November 10, 2017

A bright future for ministry building in The Hague

Filed under: Architecture,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 9:59 am

Saskia Simon and Kees van Casteren from OMA, (The Office for Metropolitan Architecture), a Dutch architectural firm based in Rotterdam, co-founded by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, explain the revamped architecture of a building at Rijnstraat 8 in The Hague in the English-language video below.

According to the video’s description, upon completion in 1992, Rijnstraat 8, the former Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) building represented an innovative office typology as well as an example of sustainability. Today the building, designed by in the 1980s, no longer offers the flexibility and openness required of a contemporary office space. In collaboration with the original architect, Jan Hoogstad, OMA developed an integrated concept for the building based on a renewal of its existing architectural qualities.

Although Amsterdam is the capital in the Netherlands, The Hague houses the government, but in true Dutch style, that doesn’t mean buildings have to be boring. In this case, a building was modified to become much more transparent – literally. And the video gives you a nice view of The Hague from a tall building, as if you were there.


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December 22, 2014

Amsterdam Light Festival brightens up the winter

Filed under: Art,Event by Orangemaster @ 12:57 pm


In its third year, the Amsterdam Light Festival runs until 18 January 2015 and makes any winter night on the town that much more fun. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, a boat ride will give you a great view of some of the installations. I went on a running and walking tour where installations could be found in gardens (bike wheel dome shown here) and streets.

At 0:37 in the video, you’ll see coloured tulips coming out of a canal, the Herengracht, which have to be pumped up by passers-by using bicycle pumps. Other installations had their colours controlled by sound, motion and even Wi-Fi, making it interactive.

Amsterdam light festival 2014/15 from Jack Fisher on Vimeo.


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August 1, 2012

Vampire stars suck the life out of bright stars

Filed under: Science by Orangemaster @ 10:58 am

Hugues Sana of the University of Amsterdam explains that the brightest stars in the universe are getting the life sucked out of them by vampire stars, also called O stars. According to researchers, a third of the vampire-victim pairs are eventually expected to merge and become one.

“These stars are absolute behemoths,” said Sana, lead author of this study. “They have 15 or more times the mass of our Sun and can be up to a million times brighter. These stars are so hot that they shine with a brilliant blue-white light and have surface temperatures over 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit.”


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September 7, 2009

Bright Night, gadget extravaganza

Filed under: Event by Branko Collin @ 7:46 pm

logo-brightBright goes RL. The magazine that may be not entirely unknown to our readers will kick-off its series of Bright Nights, “presentations of inspiring innovators, demonstrations of cutting edge gadgets and displays of state of the art design.”

June 26, 2009

Modern wood with a dash of bright pink

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 8:00 am


Built in Hoogvliet near Rotterdam and designed by British design firm Fat, The Villa is a bold public building that does not go unnoticed. It can be found at the Heerlijkheid recreation park and it features several offices and a café. The goal was to create a modern and sophisticated building that has its own style and character. The bright pink bit is very daring and spells out the word ‘heerlijkheid’ (‘delightfulness’).

(Link:, photo:

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August 21, 2008

Bright yellow video game machine by Martijn Koch

Filed under: Design,Gadgets,Gaming,Technology by Branko Collin @ 8:05 am

Retrothing draws attention to this 21st century reworking of the very first arcade console by Martijn Koch. Quoting the designer:

“I created Retro Space especially to honour the design of the first ever arcade cabinet (1971’s Computer Space). The perfect machine to mark the end of the marvelous time in gaming history.”

Retro Space is shipped with over a hundred licensed games, and “all the emulators needed to play your old 8 and 16-bit disks and cartridges from the attic”—which is usually a way of saying that it includes MAME. It also doubles as a home entertainment system, and will stream audio to your stereo set, video to your TV, or play either itself. Holy Neiman Marcus, where do I order?!

Via Wired.

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April 2, 2007

Bright orange Dutch architecture

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 3:25 pm

The new Agora Theatre is officially scheduled to open on May 25 in Lelystad, province of Flevoland and plans to feature performances and new media works. The building is the work of UN Studio, an Amsterdam design studio with theatre, museum and art buildings in its portfolio. Even without going to the show, the building itself is apparently worth a visit. It has a cafe open during the day and bright pink, curving staircase walls. The concert hall is red with unusual wall surfaces.

Follow the link for more details and pictures.

(Link: thecoolhunter)

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April 16, 2021

Dutch palace salon restored and modernised

Filed under: Art,Science by Orangemaster @ 12:58 pm

Dutch King Willem Alexander and his family live in the royal palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, and greeting guests is often done in the DNA Salon. Dutch-British artist Jacob van der Beugel built the salon with part of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s genetic code, turned into 60.000 handmade bricks.

Nothing medical is included in the design, as Van der Beugel was assisted by geneticist Hans Clevers to make sure the King’s and Queen’s privacy was protected. It took the artist almost three years to make all of the little bricks and a few weeks to install them. The flatness and horizontal lines evoke Dutch landscapes, like tulips fields.

The combination of traditional and visual Dutch design is, well, very Dutch. Another great example is the unique designs of the Dutch guilder by Ootje Oxenaar who pushed for and designed bank notes from 1966 and 1985.

DNA salon has a nice mix of subtle royal gold, bright white (or creme, hard to see) for contrast, warm DNA information and the contrast of the green chairs, which would explain why the salon was also called the Green Salon. Someone else can tell you more about the chandelier, the furniture and the elaborate ‘overdoor’ (art meant to go above a door).

(Link:, Photo

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February 19, 2020

Vintage Dutch tech site calls it a day

Filed under: History,Online,Technology by Orangemaster @ 5:50 pm

Webwereld, one of the oldest tech news sites of the Netherlands, is going to cease to exist. We enjoyed using them as a source for subjects such as high speed wireless internet (wimax), NL-alert (national alarm system), net neutrality and quite a few more.

The tech-savvy site had been around since 1995, and editorial staff were sent packing about a month ago. The site will go offline on 1 March, and its owner, IDG, will apparently continue on with business sites.

Way back in in the day, having a 24-hour online news service about IT was a big deal and quite new, at least in such a small country and language region as the Netherlands. One of the cool things they did was launch ‘lektober’ (‘leaktober’) in 2011, which featured company data leaks back when companies didn’t quite know how to deal with them (they still don’t, but OK).

Thanks for the good stories, Webwereld!


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February 5, 2020

University of Maastricht pays 197.000 euro in ransomware

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 4:21 pm

Just before Christmas, the University of Maastricht fell victim to a cyberattack, as their IT system was held hostage and shut down for weeks. The university saw no other way out than to pay a whopping 197.000 euro to get control back of their computers.

According to a computer security company, hackers got into the system after someone on a laptop clicked on a link in a phishing email. In October and November 2019, the hackers were getting ready to hold six servers hostage that didn’t have the proper updated security updates. On 21 November, they controlled the entire system, and on 23 December, they deactivated the antivirus software and froze up the entire IT system.

The hackers were probably Grace-RAT (TA505), an Eastern European, Russian-speaking cybercriminals who have been around since 2014 and from the likes of it, business is going well: 197,000 euro is a whole lot of ‘dengi’ (‘money’).


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