Friday, 30 May 2014

Museum Misson: Drottningholms slott

Let us enjoy the view of Drottningholms slott / Drottningholm palace.
An extracted part of the interior (photos are prohibited inside).
A historical view. The castle stems from the 17th century (the first one built here burned down, as it often happens at that time). The current king and queen live here since 1981 and in a few days, the Swedish baby princess Leonore will be baptized, so the main castle will be closed off for some time.
The gates are kind of just there for the view, the park is open all the time all year round. There is a Chinese castle (a summer museum) among other things to see, but more about that in a different blogpost.

I enjoyed the garden quite a lot. It was just a bit too windy.
I appreciate that the work "behind the garden scenery" is highlighted.

More details from the surroundings coming up later this summer!

A glance of Drottningholm

Today's museum mission(s) will be summed up tomorrow and later this summer - as you can judge from the map, one needs a lot of time to visit everything (and blog about it).

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Ordinary blogging or how I participated in a protest for the first time in my life à la Greenpeace style

This is a nice river in Ultuna, Uppsala. There are plans for a bridge over it. A bridge for cars. That is good for the some 40,000 inhabitants around here to get to the train to Stockholm faster, but not as good for the environment, so today's seminar was partly about protesting against that.

We made some nice signs with puns and put them up on the back of an already existing sign. Small children came up to me asking what we were doing and I explained that a bridge for bicycles could be the limit, but preferably no bridge at all.

To get to the river, one has to pass by this photoshopped-looking area.
And a garden with a scheme of its plants. SLU, as the university in this area is called, happens to be the most unknown university in Sweden.
One of the lunch restaurants in the area had this funny political fruit drink for sale. Berlusconi, for those of you who did not know (I did not, I was told the background story by an Italian acquaintance), is an Italian politician who back in the days bought land in Italy and made sure that malls and cities were built exactly there, which gives him an income of several millions Swedish crowns per hour as of today.
And this is perhaps one of my favourite Swedish words so far (seen from the bus stop not far from the river): husdjursvetenskapligt. Super rare, long, is about pet animals and appears pretty straightforward when compared to "nanotechnology" or "life science" if one does not know what that is.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Forks and music, kind of combined

Misa whispers in my ear: "Tell Ian to check his letterbox." And what a surprise, he got forks posted today! So did other people. Soooo funny.

Me, I was listening to a music group practicing in the kitchen and asked the duo if they had contested in the TV-show "Idol". They both stepped back in shock, explaining that they have friends who did that and this kind of impersonalised thing only lasts for roughly a year: the singer just gets an image to follow, like the special clothes, and the lyrics to "read", so he or she can hardly influence the content on the record and has to work twice as hard to get a proper fan base. Good to know!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Classic vs Cowboy

Excited screams outside my office window were explained by this bull: it suddenly appeared on the school yard and students rode it. Quite a contrast to the first school where I was working, where the first things I became aware of at the entrance hall were calm classical music, romantic paintings and marble staircases...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

European citizen number 900

The lady who received my ballot paper looked at the lady sitting at the same table, her colleague, and said I was the 900th person to vote in that municipality today. "That is great", I add. "We did not expect so many participants. We thought it would be a calm day today", she answers.

Some insist on referring to politics as we refer to weather - "the political winds are blowing left", "the political climate is cold" - so let us see what forecast avaits European Union for the coming five years after 9 p.m. tonight, when the votes have been counted. 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Say it with a smile

Better advertisement for the joy of parenting is hard to come up with :-) 

Bear love and a goat

Simply awesome.
I may have named a kid Rufus! Every year, newborn goats are given names on the same letter. Last year all new goat names here at Skansen started with the letter q, and now new name candidates are needed. On Sunday, I might have the answer!

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Talent Search

After a few hours together with my students, I realised it with much more power than before: one important thing about school is the TALENT SEARCH. In several years time, the students get the chance to find out what one is good at and to get better at it (and it is my task as a teacher to see this in them and encourage them). This  made me think of the show Britain's Got Talent, and as you see in the videos above, one has two minutes to do a test which is not much different from an ordinary school test - it happens under pressure, with a time limit, and somebody is judging (grading) the performance. Moreover, the contestants are seemingly having very fun. So my conclusion is: school can indeed be as joyful, both for the students and the teachers! Even when not broadcasted.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Balloons, balloons, balloons and curling: a quick overview

There were balloons everywhere (we even had them outdoors, and then a family of five came to watch. Especially the children were fascinated), and they would from time to time explode randomly.

Curling and balloons is the most natural of combinations, you see.
And it is such a joy to the eye.
 Joakim suggested massage and one thing led to another. Always use people to hold you to reduce the weight or you might crush/crack the lying person's spine.
Some curled with themselves.
Ready for another curling session!

Scientific conclusion: +300 balloons are not enough to fill a corridor.

Jeremy, who used to be a shower curtain hanger before he became a happy strip pole.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

One of the suspects finds this incredibly funny

Ian feeds me with mango sorbet: "here comes the train... " in exchange for information that I may or may not have regarding who stiched a NASA logo to his jacket, which took him a day or so to discover. I remain silent but get the permission through Facebook from one of the suspects to draw a picture of the trio, whereupon a neighbour immediately (!) recognised the two people to the Ieft - so I hug him happily and tell him I think he should be co-working with the police. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Museum Mission: Tobaks- och tändsticksmuseum

This is the place where the longest cigar in the world is found, together with some answers to how snuff (snus) came into many Swedes' lives. Tobaks- och tändsticksmuseum / The tobacco and match museum lies within the outdoor museum Skansen, so if you plan to go here, make sure to have plenty of time so that you can visit the rest of Skansen as well.
The museum consists out of three floors, if I counted it right. Above: an organ where the sounds are smells instead.

Matching art. The grandfather clock dates from 1946-1948; the violin made of matches works perfectly fine, but its origin is unknown. Note that matches were once made by hand, at home.
The concept of smoking tobacco was introduced in China, Japan, Persia - today's Iran - and India by Spanish and Portuguese sailors in the 1800's. Historians do, however, not know for how long time people have been using tobacco. A pipe found in the grave of Tutankhamun gives a vague idea though, as does the writings of the Greek historian Herodotus around 500 B.C. about Scythians that lived by the Black sea and inhaled the smoke that came from them throwing hemp onto a fire.

Alida Tobacco is grown right behind the museum (note that all the green plants on the image above are green all year round). The planting takes place in the beginning of June and harvesting in the autumn; the leaves are green but look like elephant ears size wise and are hung on wooden sticks for drying. Tobacco growing was common in Swedish towns during the 1700's and 1800's actually, and the grains are super small in size: one gram equals 10,000 tobacco seeds, which in turn is enough to cultivate a football field.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

At the abandoned airport, part II

We realized quite soon that the airport was a popular place for various activities and asked if the fellows on motorcycles wanted to participate. They did!
Photos by David Härenstam.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

A fair(y) reason for a bus delay

A sudden bridal photoshoto just outside a church at Odenplan - do you see the bride in the middle, almost fairy tale-transparent? The queu of passangers waited patiently.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Doppelgängers and almost standing ovations

Were I to keep record, the statistics for my doppelgängers has peaked over the past months. Today, the class I was teaching said I looked like a classmate of theirs, so we stood next to each other and did not agree in particular while the others were amazed by that "they even smile alike". Today's lesson in general felt a bit like a live concert, with intense applauses when I was leaving the room. The next teacher had by then already entered the room and asked me discretely if he should perhaps bring this up with the headmaster, so that she could raise my salary?..

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Genious and great, directly from my Facebook feed

Very important, as you know.
Soothes most people in a common kitchen.
Makes students and teachers happy.
Fair reasoning.
And general, nice knowledge.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Lecturer: "I have sold my soul"

Two great lectures happened to me during the two past days. One was DEDICATED to me only. But let us take it from the beginning.

A chillaxed Roland Paulsen at Uppsala university, the day before yesterday, talking about work, zoomed in at a quotation by a politician and said: that is it. This is what my lecture is about. The rest is just a fill-out. And what a fill-out! That we have this idolized image of work - we always seek to create new jobs, not services or machines that facilitate our lives and we tend to question and look down on people that do not work ( = "economically unsuccessful" people) at the same time as the lowest amount of salaries possible (more often than not) are paid to the most hard working ones, while the most efficient and best paying way of making money is actually to not work, it is to own capital and move it around cleverly. It is also remarkable how work is more and more connected to a persona - a waitress that is supposed to be nice and tolerant constantly is for example psychologically impossible happy all the time and has to force herself to the happy state since the job requires it, and that tears on her or anybody in a similar position; or that we are so "happy about" and "like our jobs" so much that we are prepared to work for a very low salary just because of that job's status. And, Aristoteles did not consider for example being a philosopher to be work; a lot has changed since. 

Paulsen also happily pointed out twice that his books are available on The Pirate Bay (!); explained that after hid PhD, he sold his soul to an enterprise; brought up feminism very naturally and explained what economic crises are about in a perfect pace and was in general great, making subtle honest satire jokes and actually explaining stuff properly. He also finished his lecture SHARP. 20.00, not kidding. This included him answering every single question posed by the audience, a session that lasted more than one hour. <3

And yesterday, Mísa prepared a Power point presentation just for me about an article she had read about a new way of curing cancer (using superparamagnetic nanoarrays). I started crying when she began with "Dear Jana..." and asked for a time-out before she continued!..

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Reasons to love labs:

The fascinating and important experiments going on.
The noisy high-tech machines. (I just realised by looking at this photo that I look like those women representing a car in advertisements.)
The posts researchers put up on their doors and other suitable places.
A smiley that makes thumB up on the screen of a GC-MS machine named Sture.
The view from one of the lab corridors.
There is an extreme case for extreme cases.
That there is a museum exhibition in a lab of the intestines of the machines in the lab. The guy responsible for the "exhibition" sits on the other side of the glass, behind the Dell screen, and was really happy about my visit - to see what was going on, he would pop out his head in a really funny way, to the right of the screen with the top of his head parallel with the table...