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September 22, 2015

Drone films Dutch cyclist on their merry way

Filed under: Bicycles,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:14 pm

Drone enthusiast Paul Haerkens has captured himself cycling near Den Bosch, Noord Brabant, filmed by his Yuneec Q500 drone camera in ‘watch me’ mode.

You’ll see Versaille-like miniature gardens, bollards stopping cars from parking on the side walk, flat trees, hints of traffic circles and very little traffic. The film will give you an impression of what a Dutch neighbourhood in the middle of the country looks like: no canals, no bike paths (!) and no bustle.

The catchy music is the intro music to Paul Verhoeven’s classic ‘Turks Fruit’ (‘Turkish Delight’), composed by heavyweight Rogier van Otterloo and performed by Belgian jazz legend Toots Tielemans, all three of which come highly recommended.


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September 21, 2015

Cancer patient dies building app for fellow patients

Filed under: Uncategorized by Orangemaster @ 1:07 pm

Dutchman Frederik van den Broek who died last month of cancer was key in helping neurologists build MindApp, being dubbed as the world’s most advanced mobile-based app for cancer patients.

Available for Android and iPhone, MindApp will help users track and update appointments, manage their doctors and the quantities of pills they need to take, and much more.

Van den Broek said that he had received a printout from the hospital of all the appointments, medicine and information, but then lost the printout within an hour. “These things happen when you’ve lost a large part of your brain and your short-term memory has gone to pieces,” he explained.

According to neurologist Jaap Reijneveld of the Free University Medical Centre (VUMC) in Amsterdam involved in building the app, patients have a massively complicated treatment schedule, and this app will help them remember things and give constant feedback to doctors on the patient’s condition.

Find out more about what Van den Broek started MindApp in this video.


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September 20, 2015

Sleeping in a life-size sand castle hotel

Filed under: Architecture,Design,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 9:27 am


Inspired by European ice hotels, two pop-up hotels (‘zandhotels’) made out of very 1000 tons of compact sand have opened in Oss, Noord-Brabant and Sneek, Friesland, which are already fully booked for this year. However, you can visit the one in Oss until 28 September and the one in Sneek until 4 October during nearby sand sculpture festivals.

The hotel’s basic structure is made of thin walls, covered inside and out with reinforced sand for sturdiness, while basics such as the shower, bathroom and bed are made out of normal materials.

Some media are calling it a world first, we’ll stay in our sandbox and call it a Dutch first.

(Links and photo:,

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September 18, 2015

Feel-good bicycle art from Utrecht

Filed under: Art,Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 10:21 am


Since June someone in Utrecht has been going around putting eyes on bike saddles to make them look like birds of prey and give them names.

They have French, English and Russian names, some of which could be related to the Tour de France that started off in Utrecht this summer, others not at all. It’s making people smile and talk, like a feel-good art project should. The eyes do come off easily, but most people apparently leave them on.

The artists behind the stickers remain unknown and apparently they do fix their work if they see an eye drooping. However, one of their ‘creations’, Gino was tagged and taken away to ‘bike prison’ for being ‘illegally’ parked and they couldn’t fix that.

Will Gino ever get out? Stay tuned.


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September 17, 2015

Aggressive ice cream man bullies Dutch village

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:08 pm

The town of Maarssenbroek, Utrecht is being intimidated by the local ice cream man and the story reads like a creepy Halloween tale.

The ice cream man rings his bell at night, drives too fast and gives children ice cream to then push their parents to pay for it. He’s also been cited for a lack of hygiene and ringing doorbells of former clients. He even dares sell ice cream on Sundays, which pisses off certain folks who still think Sunday is actually mentioned in the Bible as a day of rest.

Some say it’s the people pissed about the Sunday who are fueling the discussion and make life difficult for an ice cream man trying to make a living, others including parents of ice cream interested children say the guy’s antisocial and has to go.

Why anybody would be selling ice cream in pouring rain with 15-16 degrees at the moment is beyond me.

(Link:, Photo of unrelated Dutch rocket ice lolly)

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September 16, 2015

Flashing boobs for beer at an Amsterdam cafe

Filed under: Food & Drink,Uncategorized by Orangemaster @ 4:53 pm

In a stunt claiming to support breast cancer but mainly getting some excellent free publicity, Café Ruig in Amsterdam will be the first café in the world to accept ‘Titcoins’, the digital coin of the porno world.

Women can soon go to Cafe Ruig, flash their boobs, let the bar staff take a picture that will be uploaded to the Titcoins site and will get a beer in return. The bar will eventually get real money for their Titcoins and part of the money is said to be going to Pink Ribbon to support breast cancer research.

‘Ruig’ means rough, and yes, the story seems a bit rough. The owner thinks tourists will go for it, but has no clue if it will be a success. He does have enough beer just in case. However, Pink Ribbon claims it is unaware of the stunt and has said it will not accept the money, but didn’t give a reason.

There’s so much wrong with this idea although it is funny. The idea of bar personnel, surely a barman – I doubt a woman would be up to doing this – having pictures of random racks on his mobile phone bothers me quite a bit. I’d rather just pay for my beer the old fashioned way.


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September 15, 2015

Full solar jacket for Wadden Sea walkers

Filed under: Fashion,Nature,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 9:55 pm


Arnhem-based fashion designer Pauline van Dongen has created a parka for workers of the Wadden Sea World Heritage site, an association that has campaigned to protect the coastal area known for its sea walks.

The ‘solar parka’, an oversized jacket with a hood, was created for typical Dutch weather conditions and features detachable solar panels on the pockets for charging your electronics.

A thin waterproof and flexible solar panel created by specialist company AltaDevices is attached to one of the front pockets using buttons, and can generate enough energy to fully charge a smartphone after two hours of exposure to sunlight.

The coat’s fabric was created using yarn made from recycled denim that was unravelled and rewoven to make it more dense.

Van Dongen has also designed the phototrope shirt for running at night and a cardigan that helps with patient rehabilitation.

(Link and photo:

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September 14, 2015

Dutch engineers create huge artificial waves

Filed under: Sustainability,Technology by Orangemaster @ 5:37 pm

Delta works

Engineers at Deltares Research Institute, an independent institute for applied research in water and subsurface near Delft, South Holland are claiming to have created the largest artificial waves in the world.

Created in a huge concrete tank called the Delta Flume, the waves measure five metres high. The engineers say they can get even bigger waves. The tank holds nine million litres of water, pumped in from a reservoir at 1,000 litres a second. This new facility cost 26 million euro and took two years to build.

What’s the actual use of this facility? To be able to create waves to test life-size water defences. We’re always told that two-thirds of the Netherlands could be flooded, and back in 1953 it was heavily flooded, making water defences essential. Generating bigger waves is the only way to find out if flood defences can cope with rising tides.

(Link:, Photo of Delta Works by Coanri/Rita, some rights reserved)

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September 13, 2015

The city of Utrecht received 5,000 answers when it asked which traffic lights should go

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 6:53 pm

cyclist-red-traffic-light-martin-fischTraffic lights generally exist to regulate car traffic, so it doesn’t always makes sense when cyclists have to obey them too.

As part of the campaign Utrecht Fietst (Utrecht Cycles) the city asked its citizens which traffic lights were redundant, Verkeersnet reports. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians rose to the occasion and sent in a whopping 4,760 reports between February and April. The city then presented responses for each junction on an interactive map (click the “i” icon hovering over each traffic light).

In June the city started to experiment with disabling the traffic lights of seven junctions with a further three junctions scheduled for an experiment later in 2015 in which traffic lights will be shut down during quiet times. These experiments will last six months before evaluation. Cyclists will get an additional free right on red at four junctions.

(Link: Rad-Spannerei; photo by Martin Fisch, some rights reserved)

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September 11, 2015

Christian party argues against paid parking

Filed under: Automobiles,Religion by Orangemaster @ 12:08 pm

Fundamentalist Christian political party SGP in the city council of Ede have decided to complain about paying for parking on Sunday at a local hospital, claiming that it’s not Christian. The hospital introduced paid parking on Sunday only recently, and it’s safe to assume nobody likes to pay for parking especially on Sunday, which is often free in many parts of the country at least on the street.

The SGP argue that more people will park on the street near the hospital most probably for free and hinder the locals. This implies that Christians like them would gladly annoy the locals for free parking and that’s their possible argument for making parking free on Sunday at the hospital.

What if SGP people visited the hospital on another day than Sunday, say Saturday? Problem solved. What if city council makes no exceptions for the SGP who also pay to use electricity, water and their car on Sundays? Problem solved. What if they went to the hospital by bike or walked? Problem solved.

SGP, you’re the problem. Run along now.


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