Student Invents Motorcycle That Runs on Swamp Gas

Gijs Schalkx, a Dutch inventor and engineering student, modified his motorcycle to run on methane harvested from roadside bogs and ponds.

Aptly named Sloot Motor (sloot means ‘ditch’ in Dutch), Gijs Schalkx’s ingenious vehicle features a modified Honda GX160 motorcycle engine, with a hole into the airbox, through which it receives the methane. The bright inventor than hooks a balloon filled with methane to the hole, which acts as the fuel tank. The engine still starts with gasoline, but once it starts, it uses the methane to keep going. But what truly makes Gijs’ project special is the fact that he manually harvests the methane himself from roadside swamps and ponds, a labor that takes approximately eight hours. The methane only lasts 12 miles at a top speed of 27mph.

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Vinkeveense Plassen – The Netherlands’ Carved-up Lake

The Dutch province of Utrecht is home to a bizarre-looking lake that seems to have been carved up with a giant knife, which sounds preposterous, but is actually fairly accurate.

Vinkeveense Plassen (Lakes of Vinkeveen) consists of a large body of water and bizarre strip-like sand-islands dotted with houses, wooden peers and trees. It’s the shape of these long strips of land stretching far into the water that first catches your attention, especially when seeing the lake from above. They don’t look like any lake islands I’ve ever seen, but then again, this is no ordinary lake. Vinkeveense Plassen may be a popular vacation area today, but it started out as as peat extracting site, and those long strips of land were used to dry the peat on.

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Cousins Turn Old Water Tower They Used to Play In as Kids Into Cozy Family Home

Two cousins from the Dutch town of Nieuw-Lekkerland recently received an award for turning an old water tower into a modern and stylish home for their respective families.

Sven and Lennart de Jong grew up in a house right next to the old water tower of Nieuw-Lekkerland, and used to paly in it as kids, so in 2011, when they heard it was being put up for auction, they decided to place a bid. The approximately 200,000 euros they bid proved to be enough and the two became the owners of an abandoned building from 1915. Sven and Lennart knew that they had their work cut out, but they dreamt of making the water tower their home in a decade’s time, and managed to pull it off. For their achievement, the two received the 2020 Water Tower Award, a distinction for the best conversion of a historic water tower.

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Waterbuurt – Amsterdam’s Floating Neighborhood

Waterbuurt (Dutch for “water quarter”) is a state of the art residential development in Amsterdam, which consists of nearly 100 individual floating homes moored on Lake Eimer.

The floating homes Ijburg district are no ordinary houseboats, but real floating houses. They float adjacent to jetties and are moored to steel pilons, so they only move vertically with the changing tide. Designed by Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer, the houses have a “no-nonsense, basic design” but are comfortable at the same time. They were built at a shipyard about 65 km north of Lake Eimer and then transported through a network of canals. Although the Waterbuurt is still a work in progress, some of the houses are already inhabited.

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Cow Heading to the Slaughterhouse Makes Daring Escape, Hides in Forest and Becomes Social Media Star

Hermien, a plucky cow from Lettele, in the Dutch province of Overijssel, recently became a social media star and a symbol of freedom, after making a daring escape just as her owner was trying to load her on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. Named after her owner Herman Jansen, the cow initially escaped with her sister, but sadly the latter was recaptured after being shot with a tranquilizer gun. Hermien, however, managed to hoof it to the nearby woods in northern Friesland where she has been living on her own for the last six weeks.

Much to the delight of her fans on Twitter and other social networks, Hermien has somehow managed to evade all attempts at recapture. A slew of hashtags like #JesuisHermien, #GoHermien, and #MeKoe have been trending on Dutch social media site in recent weeks. ‘Koe’ is the Dutch word for Cow, making the #MeKoe hashtag a play on the now famous #MeToo movement. The bold bovine has even won the hearts of Dutch royalty, with Pieter van Vollenhoven, the son-in-law of former Queen Beatrix, tweeting “we’ve got to save Hermien, let’s all buy her together and give her freedom”.

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Rotterdam’s “Fashion Police” Can Now Confiscate Expensive Clothes from People Who Look Too Poor to Afford Them

Police in the Dutch city of Rotterdam is rolling out a new and highly controversial pilot program aimed at reducing crime. The program will target young men wearing designer clothing or expensive jewellery who supposedly look like they’re too poor to afford the items in question. If they’re unable to adequately prove to the police how they were able to purchase their clothes and/or accessories, the items will potentially be confiscated on the spot, with suspects expected to strip down in the street.

The controversial program will run for a limited time, to test its effectiveness, and the Rotterdam police department will be collaborating with the public prosecution department to help them determine what items they can legally confiscate. The main idea behind this endeavour  is to deter theft by sending a signal that perpetrators will not be able to keep their stolen goods.

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The Nightmare of Living at the Most Spammed Address in the Netherlands

Can you imagine receiving dozens of letters from strangers every day, having your utilities cut off, or not being able to unsubscribe from certain services, all because of an unfortunate address? That’s what life is like at 1234 AB, 123 (changed for privacy reasons), the address that most hackers, as well as everyday people in the Netherlands, use when filling out online forms. They do it out of laziness, or to protect their own privacy, without realizing that some of the things they do online actually affect the people at that address.

Motherboard Netherlands recently learned that 1234 AB, 123 was the most spammed address in the country, and decided to investigate if such an address actually existed. A Google search revealed that there was a indeed a place in the Noord Holland province with that exact address, and it even showed up on Streetview. They were soon able to find some phone numbers of the people living there, to ask them if living at the most spammed address in the country affected their lives in any way. Turns out it does, “bigly”!

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Giethoorn – A Rural Venice in the Netherlands

The tiny Dutch village of Giethoorn, located right in the middle of the De Wieden nature reserve, is fondly known as the Venice of Netherlands. Quite an apt name for the place, since it has distinct features that are reminiscent of the romantic Italian city – 7.5 km of canals, about 50 little wooden bridges, boat rides, quaint houses, and more.

If there’s something that Giethoorn does not have in common with Venice, it’s history. The small village was first inhabited in the year 1230 by a group of fugitives from the Mediterranean regions. It is said that when they first arrived in the area, they noticed an unusually large number of goat horns that were left over after the big flood of St Elisabeth had ravaged the area in 1170. So they named their settlement Geytenhorn (horn of goats), but with dialect changes over the years the name gradually changed to Giethoorn. There’s a story about how all the lakes came to be as well. Early settlers took to peat mining; they dug for peat in the areas that suited them the most and left holes in the ground. These holes soon filled up and turned into lakes of varying sizes. So to carry the peat from one area to another, they would sail through navigable canals and ditches. The means of transportation that was once a necessity is now a huge tourist attraction.

Giethoorn-Venice

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Quick and Cheap: Divorce Hotel Opens in the Netherlands

Couples on romantic weekend getaways tend to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to get married. And it is for this reason that several hotels, especially in places like Vegas, provide wedding chapel services. If getting married could be that easy, then why the long-drawn out process for a divorce? Well apparently, not anymore. It is now possible to get divorced over a weekend getaway too, thanks to the Divorce Hotel.

The concept of Divorce Hotel was developed by entrepreneur Jim Halfens, in the Netherlands. In a country where the average divorce settlement could be very heavy on the pocket and take months to complete, Halfens spotted a great business opportunity that could make things easier for parting couples. So all they need to do is check in at the Divorce Hotel over a weekend and all the necessary legal documentation to end their marriage is arranged for them. The service includes a mediator and a series of lawyers who help the couple split assets, arrange visitation rights and agree on alimony payments, all at a fixed fee.

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Dutch Television Hosts to Eat Each Other’s Flesh on Live TV

It’s crazy what people will do on TV for ratings. Now , TV hosts on a Dutch channel are going to eat each other. Literally. Just to see what human flesh tastes like. This might just be the first time cannibalism is broadcast on Live TV.

Guinea Pigs is a show on the Dutch TV channel, BNN. Valerio Zeno and Dennis Storm, the hosts, are going to have their flesh extracted surgically from their sides and buttocks. And then the meat will be served to each of them. Gross! According to Valerio, ever since he saw a movie in which the survivors of a plane crash eat each other to stay alive, he’s always wondered how that would taste. Now he’s finally getting the opportunity to find out. Storm, however, says that he never wondered about this before, but now that he has his chance, he’s taking it. And he’ll always be able to tell people, in response to being asked about the scar on his butt cheek, that Valerio ate him. Read More »

Asylum Seekers Compete in Crazy Dutch Game Show

Weg van Nederland is a televised game show that supposedly pits asylum seekers against each other for the chance to win a cash prize before being deported to their home countries.

Translated as “Leaving the Netherlands”, Weg van Nederland will air on the VPRO channel this Thursday, and while it sounds like a big joke, VPRO editor-n-chief Frank Wiering says contestants are real unsuccessful asylum seekers who have to leave the country in a month or two. They are offered the chance to compete for a $5600 cash prize to take with them when they get deported. Contestants have to answer questions about Dutch culture, history and language, to prove which of them learned most about the Netherlands during their stay in the country. Losers get consolation prizes like tulip bulbs and bulletproof vests.

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Yellow Brick Road

The city of Schiedam was and remains to this day, the poorest city in the Netherlands and the Yellow Brick Road, that connects the center of the city to the new train station, is not only meant to make the city more beautiful, but also to symbolize the road to prosperity and success. Yellow Brick Road also has a shine that resembles that of gold.