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December 15, 2014

Making ‘cheese’ from mushroom and prawn waste

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 3:27 pm

Shiitake

Three scientists of the Meat the Mushroom company are developing a meat replacement food product using prawn waste at their container venue in the up and coming Amsterdam North district.

They explain that prawn waste is normally processed into animal feed or spread on fields. “Ninety percent of all Dutch shrimp is peeled in Morocco. If you buy fresh prawns, you can assume that they are about two months old. They are caught in the North Sea, cooked on the boat, shipped to Morocco, peeled and placed in preservative, and shipped back to the Netherlands again. [...] Some 70 percent of the weight of a shrimp is not even edible. A kilo of prawns leaves 700 grams of waste.

Working together with a shrimp processor in the small Groningen village of Leens that peels the prawns using a machine, Meat the Mushroom have come up with this basic recipe: prawn waste + grain + king oyster mushroom = ‘cheese’. The result apparently looks just like the French Mont d’Or or Camembert cheese.

The product is obviously not suited for vegetarians or vegans, but it is made from discarded bits, making it a decent alternative to meat and very creative. The picture depicts shiitake mushrooms, which the scientists also grow.

(Link: munchies.vice.com, Photo of shiitake mushrooms by pjah73, some rights reserved)

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December 3, 2014

Experimental office with no desks or chairs

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 12:36 pm

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The idea was to build an experimental office environment where people didn’t have to sit at a desk all day, which is said to be unhealthy for long periods of time. In this space you can lean, perch yourself, lie down or use bits as makeshift table to read, etc.

Dutch studio RAAAF and artist Barbara Visser first started working on the concept earlier this year. They were invited to create this – their first working prototype – at Looiersgracht 60, a new exhibition space in Amsterdam.

I wouldn’t want my laptop sliding off a surface so when I see one in the picture, I wince. Some of these surfaces look too high for shorter people, which makes them look like counters. I think it’s an idea worth exploring and maybe the surfaces could even have tech built in like subtle screens with clocks and some Wi-Fi.

(Link: www.dezeen.com)

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December 1, 2014

Abandoned bikes to Jordan, almost as far as depot

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 11:38 am

Sending hundreds of bikes to Syrian refugees in Jordan sounds like a great way to clean up the clutter caused by abandoned bikes in Amsterdam. The idea isn’t new, as the city of Amsterdam said this summer that it wanted to send 10,000 bikes to Jordan. Bikes are useful for transporting large objects and can be converted into many things.

Having tens of thousands of abandoned bikes in a city of some 813,00 inhabitants makes it sound like we grab a bike and leave it on the street every time we go out. The bike depot, a ‘refugee camp for bikes’ that were parked illegally yet often removed incorrectly by the ‘bike police,’ is so far away that people cannot be bothered and just use another bike. It’s not a very green attitude, but it does save time and money.

If the city would just lay off people’s bikes unless they were really abandoned carcasses with no wheels left, that could be a good start. If the city would build more bike racks, that would help considering the current depot system apparently runs at a loss. If that depot wasn’t so ridiculously far away or there were a few smaller ones, that would help. So go ahead, ship a bunch of ‘abandoned’ bikes to Syria (or talk about it for months) instead of fixing the real urban problem, that’s the ticket.

(Links: www.dutchnews.nl, www.parool.nl)

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November 11, 2014

Fined 60 euro for trying to park anonymously

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 10:36 am

This morning Privacy First, a foundation committed to preserving and promoting the right to privacy, is in court in Amsterdam over having to enter one’s license plate number when parking on the city’s streets.

Bas Filippini, who when parking in Amsterdam enters the license plate number ‘NOWAY’ (see film linked to the source), says the problem is two-fold: 1) a person in Amsterdam now has no choice but to enter their license plate number and 2) people cannot pay with cash, which both breach the right to privacy and anonymity, never mind being a pain for tourists or other visitors who don’t have the right bank card or mobile phone.

Filippini is in court because of a 60 euro fine he got for not entering his license plate number. According to Privacy First, every free citizen has the right to privacy in the sense of anonymity in public spaces, including parking one’s car, a right stated by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (PDF).

We’ve been parking cars on the streets in Amsterdam for decades without the city knowing anything about our cars, and continue to gleefully do so across the country. Article 8 says unless matters such as, “national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others” come into play, which I cannot possible imagine they do.

UPDATE: The verdict is due 23 December 2014.

(Link: www.telegraaf.nl)

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October 22, 2014

Simple and soothing time lapse film of Dutch cities

Filed under: Architecture,Film by Orangemaster @ 12:39 pm

“In ,’7685 Frames of Netherlands’, filmmaker Pengcheng He documents the beauty of the old cities of the Netherlands in a charming series of tilt-shift time-lapses. He shot the video in Delft, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.”

Many people don’t see Rotterdam as one of the old cities, mainly because few old buildings were left in the city after the WWII. Delft and Amsterdam join cities like Haarlem and Nijmegen as old cities.

Amsterdam’s IJ river ferries kick it off, then the Stopera, but I’ll let you play guess the city on your own because I could possibly describe the entire video location by location (yes, that is a bit scary) having lived extensively in all three cities. Sometimes, the film even has a miniatures feel to it.

(Link: laughingsquid.com, Photo of Rotterdam, KPN building by Roel Wijnants, some rights reserved)

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October 14, 2014

Stones adorning hotel could fall down at any time

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 3:03 pm

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Loose stones on the façade of the DoubleTree hotel in Amsterdam next to Central Station has been called a ‘life-threatening situation’ in a report obtained by newspaper Telegraaf this week. In fact the hotel director is suing project developer MAB who built the hotel three years ago for 140 million euro. The long story short is that the stones aren’t set properly and could very well fall and injure people – or worse.

For all of you in Amsterdam, I suggest not walking the busy route from the hotel to the city library (OBA). Sure, probably nothing will happen, but you don’t want to be the one who gets hit by a falling stone. At the time of writing this, the English-language press was still quiet about the news.

(Link: www.dichtbij.nl, Photo of DoubleTree Hotel Amsterdam by ptc24, some rights reserved.

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October 2, 2014

Dutch Rail sings to shafted train travellers

Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:18 pm

Why say sorry if you can sing it, make people smile and rip them off even more? That is exactly what Dutch Rail decided to do when they apparently hired jazz singer songwriter Baer Traa to pose (!) as fictitious train conductor Job van Gils.

Dutch Rail has been making a veritable fortune by not paying back any money owed to people who forgot to check out with their public transport chip card. Now subscriptions holders who forget their pass card and have had to pay a fine cannot ask for their money back either. Even the Dutch Rail employees are appalled and somehow somewhere Baer Traa dressed up as a train conductor got a gig telling people ‘sorry’, or in less polite and more accurate terms, how Dutch Rail is screwing them over easy.

Traa gives ‘peddling excuses’ a whole new meaning at Amsterdam Central Station in this video. He starts singing again at 1:08, as the beginning of the video was the end of one song. He actually tries to explain that Dutch Rail has a new policy that shafts more people than even before.

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

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September 24, 2014

Cartoon bombing French-style in Amsterdam

Filed under: Art,Comics by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

David Troquier

French freelance art director and illustrator David Troquier working in Amsterdam draws cartoons on small notepads which he then props up in amusing places in Amsterdam to build stories, something he calls “cartoon bombing”. He also recently started a cartoon blog called RandomDam, with bits and bobs about Amsterdam. His cartoons are funny and have a refreshing take on simple things.

Troquier came to Amsterdam after having worked in Paris for eight years. He wanted a change of scenery and chose for Amsterdam because of its creative reputation. When asked whether his expectations were met he says: “Yes, definitely, Amsterdam is a city alive, with really cool and inspiring people.”

(Link: www.amsterdamadblog.com)

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September 19, 2014

Authorities score cobra vodka during search

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 6:23 pm

cobra-vodka

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority recently paid a visit to a few locations in the city centre of Amsterdam and made some interesting finds. They confiscated some ivory artworks, 19 stuffed animals and four bottles of cobra vodka, the latter of which is highly illegal and a bit scary if you ask me.

According to the author of the cobra vodka in this picture, which is surely similar to the one that was confiscated:

“It’s Laotian rice whisky in a bottle with a very dead cobra in it. I’ve seen pictures of such snake wine in Vietnam and was surprised to notice that the concept exists in Laos as well. The belief is that the spirit of the snake inside will make you as strong as a cobra and give you more manly virility. I’d probably reluctantly drink a shot if given to me in a shot glass without the snake, but looking at this bottle with the snake inside does make this super creepy.”

(Link: www.nieuws.nl, Photo of cobra vodka by shankaronline, some rights reserved)

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September 9, 2014

British novel ‘The Miniaturist’ set in old Amsterdam

Filed under: History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 12:27 pm

Amsterdam in the Golden Age: the 17th century was a time when the city rapidly became an economic and cultural force to be reckoned with, and now apparently also the setting of British author Jessie Burton’s first novel entitled ‘The Miniaturist’. I haven’t read it and if anyone has, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Set in 1686 Petronella ‘Nella’ Oortman, a Dutchwoman from the countryside marries rich Amsterdam merchant Johannes Brandt. Nella lives with her stern sister-in-law Marin and an intriguing dark-skinned manservant Otto. Nella almost never sees her busy husband who is either away or locked in his office at home and passes the time with a doll house gift from her husband that looks just like the house they live in. The doll house is slowly being filled with miniatures sent to Nella by an anonymous person who seems to know a lot about the people living in her house.

The doll house in question is on display at the Rijksmuseum, a small, nine-room house of porcelain, oak, marble and glass, which was the inspiration for Burton’s novel.

There’s more to tell, but then I think we’ll just have to read the novel to find out. I’m wondering how plausible the setting of 17th century Amsterdam is, I wonder about the female name ‘Marin’ and I know that if a Dutch person were to write a novel set in, oh, 18th century London, that it would also be culturally scrutinised by the media with good reason.

(Links: blog.chron.com, www.theguardian.com, Photo of the VOC HQ (East India Company) by Josh, distributed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

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