May 24, 2020

Dutch marbles make it to the big leagues

Filed under: Automobiles,Gaming,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 2:20 pm

Dutch brothers Jelle and Dion Bakker build and present elaborate marble races on their hugely popular YouTube channel Jelle’s Marble Runs.

Recently having lost their main sponsor, they tweeted out for help and fortunately for them it was John Oliver of American television show Last Week Tonight that answered their call. In the video below Olivier talks about them in a show on the current lack of sports. As Oliver said, remotely watching marbles duking it out is definitely something the world needs right now.

Not only has John Oliver given the brothers a huge boost, but will also donate 5000 US dollars to food banks and another 20,000 US dollars to an international help organisation ‘International rescue committee’ on behalf of winning teams. After having reached 1 million subscribers a few days ago, the brothers have announced that they are working on presenting a brand new tournament before the start of the Marble League 2020 on June 21.

The brothers are very close to joining the big leagues themselves as far as money goes. They’re able to pay the folks who work for them properly, making them a serious outfit. The voice of the marble races is American sports fan Greg Woods. You’ll notice that Marble Runs also use play on words of Formula 1 such as Marbula and F1 sounds with permission from F1 who are huge fans of the marbles as well.

Back in 2016 we told about what a ‘marble tsunami’ sounded like and I guess anything you watch on their channel will keep the entire family entertained these days.

(Link:, Photo of Marbles by Meghana Kulkarni, some rights reserved)

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November 8, 2019

Skater sends payment request for prize money

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:06 pm

Tikkie is a Dutch app to send payment requests to friends and family, and surely foes as well. The Dutch Skaters’ Union (KNSB) – and by skaters we mean ice skating for marathons in this case – has recently decided to use Tikkie to send payment request for fines to their members who don’t obey their rules such as wearing the right clothing or not signing up for an event on time.

However, marathon skater Lisanne Buurman thought fair is fair and decided to send the KNSB a Tikkie for an undisclosed amount of prize money she had been owed for over ten months. Apparently, the prize money should have been paid within two months. The KNSB has since recognised that they messed up and plan to pay up, and it’s the Tikkie that made them take notice.

The KNSB sends out first-time fines of 10 euro, with the second fine being 25 euro. Tikkie is very convenient: ordinary folks go our for dinner, everybody orders, one person pays, and then instead of spending 30 minutes figuring out the bill (I’ve done that enough times), one person sends out a bunch of Tikkies to the rest and you’re all sorted.

There is a limit of 750 euro for Tikkies, and for something like prize money, a few Tikkies might have to be sent. Going Dutch has never been easier.

(Link:, Photo by Remko van Dokkum, some rights reserved)

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July 28, 2019

Swimmer Marcel Schouten wins big lake crossing

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 1:12 pm

On 27 July Dutch swimmer Marcel Schouten took first place at the 65th ‘Traversé internationale du lac Saint-Jean’ (‘International crossing of Lake St. Jean’), a big lake and area of the Province of Quebec in Canada. It’s where a lot of wild blueberries come from and a lot of classic Quebec recipes as well.

The Christopher Deegan of Australia took second place, and third place was nabbed by Matias Diaz Hernandez of Argentina. On his Twitter feed, Schouten was congratulated for ‘rocking at the 5th stage of the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim Series in Lac St. Jean’ by FINA, the Fédération internationale de natation (‘International Swimming Federation’). Last year’s winner, Edoardo Stochino of Italy, came in fourth.

My family saw this news go by and thought it would be good for us, so here it is.

(Link:, Photo looking across the nearby Wolderwijd from Harderwijk to Zeewolde, Flevoland, by Sjaak Kempe, some rights reserved)

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July 10, 2019

People stuck in car park during Iron Man race

Filed under: Automobiles,Sports,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:12 pm


As if parking garages were not scary enough on the best of days, a bunch of people about to drive off found out they were locked in during an Iron Man race happening in Hoorn, North Holland a few days ago.

Parking garage Het Jeudje was closed, but still had people in it when that was decided. In what sounds like a calm manner, one woman said at the time “We can’t get out and we don’t know when we will be able to”. Hoorn residents didn’t know anything and got locked in after they entered.

They had to wait 30 minutes, and everything was fine after that. But imagine if they had needed any help, that would have been bad news. Apparently, residents were partially informed about the accessibility issues of their city centre during the race, but not as well as they should have been. The city claimed it sent letters ‘that did not reach everybody’, as it was not able to inform some people who have a ‘no-no’ sticker on their doors, meaning they refuse to receive any unaddressed mail.

As well, the ‘internationally oriented website’ didn’t make getting online info any easier, which I must decode as, it’s in English or Dunglish and not the info residents were looking for. And then you get locked into a car park.

(Link:, Photo of Westfries Museum, Hoorn by Fnorp, some rights reserved)

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June 11, 2019

Enforcement cracks down on impromptu pétanque tournament

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 2:03 pm

Enforcers (non-cops) have had to crack down on an improvised pétanque (called ‘jeu de boules’ in Dutch, aka boules in English, so all French words) tournament on the Museumplein in Amsterdam South. Some 300 players were going at it, but they didn’t have a permit to do so and the fun was over.

The whole idea was to throw a few balls, but the enforcers were not convinced. The district authorities for this rather posh neighbourhood also said that the pétanque players needed to have a permit for any ‘event’ over 100 participants. ‘Safety cannot be guaranteed. The balls are heavy and there are children around. And there’s a basketball court as well.’

There are a lot of pétanque courts in Amsterdam – I say this without any statistics, but knowing they are scattered over the city, including one about 300 metres from my house. But yeah, 300 people is definitely too big a gathering legally speaking. And before anyone laughs at the heavy balls argument: I have vivid memories of losing a toenail from dropping one of those metal balls on my foot when I was six.


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May 9, 2019

Dutch footballer calls in sick to watch football, gets fired

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:29 pm

Dutch football striker Jordie van der Laan of Telstar has been sacked for calling in sick to watch Amsterdam Ajax play against Tottenham Spurs on 30 April instead of, well, playing football. Apparently, his dismissal was by ‘mutual agreement’, which is the sports equivalent of the film industry’s ‘creative differences’ when directors and studio claim to have parted company.

Van der Laan had hoped that his employer would not check up on him, but during the game in which Tottenham lost 0-1, he showed up no less than three times on screen at the game. According to Van der Laan, Telstar’s WhatsApp group blew up and they laughed their asses off.

The team’s management was not amused and fired him immediately. This was Van der Laan’s first year in professional football and was injured quite a lot. Despite his actions, the former Telstar striker is being headhunted by many clubs, and has an interest in playing abroad. “If Tottenham needs a striker, I’m available”, he said, “as long as I get time off to watch Ajax play.”

Someone needs to explain to this guy what ‘having your cake and eating it too’ actually means.

(Link:, Photo of flag by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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January 16, 2019

Dutchman runs all European marathons, sets record

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 3:12 pm


After next weekend, Jaap van den Berg, 60, (not shown here, see details below), from Soest, Utrecht will set quite an impressive personal record: he will be the first Dutchman to run all European marathons. After next weekend, as he needs to run a marathon in Vatican City. “The marathon in Vatican City will be my 55th country in Europe, and then I will have done all European countries and I’m really proud of that,” Van den Berg said.

He started running in 1983 in Amsterdam and after that, the rest was just more running. “The Netherlands is beautiful, but as a boy, I always wanted to see the world, so that’s why.” Van den Berg trains three to four times a week, with his wife, something they have in common.

After Vatican City, he’s off to Palestine, making it the 80th country in the world he’s visited. It’s not about winning marathons for him, it really is about the travel.

(Link:, photo by Branko Collin of Kenyans Lucas Rotich and John Mwangangi at the Amsterdam marathon of 2014)

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January 15, 2019

Coaster counts as contract, worth 11,000 euro

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 2:47 pm

A court in Rotterdam has ruled that a signature on a beer coaster is worth 11,000 euro in a case involving a dispute between a top football player and his club.

The man brought the case to court, claiming he was supposed to be paid for his performance, but the club decided to contest this because the signature on the coaster was from someone who was not authorised to make such a deal. A graphologist was hired to established whether or not the signature was authentic, and it was.

Since the signature checked out, the court felt there was no reason to doubt the intention of the club which must pay the player 11,000 euro in back pay.

Read the court’s verdict from december 2018 in Dutch.

(Link:, Photo of Football by Bramus, some rights reserved)

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October 10, 2018

Dutch first: wrestling and punk music with sign language

Filed under: Dutch first,Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:08 pm

On 13 October Hilversum venue De Vorstin will host some live wrestling from Dutch outfit Dropkicks ’n Moshpits along with some live punk music from Green Lizard, with both the match and the music entirely presented in sign language.

Ruth Krooshof, who will be signing the event, says she usually has cramps in her fingers at the end of the evening, but what she is doing is making a night full of entertainment accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing.

It is also a first for her and for the country. She will also translate what people are screaming at the wrestlers, which, if anybody knows about live wrestling, is a large part of the fun. Krooshof also believes that since wrestling is so visual, it is a great sport to watch for people who rely on sign language.

Here’s what Green Lizard looks and sounds like:

(Link:, Photo:

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July 18, 2018

Dutch and French battle over Olympic Games founder’s name

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 3:24 pm

Dutch company Tempting Brands from Veenendaal, Utrecht and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are embroiled in a conflict over who has the right to use the name Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the ICO and often considered the father of the modern Olympic Games.

In 2007, the IOC secured ‘Coubertin’ from the European Union Intellectual Property Office, but according to Tempting Brands, they can trademark it because the IOC failed to use it for five years. The Veenendaal company also uses the name of the iconic US Route 66, ‘Marie Antoinette’ and others.

French lawyer Fabienne Fajgenbaum, an intellectual property specialist fighting for the IOC, argues that Tempting Brands has simply grabbed the Coubertin name just to rent it out, rather than providing any added value, which could give the French a win. She already managed to stop a French company from selling wine bottles branded with a picture of the Olympic founder during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

In the other corner, Dutch intellectual property lawyer Tjeerd Overdijk explains that in the Netherlands, it would be difficult to challenge the trademark filing, as it depends on the product. He has successfully defended a company that secured the rights to Vincent van Gogh’s brand, despite a legal challenge from the foundation named after the Dutch painter.

Faites vos jeux, rien ne va plus.


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