advertisement
« Newer postsOlder posts »

September 6, 2014

Audi drivers are the biggest scofflaws

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 4:39 pm

audi-parking-ticket-london-lars-plougmannA study by an insurance company from Emmen in Drenthe states that nine in ten drivers gets ticketed occasionally for violating the rules of the road.

Audi drivers take the cake though. One in five of them gets fined more than ten times a year. Driving over the speed limit is a particularly favourite pastime for Audi drivers as each and every one of them gets caught speeding at least once a year. Especially heinous is their track record for red light jumping, something which almost half of the Audionistas has ever done.

Autoblog.nl’s Casper Heij has his doubts about the study. He questions the sample size together with the methodology (1,081 drivers against over 18 different brands of cars). He also wonders out loud about curious results such as Mercedes drivers being paragons of virtue (“I take it they failed to poll cab drivers”) and Peugeot drivers never getting fined for broken lights (“I own both a Peugeot and, not by coincidence, shares in an automotive lights factory”).

(Study: Netpolis; photo of an Audi R8 and a London traffic warden by Lars Plougmann, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , , ,

September 5, 2014

Student takes selfies at every Dutch train station

Filed under: General,Photography by Orangemaster @ 11:40 am

Travelling after you’ve graduated is definitely a classic, but travelling around the Netherlands by train is probably not what most Dutch graduates have in mind.

Teun here took a year off to make selfies at every train station in the country, which is 400 train stations and you can watch the video of the results. Yes, it’s clearly used by Dutch Rail as a promo for student discounts with the train, but it’s still pretty cool.

For anyone who has never been to the Netherlands, there’s a nice pan of Amsterdam Central station at 1:06, followed by the very modern and quite new Rotterdam Central Station.

For the movie buffs, try and spot Haarlem Central Station, one of the oldest in the country, which was featured in a scene of Ocean’s Twelve with George Clooney on the phone.

(Link: www.froot.nl, Photo by Flickr user UggBoy hearts UggGirl, some rights reserved)

Tags: , ,

September 4, 2014

Treadmill-powered bicycle gets some traction

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

lopifitv2_small

Although it’s apparently been around since late 2012, but has just hit the media recently probably due to a social media moment, the Dutch Lopifit is a bicycle powered by a treadmill.

Things like an amateur-looking website and not even a name for its YouTube video could go a long ways in explaining the lack of promo this product has clearly suffered. If you Google ‘treadmill bike’ you’ll find many others, so I wonder how original the Lopifit really is, but hey, we had never heard of it before.

(Photo: www.lopifit.nl)

September 3, 2014

Drone film of Amsterdam’s metro goes viral

Filed under: Architecture,Film by Orangemaster @ 1:08 pm

We might as well be able to fly through the North-South line in 2014 because we can’t use the metro yet, although it was originally scheduled to be ready in 2011, then again in the summer of 2014, which also didn’t happen. Construction started in 2002 and the new current completion date is 2017.

Studio MAD made a promotional film for Thales Group Netherlands, which supplies access ports and ICT for public transport. It features a drone going the entire length of the North-South tunnel that runs under Amsterdam Central Station, which was one of the major hiccups of the project.

“The images were partially filmed with a camera under the drone, while the other part was filmed with a camera mounted on our ‘Skyglide’ rig. Our cameraman sat at the front of a bicycle to shoot, but the drone was controlled by a company with the license to fly one.”

(Link: www.dutchnews.nl, Image: Benthem Crouwel Archtitects)

Tags: , ,

September 2, 2014

Touring the euro bank note bridges in Spijkenisse

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 11:36 am

Bridges1

In 2011 we reported about pedestrian bridges resembling euro bank notes in Spijkenisse near Rotterdam and that they would be built at the same time as the neighbourhood they connect to downtown Spijkenisse.

The fictional bridges were designed by Austrian engraver Robert Kalina while the real bridges were designed by Dutch designer Robin Stam. The neighbourhood is still being built, but the six bridges are all there. Read on to find out why there are only six bridges although there are seven bank notes.

I happened to be working at the Spijkenisse Festival this year, which was held next to the new area. As I toured the grounds with my morning coffee, I noticed a bright yellow bridge. I looked around and saw some more coloured bridges, then realised I was staring at the ‘euro bridges’.

Below are photos of all the bridges which I took with a smartphone between two rain showers. Apparently the Japanese have a thing for these bridges, hence the prominence of Japanese on the sign (above).

On the far left of the neighbourhood there’s the 500, the 50 and the 10 bridge, and half a kilometre away on the far right of the area there’s the 100, the 5 and 20, and the 200.

5euro-good

20euro-good

The bridge depicting the 5 euro note has the bridge of the 20 euro note on the other side, the only bridge with a dual function. The 5 comes close to its grey bank note, and the blue is brighter than its legal tender counterpart.

10euro-good

The 10 euro bridge is more burnt sienna coloured than red, but it looks nice that way.

100euro-good

The green of the 100 is subdued. Since most shops don’t accept anything more than 50s, I don’t see 100s very often as they are inconvenient.

200euro-good

You can’t miss this yellow bridge depicting the 200, which stands out from the rest.

500euro-good

The 500 bank note bridge reminds me of the Martinus Nijhoff cable bridge near Zaltbommel, Gelderland, but magenta.

Tags: , , ,

September 1, 2014

Landscape paintings of Schiermonnikoog by Stella van Acker

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 9:09 am

schiermonnikoog-stella-van-acker

Schiermonnikoog is an island and the northernmost and least populated municipality of the Netherlands. Among its 942 inhabitants is watercolorist Stella van Acker who moved there decades ago from one of the southernmost places in the Netherlands, Valkenburg, and has remained there ever since.

Holly Moors calls her “an absolute master. Her watercolors and other paintings have by now reached the level of a William Turner”.

Check out her site.

Tags: , , , , ,

August 31, 2014

Police hands out criminal records at music festival

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 1:43 pm

Dutch prosecutors recently acquired the possibility of by-passing courts for minor offences if they can come to an agreement with suspects about a fine.

Placing the public prosecutor on the seat of the judge: what could possibly go wrong?

Two weeks ago at the Lowlands festival, the prosecutor wasn’t too eager to explain to suspects what exactly the consequences of their choices were, Vice reports. The 119 visitors out of 50,000 who had been charged with possession of recreational substances were not always told that agreeing to the so-called ‘strafbeschikking’ (‘declaration of punishment’) would get them a criminal record, nor what the consequences of a criminal record would be.

Vice asked lawyers Juriaan de Vries and Christian Flokstra what festival goers should do if a public prosecutor offers them an agreement. “Always ask for a lawyer!”

And of course that is a problem if your options are to pay a small fine on the spot (now with free criminal record!) or to go to jail for a night while a lawyers are being fetched from their weekend fishing trips and miss out on the festival. It seems the prosecutor knew exactly what they were doing. In the Netherlands a criminal record can prevent you from getting a job, effectively shutting off certain career paths.

The public prosecutor’s office responded (PDF) by saying they didn’t understand what all the hubbub was about—in their view the suspects retained plenty of rights and had even had some of those rights explained to them.

(Photo: DEA)

Tags: , ,

August 28, 2014

Two Belgian tanks ram each other on Dutch motorway

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:18 pm

Dear stand-up comedians: Christmas has come early this year.

Like two cars swerving to avoid a duck crossing the road in slow motion, two Belgian Piranha-type tanks rammed each other near Valkenswaard, Limburg on the busy N69 (giggle) motorway, attempting to avoid a tractor. Both tanks are leaking fuel, but fortunately no one was hurt. I’m sure some egos are bruised though, as they should be.

Let me see how many cheap shots I can take before reading other people’s comments:

‘Sergeant! There’s a big green tractor that keeps getting closer! BAM!

‘Whew! It’s a good thing this is just a military exercise’.

‘Crew cruise control on these things really suck.’

After the crash:
‘Right, I’m off for a slash, toodles’.

(Link: www.nu.nl)

Tags: , , ,

August 27, 2014

Car rental video redefines the art of local advertising

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 1:33 pm

Diks

The Dutch don’t do local TV commercials, as most of them are either made nationally or dubbed from countries like France (you’ll notice everybody is white, shorter and has dark hair). There’s no tacky second-hand car salesman ads, with the exception of a bed and mattress chain that went rogue a few decades back.

Dutch car rental company Diks, a generic surname like Smith in Dutch, has gone rogue too and made their own commercial. It’s a short movie full of corny Dutch puns (great for learning Dutch catch phrases), the Diks family men showing off their resemblance and the ironic use of tits & ass, which works because it’s all in English. Much like swearing in a foreign language, T&A is also more socially acceptable and funnier in English, pointing a finger at pop culture. I praise the makers’ use of ethnic minorities and the disabled in positive roles, giving it a big city feel.

You can get away with T-shirts saying ‘Chicks like Diks’, as it is the name of the company, then there’s ignoring that line drawn in the Anglo-Saxon sand and going with ‘Our chicks clean your Diks’ (a bit Dunglishy, yes), as women on heels (!) wash some cars. I can get past that because it’s click bait, or maybe even chick bait.

Love the superman, the American football team, the normal-looking girls dancing around, and the ending. I foresee a run on those blue T-shirts as well.

(Link: www.froot.nl, Image: screenshot of video)

Tags: , ,

August 26, 2014

Dutch DJ duo Soul Cartel remix Yoko Ono

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 11:13 am
Bed-in, Hilton, Amsterdam

The 1980′s song ‘Yes, I’m Your Angel’ by Yoko Ono has been given a dance remix by Dutch DJ duo Soul Cartel (Nicolas Vesters & David van Ansem) and they only had a week to come up with it. They kept the vocals and changed the rest, which Ono’s management liked and put it on the album ‘Angel (The Remixes)’ along with tracks by a bunch of other DJs, all of which is available as of today in iTunes.

You can hear part of the song here, and if you go to iTunes you can hear more.

What strikes me is that if you listen to the original, Yoko’s not so great singing seems quaint, but on a dance track – imagine someone sang on the dance track like that today – it sounds more like keeping Yoko alive on a respirator, musically speaking. The remix is tight, but I think it could have had any number of vocals on it.

By far and wide I prefer Junkie XL’s ‘A Little Less Conversation’ using Elvis’ vocals. Dutch DJ Junkie XL made the news in 2002 as he was according to Wikipedia ”the first artist outside the Presley organization to receive authorization from the Elvis Presley Estate to remix an Elvis Presley song.” I wouldn’t really picture another set of vocals on this song.

(Links: www.nieuws.nl, imaginepeace.com, Photo Parool.nl)

Tags: , , , ,

« Newer postsOlder posts »