April 6th, 2013

Homework assignments

A., who is tutoring me in Dutch, comes up with some truly entertaining homework assignments. This week, one of the assignments involves the difference between the Royal Family and the Royal House. Another involves finding out how autism is treated in the Netherlands, and then figuring out how to describe the services my children receive her in the United States. There are others, and then on my own I'm tracking the issue the Raad van State asked the European High Court to resolve (how are you allowed to address credibility issues with people seeking asylum in Europe, claiming to be LGBTI; immigration services want to be sure they really are, and not just economic immigrants pretending to be LGBTI, but some of the tests/rules used are just horrible).

In the course of reading the Dutch wikipedia article on autism:


I found this:


Which is charming. Also this:


Which just proves that anyone who thinks that kind of approach is unique to America is ... mistaken.

What I'm really looking for are the terms of "speech therapy" and "occupational therapy", but I don't want to do some sort of direct translation if those therapies are not typically offered to autistic children in the Netherlands -- further explanation would be required.



That is _so cool_.

Standing next to Rutte

Short form: Don't do it, if you're an Important Person. He seems to be basically nice about it, with a tendency to tilt his head and otherwise reduce his remarkable height (even for a Dutch man of his age, he's on the tall side). And photographers do their damnedest to reduce the startling height difference between Rutte and, well, everyone else.

But just don't stand next to him, if you can possibly help it. The US Presidential history of photos in chairs is clearly helpful:


In this on the photographer tilted the camera, to reduce the impact of the height difference between Merkel and Rutte, with Katainen benefiting as well.


Here, Rutte is leaning backwards _and_ tilting his head forward -- that would give me a serious back ache if I did it for any length of time. I hope Monti was grateful.


Here, not only are Orban and Rutte seated, but Orban is bolt upright, while Rutte slouches backwards.


But there's not much you can do in situations like this:


(Which is what caught my attention.)

Or this:


ETA: You are not the first person to notice the similarity in appearance and demeanor between Stephen Colbert and Mark Rutte. Altho Rutte talks _much much_ faster.

ETAYA: Finally found one of Rutte and Obama standing from the Chicago NATO thing in the summer of 2012.