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vol. 5 #12 – 19 June 2012

The Sentinel Amsterdam

Integrity, heart, humour

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sport

HOME HOME GROWN IN BREWED CATALONIA ANTWERP PERSPECTIVES LIFESTYLES TRAVEL OPINION

TECHNOLOGY ART FILM MUSIC

TRENDS HEALTH & WELL-BEING RECOMMENDED SPORT


Contents

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CONTENTS

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In this issue feature P. 04 culture P. 22 art

Home grown in Catalonia ‘Barcelona overtook Amsterdam as Europe’s number one weekend-break destination’

technology

Antwerp

TRACK

‘The Dutch language is a necessary tonic

‘A contemporary city conversation’

p.54 sport

News feeding

p. 80 more:

The Gold Room

ColoPHon

e-mail: sentinelpost@gmail.com website: www.thesentinel.eu

restaurant Review Mistral

p. 52

culture p. 54 Home brewed in Antwerp Star Beer Guide p. 58

‘If we did not venture outside the boundaries they created, we could miss out’

The Sentinel Amsterdam

p. 40

Editors – Gary Rudland & Denson Pierre Design, realisation and form – Andrei Barburas & No-Office.nl Webmaster – www.sio-bytes.tumblr.com Webhost – Amsterjammin.com

The Sentinel Amsterdam does not intentionally include unaccredited photos/illustrations that are subject to copyright. If you consider your copyright to have been infringed, please contact us at sentinelpost@gmail.com.

THE SENTINEL RECOMMENDED

p. 60

spotted

p. 64

film review Room 2c

p. 65

trends Fashion loves football

p. 66

Health & Well-being GOH slimmer

p. 76

Contributors: Eline Verbauwhede, Simon Owusu, David King, Dirkje Bakker-Pierre and David Billy


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‘Ask anyone within earshot if they have ever been to Barcelona’

Home grown in Catalonia

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‘It is almost criminal that so many millions remain ignorant of the splendours of nature that exist just a short drive from the city’

By Denson Pierre

Go ahead, try it. Ask anyone within earshot if they have ever been to Barcelona. There is a high chance that the response will be positive. Now, ask if they managed to get out beyond the city limits and into the rural areas of the province? I am prepared to wager a tiny sum that the response will be one of bemusement that you have even asked such a question. It is now more than a decade since Barcelona overtook Amsterdam as Europe’s number one weekend-break destination and it’s easy to understand why. The football played by the club representing the city is out of this world in its attractiveness and the city is blessed with a large beach at its foot. Nevertheless, it is almost criminal that so many millions remain ignorant of the splendours of nature that exist just a short drive from the city or its international airport.

‘Designed to highlight options for various themed holidays within its vastness. The trip focused on the ecological brightness of the region’ The prevalence of over-city-focused tourism has not been lost on organisations charged with maximising the true scope of their offering, especially when it is so wondrously impressive. In May, The Sentinel was part of

a group press trip to the province, designed to highlight options for various themed holidays within its vastness. The trip focused on the ecological brightness of the region, allowing me to check out the best of Catalonian rural life.

‘There are fantastic highlands with great roads, special scenery and the reassurance of local everyday life flashing past’ Let’s get motoring and the best way to do this as a group is in a modern, 25-seater bus. This trip does take our carbon footprint into consideration, after all. With a starting point at the airport, the city does not enter the equation and we head straight for the mountains. Yes, just down the road from that stony beach there are fantastic highlands with great roads, special scenery and the reassurance of local everyday life flashing past your window. Our first stop is to have lunch and meet the director of tourism for all things L’Alt Berguedà, Ms Rosa Colomer Oro. She is an infectiously passionate local and we should have known that we were in for some good exercise when she arrived in three-quarter-length trousers and super comfortable walking and climbing shoes, sporting a nicely designed and regionally colour-coded top. To loosen up our lungs we first headed up to the imposing look-out onto Pedraforca, complete with cool and interactive tour aids (you receive a booklet with all the sights and points to be visited and a unique stamp to prove you have visited). This is great for kids as the natural park area in which we found ourselves has so many points of interest.


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‘Gósol, a village where Pablo Picasso spent a short time during his key, formative years’

Next, we headed over to Gósol (1,502 metres), a village where Pablo Picasso spent a short time during his key, formative years, arriving by beast of burden and on foot to absorb the extremely pleasant air, particular ochres and remoteness. As a side note, he did leave in a hurry when there was talk of typhus having reached the village. We set out on an intermediary level of mountain path, eventually arriving at a spring some 1.6 kilometres along and above. It is said that this is one of the tasks Picasso accomplished but it left me, as a sea-level dweller, gasping and struggling for oxygen, even at these ‘modest heights’. The views throughout and the sense of accomplishment enjoyed after you survive a climb make it more than worthwhile, however. At the foot of the climb is the main square of Gósol, where the house in which Picasso stayed can be found. More importantly, after such a thorough bout of exercise, it contains a few cosy cafés for refreshment. After the trials of an overweight lowlander battling a mountain trail, it was pure bliss to sample a chilled bottle of what turned out to be the tastiest lager I sampled throughout the entire trip. It is brewed in Barcelona and I look forward to enjoying another bottle of Estrella Damm soon.

‘This fully bio-dynamic operation is one of my own dream projects’ My highlight of the first day was the place where we would dine and rest for the night. None of my colleagues on the trip, or indeed the organisers, could have known that this fully bio-dynamic operation is one of my own dream projects. Yet here it was. Upon entering the compound run by Conxita Carreras, the instantly revitalising aromas of medicinal and culinary herbs, flowers and vines caress you. A river runs by with purposeful force, providing a typical soundtrack to truly rural life. Moli del Caso was previously a watermill, hence its position on a relatively powerful mountain river.

To turn all this into a fantastically designed guest house, Conxita has used as much as possible of the material from the mill buildings and its equipment to create a warm and comfortable lodging place. All shampoos, soaps and cleaning solutions are made in-house. It is truly an amazing and wonderful set of gardens our hosts maintain here. They are self-sufficient in so many ways and a perfect example of why bio-dynamic principles could truly be as effective and inexpensive as the idealists would have us believe and adopt. There is a lot of manual work to be done and even five days before we arrived unseasonal snow badly damaged some of the delicate plants growing towards the sun.

‘The young woman of the house was unaware that she had provided me with a perfect example of how technology and ecology can co-exist without a fuss’ As part of a touring holiday of this region, I cannot recommend a stay here more highly. It is just beyond words, if you are a lover of that which is eco-friendly, tasty and healthy. In Conxita you also have one of those women whose book you just want to help write. The next morning, as we left before the sun came over the mountains shading this unique place, I dragged myself away while the young woman of the house was unaware that she had provided me with a perfect example of how technology and ecology can co-exist without a fuss. She was busy watering and weeding with her iPod headphones on and then calmly raised her glance to wave an elegant goodbye to us as we climbed aboard our transportation to more sensations of rural Catalonia. http://www.molidelcaso.es/


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www.yourtuliptour.com

For complete and world class tours of Prague Packages include: • Hidden and playful Prague (for families with young children) • Literary Prague • Prague Architecture through the ages • Religion and the city • The old city at night *These are detailed tours designed for visitors who wish to explore with great detail and not suitable for simply sightseeing tourists.

Day segments and rates: PR: 08:00-12:30hrs / AG: 13:30-16:30hrs / UE: 17:30-21:30hrs All sessions are priced at u 25 per single adult. Group size upper limit = 8. Accompanied children under the age of five are gratis and school aged children pay 25%. Family package rates are negotiable.

Contact:

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JC Tours


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CULTURE

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‘The book could be about beer, since beer culture is an unmissable aspect of a trip to the European city of diamonds’


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culture

Antwerp, twinned with Amsterdam By Denson Pierre

It is not that there is any perceptible realworld administrative fusion between these two cities but both, to me, are pretty much becoming what seems like one, given a tiny leap of imagination. For a simple starter, the culture is pretty much the same and the language of the internationally minded here is easily English. The Dutch language is a necessary tonic should you wish to delve more deeply into the cultural manifestations of this ‘hip’ city, however. In real terms, getting to Antwerp from Amsterdam can be quicker than getting from Amsterdam to Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. Quite fantastically, NS Highspeed can get you there in as little as 67 minutes (Thalys) and, more affordably, on an NS InterCity train, you can do the trip in 2 hours 17 minutes. Just enough time to read a paper or get through a few chapters of a book. The book could be about beer, since beer culture is an unmissable aspect of a trip to the European city of diamonds.

On this particular trip, we decided to take a Toerism Antwerp guided tour of a few evening highlights and they certainly came up trumps for The Sentinel. We were collected from the Radisson Blu Astrid, where we would eventually bed for the night, with its unbeatable location looking forever across the square on to what has to be the most beautiful train station in Western Europe: Antwerp Central. Our tour guide was Ms Vera Verschooren; a local woman who has been with the regional tourism organisation since the mid-1980s. My wife and I both felt we were pretty familiar with Antwerp and all it had to offer to a discerning visitor, given many previous visits, the most recent being just a year ago. However, we soon learnt from Vera that we had actually missed a huge amount of what was interesting, engaging, tasty and historic in her city. The slight embarrassment of missing so many points was compounded by the fact that these highlights were not all hidden or off the beaten track. Many were, in fact, right next to and even beneath where we had sat and caroused on other occasions. Humbling indeed and with Vera as a motherly and lovely guide, we enjoyed peeling back whole new

‘Looking forever across the square on to what has to be the most beautiful train station in Western Europe: Antwerp Central’


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We enjoyed peeling back whole new layers of the city explained from the heart: from how and why it is laid out the way it is and how it evolved to be a centre for diamonds’

layers of the city explained from the heart: from how and why it is laid out the way it is and how it evolved to be a centre for diamonds to its strong traditions in trade, art, fashion and design.

establishments which hosted us on the holiday aspect of our trip:

Hotel Scheldezicht (http://www.hotelscheldezicht. eu/): affordable, clean, ‘stylish’, good beds with lovely, welcoming, understanding staff and even nearby free parking for drivers. Het Kathedraal Café (http://kathedraalcafe.be/): felt more dramatic previously as grand café Het Elfde Gebod but still worth enjoying a couple of drinks and the peculiar sculptures here. Café Paters Vaetje (www.patersvaetje.be/): central, cosy and serving the right number of high quality beers, toast & mushrooms and other cutters to keep us going. Nicely zany staff members, who know their beer and how to make you It is perhaps funny to note that more of The Sentinel team feel welcome. (co-editor Gary Rudland and his wife) were also in Antwerp Café de Pelikaan: also just around the corner and for a weekend break just before the start of the actual great evening fun and sampling to be had with Yves press trip, so you will also find a couple of images of us Klinkhamers and the many brews he serves. ‘absorbing the culture’ as we fused activities. Special and separate mention must go to the staff at the hospitality Now pay attention to the other sections as there is more Antwerp flowing from us here in Amsterdam. The Sentinel is focused on all things Flanders for the next few issues, so watch out for various aspects and peculiarities of the city of Antwerp and hopefully get a feel for why we have elevated it to the level of our favourite easy-toreach city, on a scale that is not overwhelming but so full of all you could need for any kind of city break imaginable. Oh, and it is much cheaper to enjoy high quality beer and rove around on public transport than it is here in hometown Amsterdam.

‘We have elevated it to the level of our favourite easy-to-reach city’


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ArT

12.05.2012 - 16.09.2012 TRACK is a unique art experience in the city of Ghent. 41 international artists have been invited to create new works, which also give you the opportunity to (re)discover the city!

www.track.be

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classifieds

YOU WON’T FIND Familiar and yet always BETTER PRICES IN innovative Marriott! The Prague Marriott Hotel is located in the THE CZ THAN IN heart of the city center, a few steps away from historical landmarks, such as the Municipal OUR AIRPORT SHOPS House, and a short walk from the Old Town It pays to shop at the airport. Many brand outlets with a wide selection of exclusive goods carry The Best Price Guarantee logo, which means you get the best prices in the Czech Republic.

Square and Wenceslas Square. After a decade in the Czech market this Marriott flagship property represents a symbol of superior and dedicated service combined with local know how and expertise. The hotel interior was recently renovated; its rooms and suites now offer even more comfort and luxury. All 293 spacious guest rooms are fully equipped with high speed wired and wi-fi internet, personal safe, mini-bar, satellite TV with LCD screens, movies and music on demand, voice mail, data ports, individual climate control and a comfortable working area.

The hotel offers 1450 square meters (11 conference rooms in total, some with daylight) of newly renovated flexible conference, reception and banquet space, located on one level. Whether you need to organize a board meeting for 8 participants or a conference reception for 750 delegates, the Prague Marriott will provide a tailored service that exceeds your expectations. The professional event management team will create a successful event you will always remember. Since July 2009 we have incorporated “green events” into our everyday standards. By applying the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle to all events and meetings, we make them more eco-friendly and help guests and meeting planners reduce their carbon footprint on the environment.


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restaurant REVIEW

mistral

9.0

‘From the outside it looked like the cutest, most petite eatery I’ve seen in my life’


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‘It really makes you feel like you have made a little side trip to Provence in springtime’ By Antonia Egon

Pelgrimstraat 20, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

During an evening walk around the beautiful, atmospheric and historic city centre of Antwerp, a tiny little rustic restaurant was pointed out to us by our guide from Turisme Vlaanderen. From the outside it looked like the cutest, most petite eatery I’ve seen in my life; a mesmerising mix of countrified tables, chairs and flowers, like something out of a fairytale. Upon entering, we were immediately captivated by the utterly charming atmosphere. The owner and chef, a very Belgian lady called Marie, was intensely busy cooking in her homely looking kitchen, where old-fashioned cast-iron pots and pans were steaming away. The restaurant is so small that there are only a few little tables in the room with the kitchen and a narrow, old staircase leading up to a second floor with a few more tables in a similarly quaint space. The chef creates authentic and extremely tasty Provencal food, in a fitting atmosphere. Even though you are in Antwerp, it really makes you feel like you have made a

little side trip to Provence in springtime. The interior of the restaurant is so picturesque and charming, it makes you feel privileged to visit it and taste all the great homely food. We started with a freshly made tapenade with olives, capers and parsley combined with slices of simple French bread. We couldn’t resist asking for a second portion, while continuing to enjoy the lovely accompanying house wine. When the main course arrived we were silent for a second, in awe of the great appearance and smell of this truly magnificent ratatouille. It had so many layers of flavour and depth of taste, it kept us talking about it for the rest of the evening. Apparently, the grandfather and parents of the chef owned a house in Maillane, near Avignon, just across from the house where the French writer and Nobel prize winner Frédéric Mistral, was born; hence the name. However, the power and sensations of the flavours we sampled could easily have been inspired by the even more awesome phenomenon that is the mistral wind itself. Mistral is a truly unique little place, in terms of its décor, people and food, and a definite recommendation for anyone visiting Antwerp and looking for a special dining experience.

‘The power and sensations of the flavours we sampled could easily have been inspired by the even more awesome phenomenon’


CULTURE

Home brewed in Antwerp

‘Each city, town, village and historic abbey seems to have at least a couple of beers with a story linked to it’

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‘Here is a dynamite tip for grasping the art and craft of beer brewing in the fullest manner’

By Denson Pierre

On every single day of the year you could try a new example of the many fine beers available from the breweries of Belgium, and still find yourself needing to continue the journey of discovery well into the following year. Each city, town, village and historic abbey seems to have at least a couple of beers with a story linked to it. Usually their names reflect the humour of the brewers and their trusted pre-samplers, or some wholly obvious historical or botanical characteristic of the region or the drink itself. Modern variants have catchy names that clearly have only the most tenuous of links to anything they claim, but the names work well for curious tourists. The Sentinel is now launching a new section delving into the world of beer and highlighting a star beer (see following section). We hope you may eventually find them yourself, preferably at your local café or off licence/super market, if you cannot make it to Flanders and the capital of the best beers in the world. For those who can make it to Antwerp, here is a dynamite tip for grasping the art and craft of beer brewing in the fullest manner. Just within the historic quayside (Schelde) and now super-trendy South District you can find Het Pakhuis. This former warehouse has been beautifully refurbished for your pleasure and entertainment and is the

only craft brewer in Antwerp. As shocking as that might sound, it is actually a good thing, since it has set what I consider to be the benchmark standard for very good beers available from the tap (which, incidentally, is connected to the entire working brewery that surrounds you on the lower levels). This is a family run business and the enthusiasm they feel about what they do is infectious. You are very likely to find yourself consumed by discussions about the process of making beer, as well as being given a tour of the equipment and having the steps explained by Hans, the brewer, or Kristof, the business leader. Peggy glides around in the background, making sure you are sufficiently watered and that the bar snacks arrive just when called for. It is a huge place, so extremely good for large groups, including dining parties. This is because Het Pakhuis is also a brasserie with an impressive menu to suit most tastes and diets. Naturally, these include a few special dishes prepared using beer as an ingredient, while edible by-products from the beer-making process are also used to make homemade breads. There is a lot to learn here. Het Pakhuis is the perfect starting point for an Antwerp outing. It is easily reached by car, public transport or even walking from the city centre. The journey through the flavours of their house beers will set you up for an enjoyable and wholesome meal, although you may just find yourself tarrying a little longer than initially expected. Discover this gorgeous place for yourself, as well as the inspiring philosophy behind it.


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‘The journey through the flavours of their house beers will set you up for an enjoyable and wholesome meal’


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star beer guide

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star beer guide

The Sentinel Star beer guide By Denson Pierre

Tripel Karmeliet Traditionally brewed three grain beer: the light freshness of wheat, creaminess of oats, a citrus-like dryness and with a hint of vanilla Only last year did we praise this awardwinning brew (2008 World Best Beer Awards – Ale) and, upon returning to Belgium, it would appear that its appeal has widened, helped along by the great deal of marketing that appears to have gone into it since. Best served from the tap in its Baroque-fashioned glass, not many beers you are likely to come across will have all four members of an assessment team, with varying taste preferences, singing its praises. At 8.4% alcohol by volume, it is among the tier below the very strongest Belgian beers but this fact is belied by its flavour, which is reminiscent of a refreshing and characterful blond beer. Simply delicious and literally intoxicating!

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AMSTERDAM Balcony, Amsterdam West (10:25hrs) 14/06/12

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Recommended

We find the best, most fun, most typical, exciting, or local favourite restaurants etcetera in Amsterdam and bring them to you; an easy way to feel like a local.

To Be Seen and Tasted

Connoisseurs Delight

Fun, Drinking & Music

Cafe Tisfris Cafe Tisfris is recognisable for its landmarks, funky pillars and terrace. The modern, artistic interior with a warm, bustling atmosphere and inviting music attracts quite a mixed crowd. Tisfris offers a friendly and efficient service and is a great pit stop for “yummy” refreshments.

Opera Prima - Patisserie Bistro Traiteur The best place in town for lunch, exquisite high teas or brunches and all of your luxury catering, both private and corporate!

Mulligans Irish Music Bar Amsterdam’s best address for live Irish music : Five (5) nights a week! Check our agenda for upcoming sessions. Join the friendly atmosphere, have a good pint of Guinness and the good old-fashioned “Craic”

Tisfris Opera Prima St. Antoniebreestraat 142 Amsterdam Kinkerstraat 228 Amsterdam www.tisfris.nl www.operaprima.nl

Mulligans Irish Music Bar Amstel 100 1017 AC Amsterdam www.mulligans.nl

To Be Seen and Tasted

Connoisseurs Delight

Neighbourhood Cosy

Cafe restaurant Edel Cafe restaurant Edel is the perfect place for lunch, dinner or to simply enjoy a drink. Edel is situated in ‘Het Sieraad’ on Postjesweg. It sits in the former clockmaker and jeweller’s academy building and has a large waterside terrace. Edel is a unique place in Amsterdam.

Incanto Incanto is a restaurant with a classic Italian kitchen. Venetian chef Simone Ambrosin is known for his pure and simple style of cooking with feeling for nuance.

Vibes Vibes is a relaxing cafe’/cocktail bar /art gallery with a large selection of coffees, herbal teas and homemade cakes and an amazing card of cocktails, made with fresh fruit, by a professional cocktail bartender of 15 years experience.

The wine list contains over 150 Italian wines.

Enjoy our Italian kitchen in a cosy and friendly atmosphere. EDEL Postjesweg 1 1057 DT Amsterdam www.edelamsterdam.nl

Incanto Amstel 2 Amsterdam www.restaurant-incanto.nl

Vibes Jan Pieter Heijestraat 137 Amsterdam www.wix.com/vibes137/vibes


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Mechelen

Authentic and full of surprises. That’s Mechelen. Hospitable and honourable. That’s the people of Mechelen. Come and experience the city’s urban charms for yourself.

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SPOTTED

Where is this in Amsterdam? Answer to: sentinelpost@gmail.com

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Film review

Room 2c film By David King

The Matrix (1999) This is the film that first blew our minds and introduced us to the future of sci-fi movies. With outrageous special effects and an intriguing storyline, we follow Neo: a troubled, middleof-the-road computer geek slowly finding out that all is not right in the world in which he perceives he is living. Welcome to the desert of the real.

Room 2c film By dpmotions

Bad Boys (1983) There are movies that stamp themselves into memory via a series of gritty, separate scenes, rather than their continuous play, and this is one. Sean Penn makes an impression as a supertough, Irish-American delinquent who ends up incarcerated and grows even tougher for it. Was this the film to define the 1980s Hollywood, young male actors’ stereotype?

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trends

‘An unbreachable chasm has always existed between fashion and football’

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Fashion ❤

Football By Dirkje Bakker-Pierre

The trending colour at the moment for T-shirts, dresses, scarves, socks, trousers, skirts, jumpers, hats and any other piece of clothing you could ever think of in the Netherlands is orange. The colour has never really trended as a fashion colour, mainly because it doesn’t combine with anything but red, white and blue and it doesn’t really look good on anyone. When I say anyone, I am of course making a huge exception for the Dutch national football team, who look like absolute winners in their entirely orange kit, the latest example of which might very well be the most intensely orange kit they, or should I say we, have ever worn at a tournament. At the moment, I am very much enjoying the childish pleasure with which people are decorating their houses, cars, bikes, themselves and anything else to which they can attach a little orange flag or balloon. Nothing goes untouched; every shopping street has a football-themed decoration in place and every bakery is selling specially made orange cakes. All the songs you hear in the streets have the word oranje, Holland or champions in them and every sunset has an orange haze.

An unbreachable chasm has always existed between fashion and football. I know many people who live and/ or work in fashion and football is of complete and total irrelevance to most of them. A lot of them even have an anti-football thing going on and hate it with a vengeance. The exception is David Beckham, of course. For some reason, he has succeeded in combining being a football star with being a fashion icon and has even managed to be the first man on the cover of Elle. Another love affair between fashion and football is the famous Dutch design duo Spijkers & Spijkers’ design for the V-dress: an orange dress with some red, white and blue trimmings made by beer giant Bavaria in the hope of seducing more and more fashionable girls into wearing orange during this year’s championships. Who knows, fashion and football might prove to be a winning combination this year, after all.


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gardening advertorial

Gardening & wonder gardens (wondertuinen) A modern gardening company Like most landscape gardeners, we can handle all regular work in gardens, including paving. What’s special about wondertuinen is that we work in Amsterdam and Amsterdam is special. Our aim is to provide a personal touch, to re-use materials wherever possible or desired and to use no pesticides or weed killers. We choose organic solutions and bring originality, creativity and our logistic wizardry to them. Our way of working We come by to have a look at your garden and listen closely to your wishes. Based on these and our own experience, we come up with unique solutions and original features, using our keen eye for beauty in materials, colours and aesthetics. We can organise different specialists to bring LED lighting into your garden, as well as builders, painters and gardeners with integrity, heart and humour, of course. We then come up with a plan and a price. Our first offer is free of charge. After discussing the plan with you and

hopefully striking a deal, we agree upon a date for work to commence. Our website: www.wondertuinen.nl Our phone: 0613702070 Some of our suppliers: www.eco-logisch.nl/  Go to: ‘Wonen en inrichten’ and then ‘tuin’ www.goodscents.nl/  You can order their goods through us.                                             Special offer! If you would like to have some work done in your garden, call us soon. If we reach an agreement to carry out work in September or October, we can offer you a 5% reduction on the total price. For work carried out in November or December, the reduction increases to 10%!   Have a great summer!


gardening advertorial

‘Our aim is to provide a personal touch, to re-use materials wherever possible or desired and to use no pesticides or weed killers.’

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John O’Dre ams

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gardening advertorial

‘We choose organic solutions and bring originality, creativity and our logistic wizardry to them.’

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technology

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‘Companies created unique worlds through which they influenced our point of view’

news feeding TechBit: Sio-Bytes By Simon Owusu

It was always the way for decades that what we watched on TV, read in newspapers and listened to on the radio was controlled by broadcasting, publishing and recording companies. These traditional companies created unique worlds through which they influenced our point of view. The danger of these unique worlds was that, if we did not venture outside the boundaries they created, we could miss out on everything else. The problem with these worlds was that their filtered versions of reality were only one version of the truth; what they considered to be the truth. These companies controlled the filters and, therefore, controlled the content we absorbed, trapping us in tailor-made worlds of their making. The internet has changed the landscape across these industries, in many respects. No longer do the media companies decide what we watch, listen to or read. The guardians of content, the filters to our world, have lost their position and this has shifted to the people. We are able to surf the internet to find our own content, filter-free and with no boundaries. This shift, however, has become a

‘The power to control what people see, read or listen to is still being controlled, but now by the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook’ bit of a fallacy. The power to control what people see, read or listen to is still being controlled, but now by the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook, disrupting the traditional media companies. Now control is yielded through complex sets of algorithms: formulas or sets of steps for solving a particular problem and primarily used by the aforementioned companies to rank relevance or relations. All content on sites like Facebook and Google are constantly ranked and prioritised, based on relevance, by algorithms that determine what we watch, listen to or read. This means that what we see is actually what the algorithms think we should see and, in turn, what Facebook and Google think is relevant. These algorithms filter out content they decide is not relevant to us and are, therefore, creating our own tailor-made internet world, just like the traditional media companies. This is no more evident than when you look at your Facebook News Feed. Your Facebook News Feed is, in a way, a tailor-made world, based on the activities of your friends. The more friends


technology

you have, the more activities will pop up into your News Feed and, over time, Facebook starts to filter out what it considers irrelevant. What is shown is determined by an algorithm called EdgeRank, which determines what makes it into your News Feed. You only see what the algorithm thinks you should see and everything else is filtered out without your consent. Any interaction on Facebook is classified as an Edge, so a ‘Like’, a status update or sharing a link are both ‘Edges’. EdgeRank determines what is more relevant to you and should therefore appear more frequently in your News Feed. Which Edge shows up in your News Feed is determined by the Affinity, Weight and Time Decay of the Edge. Edge Affinity is how close you are with someone when you ‘Like’ an update, comment on a picture, click on a link or interact with something that shows up in your News Feed from a friend. This usually means you have closeness with that person and the more you interact with them, the more they will appear in your News Feed, and vice versa. Edge Weight is the value system used to weigh everything that appears in your News Feed. Usually, videos weigh more than pictures, so a friend posting a video is more likely to show up in your News Feed, than one who uploads a photo. These weights can change based on what Facebook is trying to promote at the time. Sharing a link might weigh more if Facebook wants to place emphasis on sharing links.

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Finally, the Time Decay of an Edge is how long the Edge has existed. The older it is, the less valuable it becomes. Facebook always wants to promote fresh content at all times. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, once said, “It will be very hard for people to watch or consume something that has not in some sense been tailored for them”. This rings true and is now the state of the internet. All major websites, from Google, Facebook and Amazon to eBay and Netflix, use similar algorithms that create an internet experience based on what these companies have decided is relevant. In doing so, they are creating tailormade worlds for us, where they control what is filtered in and provide no transparency in what is being filtered out. Even with technology, some things never change. We are always trapped and the only thing that changes is who is holding us prisoner.

‘They are creating tailor-made worlds for us, where they control what is filtered in and provide no transparency’


Health & Well-being

GOH slimmer! gohconcept@gmail.com www.facebook.com/GOHconcept

+31(0)6 44519526 (David Billy) +31(0)6 51890832 (Peter Fenwick) www.billysfysio.nl www.fenwickpersonaltraining.nl

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Health & Well-being

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By David Billy

Big rewards await those who are serious about their health and well-being. The GOH team takes a great deal of pleasure in announcing the tremendous achievement of our pilot group. In terms of weight-loss and after the rotation of just the first two weeks of the GOH Concept, members have on average shed some 2.35 kilograms each! There will be more intensity and steeper weight-loss to come but it just goes to confirm our guarantee of positive results for people operating within the holistic approach we utilise here at GOH. The team of a physiotherapist, dietician and personal trainer has been closely co-managing each individual’s progress within the group and now the figures are beginning to prove the effectiveness of GOH. As the programme (Group I) continues and we arrive at the point where we need to increase the intensity of the physical training, in particular, we thought we would just outline another few general points about how the body tends to react to weight-loss and increased levels of aerobic exertion. It is usually at this stage of a fitness improvement programme, when not properly supported, that individuals begin to misread signs and pain signatures (slight soreness, gentle burning sensations and shortness of breath), leading to loss of motivation. The GOH Concept

closely monitors your thresholds and will guide, support and make sure you refuel (diet) properly during this phase. It is intrinsic to what we do that we have all three specialists at your service at all times. Furthermore, we have come to realise that our training group also includes people with health challenges other than simply weight loss. High blood pressure, cholesterol problems and minor diabetes are other issues, so we have expanded our focus to cover total health improvement. In light of this, we have decided to make the GOH team even more complete by taking a General Practitioner (doctor) on board. Up to now, the GOH team has only been busy with the Weight Loss Package (GOH slimmer) but stay tuned as, in the near future, we are planning to release new packages. These will include: GOH kids (focusing on overweight children), GOH Prenatal & Post-natal and GOH office. Do visit and join our Facebook page (https://www.facebook. com/GOHconcept) and come along to one of our free-toenter seminars where we explore and explain more fully why our concept works so well and can easily work for you, too. Our contact details are listed here so feel free to call for a chat if you know you should GOH but have not yet got round to doing so. Group II of the Weight Loss Package is ready to rollout, so come and join us now. It’s your body and we are here to help. GOH slimmer!


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sport

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The Gold Room By Denson Pierre

The Gold Room has been called in from recess. Normally during major tournaments we make way for general reporting on the games and outcomes but, this time, we have cause to make an honorary Gold Room debutant of someone who would not have managed it on the usual criterion of playing beautiful football. Mark van Bommel is the captain of Oranje and, as I write this, the Dutch nation is enraptured in a sort of unspeakable doubt and nervousness about the prospect of going out of Euro 2012 this very evening, should his team not overcome the highly fancied German outfit. We will see how that turns out, as there is actually no football reason why the Netherlands cannot easily beat Germany and push on to impact the tournament’s later stages. A week ago, Van Bommel found himself at the centre of a storm of wider social ramifications than the football itself, when he stood up to the truth about abusive taunting directed at black players during an open training session in Poland. That too many people in Poland, and throughout Central and Eastern Europe, are what Western

Europeans generally consider to be thirty years behind in terms of how they deal with and feel entitled to speak and behave towards those with cross-cultural and national differences is a sociological challenge for the European Union and its satellites. Education needed. Even if the Dutch FA and, more shockingly, Bert van Marwijk chose to adopt the UEFA line that nothing like this could categorically be said to have happened under their watch, I feel it took Van Bommel to keep the team together and, without realising at the time, make it easier for the multi-cultural support base Oranje enjoys at home and around the colourful globe to understand. For standing up and simply saying there was a problem and is a problem, Van Bommel has put the spineless character of Van Marwijk (his father-in-law) into sharp relief. How a divorce is worked out remains to be seen but Van Bommel is the enforcer of the ugly, destructive, midfield football Van Marwijk likes. While this would never warrant a positive mention among lovers of the beautiful game, he is due respect and new-found appreciation for keeping the discussion alive, along with the hope that this continuing scourge, which I equate to terrorism, is dealt with and not left to further distress our enjoyment of each other and football through meek, evasive denials.


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The Sentinel Amsterdam vol. 5 #12  

The Sentinel, Amsterdam tri-weekly e-zine with all that is good and informative on lifestyles with perspectives, opinion and sport from Amst...

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