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August 11, 2016

Heineken pretends to care about people, gets caught out

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 9:47 pm

Heineken is seriously thinking about getting bars owners in Amsterdam to serve its beer with tap water on the side to promote ‘responsible drinking’ and bars owners are not thrilled at the idea.

For those who don’t know, a large proportion of bars around the country are stuck serving Heineken because that’s how they pay for their beer-tapping equipment and basically stay in business. Being shrewd in business is one thing, pretending to care is totally ridiculous and hypocritical. Isn’t the goal to sell as much beer as possible?

Normally I’d brush this off but ever since Dutch athlete Yuri van Gelder went from being ‘Lord of the Rings’ (his discipline) to ‘Lord of the Drink’ in the Dutch and international media this week for having consumed alcohol and being kicked out of the Olympics for it, it’s time to call Heineken out on their bullshit.

The Dutch have this party tent idea they set up at the Olympics and other major sporting events called the Heineken Holland House: a bigazz orange party tent for the athletes and their fans to have a drink and watch Dutch athletes perform on TV. After a Dutch athlete has a win, they often pop down to the HHH and let people applaud them and probably have a drink as well.

Heineken’s response to the incident was that they don’t sponsor, they only facilitate a place to party. Hello? The Dutch Twitterati published Heineken sponsorship contracts to make their point clear after which the beer giant admitted to not have expressed itself properly – no kidding.

And if that wasn’t stupid enough, beer competitor Grolsch started making puns on Heineken’s slogan “Heerlijk Helder Heineken’ (roughly ‘Delicious Clear Heineken’) using Van Gelder’s name: ‘Heerlijk Van Gelder Heineken’, which sounds similar. And look at how they drove the point home, suggesting Van Gelder drink 0% beer instead (picture).

Back in 2010 Van Gelder was dropped from the Dutch team for the Gymnastics World Championships after he admitted using cocaine. After cleaning up his act, surely training very hard like all athletes and now breaking the rules, he’s been sent home from Rio.

The way Heineken handled its position was lame and attempting to push water to go with your beer as some sort of responsible drinking is super lame.

Heineken, shut up or go home.

(Link: at5.nl)

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August 9, 2016

Hot pizza from vending machines in Groningen

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:07 pm
pizza

In November 2015 young entrepreneur Jordi Hillenga introduced the first ever pizza vending machine of the country at a supermarket in Groningen, an idea he got in France. Now it’s time for him to expand the business and place a few more vending machines in Groningen at places where there’s more night life and a need for pizza.

Hillenga is in talks with Dutch Rail to see if he can’t install some warm pizza goodness at train stations.

It took him a year to get the first pizza machine installed because he goes to school and that understandably takes up a lot of his time and needed to save a lot of money. His vending machine offers four kinds of 26 cm pizzas (margherita, salami, aloha Hawai (yes, typo) and real Italian) which takes four minutes to bake and if this video is still accurate, costs 6 euro a pie. He also gets a text message if pizzas go stale, which shuts down the vending machine and tells him to replace the pies.

The question whether it’s as tasty as at the Italian restaurant, well, most people in the video can’t tell the difference.

(Links: www.deondernemer.nl, www.rtvnoord.nl, Photo of Pizza pie by Adam Kuban, some rights reserved)

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August 8, 2016

Restaurant invests in 3D printers for pancakes

Filed under: Food & Drink,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:05 am
pannenkoek1.jpg

In the town of Ruurlo, Gelderland, pancake restaurant De Heijkamp is going to let a specialised 3D printer ‘make’ pancakes, albeit not every day. Owner Bert van Zijtvelt will be using the Pancake Bot, a successful Kickstarter project that became the world’s first 3D pancake printer that can make all kinds of cool pancakes (see video below).

Inventor Miguel Valenzuela, a Mexican-American expat living in Norway, credits one of his two daughters for the idea. He was reading an article about a guy who made a pancake stamping machine out of LEGO, when his daughter turned to her sister and yelled, “Papa’s going to build a pancake machine out of LEGO!” The prototype was actually made using LEGO, how cool is that.

Van Zijtvelt has bought two 3D printers, each costing USD 500 (450 euro). According to chef Rob Weijers, the biggest problem is getting the pancake batter just right, with not too much sugar in it, so it doesn’t jam things up.

De Heijkamp only plans on using the printers for special occasions like company events and children’s parties.

If you can get past a glaring spelling mistake and corporate dubstep with motor sounds, you can enjoy what the printer can do.

(Links: www.ad.nl, 3dprintingindustry.com)

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August 7, 2016

Why America doesn’t know its Dutch history

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 12:04 pm

new_amsterdam

Here’s our online version of reading a book on the beach: let’s all learn about the Dutch origins of New York City and more by American author and historian Russell Shorto who sounds like he could talk about it all day.

The first part is a quick introduction called ‘Why don’t Americans know about their own Dutch history?’, which starts by naming all the British things Americans usually know about their country and exposing the blind spot in people’s knowledge about anything Dutch.

Check out the rest, all short videos. Part 2 starts off with an explanation of the Castello Plan that we’ve used as an image.

Part 2. What’s left of New Amsterdam in Lower Manhattan?
Part 3. Meet a forgotten American visionary
Part 4. How New Amsterdam influenced America

Notice the Heineken truck going by as the video starts in Part 1.

(Image: Castello Plan of the tip of Manhattan)

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August 5, 2016

A walking table down the windy polder

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 1:33 pm

WalkingTable

It’s been around for a while, but it’s still pretty cool if you haven’t seen it: a walking table made by Wouter Scheublin. It does need to be pushed and occasionally pulled, but the end result as shown in the screenshot of the video gives me that Dutch holiday feeling.

The walking table is reminiscent of the better known and autonomous ‘Strandbeest’ (‘Beach Animal’) by Theo Jansen in case you’ve missed it.

Find out more about Scheublin’s more recent designs and collaborations here.

(Link: laughingsquid.com, screenshot of the video)

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August 4, 2016

Small Dutch town revives Medieval beer tradition

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 8:48 pm

The Bible belt island town of Goeree-Overflakkee, South Holland, has started brewing the first local beer since the Middle Ages. The beer is called Solaes, and it is brewed by Jan-Willem Kramer, inspired by local Medieval artists of those times.

Following what seems to be the religious tradition of goodwill, Kramer was also inspired by a visit to an Amsterdam brewery that notoriously employs people who normally cannot easily find a job – I’m guessing it was De Prael – and decided to do the same thing.

The city sorted out a space to set up the brewery and Kramer learned how to make beer – so far so good. Local entrepreneur of a goodwill shop Cees de Knegt joined Kramer and now they organise beer tastings, but only for a few hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The pair have no plans more than to sell beer to locals and to “stray beer collectors”. If anyone has had some, let us know.

(Link: www.ad.nl)

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August 3, 2016

Buses renamed to sound more ‘Amsterdammy’

Filed under: Automobiles,General by Orangemaster @ 11:26 am

Sometime around 2013, Amsterdam’s city marketing people decided to rebrand ‘Muiderslot’ (‘Muiden Castle’) to ‘Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot’ to attract more tourists because they believe that if you put the word ‘Amsterdam’ in front of something, cash register sounds start ringing in your head, like a pleasant form of tinnitus. Maybe the name sounds close by or more fun, who knows. Muiderslot is in the town of Muiden now under the same municipality as Naarden (their beautiful fortress doesn’t need rebranding) and Bussum, also known as ‘not Amsterdam’.

Pseudo annexation of interesting tourist venues that are not Amsterdam remains awkward. Nobody calls the coastal cities of IJmuiden, Bloemendaal and Zandvoort ‘Amsterdam Beach’ but the city marketing people who thought that nonsense up. However, bus company Connexxion’s line 80 that goes to Zandvoort is being rebranded as the ‘Amsterdam Beach Line’ possibly because Amsterdam only has fake beaches and Connexxion hooked them up with a real one.

Also having jumped on the bandwagon apparently is the lake area between Amsterdam and Utrecht called ‘Loosdrechtse Plassen’, which is now the ‘Leisure Lakes’ (nope, not a direct translation), which sounds like a floating red light district. And there’s always the ‘Bulb Region’ closer to Haarlem that magically became the ‘Amsterdam Flower Strip’ also not used by anyone except the voices in someone’s head in charge of city marketing.

Picture a map of Amsterdam with everything around called ‘not Amsterdam’. In fact, many people would agree that’s how a lot of Amsterdam residents and unfortunately millions of tourists view the rest of the country.

In the spirit of ridiculous name changes, here are some other suggestions:

Cities close to Amsterdam like Amstelveen, Badhoeverdorp and Diemen that house a lot of expats (read: rich immigrants and migrants) should be called ‘Almost Amsterdam’, Amsterdam Airport Suites’ or just ‘Amsterdam’s suburbs’ and have their official names removed to cause less confusion.

The huge-ass flats in Amsterdam Zuidoost, which is its own district, could be rebranded as ‘Amsterdam Heights’ to have an excuse to hike up the rent of lesser wanted immigrants and migrants by sounding fancier.

Any other interesting towns like Zaandam, Haarlem and Abcoude better watch out before they get ‘Amsterdamized’ as well.

(Link: at5.nl, Photo of Muiderslot Castle by Coanri/Rita, some rights reserved)

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August 2, 2016

Rich neighbourhood upset about wheeled suitcases

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:30 am

dutch-cycling-marken-wagenbuur

A few years ago, wheeled suitcases (‘rolkoffers’) became synonymous with ‘tourists’ or ‘damn, there’s an Airbnb next to my house’ for a lot of residents. The problem is the sound the wheels make on Amsterdam’s cobblestone streets and sidewalks, which apparently bothers folks in one fancy part of town.

Amsterdam’s current population is about 820,000, in a city that gets – wait for it – 15 million visitors a year. Quiz your friends about how many tourists they think Amsterdam gets every year and they’ll say a few million. By the way, the number keeps going up every year.

Residents in and around the Bickersgracht, a canal very close to Amsterdam Central Station where tourists stay have made two makeshifts signs ‘forbidding’ wheeled suitcases. We get it, you don’t like the sound of all those suitcases early in the morning heading out, but that’s not going to do shit about it.

One local man feels music should come out of the wheels to mask the sound of what actually is the fault of the cobblestone street area of town they live in rather than the suitcases. A rational suggestion from a local woman would be to indicate which hours in the day the locals don’t want to hear the rolling wheels and put that on the sign, but then this would mean you would need to enforce and then it all sounds futile again.

You’ll notice the picture taken here of what is probably a Dutch person going somewhere is on a smooth bike path that sounds way better than on cobblestone. How do other parts of the world tackle this problem? A quick Google search says that in 2014 Venice, a city that gets 22 million tourists a year, tried to ban wheeled suitcase with a fine of 500 euro (mamma mia!) but ended up not going through with it.

(Links: www.rtvnh.nl, www.amsterdam.info, edition.cnn.com, Photo: crop of a frame of a video called ‘What defines Dutch cycling?’ by Mark Wagenbuur)

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August 1, 2016

Student develops airbag for falling elderly

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 2:14 pm

elderly_man

Delft University of Technology related designer Heike Vallery together with Dutch startup WOLK have designed an airbag for falling elderly. As they fall a cushion fastened to their hips pops upon and softens the blow, reducing the chance of hip injuries.

Vallery and WOLK studied the fall algorithm that anticipates instability so that their airbag deploys on time. They claim that the airbag is comfortable to wear under most clothing and the cushions can deploy from the left, the right and the rear, as seen in this very short video. They are still at the prototype stage, but by 2017 they’ll have a working model.

(Link: www.scientias.nl, Photo by Frank Mayne, some rights reserved)

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July 31, 2016

63 prints hidden in a frame discovered in Oosterhout

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 9:56 pm

print-oosterhout-bn-destem-anonymousWhen fine art painter Willem van der Made saw a print he liked at a car boot sale in Oosterhout last Sunday and found out it was only 5 euro, he didn’t hesitate and bought the work.

When he got home and removed the cardboard back, he found another print hidden underneath. And another and another. The frame turned out to contain 63 lithographic prints in total.

Van der Made told BN De Stem that something did not feel right when he first lifted the frame. It was heavy and thick. “I immediately asked the salesman where he got the print. He told me that an old lady had asked him to clear out her attic which was full of stuff dating back to World War II.”

Van der Made believes that the frame was purpose-built to hide so many prints. “It was hand-made and reasonably deep. The prints all fit in.” The prints all depict biblical scenes. Van der Made wants to sell them as a collection.

(Illustration: BN De Stem, artist unknown)

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