Netherlands, the 2018-NL

2018/02/16 – Politics: Halbe Zijlstra’s lies are fatal for politic career

Image result for halbe zijlstra cv

Voters are massively in favour of leaving office minister of foreign affairs Halbe Zijlstra

Zijlstra told on a party meeting in 2016, that he had been present in the “dacha” of President Poetin of Russia. Poetin would have declared, according to Halbe Zijlstra, that the goal of the Russian president was to recreate the “Bigger Russia”: Baltic states, White Russia, Ukraine and “Kazachstan was also nice to have”. In short, the former USSR.

This is a disaster for PM Mark Rutte: Halbe was a very close friend of Rutte; Zijlstra was also the architect of the present coalition, although it lasted seven months to get all four parties with their noses in the same direction. The elections were March 15 last year, the new ministers were presented last October. Since then Halbe Zijlstra, as minister of Foreign Affairs, did a good job. But a journalist of a Dutch morning paper found traces of lies and that was why Zijlstra handed the King his resignation.

Halbe Zijlstra: CV

  • Zijlstra has been a member of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy since 1 February 1994.
  • He served as a member of the municipal council of Utrecht from 1998 to 2001, and again from 2003 to 2006.
  • Zijlstra was elected to the House of Representatives in the 2006 general election, taking his seat on 30 November. In the House, he was his party’s spokesman on care, energy, sports, higher education and sciences and biotechnology. Shortly after the election, he introduced a bill with measures to tackle football hooligans together with Labour Party MP Hans Spekman, and in 2007 the bill was adopted by Guusje ter Horst, who had become Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in that year.
  • On 14 October 2010, Zijlstra was appointed as State secretary for Education, Culture and Science in the newly installed First Rutte cabinet. In this position, he was responsible for a broad portfolio of policy areas within the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, including higher education, science and knowledge, the training and labour conditions of teachers, culture and cultural heritage. In his two-Image result for halbe zijlstra cvyear term, Zijlstra initiated several changes in higher education policy, including the introduction of scholarships more favourable for long-term students and the creation of the possibility to prolong one’s study in exceptional cases in 2011, and placing base scholarships for Master students under the loan system in 2012. Additionally, Zijlstra initiated budget cuts in the culture sector, sharpening the conditions necessary to be eligible for government subsidies, and merging several cultural funds. These measures saved a total of 200 million euros. After Rutte’s first cabinet lost a motion of no confidence in 2012 and new elections were held, Zijlstra returned to the House of Representatives as chairman of his party’s parliamentary group. 
  • In 2016, he announced he would not be available for a second term as parliamentary leader after the 2017 general election, but that he aspired to enter the cabinet as a minister.
  • On 26 October 2017, Zijlstra became Minister of Foreign Affairs in the third government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. In response to the Turkish invasion of northern Syria aimed at ousting U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin, Zijlstra said that Turkey had the right to defend itself and its border, but at the same time pleaded with Turkey to show restraint.
  • Image result for halbe zijlstra cvIn February 2018 he admitted that he lied about meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2006, during his earlier carreer. While speaking at a VVD conference in 2016, Zijlstra said that he heard Putin speaking about ‘Great Russia’ in 2006, suggesting imperialistic ambitions. He said to a newspaper that he visited Putin in his home in 2006. Putin spoke about ‘Great Russia’, and when asked what he meant with that term, he responded: “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States. And oh yes, Kazakhstan was ‘nice to have’,” Zijlstra said.
  • In 2018 he corrected that statement that a source had told him about these alleged statements. “The geopolitical meaning of those words was and is great. I therefore thought it was politically important to make these statements public. The source that told me about Putin’s quotation confirmed the events to the Volkskrant, and appreciates the fact that I guarantee anonymity.” Former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer, who attended several talks with Putin, is the source of the story. Van der Veer told the events to Zijlstra in 2014 but clarified in an e-mail to De Volkskrant that Putin’s 2006 remarks were “meant historically” and “not by himself” interpreted in the sense of “aggression”.
  • On 13 February 2018, Zijlstra announced his resignation as Minister of Foreign Affairs in an address to the House of Representatives.

2018/02/16 – Naviculare fracture – cont. story

After two painfull days, we reported at the hospital just around 4:00pm at the trauma clinic. An immediate consult was not possible, but for the following day, Friday 16 @ 10.10am the orthopedist Tigchelaar, who did the check on Tuesday before, could see me.

New X-rays (4) did still not indicate a fracture of the naviculare bone. However, I have now a brace during the day, and will see the orthopedist back on Friday, March 2. A charming birthday though on Wednesday February 28 😦 🙂


2018/02/13 – Naviculare fracture – cont. story

After the naviculare fracture on February 4, I was asked to come for a check on Tuesday 13th February @ 2:55pm. After the removal of the plaster the orthopedist on duty in the trauma room showed me the X-ray of February 4. His conclusion: all is OK, do not stress the wrist too much. In case you feel that there is something wrong: report immediately.


2018/02/07 – Lion King

At the Circus Theatre in The Hague with my friend Roel, on March 8, 2018. That is tomorrow in four weeks 🙂 🙂 🙂

2018/02/06 – Guarantee for irregularity #3

2018/02/04 – Naviculare fracture


An unfortunate fall in the bathroom on Saturday afternoon February 3. I slipped over a silly bathroom mat. I could break the fall with my right hand on the toilet sitting 🙂 but the left hand continued to the tiled floor. I do not remember how I landed: on the upper or under side of the hand. However there was an extreme pain after the fall. Never-theless I went shopping in town, as we were completely out of our 35+ cheese 🙂 but the following night I did not sleep a single second.

The next day, last Sunday, I told my personal GP the story. He examined the painful hand, wrist and forearm. His conclusion was a so called fracture of the naviculare bone. A very tiny bone, which controls all movements between the wrist and the hand. Pierre wanted a X-ray of the left hand. But it was weekend, so you have to visit the Central GP station first before you can continue to the ER for further treatment. At the ER we saw the orthopedist on duty; 4 X-ray pictures were taken. With the result: a plaster cast from the finger implant to below the elbow. The left thumb is the most vulnerable; there the plaster runs up to the nail. First examination after 10 days. X-rays will tell if the process is OK or not. In the last case I will have a new plaster cast. As typing takes a lot of time, blogging will be minimized.

2018/02/03 – Snowdrops


Tue-06 D/N +1/-4 Wed-07 D/N +1/-5 Thu-08 D/N +3/-4 Fri-09 D/N +4/-3 Sat-10 D/N +5/-1 Sun-11 D/N +5/-1 Mon-12 D/N +5/-2 Tue-13 D/N +5/-2 Wed-14 D/N +6/-0 Thu-15 D/N +7/-0

2018/01/31 – HRH Princess Beatrix 80 years.

New portraits Princess Beatrix in honor of 80th birthday

Prinses Beatrix maakt nieuwe portretten ter gelegenheid van haar 80ste verjaardag.

Princess Beatrix has made new portrait photographs in honor of her 80th birthday on January 31st. On the images you can see a radiant Beatrix in a light blue suit. The Government Information Service has published three photographs of the former Queen. A close-up image, a plate on which she can be seen up to her knees in the doorway of Castle Drakensteyn in Lage Vuursche, the palace where she has lived since 2014 and one on which she petches one of her dogs. The photos were taken by photographer Jeroen van der Meyde. This newspaper followed the ex-queen for a year in the run-up to her 80th birthday.

Prinses Beatrix met haar hond.

Princess Beatrix will be 80 years old today. She celebrates her birthday in private with family and friends. Saturday she will do that again with a bigger party with guests in the Palace on Dam Square in Amsterdam.

Young and old love Beatrix: a real mother of the people

Princess Beatrix may blow out 80 candles today. For 33 years she was the Queen of the Netherlands and very popular with the people. We also received many reactions to the call to share memories. Below is a selection of the most beautiful stories and photos.

Sleep next to Bea
,, This is me at the age of 4 and that is now 15 years ago. I can not remember well, but I was so fond of her as a little girl and so I slept with a piece of newspaper with a big pictured Beatrix. My father says that one day he had thrown away the newspaper and that he could take the newspaper out of the trash because I did not want to sleep anymore. My grandmother and father are also very royal, so it will be in my genes. And with this I would like to congratulate Princess Beatrix with her 80th birthday. ”

Syrup waffle
,, We met Beatrix five years ago in the village church of Wassenaar just before the inauguration of the king. The whole family was present at the church service and then we had a nice chat with them. Beatrix has eaten a syrup waffle with the coffee. It was also very easy with the princesses. ”

Indicate coat
Queen Beatrix unveiled in the spring of 2010 an image of artist Sjef Hendrickx in Schiedam. During this visit I was allowed to give the robe to Queen Beatrix, this was a beautiful meeting. I am at the front left of the photo. The Queen laughed at my advice: “I will close your cloak at the top because it is very cold outside!” She was visibly pleased with this good tip from a concerned mother.

,,Saturday, September 24, 2011, I was allowed to secure our princess for an assignment from school. I then attended the Safety training course at the Alfa College in Hoogeveen, Drenthe. The day will always stay with me. Princess Beatrix came to ‘open the wall against violence’ in the Wolden. The class was anxiously waiting, and when she arrived we immediately recognized her hat. A sweet little woman, dressed in burgundy-red, stepped out of the car with a small smile. Then a sort of hedge was made where she could walk in between and then accompany her to her place. I had the honor to walk with the princess and her personal bodyguards. One will say that it is cliché, but I have never felt so important. It was perhaps only very brief, but a memory and experience that will always stay with me. Since that day I have spontaneously received a small future plan, which I am now working hard for seven years later. I hope to get a place between personal bodyguards and must and will achieve this! ”

Orange On Top
Koninginnedag in Utrecht,,The girl in the photo is my niece Engelina Kuiken, then just 5 years old. The photo was taken on Queen’s Day in Utrecht. An orange bouquet, because the Engelien was her favorite color and so connected to everything that has to do with the royal family. Everything that was colored orange was called “orange-red” at the time. “When the Queen walked by, I lifted her over the site and walked straight to the queen, all of which was still possible at the time. to see, incidentally) that she was going to make a lackey-like bow for the Queen, which she saw in all fairy tale films.This high-profile photo was published in various media the next day.”

Mother of the people
On April 19, 2010 I was called for a photography assignment. It turned out to be a working visit by Queen Beatrix in connection with the program ‘Selected solutions for (addicted) homeless people in Utrecht’. No press was allowed to be present and my assignment was ‘restrained photographing’ or in other words; to be invisible and to ensure that nobody is bothered by you. On the day of the working visit a day later I have wonderful memories. The photographing went well and it was very special to see how well and relaxed such a working visit is. What impressed me the most is Queen Beatrix, whom I only knew from television as a serious state woman. On this day I experienced another side up close; a sweet woman who talks to the residents, listens to them and comforts them, a real mother of the people!

Queensday never the same again
De koninklijke familie in Apeldoorn.,,I took the picture above during Queen’s Day 2009 in Apeldoorn. It was a beautiful location in the Oranje Park. Queen Beatrix took the time to greet the people. It was pleasant and the royal family came close. You almost did not have the idea that there was security. Unfortunately, that day went dramatically. In my opinion, Queen’s Birthday was experienced differently.”

2018/01/30 – HM Máxima @ Baby House

Her Majesty Queen Máxima paid a working visit to the Babyhuis in Dordrecht on Tuesday 30 January.

The Baby House Foundation offers care, care and guidance to (expectant) mothers and babies for whom parents are temporarily unable to provide care. The foundation wants to prevent unnecessary out-of-home placement. The Babyhuis has a total of eleven places available, including four mother-child units where a mother and her baby receive intensive 24 hour care. In addition, care is also provided for the baby only when a pattern has to be broken in the parent-child relationship, for example in crying babies.

The mission of the Baby House is to ensure that the children feel safe and adhere to their mother. In addition, the house offers help to the mother with the aim that the mother can ultimately take care of her baby independently in her own living environment. In the Baby House services are run by a professional core team and a team of volunteers.

During her visit Queen Máxima spoke to Mullima, Barbara Muller, founder and chairman of the Babyhuis, and several employees and partners about the origins and approach of the foundation. The interplay between formal healthcare professionals and volunteers was also discussed. Then she got a tour of the house. Finally, Queen Máxima spoke with a number of mothers and volunteers about what the Baby House means to them. The Baby House is supported by the Orange Foundation. This fund supports initiatives that make the Netherlands and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom more social. Every year it supports thousands of thousands of initiatives that ensure that people meet, are less lonely, understand each other and are committed to another. The Orange Foundation will pay extra attention in the coming period to initiatives that are aimed at children in vulnerable families. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have been the patronage of the Orange Foundation since its founding.

2018/01/28 – Fire brigade: priority code 1

2018/01/28 – The Enclosure Dam

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Afsluitdijk

The Afsluitdijk (English: Enclosure Dam) is a major causeway in the Netherlands, constructed between 1927 and 1932 and running from Den Oever on Wieringen in North Holland province, to the village of Zurich in Friesland province, over a length of 32 kilometres (20 mi) and a width of 90 metres (300 ft), at an initial height of 7.25 metres (23.8 ft) above sea level. It is a fundamental part of the larger Zuiderzee Works, damming off the Zuiderzee, a salt water inlet of the North Sea, and turning it into the fresh water lake of the IJsselmeer. The Afsluitdijkwas the initial demonstration site for a 130 km/h (81 mph) speed limit in the Netherlands. Wieringen was connected to the mainland with the short Amsteldiepdijk in 1925; the AFsluitdijk would be 20 miles (32 km) in length. The inland side is heavy stone; the seaward side is boulder clay with brushwood mattresses above, weighed down by boulders and old concrete. Previous experience had showed that boulder clay was superior to just sand or clay for a structure like the Afsluitdijk, with the added benefit that till was in plentiful supply in the area; it could be retrieved in large quantities by simply dredging it from the bottom of the Zuiderzee.

Image result for AfsluitdijkWork started at four points: on both sides of the mainland and on two specially made construction-islands (Kornwerderzand and Breezanddijk) along the line of the future dike. From these points, the dike slowly grew by ships depositing till into the open sea until it breached the surface. The nascent dike was then strengthened from land by basalt rocks and mats of willow switch at its base. The dike could then be finished off by raising it further with sand and finally clay for the surface of the dike, on which grass was planted. As the dike grew, physicist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz calculated the force of the tide as the smaller gap made it stronger. Ten thousand workers, 27 large dredges, 13 floating cranes, 132 Image result for Afsluitdijkbarges, and 88 tugs worked on the project at the end, timed to close the dike at low tide; it was finished on 28 May 1932. Construction progressed better than expected; at three points along the line of the dike there were deeper underwater trenches where the tidal current was much stronger than elsewhere. These had been considered to be major obstacles to completing the dike, but all of them proved to be relatively straightforward. Two years earlier than initially thought, the Zuiderzee ceased to be, as the last tidal trench, the Vlieter, was closed by a final bucket of till. The IJsselmeer was born, even though it was still salty at the time. The dike itself however was not finished yet as it still needed to be brought up to its required height and a road linking Friesland and North Holland (the current A7/E22 motorway) also remained to be built. On 25 September 1933, the Afsluitdijk was officially opened, with a monument designed by architect Dudok marking the spot where the dike had been closed.

The amount of material used is estimated at 23 million cubic metres (810 million cu ft) of sand and 13.5 million cubic  metresImage result for Afsluitdijk (480 million cu ft) of till and over the years an average of around four to five thousand workers were involved with the construction every day, relieving some of the unemployment following the Great Depression. Beside the dike itself, there was also the necessary construction of two complexes of shipping locks and discharge sluices at both ends of the dike. The complex at Den Oever includes the Stevin lock (named after Hendrik Stevin, a son of mathematician and engineer Simon Stevin) and three series of five sluices for discharging the IJsselmeer into the Wadden Sea; the other complex at Kornwerderzand is composed of the Lorentz locks (named after the physicist) and two series of five sluices, making a total of 25 discharge sluices. It is necessary to routinely discharge water from the lake since it is continually fed by rivers and streams (most notably the IJssel river that gives its name to the lake) and polders draining their water into the IJsselmeer.

2018/01/26 – Travel (partly) for free, Thalys high speed train to Brussels

by intercity train from Nimwegen  CS to Amsterdam Amstel station

visiting my sister; by tramway to Amsterdam CS

by Thalys to Schiphol-Rotterdam-Antwerp-Brussels South station

by Thalys to Antwerp-Rotterdam-Schiphol-Amsterdam CS

by intercity train from Amsterdam CS to Nimwegen CS.

2018/01/20 – Analysing the gale

NOTA BENE: this article was published 19th January, 2018 at 06:45AM. Several figures about the damage have changed meanwhile.

1 How strong was this gale?
The storm broke into the Netherlands and at its peak reached wind force 11 Bft.. “Since 1910 a storm with this force has only occurred thirteen times”, says Diana Woei of Weerplaza. “In addition to the average strength of the storm, gusts of wind are measured of more than 120 kph, almost hurricane power.”

2 People were blowing across the street. How can such a thing be?
On social media many videos popped up of people who came off the sidewalk and flew a bit or had to cling to a lamppost in order not to blow over. “That someone was blown off his feet is not that strange at such wind speeds,” Woei says. ,,A child flies in the round at wind force 9 Bft.. The wind was now considerably harder. Wind force 11 Bft. is strong enough to bring down an adult.”

201801181115Stormschade3 How exactly did this storm happen?
The storm built up in the Canadian Newfoundland, says Woei. “Due to falling air pressure, there is movement around the center of the low-pressure area. Because of the rotation of the earth, it moves to the right. The low-pressure area draws in air and this creates wind that can easily get storm force. ” Officially, there is a storm at wind force 9 Bft.. That force was reached yesterday at the beginning of the morning and then quickly gained strength. On the coast the wind was already lying around noon, in the east it lasted until the second half of the afternoon.

4 Have we been sufficiently warned?
After the exceptionally heavy storm of January 25, 1990, in which seventeen were killed, the KNMI decided to issue warnings in extreme weather conditions. Even before the storm erupted yesterday, the meteorological institute announced code orange. In the course of the morning the KNMI scaled that up to code red. “With such a warning people are strongly advised not to go on the road. The fact that many people do that and run a risk is their own responsibility, “according to the meteorological institute.

5 Why could the trains not run and was Schiphol completely paralyzed?
At 11.00 hours the NS pulled the plug out. The weather turned out to be too rough to continue. ProRail had 150 damage reports last night, of which ’30 to 40 larger incidents’. In 40 places, trees had been blown over, at some 30 places overhead lines were broken. Damage was also at train stations. Glass plates came down at The Hague Central Station; the station was closed for some time. At a quarter past 11, Schiphol was almost completely locked. It was still started and landed. Departure halls 1 and 2 closed because roof plates flew from the terminal. Schiphol was operational again at 1 PM. A total of 320 flights were canceled.

6 What caused all those trucks to blow?
The Traffic Information Service had at least 66 trucks that were tilted because of the strong wind. “Those trucks are real wind catchers, especially when they are driving without load,” says Arnoud Broekhuis of the ANWB Traffic Center. “The drivers know the dangers, but they take the guess. On all north-south connections trucks rolled on the bridges and traffic stopped. “There is no prohibition to drive trucks in a storm. The ANWB has the impression that the daredevils were partly Polish truckers. “We are thinking with Transport and Logistics Netherlands about how we can reach this group in situations like this. Maybe with icons and signs in other languages. “

7 Does the insurance cover the storm damage?
Almost all homeowners have a home insurance policy that covers damage to homes, such as broken roof tiles or damage caused by falling trees. Comparison site for insurance policies Independer reports that insurers will reimburse if the wind force is 7 or more. However, there is often a higher deductible for storm damage. Branches and trees on cars is another story. That depends on the car insurance. Those who are only insured with WA, have bad luck. Unless that fallen tree of the municipality was already rotten and the municipality had already been pointed out several times. But legally that is almost impossible to make. The level of damage is expected later today, but is probably in the tens of millions of euros.

2018/01/20 – The damage of the last gale is even worse than expected.


Damage to private properties (houses):

€ 83,000,000 / £ 73,112,000 / CA$ 126,406,900

Damage to private properties (cars):

€ 10,000,000 / £ 8,808,600 / CA$ 15,229,800

Damage to companies (airports, harbours etc.):

€ 110,000,000 / £ 96,895,000 / CA$ 167,427,000


€ 203,000,000 / £ 178,815,400 / CA$ 309,163,900

2018/01/19 – Estimated storm damage

Het huis van het gezin Dingemans in Sint-Michielsgestel raakte zwaar beschadigd.

Insurance companies reported, that the weather of yesterday caused a damage of

€ 55,000,000 / £  48,456,000 / CA$ 83,773,000

The central alarm number 112 (911) has normally on the busiest time of the year (New years eve) 500 calls per hour; yesterday there was an average of 1,500 calls per hour 😦 😦 😦


2018/01/19 – Code red impressions

Bij een bedrijf in Terborg is het dak eraf gewaaid.



2018/01/18 – Gale in Amsterdam 😦 😦 😦

Imgur: The magic of the Internet

2018/01/18 – How the Dutch fight water

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor deltawerken zeeland

The so called Delta Works protect the Netherlands in periods of extreme high tide or heavy gales, like today (9 to 10 Bft at the coast provinces), although these measures of lowering the barriers are not imminent today.

These Delta Works are a direct result of the extreme floods of the coastal provinces at 1st February 1953. In the night from 31st January to 1st February there was a spring tide.

When do spring tides occur?

Spring tides occur twice each month all year long. Interestingly, when there is a full or new moon – the average tidal ranges are larger.

Why do spring tides happen?

When there is a new and full moon, the gravitational pull of the sun is supplemented to the gravitational pull of the moon on Earth. The result of this is that the oceans swell even more than usual.

1st February 1953 – The disaster

How to fight back (animation – English)

The result: by 120kph

28/01/18 – Chart of gale in kph at noon (GMT 11.00AM)

actuele temperatuur

2018/01/18 – NIMWEGEN MISERY

Code red straight over the center of the Netherlands: gale from the West. The second chart shows the rain, thunderstorms and temperatures in C. Until now 3 people died in the outrage of this weather.

Waarschuwing land 48 new

Weather map

2018/01/18 – No trains or planes…

At 10:31 GMT the Dutch Railways (NS) have decided to stop all train traffic in connection with the heavy storm of today. At Schiphol Airport, all flights have been temporarily canceled due to the dangerously strong wind.


At the moment, with a whole day still to go, there is already a damage of € 10m  / £ 8.91m / CA$ 15.172m, according the reports of insurance companies. This is worse than during the gale of 2 weeks ago, when over the whole day the damage was €10m. Insurers now recommend that people comply with the code red advice issued by KNMI for large parts of the country. “Beware, that warning is not there for nothing.” “In spite of everything, you are still on the road, but you are assured, according to the trade association.The spokesman points out that it is difficult to estimate what importance everyone has to go out on the road anyway. “For example, a nurse who works in the intensive care unit can simply go to work.” “The supply of important foodstuffs will probably continue.

De bus met schoolkinderen raakte de boom frontaal.

A school bus was blown over from the highway: 15 children to hospital for a check, driver severely wounded. Legion of ambulance personnel and firefighters work on the heavily damaged car.

2018/01/18 – Meanwhile at 10:30AM (GMT+1) just behind us:

Below what happened at our neighbors: a tree fell just across their back yard. The Netherlands have a 9 – 10 Bft gale at the coast, 7 in our inland part.  The airline KLM cancelled 220 flights, mainly to Scandinavia and England, and the trains run far from schedule.


2018/01/15 – Hyperloop

With a team of highly motivated students from various disciplines of the Delft University of Technology we will prove the technical and commercial viability of the Hyperloop concept. Among others, the faculties of Aerospace Engineering, Applied Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Industrial Design are represented in our team. Together they combine their knowledge and expertise. The Delft Hyperloop team is set on designing the best possible vehicle and help prove the commercial viability of the Hyperloop concept. To achieve this, our partners are an essential element, providing knowledge, experience, materials, funds and so much more. The project has already aroused a lot of interest globally. All around the world media have paid excessive attention to the Hyperloop concept. The Hyperloop is a project in the spotlights and therefore an interesting way for companies to show their capabilities. This will lead to a lot of exposure to young, aspiring engineers, along with countless of technology companies, ranging from the automotive to the aerospace industry.

After a year of design and construction, the competition had finally come! The tests went well and without any problems. Finally, after the opening ceremony by Elon Musk and his visit to our pod we were ready to enter the tube. Thirty nerve-racking minutes of tube decompression followed and then the pusher finally accelerated us. Our pod reached a velocity of 94 km/h while levitating in the near vacuum tube. Delft Hyperloop scored the best in the overall score, of assessment of safety, construction and design, and therefore was awarded the first prize! On top of that, we also won the best Design award. We would like to thank our partners, supporters and the team who have made this all possible. Next year we will continue with a new team and compete again. So stay tuned! Application for the new team is open until March 10th.


Delft University of Technology

Delft Hyperloop

2018/01/14 – Wine tasting party

An enormous number of people were interested in this edition of wine pub “PINOT” tasting on Sunday, 14th January 2018: 60 applications!!! Normally about 40. So the organisation had to include the accomodation at the first floor as well. Normally this space is for the sales of wine and for private parties. The party started at 03.00PM and lasted till 06.30PM.



-1- Welcome with Champaign










-2- White wine with toast and roasted mushrooms










-3- White wine (although it seems a rosé wine) with smoked salmon








-4- Red wine with carpaccio















5- Red wine with beef stew
















-6- Red wine with assortment of cheeses (pictures n.a. 😦 )



-7- Red wine with assortment of chocolates






2018/01/12 – Fraud and forgery

Prinses Margriet.

An asset manager of members of the Royal Family is suspected of fraud and forgery. The 55-year-old Remy M. from Waalre, as director of Box Consultants, illegally donated 8 million euros (£ 7.13m) to a private company. This appears from research by the Financial Paper. Without his clients knowing, asset manager M. would have set up commissions with foreign investments. He should actually have paid that money to the customers. During court cases, Box handed over customer lists to the court.The royal family has or had 51 investment accounts with the company. It invested with money from the princesses Christina, Irene and Margriet. In addition, the names of the advisor of the Belgian King Philippe, Pierre Cartuyvels, the descendants of the department store families Vroom and Dreesmann and former World Online top woman Nina Storms are on the list.

In 2015, Mr M. had already been in custody for four days after a raid by the tax investigation service Fiod. The Public Prosecutor suspects him and the two companies Box and Boulder of forgery. Customers thought that there were no hidden costs in the management of their money, but the practice turned out to be unruly. What would have happened? Investment funds paid asset managers in the past a commission that provided them with customers. Such commissions are, however, prohibited by law to prevent asset managers from investing in funds that are bad for customers, but good for their own wallets. Such commissions would still have been paid at Box and Boulder. M. and Box deny the suspicion. They argue that the suspect money flows are in order and argue that paying commissions until 2014 was lawful and customary.

2018/01/12 – Pedophilia / #MeToo

De opgepakte man filmde stiekem de douchende sporters van club in Almere

Man films minors under the shower of gym Almere

A 30-year-old man was arrested last week because he secretly filmed minors in the shower room of a gym in Almere. Two victims caught the man in the act. The personnel called in the police. The two minors filed a declaration. The police searched the man’s home and confiscated equipment to investigate whether more recordings were made. The man, who was arrested last week, is now free again.

He remains suspicious in the case.

2018/01/12 – Windshields @ high speed track

Tens of thousands of passengers are the victim, as only in 2020 windshields will be placed at the High Speed Train track. Some 24,000 train passengers have suffered a recent storm because there are no windshields at the bridge over the Hollandsch Diep. Problems with wind were already detected in 2005. Yet windbreaks are only available in 2020.

Even though the bridge over the Hollandsch Diep near Moerdijk has been specially constructed for the high-speed line, in case of strong winds travelers are delayed. On January 3, 2018, during the last storm, the bridge connecting South-Holland with North-Brabant affected the travelers. Some 12,000 passengers of the Intercity Direct and another 12,000 travelers who wanted to catch the regular intercity between Rotterdam and Breda, were victimized that day according to the Dutch Railways.

Gerelateerde afbeeldingBetween 6 o’clock in the morning and 6 o’clock in the evening, no trains passed over the High Speed Line (Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris) bridge due to the western storm. ,, For a long time there was only one train per hour between Rotterdam and Breda, that is something very different than four intercity trains and two slow trains ”, explains Freek Bos of travelers organization Rover. ,,Especially the people who travel between Rotterdam and Breda were victimized.”

The problems with the wind have been established years ago. Research of this newspaper and showed that the HSL did not drive more than 230 times in 2015 due to strong winds. From a legal request that the NOS did afterwards, it turned out that it was already in 2005 about the question to which wind speed could safely be driven over that bridge. The first test drive with the hsl on that bridge still had to be made. Thirteen years ago, NedTrain Consulting already designated the then just built bridge as a risk location. The problem is that the train is traveling at 26 meters above an open field and open water. Moreover, it is close to the sea and the most common wind direction is perpendicular to the route.

Easy adjustment
An independent survey found in 2016 that a ‘simple adaptation to the wind measurement system’ that had already been affected could reduce wind discharge by 25 percent. Windshields in combination with speed limits would be another 60 percent less loss. In April 2016, the Ministry released 40 million euros for it. But where are the wind screens? “The need to solve the problem with the wind on the Moerdijk bridge is very big,” Bos emphasizes. “Especially because since the 2017 timetable the intercity between The Hague, Breda and Eindhoven also started to drive over that bridge. The money is there so now you have to continue. Make it an hsl procedure, extra fast. ”

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Works, through spokesman Carlijn van Donselaar, says that the wind screens are ‘planned for 2020’. “The reason that these screens can not be pulled out one day after another is that they need to be custom-designed and developed for the bridge.” “It has not occurred in the Netherlands before that on a bridge such screens should be installed, so there are no proven knowledge and examples that can be traced back to. Van Donselaar: ,,If it turns out that the process can run faster, then of course we will manage it. But we have nothing to do with screens that will soon blow away again.”

2018/01/11 – PostNL is still busy delivering Christmas mail

Nathan Snieder: ,,Een maand onderweg is toch wel heel erg uit het jaar theelichtje.''

Nathan Snieder received Nine Christmas cards on Tuesday. PostNL must remove a mountain ‘recovery mail’.
“Wow! That is very late, Nils.”
“Hmm, that does not sound good Lisanne!”
“Judith, apologies for the delay!”
“So Josephien, that Christmas card is either very late or already very early for the following Christmas days ;-)”

PostNL’s customer service was busy with it in recent days. Through social media she got a lot of complaints about Christmas cards that fell on the mat three weeks late. It also rained complaints about packages that were delayed for days, sometimes weeks. The mail deliverer in Landsmeer is absolutely the limit: he delivered no less than nine Christmas cards to Nathan Snieder on Tuesday. Some even had a stamp from December 14th. ,,I put them in the attic for next year, then we have something again. I understand that it is busy, but almost a month on the road is very much out of the year tea light is not it?”. Defendant Snieder adressed PostNL


Normally, mail – within the Netherlands – should be at its destination the next day. Three days will be allocated for Christmas post. Make it easy for Josephien Sierag from Amstelveen for five weeks. She got a ticket this week, with a nice Santa Claus on the front, which was sent just after Sinterklaas. She is waiting for five other Christmas cards from friends from the same town. Also her own Christmas post is not delivered to everyone. ,,I do not like that. People think I’ve forgotten them. And they were expensive cards, so also a waste of the money and the money for the stamps.”
According to PostNL there is still a pile of ‘recovery mail’ that will be delivered in the coming days. “For example, these maps did not contain the correct postcode or house number. To be able to deliver these, additional manual work is required,” explains spokesman Marc Potma. A group of senders probably also sent the Christmas post too late, he thinks. ,,The December stamps could be used until January 6th. This post will arrive in the coming days. We are now working the last bit away.” Both Snieder and Sierag are certain that the information on the envelopes is correct. Sniper, dry: “Fortunately there was no invitation between.”

No abnormal problems
The complaints about slow parcel delivery do not recognize PostNL. “We do not see any abnormal problems,” says the spokesperson. On average, more than 575,000 parcels are delivered daily. 98 percent will arrive on time. Whoever belongs to the two percent (11,500 packages daily), according to the spokesman, does well to file a complaint. “Then we can address the deliveryman.” Also last week there was a lot of grumbling about mail deliverers who left a package unattended in the paper container, on the sidewalk or on the doorknob. “Certainly not,” emphasizes the spokesperson, “Packages must be handed over to the people themselves or the neighbors.”

2018/01/10 – Water withdrawel

Hoogwater bij de nevengeul.

dronebeelden hoogwater
























2018/01/09 – Lobith

The river Rhine enters at Lobith the Netherlands. There it is immediately split up in the West bound river Waal and the North-West bound river Rhine/IJssel.  At the moment there is a flood of 18,000 cubic meters water per second  that comes in at Lobith. At Lobith the water level is 1,495 cm above NAP (see below). At 1,800 cm there will be a critical phase. The institutions for water management have already all measures taken. 😦 😦 😦

Below is in a chart the rise of the water level in Nimwegen harbour. In the period from January 03 till today 10.00AM it went up from 880 cm to 1,180 cm above NAP.

(NAP stands for New Amsterdam Level; all water heights in rivers and surrounding seas are measured to this standard, where NAP = 0 centimeters. So we have here a water level, that is 1,180 cm HIGHER than Amsterdam.)



2018/01/09 – High tide gives some spectacular views on the city and the surrounding nature:Op sommige stukken staat het pad echter helemaal onder water.

In Nimwegen we are currently faced with high water. Whoever is afraid to get wet feet we can reassure: it does not get that far. This is all going to happen in the coming days.

How bad is it?waal

The denominations (large wooden ‘gate’ at the quay of the river Waal)  in Nimwegen have been closed for the first time in years. De quay will be closed to traffic in the evening of 8 January, also for regional buses Waalwe read on the website of the Gelderlander. Is there a threat or not and how bad is it?

Hoogwater bij de Waalkade, Nijmegen.Highlight on Wednesday

Christol Hollema of Rijkswaterstaat explains how it is. “We expect the water to rise up to and including Wednesday morning. It is estimated that the highest point will be 14.70 meters at Lobith, the place where the Rhine enters the Netherlands. During the year, the water level in the Waal changes between 7 and 14 meters. At this moment the stand is high, but there will be no flooding in Nimwegen.”

The level will drop from Wednesday

The water level in the river Waal is expected toDeze jongen had zijn reddingsboot meegenomen naar het hoge water, omdat hij later op een reddingsboot wil gaan werken. Nu is Star Wars nog zijn grote hobby. fall again from Wednesday. In short: we do not get wet feet in Nimwegen this time. The quay of the river Waal in Nimwegen will be closed between from Monday at 6 pm for all traffic, including buses. The Een woonboot lijkt handig met deze hoge waterstand, maar je moet er wel eerst op zien te komen!expectation is that Tuesday morning the quay of the river Waal will be flooded. The highest water level is expected on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. Buses are diverted during the closure. More information about this is provided by the bus company Breng, according to the municipality of Nijmegen. The water level in the Rhine, Waal, and IJssel is currently stable, but is expected to increase sharply in the weekend. On Monday a new highlight is expected, Met zo'n hoge waterstand heeft dit bruggetje niet zo veel nut meer.from 16 meters above NAP at Lobith. Currently, the water level there is ‘only’ 14 meters 85. The increase in water level is mainly due to the enormous rainfall in large parts of Germany. In the lower catchment area of the Rhine and dilapidated rivers, 40 to 80 liters per square meter will fall in two days. That is the amount that normally falls in a whole Femke schoot in Ewijk dit kiekje van een typisch Hollands landschap.month. Also because the soil here and there is completely saturated, the water will flow into the rivers faster than normal. In addition, there is more than half a meter of snow in the Middle Mountains that will melt quickly as a result of the rain and high temperatures. The expected water height of 16 meters is still 64 centimeters less than Het is zeker niet de eerste keer dat het water in de rivieren zo hoog staat. Nico stuurde ons deze foto van de Waalbrug in de jaren 1995. On the picture below you can see how immense the flood is: at the utmost left side is the bridge over the Waal. All the land right is flooded; complete polders have disappeared.



2018/01/08 – Dutch motorways on a metro map: intriguing!

Sebas van den Brink maakte een metrokaart met alle Nederlandse snelwegen.

Map lover Sebas van den Brink from Groningen probably made the most beautiful map of the Netherlands. In his spare hours, the illustrator put the Netherlands’ motorway network on a metromap. It yields an intriguing card.

It is just as good looking, but then you see it immediately: the metro map that Van den Brink made of the Dutch motorways is very special. “It is more of a map to hang and look at than to fuse away in your glove box,” says Van den Brink. “The distances are not correct, just like with a real metro map. But those are the compromises you make. Otherwise, for example, the highway to Walcheren could not have done it. ”

The Netherlands lends itself particularly well to making this map, the Groningen illustrator discovered. “It is, if we ignore Limburg, a fairly rectangular country. That’s why it fits well. That is very different for a country like Germany or France. ”

The artist likes to draw floor plans from a very early age. He calls himself a map-geek (card game) for a reason. I always liked to create fantasy countries. No one who says to you: ‘That is not possible or that is not true’. And I also make maps for my work from time to time. But this highway folder really came into being as a hobby. ”

It was quite a job to get all those highways, exits, driveways and junctions well on paper. ,,It is an accurate puzzle. I also wanted to have all aqueducts and tunnels on it. It must be true, of course, but I also want it to look good. Making this card was an experiment for me. If it succeeds, that’s fun.”

Van den Brink also made a metromap from his hometown Groningen. He is now also planning to take over all Dutch big cities. And from next week the posters of the Dutch motorway network are for sale. ,,It seems to speak to the imagination. We all know the Netherlands as a lion, and that is what we have already received at primary school. But on my map you can see that it is also fun to view our country in a different way.”

2018/01/08 – New ferry grounded too

IMG_3073 (2)

New ferry between Velden and Grubbenvorst (river Meuse): the new ferry is 21 meters long and can accommodate 12 cars. There is a separate strip for cyclists. The maximum load capacity is 50 tons. The maximum vehicle weight is 25 tons. On he picture above you can see the new ferry on the left and the old ferry on the right. This picture is taken 1 week ago. Now the old ferry is not there anymore, and the new one is out of service.

2018/01/08 – High tide & deer

De ree was een beetje gehavend na de reddingsoperatie, maar maakt het goed.

The high tide brought a young deer in trouble on Sunday afternoon in Ubbergen. The De ree werd na de redding in een isodeken gewikkeld om op te warmen.animal got stuck between the bushes, while the water ran into the polder. The fire brigade eventually managed to save the creature.The volunteer fire brigade has sailed to the deer with a boat to get it out of the bushes. The animal was probably already there for two hours. The deer was a bit battered after the rescue operation, but got well eventually. After the liberation, the firefighters wrapped the deer in an iso sign to warm up. They did so on the advice of the rushed gamekeeper. The latter has taken the animal and set it out in a dry forest.

2018/01/08 – Hello beaver!

As the water level rises 3cm per hour (0,72m per day) lots of animals are in problems. But species you normally hardly see  are now visible:

Een bever vlucht voor het hoogwater.

Also horses and cows have to be transported to safe heavens like higher parts of polders.


2018/01/08 – Tide too high for ferries

As the water level still rises, it is impossible too get your car on and off the ferry. Therefore several ferry services throughout the country are suspended.

Het veer bij Sambeek vaart nog wel.

2018/01/08 – High tide

Hoog water in de IJssel bij Kampen.

While the sandbags are piled up in German cities, Dutch water experts keep their heads cool. “We can handle these high water levels,” says the head of flood threat of Rijks-waterstaat and the water boards.

Code yellow is in effect. Not for imminent heavy weather, but because of the risk of flooding in the Netherlands. “This situation occurs once every five years,” says Harold van Waveren, chairman of the National Coordination Commission on the overflow threat of Rijkswaterstaat and the water boards. Van Waveren and his team keep an eye on the water levels from Lelystad.

Code yellow. Do we have to worry?
,,No, we have it under control. The Rhine continues to rise considerably tomorrow and Tuesday. The flood water is coming our way from Germany. There has been a lot of precipitation lately, just like in Switzerland. In Germany, the situation is much more extreme than here.” “In the Netherlands we expect the peak on Tuesday, towards the beginning of the evening. Then 7,500 cubic meters of water per second will flow into our country, the water level will rise to about 14.65 meters NAP. If the water levels exceed 13 meters NAP, code is yellow. Then it is necessary to take measures. Only at 15 meters NAP code turns orange. “

Het hoogwater.

What measures are being taken?
“In the context of “Space for the River”, many projects have been completed over the past five years. Look at the secondary channel near Nimwegen, which is now flowing for the first time. We are really reaping the benefits of widening the rivers right now. The water therefore does not rise too hard. In principle, we can use twice as much water in the Netherlands as we do now: the real test case has yet to come. It is not going to be that bad this week.”

Where are the problems the biggest?
“In the Netherlands it is not that bad, apart from some quays that run over here and there. Farmers must remove their cattle from the floodplains. The consequences for shipping are much more severe. There are substantial obstacles to the ships on the German Rhine. Dutch skippers also suffer from this. Transport by water is a major blow.” “But the high water also causes beautiful things. This is how we see beavers that are coming up. They are looking for a dry place, because their castles are under water. Research shows that biodiversity has increased considerably thanks to Room for the River. This is a sign of that. I am very happy about that. “

Hoogwater zorgt in het Land van Cuijk nauwelijks voor problemen.

2018/01/07 – 40th anniversary


A big heart, with a very clever composition of the pictures of a blog post dated December 31, 2017. Discreetly hidden behind pine trees, and only visible from our sitting room. Perhaps our neighbors of 217 sousterrrain will enjoy it also. Let us say: up to 50 years and June 21, 2024: our silver legal anniversary  🙂

Our gratitude to Marie and Peter Tönissen, the neighbors of Graafseweg 221.

All rights reserved to Peter and Marie 🙂 🙂 🙂

2018/01/07 – 40th anniversary

Jan. 07 1978 – Jan. 07 2018

At 7 PM Pierre and I met for the first time. At that time I lived in a 2 room apartment in Amsterdam. Pierre had visited a patient of him in hospital in Amsterdam. I had prepared a 7 course dinner. The poor GP was so exhausted of all the emotions of the day, that he fell asleep after dinner. -> The expression “Ruby” derives from a congratulations App from Lady Mary.

Here are some scans of 40 year old pictures 🙂

198008300008Saint FlourPierre at the age of 34












Luke at the age of 28







2018/01/02 – Rijn-Waal cycle path

The high-speed cycle route from Nimwegen to Arnheim (in the Netherlands) is called Rijnwaalpath.

The river Rhine enters the Netherlands at Lobith, province Gelderland. There it is split up West bound via Nimwegen as the river Waal, the busiest river in the Netherlands. Northbound it is called the river Rhine and passes the city of Arnheim, and the river IJssel, passing by Deventer and Zwolle. After Zwolle the river IJssel comes in the former South Sea, nowadays the IJssel Lake with numerous polders. Together they are the official 12th province of the Netherlands: “Flevoland”.

2018/01/04 – Shakespeare’s drama in new opera production

2018/01/02 – New Years eve

De Nijmeegse wijk Neerbosch Oost beleefde een onrustige jaarwisseling.

The turn of the year demands far too much from police and emergency services, says police chief Lute Nieuwerth of Gelderland-South (Nimwegen, Tiel and surroundings). Even worse, he thinks, that not only the rescue forces, but also the public, are in danger on the streets. “All kinds of drunken people, whom I would not even trust a lighter, throw with heavy explosives. Absurd. Why is it not forbidden?”, he asks. The transition from 2017 to 2018 was apparently quiet in the distribution area of the Gelderlander newspaper. Larger incidents were limited to a few hefty fires: a primary school in Meteren and a large storage shed in Boxmeer were destroyed. A house fire demanded a death in Buren. But many smaller reports of fires, brawls, neighbor quarrels and fireworks nuisance caused the emergency services to do a lot of work. “There is no quiet new year,” says Nieuwerth.

For East Netherlands, the district of Gelderland-South once again appeared to be most uneasy this year. More than 250 police officers were here: more than ten times as much as normal. Especially the Biblebelt is considered ‘war zone’. The police were again the busiest in villages like Beesd, Dodewaard and Waardenburg. In Tiel the ME had to protect the fire brigade. In Waardenburg, hard work was taken at 3 o’clock to call up youngsters throwing fireworks. Possibly the number of incidents on the biblebelt remained limited because Old Year’s Eve was on a Sunday.  The mentality in an area such as the Waarden really has to change, says Nieuwerth. “The fireworks being thrown are getting heavier. Not only are the inconvenience and damage enormous. It is too dangerous.”

The Netherlands in general: over the whole country there were less incidents between agressors and rescue workers: where in 2016/2017 still 50 rescue workers severely were attacked, it was over 2017/2018 only 9. The reason is a change in the law: any attempt to attack members of the fire brigade, police forces, or ambulance personnel will be charged at court as an attempt for murder. However, the material damage was immense: in only the city of Utrecht 20 private cars were set on fire. And a 53 year old man was killed when a heavy -illegal- firework exploded too early: the man was killed on the spot, he was known for his love for this kind of firework. But it happened on the middle of the day on a busy point. Children had to be transported to hospital, and a center for mental help was set up for the people who saw the incident.

2018/01/02 – First storm 2018 arriving

The first storm of the new year is coming, the KNMI and Weerplaza report. Tomorrow we get to the coast with a western storm with heavy to very heavy gusts of wind, according to the weather services. The wind is turning from the southwest to the south this afternoon and then rises to wind force 7Bft. During the course of the night the wind will increase even more. In the second half of the night heavy gusts of wind of 75 to 100 km (50 – 70 M) per hour are possible. During showers with a thunderstorm, even very heavy gusts of wind up to 110Km (80M) per hour can occur. 
Tomorrow will be a turbulent day with probably a few hours of storm, wind force 9Bft or 10Bft, on the northwest coast and on the Wadden Islands (five islands North of the Netherlands in the North Sea). There can be (very) heavy gusts of wind up to 115Km (85M) per hour. In the early morning a line passes with strong showers, and especially in the south (very) heavy gusts are possible. “Tomorrow morning the traffic has to take into account heavy to very heavy gusts of wind,” says weatherman Ben Lankamp, ​​who in the course of the morning pulls the wind up to 9Bft and on the west coast and on the Wadden even 10Bft.

De Franse westkust werd de voorbije dagen getroffen door storm Carmen.

Code yellow
KNMI has issued a yellow code for tomorrow between 3 am and 6 pm. During the day the storm keeps on the coast until the second half of the afternoon. The wind, coming from the west, becomes on the west coast from Hoek van Holland to Den Helder than hard to stormy, wind force 7 or 8Bft. The wind gradually decreases after 15 hours and by night the wind has also decreased in the eastern Wadden Sea area to hard, force 7, with wind gusts up to 90Km (60M) per hour.

Heavy showers
Not only does it blow, there can also be a lot of rain, says weather lady Diana Woei. “In the night to Wednesday a rainy area draws over our country fairly quickly. In some places there is a chance of 15 mm of rain water in 3 hours time. Later on Wednesday mornings and in the afternoon, heavy showers start to move from west to east. In addition, a lot of rain water is possible in a short time and there is a chance of heavy gusts up to 110Km (85M) per hour. Outside the showers it also blows with heavy gusts of 75 – 100Km (50 – 70M) per hour.” The storm is the result of the slowing of a deep depression with a core pressure of 975 hectopascals. She travels from North England across the southern North Sea to Schleswig-Holstein and the Baltic Sea. South of this low-pressure area, a large difference in air pressure arises, causing the wind to swell up to storm force on the Dutch coast. The core of the storm depression is just passing north of the Wadden Islands.

Front system
An accompanying front system passes early in the night to Wednesday with rain. The temperature first rises at the heat front, as befits a heat front, for a number of hours to 9 to 11 degrees. Then between 4 am and 10 am a sharp cold front passes from west to east, accompanied by strong showers. Locally a lot of rain is possible, 15 or 20 mm.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor weeronline

2018/01/01 – Happy New Year

  • Happy New Year, 
  • Gelukkig Nieuw-jaar, 
  • Joyeux Nouvelle Année, 
  • Glückliches Neujahr, 
  • Buon anno, 
  • Feliz año nuevo, 
  • Feliz Ano Novo, 
  • Godt Nytår,  
  • Gratulerer nytt år, 
  • Gott nytt år, 
  • Onnellista uutta vuotta, 
  • З Новим роком,  
  • С Новым годом, 
  • 新年快樂,  
  • سنة جديدة سعيدة