club Ajax has sent 27 crates of beer to Scottish club East Kilbride FC of South Lanarkshire to congratulate them for breaking Ajax’s world record of most games won in a row last Saturday by winning against BSC Glasgow FC.

Former goalkeeper and now Ajax’s general manager Edwin van der Sar recorded a video message to congratulate the Scots telling them to ‘have some beer on us’.

A truck full of beer, Belgian Jupiler beer, basically Stella’s big brother, was driven right onto a dark and cold pitch with patches of snow.

Enjoy this classy football moment in English:

(Link: www.at5.nl, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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November 5, 2016

Food bank snubs the poor over Facebook like

Filed under: Food & Drink,Online by Orangemaster @ 7:41 pm
bowl_and_spoon1

A food bank in Noordoostpolder, Flevoland has decided to refuse three clients access after they liked the competition on Facebook.

One of the clients who was cut off said the fruit and vegetables she got from her regular food bank are passed the expiration date to the point of starting to rot. She looked around online for other food options and decided to like the competition. Then she found out what she could do to maybe change food banks. While all that was happening, she went back down to her regular food bank, but instead of food, they handed her an envelop with a stern letter and told her to get out.

The competitor, who feeds people who earn too much to get food from the food bank but are in need of food, claims to have too many people to care for and tried to get food from the food bank for the woman in question, but was unsuccessful. The food bank refused to accept that they gave out bad food and then said they don’t want any bad publicity from people getting sick. Oh, and they were pissed about her liking the competition.

The competitor has decided to help that one client who was cut off after all. “If people are ruthlessly turned away, then they need to be helped. You can’t just let people starve”.

And that’s the state of affairs in a small village in Flevoland these days, pettiness at its best. Liking the competition came in handy after all.

(Link: www.destentor.nl)

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