August 8, 2018

Build your own Theo Jansen ‘mini-strandbeest’

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 1:25 pm

Theo Jansen‘s world-famous ‘strandbeests’ [strandbeest = beach beast/animal — Dutch plural would be ‘strandbeesten’] have been around since 1990 when he started experimenting with mechanical engineering, building skeletons from plastic pipes that use the wind power to move ‘magically’ all on their own.

“The mini-strandbeest uses the same mechanism designed specifically by the artist for the project and like its forebear comes with a fan at one end that catches the wind, propelling the legs to move in a cyclical fashion. Built from 120 parts that snap together to form 12 jointed legs, a spinelike crankshaft, and a wind turbine, it takes about 90 minutes to build.”

Where can you buy them? Give Google a whirl using ‘mini-strandbeest DIY’ and quite a few results will pop up that seem quite affordable.

Watch how to make your own mini-strandbeest:

(Link and photo:

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June 14, 2018

Vlieland on world’s most expensive beaches list

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:53 pm


Dutch travel site TravelBird has published The 2018 Beach Price Index, which caught the Dutch media’s attention, as the Frisian island of Vlieland took spot 31 of the 327 world’s most expensive beaches.

According to the media, local businesses are scratching their heads as to how they got so far up the list, but did not contradict the prices quoted by the site. According to TravelBird, besides Vlieland being the most expensive beach in The Netherlands and after calculating the prices of things such as sunscreen, deck chair, beer, ice cream, lunch and facilities, Vlieland will run you 53,26 euro.

Sure, a ton of beaches in Norway, the United States and France are way more expensive than the Dutch ones: everything is expensive in Norway (a country not in the EU – a reminder), while the United States and France both have very prestigious beaches. However, if we run down the other four Wadden Islands, North Holland’s Texel is ranked 78, the Frisian island of Terschelling is 97, the Frisian island of Schiermonnikoog is at 164 and the Frisian island of Ameland is ranked 187 (seen in the photo).


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August 31, 2017

Dutch beach art along the Dutch coast

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 10:20 pm


There’s 353 kilometres of Dutch coast where you’ll find houses, beach cafes and lots of people depending on the location. And if you’re lucky, you can run into some lovely Dutch Beach Art.

From mandalas to Polynesian art, Tim Hoekstra and his friends enjoying making big works of beach art before the tide comes in and washes it away. And before that happens, they fly a drone with a GoPro camera above and film and take pictures, which you can check out on their Facebook page.

(Link:, Photo from Facebook)

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October 4, 2016

Kijkduin takes Pokémon makers to court over landmarks

Filed under: Gaming by Orangemaster @ 9:43 pm

This summer, the beach town of Kijkduin, South Holland made the news with, “hey, we’re the Pokémon capital of the country, come here and catch ’em all!”. Now after people came and messed up their protected dune areas, Kijkduin mailed Pokémon Go maker Niantic to get them to shut the whole thing down and received no replies whatsoever. The next level has Kijkduin suing Niantic, and that’s going down on 11 October.

According to radio station Omroep West, when a rare Pokémon shows up, a whole crowd of people run and bum rush the fences protecting the dunes, which also disturbs the protected wildlife. As well, it annoys people trying to chill on terraces, and there aren’t enough toilets to accommodate all the gamers – draw your own conclusions.

The idea would be to have the Delta Square in Kijkduin free of Pokémons between 23:00 and 7:00 local time, which is what will be recommended at the hearing where Niantic will be defending itself against the Dutch government who says they’ve put protected landmarks in danger. Policing local protected areas against gamers is costing the town some 1500 euro a week.

It is completely understandable to want to protect landmarks, but why on earth did Kijkduin think that it was a good idea in the first place to turn their village into ‘The Pokémon capital of the country’, hoping to reap the rewards but none of the drawbacks? How badly planned was that?

So far, Niantic hasn’t said anything in their defense, but Dutch newspaper AD has claimed that Delta Square, which featured four PokéStops, now has five, like a virtual middle finger salute from Niantic.

I often read the Dutch media slagging off the US as a ‘claims culture’, but amusingly enough Niantic hasn’t had a single American lawsuit, if we can believe the American media.

UPDATE: Niantic has agreed to withdraw its Pokémons


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September 14, 2016

Rare crab lands on Ameland beach

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 11:35 pm


On 31 August, two people spotted an angular crab on the eastern part of the island of Ameland. The discoveries were independent from each other, but it was probably the same crab. One of them put the crab back into the sea.

The same type of angular crab had been spotted in 2003 in the North Sea elsewhere, but never on a beach. The crab has finally decided to check out dry land.

Angular crabs live in the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea in places with a clay sea floor. Apparently, due to global warming affecting the North Sea, the crab can be found in the Netherlands.


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July 27, 2016

A wine glass for the great outdoors

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 9:42 am


Designed by Dorine Vos, the Parqer glass is a proper wine glass with a sharp-ended aluminium stem instead of a glass stem and a foot you can plant into the ground, be it in a park, a beach or in the forest. This also means you can drink decent wine instead of some Château Migraine in a plastic cup.

A set of two glasses comes in a shockproof casing where the glasses don’t touch the sides, while the aluminium stems come in different colours like silver, gold, black and green. Vos came up with the design after her own experiences sitting in the parks of Amsterdam, which I can tell you means having to drink out of soft plastic cups.

Their instagram is fun, with people using their Parqers in all kinds of places.

(Link:, Photo

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November 8, 2015

Life’s a beach and then you rename it

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 7:56 pm


In 2013 marketing geniuses in Amsterdam decided to call the coastal cities of IJmuiden, Bloemendaal and Zandvoort ‘Amsterdam Beach’, and nobody calls it that because it doesn’t make any sense, geographically or otherwise.

Another bunch of marketing geniuses are contemplating calling the historical beach of Scheveningen ‘The Hague Beach’ to attract more tourists, a change already implemented on the district’s English Wikipedia page. They argue that The Hague has 11 kilometres of beach that ‘nobody knows about’, as if pronouncing ‘Scheveningen’, admittedly not easy, was the problem. The Hague is really called ‘s-Gravenhage’ and was simplified in Dutch to Den Haag, but that hasn’t stopped anybody ever.

Not far from The Hague, but way closer to Rotterdam is Rotterdam The Hague Airport, which was historical called Zestienhoven because that’s where the airport actually is. It was later renamed Rotterdam Airport and finally Rotterdam The Hague Airport to give it more international appeal. Nobody cares.

According to, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ronal Plasterk, born and raised in Scheveningen said in a tweet: “Slippery slope: I was born in Scheveningen, not at The Hague Beach”, to which the city marketing spinners retorted that The Hague Beach is just what we’ll tell tourists, which is as condescending as sounds. Foreign nationals, historians and locals hate the idea. The city’s website still calls it The beach of Scheveningen, which almost sounds like painting by Adriaen van de Velde.

(Link:, Twitter @ShakeAtOrion)

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August 6, 2015

Children play beer pong on makeshift beach

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:39 pm

For two weeks now Amsterdam Central Station has has a beach with sand left over from the World Cup Beach Volleyball that took place on Dam Square in front of the Palace down the street.

The beach features activities for children, and today it’s about beer pong or as the Dutch put it #kiddybeerpong. The activity has elicited responses that include WTF, kids shouldn’t be encouraged to drink beer and it looks like it’s being promoted by a beer company although it’s not.

The organisers assure us that they will use 0% beer, which is still very questionable and that we should get over the beer part and see it as a game and an excuse to discuss drinking alcohol, the latter sounding like someone who doesn’t have young children.

I wouldn’t want a child chugging any kind of soft drink, juice or fake beer in the sun for a game that is meant to get practice for drinking alcohol in college. If you take away the drinking, I could be OK with it, but I feel this is in bad taste.

(Link:, Photo of the sea at Katwijk by Michael Brys, some rights reserved)

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April 8, 2014

Lego creation strolls down the beach

Filed under: General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:31 am

Inspired by Theo Jansen’s ‘Strandbeest’ (‘Beach Animal’), Jason Allemann of JK Brickworks has built a creation called ‘Steampunk Walking Ship’ (see video below), entirely made of Lego components featuring several play features, including the functional cargo crane.

“Power and control is provided by the Lego Power Functions system, which includes the remote control, IR receiver, battery box and two M-size motors. The frame, crankshaft and legs are built using Lego Technic elements.”

More Lego stories:

Rietveld Schröder house in Utrecht gets immortalized in Lego

Drug dealer accepts payment in Lego

Lego computer built for Alan Turing’s 100th anniversary

(Photo of Lego by tiptoe, some rights reserved)

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May 14, 2008

Miffy and the village marketing scheme

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 10:21 am

A little over 50 years ago Miffy, one of the Netherlands’ biggest export ‘products’, was introduced to the world by her creator Dick Bruna in a book that described how she lived in the dunes of Egmond aan Zee. The village now wants to turn itself into a “Nijntje” village (Dutch for Miffy and pronounced somewhere between NAYN-CHE and NINE-CHE). To do this the village association will place direction signs with a Miffy motif on the beach, and will build a Miffy boat that will be placed on the Nijntje aan Zee Pleintje. The latter is a pun, for “pleintje” is the diminutive of “plein,” square. The city of Utrecht already has a Nijntje Pleintje which was designed by Bruna’s son Marc.

The Nijntje aan Zee Pleintje will be located at the main beach entrance. The boat will be a pinck, a type of flat-bottom fishing vessel that was developed locally and used from the 17th through the 19th century when it stopped being competitive.

Via (Dutch). Source image:

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