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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November 25, 2020

Robbers auction off 300 stolen cheeses

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:03 pm

A cheese farm in Lievelde, Gelderland was recently robbed of 300 cheeses in the middle of the night. Soon after, the cheeses were being sold on Dutch auction site Marktplaats. In connection with the robbery, the police caught a man and a woman (insert Bonnie and Clyde cheese joke) who were probably not the masterminds behind the operation, and have been let go.

The robbers caused between 30,000 and 40,000 euro worth of damages to the shop that thankfully is insured. Back in 2016 there was a wave of robberies in the same area, with at least six cheese farms robbed of 10,000 euro worth of cheese, including the one in Lievelde.

(Link:, Photo of Gouda by Jon Sullivan, released into the public domain by its author)

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November 16, 2020

World premiere: Bob Ross exhibition in The Netherlands

Filed under: Art,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 3:31 pm

Last weekend Marketing and Communication Specialist Ellen van Slagmaat of Museum MORE and Mauritshuis Restorator Abbie Vandivere were both on Dutch radio show ‘Spijkers met Koppen’ to talk about the very first solo exhibition of American painter and television personality Bob Ross.

Bob Ross was famous for his television show ‘The Joy of Painting’ that showed millions of people in the United States and Canada how easy it was to paint, and did so with one of the most soothing voices on public television. Not only did he paint very quickly, but for each show, he made three or four of the same landscape paintings, Vandivere explained on the radio. Ross had 381 episodes of his show, so that’s a whole lot of paintings of ‘happy little clouds’ and ‘almighty mountains’.

Although parodied and admired for decades, he is now being taken more seriously and being appreciated much more, which is why Van Slagmaat worked hard to set up the exhibition, the world’s first ever solo exhibition of Ross’ works. The exhibition will open in the spring of 2021.

Here’s an episode of Bob Ross painting some Northern Lights:

(Link: hartvannederland, Photo of Bob Ross at his easel, some rights reserved)

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July 27, 2020

Horse helped determine law in the age of the Internet

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:48 pm

It was 1914, there was a world war being fought, and a clever man thought he had found a way to smuggle a horse.

In that year, exporting horses from Azewijn, in the neutral Netherlands, to warring Germany was illegal. As local newspaper De Graafschap-bode told the story at the time:

L. Lueb, 32 years of age and farmer in Klein Netterden (Germany) is being tried for exporting a horse on 7 September 1914 from the municipality of Bergh across the border at Klein Netterden, by pulling said animal through the water of said canal towards the place from which he was pulling whilst standing on the German side of the border canal while the horse was on the other side of said canal, with clear intent and by means of a rope tied around the neck of said horse.

People used so many words in those days…

The courts could just smell that Mr Lueb was guilty, but legally, a whiff is not enough. A law needs to be found by which to convict a person. But more than that, they had to agree they had jurisdiction. The law rarely determines that somebody can be tried for something they did in another country.

The result was that the case ended up before the Dutch supreme court.

The original court held that not the location of the perpetrator, but rather the ‘exportable object’ determined the location of the crime, Haal Je Recht writes.

The appeals court disagreed and came up with a post-human solution: the rope is an extension of the arm, and the arm was on Dutch soil at the time of the crime. The Dutch supreme court reworded the verdict, but came pretty much to the same conclusion: one can use an instrument to act in a different place from where one currently is.

In our current day and age, it has become much easier to use an instrument to act in a different place. The supreme court referenced the Case of the Horse of Azewijn as recent as last year when it convicted skimmers who had tried to plunder Dutch bank accounts from an ATM in Milan, Italy.

In 1915, Mr Lueb was convicted to a prison sentence of three months. What happened to the horse, I don’t know.

Photo of he German – Dutch border canal near Netterden by Pieter Delicaat, some rights reserved.

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May 10, 2020

City council meeting plague by porn

Filed under: General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:06 pm

The Dutch town of West Betuwe, Gelderland recently held online meetings of its city council using the popular meeting software Zoom. In the spirit of wanting to show its residents what they were up to, folks could follow the meeting by clicking on a link. Problem is, the wrong link was made public and city council was bombarded with racist slurs, fascist symbols and pornography.

It’s simple: city council supplied the wrong link to the public, but the Dutch media had fun blaming Zoom, hackers and everybody else but the officials who apparently didn’t know what they were doing. Of course, they had to cut their meetings short and need to figure out how Zoom works – Have they? They are considering going to the police as well since they had to deal with very nasty stuff.

Meeting in person like they used to is currently not possible due to the coronavirus. And it was also the first time citizens could watch. Now West Betuwe has a reason to figure out how online meetings work. However, I can imagine that it was a terrible experience for city council. It was so shocking that meeting again in person following Covid-19 measures is back on the table.

(Link:, Photo of Paris Louvre facepalm by Phelan Riessen, some rights reserved)

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December 23, 2019

Longest Dutch street name sign disappears

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:43 am

In Early December, not too long ago in a land not too far away – Duiven, Gelderland in the East of the country which some of you might know for its big Swedish furniture store – was able to claim they had the longest street name in the country: Laan van de landinrichtingscommissie Duiven-Westervoort (roughly, ‘The Duiven-Westervoort land use committee lane’).

However, the 2.6 meter-long sign disappeared or was removed two weeks after it was unveiled. It is unclear why the sign is gone: theft, repairs, who knows. And nobody knows if the city of Duiven is planning to make a new one. My money is on ‘stolen’ simply because the sign is so unique. The street had technically been around since 2010, but only recently got its own sign. Easy come, easy go.

Talking about signs always reminds me that an entire Dutch neighbourhood has street names based on Lord of the Rings.

(Link and sign:

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May 10, 2019

Amsterdam marketing appropriates another castle

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 4:53 pm

Back in 2013, Muiderslot (Muiden Castle) was rebranded to Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot, which is 16 kilometres from Amsterdam Central Station, closer if you leave from the East of Amsterdam, and most people here thought it was ridiculous.

And now, in the spirit of peeing on something and claiming it is part of your territory, Het Loo Palace near Apeldoorn, Gelderland, 88 kilometres from Amsterdam, is being branded as the ‘Versailles of Amsterdam’.

Just what Amsterdam needs, to be compared to Paris. Even Versailles is in the city of Versailles, not Paris. It’s been ages and I’m still miffed that one of the classic songs about Amsterdam, ‘Geef mij maar Amsterdam’ talks more about Paris than Amsterdam, but that’s because many people Dutch or otherwise don’t know all the lyrics.

Het Loo is nowhere near Amsterdam and it’s beautiful enough not to need any Amsterdam stamp of approval. As well, calling everything Amsterdam is incorrect and incredibly arrogant, a Dutch cardinal sin if there ever was one. We’ve already had to deal with the world-famous Keukenhof being referred to Amsterdam Flowers, Zandvoort as Amsterdam Beach and a whole bunch of other idiotic rebranding ideas, all of it in English as well.

It’s bad enough Holland is used as a synonym for the Netherlands, why is this even necessary? Make it stop.

(Link: , Photo by Wikipedia, some rights reserved)

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April 11, 2019

Nijmegen’s new square has the wrong name

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 8:17 pm

The city of Nijmegen, Gelderland has named a square downtown after three figures from the city’s history, but has managed to spell their last name incorrectly.

Name after Medieval painters and brothers Herman, Paul and Johan, the square is called ‘Gebroeders Van Limburgplein’ (‘Brothers Van Limburg square’). Thanks to recent research done by an employee of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the proper spelling appears to be ‘Van Lymborch’, something the museum is calling an important milestone in the lives and work of the brothers.

Famous Dutch historian Johan Huizinga wrote their last names as ‘Van Limburg’ at some point and everybody just followed suit. In English, they were known as the ‘Limbourg brothers’. However, in Nijmegen documents from the fifteenth century, the spelling Van Lymborch was used. Lymborch was a dutchy located between the city of Achen in Germany and the city of Liège in Belgium. Now a city, it is called Limbourg, and has nothing to do with the Dutch province of Limburg as people thought.

Nijmegen’s Gebroeders van Limburg festival will be held in August and also get a name change to the Gebroeders Van Lymborch festival. The name change will not affect any addresses on the square as they are new houses with nobody living in them yet. That’s obviously way better than in Soesterberg where the street changed name overnight (possibly by mistake) and nobody told the residents.

(Link and photo:

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July 9, 2018

Tax office loses fight against Dutch preacher

Filed under: Religion by Orangemaster @ 8:51 pm

A preacher of the Reformed Congregations (Protestant) from Amersfoort, Utrecht got into it with the Dutch tax office over wanting to deduct a dress jacket he used for special occasions like weddings as work clothing, which the tax office refused.

The 354,95 euro jacket was bought in 2013 and claimed as work clothing that year, but the tax office claimed it could also be worn casually, therefore it could not be deducted.

The preacher brought the matter before a court in Gelderland. He claimed he only wore the jacket for very specific work occasions, not in his spare time. The court also turned down his claim.

Not finished pleading his case, the preacher appealed the lower court’s decision, and the court of Arnhem-Leeuwarden took his side this week. Due to the buttons and other specific traits of the jacket, the court clearly saw a different type of garment that just a jacket and sided with the preacher who was then allowed to deduct it as work clothing. It was also bought at a very specific shop for that very same reason.

The preacher was refunded the money he spent fighting the case in court and can now adjust his tax return.

(Link:, Photo by Johan Wieland, some rights reserved)

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July 3, 2018

Farmer outwits mayor with advertising trick

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 5:27 pm

A farmer in Berkelland, Gelderland had a shed built on his land along the new N18 motorway to use as a shed, reduce traffic noise and make some extra cash. The idea was to rent space on the side of his shed to advertisers.

However, once the space was rented, which happened fairly quickly, the mayor went over to the farmer and explained that he was not allowed by local law to have advertising on his shed that was unrelated to his business. The farmer removed the advertising banner, but used several Dutch expressions to say that he wasn’t going to take it lying down.

The farmer then parked a trailer next to his shed and put advertising there. He is allowed to put adverts on a trailer by law, and it would be weird if he couldn’t. The municipality checked their facts and indeed, the farmer can go this route. “There are tons of trucks driving around with adverts on them, you’re not going to pull them all from the road?” reasoned the farmer. Since the trailer is ‘rolling stock’ with wheels, it can have advertising that is non-related to the business of the farmer.

However, the mayor isn’t quite ready to let it go: if our farmer friend doesn’t move his trailer within a year or takes the wheels off and makes it a more permanent structure, then they’ll be back in a year. Farmer wins for now.

I wonder if he farms any cucumbers, as this is great ‘cucumber news’ (slow news period in the Netherlands).


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