October 28, 2020

Dutch student finds artwork by cubist André Lhote

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 10:23 am

A 22-year-old Dutch art student named Bob spotted a work by French cubist André Lhote on Dutch second-hand site Marktplaats. Bob figured the painting could be worth a lot, so he bought it from a family in Bloemendaal, a rather posh coastal city in the province of North Holland.

Bob then went to Paris to have the painting examined by the world’s André Lhote expert, Dominique Bermann Martin of the André Lhote Association who collects the artist’s works. Her evaluation of the painting was swift, as it was the real deal, estimated to be worth tens of thousands of euro.

The family who sold it didn’t know what the painting was worth, and according to other articles, Bob said that they couldn’t be bothered to find out. As Bob put it, they could have gone to Paris themselves to have the painting examined.

(Link and photo: rtlnieuws.nl)

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July 23, 2019

Coloured flats for students ready to rent in August

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 9:50 pm

Pointed out to us on Twitter and for rent on Funda.nl, these colourful flats in Almere are meant for students. They consist of one room of 18 square metres of living space with everything in it and rent is 398 euro a month, excluding service costs.

The flats are nicknamed ‘space boxes’, a fitting name for housing in general these days, and should be ready to rent mid August. Students can only rent a flat for a maximum of eight years and need to get out six months after you finish your studies.

In the meantime, from various sources, international students are still flatly being discriminated against because they don’t speak Dutch, are not Dutch or people renting out rooms to them are bigots. Here’s what we wrote about that back in 2018.

(Link and photo: funda.nl)

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February 23, 2019

Dutch language Bachelor’s now history at VU Amsterdam

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 4:45 pm

The decline of Dutch studies was already in the cards in 2018, but now the first nail in the coffin has been hammered by the VU Amsterdam by shutting down the Dutch language Bachelor program.

The reason is simple: next to nobody wants to study Dutch at this major Amsterdam university. The program has five students interested this year, while the Literature and Society Bachelor’s degree has never attracted more than 10 students since 2013.

A spokesperson for the university claims it’s ‘irresponsible’ to continue to offer the Bachelor’s degree. However, there are still enough students for the Master’s program, but one wonders how long that will last.

(Link: nu.nl)

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October 8, 2018

Student sushi chef gets his own pop-up restaurant

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 3:09 pm

Back in May we told you about Kitsanin Thanyakulsajja, a student who ran a sushi restaurant from his dorm room and all the praise he got. Of course, he was doing it for the money, but he also wanted to improve himself as a chef.

Kit is now working in a posh hotel downtown Amsterdam in his own private, pop-up restaurant. He now also has a Bachelor’s degree, the main reason he came to the Netherlands. Since the media has announced that he is working in a ‘real’ restaurant, he is booked solid for all of October, with November and December reservations opening up soon. The cost of an intimate 15-course meal is 125 euro per person. He was also booked pretty solid when he was running Ephemeral, the name of his sushi joint in his dorm room. There, he slept a few hours a night, so he is relieved that era is over.

Kit now has a choice to make between starting his own restaurant, going back to Tokyo or Bangkok, or getting a Master’s degree here in Amsterdam. If he opts for Asia where the level of learning about sushi is the highest in the world, chances are he won’t come back to Amsterdam. To be continued!

(Link: parool.nl, photo: munchies.vice.com)

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August 16, 2018

International students flatly turned down for housing

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 5:18 pm

According to RTVUtrecht, tons of advertisements for student housing (usually rooms in a house that has been subdivided for that purpose; they don’t live on campus), are flatly and illegally turning down internationals. It’s also not news that this group, maybe more than the Dutch, are also falling prey to dodgy landlords.

In this Dutch video, the chairman of a student rights association explains that international students should not be turned away, but quickly adds that he understands why this is done since it is so difficult for the Dutch to find housing, and that ‘there is a language barrier and many obstacles to be able to live with an international student’.

The thing is, major universities have been encouraging foreign students to enrol at their establishments to make money, but have no plans to deal with the strain that this causes on society, which in turn is then becomes the government’s problem. And since there’s a constant state of housing shortage that has existed at least in the big Dutch cities such as Utrecht for decades, it seems to be nobody’s responsibility, leading to this kind of self-protecting behaviour.

The chairman in the video blames the government and the universities and not the international students for the problem. A quick Internet search has students living on camping sites, caravans, hostels, refugee centers and even their cars for a bit until some of them get lucky, find a couch, or actually give up their studies. People are still willing to pay just more than regular people renting an entire flat to get a room because they don’t have many options.

This article is from last year, but paints a picture of what internationals go through here to try and find a room to live in.

And we wrote about students living in containers in Amsterdam a few years back.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl, Photo of Multi-storey container housing by Rory Hyde, some rights reserved)

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May 28, 2018

Student runs top sushi restaurant from dorm room

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:11 pm

Thai student Kitsanin Thanyakulsajja lives in a dorm room in Amsterdam where he has been running underground sushi restaurant Ephemeral for about three years. Thanyakulsajja will be stopping soon to start writing his thesis because that’s why he came to Amsterdam in the first place: to study.

With no restaurant experience and instead of ‘peeling potatoes’ at some Dutch eatery for low wages, he decided to open up an omakase joint, offering a very fancy 15-course Japanese meal, prepared and served by him in his dorm room, complete with a Tokyo-style counter and traditional Japanese tableware.

According to Munchies, within the last year, Ephemeral has been visited by some of Amsterdam’s most popular food critics, all of whom gave rave reviews. Local Michelin-starred chefs have also eaten here, many of whom expressed an interest in working with with the young student-stroke-chef in the future, if ever his studies bring him on a different path. Thanyakulsajja already has plans to collaborate with other restaurants and introduce Project Omakase to the wider Amsterdam food scene.

Then there’s the elephant in the dorm room: it’s probably illegal, but apparently nobody has a problem with this because everyone is raving about it.

(Link and photo: munchies.vice.com)

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May 11, 2018

HEMA pulls bad protractors before finals

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 5:18 pm


Lonneke van Krimpen was studying for her final exam in geometry at the secondary school level and noticed something was off. She did a practice question from a 2014 exam and noticed that her protractor was wrong. A friend of hers apparently had the same issue and so they told HEMA that their protractors were badly made.

HEMA was happy to be told this especially before the entire country takes their final exams. They said they have pulled their protractors from the shelves, flagged their inventory, and even blocked any sales of them at the cash register. As well, anyone with a bad instrument can trade it in for a good one.

The specific problem is that between the 50 and 60 there are 11 spaces, and between 60 and 70 there are 10, when in both cases there should be nine.

(Link: telegraaf.nl, Photo of Protractor by Richard Wheeler (Zephyris), some rights reserved)

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February 20, 2018

Detecting fake news by playing a game

Filed under: General,Online by Orangemaster @ 11:09 am

Dutch media collective DROG together with Cambridge researchers is launching an English version of the fake news game online today that teaches people how to immunise themselves against fake news.

“The game encourages players to stoke anger, mistrust and fear in the public by manipulating digital news and social media. Players build audiences for their fake news sites by publishing polarizing falsehoods, deploying Twitter bots, photoshopping evidence, and inciting conspiracy theories in the wake of public tragedy, all while maintaining a ‘credibility score’ to remain as persuasive as possible”.

Teenagers at a Dutch secondary school played the game use pen and paper, and demonstrated that the perceived ‘reliability’ of fake news diminished with those who played the game, as compared to a control group.

“If you know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of someone who is actively trying to deceive you, it should increase your ability to spot and resist the techniques of deceit”, explains says Dr. Sander van der Linden, Director of Cambridge University’s Social Decision-Making Lab.

The game will be rolled out in other languages and aimed at countries that have a high level of fake news like Ukraine.

(Link: phys.org)

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January 16, 2017

Fashion made from waste found in the sea

Filed under: Animals,Fashion by Orangemaster @ 1:53 pm

Delta works

The Deltapark Neeltje Jans, a Dutch theme park near the Delta Works, is currently hosting the Healthy Seas Fashion Exhibition, featuring fashion created by Greek students from waste found in the sea.

The exhibition tells the “journey from waste to wear, the problem of ghost nets, recycling, circular economy and see what fashion design students created from the recycled fishing nets”.

The Netherlands is home to the Healthy Seas organisation, and the combination of the Neeltje Jans and Delta Works gives the exhibition an additional dimension, according to them, as they also claim that 10 percent of the waste found in water is fish nets, which explains the fish net fashion.

Find out more about how it all came about (in Greek with English subtitles):

(Links: bright and healthyseas.org, Photo of Delta Works by Coanri/Rita, some rights reserved)

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November 30, 2015

Young men disadvantaged by forced dropping out in the Netherlands

Filed under: Health,Science by Branko Collin @ 11:47 pm

Girls’ brains develop faster than those of boys, and as a result boys aren’t always ready when it is crunch time in college, a literature review by researchers of Maastricht University and the University of Amsterdam concludes.

In 2009 Dutch institutions of higher education were given the right to ‘fire’ students with low grades (iudicium abeundi). The researchers fear that this measure unfairly disadvantages male adolescent students because their studying skills are less developed than those of female students of the same age. The study finds the non-cognitive brain functions favoured in today’s education, such as motivation, initiative and a talent for introspection, develop earlier in girls.

The study also finds large differences in non-cognitive skills within each gender, which is why the researchers recommend that interventions be aimed at both boys and girls. What these interventions could look like is too early to tell, the study reports.

The study entitled The Boys Against the Girls was commissioned by the Ministry of Education and was released earlier this month.

(Link: ANS, photo of a lightbulb by Emil Kabanov, some rights reserved)

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