December 25, 2020

Christmas time at 24oranges HQ

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 1:50 pm

What a year! Who doesn’t need a break? We really do.

As far as postings go, we had a tough time keeping up in general this year, but a lot stuff has been sorted to be able to post more regularly. We’ve upgraded a lot of things in the background.

It’s Christmas day now, and the plan is to eat easy-to-make yet but nice Christmas food and watch a few Christmas classics.

Like every year, co-blogger Branko will come up with a list of his favourite stories of 2020, which should be online at some point.

If you need very different Christmas music, there’s always our friends at Christmas a Go Go!

Happy Holidays from 24oranges HQ! Stay safe and stay sane!

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December 8, 2020

Man found with heavy fireworks to be thrown out of home

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 9:53 am

A 39-year-old man from Winterswijk, Gelderland who was recently caught with 260 kilos of heavy fireworks, including illegal Super Cobra 6 flashing firecrackers in his shed, attic and kitchen, will have his home closed between 14 December through 3 January, putting him and his family out for the holidays. The police claimed on Twitter that had those fireworks exploded, they would have destroyed homes and more within a 400-metre radius.

Usually set off for New Year’s Eve, this year fireworks will not be allowed and therefore be illegal throughout the Netherlands. Businesses often selling fireworks as a source of extra income will not be able to sell any this year, and found out only after they’d already bought their yearly stock. That stock has to either be stored in specific storage spaces or businesses have to pay to have it destroyed – either way they will lose a lot of money.

Of course this also upsets many individuals who bought fireworks because they will be fined if they use them, which is already happening and even a source of police trouble in Urk, Flevoland where teens are throwing heavy fireworks at the police.

Back in January we told you about a father who caught his kids damaging property with fireworks, and this was before covid.

I for one am thrilled to have more peace and quiet for the holidays. The sheer amount of construction works near my home is maddening, and I can imagine many pet owners will be thrilled as well.


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December 3, 2020

Dutch Christmas song ‘Flappie’ gets American version

Filed under: Animals,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am


‘Flappie’, the song about a Christmas rabbit written and sung by Dutch comedian Youp van ‘t Hek, a celebrity who has coined many catch phrases, has recently been covered by major American music figure Todd Rundgren who apparently likes to cover ‘obscure’ songs.

‘Flappie’, has become ‘Floppy’, which is a great name for a rabbit in English. I have not been able to find out the translator is as they’ve done a fine job, even according to Van ‘t Hek. Rundgren, who has performed in the Netherlands countless times according to music magazine Oor, is said to have made his version more dramatic than the original. One online criticism was that the new song was musically too busy, but I think it matches the story.

All I want is to know who the translator is to admire their work since translators are too often ignored.

Here’s the English version by Todd Rundgren:

Here’s a nice live version of original Dutch by Youp van ‘t Hek:

(Link:, Photo of Rabbit by J Ligero & I Barrios. Some rights reserved)

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December 25, 2019

Christmas break at 24oranges HQ

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,History by Orangemaster @ 1:21 pm

We’ve been busy this year to the point of having a tough time posting this fall, but we should be back on top of things for 2020. It is Christmas day as I write this, and the plan is to eat Italian food, drink, listen to Christmas music and play with the little houses above, courtesy of a supermarket chain that has been handing them out.

Although many people complained about the plastic, after work on December 24 I was handed an entire box of these houses (the special offer was over) and could not resist taking as many home as I could. I decided to make a traditional Dutch winter scene for you, complete with an ‘oliebollen’ stand, a food usually eaten on New Year’s Eve, and ‘koek en zopie’, cake and a hot beverage with alcohol usually enjoyed after ice skating. It’s not winter at all here in Amsterdam, it’s 9 degrees!

As always, co-blogger Branko is working on his list of favourite stories of 2019, which should be online before the year is out.

Thanks to everyone for reading us and sharing the weird and fun news of 24oranges, and Happy Holidays!

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December 26, 2018

Christmas chill out at 24oranges HQ

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:40 am

On Christmas day, we were busy eating food and watching telly, but since today is also a holiday in the Netherlands, we’re off as well.

The Christmas tree in the picture is from Dam Square in Amsterdam and it’s a real tree of about 20 metres from somewhere in Belgium, apparently.

It’s true, a while back we wanted to get some 24oranges videos, but we have an even better project in the works for 2019, so we’re doubling down on that for the moment.

Co-blogger Branko is working on his list of favourite stories of 2018, which should go online before the year is out.

Thanks to everyone for reading us and sharing the weird and fun news of 24oranges, and Happy Holidays to you all!


November 29, 2018

Fake fine for putting up Christmas decorations too early

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:32 pm

First, the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas, then after that’s done and dusted on December 6th, you can put up your Christmas decorations, but not before that, at least not in a fake letter from the city of Tilburg, North Brabant doing the rounds.

People who decorated the outside of their house were fake fined 132 euro for doing so before Sinterklaas. For anyone from North America, it would be like being fined for wearing white after Labour Day, an old school urban myth possibly drummed up by the fashion police.

Speaking of fake things for the holidays, let us remind you that today is Saint Pancake, a tradition that started from a Dutch comic strip.


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August 31, 2018

White noise evokes White Christmas if you think about it

Filed under: Music,Science by Orangemaster @ 2:12 pm

Harald Merckelbach and Vincent van de Ven of Maastricht University published a study back in 2001 entitled ‘Another White Christmas: fantasy proneness and reports of ‘hallucinatory experiences’ in undergraduate students’ in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, which, for whatever reason, has been brought to Improbable Research’s attention this week.

Forty-four undergraduate students were asked to listen to white noise and instructed to press a button when they believed hearing a recording of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas without this record actually being presented. Fourteen participants (32%) pressed the button at least once…. hallucinatory reports obtained during the White Christmas test [might] reflect a non-specific preference for odd items rather than schizophrenia-like, internal experiences.

In my neck of the woods, we used to sing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, and all the cars stuck in the snow.” And in case you’ve never heard this great Christmas classic, here it is.


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December 23, 2017

Christmas break time at 24oranges HQ

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:58 am


24oranges is going to take a breather for a few days to catch up on some much needed sleep, finally make that video we promised in March (it’s bad juju if we don’t get it done in 2017), eat, drink and watch comedy on the telly.

Branko will again have a Top 10 list of this year’s favourite stories before the end of the year.

Happy Holidays to all you and thanks for your continued support!

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December 19, 2017

How does Rudolph’s nose glow? Find out

Filed under: Animals,Science by Orangemaster @ 9:11 pm


An article in the Dutch biology research journal Deinsea, an annual publication of the Natural History Museum of Rotterdam, based on a study published in 2012 in the same journal, discusses the physiology of ‘Why Rudolph’s Nose is Red’.

The new study, entitled ‘Rudolph the red nosed reindeer had a very bioluminescent nose. A reply to Van der Hoven et al. 2012’ by Neil Crooks, Claire E. Marriott, Hannah R. Clifforth, Zain A. Ahmed, Arnold Xhikola, Samuel G. Penny, and Angelo P. Pernetta at the University of Brighton, UK, explain:

“Research published in Deinsea by Van der Hoven et al. (2012) identifies the cause of Rudolph’s infamous red nose to be the consequence of hyperemia of the nasal mucosa induced by the exertion of pulling a heavy load […] due to the excessive stresses endured whilst flying with Santa Claus and the sleigh in tow resulted in cerebral and bodily hyperthermia, overworking the nasal cooling system, causing the nose to glow. Whilst we recognise van der Hoven et al.’s (2012) central tenet of highly vascularized nasal mucosa in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) helping regulate nasal heat exchange, we concluded that this is unlikely to be the causal factor of Rudolph’s particularly iridescent appendage for multiple reasons (PDF).”

(Link:, Photo of reindeer by Dave Taylor, some rights reserved)

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December 24, 2016

Time for the Christmas break at 24oranges HQ

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 6:02 pm


24oranges is going to take a breather for a few days to enjoy some peace and quiet, try out some new Christmas food and drinks, and catch up on some sleep.

Branko will again have a Top 10 list of this year’s favourite stories before the end of the year. By the way, next year on 23 February will be our 10th anniversary!

Happy Holidays and thanks for your continued support!

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