April 30, 2013 |
LONDON -- With an exchange of smiles and the flourish of a pen, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated the throne and her son Willem-Alexander took her place Tuesday to become the country's first king in more than a century. In a simple morning ceremony in Amsterdam's royal palace, Beatrix, 75, signed the document that ended her 33-year reign. Willem-Alexander added his name a few seconds later. Mother and son then clutched hands and smiled, their status transformed at a stroke from queen and crown prince to princess and king.
April 30, 2013 |
On Tuesday, the Dutch celebrated the coronation of a new king and queen of the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima. With her fashion choices for the events in Amsterdam leading up to the coronation, which included the signing of the abdication of Willem's mother, Queen Beatrix, earlier in the day, and a state dinner on Monday night, the statuesque blond royal Maxima, 41, proved what many in Europe already know: She is...
April 30, 2013 |
So here's the real question about the Tuesday ceremony in Amsterdam in which Queen Beatrix abdicated and passed the robe (they don't wear crowns) to her son, Willem-Alexander, who just turned 46: Did Britain's Prince Charles, who was in attendance, look on and think, "How much longer before I get my turn to be king?" Certainly, he could be forgiven for envying the Dutch monarchs' tradition of retiring off the throne, as they have tended to do in the short 200 years that the monarchy has existed as a reigning presence in the Netherlands.
April 27, 2013 |
AMSTERDAM - Even by the unconventional standards of the Dutch, their new king is going to be a bit of a novelty. He has a license to fly commercial airliners. He's married to a South American, a lively Argentine who's more popular than he is. He says he won't mind it if people fail to address him as "Your Majesty" because he's no "protocol fetishist" - an amusing description here in a city that caters to nearly every fetish imaginable. But his biggest break with Dutch history of the last 120 years is the simple fact that he's a he. Queens have reigned over the Netherlands since 1890, a matriarchy that will come to an end Tuesday when Crown Prince Willem-Alexander is sworn in as monarch.
April 25, 2013 |
In bike-unfriendly cities such as Los Angeles, people who love cycling speak in wistful tones about a faraway place where the bike reigns supreme. Go to Amsterdam, they say. In that mecca of the bike, you will find special roads set apart for cyclists, protected from the dangerous automobile by concrete barriers. But more than that, you will find a city where biking is part of everyday life. A city where executives, working stiffs and hand-holding lovers all pedal side by side. Pete Jordan, a native Californian, went to Amsterdam several years ago on a biking pilgrimage.
April 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. courts will not be the world forum for lawsuits brought by victims of human rights abuses abroad who seek damages from multinational corporations or deposed tyrants, the Supreme Court declared Wednesday. In a decision welcomed by corporate leaders and decried by human rights activists, the justices said U.S. courts are limited mostly to deciding disputes over conduct that took place on American territory, not on foreign soil. By a 9-0 vote, the high court tossed out a closely watched lawsuit brought by Nigerians against Royal Dutch Petroleum for allegedly conspiring with the Nigerian regime in a campaign of rape, torture and murder in the oil-rich delta in the early 1990s.
January 24, 2013 |
[Update 10:13 a.m., Jan. 30: Natwerk says the idea for the cup holder started as a joke but now plans to make it if they receive enough donations. ] Apple's iPhone is a great device but has one major flaw: no place to hold a coffee cup. According to Dutch marketing firm Natwerk, choosing between drinking coffee and texting on an iPhone is a major dilemma that causes people to either spill their drinks or drop their devices. Natwerk says it has a solution -- an iPhone case with a cup holder -- and is seeking funds to make it. It has posted images and a video showcasing the idea on Indiegogo , a crowdsourcing site for project funding.
January 21, 2013 |
Can you program a 3-D printer to build an entire building? Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars wants to try. The Dutch architect has laid out plans for Landscape House -- a structure that looks like a Mobius strip or "one surface folded over into an endless band," as he describes it. To build it, he plans to use a 3-D printer called D-Shape that will lay down thin layers of sand that combine with a bonding agent to create a material that is...
December 12, 2012 |
Like chocolate, cocoa powder is made from cacao beans. After the beans are processed into a paste known as chocolate liqueur, some of the cocoa butter is removed and the remaining solids are pulverized into a powder. Natural (or non-alkalized) cocoa powder is typically sold unsweetened, and although it may taste rather bitter and harsh on its own, its natural acidity works with baking soda to help leaven baked goods, giving a finished dish a balanced chocolate flavor. Cocoa powder is often treated with an alkali to make what is known as Dutch-process or alkalized cocoa.
November 28, 2012 |
If you thought the patent wars between Apple and Samsung couldn't possibly get any more mind-numbingly obscure, you would be wrong. Today, a Dutch court handed Apple another victory when it decided to ban some Samsung smartphones and tablets because they still violate a patent for scrolling across photos on a touchscreen device. The ban covers the Samsung Galaxy S, SII and Ace. Actually, Samsung had already lost this battle once, when the judges ruled previously that some of its gadgets had run afoul of Apple's patent.