Composer and pianist Jeroen van Veen of Culemborg, Gelderland built a life-size working piano using almost 30,000 pieces of Lego. As a huge Lego fan and composer, he wrote the ‘Minimal Prelude 18’ with the nickname ‘Lego music’, which features minimalistic sounds with many repetitions.
Building the instrument started as a bit of fun, something Van Veen did with his two adult sons. The piano is easy to put together and take apart, although they are careful when transporting it. Not only is it mechanically functional, but it is also a hybrid piano, with digital and analogue elements, possibly a world first.
People in the United States and in other countries want to have the piano over their way, so the Lego piano will probably be going on tour. The ‘brand name’ is Van Veen & Sons, a nod not only to how it was built, but also to the grand piano brand Steinway & Sons.
Earlier this year, having a drink at certain types of shops started as an experiment in January and February in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, after which some 40 odd smaller cities joined in. The idea is that you’re not supposed to drink somewhere that doesn’t have the proper license, but in the spirit of getting people to the shops, the rules were temporarily relaxed as a pilot project.
However, in the small city of Doetinchem, Gelderland the ‘blurring’ of the laws on alcohol has led to a questionable situation where booze is being served in a children’s clothing shop, which according to STAP, the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy, claims is crossing the line.
STAP is very much against this ‘blurring’ (the actual word used by the Dutch in English), even more so in a shop meant for kids. I do get the serving a drink at the hair salon and more adult clothing stores, but yeah, I don’t see any real good in serving booze to parents in a children’s clothing store other than getting them to buy more.
Then again, the local government claims that children do not go into the shop in question when alcohol is being served, as it is about evenings for special clients when nobody under 18 years of age can get it, which starts to make more sense.
Regardless, STAP is going to start writing ‘letters on legs’ to borrow a fantastic Dutch expression that means writing serious letters with threats to sue in them.
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.
Last year we told you about an ice cream man from Maarssenbroek, Utrecht who rings his bell at night, pushes ice cream on children to get their parents to pay for it and does other nasty things. Albeit very different, here’s a contender for most questionable ice cream man: a guy from Uddel, Gelderland who makes calculations that don’t match his list of prices.
The long story is that one flavour of ice cream is counted as two scoops of ice cream, so if you want two flavours, you’ll end up paying for four scoops. If you feel like that’s not what you asked for, then too bad. The scoops are apparently as small as strawberries. Imagine what happens if you order for a family of four. If you need napkins called ‘happy hands’, he’ll hand them over to you and then charge you for them. And there’s no child-size cones, so that’s also quite expensive and wasteful I’m sure in many cases.
Munchies interviewed the man behind this creative accounting scheme who simply said he’s been in the business for years. He blames all his clients for not understanding his concept and if people don’t like it they can go elsewhere. He compares the ‘happy hands’ to paying for mayonnaise with Dutch fries, but then the price of the mayo is clearly indicated, while his napkins are not. Oh, and the amount of bad reviews he has on social media must mean something.
Let’s roll the clip and see what happens. In Dutch.
In Flevoland in 2013 a fire brigade bought 14 new trucks, five of which didn’t fit in their fire stations.
It has happened again, this time in Almen, Gelderland, but with a tanker, which is five centimeters too high and one metre too long for the fire station, a 40-year-old station that is due to be either replaced or renovated. It’s odd that fire brigades don’t talk to each other about a problem I am sure has happened before more often than the press has reported.
I guess it’s one way to get a new fire house or renovate the current one. Maybe that’s the idea.
Dutch construction company Heijmans has published a time-lapse video on Facebook of them digging a 70-metre stretch of tunnel and then inserting it very efficiently under motorway A12 near Ede, Gelderland all in one weekend. The film has been viewed over 750,000 times on Facebook (it’s now floating around on YouTube) and their post has had 7,200 likes and over 8,400 shares so far.
Someone posted, ‘Hey, it would be nice if it has some music to it’, and then Heijmans gave them the classic Dutch radio answer of ‘You asked, we’ll play it’ and here is the result below.
The Plus supermarket in Winterswijk, Gelderland has a cook on staff that makes meals from the food close to its best-before date and sells it to customers, a Dutch first according to the supermarket.
While France has been making headlines with its legislation banning supermarkets from throwing away food (a great idea that doesn’t quite work yet), the Dutch have been giving away their expired food to food banks for a long time, not feeling the need to legislate what seems like doing the right thing. French supermarkets can also get rid of their food in a way that it becomes animal feed and compost rather than feed people.
In the Netherlands, even if food is expired and OK to eat, it has to be thrown out by law, and that didn’t sit well with supermarket owner Jeroen Bruggers. He got creative and hired a cook last autumn, Sander-Jan Bats, who makes meals with food that is about to expire. Bats, 32, who has been cooking food since he was 15, cooks in an open kitchen with his colleagues and says he enjoys the challenge. The meals cost no more than 4 euro and are freshly made, a big hit with customers. Bruggers hopes other supermarkets pick up the idea.
After years of having disappeared, the Hericium erinaceus also known as Lion’s mane (in Dutch ‘pruikzwam’, literally ‘wig mushroom’) has made a much appreciated comeback for mycologists and mushroom fans alike on a beech in the woods of de Velhorst in the province of Gelderland.
Lion’s mane is apparently edible and taste like seafood, has several medicinal properties, grows on many continents and is a rare treat to find. According to Wikipedia it is also known in English under other names such as Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus, none of which have to do with wigs.
Ten-year-old Enzo Smink from Wekerom, Gelderland has found part of the jaw of a prehistoric cave lion, according to the director of prehistoric museum De Groene Poort in Boxtel, Noord-Brabant, who said a find like this only happens about every 20 years.
The boy had found the bones back in 2012 while swimming with his father near Oosterbeek, Gelderland, but nobody had realised what he had found. The bones then ended up in a box at his grandmother’s house. It was only when he decided to bring the bones to school for show and tell earlier this year did his mother take a picture of them and send it off to experts.
“The Eurasian cave lion commonly known as the European or Eurasian cave lion, is an extinct subspecies of lion. It is known from fossils and many examples of prehistoric art.”
Today the bones will become part of the De Groene Poort’s collection. They have been restored and one would imagine they’ll be on display soon enough.
The province of Gelderland will try to achieve a world first in May 2016 when it hopes to run a shuttle service on public roads using self-driven vehicles.
The vehicles are called Wepods and should drive guests of the University of Wageningen from the nearby rail station of Ede-Wageningen to the university and back. Currently however the vehicle laws of the Netherlands don’t allow self-driven cars on the road. The province hopes to convince the relevant ministries during a demonstration in October. The first Wepod, produced by Ligier in France, was delivered in June.
Rotterdam was the first city in the Netherlands allowing self-driven vehicles on its territory. The Rivium shuttle bus however does not mix with other traffic and has its own road — it operates a bit like a train without the rails.