November 14, 2020

Amsterdam featured in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 1:42 pm

For those who don’t game, Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise from American company Activision.

Everything I saw and heard in the trailer below featuring Amsterdam is very realistic: the Dutch radio talk in the background at the very beginning, dog sounds (with the right reverberation) and police sounds.

That is some spacious apartment they start shooting in though, but it does fit that part of town. And there are actual police chases (not shoot-outs!) on rooftops in Amsterdam, I know a witness to one personally.

Set in part in the Red Light District, there’s also some joking around about ‘bitterballen’ (Dutch ragout filled balls, usually served when having beers) all in Dutch, with a joke about ‘balls’, as you do.

Have a look at Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War – we don’t own any shares (my co-blogger is more of a cavalry-and-musket type):

(Link: ad.nl, image: YouTube screenshot)

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November 9, 2020

‘Replace sweets with sprouts’ on Dutch Halloween-like holiday

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:31 am

It is not real news, but we still really like the story.

On November 11 Dutch children usually celebrate Sint-Maarten by going around town door to door at night, carrying hand-made lanterns and singing songs for sweets.

The city of Amsterdam would rather this not happen at all due to the health crisis and has made a suggestion that sounds more like an April Fool’s joke: replace the sweets with Brussels sprouts to promote healthy eating.

The idea is to stay home and celebrate with the healthy yet questionable-smelling miniature cabbages. The city is bold enough to suggest parents also use ‘tomatoes, carrot and radishes’ as well.

Maybe spend a evening doing something fun with your kids that doesn’t involve you checking your mobile phone, but that’s just me.

Good news is I won’t have to hide in my own house on 11 November. A Canadian like me considers 11 November as Remembrance Day, the day we commemorate the millions of fallen during the First World War, which the Dutch don’t celebrate.

I posted a picture of Dutch white asparagus because it’s really tasty.

(Link: www.at5.nl, Photo by Wikipedia user Janericloebe who released it into the public domain)

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October 13, 2020

Facebook blocks Lebowski quote search engine by mistake

Filed under: Film,IT,Online by Orangemaster @ 3:05 pm

According to British-Canadian journalist and author Cory Doctorow on Twitter, Dutch digital rights activist Hans De Zwart, who used to head up digital rights organisation Bits of freedom in Amsterdam, created the search engine thebiglebow.ski that generates fun quotes from 1998 American cult classic ‘The Big Lebowski’.

Right from the start, the site had the rug pulled out from under it, as it was blocked by Facebook (and Instagram) with the message “Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.” De Zwart wanted to complain to Facebook, but without a Facebook account, he couldn’t. As a digital rights activist, he doesn’t use social media, but he joined Facebook just to be able to file a complaint. He was also annoyed at the fact that he couldn’t spell his Dutch last name correctly, de Zwart with a lower case d. He was basically told ‘thanks for the feedback’, which is big tech speak for f*** you.

About a month later, De Zwart bought a five euro Facebook advert in order to be able to communicate with the tech giant. His advert was rejected with “This ad contains or refers to content that has been blocked by our security systems (#1885260)”. This error code means nothing to mortals, so he tried to complain. First, he had to agree to “four sets of legal terms”, after which he was told “Thanks for helping us improve!” He was down five euro and still didn’t have an answer. “It appears that Facebook will only look at problems if they realise that it might cost them too much political or media capital if they continue to ignore them”, he explained.

A few days after the author of the article below presented the case to a Facebook PR person, the problem was magically solved. Nobody had reported thebiglebow.ski for abusive material: it had simply been incorrectly labelled by Facebook’s automated tools as spam.

Now either watch the movie if you have not seen it and pour yourself a White Russian when you do, if that’s your thing.

(Link: medium.com, image thebiglebow.ski)

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October 4, 2020

Dutch designer Jan des Bouvrie dies, aged 78

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 9:03 pm

Famous Dutch designer Jan des Bouvrie has passed away at age 78 after a battle with prostate cancer.

As an interior and product designer, he was probably best known for his 1969 ‘kubusbank sofa’, easily considered a design classic and still being sold today. In fact, it is said that his sofa is a symbol of modern Dutch interior design and can be found in the collections of both the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. As well, the Jan des Bouvrie Academy in Deventer, Overijssel was named after him. Last year, he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a designer at his studio Het Arsenaal in Naarden.

We wrote about him quite a while back: Des Bouvrie designs a mobile chalet.

(Link: parool.nl, Photo of Jan des Bouvrie by Erwin Olaf Springveld, some rights reserved)

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August 21, 2020

Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium removes misinterpreted statue

Filed under: Art,History,Religion,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:06 am

Much in the same way that the swastika went from being a religious symbol to being a Nazi one, the official olympic salute with extended arm stopped being used after WWII because it resembled the ‘Hitler greeting’.

That being said, the statue by The Hague sculptor Gra Hueb at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium was inaugurated in 1928 for the Olympic Games in Amsterdam and had nothing to do with the Nazis. It was placed in honour of Baron Van Tuyll van Serooskerken, the first chairman of the Dutch Olympic Committee who successfully brought the Games to the Netherlands. The stadium is not too far from 24 Oranges HQ and is still in use.

As a sign of the times – for better or worse – historians and the Olympic Stadium folks decided to remove it and place it somewhere else in the stadium instead of prominently at the entrance.

(Link and photo: parool.nl)

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May 4, 2020

Wartime art: one hundred chairs for one hundred victims

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 5:44 pm

At the end of WWII, 140 men were shot by the German occupiers at Rozenoord in Amsterdam South district, many of which were resistance fighters. The history of Rozenoord is particularly painful since the men were shot so close the liberation.

Located in the Amstelpark in Amsterdam South district, the Rozenoord monument saw the light of day thanks to an initiative of local residents. Artist Ram Katzir designed the new monument to give all the victims a worthy memorial place. Instead of one monument for 100 people Katzir gave every person their own monument.

Anchored in cement with names on plaques, one hundred chairs are spread out over a green space as if they were barely sat in and positioned randomly. However, the chairs were actually placed according to information about the way the victims were shot. There’s also plaques for those who could not be identified.

The space between the chairs invites visitors to walk around and see who these people were. They can also be sat on, as the piece is meant to be interactive. By sitting down, one can see the other ‘victims’ around them, turning the visitors into participants.

(Link and photo: monument-rozenoord.nl)

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November 14, 2019

Van Gogh painting finds its way back home

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 9:00 pm

An early Vincent Van Gogh painting was recently bought for 2.8 million euro at Sotheby’s in New York City by the Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum together with the Drents Museum in Assen, Drenthe. The auction house has estimated the painting would fetch a mere 650,000. but considering the price that was paid, there’s was quite a bit of interesting in acquiring the painting. The money used to buy the painting comes from funds and lotteries, which acts as art subsidies.

Experts claim that there are only five Van Gogh artworks from his ‘Drenthe period’ and now they are all in the Netherlands. The Van Gogh Museum had three of them, and the Drentse Museum had one. The newly acquired painting, ‘Onkruid verbrandende boer’ (roughly ‘Farmer Burning Weeds’), will be exhibited back and forth between the two museums.

(Link and image: trouw.nl)

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October 26, 2019

The Netherlands still a major drug hub

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 11:09 am

According to a study published this week, The Netherlands makes the top of the list for the highest rate of MDMA (aka x, xtc, ecstasy and molly) use. The study is the ‘largest wastewater‐based epidemiology study ever performed in terms of cities (120) and countries (37) involved and of the monitoring duration (2011–17).’ Scientists from around the world sampled wastewater for drug residue, which is said to be an increasingly popular method to track patterns in the global illicit drug market over the past decade.

Different places have different favourites as well. Results showed that overall drug use was most prevalent cities such as Antwerp, Amsterdam, Zurich, London, and Barcelona, while cities in Greece, Portugal, Finland, Poland, and Sweden had the lowest rates of drug residue in wastewater. I bet the latter drink instead, but that’s an uneducated guess. And there’s no denying that people do come to Amsterdam to do drugs despite any city marketing spin to the contrary.

Cocaine was most popular in London, Bristol, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, St Gallen, and Antwerp. While the Netherlands had the highest rates of MDMA use, the drug was also popular in Helsinki, Oslo, Brussels, Dortmund, Zagreb, Zurich, Geneva, and Barcelona.

Not only is the use of MDMA a public health issue, the amount of chemical dumping that apparently goes on in Noord-Brabant is terrible for the environment. Basically, anybody taking MDMA is also indirectly contributing to this problem. The study also states that MDMA use was big in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam.

More background on why the Netherlands is a drug hub:

‘The Netherlands is the cocaine hub of Europe’

Dutch cities do well as drug capitals

(Link: vice.com, Photo: DEA)

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September 28, 2019

Dutch touch on Amazon’s ‘Undone’ by Amsterdam’s Hisko Hulsing

Filed under: Comics,Film by Orangemaster @ 12:51 pm

Versatile artist Hisko Hulsing from Amsterdam, known on this blog and from Rotterdam-based comic magazine Zone 5300, has directed ‘Undone’, co-created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator of Bojack Horseman) and Kate Purdy (a writer on Bojack), released by Amazon Studios and co-produced by Michael Eisner’s company Tornante, Submarine Productions Amsterdam, and Minnow Mountain Texas. It premiered on 13 September.

Exploring the elastic nature of reality, the series centers around Alma (Rosa Salazar), a 28-year-old living in San Antonio, Texas, who discovers she has a new relationship to time after nearly dying in a car accident. She learns to harness this new ability in order to find out the truth about the death of her father (Bob Odenkirk).

For Undone, Hulsing used rotoscoping together with actual oil-painted backgrounds giving the animation an old school cinematic feel – a fresh change from all of you bored to tears with the Cal Arts style dominating the last decade of animation.

Here’s the trailer:

(Link: dutchcultureusa.com, Image: Hisko Hulsing)

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September 25, 2019

NEMO Science Museum gets huge Hofman statue

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 4:16 pm

The NEMO Science Museum in downtown Amsterdam has recently bought and installed a 8.5-meter-high statue by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman.

It wasn’t easy to install: the artwork, A Handstand, modelled after Hofman’s 11-year-old son, took 20 people to install and acts as a centrepiece for the museum and its new exhibition, Humania, about humans, to open on 23 November. Only then will people be able to admire the artwork in person.

A Handstand shows the world upside down. Made of lycra, the skeleton can be see on the outside as a costume, while the child is inside (not the real one). There’s also a lot of detail in the muscles and bones of the body, so that it really looks like how a boy would tense his muscles when doing a handstand. The whole thing weighs 400 kilos and needed four stories of space indoors to be able to install it properly.

(Link: nemosciencemuseum.nl, Photo: parool.nl)

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