November 16, 2015

Postal worker hoards three year’s worth of mail

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:47 pm

The police have found 60 mail bags containing about 13,000 undelivered letters at a Dutch postal worker’s home in Eelde, Drenthe. A local resident filed a formal accusation against PostNL after not having receiving important letters and the police who investigated discovered the mountain of mail at the postal worker’s home.

The worker claimed to be overwhelmed and let her work pile up quite literally from 2012 to August 2015. In 2013 a quick Google search tells us that in Tilburg a postal worker hoarded mail in his shed for three years as well.

Some 20,000 people (lots of women, students and seniors) work mainly part-time delivering mail in the Netherlands, as compared to the image of the full-time possibly unionised mail man. Another quick search using ‘Nederland’ (‘The Netherlands’) and ‘postbode’ (‘mail delivery person’) will regale you with postal workers hoarding mail up and down the land.

Hoarding was not exciting enough for one woman who decided to kick it up a notch and burnt everything to a crisp after just two weeks on the job.


Tags: , , , ,

February 19, 2015

A cardigan that helps with patient rehabilitation

Filed under: Design,Science by Orangemaster @ 11:20 am


The Vigour cardigan is a collaboration between Pauline van Dongen, the TextielMuseum in Tillburg, and fellow PhD candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology, Martijn ten Bhömer. Van Dongen is also known for her long-lasting bioluminescent lamp.

Vigour has integrated stretch sensors that monitor upper body movement. The garment enables geriatric patients, physiotherapists and family to gain more insight into the exercises and progress of a patient’s rehabilitation. The sensors collect data that is then sent to an application installed on a tablet, so it can be analysed to help provide feedback from professionals.

The video is in English.

Vigour from STS CRISP on Vimeo.

(Link:, Photo by Frank Mayne, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , ,

February 12, 2014

Rotating house in Tilburg attracts homeless people

Filed under: Architecture,Art by Orangemaster @ 2:16 pm

Since the opening of this artwork by John Kormeling back in 2008 there have been homeless people living in it, even though it’s not a proper house.

In 2009 some angry welfare recipient had to be removed by the fire brigade from the roof, and last December someone wrote ‘waste of money’ on the roof, while in 2008 someone has written ‘a food bank would be better’.

The rotating house cost 348,000 euro, which apparently many people thought was an expensive use of tax payers’ money. It seems to me that since the artwork looks like an overpriced house (as in for 348,000 clams in Tilburg you’d get something bigger) has made it an easy target.

(Link:, Photo: Stinkfinger Producties)

Tags: , ,

October 24, 2013

Dutch comedian who plays up his blackness under fire

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Online by Orangemaster @ 11:40 am

An advertising campaign featuring comedian Steven Brunswijk from Tilburg, Noord Brabant aimed at young people working in the hospitality sector (hotels, restaurants and cafes, aka ‘horeca’) has raised red flags with anti-discrimination groups as being offensive.

Brunswijk has been known for a few years as the ‘Braboneger’ (‘Brabant negro’ or ‘Brabant n*****’), which is his shtick. It is his stage name and his Twitter handle. What started off as a joke with Brunswijk and his friends making funny videos from a Black guy’s perspective on Noord Brabant (accent, culture, etc.) turned into a character that is on its way to becoming famous.

If anyone thinks that the ad agency came up with the character, then yes, that would be cause for alarm, even though the campaign is about young people getting proper working conditions and nothing to do with discrimination. The problem here is that people are now offended by Brunswijk’s own use of the N-word and therefore the ad campaign is considered to be offensive.

Brunswijk does use the abbreviation ‘BN’, which is also the Dutch abbreviation for celebrity (‘Bekende Nederlander’), again a nice coincidence. Maybe they could have used that instead, but others would see that as censorship.

Noord Brabant television station Omproep Brabant seems nothing but pleased that their guy is head of this campaign.

(Link:,, YouTube screenshot)

Tags: , ,

January 8, 2013

Bell ringing pastor now calls lost sheep up

Filed under: Religion by Orangemaster @ 12:04 pm

We’ve posted about Priest Harm Schilder from Tilburg who had bell ringing issues a few times, attempting to defy the law using freedom of religion as an excuse.

Having lost that battle, he’s now moved on to ‘naming and shaming’, athough he insists this is not what he’s doing, by asking his congregation to pray for people who have decided to dechurch themselves. Schilder also calls these people up, a bit like a marketeer does, to find out why they decided to opt out, but can rarely convince them to change their minds.

The reasons people have apparently given the church for leaving is all the hate speech the Pope dishes out against homosexuals. I’m certain the bottomless pit of child abuse cases that keep cropping up involving the church is not exactly helping their brand name, either.

UPDATE On his blog, Schilder blames the media for twisting his words and blowing things out of proportion, but has caved and decided not to go ahead with his wall of lost sheep, calling it ‘risky’.


Tags: , ,

January 4, 2012

41 design pianos from Tilburg up for grabs

Filed under: Art,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:12 pm

Back in September 2011, a project entitled ”Play Me, I’m Yours” by English artist Luke Jerram at Tilburg’s annual Incubate Festival featured 101 pianos
all over the city
that people could play, painted in all kinds of colours and styles.

The pianos have been through all kinds of weather and are not functional anymore, but they make great conversations pieces and you can bid on them online. The proceeds will go to the foundation No Guts No Glory, which raises money for cancer treatment.

(Link:, Photo of piano keyboard by Adam Henning, some rights reserved)

Tags: ,

September 19, 2011

Bank managers give cheaper loans to customers of the same sex

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:58 am

If you want to save as much as 0.3 percentage points on your interest rates, close a loan with a bank employee of the same sex.

Thorsten Beck, professor at Tilburg University, claims that there is a measurable difference between how loan officers of microcredit lenders treat customers of the same and of the opposite sex. His report Sex and Credit: Is There a Gender Bias in Microfinance (PDF), co-written with Patrick Behr of the Brazilian business school Fundaco Getulio Vargas and Andreas Madestam of the Bocconi University in Milan, focused on lenders in Albania.

The reason they looked at microcredit lenders is because they do not use standard interest rates the way regular banks do.

The chance that opposite sex customers return for a second loan is 11.5 percent smaller, reports.

Tags: , , , , , ,

September 13, 2011

Blinded by false research about meat eaters

Filed under: Food & Drink,Science,Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:02 pm

Professor Diederik Stapel from the University of Tilburg was recently suspended for making up research that the media actually took seriously and wrote about. The university is apparently looking into his previous ‘research’.

His latest nonsense that hit the papers was that meat eaters are more ill-mannered (aggressive, selfish, asocial, you know) than vegetarians. Professor Roos Vonk of the Radboud University in Nijmegen ran with this story and got nailed for doing so, once the media figured out it was made up. She claimed that she never thought for a moment that it could be false. Vonk explained that her expectations were that vegetarians were more empathic towards others than meat eaters, which turns out is 100% pure crapola. Vonk used to chair the animal activitst group Wakker Dier and is a member of the Party for the Animals. Call me crazy, but I suspect she’s a vegetarian.

She candidly admitted to have been stupid about trusting this research as she did have some doubts about Stapel’s methods. Human behaviour has shown throughout history that people believe what sounds good to them all the time.

And if Vonk truly believes that meat eaters are douche bags, she’ll want to buy into any nonsense that says what she would like to think could be true, making her vulnerable and gullible. You could argue that by not eating meat you’re doing a good thing, but placing yourself above others for that reason makes you a douche bag and in this case, a blinded, crappy scientist. It insults the intelligent, open-minded vegetarians and vegans out there that are not douche bags, for starters.

Oh and if you need to believe that your lifestyle choices are better by denigrating others, you’re also a douche bag.

UPDATE: Vonk eats meat sometimes, albeit organic. She admitted on Dutch telly that if the research had shown the opposite or that it didn’t matter what people ate, she wouldn’t have bothered with it. She also thinks meat eaters have a superiority complex, while she’s in fact the one thinking she’s a superior douche bag.

(Link:, Photo:

Tags: , ,

August 31, 2011

Pianos take over the streets of Tilburg

Filed under: Art,Music by Orangemaster @ 5:27 pm

A project entitled ”Play Me, I’m Yours” by English artist Luke Jerram at Tilburg’s annual Incubate Festival will feature 101 pianos scattered around the city between September 12 and 18. Anybody can go and play the pianos in the parks, squares and at train stations. And they’ll surely be painted all kinds of pretty colours.

Some 200 musicians and music students have already showed a keen interest in giving concerts. And with so many people wanting to go and play the pianos, the city of Tilburg will surpass Jerram’s previous projects that took place in major cities such as New York and London.

Incubate donated the pianos and volunteer residents will babysit and care for the pianos during the event. Pet pianos, if you will. And with all this rain, that sounds like a good idea although all the rumours point to fantastic weather in September. And there will be music, too.

(Link:, Photo of piano keyboard by Adam Henning, some rights reserved)

Tags: ,

June 17, 2010

Neighbourhood cops that twitter

Filed under: Online by Branko Collin @ 8:43 pm

Meet Peter Smaardijk and Ilse Segers, twittering cops. These two police officers from Etten-Leur and Breda respectively have started posting about their beat from their Blackberries last week.

Together with two officers from Tilburg they will post tweets about their daily police life in order to be more accessible. The Noord Brabant police also hopes to increase its network of eyes and ears this way.

In practice, the four officers twitter both standard police announcements (“watch out for pick pockets”) and their day-to-day affairs (“Spent the rest of the night writing the report.”). The police recommend citizens do not to use Twitter to report a crime.

(Photo: / Politie Midden en West Brabant. Link: BN/De Stem.)

Tags: , , , ,