The Dutch Army Bicycle Band
. Does exactly what it says on the tin (helmet).
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.
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."
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!
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]
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 winter of 1944–45 is known as the ‘Hunger Winter’ in The Netherlands, which was occupied by the Germans in May 1940. Beginning in September 1944, Allied troops had liberated most of the South of the country, but their advance towards the North came to a stop at the Waal and Rhine rivers and the battle of Arnhem. In support of the Allied war effort, the Dutch government in exile in London called for a national railway strike to hinder German military initiatives. In retaliation, in October 1944, the German authorities blocked all food supplies to the occupied West of the country.
Despite the war, nutrition in The Netherlands had generally been adequate up to October 1944. Thereafter, food supplies became increasingly scarce. By November 26, 1944, official rations, which eventually consisted of little more than bread and potatoes, had fallen below 1000 kcal per day, and by April 1945, they were as low as 500 kcal per day. Widespread starvation was seen especially in the cities of the western Netherlands. Food supplies were restored immediately after liberation on May 5, 1945.
But for many, who weren't even born
when it started, the hongerwinter
continues. Why? In part
because "certain environmental conditions early in human development can result in persistent changes in epigenetic information"
via DNA methylation. Epigenetics
seems like a little bit of Lamarckism:
environmental effects on a parent -- or even a grandparent -- can be passed to offspring, even without
permanent changes to DNA.
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
[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]
Turning a chapel into an apartment.
The Dutch architectural firm ZECC
has made a beautiful, modern apartment
out of an abandoned chapel. There are more stunning photos and cross-sections in this PDF
, though the text is in Dutch. Other stunning church renovations.
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.
Vote Yes on Proposition 12?
As in proposing a 12-year-old. Dutch pedophiles form a political party
(English Wiki link
Of course, they are not a one-idea party. They also favor "consensual sex between animals and humans
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
[Windows Media] from the Flood of 1953
in the Netherlands.
Sinterklaas is coming to town.
Christmas comes early for Dutch children. Or rather, Sinterklaas does, having brought his gifts this weekend. While many Anglo-American Christmas traditions owe much to marketing schemes
, the Dutch attachment to mulled wine and spiced biscuits harks back to earlier times. Perhaps too much so: with ongoing racial tensions following the murder of Theo van Gogh, the annual debate over 'zwarte piet'
, Santa's blackfaced little helper, has been especially heated. (One advantage of artificial traditions is that they tend to avoid such messy questions.) Nevertheless, here's the motherlode of Sinterklaas links, including songs, recipes and background.
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.
A heavy turnout has been reported
in the Dutch general election. More on the current situation there: "A Dutch Radical's Message to Europe"
. This was published yesterday and was written by a Dutch reporter for the NYT (so I guess you can find it there too, but why go there if you don't really have to?).
A political assassination
on the controversial right winger Pim Fortuijn is reported in The Netherlands. Reports differ about the question if he has survived.
Dutch government resigns over Srebrenica report...
Dutch Prime Minister Mr Wim Kok announced the resignation of his centre-left government today over a report on the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia.
Dutch Legalize Euthanasia
"The Netherlands has become the first country in the world to legalise mercy killing after a controversial law on euthanasia came into force on Monday."
While tolerated for nearly two decades, opponents are comparing the practice to Nazi Geramny. Is this a step forward for those living with severe pain and no hope in sight?
will never mean the same again. As of today, Dutch law allows same-sex marriages. Though other countries register same-sex couples, this new Dutch law is groundbreaking as it eliminates all references to gender in laws governing marriage, adoption, inheritance, pension rights, taxes and divorce. Even the dictionary's definition of marriage will be changed.
The Dutch demonstrate yet again
that they have the most open-minded and progressive culture on the planet. They've also legalized cannibis.