A video by SEB Urban Design provides an overview of Amsterdam recreated in video game Cities Skylines. It claims to include all tourist destinations, parks and transport. The goal was to strive for realism and a close simulation of the real situation (the tram sounds are spot on).
Besides praise, we’re all wondering how long this took and we’ve noticed things we’d like to add. There’s some nice lingering on the Rijksmuseum, a very different take on Dam Square and a beautifully uncluttered Amsterdam Central Station. The canal houses are straight, the streets are super clean and you need to watch this video.
The two main parks near 24oranges HQ are there, and that’s good enough for us.
The Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Gelderland together with Dutch hospitals Jeroen Bosch ziekenhuis, St. Antonius and UMC Utrecht are setting up a trial to reuse unused costly oncology medication.
In the Netherlands at least 100 million euro worth of medication is thrown away each year, waste that increases the cost of healthcare. Too much medication is being prescribed, which leads to environmental waste because it often ends up in nature.
Of course, the ‘recycled’ medication will be subjected to rigorous quality control from pharmacists, with a temperature chip added to the sealed packaging. Based on the results, the RUMC will see if they cannot implement the program in more places.
Nobody in Nijmegen, Gelderland seems to be fazed by someone who has been going around gluing various dildos to mailboxes, another combination of words that we never thought we’d use in our lifetime. It’s bad behaviour and funny at the same time.
Apparently, the mailboxes weren’t damaged, but the police was told about the dildos by postal workers. The Dutch call the person doing this a ‘dildo-plakker’ (‘dildo-gluer’) and nobody knows anything about them.
And why are they doing this? Nobody knows. Someone removed the black dildo in the above picture.
The ‘dildo-gluer’ is still around and has not been caught.
We will look back on this and realise the world has gone nuts, pardon the weak pun.
A never before shown work by Vincent van Gogh will be auctioned off on 25 March in Paris by Sotheby’s and Mirabaud Mercier, and is expected to fetch between 5 and 8 million euro. The owner wishes to remain anonymous.
Entitled ‘Scène de Rue à Montmartre’ (‘A street scene in Montmartre’) painted by Van Gogh in 1887 while he was visiting his brother Theo in Paris, the painting stayed for about a century in a French family’ private collection. It depicts a man and woman strolling arm in arm past children playing, with a fence and a windmill in the background.
Auctioneers say that the painting had been seen in catalogues, but had never been on public display. It is one of the very few paintings from Van Gogh’s Montmartre period that was in private hands.
If you want to see the painting and you live in The Netherlands, you would need to make an appointment with Sotheby’s in Amsterdam on 1, 2 and 3 March because after that the painting is off to London and Paris.
Assadollah Assadi, a 48-year-old Iranian diplomat wanted by Belgian authorities for spying and terrorism, apparently stayed at a hotel in Meppel, Drente without any problems.
According to books in the hands of Flemish broadcaster VRT, Assadi stayed at Hotel de Poort, across the street from the Meppel train station. Hotel owner Henk van Duinen has not been able to find any record of the stay from five years ago. The Dutch authorities knew nothing of Assadi’s visit to Meppel either.
Assadi was arrested in Germany, and is facing a 20-year sentence. He’s been held in a Belgian prison awaiting the verdict in his trial next Thursday. It has recently emerged that while in custody he was visited by his superiors from Tehran. Apparently, he also gave other spies and terrorists instructions.
The Iranian frequented public spaces in many smaller European cities such as Meppel where he made appointments at tourist spots. The data reveal a predilection for meetings outside castles and fortresses. The only notable person I know from Meppel is my bookkeeper.
I recently asked a friend who is big on documentaries if they had any viewing suggestions, and I was told I should watch the 2019 Dutch documentary ‘Bart en de steen die terug naar huis ging’ (‘Bart and the stone that went back home’). It’s the story of artist Bart Eysink Smeets who took a dolmen stone from Borger, Drenthe back to its original home on the Åland Islands, a unique part of Finland where Swedish is the main language.
Filmed by Bart’s brother Tom, we get to watch Bart’s process in finding the right stone in Borger, Drenthe, the Dutch city with the most dolmens. The film is a combination of bureaucracy, up and downs, weirdness, and humour. The way to Åland is a fun road trip as well and you might get attached to the stone while you watch.
As I want to keep this spoiler-free, watch it if you can understand enough Dutch and/or with Dutch subtitles. There’s some English, Drents (dialect) and Swedish as well.
Delft artist Tijn Noordenbos produces art for public spaces, and admits he’s used to some of his artworks disappearing. However, the city of Delft trashing his socially-distanced chess table and chairs came as a bit of a surprise.
Around New Year’s Eve, the city of Delft, South Holland picked up the artwork, looking for stuff they could burn. The idea was to get rid of anything that could be set on fire before New Year’s Eve, owing to the fact that fireworks had been banned and people would set (and did set) other stuff on fire.
Noordenbos is not upset, and is already working on a giant Scrabble board, with letters that will be 60 x 60 cm. He hasn’t asked the city permission, which is why his artworks sometimes disappear. It’s part of the game.
In 2013 Shell had to transport an eight-story metal building from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.
They hired a company called The Timewriters to create a time-lapse video of the transport, which has now been released in glorious 4K format on YouTube, accompanied by a beautiful, if somewhat ill-fitting Dvořák piece.
The day-long journey begins on the Nieuwe Maas river near the Feijenoord neighbourhood in Rotterdam, then goes past Gouda, Alphen aan de Rijn and Schiphol Airport to end in Amsterdam. If it hadn’t been dark by then, you might even have been able to see my house at 9:14.
This is worth watching for the bridges alone.
And then you come back a second time for the places you know and a third time to figure out how and why the Dutch created their environment the way they did.
Also check out the comments on YouTube, lots of insights from people who recognise certain types of trains, planes and places.
The 71-year-old conductor is having a hard time doing nothing. Like many of his peers, he really misses performing. Rieu says he is ready to do everything to avoid firing his staff. Before that happens, he’ll sell his what should be a 1667 Stradivarius, which, for anybody who doesn’t know, is worth a few million euro, if not more.
Hopefully Rieu will be able to perform in his home of Maastricht, Limburg in the summer of 2021, but nobody should be holding their breath at this point.