"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]
"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
, on Sinterklaas.) [more inside]
The Dutch Army Bicycle Band
. Does exactly what it says on the tin (helmet).
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!
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]
"She's known as the hardest working young lady in show business today. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Tina Turner
." [more inside]
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]
: Kasper Bak shoots handheld video on skates on frozen Netherlands waters. If you feel cold after watching that, try warming up
with some great Dutch winter food
): an in-depth report by Dateline
(SBS One, Australia) on Geert Wilders, and the most comprehensive English-language profile of him I have seen to date.
Dutch MP and vehement Islam critic Geert Wilders will travel to New York to speak at a Sept. 11 protest against Park51
, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque", sparking controversy in the Netherlands where he is currently taking part
in negotiations to form a new government
. Dutch diplomats
. [more inside]
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam invites you to compare Caravaggio and Rembrandt
. For an overview of Rembrandt's work here are Rembrandt van Rijn: Life and Work
and A Web Catalogue of Rembrandt Paintings
. For Caravaggio there's caravaggio.com
which makes use of the Italian website Tutta l'opera del Caravaggio
Lernert Engenberts produces tiny, beautiful and exquisitely cruel films. Revenge
on an innocent egg. Three ways to melt a chocolate bunny
. Teasing the colour blind with colour correction
. Abstract artists explain their work to their parents.
may be the cruelest one of all. See more, including an ode to Alaska via AOL
, on his site
, Simon Vinkenoog
[Dutch blog w/English option], poet
, friend of artists like Karel Appel
of Beat Generation figures like Allen Ginsberg
and Jack Kerouac
, psychedelic enthusiast and "weed ambassador" of Amsterdam, and author of such guides to hip living as How to Enjoy Reality
. One of the European jazz-loving proto-hippies
who made the '60s swing and mentored several generations of culture hackers, though he was never widely known in the US.
[E]ven if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of [vacation money] from the government, the reasoning being that if you can’t go on vacation, you’ll get depressed and despondent and you’ll never get a job.
But does the cartoon image of [the Dutch system] — encapsulated in the dread slur "socialism," which is being lobbed in American political circles like a bomb — match reality? Is there, maybe, a significant upside that is worth exploring? [...] I think it’s worth pondering how the best bits might fit.
After a year and a half of living in the Netherlands, American writer Russell Shorto compares the Dutch "welfare state" to the tax, health care and social security systems of the United States
Should you find yourself wandering around the city of Leiden, the Netherlands sometime, you may notice some curious markings
on the city's walls.
("Wall Poems") adorn many of the town's streets (clickable map)
, and many English-language poets are represented: one John Keats
, for instance, inside a bookshop; Dylan Thomas
, E. E. Cummings
, W.B. Yeats
, some guy called William Shakespeare
, or this ode to Charlie Parker
by American William Waring Cuney
. [more inside]
"Let them arrest me
". Vehemently anti-Islamic
Dutch MP Geert Wilders
was scheduled to travel to London tomorrow to attend a screening of his controversial short film Fitna
). Yesterday however, the UK's Home Secretary notified Wilders that his presence in the UK
would pose a "serious threat to
[...] public security
), presumably intending to refuse his entry into UK. Wilders plans to board the flight
anyway, daring British authorities to arrest him
. [more inside]
Where does the domino theory still apply? Why, Holland, of course, where a new record
for most dominos toppled was just set, in their annual Domino Day
. See the 2006 competition (and brush up on your Dutch) here: part 1
and part 2
. No one can deny, the Dutch have a way with dominos
. [more inside]
The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration
has drawings of uniforms and regimental regalia from all over the world. Assembled by one of these great, eccentric collectors of the late 19th Century, Dr. H. J. Vinkhuijzen, a Dutch medical doctor who started out as an army physician and eventually rose to the position of official court physician to Prince Alexander of Netherlands. He pulled plates out of books, colored in black and white drawings and painted his own watercolor illustrations. His collection includes pictures of the soldiers of many different nations and eras
, from military superpowers like the Roman Empire
and Great Britain
, to lesser known, but no less formidable forces, like Byzantium
and even taking in such minnows as Luxembourg
, Monaco and Montenegro
. Due to Vinkhuijzen's unusual classification system it can be hard to find some of the more interesting images, such as pictures of Etruscan cavalry
, Spanish military musicians
and 1830's Belgian ambulance
has been previously
mentioned in MeFi. A historical quirk
and geographical jigsaw
, these days the complicated border
criscrossing this Belgo-Dutch town had become little more than a tourist attraction.
What happens, however, when a dead body is found
, and nobody knows in which country it lies?
Is this the most beautiful bookstore in the world?
The Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen, Maastricht opened its doors in November. Located in the city's old Dominican church - which for years had been used as a bicycle parking garage - the building has been extensively redesigned by Dutch architects Merkx + Girod
. From the images you can find on the web
you can see that it is a bookshop made in heaven
. Many books in English too.
If European and North American societies are morally responsible (print-friendly)
for safeguarding free speech, should we also take financial responsibility for its proponents' safety
? Hitchens seems to think so
Today's moral dilemma is brought to you, of course, by the West's favourite Voltairian nightmare: prominent Islam critic
, former Dutch MP
, and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute
, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Last weekend's PICNIC'07
conference in Amsterdam featured a Green Challenge
: to come up with the best marketable green idea that could be developed and sold to consumers within two years. Dutch decentralized renewable energy company Qurrent
took down the big €500,000 prize for the Qbox
: a device which creates optimizing energy algorithms for all devices in a home. See also
: Green Thing
Mirin Dajo (1912-1948, born Arnold Henske)
was pierced thru the torso (YouTube)
with fencing foils and skewers many times
, without bleeding
or showing any sign of injury
some links contain graphic content.
Secret agent Huub Lauwers was parachuted into occupied Holland
in 1941 to relay intelligence back to London. His capture by the Germans marked the beginning of the Englandspiel
, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse intelligence that cost the lives of over fifty agents. Lauwers frantically tried to inform the SOE
that he had been caught, but the Baker Street Irregulars
just didn't get it. Or did they? [more inside]
Fokke & Sukke
are a strange couple of birds. Having dominated the funnies in various Dutch print media for over a decade, their irreverent antics
are now available in English, regrettably under the tamer
monikers Duck & Birdie (click "previous" for more gags)
. [more inside]
(literally "Dutch Learning") refers to the body of knowledge
developed in Japan during the Sakoku
period (1641-1853) during which the country was closed to foreigners. As the Dutch trading post
was effectively an enclave
of the Netherlands, for 212 years it was just about Japan's only way to keep tabs on European scientific progress
(pdf). Rangaku has influenced Japanese medicine
, and chemistry
, among other fields.
During a 1987 radio broadcast, Dutch comedian and writer Wim de Bie decided to take Ry Cooder up on his offer
and give him a call. Hilarity ensued (RealAudio)
. Note: the song is played until about 1'55", phone conversation follows.
An interesting chain of events
culminated today in the resignation of the Dutch cabinet
: Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali^
embarks on a career in the Netherlands' political fast lane
, in her spare time writing the screenplay to the film^
that got Theo van Gogh^
killed1, 2, 3, 4
, plans to leave parliament for a job in the US1
, meanwhile sees the legality of her citizenship called into question by an overeager minister of Immigration^1
, causing her to step down early. [more inside]
When Iranian paper Hamshahri (in Persian) launched a contest for Holocaust cartoons
, an Israeli group responded in turn
with a contest of their own
for cartoons that make fun of Jews
. Too bad it closed yesterday, or the Dutch branch
of the AEL could submit theirs
. (WARNING: some of the linked content may be offensive to readers' ethnicities, cultures, religions, or tastes.)
One of the great virtues of the internet is the manifold ways in which it has revolutionised the arts. The postmodern works of contemporary artists Pomme & Kelly
(Google Video), when viewed together in context, form a striking example of a well-placed critique of popular culture, and modern living at large. The zeitgeisty meta-irony of their seemingly content-free interpretations of popular songs are only enhanced by the fact that, in a clever keeping with style, they blog about it as well
The Memory of The Netherlands
is an extensive digital collection of illustrations, photographs, texts, film and audio fragments from a large variety of Dutch cultural institutions. There are about 50 collections
Meet Rita Verdonk, shit-stirrer extraordinaire.
The Dutch Immigration and Integration minister wants everybody
to start speaking only Dutch in public from now on. Pity she fails at that herself, needing to resort to a foreign language to describe her constituents' feelings on the matter.
After that, she flies to a refugee camp in Kenya to tell the people there that they should f*** off to their own countries
. Well, maybe they'll be safer there than in Holland under the oversight of Ms. Verdonk
. Or maybe not...
Pity that her media forays appear to prevent Iron Rita from putting her own department in order
Life without Theo - one year on
. It's not that Holland's cherished troublemaker wasn't aware of the possibility - he had been threatened more than once. He just sincerely believed that no-one would harm the "village idiot
", as he liked to call himself (salon link)
. Today, the skilled polemicist who regarded it his constitutional right to insult anyone but would at the same time engage anyone in reasonable, friendly debate is remembered
in various ways
. [more inside]
Today in the Netherlands
, public broadcaster BNN
aired the first episode of sex- and drug-themed television show "Spuiten en Slikken"
; the punning title translates to either "Shoot Up & Pop (Pills)" or "Squirt & Swallow". [more inside]
"I don't feel your pain."
Mohammed Bouyeri, the man who confessed to killing Dutch filmmaker and writer Theo van Gogh
, surprised judges and television viewers alike yesterday by breaking his silence for only the second time since the start of his trial
. On monday, when asked about his hate for the same Western society that gave his parents work and asylum, he gave only this short answer in Arabic: "I pray that God protect me that I should ever think differently than I do now
." (WaPo link, reg. req'd)
Two months before that fatal May 6th I asked on this site why Pim [Fortuyn] so far hadn’t been shot. Readers were perplexed and asked if I had lost my mind, because something like that "would never happen in Holland". Right.
In an update to their van Gogh file
, Peaktalk offers translations [via Zacht Ei]
of some excerpts of the writings of murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh, which previously appeared (in Dutch) on The Healthy Smoker
, van Gogh's web site, which now lives on as The Quit Smoker
Dutch government is distributing cannabis
as a prescription painkiller to pharmacies to treat chronically ill patients. The Netherlands are the first country to supply the drug itself, in accordance with United Nations rules on narcotics. This Radio Netherlands article contains an interview with an American expatriate who is now a licensed supplier.
Threat of ban to Dutch cannabis cafés...
It'd be like an airplane without wings! Surely the whole point of buying some weed at these places is to smoke it on the premises?
April 30 is Koninginnedag.
party, drink beer in huge crowds
or to get rid of your stuff in the attic on a "vrijmarkt". Kids love selling all kinds of junk. Queens love Queensday too
Vote for the top 10 Queen outfits.
Finally, this one's for the monkeys.
Click on Koninginnedag.