Saturday, 31 October 2015

"Historiskan" - new cool kickstarter project!

...that finished on October 5th, before I had the time to blog about it. This is good news! The magazine got the funding it needed and soon we can expect to read about women in history just as commonly as men. Like, you do know that when you say "clever like an Einstein", you actually are referring to both a husband and a wife? The Einstein's did research together.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Hands on for refugees: situation today

Migrationsverket, the Swedish agency for migration, were standing at the central station in Stockholm today. There were folders to read. A Swedish man with a baby passed by and expresses his gratitude towards the staff doing this. A woman passed by and worried that the refugees around the place had no benches to sit on.

I asked: "Apparently, there is a refugee family in that corner behind you. So if I walk over and tell to talk to you, how can you pass on the information?"
Agency woman: "We have an Arabic interpreter. He is on a lunch break right now. "

Clearly, we are understaffed.

I also learned this:

When you get to Sweden: go to Migrationsverket. There, you will have to show a paper that proves your ID. Once registered, you will get a so-called LMA-card. That shows, among other things, that you are in this country legally. While here, you also have obligations such as following the Swedish law.

If you can not work, you will get aid to survive.
Some numbers:
24 sek/day if you have access to food at the residence provided by Migrationsverket.
61 sek/day if you do not have access to food.
12 sek/day per child, depending on how old and if they are up to three - or more.
A visit to the doctor costs 50 sek.
Paying for medication costs 50 sek. If you have been to the doctor and got medications for more than 400 sek/half a year, the remaining costs for that period are subsidised entirely.
All of this can be seen on the agency's website. As one of the staff members I spoke to put it: "I am retired and even I think it is easy to find." She also added that these numbers have not changed since 1994.  Prices have!

Jana for president: I have now made phone calls and e-mailed organisations and companies to introduce a refugee discount, just like students in Sweden have discounts.

Fingers crossed.

We should also organise and go to the refugee houses/camps and give them hope and integrate. Perform plays for children, offer bus rides for free, bring books. I have no idea what a refugee home looks like, I have never been to one, but I assume the stay can be made more joyful. A friend from Norrtälje told me about a camp that is about 30 kilometres away from the city - and to get to a bank and get the money aid, one has to take the bus. Which costs money. That they are getting from the bank. Vicious cycle. Also a bit hard to integrate with society if it is 30 kilometres away.

Good-will projects, anyone? If you have ideas or want to share experiences, please share below.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Party mix of songs

My new favourite song at the moment.
This is a good party mood song.
I like the sound of this, too.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

"Whole of Canada is celebrating right now"

Says my Canadian acquintance and googles funny pictures of the former, conservative prime minister. "Hate him. He is the worst", she says. "We have had a conservative government for ten years, so this is a huge progress for the country."

Yes, that includes legalisation of some drugs. But that aside - congratulations, Canada!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Café with a view: Konditori Lyran

Look at this! The roof of this tower could be raised and lowered before. I wonder, how did that come about? Anyhow, one steps out from the tower and gets inside Konditori Lyran. Or, one gets inside the café and then inside the tower. You choose perspective. 
Pastry is the stronger side of this charming place. What you cannot see here is my delicious apfel strudel. 
Afterwards, one can stroll in the woods and walk down to the water.
Probably very nice during the summer too. 
Location: Ålgrytevägen 90, subway station Bredäng. 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

"I think of children everyday. It is the idea of a husband I cannot stand."

 That is what a Singaporean talented finance woman, aged 37, told Hans Rosling and he told us. His lecture also was about that out of ten people, only one person does not attend primary school in the world. That geriatric care is not culturally accepted in Japan and fewer children are born because when a woman chooses between taking care of her parents-in-law, their parents and children of her own, she chooses not to give birth. Simple as that. And that the world population will grow, because many of the young people today have better living conditions than ever and will be able to grow old. After so much enthusiasm that the lecture was 30 minutes longer than planned, the conferencier asked for a selfie with Rosling and the audience. I went up the stage afterwards to shake hands with him; I liked his lecture, it was warm and personal and he also mentioned sex quite a few times. "Good", I told him, "people are afraid of talking about it." "I am so old that these things are permitted to say", was his answer.
I also liked speaker Linda Liukas a lot. She is a programmer that draws and writes books for children about how computers and programming works. Like, a girl is told to put her clothes on. She does - but does not take of her pyjamas, because we did not tell her to. Same with computers! Or that kids, young enough to not yet have learned that computers are hard to understand, get to go on lectures and talk computers. A child was given a sticker with an on/off button to transform anything into a computer. She put the sticker on a bicycle lamp, motivating the chose with that the computer system would make the lamp blink and change colours. So what else could you do with it? She was asked. She came up with the brilliant idea to take it off the bike after use it as a projector to show films when tenting :)

Friday, 23 October 2015

"Jana, can you blog about us?"

One of my students asked.

I said: "I can".

However, we have to have in mind that as a teacher, I have limited means to reveal certain events and names. I can (shall) be extreme and exclude everything and everyone; this cuts all the cool drama out (like the guillotine chopping baguettes, for example) and leaves us with an unpersonal version that would look something like this:

A student with a certain name and a certain age (born this century) that goes to this school where I work, said this very funny thing today with a certain kind of voice that made me laugh.

That is not very intriguing. So I can tell you this instead:

There is this colleague that I jokingly compete with: who is the best teacher of us? In the cab back from school (we go by cab to a school nearby), he showed me a bird cage his students had given to him. I guess it is a good thing. Or is it? I mean, a cage?
(Totally normal to have photo shoots in each other's offices. I am sure the other teachers do this all the time.)

 My students sketch images of me (ok, just one so far, but still). Also, I happened to find this in the archive of my photo gallery from earlier this spring. Shall we call it a draw? 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Spanish summer and passing death and the boring 50's

This is the most fresh book i have read so far - it came out on 25th of August (in Sweden, that is - 30 other countries also have published it). Main character is a relaxed, loving and liberal person in grief with the Spanish summer as a setting. I enjoyed the reading experience a lot because of all of it. Her relationships with everyone - her sons, their two fathers and new men, her friends, her now dead mother - they all seem perfectly real. Maybe they all are - in real life, Milena Busquets has a teenage son that does not speak to her for teenage reasons, for example. Most importantly, it does not lose in value when being re-read.
I am chronically inclined to believe the best in people, but J.D Salinger is wasting my time. When an author shares jibberish from the 1950's and has more parenthesis in a text than I use myself, the novella (English title: "Raise high the roof beam, carpenters and Seymor, an introduction") can be abandoned. Not entirely, of course; I searched the net to see if I was missing something. Stream of consciousness is the name of what bothers me. On Wikipedia the novel is said to include elements from various philosophers, haiku(s?) and a bit of religious reflection. Well - too spread out for my taste, though I appreciated the quality of the language.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Turning 10,000 days

By pure luck, I discovered a web page that calculates one's age in days. I would turn 10,000 days this summer, it said, so I invited friends for a picknick by the beach.
  I tried to pose with Jérémy's chips bag but Louise attacked me from the back. Here is take 2.0.
I also go to lift a few men (60, 90 and 83 kilos, not bad!), and a few men lifted me. Good birthday celebration! One of the game activities that I came up with was that the guests had to write a love story as if I, most likely, would have. Louise is still working on it - in FRENCH. I am very much looking foward to this.
Louise also printed this photo later. I know it is a little bit dark, but senario is that Jonas is lifting me up while I hold a bouquet of yellow roses and we both laugh very hard while people around us act like paparazzis. SUCH a good party. And shortly after everyone had arrived, I had to leave.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

New favourite blog (in Swedish)

But title is not so tempting. I see their point (several people blog at this blog!) and "booklover" or similar titles would not be as attractive. And, people have killed to get across books thoughout the years, so "Bookwhore" (Bokhora in Swedish) can be thought of in many perspectives. But still...

Address is:

Reading about books can be more refreshing tham reading the books themselves. And knowing the background story of a story makes my to-read-list longer and longer...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Best of Facebook: Jesus selfie, science and some politics

 If technology had come earlier.

One of the better excuses.
 Not that I agree with this scale, but it brings perspective on things... at least seen by a mathematician.
 Math can, as you know, be very straightforward.
 Maybe remembering one flag can save some time?
 Perfect solution to avoid having fainting students in class during a dissection. Credit to Emily Stoneking.
 Why one should marry.
And for those of you who are still looking.
 If men are photoshopped out of politics.
And a wish: please have constructive debates at all times that lead to rational decisions that benefits humanity. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Ilo's ultimate test for cuteness

Uncertain whether a person is cute or not? Tickle him/her. If the person is cute when being tickled, the person is cute in other situations in life too.

Ilo says.

Warning: this test says nothing about the potentially upcoming sounds or the following grumpy looks. 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Adventures 4 a.m. as mental training

One of the arts one has to practice to master in my profession is how to use one's time. Planning is crucial, but so it its timing: one minute on a Friday afternoon takes ten minutes on Monday before noon, as fewer things happen though out the end of a week, for example.

So before tomorrow's race, which includes preparing for teaching Russian on beginner's level, it has this weekend been a pleasure to walk among sunflowers on Djurgården, visiting Waldemarsudde (Karin Broos is an amazing photorealism painter!), having deep conversations about mothers, party till 4 a.m. and then walk home through an empty and foggy Stockholm, where every light creates a fairy tale up in the air.

C. is the photographer!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Svetlana Aleksievitj < 3

Who else screamed out loud of happiness when they learned Aleksievitj became a nobel prize laureate? (I am to some extent also happy that now I have read sufficiently many books to know specifics about authors BEFORE they become nobel prize winners.)

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

In case of bluffaktura:

"Ingen betalning kommer att göras eftersom ingen tjänst har beställts" (no order been made = no payment will be made) are the words you should write back to somebody who sent you a fake bill, Swedish police says. I know this because I went to the best place in town to buy stamps - The Post Museum - and a man [that thought this was a post office] told everyone that he was going to handle the fake bill of his comme il faut. The bill came all the way from Estonia. At least closer than the well-known Nigeria letters.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Museum Mission: Tyresta national park and Naturum

Naturum is a museum of all national parks in Sweden. This house has the shape of Sweden seen from above - even the benches you see to the left are part of the construction. They represent the islands Öland and Gotland!
The house itself is super well-planned (architects and environmentalists are welcome do argue in the comments below) as it is made of organic materials, is basically sustaining itself in pretty much everything and is one of the first and biggest environmentally-friendly buildings in Sweden. For some reason very expensive, too.
A local had put up photos of his favourite spots with comments. I do not recall if he was 74 years old or had been walking around for 74 years now - cool anyhow. By now, this exhibition is archived, so you can still see it but in a file folder.
Scary stone. It falls down on you. A new fall takes a few seconds to load.
This museum is for free - and you can walk for hours in the forests around (there is a café/shop and restaurant/shop as well, and get-togethers such as violin battles). Takes a while to get out here, though.
The walks are measured in kilometers and the guides at the museum can tell you the time it takes to walk. One can put up tents here, too.
Across this area, there are caves at a steep wall (!). I will try find out more about this.