Thursday, May 29, 2014


Bakery 'Den Dubbelden Arend' in 1926 (photo by Blitz en Zn)

The Dutch word 'Theekantje' has completely disappeared. It can be translated as a little ‘tea side’, a cookie served at the side of a tea dish. It was baked at bakery Den Dubbelden Arend (The Double Eagle) in Utrecht (Schoutenstraat 13). The word is visible at the left above the window, spelled 'tekantjes').

'This shop has been started at June 5, 1726' . The double-headed eagle is a common symbol. 

In 1976 the bakery celebrated its 250 year anniversary, but today it houses an antique dealer. The last theekantje was baked and sold in 1989. The front remained unchanged though, so it is probably the only place in the world where the word survives.

The storefront of the former bakery dating back to 1726

next episode: tigers

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blup Blup The Island

Blup Blup Island is a small volcanic island of the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The forested island has a small population.

It is one of the few locations on Earth which can pronounce its own name.

next episode: tea

Friday, May 23, 2014

Let's go to Donbass (or not)

Donetsk, at the left-bank of the Kalmius river (

The Donets Basin is the news since it is here where most of the Russian-backed separatists are living. The region, commonly known as the Donbas or Donbass, is located in the eastern part of the Ukraine near the border with Russia. It is a heavily industrialised coal mining area and the most densely populated of all the regions of Ukraine (Kiev excluded). The region is named after the Donets river.

The city of Donetsk (Донецьк) (population: 1 million) is considered the unofficial capital of the Donbass. It was founded in 1869 when the Welsh businessman John Hughes built a steel plant and several coal mines in the region. The town initially was given the name Hughesovka and in its early period received many immigrants from Wales. The British origin of the city is still reflected in its layout and architecture.
Tourisme map of the Ukrainian Donbas region comprised of the two most eastern provinces of Ukraine: the Donetsk oblast and the Luhansk oblast.

Ukraine, with the Donbass region at the right (

Notice the Russian speaking majority in pink and Transnistria in dark green (officially part of Moldavia, it is a self-declared republic wanting to join Russia, with a Russian military contingent present). Also notice how the Russian-Ukrainian language border follows the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth border.

The former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795). 

next episode: ?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Straet View Amsterdam

Straet View Amsterdam (source: The National Maritime Museum) (may not work in all browsers)

'Straet' is the old Dutch word for 'Street'. This video shows the expansion of Amsterdam in the 17th century:

next episode: ?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Battle of the Netherlands

German troops in Wageningen, May 11, 1940, approximately about 9:20 hours.
The man in the foreground is wearing a pair of binoculars and a card bag. 
Behind him a soldier with a German Mauser 98k (source). 

On the morning of May 10th, 1940 the Dutch awoke to the sound of aircraft engines roaring in the sky. Germany had commenced operation Fall Gelb and attacked the NetherlandsBelgiumFrance and Luxembourg (in the case of the Low Countries without a declaration of war given before hostilities).

next episode: ?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Amersfoort Liberation Day

Varkensmarkt, Amersfoort, May 7th, 1945.

On Monday May 7th, 1945, the Canadian Allied Forces entered Amersfoort. Nationwide Liberation Day is celebrated on May 5th. On May 4th the victims of World War II are commemorated.

Kamp, Amersfoort, May 7th, 1945.

(photos via Archief Eeemland)

next episode: battle

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mary Astor

She has been quoted as saying: "There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who's Mary Astor? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who's Mary Astor?"

next episode: freedom


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