September 19, 2021

This window sticker threatens to shoot you

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:03 pm

Orangemaster and I came across this sticker on a window overlooking the back alley of taco bar Mr. Haz in the Jordaan neighbourhood of Amsterdam.

It shows a drawing of a revolver pointed straight at the viewer and a text that reads “Beveiligd door” (“Secured by”), followed by a company name and phone number.

I had to chuckle. Security guards in the Netherlands are not allowed to carry arms, making this is a crude joke or an announcement that the security company staff are worse than the people they are supposed to stop. It strikes me as variant of the sticker that contains a picture of a dog and the text “hier waak ik” (“I guard this place”) – except of course that guard dogs are legal.

Recently, there have been voices from the Dutch security industry, especially from the so-called BOAs (community service officers), asking to be armed (Dutch).

(Photo: Orangemaster)

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June 1, 2021

Single mother turns to crowdfunding for house

Filed under: General,Online,Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:15 pm

It’s only getting tougher to find a house to buy in The Netherlands. There’s a lack of affordable houses, often bought up at hundreds of thousands of euro above the asking price (according to Dutch news show Nieuwsuur on 31 May 2021), more often than not by investors who will subdivided the houses into small and make tons off renting them. By the way, this practice should be heavily restricted in 2022 if all goes as planned.

Nathalie, 40, lives alone with her daughter, a dog and a bunny in 46 square metres and pays €950 in rent before utilities. She pays more than most, and less than some. However, she is unable to put money aside to buy a house and cannot get social housing because her salary is often just above the limit. Many people are in similar situations.

Since she cannot find a house, she has decided to try her hand at crowdfunding to raise €1 million from 1 million people. “If everyone sends a euro, I’ll soon have my dream house.” Of course, social media has made mince meat of her cry for help, but I’ll give her points for trying and being honest about it. As I write this, she has raised €7.530, with about a year to go for the rest.

Back in 2005, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year and everybody through he was brilliant, just saying.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo: designboom.com)

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May 12, 2021

First ever European tenants of 3D house in Eindhoven

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 2:21 pm

On April 30, a retired Dutch couple from Amsterdam have become Europe’s first tenants of a fully 3D printed house in Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, a cream coloured modern house with a bunker-like feel. Thanks to extra thick insulation and a connection to the heating network, the house is very comfortable and energy efficient.

Printed layer by layer at a factory in Eindhoven, the parts were transported by truck to the construction site and placed on a foundation. The house was then equipped with a roof and window frames, and its finishings. One of the advantages of 3D printing is that the concrete printer has the ability to place concrete only where it is needed, without overloading the foundations and without wasting materials, making it a green choice.

Although it is early days, the 3D printing method is seen by many within the construction industry as a way to lower costs and damage to the environment. In the Netherlands, it also provides an alternative at a time when there is a shortage of skilled bricklayers.

The couple, who have lived in four different types of home in the past six years, are paying €800 a month to live in the home for six months as of August 1st. I can tell you that this is a very good price, considering the overheated housing market and the next to non-existent availability of places to rent.

(Links and image: archdaily.com and theguardian.com)

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April 28, 2021

Dutch brand Moooi produces ‘impossible’ flower chair

Filed under: Design,Nature by Orangemaster @ 11:00 am

Dutch design brand Moooi has partnered with Argentinian 3D artist Andrés Reisinger to mass-produce his Hortensia chair, also known as “the chair that could not be made”.

Back in 2018, Reisinger designed the chair as a ‘digital’ piece of furniture, but it has now been made into a physical chair covered in 30,000 fabric petals, available in the original pink as well as grey. This chair is said to be the first time that a product designed for the digital world has gone into mass production. The updated version being released by Moooi features a steel frame, rather than wood, covered in injection-moulded foam, while using lightweight polyester fabric laser-cut into long, scalloped strips that are then bunched together into clusters of 40 petals each. Moooi used special sewing machines to sew the petal modules onto a thick, elastic backing textile that is then wrapped around the chair.

“The Hortensia was considered impossible to produce – and yet here we are,” said Moooi CEO Robin Bevers.

(Link and image: dezeen.com)

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April 16, 2021

Dutch palace salon restored and modernised

Filed under: Art,Science by Orangemaster @ 12:58 pm

Dutch King Willem Alexander and his family live in the royal palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, and greeting guests is often done in the DNA Salon. Dutch-British artist Jacob van der Beugel built the salon with part of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s genetic code, turned into 60.000 handmade bricks.

Nothing medical is included in the design, as Van der Beugel was assisted by geneticist Hans Clevers to make sure the King’s and Queen’s privacy was protected. It took the artist almost three years to make all of the little bricks and a few weeks to install them. The flatness and horizontal lines evoke Dutch landscapes, like tulips fields.

The combination of traditional and visual Dutch design is, well, very Dutch. Another great example is the unique designs of the Dutch guilder by Ootje Oxenaar who pushed for and designed bank notes from 1966 and 1985.

DNA salon has a nice mix of subtle royal gold, bright white (or creme, hard to see) for contrast, warm DNA information and the contrast of the green chairs, which would explain why the salon was also called the Green Salon. Someone else can tell you more about the chandelier, the furniture and the elaborate ‘overdoor’ (art meant to go above a door).

(Link: nos.nl, Photo rijksvastgoedbedrijf.nl)

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April 13, 2021

Zwolle liberator to get motorway named after him

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 4:38 pm

On this day in 1945, Léo Major, the French Canadian soldier who single-handedly freed freed Zwolle, Overijssel, will have a 3.5 kilometre large section of motorway 371 in Québec named after him, starting at the entrance of the Valcartier military base Northwest of Québec City, Québec, Canada.

Léo Major was given his first medal, the Distinguished Conduct Medal of the British Army, the only Canadian and one of only three soldiers in the British Commonwealth to ever receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal twice in separate wars. Major went on to pull some more great moves in the Korean War. His friend Wilfrid Arseneault was given a Bronze Lion posthumously in 1970 by Dutch Queen Juliana.

(Link: lapresse.ca, Photo: Wikipedia)

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March 31, 2021

Fish get an underwater doorbell in Utrecht

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:37 am


In Utrecht, fish and other swimming creatures have been given their own doorbell to alert humans that they are trying to get to their spawning grounds.

Each spring thousands of fish make the journey upstream in the Vecht river, but have to wait at the gates of the Weerdsluis lock because it doesn’t open often enough to their liking. The Weerdsluis lock was built in the Middle Ages around 1300 to maintain the water level in the canals and has been a national monument since 1992.

To unclog the fish traffic, Utrecht local council and local water authorities have installed a camera that live streams (ha, pun) what the fish are doing while they wait. People in Utrecht who spot a waiting fish can ring the bell which will alert the lock keeper who will then get screenshots of the fish and can open the lock doors to let them through.

The goal is not to open the doors for every single fish, but to make sure the doors open at least once a day. And who doesn’t want to see a live stream (one more!) of fish trying to get somewhere? They are travelling more than most of us at the moment.

Back in 2014 we told you about a fish that could drive its tank around the room.

(Link:dutchnews.nl, Photo: visdeurbel.nl)

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March 19, 2021

Amsterdam guys build brown cafe in flat

Filed under: Architecture,Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 11:01 am

Like countless others, twentysomethings Amsterdam residents Max and James really miss going to the cafe (pub/bar) and having a beer. So much so that they built their own Amsterdam-style cafe in their flat on the third floor. It’s in a corner with the washing machine, and it’s 2.5 x 2.5 metres.

The DIY brown café includes Amstel beer (brewed by Heineken), brown laminate planks, heavy curtains and ‘prullaria’ (knick-knacks). Cafe Van Dissel, named after Jaap van Dissel, Director of the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (aka RIVM), also has rules: not too much messing with your phone, you have to hang up your jacket even if it’s in half in the way when you sit down, for the real experience. They only serve Dutch bar food and beer, so no cocktails or other ‘fancy’ things. However, for Dutch jenever and Berenburg they’ll gladly look the other way.

The first visit is free, and you’re expected to bring a gift for the second. They even have a hard boiled egg holder (like those cupcake holders but for eggs) and are hoping for traditional Dutch table carpet (yes, carpet, not cloth).

I’m now rethinking my own Tiki bar plans.

(Link: ad.nl)

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March 16, 2021

Someone recreated Amsterdam in Cities Skylines and it’s amazing

Filed under: Design,Gaming,General by Orangemaster @ 10:34 am

A video by SEB Urban Design provides an overview of Amsterdam recreated in video game Cities Skylines. It claims to include all tourist destinations, parks and transport. The goal was to strive for realism and a close simulation of the real situation (the tram sounds are spot on).

Besides praise, we’re all wondering how long this took and we’ve noticed things we’d like to add. There’s some nice lingering on the Rijksmuseum, a very different take on Dam Square and a beautifully uncluttered Amsterdam Central Station. The canal houses are straight, the streets are super clean and you need to watch this video.

The two main parks near 24oranges HQ are there, and that’s good enough for us.

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March 13, 2021

World premiere: Dutch hospital to recycle costly cancer medication

Filed under: Dutch first,Health,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:22 pm

The Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Gelderland together with Dutch hospitals Jeroen Bosch ziekenhuis, St. Antonius and UMC Utrecht are setting up a trial to reuse unused costly oncology medication.

In the Netherlands at least 100 million euro worth of medication is thrown away each year, waste that increases the cost of healthcare. Too much medication is being prescribed, which leads to environmental waste because it often ends up in nature.

Of course, the ‘recycled’ medication will be subjected to rigorous quality control from pharmacists, with a temperature chip added to the sealed packaging. Based on the results, the RUMC will see if they cannot implement the program in more places.

(Link: gelderlander.nl)

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