May 10, 2017

‘Here’s the money for it, but you can’t build it’

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:52 am

The city of Emmen, Drenthe has been known to be innovative with bikes and people gladly visit the eastern city for its main attraction, their zoo.

However, months ago the city approved a subsidy for the construction of a bandstand, but tragically enough the city also denied the permit for building it, even after having agreed to the actual design of the bandstand. Thankfully, after publishing this absurdity in the local press, city council said they would have a look at the situation. Comments on this so far are ‘?’ and ‘this can’t be for real’.

Just around the corner from 24HQ in Amsterdam, a kiosk was going to appear where there had never been one before in recent times, but the same situation occurred: the business got the permit to operate but not to build, and a bit further down the road another kioske got the permit to build but not to operate.

It all sounds very Soviet-era to me, minus the bribes.

(Link:, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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January 20, 2016

Emmen plans world’s first wooden bike path

Filed under: Bicycles,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:46 pm

After solar-powered bike paths, heated bike paths and glow in the dark bike paths, the next trend in bike paths would be wooden ones. The city of Emmen, Drenthe has announced that it is planning to renovate a 200-metre stretch of bike path using a biocomposite material made from woodchips and bioresin for its robustness and resistance to wear. Any new material for something like a bike path needs to be able to also deal with vandalism, the weather and last a long time.

If the test goes well, it could lead to the manufacturing of these sustainable biocomposite plates in a factory that would employ 75 people in Emmen. The entire idea is part of getting more innovation going in the region.

(Link:, Photo of a Schwinn Tailwind Electric Assist bike by Richard Masoner, some rights reserved)

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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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August 22, 2012

Dutchman selected to sing at Elvis’ Graceland memorial

Filed under: Dutch first,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:33 am

Singer Bouke Scholten from Emmen, by no means an Elvis impersonator, was hand picked to sing at Elvis Presley’s memorial marking the 35th anniversary of the singer’s death last Thursday, August 16.

Although the Dutch media focused on having a Dutchman sing at the memorial, a rare privilege, his performance was overshadowed by ex-wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie making a surprise appearance together for the first time at a memorial since they started holding them in 1980.

The unknown Scholten had two songs to convince some 800 fans from around the world, and he succeeded in his own way, with his second number, Suspicious Minds.

(Link:,, Photo of Elvis album cover by Jeremy Chan, some rights reserved)

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January 27, 2010

Famous retired bear dies unexpectedly in zoo

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 12:45 pm

The zoo in Emmen, Drenthe found male Kodiak bear Mato dead last Tuesday night. Nobody knows why the 23-year-old bear died, it wasn’t sick or anything. The zoo is hoping a necropsy will give them some indication.

As a young cub, Mato ‘played’ in the film L’Ours (The Bear) by Jean-Jacques Annaud back in 1988.


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