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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January 8, 2019

Don’t let horses lick your car

Filed under: Animals,Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 11:46 am

Some of you might be rolling their eyes, others like me are surprised: apparently horses like to lick car paint, damaging cars, and one Dutch nature association in Nijmegen, Gelderland is warming people about it with the pictogram above.

I have zero scientific knowledge of why horses like car paint and metallic paint in particular, so I’m going with a Google search for plausible answers:

– They like shiny things
– They really need salt
– Lack of nutrients from the plants in their pasture (I vote for this one)
– Boredom
– They like the taste of metal

In any case, it’s bad for them and bad for your car! And it’s like chips (crisps) for humans: once they taste it, they want more.

The idea is to park your car far away from the horses. Having to explain horse damage to your insurance company is probably difficult as well.

(Link and pictogram: naturetoday.com)

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December 5, 2017

Road sign riddle in Zaltbommel

Filed under: Animals,Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 6:28 pm


These signs spotted in Zaltbommel, Noord-Brabant look like more of a riddle than actual road signs, but the worse part is, they say exactly what the municipality needed to say: no horseback riders.

Why not a sign with a horseback rider and a red stripe around it sort of business like with other types of road signs? Because the sign that expresses no horseback riders isn’t an official sign any more by law, although one was actually put one on the shoulder ‘to make things clear’. By law, horseback riders are now considered agriculture vehicles even if the vehicles in question don’t require horses.

The top sign in this image is ‘road closed to horseback riders, cattle, motor vehicles and motorbikes that cannot go faster than 25 kph and microcars, as well as cyclists, scooters and handicapped vehicles’. The bottom sign says ‘except’ (the ‘U’ in the word ‘uitzondering’ (‘exception’) in Dutch should be lower case) and then the same pictograms, but excluding the horseback riders.

(Link and image: omroepgelderland.nl)

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January 7, 2014

Boffins develop first ever sports drink for horses

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:10 pm

The Healthy Horse Hydration, already a mouthful to pronounce for many, is meant to be a sports drink for horses, the first ever of its kind.

For the record, if I were asked to come up with a better product name (I do get hired for product slogans), I’d call it ‘Power Horse’ or maybe ‘Horse Power’.

After a good run, the idea is to give your horse some HHH (why does that sound like a drug?) which apparently smells of apples. According to the video found in the link, it took hundreds of thousands of euro to develop the product, a pouch full of powder that dissolves in water when stirred that does look like apple juice. One of the scientists explains that the horse drinks the juice in the bucket thinking it will also get an apple and just ends up drinking the entire bucket.

On the whole, giving your horse a good drink after a good run sounds fine. Humans more often than not gulp down sports drinks for all the wrong reasons, including the insane amount of sugar in them. As well, comparing HHH to caffeine or taurine based drinks is already a huge mistake, as they are marketed as ‘energy’ drinks and not as sports drinks, plus they actually dehydrate instead of rehydrate.

And then there’s the Dutch word ‘paardenmiddel’ (paarden = horses, middel = means), which means ‘last ditch effort’ for something, which funny enough could work against the Dutch market image and partially explain the sour apple comments about HHH so far. Then again, if people don’t know the difference between sports drinks and energy drinks, their comments are for entertainment purposes only.

(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of Oostvaardersplassen horses by fransdewit, some rights reserved)

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April 19, 2013

Searching and capturing that elusive horse wind

Filed under: Animals,Nature by Orangemaster @ 10:25 am

Dutch documentary filmmaker Henk Meeuwsen is looking for an assistant sound recordist (sign up through the link) to capture the sound of horse farts in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve, lodged in between the cities of Almere and Lelystad, Flevoland and home to the biggest herd of wild horses in all of Europe. You can see the horses and deers from the train when you travel from Amsterdam to Zwolle going North and it is indeed a beautiful sight.

Meeuwsen has managed to record horse farts, but unfortunately there has been either too much noise from passing trains and planes or from other nature sounds to be used in his latest nature film, due out this September. This job sounds like a fun challenge if ever there was one.

(Link: opmerkelijk.nieuws.nl, Photo of Oostvaardersplassen horses by fransdewit, some rights reserved)

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July 14, 2009

Lotte Klaver’s mesmerizing sketches

Filed under: Animals,Art by Branko Collin @ 10:16 am

Lotte Klaver has been posting sketches to her blog since she was yay high, or at least yay old, so that by now, what with her prolific output, her online portfolio is big enough for grown art lovers to get lost in. In fact, she started her blog before we started 24 Oranges, and I remember thinking back then: “this would be a good posting for a site about wonderful Dutch things.” After which I forgot. Apologies for the delay, good reader.

She also sells tees singing praise of the wonderful bond between humans and cephalopods, and you just know there are people who are into that sort of thing.

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March 6, 2008

Yuppies kill horses rather than send them to the butcher

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink,Music by Branko Collin @ 2:25 pm

Singer Henk Westbroek praised the sausages of Wim van Beek in his column in De Pers yesterday. Van Beek was one of the last horse butchers of the Netherlands, and died last year. After a hiatus of three months, his son ewopened the business, and the man who is one of the founders of the 1980s Nederpop movement thinks the son’s sausages are as good as those of the father.

But there is a problem. According to Westbroek, the butcher only has a limited supply of horses. He only buys horses that are two year olds or younger, which usually are hobby horses with which the owner got bored. Nowadays, owners think it is “sad” that horses are killed for their meat, so they have the horses put to sleep (and presumably have the horses buried). And so the famous sausages of Van Beek in Utrecht are never on sale for long.

Update 12-3: the text of the column is now available in Dutch on Westbroek’s site.

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