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You're gonna need a bigger haringbuis.

Selected pages from Adriaen Coenen's Visboek, an illustrated guide to the strange and wonderful world of fish. No sixteenth-century mariner should leave shore without it. The National Library of the Netherlands has the complete book, with commentary.
posted by prize bull octorok on Aug 13, 2014 - 8 comments

Theater Map of Ukraine

"...it's social media that has helped build the public case against Russia" in Ukraine. One example is liveuamap.com, who "gather information from open sources and put it on the [Google] map" using familiar Google Maps markers for a Reds (Pro-Russian) vs Blues (Pro-Ukraine) theater map. Shaded regions indicate the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR; Red), Lugansk People's Republic (LNR; Purple), the MH17 crash site (Yellow), and the MH17 ceasefire zone (green). The posts linked to by each marker include a link to the source via a chain icon at the bottom of the post.
posted by jwells on Jul 23, 2014 - 11 comments

Zwarte Piet wiedewiedewiet

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan has been told by a court in the capital to reconsider the licensing of the Sinterklaas parade through the city last year, which became mired in controversy because of the Zwarte Piet character. The administrative court says the mayor has six weeks to look again at the decision to allow the parade to go ahead last year and determine if the correct one was taken. The administrative court said in its ruling the Zwarte Piet character a negative stereotype which is insulting to black people and the mayor must decide which interest is more important: that of black Amsterdammers or society in general, news agency ANP reported.
It's official: Zwarte Piet (previously) is a racist, negative stereotype according to the Amsterdam courts. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 12, 2014 - 17 comments

Accounting by, and for, the Dutch

The Vanished Grandeur Of Accounting, in which Jacob Soll argues that it was the Dutch, and certainly not the Venetians or Florentines who are responsible for the spread of that moral and mathematical revolution: double-entry accounting. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 2, 2014 - 15 comments

2014 FIFA World Cup: From the Round of 16 to the Winner

With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting, alternative commentary, mood swings, (allegedly) sulky England players, exciting matches, the USA vs Ronaldo, Europeans taking early return flights, deep analysis, a fantasy league and many goals - but who will finally lift the trophy in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jun 26, 2014 - 1838 comments

The Abstinence Method: Dutch farmers just say no to antibiotics

“We decided that animal health, and human health, would be our priority,” Oosterlaken told me last fall in his barn, surrounded by warm plastic-lined pens where sows snoozed and new piglets squealed. “I don’t need to take antibiotics every day. There’s no reason my pigs should either.”
posted by Michele in California on Jun 18, 2014 - 34 comments

Bread riots were as rare as the prized Semper Augustus tulip

The Austerity Kitchen (previously) on the Dutch abundance of the 17th Century
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2014 - 7 comments

Glow-in-the-dark roads make debut in Netherlands

Glow-in-the-dark roads make debut in Netherlands. It's just making way for this, really.
posted by SpacemanStix on Apr 13, 2014 - 37 comments

Is it dusty in here?

Dying Rotterdam zookeeper gets goodbye kiss from a giraffe, courtesy of the Dutch Ambulance Wish Foundation (Dutch, facebook), which organises ambulance transport to fullfill the last wishes of terminally ill people.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 22, 2014 - 27 comments

It's unknown whether these homebrewers went for insanely hoppy IPAs too

"As an important part of daily nourishment, women had always produced beer at home and for their own household. However, in Holland from the beginning of the thirteenth century beer production for the general market commenced. In the developing cities more and more labour was divided among specialised craftsmen. Professional breweries were established and the beer industry became a serious trade." -- female brewers in Holland and England, a paper by Marjolien van Dekken looking at how the brewery industry changed in Early Modern Times from largely homebrewed and controlled by women to a more large scale and male dominated industry. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 13, 2014 - 10 comments

Kenau: heroine or harridan?

The fascinating thing about the sexist Dutch slur kenau -- aimed at women deemed too aggressive or bossy -- is that it originated as the given name of a heroine of the Eighty Years War, Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer who during the 1573 Siege of Haarlem led a monstrous regiment of women in defence of her home town against the Spanish oppressor. Last week a movie was released retelling her legend, which prompted the Haarlem Frans Hals Museum to create a short documentary about her, Kenau: heroine or harridan, looking at the historical truth of Kenau Hasselaer's life, which has been subtitled in English.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 10, 2014 - 19 comments

Dementiavillage

De Hogeweyk is a self-contained dementia-focused living centre, complete with restaurants, cafes, a supermarket, gardens, a pedestrian boulevard, and much more.
posted by gman on Feb 28, 2014 - 15 comments

Handen Wasschen is Beter

Hoogspanning. 50 Watts updates itself with more delicious Dutch Safety Posters (previously).
posted by grateful on Feb 27, 2014 - 22 comments

Here's yer new engine.

Piratjagt! Discover what patrolling pirate infested waters off the coast of the Horn of Africa is like with the Danish Navy. (6lyt)
posted by allkindsoftime on Dec 10, 2013 - 14 comments

It knocks like a swearing finger

"The problem was that my colleague spoke in Dutch expressions haphazardly translated into his own unique English versions.
The result was a trail of bizarrely strung together words that senselessly hung in the air and required my constant nod and smile of approval/understanding. Many a mornings were spent hearing about cows being pulled out of ditches, tall tulips getting their heads chopped off and monkeys (yes, monkeys!).
" -- It may you the sausage be, but translating Dutch expressions into stonecoal English is just one of the many things Dutch people like. (Previously, on Sinterklaas.) [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 29, 2013 - 59 comments

Worse, he is wearing a helmet and will be teased mercilessly by his peer

Greg Shapiro presents Planet Nederland, not a BBC nature show, showing the Dutch in their native habitat. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 10, 2013 - 17 comments

Closure

During the communist coup and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1978-1979, thousands of Afghan people disappeared. It was always suspected that most of these people had been murdered, but for many victims this couldn't be proved, which left their family in uncertainty for decades. A war crimes investigation by the International Crimes Unit of the Dutch police however turned up evidence that will end some of this uncertainty. This evidence, in the form of transport orders and death lists for some 5,000 victims has now been put online by the Dutch ministry of justice.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 18, 2013 - 9 comments

Be sure to zoom out....

Buildings in the Netherlands by year of construction is a map worth getting lost in.
posted by oulipian on Sep 1, 2013 - 19 comments

Bikes on Dykes.

The Dutch Army Bicycle Band. Does exactly what it says on the tin (helmet).
posted by unSane on Aug 18, 2013 - 17 comments

Do you have the sun in a can?

Sometimes you don't need expensive professional cameras to make spectacular photos. Instead sometimes all you need is a beer can and a sheet of photographic paper. That's how the Philippus Lansbergen Observatory in Middelburg captured the movement of the Sun over a six month period, through a socalled solargraph. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 22, 2013 - 9 comments

880,000

There are too many bicycles in Amsterdam.
posted by four panels on Jun 21, 2013 - 109 comments

You're alive a short while and dead forever. Might as well have company.

In the 19th century, in Roermond, The Netherlands, lived a man who was Colonel of Cavalry, and a Protestant. He married a Catholic noblewoman (likely quite a scandal in a country which was heavily segregated along religious lines at the time). The husband died in 1880 and was buried on the Protestant side of the cemetery. When his wife died eight years later, she could not be buried next to him, as a wall separated the Catholic and Protestant sides. A novel, and rather touching, solution was found.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER on May 30, 2013 - 20 comments

Time flies by when you're the driver of a train

You may remember the 7.5 hour documentary released in 2009 which allowed you to travel the journey between Bergen to Oslo from the comfort of your home. If your wanderlust was fired up watching that video, then you may enjoy some of the other trips you can take. Switzerland: [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on May 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Vintage Safety

Fifty years of workplace safety posters courtesy of Geheugenvannederland.nl (Memory of the Netherlands).
posted by Think_Long on May 6, 2013 - 8 comments

De W van wakker, stamppot eten

The upcoming inauguration of Willem-Alexander as King of the Netherlands has united his people in their hatred of the Koningslied, especially the lyrics written by committee.
posted by saucysault on Apr 21, 2013 - 54 comments

"Coffee ... is still just roasted beans and water"

Coffee Power To The People - "There are three young men in the Netherlands who want to take the barista, whom they see as a part-TEDx presenter, part-birthday magician, out of the equation. They want people to make their own coffee, and to make coffee they can be proud of."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 16, 2013 - 62 comments

a global trade in expensive white powder

The Netherlands has of course long been a hub in the international illegal drugs trade, but the white powder currently being exported to China on such a scale that it leads to local shortages is not quite the powder you're thinking of: infant milk formula. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 14, 2013 - 61 comments

Willemstad is the new San Pedro de Macoris

If you were going to set out to build a successful national baseball team you probably wouldn’t select a country with most of its land sitting below sea level. Camden Depot presents a brief history of honkbal, as the Netherlands nine get ready to compete in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, exactly 100 years after the formation of Quick Amsterdam, Europe's first baseball team. Last time around, the Dutchmen knocked the mighty Dominican Republic out of the tournament. This year's Dutch team, led by veteran Andruw Jones and Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop, both natives of Willemstad on the island of Curacao, puts more Dutch talent on the field than there has been since Bert Blyleven's last game. (Blyleven is the Netherlands' pitching coach.) Don't leave it till game time -- learn to speak honkbal now!
posted by escabeche on Feb 26, 2013 - 13 comments

Going against the flow of history

As you know Bob, the Dutch have long known how to deal with the threat of flooding, living in a country that was largely conquered from the sea. Over the centuries the Netherlands has learned to put its trust in bigger and higher dykes, dams and various increasingly clever solutions to keep the sea where it's wanted and away from where it would be a nuisance. There's a new threat however, that can't be solved with higher dykes, a threat that needs to accomodated by doing something very un-Dutch: reflood parts of the Netherlands. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 24, 2013 - 31 comments

The nitty gritty of how to keep the roads rolling

"Hans explains there is a policy to keep certain routes clear. Since all streets in Dutch cities are categorised (also because of the ‘sustainable safety’ policy) it is very clear which streets are main routes that must be cleared. In the past, the cycle paths were not really thought important. But there were many complaints about it and the policies shifted slowly towards clearing the cycle paths more as well. Hans: “Especially when the city was elected Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2011, the department of public works felt it was our moral obligation to give the main cycle routes the highest priority. Now the cycle paths are cleared at the same time as the 8 main routes for motorised traffic.” -- Cycling blogger Mark Wagenbuur explains how one Dutch city, 'S-Hertogenbosch, deals with keeping the cycle paths clear during winter.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 13, 2013 - 24 comments

Not that many Dutch people care what you call the country

Thinking of Holland you think of windmills and tulips, but the former is originally a Persian invention (as far as we know) while the latter came from Turkey. Worse, Holland is not even the name of the country you're thinking of. Luckily, there's a handy youtube video to explain the difference between Holland and the Netherlands. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 28, 2012 - 98 comments

The unexpected nature reserve

Twenty miles or so east of Amsterdam, set between the new towns of Almere and Lelystad, and lying five metres below sea-level, is the youngest wilderness I have ever seen. The Oostvaardersplassen is now a vast region of grassland, reed-bed, shallow lake and ragged forest, over 6,000 hectares in extent. Sea eagles and marsh harriers hunt its wide skies, spoonbills and avocets stalk its marshes, and vast herds of red deer, wild ponies and Heck cattle graze its savannah. But 40 years ago, the Oostvaardersplassen was underwater.
posted by Chrysostom on Nov 28, 2012 - 11 comments

The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 3, 2012 - 46 comments

Rijksmuseum remix

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, home to Rembrandt's The Night Watch and Vermeer's The Milkmaid, among many other masterpieces, today unveiled the Rijksstudio, 125,000 digitized images of its collections, available in a zoomable interface online or as high-resolution public-domain downloads (account creation required for the latter).
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 31, 2012 - 31 comments

"I close my eyes and dream about a sunny holiday ... "

Caro Emerald is a Dutch jazz singer. Her debut album "Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor" went sextuple-platinum in The Netherlands, and has the longest run at #1 on the Dutch charts. BBC Music reviews. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 31, 2012 - 16 comments

Tina Turner, Holland 1971

"She's known as the hardest working young lady in show business today. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Tina Turner." [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 26, 2012 - 10 comments

Charles de Thierry: man of many lands, king of none

Charles Philippe Hippolyte de Thierry lead a storied life, and many of those stories are ones he made up. His family was associated with the French court, though there is doubt to his claims of noble lineage. In England, he met two Maori chiefs and an English missionary from New Zealand, and attempted to purchase a northern portion of New Zealand in 1820. He then sought to turn this land into a colony first for Britain in 1822, then the Dutch government in 1824 when the English offer fell through. The Dutch, too, turned him down, so in 1825 de Thierry made the same offer to the French government, and was similarly refused. Fleeing creditors, he left for America. In 1834, he traveled south, where he was granted concession for cutting the Panama Canal. That, too, fell through, and he sailed west, reaching Tahiti in June 1835, where he elected himself king of Nuka Hiva. The kingdom was never his, and so he continued west and south, arriving at his plot in New Zealand in 1837, where again he offered land up to France for a colony. His efforts to claim a colony and a kingdom came to an end in 1840, with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, sealing a deal between the British Crown and the Māori. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 16, 2012 - 7 comments

The Avian Flu: Transparency vs. Public Safety

"Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets." After an extensive, months-long debate, one of two controversial papers showing ways the H5N1 "avian" influenza virus could potentially become transmissible in mammals with only 3 or 4 mutations was published in Nature today. The journal included an editorial on the merits and drawbacks of "publishing risky research" with regard to biosafety. The debate included an unprecedented recommendation by The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication -- a decision they later reversed. (Via: 1, 2) Nature's special report has additional articles, including interviews with the teams behind both papers.
posted by zarq on May 3, 2012 - 37 comments

Hungarian Schnapsody

No. 05 Hungarian Schnapsody as performed by Zoltan Kiss at the Lätzsch Trombone Festival 2011 / Night of Brass with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Kiss is also a member of the Mnozil Brass. A little light comedy for your Sunday.
posted by pjern on Apr 29, 2012 - 6 comments

The Junkie Old Folks' Home

"Woodstock is their last refuge, the only old-age home in the world where hard drugs are not a taboo, a place intended for people who, in their early 50s, look as worn out as if they were in their 70s." A model project keeps aging drug users out of the streets of The Hague. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Apr 10, 2012 - 73 comments

Helene Nolthenius

Two years before The Name of the Rose, Dutch academic Helene Nolthenius published the first of three detective novels featuring the medieval Tuscan cleric Lapo Mosca. She died in 2000. Her own story is sadly affecting. (Via the Dartmouth History blog. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Feb 5, 2012 - 5 comments

The popular election system of the DPRK is really excellent

"This is my 24th visit to the DPRK, but it is the first time I have ever visited a polling station here." (Background here and here)
posted by vidur on Aug 10, 2011 - 33 comments

It's not the one Elvis sang about...

The Dutch Heartbreak Hotel offers separating couples throughout the Netherlands and Belgium a unique service: a complete, finalized divorce in just 48 hours. [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Aug 9, 2011 - 4 comments

Some say I'm suicidal with a sense of humor.

"I've had enough; maybe I'll be seeing you around. Make it a great party." Ten years ago today, Dutch rock'n'roll junkie Herman Brood stepped out of this world. Brood was The Netherlands' only legitimate rock and roll icon, as well as an accomplished visual artist, and the country's most famous hard drug user -- which may have sabotaged his American breakthrough. Black Francis made an album (turned into a musical) in his honor. You can study to be a rock star at the Herman Brood Academie. His bronze bust in his (and mine) hometown Zwolle has been moved to keep it safe from copper thieves.
posted by monospace on Jul 11, 2011 - 15 comments

kulturkampf putsch?

Dutch state secretary for culture Halbe Zijlstra published a letter stating that €200 million would be cut from the arts and culture budget, starting as early as 1 January 2013. [more inside]
posted by palbo on Jun 27, 2011 - 11 comments

"A handbag?!"

What MeFite doesn't like a good niche museum? We've had posts about the great overview site Museum of Museums [previously], Patrick Acton's Matchstick Marvels [previously and previously], cat museums [previously] and even a mention of Velvetaria, the Museum of Velvet Painting [previously] - sadly now closed, awaiting new digs. I'd like to add a new one. May I present The Hendrikje Museum of Handbags and Purses? [more inside]
posted by likeso on Apr 17, 2011 - 30 comments

10 years of cheese-eating, clog-wearing, tulip-loving, same-sex marriage

1 April 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage (homohuwelijk) in the Netherlands. [more inside]
posted by neushoorn on Mar 30, 2011 - 28 comments

The Little Homeless Dutch Boy Millionaire

Jerry Winkler was a homeless drug addict on the streets of Amsterdam. His life had been one filled with strife and tragedy, until the fateful day he discovered his biological father was a millionaire.
posted by msali on Mar 17, 2011 - 19 comments

Foreshortened Space

Ron van der Ende is a sculptor living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He specializes in wall mounted bas-relief constructed from found wood. The original color and texture of the wood is utilized to form a gripping and sometimes photo-realistic mosaic. The realism is further enhanced by the perspective built into the relief. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 10, 2011 - 15 comments

Why are the Dutch so tall?

Why are the Dutch so tall? [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb on Mar 8, 2011 - 90 comments

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