January 5, 2016

The North turns into one big skating rink

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 9:09 pm

Today’s weather called for black ice in the North of the country, as the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) issued a code red with many accidents happening on the roads, albeit nothing fatal so far.

To quote Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff, “every disadvantage has its advantage”, as many people in places like Leeuwarden, Assen and Groningen were gripped by ice fever and took to skating on the streets (see video) because ice must be skated on when it’s there, a sentiment echoed by former world champion Renate Groenewold who ‘couldn’t resist it’.

There was even a fake event on Facebook, joking that the Elfstedentocht was going to be a tour of the motorways.

I scored a pair of free Dutch speed skates recently that I have not tried yet. These puppies really want to go outside now.


(Links: nos.nl, news.yahoo.com, Photo by Remko van Dokkum, some rights reserved)

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November 5, 2015

Listen to the city through a trio of horns

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 7:33 pm


An interactive installation called ‘Toon’ (‘Tone’) by Dutch artist Jeroen Bisscheroux at the Vincent van Gogh College in Assen, Drenthe, features three dark-red horns a person can sit in the middle of and listen to environmental sounds. They can hear sounds from three different locations, including nearby sports pitches, passers-by from the park, as well as the sounds of people leaving school. By having three horns pointed in different directions you get a mix, creating a veritable soundscape.

Bisscheroux has many different installations related to sound, one of which called ‘Oor’ (‘Ear’) that many people drive by on motorway A50 near Son en Beugel, Noord-Brabant.

(Link and photo: inhabitat.com)

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September 10, 2015

Dutch fishing boat scoops up a Lenin

Filed under: History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:52 pm

A Dutch fishing vessel from the island of Texel has caught a bust of Lenin in its net.

It’s made from bronze and nobody knows why it ended up in the sea, but we can guess and make jokes.

One of the fisherman took it home to Den Oever, North Holland, a town adjacent to the 32-kilometre-long ‘Afsluitdijk’, a dike road that connects the province of North Holland to the province of Friesland.

Back in 2013 we told you about a 10-metre statue of Lenin hovering over downtown Assen, and here are some pictures of it.

(Link: www.rtvnh.nl, Photo of Lenin in Ukraine by covilha, some rights reserved)

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March 19, 2013

Lenin’s statue overshadows royal visit in Assen

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 12:45 pm

A 10-metre-high statue of ‘our friend’ Lenin has been adorning downtown Assen since last November, as promotion for the exhibition The Soviet Myth currently featured at the Drents Museum.

Now that the future king Willem-Alexander will be visiting Assen in late May, the statue is in the way, as it blocks a big part of downtown used for big events like the famous TT motor race. And let’s face it, Lenin has surely killed the buzz of many a party in the past so he can surely make himself scarce again for some royals. (Someone please notice all the historical references crammed into that one sentence).

A huge statue that apparently weighs 17,000 kilos has not only become a royal eyesore, but its placement has been controversial from day one. Responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people if not more, a ‘Stalin light’ if you will, having a statue of Lenin around is seen by many as just plain gross, although I do get the fascination factor. I wonder if any Dutch museum would do the same if Stalin or even Hitler were featured.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo of Lenin in Ukraine by covilha, some rights reserved)

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September 24, 2011

Nissan GT-R is not an amphibious car

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 7:27 pm

A couple of days ago visitors to the Assen race track (home to the Assen TT) noticed this Nissan GT-R supercar in a brook. According to Autogespot.nl the driver lost control of the car during a high speed turn, sped across the bike path, and ended up in the drink.

In June this year somebody drove a GT-R at its 310 kph top speed through Haarlem. If only idiots drive these machines, I suggest the police arrest the drivers as soon as they get behind the wheel.

(Video: Youtube / Martinimaster)

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August 21, 2011

Sixteen-year-old girl beats everybody in debut car race

Filed under: Automobiles,Sports by Branko Collin @ 3:54 pm

Two weeks ago grammar school student Beitske Visser netted the victory in the GT1 category during the Dutch Supercar Challenge at Assen, despite receiving a traditional 25 second penalty for novice drivers and a drive-through penalty for a fast pit-stop. Two Corvettes took second and third place.

A day later Visser, for whom this was the first race in a real car, had to give up due to technical problems. In both races the girl from Dronten drove an Attack Praga R4 GT1, a Czech brand.

Visser had already built a name for herself in international kart racing, and hopes to one day progress to Formula One.

Sixteen is also the age at which American Danica Patrick, arguably the most famous female race car driver at the moment, switched from karts to Formula Ford (a British category).

(Photo: Beitskevisser.com)

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November 4, 2007

36 blind people to drive cars

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 12:30 pm


On Friday, 16 November a group of 36 blind and sight-impaired will test drive cars at the racing circuit in Assen. Under the supervision of driving school instructors, the blind will learn all about driving cars. “Some people became blind later in life and want to have a go at driving a car. Other people believe it is a chance to fulfil a dream of having control over a car and get a feel for driving,” according to a spokesperson.

On the world famous car show Top Gear, a man called Billy Baxter, a British soldier who lost his sight after contracting a rare disease in Bosnia, sent a letter to the show and said he could drive round the track faster than this one guy with sight who wasn’t very good at it.

(Link: rtl.nl)

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