August 8, 2019

Old bombs found near railroad in Naarden-Bussum

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:41 am

During construction along the railroad in Naarden-Bussum, North Holland workers dug up some bombs, which according to ProRail, are most probably from WWII. I can’t imagine from wat other war they could be from, since the Dutch weren’t really involved in WWI. I say this as someone who recommends reading The Art of Staying Neutral: The Netherlands in the First World War, 1914-1918. When the Dutch mention ‘the war’, they always mean WWII.

The bombs will be exploded somewhere safe, as it is done here when they find bombs, which is quite regularly. It’s not sure whether this will delay the works along the railway or not, which are already planned to go on for three weeks.

Here are some of our past stories related to finding bombs and grenades:

(Link:, Photo of a 1000-pounder in Bunnik by the Ministry of Defense, some rights reserved)

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July 24, 2019

Dutch heat record broken today

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 3:58 pm

The weather folks have measured 39,1 degrees in Gilzen en Rijen, Noord-Brabant, breaking the record of 38.6 degrees set back in 1944 in Warnsveld, Gelderland. We also broke some records last year – imagine if this trend continues over the years to come. On 23 July 2019 as well the country had its warmest 23 July ever, at 31.7 degrees.

The country has invoked the National Heat Plan, which kicks in at 27 degrees and involves keeping an eye on the elderly and the sick (breathing issues, dizziness) and anybody working in hot conditions (water, cooling, breaks).

Since the Netherlands is not big on air conditioning, finding a cool place to be can be difficult. Everybody can always drink lots of water, especially if they are dizzy, which means they haven’t been drinking enough water in the first place. Wiping your cat or dog’s forehead with a wet cloth is a good tip, as is eating fruits like watermelon.

UPDATE: We’ve hit 39.3 in Eindhoven


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July 22, 2019

Black background enhances fresh produce

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 2:17 pm
Purple tomato

A joint study between Brigham Young University in Utah, the United States and the Delft University of Technology claimed to have found a way to get people to buy more fresh produce. Conducted by American professor Bryan Howell and Dutch professor Hendrick Schifferstein, the study looks at how the backgrounds of grocery store displays impact the attractiveness of vegetables, and a black background is apparently the best.

Howell said that in the design world, black has always been the cool colour, but didn’t know it would carry over into the vegetable world. Both researchers asked 46 participants to assess five vegetables on various shades of backgrounds between black and white. The study participants gave attractiveness and perceived expensiveness ratings for the mushroom, bell pepper, carrot, tomato, and eggplant against each background. These are all commonly sold vegetables in the United States and the Netherlands.

“Yellow peppers were rated as the most attractive and expensive across all the white, grey and black backgrounds, while carrots generally rated the least attractive and expensive. However, carrots got the biggest boost in ratings when paired with a black background, even jumping eggplants and mushrooms in attractiveness.”

Locally, my only concern is the ridiculous amount of plastic packaging on vegetables in some Dutch supermarkets. An entire plastic tray for two avocados with plastic around as well is too much plastic for me and I wish we’d worry about that.

(Link:, Photo:

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July 15, 2019

Broek op Langedijk featured in latest Spider-Man movie

Filed under: Film,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:37 pm

The quaint town of Broek op Langedijk near Amsterdam was featured in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, but the town had no clue until people saw the movie. In 2016 Marvel asked the Netherlands Film Commission for a filming location, but had heard nothing back. All of a sudden Broek op Langedijk was depicted in the film, although the scenes were filmed in Prague, according to an interview with Spider-Man himself, actor Tom Holland on Dutch entertainment show RTL Boulevard.

Apparently, the difficult to pronounce name of the village was more important than its actual location – it is a nice village, I’ve worked there. According to Dutch newspaper NRC, they got the cabbage shot right in the film, although there’s no windmills or tulips fields close by. They also got the Dutch hooligans right, complete with orange garb and red, white and blue makeup. Dutch actors Jeroen van Koningsbrugge also told RTL Boulevard that his agent knew that Marvel was looking for Dutch hooligans. “They asked me if I spoke good English and then told me they wanted me to speak with the thickest Dutch accent possible for the role”.

The local museum in Broek op Langedijk, the Broekerveiling, quickly noticed the increase in American traffic to their website, which besides Dutch is also in English and German. Now they are trying to figure out how to cash in on the fame. For almost a year now the museum has had a huge cabbage in front of it for people to take their selfies. Maybe they need to put a Spider-Man somewhere now, too.

(Link:, Painting from says)

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June 12, 2019

Educated Dutch men drink the most

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health by Orangemaster @ 9:06 pm

Every country seems to have different guidelines as to what people should and should not drink. In the Netherlands last year, 4 out of 10 Dutch people heeded the advice of the Dutch Health Council to not have more than one glass (no idea of the quantity or the unit) of alcohol a day.

Last year some 80.4% of all Dutch adults drank alcohol, with highly educated men drinking the most. Out of the highly educated, 7 out of 10 Dutch people didn’t follow the Health Council advice, while for folks with a lower level of education, it was 5 out of 10. The older Dutch people are, the more they follow the council’s advice.

Dutch men drink more excessively on a regular basis than women: 14 glasses a week for women and 21 for men. Again, no clue how much alcohol is in a glass. Heavy drinking is seen as at least 4 glasses a day for women and 6 glasses a day for men. Four or even six glasses is a night down the pub for me, but then not every day or even every week or month.

According to this illustration, the excessive drinkers are aged 20-24 and 65-74, while the heavy drinkers are 20-24 followed by 18-19. I’m guessing the older ones are retired – good on them.

I drink less than I used to, but I have to say the cheap price of alcohol in general lets me drink more than I did in Canada. You can buy half a litre of beer for € 0,50 and a litre of wine for € 1,50. Granted, it’s not the good stuff.


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April 9, 2019

Amsterdam cafe changes names to stop threats

Filed under: Food & Drink,History by Orangemaster @ 4:52 pm

Have Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) made it to the Netherlands? I thought we were still good for a while, but I’m calling it: anything with any politically incorrect attachment to the Netherlands’ colonial past is going to have to watch out.

Of course, things need to change for the better and a European country like the Netherlands still grappling with the reality of its colonial past is painfully aware of this, but threatening people is not the way to go. Threats are the new norm, which is scary, as they suppress any possible consensus reaching, something this country was also built on.

The VOC Café (VOC = Dutch East India Company) in downtown Amsterdam located in the Schreierstoren (Schreier tower) is going to change its name purely to stop the barrage of threats the owners keeps receiving. Why now and not ages ago, I can only imagine, although it has a strong SJW flavour to it. The owners are scared and are giving in.

The café has been around since 1995 with ‘VOC’ in the name and nobody said squat. The easy accessibility to social media has to have made a difference in sending threats. The owners have said they have been receiving threats for years now, but it has escalated enough to make them change their name, a costly endeavour.

“Our business is called VOC Café because from here Henry Hudson set sail to Manhattan, where New Amsterdam was founded, later called New York.” By the way, it’s a beautiful cafe, that I can tell you. The owners also completely understand that names of streets, which are being scrutinised, need to change, but believe it take some time. SJW often want everything to happen instantaneously, and their impatience makes them dangerous and volatile.

(Link:, Photo of The Schreierstoren by Massimo Catarinella, some rights reserved)

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January 7, 2019

‘Roundabout with pizza cutter needs pineapples’

Filed under: Art,Automobiles,Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:37 pm

Dutch journalist Lex Boon has just published a book called ‘Ananas’ (‘Pineapple’) about his love of pineapples. In his hometown of Beverwijk, North Holland, there’s a roundabout with a pizza cutter as art.

Boon figured the roundabout could conveniently use a new name and a new look: “My dream is to rename this pizza roundabout’ the ‘Pizza Hawaï Rotonde’ (‘Hawaiian Pizza Roundabout’) as a tribute to the pineapple.”

Putting pineapple on a pizza was a Canadian ‘invention’, thanks to Greek-born Canadian, Sam Panopoulos from Ontario, Canada. Follow the Wikipedia link and read the recent story about Canadian Prime Minister and the President of Iceland ‘debating’ the issue of whether pineapple belongs on pizza.

Boon also interviewed Panopoulos for his book, surely before the summer of 2017 when the latter passed away. The pizza cutter is not an officially commissioned art work, it’s advertisement for a local pizza parlour. Boon would love to see that thing full with piece of pineapple at some point.

I’m off for lunch.

(Link:, Photo of Pizza pie without pineapple by Adam Kuban, some rights reserved)

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December 28, 2018

Embroidery of foreign packaging and food items

Filed under: Art,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:45 pm

Dutch artist Dagmar Stap of Groningen is fascinated by packaging and likes to create embroidery with said packaging, which is pretty cool. Until 30 December her work can be found at This Art Fair at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, as well as on her instagram account.

Stap embroiders things such as noodle packages, sweets and tins, all with much attention to detail. “Embroidery takes a lot of time and effort [some 10 days for one piece], but that gives the works more value.” She tends to pick colourful products and products from various countries, especially those she cannot read because of the language. She evens checks with Google translate to see what it is, although many products are from well-known international corporations.

Having studied illustration at the Academie Minerva in Groningen, she would draw and paint packaging she had lying around, out of boredom. Eventually, she began to embroider in order to make the art more tangible.

At this point, she has a whole shelf of embroidered art on display.

(Link and photo:

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December 13, 2018

Peet’s Coffee: from Alkmaar to California, by Jasper Houtman

Filed under: Comics,Food & Drink,Literature by Orangemaster @ 2:27 pm

You know how when you learn something new or you have a bit of a fixation about something and you start to see it everywhere? Well, I’ve been listening to podcasts by Nerdrotic, which besides being a fabulous replacement for radio and having nothing to do with 24oranges (it’s mainly about television shows and comics) occasionally plug Peet’s Coffee, which I assumed was just another American coffee company from California with an alternative hipster spelling for Pete.

Except it’s not: it’s originally Dutch (Dutch-American). Editor of Het Financieele Dagblad Jasper Houtman wrote a book this year about coffee legend and founder of Peet’s Coffee, Alfred Peet entitled The Coffee Visionary (In Dutch, ‘De man die de wereld leerde koffie drinken’, ‘The man who taught the world how to drink coffee’). Someone who’s not me really needs to update Peet’s Wikipedia page.

At a time when most Americans drank coffee percolated from canned grounds, the son of a coffee roaster from a small town in the Netherlands [Alkmaar] laid the foundation for specialty coffee in the United States. When Alfred Peet opened Peet’s Coffee, Tea & Spices in Berkeley, California in 1966, and started selling small batches of on-site, hand-roasted coffee beans, the renowned roastmaster had no way of knowing that he was brewing a coffee revolution and defining the coffee culture we know and love today.

Houtman is said to have twenty-five years of experience writing for magazines and newspapers in the Netherlands. Travelling through Guatemala and Honduras in 2004, he became interested in coffee, which led to a fascination for the story of Alfred Peet, who is relatively unknown in the Netherlands. Hope this helps a bit.

(Photo by Suzette Pauwels, some rights reserved)

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November 21, 2018

Nutrition centre tells men to eat less meat

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health by Orangemaster @ 12:57 pm


Many countries have some sort of organisation that tells folks what they should and should not be eating. As of late, the Dutch Netherlands Nutrition Centre is telling men specifically that they should eat less meat.

According to the centre, men should not eat more than 500 grams of meat a week. Women apparently eat about 400 grams, so they’re not being targeted.

With a nation-wide campaign featuring Dutch men wearing T-shirts with mostly English-language food puns, the T-shirts as well as the campaign advises men to trade in meat for legumes, nuts and eggs.

Comments on Twitter to the announcement range from ‘I’ll decide what I eat, that’s my business’ and ‘telling people to eat eggs isn’t helpful.’ The idea of the campaign is to make men more aware of getting cancer, Type 2 diabetes and strokes.


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