May 20, 2016

Wanted mafia boss ran top pizza joint

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health by Orangemaster @ 10:51 am

For years in Scheveningen Rocco Gasperoni of the ‘Ndrangheta’ or Calabrian mafia was happily making the best pizzas the neighbourhood had even eaten until his arrest about a week ago.

And his story reads like a movie. His criminal activities date back to 1997 where he was arrested in Spain, then sentenced to 14 years of hard time for smuggling drugs between Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. He was eventually placed in house arrest and managed to flee to the Netherlands.

The Italian government tried to have Gasperoni extradited, but apparently messed up the paperwork and he was free again. Then he opened up a few shops, but the pizza shop is the one that made him popular, although neighbours claimed that shady characters would visit the joint and sit in dark corners. And then the Italians tried to extradite Gasperoni again, but since he had been in the Netherlands for so long, it didn’t stick and more pizzas were made.

As of a week ago Gasperoni will be doing 12 years of a 14-year sentence in a Dutch prison. Dutch authorities blame the differences between Italian and Dutch laws for why it took so much time to put him away.

(Links:,, Photo of Pizza pie by Adam Kuban, some rights reserved)

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April 6, 2008

No need to refresh car’s oil says former oil mogul

Filed under: Automobiles,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 2:02 pm

“Refreshing your car’s oil regularly is nonsense, a myth that’s been spread by the oil and car industries for years now,” says Henk de Groot. And he should know, as he is a former CEO of Castrol Nederland. Apparently all you need to do is regularly top up the oil in your car, and check it with a special dipstick that won’t just tell you the level, but also the quality of the oil, and you should be good for hundreds of thousands of miles. Luckily for all of us, Henk de Groot just happens to have invented this magical dipstick.

De Telegraaf (Dutch) helpfully calculates that the costs of excessively refreshing your motor oil are 600 million euro per year to Dutch drivers alone, not to mention the environmental costs. “I am doing this for my grandchildren,” De Groot explains.

“But the industry’s tentacles reach far. That is why they silenced me, the interests are too big.” Nary a word about the faked moonlandings though.

I welcome links to this magic dipstick in the comments.

Via De Telegravin (Dutch). Photo by Dvortygirl, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license version 3.0.

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