May 31, 2018

Priceless books found in Dutch Parliament

Filed under: History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 3:24 pm


While cleaning up the book attic of the Dutch Parliament to get ready for a big move in the near future, hundreds of priceless books have been discovered, including a first edition of Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith’s ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’ aka ‘The Wealth of Nations’ worth a few hundred thousand euro, published in 1776. Although it is said not to be that rare, it is very much in demand by rich folks as a showpiece in their offices.

Among the hundreds of books published before 1830, 10 percent of them are unique, with no existing second edition. The rest of the books are mostly from the second half of the eighteenth century. Many of the books will need to be restored and will possibly be exhibited at some point in time.


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February 17, 2012

Members of Parliament call each other Muppets

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 1:13 pm

Dutch Green party politician Ineke van Gent called Labour Party Jacques Monasch one of the old whinging geezers Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets during a debate on the high speed train line. She opened the door for him to quip back at her with, “I won’t tell you which Muppet you remind me of”, which most probably meant Miss Piggy, as she’s quite corpulent and blonde.

And if that banter wasn’t insignificant enough, a national supermarket had people saving Kermit points to be able to score Muppet hand puppets, but oh no, they’ve run out and people are pissed, small children are disappointed and a meltdown is in progress.

When the well-known character of said national supermarket commercials finally meets Kermit (notice the magical Dutch to English translation), he impolitely talks over him, calls his friends up and acts like a total douche.


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May 25, 2011

Calling James Sharpe a ‘porn baron’ is a bad, bad thing, judge says

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:25 pm

Former parliamentarian James Sharpe of the right-wing extremist Freedom Party (PVV) won an injunction against free newspaper Spits last week.

Spits is no longer allowed to call James Sharpe a ‘porn baron’. The epithet is ‘biased and unnecessarily hurtful’, internet lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet alleges.

One imagines the porn industry will be elated to see itself officially disassociated from Sharpe by a court of law.

Sharpe, son of a black immigrant and married to a Romanian woman, won a seat in parliament on a platform of hatred against immigrants, but resigned his seat when it became clear that he had lied about his Hungarian porn empire having a run-in with the law. This was during a time when Freedom Party front man (and single member) Geert Wilders still tried to get rid of representatives with a shady past—until he realised that this way he would soon be running out of viable candidates.

(Image: the Freedom Party logo. Any association with the logo of the Dutch Nazi party is, I am sure, as coincidental as flying the Dutch Nazi party flag.)

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July 21, 2009

Vote for the next Google Street View target

Filed under: Bicycles,Dutch first by Branko Collin @ 9:16 am

Google has had a tricycle custom built to take photos in locations that Street View cars and vans have difficulty accessing. They already had the trike take pictures in Italy and the United Kingdom, and now it is heading to the Netherlands.

If you like, you can vote which Dutch locations will get the Street View treatment, candidates include the old Parliament buildings, the Efteling theme park, and the Scheveningen boulevard which sports the only pleasure pier of the country.

(Link: Algemeen Dagblad. Photo of an Efteling dragon by Jeroen Kransen, some rights reserved)

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March 29, 2007

Deep linking to parliamentary documents

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:00 am

binnenhof.jpgThe Geen Commentaar blog has built a front-end to Parlando, the government website that publishes the minutes of Dutch parliamentary sessions, including the texts of laws that are not yet in effect. The official Parlando service had several usability problems, including that it wasn’t possible to link to parliamentary documents directly, making hyperlinking far less effective, and making government far less transparent. The Dutch government has been aware of these problems since at least the end of 2005 and promised at the time to do something to improve the service, but had not even decided on a deadline by the start of this year.

Rumours have it (Dutch) that this slow progress is because the state has friends that it wants to share its big pie of work with, even at the cost of transparent government. I blogged about one of these friends before.

The new front-end can be found at

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