December 11, 2018

Keep the rotating house rotating or destroy it?

Filed under: Architecture,Art,General by Orangemaster @ 11:55 am

Ten years ago (where does the time go?), we told about the Rotating House (‘Draaiend Huis’) on a roundabout in Tilburg, North Brabant, made by John K√∂rmelings. For quite some time now, the house hasn’t been turning anymore, as it’s broken, and fixing it would cost about 45,000 euro. The artwork cost 400,000 to build, and according to article on (see link below), it broke down three times already. This would mean it has been fixed at least twice.

Sadly but not surprisingly at the moment, the Netherlands has a government that doesn’t like high art too much and feels that much of it is overrated. Since Dutch cultural institutions are dependent on government grants as opposed to endowments, sometimes people who don’t like art get to decide what lives or dies art-wise.

There’s currently a discussion about whether the rotating house should be fixed or destroyed. The city of Tilburg wants to fix it, but local youth politicians say the money can be better spent elsewhere like in healthcare. If the house is destroyed, then a lot of money would have been spent for nothing, whereas fixing it up means keeping a world-famous artwork turning for others to drive past and talk about.

Here’s a timelapse video of the ‘Draaiend Huis’ (‘Rotating House’)

(Link:, Photo: Stinkfinger Producties)

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September 6, 2014

Audi drivers are the biggest scofflaws

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 4:39 pm

audi-parking-ticket-london-lars-plougmannA study by an insurance company from Emmen in Drenthe states that nine in ten drivers gets ticketed occasionally for violating the rules of the road.

Audi drivers take the cake though. One in five of them gets fined more than ten times a year. Driving over the speed limit is a particularly favourite pastime for Audi drivers as each and every one of them gets caught speeding at least once a year. Especially heinous is their track record for red light jumping, something which almost half of the Audionistas has ever done.’s Casper Heij has his doubts about the study. He questions the sample size together with the methodology (1,081 drivers against over 18 different brands of cars). He also wonders out loud about curious results such as Mercedes drivers being paragons of virtue (“I take it they failed to poll cab drivers”) and Peugeot drivers never getting fined for broken lights (“I own both a Peugeot and, not by coincidence, shares in an automotive lights factory”).

(Study: Netpolis; photo of an Audi R8 and a London traffic warden by Lars Plougmann, some rights reserved)

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June 1, 2013

Policeman caught on telly driving dangerously, gets fined by colleague

Filed under: Automobiles,General by Orangemaster @ 12:34 pm

“The police in this country are underpaid and often have a serious attitude problem,” I heard recently. After having to call 112 (the Dutch 911) for the firefighters to deal with a short circuit in my house a while back, the cops reluctantly wrote up a report, treating me like a puppy that had wet the carpet.

The police do have an image problem, at least at 24oranges. They’ve arrested people based on their skin colour, they tried to fine a woman while she was having a miscarriage and fight the reopening of a cafe because it played gangsta rap.

A Dutch reality show that arrests people causing problems on the road stopped a motorcyclist for driving too fast, tailgating and weaving who turned to be cop in civilian clothing. He made excuses about being busy and “we are all just people.” It cost him 220 euro, giving the police some excellent national publicity.

I have developed a particular fondness for motorcycle cops. A few years ago, a friend told me he’d lost a female friend of his, a wife and mother, to an off duty motorcycle cop who drove through a red light in Amsterdam and ran her over while she was crossing the street. He got off with some community service or something like that.

Watch the embarrassement in Dutch:


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April 9, 2012

Dutch speeders can no longer be fined in Belgium

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 3:31 pm

An administrative change means that Dutch drivers caught on Belgian speeding cameras can no longer be sent a ticket, Gazet van Antwerpen reports.

Since January 1 the traffic authority RDW, which maintains a register of cars and their owners, no longer provides license plate data to the Belgian police.

Police chief Rudy Verbeeck told the paper: “As far back as September the federal police warned us that the Netherlands would switch to a single point of contact at the DIV [the Belgian traffic authority—Branko]. Half a year later the authority still hasn’t completed its transition. That is why we need to have Dutch speeders pulled over these days, otherwise we will never see the money we are owed.”

Apparently this is costing Belgium the fines of 100,000 Dutch speeders—the paper doesn’t mention across which time frame this was measured.

(Photo by Heiloo Online, 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 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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July 9, 2011

Dutch ‘Worst Driver’ contestant crashes into TV host

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 2:19 pm

A contestant of a TV show called ‘De Slechtste Chauffeur van Nederland’ (The Worst Driver of the Netherlands) has proven his inability to drive a car by hitting the programme’s host Ruben Nicolai and an unnamed cameraman with his car.

The show was broadcast last Tuesday. The segment shown in the clip was recorded on 12 April 2011 at Twente Airport. A hospital intern leaked the news of Nicolai’s ‘accident’ via Twitter, and was suspended for a short time, Tubantia reports. Nicolai and his colleague sustained only minor injuries.

The contestant who showed the most progress won a car, but the guy who hit Nicolai got his license cut in half by the host.

The show’s final was partially recorded in Paris, where contestants had to kill or maim as few French people as possible on the public road to win it.

Link: Autoblog. Video: Youtube / BNN.

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June 9, 2009

Car thieves try to escape by swimming

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:58 am

Two suspected car thieves were caught yesterday when they tried to escape their pursuers by swimming from the province of Gelderland to the province of Flevoland across the 500-meter-wide Nuldernauw.

At 9:15 am police noticed a stolen car on the A28 motorway, but drivers got wind of smokey bear and put the pedal to the metal. Near the town of Horst, the stolen car hit the shoulder at high speed and careened into some trees 30 metres off the road. When the police got there, they found that the driver and his partner in crime had fled the scene towards the nearby water.

A little later, the police discovered the men in the water, swimming towards Flevoland. When two officers dived in to continue pursuit, the suspects turned around and themselves in. The men were taken to a hospital for hypothermia. The police will question them as soon as possible.

(Via Politie Noord en Oost Gelderland, via Telegraaf, Photo looking across the nearby Wolderwijd from Harderwijk to Zeewolde, Flevoland, by Sjaak Kempe, some rights reserved. The Nuldernauw is to the left.)

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March 12, 2009

Man gets 150 euro fine for sticking finger in ear

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:50 am

The headline may be a little misleading, because when the police stopped Simon de Bruin at an unknown date in Amstelveen and fined him 150 euro, it was for sticking a finger in his own ear. To be even more precise, the police thought he was making a phone call while driving a car which is only allowed if you do it hands-free. When De Bruin protested that he had just showered, that he was merely removing the last bit of water from his ear and that the police could check his phone logs, the officers were unimpressed and uninterested. “Tell it to the judge,” they told De Bruin.

Somehow this bit of news managed to crawl all the way to De Telegraaf (Dutch), where it doesn’t say whether De Bruin will indeed “tell it to the judge.” The only reason we found it is because we run a side-business turning the bones of old news into glue.

Photo by Hello Turkey Toe, some rights reserved.

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February 23, 2009

Driver gets money back for not driving over cat

Filed under: Animals,Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 8:58 pm

Little over a year ago, we reported on a driver in Schiedam who was fined EUR 75 for not driving over a cat, or technically, ignoring a green light. The man was trying to avoid running over the cat by waiting until it got out of the way.

The story goes on telly that after going to court over the matter, the driver got his money back, as he was given the benefit of the doubt. The police’s argument is that they did not see a cat crossing the road.

I can’t imagine someone making that up and purposely stopping at a green light. Good news.

(Photo of Cat crossing the street by ll_browneyes_ll, some rights reserved)

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January 24, 2009

Awesome ‘flyswatter’ bridge

Filed under: Architecture by Branko Collin @ 9:25 am

This bridge, which looks likes a huge flyswatter, is in Leeuwarden. It was designed by Bruggenbureau Van Driel and built in 2000 by Ballast Nedam and BSB Staalbouw. The way I figure it, it works as an ordinary drawbridge, except when you’re in a hurry, then it’ll flip you like a pancake (which is what you’ll look like afterwards).

This is the Slauerhoffbridge, named after a local poet. I translated his “Voor de verre prinses” once, but not very well, so I’ll just link to it.

Via Jalopnik. Photo by Van Driel Bruggenbureau, used with permission. Much more (and more recent) photos after the links.

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