July 8, 2016

Dutch students set world record with solar-powered boat

Filed under: Dutch first,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:03 pm


This week, the Delft University of Technology’s Solar Boat Team has set a world record of 50.5 kilometres per hour on Day 5 of the Dutch Solar Challenge in Drachten, Friesland. There wasn’t any previous record, making this a sweet victory for the students.

This world record will also be added to the Guinness World Records as the first record ever set for a solar-powered boat. Second place in the challenge was 42 kilometres per hour set by a team from Leeuwarden, Friesland and 30,3 kilometres per hour was clocked by a team from Slochteren, Groningen.

The Delft team also won ook the innovation award thanks to the technology it used, which included two hydrofoils placed one behind another instead of next to each other, which had the boat ‘skating over the water’.

(Link: tweakers.net, photo: www.solarboatteam.nl)

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February 27, 2016

Monks eye move to Schiermonnikoog after 400 years

Filed under: History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 7:23 pm


Schiermonnikoog, one of the Wadden Islands in Friesland, originally named after Cistercian monks in grey robes who lived there centuries ago, will be home to monks once again after some 400 years.

With a population of about 830 people, Schiermonnikoog (‘Grey Monk Island’), will get a small Cistercian monastery for seven brothers who plan to leave their abbey in Diepenveen near Deventer, Overijssel and ‘retreat in simplicity’ on the island. Their current abbey in Deventer can house 100 monks, and they feel staying there doesn’t make much sense any more. Four of the seven brothers are already on Schiermonnikoog, while three of them are in Belgium waiting to join the rest.

(Links: www.nu.nl, www.frieschdagblad.nl, Photo of Coat of arms of Schiermonnikoog by Arch, some rights reserved)

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October 14, 2015

Biggest bra sizes and interesting condom purchases

Filed under: General,Health by Orangemaster @ 2:06 pm

Dutch online lingerie shop Pabo.nl, also Europe’s biggest, conducted its own survey into who has the biggest boobs and the longest dongs per province, something to briefly take your mind off the fact that the Netherlands is not playing in the European Football Champs this summer.

Women in Zeeland have lots of cup A fans, but Utrecht takes the win for the smallest boobs overall. However, Zeeland has about 10% of women ordering cup F, which no other province has. The cup B fans come from Flevoland, the C cups are for Utrecht, D cups Overijssel, and most of the bigger sizes go to Groningen in the lead for Cup E.

If you believe in condoms sales as a size indicator, North Holland and Friesland buy the biggest condoms. Friesland stands out as a province that buys twice as many flavoured condoms as the rest of the country. I wonder if they’re orange flavoured.

(Link: www.bndestem.nl, photo: ecollo.com)

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December 9, 2014

Police ‘arrest’ sheep on the run

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:40 am

Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 11.31.45 AM

In Drachten, Friesland the police stopped a wandering sheep that was causing problems on a local motorway. After a few calls, the police came and grabbed the animal and put it in the back of their vehicle.

The cops thought it a good idea to tweet a picture of the sheep, “as many people had requested them to do”. I’m sure cops don’t ‘arrest’ sheep every day.

The sheep was returned to its owner.

(Link: www.deondernemer.nl)

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November 27, 2014

Supermarket gets local language wrong in advert

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:13 am


Supermarket Albert Heijn has advertised its delivery service throughout the province of Groningen on many billboards in Frisian (see pic), the language of the province next door, which irritated the locals. In Groningen the dialect is Grunnegs, which looks and sounds quite different, and in the case of the adverts implies that proud Groningen has been lumped in with the province of Friesland. Picture the Italian Captain Bertorelli of ‘Allo ‘Allo! saying “What-a-mistaka-to-maka!”.

Albert Heijn has admitted it messed up and will remove the adverts. I don’t understand how it even got that far.

(Links: www.deondernemer.nl, www.adformatie.nl, Photo of Albert Heijn bag by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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January 9, 2014

Tax office in Friesland refuses Frisian letter

Filed under: General,Literature by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

The National Frisian Party claims to have received an unfair fine of 50 euro and decided to complain about it to the local tax office in Leeuwarden, Friesland in the Frisian language.

The law says that if the letter of objection is submitted in a foreign language and a translation is needed to be able to process the objection, the person submitting the letter must provide a translation. The thing is, Frisian isn’t a ‘foreign’ language (as in from another country), it is one of the Netherlands’ recognised minority languages.

According to AD.nl, The NFP is waiting for an answer from the tax office about what their policy actually is with regard to what constitutes a ‘foreign’ language for them. As well, it’s quite surprising that nobody at the tax office in Leeuwarden is apparently capable or willing to read Frisian, considering that Friesland has some 350,000-400,000 native speakers. I have a feeling that if the tax office were to receive a letter in English or German that they wouldn’t have any problems with it, considering their site is partially in English and German.

(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo by Rupert Ganzer, some rights reserved)

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March 29, 2013

Still to be opened Apple museum changes venue

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:22 am

Back in December 2012 we told you about the Netherlands’ first Apple museum opening its doors in Ureterp, Friesland on 16 March 2013, but that didn’t happen due to space issues at the original venue.

Instead, the Apple museum will be housed in a farm in the tiny village of Orvelte, Drenthe. Picture a quaint Dutch village of 230 souls with a blacksmith, a glassblower, a clog maker, an old fashioned sweets shop and an Apple museum.

We’re all still waiting for the official opening date; we’ll keep you posted.

(Link: www.hyped.nl, Photo: two of the many Apples cluttering my closet)

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December 23, 2012

Apple museum opens its doors in Friesland

Filed under: Dutch first,History,IT,Technology by Branko Collin @ 12:33 pm

A museum dedicated to the computers of US manufacturer Apple has opened its doors in the town of Ureterp, just East of Drachten in Friesland.

The Apple Museum Nederland is run by volunteers and focuses on keeping Apple computers up and running so that visitors can experience first hand how these machines used to work. The museum is housed at the top floor of a Mac repair shop and is not affiliated with Apple.

On 22 December the museum opened its doors for the first time and it will also be open on 29 December and 5 January. The official opening will be on 16 March, Bright reports.

Macfreak says this is the third Apple museum in the world. The name Ureterp stems from Urathorp and means ‘Upper Village’, as in upstream from the river Boorne.

(Photo: Google Street View)

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November 12, 2012

Life line for Frisian studies

Filed under: Science by Branko Collin @ 8:15 am

During one of his last days in office former Education Minister Halbe Zijlstra has saved the bachelor programme Minorities and Multilingualism: Into the Frisian Laboratory at the University of Groningen (RUG).

The minister granted the program a subsidy of 120,000 euro per year, the provincial government reported last Tuesday. The RUG will sponsor the programme for the same amount.

In 2010 only one person studied Frisian at the RUG.

Frisian is one of the two official languages of the province of Friesland, the other being Dutch.

Halbe Zijlstra was born in Friesland in 1969, in the town of Oosterwolde.

(Photo by Rupert Ganzer, some rights reserved)

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October 17, 2012

Emergency services in Friesland should understand Frisian

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:13 am

After a fire broke out in the village of Bozum, Friesland last week, the provincial authorities were upset to find out that the emergency services could have dealt with the situation better had the person on the line been able to understand Frisian.

The resident who called to report the blaze was not understood in their native language, which goes against agreements made with the emergency services.

“Frisian is the country’s official second language, and in case of an emergency, any Frisian should have the right to express themselves in their own language.” I would add to that, especially in their own province.

This definitely applies to the elderly and to anyone anywhere in the world in a panic, as we all revert to our first language when under duress. Many haters can easily say that any other language than Dutch in the Netherlands is second-class nonsense, and if everyone just spoke Dutch, the country would be fantastic. Wrong.

If we all spoke English, Chinese or Spanish the world would be at peace. I’m being sarcastic.

Donald Duck is way cool in Frisian, Doutzen Kroes and Sven Kramer are always hot in Frisian.

(Link: nos.nl)

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