Wednesday, 31 July 2013

"Is it like 'Mission Impossible'?"

Once upon a time, I was locked in at my high school together with a girl from one of my parallell classes who's name I promised to not reveal.

It was rather simple: we stayed in the computer room late on a Friday afternoon to finish a project that each of us was working with individually. One hour became three, all the pupils seemed to be going home and so did the librarian, so she gave me the key to lock the library up when we wanted to go home and did not need the books we were using (she trusted me so much that she does not remember this anymore). Me and the girl were chatting a bit, but not too much. She had a deadline and had to print the text she was working with somewhere in town because she wanted it to be in colour, so her mother was waiting for her in a car outside the school.

All of a sudden, the girl put her hand on her heart and said: "I am sensing that something is going to happen! My heart is pounding really fast!" She stared at me, I stared back in what I thought was a much calmer way and almost immediately, we both heard three sounds from far away: beep, beep, BEEEEP. It was rather clear: the alarm was activated at the bottom floor.

We calculated the outcomes quite quickly: we had water in the restrooms, so we could survive the weekend and we had our jackets, so we would not freeze to death. We had our cell phones but once we ran out of battery, we could use the computers and not the least, we could use the library for entertainment because I had a key. I also tried to find out which company that guarded our school - the company's name is usually displayed on stickers on the windows, at least in villas. I did not find any, so I called one of the most known ones, which turned out to not be responsible for our school. The nonenthusiastic person on the other end did however enlighten me that it would cost us just as much to set the alarm off as to make the guards come and save us: 2,500 crowns.

My teacher in political sciences - his job was basically to entertain us with stories about the world and about himself - told my class quite recently that he had been at the school on a weekend because he was supposed to guard some studens tha were writing a test and had set of the alarm by entering the code, since the same code is used to set it off and on. This made some guards come to the school and push him up against the wall asking what he was doing with all the kids around, so with this story in mind I happily told the girl:
"I know who to call!" 

For some reason, I was keeping the list with all the teachers' phone numbers in my locker and luckily, it was on the same floor as the computer room we were in. I called him up, explained the situation and asked:
"Do you know what the alarm system is like? Is it like 'Mission Impossible' [or 'Ocean's twelve']? With lasers that we can crawl trough?"

He was in fact very happy that I was calling, but for the wrong reasons. "Locked in, you say? Really?" he said with a bit too much joy in his voice and then lost interest. "No, you should be calling the headmaster."

HIS number I did not keep in my locker. Instead, the girl seemed to have it saved on her phone. By this time, her mother was listening to a concert on the radio and just waited for us to come out, it was too late to print any papers now. I had called up my mum too, who took it rather calmy. "Ah", she said when I told her I did not know when I would be able to get home. She then called me up: "Have you seen this paper of mine, where could it be?"

The story ends well. We got out at 9 p.m. methink, with the help from the janitor who had to cycle many kilometers from home to let us out. The girl's mother got to hear the entire concert - it lasted for several hours - and I wrote a poem that I recited at the last day at school.

En fredagskväll blev jag inlåst här en gång.
Jag skrev just färdigt mitt projektarbete när jag hörde larmets elektriska sång.
Ännu ett pip, ett  avslutande tjut - 
inte förrän nio på kvällen kunde jag komma ut.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Clothes in Nature

Left: the little back dress, navy/gladiator style. Right: mini skirt and a super yellow shirt wich appears rather green on my computer screen.

Monday, 29 July 2013

"Sinni always seems to be right",

M.C. said, so we went to the café that she had recommended: Blå Lotus at Katarina Bangata. It turned out that it was true. The setting is simple but there are plenty of healthy dishes, the food is rich in flavour and there is a meny translated to English which you can ask for.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday Night

This weekend offered a very joyful celebration of 30 years of love, ideas for an article and a happy birthday. The weather is now finally compatible with a strength to not remain in a siesta zombie mode: it is raining.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Museum Mission: Kungliga Myntkabinettet

A few steps away from the royal castle in Stockholm, there is the Royal Coin Cabinet/Kungliga Myntkabinettet.
Swedish coins have been minted for 1,000 years and here you can see every type of them. Skåne, the southernmost part of Sweden, has been a part of Denmark and is mentioned above.
Precious metals found in the Swedish soil are regulated by the Cultural Heritage Law. Above: coins to the left, bills to the right.
Number 45 is 5 dukat - money used in Sweden 1632-1654 when queen Kristina was ruling. This in particular was made in 1645.
"Money" used in Germany in the last century during a short period. 
A more modern part of the history of money is touched upon, too.
It was common to store money - assets - as silver spoons at home during the 1500-s.
And speaking of banks: here is a model of the first one that opened in Sweden, in 1820.
The world's heaviest coin: 19.7 kilos.
And the world's largest coin. Wonder what the wallet looked like?
Modern money, if you think about it.
 An old type of money, manilla.
Parts of the museum were really beautiful.

Famous economist, John Maynard Keynes. For a fun way of learning more about his theories, see this Youtube video.
All kinds of people have wanted to hide money and that caused... problems.
The word "medal" comes from the Latin word metallum which means metal. Medals saw daylight during the 1400's in Italy and are different from coins being round and having not as flat patterns on them. Medals with a diameter bigger than 20 centimeter are usually called medallions.
Numismatists probably finds this to be a heaven.

Friday, 26 July 2013

What I wore this Summer (Part II)

I always go to the woods wearing high heels and a business-like outfit... As do all the other models.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Wild Wonders of Europe/Det Vilda Europa, currently in Stockholm

Dalmatian pelicans at Lake Kerkini, Macedonia.
This is an outdoor exhibition where one can find pictures to scare students with, like I did, or be amazed by facts like that Slovenia has more than 9,000 caves or that Sermeq Kujalleq/Ilulissat glacier is the fastest moving glacier in the world. When it loses a piece, it sounds like an exploding bomb.
Marmota marmota in Hohe Tauern National park, Salzburg. This is a photo of a photo taken by Grzegorz Lesniewski.
What this exhibition is about is to show is the natural wonders of Europe to the world. This is shown with the help of 69 of the continent’s most talented and committed nature photographers that conducted 125 photographic missions across 48 European countries. As the webpage of this exhibition points out: many Europeans know much more about nature in Africa or America than about nature on their own doorstep.
Not the least: one can get postcards with the beautiful motives from the exhibition!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

"Yes, it's a flying pig" or Our relation to Ads

I am thinking of ads. How do they affect us? How much money am I encouraged to spend? So I did some calculations.

During one hour of "Grey's Anatomy" on TV, I was encouraged/tempted to spend 400,000 SEK.

During one hour of "Top Gear" on TV, the corresponding number was 360,000 SEK.

During one hour of walk outdoors in the suburb - also taking the subway to get to a grocery store - the corresponding number was 3,000 SEK.

During one day, if I watch TV and also read the newspaper (online or not), the total sum of how much I am encouraged to spend is more than 763,000 SEK - a number that many newspapers would like to round up to 1,000,000 SEK.

The disturbing part is that we are often unaware of these ads, since we have learned to block them - or that we are, but on a subconscious level, and these ads are most of the time not making us smarter (some content is just erronous) and not contributing to making the world a better place (with exceptions for certain projects and campaigns). Some of the ads have an artistic value and technically, they show what is available in stores - but most of the time, we do not need them.

Of course, it is not always easy to draw the line between information and a "pure" ad, or how much it is worth. Is it an ad when a restaurant displays its menu outdoors, or a time-saving tool? How can the value of the webpage-sticker on a car for driving lessons be calculated right? An aircraft flying by with a swaying banner informing about an event, how can that be considered? And to what extent does an ad show what kind of time we live in - for example, does a storefront with clothes give me inspiration for how to dress, reminds me that it is time to by a jacket for the winter, or do the unnaturally slim mannequins simply make me feel bad about my bodyweight?

As for the techinical part, let us  assume that it does not matter which day the programs mentioned above are mounted, or what time of the day, or if the viewer follow these programs on a regular basis or not. By this we are making any day equally representative.

As a "Grey's anatomy" viewer, I found that 3 out of 37 products were of interest: the services of Netflix [the "legal Pirate Bay"] that offered a month of free membership, the campaign Panta Mera which encourages people to recycle more bottles and the service iZettle, that makes it possible to pay for something with a phone or a tablet when buying something in a non-online shop.

There figurated surprisingly many medications - Bafucin, Nicovel, Alvedon and Coldy [the other ads had rather diversed themes]. About eight ads targeted solely a female audience [like L'Oreal's mascara, which seems to have outruled the rocket science]; the corresponding number for men was not as clear, but they were definetely fewer. The ads for Storck's Toffee and Nutella were the only ads that targeted the whole family; the Alvedon ad targeted the family too, but not as perfectly clear.

With this information in my hand, I wanted to gon on and compare the numbers with how much it costs to produce a commercial and show it on TV, and find interesting studies about the correlation between the ads and the audience - can ads be made more efficient, for example? But perhaps I shall save that for some other day.

As for the flying pig, here it is.

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Post Card War, Part I

 It started when I sent a card to M.B. with the motif of a lady that had a sword for breakfast together with a marshmallow on fire, sitting next to a lady calmly drinking a cup of tea. I got this Scottish cow back.
And with the cow came also these lads.
As you can tell, the other post cards I get are rather different. Part 1 and 3 above came in the middle of the summer from southern Sweden.
Part 2 arrived two days later. Apparently, my mailman likes cliffhangers.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Glimpses of this summer's warderobe (part I)

Obviously, I owe a lot of similar stuff. I seem to prefer different shades of white and variations of blue - and heaps of patterns. Picture 2 and picture 3 show almost identical garments, which I was not aware about until I decided to catalogize my style. My favourite outfits are number 1 and 5, and the skirt in picture 6 is just amazing - it is gorgeous, of cotton AND has pockets. Not the least: thank you to Sinni and M.C. for helping me to take picture 1, 3 and 5!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

And some News

People are protesting at Götgatan in Stockholm - or so it seems. In fact, there are many "Bajen" supporters walking down the street to the arena Globen, where the team will be playing with Örgryte at 20.00 tonight.

On top of Stockholm

This was super scary, windy and not the least comfortable - but nice and fascinating. Location: Gamla stan.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Museum Mission: Abba The Museum/Swedish Music Hall of Fame

 Underneath a hotel at the island Djurgården, there is Swedish Music Hall of Fame - and the Abba museum/Abba museet. It opened on the 7th of May 2013, so it is one of the newest museums in Sweden.
 There is quite a big collection of tapes (remember those?!), LP's, different awards and costumes from over the years that ABBA was active. (Abba also happens to be a brand of fish products in Sweden, so the company asked ABBA itself for permission to use that name...)
 It is an interactive museum, so make sure to bring a good mood (the music of course helps) and perhaps comfortable shoes.
 Karaoke in one of the "studios".
 This telephone can supposedly ring any time - and it is only the members of ABBA that have the number.
(Link to political reference, see the middle of the text.)
 A visual recipe on how to compose good, successful songs.
 You can join the band on a stage, where both you and the audience see four phantom members. This is grace to super expensive technique. Hence, the only rule on stage is to not stage dive.
 The best part is that most of the interactive happenings are recorded and available online for 30 days after your visit. All you have to do is keep your ticket which has an ID that you can log in with and it is HILARIOUS.
And there are quizes, "music time shuttles" as above and quite a lot of action in general. We spent about three happy hours here! :) :)