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December 26, 2013

Alcohol regulation hurts fair trade shops

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 11:06 pm

fairhills-fair-trade-wine-branko-collinA recent tightening of the Dutch law regulating the sales of alcoholic drinks in supermarkets has affected fair trade stores, Volkskrant reports.

Another victim of the law are tourist information offices who often sell regional beers as part of their services. The new law states that a store needs to have a floor space of at least 15 square metres and needs to sell both pre-packaged and unpackaged food. Fair trade shops tend to fall short of this regulation.

Huub Jansen, spokesperson for Wereldwinkel (the Dutch fair trade chain), called the regulation “strange, because we are still allowed to sell wine through the iInternet and in Christmas packages.”

Junior minister Martin van Rijn hopes the new rule makes it harder for youths to purchase alcohol. “Producers in developing countries are hurt by this regulation”, parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp of D66 countered. She feels Van Rijn should see if a solution can be found for Wereldwinkel.

Jansen added: “Most of our customers are middle-aged women. Our wine turnover is 250,000 bottles a year. That is a substantial hit for wine producers in Chili and South Africa.”

See also: Botox voucher in employees’ Christmas package

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November 10, 2012

Teenager from Helmond buys ticket to space

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:36 am

Last Sunday Rowin Hellings (18) from Helmond near Eindhoven bought himself a ride on a suborbital space flight.

The flights were being sold as part of a sales promotion by German consumer electronics chain Media Markt. In 2014 Hellings will be flying aboard an XCOR Lynx rocket plane. His ticket was sponsored by his parents and cost 73,333 euro, according to Eindhovens Dagblad.

Although Media Markt charged the regular price for the flight, they padded the purchase with 6,600 euro worth of consumer electronics.

Earlier this year Sabine van der Sluis (33) won a flight on the Lynx as part of a loyalty scheme promotion, AD wrote back then.

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May 14, 2011

Teenager’s boastfulness costs him 370,000 euro poker prize

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 7:15 pm

In March of this year the Jonker family of Kerkrade in Limburg seemed to have struck gold when father Jos (47) reached sixth place in an online poker tournament, netting him a cool 370,000 euro. The happy story turned sour quickly when 17 year old son Jimmy was found boasting in online forums that it was him that had been playing the finals, drawing the attention of organisers PokerStars.

Yesterday PokerStars decided that since it was against the rules for the underaged to play, it would not pay out the sum to either of the Jonkers, opting instead to donate the prize to an organisation that tries to promote responsible gambling by battling, amongst others, gambling by the underaged, AD reports.

Jimmy Jonker had been participating in the tournament using his father’s account, and the handle Zeurrr (Whiiine). The Jonker family refused to comment to the newspaper.

The Sunday Million tournament had almost 60,000 people compete for 11,825,600 US dollar in prizes.

(Link: PokerStrategy.com. Photo by Jam Adams, some rights reserved)

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September 11, 2010

Gonorrhea infections among American teens 33 times higher than among Dutch teens

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 10:15 am

According to a study by Amy Chalet, 0.5 percent of all US teens aged 15-19 catch gonorrhea, whereas among Dutch teens the number is almost a statistical error (0.01 %).

There might be epidemiological reasons for the large discrepancy, but the evidence points elsewhere: Chalet’s study also shows “dramatic differences between the US and the Netherlands in rates of contraceptive use, teen pregnancy, abortion, and STI transmission”, as Lisa Wade writes (the American sociologist, not the Dutch TV personality).

Wade’s angle is that the Dutch (and Western Europeans) treat (teenage) sex as normal, not as ‘the nasty’, and that Dutch teenagers (therefore?) use condoms and contraceptives where their American peers do not. “Accordingly, most American teenagers hide their virginity loss from their parents, furtively popping the cherry in risky situations, often without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In contrast, most Dutch teenagers lose their virginity in their own bedrooms with their parents’ approval… and condoms.”

Americans can find comfort in the fact that according to some of their leading thinkers, “the way they do the statistics in the Netherlands is different”.

Link: Martin Wisse.

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August 25, 2009

Laura Dekker ready to emigrate if she can’t sail

Filed under: Dutch first,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:38 pm

While Britain is anxiously waiting for 17-year-old Mike Perham to sail into Portmouth on 29 August after having sailed around the world, 13-year-old Laura Dekker has had to lawyer up in order to fight for the opportunity to attempt the same feat for the Netherlands.

An English article about Perham ironically starts with “while most teenagers may have been losing sleep over their exam results during the past few days”, while the Dutch courts have called upon Child Services, claiming Dekker’s parents are keeping their child from school because her learning while on the sailboat is ‘nonsense’. If Child Services thinks that the parents are not doing right by Laura, there is talk of removing her from their custody.

To avoid this situation, Laura who has dual citizenship with New Zealand, is ready to emigrate – that’s how much Laura and her parents believe in this sailing journey.

Her lawyer tries to tell the courts about this exceptional teenager. “Laura is not just some girl. She was born on a sailboat and lived the first four years of her life on one at sea. She has all the necessary skills and qualities for this journey.”

He makes another good point as well. If we compare Laura to a 13-year-old gymnast, no one goes and checks to see if the gymnast goes to school or is brought up properly — they get support from an Olympic committee or a sports association.

So, are the Dutch Children’s Services not seeing the big picture or are they seeing it very clearly? Why are boys like Mike Perham and record holder Zac Sunderland of the US praised and encouraged, but Laura discouraged? Is she really too young or is a girl less capable? Stay tuned!

My personal, uneducated take is that the entire family could just skip town to New Zealand for a year. Then New Zealand can claim the world record for solo sailing around the world.

(Links: timesonline.co.uk, depers.nl, Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy.)

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August 12, 2009

Teenager attempts sailing solo around the world record

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 8:51 am

Laura Dekker, 13 years old, is planning to attempt to sail around the world solo between 2009 and 2011, Algemeen Dagblad reports (Dutch). The current record is held by Zac Sunderland of the USA who finished his journey at age 17.

Dekker’s plan has drawn comments from naysayers who feel she is too young, should be in school, and who think her parents are irresponsible. Her response to these comments is one of indifference: “To be honest, I had expected the comments to be even worse. People do not know what they are talking about, so I won’t let it get to me.”

Preparations are going well, according to Dekker’s website. She will be sailing a Hurley 800, a boat made in Twente, and she will send and receive her high school homework using e-mail (she is still looking for a satellite phone, though). Dekker hopes to set sail this September.

(Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy.)

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April 15, 2007

Girlcotting

Filed under: Film by Orangemaster @ 10:51 am
honeyz1.jpg

April 26 is the release date of the film Honeyz, the story of two teenage girls who get locked in De Bijenkorf, a major Dutch department store. The good news is, it’s the first ever Dutch film to be released simultaneously in theatres, on the Internet, DVD and mobile phone. The bad news is, some theatres have decided to boycott it for this very same reason.

According to the film’s producer, this it the first time a film has been boycotted for this reason in The Netherlands. Theatres are used to making their profit by being the first to show a film, but since they will have to compete with a simultaneous multimedia release, they are afraid of missing out on profits. But wait, if they boycott, they’ll miss out as well. Odd. Let’s wait and see if this knee-jerk reaction is justified.

(Link)

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